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Demented Ted "Promises Impure" CD

Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009 @ 7:32am » permalink

Demented Ted - Promises ImpureDemented Ted was a fairly short-lived band from Chicago during the early-90's, releasing two demos and one album, "Promises Impure", which came out in 1993 on Pavement Music. It's funny that I dig this album so much now, at damn near 32 years old, because I very specifically remember refusing to listen to these guys when I was a kid because I thought the band name was so stupid. And make no mistake, I still feel that "Demented Ted" is a bit of a problematic designation, not to mention incredibly misleading in this case, so I bet that's why this album remains underappreciated to this day. Despite that, this is a very concise offering of extremely solid death/thrash through eight tracks in 36 minutes (including re-recorded versions of most of their early demo material). Even though it came out right during the height of the death metal boom, there's definitely a little more of a thrash thing going on musically – which suits me just fuckin' fine – so it's probably the lower and more aggressive vocal approach that really throws this material towards the death metal realm. The thickness of the guitar tone definitely lends a little more of a death metal churn to the rhythms, however, and the occasional spurts of eerie dissonance or subtle technicality amidst the chugging midpaced poundings certainly don't hurt, either. Original? Not exactly, but I've always been a huge fan of both early 90's thrash and early 90's death metal, and this album really is like the perfect fusion of the two.

Demented Ted "Existence Lies Beneath"

Three former members of Demented Ted ended up in a band called Beyond shortly afterwards that also released their lone album on Pavement Music in 1995. It's comparable on some level, but certainly more stripped down and what you could probably cite as being more Machine Head-ish overall (which is unsurprising given the time period). Another solid effort, but "Promises Impure" is clearly the better of the two.

I'm not sure why this album's not available digitally beyond eMusic, but that's where I grabbed it, and you can easily find used copies of the CD on Amazon.com and such for very reasonable prices. I definitely wish I had been a little less stubborn as a kid so that I could've been jammin' this shit since '93! Ha…


@ Amazon.com (CD)
@ Half.com (CD)
@ eMusic (mp3)

Leptospirose "Mula-Poney" CD

Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 @ 7:15am » permalink

Leptospirose - Mula-PoneyI don't know much about Leptospirose, so most all I can say is that they formed in 2001 and are from São Paulo, Brazil. "Mula-Poney" is their latest release, split between Läjä Räkords, Caveira da Força Discos, and possibly another label or two. I think they've had a couple of other records prior to this, but again, I'm not entirely sure. What I can say is that this disc blazes through a whopping 18 tracks in less than 20 minutes, and this is some seriously raging hardcore/punk fuckin' rock. Expect loads of tunes that don't even hit the one-minute mark and a serious fusion of simplistic styles that effortlessly bridges the gap between fast, blasting, three-chord hardcore/punk and an undeniable rock 'n' roll edge. Pretty much all the song titles and everything I can find about this band is in Portuguese, and the translations I ran didn't really work out right, so I have no idea what they're saying, but the explosive energy and overall sense of fun that I'm picking up here give me the impression that these cats don't take themselves too seriously and have a good sense of humor. Either way, the material rips and the songs are jam packed with attitude, not to mention absolutely hammering bass runs that totally kick ass. I'm all for it, and I sincerely hope some of you enjoy these jams as much as I do.

Leptospirose "Prato do Dia (ou) Massa Italiana Sempre!"
Leptospirose "Cigars"

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea how you can get your hands on this CD outside of Brazil, nor can I really provide accurate information on how to order a copy straight from the band or one of the labels. I'd recommend contacting them all on MySpace using the links above and taking it from there. I know that Läjä Räkords has some distribution in the US and Europe, so maybe they'll be able to let you know when and where the disc might be available from more sources!

Torchbearer "s/t"

Posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 @ 6:56am » permalink

Torchbearer - s/tMy apologies to New Jersey's Torchbearer for accidentally sitting on their debut EP/demo for far too long. I believe these seven songs mark the band's first recordings, and that's not half bad considering the significant 90's sounding influences swirling around amidst their brand of thick, surging post-hardcore/noise rock. On MySpace they cite their influences as Deadguy, Coalesce, Kiss it Goodbye, 108, Unbroken, Undertow, Botch, and Pink Floyd, and while I probably wouldn't have cited any of those bands as comparisons myself, that list does make sense when you think about the manner in which they're fusing together different angles and influences herein. In addition to the core of textbook rhythmic post-hardcore with gruffly shouted vocals resting deep in the mix are some heavier and more pounding rhythms that slow the pace a bit, as well as quite a few uses of strange (though not excessive) effects to create a certain sense of droning sustain or added atmosphere. The end result feels a little thicker, darker, and more aggressive than typical post-hardcore; though less grating and more tangible than the noisier and more chaotic side of the band's influences – while remaining very firmly rooted in a sound that will still be enjoyably familiar to anyone that's been a general fan of this style of music since the early- to mid-90's (and then some). Here's one track to give you a taste:

Torchbearer "Crying Wolf"

And the band has made the entire EP available for free, so have at it:

[DOWNLOAD] Torchbearer "s/t" (@ Mediafire)

They're already working on their second EP now, so I'll definitely be looking forward to hearing where they take things next…

None Would Remain "Wake the Living" CD

Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 @ 8:21am » permalink

None Would Remain - Wake the Living"Wake the Living" is the second release from Thug Free Records and the debut full-length effort from Finland's None Would Remain, offering up 14 tracks in about a half-hour. As stated when I reviewed their 2004 demo years back, whereas a lot of the Finnish hardcore that I get exposed to is of the brutal and metallic persuasion, None Would Remain's style is much more melodic – focusing on songs that run about about two minutes apiece (or less) and are based around traditional hardcore power chords with little bits and pieces of added texture and dimension through dissonant chord phrasings or layered riffs that can resemble the sound of a less technical Propagandhi or something like that. It's nothing overtly innovative or anything, but they write strong songs that possess a great sense of energy and emotion, and there are some incredibly cool little riffs here and there that really add to the feeling and impact of the material, which absolutely hooks me in every time. The relatively dry recording also works nicely to keep things sounding clear and balanced, with just the right amount of plunky bass pushing through the core of the mix. In a couple of instances they actually integrate samples incredibly efficiently as well, in a manner that both ties into the overall tone and message of the album and works seamlessly with the surrounding instrumentation, which is fuckin' great. An awesome debut and a definite step up from their demo days, which is always nice to see. I'll be looking forward to hearing more…

None Would Remain "Distractions"
None Would Remain "I Thought We Had a Deal"

If you'd like to order directly from the label, you'll need to contact them via MySpace (or their email address, which you can find there as well), but it's also available at Interpunk, so make the grab if you like what you hear above.


@ Interpunk

Hex Machine "Omen Mas" CD

Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2009 @ 8:17am » permalink

Hex Machine - Omen MasProbably the single most interesting band from here in Richmond, Hex Machine has finally released their debut full-length CD, "Omen Mas", via the equally obscure Minimum Underdrive imprint. Picking up where last year's "Run to Earth" 12" left off and running wild with the band's patented take on what seems (rightfully) oft-tagged math metal puréed with that classic AmRep vibe, there's simply no denying the intriguing might of this outfit. On the songwriting front, you'll find everything from taut, crisply performed math metal crunch ("Lunatic Sun") to surprisingly catchy, bass-driven, grunge-encrusted breaks ("Blueprint to Madness", "Vivisection") to forcefully sludgy rhythms and bizarrely noisy textures – all the while with vocals that saunter back and forth from uniquely strained screams with hints of singing to unhinged howls 'n' wails aplenty. Not to mention the back to back run of the 8+ minutes of gnarly, mangled feedback and completely warped chords of "Godheads Full of Candy" beside the less-than-two-minute tear of sliding chords and caustic leads in "Pink Whisky" (which somehow actually reminds me a hell of a lot of early Nirvana, dare I say). The recording this time out is even thicker than before, with massively dense pulses of bass roaming in and out between the natural warmth of the percussion and varying degrees of intensity on the guitar front, while the vocals squirm around and burst forth from the heart of the mix so as not to interfere with any of the group's instrumental twists and turns (unless needed, that is). What more can I say? Huge fan!

Hex Machine "Blueprint to Madness"

If for some, well, fucking stupid reason you're still not convinced, you can steam the entire album at Last.fm, so… check that out and see if your brain finally starts to grasp reality, eh?


@ Hex Machine
@ Minimum Underdrive

Victims "Killer" CD

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 @ 7:34am » permalink

Victims - Killer"Killer" is the latest full-length from Sweden's almighty Victims, coming to the US this week from the always top-notch Deathwish Inc. Victims is one of those bands that really stood out right from the start for me, and I've been a big fan ever since. Their take on heavy and aggressive Swedish hardcore always seems to have a little more energy and memorability, and the 16 tracks in 24 minutes cranked out here only continue down that path – though with more variety and punch than ever before! The backbone is still very much the same (only a handful of the songs top two minutes, so everything's still pretty fast and in your face), but the songwriting is catchy as fuck this time around, and really does cover a lot more ground in order to provide individual identities for many of the compositions. From the 25-second blast of thrashy melody in "Try?" (which kinda reminds of me The Exploited or something); to the fiery, rocked out dual guitar bursts of "Destroy and Rebuild"; to the straight-up punk rock attack of tracks like "Holy Shit"; and of course plenty of the driving, bass-heavy Motörhead-inspired runs and classic D-beat rhythms you'd expect from such an album. It's definitely some of their finest work to date, and should absolutely please anyone who may have complained of the band's material sounding too similar from song to song in the past. Very well done…

Victims "Victims in Blood #5"
Victims "Holy Shit"


@ Deathwish Inc.

Outclassed "This Could be Coincidence…" one-sided 12"

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 @ 8:48am » permalink

Outclassed - This Could be Coincidence...Outclassed hails from Pittsburgh, and I think "This Could be Coincidence…" (released by Forcefield Records) might be their first recorded output? Kicking out five tracks in just over 15 minutes, the band seems to build upon a foundation of 90's styled "screamo" influences: Think spastic hammer-on/pull-off riffs and winding discordance with a sense of "controlled chaos", bashing percussion, and of course intensely screamed vocals. A lot of bands that fall into this realm can tend towards the more irritating side of things, but that's absolutely not the case here at all. There's a good sense of energy and emotion to the songwriting, as I mentioned the noisier and more chaotic elements still retain some sense of focus, and there are also quirky little twists and turns aplenty that keep things interesting and add more dimension to their approach. Whether it's super dense, fuzzed out basslines and overdriven guitar textures that crumble into grizzled feedback from time to time, slightly more relaxed and melodic breathers, or peppy rhythmic jaunts that bring more of a math/noise rock element into play within the arrangements. Good stuff. I don't follow this style very closely, but every now and then I'm introduced to a band that really nails it, and Outclassed is definitely one of those bands.

Outclassed "Hey Dudes, Stop Wreckin' All the Bikes!"

The 12" comes with a CD copy of the tracks, and it's only $7.50 direct from the label, so… you can't beat that shit. If you like what you hear, definitely show your support and pick one up!


@ Forcefield Records

Yog "Years of Nowhere" CD

Posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 @ 8:49am » permalink

Yog - Years of NowhereThe latest from 187 Records is the American release of "Years of Nowhere", the debut full-length from Swiss grind/metalcore unit Yog, and I've been sitting on this thing for way too long. But I just realized as I sat down to put this write-up together that the album didn't actually hit the streets until last month, so I guess I didn't fuck up too bad after all! Yog was formed way back in 2000, and then broke up for a short time in 2003 before regrouping in 2004 as a much more productive outfit: Releasing two EP's and the original European pressing of "Years of Nowhere" in the three years that followed. Expect 13 generally short, explosive tracks (incredible closer "Death by Silent Tyrants" happens to be about five times as long as the other songs) in about 40 minutes – for the most part opting for fast, blasting bursts of chunky grind that combines a "Utopia Banished" era Napalm Death feel with the more dissonant and chaotic leanings of contemporary metalcore. The recording's so crisp and well rounded, and the performances so tight and precise, however, that the band's penchant for all over the place riffing and change-ups is actually quite efficiently presented. You'll literally encounter everything from blazing tremolo picking and flashy technicality with some quick discordant runs reminiscent of early Burst meets black metal to slower, churning rhythms and little fits of tangible melody or even some discernible hardcore influences. But like I said, they pull it off, and the songwriting tends to arrange things in a way that contains some breathing room via segments where you can really start to wrap your head around a more memorable or tangible piece of the puzzle, and that helps immensely. Very cool…

Yog "Death by Silent Tyrants" (excerpt)
Yog "Love Process Failure"

This one's a mere $5 from the label right now, which is an absolutely unbeatable price, so don't hesitate to make the grab if you like what you're hearing above…


@ 187 Records

Drowning Room "The Divinity Syndrome" 7"

Posted on Monday, February 16th, 2009 @ 8:11am » permalink

Drowning Room - The Divinity SyndromeStrangely enough I had literally ripped my copy of this 7" to write about on the site a mere week before a copy of the limited edition repress showed up in the mail!? I had absolutely no idea that upstate NY's Drowning Room had done a (Final?) reunion show at the start of 2009, but apparently they did, and as a result the always awesome Trip Machine Laboratories did a small repress of this absolutely outstanding EP, "The Divinity Syndrome", which they originally released in 1996. To my dismay, I never really had any Drowning Room material back in the day aside from a compilation appearance or two (coincidentally I had only recently come across the original pressing of this 7", which I bought for a couple bucks), which clearly didn't do the band justice. The four tracks herein have a serious Bloodlet meets Starkweather thing goin' on (again, strangely enough, the label says the exact same thing in their webstore), with a mix of strained sneers and tactfully peculiar singing over all sorts of riffs and tempos, from the occasional burst of straightforward metallic hardcore power chords to a dominant force of darker and more melodic metal-based influences – intermittently accented by grungy or mildly rock-influenced flourishes. But let's face it, any band that can be compared to Bloodlet and Starkweather is well worth checking the fuck out, so… I'm not even gonna say anything else. Listen for yourselves:

Drowning Room "The Divinity Syndrome"

The repress contains modified cover art alongside the same lyric insert as the original, and the records themselves are hand-numbered out of just 103 copies, so… act fast!


@ Trip Machine Laboratories
@ Interpunk
@ Very Distribution

For awhile there it was rumored that Trip Machine was thinking of doing a Drowning Room discography CD, and holy shit would I flip out over that! I've had a hell of a hard time tracking down any of the band's other material, so if anyone out there can provide me some information on their complete discography, or hook me up with mp3's of some of their other work, I'd hugely appreciate it. This 7" is completely awesome in every way, so I'm really bummed that I never truly looked into these guys back when they were fully functional…

Subjugator "s/t" 7"

Posted on Friday, February 13th, 2009 @ 8:39am » permalink

Subjugator - s/tSubjugator was another in the painfully long line of amazing thrash bands from the Boston area that very sadly never released a proper album. Existing from 1987 – 1992, from what I can find online they didn't release their first demo until 1990 (after some lineup changes), followed by two more demos in '91 and '92. This self-titled 7" – the fourth release from French label Inner Rage Records in 1992 (apparently released just days after the band called it quits) – contained the three tracks from their 1992 demo plus one more song from the same recording sessions. Inner Rage was really more of a hardcore label, but this EP still makes sense within their roster, as by this time, while still heavily rooted in thrash, Subjugator had started to incorporate more of a chugging, midpaced hardcore groove with a good amount of emphasis on the rhythm section – loosely comparable to some of what bands like Biohazard were doing at the time on a musical level. Please don't read too much into that, however, as this really is fairly common of the stripped down, chunky thrash metal that was becoming dominant within the scene's (unfortunately) dying days of the early-90's. It probably won't be for everyone, but I personally find many early-90's thrash releases to be my personal favorites in terms of production values and overall vibe, and this is a fucking awesome 7" from a band that I'd have loved to have seen a full-length from!

1. "Crosses to Bear"
2. "Perpetual Decline"
3. "Abusive Creation"
4. "Nurtured by Deceit"

I had been looking for this (obviously out of print) 7" for years, and was finally able to grab a copy from old distro leftovers at One Percent Records a few weeks ago. I think they might have one more copy left, so definitely get in touch if you're interested, because the price was dirt cheap!

And as an extra treat, you can actually download the band's demos at the great Lockjaw blog, an incredible source for extremely rare obscurities. (The Lockjaw link for the 1992 demo just contains a rawer rip of three of the four songs above. They're the same recordings, though.)

Hatred Solution "Disappointments" 7"

Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2009 @ 7:10am » permalink

Hatred Solution - DisappointmentsI believe the "Disappointments" EP is the debut release from Hungary's Hatred Solution, tearing through six songs of surprisingly diverse material in 24 minutes – and as has often been the case lately, I'm not entirely sure how you'd best classify this band. You'll literally encounter everything from extremely dense and mangled Meshuggah-like rhythms and explosive blasts of crisply produced death/grind or killer discordant textures to occasional bursts of noisily chaotic metalcore, slick clean passages, weirdly spacious math metal/noise rock breaks that focus more on the rhythm section, and even some stripped down melodic hardcore (complete with gang backup vocals and everything). All of this fronted by a multi-vocal approach that spans the usual range of scathing screams, shouts, and growls with accents of fairly effective singing as well!? Trust me, it's all pretty wild. As expected from such an incredibly wide range of influences, the songwriting can suffer just a bit from disjointed arrangements or a lack of transitions, which is unfortunate, but there's a shitload of potential here, and when the band hits their stride there's some absolutely killer material in place already. I really dig the recording and the overall vibe they're going for, so this is a really cool debut right off the bat. They've got some little improvements to work on, but I'm pretty into this for the most part, and will be very curious to see where they take it.

Hatred Solution "Without Your Breath"

I don't have a physical copy of the EP itself, but while the band refers to it as a 7", they have a little image of a CD version on their MySpace page as well, so… maybe it's available on two formats? Either way, this is a cool EP, so get in touch with the band via MySpace to inquire about getting your hands on the tracks if you like what you hear.

The Joy Formidable "Cradle" 2×7"

Posted on Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 @ 8:32am » permalink

The Joy Formidable - CradleThe latest from absolutely incredible UK trio The Joy Formidable is the "Cradle" EP: A double-7" (released by Try Harder Records) featuring two new songs alongside remixes of those same two compositions. I placed The Joy Formidable among my 10 favorite releases of 2008, and the two new tracks here just continue to strengthen that decision, as every single song I've heard from the band to date is just fucking awesome. Sure, the vast majority of my listening realm is some form of metal or hardcore, whereas The Joy Formidable deliver a sort of peculiarly new wave-sounding indie pop with punk-ish little tinges, but what can I say? A good song is a good song, and this band seems incapable of writing a lackluster tune. Literally everything they've been kind enough to send me to date has immediately gotten stuck in my head, and I'm always super excited to hear more. The last time I posted about The Joy Formidable there was a positive response as well, so… that's all there is to it. I hope a handful more people catch the bus this time…

The Joy Formidable "Cradle" (excerpt)
The Joy Formidable "Cradle (Kyte Remix)" (excerpt)

If you're interested in getting your hands on the vinyl, I'd recommend acting sooner than later. I've been sitting on these tracks for a long time since the 2×7" wasn't officially released until last week, but the band's forthcoming CD release actually sold out during the pre-order phase (which sucks, 'cause I generally don't pre-order things, and didn't)!? You've been warned…


@ Try Harder Records

Food "s/t" LP

Posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 @ 7:53am » permalink

Food - s/tAnother excellent band from right here in Richmond, VA is Food, whose recently released debut LP on Molsook Records offers five lengthy tracks in 40 minutes. And be not misled by the strange simplicity of the band name, which may suggest a certain lighthearted approach, as you'll find that not to be the case when greeted by their unique brand of rhythmic, powerful sludge. Interestingly enough, I feel like it's fairly rare to encounter fast and energetic sludge riffs, but these cats actually burst into such exploits relatively often, and with great success, amidst loads of slower and more pounding midpaced chord progressions, gnarly feedback, darker and/or more melodic excursions that can have the obligatory Sabbath type thing goin' on, and then some subdued "stoner rock" styled riffs to boot (though I've always hated that term, and that style is not at all the key focus on this LP, so don't read too much into my use of that descriptor). While many comparable bands utilize up front and over the top snarls and screams, the vocals here fight their way forth from way back in the mix, basically just yelled through what sounds like a very vague veil of effects and taking a general backseat to the instrumentation – which benefits greatly from an absolutely awesome recording/mix that gives everything the perfect amount of warmth, texture, and breathing room. Good stuff. Just creative enough to keep things interesting and explore a slightly different space than many other such (lesser) bands out there…

Food "March Fourth"


@ Molsook Records

Solid Ground "This World Keeps Spinning Without You"

Posted on Monday, February 9th, 2009 @ 8:08am » permalink

Solid Ground - This World Keeps Spinning Without YouIt's a damn shame, but Swiss hardcore act Solid Ground has called it quits, going out with one final EP ("This World Keeps Spinning Without You") that's being made available for free thanks to the band and Let it Burn Records. I was actually sadly disappointed by the band's last full-length, "Can't Stop Now", as there were certain elements of the recording/mix that I just couldn't get past (as well as the fact that the songwriting just lacked the immediacy of their earlier work), but somehow these four tracks totally recapture the overall warmth and energy of the band's earliest material, which is definitely the right way to bring things to a close: A little over 12 minutes of crunchy guitars, tactful grooves with just the right bounce to the tempos, quick little solos, and the band's utterly awesome vocal approach. The fact that this material was getting the band back on track makes it that much harder to face their breakup, but this is great shit nonetheless, so have at it:

[DOWNLOAD] Solid Ground "This World Keeps Spinning Without You" (@ Let it Burn Records)

And if for some insane reason you've never heard Solid Ground's debut CD, "Get Used to It", go search that fucker out right now. Seriously. "Get Used to It" is right up there with Allegiance's "Overlooked" as one of the single most unstoppably badass hardcore releases of the past decade. The title track (among others) is an outright classic that makes me want to destroy everything in my path every single time I hear it, and I can't speak highly enough of that release. Outstanding. This band will absolutely be missed…

Bloodthirst "In the Eyes of God" CS

Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2009 @ 12:04am » permalink

Bloodthirst - In the Eyes of GodConcluding this week full of demos (all of which happen to have simple black and white artwork) is the 1992 release "In the Eyes of God", from Chicago metallic hardcore act Bloodthirst. I had never heard of this band until the other day, when I found this demo on the incredible new blog Bring Honour or Walk Away, which I highly recommend checking out immediately. There are already loads of obscure old demos and such posted there, and I was totally flipping out over how great everything was when I stumbled across the site (via a link from Killing the Legacy, thank you very much). That being said, I know absolutely nothing about this band other than what I've already stated. I'm not sure if this is the only thing they ever recorded, if any of the members came from or went on to other bands, etc. The demo, however, kicks ass: Four tracks of raw yet effective metallic hardcore that has a dark and in your face approach that's not at all unlike the still-tied-to-hardcore vibe of early Integrity fused with some of Mayday's twists and turns, so… you know god damn well there's not a single fucking thing to complain about here. Solid recording, solid songwriting, a good sense of anger and energy… I'm sold. Here's one track to give you a taste:

Bloodthirst "Prophecy"

And here's the whole fuckin' thing (via Bring Honour or Walk Away):

[DOWNLOAD] Bloodthirst "In the Eyes of God" (@ RapidShare)

If anyone reading this knows anything more about this band, please post a comment and spread the knowledge!

Pitfight "A Dog's Life" demo

Posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2009 @ 9:10am » permalink

Pitfight - A Dog's LifeReleased right at the start of the year, "A Dog's Life" is the debut demo from New York's Pitfight, a band that features former members of at least two solid metallic hardcore acts from back in the day (one of which I've written about here in the past) that I've been asked not to mention so that the band can get a fresh start without any preconceived notions (creative research on MySpace could probably yield these details, should you be so inclined). Like some of the other demos I've written up this week, the production values need a hint more work to really maximize what the band has to offer, but the guitar tone is fuckin' great and they're definitely on the right track, so for a demo this sounds absolutely fine. Expect seven tracks/17 minutes of chunky metallic hardcore that blends straightforward, moderately fast chord progressions, chugging grooves, subtle hints of melody, and some more involved metal-based riffing to cover plenty of ground within the same general realm. While overall it doesn't particularly remind me of the members' past efforts (which is perfectly fine), there's still a 90's sort of vibe going on across the board, but it's pretty damn obvious that I'm a massive fan of that sound, so in my mind it's never a band thing when contemporary hardcore bands look to those days for influences. There's definitely a lot of potential here…

Pitfight "The World"

I'm not sure if any physical copies of this demo exist, but whatever means are available, I'd recommend contacting the band via MySpace to inquire about getting your hands on the complete demo.

Redemption "2008 demo" CD

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 @ 8:47am » permalink

Redemption - 2008 demoThis six-song demo CD-R comes from Redemption, a band that's based here in Richmond, VA and seems to take influence from various facets of the 90's metallic hardcore scene, which is obviously right up my alley. The recording's a little muddy and could use some brightening up to give the basslines more room to breathe by adding some texture and space to the guitar work, but it sounds totally fine for a demo, and the thickness of the mix actually draws additional comparisons to old (and seemingly forgotten) bands like Empathy. Despite the heaviness, this is definitely not one of those chugga chugga styled bands at all: Expect lots of midpaced power chords with just the right amount of melody, in the form of everything from somber clean passages to quick little arpeggiated riffs (you know I love that stuff), as well as one of those vocal approaches that's basically just yelling in key – not overly aggressive, but not singing either. The whole demo's just over 10 minutes long, which isn't much to go on, but I definitely like where this is heading, and will be very interested to see what comes next from these guys. Good stuff…

Redemption "Plea"

The disc's only $2, so if you like what you hear, there's little reason not to give it a shot!


@ Blood & Ink Records

Iron Hand "2008 demo" CS

Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 @ 8:30am » permalink

Iron Hand - 2008 demoYou've gotta respect a band that releases a demo tape in this day and age, and last year Connecticut's Iron Hand did just that, with their debut demo, which unloads five songs of metallic hardcore with a crust punk edge in 15 minutes. Expect a thick, raw recording that could use a smidge more clarity but works well for this style, which takes a pretty straightforward approach to driving, Swedish-influenced power chord rhythms and a multi-vocal attack of shouting/screaming, with some of that His Hero is Gone/Tragedy style of melody injected into the chord phrasings and quick lead breaks, etc. On occasion they'll actually lean towards a hint more metal, either via thrashy picking patterns or slightly more intricate riffing, which does help to separate the band out from the standard base of this style of hardcore/punk, but this is also one of those situations where you don't really crave innovation, you know? They know what they're going for and they do it quite well, so there's nothing to complain about!

Iron Hand "Megalopolis"


@ Iron Hand

Drugs of Faith "2008 demo" CD

Posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2009 @ 7:16am » permalink

Drugs of Faith - 2008 demoThis raging CD-R demo from Virginia's Drugs of Faith contains a mere three tracks in five minutes, and while I actually never heard their split 3" with Antigama, it would seem that the years since their full-length debut have been spent honing a slightly more straightforward and increasingly powerful attack. Make no mistake, amidst the blistering grind there's still a ton of subtle variety thanks to ample tempo changes towards churning midpaced rhythms, not to mention mangled riffing and discordant textures, but something about the overall punch of the songwriting really hits the spot here. There's a great balance of memorable energy and ferocious intensity, and despite being a demo, the recording is fucking perfect for what Drugs of Faith has to offer: Warm and raw with a cohesive mix that lets everything breathe, so there's no trouble whatsoever picking up on everything that's going on in there. Fucking killer vocal performance, too. I'm all over this…

Drugs of Faith "Race to the End"

Civilized confinement, sputtering beneath, stirs sad melodies that loom in spoiled air. Backwards system I perpetuate, on which I both depend and hate. Refine the Earth; redefine its purpose. I'm creeping along black scars. I don't like where I'm going. I don't like where we're going.

The demo's available directly from the band, so contact them via MySpace or their website for ordering information if you like what you hear. As usual, I'm already looking forward to more…