Posted by Kamikaze Dan on 11/14/2020
Last week was a particularly chaotic one cause of our Presidential election. Certainly it's a net positive that Biden won, but this doesn't solve any of the problems we face here in the USA, it only puts a damper on them and allows a more concrete path towards tackling them. We still have to actually do the tackling, if you know what I mean. The fight continues.
Personally, my biggest takeaway from the election is pure unadulterated cynicism. I've ranted and rambled to plenty of people in my life about my feelings on this, my sense that I've clearly misunderstood the feeling of American culture, I won't write pages and pages down about it right now. Basically, I no longer feel like progressive politics has a viable path forward in the USA. Not that I'm prepared to give up the fight at all, but my expectations are certainly tempered and my sense of hope is more or less quashed. I suppose this is like, one of the fundamental aspects of adulthood, to lose all hope in the world around you. So maybe, slowly, I'm growing up ahahaha.
Election week was busy in my own life because I was helping to organize a couple of protests in my city. The messaging was left a little open-ended, which I understand, I mean strategically you set this stuff up in advance so there's something concrete to focus energy on, to galvanize around, if something crazy happens and people want to get out on the street about it. You want to be set up to try and capture the moment....but if there's no moment to capture, it's all a bit mundane hahaha. Oh well. One became a "count the vote"-type protest and the other was closer to a Biden celebration, whatever, I dunno, do we really need an excuse to get out on the street and proclaim 'fuck the system'? In the end, only once did I get almost run over by an angry car LOL, so I guess it's all good.
In a roundabout way, my point is, I wasn't mailing anything out because I was on the streets, and this week I commit myself to getting caught up on mailorder and now everything except today's orders are in the mail. Just in time for another update! Let's get to it!
NOVEMBER NEW ARRIVALS
This month, the big winner for me is Finnish hardcore in general hahaha. For a few years now I've been telling anyone that will listen that Finland has the best current scene in punk. Finland has been consistently popping out hardcore records of the highest tier, but I think a lot of them sail under the radar on the global scale because they don't get much distribution outside the country. We've got stacks of a couple of these hot releases, and more on the way.
Joukkouhauta EP is my personal favorite here, combining the riff attack of Riistetyt with the d-beat influence of Mellakka and updating with a total noise-not-music execution. But Raamattu EP left a huge impression on me as well. I think the Uutuus cover is pretty telling of where they're at: 90's speed and brutality, Finnish chaos. Sick Urge LP is even faster, a Seein Red sense of straight-forward nonstop blasting hardcore.
Between these, the Ohjus EP, Ydinaseeton Pohjola records, Diskelma recent LP, and I know there's an unreleased Violent Spirit EP lurking that is the best thing I've heard in a hot minute.....I don't know what the fuck is up with Finland right now but put me on a plane and stick me in the frozen tundra cause I want to know. And that's to speak nothing of the noisecore stuff that's also blowing up over there, fuck!
Along those lines, I have 3 new releases out on my own little record label, all from Finland. Two new 7"s by Backlash, who play "Burning Spirits" Japanese hardcore style as we say. Big anthemic choruses, blazing guitar solos, memorable riffs, PUNK IS DANGER. These are their first new releases since their LP in 2012, and have been in the works for so long now hahaha, it's a huge relief that they're finally seeing the light of day. Fingers crossed for more records to come! I also put out a new 7" by Hapea, by my count the best of the 'new generation' of Finnish hardcore. The unhinged chaos of Terveet Kadet, the bonkers franticness of Bastards, the noise-not-music of Kuolema; this is Finnish hardcore for the modern times, informed by the classics but not copy/pasting any specific band. I've always gone out of my way to help distribute this band's records here in the USA (and along those lines I got some straggling copies of the sold out Hapea second 7" as well), makes me real happy that circumstances aligned that I could finally put my money where my mouth is on this.
I know there's a lot of interest in all the immaculate FOAD reissues, and yes they are in stock now. There's plenty of hype around Human Gas now, somehow this has become a household name starting this summer, but personally I am most excited about Estamos En La Sima comp 2xLP. I first heard this in college, an absolute bomb-blast of Colombian hardcore brutality from the golden 90's. I rank 90's Colombia up with 80's Poland and 00's Japan as my favorite scenes for punk music, and Estamos En La Sima really encapsulates what I like about it: so fuckin raw, so unhinged and demented, so unnervingly brutal. Well, I only ever had this comp on mp3, so actually I hadn't heard it since college hahaha, but it still sounds as powerful as I remember.
For all the speed freaks, we got a nice box of Japanese grindcore. I imagine after his USA tour, the Takafumi Matsubara LP will be on people's radar. The Minneapolis gig was a full house and a lot of fun. Feels like a distant memory now....will there ever be gigs again? hahaha. Myself, I'm most excited about Noisegoat/Earth Federation split 12". Savage told me that Noisegoat was the best band they played with on their Japan tour, crushing Corrupted-style doom punishment, and that's enough of an endorsement for me. But if that's not enough, consider that Earth Federation is blasting grindcore featuring members of Corrupted, and if that doesn't sound appealing....I got nothing else lol.
For more commentary on this stuff and more, please scope our Instagram page, where we review choice new arrivals as they come. If it sounds cool when we talk about it, it'll sound even cooler when you hear it streaming on the online store, and even cooler still when you buy the record and slap it on your turntable.
coming between now and the next mass e-mail in December:
-more Finnish punk and hardcore
-more European and Japanese fastcore and grindcore
-more of the latest Japanese hardcore CDs and records
-more South American hardcore collection LPs and CDs
-3 new releases on SPHC Records
and more more more !!
Thanks and talk more in December.