We’ve gotten a ton of awesome new records in lately. Here’s a few of our favorites:
HARAM – Where Were You on 9/11 7”
“Where Were You on 9/11” is a natural and mature extension of HARAM’s distinctive sound, finds them at their most direct, political, and personal. Surging hardcore, interwoven with Nader’s alternately soaring and guttural vocals, make for four of their best tracks yet. Hand-silkscreened in NYC with artwork by the band and lyrics printed in both Arabic and English. (Toxic State #38)
L.O.T.I.O.N. – World Wide W.E.B. LP
When I wrote about Rakta’s latest album a few weeks ago I noted how the artwork stoked my anticipation, subtly signaling a big step forward for the band. One could say the same thing about World Wide W.E.B., as the murky, DOS-green color scheme of L.O.T.I.O.N.’s earlier vinyl releases has given way to something much more sophisticated and eye-catching. I can’t stop staring at the cover of this record. While there are clear influences (namely Soldier of Fortune magazine and the Terminator movies), they’re combined in a fresh and exciting way and executed flawlessly. The music is no less gripping. While L.O.T.I.O.N.’s tracks on the split with Scumputer were a wash of grey, World Wide W.E.B. sounds dense, dynamic, and powerful. There’s so much to love here—the inventive beats and rhythms, the catchy guitar and bass riffs, the grossly distorted vocals, and how they can all blend into one of the most punishing all-out assaults in my record collection—and each track combines these elements in a new and exciting way. While some songs recall the nightmare sounds of out-there industrial groups like S.P.K. or Whitehouse, others veer into the dance-y (I.C.B.M.) and even the anthemic (“Unplugged”). I’m a sucker for big, ambitious artistic statements, and World Wide W.E.B. not only swings for the fences, but knocks the ball out of the park. (Toxic State Records #39)
FLESHIES – Introducing The Fleshies LP
FLESHIES (est. 1999) are a loud punk band from Oakland, California. They are noted for their intense, wild, and often homoerotic stage presence, abrasive-yet-catchy songs that warp and invert countless rock and punk tropes, radical (verging on wingnut) left-wing politics, and punishing tour schedules from the past (133 shows in 131 days at one point in 2003). They have released numerous well-received albums and singles on labels such as Alternative Tentacles, Recess, Life Is Abuse, Thrillhouse, and Adeline, and are on countless compilations (such as MaximumRocknRoll’s “Noise Ordinance” LP). “Introducing The Fleshies” (Dirt Cult Records), the band’s new full-length album, represents a return to form, capturing the energy, raw power, incisive lyrical commentary/humor, and brutalist melodicism of their earlier releases like “Kill The Dreamer’s Dream” (2001) and “The Sicilian” (2003). Recorded and engineered by Brian Plaskett, mastered by Daniel Husayn (North London Bomb Factory). (The) Fleshies are Mattowar, Yvan Kawecki, John No, Brian Plaskett, and Hamiltron (all five of whom are original members). (Dirt Cult Records #130)
KHIIS – Bezoar LP
Oakland’s KHIIS, on this, their first full-length record, unleash a torrent of killer riffs, building songs of purpose and power, absent of the chaos and noise that engulfs many modern hardcore records. While such noise obviously has its place in the canon of punk and its raw machinations, KHIIS know they don’t need the obscurant balm of feedback, they stand clear and robust, simply put: they’ve just got the fuckin riffs. Similarly the vocals are declamatory and forthright, not wild ghosts of delay and reverb, determined attacks, stark in their fury. KHIIS charge mightily through nine striking tracks of thick, full-blooded hardcore punk, taking no prisoners. Bezoar jacket design by Ji Hwan with insert and poster by KHII’S guitarist Austin M. Recorded and Mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios. Mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios. (La Vida Es Un Mus #189)
AS SAHAR – Primitively Eastern Winds ’93 LP
Whereas the second wave of black metal of the early 1990s is most commonly associated with the notorious scene in Norway and, to a somewhat lesser extent, other countries of Europe and North America, a more minor degree of attention is given to similarly potent movements that were emerging in warmer climates around the globe. In Southeast Asia, the island of Singapore served as an incubator for a clandestine infestation of black death that gave rise to such revered cults as Impiety and Abhorer. Several others toiled in the shadows, mostly secluded from a culture that viewed their existence as a social disease. Among this group was As Sahar, an obscure three-piece entity originally consisting of Malik Hanael (bass), Sam Uriel (drums), and Hanael’s younger brother, One Barchiel (guitar, vocals, keyboards). The band’s name, derived from Arabic and in reference to “the peak of the occult,” was conjured by Barchiel and is shrouded in a mystique that is born out in the music itself. As Sahar began as an unnamed thrash metal band in 1987 and rehearsed covers of their primary inspirations in Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Poison (Ger), Mercyful Fate, Venom, Hallows Eve, Postmortem, and Fantom Warior. Although they soon began to write their own original music, obligations such as required military service prevented them from recording until July 1993, when a two-song promo tape was released. As Sahar’s first full demo, “Primitively Eastern Winds,” was subsequently recorded over two days in October of 1993 at Freeway Studio and released on cassette later that year, originally in 200 units.
BRACKET – Too Old To LP
BRACKET has always felt like a square peg in a world of round holes. The story goes, they were too melodic to be punk, and too punk to be pop. But the band found a home at the haven for misfits, Fat Wreck Chords. Bracket made their Fat Wreck full-length album debut in 1997 with Novelty Forever, followed up by 2000’s When All Else Fails, and 2002’s Live in a Dive. In 2006 the band went their own way to explore their love of classic pop with Requiem, Hold Your Applause and the ambitious 70 minute (!) song The Last Page in 2016. 2019 sees Fat Wreck and Bracket reunited at last with the release of their first new album together in nearly two decades! Too Old to Die Young is a return to form for the band, distilling the Bracket sound stretching back to when “2rak005” first hooked listeners in 1994. The album finds Bracket still indulging their love for Beach Boys harmonies, but also taking a more straightforward songwriting approach. Self-recorded over the period of a couple years, Too Old to Die Young shows Bracket at their most collaborative to date. Everything was written together, including the lyrics. The album wrestles with the themes implied by its title, including the wariness that comes from making music for such a long time. Fans will be eager to get their hands on this latest installment of Bracket’s uniquely classic barrage of harmonies, hook-laden choruses, and lyrical artistry.
MARION BROWN – Three For Shepp LP
In 1966, when Marion Brown was ready to make his first record as a leader, he was standing on the shoulders of giants. Formative associations with Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra established Brown as a saxophonist to watch, and he had already appeared on free jazz landmarks Archie Shepp’s Fire Music and John Coltrane’s Ascension. Originally released on Impulse!, Brown’s debut lays down three startling originals and three tunes by Shepp—echoing his mentor’s 1964 homage to Coltrane, Four For Trane. Featuring Grachan Moncur III on trombone, Dave Burrell on piano and Norris “Sirone” Jones on bass, Three For Shepp balances fiery energy and delicate precision. Side A showcases Brown compositions that mix modal structures with ecstatic playing, particularly when the bandleader chases Moncur and Burrell on the exhilarating “The Shadow Knows.” On the album’s all-Shepp side, “West India” draws inspiration from India and Africa, while the feverish post-bop of “Delicado” demonstrates the band’s versatility, swept by the wheeling drums of Beaver Harris. Even this early in his career, Brown stood apart from his peers in “the new thing.” His solos were as gentle as they were furious. Informed by the African American folk traditions of his native Georgia and an enthusiastic embrace of the avant-garde, his music would confront and challenge society. As Brown says in the original liner notes, “The music is definitely a part of what’s going on in the black revolution in America.” Three For Shepp still sounds crucial today (over 50 years later) and remains a vital statement of jazz’s past, present and future.
MIKE DONOVAN – Exurbian Quonset LP
From sunshiney, smog-filled streets to an avian-strewn state of ur-nature, MIKE DONOVAN’s seen his share of the world, making records and playing shows all over the past 20 years with, chronologically, THE ROPERS, YIKES, THE HOSPITALS, SIC ALPS, TY SEGALL, THE PEACERS and most recently, himself. Time goes by and just seems to get faster as it goes. In June of 2017, MIKE led THE PEACERS sophomore effort, Introducing the Crimsmen, into the world. On 4/20 of ’18, his own sophomore solo release How to Get Your Record Played In Shops hit down. And now, a hot 23 months after the inauguration of the Crimsmendom, a third long-player in the time-frame arrives, as MIKE D whisks us away to his remote Exurbian Quonset. Exurbian Quonset sticks up like a fork in the road—it was drawn together as Mike prepared to be the last man from the old gang to leave SF, where he broke so many rules and new ground, working as a driver, a trimmer and a craftsman, cementing bricks into the foundation of the new centurion west coast rock and roll movement from his place alongside Thee Oh Sees over the past decade. It’s dedicated to the woman who married him and taught him both words in the title of the album—exurbian and quonset—and who he’ll whisk away with to somewhere just like the title. Mike’s ouvre all the way down the line has been wedding silvery falsetto shiver-rock with sirens of noise, stand-up tin-pan pop singer performance peered at through a defocused lens.
MODEL ZERO – Self Titled LP
“Black Gladiator and Slovenly the bomb squad we be, Set to unleash a depth charge of cold blooded circuitry. MODEL ZERO swinging sinister in the LP business, Live from Memphis T.N. it’s the new beat, what is this? Jack Oblivian the illest slid us over some Sheiks, Co-conspirators Goner In The Red broke us off some Ex-Cult this week. The Don Mr. Quintron assembles Drum Buddies from the ground up, Mod Z gnaws the breaks and regurgitates, what the fuck is up Chuck? Kill the Guardian with a Japanese Death Poem, Creepy crawling acidic electro-shocks to the dome. Sludge bombs from a 9MM, such is Modern Life, Deconstructing Mr. Soul, put the Young under a knife. Night terrors etched in vinyl noir, know what we mean? Hitting the racks May 31 two thousand nineteen.”
MUTILATED TONGUE – Fuel the Flame LP
Long time friends from LOOK BACK AND LAUGH (along with TALK IS POISON, NEEDLES, LIVING EYES, DEAD AND GONE, and others) have a new band! We are stoked to present the vinyl debut of MUTILATED TONGUE. 10 fast well crafted hardcore tracks played to the brink by these Oakland hc/punk veterans. Very stoked on this album! “Mutilated Tongue was formed in the summer of 2017, with the goal to play music reflecting our shared appreciation of the international, underground and hardcore-punk community of the ’80s right up to now. All three members played together in Look Back And Laugh in the early 2000s. We’ve got BRIAN on guitar and vocals, TOBIA on bass and MOSES on drums. The band’s main influences orbit around groups like So Much Hate, Youth Of Today, Raw Power and the FU’s. Like most everyone else, we try to offer our own sound, but our music represents a lifetime of listening to DIY hardcore/punk and it’s reflected without shame. We watch, listen and learn from the best!!! We are out to have a good time playing the music that we love and continuing with the intensity and spirit of the bands who laid the groundwork.”
NUN – The Dome LP
It is instructive that NUN released their first single five years ago with a track named ‘Cronenberg’. Their new LP THE DOME opens with a track named ‘Wake In Fright’, and presents a conceptual framework inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller that arms the record with a cohesive horror. On THE DOME, NUN’s development echoes the first wave of post-punk and Industrial music, from the malevolent broken electronics of Throbbing Gristle to the sensual trance of Chris and Cosey, or Human League’s journey from the turgid grind of ‘Being Boiled’ to the giddy synth-pop of DARE. An example: in contrast to the early recordings in which Branagan’s vocals were a heavily affected cyborg wail, the vocals on THE DOME have an immediacy and clarity. This clarity does not sever a connection with the sinister and disturbed themes that have been NUN’s character, but enforces the sense of confidence you would hope from a band on their second LP. This is most apparent on the first single from the album ‘Can’t Chain’, on which Branagan recently elucidated: “Desire is fundamental to THE DOME – I see it as the life force that drives human connection, not just to other humans, but also to the will to live. It is both cruel and necessary. This song is about the struggle to maintain desire. It’s drain disco music.” The aforementioned cohesion of theme and conviction of delivery are qualities one would hope for in a contemporary incarnation of the post-punk and Industrial disturbance. THE DOME is radiant electronic music accompanying such images of psychological horror as relating to the immersive experience of desire. IMMERSION.
J ROBBINS – Un Becoming LP
J. ROBBINS has been the guitarist/singer and primary songwriter (or pushiest collaborator) in several bands since the early ’90s, including JAWBOX, BURNING AIRLINES, CHANNELS and OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANS. He has also played bass for GOVERNMENT ISSUE and the Vic Bondi project, REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY. For the bulk of that time, he has also been active as a recording engineer/producer, working with musicians from around the world at his Baltimore-based studio, the Magpie Cage. J. started performing as a solo artist around 2010, making occasional low-key releases on Bandcamp and contributing to two benefit compilations that were released on Germany’s Arctic Rodeo Records. Un-Becoming—which came together in short bursts of activity spread out over the long stretch between 2016 and 2019—is his first full-length solo record. On 11 of the LP’s 12 songs, J. is joined by PETER MOFFETT on drums, BROOKS HARLAN on bass, and GORDON WITHERS on cello and guitar.
THIS KIND OF PUNISHMENT – In The Same Room LP
With This Kind Of Punishment, Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies produced some of most adept DIY sounds to emerge from New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene. After their phenomenal self-titled debut and classic A Beard Of Bees, the brothers would make one last album together, In The Same Room. Originally released in 1987 on Flying Nun, In The Same Room is perhaps the straightest rock offering in TKP’s esteemed catalogue. Opening track “Immigration Song” expertly pairs jagged guitars with wrathful vocals—resulting in one of the most celebrated moments in their recording career—while “Don’t Go” puts the full breadth of the Jefferies brothers’ method on display: spiraling riffs, somber baritone and chamber-like calm give way to frenzied rhythms and antagonistic lyrics. From deeply insular songwriting to hands-on production, This Kind Of Punishment draw the listener in close—nearly within the same room as the players—and remain rooted in a distinct approach to presentation that is inseparable from their music.
NOTS – 3 LP
At first glance, 3 seems like a perfectly fitting title for a new Nots album. After all, it is the Memphis band’s third full-length and their first as a trio. Makes sense. But peeling back the layers reveals the spirit of the record: “Once we really leaned into the space that being a three-piece afforded us, our writing started to make better sense and connect,” explains guitarist-keyboardist-vocalist Natalie Hoffmann. “It made for a more interesting record than if we stayed comfortable and safe in the way we were writing.” “More interesting” is a classic hard undersell. When Alexandra Eastburn left Nots in 2018, the threat of losing the gnarled texture or her hammering synth progressions resulted in some real growing pains for the band. But once the threesome arrived in Memphis to record with trusted engineer and friend Andrew McCalla, each member had embraced this fresh identity. Rather than abandon the noisy synth attack, Hoffmann instead decided to add another role to her expanding sonic arsenal, painting the backgrounds of tracks with melting buzzes and swirling waves. After the record began to take form, it felt much more accurate to understand 3 as a different force altogether from its Goner predecessors, Cosmetic (2016) and We Are Nots (2014). Themes of lost control and societal division are spread throughout the album. They can be heard not only via Hoffmann’s reverb-drenched drawl, but also in the sneaky tightness between drummer Charlotte Watson and bassist Meredith Lones that occasionally (and quickly) devolves into a beautiful, reckless cacophony before shoring back up again. All this amounst to a dark, unpredictable, raucous, liberating, and bold tour de force of a third record from the Memphis three—along with a strong impression that the best still yet to come.
SCRAP BRAIN – A Journey LP
London / Oxford-based SCRAP BRAIN are back with a long player that expands and improves on their dirgey and unconventional brand of hardcore punk. This time around the group embraces a wall of sound approach; this is a record that sounds both huge and claustrophobic at once. A dissonant take on Flipper with one of the best lyricists in contemporary music. Recorded and mixed by JONAH FALCO (Fucked Up. Career Suicide, Game). Limited to 500 copies on black vinyl, this is a split release with Drunken Sailor.
SABBAT – Disembody LPx2
1993 marked the release of the Japanese “Blacking Metal” cult’s third album, “Disembody,” which followed “Envenom” and “Evoke” from 1991 and 1992, respectively. This third full-length further solidified the status and chemistry of the three members first fully united on the preceding album, who would remain together for twelve more years, a span during which they would release five more full-lengths and countless other live, split and EP releases. The utmost attention has been paid to ensure that the layout remains faithful to that of the original Evil Records CD by, among other considerations, replicating the cut-and-paste style employed by Gezol on that version. (Nuclear war Now Records #436)
XANTOTOL – Black Doom Metal LP
Though relatively small in terms of population and geographic size, Poland made a significant contribution to the development of Black Metal. As the genre matured throughout the 1990s, Poland delivered to the world some of the most earnest and stylistically varied Black Metal the scene has ever known. Among the earliest and most legendary of these Polish bands was Xantotol. Many other bands (particularly those in the Norwegian scene) that would later be considered Black Metal pioneers were, at that time, still playing Death Metal, but Xantotol were unquestionably blackened in their approach, both musically and conceptually. With respect to Xantotol’s sound, the most obvious comparison is to the mid-paced Black Metal dirges of Switzerland’s Samael. Like other Polish bands from that era such as Pandemonium and Taranis, Samael’s early performances in Poland had a profound influence upon the development of Xantotol’s sound, but it would be disingenuous to simply write Xantotol off as an imitation. Xantotol released its first demo, “Glory for Centuries” (which contained a cover of Samael’s “Into the Pentagram”) in 1991, the same year that Samael released their debut LP, “Worship Him.” Although Samael had been around a few more years and released several demos by that time, the bands were essentially operating contemporaneously.(Nuclear War Now Records #429)
S.F.N – Electric Fence LP
This is the final release of Wisconsin brutality unit SxFxN, which includes six final tracks and collection of earlier recordings documenting their output since 2006. SxFxN was one of the few bands that took up the speed and fury of powerviolence, but did it with an originality and ferocity that was unmatched. Not unlike HATRED SURGE or IRON LUNG. Totally brutal and honest fast hardcore. One time pressing of 400 copies, with gatefold poster and download code. Includes six previously unreleased tracks, and remastered/rearranged songs from the Fouled Nest Demo, Itching 7″, split with In Disgust, and the Terminal Sedation recording. (625 Productions #260)
CRONANDER – Trapped LP
Oakland, CA’s Cronander is a relatively new band but their roots have run deep in the California punk scene for over 2 decades. Initially formed about 20 years ago and weathering a very long hiatus, this album is finally a reality. Having drawn comparisons to Poison Idea, RKL and Agent Orange, Cronander’s primary punk/hardcore style also pulls from skaterock, thrash, heavy rock and NWOBHM influences, creating an angry and blistering delayed youthful sound. Cronander is Jamie and Grande from Annihilation Time, vocalist Klint from Oakland’s Strung Up and drummer Clint (yes, two Clints!) from ANS, Deathgrave, Isotope etc. This album features original art by Clint and Shaun Filley, and was mastered by Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound. LP and CD digipak come w/lyric sheet and additional artwork, LP comes with digital download. LP limited to 250 copies, don’t miss out on this rager of a record! Split release on Annihilate!/Lummox Records. (Annihilate! Records #6)
GAME – No One Wins LP
“At long last, the follow up to 2017’s ‘Who Will Play?’ flexi has materialised in the form of No One Wins on the LP format. With influences and membership that span the world of hardcore punk, both stylistically and geographically, this platter sports 10 tracks of pummeling hardcore punk that incorporates metallic elements drawn from the near and far reaches of mid ’80s international hardcore and thrash to the simplicity of domestic HC pestilence. Blended with a great finesse that is both tasteful and potent—which seems to be a rare feat to attain this day and age—and buttressed by a top notch mastering job by the great ARTHUR RIZK, which only feeds the fire that is the base of these already enormous tracks. GAME is the conduit. Relatively new but sending sickening sounds into the New Wave of British Hardcore collective, decimating any and all willing to be destroyed. Seek further advice on Game’s sound via the precedent set by Gastunk, Celtic Frost, Sacrilege, Death Side, and the Execute. Members of ARMS RACE, FUCKED UP, CAREER SUICIDE, SHRAPNEL, VIOLENT REACTION and SUBDUED. Each record comes in a UV gloss jacket adorned with a stunning collaborative art effort by NICKY RAT, JACK SABBAT and TAKETO IKEGAMI along with a risograph insert.” (Beach Impediment #39)
LBB – Popped Music LP with download
Improvised, unrushed music with cello as the primary source. A single take recorded and processed through a myriad of hardware, software and NASA grade firmware 100% live and on the spot September 7th 2018 in Buffalo NY. ‘Popped Music’ is an untamed atmospheric obelisk of nightmarish scratching, serene melancholia and brisk paranoic tension reminiscent of a more deconstructed version of Gil Mellé’s original electronic soundtrack to the Andromeda Strain. We haven’t been able to pick our jaws up off the floor since we heard this, its fucking amazing. 300 copies of my 150 gram translucent red vinyl housed in a 24pt reverse board jacket adorned with artwork by J.P. Aurs. (Iron Lung Records #135)
STATE FUNERAL – Built For Destruction 7″
The Brighton bag-head boys are back to finally follow up their 2016 demo “Tory Party Prison.” Not straying far from the NWOBHC blueprint of NY83 and classic UK Oi sounds, Built For Destruction is a brick through your living room window, and it’s screaming Britain’s fucking burning mate! Snotty southern vocals that bring to mind DEAD MANS SHADOW, scrapping with brash guitars and thumping beats that kick and punch like THE ABUSED, while keeping the raw intensity that THE INSANE captured so perfectly when the Tories were picking this country apart piece by piece the last time round. Housed in a sleeve depicting a harsh modern reality with an image that burns into your retina, stating exactly what STATE FUNERAL are shouting about – there’s still no future. First press is on red vinyl. (Static Shock Records #65)
DISGUISE – Bas Fada 7″
Almost four years since the “Signs Of The Future” LP, Dublin’s DISGUISE return with ‘Bas Fada’. Six more extremely violent and blown out tracks that sound like the best of Scandinavian and Japanese hardcore punk thrown into a concrete mixer. Ever wondered what was on the other side of that enormous slammed door? Here’s your answer. Recorded by the band themselves at the Karate Klub, then mixed by Jonah Falco and mastered at Noise Room Tokyo. First press is on yellow vinyl. (Static Shock Records #66)
CONDOR – Singles 2017 to 2018 LP
“MAXIME SMADJIA has held many positions of note in some of the more exceptional French underground groups of recent years. For instance, you might know him as the beastly beat keeper behind Paris Oi band RIXE or the song writer behind the ever so catchy BOSS but for those who have yet to be initiated this is CONDOR—a one man band and love letter of sorts to his homeland and the particular strain of Oi / Punk music that it started yielding well over three decades ago. Previously only available on a pair of scarcely pressed and circulated cassingles, Beach Impediment Records is ecstatic to further the circulation of these six songs on the vinyl format. Channeling the brightest moments of the classic compilation series Chaos En France (and really, anything else on the Chaos Productions label that’s worth a damn) combined with an execution so precise and well crafted that it carries that undeniable trademark of Smadja’s many other contributions to the genre of punk over his time in it due to it’s attention to detail and adoration of quality. And as a special bonus this slab features an additional track that is exclusive to this release—a cover of ‘Vengeance’ by the ’80s Parisian Oi outfit D.E.M. Each record comes in a jacket featuring the stellar art of BEAU RICHIE depicting what I’d assume must be a typical day in one of the abundant alleyways that weave through out the City of Lights, plus a killer 18″ x 24″ fold out poster insert. Be sure to catch CONDOR on tour this spring through out North America!”
WITCHTRIAL – s/t LP
“With the passage of two years since the release of their demo, along with a hefty helping of gigs under their belts, Mid-Atlantic powerhouse WITCHTRIAL have at long last bestowed upon us all the absolutely thunderous offering that is their self titled 12″ EP. Drawing equally on the cult sounds of mid-’80s international hardcore punk and the early days of underground extreme metal, WITCHTRIAL has made it their duty to remind us that there’d be no Hellhammer without Discharge and no Bathory without GBH. This slab features 6 brand new cuts of the driving metalpunk madness that many a maniac has embraced since the group’s inception. Recorded by CARSON COX and mixed & mastered by WILL KILLINGSWORTH ensuring a sonic assault that is unmatched. Each record comes in a jacket emblazoned with a dazzling layout designed by REUBEN STOREY.”
(Beach Impediment #38)