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Macho Boys

MRR Radio #1562 • 6/18/17

Dan digs for choice new tracks, as Paul tries new ways to record. Intro song: THE DOGS - Fed Up First Dig FEMME KRAWALL ...

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CAUSA (photo by Arnold Galvez)

New Blood! DIASPORA, CAUSA, LAISKAT SILMÄT, OKI MOKI, and returning guest, SEX SCENES

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

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The Younger Lovers

MRR Radio #1561 • 6/11/17

Substitute teacher Sam steps in when the scheduled DJ goes AWOL and plays some of his favourite tunes featured on ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #410 • July 2017

Maximum Rocknroll #410, the July 2017 issue, has arrived! We hang out with Mexico City’s RIÑA and talk art and ...

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Teenage girl wearing a Ginsberg poem paper dress

MRR Radio #1560 • 6/4/17

Layla has numerous radio related technical disasters that make her question the reality of continued existence, however there's a soundtrack ...

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Record of the Week: KRONOFOGDEN Arbete och/eller Fritid LP


April 14th, 2015 by

KRONOFOGDEN_LPThe second full-length from Hudiksvall, Sweden’s KRONOFOGDEN (“Enforcement Officer”) shares some obvious DNA with the legendary bands from their hometown (members of MISSBRUKARNA even do guest a chorus on one track), but charges harder on a ramshackle USHC bent, with vocals quickly spat out over fourteen straightforward hardcore bursts. Sturdy, linear drumming propels the fuzzed-out gnarl of guitar distortion, as the angry vocals and shouted choruses in Swedish scrape the volume peaks of their slightly distorted recording. With enough elements stewing, this sturdy engine here stirs things up enough to keep it on edge like a noisier, more raw take on the best moments of DS-13 and ETA, and the second side has a few more crunchy downbeat moments that shadow some TOTALITÄR poundings. The title (which translates to “Work and/or Leisure”) reveals a good portion of the lyrics’ meanings, with English translations explaining how they questioning the Swedish relationship to work and employment, the cost of public transportation in traditionally poorer areas of their city, the closing of youth centers, and other local issues. Cover artwork is pen-and-ink scribble, somewhere between MAGGOT SANDWICH and MUNICIPAL WASTE, with assembly lines, robot cops, zombies and more. Also comes with a 16-page comic. Killer!
(Blindead Productions)



Reissue of the Week: ALIANS Gavroche LP


January 2nd, 2015 by

Alians_GavrocheNamed after the street urchin child of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Gavroche was a cassette-only LP originally released in 1994 by ALIANS (Alliance), a prolific Polish band from the early ’90s which blended the classic, upbeat mid-tempos of Polish hardcore punk with rhythmic doses of reggae and ska and additional folksy instrumentation on accordion, congas, flute and keyboards. A classic recording of this then-trendy style, the experimental and adaptive edge of both the musicianship here and Polish punk itself steers it away from the train wreck suggested on paper. Robotic staccato vocals dart between rushing 1-2 charges of straightforward hardcore before breaking into a passage of dub or the accordion player jumps into the fray. There’s something that always seems incredibly inauthentic and, uh, “highlander” when bands from the US try this kind of folksy avant-garde punk but it’s hard to find deep fault with a band from Poland, where punk seems to both be more flexible in its expression and a broader extension of deep roots in a long lineage of community. Reaching for instruments of the past doesn’t seem that out of line (there’s even a flute and dub riffing off of the CLASH’s “Guns of Brixton”). I don’t always find the additional instrumentation completely seamless—in fact, it is occasionally tentative and stumbling—but this record still remains a challenging and interesting listen 20 years after its initial release, and is recommended for the open-minded who’ve ticked off their APATIA, ARMIA, and POST REGIMENT boxes, as the chassis of this still rests on similar, solid, classic songwriting. Anthemic punk with lyrics entirely in Polish with no translation, the entire original cassette release is encompassed in this first-time-on-vinyl reissue, along with a few of the additional tracks from its ’90s and ’00s subsequent reissues on CD and extended cassette.
(Pasazer / THC / Underground Factory)



Record of the Week: Welcome to the Arse-End of the World compilation LP


January 11th, 2012 by

One of the unsettling aspects of the post-internet explosion furthering punk rock’s globalization is that even far-off corners of the world can quickly absorb cultural influences and styles of the broader punk scene of any country, as opposed to developing in isolation with limited influences towards its own direction, leaving everything up for grabs for reinterpretation. The globalization of punk gives a familiarity to the sounds, imagery (the grim reaper riding a skateboard, the universal symbol of punks worldwide), or even band logos to almost any compilation of bands, whether it comes out of the former Soviet Union, Orange County, South America or wherever. Ultimately there’s more positives than negatives to that equation as punk’s cultural, lyrical, musical and artistic message infects the world, emphasized here by the high quality of this 14 band, 26 track compilation from across the two main islands of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Welcome to the Arse-End of the World is the first NZ punk comp in a decade or more, and there’s exceptionally great music throughout: metal-dosed grind by ABORTED CHRISTIANS, blown out Goner Records-style garage noise by TEEN HYGIENE, sludge powerviolence from CRAWLER, throttling blur fastcore from WASTELAND, seriously raging female-vocal hardcore from ROGERNOMIX, more great female vocalled and female powered proto-hardcore from NATURAL GLOW, almost IN/HUMANITY-styled weirdness mixed with screaming thrash from OILBARRONS, lo-fi assault from CASK GRINDERS, which mixes a MAN IS THE BASTARD lumber with scathing, screechy, dual-vocal thrash; metal crossover skate thrash from ELECTRIC MAYHEM, CAUSTIC CHRIST-style straight-up punk from HATEWANX, a throaty vocalled and buzzsaw guitar straight up punk assault from CONNIPTION, solid, crushing metal dirge from METH DRINKER and OPEN TOMB, and snippets of quick thrash from POLICE LINEUP. There’s a sparkling high quality to these bands and despite casting a relatively wide net of sounds and genres, this compilation plays consistently strong and unified throughout as an album itself, which is the mark of a great compilation. It includes a color booklet of mostly artwork and a few lyrics, which largely express the frustration punks feel the world over. The cover features Peter Jackson, the Rainbow Warrior, a kiwi, and, admittedly, probably more than a hundred cultural references and in-jokes I’m missing… Limited to 300 copies…Great, great comp!! (Always Never Fun Records)

 



Record of the Week: RATTUS/HOLOKAUST split EP


November 18th, 2011 by

Slapped in a ultra-crustified cover of skulls, bullets and band photos, this final release from the original line up of Finnish legends RATTUS commemorated their final live appearance in September at Los Angeles’s California Discord Fest, with three new songs that highlight that the band—always experimenting over the course of decades— has never really stopped evolving. Parts surface the melody riffed, guitar-driven hardcore of their classic 1980s records, but fumble a little in their complexity and a modern recording that doesn’t ever seem to pull a cohesive direction to the attack. The bass plunks, the drums hammer, and the vocals have a really uneven delivery. Add in all the different influences—from modern metal to classic ’77 style moves—and it’s just slightly off and sort of just rambles and stews. But you know what? RATTUS were fan-fucking-tastic in LA, and are still one of the world’s greatest punk bands. Ever. So I’ll keep spinning this—like any of their diehard fans—to try to glean their inspiration. Lyrics are Finnish with no translation. On the flip, Riverside, CA’s HOLOKAUST delivers three solid, meaty standard issue DISCHARGE blasts. These tracks distinguish themselves in the basic, wadded up crunch that the guitars get in their semi-lo-fi recording—a recording akin to the happy accidents of ’90s crust records, as opposed to a current intentionally lo-fi noise fest. The drums sturdily roll around this thick, dumpy chunk of simple riffs, as the vocals blast standard issue punk declarations over the din “Brainwashed into Submission!” “Waves of Fire! Mushroom cloud! Incinerated!” making for a familiarly satisfying, two fingers in the air, dose of good punk rock fun. (Rotten To The Core Records)



Record of the Week: CONTRA TODOS MIS MIEDOS Colera EP


September 24th, 2011 by

MRR HQ is located in San Francisco a few blocks from where the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church used to be located—a church that was centered around an explosion of spirituality and free jazz. While John Coltrane’s avantgarde cutting edge has dulled with the recognition of his more traditional material as breakthrough classics of the genre, leading to mainstream acceptance, his experimental free jazz period is something that still remains challenging. It’s as much about Coltrane’s movement through the experimentation as a listening experience, it seems to never necessarily arrive at its destination, which is kind of the point. Chilean hardcore band CONTRA TODOS MIS MIEDOS (“Against All My Fears”) features a cropped close up of Coltrane’s image from the Blue Train LP on the cover, and while the music is stellar QUICKSAND/ REFUSED styled hardcore—and worthy of checking out alone if those points of reference prick your ears—it solidly delivers a relatively stable set of ideas. The relation to the core of ideas of Coltrane that warrants appropriating his image for the cover isn’t really evident. The title of the EP translates to rage, and while Coltrane’s music was moody, anger was never really the core of its impact in the same way you think of anger being a central focus of punk music. Coltrane died in 1967, nine or ten years before the punk explosion of the ’70s, and at the nascent steps of Michigan ’60s punk like the STOOGES and MC5, that at their most experimental were taking influence from the expansion of music simultaneously being forwarded by free jazz. The relation to hardcore might simply that this type of posi-hardcore that’s reaching for a broader meaning is also reaching to find that deeper, spiritual core beyond just existing as a pure musical experience. I can only infer that with no translations in English for the band’s lyrics or to the lengthy notes on the sleeve aside from a footnote to Karl Marx (!)—the one diatribe in English in the recording is near nonsensical. This EP is however, an impressive marked jump in delivery, playing and recording values from their 2008 XXVII LP. The guitars are free to jump around, crush and solo wildly on the flange, while segmented, crunching, lumbering break downs and harsh shouted vocals give the EP an intensity like the best of the ’90s bands of this style. Weighed on one scale it’s a quite experimental deviation from the one-two-three punk rock, but in tacking itself to one of the creative geniuses of modern music, I kept waiting for it jump off the deep end like Ascension or Om… Go for it you wild Chileans!!!! Bring out the harp, chimes and alto sax and combine that with QUICKSAND and FARSIDE!!! Overall good EP, limited to 560 copies. (Amendment Records)

Review by Ken Sanderson, taken from the latest issue of MRR — available HERE.