I´ve decided to write a series of posts about records that I think are great and that deserve your atention. In each post I will write about 5 records and I will put download links for each of the record I wrote about. Even thought you can expect lots of straight forward hc/punk records here, I will probably write also about some cool records that are not strictly fast hc/punk, so expect some pop punk and other shit in the future. For this first part of RECORDS YOU NEED TO HEAR post, I wrote about 5 awesome hc/punk records from the first decade of the 2000.´s which are 12 ˝ or 10 ˝ records and all USA hardcore punk bands because I obiviously like lots of hc/punk bands and records from that part of the world and from that particular era. Even though TEAR IT UP could easily fit in this post, I wrote about TIU records too much already in previous posts, so that´s why there will be no TIU talk here, haha. There are few obivious choices here like CUT THE SHIT and THE RITES, but I´m not sure about the rest of the records are that well known in worldwide DIY hc/punk community. So, lets fucking go!
CUT THE SHIT - Harmed And Dangerous 12 ˝ (2003. Gloom Records)
Cut The Shit from Boston, Massachuttes was one of the best hc/punk bands of the 2000.´s and they were active from 2002. to 2004. Even some people from these parts of the world knows that CTS are great band, so Cut The Shit are not that unknown to worldwide DIY hc/punk fanatics. So, probably most of you reading this blog already know that this band and this record are top notch. But, let me tell you this one more time. Cut The Shit had quite personal in their lineup: Andrew Jackmauth (Days Ahead, Bones Brigade, Confines, Failures, Even Keel) on vocals, Paul D´elia (Dead Nation, Tear It Up, The Rites, Sleeper Cell, Broken Patterns, Kent State, Rough Kids, Suspect) on guitar, Erick Vlasittis on bass and Tommy Von (The Pinkerton Thugs, Cops And Robbers, The Prowl, Ironsides) on drums. Later on their last record Marked For Life, Matt Wechter played drums (you know all the bands that he played in) but lets back to Harmed And Dangerous. I always have hard time deciding which Cut The Shit record is my favorite because they all rule. So, between all their records, I simply picked Harmed And Dangerous because it has more songs than their other records, haha. Anyway, this record was recorded and released in 2003 on Gloom Records which was a cool DIY hc/punk label from Albany, New York that was run by Nate Wilson who played in Monster X, Devoid Of Faith, By The Throat, The Oath and some more bands. There are 18 songs (actually 19 because there is a hidden cover of a Dep Wound classic: I Saw It) on the record that clocks under 18 minutes which is just fine by me. Production is really cool and tight and the songs are perfectly flowing through the whole record. It is much easier to make a great hc/punk EP than LP and it is not always easy to maintain the quality on the hc/punk album from start to finish. Well, this is the record that it´s fucking awesome, pissed off and furious from start to finish without sounding boring not one second. The lyrics and riffs on this record are one of the best ever written in hc/punk, I´m dead serious! Pretty much everything that is fucked up with the world, the „scene“ and people in general are squashed in lyrics on this record combined with the best hc/punk riffs you can imagine. So, instead of reading more of my rambling about the record, go listen to it and smash the fucking state or something!
Get it here: Cut The Shit - Harmed And Dangerous
CUT THE SHIT
THE RITES - Self Titled 12 ˝ (2003. Dead Alive Records)
The Rites, based in New Jersey, was active from 2002. to 2007. and they were one of the best hc/puk bands of the 2000.´s next to Tear It Up and Cut The Shit, which wasn´t surprise, because all 3 bands shared some members. Still, I think that those two other mentioned bands are more often mentioned than The Rites when there is talk or writing about 2000.´s hc/punk. The Rites like Cut The Shit had pretty tight lineup (here I´m talking about first lineup that recorded first few releases). Matt Wechter (Fast Times, Dead Nation, Up Front, Tear It Up, Cut The Shit, Guilt Trip, Stag Party) on vocals, Paul D´elia (Dead Nation, Tear It Up, Cut The Shit, Sleeper Cell, Broken Patterns, Kent State, Rough Kids, Suspect) on guitar, John Devlin (A Thin Line Fading, Down In Flames, Tear It Up, Another Social Disease) and Pete Hilton (Down In Flames, The Rites, Kamikaze, Bullets In, Nodzzz, Snowdonia) on drums. It´s the same thing as with some of my other favorite hardcore bands, it´s hard for me to say which Rites record is my favorite. But, two of them I like a little bit more than the others and those are: Wish You Never Knew 12 ˝ and Self Titled 12 ˝ that I´m writing here about. Of course, other Rites material is also great (hell, The Rites recorded and released the best live hardcore record ever, read about it and listen to it here: The Rites - There Shall Be No Encore) but their two studio 12 inches are the pinnacle of The Rites discography, at least that´s what I think. Anyway, let´s get back to Self titled 12 ˝ which was recorded and released on Dead Alive Records in 2003. As you may already know, Dead Alive Records was a great hc/punk label from New Jersey that released lots of 2000 hc/punk classics. There are 10 songs on the The Rites - Self Titled record clocking under 14 minutes. Production is very raw which is a big plus because you get the feeling like you are with the band on their rehearsal or watching them live. Guitars are loud and dirty, bass and drums are pumping and vocals are pissed as hell and a little bit of moody in the mix but that only makes it sound more distinctive and as I´ve already said, very raw.. I also like the cover a lot. The band is standing in some dirty alley with some extra painted colours on the photo. That´s how the hardcore punk record should look like, you get the band as it is, not hiding behind some pretentious cover art. The lyrics on this record are one of the best fuck you lyrics in the whole history of fucking music. If you don´t agree with this, well fuck you too! Just look at the titles of the songs: Go Out And Die, Asshole City And You´re The Mayor, Not Your Entertainment, Wish You Never Knew, Your Last Rites… This is one of those records that when I listen to it, I remember all the assholes that I hate and I wanna smash the record into their stupid ugly faces. As for music, the same as Cut The Shit, this record has one of the best riffs ever written in hc/punk. This record has also one of the best intros/instrumentals ever written (It Gets Worse), just listen that beginning. It also has one of the best 20 second hc/punk songs ever written (Dried Up). I can also say this for the last song on the record – Your Last Rights, just fucking perfect as everything else is on this record. This record still inspire me to write furious and pissed off fast hc/punk songs and not giving a shit what the latest trend in punk music is. Fuck, enough talking, blast this record and say everyone else to fuck off!
Get it here: The Rites - Self Titled
THE PROWL - Misery 10 ˝ (2003. Dead Alive Records)
The Prowl from Western Massachuttes is a great unique hardcore punk band that combines darker melodies with hc/punk aggression combined with personal darker lyrics. The band is still active, at least they were in 2015. Although, they were inactive for few years, from 2005. to 2009. if I´m correct. As many other hc/punk bands, The Prowl also had a line up consisted of members of other hc/punk bands and on this record, their lineup was: Mikey Flynn (Last In Line & Outcold) on vocals, Jason Desmarais on bass, Kevin Gebo (Red Reaction, Grand Prix & Libyans) on guitar, Sean Tucker (Guilt Lust) on second guitar and Shaun Davis (Last In Line) on drums. Although, Shaun left after the recording of this record and Tommy Von (The Pinkerton Thugs, Cops And Robbers, Cut The Shit, Ironsides) took over the drums and that´s why he is on the back cover of Misery record and not Shaun. Misery was recorded in Decemeber of 2002. in Dead Air Studios, Amherst, Massachuttes (as the Cut The Shit & The Rites records that I wrote about, interesting isn´t it?) and the record was released as a 10 ˝ in 2003. on Dead Alive Records. This is the only Prowl full lenght (well, sort of) and my favorite Prowl record although the rest of their discography is also cool (but I gotta warn you, Prowl records past 2009. are less hardcore and more post punk). There is 11 songs on the record, at least 11 are credited because there is one more bonus song called Nightmare but since I don´t have the original record, I don´t know if that is a hidden track or what´s the deal with that song? There is also a version of the Misery record with Sex Pistols cover – No Feelings, but I didn´t include this cover in the download file because I don´t think it fits with the rest of the album. Anyway, the record is 24 minutes long without the Sex Pistols cover. As I´ve said before, I don´t have original record so I´m not 100 % sure what all the lyrcis are about, but I hope I´m not making a big mistake if I say that most of the lyrics on this record are kind of personal with slight darker vibe. As for the music, not too fast but still energetic and rocking with lots of catchy (sometimes dark) sounding riffs and cool distinctive vocals. I could say that in the time of making this record, these guys listened a lot of Misfits, T. S. O. L. and Black Flag but the truth is that they didn´t imitate any band and the songs are sounding pretty original. I laso like the atmosphere on the record, it is not over produced and it doesn´t have that typical „studio“ sound, but it is more sounding like it´s recorded live in some big hall. Except for the rocking faster punk songs, there are few songs on the record (Struggling for Failure, Out Of My Mind & Misery) that are different and more darker than the rest of the record and these songs are one of the best Prowl songs if you ask me. But really, there is no bad song on this record, this whole record just fucking rule. I think that The Prowl is very underrated band so download this awesome record and see for yourself if I´m just full of shit or I´m on to something here. Do you still think about me?
Get it here: The Prowl - Misery
FORWARD TO DEATH - Death Therapy 12 ˝ (2005. Perfect Victim Records)
Forward To Death was a great hardcore punk band from New Jersey that played from 2003. to 2007. with a few occasional reunions. Despite the fact that members of Forward To Death played in some great and more popular NJ hardcore punk bands, I think they are still very underrated band and that lots of hc/punx all over the world don´t know about this great band. Forward To Death lineup (at least on this record) was consisted of: Andy Scarpulla (3 Against 1, To Each His Own, Tear It up, A New Enemy, Splitting Headache, Staring Problem, Real Cops, Snowdonia & Artificial Limbs) on vocals, Evan Kiel (Full Of Fancy, Shape Shifter & Artificial Limbs) on bass, Drew Levinson (Survivors) on guitar and Brian Gorsegner (Psyched To Die, Survivors, Snake Bite, Shape Shifter, Splitting Headache, Full Of Fancy, For Science & Night Birds (yeah, the Nigh Birds vocalist played drums in Forward To Death, you poseur!)) on drums. Death Therapy was their only full lenght and also their last record. Before that, they released two 7 ˝ EPs that are worth tracking down and a solid demo. But, this LP is my favorite FTD record and I think that it is definitelly their strongest record and one of the best hc/punk LP´s from the 2000.´s, miles ahead better than some popular hc/punk bands but I won´t mention any names so I don´t make you poseurs cry. Death Therapy was recorded in October 2004. in Chumbuckets Studios (I guess, in New Jersey) and it was released in 2005. on Perfect Victim Records, a hardcore label from Boston that existed from 2004. to 2006. There are 14 songs on the record that clocks under 24 minutes. The production is very beefy but clean enough and I like especially the drums sound on this record. If someone would ask me what kind of hardcore Forward To Death play, I would say: FTD play hardcore, period. You know, it is one of those records that has influences from every era of hardcore but it is sounding like the hardcore record from the specific time when it was recorded, not imitating any specific hardcore era or a sound. Also, this record dosen´t hit you on the first few listens which is why this record is so good, because, it have to grow on you but when you finally get into it, you will listen to it on and on. It is interesting to hear how Andy (who played guitar or bass in other bands) handled the vocals and I must say that he did a great job, having gruff vocal on one hand but on the other hand clean enough vocal so you can understand the lyrics without the lyrics sheet. As for the lyrics, they are mostly critical or personal or mix of those two. The songs are not all in the same vein and are varying from very fast to mid tempo but the whole record is very constant and there is not one boring moment on the record, meaning not one bad song. There is also a great instrumental on the record called Shore Points that sounds like a mix between Tear It Up and Night Birds and I´m not kidding! So, get this and see what you´ve been missing so far because Forward To Death were a great hardcore band and this is a great hardcore record.
Get it here: Forward To Death - Death Therapy
FORWARD TO DEATH
NIGHTSTICK JUSTICE - Self Titled 12 ˝ (2008. Even Worse Records/Way Back When Records)
Nightstick Justice was a great hardcore punk band from San Francisco, California and they were active from 2006. - 2008./2009., I´m not sure. In their short time existence, Nightstick Justice released three 7 ˝ EP´s and one 12 ˝ EP and all their record are killer fast and pissed off raw hardcore. Members of Nightstick Justice also played in lots of other hc/punk bands and their lineup was: Jeff Corso (Second Opinion & No Dice) on vocals, Eli Dudley (Second Opinion, Ecoli & Face The Rail) on bass, Jake Dudley (Second Opinion, Ecoli, Face The Rail, Hunting Party, nothing In Return, Yadokai, Synthetic ID, Scalped, Oppressed Logic, Profile, Primal Rite & Retching Red) on guitar and Will Litton (S. B. V., Suburban Death Camp, Yadokai & Synthetic ID) on drums. Nightstick Justice – Self Titled 12 ˝ EP is their last record and it was recorded and released in 2008. on two hc/punk labels from Holland (if I´m not mistaken) – Way Back When Records and Even Worse Records. Both labels are still active and both labels released lots of cool hc/punk records. This record is my favorite Nightstick Justice record although they all rule. I´m wondering why they didn´t released it on a 7 ˝ because the record has 9 songs in 13 seconds, but never mind that. This record is so good that it could pass as some lost hardcore record from the 80´s. Yes, it is that good. It´s not like the band tried to sound like certain bands but the very raw production and how the songs are structured sounds like a perfect mix between some old Boston and Mid West hardcore. The whole record has that feeling of old hardcore records that lots of modern hardcore bands are missing and that´s why I think that this record is one of the best hc/punk records of the 2000.´s. The record starts with slow bass guitar line and this is one of the best intros into a hardcore record that I´ve ever heard, believe me, it is so fucking strong and raw and soon it erupts into a fast as fuck pissed off mayhem of a song, fucking great! The rest of the record is in the same way, without one dull moment, the songs are easily flowing being very pissed off but also catchy and the record is over before you know it. That is how a hardcore punk record should sound. There are few slower moments on the record which are also top notch. Anyway, this whole record is so good, from the awesome riffs, to great pissed off vocals and lyrics that are personal and critical but written in a very pissed off kind of way. So, get this record, it is one of the best hc/punk records out there and I´m finally done with this post. Until the next time, ta-ta!
Get it here: Nightstick Justice - Self Titled