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Featured Release Roundup: February 7, 2019

Homeless Cadaver: Fat Skeleton 7” (Iron Lung) This two-song single from Homeless Cadaver is the second in Iron Lung’s new singles series, Systemic Surgery. Each Systemic Surgery single features beautiful, riso-printed artwork, is limited to 200 copies, and has a cool Iron Lung logo diecut on the back. Musically, Homeless Cadaver sounds like a band that would be more at home on a label like Total Punk or Neck Chop than Iron Lung. They build these two songs around big, catchy guitar riffs (a more garage-punk one on the a-side and a more hardcore one on the b-side) and big catchy choruses. However, Homeless Cadaver do weird things up a little, with both songs having wild, careening synth solos and the b-side track using a jittery, unintuitive drumbeat as a counterpoint to the song’s big riff. It’s not precisely what you expect from an Iron Lung Records release, but as they’ve proven many times this label has great taste no matter what the genre.

Clarko: Medeocre Man 7” (Iron Lung) Single #1 of 5 in Iron Lung’s new Systemic Surgery singles series. Each Systemic Surgery single features beautiful, riso-printed artwork, is limited to 200 copies, and has a cool Iron Lung logo diecut on the back. As with the Homeless Cadaver single that ILR released I know nothing about Clarko… where they’re from and who is involved with the project are mysteries to me. Also like the Homeless Cadaver single, Clarko’s music is outside Iron Lung’s usual purview. However, where Homeless Cadaver’s songs are guitar-oriented with synth solos, Clarko flips the script with a synth-based song and some occasional guitar noises. The synth lines are super catchy and the rhythms are propulsive and punk. It’s a short one, but it’s packaged beautifully and limited to only 200, so if you pass on it I’m sure there’s another eager record collector willing to take your place in line.

Deviant: Loading the Gun 7” (11PM Records) Debut 7” from this hardcore band from Richmond, Virginia. Deviant features members of several contemporary Richmond bands like Nosebleed and Haircut, but they base their sound more on the 00s glory days of Richmond punk, when No Way and Grave Mistake Records were at the height of their popularity. Bob Quirk recorded the record (he also recorded several classic releases from that 00s era) and the sound is a tightly wound variant of classic USHC that dials up the intricacy as high as it will go without losing the catchiness. The songs are great, with catchy riff after catchy riff and countless stops, starts, and tempo changes to keep the songs interesting. The playing is locked-in and powerful, the band both nimble and punishing. The vocals also have a ton of personality, balancing the tightness of the music with a wild and unhinged quality. Even though this is a straightforward US hardcore record, there isn’t a moment here that sounds cheesy, forced, or plagiarized… it’s a pure and articulate expression of what hardcore is supposed to be. If you love nothing more than a great 6-song hardcore EP get this… you won’t be disappointed.

Not Shit: Tour Tape cassette (No Solution Ltd.) Latest cassette release from this California hardcore band, released for their recent tour. The fact that this tape ends with a YDI cover should clue you in to what Not Shit is all about… this is mean, nihilistic and ugly hardcore in the classic US tradition. The recording is super raw, and the band’s faster and more straightforward songs sound like deep cuts from an 80s USHC comp like Party or Go Home or The Master Tape. Some might find it generic, but people like me slurp this stuff up like mom’s home cooking. My favorite song is the opener “Only Me,” which crawls along with the mid-paced, misanthropic heaviness of Fang or Sick Pleasure. Under the radar for sure, but a good listen for the deep heads.

Flower: Two Tapes cassette (Sickhead) Import release compiling two previously released cassettes from this New York band. The label bills them as anarcho / crust, but it’s not that simple. The two cassettes compiled here sound fairly different from one another though the common thread is a willingness to try different things within the realm of hardcore. The Violent Crusades tape has a rawer sound and lots of dissonant riffing a la Born Against and a charismatic vocalist. Like Born Against, the songs are fast and intense, but the guitarist always finds interesting little nooks and crannies to fill with weirdness. The tracks from the other tape have a clearer recording and are more rhythmically adventurous, with the track “Pride Is Not for Me” having an almost industrial cadence. Most hardcore I hear these days is self-conscious of how it fits within hardcore’s various subgenres, but Flower remind me of bands like Nausea and Rorschach who seemed oblivious to those kinds of boundaries.

Gasmask / Coward: Split 12” (Euro Import) Both Gasmask and Coward released EPs on the Japanese label Skeleton (in 1985 and 1986, respectively). In 2002, Crust War paired them together and compiled them on a single LP along with unreleased live tracks from each band and additional tracks from “Cowmask” and “Gasward,” which were presumably studio collaborations between the members of the two bands. I’m unclear whether this is an official or unofficial repress of that release, so we’ll call it a “European import.” Either way, this LP is packed to the brim with classic 80s Japanese hardcore. Gasmask have a rough 80s Japanese hardcore aesthetic with simple and catchy pogo beats, Fuckheads-esque riffs, and “gargling broken glass” vocals that will remind you of G.I.S.M. Coward are faster, reminding me a lot of Systematic Death with their hyper-fast drumming and tight changes. The tracks from the original records are the star of the show, but the live tracks are strong too, as are the collaborative songs. Both bands are deep cuts for sure, but you’ve got to go a lot deeper than this before 80s Japanese hardcore stops being totally killer.

All New Arrivals

Deviant: Loading the Gun 7" (new)
Clarko: Medeocre Man 7" (new)
Homeless Cadaver: Fat Skeleton 7" (new)
Flower: Two Tapes cassette
Not Shit: Tour Tape cassette
Gasmask/ Coward: Split 12" (new)
Danzig: S/T 12" (new)
Pogues: Rum Sodomy & the Lash 12" (new)
Secret Machines: Ten Silver Drops 12" (new)
Beirut: Gallipoli 12" (new)
Le Butcherettes: Bi/Mental 12" (new)
Timothy Leary: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out OST 12" (new)
Biohazard: State of the World Address 12" (new)
Das EFX: Straight Up Sewaside 12" (new)
Eric Church: Sinners Like Me 12" (new)
Swervedriver: Future Ruins 12" (new)
Gas: Zauberberg 12" (new)
Johnny Greenwood: There Will Be Blood 12" (new)
Social Distortion: Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell 12" (new)
Thursday: Full Collapse 12" (new)
Muddy Waters: Folk Singer 12" (new)
Warsaw: An Ideal for Living 12" (new)
Boy Harsher: Yr Body Is Nothing 12" (new)
Boy Harsher: Lesser Man 12" (new)
Boy Harsher: Careful 12" (new)


Rashomon: Pathogen X 12" (new)
Danzig: II Lucifuge 12" (new)
Screamers: Strength Through Intimidation: 1978 Geza X Demos 12" (new)
Vari Vice: What Reality Will They Use Over You? cassette
Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow 12" (new)
Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 12" (new)
Greta Van Fleet: Anthem of the Peaceful Army 12" (new)
The 1975: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships 12" (new)
Bob Marley: Legend 12" (new)
John Isbell & The 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound 12" (new)
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 12" (new)
Kendrick Lamar: Damn 12" (new)
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City 12" (new)
Michael Jackson: Thriller 12' (new)
Mumford & Sons: Delta 12" (new)
Siouxsie & the Banshees: Juju 12" (new)
Siouxsie & the Banshees: Kaleidoscope 12" (new)
Smashing Pumpkins: Gish 12" (new)
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 12" (new)
Weezer: Pinkerton 12" (new)
Tom Petty: Greatest Hits 12" (new)

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