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Featured Release Roundup: September 6, 2018

Scythe: S/T 7” (Discos Huayno Amargo) After a standout demo, here’s the debut vinyl from this California band and it does not disappoint. If you’re a fan of creepy-sounding, metallic Japanese hardcore like G.I.S.M., Mobs, our Zouo (or newer bands in that vein like Blazing Eye) the sound will be familiar, particularly the growled vocals and the wobbly chorus effect on the guitar. However, Scythe don’t sound like a modern interpretation of that style so much as a lost relic from that era. The record sounds warm, organic, and analog (or at least analog-ish… I’m not sure how they recorded it), and the lack of clarity only serves to heighten my interest. This feeling carries over to the cryptic and minimal visual aesthetic, which has me examining every square inch of the packaging to figure out what’s going on. Spending time with this record reminds me of discovering records by the Misfits and Black Flag when I was a teenager, long before you could Google a band’s name and instantly find their biography, discography, and other information. This music comes from another place, but I don’t know where that place is or how I can get there. All I can do is listen closer and let myself get sucked into the band’s world. This record feels real and immersive in a way that pulling up a bandcamp site and listening while you wash dishes or run on the treadmill just can’t replicate. So kill the overheads, light some candles, cue this up and let it take you where it wants you to go.

Couldn't find a streaming link for this one, sorry!

Nueva Fuerza:  Hitos Y Derrotas 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) After an earlier 7” (which we still have in stock BTW) on the Spanish label Discos Enfermos, here’s the debut 12” from this Barcelona hardcore band, this time on La Vida Es Un Mus. While their earlier EP packed 10 songs onto a 7”, here they give us five songs on a 12”. Don’t worry, though; even though the songs are longer, they still have the clipped, jagged quality of the 7”. On Hitos Y Derrotas, however, they balance that Wire-esque sense of abruptness with longer passages that channel the same tense pulse as Destino Final. One minute the band is grinding into a deep groove, cymbal wash and guitar distortion blending into cascading waves of sound, the next they’re laying into Greg Ginn-inspired jagged and mind-bending guitar leads. Those leads are my favorite moments on the record, and while I wish there were more of them they’re more climactic for only popping up every so often. If you’re a fan of the artsier hardcore bands that LVEUM puts out—the aforementioned Destino Final, Una Bestia Incontrolable, and Permission, for instance—this will tweak your expectations in much the same way.

Ambush: S/T 12” (Diabolous) Debut one-sided 12” from this band out of New Hampshire (you don’t hear that every day!) featuring members of Aspects of War. While Ambush's music is rooted in d-beat and crasher crust, this 12” pushes past those sounds’ basic elements and arrives at something that’s even more interesting. Like Lebenden Toten or D-Clone, Ambush seem less interested in riffs and more interested in building compositions out of shifts in texture and timbre. In that respect they often sound more like industrial music than hardcore. Even the opening track, “Brain Dead,” which has some abrupt rhythmic changes, bleeds together into a vast lake of noise and feedback. Listening to this record reminds me of looking at one of Seurat’s pointillist paintings. Those paintings offer you a choice: you can step back from them and consider what’s being portrayed or represented, or you can get up close and lose yourself in the rhythmic pulses of abstract color. Similarly, any given second of this 12” sounds like inchoate noise, but take a step back and these are definitely songs with a sense of logic and movement to them. For me the magic of this 12” lies in the space between those two ways of listening, how you can’t quite lock onto both at the same time. It’s a tough feeling to describe, but if you’re a fan of super noisy bands like Confuse hopefully you get the gist of what I’m talking about and you understand that this is one of those rare records that can take you to that place.

I don't think this one is streaming either, sorry! Long live vinyl!

Hand Grenades: Demos to London 12” (Almost Ready) Almost Ready re-releases this 1979 obscurity from New York, expanding the original single’s two tracks to a healthier four. The record’s packaging gives essentially no information about how these recordings came to be and the label’s description doesn’t help to clarify things much either. What I know is that these recordings come from New York in 1979, but they sound much more like what you would expect to hear coming from a teen center rehearsal space in suburban London around the same time. In other words, this sounds like the major touchstones of UKDIY like Desperate Bicycles, Television Personalities, or Teenage Filmstars. Like those bands, Hand Grenades sound like they’re experimenting with home recording technology and becoming fascinated by the sonic possibilities, but they’re not weird or visionary enough to discard pop song structure and launch into Nurse With Wound-style abstract noise. Sometimes, it’s the song itself that’s interesting. That’s the case with one of the bonus tracks, “Murder,” which reminds me of the TVP’s / Filmstars’ wry, slightly twee take on punk rock. More often, though, it’s the sound itself that’s most interesting, how tape hiss might mesh with guitar distortion and ambient room noise to create lush swirls of sound that couldn’t have been created any other way. Long story short, if you go deep with the UKDIY sound you will enjoy this, though it begs the question of why weren’t there more American groups that sound like this?

All New Arrivals

Idiota Civilizzato: S/T 12" (Static Shock)
Negative Scanner: Nose Picker 12" (Trouble In Mind)
Rigorous Institution: Demo cassette (Self-released)
Second Sun: Autonomic Pilot 7" (Electric Assault)
Sufjan Stevens: The Avalanche 12" (Asthmatic Kitty)
Thou: Magus 12" (Sacred Bones)
Morrissey: This Is Morrissey 12" (Warner Bros)
Girlschool: Hit and Run 12" (Dissonance)
Watain: Sworn to the Dark 12" (Season of Mist)
Soundgarden: A-sides 12" (Universal)
Suicidal Tendencies: Lights Camera Revolution 12" (Epic)
Prong: Cleansing 12" (Epic)
Tony Molina: Kill the Lights 12" (Slumberland)
ESG: Come Away 12” (Fire)
Heavens to Betsy: These Monsters Are Real 7” (Kill Rock Stars)
Amebix: Slovenia 86 12” (Easy Action)
Red Cross: Smoke Seven 81/82 12" (Puke N Vomit)
Misfits: Descent Into Evil 12" (Fan Club)
Adrenalin OD: Rare & Unreleased 1982 Demos 12" (Munster)
Rattus: S/T 12" (Zurich Chainsaw Massacre)
Pelle Miljoona & NUS: S/T 12" (Svart)
Interterror: S/T 12" (Radikal)
Čao Pičke: Sonce V Očeh 12" (Ne!)
Wasted Youth: Reagan's In 12" (Fan Club)
Πανικός: The War Continues 12" (Labyrinth of Thoughts)
Crude SS: Killing For Nothing 12" (Distortion)
Kangrena: Estoc De Pus 12" (BCore)
Broken Bones: Demo 1988 12" (FOAD)
Raw Power: Wop Hour - Extended Version 12" (FOAD)
Kina: Nessuno Schema Nella Mia Vita 12" (Spittle)
I Refuse It!: Cronache Del Videotopo 12" (Spittle)

Restocks

Personality Cult: S/T 12" (Drunken Sailor)
Sex Tourists: S/T 12" (Paradise Daily)
Turnstile: Time & Space 12" (Roadrunner)
The Replacements: Let It Be 12" (Rhino)
The Moldy Peaches: S/T 12" (Rough Trade)
The Kinks: Kontroversy 12" (Sanctuary)
The Kinks: Face to Face 12" (Sanctuary)
Television: Marquee Moon 12" (Rhino)
Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out 12" (Sub Pop)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magick 12" (Warner Bros)
The Pixies: Doolittle 12" (4AD)
Operation Ivy: Energy 12" (Hellcat)
Metallica: Kill 'em All 12" (Blackened)
Metallica: S/T / Black Album 12" (Blackened)
Led Zeppelin: II 12" (Atlantic)
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy 12" (Atlantic)
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffitti 12" (Atlantic)
Jay Reatard: Matador Singles '08 12" (Matador)
Iron Maiden: S/T 12" (BMG)
Iron Maiden: Killers 12" (BMG)
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast 12" (BMG)
Green Day: Kerplunk! 12" (Reprise)
Gorillaz: Demon Days 12" (Parlophone)
Dr. Dre: The Chronic 12" (Death Row)
Dinosaur Jr: You're Living All Over Me 12" (Jagjaguwar)
David Bowie: Hunky Dory 12" (Parlophone)
David Bowie: Aladdin Sane 12" (Parlophone)
Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion 12" (Noise)
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality 12" (Rhino)
Bauhaus: Mask 12" (4AD)
Bad Religion: Generator 12" (Epitaph)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: F#A# 12" (Constellation)
The Scientists: Weird Love 12" (Numero Group)
Tyler the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy 12" (Columbia)
Khalid: American Teen 12" (RCA)
Damned: Damned Damned Damned 12" (euro import)
Damned: Machine Gun Etiquette 12" (Chiswik)
Death Grips: Bottomless Pit 12" (Third Worlds)
Howlin' Wolf: Moanin' in the Moonlight 12" (Vinyl Lovers)
Neu: Neu 12" (Gronland)
Childish Gambino: Camp 12" (Glassnote)
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue 12" (Columbia Legacy)
Jimi Hendrix: Axis Bold as Love 12" (Legacy)
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill 12" (Capitol)
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty 12" (Capitol)
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication 12" (Capitol)
Beastie Boys: Check Your Head 12" (Capitol)
Beastie Boys: Pauls Boutique 12" (Capitol)
Bob Marley: Legend 12" (Island)
Tool: Lateralus 12" (Volcano)
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing 12" (Mowax Recordings)
Black Flag: Damaged 12" (SST)

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