Friday, May 27, 2011


In the great North friends, so in the meantime enjoy this.

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of a Year - Split with Three Fifteen

What can I say folks, I have been a busy bee this past week. Hence the lack of updates. I will also being going on a Northern Expedition of sorts this weekend, so I am hoping I can jam a few more updates in before I part ways. Onwards and Upwards.

I am not going to lie here, this past weekend I tried to stay up to date with the ongoings of Krazy Fest 2k11. A diverse lineup with many bands I would have enjoyed seeing, coupled with the shenanigans of the infamous aftershows. But the one band I would have loved to see more than any other would have been the End of a Year Self Defense Family. Or Self Defense Family as they are going by these days. Their set, in which the whole weekend was streamed through the Alt. Press website, was wonderful. Per usual, the band stuck to the new material, two (maybe three) songs off of You Are Beneath Me, one track off of the Deathwish 7in, and the rest was brand spanking new joints. The new songs played have a slower pace, akin to some of the later era sounds of the band, but still on par with intensity. And it seems that the only gripe people ever have with this band is that they seem to refuse to play anything old, whatsoever. This only makes me wish that I payed more attention to them years ago when I first caught them at a local hardcore band's record release in Chicago. They blew me away then, and the blow me away now.

This split is from that era when I first saw the band, right before (or as) Sincerely on Revelation came out. Three tracks that, for me, stand out from the band's vast and impressive catalog. These three songs are heavy, not only in production, but as if they put a dark twist to their early DC Revelation Summer sound. End of a Year was an already well-oiled machine at this point, so it only makes sense that this is where their first experimentations, though minute, are heard. "Beleaders" sounds somewhat completely different, sonically, from the later version found on Sincerely. This record intrigues me, as well, due to the band promoting their next material as "heavy music". There was a wonderful metaphor involving Nuerosis and Lungfish, and I can only assume the music will be wonderful. Not the heavy like this split and their older DC sound, but heavy in the way of reinventing a band each and every step of the way. Self Defense Family really are the leaders in innovation within underground music.

  1. Beleaders
  2. Girls
  3. Choppers
All that's left is drugs or God.

Note: I am completely ignoring the Three Fifteen side, it's been sometime since I have listened to it, but I remember the feeling of indifference.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vinyl Distractions: V/A - Punx Don't Drink

I never want the blog to become a catalyst for self-promotion. Should it be a confluence of my own conspicuous thoughts on music and culture? Of course, but that is the only thing I should be promoting, my own pretension. Inevitably, something I have had a hand in will make it to this blog. The blog is about music, and if I just so happen to have conspired in the subject of a post, then so be it. This volume of "Vinyl Distractions" happens to be of this case. Deal with it.

Punx Don't Drink huh? Sounds like a bunch of prepubescent, straight edge, dollar-bin garbage. Now some of that may or may not be true, but please don't judge this record by it's layout. This compilation contains, indeed, four straight edge hardcore bands, with Boiling Over being the one that I was in. This also happens to be the first piece of wax that is quite literally my own, something I directly contributed to, which makes it a very special part of the feature. Test presses are always sought after, and when this record was handed to me it was like my heart was warmed with straight edge goodness. I had finally done it, I finally had a test press of my, somewhat, own record. It was a culmination of life experiences, a popping of my test press cherry. Also, we were blessed to have shared this record with three great bands, a compilation of excellence in fast contemporary hardcore. Truly, a great record to have had a hand in.

I believe this record is still in print, maybe on it's second press, and had definitely been making the rounds for a few years now. Check your local record store of the Third Party Records website to procure this piece of wax.

Sidenote: If you are familiar with local Chicago Hardcore Hooligans, you will recognize the greatness in choosing that picture as the cover. Real funny stuff.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ten Grand - This is the Way to Rule (2003)

Ten Grand was brought back to my attention after recently conversing about them with some friends. It was like a light bulb went off in my head, "oh yeah, I have to post that album on my blog". And so, here we have it, Ten Grand's last full length album, This is the Way to Rule. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to see the band live, though they toured relentlessly. Just a year or so shy of when I would have been exposed to them. Which, despite a friend's telling of their sloppiness live, is rather unfortunate due to the singer's tragic death in 2003. Now we only have the stories of their machine-like touring ethic and their sarcastic music to live by.

So, remember late 90's hardcore/screamo, made infamous via Ebullition records? For some people, it was the golden years. For others, it spawned countless numbers of mediocre bands resulting in the modern day mainstream screamo with all of it's prepubescent scenester glory, and the current wave of underground screamo. In other words, those others of us want to entirely forget the genre ever existed. Hide your Yaphet Kotto and Still Life records friends, some kid with flashy, bright clothing is going to take a shit all over them. Anyway, Ten Grand played that wonderful version of hardcore, albeit a little more crazed, frantic, and wonderfully sarcastic. It seriously is the finest take on the genre. Long live Ten Grand.

  1. Hands Off the Merch
  2. Wedding Song for Steve and Angie
  3. R E S P E C T Me
  4. Let's Wreck the Van
  5. I Will Seriously Pay You to Shut Up
  6. Scary Movie 4
  7. Get Out of My Dojo
  8. This isn't Heaven, This Sucks
  9. Fuck You Guyses Team
  10. Now You Got What I Got
Look up why they are called Ten Grand

Kriegshög - S/T (2010)

Dismal weather calls for more dismal music. This time we take a trip to Japan. I don't quite know what it is about Japan's music scene. It's bands are usually shrouded in mystery, and it's music is usually anything but a take on a traditional genre. Kriegshög continue the with Japan's discourse on the Discharge influence and turn it on it's head, citing Swedish, little U.S., and more Japan confusion amongst their sound. This band is essentially extremely abrasive, raw, and all-powerful.

S/T, or War on Peace as it is also called, is the band's magnum opus, their penultimate idea of what hardcore should sound like. It also happens to be the band's last release with a small number of releases under their belt. It figures that a foreign band would release one of the most perfect albums of the last decade and then decide to 86' the band, which only mystisizes the band even more for us State-side folk. I'm feeling lazy today so just know that this record is an onslaught of sonic power. That's it.

If you want to find out more information on them, MRR did an interview in their latest issue and it sheds some light on the band. Those of you lucky enough to go to Chaos in Tejas, enjoy their only and last state-side show ever.

  1. Nightmare (Intro)
  2. Heathen (Code Z)
  3. Just Because
  4. Temptation
  5. Zuou
  6. Evolution?
  7. Mutation
  8. Purpose
  9. Burn
  10. Fear the Justice
  11. Human
  12. Tokyo
  13. Life is...
New Wave of Brutality and Hardcore Massacre

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood (1996)

I have been in the mood for heavy music lately. Said mood is slightly foreign for this particular changing of seasons, with most people opting for poppy, upbeat music. But let us become serious, there is never a bad time to listen to Neurosis. Heavy music for the heavier things in life.

  1. Through Silver in Blood
  2. Rehumanize
  3. Eye
  4. Purify
  5. Locust Star
  6. Strength of Fates
  7. Become the Ocean
  8. Aeon
  9. Enclosure in Flame
That which is above, is as that which is below.

V/A - Iron Lung Mixtape Vol 1 (2011)

Man, that guy from Iron Lung is one talented individual. This guy has drummed in a baker's dozen amount of bands, and has lately released some really great music underneath his band's label. He recently did a mixtape that is already sold out, full of great bands from all over the globe. With the reinvention of the tape cassette as a medium, it only makes sense the mixtape would reemerge. I know what some of you folks are thinking about, "Guy, it never left. My avant-garde noise band with a sound that hearkens back to early 90's post-(name your genre) has been releasing our eclectic tapes of mixes since before it was cool. So lo-fi, man". Either way, I could give a crap about some ultra-obscure tape some dork made in his bedroom. The only thing I really enjoy out of these is when they expose me to new bands, and or, have new songs from bands I enjoy on it. Much like this one from Iron Lung, 20 songs of good hardcore in different varieties, indie stuff, and even some garbage stuff.

So what exactly does this tape contain, you ask? For the expectedly high quality part, some great songs by Mind Eraser, Walls, and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Some of the real winners were bands I have either not listened to, or never heard of, such as Society Nurse, Solutions, and White Wards. However, I am not too thrilled on Total Control's song, or the last two tracks that just to be filler/jokes/things that just didn't interest me. The best part, is the Black Flag cover brought to you by Cold Sweat, which to my knowledge, was never released. Overall, the key here is variety, it's the spice of life.

  1. Mentally Challenged - Demon Idea
  2. Slices - Bottom of the Barrel
  3. Solutions - Human Meat
  4. Iron Lung - Spent
  5. Cold Sweat - I've Heard It All Before
  6. Self Com - 8am
  7. Total Control - S.I.B.
  8. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush to Relax
  9. Walls - Blinding Light of Truth
  10. Pig Heart Transplant - Mental Jobs
  11. Vaccuum - Driven
  12. White Wards - Acceptance
  13. Society Nurse - Locked In
  14. Big Crux - Protocore
  15. Kim Phuc - Something's Dead
  16. Running for Cover - You Are the Victim
  17. Opt Out - The Expose
  18. Mind Eraser - Phonophobia
  19. Master Chaos - Enlightenment
  20. Studio Geordie - Museum Dub
Who has a tape player these days anyway? Seriously?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Southeast Engine - Canary (2011)

Ah yes, the changing of the seasons. When my elated neighbors are all walking about, perusing all the nooks and crannies of our city, and lastly, riding their really cool looking bikes with little to no regard for safety. Such is the cost of being cool. But I have my own way of subtle revenge on their manpri's and cool lookin' hair-dos (or don'ts for that matter), dog shit. That's right, we are dog sitting quite a good looking Airdale Terrier and I may or may not, have forgotten to grab a bag to pick up dog poop with. So take that hapless trendsetters of the modern age. When you walk out your door to your well neglected yard, don't be surprised to find a well placed pile of doggy do-do awaiting your foot.

Moving on. Here is an album by a band I recently found out about, but by no means have been around for a small amount of time. This is a more popular, or you could even say hip, take on some good old fashion folk/Americana full band music. Probably something a place like Pitchfork would love. But it is pretty decent stuff. The "cool" factor doesn't rely so much in the music, as the context for such a feat. The album tells a story of the Great Depression via location, Athens, Ohio, where the band happens to be from. Thus there is a great juxtaposition between the telling of an old tale, and the context of our current economic growth (or lack there of).


  1. Curses of Canaanville
  2. Cold Front Blues
  3. 1933 (Great Depression)
  4. At Least We Have Each Other
  5. Adeline of the Appalachian Mountains
  6. Red Lake Shore
  7. Mountain Child
  8. New Growth
  9. Summer and Her Ferris Wheel
  10. Ruthie
  11. Sourwood Mountain
Avast, Hipsters of Logan Square!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Molina & Johnson - S/T (2009)

I've been slacking. To my loyal readers, you two people know who you are, my sincerest apologies. To make up for it, and to begin posting anew, I have this little modern Americana gem. A collaborative effort between Jason Molina and Will Johnson, aptly titled, Molina and Johnson. Jason Molina is the much beloved leader of the bands Songs:Ohio and Magnolia Electric Co. along with some of his own solo efforts. Will Johnson, on the other hand, heads the overlooked/under appreciated Centro-Matic and the folkier output, South San Gabriel. That is one hell of a super-duo, huh? I thought so, much like that Weakerthans collaborative effort I posted.

I remember the exact day that I bought this album, maybe a year or so ago, and heading back to my friends place, trudging through a rainstorm. We got back, played the few hardcore 7in that we bought, in which the listening went by rather fast, and I decided to put this on. This album enveloped us, as we sat sheltered from the rain. Dreary, atmospheric Americana folk music seemed to hypnotize us, barely noticing any outside distraction until the a-side clicked off. It was almost as though the music was haunting us, washing over us in a wave of warmth from the weather. Secretly Canadian, the label this output was on, describes this album in grandiose terms, using the leverage of the two writer's backgrounds. Prolific roots music. I am not denying this record's greatness, but I think the description would have been more apt had it just said music to get lost with. Lost in a variable of definitions, in your own head, in a book, etc.

The rainy weather we have been having has been perfect for this record, making me stay in my apartment, and getting lost in my own head.

  1. Twenty Cycles to the Ground
  2. All Falls Together
  3. All Gone, All Gone
  4. Almost Let You In
  5. In the Avalon/Little Killer
  6. Don't Take My Night From Me
  7. Each Star Marks a Day
  8. Lenore's Lullaby
  9. The Lilly and the Brakeman
  10. Now, Divide
  11. What You Reckon, What You Breathe
  12. As Long as it will Matter
  13. 34 Blues
  14. Wooden Heart
Leave this place.