Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AFS v. 231 ~ Catching Up w/ My Record Collection

With no live guest on the air tonight, I can dive into the new arrivals that have been mounting. But first, I gotta tell you about the best band in burly, balls-to-the-wall hardcore punk rock today...HPP. After seeing them twice in the last week-and-a-half, I am convinced that these guys are gonna make the short-list of all the best live bands I've seen this year, including The Mayyors, Thee Oh Sees, Hunches, Cave, Wounded Lion, and Box Elders. The guitar tone is peerless in the hardcore game today, and the volatility and the perma-blitzed, drug-devouring dereliction of that singer--whose vocals recall Stephen Lucas of the Aussie band X almost as much as vintage Sammy Town of Fang--has surely got this band teetering on the verge of implosion. I definitely believe that HPP feels as authentic as any band to rage since the heyday of hardcore waned in the mid-80s. No website appears to exist, so your only way to hear 'em unless you get their tremendous tour cassette (which is very competently recorded and begging to be issued on vinyl!) is right here towards the end of this podcast. Check below the playlist for a glimpse of an HPP live show in their hometown of Olympia, Washington, on YouTube in six parts.....plus, a teaser for a promising tour kicking off next week featuring two rad Canadian bands, the Defektors and Sex Church.

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ADAM PAYNE | Onallisalland | Maybelline Weeks 7" | Malt Duck *new
LITTLE CLAW | Human Taste | Human Taste | Ecstatic Peace/Not Not Fun *new
BLUE JUNGLE | You Always Have Something to Say | Baby Don't Cry | Antifiesta *new
FINALLY PUNK | Pregnant | Casual Goths | Army of Bad Luck *new
GRASS WIDOW | Rattled Call | Grass Widow | Make a Mess *new
RANK/XEROX | Muscle Dogs | split CS w/ Grass Widow | Wizard Mountain *new
HONEY BANE | Girl on the Run | You Can Be You 7" | Crass 1979 *request
POISON GIRLS | Jump Mama Jump/Under the Doctor | Hex | Crass 1979
WORK | Public Infection | split LP w/ Piles | Rad Key *new
RUSTED SHUT | Shot in the Head | Dead | Load *new
THE ANALS | The Animals | Total Anal | Permanent *new
THE REBEL | War, Politics | Mouthwatering Claustrophobic Changes | Junior Aspirin *new
BILLY BAO | A2 | May 08 | Parts Unknown *new
DUDU GEVA | Pupu Blues | Dudu Geva | Le Vilain Chien/Galerie Pache *new
COUSINS OF REGGAE | Gongg | split LP w/ Lubriphikatttor | Galerie Pache 2008
ZOLA JESUS | Sink the Dynasty | The Spoils | Sacred Bones *new
SEX CHURCH | Mistaken | advance tracks & demos CDR | no label *new
DEFEKTORS | No to the Night | Torn to Pieces | Hockey Dad *new
HEX DISPENSERS | I've Got My Doppelganger On | Winchester Mystery House | Douche Master *new
RED MASS | Refrigerator [Electric Eels] | Red Mass 10" | Red Lounge *new
CHARLES ALBRIGHT | I Wanna Hold You | I'm on Drugs 7" | SS Records 2009
TEENAGE PANZERKORPS | Corpse on an Empty Stage | Arc de Triomphe 7" | Captured Tracks *new
VICHY WATER | trk 1 | 6 Songs CDR demo | no label *new
BLACK TIME | Contract | split LP w/ Ty Segall | Telephone Explosion *new
TY SEGALL | The Frog | Horn the Unicorn | HBSP-2X *new
TY SEGALL | Dropout Boogie [Capt. Beefheart] | Lemons | Goner *new
BOX ELDERS | Alice & Friends | Alice & Friends | Goner *new
THE SPITS | Alienize | The Spits | Recess *new
THE JARS | Electric Third Rail | Start Rite Now 7" | Subterranean 1980
TV GHOST | The Network | TV Ghost | In The Red *new
X | Suck Suck | Aspirations | X Music 1979
HPP | Teenage Life Crisis | tour CS | no label *new
HPP | side B, songs 1-2
FANG | You're Cracked | Where the Wild Things Are | Boner 1984 *request
TALES OF TERROR | Romance | Tales of Terror | C.D. Presents 1984 *request
PISSED JEANS | Dominate Yourself | King of Jeans | Sub Pop *new

So, I first saw this HPP band two Sundays ago in Sacramento at The Hub with Mutating Meltdown and Vichy Water. Unfortunately for them (and everyone who missed it), about 30 of the 35 people in attendance (including Dyl-Dawg (great job!)) left right after Mutating Meltdown, so the singer--shirtless and wasted since before the show even began--veered toward the edge of patheticness as he exhorted the tiny crowd to "GIVE US MONEY! WE'RE BROKE! WE NEED MONEY! CAN YOU TURN DOWN THE SUCK IN THIS MICROPHONE?"

Seriously, I was preparing for the worst. But then the band ripped into their rollicky hardcore, and I was amazed by that guitar tone which seemed expertly honed to resemble those first two Fang 12"es, but with transfixing Ginn-like leads. Surely, there's been plenty of bands recalling that style in the latter half of this decade, but this is the first time I've felt like it was therapeutic dermabrasion. The rhythm section was solid but loose at all the right moments, and everyone's frustration with fuckheads and boredom resonated together perfectly in that room as Dylan's vocals were cruising just below their redline limit while his verge-of-a-blackout lack of awareness conveyed a delicious lack of giving a fuck.

The singer and bassist got into a pretty serious row which seemed to nearly break out in fisticuffs as each would-be combatant blamed the other for screwing up the previous song. The next song proceeded perfectly despite them both being intertwined in a grapple-hold from the shoulders up. (Somehow, the bassist still played all of his parts perfectly!) Now the five or six of us in the audience were checking each others' astonished looks and we all kept breaking into laughter. We knew we'd be guilt-tripping those kids who made an early exit. And it worked to fill up my car just this last Saturday for a trip to "Wizard Fest" in San Francisco to see HPP be the burly goats on a world-class partyband bill with Traditional Fools, Nodzzz, Grass Widow, and next week's special in-studio guests, Rank/Xerox. Indeed, all of the bands were splendid, and the setting in the basement and backyard of Wizard Mountain was fantastic. I think it was probably--start to finish--the best time I've had a show in 2009 so far (might also be 'cos I wasn't the least bit reponsible for anything!). But HPP were surely the clincher, even though they refused to play my request spot! Next time, fellas! And I really hope that there is a next time. This tour looked like a non-stop bender for singer Dylan and a miserable moneypit for everyone. That's the kinda breaks that can devastate a band. But I really hope they live to tour again 'cos YOU really MUST see this band, and the recordings on that tour tape truly belong on vinyl.

Check out this YouTube footage here...

Part 5..."embedding disabled by request"

Part 6..."embedding disabled by request"

Based on our observances over 2½ days in Sacto plus in S.F., though, I can tell you that the apparent mayhem in parts 5-6 of this series is not par for the course. So, don't be afraid to meet this band next time they tour. The only thing they devastated were minds, ear drums, and a few braincells.

The next incoming tour I'm really excited about features two of my favorite Canadian bands...Defektors and Sex Church. Defektors have issued a couple of superb singles and dished three choice cuts on last year's Emergency Room vol. 1 LP of today's exciting Vancouver scene, and their first album is right on the cusp (hopefully they get it in time!). They've got a sorta seductive dark edge to them, yet there's also a hint of glitter in those songs. Sex Church feature a couple fellows from Ladies Night, which Sacto/Davis showgoers might remember as one of the most exciting bands to have played at Delta of Venus during its five-shows-per-week heyday a few years back. Their debut vinyl is on Sweet Rot and should be available in time for this tour. These guys also bring some psych-punk darkness that sorta conjures up thoughts of Easter Monkeys.

Friday, August 15 in Vancouver, BC, Canada
@ the Astoria

Wednesday, August 19 in Eugene, OR
@ Tiny Tavern w/ Hanging Coffins

Thursday, August 20 in West Sacramento, CA
@ 300 Room w/ Charles Albright XXXperience (debut & perhaps one-time ever!)

Friday, August 21 in Oakland
@ TBA w/ Shannon & The Clams

Saturday, August 22 in Los Angeles
@ Mr. T’s Bowl

Sunday, August 23 in San Diego
@ Soda Bar w/ Blessure Grave and Beaters

Monday, August 24 in Bakersfield
@ Basement Gallery

Tuesday, August 25 in Fresno
@ Chinatown Youth Center

Wednesday, August 26 in Santa Cruz

Thursday, August 27 in San Francisco
@ the Knockout w/ Box Elders and Fresh & Onlys

Friday, August 28 in Portland, OR
@ Slabtown

Saturday, August 29 in Seattle
@ Funhouse w/Coconut Coolouts

C'mon, TBAs...don't leave such rad bands hanging!


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