10 releases to start the year!
BLOOD DAYS “Last Day On Earth”
A great melodic hardcore MiniAlbum to start the year. I guess like everyone else I decided to listen to BLOOD DAYS’s first release because of the different musicians featuring in the line-up: former members of UNITY, IGNITE, NO FOR AN ANSWER, OUTSPOKEN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, CARRY NATION… And it definitly wasn’t a mistake; I was right not to only focuse on the really gloomy covert art of “Last Day On Earth”! I’m definitly more into Gavin Ogelsby’s famous former contributions to American hardcore community – he worked with bands such as, just to name a few, M.I.A., UNIFORM CHOICE (he designed the legendary “Screaming For Change” cover art) INSTED, PENNYWISE (by the way, “Last Day On The Earth” really reminds me of their skate/punk sound) or SENSE FIELD (RIP Jon Bunch).
During 2015, BLOOD DAYS shared on Facebook a lot of rehearsal pictures and recording sessions before they put these live footages in a skateshop, which was in my opinion the perfect spot for a first (?) show!
“Last Day On Earth” is in my opinion a great start for this very new band: I don’t know how the weather is right now in Orange County, California but where I live our daily life is pretty monotonous because of current Atlantic Cost’s greyness… And listening to this record and its pretty positive lyrics (for example “Stronger Together”) and energic atmosphere (melodic chorus, punk rock riffs and dancing rythms) in the warmth of my bedroom encourages me to wisely wait for the return of the lovely days! Guess if you like skateboarding while listening to music, this record’s definitly for you!
CONSTRICT “Suffocation Of The Soul”
CONSTRICT’s a Spanish band hailing from Barcelona and this “Suffocation Of The Soul” record is their first LP, released on Rage (UK), Assault Records (GER) and Instilled Records (SPA). This album is a wonderful tribute to this 90s era of American hardcore punk, the one the band members decided to swear allegiance to on their Facebook page naming bands like CHOKEHOLD, STRIFE, UNBROKEN, STRAIN, OUTSPOKEN, CULTURE… In terms of creativity and originality, I think this band won’t feed the appetite of our greediest readers; meanwhile, I think each of us who’s fond of these awesome 90s details (in no specific order: heavy riffs, clear structures, spoken words, sharp lyrics, a strong straight edge mentality) will easily find what he/she needs. Everything in this very specific record is perfectly measured: I mean, this is some violent shit though the record’s punctuated with some calmer waves or special guitar tricks unique to this kind of 90s metallic hardcore. You’ll hear some more melodic passages and awesome sing along phases but, the most important part of this record, I really think “Suffocation Of The Soul” lasts the perfect duration for such a hardcore punk. It is brief without being too short, as efficient as a strong message must be. Thumbs up to CONSTRICT!
GAG “America’s Greatest Hits”
Be sure I’m definitly a convinced advocate of nowadays Olympia, Washington hardcore/punk scene, and GAG does not derogate from that current local spirit. Not only their live performances are totally crazy and so good to watch but this record is both a pure reference to traditional 80s USHC and a mixed bag of young lads deliriums. It sometimes reminds me of AGNOSTIC FRONT, sometimes VOID, two of my favorite legendary American hardcore punk bands, and you just have to add the noisy aspects of some nowadays mindfucking musicians and a killer frontman at the mercy of some venue’s security guards who just want to prevent him from singing/shouting totally naked… Spoiler alert: the record’s final is just great!
Plus, I’m glad local French distro Wake Up Anarchy Rider! got some copies of “America’s Greatest Hits” American press on Iron Lung Records cause this cover art is just so cool!
HARLEY FLANAGAN “Cro-Mags”
In the end, I’ll let the Internet decide for me if this record right or wrong, good if bad, that’s none of my concern. I’ll be like:
Just keep in mind I purchased this record, this probably means I don’´t think I wasted my money and my time listening to it.
HARM DONE “Abuse / Abused”
Just read my interview with Alexis, HARM DONE’s singer, if you want a complete bio and the description of the kind of hardcore band HARM DONE is (this interview is on est of the first things I published here this year).
I just want you to know I’ve pre-ordered this record with a HARM DONE longsleeves t-shirt I wear every week since the record is absolutely A-MA-ZING and I really agree with this sentence on the back of the shirt: “Life is nothing but a succession of beautiful lies”. From the cover art to the great chaotic/heavy hardcore/powerviolence sound (including furious vocals, mosh parts and blast beats) and dark lyrics, this record is really really good. A 2016 must have for sure!
PINKU SAIDO “DEMO 2016”
Can’t tell you how much I love this tape. PINKU SAIDO is a Lyon, France, based punk band with a Japanese singer I just saw a couple of weeks ago in my hometown’s favorite venue: a tiny basement where every band play on the floor and if the local population got the flyer in time, the dozens of lucky boys and girls are packed in front of great bands who are definitly glad to perform for an enthusiastic audience. That’s where I saw bands like COKE BUST, VIOLENT REACTION and HOUNDS OF HATE (just to name a few) and it was awesome!
PINKU SAIDO’s show was great: realling dancing and it seems everyone enjoyed so do I. Obviously, it was really similar to the energy of the demo tape: this “psych/J punk” sound is something really cheerful and pleasant. Somehow, it maybe reminds me something less crazy than legendary Burning Spirits band PAINTBOX.
REALM OF TORMENT “Testaments Of Hope & Despair”
Since I do not listen to “too extreme metal music” anymore, my interest in 90s metallic hardcore, metalcore and H8000 definitly has increased these last years. As long as I do not waste my time with shitty beatdown or slam, that’s fine by me.
REALM OF TORMENT are young British lads who gently answered to my questions for an interview I published a few weeks ago on my personal website and they totally match with THE kind of music I was previously dealing with. I know this kind of bands are not what you are used to read about on DROIDxRAGE but if you like death metal breakdowns and, from time to time, listening to really heavy metallic hardcore when times are hard (just like your servant) listen to it!
TOTAL ABUSE “Excluded”
On an entirely different point, here is Austin, Texas hardcore punk/noise band TOTAL ABUSE’s latest 12″ EP on Deranged Records I just bought yesterday. I LOVE THIS RECORD! Since the early days of USHC History, the Texas’s scene has consistenly proved it was an all-time breeding pool of great bands. And TOTAL ABUSE does not depart from this great tradition. The band’s members have been active in the local scene since the begining of the 00s and right now in early 2016 they give you an excellent tribute to classic old-school hardcore punk, delivered with a mysterious cover art I really like. They deserve an A+! My favorite piece from this batch of records I just reviewed.
WHILE WE WAIT ST EP
This is a record I was definitly looking forward to listen to and review because of the line-up of the band which features former members of (just to name a few) ABSOLUTION, SUPERTOUCH and BOLD with the passing of Andy Guida and Matt Warnke who definitely do not need to prove themselves concerning forming and playing in really cool (and legendary!) hardcore punk bands! This EP definitely follows in the footsteps of the reputation of their very specific approach of hardcore punk in its melodic aspects, you can’t see nothing but the ghost of SUPERTOUCH’s “The Earth Is Flat” LP gliding into the room, gently telling you that in the case of Andy and Matt, music is like a good old French wine even straight edgers are allowed to drink!
WORLD BE FREE “The Anti-Circle”
Be sure WBF’s first LP on Rev was something we were definitely looking forward at the DxR headquarters! You just need to read Ed’s interview with singer Scott Vogel added several weeks ago on the website to understand why this new band seemed so interesting, for example the legendary band’s line-up including members of TERROR, GORILLA BISCUITS/CIV, SIDE BY SIDE and STRIFE among others and the style of hardcore punk they do which is totally different from TERROR and STRIFE, mainly because it’s really strange to ear Scott singing in a melodic hardcore punk! But this “Anti-Circle” LP definitely rips! I ordered both the LP and tape version of the album because it’ll be great to listen to this record in my room or on the old radio car kit of some friend’s car, while we drive to the beach!