Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Day Rising - double 7"

My friends! Welcome to another installment over here at Creation Of Minerals, the blog that brings to you terrible essays on awesome music (most of the time) which first appeared quite some time ago...again, most of the time. Today is the Spring Equinox, so in anticipation of the warmer days ahead of us, I would like to celebrate the fact that winter has finally come to an end with this pleasing 1996 release from Etobicoke, Ontario's Upheaval Records.

This 2 x 7" marked my first exposure to New Day Rising. It was the Canadian band's first solo vinyl release; prior to this they appeared on a split 7" with New York's Atlas Shrugged put out by Moo Cow Records a few months earlier. Shortly after putting out the self-titled release on display here, they turned up on another Moo Cow split 7", this time with then-fledgling Buffalo powerhouses Despair. I have to say, I was hooked on this band from the very first time  heard them. For those of you who may not be up to speed on what they were all about, New Day Rising wrote music with a ton of energy. Many (if not most) NDR songs combined quietly-strummed guitar parts with rousing, sung vocal passages that flowed straight into some dope as fuck mid-90's mosh bits, complete with furious, frantic dual screaming and loads of high-pitched china boy cymbal bashing going on. These four songs are fueled by equal parts angst, compassion, and the need for societal change, and are quite well done. With what they achieved on this EP, It's not hard to see why this band went on to become rather popular during their course of life, albeit somewhat alienating many people at the very same time. Sometimes their lyrics were governmental in nature, and on other occasions they dealt with more social topics (for example, the pro-choice masterpiece "Woman's Right", one of my absolute favorite songs from our scene written during the middle part of the 1990's). They always had something to say and, similarly to fellow countrymen Chokehold, they didn't really give a fuck what you thought about their opinions...and rightfully so. You know, 'cause it's their fucking band and not yours.

There is definitely a good bit of diversity (and personal writings) to be found in releases these boys and girl did, and I still listen to this band with regularity today partly due to this fact. Every song turned over a different stone during their search for the answers to the questions which they were on a quest to find. New Day Rising was an inspiring merger of monstrousness and beauty, and the end result was something hauntingly awesome. I mean, just look at how much that kid with the hat is feelin' it in that live pic on the second record. That right there is the complete summation of 90's hardcore punk circa 1996, y'all. Catch the vibe for yourselves below.

These songs were recorded by Rob Sanzo at Signal To Noise during October (they think!) of 1995.
UR-666 and 667.

1) Revolution Song
2) Driven
3) Innocence and Rage
4) Shattered

-"what you put into hardcore, or anything, is what will give it meaning"-

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Focal Point - "Neglected" 7"

Neglected was the first and only extended play released by the Sacramento-area band Focal Point. These five dudes played some rough and ready metallic hardcore that might appeal to fans of Fault, Unconquered, Torn Apart (who had an album released on the same label that did this 7"), Allentown, Pennsylvania's Outcome, and fellow Californians Surface, who may in fact be the best musical comparison to Focal Point that I can think of.

x Life Sentence x Records (the X's were eventually dropped, sadly) in its heyday was a label which became pretty well known for putting out strictly metal-influenced moshcore, and it makes perfect sense to me that Dan was the guy who released this three song 7". Focal Point certainly did not rewrite the book on metallic chugcore, but it doesn't seem like they were trying to do anything that breaks from the mold of the type of shit they played. To their credit, their lyrics reflected an obvious stance on equality, human rights, dedication to ones beliefs, and the fair distribution of justice to people far and wide. The music is mid-paced and energetic, the recording quality here captures a very good fusion of clarity and rawness, yet there are a couple of slightly harsh moments present here. For example, that guitar tone during the intro of "Violated" has never sat well with me, especially once the second guitar joins in. It isn't necessarily something that everyone who listens to this record will be bothered by (or even notice, for that matter), it's just one of those quirky things that I was never able to ignore when that jam played. I can be a little eccentric y'all, sorry. The drummer plays some of those "rap-inspired beats" with loads of accented down stokes and taps on his snare (so the kids can dance along), and he isn't afraid of using his Chinese cymbal, either. This is indeed a good thing.

Moving on, the layout is simple yet effective. The colors really seem to pop on both the front and back cover of this record, and I've always felt that this 7" looked nice and slick when being compared to other debut 7"s from similar-styled bands. It doesn't have a card stock cover, nor is it anything fancy like the Threadbare 7" or the Sarin 7" (it's merely some paper, bro), but that opinion has stuck with me since the day I bought this record, which wasn't long after its release in '96. They kept it simple, but made it look nice.

You should know what you're getting here when I mention that it is one hundred percent 90's metal-inspired hardcore. I'm not sure if I can easily just file this under "g" for generic, since I would say these kids did a better than average job arranging the material on this seven inch. I remember being reminded of Ritual-era Unbroken on occasion when spinning this back in the day, and I'd say that thought still finds its way into my brain in 2017. A few of these songs appeared on their subsequent full length, which was nowhere near as good as this, especially when it comes to the artwork, holy shit. I'd very much recommend that you check out Neglected first before listening to Focal Point's LP, because it's way better.

These songs were recorded by Eric Broyhill at Enharmonik Studios during the latter days of February 1996. Neglected is LSR #6.

1) Neglected
2) Violated
3) Upright

 -here ya go-

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sog - "Love / I Giganti Del"

"Love / I Giganti Del" (which may or may not be translated in English as "Love / Giants") is a relatively obscure full length from the emotive hardcore band Sog, which was formed way back in 1993 in Stuttgart, a city located in southwestern Germany. It was the first non-demo release from this four-piece, and I have absolutely zero recollection of how this album found its way into my possession. My best guess is that the description of this LP sounded interesting to me while perusing a Very Distro catalog many moons ago, so I took a chance and bought it. If that wasn't the case, then I haven't a clue.

So, what does Sog sound like? Well, that question does not have a straightforward answer. I guess in 2017 they would be awarded a post-hardcore classification, but back when this thing came out that specific style of hc was basically associated with one band, and one band only: Quicksand. Alas, Sog shares nothing in common with that sound, so that description didn't really stick. What the fuck was I talking about again? Yes, yes...Sog.

These seven songs, which clock in at around 40 minutes, cover a lot of bases as far as style goes. I hear something akin to a combination of fellow Germans Kurt with a touch of demo-era Off Minor and a pinch of Raein. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Add to that some busy bass lines, a healthy dose of creative weirdness in song structure (especially during transitions), jarring parts that come from out of nowhere and don't seem to fit in at first but eventually make sense (?), and samples of birds singing and fake hand claps.

This was clearly crafted by musicians who knew what they were doing and weren't afraid to experiment with the mid-paced hardcore they were constructing. The recording quality is better-than-average, as is the layout of this record; a mint green gatefold jacket and some of the best individual band member pictures I may have ever seen.

These songs were recorded in September 1996 by Beni Fleisch I, and this was released in late 1996 by Bremen, Germany's Love Records. There were 1000 copies pressed.

1) Geschenk    (Present)
2) Klartext    (Clear text)
3) Küss Mich    (Kiss Me)
4) Krebsfrüherkennungsuntersuchung    (Cancer screening) *
5) Tiefe    (Depth)
6) 12 Uhr Nachts (Klacker, Klacker)    (12 o'clock At Night Klacker, Klacker)
7) Gedankengebäude    (Thought building)

- *holy shit, that's 31 letters -

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

King Slender - self-titled ep

Hey all. I just wanted to make a quick post here, and it's in regards to a new band I play drums and do vocals in. We're called King Slender, and we play a style of hardcore akin to loads of 90's emo hardcore bands you may already be familiar with.

Wisconsin's Parking Lot Records has just released a three song cassette for us, and we will be recording five new songs in April with Steve Roche (ex-Off Minor, Saetia, Books Lie, etc.) at his Permanent Hearing Damage studio here in Philadelphia. We're just starting out as a band, and we played our first show in December with more coming up in the very near future.

Here is a link to our bandcamp page (the three songs there are available for a free aka 'pay-what-you-want' download). We also have shirts available for any interested parties.

Finally, if you like what you hear and you're on f/b, feel free to toss our page a like.

Thanks, and I certainly hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Joshua cd

Time for some real talk, dawg. Let's be honest with ourselves; not every single record released by a label, no matter how great you think said label may be, is going to be a clear-cut winner. Furthermore, the whole reason I started doing this blog is to help expose folks to music that was (for the most part) released long ago that he or she may not have been exposed to until reading about it here. That being said, I don't do these posts for me, I do them for the kids, people like you! I'm not going to be crazy about all of the shit that appears here within the digital pages of Creation Of Minerals. This, my friends, is an example of one of those records.

Upon shitting my pants after purchasing two early Immigrant Sun releases; the Hourglass and Morning Again eps, I almost immediately mail-ordered this Joshua cdep as well as the first Immigrant Sun Records offering, the Sarin 7". Much to my chagrin, I wasn't really into either of these releases, and I wanted to be. The stuff Joshua was doing here reminds me not only of that Sarin record, but also the Massachusetts band Six Going On Seven, and maybe the calmer, quiter stuff from Staten Island's The Cable Car Theory, a band this label would eventually release a record for. Definitely some emopop stuff going on here, but I guess I'd just rather listen to Dahlia Seed, Samuel or, well, Six Going On Seven. I cannot say that this is a bad record, 'cause it's not; the recording is good enough, the layout is fucking sweet, there are lots of "rocking" elements to the music, but overall I just could not get into it. I think the vocals might be a bit too sing-songy for me (haha, what the fuck?). Yup, it's the vocals. I mean, the dude can sing, but...I dunno, man. You be the judge.

Hey, just 'cause I'm not into this shit doesn't mean you won't be, right? So, check out some mid-90's college rock with some "sing-songy" sweetly sung vocals from the shores of the Hudson River in Orange County, New York. The first four songs were recorded for this release at Sanctuary Studio, and the last two songs included on this disc were taken from the band's "Today We Flew Our Balloons" demo tape.

This cd is Immigrant Sun Records, I'm sorry, I mean Kill-003 and was released in 1996.

1) Lover's Quarrel
2) Forever
3) Disassociation
4) Kickstand
5) Impossible
6) Safe

- Orange County, NY emocore -

Monday, December 5, 2016

Chelsea's Gone Under cdep

Three songs (well, two plus an "intro" consisting of just under thirty seconds of orchestra music) made up of moody and abstract weirdness from members of Mainspring, Empathy and Manetheren, and a future member of Thoughts Of Ionesco / Triptych, Anchorage and Leaving Rouge. This might be a challenging listen for a lot of folks, but there are pretty interesting parts sprinkled throughout the two actual jams on this disc. The song titles are pretty self-explanatory; the first is an orchestra music intro, the second has lots of piano playing going on, and the third and final song is the grindy one with loads of feedback, more piano and a recorder (probably). This was released in 1995 by Nate Miller, who played drums on this here ep and bass in Empathy, on his Cascade Recordings / Cascade Records, and was sad labels first output. It's a little bit noisy, a little bit screamy, sometimes harsh and a bit different from what you might have expected it to sound like given the folks who did this. I'm going to guess that a good bit of improvisation happened during the recording of this ep.

Regardless, hats off to a bunch of hardcore kids who did something different and just enjoyed themselves. These recordings took place in May of 1995 with Tim Pak at Woodshed Studio in Oak Park, Meeeshigan, and is Cascade Recordings #1.

Smoke some drugs if that's your thing, and get down.

1) Orchestra
2) Piano
3) Grind