Summer in Chicago: It can be sweltering, overwhelming, wretched like a fat-ass whore slurping up semen in the bathroom of a seedy bar with spent rubbers decorating the floors and halls. It can be rough. Your mind starts to go as the sun screams down at you, taunting you even, as you stare ahead for blocks and blocks ahead, searching for refuge, but all you see is miles of concrete, locking in the heat. Even the wind is hot. It’s enough to make you scream, but you know, if you scream the authorities will be there within seconds to haul you off to the funny farm, where you’ll be doped up and sent into the rubber room to await your frontal lobotomy that you may or may not have been destined for.
You contemplate gassing up the car and driving it as far north as the world will allow you to go, to seek relief from the heat, but gas is nearly five dollars a gallon and all you have is thirteen dollars and forty-six cents to your name. You wander into a bar to seek comfort but the place is filled with dispossessed soles, fiddling assholes you want nothing to do with. You exit the bar and see a man and a woman smoking crack in an abandoned automobile and you wonder if they have the right idea. Then you see it, there is no right idea. There is no relief, no solution, nowhere to go. There is nothing to do.
With that in mind you admit defeat and turn back toward home. You know that the suicides and the homicides and the genocides sky rocket in this heat so you’re careful of where you step and careful of the look you give the stranger on your left. Upon entering your apartment you come to find that the heat and the humidity has brought alive the rotten stench of cat piss in your carpet you thought you had surely rid of months earlier.
You contemplate calling your lady but you and she had had a drunken argument about something you can’t remember and the two of you haven’t spoken in two days, so you turn to the refrigerator and pull out a cold bottle. You sit, tapping the bottle, wiping off its bubbles of sweat. There is nothing to do. The heat will choke you. There’s nowhere to turn and if you don’t have God there is nothing to do but tilt up that bottle, put the needle on the record, grin, and bear through it.
Bill Bondsmen “Swallowed By the World” LP/CD
I’d been looking forward to this one for quite a while. I’ve followed this band ever since they were distributing their first demo at their live shows. If you don’t know this band by now you’re missing out on something truly unique, original, and altogether brilliant. The Bill Bondsmen manage to throw together the best elements of fast punishing 1980’s American hardcore/punk with all the best components of Japanese and other foreign hardcore/punk influences while adding in their own original touch with herky-jerky starts and stops and oddly timed breakdowns and rhythms that don’t seem like they could be played the same way more than once but are, combined with the best most angry, potent, funny, and witty lyrics in punk today. Recorded by Mitch Wolf at Mitch Wolf Studios and mixed by Warn Defever at Brown Rice Studio, the sound is much rawer and more stripped down than previous recordings, which the band benefits by, giving it a far more intense feel and sound. Twelve songs in all, which the Bondsmen have really stepped up on and delivered the goods, even including a tasteful cover of Detroit punk legends Feisty Cadavers “Live Like Vampires” which rips and actually gives the original a run for its money. The record also features the best closer to a hardcore/punk album heard since Black Flag’s Damaged with the eerily slow droning number “A Bird In the Hand Means You’ve Been Dead For A Few Days”. Honestly. It’s that good. All in all, an absolutely flawless LP down to the amazing artwork by Christopher Ilth, and perhaps the first classic hardcore/punk LP of the later days of the early 2000’s. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t change a thing.(MCP)
(Dead Beat Records// www.dead-beat-records.com)
Chronic Seizure “Ancient Wound” LP
Debut LP by Chicago’s arguably best and most intense band. The recording quality and songs on the LP absolutely blow away their first two releases, both 7 inch EP’s on Fashionable Idiots out of Minneapolis, MN. Singer Austin has really let loose on this record, screaming out his vocals with venom as opposed to holding back somewhat, like on previous releases, giving them the sound most look forward to at their live performances. The LP features ten songs of straight forward fast early ‘80’s American and Italian influenced hardcore/punk, filled with lyrics of anger and paranoia that whiz by at a lightning quick pace. This is easily one of the year’s best records. Very recommended.(MCP)
(Co-release between No Way Records and Fashionable Idiots)
(www.fashionableidiots.com // www.nowayrecords.com)
Daylight Robbery s/t 7”
First 7” release by one of Chicago’s newest and most exciting bands on the scene. Featuring members of the Pedestrians and the Manhandlers, Daylight Robbery come off with a sound comparable to a modernized X minus the rockabilly touches, or an Americanized Gorilla Angreb, what with the jangly trebly guitars and joint male/female vocals, while still maintaining a fresh new sound that’s absent today in much of punk, making this a catchy and very promising release from a very promising new band. (MCP)
(Residue Records // Residuerecords-at-gmail.com)
Pedestrians “Killing Season” 7”
New one from Chicago’s Pedestrians, and this time quite a bit harder and angrier. Four songs of the signature Midwestern straight forward mid-tempo hardcore/punk sound we’ve come to expect from the Pedestrians who somehow seem to improve on each release while never really changing up their formula. The Pedestrians are political without being preachy and serious without lacking sense of humor and pissed off while avoiding being over-the-top-aggro. Whether you’ve been a fan of the band for a while or you’ve never heard the Pedestrians this is a great must-have record as it’s possible the best release yet from Chicago’s definitive modern-day punk band. I give Residue Records and the Pedestrians an A.(MCP)
(Residue Records// Residuerecords-at-gmail.com)
The Teeners s/t 7”
Now this is what I look for in a punk-rock band. The Teeners hail from Austin, TX and play fast snotty stupid angry catchy punk-rock not unlike the best of the Reatards or Persuaders. It’s rare in this day and age to find a band like this, you know the kind, the kind that can come out, scream their guts out about God knows what and just have fun without looking like they’re the least bit concerned about image or making friends. Personally, I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing. Catchy and snotty enough to appeal to fans of Rip Off Records and fast and angry enough to appeal to fans of the hardest of the hardcore/punk. Get this.(MCP)
(Super Secret Records// www.supersecretrecords.com)
V/A American Cheeseburger/Canadian Rifle split 7”
This is my favorite kind of split 7”. You get two bands who couldn’t be farther apart in scene and sound, but who both, in their own respective ways, really bring it to the table. Starting things out is Atlanta’s hardcore/thrash train-wreck, American Cheeseburger. American Cheeseburger’s side gives you four crazy fast as Hell pissed off hardcore/punk tunes done up seemingly naturally and expertly, making others in the genre pale in comparison. Next, you get Chicago’s Canadian Rifle, who give you more of their melodic yet rough edged punk not at all unlike the earliest material from Leatherface. Canadian Rifle’s side only features one song, their live staple stomper, “The Body Is a Temple”, but it’s really all you need, what with the length and number of changes in the song. Like I mentioned earlier, this is my favorite kind of split. You really get the best of both worlds here, and if you’re a fan of punk, you know this is not the kind of record you come by every day, where two completely different sounding bands emerge from their respective scenes and get together to put out a quality product.(MCP)
(Rock Bottom Records // myspace.com/rockbottomwrex)
Contact Coppens: freakodepresso-at-hotmail-dot-com
To read more Coppens go here.