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


AINARA LEGARDON - Each Day A Lie (CD / Aloud Music)





AMONG THE LIVING / DOMINATÍR (Split CD / Crash Landing Records)





ARKANOID -- Get Yourself Influenced (CD / Underhill Records)





BATHTUB SHITTER -- Dancehall Grind (CD / Super Hit Jam Records)

You really have to love Japanese bands, especially Japanese Grindcore bands. I mean who else but Japanese dudes would call their band Bathtub Shitter and have song titles like "Skate of Bulgaria" or "Everybody has the wet"? Right. I had never heard the music of these guys before but always thought their name ruled, so I was quite curious what to expect. Instead of a total noise inferno the CD starts with a (boring) intro which sounds like it was taken from a stupid 80s arcade game. The first real song is more into the S.O.D. influenced Thrashcore vein than Grind and sounds pretty cool except for some of the vocals. I mean the growls are cool and stuff, but the high vocals totally get on my nerves. "World dun hole" is a pretty nice grind smasher with cool bass parts and with over 4 minutes in length a real Grindcore anthem (maybe some kind of Grind concept song, haha...). "Dancehall Grind" features 12 own songs plus a cover from D.R.I.'s "Time out". Nothing to get too enthusiastic about, but funny and original in a way. Goooooooooo!! (Stefan)



BLACK MARKET BABY -- Coulda... Shoulda... Woulda... The Black Market Baby Collection (CD / Dr. Strange Records)





BLOOMINGTON - Kill The Rock Stars We Were (CD / Aloud Music)





BOMBSQUAD -- Indicator (CD / Burnside Records)





BURNS OUT BRIGHT -- Save Yourself A Lifetime (CD / Deep Elm Records)





CARNAL LEFTOVERS -- Pressure Pleasure (CD / Crash Landing Records)






CINDER -- Two Years Of Rip Offs And Circle Pits (CD / Sell Our Souls Records)

This March I spent a couple of days in beautiful Barcelona and had the opportunity to check out Barcelona's Hardcore scene as luckily there was a pretty cool show taking place, the line-up consisting of The Challenge, The Defense (they ruled!), Northstar (their farewell show which was killer) and Barcelona's finest, Cinder. During and after this show I was very enthusiastic about Hardcore again and sad at the same time, because I remembered when shows were as much fun here in Germany a couple of years ago, but meanwhile I have the impression that people are more or less standing around not moving at all with a huge gap in front of the stage. A totally different picture in Barcelona: Lots of kids, cool door prices (3 Euros, what a joke), and farewell shirts from Northstar for 6 Euros! And also the kids at the show were great: Straight edge kids moshing along punk kids, all having fun and diving as fuck from the very first band on. That's the way it should be! But back to this review. I really liked the thrashy old school sound of Cinder a lot, so I bought their latest 7" as well as this CD that compiles all of their previous material (demo, 7"s etc.), most of which is out of print by now. And Cinder are not only an amazing band on stage, I also like their recorded material a lot. Probably the new songs are the most mature (which doesn't mean their less "hard") and their best stuff, but the old ones are cool, too. Some cover versions can be found on the disc as well, but I prefer their own stuff, because "Last caress" by the Misfits can naturally not compete with the original. Anyway, great band, great scene, support honest and sincere Hardcore! (Stefan)



CINDER -- Breakin' The Ice (7" / Sell Our Souls Records)

There's really nothing much to say about the latest 7" by Cinder that came out after their compilation CD, so there are all new songs on here. It's typical Cinder: Thrashy old school with lots of singalongs and breakdowns, moshparts and back ups. Exactly the way it shoudl be with a cool cover by Side by Side as a bonus. Get it! (Stefan)




DISMEMBER -- The God That Never Was (CD ( Regain Records)





FIGHTSTAR -- They Liked You Better When You Were Dead (CD / Deep Elm Records)

Can you imagine a mixture of the melodic twin vocals of Jimmy Eat World, the aggressive parts and Thursday and the brilliant melodies of The Ataris on their great "So long Astoria" record? Yes? And do you like this blend? Well, then better get a copy of Fightstar's debut full length "They liked you better when you were dead", and better be quick. It's amazing that this band formed in London in 2003 as the songs on this record sound very mature and well though out. If I am correct this full length compiles two previous EPs of Fightstar for the American market. Three of the nine songs on here were recorded by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder) (including the UK top 10 single "Paint your target", which is along with "Until then" and "Cross out the stars" probably my favourite track on here) while the other six songs were recorded with Mark Williams. I could imagine that some might say that this is just another band mixing Emo and Hardcore in the vein of bands like Thursday or Taking Back Sunday, but I disagree as Fightstar really know how to sound original within a genre that is more or less quite limited music wise. Get up and get this one, you won't regret it. (Stefan)



FREE DIAMONDS -- There Should Be More Dancing (CD / Deep Elm Records)






I FARM - IV (CD / Go-Kart Records)

I'm not quite sure, but didn't I see I Farm play live some time in the past? Or am I completely wrong here? And wasn't "IV" also the title of a Circle Jerks record? Can anybody help me out here? Anybody? No? Well, back to the review then... The first song on "IV" reminded me to ALL as you can hear melodic Punk Rock mixed with some kind of dissonant guitar melodies. So it was no big surprise to see that the band's third record was engineered and produced by Jason Livermore and Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room. And even though some parts really remind me to ALL, I Farm is faster at times and also more complex than the new ALL stuff. Good stuff, but the booklet is really poor as it doesn't contain any information, no line up, not lyrics, not thanks list, no pictures, nothing. Come on, do you really wonder if people don't buy but burn their CDs when they get such poor packaging? Or maybe I just got the promo copy? Anyway, the music is cool and if you don't care about an almost non-existing booklet, then go ahead and but this one (Stefan)



LIPSERVICE - Cardboard Robots (CD / One Take)





LO:MUESO - Next:Materia (CD / Aloud Music)






MASSIVE ASSAULT - Conflict EP (CD / Crash Landing Records)

When I read the info sheet that came along with this four song EP I was like "Fuck yes!!" as the band was described as a Swedish style Death Metal machine, inspired by the sound of the early 90s and influenced by bands such as Dismember (gods!), Grave (the early stuff kills!), Nihilist (gods!), Carnage (see above), and Entombed (yeah, you guessed it, gods). I was even more pleased and curious when I read the liner notes of the CD where the bands thanks their musical influences Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Grave and Nirvana 2002 (total gods!! Unfortunately nobody seems to remember this Swedish cult band). So let's get this CD in the player and the first thing that came to my mind was: Sunlight. I mean the guitar sounds is 100% in the vein of the early 90s recordings done at famous Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. Killer! Even though the band clearly shows some Crust influences as well so you can't quite say it's a totally Death Metal bands the aforementioned influences/bands show off very clearly. If you like these Swedish cult bands and want to check out a band that plays this type of music (still my favourite Death Metal sound after all) in 2006 without sounding like a pure retro band, then check out Massive Assault. Both thumbs up from my side. (Stefan)



NOFX -- Never Trust A Hippy (CD EP / Fat Wreck Chords)

This six song EP by NOFX is a little appetizer for the forthcoming album "Wolves in wolves clothing" with two songs ("Seeing double at the Triple Rock" and "The Marxist brothers") off of that new record, while the other four songs are unreleased tracks. Well, kind of, as "Golden boys" (Germs cover), "You're wrong" (NOFX goes acoustic) and "I'm going to hell for this one" have already been featured on various 7"s of the NOFX singles club. Being a member of this club and owning all 12 7"s, only "Everything in moderation (especially moderation)" is a new song for me. But hey, I still like NOFX a lot, so I had to get this EP anyway (in Barcelona by the way). The music is typical NOFX, in the vein of their latest full length "The war on errorism" which sounds pretty promising after a few mediocre releases in the late 90s. For every NOFX fan this is a sure shot. (Stefan)



NOTHINK - Bipolar Age (CD / Aloud Music)





OUT OF SEASON -- Sunday Morning (CD / DIY)





PELUZE - !?. (CD / Aloud Music)





PUNCHLINE -- Underground Loyalty (CD / Burnside Records)





RIFU -- Bombs For Food, Mines For Freedom (CD / Go-Kart Records)

Thanks to the good people at Go-Kart Records I finally got to hear Rifu. I had heard about this band before but somehow never managed to check them out. I wonder why because the music on "Bombs for food,..." really appeals to me a lot. Imagine a mixture of classic New School Hardcore from the mid 90s with the Hardcore sound of bands like Comeback Kid and you get a crude impression how this four piece from Norway sounds like. But somehow I don't think that comparisons serve Rifu well as this band is anything but new to the scene, being around for like 10 years and already having two full lengths and an EP under their belts, with "Bombs for food..." being their latest full length and the first one for Go-Kart Records. It's a really cool listen because every song sounds different than the previous one. Ok, maybe you wonder why this should be something special, but what I mean is that each track has influences from various musical styles, e.g. "Sold out world" reminds me of Hardcore played by bands like the abovementioned Comeback Kid while "Born addicted" is more in the vein of 90s New School Hardcore and "Spitting at the remains" is definitely more Metal influenced. This mixture works surprisingly well and not "artificial" or something. I think you can really say that Rifu found their own style, and that's something not many bands can show these days. Hopefully they get more attention with this record, they really deserve it. (Stefan)



THE SHOCKER -- Up Your Ass Tray (CD / Go-Kart Records)





SLOWRIDE -- C/S (CD / Deep Elm Records)





SMALL ARMS DEALER -- A Single Unifying Theory (CD / Deep Elm Records)

The latest releases of Deep Elm are once again some pretty great stuff, and Small Arms Dealer (featuring members of On The Might Of Princes and more) are no exception. These Long Island based band reminds me of a band members of Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker (during "Dear you") or Smoke or Fire would start in their free time, which means lots of melodies without a certain edge to the songs and vocals that are a little bit rougher than the usual pop punk band if you know what I mean. It's amazing that this band formed in 2004 and sounds so mature already. A song like "Perpendicular cross-talk" makes me wanna see this band on stage, wave my fists in the air and sing along to the words. Great stuff, indeed! With bands like Small Arms Dealer, Deep Elm proves that it's still one of the finest labels out there, so please support bands like Small Arms Dealer by listening to their music and going to their shows. (Stefan)