Monday, July 26, 2010

Thin Ice - 'Revelation Through Tribulation' EP Review

Thin Ice... a band NOT to be confused with UK's dirty oldschool hc outfit On Thin Ice. These guys are from Texas and play heavy hardcore like Terror, with a bit more of a 90s straight edge touch.
Yes... these guys are pretty damn  heavy. They got the double bass drum on full effect, while the bass is distorted and higher in the mix than you usually hear from hardcore bands. You can hear it clanging in the background mercilessly, which for me (with the bass being my main instrument) is just perfect!

Another thing you should know about this band is that they are really young (all in school) and straight up hardcore Christians. They are really outspoken too, they even state state that their intention as a band is simply to show God's love and play hardcore music (from an interview on the website HXC Christian). As I've said before, I believe that at the end of the day in the hardcore scene it is way more revolutionary to say you believe in God, because the norm is to be an atheist or whatever. So respect to these guys for standing by their beliefs!

In any way, Thin Ice have been pretty hard at work, having played many shows with established bands like labelmates Venia, Donnybrook, Shai Hulud and many others! I believe that they have some pretty good ideas in their songs, they are not at all generic (which is awesome in a genre which is so saturated), good musicians, and they can surely stand aside from the pack of heavy hardcore bands. And to think this is only their 1st EP, recorded in a home studio! 

Yeah... it seems that hardcore kids like these in Thin Ice, with solid beliefs and strong mindsets, are able to shape their lives the way they want and direct their energy into creative activities. I mean these kids here are all the way into the hardcore scene with home studios, live shows, record deals, side-projects and everything! In fact, they got another band called Goldmill, which is a more progressive yet extreme hardcore side-project... and I know very well that you people out there (especially here in Greece) just love your progressive discordant hardcore so go and check 'em out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

AS I LAY DYING - 'The Powerless Rise' CD Review

I don't listen to a huge amount of straight metal these days (let alone New Wave of American Metalcore), unless I'm pretty sure it will be something that is worth my time.  BUT--I've heard a lot about As I Lay Dying from both metal and hardcore fans, and seen the influence they've come to be in the current scene, so I thought 'why not?' Another turn on was Tim Lambesis' production skills and knowledge, I mean wherever you see this guy's name you know you're going to get something decent. The fact that he's worked with Sworn Enemy (producer on their last record) says it all for me. Sometimes it's good to see the personal work of the people who have helped create something you totally dig, and try to draw the parallels. 
So... I'm not going to BS you: I like this record. I even carry it around with me on my ipod this week. It has a perfect production sound, I mean crystal clear and meaty at the same time, and it is filled with all the right little elements that comprise a good metal record that doesn't bore you at all. It's fucking heavy, the riffs are all good, the solos are insane, the drumming is perfect, and Tim Lambesis' vocals are totally on the spot. in general, this record covers a pretty wide range of different metal and hardcore styles, all crammed into one amalgam to keep you interested all the way through. So thumbs up for AILD!!!
It goes as you might think if you happen to keep an eye on the current state of music affairs: the severe metal attack is exchanged with super-melodic parts and these are in turn exchanged with huuuge mosh parts that even Hatebreed would be jealous of (OK that's an overstatement). In that way, As I Lay Dying thrash out and give you a lot on your musical plate, so you can enjoy and give the record repeated spins. This is very good in these wafer-thin times, when so many records don't deserve more than a couple of tries and get boring so easily. 

Another thing that came to me as a surprise is the good lyrics. I haven't sat down with the lyric sheet, but I can tell that they're a poetic (dare I say) take on philosophical and even spiritual issues in life. From what I hear they have their Christian connections and they keep to them pretty tight. Hmm... This is so much better than what so many others sing about in this genre (depression, hurt, teenage angst, loneliness, betrayal--anything what will get those kids buying, right?). At least As I Lay Dying show that you can manage to sell records, without having to go totally by the book. 

All in all, I'd say that As I Lay Dying are one of those bands that lead the bandwagon, keeping their finger on the pulse, so I can't say anything against them even though they belong to the mainstream. They are leaders and not followers. It's like a tight-knit business, a well-greased war metal machine, a whatever you want to call them but they do it professionally. Now watch them succeed!

Tim Lambesis: the mastermind behind it all

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good Clean Fun The Movie

I guess you know you're obsessed with what you do, when you wake up waaay early before work just to drink coffee and do a ridiculous amount of 'cut and paste' work for your zine. When this is combined with  having listened to Good Clean Fun's Between Christian Rock and a Hard Place like 3 times in a row before it's even noon, you know something's wrong :P

Anyways, speaking of Good Clean Fun, you know they got a movie out now, right? Mr. Issa,  GCF singer, positive straight edge ambassador, Washington OG scenester and now movie director, is responsible for this. And while I'm not so sure about the contents of this, erm..., romantic comedy, (!?) you should  definitely check out the trailer below to see all these people from the hardcore scene giving funny comments about  GCF and the movie, like Karl from Earth Crisis and Porcell (Youth of Today/Shelter etc): 

Now what I'd really like to see, is a new Good Clean fun record. I guess we're just gonna have to wait for that, but when it happens, I expect nothing less than another energetic positive hardcore masterpiece!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

FOREVER YOUNG "The Guarantee" CD Review

So it's summer and everyone is relaxing, but not us! We got a heap of albums, demos, DVDs etc that need to be reviewed, so now seems to be a good time to do so (what with the lack of shows, not many news etc-at least here in Athens Greece). And not to forget our new issue is almost ready to hit the streets. But we'll let you know on that...
Here we got Forever Young, a superb Swedish sXe band,  and you know what's up with Swedish mucisians, right? They tend to have some sort of Midas touch. We could say that when it comes to music, everything they touch turns to gold. And this is the case with xFYx. They've made a fast and energetic hardcore album, a straight up mosher, which draws influences from both older youth crew as well as moshy hardcore with some newer influences. These guys don't play metal, but they do use a lot of beat-downs and double bass drumming all the way through this 13-minute album (that's right--10 songs in 13 min!). Top that with youthful angry vocals, gang shout-alongs and positive vegan straight edge lyrics and you get the picture about Forever Young. 
I love this shit; these guys open the album proclaiming 'a new generation of in your face positive  aggression hardcore' and this is exactly what they do. They got a youthful angry feel, but they are positive and I for one totally dig this approach of theirs. What could be better than delivering a positive message in an intense way? These guys sing about straight edge and they sing about veganism. I think it's totally rad to have huge breakdowns with shouted parts that say "go vegan, or go home"... In my book, this is called grooving for a good cause, even though some people take lyrics like these too seriously.

This CD (which I think has been released sometime in '09) also has a very neat packaging. It is kinda simple, but also really cool. It is a digipack case with the lyrics printed on it on very new school minimalist colors ( black, purple and green). The disc itself has a picture of a hand being tattooed with an X. Fuck! Get this, or go for the 7" version, or even check them on the notorious International Youth Crew Hardcore Compilation. And have fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just mosh

Guys, we got a reason to be pissed. In the midst of all these huge summer festivals, where the promoters are cramming bands with extremely irrelevant styles on the same bill for outrageous prices, there is not a single hardcore show until August 28th (which is my b-day btw). It really sucks. The mainstream has drowned everything. All we hardcore kids can do is listen to our CDs and watch videos online (I'm personally checking 'Inside Straight Edge'-awesome!). Or if we're lucky and can afford it we can go abroad and watch some proper hardcore fests. Otherwise, it's just metal, hair rock and whatever mainstream BS, or washed up 'legends' in their 50s... (that said, I'm still going to see Bad Religion-that's an exception though!).

Well, I have one alternative to the lack of shows in my mind... save money to get some tattoos done right after the summer... start a band... And MOSH TO THIS:

YOUR DEMISE - The Blood Stays On The Blade

Hell yeah... this is some real shit!  And to think these guys are considered almost mainstream in the UK where they are from, playing big festivals with other real hardcore bands... Oh well, what can we do! 

Fast hardcore with awesome breakdowns is the soundtrack to this summer here at Take Your Shot. Thanks for keeping on reading!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Half The Battle - "What We Have" CD Review

Half The Battle come all the way from the Philippines and the shit they play is... life-inspiring.

This youth crew band is comprised of 3 Philippine guys and (I think) 1 American dude who lives there, and from what I see and hear has made a hell of a lot to help create and maintain an awesome, vibrant hardcore scene. This full-length record, What We Have, is really changing my hardcore summer 2010!

First thing you should know about these guys is that they are positive straight edge all the way. They play an awesome mix of modern youth crew with a pretty heavy sound and very, very good lyrics. The overall approach is relatively simple and easy to go down for the average hardcore fan. However, if you pay closer attention to the sound you'll realize that the music is not actually simple at all, as it is full of changes in rhythm, starts/stops and complex mini-mosh parts, let alone the hundreds of intricate gang backing vocals structures. This stuff is totally out of the box!!! This is great shit!!!

I am so blown away by this band. This is type of band that really inspires you to get back on the right track and leave all the fucking debauchery aside. The music is so energetic and the lyrics are so positive that they have all the reasons to convince kids to live a good, honest, sober life. This is the hardcore the world needs: it makes you feel good instead of filling you with hatred about everything around you. I insist that the lyrics (which come with short explanations for each song) are so good that will have you reading them off the lyric sheet and get you thinking about stuff. The hooks will stick in your head for days on end and you will end up pointing fingers at the sky and jumping around!

If you want to get this, I suggest you get in touch with Apostolis from WAK Records, cause maybe he has a few copies left in his distro. What We Have is a CD that will stick in your stereo and will definitely  be kept in a visible place of your record collection for the rest of your hardcore days (may they be many!). Half The Battle keeps putting out quality shit on a variety of record labels around the world (7"s, Compilations etc). In other they're doing their thing right now, so right now is the time to check 'em out and feel the magic for yourself.

I'm out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Noise - Kick Out The Jams Party #4

So if last night's show wasn't enough (it never is, is it?) and you got ome more energy to spare on hardcore/ punk, or if you 're not staying home watching the football, here's another party in the Kick Out The Jams series:

The guys will be playing their usual mix of hardcore and punk with some melodic party tunes and some harder stuff thrown in together. If you're up for good times...

Monday, July 5, 2010


Hey everyone, welcome to this special post we prepared about the this year's Unleashed Hell InFest! Yeah... we waited quite a bit for this, but the time is here and we are definitely ready for some action. It's been a pretty hardcore-less summer so far, no gigs, just a few parties and DJ sets, so I guess the kids will be hungry for moshing tomorrow evening.... and that's the way it should be!
So I'm gonna start from the way up and Sick Of It All. ALong with Agnostic Front, could they possibly be the most legendary -still active- hardcore band? Perhaps. What I know for sure is that these guys are real torch bearers, I mean in the early 90s they were putting out good hardcore records in a period that hardcore was not that popular at all, and in a sense they kept it alive commercially. So that's really important. I have personally seen SOIA live twice, one time was in the UK and the other one was here, in Athens, 4 or something years ago. I have good memories from both shows, the one in Athens being a bit more special. These guys carry some real strong positive vibes with them, and they definitely pass them on to the audience. I mean, how many times have you heard a hardcore frontman asking the audieance to... 'SMILE'? Yeah--these guys have been showing for almost 25 years that you can be a hardcore kid, have your fun, mosh, and at the same time take a political and social stance, be a positive individual... In other words, they embody all the core values that to me seem essential in HC. Plus they have Armand Majidi, a powerhouse drummer who must be one of the best ones in HC. Here's an awesome video with live footage and an interview with guitarist and legend in his own right P.Koller.

OK so the second biggest band on the bill is Walls of Jericho. It's not everyday you see HC bands play Slayeric hardcore and be fronted by girls, and Candace must be the perfect icon to inspire ladies in the scene to be more active and participate in hardcore. For me what's more important is that she (and the rest of the band of course) is doing a great job at it, very good extreme vocals and an awesome scene presence. I mean when you see WOJ you know you will get an energetic performance and not some watered-down shit, that's for sure! Seeing them on a previous Unleashed Hell Infest (was it 2004 or something?) was a very cool experience, and a bit of a shock as it was the heaviest, most extreme and metallic band I've seen on a HC fest! This is an older video which gives a little bit of a taste of what's about to follow tomorrow when WOJ hit the stage!

And now we got Evergreen Terrace, a band that a lot of new kids seem to be die-hard fans of. To be absolutely honest I didn't know many things about them, just that these guys played technical metal-core and that they were replacing Earth Crisis (which was obviously a huge letdown). Evergreen Terrace is going for the whole heavy metal influences and epic guitar solos thing, melodic catchy choruses and the like... Really not my stuff (maybe I need to get used to it and it would grow on me), but  they seem like fun energetic dudes and at the end of the day we can't have it all as fans. Different hardcore fans like different stuff, so if a band like Evergreen Terrace is going to draw a good and mixed crowd, then why not? I presume that the younger kids who will show up for ET, will see Sick Of It All and be inspired for life by the realness! I guess this is kind of like it happened for most of us? But anyways--check out this fun ET video about moshing!

The supporting acts are Me & Mark (an Evergreen Terrace project from what I've heard), Senseless (HC from Salonica) and Go Ask Alice (5-piece Athenian metalcore). In any case, come out and support the show yall! It is one of the last we will get for this summer!