Reviews September 2004


Voice of Reason, c/o Stefan Muench, Dreihalde 15, 73527 Hussenhofen, Germany




After reading some really overwhelming reviews I thought: Man, you got to have this demo! And now that I have it I must say that everything I read about this release is absolutely true. ABUSIVE ACTION are playing oldschool Straight Edge Hardcore and they do it like there is no tomorrow. Five raw and aggressive songs with a barking shouter who is as mean as Wrench from Stand And Fight. The demo was produced by Menno Bakker so you know that the sound is over the top. It seems like there´s a new generation of really promising new bands coming out of The Netherlands and ABUSIVE ACTION for sure is one of them. (Tobi)




BAMBIX -- Club Matuchek (CD / Go Kart Records)

After being around since 1988 (!) Bambix really should be no strangers in the scene. Bambix started out as an all female band but nowadays Wick (vocals, guitar) is the only remaining girl and the last original member. Alongside her are Peter on drums and Patrick on bass, and the three of them come up with a really cool Punk Rock album. I think Bambix are around long enough so that they don't need to be compared with other bands, but in case you still don't know them, they play vital and energetic Punk Rock, mostly mid tempo but with some faster parts. The songs sometimes have a kind of a melancholic edge (or do I just think they're melancholic as I'm in such a mood at the moment?) and I like that a lot. Just listen to "Leaking fuel" (probably my favourite song on "Club Matuchek") and you know what I mean. This is already the fifth full length by Bambix and I wish that they get the attention they deserve. Produced by Menno Bakker and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side, what do you want more? (Stefan)



CALL ME LIGHTNING -- The Trouble We're In (CD / Revelation Records)

Finally I found a new record by Revelation Records in my mail! The last one I got was probably the Curl Up And Die disc and that was DEFINITELY some time ago! But honestly I was a bit doubtful before I listened to Call Me Lightning, because the info says that the band was "conceived after a lifetime of listening to too much of The Minutemen, not enough of The Birthday Party and just enough Led Zeppelin. You know, especially the latter mentioned Led Zep are truly one of those bands I absolutely can't stand at all. Maybe that's because of the fact that some people I can't stand are totally into Led Zeppelin, but that doesn't belong here and fortunately Call Me Lightning are NOT sounding like Jimmy Page etc. (well, there's the beginning of "Asses to ashes" which I pretend I didn't hear). Instead, they come up with a really rocking album that sometimes reminds me to bands like The (International) Noise Conspiracy and The Hives when it comes to the vocals and the guitars. Maybe you won't find a song as catchy as "Hate to say I told you so" from The Hives on "The trouble we're in", but the songs make you move anyway. Damn, these vocals truly remind me to those of TINC! The booklet doesn't feature any lyrics at all but depicts strange but nice paintings instead. Of course a band like Call Me Lightning is miles away from the classic Revelation stuff of the late 80s/early and mid 90s, but it's without a doubt something cool to listen to and worth your attention. (Stefan)



CHAMPION – Promises Kept (CD / Bridge 9)

I guess, by now everybody has realized that CHAMPION is one of the best oldschool Straight Edge bands at the moment. Therefore my expectations regarding the first full length after two 7´releases were pretty high. And I´m sure that “Promises Kept” won´t leave anybody disappointed although it´s not too easy to tell what makes CHAMPION something special. Maybe it´s the backing gang-vocals just in the right place, maybe that little bit of melody or just those ass-kicking breakdowns. I don´t know what it is in the end, but CHAMPION just find the right mixture of everything that we love about Straight Edge Hardcore. For all those who need a comparison and don´t know CHAMPION yet: Imagine “110” from Count Me Out with just a little bit more melody and I think you´re quite close. And if you don´t know “110” just go and buy both records. You can´t go wrong! (Tobi)



COALITION – The Sight And The Sound (CD / Fight Fire With Fire Records)

I really am a fan of COALITION´s first album that was one of the most aggressive Straight Edge albums in 2002. Two years later here we have the second album called “The Sight And The Sound” and I´m pretty surprised that COALITION seem to have listened to Hatebreed a lot in these past two years. No, this is not a remake of “Perseverance” or “The Rise Of Brutality” but I think it is pretty obvious that COALITION have been influenced by that so-called Tuff Guy sound. The songs are longer and slower and the typical oldschool sXe parts appear only every now and then. The sound still is very aggressive, only the backing vocals are too harmless in my eyes. “The Sight And The Sound” is not what I expected (which is not bad at all) and a solid release, but I like the debut better. (Tobi)



EAR EXTENSION -- Motion Pictures (CD / Electric Noise Records)

What I hold in my hands here is an unmastered version of the album "Motion pictures", the debut release of a band called Ear Extension. Founded in 2001 these four guys began recording the 11 songs that can be found on here already in May 2003, and at the end of June 2004, over one year after the start of the recording sessions everything except for the mastering was done. And talking about the mastering: "Motion pictures" is currently mastered at renowned West West Side in New Jersey by none other than Alan Douches himself! I guess I don't have to tell you which bands/albums this guy mastered so far, because if you found your way onto this site I'm sure you know what he already did. Anyway, now let's leave all these technical information behind and talk about the music! One thing's for sure, this band rocks! I would describe their style as pop oriented and melodic Indie (to avoid the "E" word), or even melodic and emotional Punk similar to bands like The Ataris, and everyone into this should do him- or herself a favour and check out this album. There are plenty of reasons to do so: 1.) The albums is really great, 2.) The band pits it out on their own label Electric Noise Records and 3.) they really worked hard for it this effort should be supported. Get in touch with them and make sure to get your copy of this album! Boy, this title track rules! Contact:, (Stefan)



FOR THE WORSE – The Chaos Continues (Bridge 9)

Yesssss!!! This is it!!! I already loved the first album of these guys which was called “Couldn´t Give Two Shits About The Kids” and the title says it all: Really pissed off and fast Hardcore with an early Boston / New York influence. FOR THE WORSE features the former singer of A Poor Excuse and believe me, Mike is doing an excellent job here. Sometimes he´s screaming like John Joseph did on the “Age Of Quarrel” demos and in the next second he reminds me of Jesse from Yuppicide. He´s almost as insane as H.R. on “Rock For Light” to give you an idea of what i´m talking about. Just great! These 18 songs are really refreshing and I recommend both of their releases. This is Hardcore-Punk at its best! Word! (Tobi)



THE GRIZZLY TWISTER -- Kill The Autopilot (CD / My Favourite Toy Records)

When it comes to Indie bands from Sweden and from Gävle in particular I'm always a bit reluctant to listen to them, but honestly I don't know why that's the case. Maybe because many of them sound the same and not always that interesting? Don't get me wrong, I really like Indie bands a lot, but it's just... I don't know. But The Grizzly Twister are different, VERY different. Firstly because they're no Indie band but play complex and hectic Hardcore that could be compared to bands like Jr. Ewing and the likes and secondly they have these crazy keyboard sounds that remind me of early/mid 80s computer games. Founded in 2001 the five members of The Grizzly Twister are well known for their furious and crazy live shows, and listening to "Kill the autopilot" I can easily imagine that. Even though this hectic, noisy Hardcore sound is not what I listen to on a regular basis it's still cool and I'm sure anyone into this sound will love this band. (Stefan)



IMPIOUS – Hellucinate (Metal Blade)

Until I got this CD I only knew IMPIOUS by name but never felt the urge to buy one of their records. On October 4th IMPIOUS will be releasing their fourth full length entitled “Hellucinate” and after listening to the album several times I have to admit that ignoring this band has been a mistake. “Hellucinate” contains 10 tracks of brutal yet melodic Death/Thrash Metal in the vein of Dew-Scented or The Haunted, all packed in a modern recording that sounds like somewhere between the last releases of In Flames and Paradis Lost. My favourite track on the album is “Toxic Paranoia” which sums up everything IMPIOUS is about: Melodic guitars that sound like Amon Amarth on 45 rpm, the whole variety of speed and all the brutality it needs to put “Hellucinate” on a level with the aforementioned Dew-Scented. The most outstanding song surely is “Suicide Park” with over 9 minutes full of symphonic elements bedded in a Edge Of Sanity-like guitar work (“Purgatory Afterglow”-era). You see, I´m pretty impressed and surprised and I think I´ll be looking out for IMPIOUS´ previous releases. Highly recommended! (Tobi)




IN BATTLE – Welcome To The Battlefield (Cold/Metal Blade)

IN BATTLE started in the mid-90s playing Black Metal in its purest form. Usually that´s not a very good start to get my attention because I don´t get along too well with Black Metal. But with several line-up changes IN BATTLE changed their sound into Death/Thrash Metal and signed a contract with Cold/Metal Blade records. So here they are presenting their third full-length which has been produced by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Ex-Morbid Angel) in Tampa , Florida . This might give you a hint about what we´re dealing with: High Speed Death Metal, in my eyes quite technical guitar work and a drummer who really loves to play his doublebass! The sound is quite clean and diverse so you can make out all the details this album has to offer. I can´t tell anything about the lyrics but since the record is called “Welcome To The Battlefield” and in regard of the artwork – which, by the way, is pretty boring – I think we´re lucky that you can´t understand a word the singer is growling. All in all, musically “Welcome To The Battlefield” is a solid release but nothing special. Imagine a mixture of Vital Remains, Hate Eternal and maybe a little bit Deicide and if that makes you drool over your shoes go ahead and give “Welcome To The Battlefield” a try when it comes out on September 20th. (Tobi)



KENZARI'S MIDDLE KATA -- When Error Is The Idea (CD)

Coming soon!



THE LONESOME DRAGSTRIPPER -- Pro Modified (CD / Part Records)

Coming soon!







MISERY / TOXIC NARCOTIC -- Split (CD / Go Kart Records)

Wow, I wouldn't have recognized Misery anymore to be honest. I have an old 7" of these guys in my collection and even though I hadn't listened to that one for a couple of years I had a complete different sound in mind. Now I found this split CD in my box and was very excited to hear these guys again. Misery play pissed off mid tempo Hardcore which immediately reminded me to the early 90s. Good stuff, different to what I expected, but cool. Second band on this split release are Toxic Narcotic who I knew from their previously released "We're all doomed" record. If I remember right I didn't care much about them back then, but hey, these 5 songs they deliver here are pretty killer. Imagine a mixture of Crustcore and furious (and I mean furious) Hardcore and maybe you can imagine how they sound like. Wait, what's this last song "21st century catastrophe" that starts pretty much like a Reggae song and leads to total Hardcore mayhem? Very cool! Misery: 4 song, Toxic Narcotic: 5 songs. Makes 9 songs in total and for everyone into this sound this slit release surely is a must. Even though the CD features one video from each band (Toxic Narcotic live on stage is awesome) I'd recommend the vinyl because the once again great artwork by Michael Bukowksi comes over even better.



OUTBREAK – You Make Us Sick (CD / Bridge 9)

15 songs in 15 minutes! Of course, OUTBREAK are playing Doom Metal, haha. Okay, OUTBREAK stands for fast and raw, sometimes even thrashy Hardcore. 11 of the songs have been produced by the legendary Don Fury and you just know that this guy always does a good job. So the sound is very aggressive although not the best thing I heard for a long time. Anyway, “You Make Us Sick” (that´s what all the lyrics are more or less about) is a decent release and the only thing that´s disturbing is, that the singer is a bit monotonous in my eyes. But that´s okay, Hardcore´s not about singers that manage 5 octaves anyway. (Tobi)




RUSTICATE -- What's Behind The Fences Of Your Smile? (CD / Plane Records)

I remember having heard their first release in 2003, this being the "Reproaches and regards" CD, so I was curious how Rusticate would sound on their new five song EP (20 minutes) on Plane Records. The info compares them to Pale or Rival Schools, and the funny thing is that there are parts on this EP where you think: "Yeah, this is really sounding like Rival Schools" and within a few seconds you're like "No way, that's not sounding like Rival Schools at all". Same goes for the comparison with Pale. Strange, but that's just what I thought when I listened to "What's behind..." for the first time. So if you're interested in a mixture of Post Hardcore and Indie without the dissonance of the D.C. bands, Rusticate could be the right band for you. I like this release, and a song like "As the sun refuses to rise" is just a perfect piece of music in my eyes. Better than most Post Hardcore bands from the US and definitely worth your attention! (Stefan)



SINCE BY MAN -- A Love Hate Relationship (CD / Revelation Records)

"A love hate relationship" is Since By Man's second release on Revelation Records after "We sing the body electric" from 2002, and compared to their debut this four song EP is a huge step forward for the Milwaukee five piece and increases the need for a new full length from these guys. I mean Since By Man still play intense Hardcore in the vein of bands like Converge, but everything is more tight, more intense, more varied (e.g.soundscapes on "Goddamnit baby this is soul") and simply better. "A love hate relationship" was produced by Paul Miner and I didn't expect that I'd be so much into it. The EP will be released on September 14th and please, do yourself a favor and get it. (Stefan)



TETSUO -- Malmohrahkign (CD / Whorth Records)

One of the very first things that raised my attention was that the guys from Tetsuo included "Hulk Hogan, Steven Seagal and all the other mighty Vikings from Asgard and beyond" on their thanks list. So I was even more curious to find out what this Hawley, PA, based three piece has to offer, because this CD (hopefully you'll understand that I won't repeat its title here) was the first thing I heard from them, even though the band was already founded way back in 1999. Well, between 1999 and 2001 they put out three self-released recordings under the name Issue One before they changed their name to Tetsuo, put out another self-released recording before they were signed by Whorth Records in early 2004. So much for the facts, now let's get into the music that can be described as technical Death Metal, and when I say technical I mean VERY technical. Straight parts are very rarely to be found on here. Instead, Tetsuo come up with six songs (total playing time is over 26 minutes) of complex and brutal Death Metal. When I started listening to Death Metal in the late 80s/early 90s I always thought that bands like Atheist or Cynic would play technical Death Metal, but after having listened to Tetsuo I'm not so sure anymore. This EP is anything but an easy listening Death Metal release, but on the other hand it's very interesting to listen to the songs and enjoy the great musicianship of these guys. (Stefan)



VADER – The Beast (CD / Metal Blade)

You just know that you won´t be disappointed when getting a new VADER release! In the beginning they were said to be just another Morbid Angel-clone but more than ten years after the release of their debut album “The Ultimate Incantation” VADER are just VADER and nothing else. Sure, there are some parts where the guitar work reminds a bit of Trey Azagthoth and Peter still sounds like David Vincent on the “Domination” album, but who cares anyway? Every single band has its influences (even Morbid Angel) and nowadays you just can´t expect a band to come up with something completely new and unique. Anyway, “The Beast” is about VADER´s 56275th album and it´s without drum-wizzard Doc who had to be replaced by a guy named Daray due to medical problems. But you won´t hear any difference, the drumming is just over the top as ever! And finally the songs come with the perfect production (once again by Piotr Lukaszewski) that they deserve! Never did a VADER release sound better! And I even think the 9 songs (plus Intro) make “The Beast” their best record up to date. Songs like “Firebringer” or “I Shall Prevail” kick some serious ass! But we also get some fine melodies as in “Out Of The Deep” or “Choices” and some extraordinary speed variations in the most outstanding song of the album “The Sea Came In At Last”.  “The Beast” will be released on September 20th and a limited edition comes with a Bonus DVD, so make sure you´ll get one! (Tobi)