Ratscape: an interview with the founders

Baltimore recording engineer Mike Franklin thinks that Baltimore is essentially one big family that just hasn't met yet. He hopes his festival, Ratscape, a celebration of underground local music which he organized with his friend Josh Schleupner, could be one way for all those talented "family" members to get to know one another. Held July …

INTERVIEW: Old Lines among must-see hardcore acts at MDF

One of the new features at the 2013 Maryland Deathfest is the addition of a second stage at Baltimore Soundstage for punk and hardcore acts.  One of the bands I consider a must-see at this stage is Baltimore's Old Lines, who will perform on Friday, May 24. Combining heavy with hardcore, Old Lines is able …

INTERVIEW: "Scruff" Lewty of Hellbastard says crust punk label doesn’t apply

The group Hellbastard are among the pioneers of what is known as crust punk. Yet, they are much more than that, blending melodic metal guitar riffs with intelligent and intelligible lyrical content. As I mentioned in my previous band profile of Hellbastard for the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, I am somewhat smitten with the group. Their sound …

Countdown to MDF X: (17) Coke Bust

 There are a bunch of sweaty teenagers down in the basement knocking into mom's storage containers and stage diving off of the washing machine. Must be a Coke Bust show.Coke Bust describe themselves as a straightedge hardcore punk band. And being from the Washington, DC area I would say they have some big shoes to …

Countdown to MDF X: (32) Hellbastard

The moment I first listened to Hellbastard, my heart began to race, and I had that eerie feeling as though I was hearing the voice of a departed loved one. That "departed loved one" was evidently my youth, misspent listening to crap. I felt sick and ashamed that I had never known of this UK …

Countdown to MDF X: (33) Deviated Instinct

Deviated Instinct is credited with inventing the term "stenchcore," another way of saying crust punk. The crust punk lifestyle, in case you were not aware, involves minimal bathing, living on the streets or sqautting in abandoned homes and of course, listening to this extreme anarcho-punk-metal. The crust punks have essentially carried on the "traditions" and …

Worshipping the riff with Infernal Stronghold’s Gunslut

As part of my series on every single band playing at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, I have also tried as often as possible to get a few comments from some of the bands. Usually, I send them an email and see what happens. Gunslut, drummer for Internal Stronghold, was kind enough to reply to some …

Countdown to MDF X: (38) Infernal Stronghold

Philadelphia's Infernal Stronghold delivers unadulterated blackened thrash that neither apologizes for its no-holds-barred sound or blasphemous lyrical content. Founded in 2002, Infernal Stronghold somehow seems to have crawled out of the  same hellish void that spawned bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone and Bathory.With songs like "Your Soul Stinks Like Shit" and "Crashing Trucks Into Churches," there really is no …

Countdown to MDF X: (39) Bloody Phoenix

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that this band Bloody Phoenix is also looking for a practice space on May 24-25 before their appearance at the Maryland Deathfest. If you can help, contact Jerry Flores at bloodyphoenix@sbcglobal.net and put BLOODY PHOENIX in the subject line.Remember punk rock? Bloody Phoenix does. This grindcore, punk, ensemble hails from Los …

Countdown to MDF X: (45) Unsane

As a child of the 80s, punk has and always will hold an honored position in my musical heart. Therefore I am happy to report that defining noise rock band Unsane will perform Friday, May 25 at the Maryland Deathfest. Formed in New York in 1988 when the members were still in college, only original …