THE SHORT LIST: 1.20.23

The Short List is a weekly dive into EPs, Splits, Reissues, Comps, Live Records, etc

REISSUES:

7 Seconds Walk Together Rock Together Reissue TRUST Records
February 3 2023

TRUST Records continue to slay the reissue game. They have already done a stellar job with Circle Jerks’ Group Sex and Wild in the Streets and 7 Seconds’ The Crew and Agression’s Don’t Be Mistaken; with SSD’s The Kids Will Have Their Say in the works (collaborating with Al Barile) for release later this year. Available now for pre-order is Walk Together Rock Together“, 7 Seconds’ second LP (if you don’t count the Socially Fucked Up tape with its bootleg demo quality) was a monumental record for the band and hardcore history. 1985 saw the band relax their delivery slightly; receding from their prior strict blazing speed Minor Threat emulation (all songs under one minute) and finding their own voice. Starting in 1980, as a trio, by 1985 they had two undeniable EPs, Committed for Life and Skins, Brains, and Guts and their crucial debut LP, The Crew. Representing the punk rock ghost town of Reno NV, they had been through a few drummers but had been led by enthusiastic peers who released their records such as The Sterns with Better Youth Organization (BYO Records) and Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles.

By Walk Together Rock Together the foursome were honed into their comfort zone and focused in 1985. Plus, Kevin Seconds had started his label, Positive Force (which would drop Youth Of Today’s debut, Can’t Close My Eyes, the following year). Positive Force would split the release with BYO. The sound of 7 Seconds here evolved to where it still had a gnarly bass with some grit, but the riffs were catchy with some harmonies and melodies. Seconds’ voice still had the signature high tones; not Halford octaves or today’s processed clean vocals, but more palatable than that snarl of Keith Morris or aggressive growl of Henry Rollins or Ian MacKaye. Speaking of MacKaye, who was a strong supporter of 7 Seconds, he produced this record (and sang some back ups). He would guide Seconds, his brother, Steve Youth on bass, Troy Mowat on drums and Dan Pozniak on guitars; both of whom had been in the band for over three years at this point. The band already a classic with the SXE anthem, “Young Till I Die”. Here the title track would be just as invigorating. for decades to follow. Along with those and the opener, “Strength”, “In Your Face”, “Regress No Way”, “We’re Gonna Fight” and a cover of “99 Red Balloons” the songs which 7 Seconds – paired with Kevin’s voice and positive messages – would attract new fans that would not approach a sinister, enraged ban like, well, Negative Approach. And these songs are well over one minute with a couple crossing the three minute mark. Unheard of just two years prior.

Walk Together Rock Together is a milestone for the raw talent and the DIY purity to this dedicated crew. But it is a solidified classic due to other major players. Again, Ian MacKaye producing. Brian Walsby on the cover art, and Don Zientara as engineer, as they recorded at Inner Ear Studios (you should know those names from numerous Dischord and DC bands). TRUST does everything to capture and secure the nostalgia and the audio for the innumerable fans which this LP garnered. Now since the OG pressing didn’t include “Regress No Way” and “We’re Gonna Fight”, TRUST supplements this pre-order with a 7” EP featuring the two. TRUST also has exclusive merch (shirts and apparently balloons) for the release, and would like to mention, “a gatefold 20-page full color book continuing the oral history of the band from 1984 – 1986, including commentary from Pushead, Ian MacKaye, Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand), Norman Brannon (Texas Is The Reason), Milo Aukerman (Descendents), Tony Hawk, Shepard Fairey, Christian Jacobs (Yo Gabba Gabba!), Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise) and more.” This album means the world to many people. Find out why.

TRUST Variants:
Green (limited to 250)
Black w/Yellow Splatter (500)
Yellow w/Black Splatter (750)
*Only TRUST includes the seven-inch EP

REVHQ and CORETEX has a Yellow pressing.
GARAGELAND has a LTD ED Clear W/Purple + Yellow Splatter
ROUGH TRADE has Black Vinyl

Apparently TARGET has it too if you need to buy toothpaste and deodorant in the same mail order because it’s 2023. Or Barnes & Noble if you want to pick up some hardcore with your Kafka. But no link to support corporations.

 

COVERS:

Kepi Ghoulie Full Moon Forever Pirates Press Records
January 23 2023

Kepi Ghoulie of the Groovie Ghoulies has enjoyed a long solo career for over two decades outside the legendary impact the Groovie Ghoulies. When someone puts that amount of passion into subculture music, friendships form which are singular in this life experience. Recently, Kepi connected with Ara Babajian, drummer of the Slackers and recruited Chris Bernard (The Queers, Groovie Ghoulies, The Cretins) to join his evil escapade. Together they embark on a macabre journey through covers of The Cure, The Cars, Nick Cave, and more. The trio sat with their other old friend, Mass Giorgini at Sonic Iguana studios in Lafayette, IN to record this creepy album. Channeling the ghosts of Easy Bay, Sonic Ingram was where Lookout Records recorded in the 90’s and beyond. Ten dark, grisly renditions of their poppier cousins are drenched in reverb and echo with spunky rhythms. Add the talents of Ian Fowles (Aquabats, Gerard Way) and Prima Donna’s Aaron Minton and Kevin Preston (doing double duty in Green Day in Green Day), and several other friends. Pressed on purple vinyl and slapped inside artwork by artist Tom Neely who gave the world Henry & Glenn Forever and the cover of The Last Book on the Left.

1. Heroes (David Bowie)
2. The Perfect Girl (The Cure)
3. Happy When It Rains (The Jesus and Mary Chain)
4. Take Care Of Me (Iggy Pop)
5. Nature Boy (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds)
6. Flowers In December (Mazzy Star)
7. Since You’re Gone (The Cars)
8. Andy’s Chest (Lou Reed)
9. Catch (The Cure)
10. Don’t Worry Children (The Lords Of The New Church)
11. Cuts You Up (Peter Murphy)
12. Cosmic Dancer (T-Rex)

 

Single Pressing of Neon Purple, 1000

Available at Pirates Press and KEPI’s bandcamp

 

Survival Guide RHV 1.5: Request Hotline Vol. 1.5 Survival Guide/Double Helix Records
January 30 2023

Survival Guide is the creeping brainchild of Agent M. Agent M is Emily Whitehurst, former vocalist of Tsunami Bomb and current vocalist of The Action Design. Here, Agent M is on a mission to revive four cover tracks. She drains the embalming fluid and Frankenstein’s these beasts with parts from rock, punk, pop, and electronica. Side A is dedicated to two AFI covers who bask in unabashed synth dance beats with M bellowing the lyrics. Survival Guide reveals the pop pulse of the conduit to “Totalimmortal” and “Girl’s Not Grey”.

In memoriam, side B creeps quietly as Survival Guide honors two Misfits’ covers. All songs were requests suggested by Survival Guide’s community on Patreon. Unsurprisingly, fans chose two of the most “Woah-Woah-y” with Agent M engaging the piano for stunning and shocking covers of “Skulls” and “Hybrid Moments”. Instead of embracing the menacing feel of the lyrics, the piano is played in a peppy, major scale feel. And the approach works. It is not executed with irony or a tongue firmly in cheek. M has a fantastic presence and adds a jazzy hint to the somber drapery of her voice. “Hybrid Moments” is taken from a recording with an intimate live setting. Her voice attacks with the same tone as Danzig. And the piano carries the mood with a stark attack.

Whitehurst produced and recorded RHV 1.5 at Triple C Music Room which was mixed by Matt Molchany at Shards Recording Studio, and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room.

Survival Guide’s Webshop has the Limited Edition of 500
Each seven-inch record will be pressed on a random vinyl color
Each seven-inch record comes with a special ‘RHV1.5’ “Kat” die-cut sticker based on the cover artwork

Survival Guide bandcamp

 

EPS:

Ashen Tomb self-titled Personal Records
20 January 2023

“Born from a rotten womb, scorned through life, until laid down in ashen tomb…”

Scarred by existence, knowing each imminent day soaked in suffering will force them to wake and endure, the womb is long forgotten in the lyrics of Ashen Tomb. The Finnish death metal band, formed in 2021 in Helsinki, appreciate the roots of their chosen genre; citing influences such as Autopsy, Incantation, and Abhorrence. Discarding any prog-death experimentation or adjusting the riff-ratio of black and thrash, Ashen Tomb revels in tradition and adherence. Three songs in 14 minutes, the unleashed savagery is delivered in a rapid fury. Cavernous production adds to the atmosphere but not within the grimy thunder. All instruments are present and well-mixed. The more bands that represent the OSDM feel, the evidence of hardcore/beatdown breakdowns have burrowed into the genre’s conscience. Ashen Tomb applies the same grit to blinding speed and churning slow parts. Overarching doom metal pervades in sound at the opening at the first track and the closing of the final; but arises more in spirit and sound. Glorious death metal is delivered perfectly.

Downloads and CDs at Personal Records Website or bandcamp

 

SPLITS:

Brain Cave / Knub Split 12” HEX Records
January 20 2023

This is an update. I wrote about this split for TSL: 12.8.2022. But back then, only one song was up. Now you can stream the entire record on bandcamp. I wanted to give the full record proper sonic respect.

HEX Records have a stellar reputation. Well-earned from decades of unique, skilled bands creating eclectic noise and riffage. 2022has yielded an impressive roster, yet again. Colonial Wound (though not releasing the vinyl until Feb 2023) unleashed a bruiser of a record with Easy Laugh (listen here). The Wipes LP was fantastic. And the split from Wipes/Day Job and the stellar Multicult/Child Bite split. The Still/Form record, “From the Rot is a Gift” is a savage romp. That all leads us to Brain Cave/Knub split.

These two bands jump on this next edition in the ongoing HEX Records split twelve-inch series. HEX’s intent is to pair bands not necessarily directly part of the label. And then to “release it short-notice in exciting and creative packaging.” (I encourage you to read the label’s bandcamp to read what the past design packaging included.)

Cleveland’s Brain Cave has been peddling fuzz, melody, and volume across a bevvy of singles and a strong LP. Their brand of unpolished punk meets post-hardcore is engaging. The track “Slip Off the Roof” embellishes in dirge as equally as poppy, catchy rhythms worthy of Jade Tree or Dischord. The last third of the song is a rough sea of captivating, caustic sounds. The opening to the first track, “Trailer Lake” teases some Sonic Youth inspiration, just to stretch to. Then, the tougher riffs assault. The mid-paced stomp pounds through until the spacious sweeps take the floor; grabbing that Verse/Blacklisted shoegaze feel. The ebb and flow of the “Solo Gazebo” exhibits this aggressive approach and then ends its offering with sweaty psych guitars hiding in reverb. Then the song can suddenly retract into a drum machine keeping feedback and fret tinkering at bay.

Baltimore’s Knub has a great S/T EP and now enters a few more songs into their foray. It was already offered but it’s hard to manifest a separate comparison. They have a clean Helmet sound. The riffs are brash, helming the forefront. Vocals are akin to Page Hamilton’s lighter/cleaner fare on Betty and Aftertaste. And all of this is not to diminish Knub as derivative. (Hell, I have awe and praise for Wrong and they made a career out of it.) Here “The Sift” goes beyond that comparison. It indulges it a razor-like riff which slices and severs your comfort level. The bassline is pounding. The complete package assaults every sense. Confrontational and bold, Knub shines here. Knub also salutes The Jesus Lizard’s unsettling atmosphere and bass sound as “Easy and Clean” nods to “Then Comes Dudley”. And yet simultaneously Unsane comes to mind. But beyond those initial measures, Knub treks a winding track of elevated harmonies. It carries an enlightened aura. But again they adjust, as they twist the riff into a darker section where the rhythmic feel echoes an axe quickly descending repeatedly.

VINYL: Screenprinted on heavy stock paper, Obi strip – 300, clear with rainbow splatter

*expected to ship close to 1.20.23

Thornspawn / Maledictvs Split Werewolf Records
January 27 2023

With all the pop, positivity, and piano above, I figured I might as well tip the scales somewhat back to the Unholy. To commence, Thornspawn tear through speakers with four tracks of vile belligerence. The American Black Metal stalwarts hail from anti-Norway, Texas, of all places. Despite the desert dwelling, Thornspawn have been preaching the blasphemous rites by scorching stages and studios since 1993. On the split, two tracks from last year’s Guided by Vengeance & Bloodlust split (cassette-only release in Thailand), a new track, and a live track from their early days, “Empress from the Realms of Blasphemy.” The tracks snap with rabid intensity along with USBM production; lo fi and blown out. The riffs are biting. The hissed vocals are raspy. Volume and vengeance spew combative Satanic sacraments with defiance.

This split is a sanguine declaration as Blackthorn, vocalist/drummer (and founder) of Thornspawn, plays drums for Maledictvs. While, Maledictvs’ founding vocalist/bassist Hella plays bass in Thornspawn. Originally hailing from Mexico, Maledictvs rips through their two tracks from Guided by Vengeance & Bloodlust, a new track, and a cover of Hellhammer’s “Horus / Aggressor.” With only a few releases, they cherish their given slot and project blistering savagery. The new track is produced with a little more space allowing for the instruments to flex (meaning you can decipher and distinguish); while still cloaked in Polar delivery. This is pure USBM presenting track titles such as “Father Satan” and “El Ascenco de Lucifer”. CLosing out with a bold, barbaric Hellhammer covering .

See everything Werewolf is up to
Maledictvs bandcamp
Thornspawn bandcamp

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