Monday, October 29, 2007

Get Down - Get Down e.p.

In their short lifespan Get Down only played a handful of shows and recorded two 7"s of their Swiz heavy, DC influenced brand of melodic hardcore. Though their music isn't as as aggressive as the members previous bands (In My Eyes/American Nightmare/Panic), it has an unmistakable noisy energy I can't pinpoint, but keeps me listening to the songs on repeat in hopes I will figure it out. There's not much else I can say about this record other than it's fantastic and it's a shame they didn't do more. I regret posing on my only opportunity to see them (logistically) by not making the 18 hour drive to Boston for the last Suicide File show.

Their second 7" was just released after various complications and I anticipate it's as good as this one. Check it out from Mountain of Piss.

Get Down - E.P.
Buy It

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blacklisted - Live on WERS 12/17/06

A few months before Peace on Earth, War on Stage was released, Blacklisted played the Radiobeat program on Boston's WERS. The song selection is a mix of tracks from their proper releases and a new song titled "Setting Sun" which ended up on POE,WOS. These are interesting versions on the whole. George sings over a lot of the parts and offers up some amusing commentary in between songs. So, in the spirit of the classic WNYU sets, here is Blacklisted "Live on WERS."

Blacklisted - Live on WERS

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Slowdive - Souvlaki Demos and Outtakes

As my consumption and absorption of music has gone from moderate to rabid, the number of records I find completely satisfying are outweighed by a sea of great songs on otherwise "ok" albums. However, one record my love only grows for is Slowdive's masterpiece, Souvlaki. Its importance to music (especially in the world of shoegaze/dream pop) is equal to its sonic beauty and has been the backdrop to a lot of important moments in my life over the past 7 years or so since I first heard it. These demos mark the transition period between their first album Just for a Day and what would eventually become Souvlaki.

Of these 16 demos and outtakes, only "Dagger" actually made it on to the record and varies from the final version (the album version is played on acoustic guitar instead of the more ethereal, electric version presented here). It's a shame more of these songs didn't make the final cut or see any general release as I like some of them more than some of what ended up on other Slowdive records - namely "Summer Daze," "Stars that Shine" and "I Saw the Sun." My friend Nick and I used to discuss how good a band is by how good their b-sides are and Slowdive validates that theory.

Slowdive - Souvlaki Demos and Outtakes

Friday, October 19, 2007

Def Choice - Culture is Dead 7"

Def Choice originally formed in the late 90's/early '00's as straight edge youth crew band Definite Choice. As they progressed, they dropped the "inite" from their name and began playing a far more interesting brand of hc/punk, taking cues from bands like Born Against, Tear It Up and classic DC hardcore. Culture is Dead is the result of this transition in sound and attitude. It's 10 songs of witty, intelligent, well-written hardcore that should have garnered them much more notoriety (at least in terms of circle pitting) than it did. However, what they lacked in "mass appeal," they more than made up for in their ridiculous stage banter and fantastic punk song writing.

On a personal note, it's hard to accurately sum up how much Def Choice has meant to me over the years. My old band Time to Die played the majority of our shows with them including a very unsuccessful West Coast tour and a 4 day weekend. We took trips together, sang along and moshed for each others bands, shared a lot of stories and created a lot of memories. Being in that band and having Def Choice as our "brother band" mark some of my favorite moments being involved in hardcore and I still regret breaking up before we were able to do a split 7" with them.

Also, Steve, the drummer of Def Choice and Ryan (friend and frequent bass fill-in) have a new band called The Catburglars that have a few 7"s worth checking out.

Def Choice - Culture is Dead

Buy the 7" here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Against the Wall - Identify Me 7"

Despite their limited discography (consisting only of two demos, a 7" and a song on the "Generations of Hope" compilation) Southern California's Against the Wall remain among my favorites of the late 80's/early 90's California hardcore scene. A lot of ATW's, slower, heavier riffs bring to mind their New York contemporaries in Judge, but unlike Judge they aren't afraid to mix it up with more melodic "groove" ala later Turning Point material (see: the chorus of "Burning" and much of "It Wears Thin") and solid straight-forward fast parts. If you aren't into the later TP material, don't let that comparison sway you because every song on Identify Me is still hard, fast, and everything a traditional hardcore song should be. The lyrics are pretty standard fare about personal struggle and ambiguous songs about hardcore/straight edge/personal politics. Members went on to more popular and more frequently namechecked bands like Ignite, Outspoken, Amendment 18 and Mean Season, but I'd take this record over any single record from any of those bands.

Ever since I've played in bands I've wanted to cover the intro to "It's Time" because the drums sound so huge and the riff makes me lose my mind every time I hear it.

Against the Wall - Identify Me