TOTAL CONTROL, ISRAEL REGARDIE, SHEER MAG, AJAX, CHAIN RANK reviews

by Jean Summertime folks… In South-West France it’s like juggling with…

…and a shitty weather like today. It’s almost cold. Nothing fun to do (I guess) except plug in the turntable and listen to the several pieces of records I just received yesterday from one of my buddy who runs a hella record label/distro. Alexis from STRAIGHT & ALERT sent me this order I’ve been complemented for ages since he let me know he will stock in the next weeks, months, some great 2015 releases and re-issues. The day he sent me this order…

Processed with Moldiv … I asked him to put aside about ten records he was about to order to some labels and stock in his Nantes based distro. What is really interesting and cool about STRAIGHT AND ALERT is that Alexis isn’t focused on the very “hardcore” releases which come out on the market. He’s also really interested in bands, releases which are, in one way or another, “linked” to the hardcore scene. That’s probably why he ordered some stuffs to London based LA VIDA ES UN MUS. You already know that some hardcore/punk musicians (from the early beginning to nowadays) can be interested in playing in another band, itself creating another kind of music than a strickly hardcore stuff, like Oi!, post-punk, shoegaze… These past years it has been a sort of trend, just take a look to CEREMONY’s discography! Hardcore punk, garage rock and then, in 2015, and excellent BLITZ (1983 “Second Empire” era)/JOY DIVISION crossover!

Personally, I do think this record is a really cool/good one. But that’s not the point here. Actually, I’d liked to speak to you about Australian band TOTAL CONTROL 2nd LP on Iron Lung Records, called “Typical System”. Maybe some of our punx readers already knew STRAIGHTJACKET NATION in which Daniel Stewart (vocals) also plays and maybe our “indie fan-base” already knew that the same Dan, plus Mikey Young (guitar, keyboards) also play in EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING and UV RACE. I’ve discovered this band stalking to Andy’s (from THE FLEX) pics on Instagram months ago.

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I downloaded the two records and actually it appears I was of the same opinion than Andy. By the way I got a funny anecdote about that dude: a few years ago he was driving VIOLENT REACTION Euro Tour and during the Bordeaux show he asked me if I wanted to buy his own fanzine, which I did…

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…then I asked how was the tour and he answered me something like: “Man… Driving a straight edge band because you’re the only one to have a car licence whereas you’re the only non-straight edge guy of the crew is really hard!”

Let’s go back to the point. When I listened to TOTAL CONTROL “Henge Beat” first LP, I felt something totally different from “Typical System”. Dunno if it’s because I’m not a real “post-punk dude” – because every local pal who seems to like this kind of music told me he prefered “Henge Beat” – but I really think “Typical System” is way more accomplished in terms of emotions, production, musical skills… I’m more into the synth-punk aspect of this record than the previous one. I also really like the way lyrics were written: even if the music is great, I guess it would have been a perfect spoken word record! My favorite songs are “Flesh War” on A Side and “Safety Net”on B Side. They’re obviously the main hits of the record but they definitly kick some butts.

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I’ve already posted something about the two of these three tapes in a previous post about latest STRAIGHT & ALERT releases, the third one on the right of the picture is the tape version of “Tu N’Es Personne” EP from Lyon, France, post-punk/shoegaze (“devotional coldwave” as tagged on bandcamp) band ISRAEL REGARDIE, in its extremely cool and artsy packaging.

Processed with Moldiv Israel Regardie was an occultist writer and Aleister Crowley’s personal secretary and transcriptor. I’m not that much into the “Occult thing” actually, nor a biographer but I would like to gather material and information about this kind of litterarure if it has a personal impact on some individuals’s mind which make music I sincerely like! I’m not sure I’m the right person who can clearly express his feelings towards the listening of such a tape, cuz I’m definitly not the one who can just chill out, listening to records and talk about it when it comes to particular form of art, like shoegaze, goth, coldwave, electronic, ambient, techno, martial, neo-folk or whatever (even rap actually), though I can listen to EVERY kind of music (well, except beatdown). Actually, I just need to listen to the records and if I feel something special things listening to it. And if I’m like “Well… I’m in it” it only counts. And that’s totally how I feel about “Tu N’Es Personne” tape EP – which title means “You’re no one”, a philosophical statement I totally agree with. If you need some more convincing thoughts about that tape, I’ve just picked up some MRR contributor’s review…

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By the way, Nabil (Just Say Yo Fanzine), whom our buddy Tieuma already interviewed in these pages features in ISRAEL REGARDIE’s line-up. I think you can definitly listen to this EP reading the pages of another zine he does (did?) called “I love/hate it here” which seems to be a (French) journey diary – perfect while listening to some sort of escaping music… I guess!

just got the UK version of SHEER MAG 2nd EP on Static Shock Records, popularized by the “Fan The Flames” video clip above. Yeah, that “pop-punk”(powerpop?) hit is just amazing, and in my humble opinion is way cooler than their previous EP because of that striking and totally assumed pop aspect, and almost that soul/r&b incredible singing. It appears that some SHEER MAG followers definitly hear some FLEETWOOD MAC references listening to this second EP. Well, I definitly can’t agree or disagree since I don’t listen to classic rock however if bands like FLEETWOOD MAC or…I don’t know! ever wrote hits like “Whose Side Are You On” well, I’m willing to buy!

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Recently bought that issue of New York Nuts fanzine featuring an AJAX interview.

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Oh my… I really love that old school style of “newspaper fanzine”. It’s just so cool. I remember seeing some old Japcore fanzines which were looking the same (though I can’t read Japanese)… AJAX is my favorite NYC based nowadays punk band. It’s been a couple of years they’ve been hitting us with great old school hardcore sound, fast, raw, and aggressive… This new s/t EP on Static Shock Records is just like what you expected from them since you just worship the EP they released last year on Katorga Works.

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To make a brillant finish, let me introduce a record which will probably end up in my 2015 top releases for the simple reason that it only contains hella hits, I’m of course dealing with Boston CHAIN RANK self-released first LP “Up Against The Wall”. I guess if you’re into nowadays American hardcore punk as much as I do you already know and love their 2013 “The Grip Demo” tape on Twerp Records. These guys just rip your face with the best Boston Hardcore inheritance – what were you expecting from members of the best current American hardcore bands (AGGRESSION PACT, intense first EP on Painkiller Records, BLANK STARE, GREEN BERET or THE COMBAT ZONE)? Well, this LP lasts like maybe ten minutes and I really think in only ten minutes, everything had been said. It reminds me DC’s COKE BUST “Confined” LP because of its efficiency. If a hardcore record is wading through shit, just throw it all the way!

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Filed under AJAX, Chain Rank, Hardcore, NYHC, Pop Punk, straight and alert

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