Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rough Kids - The State I'm In

 I'll tell you the quality control at Sorry State Records is down right impressive. I received 4 records from the label this week and so far they have all been excellent (see previous review Double Negative and Broken Prayer).

Rough Kids approach their sound from more of a 77 style punk direction with tons of hooks and snappy beats and memorable choruses to stick in your brain.  There is even some nice machine gun riffing in tracks like "insightful". Overall, Rough Kids hit the mark and deliver an excellent slab of pure memorable punk rock...3 Sorry State reviews down and 1 to go, curious to see if the winning streak continues...Dave G.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Double Negative - Hardcore Confusion Volume 3 and 4 Sorry State Records

Double Negative have gone through some line up changes in the past year with the departure of Brian Walsby (drums) and  Kevin KC Collins (vocals) but on hardcore confusion volume 3 and 4 they really haven't missed a beat.

The music is intense and full of energy right from the start. I suppose the elephant in the room and what everyone will likely be talking about is the changing of vocalist which is understandable as vocalist will always be the toughest position to change...I mean are you a Dianno or Dickinson guy?  Personally I  have a preference for Dianno but I still love Maiden with Dickinson and  the same thing holds true with Double Negative in my opinion. I really like KC's vocals and thought they were an important part of -/- sound but on this ep I think Cameron delivers an excellent performance of his own and moving forward I think the band will continue to make killer music and some day people may be asking the question "are you a KC guy or a Cameron guy?"...Dave G.  


Broken Prayer - st Lp Sorry State Records 2013

Broken Prayer definitely caught me by surprise with this LP.  If your a fan of other Sorry State record bands like Stripmines or Double Negative than Chicago's Broken Prayer should be right up your alley. The music is dark and energetic and straight forward at times, but also switches gears and throws in interesting synch effects which results in a slightly more post punk or even dark wave approach at times.

In closing, there is definitely a nice variety of sounds and influences in Broken Prayers musical repertoire that is guaranteed  to keep even the most jaded listener entertained and engaged...Dave G. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fatalitees - Yeah Right Lp 1983

The Fatalities existed from 1979- 1983 as a little know NY hardcore / punk band from upstate Dutchess County NY who recorded a bunch of tracks in their house, landed a few cuts on some obscure punk compilations, had the distinction of being the first hardcore band from outside New York City to play at the A7 club and then road off into the sunset to be completely forgotten for 30 years, that is until John at Tappan Hill Records started his own personal crusade to get the bands music out to the masses.

The fruit of John's labor is this raging full length Lp (50 on blue vinyl) that is currently bludgeoning my ear holes as I type away at this post. Musically the Fatalities come across like a giant middle finger in your face. The songs are simple, crude and catchy. I'm not 100% sure who to compare Fatalities too but if I was forced to make comparisons I would say The Wards meets Flipper would give you a pretty good idea of their sound.

In closing I urge you to track down a copy of this Lp for your collection. The pressing is limited, the color vinyl even more limited and the music is worthy of a spot in any punks record collection...Dave G.

 From the Label:

Vinyl reissue of the 1982 cassette album by this obscure upstate New York hardcore band. Very much of the time, this is straight up raw 1980s punk with a snotty, slightly humorous bent. Reminds me of the classics of this style like Adrenalin OD and Suburban Mutilation, but much more raw and primitive. If you like primitive, snot-nosed early 80s HC this will be right up your alley.

Order Directly: 

Order from Sorry State Records

Pusrad - cassette 2013 Yakuzzi Tapes

Short fast bursts of punk rock energy that will leave you feeling like you won a who can drink the most Red Bull competition...Dave G.

Yakuzzi Tapes

Pusrad Facebook

Cassette includes the Domad 12", Akta Dig 7" and Smarttrams 7". Unfortunately the cassette is sold out but you can still buy the 7 inches and 12" from your favorite online distributors.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Living Laser - Versus Pigs 7" (Trip Machine Laboratories)

Living Laser from NY state have released one hell of a killer 7" in "Versus Pigs". The music is tight and quick paced with plenty of starts and stops and monster riffs in the breakdowns that are sure to result in some circular motion in the pit. 

I think Trip Machine Laboratories has hit on a real gem in this band...I only hope an Lp is in their near future because "Versus Pigs" has definitely left me wanting more.

Living Lasers kick ass...there I said it...Dave G.

P.S. I see the excellent  Living Laser "Ragged Glory" cassette tape is still available from TML. I highly recommend you pick one up if your buying a 7".

Trip Machine Laboratories Purchase
Living Laser Facebook

Cicada Radio - No Fate But What We Make 2013

A recent Review I did for UBRS blog. Good band you should give a listen to.

Cicada Radio has been a favorite band of UBRS since we first laid our ears on their excellent debut ep "Imposter" back in the early summer of 2011. The "Imposter" EP was full of emotional heaviness and hooks that were firmly planted in the 90's Emo sound that reminded this listener of  bands like Karate, Knapsack and Small Brown Bike.

On the new album "No Fate But What We Make" the band has moved away from the Emo tendencies heard on "Imposter" and seem to have infused a bit of a shoegaze feel to their guitar tones. There's also an openness and clarity to their sound that was honestly off putting upon initial listen. I initially struggled with this album quite a bit. I was confused by the vocals that sound like they are being shouted across an empty concert hall and the overall production approach of the album had me confused. Therefore,  I decided to put this record aside to possibly revisit another day. The strange thing is that over the next few days I would catch myself with the melody to one of their songs stuck in my head. At first it was "Charity Mafia" and then it was "Oceans" so I decided that I better give this album another chance and I am really happy that I did. "No Fate But What We Make" showcases a band that is maturing right in front of our eyes and I now appreciate the way they approached this album.

I now believe the production of the record and the things I struggled with at first were absolutely intentional on the bands part. I like the fact that I had to really listen to understand and to gain an appreciation of their developing sound. Sometimes the best albums are the ones that don't immediately grab you, but the ones that plant a seed in your brain upon initial listen and then keep dragging you back for more. Even when you aren't sure why you keep listening... Until one day you realize that you can't stop listening....I present to you "No Fate But What We Make"...Dave G. 

Cicada Radio Bandcamp
Killing Horse Records Purchase CD

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay - Neurot 2012

This is either a tough record to review or a very easy record to review. I am going to take the easy route and say that Honor Found In Decay sounds exactly like what we have come to expect from Neurosis over their past 3 albums or so...atmospheric, plodding, somewhat heavy music with gruff vocals, and a nice heaping of emotion. Now I am not trying to be a wise-ass  or anything, it's just that Neurosis have found there formula and they do not stray from it in the slightest.    

Overall, I think that while there is nothing new here it is comforting none the less to have new Neurosis music playing from my speakers, and Honor Found In Decay is certainly worthy of repeated listens....I wish these guys would play NY again, and soon...Dave G.

This review appeared originally on the UBRS blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Become - Cassette - Take It Back Records 2012

Driving emotive hardcore with a bit of an old school Dischord vibe mixed with a touch of the 90's Emo sound that you would find on many of the Gravity Records releases of that time period.

Become features current and ex-members of Manumission, Ochre, Lumber Lung, X-Wing, Worship, Bone Explosion, Desperate Hours, Masisin, No Man's Land, Eden in Flames, Sutrama, Embassy, Uphill Battle, Broken Needle, Blasting Concept, and Surprise Vacation. I must say that that is one hell of pedigree. If you are a fan of any of these bands or simply a fan of well done emotional hardcore music then I urge you to give Become a listen...Dave G.

This review appeared originally on the UBRS blog.


Dark Empire - From Refuge to Ruin 2012

Wow a real metal band from my home state of New Jersey who actually have the chops, production value and talent to make a name for themselves in the current prog metal scene.

The three songs on the bands Facebook page are very varied offerings. The first track "A Plague in the Throne Room" contains excellent riffs and mostly clean vocals, and just when I think I have the band figured out the second song "Dreaming in Vengeance" kicks off with a riff reminiscent of the best Fear Factory ever had to offer. The final track "The Crimson Portrait" slows things down a touch but still moves  along at a steady pace held aloft by excellent riffing, tight precise drumming and the strong clean pipes of vocalist Brian Larkin.

Overall, these three songs have left me thoroughly impressed and eager to hear more. If you are a fan of bands like Fear Factory, or maybe Opeth would be a better comparison, then I think Dark Empire may be right up your alley...Dave G

This review originally appeared on the UBRS blog.

Nightmare Records 

Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

The first thing that caught my ear about the new Converge record is the slightly broader use of clean vocals which brings a new dimension to Converges' ferocious sound  that was needed in my opinion, as my ears had become numb to their brutal full on assault a few records back. In my opinion the use of clean vocals gives the gruff vocals all the more power and effectiveness, like being lulled to sleep and then awoken with a hammer to the temple.However, 98% of "All We Love We Leave Behind" is still dominated by the full on brutal vocal style you have come to expect from converge.

Musically Converge is as sick as ever, the music is tight, the drumming is spot on, the level of brutality is high, and the heaviness is down right intense...I have a headache after one listen, but I'm popping a few aspirin and going back for more...Dave G.

Epitaph order CD or Vinyl
Deathwish order Vinyl

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Evil - Evil's Message (Rave-On Records) 1984

I almost shit myself last weekend when I found this record in a used bin for $2.00. I knew rumor had it that King Diamond himself played guitar on this record, but after some investigating I believe that this rumor is definitely unfounded. Hell, this ep is great on it's own merit  and certainly doesn't need the King to help make it more appealing,

What you get from Evil is a powerful style of Euro-metal with plenty of nwobhm  influence. The production is top notch, the riffs slay and there is even some Iron Maiden hidden away in some of the guitar work. So don't let the cover art fool you, these Danes kick some serious ass...great record..Dave G.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rodan - Aviary Demo Tape

Here's a hard to find demo tape if ever there was one. Rumor has it that only 200 were made and I have never seen another copy. I have also never seen an image of the actual correct demo tape cover which is the reason I am posting an image.

I came across this tape at least 10 -15 years ago after a very long time spent chasing internet leads and emailing as many people as I could think of who may have a copy of the tape. Eventually I located a woman in Louisville who had a connection of some sort to the band and after a few emails back and forth she realized I wanted this sucker pretty badly so she offered to send me the tape for free which was beyond nice.

Anyway, I wanted to post the image for all to see and also to see if anyone can verify that this is indeed the correct cover for the tape. I believe it is as it is laid out correctly, contains song titles, recording info and says it was released on Helen Ready Records 1993...Anyone, with specific details please comment...Dave G.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Glory Bells - Century Rendezvous

Worst song ever tacked on to the end of a metal album, and by worst I mean best should listen to this song "Fast As A Concord"...Dave G. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Sterling Cooke Force - Full Force (Ebony Records) 1984

Here's an interesting record that I bought this past weekend based solely on the terrible album cover. When I bought this I figured I would spot check a few songs just to verify that the music was as bad as the album cover and then file the record away in my bad album cover collection, but I'll be damned this silly looking record  is pretty pretty good.

The album opens with a nice chugging riff heavy song in "Hit and Run" and then  moves through an album that has everything from boogie riffs to a cool Thin Lizzy / Jimi Hendrix vibe washing over a good handful of the tracks. Strange record to show up on Ebony records  from three dudes from Pennsylvania. This may not be the most original or inspired record you have ever heard, but there is definitely some worth while tunes on this platter, and the record is obviously  worth a couple bucks for the poor album cover art alone...Dave G.