embrace

Embrace: Embrace (1987)

It’s been a long trip since first hearing Minor Threat in the back of a station wagon on the way to school in 1990. That blast of righteous fury was my intro to the DC hardcore scene, my intro to Discord Records, and my intro to the great Ian MacKaye. Since then it’s been a long and wonderful road of discovery; not only through the man’s discography, but through the incredible music the label has been steadily putting out since the early 80s. So today let’s briefly talk about the connective tissue between the early rage of Minor Threat and the more propulsive, moody rush of Fugazi – the self-titled and sole record from Embrace.

Continue reading “Embrace: Embrace (1987)”
baptists - bloodmines

Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)

How many seconds into Bloodmines, the second full-length from British Columbia hardcore outfit Baptists did you become aware this was recorded and produced by Kurt Ballou?  It’s unmistakable, and that’s a huge plus if you’re a massive fan of the man’s work as a producer.  If you’re not, I don’t know if anything is going to change your mind here, because this sounds like like any number of hardcore bands recorded under the Godcity banner.  Make of that what you will. Continue reading “Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)”

beastie boys - sounds of science

Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)

There’s an art to compilations, and it’s not always the same art.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know – it’s currently 10:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a snort of whisky in my coffee.  Anyway, compilations can be a generic overview, target a specific period in time, or – if they’re really ambitious – display an evolution of artistic exploration in such a way as to capture an essence, a distillation of what makes a band unique.  So enter The Sounds of Science by the Beastie BoysContinue reading “Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)”

angry samoans - the unboxed set

Angry Samoans: The Unboxed Set (1995)

Back in 1993 I got this amazing hardcore punk compilation called Faster & Louder.  It was my first introduction to a larger world than I knew from the Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat.  Bands like The Dicks, SSD, Mission of Burma and D.O.A. blew my mind, but it was the 52 second blast of “Lights Out” from the Angry Samoans that really struck my young brain’s fancy.  For years that was all I knew of the band, but that changed with The Unboxed Set, which collects all of the band’s 12′ release onto one compact disc.  Continue reading “Angry Samoans: The Unboxed Set (1995)”

allfather - bless the earth with fire

Allfather: Bless The Earth With Fire (2016)

There are epochal moments in my life as a “metal” dude that will never fade.  In 2016 I went from being a guy who listened to and collected a lot of metal records, keeping largely to himself to a guy who recorded and released a metal record (even though I called it a demo) and connected with a larger community of folks who did the same thing.  One of the earliest bands I connected with both on a personal and musical level was Allfather, a hardcore sludge/doom band from the UK who had at that point released a handful of cool singles and EPs.  Then Bless The Earth With Fire came out I got to witness a band go from “cool guys putting out cool songs” to “Holy crap these guys are the real deal and shit I need to get better if I want to do this for real.”   Continue reading “Allfather: Bless The Earth With Fire (2016)”