Wednesday 16 September 2015
Ok so Massappeal were a band that came from Australia and whilst Aus has a great rich history of hardcore with bands like Depression, GASH,Civil Dissident and Death Sentence I always felt like they were kinda overlooked and only the most devoted of fans followed Aus HC for some reason it doesn't get the same slavish devotion as hardcore from far away lands like say Japanese Hardcore does despite the quality of the bands coming out of there over they decades. Massappeal are one of the bands that were criminally overlooked. Whilst they released 4 albums and a few EP's I'm only going to cover their early years here simply because whilst they did release music from 1986 to 1994 it's their 1st mini album and 7" that really hold a special place in my heart as after that they matured and went in a more melodic direction so i shall begin...
Massappeal burst out the gate with a raging 7 Track mini album "Nobody Likes A Thinker" in 1986 followed shortly thereafter by a single "The Bar Of Life" in 1987 I was lucky enough to hear these at the time through tape trading and eventually a friend bought them and we played those records to death at that time it was a case of the faster the better and Massappeal definitely fit the bill!
Fast forward a couple of decades and I managed to download some vinyl rips of those essential early records they weren't great quality so i barely listened to them and sent them to the hardcore folder for nostalgia purposes fast forward a few more years and I'm at band practice earlier this year and during a break our singer as he often does plugs his iPod into a speaker so we can listen to tunes and he says you must remember this? and i said is that Massappeal? and lo and behold it was! So we were having a discussion about how great they were and i said has this never been re-issued on CD to which our singer said it definitely had not. I was skeptical surely classic hardcore like this was NOT just languishing in the dust of HC history with only out of print records and shit quality MP3's as their legacy?So I went home that night went on the internet and discovered that not only had it been re-issued on CD in 2007 by Relapse they had also added the 7" a comp track and the entire first demo!!! I of course hit buy immediately and that brings us to this post!!
So how to describe Massappeal well take the speed of early Bad Brains (Rock For Light era) and D.R.I. (Dealing With It era) a ripping guitar sound and some great vocals with that kind of snotty punk belligerence that only the Australian's and Jerry A from Poison Idea can deliver! This is basically fast thrashing hardcore 80's style and if these guys had been from the USA they would be worshiped with the same reverence as bands from that period that they were easily the equal of like DRI, Excel, (early) Suicidal Tendencies, Verbal Abuse etc. What I think separates Massappeal from the pack is the awesome production sound of these early records the drums sound HUGE even when they are blazing at 1000mph the guitar is just gnarly and brilliant and loud and everything is mixed to perfection they sounded great on record on CD it's even more so!When i first got this CD I couldn't stop playing it for a week it was the same thrill i got from hearing it at 16 years old and it still slammed my Jaw to the floor and with track titles like "Rat In A Hole" and "Pissed On Life" you know exactly what you're getting this is raging stuff with a sense of humor a skateboard and a beer in hand and they came to rip your faces off!!!
So the CD reissue as I've said sounds great however the addition of their demo is a major bonus as I had never heard it whilst 7 of it's 9 songs later appear in much better sound and fury on the mini album and 7" it's a great glimpse into the early days of the band and it's decent quality for a demo the CD contained an extract of a live set but i omitted that here due to repetition of the same tracks and didn't really think it was worth having and detracted from the greatness of the studio recordings.
So here you have it a retrospective of this amazing Australian hardcore thrash bands mid 80's (and best) music, if you are a fan of any of the bands or releases that I have mentioned in this write up and have not heard this it is definitely ESSENTIAL to your collection and you have missed out on some great stuff so you can remedy that now... click below and GOOOO MOSHHHH!!!!
Nobody Likes A Thinker - Mediafire
So this is a bit of a double header here as these bands are both from Germany and obviously good friends and also released a split EP together whilst Bent Cross have broken up now Annotation whilst still a band are kind of on hiatus at the moment but I am informed by the band that they have every intention of getting back together and continuing with Annotation. I also wanted to look at these 2 great German bands because both owe something to Black Flag in their sound but in completely different ways so let's begin....
Bent Cross were from Hamburg I have little info about who's in the band or really any info about them at all however as their music was so great i really wanted to share it with you guys... during their short existence they released an 6 track EP and 2 tracks on a split EP with Annotation however though the songs are short fast and loud they leave an impression. these guys play a really intense blend of early Dez Cadena era Black Flag with a slight nod to the more rocking end of something like BL'AST! with some metallic flourishes here and there which makes them a little more interesting than your straight up Flag worshiping stuff! However when you hear the vocalist screaming "This is MY WAR" during the song "This Is War" you can be in little doubt who they are influenced by!!! These guys were great but with only 8 songs to go on and the fact they have split up there's not a great deal more I can say except wonder what might have been if they had stayed together. however one member has gone on to another band Teenage Hate who are not a million miles from what Bent Cross were doing just a lot less Black Flag and a little more garage and melody in there you can download the Teenage Hate demo from 2014 here free at Bandcamp and you can download Bent Cross at the link below
Bent Cross - Mediafire
So onto Annotation from Ibbenbüren of the two bands these were definitely a personal favorite, these guys have been around since 2005 they have released some demos/tapes and a couple of EP's up to 2008 however i manged to get in contact with the band and while their early outings were more in a generic style of hardcore their self titled EP from 2011 and the split with Bent Cross from 2012 show a serious change in style and when i mentioned doing a post on them here they said i should really concentrate on these releases as that's where the band are and where they are going now. Their 5 track EP from 2011 is fantastic I absolutely love their sleazy mix of 70's Rock/punk/garage/hardcore and a hefty dose of 84 - 86 Black Flag! These guys have obviously been honing there chops since 2008 because this EP shows a marked progression in not only style but technique, The songs though mainly short have plenty going on in the structure and take you on enough twists and turns to make you feel like you are listening to a much longer song! This continues over the 2 tracks from the split W/ Bent Cross though i would say every one of the 7 songs total over the EP and split are great there's a definite progression again on the Split EP where they are playing even more leads and riffs than before and the 2 songs are both fucking SHREDDING without having to floor the speed pedal! These guys remind me a lot of bands like Blasting Concept (See My Post HERE ), Annihilation Time (On their 2nd and 3rd albums See My Post HERE), The Shrine etc and they are as good as any of them and live would fit on the bill nicely with any of these bands! I was seriously glad to hear they had not split up and cannot wait for someone to give these guys a deal for an album!
Annotation - Mediafire
Facebook Page - HERE
Though Bent Cross have split Annotation are still going and as they only have 408 likes on their facebook page which means NOT ENOUGH people are hearing these guys so check the music and go give them a like on Facebook if you like them share a link to this post on your page and spread the word as your encouragement for a great band like these could mean all the difference and there's nowhere near enough bands playing music as good and a s rocking as this! Enjoy.