Monday 29 February 2016

***KIKEN exclusive song premiere***

GenresPunk / Rock / Post Punk / Hardcore / Noise / Experimental / Metal / Industrial
Related artistsLife In Vacuum, Congratulations, The Miniatures, Spirits, Coppertone and The Mounties.
CountryKitchener/Waterloo, Ontario CANADA
Years Active2013-present
Song: "Blood Moon"
Album: "Rising"
Year: 2016
For fans ofThe Locust, Fantomas, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Frank Zappa, Meshugga, Transistor Transistor, Nine Inch Nails, Antioch Arrow, Life In Vacuum, Refused and The Blood Brothers.
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Dingleberry Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

KIKEN was first introduced to me through my friend Tony in Congratulations. As both he and Sasha played in that band, he asked me if I'd heard Sasha's new project with Nick Stalkos. Sasha (vocals/translator) is more well known for his guitars and vocal work in Life In Vacuum while Nick (instrumentals/Kiken) has played in a bunch of bands as well as taken part in City & Colour songs (drums) and has recently recorded music for a family film. I answered no to Tony's question and so he showed me the "Instruction" videos which slapped me upside the head. It was like The Locust mixed with Life In Vacuum vocals. I was in heaven. So, long story short I helped release the band's debut EP called 'Rising'.

Quickly back to the early demo songs that ended up being "Instruction 001" and "Instruction 002". These songs/videos are actually really good and encapsulate the band's straight forward musical style with less craziness and more melody. "Instruction 001" is a fantastic song that leans much more towards the opener of 'Rising' called "Blood Moon", which has the track flip flopping around from one part to the next all whilst melting genres (although generally I guess it sounds post-punk, hardcore, and cyber-grind...maybe?). "Instruction 002" is a dancey yet screamy affair that might be tied for my favourite KIKEN song and isn't a stretch from a Transistor Transistor and These Arms Are Snakes hybrid. Hoo-wee that's some good stuff.

Before I do the review of the currently unreleased album, here's a short 44-second promo video that was created for 'Rising':

Transmission #1: "Blood Moon" opens the album and is the perfect track to do so. The 6:02 behemoth rocks out some single notes and noise until 1:19 when the song blasts forth in a screamy and disjointed whirlwind leaving the listener with eardrum charlie horses. At 2:36 the alien audio waves rain down upon the listener and the song dips in and out of this and a myriad of other genres such as jazzy mcjazzerton fests, mental breakdowns, choir, punk, hardcore, metal - the list goes on...
*there will be a music video coming for this song in the next two months so keep your eyes peeled!

Transmission #2: "Killer Instincts" sounds like a bass on a merry go round that is about to puke its guts out, which it does after only 34 seconds.

Transmission #3: "SHI Hounds From the Darkest Star" toys with listener at first, prodding them with eerie sounds and instrumentals that could be likened to a rocketship hurtling through space. The song is very reminiscent of a cross between The Blood Brothers and The Locust, complete with alien voices and a sweet official music video to go along with it. Seriously check the music video it's amazing.

Transmission #4: "Nest" is actually the guy who recorded the band attempting to scream/imitate Sasha's vocals with an insane amount of distortion and manipulation on it. It sounds like a dog yelping and it's hilarious and unsettling simultaneously.

Transmission #5: "The Rising The Hunt" has the first minute sounding like Nine Inch Nails if they were even more goth followed by screaming as well as incoherent barking and babbling. The second half of the track fades out with a repetitious beat that sounds like a record skipping at the end of the side, only to then have have the experimental/jungle drums and weird animal sounds begin. A crazy song.

Transmission #6: "Red Rooms" is 47 seconds of driving drums and warped vocals with some rockin' bass guitar licks. This is the song premiere for this post and is linked here and below the discography section.

Transmission #7: "Aphillion" is a slow paced mindfuck with multiple vocalists and a cyclical bass riff that ends up being quite catchy.

Transmission #8: "Oracle No End" closes the EP and the 35 second intro of consecutive and accumulated voices lead into a feedback loop that rides out the remainder of the 2:18 track.

After regaining consciousness it becomes apparent that this record is an all out assault on the senses. As this tends to be the case with alien transmissions it comes as no surprise. What is surprising, however, is that none of the sounds were done with keyboards. Considering the amount of fucked up wizardry that's gone into the recording of this album, to find out it was all done with guitars, bass, drums, vocals and pedals is pretty darn cool.

Today, along with the "Red Rooms" song premiere, the cassette pre-order for 'Rising' was listed at the Zegema Beach Records webiste which is linked here. All pre-orders received before the March 21st, 2106 release date get a free Life In Vacuum sticker and patch. The band will be writing a followup LP starting in April.



2014 - Instruction 001 digital/video single

2015 - Instruction 002 digital/video single

2016 - Rising cassetteEP (stream here and pre-order here)


(2016) KIKEN - "Red Rooms" (from 'Rising') exclusive song premiere!!!

(2016) KIKEN - "SHI Hounds From the Darkest Star" (from 'Rising') official music video

(2016) KIKEN - "Blood Moon" (from 'Rising')

(2015) KIKEN - "Instruction 002" (from 'demos') official music video

(2014) KIKEN - "Instruction 001" (from 'demos') official music video
KIKEN additional links



Sunday 28 February 2016

***THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU exclusive song premiere***

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Emo-violence / Skramz / Ambient
Related artistsYuri (aka 百合), Apparently We Fly and My Bones.
Years Active2015-present
Song: "VI"
Album: "Restlessness"
Year: 2015
For fans ofLoma Prieta, Jeromes Dream, Swan Of Tuonela, Beau Navire, Rayleigh, Mahria, Yusuke, Ravin, Virginia On Duty, Blind Girls, Lord Snow, Tristan Tzara, Saligia and Republic Of Dreams aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Adorno Records / Dingleberry Records / Ozona Records / Allende Records / Structures//Agony / Lonely Boy Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

There's a fair amount of really good solo screamo projects putting out material, such as The Truth About DreamingThe Ultimate Screamo Band and You Are Interminable. Well THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU is right up there.

So what would you get if you mixed the tenacity of Republic Of Dreams with sheer weight of Loma Prieta? Probably something like THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU. The screamo solo project is strongly and quite obviously influenced by Orchid, Republic Of Dreams, Ampere, Beau Navire and Tristan Tzara. The aural onslaught rarely lasts outside of 40 to 90 seconds and first looms with massive guitars that act as a wall of noise. The drums drive the storm maniacally forward as turbulent winds of screamed vocals and emotionally charged talking/yelling swirl around the unstable and violent force of nature that is...well, every single song - all 36 in less than a year!

THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU has spread the 36 songs over 7 releases with each seeming to harnesses a few very specific riffs, themes and flows but the overall content on each release is relatively similar. Keep in mind everything TIMNTOY has recorded to this point was in the span of six to eight months. In late 2015 it seems that Shaun Harrison (the brain of the solo project) decided to institute some additional guitar sounds as can easily be heard during the first half of "Silence on Medicinal Street", at the end of "White Feathers I" from the 'US Pàlm split' and throughout "The Limbic System III" and "The Limbic System IV".

(((((OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain))))) is lucky enough to premiere a song from 'The Limbic System' in this post, and I must say that the release is a phenomenal step forward in establishing a slightly more varied sonic assault that takes the very successful formula from 'Restlessness' and hones it very clear vocals as well as a movie audio clip in nearly every song. Seriously 'The Limbic System' is fucking amazing. It should be online soon with a 7" to follow in April, hopefully. The six songs are powerful as all hell, as is put forth succinctly in the opener "I". "II" is ambient and then explosive, "III" is 50 seconds of swirling guitars some of the most epic stuff I've heard in less than a minute. "IV" is the penultimate track and the song I chose for the premiere because of playful guitars that you might find on the next Leer record. "V" is coated in twinkly atmospherics until 1:10 when shit goes ballistic. "VI" is a longer song at 2:44 but it still reaches warp speed and nearly rips open the fabric of space-time itself.

The digital release of 'Silence on Medicinal Steet' includes a bonus track of a cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer" which is decent but the title track kicks serious ass and clocks in at a whopping 2:21, which is actually quite long for THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU. 'Control/Reform' has a violent, almost-Egyptian sounding curse built into a lot of the guitar work while the eerie, dark and evil atmosphere mixes with this and saturates the release with music that could be used in a horror movie.

After jamming the discography relentlessly I'm come to the conclusion that 'Restlessness' and 'The Limbic System' are the best releases, or just fit my personal taste. When Shaun is able to hit the delicate balance between heavy noise and catchy melodies I'm floored. Also, when a song sticks out on a release it's generally because it dips outside of the norm and takes a tangent that ends up working out really fucking well. Such songs include:
*'Split Songs' # "II" and "III"
*"La dague d'encre" # "II"
*'Control/Reform' # "II", "IV" and "IX
*'Restlessness' # "I", "II", "III", "IV" and "VI"
*'Silence On Medicinal Street' "Silence On Medicinal Street"
*'US Pàlm split' # "III" and "IV"
*'The Limbic System' # "I", "II', "III", "IV", "V" and "VI"

As mentioned earlier I am extremely proud to give you the exclusive song premiere from 'The Limbic System' cassetteEP for the song "The Limbic System IV". It is embedded above in the review this as well as under the discography section. Get pumped for THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU because they're releasing like crazy and it's all beautiful and punishing.



2015 - Split Songs digitalEP (stream/download here)
2015 - La dague d'encre digitalEP (stream/download here)
2015 - Control/Reform digitalEP (stream/download here)
2015 - Restlessness cassetteEP (stream/download here) *BUY here*
2015 - Silence On Medicinal Street (stream/download here)
2015 - US Pàlm split cassetteEP (stream/download here) *BUY here*
2015 - Discography I cdLP *BUY here)*

2016 - The Limbic System cassetteEP *BUY here*


(2016) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "IV" (from 'The Limbic System') exclusive song premiere!!!

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "White Feathers III" (from 'US Pàlm' split) official music video

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "Silence On Medicinal Street" (from 'Silence On Medicinal Street')

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "VI" (from 'Restlessness')

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "III" (from 'Restlessness')

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "II" (from 'Control/Reform')

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "II" (from 'La dague d'encre')

(2015) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU - "III" (from 'Split Songs')





Twitter = @shaunofthesad

Tuesday 23 February 2016


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Emo-violence / Grindcore / Avant Garde / Skramz / Noise / Experimental
Related artistsFax Arcana, RacebannonRep SekiRapider Than Horsepower(Longlive) The Romance Morgue, Demonologists, Tenebrious, Upheaval, AA, Bat Manors, Holiday Band, Memory Map, Mt. Gigantic, The D.K.G. Sleep Trio, Basshaters, Bay/Oslo Mirror Trio, Storm Of Corpses, Sult, The Emergency String (X)Tet, Drago Miette and Addleds.
CountryLafayette, Indiana USA
Years Active1999-2005
Song: "Untitled Track 4"
Album: "Jeromes Dream split"
Year: 2000
For fans ofCombatwoundedveteran, Reversal Of Man, Gospel, Crestfallen, .Gif From God, Advocate, Kodan Armada, Phoenix Bodies, Tyranny Of Shaw, Me And Him Call It Us, Mara'akate, Cassilis, The Great Redneck Hope, Anger Is Beautiful, Avenging Disco Godfathers Of Soul, Racebannon, Jeromes Dream, Orchid, Daughters and Discordance Axis aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Witching Hour / Level Plane Records / Happy Couples Never Last Recordings / Electric Human Project / Clean Plate Records / Alone Records / Magister Ludi Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

I think a good way to describe the USURP SYNAPSE via band comparison would be a dirty collection of similar evolutionary style shifts from both Mara'akate and Jeromes Dream, but with some synths and a much more unsettling and dark persona - and hey, let's be honest, it's pretty fucked up. The band had a very peculiar sound, dynamics as well as discography collection, as pretty much everything about them seems a little off, strange and abnormal - but, hey, that's USURP SYNAPSE. The vocals were generally of the shrieked, puked and/or screamed variety that can be heard in other bands such as Crestfallen, CombatwoundedveteranWet Petals and United Nations, but implement a multitude of people doing so. On top of the keyboard and overall insanity, the band also opted for numerous (and extremely well placed) movie audio clips. All of this was jammed into a grinder with breakneck drums and set to screamo/emo-violence which generally blasts rather obnoxiously in short bursts of 20 to 120 seconds.

I should also say that although I adore some USURP SYNAPSE songs, there are lots that don't do much for me. Then again, the band did release over 60 songs. On the classic 2xcd discography released on Alone Records titled 'Disinformation Fix' all of the material save the 2008 digital release (called 'Vile Contimina' and it's wicked) is compiled for easy access, but not easy track listings. The track order gets fucked up at 15 because a song called "Just Do It!" is not listed on any release that I have seen, so after that song the insert indicates a different track than the track tag info! Bloody hell it's a nightmare, but I took time to correctly name all of my wmas, but unfortunately I haven't done it for the mp3s that I've mirrored a link from, which happens to be the Today And Tomorrow blog so thank you TAT!

Let's look over my favourite songs.

All from the 'Jeromes Dream split', "Untitled Track 2", "Untitled Track 3" and "Untitled Track 4" are killer. "2" is over and done in less than 30 seconds, while "3" is a scathing ordeal that clocks in at 1:49 with the final minute being another insertion of a movie clip that sounds downright disturbing and "4" is 1:47 of hardcore slathered in multiple screams and clean, trippy guitars that work better than the band's standard fare and could easily be likened to Mara'akate and newer bands such as Wet Petals. From the 'Index For Potential Suicide split' "I'm a Fufufucking Vavavampire" sounds like the feeling you get when food poisoning is in full effect, because those guitars are fucked, but again I mean this in the best possible way. Most likely from the 'Just Do It! split 7" w/Hassan I Sabbah', "Just Do It!" is pummeling and very reminiscent of Combatwoundedveteran and Me And Him Call It Us, but just before halfway they do that slow, jammy interlude thing again with layered screaming prior to the climax which is essentially the song becoming unstable and detonating, and it's awesome.

From 'The Endless Breath' cdEP there are loads of great tunes. "This City's a Grid" is a prime example that opens with a very chill jam before gettin' all screamy after a mere 20 seconds, which builds as much as it can and explodes after the 40-second mark with breakdowns galore and a freaky The Texas Chainsaw Massacre audio clip. "Pete's Homerun Derby" begins with an eerie, grainy ambiance not unlike that of an old black and white horror movie before jumping into some crazy shit and coming back out again relatively unscathed by the end, and good goddamn those bass lines.
"Bloody Hardhat" combines Orchid screamy hardcore with obtuse timing and rhythms. "Reach Out and Touch Me With That Emo Hand" is a pummeling onslaught of early Mara'akate and Reversal Of Man scathing screamo with some absolutely silly drumming while "Hairdo 2000 AD" and "Rottweiler Death" both set blazing trails not unlike Me And Him Call It Us, albeit a bit slower. "Oh...You Are Sick" lends itself to European emo-violence crossed with Combatwoundedveteran and is an all out assault on the ears.

Post-2000 USURP SYNAPSE released the 'Disinformation Fix' discography that contained unreleased beauts such as "Modulator/Demodulator" which is a fucking weird song that brings very late Jeromes Dream material to mind, as if the vocals are being shouted through a megaphone and the instrumentals are dirty, rock-ridden post-hardcore confusion that really takes hold and kicks ass in the latter half. The possibly inappropriate title of "Giga Please!" happens to be an amazing song and is a clusterfuck of styles that ends up sounding like newer bands such as the metallic/noise screamo put forth by .Gif From God and Gas Up Yr Hearse!. The posthumous 2008 digital release of the 7 (mostly) untitled songs sound a little subdued but excellent nonetheless. Tracks such as "Untitled 3" and "Untitled 7" have a very Blood Brothers bass vibe going on and I fucking love it.

Well shit, I guess that's it. This discography is strongly recommended!


Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

1999 - This Endless Breath cdEP
1999 - In Examination Of 6"/7"EP
1999 - Index For Potential Suicide split 7"EP
1999 - Index of Isolation (split w/Emotion Zero) 7"EP

2000 - The Main Ingredient 7"EP
2000 - Just Do It! (split w/Hassan I Sabbah) 7"EP
2000 - An Aspirin, An X-Ray (split w/Jeromes Dream) 7"EP
2000 - The Chilling Tale of Usurp Synapse As Told By Neil Perry (split w/Neil Perry) 7"EP
2000 - Rep Seki split 5"EP

2003 - Disinformation Fix 2xcd compilation

2008 - Vile Contamina digitalEP


(1999) USURP SYNAPSE - "This City's a Grid" (from 'This Endless Breath')

(1999) USURP SYNAPSE - "Pete Rose's Home Run Derby" (from 'This Endless Breath')

(1999) USURP SYNAPSE - "I'm a Fufufucking Vavavampire" (from 'Index For Potential Suicide' split)

(2000) USURP SYNAPSE - "Just Do It!" (from 'Hassan I Sabbah' split)

(2000) USURP SYNAPSE - "Untitled Track 4" (from 'Jeromes Dream' split)

(2000) USURP SYNAPSE - "Untitled Track 3" (from 'Jeromes Dream' split)

(2003) USURP SYNAPSE - "Giga Please!" (from 'Mara'akate Rehearsal Sessions')

(2003) USURP SYNAPSE - "Modulator/Demodulator" (from 'ATM Diatribe Rehearsals')

(2008) USURP SYNAPSE - "Untitled 3" (from 'Vile Contamina')

(2008) USURP SYNAPSE - "Untitled 7" (from 'Vile Contamina')


USURP SYNAPSE out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

Monday 22 February 2016


GenresPunk / Rock / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore / Skramz
Related artistsSneeze.
CountryBoston, Massachusetts USA
Years Active2004-2012
Song: "We Saw the Umbrella Man"
Album: "We Like It When the Red Water Comes Out"
Year: 2005
For fans ofGreyscale, Matsuri, Leer, Dear Tonight, Daniel Striped Tiger, Polina, Kodan Armada, Birthday Boyz, Youth Novel, Jiyuna, Wow, Owls, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, Annakarina, Healing Powers, Secret Smoker, The Reptilian, Creepozoidz, Deers!, Funeral Diner, Sinaloa, Montcalm and Adaje aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Adagio830 Records / Slave Union / Electric Human Project / Narshardaa Records / Communication Is Not Words / Midnight Werewolf Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

L'ANTIETAM played a dizzying, semi-sloppy style of mathy, screamy hardcore than eventually morphed into punk/indie rock and hardcore mixture. I must say that I'm a much bigger fan of the band's earlier work that has them riffin' up the janglies and screaming like mad. If you'd like to check out these radder jams be sure to check out the ridiculously good (and perhaps named after Salad Fingers?) 'We Like It When the Red Water Comes Out' 7" which includes the band's best song "We Saw the Umbrella Man" that builds from 45 seconds onward by accumulating those drums and lyrics of, "Goddamn not a single line was read with the moonlight!" which culminates at 1:30 with a dizzying display of swirling, frantic guitar leads. "We Built Our Heavens" is another banger with killer parts, most notably the Envy dip they take a third of the way through the song. The 'L'Antietam' 12" was released in 2005 also and houses some sweet tunage as well, with "The Johnny Appleseed Trail" is a screamy number that balances between some of the heaviest moments and some relaxing, twinkly bits and reminds me a lot of Jiyuna meets earlier Greyscale and Adaje. "None of This is No Longer Worth My Time" is extremely playful post 1:35 and lends those catchy ass guitars to Leer, or I guess it'd be the other way around. "It's Hard to Listen to a Word you're Saying when your Spitting in my Face" is another track off the 12" worth mentioning as it goes ballistic at 1:01 and then slowly slides into Funeral Diner territory at 1:31 with moody, driving instrumentals and some well executed clean vocals.

Continuing to focus on the version of L'ANTIETAM that wets my appetite takes us to 2006 when the band released 'Family' on cd, which includes the exclusive Family EP (the first 10 songs), a bunch of unreleased songs, the 2006 split with Furnace and the 2005 7" and 12". First, the unreleased songs are pretty decent. Second, the 7" and 12" are out of print. Third, the Family EP kicks major ass and is the darkest stuff recorded by the band. "AM:JM" and "Boxes" are both hectic, chaotic and more than worthy examples of what the cd has to offer, and the bass jams during the last half of "AM:JM" are fantastic. In 2007 the band released the final album that really resonated with me, and that was the very mature but still amazing 'Arthur Carr' LP. It opens with "The Overture" and the weight of this song is prodigious and dense as fuck, shedding all mathy and playful notions for effective, thick and pummeling aesthetics that work extremely well at creating the mood that L'ANTIETAM was most likely going for. "The End Birth" is another one of my choice cuts from the band's final LP and again brings in a bit of an Akimbo and The Jonbenet vibe with the use of dirty, southern rock/hardcore and blends it with full out screaming and a second half that reverts back to previous releases with a lighter touch as well as a really driving and pleasing climax.

From 2008 to 2012 L'ANTIETAM released only 2 records, a split with Kidcrash titled 'Heavy Nugs and Heady Chugs' that contains two noisy hardcore/rock songs that don't share all too much in common with the band's screamy hardcore output, but they are decent nonetheless. L'ANTIETAM's final record in 2012 was a double 7" with two personalities. The first side is titled 'Rock Bottom' and takes the band's music and delves nearly 100% into indie rock/emo with iffy singing and dirty, thrashy hardcore (depending on the song), while the second side, called 'Dark Brew', continues on in the Akimbo fashion but injects much more rock and roll not unlike Maximum R'n'R as well as some very heavy hardcore moments and all as one song called "Dark Brew".

The band obviously released a ton of stuff in their existence with quite a bit of variety to it all. Download it all right here.


Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2005 - L'Antietam 12"LP
2005 - We Like It When the Red Water Comes Out 7"EP
2005 - Live at the Fallout Shelter cdrLP

2006 - Family cdLP (EP + out of print + unreleased compilation)
2006 - Furnace split 7EP

2007 - Arthur Carr cd/cassette/12"LP

2008 - Heavy Nugs and Heady Chugs (split w/Kidcrash) 7"EP

2012 - Dark Brew/Rock Bottom 2x7"EP


(2005) L'ANTIETAM - "We Saw the Umbrella Man" (from 'We Love It When the Red Water Comes Out')

(2005) L'ANTIETAM - "It's Hard to Listen to a Word you're Saying when your Spitting in my Face" (from 'L'Antietam')

(2006) L'ANTIETAM - "Boxes" (from 'Family')

(2006) L'ANTIETAM - "AM:JM" (from 'Family')

(2007) L'ANTIETAM - "The End Birth" (from 'Arthur Carr')

(2008) L'ANTIETAM - "Gnarthur Gnarr" (from 'Kidcrash' split)

(2012) L'ANTIETAM - "I Just Threw My Life Away and I'm Already Paying For It" (from 'Rock Bottom')

(2012) L'ANTIETAM - "Dark Brew" (from 'Dark Brew')


L'ANTIETAM out of print mp3/wma discography download

(download here)

Sunday 21 February 2016


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Skate Punk
Related artistsRise AgainstAlkaline Trio, Break The Silence, Set Fire To Reason, Shades ApartThe Story So Far, Explode And Make Up, The Moneychangers, Shot Baker and Dead Ending.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active1993-1996, 1998-1999, 2009-2010, 2013-present
Song: "Tomorrow Starts Today"
Album: "Back on the Streets"
Year: 1998
For fans of: Rise Against, Bigwig, Kid Dynamite, Belvedere, Minor Threat, Ten Foot Pole, NOFX, Pennywise, Strike Anywhere, No Use For A Name, Standoff, Propagandhi, Horace Pinker, Douglas and Satanic Surfers.
Label(s): Self Released / Fat Wreck Chords / Hopeless Records / Go Deaf Records / Labyrinth Records / Rocco Records / Bad Taste Records / Sub City Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

If you haven't listened to 88 FINGERS LOUIE at some point in your life, chances are you were born after 1990 or have no interest in punk music. Perhaps a bold statement, perhaps just a fucking intro. The band hailed from Chicago and ran jokes about ties to the mafia throughout their 6 year tenure. They followed their own formula which ended up taking them from straight up hardcore to near pop-punk on the same record, even over the course of the two different versions of the band (1993-1996 and 1998-1999). I would say that 88 FINGERS LOUIE slid along the spectrum of melodic hardcore to hardcore punk, sometimes playing the melodic and sometimes the heavy, as well as combining the two during the 98-99 era of the band.

88 FINGERS LOUIE's early work from 93-96 is okay. I wasn't listening to punk in 1993 so I certainly missed the initial boat, but can still appreciate tracks such as the snotty "Go Away" with it's great bass riffs, the surprisingly poetic "Blink", the "New Direction" cover of the Gorilla Biscuits original and the very catchy "Run On Home". Similar to pre-pubescent Propagandhi - just not political, as Dennis focused on his personal/relationship problems, social issues and later on, scene politics. It was also early in the band's career (1994, I believe) that they signed to Fat Wreck Chords whom they released with until 1995.

Although I enjoyed the antics and sound of the band's earlier work it wasn't until the more polished and gelled material was released upon their reformation. The inclusion of Joe Principe on bass was extremely influential for me, and a highlight of the band, especially once coupled with Denis' very confident and varied delivery. The vocals are excellent on the later releases and are quite reminiscent of Bigwig and Belvedere. The 'Back On the Streets' LP was a monumental release for this skate punk fan from 1997-2000 or so. I remember at the time the fact that Mass Giorgini mixed/mastered the album was a big deal. I dunno. What I do know is that "Tomorrow Starts Today" is the perfect opener and probably the best song on the album. Rise Against fans would probably see an insane resemblance between this and the first Rise Against record '1,000 Revolutions Per Minute'. "Selfish Means", "Newspaper", "Punk Rock Rulebook", "Elmer's" and "Well Done" are all similar to the opener in one way or another and are also all excellent. "State" is dark as shit and is one of the band's most aggressive songs - and those bass riffs, oh my lord, those bass riffs. "Worst Man Won" is another song that parallels The Hope Conspiracy and I love the Joe Peschi audio clip that starts the song, what an intro! "100 Proof" is another excellent song that dabbles in the melodic hardcore realm again and boasts more beautiful chords on the bass and a catchy as fuck chorus.

In 1999 they released a split recording with Kid Dynamite which took the style on 'Back On the Streets' and tightens it like a corset. "Reparation" and "Slow Chorus Overlap" are catchy as hell, with the highest vocals Denis ever hit. "Out There" is the band's last straight up hardcore output and it's a banger. Then they broke up again later that year. This demise was quite historic, as the band ended up being in both The Story So Far (not the pop punk band) and the massively popular and mainstream Rise Against. You must understand that in 1998 and 1999 I was all over 88 FINGERS LOUIE so when the death of the band was announced I was pretty bummed. This also meant that when I first heard Rise Against on the Fat Music sampler with the band premiere of "Join the Ranks" I nearly shit myself out of excitement. I thoroughly enjoyed Rise Against's debut record but completely lost interest thereafter. Nowadays, so many people fucking love Rise Against, but I must say that they don't hold a candle to later 88 FINGERS LOUIE material. I hope a few of these folks are able to stumble across this band from this review and hear a rawer, much better hardcore/skate punk hybrid that blow's mid-late Rise Against out of the water.

You may also have noticed that I neglected to talk about the 30 or so compilations that 88 FINGERS LOUIE also appeared on, as there's no way that I am listing or reviewing all that. So if you like Rise Against, skate punk, melodic hardcore, hardcore punk and hell even some pop-punk, take a gander at 88 FINGERS LOUIE, a band that was once of the best to combine hardcore with pre-autotuned clean vocals. They reformed in 2013 and have stuck it out and toured, and I do believe they have a 2016 tour coming if all goes as planned. I've also got two sweet posters for sale in the Zegema Beach Records distro from the 'Back On the Streets' album here and here.


Click )==>here<==( to download most of the band's discography in wma form.

1993 - Happy Anniversary 7"EP
1993 - Wanted 7"EP
1993 - Go Away 7"EP

1994 - Viva Chicago (split w/The Bollweevils) 7"EP
1994 - North America Loud Punk Series Vol. 1 (split w/Phallocracy) 7"EP

1995 - Behind Bars cd/cassette/12"LP
1995 - Totin' 40s & Fuckin' Shit Up 10"EP

1997 - The Teacher Gets It 7"EP
1997 - The Dom Years cd/cassetteLP (compilation)
1997 - 88 Fingers Up Your Ass cd/cassetteLP (compilation)

1998 - Back On the Streets cd/cassette/12"LP
1998 - Right On Target (split w/The Queers) cdEP

1999 - Kid Dynamite split cd/10"EP

2009 - Lives cd/dvd (live album) (stream/buy here)


(1999) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Reparation" (from 'Kid Dynamite' split)

(1999) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "All My Friends are In Popular Bands" (from 'Short Music for Short People' comp)

(1998) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Tomorrow Starts Today" (from 'Back On the Streets')

(1998) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "100 Proof" (from 'Back On the Streets')

(1998) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Newspapers (demo)" (from 'Hopelessly Devoted to You, Too' comp)

(1995) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Run On Home" (from 'Totin' 40s & Fuckin' Shit Up')

(1995) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Blink" (from 'Behind Bars')

(1993) 88 FINGERS LOUIE - "Go Away" (from 'Go Away')


88 FINGERS LOUIE additional links


Tuesday 16 February 2016


GenresPunk / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore / Skramz
Related artistsSaetia, Olde Ghost and Corrupt Autopilot.
CountryNew York, New York USA
Years Active2001-2005
Song: "A=A"
Album: "I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box"
Year: 2004
For fans of: Off Minor, Saetia, Sleeper Wave, Ken Burns, Forstella Ford, Four Hundred Years, The Khayembii Communique, Mustaphamond, Foxmoulder, The Exploder, Sleepytime Trio, Montcalm, Bright Calm Blue, Ecorche, Under A Sky So Blue, Hugs, Kidcrash, Logs, The South, Wild Guess, Deers!, Twelve Hour Turn, Transistor Transistor, Part II, Dear Tonight, The Usual, Gaff, Jiyuna and Hot Cross aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Level Plane Records / McCarthyism / Waking Records / Artskool Records / Wild Zero / Dark City Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

When discussing screamo, a very common early band for most is Saetia. We like. Then we all hear post-Saetia, starting with Off Minor. I loooove. There's also Hot Cross. Sweet. Do many people not know there is more? Colin, the bassist from Saetia, went on to form THE FICTION, moved to guitar/vocals and ended up jazzying the fuck out of THE FICTION, Saetia and Off Minor style. The 3-piece played angular, discordant and jazzy screamy hardcore in New York from 2001 until 2005, releasing a decent amount of material in that time. Although the band is punkier than the other offshoots, THE FICTION are rhythmically pleasing and very playful while also including some sassy parts that are reminiscent of Transistor Transistor. The band was recorded by Steve Roche and Josh Jakubowski so you know it fits that Level Plane style, the label which just happened to release some of the band's albums.

The first album titled 'LP33' is alright. It is more punk and hardcore than playful screamo. Once 2004 hits, the band turns on the jets and really kicks some ass, starting with their full length 'I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box' which has some really, really good songs, including a bunch of Saetia-esque stuff, like "A=A", the beginning of "The History in Our Name", "You Know, For Kids" and "Don't Just Do What I Tell You To". The band also released a seminal split in 2004 with Birthday Boyz, which I bought because of THE FICTION and was fucking floored by Birthday Boyz (check out their unbelievable song here). THE FICTION songs are okay but nothing to write home about. In 2005 the band released a semi-decent 7" called 'The Titus EP' and the fantastic 'Names' LP. The Four Hundred Years/Bright Calm Blue/The Exploder-esque "Who Dares Question Ryan Dorn?" is great but "Reset" is phenomenal and sounds like Deers! and Saetia on a first date. "Strange Case of Lemmy Caution" is totally Jiyuna. I do believe the last thing the band recorded was the three song 'Euro Tour Tape' that houses some excellent stuff, especially "That Joke You're Killing Me".

In 2012 the band put everything they ever recorded online as free downloads, including all demos, splits and comp tracks! I just found this out a few days ago when I started this review. A fucking goldmine!!!



2001 - Music 4 New Millenium cd compilation (contributed "Angel Dream")

2002 - LP33 12"EP (stream/download here)

2004 - I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box cd/12"LP (stream/download here)
2004 - Birthday Boyz split 7"EP

2005 - Names cd/12"LP (stream/download here)
2005 - The Titus EP 7"EP
2005 - Euro Tour 2005 cdrEP

2012 - Split.Single.Tour.Comp.Demo digital compilation (stream/download here)


(2005) THE FICTION - "Reset" (from 'Names')

(2005) THE FICTION - "Who Dares Question Ryan Dorn?" (from 'Names')

(2005) THE FICTION - "Understanding By Design" (from 'The Titus EP')

(2004) THE FICTION - "That Joke You're Killing Me" (from 'Euro Tour Tape')

(2004) THE FICTION - "A=A" (from 'I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box')

(2004) THE FICTION - "Don't Just Do What I Tell You To Do" (from 'I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box')

(2004) THE FICTION - "You Know, For Kids" (from 'I Told Her That I Liked Living in a Box')

(2004) THE FICTION - "Inside Outsiders" (from 'Birthday Boyz' split)

(2002) THE FICTION - "Predictable Patterns" (from 'LP33')


THE FICTION out of print mp3 discography download

Discography download available for free at the band's Bandcamp page!!!

Sunday 14 February 2016


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Doom / Death Metal
Related artistsRemembering Never, Dark Castle, All That's Left, Khann and Meridian Dawn.
CountryFort Lauderdale, Florida USA
Years Active2001-2009 (2012 reunion)
Song: "Century I"
Album: "Means By Which the End is Justified"
Year: 2003
For fans ofThe Minor TimesUnearth, Psyopus, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Engineer, Achilles, The Ocean, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, Norma Jean, The Chariot, Llynch, Between The Buried And Me, The End and The Red Chord.
Label(s): Lovelost Records / Metal Blade Records / Фоно
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the January Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2016 Mix#2 here.

INTO THE MOAT released three albums and I have a very different opinion about each one. To describe the INTO THE MOAT's sound via band comparison, it pretty much goes back and forth between The Minor Times/Unearth pummeling metalcore and then Psyopus/Between The Buried And Me's ridiculous time signatures and mathy noodling amidst jazzy interludes.

The early material from 2003 (aka 'Means By Which the End is Justified') if fucking stellar. Instrumentally this record isn't all that different from future recordings, but much like The Minor Times' first EP, the vocals are generally much screamier.

From 2005 onward the vocal focus is much deeper, albeit with more variance. 'The Design' sheds a lot of the hardcore and focuses almost primarily on the extremely heavy, nearly death metal sound, but still keep it very interesting with insane instrumentals and vocals that are able to break outside of the confinements of generic (and boring) death metal.

The final LP 'The Campaign' came out well after I was out of the metalcore/math-metal scene, so I've only listened to it once and it didn't really do anything for me. It's what I would have expected from the band and I'm sure it was a classic for long time fans of the band, but I have been in a different place musically since 2006 or so regarding this style of music.

I don't love the band by any stretch of the imagination, but they definitely hold a place in my math-metal memory of days past, or some shit. Their early stuff was great like The Minor Times early material, and the their later stuff was passable like The End's final album.



2002 - Demo ???

2003 - Means by Which the End is Justified cdEP (stream/donate/download here)
2003 - Demo ???

2005 - The Design cdLP

2009 - The Campaign cdLP


(2003) INTO THE MOAT - "Century I" (from 'Means by Which the End is Justified')

(2003) INTO THE MOAT - "A Settling of Ways" (from 'Means by Which the End is Justified')

(2005) INTO THE MOAT - "Century II" (from 'The Design')

(2005) INTO THE MOAT - "Empty Shell" (from 'The Design') official music video

(2009) INTO THE MOAT - "The Last Century" (from 'The Campaign')


INTO THE MOAT additional links