Advanced Perspective

Grand Scheme Grand Scheme demo cassette

Fast, short, and pissed-sounding. The vocals remind me of INFEST a bit, although musically it’s a little slower with some two-steppin’ breakdown parts. It’s hard to believe that this is a demo, because it’s super tight. Six songs in all, and it appears that this tape was limited to 100 and is already sold out, but thanks to modern technology, I’m sure it’s not hard to track this down.

Interlocked Live on KXLU 1991 LP

A document of a relatively short-lived straightedge band from East L.A. This LP, as the title states, is their performance on L.A.-based college radio station KXLU, with six songs played live on air that were recorded onto a cassette by a friend of the band. Surprisingly, for a recording that is 32 years old, this doesn’t sound too bad. Aside from this recording, the band only released a demo (which is included on the digital version of this LP). INTERLOCKED doesn’t sound like the typical early ’90s straightedge band, as they utilize some effects pedals and the songs have really slow, drawn-out parts that all of the sudden burst into some blazing fast, almost powerviolence-ish parts. Reading the booklet that accompanies the LP, the band and the labels behind the release went back and forth as to which recording to release on vinyl, the demo or the radio performance—after listening to both, I think the right choice was made. This is a must-have for any fan or amateur historian of either early ’90s hardcore or East L.A. punk/hardcore. A well-put-together piece of obscure L.A. hardcore history.

Lawful Killing Early Learning: The Complete Recordings cassette

The UK punk explosion right now is out of control, and this release beautifully documents it at its best. The throat-shredding vocals, the tornado riffing, the cheeky nods to NWOBHM and thrash all come together in a hyper-political burst of rage and hooks in equal measure. There are some members of other heavy hitters on display here, from loads of bands including CHUBBY AND THE GANG and STATE FUNERAL, and it all gels beautifully. Ripping hardcore, top of its class, not much else to say but give it a listen.

Firestarter / Madhouse split EP

Man, we love to see a good ol’ split 7″. And this one rips. Two bands from Southern California, L.A.’s FIRESTARTER and the Inland Empire’s MADHOUSE, share the stage on this platter. FIRESTARTER carries on the youth crew (à la UNIFORM CHOICE and INSTED) style of their demo tape that I previously reviewed—they offer three tracks and they all rule. The last two tracks come courtesy of MADHOUSE who, on the other hand, go for unhinged speed and aggression not unlike HERESY or TERRORAIN, and it slays all the same. This is one raging 7″ that you should definitely blast out.

Side Action Saykopatik Hula cassette

The Gauguin-esque cover is great—it suggests a rare creativity that is playful, fun, violent and cool. Then the music starts, soon all the noisy cacophony falls on the bass and I find myself at the imaginary scene of the cover. It’s hardcore, fast and simple, right when it got to be, although loud, distorted and rudimental enough that it sounds fresh. As if SIDE ACTION uses the tools of their environment instead of replicating its relics. The dynamics between vocals and music feels as if the former were on a higher RPM than the rest of the band. Together it’s brilliant noise, the atmosphere of the record is buzzing, while their chaos is controlled. Sometimes things are just so simple yet meaningful—and joyful they target our feelings instead of our intellect. Those gathered thoughts are personal and feel silly to share it with the public. So it will become a strange secret which in a way shared between you and the band. When outsiders feel to be connected to strangers due to a band, something special has been created.