Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RISE WITH HONOR - self titled demo EP

Truth is that I listened to this EP before I checked any info on the band online. As this is some kind of HEAVY-ASS downtempo hardcore, I was expecting a crew of thug gorillas with tattoos on their heads and stuff, but -to my surprise- these guys are a bunch of young Christian (!) fellas who simply play some of the heaviest hardcore/metal out there. Through the years, I have observed that the most passionate and intense bands in HXC are those with the clearest beliefs, like religious and straight edge. Don't believe me? Think Path of Resistance, 108, Facedown Records, Blood & Ink Records, or so many others.
In any case, these guys are pretty damn good. I've had this sitting in my playlist for quite a while, because I didn't know what to make of it. I mean, it is SO damn heavy and extreme, like nothing I've heard lately. OK I've heard heavier bands in brutal death metal styles etc, but these guys have really carved a different & heavy-as-fuck sound as far as hardcore is concerned. It is slow for the most part, with lots and lots of double bass drumming, death/black metal vocals and a down-tuned groove that will shake your stereo until it falls off the table. I guess I could describe this like a mix between Obituary, Suffocation and Hatebreed/Born From Pain type metal-core. 

Get this, cause this young band is on the rise and you don't wanna be the last person jumping on the bandwagon when everybody else likes them :P They got a nicely different, dare I say analogue but all the while extreme hardcore sound. I think it will suit all those who are pushing the boundaries a little bit more and want to hear something new and different without it necessarily being 'progressive' and 'post'.
OK so here I will take this opportunity to say a personal view about Christianity in Hardcore (ouch) -- even religion in hardcore generally. I know that most people detest anything that is spiritual in hardcore but me as representer and main writer for Take Your Shot, I don't mind it. There are a lot of good bands and labels doing their thing and if they are Christians and they want to speak about it, they got the right. Of course I hate preaching and force-feeding as well! But why should all bands only sing  about Unity, fake friendships, corrupt governments, the scene etc? Hardcore is supposed to be (and truly is for the most part) an open-minded scene, we've allowed a lot of stuff in and freedom of speech, to reach the point of criticizing religious or whatever bands in 2010??? It doesn't really make sense. If you don't like the spiritual lesson, then just listen to these bands for the music if they are good. There is a high level of integrity and realness in this type hardcore, and some of the bands and label owners who are Christian, are some of the coolest people out there and proper hardcore dudes. So don't be so hard on 'em! (again, I say, this is a personal opinion--thanks & peace out! Fotis-TYS)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hardcore Do Brazil: FATAL BLOW

I've always said how much I love South American Hardcore. I honestly believe that some of the realest and most passionate Hardcore bands originate from this part of the world! Is it the harder social conditions that inspire those bands, or that they have really understood the Hardcore way of life and made it their own? I don't know, but all these great SA bands never cease to amaze me!

Here's Fatal Blow, a band I didn't know before, they found us on myspace and I'm glad they did. All hail to the worldwide DIY Hardcore Network! This is real, straight forward, no bullshit Hardcore thuggery from Balneario Camborio,  Brazil.

Get it!

Did you enjoy the old school, heavy-ass breakdown? I thought so!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FRESH TRASH- 'La Jungla' album review

Ohhh yeah--it's time to move yer lazy ass!

Fresh Trash is a hardcore band from Barcelona, Spain that is ready to rock your summer with some kick-ass grooves and a high-energy, fun take on hardcore! 
To make things clear and simple, Fresh Trash don't sound metal at all (as you can probably guess from the cover art - heh), because they play a form of punky rockin hardcore which to me sounds like a crossover between California 80s hardcore (i.e. Insted, Uniform Choice) and some more trashy stuff like Ill Repute, Circle Jerks, even early Suicidal Tendencies. Add to that a serious pinch of unadulterated rock 'n' roll and you got the Fresh Trash cocktail!
A bit of background info on Fresh Trash is that they used to be Vicious Circle and this is their first release as Fresh Trash (15 songs, half sung in Spanish, half sung in English). It is out on Sell Our Souls Records, a label that specializes in messy/fast hardcore so you know this is the real deal! In the same vein of Vicious Circle's serious lyrics (i.e. If you don't like pizza, fuck you),  Fresh Trash sing about simple things we can all understand, like living close to the big city (La Jungla De Neon), bad habits (Weed & Paranoia, or Kids, Fools & Drunks) and some classic punk territory (You Don't Know Yourself, Right Or Wrong). As I said, they come from a beach town in Barcelona, so it's totally logical to have this lighthearted, 'we don't care' attitude. Maybe more of us should be like that!
All I can say is I love this all-out approach! If you like songs about food and happiness and like to take your stereo at the beach and disturb the trendies with some loud hardcore, then this is your record! As for me, fast energetic hardcore and cold coffee fuels me to the max! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Official

Unleashed Hell Infest! What has over the years come to be one of the most classic Hardcore music festivals in Greece  strikes again! From what I can remember I have personally been to all of the Unleashed fests, and one more suits me just fine--that's for sure, especially with all those good bands on the bill! It's a pity Earth Crisis cancelled (one of my -and everyone's- faves), but at least they've been replaced with a good band that's on the way up right now, Evergreen Terrace. 

We're gonna do a proper review on this one later, but for now get the fucking awesome flyer and enjoy hardcore!

For more information, visit:

The Ugliest Flyer Ever Made

What the hell? Nice drawing, but ugly as f*ck!
OLDE YORKE rule though! To be sure, check this video out:

New York, fat hip hop beats, scratches and then off for some proper NYHC with an intense political message. Fuck yeah!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Huge Post for Yall: Eternal Hated - 'Secrets' CD Review, Video and Interview!!!

I've  only seen Eternal Hated play onstage once, but is sure was enough to get hooked on these guys' energetic, youthful and chiller-than-most approach to modern metalcore. Yep--these guys play good music and leave the fake-ass attitude aside (the way it should be done!). In this special-edition interview post, you'll learn all about 'em.

So after checking Eternal Hated live and having heard some of their stuff on myspace, the next logical step was to go straight to the WAK merch stall and get their debut CD, Secrets. Well, this is proper metalcore, but not metalcore as you may imagine. These guys take the 'NWOAM' (New Wave of American Metalcore-ha!) of bands like As I Laying Dying and Evergreen Terrace and give it their own signature. So as you understand, they leave the beatdown thuggery aside and play some more technical stuff.

The sound is based on great and cleverly written riffs, which set the tone for fast tempos, metallic breakdowns and some clean vox. Clean vox? Yes, but properly done--not so much commercial sounding (like say, Bleeding Through and Eighteen Visions) but intelligent, maybe even progressive. 

Eternal Hated: extremely young, but with ballz :)

Eternal Hated also has a very good production on this first CD of theirs. It is as strong and clean as any American pro band out there, and for me this is a true achievement for the whole Greek scene which has a tradition in shit productions. A bit of extra money and time in the studio pays off big time in the end! After all, what's the use of having an ace drummer (like these guys do) when the fella can't be heard?

I also want to make an extra mention in relation to the singing. If I get it right, the clean vox discussed above are done by the guitar player, but all the harsh vox which also are the majority of the record are done by Chino. This guy is a totally different story; he gives the band the extra boost it needs to really stand out. His vocals are strong and extreme as fuck, while on the other hand his stage presence makes you think the kid was born to do this! It is important when a band has a real frontman, a guy who can mosh and sing and even crack a joke or speak with the crowd. 

So these guys are bringing it on, and I think that they have a great future in front of them because they're hard-working but they have fun while doing it. They got a small UK tour coming up and a great record to spread out. But why should I bore you with my rambling? These guys are speaking it out for themselves in the following video and in the short interview we did!

1. Tell us a few things about the recording. Where did you record and how long did it take? Did you enjoy the process?
We recorded at Fabric Studios in Larissa starting on July of 2009 and ending on September. During the recordings we had the best time ever with George from Fabric Studios. He’s a great guy and he made us feel very comfortable and we built a great friendship. It was the second time that we recorded, but the experience was unique recording a full-length album in such a cool studio.

2. Would you say your music is more influenced by hardcore or metal? What are your favourite bands?
We think it’s a «fair» mix of metal and hardcore. The good thing in Eternal Hated is that every person listens to different kinds of music and loves different bands, so everyone puts his own view in the music that we finally make. Our favourite bands we’d say are As I Lay Dying, Evergreen Terrace, Converge, Parkway Drive, and more. 

3. As young fellas in a band, what are the things that you've seen and disliked in the 'scene'? Are the older scene dudes positive towards you?
Well we’ve been around the ‘scene’ for about 3 years. We’ve seen good things and bad things. The thing is that kids in the scene don’t give the support that new bands need to be pushed forward, to make a next step. Also the bands don’t support each other very much as they see it like a huge competition, something that it clearly is not. We think that older dudes who grew up in the 90’s respect more the scene and are positive towards many bands whether they play metalcore, hardcore or whatever, and that’s the point, we are all in the same scene no matter the clothes or the hair. So move your asses and do something, support the scene by any way!

4. Tell us a few things about WAK, the label, and the upcoming mini-tour in the UK. Will you eat fish and chips and drink Carling or something?
WAK the label, hehe. Apostolis is a very cool guy who has been helping us since forever. We owe him a lot and it’s an honor for us to have our first album released by a Friend’s label. About the mini-tour in the UK, we’re still trying to get it done. We want to put 3-4 shows in London, Cambridge and around this area on early October. Maybe we’ll eat fish and chips and drink Carling or other traditional English beers, but for sure our bassist player won’t. He’s vegetarian and also straight edge,hehe.

5. How are people receiving 'Secrets' so far? Do you have any cool merch to accompany it? What are your future plans for Eternal Hated? 
Firstly, we’d like to say that we are very pleased with this record and with the positive feedback that we get from people about the album. We receive a lot of good and supportive words and comments from kids and we are very proud and thankful to know that there are people who listen to our album at home. We have a cool t-shirt which is almost sold out and 2 nice pins. And also in very cool prices too, hehe. Our future plans are to play as many shows as we can, get sweaty on stage, have the best times ever with friends at shows, make new friends, spread our music and message, get the UK mini-tour done and schedule maybe another tour in Europe during the 2011. Fotis, thanks a lot for the great opportunity that you give us with this interview. Support your local scene, bands ,fanzines and of course take your fucking shot!
I told you these guys bring the ruckus!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's On

Here is the playlist that's been on during this last stage of completing Take Your Shot #4. Naturally, it is a list full of top notch ignorant hardcore and hip hop! These records I've been playing to death at home, on my mp3 and everywhere else! Check 'em out.

1. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES - Freedumb (possibly the best SUICIDAL record? Total high-energy!)
2. RUN DEVIL RUN - Sinking Deeper (awesome NYHC influenced krishna-core which I finally found & got from 7inch distro!)
3. GHOSTFACE KILLAH - Supreme Clientele Instrumentals (special edition of the record without the raps-just beats, basslines & scratches cause we likes to chill sometimes)
4. HIP HOP FOREVER VOL.3 (Great comp containing more than 2 hours of old school rap-find it, get it)

and last but not least...
5. BODYCOUNT - Murder 4 Hire (well, what can I say--I love this record! HC meets Rap with ICE-T's unbeatable lyris and vox)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kick Out The Jams Party-Tuesday 8 June 2010

If you follow the Greek hardcore scene even a little, then by now you're probably aware that World's Appreciated Kitsch and Athens Noise are two of the most hard-working labels out there. This summer,  these  fine two establishments are teaming up to bring you a series of hardcore/punk rock etc parties. It is a very good alternative to the lack of good live shows that has recently hit our premises (after such a productive winter/spring). The shit is happening this Tuesday @ Fox club:
So if you're going out on a Tuesday night, I can't think of anything better to suggest than check these guys out! Whether you're a drinker or an edge-man, it doesn't matter, cause these guys will be playing all kinds of stuff, from party anthems to SXE hardcore classics I'm sure! And if you're broke, it still don't matter--the entrance is free for yall :)

So go down there and party out! 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ray Cappo circa 2010 (part 1)

So last time we revisited Better Than A Thousand and talked a little bit about Ray Cappo- the influential singer and a huge personality of the worldwide hardcore scene. Since his presence in hardcore in the early 80s, he's been an ambassador of straight edge, vegeterianism and spirituality in the hardcore punk community. In the 80s, he ruled the sXe hardcore scene with Youth Of Today, while in the 90s he formed Shelter who became huge and toured the world many times spreading the Krishna message.
Ray with Youth of Today in the 80s

So within the documenting of important hardcore personalities I am trying to do in this new section, Ray Cappo seemed like the first and perhaps the most interesting choice. In this first part about Ray Cappo, we'll see what he's doing nowadays, because Shelter's last album in 2006 ('Eternal') is his last output in the hardcore scene.

Cappo has always been a restless kind of guy, it seems. After Youth Of Today, he went as a monk to India and then formed Shelter. But that was an on-off thing to, as he lived in Costa Rica for a while and ran a surf camp,  practiced jiu-jitsu, opened Equal Vision and Revelation records (and then sold them) etc etc. A lot of fans have blamed him for that, but I think that the people who keep it fresh, and never stop evolving and changing, are to be admired.

An upside down version of Ray Cappo!

So this hardcore icon follows a totally different track these days. He is living in New York as a family man and a yoga instructor, health nutritionist and organizes trips to India for Krishna devotees. OK, so I know this might strike people who are more familiar with the scum-bag type hardcore personality, but I think that we definitely need a positive hardcore inspiration -not just fat guys with tattoos- and even if these people are not active in hardcore anymore (who knows where you will be in 10 or 20 years?), they still have put a lot into it and should get respect.

Next time, we will review Ray's career in hardcore during the 80s and 90s with YOT and Shelter respectively, and a focus on the Krishnacore movement. Lots of interesting stories to be told there--stay tuned and keep it positive!