Wednesday 29 April 2015

Raw Nerve - Discography

Raw Nerve
2009 - 2012

Review by Brayden Bagnall

Genre/s: Hardcore
For Fans Of: *insert mysterious-guy-hardcore band here*

If you haven't heard of this band somehow, then I'm going to assume you've been buried underneath a sizable pile of rubble and have somehow carved out a basic - yet serviceable existence for yourself in your subterranean prison. Good for you.
Otherwise your probably here because you know of this band and want to snag their discography, but for those just resurfacing from their underground domiciles let me recap for you.
Raw Nerve were a hardcore band from Chicago/Northwest Indiana who were part of that whole 'mysterious guy hardcore' thing that was big in the mid to late 2000s. Basically they played super noisy, unhinged hardcore with a big emphasis on a dark, esoteric atmosphere and all round caustic vibes. While not quuuuite as noisy or intense as their Floridian counterparts Cult Ritual, they still packed a mighty wallop with their hardcore ragers - all of just drip with feedback soaked anger and angst. The lyrics, and delivery for that matter are scathing and rabid and feel just right paired with the cacophony unfurling behind them.
These guys are an absolutely essential 2000s hardcore band - and if you've avoided listening to them up until now here's your chance. All of Raw Nerve's releases are waiting for your greasy little fingers to click those download links and consume the mp3s contained within. To those already initiated, you know what you're getting yourself into - please enjoy.


Self Titled Demo (2009)
1. Born Under A Bad Sign
2. Stay Staid
3. Origin Of Species
4. Fingers Crossed
5. Binge And Purge
6. Crosses
7. Cock Of The Walk
8. Gun/Mouth
9. Downer (Nirvana)
10. Raw Nerve

Teens In Heat Demo (2009)
1. Stay Staid
2. You Live
3. Teens In Heat
4. I Am A Cliche (X-Ray Spex)

Self Titled LP (2010)
1. Secondhand
2. Origin Of Species
3. Gas Can
4. Cock Of The Walk
5. Lawns
6. Beech Grove
7. Weeds
8. You Live
9. Skinned
10. Born Under A Bad Sign
11. Cold One
12. Crosses
13. Hemlock
14. Children

Live At The Legion Of Doom Columbus Ohio 10/02/2009 ‎(2010)
1. Live at the Legion Of Doom

Nervous Habits (2011)
1. Nervous Habits
2. New Neighbors
3. Strychnine (The Sonics)

Midnight (2011)
1. Dating Problems
2. Ill Of The Dead
3. Nervous Habits
4. Late Again
5. Cave
6. Honest Answer
7. Rest
8. Relaxation

Every Problem Solved (2012)
1. Wired Nation
2. Daily Reminder
3. Big Changes
4. New Neighbors

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Headless Death - Poxy Death

'Poxy Death'
Headless Death

Review by Brayden Bagnall

Genre/s: Grindcore
For Fans Of: Excruciating Terror, Warsore, Internal Rot, Unholy Grave, Archagathus

Melbourne, Australia has certainly spawned its fair share of grind bands - The Kill, Agents Of Abhorrence, Blood Duster, aaaaand these guys - Headless Death. Featuring members from the likes of Internal Rot, Rort and Roskopp this is utterly primal grindcore dredged up from the foulest of sewers. Sitting somewhere between chaotic 90s grindcore and raw old school death metal, the ceaseless cacophony of blastbeats and raspy, guttural vocals are spewed out at you in delicious, murky lo-fi. This is war-torn, disease-riddled filth served with a side of tasty riffs AND a killer Ringworm cover. What's not to love, really?
Poxy Death is available for on Headless Death's bandcamp, as well as few other releases (including their demo, which I've reviewed previously here) - all of which are free downloads, so there's literally no excuse for you not to click that link below and get onto some killer Aussie grind.

1. Underground Existence
2. Not A Worthy Death
3. Melbourne's Burning
4. Under The Mushroom (Shit Where You Eat Edition)
5. 13 Knots (Ringworm)


Qualm - Self Titled

'Self Titled'

Review by Brayden Bagnall

Genre/s: Hardcore
For Fans Of: Discharge, Vile Gash, Mob Rules, Sadist, Perfume River

Qualm's last release, Passive (which you can read about here) was a bona fide rager, and easily one of my favourite hardcore releases of last year. Lo and behold, the Amsterdam band have done it again, unleashing this utterly filthy self titled EP on the unwitting public.
Qualm have totally upped the ante on this one, honing their sound into a much more punishing and precise attack on the senses. Borrowing heavily from the likes of Discharge and Scandinavian hardcore this time round, the band's ugly stompy hardcore has a much more urgent and apocalyptic edge to it thanks to the pounding drums and lightning fast riffage. With the meaty, full bodied production and suuuuuper gruff vocals, this EP will just bowl you over with how mean and ugly it is. Seriously.
This, and all of Qualm's previous releases are available on their bandcamp to download at a pay-what-you-want price. I also advise you keep a look out for the tape version when it drops - it is indeed a banger.

1. Whore
2. Nosebleeds
3. Dumpster
4. ...
5. Obsession / Regression
6. Ecstasy
7. Loose Faith


Thursday 23 April 2015

Dilate - Dilate Demo 2014

"Dilate Demo 2014"

Review by Jerry Kahale

Genre/s: D-beat, Crust, Hardcore, Raw Punk

For fans of: Gauze, Unlearn, Mauser, Bible Thumper, Razorheads, D-Clone

I have a complicated relationship with crust punk. I find myself being less forgiving than other genres when it comes to how homogeneous it can be. Some bands are brilliant but some bands heard Discharge or Tragedy once and decided that they can do the same too with very poorly thought out execution. Its not a mutually exclusive thing to the genre of course but it tends to irk me. Ignorance aside I often lean towards crust punk bands that sound really raw and menacing. There are plenty of bands like that but I think now I finally found what I've been wanting to hear.

New Jersey's Dilate play a ridiculously vicious mix of noisy crust punk and raw hardcore with lots and lots of loud, raw and fast everywhere all at once. There is a big classic japanese hardcore vibe all over this demo too which doesn't seem apparent until after a few listens that Dilate has very cleverly taken the best parts of raw hardcore and d-beat, chucked it in a metal bin and then smashed it all to a ungodly mess. All over in just under five minutes there is little to fault here. Demonic vocals, buzzsaw guitars that can slice a forest down like butter, solos that play so fast they leave as soon as they arrive, plummeting drums and a genuine malice that bleeds through the speakers at an immense wall of volume and lo-fidelity wonderment. Its the kind of devastation found in extreme music that Dilate's contemporaries can only dream of.

The tape is sold out but a flexi record of the demo is available from the Televised Suicide distro if you think its worthy of your hard earned couch change.

1. Unyeilding Wrath
2. Trenches
3. Ancient Master
4. Human Cost


Tuesday 7 April 2015

Scab Eater - EP

'S/T EP'
Scab Eater

Review By Oli Hastings

Genre/s: Hardcore
For Fans Of: DiE, Last Rights, SS Decontrol, The FU’s, Discharge and D-Clone.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the early Boston hardcore scene. It was the Sound of disenfranchised youth burning their Kiss records and taking influence from not only their home grown Californian and DC  scene's but also the thuggish sounds of Great Britain’s early hardcore and Oi. More so than any other American hardcore scene of the period the importance of both Discharge and Blitz are never heard so strongly. From the early days of Boston hardcore bands like SS Decontrol, Negative FX and Jerry’s Kids took the mantra dictated by Minor Threat’s song Straight Edge into far darker territory. I am also a huge fan of the often overlooked second generation of bands spawned from Massachusetts; which were possibly far better despite never being fully accepted by the scene at the time. Bands like Deep Wound and Siege gave hardcore entirely new concepts of speed. A renewed interest in this particularly fertile period in hardcore history in the past few years is hardly unexpected but has also been a revival that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. England’s DiE and Boston’s own scene heroes The Boston Strangler are carrying the torch of the Boston Hardcore sound; although home grown acts like Hardluck & Sick People are equally as deserving of a mention. Scab Eater reinterpret this sound as well as (if not better) than any of the modern contemporaries rehashing this period.

For the uninitiated Scab Eater are three filthy Melbornite punks and one yank who refuses to be deported. They play an extremely danceable interpretation of Boston Hardcore albeit with vague raw punk/noise punk undertones and a healthy love for Discharge. Guitarist Nathan described them to me as “tough hardcore played for and by scrawny punks” a description I think is particularly apt. I have been a huge fan of the band since their inception in 2013. Their Abject Flesh demo tape was my favourite of that year and my experience of their chaotic live shows have all been memorable. The songs on this EP are addictively catchy and guaranteed to make the most jaded crustie slam like he did when he was a pimply 17 year old in a Slapshot shirt. For the most part the songs are somewhat mid-paced although they more than know how to rage at break neck speeds when necessary. For those who have heard their demo some of these songs will be familiar. Caged Life, Wasteland and my personal favourite track Distraught (that breakdown!) all make a comeback. The production value is better than the demo and the guitar tone has been altered slightly but none of the intensity has been lost.

Their guitar tone is heavily drenched in reverb and chorus not dissimilar to scene contemporaries Gutter Gods, Oily Boys or the latest Idle Minds Cassette. It’s almost as if this is becoming a signature of weirdo Aussie hardcore punk; something I’m very much into! In the earl 80’s regionalism was strong; cities and states developed their own sound. Pre-internet local scene's were far more isolated and bands naturally took influence from their local scene. Boston hardcore sounded nothing like bands from New York, DC, Chicago or California. The scene that exploded in New York recently revolving around Toxic State Records and Crazy Spirit in my opinion helped see a return to this, at least in terms of production style & certain signature traits. It’s great that something similar is happening on our own shores.

Scab Eater are currently embarking on an impressive east coast tour, don’t miss your chance to see these wildmen in action. It’s also an excellent chance to pick up a copy of their EP. Otherwise records can be bought through all good DIY supporting record shops and distro’s. You can also check out the EP on their Bandcamp or if you’re a cheap cunt you can even download their fantastic demo for free. You really should buy this record though! Trust me.

1. Constant Failure
2. Red Eyes
3. Caged Life
4. Uprooted
5. Wasteland
6. Distraught


Saturday 4 April 2015

Mentally Ill - Gacy's Place

'Gacy's Place'
Mentally Ill

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Hardcore Punk, Punk
For Fans Of: The Crucifucks, Stains (LA), Tar Babies, Vile, basically weird and scummy punk

Okay, so I'm going to just come out and say it. This is hands down one of the best punk recordings of all time, and certainly one of the best that came out of the first wave of 70s bands.

That's pretty high praise, especially coming from someone like me who loves to dump on everything (maybe I can get a shot in on some lame band in this post), but it is definitely deserved. On "Gacy's Place," Mentally Ill combine the best elements of the scummiest, freakiest, bounciest, and most vile first wave punk, and channels them all into something truly sleazy and deranged; something which not only went unmatched when it came out in 1979, but also which has quite possibly gone unmatched even to this day.

So, who are the slimeballs responsible? Mentally Ill were a short lived band from Deerfield, Il and were associated with Chicago's punk scene. Apparently they never played live, but they released this 7" (and another which was meh) and then vanished. In the 90s they recorded with Steve Albini and released an unremarkable LP and then disappeared again. From what I've read, they didn't end up playing live until 2008 and occasionally do one off shows every so often.

None of that really matters though, what matters is that this record is pure punk rock smut. One thing that's always struck me about this recording (aside from the guitar tone which sounds as if something is broken) is the level of musicianship members of this band had, particularly the drummer. Oh, and the vocals are totally manic. And did I mention that the guitar sounds broken?

Well, that's enough of that. You just want to download this and chances are you've skipped the rest of this just to get to the fucking link. I get that, I've been there. But here's the part where I tell you the title of this post is kind of misleading. I'm not just posting the "Gacy's Place" EP, I'm also including the entire recording session from which the three songs on that EP were taken. So there you go.


'Gacy's Place'
1. Gacy's Place
2. Padded Cell
3. Tumor Boy

'Starbeat Sessions'
1. Gacy's Place
2. Tumor Boy
3. Doggie Sex
4. Not Quite Dead Yet
5. Padded Cell
6. Split Crotch Straight Jacket
7. All Mixed Up
8. Stalag Thirteen


Friday 3 April 2015

Pinnacle - Shakey


Band Submission

Review by Brayden Bagnall

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Post Hardcore,
For Fans Of: WALLS, Kowloon Walled City, Unwound, Neurosis, The Dazzling Killmen

When people throw terms like 'noise rock' and 'post hardcore' around I get a little bit excited - it's hardwired into me. And when you add words like 'sludge' into the mix I sit up very abruptly and hit my head on a low hanging surface. Congrats to Californian band Pinnacle for doing just this, and incorporating three very nice genres into their sound. As you might expect, the band very heavily guitar oriented music, with plenty of atonal chords and noisy noodling included for good measure. What separates Pinnacle from most other noisy post hardcore bands however is the inclusion of sludgy, post metal-esque song structures - atmospheric buildups and cathartic crescendos. That being said, the usual genre stalwarts are there too - varied clean/strained vocals and an undeniable energy and emotional undercurrent running through each track.
It's great to see a band take a genre of music so deeply indebted to bands from the 90s and entrenched in stylistic norms and make it new and exciting again, without completely erasing its core characteristics. Great stuff - and it's available now for you over at Pinnacle's bandcamp page as a name your own price download. Geddonit.

1. flood
2. i'm not
3. gorgias


Military Position - Anti-Human

Military Position

Review by Brayden Bagnall

Genre/s: Power Electronics, Death Industrial
For Fans Of: Puce Mary, Pharmakon, Atrax Morgue, Fejhed, Anenzephalia

I was recently turned onto the excellent Melbourne based noise label, Trapdoor Tapes who specialise in local industrial/power electronics acts. Among their releases was this neat little c22 I got my grubby little digits on and subsequently ripped for your listening pleasure.
Military Position is the nom de plume of noise artist Harriet Kate Morgan, who under this moniker composes stark industrial dirges. Low, droning synth serve as the foundation to each track with both Morgan's bleak vocal delivery and occasional eerie samples punctuating the cold ambience. Much more reliant on minimalism than dynamics or harshness, Military Position's compositions retain a very rudimentary and primal sense of rhythm and structure - there's something vaguely hypnotic about the sparsely populated synth pulses.
If you dig what you read here, I highly recommend a trip to the Trapdoor Tapes webstore - there's this and plenty of other excellent releases available - but in the meantime this sucker's waiting for you at the download link below.

UPDATE: Cheers to Luke from Trapdoor Tapes for providing me with an even better quality rip of the tape which you can find at the link below.

1. We Rot
2. Destruction and Abuse
3. The Personal Is Political
4. Privileged And Weak