Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some News and Converge's "Axe to Fall" Review

Before 2009 goes, it'd be a good chance to throw in a few reviews of records that were released  in 2009 and deserve a mention in this here blog, as they'll be too old to be included in the upcoming TYS print zine (out early 2010). I should also mention that in the next issue we won't be reviewing any records that were released in 2009 by bigger/corporate record labels, but we'll obviously still review DIY bands and labels that put out stuff during 2009, as these people get so much lesser exposure.
Converge - Axe to Fall (Epitaph/Deathwish)

-->So this new scorcher by Converge has been taunting me for a good 2 to 3 weeks now. I can't for the life of me decide whether I like this album or not. I mean, OK, before I listen to a Converge album I know it will be complex and weird as fuck, but this time I admit I was caught a bit off guard!
      -->To say that Converge play a chaotic mix of metalcore and post metal would be generalizing, as there are so many different musical elements incorporated into this album. I don't even know if any labels fit. I mean it flows from extreme and complex to dark and chilled and then all over again! Yet, this is Converge's most "universally acclaimed" album somehow, and could go down easy with any fan of extreme music.  It brings a  bit of Neurosis and Cave In (members of both bands appear on the recordings), so you can imagine that's it's a lot gloomier and more progressive.
      -->What is hardcore about this album?, you might ask. I guess it all comes down to the approach the band takes towards their music. They can really call this album their own, as they self-produce their records, make their own cover artwork, bring in lots of acclaimed musicians in the recording etc. Also, they always take many good hardcore bands as support acts with then on tour, and have their own (mainly) hardcore label, Deathwish Inc.
        -->As for me, well I think I'll stick to the more straightforward and hardcore stuff, but I'll throw this disc in when I'm in the mood for some progressive weird hardcore shit!

        Wednesday, December 16, 2009

        VODKA JUNIORS - The Dark Show - Live 18th Dec 2009

        True to their fans and their annual Xmas  meeting, the Vodka Jrs will hit the stage @ Gagarin this Friday, 18th December, for a night of punk rock mayhem!

        Being what I believe the best Greek punk rock band to date, the Vodka Juniors have developed the habit of delivering a hell of a show every time they play. Laid-back attitudes, drunken smiles and a mad mosh-pit should be expected amongst the attendants!

        This particular show, entitled The Dark Show, should be a bit of a surprise, as the band always has something new up its sleeve. So will it be a big party like most of their shows, or will it be more of a mellow night influenced by their last record Dark Poetry? I guess nobody knows, apart from VJ... so, like my grandma always sayz, just B THERE FOLKS!

        Price: 8 euros
        Place: Gagarin Club
        Doors Open @ 21.30
        Pre-sale: Rhythm Records Shop

        Monday, December 14, 2009

        POSITIVELY POSITIVE HARDCORE FEST - 19th December 2009

        Date: 19th Decempber 2009
        Place: An Club (www.anclub.gr)
        Price: 12 euros
        Time: Doors open at 21:00, Show strarts at 21:30
        Pre-Sale: No sir, just go straight at the door (or contact World's Appreciated Kitsch)
        Organizer: World's Appreciated Kitsch (http://wakhc.blogspot.com)
        Taste The Floor - www.myspace.com/tastethefloor
        Do Something Now - www.myspace.com/dosthnow
        I Want You Dead - www.myspace.com/iwantyoudeadhc
        Against All Odds - www.myspace.com/againstalloddsgr
        Inhuman Poison - (no website) 
        One good thing about Christmas is the  increase of shows, as people have more free time to make it to the shows, as well as the fact that so many people travel back into Athens for the holidayz. You could say there is an influx of hardcore kids and punks, and what better chance can you have to get together, than a Hardcore show taking place in the very middle of the city, and undoubtedly its most classic Punk venue, the An Club.

        So this is the 3rd continuous year  for Positively Positive Hardcore Fest (taking the name from a Good Clean Fun song) , which seems to grow into a bit of an institution over the years : a  DIY Hardcore mini-fest that takes place  around the Xmas period, kind of just before the year ends.This year is the most 'Greek' one so far, with  just one foreign band (Italy's Taste The Floor) and 4 Greek ones.

        * Taste The Floor are headlining the fest with their blend of fast fast fast HCpunk in the vein of  Scholastic Death, Vitamin X and DS-13. An unusual band to book for Greek standards, as opposed to the more metalcore or melodycore choices promoters usually take. Nice one! Let's hear some fast thrash and chug some green tea before moshing!

        * Do Something Now! is a relatively new band, but they're coming out strong as they contain members who are active in the scene for years, most notably Apostolis from WAK who also organizes this very fest. Their sound is a mix of hardcore/punk with some rock'n'roll elements.

        * I Want You Dead from Patra will bring it with some dark and heavy Hardcore. Comparisons to Integrity and Terror have been drawn, so... it should be good! Looking forward to their show as they contain members from that amazing streetcore band, the Oilers, let alone a friend who I haven't seen in a long time.

        * Against All Odds have been around for a good couple of years, playing a lot of live shows and delivering a solid brand of old school hardcore with a street-flavored touch. A down-to-basics Hardcore band, and that's the way it should be!

        * Finally, brand-new band Inhuman Poison will make their first appearance ever on-stage. It would be nice to give them a round of applause as they'll be breaking the ice. They play a mix of different styles (Tragedy and Comeback Kid are mentioned together in the press release!), so it should be pretty interesting... Therefore go to the show early!

        It's fucking cool to have small fests like these. It's a good time to get together and meet with friends old and new, have a few beers or just keep it clean and have a rocking good time moshing. We'll be reviewing a couple more shows that are coming down the line until the new year arrives, so bear with us..!

        Monday, December 7, 2009

        EVASION - Free to Roam!

        This morning I was going through a bag of old zines and books, and after getting my fingers really dirty, I remembered how much I love Evasion. If you're into living free, you should read Evasion. And yes, the book itself is free, too. But let's take things from the start.

        It's really hard to categorize Evasion. Is it "just" a book? Is it the person(s) behind the book? Is it a sort of movement? I for one, can't really say. I think it's probably all of the aforementioned things together.

        Published as a book by Crimethinc., Evasion was originally a 100-page photocopied zine documenting the tales, philosophy and lifestyle of being a (straightedge vegan) squatter. What makes Evasion so special, however, is that it is written by a person who has actually lived that lifestyle to the extreme, and who is able to defend it with solid arguments and real-life examples.

        So what is Evasion all about? Some of the themes the book goes into are traveling/squatting, freeganism and crime, as alternatives to homelessness, unemployment, poverty and worldwide society's many other ails. It takes personal action and activism to a whole new level, which is based on individualism and freedom. This book opposes boredom and negativity, being lame and uncreative while stuck in the modern slavery system of 9 to 5 . Most importantly, it shows how it can be done, and in a very compelling way. Here's a little extract from the introduction of the book:

        We left behind the other kids, their path -working, drinking, and being grown up- and rejected all that made them grumpy, uncreative and lifeless. We dumpstered, squatted and shoplifted our lives back. Everything fell into place when we decided our lives were to be lived. Life serves the risk taker. [...] Some of us read all day, others chanted and held signs, some were full-time defendants. Every day, and every plan and plot were a reaffirmation that our lives were our own.

        The above is just a small taste of what's about to follow in the book: tales extraordinaire, full of action, friendship, art, vandalism, philosophy, and punk rock. All that you may love about Punk and/or DIY is in this life-changing book. Even though it's been published since 2001, I urge people who haven't read Evasion to seek it out and do so... But wait a moment, you can have it for free here:

        Thanks, people. Now go out there and see what you can make of your anarcho-independent-skillz!