Friday, August 27, 2010

SIN NOMBRE - A film to watch!!!

I don't know if the people who read this blog are big on films, but we at TYS surely are, and from what I have seen I believe that hardcore kids do know their flicks and actually watch more than Gangland and Lockdown (even though we love those, too!).
One of the best films I watched this summer is Sin Nombre, a pretty brutal and realistic yet beautiful film. It contains a lot of graphic violence but at the same time shows the sensitive side that even the toughest people have. Ιn other words it walks the thin line between gangster films and love stories, without one single cliche that we usually see in Hollywood films. Even thought the theme has been done before, director and writer Cary Fukunaga has crossed most cinematic lines and has made a truly exceptional and unusual film.
Sin Nombre is essentially the runaway story of a teenager couple, Casper and Sayra. Casper is running away from his own gang, while Sayra travels the long journey of realizing a dream life in the US. They meet by chance under very extreme conditions and start traveling together towards a future that seems  highly unpredictable and inevitably full of trouble. Will they make it? Is there a chance for Casper to stay alive when the odds are all against him and he is constantly being betrayed?
This is Cary Fukunaga's first film, and I can say that this guy knows how to make an chillingly interesting  and at the same time emotional film. Like I said it's not only violence, it contains many nice frames of Guatemala, Mexico and other South American places. It shows the real deal of those places, which seems to be a strong contrast of beauty and harshness. The cinematography is just great (he got an award for it), and I am pretty sure actress Paulina Gaitan will be a world acclaimed star in the future. Go watch and enjoy!!

For our Greek readers: the movie is out now on DVD under the title Χωρίς Όνομα.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

End of Summer - Fall's First Show!

Well... the summer holidays are pretty much over, and people are going back to work, or school, or both. But don't worry, because there are labels & people out there who are on point with awesome hardcore shows for ya, ready to cater the kids' need for brilliant hardcore music--supplying the energy boost that they need right now in these hectic times. World's Appreciated Kitsch (link) is starting the season off with this 'goodbye summer' show, which I hope you all will go to & enjoy:
I don't know a lot about Unrestrained, but I can tell you for sure that this is not the Portland, US Unrestrained band that plays militant straight edge hardcore. These guys playing on Saturday are also American, but they come from Vermont and play a more new age but still fast version of hardcore music (check 'em out here). The distortion is not on full effect and the beatdowns are replaced by discordant breaks, but it's all good. The rest of the bands are a very good selection of local hc/punk acts that will warm up things just fine. 

I personally will have to miss this show, as I am becoming a godfather (hardcore kids always take care of fam first if you ask me). But I am pretty sure that it will be a real blast, I'm  bummed to have to miss it.  I also know that people out there haven't seen a HC show for a long time and they need some action like we said above. I also hope that this will be the kick-start for a very active hardcore fall and winter, filled with shows, releases, parties, demos and all that DIY goodness that I know is out there!

Monday, August 23, 2010

ILL BILL - 'My Uncle Shoots Heroin' Video

You may know Ill Bill as more of a 'gansgsta' type personality, because of his connections with infamous rap cliques and whatever. However, I think we could take this following song as a bit of a cold-reality, anti-drugs song, which definitely hits the nail on the head. Moreover, the video animation is truly great,  made by the aniBOOM guys who are the new innovators of hip hop (*and more) videos!!! 

Does the story sound familiar to you? All I can surely agree on is that the reality of addiction ain't no fun and it's there in most families. Thanks for watching the vid and enjoy good hip hop music!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nervous Breakdown - God Save the Freak EP (2010)

Well alright... When I get raging recordings like this in my inbox, by bands from the other side of the globe (Nervous Breakdown are from Jakarta, Indonesia), it is as good as it gets for me... Definitely more than I expected when I started doing TYS, let alone when I got into hardcore in my teens. 
To the music then... Nervous Breakdown is a band that comes all the way from Indonesia like we said, and they play their own brand of fun & energetic hardcore. Their 2010 EP is entitled God Save The Freak and it contains 6 tracks of awesome relentless core that takes the listener around all styles of the hardcore/punk genre. What I mean by the above is that it is mostly fast, it could even be termed fastcore or thrash, but there are definitely a variety of influences thrown in together that make an interesting  mix. More precisely, there are some classic punk influences (i.e. Dead Kennedys), some old school California style punk rock, straight Rock psychedelia, and even... classic pop parts in the Smiths tradition. In fact, one song starts with a Smiths cover/remix, before plunging into the core..! BUT, it is all done with good taste and molded into a solid blend that is just Nervous Breakdown.
It is kind of hard to describe bands like Nervous Breakdown, only based on our own Western standards. I mean that the way I see it, kids from these parts of the world feel, live and play hardcore music in a different way--which is totally admirable, of course! They don't stick to the formulas so much (maybe a part of their inherent cultures?). I am just so tired of listening to the same structures again and again, changes like these are more than welcome and we can be influenced by them! In any way, NB would be a good way to start getting into the wonderful world of SE Asian HC, as they have some basic parallels with Euro/US core and will not estrange the listener. 

What Nervous Breakdown does hold up to for sure, is the quality of the recording and music. They have nothing less compared to any underground band out there, with their intense and youthful deliverance of hardcore punk goodness. The production isn't the cleanest ever, but in this genre it doesn't even need to be, as long as all the instruments can be heard properly. To my ears, it even adds to the atmosphere sometimes, when the sound is not 100% plastic-clean.

To sum up, Nervous Breakdown have released a very entertaining EP that is surley worth checking out. It is somewhere between energetic, angry and fun, with no pretentious facades or profiles. It is not fastcore or trash punk or old school, it's all of those things together. They have another release from 2008, which is also good, with more Rock and Surf influences but equally extreme, out of tune and fast!
And now a few words on the label that released the Nervous Breakdown EP. It is called Yes No Wave Music, and if you visit their website ( you will see that there is some pretty interesting stuff going on there. They have all their music up for free downloading (it is a 'netlabel'), but they are also experimenting with various ways of circulating, promoting and spreading music without losing money. I just think it is totally interesting. Even if you're not into 'music biz' issues, you will find lots of cool shit to download and get the chance to listen to some new, fresh music. Most of the descriptions are in Indonesian, but you can just take a pick and see if you're feeling lucky and whether what you download will be death metal crust or plain pop. Have fun and see what you get!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

15th of August is a posi day

When you type posicore or positive hardcore in the Google search engine, all that comes up in Wikipedia is this:
Positive hardcore is a term used in the hardcore music scene to refer to the branch of hardcore that is socially aware or focuses on values such as being inclusive, community-oriented, and anti-violence. (link)
Is that all there really is to it? I thought it is more like a movement, filled with values that interconnect people worldwide, a scene, a reason to believe!!! Even if it is not organised into a  'proper' scene (no reason to box and commercialise an idea anyway), I think there are a lot of bands and labels out there who are fighting for a good cause, spreading the positive message, showing that hardcore is about more than fat guys with tattoos. And how it helps us grow on a personal level... Somebody go up there and write something yaaaaalllll! Let's get psyched!
Fests like that is more of what we need... everywhere! See the sign on the bottom right?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When Worlds Collide: XCYPHERX, Straight Edge Hip Hop

Who said that hardcore and hip hop do not mix? I've always believed that these two cultures have kind of evolved alongside each other and have even influenced one another to a great degree. The current wave of straight edge hip hop, which is growing every day as we speak, is here to prove just that. There are bands and artists from all over the world who keep their beats tight, while spreading the hardcore and sXe message. Today we have prepared a small feauture on one of the best out there, mr. XCYPHERX!!!

One thing I can honestly say about XCypherX isthat he plays ultra-tight, funky, West Coast style hip hop in the early 90s tradition (i.e. Looniz, Snoop etc), but one thing's for sure: XCypherX does NOT rap about weed or drinking! He has an entertaining, constructive way of rapping, about staying sober and living up as large as you want, but without the bad habits that usually accompany the claim to fame. His rhymes can be a bit provocative sometimes, but I think this is a must in straight egde hip hop, as it has to be sharp, memorable and straight to the point. Inbetween the songs there are always interesting snd sometimes funny skits about straight edge.
So all I can suggest right now is that if you like clean living and you like old school hip hop, you should go and visit XCypher'sX  myspace page right away: There, you will find some cool videos with MC sompetitions, as well as direct links to most of the stuff he has released, so you can download it and listen to it for free. 

Take care, and enjoy XCypherX!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Death Metal Day

Today was a chill day. I accompanied good friend and TYS collaborator Mr.Rigas to Saturn (the  electronics chain store) in his search for a new ass-kicking digital camera. While he was doing his search for the best buy, I took some time to wander about and check out what they had on their detestable CDs section. It was like... pop crap, more pop crap, washed up Rock bootleg comps, Blink 182 (hmm...), 50s easy listening, meditation CDs, and then somehow I bumped into the following two death metal classics for an insanely good price:
What the hell.., Obituary in a Saturn shop? Whatever! These guys are one of the most classic death metal bands and if you ask me, sometimes they sound pretty close to heavy/brutal hardcore. Allen West is an undoubtable solid riff-making machine while studio legend Scott Burns handles all their productions, so I didn't need to learn much more.  I instantly grabbed the CD and went looking for more. And, lo and behold, this was my second discovery:
Obliteration come all the way from Norway and play brutal old school death metal like Morbid Angel and (mostly) Death. I didn't really know that until I played the CD, but the fact that they are on Tyrant Syndicate, Darkthrone's death/black metal label, made this CD a score. This is awesomely heavy and disgusting: it has brutal as hell vox, and a very old school fast/slow feel to it. No epic/majestic stuff, just straight on death metal banging!

And all this for a total of 4.99 measly euros. This is the kind of shit that makes my day! When we hopped back in the car, I ejected the Path of Resistance CD which was playing before, and placed the Obituary disc in the player... Just perfect. And so another perfect summer day rolled on! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

We're back!, Newzzz & Four Year Strong video

Hey so we're back after our short holiday break, and we are just absolutely pumped with hardcore as usual! There is a lot of good stuff going on and I can't wait for it to happen! I hope that after this summer, it will be the most intense hardcore autumn & winter we've ever seen and I've ever participated in here in Greece.

We got the Unrestrained show towards the end of August which should be a total blast and we'll obviously do a proper review on that, as the time approaches. Also, I have found myself playing again with a new band, which I couldn't be more happy about. This, along with the new TYS issue (still not ready, what the fuck!?) and the possibility of handling press for some pretty ass-kicking bands out there, is just about enough to keep our asses busy hardcore-wise here at TYS--for now, that is.
So what better way to start this mid-summer relaunch into hardcore action than with a great video filled with positive & energetic melodic hardcore music!? If Four Year Strong are a bit too light for your hardcore standards, well what the heck. They have really amazed me with their Gorilla Biscuits meets New Found Glory approach, which I find super-addictive and just perfect for my summer soundtrack. Plus they got some awesome lyrics to match their soundz! This is also a pretty well-shot and very funny video (excellent acting by the band members), so enjoy it if you haven't seen it already!