Saturday, February 24, 2007

Maps and Atlases - Trees, Swallows, Houses (2006)

This is a band to watch for. Maps and Atlases come from Chicago and one listen to their math-rock inspired sound will make all the more sense. What completely blows me away about this record is the amount of notes the guitarist opens the album with. I mean, it is just mind numbing, and he keeps it up for most of the album. The sound is hard to describe. Rather, the tone is hard to describe. It has a particular clean sound that I am really into. Musically they come off like a hybrid of Don Caballero, Pele and Hella, with furious octopus like drumming skills and oddly repeated guitar figures, picked with delicate intensity. The singer has a nasally voice that is odd, but somehow very endearing. Each song is blazingly fast, working its way through many time signatures that would have an acoustical physicists head spinning. The key is how much melody they inject in to each song. Where Don Cab or Hella are content to bend the rules in hopes to find some mysterious polyrhythm on the fringe, Maps and Atlases stay its course and explores the polyrythms that exist on the inside of the spectrum, resembling quarks of sound and shimmering rays of light. It all adds up to a new band with an incredibly unique sound, one which I eagerly await either seeing live or releasing another album which hopefully delivers on the promise of this first one.

Like every good band these days, Maps and Atlases would be behind if they didnt have a myspace page and it seems that the only place to get merch is from this site. You can also find two pretty cool Maps and Atlases tee shirts. After all, who doesnt need another cool graphic tee. ^_~

Heroin - Discography (1997)

Speaking of early San Diego hardcore (one of my favorite subjects.. ^_^) Heroin pretty much laid a good portions of the groundwork for all the current bands that exist in the reborn emo/ screamo scene. Though back then I dont remember many of these bands being described as screamo, it is still a decent enough descriptor for the thrashy guitars, chaotic rhythms and of course, the screamy vocals...

Heroin were a pummeling force and deserve recognition being that most of the member have moved on to other bands that stayed ahead of the pack. Bands such as Antioch Arrow and Clikatat Ikatowi both feature members of Heroin and were both forerunners of the second wave of bands that would lead to the more current crop of bands like Orchid.

Ah, but enough plotting the course of obscure musicians creating chaptic music. The point is the originators remain as powerful and as important as their current counterparts, and its no wonder that this form of music has remained in the hearts of so many. Its visceral appeal is such that even the most primitive of human beings can feel the fire of passon with which these songs were commited to tape...

Heroin was released mostly on Gravity records, an awesome San Diego label run by Heroin guitarist Matt Anderson. The label still exists and is currently releasing a variety of awesome bands. Go check it out.

Iconoclast - Discography (Request)

I'll keep this short. I havent listened to this much in recent years, but it is a worthy submission into the early hardcore/ screamo scene. Iconoclast had a frantic chaotic approach that at the time was very new in the hardcore scene and was only being used by a handful of San Diego bands like Heroin and later the Swing Kids and a few eastern bands like Merel and Frail. I believe this was release on the Ebullition label (Check the sidelinks).

I dont have any Econochrist, so good luck on your search...

New York City Hardcore: The Way it Is (1988)

In response to the fact that I just admitted that Euro Hardcore is killing current American Hardcore I feel the need to remind that "not-so-current" American Hardcore is where it all began. In 1988 NYC was the hotbed of hardcore revolution. And Revelation Records was the label with it all. This compilation (a lost art, by the way) is an amazing view of what was going on at the time. With bands like WarZone (r.i.p. RayBeez), Breakdown and Bold and the future heavy weights of hardcore, Youth of Today, Sick of it All and the Gorilla Biscuits, this comp will keep your blood boiling and remind you why Revelation and NYC were so important at one point in the past.

My favorites? Ive always really liked the Breakdown song, Sick People. It is cheesy but powerful and one of the first tough guy hardcore songs. The Side by Side songs are also great and they were an overlooked part of the NY scene. Of course I love the Gorilla Biscuits as they were and still are my favorite of that style of music. The Supertouch song is also personal fave. The only things missing from this comp are non-rev bands like Agnostic Front and the allmighty Cro-Mags.

Anyway, have a good time looking into the past, and make sure to check out the other releases that these bands have put out.

Friday, February 23, 2007

La Quiete - La Fine Non é La Fine (2004)

This album leaves me speechless so often its no suprise I dont mind it being in Italian. If I even had the coherency to utter a word, I could only summon "Whoa!" which I believe can be understood in any number of languages. So jarring yet so beautiful is this album. One moment you are being whiplashed with ridiculous time measures being thrown at you like sacks of bricks, and when finally given into the onslaught you are suprised to be soothed with cathartic, mind massaging melody and emotional release. La Quiete is a band that can tug the heartstrings, yet make that same organ dance with fire and life. The songs generally start off in a blinding fury of light, with almost blast beat like drumming, though slightly jazzier. The screams are frantic and raging, like a lake trying to break through a damn and reclaim its natural territory. Occasionally the band falls into an acoustic mood, lulling you with is its sincerity and promise of warmth, only to have the carpet pulled from underneath you once again. Each an everysong is brimming with both extremes, fludily pieced together to create one of the best hardcore releases in recent times. La Quiete delivers 9 songs in 20+ minutes, in true hardcore punk fashion. It is really hard to separate any song from another, as each time I listen to I find it impossible to not listen to the whole album, but some highlights for new listeners are: Metempsicosi Del Fine Ultimo, Ciò Che Non Siamo, Ciò Che Non Vogliamo, Super Omega and Uncaged. Of course that is almst half the album and every other song is just as amazing and concise as the four I mentioned. You will just have to dip into this album yourself and see what I mean.

The band seems like a group of cool guys and if your so inclined, you can write them and order records directly from them. They have a number of split 7"s with other euro bands. It seems the European scene is much closer knit then Americas.
So check out their website, pray they come and play live (they are supposed to be great) and add their myspace page so you can get instant Myspace cred.

La Quiete Official Site
La Quiete's Myspace

And if you want all that clever information that I failed to add, such as former bands, record labels, etc. be sure to visit the La Quiete Wikipedia page.

PS. I have all of their split 7"s and if anyone is interested in a particular one ask and I will hook it up...

Because I love you guys, and you made me feel so good when I asked for comments, and also because Louise Cyphre needs to have some light shed on them...

La Quiete / Louise Cyphre split (2005)

This is a more recent La Quiete recording backed with a German hardcore band known as Lousie Cyphre. If you are a fan of the blistering La Quiete you will also enjoy Louise Cyphre. They have a similar sensibility in terms of speed and melody combined with the anguished screaming that La Quiete does so well. This split is immense and shows even more promise for two already amazing bands...

Louise Cyphre site
Louise Cyphre myspace

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I see alot of people hitting this site (or at least the same people a ton of times, either way, 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other...). I didnt start this page for popularity, but I dont post all these bands so I can stroke my own penis either. Im not that desperate or horny. I love music, and I want to meet music lovers...people with similar tastes, people with different tastes...I want to hear what people think, what you like, what you want to hear, what you dont want to hear. I'll even talk art or philsophy with you. Don't get scared though, we dont have to be pen pals, I'm not gonna send you Hallmark Holiday cards or pictures of my dog. I wont add you in my memoirs and pen you into a screenplay as my far away friend who "also likes the Gorilla Biscuits". We dont even have to waste that much energy. Just do one favor for a poor old man...

Especially if its something you liked alot and hadnt heard, or were looking for or wanted to hear again after a while. The whole point is musical expansion. Increasing the range of your sonic palette. I would at least like to know if I contributed to that in some small way. Thanks y'all!

Pele - Enemies (2003)

Pele's Enemies is a skittering, hi-hat ecstasy fountain, propelling you ever upward amidst splashes of sunlight reflecting through crystalline droplets of percussion. Guitars float and swirl around you, like a loosely woven tapestry of tones and color, enveloping you in its smooth fluidity, seducing you to believe all is just one. The music sparkles and pops like quarks and atoms zipping in microscopic disbelief. It gallops and billows like clouds riding the wind; crackles and sighs like a wood fire, dancing jubilantly at the fleeting life its been given, laughing and licking at the sky, while warming all those who huddle near it, hoping to understand its mystery.

Pele on Polyvinyl, and Crouton Records, a label dedicated to improvisational and experimental recordings.

Be sure to check out Collections of Colonies of Bees, currently a highly experimental band of Pele's Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller. They are similar to Pele in tone, but more improvisational with the use of subtle electronics and drones.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Wolves - Art.Culture.Work. (2002)

Wolves - Simulation. Transparency.Alienation (2002)

Wolves / Transistor Transistor - Split (2004)

Wolves / Sinaloa - Split 7"

Wolves / Ampere - Split 7"

Wolves = Fucking Amazing.

Political Hardcore Punk at its best. Where were these guys in the 90's?
For people who love Swing Kids, Heroin, Max Colby, Drive Like Jehu. These guys are the bomb. They have been on my iPod for months now. Every single song is worthwhile.

Sadly they have broken up, and left a legacy behind. These 5 records have become 5 of my favorites in recent times.

If anyone has better artwork for the two 7" splits, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks! Enjoy!

Shotmaker - Discography

First off, excuse the uber shitty artwork....Second, excuse the uber subjectivity.

Shotmaker were one of the best hardcore bands. Hailing from Canada, their brand of hardcore was heavy without resorting to palm muted guitar riffs or stompy breakdown. Theres is a juggernaut of pummling bass and drum attack with some of the most blood curdling screams. They released two proper full lengths, Crayon Club and Mouse Ear Forget Me Not, as well as a decidedly awesome split with the late great Maximillian Colby (In my opinion, 6 of their best songs). They are also early progenitors of the current emo explosion, with their loud soft approach, complex guitar passages and screamy vocals. Though this is really just hardcore at its embroiled, impassioned best.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Sepultura are one of the finest metal and thrash act to come out of the 80's. Their early material was at the dawn of death metal and thrasm metal. Metallica and Slayer were paving the way for many and Sepultura awoke from their lair in Brazil and nearly owned the whole metal scene by the time these three records came along. While Metallica and Slayer seemed less and less urgen, Sepultura was still building steam into an incredible turmoil of metal mayhem. Their anger and agression at politics and world views has remained steadfast and true even to their landmark Roots album. Admittedly though, with Roots, and even Chaos A.D., Sepultura helped usher in an altogether new beast in the metal scene known as Nu-Metal. Aside from the obvious downfall of metal for the next few years, and maybe even possibly due to it, these three albums remained as high water marks for the metal scene ever since.

Sure hardcore bands were killing it with metal all over the place during the nineties. I am not saying Sepultura is the last great metal band. The best part was while the nu metal scene was growing, hardcore was getting heavier and faster, thanks to people growing up with Slayer, Sepultura and Metallica.

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains (1989)

Sepultura - Arise (1991)

Sepultura - Chaos A.D. (1993)

Portraits of Past - 01010101 (1998)

An early but great progressive hardcore record. Portraits of Past were one of the first to stretch thrashing hardcore songs into 8 minute opuses. Theyre melodies and early post-rock vibe made them a certain forerunner in both the hardcore genre and the post-rock genre.

Lion of Judah - Universal Peace (2006)

Lion of Judah are another DC area hardcore band. Except they actually exist in a current sense. This is a pretty exciting record that makes the most of old hardcore greats and creates a totally fresh take on the word Old School Hardcore.

Pretty much every ingredient is in the mix here. Fast punk blasts and angry breakdowns, crew sing alongs, guitar shredding and sung screamed vocal delivery. They sound like everybody from Bad Brains, to Minor Threat, Rites of Spring and Dag Nasty, to Swiz and Gorilla Biscuits, and even Sick of it All and the Cro-Mags at times. This approach comes off seemless and delivers on every angle, into every breakdown and every stagedive.

The obvious positive youth crew styled lyrics can only serve as basic reminders of being aware of your surroundings everyday, both physically and emotionally. Hardcore needs this kind of positivity to remind people of why it was so relevant in the first place.

Swiz - No Punches Pulled (1993) & Fury - Resurrection (1998)

Swiz were an influential DC hardcore band resposible for bearing the torch of punk angst and agression into the new decade. Years after Rites of Spring, Dag Nasty and Embrace ushered a new era of more melodic punk, Swiz, returned the to the thrashier hardcore sound of DC past, using clear references to DC legends Minor Threat and Bad Brains, most likely because of the burgeoning NYHC scene during the late 80's. Swiz also remained true to the recent advances in melodic, emotional hardcore, and fused these styles together into a catchy and powerful brand of punk that again set the stage for the current DC sound.

No Punches pulled is their complete discography, though there is also a Demo recorded with a different bass player. The recording, called With Ramsey Demo is offered for free on the Jade Tree Records website.


One of Swiz's best songs, Resurrection, features young Chris Thomson on vocals. Thomson went on to form Circus Lupus and later the Monorchid and Skull Kontrol. This Swiz line up, with Thomson on Vocals recorded under the name Fury. Fury was a wholly different beast, with Thomson sneering his hateful vocals over some of the meanest and heaviest DC hardcore to ever be released. From the first track, it is evident that the current youth crew scene and its urgency were a driving force in the development of these songs, even if it was about blowing your girlfriend away with a shotgun. Fury, at 12 minutes is a monolithic beast of hateful old school hardcore.

Today is the Day - Temple of the Morning Star (1997)

This album bleeds blackness. Pure self hate and grief are the only major emotions besides unholy perversions and sacrificial delight. Steve Austin is either a very scary man, or channels all his darkness into his records. But it is hard to imagine the submergence one must partake in to reach these pitiful levels of loathing and fleshly desires. And if it came naturally, what kind of mind are we dealing with here. The only thing I can affirm, is that deep inside of each and everyone of us, lies a primitive darkness, and this album seeks to reach us on that level. Whether or not your willing to Today is the Day in your life depends on how superstitious you are. How evil could a heavy metal record be?

How evil, indeed.

Converge - Petitioning the Empty Sky (1997)

This is officially one of the best hardcore records in existence. It is also one of the best punk records in existence. It is also one of the best melodic death metal records, one of the best thrash records and a whole host of other bests. If its agressive and angry or fast and loud, if its dynamic and precise, brutal and cathartic and both visceral and cerebral, Converge has laid it to tape for nearly 15 years now. But Petitioning the Empty Sky is where they pulled it all together in to a unique and ferocious sound that would continue to grow to this day. All other agressive music takes a back seat to Converge.

Learn more about Converge
and see great photos, and make sure to see them live. Their new album, No Heroes is wreaking havoc on minds everywhere as we speak.