Saturday, September 8, 2012

Total Trash s/t Tape

Boy, it really does make my day to hear some gracious new sounds from upcoming bands. Total Trash is one of these up and comers that will definitely turn some heads into their direction and leave them scratching and aching for more. Their self titled tape is a good place to start, the first of many releases for this Minneapolis quartet.

It's really hard to draw comparisons with other bands, especially in regards with this release. All of these tracks are pretty diverse within the realm of sounding hardcore, either from speeding up the pace within a couple tracks ("Eye Candy Girl", "Glitter") or slowing things down relinquishing an angrier, sludgier noise that would make even a sludge metal fan cringe ("Biblical Names", for starters). This is all a plus though, because it has something any hardcore fan can enjoy, whether it's getting hyped up from the band's faster songs or taking in the angry vibe from their slower, heavier tracks. I dug the entire tape, based on all this. In this day in age where most bands often are reduced to playing at a certain standard, it's great to hear bands take things up a notch and go in a different direction with a particular sound, while still managing to keep things fresh and in line.

Any tracks that would ring these points true? "Biblical Names" is one that comes to mind, the first track to really bring in that sludge vibe within the intro. I won't lie, the vocals sound pretty harsh, but it's what makes the track standout. As I said before, it's hard to really draw comparisons but I draw more of a connection with Lebenden Toten with the overall sound from "Biblical Names". That's just me though, but I'm sure a few would probably agree. From first checking out their bandcamp, one track had caught my eye and solidified that I had to check out this tape, aptly titled "Lesbian Blowjob". After I had stopped giggling to myself, I thought this track was another visible gem, being caught in the chaotic mess of screams, hypnotic guitar riffs, and powerful drum blasts. Pure fun, if I do say so myself. The last track off the B-side, "Far Out Dude", perfectly ends the tape on a high note, taking in more of a punk influence compared the mentioned tracks. Overall, I'm impressed.

If this sounds like this would fit into your alley of music, I'd advise for you to check it out. In the mean time, I'll bring in some more reviews when I have the chance. Til then, cheers!

Total Trash Bandcamp

Monday, September 3, 2012

We Own The Night

Sept 9th 2011
Albion House- 2PM, $8
Divine Right
Cadaver Dog

Mousetrap- 7PM, $8
The Ropes
Violent End
Negative Degree

Cobra Lounge- 10PM, 21+, $12
Negative Approach
Violent End

I'll be at the Mousetrap, which somewhat makes up for Negative Approach. Not really, fuck.

Monday, July 23, 2012

More Agression

Albion House
7pm, $8

Weekend Nachos
No Class
Dark Ages
Side FX

Dark Ages is what sold this on me. Their last LP is a definite masterpiece and a future cornerstone for Hardcore in the 2010's. Anyways, this show will be a rager so I'd come out if you have the chance.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Double Negative/ Broken Prayer/ Sea of Shit/ Cold Lovers- The Mousetrap

Not gonna lie, this definitely made my week hearing that Double Negative were taking another stroll down Chicago again. Since I missed out on there previous visit at Treasuretown around the time daydreamnation was released, I've been kicking my self endlessly. Now, it's somewhat still there, considering the lineup changes the group had taken but it didn't stop me none the less; Double Negative is still Double Negative whoever is still in the band. Aside from that, it didn't hurt to see the rest of the lineup, hearing nothing to but great things so why not take the time to visit.
At this point, I'm already familiar with the Mousetrap, as well as some of the locals around the city. Ever since the last couple of shows have taken place (Notably Raw Nerve and Hoax), a lot of people are wanting to take a gander. Who can blame them really, there has yet to be a "bad" show there. None the less, the vibe there was pretty much the same; punks just hanging around conversing, waiting for the first band to grace their presence. I kept to myself mostly, keeping in the adrenaline of seeing Double Negative. I don't mean to praise them a whole lot, but I have my own favorites. Odds are you'd probably agree with me.
First band up was Cold Lovers, a four-piece local band that really reminded me of an aggressive version of Joy Division. For the most part, I dug there set though a lot of little factors made it hard for me to really enjoy their set. Nothing too huge, but either way, Cold Lovers really put on a good set. I was pretty impressed with their vocalist and her ability to engage herself with the crowd. Throughout the set, you'd see her strutting around and making room for a pit, pushing the guys hanging out in front of the band. The girl's got balls, and rhythm too. The rest of the band didn't do too bad either, keeping their pace and timing exact barely missing a beat. I may have to listen more to these guys to really consider myself a fan, but that wouldn't be a bad idea.
Sea of Shit were up next, another band to keep an eye out if you're fond of the powerviolence genre. It took me a couple listens to really get into the band but after awhile, I enjoyed their songs. Any who, the band played with flat out no bullshit aggression, based on the first notes being played. Their vocalist was pretty menacing I should say, having a deadpan look throughout but coming off very pissed once he open his mouth and howled out a guttural yell. Overall, Sea of Shit were pretty tight with their set, and the crowd provide a small spark of enjoy throughout. From what I heard before the show had started, it was going the guitarist's last show with the band. Though the search for a replacement is underway, a hiatus might take place as well if nothing comes to their way. Kind of glum news to hear, but I'm glad I managed to finally see them.
Next up was Broken Prayer, definitely a band to keep an eye out for in the near future. In my opinion, they definitely took some cues from past post-punk bands such as Fugazi and the Wipers and meshed it into their own sound. The crowd definitely dug their set, dancing and moshing for a good majority of their set. It was fun seeing everyone chant to the lyrics and even pry up their vocalists for a little crowd surfing here and there, with smiles on their faces. Sorry State Records is planning on releasing a future Broken Prayer LP sometime soon, so if Post-Punk fits among your repertoire of music, I'd go on and take a gander.
Last but certainly not least, Double Negative came up with a brief introduction of "We're Double Negative from Raleigh North Carolina" and went into their set at full speed. As I stated previously, the lineup has been shaken up due to the long-term absences of vocalist Kevin Collins and drummer Brian Walsby. Since then, former Logic Problems vocalist Cam and drummer Bobby Michaud have filled the void of Collins and Walsby. As disheartening it is to hear, the show must go on and it did. It would be hard to say that this was their most strongest performance (being it's the first time I'm seeing them), but they definitely put on a pretty strong effort of explosion throughout. Cam did a fantastic job of getting the crowd revved up and going throughout. Culling from their back catalog of hits from daydreamnation and the wonderful world, Double Negative pulled new tracks off their sleeve, specifically "Suicide Suicide", off their recent 7 inch Hits. The crowd were heavily into their set, chanting, moshing, and pull all sorts of mayhem. Though I didn't get to hear some of my own favorites such as "Meine Trappe" or "The Jacket", it really made my night once they cranked out "Beg to a Vile Nude" out of their pockets. Pretty fucking phenomenal.
It was epic finally able to see Double Negative and the rest of the lineup. If there's one thing I learned but missed opportunities it this; Make room for any thing cause second chances rarely happen. I would have kicked myself even harder if I had missed out again. Talk about fucking up.
If interested in some demos, merch, from any of the bands mentioned, I provided links. From the looks of the show coming up in June, it's shaping up to be one pretty awesome summer. Cheers!
Sorry State Records
Sea of Shit
Cold Lovers
Broken Prayer Soundcloud

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raw Nerve/ SQRM/ Vile Gash/ Manipulation/ Culo- the Mousetrap

The past weekend as I stated previously with the flyers had Raw Nerve playing their last sets, ever. In two nights, Raw Nerve capped off their entire history playing with the likes of Ceremony and The Ropes, as well as future legends in the making such as Vile Gash, Culo, and Divine Right. I managed to catch their actual last set held at the Mousetrap on Saturday, being unable to see the previous night. Though I didn't get to see The Ropes, I still managed to catch Manipulation, Vile Gash, and my utter most favorites, Culo and at one of favorite places so I wasn't that disappointed.

I got there in time, considering the person capacity at the venue was 200 max; I was number 139, damn. After about 15-20 minutes waiting for the show to start, Culo was able to grace the stage and provide the soundtrack for teenage rebellion. The group cranked and yanked out hit after hit, not even stopping to provide their usual stage banter on whatever floated vocalist John's mind. Wearing this all black beret and leather-jacket, John really seemed focused and serious whilst the band kept on delivering the goods. The crowd , of course, ate it up, stagediving, moshing, and chanting to "Wasted on Wine", "I Don't Wanna Listen", and "Toxic Vision". For the most part, the band was really serious which was first to really see in my case, being the last couple times the band either took longer to play or usually engaging in other antics. Whether they were serious or not, Culo managed bring a damn good set.

Once the break was all over with and everyone was able to cool down from being all packed in, Manipulation was next. If you ever slept upon this band or just never stumbled upon the name, I would recommend to do so. Manipulation play a barrage of hardcore that would be expected to fall in the likes of Articles of Faith, Chronic Seizure, among others. The band got started with their set and impressed many throughout the venue. Though the craziness had calmed down compared from earlier, many people still were digging the show, either bobbing their heads down or engaging in a little mosh. I really dug this band and am glad I managed one of their sets, seeing as I enjoyed their 2nd EP released by Sorry State a while back. Hopefully it's not the last once I get my shit straightened out.

Vile Gash took over the show, literally. It seemed like this band never ran out of gas during their entire set, going straight forth into their set-list a top speed. Though I seem to have trouble getting into this band, there were some cool positives from Vile Gash. For one, they manged to pull off a Negative Approach cover quite successfully. Most might be able to grasp how irritating it can be to hear a bunch of knock off, pseudo-jockcore bands try their "hardest" to tackle a band from what many consider to be the staple of real hardcore. Second, Vile Gash did bring a hard-hitting set that I would have expected them to hit, without putting the crowd to sleep. It'll probably be a lot easier if I give them a couple more listens; I'll probably be persuaded otherwise.

SQRM was surprise favorite during the show, really bringing the house to it's knees. I hadn't listen to SQRM in a long while, so I really didn't know what to really expect out of their set. Consisting of a guitarist, drummer, and vocalist, SQRM played outstanding. For being a non-listener to the group, they really nailed it on the head. The singer was all over the place; giving off menacing looks and getting really physical along with the crowd. At one point during the set, he was actually doing some push-ups while the band had finished one of their songs with the crowd cheering them heavily. Much like Vile Gash, I'm gonna give SQRM another couple of listens to fully appreciate their music. Otherwise, Impressive fellas!

Last but not least, Raw Nerve was up next and put the final nails in the coffin to cap off the night. In all the times I've seen Raw Nerve, I was never disappointed at all by their approach to hardcore. This night was no particular, if not probably their best set I can recall, fittingly so being it was their last one. Ralph Rivera, the vocalist, started to give out some props to the crowd and the people responsible for putting Raw Nerve out to the nation before the band started playing "Victim In Pain". From there, it was survival of the fittest. Bodies were either flying all over the place or just mushed together the entire time. Even during the little breaks the band took, it didn't change. Pulling out songs from their catalog such as "Origin of Species", "New Neighbors", "Crosses", and "Rest" to name a few, Raw Nerve definitely brought the energy that was expected and even needed. I don't even think the band had any idea that it was gonna be this chaotic, despite the bill and it being their last set.

Overall, the show was pretty fucking awesome. If there was any other way to go out on a final note, Raw Nerve did it perfectly. No bullshit, just strictly hardcore. Despite drawing controversy from all over the place, whether it was their approach to their artwork, how they played hardcore, or just the little stupid things that would otherwise be useless in defining a band, Raw Nerve are one of the most important bands to come out the Midwest during this current renaissance of hardcore. If anything, the band deserves the recognition and fame that comes along for every great band, ignoring the negativity that also occurs. If one thing, they managed to introduce me to a scene that I felt was extinct in Illinois. For bringing life to the hardcore/punk scene, thank you.

Raw Nerve has one last EP to released by Youth Attack, which is forth-coming and will obviously knock your heads in. Keep an eye out for a future documentary on Raw Nerve and their final tour coming soon. Till then, see you guys later and enjoy this piece of gem.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Last Round

This weekend accumulates Raw Nerve's final shows ever, which is not to be missed by any means.

Raw Nerve
The Ropes
Divine Right

The Mousetrap
Raw Nerve (Last Show)
Vile Gash

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mind Spiders- Meltdown LP

Much apologies for not posting a lot of entries. I've been trying to get things sorted out for quite awhile so I felt a break was needed. I've been wanting to post a best of list for last year but at this point it's pretty pointless (for those curious, Omegas' Blast of Lunacy was my definite favorite, hands down), especially since March is upon us. With last year on my mind at the moment, it was only rightfully so that I would touch upon the newest release from one of my personal faves, Mind Spiders, seeing as their self titled debut LP is still played on a timely basis. Their newest release, Meltdown, picks things up where they left off and takes it up another notch.

I had actually stumbled upon this band on accident, or intentionally, whatever really describes hearing "Dirty secrets" on my last FM radio about two years back. As good as that 7 inch came across, I mainly put my attention on vocalist Mark Ryan's previous band the Marked Men, never finding (or searching) a cure for those catchy, sugar-laced garage anthems that set them apart from many pop punk bands out now. In my opinion, the Ghost LP is definitely one of the best records of the 2000's that really is underrated and ignored to an extent. Anyways, It took multiple plays of their 7 inch and last year's LP for me to really appreciate the Mind Spiders and anticipate Meltdown. Thankfully, it lives up to the hype.

"You are Dead" opens up this magnificent LP, getting the listener pumped up and excited from it's first listen. Taking on the member's list of their past bands (High Tension Wires, Marked Men, Bad Sports, Wax Museums among the most obvious)poppy garage sound mixed in with lo-fi and dazzling synths, this first track immediately becomes one of many favorites off this LP.

What really makes me obsess with the Mind spiders is Ryan's vocals, one of many elements that sets his acts apart from his contemporaries. To me, his voice sounds like the Beach Boys if they had listened to the first Ramones album and came out with an album now. Combining that voice and providing a catchy hook is what makes their songs stuck in most people's head. "On the Radio" showcases this point, much like "You are Dead". Starting off with a tribal mesh of a drum into, the spiders break into a balls-out punk frenzy of a number that has Ryan crooning that seems to stick with you, making you chant along in the background.

Remember me talking about the synths? I feel the track "More Than You"provides a good example of an instance where synths can work out in a musician's favor. What usually turns me off about the use of synths or anything of relation involving technology is mainly too much of it can be overkill. If not that, there aren't many cases where a synth can really be useful at all in the track. With the Mind Spiders, the addition of a synth provides a vibe that reminds me of the earlier garage hits from the 60's, sort of like Question Mark and the Mysterians. It adds that one-two punch that makes the track pretty poppy and heartfelt, a big plus for the spiders.

One favorite of mine, "Play Out Out" goes back to that chaotic frenzy that made you want to grab a hold of the LP. It's the type of attack that should be required for any band that's welcoming recognition, whether it's pop-punk, hardcore, etc. Another track "Upside-Down", switches it up just for a bit; including a crazy, hypnotic vibe as the band really goes all out in different directions. If I could pick a particular track that really stands out, I'd say it would definitely be "Wait for Us". Although it's a little unfair for me to really state since I had heard the song prior to the album's release, I feel this really exemplifies the Mind Spiders at their best that really brings out the heavy combination of synths, jagged-guitar chords, and a brilliant essence of vocals. Up until this point, I had considered "Dirty Secrets" and "Read Your Mind" the groups greatest creative outputs. It's a different story now, with no complaints on my part.

Dirtnap Records

Up Next:
Tenement 7 inch review
The Men "Open Your Heart" LP/Treasuretown review
Libyans/Kontaminant/Calender Boys Show review
Raw Nerve last show review