Mingling and Tingling in the Hardcore Present With Stale Phish, Freedom, Fury, and M.F.P.
There’s plenty of decent punk and hardcore still mingling and tingling its way around this great land of ours.
Photo courtesy of M.F.P.
Sometimes I feel like this column might get too bogged-down in tales of hardcore yore. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story about who invented the boot-first stage dive as much as the next dude or dudette, but the truth, is there’s plenty of decent punk and hardcore still mingling and tingling its way around this great land of ours. You want proof? Alright, grab some wood then, because here it comes.
If you’re looking for a band with a profound message or a deep social conscience, best to steer clear of Detroit’s Stale Phish. With song titles like "Teen Mom," "I Was Drunk (When I Met Your Mom)," and "While You Skated Street (I Skated Pool with Your Mom)," their LP Rock ‘N’ Roll Revert isn’t the kind of thing you’d throw on to impress anyone with an ascot to spare. But, if you’re looking for something that’ll remind you of those Skate Rock compilations that used to blare in the background while you yacked up cheap brew after skating your friend’s quarter pipe, this’ll do the trick something sweet. Check out the video for "Gator’s Song," their ode to the downfall of celebrated 80s skater Gator Rogowski, and pick up their LP through Not Like You.
Also out of Detroit, but demonstrating way less tolerance for party time, comes the band Freedom. Similar to current bands like Violent Reaction and Shrapnel out of the UK, Freedom spews up a revised rendition of NYHC that can sometimes come off as a bit too reverent, but just kicks so much ass you can’t help but get swept up in its urgency and swing a heavy bike chain above your head. Until the release of their LP on the BBB label out of Boston, pick up their four-song promotional cassette released by the beyond estimable Mosher’s Delight label out of Washington D.C. and check them the fuck out when they open the second day of the Black ‘N’ Blue Bowl on Sunday May, 17.
Fury out of Orange County, California delivered a very choice demo last year, and now they are back with an early contender for seven incher of the year with the five song Kingdom Come on the aforementioned BBB Records. Where the songs on their tape seemed like they picked and chose their influences from the finest demos the East Coast had to offer in the late 80s, Kingdom Come comes off like a culmination of influences from both the band's backyard and the right side of the country. To me, Kingdom Come sounds like a combination of the ferocity of Raw Deal with the precision fueled fury of Uniform Choice. I’m talking the good era of Uniform Choice, of course; obviously not the cowboys and bandanas era. Wish I could see them when they play Damaged City Fest in a few weeks, but I’m going otter hunting with a buddy of mine that weekend, and you know how that is… Pick this shit up direct from Triple B Records.
Just like any other man reaching my twilight years, I want to look cool in front of my nephews’ friends. So, I’ve learned all the names of all the cool bands to loudly praise whilst fiddling with the inseam of my jorts when I hang out in the back of basement hardcore shows. I already had Violent Reaction, GIVE, Red Death, Government Flu, and In School on that list, and now I guess I gotta add Boston’s M.F.P to my cheat sheet. The 7-inch they did up on Painkiller a year or so ago pressed all my consciously stupid buttons somethin’ fierce, and this new demonstration cassette they’ve released only furthers their cause for that special kinda punk rock loserdom that both celebrates and regrets its decisions. Check out that NWOBHM’ed up cover of the Dead Boys’ "Ain’t Nothing To Do," a nihilistic anthem on the same level as Poison Idea’s "Just to Get Away" or Sick Pleasure’s "Three Seconds of Pleasure." Rest assured, the tape will be the soundtrack for my next late night pilgrimage to drive over garbage cans in my gas-guzzling SUV. All these dudes wanna do is swim in the DNA of both Sid Sludge and Johnny Brannon. Are you gonna deny them that, you heartless hippie fuck?