Featured Release Roundup: May 16, 2019

Subculture: I Heard a Scream 12” (Puke N Vomit) This North Carolina hardcore classic gets an official reissue on Puke N Vomit Records. It’s appropriate that this reissue comes on a California label, because while Raleigh bands like COC and No Labels were indebted to the DC scene, Subculture always sounded more like a California band to me. While the reference to Green Day and Bad Religion in the label’s description is overstating the case, Subculture remind me of early west coast punk bands like Social Distortion, Channel 3, and TSOL in that there’s a lot of British punk in their sound, albeit simplified and sped up. There are a few moments (like “I Thought You Knew” and “Stomp Your Ass”) that edge toward the full-on thrash of early DRI, but Subculture did a great job of balancing energy and complexity on this LP. Revisiting this I’m also impressed with how strong the recording is, heavy and present without sounding slick. Thankfully, this reissue preserves the super cool original artwork and you even get a new insert with photos, flyers, and some liner notes. I know a lot of mediocre 80s punk has seen reissues over the past few years, but this is a great record that’s more obscure than it should be, and Puke N Vomit's reissue is well-executed and faithful.


Judy & the Jerks: Music for Donuts 7” (Thrilling Living) We’ve been following Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s Judy & the Jerks for a few years now, but this is their first vinyl appearance. In retrospect that might be a good thing because, while I already loved this band, Music for Donuts marks a big step up. Not only is the recording clearer, heavier, and more powerful but also the band seems to have locked into their sound, which is somewhere between Warm Bodies’ avant-hardcore and more straightforward 80s-style US hardcore. They covered Gorilla Biscuits on one of their earlier tapes, and their bright and snappy-sounding hardcore has a similar infectiousness (albeit with a lot more bite), but my favorite moments are tracks like “Butter” and “Friends” that feature catchy but blisteringly fast lead guitar riffs. If, like me, you cut your teeth on straightforward hardcore punk but also love all of this new weird punk rock popping up all over the US (read: egg punk), pick this up. But then again, I’ve been telling you to buy everything on Thrilling Living since they started, so hopefully you’re already following that sound advice.


Impulso: Costante Ossessione 7” (Byllepest Distro) Latest record from this Italian band on the Norwegian label Byllepest. With tight playing, a big sound, and adventurous songwriting, Impulso is tailor-made to appeal to the tastes of those of us who follow labels like Iron Lung and La Vida Es Un Mus. If you need your hardcore to rip hard, but you also want some fresh-sounding musical ideas Costante Ossessione will scratch that itch. When they kick into high gear, it’s all about the thrill of speed, but when they slow things down things get even more interesting, weaving between Blazing Eye-type catchy pogo and darker passages with creepy-sounding lead guitar. Excellent stuff.


Guilt Parade: Guilted Palace of Sin 7” (Alternatives) Debut vinyl from this DC hardcore band featuring a bunch of scene veterans. While there are obvious influences from the worlds of Scandinavian and Japanese hardcore (Framtid’s density and Totalitär’s catchy riffing style come to mind), I think what makes Guilt Parade unique is their ability to light up the dance floor with a crushing mid-paced part. “Victim Insane,” “B.B.T.B.,” and “G.P. (Reprise)” sound like a wall of death coming right at you, and as with Torso these moments serve as a reprieve from the all out attack. Bruising.


Unarm: The Voice from Forced Silence 7” (Adult Crash) Latest EP from these Japanese punks. Looking at their Discogs page it surprised me to see they’ve been putting out releases since 2006. It’s not surprising that Unarm are veterans because The Voice from Forced Silence exhibits a well-honed band that has figured out their sound and how to execute it. I like how Unarm combine elements of chaotic Japanese hardcore like D-Clone or Zyanose with the more dramatic sound of Burning Spirits-style hardcore. That ability to go way out there (there’s even a wild bass solo at the start of the B side!) and then pull it back to something straightforward and powerful is special. When you wrap it up in a burly recording, you have a record that is well worth your time.


Hag: Be My Filth 7” (Byllepest Distro) Second 7” from this gnarly Swedish band. While Hag is a big and burly sounding hardcore band at their core, they stand out because their vocalist and guitarist are particularly strong. While no one would mistake this for anything but hardcore, there’s a subtle rock-and-roll undercurrent to the riffing, often manifesting itself as a catchy lead riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on Damaged. The vocalist is also great, one of those people who sounds genuinely pissed off. Furthermore, they build the songs choruses around simple repeated phrases (like the title track, “Be My Filth”), which means you’re singing along by the second listen. Excellent stuff.


Axe Rash: S/T 12” (Adult Crash) More Swedish hardcore courtesy of the great Adult Crash label. Listening to Axe Rash I can’t help but think of Sorry State favorites Torso, as both bands have a dense, intricate, and pissed-off sound. Like all of Torso’s records, Axe Rash’s debut has a clear and powerful recording that seems to smash into your ears with the force of a ball peen hammer, and their vocalist sounds like they’ve swallowed all the world’s evil just to regurgitate the bile-soaked mess back at you. The riffing is intricate and catchy (there’s no way Totalitär isn’t a direct influence), and the playing is razor sharp. It’s a relentless assault until “Just Like Me” slows things down a hair, allowing the guitarist to pull a few extra tricks out of their bag and close the record on a high note. Ripping!


Spraut: Det Smutsiga Livet 7” (Adult Crash) Even more Swedish hardcore punk from Adult Crash! To me Spraut sounds less like the classic bands from their country and more like the contemporary Texas bands exploring that sound, particularly Vaaska and Impalers. The first track could almost be a Vaaska song, right down to the vocalists’ cadence. Like those bands, Spraut also love a ripping guitar solo and know their way around a crushing mid-paced part. There isn’t much here that’s out of the box for the sound, but it has a great recording, it’s well-composed and the playing is tight and powerful.


Purple X: S/T 7” (Byllepest Distro) Debut EP from this band from Oslo, Norway. The label’s description compares Purple X to Crazy Spirit, and I can see where they’re coming from; like Crazy Spirit’s best stuff, this record sounds like a dense swirl of noise, but it’s also catchy at the same time. Unlike Crazy Spirit, though, Purple X’s music is dense and intricate, reminding me of Polish legends Post Regiment in the way they can play super complex stuff at blistering tempos but keep it tight enough to be catchy. For me the highlight is the brooding, TSOL-esque “Daddy Issues,” but this whole EP is top notch. Highly recommended.


All New Arrivals

L.O.T.I.O.N.: World Wide W.E.B. 12" (Toxic State)
Judy & the Jerks: Music for Donuts 7" (Thrilling Living)
Scrap Brain: A Journey into Madness 12" (Thrilling Living)
Attitude Adjustment: American Paranoia 12" (Taang!)
Naked Raygun: Last of the Demohicans 12" (Dyslexic)
Power Trip: Opening Fire: 2008-2014 12" (Dark Operative)
Subculture: I Heard a Scream 12" (Puke N Vomit)
Pagan Altar: Judgement of the Dead 12" (Temple of Mystery)
Pagan Altar: Lords of Hypocrisy 12" (Temple of Mystery)
Unarm: The Voice from Forced Silence 7" (Adult Crash)
Planet Y: Kniven for Struben 12" (Adult Crash)
Axerash: S/T 12" (Adult Crash)
Spraut: Det Smutsiga Livet 7" (Adult Crash)
Junta: Dystopolis 12" (Adult Crash)
Guilt Parade: Guilted Palace of Sin 7" (Alternatives Label)
Slaughter: Strappado 12" (HR)
Lorian Winds: Demo 1986 12" (HR)
Witch Cross: Fit for Fight 12" (HR)
Blitzkrieg: A Time of Changes (30th Anniversary Edition) 12" (HR)
Saint Vitus: V 12" (HR)
Jag Panzer: Ample Destruction 12" (HR)
The Obsessed: Lunar Womb 12" (HR)
Manilla Road: The Deluge 12" (HR)
Trouble: Victim of the Insane (Demos & Rarities Part 2) 12" (HR)
Gaskin: Beyond World’s End 12" (HR)
Acid Witch: Evil Sound Screamers 12" (Hells Headbangers)
Acid Witch: Witchtanic Hellucinations 12" (Hells Headbangers)
Altar of Perversion: From Dead Temples 12" (Ajna)
Drudkh: Eternal Turn of the Wheel 12" (Season Of Mist)
Drudkh: Handful of Stars 12" (Season Of Mist)
Fluisteraars: Luwte 12" (Eisenwald)
Lantlos: Melting Sun 12" (Prophecy)
Lice: Woe Betide You 12" (Underground Activists)
Mournful Congregation: The Book of Kings 12" (20 Buck Spin)
Profanatica: Altar of the Virgin Whore 12" (Hells Headbangers)
Sacrifice: Forward to Termination 12" (War on Music)
Sacrifice: Soldiers of Misfortune 12" (War on Music)
Sacrifice: Torment in Fire 12" (War on Music)
Saint Vitus: S/T 12" (Season of Mist)
Wardruna: Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga 12" (Indie)
Wardruna: Runaljod - Yggdrasil 12" (Indie)
Xasthur: S/T 12" (Oracular Visions)
Xasthur: To Violate the Obvious 12" (Oracular Visions)
Mythra: Death and Destiny (40th Anniversary Edition) 12" (HR)
Sperm: 50th Erection 12" box set (Svart)
Pölyä: Experimental New Wave and Art Punk from Finland 1979-1984 12" (Svart)
K-X-P: IV 12" (Svart)
Hollywood Rose: Roots of Guns N Roses 12" (Cleopatra)
John Fruscieante: Empyrean 12" (Record Collection)
Aerosmith: Permanent Vacation 12" (Geffen)
Black Flag: Nervous Breakdown 10" (SST)
Dead Moon: The Book 12" (Mississippi)
Lil Pump: Harverd Dropout 12" (Warner Bros)
 

Restocks

Pinocchio: S/T 7" (Toxic State)
The Comes: No Side + Power Never Die 12" (Hand of Dogma)
BB & The Blips: Shame Job 12" (Thrilling Living)
Norms: Hülye Hardcore 12" (Thrilling Living)
Jerry’s Kids: Is This My World? 12" (Taang!)
FU’s: Kill for Christ 12" (Taang!)
DYS: Brotherhood 12" (Taang!)
Negative FX: S/T 12" (Taang!)
GBH: Leather, Bristles, Studs & Acne 12" (Cleopatra)
Swankys: Never Can Eat Swank Dinner 12" (Rat)
Dead Moon: Strange Pray Tell 12" (Mississippi)
Dead Moon: Trash and Burn 12" (Mississippi)
Dead Moon: In The Graveyard 12" (Mississippi)
Dead Moon: Unknown Passage 12" (Mississippi)
Poison Idea: Feel the Darkness 12" (TKO)
Poison Idea: War All the Time 12" (TKO)
Poison Idea: Darby Crash Rides Again 12" (TKO)
Acathexis: S/T 12" (Fallen Empire)
Afsky: S/T 12" (Vendetta)
Craft: Terror Propaganda 12" (Season of Mist)
Craft: Total Soul Rape 12" (Season of Mist) (new)
Death Fortress: Reign of the Unending 12" (Fallen Empire)
Solbrud: S/T 12" (Vendetta)
Woe: A Violent Dread 12" (Vendetta)
Onslaught: The Force 2x12" (Back on Black)
Diamond Head: Lightning to the Nations 2x12" (HR)
Exodus: Bonded by Blood 12" (HR)
Possessed: Seven Churches 12" (HR)
Possessed: Beyond the Gates 12" (HR)
Title Fight: Floral Green 12" (Revelation)
Title Fight: Shed 12" (Side One Dummy)
Bad Brains: I Against I 12" (SST)
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount 12" (Geffen)
AFI: The Art Of Drowning 12" (Nitro)
Tyler, the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy 12" (Columbia)
Tool: Undertow 12" (Volcano)
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables 12" (Manifesto)
Bob Marley: Legend 12" (Island)
Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love 12" (Glassnote)
Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour 12" (MCA)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Fishing for Fishies 12" (Flightless)
Minutemen: 3 Way Tie for Last 12" (SST)
Nine Inch Nails: Broken 12" (Null Corp)
Oasis: Definitely Maybe 12" (Creation)
Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky 12" (Peaceville)
SZA: CTRL 2x12" (Top Dawg)
Coheed + Cambria: Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV Volume One 12" (Columbia)
Annihilation Time: II 12" (Tankcrimes)
Guns N Roses: Appetite for Destruction 12" (Geffen)
Slayer: Seasons in the Abyss 12" (American)
Mumford+Sons: Sigh No More 12" (Island)
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City 2x12" (Interscope)
Outkast: Aquemini 12" (LaFace)
Outkast: ATLiens 2x12" (LaFace)
Tool: Opiate 12" (BMG)
Slayer: South of Heaven 12" (American)
Minutemen: Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat 12" (SST)
King Crimson: Red 12" (Inner Knot)
NOFX: Punk in Drublic 12" (Epitaph)
Rema Rema: Fond Reflections 12" (4AD)
Metallica: ...And Justice for All 12" (Blackened)
Joy Division: Closer 12" (Rhino)
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain 12" (Matador)
Bad Religion: How Could Hell Be Any Worse 12" (Epitaph)
Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory 2x12" (Death Row)
The Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me 12" (Rhino)
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