I won’t spend any further words to describe IRON WITCH, since I already spread quite a range of posts about these Sludge-lovin’ Liverpudlians. Just as much: They still rule. Ok, their newest output is another 7”, which is awesome, and will be released in February by Endtyme Records. The title is just as hilarious as of the previous release: After last year’s Post Vegas Blues you’ll now get Hangover Suicide. The cover artwork is fucking gnarly and goes hand in hand with the bleakness of the music.
Looking at the musical side of things I really have to write the five forbidden words: Their best output to date. The two songs on this EP show a developed band that knows what sound it’s aiming for, but isn’t afraid to do things differently to hundreds of other Sludge bands. On side A you’ll find Death was the colour, a song that starts with a short and mean repetitive riff that torments your auditory canals like a wisely used drilling machine in your favourite splatter movie. The mid- to lava-esque speed throughout the song is just the perfect pace for the cancerous vocal delivery. A very harsh track. If you think that it can’t get any better, flip the vinyl and kill yourself: The title track features a riff whose emergence can only be explained like this:
Greg Ginn invented time travel in around 1984 and due to unpredictable circumstances finds himself in IRON WITCH’s rehearsal room. Since he is a good man willing to help other bands out he’s like: “Well, you guys can use this super fucked up riff I wrote the other day. I wanted to use it in Black Flags upcoming album, but Henry is a total pain in the ass about it, so it’s kind of a left over I want to give to you. But make sure you keep the odd time signature.” Aaaaaand he’s gone, back to the 80ies.
And as if this amazing Black Flag’ish riff wouldn’t be enough to write like at least five outstanding songs with it, the track evolves into an almost hypnotic, trance-like riffage that wouldn’t be misplaced on a Yob album. All the while keeping the shit heavy as fuck, of course.
Burn assholes burn!!! South Carolina’s BURNT BOOKS‘ self-titled album will be released by At A Loss Recordings on Jan. 22nd, and it is full of hellfire! This band manifest totally off-beat angular punk that will also have you thinking with killer lyrics. It’s our honor to be debuting their new song “Golden Gates, Golden Streets” below. Fuck being abnormal inside of normal, just blast some BURNT BOOKS and your world will be a cool place to be in…
Another year’s nearly gone by, and I have the honour of compiling CVLT Nation’s top 6 of German releases. I’ve tried to include releases from at least somewhat differing genres, as well as different formats (not just full length records) and also from new, exciting bands as well as established acts. Of course, a top six can never be complete, considering the huge amount of records released in one year, and naturally these choices are completely and utterly subjective. There are a bunch of other records I could have put easily on this list as well: O, Red Apollo or White Fields for example all released amazing records this year, but somehow I had to make decisions. Let us know in the comments section which records would have been on your top 6 German releases list and if we might agree on one or another! Oh and I cheated here and there a tiny bit, but I guess it should be fine with the golden rules of best-of-listing. Let’s go:
I knew when I picked up the first issue of MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL I was going to love it just by looking at the kind of paper it was printed on. Then there was the layout, which was chaotic but made total sense to my young mind. Being from Southern California, I was an avid reader of Flipside, but MRR spoke to me in a different way. My favorite part of the magazine was the national and international scene reports that helped get me into gnarly bands from around the world. This was in 1982, so without these mags it was hard to find out about music that was not coming from our neighborhood. I can honestly say that these scene reports had such a big influence on me, which is why we always wanted CVLT Nation to have a global aspect to it! MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL even changed the way that promoters booked shows – it was because of them that Goldenvoice started putting on international gigs with bands from all over the world. Then there was the politics of this fanzine; they talked about things that other zines at the time would never talk about. MRR made me want to be an activist and make a difference in the world in some way. After I heard the “Not So Quiet on The Western Front,” the way I listened to punk was never the same. This was a record that I played over and over and never got bored of! One day I will never forget was in 1984, the “summer of hate” in San Francisco due to the Skinheads (B.A.SH & S.F.Skins) terrorizing the scene. Tim Yohannan invited Mark Dagger and his other skinhead goons on to the MRR radio show, and they went head to head with them about their racist beliefs. Tim Yohannan ripped them a new one! The fallout from this show was that the skinheads wanted to destroy the anarchist bookstore on Haight St. You can now go HERE and download the first 8 issues of this fanzine that has helped shape worldwide punk culture. After the jump check a video essay of some of the bands that were featured in MRR in the early days, as well as some screenshots of the first issues. CVLT Nation salutes MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL for being around for 30 years – thank you for changing my life!
It really thrills me how many enthusiastic, super devoted people are active in the worldwide heavy music community. As if it wouldn’t be enough to play in rad bands, a lot of dudes and dudettes also release records on their own labels, being totally independent of the music industry and its shitty rules. Rick from CVLT Nations’s favourite Liverpudlian Sludge monsters IRON WITCH has recently started a label as well, titled BAITIN THE TRAP RECORDS. With a pretty wide focus BTTR is going to unleash heavy bands from all sub-genres onto the masses: Sludge, Grind, Metal, Hardcore, Punk – it’s all going to be in the mix. So better keep your eyes peeled for this and let yourself be introduced to the first two releases further down!
Here’s what Rick himself has to say about BAITIN THE TRAP RECORDS:
The reason behind starting the label was simply the thought of not being involved with music in some way or another, is depressing as fuck. Coming home from the 9-5 and having nothing to do other than wait to go back in the next day. I love hearing new bands and new records so it made sense to do it. It’s been on my mind for a few years but until now I haven’t really had the time.
CVLT Nation is so stoked that STRIFE is back with a vengence with the release of their new album Witness A Rebirth! Now read what inspired Andrew to pick the bands he did for this gnarly mixtape!
The Hardcore Alphabet is a collection of some of my favorite hardcore songs of all time. “Witness A Rebirth” is about taking everything that I learned about hardcore from the bands that inspired me and passing that down to the new generation of hardcore kids… This generation has their favorite bands, their heroes, and their own glory days… All we can do is offer them knowledge that has been passed down to us and hope that they preserve the true spirit of hardcore… Newer bands like Down To Nothing, Rotting Out, Take Offense, and Piece by Piece are doing just that… I get the same energy and inspiration seeing them as I did seeing classic bands such as Judge, Warzone, Chain of Strength, or Infest…
Hopefully this mix inspires you to check out some of the bands both old and new! Thanks for listening!
Stream The Hardcore Alphabet With Andrew from Strife:
I originally contacted Lisa Fancher in April of 2007, and asked if I could do a short 20 question interview with her, she quickly agreed, so we shot emails back and forth for a while, and then six months past and nothing, then this past week I get a big shock, all twenty questions filled out and sent back to me. Turns out Ms. Fancher had completed this for me some time ago, but my email had somehow been filed in her draft folder instead of being sent. It’s a good interview, so it was worth the wait.
I was trying to come up with an all-encompassing introduction for the owner, and founder of one of the greatest punk record labels of all time, but as I was clicking around on the web I found the official bio that was written, and posted on the Frontier Records site. It’s pretty much everything I would’ve written myself, read on:
“Frontier Records was founded in 1980 by Lisa Fancher. It was one of the first independent labels to document the nascent hard-core punk rock scene of Los Angeles before branching out into other scenes and sounds such as the so-called “Paisley Underground” and (always) guitar-based bands such as Thin White Rope, The Young Fresh Fellows and Heatmiser.
After learning the indie label ropes from her mentors Greg and Suzy Shaw at Bomp! Records, Fancher first hit the jackpot with the release of Group Sex by the Circle Jerks (it should be noted that very first Frontier release was the self-titled EP by the Flyboys). The success of Group Sex set the label up for iconic punk releases by the Adolescents, T.S.O.L., China White and Suicidal Tendencies (whose defining anthem “Institutionalized” made its appearance here). Also of note from this era was the discovery of the ultimate Goth band, Christian Death, and the release of its masterpiece, Only Theatre of Pain. The importance of these albums cannot be overstated. It’s hard to imagine the future worldwide success of the Offspring, Green Day or Blink 182 without them!”
On with the interview:
1. When did you start Frontier and what gave you the idea to start a punk label?
Though I took the Flyboys in the studio in 1979, I set the official start date of Frontier as March 1980 as that’s when the record came out. I was very “into” the LA punk scene from the beginning but didn’t have any funds to even consider releasing Screamers or Weirdos 45s. I was working at Bomp at the time so I knew all the steps to releasing a record so I just decided to try it out for myself. I wish I could say it was kind of a business plan but it was just something I decided to do for yucks. I never intended it to be a punk label exclusively; it just worked out that way since those were the best bands at the time. There was nothing else going on here except shit like Van Halen, believe me!
The year was 1984, and all of the young westside punks terrorized our hood on skate decks. Hardcore bands started to realize this, so they made boards. Some of the first groups to do it were Suicidal Tendecies and The Big Boys. It made total sense, because many of these bands had members who skated. When I heard Black Flag was coming out with a deck, I was super stoked. Now here is your chance to the story behind the creation of this hardcore deck that is now a collector’s item. Jordan Schwartz of We Got Power & Jim McDowell of Rip City Skates get down to the nitty gritty and talk about this piece of skate history. Check out this entertaining and informative interview after the jump!
Way before there was ever a term “street punk,” there was G.B.H. and they fucking rocked!!! I get chills thinking about the first time I saw them at the Santa Monica Civic with SSDecontrol in 1983. I went to the show early and hung out with both bands and had a blast. Then the sun went down and the punk rock madness began. G.B.H. played all of their hits and gave a fucking killer show that I will never forget. As usual, the promoter for the gig was Goldenvoice, who would bring back G.B.H. and other insane bands time and time again. They are one of the bands off of Clay records that do not get the credit they deserve. G.B.H. inspired many young bands stateside and if you ask many heads from my generation what British band gave the best show, they would all say G.B.H.…So today, CVLT Nation would like to celebrate these Sick Boys…Peep G.B.H. at Victoria Hall, Hanley, Leeds 11th March, 1983, after the jump!
My brain is being attacked by the noise aliens right now. I know who is really attacking me right now – it’s the weird sound of Glasgow’s DIVORCE.This band’s new self-titled album out now on Night School Records is a grand excerise in originality. At times, it might seem like where the fuck are their songs headed, but when you listen deeper you will hear the real method in their madness. DIVORCE makes some of the most bugged-out punk rock that I have ever heard. Imagine if the X-RAY SPEX were forced to eat the songwriting skills of the FALL – this sort of decribes their sound. What I really like about DIVORCE is all of the demented grooves that swirl around their tunes. On song after song on this album, they hammer your inner ear with aggro art angst that will leave you with a brand new sense of the absurd. Every minute of this album you can hear the fun that this band has. Right now their is some serious shit happening in the underground over in the United Kingdom, and DIVORCE is evident of this new wave of awesomeness. Part of what is going on is that many types of different genres of bands share the same bill at shows, so in a very organic way they are exchanging ideas. Please don’t leave me…I don’t want a DIVORCE because music wouldn’t be the same without you…peep their tunes below and spazz the fuck out!