March 19, 2019

EKULU, "Half Alive" EP

A pair of new songs from New York City's EKULU, still wearing The Icemen/Dynamo and Cro-Mags influences on their sleeves, but showcasing a lot more personality and character this time around. To the point New York Hardcore with classy hard riffs and great vocal delivery will have you coming back for more in no time.


February 22, 2019

Shadows And Tall Trees #3

PDF Download: Shadows And Tall Trees #3

This was a good one from the early 90's done by my friend Dave Natoli. Lots of great photos and reviews from quite a few nostalgic Syracuse shows, as well as record and fanzine reviews, Straight Edge, scene talk, and playlists.

Will be posting a few more follow-up issues of Shadows And Tall Trees, as well as an issue of Still Believe, what SATT was later renamed.

February 4, 2019

Fresh From ‘89 You Suckas!
: 
Howie Abrams (NoEcho.net)


By 1989, I began outgrowing the cheesiness of a lot of the Metal my musical diet consisted of and began finding a lot more real-life, raw and relatable underground Hardcore/Punk and Crossover bands, namely via Thrasher Magazine and/or the soundtrack of whatever skateboard video was saturating my life. 

The little town I grew up in had a couple of record stores in it, as well as a hole in the wall comic book store that also served as a small record shop. This is where I'd spend a good amount of my time (and allowance) scouring the stock hoping to come across titles of any of these new bands I was learning about. Sometimes with a miss but more often than not, a score. While many scenesters of the time would complain how some independent labels were "selling out" and getting distribution deals, had it not been for those deals, these tiny record stores in my area would never have had the chance to stock their shelves to service kids like us, the new generation of Hardcore keeping the wheels moving and the scene progressing.

It was a phenomenal time to be a freshly planted seed in fertile soil as the musical rain was plentiful that year and it certainly gave birth to quite a beautiful garden.

Every song on this No Echo list by Howie Abrams hit a mark and remain to be some of the most influential and inspiring bands, artists, and talents to have grown from that era.

http://www.noecho.net/lists/hardcore-punk-albums-1989


February 2, 2019

INFUSION, "Demo 1993"

One of Syracuse Hardcore's unsung gems—INFUSION. From a time when Earth Crisis and Vegan Straight Edge themed bands dominated the local music scene, these guys had a hard time fitting into that mix and barely tend to get a mention in its chronicles.

Leaning more on the Metal side of the early 90s Crossover vibe, the music and craftsmanship on these songs speak for themselves. The band eventually morphed into BLOOD RUNS BLACK releasing some equally incredible material in the same vein through the late '90s. Members later played in The Farthest Man (featuring Shane Durgee) and Godbelow, who brought the Infusion/BRB sound to the next level in the early 2000s. Enjoy!

LISTEN

December 3, 2018

Sound Exchange (Tampa, FL)

Cruised down to Tampa for an overnight trip to surprise my folks for their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Friday. Woke up on Saturday with some time to kill before dropping off the rental and hopping on my flight back to NY, so I looked up record stores in the area and came across Sound Exchange just a few miles away.

Having already dug deep into my pockets for the overnight visit, and giving myself a reasonable mental budget to spend when walking in to see an expansive selection of music formats and goods, I eventually came upon a nicely categorized, and neatly organized, vinyl selection tucked nicely in the right-hand corner of the building. Always seeking to find the Metal and/or Hardcore section(s) first, I have to say, I was a bit shocked to find that—in Tampa, the Fatherland of Death Metal—there wasn't much of a designated Metal section... and nothing at all designated for Punk/Hardcore. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my behalf, but I was hoping to be floored with a substantially stocked Metal section.

After spending around 45 minutes thumbing through the various vinyl sections alphabetically, I was excited to come across and pull out the following records all totaling up within the comfortable little budget I set for myself.



The Wretched Ones - Hey Old Man
THE WRETCHED ONES - Hey Old Man 7" (Pogostick Records)
Being a familiar band name I've seen for years, from New Jersey, and only a couple bucks I grabbed it. The Punk/Oi thing has never really been much of an interest but this was actually a decent enough listen. Glad to have picked it up.

No Future? - ...You Decide!
NO FUTURE? - ...You Decide! 7" (One Way Records)
Another blind purchase but grabbed it, again, based on it being New Jersey origin. Very early-90's Hardcore and of it's time, aka "awkward". Has a New Jersey Hardcore feel riding somewhere between Turning Point at times and even comes with an Underdog-style Reggae break. Recorded and mixed by Don Fury.

MDC - Smoke Signals
MDC - Smoke Signals 12" (Beer City Records)
I always thought my gateway record into MDC was "This Blood's For You", but after spinning this for the first time in what seems like forever, I was quickly reminded of what were some of my favorite introductory MDC songs. Side A is pretty much flawless with 'Missile Destroyed Civilization' on Side B being an all-time favorite MDC song. Love the white vinyl, design, and layout. Super stoked to have grabbed this.

Kraut - An Adjustment To Society
KRAUT - An Adjustment To Society 12" (Cabbage Records)
Having never owned a vinyl copy of this, as soon as I saw it and for the price it was marked at, it was mine. Original pressing with original shrinkwrap in excellent condition. This come-up alone was worth the entire visit.

Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality [Winchester Press] 12" (Warner Bros. Records)
Never seen this version with the lyrics printed on the back cover, so had to grab it thinking it would be an alternate duplicate copy of my favorite Sabbath record. Got home, spun it, went to put it away and realized I somehow didn't even own a copy of this record yet. Nice surprise and a cool version to finally add to the collection.

OLD SKULL - Get Outta School
OLD SKULL - Get Outta School 12" (Restless Records)
If you were around when Old Skull came out and saw this for $1.99, your ass would be buying it too. I remember it being pretty unlistenable then, so when I barely got through the first half of the first song, I'm glad I didn't pay much more than what I did for it. Still love what they stood for and that they were the first recognized pre-teen Punk band, from the middle of America.

SLAMMIN' WATUSIS - Kings Of Noise
SLAMMIN' WATUSIS - Kings Of Noise 12" (Epic)
One of those band names and albums that looked incredibly familiar, but could not (and still can't) figure out where I know or heard of them from. Pretty catchy Punk-derivative Rock N' Roll featuring Mark Durante who went on to work heavily with Revolting Cocks and KMFDM.



Super friendly customer service that continued with a great conversation at checkout made for a memorable and impressionable first-time visit. Looking forward to checking out the second location in Pinellas, and stopping in at this location again, on my next Tampa visit.