vrijdag 21 januari 2011

Those who know me, know that Sheer Terror is one my favorite bands. Their style changed quite a lot from Celtic Frost influenced hardcore to punk rock influenced hardcore, but I gotta say I love each album of them. I couldn't even say which one is my favorite.

I never saw them play in the past, but then it was announced they would play This Is Hardore fest. Unfortunately I couldn't make it, but I was stoked about them playing New York. As soon as the date was announced I booked my plane tickets to New York.

I've seen a lot of bands doing reunions lately, and let's say, well some should have never done it. But Sheer Terror, that's a whole other story. Even when Paul Bearer is the original member left, this band has every right to be on stage again. Every song was played tight, the banter and crowd interaction in between was pure stand up comedy, and the crowd just went insane. I also love the honesty when the Reverend is saying that Sheer Terror do get a fair amount of money to play shows. And to show, it's just not like a one off reunion, a new song was played as well.

Anyway, I'm at work, so I'm not going to write an extensive blog here. What I want to say is, come to tomorrow's show in Antwerpen! You won't regret it.

Ah yeah, those other NY legends Supertouch are playing too. I saw them play a couple of songs at the 2010's Superbowl, and it wasn't the most perfect set, but definitely psyched to check them out again.

See you in the pit.

zondag 19 september 2010

I got something to say:

I'm lookin' at the world I live in, I don't like what I see. 
Bustin' my ass with nothing to show for it, it ain't fair to me.
If being too patient is a crime, I'm guilty as sin.
Getting held back while you get ahead, now it's my turn to win.
That's all that I can take, can take no more.
Been a victim for far too long, time to even the score.
Gotta fight the hard way, there's no easy way out.
Nothing comes easy in this world that's what life is about.
I've been a nice guy once too often, I always get screwed.
Sacrifice myself to your greedy hands, why do you act so rude.
I've come to realize, you don't care, you left me on my own.
If you won't help me get where I'm going, I'll do it alone.

Soundtrack written to my life these days, Outburst, The Hardway.

maandag 24 mei 2010

Superbowl of Hardcore, NY, May 15

It was the third time for me being at the Superbowl, and again, it was great. Personally the line up didn't appeal to me as much as the previous editions, as I already saw most of the bands playing in Europe in the last couple of months. I don't want to sound disrespectful to any of the bands who played, or to be the kinda guy who is only into the older bands, but what can I say, I guess Black 'n' Blue spoiled us with the previous editions.

I never thought to see bands (again) like Fahrenheit 451, Crown Of Thornz, Breakdown, Stigmata, Setback, Killing Time, CIV, Terror Zone, Bulldoze, Second To None. Many of these being exclusive reunions on 2008 and 2009 edition.
But we knew we'd have a good time anyway, so when the date was announced, the plain tickets were quickly bo
oked. And with Yuppicide and Supertouch added to the bill, BnB managed to make it something special again.
Since I have already read a dozen of reviews, I'm going to do a full one here. I just wanted to share a couple of pictures I took.
Best set I have seen was Skarhead, I dug the ghetto blaster to start with. Good set, and nice to see Puertorican Mike back with Skarhead, and the stage being packed with DMS heads definitely made it impressive. There was also a really good vibe going on the crowd, hard dancing, but just as many singalongs, stage dives... Everyone was basically just having a good time. Oh yeah, Eddy Leeway was going berzerk. When JJ and his band did the Rise & Fall intro, I was still hoping to see Eddy come out again to do something crazy, but no.
Though, I expected more from Supertouch, it was definitely worth having seen them once. Same for Yuppicide.

From the younger bands, TUI made the best impression on me. I'm still bummed out to have missed H8 Inc, but the burritos before the show took us too long.
I really liked the venue as well. The ones who were there the l
ast years definitely remembered Studio B in Brooklyn being packed and extremely hot. The Ritz was perfect, more space, rooms from the balconies, re-entry, good sound... and it has the history.

Looking forward to next year's edition!

dinsdag 18 mei 2010

Skull Crusher: live in Brooklyn May 14

I only heard Skull Crusher once before, in a car coming back from a North Sea swim in January. I do remember asking, 'hey, what band is this, sounds tight'. I didn't follow up on them, but in the meantime they released their first 12", Blind By Illusion, on Livewire and Reflections Records.
When we were in NY last week, we somehow found out they were playing their first show. So we headed down to Brooklyn to check it out.
The show was really low key, it's even better to call it a try out, before they will share the stage with Breakdown, Wisdom In Chains and Reign Supreme May 23. No real promotion was made (I'm not even sure how we found about it), and not too many people showed up. Anyway, it was good see that the Skull Crusher guys didn't care, as they were stoked to play!

Already during the intro it was clear that Skull Crusher sounds tight live, which is no surprise as none of the members is new to the scene, and the fact that they already recorded their 12" before playing any concert.
Musicwise, Skull Crusher plays a cross over between hardcore and (trash) metal. It's always difficult to make comparisons, definitely as they already have a style of their own, but one should think of bands like Cro-Mags, Leeway, Judge... I dig the double bass drum parts!
They played the complete 12", to finish with a Judge cover.

I didn't pick up the 12" itself, so I can't give you a full review, but from what I've already seen and heard, you definitely need to keep your eyes open for this band. Looking forward to seeing these guys play again in Europe. Make it happen!

I'm not the best photographer, and the pictures are just taken with a very modest camera, but anyway, I added some pictures here.

Oh yeah, on a sidenote, respect to the female DJ to play Neglect's 'the LSS' straight after Skull Crusher!

Find out more about Skull Crusher:


zondag 20 december 2009

I just wanna see a street fight

Breakdown is one of those bands which has at the same time lyrics which genuinely express the hardships of life, but on the other hand lyrics which are a bit, well let's say, tongue in cheek (a fact which later got confirmed by Jeff Perlin's lyrics for Slumlords).

One of those lyrics which always got me confused, where the words for Streetfight. Musicwise this song is close to perfect, but it was always hard to me to take the following serious:

I like to see a stre
et fight especially when it's on a weeknight. I dont care who's wrong or who's right. I just wanna see a street fight. Walking down the street with my Big Mac out of nowhere someone gets whacked.
I dont care if you're white or black.
Start the violence. Fuck the facts. I don't care who's wrong or who's right, I just wanna see a street fight"

On a random note,
it was really funny to see Breakdown live in New York last year, and when performing
Streetfight kids were moshing with Bic Macs in their hand and offering them to Breakdowns vocalist.

However, wisdom comes with time, and yesterday night it came clear that the above lyrics are amazingly true to me.

Breakdown live at the Superbowl of Hardcore, NY, 2008

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kinda guy to start a fight or anything, but I have to say, to see some random violence on the street always gets me siked.

So, I was going to take the subway, and while taking the stairs I already heard some stuff going on, but when I was at the tracks, I saw kids bringing da motherfucking ruckus. Imagine a dozen of youngsters brawling, kicking eachother to and on the ground, mixed up with some hysteric girls screaming at their boyfriends to stop, and more people crossing the tracks to get some as well. It must have been looking pretty bad to the subway drivers as well, as they just didn't stop anymore. I don't know the exact reason for the whole fight, but it was probably related to alcohol and a broken heart, which got mixed up with some racial tensions. But as just said before, fuck the facts, I don't care who's wrong or right, I just wanna see a street fight.

Anyway, the whole scene got my blood pumping, knowing that everything can go wrong at any time, seeing rage in people's eyes, seeing people being fucked up, and the general hysteria linked with it. It was at that moment, I truely understood Jeff Perlin's words. I took my Ipod, changed the music to Breakdown, got out of the subway again, and continued my journey through the snow with a big smile on my face!

Breakdown: www.myspace.com/breakdownnyhc
Black and Blue: www.myspace.com/blacknblueproductions

vrijdag 17 juli 2009

Older, colder stronger

KICKBACK - no surrender cd review

Ask around and you'll hear everyone having an opinion about Kickback: the older guys will always be saying nostalgically how much harder the band was in the past, the younger kids will be jocking the band and saying how hard they are, and a lot of people will call Kickback just a bunch of fools or will simply be hating the band. Whatever you think of it, Kickback managed to get their name out and never gave a fuck about your opinion anyway.

It took nine years since the last album before No Surrender was released, that's a long time, even longer than the average career of kids in hardcore. In the meantime Kickback had been cancelling shows, playing fucked up shows, causing trouble, changing line ups, causing kids to cause trouble and luckily, playing some shows which were beyond hard! So, it's not a big surprise that to some Kickback became somewhat of a parody, instead of a band to really take serious.

However, one should not forget that this French band is one of Europe's longest existing hardcore bands, being around since 1991. Before releasing the, now classic, album Forever War, they already released two demos, a 7" and a full lenght. Also taking into consideration that Kickback's singer Stéphan released on his label Hardway records bands like Bulldoze, All Out War and Confusion, it is clear that Kickback has meant a lot to the (European) hardcore scene.

But now it was about time to let music speak for itself again, so let's talk music. With every new album Kickback succeeded to evolve as a band. The Cornered album was more of a classic NYHC album, Forever War became more of a crossover album mixing classic NYHC with metal and the Les 150 Passions Meurtrières album took the nihilistic, sick approach a step further. So what about the new one?

Never Surrender definitely is not a reunion album, going back to the early days, but is a logic continuation of Les 150 Passions Meurtrières. Never Surrender is a more complex album, adding some new elements to the well known Kickback sound. I'm hearing some people saying how Kickback added black metal riffs to their songs, could be, but this basically is still a hardcore band, which you might put in the same category with bands like Integrity, Starkweather, Ringworm, All Out War or Catharsis. I'm hearing the same rhythms than on the previous release, but additionaly to this, I hear a lot of noise and dissonant guitars. There's a good combination of compact, fast songs with some lengthier, drawn out songs. The vocals became even more high pitched, which all ads up the tension and sick athmosphere of this album. It's hard, it's mean, it's aggressive, let there be no doubt about that, but due to these new elements in the music this will never be my favourite Kickback album. And not to confuse you, that's a good thing, cause if it was, it would probably just mean that they recycled their old stuff. Here, they really took a step forward and extended their musical limits.

donderdag 11 juni 2009

oh shit, you know what this is? it's a motherfucking bloodbaaaaaath

It's been a long time since I posted anything on here. But don't worry, I'm still around. My man Pete sent me the new Setback record already a while ago, and it has been played a lot since! I have been planning to write a review since a long time, but never got to it. Here it finally is.

SETBACK - Unfinished Business

Setback was a band from the nineties coming from Queens New York which have released only one record called No Hope on the legendary Time Served records run by Bulldoze frontman Kevone. They broke up in 1998, its member kept on hanging around in the scene, and they are now back together with a new record on Crash Course Records. For those who wonder what this label is all about, it's about a hardcore principle called DIY: Setback released the album by themselves.

When I went to the Superbowl in 2008, I was really stoked to see this band, and let me tell you, I was right to be so. Initially they only planned to do a one time reunion at the Superbowl, but already at this show Setback busted out some new songs, which made me really looking forward to the new album.
I could keep it short here and just say, if you like genuine NYHC, you will definitely love this record. But let me explain a bit. The NYHC style is very popular at the moment, there's bands from all over the world playing a NY influenced style, and as much as I love many of these bands, most of them miss something. Somehow, what these bands are playing, I don't know, it's not the same as it was. It's a different sound, different attitude, different songs, and somehow, all of these bands have the hardest breakdowns in their songs, and sometimes it evens seems that the breakdown is the main element of the songs (especially when seeing these bands live).
It's hard to explain, but when I'm moshing to the new Setback album, I just hear the difference. It's the difference between a band playing NYHC and a genuine New York band. Somehow it's a good thing Setback had a break for over 10 years, because listening to this record it seems that time stood still for these guys and they didn't listen to any new albums released since 2000. Also none of the members have played in an other band since they broke up. This record brings you straight back to the nineties with straight up hardcore. Also production wise it's a pleasure to listen to 'Unfinished Business'. The record sounds like a hardcore record should sound like, raw, unpolished and pure. I especially like the bass sound which vaguely reminds me of Breakdown's bass sound on the Blacklisted album.

Lyrically nothing changed either with songs about surviving, sticking up for yourself and of course, taking care of business. Just to give you a quote "you know you fucked up and now you'll pay, you're out time, your ass is mine I'm out of control".

I said I could keep it short, so I'm gonna keep it short. Check out the record and start moshing.

Check out the band, listen to their songs, buy their record, and while you're at it, buy some merch:

For the Europeans, the album is available at: