Sunday, May 27, 2012

OK, no retractions

I still haven't purchased the EPs, exactly. But I felt so bad after posting the last post that I dug out a credit card, and purchased the Articles of Faith and Dead Ending releases as Mp3's from Amazon. Please note this is definitely NOT my preference. I would rather purchase the actual EP's from Alternative tentacles, and if you have the means, I suggest that you do so. I suppose I should say why I never do it this way- 1. I don't like Credit Cards. They put you in debt to some of the most twisted and evil institutions in the world, and I really do blame the big guys- Visa, Mastercard, American Express for the economic mess we're in, worldwide. To explain would involve details that would be far too involved for 99.99% of you, and the .001% would already know those details. So, the short and nasty version- The derivatives market is based upon markets made possible only because of the securitization of debt that the major credit cards made. The speculation on derivatives  puts so many zeros into portfolios that otherwise solid markets get drawn in, and the result is inevitably the destruction of that market, as the  vast sums are fraud, by nature
.  2. While I don't think of Mp3's as evil, they're a definite downgrade from physical objects- even the most compressed and poorly mastered CD sounds better than most Mp3s
 3. I'd prefer to put money in my friends' bank accounts than in a faceless corporation like Amazon
4. I really don't like to spend money on stuff that only I will enjoy, when I could spend it on stuff my friends and family could enjoy as well.
So, yeah, I'm neurotic, and guilt struck, but that was outweighed by being completely depressed by my current situation. I won't go into great detail, but I will say that I had to go under the knife, but it did not involve full sedation. If my insurance were as good as it once was possible to get in this country, it only would've cost me a couple hundred dollars, instead of the four figure range this cost me.  No, there really isn't anything happy about having a procedure that you need, in order to maintain your health, cost you more than a vacation would've cost. So, hell yes, I'm bummed out.
So, I've listened to both, and, sure enough, this is the state of the Art for Hardcore Punk Rock.
I fully recognize that Vic Bondi's voice, even in the limited genre of Hardcore, is a limiting factor- which is a nice way of saying- most folks hate his voice. I'm good with his voice. But what you cannot assail is his songwriting. I mean, imagine that- hardcore thrash, with no metal diversions, or apologies, that has all the songwriting care of classic rock- John Fogerty, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen figure most prominently.
The melodies are more abstract than most of punk rock. It's not quite the angular, atonal math stuff, but there's a lot of half steps, and dissonance. That's what midwestern Hardcore does, though- think about it- from Die Kreuzen, to Killdozer to Big Black to USOT, The midwest doesn't do standard pop punk. I fully believe that the whole Fugazi DC thing came to be because of the midwest. J Robbins was obsessed with the midwest, especially Naked Raygun, The Effigies, Helmet and  Big Black, and in between Minor Threat and Fugazi, Ian did the pailhead project with Jourgensen of Ministry- so again, if you want Angular hardcore punk Rock, you go to the midwest, first. No one has ever done it better, in a thrash context, than Articles of Faith. If you can listen to In this life and Give Thanks, and still think that a band like Fucked Up is taking Hardcore into a new, and exciting place, you're just objectively wrong.
However, this new, re-united version isn't doing the stuff they did in the 1980's. I can hear the influence from Tom Morello, and  the aforementioned J Robbins. But, still, amazing, boundary pushing and defining hardcore, made by adults, for real, and heartfelt reasons.
As for Dead Ending- the combination of  Jeff Dean ( The Bomb, Noise By Numbers) and Vic Bondi is something really special. There's something in the chemistry- Jeff Pezzati, Vic Bondi, J Robbins, Jeff Dean, Dan Vapid, etc of these older guys that produces the exact formula for punk and hardcore that I like. A combination of noise, drive, melody and aggression that sounds perfect to me. If you like the "retro" hardcore of Bullet Treatment and AC4, this is perfect, as well. If you're a kid who somehow stumbled on to my blog, and you somehow are interested in speedy old school hardcore, it's a great place to start.

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