Friday, August 10, 2012

Punk Briefs: 2012

Do You Feel Lucky?

While it's obvious that punk has influenced metal a great deal, it's still surprising to me how much overlap there can be in the spheres of fandom, press, and PR. Southern Lord is playing a big part in that right now, as Tuesday's review of Xibalba is only the latest of their hardcore releases covered here.

I never listened to punk as a teen, and up until recently my entire punk repertoire consisted of the Misfits and Samhain. But as PR companies and labels have been making them available to me, I've given punk a chance. It's still pretty rare that I'll find something that I really like, but it's out there.

Beastmilk: Use Your Deluge 7" (2012)
4 out of 5 stars

After Pinkish Black and Alaric piqued my interest in deathrock, I happened across a promo for Finland’s Beastmilk. A cow is, by definition, a beast, so I guess they just really like regular milk. The promo materials make reference to Christian Death, whom Josh Haun identified as the source of deathrock. I still haven't listened to them yet. What I hear is a more gothic version of 80's Killing Joke. Then again, the more I listen to 80's Killing Joke, the more I hear their influence everywhere. Slow, heavy bass lines undergird quasi-metallic guitars in post-punk beats, with gothic clean singing in 80's New Wave style hooks over the top. In fact, the 80's figure pretty largely in Beastmilk's universe, as their songs make a lot of reference to atom bombs and Russia. I mean, who sings about Russia anymore, more than two decades after the end of the Cold War? Anyway, I really like it.

Svart Records

From Ashes Rise: Rejoice the End/Rage of Sanity 7" (2012)
3.5 out of 5 stars

The more I'm exposed to punk, the more I realize: Man, did I ever grow up with a weird idea of what punk music sounds like. The punks in my small town listened to stuff like NOFX and the Bouncing Souls, or at least that's the kind of stuff they tried on me. The first song of the Rejoice the End/Rage of Sanity 7" by From Ashes Rise is hardly recognizable as punk, given my lens. It’s angry and quite musical rather than fun and sloppy. The other song is a little more in line with my admittedly odd expectations, given its gang vocals and such, although it too has actual leads. It's not going to turn me into a big punk fan, but an occasional 7" like this is a nice addition to my library.

Buy Rejoice the End / Rage of Sanity

Withers: Withers (EP) (2012)
3.5 out of 5 stars

Withers play some crusty, balls-to-the-wall hardcore that works perfectly in EP format. They don't mess around with anything fancy, and keep it short and sweet. I will too. (The label wants the download to be free, too.)

Download Withers.


  1. RE: NOFX and Bouncing Souls vs stuff like From Ashes Rise or Tragedy, I'd say that's probably where the distinction between punk and hardcore punk comes in. Have you seen the movie American Hardcore (or better yet read the book)? I'd suggest seeking that out for a better understanding. That said, the line between punk and hardcore is pretty blurry these days, a ton of it depends on what label the band is on and how they're marketed.

  2. I can't say I've seen or read it.

    Guess how many (non-Children's) movies or books I've been able to see or read in the last year or so. (I'll give you a hint: You have enough fingers.)

  3. Huh... I knew there was a reason I didn't have kids. ;)