The Shortlist: Demos, EPs, Splits and Reissues (Issue 37)


PEARS / Direct Hit!: Human Movement: Fat Wreck Chords

Direct Hit! and PEARS exchange selected cuts from each other’s catalogs and offer up five new songs each on this 45-rpm 12” LP. On Human Movement, the Fat Wreck heavyweights trade catchy hooks and snotty vocals. As premiered right here by New Noise, the record’s attitude punctures senses at high volume and speed. Fun editions include a magenta and “Bone” swirl version; pink and white swirl; yellow with red splatter; the special edition clear with green and fuchsia splatter; and even a limited-edition deck by Hooligan Skateboards. Released Nov. 3. –Hutch

The Raging Nathans / Pizzatramp: Split 7”: Rad Girlfriend Records

Out Feb. 2, this four-track split from Ohio grump-punks The Raging Nathans and South Wales’ Black Flag-influenced skate punk trio, Pizzatramp, is a pissed-off, middle-fingers-in-the-air, beer-can-chucking, halfpipe-shredding rager. Pooling punk aggression from both sides of the pond, it will leave you wondering whether to angry-tweet 45 or the Queen—or both! “Our side is two songs leftover from the Cheap Fame recording sessions,” Raging Nathans vocalist and guitarist Josh Goldman says. “We had one other leftover song that went on a four-way split with some European bands. Trashcan—from the legendary Lima, [Ohio], grindcore band, PIZZAHIFIVE—did the artwork.” –Tim Anderl


Gatecreeper: Sweltering Madness: Closed Casket Activities

Arizona’s Gatecreeper just closed out a national tour opening for Cannibal Corpse—and buddies, Power Trip—and gave us some new material to indulge our misanthropic moshing. Delivering these Kurt Ballou-mixed recordings on vinyl for the first time—with artwork by Visions Beyond Darkness—Gatecreeper offer two tracks of hardcore-inspired death metal to remind fans why their full-length debut, Sonoran Depravation, blindsided metal communities in 2016. Closed Casket Activities presses 250 on hot pink in “Highlighter Yellow”; 500 on “Swamp Green,” splattered with silver; and 750 on clear with black splatter. Released Nov. 21. –Hutch

Haunt: Luminous Eyes: Shadow Kingdom Records

Trevor William Church has been mesmerizing fans with his mind-bending riffs in Beastmaker. Now, sidestepping the horror and occult-steeped hypnotic doom in favor of NWOBHM-inspired quick riffage, he brings us Haunt. Shadow Kingdom Records offers the new project’s debut EP, Luminous Eyes, on CD, aqua and white swirl 12”, or aqua cassette tape. As Haunt, Church emerges solo to pluck from traits of classic ‘80s heavy metal. The four tracks are inventive and addictive. Five copies of a test pressing, autographed, are out in the world as well. Available Dec. 29. –Hutch

Vitriol: Pain Will Define Their Death: Self-Released

Deservedly gathering much respect and many spins is the debut from Portland, Oregon’s Vitriol. This three-song EP of punishing technical blackened death metal features constant journeys up and down the fretboard in nanosecond spans. Vitriol deliver harshly with sewer-drenched aspersions. Machine-like drum-pummeling and guttural growls paint soundscapes of enmity and disdain. Recorded at Audioseige and mixed by Taylor Young, this debut is devastating. Released Nov. 10. –Hutch


Cursive: Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes: 15 Passenger Records

Few songwriters are more skilled at capturing the gut-wrenching imperfection of their own life’s experience than Cursive’s Tim Kasher. Fewer still are able to make a listener—in particular, a distinctly lovelorn one—feel breathless in their miserable commonality. When he recalls passing out in his paramour’s yard amidst a chunky swirl of Archers Of Loaf-y riffing on “Ceilings Crack” or is captured admonishing his cohorts that they’ve forgotten a verse on “Downhill Racers,” feeling similarly grimy and humiliated is unavoidable. This may not be in even the top three of fans’ most beloved efforts by the group, but after 20 years and with a fresh remaster from the original tapes, these cuts are sharp enough to reopen some long-forgotten heart scars. Released Dec. 1. –Tim Anderl

Friendship: Hatred: Southern Lord Recordings

If a grindcore band shredded with dial-up internet modems instead of guitars, one could argue they picked up where Japanese outfit, Friendship, left off. The band’s debut LP, Hatred, punishes listeners with high-pitched amplifier feedback accented by disgustingly heavy rhythm guitars, blast beats, and guttural screams. “Grief,” the album’s sixth track, kicks off with terrifyingly soloed screaming and defines Friendship’s artistic attitude perfectly. It’s the kind of bold move that bands with a focus on mainstream success are unlikely to make. It’s also the kind of move that could easily come across as unenjoyably awkward, but bolstered by outlandish confidence and intense vocal strength, that is not the case for Friendship. Songs on Hatred may be headache-inducing by design, but they are also wholeheartedly genuine. It makes listening to the album a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

Friendship intentionally keep most details about their identity a secret. What is known about the band is that, while their home city is Tokyo, Japan, they are rapidly making an impact within the global hardcore community. Prior to Hatred, they gained international attention after independently distributing two separate EPs. Sentient Ruin Laboratories later packaged and reissued those EPs as a single unit, aptly named I and II, on both vinyl and cassette. Both formats sold out in less than a month.

While there are plenty of memorable moments on Hatred, it’s best not to get too attached to any of them. Most songs are less than two minutes in length, and consequently, riffs change rapidly and rarely repeat. Hatred is raw and straight to the point, but also highly creative and dynamic. The LP was issued on CD in June by Japan’s Daymare Recordings, then on vinyl via Southern Lord Oct. 20. –Andrew Humphrey

Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice, and Audit In Progress: Sub Pop Records

Hot Snakes are alive and well again and are hitting 2018 hard. Come Jan. 19, Sub Pop will reissue their three classic full-lengths—Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice, and Audit In Progress—on CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital download. The new year also takes them back on the road for a nine-day stint in the U.K. Having just witnessed their live performance at a sold-out show in Seattle, this is not one to miss! They’re touring with both drummers and cruising through hit after hit with barely any time to clap, blink, or breathe as they tear through their sets. The reissues are currently available for preorder through Sub Pop, and the LPs come with a new sticker set and a single-pocket jacket with custom dust sleeve. There’s even a new t-shirt design ready for preorder as well. On top of all this, the Snakes are working on new material that they’re already playing at live shows. If you slept on getting these albums through Swami back in the day, now is your chance to add them to a new or existing collection. Their U.K. dates run Jan. 25 through Feb. 3, and they will hopefully add more U.S. dates in the future. –Kayla Greet

Nocturnal Graves: Satan’s Cross: Season Of Mist

These death metal demons from Down Under—Australia, that is—are rereleasing a classic album to share with their fans. “For a long while, we have received regular requests from fans and labels alike about repressing the Satan’s Cross album, which has been out of print for many years now,” Nocturnal Graves explain. “We are proud to have it rereleased through Season Of Mist, and for this occasion, we have included the preproduction demo, which includes raw and untamed versions of many of the album tracks.” This rerelease is long-awaited by fans and promises to bring a crisper version of its previous brutality with the new remasters. The album will be especially welcomed by those who have been hunting for the music, as the original is out of print. Available on 12” clear vinyl Dec. 8. –Addison Herron-Wheeler

Richard Hell And The Voidoids: Blank Generation: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition: Rhino Entertainment

Every punk rock mom or dad will tell you: if you don’t know Richard Hell And The Voidoids, you don’t know good music—or, at the very least, you are missing a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to the foundations of punk. Blank Generation is one of the albums that defined the early New York sound and helped put the U.S. on the map as a contender in the punk rock game. Now, you can score the entire record, remastered and tuned up beyond its former glory. Even better, this 40th anniversary edition is coming to vinyl as well as CD, so you can grab that double-LP deluxe edition gatefold, along with an extensive interview with Hell himself and never-before-seen excerpts from his notebooks. Put simply, this is the perfect gift for a punk nerd—or your inner punk nerd. Released Nov. 24. –Addison Herron-Wheeler


Angel Olsen: Phases: Jagjaguwar

Indie singer Angel Olsen’s Phases is a rarities album released through Jagjaguwar on Nov. 10 that shows off 11 of her lesser-known songs. It also includes a new one: “Special,” a ballad about wanting more out of life that starts slow, but rocks hard as it reaches the backend of its seven-plus minutes. The pace picks up around track six with “Sweet Dreams,” a brutally honest Jefferson Airplane-sounding selection from her 2013 Sleepwalker 7”, which then leads into “California,” the lighter-sounding B-side of the same record. Olsen brings it home with a dreary-but-hopeful folk tune, Burn Your Fire for No Witness bonus track “Endless Road.” Available on olive green or black vinyl, CD, and digital formats. –Cody Fitzpatrick


Swingin’ Utters: Drowning in the Sea, Rising With the Sun: Fat Wreck Chords

Three decades into their career, one of the Bay Area’s longest-running punk bands are finally set to release a Best Of album. They have whittled the track list down to 33 selections, an impressive feat given how many great songs the band have to their name. Out via Fat Wreck Chords on LP, CD, and digitally on Dec. 8, Drowning in the Sea, Rising With the Sun serves as a great primer to 2018, with Swingin’ Utters planning to record and release new music and tour throughout the year. –John B. Moore


Various Artists: Bloodshot Records’ 13 Days of Xmas: Bloodshot Records

The country punk rockers at Bloodshot Records have cobbled together a pretty impressive compilation in their first-ever holiday album. 13 Days of Xmas includes holiday-themed songs from label regulars like Ha Ha Tonka, Murder By Death, and The Yawpers, as well as several non-label acts like James Elkington. Even if you’re clearly on the naughty list, go ahead and pick this one up for yourself. Out on vinyl—your choice of translucent red or green, naturally—and CD on Nov. 17. John B. Moore

Brody’s Militia: Early Days Discography: HPGD Productions

Snarling, thrashy grindcore in spades. Horror Pain Gore Death Productions compiles 60 friggin’ tracks on one CD. Brody’s Militia started in 2000, releasing over three demos and many splits and EPs. The Kentucky-based band continued slaying speakers with sweat and sanguine sounds, spewing short, spasmodic songs. This complete compilation of the band’s early days was remastered at Mammoth Sound by Dan Randall. HPGD packs a 12-page booklet with notes, art, and lyrics. The caustic rock ‘n’ roll thrash from vehement enthusiasts influenced by Poison Idea, Extreme Noise Terror, Napalm Death, and Motörhead gave us classics like “MRR is CIA,” “Aim For the Head,” “The Shitlist Goes Ever On,” “Coffee Fueled Killing Spree,” and “Thin Skin and Virgin Ears”—mostly between 30 and 50 seconds at a time. Raw and brutal, but clearly produced, this is an impressive release, out Dec. 15. –Hutch


Black Sabbath: “The End”: Eagle Vision

Sabbath have been around forever and, seemingly, have been promising to call it quits forever. While fans are glad they have not, one wonders if this actually will be their farewell show or if they will come back for yet another reunion. At any rate, “The End” captures the—as of now—last moments of Black Sabbath, their show at Genting Arena in their hometown of Birmingham, England. The live performance, as expected, is mostly the band playing their hits, accompanied by an outrageous light show and lots of emotional moments. The DVD also includes footage of Sabbath playing some of their favorite songs that don’t get played on tour anymore, songs that were also rerecorded for their final studio release as a band. By no means is “The End” going to shed new insight on the band or offer anything unexpected, but it is definitely a must-have for the diehard Sabbath fan looking to remember their final performance. Released Nov. 17. –Addison Herron-Wheeler

Dimebag Darrell: “Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It or Get Rolled Over”: Metal Blade Records

Fans were given a glimpse behind the scenes of the late, great Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell’s life with 2006’s “Dimevision Vol. 1: That’s The Fun I Have.” The Nov. 24 release of “Vol. 2: Roll With It or Get Rolled Over” will no doubt please Dimebag stans just as much. Like its predecessor, the second Dimevision is chock-full of video footage captured by the guitarist himself, his long-time girlfriend Rita Haney, and others. But while “Vol. 1” was something of a memorial to Dimebag’s life and career, “Vol. 2” is said to be closer to what the guitarist himself envisioned for the footage. “He had a unique way of seeing things, and he always lived with a video camera,” Haney says. “In putting out these videos, I just want people to see the way he was, 24/7. What you saw onstage and backstage, that was how he lived.” Along with a DVD of the documentary itself, “Vol. 2” comes with a CD containing five previously unheard demos chosen from the vast back-catalog of material Dimebag Darrell started recording all the way back in 1984 when Haney gave him his first 4-Track. –Mike Gaworecki

Lydia Loveless: “Who Is Lydia Loveless?”: MVD Visual

Filmmaker Gorman Bechard has put together documentaries on The Replacements, Archers Of Loaf, and Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, so it’s a bit surprising that he choose Lydia Loveless as his next subject. That is, until you hear her music—then, it’s a pretty damn obvious choice. Told through interviews with Loveless and her bandmates, and with plenty of live footage, the doc captures what it’s like to be a young musician dealing with life on the road, piracy, sexism, and just about anything else life has thrown at Loveless. “Lydia is the future of rock ‘n’ roll,” Bechard says. “She straps you onto an emotional rollercoaster of love, lust, drunken mistakes, a little stalking, a lot of heartbreak, and you’re left breathless, stunned, happy to have taken the ride.” The DVD is out via MVD Visual on Nov. 24. John B. Moore

Strife: Live at the Troubadour: WAR Records

One of the fiercest and most passionate hardcore bands of the ‘90s still conjure fury and intensity with recent killers like the 2012 Witness a Rebirth LP and 2015 Incision EP. In 2005, Strife recorded a furious live set in their home base of Los Angeles. Recorded, mixed, and mastered on 24-tracks—and filmed on five cameras—the intimidating 43-minute set finds Strife reaching into their landmark three albums: 1994’s One Truth, 1997’s In This Defiance, and 2001’s Angermeans. Strife’s intensity has never waned, only gained momentum. A cool Agnostic Front Live at CBGB salute test pressing has already sold out on WAR’s site. The label, run by guitarist Andrew Kline, issued this for Record Store Day and Black Friday on Nov. 24. The Record Store Day-exclusive version is a run of 500 LPs on red vinyl, plus the DVD, and the label will issue a CD and DVD version as well. Prepare for stage-dives, pile-ons, and finger-pointing to blistering anthems in your own living room. –Hutch

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