Easy Marks: Amir Khan

Hello. I’m converting this blog to a boxing one because that’s all I really write about anyway. Music writing is for the most part dull and I’ve been getting to hardcore records a year too late for anyone to care, if they ever did, which they didn’t. This past weekend’s fight in which Julio Caesar Chavez Jr quit on his stool and boosted Andy Fonfara to top light heavy contender status inspired me to think of other easy marks in boxing. These are the low risk, high reward fighters that are waiting for someone to expose them as either finished, peaked or overhyped. Recent examples include the aforementioned JCC jr, Sergio Martinez, Adrien Broner (who, as I’ll explain later, still has shine to rub) and to a lesser extent Erislandy Lara. So who out there is ripe for the picking? Who can provide the engine for someone’s star vehicle without denting the body? First up: Amir Khan.

Amir+Khan+Amir+Khan+USA+Olympic+Boxing+Team+vq7w00hKO1il

What’s that Kell?

Where the Fighter Stands

Khan returned from his second KO loss sporting a jittery style (prime example was against Luis Collazo) conveying that he was just as cognizant of his fragile chin as the fans. He rushed into ugly holds and avoided stepping in to throw combinations lest there be an exchange he’d have to survive. His refusal to even contemplate a redo of his three defeats signals a fear of getting knocked out and his choice of light hitting Devon Alexander and now the completely manufactured threat of Chris Algieri, only leads one to assume that Amir Khan knows he’s a limited fighter navigating the top end of the welterweight division. To my eye I see a boxer with lightning quick hands, little power, basic footwork and movement, and most prominently, a woeful chin.

The Benefit

So what’s the reward of fighting Khan? One only has to read recent Kell Brook interviews to find out. Khan is loved and loathed in Britain and a fight with Brook would in all likelihood be a sell out for two fighters that don’t draw particularly well on their own. Although Khan has his losses, he also has a victory over Marcos Maidana, which is impressive considering Maidana’s schadenfreude laden victory over Adrien Broner and his near spoiler performance that was rewarded with a sequel against the nominal top man in the sport, the loathsome Floyd Mayweather. Anyway, it just goes to say that Khan, despite some higher profile losses, still retains some credibility. A thorough undressing in the ring by Kell could rocket Brook to the forefront of the division and demonstrate to boxing fans that he may be the complete package. Also, with Khan currently not fighting anyone of significance and rubbing fans the wrong way with incessant interviews opining about fights he is not a part of, he is perceived as a cowardly, braggart heel. Everybody likes to see an arrogant loud mouth shut up and there will be a significant folk hero status attached to the man that can do it (again), much the same as Maidana’s popularity rose after causing Broner to run from the ring with tears in his eyes.

In the ring Khan won’t knock out a top fighter and he has a bomb scare chin that could look really nice in a youtube hype video if someone tags it again. He’s fast but not particularly defensive; any fighter with a chin, decent speed, some power and confidence could beat Khan. Or even a fighter without those things could do it too (Briedis Prescott). Also you won’t be hounded for a rematch should you win close, or even controversially.

The Damage

The risks are few when fighting Khan. The worst in ring result would be that he outlands his opponent and wins a boring decision, only to emphasize his self inflated importance to the sport afterwards. He also may not draw much interest (which may be a good thing if the prospective opponent were to lose) and the fight would almost certainly be the first fight in a two fight doubleheader or promoted on the forgettable (despite what we’re told are decent ratings) PBC cards (on Spike I’m sure). However, a loss to Khan places a fighter in the dreaded ‘jobber’ category (sorry Devon Alexander, but it appears you’ve hit your ceiling, at least you have your boat).

The Future

In a perverse way it’s as though Khan knows that he’s a potential low risk high reward target. He’s seemingly offering his services as a pedestrian loss or potential highlight reel KO to the highest bidder. It makes sense from the cringeworthy ‘business perspective’ as he’s an easy title defense for the Mayweather-Pacquiao winner, or a relatively light bounce-back but still respectable opponent for the loser. It’s as though Khan knows he has one or two big losses left in him, best to cash out now before his reputation and shine from his name cease to draw any water.

Who He’ll Avoid: Porter, Brook, Thurman, Bradley, Garcia, Provodnikov, Matthysse, Broner. Anybody that can hit and needs a push to be a star

Who he wants: Mayweather first, Manny second. Money and someone that doesn’t make you earn it with blood or brain cells.

What should happen: Fights Brook and shows that he’s fixed his problems with a win or lose and move on to full time gatekeeper status.

Back With a Fuckin Theory

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  GUYS SHUT UP! OK so I was thinking about Nirvana after a video of theirs popped up on my youtube sidebar. I listened to a few songs and realized that ‘Bleach’ is the only album that’s any good and holds up after the sands of time ripped apart Nevermind by forcing it into our ears through the parasitic host of every fucking band on early 2000s radio. ANYWAY I started listening to ‘Heart Shaped Box’ and thought ‘what the fuck is this? It makes no sense and is boring and just two chords’. THEN IT HIT ME, ‘In Utero’ is a master-class in sarcasm. Don’t get me wrong, the album sucks and you shouldn’t listen to it, BUT I did because I wanted to test my theory that this is Cobain taking the piss out of mainstream music.

                First off I think they tricked themselves into thinking they wanted a great album in a style they liked and hired Steve Albini to produce. Then Kurt decided fuck that, I hate everything around me including this fucking band and I can’t stop it so I’m going to sabotage it. They booted Albini (throwing him under the bus after critics realized it sucked) and Kurt went full sarcasm-fuck-you-everybody-is-stupid mode. So to test this thing I listened to every song (it’s a Tuesday night so shut up and my shoulder is fucked):

  1. “Serve the Servants”: First note is intentionally out of tune and is returned to throughout, it’s clean as shit (despite being a ‘hard rocking’ tune on this), lyrics are a combination of confused, embarrassing teen style politics and complaining about your parents. Solo is lazy and pointless (referring to my taking the piss theory)   
  2. “Scentless Apprentice”-boring chugga chugga riff; alternative title they worked with was ‘Chuck Chuck Fo Fuck’ showing that they did not care much for the riff by mocking it. Lyrics telling you to go away with confused imagery about a baby and then whining about your job, basically calling all his fans babies that like shitty chugga music.
  3. “Heart-Shaped Box”: The one that was on guitar hero and is home to the most lazy guitar ‘composing’ this side of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This one sparked the flame of the sarcasm theory because the tone of the entire song is sarcastic, the chorus is an easy place to start. Lyrics make no sense in the Anthony Keidis (see how this song sucks, it could be by the RHCP!) mold of just saying things that sound emotional. Also, a note on the video, it seems as though the band said do whatever but just shoot it in a day, so there’s ol’ Kurt up there in front of a green screen and then sitting in a chair looking bored, MAKE IT OUT TO CASH PLEASE, HORSE DON’T TAKE NO PLASTIC!
  4. “Rape Me”: I like this one because it’s so obviously an intentional fuck you song to all the dickheads that liked this band in their heyday and whom Kurt so openly despised. The riff is an inverted Smells Like Teen Spirit to trick people when played live and then he gets the meatheads to scream RAPE ME. There is no way this song is political, it’s just a strange gross out fuck you sarcasm vehicle, and for that I salute Cobain’s memory, even if it’s now forming a Jackson Pollock painting on his garage door.   
  5. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”: Here’s some song with a long dumb title that was detritus to our earlier output. It’s slow with lazy feedback and includes another derivative solo (you fucks liked Smells Like right? well keep eating it morons). The lyrics were taken from a 14 year old’s notebook that Kurt traded a bag of weed for ‘I miss the comfort of being sad’ indeed.   
  6. “Dumb”: the one song on here that throws a wrench into my theory because it’s good. Lyrics could be considered juvenile but they’re the most sincere thing on this album. There’s an actual bridge that shifts back into a nice riff that guides the entire song. I give dumb a thumbs up. Onward, friends.
  7. “Very Ape”: super lazy lyrics that make no sense but if you strain your eyes to read the tea leaves you can see it’s about how fame kinda sucks and how you should probably leave him alone. Ends sharply because fuck this album needs another track I guess.
  8. “Milk It”: I’M GOING CRAZY EVERYBODY BECAUSE I AM KURT COBAIN AND I ENJOY DRUGS BUT MY BRAIN IS WACKY. OK this is the one to scare the squares right! not really, loud part and soft part with token ‘I’m going crazy’ lame lyrics Disturbed would later come to annoy us all with. Kurt Cobain: the original uh wa wa wa wa wa guy (down with the sickness reference dum dums). This fits into the sarcasm theory with I’ll write whatever lyrics, squeeze it into a rock radio format, length and tone and you shits will think you have feelings that are unique to the Nirvana experience, whatever let’s finish this fuckin album because ugh this band.
  9. “Pennyroyal Tea”: I’M FAMOUS AND IT SUCKS AND CELEBRITY IS BAD FOR YOU. Way to go, you just wrote every G’N’R song after appetite except whinier. Loud and soft yet again, quite the template you’ve found (his favorite powerpoint one was sunrise), but hey, he doesn’t care because this is being sold in a mall so whatever. Suck it.
  10. “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”: OK the title plays into my hand but this thing could have been on the radio (soft loud bits and the feedback is not very abrasive) so kind of a double irony by that slick Cobainer. Lyrics might win the lazy award for this album and asking his dumb fans to identify with his ‘acne’ and that he ‘thinks’. Bold, fresh and very sarcastic.
  11. “tourette’s”: Rhyming is stupid so whatever I’ll just kinda screech this and it’ll be done in two minutes and every line will end in heart, it’s what you saps want, feel different at school without actually being different at all, it’s win win.
  12. “All Apologies”: It’s like he’s apologizing to decent people for this album BUH-ZING NO ONE EVER MADE THAT JOKE BEFORE I’M SMART. Loud quiet because of course. Lyrics are about what his dumbass new fans are like, and I hate to break it to you people that identify with it from the singer’s point of view, it’s actually about you. You’re stupid and Kurt wants you to feel stupid for buying this cd (it was probably purchased as a CD, good god what a shitty format from it scratching and fucking up easily to the jewel case breaking instantly to the booklet being printed in such tiny print; at least tapes were durable). Ends it on quite a sarcastic note.

Well there you have it, a masterpiece of sarcasm made by a man that didn’t care anymore and two other guys that liked a consistent source of income, drugs and pussy. Listen to Bleach, that album is still good.

Your friend,

LFL

 

Esoteric Majority: Low Culture-Screens (Dirtnap Records)

LowCulture
 
Well fuck it, I’ve not written on this here site for a while and I’ve been way too fucking sober to listen to music for an extended period of time. Funds have run low as I’m thrust back into the wonders of academia like the dickhead that I am into the cunt-hole of university (more science-y this time, but hey, at least sociobiology is still made up horse-shit!) and I’m beginning to feel like a man without a country. Yes I rebel by wearing a Discharge or Adolescents shirt under my sweater or dress shirt as I go do a public health interview at a church. Hey posers, fuck you, don’t you realize you’re developing life skills? It’s true! You can go get a job and make money and have horrible relationships with ‘career-minded’ (white) people! But hey more money means more records and more records means fleeting moments of happiness mixed with meetings, workouts, buzzing neon lights, the goddamn fucking internet, iphones and robotic, shame-based masturbation. Everyone has a wife/husband/awful boy/girl friend and a fucking dog. My god do I hate dogs. Not so much dogs in the wild but the culture around the fucking things. Dogs aren’t kids; I refrain myself from kicking kids and when you yell at them it scars them for a significant portion of their short and very dull lives. Dogs on the other hand yell back and are cunts because their owners think you like them. The best scene in Trainspotting: The one where they shoot that dog in the ass and it mauls its’ owner; all of those characters’ sins are forever absolved, go buy the poster.
 
I was going to ramble on about the age of the dudes in Low Culture and the concept of ‘selling out’ (I’m sorry I can’t think of anything clever) and how it might relate to myself and my own fucked up esoteric visions of culture, commerce, mental illness, and rage. However that sucks and produces about as much literary and critical tension of two men standing next to each other at the urinal desperately trying to piss. Well these fucks aren’t old, they’re just good. The lyrics within this record are emoting many pop punk staples but distilling them down to their emotional essence (choice tracks: Touchy Feely, Pills, Modern World and the crowning jewel that is California). Their demo is good but this is terrific; no wonder Needles//Pins came and shit their pants all over the twitter about it.
 
Ok so what they hell are they writing about then? Basically the hole that exists in all of us and gets filled up with whatever patchwork rain-made remedy we convince ourselves will lead to the promised land of bliss. This includes drugs, work, quitting drugs, sex both bad and lack of, acceptance, loneliness, friendship and just fucking leaving. So my existential hole is now being filled up with routine and trying to distance myself emotionally from people I work with while remaining as critical as possible. Yeah, so I have to dress up to remove myself from others; ‘professional clothes’ they’re called. On a broader level I understand that this is fucked up. Shouldn’t we like working with each other and form communities based on common goals? Yeah, but fuck that hippie shit, we live in a sterile desk jockey world and it’s designed to stay that way for long beyond our time on the rock. Just looking around the school library I’m writing this in, everybody is staring into a varying size of screen into an internet world intent on destroying all forms of communication. So I wear the clothes because I know I can take them off. Fuck this culture and don’t ever give it an inch of your true self. However that’s not the message of this record, instead this record gets across that the hole doesn’t ever fill (just wait until you hate your own children) and these issues continue for an unbearable amount of time.
 
No, this is not a happy record but the music underneath the lyrics is great pop rock. The melodies all work and every song is nice and tight. This blog is generally nihilistic and upon review so is this post but the only way to live in this world is to hold onto your belief in nihilism (not cynicism, as Low Culture triumphantly sing that they’ve discarded). So this record works for a lot of different people; those pop punkers that want to go to university (just not a fucking business or engineering degree please), 31 year olds that still feel the way they did at 25 and people that just dig good power pop (like me). This review thing went on long enough and made little to no sense. Get it: Dirtnap (there still might be some on blue vinyl)
 
Demo: http://terminalescape.blogspot.ca/2012/11/low-culture.html

Noise is Pure: Lotus Fucker-Forever My Fighting Spirit LP (Katorga Works)

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          Well that writing hiatus was a bitch. I needed to stand atop a mountain and then ski as fucking fast down the rocky side of it as I possibly could and breathe pure air under nature’s sky. I did this and am ready to write now that the spirits have realigned and fuck if this isn’t nature’s record, pure noise and running water. The cover is beautiful, with a female warrior staring into you with blank eyes about to take what you long to have and escape into the fields at night. These dudes are from Baltimore by way of a Japanese noise obsession but this record might has well have emerged from the ether and guided you to an understanding that the apocalypse will be cleansing rather than terrifying, for only those that live with fear do not welcome the end of this world. Ok that was a ramble but there is an energy within this record and it is produced by a band that I saw play in a field with a generator powering the amps. They were all fairly innocuous looking dudes, men that you would see on a bus or a coffee shop and either deride or ignore. Then they played and they didn’t stop because they couldn’t. You cannot fight the river but instead you let it wash over your body and it will deposit you where it may. These guys play with spirit and that is what great noise punk does, it washes over you and carries you to where it wants. Get their split with the Wankys, and while I love the Wankys they are responsible for the weaker side. Western noise is Lotus Fuckers’ domain and while many may think that I just crowned them king of shit mountain well all I have to say is fuck you, noise is pure and your spirit has been arrested by the fucking corporate dreck that has diluted our culture to a consumption based virus of our time. Fuck you, you’re not welcome.

           The first time I listened to Lotus Fucker was as soon as I woke up early one morning while the sun was rising. I put their first LP on my headphones while lying in bed and staring out the window and froze. That record, with all of its’ Japanese obsession showed the marks of a possessed mad man that found exactly what he loves and is willing to die for it or kill it himself. One can only be so lucky to find that one thing in our lives. We are tricked into believing we have that with sport or easily consumed pop culture. Now I love sport but I have to check myself to make sure it doesn’t consume my energy and my raison d’etre. Those that are consumed by sport are easily manipulated and lose their honesty (ok another side track), however I believe that when one is consumed by Japanese noise punk and Japanese culture in general it is because you have found a kindred spirit and once that spirit gets a hold of you it will never leave you. It is yours and you are theirs; that is what the blank eyed woman on the cover wants, your absolute devotion to the cause and the willingness to escape into the moonlit night. I’ve mentioned before that I find the best hardcore to be as pure and honest a form of music as you can get, and that is what this record is. It screams that it loves what it does and either you do as well or fuck you. I love this thing.

            On a slight tangent I might as well mention that I am a devoted boxing fan because I feel that boxing is the best sport for raw emotion. This is probably why I am so attracted to hardcore as well. I saw Lotus Fucker once in a field (as mentioned) and it was a set that was wonderfully pure for all the devotees that trekked to the middle of a forest to watch a band. Last time I felt a group of people feeling the sense of movement was when I watched Pacquiao v Marquez 4 in a crowded bar. Manny went down and the entire place paused and then a collective swell moved everybody to their base emotion, we had just watched a shift in a sport we loved with one brutal, primal punch. Hardcore is emotional music and that show and that punch were both beautifully brutal. Buy it, brown vinyl. http://icoulddietomorrow.blogspot.ca/2012/12/new-katorga-works-releases-rational.html

The World is a Bag of Warm Piss- Puffy Areolas: 1982: Dishonorable Discharge (Hozac)

Well you have to do something! Apathy has been the bane of the more politically active among us (or those that perceive themselves to be) and is a term used to scorn others or to scream at the sky as the reason why things aren’t the way they ought to be. However, the more I think about the actual feeling and what drives one to become apathetic, the more I’m beginning to embrace the concept. As the United States’ Presidential election returns roll in I find myself wearing my headphones, turning off the Twitter machine and praying that some inane voting irregularities don’t drag this thing past its’ expiry date (arguably long since reached). Criticising the Democrats or any other perceived ‘left’ democratic government in the western world from a left wing point of view has become an absolute waste of oxygen. ‘Well he’s not for the crazy-as-shit-right so who cares?’ Indeed. OK, I’m going to stop myself. So much energy and spirit is wasted on the current democratic discourse that it has the ability to fully occupy one’s mind yet leave one completely empty and abused.

I’ve been writing this fucking review for a week and a half. It is no reflection on the music but rather the fucked up spirits intent on neutering our collective concept of empathy and therefore my inability to write without blood pouring out of my eyes from whence tears fell for the damaged and broken. I swear that ethics have become relative these days. It’s apparent in the lesser evil argument, you’re still supporting evil, dipshit. Look, they’ve already invaded my head during this paragraph and I had to ward them off. Loud music, alcohol, writing, masturbation, history books and cold weather all fight the understanding that I’m not permanent, nor are my actions. That brings me back to the notion of relativity. If everything is relative, including ethics, then I myself am relative, but relative to what? Other humans, that’s what. So what’s the answer? Religion? Fuck that shit. It must be to see the absolute worst and best in humans. I plan to go to some civil war zone to watch a genocide in progress or to some famine ravaged place to see a mother snatch food from their child (it must happen, you always hear about the sacrifice story but there are total bastards out there, I intend to find them). There probably aren’t decent sides to the human being and I will not seek that aspect because it will seek me.

The best thing to do is probably walk along the railroad tracks. If you get hit by a train then that’s half the fun. Make sure you have a bottle of shitty wine with you and a cell phone with the numbers of everyone that you loved and hated and make sure you call at random. That is my prescription for fighting the madness burrowing into your soul. Another prescription is this album. The noise coming off of the record is not planned but channeled. This album reminds me of the point of a Friday night show when everybody decided they were going to get drunk and they all reach the point of no return at the same time. This album is drunkenness, and I can’t be accused of writing this while being drunk because it’s 8 in the morning and I’m drinking coffee and eating a banana after a full nights’ sleep including a dream about running a marathon only to get lost in a mental hospital where a man was doing close up magic to a room full of rabbits. Both guitar sounds on this album are great and they play off each other through the whole thing while vaguely angry vocals (can you be vaguely angry? Vague and vocals are a half assed alliteration so it stays) scream about hating himself and you and the spirits daring him to embrace everything he hates and covets. Good band, good record and dark places.

Dream: The Splits-s/t LP (P. Trash)

No Way Out

I sleep like a psychopath. Various partners have commented on my thrashing, mumbling, creepy open eyes, litany of accents and loud snoring. Twice I’ve woken up next to someone immediately diagnosing me with sleep apnea and offering to make me a special herbal tea to quell my sleep demons. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been drinking, my sleep habits are all the same and I tend to remember my dreams just as often if I go to sleep pissed or sober. My defence when I’m mocked for this is that I can’t control my unconscious self, essentially that I become possessed and that you can’t blame Regan that father Karras launched himself down the steps.

Just a Lie, You’re Fucked Up, Fire-Engine

I often remember my dreams. They are long distorted plots ending in desperate calls from the spirit world demanding a pound of mental flesh in exchange for entrance into their night-time realm. Most times when I nap on a couch I wake up with a jolt because I’d been hit by a train, the same fucking one the colour and pattern of the thorax of a wasp bearing down on me in the middle of a sunny day. I hate that fucking train and the mad man driving it demanding I wake up and be productive, I bet he’s a cunt to work for.

It Makes Me Sick, Ghosts, Broken Arrow

I was once trapped in a dream. I had believed I woke up after a nightmare and walked around my apartment shaken for enduring it when the sky instantly turned pitch black due to storm clouds and I felt what I later found out was sleep paralysis for the first time. I stumbled to band practice unsure of my entire reality and ended up babbling something about ‘being rattled’ by a nap that day to concerned band mates. This was the first time this shit spilled over into reality and became the king spirit, the barbarians had stormed the gate and were burning our huts and slaughtering our cows. It took me about a week to convince myself I was living in reality when awake. I was living the not very well explained doomsday concept of Inception (omg so many plot holes, and the last Batman had them too! Therefore they are bad movies).

Don’t Fear, Crazy For You

Other dreams take the form of premonitions. A few times I have sent an early morning text message or made a phone call to someone I dreamt needed help. These premonitions never come true (thank Christ) and I now chalk them up to a form of spirit torture. These bastards hold my friends hostage during the night and force me to put a bowie knife between my teeth and enter the jungle to hack them out of a bamboo cage during the day. Shamans battle their own demons and try to scare off yours; they don’t see the future because it doesn’t exist.

Action, Tubekiller, Stroke

People read too much into dreams (some morons even devote entire blog posts on the internet to them) so I don’t take these as a gauge of mental health. On the cover of this LP is a cat, the silent companion to humans, equally an omen of hope and misfortune to the superstitious. My dreams are a companion only speaking to me, they can cross my path and make me change my direction or I can completely ignore them and move through my day. Cats are fine, just don’t devote your life to every single one you come across.

Straight forward review: I hate to describe this album as dreamy because that’s a lazy music cliché for something mildly reverb-y and with distant sounding vocals but fuck it, trying to avoid all cliché is how you end up as a pitchfork writer endlessly contorting yourself in an effort to lick your own taint. I thought the only music coming out of Finland was hardcore and they left the softer rock/goth revival to the Swedes but this record has all the good points of the pop rock of the new goth wave (is that a term? Fuck it, it is now) while keeping it dirty and sounding like it was recorded in a garage. I wish this thing had an insert with some lyrics because they are muffled and accented but the song titles and emotion behind it intrigues me. Oh ya it’s a band of four girls, because that is something you have to point out because people are dumb and prejudiced (also I like it when ladies sing). Re-issued by P. Trash on yellow wax.

Masks Unveiled: Brain Tumors-Fuck You Forever ep (Deranged)

Two pots of coffee and an afternoon brandy finally leave my brain with the proper chemical composition to think about this record. Spirit is mood and mood leads to spirits and today is a great day to mull chaotic hardcore with lyrics that lash out and introspect in equal measure over the constant pounding of loud noise. People on the east coast are hunkered down in their basements tweeting their responses to rains and wind when one would be better off lashing themselves to the tallest tree in the neighborhood while screaming to the sky that Zuul is a pussy (there is no religion, only Ghostbusters). I myself am caught in the frozen wasteland of western Canada, unable to see the mountains, blue sky or the sun itself, robbing me of natural energy.

There have been far too many comments (joking or insane) about the apocalypse and the concept of end times, especially with the fucking Mayans (which nobody seems to be able to source properly) and their big chiselled rock of doooooom. The bold truth which I will now unmask for you is that everybody gets to experience the apocalypse in the form of their own death. You all get your very own special end times. It’s one of the few things you get so you might as well own it. It’s only the true evil among us selling the snake oil of an apocalypse not out of their fear but their own arrogance. They beat the drum for the dumb to the tune of ‘if I go then everybody goes and fuck you if you don’t follow me with your money and we get to take a big spaceship ride with Captain Jesus to the big Wal-Mart in the sky’. The apocalypse is nothing, it’s just the end of the day when the outside world decides it’s time to put out your fire and let you re-enter the darkness. The apocalypse is your pack of cigarettes, a house fire or some fucking drunk driver. One phase to the next; there is nothing behind the apocalypse mask, just some shitty weather and a reprise from the sun. They’ve been selling that shit from the first time it was windy and some caveman got smashed on the head by a big fucking boulder that was blown off a cliff.

On the cover of this ep is a mask. It is a garish, raging thing accented with scribbled lines and bulging eyes staring up at the sky with teeth gritted daring the boulder to extinguish its’ fire. This mask would be lashed to a tree right now and it would give comfort to those in the basement. However, turn the ep around and you will see that behind the mask lies guilt, pain, a touch of sorrow and fear. The lyrics for ‘I am Weird’, ‘Being Alive Sucks’, ‘I Feel Bad’, ‘Punk Will Kill Us All’, and ‘Side Effexor’ would not be out of place if released by a band in the No Idea Records catalogue. Pop punk and hardcore are the spurned lovers born of the same tormented high school feelings but left each other for different places after graduation and instead of promising to keep in touch they both got drunk on wine and screamed into each other’s faces before their friends (usually some street punk or ska obsessed moron) had to step in. Pop punk left for a nice college town to smoke weed in dorms, enjoy fall colours and grope co-eds after too many shots of Goldschlager (pop-punk is for my money the most untrustworthy genre in regards to sex, at least bro rock and hip hop is blatant about its’ dipshit attitudes towards women). Hardcore went to the inner city on parents’ money determined to start a band and do shitty jobs when need be and live in a house with several other unkempt fuck ups. Pop punk got a degree in English then took out loans for a business degree while hardcore either died or went to a community college nursing a horrible case of crabs and sporting a coating of cynicism glistening in the sunshine. Both genres write about yearning, anger, despair with a healthy dose of self pity in the worst cases and emotional openness in the best. The difference is that hardcore captures a more honest, raw spirit within the sounds which are heavy and only accessible to those that are soul searching kin while pop punk gets its message lost among the wider legions of assholes looking to get laid. This record is raw and it is for those that have long been among the several fuck ups living in the house.

Straight forward review: This is hardcore for those that will always love hardcore. No bullshit and forever churning forward. I played it back to back with their LP and it was basically a continuation. I wouldn’t recommend it as starter hardcore (Jesus, that’s an article in and of itself) but for those already in the know it doesn’t disappoint. I buy basically everything off of Deranged and this is no exception. Good shit.