THE SHORT LIST: 5.6.24

The Short List is a periodic dive in non-albums: EPs, Splits, Live, Compilations, Reissues, etc

REISSUES:

SOCK 3243 Minus Head Records
May 17, 2024

SOCK were a metalcore group from Sacto CA beginning in the early ’90s. They are significant due to being comprised of vocalist Grady Avenell (Will Haven), guitarist Shaun Lopez (Far, Crosses), bassist Adam Federico, and drummer Jeff Irwin (Will Haven). In June of 1995, they gave the world a single full-length, 3243. It is considered rare and elusive. It is not even on Discogs. (The members of Will Haven aren’t connected either). Minus Head Records assist in resurrecting this lost treasure of violence and enmity. Hearing musicians’ (and the vocalist’s) nascent energy and unformed paths becomes an anachronistic reality in your earlobe. The groundwork for many influential bands found their seeds in this sound.

3243 is a child of 1995. The production is thick, loose, and noisy. The initial outlier is that ’90s tin snare, less metallic than, but a relative of, John Stanier’s sound on Helmet’s AmRep releases. Distortion and snarls and rumbling tom drums coalesce (pun intended) into a tumultuous ritual. Unbroken, Outspoken, Helmet, Unsane, One King Down, Tripface, and Starkweather all manifest in the brain. Check the relentless assault—and the grinding, suffocating atmosphere—of “Hesher”, “BDL”, “Brother”, or “Two.” The latter, bringing a mid-tempo, chunkier sound. And the closer, “Deaf,” is a blazing double-time rager. But then, “Porch Club” and “Brother” both begin with a rockin’ open riff. But as each track progresses, things get darker and more anxious. The visceral venom from Avenell’s vocals is comprised of a distilled loathing. The sweat and spite from the studio is palpable. The propulsion and fury reflects that as the record was recorded live in the studio. Man, to have seen SOCK live must have been an unparalleled fright. The primitive execution is stunning. And it doesn’t feel like a nostalgic jaunt. 3243 feels feral and fresh.

Each track is 3:30 or under; mostly in the two minute range. The album cover—there were no remaining photos or image—is a cool frozen VHS frame by Michael Cobra. Each of the 150 cassettes come in clear casing, the outer holder covered in scuff marks, mocking a blank tape as if you dubbed it from your friend, the red and white layout mimicking the Maxell UR-90s. Minus Head killed it here.

Summarized well by the label. “For fans of 108, Deadguy, Undertow, Harvest, early Turmoil, and Snapcase, and of course, Will Haven”

Grab the cassette or digital on SOCK’s bandcamp or Minus Head’s bandcamp.

Follow Minus Head Records:
Website
Instagram

EPs:

Statement Of Pride Rebirth Youngblood Records
May 24, 2024

I continually babble on about this resurgence of young bands paying homage to ’90s SXE/XVX metallic hardcore. So, let’s just dive into it. I have dug Statement Of Pride’s other two EPs and promo. This is by far their best release. And stellar production brings in the chugs and the double kick drums pummeling in your ears. Rebirth boasts a litany of hardcore artillery. “Until the End of Days” has a dope bounce to it and so many tempo changes it makes a man weep. On this track, the bass tone lingers and pokes through the mix. It is splendid. The closer, “Into the Flames” conjures an oppressive tonality and then a beastly breakdown. “Deceit” has a forward, faster two-step feel, which recedes into itself for more elements which will have crowds bounce, head nodding and finger pointing. Every song slays. And every word is growled with conviction and completely audible. And those discernable lyrics capture the band’s urgency and sincerity, reflecting the greats of the ’90s. So, yeah, if you loved Strongarm to Strife or the new batch as Magnitude and Ecostrike, you’ll love this, too. We do not get the Floridian Death Metal influence like Domain or Contention. The scene enjoys nuanced variety. And may I also say this is their best cover art. The image is an ominous painting or illustration which replaces some generic hardcore cliches and basic graphics.

VINYL:
Clear, 100; Opaque Green, 300

Pre-order at Youngblood webshop.
Purchase/Listen at Youngblood’s bandcamp

Mutually Assured Destruction Hexer Creator-Destructor Records
May 3, 2024

Heavy music all becomes intertwined. Here some RVA hardcore dudes joined to birth some bad ass Southern groove-metal/hardcore. Hexer brings three tracks of heavy, grandiose, gritty tunes. M.A.D. is noted for its “ex-members of..” – notably scene lord Ace Edge (vocalist, Break Away, writer, show booker, etc.) and Ryan Groat (ex-Down To Nothing, Fire & Ice). But expect to get pointed elsewhere by the band’s adoration for (their own words) Iron Age, Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, Life Of Agony, Crowbar, Age Of Apocalypse, Alpha & Omega, and Twitching Tongues. (I’d add some Exhorder, Floodgate, Merauder.)  The ten minutes are grimy grooves and boisterous drums. Vocals are delivered strongly with a hardcore defiance. But do not disregard Ace’s ability to add some melody. The band has one full length (Ascension, Triple B, 2022) and two EPs, (self-titled, Vinyl Conflict Records, of course, and Fever Dream, Edgewood, 2020).


On Hexer, the music is fierce. (Did I say “heavy”?) M.A.D. exert a powerful presence, a dominant stance. As a lot of hardcore dudes went into side projects/new bands, exerting renditions speed metal, NWOBHM, thrash, and oh so much death metal, M.A.D. churn out gripping songs of a understated genre. It is gloriously refreshing, between the spirit of a Battle Ruins and the sonic meshing of Crowbar and Merauder. The first two tracks are more of the COC, Down groove feel. Whatever with the comparisons, this is stellar, with iller production (“engineered and mixed by Jordan Faett at Soul Craft with vocals tracked by Marc Estabillo, the songs were mastered by Sam Deyerle at Studio Florens“). This is a definite recommendation for any fan of, say it with me, heavy music.

VINYL:
Purple + Orange Splatter on Red, 250 pressed

Order at Creator-Destructor

Follow Mutually Assured Destruction on instagram

Insanity Alert Moshemian Thrashody Season of Mist
May 17, 2024

In reaction to the turmoil of the world, Insanity Alert offers fun to battle this tumultuous, toilet Earth. The Austrian thrashers came to rage and vent on four tracks in under 13 minutes. The mentality and strategy of Insanity Alert is a Weird Al/Cannabis Corpse attack on classics. The band injects crisp, fast thrash into classic tunes. The band lives for beer, weed, football, and skating. All of this would be corny and annoying if the boys weren’t as talented as they are enthusiastic. These are radical thrash tunes attacking with speed and ferocity, aided by d-beat tempos and dive bombs. Insanity Alert wears their influences on their sleeves… or sleeveless denim vests? The influences are the usual suspects of thrash—skate or pizza thrash or crossover—whatever: SOD/MOD, Nuclear Assault, DRI, Suicidal Tendencies, Cryptic Slaughter, Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust, etc. On this outing, the legends celebrated are Guns ‘n’ Roses, George Michael, Queen, and Iron Maiden.

They open with “Welcome to the Moshpit.” This joint is fun as hell. The obvious mirror here is “Welcome to the Jungle” with rocking guitars (a blend which sounds cool a la later Vitamin X), and vocal delivery (even the Sha-nanananananana-knees) and lyrically Axl, all while riding a double kick drum that bangs. It’s a ripper, and a cool breakdown helps. The party continues as the band takes George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” and produces lines like:  “I’m never going to drink again / Poor old liver has taken a beating” (aping Michael’s, “I’m never gonna dance again/ Guilty feet have got no rhythm”).  I hate Queen. I hate “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But here on “Moshemian Thrashody,” I cannot deny the infectious riffs and fun of it. “Galileo” becomes “Ronnie Dio.” They end with “Beer in the Park” mocking the living legends of metal, Iron Maiden. No one is safe. And hey, would they want to be. Immortalized in this jubilant celebration of music, booze, and shredding. “You know where you are? You’re in the moshpit, fuckface!”

VINYL:
– Crystal clear vinyl with orange, turquoise and purple splatter, 250
– Black

Pre-order at Season of Mist or Insanity Alert bandcamp.

Follow Insanity Alert on instagram or facebook

Personal Damage Violent Ritual0 Sorry State
Out Now

Violent Ritual is the third EP from Personal Damage. My dumb ass somehow missed the prior two. This LA hardcore band unabashedly worship Lucky Lehrer/Circle Jerks, and that rules. The off-time and changing rhythms are infectious. The production matches the mission, loose and raw. I am listening on some mid-tier bluetooth/BassBoost/over the ear headphones and the mix shines, hearing all bombastic elements, especially the bass and encapsulating drums. It’s not muddy, nor does it sound like a demo, which is popular these last few years. Personal Damage fly the flag of early ’80s US Hardcore and the 2000s bands that heralded the same snotty, sonic severity, specifically Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Adolescents with the apprehensive tones of the Dead Kennedys and flippant musings of Gang Green, plus recent bands such as E.T.A., Night Birds, Deep Sleep, Career Suicide, Social Cirkle.

Pick up the seven inch at Sorry State bandcamp or website.

DEMOS:

Desperta demo cassette self-released
OUT NOW

Desperta are from the unforgiving terrain of St John’s, Newfoundland, as in, the portion close to Greenland, cold and unforgiving. Their music is phenomenal. This demo offers eight raging bangers in fifteen minutes. Desperta plays straight punk/UK82 then some post punk, because, of course.  Admittedly, I was deterred by the vocals, a little too high pitched for me, but Pepa shrieks with passion and that’s what matters. Once you know to expect them, they grow on you. On the third listen, I was fine again. The opener “Veneno” commences with a very stark tension, a foreboding build up a la Dead Kennedys. “Complices” adopts that Post-Punk/Dark Wave delivery which they nail. It bleeds onto “Mondo Oscuro” which continues that sound and concurrently taps a 80’s Oi! sound with the guitar line. Then, Desperta punches into a great UK82 riff for the second half of the song. “No Esperada” is a heavy, plodding trek. While, “Mirar Dentro” again splits the attack between post-punk and charging hardcore. Desperta takes great cues from Partisans, Red Alert, Chron Gen, Anti-Pasti, The Exploited, No Future and Riot City Records, and Japanese punk.

You can buy at Roachleg Records. I grabbed a bunch just to help spread the word south of Canada’s border.
You can buy digitally for $5 at Desperta bandcamp

 

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