Mixtape Monday (Friday Edition) Volume 11: Everything Looks Like a Target To Me

I had a pretty shitty day at work on Wednesday, and when I came home, I started putting this Mixtape together. It was inspired by one particular person at work, and I’ve calmed down considerably since, but the person who inspired it can (and very much should) still fuck off. Really though, this mix is just about being pissed off, and sometimes, you need that. This is in no particular order.

Exodus – “A Lesson in Violence” (from Bonded By Blood – 1985) – “You motherfuckers better give it up for Exodus!” If you don’t believe me, listen to the entirety of this scorching live version from one of the best live metal albums ever, Another Lesson in Violence. After you’re finished with this mix, you should probably go ahead and listen to the entire album. It seriously rules.

Minor Threat – “Small Man, Big Mouth” (from Minor Threat – 1981) – This song was on my mind while I was at work that day, and while it’s technically about little guys who overcompensate for their size by being assholes, it’s important to remember that some small men are regular-sized, and are also assholes.

Tool – “Ænema” (from Ænima – 1999)  – I’m not the biggest fan of Tool by any stretch of the imagination, but I have nothing against them. I absolutely fucking adore this song, and the video is creepy as shit, as Tool videos tend to be.

“Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will
I sure could use a vacation from this

Stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit…”

Metallica – “Damage, Inc.” (from Master of Puppets – 1986)

“We chew and spit you out
We laugh, you scream and shout
All flee, with fear you run
You’ll know just where we come from…”

AC/DC – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – 1976) – My brother got this tape (along with Led Zeppelin I) for Christmas when I was about 5 or 6 years old, and both albums had a profound influence on me. Dirty Deeds is still my favorite AC/DC album.

Big Business – “I’ll Give You Something to Cry About” (from Here Come the Waterworks – 2007) – I’m only really familiar with this one Big Business album, but if it was the only thing they’d ever released, they would still be fucking legendary.

“I’d like to forgive and forget, but I can’t
It’s just one of the ways that I’m petty…”

Black Flag – “Clocked In” (from The First Four Years compilation – 1983) – This job prompted me to share this song on my personal facebook page once before. The Dez Cadena version is superlative. I’ll fight you about that.

Cannibal Corpse – “Puncture Wound Massacre” (from Vile – 1996) – This song is cathartic as a motherfucker.

“I only see red, rage exploding
Two knives, one mind, that hate has broken…”

Brujeria – “Matando Gueros” (from Matando Gueros – 1993) – If you don’t know the story of Brujeria, you should look them up. Their name is Spanish for “witchcraft”, and they kick a ton of ass. The title of this song translates roughly to “Killing White Boys”. None of this should be confused for the Shakira song “Brujería”; I haven’t heard it, but I am 100% confident that they are unrelated.

Rage Against the Machine – “Killing in the Name” (from Rage Against the Machine  – 1992) – “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!”? You’d better believe this song and album made a major impact on 15-year-old me.

Clutch – “Binge and Purge” (from Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths – 1993) – Clutch hasn’t always been the blues-infected groove juggernaut they are today. They came to life in 1991 with a very rough hardcore-tinged sound, as heard on their earliest releases, 1991’s Pitchfork 7″ demo, 1992’s Passive Restraints EP, and to a lesser extent, their 1993 full length debut. I don’t listen to their earlier stuff as much, but some of those old songs are absolute classics. “Binge and Purge” is one of them. It is pure, unbridled adolescent rage, and it’s also where I got the title of this Mixtape.

Faith No More – “Surprise! You’re Dead!” (from The Real Thing – 1989) – I love Faith No More, but I was quite disappointed in their recent comeback album. Sometimes I think about giving it another chance, but with a back catalog that includes songs like this, why bother?

Grim Reaper – “See You in Hell” (from See You In Hell – 1983) – My brother used to have this tape in his room, and I was scared of it. When I finally got around to looking this song up a few years ago, I was surprised to find that it was so much less heavy and evil (and so much goofier!) than I remembered.

Vio-Lence – “Serial Killer” (from Eternal Nightmare – 1988) –  This song has been shared on these pages before, but I don’t give a shit; it should be listened to at least once a day. The first Vio-Lence album is a crash course in Thrash Metal Gang Vocals 101 and Thrash Metal Riffs 201. Fucking amazing.

Overkill – “I Hate” (from The Years of Decay – 1989) – This song probably best sums up my overall feeling from that shitty, shitty work day that inspired this kickass mix, so I’m gonna include the lyrics in their entirety, as transcribed on The Metal Archives.

So much trouble
Hate this job
Tried to get out
Trapped like a dog
No, I don’t like
Pumpin’ gas
Do ya hate to wait?

Life’s a game
We play your rules
Bottle half empty
Or the bottle half full
It does no good
No good to shout
But I scream, I hate

Say I’m hostile,
Gotta relax,
Gotta get a grip,
Here’s the facts:
I hate bein’ here!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you

So much trouble
Over me
Surrounded by jerks
Can’t ya see?
Smile to my face
I know you lie
Knife in the back

Another game
Rules, rules, rules
Not for me
Ya fuckin’ fool
Open your mouth
Just one more time
And my foot’s goin’ down

In one ear
Out the other
A waste of time
Don’t even bother,
I hate being here!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

YOU! I hate you
YOU! I hate you
I hate, I hate, I hate, I hate you

[Solo]

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

Think I know
How you got this far?
Think I know how you
Got where you are?

Think I’ll hate you
When you’re dead?
I know I’ll hate ya

Smile to my face
Know you lie
Say I got problems?
Ask yourself why

Hate the games
I hate the rules
You’re gonna lose

Say I’m hostile,
Gotta relax,
Better get a grip,
Here’s the facts:
Not much more of you!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall
Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

I hate people that make you feel small (I HATE YOU!)
I hate having my back against the wall (I HATE YOU!)
I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
Every one (I HATE YOU!)
Hate having counted you number one
I hate being placed at number two
But most of all
I hate you
I hate you
I HATE YOU!

I HATE!

That’s all for now. Stay heavy, friends.

Take a Different Track, It’s Time to See What You Are Made Of: A Thing About 1990’s Hardcore

I’ve written a fair amount before in these pages about the asininity of claims that metal died off in the 1990’s, killed by grunge and whatnot, so I won’t go into that here. Instead, this is another post about how goddamn heavy the 1990’s actually were. This is a post about 1990’s hardcore. Being in my late teens/early twenties in the late 90’s, I very much identified with the stripped down aggression that these bands brought to the party, and for a time I even dabbled in the prevailing straight edge ethos of many of these bands, but it was always primarily about the music (as it should always be).

Sick of It All slaying the world. Photo taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/hendisgorge/8541102893

Sick of It All slaying the world. Photo taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/hendisgorge/8541102893

By the way, if you are inclined to search for “1990s hardcore” in the Google machine, you’ll find a lot of bullshit about “happy hardcore”, which can seriously just go and fuck right off.

I’d had a bit of an introduction to hardcore thanks to crossover bands like D.R.I., S.O.D., and Suicidal Tendencies, but Sick of It All kicked the door to hardcore clean off its hinges for me when I was still in high school, with the release of their 1994 masterpiece Scratch the Surface, and I was somewhat familiar with a few of the other New York Hardcore bands like Agnostic Front, Killing Time, and Cause for Alarm, mostly from reading metal magazines where the interview subjects were often wearing those bands’ t-shirts and talking about the bands. When I first heard Agnostic Front, though, I didn’t have the same “oh, shit!” moment I had when I popped my shiny new Sick of It All cassette into the tape deck of my car and “No Cure” came roaring out at me. It was called hardcore, but with those big riffs, angry lyrics, and gang vocals (which I knew from thrash metal, but which I later found out that thrash metal borrowed from hardcore), it was more similar to metal than it was different, and I wanted more.

Still so fucking good.

The problem, as I have stated before, was that I lived in a tiny conservative town with limited access to the underground (and also that I made $4.25 an hour working at Burger King); I’d only managed to score Scratch the Surface from the BMG Music Club because it was released on a major label. I managed to find a used tape here and there, picking up Agnostic Front’s metallic-flavored releases Liberty and Justice for… (1987) and One Voice (1992) (both of which are totally underrated, especially Liberty and Justice for…) and Killing Time’s Brightside (1989), and at some point I bought the 1994 metallic hardcore rager Set it Off by Madball, but there wasn’t much else for a little while.

It’s short, just listen to the whole thing.

Much more hardcore than metal, but still heavy enough that I cannot understand why metalheads and punks hated each other so much.

Ohhhh, sweet baby Jeebus…

Then sometime in 1998, I was driving home from “town” (Bedford, IN) when I passed the sadly now-defunct North End Video, where I noticed “Black Flag CD’s” on the marquee sign, along with a phone number. I had gotten into Black Flag in the summer of ’96, and I only owned The First Four Years and Damaged, so I was pretty excited about buying some more Black Flag albums, even if they were being advertised in a very strange way. I (very dangerously) wrote the number down on my hand while I drove, then when I got home, I called the number, a friendly voice picked up on the other end, and the conversation went something like this:

Friendly Voice: Black Flag.

Me: Yeah, I’m calling about the Black Flag CDs?

FV: Okay, is there something in particular you’d like to know about?

Me: Which ones do you have?

FV: We have a lot of them.

Me: Do you have My War?

FV: Do you mean the Black Flag album?

Me: I’m confused.

FV: We’re a music store.

Me (simultaneously): Wait, is this a music store?

FV: Yes, this is a music store.

Me: Oh, shit, what time do you close?!

FV: We’re open for another 45 minutes or so.

I drove faster than I’d ever driven before, covering the 20-minute trip in a little under 15 minutes (21-year-old men are rarely smart), and discovered that ol’ Max from North End Video had rented a small room toward the back of his store to two extremely nice dudes (Pat and Jay) who wanted to open a music store/skate shop. The store was actually called “Black Flag Music and Skate”, but Max probably didn’t think all that was necessary for the sign, and definitely didn’t know that there had ever been a band called Black Flag. Quick aside: I was told that the store was not actually named after the band, but after the King’s X song; Jay came from nowhere near a punk rock background, and is one of the first people I’ve ever met who was into prog and whatnot.

Anyway, I spent the next 45 minutes in there, talking Pat’s ear off and letting him play some new stuff for me, then I drove directly to the radio station where Travis was working at the time and made him listen to the stuff I’d picked up: Satisfaction is the Death of Desire by HatebreedProgression Through Unlearning by Snapcase (which I still play on a very regular basis), and In This Defiance by Strife (all of which were released in 1997). Travis and I went on to spend much of the next year or so hanging out there, working behind the counter on a voluntary basis, spending all of our money on music, and learning about all manner of things new to us. I also got into mid-to-late 90’s pop punk in that store, which coincided perfectly with meeting the girl (also in that store) with whom I had my first and second dates before she subsequently crapped all over my heart (which is pretty easy to do, with it being on my sleeve and all).

I’m wandering here, and I’m not sure where I’m going with all this anway, so I’m just gonna share some of my favorite badass mid-to-late 90’s hardcore songs with y’all, most of which have a message much more positive than the angry sounds might suggest. Let’s start where I started, why not?

This video is fucking excellent. I can never decide whether I prefer “Pickin’ up change” or “The Pizzamaker”.

I got to see Snapcase live once. It was on the Warped Tour, back when that tour featured bands I’ve heard of. Being a Warped Tour set, the conditions were not ideal, but it’s better than never having seen Snapcase live.

A lot of folks will go on for days about 1998’s The Shape of Punk to Come, but when I want to hear RefusedSongs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (1996) is what I listen to.

Mmmmm…Strife…

Aside from my previously mentioned brief foray into sXe, I’ve never subscribed to any kind of lifestyle philosophy, and quite frankly, the lyrics to a lot of Earth Crisis songs come off a bit silly (and a lot heavy handed) to me, but god damn does this song ever kick some ass!

To this day, the first Hatebreed album is still the only Hatebreed album I’ve heard even a single note from, but man, oh man, do I enjoy the first Hatebreed album.

I’ve only heard one album from Vision of Disorder: their self-titled 1996 album, but it’s a scorcher.

Aww, hell, I done gone and run out of time, and I didn’t even get to touch on melodic hardcore. That’ll have to happen another time; these green tomatoes ain’t gonna fry themselves. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your favorite 1990’s hardcore bands, songs, and albums in the comments. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to like Stay Heavy on facebook and follow Stay Heavy on twitter. And while you’re doing that, be sure to stay heavy, always.