Hesher Harmonies: Dopelord – Black Arts, Riff Worship & Weed Cult

Let’s slow things right down, dust off the denim vests and rip some massive bong hits in preperation for the newest Dopelord album, “Black Arts, Riff Worship & Weed Cult” (wee bit wordy eh?). Extensive album titles aside, this is the follow up to their 2012 release, “Magick Rites”, and stays right in the same vein of slow-noddin’, monolithic sludge that Satan likes to unwind to.

The first thing to hit is is the FUZZ. Lots and lots and lots of fuzzzzzzzzzzz. Their riffs are drenched in all the glorious fuzz, clogging up your brain like the smoke in your lungs that first time you hot-boxed your friends car in a 7-11 parking lot. This is important, as the fuzz is equally responsible for luring you into a half-awake trance as the riffs are. It massages your brain, filling all of the nooks and crannies of your conscious with reverberating white noise.

One key to really enjoying any sludge album is volume. Maximum fucking volume and a heavy addition of bass make the experience all that more enjoyable, as Dopelord lay down their weighty grooves and the reverb through the wall drives your roommate insane. Their grooves pack the force of a herd of rhinos, marching forward with malevolent purpose, wreathed in smoke and dark skies.

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Lean & Mean: Lady Flint – S/T

Lazy as all fuck this week. All the official assignments are handed in, so now I can get to the unofficial, yet way more fun, reviews.

Lady Flint are a French blues rock duo who released their debut album during February of this year. A tried and true guitar/voc and drummer tag-team, they crank out sleazy little ditties about sex, drugs, booze and the problems they entail. Ragged around the edges and just a little loose in execution, this is perfect bootstomp-n-hollar roadhouse music.

A recipe for good blues rock can be broken down into three key ingredients; riffs, guitar/vocal tone and the backbone groove. Two of the three are the bare minimum for good tunes and nailing the trio puts you into righteous territory. While Lady Flint may not have hit the hat-trick yet, they have got themselves well on the right path to realizing that goal.

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Modern Muscle: Home – Bound To Gravity

Evening there. Music? Music.

Home are a band from Austria who released their debut album “Bound To Gravity” during February of this year. Stylistically they fall into that currently booming space filled with hybrids of math, hardcore, noise and sludge. I really need to think of a sharp name for this genre because I both love it and am tired of listing off all of the various influences. Gnarcore? Sluthcore? Hard sludge? Sloise? But I digress.

Their take on this style is more straightforward than some of their other eclectic contemporaries. All the core elements are here; heavy motherfuckin’ riffs, dynamic time changes, a herd of elephants for a low end and gruff barking through the vocal score. However this isn’t one of those bands that aim to peel your face like an apple with off-kilted instrumentality, we’re talking basic math here, not doctorate calculus.

For me, this is a nice change. All of their songs except for the closer are concise and to the point, with heavy emphasis on the grooves and rhythms as opposed to technical wizardry. There is also very little feedback, harsh ambiance or electronic sampling that has become a calling card for this style. Instead, Home bring a heavy handed assault that skips the kung-fu and goes right for your throat.

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Unfiltered Classic: Black Lung – S/T

Black Lung are a Baltimore-based trio whose debut self-titled album is scheduled for release this June. Playing a variation on the classic grounds of stoner/post/blues rock and eschewing a bass for a second guitar with a molasses-dark tone, they characterize their songs with concise melodies and uncluttered grooves. It’s striking in this simplicity, with no wasted fat or free space, just rock solid execution and sensibilities.

Giving this album its first listen-through, I was struck with a certain sense of deliberateness that I usually don’t notice in this genre. Black Lung seem like a band who very much rock smarter, not harder. The guitar and vocal leads have an excellent sense of structure and direction, picking their way through your ears with careful, metered footsteps. Some might consider this a slight but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. On the contrary, this only serves to show this band have their songwriting priorities in check.

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Been Jammin’: East of the Wall and American Sharks

Still getting pounded by school. I managed to snag a free hand to whip this together.

I have a ton of promising bands sitting in my inbox but I really don’t have the time to sit down and write stuff in depth about much of anything. What spare time I do find, I’ve been jamming a couple of releases that I had been sitting on for a while. So without further ado, MUSIC.

East of the Wall had been slipping me by for a while and it wasn’t until finding a completely different band featuring some of their members (The fucking fabulous El Drugstore) that I actually bothered to get off my ass and give these guys a listen.

Hot fucking damn. What was I waiting for?

A gorgeous combination of modern heavy, post and progressive music, all wrapped together with professional aplomb and righteous instrumental prowess. Structured chaos, with lightening-fast shred work contrasted against some neck-snapping groove sections, this is an insanely memorable and unique album. The vocals run the gamut from hoarse barks to smooth croons, without every sounding out of place or disconcerting. Again, I don’t have the time to fully splooge all over this thing, but yeah. Fuckin’ listen.


And now for the complete opposite end of the spectrum, American Sharks. Groove-laden, hesh-as-fuck, throwback stoner rock. You know the formula by now and American Sharks wrote their fuckin’ thesis on this shit. Drunk, greasy, leather jackets, tight pants and PIZZA. SO MUCH PIZZA. It’s good shit. The whole album is under twenty minutes, is catchier than the plague and will groove your grandmother outta her panties. Pound brews and riff hard.

Oh, this video is cool too:

Holy shit drum cam: Mutoid Man – Scavengers

Musicians are impressive people. They create brain-pleasing and head-rocking sounds from thin air, conjuring and manipulating notes and melodies like some sort of voodoo witch doctor. Or at least that’s what it looks like to a layman like me. Sure, someone with musical training can pick apart the songs, analyze the playing and deconstruct the song, but I much prefer to be that slack-jawed ape in the audience, throwing horns and headbanging at the sheer wizardry of it all.

Mutoid Man‘s debut didn’t immediately catch me ear when it was released but it has been slowly growing on me, working its way into my regular rotation. “Scavengers” is the second track from their album and is a prime example of all the math-punk-distortion goodness these guys have on tap. So strap a Go-Pro to your drummers chest and you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time.

Listen and purchase the whole album below:

Album of the Night: Knut – Wonder

Again with the whole laziness thing. I spent most of the day cranking through dynamic finite element simulations to a cumulative yield of fuck all. My brain is broken and Switzerland’s Knut is massaging it back into shape. OG heads will know this genre-establishing math-core band from the early 2000′s, one I’ve just had the pleasure of discovering in the last couple of years.

“Wonder” came out in 2010 on Hydra Head Records and was their last release before their dissolution. There’s a reason Knut are hailed as the inventors of a genre and that’s because they fucking destroy when it comes to alternating scathing waves of riffage with ear-warping distortion and sci-fi ambiance. It is the perfect blend of groove, crushing weight and instrumental experimentation. Equally as heavy and destructive as it is interesting and creative.

Hydra Head had one of the best rosters around and you can find all of their music over on Bandcamp, including this album. Enjoy.

Pre-War Shred: Django Reinhardt

School has been slamming me pretty hard (3 more weeks!) so I’m being lazy tonight, didn’t get too much accomplished today and I’m even too lazy to write about new music. However I’m not too lazy to write about old music, so figure that one out.

Django Reinhardt is a badass name of a badass guitar player from the 30/40′s. A soundtrack to dimly-lit nightclubs choked with cigarette smoke while the music intertwines with low conversation and clinking glasses. Sometimes you don’t need a 60 ton stack of amps and equal amounts of distortion to get your point across, sometimes you just need an acoustic guitar and a fiddle. Get classy tonight folks.

Free Form Guitar is fucking genius

*I’m really busy this week, so don’t expect much aside from meanderings like this. New music is coming, when the concrete slab gets lifted off my timetable.*

The track “Free Form Guitar” from the album “Chicago Transit Authority” is fucking genius and criminally under-appreciated.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, putting a track like this on an album like CTA was not only genius but also badass as all hell to boot. This song has absolutely no place within the rest of the album, it was a pure expression of the muscian doing whatever the fuck they wanted regardless of if it was going to sell records or not. This is a track that came from 1969 but would not be out of place on any modern-day noise rock records. DECADES ahead of its time.

Even with the rest of the album jamming as hard as it does (Seriously. JAMS.) “Free Form Guitar” makes no sense. It’s shocking, abrasive and alien. One take, plugged straight into an amp and slapped into the middle of a funk-rock record. It’s that blatant disregard for the listener that makes me appreciate it so much. Punk rock in its execution and heavy as fuck in performance, it’s one of the many things that makes me love this record so much.

The streets will run green with vomit – Music to kill your liver to

Monday is St. Patrick’s day. A day dedicated to an Irish missionary whose life is not all that well recorded but generally revolves around spreading the good word of ALMIGHTY GOD through whatever it is missionaries did in the 5th century. Over the years St. Patrick’s day has morphed from a holy day of obligation into a socially acceptable promotion of alcohol abuse, where every white person in sight lays claim to some dodgy Irish heritage and proceeds to wear silly green hats and get drunk as fuck on the front lawn.

Being a university student for the last four years, it has become business as usual to have the entire weekend, give or take the next week, dedicated to frat parties, green vomit and lots of fucking tinsel. Part of me wonders why and how this day became the literal drunk holiday, where it has become culturally accepted to drink enough to make your eyes bleed. The other part of me really wants to open the bottle of Bushmills on my desk and proceed to forget the reason I even started writing this post.

As negative as that all sounds, I really don’t have a problem with people taking one day of the year to drunkenly recognize one very specific culture and its contributions to the alcohol world. I do think it’s weirdly elaborate excuse to get drunk on a weekday because really, do you even need one?

So in honor of the coming 24 hours of scotch, Guinness and green hats, here’s 3 varieties of music to help beat your liver down into a quivering mass of fear.

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