Archive for the Random Riffage Category

Half-assed Show Reports: Seance Sisters, Possum & Wine Lips @ The Bovine

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , , on January 15, 2018 by Ben

This is a feature I always have the intention of writing but never bother with due to hangover/apathy/misdirection. Let’s see if I fix that for 2018…


This past Saturday I dragged myself from my rank, but warm, cave and made the cold trek downtown with the promise of a night of entertainment provided by some the best Toronto bands to call garage their home.

After tracking down my comrade for the night and slugging back a couple early-evening beverages, we stumbled over to the location of the nights noisemaking, The Bovine Sex Club.  Easily one of the best venues in the city for intimate and rowdy shows, it consistently yields me a great time and a motherfucker of a hangover.

Seance Sisters were first to the stage, warming up an already crowded venue with their gnarled fuzz and Sabbithian grooves. Distorted and lurching riffs that smash against sickly-sweet melodies, luring your head into the slow-paced nod of the blissful hesher. It’s a dope combination that scrapes some sludge into the cauldron to thicken up the sauce.

Set change. Beers. Look at stage, “Fuck…is that Bowie?”

It was indeed not Bowie but a convincing doppelganger presented by the front-man of Possum. While I was already predisposed to like a band named after my spirit animal, I was further enamoured as these guys were fucking electric. I swear it wasn’t just the beers talking, these guys played a crazy entertaining set, blasting through their blend lofi psych rock with panache and a hint of a glamour. In short, good fucking pancake.

Last up were the night’s headliners, Wine Lips. My recollection of their set is based more on snippets and gut feeling (plus a phone video), as by this point of the night I had gladly jumped into the bag. Inebriation aside, Wine Lips consistently shred and never fail to impress with their frothing concoction of garage punk. A high-energy shot to the hindbrain provided via jangling riffs and effervescent earworms.

It was a killer night that could have been shoved in the face of all who bemoan that “rock is dead”. A packed venue and sweaty dance floor that made even the crippling hangover seem worthwhile.

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Dad Rock: Mountain – “Mississippi Queen”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on January 12, 2018 by Ben

I searched but it doesn’t look like I’ve ever expressed my deep lusting for this track. Decades of play on radio, in movies and on TV have yet to burnish the shine on that riff.

Loud, ignorant, Mountain rawk.

Opening up their 1970 debut, “Mississippi Queen” became lodged in the musical zeitgeist while the rest of the accompanying tracks from Climbing! were lost to dusty milk-crates and memories. So in an attempt to fix that, enjoy the whole thing below.

Hell Hath Frozen; Happy New Year!

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , on January 1, 2018 by Ben

It’s been fucking cold here. Record-breaking cold, chest-constricting, flesh-rending cold. As a reflection on this shit weather and a tribute to the skeletal winds that tear the warmth from my skin as soon as I open the door, here’s Void by the Swedish demons of Craft.

Enjoy and stay warm.

Yob Rock: Cosmic Psychos – “Fuckwit City”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on December 28, 2017 by Ben

This fucking video man. Legendary.

Random Riffage: Guess Who?

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on December 26, 2017 by Ben

The Guess Who. HA ha ha…

Canadian Zeppelin man.

No shame; “All I Wanna Do”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on December 9, 2017 by Ben

OG slacker anthem right here. Or as one Youtube commenter, Takin Dumps, so succinctly put it, Moms workout jams vol 1.

Random Riffage: SUNFLOWERS – “Castle Spell” – Due 09/02/2018

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , on November 21, 2017 by Ben

Here’s a quick find from tonight’s stumble around the internet.

The band is SUNFLOWERS and the find is question is the first track released from their upcoming album. “Castle Spell” is the title track for this bands newest release scheduled for February 9th of 2018.

Trippy, fuzzed-out garage rock with a psychedelic bent, the track lurches along with stuttering vocals and frothing guitars. Infectious and weird, with lots of funky little touches that make for a real fun listen.

You can give this track a listen below and check back for a full write-up come February.

Grumble, grumble, dammit: Primitive Man, Yautja/Pyrrhon tour & Cormorant

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , on October 17, 2017 by Ben

Here’s a collection of random babble that I’ve been collecting in the bookmarks folder.


Cormorant – “Diaspora”

I had seen this band talked about pretty frequently after their 2011 release, “Dwellings”, but I had never dug their sound. Years have passed and tastes have changed and now I find myself quite enjoying their latest release, “Diaspora”.

A well-crafted combination of black and death metal, bound together with the versatile epoxy of prog. Fancy guitar lines, epic gallops and regal melodies abound. It’s intricate without getting snobby, which is a hard balance to strike.


Primitive Man – “Caustic”

Denver’s power-trio of visceral obliteration released their newest album, “Caustic”, earlier this month. This is their second full length, following up the backwoods horror of 2013’s “Scorn”.

Primitive Man are, in my ears, one of the heaviest and most unnerving bands in the genre today. It’s one thing to be crushingly heavy, it’s another thing entirely to make me not able to listen to an album without the lights on…


Yautja & Pyrrhon Tour

Yautja will be touring with Pyrrhon starting in November. I haven’t spent a lot of time with the music of the latter but Yautja are easily on of my favourite current bands in the sludge/grind/harsh/noise-core genre. See you at Hard Luck on the 11th.

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Disciples of DOOM: Battle Hag & Owlcrusher

Posted in Random Riffage, Riffs with tags , , , , on October 4, 2017 by Ben

Tonight we got us a couple of disciples of the mortuary march, the graveyard grovel, the motherfucking DOOM WORSHIP. Your head bangs slow, eyes watering from the smoke, head reeling from the fumes.


Battle Hag – “Tongue of the Earth”

First up we got Battle Hag hailing from Sacramento, California. These guys were founded in 2012 and released their newest album, “Tongue of the Earth”, in May of this year. Their doom is heavily tainted with the resin of the Hasheeshian temple, with the kind of blacked-out groove that will have your unwashed hair flailing all night long.

Five tracks with just over an hour of run time, each riff is given time to breathe, expanding out like a tsunami of distortion before crashing headlong into the next thundering tremor. Classic hesher shit, raise those beers and bang those heads for $5 on Bandcamp.


Owlcrusher – “Owlcrusher”

Next comes the disgusting power trio of Owlcrusher from Banbridge in the UK. Formed in 2008, their newest was released in July. In contrast to the hasher grooves of Battle Hag, Owlcrusher take the left hand path, puking out a lurching leviathan of guttural guitar tones and tortured screams. Their sound reminds me a lot of Cult of Occult, a band I have always held a crusty spot for.

Nasty, snarling and pulverizing, conjuring images of rivers of puss, satanic vivisections and colossal underground caverns where the flickering lights illuminate the writhing tentacles of the beings from beyond. The deluxe pre-order LP comes bound in human skin but you can get this without the demonic juju for 5 GBP on Bandcamp.

Acid, not meth: Wayfaring Strangers – “Acid Nightmares”

Posted in Random Riffage, Riffs with tags , , on October 2, 2017 by Ben

“…The Menace is loose again, the Hell’s Angels, the hundred-carat headline, running fast and loud on the early morning freeway, low in the saddle, nobody smiles, jamming crazy through traffic and ninety miles an hour down the center stripe, missing by inches…like Genghis Khan on an iron horse, a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter’s leg with no quarter asked and non given; show the squares some class, give em a whiff of those kicks they’ll never know…” –  Hunter S. Thompson

When there’s so many cultural changes through a period of time, like the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, often only the major players will be remembered with thousands of others left by the wayside. However, among those hordes of forgotten might be some of the best material.

That seems to be the driving force behind the record label/archeology company called the Numero Group. Founded in 2003, they have dedicated themselves to releasing compilations of the deepest, darkest B sides to be found among the curated back rooms of record stores the world over. Wayfaring Strangers is their series of compilations dedicated to early folk and rock ‘n’ roll, which just released the subject of today’s praise, “Acid Nightmares”.

An 18 track compilation dedicated to the primordial metal and hard rock that was being gestated during the late 1960’s. The hippie movement was coming down hard and the mellow optimism that characterized the early years of the 60’s was getting trampled underneath the hobnailed boots of the Man. The Flower Children are dead, long live the Flower Children.

This is my quick aside to praise that goddamn masterpiece of pop-psycho art provided by Benjamin Marra. I fuckin’ love it and will be trying to track down the double LP vinyl release more for that jacket than the records.

Honestly, 2017 had been a bit of a slow musical year for me. While there’s been a couple of albums that I’ve been getting into, there hadn’t really been much that broke the door down and passed out on the kitchen floor, until I listened to “Acid Nightmares”. This comp is fucking amazing. If you are any kind of fan of rock n roll; classic, stoner, indie, punk, metal, psych, garage, whatever – you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.

Is every track on this comp a classic? No. It’s loose, raw and a little unhinged. It’s a thousand different bands keeping the operators busy with noise complaints all night long. What some of these bands may have lacked in technical proficiency, they more than made up for with raw enthusiasm and energy.

There isn’t a single track on here that I didn’t enjoy. I’m on my third listen in as many days and haven’t got tired yet. The soulful lament of addiction on “Hooked”, the gnarly tones on “Dark Dawn”, the dankest of riffs on “Grave Digger” or the wacked out psych growls of “Dooms Day”, there is so much good shit here.

It’s up for $10 on Bandcamp. I’m also going to start digging into all the other stuff the Numero Group have put out, as you should too. Get some!