Category Archives: Random Riffage

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

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

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”

“…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!

The Classics: Bad Religion – “How Could Hell Be Any Worse”

Growing up I was never gave the punk rock grandpas Bad Religion much time. I remember their later albums being fairly popular during my high schools days, I even remember when they were a one of the biggest bands on the last Warped Tour to go through Barrie. But for whatever reason, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I found myself going back through their albums and finding that it was their first from 1982 that really hit home with me.

“How Could Hell Be Any Worse” was their debut album and a classic album for punk rock. I don’t know what specifically it is about this album that draws me too it, as Bad Religion are usually know through their later albums after they had fully developed their sound. A lot of the superficial things about this album hit home for me, the speed, rough mix and loose playing are all quick points I can name but aren’t the real reason I hold this album in high esteem.

Sometimes there’s just an album that clicks with you at a certain point time and stays locked in for years after that. For me, “How Could Hell Be Any Worse” is one of those albums and I can see it staying buried in its own section of grey matter for years to come.

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.

 

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.

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.

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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

 

Shitrock Saturdays: The Rare Cuts

I live in a rural area, so the choices of radio station you can get in the car are pretty limited. The two rock stations that come in both use basically the same catalogue of music that never gets updated, so a daily part of your life is hearing the same song 3 times a day.

This makes for an interesting mindset, where songs that most people would consider classics give you a headache and/or crushing apathy. People would look at you funny if you actually told them what you think of Bohemian Rhapsody when it comes on for the fifth fucking time that day.

Don’t even get me started on ACDC during the morning commute.

However, even among the constant repeats of the worst that the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had to offer, there are still some songs that only get played on rare occasions. Songs that you still like and don’t get played enough to beat them into drudgery. You might hear them every couple weeks, or every couple months but each time is a pleasant surprise.

Here are three of those tracks.

Everyone always bitches about how Reservoir Dogs ruined this song for them because they couldn’t separate their ears from their head…bad joke. Anyway, great song drunk, great song sober, great song hungover.

This might get more airtime after Guardians of the Galaxy shot this song back into the mainstream hive-mind but even before then, this was a rare treat on the local shitrock station. You hear the ooga, you reach for the volume.

DOUG AND THE FUCKIN SLUGS. EVERY. DAMN. TIME.

I can’t explain my deep-seated love for the slick sounds of Doug and his Slugs but goddamn, when this comes on the radio once a month, its my jam.

Randoms Recap: Into Orbit, Crystal Fairy and Chetyre Muzhika

I know I’m not gonna find the time to write about all of this music separately, so it’s all getting crammed into one post. Better something than nothing eh?

Into Orbit – New Album; “Unearthing”

Into Orbit are an instrumental post-metal duo from New Zealand, heavy in the vein of Russian Circles. Dark and moody jams, with frothy interludes and some strong grooves. The cold Arctic ocean vibes are strong with this one. Calm and bracing, like a picnic by the lake in February.

Favourite Track: “The Archer”. Red Fang gone post metal jam that caught me totally by surprise.

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Melvins + Mars Volta + Butcherettes = Crystal Fairy

I found out about this from Rolling Stone of all places (I had time to kill at work OK). A new alt-rock supergroup with King Buzzo, Dale Crover, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Teri Gender-Bender coming together to form Crystal Fairy. Don’t love the name but the music is solid from what I’ve listened too so far. Not blowing my brains against the wall like I may have expected it too but still enjoyable all the same. Stream it below and decide for yourself.

Chetyre Muzhika (Четыре Мужика) EP – “Howl (Вой)”

I can’t say or spell the name but hell, Chetyre Muzhika are a badass stoner rock band from Russia and “Howl” is their newest EP, released in October of last year. It was released through the CSBR label, which I’m only mentioning cuz it stands for Crab Stoned But Rocking, which is awesome.

Anyway, these guys put out some rock-solid jams, with punchy guitar-driven grooves and neck straining riffs. All 4 tracks show a slightly different flavour but all of them come together to make it worth going back for seconds.

Favorite Track: “мустанга (Mustang)” This track is weird as hell in the best way possible and also has some of the sickest riffs on the whole album.