Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cruel Hand-Studio Footage

Cruel Hand have been making quite a bit of noise with their latest album on Bridge 9, "Lock & Key". We're talking about some quality heavy, pissed off hardcore in the Terror tradition, but with less metal. Seems like Cruel Hand will be one of the bands that will take the hardcore scene by a storm in the remaining 2010, as they are on this year's Persistence tour (along Sick Of It All, DRI, Blood For Blood and many others) and they are creating a huge buzz around their name in hardcore circles, and for a good reason!
Cruel Hand: True hardcore sounds from Maine, US

This following video (off the band's myspace) was taken during their recording sessions for the above mentioned album. It documents the everyday hassle of committing yourself to recording your music. Such an activity might not be easy, but it is always a memorable part of making something happen. Having recently been in the studio myself, all this feels pretty familiar. Being in the studio is definitely a lovable part of playing in a hardcore band. Don't we all love it? Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pamela Anderson Lectures @ Oxford Uni Vegetarian Style!

Vegan pizza went 97% up at Oxford Campus
after Anderson's prolific speech.
Good news for vegetarians: their cause is officially under discussion at Oxford University. Not only that, but the person who actually brought the issue is no other than Pamela Anderson! The actress and model, known for being a vegetarian and working with Peta (an organization promoting vegetarianism for those who don't know), accepted the  world-famous university's invitation and payed a visit to lecture its students. She based her speech on the easiest ways to go vegetarian, as well as the ethical and environmental parameters of taking the 'veg pledge'.

This may seem to some of you as a cheap promotional trick on behalf of Peta, but on the other hand shows that the  people at Oxford know how to maintain their students' attention. The best people to deliver a message are the most unconventional ones. I mean, how boring would it be to have a lecture on vegetarianism by some Phd dude who would talk about percentages? So thumbs up to Oxford for being ahead of their time, and also thumbs up to Pamela for showing it's never too late to work for a good cause!

p.s. What does this article have to do with hardcore? Absolutely nothing, aside our own vegetarian considerations!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Absinthe Rose/HUMANWINE- Split CD (2010)

Well I knew Rodent Popsicle Records for putting out good HC/punk records of the crusty variety; what I didn't know is that they also put out quality folk punk. Yes! It may come as a surprise to read a folk punk review in a blog about hardcore but trust me, this is good. After all, we all want to occasionally listen to something lighter and unwind; this will do just fine cause it has the punk foundation to back it up.
Split out now on Rodent Popsicle

Anyways, so this is a split release between two bands, Absinthe Rose and HUMANWINE. Absinthe Rose starts the record  with some quality and straightforward acoustic/electric folk punk. It wouldn't be unfair to say that AR stick to the roots of Americana folk and go the extra mile by coating their sound with some punk/folk instrumentation. Yes--this is definitely more country than punk. What makes it punk though is the mind-frame behind the whole music, which is totally DIY punk, of course. The band promotes 'DIY awareness and skepticism' with incendiary political lyrics, which many will love and sing to howling at the moon on their drunken or tea-soaked nights. If you like to find your punk somewhere at the outdoors, in an old house in the woods or by the railroad tracks next to empty sticky bottles, this is for you!
Kimbo Rose forgets the lyrics again

HUMANWINE (always written in capital letters) is a different story. This band is much more experimental within their acoustic folk, drawing influences from everything ranging from Nick Drake to Matt Elliot, even fucking Tiger Lilies (which I hate). Just experimental acoustic folk sung by both male and female voices. These two take the whole indie-DIY punk mentality to a different level, and it's not necessarily based on music. On the contrary, they use music in order to transmit images, words and thoughts, like a primitive stream of thought into the minds of the civilized. The music is 'fluid and changing'. So sometimes it's mellow/sweet, some others discomforting, sometimes just plain weird. HUMANWINE needs a fair few listens before anyone can actually say they 'get them', but if it's your thing you should definitely catch on to them as they're a must for primitivist punk ethos!
HUMANWINE: back from the wild side 

So that's all new and different for Rodent Popsicle Records, I know for a fact that there are many out there who dig the anarcho primitive punk style, we got many such fans right here in Greece, so I hope they will discover the wondrous & mysterious punk world of Absinthe Rose and Humanwine. Salute!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just a Reminder

So it's been sort of quiet here at TYS for a week or so, as I was crazy busy and also out of town with My Turn for a weekend show in Sofia (will report on that laters); but now we're back and I am personally hungry for more hardcore, and definitely ready for action.
This Wednesday we got the "Locals Only" show hosted by WAK, with a bunch of Greek bands playing covering the wider spectrum of hardcore and its musical divisions. So (starting from the way down), we'll warm up the crowd with My Turn , it will be our first ever show here in beloved hometown Athens. We're playing at 9 pm, so if you're coming then come early so you can check us out! We'll blast out our entire brand-new demo plus a couple of covers.

Next up we got Against All Odds, these guys play straight up old school (maybe a little Oi-influenced) hardcore. Hard stuff, no shit indeed. Next band on the bill is Eternal Hated, metalcore kids from Volos with an extra dose of talent and brand new ideas. Melody combined with youthful energy and fucking in your face metal. Finally, personal faves & heavy beatdown champs Eden Demise will groove your freakin head off with their stomping brutal hardcore. 

Yo yo yo so check it out, the show's gonna be a blast, lots of friends are coming, it should turn into a big party and if the turn out is good there will be a DJ set afterwards.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hungarian Fans Show Sum Love

Talking about dedication....

Here's what the Budapest kids had to offer the bands when the NYC United tour dropped by their country (taken from
Cake reported not to be vegan

This is great! There are just so many ways to welcome a band and make it feel like more than just another band visiting your town. People, remember: bands will appreciate eating your food.

Monday, October 18, 2010

'One Life One Chance': The SXE OG Strikes Back

Toby Morse, singer of legendary NYHC band H2O and all-around positive hardcore persona, is reaching new hights with his new public speech project entitled One Life One Chace. Within this project, Toby visits schools and talks to kids on living a drug-free life. Honestly, I can't think of a better person to do this as Toby has the charisma, the energy, the coolness and all those little characteristics that make for a good speaker (which is also why he's been such a influential & inspiring frontman).
Toby Morse: More than a hardcore frontman

We at TYS totally appreciate a positive move like that, cause it directly benefits the kids. It's important to have alternative voices (hardcore voices) speaking for what is right. I wish when I was in school I had someone like Toby to tell me that drugs suck! It's also nice to see hardcore people evolving and taking it one step up. If hardcore is a way of life/thinking, we should be able to express our minds beyond the relatively narrow boundaries of the 'scene'. Now... how do you see yourself at 40? All respect to Toby & H2O!
Xs abound with a PMA hat on! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Every Time I Die antics

Every Time I Die, the US chaotic hardcore band now has a reason to be stupid and crazy: they are being sponsored by Vans for it. The clothing company has teamed up with ETID to make a weekly series of episodes documenting the band's life on the road. The 12 episodes uploaded so far are just a display of general mayhem and absurdity, as ETID go around fucking stuff up. This is all far removed from the typical hardcore DVD stuff we know, where bands usually just play and speak about the music. This is more MTV-oriented stuff, with a bunch of heavily tattooed dudes going around wrecking stuff as well themselves.

As frontman Keith Buckley put it in a recent Metal Hammer interview: "Filming the shows and those serious interviews is boring... if I want to see the show I'll go to the show." Is all this entertaining or simply lame? It's up for you to choose. However, the band's latest, 2009 album New Junk Aesthetic (out on Epitaph Records) is a brilliant sample of modern discordant hardcore, with no trash involved whatsoever.

Every Time I Die: Gifted but absurd

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spirit Remains - Old School Brazilian Straight Edge

Our biggest love is and always has been plain, old school hardcore! It's been here for us and we will be here for it: clear cut hardcore filled with intensity and a good message. Spirit Remains is one of those bands that remind me where it's at. Their place of origin is Santa Catarina, Brazil, however if I didn't know that, I'd swear they come from a suburb of California and that they were a late 80s straight edge/youth crew band! And that's because their sound is really stuck on that 89 shit! 
Yes! These guys got it all down. The old school production, the desperate vocals (a la Chain of Strength), the thundering drum rolls, the YOT breaks, the gang vocals in the background. All that in combination with some strong riffs and a high-energy delivery, make out for this great demo called We Demand Powerless. I'm not even sure whether the band's still active (the demo's from 2008 and I don't see much action these days), but at least they've left this little gem behind them, a testimony of good old hardcore the way it should be and a paying of respect to the favorite bands of old. This is 'positive peer pressure'.
Happy lads: where are they now?

In any case, search this awesome band out if you wanna get into some cold Cokes, Youth of Today shirts, hoodies, Xed up fists and the party just won't stop! Thumbz up!

Proud to announce...

We're playing Sofia with My Turn (the band I play guitar for) next weekend!!! That's crazy! It will be our first show ever, and it's kind of totally out there that it will be supporting NoTurning Back and Last Hope!!! Here's the poster for the show:
Right after that, we got a nice string of shows back here in Greece, hitting various cities around the country until the end of the year. I think that almost every (or every other) weekend we will be out of town for shows. Great stuff, I'm up for the playing as well as for the traveling! The local shows are really important for me, as I like to meet the people, check out their cities and eat copious amounts of food with them. If you have an idea of how to put us up for a show in your city, well get in touch!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Still OK Not To Drink - Issue #1

The shit is getting rad! It's Still OK Not to Drink zine comes all the way from Australia ("Clayton Straight Edge"!) and it is one of the best first issues I've had the pleasure of reading during the 7 years I've been researching and reading DIY hardcore zines. There is a thing with new zines, when you can sense the enthusiasm, the effort put in by the maker, and all the freshness about it all!
So this straight edge zine from Melbourne contains interviews with the following bands: Foundation, The Effort, Purification (the re-united Italian vegan sXe legends), Persist, Warbrain, and Flawless Victory (a truly exceptional band, Russian straight edge, unfortunately just broke up). All of the interviews are interesting, and that's mainly because of the questions, which are very well-put and make for good and lengthy answers. The people in the bands seem to be really cool people, in a way the interviewer manages to bring out their character and that's really something if you ask me.

The format is A4, and the zine is done in a typical cut and paste style, which for me is perfect as I also do Take Your Shot cut and paste. There is room for improvement on the layout, but it's still fun and very old-school, and after all it's the first issue as we said. You can find these Australian Straight Edge kids and order this awesome zine here. You won't regret it!

OUTSPOKEN zine #0 year 1

Let's review some hardcore zines! I've had the chance to read some truly great new zines in the past few months, just proper print zines about hardcore. Most of these zines arrive to Greece by way of WAK records & distro, but copies are limited so, get in touch & see what you can do!
One of the zines that stood out for me is Outspoken, a zine that has been going for like 12 years written in Portuguese, but this is the first issue written in English. The exact story about this zine is that it's done by Glauce, a Brazilian vegan straight edge hardcore girl, who now lives in Ireland and runs Hurry Up Records. Her writing in english is perfect, and the same goes for the contents of this zine. There are interviews with: Rise And Fall, John Joseph (Cro-Mags) about his latest book Meat is for Pussies, Chris Wrenn (owner of Bridge 9 Records), Famine (Irish hardcore band), an awesome Q & A with Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, plus an Irish hardcore scene report.

This cute zine is on A5 format, with a very clean layout, good interviews, color cover and ads, and costs 2 euros. You can get it directly from the Hurry Up! Records Shop:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Close Your Eyes - 'We Will Overcome' (2010) album review

I really don't care what people may say about a band like Close Your Eyes, with them being Christian hardcore and all. The fact is that these guys have created a masterpiece of melodic hardcore with great lyrics, which I believe will change the sound of hardcore as we know it. We Will Overcome (their debut on Victory Records) is full of good, fresh ideas that indeed create a very new & uplifting listening experience for me & you.
A good thing about many new bands out there these days, is that they manage to pull off their melodic stuff while remaining heavy & hardcore. And it's not done like back in the day, i.e. just beatdowns and then clean vocals, cause bands like Close Your Eyes are more consistent in their sound; they combine the heavy/melodic exchange into one mix, thus creating a solid presence that just feels new and innovative.
The Christian themes that are strongly emerging throughout the album, however, become an aspect that might throw off many hardcore fans. The lyrics and singing are straight out uplifiting, totally Christian, with themes about brotherhood and family love, about God and faith--themes kind of forbidden in hardcore. I think that in many countries around the world, kids have started changing their minds and accept a more sensitive and/or spiritual approach to heavy music. Greece is definitely not one of them! For me, if I can  listen to the darker stuff like death/black metal influenced hardcore, I have absolutely no problem to switch to the posi side and listen to something spiritual & uplifting like Close Your Eyes. After all, aren't these hard times we live in, don't we all need a voice that will sustain us? What better ways do have that than through music, through hardcore?
I played this yesterday in my car with some friends and I a heard a variety of comments, both good and bad (it was compared to Time in Malta, Misery Signals and even Blink 182-what!?). What's for sure is that a band like Close Your Eyes will not go unnoticed in today's scene. I don't care what my friends say, this gets thumbs up!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ANOTHER MISTAKE - "Life's Noose" Demo Review

And now time for some dirty, pissed off hardcore.

Another Mistake is the shit. Old school, no fronts hardcore like back in the day, played by dudes who couldn't give two shits about publicity, scene points or photos (they aren't even on Myspace, but you can find some info about 'em here and/or here). In their short career, they have already supported Agnostic Front and have put out a demo that really speaks for itself and makes a name for the band faster than you think.
Life's Noose is Another Mistake's first demo, in which the Louisville quartet bangs out 5 songs of mad angry hardcore not unlike Slapshot and Right Direction. There are absolutely no 00s elements in these guys' core, even the production sound is totally 90s if not 80s! Their demo was released on cassette (epic move) and of course it is sold out but the band itself has uploaded it for free downloading through the aforementioned websites.

I think that it is definitely good to have bands that stay loyal to the roots of hardcore (it's what we also aim to do with My Turn, the hardcore band I play guitar for). I mean it is obviously more than fine to listen to all that progressive post hardcore stuff, we all like it, and new sounds are always great and welcome. However, we should always remember where this music came from and try to accurately represent it and pay respect to it as much as we can, whenever we can. And I'm glad because Another Mistake does just that.

the only kids i respect anymore
are the ones down for the fucking core
been playing the nice guy far too long
taught to believe everyone belonged
now i see i was wrong
convictions weren't so strong
i'm still holding on
to the feeling of being young
hardcore is the air in my lungs

pit or die, time to decide

its in all our blood

Friday, October 1, 2010

ENEMY LOGIC - "Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" CD Review

Just like those Diet Coke ads, I will proudly raise my hand and state that "I like modern metalcore!"  Even as a straight up hardcore kid, I can't help but appreciate good music like this. When it is heavy, dark, technical and groovy all at the same time, then I actually can't help but do windmills in my bedroom and maybe even break something I don't need.
Enemy Logic come from Ireland and play a good mix of modern melodic deathcore metal, with some strong hardcore and avant garde metal influences. This is proper European metalcore, true to its roots, with a good measure of technicality but at the same time passionate and quite extreme. The guys in the band must be long-time extreme music fans themselves, because there are so many different elements in their sound that I can't even begin to make references and draw comparisons. But if there need be, think of Swedish death metal stuff (or New Wave of American Metalcore, it's the same) with more hardcore and more new wave!

I've been playing this record at home while doing stuff and after a few listens it started growing on me big time. Maybe it needs 2 or 3 listens to get into it and realize it is better than your average metalcore shooting for the mainstream. The reason for the above is that Enemy Logic has guts and busts out solid compositions that stick to your head. It's good thinking music, too, as it  dwells in dark and complex landscapes, but it is also linear and consistent throughout the whole album. If these guys make it to a bigger audience, they are definitely worth it.

And by the way... that song Dual Diagnosis, must be one of the best, catchiest, grooviest shit I've heard in a while in metal!