- Walter Novak
- Diamond Nights singer Morgan Phalen, at the Grog Shop April 1.
British extreme-music label Retribute Records has signed two of Northeast Ohio's most abrasive bands to one-album deals. Power-hardcore quartet Apartment 213's CD, tentatively titled Cleveland Power Violence, is due this month, and the debut from Akron all-star punk-metal hybrid Accept Death will follow later this year.
"I've always been a huge fan of Cleveland music," says Retribute owner Chris Meadow. "So getting to work with those bands or people is awesome. Accept Death's individual members have a great pedigree, and when you put all those elements together, it'll create one heavy-as-all-hell record. Apartment 213 are legends: fast, brutal, and punishing."
Retribute distributes worldwide via indie labels including Century Media, Relapse, Red Stream, and Shellshock. Meadow plans to press 1,000 copies.
Accept Death features guitarist Scott Stearns (Ultralord, ex-Die Hard), drummer Corey Bing, the prolific Akron underground scenester behind the Shifty label and attached to bands including doom-thrash hybrid Ultralord and Scumchrist (a heavy new project featuring Stearns and Ultralord guitarist Andy Strickland).
After a series of seven-inch and split releases (now compiled on New York thrash/hardcore clearinghouse 625 Productions' Discography 1993-97), the Apartment 213 album will be the re-formed group's full-length debut, featuring new material and new versions of two old songs. Vocalist Steve Mikita (ex-Psywarfare) plays in grinding, industrial, and experimental Cleveland groups Lockweld and the Family. Bassist Tony Daprano plays in Cleveland underground metal legends Schnauzer.
"Chris is a great guy, and it is an honor for us to work with him," says Mikita. "Retribute Records has been putting out great underground bands for a while now."
· Schnauzer and Ultralord will play Don Austin's final show at the Lime Spider (207 South Main Street, Akron) on Saturday, April 8.
· After earning positive notices on MTV.com, Cleveland hip-hop DJ extraordinaire Mick Boogie made his MTV debut March 28 on the network's Direct Effect, discussing recent projects with DJ Envy. Boogie's latest coups include new mixtapes hosted by Mobb Deep and Ghostface Killah. The Mobb Deep mix includes exclusive tracks by Cleveland's Kickdrums production team, which recently placed a track with 50 Cent.
· The Dead Boys remain dead for now: Shortly after guitarist Cheetah Chrome told Billboard that the old-school Cleveland punks planned to record new tracks and play a string of Canadian and European shows, he told Around Hear that all activity is canceled. He declined to elaborate.
· Cleveland's Blazer has posted live versions of some popular nu-wave tracks on www.myspace.com/blazermusic. The band will open for U.K. dance-rock sensation Hard-Fi Thursday, April 6, at the Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Avenue).
· Legendary Cleveland hardcore guitarist Frank "3 Gun" Novinec has joined Hatebreed, the world's biggest metalcore band, whose last two albums sold a combined half-million copies. Novinec's résumé includes Ringworm and Integrity; to join Hatebreed, he has left West Coast throwback phenom Terror.
· KT Tunstall, the Scottish roots-rock singer-songwriter whose "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" has created a deafening buzz, will perform and greet fans at the Woodmere Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Boulevard) Monday, April 10, prior to her House of Blues show that night.