Chotto Ghetto – Sparkles


© 2012 Asian Man Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I’m not immediately sure what to make of Chotto Ghetto. Their music is a bit of a mystery, the good kind of mystery though. I’ve heard folks say that they are “progressive hardcore”. I suppose that is as reasonable a description as is needed for the time being. Reasonable, that is, if you think that unusual structures, instrumentation and odd melodies are progressive.

Vague descriptions aside (to be followed by vague postulation) Chotto Ghetto brings an interesting amalgam of sounds that you are sure you like but aren’t quite sure where they are from. If I had to try to pigeon hole this, which will be hard, I’d go with this. The band is a largely unidentifiable hybrid of Yes, Death by Stereo, The Police, Sound Garden, Pink Floyd and Voivod, only with more hardcore riffs and beats. You’re probably thinking, wtf, but I assure you that it works. I think their website says it all, “Chotto Ghetto is a band from Los Angeles California.”

Anyhow, their new release, “Sparkles”, out now on Asian Man Records, offers 15 tracks of musical diversity and a rare fresh sound that you just aren’t hearing much of these days. Some of the stand out tracks, at least for me are 3. Ghost Finders and 5. These Kids Crave Discipline.

Overall, this release is a winner and a great choice for any serious fan of the arcane art of music collection. It may not be for everyone. However, if you like you music (mostly) fast, diverse and complex, then this is a must have for you.

–Jerry Actually

Getting to know 20 Bulls Each

Getting to know 20 Bulls Each

Where are you from and when did you get started?

We’re from Dublin – Ireland, not Dublin Ohio! We started in 2002, and have been at it ever since, line up has changed a little over the years and we’ve recently moved to being a 5 piece band. Hopefully we’ve improved slightly since then too as we were truly terrible at the start.

Who are you and who does what in the band?

We are.
Gar – Vocals
Gav – Guitar
Adrian – Bass
Olly – Guitar
Paul – Drums

Olly and Adrian are the new guys, who joined us recently after Gar decided that he didn’t want to play guitar anymore and our last bassist left due to other commitments. Standard issue 5 piece hardcore line up.

How would you best describe the sound?

On a good day we sound somewhere in the middle of a rumble between Sick Of It All, Misfits & Cromags.

Paul said this when I asked, he’s got a better explaination:

“Hard to describe our sound. We all bring somethign different to the band and it all gets melded together so it’s hard for us to pinpoint any one style as sticking out. I guess we sound like hardcore, heavy riffs, shouty vocals, the occaisional melodic sing along bit and some slow stompy parts too.”

Adrian had this to say:

“Journalists are the best in pigeonholing bands so it’s up to them to describe our sound.”

Thanks Adrian, very helpful!

Dream rock moment (real or not)?

Dream rock moment for me would be to play at Reading festival, it’s always something I went to as a kid. Bands would always say that their first time playing Reading was amazing. Maybe someday…

Asked Paul again:

“Real dream rock moment was for me was probably meeting Mackie and John Jospeh when we palyed with them as the Fearless Vampire Killers in the Voodoo Lounge. that was amazing and they were both really really nice blokes. Another Dream Rock moment would be being able to give up my crappy job and being able to do this full time.”

And Adrian:

“My dream rock moment, realistic one would be:to make living out of what we’re doing (is that a rock moment?it would rock for me) and unrealistic one would be playing Wembley”

Still got day jobs?

Unfortunately yes.

I work in an office, Paul works in a place printing funeral cards, Olly is a part time piercer and film / video maker, Adrian runs ReINKarnated tattoo studio in Dublin and Gar runs a pub called The Thomas House. I fully endorse these two establishments! Come and visit us in either of these places if you’re in Dublin, drink and get tattooed.

Any regrets?

No big regrets. You’ve got to make the most of what you have. Adrian wanted to add: “Only regret I have is: I wish I started earlier.”

Oh and I regret that some dick head stole my Fernandes guitar before I had even played a show with it. Bastard.

Society’s Ills – Full Length


© 2011 Society’s Ills
Rating: ★★★½☆

I don’t want to be the guy that throws labels around. Honestly, there are just too many of them, but since I’m a jerk, I’ll throw one more in the mix. Montreal’s Society’s Ills is (and you can quote me on this) “post-punk-core/hardcore/semi-melodic”

No, but really, I’m listening to the new full length by Society’s Ills and it is pretty damn rockin’. My goofy labels aside, it is 14 tracks of short burst hardcore laced punk with a lot of energy and decent amount of grit. As I listen to this, the tracks get better and better. I can see this becoming a regular rotation release on my car ride to work, ‘cause nothing makes the ride into work better than some kickass fastbreak punk rock.

So, um yeah, 14 fast tracks of hardcore punk with great guitar work, intelligible vocals, and a rock solid rhythm section. It reminds me of H2O a bit with undertones of way fast Black Sabbath, but more punk less posicore (regarding H2O, not Sabbath) if you know what I’m saying.
Bottom line is, great stuff, buy it now!

–Jerry Actually

20 Bulls Each – A Glorious and Bloody Revolution


© 2011 Thorp Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

Hell f-ing yeah! Dublin, Ireland band 20 Bulls Each rips it up on A Glorious and Bloody Revolution with a fusion of hardcore, punk and metal. The band has been channeling these influences for nearly a decade. All that time and work has culminated in this brand new release.

Borrowing as heavily from NYHC as it does from late 80’s thrash/metal, the album is a whirlwind of guts and fury. The tracks are articulate and precise with great breakdowns and a spit in your face delivery ala Blood for Blood. However, the outlook on the tracks doesn’t always take the same pissed off at the world path as the aforementioned band. Don’t get me wrong, the band is pissed, they’re just not going about it as many complaints about how they have to live.

11 tracks, just under 30 minutes of modern classic hardcore that won’t weigh down your soul on a Saturday afternoon and more than enough to get you fully revved up for more on a Saturday night. 20 Bulls Each is weighing in heavily as one of the best new (to me) bands that I’ve heard in 2011 and if you’d like to check out more, you can hit up their bio on the Thorp site:

So by all means, scream, shout, and let some aggression out because after all it will be a Glorious and Bloody Revolution. Mosh to this and enjoy as 20 Bulls Each turns the Emerald Isle a bit closer to black and blue.

–Jerry Actually

For fans of: Blood for Blood, Gallows, M.O.D.

Vocals, Guitar: Gareth Cummins
Guitar: Gavin Husselbury
Bass: Ciaran Mangan
Drums: Paul Duffy

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.