DYST: Judges And Butchers: CD

DYST are five guys from Bergen, Norway, they released two EP’s and now have their debut album out. Formed in 2008, founding members vocalist Joakim and drummer Lasse are joined by new members Marcus and Johannes on guitar and Snorre on bass.

This metalcore band starts off their album with “Sailors Grave”, which has great guitar playing and some heavy drumming that was quite impressive, and Joakim’s vocals are shouted with throat shredding abandon. “Safest Haven” takes the energy of the first track and gives it a kick in the balls as this song is harder and heavier with crazed vocals that probably wouldn’t make anyone feel safe, and manic drumming from Lasse. “Crossbearer” has the blast beats, but not overdone, and is actually really melodic and more metal at times than core, and has awesome riffs. “Black Waves” is sonically the most diverse song on the album with samples, dissonance and so much going on that it was a highlight for me. “Blot The Blood” is just one brutal track that if you heard live, would be crushing in the pit, so much power and energy in this one. The guys really seemed to be trying their hardest to make these songs as hard and heavy as they could and they have succeeded admirably. The album’s production is clean and full, giving DYST the ability to fill in the spaces with as many riffs as they could fit in. The vocals throughout this album are fantastic with Joakim going from crazed shouted to some almost spoken parts that give the songs both the anger and depth of his ability. Some other songs that I enjoyed were, “Green Pastures”, and “Calm The Storm”.

DYST have put together an album of incredible riffing and vocals that has some good melodic and atmospheric parts to keep it interesting as well. It’s a damn good debut album that will definitely appeal to fans of metalcore and if they put half as much energy into their live shows as they have on this CD, they’re bound to be awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/dystofficial

HOWL: Bloodlines: CD

Coming out of Providence, RI, HOWL play metal with some doom and sludge mixed in. They got together back in 2007 and put out an EP in 2008, a debut album in 2010 and now we have their sophomore release.

“Attrition” is the start of the album with the soaring guitar playing, the powerful drumming, the bludgeoning bass and the deep growling vocals, you know that you’re in for a great ride. “Midnight Eyes”  keeps the speed and intensity up and the guitars are all playing in harmony with each other and makes for a great sounding front line, “Demonic” has great evil sounding vocals, drumming that just has a great flow, and the guitar playing gets even better with so many awesome riffs being played that it’s hard to keep up with them, and the thundering bass just adds to the mix. HOWL have a fair bit of speed to the album which makes for a more exciting sound and band members Vincent on vocals and guitar, Josh and Jonathan both on guitar, you have so much power and riffage that something will grab you and the way that they get together to play in harmony so well, Jesse on bass who adds so much depth and Timmy on drums playing fast, but with the ability to weave the bass together to create the thunderous sound that makes you move you feet to, and bang your head to. Vincent’s vocals are nice and deep and guttural, but not so buried that you can’t understand what he’s saying, you can make things out and you can hear the venom in his voice. Some of the other songs that grabbed me were, “One Last Nail”, “Your Hell Begins”, “Of War” and “Embrace Your Nerve”.

Bloodlines is a solid follow-up to their debut with enough crunchy tracks that will definitely be crowd pleasers and will be on repeat in your house. The solid musicianship and is bursting at the seams with some of the best guitar playing that I’ve heard in a long time. This is a definite keeper and you should go out and grab a copy soon.

https://www.facebook.com/HowlHeavyMetal  https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords http://www.relapse.com/   http://relapserecords.bandcamp.com/

PLATINUM BLONDE: Now & Never: CD

Now & Never is the sixth studio album by Canadian rock band PLATINUM BLONDE and their first album of new material since 1990. The band now consists of two original members, Mark Holmes on vocals, Sergio Galli on guitar, and newcomers Rob Laidlaw on bass and Dan Todd on drums.

First song “Valentine” starts off with a sound not too far removed from their first album, with the sound of Galli’s guitar playing giving us that taste and of course Holmes voice that hasn’t aged one bit. The chorus is going to get stuck in your head and this song will definitely please fans of their older music. First single “Beautiful” has the sound of being played in the large venues that PLATINUM BLONDE played back in their heyday with the expansiveness of the song. It’s a kind of cross between the second PLATINUM BLONDE album and something from HONEYMOON SUITE which isn’t surprising since bassist Laidlaw played with them. “Satellite” brings to mind the song “Hungry Eyes” from their album Alien Shores, “From Here” is a very relaxing slow song which has some inspired guitar playing and heartfelt singing from Holmes. The band really did a great job on the production with everything sounding big and full and large enough to fill the arenas of the world. The playing from drummer Todd is very precise and driving, bassist Laidlaw gets a groove going and melds perfectly with the drums, Galli’s guitar playing goes off into the atmosphere when he really gets into the song and Holmes has progressed as a singer and shows more depth and emotion than ever before. Some other highlights for me were, “Garden”, and “Independence Day”.

This was a very cool restart for the band and a continuation of their first two albums which are arguably, their best. They seem to have made something that will both appeal to their old fans as well as bringing in some new ones. Whether or not they can achieve the heights of their previous glories is something that the public will express, but PLATINUM BLONDE sure have done a fine job to give people that choice.

https://www.facebook.com/PlatinumBlondeWorld  http://platinumblondeworld.com/  http://www.maplemusic.com/artists/plb/default.asp

THE ALIENATION: Another War: CD

THE ALIENATION is a hardcore punk band from Amos, Quebec, originally consisting of Peet on bass and vocals, Dom on guitar and vocals, and Felix on drums and vocals who got together in the summer of 2009. A change in line-up saw Matt joining the group as its drummer who replaced Felix, and currently, the group is working on a second album in 2013.

“Alienation Song” is the lead track and it has gruff vocals, buzz saw guitar playing, rubbery bass and pounding drums, a perfect start to the album. “I Hate Disco” is faster and you can really hear the bass on this track which is a nice thing for a change, some gang vocals, hard drumming and guitar playing that is very tuneful, “Punx Riot” has a great instrumental beginning that goes into more of a street punk sound, and “Another War” starts off with the sound of gun shots, drums, bouncing bass, buzzing guitar, then the gruff vocals with the gang vocals all combine to make this a great song. THE ALIENATION really gets down to playing some sloppy, but contagious punk rock that gets stuck in your head and begs to be playing again. Their lyrics are well written, and are extremely catchy and would sound great in a live setting. The bass really comes alive on this album, with it being featured prominently in the songs, the guitar playing is tight and has a lot of melody, the drumming is pounding and really works well with the bass, and the gang vocals mixed with the gruff lead vocals suit these songs perfectly. Some other highlights were “Sales Batards”. “Rebels Party”, and “Total Failure”.

This was a good debut with a lot of things going for it, the only minus was that the production could be a bit better. The sound was a bit muddy and muted, a bit of cleaning up would give them the power that they deserve and would put this band into a different world. Give this a chance, other than the production, this is a great hardcore album that shows promise and a lot of talent.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-ALIENATION/153548727519

https://thealienationpunx.bandcamp.com/album/another-war

http://www.thealienationpunx.com/

DEFCON ZERO: Music For Gluesniffers, Terrorists & The Mentally Ill: CD

DEFCON ZERO emerged in 2006 and are a hardcore punk band from London, England. They released their debut EP Rats in 2006 on Never Healed Records and on the 5th of November, the band released their first full length, sixteen track album on Pumpkin records.

“Braindead” starts the album with some dirty and devastating punk that makes you think of GBH when they were Charged and not a metal band. Thick, and distorted with gang vocals and shouted lead vocals with a wall of sound so impenetrable that the rainforest doesn’t have anything on these guys. “Welcome to London” is a mix of GBH’s “City Baby Attacked By Rats” and MOTORHEAD’s “Ace Of Spades” all mashed together, “Get To Fuck” has some blazing guitar playing and devastating drumming, and “Music for Gluesniffers, Terrorists and the Mentally Ill” is just as fast as the previous songs, but actually has a slower bit that brings it down to just punk rock, not UK82 hardcore. This is a  total punk rock holocaust of biblical proportions. DEFCON ZERO’s relentless, unbridled and furious attack, just gets better and more intense as you listen to the album. With Leo Stitch’s throat shredding vocals, Ben Zero’s blazing guitar playing, Seamus O’Hooligan’s thundering bass and background vocals and Monkey’s devastating drumming ll combining to create on of the best UK82 style punk albums that I’ve listened to in a long time. “Over the Wire”, “Nightmare”, “Rats”, “St.Pauli – Anti Nazi”, and “Pissed Up and Speeding” were all songs that stood out for me.

You really can’t go wrong with an album that has the best sounds of the old UK 82 punk rock and has touches of MOTORHEAD and GBH in the songs. The political messages are spot on with anti fascist, and anti government sentiments throughout the album.  DEFCON ZERO have done one hell of a job on their debut, please keep the high standard up on your future releases, and go grab this album now!

https://www.facebook.com/Defcon.Zero.London  https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinrecordsuk  http://www.pumpkinrecords.co.uk/

BRING TO RUIN: Self-titled: CD

BRING TO RUIN have been together since October 2010 and are from Wales, UK and play a mix of hardcore, crust and punk. At the time of recording, the band was composed of Jon on drums and vocals, Ross on vocals, Paul on guitar and vocals and Dave on bass.

“Intro” is a nice instrumental track that gets you in the groove for the rest of the album with its more moshy hardcore sound, then they jump into “Curse Of The Innocent” which slams you into the back of your chair and gets the proceedings of to an intense start. “Capitalist Eyes” amps up the fury a few more notches with the band really trying to destroy their instruments on this track, ” Economist Psychopath” is the longest track on the album at just over three and a half minutes and BRING TO RUIN don’t slow done at all, they actually made this one of my favorite songs on here with the way they gave everyone a bit of a spotlight in a way. The bass has a lot of presence on this album which is a treat since a lot of bands bury the bass in the mix, the guitar has some great leads that are thick and juicy, the drumming is pummeling, and the vocals are shouted, but you can understand what Ross is saying and his gruff shouts are angry sounding and it fits perfectly into the mix. “Stale Motion”, “The Rot”, “Cut And Run”, “Resentment”, and “Career Suicide” were all stellar tracks on this album.

There’s a great bunch of songs on here, with power and excitement galore. The band really goes out of its way to give you an album that really has no weak tracks, no slow songs, just balls to the wall music that will make any pit a lot of fun, and hard to leave.

https://www.facebook.com/bringtoruins  https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinrecordsuk  http://www.pumpkinrecords.co.uk/  https://www.facebook.com/Righteousangerrecords  http://www.righteousangerrecords.net/  https://www.facebook.com/riotskarecords  http://riotskarecords.bandcamp.com/  http://riotskarecords.com/  http://www.massprod.com/

KOLLAPSE: Kollapse: 10″

kollapse s/t (free download) cover art

KOLLAPSE is a three-piece DIY band from Denmark, that has two members from the Mighty Midgets and have recently released their debut self titled album which contains six tracks that blend together crust, sludge and hardcore / punk with dual vocals.

About halfway through the first song “Coffins”, you get the full band making a hell-filled racket, but a glorious one with dual vocals, one higher pitched and screaming and the other lower and growling, before that, you have some big time distortion on the bass that makes for a spooky beginning before going in a faster direction. “Man Machine” is a mix of doom, sludge and crust with lots of distortion and the dual vocals, but the track seems to be so heavy that the band can’t play it fast because it’s weighing them down and dragging them slowly into the tar pits, and “Liberate” starts off slow and then picks up the pace a bit and the band has a bit of a BLACK SABBATH feel to them on this track. You have two sides of the coin on here that they blend together well, the slow, dragging tracks and the faster, punch someone in the face songs that work together. The dual vocals are a nice touch, giving you a different feel within each song, the bass is a star attraction with tons of distortion and a leader on most songs, the drumming is pounding away really heavy and the guitar playing adds some texture with the quick leads here and there. “Grief”  has a layer of sludge and doom that is super thick, but is a hard track to ignore with the great playing on it, “No Gods” has a great solo in it, which is one of the rare times that the guitarist gets that ability and carries the doom / sludge fest for one more song, last song “Minamata Disease” has so much anger and it’s almost evil sounding, which was awesome.

For a debut, this was one heavy album with depth and excellent playing from the band. The production was thick and dirty sounding, perfect for these songs, because anything cleaner sounding would have taken away from the songs and experience of this album. I’m interested in hearing where they are going in the future, it should be interesting. Pick this one up if you want some thick, fat, hardcore mixed with doom, sludge and crust that’s done well.

https://www.facebook.com/Kollapseband  http://kollapse.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/5FeetUnder-Records/302601933208?group_id=0  http://www.5feetunder.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never-Trust-An-Asshole/382410541774011?group_id=0  http://nevertrustanasshole.free.fr/spip/spip.php?page=news  http://nevertrustanasshole.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/TNSrecords?group_id=0  http://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/

2 SICK MONKEYS / RASH DECISION: Less Is More…More Or Less: CD

Rash Decision / 2 Sick Monkeys - Less Is More... More Or Less - CD

A split CD with two bands, RASH DECISION from Falmouth, Cornwall, England and 2 SICK MONKEYS from Swindon, England who have different styles, but that’s o.k. because variety can spice things up.

RASH DECISION are the first ones up with eight short blasts of a mix of punk, thrash, hardcore, and metal. Dave Decision is lead vocalist and guitarist, James ‘Perky’ Perkins is the bassist and does & backing vocals, Simon J. Sky on guitar and backing vocals, and Tom Candy on drums. They start their side off with “Philthy’s Mattress”, that kicks off with some feedback, guitar playing and then the band comes in with both barrels blazing bullets at you. The bass guitar and drumming are highlights of this song as well as the crazed screamed vocals which made for a super catchy song. “Captain Tom” takes the vocals and makes them even more out of control and the band seems to step up their assault a notch, “Staines” is a blitzkrieg on your senses with the band barely keeping it together to the end of the song, “Learning Things About The World (Part 2) is fourteen seconds of mayhem. This band is just unbelievable, tight unstoppable and just about the best band at this chaotic mess that I’ve heard in a long time. “Metro” has the metallic onslaught continuing, “Bring Out Your Dead”, has Decision’s voice just tearing chunks out of his throat while the band plays a mix of thrash and punk behind him, “Seagull” is a thrash attack that gets your head banging so hard that you’re afraid that it might tear off, and finally, if you make it through the bombastic earlier tracks, is the final song, “Temporary Worker (Clause 4.1)” that has an announcer talking through it in the background, but is just as mental as all the other tracks and ends their part of the CD off with a high.

Here come 2 SICK MONKEYS with thirteen tracks of punk rock from members Fred Nus on drums and vocals and Pete Tower on bass and vocals. “Sayonara” is their first song and it’s a gruff vocalized, punk rock song that will have you up out of your chair and dancing around your living room before you know it and it has more Oi!’s in this song than on a skinhead album. “Bruce Brenda David Death” has a great bass intro then straight away into another catchy song with that great bass being in the forefront on a good part of the song, “Had Enough” is a great short song about getting away from everything, “Blurrr!! (Parts 1 & 2)” is basically an instrumental with the exception of yelling “Blurrr!!” every once in a while and has a bit of a surf sound, and “Number One Retard” is a super short song about being an idiot. For only two guys, this is so full sounding and full of energy that you would think that an entire band is playing on these songs. The songs are goofy and fun, just what you need after a day at work, something to put a smile on your face and something that when your friends come over, a CD with songs to get them jumping around too. Some of the other songs that got me going were, “Bullshitter”, “I Don’t Wanna Be Me”, “No Brakes”, and “I Love Booze”.

Even though you would think that these bands don’t go together, this was a great split single that I know will get played a lot. More or less, less isn’t more because now you’ve made me fans of both bands and now I need to get more!

https://www.facebook.com/2sickmonkeys  http://www.2sickmonkeys.com/  https://www.facebook.com/rashdecision  http://www.rashdecision.bigcartel.com/product/rash-decision-2-sick-monkeys-split-less-is-more-more-or-less  http://rashdecision.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinrecordsuk  http://www.pumpkinrecords.co.uk/  https://www.facebook.com/riotskarecords  http://riotskarecords.com/  http://riotskarecords.bandcamp.com/  http://www.smegmarecords.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Manic-Pogo/338871641389  http://www.manicpogo.com/  https://www.facebook.com/RodentPopsicle  http://www.rodentpopsicle.com/

POWER IS POISON: Apathetic Generation: CD

This punk, anarcho, crust, hardcore band has released a CD with twenty-five tracks, one being a cover of RUDIMENTARY PENI’s “Extreme Noise Peni”. This contains all of their singles and some unreleased songs to get you thinking about the world beyond your front yard.

“War On Freedom” is the lead off track and it comes at you like a hurricane, all power and pushes you over and drags you around. Fast hardcore with frenetic drumming and blurred guitar playing. “Anti Facist” is thicker sounding with fat bass and hard and fast guitar playing, drumming that is bashing away at the kit and great gang vocals, “Smash Things Up” is a dense crust song that has the band barely able to contain their fury, “Modern Day Concentration Camp” is some blazing hardcore that has dual vocals and lots of guitar breaks that get you wondering how they got that much  technical work done in such a short time. As you listen to the CD, you get the sense of the power that all of the band members had on these tracks, J. Jobby on guitar and vocals, Rene Riot on vocals, Kwintin on drums, Gradus on bass, Den on drums and Lex on bass. They don’t mince words on these songs, they have strong political ideas and they aren’t shy about giving up their opinion to you on here. All of the members of this band are strong players who have added their own touches and have made the band tighter and stronger as time went on. Some other songs on this CD that I rocked out to were, “Hunger Hate & War”, “Strontfront”, “Ram The Bastards”, “Raging Racist Rita”, “War On The System”, and so many more.

This was one of the best hardcore, anarcho, crust, punk CDs that I have heard in a long time! Only bands from Europe seem to do this kind of music justice, but I guess with the bullshit politics and long history of these kinds of bands, they just have a better handle on it. You could easily slot this into a mix of bands from the early 80s when the U.K. had a ton of these bands going, and they would stand out.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/POWER-IS-POISON/121894131162037  http://powerispoison.bigcartel.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinrecordsuk  http://www.pumpkinrecords.co.uk/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frantic-Slaughter-Records-and-Distro/110563129030440  https://www.facebook.com/Righteousangerrecords  http://www.righteousangerrecords.net/

FOURTH QUARTER COMEBACK: The Only Way We Know:

This pop punk band really impressed me with this EP, it had the quick paced songs, but it also ended with “Awake”, a stripped down acoustic love song that wasn’t sappy or overwrought, just a lovely song.

The band has five other songs of well produced pop punk that rocked out pretty good, without being wimpy or generic, they have a lot more personality in their music than a lot of bands doing this kind of punk. The band seemed to write songs that are very anthemic and have a bit of bombast to them, like they are writing for stadiums, not clubs, I like their way of forward thinking. The band can really play, some nice guitar work, clever lyrics, really well done drumming and bass, it all worked out well on this EP. My favorite songs were “Back To Sleep”, “Drama Queen” and “New Girlfriend” which kind of reminded me of “Stacy’s Mom” from FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE.

A lot of pop punk bands just ape everyone else, but these guys really went out and created something fresh and exciting that will be one of those albums that I will come back to again and again.

https://www.facebook.com/FourthQuarterComeback  http://fourthquartercomeback.com/  http://fourthquartercomeback.bandcamp.com/