It’s almost preposterous say in the first sentence of a review, but Unru have created perhaps one of my favorite releases of the year and it’s a demo. Unru hail from Germany and, like many bands of the more contemporary blackened crust movement, only reveal themselves through veiled mystique and runes. But image aside, let’s talk about the powerhouse that is DEMO MMXIII.
The demo itself brings with it all of the gritty qualities one would expect to be associated with a demo: low production, cymbals crashing and creating waves of non-sound, guitars that are seemingly lost in the mix, however none of this is a slight against Unru in the least bit and if anything, it really drives the point home. Four interlude tracks I-V serve as moments of atmosphere for the album, giving the listener breaks in-between the absolute onslaught that is DEMO MMXIII. I think what strikes me the most about Unru is the ridiculous vocal sound because I’ve never quite heard anything like it; the vocalist creates something so animalistic and sinister that it’s actually quite exciting to hear from track to track. Similarly, I felt as though the drums throughout most of the tracks held a particular antagonistic relationship with the guitar, much to each instrument’s benefit.
Throughout the album, it becomes evident that Unru have a single idea in mind and execute it to the best of the ability. Unru avoid some of the more typical conventions of blackened crust (or d-beat) such as alluring listeners with enigmatic aesthetic and instead give them exactly what they’ve been looking for without the bullshit. Tracks such as “Es schiebt sich zwischen uns, wie Schatten” and “Ich bin der Hexenmeister” showcase their ability to avoid cliche in lieu of a distinctly primitive, chaotic burst of music.
Pick up what is one of my favorite demo releases of the year right here.
Southern California’s Stoic Violence fly off the handle with their Self Titled 12” delivering eight tracks of straight forward angry punk rock.
Sounding like they took a time machine from 1981 Stoic Violence spew their motorcycle jackets and doc marten brand of hardcore in your face drawing on guitar riffs and drum beats from the time when punk was transitioning into the heavier and angrier forms of hardcore and d-beat. They manage to keep the catchy, simple, infectious song structures and hooks of early punk but bring in the angry and destructive tendencies that followed. The perfect soundtrack for a skate video this 12” clocks in under 10 minutes with songs all being around a minute long. The vocals screech with angry over the buzzing guitars and blasting drums as they blow through track after track.
No Racism, No Sexism, No Mistreatment of animals, No Aparthied, No Nuclear War…but yes to the rights of the downpressed worldwide! These were thoughts on our minds in 1983/84. We were the kids of the Anarcho-Punk generation & we were willing to fight for a better world. Our political foundation had its roots in the UK & the humans that set it all off were CRASS & their motley krew of peace punk weirdos. In 2006, Roy Wallace made a documentary called THE DAY THE COUNTRY DIED that gave the British peace punk scene a face. This is a super rad film that goes deep into what started this scene. One thing that I really dig about this documentary is that Wallace speaks to many of the unsung heroes of this movement. The film you are about to see shows the humans that fought the struggle for what is now called Dis-Beat, Crust & Peace Punk. When I see kids today that have taken the path of many of these people in THE DAY THE COUNTRY DIED, I know the struggle was not for nothing. So after the jump, enjoy this epic documentary!
Being in a room filled with passionate people is priceless, especialy when everyone is focused on hearing kick ass music. This has been happening around the world for decades and it never gets boring! In Philly in 1997, the band HIS HERO IS GONE performed to one of these kinds of crowds and the energy from this gig jumps out of the screen. Check out this off the hook show from a stellar band after the jump…Shows put on by punks for punks will always be the shit!
Death Metal and Grind mixed with Surf Rock???? Yes, you heard right. Here we have a group of five foul mouthed surf zombies hailing from the decrepit sands of Wormwood Beach, CA.. (Fresno, CA to be exact) entitled GORESHACK and here is their brand new full length album entitled “Surf.Mosh.Kill” that is an extremely well executed mix of Death Metal, Thrash, Grind and Surf Rock wrapped up in an awesomely wacky, kooky surf-zombie filled package full of great sound bits, song themes and punishing tracks that’s just all about having a fucking blast doing it while hammering your face in all at once. GORESHACK pays homage to the gore-soaked likes of GHOUL, EXHUMED, CARCASS, IMPALED, SPLATTERHOUSE and IMPETIGO along with some Surf Rock masters like DICK DALE and THE BEACH BOYS.
You know when you hear a band that you just want everyone to hear because they are that fucking bonkers? Well, Oakland’s Dead Man is that band for me right now. So you better take heed and listen to their death metal/punk infused demo entitled The All Too Well Known coming out on Vandals and Thieves Records (pre-order tape HERE). All four songs on this tape are fucking straight bangers and will have you diving off of the tombstones in your mind. We are so stoked to be streaming Dead Man’s demo The All Too Well Known in full below!…Stay tuned for a full review of this unreal tape coming soon!
Review and Video Essay by Ted Reckoning
As it often is in Vancouver this time of year, it was rainy and shitty outside. It was one of those nights when you don’t want to leave your house for any reason at all once you’ve gotten home from work but you know that you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t. I grabbed my gear and begrudgingly headed down to The Biltmore, a small capacity venue in East Vancouver. Once at the venue, I walked down the stairs and to my left, set up at Baptists’ merch table, was an amazing selection of vegan baked goods for sale. I was pleasantly surprised and knew that this was not going to be an ordinary show, not in any sense of the word.
Full review and photo essay after the jump!
Interview by Andy (Leffer)
WARTORN are a whirlwind of thrash punk goodness hailing from Wisconsin. Since 2004, they’ve been hitting the touring and record release circuit with no looking back. Here’s a quick interview I did to assist in the Profane Existence release of their single.
Andy: You know the drill, just give us the basics on who’s who and what’s changed in the past, in regards to any line up changes, etc. Also, give us some insight on where WARTORN is going. We want to know tours, records, riots, protests, arrests….the whole back story on WARTORN’s origins.
Bitty: (Vocals) The band started in 2004, with Ryan, Hart (on drums) and myself as a three-piece. Within half a year I got a call with an offer for our first tour, which was with Municipal Waste. We did a mini tour with them and ever since then we have been able to go on tours with amazing bands each year such as Los Dolares, ATU, CYP, Krang, In Defence, Pyroklast, Hellshock, and up next RAW POWER . We have been to 13 countries and have done lots of releases on many different labels.
Ryan: guitar / low vocals / whiskey enthusiast. Well we started as a 3-piece and over a span of over 8 years, have ended up with 6 members. With 3 of us being guitar players we are able to diversify our songs in ways that we could only do in a studio setting. This obviously makes a difference live as well.
Ela: I’ve been the bass player for over the last 6 years. Recently, we came out with an LP/CD on Southern Lord Records called “Iconic Nightmare” and a 7-inch, “Domestic Terrorist”, released on Profane Existence (which is part of their limited edition singles series).
Toban: (Guitar) I think I might have the most arrests out of anyone in the band. Not like its anything to brag about. I did narrowly avoid another arrest a few weeks ago.
Derek: Guitar as well. I’ve been in the band for a few months and have been on two tours so far.
Fuck fitting into the status quo box – boxes are made for the feeble-minded masses! This is why I dig Holy Terror as a label because they always release bands have a different sound. Which is just the case with the new Broken Cross record Anti Human Life – this 7 inch stands in it’s own doorway of weirdness. For just over 12 minutes, you can blast their version of twisted cycodelic mentally wrecked rocking d-beat. It’s the horror and pain under the Broken Cross riffs that are going to make you say this band is the shit! CVLT Nation is stoked to be streaming Anti Human Life in full below!
Perfumer River returns yet again with a tape release through Curtain Fire titled Concrete Winter. This five minute long hail of noise disorientation is the band’s second release of lofi hardcore d-beat noise much in the same vein as their last release, No Wind.
The tape starts of with the intro song “Raise the White Flag,” sounds of planes flying by screaming at high pitch and the vocalist’s reverberating overdriven yells pounding through like mortar fire. Making it through the opener, the next song “My Only Master” kicks in with the buzziest of guitar riffs. Ferociously the vocals attack, the words are almost unintelligible besides the fact that there are only two lines of lyrics repeated constantly over the fuzzy guitar, straight forward hardcore drums and droning bass that pound the message into your ears.