Monday, March 23, 2015

YETT 2014

I live in Hungary where I spend most of my time with listening to music that has not been released in the current year thus my whole November and December for three years for now are filled with rushing to listen through the whole year, feeling sorry for not including more NON-american/spanish/Scandinavian/japanese, women identified bands in every micro-sub genre I like. But this is just fun, to pile up records that are great and probably in ten years from now I will have better answers to what was the greatest speed punk, freak core whatever gender band from Bolivia or Turkey or Malaysia in 2014. After all this is not a fucking talent show, the important thing is to listen to music for your whole life and well feeling fucking great while you do that.

You have heard these records these are not reviews but the reasons why I love them.


White Wards - Cigarette Burns ( Iron Lung Records )

Already told it last year that this is the hardcore record of 2014 as I know it (then &) now. This connects everything I like in fast music. It’s pure rage used for creativity, million deconstructed pieces put together and blended perfectly. It’s based on the mid-west craziness but at the same time so futuristic it doesn’t feel like only as a reproduction of something that has once worked, there is risk, there are no wave vibes, noise noise noise, grooves, violence, primitivism, desperation, angst, joy, everything. This is a brilliant record.

Total Control - Typical System ( Iron Lung Records )

It’s a great thing when there is more in a piece of creation than what has been put into it. Total Control used to put everything into their music but with Typical System they have restricted all their ideas to the bare minimum of necessarily for plain and pure perfection. It’s the noise of being quite about everything. I say everything because Total Control’s music is still everything: It’s the love of music and the method of expressing yourself via sounds and the fact that they are capable of giving this without a full blown palette of different sounds tells how great they are. Still it’s fun, has grooves, sometimes it’s poetic, other times it’s dumb as fuck, it’s adultish and adolescent at the same time. They turned an easy listening, elevator music song as deep as a fucking opera they are capable of everything. 

Big Crux – Ponchito (Not Normal Tapes, B

I’m not the biggest fan of Minutemen so even for me it’s a mystery why do I dig a band that is a total worship-core of them. I not only like them but through their music I appreciate Minutemen even better. I appreciate the whole fundamental idea of the west coast sound due to Big Crux. This is what’s so great about them, they have enthusiasm to recreate something and not as much as it is executed in Japan but during this process they create their own voice. Twitchy, sharp guitars are sweating the heat and fight against border control. Skate for fun, watch other people do coke, hate the cops. It’s a smart dance party in dust filled small town. Bodega beats. This is awesome.

Good Throb - Fuck Off ( White Denim, SuperFi Records, Sabermetric )

Good Throb’s idea could be a simple one but because they are a brightly amateurish group of musicians with a perfect punk plan this makes their music sound as it’s pieced together from more than it actually is. This feeling makes me appreciate every of their parts a lot more than if it were played properly. If something is done perfectly then it says everything about a profession but nothing about the professionals. Good Throb is great in causing mistakes that leads to wonderful trouble. This year the greatest records were made by people who are rather fans of listening to music than actual musicians and Good Throb is another terrific example of this. They are professional punx. The confident rage of Crass-ish radicalism wonder to the guitars from the vocals but it’s just the confidence and no Rimbaud vibe and what happens in the chorus riff of Acid House is punk perfection.

Ivy - S/T (Katorga Works )

They already had me with their demo and what was great there aka the irresistible punk quality of their songs are present here as well; even though the soundscape got clearer. I love how the guitars are distorted into the sounds of cartoon cables buzzing, it makes the thing evil, as the scene for IVY would be NY under Mysterio’s attack. This is gutter core, and overall IVY carries a bunker feelings with cool kids locked together to figure out something better than reality. They also bring into memory some vicious feelings of an evil conspiracy: helicopters flying around, black mass-corrupt priest capes, nihilism, drugs, bad pizza. Ivy’s sound is so rich some of my better days were spent with them on constant rotation. The filth of New York is back with them and this is no cheap shot but amazing punk.

Lumpy and the Dumpers – Collection (Erste Theke Tonträger )

For some reasons that are beyond my understand people are obsessed with shit. Literally, they hail poo. The greatest thing in Lumpy and the Dumpers is that they could stand still and it would make you feel like you are in a diarrhea storm. With their music they can create a nasty, slimy, noisy puke party that is fun to attend and you don’t have to burn your cloths the next day. And of course that fucking saxophone solo. Their primitive optimism or neo-nihilism, whatever I haven’t studied their philosophy to the fullest because I was too busy dancing. Let’s say it’s a cartoonish absurdity transformed into punk songs. It’s funny, ugly and probably smarter than it seems to be. They also have a record label so probably they do care which fact for me makes their record better. 

The Lowest Form - Negative Ecstasy ( Iron Lung Records )

Most menacing record of 2014. Constant and confident brutalism. The punk I like is more fragile as it gives space for failure that bring along humanity but The Lowest Form is mercilessly forcing me with their inhuman goodness to love them and I can’t resist. I can’t find any reference points where to connect their sound, it’s so oval it stand by itself. It reaches beyond scenes, eras, sounds. It’s pure fucking destruction, it really is like a chemical substance making you the exact opposite of ecstasy, let it be anything.

Orden Mundial - Obediencia Debida (La Vida Es Un Mus )

Spanish punk is great. Was, is and probably will be as well. Orden Mundial is a great example why, because they come through. Their idea of playing punk succeeds in their music as I don’t have to dig in deep for reasons why I like it, I don’t have to do any extra work for saying this is great, it’s simply the punk music in the way I like it. It dares to be what it wants to be: Fucking noisy, vicious punk attack. With clueless guitars playing out, they let their riffs loose to discover whatever territories it could wonder to and with this they are expanding the landscape of their music and the names of band that I love.

Exhaustion – Biker (Aarght! Records )

This could be labeled as post punk but much of this record resonates with a tribal vibe which makes the over sound pre-communication, proto-music. There are even hints of free jazz on this record if I got it right and frightening chaotic music that seems to make a bit of sense means free jazz. What I love about this record is it’s a full album, an experience, not just songs thrown together and let’s hope for the best. It’s a journey into the deepest fields of humans. The vocals are pretty indolent, the guitars are levitating, there is actual piano sounds not keyboards and by this all hail to analogism, feedbacks, repetitive drums. Sometimes this record sounds like as if Exhaustion would completely abandoned music as we know it and restarted building it up with writing this record. Could you ask for more as a creator of music?


Mystic Inane - Deep Creep (Negative Jazz )

Can’t remember how but Mystaic Inane’s demo landed on my laptop a year ago. I was shocked by how great it sounded. It was a mystery because I had no memory of downloading that and with their approach of putting together some of the best but to each other distant ideas of punk by their sound I felt like I’m dreaming. This is reality and they continue to expand ideas of punk sound with their recent 7”. Three songs in nine minutes gathering almost everything I love the best in the best punk. Mutants worshipping ufo’s, taking bad drugs, necromancing the heydays of Saccharine Trust and lead those wild, worming sometimes tangling guitars into careless golden era American Hardcore rage. They sound as a band who has both the idea and control over what they are doing. 2015, I wish for a Mystic Inane lp.  

Doomtown boys – st (SISTER POLYGON RECORDS )

It’s really funny that the way I see progression in punk is always leading it into barbaric chaos. Doomtown Boys is chaotic but not in a raging, noisy way although they are angry and they make noise. I used to hate saxophones here I love them. I used to prefer to separate art from punk and here I love it. Many interesting things are happening here which are kind of new to my appreciation but I do appreciate them. This vaudeville-core cabaret punk is winning me over as much as I wrote everything above based on their lp not knowing it came out two years ago but luckily they have put out a 7” in 2014 and it’s just as good. Be a freak! 

Zyanose - Putrid Sick Society (Brain Solvent Propaganda )

This record has a song called Posers Must Die. I use metal zone for my bass sound thus I guess I’ll survive.

Una Bestia Incontrolable - Nou Món ( iron lung records )

First Una Bestia Incontroable wrote an amazing lp that is a masterpiece in the spanish wall of distorted sound robust hardcore genre. Then they conquered the world. Then they dropped the idea in which they have mastered and went to a whole different direction with this 7”. And it worked. It is still carrying the flag of hardcore and punk, wearing the filth of squats, the sweat stains of basement shows, the creativity of art school dropouts, the manic frustration of the Catalans. But if we are lucky this is only the earthquake before the volcano bursts again.

Oily Boys – Majesty ( Disinfect Records )

I love it when in music the already existing best parts from different places are put together. Oily Boys from Australia sound as a group of bored and angry kids who loved United Mutation and Wipers and treated Kids Of The Black Hole as their anthem and they thought let’s play that all together within one song. And why the fuck would it not work? It’s not only working but it’s fucking great, brutal, funny, raging, fresh, smart. Total punk fandom for the melted minds, as a surf gang doing psychedelic drugs and playing with knives. Soo good!

In school - Praxis of Hate ( Kill Test )

Some months ago I read an article about punk still being lead by white males. My first thought was that punk is MRR and that is run by women, so how could this be true? One of the reasons I can say this is thanked to a person who plays in In School. This warrants the quality of this band that is a vibrant mix uniquely smart lyrics and top notch song writing that worships the early era of Touch & Go hardcore. When punk was played too punk it has become hardcore. Praxis of Hate showers on me, wakes me up with it’s energy, it crushes the common beliefs that there is no variety in hardcore/punk. There is and this is standard greatness.

La Misma – S/T  ( Toxic State Records )

As I watch videos of NYC punk shows I see freaks everywhere. They look weird as up to them I’m a fucking norm and their whole choreography is too perfect I feel disconnected. It’s cool because they live so fucking far away from me. And then here is La Misma from that city, singing in a language I can’t understand, screaming in a way I can relate to. Filth soaked, chasing pace punk, singing faster than the riff would let you punk, really real punk that it’s already hardcore. La Misma catches the inner rage that mutant feeling when you brain is melting in insecure chaos, still you go out and yell fuck the bullshit.

Frau – Punk Is My Boyfriend (Static Shock Records )

When you really love something at one point this anything will be a part of you. You won’t treat it as the biggest thing in the world it will be a part of your personality and that’s really big. Like breathing air, if it weren’t around you would be dead. This is captured on this record. That Frau is so punk they can do whatever they want. So they fabricate some wonderful mess of collapsing bedroom chaos. Punk is our lover!

Life Stinks – Portraits (Total Punk)

The exhibition-core continues. The sound of Life Stinks is cartoonish. Like a dark comic book, a monochrome linoleum cut where strangers loose themselves in the meaninglessness of life while they are searching for someone else. Smoking cigarettes in the morning waking up to the rain and drinking still beer that has been warmed up pin your palm. Although Life Stinks is fun, it’s vibrating, it moves towards you. It’s sharp and groovy at the same time. Lazy house party theme for coach potatoes. The conflict is really comical, it’s them trying to successfully put together a song, with a stoned mind trying to put everything in order but before they could come up with any result the record is over and another two brilliant songs are written again.


Gun Outfit – Time Slips Away ( Perennial Death )

Even though culture is a constant battle where I don’t hold any sealed respect in myself towards anyone although Gun Outfit is not a group I judge from time to time but I unconditionally enjoy always. This new release is just as beautiful as everything they have done so far. Their music is like wine that gets better and better and these three new tracks sound as a new crossroad in Gun Outfit’s life where they took a new interesting direction. How does the movement of sun sounds? Some might be capable to synthesize the sounds but Gun Outfit rather raises and sets the sun with their music. One of the most elevating things that happened to me in 2014 was interviewing them and I still could state they are my favorite current band.


I love all kinds of music but especially those that forget about the whole existence of the musical history of punk and from scratch they redo the sound but keep the fundamental ideas. Pig DNA is faithful to the bay area idea that all freaks can be themselves and do whatever that will bring joy and beauty to this world, let it be transforming everyday terror into disgustingly good punk songs. Pig DNA is dangerously creative they sound as they don’t tend to give a fuck about the risk of failing with all these ideas thrown together. It’s threatening, interesting, dangerous, vicious, amazing.

Karak - tape 2014

Young brutalists hailing from the moldy basement land of the Budapest power violence, ufo grind scene. Vicious, freaky, rainbow puke, home made synthetic drug overdose. Is this hardcore? Yes, this is hardcore.


Nowadays literature is taking over my life. Not if I have a deep knowledge of it or I could move as familiarly within as I do in punk, but I spend more time reading through the Paris Review interviews than I do hunt around on blogs to discover new sounds in punk rock. While there are obviously always so many to learn about. It’s a different kind of obsession but what’s good is that there is obsession in both. Music is instant, it lives up as much of my time as long a song is. While the same amount of words could take different amount of time for me to read. It’s all about the pacing of the text. And I have to read through books to know them, so now my bed is surrounded with unread books accompanied by a to-read list that exists in my head which will probably take me one and a half year to get done. But I’m already being enthusiastic in advance when I browse through the covers. As in books and music the core of the creation is self expression I look different on music than I did before I have become a book worm.
Also do you remember me holding a grudge against jazz? At work I do nothing but listening to Pharoah Sanders, Eric Dolphy, Derek Baily, Albert Ayler and an enormous amount of Kraut rock, sometimes music that is close to techno, monotonous, repetitive music produced by sad and dirty computers. It’s not about growing up because when I get home and put on a Wretched or Electric Eels lp I can appreciate the rear layers of their music where the visceral meets the thoughtful chaos. But as I have expanded my spectrum in music that I find interesting, I also was in hurry to get through last years music as I was preparing my YETT in parallel I have realized that I stopped appreciating the relaxing mediocrity of the majority of punk bands as much as I love bands who just go for being themselves aka individually good.
I also realized that time is not as bad of an invention as I used to think about it. Yes, it blocks our mind more than anything and silently controls everything that we do but it also reveals truth. Places answers next to questions. Such big words but I’m no longer afraid of not including the exact best bands of a year in my YETT list because using time and the kindness of the coordinators I knew whatever I will leave out from the list I can include here because I negotiated a later deadline for my column or I can talk about the leftovers in two years from now. It’s not the news as someone always has to be the first and smartest although I do desire both but desire works best when not satisfied. I can wait and until then dig up everything that was great in the ‘90s since obviously everything was perfect in the ‘80s and magical in the ‘70s. Couple days ago I started listening to the Eucharist lp and felt so stupid when looking back how I thought the ‘90s were super boring and nothing happened then. I have a medicine after taste, awkwardly bad feeling by how now in Europe everybody is fucking wanna go back and re-live those lazy days that were lit by fading neon lights and cheap drug nights. I mostly see my stupidity in giving too much relevance to decades as they would mark anything. Take Aspirin Feast, they sound like a systematic skull fuck that could happened whenever. Discovery of the week was Balance of Terror. A band that sounds as hardcore kinda should sound. Fast and ferocious punk music that takes itself as seriously as it’s still threatening for the buy-in-culture but doesn’t stink as a let’s-sit-in-a-basement-and-think-about-utopia bullshit. Oh yeah with them I skipped into another decade, but the early ‘00s still feel as very shady times, yet there was light too. Another new hobby of mine is buying records by instinct. I was browsing through records when Banque Allemande came across and I was amazed by their cover art in which well shaped naked bodies put together in a collage and I was convinced by SS Records who put this record out, so I gave them a quick listen online – yes, I was buying records on Discogs – and few days later I found this record glued to my turn table. They are an amazing german post-punk, kinda noise rock band. The heavy, modestly distorted bass and drums are making a solid base for the guitars to fuck around while the singer chants with bitter tone of a voice. They grab me down into a vortex of awesome guitar noise. The guitar sound (is it really a guitar?)  is swinging between the noise of things falling down from a shelf or someone cruelly rubbing rubber. Alas it’s not such experimental sonic journey. I can dance to it, I can jump around to it I can be happy around their music, it’s such perfect company.
It compensates my loss in how I failed to be quick enough to buy the Tampax / Hitler SS split 7” at the Rakta show. For expiation I went through both bands discography and now I want that fucking split 7” even more. All hail to freak scene, mutant punx.
There is a feature in every good music that makes music good. Although I believe in genres but I seem to find this essential component mutual in all the music I found great. The ones I can relate to not just understand its qualities. Common sense is something I want to leave behind. Umberto Eco discusses the difference between the empirical and the model readers. He says a model reader could place himself into the book, accept even the fictional rules of the book and decide who exactly tells the story, meaning who is the model author. The model reader is keen to understand every detail of a book while still enjoy it with all its heart. Still there is place for judgment because the model author creates the model reader as the author sets up the environment and rules within the reader should exists and following this there are millions of genres I don’t wanna look around not even for a miserable second. But what is great in great literature is similar to what is great in great punk music and this makes me feel sometimes that everybody all together is just writing one great tune. From Sex Vid to Sun Ra I have to move backwards in time but it’s not a waltz, I twerk around culture. I cross Skull Kontrol, Raincoats, Die Kreuzen, Execute, Organisation, Warum Joe, Born Against, The Fix, Kizárt Dolog, Skullflower, 45F1, Stigmathe, High Rise, Totalitär, Biztonsági Tanács, Venom P Stinger, The Slits.
Luckily as it turns out from my YETT this collective noise was done also in 2014. I already hate myself because I missed out Tercer Mundo’s agonizing brain destruction. Just like the contemporary mexico sound they also use a very rusty approach to tell the everyday frustration of that sinking country’s reality. It’s hardcore punk with sharp nails sticking out from it all around. Some of the songs have a weird groove in them which makes the whole atmosphere of the record more dangerous, since someone found time to dance in a battle field.
Right at the finish line I was introduced to Heavy Makeup from Gothenburg. Their demo looks like it’s gonna be another band mixing japanese craziness with the mangel sound filtering it through no wave noise. Rather they stick to the golden era Touch & Go sound and summon acts as Scratch Acid or Killdozer. Constant cynical headache. The repetitive minimalism hits me as a neighbor driller that wakes me up from an amphetamine hangover. Although this band wears it’s influences proudly it avoids the accusation of being a reproduction of something that happened decades ago. They have reminded me to МРАЗЬ who are hailing from Russia. Although МРАЗЬ’s sound is bigger as in Russia everyone takes whatever they do more serious than people do everywhere else. Their sound catches me as how a tidal wave wraps around your helpless body. Here are more guitars and manic obsession to play around with sounds. Still its charm is carried in its simplicity but simplicity that works is always real close to perfection. I can hear the effort they have put into their song just as Bulgakov worked on his masterpiece for decades. Their aggro strength stops before it’s being threatening to everyone, meaning there is no serial killer vibe just the pure power that is present in great music. Anyone who thinks this is just a russian black market bootleg of Pissed Jeans is stupid as fuck because they reach beyond Pissed Jeans cool but washed clean presentation of true filth. Pissed Jeans reminds me to music, while МРАЗЬ reminds me to how fucked up humanity is. Not if МРАЗЬ is rather bending towards to Brainbombs, Drunk with Guns mind hammering brutalism but it feels they went into searching for something and luckily found their true self.   
Going back to Sweden I recently received an e-mail from Två Krig saying: Fuck it we want to be heard - and they truly should be. I’m nauseatingly filled with the dark wave, neo-romantic sound and no longer interested to decide is it a new trend or someone just opened the door for million bands who were waiting in their dark and miserable rooms, spending days in valium daze with cutting out the eyes of poster stars. Två Krig doesn’t pity themselves, I have the luxury to not understand swedish thus I think they focus more on paranoid, block of flat reality rather than failed romance tragedy. They gather the Wipers’ Doom Town sound to flavor the swedish traditional melodies and it works really well. Lost in the Ikea. The only thing I had to do to became their model listener is to sink down to find the people within the music, the fragility, the risk and danger. There they sound more scared than sad and this picks them out from the line of all those post punk, neo wave bands. Deep down lay so many ideas and layers of these thoughts yet there is a disturbing sterility of their sound that is probably their frustration that needs to be transmitted.

What else? I liked the Mosoco Demo, Life Form’s Creepy Crawly, Sperm Demo, Status Null Demo, Gutter Gods’ Innersense. But this is not that much to miss out. 2014 see you in ten years when i know more about you. It was a great year but i always hope for a better.

PS.: There are two more Hysterics songs left behind, coming out soon both tracks are killer jams.