12.31.2016

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016

A lot happened this year. Some good, some bad, some heartrendingly horrible. However, for all the awful and evil shit that happened this year, music is arguably at its best right now. So many cool records and bands came out this year.
So let's focus on that, and not the bullshit that flooded this calendar.

Gucci Mane - Everybody Looking

Gucci came home this year after he turned his whole life around. Got off drugs, got accused of being a clone for getting in shape, got engaged... It's been a big year for Mr. Zone Six. His first project released after being let out of jail and it served as a strong reminder why we looked at Gucci as a powerhouse in the first place. He brought Kanye West, Drake, Young Thug, Zaytoven, and Mike WiLL in to make you remember who he is, as if you'd forgotten. 



Future - Purple Reign

2015 was truly Future's year, Beast Mode, What a Time to be Alive, and DS2 were released and it was apparent he wasn't slowing down anytime soon. So when this year rolled around the FutureHive and rap fans everywhere looked to see what the Atlanta rapper would return with and he did not disappoint. Purple Reign plays with a lot of common themes we see in his music—self-loathing, drug abuse, escapism, carelessness. The things anyone carrying about that much pain who has to hide it would have in their lyrics. It is Future's ability to spin his pain into both deeply philosophical lines and party anthems that we love him for and there was no shortage of that here.

 Pity Sex - White Hot Moon

An album I've had on repeat since it came out, with its subtle verses, fuzzy-buzzy guitars, booming choruses, and solid percussion foundation this was an easy choice. Pity Sex has always been one of the few bands that can elicit an emotional response from me due to their poignant lyrics about love and death. Unlike other bands in their genre they touch on what it's like to be the one doing the wrong in a relationship instead of being a victim of it. With songs like "Plum" and lyrics like "I'll always think of your lips/when I'm moving mine against his" this album hits core emotional spots and the prowess with which they do it make it a classic.

Angel Du$t - Rock The Fuck On Forever

Angel Du$t is a band that I was skeptical of when they first came into play but after seeing them live shortly after Xtra Raw came out I was made a believer. This band is fun and carefree in every sense. With song themes almost exclusively about girls and relationships in general you'd think they'd be a sadder band but not at all. Rock The Fuck On Forever makes that point time and time again. It's all the excitement and buzz of having a crush and the in-betweens of success and failure of holding that crush's hand pressed into wax.

 Antwon - Double Ecstasy

Okay, this is an EP but I make the fucking rules here so it's going on the list.

Double Ecstasy is my favorite Antwon release to date for a lot of reasons but the biggest one is instrumentally alone this is a strong and well thought out album. Add on the witty lyrics and "stuck in your head" hooks and this EP fits the criteria to make this list easily.


Human Garbage - Promo 2016

Also not technically an album, but again, I don't care.

Human Garbage specializes in raw anger and auditory assault. What makes them special is the simple fact that the people in this band are writing what they live. Throughout all their releases, Human Garbage is less "look what I'm holding inside" and more "here's another of example of how I feel in case talking to me didn't get the point across" in a realness brought on by lived experience. Solid lyrics and instrument composition make for a release that's as fun as it is angry.

YG - Still Brazy

A lot of people overlook the story YG told on this album for the club bangers like "Twist My Fingaz" and "Why You Always Hatin" but this man has mastered the ability of tying the two together without sacrificing the power of either. With "Who Shot Me?" detailing all the thoughts and feelings he had after being hit and political anthems like "FDT" and "Blacks and Browns" YG shows versatility and is a famous example of what people in the hood have been saying forever: just because I look/act/talk a certain way doesn't mean I have no concept of the world outside my hood. With high replay value, a nostalgic feel of stories old heads in the projects tell you, and the ever-present element of danger of someone whose life is treacherous, this is a classic.

Culture Abuse - Peach

When this initially came out I gave it a review that is more emotional than objective and that's exactly what this record is to me. It's ten tracks of feelings with the overall one being "do whatever you want" followed closely by "keep your loved ones really close" and a quick listen to this will put your feet back on the ground when you're starting to feel disconnected from everything. Bearing incredibly catchy lyrics and great parts to dance to and sing along with, Peach is a one of a kind album. A Hayley's Comet kind of album.

Criminal Instinct - Zone 6 Music

Controversial. That's the one word anyone needs when talking about Zone 6 Music or Criminal Instinct in general. They pull no punches and give you the reality of a (violent) situation whether you want it or not, like it or not. Zone 6 Music followed their first LP Fever and despite the time between records not a shred of talent was lost. Z6M is harder and angrier although less raw but that just shows the focus of rage with age. With grittier, deeper vocals, biting guitars, and relentless percussion to drive home lyrics that hold the human condition with no love, this album solidified Criminal Instinct's place as one of the most irate bands in hardcore today.

21 Savage - Savage Mode

There's nothing to say about this album that hasn't already been said about Charles Manson. It's dark, brooding, and violent. 21 Savage's complete lack of emotion in his flow is what gives this record its leg up on others. Where other people rap he simply retells stories about his life. His deadpan tone leaves you with the impression that not a single line was exaggerated. With excellent production from Metro Boomin and a feature from Atlanta counterpart Future, Savage Mode is just a small flex of prowess from a young rap king.

12.14.2016

SPOTLIGHT: FULL MEASURES

SPOTLIGHT: FULL MEASURES

If you've ever been to Atlanta for a show then you've probably at least heard of these guys.

Full Measures is a four piece hailing from the A. In 2016 there is certainly no shortage of bands, you can find just about any style of punk you'd like to suit yourself. The only downfall to this is that people forget about bands with a sound that's tried and true. Thankfully, we have Full Measures to remind us.

Throughout their catalog they show a wealth of growth without drastically changing their style. They didn't do the "let's try this... okay that sucked let's try this..." thing a lot of bands go through. They decided on their style and consistently improve upon it, something few bands can say. Their most recent release is their two song promo for their full length which will be out in 2017.

If you enjoy a classic hardcore sound without any excess bells and whistles, this is the band you should be listening to right now.

You can listen to the new Full Measures promo on Bandcamp and keep up with them on Twitter.

11.09.2016

WHAT TO DO ABOUT YOUR FEAR OF TRUMP'S AMERICA

You woke up today to learn that Donald Trump is now the President Elect. You felt devastated, betrayed, and scared. You rushed to Facebook and Twitter to tell everyone how scared you are because of the way the climate of social attitudes in America is going shift.

I'm here to tell you that you should not fear Trump's America, because it's the America every oppressed person has been living in since they were born. In fact, it's shameful it took you a blatant, slap-in-the-face version of it to see it. The air of America smells of blood and burnt hair, screams echo in empty canyons in the southwest, and lost souls wander the dusty roads of middle America. It's always been glaringly apparent that America does not care about the marginalized and the poor. At the age of seven  my parents sat me down and told me that because I am both Black and a woman that my life would be in danger and I'd be looked at as worthless for the rest of my life. A chilling amount of reality to give a child, but by the time I was ten I was no longer seen as a child in the eyes of this America.

People keep saying they fear the "influence" Trump has brought upon America. He hasn't brought an influence, he is a product of one. Donald Trump is not your enemy. He is a talking head that embodies the worst parts of humanity. He is built on the foundation of empty promises just like every politician before him. He's just delivering the exact same garbage in a different package. He's just another purveyor, swindling the uneducated, backed by a corrupt system. The people who voted for Trump aren't your enemy either. They are your poor, unhealthy, and borderline illiterate chasing an illusion of grandeur promised to them by a demagogue who knew he could receive a win by playing into the fears they've been fed by the government to keep them angry at everything but a government that will only continue to view them as cogs in a capitalist machine. They are also the rich who seek safety in anonymity and covet money over human rights. Again, this is not unique to Trump - this is classic politics. 

Several presidents before Trump have been endorsed by the KKK, twelve presidents were slave owners, and several were rapists. Trump is not the beginning of anything, nor is he the end. He is the natural result of attitudes and ideas put in motion centuries before he was alive that complacency, silence, and outright ignorance have allowed to prosper.

The real, and potentially most dangerous enemy, is ourselves. If we let them fill us with fear, if we let them control our thoughts, and if we let them divide us even further than they have already done that will be a truly glorious victory for them. We out number the system drastically, but just like many wars have been won in the past, they have divided us and made us hate and battle each other rather than the epicenter of the problem itself. Because a people divided are a people that are easily conquered. The way to get past this is not by hating Trump, that would just be severing one head of the Hydra. We need to come together against the idea of Trump and the system that he represents.

Extend yourself into your community. Educate yourself on social issues. Vote at every single level if you have the ability to do so. Don't allow them to make you think your voice doesn't matter in any capacity. Don't just ignore your bigoted family members, educate them. Become the activist you retweet about.

11.07.2016

WHITE FEMINISM IN PUNK

Punk's roots are in politics. We want to other ourselves. Our goal? To not think like our parents, like our classmates; to cleave ourselves from society at large. We consume knowledge because what is handed to us never satisfies. Punk is very "anti" in its political stances, ergo making it all too easy to pretend you really get what politics are about when really you're the kind of person we would like to burn at the stake for the way you think.
Anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-big business, anti-government... The list goes on.

On the subject of anti-sexism, punks take a few different shapes. There's the men who fit into these archetypes:
Type One: completely oblivious to politics, hates women but still want their dick sucked so they learn a few words to not seem like an out-right misogynist.
Type Two: genuinely interested in learning the inner workings of what navigating life as a woman is like and they actually listen to the plight of their scene-mates.
Type Three: somewhere in between those two, your run of the mill guy. 

Next we have the women:
Type One: filled to the brim with internalized misogyny, sees all other women as competition.
Type Two: knows a thing or two about feminism but doesn't make everything about gender.
Type Three: the White* feminist who claims to support all girls, but really doesn't give a fuck about anyone outside their immediate friend group unless that person can give them more social capital.

Now when I say *White feminist I do not mean a feminist who is of European descent. I mean a feminist whose agenda only furthers, talks about the issues of, or comforts White women. The first instance of this that's well-documented is the Riot Grrl movement which originated from Olympia, WA in the 90s. Those bands and the people involved only cared about themselves and people like them - White women. By only helping and caring about themselves they thought, in their self-centered brains, that they were helping everyone. This was not the case.

That line of thinking hasn't died, in fact it's only gained ground both in the scene and outside of it. In the scene its newest face is that of Sisterhood - the name of the Facebook group of the girls involved in "Girls to the Front", a movement that allegedly is supposed to make women feel like they belong in hardcore. The idea is noble, but senseless. These girls are ruining decades of progress by crying to be coddled and judged on a different scale. Where is the fight? Every other minority in this scene takes whatever we want. We want a band with people who look like us? We start it. We want a fanzine made? We make it. There is no time to complain when you could easily just get these things done yourself. Sisterhood is setting everyone back by saying "girls need support in hardcore" for the simple that fact that anyone whose done their homework knows that women have been here since the very beginning of the genre, and it is a Black woman who invented the sound of Rock n Roll that led us here at all. Women don't need help, we aren't children nor are we weaklings. We might just need encouragement for those of us raised in weaker ways.

The punk scene has been and always will be as diverse as real life. This place isn't as exclusive as you'd like to think it is and there are plenty of people involved who need to be political to survive. Being well-versed in issues of racism, sexism, etc. isn't optional for a lot of us, so to see people who can choose whether or not to care doing it half-assedly and in a way that creates yet another dichotomy of "us and them" is infuriating.

Your typical White feminist punk only associates with people deemed cool based on current trend, walks on eggshells, and likes to make a big show of calling people out for things they ignore about their own friends. They often take up the easiest forms of activism available to them. Vocabulary policing, repeating simple slogans, and never do they have to be intellectually honest. These people aren't speaking on actual problems all women in hardcore face, rarely are they even acknowledging them. They want to solve the crime of "oppression" of women in hardcore when in reality it's a crime of how a certain percentage of them were raised.

In the process of trying to save themselves from what is essentially the cult of domesticity that makes society raise women as weak, scared, and naive, they alienate, offend, and further marginalize everyone they claim to be fighting for in one fell swoop. They have a selfish view of what it means to be oppressed, often not understanding the meaning of the word but intellectual dishonesty kicks in and they throw it around loosely to strengthen their arguments. They use "oppressed" where, if they had any concept of actual feminist issues, they would be using "stifled." One could argue that women in hardcore who don't have the spine to just do whatever they want are stifled, one cannot say women in hardcore are oppressed because that requires a few things hardcore doesn't have. A government, for one.

At the end of the day, you can choose to be as political as you want. That's the beauty of punk, we're supposed to think for ourselves. However, if your politics only concern yourself and your problems, not problems that relate to you as you are part of any group, then you may want to step off that pedestal people have placed you on before you fall and get hurt. 

10.05.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUSTIN ELLERBUSCH

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUSTIN ELLERBUSCH

Creator of The Peoplist.

Alright, what's your name, where are you from and what do you do?
Austin Ellerbusch. I am from Phoenix Arizona. My day job I am a behavior therapist with young Autistic children.

What exactly is "The Peoplist"?
The Peoplist is my answer to Jenkem Skateboard Magazine's featured playlist but my goal is to take that idea further than just skateboarders and cover all counter culture. The Peoplist trims the fat of a traditional interview but also is much more intimate. You can learn a lot from a 10 song playlist... Values, intelligence, overall style of that person. It's fun and inclusive for the featured person and the reader/ listener.

Why'd you start doing this?
About 2 months ago I was diagnosed with Melanoma in my lymph nodes. I have been missing a lot of work going through treatment and had a major surgery about a month ago which had all my lymph nodes removed from my right armpit and a removal of a possible throat tumor (which ended up clear). In that time I was recovering I was bored and depressed from all the Oxycodone, the idea came about around 4 in the morning, 5 days into recovery, about the first day I woke up from being in an opiate coma. Immediately I ran my idea by my boy Chase Mason, he sings for a bad ass band Gatecreeper and he became my first list.

What is no playlist complete without?
A playlist isn't complete without sharing it. 

What are your albums of the year so far?
Krimewatch - Demo
Gatecreeper - Sonoran Deprivation
Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
Chain of Flowers - Self Titled
Fury - Paramount
21 Savage and Metro Boomin - Savage Mode
So many this is a difficult question right now haha.

Of anyone alive or dead, whose ten song playlist would you want to see the most?
I really want to get one from Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth or J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. 
They are my favorite people in punk and have been for almost 10 years.

What are some of your goals for The Peoplist? 
My end game here is to have a completely independent 24 hour radio by the people involved in counter culture for counter culture. 

Do you have a message for the youth?
Move the movement, that's why it's a movement. Don't sit on your ass. 

9.13.2016

PSA: YOU AREN'T SPECIAL

You think you are, and somewhere down the line your parents may have convinced you that you are a snowflake: precious and incapable of being copied.
You think you should get what you want, when you want, and how you want, just because you're alive.
Well, I have some news for all of you from the participation trophy generation: you aren't special.

In the last few years, I've noticed there's been a new attitude taking over the subculture. Kids who aren't anything in real life but mediocre get into hardcore with this idea in their heads that the whole world revolves around them and should bend to their will. It's one thing to fight to have things on your terms but these kids just show up, hands out, minds empty, mouths loud, expecting to be shown respect and adoration because their whole lives they were fed these fallacies about being unique. They are trying to change how hardcore works on a micro level because for the first time in their lives they found themselves being told "this isn't for you."

Everyone in hardcore has their story.
Yours is just another long tale full of "woe is me" because you got made fun of for being different and now you want the whole world to suck you off because you think deserve it.
You're here at all for the same reason we all are: you hurt inside and think the world is out to get you. 

That, however, is where the difference truly lies. You only think the world is out to get you. For some of us, it actually is. The current climate of the subculture is one of fear. Where did this come from? Privileged kids who romanticize sketchy culture. They sit around jacking off to the idea of struggling to survive yet have no real problems and therefore don't know how to deal with any sort of issue. To them, the smallest slight is cause for alarm and state of emergency. This has people of all kinds worried about the future of the scene. With people trying to remodel hardcore to be more like their gated communities, will it be hardcore after they've all dropped out in the next year? Will there be anything left? We aren't scared of them, just of what they have created. A subculture built on accessibility, honesty, confrontation, and direct action is now being mangled into something unrecognizable by people who have poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this for years. It's like watching someone torture a friend. We have to sit back and watch as they slowly pull the teeth out of hardcore's head.

I thought that writing this would give me some answers.
I was hoping a deeper analysis during drafting would help me see that maybe, this could have a positive outcome. However, I've reached the end of this piece and all I am is scared that a place I feel safe and can go to when reality is caving in on my head is going to outcast me for being "too abrasive" because a bunch of weaklings found their way here and mommy isn't around to make sure they make it on the team.

8.26.2016

THE HIVE MIND OF HARDCORE

Hive mind: (noun) - a notional entity consisting of a large number of people who share their knowledge or opinions with one another, regarded as producing either uncritical conformity or collective intelligence.

In hardcore's case, it is uncritical conformity that comes from all the talking we do. Growing up, I had several OGs show me the ropes of hardcore but they always encouraged me to think for myself and to question everything because hearsay is nothing to truly internalize.  There has always been and always will be the people who are sheep in the subculture: they do not possess the respect to ask questions without getting shut down for looking like a snitch and being told to mind their own business. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, yes, they should mind their business and if something is so important to warrant someone making a statement then it'll happen. On the other hand, that destroys the climate of free-thought. It says we should wait for the word from other people instead of going to the source of curiosity and respectfully asking them to placate us with the truth. 

These days, the hive mind is a backfiring gun. Once people give an idea traction, there is no stopping it, even with the truth. People take things out of context and stretch the truth out of ego, all because they want to be the new center of whatever controversy is boiling over that week. The hive mind allows them to prosper because it wipes away the idea that you can ask questions at the source. Rumors circulate like wildfire. Once something is posted on any major social network it's seen as the truth. Apparently I missed the memo that people can't lie on the internet. Twitter punks take stories they eavesdropped on and spread them online, other Twitter punks who have completely lost their ability to think critically simply retweet these things because that's a lot easier than having an inflamed sense of rejection when the people you're making things up about tell you to shut up and mind your business. 

There is nothing wrong with being skeptical and curious of the people who make up your scene. What is wrong is listening to people talk about others and accepting that as fact, doubly so when you've never interacted with that person. You are a punk kid. You're supposed to be so paranoid that you read the label on everything you put in your body but you don't have the sense to ask someone if there's any truth to a rumor you keep hearing? That's laughable. Well, more laughable than the fact that some of you can't seem to accept or get over the idea that the majority of people who make up this scene are sketchy, no good humans. We exist on the fringes of society for a reason. 

Those of you who exist on the fringes of our scene because you are a suburban transplant and a weakling should hold off on being a loud mouth with no original thoughts until you've done a couple years here. You can easily watch and learn more than you ever could by regurgitating what other people tell you is okay to say, think, or feel. At the risk of sounding cliche or trite, letting other people tell you what to do is not punk whatsoever. If you want to be anything, be it "PC" or the biggest asshole walking, be it because you looked into it for yourself and you understand it. Intellectual dishonesty is pathetic and it makes for an awkward situation when you can't explain what you stand for, let alone why you stand for it, without quoting someone else.

8.21.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL TORRES

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL TORRES

Better known as Mexi Mike, singer of NOMADS.
(Photo by Tyler Bradberry)
How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?
Guns N Roses and Metallica is how I found punk. I heard them both in 4th grade. That was my first personal musical choice. First shit I fucked with that my parents didn't play in the car. 
Or that wasn't on the ninja turtles soundtrack. I saw GNR live with Metallica when I was 10 and they covered Misfits and so I tracked down a Misfits tape. Within close proximity at the tape store was Minor Threat. Grabbed that too. I fucked with Nirvana too and they said fuck with black flag. So I did that. Then punk hit the mainstream and stuff like Offspring was on the tv. I seen Dexter Holland wear a Germs shirt in the video so I got a Germs tape. Rancid hit too and that shit really caught my eye because they looked crazy like Exploited but were on TV. I wanted to be like them. Mind you, I was 11-12 at the time. When it was truly solidified was around age 12. That was a big year for me in regards to punk gigs. I saw a lot of shows at a young age. When I was 10 I saw Metallica, guns n roses, body count, public enemy, and throughout middle school I saw stuff like soundgarden, smashing pumpkins, nine inch nails, etc. But at age 12 I saw two shows that were true game changers. I saw Suicidal and the Ramones. And it was all downhill from there. I knew who I was then. Sports didn't matter. School didn't matter. Punk rock was my shit and that was it. 

How has hardcore influenced your approach and take on "normal" every day life?
It's the most diverse subgenre of the underground. It truly opens your mind to the fact that anyone can get along, no matter what our little differences may be. You got patriotic skinheads posted up w/ vegan punk weirdos like me and everybody fucks with each other because at the end of the day, we all got this unspoken bond through music that spoke to us because we didn't fit in with the civilians squares out there. I live a normal life as much as I have to to keep a roof over my head and stay fed. But I know i got something special that others won't never know about and I'm very thankful for that.

Have you always lived in LA? If not, how does it compare to where you grew up?
I've spent significant time in a few different cities. I was born in Kansas City, was raised in north county San Diego, and hopped a greyhound to Seattle right when I turned 17. Spent ten years there before making the move to LA. I been here ever since and I ain't never leaving. This is home. It's a comfortable place. It never slows down so there's never any shortage of stuff to do.  It's rough around the edges but full of good folks and opportunities to do whatever it is you wanna do in life are endless. And the best bands came from or come from here. From The Go Gos to Terror, LA is a true music mecca and that's important to me. And we got the strongest, tightest, and most active hardcore scene on the planet.

I know you're a huge Prince fan, do you have any other major influences in your music taste?
I fuck with all sorts of music. It all depends on mood. I love it all equally. I'll start my day with the Go Gos to wake myself up. Anti cimex, the Stalin, Gauze, Motörhead, GNR, rancid, Vegan Reich, Lemonheads, Goo Goo Dolls, the Plimsouls, Rose Tattoo, Toy Dolls, Bay Area Shit like crimpshrine and blatz, into Nothing and Pity Sex. Then maybe Hatebreed or Biohazard. Or Path Of Resistance. Always Sisters of Mercy at some point in the day. I fuck with John Carpenter movie soundtracks a lot too. Then I'll fall asleep to Billie holiday or Mazzy Star or any number of mellow things. Lately I've been on a Veruca Salt and Elastica kick. I love female fronted 90s Rock shit. Also been heavy into later Ramones shit lately. And that's one days playlist. Music is endless and so much of it is good and influential to me.

NOMADS is a band with political tones and an obviously anti-police sentiment, is this reflected in your stage banter at all?
Nah, I'm not out here trying to change the world with the band playing live. This is for me. It's therapeutic and a means to vent in regards to playing live specifically. Punk music is preaching to the choir bout 90% of the time. I say little to nothing onstage. I don't wanna hear some long drawn out speech unless you're Greg Bennick so I avoid doing it myself. You wanna know my world view? Talk to me after we play. Or read the lyric sheet.

Name your biggest non-musical influences on who you are as a person.
My mama. She always pushed for me to be smart, read a lot, and she still corrects my grammar and spelling because she was a teacher. She always taught me to be open minded and accepting of people. And though sometimes I'm not as accepting as I should be, I do my best. Even if I think the human race is inherently evil. You won't find the good ones if you're a motherfucker to everybody. As for who I am now, having gone out into the world on my own at a young age, the ups and downs of life really influenced me. A chunk of my teen years were spent in hospitals and facilities for troubled kids. Been an on and off very self destructive drug addict and drinker for most my life once I figured out that it was something I liked, even though i knew it hurt me. I'm straight now but the low points of my life have a huge influence on who I am now and are also reflected in the lyrics of some of our songs. Wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for all experiences, be it sad and heartbreaking, upsetting, or beautiful and awesome. So much has happened and so much more will happen and it's all relevant and influential.

How do you feel about the internet's effects on the subculture?
It's a double edged sword. Access to our world is great because a youngster who might've never known this was here can find it now.  And it might save their life. But it opens our world up to phonies and folks with ulterior motives. Leaches and predators. But the community is tight knit and snakes in the grass get found out quick and weeded out even quicker. 
The adventure that used to be the hunt for music no longer exists and for this generation, I truly feel sad that they'll never know what that's like. Scanning the thank you list of your favorite record and tracking down the bands your favorite band is friends with and checking them out. Looking at old flyers and tracking down those bands' records. Or just going to a show and seeing some band for the first time and buying a tape, not hearing that new shit that gets some e-buzz and a cosign from the right nerds online, blowing them up before they even hit the stage. How it is now will always be weird to me.  But I'm 34 and the world keeps moving and I try to look at the bright side of the Internets contribution. Booking a tour sure is easy now. Getting to the shows is fucking easy now. I remember using a Thomas brothers guide to map our way around the country on my first US tour. Now we got Google maps and Waze. 
And now some nobody kid can make a demo that is insane and it will actually be heard. And what they created won't go to waste.

Tell me your craziest Uber story. 
 Honestly, I haven't had anything too crazy happen yet. I picked up a dude the other day and when we drove by my house he pointed out that he used to buy cocaine there and then we had a good laugh when I reminded him he had been buying it from me. I drove two Jamaican ladies around for five hours once. From culver city to the valley to temecula. Not chill. An old Armenian man puked on himself and I had to push him out the whip. Some girl wanted to do coke off my shoulder. Then offered me Adderal. Then wouldn't get outta my car til I did a short interview about my thoughts on the prison system for her blog. Every day is an adventure.

Who are your favorite bands right now?
Favorite current bands. Drab Majesty, Culture Abuse, Nothing, Criminal Instinct, Haarm, Krimewatch, White Lung.... I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton. But I've been jamming those a lot lately.

Describe a NOMADS set in one word.
Quick.

Any final remarks/a message to the youth?
Don't ever talk to the police. They do not have your best interest or safety in mind.
90% of the time, it's your big fucking mouth that gets you hemmed up. Not physical evidence.
So stay quiet and you'll stay free.   

If you're gonna do drugs, enjoy the ride but remember, not everybody is a beast and can hang forever.
You're gambling and you run the risk of not coming out alive. Make sure that's really a risk you wanna take. 

Don't eat animals. That shit is crazy. 

Don't feed into the medias separatist agenda and push for racial tension.
Stop reading your Facebook feed. People are people. Out on the street, it's business as usual. Get off the internet. Go outside.

Bernie Sanders will not save you. Trump will not actually be able to build a wall.
The government has always been evil, and unless you're a millionaire or a large corporation, they've never cared about you. This isn't new. You will survive the reign of any evil leader because unless you were born today, you already have. Chill out and enjoy your life. 
Tell your people you love them. Every day if you can. Treat your people well. Don't be a motherfucker and if you are, apologize. They could be gone in a second. And so could you. 
That should never be how the story ends. 

RIP Timmy Butcher. RIP Sammy Winston.

You can listen to NOMADS on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.

7.15.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH SEBASTIAN PABA

AN INTERVIEW WITH SEBASTIAN PABA

Long Island's finest mosher and frontman of Regulate.
(Photo by Sarah Dunn - Sarah Shoots People)

How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?

My dad got me into metal shit like Iron Maiden, Sabbath, Metallica and all that at a young age.  I eventually started gettin into shit on my own.  Watched a Gorilla Biscuits Video when I was 12 cause I thought Gorilla Biscuits was such a stupid name...changed the course of my life.

What was growing up on Long Island like?

I lived in Brooklyn till I was 10 and then moved to Long Island so I've spent about half my life in both spots.  LI is cool...quiet and pretty boring.  Good place for a bored kid to do stupid shit with his friends.

How has hardcore influenced your approach and take on "normal" every day life?

Hardcore is normal life.  I see the world completely different than some dude on the street.  At the risk of sounding like a corny dumbass, Hardcore is just how I live.

Who are your non-musical influences? Is there anyone you look up to?

My parents and my Abuelos.  My mom, my grandparents and I came to America from Colombia without nothin' and they did everything they could for us to live well.  My step dad (who I refer to as my real dad) was dirt poor for most of his life and now he's a business owner.  I truly would be nothing without those 4 people.

What made you start a band?

Wanted to participate more in the scene.

You were really young when you started going to shows, and while it's rare to see that same aged youth at shows these days, what advice do you have those who are around?

People who you think are cool are gonna drop out and become fucking losers and talk shit on their old friends and Hardcore... That should fuel you to love this shit even more. I'm still young and I'm still seeing that shit happen now... Motherfuckers I wanted to be accepted by just turning into some fuckin' Brooklyn hipster cocksucker.

How do you feel about the internet's effect on the subculture?

The internet gives us all a place to say what we want and that's cool... First Amendment and shit but if you can't say that same shit in person then you're a fuckin' retard.  You're accountable for what you say on that shit... I hate when niggas think shit like that goes unnoticed.  Contrary to what Moshpapi420 or Kingninesweatpants69 might believe, there are some real motherfuckers out here that will slap you around for actin like an idiot on Twitter.

Who are your favorite bands right now?


King Nine, CI, Dope Fiend, Counterattack, Turnstile, Krust, Blind Justice, Gods Hate, Faze, Countdown and Slow Fire Pistol.

Mosh or dive?

Tough question... Depends on the band. Imma say mosh tho.

Describe a Regulate set in one word.

New York.

Any final remarks?

There seems to be some sort of divide in Hardcore right now... I don't know if it's totally based on the style of HC people prefer to listen to or where people are from but to me it seems to be a divide between real and fake. I'm glad I'm on the real side.

Shout out Long Island, NYC, Shore Style, WB, Richmond, VB, Atlanta, Florida, California.
Go Islanders. Don't break edge. 

You can listen to Regulate on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.

7.06.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH CHASE H. MASON

AN INTERVIEW WITH CHASE H. MASON

A sit down with the singer of Arizona's own Gatecreeper.

Gatecreeper just announced the tour with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, and Oathbreaker for the fall, an insane lineup to say the least. Which cities are you looking forward to playing the most?
I'd say places like Tampa and Austin because we haven't played there yet. The show in LA at The Roxy should be really cool. I've been to a few shows at that venue and I'm excited to play there. Portland and Seattle should be fun too because we have a lot of friends up in the PNW.

Oh that Tampa show is going to be great, I can't wait for it. So, you guys also signed to Relapse Records and are releasing your first full length with them, can you give me any details on the themes and ideas we can expect to see in the lyrics?
I hate writing lyrics but I've been trying to mix it up lately as far as subject matter. Some of it is personal, some of it is fantasy. The general themes of the record are fear, desperation, and depravity.

Three things every human knows very well. Do you play in any other bands besides Gatecreeper right now? If not, did you play in any before it?
I'm not in any other bands right now. Gatecreeper is my baby. I put a lot of time into it and I don't think I'd have the time to do another project. I've played in bands since I was 13 but nothing that ever left Arizona.

Well the dedication shows, everything released thus far has been bar-rasing.  So we both know that "party culture" is huge in metal, but I don't see that from you. Are you straight edge? 
I'm not straight edge but I have been sober since 2012. 

What sparked your sobriety?
I was fucked up for a long time. I grew up in the middle class suburbs of Mesa, Arizona. I was a bored kid and eventually punk, skateboarding and lighting things on fire didn't satisfy me anymore. I found drugs really early and just hit the ground running from there. I started smoking weed when I was 13. I tried anything that would make me feel differently and eventually got into heroin when I was 16. 

How long did it take you to realize you had a problem? 
I think it was apparent to everyone else but me very quickly. When I was 17, the day after my Junior year in high school, my parents sent me away. It was pretty much a juvenile detention center disguised as a boarding school for troubled teens. It fucking sucked. I got out of there when i was 18 and went right back to the same shit. I was 21 when I first tried to stop using heroin, but I didn't end up getting sober until I was 25. There were a lot of failed attempts, rehabs, psych wards and detoxes in that time period. It was not easy. 

What fueled your drive for wanting to get (and staying) clean? 
Things were just rough for a long time. I couldn't hold a job. My family had always supported me in getting help but they learned that there wasn't much left for them to do. My girlfriend had gotten sober a couple months before me. I was pretty much homeless and I had nowhere else to go except a free 6 month in patient rehab that I was dropped off at by a friend. 

As far as staying sober, it's very motivating to see things getting better. I wouldn't be able to do everything I have with music or have the relationships I have now if I was still doing the same shit. I used to have nothing to lose, but now there is a lot of great things going on that I would burn to the ground very quickly if I went back to my old ways. 

Truly a testament to the life-saving force that is music. If anyone reading this isn't insanely proud of you, I don't know what to say about their moral compass. So, we're seven months in to 2016 and there have been scores of amazing releases. What would you consider your top five of the year so far? 

Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us 
Lost Souls - Get Lost 7" 
Lycus - Chasms 
Nothing - Tired of Tomorrow 
Fury - Paramount 

You've spent a fair share of your life inside the music scene. What would you say is wrong with hardcore right now and what is keeping it alive? 
I don't think there is anything wrong with it at the moment. People may be a little too sensitive at times, but I don't really concern myself with that. Hardcore is for fucked up people so it will always be fucked up. I'm no authority on the current state of hardcore. I just ended up here somehow. 

I couldn't have said it better myself. Final remarks? And do you have a message for the youth? 

That's all I've got. Thanks for doing the interview!

You can listen to Gatecreeper on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.

6.27.2016

REVIEW: MY CHOICE, MY FIGHT - REFOCUS

REVIEW: MY CHOICE, MY FIGHT - REFOCUS

Refocus is a band from North Carolina whose sound inflames a sense of nostalgia in me. On their debut EP My Choice, My Fight they serve up five tracks of classic hardcore that serve as a strong reminder your band doesn't have rip off Pantera or Disembodied to be good these days. They play straight forward straight edge hardcore. Think Down To Nothing, think Break Away. Honestly, none of the records I've heard this year have been this simple in their approach to the genre and I appreciate that quality in a band immensely. 

The release opens with the title track, essentially a three minute introduction to what this band is all about. This song begins with a melodic intro, something I haven't heard in... God knows how long. It's beautifully executed and rolls right into a swell of drums and guitar which create the entire foundation that this EP stand on. From start to finish it's full of great guitar, bass, and drum work without ever trying to be something it isn't. 

Then "Fratricide" follows, an anthem about how being a rich kid with a stuck up attitude will leave you friendless in the end. From beginning to end this song is full of intense stomp parts which roll into an upbeat two step and it finishes strong with a solid breakdown. 

"Test of Time" is my personal favorite track on this release. It's everything that a straight edge anthem should be both sonically and lyrically. 
Don't try to change my mind, cause the choice has been made
I'll be straight edge til I die, knowing I stayed sane 
Even as an ex-edgeman those words ring to something in me. Indicative of a promise made that won't ever be broken, the entire purpose of the straight edge summed up in song. 

"Seniority" is the "short, fast, loud" track every good band needs on a release for it to be solid. Not to mention its lyrics feature a challenge to status quo and that's always appreciated here at LOD.

Finally, "Parasite" closes the record as the peak of the crescendo, the end result of the build created in the first track and it is done so wonderfully. 

Listen to My Choice, My Fight on Bandcamp and follow Refocus on Twitter.

6.23.2016

THE MEANING BEHIND CRIMINAL INSTINCT'S "ZONE 6 MUSIC"

THE MEANING BEHIND CRIMINAL INSTINCT'S "ZONE 6 MUSIC"

If you're like me, then you listen to records and think, "what the hell made this person feel this way?" In Criminal Instinct's case, it's multiple and varying instances of people pissing them off. I asked Josiah how long he's been angry and his reply was one short "forever." Needless to say, he's damn near perfected the art of articulating what upsets him. From the 2012 Demo, to Fever, and now Zone 6 Music, he's told us exactly what is causing him to grind his teeth. Of all the LPs set to debut this year, I would argue that this is one of the angriest. 
So, in the spirit of curiosity, I asked him to tell me what made this record possible and give me the meaning behind these insane tracks.




Intro/Guillotine
This song is about someone I knew who got killed - and the world is a far better place for it. He was the kind of guy who thought he was a real "thug" because he would sell a bag of weed or two, would abuse any girl he was ever with, and ended up raping and killing his own aunt. Now, when I read the next few days things like "RIP Max Zayn" or "He was a great dude deep down" it literally made me sick. Death can be sad, we all know that. But death is also a part of life and can be a very positive thing when it takes away a piece of garbage that should have been removed from the gene pool at birth.

Max Zayn. Rest in piss.

Force Me
It's always weird explaining a song like this to someone. Essentially, my irrational life and the decisions that come with it leave me with no shortage of low points. During those kinds of times, the idea of peacing out can be pretty tempting and I'm left feeling like I'm kind of forcing myself through life, like I'm fighting what the universe really wants. But then I snap back and get to work - because being a bitch all the time can be a huge strain on yourself and the people you love.

Nothing At All
If you really know me, this song doesn't need much explanation. I'm straight edge, but my approach to the things I like in life is that of a text book addict. The only positive thing to say about it is that I try my hardest to make sure my problems don't affect others. Other than that, I'm the poster child for self-destruction. That basically sums this one up.

No Privilege
Being white has never really  came with an extra set of benefits for me in my life. I went to a school that was mostly Hispanic or hillbilly. Because I was neither, I never fit in there. I grew up going to shows in Atlanta and moved there in my early teens. In Atlanta, racial tension is at a constant 10, and white is the racial minority in the areas I lived in/hung out in. And then when I went to college, I didn't quality for a ton of scholarships that would have really helped me because I was white. It's not a sob story, and I'm not saying that I went through hell on earth. But it's enough to get me annoyed when some fucking dork rolls around saying "you don't realize how privileged you are." Privilege is based on your area, your surroundings and most of all, how much money you have. Money buys privilege, and that transcends races. I mean Magic Johnson beat AIDS in a time when it was viewed as impossible, was that "Black privilege"? No, it was being rich.
I guess my main issue is that the "privilege" flag wavers for the most part don't ACTUALLY care about the social progression of people. They just like to check their "good deed of the day" box by trying to make people hate themselves or be constantly apologizing for the color of their skin. We'll never evolve as a people or as a society while we keep tacking "White" or "Black" before whatever adjective we are using to describe a kind of person. Essentially, people need to think beyond some fuckin' barista's blog-post about why you should hate yourself.

That's My Desire 
I'm not a tough guy and I don't waste my life searching for reasons to fight. However, people tend to view themselves as these supreme higher life forms that are above learning how animals do. It's gotten worse over time which is why you'll see people dis-respecting each other more blatantly than ever, then hiding behind "non-violence" when it's time to answer the call. Long story short, this song is about putting a dog's face in its piss - in human form.

Self-Evicted
So we all used to know a crazy son-of-a-bitch named Chris. In a sense, it's our own fault for not seeing the signs of him turning into a total piece of trash sooner. He used to be a pretty loyal dog, but over time, evolved into more of a mangy one that would start fires others would have to put out for him. He then started stealing from people who cared for him, got hooked on heroin and eventually had to high-tail to another state to avoid running into people who would like to have words with him so to speak. He'll most likely spend the rest of his life this way until he dies or someone kills him.  

F.E.A.R.
You aren't "fearless" until you've felt fear. It's all about how you handle that feeling when it comes. For years, people have evolved from overcoming adversity. But in recent times, people do everything in their power to avoid any kind of struggle or anything that would make them feel fear vs. moving forward and rising above whatever comes. Essentially, fear can be a very positive thing in terms of growing as a strong person. It's just whether you choose to run from it or use it as fuel. 

Helping Hand
Mental illnesses are an all too real problem. I've seen my own friends and families ripped up because of them. However, in modern times people are constantly looking for any kind of crutch in an attempt to deny the fact that they might just be a mentally weak person vs. a mentally ill person. Not to mention that the pharmaceutical industry is pure evil and tons of psychiatrists stand to profit from prescribing more and more people to pills for problems that - in some instances - their patients don't even have. Just think about how may times you've heard some shitty rich dork living off mommy and daddy's dime bitch about how depressed they are. I'm not saying it can't happen, but sometimes people like that just have problems copping with reality outside of their weekly allowance and get scared/sad - which isn't depression, that's weakness.

Won't You Spare Me Over To Another Year 
This song is about my grandma. She's a "bad person" in the traditional sense, but I love her and we are very similar in more ways than one. She's dying more every day, and I feel like my death experience would be very similar to hers. Kind of weird to say I know, but it's just how I feel.

B.R.C.M.
Big Rock Candy Mountain is an old country song that's basically about one man's fantasy land. This song is my version.

6.22.2016

SPOTLIGHT: YEAR OF THE KNIFE

SPOTLIGHT: YEAR OF THE KNIFE


Year of the Knife, or as I like to call them, the newest champions of northeastern metalcore. Now, it's been stated many times on this publication that I only care for the creme de la creme of bands in the metalcore revival and this Delaware outfit has more than earned their spot in that ranking. They released a demo in the summer of 2015 that (thanks to Chris Hatch's subwoofers) almost literally put me on my ass. They've since released Overgrowth, a four track sonic assault that has been on consistent rotation since I heard it. 
If you're attending This is Hardcore this August, be sure to watch this band. I promise you'll regret it if you don't. 

Listen to Year of the Knife on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.
SPOTLIGHT: INVOKE

SPOTLIGHT: INVOKE


I don't know if you guys have read up on North Carolina's history with the paranormal but fucked up, inexplicable things happen in this state at an almost constant rate. There's cults, cannibals, the Devil's tramping ground... need I say more? With such a dark cloud hanging over this place it only makes sense that evil music also comes out of this state. 
This is where Invoke from Wilmington comes in, they're here to take that sense of dread to the next level. 
They released their demo in October of 2015 and this month streamed a new song called "Surrender the Throne", both of which blend all the elements of good metal and good hardcore to create a band that's more than worth listening to in your free time.  
Oh, and apparently they'll be appearing at FYA IV, if this wasn't enough proof that they're a band you should be watching.

Listen to Invoke on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.

6.13.2016

PAINFUL DAYZ: THE DEFINITION OF DIY

PAINFUL DAYZ: THE DEFINITION OF DIY

(Photos by Shadie, Painful Dayz)

There is nothing I find cooler or more respectable than doing whatever you want. That is exactly what Life of Delinquency is about and exactly what I like to give attention to here. Well, there is no one who lives the idea of "DIY" more than Shadie Boy Burciaga. With Painful Dayz being the vehicle for apparel, zines, film photography, and illustrations all created and curated by Shadie himself, you know you're getting something magical. The magic of being in it, not above it; the difference between standing room and VIP.


Visit the Painful Dayz website and follow Shadie on Twitter.

6.01.2016

SPOTLIGHT: TOURNIQUET

SPOTLIGHT: TOURNIQUET

Over the course of the past three years our scene has had a giant resurgence of metalcore. Was it all good? Of course not. Most of it was trite, to say the least. Bands playing at an idea because it was gaining ground again, not because that's what they liked. Personally, I was fine listening to bands that formed before I was born and leaving it at that, but I'm a curious person so I kept checking out bands out and kept being generally unimpressed.
That is, until Tourniquet

With members who live and breathe their love for metalcore, it's not surprising that this band redeemed their genre. Tourniquet isn't an experiment, it's a lesson in the genre. The guitar and bass work by Fink and ZTP is a measured chaos, sonic water torture. Every note pushing you further and further into understanding insanity. Breza's drums serve as the barrel of the gun that this band is, giving a clear shape to the band's instrumental sound which can only be described as "destructive." How could I describe Little Chris's voice? It's impossible to compare him to anyone else, especially seeing as how he has one of the strongest vocal ranges among the new breed of metalcore bands.
 As a whole, this band is a force to be reckoned with, simply put. It isn't often that a band gets booked on multiple shows without first releasing a demo and even more rare that they back up that amount of hype at their first show. 

Anatomy of Obsession is only the beginning of what Tourniquet plans to unleash on the scene and I can't wait to see what else they have in store in 2016. 
For a four track EP to be as strong as theirs is, I can only imagine the power in their next release.

You can listen to Anatomy of Obsession of Bandcamp and follow Tourniquet on Twitter.
SPOTLIGHT: VIOLENT EXIT

SPOTLIGHT: VIOLENT EXIT

All hail the Lonestar State. I don't think Texas has ever produced a bad band. With well-known crushers Bitter End, Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder, and the mythical Iron Age all hailing from this state it's no wonder that the young generation of bands is constantly producing some of the best hardcore, metal, and crossover material in the country. They've got big shoes to fill. Violent Exit is the Cinderella of this story in that case. They released a five track demo on May 21st and it gives life to every rumor you've ever heard about what Texas hardcore sounds like. The riffs that compel you to bang your head until your neck snaps, drum and bass parts that crush your ribs, and vocals that leave your brain scrambled. At the end of the demo you're left a drooling mass who can only say "more." 

SPOTLIGHT: KRUST

SPOTLIGHT: KRUST

I know "summer punk" isn't a real genre but if it was, Krust would be in it. They released No Stress in 2014 and I thought they were done forever since it'd gone quiet for them but nope, I was wrong. They came out of left field with Paradise In Brick, just in time to be one of the records I'll be playing all summer. I mean, there's a fucking ska song on this joint, it's got everything. With fun riffs and great lyrics, Krust is what I would imagine Murphy's Law would sound like if they became a band in this day and age. If you listen to this and don't enjoy it then you don't like having fun and probably suck ass at parties. My favorite track from Paradise In Brick is "I Want Sex" with "Not Guilty" being a very, very close second. 
If you're looking for music to skate to, smoke to, bang to, whatever... you've found it in Krust.

5.30.2016

THE CULT OF DEVIANCE

THE CULT OF DEVIANCE

Also, bad handwriting. Lots of cool stuff planned for the week. See you later.

5.17.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSIAH HOEFLINGER

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSIAH HOEFLINGER

(Photo by Sarah - Sarah Shoots People)
So, Zone 6 Music was slated to come out in spring but has been pushed back to summer, what happened?
Straight up, I have no idea. 
It’s in the plant, we’re gonna have physical copies in 3 weeks now, so it’s game time.

What are you most excited for people to hear on the new album?

I’m interested in what’s gonna happen. 
I feel like I write lyrics that kind of stand out. I’m not writing lyrics to appease people, I’m not trying to dumb my shit down so I’ll be able to walk in every social circle. 
A lot of bands will tailor their verbiage in accordance with the status quo, I try to just be true to myself. 

A lot of the more social sentiments someone intelligent would be able to break down and at the very least grasp what I'm saying, but topics like Self Evicted I could see people not agreeing. 
I mean it's nothing crazy, but it's about a dude from our past who we all genuinely hope dies tomorrow
Some people might find that excessive, but hey -the dude sucks.

You moved to LA earlier this year, how does the music scene differ from what you’re used to?
 I haven’t been to enough shows to tell, honestly. It’s mostly similar.
 I haven’t met too many people, I guess it’s really too soon to tell. 
I went to some bigger shows like the Bane last tour, and a Turnstile gig, but shows like that are similar everywhere - just fucking packed and wild.

Have you started any new bands in LA?
Yeah! I’m working on a band with Taylor Young and a couple other people but it’s called Midnight Sons and we’re almost done with it actually. 
It’s just a hardcore band, I’ve never been in a band that’s on the heavier side of things. 
Everything I’ve been in has been on the faster side because that's what I like and gravitate to. 
This came together because I’ve always wanted to do a band like that, it’s on the Cold As Life side. Lyrically, it's themed heavily from the mind of a gambling addict.

You’ve been going to shows since you were 10, you’ve obviously seen some things. 
What are the worst trends in hardcore to you? 
My first instinct is to go on all day about this but sometime I try to reason with myself because I don’t want to let shit bother me. 
I try to not get mad and usually fail.1. Kids thinking they have to be one type of hardcore kid. 
A kid in a 3x bulldoze shirt and camo pants is obviously a beatdown kid. It’s all he likes. 
Then the b-side hyper youth crew kid. Punk rock kids who hate everything about hardcore. 
Kids who confine themselves to one aspect of hardcore. 
I'll listen to Deep Wound one second and put on 25 Ta Life the next. I just like hardcore.

2. The new witch hunting social justice warrior. I hate that term. 
People who pick apart hardcore kids, when REAL problems exist in the REAL world, but they'd rather stick to spewing well accepted views over the mic or on a keyboard. 
Like people who say racism is rampant in hardcore as if hardcore is some Nazi Germany. 
You’d read some things some of these people say and think hardcore is some kind of Racist Disneyworld. 
To say that it’s a problem in hardcore is a little insulting to people who had to deal with insane sketchy nazis at shows and fought real hard to make them feel quite unwelcome.

Racism is definitely a thing but people act like it doesn't get taken care of.

 Exactly.
 Hardcore is a piece of the world where racism can exist but for the most part DOES NOT and if it pops up it's stamped out.  
The fact is our world has evolved and ESPECIALLY HC has evolved to the point where these problems are dying more each day. 
But, being some kind of martyr or a victim is the new badge of honor, so people will stop at nothing to try and dig a problem out of a place where there might not be one.


How do you feel about hardcore in 2016?

Overall it’s sick. 
Lately what I’ve been trying to do is kind of just, in a weird way, put blinders on. 
Ignore the weird status quo, go to shows, support bands I think are sick. Take a step back. 
I like not knowing people in bands anymore. 
It’s like being 14 again like just listening to a good band. 
Like Countdown, it was a super refreshing feeling to not know anything about the dudes in the band and not know who’s in the band. It’s like a mystery in someways to me. 
It was really cool.

Name 3 bands that everyone should know about.  
King Nine, Regulate, Abuse of Power

How does country music influence CI?
In a pretty huge way. That’s my bread and butter. 
I didn’t grow up on it really young but I really got into it when we moved back to America when I was 10. I found out about Hank Sr. and from there I just dug and dug and became more obsessed. What I appreciate about country is how genuine it is and how unfiltered it is. 
Every song is like "I’m sad and here’s why. I wanna kill this dude, here’s why. I wanna kill myself, here’s why." 
If you read my lyrics I take a pretty similar approach. I just appreciate the realness in it. 
It’s a realness that’s hard to find in not only music but life.
It’s a huge influence on how we write music, for sure.

So, you’re not into internet culture, but what’s your favorite meme and what meme do you hate?

It’s not that I’m not into it, it just eludes me, man.

You're not a huge meme guy, it's okay.

Yeah! Haha. But this Rob Zombie meme fucking killed me. You saw it. The "this could be us but you won't dig through the ditches" one.

Okay, so what meme do you hate?

I mean, I hate what I don’t understand so 90% of them.
 I guess it’s just an insecurity cause I never get the joke. 
The frog thing is one, I don’t get what’s going on.

Describe yourself in five words.
Excessive. Gambler. Realistic. Uhhh, okay help me out here.

Remember when I called you frustrating?
 
Oh, that's a good one. Frustrating. Rambler. A rambler and a gambler. Actually. Fuck rambler, loyal.

Finally, any words of wisdom for the youth?
Speak your mind and don't ever let anyone make you feel like you can't. 
Don't be ashamed of who you are - no matter what you are. 

You can listen to Criminal Instinct on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.

5.13.2016

REVIEW: LOVE. HATE. – ACCIDENT PRONE

REVIEW: LOVE. HATE. – ACCIDENT PRONE

Accident Prone is a band from Norfolk, VA. 
Affectionately called "spazzy" by their bass player, they've been experimenting with various genres and influences to create their unique sound.
Love. Hate. was released on May 12th and they'll be touring on it in June.

The album is five tracks long and has a run time of about 11 minutes.

"Renaissance Lost" is the first track on the album, rightfully so because with its mix of interesting drums and chaotic guitar parts it is the very definition of putting your best foot forward.
It also covers a range of emotions lyrically, as well as talking about reanimated corpses.

"Dead By Dawn" follows close behind with the same recipe of shrill guitar and fast drums which give the singer's voice a proper vehicle for its range and grit.

"Freak Fatale" 
The title of the album is derived from a lyric in this song. 
You all know how I feel about songs about your ex but I think this one is well executed lyrically.
Instrumentally, it's more put together and focused than previous tracks, straying slightly from their spastic sound.

"Teaching A Dumb Dog New Tricks" is a song about bigotry fueled by Christianity.
Instrumentally it doesn't exactly stand out like the previous track but lyrically is where it truly shines.
Unlike previous tracks it isn't laden with metaphors, it's very direct and to the point of the message they're choosing to convey.

"Placebo" is the final track on this album and a perfect show stopper.
It is the essence of Accident Prone on a track.
The bass comes through clearly, the dichotomy of chaotic and (almost) soothing riffs giving way to the drums, and the lyrics all flow so well on this track.
It showcases the angst and thought patterns of the band as a whole.

I give this three out of three dice.

You can stream Love. Hate. on Bandcamp and follow Accident Prone on Twitter.

5.11.2016

SPOTLIGHT: DISMAL DREAM

SPOTLIGHT: DISMAL DREAM

Alabama is hidden gem when it comes to the world of subcultures.
 Many bands call this state home and they're all (unsurprisingly) absolutely fucking insane.
Dismal Dream is one band that is clearly doing everything in their power to make us pay more attention to Alabama. 

With 7th Realm Dismal Dream is making their statement in the scene. 
That statement is clearly "fuck you, we came here to play thrash and play it well." 
If you have ever thought yourself a crossover enthusiast, give this band a listen. 
You won't be disappointed. 

You can listen to 7th Realm on Bandcamp.
SPOTLIGHT: EASY MONEY

SPOTLIGHT: EASY MONEY

Arizona is a testament to man's arrogance. 
In a place where temperatures reach triple digits it's no surprise that bands who hail from there release what could only be described as "fuego." 
Easy Money is one such band. 
They released their first EP, Midas Touch, on April 20th.
I heard their first show was a banger and they're playing several shows with other bands to watch like Jesus Piece, Lost Souls, and Malfunction.

You can stream the EP on Bandcamp and keep up with them on Twitter.

5.10.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTIN CARPENTER

AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTIN CARPENTER

Singer of Funeral Chic and head bang enthusiast.


What's up Dustin?
Personally, nothing at all. Same shit, different day. Livin' the proverbial dream.

Good to hear it. So, what's your favorite thing about North Carolina hardcore?
There's a loyalty and stubbornness the people here have that I've always loved and admired. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
I've noticed that too. Everyone I love from North Carolina has a good head on their shoulders as well. What other bands were you in before Funeral Chic?
I played in a band called Narratives for a few years prior to Funeral Chic. We've all played in a few bands before this, they were mostly terrible so we try our best to pretend like they never existed and that the future is bright. It's probably not, but pretending is nice.
I was listening to Narratives the other day actually, it still holds up in 2016. So, I'm assuming you're the lyrical mastermind behind Funeral Chic's lyrics. Where do you draw inspiration from for the subject matter in your lyrics? 
It varies. The shortest possible explanation is that each song comes from a different realm of irrational anger, hatred or depression. The music of Funeral Chic is a catalog of bad form and poor mental framework.
Well in the words of Nathan Englander, write what you know. So, the new Funeral Chic release is called Hatred Swarm. What can you tell me about it and how did you guys settle on that name?
Hatred Swarm was the title of the first song we wrote for this record. The phrase seemed to aesthetically embody the record as a whole. So, we just ran with what felt right. I can tell you that making the record was exhausting and time consuming. 2 years of writing and one year of recording culminated into 18 sloppy minutes of sonic intolerance to the intolerant. Everything else that could be said will be announced in the next week or so, come hell or high water.
What would you say you're most excited for people to hear when it comes to this record?
Mostly, I'm just excited to for people to actually hear it in it's entirety. Having been working on it for so long, the day people will get to finally hear the record as a whole will be a really exciting thing for me.
Oh, this record will definitely end up on more than a handful of Album of The Year lists. 
Now, for the personal questions. You've been a contributing member of the scene for years now. What would you say is wrong with hardcore right now? What would you say is keeping it alive?
Personally, I think the state of hardcore is great right now. At home, at least. It's becoming way more inclusive and the importance of that can't be over stated and I hope places everywhere keep it up. 
I can't really speak on what is wrong with hardcore, just because it's been really good to me for the last few years, but my only real criticisms are with the jaded, "I was born in an Earth Crisis t shirt, things were better back then" type people. Shit is mad annoying and counterproductive. There's cool shit happening all the time, all over the place and it's more easily accessible now than it ever has been. Take part or go back home and live in the past.
A great answer. Do you have any words to the youth?
Always respect the members of your community and earn their respect in return. Exceptions can be made for shitbags. No respect for shitbags. Unchecked aggression is pointless. 

Be angry for a reason. Always be weird.         

    

You can listen to Funeral Chic on Bandcamp and keep up with them on Twitter