[Originally published: Issue #6, circa 1989]
AGNOSTIC FRONT "Liberty and Justice For…" LP
Musically, this album is more like "Victim in Pain" than "Cause for Alarm," which is a good thing. But something has been lost along the way. Roger Miret's vocal style has changed it's a little rougher and he growls the words all too often. It's not bad, but he was much better when he just sang/shouted. Look, this is an alright album, but it pales in comparison to the other two. It's just not as good, but I can't figure out why. [TONY]
ALPTRAUM GMBH "When You Like To Know When…" demo
ALPTRAUM GMBH ("Nightmare, Inc.") was formed in Feb. 1986 with female guitarist Rosi (18) and drummer Martin (22). In March of '87 they found a new singer, Roman (22). Some months later, they found Drakey (17), a wonderful female singer who shares vocal duties with Roman. They say "our lyrics are as different as the music. We handle anarchy, Reagan, progress, the church, Brother Alcohol, fun, cars, sex, and so on! Fight back but don't forget the fun!"
Some may consider this band's sound to be weird (it is to a certain extent0, but this shouldn't be confused with originality. They are very original, somehow managing to successfully mix many different types of music (including opera, as the first tune starts off with). Although the music may drone at times, the use of both a male and female singer keeps the listener interested, and more importantly, entertained. I can't comment on the lyrics because they're in German. But if you like a little adventure in your music, then this tape is for you. [MICKEY]
ANTI-HEROS "That's Right!" LP
What do you do when you love a band's music but you are disgusted by what they stand for? Just tell the truth, I guess. Incredible oi! Music, but pathetic, racist lyrics. (I'm told no lyric sheet is included, but you know what's up.) A real shame. Their racist views make his highly UNrecommended. (NOTE: Fortunately, I did not buy this one, someone gave me a tape of it, so come up with something else to bug me about.) [TONY]
BHOPAL STIFFS '87 demo
BHOPAL STIFFS is Larry on guitar and vocals, Vince on lead guitar and vocals, Steve on bass, and Dave on drums.
OK, I admit it. This is the second review that I wrote for this demo. The first one wasn't too favorable towards it, but since then I've listened to it a few more times and I've grown to really like it. They have a dark, sometimes murky, melodious sound which is very entertaining, and combined with their diversified sound, it makes this tape very worthwhile. (It's also a lot better than their recent EP.) Stand out tracks include "One Track Ahead" and "I Came For You." [MICKEY]
BROADAX '87 demo
BROADAX is a speed/thrash metal unit from Culver City, California, and consists of Rey on vocals, Joe on guitar, George on bass, and Louis on drums.
Very good fast to mid-tempo metal music, but one major flaw: the vocals sound like someone trying to sound "sick" or someone with a speech impediment (no offense intended). Too bad, 'cause these guys play their respective instruments with precision and flavor. To get an idea of what they sound like, think of Arnold Schwarzenegger singing for METALLICA. [TONY]
BLATANT YOBS "Bitching and Slamming" demo
"BLATANT YOBS existed about three years ago, but we had lots of difficulties with new members, equipment, practice rooms, etc. When Rich came in the band as the singer, things began to go very well. We started to play very well, and in about 3 months, we built the repertoire on the tape. The seven gigs we played (with LARM and HERESY) went very well, and people came to us screaming for demos! And now, we're quite popular here in the South of Holland."
Great hardcore from this Dutch skate band. Straight-forward thrash is the bill of fare here. Although at times they lack a little in the variety department, a large degree of energy and raw talent is evident. With time, the rough edges should be smoothed off, and these guys will be another great Dutch band. A dedicated bunch that deserves your support. [TONY]
THE CORRUPTED ONES "Tewha" demo
THE CORRUPTED ONES is a positive hardcore band from New Jersey with Eric Johnson on drums, Dwayne Beatty on guitar, Doug Bucci on vocals, and Dave Pfeffer on bass. They released a previous demo and have played shows and parties in the tri-state area.
I first saw these guys when they opened up for UNDERDOG and I was very impressed. Now comes this the best demo I've (Tony) ever heard. The only comparison I could make is to old 7 SECONDS, but more melodic and with more powerful vocals. The backing vocals are tremendous and the sing-along choruses are a blast. These are four fine individual musicians who blend together perfectly they are extremely tight. Most of the songs deal with personal or positive topics. (They have some straight-edge themes but they seem to avoid preaching.) The production is nice and clean but not too slick the power is still there. Thirty minutes (15 tracks) of some of the finest music you'll ever hear. Look for an interview soon! [TONY]
ISOCRACY "Welcome to El Sob" demo
ISOCRACY is a hardcore band from the San Francisco suburb called El Sobrante. ISOCRACY is the concept of a government of equals. ISOCRACY is Al Sobrante on drums, Lenny on guitar, Martin on Bass, and Jason on vocals.
You can't beat the price of this one 60 minutes of music for $2. Total zaniness come from these four folks. Their style is an all-out thrash. So, they're not the most talented band but they make definitive creative use of what they know. Most of the songs average about a minute long, so there's not too much room for variety. But somehow, their originality makes up for their lack of variety. My one major is about their lyrics. What I mean is that some songs talk about racism, some about politics, and some about love and other personal feelings. I don't have anything against a band covering many topics, but ISOCRACY just barely scratches the surface of the topics they cover! A small complaint, admittedly, because all-in-all, this is a fine job. Look for a future interview. [MICKEY]
LAST OPTION "Over Time" EP
After 2 tremendous, well-received demos, this Arizona HC band finally released their debut vinyl. If you've heard them before, then you know all about their blistering hardcore and aware, relevant lyrics. If you haven't heard them, then you're missing some great, thought-filled music. 8 tracks, all cool. This EP is great! [TONY]
DECEASED "The Evil Side of Religion" demo
DECEASED is a death metal band from Virginia with King Fowley on drums and vocals, Mark Adams on guitar, Doug Souther on guitar, and Rob Sterzel on bass.
Now with a name like DECEASED you probably wouldn't expect a reggae band with a slight pop edge. Don't! DECEASED are a totally noisy death metal band who scream with sick voices or don't scream at all. It sounds like everybody in the band tries their hand (claw) at singing (puking) for a few songs. Basically, this group isn't bad, but the production is piss poor and it definitely hurts whatever they're trying to accomplish. No lyrics are included but stories about chomping on human flesh sound like feasible topics. Since this demo is free (send a little money!), you might want to check it out if you're a NAPALM DEATH fan. (Though not reflected in their music, this band has a good attitude, in that they offer free demos and King also puts out a fanzine.) [TONY]
HERESY / CONCRETE SOX split LP
6 tunes apiece from 2 speedcore bands. Both do it well, but I was never a big fan of very, very thrash (except when done ala AOD). Vomity (is that a word?) vocals on both sides If speed is more important than melody, you'll like this (sort of like getting hit by a truck going 1000 mph). For me, though I've said it a million times, the slower parts are cool but the rest is a blur. Blender-core. [TONY]
METALLICA "The $5.98 EP Garage Days Revisited" EP
It's been a long, long time since I've heard anything interesting from these guys, and I guess the wait will have to continue. This EP has 6 covers, including KILLING JOKE's "The Wait" and the MISFITS' "Last Caress" and "Green Hell." Mildly entertaining (especially the above 2 tracks), but very monotonous at times. This is for METALLICA devotees only I'll wait for something better. [TONY]
NAPALM "All Out Assault" demo
NAPALM is a speedmetal band from New York. Their new line-up is Chris "The Monarch" Weidner on bass and vocals, Robert J. Proimos on drums, Jeff Lombardi on lead guitar and Chris Liggio on guitar.
Three very interesting tunes from this talented quartet. The first one, "Shake it Off," has some intensely fun riffing a la METALLICA. The second tune is prime-time SLAYER. The third song, "Immoral Society," shows a strong hardcore influence. All three styles are executed nicely. NAPALM has variety. They do not copy the bands mentioned above, but draw in influences from them and incorporate it with their own style. All of this, combined with great production, make this a notch above. [TONY]
PARADE "Love and War" LP
From two former members of the punk band PARIAH comes PARADE. I don't really know how to describe PARADE's sound: maybe post-punk power pop is most accurate. Very mellow and accessible. The vocals of Ray Lujan are smooth and refined, sometimes reminding me of Geddy Lee (RUSH), though not as high, and they blend nicely with the equally smooth music. The first time I listed to it I wasn't really crazy about it, but it held my interest enough to listen again. With the second and all following listens, it really appealed to me. Moody and pensive the lyrics deal primarily with personal topics. Since I don't limit myself to just one type of music, this album is a welcome change from the same old stuff. A fine LP. [TONY]
RKL "Keep Laughing" LP
Incredible band, incredible album! RKL (Rich Kids on LSD) play a unique blend of hardcore and old-time rock and roll. The result: some of the most rhythmic, foot-stompin', make-ya-wanna-smile hardcore you'll ever hear. I also really like the vocals, as they add to the overall sound. Previous to this masterpiece, they released a great 7" ("Beautiful Feeling!") and they recently released their second LP, which I am eager to hear. If you are looking for hardcore with a new flavor, drop some RKL and then just keep laughing. [TONY]
SANTA CLAUS Live 10/87 demo
SANTA CLAUS are a San Diego-based hardcore thrash band consisting of Robert Brown (bass, backing/lead vocals), Paul Massaro (drums, lead/backing vocals), and Mike Lucero (guitar). "Musically, we mix elements of hardcore punk, thrash metal, and other styles to obtain a unique and creative sound. Lyrically, we cover a wide range of topics which reflect personal issues in a serious/sarcastic manner."
This wacky trio plays some hyper-hardcore with a moderate metal influence (though much, much less metal flavor than their first demo, "Here Comes Santa Claus"). As with all music that is this fast, it sometimes gets a little out of sync on the speedy parts, but all in all, they are rather tight, especially considering that this is a live tape. Some of their lyrics would make GG ALLIN or INTENSE MUTILATION proud. Some of the songs are a bit too fast to be enjoyable, but most of them are a lot of fun, especially "V.D." and "Contraception." It should be very interesting to hear their new material done in the studio. [TONY]
UPSET NOISE "Nothing More to Be Said" LP
[Originally published: Issue #6, circa 1989]
This is thrash/power metal for those who hate it. You see it is metal (gosh, aren't labels convenient?!?), but not of the stereotypical variety. Some very good vocals sung by the rough-voiced frontman no falsetto screams or sick growls here. Also, there are very few guitar solos. (Solos are quite boring unless done extraordinarily well.) Good thrash, good slow parts no "chuga-chuga" riffing. Nine tracks, one of them in Italian. Not the greatest thing I've ever heard, but a thumbs up for originality. [TONY]
Copyright 2007 ThreateningSociety.com/PhillyPunkRock.com
CCM "Into the Void" LP
When these guys played with BGK at the Kennel Club (in the good ol' days), I thought they were spectacular. That's why this album is such a big disappointment. Some crushing hardcore with psychotic undertones. Strange. Noisy. Assrrrggghhh!!! The singer (I can't remember his name, only his knife scars) has adopted a total "vomit" approach to his vocals, and this makes the songs harder to endure. The album may hold interest for some people, but only if they can get out of their straight-jackets long enough to put it on the turntable. Seriously, this album is brain-torturing. [TONY]
DEAD JACKSONS "Greatest Hits" demo
DEAD JACKSONS "Greatest Hits": Fantastic! These guys really tickle my fancy, kicking out some fun, silly, thrashy punk tunes. Recorded very well (album quality), they display on this tape an impressive amount of talent. Although they seem to take themselves and their music lightly sometimes, it's very obvious that a lot of thought and musicianship went into this tape. It starts off very strong with the best song, "Driving In Place," and ends almost as strong with "You Laugh I Cry." In between, they go with a very original sound and dare to go where punk bands have never gone before including an amazing cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" (hilarious!). A great effort! Get it before it's no longer available! [MICKEY]
DEFAULT "Faith of Fraud" demo
DEFAULT is a band from Nottingham, England, with Loyd on vocals, Tom on bass, Col on guitars, and Scott on drums.
This is a very good demo. First off, the singer is great the sing-along choruses are some of the best that I've heard. Then, the music absolutely blows me away. Pure melodious hardcore which seems very refined. After your first listen, you'll be singing their songs for hours after. I guarantee it! Watch for their EP soon. I hope that it will be half as hot as this demo! [MICKEY]
RC "Intestine Casserole With Cheese" demo
RC is a speedcore band from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, with The Madman on guitars, Tumor on bass, and XXX on drums (they all share vocal chores).
Ultra-fast and heavy hardcore with vocals that make Satan sound like the BeeGees. For what they do they do it well -- I guess this is along the lines of NAPALM DEALTH or HERESY blurr-core. The slow parts are very intense so intense that I found myself tolerating the blender parts just to get to them. They do one song called "Nuclear Warhead" which is very good. A lyric sheet is desperately needed, though not included. The chrome cassette contains 14 tracks excellent production. I can't recommend this to most, but there are people who will love it. (Note: It gets a little better after repeated listening.) [MICKEY]
TRIP SIX "Back With a Vengance" demo
TRIP SIX is a hardcore band based in New York City. The members are Tommy Rat (ex-WARZONE, ex-PSYCHOSIS) on vocals, Stu (ex-PSYCHOS) on guitar, Zippy (current member of ULTRA VIOLENCE) on bass, and Josh (from SHOK) on drums. (The drummer on the tape is ex-WARZONE Charlie Rage, who is now in ULTRA VIOLENCE.) They say: "Our personal beliefs are to live the way you choose to live. It doesn't matter whether you're a punk, or a skinhead, or straight-edge or not. All we wanna do is play our music. Life's an ongoing trip, it can be 6 times better or 6 times worse."
These guys play some rather original grungy, old-style NY HC/punk. (As you can see, it's hard to label.) The first time you listen to it, some of the timing may be off, but that's just because it's not what you expect. But as you become more familiar with their songs, they really hit home with some good music. The muddy production on this tape hurts, but you might want to check this out if you're sick and tired of "moshing it up." [TONY]