Thursday, July 24, 2014

INTERVIEW- JOE MCKAY/ THIS IS HARDCORE FEST

I thought it might be a fun idea to talk with a couple people who organize fests around the US.  A long time ago I booked a couple fests here in Syracuse and it made me want to rip all the hair I had on my head at the time right out.  I don't know how others manage to do this and consistently make it a quality event.
I'm starting with Joe Hardcore, who is the main fellow behind This Is Hardcore Fest in Philly.  Yeah, it might seem a little weird for this site to cover that particular fest, but honestly every year I see the lineup and it looks incredible.  And every year I find myself being unable to attend.  Some year I'll make it happen.  This year's event (which actually kicks off today!) looks just as awesome with bands like Converge, Slapshot, All Else Failed, and Turmoil all playing the same day.  Guuuuuuhhhhh (sorry, wiping away the drool).  So anyway, read on about what goes into this monster event and how they manage to pull it off.


What do you think separates This Is Hardcore from other punk and hardcore fests happening around the US?

Aside from the tenure of being around from the end of Hellfest and Posi Numbers, which is now an entire generation and almost a half in hardcore terms? We tend to go the extra mile, push the envelope as to how many bands we can fit on a bill, how many kids we can push into a room and how wide of a berth we allow this is hardcore to become to encompass as many bands from multiple periods and parts of hardcore's past and present while maintaining the basic core values of your average hall rental show.
Do you attend other fests (either here or internationally) and get a feel for how others do things and maybe apply it to how TIHC is run?

The basis of TIHC was to not do what others mentioned above had done and sorta bring it back to the basics. this was in 2006 mind you, since then we've been through 8 fest and are on the eve of our 9th and evolution has pushed us above the pack and into the forerunner spot. This is because many things and none of which is based on my attendance at other fests. I would attribute the success to the fest to the support given to it and me from the bands, labels and scene at large.
The reciprocal relationship that allows TIHC  to make the moves and bring in the bands because the support is there is really how we stay afloat.

When do you generally start planning each year's TIHC Fest, and can you give a basic outline of how and when things happen?  Do you have a schedule or playbook sort of organization to putting all the pieces together each year?

Lineup sets the precedence for many aspects but ultimately the template from year to year is adjusted based on what works and what didn't last year. This year we are looking at 62 bands, 72 if you count the side stage and nearly 100 if you count the after parties.
next year will see less bands overall but more time and different aspects evolving to make the fest less of an over exhausting experience.
Having the set players in the staff from production, to stage manager to online team really have crafted the fest into something that runs year round based on the timing in which we confirm bands and the deadlines set by us to get announcments together.
although a year of stress, the sillyness that unfolds keeps the work from being too daunting.

How many people do you have helping you with each year's event and what sorts of roles do they play in supporting you?
 
I have Greg Daly who is not only one of the premier tour managers in the underground, but one of the most solid punk figures in all aspects. His ideas, zeal for keeping things simple and punk while very professional really have made a difference in the way the fest interfaces with the bands.
Dan Oesterich from Brooklyn being our stage guy really has made the stage and turn arounds flawless.
Having Andrew Memphis Murphy as tech support on stage for the last 8 years makes each sets changeover effortless for the bands.
Chris X being the ubiquitious online figure as well as maintaining a positive relations with all of our vendors in merch land really helps on a daily basis and takes a huge workload day of during the fest off of my back.
Liam O being the coordinator for all food vendors is another key aspect of the growing fest. from having a great relationship with the city food inspectors to knowing the paperwork and having excellent taste and choices in what the kids want, its a job I couldn't do in a million years.
Joel Murphy is my silent partner. Whether its any of the above aspects or his amazing art and web design that make the presence of TIHC stand out and above, he is the rock and guidance that allows me to call at 3 am with an assortment of questions or thoughts to ponder. He comes up and directs all of the tents going up and coming down and is very hands on during the fest and makes the need to do things happen.
Sunny Singh evolved from the guy who videos to the promotional minded bedfellow to the staffer with insight towards booking leads, the social media presence of the fest along with the good natured sillyness that makes what we present online what it is.

The team this year also included Meghan Harper who is an amazing person with insane eye for detail and had alot of hands on time in compiling data for the app and sites as well as input as to ideas for the lineup. It was nice for someone to come in and take the place of Bob Wilson who moved to Florida to start FYA fest .

Jen Reisberg worked on alot of PR elements and maintained a social connection to the many sites that we depend on to talk about the fest.
Brooke Hoffman aids in most anything we need her to and is someone to always count on for a solid opinion.
Bob Shedd who worked through being a father and an relenteless work schedule put us on the map with a few companies that we now have solid relations with. Although his time is limited, he is a great idea guy and a solid team player.
Vanessa D is our newest member and someone who will be developing our own PR team year round to help keep the momentum going and give us more insights and push through the off season and such. Her drive and energy is unreal and she is going to get us places we've never been before.

Big shout outs to the support given to us still from Sean Agnew of R5 productions, a brother, mentor and most helpful person alive.
The staff of the Electric Factory really come into their own during the fest and their professionalism gives us blue ribbon level of support to the bands and customer service for the kids.


TIHC is pretty infamous for the videos you put together each year advertising the Fest.  They're pretty long and usually pretty funny.  Is this something you usually come up with, or a group project?

Sunny and I are the parents but with the coming fall and new projects, we have included everyone including Bananye West, Thomas Oi and a slew of meme making hooligans to bring the TIHC humor to an all time high. 

Are there bands that approach you each year that you would like to have play but for one reason or another (financial or schedules) it doesn't work out?  Are there band that you approach each year that you really want to have play (like dream line-up stuff) but it never works out?

Burn, Chokehold, and xDisciplexAD would make my top of my wish list. Ignite is the last hold out of semi active bands that I need to have on the fest .
Hatebreed was up there but they've now done everything but TIHC so its taken the glimmer out. I prefer solid headliners that are currently kicking ass dabbling lightly with reunions and supporting the working bands today over a reunion fest top to bottom. In the coming years you will see more lineups like this year and that is due entirely because in the past 5 years, every fest ours included have depleted the "OH MY GOD" level bands that kids would die to see.
Additionally, are there any bands you'd really like to have play some year, but they might not quite fit the style of TIHC?  Like maybe some very non-hardcore type band that you're a big fan of?
 
Obituary, Behemoth, Jedi Mind Tricks, House of Pain, Every Time I Die.  Aside from that I'd like to bring things back to when hc kids were truly supportive of the undergound movement over short winded popular trends. I could book any number of flavor of the month fad bands and kids would be happy, but a long time legend like KRS One would be a long shot as to reaching the core audience.
What's the most difficult part of putting together each years TIHC fest?
 
Not giving up. Not being downtrodden by complaints. Wanting a band and having to push the limits of what we can spend just to accomodate them so we know the kids are getting their moneys worth.
I wish I could figure a way to make the payment for bands more equal, keep production high and lower ticket prices..
Money is the root of all the evil in this and in dealing with it, I choose often to make less and less so the fest gets what it needs and everyone walks away happy. Its not a solid business plan, but it makes sense to do it this way.
 
Any big additions/changes, or otherwise exciting things you'd like to mention about this years Fest coming up in July?

Thursday Killswitch is playing alot of Older material
Friday Stephen Brodsky is playing with Converge
Bl'ast has cancelled and Agnostic Front has taken their place.
Alpha Omega has dropped so we've filled the spot with Palehorse
Sunday Madball plays set it off top to bottom with matt henderson flying in to perform with them.
 
Thanks for the love and support!
 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DIALYSIS GIGS THIS SUMMER


Us old farts will be playing a handful of shows out of town this Summer (and in town as well), including a special rare show from Hex alumni LIKE WOLVES in Rochester on August 3rd.  A couple more may pop up before the heat is through, but this is the hub bub as of now:

Friday, July 18th 
Bethleham, PA @ Podrum Mahenzi
doors 7, bands 8
$5-7

Dying - http://dyingxvx.com/

To Tremble - http://totremble.bandcamp.com/

Dialysis


 https://www.facebook.com/events/242424722619851/
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Saturday, July 19th- Philly.  Watching Nothing and Iron Lung, scro'...  unless someone wants to hook up a day time matinee? 
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Monday, July 21st
Syracuse, NY
Westcott Community Center
8:30PM. $7

Spoken word/comedy/juggling/deep stuff from TRIAL's
GREG BENNICK
with music from:
EGO DESTROYS (Syracuse)
DIALYSIS (more Syracuse)
VITAL TIMES (how much Syracuse can you take?)


 https://www.facebook.com/events/640686826024580/
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Friday, July 25th
Binghamton, NY
Fitzie's Irish Pub
8:00pm doors 8:30 start
21+ $5

*Bleak (Syracuse)
--http://ihatebleak.bandcamp.com/

*Hell Mary (New Jersey)
--http://hellmary.bandcamp.com/

*Dialysis (Syracuse)

*Chasing Sokaris (Massena, NY)
--http://chasingsokarisny.bandcamp.com/

*Bubba Crumrine (Ithaca Underground, Mouth to Mouth to Mouth, Brian!, Hiroshima Vacation)
--http://localshakes.org/?p=822


 https://www.facebook.com/events/1509317992616715/
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Sunday, August 3rd
Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar

DOORS @ 3 SHOW AT 4 OVER BY 730

SOUL CONTROL
LIKE WOLVES
FLIPSHIT
DIALYSIS
JAPANESE FURNACE

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

REVIEWS FOR JUNE!

I go away for a little over a week and all these killer new records just make it known they exist in a very loud and awesome way.  So I had already been listening to a few of them, and other ones I knew were coming to beat the doors down.  But yeah, did Spring end and Summer begin with a storm of great releases.  Those of the heavy, noisy, and weird variety making some waves for me.  So read on music junkies and behold the lot this time around.



ANIMAL LOVER, “Guilt” LP
People around town kept telling me, ‘you’d love this band’, or ‘this is a band that’s right up your alley’.  Apparently, I have a type.  Well, I finally saw them, and they were right, I do like this band.  They were, in fact, one of the loudest three-piece bands I’d ever seen.  But not in that sort of grating, ‘this is actually punishing’ sort of way.  They had their sound so tight and dialed in, and then just cranked the shit out of it that it straight just pierced my skull.  Not a bad first impression.  Their newest offering “Guilt” is on LP, but it’s only 6 songs so it’s more of an EP than a full length, even though a few songs get kind of lengthy.  And that, I feel, is Animal Lover’s only downside- they tend to jam out a bit too much for a band that has very, very strong comparisons to Jesus Lizard, early Shellac, and Big Black (except with a live drummer).  Their thick, rubbery bass bounces around while guitars skree and grate over drunken yelped vocals…  yeah, I can get into that.  Fuck, even this album is really loud.  These dudes really know how to make a hell of a racket. (Learning Curve Records)

AS YOU WERE #3
Another edition of this semi-new and very awesome comics anthology.  Most of the contributors this time are the same as the last issue, most of them being pretty awesome, a few being total duds.  The theme of this issue is ‘big changes’.  So each artist interpreted that as they saw fit, from comics about punks becoming parents, to simply going from being into one type of music to another, or one’s dwindling frequency of attending shows due to adult responsibilities.  Heck, Liz Suburbia offers a literal interpretation by submitting a story about seeing a band whose music is so gnarly that she literally changes into a giant wolf that consumes the Earth.  The cover is by Lauren Denitzio and, honestly, I don’t get the adulation of her artwork.  This is basically a drawing of a bland living room (the exception being the Mission Of Burma record sitting next to a shelf) and her trademark use of newspaper clippings as a background.  Meh.  Good thing the contents on the inside make this worth picking up.  (Silver Sprocket)

AUSTERITY PROGRAM, THE, “ Beyond Calculation”
Two guys and a drum machine making a lot of noise.  Heck, they’ve been at it for years and are really damn good at it too.  The heirs to the throne of Big Black.  The make no qualms about their drum machine sounding like a drum machine and utilizing it as the machine that it is.  It gives their music a slightly industrial and robotic feel.  Meanwhile, they hoot and howl with grated guitars and nerd away in their studio bunker, making sure every little sound is fine-tuned and labored over to utmost perfection.  Steve Albini fan club charter members here.  Of all their output to date this is probably their best representation to date, and self-released on their own label.  (Controlled Burn)

EYEHATEGOD, s/t
I’ll admit that I have never been an exceptionally die-hard fan of Eyehategod.  I booked them twice- once was an awful experience where I saw their scummiest side upset my naive little brain.  The other was a pleasant experience that had them at their sunniest, apparently coaxed by beer, pizza, and meeting their desired guarantee with no issues.  I only have one of their other records and find most of it to be too fixated on the feedback and noise they love so much.  Yeah, I know.  It’s their thing so why should I complain about it?  Anyway, some 14 years later they bounce back with a fucking vicious slab of sludge filth that finds them at their absolute best.  I don’t know what switch flicked in my pea brain to find this particular record so godamned good after having a half-hearted reaction to the rest of their catalog.  The recording is stellar- it meshes the best parts of their scuzz-sludge noise assault with some harsh clarity to make for complete outlaw, scumbag music.  The band is totally focused and firing on all cylinders, whether it’s the opening punk-infused drive of “Agitation!  Propaganda!”, or the pained stop-start riff-fest of “No One Told Me”.  The A-side has a bit more kick to it overall than the B-side, which works the beaten-down, slow burn feedback downpour angle a bit more.  But whatever, I’ll take it all.  This is truly dangerous music for desperate criminals who have lost all faith in humanity, created by lifers of that exact same lot.  Damaging music.  (Housecore)

GRIDLINK, “Longhenna”
I had planned on reviewing this last time around, but forgot, which is stupid because this is a stupid good record.  So I’m a huge fan of “The Inalienable Dreamless” by Discordance Axis.  It basically sets an untouchable standard for just how weird, inventive, and fast grindcore can be played.  Their vocalist, Jon Chang, has a very distinctive style that I really admired (as well as a totally off-the-wall stage presence if you ever had the good fortune to see one of their rare live appearances).  That being said, he heads up this international grind unit and I’m naturally going to be interested in anything he does musically.  This is actually Gridlink’s second (and, apparently, final) record, which contains the core of his previous endeavor Haiyano Daisuki.  Again, super fast, very slickly produced, and full of wild guitar leads.  It’s like future music for ADHD-riddled video game freaks, minus any electronic elements.  Just the fastest music imaginable, minus any of the sloppiness or scuzz that accompanies most grind bands.  This is played by perfectionists.  So I still like Discordance Axis better but they’re different animals and this is, by no means, a bad turn.  It’s a fitting end to a good project.  (Handshake Inc.)

HELMS ALEE/YOUNG WIDOWS split 12”
So these two bands team up once again on a longer format?  Well, not exactly.  Ben from Helms Alee’s old band, Harkonen, did a split 7” with Young Widows previous incarnation as Breather Resist and the results for both sets current band produce similar results.  For Young Widows they are definitely an album band.  When they do shorter offerings (like 7”s or splits) I feel like they’re pulling from their pile of rejected songs.  It’s not to say the three songs they have here are not good, they just don’t have the heft and same thought-out execution of grand ideas (or as much pedal experimentation) they present on their LPs.  These songs are a bit more straight ahead and rocking than other material they have.  Helms Alee, though, knock it out of the park.  “Punchy Stabby” starts things off with a twisting and knotty riff that carries through this ripper.  “PAN” is next, and offers up the meandering and melodic side of the group, while closer, “Gas Giant” continues the meandering until a massive riff explodes from the ether and swallows the song whole ‘til it fades into oblivion.  The HA side wins this one.  A bit dismayed at the lack of packaging on this sucker.  Just a neat cover drawing, and no insert or info about the songs, recordings, lyrics, or otherwise.  (Sargent House)

HINDSIGHT, “Draining Satellites” EP
If I could call up the meme of the smiling dude with cornrows and add my own text, “I heard you like hardcore, so I put some hardcore in your hardcore to make it more hardcore” I’d place that here instead of an actual review.  It would get the point across.  These are some Pittsburgh dudes who are clearly having a good time revisiting their favorite memories of Trial and other mid-to-late 90’s hardcore styles.  I mean, just get a load of their name and their record title!  I lived through this stuff man, I know my 90’s hardcore worship when I hear it.  If this doesn’t turn your small t-shirt into an XL ringer than you’re not listening.  Regardless, they do a decent job of it, throwing down seven tracks of multiple breakdowns, lots of chugging rocking, and sing-alongs.  You will mosh.  You will (most likely) bleach your hair as well after hearing this.  (Hindsight)

PUP, s/t
Not since the 90’s have I been swayed to see a band or purchase their record based upon a music video as an introduction to their music.  Pup are my 120 minutes (or Headbangers Ball) moment of 2014.  Of course, both videos they have made (which are insane, by the way, look them up) are for two of the best songs on this LP.  Opener “Guilt Trip” rides a swinging beat with a wacky guitar lick looping over it and wild sing-along chants, while the next song, “Reservoir” takes a ripping punk rocker and inserts even more song-along madness to the mix.  From there it gets to be fairly consistent with songs like “Dark Days”, “Lionheart”, “Back Against the Wall” and “Mabu” all having a similar feel- upbeat punk, catchy riffs and licks, and sung/yelled melodic vocals and gang vocals.  Nothing wrong with any of that, but I like the songs where they’re going against the grain and doing something different, like “Guilt Trip” and the painfully beautiful and post-hardcore leaning “Cul-De-Sac” to separate them from the pack.  Nevertheless, Pup are a really fun band that take some of the more fun moments of Weezer and toss them into a blender with bands like Flatliners and Fucked Up.  (SideOneDummy)

YOUNG WIDOWS, “Easy Pain”
The A-side of Young Widows fourth LP may be some of the best stuff they’ve ever done.  Each of the first four songs is a separate, awesome entity.  “Godman” opens things up with a huge, crushing collapse of haywire intent moving at sloth speed.  “Cool Night” demonstrates how the band can take chaos and present it in a pretty and smooth way before Evan Patterson comes in with that closing epic guitar ascension while crooning “ease the pain” over and over.  “Kerosene Girl” picks up the pace and burns the house down before they’re even halfway through the record.  The first closes out with “Doomed Moon”, quite possibly one of my favorite YW songs ever.  It opens with a looped whisper of guitar, adding up until it’s a simple little whistle.  And then it just gets completely smashed by Nick Thineman’s pulverizing bass, turning the whole thing into a repetitive lumbering beast while Evan’s guitar abuse wails all around it with calculated skronks of noise tear through the mess (and that constant little background loop).  It’s quite incredible.  Not to say the B-side is a dud.  “Bird Feeder” might be one of their most sleazy-sounding songs they have written.  “Gift Of Failure” and “King Sol” are top notch additions to the band’s catalog, but add in a consistent way, and not necessarily as the pick of the litter.  All in all and great record that successfully combines the inventiveness and wild nature of “Old Wounds” with the moody and reserved weight of “In and Out Of Youth and Lightness” (Temporary Residence)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

OFF TO SEATTLE

Going on vacation for a little over a week.  The Northwest calls for me once more.  Hoping to see old pals, new sights, and lots of Mighty-O Donuts.  Seattle/Portland area give me some good stuff.

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIALYSIS 7" STREAMING/ DOWNLOAD PURCHASE!


Check it out! DIALYSIS, "Ludicrous Speed" is streaming on the bandcamp! And for those who enjoy supporting music, but do not like being weighed down by physical objects, you can now purchase the entire record (and bonus track!) off the bandcamp site!  

https://hexrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ludicrious-speed

Thursday, May 8, 2014

MAY REVIEWS!

As Biz Markie would say, "It's Sprrring agaiiiinnnn!"  So celebrate all that with plenty of time outdoors and hopefully with some music and reading in tow.  Nothing better than lazing on the porch with a good read and some music blaring in the background. 

BLEAK/ HELL MARY split 7”
Syracuse’s Bleak offer up their two heaviest tunes yet.  The first is a chaotic and violent mess of a massive shelving collapse in a sledgehammer warehouse.  The second track is a  slower climb, and then descent, on the ‘ol riot stairs with an incredible chunky breakdown in the middle- like apes beating on war drums while listening to Crowbar.  They are our hometown’s answer to Disembodied.  The recently deceased Hell Mary carve out their niche on the B-side with three quick burners that lie somewhere between Suicide File’s fun and catchy hardcore and 108’s semi-metallic leanings.  The band rips.  Too bad they called it a day.  Still worth a few clams so pick it up if you see it around. (Fake Art Fake Music)

BLOODLET, “Live On WFMU” LP
Unearthed from some dusty old vault, live from 1995, the one and only Bloodlet.  Quite literally, no other band sounded like this when they were at their peak.  And to this day no band has ever really been able to properly imitate them either.  This is from a radio performance, when the band was still a 5-piece and they are playing mostly “Ethenogen”-era material.  Aside from a couple little audio farts and a couple minor mess-up’s the sound (and present re-mastering) is great as is the tightness of the band.  A couple of the songs sound a little different, as they were either slightly re-worked from their original recordings, or not quite tweaked to perfection for when they would be laid to wax officially, and that’s interesting to hear for a person mildly obsessed with this band’s output.  Additionally, there is an instrumental track on ere that never made it on to any official Bloodlet release, so that’s a treat.  If there’s anything wrong with this release I’d have to say it’s lacking a little bit in presentation.  I know it’s just a radio session, but it would have been nice to have an insert with some notes from the band or whatever, or even a download to go with it, especially given the price.  A389 puts out awesome records, but they tend to be a bit on the pricey side.  (A389 Recordings)

CREEPOID, “Wet” 12”
As if their long-awaited new full length hadn’t just come out Creepoid released a special one-sided 12” EP for record store day.  I’m pretty sure you can find a few of these floating around as it isn’t one of those things that was gone in an instant.  It’s certainly worth it as you get 4 new heavy psych-stoner-shoegaze rockers, colored wax, and some weird-ass involved etching on the B-side.  Aside from the one oddball track of atmospheric strangeness this leans more on Creepoid’s drugged-out heavy slacker side moreso than their breezy, yet eerie, tuneful one.  This is a really great, yet brief, collection of songs from one of Philly’s finest.  If you can’t find this EP don’t be a chump, go and get their self-titled LP instead, like now.  (Graveface)

CULT LEADER, “Nothing For Us Here” EP
The members of Gaza lost their singer, did some minor musical chairs, and have now returned as Cult Leader.  Basically, in their new formation, it sounds pretty much just like Gaza.  They offer up a couple deviations from their past efforts, including closer “Driftwood”, which rides a slow and steady behemoth riff throughout.  Opener (well, after the beginning noise track) “Flightless Birds” treads familiar territory- noisy chaotic metal scattershot like aluminum shrapnel in a bottle of drano left to explode in a subway station at rush hour (scary thought, yes?).  These same stomping grounds are re-visited later on “Skincrawler”.  So, yes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag for the band’s debut.  But those familiar with their past efforts will be pleased with this and the sonic adventures they take you on for, oh, about 15 minutes.  (Deathwish)

EX HEX, “Hot and Cold”/”Waterfall”, “Everywhere” 7”
I went to see Rocket From the Crypt a couple times last month and had no idea who was opening for them.  When a trio of bad ass ladies got on stage and proceeded to rock the fuck out I not only marveled in awe of their rock prowess, but also something about the guitarist/singer was quite familiar.  I then figured out that it was Mary Timony, long time DC mainstay and former front person of 90’s indie rock bulldozer Helium (and, more recently, Wild Flag).  Needless to say it was a pretty nice surprise.  Their introduction on this Trapper Keeper-looking 7” is three songs.  The first, “Hot and Cold”, is an instant classic.  The riffs and vocals have been stuck in my head for weeks.  It’s pretty damn catchy.  They also made a hilarious video for the song featuring the Spiv, which I highly recommend watching.  “Waterfall” is the sort of forgettable song on the record.  It’s not bad, but doesn’t quite stick with me either.  Closer “Everywhere” once again brings back super-catchy riffs, especially at it’s somewhat drawn-out ending.  Imagine Thin Lizzy being played by Heart…  at a beach…. In the 70’s, everyone’s eating some pasta salad, having a good time.  Yeah, that’s a good record/picnic.  (Merge)

FLOOR, “Oblation”
Fuckin’ Floor.  Ten years after they disband they make a new record.  While the casual listener may not be able to tell the difference between this and a Torche record (it is the same singer/guitarist after all) I’ll offer this- the last several years of Torche has seen them explore more pop song elements and way more melody to go with their low-tuned monster rock attack.  Floor have melody too, but prefer the crash and thud of bomb strings, slower (overall) grooves, and crushing rhythms.  OK, so it really is a bit tough to tell the difference honestly.  It doesn’t really matter because this thing is a pretty damn good return to form.  My favorite songs on here tend to be of the slow, chunky dirges where the drummer still manages to have some swing with all the smashing of blunt objects going on (try “War Party” or “Trick Scene” for kicks).  For three dudes they definitely manage to bring the house down and it’s very nice to see them back in action.  (Season Of Mist)

RUINE “Winter 2014 demo” 7”
Soul-crushing, bleak, filthy and mean sludge metal.  These cats ain’t fucking around.  It’s a 7” and only two songs on it, and each one uses every iota of available wax to punish you (you probably deserve it).  One mean riff piled atop another with no hope of ever coming up for air.  This is not a bad start for a new (I’m pretty sure they are new anyway) band.  I’m very interested in hearing more, I’m a glutton for punishment.  (Forcefield)

SPRAYPAINT, “Rodeo Songs” 12”
This sounds like Wall Of Voodoo with some of Sonic Youth’s guitar pedals and tuning.  That’s a compliment by the way.  This post-punk Texas trio is a couple guitars, a drummer, and all three sing these sparse and weird quick little bursts of punk.  If you want to get all technical I guess they’re kind of a no wave sort of band, but still kind of rocking in an odd Devo-minus-robot synths sort of way.  So yeah, I mentioned Wall Of Voodoo.  I think it’s because of the nasally sort of vocals, reverb-y frantic sort of guitar work.  I found these songs not translating quite as well to record as they did live.  Upon seeing this band I have to say I was quite surprised.  Fans of weird, yet strangely rocking music will be intrigued by this, especially if you like the bizzaro stuff AmRep churned out near the end of their initial run (Calvin Crime, Servotron) or Brainiac.  I know I reference a lot of bands that employ synths, even though Spraypaint don’t use them.  I think I’m just comparing bands based on how weird they are.  So maybe it doesn’t make sense.  Honestly, I don’t care.  Spraypaint sound pretty fucking weird and I’m perfectly OK with that.  (S-S Records)

SURROGATES, “Easier Without You” cassette
Local act The Surrogates have gone through multiple lineups since they began, but have now settled with a half-Syracuse, half-Binghamton conglomerate.  In this time they have come up with a chunk of pop-punk burners and committed them to tape.  While I’ve never been a fan of pop-punk vocals that go for the semi-nasally nice guy/bratty boy thing (think Blink-182) I will say the other vocalist who handles things in a bit more gruff manner delivers well.  Musically, I’m reminded of Baltimore rockers Dead Mechanical, which is never a bad thing.  Six quick blasts to make you run around in circles.  (http://thesurrogates.bandcamp.com/ )

THIS AIN’T NO PICNIC, by Josh Ploeg
Josh Ploeg is about as punk as you can get in the kitchen.  The man not only offers wild concoctions of ingredients I’d never really think of putting together (and somehow making it work), but also offers tips on cooking on the fly, which sometimes literally means instructions for cooking on a hot engine block in the middle of nowhere or making s’mores with a lighter.  This is one colorful and weird cookbook.  It’s all about getting your hands dirty, cooking with weird and dirty people, and taking some chances on stuff you may not have thought of every trying in the past…  all vegan, of course.  The author not only offers up many recipes but also meals he thinks well known punkers would like (John Lydon’s Lavender Tea Cakes or Joey Ramones Black Bean Pizza), and offers up fun musical playlists throughout.  I’ve met the author on a few occasions and he basically tours the world as a vegan chef much of the year, doing his thing for bands on the road, important people in far off countries, and creates countless zines about his cooking.  This will probably be one of the most entertaining cookbooks you will ever read.  It’s also hilarious.  (Microcosm)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

PRE-ORDERS/SALE STUFF/ NEW SONGS UP....!!!!


Thanks so much to those who, so far, have pre-ordered both the DIALYSIS 7" and BLOOD SUN CIRCLE LP!  Keep in mind, both records come with special limited covers that look pretty spiffy, as well as download cards too.  So you all got that going for you.

Additionally, for one more week most of the other titles in the webstore remain on sale, so treat yourself and pick up something extra when ordering these fresh new records.

And just to sweeten the deal, both DIALYSIS and BLOOD SUN CIRCLE have another song each from their respective records up on the bandcamp for you to check out.  Like you still needed a reason to get these records....

Diaysis, "Back To the Stone Age"https://hexrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ludicrious-speed

Blood Sun Circle, "Escape Artist"https://hexrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bloodiest-sunniest

ORDER IN THE WEBSTORE!!!!!!