About Me

My photo
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.
There was an error in this gadget

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lungs- 10" record review


Lungs- Sermon on the Plain b/w The Pith 10” review
Something about this album is fucking menacing.  It’s hardly even mid-tempo, but goddamn if the notes rung out don’t send an eerie chill down my spine and through my brain.  This crust-influenced doom metal moves like a tank- slow, but unstoppable, powerful, and murderously intimidating.  If these songs had more lyrics, I imagine they would be apocalyptic and hopelessly bleak, because this music has not one shred of hope in its sound- this is the younger cousin of Black Flag.  This punch takes seven and a half minutes to hit you, but it’s deadly.  Only the likes of the Twin Cities could spawn something so unexpectedly awesome.  The place that gave birth to Havoc and Profane Existence, anarcho and crust labels from the start, churns out something like this… and it works.  This is music to scratch your skin off to and scream at the top of your lungs.  Gnarly!
-Aunty Social

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nu-kle-er Blast Suntan- Blot Out the Worthless Sun LP review


Nu-kle-er Blast Suntan- Blot Out the Worthless Sun LP review
Frantic.  Ambient.  Gnarly.  Angry.  Fast.  Heavy.  If you’re all about short reviewsx, the aove words are the best description of “Blot Out the Worthless Sun” in the fewest words I can concoct.  However, this album is so much more than that.
The main distinguishing factor this band (and record) possess that differentiates them from their contemporaries is the psychedelic, mind-bending guitar work present in most of the songs; there is plenty of room for hardcore riffs in the traditional vein, and here it is spliced with these unique sounds to create a truly original band.  Singer Ami is everything a punk singer should be:  Furious, spitting, anti-authority, poetic, and energetic.  Also, as a female singer, some singers suffer from being too shrill-voiced, but Ami is reasonably pitched, and doesn’t have this problem.  The drums and bass are very distinguishable, the drums pummeling and the bass punishing (my two greatest descriptions for these corresponding instruments), and the words are good old values-rejecting apocalyptic crust punk.  Words are lot easier to vary that sound (at least in my eyes), so while the theme is the same, the words are very different, and it is a new play on a working essential formula.
This record fucking rules; one of the best and most unique crust bands of the last decade.  To paraphrase Will Smith, “Oh, and uh… I’d go to a record store and buy this one up real quick cause… DAMN.”
-Aunty Social

Opposition Rising- Aftermathematics CD/ LP review


Opposition Rising- Aftermathematics CD/ LP review
This record picked up right where Mouth Sewn Shut left off; still sporting the crusty reggae/ ska feel with all the fury of a hardcore punk record, these are ten punishing tracks that show the 99% can hate and groove.  The record begins with the intro song “Rising”, an allusion to the beginning of a war, perceived or actual.  It allows a nice transition into the real bones of the record, the “chapters”, one might say.  Some of the better songs on this record are some of my personal favorite songs in general.
“F.T.W.” has been making its rounds on compilation albums, namely the 4-way split 7” with In Defence, Hellmouth, and Embrace the Kill, the Crash Assailant compilation CD, and the Riotska digital compilation, deservedly so- it is the new anthem of the nihilist of today.  “Pink Slip Murder Suicide” is the new “going postal” theme song (on an unrelated note, the massacre that made the term ‘going postal’ famous took place in Royal Oak, at the same place I get my mail from), and its pulsating rhythmic beat thumps like a gun going off, raising hate in the brain and blood pressure in the veins.  “Tell Them Nothing” is the radio-friendly, all-encompassing version of “Stop Snitchin”, and one that resonates a lot more deeply with the majority.  It serves as a reminder that speaking to the so-called authorities is not in one’s best interests, under any circumstances.
For a positive lyrical turn, “Brick By Brick” speaks about those who might try to destroy the community we (as punks) have all worked to build by copping out or conforming, as the song terms.  However, it is also possible to look at the song title in a reverse way, as rebuilding this community we have built, brick by brick.  Even in nihilism, there is hopefulness.  “Debt Sentence” is about the new phenomenon of people being economically enslaved by the money they owe to lenders.  With the relatively recent crisis in the housing market and in the lax oversight on lending, people have suddenly become anchored down and enslaved by their debts.  “Destination Apocalypse” is the final “chapter” of the album/ story, and its conclusion is a world in ruin, all the money rendered useless and the obsession with belongings, monetary or tactile things, rendering the 1% (my words, not theirs) pragmatically impotent.
Though these are not the only songs on the record, these are the best and most worthy of discussion; the other songs are also stellar, so this indeed is a complete work.  Bill Damon (lead singer) is a crust punk genius, an inventive S.O.B. with a ton of passion.  Anyone who liked Mouth Sewn Shut and/or Toxic Narcotic will love this, and it will resonate well with the rest of the crusties, punks, and rudeboys too.  Buy this, now!
-Aunty Social

Embrace the Kill/ Hellmouth/ In Defence/ Opposition Rising 4 way split 7" review


Embrace the Kill/ Hellmouth/ In Defence/ Opposition Rising 4-way split 7” review
I want to like this record; I really, really do.  Four stellar bands on the same piece of wax and some artwork by Alex Awn is a recipe that sounds like it will churn out a tasty recipe of a record.  However, the result, while not bad, by any means, is a bit underwhelming. It starts off well enough, with Embrace the Kill’s track “Blacklisted” pushing its way along, delivering a heavy, hard, hopeless and bleak black metal-influenced crust tune.  The song rules, and Embrace the Kill further solidifies itself as a killer west coast crust band (among who include Tragedy, From Ashes Rise, Asymmetric Warfare, Short Changed, and loads more).  Next is Hellmouth’s “Amen Assholes”, a favorite song by a notably popular Detroit group that most in the area familiar with.  However, this song was apparently an earlier tracking of the song, and with it is a lesser level of quality.  Nothing is wrong with the song, but the levels, the mix, the sound quality… something is just not right.
Following this is the In Defence track “United Farces”, again earlier tracking of a song that would later be renamed and slightly reworked to “Corporate Bailout”.  This one suffers from the same problems as the Hellmouth track, although I liked this track of Ben Crew’s vocals better than the one used on “Corporate Bailout”.  The saving grace of this record would come in the Opposition Rising track “F.T.W.”, an oft-used acronym for a feeling that resonates in many of us.  Before deviating this into another populist misanthropic rant, I’ll return to the record:  Opposition Rising puts out probably the best track of theirs on this split (best compared to the rest of the songs on their Aftermathematics LP, which too rules).  Formed from the intact remains of Mouth Sewn Shut, the band is essentially the next chapter in the Toxic Narcotic saga.  While Mouth Sewn Shut (and Opposition Rising as well, for that matter) is known mostly for their blends of crust, hardcore, and reggae, this track is more of a hardcore track, but still retains the traditional M.S.S./ O.R. aura.
Even though I was not wowed by the two earlier tracking of these later-to-be excellent songs, there were okay, and the stellar tracks by Embrace the Kill and Opposition Rising makes this album worthwhile.
-Aunty Social

Oiltanker- The Shadow of Greed 12" review


Oiltanker- The Shadow of Greed 12” review
This is a continuation of a killer sound that hasn’t been very played out yet- crust-core, which is crust punk in its traditional vein mixed with heavy 90s hardcore.  It’s an addictive sound; the pulsating drums create an intoxicating background tone for the heavy guitars and bass to wring out some mad awesome crusty jams.  The vocals, meanwhile, are not the high point of the record.  They get the job done for the music, but it’s difficult to discern what the singer is saying, and for something like politically charged crust, the words are probably the most important part of the song and album.  It does work, but I’d like to hear clearer vocals, so I can sing along and really “get” the music, even if I don’t happen to have the benefit of a lyric sheet.  Regardless of vocals, these ten songs are heavy, drum-rolling, ripping crust punk with a sharp-pointed message pushing forward.  The artwork is fucking sweet, the band name is awesome, and this 12” packs a punch.  Definitely belongs the die-hard crusty’s record collection; as for elsewhere… I’m not sure, but it’s worth borrowing and spinning a couple times, for the average punk.
-Aunty Social