Do obscure records still exist in 2017? For the better or worse, long gone are the days when a serious effort, time and lots of dedication were essential to build a decent underground music knowledge. Now every goddamn record is virtually just a few clicks away from you. At this point, the concept of "obscure releases" must be completely reconsidered. And the mere fact that Nemesis "hombre: oveja negra del universo" 7" (originally self-released by the band back in 1987) has just been repressed, would probably answer to my question. If such a forgotten gem from Medellin got the repress treatment, even if in the limited quantity of 300 copies, it means there's a market for it. What once was a well-hidden secret among the collector nerds, now has been democratized for the masses. If this means I can no longer dream to find an OG first press for cheap, then I should be grateful to Epidemia Records for this reissue. Nemesis was a short lived band from Medellin that fits perfectly the ultrametal parameters. Think to a mix of Slayer & Celtic Frost, filter it via south american lo-fi metal production, and you got a solid release. Perhaps not on the same level of greatness of Parabellum, Reencarnacion or even Astaroth, but we're not too far from it. Apparently Epidemia also reprinted the band demo on cd but for some reasons I completely missed it. A must have for all the ultrametal and south american metal fans in general. But stay away if you can't deal with lo-fi production and tons of rawness!
venerdì 23 giugno 2017
giovedì 15 giugno 2017
A is for Anal, B is for Butt and C is for Cunts. Body cavities always had an important role in naming noisecore bands. Glad to see new bands keeping this important tradition healthy & alive. Here we got indeed Cunts from japan sharing a slab of wax with Anal Butt from USA. SPHC delivers again some noisecore at its best (or worst, it just depends on your point of view). Cunts from tokyo have been around for over a decade and they are part of that peculiar japanese tradition of making noisecore with only vocals delivered via a special microphone that also unleashes a wall of feedback noise & drums. Nikudorei and World indeed immediately come to mind while listening to their side. If noisecore is already a minimalist style, Cunts reduced it to its mere bones. An aural assault that's the equivalent of a caveman hitting a skull with some femurs while simultaneously screaming his guts out. Simply brilliant. Anal Butt from baltimore, who of course won the prize for the best band name ever, are more traditional. Stick clicks, blast beats and noise for 10 or even less seconds. Repeat it for a copious amount of time, close the record with a hardcore stomper, et voilà. We got a masterpiece. No metallic bullshit here, just plain ol'noisecore the way it's supposed to be played, like the forefathers of the genre taught us almost 20 years ago. No song titles for both bands, a cover that would embarrass your girlfriend (or should I better say your mom, since chances you got a girlfriend while listening to this kind of stuff are close to zero) make this even more a modern classic. Considering that it's the debut on vinyl for both bands, I got high expectations for the future! Only 300 pressed.
mercoledì 24 maggio 2017
They must have printed the wrong logo on the cover, that's the only reasonable explanation. A band composed by Joe Denunzio, Matt Domino and Bob Deep Six is essentially the Infest recent line up minus Chris Dodge. I don't know why they have chosen to release this ep under the Exit Unit monicker and, honestly, I don't even care. This is the new Infest ep and it bloody rules. Unlike the last Infest ep "days turn back", which was rejected songs from "no man's slave" recording session, these are all brand new tracks composed and recorded between 2011 and 2015. The sound is crispy and powerful, all the trademark elements that made Infest one of the best hardcore band ever are all here. Those guys are unstoppable. Not only they are touring everywhere in the world, they've been also able, in their late 40s, to assemble the BEST ep of the year. On side A we got eight perfect powerviolence butcheries, played like only the godfathers of this genre can do and dressed with some of the most negative lyrics I've read in recent times. Side B, to maintain another Infest tradition, has a long midpaced instrumental stomper that will make you want to smash your head against the wall again and again. This record is basically the most awesome riff ever, instantly surpassed by following one, for the whole time it lasts. I was about to say that the current state of HC is quite sad if a bunch of old fat dudes has just released the ep of the decade. But, honestly, I don't care. It's nothing new of course but when you've invented a new sub-genre more than 25 years ago and you're still able to nail it down perfectly, you've won everything.
lunedì 15 maggio 2017
Let's talk about a forgotten jewel from the golden era of swedish death metal: Carbonized debut full length "for the security", released by Thrash Records outta france back in 1991. Considering that it's one of the best five album EVER that came from that scene and that Lars Rosemberg from Entombed and Christoffer Johnsson of Therion were part of the band, I cannot really understand why people don't praise it like they should. My guess is that this album is quite peculiar for your average death metal fan. It doesn't follow strictly the classic swedish death metal formula, it goes beyond it. It's full of blast beats (making Carbonized probably the first swedish grind band ever?), riffs are way far from the classic swedish DM recipes and there are a lot of tempo changes and weird song structures in general. The final result is something unique in its greatness. Death/grind with an almost psichedelic vibe going on for the whole album. If you can image a weird mix of Nihilist, Repulsion & Voivod, then you'll get a vague idea of how Carbonized sound. If they were on a bigger label than Thrash, they would have probably gotten all the attention they deserved. Essential classic. Scored this copy easily and for a very good price, too. Later stuff is too weird for my taste, but this and debut 7" are mandatory!
sabato 6 maggio 2017
lunedì 24 aprile 2017
If you happen to dig a bit in the the early 80s' hc/punk scene from my hometown, Kobra is one of those name that, sooner or later, will pop up. It's one of those quite obscure bands that's mainly known between the collector nerds for their only release, 1985's "corri nel sangue dei tuoi nemici" (run in the blood of your enemies) self-released 7". Like it frequently happens, obscure doesn't necessarily mean great. It's like how Wretched would have sounded if they had a poor guitar work and were influenced by bad metal. Not even the fantastic cover could save that ep from its mediocrity. Apart from that, Kobra are mainly known for their 1983 UK tour with Wretched. Recently I was reading in General Speech #9 about a great live recording captured during that aforementioned tour. I usually avoid live recordings but this one intrigued me. I've asked around but since I'm not cool enough in the tape trading circuit, I couldn't get my hands on it. Then this bootleg ep, pragmatically titled "live queen's walk community centre nottingham 13 aug 83" surfaced in a distro. Recording is of course raw but not bad at all for being captured on stage. What really surprised me is that you can hear a completely different band here. While "corri nel sangue..." totally lacks of the trademark urgency of italian hardcore, songs here are more energic, faster and direct compared to the material they released 2 years later. It reminds a lot the Wretched side of their legendary split with Indigesti. All the eight songs featured here were also completely unknown to me. Perhaps material for a demo that unfortunately never got recorded? Anyhow, this bootleg re-evaluated completely Kobra in my books. A great piece of history for Milano and 80s italian hardcore in general.
martedì 18 aprile 2017
A couple of weeks ago, while I was listening to the recent SPHC repress on wax of Final Exit 2008 "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" 3"cd, my partner suddenly came in the room. While she sporadically appreciates some hc/punk music, she usually hates grind/death/noise and everything in the middle. To my surprise she said: "I like this band. Who are they? They remind me Melt Banana. No wait, how was called that John Zorn band?". "Naked City", I promptly answered with my heart full of pride. "Yeah, Naked City! They sound like them". And I think she nailed it perfectly. It would be indeed too reductive to tag this album, and this japanese duo in general, simply as a noisecore band.
I've been enjoying Final Exit since they released their first split eps in the mid 90s. They've always been an unique band that was able throw in their low-fi noisecore assault a lot of weird and unexpected parts. But on "seasons are going and going...and lives goes on" they've outdone themselves to assemble their masterpiece. In barely 10.30 minutes, they melted perfectly their aural decimation with NWOBHM, Death Metal, HC/Punk, Pop, Doom, Surf, Rock, Industrial and Jazz parts. While they've obviously taken clue from Anal Cunt and Meat Shits (they are indeed named after the last ones), both Hisao and Ryohei are excellent musicians who could play whatever genre they wanted but consciously choose to stay loyal to their roots and keep gracing us with their wonderful noisecore. They've been able also to avoid the usual clichés of the genre: "SAGAGALGO" is a twelve tracks concept album about the flowing of the time. Tracks are named after the 12 months and the artwork reproduces perfectly the four panels of the cd version. It's housed in a full-coloured gatefold cover with a beautiful picture to represent each season. SPHC has given this reissue all the attention and quality it needed.