Chronomega (Southern Lord Recordings)
In a follow up to the 2007 album, Feather and Stone, these two South Florida ex-pats continue their furious onslaught of metal-tinged hardcore. First off, as a record geek I must seriously recommend that you acquire the vinyl version of the album. This is for three reasons: 1) vinyl sounds better (duh!), 2) the cover art work looks much better at this size, and 3) the actual insert, rendered by the cover artist - the great Alan Forbes -- is a full booklet the size of the LP! Freaking awesome and hard-on-inducing!
The nine tracks on the album are all zingers, from the hell of "Negative Reversal" through the Faith No More - meets - Black Flag - and - Septic Death song "Chronosphere." This is an album you blast through to the end, pointing your speakers towards the front door and barricading yourself against Armageddon. My only point of contention against Señores Jason Landrian (guitar/vocals) and Rafael Martinez (drums) is the following: Did you really have to make the Buzzov*en cover a Japanese - release - only feature? Selfish fucks! If interested, the Japanese version of the CD/LP is available from Daymare Recordings.
The Crumbs / The Ridicules
Split 7" (It's Alive Records)
After years of holding it down as proud Dade County punk trash, the Crumbs are, sadly, no more. Fortunately for us, there's this split with the Ridicules and an upcoming 10-inch record on Chuck Livid's Livid Records. On this small-hole single, the Crumbs grace us with a new track, "I Smell a Rat," as well as a retooling of a Crumbs standard, "Win or Lose." Both are awesome thanks to the punk rock snarl of Raf Classic's nasal vocals, Joe Koontz's guitar work, and the rhythm of Jose Flores' bass and Marcio's drums.
The Ridicules keep the party going strong with their take on punk power-pop as filtered by Matt, Tony, and the always awesome Nancy Mae (who's now an ex-member of the band, again). Their two tracks, "Sunday Drivers" and "Black Picket Fences," will remind you of middle-period Screeching Weasel and the Bollweevils, which is a good thing. I hope to see more recordings from these kids.