If I ever posted an official "best of 2016" list on any blog platform last year, you were bound to see this record placed firmly near the top spot. A brilliant noisecore split released by the always reliable SPHC, one that is a sure fire way to make most newcomers take a moment of pause. Two bands, Anal Butt and Cunts, both with monikers that are bound to spark reflex chuckling, or disgust. The latter only used drums and vocals. Sounds like something that only a basement dweller would vibe to. Me personally, I'm in love with it. One of the best slabs of wax I've heard in a few years. The newly released official pressing (I'll get to that later) is pressed in a run of 250, all black vinyl. 33 RPM.
Anal Butt not only have one of the best bad band names ever, but they're also a band that pulls of brutal, knuckle dragging noisecore with a tweaked sound perfectly. Spearheaded by SPHC label owner Dan McGregor and Co., I've heard him say that this is the best thing he's done. And while I haven't heard the bulk of his discography, I'd have to say this would be hard to beat. The sonic assault that Anal Butt bring on their side is crushing, warp speed, kaleidoscopic, and embraces the best of the genre's unapologetic stupid qualities. Standard instruments are used; drums, bass, guitar and vocals, and the general sound is nothing that groundbreaking. However, the editing and attention to detail in the recording, dare I say the arrangements of it, are just excellent! The session starts with a good chunk of short, crudely edited song bursts that begin with stick clicks. Eventually everything gets noisier and noisier, growing and getting more claustrophobic. Vocals are doubled on top of each other and the bass sounds like it's literally frying from the distortion. Simply brilliant editing and cutting out certain instruments at certain times, or letting everything die out for a split second to just explode again with more blasts and noise! Next thing you know there's a generic hardcore breakdown riff with Patrick the Starfish vocal grunts. It's such a joy to listen to every time, I always notice something different.
Cunts is a noisecore duo from Japan that have been around for over a decade, and have been a band that have been a treasure to fans of the underground. Their releases are sought after, and I'm fortunate enough to own only a couple items. The drill here is only vocals choking with high gain feedback, and drums. Bada bing. Cunts is a band that takes noisecore to almost it's most bare bones and neanderthal. Their recordings however always showcase the sheer brutality a duo like this can bring, and their half of this record is no exception. It's mastered so fucking loud, the feedback almost makes you feel like your ear drums are getting stabbed. The drums supply all the punch and force they need, they're performed absolutely perfectly. Blasting, grooving, polka beating and stopping all at just the right times. Ucchys non-stop screams and yells are so relentless they almost have a hypnotic quality. I'd say they're the best band doing this style of noisecore since World, easily. Definitely not as heady or conceptual as World, but they certainly are no chumps. It's so damn good, I cannot recommend it enough.
The record is packaged in a single-sided fold-over sleeve with this small insert inside. All of the regular press have large hole in the center.
Now back in the summer of 2016, I got to perform with Anal Butt and Sedem Minut Strachu, and I was able to pick up what was unbeknownst to me at the time, a test press! A run of 50 TP's were made for the tour, and I feel very lucky to own it. The test press version is virtually identical except it has a small center hole and no insert.
You can pickup this record at SPHC, what are you waiting for?
Not satisfied with simply releasing a split 7" together, the two noisecore legends of new and old paired up yet again last year for a split tape of new "studio" material. Seven Minutes Of Nausea and Sedem Minut Strachu. The latter band owing 7MON almost everything, from their name, to the logo they use. All touchy, rockstar attitudes about a bands own sacred aesthetic are kicked beyond the curb here. This is noisecore, we're all dorks in this side of the musical spectrum. Fuck music, rockstar is a fuck. They say imitation is a form of flattery, but both these bands are definitely friends beyond the rackets they make and decide to release together. It's a tape of beauty. This cassette is probably limited to like 100 copies. Released on K.A.Z., a label run by Rado of 7MS.
Seven Minutes of Nausea have really been kicking ass lately on their new recordings. I thought the split with Sete Star Sept was fantastic, and the brilliance continues on this tape. 7MON sludge through 193 tracks of pure, old school noisecore mastery. No frills, nothing cutting edge, just frantic desperate music with great lyrics and chaotic blasting. Mick Hollows vocals sound like the wonderful, classic Mick we all know and love. Introducing almost every track with the title, and gargling every word that he decides to put to paper. The guitars are basically a feed back mess. There's a big use of deep, powerviolence style grunts that I really liked a lot too. All around wonderful stuff, loved it.
Sedem Minut Strachu's side is another satisfyingly lo-fi, old school sounding chunk of noise. A band that people who read this blog know I hold near and dear. Fuck structure, fuck riffs, 7MS slay on their half in their characteristic manner. A consistently gross bass rumble permeates all 56 tracks, it sounds like the microphone is dying trying to pick up all the sounds being made. The session is very similar to the split 7" these guys did together earlier actually. 7MS seem to really want to play as many short tracks as they can when they pair up. I can see why, given the legendary influence 7MON made with their insanely choppy songs. Another great solid recording from my favorite band.
The packaging is what really seals the deal on this one. It's a classic, fold out cover with all the lyrics to 7MON's songs. Reading their lyrics is always a great touch. I don't know if many people know that they actually do write these out.
There's tons of really quality, filty noise coming out of the midwest. Old news to anyone with an eye on the underground. The noisecore genre has grown massively in the past several years, and this tape is a great pairing of some really good projects that have come up. Hypnic Jerk from Michigan, and Horse Meat from Texas. Released in an unknown amount of Strangle and Amuse Tapes.
Hypnic Jerk never skimp out on sheer, unfliching brutality. The recording is a blown out bombshell recording, the fidelity is less than zero. It would almost be considered a straight up harsh noise recording if there weren't splash moments of cymbal crashes and strained vocals. Pretty sure during this recording Hypnic Jerk was just a drums and noise equipment due. A different sort of line-up then the usual noisecore affair, and they pummel you with it. Thirteen fast moving, chaotic noise tracks. Insanely harsh stuff for noise creeps.
Horse Meat is a solo noisecore project that uses a drum machine, and give another winning recording session on their side. Instantly winning me over with an excruciatingly long, overblown sample from one of my favorite movies, "Basket Case". After about a minute and a half of that, the blasting begins and I loved all seven tracks of it. Kinda reminiscent of 7MON when they used a drum machine, but Horse Meat actually has some parts that do resemble riffs (as free as they are), and don't play microsongs. The vocals are also diverse and fun, going from caveman "ooouurgh's", to cracked screams and some pitch shifted gutterals. Awesome project!!
The tapes sound great, and the layout and graphics are perfect. Strangle and Amuse definitely sticks to a solid look with their releases. The painted tapes do in fact play great, and they look dank as well.
Find this in a distro some where, I believe the label is sold out now. You snooze you lose.
I think it was SPHC themselves that said something to the effect of; "if any band could bring world peace, it would be Sete Star Sept", and it's kind of hard to argue with such a wholesome claim. Whenever 7S7 comes into town there's a sort of kinetic excitement that fills the air. The unifying excitement that one of the grind worlds most beloved bands (and probably most popular noisecore band, period...ever) is about to unleash a whole new level of racket. And a chance to pick up numerous new splits and limited tapes from their merch table . I had the joy of seeing them for the second time this summer at the LA Onefest, and their performance was definitely worth the long, long wait (after numerous set-time changes and configurations). As usual, 7S7 have had an incredible amount of split releases come out this year (the split 12"s with Godstomper and 7 Minutes of Nausea are some highlights). However, SPHC has also released a new studio album! I'm pretty sure it's their first since "Visceral Taverns". "Beast World" was released in a first run of 500 copies, all black vinyl, 33 RPM.
The A-side of "Beast World" plays and sounds like the tried and true Sete Star Sept that I know and love. 23 songs in about half the minutes, recorded in Baltimore by an SPHC affiliate. Brutal, frantic free grindcore, and some of their best material to date. Kiyasu's and Kae are both on the top of their game here. Like "Visceral Tavern", they give us more of that we're familiar with, but everything here just sounds a bit stronger. There's quite a bit of spots on the A-side where you could swear that these individual song blasts were composed, which only makes their talents as improvisers really shine. The occasional "real riff" or build-up helps give this a more fluid motion instead of just being a cascade of impenetrable noise. It's an incredibly strong first half. But man, oh man, does this shit really get taken to a new level on the B-side. This B-side may be my favorite thing that 7S7 has done ever. Kae and Kiyasu switch duties, and what explodes after an innocent little ring of chimes, is amazing. Shitcore, free drumming and shouted English profanity, it's just so incredibly fun and perfect. Some of my personal highlights on here, "Bitch Ass Motherfucker", "Fuck Face", "Shit Head", actually no, this whole side is a highlight. You really do have to buy this record to hear how incredible it is for yourself. When I got this, me and my band listened to the CD 3 times in a row when we were driving. I was lucky enough to see them perform with Kae on drums and Kiyasu on vocals at the LA Onefest too, and I felt incredibly fortunate to witness it.
Once again, Sete Star Sept do not disappoint with the album cover. They've always managed to have great artwork that perfectly represents their recordings. The cartoony, over the topness of "Beast World" is such a joy to look at. It has a weird "Adventure Time" look, which I also appreciate (I've been binging on it lately). SPHC packaged this record in an impressively strong jacket, with full-color, glossy artwork. They always give this band a great package. No lyric sheet, obviously, and no other information is given besides what's on the back.
I highly recommend picking this up, one of my favorite records of the year. Buy it HERE!
Another new split 7" self released by NY's Waves Crashing Piano Chords project. Joining up with the bad mushroom trip noisecore mess that is Michigan's Farting Corpse. Another pairing of bands that seems somewhat strange at first, but is another great showcase of friends supporting friends, and sharing a release based on equal appreciation of each others craft. WCPC, is an artist that is appreciated more in the Midwest more than probably anywhere else. Footage of the Harshfest sets are pretty big examples of this. WCPC's antics are seemingly celebrated down there. It's the only region I can see where getting punched in the head with a microphone or having a whole bottle of blue Faygo sprayed in your eyeballs is a highlight of a show. This split 7" was released in a run of 230 copies, black vinyl, 45 RPM.
Waves brings us a completely new song on their side, entitled "I Like You Better". Opening with subtle sounds of movement for a few seconds until the sharp squeal of the trademark microphone feedback clicks on. The track is typical WCPC, not a ton of new things to highlight here. The vocals are appropriately tough and antagonistic, and the sudden stops of silence between the words "I...Like...You...Better!" is a nice little bit of composition. The song ends with about a minute of manipulated mouth noises, which is a sound I think I would like to see Sean work with more, it works. Not the strongest track in the Waves catalog, but still solid and enjoyable.
I admittedly only own one other release from Farting Corpse (the possibly unofficial split with Penis Geyser), so I'm not entirely familiar with a lot of their recordings. The 25 tracks that they perform on their side is something I know I really enjoy though. This band is freak out, psychedelic, gutter noise sound vomit. Custom guitar/Kaossilator noise swirls and skrongs over warp speed hyper blasts and heavily manipulated vocals. Little bits of what sounds like cut-up edits pop up at the end of some of the tracks which give it even more of a frantic sound. This recording is that hypnotic, repetitive kind of brutality that you just get lost in and let it do whatever it wants to your eardrums. It's over in the blink of an eye though, they waster no time with the three and a half minutes they have. I've heard of this band performing for almost a couple hours before, I hope I get to see them live someday.
There is absolutely no info about any of the bands on this release.
Thanks too a few of my friends getting flexi discs released for their projects, I've grown to have a lot more appreciation for the format. I think it's because they perfectly suit my preferred amount of time for a release, one side of a 7" record. Plus they just look cool, and I'm always interested to see what people can do for their packaging. Limbs Bin was among the bunch to release a flexi this year, a strong little EP entitled "Bliss Tech". Released by Follow My Into The Laser Eye and Moon Mechination records, 33 RPM.
"Bliss Tech" is classic, brutal Limbs Bin as we know it, but at the same time this release highlights a more subdued and methodical approach in it's use of sound. The usually active and swirling modular tones are instead a slow, churning, bassy frequency that changes and moves gradually as songs begin and end. Similar to a lot of Limbs Bin's live shows. The trademark vocal and drum machine bursts sever the tension building tones in short but sweet, punk-minus-the-band style. I've always described Limbs Bin as a punk band in it's true nature. From the Infest style vocal patterns, to the introspective and personal lyrics that are pretty cryptic at times, but leave an impact. The shortest song on here, "Why Change?" is a good example of that. It's interesting reading the lyrics for "Bliss Tech" knowing the general inspiration for it. The story the lyrics paint leaves me with some open ended scenarios in my head. I really enjoy this EP, it's some of Josh's best stuff, I'm happy that other people seem to be digging it as well.
The packaging consists of one double-sided insert, one side being the art side, lyrics and info on the other. As usual, the art was all done by Limbs Bin's visual partner, Alex York. I really like the use of orange on this release, it stands out amongst the grim black and white only crowd. The flexi also managed to capture a ton of the low-end that this EP needed to have the best impact, very good production.
One of the must own/gotta have it noisecore recordings to come out on vinyl this year, is this here split between OPS-PSF and Snajper. Released by Rage For All Records, a label run by a man named Derek who is more dedicated to releasing freaky, esoteric noise garbage (all with very professional care and work put into them!!!) than almost any cult label I know. Every time we've ran into each other at a show he will bafflingly gift me a handful of free records he's released. Simply because I don't own them yet. Such appreciation for crazy noise has to be talked about, and if anyone was going to release a vinyl record of these amazing, seldomly brought up noisecore bands, it would be Rage For All. This release came out in a run of 300 copies, 200 on black and 100 on purple, 33 RPM.
OPS-PSF, masters of their craft in cut-up/sound collage noisecore, do what they do best on their side and of course it fucking rules. Flashes of garbage guitar, low-pitched growls, clean guitar, movie samples, cymbal hits and loose blast beats; edited and put together so fast that it seems to be designed for a listener with the shortest attention span possible. There's this one clean guitar chord that keeps popping up all over the recording that gives the piece some sort of repetition, but that's about it. Completely nuts and really damn good.
Snajper came into my mental encyclopedia thanks to this record, because literally no one I've ever known who's into noisecore talked about them. Like a long forgotten, deeply buried artifact, new knowledge of this little duo from Slovenia's existence came into the world. This is fucked up shit of the highest caliber, perplexing noise garbage that is done with literally the smallest of means. The very handy little essay on the band tells bits of the story of this group, who existed in the late nineties and released a hefty batch of split tapes. Basically, you got a cardboard box for percussion, a microphone, a shitty computer, aaaaaand you get Snajper. I'll say that out of all the stuff I've heard from them, this is the "best sounding" their recordings have been, but the aesthetics remain completely in tact. It's magical to say the least, I can't believe this got pressed to vinyl. This is some weird, gonzo, messed up noise, no bullshit at all.
Nice deadwax etching from OPS-PSF, I'm happy I could get it to show. I recommend this record a lot if you can't tell already.