Reviews

Gonza Perez

Outrage Factor Nothing Ever Changes cassette

Another great addition for Tetryon Tapes, this time from a member of their own local scene in Buffalo, New York. Released by Biff Bifaro’s one-man DIY operation DIY project in July, this consists of nine tracks with a sound that resembles classic ’80s US (especially West Coast) hardcore like POISON IDEA, GERMS, old BLACK FLAG, or CIRCLE JERKS, greeting us with an amazing rage and angst, visceral desperate and violent vocals that evoke puking on someone’s face, classic hardcore guitars and blasting drums, and even some surfy new wave riffs. This seems to have erupted from a long-sealed time vault or capsule, and I think that’s great—classic and yet quite refreshing. Excellent effort by the one songwriter in recording, mixing, mastering and even doing the artwork themselves! Suggested tracks: “Cyanide Solution,” “Contaminated,” and “Violent and Jacked” for nice palm-muting (“Violent and jacked / Under attack / The past is gone / And now you are looking back!”). Great cathartic cassette, give it a go!

Acid Mikvah Acid Mikvah demo cassette

Directly from Chicago, Illinois comes ACID MIKVAH, a group of Jewish punks who released this cassette in June 2021 (extra credit for the lyrics on their Bandcamp page). Reverbed vocals over political, garage-y, fast punk rock, with quite catchy riffs led by a heavily distorted guitar that has resemblances of early raw punk mixed with classic hardcore. With songs that speak against apartheid and religious birthrights and take a stand against nationalism and hatred, they create freedom punk to fight against Israel’s war and sieges against Palestine (“Call everyone an antisemite, the establishment got your back / But we fight back, with Palestinians, for a just world”). Interesting political punk, you may like them.

The Clue The Clue demo cassette

Five-track demo in seven minutes by Denver’s the CLUE. Egg-punk with heavily distorted vocals that are almost unintelligible. Electronic gags and some guitar riffs are interesting. Great synths and overexposed noisy drums. The non-stop confusing lyrics may be annoying if you are not familiar with this subgenre. The cover of “Sunlight” by TINY TIM at the end of this demo is bananas. If you like frantic, rotten egg-punk, this might be right up your alley.

Derrumbando Defensas Sistema Criminal LP

All-female metal/hardcore band from Temuco, Chile that assembled around 2009, with three previous releases. Released in April 2022, this seven-track LP (with a great cover art by Subhuman Illustrations from Colombia) has some sick lyrics full of hatred and aggression and a sense of revenge and justice, touching on topics such as feminist struggles and resistance, and Latin American issues from colonialism to ethnocide to nature’s destruction at the hands of big foreign companies. Anti-system, anti-state, anti-speciesism, anti-fascism, and anti-nationalism positions (what else could you dream for on an LP?) combine beautifully with distorted metal strings and deep and suffering vocals with some sweet gutturals. Metallic hardcore cadences are included along with sounds suggesting outer space and mental metal chambers alike. Suggested tracks: “Latinoamérica” has some great lyrics summarizing all of the problems of this area that has been injured for too long, transmitting a helpful yet painful message which any Latin American is going to identify with. “Devastación” is a sludgy metal hardcore instrumental with screams and doomsday space sounds, working as a break between songs with lyrics. “No Me Representas” is a great anti-nationalist anthem against the Chilean state and its repression and corruption. Highly recommended project, it’s been a good surprise.

Keretik Tomorrow’s Worst Enemy cassette

This eight-track cassette is filled with twenty-three minutes of gloomy metalpunk from Helsinki, Finland. Heavy metal-infused punk with sludgy cadences and deep smoky vibes—the vocals are anger-filled and sickly crazy, the guitar riffage is mental, and the bass lines resemble a consistent hammer. All of these aspects combine efficiently to create a vibe of their own, a great effort that achieves a unique sound for the band. ”Vannoharha” and “Pirulukee Pyhää Kirjaa” are my suggested tracks, the first one for its crazy drums and “predator hunt experience” sound, and for the sick bass lines in the latter. Helsinki’s metalpunk is alive and well.

JFA / Sin 34 split EP reissue

This reissued relic is quite amazing. Both bands’ tracks are taken from the Sudden Death compilation EP from 1982 released on Smoke Seven Records featuring bands like MORAL DECAY, CRANKSHAFT, the SINS, REDD KROSS, DEATH YOUTH, and more—according to the timeline, these may be JFA and SIN 34’s earliest and/or first recordings. Surf punks from Arizona mixed with hardcore punks from Santa Monica, this split is still vital today, filled with urgent youth screams for politics, chaos, and fun. For JFA’s part, we can talk about revolutionary guitars, fast-paced screams, an erratic voice, and low reverb with surf punk influences and new wave punk. SIN 34 delivers good sludgy cadences, anthemic and energetic female vocals, and decadence-evoking palm-muted guitars. A merge between new wave punks introducing space sounds with a resemblance to surf rock and the most classic US hardcore punk, with referents worldwide during the ’81–84 era. A must-listen for lovers of skate punk and classic US hardcore.

O.R.C. Feeling Safe cassette

This five-track cassette was released by Dial Club from Japan (Katakatou Punk Collective) and consists of lo-fi Melbourne punk directly from a bedroom. Imagine vocals like an ’80s telephone conversation on a submarine, mixed with heavily-layered tasty riffs. This is eggy garage punk, and it could get monotonous—for fans of PRISON AFFAIR, as the heavy synths are companions with the diminutive, distorted guitars. Recommended if you are into lo-fi bedroom creatures and frantically recorded cassette tapes. Suggested tracks: “Self-Proclaimed Narcissist” and “Too Much Fun.”

Chaotic Youth Demo 81 LP

Punk relic from the UK82 wave reissued by Nausea Records (UK), featuring Scotland’s CHAOTIC YOUTH’s demo from 1981. Teenage aggression and rotten presentation of Margaret Thatcher’s era. Really good bass lines, and the singer’s voice has a classic UK82 style, ranting and screaming for change and angst. Favorite track: “Violence in the City.” You can feel the teenage vibes, and if you played in a punk band as a youngster, you are gonna feel at home. Great effort with the archiving and mastering of the material on behalf of Nausea Records.

Lamictal Violent Convulsions cassette

Minimal weird garage punk rock from California that reminds me of a merge between DANNY’S FAVORITES and PRISON AFFAIR, but with hardcore cadences and speed. According to the Bandcamp page of the label Goodbye Boozy, we have little information about the one-man band that is Alex Coletto (X-ACTO, GNARLES MANSON). Four tracks in less than four minutes is my kind of synth punk (or should I say synth-hardcore?). Limited to twenty tapes, it’s a must-listen for enthusiasts of synth punk/egg-punk/totally weird minimal punk and its derivatives. Suggested tracks: “Violent Convulsions” (its title exactly depicts the song) and “Aura.. When you are starting to enjoy it, it abruptly ends, like all good things in life.

Dadar Iron Cage LP

Well-executed lo-fi egg-punk directly from Parma, Italy. DADAR’s fourth album sounds really balanced, with the right amount of loop effects and synth lines that follow the rhythm of the song, and manages to deliver a really good sound. Also, the vocals are a lil’ bit dubbed,  accomplishing that garage feeling egg-punk should evoke. Suggested tracks: “Rewiring,” “Sound of Sirens,” and the last track of this album, “112.” Reminds me of WWW, cyberpunk friends from Argentina. If you like synth sounds and eggy garage punk, this is an excellent album for you. If you wish to hear emerging bands from other countries that aren’t the US or UK playing fine egg-punk, this is your choice for a starting place (at least in Europe).

The Poisoning Human Apparitions EP

This band comes from Santa Ana/Los Angeles, California, and this seems to be their first EP—physical copies are only available at live shows. A four-track EP spinning around for twelve minutes or so. Kinda fast punk rock, notes of GG ALLIN in the vocals, quick guitar changes, and good drums with fills and stops that may cause pogoing. The first track “Human Apparitions” is like some kind of hymn and works as an intro to the EP (riffy as hell). Good hardcore punk, with really defined guitars and a lil’ bit less distorted than usual. The second song “Breathless” was to me the best song on this EP: well-executed, and creates an atmosphere of losing oxygen, with great guitars for this one as well as good drum cuts. I wouldn’t categorize them into the “metal punk” area at all, as they are closer to classic hardcore punk, even a clean-ish version. Their singer transmits a calm but uneasy feeling, like a hawk looking from above, calm but deadly. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I liked them, but after some listening, I realized this is quite good. It’s always easier to just make noise and angry postures, but this has musical accuracy, and it seems to have passion, too.

The Executed Demonstration cassette

Phoenix, Arizona’s the EXECUTED has released this demo on Noise Merchant Records from the UK, a key label to discover a wide range of emerging hardcore bands worldwide. Four tracks in less than seven minutes gives us the perfect intro for the EXECUTED. Sharp guitars, even sharper voice, good riffing and beat changes. Listen to the track “Blinders” for speedy pogo and riff rage, continue with “Grid Decay” for a catchy guitar jumping along with the drums followed by a downbeat that goes in crescendo to the pit, then “Shock State” follows quite in the same line as “Blinders,” and finish the album with “The Last Riot” to extinguish whatever was left of hatred and violence in you before the EXECUTED. Really fun album, hardcore punk mixed with nods to and cadences of ’80s skate rock and classic hardcore like the downbeats—for me it’s a formula that works, but that you don’t get to hear as often as you’d think. Highly recommended.

Uncross Demo 2022 CD

Coming straight out of Salt Lake City, Utah’s UNCROSS offers three tracks in ten minutes on this demo, which was released in April 2022. Extra points for having the lyrics on the page,  starting off with “Descend Into Decrepitude” (“Lies cannot save you / Hate will not heal you / God cannot hear you…”). With distorted strings and sludgy cadences, the first minute-and-a-half of this song sorts of works as an intro to the demo. After that, the vocals enter, with remembrances of crust metal and doom. It totally makes you feel like descending, and after that starts picking a rhythm inviting you to a doomy pit. Very cathartic. For the second song “Amplified Self-Loathing,” the strings are mental and ill, and follows the lyrical work: depression is a constant, as is self-loathing and hatred scattered towards humanity. This track is a little bit less accomplished, but it has some dark introspective force going to your own soul. The last track is “DYI” (“Doing Yourself In”). This reviewer does not condone nor encourage suicide, but this band might as well. My personal favorite track is “Descend Into Decrepitude,” as it gets the desired atmosphere and may convince you to enter into a rhythmic trance. For lovers of sludge and doom, and reaching the core of depression; a great first effort for UNCROSS.