Saturday, December 19, 2009

TOP TEN 2009

i was prompted to compile a "top ten records of 2009" list today for some press-related things for my band, and as i don't post in my blogs nearly as much as i should (looks like i've got my new year's resolution), i figured i'd post it here! after all, it is my music blog. if you haven't heard of any of these bands, i know most if not all of them have myspace profiles and i urge you to please check them out!

1. The Swellers - Ups And Downsizing
2. Mayer Hawthorne - A Strange Arrangement
3. Polar Bear Club - Chasing Hamburg
4. Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry, They Washed Away
5. Fireworks - All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion
6. Trapped Under Ice - Secrets Of The World
7. Converge - Axe To Fall
8. Animals As Leaders - (Self-Titled)
9. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue
10. Katatonia - Night Is The New Day

more material to come soon, promise!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


downshift was a straight edge hardcore band from the SF bay area. they later went on to adopt a more metalcore sound, a few lineup changes, and a change of name to sworn vengeance.

below is a video of downshift playing the danville grange in 1997 that i got from eric (band founder and original bassist of downshift)'s blog. watching this video was such a trip back in time that i couldn't help but post it. this was one of the first shows i ever hardcore danced at. i was 14. see if you can spot me (hint: i was wearing a white gorilla biscuits hoodie with a black beanie and looked like i was about 3 feet tall hahaha). for me, watching old videos like this one creates the most indescribable mixture of feelings in the world. enjoy!

DOWNSHIFT live at the Grange Hall 1997 from Eric 31 on Vimeo.

there were some "personality conflicts," as eric refers to them in his blog, between members of downshift and another bay area band within the scene known as towards an end and the friends surrounding both bands. the resulting negative sentiments were voiced on their second demo, appropriately titled, "nineteen ninety hate." this was the beginning of the end for this era of the bay area hardcore scene, during which, the entire scene seemed to split in half and everyone chose sides. the whole thing escalated from songs to threats, then violence, and then ultimately to a whole bunch of kids dropping out; either due to being blacklisted from shows or developing a distaste for the negative turn the majority of the bay area hardcore scene had taken. more to come on towards an end in my next entry. ironically enough, after the scene moved on without towards an end, sworn vengeance would succumb to a similar fate, with certain members severing ties with a handful of people and bands involved in the bay area hardcore scene, including all bets off, a band sworn vengeance had done a split 7" with only a few years earlier. sworn vengeance recorded their final effort (and best material in my opinion) entitled "the outstretched arms of damnation" in 2001, set to be released through too damn hype records. the whole metalcore thing was really taking off at the time and this full-length had the potential to catapult them into a much larger level of success as a band. unfortunately the label couldn't afford the recording costs and the band would never see its release before calling it a day due to both internal and external conflicts in 2002. to download the unmastered version of this record, click below:
Sworn Vengeance - "The Outstretched Arms of Damnation"

after sworn vengeance, doug and carl (final lineup: guitar and bass, respectively) went on to form first blood and play in terror while other members went on to pursue other career interests. brian, ryan, and tony got back together with ryan's brother adam and neil dahwanto to play don perrott's memorial show with S.E.E.D. on february 16th, 2003, and another show in reno on oct. 26th, 2007. the reno show was not held in the bay area due, once again, to "personality conflicts."

for more info, the complete downshift/sworn vengeance biography can be found at the sworn vengeance myspace.
their entire mp3 discography can be found here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


in the mid 90's i used to see built to last play at the danville grange (RIP) when they'd drive up from san diego for shows, usually with their "brotherhood crew" mates, forced life (who were a much more brutal band featuring tommy engler who went on to form dodgin' bullets, and a very scary looking tall dude whose name i don't know). built to last are straight forward hardcore and from what i know they're still doing their thing. you can check out their myspace here. members went on to form indecision records band over my dead body and boxcar racer. i remember meeting them a few times and they were a nice bunch of dudes. vocalist burt manages the music trader record store in san diego. my favorite record by them by far is still "loyalty and betrayal" which was released on resurrection AD. a great straightforward fast hardcore record with catchy choruses, lots of gang vocals, and tough breakdowns, this became an instant staple for me. at the end of the record they cover "new direction" by gorilla biscuits and the secret track "it's on fire" was commonly requested at shows. i used to bump this all the time in high school though it's now way out of print. luckily for you, i've uploaded it here:
Built To Last - "Loyalty and Betrayal"

i had the unreleased forced life record at one point as well but i guess i lost it. oh well. if i find it i'll edit the post later and add a link to that too.
EDIT: i still haven't been able to track down that record but here's the song they put on the california hardcore comp that nick martinson put out:
Forced Life - "Strength by Sanity"

Friday, January 23, 2009

welcome to my music blog! - UNDYING

hello everyone!

i've decided to make a blog dedicated solely to sharing my knowledge of music with the world since the topic of music alone would take up way too much space in my regular blog were i to combine it with the other topics of my day-to-day life. i've also decided not to capitalize anything in this blog because i am lazy. i've also realized in the past minute and a half of writing this that in reality only about two people will end up reading this thing anyway but my hope is that i'll have enough cool stuff on here that people will be able to find it should they look for it via google blog search or what have you. for those who don't know, google blog search is a great way to find almost any song or record you've ever wanted. just go to and under the "more" search options link at the top of the page (i.e. web, images, maps, news...), simply scroll down to blogs. what it does is it searches only blogs and the reason it rules is because it's becoming popular to upload songs or even entire albums via rapidshare, megaupload, yousendit, mediafire, etc. and post the link on a blog for the world to enjoy. i realize this contributes to file sharing and pirating music and therefore screws over people like me who make their living off of music but it's still pretty cool and nothing is going to stop it anyway. besides, i've never seen a dime of royalty money and probably never will anyway, so who cares! i probably won't be uploading too many whole discographies or stuff that's still in print or anything like that on here because (thanks to google blog search), most stuff you can find if you look around. i plan on sticking to the more obscure and hard to find stuff that i've acquired over the years.

that being said, i'd like to move on to a band known as undying.
undying were a vegan "drug free" (edit) metalcore group from raleigh, NC, who broke up a few years ago, influenced greatly by the writings of daniel quinn and the musical stylings of bands like my dying bride and day of suffering, adding their own hardcore/thrash twist. if you wish to learn more about their music and what they were about, you can check out their myspace here. it took me a couple years to come around to this band at first but they have long since one of my favorites of the genre. every year there are less and less bands with a message and they were one of the last great ones. sucks they're gone now but you can relive the experience here thanks to teh internetz! here we have their live set from hellfest in 2001:
Undying - "Hellfest 2001"

i didn't record this but this was one of the many times i saw undying live. the quality isn't the best but it's not the worst either. you can tell what's going on and it's not half bad considering it's live and there were probably like 2,000 kids knocking into whoever recorded it regardless of where they were standing hahaha

undying released "this day all gods die" in 1999, and "the whispered lies of angels" in 2000. if anyone would like either of these records, leave a comment on this post and i'll post an upload link. this is a demo track that was circulated online prior to the release of their final record, "at history's end" in 2003. undying broke up in april of 2006.

if you'd like me to send/upload material from an artist, just contact me or leave a comment requesting the record(s) you want and i'll upload the link or send you the files.

that's all for now, kiddos... enjoy!