Life is Hate: S/T EP

“Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in…” I published half a dozen end-of-year lists at Six Noises in the last week, and that usually signals that my work here is well and truly done for the year. But then New Zealand-based noise punks Life is Hate went and uploaded their brand new self-titled EP to YouTube, and now I’ve been dragged right back into the fray, because I have to talk about it. Truthfully, I’m pretty stoked to... Read More

Rotten UK: That Is Not Dead

The first record I ever bought was a rowdy UK punk compilation called Punk And Disorderly III. I’ll understand if you’ve never heard of it before, because it was released way back in 1983. But in all the years since, I’ve never forgotten how I felt when I dropped the needle on that compilation’s first track. My life changed forever when Abrasive Wheels’ “Burn ’em Down” kicked in. It was like getting hit by a bolt of lightning.... Read More

Parents: Great Reward

  Great Reward is the third release from New Zealand hardcore band Parents, and the album’s title is pretty much an on-point summation of the contents therein. Auckland-based Parents create explosive and unhinged punk rock, and while their music is always fierce, it’s often unconventional too. That means Great Reward features tracks that are different and more distinctive than the usual hardocre fare. They’re songs that are as adroit as... Read More

Video debut: Plastic Fascinations, from Hollywoodfun Downstairs

  I didn’t know what to make of Hollywoodfun Downstairs when I first heard them. I mean, there was no question I loved what I heard on Reactions, the latest album from the Wellington, New Zealand-based trio. Their instrumental prowess and daredevil songwriting was hugely impressive, and the album’s hooks and production packed a heavyweight punch. However, I was totally flummoxed about how I was going to accurately describe the stop-on-a-dime,... Read More

Titan—Burn

Titan—Burn Acrophobia is the fear of heights, and Burn, the debut full-length from sludgy hardcore behemoths Titan, fills me with just such dread. Colossal walls of riffs are to be found on Burn. Built on a foundation of hardcore, they’re monoliths of sound, piercing doom-laden skies and towering into a blazing aether. From up on top, the transition between movements can feel like a lurching drop. As lofty heights are ascended, you become transfixed... Read More