Sunday, July 31, 2016

16 Lifespan of a Moth

Lifespan of a Moth
Relapse Records
Released: July 15, 2016

Put another way...
This is heavy, tight, sludge-metal brutality.

Great songwriting. I mean, -(16)- perfectly switches things up between songs and especially within the songs. Not many can do what they do.

How they write these songs is demonstrative of their prowess.

One of the most powerful records I've heard in a long time.

Take the heaviest pieces of Buzzoven, Eyehategod, Melvins and Pentagram and you will have an idea of what 16 are about. But not quite, because this is 16 and they don't sound exactly like any of those bands. Hell there is even some St. Vitus in there, but completely altered. But I know something started there and they evolved from it... 

Check out the video for "Peaches, Cream and the Placenta":

If I could, I would watch these guys perform their set all day. If they would have shot the entire album with the same camera work from "Peaches...", I'd watch it. Study it.

And it doesn't stop. It becomes quite punishing. Listening to the entirety of "Lifespan of a Moth" will take you on a very heavy, frightening, powerful trip.

-(16)- is:
Cris Jerue – vocals
Bobby Ferry – guitar, vocals
Barney Firks – bass
Dion Thurman – drums

I don't do drugs, but I'm 100% sure you stoners will love "Lifespan of a Moth", the seventh album by -(16)-. Us non-stoners love it too.

Gotta play this LOUD. Put the headphones on and turn the lights out if you dare.

Frank FOE

Kohti Tuhoa "Rutiinin Orja"

Kohti Tuhoa
"Rutiinin Orja"
Southern Lord
Released: July 29, 2016
Finnish Hardcore. 

This brings me back to the 1980's when I used to mailorder records from Finland and Sweden. I'd wrap my cash up and send it away. Wonderful records would greet me at my mailbox.

Kohti Tuhoa captures all the best of classic d-beat, Japanese, Finnish and Swedish hardcore perfectly. Yes, Dbeat from Japan, Finland and Sweden in a blender. I'm in love.

Helena's vocals are amazing. The beats and guitars relentless. This pays tribute to the obvious roots, but with 2016 results. F*<&in' hell this is brutal.

Love this record. Makes me crazy. Wanna smash it up.

Southern Lord is releasing "Rutiinin Orja" on digital and LP formats in North America while Svart handles Europe. Southern Lord will also issue a worldiwde CD pressing that also contains the band’s previously-released 7".

Frank FOE

Spazz Sweatin

Sweatin' To The Oldies Volume 1 & 3
Released: March 11, 2016

I was blessed to be able to obtain just about every Spazz record released either on vinyl or CD. I even obtained these CDs when they first were released.

Got to see Spazz in Philadelphia:

I think I see myself somewhere in this mass of humanity. I think I hear Greg Chumpire telling Spazz to play Sockeye as well.

Tankcrimes was nice enough to bring these releases back in print. 

While I wish this were some sort of massive multi-lp box set with digital downloads of every Spazz song ever recorded, this will have to do. 

If you don't know Spazz, you don't know powerviolence as a musical genre. You should introduce yourself through these releases or just complete your Spazz collection. 

"Sweatin' To The Oldies" was originally released on Slap A Ham Records in 1997. "Sweatin'" compiles sixty-four tracks from splits released with Charles Bronson, Brutal Truth, Rupture, Floor and more from 1993-1996 as well as SPAZZ’s debut EP, tracks from various comps including Better Read Than Dead (1996, Epitaph/AK Press), cover tunes and live cuts from KFJC and 924 Gilman St.

"Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon" was originally released on Slap A Ham Records in 2001. "Skatin', Satan & Katon" compiles sixty-seven tracks from splits with 25 Ta Life, Lack Of Interest, Hirax (and thus Katon), Black Army Jacket, Gob and more released from 1995 through 1998 plus the Tastin’ Spoon EP and tracks from a host of compilation appearances including Short Music For Short People (1999, Fat Wreck Chords) and the original motion picture soundtrack for Gummo.

Both releases come remastered, or in some cases mastered for the first time ever, by Dan Randall (Ghoul, Impaled, Voetsek, Temple Of Dagon et al) at Mammoth Sound.

Spazz is one of my all time favorite bands.
Slap A Ham is one of my all time favorite labels.

Suggestion: Obtain these.

Frank FOE

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dive in the Box "Relegation Battle"

Dive in the Box
"Relegation Battle"
Violated Records
Released: March 12, 2016

The Philadelphia band Dive in the Box is inspired by their love of punk, oi, drinking and soccer (specifically the Philadelphia Union). 

"Relegation Battle" goes by quickly. You could listen to the entire CD (10 songs in 22 minutes) a few times during your typical soccer match. And while their sound definitely has a modern pogo punx influence, there are also posi-core and pop-punk (or power pop if you want to go back further) influences that smooth the sound out and make it listenable across multiple genres rather than just being street punk specific.

Not sure why they named the band Dive in the Box. Maybe it is sexual as my search in the urban dictionary suggested. I'm suspecting it is a soccer reference.

The definition of the box in soccer:

BOX: The box means the penalty area. Sometimes called the 18-yard box, to distinguish it from the goal area, which is the 6-yard box (for those with a metric turn of mind, the corresponding measurements are 16.5 meters and 5.5 meters).

As a hockey fan (having witnessed Sidney Crosby diving and crying repeatedly) and part time soccer coach, I know the definition of a "dive": an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed. Dives are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge. Deciding on whether a player has dived is often very subjective, and one of the most controversial aspects of the sport. 

Check out "Relegation Battle" and "Turn the Tides" for great examples of what Dive In The Box has to offer. The bandcamp page does not include one of the songs from the CD, "ะคK " (written by Leningrad), which is one of my favorites from the CD, even though I don't understand the language being used in the song!

Frank FOE

Strike "Oi Collection"

The Strike
"The Oi Collection"
Violated Records
Released: March 30, 2016

When I was a youngster back in the early 80s, everyone I knew who was getting into punk rock purchased a copy of the compilation "Strength Thru Oi!". The compilation album from 1981 was released on Decca records with the assistance of Sounds magazine. A classic sampler of what was going on across the Atlantic Ocean that included songs by the 4-Skins, Cock Sparrer, Infa Riot, Toy Dolls, Last Resort and two tracks by The Strike ("Gang Warfare" and "Skinhead").

While those two songs are definitely punk and oi classics and obviously included here on "The Oi Collection", unlike the other bands on the album, you couldn't get any other songs! If they would have put out an album in the early 1980s, every one of my punk rock friends who bought this album would have purchased that album too. Cock Sparrer, Infa Riot and 4-skins were always huge in the early Lehigh Valley punk scene. 

From The Strike bio: During 1982 the band recorded demos with the intention of completing their debut LP. Unfortunately the LP was never realized but the demos survived and the songs appeared on a string of compilation albums throughout the 1980’s. In 2004 Captain Oi! released all of the bands recorded material on “The Strike the Oi! Collection”. The CD was never released in North America and has been out of print for some time. Violated Records have remastered the material are releasing the CD in North America for the first time.

Thanks to Patryk Boyle (Violent Society) of Violated Records for getting this released in the US for the first time. Mr. Boyle is a legend in his own right and Violated Records is putting out some magical releases. I believe there still is no vinyl version in the US (Rebellion Records NL)... 

1.Gang Warfare (Remastered) 
2. Skinhead (Remastered) 
3. Victims (Remastered) 
4. Anthem For The 80’s (Remastered) 
5. Alien (Remastered) 
6. When The War Is Over (Remastered) 
7. Agony Of The Nation (Remastered) 
8. Action Man (Remastered) 
9. Hungry Gun (Remastered) 
10. Mania (Remastered) 
11. Cry Of The Youth (Remastered) 
12. Victims (Demo Version)( Remastered) 
13. When The War Is Over (Demo Version) (Remastered) 
14. Anthem For The 80's (Demo Version)(remastered)

Founding member Fergus (vocals, bass), now living in Canada, has put together a new lineup (as of 2015) and we should be hearing more from the Strike. All of this is perfect timing as The Strike are playing Philadelphia PA this Fall at the Take This Bird and Shove It Fest 2. Also on the bill is Infa Riot, Special Duties, Violent Society, Zex, DDC, Duffy's Cut, Funeral Dress, Krays and many more!

Frank FOE

Monday, July 4, 2016

Parasitix Blanks 77

Parasitix & Blanks 77 
Record Release Show
at the Phillipsburg New Jersey Mall
July 2, 2016

Yes, Parasitx and Blanks 77 played at Spin Me Round Records to celebrate the release of their split LP/CD on Jailhouse Records . Spin Me Round Records just so happens to be in the Phillipsburg Mall, right across from Auntie Anne's Pretzels.

I hope you enjoy the photos I took. Recently got a new camera and have been trying to figure it out. This was the first show I attended where I actually had any kind of success with the photos. So I now share with you many photos from a great day!o

The Phillipsburg Mall was pretty vacant. The downturn in Malls is well documented but this place was d-e-a-d. Walt called it perfectly... The Mall was VERY empty, except for spiky punk rockers. Dawn of the Dead - punk version.

Aeropostale looks like they are going out of business..

Not one person was working out at Golds Gym (wish I belonged to a gym like this)...

These photos were taken at 7:00 PM... on a Saturday night...

Johnny Generic (oops, now Johnny OG, aka JOG, aka Johnny Up To No Good) was ruler of the mall.

Chaotic Meltdown got things started off.

Appropriate thrash and metal to warn off any curiosity seekers. The volume could be heard down the corridors of the P-burg Mall. This was a perfectly classic way to start the night off!

J.O.G. guarding the pizza and H2O

Next up was Washington NJ based Vengents

The punk and metal influenced band proved to be the perfect soundtrack for my record purchasing and browsing at Spin Me Round. 

Picked up the Blanks 77 / Parasitix split LP, The Gee Strings "Arrest Me" LP (I already have their excellent LPs "A Bunch of Bugs" and "Alternative Losers"), The Ink Spots "10 of the Best Ink Spots Hits" (my son actually turned me on to this band via the video game Fall Out 3... the Ink Spots were active during the 1930s and 1940s) and The Allentown Band LP from 1985 "Our Band Heritage" (I actually worked with a guy who plays trumpet on this LP... he also frequents Double Decker Records). Very successful vinyl shopping trip at Spin Me Round!

Wall full of Blanks and Parasitix at Spin Me Round

The Parasitix have been one of my favorite punk bands over the last few years. Their shows are typically over 21, heavy drinking events. Vocalist Paul Wilde found it difficult to remember the last all ages show they played. As they got started with their raucous set, I wondered how their obscenity laced drunk punk wouldn't get someone arrested today, but then I remembered there was no one in the Mall to offend.

Drummer Josiah gave a pre-set, emotionally charged love speech to everyone who helped leading up to the release of this split record with Blanks 77. He almost cried.

The Parasitix ruled as usual. Punks were singing along, pogo dancing, circle pit skanking, fists raised, hardcore moshing and EVERYONE was smiling!

It was also a great opportunity for those who do not frequent the bars the Parasitix typically play to get to see the band... and bring along the kids. Lots of babies at this show. Lots of parents and grandparents too.

Johnny OG making sure the band stays hydrated

Lots of items went flying during the Parasitix set. Including a pair of glasses that Paul Wilde thought belonged to Milo Aukerman. But this very un-Milo Parasitix fan demanded they were his glasses!

Glasses relinquished with a smile.

The Parasitix set list:

If you didn't know the lyrics to their songs so you could join in on the festivities of singing along, I suggest you head over to their bandcamp page and download (for free you "jabroni") their 2013 recording "Pogo on a Politician". And of course buy the new split with the Blanks 77...

By the way, I had to use the Urban Dictionary to get the definition and meaning of "jabroni":

A slang term in professional wrestling first used by the Iron Sheik and then again later by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It is derived from the word jobber, which is someone who routinely loses, or "does the job".
The Rock says, "Know your role and shut your mouth, jabroni!"

As Paul seems to take on the Iron Sheik persona, I am assuming this is his reference.

These definitions also seem to apply:

A punk/idiot. Someone who you try to avoid. Someone with no redeeming qualities.
Oh hey look it's Pauly c! What a jabroni. We should probably leave.

A Jabroni is someone who sucks. Jabroni's are often inferior in skills such as light-sabering, dancing, or playing video games. Jabroni's can not make decent cocktails.
Our roommate is such a Jabroni.

I have been a fan of Blanks 77 since before their members turned 35 (see a great interview I did with the band in FOE zine issue #29 at this link -  read it to find out many things about the Blanks 77 - such as who was stripping for guitar & amp money, the time they beat up a bouncer at City Gardens and how much money, booze and speed it will really cost you to book Blanks 77).

Blanks 77 started out in 1990 and were a great influence on the Parasitix.

The Blanks 77 never fail to provide for an amazing time. I don't know how many times I have seen them over the years, but I love them every time.

Blanks 77 Bassist's father came out to the show... and was in the pit...

Can you spot his Dad in the pit? By the way, I need/want one of those walker/chairs... 

Mike doesn't trust open bottles of water from the crowd...

This guy loves open containers!

Lost "bullet" in the pit... in a mall... yikes...

Blanks 77 set list


Life affirming gig for sure.

Frank FOE

PS  I was thinking... since malls like these are going downhill... how cool would it be to turn an entire mall into a food/bar/band performance area... Friday and Saturday nights with each old out of business storefront turned into a club... different genres, different food stores... open on Fridays - Sundays like the farmers markets... except it is all food, live music, record stores, music equipment stores, related specialty stores ("Studs and Suds Shoppe" - where you could buy leather jacket accessories and beer Etc...), ... swap meet space, recording studios, band practice rooms... you could just show up and there would be all varieties of music playing in each store on a Friday night... say the second band sucks, you could go for a walk in the mall corridor and get some food or check out a band playing in the next shop... Hot Topic could stay... oh wait, Phillipsburg Mall doesn't even have a Hot Topic!