Thursday, April 4, 2013


It's fun to watch a band develop their sound in the live realm. When I first started seeing Laughboy play, their songs were masked by opaque, blunt-force hardcore noise overload common to many young bands. Over the course of a couple years' worth of shows, a unique sound started to take shape. They've been billed as 'cosmic' or 'psychedelic' hardcore, and those descriptions seem apt enough on this cassingle released by Spotted Race. The three short songs contain frantic vocal howls cast amongst psychedelic guitar reverb, buttressed by a murky low end that hits like an asteroid collision. Whether on tape or on your computer, the songs have the raw, shitty hardcore fidelity you all know and love. Have a listen to the a-side, which personally I can't get enough of:

On April 13 Laughboy will be playing the Midwest Zine Fest aftershow with fellow C-U locals Chain's Gang and Unnerve. Like the Fest itself, the show will be at the Urbana Independent Media Center. Show starts at 8:00, fb details here for those who seek them.

nothing like being with bitter fools

Monday, April 1, 2013

VA - Not Normal Presents: Welcome to 2013

Fuck. Where do I start with this comp? Ralph really outdid himself on this one. It's got nearly everybody on it: twenty-eight songs in forty minutes by seventeen bands from Chicago, the Midwest, the USA, THE WORLD. The record wastes no time, with an exciting start by Basque punks Hondartzako Hondakinak. I'd never heard of them before but I'm glad that's no longer the case. Further on in the comp the sounds run the whole spectrum, from the psycho-saturated ramonescore of Cülo to the power-pop punk of Tenement to the cosmic hardcore of NASA Space Universe to the angular UK palpitations of Good Throb to the raging Spanish-language thrash of Porkeria to the Minutemen-invoking funkiness of Big Crux ... if I don't stop here I'll just end up listing all the bands. But really, every cut is crucial. I should mention that this is Ooze's vinyl debut -- but don't worry, they haven't cleaned their sound up one bit.

Sample the tunes here, then buy a copy at Not Normal. For your own damn sake don't sleep on this one; the wax sounds great and it comes with a full-size 20-page booklet with band infos, lyrics, and some sick artwork. For what you're getting the price is a STEAL.