Friday, October 12, 2018

Theory Of Ruin - Counter Culture Nosebleed

Label: Escape Artist
Year: 2002

Alex Newport spent the first part of the 1990's plying a thick noise sludge that flirted ever so slightly around the edges of "alternative rock", with his band Fudge Tunnel. You probably heard them at some point or another. Or, at least you should have heard them. Still could if you wanted.
Then, in the middle of the 1990's he hooked up (not in a Biblical sense...I don't think) with Sepultura mainman Max Cavalera to create a metallic, grinding, grooving, hardcore, industrial-adjacent monster with Nailbomb. They had one proper album that is a legit classic of the genre(s), which again, I feel like you've no doubt heard it. Still out there for you to hear in the off chance you were born too late (Saint Vitus ref!).
So after the relative success of Nailbomb Mr. Newport dives headlong into production for the last half of the 1990s, with no real new musical output of his own to speak of. Now this is just my own hypothesis, but, this is also just my own blog at this point, so it's kind of a lawless place where unchecked hypothesis can just go flying around willy-nilly with nary a ramification or consequence. Liberating. But anyway, it's my guess that while producing the underrated S.F. band Totimoshi, Alex Newport gets a jolt of inspiration to strap on his guitar again and rattle off a handful of noise rock inspired rippers. Some of the old Fudge Tunnel grime is still there. Some of the old alternative rock tendencies are still there. And there's a scant whiff of the old Nailbomb "Earache-cum-Alternative Tentacles-cum-Wax Trax" all out assault.
But mostly it's an urgent, beefy, take on the noise rock touchstones you know and love, as filtered through a post hardcore lens. Two great tastes?

Lest I make it sound like a solo act, rest assured the rhythm section of Theory Of Ruin most definitelty holds is down. Ches Smith, who played with The Secret Chiefs 3, John Zorn, Trevor Dunn, Xiu Xiu, and Elliot Sharp (and a million others), is on drums. David Link, who cut his teeth in the weirdly heavy Boston noise rock scene of the early 90's in Claymore, and then went on to play with Slapshot(?!) and Give, is on bass.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Logh - The Contractor and The Assassin

Label: Bad Taste
Year: 2003

Following up on that Mogwai post down there (i'm pointing with my index finger towards the floor [of my house]), here's another European post-rock early Nineties release for you to have on in the background as you prepare your family a hearty and delicious One Pot Vegan White Bean Shakshuka (here's the's delicious, but I would recommend adjusting the spice to taste, i.e. adding more), or decompress from a day at the office and contemplate a crisp glass of the local lager of your choice (just kidding, I meant to say "as you shotgun your third Coors Light of the evening").
Difference between this band and Mogwai is that Logh incorporates more vocals, and does not punctuate their song dynamics with the "big riff". Instead, they opt for a more organically composed slow build that gets to "indie rock speed" and settles in. Sometimes it simmers and takes on a slow shimmering expansive tremolo, but mostly it ebbs and flows in a natural sense.
The first track has a very Retribution Gospel Choir feel to it. If that means anything to you.
Other bands you may or may not hear in the mix are; Aereogramme, Explosions In The Sky, Tortoise, and the aforementioned Mogwai.
One member spent time in heavy duty crushers Cult Of Luna, which is how they originally came across my radar.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive

Label: Rise Above
Year: 2005

Why let some barking dog get in the way of your good (bad) time? Capricorns don't fuck with no damn dogs, and they seem positively optimistic.
Truth be told, Capricorns will, on occasion "fuck with a damn dog" and allow some vocals into the mix, as evidenced on the third track here, which features a top dog, Eugene Robinson(of Oxbow). So, I just wanted you to be aware.
Dogs aside, Capricorns specialize in a real real potent version of instrumental heavy wallop, that works on wave after wave of gross sludgy riff after gross sludgy riff, with a math-y kind of aftertaste, set off by the occasional quiet interlude. I mean, your mom is going to say, "turn off that heavy metal". But you're mom is probably a cunt who couldn't tell the difference between American Heritage and Old Man Gloom (no offense to your mom), so she should respectfully shut the fuck up about what's going on in the sanctity of your bedroom (ever consider moving out though? For real?).

If you want something heavy, that isn't stupid, this is a good one.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Mogwai - Mr. Beast

Label: [PIAS] Recordings
Year: 2006

It's all the Mogwai you want. The slow, epic, swelling builds. The regal, post rock towering riff dynamics. The pastoral longview across time and space. That famous Scottish optimism.
Sorry, I misspelled "dour self-deprecation", my mistake.
The guy from Envy sings on one of the songs. Which, by the way, is anyone else here old enough to remember when Envy was a hardcore band? Hell, how about when they were called Blind Justice? Cause, no joke, I knew them as this kinda straight edge hardcore band, and I didn't realize they had morphed into some sort of post rock something or other, but by the time they did I had checked out on Envy (super open minded guy that I am), and missed that whole thing. I would go back now and look into it...but...pretty sure there's an episode of COPS on television that I've only seen 8 times.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Full Color Dream - What Do I Owe You

Label: self released
Year: 2018

Second quick hit of the evening.
This band is a three piece from Oklahoma, but beyond that, I have no clue who or what or when or why.
Four songs here that draw from post hardcore, shoegaze, and fuzzy indie rock. Three great tastes that go great together.
I do not believe the title of this ep is a question.
I'm giving it two thumbs up.
My own thumbs, mind you.


Sunstroke - Second Floor

Label: self released
Year: 2018

Look, I'm sorry that I've been gone the last couple of weeks but I "had a headache" when it comes to blogging. Or maybe it was my time of the month?
I don't really know, and let's be honest with each other, I don't really know that you care.

Alas though. Here I be.
And here be a couple quick hitters to ease back into it.

First up today, a three song promo from this Philadelphia band to herald the impending release of their next full length. To wet the proverbial whistle. As it were. As you are.
Now, the moisture level of, whistle, in this instance will be relative to your appreciation of Rites Of Spring styled post hardcore propulsive melodies, as funneled through a Verbal Assault-cum- Swiz bit of muscle. It's very distinctly got a 1987 D.C. edge (pun not intended), but maintains a vital contemporary energy that keeps this out of the "historical reenactment| trip.

Count this whistle as one of the wetter ones you'll encounter on this day. I'm ready!


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hawks - Hawks

Label: Rejuvenation
Year: 2014

Limited to 250, on vinyl, issued by a French label, so...blink and you missed it.
Supposedly recorded live in the practice space, but you'd be hard pressed to think that while listening to this pristinely captured, furiously performed collection of eye bulging, guttural, fuck offs. Sounds as good as any studio session. Or at least, way better than any band practice I've ever been to.
Some of the songs on this record had shown up (in different versions) on other releases, and some were not released in any other form. Which is neat. The track 'Service Merch' (which I don't think shows up on any other record) is worth the price alone. Fucking lethal.
Hawks were so goddamn good. A truly amazing band. For serious.


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Boris - Pink

Label: Diwphalanx
Year: 2005

Boris, as you well know, have one of the more impenetrable discographies of the last couple decades, and frankly, one of the most frustratingly inconsistent. Or maybe "inconsistent" isn't the right term, maybe it's more "inconsistently enjoyable". Like, when they're good, they're great. But when they're bad, they're unbearable.
Remind you of the Melvins much? At least Boris code their releases with capitalization as a type of, "hey, if you're not into the droning noise, you can skip this one".
On 'Pink' they seemed to combine most of their sonic facets into one album that makes a statement on expectation and connectivity. I think. It's mostly heavy, which is good. It's accessible, which is good for the band I suppose. After this record they were embraced by non-metal types. Which, isn't a bad thing, "non-metal types" is not a shot, I more mean the kind of music nerds who would have scoffed, no doubt, at the split 7" with Tomsk-7 in 1997, but now pretend they "get it". They don't, but who cares. Fuck nerds anyway.
'Pink' has all the Boris mileposts on one long highway.
The waves of warm heavy distortion.
The freak-out acid rock boogie.
The lurching stoner sludge.
The fuzzed out hardcore slashers.
And the tongue-in-cheek supercharged rock tropes as run through a mountain of Orange amps.

So, if Jesu, Acid Mothers Temple, Melvins, Mogwai, or Flower Travelin' Band are in your wheelhouse, and you took a pass on one of the 6 or so versions of this particular Boris release...go for it. It's worth the investment.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Today Is The Day - Supernova

Label: Amphetmine Reptile
Year: 1992

Is there a more laser focused, single-minded practitioner of self-loathing-cum-cathartic-noise-rock than Steve Austin?
(trick question: the answer is "no")
Is there a band more combative and abrasive as Today Is The Day...that you actually love to listen to?
(trick question again: the answer is "no")
Is there a more distinctive aura of general "creepy bad trip" exuded by any other band the way Today Is The Day do it?
(no shit it's a trick question: the answer is "no")
Is there a trail of better rhtyhm sections ever left across this land than those who cycled through Today Is The Day?
(surprise, another tricky question: the answer is "no")

Look, we (me) have made the arguement many times on this very ridicuous blog that Today Is The Day is the band who took noise rock's stilted time signatures and low end rumble out of the sarcastic college town bars and gave it a shot of metallic skree and then self immolated the whole thing on a pyre of paranoia, doubt, and walleyed hatred. It wasn't "funny" anymore. All the dudes with MC5 tshirts on at the show got a quick dose of blast furnace guitar scrapings and bile-flecked spittle as the tightest goddamn musical unit in the free world went about grinding them into the gears of the Today Is The Day Fuck You Machine. Wipe the smile off your face. Liberation through nihilism. Today very well is the day.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Blacklisters - BLKLSTRS

Label: Brew
Year: 2012

If the demise of Hawks left a Jesus Lizard shaped hole in your heart, then maybe Blacklisters can help pull you back together again? And let's not quibble about how this record came out five years before Hawks pulled their own plug, or chronologies in general. Y'all motherfuckers know I cannot bothered by such constructs like "journalistic accuracy", or "telling the truth", or whatever square shit you seem to expect from a free blog helmed by an overweight old man. Can't abide.
The point was, just as Hawks gave the noise rock genre of kick in the proverbial pants by chewing up and spitting out the rulebook, Blacklisters follow a similar gameplan; synthesize twenty years of skuzz damage into a vitriolic maelstrom of familiar-yet-exhilirating full frontal attack.
Seems easy enough. But then...why didn't you do it? Or me? (why didn't you "do" me, is what I mean).
This is the band's first full length, and I'm here to report that it is essential listening from this point until the point at which you listen to their second full length. Or one of the eps or splits they've done. You choose.
I'll be over here trying to come to grips with numerical order and shit.


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