1.24.2016

BUILD AND DESTROY - MAP OF THE HEAVENS REVIEW

BUILD AND DESTROY - MAP OF THE HEAVENS REVIEW

Detroit’s finest  released their debut album Map of The Heavens last year.

It’s been five long years since they released their demo in 2010 and even though this release is only six tracks long, it doesn’t leave anything to be desired. 
It does leave you wanting more, though. But it’s B&D, when don’t you wanna listen to them on repeat?

The intro to Map of The Heavens is the closest my heathen ass will ever get to knowing what Heaven sounds like. 
That slides right into my favorite track on the album: “All Hail the Dopeman” which a true banger.

Now, we need to discuss features. This album has three of them and my God, are they perfect and earth-shattering. 
On “All Hail the Dopeman” both Ben Cook (No Warning) and Scott Vogel (Buried Alive) are featured. According to Jurysta (B&D drummer) it was kind of a happy accident/scary coincidence that it happened. Fate was smiling on Build and Destroy on one of the days they were recording and Ben and Scott just happened to be around. 
The third feature is arguably the best on the record. Jason Tarpey (Iron Age) is featured on “Map of The Heavens” which sends this record to an entirely new level and lit up some conspiracy theories in me about Iron Age making a return and ending hardcore as we know it but I digress.

Map of The Heavens is the best hardcore album to come out last year. There’s no contest about it. 
The instrument work alone killed all their competition. We waited five years on this album for a reason. 
As far as drummers go, Mike Jurysta is a God among men. The guitar work on this album is unreal and Haroun’s vocal style is so different from the demo but it’s a perfect fit for this album. It all works together to be the perfect album.

SAFE SPACES DON'T EXIST

Hardcore is not dangerous compared to everything else.
Speaking as a Black, queer, trans youth, society isn't safe, home isn't always safe, shit - life isn't fucking safe.
This overwhelming demand to purge hardcore punk of its base aggression and create this "safe space" only comes (from my personal observations) from people who haven't been and never will be at risk for abuse just for being alive. It's always these kids who have the life I would sacrifice my left arm for: they got the money, they got parents who accept them, they got the privilege of being anything other than the kind of people that society is seeking to eradicate on a daily basis.
Their whole lives have been undeniably safe.

They find hardcore, a place that has been forged by and welcomes the poor, marginalized, angry kids with something to say yell and fight about, and they pretend to relate. 
They pretend to know what it's like to be so deeply enraged until they just give up and start crying for "safe spaces" because they can't hack pretending to be maladjusted. 
They can't truly understand why we need to be aggressive.
 Can't understand that in confronting each other, we confront ourselves and that every aggressive act is a step away from drugs, jail, or the noose.

Now, when I say "safe space" I mean in terms of bodily harm and mental anxiety brought on by the idea that maybe someone wants to kill you because you were born a certain way. 
Not that someone might call you out for being a piece of shit. 
There is a mind blowing difference between being anti-bigotry/pro-human rights and not understanding how real life works. 
Some of y'all just won't ever understand due to that comfortable life you come from.

I know that not everyone receives the same warm treatment I do in hardcore, that isn't what I'm talking about though. 
We shouldn't have to create a "safe space" where everyone pretends to like each other and like we aren't aggressive people in order to accomplish the goals we all basically share.
None of us want rapists, abusers, pedophiles, racists, homophobes, transphobes, or any "ism" in hardcore (except Schism). 
But we don't need to get everyone to change who they are as people in order to accomplish that.
We don't need to hold hands and sing kumbaya when problems arise.
Y'all need to let everyone who has the spine to make things better make them better.
Since when has anything been changed by sitting around and chatting calmly?
I'll wait.
Exactly. 

Aggression is a necessary part of hardcore punk, whether you agree or not. 
However, people who don't think hardcore should be aggressive often confuse those who think it should be with the same people who abide the bigots and abusers and cause unnecessary violence when those are two very different groups of people.

If we stop fighting over how hardcore should be when it comes to actions at shows we can band together to get every single piece of shit out of our scene so we can be safe and free to be as aggressive (or soft if that's your thing) as we want with no repercussions other than saying "sorry" to your newest blood-based friend.

[Editor's note: if you do not understand the differences between "aggressive" and "violent" please Google those terms.
Also if you do not understand that in a setting such as a hardcore show that violence is ingrained into that via moshing as a release for those feelings and that the author is not trying to promote that "bring the violence back" bullshit old heads are always yelling about, feel free to email me at SHATTY@LIFEOFDELINQUENCY.US for expansion and clarification.]

1.14.2016

BLIND JUSTICE - UNDERTOW REVIEW

BLIND JUSTICE - UNDERTOW REVIEW

Blind Justice is a badass band from the Jersey Shore. 
These dudes just released a new album on Mass Movement Records called UNDERTOW and it is to hardcore what rain is to the desert.

At just under 20 minutes, this album is a giant “fuck you” to everybody making 90’s-style metalcore just because it's "popular" right now. This album is proof that you don’t have to jock a style that’s been done to have a great sound in 2016. 

The guitar work on this album is really cool. 
There’s tight ass riffs, the bass lines are delicious, and even a couple guitar solos for you super technical people who are into that and the drum parts are awesome. Instrumentally, UNDERTOW is a perfect example of what fast-paced, gritty punk should sound like. 

I want to classify this as “skate punk” due to the sound and lyrical themes (there’s a joint on this called “Skate Rats” I mean c’mon) but I would hate to box this in like that. There’s an obvious Down To Nothing influence here though and I am loving it.

With eleven tracks to pick from and each one being better than the last it’s hard for me to pick out a favorite track from this.  I’ll kick myself for this later but right now I’m going to give the trophy to “Problem Child.” Honorable mention to “Intro” though, mainly for being in the middle of the LP.

Pick it up if you can, or just listen to it on Bandcamp.

1.13.2016

SPOTLIGHT: LOST SOULS

SPOTLIGHT: LOST SOULS


Lost Souls are doing what people from Richmond, Virginia in bands tend to do: make some of the coolest music I have ever heard. 
They’re a newer band, their only release is a four track demo you can listen to on their Bandcamp
I heard (emphasis on HEARD, don't quote me) they’re currently recording a record though so look out for that in 2016.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of the whole “track-by-track breakdown” journalism thing. 
I feel it’s overdone and nobody has ever written a cool one except for @THEKIDMERO when he did stuff for Noisey. 
So I won’t do one for the Lost Souls demo.

What I will do though, is talk about how Lost Souls is one in a group of bands that are currently doing big things in the core. 
I think there’s something conducive in Richmond’s hardcore scene that just makes all of the music coming out of there sound awesome.

I mean being home to one of the coolest fests along with iconic bands like Naysayer, Down To Nothing, and Bracewar definitely makes the area a hotbed of hardcore. 
If you’ve been to United Blood then you’ve had a taste of what being a RVA hardcore kid is like. 
I think it’s safe to say that the most fun I’ve ever had at a show has been in Richmond.

Lost Souls is definitely a “Richmond” band. 
You can hear it in their singer’s voice/overall attitude both recorded and live. 
You can hear it in the bite of their guitars, the loaded bass lines, and how the drum parts are diverse while maintaining the calling card of their maker.

I’m excited to watch this band do more things in 2016 because I know they’ve only scratched the surface of their potential.

1.05.2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH CONNOR DONEGAN

AN INTERVIEW WITH CONNOR DONEGAN

Singer of Protester, guitar player in Line of Sight,
drummer for Red Death, and all around good guy.

(Photo by Kiabad Meza)

So Line of Sight came out of nowhere. Has it been on the back burner between your other bands or what?

Sorta... Literally the day I moved up to DC, Dan (our bassist) and I talked about doing a "Youth Crew" style band using some songs he had written.
For one reason or another we never really got around to it until earlier this summer when we got together with Robin and pieced together the demo.
We really wanted Austin to sing cause he hadn't been a front-man since his the days of his old band Front Line. Luckily he dug the songs and joined the band to finally complete the lineup 3 years in the making haha.

That's so tight. You've lived in DC for a while now right? What's the scene there like?

Yeah I've lived in DC for about three years now. I really like it up here.
DC is a badass city with a ton of cool shit to do and lots of great food.
The scene has it's ups and downs but I can't complain. Lately show attendance has been good and there are some great new bands like Kombat starting up that I'm real excited about so that's cool.

True, I mean you live in a city that's always been a hotbed for hardcore so it's got to be sick.
Speaking of food, what's your favorite thing to eat on tour?

Always the hardest question to answer haha.
Can't name you just one favorite but I gotta shoutout Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, La Reyna in LA, Pappy's in St Louis, Bread Brothers in NYC, and my favorite recent discovery was Albert's Jamaican in Toronto. Food is sick.

Yo, Jamaican food is so tight. I respect your style.
So, how do you feel about hardcore in 2015?
I think even though this year was kind of weak for individual releases, Hardcore in 2015 is stronger than its been since I started going to shows.
You got mad cool bands playing a ton of different styles which really appeals to me since I like a little bit of everything.
Turnstile, Pure Disgust, Ajax, Blazing Eye, and Forced Order were the bands that I really think went hard in 2015. 2016 is gonna be even better, I can feel it.

So, what's next for Line of Sight?

Right now we're working on a 7" that should be out sometime in 2016. Hopefully we'll get around to doing some touring next year too!

Okay, you got any shout outs?
Shout out to Pure Disgust, Stand Off, Give, Kombat, and Ilsa for making badass music in the city I love.

Shout out to DC hardcore, Boston hardcore, UK Hardcore, SoCal Hardcore, and all the other badass scenes all over the world.
Thanks for the interview!