Monday, July 5, 2010

Long Overdue Update

Time for the first proper distro update in around three months.  The main reason is I spent just about every free night in April and May recording with Nightbringer.  We've been doing live track sessions of four or five songs at a time for the last year at Bottom of the Lake in Toledo and finally wrapped that up, so it was time to do the overdubs.  We had what I think is the best guitar and bass sound I've ever gotten, so we wanted to get everything done in one go.  I kept imagining I could get a couple songs done in a night, but it rarely worked out that way.  So 17 songs later (not including the brand new songs we demo'd for ourselves to work on), it's finally done.  Now we're going to take those songs in batches and do vocals and mix.  The second 7" on Deer Healer is getting done first, followed by two songs for an American/Canadian hc comp on Schizophrenic and a song for the Detroit covers comp on Spider Cuddler.  We should have test presses of the first 7" (on High Anxiety) as soon as Chris rolls back through town with Burning Love (one of my favorite North American bands going, if I may say so), so look for the real thing in a month or so.

Oh!  And we made new shirts.  We ran out of medium shirts in the black design (but we still have YL, S, L, and XL), so we made a new design in medium only (actually there are 4 larges too) and in a dozen different colors.  Just specify size and color when ordering.  Has "Fight Like Hell" on the sleeve and the NB/FLH hawk on the front.  

Fight Like Hell is the series of shows Len from Nightbringer and I have started putting on at the Shelter in Detroit.  Inspired by the Japanese Burning Spirits, Smash Your Chains, etc shows, we're trying to have one great show a month with an emphasis on local area bands to try and really get things moving in Detroit again.  The time is right, there are a lot of good bands and a lot of people doing the work to support the scene, so things seem ready to break out.  The first show was June 5th with Slang from Sapporo, Mind Eraser, Nightbringer, Final Assault and Disconnected and despite a torrential rain storm halfway through (that actually had water running down the entry steps to the Shelter) went very well.  There haven't been hardcore shows at the Shelter in years, so its very cool to be doing things there again.

But enough about me, on to the records...
The Alliance 12" was released on CD with an extra song.  I also picked up an inexpensive copies of the Blood Spit Nights discography, Portland's noise core outfit from a couple years back, the Slowmotions CD (the first four singles and a bonus track, same as the Partners In Crime LP.  A personal favorite), and the Bonescratch CD, which is an older HG Fact release, Born Against worship, oddly enough.

In the Japanese influenced department, we have the new Burial 12" and the Lotus Fucker 12".  Lotus Fucker just completed a tour with the Wankys from England and we had the pleasure of playing with them at Michigan Meltdown in Grand Rapids.  Total noise assault.  Burial have really come into their own and remind me a bit of a more metallic Talk Is Poison now.

Also pictured is the Systematic Death/See You In Hell 7", released for their European tour.  Bit of warning, two of the Systema songs are on the new LP and the other is a re-recording of an older classic.  Still worth it to get more SYIH material.  Glue it to the Crow/SYIH split and you can have a SYIH 7" or a Systema/Crow split.

I restocked a couple of the Lip Cream DVDs, so I have one complete set available and a few copies of the ACC and Lip Cream Only volumes.  At the same time I picked up the recent represses of the Ogreish Organism CDs on Pill's Oni label.  Ogreish Organism was Pill's project after Lip Cream.  He sang and played drums, Minoru from Lip Cream played bass on most of it, and Zigyaku (Bastard/Judgment) and Chelsea (Death Side/Paintbox) alternately played guitar.  Hardcore as you'd expect, with some of the Chelsea material getting a little more out there, but mostly kept together by heavy riffing and Pill's growling shout.

And last but far from least, I picked up the recent Crow represses on Prank.  The Neurotic Organization 7" is finally available again, Bloody Tear gets a red cover and is remastered, and Beating of the Wings of Destruction has been redone as a gorgeous picture disk.  That last one was gone in the blink of an eye the first time around, so I'd suggest getting it while you can.  One side is one crushing dirge and the other has four fast rippers.  The mysterious LP in the middle of the picture is the 解剖室 LP (Kaiboushitsu/Autopsy Suite).  Rumored to have Crow members involved (definitely sounds like it when he breaks from Gastunk/gothish singing into a howling yell), limited to 700 copies on 180g red vinyl.  Great record and very expensive.  (Sold out!)

And I picked up copies of the recent Paintbox 12"s, the Clown picture disk...  Check the list and see!

Monday, March 22, 2010

new DSB split 7" and UDI 12"

I listed the leftover records from my old distro on a few message boards two weeks ago to see if anyone was interested, and the unexpected response proceeded to take over all my free time.  Now that the feeding frenzy has calmed down, I can get back to this, as well as getting the layout for the first Nightbringer 7" finished and sent off.  Next weekend I'll update the old distro list and make a linked page for it on this site.

But as for new stuff, the DSB/Assassinators 7" is out and its really good.  Two DSB tracks up to par, and the Assassinators remind me of Post Regiment, so great stuff on both sides.  Unfortunately the other news this week is that DSB are calling it quits after twenty years.  Some last shows are in the work, possibly abroad in addition to Japan.  Sad to see them go, but they say new bands are in the works.

On the Detroit side, Jeff from Hellmouth released the debut 12" from Detroit's UDI, a ripping thrasher indeed.  Only 300 pressed, so grab it while you can.  He pressed them at Detroit's Archer Record Pressing, making this a proper "Made In Detroit" production.

This week also saw the passing of Bruce Roehrs, steadfast columnist and reviewer for MRR.  I didn't know him, but I'm honestly sad that I'll never get to send him a Nightbringer 7" to review.  His sincere enthusiasm for hardcore, punk, and rock n roll transcended the printed page.  MRR has organized a memorial fund to have him buried in the place he wanted.  Help out if so inclined.  He was the definition of a lifer, no question.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alliance, Systema, Burial, Detroit....

Bunch of stuff in this week.  First up is the Alliance 12".  I did a post on them a few months ago, it's Osamu from Assault's new band.  Also featuring the singer from Frigora and bassist from Macrofarge and this recording also has the drummer from Assault.  The music continues in the progressive, tasteful metallic hardcore vein that Assault was working in.  Takayama san from Punk and Destroy described it as an Antisect for 2010.  180g vinyl, big 3 panel fold out cover, and it comes with a sticker.  Limited to 700 copies and by this time its probably sold out from the label.  Quite expensive, but its about what you would pay ordering it from overseas.  Next is the vinyl treatment of the most recent Systematic Death LP, great record and despite more than a ten year break, it picks right up where they left off.  Different song order and reworked artwork from the CD.  Also in is the Burial/Antimob 7", from Germany and Greece respectively.  Both bands pay tribute to the modern Japanese hc sound, but Burial are started to break out of the mould and establish their own personality.  I think its their best song so far.  On the Michigan side of things, I have three of the recent State 7"s, some of the last copies of the Heresy 7" (Detroit mid 80s Discharge style), the Pub Life CD from a few years back, and the Final Assault demo.  Final Assault are (to my knowledge) the only band in this area playing pure Discharge/Scandi style hardcore.  Ex Heresy, Social Outcast, and Pub Life.  I saw them a couple months ago with the State and both bands were great.  They're playing tonight (Feb 28) at the Magic Stick with UDI.  I also got a few copies of the Hellmouth LP from the band, they're possibly the hardest working band in the area and it shows.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Burning Spirits, Conflict For Freedom

Just got in a box of good stuff from Mr. Takayama, the man behind Punk and Destroy shop, Freedom Fighter label, and the drummer of Framtid and Nightmare (busy guy!!).  First up is the new Masterpeace 7" that he released.  Charging Japanese hardcore with eclectic breaks.  Also on Freedom Fighter is the Framtid DVD from their European tour.  And while we're on the subject of Framtid, I also got some copies of the Framtid/Seein Red 7".  Seein Red are a long time favorite of mine and its always cool to see such a great pairing on a split.  Finally for the 7"s is the System Fucker 7" on Crust War.  Full noise attack!!  Back to the DVDs, I got limited copies of the Burning Spirits DVDs.  These are incredible productions.  The first one includes Forward, Warhead, Delta Puree, Paintbox, Rapes, the Trash, AI, Crude, Final Bombs, Zone, Piledriver, Sticks In Throat, and Extinct Government.  Most of the bands are multi camera shots and sound board recordings, multiple songs from each band as well.  The second one is a double DVD with Forward,  Colored Rice Men, Slang, Conga Fury, Origin of [M], アグレッシブドックス, Slip Head Butt, Dioxin's, Veihaiz, Blowback, 8000, Gouka, Trust, Crossface, Padlock, クラウン, Extinct Government, the Slowmotions, 原爆オナニーズ, Mustang, ROM, トサカ, Asphalt, オーダー, 狂い咲きサンダーロード, KGS, Framtid, Flock, Naked Yeggs,  Buzzy 大和町 Band, 1-Minutes, Little Mirrors, and  ノープロブレム.  I ahve personally watched these DVDs a bunch of times since they came out, and these are some of the last new copies available "in the wild".  I have very few of them, so if you're interested, don't wait too long.  A word of warning though:  the Burning Spirits DVDs are Japan region encoded, so you will need a region free DVD player (or to tweak your computer or DVD player) to watch them.  I have a $40 Cyberhome DVD player I bought for that very reason.  Do a Google search for your DVD player model and "region free" or "hack" to see if there is a code you can enter to change the region.  I haven't checked any of these other DVDs I carry for it yet, I only realized the Burning Spirits ones were encoded when I tried to watch them on my computer.  Ok, back to the goods...  The most recent Extinct Government full length CD, which has ex and current members of bands such as Rocky and the Sweden, AI, 鉄アレイ, and Akutare.  Check out the video I borrowed from YouTube below, not least for that killer bass tone.  And last but not least, the Conflict For freedom 2009 DVD, which is mercifully less expensive than most other things (postage, paypal fees, and the exchange rate are all still killing me).  Shot at one show, pro multi camera and sound board recording, this one has Kriegshog, the Disclapties, Tom and Boot Boys, Hat Trickers (one of the craziest things I've seen), Order, Reality Crisis, Hazard, Outsider, Life, Framtid, Warhead, and Extinct Government.  Another phenomenal line up for this DVD, that must have been one hell of a show.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lip Cream part 2

The last three Lip Cream DVDs arrived as this week as well as the reissues of all their CDs.  Like the first six DVDs, these are each about 40 minutes long.  The CDs are also on drummer Pill's Oni label.  These were originally released around ten years back with much better mastering than the Selfish label originals (and before the CD volume wars got out of control) and have been generally unavailable for the last couple years.  I'm glad to finally upgrade from my Selfish copies of 9 Shocking Terror and Close To The Edge.

I asked some friends to comment on the specific albums they like best, but in the meantime...

"Thrash Til Death" compiles everything other than the albums, the first two singles and "Hardcore Unlawful Assembly comp tracks (which Pill didn't play on) and the "Virus" comp tracks.  So you have the songs from the "Thrash Til Death", "Punx", "A Farewell To Arms", and "My Meat's Your Poison" comps, as well as the studio side of the s/t cassette (aka "Kill The IBM").  Crucial stuff, and a good range of material from the early rocking punk, anthemic songs like "Kill Ugly Pop" and "Bloody Summer", and the aggressive thrash of their later songs.

"Kill Ugly Pop" was their first full length and probably my favorite.  Opens with the Comes "Shangri-La" and proceeds with the full burn Chuck Berry at double speed leads seamlessly mixed into anthemic hardcore.

"9 Shocking Terror" was an ep (and is a little less expensive than the others) and marked a shift into more aggressive, thrashier hardcore.  "Close To The Edge" continued that sound with 18 songs of relentless all out attack.  This is part of the foundation or blueprint of what has come to be known as traditional Japanese hardcore.  Something that stands out to me was the way these records were all mixed to let the drums remain very dynamic.  Pill continues to take a very artistic approach to his current drumming projects, and it can be seen here as well, with the unusual fills and tom rolls that jump out of the mix like concussion blasts.  It can't be understated how much influence each member of Lip Cream left on the Japanese hardcore scene, as in Naoki's burning rock leads, Minoru's thundering bass, and Jhajha's howl.

My other favorite Lip Cream album, their self titled finale.  The attack of "CTTE" is still there, but this album is somehow even heavier while bringing back some of the catchier, more anthemic feeling.  I'm having trouble expressing how much I like this record.  I passed it up the first time I went to Japan because of the unusual cover, my mistake.

DVD VII "Lip Cream Only.  Plus"
Scene 1 "Lip Cream Only at Shinjuku" (30 min)
Scene 2 ""Other tunes from Lip Cream Only" (18 min)
If I could only have one Lip Cream video, it would be this one.  This is the band at maximum energy and aggression on a small stage (flanked by torches!) with the crowd right on top of them.  Each member has a cool little "off stage" clip, and for one song it cuts back through old footage of total mayhem.  As a bonus there's another 18 minutes of songs from the same show, fully edited from the multiple cameras.  This rules.

DVD VIII "Dog Days Live,  Plus"
Scene 1 "Dog Days Live at Kyoto"  (10 min)
Scene 2 "from Gudon Last 2 Days Live" (8 min)
Scene 3 "December at Citta" (14 min)
Scene 4 "August At Hiroshima" (19 min)
This video compiles their later compilation appearances.  Very cool to get four different shows on one disk.  Each show seems to catch the opening of their set, so you end up with four versions of "Close To The Edge", which they seem to have opened every show with around this time.  I don't know how, that song is a marathon sprint, but I guess its best to come out blazing and get it done before being winded.  Songs from the 4th LP also start showing up in the set list.  The "Dog Days" clip has interesting footage from outside the show, including grinding blocks of ice into chips by hand outside the show.  It must have been truly hot...

DVD IX "DDD 9/24.  Plus"
Scene 1 "Last Live At Kyoto" (39min)
Scene 2 "August At Hiroshima" (5 min)
And the final DVD...  Good quality, multiple cameras...  Aaaaagh I'm going to have to watch this again later!  9 DVDs of Lip Cream, "Close To The Edge" is seared into my brain,,,,

Again, postage and the exchange rate are working against me, but I'm keeping the price as low as I can (and actually my mark up on these is lower than anything else I'm carrying).  DVDs are $30.50 and I'll do a package deal of all 9 DVDs for $250 (which saves $24.50).  I set the CDs to the same price as the Japanese MSRP, so they are $27.50, except for 9 Shocking Terror which is $24.  I also have some stickers of the album covers and fliers for the Lip Cream reunion show in June that I'll include with orders for these.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Slowmotions/Burning Leather 7" out now

At the start of the holiday season my eleven year old G4 Mac proceeded to its great reward, so since the end of the family business I've been making the switch to a new computer. The site is well overdue for an update, but to span the gap, the Slowmotions/Burning Leather 7" covers arrived and they are now for sale for the quaint sum of $6.25 plus post.  The Slowmotions songs are as catchy as anything they've done, great stuff.  Burning Leather are a Portland "ex members of" band and they sound almost exactly like pre-Ace of Spades era Motorhead.

I have a big Michigan centered update in the works with all the new State 7"s, the Final Assault demo, and the Hellmouth LP, with proper reviews, pictures, and an attempt to tie all the bands' members and ex members together.  Next weekend then, tomorrow I have an engine to pull out of a Civic.