Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

punk & hardcore

Sidetracked / Surfer Joe / MethXCamp / Heckdorlan – Split 7″ (2022)

Squeezing FOUR bands on a 7″ at 45 RPM is a bold move but fuck it this is powerviolence. Let’s run this down: Sidetracked coming at me like some mad preacher screaming down a megaphone in the middle of the street, backed with a powerviolence three piece, of course. A refreshing approach, I’ll say that! The interestingly-named Surfer James have a much fatter sound. Really blows your fucking neck out, with huge pit-widening riffs and more, how shall I say, “traditional” bellowed vocals for the style. Tight blasts to boot, too. Fucking great shit this. Flip over for my favourite Bristol-based noise mongers MethXCamp, who so far have the best production of the whole split (I would never have seen that coming, I’ll be honest haha). Considering it was recorded “in a moldy attic” this shit sounds great. These guys are seriously under-rated. RIP MethXCamp. Heckdorlan is absolute fucking chaos. Kinda reminds me of the Total Fucking Destruction side of their split 7″ with Agoraphobic Nosebleed. I’m getting bass-noise, snares wound so tight it sounds like a fucking gun shot, just absolute indecipherable carnage when it comes to vocals. All in all – this is a fucking great split.

The Exploited – Punks Not Dead (1981)

The first Exploited full length starts everything off with a bang. Boasting a now dated but still fantastic production job (the drums hit like sacks of sand but the bass pops through the mix like a needle though wet paper), Punks’ Not Dead sets out to prove to the 1980s exactly what is declared in the title. The title track, “Cop Cars”, “Blown To Bits”, “Dole Q” and “I Believe In Anarchy” are all instant classics in my book. Make what you will of the band’s later flirtations with crossover thrash but this shit is as punk as it gets. Exploited barmy army!

Discharge – Disensitise (2008)

Is the album title spelt incorrectly on purpose? Discharge with Rat is probably my favourite incarnation of the band since the classic days. I’m probably biased there because this was the version of the band that I first started seeing live here or there around the UK when I was a young’un. Either way, Disensitise has a raw, demo-like quality without sounding like complete shit. Snare drum is the chef’s special of the day, with a side order of everything else in the band. Expect all the hallmarks of the classic sound recycled (thrashy guitars, listless solos, d-beat drum beats, yelped vocals) but in the most pleasing and entertaining way. Makes me want to open a circle pit in my living room.

Discharge – Shootin’ Up The World (1993)

Manson Child! Manson Child! Manson Child! Fucking hell, honestly… with that “epic” out of the way, Shootin’ Up The World isn’t too bad. Granted, the vocals, as per the two albums before this, are absolute fucking dogshit (with all due respect), but musically this is the strongest of the three Discharge “experiments” of the 80s and 90s. I still wouldn’t recommend checking it out unless you have a strong stomach for monotony.

Christian Death – Only Theatre Of Pain (1982)

Apathy: the album. The analogue production and the bubbling post-punk (to become “deathrock”) is fantastic but Rozz Williams delivers his vocals in such a way that he sounds like he is already done with this band before it has even begun. Yeah I get it, that’s part of the vibe, but things are delivered with such a nonchalance I’m left wondering why I should ever bother give my time in return to listen to it. Besides, the EP Deathwish, on which I’m sure a few of these songs reappear, sounds much more full of life and energy. IDK, maybe this just isn’t for me. It’s not bad, though.

Misfits – Friday The 13th (2016)

Friday The 13th is one of the better things that Jerry’s Misfits put their hand to. Not that the bar was particularly high with the competition from other releases in this era, but Friday The 13th actually has sessions that sound like the band is trying. The songs fall somewhere between sounding like Devil’s Rain and Jerry’s recent solo outing. The production is also surprisingly rough, but IMO this works in the band’s favour. I never understood the desire to polish up the Misfits studio records so much. Let Jerry hide himself in the fog of that hideous bass tone! Maybe this was the start of a new album and that got shitcanned when Danzig rejoined?

Fukpig – This World Is Weakening (2014)

This World Is Weakening is the “fixed” version of 3. You’ll find less wooly production, more balanced instrumentation and more audible vocals (which is nice, obviously). In comparison to the modern remaster of 3, This World Is Weakening seems like a bit of a pointless endeavour but trust me this album was a breath of fresh air into these songs back in 2014. Both versions still warrant investigation today, as Fukpig had truly developed their own unique sound by the time this album came around.

Fukpig – The Depths Of Humanity (2001)

Like Misery Index on crack cocaine. Fukpig really hit the ground running and Depths Of Humanity is a masterpiece in my eyes. It is, truly, one of the most under rated and slept on grindcore / crust demos of any era. The band would go on to become something slightly different, but this first view into what they were about is incredibly good and well worth your time.

Fukpig – Bombs Of War (2002)

Bombs Of War takes the same (or very similar) set of songs from the band’s original demo The Depths Of Humanity and reimagines them somewhat. The differences are marginal, but the production is significantly different. I’m not sure if there was a big lineup change or what; I’m not sure what would warrant the rerecording of all of these songs into a second demo which is arguably not as good as first. If you do ever come across this though it is still well worth a listen, this early incarnation of Fukpig was fucking awesome.

Misfits – Descending Angel (2013)

Jerry really set himself up to fail here. In what world would a re-recording of the Graves-led tune “Descending Angel” ever be better than the original? In fact, I’m pretty sure “Descending Angel” is one of Graves’ own songs (he brought many to the Misfits) which rubs salt in the wound even more. But yeah, everything about this single is absolutely pointless, and pretty awful to be honest. The live version of the B-Side from DeA.D. Alive! is also much better than the studio version.

Fukpig – 3 (2012)

I was 22 when this came out. I was a vinyl-buying devotee of Devizes Records, and the very minute it was possible to do so, I ordered the 3 album on 12”. Spewings… was OK, but Belief… was fucking savage, and having seen the band live a few times I was now as pumped as I could be for the next Fukpig installment. 3 came and it was just… there. I can’t really remember thinking it was awful but I do remember a bit of a backlash to it sounding like arse. The band were also not happy with 3, and rereleased it in a corrected form as The World Is Weakening soon after. The trouble is, listening back now, I don’t even know what the fucking problem was. I’m not sure if the version online has been remastered or what, but 3 sounds huge. Listening to it is like asking AI to paint a picture of what it would look like to drown in a vat of HM2 distortion. I don’t know what the point of this little story was, but rest assured 3 is well worth your time.  The digital version of 3 comes with a bunch of demos tacked on. I’ve already heard Depths Of Humanity and Bombs Of War, but sandwiched in between these two sessions are a few that I’ve never heard before. They sound far more modern than the latter, with the buzzsaw HM2 style guitar leading the way. The drums on this session are fucking fantastic; so fast, so tight. Excellent blasts. The whole session kinda sounds like Benediction but on steroids.

Misfits – Land of the Dead / Twilight of the Dead (2009)

I fucking HATED this shit when it came out. Little did I know how much worse it would get (looking at you, Devil’s Rain). I’ll be honest, thanks to seeing the Jerry-Fits live a bunch of times and also thanks to the DeA.D. Alive! CD I really started to appreciate some of the newer tracks, especially “Land Of The Dead”. The chorus is mad catchy. Jerry’s Danzig / Elvis attempt on “Twilight Of The Dead” leaves a lot to be desired however.

Slayer – Undisputed Attitude (1996)

Cunnilingus and hardcore punk brought us to this! It says a lot about your relationship with a band when one of your favourite albums by them is a covers album but fuck it, Undisputed Attitude is the shit. Slayer are angry as fuck and it translates perfectly into the world of hardcore punk. They absolutely fucking kill it here. (As a side note I totally didn’t need to hear Tom Araya singing about putting his tongue in “that special place” – lmao)

Ulcer / Failure Face – Split 7″ (1994)

Random find of the day goes to this fantastic little split EP. Both bands are new finds for me. Ulcer are on the more brutal, “grindcore” end of the powerviolence spectrum, with a bludgeoning production intent on smacking you into the ground. Failure Face on the other hand have a bit more of malleable nature to them. The songs are tightly sprung and bounce around with that undeniable hardcore punk energy. The vocalist is on a whole Jello Biafra meets John Brannon thing, which is fine by me.

Usurpress – Trenches Of The Neverworld (2012)

Pretty uninspired, straight forward d-beat style stuff with that “dark” edge that was trendy as fuck around maybe 2010 or whatever. My only real surprise here is finding out that this wasn’t put out by Southern Lord. If that were the case then my “dark and mysterious modern hardcore” bingo card would have been well and truly full. I’m being facetious of course, and Usurpress are hardly a bad band. It’s just I feel like I’ve heard this a thousand times before, to the point where I am unfortunately quite bored by the time the record ends, which isn’t great.

Disrupt – Disrupt (2008)

Not to be confused with the self-titled Disrupt demo/7″ from 1990, this archival release combines unused material from two split releases into one banger of an EP. Spinning at 45 RPM and only about 11 minutes long (both sides combined!) this is really the perfect way to experience such music. The quality sounds incredible, and the production is fantastic. Fucking great shit.

Disrupt – Disrupt (1990)

If this doesn’t make you want to move then I don’t know what will. Incredible crust punk music, with the right sprinkling of grindcore elements to keep things interesting. Production is a bit grim, as to be expected from a 1990 DIY release, but everything hangs in a nice balance and can be heard in the mix. The songs are fucking killer, and this EP makes me want to drink cider and run around in a circle at a small and probably incredibly smelly music venue.

Devil Moon – Fucked By The Devil (2023)

If I had to describe this album in as few words as possible I would say: it’s fucking class. Traditional black metal riffery underpins a punky (dare I say) black’n’roll-infused set of songs. I don’t mean BnR as in, endless boring ass d-beats, I mean genuinely sleazy, head-nodding tunes that invoke hazy memories of the exploitation world of the 1970s, helped along of course by the amazing artwork and that inherit Finnish sense of melody that all the bands seem to weasel into their compositions. Like I said, it’s fucking class.

Gauze – Fuck Heads (1984)

Cool hardcore punk with jacked riffs and with a super organic feel to the production. Nice bit of d-beat, shouty screamy madness and whatever those kinda back and forth two part riffs are called where you bounce around like fuck in the pit. I dunno what the fuck I’m talking about. This is great, though.

Rainbow Grave – No You (2019)

Rainbow Grave – No You (2019)

Imagine if Chat Pile came from the Midlands, then you’d have something very similar to Rainbow Grave. Boasting line-up royalty with members having played in Doom, Napalm Death and Scorn, Rainbow Grave’s debut churns your guts with disgusting bass guitar led hymns of misanthropic venom. Wailing, screeching guitars and even a saxophone bolster the noise element of this bare bones attack on your senses, whilst the vocals mock and chide you into submission. Hideous shit!

Longbow – Demo III (2023)

Longbow – Demo III (2023)

What an unusual and endearing sound. First impressions come across like a mixture of Oi! and the post-punk recipe perfected by groups such as Joy Division. An interesting mix for sure. Comparisons to acts like Black Magick SS would not be incorrect to make (particularily in regards the ethereal wails found in opening track “Sailing To Other Lands”), but there is a more of an earthy, grounded feel to the songwriting from Longbow (and overall sound/vibe).

Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Man that cover art is eye-catching as fuck. I’ve kinda become desensitised after years of listening to grindcore and death metal but there’s something about this one that just hits you right on the “disturb.exe” button (or is that “disturb.dmg”?). Anyway, this shit pares down the harsher elements of crust punk like Doom, Discharge etc and fills the void with the harsh, deep tones more associated with thrash and early death metal. The d-beat roots keep things moving at a decent pace however, making this disgusting gory music that you can have a lovely little dance to. Oh, also check out “Skåneland” in particular, that track is really a moment of surprise in this whole turbid bag of death and hate.

Discharge – Discharge (2002)

Discharge – Discharge (2002)

And just like that, it’s as if the 90s hadn’t even happened. Gone are the absurd genre experiments, back are some of the classic players. Peace and harmony is restored to the world because Discharge are playing d-beat again. There are some metallic holdovers remaining in the sound but generally this is punk as fuck and an absolute relief to hear after a trio of listless, rudderless albums. Take away the remixes at the end and this is short as fuck but I’m OK with that. Stand out tracks for me are “Accessories by Molotov” and “War is Hell” (I’m sure I’ve heard this before? haha) Your man on the cover looks like he’s struggling to hold that gun though.

Discharge – End Of Days (2016)

Discharge – End Of Days (2016)

Is it possible for a band to ape themselves? To rehash old shit into new shit? Of course it is. But in the case of Discharge, there’s the peculiar fact that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of bands the world over (many named Dis-something) who have happily gouged at the niche that these guys carved for themselves in the eary 80s. So I think we can give Discharge a pass then, for revisiting the template of their glory days and reimagining it, especially after some of the more disasterous attempts to branch out made by other line ups of this band. What is a divisive idea however is sampling David Icke, talking about pandemics made in labs, New World Orders and false flags, etc. etc. – there’s a fine line between “standing up against” the system and spouting utter conspiracy theory bullshit like any other moron on the internet (speaking of morons on the internet, from one to another I’d like to say hello! haha). I’m not saying ol’ Dai “bad knees” Icke is the enemy or anything like that but as soon as his sample kicked in, I said “oh no” out loud. I’m looking forward to the d-beat concept album about the shapeshifting lizards and their moon base. Until then, End Of Days will have to do 😉

Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing (1982)

Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing (1982)

Ahhhhh fucking hell! I wanna put on a (vegan) leather jacket and go out into the street and headbutt a racist neighbour. I also have a strong urge to wear Dr. Marten boots and start drinking cider for the first time in my life, both of which I can only attribute to over-doing it with the d-beat madness of this record as of late. Honestly, this thing is fucking great. I look back now – having owned this CD since I was 17 or so – and can’t even imagine the “meh” feeling I used to have towards it when I was younger (I guess it was the production? I have no idea). If you only ever listen to one Discharge release ever, make sure it’s this one. The hat-trick of “Hell On Earth”, “Cries Of Help” and “The Possibility Of Life’s Destruction” is peak Discharge and therefore peak d-beat (the samples are pretty fucking disturbing too).

Misfits – Dea.d. Alive! (2013)

Misfits – Dea.d. Alive! (2013)

I like this a lot more than I have any right to. I fucking HATED The Devil’s Rain, but on the other hand I’ve seen the Jerry-era 3-piece multiple times with multiple line ups (the one with Dez on guitar and Robo on drums was by far the best) and I fully enjoyed their live shows, regardless of how pointless the Jerry-led band is when on paper. The sound here is fast and loose, and whilst in highlights how lazy both Jerry is on bass and Eric is on drums, I can’t help but really enjoy this set. It gives the stinkers off Devil’s Rain a much needed roughness to them, and some of the Graves-era stuff gets a fuckin’ shot in the arm (how fast is this version of “American Psycho”? Haha – crazy!). Granted, there are some total shitters, like “Saturday Night”, Jerry should have probably left this one in the past. The clearly dubbed audience sounds are just cringe as fuck, and the cover of “Science Fiction / Double Feature” is appauling at best. The production also has a strange hollowness, which is odd because everything is fairly audible. Not sure what is causing that, but hey, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Dead Alive then, is easily, the best thing that Jerry-led Misfits ever put out. That says a lot, I think.

Sunami / Gulch – Split EP (2021)

Sunami / Gulch – Split EP (2021)

I think I prefer the songs on the S/T EP – these are the tracks that made me fall in love with Sunami after all – but the production here has got to be the best on any Sunami release that I’ve heard. The riffs and beatdowns just seem extra fucking hard as well, the ending of “Step Up” is just absolutely fucking off the chain, fam. Gulch’s bass drum is like a mule kick to the head. The riffs also give me more death metal vibes than hardcore, but these guys go hard all the same. Don’t let the nice acoustic outro to “Bolt Swallower” (lol) fool you, “Accelerator” is coming to fuck you in the face.

Doom – 教祖ラッシュ [Rush Hour of the Gods] (1996)

Doom – 教祖ラッシュ [Rush Hour of the Gods] (1996)

Solid, nasty, evil-as-fuck sounding crust punk from the greats of the genre. Got this CD from the band way back at some random gig. There seemed a point where Doom were all over the UK underground (perhaps they still are and its I who hath becometh the hermit). Anyway, the production is a little brittle but otherwise this kills. It also seems a lot longer than it actually is, I guess because I associate crust punk / grindy stuff with really short run times. Some redundant noise passages aside, this rules. Makes me want to get a four pack of some really strong cider and go run around in circle in my garden until I smell of B.O. and collapse into a pile of yellowing grass.

DNA – A Taste of DNA (1981)

DNA – A Taste of DNA (1981)

All over the shop, ants in your pants, frenetic punk music with art house leanings. I guess this is an early precursor to the no-wave scene? Not my area of expertise so apologies if that’s not right (edit: RYM has it down as No Wave music). This is fuckin’ carnage, kinda reminds me of Half Japanese or even early Locust stuff. Was really cool to find out Ikue Mori drummed on this thing too.

1/2 Japanese – 1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts (1980)

1/2 Japanese – 1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts (1980)

The only thing I can compare this to is some sort of band on a punk version of the whole Captain Beefheart thing. Like, the original incarnation of Anal Cunt is an extreme evolution of this shit right here. Am I right in thinking that this is so punk that its not punk anymore, in fact it is even barely music? Like someone gave The Cramps far too many horse tranquilizers and a bad tape recorder as the only advance towards their next album. Honestly, I had a band with my friends when I was 12 that sounded just like this. But, because 1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts was terrible on purpose then I suppose there’s a whole new level of artistic integrity that I’m supposed to lap up, especially as a fan of noise, jazz and other seemingly formless, experimental shit? Hrmmm. I don’t know about that. I do hate the Beatles though, and I do like going to the zoo, so perhaps I have more in common with this group than I would like to admit. (Yes I did listen to the entire thing lol)

Jerry Only – Anti-Hero (2022)

Jerry Only – Anti-Hero (2022)

Oohhh hooo ohhhhh Illuminataeeee. Imagine my face when this dropped, as a hater of Devil’s Rain! Fortunately, on repeated listens I am very happy to report that this has much more go in it then Devil’s Rain, and I’m actually very excited that Jerry Only has launched a solo career (or at least put out a solo record). Realistically, and respectfully to Jerry and co. having the right to tour all those years as Misfits, Devil’s Rain should have been released this way, under the Only banner. Hey, the tracks here are more catchy than they have any right to be. I don’t doubt for a second there’s some studio trickery going down, especially in regards to Jerry’s voice, but I am very much surprised that I can play this all the way through, and have repeat listens, without wanting to cut off my ears. It’s no De.A.D. Alive! but it’s still pretty funny. It’ll be interesting to see where Jerry goes from here.

Sunami – Sunami (2023)

Sunami – Sunami (2023)

I’m fairly new to Sunami so perhaps that’s why I don’t get the “more of the same” feeling that many other reviews reference. Off the bat though, the S/T LP (a stretch, at 17 minutes lol) doesn’t hit quite as hard as earlier shit like the S/T EP or the split with Gulch, but is still pretty entertaining. The production has a bit of a step up in quality, which is nice, but generally, I still find myself going back to the older stuff for my Sunami fix. That art is cool as fuck, though.

Crossed Out – Crossed Out (1991)

Crossed Out – Crossed Out (1991)

Intense, raw powerviolence. I’ve definitely been sleeping on Crossed Out, which is another one of those legendary names that I’ve just never got around to checking out. Honestly though, the sonic impact that this thing has is just fantastic. This 7” is the shit. It’s sound is atypical of a lot of the tropes of the PV sound but also intensely emblematic of the scene and movement. This review is garbage but trust me this is some really good shit, so don’t be like me – if you’re thinking of listening to it then do it right now.

Spy – Habitual Offender (2021)

Spy – Habitual Offender (2021)

Not gonna win any awards for originality but deffo should be winning awards for splitting heads: this shit is intense. I can imagine the kind of pits that open up for this kind of thing and that should tell you all you need to know about Habital Offender. The production is rougher than most “hardcore punk” but lends to the music infinitely because of this, especially in the faster passages. More often than not things slow to a crawl to allow those riifs to throw down, and that’s where Spy really shine. It’s only ten minutes long, but make sure you count all of your teeth before and after you’re done with it.

State Of Conviction – A Call To Arms (2006)

State Of Conviction – A Call To Arms (2006)

Solid, funk-influenced hardcore from a Cleveland, OH outfit that features some of the dudes from Mushroomhead, namely one-time vocalist Jason Popson and classic-era guitarist John Sekula (known to MRH fans as JJ Righteous). You can tell immediately upon firing this up that Sekula is playing; that dry, super thick guitar tone that immediately reminds me of M3 comes bursting out of the speakers. As far as the funk influences go I think these are held over from the previous outfit containing some of these guys, that being Unified Culture (I’m no expect on the Cleveland music scene so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). This is a solid half hour of heavy music though, with amazing production and brilliant vocals. The band is really tight too. All in all, a great album – wish they did more full lengths.

Darkthrone – Dark Thrones And Black Flags (2008)

Darkthrone – Dark Thrones And Black Flags (2008)

I got a bit excited during my multiple re-listens ahead of this review and for a moment thought I was coming here to write that Dark Thrones And Black Flags is my absolute favourite of the “punk”-era Darkthrone. But no, now I think on it, and digest the songs more, whilst it definitely has the coolest name (and thankfully no King Diamond vocals), it’s probably on par with F.O.A.D., and not quite as good as Cult Is Alive. Either way, Out of the four punk albums that followed Cult Is Alive (which I see as a bit darker then the rest), Dark Thrones And Black Flags is the one I return to the most. Production is very similar to both F.O.A.D. and Circle The Wagons, but my good heavens, the songs on this thing. “The Winds They Called The Dungeon Shaker” and “Hiking Metal Punks” are worth the price of admission alone. As far as side B goes, the title track and the closer, “Witch Ghetto” are absolute belters. IDK I’m just rambling at this point, this is great – get with the crust or get the fuck out.

Darkthrone – Circle The Wagons (2010)

Darkthrone – Circle The Wagons (2010)

Well into the “Darkthrone with attitude” era (lol), came Circle The Wagons. Interestingly, from the Cult Is Alive onwards, the band transitioned from blackened crust punk to blackened heavy metal. This record doesn’t have the absurd falsetto vocals that its follow-up has, but it’s still pretty much raw heavy metal right down to the bone. This either works or doesn’t, depending on the individual track, but either way I respect Darkthrone for just y’know, doing whatever the fuck they want and not just aping their legacy. Some of the tracks here are a bit silly and just come across poorly done, but riff-wise this thing slays as always, Darkthrone really are the kings of evil riffs. It’s just, Circle The Wagons wouldn’t be too high on my list for a relisten any time soon.

Gwar – We Kill Everything (1999)

Gwar – We Kill Everything (1999)

On GWAR’s 7th studio album (8th if you count the soundtrack stuff they did), it would be easy to accuse them of going astray from their true sound. I think however, that would be an ignorant thing to say. Sure, it looks that way on the surface, but if you think about the Death Piggy days, and even the debut Hell-O, punk has always been a part of GWAR’s ethos. Sure, 90s-to-the-core “punk rock” stuff like this *hasn’t* always been a part of GWAR’s sound, but hey, it’s still punk. And c’mon, we can only take GWAR so seriously. Excellent musicians they may be, but this is clearly a piss take, as we say here in Blighty. Either way, I loved this fucking record when I was a teenager. It was so fucking stupid and purile, I loved every second. From the shock factor of opening tracks “Babyraper” (“I’m the fucking baby raper!” – what an insane chorus) and “Fishfuck” (“Fishfuck, baby! I’m gonna fuck you with a fish!”), to the slightly longer-form of GWAR-universe concept tracks such as “Escape From The Mooselodge” and “We Kill Everything”, this album is a strange mixed bag of odd and puzzling vibes. Oh, and only GWAR could intersect all this tomfoolery with an instrumental piece called “A Short History of the End of the World (Part VII (The Final Chapter (Abbr.))”. Ok, so We Kill Everything loses itself in the middle, I’ll admit. But, the final 5 songs return to the shlocky mess-about punk of the opening tracks, and everything is well again. I’m not entirely sure what the fuck Oderus is going on about in “Penile Drip” but I love every second of it. Oh, and if you haven’t had a drunken sing-along to “Fuckin’ An Animal” then truly, you haven’t lived. I’m not willing to spend any more time on this review.

The Rotted – Get Dead Or Die Trying (2008)

The Rotted – Get Dead Or Die Trying (2008)

When the jump from Gorerotted to The Rotted originally happened, I wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of the decision. After seeing the band live in The Rotted form in either 2009 or 2010, that opinion quickly changed and I got myself this CD. It is, to be fair, a really fun listen if you like your metal injected with the usual energy and bile you would get on a hardcore punk record. The opening one-two of “Nothin’ But A Nosebleed” and “Howling” not only sets the bar but really, the high point for the record, with “Howling” easily being the best song on here. Also of note is the excellently-titled “There’s A Party In My Mouth (And Everyone Is Being Sick”, and the cover of the 28 Days Later theme, which was an interesting idea and one that the band pull off surprisingly well, even if it doesn’t really fit all that well onto the album.

Christian Death – Deathwish (1984)

Christian Death – Deathwish (1984)

I love this earlier style of artwork that adorned many of the band’s releases in the beginning. Proper creepy shit. I’d be lying if it truly represented the sound however, at least here on Deathwish, which is bubbling with energy and completely alive, rather than spooky and ethereal and ghostly. Those elements would come later, even so, in this proto-post-punk stage, or form, Christian Death’s music was still very odd – charmingly so, of course.

Fuckmorgue – Dead, I Will Not Be Forgotten (2019)

Fuckmorgue – Dead, I Will Not Be Forgotten (2019)

I have no idea where I picked these lot up from but this is a bizarre mix. Like… its almost hardcore, or post-hardcore even, as much as it is black metal or even folk or dare I say dungeon synth in parts. When you think of hardcore and black metal mixed together you either think of the crusty side of things, or the dark hardcore trend of the 00s and 10s, or you think of arty stuff like Celeste. Fuckmorgue’s approach is completely new to me and I’m totally drawn in by the chaos. Give it a few tracks, and it’ll pay off in spades.

Pussies – Pussies (2023)

Pussies – Pussies (2023)

Weirdly unsettling stuff, with a backdrop of sexual menace. Imagine Big Black and Filth-era Swans fighting at a Ramones gig. I dig the retro art though, I really love those old sleazy vibes. I’m not sure if Pussies is for me but I’ve never really heard anything quite like this, so I’ll give them points for that!

25 Ta Life – Friendship, Loyalty, Commitment (1999)

25 Ta Life – Friendship, Loyalty, Commitment (1999)

Friendship, Loyalty, Commitment is probably the most un-metal thing to ever call a record, but y’know, for all of hardcore’s macho posturing, the message is usually one of positivity underneath. 25 Ta Life push that whole concept to 11 with this super-distilled shot of tuff-guy hardcore.  The music is absolute class though, with some amazing riffage and a raw but well-balanced production. Whatever you make of the vocalist, you can’t really deny that his style just lends a whole bunch of charm to the entire thing.  I’m not a hardcore guy but I really enjoyed this, even if the vocals are pretty funny in parts.

Trap Them – Blissfucker (2014)

Trap Them – Blissfucker (2014)

This was never really my thing but I caught Trap Them live at Roadburn festival many many moons ago and that cemented them in my head as a formidable musical force. Bliss Fucker, I guess, is a good example as any of the band’s dense, buzzsaw-worship sound. Sure, it’s not completely derivative Entombed-core, but the inclusion of the HM2 pedal always sets a tone (pun intended) about how a release will be received by me. Technically brilliant and very well made stuff, but not an album that scratches every itch (maybe I should see a doctor about that).

Hellripper – Complete And Total Fucking Mayhem (2016)

Hellripper – Complete And Total Fucking Mayhem (2016)

Hellripper are fucking class. Taking from the uhh, Midnight / Abigail / Naked Whipper school of thrashy, punky black metal, imagine Darkthrone’s late 2000s crust output pushed up to 11. A compilation, but a good section of material to get your jowls dripping for more. The record’s title gives you all the info you need on whether to press play or not. Personally, I think you should.

Sulk – Tennis Elbow (2021)

Sulk – Tennis Elbow (2021)

One of the best bits of grind / powerviolence records I’ve heard in quite some time. I find this channels Gets Worse kinda energy, with incredibly crisp and clear production but without sounding overworked. It really allows the carnage to breathe, and you can feel every blast, every blurry riff and every shredding vocal with equal intensity. Super recommended.

Morgue Tar – Immersed In Mortiferous Enmities (2022)

Morgue Tar – Immersed In Mortiferous Enmities (2022)

Ah, wow. Now this is just a glorious fucking mess. I mean, the cover art kinda tells you that before you even press play. Morgue Tar mix the bottom of the sewer style goregrind with d-beat , which is just glorious. I’m not talking about a bit of mince here that’s leant a little heavily into it’s punkier roots, I’m talking 100% d-beat crossed with gore. They should have called this Dismorgue.

Brother – Brother (2019)

Brother – Brother (2019)

Starting things off with a Twin Peaks sample is always gonna get my attention. To be honest, it’s not needed, because Brother’s self titled is punishing powerviolence from the word go. It’s got that buzzsaw modern PV production but with an old school hardcore punk feel to some of the tunes. All in all, this is a nifty EP.

Celtic Warrior – We Will Never Forget (1995)

Celtic Warrior – We Will Never Forget (1995)

This is massively outside of my wheelhouse in pretty much every aspect (and then some), from the style of punk through to the very questionable subject matter. Celtic Warrior are a white power band from around my local area. I’ve been doing a lot of research into these kinds of things recently, in regards to what goes on locally, from these kind of bands, to suspect motorcycle clubs, even to the Free Wales Army and the more radical groups further north. Celtic Warriors, like Blackout (not The Blackout lol), are both notorious local bands to me that I’ve never really checked out until now. Musically, the production is no better or worse than any other punk music and the only musician that has any virtuosity to his playing is the guitar player. Otherwise, this is just bad metal, bad rock and bad punk all rolled into one disinteresting ball. If it wasn’t for the tedious right wing subject matter, there would literally be nothing to this at all. I would probably not even know that it existed. But yeah. I listened to it, so it’s here on Linesinwax. I don’t condone listening to it, nor would I ever recommend listening to it. I’ll leave it to Napalm Death and Dead Kennedies to adequately explain where I stand with this kind of shit.

The Locust – The Locust (1997)

The Locust – The Locust (1997)

This is the first of two self-titled releases the band did. The first is called, technically I guess, just Locust rather than The Locust. As a historical listener, the most striking thing for me about this 7″ is how the band’s sound develops from the more rudimentary powerviolence approach of the 1996 splits into what we could consider the more recognisable Locust sound. Hydra-headed jackal-like vocal attacks punctuate intense stabs of grinding noise. Most importantly, a thick, tar-like layer of bubbling analogue synthesizer envelopes the whole thing in audible insectoid goo. Brilliant.

The Locust / Jenny Piccolo – Split 5″ (1996)

The Locust / Jenny Piccolo – Split 5″ (1996)

I opened this review to start writing before the 5″ started, and it will no doubt end before I am finished. You gotta love 5″ records. They are ultimately pointless, but are so perfect – never has a format been more fitting to an individual genre, in this case grindcore. I’m not sure if this was recorded before or after the stuff on the MITB split, but this, whilst a lo-fi affair, is much more like the Locust of later years, with intense electronic fuckery coursing through the grind assault. I ordered this split years ago from a mail order but it never showed up. So its today then, that I finally get to check out a micro blast from Jenny Piccolo, who play in a classic hardcore/powerviolence kind of style. Sharp riffs underpin these microblasts of carnage, intersected with bizarre noise/guitar effects.

Killing Joke – Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions (1990)

Killing Joke – Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions (1990)

Across the decade of the 80s, a period of the latter years saw a thawing of the Killing Joke tribal post punk sound into a more accessible, new romantic or synth pop direction. The pinnacle of this was Outside The Gate, which seemed to alienate a lot of fans. The icing on that cake was the spoken word album that followed it, and Killing Joke almost seemed like a band that no longer knew its own identity. Thankfully then, the following year, all of the above just seemed to be dropped, with the band U-turning back to their roots, but with a heavier undercurrent carrying them along. Of course, listening in 2021, you can see how this record informed the direction the band would take from here, but at the time, this must have been a startling change of pace for a band that had been mellowing out for years. “Money Is Not Our God” is super angry, and sets the pace for the album to come. This record is a must-listen from the Killing Joke catalog, in my eyes.

Infest – Infest (1991)

Infest – Infest (1991)

What can I say about Infest? At this point the band is beyond legendary in both the hardcore punk and grindcore / powerviolence circles. As much as I love the band (live they kill it) I’d never actually heard this self titled 7″. Shame on me, because its fucking incredible. This thing is the pinnacle of hardcore / powerviolence. The sound, the mix, the anger. Shit! Absolutely incredible record. Well worth checking out as its only a few minutes long really.

Dwarves – Come Clean (2000)

Dwarves – Come Clean (2000)

Come Clean is probably the poppiest Dwarves album. I attribute this to the direction the band took through the 90s, but they eventually came full circle (perhaps not to the original sound, but to the speedy, cheeky punk of old). Come Clean even has some industrial metal influences, (see the verses of “Over You” with its looped riffs and stomping programmed percussion). Its also a pretty short record, all in all. A tidy entry into the Dwarves catalog, but nothing to write home about.

The Exploited – Troops Of Tomorrow (1982)

The Exploited – Troops Of Tomorrow (1982)

My uncle, Terry Oakes, did the cover painting for this one. He did a few Exploited releases actually, I believe, although he mostly did fantasy novel cover paintings. Just a random bit of information for you there. Troops Of Tomorrow is primo old school Exploited though, before the thrash influences crept in. Its raw, ready and definitely rough around the edges. But wouldn’t it be shite if it wasn’t? This is punk after all. I don’t really need to waffle about this one, just fire it up. Stand outs for me are the title track and “U.S.A.”.

Operation Ivy – Operation Ivy (1991)

Operation Ivy – Operation Ivy (1991)

All I know is that I don’t know nothing, right? Tell you for what, I didn’t know that Tim Armstrong was in this band. Shows what I know about punk (next to sweet fuck all now confirmed). Honestly though it’s a good thing, his Clash-style drawl puts me off both Transplants and Rancid, and what I’ve heard of Tim Timebomb or whatever doesn’t exactly inspire me, so if I’d known that Tim was in Operation Ivy this would have gone into the “nope, ta” pile. I’m glad it didn’t because this is a fuckin’ great record / compilation / whatever. I guess this comes under the punk rock banner more than the hardcore punk banner, but I don’t really know. All I know (besides nothing) is that I love the sound, I love the attitude and the swagger it has, and I love how it breaks from noisy shoutfests to ska-like chill out passages. I can see why this is a classic.

Subhumans – Time Flies / Rats (1990)

Subhumans – Time Flies / Rats (1990)

I’d like to think it was this record but it may have been another Subhumans record, that was often spun by my mate’s dad in his garage when we hung out. This of course, amongst other punk and rock vinyl of the 80s and early 90s. I was quite taken with the band’s Time Flies… But Aeroplanes Crash, which I even painted onto the underside of my skateboard (not without spelling areoplane wrong). Anyways, enough memory lane shite. Tony Soprano once said “‘remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.” Here on this record Time Flies (1983) is backed with Rats (1984), and a lovely little collection of ditties it is too. Subhumans hit pretty hard, in all fairness, and there’s a malice to proceedings which cuts through the cheeky punk vibe.

Rudimentary Peni – Death Church (1983)

Rudimentary Peni – Death Church (1983)

All sorts of dark and evil vibes permeate these scuzzy, noisy compositions. I’ve been meaning to check out Rudimentary Peni for years, and Death Church seemed as good as any a place to start. Its not as “punky” (sorry for using such a stupid word) as I would have thought, but its still great. People truly revere this thing, which is really cool. I love the bass sound.

Anal Cunt / Flächenbrand (sp) – Split 7″ (2001)

Anal Cunt / Flächenbrand – Split 7″ (2001)

Some hateful shit right here, y’all. Flächenbrand are, and are nothing more than, a consequence of me collecting (trying at least) all the Anal Cunt stuff on vinyl. They are not very good. Which is an odd thing to say, when they are infinitely more musical than their split mates Anal Cunt. I have a soft spot for these twats, purely because of how sick their stuff sounds. Seth’s vocals are mental and Josh’s riffs are dirgy messes. RIP to the both of you, ya sketchy fucks.

Merciless Precision / Nido De Vespe – Split 7″ (2013)

Merciless Precision / Nido De Vespe – Split 7″ (2013)

I thought I had lost this to time, but no, it is now found! Nide De Vespe are super punk/hardcore influenced, at least that is how it comes across the sound, which is bouncy and sprightly, rather than the more metallic end of grindcore. There is a lot of energy here, and the sound is fantastic. Honestly, I really miss Merciless Precision, who are no longer with us. Many fantastic projects spawned from their demise (most of which centered around frontman Harry and his insatiable appetite for forming bands), but these guys were the staple of opening for grind/extreme shows in the Bristol area and I always looked forward to the carnage. This little side of a 7″ is a great example of the chaos they ended up playing when they had moved away from the more death-rooted stuff. Carnage!

Madball – Set It Off (1994)

Madball – Set It Off (1994)

Hardcore is not my strong point (actually, doesn’t Strong Point sound like a cult 90s hardcore band from New Jersey?), but I do like to wander in every now and then to check on what I’m missing. Today’s selection was one of the first records by the now-legendary Madball. Set It Off is a doozy, and ticks all the right boxes, especially with its organic production. Get angry! Get shouty!

Head Noise – Consequential Quasars (2021)

Head Noise – Consequential Quasars (2021)

A twisted, zany approach to electronic / synthpop! And the best part, is that these guys are just from down’t road, as it were. On the Two Man Tape Co. label we’ve recently done a compilation of these guys’ best material (as picked by them!), which sold incredibly well. Consequential Quasars was the album I listened to when scouting out bands to approach with the label, and it was the record that sold me on their unique sound. At the time of writing, I’m a week away from actually witnessing these guys play live (imagine that, in a COVID-19 world, eh?), so its exciting times all round. (edit: this was in August 2021, so shows you how long it takes for me to process all these posts and make them live!)

Swans – Real Love (1986)

Swans – Real Love (1986)

A seldom listened early Swans effort for me, which is a shame because there are some cracking renditions here. Granted, Real Love will almost always be overshadowed by Public Castration, but Real Love has, dare I say, slightly more audible and “less punishing” versions of a few of the same songs. Of course, this is 80s Swans we are talking about, and the music is inherently uncomfortable, but these are less tortured than Public Castration. Not to mention, the production / capture is much clearer too.

Negative Approach – Total Recall (1992)

Negative Approach – Total Recall (1992)

Man I fucking love Negative Approach. Like, hardcore punk really isn’t my strong point, even after all these years, but Jesus fucking Christ, Negative Approach go hard. (As a side note, the fact that Negative Approach was Seth Putnam’s favourite band (who played at his wedding) almost makes me believe he wasn’t a hateful piece of shit and just 110% committed to being a massive fucking cunt of a troll) Total Recall is a short, sharp, all-in-one collection (if you ignore the shite live recordings at the end), and it is the perfect release to get your jowls around if you want a fix of some of the greatest hardcore punk in the entire world. I’ve seen these guys on a big open air stage (OEF 2013) and then in a small venue (Bristol’s Fleece) and both times they have fucking blown it out of the water. Legendary. As is this compilation record.

Agathocles / Partiya – Split CD (2012)

Agathocles / Partiya – Split CD (2012)

Up until now I’ve been avoiding Agathocles split CDs to lower my risk of obtaining duplicate material that may already be on a 7″ that I own. Agathocles have a notorious back-catalogue of re-hashed shit (sorry, but it’s true), and as a collector on a budget I have put barriers in place to lessen the blow of unknowingly buying something that I already have. This was all well and good, until during a trade with a Canadian chum, I was gifted with a AGx split CD that is actually really, really good (and as far as I can tell, all original material). So, this no-AGx CDs barrier is now broken. Fucking great. I’ve never heard of Partiya before. Hardly surprising, what with them being a rather obscure Russian crust band. All the songs and lyrics (and even the original name and logo) are in Russian, but are kindly translated for us English-speaking folk in the booklet. Thanks a million for that, because otherwise I wouldn’t even know what the name of this band was. I cannae write Russian on me keyboard! That would have been a pickle. Their material is fast and well-produced, and despite the language barrier and potential difficulty in obtaining their stuff I am now on the quest for more Partiya recordings! Agathocles sound a bit dank in comparison the well-put-together Partiya, but it doesn’t take long for me to adjust. The sound here is really similar to the Mincer sessions, if not a bit thinner. This band know what they are good at, and seem to have fallen into a well-working system over the last 8 years or so. Blast blast blast, growl growl growl. What more do you want? This little CD was put out through a collaboration of labels, so put aside a few minutes and check ’em all out. They are (in no particular order): No Bread, Black Cardinal, Wee Corn, Resist Label & Distro, Ok Punk Rock Records, Raw Distro and 83 Records. (2021 edit: It was also re-released on CD and 7″ vinyl by the above, plus the inclusion of Grindfather Productions, in 2014)

Napalm Death / Coalesce – Split 7″ (1996)

Napalm Death / Coalesce – Split 7″ (1996)

This gives me similar vibes to the Agoraphobic Nosebleed split with Converge, in the way that something super heavy and chaotic goes up against something with more progressive punk elements. Napalm Death are, well, Napalm Death, and this is prime cut 90s era stuff, with dry production, busy riffs, and Barney’s trademark low growls. Coalesce on the other hand, are a bit more all over the shop, with dissonant guitar work, harsh vocals and a frenetic approach to songwriting. All in all, a great split from two totally different bands.

Hatebreed – The Rise Of Brutality (2003)

Hatebreed – The Rise Of Brutality (2003)

The Rise Of Brutality was the first Hatebreed album I ever had. I had a dodgy copy of it and it only played the first half of the CD or so before cutting off and dying, so for many years I never ever heard the ending third of the record. Which is fine, because it is more of the same, in the nicest way possible. That’s not to say that there aren’t some good tracks on Rise Of Brutality. Opener “Tear It Down” is great, as is “Straight To Your Face”, “Doomsayer” and “Beholder Of Justice”. Might throw down now, fuck it.

Killing Joke – What’s This For…! (1981)

Killing Joke – What’s This For…! (1981)

What’s This For…! is the weirder younger brother to the Killing Joke self-titled. And yes, whilst Geordie’s peircing guitar sounds rang out even in the opening moments of the debut, here they really come into their own, finding their own unique brand of maddening dissonance. It reminds me of Voivod in some regards, whilst of course also being completely different. Admidettely there aren’t as many bangers here track wise (compared to the debut) but this is still an absolutely solid and incredible effort from a legendary band.

Trap Them – Seizures In Barren Praise (2008)

Trap Them – Seizures In Barren Praise (2008)

HM2 worship out the ass! Buzzsaw dark hardcore all up in this motherfucker. There is something artificial and even derivative about this particular guitar sound but you can’t argue with the immediate impact that it has. Trap Them snare this sound in a stranglehold, squeezing out pure savagery and anger. At 25 mins, Seizures… doesn’t overstay its welcome. It gets in, fucks you up, and gets out.

Killing Joke – Revelations (1982)

Killing Joke – Revelations (1982)

Revelations is the last in the original run of albums to feature bassist Youth. It is strikingly different from the two previous albums, and perhaps on first listen doesn’t seem as good (also, what even is that fucking record sleeve?), but it has grown on me. I will say however, the last but one track “Good Samaritan” is probably the worst Killing Joke song I have ever heard. Its absolutely abysmal. Youth is on record as apparently saying this album is a “dirge”, and whilst I agree in some regards this is still an absolute pleasure to listen to. Jaz Coleman’s vocals are getting more melodic and Geordie’s guitars are still bizarre and your brain does gymnastics listening to them. Good stuff.

Filthpact – Resurrection Under Condemnation (2014)

Filthpact – Resurrection Under Condemnation (2014)

Thanks to Chris for recommending me Filthpact. Resurrected Under Condemnation collects together a whole bunch of material in one easy to listen format, and the listening is good. The sounds come from all corners of the extreme spectrum, from grind, to d-beat and hardcore punk, to something solid, chunky and more metal. Great stuff. I look forward to keeping an eye out for more Filthpact stuff in the future.

Swans – Swans (1982)

Swans – Swans (1982)

Swans’ self-titled EP is a far cry from the punishing experimentation that the band would originally become renown for. Gira and his ever-revolving musician friends are no strangers to growth and change, but Swans’ self-titled is probably the only one time where they truly belonged to a scene or movement and didn’t stand out on their own. Loosely associated with many of the tropes of the no wave scene, Swans is an awkward record taking the lurching bass-driven beats and rhythms of the post-punk world and chopping it awkwardly with swathes of no wave weirdness. Top all that off of course with some of Michael’s vocal performances and some interesting saxophone additions and you have the first four Swans songs. But hey, I’m not complaining, its great (and not a million miles away from what Michael did with Circus Mort before starting Swans) and its a piece of history now too. Long live Swans!

Misfits – Famous Monsters (1999)

Misfits – Famous Monsters (1999)

There’s 52 ways to be a low key right wing asshat, one or two are the same, but they both work as well. I’m coming clean for the Proud Boys, my chauvinism doesn’t scream as well, and Eric Blair won’t listen all night… LOL. Famous Monsters was the second Graves-fronted Misfits album. Its much more smoother and melodic than the previous one, which is a bit faster and rougher around the edges. There are more ballads here and the second half of the album starts to drag a little bit as far as the song quality goes. I suppose you could accuse the band of being formulaic at this point but the product is so lovely and easily consumed, that it doesn’t really matter. Before I found out that Graves has heavy right-wing sympathies I watched him perform this record live, along with American Psycho. It was pretty great. Shame I can no longer associate with this fucking clown. On that note, its worth mentioning that I’ve covered artists on this site who I would never support (Satanic Warmaster springs to mind), but thats only because Lines In Wax is a personal log of everything that I have listened to. Being a Nazi isn’t cool, kids.

Scum System Kill – A.n.t.i. C.o.p.z. Tour Ep (2008)

Scum System Kill – A.n.t.i. C.o.p.z. Tour Ep (2008)

When I was a teenager I had a Scum System Kill flyer on my wall for years without ever hearing them. I guess I got it through a trade or something like that. (2021 edit: Yes, it was a flyer from Langt Ner Tapes) It was nice then, to finally acquaint myself with the noisy hardcore / crust on display here. A.N.T.I.C.O.P.Z. is hardly a long record, but the 9 minutes or so here is ferocious and really enjoyable. I love in one the later tracks, where it sounds like there is an accordion behind the song, as the guitars and drums build and build and build. Great stuff.

Killing Joke – Killing Joke (1980)

Killing Joke – Killing Joke (1980)

I’m not a huge fan of the 80s Killing Joke output, with the self-titled and its follow up being an exception. This incendary debut has the sound of a band hitting the ground running, and unlike some of the band’s other 80s outputs, almost feels like it hasn’t aged a day. For its primitive beginnings, Killing Joke sounds as fresh and as interesting as ever. How striking is that cover image? Apparently it was taken during the Irish troubles, but I’m unsure how true that is. “Requiem”, “War Dance” and “Primitive” are some of my favourite all-time Killing Joke tracks.

Wire – Pink Flag (1977)

Wire – Pink Flag (1977)

Pink Flag is one of those albums that holds its own kind of mysterious cult status. On the surface of it, Wire is not a particularly groundbreaking group, but on repeat listens one can appreciate some of the more subtle undertones to the music. At first it appears to be an interesting approach to the punk rock template but then when you realise the song structures are based entirely in repetition, almost to the point when the music / riffs become hypnotic, I begin to finally understand what makes Pink Flag stand out a bit more from its peers of the time.

Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death (2014)

Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death (2014)

I added this record to my to do list when Young And In The Way were announced for Temples Fest, easily over 5 years ago, maybe even 6. Either way, I never got around to listening to this until now, and was blown away by the mix of hardcore and black metal, which admittedly isn’t a mix I’m all too familiar with hearing. The production is quite typical of things in this trendy corner of metal, but nonetheless presents the music as a thick, chunky force to be reckoned with. An enjoyable listen.

Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us (2016)

Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us (2016)

Bro, like, bruh, you’ll never like, be one of us, bro. Bruh. LOL for all the quality memes that this hideously bad album title spawned, one must look past the elitist attitude and the penchant for performing powerviolence in leather jackets (totes veegs bro), and see that beneath the layers of masculine posturing and internet ridicule, Nails’ third offering is actually a vicious assault on the senses. Heavy, dirty drums and Entombed-core riffage is the order of the day, but sometimes just to bang your head is all you want to do. Bro.

Negative Approach – Negative Approach (1982)

Negative Approach – Negative Approach (1982)

The prices that this thing fetches on sites such as Discogs absolutely boggles the mind, but I suppose if anything, it shows the influence that Negative Approach had on hardcore punk. NA have always kinda simmered beneath the surface, being that awesome band that always kinda stayed underground, if I can say something so stupid. Anyway, the self-titled EP is a part of punk history now, and is a savage little beast. Well worth a listen if you’ve not heard it.

The Birthday Party – The Bad Seed (1983)

The Birthday Party – The Bad Seed (1983)

The Bad Seed EP was one of the final offerings from the volatile Birthday Party group. The tracks positively crackle with chaotic energy, firing this awkward, bizarre mix of punk and indie pop (yeah) up to a whole new level. There are times where it seems the whole song will fall apart, but that just seems like a part of the deal here. Worth going back to, especially for Nick Cave fans.

Murderdolls – Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls (2002)

Murderdolls – Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls (2002)

Hey Frankenstein! You want some metal infused horrorpunk? What do you mean “no”? Haha I played the absolute death out of this record when I was a teenager. Admittedly, I only really bought it because it had Joey from Slipknot on guitars, but it opened up the world of horrorpunk for me. An obsession with the Misfits developed in the years coming which would allow me to snake into the punk genre too – so as rubbish as most people think this album is, it is responsible for a lot, as far as my own musical journey goes. The Murderdolls channel the spirit of old, specifically Alice Cooper or Twisted Sister, into the world of punk rock. Expect shlocky horror like the aforementioned Misfits, and expect a bunch of re-worked Frankenstein Drag Queens tracks brought over by vocalist Wednesday 13, but if you’ve got an appetite for some cringe lyrics and some stomping punk rock, I would suggest giving this a chance.

Napalm Death – Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (2020)

Napalm Death – Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (2020)

Can you believe this has been the longest gap between Napalm records? It doesn’t feel that long since Apex Predator dropped. I guess that means that I’m getting old as fuck. Either way, here she blows, coming in from the horizon like a steamboat with a deceased crew and smashing head on into the dock with “Fuck the Factoid”, before pulling out all the usual tricks (and I’m sorry, but that same goddamn Russ Russell production). It is however something of a pleasure to hear how Napalm Death keep things interesting despite every album for the last 20 years having almost the exact same sound. For all the press this album has got for being experimental and “not grindcore” (uhhh, like any Napalm record since 1989 you mean?) all that’s really happened is that Barney n Co have dialled up their public love for Killkng Joke, Swans, Sonic Youth etc. to the point where they interpret the sounds of these bands into the Napalm songwriting process. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly call that experimental to be completely honest, but I’m being a cynical fuck – the truth of the matter is that the combination works and this album is a fucking banger.

Power Trip – Manifest Decimation (2013)

Power Trip – Manifest Decimation (2013)

Power Trip has been on my to do list for fucking years. I have no shame in saying that it was the grisly reminder of Ryan Gale’s untimely death that led me to finally taking this record and listening to it. I can only offer my condolences to his friends and family; he seemed well liked and of course loved, and after listening to this record I can attest that he was a brilliant front man too. I’ve seen Power Trip live. The memories are there in my booze addled mind somewhere or other, but Manifest Decimation is the first time I’ve sat down and spent time with the band. What I’m treated to is a hardcore-tinged romp through something altogether more thrash based. But, it’s more than, IDK, Municipal Waste without the silly songs about beer, or as trite as a DRI for a new generation. Power Trip is it’s own thing; Manifest Decimation draws on – at times – a darkness from something altogether more Nails-y and a heavy tone you’d associate almost with some beatdown acts. Either way, whichever way I cut it, this is a fast and heavy record that is fully deserving of your attention.