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a2221036969_10The infamous West Bay Coalition once again deliver to you, the listener, an audio shrapnel bomb armed with beats of the funky & blast variety. Two acts. One 7″.

Side 1 contains the Healer demo, released last year on Tony Molina’s Smoking Room/650 Tapes label. Straight up no-bullshit powerviolence with the same ebbs and flows that made bands like Crossed Out, E.T.O. & Immortal Fate produce such memorable sounds in their day. Musically there’s no fat to be cut. From the opening bell you’re being pummeled. Your only break are brief moments in between rounds where you are treated by a variety of clips & samples (the Delfonics one being my favorite). I will say, if you use samples, you’re taking a risk. Your music can be awesome but if you use the wrong shit it’ll downgrade the listening experience. Sometimes it’ll elevate it if the music is good but not great (this is rare but happens). But other times a band gets it right. Which is exemplified on this record. Aside from the composers, equal credit is due to recording extraordinaire Bart Thurber, a mainstay in the west coast underground music scene. He’s just as responsible for helping shape this sound over the years as the musicians that innovated it. Essentially doing for powerviolence & grindcore what Scott Burns did for Florida death metal in the 80’s & 90’s. Combined with the dense tone, rapid fire timing, poignantly direct lyrics & smooth transitions, these 5 songs should make you hope this group puts out a full length in the near future.

Side 2 holds 3 tracks by Redwood City’s own DJ Eons (infamous BBQ enthusiast & most well known for his work as the guitar player for Sheep Squeeze). Though he didn’t come alone. You couldn’t ask for a better rhythm section in Ramon Salcido (Agents of Satan/Plutocracy/Funeral Shock/Redacted) & Andres Wade (God’s America/Cogs & Sprockets). The feeling you should take away from this is, like the Healer side, you want more. West Coast hip hop as fuck with a downbeat & almost futuristic jazzy vibe that makes you feel like you’re about to throw down in a Sergio Leone movie. But you brought an uzi instead of a six shooter. I could listen to an entire LP of this. And while almost too short, its a perfect companion to the mayhem provided on the previous side. Once again DJ Eons paints a well crafted & distinctly clear picture of the hip hop flavor that the bay area is known for, all while continuing to innovate his sound and utilize elements of other musical styles he’s excelled at to create another pleasurable listening experience worthy of anyone’s turntable.

 

FREE to listen. Pay to download or order direct from WARTHOG SPEAK RECORDS.

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So THAT was something, wasn’t it?

2017. Let’s NOT reflect on it. Some of you had a great year I’m sure. Some on the other hand, didn’t. This final send off is absolutely not how the blog was intended to end. It isn’t even my blog. I’m the helper. And we haven’t done a thing on here for over a year. But doesn’t that just encapsulate everything about this past 12 months? Shit isn’t going to go the way you planned. And I think a lot of people are starting to get that.

I didn’t plan to do something like this until a little over a month ago. I’m one of those assholes on twitter who shits on everybody’s lists about whatever & says they’re too awesome to do that. But of course I do my own lists in my brain because i’m a dumb fuckwit who loves music like everybody else. No matter how cynical or stressed out or depressed I get about whatever, I’ll always love it. Of course it’s a total bummer sometimes. All the little side dishes that come from music and the internet and creepy cringe-worthy fandom, it’s become a necessary part of that world for most people, and maybe just an annoyance for others. But if you really are a genuine fan of music then no part of any scene or circumstance is going to prevent you from enjoying sounds that pleasure your brain. That’s a given. And that’s what we’re here to celebrate, even if things don’t go right, like this blog post.

I had about 10 people planned and supposedly ready to submit a top ten of the year list and ended up with 2 dudes + myself. Even our prestigious GK founder is oddly absent from the list (temporarily gone but not forgotten, we will both be spearheading the new incarnation of GK VERY soon). Several contributors were no shows, a couple disappeared from the internet all together, shit, one guys mom died last week an his life kinda fell apart.  Holy shit, 2017 taking names! But we soldier on. It’s about quality, not quantity. And I believe there’s a boat load of quality music listed below. You may just find something amazing you missed this past year so get clicking on those links. Huge thanks to Nolan & Ucchy for coming through & participating in what is to be the final nail in the coffin before Gonzo Karaoke moves on to it’s next phase. Here’s to bigger and hopefully better things in 2018 for everybody out there.

-B

 

BEST OF THE YEAR 2017

Brando

In no particular order, except maybe the first one.

FIGHT IT OUT – “Most Hated”

Japanese punkers pretending they’re cholos playing hardcore but actually playing extemely heavy powerviolence with down tuned death metal riffs,mega steamroller blast beats & hip hop intro/outros. Truly a sight to behold.

BAD MECHANICS – “Precious Moments in the USA”

Cracked out midwest Devo worship album about food, America, girls & daddy’s pasture. An underrated rock gem for the ages.

DOMESTICATED – “Dysphoria”

Canadian queer grind with a perfect new school/old school blend. Grating high end vocal attack & unrelenting fast drums. Dark, weird, hilarious & fucked up.

GODSTOMPER/ENEMIGO split 7″

Bay area legends meets the new breed of noisy San Jose ultrakill fuckery.

LNDN DRGS – “P on the DRGS”

West Coast G-funk is back.

SEDEM MINUT STRACHU – “General Fucking”

Slovakian noisegrind saviors with their first of what has to be the most impressive string of releases in 2017. Must own for anyone who loves sloppy noisy garbage.

HOLY BONER – “Extreme Noise Terrific”

One of many Brad Smith (Umbilical Tentacle/Internat Rot/Blarghstrad) backed bands. Ten years in the making. Pure noisegrind annihilation.

ETHEREAL – “LP”

Underrated heavy release of the year. While everyone frothed at the mouth over Necrot & the new Morbid Angel, Ohios own Ethereal crafted a low key grinding death metal masterpiece.

EARTH FEDERATION/BODYBAG split 7″

Absolutely crushing grindcore on both sides of this 7″. Nothing sucks about this whatsoever. Bodybag comes off like a beefed up Spanish Repulsion & Earth Federation sound like the personification of an avalanche made of exploding death robots.

MASSGRAV – “Stockholm Rockers”

If you don’t know you should. Massgrav have been holding it down for over 20 years. They’ve never released a dud. One of the few bands that don’t seem to slow down or get stale playing hyperpunk bulldozer thrash. This absolutely rocks.

 

honorable mentions-

Metal Slug Sountrack

Macross 82-99

Exit Unit 7″

Cunts/Anal Butt split 7″

Landfill lp

Suppression/Reeking Cross split cassette

The Eradicator


 

Andrew Nolan

 Ten favourites of the year

Drunk in Hell – S/T LP (Burning World) 

Northern English dirtbags making music for other Northern English dirtbags.

Equiknoxx – Colón Man 2xLP (DDS)

 Dancehall from Kingston Jamaica that goes to some strange places without telegraphing its weirdness to the listener by jumping up and down and demanding you acknowledge how weird it is.

Flu – Fludust LP (Crate Cartel) 

Another winner from Carte Cartel in particular and Australian underground hip hop in general.

 

Heresiarch – Death Ordinance CD (Dark Descent)

 Fast, frantic and hate filled, which has pretty much been the underground death metal style du jour for a few years now, this one stands out because there’s some great song writing going on and things are not buried in way too much reverb or an inability to put a high pass filter on the guitars, which usually renders everything as an indistinct blur. The indistinct blur style (Cavernous Death Metal/ War Metal/ whatever) is often used to hide sub par songs so that the right aesthetic choices alone can carry the band, this is not the case here, every song is memorable and it sounds like a lot of time was spent writing and practicing this release.

Jam Baxter – Mansion 38 2xLP (High Focus)

 This one took a while to sink in; I love Jam Baxter as an MC but I didn’t really understand the compositional choices by producer Chemo on my first few listens. Much like the Equikknox album there’s a lot to take in and it’s never signalled to you as “check out how weird we’re being”. Low slung drugged out 808 boom mixed with field recordings, drones and samples of traditional Asian music. Favourite line of the year: “She smiled once and now you’re bragging that she wants the D, I smiled once, it was horrid G”

Katastrof – S/T 7”EP (Beach Impediment)

Hardcore over the last few years has bored me to tears, it’s become an exercise in simulacrum with too many bands spending forever to get that paint-by-numbers perfect 7” then being unable to follow up with anything. Lots of hyped one tape bands who don’t tour, lots of bands that can tell you everything about what made United Mutation great but can’t write a song to save their lives. This record makes me want to punch holes in cops.

Meyhem Lauren & DJ Muggs – Gems from the Equinox LP (Soul Assassins)

 Gems from the Equinox snuck up on me, I loved the song Murder Rap instantly, absolutely loved the rest of the album on repeated listens, lots of atypical production choices for hip hop in 2017.

Radiophonic Workshop – Burial in Several Earths 4×10″ (Room 13)

 Radiophonic Workshop’s first commercially available music since 1985, absolutely masterful.

Rope Sect – Persona Ingratae cassette (Caligari)

 Gloomy post-punk done by Germans with (I assume) connections to the metal scene. Dark and dour, but with a focus on songs, not style.

Strange U – LP#4080 2xLP (High Focus)

 Honestly High Focus didn’t release a bad record in 2017. Stange U is the always interesting producer Zygote matched up with Kashmere on the mic. Kashmere is sometimes described as the UKs answer to MF Doom or Kool Keith, but to me that’s dismissive, the similarities are that all three are highly literate, take on personas, and make a lot of references to sci-fi and superhero fan culture, but Kashmere is doing his own thing. If you’re going to investigate anything on this list cue up Strange U’s Bulletproof Mustache on YouTube (which also features Lee Scott, my favourite contemporary UK MC).

Other music I absolutely loved in 2017:

 Acrylics – Despair

Altarage – Endinghent

Confucius MC and Mr Brown – The Artform

Creation VI – Deus Siva Natura

Dabbla – Chapsville

Dephosphorus – Impossible Orbits

Drew McDowall – Unnatural Channel

Fret – Over Depth

Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstacy

Godflesh – Post Self

Holy Money – The Language Machine

Jehst – Billy Green is Dead

Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

Micall Parknsun –  Practicing Tag Team Moves

Must Volkoff – Aquanaut

Pessimist – S/T

Pig’s Blood – S/T

Ramson Badbone & DJ Fingerfood – Hypnodic

Unearthly Trance – Stalking the Ghost

Unsane – Sterilized

 


Ucchy

*Top 10 releases of 2017

ONIKU – “Way To Live”(CD)

Sedem Minút Strachu – “General Fucking”(LP)

Fazepalm Def/Deflowered Cunt – split(cass)

Spore Spawn – “Ochistuitara”(cass)

Kuzuramushi/The Pig Foot Eaters Experimental/Ashura/Gerogeritarashi/Baka Onani In Kaka – “THE GEROGERIGEGEGEGE”(cass)

Cachorro Da Duença/Baga/Nosso Ódio Irá Atacar/Plague Rages – “4 Ways To Grind”(CD)

Raw Noise Apes/SxOxTxE – split(10EP)

New York Against The Belzebu/Sete Star Sept – “Lack of Compatibility”(CD)

Sulfuric Cautery – “Experiments With Sulfur,The First Year 2015-2016”(cass)

Oozing Meat/Human Jerky – split(cass)

(not released this year,but I often listened⇩)

Bachikaburi – “85 Live”(CD)

Kokeshi Doll – “Kokeshizm”(CD)

Omokage Lucky Hole – “Dairi-Haha”(CD)

*BEST GIG

17 8/13,Moribund Punishment live in Kouenji Studio DOM

10/21,Beer Belly live in Kouenji Studio DOM

11/26,Social Porks live in Shin Sakae Day Trive

 

 

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LA’s best kept secret & quite possibly the best young grind band in the western hemisphere. Yes, the Happy Pill Trauma demo is finally available to download (and purchase!)!!!!!!

Grindcore as fuck insanity with a dash of straight up punk, this is further proof the new breed is a force to be reckoned with. HPT are truly the best at what they do & manage to do it with only a guitar & some drums. Fuck a bass. The dual vocal attack propels their jams to dangerously awesome levels as well. Valerie (guitar) & Jeremy (drums) come off like old pros & somehow are able to weave their songs into a high energy mixture of catchy thrashy punk & pummeling blast beats. Each track will leave you scratching your head and wondering how the hell they managed to think it up. It’s like watching the crazy Asian kid in a video arcade just annihilate everyone who steps up and puts a quarter into his Street Fighter Alpha game. Combo combo combo BLAST! You’re fucking done! It’s a thing of beauty.

One of the best things about this band is that they are active RIGHT NOW. You can book them in your town. Buy their tapes and cd’s and shirts. DON’T SLEEP ON THIS BAND. This is part of grind history and when they are gone this’ll be one of the bands like Assuck, E.T. & Dahmer that’ll be a fuckin benchmark and standard amongst the greats. You can be part of that right now by supporting these two amazing musicians.

FACEBOOK
BANDCAMP
BUY TAPES HERE

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The album pictured above demands your immediate attention. By the end of the first song, it’ll get just that. And then it’ll leave you wanting more! This is Westside Grindviolence Forever, by TENSION.

The sounds you’re hearing is fast music at it’s finest ladies & gentleman. Played by three individuals who not only have properly studied the ways of their predecessors, but built something to add to the foundation of extreme music by producing an album that will stand with those that came before it & hopefully inspire future bands.

Westside Grindviolence Forever contains 21 tracks of the catchiest & (most importantly) angriest grindcore induce powerviolencece you’re likely to hear for a while. Holy shit do they sound fucking angry! You can hear it in the vocals, which are all over the place & a treat to hear. High-end screeches, low growling and tortured screams come at you in every conceivable way (another testament to their talent). I love the diversity.

The clean production surprised me & brought out the best in everyone’s sound while still managing to come off as raw & filthy. This album oozes contempt in an almost poetic way. It’s always heavy, weather blasting or playing super fast HC bursts in between crazy time changes & momentary punk influenced D beat insanity. Always catchy. Never too melodic and the couple times they go slow, its devastating. And every song flows together, but never letting up. They hit every single fast music sweet spot like seasoned professionals. You can seriously tell this album is the culmination of every members skills & love of all things truly grind condensed into these tracks. There’s absolutely no bullshit. From the lyrics to the music. They come at you with everything in their arsenal so prepare to get blown the fuck up. This album is a beast!

But this is more than an amazing collection of music or an eloquent thank you note & violent love letter to the purveyors of west coast powerviolence. This is a mission statement on behalf of all the kids who have been stomping around LA the past few years, making their own bands & putting together shows with their friends. There are too many good groups to mention, but they’re out there & ready to make their mark too (or have already started). So welcome to the next generation, they aren’t going anywhere!
And it’s thanks to people like Tension: Who go to all the shows, support every band they play with & never exclude people for whatever dumb reasons people do. They grind, they skate, they speak up when something needs to be said, and they do it despite the fact that everyone still shits all over Orange County or dismisses them because they’re young. Tension will continue to not give a fuck & pummel you with some of the best grindviolence CA has to offer.

Download the album for FREE in it’s entirety at the address below. Enjoy!

Bandcamp

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If Cave State are the “breakout” band of 2013, then To The Point are “THE BAND” of 2013. Owning absolutely every release they’ve thrown at you since their conception, this compilation of songs can be downloaded for free at Chris Dodge’s (Slap a Ham godfather & To The Point vocalst caveman) blog.
This one contains various songs from all of their releases (including the split with Pick Your Side, one of the must listen records of the year in my opinion), sort of like a delicious hardcore appetizer platter before you sink your teeth into the vinyl (good luck finding it!). Every song this band creates is top notch. You know the story. TTP is sort of a “Lack of Interest 2.0”, but they’ve obliterated any misconceptions that this is going to be a formulaic cookie-cutter clone of a now legendary band. No, To The Point is it’s own monster & adds something desperately needed to hardcore: Spontaneity! You can never guess what they’re going to end up half way through any one of their songs. And then they do it. And no matter what path they choose the result is always something insanely pleasurable to hear at the end. Everyone in the band is literally “on point” when it comes to every aspect of the music. There are no weak links at all. But in my humble opinion, what separates this band from everyone else is the guitar playing. Things you would NEVER think to put in a hardcore song on top of a flawless foundation of bass and drums suddenly make complete sense. It’s meticulous, it always comes out of nowhere & it compliments everything else so perfectly that their sounds becomes instantly recognizable. The fact that they can achieve this all while never ignoring the basic fundamentals of fast music & what makes a great HC song truly great is a thing of beauty and harder than anyone is willing to admit. Being hardcore veterans, they have used their knowledge to basically transcend the genera without losing an ounce of the speed, brutality, wit or integrity that makes this type of music so pure and wonderful to begin with.

 Dodgy Sounds

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Ah yes, the Cave State demo. THE demo of 2013.
This band (young southern California residents who all cut their teeth playing in various amazing grind/powerviolence bands over the past few years) has come together and right off the bat assaults you harder than the L.A.P.D. you with these 7 rib-breaking tracks. Signifying that this is one of those bands that’s going to absolutely fucking kill it with every release they throw at you. From this demo to their eventual last album (which will be a sad day). There’s damn good reason everyone’s going bonkers over Cave State.
This is a band that did their homework. Flashes of Crossed Out, Despise You, Neanderthal, No Comment & a dash of Crom, all with the juice that makes it unique and a sound that they specifically own. Something I would say 95% of the bands going for this sound ultimately fail at.
Already, their upcoming release on To Live A Lie Records is one of the most anticipated pieces of vinyl of 2014 and will be making many a top- ten list I predict, just as this demo did for 2013. Get on this or get left in the dust.

GK#471, Bandcamp, Facebook

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Two noise giants. One very big gaping hole in your brain. Because that’s what you’re going to get after listening to this seismic split of ear-bleeding proportions. First up is Glitchy Rotten with “01100010110” (I’m pretty sure that’s robot-anese for “I’m going to make you deaf”). Pulsing waves of sound-breaking sonic insanity at high frequencies like a dance club unknowingly gassed with neuro toxin and spontaneously lit on fire half way through the party. First you will want to dance, then you’ll want to cry. It’s that intense. But WAIT! There’s more! Next is Distant Relative (Solo joint & ear drum annihilating side project of Actuary mastermind Dustin Johnston). This shit is harsh, harsh & did I mention harsh? Here we have 3 documents. A, B & C. and that’s all you need to know. All three will destroy your speakers and reduce your headphones to smoldering piles of dog shit. This sounds like a rogue satellite covered in screaming babies crashing into a DARPA-made laser cannon set on atomic kill-mode. Serious mind-blowing heavy as fuck sub-electronic masturbatory insanity combined with some of the most hilarious and straight up bad ass samples this side of the stratosphere. If you’re a noise aficionado or just some asshole who wants to piss off their neighbor, then you need this in your life.

GK#342/GRmyspace/DRsoundcloud