lördag 12 oktober 2019

Review: Belta 53 - Om du faller

Belta 53 - Om du faller CD
Links: Facebook I Website
Self Released

This is without a doubt the best release from Belta 53 so far. I would describe their earlier style as some kind of punk influenced alternative rock but this record is stuffed with nice melodic pop punk. I was hoping years ago that they would choose this path so I am very satisfied. 

The lyrics are good as always  and especially "En kväll i augusti" which is about the tragic murder of the homeless Romanian guy Gica who lived in a park in Sweden. A stunning rock ballad with lot's of feelings. It's actually a candidate for the best ballad of the year. 

There is something special with female fronted bands and Jojo has a voice that fits perfect to the music. It doens't matter if it's a fast or slow song, she makes it perfect all the time. It's easy to try to comparing other female singers but I can't think of anyone else that sounds like Jojo. 

Belta 53 have their own sound which is pretty Swedish in some way. That's why it's hard to compare them with other bands from around the world. But I would say there's small parts from bands such as Descendents and New Found Glory. But still very Swedish. Anyway, there's lot's of good rock n roll riffs and melodies and the opening song "Fri" is probably the best song they've ever done. 

onsdag 9 oktober 2019

Reveiw: Pank - Demo

Pank - Demo 
Links: Bandcamp
Self Released

Pank is yet another new swedish band consisting of two very young guys, this wave of kids playing punk gives me hope for the future. This is their first demo which I guess is recorded the old school way in the rehearsal room. The sound isn't very good and the lack of a bass player is obvious, but they're actually looking for one at the moment. 

But anyhow, the sound makes me pretty nostalgic, this is how it sounded when I took my first chords with my band in the early 90's. It is so charming and this is what punk once was all about, the fact that everyone can play. 

When it comes to the music I would compare Pank with oldschool anarcho-punk bands. The musical structure isn't far from a band such as Crass. If it is by purpose or because they are beginners doesn't really matter. This is just pure punkrock with a pissed attitude and without following any rules. I love it. The running time of the 4 songs is around 8 minutes and I enjoy every second. My feeling is that Pank will be a bad ass band in the future after some more practice.

måndag 7 oktober 2019

Interview: Corporate Citizen

Here's an interview with Corporate Citizen. My questions has been answered by the entire band so I had to shorten it down a bit. If you are into melodic hardcore you will probably like this San Diego band with strong influences from the 90's hardcore punk scene. Here we go.


Hello Corporate Citizen, please introduce the band

Steve O: I am Steve O’Brien and I play guitar.


Bob: I am Bob Meder and I sing

Dan: I am Dan Achin and I play drums.

Mike: The “New Guy”.  I play bass

I wrote in the review that your music sums up four decades of hardcore, do you agree? How would you describe your music? 

Steve O: I always love seeing the references to the DC bands (Minor Threat, Fugazi) when it comes to describing our music. The style of guitar and structures of the songs were heavily influenced by the DC bands. Our style of music sits between what people would consider traditional hardcore, melodic hardcore and post-hardcore as well. 

Bob: I totally agree with Steve but would add that some of the stuff we do with vocals can be reminiscent of the 90’s Epitaph and Fat Wreck bands as well.

Dan: I come from a little bit of a different background than Bob and Steve O’Brien.  I spent the first 26 years of my life in Omaha, NE and when I started playing drums I was into metal. I got into Hardcore, Punk and Ska late, and even though I really like Hardcore bands like The Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Killing Time, and Ignite, I probably identify more with 90s Punk and Ska.

What was your ambitions when you formed the band? 

Steve O: Bob, Dan and I were all in bands with each other previous to Corporate Citizen. When Bob reached out to me about playing again I was psyched since we were always on the same page in terms of music. Plus he is a great frontman and brings a lot of energy. Dan is a great drummer who can also help with the songwriting. It was a perfect foundation to start a new band.

You pick up a lot of influences from the 90’s melodic hardcore scene, what was the best with that era and how do you think that the scene has been developed from that time until now? 

Steve O: I was lucky enough to play a lot of great shows in the NYHC scene in the 90s in my previous band. To me the 90s were a great time because you had bands like Quicksand, CIV, SOIA and then H20. All blending together the great elements of the Bad Brains, Cro-Mags and AF. Kid Dynamite is a perfect example and a band I take a lot of inspiration form when coming up with a riff. Fast, hard and melodic.

Bob: I think the era of 90’s melodic hardcore  was especially cool because you had a lot of bands that were pretty uncompromising in their style and sound that were able to reach a very wide audience. To me the best bands from that era were H20, Pennywise, Pulley, Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls, Kid Dynamite, Avail, and Strung Out to name a few. 

Mike: I think the melody is the best part. There is always melody in music. Some groups utilised it better than others, but in the 90’s it reached a new level. In my opinion that whole metal core scene is what killed the melodic hardcore. It’s nice to see melodic hardcore coming back.    

How is the San Diego punk scene? Any good venues or bands you can recommend? 

Bob: The scene is doing well! There a bunch of promoters who really want to build a scene here. Venues are always popping up but the most popular are probably Tower Bar, Brick by Brick, The Observatory, and the Belly Up. But there are smaller places like Legacy Brewery that are always willing to host a punk or hardcore show. San Diego is full of great bands right now. You should check out the Spotify Playlist “San Diego Punks United”. It showcases a lot of the great bands that are currently playing around here. Some of my favorites are Wanted Noise, Gut Punch, Skipjack, Fishing For Chips, War Fever and Bossfight.

Dan: There are definitely a lot of really cool bands in the San Diego area right now and for the most part, everyone supports one another. 


What have you released so far, and what response have you got? 

Steve O: We recorded the “What Would He Do?” EP that was available on bandcamp. That was the real start of Corporate Citizen. Due to a lack of a guitar player, I had to switch from bass to guitar and play both instruments on the recording. When we released our full length “A Brief Moment of Sanity” we had a full band and the songs benefited from it.

Bob: Pretty much everything we have seen has been really positive. It is nice to see that people like what you are doing.

Are you satisfied with El Topo Records and your collaboration? Will they be involved in the future as well? 

Steve O: When we recorded “A Brief Moment of Sanity” we believed that it was worthy of a wider release. Through our friends the Midnight Block we sent the recordings to Carlos at El TOpo and he really liked them. He agreed to handle all the online distribution (Bandcamp, Spotify, etc.) for the record. We still put out the vinyl version and cassette ourselves but in concert with El Topo. Carlos has been really supportive which is what you want in a label.

I noticed that a majority of your gigs has been local, do you have or will you play outside California in the future?  

Steve O: In a perfect world we would be on the road a lot more. We are all in the same situation where the needs band has to balance with our lives. Everyone in the band has a family and full time jobs which makes touring a bit of a challenge.

Bob: if we could pack up all the kids and wives and become travelling gypsy musicians we would but I don’t think it is in the cards right now.

So what about the future, do you have any plans? 

Steve O: We are already working on a new record with the new line up. With Steve Diaz and Mike Ruggerio in the group we can now expand the sound of the songs. This will create a texture that you don’t always find in a hardcore band.

Bob: I am especially excited about the next record. The demos Steve has put together sound so rad already and i can’t wait until we can set aside time to really hash them out. I think the next record is going to be really freaking good.

Dan:  I agree, we have high expectations for the next album and adding in some new members is going to broaden the range of influences we bring to our sound.

Mike: Make music! Like I said earlier, it's been a while….Im excited for the future!

torsdag 3 oktober 2019

Review: F.I.L - Wake Up

F.I.L - Wake Up (CD)
Links: Facebook I Website


First In Line (F.I.L.) were formed back in 1988 and played for 12 years before they quit. Eight years later they reunited the band and now is their new record "Wake Up" released. And what a record, it is totally brilliant. Fast-paced without any frills just like Gorilla Biscuits and similar bands who play fast and pretty aggressive hardcore. I hadn't heard F.I.L before so I was pleasantly surprised but not amazed since their hometown Linköping has a great history of hardcore. 

I really prefer this kind of straight on NYHC without breakdowns and chug-chuggin'. I guess their influences comes from the BYO Records and Revelation Records bands. And F.I.L are just as good as those bands. Everything is perfect in my opinion, the melodies, the vocals and the lyrics which focuses on equality in different topics. This record contains seven songs and the running time is just over ten minutes, high class hardcore!

söndag 29 september 2019

Review: Sopdykarna - Svinens afton

Sopdykarna – Svinens afton CD
Links: Facebook I Spotify


Because of the silly band name which obvious sounds better in english (Trash Divers) I actually expected the band to be very young. Therefore it got pretty weird when the music kicked off. With a mix between hardcore and punkrock and a singer who squeezes out guttural sounds... I really don’t get it, although it makes it stand out very much. Unfortunately in a negative way, after all I'm not a fan of this singing style. 

But I don’t want to write Sopdykarna down totally because it gets better and better for each time I play the record. I really appreciate the music and the lyrics are good as well. That makes the foundation both solid and interesting for the future. And I must say that I am curious which path they will choose. There is a grindcore part in the last song "En vidrig morgon" where the vocals fits much better. And I think although it's not grindcore that Sopdykarna can attract those fans. I am not overwhelmed but they still managed to arouse my interest. Give them a chance. 

tisdag 24 september 2019

UNDERGROUND EUROPE Record Fair


UNDERGROUND EUROPE dates back to 2015 and is the first European record fair and swap focused only on underground vinyl This year it takes place on the 5th of October at SO36 in Berlin, Germany.

Besides being a record swap, Underground Europe works towards creating a community of independent vinyl enthusiasts, providing a place where once a year they can meet, exchange records, listen to music and chat about it. A place where they can get in touch with people who run record stores, mailorders, record labels, play in bands, or are just big underground vinyl fans. 

UNDERGROUND EUROPE is both a record fair and a record swap. On one hand, you have exhibitors from all over Europe with stacks of secondhand and new vinyl. On the other hand, you have random visitors bringing in their vinyl to trade and bargain with other visitors or exhibitors themselves. If you are dropping by, bring a box of vinyl you no longer appreciate to trade it with something you might like.

This year the program includes presentations for 3 different books. Punk Matters is a collection of interviews with punk luminaries like ian Mackaye, Ray Cappo, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Russ Rankin, Greg Bennick,... Poetry In Punk takes a closer look at bands´ lyrics and the meaning behind them. Dritti Contro Un Muro is the newly published bible of Italian HC/Punk of the 80s. On over 500 pages with 140 protagonists interviewed, the book covers bands like: Negazione, Indigesti, Nabat, Raw Power, Wretched, Peggio Punx, Rappresaglia, Cani, Bloody Riot, Basta, CCM, ... Heavily fraught with photos, concert flyers, record and tape covers and more, the book presentation will be accompanied with an exhibition of Italian HC/Punk original 80s live photos. 

We are looking forward to meeting you at UNDERGROUND EUROPE!

For more information go to:
www.facebook.com/events/2231755196866968
http://undergroundeurope.webstarts.com
www.facebook.com/groups/undergroundeurope

fredag 20 september 2019

Review: Brainwasher - Procrustean Bed

Brainwasher – Procrustean Bed (Tape)
Links: Facebook I Bandcamp 
Flyktsoda Records


I have to admit right from the start that I’m not an expert when it comes to grindcore. Despite of that it is a genre that affects me in a positive way.  It all started when I heard Nasum for the first time and their songs on the compilation Really Fast Vol.9 from 1994. It was like a fist right between my eyes. Then it continued with the almighty Assück which is a band I still listen to every now and then.

But well, this is Brainwasher from Sweden and the tape Procrustean Bed which contains eight tracks. It didn’t took me a long time to like them. I almost demand that grindcore has to be well played and not too noisy, and I think that Brainwasher fulfill my requirements. Of course there are some noisy elements but those elements should actually be there. Let’s move on to one of the best thing about Brainwasher – the vocals, which are totally brutal and the lack of growling makes me delighted. There’s actually no need for growling with a voice like this.

One band that has influenced Brainwasher are Repulsion which can be heard clearly. Im so grateful that they stay on the right side of the border between punk/hc and metal. The running time on this tape is ten minutes divided in 8 tracks. The production isn’t 100% crispy but that is something who make the fist between my eyes even more effective.