The Crisis Kings

(c) 2011

Rating: ★★½☆☆

The Crisis Kings are a new band in the old familiar genres of thrash/grind/hardcore metal. Newly formed in 2011, the East U.K. quartet wasted no time in busting out a 7 track EP. The seven tracks do an adequate job of showcasing the band’s skills and for a debut effort recorded in a pig shed, it really deserves praise just for sheer effort.

The music is great. It is aggressive and brutal with overtones of Sick of it All, but tempered with more plodding riffs and screamo / growl vocals in the vein of Superjoint Ritual and perhaps Crowbar. There is also a certain dissonance that I enjoy. This style is especially prevalent on track 4 – S.O.W. the overall effect really reminds me of Leatherface.

However, (and here’s where we bring in the down note kids) As with so many things musical, the major detractor for me is screaming vocals. I just don’t like ‘em. So take that in stride if you’re reading this review. Again, the music lives up to its brutal roots, but takes it over the top with too much throat sandpaper. Seriously man, you’re gonna snap a vocal cord or something.

But, here, check ‘em out for yourself:

–Jerry Actually

Part Time Killers – People. Religion. Death

(c) 2011 Pee Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

One of the best parts of doing what I do (whatever that is) is getting music from across the globe. Right now I’m listening to People. Religion. Death from Finnish band Part Time Killers, a punk rock quartet from Lahti Finland.

The sound is familiar punk with a hardcore backbone much like H2O with a more melodic core and the charming accented vocals that you only get with someone singing in English with a pronounced accent. As a side note, the Finnish language is one of the most isolated languages in the world with only very loose ties to an old Hungarian dialect. (If any linguists are reading this, I hope I didn’t butcher that. It just came to mind from something I read a while back)

People. Religion. Death kicks out 12 tracks, all of which clock in at under three minutes. I’m a fan of that. In today’s modern age, who has time for longer songs? Not this guy. Of note, I’m never a big fan of pointless guitar solos. The solos on this disc are short, discreet and compliment the tunes. They are an added bonus instead of the pointless wanking that so much guitar work can be.

To sum it up, Part Time Killers = good. People. Religion. Death = good new CD with a fresh coat of paint on a familiar sound.

–Jerry Actually

Blood for Blood – First US Show in 6 Years

Blood For Blood announces first US show in over 6 years and gears up for another European Tour

After a very successful European Tour in December 2010, as part of the 2010 Persistence Tour with Sick Of It All, Unearth Official, Evergreen Terrace and more, Blood For Blood announces that they’ll be performing at the New England Metal Fest on April 15th in Worcester, MA, which is the bands first US show in over 6 years.

A few days after this long-awaited US show Blood For Blood will kick off a short European run including a performance at Belgium’s Groezrock Festival on April 23rd. Blood For Blood will be joined by Crushing Caspars and My City Burning.

More European dates will be announced very soon.

Blood For Blood upcoming shows

April 15 – Worcester, MA / New England Metal Fest

April 20 – Bydgoszcz, Poland/ Estrada Stage Bar

April 21 – Berlin,Germany / SO36
April 22 – Haarlem, Netherlands / Patronaat
April 23 – Meerhout, Belgium / Groezrock Festival
April 24 – Stüttgart, Germany / Röhre

Metal & Hardcore Festival 2011

Headbangers Ball – Still Exists

Life Of Agony performs for MTV’s Headbangers Ball

On Monday December 6th 2010, Life Of Agony was invited by MTV2 for an exclusive in-studio performance and interview for Headbangers Ball’s: “The Year in Metal”. The band performed the classics “Underground” and “Through & Through” and one of these performances will air on Headbangers Ball, on MTV2, on Saturday December 18th 2010, at midnight.

In the meantime the band is flying out to Europe this week to perform 3 exclusive shows during the upcoming weekend:
Friday December 10th at De Mast in Torhout, Belgium
Saturday December 11th at the Klokgebouw (2010 Speedfest) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Sunday December 12th at the Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany.

Life Of Agony will also be playing a co-headline show with Biohazard on December 16th at the Best Buy Theater (formerly, NOKIA Theater) in Times Square, New York City!!!
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and V.O.D. will be the main support.

On Saturday April 3rd 2010 I Scream Records recorded & filmed Life Of Agony’s performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium, this was the second show of their exclusive European “20 Years Strong” tour. In late 2009 the band performed their debut album “River Runs Red” in its entirety during a few exclusive, sold-out, US shows and, after popular demand, they went over to Europe in April 2010 to perform a set built around this amazing, legendary album.

The highly anticipated release, “20 Years Strong: River Runs Red | Live In Brussels”, a digipak combo release holding a CD of the entire show as well as a DVD with a 10 camera production of the show, an on-the-road documentary and much more, was released on July 19th in Europe & July 27th in the USA.

Continue reading Headbangers Ball – Still Exists

Rob Lind speaks out about the reunited Blood For Blood. An official statement.

This week, on Thursday December 3rd, Blood For Blood is kicking off their, long awaited, European Tour, as part of the 2010 Persistence Tour. This will mark the first time since 2004 that Blood For Blood fans have been able to see the band live on stage. As previously announced by the band on June 19th 2010 (statement hereunder), Rob Lind decided not to join the rest of the band and Billy Graziadei, from Biohazard, will be filling in for him.

Today Rob Lind wants to share this official statement about not joining Blood For Blood (for now), the future of the band and his relationship with his band mates.

Hello there children!

It’s been long time…

A few months ago it was announced in the press that Blood For Blood would be touring again. Specifically it was announced that BFB would be doing this years annual Persistence Tour in Europe (with Sick Of It All, D.R.I., Unearth, Evergreen Terrace and others). It was also announced that Blood For Blood would be doing this tour and future shows without me.
In absence of a response or statement on my part, there was an immediate deluge of speculation, invective and hostility in reaction to the announcement online and in the scene. And it is ongoing.
Continue reading Rob Lind speaks out about the reunited Blood For Blood. An official statement.

Blood for Blood Reuniting

Blood For Blood are reuniting and heading out on tour after 6 years. An official statement from the band.

“First off, we would like to thank all our fans for hanging in there over the last six long years.  As of December 2010 Blood for Blood will embark on our first tour since 2004.  Blood for Blood has agreed to join the Persistence Tour in Europe sharing a stage with long time friends Sick of it All as well as other acts soon to be announced.
The decision to play again was not an easy one to make.  Over the last few years we have tried time and time again to contact Rob about a possible Blood for Blood reunion, but he has ignored every single attempt we have made.  Therefore, we were left with no other choice but to find someone else to fill in for his BFB responsibilities.  Now, let’s make this perfectly clear: we have no ill will towards Rob whatsoever.  We wish him well and Blood for Blood will always be open to him.
That being said, we were left with the conundrum of finding a fill-in for Rob.  After some careful thought we believe we found a perfect fill-in.  We are pleased to announce that Billy Graziadei of Biohazard will be joining Blood for Blood on stage for Persistence Tour 2010.
Again thanks for all the countless emails and support letters from all our fans over the years.  We are looking forward to seeing all your ugly faces again”.


About Blood For Blood:

If the ghost of Johnny Cash was to unexpectedly rise out of its tomb and supernaturally resurrect its musical soul in the form of a hardcore band, the result would be an anthemic, outlaw punch not unlike Boston’s favorite white trash hardcore hooligans, BLOOD FOR BLOOD.
While Cash grew up as a restless farm boy who longed for fast cars and fast women, the boys in BLOOD FOR BLOOD were reared in the projects and their outlaw spirit reflects the callous surroundings from which they were rendered. Blood For Blood are from outside. They stand on the threshold of society with all but a few toes tangling off the edge with a maniacal desperation, longing for sanity. Theirs is a journey from one end of alienation to the other – only to be flung violently back to the hole from which they crawled out of. “I been held down my whole life. This band is my opportunity to spit in society’s face…” says guitar player Rob Lind.
Inspired by bands such as Sheer Terror, Breakdown, Carnivore and Raw Deal, Blood For Blood formed as a reaction to the existing heavy music scene in Boston back in 1995. “We couldn’t relate to anything that was going on in Boston at the time,” says vocalist Erick Medina, “We wanted to hear music about the shit we saw and faced everyday. The scene at the time was a fashion show.” Blood For Blood make no mistake about what their talents are – and what talents they lack. They don’t sing. They don’t rap. They don’t dance. They don’t act. And they definitely ain’t too pretty. They are white trash hardcore rock and roll. And they have just begun their invasion of today’s hair-and-nails conscious heavy music scene.
Blood For Blood have cultivated a large, and dangerously loyal, fanbase since their inception almost a decade ago. Having toured with such acts as DROPKICK MURPHYS, TERROR, and SICK OF IT ALL, exposing their venom to the nation, the band has left an indelible and hungry mark on the scene. The band has successfully put five recordings under the belt, with four of them having been released through VICTORY RECORDS and having had received countless praise in the press worldwide. Blood For Blood has always garnered real, genuine admiration among their fans as well – fans who have been known to willingly bruise, bleed, and become scarred for them at their notoriously ‘high risk’ live shows. 
Musically, few bands can touch the viscously aggressive hardcore/punk rock sound of Blood For Blood which is served up like a platter full of Sheer Terror, Madball, and The Bruisers.
Lyrically, Blood For Blood combines the depravity and pain of the world they see outside their door every day with the experiences of their own dead end lives in an outlaw-poetry style that truly affects its listeners in a deep way. “We get letters from dudes in prisons in New York, Boston, Detroit and even Alabama, telling us that our shit (music) gets them through and helps ’em face another day,” says guitarist Rob Lind. Like Cash playing his outlaw songs to the inmates decades ago, today’s redemption-seeking inmates are turning to the choruses of BLOOD FOR BLOOD for solace in hard times.

If you’ve plowed through all your dead ends and need to find friendship in a cold hard world…If loneliness and solitude is all you’ve know and you long to find family when you had none…If rock bottom has ever left you praying under cold street lights…If in your neighborhood, you’ve seen one too many stolen cars drive by, well, then it’s time you raise your fist in the air and join in the outlaw anthems of Blood For Blood.

BLOOD FOR BLOOD’s last album, “Serenity”, was released in May 2004.

Strength Approach – All The Plans We Made Are Going To Fail

(c) 2009 Pee Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

strength_approach_300Up until recently, and by that I mean when this disc hit my door, I hadn’t ever heard of Strenght Approach. This is, of course, too bad for me. It is also too bad for fans (who also haven’t heard them) of anthemic hardcore punk in the vein of H2O and Sick Of It All (albeit more of the former than the later) Despite my shallow knowledge pool of all things international hardcore, Italy’s own Strength Approach has a new disc out on Pee Records. (at least for Aussie distribution) “All The Plans We Made Are Going To Fail” packs 15 original musical numbers, 1 obnoxious noise track and 2 covers (Black Flag and the aforementioned Sick Of It All) 18 tracks in just under 35 minutes. I like the sound of that. By that I mean that I like the sound of this disk. Now that I’m thinking about it, the vox remind my ever-so-slightly of John Connely of Nuclear Assault. You? … Here’s the important bits though: Good disk, action packed. There is some interesting guitar work and the music is tight and a piece of listening advice, this disc sounds good loud. Tell your neighbors that I said it was ok to crank the stereo.

-Jerry Actually

Skarhead – Drugs, Music & Sex

(c) 2009 I Scream Records
Rating: ★★★½☆

skarhead_300A. There isn’t enough good Hardcore anymore. B. East Coast Hardcore is the straight up goods. C. Skarhead freakin’ kills it. Skarhead returns with Drugs, Music & Sex, out now on I Sream Records. What’s in it for you? 13 tracks of crushing Hardcore and some insight on the well founded urban confluence of Hardcore Punk and Hardcore Rap. Perhaps I should explain that. In most situations you get Hardcore bands bridging the genre from Hardcore to Rap by being more “rap-like”. In the case of Skarhead the idea happens in reverse. Traditional hip-hop/rap devices (like scratching) are transmuted into hardcore. The effect works. Genre comparisons aside, Drugs, Music & Sex is a pretty damn decent disc. 13 tracks that shred your guts out, vocals that sound like Overkill on track 4, “Bomb the System”, a whole mess of tracks that are acronyms for titles and a shit ton of self-aggrandizing name drops. Like I mentioned before, it works.

–Jerry Actually

Skarhead – Drugs Music & Sex

Skarhead’s brand new album “Drugs, Music & Sex” hits US stores on November 17th!

Skarhead was founded in 1995 by Lord Ezec and the EP “Drugs, Money, Sex” was released that same year. Their follow up album, “Kings At Crime” took the worldwide hardcore scene by storm in 1999 and instantaneously became one of the all time classic hardcore records. Today 10 years after the release of “Kings At Crime” Lord Ezec, a street fighting legend from Queens and leader in the hardcore community, is back as frontman of the world’s most infamous hardcore bands!

“Drugs, Music & Sex” is already a classic and Ezec has managed to record another timeless album for those who love a good blend of street brutality and the most ignorant hardcore party anthems a band can create. A record with yet another impressive and distinct list of collaborations featuring some of hardcore’s greatest from the now and legends from the past such as Freddy Cricien, CIV, Eddie Leeway, Jamey Jasta and Armand from Sick Of It All, to name only a few. Thirteen brand new tracks that will shake the fundaments of the hardcore, metal and punk scene!!!

Provoke – This is Real

(c) 2009 Pee Records
Rating: ★★★½☆

provoke_realSo I’m listening to “This is Real” from the Brisbane, Australia band Provoke and something occurs to me. Is globalization affecting music? I think that it is. This is some serious East Coast Hardcore. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing by any means, but I find it intriguing that so many miles and so much water can separate scenes only to have music that sounds like it came from the same mean streets that brought Agnostic Front or Sick of it All or Slapshot. Maybe, instead, it is something more universal. Maybe the bullshit blue collar upbringing, the angst filled days and hope-crushing nights affect us all in a similar manner? What if this is the natural expunging of a pain that we all feel? Before I go off on a crazy sociological tangent, I’ll try to rein it back in a bit. Provoke is a four piece (currently) band from Queensland Australia and have been bringing the heavy noise since 2005. “This is Real” gives up 10 tracks, nine of which clock in well under my three minute cutoff. The final track is obviously a ballad at 4:03 and based on that I won’t even discuss it ‘round these parts. As a final note, it is refreshing to hear some honest-to-goodness hardcore that doesn’t sound like you’ve heard all their shit before. Yes it rings true to what you’re looking for, but as far as this Yank’s ears go this is some sweet new angst. Go get this. If you need some help finding it, shoot me an email and I’ll see if I can’t help you get a copy for yourself.

–Jerry Actually