Rock
History, Not Nostalgia

History, Not Nostalgia

“Groundhog Day” is a real pile driver. The first track off of the new Corin Tucker Band LP, Kill My Blues, it’s the perfect context setter coming from the ex-frontwoman of a legendary riot grrrl band, nearing forty. Tucker paints herself as a “Rip Van Winkle in a denim mini skirt” who “took some time to be a mom” and is now distressed that the place of women hasn’t advanced: “We fight the same battle, over and over again.” More»

What is G-Beat?

What is G-Beat?

“G-Beat” is a genre tag I first started seeing last year, used by the late Kenneth Duffy (AKA Kenn Kroosaficks) to describe Deathcharge’s 2011 LP, Love Was Born to an Early Death. The hotly anticipated full-length represented a transition from D-beat hardcore to hard-charged gothic rock, emblematic of a larger sea change in punk. What exactly is G-beat, though? More»

Remembering the Punk Noughties

Remembering the Punk Noughties

The previous decade – let’s call them the noughties – showed the punk scene regrouping after the 1990s. Amid the flood of great new music, many full-lengths were inevitably overlooked or were lost in the chaos. Other releases got momentary attention, but were quickly forgotten. Here are some of the best LPs from the previous decade that are worth revisiting. More»

Pioneers of Postpunk

Pioneers of Postpunk

Warsaw changed their name to Joy Division to avoid conflict with the band Warsaw Pakt. Coincidentally, the name change also served to mark the break between Joy Division’s punk phase and their later, better-known postpunk era. More»

The Year Goth-Punk Broke

The Year Goth-Punk Broke

The very first issue of SPIN Magazine in 1985 featured a full color feature on deathrock. Titled “Is There Life After Deathrock?” the article’s tagline warns, “If you thought punk was hardcore, you’re in for a shock.” Almost 30 years later, punk bands have rediscovered the music SPIN warned about. More»

Russia and the Punk Imaginary

Russia and the Punk Imaginary

Pussy Riot is the first Russian punk band to attain household name status in the West. The reason has less to do with its music than its politics. The subject of global media attention since three of its band members were arrested in February, the all-girl guerrilla group has become the unofficial face of Russia’s pro-democracy movement. More»

Turkish Psych Mix

Turkish Psych Mix

Not long after 9/11, San Francisco’s best record store began stocking up on reissues of Turkish psychedelia. The third wave of musical imports from the Middle East taken up by US hipsters (beginning with their adoption of Ofra Haza in the mid-1980s,) the timing was entirely appropriate. Amidst the wreckage of the World Trade Center, Americans were finding themselves drawn to the sounds of the Islamic New York. More»

In Search of Lost Tribe

In Search of Lost Tribe

Last year, Lost Tribe received an impressive degree of buzz for a punk band. The dark, apocalyptic quintet play a unique mix of ’80s California punk, deathrock, and UK anarcho-punk. Lost Tribe’s discography so far consists solely of cassette and vinyl-only releases. So, whence the notoriety? I asked the band what they think about all the buzz. And I got them to spill the beans about their upcoming tour. More»

Introducing Tanzkommando Untergang

Introducing Tanzkommando Untergang

Tanzkommando Untergang herald Europe’s new dark punk. Combining a guitar-driven deathrock sound with grim, black and white visuals normally associated with radical hardcore, the politically-minded Berlin band is very much of its milieu, and its moment. More»

Reinventing Punk

Reinventing Punk

In “Diary of An Anarcho-Goth-Punk Fiend,” Alistair Livingston, a member of the British  Kill Your Pet Puppy collective, records the transformational year of 1983 in terse bursts of prose. In clipped entries, he describes how 1983 began with him listening to bands like The Mob and Blood and Roses. By 1984 – the year of punk’s (and Orwell’s) apocalypse — he was trying ecstasy and getting into Psychic TV. More»

George W. Hardcore

George W. Hardcore

It’s common punk wisdom: Republican presidents suck for America, but they’re great for punk. The Reagan Administration proved to be an ironic boon to hardcore. And so was Dubya. What follows are some of the best moments from hardcore punk’s second great era: 2001-2009, the Bush/Cheney regime. More»

Athens is Burning

Athens is Burning

Greece is in the middle of a Great Depression. Overall unemployment stands at 22%, while unemployment among young workers is at 50%. The far right has made a return to parliament in the form of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, who openly use Nazi salutes. Anarchist riots occur almost weekly. Enter the fiery hardcore punk of Sarabante. More»