Sunday, October 7, 2007

Jah People Make The World Go Round

Just the other day I was walking around checking out some record shops and by great surprise I bumped into the new BAD BRAINS Lp. Wait a second, say what!? Yes. A new BAD BRAINS record! I can't believe that this legendary rastafari hardcore band is still around making music. Being the clueless hardcore kid that I am, I didn't even know there was a new album out. Needless to say I bought it immediately and came running back home to listen to.

First things first let me say that the vinyl edition I got is a colour vinyl, so you get to see the colours of Jamaica go around while you spin the LP. I mean, how cool is that!? And then again, the music is awesome too. I was hit by the crazy production sound, really really raw and with absolutely tons of overdubs. I looked in the credits, and another surprise came: the album has been produced by Adam Yauch, one of the 3 MCs of the famous BEASTIE BOYS! This just keeps getting better and better.

As far as the music goes (the most important part, actually), this should be considered a classic BAD BRAINS album. The hardcore songs are 100% hardcore, sometimes with reggae vocals, but still HARDcore. And then again you get the mellow reggae songs, wich are sweeter and cooler than they have ever beem before. Being a fan of roots Reggae myself, this is a great treat...

So this is a record that I'm gonna keep playing for a while. I will probably tape it and play it in my car. I will probably play it to all my friends. I will probably dance around to it. I will probably say, "NATTY DREADLOCKS 'PON THE MOUNTAIN TOP"

Jah Rastafari Hardcore.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Update September '07

Hey everybody,

wow--I guess it's been a really long time since my last post here. 3 months! It's been a bit of a hectic summer for me, so I guess I needed to take some time out and adjust myself with my new job and and just live life in general. That doesn't mean Take Your shot is dead! If anything it's quite the opposite, right now I feel like I have all the energy in the world to put into a new issue. I will actually start working on it this next fall.

So this next issue, number #4, will be quite different from what I've done so far. I've convinced my self that this time I'll distance myself from my 80s youth crew obsession and try to do something different. So far it's has all been about fast hardcore and clean living with Take Your shot, and these things are cool of course, but I now feel like it is also a good time to try and do something else--without forgetting one's roots, of course!

This time, other people's help will definitely be incorporated in the making of the zine. Luckily I am surrounded by bright individuals who have skills I can only dream of, and their help and influence will definitely be there. In other words, this issue #4 will be less of a personal zine and more of a friends zine. We'll see... Also there will be more writing in the new zine, you know about all kinds of stuff that's related with the hardcore scene in one way or another...


Actually this post was much much bigger, but once again I was framed by the Internet and it all got lost somewhere, somehow. Oh wel... I guess it wans't meant to be. Also, it just serves to show that print zines are so much better than their online versions.... that's for sure!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


All you kids out there must know how it feels to wait for ages and ages to see your favorite band! Well, my personal dream came true last night after a long-ass wait that lasted about 10 years. It's been a long way since I was that 16-year old SUICIDAL fanatic, going to school with checkered longsleeve shirts and backwards baseball caps... hell, those were the days. But I'm just glad I'm still here today, into the same music and more into it than ever before.
Nostalgia aside, it was a great show last night! It was so weird waiting for ST to come on stage, but as soon as the gang made its appearence I felt a rush of energy that drove me (and about a hundred others) straight into the moshpit. ST played all their classic songs, my favourite ones being the oldscool start-stop, slow-fast ones like I Saw Your Mommy, Institutioanlized and Memories of Tomorrow. Fuck, these are all classics! Cyco Miko gave some awesome spoken parts, and thinkg of it, that's what sets ST appart from all other bands: they always had that universal message of angst and pent up pressure that kids everywhere in the world can relate to!
In the pit there was utter madness and I can safely say there was a circle pit going on for every song! Crowd surfing was happening all the time, and the kids even took the stage at some point! Fuck! It was cool to see hardcore kids, punks, thrashers and even older dudes moshing together. After all, ST always combined and united the different tribes of punk/hardcore and metal, with their unique blend of skate culture and street attitude!
The band also gave an outstanding perfomance, both technically and stage-wise. Cyco Miko didn't stay static for more than one second, while the rest of the band didn't miss a note. An extra point goes out to all the funky bass action going on--Rob Trujillo eat your heart out! Moreover, the 'best quote' award rightly belongs to my pal Jim, who got on stage, went to old time guitarist Mike Clark, patted him on the back and said: "man--you're big!"--haha quality line by Jim right there!
Okay, well I guess that's enough of ST worship for one go. What can I say, I'm a prejudiced SUICICAL maniac! Going to a show like this really refreshed me, helped me forget about my shitty job, all the fucking lousy shit that's happening in my life right now, and, ultimately, made me forget about that fucking WAR INSIDE MY HEAD, as SUICIDAL themselves put it....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Straight Opposition show 13 April 2007

Hell yes!

Last Friday's Straight Opposition show was a keeper! Thanks to Apostolis and the Disharmonic crew we got to see another good hardcore gig. Straight Opposition are from Italy and they play heavy as fuck and equally fast hardcore. Imagine the heaviness of Machine Head (!) combined with proper old school hardcore drumming, a killer flattening sound and you get the picture. As for the vox, they're also heavy and distorted without sounding metallic, in the usual European hardcore tradition. Awesome stuff, dude!

Disharmonic also played a hell of a show. These guys keep getting better and better, who knows how far they're gonna take it! But we can surely say that Greece has a hardcore band that can stand up for our country and also make a name for it. Now let's have some more Greek hardcore bands kicking ass! The scene might be on a decline at the moment, but that only means that it's setting itself up again!

I unfortunately didn't get to see Toxic Waste because I got to the venue just before the Disharmonic show. That's because I was working till late afternoon and had to go pick up my friend before the show, so that resulted in us being kinda late. I'm sure they kicked ass, in any case.

It was super cool to catch up with some friends and say hi.. Some old faces, some-but only a few- new ones... The gigs, it seems, are getting smaller and smaller. Also, I know some people who run record shops & say that the kids just don't buy hardcore records anymore. Hey, you know what? Who fucking cares!? Hardcore is not supposed to be a trendy form of music for the masses. It's best to keep it underground, keep it healthy and vibrant, and let the cool kids show up only when SOIA is playing... ha ha ha.

Let's have some more underground gigs like this one!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The music, the message

Have things been kinda slow recently, or is it just me and my busy as fuck schedule? I know I've been slacking from writing this blog (before even starting properly!), which will change from now on, I promise. But it seems to me like there ain't any enthusiasm for hardcore these days, at least here in Athens Greece. Since I moved back a couple of months ago, I just can't find what's going on with hardcore activities, and where the heck all the hardcore kids have gone. No shows, no new bands, no nothing. Something's gotta change, and quick.

At the same time, I feel more dedicated now. 25 years old and I'm feeling the strongest I ever have about hardcore! Hardcore picks me up, gives me hope and gets me through the day, especially now that life becomes harder with all the adult responsibilities. I play my records whenever I get the chance to, in the morning when I wake up before work, in the car or anywhere fucking else. With the lack of gigs around, I tend to lose my head and mosh on my own. It's nothing to be ashemed of, friends, and definitely better than going through life half-asleep like so many people I know.

But it's not jus the music. It's also the words, the inspiration, the message behind it all. The truth is that these days I can't listen to a hardcore band that has nothing to say, no matter how hard and fast it might play. I need that message that makes the difference compared to any other sort of music in this whole wide world. That's what speaks to me and keeps me psyched all these years!

I might be a little dissapointed with the current state of hardcore in Greece 07, but I' not about to give up. Maybe it's just a matter of time until a good gig takes place, so I can see all my friends and have my faith restored (not that it needs to be restored, it's not even gone, but anyways...). The bottom line is: I won't despair, and I'll keep on being a hardcore kid no matter what!

Keep it up!

Friday, January 26, 2007

THE FIRST STEP - "What We Know": Best of 2006?

With this post I just want to throw the spotlight on a really, really good hardcore record that came out last year. For me, it's possibly my favorite HC record of 2006, and it's a band that has made quite a name for itself, and for a good reason. The First Step has it all: the music, the message, and a ton of positive energy to give you the biggest smile while moshing your ass off! Their style is fast, old school youth crew with positive, spiritual, friendship and anti-mater lyrics. How much better can it get!?

Let me tell you these guys have got their influences down right. They combine elements from the 88 spirit youth crew bands like Youth Of Today, Chain Of Strength and Gorilla Biscuits but with an extra positive and melodic twist of California straight edge bands like Insted and especially Uniform Choice. Awesome! For anyone who likes 80s hardcore these are all historic, legendary bands and TFS DOES sound as good as them. But TFS has also a personal sound and takes things to a whole new level, as they are good musicians and every instrument makes its presence very strongly. Of course this is helped by the production, which is the job of Walter Schreifels (ex- Gorilla Biscuits, ex-Quicksand, ex-Rival Schools), a legend in his own right.

I've got this on CD by Rivalry Records and it looks pretty good. The booklet is pretty good and it contains the *awesome* inspirational lyrics and the artwork is kind of a homage to the late 80s Revelation bands (b&w moshpit photos, the guitarist doing a superior jump with his Gibson etc). You know the deal! There's also this picture of the band chiling on a dock which is really cool. Rivalry records also put this put on vinyl, and I bet it looks and sounds absolutely spectacular, and it is probably sold out by now.

I didn't know that Carolina, US, had such incendiary bands. I totally recommend this for all the kids who like their hardcore energetic, stripped down but at the same time melodic and multi-layered. Kids: This is a record you will spin again and again. And again...

Friday, January 19, 2007

HAVE HEART - The Things We Carry (Bridge 9)

So everyone's been talking about HAVE HEARTand I have been really curious to see what the fuss is all about. For some reason Have Heart has been promoted as this mid-90s HC revival band but I personally don;t find any similarities with that sound. To me it sounds like a modern, metallic-tinged youth crew band that could fit in the whole Comeback Kid/With Honor genre. I mean, take a look at the cover (which by the way I think is great), does that signify mid 90s to you? I don't think so.

Have Heart is the classic example of an American Hardcore band: They've been around for a while, they've self-released a demo that went fucking well, they have a 7" on a small HC label (Think Fast! Records) and they've played their asses off... So now Bridge 9 does the logical thing, which is to snatch them up and release their full-length. What you get is 11 songs of good contemporary American HC, a sound that of course is very much loved here in Europe too. Have Heart has actually played in mainland Europe and England and got some great crowd responses.

Their sound combines the HC harshness and speed, but there is definitely something more 'elegant' going on. There is a lot of tempo exchange, from the 0:56 "Life Is Hard Enough Opener", to some slow moshy songs and some melancholic parts and interludes and whatever. Of course, it is topped up by a crystal-clear production that makes everything sound fucking huge, especially the drums-hear the rolls thunder mercilessly on your head!

The lyrics are also a bit faraway from the classic straight edge HC template. It is sXe domain for sure, but of another school, less loud-mouthed and more though-provoking. There is some sadness in some of those songs, but overall a good message for the kids to read in their bedrooms inbetween the Terror hatefuckyourevenge stuff.

Summing up, Have Heart is one of those bands that is changing the face of Hardcore music today, with this different approach that doesn't pretend to be very hard or or adopt a pretentious stance. The music speaks for itself, and it is good, straight up music for the year 2007.

p.s. for the record collector freaks: vinyl version recently pressed by Bridge 9 on gatefold 12", solid yellow w/ green splatters. 1000 pieces so hurry if you really want this!