Friday, April 23, 2010


So, I got to thinking, Hex Records doesn't repress most of it's titles once they're gone, only a few. And I know there are a bunch of people who have missed out on some of our releases who may never be able to track them down.
Well, I'm taking care of this issue. We have 4 of our out-of-print titles now up for digital download through the normal well-known channels:
ED GEIN 3-song CD
CURSED, "Hell Comes Home"/"Search and Destroy" 7"
THE HELM debut 7"

So, if you don't have them, and haven't already tracked them down through the interwebs for free, they're now available through digital music outlets. Enjoy!

Spark Lights the Friction

iTunes -
Emusic -

Ed Gein
iTunes -
Emusic -

iTunes -
Emusic -

The Helm
iTunes -
Emusic -

Saturday, April 17, 2010


It's been awhile, so what better way to spend a smidgen of your rainy, dreary Saturday than with some music reviews? Plenty of good, and unexpected, stuff this time around. Read on.....

ARMS ALOFT, “Comfort At Any Cost” CDEP
I never heard this band before, just the name, and based upon that I thought they sounded like they would be silly. Sure. When people talk about pop punk this is what they ought to be talking about. This pp punk actually has a pair of balls (4 pairs in fact based upon the number of people in this group) that come with it, unlike the over-produced bullshit with fake breakdowns and auto-tuned vocals. That is not pop-punk. That is garbage. Make no mistake. This cranks amps, and fights you in the parking lot afterwards, and still somehow pulls off crazy hook-filled melodies. The singer yells off-key, but sort of sings too and he probably would be in key if it didn’t sound like he was ripping his own heart out. It’s great to hear a band that has passion in their playing and spirit in their spit lyrics and doesn’t really give a fuck if they play well or not (they do). It all comes off in a great recording that blasts right through you. This collects two separate seven inches on one CD so you may have heard some of this stuff before. Like I said, I haven’t and now I’m glad I did. Good stuff. (Gilead Media)

BALACLAVA, “Shame” 7”

I was hoping this would be about the desert and my moth started watering... and then I realized it was Balaclava and not Baklava. I should have known better that this was vinyl and not a confectionary pastry. Regardless, it’s a musical treat! Does that work? It’s like these dudes figured out the formula for Tragedy songs and then tuned down an extra step so that all the low end on this (drums and bass) sounds like a fat dude busting ass all over you through the speakers. At times it sounds pretty bad ass, at other times it’s a little overwhelming. In total though, it’s not a bad ride. The packaging on this is ridiculous. It’s like they had two ideas for a record cover and couldn’t decide one over the other so they did both because it seems like there are two separate record covers here. I ain’t complaining. (Forcefield Records)

CLOAK/DAGGER, “Don’t Need A” 7”

I missed out on their newest full length, but I suppose this 7” has one of those full length songs on here and then two new songs. I like that these dudes are going for an even more striped down approach lately, operating on a kind of Wipers-in-warp-speed mode here. Short, catchy songs, loose and clean guitar work played really fast, and still kicking your ass all around town. The only thing that’s kind of bugging me here is an obvious Hot Snakes/Rick Forberg worship between their choice of musical style and artwork that is taking some obvious cues. Sure, Hot Snakes already loved The Wipers so who’s copying who right? And I like all of the above already so what’s the matter with another group tipping their hat to some great bands and musicians? I honestly don’t know because I already like all sorts of bands that rp from other bands. I guess I just wish it wasn’t all so obvious. Be at least a little mysterious guys! (Grave Mistake Records)

GET RAD, “I Can Always Live”
There’s all these things I want to address with this record so where to begin? OK, for starters, the cover is “Thriller” as a stencil (a nicely done one at that) with the band’s logo skull instead of Michael Jackson’s head. Good start. I’m always a fan of fucking with people right off the bat. Musically, the band is called Get Rad. They better fucking deliver on a name like that. And, thankfully, they start off really good with some really fast and wild hardcore. Good. From there it slows down at times, which they probably should avoid. But I can see how a band doesn’t want to do the exact same thing from song to song. Their sound has little snippits of old Sick Of It All and Bane in parts, but usually just goes for the fast and loose approach and is generally made for stage dives and high fives without a care in the world. It’s fun stuff for sure and I can tell these kids are about having a good time without half-assing it on the music front either. (Gilead Media/Hyperrealist)


Man, this whole record could have fit on one side of a seven inch! This quick blast of hardcore takes a sort of more polished approach to what I felt was a really raw and vicious sound on their “Paranoid Mess” 12”. To me, the recording has that almost clean and well-produced Bad Brains feel to it... but that might just be because this group plays so goddamn fast and has unique vocals that really stand out. That’s just my impressions though of course. I dig the song about humans who ought not breed so much continuing to do so. Methinks this band should watch a little movie called “Idiocracy” if they haven’t already. There’s a surprise Battalion Of Saints cover at the end too. (Grave Mistake Records/ No Way Records)

LOGIC PROBLEM, “No Center” 7”

Holy fuck, where the hell did this come out from? What just happened? Is this over already? Where am I? Who is this band? Four songs ram into you and then take off like a hit and run. The whole thing is confusing from the layout (lyrics scrawled on the front cover and then in a random manner on the insert) to the crazy music inside. I mean, yeah, all it is is super fast hardcore punk. But there’s qualities to their blend of punk and hardcore that just sound so weird- the guitars sound so incredibly bright here it’s like Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine started playing at light speed while their singer just went apeshit and they called it a day with the recording engineer just standing around wondering what to do with what just got laid to tape. OK, so my description sounds like a mess. But believe me, this is what punk should be- totally knocking you out of your seat, bum-rush style, and then getting out before you know what even happened. I can appreciate that. (Grave Mistake Records)

MEDICATIONS, “Completely Removed”
This one has been a long time coming. Medications were one of the best new bands coming out of the Dischord stable when they first touched down. Boasting former members of both Faraquet and Smart Went Crazy their sound was essentially exactly what one would imagine from these groups- the best mixture of wildly complex drumming and noodly guitar work and incredibly melodic and catchy all at once. Great stuff. Then their drummer left and the band figured out how to keep it going. It took a couple years, but now we have “Completely Removed”, which both feels new and very familiar at the same time. The soothing vocals of Chad Molter and Devin Ocampo lay down a strong base for which to work their clever instrumentation around, using tricky little riffs to draw one in and then riding it out until the song is done and you’re waiting for the next track to kick in. Gone, for the most part, is the insane drum work that made their previous records so impressive (from the standpoint of prog music geeks). It’s definitely a sad thing to see it go, but in place are more simple rhythms that allow the songs to breathe a bit more. This also lets the members toss in some more world influences and whatever else they have to offer, all of which certainly has the distinct sound they have been known for. It’s a nice turn for them, regardless of it being somewhat less bombastic than previous efforts. I dig. (Dischord)

SUMMER PEOPLE, “Good Problems”

This band has a lot of members and some rotate in and out and it’s easy to see that because the debut album from this group is all over the map. And somehow, it all works wonderfully. They go from howling wild folk stomp, to drawn-out melancholy, sort of Sunny Day Real Estate-inspired ballads, and rough-strewn rockers as well. They can sing, they can howl, they dive deep into serene waters and come up with songs that are lush with melody and dabble in experimentation. It’s very refreshing to see a group that is clearly doing whatever they feel like doing right there and then and making it work. The only time things don’t always seem to fit is when they break out bongos in a couple songs. They sound really cool, and they’re a fun, unexpected addition. But at times they feel a little forced. There’s also a long improvised song on here that I think a lot of people will just skip right over due to it’s longevity and meandering nature. But I’m really digging it and the only way I can think of describing it is that it sounds like something off the first Tortoise record. Again, really cool stuff and very beautiful music, a wonderful surprise. (Red Leader Records)

WAYWARD, THE, “Alzheimers” 7”

These Virginia noisemongers have been at this for awhile now and I’m honestly surprised they are able to keep it going in the scene that often doesn’t particularly understand what they do. While previous efforts sound like The Jesus Lizard covering Rush (yeah, I liked it) this is a bit more restrained. They deliver one shorter faster song and one mid-paced jam that definitely recall their trademark sound- noodly guitar and yelping from the school of Albini, but a little more restrained than what I remember. The B-side is a cover of The Birthday Partys, “Friend Catcher”. Admittedly I’ve heard very little of The Birthday Party, only a couple songs here and there. But this cover is great, simple and dominating. Cool. (Forcefield Records)

WONDER YEARS, THE, “The Upsides”
Here’s a band that obviously has good intentions insofar as being a DIY band, touring their ass off, working hard for peanuts, and are genuinely nice people (they even went out of their way to tell me how much they loved the Minor Times!). But I hate this sort of music with a passion. I just cannot understand how bands of this sort somehow align themselves with punk or hardcore? Sure, their ethics are in place, fair enough. But let’s be honest- this is radio rock played kind of fast. That’s all it is. Sung vocals really high in the mix, crystal clear production, yadda yadda yadda. It’s pop music made for teens. Lyrically they tell a good story- descriptive anecdotes regarding touring, sleeping in strange towns, being down in the dumps, and an obsession with Arrested Development. I can get behind all that. But as far as the music goes... let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we? (No Sleep Records)

YOUNG LIVERS, “Of Misery and Toil”
It’s really easy to peg bands from Gainesville as having that Hot Water Music/No Idea Records sound. It’s so easy because many times it’s true. So I love it when a band from there can take some of those more obvious influences and make something new and excellent out of them. Young Livers are such a band that can play with the speed and ferocity of hardcore, and still bring in these crazy melodies to their gruff (and usually sloppy drunk) punk rock. Furthermore, I might add that of this style these dudes are one of the tightest live acts you’ll see. How they manage to increase how well they play together by how much more blitzed they can get is some sort of violation of human nature. I don’t get it. Regardless, it works for them and they deliver on their second full length. This record seems to give a little more attention to the vocals, adding considerably more melody in place of their usual downpour of catchy leads common in so many of their songs. Of course, those are present as well. I just feel like they gave their voices a little more emphasis this time around, adding it to the overall feel of catchy, hard melodic punk hardcore. As an aside, the layout for this is pretty cool. It opens up in a weird way that when you see the inside it looks like the cover from that one Tragedy 7”. Just sayin’. (No Idea Records)

Friday, April 2, 2010


That's right. For a VERY short time get a FREE Hex Records Coffee mug when you order both the new PRIZE COUNTRY and THE HELM records (LP or CD, your choice!) for our fine distributor MVD (and their accompanying direct sales site
I won't be doing this through my own site, you have to get it from seeofsound
Get it HERE