LPs & 12″
#1/ THE FLEX “Wild stabs in the dark”
Milk Run Records, Video Desease Records.
Everything in one record. UK’s finest. I wasn’t impressed at all by their previous releases but this very first LP is a blast: so old school and new at the same time. It seems that current UK scene just want to smash down what NYC and Boston did to hardcore punk during the 80s by creating a spirit, an attitude, a sound, overwhelmed by western civilization pressure, no matter if you’re into politics, a clean lifestyle or watching football games drinking beers with your pals…what is more is that the musical skills are definitly here! I’ve nothing to add about the recording or the mastering (courtesy of, respectively, James Atkinson and Dan Randall), this sound is just perfect. Thank for making this happening.
#2/ FORESEEN “Helsinki Savagery”
20 Buck Spin, Take It Back.
I’ll hold my own copy (vinyl version of course) in several more weeks but thank to 20 Buck Spin for putting this online on their bandcamp page I can already tell you what a pleasure it was to FINALLY listen to it – even if “Death Injection” had been repeated on Soundcloud maybe a thousand times before this record came out. I’d like to personally thank singer Mirko for sending me updated infos and pictures about this very first LP (especially when I was almost dying at the hospital). I’ve red a very few english reviews of that record (since I can’t understand finnish anymore) and all I can say is fuck the all-mighty comparison with AGNOSTIC FRONT and CRUMBSUCKERS: don’t stare at FORESEEN’s members t-shirts collection to publish rubbish like that. That’s a fact: FORESEEN, with all the respect due to natives NYC and Baldwin two great bands, just spit on their faces! “Un bonne grosse fessée!” as we say in France (if you’re into rugby). Guitars are just amazing and sharped! They become louder and louder as the groove just shred the record, as the drumming: it’s been a while that I haven’t been so stoked by a drummer! I have to admit that I’m really not into an over-emphasised singing but on this record, this is just perfect and well organized (“Delusion of no consequence” for example) and what about the choirs on “Death Injection” or “Both sides lose”. Very well done, dudes!
#3/ BATTLE RUINS s/t
Complete genius, but complete morons. That’s why you deserve third place assholes.
#4/ NIGHT FEVER “Vendetta”
Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark (definitly a great place to live if you’re into hardcore IMO, DEATH TOKEN come from there too and their 2011 LP “All dreams are nightmares” was one of my favorite releases at that time), NIGHT FEVER released in october one of the greatest reasons to still listen to hardcore punk in the begining of the third millenium. “Vendetta” is absolutely an amazing record, between clean thrashcore and something else, certainly due to an incredible singing (it sometimes reminds Glenn Danzig! (“Denied”)) and guitars solos which stoked me a lot – like PROPAGANDHI’s latest releases. Favorite song? “Fuck your P.M.A.” I can’t help thinking of CRO-MAGS’s singer John Joseph “quotes” on his Facebook profile, whom sentences are always punctuated with a “PMA”!
#5/ LOST TRIBE “Solace”
Mass Media Records, Avant! Records.
Well, there’s a pretty good interview of ’em on CVLT NATION website (I’ll post a link below if you didn’t already ckeck it) so I won’t make a historical background. I’ll just write this band hails from Richmond, Virginia, they chosed their name after a DISCHARGE song and members also play/have played in AGHAST, EMPTY GRAVE, SYNDROME, CAVES CAVERNS…whom I know practically nothing about! I just know a few things: recently some dinosaurs from the worldwide hardcore attendance seemed pretty exhausted with the “post punk” fashion contaminating the d-beat/crust punk side of the hardcore moon, telling shit like since AMEBIX has discovered KILLING JOKE blah blah… Ok, guys! The “punk” shit is just about recycling stuff since 1975 so just shut the fuck up! And latest AMEBIX record is just great. You know what? You remind me the goth characters from South Park, with just one word in mind: “posers”. Screw all of you, I’m just about committing suicide…
#6/ SYSTEMATIC DEATH “The moon watches”
After rehearsing with my band sooner in 2014, our drummer told us he’ll spend the festive season with a friend of us in Japan. They took their plane earlier this morning. Since I learn this, I didn’t try to get much records from japanese bands because I knew that they’ll bring back some freaking gems I figure you can only purchase in the Land of the Rising Sun. Around April we ordered the CONFRONT compilation LP, I listened to latest ZYANOSE LP (ok, I can figure how much DISCLOSE were such a great influence on japanese hardcore punk – I own several postcards/portraits my friends from MONARCH! gave me when they got back from a Japan Tour this summer even if I’m not a real fan of this band – but noise remains noise, and I’m definitly not sensitive to that form of art!), and I also discovered this year a great band called TRUST…but I’m sorry to tell you that I didn’t really dig into japanese hardcore punk bands in 2014! That’s why when I discovered that Yokohama SYSTEMATIC DEATH had released a second full-length I set upon it since I really love their 2009 “Annie’s full swing Systema-6” LP and this record didn’t disapoint me at all. In fact, it contains what I love with most japanese bands (and the euro ones who try to “copy” them like SELFISH): the efficient fury, heavy metal guitar solos, wild drumming, an incomprehensible singing (althought they shout in english!)…and that’s pretty much all this record is about! What do you want me to tell you? I’ll be the first to enjoy the appearance of a new GISM or PAINTBOX (but, please, not just copycats) but I definitly can’t ask for the moon! Even if…the moon watches. (That was free, please excuse me) In fact, if you agree with my position on japanese hardcore maybe you’ll like KAIBOUSHITSU (featuring members of CROW and DEATH COMES ALONE) 2010 LP on HG Fact… Anyway, favorite track featuring on “The moon watches”? Probably “Get Alone” for the groovy bass line!
#7/ NAPALM A.D. 12″
TOTALITÄR. HERÄTYS. TOTALITÄR. DISSEKERAD. TOTALITÄR. INSTITUTION. TOTALITÄR. NAPALM A.D. TOTALITÄR. Sweden.
Well, what can I add about this? A killer record for sure. But since 2010, there is always in my “top selection” a swedish band (sometimes the same members, duh) making a tribute to TOTALITÄR. Sweden owns Ikea, they own H&M, a social model that everyone dreams about (it seems that this golden age is now pretty bygone), but they ABOVE ALL have TOTALITÄR! So, as DOOM said: HAIL TO SWEDEN!
#8/ TAULARD “Les abords du lycée”
Et Mon Cul C’est Du Tofu?
TAULARD (french for “Jailbird”) was one of the few bands I listened to almost EVERYDAY during my several 2014 hospital stays, perhaps cuz I felt quite simply like a prisoner, waiting for nothing, staring at the window. Ok I wasn’t threatned to be raped in the shower, and you’ll maybe be upset by the gratuitousness of my words but, hey folks! I’m dealing with a synth/wave/pop/punk band so, as the lyrics of that kind of music allows us to, I can deal with EVERYTHING I want with black humour: suicide, loneliness, AIDS…
Seriously, TAULARD and NOIR BOY GEORGE are definitly two of current french bands who are worthy of my attention even if the synth thing isn’t my cup of tea at all. I really love the lyrics of that kind of music. Really simple, in french, so I can easily understand them. That’s not poetry, just reality: living in dark, industrial cities of northern France… Dealing with loneliness, different social or personal crisis Ok, you can’t do it shouting, moshing…whatever. You know, when I listened to this record the first time I could barely move, so that was perfect. Thank you TAULARD. Check out other 2014 releases by Et Mon Cul C’est Du Tofu?, this label is dope!
#9/ AGENT ATTITUDE “Deranged Realities”
Adult Crash, Monument Records.
Uppsala’s finest tribute to USHC this year! The best worldwide tribute to american hardcore punk IMHO! Did you think of another singer than Henry Rollins listening to songs like “Step Aside”? Or another guitar player than Al Barile (faster, faster, FASTER!) No, seriously I’m asking you if you don’t want to sacrify both nowadays BLACK FLAG, FLAG, OFF! (even if their video clips are hilarious) on the altar of self-respect after listening to AGENT ATTITUDE “Deranged Attitudes”? This record is awesome, it reflects youth frustration the same way (I guess) youngsters were living during the 80s.
#10/ AGAINST ME! “Transgender dysphoria blues”
Total Treble, Xtra Mile.
You may think whatever you want about bands deciding to go into a pop (or whatever) bend after starting as an anarcho-this, DIY-that band with ethic and shit. Ok, ok, it’s all to your credit. But I do not give a shit about people’s opinions about AGAINST ME! In fact I’m personnally attached to the subject of this record: the coming out of singer Laura Jane Grace as a transgender woman. Since I’m not a geek or a die-hard fan of the band, I don’t know if there is a solid basis of people waiting this record to be released. I know it started to be conceptualized in 2011 after the release of “Black Crosses” (that I just love), and that they took years to release it due to line-up troubles (even Fat Mike from NOFX plays the bass on three songs). It results, as to me, the best “pop” record of the year. Every tune is…well, cool. Just “cool”. Cuz I don’t expect that much about a pop record.
AUTISTIC YOUTH “Nonage”
NO PROBLEM “We’re already dead”
CADAVER EM TRANSE s/t
LONG KNIFE “Meditations on self-destruction”
HOUNDS OF HATE “Hate springs eternal”
BOSTON STRANGLER “Fire”
DEKODER “Flowers to blossom”
PERVERS ET TRUANDS s/t
FUTUR.s MORT.s s/t
PUNCH (RIP) “They don’t have to believe”
GAS RAG (RIP) “Beasts Off”
HORROR VACUI “Return of the empire”
SHEER TERROR “Standing up for falling down”
1/ PROTESTER s/t
Trash King Productions
I’ve already done a review of that awesome 7″ on DROIDXRAGE, just scroll below, kids!
#2/ NERVOSAS “7 songs”
Build Me A Bomb
First of all, yes this one is a 12″ so, logically, it would be in the previous ranking, but, unfortunately for the pernickety ones, this record is actually titled “7 songs EP”, plus that’s a single sided so…but why am I losing my precious time with crappy details? French owner of Build Me A Bomb Label describes NERVOSAS EP as “nervous and gloomy punk, like an anxious WIPERS, and too punk to be post-punk” which is IMO quite right. Even if it must be SO embarrassing to ALWAYS compare your riffs with the WIPERS while you evolve, more or less, in the “hardcore scene”. It becomes like a trademark or worse, like a a religious foundation to be accepted in the ranks. “Ok, you sound like WIPERS, check!” Like THE ESTRANGED, you know, first EP: “Cool! They sound like WIPERS, great band!”, first LP: “Ah shit they sound like the shittiest THE CURE cover band I’ve heard, forget about it…” second LP: “Ah great they sound like WIPERS again!” and third LP: “What the fucking fuck…?”. Indeed, this record was a complete mess. [You know what? I’m a bit pissed with myself sometimes when I start to write some review and it turns into a stupid one-man-show with another me, just to be sure I agree with what I am curently writing, it’s somewhat as if I was the three headed giant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail… “Ok, ok, not biscuits…!”… Someday, Chuck Palahniuk will write a book about my schizophrenia, and maybe David Fincher… OK JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP RIGHT NOW MOTHERFUCKER!]
Wow! Maybe Build Me A Bomb must be right: maybe NERVOSAS actually really sound like an anxious WIPERS…
3/ KRIGSKADE “Når alt går til helvede”
Ok folks. I just discovered that KRIGSKADE, Paris’s best swedish band from France (duh) had put out one of the best EPs so far. The fact is that when some friends of mine booked KRIGSKADE this summer I was just coming out of hospital and attending to hardcore shows was completely forbidden. I just came to the venue to chill with some friends before the show and I left the spot when bands started to play. Too bad. Because this record is increasingly good. IMHO it is a brilliant mix between clean kångpunk and Boston or current DC hardcore. This is exactly what euro-hardcore must be!
PS: You should check on Discogs website who did the recording and mixing sessions, this dude from my hometown knows how to make it!
4/ HARM DONE s/t
Straight and Alert
One of the few 2014 materials I was waiting for which did not decieve me at all! But that was risky! You know the deal: youngsters discovering the “powerviolence” thing whereas older folks think this kind of music belongs to 1997 (even if Iron Lung Records are doing a great job nowadays)… Plus: I don’t know why but, there is a huge wave of dudes just stoked by ENTOMBEDcore darkness, buying BOSS HM-2 effect pedal to have this 90s sound which IMHO is pretty embarrassing. Just think of shitty bands like NAILS or BLACK BREATH – well, to be honest I loved their “Razor to oblivion EP because of the 90s swedish crust/metal sound of that record but I’m releaved to have finally attended to sell their two first LPs to a friend of mine cuz I just felt horribly confused to have both BLACK BREATH, BLACK FLAG and BLACK SABBATH records sharing a shelf in my room! But, again, I’m losing my time: HARM DONE isn’t at all that kind of band. It’s just a great wall of sound, better than SEX PRISONER IMO, it’s more frustrated, more frantic… Musicians do their job the best way they can, plus they are nice guys!
5/ KOHTI TUHOA s/t
Ough! What a piece of anger! KOTHI TUHOA (I believe that “tuhoa” means “destroy” cuz I remember that almost 15years ago finnish skateboarder Arto Saari won the “Skater of the year” trophy from THRASHER Magazine and this skateboarding bible released a finnish version of their well known “Skate and Destroy” t-shirt with a “Skedee Ja Tuhoa”, well…nevermind…) is a fresh new band starring members of well known finnish d-beat and chaotic hardcore punk bands such as MAAILMANLOPPU, KYLMĀ SOTA, PERIKATO or even SPEEDTRAP wich is more a heavy/speed metal band, CIRCLE, DEATH TOLL 80K, DEATH WITH A DAGGER, HARD ACTION, PYROTOXIC, DROWNING NATION, KAUHUN TASAPAINO, KHATARINA, SELFISH, STUMM, FORCED KILL, STENCH OF DECAY… Sorry for the name droping! Well, this record is a classic chaotic female-fronted mayhem of nightmares and doom. What did you expect from a raw punk record? I just love this record, there’s an inexhaustible source of energy and speed in it, with a groovy bass, fantastic heavy metal solos and noisy riffing, plus the classic reverberation on the singing wich is quite amazing I have to admit. A must have!
6/ AJAX s/t
Definitly one of my favorite NYC based band, this shit is dope. What a crappy production: violent, harsh… THE guitar parts really made think of early AGNOSTIC FRONT-era. This EP is a killer one. A great tribute to old-school american hardcore.
7/ SOCIAL DAMAGE “Eye for an eye”
Straight and Alert Records.
SOCIAL DAMAGE are from Indianapolis, Indiana, and somehow, they really remind me of SSD, or angry Boston straight edge bands… What I like with this band is the bloody mess reigning all over the recording sessions and the production. I think that nowadays, most straight edge bands are obsessed with a clean sound and production and that bores me. SOCIAL DAMAGE has a awesome and crude sound that most bands should imitate!
8/ PURE DISGUST s/t
There are so many good bands revolving around COKE BUST and Washington DC… I started my 2014 selection with one of them and I’m practically about to end it with another one. Plus, I believe their first drummer was PROTESTER’s singer… I think this is how things go in the worldwide hardcore scene – we nearly have the same behaviour in my hometown. Let’s get back to PURE DISGUST, I think that they go further than what they previously did with their previous demo tape on Hesitation Wound Records which was pretty basic towards what they did with this s/t. This is really aggressive without being too “hardcore” this record has the coolest rock’n’roll aspect of my 2014 of my selection, it’s more about dancing than moshing. It reminds me YOUTH AVOIDERS from Paris.
9/ MARABOOTS “Ils ont tué la oi!”
Une Vie Pour Rien
French Oi! at his peak! Led by a crew of youngster bootboys from Paris! Althought I HATE their name (too hard to explain why this pun is so…whatever), their 2010 self-released demo and that I’ve never listened to their first EP or split EP w/ STOMPER98, their only 10″ and this last two-songs EP were just awesome. Yeah, the band did split-up earlier this year, RIP. I hope newest french Oi! bands like OUTREAU or LION’S LAW will deputize, but what created their originality was the use of the saxophone which was a great idea!
10/ DiE “Vexed”
Sonic Terror Discs
I admit I prefered their previous EP but this one really deserves the “ssdbeat” tag DiE published on their bandcamp profile, plus the reverberation on vocals. I still think their previous EP is better but this record, nevertheless, is completely cool. I hope both 7″ announce a great first LP.
1/ RED DEATH 2014 demo
Flophouse, Carry The Weight Records
This tape totally deserve the Holy top place of 2014 ranking. I discovered it at work (indeed) and Nick who plays the bass gave it to me during a COKE BUST show in Bordeaux. This tape has been well desbrided on the Internet throughout the year and co-writer Tieuma already posted it on DROIDXRAGE so, help yourself, just listen to it!
2/ U.S. DOGS 2014 demo
What a coincidence: Ed already posted their demo earlier in December and there is practically no information about this band on the Internet. But this demo is sick, an awesome early NYHC sound.
3/ THE CREW demo
Killer Seattle, Washington, straight edge and youth crew demo, which means mosh parts, choirs, Air Max, crosses everywhere, Les Paul and X-Rated watches. I guess. This demo is really powerful.
4/ CRIMSON SCARLET “Athens Cave Sessions” K7
Doomed To Extinction
Another post/punk/goth release put out by crust punks. This post really starts being boring!
5/ B’URST demo
Thinking Straight Records
These guys are like Brazilian AGNOSTIC FRONT! If you like FORESEEN early releases you will like demo. This is a great tribute to late 80s/90s NYHC and crossover.
6/ SHRAPNEL “The Demo”
New Instinct Records
Moshing, blasting hardcore punk from Leeds. It sounds like a tribute to BREAKDOWN’s 87 demo. Really impressive. Really cool.
7/ SHORT DAYS 2014 Demo
Black Knife Records
This sounds a bit like nowadays Portland based bands like AUTISTIC YOUTH or DEFECT DEFECT, who seem to be really inspired by WIPERS, but they come from Lille, Northern France. This demo reflects an intense melodic sounds, nevertheless It remains gloomy. This might explain the VICIOUS cover featuring on that tape.
8/ CRIMINAL WAVE demo
“CRIMINAL WAVE’s demo tape was meant for one thing and one thing only, blowing your boombox out while getting rad”. That’s pretty much what this demo is all about. I can’t help remembering the glory days of the Bones Brigade era when I listen to that tape, it’s like listening to an even messier BLACK FLAG. This is really cool.
9/ INFIDEL DEMO
LAST GOTH RELEASE OF 2014. Releaved? Not yet, you haven’t heard any sound from this cassette, where everything seems to be calculated for escaping from the nightmare of living. (Fart noise)
10/ AGGRESSION PACT Promo Tape
Ok. What a hell of a tape end this 2014 top releases. I can conclude this global review by doing some shitty name fucking droping of the different members bands so you can understand why this band features in my favorite 2014 releases in less than 5 minutes of demonstration: BOSTON STRANGLER, PEACEBREAKERS, PRISONER ABUSE, STEP FORWARD, WASTE MANAGEMENT or MERCY KILLINGS (killer 2013 EP)… Can you figure this violent Boston sound of anger? No? Just listen to it.