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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Negative Lifestyle/ School Jerks split tape review

Negative Lifestyle/ School Jerks split cassette review

Cassettes are fading, unfortunately. With the advent of better technology and the lack of nostalgic value, cassettes don’t really have much going for them. They function as a good source for homemade demos and an underground source for 4-track music, but outside of these things, they aren’t terribly useful for much else other than perhaps hiding illicit narcotics. Still, this small sect of underground cassette music yields a surprising amount of really good punk rock. This tape is one such example.

Negative Lifestyle is the first band on this cassette. Hailing from Eastern Europe, the sound on their side is a tad removed from American hardcore, being much more lo-fidelity and much more ominous. These songs are fucking dark; color me surprised. They sound like Ian MacKaye stole the mic from John Brannon and fronted Negative Approach, with a minor nod to UK thrashcore greats Voorhees. The stinger’s angry, but doesn’t really growl like Brannon and Rollins did. He’s more of a yeller, and it really suits the music much better. Three tracks with a youth crew-like vocalist and a quick, fast-paced, ominous vibe. Gnarly. The second side to the tape was Toronto sons the School Jerks. They came roaring back with three bratty, classic 80s hardcore tunes that sound like a kindergarten class screaming to a well-written, sophisticated rant, complete with groovy power chords and well-timed drums. Everything this band puts out fucking rules, even if it only trickles out three or four tracks at a time. I’m waiting for more.

Cassettes aren’t coming back, but if more bands release shit like this split tape, the judgment day for cassettes will be far delayed, and I hope it is. Solid, stellar, and short.

-Aunty Social

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