Various Artists: Tired and Pissed Records, Vol. 4 (Tired and Pissed Records, 2022)

I’m a born mark for comps. Having been my entrée into this whole thing we call punk, they’re an indispensable resource for those of us with thin wallets. Also, they’re a singular way to get acquainted with otherwise unknown but no less killer artists hiding in plain sight.

Steeped in that very tradition is Richmond’s Tired and Pissed Records. Home to must-listen “house bands” 3:33 and Skincrawler, they’ve been consistently cranking out their singularly scathing samplers. Alas, RVA’s peddlers of extremity have made it to Volume 4, made particularly essential due to the cause behind it. 

The entire proceeds will go to Indigenous Women Rising, an incredible nonprofit started in 2014 by Rachael Lorenzo (Mescalero Apache, Laguna Pueblo, Xicana). In lieu of my own inadequate summation, I give you Indigenous Women Rising in their own words. Taken from their eloquent “About Us”: 

“Indigenous Women Rising is committed to honoring Native & Indigenous People’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources, and advocacy.

Indigenous Women Rising creates the space for us as indigenous people to tell our own stories on our terms as an act of resistance, self love, and love for our ancestors and family.  We reclaim what colonialism and white supremacy have tried to strip from us: identity, culture, tradition, and language.”

As Tired and Pissed Records put in the effort to corral these uniquely talented artists, I thought it fair that I dish out a review… for each track. Here it is, in miniature, y’all. 

Kicking off the proceedings is the oddly dubbed Crab Action with “Crab Fu." After a brief Step Brothers sample, we start the comp with some burly melodic punk that manages to land somewhere between Danzig and Ignite. Pretty unique sound and good opener. 

Lacking, “Track and Shield" - Misleading band name alert, y’all, cuz this isn’t missing anything. Well short of a minute, that snare sound alone means this rules. The band dishes out filthy, punk-leaning grindcore with a frenzied vocalist. As lean as it is dizzying, this shit rips. 

3:33, “T.I.T. (Trust in Technology)” - These label mainstays live in a maelstrom of crusty and, at times, grindy crossover that has riffs for days. Burying everything beneath a tar-thick wall of extremity, there’s a few dope surprises tacked on for good measure.  There’s a spooky sample that sends the track packing. Rad band. 

Rough Dose’s offering “Sick” says it all. It’s a snotty and primitive blast of early USHC with an intentionally over the top, fuck it attitude.  

Demons, “Inauguration Day” - Though I’m scrambling to define their idiosyncratic sound, it’s mid-paced rock n’ roll based hardcore a la BARS or Hope Con’s final form. This shit is formidable and burly as hell. 

Demons (Photo: Keith Baillergeon)

Druglord, “Boiled In Oil” - Devastating and filthy doom that does its best to mimic the track title and damn near feels like it. This is for nihilists that dig Primitive Man and their world-ending ilk. This band has been dishing out punishment for a long time and it clearly shows. 

Torment, “Worn Thin” - This band has quickly risen to the peak of my “must watch” list. This is virtual tour through hardcore’s hardest. From staccato, hip-hop influenced groove and bounce to a pummeling breakdown and fearsome backing vocals, Torment is ready for the next step. 

The Get Off, “Hanahaki” - This is stellar feminist hardcore that’s constantly shifting shape. It’s equal parts caterwauling  chaos and perfectly placed dynamics. I hear everything from straightforward hardcore to screeching grind, screamo, and dance punk rhythms. 

Mean Jesus, “The Message” - Believe it or not, this one starts with cowbell. Sporting stellar production, this is mid-paced melodic punk that makes hay stomping all over the place. 

Mean Jesus (Photo: Tom Barbee)

Colossal Wreck, “From Beyond” - This is a bit of me, right here. This is epic and crusty metal that splits the difference between the steamrolling attack of Bolt Thrower and modern D-beat. The endless wailing solos cryptkeeper vocals had me pulling out my Sacrilege records. 

Black Matter Device, “Blood Splatter Inkblot” - This rules. It’s gloriously unsettling and dexterous, stop on a dime metalcore a la DEP or Callous Daoboys. Any stoked on earth SeeyouSpaceCowboy should likely backflip over this. 

Tel, “Punish” - This band boasts a seasick sludge and doom sound that takes its time. When at last the wailing cleans come in, it’s a beautiful surprise. For real, the vocalist is a rare talent. This would sit well alongside the early ‘oughts occult renaissance that gave us Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth, and Windhand. The final act is unexpectedly crushing and intense, giving YOB fans their payoff. 

If you know me personally, you’ve probably heard me blast Skincrawler. The Tired and Pissed flagship wild ones  give us “Bleed.” It’s absolutely evastating and impossibly bleak. They’ve continued to refine their scythe sharp black metal leads and the grinding metallic chaos beneath it all. 

Murdersome, “Nights Edge” - Thrash is on the menu and the order is fucking UP! This band has killer lead parts. It’s off the rails and seems to have roots in the punk lane, but is unafraid to show its considerable talents. There’s loads of personality in the throaty and phlegmy vocal performance. It’s giving off radioactive vibes a la early Municipal Waste, albeit with a touch of trad metal. 

Bananaslama, “Poacher Poacher” - This ain’t King Crimson, friends. It’s all pig squeals, animal noises, a vocalist that sounds like South Park’s muffled and mealy mouthed “Kenny.” Shit is hilarious. Check their farty bass tone, it sounds like it’s shot out of a party cannon. They’re likely a maniacal treat live.  

Krode, “I've Had It” - Splits the difference between Motörhead and a shockingly precise Tom Araya doppelgänger. Seriously, this singer absolutely nails early Slayer, from the cadence to the inflection. That aside, this shit rips on its own merit. Impressive band. 

Pfft., “Wesley Willis Was A Rocking Man” - Lovingly chaotic tribute to the late, great, head butting genius. It’s a sloppily and brief blast of punk that’d be a perfect soundtrack to “Cut the Mullet” to. Rock over London. 

Betty Grey, “Cock Rage” - This isn’t my normal lane, but the Spartacus-inspired sub minute rager is solid Oi! influenced pub rock. I’d love to hear a full set of tracks from this crew. I’m guessing they know their way around a rousing anthem. 

Kryptcest, “Cumpilation” - This ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around…” It’s fucking goregrind. I don’t know what else you need me to say about goregrind. It’s goregrind… you either love it or are listening to the next track. I’m staying right here. 

Love Roses, “Holidays in Hell” - Ramshackle, blistering hardcore punk loaded with all the requisite sneer, call and response sass makes this an unexpected earworm. It’s a late winner from this collection. 

Come Mierda, “Inept” - The closer is anvil heavy and blown out, screamy grind. The fuzz is overwhelming and gloriously harrowing. As much noise as it is music, which means it’s some of the best music in here. 

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