xDEFIANTx – Fourth Plague

Cover_version1(1425x1425)_400wOn the Attack Records seems to be experts at digging up all of these old school hardcore bands. xDEFIANTx is the newest band on their roster, bring us their debut album Fourth Plague. The intensity, emotion, and energy of the old school are all here on this short album (or is it a long EP? Not sure). At times this gets close to crossover thrash, which is always a good thing in my book. Also a few hints of groove here and there, just to keep things a bit more on the interesting side. Another good entry to the On The Attack roster.

[2015 On The Attack Records | Purchase: ontheattackrecords.storenvy.com]

Mike Indest – 45

45Mr. Indest returns with a short but sweet two song ep. Set-up just like its namesake, you have an A-side and a B-side. However, both songs are stand-outs. Indest can still write some of the catchiest thought-provoking songs out there. Songs this good should be all over the charts, but radio’s loss is your gain. Check this “single” out for free online today.

[2015 Independent | Download: mikeindest.bandcamp.com]

Swinery – Swinery EP

Swinery_20FRONT900_400wSwinery produces some of the fastest death grind metal I have ever heard. There are ten songs on here, but most of them are in the 11-6 second range. Longest song is 45 seconds. Drums are so fast they must be programmed. But its not all speed and noise – “Hades” does slow things down enough to understand the words. This is specific music for extreme metalheads, but be sure to give it a chance if you like things extreme. This is about as extreme as it gets.

[2015 Sky Burns Black Records | Purchase: skyburnsblack.bandcamp.com]

Kneel – Tales from the Secret Garden of Cobwebs and Grapevine

KneelI guess this is the season for surprising side-projects by Thumper Punk Records punk bands. This EP finds Neil Roddy from Ambassadors of Shalom veering decidedly into alt-rock territory for MMLJ Records. Most of the songs here take a serious, somber tone due to Roddy dealing with some heavy blows that life has recently dealt him. I can’t find much online to see if this is band or one-person side project, but the sound is not acoustic folk. This is full band alt-rock that reminds me of Glower at times because of how well it blends 80s and 90s alternative sounds together. Something for those looking for a new and different band to check out.

[2015 MMLJ Records | Purchase: mmljrecords.bandcamp.com]

JohnnyBoy – Innocent

JohnnyBoy_InnocentCoverArt1425x1425_400wJohnnyBoy is the lead singer of Thumper Punk’s  own The Way. This EP is a solo acoustic album that showcases his diversity. I’m not one to think that punk singers would be able to do acoustic albums well (even though many have)… but this is quite the impressive display of range here. Not “range” as in technical prowess necessarily, but as in the ability to stretch outside the comfort zone of your normal band. Six songs that are pretty much JohnnyBoy and his guitar (and occasional other percussion) sounding like a natural coffee house singer-songwriter.

[2015 Thumper Punk | Purchase: thumperpunkrecords.storenvy.com]

Wickeds End – Wickeds End

WickedsEndWickeds End is back! After returning to the faith and music several years ago, I have always wondered if Glenn Rowlands would resurrect the band that introduced most of us got to him. If you wondered the same thing, we now have that answer. This is probably the heaviest Wickeds End to date, residing generally in the “experimental crossover thrash” realm as their BandCamp site describes it. While this is a live demo recording, the sound quality is still really good. I’m hearing elements of classic thrash, death, black, and speed metal all nicely mixed together. Even a few nods to older Wickeds End songs (see the intro to “Theories of Lies” and the cover of their own “Truth Hurts”). I should note that this is technically a new band formed around Rowlands, but he seems to have found some talented metalheads to work with. Which is no small feat – that is a dying breed these days. Lyrically, this is straight up Christian extreme metal with conservative lyrics (so the more liberal readers should just be ready for that). Someone like Sky Burns Black should sign these guys right away.

[2015 Independent | Purchase: wickedsend.bandcamp.com]

No Lost Cause – Fight E.P. 

posted in: Music Review, September 2016 | 0

NoLostCause-Fight90’s influenced melodic Punk tinged with 3rd wave Ska. Production is all around good, has that old Fat Wreckords feel. Unashamed of faith, hope filled lyrics. Fans of Face To Face, Value Pac, Ghoti Hook, and O.C. Supertones will find a fast place in their collection for this album. The title track is my favorite on the E.P., gives more of a modern melodic HardCore Punk punk feel to the E.P. Strong outing overall from No Lost Cause. The Rick Astley cover is a good time. Drop by on BandCamp and give it a listen! Support the underground!

[2015 Thumper Punk Records | Purchase: thumperpunkrecords.bandcamp.com]

The Old-Timers – ‘Turn It Up’ and ‘Turn It Off’ EP’s 

posted in: Music Review, September 2016 | 0

a1725724514_16Two awesome new EP’s from the Old-Timers, 4 songs each of pit friendly Punk, played the right way. The underground Christian Punk scene is starting to snowball in a good way, great bands poping up all over the place and others are starting to really hit their stride. Old-Timers were an instant favorite when I heard the Soli Deo Gloria LP, these EP’s are a step up! Guitars remind me of old 80’s O.C. Punk like D.I. and Adolescents, really cool,  but drums, vocals, and bass are that brand of old school HardCore Punk that can only come from the east coast, really tight rhythm section, where as O.C. HardCore has that surf rock slop to it. One of the best bass players in the scene, dude rips. These guys could have come out in 1982 and fit right in with the best. Ninah Llopis of The Lead sings Guest Vocals on ‘Homeless Friends’.  JCHC, PMA lyrics, get both of these EP’s!

[2015 Thumper Punk Records | Purchase: thumperpunkrecords.bandcamp.com]

Blast From Oblivion – To Hell And Back

posted in: Music Review, September 2016 | 5

Blast From Oblivion - To Hell And BackIn the darkest corners of Punk Rock sub genres you will find Horror Punk, a scene that has been around since Punk Rocks early beginnings with bands like the Damned, the Undead, and the Misfits. It’s one of my favorite sub genres because it has yet to be tainted by corporate hands. Most bands in the genre lack in the originality department and come off as Danzig and Michale Graves clones, while others like the short lived Pitch Black took it in a different direction with a Skate Punk vibe. The debut from Blast From Oblivion is an original, mixing elements of Street Punk and Thrash as well as some melodic Goth moments. Great album start to finish: driving beats, gruff vocals, lyrics are are strong, good melodic guitar, all handled by one man named Splatter Guts, whom I think handled the production as well. Solid release from the Sky Burns Black label, look forward to hearing more from B.F.O. If you enjoy high octane Punk Rock, get this!

[2015 Sky Burns Black | Purchase: skyburnsblack.bandcamp.com]