Monday, December 17, 2012
Raw Meat are a band formed from the remains of Nomos. At least that's what I thought before I saw pictures from Nomos' set at Not Dead Yet in November of this year. So either they aren't broken up or they just played that fest as some sort of special occasion. Then again, it could just be mislabeled pictures of Raw Meat, as I haven't seen any flyers from the fest that show Nomos played. Anyway, this intro sucks but I don't know a lot about the band so I'm not sure what to say.
This tape was remixed by Will Killingsworth and will be released as a 7" in the future. The cover looks fairly bad, but maybe I just saw the test press or something. You can find more about/contact the band at rawmeatband.tumblr.com
Whoever mailed me my copy was nice enough to include a book that I vow to read someday. Thanks.
It was produced in a pretty small quantity, but it's possible that they made more later. I'm not sure. My favorite song on the tape is Spite, I like the verse riff a lot. That's about it. I always feel so lazy with this blog because I post once a month, if that. Gotta go study for a final tomorrow, see ya later.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
It's raining outside and the wind is blowing hard. Time for some bloggin'. It's been a while, man, life's so rad. This band's my favorite, don't you love em'? My cat is putting her paw on my arm to remind me to pet her. She's also licking my elbow, at which I'm laughing hysterically. Anyways...
The cover of this is so ridiculous it's pretty much comical. To me, the daughter in the corner pushes it over the top. It appears to be drawn by the same guy who does the Crazy Spirit artwork. I remember seeing those little creatures in the booklet for Crazy Spirit's latest LP. One guy is giving the cop a blowjob, another is stabbing him, and yet another is stabbing himself while jacking off. Not something you see everyday. The back cover conveys the band's feelings on the NYPD, Bloomberg, and other stuff that's too sloppy to read.
I like the A side of this record the best. It starts out pretty strong. I like the ascending high notes part of the verse riff. It also picks up speed about halfway through, which is good for someone that has a short attention span when it comes to punk (me). The high notes of the guitar against the bass part in the beginning of "Mad Problems" is cool. After that, it's a decent song, but its lyrics are sort of generic and it uses the tired old "head/dead" rhyme seen since the beginning of punk. The bass is also pretty low in the overall mix of the record.
The third song uses pretty much the same line as the previous one ("Every time I wake up I wanna die"/I wake up in the morning and I wish I was dead"). The third song, however, ends up transitioning really effectively into the fourth, and the songs go well together in that regard. The lyrics of "Needles" explores the futility of staying healthy when you're going to die anyway. I can't relate to this sentiment, but it's the fastest song on the record, so I like it.
"Jail Cell" begins the B-side, discussing the shittiness (and possibly rapiness, I'm not totally clear on that) of being in jail. I'll just take their word on it. "Street Scarred" has a great intro part. Bitch is my least favorite song. It appears to be a sympathetic portrayal of domestic violence from the point of the abuser. I hope it's not autobiographical, but if these guys are the druggies they want to portray themselves as, it could be. Obviously a lot of punk lyrics are written out of anger though. I guess I'm saying I don't take this stuff too seriously.
This was put out by Burn Books, who released a cool NY compilation tape early last year. It is sold out from the label (burnbooks.org) but it says the second press is coming soon.
I was actually wondering when somebody was going to use this picture for something punk related.
So my favorite songs on this are Goose Step and Needles. Yep....yeah
Sunday, September 9, 2012
This tape was made when Zero Progress was just starting out. They had only been a band for two or three months when it was recorded on Christmas Eve of 2009. I'm pretty sure John (Stressors, Beat Guts, Easy Living) drew the cover art. That Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers inspired font was probably Ed's doing. Ed plays bass for them. I remember going to his house with some spare change sometime in early 2010 to pick it up. I got to choose which tape I wanted from the box, which was cool because every single cover was printed on a different color.
I was excited to listen to it because it featured all new songs. It sounds pretty great for being recorded with a single microphone in Collin's garage. The drums on ZP recordings always come out well because Josh plays pretty hard. I don't remember all the lyrics (no lyric sheet) but one of my favorite lines comes from the first song. "I'm sick of these kids and everything you say, you're a waste of a punch but I throw it anyway." The song "Out of Touch" is about when Zero Progress played with Youth Brigade at Gilman and YB took all the door money. "Uphill" used to be one of my favorite Zero Progress songs because of the cool drum part before the vocals come in. It's funny listening to the old recordings of these songs. They seem so slow compared to when they're played live.
This tape was originally made to be distributed on Ecoli and Migraine's tour. They ended up having van troubles and halted the tour, leading Zero Progress to sell the tape themselves. It was lucky for them, because Stressors ended up giving our tapes to Ecoli later when their tour actually took place, and most of them were lost. This tape is also the first on Piledriver Records, run by Ed and Matt of Zero Progress. The same label later put out ZP's first 7", amongst other (San Ramon) Valley bands (Stressors, Beat Guts). Zero Progress has improved with each release they've put out, and their newest 7" can be purchased in the Piledriver Records Store. Listen to this awesome song from it.
Friday, July 27, 2012
I figured before I left for tour I would post one more thing. This was made because I had 20 extra tapes lying around and I wanted to put them to good use. We gave five of them to No Statik to sell on the east coast tour they were soon leaving on. We sold the rest at shows, though it didn't take that long considering how many of them were made. It's also not our best release quality-wise because of how limited it was. We recorded it pretty quickly (in time to give them to No Statik) with one microphone in our practice space at Kevin's house. The bass is too low and it's hard to hear the snare at times. It has plenty of songs on it though. Now that I'm looking back at it, I see that it has our entire 7", plus a few old songs and one song recorded for the 7" but scrapped due to time constraints.
When Kevin uploaded the files from the field recorder onto his computer, they were labelled "sangeet." I later learned that was sanskrit for "music," but it puzzled me for a while before I finally looked it up. It's two tracks, Side A and B. I might separate them later, but I'm feeling lazy.
Come see us on tour if you can, we'll show you a bloody good time...mwhahahaha!
Zero Progress and Stressors are leaving for tour tomorrow. Zero Progress will have their 2nd 7", which can also be purchased (and downloaded for free) here. We will have our a special tour edition of our debut 7", the A side of which can be heard here. We will both have shirts. Thanks to Mikylah for making a tour poster for us.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Beat Guts are a punk band from Northern California. I went to elementary through high school with their singer Justin. He was actually partly responsible for me getting into punk music, because the reason I went to my first punk show was to see his band The Cassavettes. I'll probably post them later. Skull Stomp also played that show, so I later became friends with/played shows with them. Skull Stomp turned into Zero Progress, who my band is going on tour with at the end of this month. HOLY CRAP, JUSTIN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ENTIRE MUSICAL AND SOCIAL LIFE, I'M GONNA GO CALL HIM RIGHT NOW!
He was sleeping. Okay anyways, as far as recording quality, this is the best thing Beat Guts has done. I'm not sure if they recorded it at Kevin's place or The Rec Center in Oakland. Either way it sounds great. I'm not sure who to compare them to. I've heard Die Kreuzen used in regards to them, so I'll go with that. Also post 1982 Black Flag and some late 80's New York stuff.
I don't think these guys quite get the attention they deserve. They did end up playing a show with Battalion of Saints late October of 2011, so that's something. I'm not sure how BOS is anymore though, you never know what you're going to get with those 80's reunited bands. They also played this festival in San Jose in late March. It was in someone's back yard, and luckily tarps were put up because it rained pretty hard that day. People later referred to it as Mud Fest. Here's a video.
Their bassist, Sean, also known as Hippie (he had long hair in high school) was in The Cassavettes as well. Their first guitarist, Dom, left and was replaced by Jackson (also of Easy Living) and John (Stressors, Easy Living). The first time I saw them with their new line-up, it was a bit messy, but now they have a much fuller sound than they did with only one guitarist.
Their first tape, released on Piledriver Records (run by Ed of Zero Progress) is sold out and they don't have any other physical releases. It's possible they'll have cassette versions of this but I'm not sure. They do have shirts you can buy at their shows, and they're pretty cheap. Here's sort of what they look like.
Now imagine that on a shirt. Are you imagining? Good.
They're from The Valley, bringing back the hate.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Kevin from Cadaver Dog was nice enough to give me these tracks. I guess the Civilized and Cadaver Dog tapes out on Youth Attack started with the Ego Complex tape being sent to Mark McCoy. He expressed interest in the Denver scene and wanted to hear more bands from that area. It also explains the Negative Degree 7" in the update, which I wish I had purchased as well.
As with most Youth Attack releases, the Cadaver Dog tape came in an unusual format. It unfolds into kind of a cross shape, which was hard to fit on my scanner. I got most of it though.
It states the tape was recorded on a 4-track, which is pretty cool. There's something to be said about non digital recordings. One of my favorite Extortion records, "Terminal Cancer," was done on a Yamaha MT3X.
The tape comes enclosed in the lyric sheet, which is held together by a little YA sticker. I usually read the lyrics when I listen to tapes/records, so I just peel one side of the sticker.
On the back of the lyric sheet is a group photo, taken in a building that's either being constructed or torn down. Handsome black blobs if I do say so myself.
Since my scan of the group picture has the sticker in the corner, I also borrowed this one from Pain Over Acceptance.
My favorite from this tape is either "Filed Down" or "Abandoned," the latter of which I get stuck in my head all day when I listen to it. I also like the abrupt stops in "Bloodshot." The lyrics to that song made me think the band might be straight edge, but it could just as easily be about general dislike of drunken assholes at shows. My favorite line is from "Filed Down": "Vacuous hoarder, idle hands, a dog gnashing its filed down fangs." You can also never go wrong with the classic "Get the fuck away."
"Abandoned" always implants itself in my brain after I listen to this release, and makes for a great last song. This (and Civilized) have sold out at the Youth Attack website, but can be purchased at Death Wish Inc. Cadaver Dog can also be purchased at the Honey Crisp Distro (for a dollar cheaper than Death Wish).
The Cadaver Dog and Civilized tape release show was actually tonight. I'm sure it was great.
Oh and here's Cadaver Dog doing "Filed Down" and a cover of "Mad at the World."
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Available on the Death Wish Inc. website.
I finally got my Youth Attack package a few days ago. I had ordered Civilized and Cadaver Dog, as well as Hoax and Salvation. I got the tour editions of the latter two awhile ago, so I was really excited to hear the tapes. I guess they're pressing more of their tapes than they usually do, so it was available longer than the average Youth Attack tape would be. It's eight dollars, which is obviously pricey for a tape, but Youth Attack always has fancy packaging that ups the cost of their releases, so I'm used to it by now.
It comes with a booklet, featuring all the lyrics alongside weird disturbing images from a series of pictures. The lyrics sort of seem to have a common theme running through them. They discuss being genuine and true. A lot of punk songs touch on this, Urban Blight's "Leech" for example. No one in the punk scene likes "fakes" or "outsiders" that come into the scene with ulterior motives and intentions.
Both Civilized and Cadaver Dog come from the Denver, Colorado area. I'm traveling there sometime within the next few months, and hope to see one or both of them. Sometimes I wonder how Mark McCoy picks the bands that go on his label. Even when he was living in California (San Diego), there didn't seem to be a lot of CA bands on Youth Attack, besides maybe California Love. I guess word gets back to McCoy from some YA band on tour or something like that.
Before their name change, Civilized was known as Ego Complex, a name I think they should have stuck with. Civilized is okay too, but Ego Complex is much more memorable as a band name. Two of the songs on this tape are repeats from Ego Complex's rehearsal tape, sold on a previous Youth Attack update.
"Negative Reflection" has somewhat of a blown out sound. The vocals are vicious and distorted. It's interesting to hear the change in vocal (and overall) sound from the Ego Complex recordings to this. This was mastered by Will Killingsworth, who runs Dead Air Studios in Western Massachusetts and plays in Failures, Vaccine, Orchid and other bands. He often seems to give the songs he masters a rougher edge, as the same thing happened with the Stressors 7" he mixed. It definitely sounded a lot better afterwards. If your band's songs are in need of mixing/mastering at a relatively low price, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
This release is about five minutes long, the average length for a tape demo, though these recordings are well above demo quality. I was just noticing how evil sounding the vocals are, especially on the last song. I can be pretty picky about the lengths of tapes/7"/LP's/etc, but I think 5 songs is a pretty good amount. This will be over before you know it, at which point you can turn the tape over (like I did) and start again. As they used to say in the days when tapes were more common, "The program repeats on both sides."
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Culture Kids are a punk rock band from San Francisco. The first time I saw them was also the best time. Before the actual show started, some hippies did a reenactment of something involving Jesus, and they left the cross on stage. When the Culture Kids were going to play their singer took it and propped it up upside down. Pretty punk. That was the most energetic I've seen them, and the most energetic I've seen the crowd. A lot of people seemed to be into them, and I slam danced while trying to avoid the beer everyone was slipping on. Eventually the singer got into a fight with some guy who was yelling random stuff in between every song, and had apparently hit a girl. I actually wrote a review of the show for one of my friend's old zines, but I wrote it on a typewriter in 2009, which means I can't paste it here and my friend probably didn't hang on to it anyway.
They played with two great bands that are now broken up, Parasitesgo! and Yankee Kamikazi. In fact, that show was Parasitesgo!'s last. I used to talk to their singer at SF State. Yankee Kamikazi featured members of Abi Yoyos, some of whom recently formed the band Violent Change. Anyways, Culture Kids might have been using someone else's gear that night, because they often use very little distortion, which sounds pretty weak and uninspired live. It makes them seem like a punk band with the volume and intensity turned down. It's clearly on purpose, though, so I guess they want to sound that way.
Due to some printing error, they all have that smudge on the front cover. I bought this from someone in the band (Charles) over myspace summer of 2010. It's self released as far as I can tell. It's been a while, so I imagine it's sold out. They do have a new LP out on Make A Mess Records though. The cover is pretty bad. I bought the cassette version before the actual record came out and was pissed to find that there wasn't a lyric sheet. I do, however, like the picture on the back of the 7" lyric sheet.