Apr 182022

(The California fastcore band Choke Me have quickly become a favorite of DGR, and thus he has enthusiastically dived into their music again with this review of their latest release.)

Choke Me‘s releases seem to appear with the suddenness of a high-speed car collision. It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about the three-piece group’s Hauntology EP,  and prior to that it didn’t seem that long ago that we were discussing the group’s full-length debut The Cousin of Death.

Then again, given the shared ideologies between the group’s punk, grind, and ‘fastcore’ collision of sound, it doesn’t shock that the crew manning the good ship Choke Me have also embraced the rapid-fire release schedule and record length of the grind contingent as well.

We’re probably a few months out from suffocating under an avalanche of splits and single releases if the patterns hold true. April 1st saw the release of the latest music from Choke Me, seemingly forming out of a static-charged aether into one quick explosion under the name of Death Like A Sunset, and like its immediate predecessor in late 2021’s Hauntology it discharges another six songs and sub-twenty minutes worth of music. Continue reading »

Sep 142021


(A Los Angeles band whose 2020 release hit the No. 5 spot on DGR’s year-end list has already returned with a follow-up, and he gives it an enthusiastic review below.)

If you were one of the unfortunate victims to cross paths with my end of the year tome/list – which somehow still managed to happen in the face of 2020 as a whole – then you likely caught my sincerely held belief in the final issue of the list that people had fucked up by letting Choke Me‘s debut release The Cousin Of Death fly under their collective radars.

All joking aside, as a piece of punk-fueled grind, The Cousin of Death was a furious album that wrapped up as shockingly fast as it started. Even were it just a proof-of-concept style release, it showed that there was a lot of potential to whatever spark ignited the Choke Me sound. That is why – even with reservations about the year-over-year churn when it comes to music – it was exciting to learn that the group had issued a follow-up release. We even gave it a brief shout-out in one of our weekend round up posts which archives everything that manages to hit in the back half of the week.

Entitled Hauntology, it consists of six songs and is still very much in line with what worked for the Choke Me crew in their debut. With six new songs – most around two minutes plus – Hauntology only comes in a couple of minutes shorter than its predecessor yet still manages to strike with the same sort of righteousness that blazed through that initial twenty-minute outburst. Continue reading »

Sep 042021


Can’t you read plain English? It says “Labor Day”. It doesn’t say “Holi-Day”. So I’m just following the prescribed agenda, and laboring.

Because I unexpectedly agreed to write a whopping four premieres yesterday, I had no time to begin rounding up a selection of songs and videos that surfaced this past week. Leaving that until today has resulted in another massive collection, again featuring too many bands to name in the post title.

As it happens, the majority of the new music you’ll find below is accompanied by videos. It also happens that almost all of the new songs are high-speed devastators. This isn’t entirely by accident, because many of them were recommended in our NCS group by DGR, who tends to prefer musical riots over other forms of audio entertainment. And once I’d gotten into that kind of groove, I tended to stick with it in choosing from among other possibilities I checked out.


We’ll start with a new lyric video for a frantic new song by Archspire, in which vocalist Oliver Rae Aleron goes faster than a cattle auctioneer and the rest of the band spits a variety of bullets even faster — but then abruptly the song gets dreamy. Continue reading »

Oct 062020


(In this review DGR praises the new record by Los Angeles-based Choke Me, which was released in June by Riot Ready Records.)

Speaking of releases that have fallen firmly in the category of “have listened to a ton since its sliding across my proverbial desk”, L.A’s Choke Me and their album The Cousin Of Death – released  in late June via Riot Ready Records – is the latest candidate to build itself a very comfortable nest in that pile.

There’s a few reasons for this: One is that this disc is fast. The band dub themselves “fastcore”, so at the very least this should be an easily attainable goal, and The Cousin of Death clocks in at about twenty-five minutes over twelve songs. The second is that The Cousin Of Death is cathartic. It nails the feeling of lashing out within the first few songs and retains that sort of ferocity for the entirety of its run time, the dual vocal assault provided by its bassist and guitarist amplifying that effect.

Third, whether intentional or something that just popped up during the songwriting sessions, nearly every song here has some sort of flash point where the group shift from comfortable death and grind riffs into full on blasting hell, as if every song seeks to light itself on fire and be fully immolated by its ending. That moment where the tempo accelerates into full speed is so much fun that even though it happens over and over throughout The Cousin Of Death proves that Choke Me have really gripped on to something.

Finally, I have a soft spot for just about any release that contains as much bile within it as a song like “You Aren’t Special” does. Continue reading »