Swedish Psychotics: The Hives with Lex Hives

Posted in Riffs with tags , on December 20, 2012 by Ben

Helllloooo Nurse!

Tonight I’ve got the better late then never review of The Hives fifth studio album, “Lex Hives”. This is their first release in five years, since 2007’s, “The Black and White Album” and is a slightly different animal this time around.

I should start by saying I have always had an unabashed love for The Hives. Their first three albums were absolute bombshells of psychotic garage punk riffage, howling vocals and enough groove to make even the squarest ass shake. Combined with an eclectic sense of style brought forward by matching suits and off-kilter movements, they have always been a source of killer rock ‘n’ roll.

The reason I didn’t initially notice this albums release is also one of it’s defining features. This is the first Hives album to released independently through their own label, Disque Hives. While this album hasn’t hit any mainstream radio stations that I know of, that also means I wasn’t beat over the head with the new single (I’m looking at you “Tick, Tick, Boom”).

Another factor in this album is the fact is was recorded over essentially five years and recorded and engineered at a plethora of different places. This makes some of the songs feel out of place, which is a change of pace from the usually rock solid and straightforward albums of the past. This album also shows the band starting to try out different sounds, again stepping out from their traditional three-piece suit and frenetic guitar lines.

The majority of the tracks show much stronger pop influences, from the saxophones on “Go Right Ahead” to the slower groove on “Wait a Minute”. It’s showing a little bit of musical muscle stretching, which is to be expected, especially when the artist has stuck by the same style for so long. Some tracks even flirt with a White Stripes style blues flavor, like the ear-crunching riffs on “I Want More” or the organ and handclaps on “Without the Money”.

While some of these new tracks are unremarkable, there are still several bangers to be found over the 12 song album. “Come On!” opens the album up with the classic sound I’ve grown accustomed to, “Take Back the Toys” has one killer groove going and the closer, “Midnight Shifter” uses everything from slide guitar to saxophones in its pursuit of good times.

The crux of the thing I’ve been babbling towards is that this is a transition album. It shows a band that’s starting to think about growing up after the 10+ years of pedal-through-the-skull tempos and simple riffing. Right now I’m about 50/50 on this album, there’s enough good tracks to have made the purchase worthwhile but I don’t think it’s going to come near replacing “Tyrannosaurus Hives”.

“Lex Hives” is availble through all the major outlets and junk. Video’s for “Go Right Ahead” and “Wait a Minute” lie below.

The Hives Facebook

 

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HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE: New Jams from The Bronx and Kvelertak Album Details

Posted in News and Information with tags , , on December 18, 2012 by Ben

FUCK YEAH GIRLIES. FUCK. YEAH.

Not only am I finished my exams and preparing to get heavily inebriated, I also found out about a new track from The Bronx and the track listing from the upcoming Kvelertak album. I am giddy with excitement, giddy I tell you!

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I love The Bronx. The first time I ever heard or saw them was at a Warped Tour several years ago. I was absolutely fucking floored by the sheer energy they performed with, even though they were only playing to a small crowd. After that I quickly started devouring their three self-titled albums and have had them in pretty much constant rotation since.

However, after 2008’s album, they decided to go an entirely different route with their music and proceeded to pump out two records of mariachi music under the alias Mariachi El Bronx. While I’m not the biggest fan of this type of music, I have a massive amount of respect for a band willing to say, “Fuck it. We want to make mariachi music and that’s what we’re going to fucking do.”, especially considering the jump they’re making between genres.

Now The Bronx have finally jumped back to street they started on, making piss ‘n’ vinegar punk rock. The new album, “IV” is slated for release in February of next year and the first single, “Ribcage” has been released to pleasure your earholes.

The Bronx have always had a slightly eclectic sound, they were playing punk rock first and foremost but they weren’t afraid to go a bit farther. “Ribcage” showcases a more melodic tone, with a comfortable familiar sound. This smoother sound might have something to do with the two albums of mariachi but either way it’s still The Bronx and the track still shreds.

Listen:

The Bronx Facebook

The Bronx Website

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If news of a new Bronx album had me shivering with excitement, a track list and release date for the new Kvelertak album has be quaking at the knees with excitement. Their 2010 debut is still one of my top albums, with near constant rotation on my iPod. It was the perfect combination of scathing black metal and sweet, sweet rock ‘n’ roll grooves. Seriously good shit.

Today they not only gave us the name (“Meir” = More in Norwegian) and the release date (March 2013), they also gave us the track listing with a brief description of each.

KVELERTAK – MEIR (Out March 2013, date TBC)

ÅPENBARING
A feather clad man breaks into your skull. He has such sights to show you!

SPRING FRA LIVET
When the walls of life are closing in, you best run for the hills!

TREPAN
Trepanning is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled into the human skull, releasing evil spirits.

BRUANE BRENN
Burn the bridges, kill the jailer, live life on the run!

EVIG VANDRAR
An unholy pact has doomed this man to walk the earth until the end of time.

SNILEPISK
This dark tyrants whip is made of hair and flesh. He will leave scars across the land.

MÅNELYST
In the cold light of the moon you become possessed by evil.

NEKROKOSMOS
A green meteor of iron strikes the graveyard. An intergalactic traveller won’t leave until everything around him is dead.

UNDERTRO
Nothing matters. We’re not even a grain of sand in Cosmos.

TORDENBRAK
There is a storm coming. All you can do is pray!

KVELERTAK
Like the Asgardsreia we will have all the mortals in our way join our cavalcade.

Guh. So excited. Need to change my pants. I’ll be back later with a review from the newest album from The Hives!

The Unholy Ministry of Sleaze: Battle Pope vs. Jesus Christ Posse

Posted in Riffs with tags , , on December 16, 2012 by Ben

Helllloooo there! Done all of my hard exams, just one more to go and then I can finally go home. In celebration of the unofficial start of my break I’ve got the new split from two of the spiritual leaders in sleaze, Battle Pope and Jesus Christ Posse. I discovered this music thanks to the “Devil’s Kitchen” sampler from Art As Catharsis (Find that here).

The album is set up as a battle between the hell-making heathens in Battle Pope and the pure and righteous Christian hardcore summoned forth by Jesus Christ Posse. One side is tempting you with booze, weed, hookers, pizza and hookers covered in pizza, while the other is holding the threat of a vicious gang beating from the chosen one’s posse over your head. It’s a clever concept and is a great way to tie the entire split together, making it into a battle of the bands for your soul.

In one corner we’ve got the sprayers of hell-fire, the sexual whiskey-lickers, Battle Pope. If you were going to attempt to describe their style of musical malady it would never include the words subtle, classy or appropriate. Instead you might find yourself describing them as a satanic cock-slap of rock ‘n’ roll proportions, with eyes as red as the Devil’s dick, fingernails crusty with human remains, fecal matter and semen.

These are schizophrenia-noise-party-sleaze-riffs pulling a stagecoach built of empty mickeys and used condoms with a six-headed, four-legged and quadrupled-cocked monster at the helm. Title’s like “Dwarven Porn Trader Blues”, “Hymn of the Fallen Hymen” or “Slingin’ dicks and Smokin’ Spliffs” would just be scratching the surface of their musical curveball.

The music ricochets around the room in a drunken haze, bouncing between hardcore, southern rock, garage punk, noise rock and sludge. It dances with all of them, leaving sticky stains and a faint smell of burning electronics on their clothes. It’s an ADHD child that got into mommies PCP and makeup at the same time, producing the kind of monster only spoken of in hushed tones and behind closed doors.

Jesus Christ Posse provide the opposition to the rampant train of evil with their own breed of holy-spirit-scorched hardcore. These toga toting disciples started the day by breaking bread with christ and they’re going to finish the day by breaking your skull with christ too. If you were to imagine all of the disciples shaving their heads, getting knuckle tattoos and learning punk riffs, you’d be about halfway there.

It’s good old fashioned street-punk style shit, all charging rhythms and gang shouts that make you want to punch a hole through a heathen’s face. This is the kind of worship that leaves scorched earth, broken bones and shattered eardrums in it’s wake. If the power of christ doesn’t compel you then these guys hammering on your torso with a cross made of razor wire sure will.

Songs are short, brutal and fun as twangin’ a harp with angels in the promised land. They provided the fuel to the type of worship that involves a low stage, a dirt floor and a never ending circle pit. Chugging holy water and pounding wafers like a man possessed, this is hammer-thrash party time for JESUS MAN!

At the end of the 19 tracks you’ll have to make a choice. Did your soul get swayed to the eternal sleaze and depravity of Battle Pope? Or did the righteous hellfire of Jesus Christ Posse scare you straight? Pick a side and join the almighty war, you dirt worshiping heathen.

You can get this almighty clash of religions for a name-your-price option on Bandcamp, but you had better throw a couple bucks their way to avoid the inevitable visit from the Posse, a couple jugs of hot tar and a whole lotta feathers. Get some!

Art As Catharsis Facebook

Battle Pope vs. Jesus Christ Posse Bandcamp

Battle Pope Facebook

Battle Pope Bandcamp

Jesus Christ Posse Facebook

Jesus Christ Posse Bandcamp

 

Art As Catharsis fry up some riffs in The Devil’s Kitchen

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by Ben

Next time your trying to pick up a lady why not try offering her an Australian kiss? It’s like a French kiss, just down under.

HA

Sexual innuendo and bad puns aside, tonight I’ve got a new compilation from the reliably awesome Art As Catharsis. I talked about their previous comp, “Drone from the Underside of the Earth” here, here and here, as I struggled to wrap my brain around the amount of awesome pouring out of this previously unknown resource. While the previous compilation had been focused on psychedelic, noise and sludge, “The Devil’s Kitchen” is sticking to rough cut and greasy, with 19 tracks of “stoner-punk-death-boogie-sex-rock”. Sounds good to me.

It should be noted that this compilation is in support of the three-pronged showcase taking place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane starting January 5th, 2013 (Event link is at the bottom for those lucky enough to go). Instead of trekking through this monster on a track-by-track basis like last time, I’m just going to highlight a couple of the rip-roarin’est tracks outta the bunch.

Chainsaw Hookers opens things up with a shot of ether and a kick in the ass in the form of “My Revenge”. Straightforward punk ‘n’ roll riffs careen their way through your ears, backed up by a full complement of off-the-cuff guitar solos, gang shouts and general shit-kickery. This isn’t complicated music, it’s the kind of music that lends itself to speakers cranked past capacity and plaster shaking off the ceiling.

With the tone firmly placed in the “fuck-shit-up” direction, the rest of the tracks step into line like the Dirty Dozen plus seven. Mammoth Mammoth were one of the few bands I recognized, thanks to a piece from NCS (found here). The same video being showcased there is their track on the compilation. “Go” is a solid chunk of red-meat stoner rock, garnished with fuzz and fried in a couple decades worth of throwback grease. More please.

The gale-force winds of napalm and broken glass on “Shit on the Liver” from King Parrot threw me for a bit of loop, as it’s 2 minutes of hardcore verging on grindcore insanity, with crusty mosh riffs and a horns up, heads down approach.

Battle Pope claw themselves some sleazy breathing room with “Rapture Cominatchya” from their split with Jesus Christ Posse (Coming later). It’s a rather eclectic mix of sex-fueled sleaze rock, garage punk and cheap drugs, an end result that ends up sounding like some perverted Rolling Stones from another dimension. The harmonica and off-balance drum work is a sweet touch, aided by some extra psychotic vocals.

“Tomahawk” by Winterun is another sweet track, with some heavy southern riffs and biker vocals that speak of some Alabama Thunderpussy influences. It’s a solid groove to accompany the last of your beer, smashing things with a hammer or driving your Harley through a quiet, suburban shopping mall. Good family fun all around.

Last track I’m going to highlight is “She Burns” from Wicked City. Snatches of Brit-pop rock influences flirt with more modern rock and roll riffs and both are paired up with a frantic sense of energy. The track’s four minutes long, which is getting up there, but your never left bored as they thrown in plenty of clever drum and guitar work in to keep the listen interesting.

Keep in mind that while I highlighted only 6 tracks, there are still 13 other bangers for you to drag out and play with. Something you should have no problem doing considering the compilation is up for a name-your-price option on Bandcamp.

Don’t be a scrooge and pay what you can. Put money back into artists you like so they can keep making music you like.

Links below. Enjoy!

Art As Catharsis Facebook

Devil’s Kitchen Bandcamp

Devil’s Kitchen Facebook Event

 

Freshly Squeezed: Low Volts with Oh My Stars

Posted in Riffs with tags on December 11, 2012 by Ben

Hello everybody. I’ve finally found myself a bit of breathing room, as my next exam isn’t until Friday. This means I can finally get to some fresh new jams from So-Cal’s Low Volts.

The new album is “Oh My Stars”, the follow up to the 2011 debut, “Twist Shake Grind Break” which I talked about right here. This one-man band’s debut was a sticky-sweet combination of crunchy blues guitar and the steady boom a single kick-drum. It was a raw and simplistic sound that was just the right kind of dark and dingy.

“Oh My Stars” sees some new changes to this formula and showcases a stylistic shift from the darker blues tones of the first album to some much more apparent rockabilly influences. Perhaps one of the major changes that is immediately noticeable is the addition of extra percussion elements. While “TSGB” pretty much exclusively used a single kick-drum with additional rattle or clanks, “Oh My Stars” uses everything from analog drum machines to chains and jerry cans.

The programmed drums are the most noticeable addition, apparent right from the get-go with “Shake in the Knees”. For the most part these drums work well, providing a nice contrast to the guitar. However some other tracks like “Can’t Deny” seem at odds with the new percussion, creating a sound that just isn’t quite cohesive. This is only a very small portion of the tracks though, as the majority of the album showcases the peanut-butter and jam sound from the first album.

Stylistically the album has toned down some of the garage blues from “TSGB”, with songs that seem more linear, with a friendlier guitar tone and lighter atmosphere. The riffs and licks seem a bit simpler, with more energetic songs that would lend themselves quite nicely to a rockabilly setting. It wouldn’t be too much of  a stretch to hear these songs played with a stand-up bass or washboard in the background.

Basically what I’m trying to get at is that the new songs seem like they would reap the benefit of having a full band. Something like “Knocked Me Over” or “Crippled Cat” are two prime examples that would be killer with some extra instruments. There are still plenty of tracks that are dominated by that delicious slide guitar and could not be served up any other way, like “Bloody Knuckles and a Hickey” or “Our Joyous Doom” (My favorite track).

So at the end of the day I see this album as somewhat of transition between two sounds. On one hand there is the crunchy blues drawl perfected on the first album, on the other hand there’s some new, more energetic veins of rockabilly crawling out from the murky swamp. I personally prefer the sound from the first album but I would expect just as much or more love for the new tracks.

“Oh My Stars” was just released today and is currently available for download from CD Baby and Amazon. It will also be up on iTunes and Bandcamp later in the week (I’ll update this post with the Bandcamp player once it’s up). Give it a listen and see what you think!

Low Volts Facebook

Low Volts Bandcamp

Apologies, Random Music, Australian Zombies and Mind Bending Magic

Posted in News and Information with tags , , , on December 9, 2012 by Ben

Hello all.

Sorry for the absence, the last little while has been pretty blurry. A collection of deadlines morphed into studying for exams which morphed into back to back exams. One of which I tanked and the other I’m not so sure about. The good news is that they were the hard ones so I actually have some time to collect my thoughts now.

So I’ve got three very different things to show you tonight, one is music, one is film and one is downright amazing.

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Rich Man cover art

First up is a new single from the Brutal Jooks, the blues rock/roots group who’s debut album “Believer” was on the Church here last winter. The new single is “Rich Man” and was released during September of this year. Followers of the show “Sons of Anarchy” may have noticed this track making an appearance during the season finale last Tuesday.

Aside from the excellent success this band has managed to reach in a fairly short time, “Rich Man” is also a bombastic little bundle of joy, with an organic rhythm driven along by scratchy desert guitars and bare-bones percussion work. It’s a tasty little track that shows a solid progression from the blues rock sound the band laid down with “Believer”. You can listen below and get it through either Bandcamp or iTunes.

Brutal Jooks Facebook

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I know zombies have been getting played out, I know you’re tired of everyone and their neighbors brother either making a zombie movie or zombie stitched tea cozy. But still. You should give the trailer for “Wyrmwood” a chance. A %100 Australian endevour, (We know how awesome Australia can be. See herehere and here for proof.), it promises to be a combination of equal parts Mad Max and Walking Dead.

I am slightly biased though, as Mad Max is one of my favorite collections and probably my favorite post-apocalyptic movies. Aside from all the zany automotive/zombie action that could be had with a Mad Max/zombie hybrid, “Wyrmwood” also has a killer idea up it’s sleeve, one you’ll get to see at the end of the trailer. Watch below.

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Finally I’ve got a video that some of you might have already seen, as it’s been making pretty solid rounds of the interweb recently. The video is a magic routine by French magician Yann Frisch. He combines sleight of hand trickery with some incredible dexterity and amusing facial expressions. All of this is executed flawlessly and will leave you with a flapping jaw as your feeble primate brain tries to comprehend what in the hell just happened.

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That’s all for now, I’ll be back later on in the week though, with some new music from Low Volts!

Late Video Fees: Turbonegro and The Shrine

Posted in News and Information with tags , on November 26, 2012 by Ben

Good afternoon ladies and gents, time to catch up on some of them moving pictures that were released in the last couple weeks.

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First up is the newest video from Turbonegro in support of their newest album, “Sexual Harassment”. I talked about the previous video for “You Give Me Worms” here and talked about the album and new lineup right here.

The newest video is for one of my favorite tracks from the album, “I Got a Knife”. This was one of the tracks that played well with the new vocals courtesy of Tony Sylvester. The video matches this rough and tumble punk anthem with assorted bar shots featuring lots of denim, ladies, tattoos and knives. Also if someone wants to pay for me to get a belly tattoo, let me know.

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Neeeext is the new video from the California thrashers, The Shrine. This video is in support of their “new” album, “Primitive Blast”. The reason I’m using quotations is because the album is the same as their demo which I mentioned here, except re-released with their new label.

Anyway, the video is for “Whistlings of Death”, a window-rattling, booze stained and extra sloppy rock ‘n’ roll whirlwind. The accompanying video shows off some skating, live shows and general hoonery. The entire thing is drenched in a thick coating of visual fuzz thanks to being shot on actual film instead of this new-fangled digital wizardry. The end result is a perfect set of retro vibes matched to the music.

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That’s all for now. Chances are there won’t be too much coming out until after this Thursday, as I’ve got about 5 different converging deadlines. Who needs sleep anyway?