A Vulgar Display: Power Trip & Mammoth Grinder

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2018 by Ben

Bask in the glory of a textbook metal album cover. Not only do we have goat-headed demon gods, the cosmic spectre of death, tortured souls and mysterious hooded figures, we also get some sickly looking galaxies and a subterranean antechamber. This is some goddamn van mural territory and I love it.

The throwback renaissance that started with plain rock and roll has been slowly leeching its way down through the genre’s, boiling up a vulgar banquet of historical aggression and hero worship. Here’s two.

Power Trip – Nightmare Logic

Crossover thrash is a hooligan genre, taking the best from both basements and blowing the brims back. Having spent many years in love with Tempo Of The Damned and Age of QuarrelPower Trip is like a blast of nostalgic whiplash, bringing me right back to teenaged years spent headbanging with a broken iPod.

Nightmare Logic is their second album after 2013’s Manifest Decimation and continues the brawny trend of clubbing together the shaved heads and greasy locks, a bloodshot monster of guitar worship and forehead bruising enthusiasm.

Mammoth Grinder – Cosmic Crypt

Conveniently, Mammoth Grinder makes a great pairing even without the aesthetic similarities, as the drummer of Power Trip fills up the front of Mammoth Grinder (along with members from Iron Reagan). Apparently this same guy, Chris Ulsh, is also in Impalersso yeah, he seems rad.

Cosmic Crypt is badass slab of classic death metal worship carried out by a bunch of shitty punks. Short, to-the-point, propulsive rippers, no air is spared for artistic indulgence or mindless wankery, with all 11 tracks sliding in just under the 30 minute mark. Just mid-tempo charge, charge, FUCKING CHARGE.


Led Fellatio

Posted in News and Information with tags , , , on February 27, 2018 by Ben


I’ve made it quite a few years on this blog without posting up a diatribe but goddammit, my jimmies are rustled and the hounds are out for blood. PUCKER UP SHITHEADS.

This whole spew was kicked off earlier tonight when one of the DJ’s on the local rock station told me that Elton John had commissioned the band Greta Van Fleet to play at his Oscars after party, going to on to say that the band was “..the best rock and roll I’ve heard in twenty fucking years!”. I know that I shouldn’t be getting riled up by what a fucking geriatric peacock has to say but this colourful feather was the one that broke my back.

I have been listening to every goddamn rock radio station around giving slobbery praise to Greta for months on end. A day doesn’t go by that some fucking DJ doesn’t jerk them off, praising the “saviours of rock” or some other trite horseshit. (At this point I should probably digress and mention that Greta may be catching a periphery of the hate I have for modern rock radio but fuck, if it was rational, it wouldn’t be rant) So hearing about mister Crocodile Rock going off with the “best rock in twenty years” spiel really didn’t do good things to my psyche.

Greta Van Fleet piss me off for the simple reason that they sound like Led Zeppelin. Not sound like as in remind, sound like as in the first time I heard them on the radio I legit thought it was a recently discovered Zeppelin b-side. They are a blatant fucking ape of Zeppelin, the vocals, tones, riffs, everything. Which would be fine, if that single fact alone wasn’t what propelled them to mainstream adoration and fame. These guys hit the big time because they sound like Zeppelin. That’s fucking all. Thousands of better bands have been giving their time, dedication and energy to the genre and get blown out of the water by a glorified cover band that appeal to the base instincts of the pop culture hive mind and those fucking boomers.

I’m not trying to say that all bands need to progress the genre, hell I love me some throwback rock just as much as the next heathen. The vast majority of throwback bands get to pick and choose their favourite tidbits from rock history and smash them together into a new but familiar medley. A good throwback band sounds like a time period, not like a stadium cover. Take an easy example like The Sheepdogs, a fine band, solid, derivative throwbacks that can’t be staked down to a single point of origin like Greta can.

Led Zeppelin are a legendary band with massive influence. Key word, fucking influence. Take their shit and learn from it. Bonham’s dead. Move on.

Rambling Word Vomit, Take 2: Annihilation

Posted in Awesome Things with tags , on February 26, 2018 by Ben

Image result for annihilation

So were my initial concerns justified? Was the recently released Annihilation a complete and utter clusterfuck of good intentions and a horrible interpretation of the Southern Reach triology? In a pleasant turn of events, it was none of those things. I’m not going to get into a long dissertation of the film and its merits, there’s plenty of those out already by people much more well versed in cinema than me. Such as A.A. Dowd of The AV Club. This will be just a personal spew, no technicalities included.

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AW FUCK YEAH: Barn Burner @ Pouzza 8

Posted in Awesome Things, News and Information with tags , on February 22, 2018 by Ben


It’s been 5 long years since the perennial Church favourites, Barn Burner, called it quits, but now, in the long tradition of glory boy reunion shows, you can catch them live once more at Pouzza Fest 8, May 18 to 20th, Montreal QC.

Along with plenty of other bands listed below.

Fuck yeah.

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Blurry Eyes: Cedell Davis – The Horror of It All

Posted in Riffs with tags , on February 21, 2018 by Ben

All albums I listen to always take some time to “click”. For most it’s usually an extremely brief period, completed within the first track of an album. On occasion it may take three or four listens to fully sink in. Even rarer still, there are some albums that will take months before truly setting in. In the case of “The Horror of It All” it took damn near half a year before the right collection of events fell into place.

I woke up on a Sunday morning feeling out of place. My throat pulsed with agony every time I swallowed, my eyes were blurry, breathing erratic and thoughts muddled. However, I wasn’t so far gone that I could write the day off and hide in my filthy blankets until I levelled out, so into the tepid grey air I went. I wandered around aimlessly for a couple hours, skipping through songs until by a random impulse I put this album on.

All the previous times I had listened to this I never really fell in love. Something was always disconnected from the jagged guitar and laconic drawl, but on this day, with my head spinning and body in some form of turmoil, it drove right in and staked a butter knife through my heart.

Cedell Davis is a bluesman from the old guard who died last year. Born in 1926, this man had seen some shit over his 91 years on this rock. Aside from growing up in a depression and living through a world war, he was also struck with polio at a young age, loosing most control over his left hand and ragged remains in the rest of his body. Having just started learning guitar, he was committed to continuing and developed a style of slide playing using a butter knife clutched in his hand. Then, even after developing his musical career and garnering some success, he had both legs broken in a stampede cause by a police raid of a gig, resulting in his confinement to a wheelchair from 1957 onward.

The blues have always had some harsh stories in the background but damn man, that is a pretty shit run. These aren’t just such ‘n’ such blues, it’s a goddamn punishing crawl through life that gave his music an extremely distinct warp. As you also might have guessed, the butter-knife slide guitar style is scathingly unique due to the unequal pressure the handle of the knife puts on the strings. This gives his playing a very challenging and dissonant vibe, splintered and off-balance chords that reflect a man’s broken body but unbroken will.

This fragmented dissonance was one of the major reason this album took so long to take hold. These riffs are fucking bent man. It’s not like this is just out of tune wanking, more like everything is tuned to an alien ear and you need to adjust your thinking to suit. He has a complete mastery over his instrument yeah, but mastery more in the sense of tortuous domination than mutual technicality. Further driving the point home is the minimalist instrumentation present on very few of the tracks, at the most there’s a ragged kick drum getting stomped into the background but precious little else.

As someone who had only heard blues from the mainstream standards, this album was a revelation, an introduction to an underappreciated legend that fought through setbacks that would maim lesser men. Even if you listen to this album now and hate it, curse it as so much noise, I urge you to give it several chances, because when it hits just right, it hits deep.

When You’re Hot: The Best of Jerry Reed

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on February 20, 2018 by Ben

I’ve always had a deep-seated love for Jerry Reed’s composition in the true American classic, Smokey and The Bandit, but had never given time to any of his other works. With that in the back of my mind, I found a used copy of his 1972 greatest hits release, The Best of Jerry Reed, following me home this weekend.

Most of the hits spread across this album are a pleasing crossover of country, funk, roots and plain rock ‘n’ roll. From more serious ballads like “Georgia On My Mind” or “A Thing Called Love” to the rootin’ tootin’ bangers like “Amos Moses” or “Guitar Man”, each plays with several different styles all wrangled together with that sultry Georgia twang. It also serves as a showcase for some of peak-Jerry guitar picking, cramping up inexperienced hands into “The Claw”.

For $5, I ain’t got no regrets.


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The Abyss Gazes Also: Thantifaxath & Primitive Man

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , on February 20, 2018 by Ben


Escapism has long been a part of our society, from the first time an imagination was flexed to move someone beyond their own, miserable, circumstances. As time went on and the methods advanced from the written word, to film, to music and to the digital salve used today to lubricate atrophied imaginations, so did the degree of horrors that these pleasures of the mind were fighting against.

Heavy music has traditionally lent a hand to the darker side of our psyche, frolicking in the corpses and taboos of the masses. It does not give a clear escape from whatever ails you, the degrees of escape may vary depending on genre or topic. However, there are some bands that fail to offer even a fleeting respite, apex predators in the field of drooling terror and existential nihilism. These bands turn to face the encroaching tides of the abyss with open arms and toothy grins.

Last year saw the release of new albums from two of these bands; Primitive Man released Caustic in October and Thantifaxath with Void Masquerading as Matter in November. These two bands take very different routes to their end but tread the same thematic waters along the way. Taken together the effect is quite fetching, alternating between blast of schizophrenic adrenaline and lethargic mass destruction, both bellowing the truth in their roles as screeching prophets of bloodthirsty clarity.

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