Dec 24, 2005

TERRORZONE "self realization: a true lesson in hardcore"

In 1994 when I first heard NYHC band Bulldoze I seriously thought it was some of the heaviest shit out there. I don't know if they are the originators of beatdown hardcore or not, but when I think back they pop into my mind first. I remember going to NJ shows back then and it seemed like half of the crowd would have Bulldoze shirts on sporting "nothing but a beatdown" across the back. Needless to say I was intrigued. I picked up their first 7" and fell in love (which i still own, and no it's not for sale!).

I didn't get to see them live back at this time because I moved out of central PA to North Western PA (Erie) and that area at the time was pretty much out of the loop of the whole NYC/NJ/Eastern PA hardcore scene. Rumors flew about the demise of Bulldoze and the incarceration of lead singer Kev-one. I'm not really sure where Terrorzone fit into the picture amidst all of this. I had heard it featured Kev-one on vocals and was dying to hear it. It wasn't until many years later that I was finally able to find a used copy with a damaged insert and tray but I bought it anyway. I was fucking stoked.

Terrorzone featured Kev-one on vocals who was well known for Bulldoze, as well as Jerry who was from a PAHC band called SWAT. Rumor has it that Jerry dicked over Kev-one while he was in jail but I won't speculate on that because I don't really know anything about the situation. Another name that I recognize is Phat Pat on guitar who later went on to be in Nothing Left To Mourn who are a really good NJ band. I'm not sure how active they are because I haven't heard much over the past year. Terrorzone had a 7" which was released on Eyeball Records (oddly enough, label went in a very different direction later on) and the CDep featured here on European label Gain Ground.

Terrorzone were also one of those NY bands that were insanely brutal but still had a lot of references to Krishna Consciousness in their artwork etc... I'm not really sure how far the connection goes but it's there. I tried to track down a few of the guys from the band and fire off some questions but I have yet to hear back from anyone. Maybe if anyone else has more info on the life of this band that would be awesome if you could share it.

I had the privilege of seeing Bulldoze last year at the Super Bowl of Hardcore in NY. That dude (Kev-one) just wants total carnage when they play. The dance floor was some of the most insane chaos I've seen for a bit. It was wild man. And the whole time he's just calling everyone "pussies" and that he wants it crazier. Member's of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club were on stage and in the pit alongside DMS members, straight edge kids, and anyone else who had the balls to step out. I was feeling it man. And if you like Bulldoze you'll definitely appreciated the 5 tracks featured here. I think the intro has about 25 different beatdown parts and it all flows really nice. I like the simplicity in this CD but the songs are still all memorable and unique. Enjoy your Christmas present from good ol' EMS.

1. Dead Calm (intro)
2. In Mind
3. Self Realization
4. Killing Need
5. Lord of Wrath

Dec 7, 2005

THE ICEMEN "rest in peace"

Blackout Records is one of those labels that is kind of confusing. They put out some monumental hardcore records in their prime but I really don't know if they changed owners or what. Although the label seems to still be working hard, the caliber of releases just isn't quite what it was when they were putting out albums like this one, THE ICEMEN "rest in peace".

I really have no idea what made me pick this cassette up many moons ago. More than likely I had just seen their name on flyers or in zines. Many times I would pick up a bands release just because so & so NYHC band thanked them and so forth. One of these is probably the case for The Icemen as well.

To tell you the truth I don't really know much about the history of the Icemen other than the fact that all of the members have been in many note worthy bands other than this. The list is probably long so maybe someone else can help clue us in on their background info and "where are they now" facts. The sound that this band was producing over 15 years ago has seriously been copied over the past few years but I doubt kids even know this is the case. Even down to the way the few records I have ("rest in peace" Cass and the "buried alive" 7" on Twilite Records) are laid out and the graphics. Many bands have copied the way the minimal color approach using only black, blue, and white, and of course the fonts & typesetting. This has been done to death in the past 5 years but I don't think enough people even know where bands like Terror, True Blue, and countless others were getting their influences from. Well folks, here it is.

This record is copywritten in 1991 and the players were: Carl Griffin - vocals, Marco - guitar, Noah Evans - bass, & Mackie Jayson - drums. You might recognize a few of those names if you're a big NYHC buff & this is Blackout Records catalog #11.

1. "Rest In Peace"
2. "Shadow Out of Time"
3. "The Harsh Truth"
4. "No Guts, No Glory"

UPDATE: Someone also posted this on the Bridge 9 board in response to my blog...

"Carl "The mosher" Griffin(hence the underdog demo "carl the mosher") actually sang for a few other bands too, one called M13 which was pre-icemen and another called Dynamo(also members of antidote) which was post icemen. I actually think the Dynamo stuff might be a tad better than the icemen stuff, which is saying alot for me becuase i consider "rest in peices" to be in top 5 nyhc albums ever. Carl was a huge icon when it came to nyhc, i'm suprised any of his bands did'nt ever get bigger than most of the old nyhc shit. I actually just found this link the other day trying to search for Dynamo shit it has a few Dynamo songs, which, for the most part are IMPOSSIBLE to find. I was lucky enough to find some M13 demo stuff, but the recording sucks so bad its not even worth listening too. anyway, i thought i was just throw a little more info about icemen in here cuz they fuckin rule big time." - three 6 mafia

Dec 1, 2005

MINUS STORY "hybrid moments" (Misfits cover)

It's about time to get some sleep after a long day and one Madball show induced bloody nose later. I need just a little something to wind me down. I always love it when a band does a cover song and totally revamps it in their own way. Here we have Boonville, MO own The Minus Story who can be described as "off-kilter & neo-psychedelic". Either way on their latest release "Heaven And Hell" the band shows us what they can do with one of my all time favorite Misfits songs, "Hybrid Moments". Check it out and let me know what you think of it. I think it's a great rendition.

1. The Minus Story "Hyrbid Moments" (Misfits cover)

Nov 28, 2005


Speaking of bad bands & even worse outfits from the 90s, I remember another amazing piece of merchandise that I had purchased in my heyday. Picture this, a black and white striped sock cap / winter beanie style with the words MUCKY PUP wrapped around it. Damn did I wear it with pride. I really wish I had an embarrassing picture of me sporting this bad boy.

Mucky Pup was one of the first bands that I started to see on a regular basis. Their mix of completely asinine lyrics, catchy vocals along with heavy ass hardcore style music was great for this 15 year old. My friends and I would drive around blasting their cassettes as we hopped from one skate spot to another.

One of the first things that attracted me to Mucky Pup was the fact that Billy & Evan from Biohazard did a guest appearance on the song “Three Dead Gophers”. The lyrics seem to mean absolutely nothing, but I still thought it was heavy and fun to sing along to. A few of the “topics” this band covered were hippies, Jimmy Hendrix & Morrison, Batman the butt ripper, female body functions, & many other random subjects that bands from NYC & their era felt were worth singing about. I’m not really sure what a lot of NY bands were thinking in the late 80s & early 90s with their tongue in cheek approach but it definitely appealed to those who were of the lesser mature attitude in life. Anyone who still laughs when someone farts is pretty much the type of person who can enjoy a band like Mucky Pup. Needless to say, I had a blast every time I saw this band.

(Mucky Pup & Biohazard outside of the studio)

Here are a few tracks from their 1990 CD “NOW” released on Torrid Records. I figured you could get this for like 25 cents on or ebay but I was surprised to see them selling for around $35!!!! Now don’t forget the time frame from when this CD was done, Mighty Bosstones, Primus, & Lollapalooza where all about to be huge. A few of the guys wound up in Dog Eat Dog after Mucky Pup. You can bet your sweet ass that I will eventually be posting some of their debut EP down the road. It ruled. Mucky Pup also still have a website up for anyone further interested in learning more about the band. MUCKY PUP ONLINE

1. “Three Dead Gophers” featuring Biohazard
2. “Baby”
3. "Face" (instrumental)
4. “Hotel Penitentiary”

Nov 23, 2005

FLYER - 01.22.93

The Unisound had one amazing show after the other. I had the privilege of attending the above show along with the following listed on the side:

1.29.1993 - Leeway, Breakdown, & Darkside NYC.
2.8.1993 - Biohazard, Wrecking Crew, & SWAT.

and probably wore this sick outfit...

Nov 21, 2005

ENRAGE "sins of release" 7"

When I was 15 I used to attend shows at this club in Reading PA called The Unisound. You'll probably hear me mention this place numerous times because this is where it all started for me as far as finally getting to see good hardcore shows. Anywho, most of the shows would have a decent headliner being from one of the NY, NJ, & PA scenes. Opening those shows would be a handful of up and coming bands that for the most part we're pretty damn decent. This post is about one of those bands.

I remember just casually standing up front waiting for the next band to go on. This big dude (husky if you must) with a goatee and pony tail gets up and in a very distinct NYC accent growls "Yo we're Enrage from Staten Island". They immediately kicked into some seriously heavy shit. Here's this huge NY dude just pounding the stage and stomping around looking like one of his legs at any second is going to go right through the floor. The band also consisted of singer Jeff's brother Marco on the drums. He too seemed like a fucking giant to me. Mind you this is 1993 and I was only 15 or 16 so these guys seemed like grown ass scary men to me. He looked like a monster behind those drums and if you just listen to these tracks and how heavy it sounds you can totally just picture this guy wailing away on his kit. Enrage had a lot of really big open beats and mid tempo stomp parts that this guy would lay into. It's exactly the type of shit I crave. The guitarist Mike Pellegrino and bassist Joe Mariconda would do their thing as Jeff shook the stage as he leaned over the crowd. This band was heavy and blew me away from the start.

After they played I picked up their "Sins of Release" 7" on Tragic Life Records. On that 7" were 2 songs that would be repeated over and over again by yours truly. It's amazing to listen to a recording from well over 10 years ago now and actually prefer the sounds to recordings of today. This 7" was produced by none other than Noah Evans that any NYHC buff should know a bit about. It had a nice mix of Biohazard, Sheer Terror, Neglect, and a little bit of "River Runs Red" era Life of Agony.

At the time I was running a small distribution that specialized in only carrying demo tapes for bands. Just another way I was trying to support the underdogs of the scene. After the "Sins of Release" 7" Enrage released a professional looking tape called "Empty". The band was super cool enough to work with me and sell them to me for wholesale to try to help spread their sounds. Things like this always stood out to me. A band that honestly just seemed to care more about someone listening to them and getting into them rather than the almighty dollar sign.

The band later went on to release "Empty" on CD with a few more tracks on a European label called RPP. I strongly recommend trying to get a hold of this. RPP also released a discography of a bunch of demo and comp tracks that the band had out called "The Definitive Shaolin Landfill Kings" which features 21 tracks spanning their career. This CD is still available at Very Distro. After I moved away from the central PA area in 1995 I unfortunately didn't really hear much about the band & what happened to them. I found this website ENRAGE NYC that will enlightened anyone as to what happened and why the band ended. Either way they left a huge impression on this little kid back then. There aren't a ton of bands that when I hear their CD I can sing along to every song. Enrage are one of the few. Listen to the middle of "Sins of Release" where the lyrics are "Arching back, muscles tight. The power in my hands. Arching back, muscles tight. I feel the sins of release". Oh man, sooo good.

These are the two songs from the 7" but I actually took them off of "The Definitive" CD as the sound quality was better. Enjoy.

1. "My Hands"
2. "Sins of Release"

ps Can anyone name the movie that they sampled in the beginning of "My Hands?" It took me several years before I even knew. I was just sitting there watching it and as soon as he started going into that part I freaked out because it made me think of Enrage.

Nov 16, 2005

DISEMBODIED "existence in suicide"

Picking a first post has kind of been hard for me. Where to start? What to pop my cherry with on this mofo? Perusing all of my old hardcore & punk CDs is like walking down memory lane for me. I've been fortunate enough to see and let alone meet a ton of awesome bands over the years. Many people don't realize that before Surprise Attack started putting out records it was a fanzine. Boy did I talk a lot of shit in that mag. Looking back I can't believe some of the crap that spewed from my mouth. It's quite humorous to me still to this day as most of the opinions on the scene and music in general are pretty much exactly the same. I'm a weird mix contempt, bitterness and a hopeful / optimistic view on hardcore.

All of the time I would write bands about doing interviews and after they would agree to do it I would send them questions. Many times the bands would flake out and never get things back to me. One issue I think over 10 bands totally flaked. One of those bands was Minneapolis hardcore / metal band Disembodied.

The year was 1996. A pen pal (yes this is pre-internerd if you can believe it) had sent me their debut CD to check out. Immediately I fell in love with it. At the time this style of hardcore wasn't as overdone. Tuning this low and going for a slow sludgy apocalyptic feel mixed with traditional hardcore was a bit more fresh at the time. The pessimistic attitude & lyrics from vocalist Aaron was right up my alley and the delivery was amazing. I knew I had to interview them because I was always interested in featuring more obscure bands. Once the band had agreed to do the interview I sent them a list of questions. A few weeks pass by then a few months... nothing. I wrote the band asking what was up but got no response. Finally the aforementioned pen pal told me that the band didn't want to be in a "HARDLINE" fanzine. This made my blood boil as I was not a member of the Hardline movement. I was so worked up thinking that the band would just jump to an inaccurate conclusion like that without at least manning up and asking me personally. So in the true style of my zine I contacted them giving them a piece of mind. I can't recall anything specifically as it was around 10 years ago now but I’m sure it had lots of swearing in it and derogatory remarks because well, that's how I roll.

Several months later my band at the time was set to play the infamous Cleveland hardcore fest (the much talked about One Life Crew "riot"). I'm standing at a urinal taking care of business and a husky guy walks up and asks if I'm EMS. So I responded with a "Yeah, who are you?." Turns out he's the drummer of Disembodied and he was looking for me. Immediately I'm like "Oh man, here we go. Time to back up all the shit I talked to these guys" (even though he probably would have demolished me). He goes on to tell me how they got my mail and were all confused as to why this kid in PA would write a letter so pissed off at them. It turns out that the band didn't even really know the kid who was speaking on their behalf and that they got the questions but someone was probably just too lazy to finish it. We then washed up, shook hands, and I went and met the rest of the band who over the following years became some of my great friends. My band went on to tour with Disembodied in 1999 and then went on tour with their newer band Martyr A.D. While I was filling in for Stretch Arm Strong I once again got to tour with the revamped Martyr A.D. as always having a fucking blast with all of the guys and girl from Mpls. So in one sense I'm glad I wrote that juvenile letter to them because otherwise I would never have had the opportunity to meet such fun loving people and talented musicians who unfortunately always seem to run into bad luck with their bands.

l to r: Chris Bazan (now in The AKAs), me with some seriously nappy hair, Tara (bass) who broke her ankle on tour, & her now husband Joel (guitar), Sept 1999.

These 5 songs are from Disembodied's first CD "Existence in Suicide" released on Furface Records. It was recorded in Feb of 1995. From what I remember I think only 1,000 of these were pressed. Hearing it today still gives me the same feelings it did 10 years ago. I'm just glad I didn't have to wind up fighting their drummer Justin because he was a fucking maniac and would have destroyed me!!!

1. "Scorn"
2. "Shattered"
3. "Asura"
4. "Invisible"
5. "Existence"