The Shortlist: Demos, EPs, Splits and Reissues (Issue 29)

The Shortlist: Demos, EPs, Splits and Reissues (Issue 29)

COMPS:

Extermination Vol. 3 Compilation: Flatspot Records

Guitarist Ricky Singh of Backtrack and Manipulate collects the top hardcore bands on his Flatspot Label. Flatspot delivers exclusive blazing hardcore tracks to rabid, anxious fans. New tracks by Terror, Piece By Piece, Disgrace, Countdown, Manipulate, Friend Or Foe, D.C. Disorder, Higher Power, and Take Offense scorch speakers with crunching hardcore. Powerful riffs and searing anger bleed from each track. Grab this on black, white, or silver splatter vinyl and limited run cassette. Sweet long sleeve shirts with each band listed on the sleeves and the record’s ominous black and white cover on the chest are available as well. Extermination drops Nov. 11.

SPLITS:

Coliseum / Doomriders: Not of this World: Magic Bullet Records

The evil-mongers over at Magic Bullet resurrect two gems from the catacombs. In 2005, Coliseum frontman Ryan Patterson—among other hardcore legends—self-released this dual-sided record with Doomriders to publicly worship the Satanic Elvis himself, Danzig. Doomriders cover “Possession” while Coliseum savagely rip through “Am I Demon.” Magic Bullet unleash this sacrilegious reissue with a new homage to the Danzig skull, via artist Florian Bertmer. Magic Bullet reissue Not of this World on Nov. 18 on black, white, and clear 7” vinyl.

Ghoulgotha / Ruin: “Churning in Vertebraes / Becoming Disease”: Blood Harvest Records

On Dec. 16, Blood Harvest gives us 10-plus minutes of old-school death metal. While some bands harness the crisp tech clarity, Ghoulgotha and Ruins crush with rough brutality. In the spirit of the old U.S. legends like Deicide, Obituary, and Autopsy, Ghoulgotha write a mesmerizing track, “Churning in Vertebraes,” that builds and claws through itself to pummel forward. Ruin burn slower but still thrash about with vitriol and vinegar on “Becoming Disease.” The soured sentiment echoes the atmosphere of rancor and revenge provided by thick riffs. Coarse guitars and punishing double bass drums revel in treacherous sensations. The exclusive tracks grace 120 copies on black vinyl, 50 on clear, 50 on grey, and 30 on yellow.

Abigail / Lustrum: Too Wild for the Crowd: Eternal Death Records

Japan’s Abigail teams up with the U.S.’s Lustrum. These bands deliberately admonish new-school black metal bands, each vanquishing false notions with fresh raw, stripped-down tracks harkening the original black metal wave. Each band offers two tracks which were recorded this past summer and released on Nov. 25. Abigail—who recently released a stellar full-length on Nuclear War Now!—have mastered their dark craft since 1992.

Lustrum / Alcoholic Rites: Drunk and In Charge: Eternal Death Records

Also out Nov. 25 from Eternal Death—who have released recent hits from Bog Of The Infidel, Haxen, and Circle Of Salt—the Drunk and In Charge 7” solidifies that Ecuador’s Alcoholic Rites’ belligerent booze-drenched Satanic metal will sever heads from necks in headbanging mayhem. Their two offerings are paired with two Lustrum tracks. Crushing since 2002, with multiple albums on Iron Bonehead, Alcoholic Rites stayed sober just long enough to lay these gritty tracks down on limited white vinyl.

REISSUES:

Sleep: The Clarity: Southern Lord

Since their bitter demise—with the record industry, not each other—Sleep have harvested an ardent fan base and deserved lore. In 2014, they released one track after their 16-year, um… sleep, though that dormancy had been broken by a bevy of blistering live shows. Their sole recording in the last two years was The Clarity for Adult Swim Singles. Bassist and vocalist Al Cisneros (OM), guitarist and vocalist Matt Pike (High On Fire), and drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis) tapped Neurosis’ Noah Landis to record. The Clarity was released digitally and available on limited vinyl at live shows. Out of print since, Southern Lord finally blesses the earth with a 180-gram 12” vinyl edition. The flipside manifests an etching by David V. D’Andrea—of Samaritan Press—and it will be housed in a heavyweight picture disc-style sleeve, silkscreened with the Sleep logo. Preorders go up soon for the February 2017 release.

Excel: The Joke’s On You: Southern Lord

Two years ago, Southern Lord reacquainted the metal world with these ‘80s Cali thrash bruisers via their four-color re-pressing of Split Image, Excel’s first album in 1987 for Suicidal Records and Caroline Records. With Venice peers Suicidal Tendencies and No Mercy, Excel played ripping thrash crossover in the vein of New York bros Crumbsuckers and Oakland’s Attitude Adjustment. The Joke’s On You from 1989—originally released via Caroline Records and produced by Randy Burns (Megadeth, Kreator, Possessed)—saw Excel garner attention from punks, metalheads, hardcore dudes, and skate rats everywhere. The members were steeped in skate culture, riding with Christian Hosoi, Eric Dressen, and Tony Alva. The Southern Lord reissue is remastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Poison Idea, Integrity, Nails). The original 12 tracks—plus “Blaze Some Hate,” initially a 12” single via Caroline—came out Nov. 18 on black and opaque purple vinyl alongside a new line of shirts from Southern Lord.

After The Fall: Recollection: Bird Attack Records

From the cold streets of upstate New York, Albany’s After The Fall have remastered band and fan favorites extracted from Eradication, Fort Orange, Everything, Collar City, and FETD. In the ‘00s, After The Fall peddled catchy, speedy punk; Recollection embraces 17 of those confrontational, angry tracks, out Oct. 28 on Bird Attack. After The Fall are simply looking back, as this is no summary of their existence. In the last two years, the band have toured California and Mexico with 88 Fingers Louie, Pennywise, Face To Face, and long-term punk heroes, Anti-Flag and Propagandhi. A sweaty set at FEST in Gainesville assured fans of their continued vitality. Shows with Strung Out and Descendents incite the band’s dedication and vicious attitude. After The Fall blend snarling punk and sharp metallic riffs to deliver a decade of convincing allegiance.

Mr. T Experience: Shards Volume 1: Sounds Rad Records

Between 1986 and 2004, Mr. T Experience traversed the globe celebrating punk with thousands of fans. The band released 11 albums and myriad singles. With classics like 1992’s Milk Milk Lemonade, 1996’s Love Is Dead, and 1994 EP And The Women Who Love Them, they combined a love of the Ramones and The Queers to create bouncy, smart songs. In a surprising rebirth, King Dork Approximately came out in 2014 and soothed lamenting fans and critics. Mr. T Experience again recruits Sounds Rad Records for the digital release of Shards Volume 1—available now—which compiles rare tracks from their past debauchery, scarcely found on 45s, flexi-discs, and split EPs. In conjunction, a series of reissued classic shirts will be available on Sounds Rad’s website.

Swirlies: Blonder Tongue Audio Baton: Taang! Records

Taang! Records boasted an eclectic roster in the ‘90s: home to Slapshot and Sam Black Church, reissues of DYS, SSD, and Poison Idea, and introducing the world to Lemonheads and Spacemen 3. Then, there were Swirlies, now touting a vinyl reissue of their long out-of-print Blonder Tongue Audio Baton LP. Swirlies formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1990. The band were lauded in the U.S. psych-rock genre known as shoegaze, alongside Lilys, Velocity Girl, Blonde Redhead, and more. The band drew from their late ‘80s U.K. influences—Charlatans, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure—and filtered them through their own idiosyncratic twists. Their original ideas and innovations scored illustrious dreamscapes with nosiey, dissonant guitars, fuzzy feedback, and rambunctious off rhythms. Between 1990 and 1992, Swirlies released singles on Slumberland, Pop Narcotic, Simple Machines, and Nervous Records. In 1992, the band signed to Taang! The Swirlies’ ability to bandy between fractured lush sounds and impending randy riffs distinguished them even in an evolving scene. Blonder Tongue Audio Baton was recently ranked number 11 on Pitchfork’s 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time. Limited quantities of a special edition of the LP are available as of Nov. 25. All this ruckus illuminates the return of the band as they prepare for tour dates and more upcoming releases.

Discharge and GBH Reissues via Restricted Records

There simply is no manner in which to quantify the impact of Discharge. In 1977, out of the darkness of Stoke-on-Trent, England—parallel in time to catchy pop-minded bands—came Discharge. By 1980, these punks—guised in black, bullets, and no-bollocks politics—eschewed any notion of pop hooks and down-tuned their raw, gritty energy. They combined rumbling noise, blazing speed, and genuine rebellion. From Sheer Terror to Tragedy, Metallica to Anselmo, Napalm Death to Bathory, Minor Threat to Municipal Waste, Discharge’s influence infests multiple genres. See how many interviews reference Discharge or how many inlay jackets boast band members with Discharge shirts. Christ, they have a genre named after them: D-beat. There are numerous bands who use their font and layout style and “dis” to begin their names.

GBH—out of Birmingham—joined Discharge as the UK82 sound found its defining characteristics. With lyrics scraped from the gutter and the backpages, GBH spat trashy, loud, and captivating content. With shared confrontational attitudes and dirty, heavy riffs of thick punk, GBH were labelmates with Discharge on Clay Records in 1981. Restricted Records blesses punk fans with reissues from these two legends as they initiate their new Classic Music Series. Discharge is represented by their early years with 1982 debut LP Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing; 1989 live album Live at Garden City New Jersey; 1980 EP Decontrol; 1981 EP Why?; and 2004 comp Society’s Victims. G.B.H.’s glorious past is resurrected via LPs City Baby Attacked By Rats and City Babys Revenge, from ’82 and ’83 respectively; 2007 collection Race Against Time: The Complete Clay Recordings; and 2002’s The Punk Singles 1981-84.

Restricted Records owner Paula Hogan glows with excitement. “We are really excited about the new series and bringing quality releases that have been unavailable to fans for some time,” she says. “Discharge and GBH innovated a movement. They both continue to perform today for fans, some that were never properly introduced to these pivotal recordings. To launch the series with these two bands is truly an honor. We can only hope fans will embrace them.”

Bonus Round for discerning fans!
Words by Thomas Pizzola

Sheer Mag: Compilation LP: Wilsuns RC

Sheer Mag have been garnering all kinds of attention and accolades for their soulful, lo-fi take on punk rock. This compilation LP collects their highly praised 7”s recorded between 2014 and 2016 onto one LP, sequenced chronologically so you can hear how the band have developed from their earliest days into their current sound. This is all in preparation for the band’s forthcoming debut full-length, which will hit sometime in 2017. The Compilation LP—out via Wilsuns RC at the end of November—is perfect for the longtime fan or the newbie. You’ll want to hear this.

Soggy: Soggy: Outer Battery

Outer Battery is doing us all a great service by putting back into print the debut album from 1980s French punkers, Soggy, on Dec. 9. This new edition contains the whole full-length as well as both songs from their 1981 Waiting for the War 7” single. This is some primo hard-rocking punk in the fine tradition of bands like the Stooges and the MC5. It’s unhinged, wild, and totally worth your time. Get it or be forever square.

Read more of The Shortlist here.

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