From Stars Come Hearts

This post has something for everyone! As long as everyone loves really screamy, harsh, emotional, and chaotic hardcore.

Here’s a comp 7″, called From Stars Come Hearts, put out by Witching Hour in 1997. Limited to 500, or so I’ve heard. It features one song each by Makara, Khmer Rouge, Rinse, and Puritan.

As all the bands are brutal, muddy, chaotic, noisy, and screamy, I kind of consider this is as the predecessor to the Antipodes comp (wouldn’t you agree?). Clear yellow vinyl, and housed in such a way as to make it very difficult to keep clean; it’s held into the cover by a thronged pin, like the pin that seals a manila envelope. And there’s no doubt that pin’s rubbed up against the grooves. I had to play the Puritan song about ten times in order to get it to play through with a skip. But keep in mind there are some pops.

Feel free to read the insert and then make decisions to change the names I’ve chosen for these tracks. Some are ambiguous. Also, when you see the edges cut off on some of the insert pages, please remember that it’s because of a giant staple in the booklet that forces a half inch margin.

Rather than leave you all hanging with just one song by each band, and being that I am way into bonuses, I’m also throwing in the Makara 7″ (on Hymnal), Khmer Rouge 7″ (on Witching Hour), and Rinse 7″ (on Concurrent)! Sorry, I don’t have any more Puritan… but if anyone else does, please tell me.

Rinse. I came across this a few months ago while browsing the 7″ inch section at my local record store (which seems to be the only section I ever browse). At the time my mind wasn’t placing the band, but I knew it sounded familiar. So I slapped down the dollar and gave it a good home. Then I remembered where I’d heard Rinse! Way cool; I have such great instinct sometimes.

This seven inch is pretty dang good. And it comes with a great insert. Full lyrics, art, and a page by each member of the band. The lyrics are of an intensely personal nature. If I had to find a theme, I’d say it was lousy father. The last song features female guest vocals (and I’m guessing she sang for another band.. maybe someone can tell me which one. She actually sings – not screams – the backups). Pretty intense record, especially if you follow along with the words. Music-wise, they’re not breaking any new ground – many fast parts, some chugging, some Rorschach-y riffs, splintery, heaving guitars, and so on. But it’s totally good.

Khmer Rouge’s first song starts off with the same drum beat as their song on the comp! They’re pretty spastic, muddy, and brutal. And once in a while they bring in some Unruh-y riffs (Unruh from the Enewetak split seven inch, not the lp). And “Over and Out” is like if Constatine Sankathi went completely off the deep-end. Anyone else hearing that? Feel free to dispute my track titles. The little green insert confuses things. They have a song titled “Song 6”, but there definitely aren’t six songs on this record. So.

I got this record to review for Heartattack, and I remember not giving it the hottest review. Sorry. Now I like it more. Their name is still not the greatest, though. But at least they supply a little history note about the Khmer Rouge.

The Makara discography is still available. But here’s the seven inch anyway. They’re my favorite band of the bunch. In fact, they’re one of my favorite hardcore bands. I love how they have feedback running throughout the entire record. They bring such a sense of urgency. It’s like they’re possessed by an insane disease, with the result being this insatiable sound that emerges every time they come together. They can’t help it. I don’t know; that’s just the feeling I get from them. I split the sides into tracks. I did my best; there are no actual full breaks.

And there is no insert. They bit the Mohinder – The Mission 7″ cover style: their name and stuff screened on a random page from a fashion magazine. Of course, Makara had members of Mohinder, so we can excuse them! Plus we’re not the police, so who cares. If you want the lyrics, get the discography. And the discog is remastered, so it sounds a little better. Though I just compared them side by side, and the difference isn’t huge. Plus there were even some of the same snags in the recording (so it’s not just my vinyl… weird). After Makara, some members, most notably, went on to Ruhaeda. The Ruhaeda lp is very amazing (it was put out on CD, too, and I had both, but then I lent the CD out and never got it back… I might transfer the vinyl anyway, just so I can have it in my earphones).

Here it all is, in one beautiful package:

From Stars Come Hearts, et al

Rugburn / Jeberrekenelle

Okay, so this record is very special to me.

It’s one of my favorites ever: among the first batch of hardcore records I ever got; I have little doubt that I’ve listened to it far more times than any other record I own; and it was put out locally (in Santa Barbara), and one of the bands (Jeberrekenelle) had a guy who went to my high school. A high school friend sold it to me, handing me it on campus, and then he looked up and pointed and said, “Oh, and that guy right there sings and plays bass on it.” I was a surf-rat, and a sophomore, and the artist, Ananda, was a senior, in the “freak” crowd, with a misshapen army-green backpack covered in homemade patches and a long braid of hair coming off his bangs. (yeah, I became a bit enamored after hearing this record – though, honestly, I had noticed him before, and had wondered what he was up to.) A friend from elementary school, etc., Ben, played with him in some projects. But I wasn’t as good of friends with Ben at this time (not after a carrot was stuck in my sleeping nose at his birthday!), and so never hung out with the crowd. Though I did, years later, play in a band with one of his ex-bandmates..

Anyway, the sorry state of that cover may give you a hint about the attention I’ve awarded to it. To my defense, it was already covered in wax candle drops when it was given to me. But I spilled the water that smeared the silkscreen paint. As for the vinyl sound quality – it’s pretty good. It’s degraded a little bit from my many many listens, and, to my defense once again, that intro section has always been crackly and skipping like that. I’ve never had it play straight through correctly. It used to, however, skip at a slightly different part. It seems to me like the vinyl was pressed up against something, possibly another record, without its sleeve or cover. Probably the fault of my friend who sold it to me. But what are you gonna do… this record is mostly impossible to find. And at least it’s only at the beginning.

Also, my friend withheld the insert from me. I didn’t have it. I didn’t know it existed. I got this record in 1995, and it wasn’t until 2001 that I went up to John (the guy who put this out) and asked, “Say, that split you put out a long time ago, that didn’t happen to contain an insert, did it?” Lo, he had a copy right there. Things have never been the same. And of course, you guys and gals get the insert straight away! I scanned it and added it as a pdf in the zip.

The booklet contains all the lyrics (note: the last stanza of Jeberrekenelle’s “Sleep / Panic Stricken” is actually the last stanza of “This is Our Secret.”), lots of art by Ananda, photos of the bands, and stories, essays, rants, and so on by John and members of the bands.

Oh, so I guess I should say what this is, right? This is the Rugburn / Jeberrekenelle split LP, put out by Reality Control? in 1994. Reality Control? the label was started by John, the man mentioned in the last post as a member of Reality Control the band.

On this split the two bands trade off songs – back and forth and back and forth. To this day, and probably for ever more, I can’t listen to a song taken from the record without completely expecting the next band to chime in after the song ends. Both have since made available their discographies, and I urge you to find them. I got them off about seven or eight years ago (so they were basically freshly-burned CDs with very simple covers, no inserts)… but I don’t really know if that feature is still around. But, at the least, all of Jeberrekenelle’s recordings are available to download for free on Ananda’s site, Mr. Dwab.

Rugburn eventually moved to San Francisco, changed their name to Iijima, and, I don’t remember, recorded a few more songs plus some live stuff. The Iijima material is included on their discography.

But discographies aside, I think it’s important to listen to the album as they intended (albeit in digital form). And so that’s why I present it here.

Rugburn starts off the record with “Lawnmower.” I think it’s a metaphor. Their lyrics are a bit more vague and disconnected than Jeberrekenelle’s. I remember that right after I got this record, they played a show, but I didn’t go because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. A friend said to me, “I don’t wanna go; they’re just going to start off with Lawnmower, like they do every set.” So young, so jaded. At any rate, their music is very good: driving guitar, great drumming, some rocking, forward elements, somewhat reminiscent of Iconoclast, vocals kind of reminding me of 1.6 Band.

Jeberrekenelle (pronounced Hehbray-ken-yay-yay) start off by destroying everything: “Sleep/Panic Stricken” is a heavily textured campaign; a progressive arrangement covering the lives and loves of the past and the horrors of the future. Very weighty, fast bass lines, throaty bellows, nearly frantic drumming (Brian Tamborello, later of Embassy, Incurable Complaint, Ochre, etc… his dad removed my wisdom teeth; his brother was in Postal Service), and, I don’t know, fuzzy, unearthing guitar…

Rugburn’s next song, “Shunt Room,” is my favorite of theirs. That intro kills me every time. I love how it creeps up, with the bass and drums running up, with the guitar then coming in, spreading it all back down.

Jeberrekenelle follow it up with a feverish, more compact, song. In fact, they never make it past the title, “Page One of the Unmailed Letter, a.k.a. More on Like Love and Hiding” (despite all the lyrics left on the table).

Rugburn then end side one with “It’s O.K.” I said in the last post that this one would contain another song about the glories of self-gratification. Well, here it is. I remember my friend singing this in gym class, and we thought it was pretty major. On my own, though, I could never figure out all the words. Thanks, lyric sheet.

I’ll allow you all to review/describe side b for yourselves. The tone is set: go with it! Basically, I swim in Jeberrekenelle’s words. The stories are direct and real, and the songs manage to very remarkably wrap themselves around the words to construct narratives that you can feel.

Unfortunately for all of us, I have an automatic turntable, and so we don’t get the endlessly repeating end. I like records with this feature, and I wish I could turn off the auto mode on this player. On past players, I used to keep, for instance, the endless beeping of the Heroin seven inch going for a long time. The repeat on this Jeberrekenelle track, though, is a bit more abrasive, and so it’s tough to keep going for too long. If you can’t guess, it repeats “the same, the same.” Luckily for all of us, we can download just the repeated section – seven minutes long – from Ananda’s site. It’s the last track from the Live at KCSB recordings.

Rugburn / Jeberrekenelle – split LP

A Fool’s Paradise

I remain faithful: so here is a 7″ comp from my mostly-homeburg Santa Barbara. A Fool’s Paradise – A Santa Barbara Compilation, put out by Little Redhead Records in 1991.

Featured on this comp are:

  • P.M.S. – Love Song
  • Suckerpunch – Leech
  • Latch Key Kids – Nobody’s Home
  • Reality Control – Facts Don’t Sell
  • Downcast – They Are Not

This comp comes with quite a nice booklet, and I’ve scanned it and included it in the zip. There’s a ’90/’91 SB scene report, two pages for each band, and some additional info. I moved to SB in 1988, and was 11 years-old when this comp came out. I missed the release, since I was going through a big motley crue and skid row phase. In fact, I didn’t get my hands on this comp until a few weeks ago, when I found it in a record store in Portland (full disclosure: I found it eight months ago in that record store, and vowed at the time to come back and buy it as soon as I saved up $4).

To convey the tone of this record, here’s a quote from Jamey’s intro:

True, the place is really beautiful and there are lots of neat people, places, and history scattered around, but still, I can’t help but get the feeling that the whole place is just one characterless, pre-packaged, plastic fantasy you can buy in the windows of the many cutesy boutiques that seem to make up the place.

I kind of felt the same thing when I was living there. It’s such a tourist town, and the quality of the stores and businesses just degraded as the city pandered more and more to all the visitors from LA, Germany, and everywhere. The architecture and signage are so strictly enforced, and after a few years you realize that it’s an artificially-induced homogeneity. Personally, it wasn’t such a big deal to me, since I was pretty intent on just being a surfer and a skater. There was a period of a few years where I’d say I went downtown about five times. If there were waves, I surfed a few times a day. If there weren’t, I climbed the roads in Montecito and then bombed down them on my skateboard. When I moved from the city, a few years ago, I said no way I’d ever move back. However, these days I miss it. I miss the ocean, the mountains, and all the burrito shacks. Last night I dreamed I was there, walking home along windy roads in the Riviera, passing through a tennis club in the hills. I stood with a friend, and we marveled at the beautiful eucalyptus trees.

This comp’s got a range of bands, and it seems, in my mind, to cover a transitional period in punk rock:

P.M.S. (short for Pre Marital Sex), is an all-girl band (a big one: vocals, rhythm bass, lead bass, guitar, drums, keyboard, sax) playing upbeat, straight punk rock. They sing about the virtues of self-gratification. (stay tuned for next post, where Rugburn, also from Santa Barbara, present their take on the same subject.)

Suckerpunch is probably best known as having a song on the Give Me Back comp. But their ten inch, put out by Little Redhead, is super good. They play fast, tight punk with some heavier chunks. They remind me a bit of Mexican Power Authority.

Latch Key Kids also, like the first two bands, play skate/street punk type stuff. They sing about being latch key kids. It’s a straight tune – verse, chorus, etc. repetitive. Both of my parents worked, and so, like these guys, I was a latch key kid in SB. Except my parents never locked their doors. So I never had a key. I don’t my parents even kept a key on their selves. And if they weren’t home when I got home from school, I’d just go skate.

Side two’s got Reality Control, a band containing Jamey, the maker of this record, and also John Lyons, recorder of like half the ebullition records, runner of Reality Control? records, player in Agent 94 and others, and sound man for countless shows in town. They play really fast punk rock. And they sing about the lame Santa Barbara daily newspaper. They remind me of a punk band some friends had when I was in high school.

And last, one of my favorite bands, Downcast! And this song is the one that, on this record, really seems to mark the transition in the scene. I doubt it’s a far stretch to say that they changed the scene in SB (and probably beyond) from more ’80s-feelin’ skate punk rock, to political and hardcore and emotional hardcore, etc. I mean, holy shit, man, they were a good band. Chunky, metallic guitars, pronounced, solid drums, super-poignant and political and social lyrics. This track is an earlier version of “They Are Not,” which was later situated as the second song on side two of their lp. This version’s got a spoken word part in the middle.

A Fool’s Paradise – A Santa Barbara Compilation

Pickle Patch Compilation

Another CD compilation from the Santa Barbara/Goleta area! The Pickle Patch was a venue, and some people’s living room, in Isla Vista, CA. It was run by who ever lived there at the time. The bands essentially played in the kitchen area, while every one watched from the living room and stairs. I went to a ton of shows there, from around 1997 to 2001. I went by myself pretty much every time, but through it all I ended up making plenty of friends. The main people behind it, Mike, Steve, Brett, Andy, um, another Mike, and others, turned it into a really active, totally DIY, positive place. I, and lots of other kids in the area, could rely on going there to see a couple great shows per week. It served as a destination for touring bands. And it’s amazingly cool that it existed. Best yet, it was small and intimate; you couldn’t be a stranger for long. It became much more than just a showspace.

And, of course, it’s nice to have a great compilation of live songs from it. This comp comes with a ‘zine. In in there are long and heartfelt testimonials by folks involved in the place, show reviews, and pages for the bands. It looks like it’s still available, so if you want the full deal with all the background and stories and photos, then buy it.

For a time, this living room, and sometimes upstairs, served as a practice space for a band I was in with Steve. And there was a period of a couple months where we’d play a show there about once a week (or so it seemed).

As far as I could tell, Steve recorded every show. He’d dangle a few mics from the ceiling, and record onto cassette tape. I always wondered what he was planning to do with it all. So when he told me was putting together a comp on his label, Dim Mak, I was really excited. I then wondered about the sound quality. Plus I wondered if he’d put our band on it. And finally, I wondered if he’d include His Hero is Gone, since that show was insane.

To my surprise, the sound quality is actually good. Dan Weiss must be a mixing wiz. At any rate, there are 22 songs on this comp, from shows between 1997 and 1999, with bands ranging from lovely emo, to raging thrash, to brutal hardcore, to spoken words, to noise, and much more. I love this comp — I went to most of these shows; I have fond memories of them; and I can hear my friends in the background.

Here’s the line-up:

  • Creeper Lagoon – Keep From Moving (Coda) + Dear Deadly (Live)
  • St. James Infirmary – Heavy Handed Down (Live)
  • Disembodied – Forget Me (Live)
  • Blue Ontario – Halo (Live)
  • Atom & His Package – Punk Rock Academy (Live)
  • Sawpit – Kidnapped Souls (Live)
  • Behead The Prophet N.L.S.L. – They Shall Not Pass (Live)
  • The Third Sex – Go Away (Live)
  • Butch Bowen
  • Former Members Of Alfonsin – Let Us Pretend (Live)
  • Fury 66 – Change Is… (Live)
  • Planes Mistaken For Stars – Division (Live)
  • Shane Smith – Untitled
  • Dynamic Seven – Jodo Kast (Live)
  • Submission Hold – Last Surviving Crocodile (Live)
  • Uphollow – Excerpt From Their Rock Opera “Soundtrack To An Imaginary Life” (Live)
  • I Wish I – Idioglossia (Live)
  • The Thrones – Easter Woman (Live)
  • No Knife – Rebuilding Jericho (Live)
  • Scarab – No Titled (Live)
  • Give Until Gone – You Never Deserved This (Acoustic/Live)
  • The Most Secret Method – Hesitation (Live)

Songs from shows that really stood out for me are: The Third Sex, Former Members of Alfonsin (they played often, and their live shows were great), I Wish I, and Submission Hold.

Pickle Patch Compilation

Coming soon on this blog: a seven inch compilation from Santa Barbara! then a split 12″ from Santa Barbara! and then maybe I’ll branch out…

Children of Barren Wasteland

Because the popular people demanded it, here’s the Children of Barren Wasteland 7″. As mentioned in this post, COBW features Whisper, the singer from Zero Hour. It’s from 1996. So that’s a year or so after the Zero Hour split LP. This is a split release with Profane Existence and Skuld Releases (from Germany).

Whisper’s vocals in Zero Hour are pretty astounding and varying in intensity, tone, and so forth. In COBW, their volume is contained further within the recording, and the direction is a bit more straightforward. The entire band, actually, levels out a straightforward assault. After two songs (and the first two are good), they kind of seem to repeat themselves. The lyrics are, generally, about power, sexuality, slavery, society, etc. They aren’t as story-telling as the Zero Hour stuff. However, they are still powerful and filled with justifiable rage. Worth it to check out if you’re into Zero Hour!

Zip contains covers and lyrics.

Children of Barren Wasteland

Tem Eyos Ki

Here’s the Tem Eyos Ki Tour CD from 2001. I didn’t see them on this tour, but I got the CD. Maybe this is widely available — I dunno. It seemed like a small gem at the time. And it didn’t seem like they made very many.

They also toured in 2002, when their full length came out. And they stayed at my place while playing in Goleta. And I didn’t go to the show! How stupid is that? I still regret it. I was dating a girl who wasn’t really into loud hardcore, but I had played her this CD a few days before, and she liked it. She agreed, then, to go to the show. But then the night of she was like, I don’t really feel like going to a show tonight. And I said, um, oh, so what should we do? And so that was that…

Their sounds range from soft, emotive and melodic tunes (often intros) fronted by beautiful female vocals, to blazing fast progressive metal, with crazy guitar twiddlies and pounding drums.

Nate Powell says this of them:

“The band, besides their blazing speed metal riffs and operatic Bruce Dickinsonesque wails, also symbolized a refreshed cooperative approach between the local punk and metal scenes, and a bold blend of pressing political and personal lyrical content. Tem Eyos Ki is my all-time favorite band.”

I haven’t heard the full length (the only other thing I have is the split 7″ with 100 Years War (sorry I messed that up the first time I typed this)), so I don’t know if there are any repeats. No idea why I never got that, considering how much I like this CD. Members of Soophie Nun Squad, and so on. From North Little Rock, Arkansas. Zip contains pdf with entire insert. Harlan Records for more info about them.

Singer Maralie has a nice site with art, and music from her current project, Honeybeast.

Tem Eyos Ki – Tour CD 2001

World Domination in Thirteen Easy Steps

A friend of mine from Goleta put out this comp. Dylan ran Stratagem Ripcords, and played in Stratego (featured on the comp). I was into ‘zines in a most monstrous way, and so that’s, first and foremost, why I bought this. I had also seen Hellbender play a few years before, so I thought it would be cool to get some of their music.

So, this is the compilation that accompanied Stratagem #2, printed July 30, 1997, titled World Domination in Thirteen Easy Steps. I’m not going to scan the entire ‘zine. So here’s a quick review: there are contributions by lots of folks from Goleta/Santa Barbara/UCSB. They each have a page to themselves, and contributed poetry, short stories, collages, and the like. They also supply Top Tens. The bands from the comps have pages (lyrics) that are scattered throughout the ‘zine. Dylan himself contributes most of the writing. He writes about books, nearly dying, records, grammar, and life. I like Dylan. We used to play soccer together every Sunday. And I haven’t kept in touch with him at all. There are also record and ‘zine reviews.

There was a time when I tended to resist the mature-sounding post-hardcore variety of music. While the vocals were often a relief (not the least because there is the potential for much more variety when it’s not all just straight screaming), I found the music to be watered down and, I don’t know, too appeasing. However, my sensibilities eventually broadened to allow in music that wasn’t best listened to alone (when on record, that is… I mean, maybe it’s just me, but hardcore can be kind of awkward). I didn’t start grabbing all the Elliott and Mineral records I could find, but at least I wasn’t straight making fun of what I deemed to be weak false-emo.

Coming into it I wasn’t familiar with any of the bands other than Stratego, Hellbender, and (from hearing the name around) Braid. And it wasn’t until a few years later that I realized this is quite a collection of emo-indie-pop (those dashes mean and/or and/or) bands. Like I just noted like five sentences ago, at the time it wasn’t exactly what I was into (for example: I was more into Mohinder, and less into their next incarnation, Calm – who, incidentally have a photo in this ‘zine. there are lots of band photos – I forgot to mention that), but suffice it to say this did comp get me into a lot of these bands! So dig it, in all its rocking, tearing, poppy, emo-ness.

Here’s the line-up:

  • The Maginot Line – “Attica Salt (live)”
  • Braid – “Collect from Clark Kent”
  • Proudentall – “Sleep is Good”
  • Deathstar – “Shut Down (live)”
  • 3 Letter Engagement – “(303)”
  • Land of the Wee Beasties – “Enter, The Jerk”
  • Cru Jones – “Gorillas on Parade”
  • A Sometimes Promise – “Vicious Blue”
  • Rusty James – “Kidney Bean”
  • Hellbender – “I, Thermostat (live)”
  • Stratego – “Cotillion”
  • Sprucehill – “Yellow Block Rooftop”
  • Cerberus Shoal – “Lighthouse in Athens, Part 2 – first movement”
  • Cerberus Shoal – “Lighthouse in Athens, Part 2 – second movement”

Those two Cerberus Shoal songs are great. I’m assuming they’ve since been released elsewhere.

I forgot to include images of the cover in the zip. So here’s the back. It repeats what I just typed. Yay.

And here is the handy quick guide to the comp, written by Dylan. I found this to be helpful. Click for big.

My version of this comp is a CD, and I transferred it a long time ago, in m4a format. So that’s what you’ll get. Tell me if this is a big problem for you, and I can do it again, eventually. Enjoy!

World Domination in Thirteen Easy Steps

Lemming / Apeface / Zero Hour

Going back once again to high school gym class – a fellow longhair gave me a cassette tape, stickered with “master cob” and with “heroin, lemming, apeface, moss icon, antischism” written on the label (I later added the second story window 7″ to it). I ended up listening to this tape pretty much every morning for over a year while carpooling to school. I still expect to hear the same record clicks, and transitions from song to song, when listening to the vinyl. The tape directed my musical interests for the next five years.

The bands served as take-off points for other bands. And that’s sort of the format of this post (and, content-wise, this post is more on the thrashy/crusty side). Only a few days ago did I get my hands on the vinyl of the Lemming/Apeface split 7″. I’m happy, because that master cob tape’s starting to fall apart.

So, starting with the Lemming/Apeface split 7″. It’s from 1994 (the Apeface songs were recorded in late ’93), and put out by Stinky Feet Records (they also put out the Mohinder/Nitwits split) and Nothing. These are the only Lemming songs I’ve heard. The first song, “Careless – Lifeless – Useless – Importance,” starts with a grumpy bass-line, with the singers, male and female, telling us the name of the song. The “Useless” is emphasized over the others. The band then launches into a fast thrash (redundant?) number, with “My life sucks!” as one of the discernible lines. There are tight stop/starts, back-and-forths between vocalists, and extremely high-pitched screaming.

The second track, PC, is slower and catchier, and is about hypocritical PC wankers.

Apeface begins with a foreboding announcer welcoming us, “distinguished guests, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentleman, friends and… enemies.” They’re a bit darker and less crazy than Lemming. But they can still play fast! Gruff vocals (sort of reminding me of Facedown), doomed guitars. I learned something after obtaining the vinyl: after the vocals come back in a little past the brilliant moment starting around 1:30, he doesn’t say, “hating authority, hating god” – he says “hating authority, hating cops.” I did not know that.

So then, a long time ago still, I said to myself, I like Apeface, and I want more. And then I found the Apeface/Zero Hour split 12″.

But upon obtaining the record, I was dismayed to find that Apeface had changed their vocal style. Now, instead of the harsh vocals, the singer had a screeching, reverb-heavy style. I guess the transition is reminiscent of Charles Maggio’s vocal change for the Protestant lp. I wonder if the singer of Apeface also had, what was it, throat cancer? At any rate, Apeface is still fast and seething and enjoyable, and there’s almost a hypnotic aspect to the way the vocals sound like they are reflected off a metal wall. (Apeface followed this split up with a 12″ all of their own. I got it, but didn’t like it at all. I hardly remember it now, except that it just couldn’t hold anything to these other releases. Also, they were from the bay area.)

04/21/2019 EDIT: Joseph from Lemming left a comment saying that he released the Lemming album, Follow Me, on bandcamp. Check it out!

But the other side of this record! Zero Hour were also from the Bay Area, and also perhaps Colorado. Female vocals. The drummer is the amazing Markley from Econochrist. (note: I’m probably off in referring to the bands in this post as thrash – maybe crust is more accurate… I haven’t listened to many crust bands, so I’ve never had a good feel for what the term meant to imply). Great lyrics, mostly depicting society on the verge of apocalypse, everything a cold, industrial wasteland, with greed, destruction, and intolerance reigning. The artwork is really nice, too. The singer, Whisper, mostly sticks to harsh screaming, but also ranges to more melodic (well, that’s not really true… less screamy) vocals. Each song is prefaced by a few spoken lines.

This record came out in 1995, also on Stinky Feet. And it’s on super awesome purple marble vinyl (similar to Moss Icon’s It Disappears).

So then I wanted more Zero Hour! And I found the 7″. This came out in 1994, on Spiral Records.

Four songs. Similar in temperament/outrage, maybe a bit more driving, with heavier guitars. Male back-up vocals show up more on these songs (I love when, in “In Shackles of the Human Skin,” he vomits in with “And you think that I’m the hideous one?” it’s perfect). The last song, “One of the Living,” is my favorite, and has a super heavy, heaving rhythm.

Zero Hour’s one of my faves. I included lyrics – though not all the artwork. This 7″ unfolds into a big poster, and it’s too big to scan (of a traveler, with a bag on a stick, a dog at his feet, and a raven flying behind him). The lyrics are also written in spanish, and I thought I scanned them, but guess I forgot. After Zero Hour, Whisper sang for Children of Barren Wasteland. I have their 7″. They were from Minneapolis. 1996. It’s good, and different, and I should probably post it.

Lemming / Apeface / Zero Hour