Sunday, 31 May 2015

Geza X - You Goddam Kids!

'You Goddam Kids!'
Geza X
1981

Review by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Art Punk, Synthpunk, Punk
For Fans Of: Count Vertigo, Lucrate Milk, Outer Circle, No Trend (1985-87)

Can someone explain to me why people are going wild over bands who are nothing more than cheap imitations of late 70s/early 80s freaky punk, but somehow don't know who these new bands are ripping off? I'll do my best not to shit talk bands like Coneheads in this review, but I can't make any promises.

So, Geza X was super important. I mean really important. He was an LA record producer who worked the sound at the legendary Masque club and is responsible for some of your favorite punk records from bands like Germs, Dead Kennedys, The Bags (who he played in), Modern Warfare, Weirdos, The Deadbeats (another project he played in), and Black Flag.

Even with all of that under his belt, Geza also had a band of his own which, in my opinion, was also incredibly important. His band, named for himself -- although also sometimes billed as The Mommy Men -- put out some very bizarre punk which utilized synths, keyboards, saxophone, marimba, and several backup singers. You can probably imagine this is some weird shit, but you need to hear it to fully understand. Some of these songs have an almost industrial feel to them, some sound like demented new wave, and others are akin to commercial jingles you would hear in hell.

So forget about that shitty demo tape of whatever derivative band (who are missing the point) that people are raving about and listen to the real thing. Sci-fi sunglasses and leather gloves don't make you a freak, you're exactly the type of people that the bands you jock were making fun of. Now get to learnin' you goddam kids!

Tracklisting:
1. Rio Grande Hotel
2. Hungarian
3. We Need More Power
4. Isotope Soap
5. Paranoids
6. Pony Ride
7. Funky Monsters
8. Practicing Mice
9. I Hate Punks
10. Mean Mr. Mommy Man

DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Muerte - Muerte

'Muerte'
Muerte
2015

Review by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Deathrock, Hardcore Punk, Goth
For Fans Of: Nerorgasmo, The Scam, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Part 1

Oh man, two deathrock bangers in one week! This is something I've been looking forward to since 2013 when Muerte dropped their demo, and something I've been even more excited for after seeing Muerte play last year at one of their few US shows. Well, it's here and holy fuck, it does not disappoint. This thing has thrills and chills, stomp and speed; all of which is smothered under a bleak and dark atmosphere.

Muerte is a relatively new band from Mexico City, featuring some of the people who brought you Inservibles, Tercer Mundo, and others. However, instead of playing the noisy punk of Inservibles or the unrelenting raw punk of Tercer Mundo, Muerte has decided to go the deathrock route. That's not to say this release doesn't draw from those other things; in fact I'd say it reminds me a little of a darker version of where Inservibles were on their LP and final 7". I feel that's a lazy comparison to make, though, since shared band members don't necessarily mean bands are comparable.

On this release, you'll definitely hear a lot of influence from Italian deathrockers Nerorgasmo, who are probably the inspiration I hear coming through the strongest. I guess that makes sense, since Yecal Peña, the guitarist/vocalist of Muerte and Inservibles showed them to me and spoke of them in very high regards. What that means is you should expect nasty snarled vocals accompanied by an unhealthy dose of suffocating and evil guitar work; all held together by tortuous bass lines and powerful drumming. For all you non-goths out there (you should be ashamed of yourselves), don't worry about this being soft. As I said there is still plenty of raw punk influence, and when it rages, it fucking rages. Plus, if you've read anything I've said before, you know I hate boring modern goth.

Turn off the lights, close the curtains, and get fucking freaky. And if you're in the US, catch Muerte on their summer tour with The Coltranes and Lotus Fucker!

Tracklisting:
1. Violencia
2. Condenados
3. Exterminio
4. De noche en la ciudad
5. Falsedad
6. Estado de excepción
7. Descenso
8. Muerte
9. Un hombre muerto
10 .Egoísmo 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Hadol - Haldol

'Haldol'
Haldol
2015

Review by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Deathrock, Hardcore Punk, Goth
For Fans Of: Mighty Sphincter, Mannequin Neurose, Ausgang, Coma

I have to say, I'm pretty lucky that I live near Philadelphia (although I wish I actually lived in Philly) because the current scene is putting out some total dynamite bands; and the best of them is the subject of this post. I was told Haldol would be releasing two 7"s this summer, however it seems they've opted to just drop a 12" instead which is fine by me because this thing is incredible and I feel it works much better as an LP than it would have if it was split up.

If you don't know them already, Haldol is part of the new wave of [actually good] deathrock bands* which have popped up in the last few years. Originally formed in Nashville, TN in 2011, Haldol -- or at least Geoff Smith, the mastermind behind the project -- moved to Philadelphia and recruited Aaron Muchanic, another recent Philly transplant; and together they recorded a new demo which was one of my favorite demos from last year. It took me a year before I finally got to see them but they upstaged everyone they played with, including Mystic Inane and Blank Spell (another Philly dark punk band who Aaron also happens to drum for) both of whom were actually incredible, which should tell you just how good Haldol was.

I love Haldol because they're bringing the aggression, noise, and punk edge back into goth, all of which have been absent from most so-called contemporary "deathrock" bands. Rather than jumping on the trend of trying to be a clone of Sisters Of Mercy (who were never deathrock to begin with), Haldol has chosen to opt out of that dated 80s goth sound and instead is putting a new spin on things while also drawing more from US deathrock bands like Christian Death and Mighty Sphincter (lots of nods to Sphincter on this); UK deathrock bands associated with the anarcho-punk scene like Part1, and also UK deathrock bands not associated with the anarcho scene like Ausgang; plus some hints of noise rock (definitely an early No Trend vibe poking its head in here and there). They also seem to have some hints of Japanese deathrock bands like Coma with their spacey guitar work, and Mannequin Neurose with their noisy, frantic take on goth. So basically, Haldol is an updated version of the classic, aggressive deathrock we all know and love with none of the obnoxious boo-hoo-I-wish-I-was-born-in-the-80s bullshit you're likely to find in the bandcamp "deathrock" tag. Oh, and also they're Marxists.

Okay, enough talk. Get to downloading this bad boy, my minions. And if you're in the south of north America (that sure is confusing), try to catch Haldol with Blank Spell when they hit your town.

Tracklisting:
1. Hasbara
2. Insomnia In Dream City
3. Law Of Indifference
4. Time Is Not On Our Side
5. Beyond The Pleasure Principle

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

*For those of you wondering why there was an asterisk by "new wave of [actually good] deathrock bands," I wasn't sure how to fit my excitement over this occurrence into the review without rambling and veering off topic. I am beyond excited about this crop of bands who are bringing the aggressive, punk edge back into goth. Bands like Anti-Zen (R.I.P.), Börn, Perspex Flesh, Muerte (their LP drops soon!), and others are breathing fresh air into the stale cave that is goth punk. I've been so sick of hearing bands try really hard to be The Cure and Sisters Of Mercy, copying everything right down to their guitar tones and even the airy 80s style production. Those bands are great, but their sounds are so dated that I find this affinity for ripping them off comparable to what you'd hear from a shitty college town bar band playing Led Zeppelin covers. There's no point in being a cheap imitation (looking at your entire career, Ceremony). These new bands are actually putting new twists on the classic deathrock I love and it's exciting. Now I'm just waiting for nerds to hop onto the trend and run it into the ground.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

GRRR - GRRR

'GRRR'
GRRR
1984

Review by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Post-Punk, Noise Rock, Anarcho-Punk
For Fans Of: The Ex, Spike In Vain, DNA, Half Japanese

I could start this post off by wondering how I wasn't turned onto this band sooner, but it seems that nobody I know has heard of them either. And the only info I can dig up on them is that they were from the Netherlands; specifically Wormer, the same area which is home to anarcho-punk legends, The Ex. So, since I'm unable to give any real background on this band, I'll just have to talk about the music.

This thing is evil. It's abstract, yet hypnotic and military sounding. Every aspect is calculated, even the horrifying cacophonies which rise and fall into place with a frightening precision. The bands I've listed should give you a good idea of what GRRR sounds like, although I could also compare this to that Blank Veins CS that Brayden posted a little while back, in that what feels like chaos gradually churns itself into a rhythm. This band seems to draw from all types of weird, noise based, political, and artistic punk of the time and spits these elements out into the air like nightmare confetti (god, I love Clickhole so much).

Anyway, I highly recommend you download this and at least listen to it once. It could be like when I first heard Einstürzende Neubauten at age 16 and didn't get it, and came back a year or two later and was blown away. Or you could just think this is garbage. And that means you're probably a dork. Or just not ready. Which is totally acceptable. Either way, the download link is below.

Tracklisting:
01. Tuf Tuf / Cruelty
02. Ahmed
03. No More Riots
04. Soldier's Grief
05. Herman
06. 1984
07. Hé Soldier
08. NAVO Strategie
09. Brave New World
10. Holland Mijn Gifland
11. He Had To Eat His Dog
12. Fools Talk

DOWNLOAD

Monday, 4 May 2015

No - Treating People Like They Don't Exist

'Treating People Like They Don't Exist'
No
2015

Review by Joe McManamon-Simon

Genre/s: Hardcore Punk
For Fans Of: The Lowest Form, White Cross, Flesh World (the Australian noisy hardcore punk band not the post-punk band on Iron Lung Records), Negazione

No is a band who I have been incredibly excited about ever since I first heard their 'Great Space' 12" in 2013. I was absolutely floored by their combination of unpredictable structures, unbridled aggression, and oddball atonal riffs. I've been waiting impatiently for new material, and when I saw this on the La Vida Es Un Mus bandcamp I think I actually leapt out of my chair in elation. I clicked play and was blown away all over again.

A little background: No is part of the most recent wave of hardcore punk from the United Kingdom which has given us a roster of bands whose music is incredibly refreshing. Some other bands included in this wave are Perspex Flesh, The Lowest Form, DiE, Snob, Frau (who are more no wave inspired than hardcore punk inspired), and Mob Rules. In my opinion, the UK has one of the best hardcore punk scenes in the world right now. Furthermore, this 12" (and No's other two 12"s) is the epitome of what this scene has to offer (followed very closely by the material put out by Perspex Flesh and The Lowest Form).

So, what about No sets them apart from their peers? No utilizes erratic timings and off kilter riffing coupled with total stomping, blown out fury. I've seen them compared to Die Kreuzen a lot which baffles me because Die Kreuzen, at least for their self-titled LP were mostly just fast and kind of thrashy and a little gothy at some points; not much weird, atonal work on there except for some of the guitar parts I guess, but even then it's nothing like this. This sounds as if the guitar is out of tune, which it very may well be. Rather than saying No is like Die Kreuzen, I'd say they are more akin to an amalgam of the sporadic feel of Negazione's "Tutti Pazzi" EP, the freaky guitar work of Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers' "400 Fascists" and "Furious Party" EPs, the fucked up rage and twisted structures of White Cross's self-titled EP, and maybe a little bit of the weirdness from Mecht Mensch's self-titled EP thrown in for good measure; that should give you a general idea. And if that doesn't sound fucking awesome, then I don't think I want to be friends with you.

Tracklisting:
1. Revert
2. Remains
3. Shaking
4. Run Dry
5. Blunder
6. Toil
7. Reverse
8. Inhuman

DOWNLOAD (La Vida Es Un Mus bandcamp)