Thirsty And Wander
***Latest album by Japanese hardcore band NIGHTMARE, the same guys who made the excellent Give Notice Of Nightmare back in '88. The 10 new songs are great and the old power of Nightmare is still there. Along with Gauze & Warhead, Nightmare is one of the few classic Japanese bands that never broke up and it's still going strong after all these years. Limited to 500 copies only.
***540 Records and Todo Destruido are proud to present the latest call to arms from Japanese punk legends FORWARD. Featuring ten new tracks on a single disc, the release is the band’s first LP in six years and only their fourth in a storied twenty-two year career of state-of-the-art, nitro-fueled Japanese hardcore. Established in 1996 from the ashes of the much revered DEATH SIDE, vocalist ISHIYA and bassist YOU formed Forward, along with members of INSANE YOUTH and more. Building upon the teachings of UK metal-punk legends Discharge, Forward’s unique “intelligent savage” approach to hardcore was and is decidedly their own, nodding at the work of Poison Idea, Anti-Cimex and others while forging an ironclad path strictly through word of mouth, DIY gigs and underground channels. Future Troops is a taut and explosive collection of tracks that spin yarns of police brutality, calls for peace, rumors of war, injustice, the effects of the Tokyo Olympics and more in a compact and tense 25 minutes of vitriol. You’ve never heard anything as furious as “A.C.A.B.,” you won’t be able to unclench your fist after “Tokyo Orympic,” “Hatered Union” or “Piece of Peace,” and the world won’t soon forget Future Troops. Limited to 500 copies only.
L.o.t.i.o.n. / Scumputer
Campaign For Digital Destruction
***540 Records is proud to present a split offering and a rallying cry from L.O.T.I.O.N. and SCUMPUTER called Campaign for Digital Destruction. The pair offer eleven abominations, calling upon distorted and manipulated samples, synths, drum machines and a perversion of traditional instrumentation to create a dystopian vision of a society in collapse. NYC’s L.O.T.I.O.N. could only exist in the now—the digital age ruled by a bloated capitalist tyrant consumed by a move toward totalitarianism. L.O.T.I.O.N. is hardcore in the digital age—bursting with nihilism, a sneering hatred for injustice and icy disdain for humanity at large in an era where an email or text is a sufficient substitute for a personal conversation. Citing the work of Scumputer as a key influence, more conventional ideas from Killing Joke, Pailhead, DAF, Skinny Puppy and Throbbing Gristle appear and vanish through the duration of Campaign. Yet L.O.T.I.O.N. is an entity onto itself—calculating, remorseless and seething with malcontent. The material on the split represents the final recordings with EMIL BOGNAR-NASDOR, mastermind behind DAWN OF HUMANS and former percussionist for HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS. Scumputer is the nom de guerre of GABBA from the legendary CHAOS UK, who abandons much of the approach employed by that band while retaining the fury, cynicism and revolutionary ideas. Recorded by ROB SMITH in Bristol and Kyoto between 2014 and 2016, Scumputer ropes in appearances from Japanese hardcore legends like JUN KATO of WARHEAD and MUNE from CLOWN as Gabba explores the far reaches of punk, hip hop, experimental,...
The '87 Demo
***540 Records and Painkiller have teamed up once again to bring you the other half of the legendary “Breakdown; Both Demos” series: the legendary ’87 Demo. BREAKDOWN's original 1987 lineup was only together for a few short months, but in that time they produced one of the most legendary and influential recordings in the history of New York Hardcore. Paving the way for every hard and heavy band to follow, Breakdown’s take on hardcore was balanced with the perfect mix of hip hop’s bounce, the power and dynamics of heavy metal, and an unmistakable New York accent laced across a tough, streetwise sound that could only have come out of 1980’s New York City. This LP contains the full 9-song ’87 Demo, released here for the first time on vinyl in its entirety, backed with a crushing live set recorded on WNYU radio’s Crucial Chaos during the summer of 1987. Both recordings have been faithfully restored from original sources and sound better than ever. Includes a full color 12”x24” poster insert with extensive notes and anecdotes from members of the NYHC scene.
Rep, Mike And Friends
Darby Creek Drifter
***The name MIKE “REP” HUMMEL means many things to different people. Many equate Rep with ‘70s "Proto-Punk", ‘80'"D.I.Y." or a pioneering founder of ‘90s "Lo-Fi" (Rep prefers the term "Mega-Fi" himself). Along with his bands MIKE REP & THE QUOTAS and the seminal (Ohio) TRUE BELIEVERS, he was also a a cohort in the ‘90s Columbus "supergroup" EGO SUMMIT among a plethera of other Ohio band involvements. Also known for recording and/or mixing ("Lovingly Fucking With") such bands of note as Guided By Voices, Times New Viking, Jim Shepard, The Gibson Brothers, Strapping Fields Hands, Mount Carmel and dozens of others, mostly in their formative garage/basement incarnations. "I prefer deflowering to retooling. Both present worthwhile challenges but working with virgin talent won't get you an STD" he once infamously said. Still others remember him for his groundbreaking Columbus Ohio homegrown label New Age Records (named before there was such a thing as New Age music) which evolved into the ‘80s/’90s cassette pioneering signpost to new space OldAge/NO Age label through the ‘90s. And so the name Mike Rep Hummel has a polarizing effect on many who either admire or deride his body of work. Hummel's new record Darby Creek Drifter is one that is sure to draw the line even deeper into the sand. Rep sez; "As my pal Bob Pollard" once quipped, "this does not rock". But it rolls baby, it rolls.
***“This is what a perfect record sounds like. Every time I talk about it I end up sounding like some blubbering idiot. This music is equal parts post-punk, incantation and psych—hook laden as fuck. RATKA is an all-female band from São Paulo, Brazil, that seem to have come from out of nowhere to make most of the current post-punk/anarcho wave completely irrelevant. This is the next level in this style, borrowing elements from all the spooky classics, but adding something so undeniably new and unique that the game is permanently changed. RAKTA eliminates all sense of retro-ness to the style and come off like they just now invented the damn thing. The songs create an otherworldly atmosphere while still keeping your feet tapping. It transports you to this weird dimension that feels like it’s trying to keep you inside of it forever. It would have been the perfect soundtrack for a Maya Deren film. The record comes with a red-and-black on white poster that only adds to the mysterious bruxa vibes that the music gives. Check out my year-end top ten list in MRR #370 for even more gushing about this record. Highest recommendation!”—Maximum Rock N Roll. Each copy comes with 1 of 4 different giant 24"x36" silk screened poster.
The Final Program
***The final release in 540 Records' series of reissues from ‘70s Brisbane punk labels Shake Music and Savage Music is this four-song EP from SECTION URBANE. Having released two previous singles of quirky punk as JUST URBAIN, the Brisbane band continued their unique Velvets-through-the-lens-of-Joy-Division approach through the name change, harnessing a fuller, more bass-heavy sound on their final recording session. The track, “I'd Rather Stay Home And Watch TV,” still has more than its fair share of the Aussie-garage stomp of bands like the Chosen Few and the Victims, but after that it’s all about Mo Tucker beats, dark and poetic lyrics delivered with a distinctly Lou Reed-influenced drawl, and heavy, melodic Peter Hook-style bass lines. If you want to hear first-gen-DIY naiveté, post-punk artistic ambition and the party-hearty sensibility of the original Murder Punk bands clash together into something wholly unique, get this on your turntable right away. 600 copies with pretty purple dust sleeves.
Nineteen Eighty-Five Demo
***"Aaaarrgggh! Raging Madness strikes with this ferocious demo. New hot young band from the L.A. area who scorch out the speed and extreme rawness in the vein of Iconoclast and early Final Warning. Intense lyrics with a boisterous shouter, backed by thrashing metallic grinds melting into overdrive. This grabs for the blast"—Pushead (1985). Before Ashes to Ashes was this amazing demo that is put to vinyl for the first time in a gatefold cover mastered by Enormous Door.
Fun Fun Fun
***“If you were to find a person unfamiliar with the BIG BOYS they would be one lucky son of a gun because they would be about to have their whole trip turned inside out. Fun, Fun, Fun... is the gateway to whole new world of empowerment. Anything in life is possible as long you have a positive attitude and this 12" to sing along to. You wanna skate ditches? Let's go! You wanna paint outside the lines? Do it loud! You wanna rock? Go start your own band! Fx3s got all the things to move your ass, a short HC ripper, a couple funk numbers (complete with horns - necessary) and the oh-so-important infectious anthemic tracks that tie the whole scene together. Part Kool & the Gang, part Angelic Upstarts, Black Flag and John Coltrane, they drew from a wide vein of musical inspiration in their quest to open minds and instill a creative, uplifting, socially aware ethos. All that being said they did the whole thing with a smile the size of Texas itself. Fun, Fun, Fun... A gift so nice, they named it thrice.”—Jensen Ward. Includes a 24-page 12”x12” booklet.
Someone’s Got It In For Me
***On this new 7" you'll find two songs that Copenhagen based rock band LOWER chose to dig up from the past. These two songs flirt with a bigger sound than what you'd find on the Walk On Heads EP. Both of the songs were featured on the long gone demo tape. Here they are, re-recorded in Copenhagen's southend with Nis Bysted in 2012 the songs are finally revealed for a wider audience. Packaged with die-cut covers and full-color inner sleeves. "When the Copenhagen four-piece Lower surfaced with its debut Walk on Heads EP earlier this year, its dark-hued pallet seemed intentional and impressively realized: a honed but unhinged mix of no wave and hardcore foregrounding singer Adrian Toubro's dense poetry. But as drummer Anton Rothstein told me this summer, "We had no intentions of playing a defined genre," naming touchstones like Scott Walker's slow, bleak surrealism and the militaristic noise of rock avant-gardists Venom P. Stinger. From the eery shine of its opening gong taps, the desperate, raw-sung paranoia of "Someone's Got It In For Me/But There Has to Be More" finds Lower continuing to stretch; with wider-screen emotional delusion, Toubro sings tensely to the sky as if after a nightmare, one brutal to the heart, not the head."—Jenn Pelly (Pitchfork)
BACK IN STOCK!!! Originally released on cassette in 1983. “It's interesting to note that by the time most folks in the northern hemisphere got out 1st taste of THE CLEAN (circa 1985), they all but packed it in. Yep, tis true. '85 was the year of the 1st great Kiwi invasion (vinyl wise) with the Flying Nun roster leading the way. And there was nary a dud to be found. And such wonderful & unusual names; Tall Dwarfs, Sneaky Feelings, The Puddle, Scorched Earth Policy & of course, The Clean. Their trio of 12" EPs were rabidly devoured by a curious & enthusiastic cognoscenti. You didn't buy one, you bought'em all. Same goes for the 7"ers. And there just wasn't enough. Not only of Clean records, but Clean material! Then one day in some long forgotten order came a copy of the 'Oddities' cassette. The sales rep had included it as a promo, claiming he couldn't shift'em (cassette love being at something of a nadir back then). 'I'll take whatever you got' was my reply. And I hadn't even played it yet. But I knew that even though it had gotten 'runted' out on to tape only format, there was no doubt it contained a treasure trove of aural gems. You couldn't help but think that 'Oddities' was to The Clean what 'Whatever Happens Next' was to Swell Maps. Which, more or less, is what it is. Recorded between 1980-82 'Oddities' is a thorough compendium of alternate takes, addled miscues,...
Ruido Hasta La Muerte
***“You would think that, given the retro look to the artwork, that this would be some kind of throwback, genre-oriented release, but to my ears Texas' VAASKA lay out a totally original combination of HC sub-sub-genres, weaving together scorching metallic leads, bruising Mötorpunk-style drumbeats, and catchy vocals in the tradition of class Spanish punk bands. Everything is delivered with the absolute maximum amount of energy and impact, and the result is what is without a doubt one of the best HC releases of 2010. I know people have been hotly anticipating this one, so don't miss out.”—Sorry State