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MRR Radio #1587 • 12/10/17

This week Matt pulls some rarities out of the vault to make the scums and punks drool. Intro song: STENGTE DØRER ...

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MRR Radio #1586 • 12/3/17

On this week's MRR Radio, Rob goes ballistic for late '70s and early '80s Bloodstains punk rock from around the ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #416 • Jan 2018

Another new year, another exciting issue of Maximum Rocknroll! MRR #416, our January 2018 issue, begins with a sad note as we ...

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"Who gives a fuck?"

MRR Radio #1585 • 11/26/17

“[...] Elvis gives them a short speech about the death pangs that humanity must go through in order to reach ...

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MRR Radio #1584 • 11/19/17

Another fuct up Rotten Ron and Horrrible Halitosis Punker Power Hour. Intro song: DRUGCHARGE - Husk Rotten Ron fucks it up so you ...

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September 28th, 2017 by

“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info on how to submit. Now, check out some killer new shit…

Band name:

Date & location formed:
We started in July of 2016. Most of the band lives in Olympia, but one of us resides in Seattle.

Reason for forming:
It had been about two years since our guitar player PK played in an active project and over a decade since Lucy was last in a band. Josef and PK started jamming with the idea of starting another d-beat/hardcore punk project. Josef’s housemate Mattie Jo was the first bass player we thought of to jump in. Mattie Jo and Lucy had previously talked about starting a hardcore band about three of four years ago. Next thing you know, ESCØRT was formed. We all feel pretty emotionally supported by making this music together.

What are your lyrics about?
Lucy: Haha, well I think our band name and some of the song titles speak pretty clearly for themselves like “Fuck Me Hard” and “Whore for Whore”. I’ve been in the sex industry in some capacity for over a decade now. So, talking about sex and sexuality come very naturally to me and I’m clearly not shy about it! But not all of my lyrics are as on the nose. I do bring a lot of politics into my words. Having a varied intersection of some marginalized identities, I feel moved to speak to bring up the intense fucked up shit that I see happen in the world. Not just on a personal level but also on a national and even global scale. But I try to carry a nice balance between serious, nasty (in a sexy way) and funny. I want to capture a more rounded, human experience in my lyrics rather than just sticking to one concept.

ESCØRT (photo by Yet De Meanor)

How would you describe your sound?
We like to play fast and loud. Typically the d-beats with some dancey interludes drowned out in heavily distorted feedback. Some songs reminiscent of Swedish legends, others not so much.

What’s in the future for this band?
We’d like to go on a bigger tour at some point, but for now we plan on sticking around the Pacific Northwest, play some gigs and find time to put out a new 7inch.

Links and contact info:





Band name:


Let’s do a round of introductions:
Evil B – Vocals
Goo – Guitar
Brendo – Guitar
C – Bass
Petrus Ratajczyk (aka ‘Donny’) – Drums

When and how did you all come to form WITCHTRIAL?
Donny and Goo began writing songs in the late spring of 2016. The full line up was assembled by fall 2016. Demo recorded in February 2017. Released in July. We work slowly.

What influences did you draw from when you recorded your demo?
Many, but let’s limit it to three: VENOM, early BATHORY and ANTI-CIMEX. For production, we referred exclusively to Morbid Tales and Show No Mercy.

How would you describe your sound?
Metal for punks, punk for metalheads.

What does the rest of the year look like for all of you?
Mostly writing new music. We are playing Not Dead Yet in October and may plan a few more shows beyond that.

WITCHTRIAL (photo by Angela Owens)

Links and contact info:




Band name:


Date & location formed:
We all live in South Florida, February 2017 was around the time our first song was completely written.

Reason for forming:
For some of us this is our first band. There were a lot of fall outs in the beginning and it took a while to find members in general. I had the drums and lyrics written for a long time before things started to get rolling, but everything went smoothly after that. Not many other bands in our area currently have a similar sound and we just love this style of hardcore overall!

What are your lyrics about?
The lyrics are mainly about being trapped in the work cycle and government officials that don’t really care about the people they’re supposed to help.

How would you describe your sound?
Hardcore/punk with some early Agnostic Front, Ultra Violent, Reckless Aggression, Urban Blight influence.

What’s in the future for this band?
In November we’re doing a Florida run with Protocol from Tallahassee and maybe another band. We’re also writing new songs that will hopefully be on a 7″ at some point.

Jackal (photo by Zack Rogers)

Links and contact info:





Band name:

Date & location formed:
Summer of 2016, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Reason for forming:
To have fun and play fast.

What are your lyrics about?
Things we can relate to; shitty people, bad decisions, worse relationships, etc.

How would you describe your sound?
Fast, loud, trashy punk. fun stuff.

What’s in the future for this band?
Tours, shows, more fun, keep making music.

Links and contact info:





Logo by Lia Lepre

Band name:

Date & location formed:
Formed in December 2016, Tacoma, Washington.

Reason for forming:
Antonio: Laura (bass) had the idea to start a band with myself singing, as she knew I had a desire to write in a different musical direction than a different project we were doing together at the time, and we both just hated art so much we wanted to propagate that message

What are your lyrics about?
The demo’s lyrics range from feeling caught between two loved ones who refuse to reconcile, to questions about what makes someone their “true self”, (whether intentions matter or just outcomes), and, perhaps most importantly, the idea that art is bad and you are bad for making and/ or enjoying it.

How would you describe your sound?
Hardcore but leaning away from aggression, and meandering towards melody and vulnerability.

What’s in the future for this band?
Tours are being planned, from western Canada to the U.S northeast.

Universal Peace (photo by Ellen Rummel)

Links and contact info:





Do you have or know of an awesome new band*? It’s easy to submit to be in MRR’s New Blood feature — just email us the following info, and keep keeping’ it real…

1) Band name:
2) Date & location formed:
3) Reason for forming:
4) What are your lyrics about?
5) How would you describe your sound?
6) What’s in the future for this band?
7) Links and contact info:

Along with the answers please send a band photo at least 600px on the longest side (with photo credits), and a logo if you have one, to:

*By “new band” we mean a band that formed within the past year or year and a half.

MRR Radio #1576 • 9/24/17

September 24th, 2017 by

It’s a radio show. On the internet. What exactly did you expect? We played songs.


Fuck cancer.

Grant Hart, 1961-2017.

Give it up for Pete. He’s over 40, he’s a foreman at a job he hates, and he still manages to drag up some enthusiasm to pick out 4 new records for you. All for you.
GHOSTED – Swan Song
THE CAVE MEN – Ca Ca (My Wall)
BO!ROCK – トドノツマリ イン ザ ムード (In the Mood After All)

Crossed out (the set of 5 songs about crosses and crucifixes, not the band).
CRUCIFIX – Prejudice
RVINES – Piss Cross
JERRY’S KIDS – Crucify Me
CLOACA – Nailed to Our Crosses

Man, like, just make your own tool joke. They’re all basically as good as each other.
SQUIRREL BAIT – Hammering So Hard
BIG BLACK – Pavement Saw
BOLD – Nailed to the X
FUGAZI – Returning the Screw
RORSCHACH – My Mind’s in a Vice (And it’s Cranked Real Tight)

***Flagged for inappropriate content***
F.O.D. – Tattered Flag
SPAZZ – Dan Lifting Banner
WIRE – Pink Flag
Lost Cherrees – No Flag

Joan chimes in to remind us that hardcore rules! Pete and Langford shrug and play an all red backup set.
HATED YOUTH – Hardcore Rules
RED HARE – Horace

Maximum Rocknroll Radio is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring DIY punk, garage rock, hardcore, and more from around the world. Our rotating cast of DJs picks the best of the best from MRR magazine’s astounding, ever-growing vinyl archive. You can find MRR Radio archives, specials, and more at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening!

MRR Radio #1575 • 9/17/17

September 17th, 2017 by

Horrible Hal gets stuck in the not-so-oldies while Rotten Ron crushes your skull.


Intro song:
SKULL CRACK – Pyromaniac


Horrible Hal – Moldy Oldies
THE CROSS TOPS – Rough and Rowdy Ways
MAD PARADE – Bitter End
FIT FOR ABUSE – Torn in Two
WAR TRIBE – Lurking Shadows
THE BAR FEEDERS – Bowlin’ with a Swollen Colon

Rotten Ron – Building Walls Around Your Face
CONDOR – Condor
SS-20 – Virginidad Sacudida
THE BRAT – Brain Sparks
NARCO ESTADO – No Te Importa Nada

Horrible Halitosis – Plugged UP
YEAR OF THE FIST – Killer on the Road
CAVEMEN – Dog on a Chain
BRAIN BATS – Roadkill from Outterspace
DEAD ON THE WIRE – Bombay Beach

Rotten Ron – Kill the Government! Fuck the President!
RC BOYS – Secret Romance
AUSENCIA – Monotonia
SKIDS – Alright with Me
PINEN – Contademocracia
SEDICION – Fuera de Control
ANTISEEN – The Favors Are Over

Halitosis & Rotten Ron shout out to Adam!

Outro song:

Maximum Rocknroll Radio is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring DIY punk, garage rock, hardcore, and more from around the world. Our rotating cast of DJs picks the best of the best from MRR magazine’s astounding, ever-growing vinyl archive. You can find MRR Radio archives, specials, and more at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening!

RIP, Fred “Freak” Smith, Black Punk Pioneer

September 11th, 2017 by

A few weeks ago, a “semi-transient African American man” was found dead, killed from a knife wound behind the softball field of Las Palmas Park, located in San Fernando, CA. This was Fred “Freak” Smith, beloved guitarist who shaped the trajectory of mid-1980s punk in seminal bands like Beefeater, one of Washington, D.C.’s most inventive outfits. Having recently tried out for the band Romones, he had been living at Blake House, a group home, for a short stint, but wound up traversing the restless streets, seeking solace where he could.

The legacy of Beefeater is summed up most forcefully in their brilliant, genre-blurring LP House Burning Down, released on Dischord after the band’s demise in 1986. Combining hard funk, tribal stomp, raw jazz, shades of reggae, metallic leanings, and hardcore prowess, it’s an unmatched landmark, even now. Yet, the band was unstable (drummers came and went) and their fiery brand of politics set the teeth of both right-wing and left-wing punks on edge.

Smith, who changed his name to Freak, was the nimble musical backbone of the band. After joining Strange Boutique, he also helped pave the path of elegant post-hardcore music in D.C. as well. In the last half decade, he shredded in American Corpse Flower. And wherever he went, he was described as vivacious, spirited, generous, and skilled to the core.

As Bobby Sullivan, singer of Soulside and Rain Like the Sound of Trains, texted me earlier today: “Fred Smith was/is a larger-than-life character who literally lit up my youth. As a young person immersed in the D.C. punk scene, I had an extra in: my older brother lived at Dischord House. That meant I saw many of these bands form, from first talking about it in the living room, to practicing in the basement, and then taking it to the stage. Onam (Tomas Squip), the singer of Beefeater (Fred’s band at the time) also lived at Dischord House, and I spent many mornings with him when I would sleep over. My brother was a late sleeper, so I’d end up in the kitchen getting breakfast together and chatting about all the things I wanted to bounce off my older brothers and sisters – all the fine folks on the Dischord roster in the eighties.

Fred was somewhat of an aberration in that crew. Unabashedly cussing, drinking, being himself with no fear of judgment, he was something to behold. He was also a very skilled musician bringing a different flavor to that scene, which was sorely needed. My most poignant memory of him was when my band Soulside played with Beefeater at D.C. Space, I’m guessing in 1985. Scott, our guitar player, asked if he could borrow Fred Marshall half-stack and Fred replied, ‘Yeah mother fucker! And do what ever you have to do. Smash it if you need to!!!’ We all knew he was serious because that’s exactly the type of guy he was.”

BEEFEATER (photo by Al Flipside, 1985)

Other D.C. rockers like Jason Farrell of Swiz/Bluetip/Red Hare recall his outsized personality too. He emailed me this recollection:

“In 1984, I was a 14-year-old little skater kid just starting to go to shows, meeting other skaters/hardcore kids, taking every opportunity to stage dive, reveling in this crazy scene we stumbled into. I didn’t yet know much about the smaller D.C. bands that were percolating at the time (Rites of Spring, Beefeater) because all my friends and I were focused on whatever Government Issue and Marginal Man were doing.

“I’d seen Void a few times prior, but they didn’t really click with me until this one Wilson Center show… they were killing it. But apparently, it wasn’t enough to satisfy this big black dude who kept screaming and heckling them from the pit… ‘I better hear some motherfuckin’ ‘My Rules!!!’ Goddammit!!! If I don’t hear ‘My Rules’ in the next ten seconds I’m gonna kill every motherfucker…’ etc. It was kind of funny at first, but then it got kind of weird and a little scary.

“After a few songs like this, the air was tense …The singer seemed nervous. People didn’t know how to react… my little friends and I thought some shit was about to go down, and whatever it was would be beyond our capacity. But then they played ‘My Rules,’ the place exploded, and this crazy dude was overjoyed.

“In the time since, I have convinced myself that this crazy man was Fred ‘Freak’ Smith.”

Our counterculture needs to reckon with the future. More and more legacy punks deserve attention and advocacy. I have personally seen medical issues sideswipe those I have been lucky enough to play alongside—like members of Mydolls, Anarchitex, Big Boys, the Dicks, the Nerves, and the Hates. Others, including Dave Dictor of MDC, have partnered with me on projects. But all have dealt with dire health issues. As punks age, they often feel economic duress quite intensely. While some cities like Austin and Denton (both in Texas) have set up some infrastructure and programs for musicians, much more needs to be done.

In addition, punks who are female, queer, people of color, and/or disabled (some prefer the term differently abled) are even more at risk, due to ongoing discrimination. Thus, those fighting for justice, equality, and fairness should not merely protest Trump’s agenda, they need to react proactively to the issues affecting a growing segment of punk veterans struggling to pay bills, maintain homes and health, and stay free and productive.

Buying old records is not enough. Antifa is not enough. But each of us can change that.

—David Ensminger

This interview was originally published in Maximumrocknroll magazine #324, May (out of print).

David: Tell me about your musical heritage.

Freak: In very early 1983, I had just quit my government job at the Department of HUD. My dad was one of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshals. My dad was a doo-wop singer in the 1950s with Marvin Gaye and Van McCoy. The band was called the Starlighters and had a hit song called “The Birdland.” After they fizzled out, my dad got into law enforcement—the second generation of the Smith clan to do so. My mom was overseas working for the State Department (a gig she earned struggling in the ranks for at least fifteen or so years) while working for a 1960s program called “Voice Of America.” They divorced in 1971. As my dad kept stressing me to go into law enforcement as a lifelong career, the music side of me was tearing me apart. So, I finally decided for the latter.

And you started to immerse yourself in punk music?

All this punk rock shit was happening in D.C. as well as New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and L.A. I was so intrigued. It was kind of like the Hippie movement of the early 1960s but more radical and more in your face—”We are sick of this shit world, and we are now here to fucking change it whether you fucking like it or not” attitude. In this circle of mostly pale, tattered clothing, safety-pinned boys, aside from the few black fans in the audience, there was us! Gary Miller, aka Dr. Know of the Bad Brains, John Bubba Dupree from Void, Stuart Casson of Red C and the Meatmen, and the late great David Byers of the Psychotics, Chucky Sluggo, HR, and myself. Now I am just noting the guitar players, but would never, ever, exclude or forget Shawn Brown from Dag Nasty, their first original singer, and the late Nikki Young of Red C.

Through friends & some various acquaintances, more notably a guy named Ray Tony aka “Toast” and Eric Laqdemayo, aka Eric L from Red C, I heard about Madam’s Organ and the Atlantis Club. Soon I was auditioning at old Dischord house for a band that, from the start, proclaimed, “We are not here to make any money, are you in?” My brother Big Myke said, “Fuck this” and split. I hung around. Beefeater had an amazing, but at any given time, a very tumultuous run, with two vegan, militant vegetarians and throughout the two and a half years of our existence, three meat eating, substance abusing alcohol driven drummers, and myself!

What was it like to be a black punk in D.C.?

Let us all keep in mind that D.C. is what, 80 percent black, and this punk rock scene was fueled by angst-ridden white kids, a lot of whom I found out had fucking trust funds waiting for them when they became of legal adult age. Shit, I didn’t even know what a fucking trust fund was back then. It was very strange to be these “token” Negros playing in front of predominantly all white audiences, but we did it. As Shawn Brown and myself will attest, there were fucking issues man. A lot of fucking issues that we had to address when we did shows. When I first heard someone refer to me as the “negro Lemmy,” I was floored. I immediately lowered my mic stand down from the height that I set it. When I heard Shawn Brown being referred to as “the negro version of Ian MacKaye.” I was floored again. When I told him, he was taken aback but still plugged on. In retrospect, even in this new scene, I was always wondering, would racism ever end?!

Read the rest of this entry »

MRR Radio #1574 • 9/10/17

September 10th, 2017 by

Rob from MRR Radio brings in Athena and Melissa to discuss their upcoming documentary on the powerviolence scene and play some heavy hitters!


Intro song:

INFEST has no love for Trump! (Photo by Rob Coons)

MAN IS THE BASTARD – Starvation Cage
MAN IS THE BASTARD – Semen in the Eyesocket of Thomas Lenz

NO COMMENT – Push Down and Turn
NO COMMENT – Dead Stare For Life
NO COMMENT – For Tomorrow’s Sake
NO COMMENT – Open Face Down

CROSSED OUT – Force of Habit


INFEST – Kill The Peace
INFEST – Terminal Nation Infestation

GASP – Modern Fuel Plan

Outro song:
INFEST – My World, My Way

Maximum Rocknroll Radio is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring DIY punk, garage rock, hardcore, and more from around the world. Our rotating cast of DJs picks the best of the best from MRR magazine’s astounding, ever-growing vinyl archive. You can find MRR Radio archives, specials, and more at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening!