Search Results for "Crust"

Exhaustion (crust/hardcore, France) announce new album “Surrounded By The Depths”

French crusties Exhaustion have announced they will release their second full length EP this April. The record will be titled “Surrounded By The Depths” and will come out via Distroy Records and should be one to check out for any fans of filthy, extreme sounds.

Exhaustion’s previous release was 2014’s “In The Realm Of Defeat”.


Choking Victim and The Spits added to Punk Rock Bowling 2017

For any of you miscreants that were somehow on the fence about going to the 2017 installment of Punk Rock Bowling…a lineup that already included Iggy Pop and Cock Sparrer and Pennywise and Bouncing Souls and a bunch more…the lineup has gotten even better.

The Spits and the one-and-only Choking Victim are the latest bands announced to be playing the annual festival that finds punks from all over taking over Las Vegas for a long weekend. Check out the full rundown and ticket info right here.

Choking Victim does “Reunioning” Right at The Warsaw in Brooklyn

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Choking Victim front man Scott “Stza” Sturgeon getting a heroes welcome in Brooklyn.

Scenic Presents’ sold-out Choking Victim show was the sort of evening that many of the fans in attendance had been dreaming about since they were in middle school (three years ago). But notwithstanding the young crowd — and to be fair, there was a good smattering of more seasoned punks throughout the auditorium too — Choking Victim killed.

The Warsaw show sold out so fast that Choking Victim were able to add a 3 p.m. set at a free show in Tompkins Square Park that same day. The free set was about six songs long, highly entertaining, and featured two OG members of Choking Victim making guest appearances. I assumed that the evening show would be about the same, but honestly even if the set lists had been identical, it would still have been like watching two completely different bands. And the set lists were completely different!

Sturgeon during the band’s earlier set at Tompkins Square Park.

Choking Victim tore through the entirety of their incendiary debut record No Gods No Managers and then concluded the night with a raucous cover of “Money Changes Everything.” In the park, they were a loose, comfortable band playing a show that could as easily have been in Stza’s livingroom as in front of hundreds of people in a historic New York City location. On the Warsaw stage, they were an unstoppable death machine ripping a hole through the eardrums of anyone dumb enough to listen (as I write this, my ears are still ringing).

The Warsaw moshpit erupted after about twenty seconds, and it had to have been within the next twenty seconds that a barrage of stage divers and crowd surfers rose to the top of the audience. People tried to stand toward the wings of the venue, but really being within fifteen feet of the stage put you in the blast radius for out-of-control skankers being ejected from the pit by the sea of moshers. Then whoever bowled them over would help them up and start all over again.

It was quite a raucous mosh pit throughout the entire night.

The current lineup was joined throughout the set by original drummer John Dolan, original bassist Sasha Scatter, OG bassist peasant James, C-Squat founder Popeye, and other close associates.

Stza claimed that the band only practiced each song twice, but it didn’t matter. No one goes to see Choking Victim, or any Stza-fronted band for that matter, for a precise musician who’s taking care to hit every note accurately. With Stza, it’s about raw emotion and explosive energy, which he provided in spades, fed on and intensified by bandmates Alec Baillie and Skwert.

There was a rich diversity in the people playing in many of the opening bands, but one thing that tied (almost) all of them together was Stza’s signature crack rock steady beat. No matter how far toward the precipice of heavy metal (almost) all of the openers got, they mostly found their way back to that more dub / ska sound.

As$troland went on right before Choking Victim and they were definitely the right band to welcome back the New York punk legends to performing.

(A)Truth and Trashy picked up two short early slots and both brought heavy guitars and the aforementioned beats. Death Vacation was a vicious kick in the teeth that may have been closer to metal than punk. Public Serpents are damn near as heavy as Death Vacation but went on dub tangents so mellow they could have been reggae. All Torn Up is one angry group of hardcore punks, and As$troland are an old school New York Hardcore band.

Death Vacation is definitely a band worth paying attention to in the future.

Death Vacation was close to stealing the show. After seeing Choking Victim, there is no doubt who the star of the evening was, but Death Vacation was damn close … check them out.

Choking Victim announce more reunion shows

Early last month, it was announced Choking Victim would be reuniting for a show in Brooklyn, NY, on October 30th. The band has since announced a few more reunion shows in Arizona, Colorado, and California.

Check out the tour dates below to see if they’re stopping near you.

Choking Victim’s lineup for these reunion shows will feature frontman Scott “Stza” Sturgeon, bassist Alec Baillie, and drummer Skwert. They’ll be playing Crack Rock Steady, Squatta’s Paradise, and No Gods, No Managers in their entirety.

Choking Victim announce reunion show

Brooklyn concert promoters Scenic have announced Choking Victim will be reuniting for a show at the Warsaw in Brooklyn, New York, on October 30th.

The lineup for this show will reportedly consist of frontman Scott “Stza” Sturgeon, bassist Alec Baillie, and drummer Skwert. They will be playing Crack Rock Steady, Squatta’s Paradise, and No Gods, No Managers in their entirety.

For more info on the show, head over here. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 9th on Ticketfly.

Show Review: Tragedy, Gasmask Terror, and Hangmen Also Die (Portland, OR 04/23/2016)

I made the decision to get to the Know early. Like, really early. Doors were opening at eight pm, and there I was, breaking liquid bread with friends at six. I’m naturally punctual, but moreso, I wanted to eliminate the nightmare outcome: to miss the rarity that is Tragedy. So there I was, absurdly early, just to grab a seat.

The bar was empty except for my trio and the Die Kreuzen shirted bartender. I asked him about the show. He smiled broadly and I saw that the perks of his job were probably better than mine. “This’ll be the first time they’ve played in a year,” he said. I believed him.

I’m not a native Portlander. I moved here, just like every other twenty-something music fan with a dank-fade cum dank-undercut and beard to match. Even now, I don’t even live in the city limits, residing in the affordable and somewhat bustling suburb of Vancouver, WA. I am the bridge-and-tunneler of the Portland Metro Area. But, the reason I moved here is etched on those show fliers that turn streetlights into bloated papier mache monstrosities. The scene is vibrant here, the local band are world-class, and punk rock is ceaselessly happening. When I made the decision to move here, there was a shortlist of natives I wanted to see in action that grew as I became more entrenched in the community. Absent Minds was the first to be checked off the list. Then there was Broadway Calls and Toxic Kid. And of course, No Sleep darlings Lee Corey Oswald. But, every week, when I scoured the ol’ pc-pdx index of shows; searching for something that matched a spare weekend, I never saw Tragedy.

I’m not a huge crust guy. I like a lot of different punk rock, and most of it matches my black-rimmed glasses and slicked hair very well, thank-you-very-much. But, outside of soulful and beardy melodic punk, I’ve always been twisting my hands deeper and deeper in hardcore. There’s something purifying in the minimalism– rock ‘n roll taken to the absolute most basic and primal. When I found Tragedy, I found a bridge between melody and aggression. Whether you like the genre or not, you can hear the exceptionalism clearly across Tragedy’s body of work. They managed to take cues from genres that, almost by design, tend to sound largely the same, and then push them into new territory. Tragedy innovates. Tragedy crushes. Tragedy are the top of the game.

There was no question in my mind then, that when I saw the Portland crust legends had a show on the horizon, I had to go. It was Tragedy, after all, and after almost two years of keeping my ear to the ground, I finally had a chance to see punk rock’s most mysterious group. Further fueling my excitement, I saw it was going to be at the Know.

Now, that might not mean much to a lot of you, but if you’ve been to the Know, and know the rabidness of Tragedy’s fanbase, you know that this is a special show. The Know is tiny. It’s a bar with a small stage in a connecting room with a capacity of maybe a hundred people. What it lacks in size it makes up for in authenticity. It’s a true punk bar, with no affectations of hipness. Shows happen there just about every night of the week. The drinks are reasonably priced, as are the cover charges. The Know is good people.

So, it made sense to get their early– really early– just to be sure it would happen. We calmly sat and chatted as people filtered and by eight the place was starting to be decently filled. Knowing smiles flashed between strangers in vests as they drank Rainier and talked shit about the work week.

I got on the floor early enough to see the first band set up their banner. This was Hangmen Also Die, a local power trio that tread in the waters of D-Beat, hardcore, and crust. They took the stage and played a short set (my understanding was that they were a relatively recently formed band) made up of incredibly fast songs. Both drummer (a dude with white dreads that looked like one of the albino twins from the second Matrix movie) and bassist screamed, one doing higher, piercing vocals and the other doing wild-faced roars. The music itself was simple, the guitarist mostly played fast-as-hell chord progressions; the visuals of fingers forming those old and holy shapes gave me a sense of punk rock ancestry, a reminder that no matter how heavy or brutal you are, if you’re playing punk rock, you owe a little debt to the Ramones. They had energy to spare and came and went exactly as an opener should– leaving you wanting more.

Next up was Gasmask Terror, a French crust band with a lot of passion. The lead vocalist wasn’t hindered by any instrument and therefore was able to focus a lot of energy into his performance. The fretwork was superb, with lots of sweet, almost classically rock ‘n roll solos. Bends and hammer-ons, up and down the fretboard as the band blasted through a strong and angry setlist. As a francophile, I was stoked to see French punk rock representin’. I thanked the guitarist for playing, satisfying my need to know they were really French. He couldn’t have made me happier when he responded: It wahz a pleajzure, dude. I ended up buying a shirt.

The Know ends shows pretty strictly at eleven, which is kind of a blessing if you ever feel like bands are playing too long of sets and that just once it’d be nice to get some sleep before you work. There were only three bands on the bill, and everyone knew it was the Big One up next. Bathroom breaks were taken, beers were bought. I’ve never seen more people crowded into the Know’s venue space before. Tragedy took their time setting up as the audience stood expectantly, anticipating.

I instantly recognized the first song from its intense and melodic riff. It was the closest thing Tragedy has to a hit single– one of those songs that transcend the dissonance and rough edges of a genre and worm their way into the ears of the not-yet-believers. It was “The Day After,” and I knew all of this because my very not crusty girlfriend recognized it immediately. There were shouts and headbanging and there I was, packed tight in the crowd watching a cult band command the room. For not playing in a long while, they sounded tight as ever, loud as ever, squeezing the best sound I’ve heard out of the Know’s small space.

Todd Burdette didn’t scream so much as expel venom, like every word was another drop of poison and his music was his body rejecting it, one word at a time. A small but intimate mosh pit broke out over the course of the set, a rarity at the Know, as it is usually a more beer-in-hand crowd. But, that’s what Tragedy brings out in their audience.

The music was relentlessly heavy, and I felt the joy in unironically being able to flash metal hands for the first time. They finished up six minutes before eleven and left the stage. There was no encore. No flash, no bullshit, no proselytizing,  no merch, no stage gimmicks; they played their music and soon they were with the rest of us; chatting and smiling, shaking hands and drinking beer.

Seeing Tragedy is seeing the pinnacle of a genre. There’s something magical about seeing a band at the top of their game.  I’ve been lucky enough to see a few bands like that. There was Against Me! and Bomb the Music Industry!, the Taxpayers and Hot Water Music, and now there is Tragedy. There’s a whole lot of different sounds possible at the fretting hand of rebellious and independent rock music, but when a band nails it, no matter how they nail it, it’s the same catharsis. This particular brand is the radiation scarred and limbless, downtrodden outcasts of a deserted world. They’re the most extreme version of ourselves, our darkest moments painted in the blackest black. And we wander as they wander; crushing chords and dark melodies dancing between our ears.

Album Review: Leftover Crack – “Constructs of the State”

AnarchoPunk royalty Leftöver Crack has been pretty quiet on the album front since releasing their ska-core masterpiece, Fuck World Trade back in 2004. The lack of output may have something to do with their controversial and well documented break up with heavyweight label, Epitaph Records or maybe it’s more of a quality over quantity thing. But now, it seems they may have a new and rejuvenated outlook after signing with Fat Wreck Chords following a few years of courting by Fat Mike. This fresh outlook is evident on this, their third full length studio album. From the quality of the sound mixing and production value, down to even the cover art (LoC album cover in color!?!) everything seems to be a slight step up from prior offerings. While it is assuredly more of a polished, “produced” sound, it seems more like a natural progression and less like it’s being forced. The absence of former band mate Ezra Kire can be felt, but it doesn’t detract from the quality of the album. So, while the sound is still familiar this seems to be a turning point for the band. Overall, the thirteen track LP validates the old saying, “Good things come to those who wait” as almost every song will resonate with fans of these crust core elites. Sidenote: Does anyone else find it slightly amusing that this is being released on the day most associated with consumerism/capitalism?

Diversity is probably the most applicable word to use when describing Leftöver Crack Volume III: Constructs of the State. Like with 90’s rap artists, LoC is known to bring in guest musicians and vocalists to collaborate on tracks, they are after all, anarchists. This album isn’t any different and if anything, goes a step further than it’s predecessors, in that almost every song features a supporting artist. This creates a unique musical conglomeration as each track tends to take on a slightly contrasting sound based on the contributing artist. Speaking of those guest artists, there’s a virtual rogue’s gallery, from members of anarcho legends, CRASS and The Dead Milkmen to more contemporary acts like Chewing on Tinfoil and The Riverboat Gamblers. The one thing that doesn’t change and most likely will never change is the quartet’s abrasive attitude and the message they deliver. As always the lyrics are overtly political, fiercely anti-religious and anti-authoritarian. The best thing about the album in my opinion, was trying to figure out who contributed on which tracks, a feat which I still haven’t completed.

The opening track “Archaic Subjugation” is one of the few songs that maintains it’s natural LoC sound. The recognizable guitar distortion and feedback, wailing like an alarm over top of blistering fast drums right before the gravelly, labored vocals of Sturgeon kick in. Standard fare for the initiated but from there on, things get a little less familiar. “Loneliness & Heartache” is the most noticeable deviation from the their regular sound, at least from the first half of the LP. It’s more upbeat and has a pop tone to it. The early highlight is the track that was released a few weeks back as a teaser to the album release, “System Fucked” which features Jesse Michael of Op Ivy. As expected, it’s very heavily ska influenced, with simple repetitive guitar riffs before getting back to the faster, street hardened sound. While this type of mix isn’t foreign to the band, there is a definite delineation from their typical ska-core sound. Included, along with the eleven new tracks are two cover songs. “Last Legs” written by folk troupe Blackbird Raum gets a hardcore makeover, diverging greatly from the alpha version which may be the folkiest(?) folk song I’ve ever heard.

The second half of the album has just as many gems as the first half. Some of the best are “Poliamor Fiesta Crack!” which is a sarcastic,snide criticism of societal misogyny and my personal favorite, “Vicious Constructs” from which the album gets it’s name. “Lie of Luck”  previously released as a single on Fat Music Volume 8, might be the other strong contender for best track. The only real miss here is “Amenecer de los Muertos”. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it just seems out of place and almost included as an afterthought. I guess the message is about over-commercialization but it just doesn’t land and could’ve been packaged better, in my opinion. Wrapping up the LP and on the opposite end of the cover song spectrum, we have “The War at Home” originally written and performed by SoCal, poli-punkers, Intro5pect. Whereas “Last Legs” is a wholly different musical interpretation, this cover sounds almost exactly like the original, released back in 2007, which featured STZA (confused yet?) and is by far the most out of place sounding track on the album with heavy synthesizers and an electronica sound. That being said, it’s still a great anthem that has a perfect, catchy chorus line and some razor sharp guitars. It’s a good fit even if it is just a carbon copy of the original.

After over a decade of waiting, this album meets almost every expectation. While it does differ from previous albums, it maintains the fundamental sound, delivery and core themes. Leftover Crack seems to be back on track (Alliteration!!!) after a long hiatus of releasing new material. Now, with the backing of the well connected and respected team at Fat Wreck Chords they can hopefully sustain this momentum and continue to cultivate their creativity on a more consistent basis to further solidify their place in the punk community as the amplifier for the proletariat.

4/5 Stars

Cult Leader releases new album, “Lightless Walk,” announces tour dates

Cult Leader, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based crust rockers, have released a new album called Lightless Walk, and you can check it out below.  The album was released today on Deathwish Inc.

Cult Leader is heading out on a month-long tour tomorrow, and you can also find those dates below.

Cult Leader stream new album “Great I Am”

Salt Lake City crust rockers, Cult Leader, just released a stream of their new album “Great I Am”. The album contains eleven harsh and jagged songs that sound like they were dragged straight from hell, and you can check it out below.

“Great I Am” is being released through Deathwish Inc, and marks the bands first full release since last year’s “Nothing For Us Here”. Also, check out the beaming review for their recent EP “Useless Animal”, from Dying Scene’s own Torchbearer; here.

Call Of The Void announces new tour dates

Boulder’s metallic crust punks, Call Of The Void, have just announced a new set of tour dates, which will see them hopping back and forth across the United States. Throughout the tour they’ll also be joined by Syracuse outfit Bleak. Check out the dates below.

This tour comes off the band’s recent completeion of their upcoming EP “Are You Fucking Kidding Me”, which will be released via Relapse Records sometime in the near future.

Ballot Burner (crusty hardcore) stream new EP “Forward Into Extinction”

Regina, SK, Canadian based label Harvest King Records has just announced the release of “Forward Into Extinction”, the debut EP from Ballot Burner. The band is made up of long time veterans of the community, and according to Harvest King this album represents some of the most raw underground punk/d-beat that the Canadian prairies has to offer.

You can stream “Forward Into Extinction” below.

EP Review: Cult Leader – “Useless Animal”

Cult Leader is heavy.  I’m gonna say it again, Cult Leader is heavy.  I say it again because after you have listened to their newest EP Useless Animal, you’ll find one ‘heavy’ just doesn’t cut it.  This release sees the progressive crust band take that progressive moniker to all new levels of chaos, distortion, and fury.

This frenetic onslaught lasts about three minutes over the first two songs of the three song EP.  “Useless Animal” charges right out of the gate with the band immediately in full form.  Guitars are tuned low, played loud and sound evil.  The bass has a sinister tone to it, and the drums switch from fast to really fast throughout.  All this backing what I imagine is an actual demon screaming and growling his hatred of humanity through the microphone.  That first song shows Cult Leader reaching for new levels of heaviness and complexity, but this is pushed over the edge with the next song “Gutter Gods.”  It starts off with just a bass line, but once everything else kicks in, there is no telling where the band is going to go with it.  The guitar riffs are quick and angular, while the drummer is making use out of his whole kit as often as possible, while still keeping everything on (blast) beat.  The vocals match perfectly with the madness being created by the instruments.  It sounds like a different singer than the one from the first song.  That one was low and thunderous, while this one is more high pitched and gravelly.  When the two come together toward the end of “Gutter Gods,” it sounds like the band may be about to take my soul.  This three minute onslaught feels a lot longer and is a fun ride.  If you like heavy music just for the sake of being heavy, this will delight you immensely.

The band then does a complete 180 for the third song of the EP, a cover of “You Are Not My Blood” by Mark Kozelek & Desertshore.  The song gradually eases the listener back down from the heights they took you in the first two songs with spacey guitar and slow, pulsating drums.  This continues pretty much throughout the whole song as the band adds other trippy and creepy effects.  The vocals are still low and dark, but without the screaming and growling.

Cult Leader has put out something very interesting with Useless Animal.  Its first half pushes heaviness to its extreme, while the second half seems to acknowledge that the listeners ears might spontaneously start to bleed, and offers a way to come down from that.  The best part about this is how the seemingly total opposites end up working so well together.  I feel that while the three songs differ in levels of distortion and such, they still all have the same dark vibe.   Useless Animal is a good and addicting listen that I’ll be sure to pull out for a fun ride in the future.

4/5 Stars

Album Review: Death Engine – “Mud”

Death Engine are a 4 piece band from Lorient, France who play heavy music that neither fits or fails labels like ‘metal’ or ‘crust’ or ‘post-hardcore’ or whatever other pigeon holes we can offer up. It’s simply heavy, intense and BIG. The vocals are harsh and distorted when yelled or screamed and unless parlez vous francais? Yeh …nah…i cant understand a damn word. This is the full length debut from the band who previously released an insanely good Ep titled ‘Amen’ .. also through Throatruiner.

7 tracks spanning about half n hour of just massive guitars..huge drums and other noises. Musically there’s a lot in common with artists like Envy, Botch, Isis, Chariot, Old Man Gloom etc. Everything sounds completely raw and live but a keen ear will distinguish the small and subtle production elements that pull feedback in, let the room ring out or seamlessly introduce a synth or even acoustic guitar. They’ve clearly spent time on this and the proof is in the end result.

So.. think big chord progressions that feel hopeful and emotive…and then they strike these ‘off’ notes that almost jar the listener out of that zone. The drums drive the rhythm section with a solid performance that never complicates things, in fact sometimes it’s the only thing the ear can latch onto for some sense of where the hell it’s all going! Dynamically this record offers a range of quieter moments and interludes, feedback and drone-inspired sections.. but when it gets heavy, boy of boy is it great!

As with most Throatruiner records the album is made available for free download via/ the label prior to the vinyl shipping out so feel free to give it a spin and see if it’s something you’re into. If you dig it as much as’ll be hitting the ‘order’ button before too long because it’s a haunting record that has a lot of replay value.

4/5 Stars

Death Engine (hardcore/crust) release debut album “Mud”

France based hardcore/crust outfit Death Engine are streaming their new full length Mud. This is the band’s debut album, which they spent most of 2014 working on. In addition to the release of their album, which you can pre-order a hard copy of, they will also be embarking on a European tour to support the new release. You can check out the dates and stream the full album below.

Mud is out via Throatruiner Records and Apocaplexy Records. Itwill serve as a follow-up to the group’s 2013 EP Amen.

Call Of The Void streams “Ageless” in entirety; heads out on US tour

Boulder, Colorado metallic crust punks Call Of The Void has just made their upcoming album, “Ageless”, available to stream in its entirety.

The album is set to be released next week, February 10th, through Relapse Records, and you can listen to the whole thing here.

The band has some tour dates lined up with Enabler, which you can view below.

Call Of The Void last released “Dragged Down A Dead End Path” back in 2013.