all things old school

Monday, May 22, 2023

ULTIMATE GUIDE To Old School Hardcore (From 1980s to 2010s)

've said over the years "this bands sounds like (insert old school band name)" a thousand times, but what the heck IS the old school hardcore sound? The fast and angrier cousin of punk rock. I'm gonna leave this article for future generations as a statement of some of the realest groups that ever played this sub-genre in this very tiny corner of the internet, dedicated to the old school.

For the 13th and final anniversary of ALL THINGS OLD SCHOOL I came up with the Ultimate Guide To Old School Hardcore (or Old School HC for dummies) picking up my favorite 13 songs (+2 bonus) by decade, naming the best and second best from each. First of all, I know the correct measure of a decade is year 1 to 10 (i.e. 1981-1990) but I'll be using the "usual" wrong measure (1980-1989) because it made things easier for me to make decisions. Secondly, I kept the metal influence to a bare minimum (especially the Crossover Thrash thing) on my selections. Also, in my view, lots of bands dubbed as hardcore are actually early Cali-punk rock (i.e. Black Flag, Circle Jerks and TSOL). Hardcore IS punk but not the other way around. 

With that clear I also used the system of match-ups between bands to make my critical decisions, as the slots were quite limited, based on my personal tastes and the general impact on the sub-genre at the time of release. Enough with the bs, let's check the damn list:

1980's (1st - BAD BRAINS / 2nd - Straight Ahead)

The blueprint of hardcore for me is called Black Dots (aka The Zientara Sessions) whose material was written by BAD BRAINS between 1978-1979. This selection could as well end here, the rest are just following along. But.. that wouldn't be much fun, would be? For second I picked the almighty STRAIGHT AHEAD with members having passed in some of the main names of NYHC including Youth Of Today that would be my third option.

The match-ups I had to do for the 80's were insane, like Patrick Dubar's bands Uniform Choice vs UNITY (win), I can't have both on the list. But the one I will get burned the most is probably leaving off Minor Threat out of the selection, not to mention Cro-Mags which lost to Leeway (win). The fact is that I was never a Ian Mackaye (teenie weenie beanie) type of guy and JJ blew it during the pandemic, I'm team Flanagan... whatever that means.

Also props to DK and Misfits for picking up, at the time, the new hardcore trend and releasing one HC album each and with that they blew the competition away (i.e. S.O.A. and Void) in my humble opinion.

1 - LEEWAY - Rise & Fall (1988)
2 - BAD BRAINS - The Regulator (1982)
3 - NEGATIVE APPROACH - Ready To Fight (1982)
4 - AGNOSTIC FRONT - Last Warning (1983)
5 - THE MISFITS - Wolfsblood (1983)
6 - DEAD KENNEDYS - Moral Majority (1981)
7 - SIDE BY SIDE - Side By Side (1988)
8 - KILLING TIME - Wall Of Hate (1989)
9 - STRAIGHT AHEAD - My Problem (1986)
10 - OUTBURST - No Choice (1989)
11 - BROTHERHOOD - The Deal (1989)
12 - YOUTH OF TODAY - Slow Down (1988)
13 - UNITY - PMA (1989)
(Bonus #1) AGRESSION - Intense Energy (1983)
(Bonus #2) SIEGE - Conform (1984)

1990's (1st - FLOORPUNCH / 2nd - Proclamation)

What's to say here? Even crust punks like Floorpunch, the kings of revival old school of the 90's, speaking of it, here we can notice a huge gap between the beginning and end of the decade as the old school production fade out, so all the props to bands like Redemption 87 and Better Than A Thousand for giving it a push.

Also worth mentioning is the addition of Warzone here in not before (in the 80s), the re-recorded version of Lower East Side always blew my mind but then again, the so-called experts that say hardcore died in '84 and the best Warzone album is the demo without Raybeez, not here!

1 - PROCLAMATION - What Is True (1999)
2 - CHAIN OF STRENGTH - Too Deep Until Now (1990)
3 - INSIDE OUT - Burning Fight (1990)
4 - BATTERY - I Won't Fall (1993)
5 - SHELTER - Enough (1990)
6 - CONFRONT - Wrong Choice (1994)
7 - FLOORPUNCH - Not For Me (1998)
8 - COMMITTED - Arbitration (1999)
9 - MAINSTRIKE - Hopefull Days (1999)
10 - TIME FLIES - Ultra! (1999)
11 - SICK OF IT ALL - What's Going On (1991)
12 - WARZONE - Will You Ever Come Back (1996)
13 - REDEMPTION 87 - About Face (1996)
(Bonus #1) BETTER THAN A THOUSAND - Self Worth (1998)
(Bonus #2) NO REDEEMING SOCIAL VALUE - No Regrets (1994)

2000's (1st - BONES BRIGADE / 2nd - Carry On)

Bones Brigade has always been the perfect hardcore band for me, great lyrics, great attitude and shit. I used to visit the drummer's (Mullet) website a lot in the late 90's and early 00's where I got to know lots of cool stuff, including Carry On.

1 - WHAT HAPPEN NEXT? - Those Who Own The Streets (2000)
2 - A.N.S. - Down The Habbit Hole (2009)
3 - SHARK ATTACK - Enough Of You (2001)
4 - DESPERATE MEASURES - Never Enough Time (2004)
5 - LIGHTS OUT - Get a Life (2005)
6 - BONES BRIGADE - Each Waking Hour (2003)
7 - VICTIM - Revenge (2006)
8 - INTERNAL AFFAIRS - No Good Game in HC (2007)
9 - IRON BOOTS - Who Laughs Last (2004)
10 - RAMPAGE - Physical Therapy (2007)
11 - RESTLESS YOUTH - Make It Burn (2005) 
12 - TRUE COLORS - Focus On The Light (2007)
13 - CARRY ON - Set The Pace (2000)
(Bonus #1) NO JUSTICE - Political Scheme (2000)
(Bonus #2) SSS - Warhose (2006)

2010's (1st - THE RIVAL MOB / 2nd - Wardogs)

That's where it all began for this blog, exactly in 2010, without doubt it was a lot of fun to be a part of. I started doing this so I could offer my spare merch and records that I bough in doubles to save on shipping and stuff like that, 13 years has passed and here we are, it's time to leave for the next generation to pick it up and keep it alive... on instagram or whatever mind buggin social media they will come up with next.

1 - DEAL WITH IT - Eyjafjallajokull I... Dark Skies (2010)
2 - TRUE VISION - Morality (2016)
3 - THE RIVAL MOB - Fake Big (2013)
4 - FREEDOM - Cut You Down (2014)
5 - THE FLEX - Bad Faith (2014)
6 - FIREWALKER - Barking Up The Wrong Tree (2017)
7 - WILD SIDE - Then & Now (2019)
8 - VIOLENT REACTION - Disorder (2015)
9 - UNIFIED RIGHT - When Will You Learn (2015)
10 - BIG TAKEOVER - Selfish (2016)
11 - CONTROLLED - Afraid To Change (2014)
12 - MINORITY UNIT - Unsure (2011)
13 - WARDOGS - The Wrong Way (2011)
(Bonus #1) SELECTIVE AGRESSION - Uniform Thought (2017)
(Bonus #2) CORLD WORLD - Cracks Of Hate (2014)

DOWNLOAD [all decades]  - NEW LINK!!

I had a lot more stored to post before I called it a day but that's how it goes, I'm moving to Dublin and if you're in the area give a shout in the FB page, I will leave it active for a while. THANK YOU FOR READING/SHARING stay true to yourself!

I will miss you until my last breath
March.1949 ~ April.2023

Friday, May 12, 2023

ACT LIKE A MANIAC - An Underground Thrash Metal Compilation (1986 - 1993)

12th anniversary of All Things Old School compilation edition (originally due out in 2022) - We have quite a handful bands in the hardcore punk nowadays surfing the Thrash wave, which is dope (and they should keep that way) but their sound were most likely not solely based on the so-called Big Four of Thrash. A lot happened so that we can now stage dive to Dead Heat, High Command and Foreseen. My aim for this compilation is to shed light on the GOLDEN ERA of underground Thrash Metal scene which, in my humble opinion, lasted from 1986 to 1993.

In a time without proper internet, when tape trading was king, new releases surely took some time to reach out the audience in a global scale. Making copies and shipping tapes, digging after the stuff you liked, hearing that Thrashy sound that ignited the desire to start your own project. It's safe to say a new dawn for Thrash Metal was about to happen after 1986, the year albums like Reign In Blood, Master Of Puppets and Peace Sells were released. New acts from all over started to pop up like a wet Gizmo, from Chile to Canada and from Spain to Japan, the following years saw a tsunami of underground releases flooding the planet's ghettoblasters, headbangers united by Thrash.

From there you get 2 types of metal bands: the serious (often satanic) type and the well-humored (sometimes goofy) type of groups, regardless of the approach most of them tackle social issues in their lyrics and for some reason dental problems were a common concern. Either way I tried to mix a bit of everything in this comp, just by checking the song titles you'll know what I mean. Also another key element here for me to pick bands was that they were all under 2000 listeners (or close to that!) according to, they use that tag there and I never found use for it until now. Note: a fair amount of these recordings were recovered straight the cassette demo tapes and they sound rough. >

With that in mind I ended up leaving out many underground cult groups as the idea was really to spot the underrated and the obscure, lost gems of the shredding technique. This may sound way to familiar with that write up I did about the 80's Crossover but I guarantee these are no punk related groups, except maybe by EVOL, Sacrilege B.C. and Tyrranicide but then again the best metal bands for me are usually the ones whose members do listen to punk! Act like a maniac, whiplash!!

Tracklist - CD1:
ACROPHET - Corrupt Minds [USA, 1988]
FALLEN ANGEL - Dental Surgery [Sweden, 1992]
AFTERMATH - Going No Place [Greece/USA, 1987]
BLOODCUM - Death By A Clothes Hanger [USA, 1988]
STYGIAN - Seconds 'Til Death [USA, 1990]
ARMOROS - Autopsy (Dementia) [Canada, 1987]
NECROSIS - Prayer (Demo) [Chile, 1987]
FORCED ENTRY - We're Dicks [USA, 1991]
DECADENCE - Deadly Dreams [Belgium, 1989]
AGONY - Madness Reigns [Sweden, 1988]
FATAL AGGRESSION - Words Unreal [USA, 1991]
PRESTIGE - Force Of My Hate [Finland, 1989]
CHARGED - Inquisition [Finland, 1989]
FUCK OFF - Another Sacrifice [Spain, 1988]
DEATH SQUAD - Mind Fuck [USA, 1991]
POISON - Requiem / Alive (Undead) [Germany, 1987]
EXPLICIT HATE - From The Jungle [Brazil, 1990]
QUICK CHANGE - Plowed [USA, 1988]
RE-ANIMATOR - Re-Animator [UK, 1989]
AFFLICTION - Peace Through Violence [USA, 1992]

TYRRANICIDE - Pull The Plug (USA, 1989)
SLAUGHTERED GRACE - Twins of Sin [USA, 1990]
HEADCRASHER - Sk8 Life [Italy, 1989]
DEAD SERIOUS - It's a Nice Day [Belgium, 1991]
PROTECTED ILLUSION - Swimming in the Moonlight [Finland, 1990]
ACID STORM - Scourge Of The Gods [Brazil, 1989]
DOMINANCE - This Is Only A Test [USA, 1990]
MORFEUS - Humam Degradation [Brazil, 1993]
EVOL - Cyco-Self [USA, 1990]
SILENCE - Vision [USA, 1991]
OBLIVION - D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival) [USA, 1990]
SACRILEGE B.C. - Victimized [USA, 1986]
MANDATOR - An Invisible Disease Strikes [Holland, 1989]
ASPHYXIA - One Big Family [Belgium, 1991]
LAWSHED - Don't Urge Disorder [Japan, 1991]
MEZZROW - Prevention Necessary [Sweden, 1990]
WITCHHAMMER - On My Own [Norway, 1991]
OPPRESSION - Parasites [Finland, 1988]
OBLIVEON - Fiction Of Veracity [Canada, 1989]
DENIAL - The Awakening [USA, 1990]

Which one was your favorite? Drop me a line in the comments if you're having a hard time trying to find the whole album of a specific release. This compilation title was also inspired in the 2007's iconic comp THRASHING LIKE A MANIAC.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

HARDCORE NEWS 17 "The Demo Zone 3.0 - Florida Assault"

The DEMO ZONE is back one last time folks, hitting hard on the chin with another batch of freshly angry old school demos/promos from the first half of 2023. It seems the Florida scene is planning a worlwide assault, invading the boomboxes of many hardcore knuckleheads out there, crude music for crude people:

CALIBER - Demo (Fortress Records)

Wow! If you are longing for the next Painkiller Records release, pressing F5 on their page constantly, FORSTRESS RECORDS may be the medicine you're looking for. Straight forward mean and fast hardcore is what is ahead of you here, zero bullshit.

COLLATERAL - Demo #1 (Fortress Records)
Whatever I said above, South Florida BUST IT! Cope tapes here.

YIELD TO NONE - Demo (Core Club)
More Florida hardcore, what's going on in there lately? They are eating BREAKDOWN songs at breakfast and OUTBURST at lunch to then deliver us some glorious old school music, more pleazz. (Also from Tampa, check the amazing DIFFUSE).

SUBMIT - Demo (Rebirth Records)
Okay, enough with the FLHC right? Wrong! As I was writing this, looking up from where SUBMIT are based out of... bam! Pensacola. They play even faster than the previous bands here, taking cues from Boston hardcore.

DEAD TO RIGHTS - Demo (Northern Unrest)
Scottish hardcore... for a change. DEAD TO RIGHTS bring to the table that late 90's/early 00's urgent sound, I dare to say they play a mix of Floorpunch and Right Brigade. Promising AF.

CONTEMPT - Demo (Advanced Perspective)
Chicago straight edge back on track! These dudes already got the attention from Revelation Records, don't sleep on this.

INTIMIDATION - Promo 2023 (Mr. Face Records)
Good ole Oi!/Street Punk done right in 2023. With members hailing from NJ to NYC, they are cooking up their debut EP to be served still this very year. The 2-song promo is one hell of a teaser and features a Bruisers cover.

SMASH N' GRAB - Promo (Yuga Dharma Press)
The Buffalo soldiers of hardcore are back with a 3-song promo, featuring members of EXHIBITION and VIOLENT WAY. Tapes can be ordered here soon. (For more Buffalo underground music and Violent Way side projects, check BIG DOG)

TIME X HEIST - The Odds Against Tomorrow (Crimewave Records)
There's no proper Demo Zone without a sick Youth Crew debut and Colorado's TIME HEIST delivered it big time. They hit the ground running as this is their first output, is it a demo turned into a 12" EP? Anyway, it gives me total Youngblood/React! Records vibes.

SENTINEL - Promo (Raven Records)
Dudes in Mindforce, Age Of Apocalypse, Restraining Order and Mutually Assured Destruction gave birth to SENTINEL in 2021, playing thrashy-dark-hardcore with superb production and above the cut musicianship, new full-length to come out through Colorado's Convulse Records.

DOWNLOAD [all of the above]

There's plenty more going on, killer newcomers are popping every week, for instance the French in MENTALITÉ 81, the Australians in RAT BAIT, the Germans in MORTAL FORM and WONDERFUL WORLD (the latter a little more on the new school side), Indiana's COLOSSAL MAN and Tony Foresta's new thing HEAVEN'S GATE made quite an entrance for themselves. There's also this hot new compilation that just surfaced by SCHEME RECORDS that for me it's the Memories Of Tomorrow equivalent to this decade - Scheme Until It's Your Reality!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

ZERO TOLERANCE - Buffalo Hardcore

Location: Buffalo, NY 
Release: The Essence / Reaper Records, 1989-1991

ZERO TOLERANCE was active for a brief moment but left a major influence in the Buffalo scene with spiritual/ecological themed lyrics and a heavy mid-paced old school sound, all this with only 2 demos out.

The first one Bad Blood came out in 1989 on Hi-Impact Records (pre-Jaded Tree label that only released 2 records, this one and the Turning Point EP) and the last album Fuel The Fire, that was actually a promo tape, was primarily released in limited cassette back in 1991 by a local label for only to receive a proper release 3 decades later in 2010 by Reaper Records and in 2011 by The Essence, both on 7" EP.

 ZT was re-introduced to me by Johny Chow a few years back. I probably heard something when the 2010 version of Fuel The Fire came out but didn't pay the deserved attention, then when I met Chow during his tour with Cavalera Conspiracy in Brazil he revealed to me he played in the first formation of ZT and showed me a tattoo with the initials. As we want for a walk in São Paulo City putting bomb stickers on traffic signs he also told me he was going to replace the bass player of a certain famous masked band for their next tour and it would be the first time in his life he would sustain his family solely through music.

In 1993 two members of ZT formed THIS WORLD REJECTED another short-lived project with only one EP out through Initial Records (home of Slugfest and others). Their sound became more new school and even more Pantera-oriented, still worth a spin.

DOWNLOAD [these records]:

ZERO TOLERANCE - Bad Blood EP (Hi-Impact, 1989)
ZERO TOLERANCE -  Fuel The Fire EP (Reaper, 2010)
THIS WORLD REJECTED - S/T EP (Initial, 1993)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

SOCIAL JUSTICE - San Fernando Positive Hardcore

Location: San Fernando Valley, USA
Release: Justice Records, 1989-1992

Born out of a common passion for graffiti, hip-hop and hardcore, the Garcia brothers and Rey Oropeza plus a couple of friends from the valley formed SOCIAL JUSTICE. The band quickly gained notoriety in the local scene which led them to sign with Mystic Records through their sub-label Safe-Side.

The deal resulted in the recording of the debut 10-song LP Unity Is Strength in 1989, it was recorded in Bad Religion's HQ with engineering by Brett Gurewitz. The group soon disbanded but Rey (aka X-Ray Messenger) wanted to keep going and assembled what was going to be DOWNSET. first line-up and recorded an EP called I Refuse To Lose! (watch the release party video here).

When I was a teenage hardcore kiddo a friend and I saw in a record store the bootlegged Lost & Found Records CD version of Unity Is Strength as the artwork was very appealing (for a kid at least) he bought it and we got blown away. I really loved the positive and direct lyrics and the mid-paced cali-hardcore sound with plenty of sing-a-longs and breakdowns.

A decade later I got myself the original LP version and then took sometime to find out they had a second album. So here's your chance to revive this Californian classic and its discography. Additionally I'm going to add another band from the valley that shared the same drummer for a brief moment, it's POSITIVE APPROACH and their only EP released on Conversion Records in 1989.

DOWNLOAD includes:

SOCIAL JUSTICE - Unity Is Strength CD (Lost & Found Records, 1995)
SOCIAL JUSTICE - I Refuse To Lose EP (Green Records, 1993)
POSITIVE APPROACH - Just Hang On (Conversion Records, 1989)

Friday, March 24, 2023

TINO VALPA - Live Or Be Lived All Over

Location: New Hampshire, USA
Release: Self-Released, 2022

It’s been quite a long time since I last caught up with Valentino Valpa and seeing his name recently on a streaming platform while browsing for new music brought me back a few years. More precisely to 2016 when I interviewed him for the Infernal Diatribe debut LP.

Six or so years later we are back at it again, much older and still committed to hardcore punk. Today we will discuss Tino Valpa’s newest solo effort Live Or Be Lived All Over, an album that surprised me from the get go, starting with the minimalistic yet catchy artwork. After I heard it the first time I didn’t waste time in reaching him once again.

1- Before we go over the new album Tino, can you give us the overall recap of what you’ve been up to in this time span? 2021 was a busy year for you I imagine, including new releases by Infernal Diatribe and The Cryptics that have grown into one of my personal favorite new melodic groups.

Thanks for having me back. Looks like it’s been 7 years since we last spoke. In the interim I’ve put out 2 Cryptics records, the 2nd Infernal Diatribe record, been in and out of Battalion Of Saints, Antidote, and have recently put out my first solo album at the end of last year. Yes, 2021 and 2022 have been incredibly busy working on all sorts of avenues. Glad you’ve been digging the Cryptics stuff.

That band takes up the majority of my time and we’ve been working on our forthcoming release which I like a whole lot more than anything we’ve done in the past. That’s been the most involved thing that’s been an ongoing work in progress for the past couple years.

2- Live Or Be Lived All Over is one of those oldschool hardcore hidden gems, a throwback to the early days of hardcore with a strong late 90’s/early 00’s feel. It’s hard to put my hand on it when it comes to namedrop influences, you already covered songs by The F.U.’s and The Freeze in the past but if I had to pick one it would probably be Nerve Agents, which rules as I don’t see that happening often, or at all. Tell us, how did this album come to fruition?

I was playing in Battalion Of Saints in 2017-2018. I wrote us a new full-length album but the band ended up breaking up after a US and European tour. I recorded the drums, bass, and guitar parts in a west coast studio. No vocals got written or recorded and the album was abandoned once the band split. I liked it and really wanted the songs to see the light of day. I couldn’t get the recording properly from the studio and I wanted to do it better anyways so I completely re-recorded it here on the east coast. I wrote lyrics and decided to make it my first full-length solo album.

Outside of those couple 7” EP’s I did in 2010/2011 I never got the chance to actually do this project for real. I haven’t had any time to. I still don’t really have time but it’s now or never and I choose now.

3- For the uninitiated, Tino Valpa is roughly a 13-year-old project but it seems you wanted to give the solo project a fresh start, your pages related to Tino Valpa don’t mention the previous works. What was different this time around? This also gives me the sense that we won’t have to wait another 8 years to hear more of this.

It is definitely more of a fresh start approach. I more or less consider this project really starting in January 2023. I still recognize those first two EPs but I barely did anything in the way of live. I hardly pursued it and now is my chance to make that all happen. As far as what was different this time around I’d say the sound of the record and me as a person. Sound-wise it’s more than just 25-30 second punk songs. There’s a bit more to it. And for me I’m at a point where if I’m going to take the time to put out an album, I need to go all the way with touring and doing my best to get it out there. I’m not going to put something out that I don’t care about and won’t stand behind.

Yes you’re very right, you won’t have to wait another 8 years til the next release. I haven’t mentioned this but the next several things I’m doing are already completely finished. I actually wrapped them last year. I’m just mapping out when they should be released. This project will be flowing more consistently than in the past.

4- Now for the heartless question. Do you have a favorite track in the new album, or 2 or 3? I picked the first one, the album’s title track for this blog's best of the year playlist but songs like Chains Around The World and We Are At War were a close tight and the latter gave me a strong Cro-Mags and Cause for Alarm-era’s Agnostic Front vibes.

That’s a big compliment. The Age Of Quarrel is timeless to me and Cause For Alarm is such a tight record. #BomberZee. My favorite songs are The Follower, Live Or Be Lived All Over, Chains Around The World. We Are At War is a close contender too. So basically the same ones as you. Fall Of The Handshake gets the honorable mention. Fast circle pit track is always a plus in my book.

5- As a vegan straight edge individual how did you approach the lyrics for this album? In your perception animal rights and environmental awareness are becoming more relevant now than it was in the late 90’s US hardcore scenes?

I approached the lyrics on a song-by-song basis. I listened to each tune and just started writing whatever came to mind. I had no preformed plan for each track. My organic whole plant food lifestyle did leak into a few of the tracks. To my surprise, not that many though. Really just a couple. There were many other valuable themes I felt worth mentioning such as how lame people are letting electronics make them. Far too comfortable and sedentary. Also spotlighting sweatshops and globalization, and the terror it brings to the workers in China, Haiti, Honduras…. You name it. While we chill over here and pretend like nothing is happening.

Yes I think environmental awareness is becoming more of a thing. Not as much as it needs to be, but it has increased. I’ve heard countless physicians and scientists repeatedly point out that even if you add up every car, plane, ship in the world, it doesn’t even remotely come close to how much greenhouse gas emissions are put into the environment via animal agriculture. This message needs to get louder and louder.

Animal rights I feel like are about consistent with where they’ve always been. That approach will never get masses of people to choose plants. But what could is the health approach. People don’t realize that when they kill an animal it kills you back. You’re eating something that vastly increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, inflammatory diseases, depression and the list goes on. It’s not worth it at all. You either consume animals which destroys the planet and you from the inside out or you consume plants which rewards both parties. Objectively the correct choice is loud and clear. But, food addiction is powerful. Food is emotional. Tradition is instinctual.

People also don’t want to feel like a fool. Some want to resist the fact that they’ve got played their entire life with health doing something they were taught was healthy when all this time it was the opposite. People don’t want to think that their family members, friends, relatives died from food-related causes. It may make them feel stupid, weak, and angry because it’s something that could have been so simply turned around but none of us knew about this. And that’s all understandable. We’re living six feet deep buried by lies. It’s up to the people with the knowledge to grab a shovel and start digging everyone else out one by one. Once the ditch is dug, the person needs to be brave enough to crawl out and start a new life. It’s up to each individual to unlearn their habits. Those with open minds that are willing to make progress will be the ones on top in this world. The choice is yours to make.

6-  In the previous interview you touched on an important and interesting matter regarding the sub-divisions inside the punk scene or micro-scenes surrounding punk. After the pandemic, where people got deprived of social contact for 2 years, do you see that going in which direction? As for myself I always hoped that the metal and punk scenes were one and the same but that’s just fantasy.

It took a while for things to really come together after the pandemic. Really up until this past year. But I will say that I have seen some of the youngest most diverse crowds at shows than I’ve seen in the past decade. It’s been really cool to go to hardcore shows and see all these random younger people checking out the scene. All sorts of backgrounds just finding commonality through punk rock. I’m liking what I’m seeing.

7- I always find the artwork a very important part of a band’s message/vibe they want to come across. For Live Or Be Lived you chose a minimalistic yet appealing piece of art (and I think it worked pretty well btw). Who was behind it and what you were aiming for?

Thank you. I like how it came out too. My friend Tim Rummo I’ve been working with for years. We’ve been friends since childhood and played music together since. I’ll give him a general theme and many times he just nails it. To me the album cover represents the internal combustion going on in nearly every American household as we destroy ourselves from the inside out with processed food, animal products, sedentary lifestyle. It’s a simplistic and direct symbol for what is going on every day. Something that the average person can’t even see.

8- A Midwest Tour is set-up and ready to kickoff this thursday (23)! Who’s joining you on the line-up and what people can expect for Tino Valpa live performances? Thanks for finding the time to do this Tino, already excited to hear the new stuff, please give us your final thoughts and shouts!

I’m answering this from the middle of the tour. It’s going well so far!

Lineup for the tour:
Me - Vocals
Frank Nordaby - Guitar
Tom Barvick - Guitar
Nate Garcia - Bass
Mark Geanakakis - Drums

These are all my homies from different stages of life. So having them all in one place at the same time is a real treat and has been so much fun. I knew this run would be a blast before it started. The new album “Live Or Be Lived All Over” is streaming everywhere. Grab a physical copy and all other merch at Thanks for taking the time to do this!


Thursday, February 23, 2023

OVERPOWER - Overpower 2022

Location: UK
Release: Self-released, 2022

OVERPOWER from South West UK presented last year their 5-song debut EP and it's the bomb! I remember hearing their promo 3 years back and held high expectations for them. It was an easy pick for the All Things Old School 2022's best of selection, another true hidden gem for all crossover maniacs out there.

Many new groups claim their sound is Thrash hardcore nowadays but in reality they're delivering beatdown-ish metallic dull hardcore. Don't be fooled, accept no substitutes, here you really get what's advertised, only the real deal, OVERPOWA!

DOWNLOAD [+ Promo]

Saturday, February 11, 2023

INFORTUNO - Decadent Vindication

Location: Piracicaba, Brazil
Release: Self-released, 2023
Artwork: Marcio Blasphemator

Ladies and gents, hailing from the land of capybaras enters INFORTUNO, right on time for carnaval, the feast of the flesh festivities official soundtrack is here!

Comprised by 2/4 of CLOBBERIN' TIME, these dudes released just recently Decadent Vindication, a short but sweet debut 5-song EP. Different from what was expected from that crew INFORTUNO delivers death/doom-inspired hardcore that surprises not only for the heaviness but also for the recording quality given the DIY/basement circumstances it was recorded.

Fans of Xibalba, Fuming Mouth and Immolation should find this a delight. Fav tracks: Martelo da Retribuição e Ghost Of What I Could Be, such beautiful song names.

Saturday, January 21, 2023


The All Things Old School Awards is back one last time! Yes sir, set up your living room, it's time for some serious slam dancing and couch diving as this year gave us plenty of heavy music to mosh by, as old school as this website can be, these are the 2022's highlights plus the BEST OF playlist at the end. For that, I had to move back to Spotify because YouTube has been deleting my ass ruthlessly.

Hats off to Indecision Recs for their continued work with old and fresh new bands! Here they've teamed-up once again with Californian SKULLCRACK to deliver an insanse 11-track album, fast as hell! If you haven't heard about them begin by the art cover, it's the labor of love, very appealing.

They've been on my radar for awhile but Addicted To The Underground made me do several elbow drops from the couch and had me going to the nearest skatepark to steam off some of that heat entering my nervous system. Redbull can suck it go with SKULLCRACK anyday! FFO: Vitamin X, Second Opinion, WWF.

WEIGHT - VIOLENCE OF THE DIVINE (The Essence/Control Records)
Ohh yeah, NYHC hardcore by the way of OLSO CITY. The dudes in the WEIGHT got their shit together and finally brought us this masterpiece in late 2022, read more about it here.

COMBUST - ANOTHER LIFE (Cash Only Records)
COMBUST is the synthesis of All Thing Old School the difference is that they only get better with time this blog don't. Another Life is probably the hardcore album I listened the most last year.

FIREWALKER - DEMO 2022 (Self-Released)
Why everyone wasn't talking about this? I feel most people totally missed this one. Anyway, if this is the demo, whatever comes next will rule the galaxy! Sick SUBZERO cover btw.

BLOODSUCKER (formerly known as Vexation) is the perfect breed between Best Wishes' era Cro-Mags and Only Living Witness, this is exactly the type of sound of why I still do this blog shit. Dutch hardcore represented big time in this short and sweet EP. Its release year is blurry to me, similar to the DEAD LAST album but I decided to add both in '22.

If you look through new releases with persistence you will find A LOT of great stuff, so to even make one last highlight of the year is tough but for those who are checking this blog for a few years or less may have a hint that I have a soft spot for Thrash and these Finnish guys do it with mastery. Being a trendy style or not I've been following FORESEEN's work for over 10 years already and after catching them live in Europe moshing to S.O.D. (plus the fact that recently they received the seal of approval from Max Cavalera for their previous stuff) Untamed Force was a natural choice to be featured here. Mosh like it was 1986!!

Worth mentioning here also is the consistent work of UK based Quality Control HQ, 12 years in activity never compromising with killer releases this past year i.e. TS WARSPITE, ANTAGONIZM, MASTERMIND, ARMA X... the list is long. The Queen may have passed away but I hope this label go full strength for another decade at least! One of the best in the game right now, if not THE best.


My final considerations are regarding the damn streaming playlist which consolidates thousands of hours of listening (again), this edition ended up being the most comprehensive, diverse and lengthiest while trying to make it cohesive to what this blog represents: bullshit-free underground music made from the chest. From heavy tunes to melodic ones reaching the dirtiest alleys of the planet, including even some hardcore-related Traditional Heavy Metal by the likes of ETERNAL CHAMPION (ex-Iron Age/Powertrip) and SUMERLANDS (ex-War Hungry). Other fun aspect while reviewing 2022 was seeing the girls stepping in in the Crossover zone which seems more male dominated than hardcore, bands like PEST CONTROL, S.O.H. and DENIAL OF LIFE are repping the gender with prime!

The biggest Honorable Mentions here goes to HIGH COMMAND (which seems to be present in almost every edition), the chilean Crossover act INSECURTY that brought a truly late 80's nostalgic sound, the australian OUTRIGHT that came back with the boldest album yet Keep You Warm, THE FLEX and BURNING LORD for keeping it real and EXHIBITION and HEAVY DISCIPLINE for the sickest promos. Also, props to many big names in the Thrash scene for putting new music out this last year, namely TANKARD, KREATOR, VIO-LENCE, TOXIK, XENTRIX, RAZOR, SODOM and even VOIVOD. Be sure to give a listen, Thrash till death.