Australian hardcore today seems to be a long way from the days of old Toe to Toe - or even the polished hardcore offerings of later-era Mindsnare. Today's scene is being shaped and driven by like In Trenches, Lo!, Totally Unicorn, Robotosaurus, The Rivalry (I miss you), Night Hag, No Anchor, IDYLLS, The Matador and At Dark. These bands are embracing experimentation, complex rhythms, noise, dissonance, dirging drone and ambience in a move away from the sterile 'one mood, one volume' sound of overcompressed modern hardcore - and this makes me exceedingly happy.
Melbourne's In Trenches really represent a lot of the best progressive elements in modern Australian hardcore. Their music has a basis in seething, noisy hardcore sludge with a slight black metal tinge and occasional departure into spacey post-metal meditation. They're forging a more dynamic and progressive style of heavy music that owe as much to bands like Isis, Cult of Luna, and Wolves in the Throne Room as they do Converge and Eyehategod.
Sol Obscura also represents a complete rejection of the sterile production of modern hardcore. There are no close-mic'd, beat-replaced drums to be found here, and the guitars are cold, squashed and over-compressed. Instead, In Trenches have opted for a far more organic approach, which allows for far more life, more feeling and more dynamics in the music. (Insert a recognition that recording/mixing was handled by a Joel Taylor at Three Phase Studios.)
If this is where hardcore music is moving - into more progressive and dynamic territory - then I can't wait to see how the style progresses. And it would seem that, once again, Australia is on the very cusp of a new development in underground music.
Do yourself a favour. Listen to In Trenches and support Australian underground music.
Nice one, Monolith.
Well known/infamous inner west punk rock icon Jay Blurter has left his hardcore roots and his DIY punk label. These have been abandoned in favour of beaches, babes and boogyboarding. Deciding after years of slogging it away in the DIY punk scene to throw everything in the air and start up a bodyboarding label.
"one minute I'm running a pretty successful underground hardcore punk rock record label that id worked on over the last 15 years with numerous releases with tracks by bands such as parkway drive, toe to toe, mindsnare, and every other punk, metal or hardcore band that's ever passed thru the hardcore/punk scene at some point in their existence, next thing after getting sick of driving everyday for the last 3 years to the beach from the inner city I decided to move to the beach and chuck in my guitar and record label full time and start something to do with my other passion ....body boarding"
Once known for his role as the label owner for Snapshot Records, releasing music for bands like Blood Duster, Tenth Dan and The Blurters; now he hits the surf on a boogy board, selling boogy board merchandise under his new label called Swarm. As a surfer I personally don't understand the attraction of boogy boarding, nor its aesthetic, the only thing I know about boogy boarding is that they love Crackneck at Bateau Bay and listening to Parkway Drive. This will excite me more when Tone Bone jumps on a stick and gets a deep barrel at Shark Isl. Until then check his stuff.
It's funny, almost all the music that comes out of Adelaide seems to be consistently infused with a pervading sense of nihilism and hopelessness. Prisonbitch are certainly no exception, providing a dark mix of grinding punk and hardcore. The music is characterised by an extreme sense of bleak frustration; whether it's thesludge-tinged closing track, the sheet aggression of a frenetically paced blast-beat or the torturous, frustrated screams of the vocalist.
As seems to be the rule in Adelaide, stylistically the music seems to focus on the 90's. Also typical to the city, rather than being stuck as just anotehr 'genre band', Prisonbitch freely blend punk, grind, hardcore and sludge. Bands seem to focus more on the overall tone or feeling of the music rather than worrying about rigid styles.
Released on the Newcastle label Good Times Records, Brain Raped stands as a solid addition to any CD collection. The music is well-produced, dark, interesting and varied. Fans of Extortion, Infect, older Mindsnare, Toe to Toe and so forth should dig these solid tunes.
Grab it for $10 at their Big Cartel site: http://prisonbitch.bigcartel.com/
Lachlan and myself jumped at the opportunity to spin some grindcore in the name of AusGrind late one night on FBI Radio, Sydney's best radio station by miles (for example, album of the week this week is the new Battles album, holy shit so happy). So anyway we set out to inform the general Sydney public of the awesomeness of grindcore, and although my mum still hates it we had a ball.
With Scott Fitzsimons manning the buttons we played a nice cross section of grind with a few other random gems thrown in for good measure and plenty of shameless self promotion. You can now stream the full two hour show below (language warning).
Segression - Never Dead
Death-Cult Jock - War Through Other Means
Captain Cleanoff - Chemical Imbalance
Pig Destroyer - Cheerleader Corpses
Gronibard - March of The Gronibard
thedowngoing - Bad Machette
Ether Rag - V
Battle Pope - Cocaine Yeeha Motherfucker Yeah
Ebolie - 1800 Fashioncore Kids Helpline
Michael Crafter - On Tour A Job Is Called A Gig
Family Man - Left For Dead
Naked City - Skatekey
Blood Duster - Instrumental
Nowyourefucked - Gary Coleman
Agents Of Abhorrence - Agents Of The Sun
Orlacs Hande - ?
Kill the Client - Moneywhore
Genghis Tron - Rock Candy
Acid Tiger - Feel It
White Male Dumbinance - Forced Vengeance
Discordance Axis - Castration Rite
thedowngoing - Iambecome
Hailstones Kill 200 - I Am Not Afraid
Log - Dirt House Boogie
Comadre - Sabado Gigante!
Fuck... I'm Dead - Barefoot And Shitfaced
Aborted - Surprise! You're Dead (Faith No More cover)
Reuben Ingall - Flight Of The Basement Bee
Halo of Knives - Watch The Red Devil Burn
Insect Warfare - Mind Ripper
Ironhide - Doom
Dillinger Escape Plan - Mullet Burden
Damaged - Nails
Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers
Naked City - Batman
Michael Crafter - Drum Circle
Throwdown - Sure Hope It Feels Good
Mindsnare - Bulldozed
Agents Of Abhorrence - Sentimentality & Nostalgia
The Atomic Bitchwax - The Local Fuzz
Full info on the Dead Air website or you can stream the whole program below.
Some sad news came in over the weekend. It looks like Gordy is going to call Mindsnare quits. Anyone who's followed Mindsnare over the years knows that he is a fucking unbelievable drummer and will be sorely missed.
Whats more is the band are going to re-evaluate their future plans. They are currently undecided whether they are going to break up, keep moving on or forming another band.
Here's the word from Mindsnare's MySpace:
Gordy has decided that after 8 years in Mindsnare that it is time for him to leave the band. He has been playing live and touring the world in bands for over 15 years and with the arrival of his son last year he has taken stock and chosen to put music aside for the time being. Any band that has been around for almost a decade with the same lineup is bound to have someone bow out and we have been lucky to have him in the band all these years. The plan is for him to play the Meatlocker shows in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Bunbury. We may add Sydney and Newcastle if we can get the venues. After this we will be deciding what to do with the band - whether it will be to go on with someone else or, if it's time, call it quits.
Crappy news. Hanged, Choked and Wrist Slit and The Death are fucking awesome albums - some of the best hardcore albums on earth in fact. For so many years Mindsnare have effectively led the Aussie hardcore scene with their intense live shows. I've been of the opinion for the last 5 years that they are deservedly one of the greatest hardcore bands in the international scene. If they call it quits there will be a huge void in the Australian hardcore scene.
And no, a new Crafter project cannot fill that void. Please leave.