Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Ep. 12 - A People's History of This is Hardcore

Lost Tribe Podcast Ep. 12: 
A People's History of This is Hardcore

In this episode the boys (specifically Luke and James) talk about what it was like to see 52 bands in 4 days while on a mini-vacation in Philly.  The other boys sit back and listen politely while their eyes glaze over. That's right, after much hype and build-up the This Is Hardcore episode is finally here!  Hardcore kids, eat your hearts out.

Get it on iTunes or here.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Review: Homewrecker - Worms and Dirt

Worms and Dirt

2. Worms And Dirt
3. Baseborn
4. Visions Of Terror
5. Chained Hanging Victim
6. Pipe Dreams
7. Eyes Of Anguish
8. Charlatan
9. Beaten Freedom

I was recently playing Homewrecker’s Worms and Dirt album for a friend in my car and I mentioned that I had written a review raving about the album for the blog...until I realized that I never actually got around to it.  Now, do not mistake my laziness and forgetfulness as indifference for this band.  Homewrecker, hailing from Ashtabula, Ohio, was a complete unknown to me before this album.  I say this with some shame, as this LP shows that they are well on their ways to becoming one of the heavy hitters in Midwest hardcore.

While taking inspiration from the likes of Integrity and Slayer, Homewrecker is able to create their own brand of brutal, pissed-off, metallic hardcore that is perfectly topped-off with some of the most guttural (albeit reverb-soaked) vocals I’ve heard in some time.  In short, this album is anger and evil incarnate, and that is why I love it so much.  

I have a stable of bands that I know I can always go to for the music I’m looking for, and there are always new bands that catch my attention from time to time, but Homewrecker is the first new band in a while that I truly expect to follow throughout their career.  The riffs are monstrous, peppered with NYHC influences, and tracks like “Chained Hanging Victim” and “Baseborn” never seem to get tired no matter how many times I listen to them.

Oh ya, and most importantly, I have a declaration to make about this album: Worms and Dirt has the heaviest, most well-timed intro track of the last 5 years.  Entitled “Wreck”, this atmospheric and distortion laden song mixes demonic riffs and fundamentalist Christian movie quotes (at least I think it’s a movie quote...I couldn’t place the sample for the life of me) to create the perfect introduction to an album that will be lauded, admired, and surely imitated for years to come.

Also, Homewrecker’s Worms and Dirt further prove that A389 is the most reliable and impressive label in hardcore.  No hyperbole, only truth.

Buy it here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Review: Powerpoint - Mission Statement

Mission Statement

"The system is working and so are we.
This is what you get with a college degree.
We're fiscally sound, financially straight.
Owning my own house is really fucking great."

It's tough getting older in hardcore.

Connecting to the music is easy when you're 15. All you really need to do is stand by your friends, stay true to your convictions and... um... Never back down? Yeah, that sounds right.

As you get older the platitudes and sloganeering just seem harder to get behind. I mean, I guess I stand by my friends. But my friends aren't generally gonna be all that let down if I have other shit to do when they need standing by. As far as convictions go, I'm not so sure I even have any. And who's to say that staying true to them would even be a good idea? I'm wrong about a LOT of stuff.

I can't even be straight edge because turning edge after 30 is just "going into recovery." You don't do it because you have a statement to make. You do it because your urologist (or the judge) says you have to.

That's why it was such a breath of fresh air to stumble on Powerpoint! Finally, a hardcore band that addresses MY issues. Like when you have to eat lunch REALLY fast so that you're not late for a meeting? That shit makes me want to spinkick a motherfucker so hard.

I guess I'm not alone.

This EP rips through 7 tracks is just over 10 minutes. It's a well tested blend of pissed and snotty, fast and thrashy. I saw this band get compared to Outbreak and that sounds like a fair reference point. Musically, no new ground gets broken here, but the subject matter is enough to make it noteworthy. I want to give extra points for the inclusions of sound samples from Glengarry Glen Ross. I Never thought I'd hear a compelling use for that flick on an HC record. Most importantly, it's a good reminder that it's totally OK for hardcore to be silly from time to time.

This record is obviously pretty tongue in cheek, and I'm not sure I'd dig an LP worth of this stuff. But as a quick hit of solid hardcore that doesn't take itself seriously, this thing'll do just fine.

If nothing else, it reminded me that my comprehensive health & dental benefits mean that I can still get in the pit without worrying about paying medical bills.

Buy This... It'll help with the band's 401K.. and get them closer to their quarterly bonus!

Lost Tribe Podcast: Episode 11 - TV Jerkoff

Lost Tribe Podcast: EP. 11 - TV Jerkoff

On this episode the boys discuss Villian, Black Breath, and other awesome bands.  Then the episode decends into a discussion about all things television.  Specifically, each Lost Tribe member talks about what TV start they jerked off to as a young teen.  It's twice as sexy as it sounds.

Get it on iTunes or download it here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Podcast: Episode 10 - Nu-Metal Confessions

Lost Tribe Podcast: EP. 10 - Nu-Metal Confessions

In this episode the boys reveal all.  An intelligent discussion about Propagandhi devolves into cathertic confessions of our former love for all thing nu-metal.  If you weren't a teenager in the '90s this ain't gonna make a lick of sense to you.  Probably the best podcast we've ever recorded. Fact.

Get it off of iTunes or download it here and revel in our shame.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Recap: Riot Fest Toronto 2012

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about Riot Fest Toronto.

Maybe it's just the residual afterglow of the staggering experience that was This is Hardcore 2012. But after a great many hours spent standing around the Garrison Commons, I have to say I found the experience lacking. None of the blame for that should be laid at the feet of the performers. The sets that I caught we're uniformly awesome, each in their own way.

My gripes are really with everything surrounding the music. From the ubiquitous pimping of J├Ąger to the set up of the grounds to the available food options. When I wasn't watching some of my favorite bands, I found myself noticing all the places that shit could have (and should have) been better.

That being said, it always easy to find fault. And as far music festivals goes, this wasn't as bad as it could have been. Just, please, rent some goddamn lights next time. That's all the bitching I'm gonna do, I swear.

On to the good shit: Bands!

I, regrettably, missed the first three bands. I would love to have a good excuse for that because I generally go out of my way to support openers. But, as it turns out, I was just hung over... So, yeah. Kinda sucked. At the very least, I had wanted to catch Junior Battles since I really enjoyed their album from last year.

Because I showed up late, the first thing I managed to catch at Riot Fest was Andrew WK. I'm not really a fan. I think "Party Hard" was a fine, if ridiculous, radio song. But, the appeal of the rest of the guy's work escapes me. WK's set was billed as "a special solo performance" and I was super curious to see how THAT was gonna work. Turns out, they play the CD and Andrew WK sings, play keyboard and banters over top. It actually worked way better than it sounds. Honestly, it's pretty hard to fault the guy for what he does. He has certainly parlayed his persona into FAR more of a career than anyone had any reason to expect. At the end of the day, dude makes it his job to get people pumped and succeeds admirably at doing so. Not my cup of tea, but still glad I saw it. Homeboy is REALLY into parties.

Next up was The Lawrence Arms... From Chicago... Coolest band on the Fest... Their t-shirts were the cheapest. This was one of my most anticipated sets of the day since I've never seen the band before. It wasn't a let down, but I did have a gang of songs I wanted to hear that didn't make the set list. That's a personal problem though and the rest of the growing mob seemed satisfied. I'll have to be on the lookout for a show that these guys are headlining so they'll have time to play me all the songs I want. May need fly to Chicago for that one, though.

Less Than Jake was next up. If you don't like LTJ, you're fucking lying. That band has been awesome for 2 decades. Fact. I don't care if ska punk was supposed to die in the 90's, there are precious few genres I enjoy live more than this. They played a set that seemed focused on the past, and they even repeated a sentiment from the stage I've heard from them before: Never let a band tell you their new shit is better than their old. It isn't. And so we were graced with mostly the classics. "Look What Happened," "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads," "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts." Bottom line? Fuck yeah! The end.

I think maybe Hot Water Music needs be enjoyed in a smaller setting. I get that they're way past playing at, like, The Horseshoe, or whatever. But throughout the whole set, I just found myself wishing there we less people and natural light around. Something about that band has always screamed dark, smoke filled bar to me. Good set though, and they played "Trusty Chords" so I was happy. It also seemed like an oddly appropriate segue between Less Than Jake and Fucked Up. Don't ask me to explain how, because I can't. I just thought it worked.

Which leads me to the almighty Fucked Up. They are Fucked Up, everything they do is awesome as far as I'm concerned. This was the first time I'd seen them in months, which for me is a long time. And goddamn it, they rocked shit as usual. Damian left the stage early, never to return from the pit. Meanwhile, back on the stage, the rest of the band cranked out the usual wall of guitar driven sound that they are known for. The set relied heavily on David Comes To Life, with a few throwbacks mixed through for good measure. They didn't play "Son The Father," that's always a bummer. My only other complaint was that Damian promised that NOFX were gonna play "Drugs Are Good" and then they didn't. I know he's not in charge of that band, but it still hurt.

NOFX came up next and played a sloppy, disorganized set that had about as much banter as it did songs. They admitted that they hadn't played OR practiced in quite some time. There also seemed to be some disagreement about what songs were gonna be played. Overall, the whole thing smacked of a profound lack of professionalism. So...  A NOFX show. But I've loved that band for more than half my life and there is really nothing they can do that will change that now. I'm just too goddamn invested at this point. Besides, complaining about about how sloppy and juvenile a NOFX set gets is a lot like complaining that South Park is tasteless. The problem REALLY isn't the show. It's 2012, and you should have known what you were getting into.

Finally, Descendents played to about half as many people as NOFX. That shit is lame. More people should have stayed. Seriously, show some fucking respect. If Fat Mike and them gave us a sloppy and unpolished spectacle, Milo and company delivered a tight and blistering display of proficiency. This band doesn't NEED to be this good at this point. Frankly, none of us has any right to EXPECT them to be this good. And yet, they still take the stage, at damn near 50 years old, and show the kids how shit is done. It's nothing short of fucking inspiring. I still need to see them do "'Merican" live, maybe someday.

So yeah... The music delivered in spades. Not a bad set to be had. There were issues with the logistics and amenities. I managed to pay $5 for, mathematically, the WORST hot dog in recorded sausage history. That was shitty.

But, a week from now, I'll remember the music... Not the lack of seating and 25$ T-shirts.

Seriously, fuck that hot dog though. That was bullshit.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Review: EYEHATEGOD - New Orleans is the New Vietnam 7"

New Orleans is the New Vietnam

1. New Orleans is the New Vietnam

Years ago I was sitting around drinking with a friend and I threw on EyeHateGod’s Dopesick.  This friend was always picky when it came to music, and generally liked more melodic and upbeat bands, but he immediately closed his eyes and began bobbing his head to “My name is God (I hate you)”.  He looked up and said “I may not usually listen to EyeHateGod, but goddamn I’m sure glad they exist.”  

With the release of the New Orleans is the New Vietnam 7” I think this sentiment is more true than ever.  Metal needs EyeHateGod.  We need EyeHateGod.  And with no new music from them for over a decade, it’s incredibly refreshing to finally hear Mike Williams desperate screams laid over top of Jimmy Bower/Brian Patton’s sludgy riffs once again.

If you like EHG then you are going to like this single.  Despite a 12 year absence since Confederacy of Ruined Lives, this group of New Orleanians have missed a beat.  The riffs are massive, the vocals sound both anxious and assured, and the group as a whole seems to be the true embodiment of a city that has been beaten down, torn apart, and left for dead.  The band laments the demise of their home turf with the same sludgy blues riffs and that Sabbath-meets-Black Flag-meets-a-lifetime-of-tragic-living style that many have emulated, but that no one can ever really duplicated.  This single is a welcome pre-cursor to an upcoming full-length that will no doubt remind people why EHG are the true kings of American sludge.

Buy the awesome etched 7” from A389 here. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lost Tribe Podcast: EP.9 - Music Festival Special

Lost Tribe Podcast: EP. 9 - Music Festival Special

In this episode the boys discuss all things related to music festivals.  Covering everything from Warped Tour to the Gathering of the Juggalos, this episode looks at all of the high and lows associated with gathering dozens of bands and thousands of fans together in one place...also, we talk about The Game's leather Ferrari.

Get it on iTunes or here.