Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Black Sabbath - Radio One Session (1970)

I guess everybody who ever listened to any kind of "rock music" knows about Black Sabbath. Everybody who listens to any kind of Metal has to worship them, and even every Hardcore kid should at least accept the fact that some of the greatest Hardcore bands were heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, for example Black Flag, Void or Integrity. Although I love most of the stuff they did with Ozzy, and like some of the stuff they did with Dio, I can understand that, especially people with a Hardcore backround, don't like the stuff with the latter, because of his voice. Well, Heaven & Hell is much better than some of the later recordings with Ozzy, but that's just my opinion.
What I uploaded here is a Radio session Black Sabbath (with the classic line-up Osbourne/Iommi/Butler/Ward) played at April 26th 1970 for John Peel's "Sunday Show" on Radio 1. The songs are "Black Sabbath", "Walpurgis", "Faries wear boots" and "Behind the wall of sleep". "Black Sabbath" lasts 9:25 minutes, is played a little bit different and slower than the album version, and way heavier. Especially when Ozzy says "oh no please god help me", I mean it's already quite frightening on the LP, but here you really see Satan sitting behind the desk, and not John Peel. Ozzy's vocals are great throughout the whole recording, by the way. "Walpurgis", the "pre-Warpigs", comes up with slightly different lyrics, one of the best Sabbath songs anyway. With "Faries wear boots" one of the "lesser" known songs is also there, probably everybody knows it anyway, but you know, it's not exactly "Paranoid". "Behind the wall of sleep" is faster than on the LP, and the arrangements are a little bit different as well. Fuck I love Black Sabbath. The sound of the recording is bit "dusty" but I think it fits the mood perfectly, very necro and heavy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The year 2004. While visiting an old friend of mine we drove in his car somewhere, and he put a tape in, saying something about a collaboration between two of my favourite 90ies Hardcore bands, Damnation AD and Bloodlet (in Damnation's case, one of my favourite bands in general). 4 years later I remebered that, but forgot the name of the project (which was pretty dumb of me, since "Bloodnation" makes perfect sense), I forgot if my friend said if this was ever regular released, everything. And he moved far away and we don't have any contact anymore, sadly enough. So after some research on the internet all I could find was this one track, "Flesh of another", in a ok but not amazing sound quality. I don't know anything about this project, neither when it took place, nor if there exist more than this one track, nor if it ever was properly released, nothing. So if anyone has any information about this, please comment!
The track itself is awesome, of course. Quite weird of course, but really a perfect mixture of the two participants, dark, moody, emotional music with a slight Jazz influence. Not the music to make some sweet love to, but music to drown in. So once again, if you know something about this, comment!

The Hope Conspiracy - True Nihilist (Review)

Fuck yeah! I was suprised to find this 7" from Deathwish in the mail today, I kinda forgot I pre-ordered it a few weeks ago. After listening to those three songs for about an hour non-stop, all I can say is: They still know how to do it.
But let's start with the packaging: The cover is actually a small poster, full-colored print on the front and on the back, printed on thick, rough paper. On the back you'll find the usual infos about who did what and so on. To be honest, I was quite surprised to find out that Jacob Bannon did the artwork, I don't know, I wouldn't have expected this "style", but I mean, it looks amazing.
So the music - I really like every single song THC did in their existence, I love every record and listen to them on a regular basis. I was really happy when they released the "Death knows your name" full length after their break, and I still think it's an amazing record, but in my opinion "Endnote" is really their "Sgt. Peppers", a record everybody who claims to be into Hardcore should know. For everybody who thinks the same about this, here's the good news: I think those three new songs on this EP sound a lot more like "Endnote" songs than "Death knows..." songs. Of course they have a little more rocking feeling, so I'd say soundwise it's 70 % "Endnote" and 30 % "Death knows...", which is great, at least in my book. The production's good as always, drums, bass and guitars sound great, the leads are amazing, and the vocals are just... perfect. Pissed off, emotional and angry. When speaking of perfect things, I have to mention the lyrics as well. War, death, religion and pain are the main topics I'd say, but you have to read the lyrics yourself to get the clue. Just a small example: "Dark days are here/The chaos is the prayer/and your hell/religious persistence/Christ bastard son of heaven/we believe in nothing/only the strength of self" (from "The dismal tide"). So, final words: Can't wait for more + I hope for at least one more Europe tour so I can see them once again.

The Hope Conspiracy on myspace.com

Monday, August 3, 2009

Interview with Even Worse

I did this interview for the now disfunct German skateboard magazine Boardstein, but since I don't know if the interview got really released in the last issue they did, and if so it was a very shortened version anyway, I decided to post the unshortened version here. Of course they haven't released a new record until now, and the split with my band is still on hold, but they recently did a Europe tour with At Half Mast, which was cool, as far as I've heard.

Chris: OK, I’m sitting here with Daniel and Benni, may you please introduce yourself, who you are and what are you guys doing in Even Worse.

Daniel: (laughs) That’s so fucking stupid!
C: Do it!
D: I am Daniel… hmmm… (laughs again)
C: And you do the vocals.
D: …am 22 and do the vocals.
Benni: I’m Benni and I play the guitar.
C: Cool.
D: Delete that with the age if Benni isn’t doing it as well.
C: It was planned to have Brandon here with us, too, but he’s at work right now. And you (to Daniel) and Brandon are the two guys who are left from the very first line-up, if I got that right. But now you’ve been playing with the current line-up quite a long time, so who’s in and do you still like each other?
D: In the band’s also Danny on drums.
C: Who’s sticking drum sticks in his eyes.
D: Who’s sticking drum sticks in his eyes, but we’ll come back on that issue later if you like. Next to me is Benni and Brandon is playing bass. Should I start to list ex-members? Wouldn’t make much sense I guess…
C: No, that would take too long. But the line-up’s solid the way it is?
D: The foundation’s done, yeah.
C: If I compare your first Demo to the recordings for the split LP (with The F.A.) I realize sound-wise quite a big progression. How would you describe that progression?
D: I’d say, from shitty to awesome. The demo - we still were quite young at that time and more influenced by trashy Hardcore stuff. We just thought the main thing is playing fast, nagging vocals and stuff like that. And now, well, you grow older and we wanted to carry other influences in, not only speed. That’s it basically. We wanted to stay fast, but at the same time progress, because everybody listens to more than fast stuff only.
B: But of course we’re still fast.
D: Yeah!
C: And which new influences came?
D: (thinks for a while) Vader!
B: Our music definitely became darker. And harder.
D: Yeah definitely. During the song writing process for the split we found ourselves in a real development phase, and brought a little bit of everything into those new songs. The new songs have more breaks, and are more pissed. I think “pissed” fits better than “dark”, because “dark” is more this cry-baby-hardcore-stuff, we’re more like “no, everything sucks”.
C: Would you say that your motivation to create music and go on tour has changed over the last years?
B: I feel way more motivated in general. Also at rehearsals for example, there’s just much more going on now. When we write a new song now, it just flows faster than earlier on.
D: Yeah definitely. Earlier on we often fucked around on one single riff without getting a song.
B: A riff with three chords!
D: Haha, yeah exactly. But now we’re all totally productive. I think, because of motivation and playing shows and stuff like that, that’s a thing that has definitely changed. In the past we played just everywhere, it didn’t matter where, and were completely fine with it. I mean, basically we’re still fine with that, but when you start to compare yourself to other bands, which are up for maybe a year, and those bands can play where there want and get hyped everywhere, and we’re still creeping around and still have to really work hard to get our tour dates complete and fixed, that’s when I realise that I really do care about it all, and that it is more than just “well, whatever, I don’t care”. I mean we’re putting time and money in it as well.
C: Well, there will always be bands that get quite a big dose of hype, primarily due to the internet. The question remains, if you like that or not.
D: So so. Most of the time it’s justified I guess, sometimes not, I don’t want to name any bands now.
C: What do you think about the fact that there are bands, mostly from the USA, that just have a demo out, and go on a full Europe tour with that? Do you think that this is a good thing, that also small bands get the chance to play big tours, or do you think that the quality of touring bands suffers because of that?
B: I think it fucking sucks. Big time. We, as a band, haven’t had the chance until now to see a lot of Europe, only Germany. But those bands… I don’t even know where they get the money from, do you know that Daniel?!
D: (laughs) No, I don’t know that.
B: Do they pay everything themselves? I think it sucks.
D: I think it’s mainly because of hype. A lot of bands only play standard music, there are copies of copies of copies, and those bands still get hyped, that’s so fucking lame to some extend. Then there are these kids who say “yeah, that’s the new shit”, and you just think that all this stuff was already done in the 80ies or 90ies, and get bored by everything.
B: Of course it also depends on how long you’re into that certain type of music. Because the kids that start to get into that shit by now really get into it by listening to the current bands. And only because of that many of those bands are successful.
D: So, to get back to your question, it all depends on the band. There are some where I think it’s really justified, and others where you just get turned off by.
B: But there’s definitely more bullshit coming over that sucks, then bands I like.
D: It’s all a question of taste.
B: Yeah, of course.
D: If it would be a new Death Metal band you’d like it.
B: No, probably not. The scene’s getting completely polluted by all that myspace crap.
D: When you start to occupy yourself with all that stuff you start to realise how meaningless most of it is. Most of the new bands are done by young kids, they hop on a rolling train and do exactly the same, write some songs with “positive” and “yeah” and “we have this and that inside”, I mean that gets boring pretty fast.
C: I think it’s even worse (ha-ha) if a band is always doing what’s hip at the moment, always hop onto the latest trend and modifies its sound that way.
B: (enraged) That’s the reason why I hate Schweinfurt! Because of that I hate all the local kids here, I mean, those kind of kids are probably in other cities as well, probably even more than here, but that’s exactly their thing. They only rip others off, have no own opinion about nothing, they don’t deserve to live, no shit.
C: Another thing that totally sucks these days is that there are rarely US-bands touring Europe on their own and maybe take a smaller European band as support with them. Most of the time there are packages now with three or even more bands that nobody can pay anymore. The only ones who can afford those packages are bigger promoters, who also have to raise the entrance. In addition to that, I don’t want to watch five “main acts” at a show.
D: Yeah and the bad thing about this is for example what happened at the Have Heart/Bane/Ceremony tour last year. Have Heart was the shit on that tour, and although Bane is doing that shit for whatever more years, they got kinda ignored on most dates, as far as I’ve heard, and everybody was just sucking Have Heart’s asses. And basically it’s just lame when you have to pay 15 Euros for a show with three US-bands, when you only want to see one of them.
C: On many of your shirts, stickers and stuff like that you have the slogan “the strongest of the strange”, is there any connection to that skate video?
D: Yeah, for sure. Basically, there is this skate video called “The strongest of the strange” by Pontus Alv, that guy’s just incredible, and the video is maybe one of the best I’ve ever seen. And at the end of that video there are spoken words by Charles Bukowski, which are sooo good. And we just took it from that, because it fits so well. We even called a song after that, and after the release people kept telling us how good that song is, and the intro of it (where there are some of the spoken words as well). So I begun to use that phrase everywhere in designs and stuff like that. And it just fits. I mean, it fits us especially.
C: Topic skateboarding, are there any further connections to skateboarding?
D: Three of us still skate. Danny has tried it, but he always tries everything and stops soon afterwards. Brandon is the one who skates the most and hardest of us. He’s our mini ramp ripper, who destroys everybody and himself. When we’re on tour we’re always afraid because of him, ‘cause he always tries new tricks, and of course he slams from time to time. But he just keeps skating all the time, until he’s just a bloody mess, but he keeps skating anyway. He’s pretty tough.
C: So when you’re on tour you always have your decks with you?
D: Yes, definitely. Everybody except Danny.
B: Yeah he always “forgets” it.
D: Exactly, he always “forgets” it. He’s more into sticking drum sticks in his eye.
C: Daniel you have designed skate decks for Little Wheels, haven’t you?
D: Yeah, Little Wheels, that’s a skate shop ran by Bernhard Küppel, he also has a homepage http://www.litte-wheels.com. And he just asked me to do a few designs for him. And I just agreed with him, I didn’t like the old designs anyway, so I just thought about doing some good ones. I asked him what he wanted to have, and he was into skulls and some crazy shit, and since I can draw skulls while sleeping, I did it. And now there’s a series out, limited to 250 pieces, and it looks awesome.
C: Yeah, that’s true.
D: And of course it’s good wood as well.
C: Are there any cool spots in Schweinfurt you should check out when you come here?
D: Well, we got a new skate park last year. Actually it’s a funny story; all the kids permanently complained at the mayor’s office that there is no proper skate park. And the city was complaining all the time about skating kids, because they would destroy everything and shit like that. Then all the kids started to get active, collecting signatures and so on. Finally, a skate park was built by IOU Ramps under the Max-bridge. The problem is, and I am not the only one who’s saying that, that the park is really boring. I mean, there are enough kids riding it anyway, but a lot of kids keep their distance. There are mainly banks, and a mini ramp. The mini ramp is pretty good, actually. It’s quite a street park, quite smooth, but it gets boring pretty fast. Besides that we have a Plaza here, which is quite cool for street skating, with a lot of flat, a small set of stairs, really cool. And for some people the Stattbahnhof is still the spot to skate. It’s really small, just a small quarter and a real lousy funbox, but people like to skate it anyway. And around the city, in all those small suburb towns, there are loads of parks, but nobody rides them, besides maybe some small rollerblading kids who fall on their asses and can’t breathe afterwards.
C: What are your upcoming plans with the band?
D: We had planned to prerecord a full album this summer.
B: Of course we haven’t done that until now.
D: Right now we’re writing the songs for an album, maybe around 14 songs, and we’ll try to get at least the prerecording done until winter. And then we want to get it released as soon as possible.
C: Do you already know who’s going to release it?
D: No. We’re looking for labels. Good labels. Not those kind of slacker-labels. So if anybody… (stops talking for a while)
B: Just shut up.
D: No, we don’t have a label yet. This time we definitely want CD and vinyl, because a lot of people keep asking us for CD’s. Besides that we plan to release a split EP with Goldust. Like I said, if there are labels that like us just drop us a line, we’re nice.
B: Sometimes.
C: Ok, so would you please tell the story of Danny and the drum stick?
D: One second, I’ll just get the bag. (Leaves the room and comes back with a brown paper bag). This is the “Bag of Dullness”. We played with our side project DetöNation in Nuremberg and in the backstage area there was this brown paper bag lying around. And that fit the head really good. But of course there weren’t holes for the eyes. And usually, if you are a normal thinking human, you would mark the spots for the eyes, pull the bag off your head, put in some holes and put it up on your head again. Danny had a different opinion about that, he just left the bag on his head and applied a drum stick, right where one of his eyes was beneath. And we just watched that, completely fascinated and just thought, “no, he wouldn’t do that”. But he sat there, with the drum stick, applied it to his eye, and rams it in. You could see how the stick dipped in the bag, than dipped even a little bit deeper, and a hundredth of a second later you’d see the head yielding and jerking back. Of course everybody laughed his ass off, Danny lifts the bag from his head, and his eyeball was blood red, because the idiot just rammed a drum stick in his eye without even thinking about it. I kept the bag, just as memorial for humanity. That’s just “the strongest of the strange”. Although you could say “strongest of the lame” as well.
C: Ok, is there anything left you want to tell us?
B: Yeah, lock Niederwern (a small town near Schweinfurt) up, surround it with a wall!
D: Niederwern must burn!
(Now there’s a 5 minute monologue from Benni about the coffee drinking kids from Niederwern and why they deserve to die)
D: Well, thanks for the interview, check out the bands Goldust from Münster, Grace from Kassel, Tackleberry from Kiel and Deny Everything from Cologne, Germany has good bands, check them out, they’re good.
C: And Vader.
D: Vader!
B: Vader from Poland dude…

Even Worse on myspace.com

Back to interview list

Nirvana 2002 - Disembodied Spirits (Demo)

To be honest, I wouldn't know shit about this band without Ekeroth's book about Swedish Death Metal. But since he mentions this band a few times, and how great they were and so on I decided to check them out, which is quite easy it times of the internet. They never released a real record, only a bunch of demos, and this demo was released in 1990, has a powerful production, awesome songs, sick riffs and great vocals. I mean I am surely not the biggest expert of Death Metal, but I do know about good music, and this IS good, definitely at the same level like the early Entombed/Dismember/Grave stuff. Be sure to check this out, otherwise you'll miss something.

Catharsis - s/t

Do I really have to tell anybody anything about this band? Their influence? Their sound? If so, please check this interview out and get educated. Seriously, everything this band did was awesome, yes, even the reggae influenced track on "Passion". To be honest, I don't really like what Brian was doing in Requiem and with his new band which is so aweful I forgot their name already. But Catharsis have recorded enough and is deep enough to keep you entertained for years (that's what this band did for me). I uploaded the s/t record, which contains the first 7" and some rare recordings/songs, including a really awesome Breakdown cover. If you don't like Catharsis you're definitely reading the wrong blog.

Asphalt - 357 Knock Out

This is one of the rather obscure records that came out on Dwid's Dark Empire label (he's also doing guest vocals on one song). Unfortunatly I don't know really much about this band, only that Asphalt was formerly known as False Hope with Sal LaPiccollo (bass), Hawthorne Smith (guitar) and David Nicholi Araca who died shortly after the recordings for this full length due to a brain aneurism.
The music itself is far beyond everything that kids nowadays know as "Clevo-Hardcore" or Holy Terror sound, when they talk about bands like Rise and Fall or Shipwreck (...). This record is really dark and sick, I mean, it has a really sickening feeling to it, which is hard to describe. And the music goes way further that your typical Integrity clone-band, it shows influences from Post-Hardcore, Black Metal, Stoner and what not, with strange time signatures and a really good production. If I had to come up with a mixture to describe it I'd say it sounds like a mixture between Pale Creation (on their Twilight album) and Shining's "Halmstad". Especially the vocals remind me a lot of times of the latter. Of course this is not nearly catching how Asphalt sounds like. So I really recommend to everyone to listen to this, open a bottle of redwine and just get the feeling.

In Cold Blood - st EP (1997)

This 7" by Cleveland's In Cold Blood is the heaviest sounding stuff these guys ever recorded. I mean, I love pretty much everything this band around the Melnik brothers did, but those three songs are so hard, it's unbelievable. I think every single one appeared (rerecorded) on one of the other records they did, but on this EP the songs are played slower, and the vocals are way more brutal, like really deep, nearly gutteral. Of course you should get the Hell On Earth full length as well (the CD got released on Victory records back then, I don't know if there ever was a vinyl release) and of course the 12" that got released on A389 Records which contains the mentioned 7" besides some demo and live recordings.

Black Flag - My War Demos 1982

Some undeniable classic here. Since every dickhead in the world talks about Black Flag as if he'd knew Greg Ginn personally but only knows the Damaged LP (and maybe the First Four Years Compilation), I decided to upload this masterpiece of Hardcore-Punk, in my opinion the best stuff Black Flag ever recorded: The 1982 Demos, recorded in between the "Damaged" LP and its follow up "My War". These songs were recorded while Black Flag were entangled in legal battles with MCA records and couldn't release any "real" recorded material. So this stuff isn't available as a regular release, but got bootlegged many times, so it should be pretty easy for you to get this on vinyl or CD.
Like I said, this is a masterpiece. We have here the only recordings with the classic 5-man Black Flag line-up, consisting of
Henry Rollins (vocals), Greg Ginn (guitar), Dez Cadena (guitar), Chuck Dukowski (bass) and Chuck Bisquits (drums). The sound quality is quite good, but the feeling is amazing. The songs sound a lot rougher than on the regular releases, and heavier, and more nihilsitic, and more fucked up, seriously, soundwise I think it's by far the best Black Flag record. I always thought that the production of the "My War" LP is too clean and watered down, here you can hear the songs like they really should be, heavy and mean sounding, with tons of feedback, and a manic Rollins screaming his guts out. You don't know SHIT about Black Flag if you don't know this record.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unbroken live video

These videos are from the same dude who uploaded the Mayday videos, so you should thank him for that. It was shot at the same festival 1995, but in another room (with a "real" stage, actually). Wait for minute 2:40 in part one, that's so cool. I kinda like that video a lot because it shows Unbroken more as what they were: a Hardcore band, and not those quasi-gods they seem to be for lots of people today. For sure one of my top-5 bands ever. Oh and, of course, raw footage = punk. There must exist a third part, but it's not on youtube yet, so here are the first two parts:

Mayday live video

What did I write about the problems with live videos in the Napalm Death post? Intense athomsphere but bad sound und pictures? Well, here's a pretty good example for that. But considering the fact that this was shot in the pre-digital age, and the room where Maday plays is like the worst imaginable for a show it's still quite cool. And fucking hell, it's Mayday, you rarely see pictures, let alone videos of that band. Check out the hairstyles of the kids and the vocalist's and guitarist's overalls. I mean, 1995, what else can you say?