Uniform Choice "Screaming For Change" (1986) Hardcore / Punk DOWNLOAD
Fast mid-eighties straight edge youth crew from California. Say what you will about their other recordings, but nothing they released before or after compares to this album. I'll keep this short and simply say that if you're thinking about starting an(other) 80's sounding hardcore band, you should add this to your rotation to make sure you do it right. "We scream to say you better listen!"
So ever since I listened to the new Alice In Chains track they put up, I've been anxiously awaiting the release of their new album "Black Gives Way To Blue" that is due to come out at the end of next month. "Dirt" is Alice In Chains' second album and their most commercially successful. Great grunge shit from Seattle, my soon to be new home. My friend Jonny brought up the similarities between Layne Staley's vocals and Axl Rose's and noted that Alice In Chains was originally Alice N' Chainz, presumably as a tribute to Guns N' Roses. You all know who Alice In Chains is unless you're like 3 years old, so I'll shut up.
Alchemist "Chemical Warfare" (2009) Hip Hop DOWNLOAD
It has been a while since my last Hip Hop post, so here goes: Alchemist has been putting out impressive work since the late 90s, including some work Mobb Deep (though not on The Infamous). This is his third "solo" effort. His second was a colab with Prodigy that I'll put up later. Appearances on the album include Prodigy (as expected), Snoop, KRS-One, Talib Kweli, and Twista to name a few. Track 5 is a kind of funny skit with backpackers vs. thugs, but I kind of hate skits anyways. Track 7 needs to die, it sucks. Anyways, I enjoy when producers put out albums because you get a taste of their versatility and get a buffet of MCs... So if you're not into one, you can just wait for the next song. Give it a listen.
Télépopmusik "Genetic World" (2001) Trip Hop DOWNLOAD
Time to take another Hardcore / Metal break. Here we have some French Trip Hop. If you're weird and watch TV, you might have seen the first track, "Breathe," in some car commercial apparently, but whatever. Télépopmusik play a softer, prettier, less melancholic (and therefore more upbeat and poppy) brand of dreamy Trip Hop, even lyrically. Tracks 5-7 should be completely removed from the album, with Dance Me possibly being the most annoying track on the album and Let's Go Again the definite runner-up (the last minute of the song is enjoyable)... But that is just my opinion. The rest is good stuff though, so check it out.
Modern, melodic, refined, Swedish Black Metal for fantasy nerds. Everyone has been posting a lot of Black Metal stuff, and I thought I'd contribute a bit to that. Seems like a lot of punk kids have been coming out with raw Black Metal projects, and this is not one of those projects. This album is well recorded, intricate, and made by some Swedish metal heads. Naglfar's first release was back in 1995 and have gone through their fair share of line-up changes (mostly in the first 5 years). This is their third release and the first one I got my hands on several years back thanks to my friend Eric. Lyrically what you might expect: Demonic dealings, humanity's putrefaction, and a little bit of self pity. "Gaia, your soil bleeds black, your womb shall be the massgrave for all of mankind!"
Gather "Total Liberation" (2004) Hardcore / Metal DOWNLOAD
Those of you that know me know I'm nowhere near being hardline, but I do like some over-the-top vegan straight edge music... And this is one example. For the record: I don't support the ALF, I kill mosquitos that are sucking my life juice, and I eat caffeinated chocolate from time to time. All that said, it's nice to hear some impassioned vegan straight edge kids getting pissed and writing metallic hardcore. I know I haven't said anything about the actual music, but you probably have a good idea of what you're getting into: 5 Tracks of hard, well-recorded mid nineties xVx hardcore worship with enough breakdowns to pick up hundreds of dollars worth of change. "Merely straight edge, not enough! Merely straight edge, step it up!"
Despise You "West Side Horizons" (1999) Hardcore / Metal DOWNLOAD
Holy shit, Despise You. These guys ripped it up in the mid to late nineties and then came back together to play shows in Cali and did a little US tour. I was living in Mexico when that happened so I had to miss it (didn't drive to Houston because I'm weak and a poser). Brutal, grinding, metallic, fucked up violence complimented by male/female trade-off vocals and some dismal guitar tones. I want to say before they got back together for the tour, they had only played a handful of shows, if that... But their little ripples in the punk pond turned into colossal tsunamis of influence. I don't even know what that means. Anyways, this has already been posted over at Seeeing Red and Am I Mean?... But fuck you, I want it on my blog too.
This is a partial discography of a unique Fastcore band that's fronted by Mark McCoy of Charles Bronson fame. High pitch, nasaly vocals mixed with some fast, noisy, artsy (sorry) guitar work and equally satisfying (and angst-filled) lyrics. You gotta love the between-song distortion that makes it all flow together (I love Scholastic Deth for this too) in a seamless hyper-speed punk attack. Note: Track 6 is a cover of Queen's "We Are The Champions."
These guys from Philadelphia like to mix it up track-to-track. You've got your blistering Grindcore blitzes (two tracks ~10 seconds) and your raging Crust ballads (one track is ~4 mins). Fortunately for us, they can pull both off beautifully. Go find your Phobia shirts, put your dreads in a bun, and get ready to hate everyone in the scene. This was the last release on Slap-A-Ham, so you know it's gotta be good.
A one-man band has never sounded so good. Hatred Surge (AKA Alex Hughes) pumps out 9 tracks of Despise You style Gulf Coast Grinding Violence that will fuck your day up. Uncompromising raw vocals, blazing guitar/bass work, crunchy as shit sludge sections, just a fantastic release with enough variation to keep you from wanting to listen to anything else for a few days. He went on to add female vocals on the Insect Warfare split 7". The Black Metal picking at the beginning of Invisible Noose gives me the biggest boner. Oh yeah, the last track is a Despise You cover too.
"We Sold Our Souls For Hardcore" (1998) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
LA positive Straight-Edge Fastcore with that Youth Crew feel that makes you consider learning how to 2-step... Before realizing you'd rather run in circles and try to jump over your friends' heads. "Get in the pit you motherfuckers!"
LA based seminal Grindcore of the best variety, none of that boring shit. This album has great Death Metal style riffing mixed in and a solid machine-gun drumming that will send chronic headbangers straight to the hospital. These guys ripped it up with this album and decided to give it a rest... UNTIL NOW (or actually, just last year)! It looks like Terrorizer has decided to get back together and released an album in 2008, which I haven't heard yet. I hope they haven't forgotten how to make eardrums bleed.
Ok... This is straight up some of the fastest punk-style shit you'll find. Hellnation's first release was in 1990, so they know what they're doing, and they do it fucking well. Ten years after their conception, they came out with this 29 track warp-speed nuke of an album on Slap-A-Ham that will obliterate damn near anything you previously considered "high speed" or "high intensity." Punk-ass hyper guitars, blasting drums, hateful sociopolitical lyrics, throat-destroying screeching vocals served up by the drummer, and (in this recording) Chris Dodge (you know who he is) filling in on bass duties. You just can't go wrong. "This is punk rock not the Boy Scouts."
The Gate Crashers "Are A Bunch Of Motherfuckers" (2004) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
Thirteen tracks of fast, punk-ass hardcore from Lehigh Valley, PA. There is nothing wrong here: Superbly executed song writing, spiteful lyrics, and a solid recording. I think Ebullition got it right when they compared them to Uniform Choice... Sans Edge. You can pick up the 7'' for a listen over at Mosh Eisley, though I like the LP better.
Stan Getz & João Gilberto "Getz / Gilberto" (1964) Jazz DOWNLOAD
I'm kind of a sucker for João Gilberto's work over all, and this is no exception. With the collaborative efforts of Stan Getz, João Gilberto, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, we get a 10 tracks of flawless Bossa Nova instrumentation and smooth vocals. It's basically guaranteed that if you play this in your parent's house, your mom will comment on why all your music doesn't sound like this. Although this album includes perhaps the most celebrated Bossa Nova track of all time, "The Girl From Impanema," my favorite track is "Desafinado." It's flawless. Anyways, great stuff from some Bossa Nova masters to make (virgin) piña coladas or margaritas and hang out in the dwindling summer heat.
R.E.M. "Automatic For The People" (1992) Rock DOWNLOAD
Things have been getting dark and gloomy over here, so I decided to upload an easier listen for most people. Here is R.E.M.'s "Automatic For The People" for the people. If you don't like it you're stupid and now everybody knows it. Also, if you want more information on them, you should learn to use the internet.
Fuck the books / movies. Twilight is an American Black Metal band that contains members of Xasthur, Leviathan, Krieg, and Nachtmystium. This is the only thing they've released and have since broken up. The vocals are heavily distorted to sound airy and demonic, albeit mostly not guttural. Instrumentally and stylistically, this release does not deviate too much from the members' other projects. It's easy to hear each member's contribution and writing style from track to track, and that is probably why it's so good. Fuck the books / movies.
Filth. This raunchy-titled, abrasive, spastic IDM release is the latest from Canada's Venetian Snares (aka Aaron Funk). If you like noisy break-beat shit, you should check this out. I had previously put up "Rossz Csillag Alatt Született," which is also worth a listen... But these two albums are very different. Though both rely on heavy breakbeats, "Rossz..." uses a lot of strings to create a smoother feel, where as "Filth" is a lot more glitchy and harsh.
Running For Cover "Human Ruins EP" (2005) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
Unrelenting Power Violence quartet from Buffalo, NY (basing their location solely on the address in the insert). The lyrics range from misanthropic anger to suicidal gloom and include a track "based on an ancient Irish myth" called "Bricriu." Listen to this when things are not going your way. For fans of Crossed Out.
Aghast "Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternis" (1995) Ambient DOWNLOAD
Moving on with my ambient exploration, we've got Norway's Aghast. Some truly ghastly, drony, dark ambient shit from two black metal wives (one married to Samoth from Emperor, the other married to Fenriz from Darkthrone). I don't want to pose and spout off any more stuff I just read on Encyclopaedia Metallum, so you can read up on them there if you'd like... Except for this: Apparently recorded on Dead's (ex-vocalist for Mayhem that blew his brains out with a shot gun which you might have seen on the cover of their live bootleg album "Dawn Of The Black Hearts) old mic. Morbid witches.
Mick Harris (ex-Napalm Death) making ambient music. One hour and twenty minutes of haunting ambiance that would compliment a lonely, dismal winter... Or being abducted by aliens. I recommend you listen to it super loud for the best experience. I'm pretty new when it comes to ambient music, so I don't have too much to say about them now, only that I like it and you might too. Time for me to do some research.
The first Crime Desire LP, shortly after which they switched out the guitarist and bassist for some other dudes. These guys from San Diego, CA have come out with with some great PV / Hardcore Punk material over the past few years. I don't think I could ever mistake this band's sound for anyone else... Taking cues from who the fuck knows how much shit, "We Hate All Life" rips. They've got two other LPs and a 7'' that I know of. Note: Some people hate the vocals, but I like them.
Three track EP from Germany's Daturah. My friend Jonny and I were talking about post-rock one day and he brought these guys up. I hadn't really checked them out at all, so I started chronologically with their fist EP and was pleased with my decision. These tracks, though not revolutionary by any means, do provide more of those great (here it comes) soundscapes that are the backbone for my courtship with post-rock. Anyways, I'm on drugs because I'm about to get a wisdom tooth extracted from my face, so I don't want to keep typing and I don't know what I'm saying anyways. Don't be stupid, get this and listen to it.
Man Is The Bastard "Mancruel" (2000) Hardcore / Noise DOWNLOAD
Here we have another release by legendary Man Is The Bastard! This comp features shit recorded in '92, '93, and some unreleased stuff. The tracks have been remastered to kick your ears in... This is probably my most listened to MITB release, despite Power Electronics not really being my cup of tea. Either way, prepare to be pulverized.
A furious Fastcore punk attack from Sao Paulo, Brazil. These dudes have a way of writing 30-60 seconds songs that are memorable, diverse, and way fast. The vocals fit in perfectly with the writing and, if I was better with Portuguese, would be understandable. I was floored the first time I heard this album, and it continues to be in my regular rotation after so many years. A solid partial-compilation record of a great band that I'd do sick and disgusting things to see live, and it's not because "eu sou Brasilairo."
Boards of Canada have been around for while and hail from Scotland. They released their first album about 11 years ago and have been pumping out some great stuff ever since. I listened to this shit while studying for almost every major Chemistry exam through college, and it did me no wrong. I listen to "Music Has A Right To Children" the most, but the dudes at Lucid Media already had it covered. I also really enjoy "The Campfire Headspace," but Bad Year Media had that one covered too... So I went with one of the two missing albums, Geogaddi. It's sandwiched between those other two releases and has a slightly darker feel than "Music Has A Right To Children," but just as spacy, sometimes drony, and always provides a perfect soundtrack to riding your bike at night. It is also 66:06 long (or it should be if it weren't ripped and you kept the breaks between songs in there). Anyways, check it out and I'm sure I'll geat around to uploading the "Trans Canadian Highway" EP from 2006 in the near future.
Knuckle Scraper "Max Isn't The Bastard" (2006) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
In a little over 5 minutes, Knuckle Scraper pump out 12 tracks of spastic Power Violence that will tear you a new asshole. This release has made it's way around a few of the blogs, but I thought it deserved a place on mine as one of my favorite 7'' releases in the past few years. This band was essentially Machine Gun Romantics sans lead vocalist. The MITB rip-off cover art (look a few posts down) should tip you off to the band's early 90's PV worship sound. They put out another 7'' called R.I.P. that was just recently released, I picked up a copy but haven't gotten a chance to rip it... It will hopefully be up shortly. For fans of No Comment, Infest, Spazz, MITB, and every band that is/was built on the West Coast PV sound.
Mind Eraser "Glacial Reign" (2006) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
As promised, here is the next installment of the Mind Eraser catalog: 2006's "Glacial Reign." Compared to "Cave," the vocals are harsher, the whole album sounds a bit more Metal-tinged, and they really worked the slow/fast contrasts to fuck your day up. Feel the hate, motherfuckers.
Here we have a Chali 2na / Jurassic 5 double post. I've been listening to "Fish Outta Water" a whole lot the past few days. Chali 2na was 1/6 of the Hip Hop group Jurassic 5 and is easily identified by his smooth low voice. There are only a few tracks that I think "Fish Outta Water" could do without, and unfortunately one of those tracks is a collaboration with Talib Kweli. The production varies from great to pretty mediocre, and one track (I'll let you decide which) is straight annoying. Overall I think the album is great and has some memorable tracks. I think The Verbal Herman Munster has destinguished himself as a powerful solo-MC. Give it a listen.
Anyways, I felt like posting the great "Jurassic 5 LP" and this was as good a reason as any. I'm sure I'll get around to posting some other J5 albums, so I'll give them a proper introduction when I get around to it.
Heavy bass-driven sociopolitical first-wave Power Violence. You've got your 10G gutwrenching sludge to fast-paced punk and occasional blast-bursts... Add some harsh noise and sweet Jazzy bass riffs to top it all off. This is a Comp. with the "Sum Of The Men" LP, their "A Call For Consciousness" 7'' and a few splits. If you haven't heard these guys, you should. Right now.
Fireball "Blessed Be" (2006) Stoner / Rock DOWNLOAD
Four tracks of dirty, grooved-out, distorted to shit heavy psychedelic rock just aren't enough. I don't think they've put out anything before or since, but this record never fails to hit my auditory g-spot. I fucking love it. On yeah, it's like 5 girls from NY... Everyone likes to point that out for some reason. Also, I think the actual album cover doesn't have the black border, it might be all white but whatever.
The name really does say it all. Finnish folk metal that makes you want to slay imps. This album includes their double platinum multinational top hit, "Trollhammaren," that is not only the Oprah Winfrey Show's theme song, but also featured in the timeless movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
Slowdive hail from England and really only released work between '90 and '95, but they definitely left their mark along with bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Lush, and Chapterhouse. Slouvaki is one of my favorite shoegazing albums. I know everyone's favorite track is Machine Gun, but the entire album is flawless and a fantastic accompaniment to just about every activity I enjoy. This is the Castle Music re-release from 2006 which includes an additional disk of remastered tracks and 2 mixes. Enjoy!
One of my favorite Power Violence albums to come out in recent years. They take pretty blatant queues from Crossed Out, and I love them for it. Barking vocals, depressing/pissed ass lyrics, mid-paced hardcore, sludgy riffing, start-and-stops, and peppered in blasts make for a fantastic listen. I'll up these Boston boys' 2006 album "Glacial Reign" later on.
Jel "Soft Money" (2006) Hip Hop / Electronica DOWNLOAD
Here we have Jel's (I think) second solo album. I'm sure I'll get around to uploading his previous release, "10 Seconds," in the next few weeks, but I wanted to start with this one because I think most people would find it more palatable. He's done some great production work for groups like Themselves, Subtle, and 13 & God... Though I'm not a particularly big fan of any of those groups. Anyways, it's worth a listen. If you get curious about how he makes beats, check out his shit on Youtube.
Although this doesn't include what I consider their best material (their side of the S.S.E. split), this stuff should not be missed. Four dudes from the Houston, Texas area that love Infest and Crossed Out tearing it up with fun, catchy, adrenaline-soaked Fastcore / Power Violence! Damn, this stuff gets me pumped!! If you were lucky enough to see them at the 625 Barbaric Detonation Thrash Festival in 2005 @ Gilman, you would know what I'm talking about. Get ready for tri-vocals, head lock pits, Olympic-worthy stagedives, scream alongs, and to wish they were still together. MGR fucked it up. Check out the member's newer stuff: Knuckle Scraper, Insect Warfare, Hatred Surge, 50/50, and Dark Forces.
Telefon Tel Aviv "Immolate Yourself" (2009) Electronica DOWNLOAD
Since I didn't introduce them before, Telefon Tel Aviv were two dudes from Chicago that made some great "IDM" electronic music (excuse the redundancy). I'm sure if you're into this stuff at all, you heard that one of them, Charles, passed away. This is their third release. They took a different direction, incorporating the added vocals of the second album and adding some darker tracks. Track 3 sounds like they were listening to a little Depeche Mode. I don't think there will be anything else released under the name, since it would just be a solo project at this point. I'll add the second album later... I still think Fahrenheit Fair Enough is the best.
Pinback "Blue Screen Life" (2001) Indie / Rock DOWNLOAD
I don't know shit about indie rock, so I don't have much to say about these guys. I think they're from California and I like to listen to them when I'm hanging out in my boxers on Sunday nights. Lazy music for rainy days. I really enjoy all of their stuff, but this was the first Pinback album I heard back in 2002 from my friend Sara Deal. What of it?
From the Bay Area, these kids loved Charles Bronson and Satan... So from the get-go we have that in common. Some good, fast, and relatively simple Charley-inspired Fastcore with catchy breakdowns and no copyright infringement. Check 'em out! Unfortunately, they didn't release anything else that I know of.
Edit: Apparently they released a few tracks on some comps... But I don't have them.
Here we've got my favorite Crucial Unit release! Crucial Unit is a guitarshredding Metal-loving Fastcore band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their albums are peppered with well-placed blast beats, some yell-alongs, and crossover flavor that get your head bobbing. The album is full of hilarious, though sometimes serious, lyrical content with enough speed to satisfy that no-toothed amphetamine head that lives under the bridge. So invite him over, slip the record on, and prepare to be robbed blind while trying to find the right speed to headbang to the crossover riffs and time changes.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela "Rodrigo Y Gabriela" (2006) World Music DOWNLOAD
Here is some classical guitar for your asses. You might like it, you might hate it... But it's free, so why not? As I'm sure you can find on wiki, they started off in a metal band in Mexico (that I'm pretty positive was pretty terrible) and decided to try something else. I'm not too into the covers (Orion and Stairway To Heaven), but whatever. It's worth a listen if you're feeling spicy.
Have Heart "The Things We Carry" (2006) Hardcore DOWNLOAD
Some more straight-edge hardcore, this time from Massachusetts. Well-written and distinguishable songs, good energy, and a positive outlook. Their subsequent album, "Songs To Scream At The Sun," got a bunch of (in my opinion) well deserved hype, but I still prefer this album. Check it out. (NOTE THE NEW FORMAT!)
Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" (1979) Post / Punk DOWNLOAD Track List: 1. Disorder 2. Day Of The Lords 3. Candidate 4. Insight 5. New Dawn Fades 6. She's Lost Control 7. Shadowplay 8. Wilderness 9. Interzone 10. I Remember Nothing
I know everyone knows this album, but for those of you who either don't have it or haven't listened to it recently... It's about time. Kick back and soak in the despair.
Denali "The Instinct" (2003) Indie / Rock / Pop DOWNLOAD Track List: 1. Hold Your Breath 2. Surface 3. Run Through 4. The Instinct 5. Do Something 6. Real Heat 7. Nullaby 8. Normail Days 9. Welcome
About two months ago, the dudes at bad year media uploaded Denali's self-titled album. Although they had been floating around my library, I hadn't listened to them in a good long while. Thanks to their upload, I've been dosing their self-titled album and The Instinct about once a week.
Wait In Vain "Seasons" (2008) Hardcore / Punk DOWNLOAD Track List: 1. Another Year 2. Q And .. 3. Forget Me Not 4. A Blind Eye 5. Seasons 6. Passions Just Like Mine 7. Puritan 8. Original Sin 9. The Fix 10. White Picket Fences
Awesome all-star straight edge hardcore from Seattle. This album has been on heavy rotation since I left Mexico in April. I can't wait to catch them once I'm living up there!
GZA "Liquid Swords" (1995) Hip Hop DOWNLOAD Track List: 1. Liquid Swords 2. Duel Of The Iron Mic 3. Living In The World Today 4. Gold 5. Cold World 6. Labels 7. 4th Chamber 8. Shadowboxin' 9. Hell's Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304 10. Investigative Reports 11. Swordsman 12. I Gotcha' Back 13. B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
Who ISN'T into Wu-Tang Clan? The GZA brings the ruckus. In my opinion, one of the better solo Wu-Tang releases.
First of all, I apologize for the sloppy reviews, but I really have no idea what I'm doing. If you're ever interested in something I post, or just want more information, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.
Furthermore, if you like something, please support the artists and record labels by going out and purchasing these albums when you can.
It should be noted that many of these albums may be posted elsewhere. However, this blog was created with the purpose of easily exposing my friends to new music, so please excuse the repetitions.
If you want your band to be removed, just send me a message or leave a comment and it will be promptly deleted.