Catching up on the reviews. I still have a few more to go. Doing this while working on the second issue, and few other ongoing projects, so time is being juggled.
In a couple days, or so, I'll post a something or other about a giveaway with ordering copies of the first issue of Tastemaker.
EXECUTIONER - s/t EP
Every time I listen to this, and it's on a frequent basis, I wonder why this took nearly 30 years to come out on vinyl. Recorded in 1982, this San Jose outfit definitely had the chops to make an impact. Seriously. If you like bands like Social Unrest, early Corrosion Of Conformity, and Christ On Parade, then you will want this. A little bit of metal mixed into their hardcore punk sound to give them more character. The music ranges from fast to mid tempo, but never a blinding tuneless rage. The kind of songs that stay with you after the record is over. "Hellbound" is a burner that switches from fast to near slow, holding on to your attention until the record glides across the matrix. Then there's "Flatlands", which is a mid tempo deal that lurks and winds, followed by the closer "Marked To Die", that gets thrashy, and has all the traits of classic hardcore. I highly recommend getting this record. A definite keeper. (Patac, patacrecords.com)
NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS - We Own The Night 7" single
As much as I think their five song deal from a while back was pretty good, this single is better. There's more of a drive in these two songs (the flip being a faithful cover of VKTMS controversial "100% White Girl"). The way the guitar kicks off with a snarled surf riff in "We Own The Night", and how the drums build tension as the bass fills everything in and brings it all down low to the ground with a crawling and winding pace. A lot of tension throughout to keep you on edge, while the beat is catchy and pulls you in for the ride before kicking your ass out at the very last second. Their cover of the VKTMS, as mentioned at the top, is pretty faithful to the original, although I believe these folks put a little more fire into the song. I know, I know, it's sacrilege to say a new band does something better than an old band, but these things have been known to happen. Here's physical proof. (Abscess, abscesstrax.com)
NEO CONS - Hardcore Elite 7" single
Hmmmm.... I want more than two songs from these guys!! Yes, I know this is a single. I'm just saying these guys are one of those bands where two songs are not enough. The title track takes aim at old dudes who hang around punk too long and complain instead of doing anything of note. And here I thought it was about smarmy little shits and their elitist cliques. The flip is a Jezus and the Gospelfuckers cover of "Kill The Police", which is pretty damn good. Love the drums on this one. So, can we expect more in the near future? (Abscess, abscesstrax.com)
RAINBOW PERSON - Trade. Labour. Vocation EP
Not a band to easily pigeonhole. Are they hardcore? Noise? Experimental? Who fucking knows? But this is pretty good no matter how you opt to chop and dissect it. If you like 80s hardcore when things started to slow down, and also like bands like Brainbombs, Flipper, and No Trend, then you would very likely find this record to your liking. One moment the music is heading fast and loose down the track, then they slow it down to a pace akin to late summer afternoons in blistering heat - near lethargic, yet there's a real intention and desire to move forward. Very all over the place, which creates a live feel. Chaotic, and subdued here and there. I find the second side most interesting. It's a slow and methodic burner. Guitars shimmer like a mirage in the distance, vocals are half mumbled, while the bass keeps moving ever forward. (Margin Mouth, 5676 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042, marginmouth.com)
ROUGH KIDS - Into The 00s 7"
These guys remind me a lot of Red Dons, only less polished. Which I like! The songs are tuneful, and instantly memorable. There's a nervous, yet cool, energy in the delivery. I really like the song "So Sophisticated". It's hyper, and possesses a few layers. There's the jumpy beat, then the guitars add a few things that counter it, giving you more to grab on. Not to mention the vocal delivery, and how they cut up some of the words. Then it's over in a blink. The title track is pretty good as well, and one I can imagine people singing along to at live shows. I have to hunt down more stuff from these guys. I have the split they did with the Irritones, but the material on here is much better. (marginmouth.com)
SOKEA PISTE - Oire EPWhoa!!! This is f'n great!! Members of Manifesto Jukebox and Kyklooppien Sukupuutto make up this band, and if you're familiar with either band, then the expectations may run high. The music has an incredible drive to it. A little bit post punk, with some goth touches. Sort of like Appendix (who the vocalist sounds a lot like). They create tension with plodding parts that switch to a noisy somewhat quicker pace. "Imbesillie Jättiläinen" has a dark air about it The bass lumbers over everything, while the guitar bleeds and slashes, and the vocals sound agonized and distracted. But, my favorite song of the three is definitely Älä Ajattele Kuolemaa", which follows the opene, "Kollektiiveninen Paniikki", which is a great songs as well. But "Älä..." is a great follow up, that switches to a slightly down mood, where the bass comes more forward, creating a feeling of despair that is undeniable. (Peterwalkee, peterwalkeerecords.com)