Having successfully secured the Cro-Mags name after a year-long court battle with former members John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, frontman and general hardcore legend Harley Flanagan follows up last year’s From the Grave and Don’t Give In EP’s (Victory Records) with In the Beginning (Mission Two Entertainment/Arising Empire), the first full-length release from the celebrated New York act in twenty long years. Continue reading
Legendary hardcore band Minor Threat has been a memory since they released two EPs and the studio album Out Of Step (Dischord) before their eventual break up in the mid-’80s. They helped invent the Hardcore Punk genre, introducing concepts of straight-edge lifestyle that continue to guide the ethos of the music. In a new interview in a new interview with Spain’s GoetiaMedia.com, guitarist Brian Baker was asked if the band would ever return. He answered “We will never play shows again. It was a product of its time. It’s so much better to leave it alone than ruin it by being a bunch of old guys playing songs that we wrote when we were teenagers.” Interest renewed in the band after they recreated their iconic 1980 photo last fall as they broke the internet for a day. Just recently, Dischord Records put their entire 40+ year catalog fo records on Bandcamp for free. Singer Ian MacKaye formed Fugazi in 1987 and in recent years started a new band with his wife and bandmate in The Evens, Amy Farina, and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. Baker joined fellow punk legends Bad Religion in 1994. Guitarist Lyle Preslar was a member of The Meatmen in the 1980s and played briefly with Samhain before eventually becoming a lawyer.
Dischord Records co-founded forty years ago by Minor Threat bandmates Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, has made their entire catalog for free on Bandcamp. According to boingboing.net Discord hopes that while the albums and assorted other releases are free, they’re hoping listeners will download the music to support the artists. Bandcamp is waving their sales fees on certain days each month so that all of the money will go to the artists. The label came together in 1980 in order to release Minor Disturbance by The Teen Idles, but build a legacy that cut across genres. Continue reading
Stereotypes are such a crass and ugly thing. Used as a lazy and offensive descriptor of someone’s personality due to their nationality, they are something that should be abolished. The stereotypical view of Belgium and its people is one of being reserved and downright boring. How better to dispel that myth that with some high-velocity anarcho-Punk? Enter Cocaine Piss. Continue reading
Satirical music website The Hard Times has launched a podcast network with two brand new shows: ‘The Hard Times Podcast.’ and ‘The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!”. The Hard Times co-founders Matt Saincome and Bill Conway are involved, as is Hard Drive editor-in-chief Jeremy Kaplowitz. The first guest on ‘The Hard Times Podcast’ was Brian Baker of Minor Threat and Bad Religion and is now streaming here: https://thehardtimespodcast.libsyn.com. Along with its sister site Hard Drive, The Hard Times’ move into podcasts allows listeners to get to know the people behind all their favorite headlines, and so much more. DIY organization that has never taken outside investment and is still owned entirely by the punks, comics, and gamers who work on the site. Continue reading
Hardcore punk greats Minor Threat caused a stir this weekend with a photo shared that calls back their classic cover of 1985’s Salad Days album. The new photo of drummer Jeff Nelson, singer Ian MacKaye, guitarist Lyle Preslar and bassist Brian Baker — sitting on the front porch of Dischord Records house in south Arlington, Virginia was posted on Baker’s Instagram page and was shared by Dischord on Facebook. “This is a non-story. Jeff insists that we always take a porch shot for posterity when the four of us are at Dischord. This is just the first one we’ve had taken since I’ve had an Instagram account.” 2018 marks another anniversary for the band as their classic album Out Of Step was released thirty-five years ago in 1983. Continue reading
Bad Brains frontman Paul “H.R.” Hudson has had an amazing career, which is far from over. From helping create and lead hardcore punk with Bad Brains being nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Now Lesser Gods Publishing (A Vulgar Display Of Pantera) is releasing the first fully authorized biography for H.R.: Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains. Continue reading
Eerie Von, best known as the bassist for Danzig and Samhain, will see the rerelease of his 2009 photography book Misery Obscura The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009), this fall via Bazillion Points Publishing. Von who was The Misfits photographer during their heyday before later playing in his own band Rosemary’s Baby, and on seminal Danzig releases, continued to mine his keen eye for photography throughout his performing career and beyond. Now a 160 page hardcover book, the deluxe edition of Misery Obscura features hundreds of color and black and white photos of the Misfits and Eerie’s bands Samhain and Danzig across the 1980s and 1990s.
The Truth of Revolution, Brother: An Exploration of Punk Philosophy (Situation Press) is an interesting look at many of the common philosophies within the rebellious genre and it also acts as a biography for some of its key figures. Through a series of interviews authors Lisa Sofianos, Robin Ryde and Charlie Waterhorse, have crafted an insightful and at times dense examination of the personal beliefs that fuel the music, particularly in anarcho-punk.
Culled from over 20 different interviews with subjects including the likes of former Dead Kennedy’s vocalist Jello Biafra, producer Steve Albini and firebrand Gavin McInnes, The Truth of Revolution, Brother feels like a great documentary that hasn’t been shot yet. Punk isn’t just music, for the faithful it’s an unshakable bond that informs all of their daily decisions. It was an artistic liberation because it wasn’t the usual prog and arena rock that permeated the 1970s. If you had something to say now you can now express yourself even if you can’t play your instrument very well or have a record label to back you up. All the weirdos were allowed.
“Punk changed the whole world for me,” says Albini. “Punk changed all of my friends. Everything that I do with my life. This studio. All of this that I am doing for a living. Everyone I know. Every significant friend I’ve ever had. Every significant life experience that I have had, I owe that to the Ramones.”
However, it is also quick to point out that while punk was the undiscriminating genre when it came to musical prerequisites, age or sex; it is also very much steeped in hierarchy as you are allowed to come in and participate only if you wear the right boots and black shirts. The prevailing Do-It-Yourself ethos acts as the backbone that allows punk to stand, but also means that there is less focus on quality control as anyone can come in and take a swing at it. Doing it yourself can sometimes lead to doing it badly.
But for me what was most interesting about this tome is that so many of the interviewed always pointed to anarcho-punk trailblazers Crass as one of their main inspirations and the reason for adopting the punk lifestyle. The consensus is that they were the first punk band to adopt the DIY mantra, foster pro-environmentalist habits and call for everyone to drop competiveness out of their nature in order to improve the community.
“What is so deeply emotional for me about Crass, in particular, is that when I was sent to the correctional boarding school I was completely alone” says Jon Gnarr. “And I was so afraid that I carried a knife. I felt so alone, and there was nobody to tell me right from wrong, there weren’t even teachers at that place, so at a very difficult time in my life, Crass was there for me.” Feeling dissatisfied with his government’s handling of the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis, Gnarr would use some of that punk influence and form the satirical Best Party. In a shocking upset Gnarr ran and was elected mayor of Reykjavík in 2010.
So many other of the interview subjects continuously cite the short lived anarchist bent Essex unit, that it starts to feel like that you are getting an oral history of the band. Adding to that feel are insightful chapters directly from former Crass members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher.
Something worth noting is that with so many citing the same artists and similar philosophies as vital the book can begin to feel a tad repetitive towards the middle, but all things considered it shines a bright light on the inner machinations of one of rock’s most extreme wings. Now if we could only get that complete Crass biography.
Ramming Speed has paid their dues in the very competitive Boston metal scene, going back to their humble beginnings as Despotic Robot. Perhaps cutting their teeth in shows in basements, VFW halls, and crack house hovels helps a band prepare for touring the world. Ghost Cult chatted with drummer Jonah Livingston, and he is one of the most real and down to earth guys you will ever meet. Ramming Speed’s new album is out on Prosthetic Records, and if you don’t already own Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die; something is seriously wrong with you and your taste in metal is questionable. Continue reading