Friday, October 6, 2017

Judiciary - The Axis of Equality

"False ideals infest earth / nowhere to turn, we'll fucking burn / justice leaves / Death's scythe swings / shallow graves dug from an axis of equality."

It would be lazy to compare Lubbock, Texas's Judiciary to their eastern confederates - Dallas's own Power Trip - but...

The thing both bands have in common is a undeniably masterful take on modern, crossover thrash metal. Their expertise is evidenced in a litany of breakneck riffs, throat-shredding vocals, and a rhythm section that sounds like a Gatling gun. I love a band that does this style right and Judiciary is  one of them. 2016's Axis of Equality EP is a fucking monster, as the band's 2014 demo. And most recently, this past July, Judiciary released a split with Calgary's Mortality Rate. Three new rippers to break your neck to. I cannot wait for these guys to do a proper LP.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Enforced - Demo 2017

"Scab, cyst, ignorant bliss. Mankind's a corpse wading in piss."
Richmond's Enforced play exceptionally tight and energetic crossover thrash metal. For people my age, Enforced will probably remind you of Power Trip, Violation, and Municipal Waste. Old gluggers still wearing their puke-stained jean vests from 1984 will probably hear something more along the lines of Sacred Reich, S.O.D., and D.R.I. At any rate, Enforced is sick and their 2017 demo is available for pay what you want on their Bandcamp.

Sandman - The Pain It Takes

Sandman's a pretty great new(er) band from my home state of Florida. They've got a metallic 90's feel to their music that reminds me a bit of Arkangel and Liar. Maybe even Caliban or Walls of Jericho

Sandman's 2016 demo and new EP (The Pain It Takes) are solid listens. I believe the singer for Ecostrike drums for them, but I might be mistaken. Ecostrike's a good new(ish) Florida band as well, but as my age deepens I find myself more and more irritated by vegan/edge warriors. However, dietary politics have never stopped me from banging my head. And both of these bands will make you do that unless you don't have a spinal cord.

Go! For the Throat - Discography

"If these walls could talk... THEY'D SCREAM!"

Philly's Go! For the Throat is one of those bands that - unfortunately - may soon be lost to the passage of time. It seems to me that while they did tour (back in the very early 2000's - and with Good Riddance no less), their following was more of a regional one. Even though their brand of melodic, upbeat hardcore was skillfully and satisfyingly executed, they never reached the cult status of fellow Philadelphians Kid Dynamite. And it's a shame that so few people in my neck of the woods know this band ever existed.

Aside from the Curse (Dave Hause from the Loved Ones old hardcore band), Go! For the Throat ranks as one of my favorite groups that play this style. There's a hint of Kid Dynamite in their sound, but I'd mostly liken them to a more frenetic Gorilla Biscuits. Over the course of their existence, the band released a demo, a full-length (Here and Now), and contributed two exclusive tracks to Chunksaah's Philadelphia Sound comp (which also featured the Curse, Knives Out, and Paint It Black).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Powerline - Dude, Ranch

"Youth gone expired / Those heroes we had and no longer admire, they're gone away / Things don't sound the same."

I joined Powerline a couple of months ago when they were down a singer. For me, it quickly went from being a fun diversion to a band I'm super proud to be a member of. It's been a few years since I've played music and I'm glad to be doing it again. You might dig Powerline if you're into melodic punk like Samiam, Lagwagon, or even poppier stuff like Homegrown.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Final Rage

Final Rage were from the UK (where specifically I don't know - their Facebook just says "South") and played furious, heavy hardcore in the vein of Ringworm and Integrity, without all the witchy, forest shit. As near as I can tell, the band (at one time) shared one or more members with the blink-and-then-they're-gone On Thin Ice, a very similar-sounding UK hardcore band (I'll be doing a write-up on them soon). Anyway, Final Rage called it quits in 2014, but left behind a self-released demo and an EP and a split with Breaking Point on Carry the Weight Records. I guess they were super edge, but I don't hold that against them.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blodsport - Pandæmonium

Blodsport is a hip hop group from Copenhagen, Denmark consisting of emcees Macabre and Poltergeist, and DJ Architect. Blodsport make my favorite kind of rap music - which I would argue is the definitive style of the genre - specifically the gritty, New York-based style of the 1990's. Now, I'm by no means an authority when it comes to hip hop, but I know what I like: vinyl samples, chopped-up drum breaks, and aggressive vocal delivery. If groups like Onyx and Mobb Deep come to mind when describing how something sounds - for me at least - you're on the right track. Such is the case with Blodsport (and yes, that's the Danish spelling of Bloodsport).

I discovered these guys when I heard one of my favorite underground emcees - Kid Fade from Canada's Psych Ward - guesting on the track "Ser Rødt" (which translates to "Looks Red"). I'd heard the song on some digital mixtape, but I soon tracked down the EP it came from: Blodsport's debut Blodtørstig (or, Bloodthirsty). And the only problem with Blodtørstig is that it's too damn short at ten tracks, but only eight real songs. 

Of course, unless you speak Danish you'll have no idea what they're saying. But it's actually kind of refreshing not to hear all the typical gangster rap lyrics that get so worn out. You can appreciate the emcees' cadence without having to groan and roll your eyes every time someone says "heater" or "beef." Also, you can listen to Blodsport around easily offended people because they don't say the N-word either, being that they're three white guys from Denmark. Just don't let your parents see the cover of Blodtørstig: it puts Mayhem's infamous Dawn of the Black Hearts cover to shame.

Blodsport do tread a bit into horrorcore territory, but not to the same extent as the typical standbys like Brotha Lynch Hung, Esham, or Necro - none of whom I care for. Blodsport has more of a Non-Phixion feel: authentic hip hop with a bit of a violent, B-movie bent. Also, just a quick aside: Necro has never been one of my favorite emcees, but as a beat maker, he's a misunderstood genius (just listen to Non-Phixion's "No Tomorrow" and "Black Helicopters").

Anyway, Blodsport's first LP, Pandæmonium, is finally here. Any fan of aggressive, underground hip hop should head over to their Bandcamp and plunk down twelve American dollars to download it. I hardly ever buy digital music, but for groups and artists like Blodsport, I make the exception.