I fucking hate school.
I fucking love this album.
I fucking hate school.
I fucking love this album.
School is actually, like, hard this year and requires more than my fleeting attention. That’s reason number one there is no new content.
Reason number two is that I took a little retro-sabbatical for the last week, digging deep into some of the classic rock discographies that had been collecting digital dust on my hard drive. I haven’t really listened to anything newer than 1975 for the past seven days and it’s been quite a treat. The Who, Creedence, Focus, King Crimson, Moody Blues and a whole bunch of older blues/jazz.
Then yesterday I decided to start listening to the Greatful Dead. I just don’t know what to believe anymore.
I should be back soon with new music, barring that I haven’t have dropped out school, bought a van and started selling hand-knit bong cozies out of the back of said van.
It’s Sunday, crisp November sunshine and all that jazz. I spent the morning procrastinating by cooking and cleaning and listening to some classic rock on, god forbid, the radio. While the radio selection during the week blows harder than a hurricane, every Sunday from 9 to 1 is a little special. Psychedelic Sunday on Q107 is all the righteous classic rock you’re looking for with none of the bullshit. Get some.
October 29th was a big day for album releases, with a bunch of big name bands dropping some highly anticipated albums. All of these were solid releases from solid bands, good albums to be sure but nothing exceptionally jaw-breaking. Well, except for Whores that is.
“Clean” is the (at least for me) much anticipated follow up to 2011′s “Ruiner”. The latter album had snapped me to attention with a combination of heavy distortion and some honest to god punk rock spit and venom delivery. They were pissed and more importantly, they sounded fucking pissed. The songs had a anthemic vibe, encouraging a raised fist and some dented drywall.
“Clean” is everything its ancestor was and then some. Take note folks, you’re not just supposed to follow up your debut, you’re supposed to blow that damn thing out of the water, a feat Whores have pulled of more than capably. Louder and nastier, it’s six tracks kicking you straight in the back of the neck until you accept the fact you are a shitty person or your neck snaps, whatever comes first.
Everything is better, the riffs, the songwriting, the production, especially the production. This album sounds good, like really fucking good, like rattling your windows all day good. Heavy, thick and crystal fucking clear, the next best thing would be cramming your head inside the amp cabinet until something ruptures. Everything from the guitar tone to the snare snap sounds perfectly in place.
“Cougars, Not Kittens” and “Blue Bloods” are the longest and shortest tracks respectively and are easily my favorites of the bunch. The former staggers along at a molasses half-pace, bracing itself with a fucking killer riff and just plain heavy chorus preceded by a quiet background hollar. The latter is an odd little ditty, all high-pitched leads behind a quick stepping vocal line.
Heavy, infectious, insanely well written and equally performed, “Clean” stands head and shoulders above the hordes of the try-hards that populate this little corner of heavy music. Whores are one of the few current bands that not only deliver the bone rattling grooves but are also uncompromising in their vision and ethics. Punk might be dead to the world, but it still lives on in the hearts of three guys from Atlanta.
I’ve been drowning myself in so many new release and undiscovered classics of late that I haven’t had time to sit down and do a good ol’ fashioned Bandcamp trawl. So finding myself with some free time last week I decided to go ahead and rectify the situation. The result? Knuckle Dragger.
Knuckle Dragger is a UK based hardcore/noise/math band, one of many in what has started to become a very populated genre. You know the basic formula, Distorted basslines munching along underneath a head rattling combination frantic guitar work, bowel-rupturing rhythms and a drummer fed exclusively on PCP and pop-tarts. It’s the bastard child of modern heavy music and one I can never get enough of.
“The Drone” caught my ear for a couple of reasons, most notable the heavy doses of experimentation and the brutal contrasts between genres that define their songs. These assets are further helped along by short track times, with the longest running well under the five minute mark. This gives the entire album a concise and to the point pacing, with the maximum calculated amount of aggression pumped out per minute.
As opposed to the constantly schizophrenic mentality of mathcore, all twitching limbs and frothing mouths, Knuckle Dragger keep a cohesive groove the whole time, albeit the kind of groove you wouldn’t want to leave small children alone with. Sharp, convulsing punctuations of noise staggering down a back alley just waiting for someone to look them in the eye.
The album is interlaced with brief periods of experimental breathing room, from Doppler effect feedback, a brief period of clean guitar picking, odd vocal samples and a constant flirtation of the noise/music line. Quickly crushed back into form by the ever-present brutality, these brief interludes make the return to violence that much sweeter. All of these is underlined by what seems like an asylum escapee on vocals, who provides everything from blood curdling screams to saliva-spraying growls.
“The Drone” is a perfect example of the bastardization of genres that has become a defining feature of today’s music. Unhinged and unrestrained insanity that challenges many to find out how far they can take the difference between music and noise. For those voyeuristic few, all your links and streams are below.
Fuck yeah Red Fang. Fuck yeah.
“Whales and Leeches” is this Portlandia quartets third studio album and a follow up to 2011s “Murder the Mountains”. In that space of time they have been touring like migratory birds and cultivating both their fanbase and presence as one of modern rock and rolls top dogs. While the more genre-distinguished may argue that Red Fang’s style is much more akin to a hybrid of sludge, stoner and classic rock, their accessibility and overall awesomeness made me decide to go for the rock and roll tag.
“Murder the Mountains” was a stellar album. I don’t think I was disappointed by a single track, for me that record is nonstop hair-flailing fun from start to finish. So as you might expect, “Whales and Leeches” was way up there on my “I WANNA WANNA WANT IT” list. It seems almost redundant to ask the question, “Was the waiting worth it?” because you all know the answer is a resounding TRUCK YES IT WAS.
Right from the get go Red Fang open up their immediately recognizable brand of whoop-ass with “DOEN” and “Blood like Cream”. Both heavy rockin’, thrasin’, rippin’, all the goddamn words that end in -in’. Pounding riffs with just that perfect amount of fuzz, stoner grooves, catchy as fuck choruses, tasty, tasty solos and those equally tasty vocal harmonies. I AM SO FULFILLED RIGHT NOW.
“Whales and Leeches” also showcases what is now Red Fang’s trademark diversity, as the first six tracks rip and roar their way through the speakers in short order. Lean and hard as fuck, the top half of this album sets you up for a balls out rager, then “Dawn Rising” comes along.
A slap to a face from slow-the-fuck-down-field, it is integrated perfectly into the album, with the song opening up in a similar fashion to its predecessors until that fucking excellent changeup. Probably the dirtiest riff on the album gets slapped down an octave lower and several BPM slower signifying the shift towards the dark, dank and heavy.
“Failure”, “The Animal” and “1516″ all display this slower, meaner and more aggressive tone that “Dawn Rising” set. Riffs on top of riffs on top of riffs on top of more riffs, it’s shit like this that got me off my ass to preach on the internet about how awesome this music is. This album will be getting spun into the ground before the year is over and it sure as fuck will have a place on my year end list.
Couple side notes. Dat album art. Just lookatit. “Murder the Mountains” is alright but this new cover needs to be blown up and hung on my wall very soon. Also the goodies haven’t stopped coming yet. Red Fang have given themself a reputation for awesome, over-the top music videos (“Prehistoric Dog”, “Wires”, “Hank is Dead”) and while we are yet to see any Whitey McConnaughy madness for this new album I have a feeling it won’t be long a wait.
So yeah, I could keep jerking off over this album all night but I think the amount of times I’ve used caps-lock in this piece should be a pretty gauge of how I feel about this album. Of course there is a massive North American tour in support of this and you can find dates for that on their Facebook page.
So in conclusion; go listen you dirt worshiping heathens.
Fuck me. I actually have to work this week.
Russian Circles. Fucking excellent post-rock/metal band from Chicago. Eerie, sprawling soundscapes wage a continuous war with a sledgehammer of a groove section. The usual guitar/bass/drum formula is broken up this time around with some tracks featuring haunting vocals from Chelsea Wolfe. ”Memorial” will be their fifth album and is scheduled for release on October 29th. I’ll give you my full impression then but for now get streaming below.
Whores are a bunch of evil motherfuckers from Atlanta. Their debut EP, “Ruiner”, came out in fucking 2011. So two years later we get to hear the sequel to what was one of the better noise rock releases in recent memory. Does it live up to the hype? Of course it damn well does. Head high, fist in the air punk rock played with the distortion at eleven. Blood stains, broken teeth and fractured wrists. “Clean” will be released October 29th. Listen below.
Study? Review new music? Study?
Review new music.
Fresh on the heels of my post about their album stream, 30,000 Monkies released their second EP, “Somewhere Over The Painbow”, last Friday. Why should you care? Because the tunes are righteous and some faceless guy on the internet told you to. So there.
These Belgians have been establishing their own dimly lit basement of weird and “Painbow” continues this fine tradition of songs that are as disturbed as they are catchy. This isn’t a Primitive Man kind of disturbed, this is little Timmy disturbed, the boy who always played with roadkill and whose gaze you can never meet because you just feel like he’s trying to figure out the best way to see what colour your insides are.
A more abrasive guitar tone and some heavier hitting riffs step up their presence from “Womb Eater, Wife Beater”, and the inclusion of plenty more asylum-hallway vocals show a band that is still sorting out the fine details but seems to have a damn good idea of where they are going to dump the bodies.
The album layout is familiar territory, with the first three tracks grumbling and rumbling their way through your head in a straightforward fashion. Then things get strange once the 13 minute closer, “Batteram”, revolves its head around backwards to stare you dead in the eyes.
Even with such a small catalog, “Batteram” is probably my favorite track to be spawned by these guys. It’s all spine-tingling vibes and masochistic riffs hammering along at whatever pace is going to give it the most satisfaction. Opening with an eerie, yet cheerful, vocal/organ intro, you just start to think little Timmy is coming around, maybe he just a normal kid after all, maybe all his art projects of vomiting Play-Doh corpses weren’t a warning sign after all.
Then you wake up tied to your desk with a six year old about to play doctor with a sharpened ruler and your torso.
The Flatliners are a band that I have been listening to for a long-ass time, way back when I saw them perform at my very first Warped Tour, the last show that would be held at Molson Park. The album they were playing in support of then was “Destroy to Create”, which showcased the band at the height of their ska-punk shenanigans.
It’s been a couple of years since then, seeing the band undergo a substantial sound change and the release of 2007′s “The Great Awake” and 2010′s “Cavalcade”. Both of these albums lay in the clear-cut domain of punk rock, or at least the definition that is most subscribed too.
Musically this meant less zaniness, better riffs, more emotion and more cohesive songwriting. “Dead Language” follows proudly in the footprints of both it’s predecessors, delivering a hefty slab of “traditional” punk rock with enough spit ‘n’ venom to keep it from falling in with the pale-faced hordes of lesser bands.
All the standards are here, sad song, fast song, angry song, sad-angry song, sad-angry-fast song. All of them are played well, with a tightness that comes from being a band for the last 11 years. It’s an irrefutably solid record from an irrefutably solid band and there isn’t much you need to know past that.
Lyric video for “Drown in Blood”
Primitive Man are a crossover doom band from Denver. They released their debut LP, “Scorn”, during August of this year. “Scorn” is the most evil thing you will hear all month, even if you spent your evenings conducting an orchestra of chalkboard scrapers.
Imagine every time I’ve used overly descriptive language in reference to something evil, brutal, vile or destructive. Now combine all of that, drench it in tar and moose blood, light it on fire and throw it down a ravine. That is what a journey through these ten tracks feels like. It’s not just that Primitive Man are crushingly heavy, they’re oppressively heavy. The difference is subtle, like the difference between splitting a skull with a crowbar versus grinding it in a vice.
Sludge is slow, this is fucking life-sucking. It’s all sharp edges and heavy hits, dragged out at a torturous pace designed for you to realize that, at the end of the day, you are nothing more than a ungodly sack of meat that is slobbering, groping and shitting your way towards a six foot hole in the dirt.
It’s fucking grim man.
Alternating between scathing waves of fuzz and extended samples of horror-movie ambiance, it is not an easy listen. For example, “Black Smoke”, is one of the fucking creepiest things I have listened to. Period. At first confused, I ended up being genuinely disturbed by the time the first riff kicked my door down and cut out my liver.
So fair warning to all. If your not someone who listens to heavy music on the regular, “Scorn” may just send you running to a dark corner to hug your knees and reconsider life. Embrace the soul-numbing evil with open arms or prepare yourself for the rapture, links lie below.
This is not a review.
Earthless is a psychedelic rock band from California. They have released two albums since 2005. Their newest, “From the Ages”, will be released on October 8th. Which is tomorrow. I will probably post something about that album in the near future.
Earthless make fucking epic length jams that consist of nothing more than some of the hardest guitar wankery this side of the seventies and a rhythm section that has their shit locked down tighter than Alcatraz. You’re either going to immediately love what you hear or be confused at how there are no actual songs, just 20+ minute guitar solos.
I consider myself part of the former group.
The last couple months I have been digging up buried treasure after buried treasure, most of which that were recorded before I was born. The most recent in my installement of musical history month is from the Detroit protopunk band, Death. Not to be confused with the equally awesome metal band Death, the subject of this post’s attention was formed in 1971 by three brothers and has a discography that spans all of half an album.
They are frequently hailed as being punk before punk was even something you could be, in both attitude and music. They only managed to recorded 7 of the planned 12 songs on their debut LP because they were uncompromising in their name choice, causing their backer to pull out. They also have an edge on The Ramones first release by about a year, putting them among a small group of bands that laid the groundwork for what we now call punk rock.
Using classic and garage rock as their core, Death cranked everything out with a fervor all their own and simply played what they wanted, how they wanted to play it. The result is 7 songs that seem eerily familiar at first but played too loose and fast to really nail them down anywhere. The closer, “Politicians in My Eyes” is the standout, with both the lyrical content and musically raggedness that strongly hint at what Death could have become had their career not been cut short.
NEW ALBUM STREAMS! AWESOME BANDS, NEW EP’S, NEW REASONS TO GET STOKED.
PIGS: “GAFFE” – STREAM IT RIGHT HERE ON REVOLVER
Pigs are the NYC noise-group made up of three grizzled veterans of the hardcore/noise scene. I talked about their debut album, “You Ruin Everything” here and the album made it to number 2 on my Best-of 2012 list on NoCleanSinging. So yeah, these guys are pretty fucking sweet and their newest effort, a three track EP titled “Gaffe”, lives up to that standard.
Heavy-ass grooves played down real low, lots of tom work and just as much crunch, Pigs put a set in your jaw and a stomp in your step. Standout track is “Ello Kiddies”, which along with being the catchiest song of the three also has a killer gang-shout chorus. This baby will hit the streets October 15th.
30,000 MONKIES: “OVER THE PAINBOW” – STREAM IT RIGHT HERE ON CVLT NATION
“Over the Painbow” will be the second release from the Belgium based 30,000 Monkies. I gave their debut, “Womb Eater, Wife Beater” a spin a long while back and was left a little unsettled but ultimately craving more of their unhinged assault on your mental foundation.
Slicking together layers of psychotic ambiance and pop-sludge fuzz, their music conjures images of blood-soaked teddy bears with glowing red eyes, melted pools of plastic army men and volcanoes of play-doh acid. It’s as delightfully infectious as it is superbly fucked up, with each of the four tracks on this EP taking you just a couple steps further and further away from comfortable listening space. Your evenings of acid flashbacks and howling at the moon will start on October 11th.
Oh there’s a video too. For the song “Imperial Staches”. It’s fucking weird. But more importantly. THAT RIFF.
Alrighty. Lets see what we got here.
Loathe are a death metal band from Malta which is a really freaking small island somewhere between Italy and the top of Africa. They’re billed as “Malta’s premier metal band” which will be a hard claim to dispute, with the entire population of the island clocking in somewhere under 500,000.
Stylistically you may have heard me use the phrase “meat and potatoes” before and this fits Loathe to a fucking T. Meat and potatoes is a band who doesn’t get crazy, doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and doesn’t try to make anything more than some rock solid, ass kicking tunes. There is no experimenting or attempts at progression, merely song after song of excellently written, headbang-till-you-die, death fucking metal.
Loathe lay the aggression on thick and heavy, with their particular sound lying at the intersection of death, groove and melodic. Hammering double-kick gallops, low-end chug riffs and just a couple flayed fretboards to keep the formula interesting. The vocals are fittingly brutal, a solid medley of boar squeal and guttural moans. The playing is on point, the songs are tight, the grooves are fucking titanic and the whole thing is garnished with classic brutality.
So if your tired of all that pretentious guitar wanking and just want some music to back your Tuesday-night session of headbanging and horn throwing, Loathe have got you more than covered. Bonus? They all seem like pretty awesome dudes, if their video for “Bucketlove” is any example.
Bottom line, click play, get messy.
Yeah, I can’t imagine these two bands getting along with the two I previously mentioned. Just a small difference in philosophies, among other things.
So. Minor Threat and Cro-mags. Chances are if you’ve been listening to heavy music for any length of time you know who these guys are, know what they’re about and don’t need me to say another goddamn thing about them. Cro-mags are responsible for crossover thrash and Minor Threat are the (inadvertent) Messiahs of straightedge. Minor Threat has a library of one album, while Cro-mags managed to get out a (comparatively) staggering five albums.
Why should you care?
Well I think that the much-lauded singular Minor Threat release is a pretty fucking awesome collection of early punk rock delivered with some honest to god spit ‘n’ venom. I also believe they did have something important to say, even though it did get blown up to unexpected results.
Cro-mags? Well it’s dirty, nasty, mean and is gonna leave a kink in your neck and probably a couple holes in your wall. What, you expected a dissertation or something?
More than anything, me listening to these bands was a history lesson for me, as sometimes you just have to wonder what kind of batshit insanity spawned today’s heavy music scene. Anyway. Listen or don’t, it is really up to you.
(You should listen)