Words by A. Starr | Smutlife
Today’s Throwback jammy comes via one of the greatest New York hardcore outfits to ever bring the rawest, most relentless, most potent form of musical mayhem to your listening ears. Sick Of It All has remained in the cut of the underground hardcore scene for 25yrs and they continue to get better and better each waking day. As the rest of the world continues to spiral out of control S.O.I.A. trudges on through the mine-fields of misery and carnage that plagues our society all the while offering an outlet for youthful rage to a loyal fan base of epic proportions. The fuel that has feed the fire for all these years undoubtedly stems from the ongoing social, racial and economic issues that hang over our society along with the surmounting political inadequacies of a failing governments infrastructure. They have been able to reach the masses around the world by strictly staying true to their roots, speaking the truth and earning respect through integrity and the unwillingness to conform to useless influences and the bullshit that’s force feed to us on the daily.
Coming out the gutteresque chamber of CBGB’s (via Queens, NY) of the late 80′s to annihilating festivals around the globe to this very day, Sick Of It All brings nothing less then the honest truth. This Saturday night, March 26th, Sick Of It All will be playing Webster Hall in their hometown of NYC along with Snapcase, Merauder and Razorblade Handgrenade (Brick City Hardcore.)
Words by Nick Shore | Smutlife
While hordes of new bands sprout like dandelions from coast to coast in the U.S., it might be a little easier than we’d like to overlook the long standing staples of international hardcore. As bands like Cro-Mags, Sick of it All, Bane, and many others continue to carry the banner for true American hardcore, groups such as Rome, Italy’s Strength Approach hold their scene down overseas. With nearly 15 years under their belts, tours from Japan to the U.S., and a revitalized lineup, it’s no shocker “Stand Your Ground” packs a stone cold punch of aggressiveness.
Serving as a tantalizing precursor to their upcoming full length, “With or Without You,” their new EP delivers four tracks in a tick over nine minutes. Right off the bat, the old school influence drips from the opening song, “Waste of Life,” however the fresher material maintains a much more polished image. The smashing mid tempo intro is an ideal way to kick off the record, as the bass lines lurch forward with thick, crunchy production, accompanied by driving percussion.
Strength Approach pulls off tempo progressions seamlessly, ratcheting up the intensity continually until the song reaches a familiarly quick hardcore speed, and then dropping off like a freefall into breakdowns or bridges. Instead of unimaginative chug-a-chug breaks (thank god), they lean heavily on their old school aggressive roots, keeping the record moving at a roller coaster pace, chock full of pleasant ups and downs. “The Living Proof” is probably the best example, which should have people churning the pit like butter within the first five seconds of the opening riff.
Initially, this Italian outfit sounds like they’d fit like a glove into the current Reaper Records roster, although they’re not exactly Terror or Naysayer. Listeners should soak in an old school influence with contemporary, pissed, in your face attitude, as Strength Approach steamrolls their way through the EP. There’s also a familiar metallic edge to most of the record, which seems to be a common thread when hardcore elders produce new albums, although it’s up to the listener whether that’s a positive or not.
“Stand Your Ground” is available on limited 7” vinyl and CD from Demons Run Amok, Countdown Records, and the band. Keep your eyes peeled for future tours and their next full length record shortly.
Peep STRENGTH APPROACH here.
Quick, put down the stack of Trapped Under Ice and Reign Supreme vinyl. It’s tough, I know, but don’t worry, because there just might be something better lurking out there in the depths of Midwestern hardcore. Rising with blinding speed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin comes Expire, armed with roaring vocals and just enough heavy riffage to blow out the speakers in your 1996 Chevy Cavalier.
After a successful demo lush with thumping percussion and crushing breaks, Expire delivers Grim Rhythm on California’s Hellfish Records (Creatures, Rot in Hell, The Mistake, etc.) With high energy performances at this summer’s wildly popular Sound and Fury and This is Hardcore festivals, people from coast to coast are learning about this Midwestern juggernaut. While they still make use of the usual hardcore rhythms and beats, there’s a particularly infectious quality hidden throughout this record which isn’t experienced nearly as often as it should be. Read more
Joanna Angel is hot in more ways than one. Sure, the slender, heavily-tatted actress is dynamite on the screen, but she’s also a big-time player in the biz of porno. She is the queen Bee of her Burning Angel empire and has a whole stable of “alt girls” performing for her. She has launched award-winning series like Cum on My Tattoo and has been crowned the queen of alt-porn. Her style is DIY to the core; check out her http://www.burningangel.com/and you’ll find an array of hardcore: both music and porn. It’s clear that Joanna is in charge and running shit her way. Read more
Words & Interview by Steve DiLodovico | Smutlife
Skam Dust. You know that kid; the one that runs with them legendary DMS All-Stars. He’s part of a cast of grimy MCs and Hardcore royalty like the Shotblockers, Madball, Danny Diablo AKA Lord Ezec. Skam Dust rose from the womb of Skarhead with a background forged in the hardest NYHC and a throat full of shrapnel. Skam only recognizes real: you can hear it in his verses and you can feel it in his voice. He is New York to the core: Corona, Queens: Spaghetti Park to be exact. It’s the kind of stomping ground that breeds Legends. Read more
There are a few artifacts that I can say I’ve cherished and held on to over the years. Just to name a few, that puppy love letter from my first ‘real’ girlfriend, the Mongoose with mini-turbo seat and yellow Skyway Tuff 2 mags and the choker chain worn by my favorite black lab (R.I.P. Ms. Money Penny). But to add to this list of nostalgic childhood heirlooms is a demo tape from 89′ that’s been through it all – literally. The first MAXIMUM PENALTY release (mine was a TDK cassette – proly a dub) which was passed my way back during Sophomore year in high school is something that I will never part with. Yes, 20yrs ago that would be. And here we are in 2009 and the guys from MP are still grinding it out!!!
The album, ‘LIFE & TIMES’, might very well be the best hardcore album of 2009. Inspiration of the album is definitely influenced by the harsh realities of life but more so the relentless drive to persevere all hurdles that one may encounter during their journey. It is their first release in over a half a decade – 7 years to be exact. However, as we’ve all heard this expression before, like a wonderfully aged bottle of Boone’s Farm, Maximum Penalty has only gotten better with time.
This is an album that can be viewed by younger generations as a personal footpath to living life. The best thing about this album is that MP did it there way. As many bands may try to emulate what is currently going on in music, Maximum Penalty said fuck all the bullshit and stayed with the original hardcore formula – which means not giving a shit about what anyone thinks. Veteran fans like myself, as well as new comers to hardcore, both get an equal dose of old school flavor. There’s definitely something to say for a group of dudes still putting out classic hardcore music for nearly a quarter century, right?
Maximum Penalty has just released their first ‘music video’ ever which was directed by Don Capria (Skarhead “D.F.F.” & Danny Diablo “Don’t You Want Me?”). You can, and should, get this album at either iTunes or at Reaper Records.