Rude Awakening | Demo 2011

Rude Awakening

By Vince Guerrero

This really wasn’t what I expected with members of Death Before Dishonor, and Hammer Bros, but damn this demo rules.  It’s a 4 track demo less than 8 minutes long, but it’s sure to get you off your ass and mosh.  I’m sure I’m going to be jamming this for weeks to come, good job guys really digging this demo. I hope to see more releases from them in the future.

The best song on this demo in my opinion is, “Towing the Line”.  It’s the shortest song on the demo at only 49 seconds long, but really that’s all I needed to hear to just make me want to go off and start raging in my bedroom.  It’s the intense fast-paced to slow riff changes that get me ahh, but yeah download it or buy the tape.  There are links below and leave feedback on this demo, more to come.

Bleak meter: 8

If you want a physical copy, you can get it here:

Discussion: What do you think about new bands or side projects that have already had success in the past in previous bands?  Do you think most listeners only listen to a new band if they are familiar with some of the members from their previous band?  Let me know what you think.

The Kids | [Self Titled]

The Kids

By Sergio Lopez

The Kids are a Belgium 77 punk band started in 1976.  This was their first release from 1978 on Phillips. I wouldn’t say their sound comes off as quintessential 77, but is definitely an artifact from the era.  I have some problems with the way the guitar and bass were EQ’d, but first I’d like to point out the drums in this record.  The drums pummel though the most notable songs and the majority of the record.  The  steady 16th notes on the hi-hat and the robotic metronome-like attitude of the snare brings out any slither of aggression that was or was not present in the song writing process.  I have to give these guys slack being from Belgium, the lyrics are humorously stereotypical for the 77 punk era, but they obviously set out to be in that community.  Not to mention English was most likely not their first language (great pronunciation btw).  They reference safety pins, and present their dissatisfaction with what local disc jockeys would play.  “The Kids” living in Belgium were viewing the 77 punk community from a third party perspective, so they were inclined to have biases about what 77 punk was, so you can’t really blame them.

What separates this style of music from bands like New York Dolls or even Led Zeppellin (via Communication Breakdown) is the quintessential down stroke guitar strum pattern, and the rigidity of the drums.  It’s a great concept that the fluidity of drums in the more popular records of the era outside of 77 punk translates to docility, and the more rudimentary execution of drum stylings presents an aura of angst.  I feel this holds true even today.  The general mood of the record is not so much aggressive as is festive.  I could see this record being played at a party, and that’s not a bad thing.

The chord progressions are mostly rhythm and blues boogie woogie type rock and roll, which is pretty typical of the era.  One of the songs sounded very similar to She by The Misfits on Static Age also released in 1978.  I had a problem with the guitar being EQ’d more on the top end, I would have like to hear more beefy mids for that guitar track (via Nervous Breakdown Black Flag).  I felt that alone could have made the record more edgier.  What didn’t make the record any edgier were the occasional male falsetto’s that you could hear on every other artist’s record of the 70’s.  This is not your timeless 77 punk record, it is clearly an artifact in which you reference to.  Personally, if this record was shorter it’d be easier for me to digest and likely be more interesting.  The jovial undertones make this record appeal to anyone and not just those keen on punk.

Bleak Meter: 6.7

Download the album here:

Discussion:  Do bands in foreign countries subconsciously stereotype sub-genres?  Can only particular local music communities create authentic bands for a particular wave of sub-genre?  Does the popularity of a sub-genre further deter it being authentically recreated in a foreign music community? Let me know what you think.

The Middle Class | Out of Vogue EP

Out of Vogue EP

By Sergio Lopez

As my first review I thought “Out of Vogue” would be an apt EP to begin with. Music styles come in and out of fashion, but today hardcore in its most basic primordial roots is becoming increasingly relevant. Just last night I was watching a Cerebral Ballzy advert on Adult Swim. Also via “OFF!” playing popular late night talk shows and being Pitchfork Festival’s heaviest rock act on the lineup.

My favorite line off the title track is, “it’s esoteric overkill”. The lyrics in, “Out of Vogue” translate very well in a contemporary sense. It’s surprising after more than 30 years, the meaning still can communicate in today’s modern context: a sure sign of a classic. The 4 song EP clocks in at less than 6 minutes. It’s very easy to use cliches on this record like it’s straight to the point and raw, but it seems fitting especially at the dawn of hardcore when there where no predecessors. You cannot get that authentic tape crackle and modulation with Pro Tools and a Mac. There is definitely a glow in the recording, and an anticipation of what was to come in the hey day of hardcore. There is a general understanding that hardcore was a counterculture to the counterculture, so I believe “Out of Vogue” speaks to not only their trendier counterparts of the late 70’s but also mainstream culture. It’s definitely a staple of hc, and props just for the fact of treading on new territory and laying the groundwork of sound.

Bleak Meter: 8.9

Discussion: How do you feel about obscure music being so accessible and viral in today’s social networking generation? Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Do you think the lack of popular appeal and funding for today’s hardcore and punk bands is pushing them to be more conservative in their approach to song writing, via tweens love breakdowns? Let me know what you think.