Blackout Running Out of Time EP

Strange record. Side One consists of two songs, both punk-ish with good drive and aggression, while maintaining a quirky aspect. On the flip, the quirkiness comes to the fore, and musically they transform into an experimental-ish post-punk band, much lighter and eclectic.

Death Piggy Love War EP

An unusual release, both musically and lyrically, DEATH PIGGY’s sound is discordant and diverse, and ranges from relatively straightforward funnypunk with weird vocals (like “Fat Man” and “No Prob Dude”) to off-the-wall raps (“Eat the People”) to brief acapella chants (“G.O.D. Spells God”) to permutations of the above (“Mangoes and Goats” and “Splatter Flicks”). Not at all typical.

Malefice Overboard EP

MALEFICE’s highly distinctive musical approach incorporates elements of thrash and hard rock into a near-psychotic performing style. Of the three songs on this EP, the title track rips with an unbridled instrumental fury reminiscent of the NEOS, while the other compositions boast somewhat less passion. This is good.

MFD Music for the Deaf LP

Very well done melodic HC with roots in ’77 punk and the DC sound, and they even do a T. REX cover. Tight, tuneful, and songs that can be remembered.

United Mutation Fugitive Family EP

A truly amazing record. UNITED MUTATION have combined the speed and intensity of basic thrash with some highly distinctive structural changes, a couple of nasty guitar leads, and the scariest vocals I’ve heard in a long time. Today’s trendy horror rockers will crap their pants and go into convulsions when they hear the singer’s raspy growl, which bears a striking resemblance to that of the demon in The Exorcist.

United Mutation Rainbow Person EP

The compositions on this release from UNITED MUTATION sacrifice the thrashiness of their debut for a spookier, more atmospheric approach—but it works. Churning arrangements, an aggressive HC energy, and those trademark laryngitis vocals team up to good effect especially on “Take Your Pick.” Solid and recommendable.

Uruku Exhumed Lunch EP

URUKU approaches HC from an eclectic point of view, so if you combined the likes of BEEFEATER, UNITED MUTATION, and GREY MATTER into one outfit, you might come away with something like this. Thrash with diverse and arty overtones—mostly fairly routine, with no real standout numbers.

V/A Mutopia cassette

A generally excellent sampler of Northern Virigina hardcore, metal, experimental, and ’60-inspired groups. It’s a well-recorded, non-profit project that contains band handouts by #1 PRIORITY, PUDWAK, MALEFICE, the STEEL KNICKERS, DEATH PIGGY, CONCENTRIC, MICHAEL, CAMP DAVID, YOM, and 007. Most of the material on side one is powerful and catchy, and PUDWAK’s “Boxhead” is a total classic with schizoid vocals.