All posts by Ben

Nihilism; A Systems Approach: The Sun Through a Telescope and portrayal of guilt

Time for two bands who have emailed me many, many months ago, with me letting their emails rot in my inbox like the scumbag I am. So let’s drag these carcasses out into the light and see what we got here.

portrayal of guilt – S/T

These guys are from Texas and released a self-titled EP in May. They use the mentality and brutality of grindcore but at a slower pace, which is a big plus for me. The usual adjectives apply; howling, scathing, violent and crushing but with the rare inclusion of concise and well-tailored.

In short; Angsty grindcore black-metal with tight songs and strong grooves. $1 on Bandcamp.


The Sun Through a Telescope – Black Hole Smile

This is a one-man recording project from Ottawa who does doom/drone/sludge but not black metal, which is what usually comes up. I will be completely honest in saying that I never got around to listening to the whole album and instead took a choice sampling of tracks throughout. However! Everything I sampled I did enjoy and found a good balance between the more estorotic drone elements and the neanderthal headbanging.

In short; Kinda like Old Man Gloom but different. And only one dude. $7 on Bandcamp.

Assorted Musings and Historical Appreciation

Lazy piece of shit checking into his derelict blog. Just give me a second to scrape the mold off my computer screen and remove at least one of the boards from the window.


I have been listening to a bunch of new music but I’ve been too lazy/busy/apathetic to write about it. Instead I’m going to list all of the new albums I’ve bought in the last month or so and summarize them in three words or less.

Dangers – “The Bend in the Break” = Catharsis Rage Vomit.

Dangers – “Messy, Isn’t it?” = See #1.

Gnod – “JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE” = Anarcho-Club Drone.

Mutoid Man – “War Moans” = 80’S POWER CRUNCH.

Seven Sisters of Sleep – “Ezekiel’s Hags” = Deadlift Doom.

High On Fire – “The Art of Self Defense” = LEGENDARY.

Clowns – “Lucid Again” = Too much fun.

You can find all of those albums on Bandcamp so check ’em out if you want.


Saw Cavern at the Bovine on Saturday night. It was a nice treat to see a smaller band that I had written about getting up to the great northern yonder to play a show. They fucking killed it and you should go check out their most recent album for more heavy jams.


I also saw Baby Driver over the weekend which was quite entertaining as long as you didn’t think too hard about it. It’s a very unique interpretation of a movie musical and the only reason I wanted to mention it here is because one of the main action sequences is set to “Hocus Pocus” by Focus. The rest of the soundtrack was just as stellar.


Lastly! You know how when you’re little and all the “adult” things like coffee and beer taste like absolute horseshit to your virgin tongue? Well I’ve found my ears have kind of done the same thing as I’ve gotten older. Several years ago I didn’t enjoy or respect some of the older metal luminaries, like High On Fire but now I can’t get enough.

Like goddammit, these fucking riffs. WHAT THE FUCK WAS WRONG WITH ME!?

So I apologize and will now headbang my way through ten Hail Mary’s.

OVER AND OUT.

 

Drinking for Eleven: Clowns – “Lucid Again”

See mom? Drunk Bandcamp surfing in your underwear can be productive!

Random find while digging through suggested profiles on my Bandcamp collection page. Clowns are a punk band from Australia who picked my ear due to their resemblance to some local legends, Pup.

Angular and energetic modern punk rock with a metalcore edge, I’m sure this will sound as good sober as it does now. A solid blend of classic punk charges and modern punk/indie musicality, it rips.

$10 AUD on Bandcamp, listen below.

Now excuse me, I need to piss.

Dank Tones: Steinsopp – “Steinsopp”

Steinsopp are a psychedelic rock band from Norway. I think their name is the Norwegian word for the Boletus edulis mushroom but I could be wrong. They write some dank fuckin’ riffs.

One might ask, “But what are dank riffs?” and one might answer, “I have no fucking idea, its just a word that sounds cool”. Or you might say that these dank riffs are like huffing from a bag of high-grade greenery, filling up your senses with that sweet, cloying, godly smell of sticky green bundles.

This is old-school riff worship, with huge guitarss, laid-back drums and gallons of distortion. King-ranch riffs, wafting their way out like so many heavy clouds of smoke. A lot of bands try to sound like they have patina and don’t quite make it all the way, these guys sound genuinely crunchy, like they were actually pressed in the 70’s, not just digitally altered to try and sound that way.

This whole album sounds goddamn amazing. It strikes the perfect balance of distortion and clarity, with some of the best vintage tones for miles around. These songs are textured like the best of 70’s fashion. No polyester or pleather, just rough-spun denim, heavy cotton and corduroy.

Listen below and find your own copy on Bandcamp.

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Nostalgic Rambling: Hostage Life – “Walking Papers”

I’d been meaning to write this post for a while, ever since seeing a recent news story about the amount of doctor-assisted suicides provided in Canada since they became legal (More than 1300, with cancer being the main cause). It may seem like a weird transition into talking about a band I grew up listening to but it should mostly make sense.

Hostage Life were a Toronto punk band active from 2002 to 2009. They released 3 albums, “Sing for the Enemy”, “Walking Papers” and “Centre of the Universe”. I started listening to them when they were getting radio play for their newest single at the time, “This Song Was Written By A Committee” on what was then Toronto’s new rock station, 102.1 The Edge.

As a kid halfway through high school, my reasons for digging this band were pretty straightforward; they were loud and they sounded cool. I was quick to purchase “Walking Papers” soon after hearing their single and the album has stuck with me until today.

What I didn’t realise at the time was how brutally human “Walking Papers” was and how they were singing songs about dirt-floor, physical issues that tend to be neglected by most punk bands. Such as the song that spawned the opening ramble about assisted suicide, “How to Die With a Smile”.

When I first heard this song at 16 or so, it flew far over my head. Death was barely a concept to me, yet alone the thought of choosing to end your own life due an incurable illness but as I grew older and kept hearing these songs, they all started to make more sense.

Songs like “The Quietest Mutiny” or “Sons of Hostage Life”, about working for people you hate to pay your bills and keep yourself fed. “Inside this shirt and tie, my pride and debt collide” is not something I was hearing from other punk bands at the time. Sure, striving to overthrow capitalist western society may be a noble goal but I still gotta go to work in the morning.

Even a song I have had the good fortune not to experience, “Fuck, I Hope You’re Not Pregnant”, is the kind of scathingly honest music that kept me listening to these guys year after year. It’s an album I never grew out of but only keep growing in to.

You can find the whole album on Youtube, provided by their old label, Underground Operations.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.

Mystery Meat: Ninjaspy – “Spüken”

Ninjaspy is a three-piece hybrid metal band from British Colombia that I was jocking in high school but had kinda faded from my memory in years past. I remember getting hooked on their music from the quick-stepping genre changes, brutal (at the time) grooves and bombastic energy filling every track. However, as my tastes changed and attentions shifted, I found them getting in the rotation less and less.

To a “traditional” listener of heavy music, these guys probably come across as odd or gimmicky. Their style borrows heavily from System of a Down and Dillinger Escape Plan, blending crazy style changes mid-song with deep breakdowns and sometimes random sounds. It’s a big ol’ pot of mystery gumbo, odd looking from afar but more than capable of taking your taste buds on a pleasant, if strange, journey.

This was their sound on the album I discovered, 2007’s “Pi Nature” and is more or less the same kind of sound you’ll find on their newest album, “Spüken”. The tap-dancing genres and nomadic grooves have become both more abstract and more polished at the same time. Stepping back and looking at the different parts of the song individually, you might think that the combination will be distasteful but once you get into the meat of the track, you can’t help but have a smile on your face through the whole song.

Tracks like “Shuriken Dance” and “What!?!?” show the band plowing through some pretty audacious combos that I can’t help but slam dance in my chair to. Purists might cringe but to an average dirt-worshipper such as myself, “Spüken” is a refreshing blast of fun and creativity.

You can find “Spüken” on Bandcamp. Listen below and see what you think.

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Cheap Shots: Lies – “Abuse/Plague”

I’ve had this bookmarked for so long I forgot where I found it. So here’s a quick, dirty dump of some healthy d-beat thrash.

Lies are the band, “Abuse” and “Plague” are the albums. This collection was released in July of 2016 and is split with their newest album, “Plague”, which runs from tracks 8 to 15 and their debut album, “Abuse”, which runs from track 1 to 7. None of these tracks stray past the 2 minute mark, making this a furious but concise listen.

Both are vile fucking circle pits of harsh noise, reptilian d-beats and violent grooves. Short, skinny and mean, a mangy-riddled mongrel with snaggled teeth and antisocial tendencies. Play loud, get fucked.

Lies Facebook

Didn’t Miss a Thing: New Norska Track

With my continued sabbaticals from this blog, I’ve been missing out on plenty of releases from bands I would usually be following pretty closely. Part of this may be due to not having Facebook anymore but part of it is definitely laziness. However, this week I got lucky.

Norska is a killer sludge band from Oregon who I wrote about in 2012. They just released a new track from their upcoming album, “Too Many Winters”, their first since 2012. The track in question is “Samhain” and it takes the sounds that Norska started with and starts to weave them in a new direction.

Their previous outputs had them firmly sloshing through the deeper waters of doom, with long, ominous interludes and barrages of demonic vocals, laced over some truly nasty riffs. It was slow, deliberate and evil.

“Samhain” on the other hand, opens up with a hard charge and clean vocals, before getting down into some neck snapping grooves and underworld bellowing. Then, things get weird. A looping guitar line comes out of the murk and starts running circles inside your head only to get snapped down into some jazzy noodling and then slapped right out again into some almost mathematical territory.

I like this.

There’s a lot going on in this track, from the algebraic noodling and sticky sludge riffs, to almost NWOBHM sounding melodies and clean vocals. This has gotten me real excited to see what the whole album will hold.

“Too Many Winters” will be released on May 26th through Brutal Panda Records.

Trash Pipe: BUMMER – “Freedom Cobra”

BUMMER are nasty 3 piece from Kansas City who I found out about after they signed on to tour with WHORES this spring. They just released a new track, “Freedom Cobra”, following up another track they released in October of last year, “King Shit”.

Both of these are fuckin’ new age rippers with a potent cocktail of sludge, grind, hardcore, punk and knuckle-dragging. The riff on “King Shit” in particular, licks its fingers and jams them deep in your lizard brain, getting that neck loose. It’s abrasive, chest-pounding beer swill that has got me plenty stoked for their trip to Toronto.

Catch their upcoming split with PINKO on April 7th or see them on tour with WHORES in the coming months.

BUMMER Facebook

BUMMER Tour Dates

4/6 Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge *
4/7 Kansas City, MO – Mills Record Company *
4/8 Minneapolis, MN – Hexagon Bar *
4/9 Milwaukee, WI – Quarters *
4/10 Chicago, IL – Burlington *
4/11 Columbia, MO – Cafe Berlin *
4/12 Hot Springs, AR – TBA *
4/13 Denton, TX – Gatsby’s Mansion *
4/14 Austin, TX – Sidewinder *
4/15 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger *
5/12 Atlanta, GA- The Drunken Unicorn ^
5/13 Memphis, TN – Growlers ^
5/14 Louisville, KY – Haymarket ^
5/15 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups ^
5/16 Canton, OH – Buzzbin ^
5/17 Washington DC – DC9 ^
5/18 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie ^
5/19 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus ^
5/21 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk ^
5/22 Montreal, QC – Turbo Haus ^
5/23 Toronto, ON – Coalition ^
5/24 Detroit, MI – Loving Touch ^
5/26 Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club ^
5/28 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room ^
5/29 Denver, CO – Hi Dive ^
5/30 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge ^
6/01 Seattle, WA – The Highline ^
6/02 Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon ^
6/03 Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge ^
6/04 Oakland, CA – Eli’s Mile High Club ^
6/05 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo ^
6/06 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar ^
6/07 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge ^
6/09 Oklahoma City, OK – The Blue Note ^
6/10 Austin, TX – Barracuda ^
6/11 Dallas, TX – Three Links ^

* with P I N K O
^ with Whores. & WRONG