Sunday, August 29, 2010

Minivan Halen - s/t 7"

I struggled with putting this album up. On the one hand I think this record is still in print and fairly easy to get your hands on, but on the other hand, I believe the band is inactive and more people need to hear this! So yeah...hopefully I'm not stepping on any toes with this post.

Admittedly I bought this 7" because of the North of America connection but to say they sound anything like Norts would be misguided. Minivan Halen plays loud, pissed off hardcore. The kind of music that makes you want to put Black Flag on the stereo and go nuts in your living room. The kind of record that makes you want to quit your shitty job and go on tour forever.

By the way, this 7" is still available through the House Party Records distro so go order it! It's only $5 and totally worth it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Turnkey - Self Titled 7"

Turnkey is another band that falls into the "super awesome and I know nothing about them" category. From what I've read Turnkey contains members of Christie Front Drive and Amber Inn, and acts as the predecessor to both those bands. From what I found this came out as a 7" in 1993 on Titanic Records, although googling Titanic records turns up 2 different labels, one is home to an artist named Technoboy and the other apparently specializes in "Early Music and Period Instrumental Music". So I didn't have much luck actually tracking down a physical copy of this. Bummer.

Turnkey sounds like they would fit nicely on the Dischord roster. Jagged and noisy but with these great hints of 90's pop rock melody. The bass is great on this awesome. It has that definitive revolution summer sound to it and really drive the songs along, leaving room for sparse guitar parts that twinkle at times, and explode in a flurry of distortion and feedback at others. Anyways, great record that really left me wanting more from this band. I think if they had released this album in 1985 it would be considered an absolute classic...but for now it's probably sitting collecting dust in record store bargain bins across the American midwest. Shame.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Illuminati - Demo

A mysterious band named after a shadowy secret society sent to me by a donor who wished to remain anonymous? Sign me up!! This is what I love about punk rock. These relatively unknown bands playing kick ass music that maybe 500 people on this planet have heard. Definitely a cool feeling. I seriously don't know ANYTHING about this band, and googling illuminati turns up conspiracy theories and metal....and Tom Hanks. If you know where Illuminati is from or anything about them, let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Anyways, based on the song titles and the vocals I'm assuming this band is from Spain. It has a definite European screamo/punk vibe to it with a bit more of a rocking straight forward style. Super cool. Vocally it sounds alot like Birds & Wires, musically think Raein meets 12XU....or La Quiete meets Hot Snakes. Don't take either of those descriptions too seriously though. Anyways, really cool record that I can almost guarantee a lot of people haven't heard.

Kevin Rips: Envy - All the Footprints...

AB - Full album name is "All the Footprints You've Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead"

I know this one isn't exactly obscure, especially for a Kevin Rips, but since they've got a new record coming out (that sounds disturbingly like Grade, as one friend unfortunately had to point out) I wanted to show exactly the point where Envy shone. A friend and I just saw Red Sparrowes and were yawning through the whole set. Somehow Envy came up, and he mentioned how he thought they sucked or something - owing mostly to knowledge of their most recent output. I had to call him crazy. But then again, he had never heard All the Footprints You've Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead - Envy's clear-cut masterpiece.

Envy hail from Tokyo Japan, and I would almost deign to say that Envy are my favorite Japanese band, and this album is the proof - and believe me, I love a lot of Japanese bands. Most of their earlier records are pretty much unremarkable hardcore, still pretty good stuff, but most purely for the completist, while much of their more recent stuff, such as that released on Temporary Residence, has been aptly leaning closer to the post-rock vein. Again, solid, but still mostly for the completist. All the Footprints You've Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead is their masterpiece, finding the perfect middle ground between hardcore and post-rock. This sounds like a bad idea combining the two, and for most bands, it is - but somehow Envy found the perfect combo. I don't know how they did, but they did. The drums are epic, the riff soaring, and the vocals, even without knowing Japanese, affecting and incredibly passionate.

I'd talk about specific songs by name, but the copy of this album I have is the Japanese version. But in that third song... geez, how did they do it? With the shifting rhythms, epic to crushing to triumphant. And that drum fill 2 minutes into track 9 is one of the greatest things ever! And for whatever reason, this album just sticks out being more memorable than their others. More interesting chord changes, killer riffs, even the translations of the lyrics on this one are a little more literate and powerful. This album still gives me chills.

Monday, August 23, 2010


One of my all time favourites! Meaning "gods wounds", Zounds were formed in 1977 and lasted until 1982. They released numerous Ep's and one remastered CD, which included all of their collected work. They occasionally reform for benefit shows.

This band is arguably one of the most influential anarcho punk bands, and in my opinion, the most aurally enjoyable. Their sound was unique and has never been quite replicated, especially inside the punk community.

Although they're very popular in certain circles, I don't feel they get the respect they deserve. Affiliated acts: Crass, The Mob, The World Service, Blyth Power

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Year of No Light-Nord

Sorry for the long delay!

Year of no Light are France's gift to the world of post-metal/hardcore. If you took bands like Isis and Neurosis and added a healthy amount of Amenra, you would get YONL. Definitely one of my favourites in the genre.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Secret Fires - I Only Want What I Can't See

OK....I have an admission to make. I never really paid attention to Edmonton's Secret Fires. Why? BECAUSE I'M A BIG FUCKING DUMMY! Do you like Slates? Do you like The Wolfnote? Yeah? Then you like this band! I wasn't even really sure if it was kosher to put this up, but seeing as they're broken up and giving the CD away like candy, I figured it was cool. Rock and Roll for kids who grew up on The Replacements, Black Flag, and Husker Du. (See also: Punk Rock for kids who grew up on Thin Lizzy and K-Rock)

Seriously, if you don't have this get on it. Radness abound. Like usual, I'm probably the only one who slept on this band....hell I even played with them and don't remember being rocking out like I should have been. So it goes I guess.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Luck of Aleia - Six Songs

Found this record randomly on one of my monthly download overdoses. It's pretty rad. Poppy 90's indie rock with just the right amount of that sweet midwest emo sound. Sort of reminds me of old Jimmy Eat World and Braid. I keep reading comparisons to Mineral, but to be honest I don't hear it.
Anyways, check it out if you're into the following things:
1. Sappy Emo Rock.
2. Teen movies about bumbling high school nerds who are secretly the coolest dudes ever.
3. Flannel shirts tied around your waist.