Reviews

Esos Malditos Punks

Abuso Demo 1988 EP

I absolutely love it, but self-reflection indicates it might be the peak of human consumerism to press old hardcore demos to vinyl. I love this era of Mexican punk; many great recordings were made there between 1988 and 1990. One common thing was that almost all of the bands had super tight, dense, almost robotic constant beats and hecticly played back-and-forth riffs. ABUSO fits into this mold, yet their anger makes them unique and it makes me appreciate their scene. This does not mean you will hear anything you cannot imagine or have not heard before. But it’s honest, entertaining hardcore that makes you feel like you’re in a rehearsal room with the band. Despite how adolescent it sounds, the vibe of the record still carries importance. Due to recording and equipment quality, the demo (probably) sounds rougher than they might have wanted it, but it provides a great mask for the slower, plain parts of the record. Nothing revolutionary here, but it’s a great addition to the already impressive history of Mexican punk.

Alerta Roja Punk Rock En Dictadura EP

This is killer. ALERTA ROJA was supposedly the first Argentinian punkers to record punk. Thanks to the do-no-wrong Texas punk label Esos Malditos Punks, we get this reissue of their first wax, along with some extra tunes from the session. This was recorded in 1982, but like other punk bands from the continent, they were still in the ’70s in all the best ways. Along with peers like LOS VIOLADORES, they were kicking out some high-powered, ’77-style punk jams. There’s a lot of EATER and of course the PISTOLS here, much like MUTANTEX if they had better equipment and recording studios. Lengua Armada Discos did another essential reissue some time back, but definitely track this one down or cry later.

Autodestrucción Demo 1988 EP

It’s another demo tape pressed to 7” by the Esos Malditos Punks label, showing a good part of the Mexican hardcore scene that was wild and unique during the late ’80s and early ’90s. AUTODESTRUCCIÓN is another super-tight band. It comes across great because they are raging, with fast-paced, slamming hardcore songs that are furious as hell. Old tape noise gives us what mostly just multiple pedals and editing can accomplish now, but here it is in its rudimentary form. Slight melody creeps in here and there, but it still is an attack tape. The momentum of the tracks does not let me judge the riffs or song structure, but this is a hardcore tape from Mexico 1988, not a painting in a bullshit museum where you are hissed down immediately if you make any noise. This is the loud reality of local craziness. Most of the songs are pretty short, and the longer jams sound very menacing and have the opportunity to transform from a tense mid-tempo to a really hammering rush. When the disco beat came in for a second, they totally got me. If you are interested in early international hardcore where scenes had their own unique sound and bands were forming and not following the borders of hardcore, then this is a great release for you.

Flower City Maggots Consume EP

Ripper of an EP here from FLOWER CITY out of Austin, Texas. These six songs recall the darker side of classic old-school SoCal like early TSOL and DI. Embellishing their menacing riffage with a drummer who plays like MINOR THREAT’s Jeff Nelson and an echoed, spectral vocalist who wails over each song like a different section of a carnival spook house, this band has an awesome, memorable sound that I’m hoping to hear more of. One of the coolest new 7”s of the last while, for sure.

Los Invasores Demo 1987 LP

Vinyl treatment for a long-lost demo from Uruguayan punkers LOS INVASORES. Twangy, surf-inflected, and full of spit and piss. The tone of each of these songs will have you asking yourself “did these gents plug straight into the mixing board?”. Maybe…of the fourteen songs on the long-player, start with “Lamentos” and move into “Orguilo.” The tone is like they are using pennies as guitar picks. What!? Buy the vinyl if it’s not sold out.

Mirror Second EP

Home to an incredibly fertile punk scene, Texas has generated countless crushing and innovative punk bands like WICCANS, VAASKA, IMPALERS or CRIATURAS. MIRROR is the junction of the aforementioned bands in a mash of psychedelic and punk, creating a self-described “cosmic punk.” A vocal delivery less reminiscent of the Oi!-infused WICCANS and more Darby Crash on GLUE, frantic riffs, precise drumming, and a layer of synth psychedelia, make the Second EP another great modern punk release from the hotbed of US punk.

Sexpill Anarchy and LSD EP

This EP starts with nuclear sirens, so you know you are in for a treat. Coming from Houston, SEXPILL is ugly-as-fuck hardcore punk like KURO on a bad hair day. The sound is disgustingly good if you are into noisy punk. And at some point, you realize that the sirens don’t stop, and go throughout the whole EP.