Archive for April, 2010


DEATH LED

Eat Cheese Or Die?

post #7

Death Led  – And You Think There’s Nothing Wrong EP 1999

So I rescued this 7″ from the 1$ bin because the band was from Black Earth Wisconsin, which I imagined to be some isolated backwoods hole in the Northwoods.  Actually it’s a small town over by Madison, which is a big city, by Wisconsin standards anyway.  Anyway, I had low expectations for this platter, which were, much to my delight, far exceeded. I like this record a lot!

This is some pure small town midwest 90’s teenaged Punk Rock stuff.  It’s well played and has a good recording, the songs are catchy, well written and brief.  The thing I like about this record is it’s diversity, all of the songs are in a unique style.  This band obviously is most influenced by the more popular punk acts, which I am sure the Truely Hardcore people will hate, but so what?  The first song starts out kinda strange and then changes to some sweet fast punk. The next one, ‘Minimum Wage’ is definately the hit on this record- I fuckin’ love this song.  Despite the naive lyrics the song has a great anthemic quality that makes me want to jump around and sing along.  This song sounds kinda like a less lame and repetetive version of early Anti-flag. “Fuck The Man, Bring Him Down!”   ‘All Out War’ is similar to the previous song, but sounds more like a clean-cut version of The Casualties. It has a pretty sweet breakdown towards the end.

Side B starts out sounding like the Angry Samoans playing a cheesy political song.  The next song, ‘Another Day’, displays the bands obvious love for ‘White Trash, Two Hebes, and a Bean’ and 90’s Chicago punk like The Bollweevils,  two loves which I can definately agree upon.  This song is actually really good.  The last song is their humorous attempt at playing fast hardcore, cracking voiced screams and all!  The lyrics on this record are actually pretty decent teenage angsty stuff, not bad. I was unable to dig up any info on these kids, but I’m going to guess that this came out circa 1996.  (wrong!)

Check out Death Led!

ECHTERNACH

Schizophrenic Melodies

post # 7

Echternach – La Procession Dansante – 196X

This is an interesting record.  Echternach is a tiny town in a tiny country; Luxembourg.  This recording features music being made by the entire town.  Every year, for well over six hundred years, this whole town has gotten together on a certain holy day to dance around and sing this song, which honors the town’s patron, Saint Willy.  It is thought that the tradition may be related to masochistic marches of the flagellants.

I am posting this record cheifly because of the awesome sound collage of field recordings of the festival day that fills the A side.  The recording starts out with the ringing bells of the Basilica (big church), and quickly fades into a cavalcade of passing singers, who’s voices echo and fade in and out as they sing the same song at different times.  Then we hear a few different passing marching bands, each who play for a few seconds and then fade out.  Then we hear the bells again, and the track is over.  All of the musicians are playing loose variations on the same musical theme, the Dance of Echternach.   This track is trying to simulate the sound of the entire day, with all of the passing bands and singers, while compressing it into 4 minutes.  The result is awesomely, yet unintentionally, psychedelic.

The B-side is a nice recording of a full orchestra playing the same song.  It’s nice, but it has not the crass impact of the other versions.  This record is a really nice package, with liner notes in four languages and even musical annotations!  Apparently, this festival still happens today, and you can easily find videos of it on the web.  Some of them sound almost exactly like this record, which I am guessing was recorded in the early sixties.  The town itself is beautiful, I’d like to take my family to see this some day!

Enjoy.

SLIP

Schizophrenic Melodies

post #6

Slip – Never Surrender EP 1994

Here’s another dollar bin gem that totally kicks ass.  I can’t find any information about this dark hardcore band from Alabama.  Yes, I’ll admit it.  I bought this record because it was from Alabama.  How much Alabaman hardcore have you ever heard?  Right now, I can’t think of any bands from that neck of the woods.  So, I did a little looking and found a good one, here.

This record starts out really quietly (with the best Star Wars sample I’ve ever heard on a record), but then it gets really loud and heavy.  That’s when we start to hear the great anguished, angry vocals and the drumming which kicks ass throughout this record.  It’s heavy, mid tempo hardcore that gets really moshy, especially on the last song.  In fact, ‘Closed Doors’ is almost over the top with what are now cliche mosh riffs, but then you have to remember that this record came out in 1994 when that sort of style was still relatively new.  Though, you have to admit that the riff that they use during the chorus of  ‘Escape’ is probably the most over used ‘heavy’ riff ever.  You know the one “duh duh…duh duh…duh duh…duh duh” I’ve heard that in so many songs, it’s incredible. If you start to listen for it you can hear it as far back as Judas Priest, and even Led Zeppelin played that riff.  I will admit it’s a good riff for headbanging, though.

My favorite song on here is ‘Behind’, which is an instrumental with a really bleak, dark sound.  Depressing!  I know what I said earlier, about ‘cliche’ riffs might sound like a dig against this record, but it’s not.  I think it’s essential to consider the time and place where a band is making their music.  I hate it when I hear people bitch about hearing “another generic hardcore band” without considering where or when that band is from.  If you live in a small town you probably don’t have internationally touring bands playing in your basement every week, so if you want to fuckin rock, you have to do it yourself, and if what you like to play sounds similar to what another band plays, so what?  As long as the music is played with heart and conviction, that’s what matters to me.  Oh yeah, I also just want to say this to a lot of the people who have blogs and websites out there: if you think hardcore and punk stopped being good in 1977 or 1987 or 1997 or 2007, you’re a fool.  There’s thousands of great bands out there thrashin their heads off right now.

So I wonder how these guys were veiwed in their hometown, and if they were heard anywhere else in the world.  What drove them to put all of the effort into releasing this record?  I wonder how this record ended up in a bargain bin in Wisconsin 15 years later, and now I wonder if anyone will hear this an love it….

High quality rips and scans are HERE.