Restored 25 April 2017, originally published 22 March 2015
This is a cathartic collection of songs for the “Loud Fast Rules!” crowd.
The Mindblasting Netlabel (located in Indonesia) is working with Noise From Hell (Malaysia) to share their “Noise From Hell” compilation series. It’s a good joining of forces because Volume 1 is, indeed, mind-blasting. It’s a shaken beer bottle full of punk, grindcore and metal, ready to explode as soon as you break it open.
Of the bands involved, about half are from Southeast Asia and the rest are from all over the globe (Europe, Africa, North America and South America are all represented). The running order of these 22 tracks is politely (perhaps the only polite thing here) in alphabetical order by band name, from Agonized to Zex.
This compilation is a riot, full of raw performances and old school hardcore sounds. You’ll hear a lot of rapid fire drums and guitars along with throat-shredding vocals. While you may encounter a language barrier with some of the bands, the politics and anger come through loud and clear. One thing for sure, the music never gets dull. There is enough variety in language, approach and voice that it keeps your attention.
Some particular highlights for me include “Napalm” by Brafcharge. This track starts out like Black Sabbath for a whole five seconds, then amps up quickly with speed guitar and shouted vocals. The song “Arroja La Bomba” by Contusiön is straightforward speed and tightened windpipe singing; and, as always, I give extra credit for the umlaut. I also really dig “Your Rebellious Is Only On The Toilet Wall” by DOSA for several reasons, including the great song title. This one is perhaps the wildest track here; it sounds like it was recorded live in a metal box. Extreme feedback, distortion, screamed vocals, it’s got it all. You might classify it as indecipherable noise with multiple stops and starts, making it maybe the truest “noise from hell” on this comp. Butthole Surfers gone bad, perhaps.
I’ll admit I was thrown a bit of a surprise by the clear sweet voice that emerged on the final cut. “XXX” by Zex features a classic punk band sound; it’s somewhere on the musical spectrum between Slant 6 and Fastbacks. The politics are a bit more personal on this song, and it’s a nice twist on the theme to conclude festivities.
The best news if you enjoy this compilation is that by the time this article is posted there will probably be at least five more volumes (or 20!) in this series available through Mindblasting. If you’re still not sure, to quote the song I referenced at the top: “I think it’s time you come around, it’s time to fill your head with sound.”
Contusiön “Arroja La Bomba”:
XRDM “Al Rescate”: