Wednesday, December 21, 2011

VII's Top 10 EP's/Splits/Demos of 2011


10: +HIRS+ - "Worship": This Philadelphia drum machine grind duo has made quite a strong first impression with their debut physical release "Worship". This 4 minute, 1-sided 7" not only showcases this band has the ability to create and blast quality grind with the best of em, but also that they take an incredibly professional approach to their music and their athstetic, and I'm very excited to hear everything this band makes in the future.




9. Inside the Beehive - "Drink Bleach; Live Forever": A relatively late-comer this year, and another band that has displayed incredible quality with their debut EP. This NJ tech metal/grind outfit plays a style of music that I'm admittedly very picky about, bands like this are usually too spazzy/wanky for my taste, but ITB throw in enough good(and memorable)riffs and interesting song structures to keep me coming back to this EP. Plus a clean/polished production that still keeps the aggressive tone of the music, which I applaud them for.




#8: Punch - "Nothing Lasts": Simply put, Punch play a style of hardcore that I just love! "Nothing Lasts", my first real introduction to the band, is a solid 8 minute blaster that melds classic hardcore with hints of powerviolence. The vocals are aggressive, the songs are memorable, the drums are incredibly powerful(I love hearing this guy blast!). But my favorite thing about this EP has to be the production; a warm analog recording that suits the bands aggressive/raw sound like a glove. 




#7: Hoglust - "Support Hate": This is one of the first things released on the uber-prolific Grindcore Karaoke(back when they actually showcased grind and hardcore), and it's one of the only GK releases that has stuck with me and that I've listened to repeatedly over the year. Save for the completely unnecessary 2nd track,  I can't think of a single issue I have with "Support Hate". The dual vocals are fantastic, the production is excellently raw, the songs are great, what more can I say? Download it now!




                                           











#6(Tie): The Afternoon Gentlemen - splits with Cyborg and Osk: Holy fuck! The Afternoon Gentlemen completely came out of nowhere and left a coffee can sized hole in the heads of underground grind freaks in the states this year. A band this good needs to be heard by every grind fan in the world! I honestly can't say one of these splits is better than the other, they're both so damn good! Both TAG sides are some of the best grind I've heard all year, the Cyborg side is excellent old-school sounding powerviolence, and the OSK side is fucking stellar as well. It's just quality grind and hardcore with both of these splits, nothing bad about them at all!




#5: Worn Out - "Demo 2011": Here's one of the best demos that you hopefully, but probably didn't hear this year. Yet another up and coming band that made the smart move to have an incredibly professional first release. A pro-cassette demo with perfect production, a gnarly bass tone, seamless transitions between the short and oh-so-sweet songs, and face grinding intensity. It's just an incredible demo. Hope they record more in the future!




#4: Get Destroyed - "Shut In": I like Get Destroyed's previous 7" "Burnt Offerings", but I freaking love "Shut In"! Taking everything that made "Burnt Offerings" good and improving upon it ten-fold, Get Destroyed's latest offering is a mean, gruff, meaty, tough bastard child of powerviolence. The slow parts are devastating,  the guest vocals from Landmine Marathon vocalist Grace Perry are a great addition, just...just get it! 




#3: Sidetracked - "Uniform": How can I sum up Sidetracked's glorious 1-sided 7" "Uniform"? "Fucking brilliant" works. So does "Holy shit" and "what the hell was that". Perfect fastcore right here, 13 songs in about 2 1/2 minutes. Brevity's the name of the game, which can be the downfall of most grind bands, but Sidetracked have perfected the art of short-and-sweet on this release. "Runaway" is a fucking catchy song, it's true, and it's only about 20 seconds! The super raw production only enhances this blasting onslaught. Again, fucking brilliant.




#2: Water Torture - "s/t": Definitely the most enjoyable, catchy and listenable powerviolence EP I've heard this year. Half of the mighty Inerds make up this devastating Buffalo, NY duo and they play generally the same thing, but with a much darker/sludgier/heavier tone to them. I love the bass tone on this release, and the drums are played just right. Nothing flashy, nothing technical, just pure aggression. Yeah, I said it was catchy, but make no mistake there is nothing pretty or polished about this beast!







#1: Sea of Shit - "s/t": Probably won't come as a surprise to a lot of you that Sea of Shit's latest 7" made  my #1 spot. I praised the hell outta this thing in my review, and I stand by every word that I said in that post. This is the best EP I've heard this year. Fucking filthy, disgusting, distorted, grimy, disturbingly grotesque powerviolence. There is so much power and momentum to this release, it's just nonstop punishment, complete and utter audio torture, and I mean that in the best way possible. Sea of Shit 2011 son!!


Honorable Mentions:
  • Mammoth Grinder/Hatred Surge - split
  • Danny Brown & Black Milk - "Black and Brown"
  • Dethroned Emperor - "War Grind Hell"
  • Bastard Noise/Actuary - "Skeletal Uncertainty"
  • Fuck the Facts - "Misery"
  • Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Despise You - "...On And On And On"
  • Grudges - "DEMOlition 2011"


~VII

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gripe-Pig Servant EP Review

Tommy Johnson: From the dark side of LA: gritty and shady, not some glamorized movie studio shit. 
Likes: Blast Beats, D-beats, Mince, and Powerviolence: Motorhead, Discharge and beer! Classic era The Simpsons, Star Wars (Pre -Prequels) Dr. Who, Slap-A-Ham 625, Pre RCA era Earache, Noise core, Japanese fast core, Metal that doesn’t rely on Pinch Harmonics, circle pits, stage dives and high fives, Bands that still write lyrics, Doom Metal, Black metal (Raw not epic), Death Metal (Autopsy not Black Dahlia Murder), crust punk and tons of other shit.
Dislikes: Slam Dancing, Ninja pits, Porno Grind (No you don’t understand, I really dislike porno Grind!), Emo violence, Tough Guy core, Death core, most types of core that are not Hardcore.

I will be contributing to Operation Grindcore with my column Deep Wounds. I’ll be focusing primarily on Mince, Crust, Fastcore, and foreign Grind/ Powerviolence bands, as well as digging up records that have seemingly been forgotten alongside obscure bands that are not given the coverage they deserve. In addition, I’ll also be checking out more modern acts that I am currently digging with an emphasis on bands on the more dirty and raw side of the Grind spectrum. That being said, here’s my first review!

When Gripe came out with their debut demo "The Future Doesn't Need You", it made serious waves in the underground. So much so that it managed to reach the far corners of the blogosphere, even catching the attention of Invisible Oranges. The scrappy, lo-fi, seriously pissed sounding grind violence fusion had an odd, captivating magic to it. Like a train wreck that you simply can’t look away from. It was far from perfect but was way more entertaining than most of the sterile, over-produced garbage that passes for modern grind now a days. It was spastic, frantic, at times off timed, under-produced, disorienting and overall had a weird claustrophobic quality to it. Going into this one I -like many- was expecting more of the same, but "Pig Servant" makes their demo sound like well... a demo. Gripe have stepped their game up, building on "The Future..." while retaining its fundamental essence. The surprisingly catchy song craft is still present, but more refined. Gripe set themselves apart from most DIY Grind bands today in this department in the sense that they actually make memorable songs while still preserving the all important (in my opinion) rough around the edges fuck you rawness that is and should be a staple of this genre. And I’m happy to report that the basketball dribbling, tin-can-snare drum production that I enjoyed from the demo is still there and still obnoxiously high in the mix. I think it gives an authentic live quality and just sounds so god damned aggressive. But you can actually hear the entire drum kit this time as well –this being a good thing, as I am a fucking drum geek, and there are plenty of BOSS ASS drum fills on this one. The guitar riffs are huge and frantic, mixing equal parts Sabbath and Jesse Pintado -"World Downfall"-era thrash style riffs and transitioning tempos with increasing ease. As for the vocals they are raw, pissed and slightly reminiscent of Dystopia or Decrepit. They fall more on the hardcore punk side than the traditional grind vocalist but judging by the lyrics I don’t think their new vocalist would be offended by that comment.

Now, their lyrics I should give praise to, because while the production and musicianship have both been stepped up significantly, so have the lyrics. While the riff is king in modern grind and lyrics are really just an afterthought, I still bother to read what bands are saying and commend those who actually have something to say. While typical punk/grind/hardcore lyric ethos are present (i.e. hatred of cops, capitalism, etc.), they give us their own fresh perspective on them. The song "Plea for Death" centers on the idea that a human being consumed by pain, on the edge of death has the right to end their own suffering and Gripe manage to convey the misery and pain of this situation perfectly.The darkness, and crustiness of this EP overall makes me think of 90's era grind/ powerviolence, which to me, is a nice return to form. Bringing to mind everything I love about that era of music without sounding too much like a rehash or throwback. It sounds at times like No comment in a street fight with Assuck! To me it’s what I want, and expect from a grind record: a balance between chaos and precision, a record that sounds like its barely holding itself together. (Spoiler Alert!) The Mickey Rourke sound bite at the beginning is the perfect way to kick off this beast of an EP. Plus the fake out ending sound clip on "False Prophet" was a bitching surprise. I honestly think "Pig Servant" could easily make it into any grind heads best of 2011 releases, landing in your top 5 if you’re more into the punk/hardcore side of grind, and busting into your top 10 if you’re more of a metal head type. Offering a little something for everybody without being a pander monkey, "Pig Servant" is another stellar fucking release for Gripe and so they will be ending this year 2 for 2.

 ~Tommy Johnson 

Listen/download here

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Best Video Featuring A Pug and Extortion You'll Ever See

Need I say more?

~VII

Bastard Noise - "Skulldozer" Album Review

Most of the time when a band says that their next album will be "the best album they've ever made" or "the most focused and best sounding recording we've ever done", or when they say that their tentative next album will be "the most interesting", a lot of these promises and statements tend to fall flat on their face, to me anyway. Maybe it's because I have my hopes set too high and ultimately have created such high expectations that the album in question can't possibly match them(fingers crossed about the new Pig Destroyer). But there are times when the hype surrounding a bands new album are just untrue, and it sounds like the same thing the band has done however many albums before, or the times when a band has full-filed their promise about a different sound or more variation in the songwriting, but what they've created is so far from what the fans are used to that it gets shunned right away(*cough*Morbid Angel*cough*). But when it comes to the new Bastard Noise album "Skulldozer", released this year on Deep Six records, all the complaints I mentioned above so do not apply! I have been eagerly awaiting this album for a good portion of the year, and was promised the best Bastard Noise album to date from Eric Wood many times. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Bastard Noise have delivered!

"Skulldozer" comes to us after "A Culture of Monsters", which released last year, which I really like and is definitely a quality BN album, but "Skulldozer" just completely blows it out of the water in almost every way. The recording is better, the mixing is better, everything just sounds bigger, louder, heavier, stronger. The bass rings out with such aggressive clarity, and the drums have an incredible heavy punch. It definitely sounds like a lot of time was spent on making this album sound the way it does. And of course, we have the new addition of Aimee Artz on lead vocals, who's presence is just astounding on "Skulldozer". Admittedly, when I first heard that BN had gotten a new singer, I didn't really see the point or need for a new vocalist since I thought Eric's vocals fit the music just fine. But hearing Aimee scream over these tracks just gives me an incredible "ooooh, that's what they've been missing" feeling. Aimee's vocals fit BN's music and compliment Eric's vocals in just the right way, and add a whole new level of aggression to these songs. It's like when I heard "Agorapocalypse" by Agoraphobic Nosebleed for the first time and being blown away by the ferociousness and totally unsubtle presence of Kat's vocals on that album.

I also feel like in terms of songwriting, these may be the best and most listenable BN tracks so far. None of the tracks drag too long, none of them feel unfinished, it's just quality throughout. I think the track "Earth On a Stretcher" might be my favorite; it has some awesome slow, dirgy riffs and a pretty catchy chorus(?)-ish part. And again, Eric and Aimee's vocals compliment each other very well. These all sound like the type of Bastard Noise tracks you've become accustomed too with their past few releases, but the addition of new vocals, new use of synth, better noise orchestration and better production just give them more of an extra kick and a whole new level of epicness(even though that word might be considered cheesy nowadays). Another noteworthy thing about this album is the last track "Rachel"; it's a soft yet intense track with only synths, a steel.slide guitar and some very unique vocals from Eric Wood dedicated to the memory and life of Rachel Corrie. It's a touching, and powerful end to an excellent album. It lived up to all of my expectations. Pretty rare, major props to BN.

Rating: 9.5/10

~VII

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Listen To a New Backslider Track!

Philadelphia fastcore hate-duo Backslider have posted a new track from their upcoming 7" EP called "Maladapted", out soon on To Live a Lie records and Psychocontrol records. I kinda knew that they were working on new material, but it sorta got lost among everything else that happened this year, so to hear a new track is a very nice "surprise. The track, called "Idiot Hymes", is a 34 second blaster of standard Backslider fastcore, but with a major update in terms of recording quality, and the vocals do sound more urgent than their previous self-titled 7". Stream the track here and eagerly await the physical release!

~VII

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CODE/ERROR: The Newest Grind Band to Lose Your Shit About!

Have you heard the news yet? About this awesome new grindcore "super-group" called CODE/ERROR yet? Have you? No? Well you should, cause holy-fucking-shit, I can't see how this could be anything less than absolutely amazing. Here is a very brief official statement off of facebook from their lead vocalist; some dude you might have heard of named ARIF ROT! 

                    Grind project from the United States of Singapore. Blastbeats in the      works. A vinyl release whenever we feel like it to be out
CODE/ERROR is:
               Dorian(Noisear): Guitars
          Mauro(Maruta): Bass
             Daniel(Maruta): Drums 
Myself: Vocals

Did your pants just get a little tighter? I thought so. Seriously, what an unstoppable line-up. It's good to see the rhythm section of the recently disbanded Maruta wasting no time in starting another musical endeavor. Teaming up with tech-grind guitar wizard Dorian Rainwater seems like a logical choice given their styles, and of course Arif's vocals are always amazing and diverse. Let's hope this record get's released soon!! 


~VII

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering Thousandswilldie

Goddammit, Thousandswilldie was fucking great. I mean it, really really awesome! One of grinds best kept secrets, and one of the several great bands that decided to call it quits in 2010. They played their last show at the 2010 UGZ Speed Trials at Gilman street and left in a blaze of blasting glory.
Thousandswilldie were a major part of the west coast grind scene when it came to live shows. Word is from vocalist Mike Stitches that a majority of grind shows that were put on, Thousandswilldie would get on the bill. I really wish I got to see them live, their live shows looked insane!! Just non-stop blasting grindcore!
(demo cover)

Their output was pretty minimal, consisting of a demo, a 7", a split 7" with Kill the Client, and a split CD with Psychofagist. I've heard all of their released material and it's all very solid, but polarizing, even for most well-seasoned grind fans, and they definitely changes their sound a bit over time. The demo and 7" are complete grind-chaos; super, super short songs with constant riff changes. I still don't even really know what I'm listening too when I play the 7", it's so insane! The splits with Kill the Client and Psychofagist show a bit more refined songwriting. Yeah, the songs are still short, but they hold onto riffs longer and actually develop the songs a bit. 

Guitarist Yong-Sung spent a little time playing second guitar for In Disgust before they broke up, and vocalist Mike Stitches went on to form his excellent (sorta)solo project Standing on a Floor of Bodies, who released an amazing demo last year. Something every single fucking one of you should download right now here. I have no idea what the drummer is doing, anyone who does feel free to say in the comment section. 

Super great band, you all should get familiar with them and try and track down their releases. RIP Thousandswilldie!!

~VII

Fuck the Facts - "Die Miserable" Album Review

It seems all I talked about in September/October was Fuck the Facts new album "Die Miserable", which makes me kinda bummed out that I'm just now posting a review of it. After all the hype I gave it you figured I would make it a top priority right? Go figure. And believe me it's not because I didn't like it, not at all. "Die Miserable" is a damn fine album and one of the more aggressive FTF albums I've heard. Life just happens and you tend to forget to do certain things. I'm only human after all.
Anywho, FTF have really upped the heaviness and weirdness on this album. Honestly, probably some of the heaviest material they've written since "Stigmata High Five", pulling back on the melodic parts just a little bit in favor of more layers of technical guitar work, some solos, non-conventional chords, some great vocals from Mel and bass player Marc, and non-conventional chords. Some parts like the beginning of the first song "Drift" and "A Cowards Existence", probably my favorite song on the album, actually kinda remind me of Hate Eternal in terms of how they utilize weird/crazy riffs. Though when they do bring-out the melody, it's sounds so epic and grand. They even threw in some clean(er) vocals on 7-minute centerpiece "Census Blank"(please don't let that freak you out). There's also way more bass on "Die Miserable" than a lot of previous efforts, which I really like cause Marc is a great player, and offers a lot on this album in terms of rhythm and song-writting. It's a great group effort, and I think the different influences brought from each member shows. It sounds like FTF really wanted to go all out with instrumentation on this album, doing a lot more with overdubs and less traditional grind nuances(is that a toy piano I hear in the middle on "A Cowards Existence"?). It's great see that FTF can still experiment and toy with their sound, and still sound like they always do! And yeah, did I mention that it's really fucking heavy? Awesome album, please buy it!

Rating: 8/10

~VII

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sea of Shit - "S/T" EP Review

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: this may be my favorite EP of 2011. Sea of Shit's long awaited 7" EP(previously released on cassette and limited to 100 copies) has finally come out on PRGNT records, and it is a beautifully ugly slab of audio torture. These Chicago boys have definitely stepped their game up since I heard them last on their demo. They've kept the low-fi grit of that recording but made it bigger, louder, fuller, heavier and 100% better. This EP is violent and aggressive the whole way through, leaving very little breathing room and what little slow parts there are, are so caked in distortion you might as well be listening to chainsaws mating. The vocals have also gotten a major improvement since their demo. They sound more urgent and are pushed back in the recording a little bit, it just sounds way more aggressive. Goddamn, this EP is just so damn ugly and violent that these words I'm writing don't do it justice. Listen to it yourself and you'll see what I'm talking about. Listen to/purchase it here and get ready to have your balls rocked. Bravo Sea of Shit, bra-fucking-vo!!

Rating: 9.5/10

~VII

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pig Heart Transplant/The Endless Blockade - split Review


It's always sad to see a great band break up. Late 2010 saw the unfortunate demise of The Endless Blockade, one of modern powerviolence's most impressive and musically mature/developed bands(In Disgust and Thousandswilldie also broke up that year, endless bummer). This split with Pig Heart Transplant is their final goodbye, their swan song release, which will probably be a big deal to a lot of people, and be judged under that context. Going into it I expected TEB's contribution to be on the noisey side, given who their sharing this split with. Pig Heart Transplant(the noise project of Jon Kortland, the guitarist/vocalist for Iron Lung) give us a 3-part-mini-epic of droning noise with vocals and percussion thrown in. This is my first exposure to PHT and I have to say I was dreadfully unimpressed. I appreciate noise music, but this just did nothing for me. The piece just kinda stayed in build-up mode but didn't actually climax to anything. Sonically, it was unimpressive to. There was an early Swans vibe, but I feel that the 4 1/2 minute time limit PHT was stuck to hindered the song from developing more. So already half of the split left me unimpressed. The Endless Blockade's side is almost definitely left over material from a previous recording, possibly from the "Primitive" album. Only two songs from them, one being noise, and the "lead" track being a mid-tempo sludge dirge. Many, including myself, will be a bit let down by the lack of fast tempos. But looking at it again, it feels like the last song to any one of their albums; the slow climax after a career's span of fast songs. Unfortunately, it's not a very good one. After listening to it a few times, I still have a hard time remembering the song, it's just anti-climactic. I feel like the excellent 14 minute epic "Deuteronomy" from "The Red List" split with Bastard Noise would have been a more fitting ending to the band. Dissapointing finale, but at least we still have the rest of their discography to enjoy. 

Rating: 5/10

~VII

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hummingbird of Death/Titanarum - split Review

The gimmick with most modern, techy fastcore bands is to write the shortest songs with the spazziest song structure that they can. Some do it well(see Sidetracked), others just sound like a bunch of ADD freaks with guitars making jumbled messes of songs. So leave it to Hummingbird of Death to write two 5+ minute songs on their latest split with Titanarum. HOD have never been a band that just sticks within the comfort zones of the genre, opting instead to experiment and push it into territories that most don't dare to go, and they actually pull it off with great results. Usually a fastcore band that makes a six minute song goes the "sludgy" route for the sake of having a slow track. The welcome change here is that HOD haven't elongated these songs with repetitive sludge riffs. These songs are fast and furious the whole way through, but not spazzy and schizophrenic. It's like the usually ADD freaks took some chill pills and said to each other; "Hey guys, let's actually play some of these riffs for more than 2 measures". While also showing some black-metal-sounding chord progressions, some death metal vocals thrown in at one point, and some thrashy/crossover riffs.
On the flipside, the now disbanded Titanarum give us 8 tracks of fairly straight-forward fast hardcore. No songs are over 2 minutes, and they are all developed and display some pretty good songwriting with solid musicianship. I can definitely hear a lot of crossover influence in their sound. Particularly in the vocals, which are probably my favorite part of this band. They have so much personality and a decent amount of variety to them. I definitely get an Accused vibe from them. Very solid sides from both bands. You can pick this record up at Give Praise Records and stream it here. By the way; coolest album cover of the year? Debatable.

Rating: 8/10

~VII

Monday, November 28, 2011

FOOTAGE OF NEW PIG DESTROYER SONGS!!!

I have been wanting Pig Destroyer to release a new album for sooooo long now, the wait is literally painful sometimes. The loss of long time drummer Brian Harvey broke my heart and made me think that the writing process would be slowed down due to the arrival and breaking-in of new drummer Adam Jarvis(of Misery Index). But today, like a gift from the Gods, footage of three short, new Pig Destroyer songs were discovered on the internet. Hallelujah everybody, the Pig is back!! The sound quality is fucking atrocious, but I can still make out killer riffs, grooves and breaks in these songs. New drummer Adam does a good job keeping up with Scott Hull too, and does a sweet kick-drum break at 1:23. Consider me stoked out of my mind.

~VII

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Get Destroyed Interview

Arizona has spawned some of the toughest, heaviest powerviolence in the last couple years, one of heaviest being Get Destroyed. This Tempe, AZ quartet released their awesome new EP "Shut In" this year(a joined release by To Live a Lie, Give Praise, 625 Thrashcore and RSR), and a full length record may be in the works soon. Pretty impressive for a band who was thought to have broken up just a year ago. I caught up with a few members over email to discuss what's being going on with Get Destroyed.

~VII

Operation Grindcore: The new EP "Shut In" is excellent! Are you guys happy with how it all came out?


Nik: It is my favorite record that we have done.  

Jay: Yes.

Zach: We are always trying to do something new. I think we did that.

OG: It was commonly thought that you guys had broken up after releasing "Burnt Offerings" and that "Shut In" was going be a post-mordum release, but then I heard that it was just a hiatus of sorts. What really happened between those two releases?


Nik: Ben moved to Washington right after we recorded “Burnt Offerings,” and at that point figured we wouldn’t be able to play shows or write music anymore.  We ended playing an awesome winter show when Ben was back in town and decided to write another record. 


OG: I've heard that a full-length album is in the works. Can you give us any info on that?


Nik: Jay has always wanted to release a full length. Zach and I have resisted because of how much material we would have to write, and the fact that it is hard for us to get together. I drove into AZ for about two weeks and we wrote ten songs. The writing got cut short because Jay was brutally assaulted. He was jumped by three guys with bats.  We are planning on continuing to write for the full length, but we have no idea when it will be done. 

Jay: I've been pushing for a full length for some time now. I wanted "Shut In" to be a full length but the 14 minutes of music we wrote turned into 7 minutes once it went through the recording process. Somehow everything becomes twice as fast in the studio. Like Nik mentioned, we've been working on new material but we cut it short because I went through a brutal assault. I ended up in a trauma center for some serious head wounds but luckily I am fine with no permanent damage. Or at least that's how it seems for now. We don't know when we will finish writing and recording this album. We're not rushing this.

Zach: Powerviolence full lengths always stretch my attention span. I think we just want to make sure we do it right and that there's no filler on it. If, and when, it comes out, it will be fucking MEATY.


OG: Grace Perry from Landmine Marathon does some vocals on "Shut In", how did she get involved?


Nik: We have always been friends with Landmine Marathon. Their guitarist Ryan Butler has record all three of our records. Ben contacted Grace to be on the record and she was game. All of the vocal construction was Ben’s idea, and I loved the way it turned out.

Jay: Some of Get Destroyed's first shows were with Landmine Marathon back in 2005/2006 and that's how we met Grace. She always stuck around and watched us, back before we released any records and nobody knew or cared who we were. She's a rad person, as well as the rest of the Landmine crew!

Zach: I have no idea how she got involved. I didn't even know she was on the record until I heard it.


OG: Arizona seems to be the birth place of many excellent hardcore/powerviolence bands like Magnum Force and Sex Prisoner. Has Arizona always had good scenes?


Jay: Arizona has its up and downs, like any other place. The last few years have definitely been brutal. A few people have taken it into their hands to get some DIY venues going, which has really spurred the punk and hardcore scene into action. The result is some rad bands like Magnum Force and Avon Ladies as well as others coming out of Arizona. Sex Prisoner from Tucson are absolutely brutal, probably some of the best power-violence out there right now. We have played shows with them and their old bands and it's always a good time.  

Zach: We all have real lives at this point, so its hard to keep two feet planted in the scene. Get Destroyed is the thing that keeps us together.


OG: Are there any ambitions to tour?


Nik: We would like to, but I don’t see how it will ever be possible. Because of school, both Zach and I are unable to tour.

Jay: Maybe someday but right now it is very unlikely.


OG: Besides the full-length are there any other recording projects you guys have planned?


Nik: No.


OG: This is a question we ask all our interviewees; if you were stuck on a desert island, which 3 albums would you bring with you?


Nik: “No Heroes” Converge, "A Life Less PlaguedCarry On, "FarRegina Spektor

Jay: I would definitely not bring any hardcore records because I would be angry enough as it is. Probably: Fugazi "The Argument" / Beatles "White Album" / Animal Collective "Sung Tongs"

Zach: The Knife “Silent Shout”, Infest “Mankind” EP, Weezer “Pinkerton


OG: Thanks for the interview, any final thoughts?

Nik: Keep up the good work. Thanks for the interview!!

Jay: If you're reading this and you live in Japan, book us a tour!

Zach: Thanks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bandcamp Artist of The Week: Inside The Beehive

Lady's and gentlemen; Inside The Beehive. A 4-headed beast from the depths of northern New Jersey who create super technical spastic blasting music. If you like dissonant riffs, high pitched screams, constant stop/start changes and great production, you should definitely check this band out ASAP. Though honestly, some of you may question their "grindcore" status and the breakdowns may throw a few people off, but if Cephalic Carnage is considered grind dammit these guys can be too! Like CC, Inside The Beehive display incredible, tight musicianship with enough unique nuances to keep it interesting, and I really enjoy it! They have their debut EP "Drink Bleach; Live Forever" up for free download on their bandcamp, and you can pick up a cassette version from out good friends in DIY Noise

~VII

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Sad News: Defeatist Are Breaking Up

Shit, I was sure that I had already posted about this, my bad. So yeah not really breaking news, but for those who don't know Brooklynn, NY's grind-trio Defeatist have decided to call it quits. Another huge loss for grindcore, cause these guys really slay, all there albums and splits are really good, there latest full length "Tyranny of Decay" probably being my favorite. Seriously, you all should check it out and buy the 12" record here. They funded the whole recording and release themselves, so help some good people out by buying their shit! Like Maruta, Defeatist will have one last hurrah and play a stacked show on December 17th with Triac, Psychic Limb, Disciples of Christ and Backslider. Definitely not to be missed, one of the first shows my band played was with Defeatist and they're are a non-stop beatdown of blasting grind. I'll close with this; ATTENTION GOOD BANDS! STOP BREAKING UP!! Sincerely, VII Caso.

~VII

Maruta Broke Up

I fucking LITERALLY just got up. I awoke and thought to myself "today's gonna be a great day!", but it isn't off to a good fucking start when the first bit of news I read about is that Maruta have called it quits! The hell!!! Talk about news outta no where! You can read the official statement that vocalist Mitchell Luna gave Lambgoat here.

I'm honestly incredibly surprised that they decided to break up, especially considering how good a year that they've had; their latest album "Forward to Regression" is quite excellent and has gotten a huge amout of praise from many publications, they practically just finished a European tour with Wormrot, it seemed like they were serious troopers and would continue to make great albums, to me at least. Sad news for the grind community, definitely a bummer to see an awesome band go. You have one last chance to see them live at their last show on Sunday, December 4th at Churchills in Miami, Florida, and you can pick up "Forward to Regression" from Willowtip Records.

~VII 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Interview: Eduardo Carrillo(DIY Noise, Sordo, Wages of Fear, Larva)

DIY Noise are one of the sickest labels out there today! If you haven't checked them out you should, by giving them a like on their Facebook page here. Here is a short interview I did with main man Eduardo Carrillo over email.

~Andrew Lipscomb


First off, why did you start DIY Noise?


Excellent question! Haha Diy Noise started during my three month vacation from work of this year. At the time I wasn't attending school or doing much with my bands. Everyday was essentially the same, I'd wake up, take a dump, eat some cereal, walk my dog and pretty much repeat that over and over again. By July I was already bored to death and wasn't enjoying my time off from work. I can't just sit down and do nothing I have to be constantly doing something productive and positive and just keep truckin.

What is the process like for putting out a release?

It's fairly simple. Tapes are a lot easier in my opinion then cd's and vinyl. First I find a band or a band contacts me. We talk for a bit and come to the usual agreement for when it comes to DIYN releases. 50 tapes I keep around 10-20 of em. Sometimes half for Sordo or Larva splits. Afterwards all I ask for is artwork, band info and of course the music. And in a few days or weeks depending on how busy I am or how much work the release calls for I come out with the tapes ready to be sent off to the band.

Tell us about your own bands Sordo, Larva, and Wages of Fear

Sordo started about 2-3 years ago. At first it was just my brother (the singer) and myself. I would do all the instruments and he would handle vocal duties. When we first started their wasn't really a huge fastcore/pv/noise scene so we pretty much just wrote tunes and put them up online. As time went by we recruited a drummer from another band I play in (Wages of Fear) and since then we just started to network and hook up with other bands for splits and stuff. Larva is the same thing almost except with a bigger lean towards noise and shit-fi stuff haha. It's been around a bit longer then Sordo but in the beginning I had no idea about the crazy huge noise scene. I knew about Bastard Noise and The Gerogerigegege but other then them I didn't think it was such a huge thing. It wasn't until recently that I started to hookup with other cats to do noisecore splits and stuff. Wages of Fear has been around for a while I think. I use to catch their shows before I joined up. I saw them open up for the Adicts and it was pretty cool because at the end of their set they tossed a shirt into the crowd that I caught. A few months later their guitarist Marc quit and they began looking for a replacement. This was when Myspace was still up haha, they posted a bulletin and I had thought about joining just because I wasn't really doing anything with my other projects. They had actually messaged my brother asking if he knew anybody he he referred me. The next week I went for an audition (I'm pretty sure I was the only one who did haha) and the next day they asked if I would join up with them. They had just put out a cd with Give Praise and we're wanting to do another one So we started churning up some new tracks. I think about 7-8 of the tracks from the self-titled are mostly riffs that I came up with.

Let's take it way back, how did you get into music?

My family has always been into music. I can remember almost every song I've ever heard since I was a tiny version of my now self. Most of the stuff I listened to was in Spanish. Juan Gabriel, Los Bukis, Bronco, Los Tucanes etc... bunch of Ranchera and Corridos as they are called.
I also loved Michael Jackson a bunch haha. When I got older I started getting into more of the mainstream American music, nothing in particular just a bunch of different stuff here and there RHCP, RATM, SOAD, etc... My first actual band was KISS I started collecting all of the cd's when I was around 12 or so. Around that time I started to learn how to play the guitar. After my KISS phase I discovered punk music, I remember listening to Gorilla Biscuits and Crass a bunch haha but what really got me into it was The Misfits. As time progressed my idea of punk music broadened into hardcore. Minor Threat especially since they we're sober punks. Later on I got into darker heavier more extreme stuff thanks to a buddy of mine. He introduced me to Charles Bronson, Infest, Ruido etc...

If you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life, and could only bring 3 albums, what would you bring?

Damn haha that's tough. Ummm...
Probably Re-Opened Wound by Warsore
Somery by Descendents
and the Discography cd from Los Crudos.

Do you have a certain criteria for having a release on DIY Noise?

No, not really. I've said since the start of the label that I would release almost any band as long as they were for the DIY cause. If anything, I don't release or put out stuff with pentagrams or anything dealing with Satan.In fact when I was doing the CHULO release I noticed on their Myspace page that they used a bit of that. I asked them if they wouldn't mind altering it to keep it off and the kindly did so at my request. Nothing against other peoples beliefs or views but I frankly don't give a shit about a band that uses stuff like that. I could never understand it either. Satan represents (at least from what I know) all the evil and bad that happens in this world. All the racism, sexism, murders, hate, pedophiles, avarice. All that shit that I'm against. Don't get me wrong I'm not a fuckin bible thumper or anything haha. It's just something that I've never been fond of. I usually stray away from music like that as well. All that satanic black death metal shit. It's boring to me either way.

Why do you think tapes have made sort of a comeback in recent years?

Not too sure. I don't think they ever really died down in popularity. I love cassettes, but I can see what you mean because for the longest time I didn't really know anybody else who had tapes still. I know the underground noise scene and other punk or pv scenes still depend on tapes as a cheaper alternative to cd's or vinyl. Especially in Mexico, tapes still thrive down there from what I hear.
Do you have any upcoming releases that you are excited about?

Hell yeah! ALL OF EM! haha but seriously the one that I'm like crazy pumped for is still a ways from even being announced to anybody (I guess I'm announcing it right here though haha) but I would really like to start work on a DIY Noise Collection on an LP. Pretty much I'd like to have EVERY band that I've worked with through the label to submit short fast tracks for a huge compilation

What are some other labels that have inspired you?

Slap a Ham most def. Just cause of the stuff they put out. I think the most prolific label that really inspired me the most was Lengua Armada.

Why do you think a DIY ethic is important?

DIY is much more then just doing something yourself. It's a lifestyle, it's how people made progress and what motivates people to get out their and invent things. I know I can pay someone X amount of dollars to make some stickers or some patches or shirts. But actually learning how to do it is just an overall better experience. Now I can print up swag for other bands and labels and teach people what it really costs to make stickers or buttons. Stickers are dirt cheap to make by the way. Buttons especially. Not only that but it gives whoever is DIYing all creative control of what they're doing and what they want to do. Rather then having some asshole manager who's only interested in $$$ control you.

Who are some musicians/bands that inspire you?

Plenty of bands and musicians have inspired me to play music and perform. But in terms of the whole spectrum and not just one area I would say Los Crudos have had the biggest impact on me. I could associate with them so much being a minority male in an area negatively stereotyped by the media as the worst place to live in Ventura County. Being and living here in El Rio, and me being Mexican, typically means that I should be listening to reggaton. I also should be uneducated, undocumented, a drug user, lazy etc... I would say that I am the antithesis of what's expected of me being a young Mexican male in El Rio. After watching "Beyond The Screams" A documentary that not only focuses on the Latino hardcore scene but also shows the importance of being politically aware. It reassured me that I was doing just fine where I stood being the different shade of brown and not just another quiet sheep wandering aimlessly among the wolves.

Thanks for the interview! Anything else that you would like to add?

Yes!
Thank you Andrew for being such a rad dude! Without you man no one would know about the label. You really helped me out a bunch and this interview just goes to show your undying support.
ALL HAIL Andrew OG Lipscomb!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Old Painless Song

Gah, no post for a while. Sorry guys, there will be more posts soon! In the mean time, check out this excellent song from NC grinders Old Painless! It's a short and sweet blaster from their upcoming split with Priapus. This band is from Andrews area, so show them some support, cause they rule! Check out the song here.

~VII

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BASTARD NOISE/LACK OF INTEREST SPLIT IN THE WORKS!!


OHOH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.OH.

Word is from Eric that this vinyl only split will hopefully be out early next year on Deep Six Records, and that's all I know so far. The wait is gonna kill me, this split is gonna crush heads. The brutality continues!!

~VII

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Agoraphobic Nosebleed Get in The Holiday Spirit on Their New Flexi Disc!

Can you say "Best News of The Day"?? Well, technically not breaking news but I'm just hearing about it goddamit! One of my favorite bands, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, will have 11 brand-spanking-new tracks inspired by the holidays featured on Decibel Magazine's Flexi Series. I for one, and stoked beyond belief for my next issue to arrive. This is the best flexi that Decibel has done since the Napalm Death one a few issues ago. Not just cause it has grind songs on it, but because it's new and original material. My biggest peeve with the Decibel flexi's is that all the songs have either been covers or rehashed material from previous releases, while I think that if they concentrated on getting new material from these bands these flexi's would be more worth while. Truth be told, I haven't even listened to many of the recent flexi's I've gotten due to this issue, but I digress. You can stream all 11 tracks here, as well as all the previous Decibel flexi tracks. These new songs should definitely please old-school ANb fans who are unhappy with their more recent recordings. These songs are fast, furious blasters with that 1000 bpm pace and classic Jay Randall vocals, what more could you ask for?

~VII

Archagathus/Onanizer-Split(Review)

When you get an Archagathus split you pretty much know what you are going to get, just their signature style of crushing mince grind. The three Archagathus tracks on this split are further proof of that, fast drumming, muddy guitar/bass, the whole Archagathus sound is present. Their side is pretty solid, the only complaint I have is that the vocals don't really do it for me. I can't really put my finger on it, I love the high parts, but it just seems that the lows are too drawn out. Now on to the next side. Going into this split, I had never heard Onanizer before, so I really didn't know what to expect. While listening to their side I quickly discovered what I had been missing out on. I would best describe Onanizer's sound with one word; intense. It seems that they have taken everything that is great about grindcore and blended it together into something that they can call their own. This stuff is just pure gold. While listening to Onanizer I feel the urge to start punching holes in my wall, and to start violently moshing. The vocals are great, ranging from devastating screams to powerviolenc barks, the instrumentation is superb as well, everything sounds very tight and precise while not losing any intensity. This is a fantastic split, and I highly recommend that instead of just downloading it after reading this review, that you listen to it the way it was meant to be heard on vinyl, by picking up a copy from Pan Del Muerte Records.

FFO: Lt. Dan, Sakatat, Mesrine
Listen to Onanizer here



~Andrew Lipscomb

(Special thanks to Pan Del Muerte Records for the review copy)