D7Y is comprised of members of various punk bands from Iceland like Bömmer, Óreiða, Börn, Dauðyflin, and ROHT, a veritable who’s who in the hardcore scene. The stated reason for forming D7Y was simply to put together a band that plays straight d-beat. And listen to the drumming on any one of Demo‘s six tracks and you’ll hear that they accomplished that mission.
At a bit over six minutes long, Demo is a don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it affair. Fortunately the entire album repeats on both sides of the cassette, so you can hear the whole thing without flipping and you also don’t need to feel guilty about not rewinding it. If I’m picking a favorite I’ll point you towards “Skotmörk”, but the entire thing is solid top-to-bottom. The recording quality is excellent and there’s good separation of the vocals and music.
The entire thing is available to stream on Bandcamp HERE, though I don’t see anything there about ordering the cassette.
Gang, I can’t tell you much about Iceland’s King Chubby. I got this tape in the mail the other day and checked out his Bandcamp page HERE, but that’s about all I could find in my cursory use of The Googles. What’s on Demo, however, is some pretty decent lo-fi hardcore, pure trash rock in the best possible sense of the term. There’s no mention on the Bandcamp or label pages that this tape is even out, so I’m not entirely sure what the story is, but it does indeed exist and it looks like the tracks themselves were released into the wild for the first time last month.
While Demo is only comprised of two songs and less than seven minutes of music, what’s interesting is that the same two songs are repeated over and over again on the tape, on both sides – so it’s not a super-short tape per se as I think both tracks repeat a total of three times (maybe four) per side. Which is kind of a good thing – the first song I played had bit of a warbley sound that made me think there was a problem with he cassette itself, but versions later in the tape sounded good. Musically King Chubby reminds me quite a bit of one of my favorite all-time cassette unknown’s, Brooklyn’s Imaginary Friends. Not for everyone, but some pretty good high-energy stuff.
Paradísarborgarplötur (PBP) is one of my favorite Icelandic labels. Perhaps best known recently for putting out music by the punk band Börn, they’ve been on the cutting edge of fiercely independent Icelandic music for years in support of bands/performers like Kvöl, Ofvitarnir, Norn, and Þórir Georg. Fannar, who is Börn’s drummer, is one of the forces behind the label and has turned me on to a lot of cool stuff over the last couple of years, not to mention helping me score some Fighting Shit CDs a while back. If you want stuff that is both hard and original, PBP has it.
One of the label’s newest releases is a five song demo tape by Roht, which is fittingly titled Demo. Roht’s Bandcamp page describes them as black metal, industrial, and punk, but after listening to this 10 minute scorcher a couple of times, I’m not quite sure how to categorize it… which is often a good thing. Demo opens with “Ekki Snerta Mig,” which definitely brings a heavy industrial vibe with sort of Skinny Puppy horror merged with those kind of sterile Big Black beats. By the time we get to “Einu Sinni Of Oft” it has turned into a full frontal sonic assault with anguished vocals overlaid on top of relentless militaristic beats. I think Roht are coming to take my soul. By the time you reach the modulated voice at the end of the final song, “Hundar,” I wasn’t sure if I was glad to have a reprieve from the attack, or if I masochistically wanted to go back for more. (♠)
Industrial beats, black metal vocalizations, and an overall punk attitude… I guess Roht were more spot on with their Bandcamp genre tags than I originally thought. And if you’re willing to risk your eternal (or not so eternal soul), you can check out Demo only for free HERE, and even buy a download for any price you want.
(♠) Turns out I’m a masochist. I immediately flipped the tape (both sides have the same five songs) and listened to the whole thing again.