Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jellyroll Rockheads - "Kill Trend Thrash" Demo 7inch

Thrashcore with a Rock N' Roll twist. My first exposure to this great band from Japan was on the Barbaric Thrash Vol. 2 comp on 625. Their song "Road to Ruin" (which an earlier version features here on this demo) stood out for the higher pitched vocals and the kind of jangly, loose approach the band seemed to be taking to their brand of hardcore.

Fast, screaming thrashy hardcore that was often driven by the drums as the guitars started, stopped, washed over the sound with feedback, before restarting again. Guitar solos mixed in with the short blasts helped define them in their short existence.


DOWNLOAD: Jellyroll Rockheads - "Kill Trend Thrash"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Abnegation - Extinguish the Sickness 7inch

I was never too big on this band & I'm still not. However, I had a chance to pick this and the "Jihad" 7inch up at a Record Swap a year or so ago for just a few bucks. I figured at the very least I could give the band a proper listen and always move the records later. And of course, I could post them on the blog.

They've grown on me some, but I'm still not a huge fan. I'll alternate between putting the songs on my ipod, listening to them about 5 times in a week when I get the urge and then ignoring them and deleting them from said ipod when I need space. And so, the cycle repeats.

90's hardcore, lots of chug, screamed vocals (not quite so "evil" sounding as the Jihad record), breakdowns, squealing guitars, and everything else 90's, including less than stellar recording quality.

Animal Rights, Straight Edge, Hardline, evil looking artwork, all the things you could ask for with this 4-song ep. People are still crazy for this band, I can see why... but im still not one of em. Not a bad record though. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: Abnegation - "Extinguish the Sickness" 7inch

Friday, June 10, 2011

Youth Avoiders - "Demo"

Few and far between are the bands that take you by total surprise, hitting you upside your head and knocking you to the ground with pure musical enjoyment.

Youth Avoiders from France are one such band.

Blending Hardcore and Punk into a very seamless sound that holds the passionate fury of early hardcore while having enough jangly guitars and attitude to make No Hope For the Kids & Autistic Youth feel a bit envious; Youth Avoiders come straight at you, hit you, and keep on rolling throughout the all too short 7 song, 14 minute offering.

Sometimes less is more, and after a near 3-month infatuation with this band, its still holding a firm place in my playlist (as is their split with the equally great Zombies Are Pissed!); so we'll cut right down to it-

Youth Avoiders take everything that distinguished a band like No Hope For the Kids from others just rehashing HC Punk worship (those melodic leads, furious guitars with that ever so clean sound instead of over driven distortion) and funnel it down through a near garage punk sound while including those nearly dueling vocals that some times shout, sometimes sing, to give them similarities to some of my personal favorite Autistic Youth songs (such as "You Can't Take It All Back" & "Find Me Here")- all the while doing it in a way that does not sound borrowed or emulated.

While there isn't a bad track here, the songs "Joy" & "Acid Feedback" get the most attention at the moment. The "breakdown" or temp change near the end of Acid Feedback is simply fucking incredible. Simple, but with a real punch. Enjoy!

The demo is currently available on vinyl as well as their newish split 7inch with Zombies Are Pissed!

For more info and some other equally good French/European bands, check out their website:

Youth Avoiders Website

DOWNLOAD: Youth Avoiders - "Demo 2010"

I also did a short interview with singer Chris, who I had contacted after first being blown away by the band; who was more than friendly and helpful with running copies of their stuff.... Thanks again, Chris!

1. How did Youth Avoiders come together?
Youth Avoiders started in October 2009 with Bastien, who played in a band called Youssouf Today and moved to Paris to train to be a male nurse, Christoph who's German and moved to Paris to study politics, he used to play in a band called Drop The Bomb, and finally Marlon and I used to play in a band called Toad Flanders until we quit in 2008 when I moved to Liverpool, UK for a year. When I came back home in 2009, I met Bastien and Christoph at 2 different gigs in a week time or so. As we were all looking for a band, we decided to book a rehearsal studio and we started from the guitar riffs Christoph had composed at home.

2. What does the band name mean?
Well, our band name hasn't got a really defined meaning. The fact that we had a few songs in a short time after our first practice, and that we had to play our first show one month later rushed us in the search of a band name. In the beginning we didn't really know where to go with our music and lyrics, we just did it influenced by old school bands, so we had to pick a name which sounds both punk and "old school". We like the idea that this name could have different meanings. To us, it means like we are the youth, punk rock is the youth, and we are surrounded by youth avoiders who don't care about underground culture, who don't want to understand nor face it.

3. What have you done as a band so far (recording/shows) and what do you hope to do in the future?
So far we've recorded a 7-track demo at Max's home studio (he also plays with us at some shows on 2nd guitar and he plays in 2 bands called Haute Couture and Black Spirals) which has been released on cassette, and a year later, after it was sold out from the band and from most of the labels, we decided to give it a second life on 7" vinyl. Recently, we also recorded 3 songs that have been released on a split 7" with our friends Zombies Are Pissed! From Caen, Normandy.
We played about 30 gigs, mostly in the Paris area, but also in the UK and in other areas in France. We are playing a festival in Germany in June; we're excited about that and eager to play there.

4. At this time, what are things like in the Paris/French Punk and Hardcore scenes?
I think the punk/hardcore scene is alright in France, we've got good bands and quite a lot of foreign bands touring in Europe. The scene is probably not as big as it is in Germany for example, we've got less venues which allow punk/hardcore bands to play, and less people going to the shows, but we are doing our best to "keep the scene alive", and we're having fun.

5. Is it easy or hard to go to other countries such as Italy, Espana, England, Belgium, and other surrounding countries? I ask, because it is something a little different for us here in the US where the country is so big and travel from state to state is fairly simple most of the time.
It depends on how good and "popular" your band is (even if some really good bands remain unknown), but I think yeah, it's quite easy to tour in Europe as there are no more identity controls at frontiers for European countries who signed Schengen Agreement. You can easily drive from one country to another. You need contacts, people motivated to put up a gig for you and then give your best when playing live. In my opinion that's the best about DIY touring and playing in a band: meet new friends, visit places you've never been to and have fun.

6. Any smaller or new bands from France/Europe people should listen to? Any good zines?
It's hard to answer exhaustively to this question. We've got a list of bands mostly from France on our website that everybody should check (, and, in the case you've been through all these links and you still want more, send me an e-mail (bbqchicken AT hotmail DOT fr). The euro bands that we're listening to at the moment are Eagulls (UK), a lot of bands from the Nordic Area like U.X. Vileheads, Herätys, Terrible Feelings, etc. From Germany there is Dean Dirg, Press Gang, Idle Hands and finally from France there is: Police Truck and Zombies Are Pissed! From France.
Some really good upcoming bands from France at the moment:
- Sport from Lyon, they play a mix of American Football and Latterman-like emo punk
- There is also Cycle To from Paris who are also in this kind of music style
- Haute Couture, with Seve from Autistic Youth (Portland, USA) on drums, Max (who also plays with Black Spirals and us on 2nd guitar), Hervé (who used to play with Miles Away), and Julien (No Guts No Glory). They play early Poison Idea-like hardcore punk.

If you are an English-speaking fanzine amateur, I would suggest you read Just Say Yo! made by Nabil, he just released a new one, it's well made and very interesting, check it out:
We've got loads of other fanzines in France but almost all in French, simply because we're not very good at writing in English :)

7. Any last words, comments?
Thank you very much for your interest, it's always good to know people sharing the same passion and showing interest in what you do, even if they're living on a different continent. It really means something to us. Thanks again and keep up the good job you're doing with this blog !

Ignite - "Scarred For Life"

Making their third appearance on the blog (well, actually fifth with the As the Sun Sets Comp & Extent fanzine pictures), is one of Southern California's longest running Hardcore bands, Ignite.

"Scarred For Life" encompasses some of their earliest material, including the "Where They Talk" 7inch (posted on the blog HERE) with Randy Johnson on vocals. This EP/mini-LP also includes more recordings with Randy, presumably from the same recording session, including Ignite classic "Slow" (which also makes it a song recorded & released with each of the three singers).

The last 3 songs on this record feature original singer Joe Nelson who, to my knowledge, only other recorded appearance was the original 5-song demo (which will be posted as soon as I scan the cover/layout) re-doing two of the demo tracks (and also Ignite classics) Ash Return & Should Have Known, as well as the acoustic track Scarred For Life.

All in all, not a bad selection of songs, especially the Randy Johnson tracks. It seems that when Johnson sang for them the lyrics were a bit more personal and less about hardcore or the later environmental issues that Zoli helped bring to the band. That's not to say either of those other two things are bad, I love Ignite as a whole, but the Randy Johnson era of the band definitely proved to be a bit unique and none of the songs exclusive to his time in the band seem to have ever resurfaced on new recordings. I did, however, see Ignite do a song from Where They Talk at Showcase Theatre in either very late 90's or very early 00's.

DOWNLOAD: Ignite - "Scarred For Life"

It Follows: Months 1 & 2 - the Cliff Notes

1996- first time seeing Ignite. Great show!
With trying to keep the blog active and mixed with posts of more "known" bands as well as locals, the posts can add up fast. I know what a hassle it can be for the attention-deficit generation to actually spend time searching and reading and how time strapped the rest of us can be with work, family, music, life in general.... so here's a quick flashback on the finer points of the first 2 months with links to the pages themselves- Enjoy!

411 - "Discography" : early 90's melodic/mid-paced hardcore. A true classic, then & now
Former Members of Alfonsin : A discog. of sorts from this stellar hardcore/emo/punk band
Drop It!: Discog of fast & angry hardcore from this early/mid 00's So Cal band.

New Direction: Ep from this Fun & Smart Hardcore band. Music you can party or argue to
Inside Out: A classic live set from the Anthrax as well as other assorted live only songs
Consequence: 90's metal tinged hardcore. Members went on to Strife & Eyelid
Tomorrow's Gone: Vegas hardcore, emotion laced, Dag Nasty/emo-core influenced
Life In Pictures: Metal & Punk fused together in this little EP. Arizona Hardcore.
Count Me Out: Live radio set of this amazing Virginia Hardcore band.
Quicksand: Two 7inches of Post-Hardcore greatness as well as the B-Sides Collection
Headstrong: Local Punk band from the late 90's. Slight HC Punk tendencies with melody
Discharged: Comp of covers with 411, Nausea, ENT, Final Conflict, & Nuerosis
Evergreen: Great early 90's emo from Southern California.
Pukes: Discog of local late 90's HC Punk band. Big Misfits worship & smart asses
In Dying Days: Stellar Metallic Hardcore from Canada. Fast, some chug, never boring
W.C. Stiffs: Pre-Rotting Stiffs. Street Punk to Metallic Punk w/this local band collection
Redemption 87: Great 90's revival from Nor Cal. Members from other great bands
Backside: Second lp from this local skate punk/new school 90's band

Despair - As We Bleed Ad

(Click to Enlarge)

This was the first thing I heard by Despair & a record I listened to a TON the first two years of college. Still my favorite release by them, especially the little nod to Suicidal Tendencies on the hidden track. Available on CD, 7inch, and Cassette... those were the days!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Automatic - "Self Titled" 7inch

Automatic were a band from Louisville, Kentucky that played a brand of speedy hardcore infused with melody, slightly sung/screamed vocals, and big back-ups before the whole of hardcore music were doing the same thing.

With a sound that could easily conjure images of Mouthpiece or Dag Nasty, this 4 song ep is assembled perfectly with songs that top off at the 2+ minute mark as they deliver a reminder that not everything in the 90's was either chugga chugga or straight up revival/youth crew.

While "Monument" stands out as my favorite track here, third track "Not the Same" has a very strong Dag Nasty vibe, especially with the vocals and the melodic sound that sacrifices none of the speed and precision of hardcore.

This was released on Capsule Records and was later followed up with a second ep on Indecision Records (which apparently included this ep and another track. I own the vinyl, but not the CD). I get the vibe that the band always took a second seat to members other bands and unfortunately never did a ton more than the few songs out there. Either way, a damn good ep with something to appeal to everyone.

EDIT/UPDATE: Automatic has been back together and writing/practicing. Potential LP in the future. Keep up with the band here:

DOWNLOAD: Automatic - "Self-titled" 7inch

Monday, June 6, 2011

Straight Faced - "Revolve" 7inch

A quick 3 song 7inch from one of my favorite 90's/early 00's hardcore bands, Straight Faced. This record, released on Hostage Records, showed the band again changing. Moving from the heavier & more 90's influenced sound of their second lp "Broken" to the faster and more aggressive sound that would appear on their Epitaph debut, "Conditioned."

A friend once joked that the band started to sound like Straight Faced-of-it-all around this time, and to be honest, the sound definitely starts to take on a more SOIA-esque sound with "Conditioned." Fast, heavy, punchy, but still reasonably short 2 1/2 - 3 minute songs.

This 7inch just barely scratches the surface with lead track "Revovle" (which would be re-recorded for Conditioned) while "No False Witness" shows more of an experimental sound as the band plays with some pedals jangly bass. The third song, "Trust", really just kind of blends in and is on the record. Nothing flashy, nothing terrible, its just there. This record also features their new bassist, Kevin Norton, fresh from Boston (as can be seen on the B-Side of the Ten Yard Fight "Hardcore Pride" 7inch). Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: Straight Faced - "Revolve" 7inch

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Embrace Today - "...for the kids" 7inch

You know them and whether you love or hate them, they were around from the late 90's - mid 00's releasing a handful of ep's & an lp, playing a ton, and getting a reaction of some sort out of most everyone.

Most people know them for their records starting with the EP "FYIE", however, the band had a demo, this 7inch, and another EP "Breaking the Code of Silence" before "FYIE" was released. Known for a more aggressive and metal tinged sound and lyrics that thrust straight edge to the forefront of much of their imagery for the band; they actually started out owing much more to late 90's bands like Reinforce and Fastbreak than would ever be evidenced by their later records.

This 7inch, recorded in 1999, is pretty standard revival youth crew styled hardcore, giving little to no indication of what was to come later. Positive lyrics, fast songs with little metallic-punky parts, and songs about the kids, drug free pride, and one's own perseverance over obstacles.

The follow-up to this, "Breaking the Code of Silence" EP (my personal favorite by them) would begin to showcase the harder edge of the band as it mixed the youth crew sounds with more aggression and chug. That EP will turn up here at some point, the demo as well... once I have a functional tape deck.


DOWNLOAD: Embrace Today - "for the kids" 7inch

On A Solid Rock - "Where the Kids Don't Play" 7inch

Early/Mid-00's Hardcore from Finland. I came across this band via a good friend from Ohio, Zack, who I believe had known some of them via some of his music journeys in life at the time. Zack had sent me an mp3 of the track "Let It Die" and I had gotten hooked. However, the record eluded me for another 2-3 years.

When I did finally stumble upon it in a distro at a Smell show in LA (I think it was Vitamin X, who can be sure anymore) I must have looked a bit silly to be amped on a record that no one else seemed to know existed.

Hardcore that bounces around some- from just fast and driving aggression of a song like "Days of the Daisy Cutter", to the longer "Paralyzed on the Path to Freedom" which showcases the band at its full range on this record - fast and in your face, but then the tempo changes and the vocals take on a bit more of a singing style as the music gets just a touch melodic before getting a little chunky with the riffs. All in all, the 6 songs (5 tracks) here put forth a solid effort of songs that fit together in a very crafted way, including the last song playing out almost like a death march; which fits the title and many of the themes found on the record. From the political to the socially aware, the topics deal with war, disease, and fanaticism found in many beliefs.

The band released a mini-lp entitled "Steal It Back" which I have been unsuccessful in finding so far. The band would come to an end in the mid-00's with their singer moving to the states to pursue other interests in life, leaving behind this 7inch and the aforementioned mini-lp. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: On A Solid Rock - "Where the Kids Don't Play" 7inch

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Circle Storm - Character Assassin EP

Alright, one baby registry down today; now some time for some love for the blog.... Circle Storm were (to my knowledge) a very short lived band from Southern California, playing a very few shows before disappearing.

Circle Storm played punky/melodic influenced hardcore lead by the distinct vocals of Curt Canales (Chain of Strength) with lyrics that run a pretty traditional scope of hardcore lyrics (change, betrayal, misunderstanding, shit talking). The music has a bit of a stop and start to it, with little punches that make it stand out as something more than just an 'ex-members of' band (Chain guitarist Ryan Hoffman also plays in CS).

This EP, released on Ambassador Records/Revelation Distribution also features a previous 2-song 7inch hidden on the last track. I remember hearing a long time ago that the 7inch songs were actually Chain songs that were recorded by Chain, but didn't fit in with their sound. Given that tracks 3 & 4 on this EP were written by Chain and are different enough that you could see why Chain might have not used them, the 7inch may very well have been Chain; however, I do not own the 7inch, so it may all just be a memory (but sound quality/drum sounds/back-ups sound a lot like the chain records).

Lastly, I was fortunate enough to see them one of the few shows they played (and I believe their last show) in '97 with Strife. Their set was recorded and posted to youtube; which you can find in an earlier blog post about the show HERE .

Around the time of this show I had gone to pick up my youngest sisters from elementary school and was wearing one of those Rev Chain reprint shirts from the time "The One Thing..." lp was put out and was stopped by a woman who asked me where I had gotten the shirt. She went on to explain that she was the sister-in-law to Chain bassist, Alex. Even living in the IE, that was a pretty unexpected experience.

DOWNLOAD: Circle Storm "Character Assassin" EP

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Holding On / Coalition - Split 7inch

A quick one to get back into the swing of things. This 5-song split 7inch (2 Coalition, 3 Holding On) brings together two of the better, but not huge, hardcore bands from the mid-2000's.

Holding On hailed from Minnesota, playing fast and aggressive/borderline heavy old-school flavored hardcore. They would release two full lengths and a slew of 7inches (this and their split with The Real Enemy are both great) which would eventually end up on a collection CD. At times Holding On makes me think of a more 90's influenced version of Striking Distance. Angry, pissed off, to the point- but where SD leaned more to the furious punk side of things with a bit more of a explosiveness; Holding On had some linings of a more positive spin and heavy moments.

Coalition hailed from Michigan and at first (to my recollection) had a more standard kind old-school/revival sound that was huge in the late 90's/early 00's. I was fortunate enough to see them

around the time of their 3-song 7inch (yes, i'll post it later) and a very fun & energetic show at the Che Cafe. You could hear a little more in the sound changing to a little heavier influence which would start to show itself on their first lp before fully exploding on their second (last) lp. I remember someone saying it was kind of like revival hardcore taking cues from bands like Unbroken. I'm apprehensive to compare anyone to Unbroken, not because I'm a crazy Unbroken fan, but because that's a big thing to say (and it gets thrown around). But listening to the LP's, you can hear that heavy but punky/fast sound going on. In that aspect, yes. But here, you still hear the more straight forward Coalition as they move towards the heavier sound.

A nice record, good bands, and the covers are great and the facial expressions on some of the members faces is great. ENJOY!

DOWNLOAD: Coalition/Holding On - Split 7inch