Monday, March 13, 2017

V/A - From Twisted Minds Come

Label: Noiseville
Year: 1990

Label sampler that featured exclusive tracks (to my knowledge...which is always suspect, and only correct 30-40% of the time). Outsider music for those on the outside of pretty much anything that anybody else likes.

Action Swingers - blown out to the max rock damage (featuring an impressive cast of "ex-members, as well as being notoriously litigious about their music being posted on low rent music blogs [we shall see how long this one lasts])
Unholy Swill - you wanted to hear an SST sludge version of Ice T's "Colors", right? (featuring ex-Breakdown, Killing Time, Raw Deal's Rich McLoughlin, and label boss Jim Gibson [who was one half of Blackout Records when they put out NYHC Where The Wild Things Are compilation])
Bench - very 90's trudging ugly grunge thud.
Bootbeast - probably a "had to have been there" kinda band. Sort of a alternative metal thing that doesn't usually bode well. (featuring Mike Doskocil of Drunks With Guns, Bullets For Pussy)
Surgery - a live, warped, drenched in feedback, version of "Knockin On Heavens Door". Why not?
Bullets For Pussy - find a riff and drive that fucker straight for up the gut. (featuring the aforementioned Mike Doskocil, as well as Malcolm Bliss, also of Drunks With Guns)
Pocket Fishrmen (sic) - texas weird, you know? Catchy, but ultimately fucked up.
ST-37 - continuing the texan freakout train, this one rattles down the tracks in a psychedelic haze of punk punch that never settles in.
Coz The Shroom - tense and jittery punk, also originating from the sunburned bar-b-que badlands of Texas.(Lisa Suckdog collaborator, and self proclaimed "first punk in Alamo").
Jarmed Enecy - your basic "freeform poetry over bleep-blorp nerd-noise"...I mean, you've heard this a million times I'm certain. Plus, added bonus, the ole lock groove trick at the end to prolong the...pleasure?


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Desert Sessions - Volume Five - Poetry For The Masses (Sea Shed Shithead By The She Sore)

Label: Man's Ruin
Year: 1999

Recorded in the same (desert) session as the previously posted Volume Six, this five song compendium of weather baked brain burn covers a few different versions of the Coachella Valley riff weirdness brought into clarion anti-focus by the Queens Of The Stone Age. Rarely linear for long, the good ship Fun Time navigates the world's seas, docking in Punk, Space Psych, Boogie, Stoner Jam, and Robot Rock.
Always essential.

The personnel on this one are:
Josh Homme - Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures
Brant Bjork - Kyuss, Fu Manchu, L'ab, Fatso Jetson, Che, Mondo Generator, Vista Chino
Mario Lalli - Fatso Jetson, Queens Of The Stone Age, Yawning Man, Darkside, Ten East, The Perfect Rat
Fred Drake - Earthlings?
Dave Catching - Eagles Of Death Metal, Earthlings?, Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator
Blag Jesus (Dahlia) - Dwarves,
Pierre Pressure (Nick Oliveri) - Queens Of The Stone Age, Dwarves, Kyuss, Mondo Generator, B'Last!, River City Rapists
Gene Troutman - Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, Earthlings?
Mathias Schneeberger - Earthlings?
Adam Maples - Earthlings?, Sea Hags, Legal Weapon
Tony Mason - 12th Planet
Teddy Quinn - High Desert Lo-Fi


Monday, March 6, 2017

Unsane - Blood Run

Label: Relapse
Year: 2005

Safe to say they are less a "band", and more an "institution" at this point. Unsane have consistently, doggedly, and thanklessly delivered the proverbial "goods" since 1988. Just can't fuck with what Chris Spencer and co. do on a regular basis. It's catharsis on a level wholly devoid of guilt or repentance.  Attack always, otherwise life wins. And fuck life. Eat death.

This version of the band has Vinnie Signorelli on drums (Swans, Foetus, Lubricated Goat, Of Cabbages And Kings, A Storm Of Light, etc.) and Dave Curran on bass (JJ Paradise Players Club, Pigs, Porn, Cutthroats 9, etc.) keeping Chris Spencer in line.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dead Meadow - Got Live If You Want It

Label: Bomp / The Committee To Keep Music Evil
Year: 2002

Where I am in the world right now, today, both geographically you say...cosmically, I'm really in just the right spot for Dead Meadow. The weather is warm and sunny, and there's a breeze blowing across my front porch (for once, not a euphemism) as I relax with my feet up. Kids are out of the house doing...who cares. Got my errands and exercise out of the way already. Found a previously unaccounted for box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in the freezer, and I've got the laid back psychedelic stoner haze of Dead Meadow washing over my earholes.

Sunday afternoon, on the cusp of Spring in Atlanta, Georgia. Dead Meadow. Feeling about right.

Can I teach my dog to fetch a Tecate?


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tad - 8-Way Santa

Label: Sub Pop
Year: 1991

You have this album already. Probably. Or at least, in my brain, that is the case. But sometimes my brain forgets that some people were just getting around to getting born in 1991, and so records like this one are just kinda..."oldies" and shit. And with everything wonderful happening now in the world, those people ("youngsters", let's say) would be excused for not having had the time to go back in time and waste away their time on every dusty old record that "old people" ramble on about.
I get it.
I am talking directly to you, "youngsters", and hoping that you can make some time in your busy day to take in the lumbering, ogre-grunge thud rock that Tad trafficked in (with all due respect to King Snake Roost, who was also dealing in this same caveman stomp a couple years prior, but...that was in Australia, and that's somewhere that's not in America, so...). I think that you will really enjoy it. A lot of people up to this point in history have, and those people can't all be wrong, right?


Cave In - God City Demos

Label: Bootleg
Year: 2001

Long time, no see. Sorry about that, know...stuff.

Back to blogging (has a a worse sentence ever been uttered?), and coming in hot with potentially controversial pick. Controversial only in the sense that nerds might either deride any Cave In that isn't the Slayer-spazz Converge first version of the band, or nerds who deride Cave In as a band only knuckle heads would love, or nerds who are simply nerds, but not in a "good nerd" way. You know the type.
Myself (absolutely not a nerd, in any way. Ask anybody, they'll tell you), I was not a fan of Cave In in their original incarnation. Just not my cup of tea (I'm very refined). It wasn't until they came through San Diego in 1999 with Isis, who I wanted to see, that I heard the second version of Cave In. The 'Creative Eclipses' version, and on that night it clicked. It was still heavy, but no longer relied on throwing a million heavy metal riffs at the wall. There was space involved. Atmosphere and tension and a more nuanced song writing. That 'Creative Eclipses' 7" stayed in pretty heavy rotation until the 'Jupiter' album came out, and then that one took over the stereo. I was even on board with all the side projects, I was in to the entire thing. I still think Stephen Brodsky is an immensely talented musician, and I applaud that he is willing to stretch out and take risks (and I'm sure he appreciates me saying so).
Well, then Cave In did "the unthinkable" and signed to a major label (a weird one at that...RCA? Who does that?), and released 'Antenna', a record that didn't have the immediate hooks or appeal it's predecessor did. It felt flat. At least at first.
But, given time, I've gone back to that record a lot over the years and have found a lot that I like about it, the balance of big rock swings with the Failure influenced space-pop. It's good.
The songs being shared here are demo versions of some of those Antenna tracks, but being recorded at God City with Kurt Ballou means there is nothing "demo" about them. They sound phenomenal. Big, warm, and rich. The other tracks are versions of songs that wound up on the 'Tides Of Tomorrow' and 'Epicenter' eps, And a Nirvana cover for whatever reason.

If you like rock music...

Members on this record were also involved in: Old Man Gloom, Zozobra, Pet Genius, Doomriders, Goatsnake (for a minute), Nomad Stones, 27, Kid Kilowatt, Clouds, New Idea Society, and Mutoid Man.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures

Label: SubPop
Year: 2005

Y'all are well aware by now that I have a soft spot for well executed fractured indie pop, right?
Cause, what's not to like? Not everything has to be an assault, or "crushing", or challenging, or whatever. Sometimes a comfortable melody with an off-kilter perspective is the perfect accompaniment to warm Spring day (or...barring a comfortable melody with an off-kilter perspective, may I suggest the Sandra Bullock vehicle 'Hope Floats' and a pint of butter pecan ice cream as the perfect accompaniment to a warm Spring day [or, a crippling break-up]?).
So, fine, it might not be tough, but personally my sensitive side needs some attention sometimes. I'm not afraid to admit it. I like baths. I enjoy the gentle murmur of a purring kitten. I eat tofu many times a week, guys. Estrogen does not threaten me!

If you've ever been too embarrassed to look into your girlfriend's (boyfriend' judgement here) Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, Elliot Smith, Band Of Horses, Matt Pond PA, or Sunny Day Real Estate're in a safe space here. It's ok.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Oxbow - An Evil Heat

Label: Neurot
Year: 2002

File under: "Upsetting".
Oxbow congealed a lot of different influences and sonic approaches on this, their fifth (and sorta "comeback") album, and unleashed a crawling dread that hearkens back to some of the most intense and disconcerting music ever committed to tape. It's the combination of some of the most genuinely unhinged and feral howls of a song mixed with some of the most deftly crafted art rock attack. Songs that creep and stalk, and pry open a window to unleash the killing winds of a pitch black midnight storm. Never celebratory, never elated, always plotting. The soundtrack to discovering your girlfriend was cheating on you the whole time.
I think this record represents the band's creative apogee, in a oeuvre that is honestly beyond reproach, with it's restless creativity and menacing cloud. All of Oxbow's albums are essential, and they show no real signs of mellowing, but for a starting point, 'An Evil Heat' is not to be missed.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Gone Bald - The Expiration Date

Label: self released
Year: 2016

Part and parcel to the last post, here is Gone Bald, who are 1/3 of the band Blisters, and who we were pointed in the direction of at the same time as Blisters. So why not return the favor?

Gone Bald are more straight forward than the previous post, but they still manage to take their time swinging back and forth from Shellac styled tightly wound teeth gritting music to noisy mid 90s emo (Native Nod, Greyhouse, Car vs Driver), to some altogether weirder strain of post punk. It holds together really well though, and the way they stretch the songs out gives the band room to twist and turn in an organic procession of riffs, tempos, and feels.

I recommend this one highly. Supposedly they have been releasing records since 1994, but this is my first experience (naive as I am).


Blisters - The Sleepless Nights

Label - self released
Year: 2017

Hot (well...warm anyway) off the Shiny Grey Monotone tip line, comes this self described "noise-post-wave-swamp rock trio from the Netherlands (and Britain, and Croatia) who recorded this record back in 2010 hoping somebody would step up to shepard it out into the world, Which, it turns out, was a seven year process. Tough business. And unfortunately, in that time, guitarist Danny O'Reilly passed away, ending the band, which is a real shame.
The music is still here though, so, if you're an adventurous listener, enjoy.
Adventurous in this case being a band who has taken pieces of the Skin Graft Records catalog circa 1996, pieces of Pussy Galore circa 1988, pieces of some undiscovered Australian dirt rock band circa 1990 (Bloodloss maybe?), pieces of proto grunge Rein Sanction circa 1991, and pieces of the creepy crawl of Crime and The City Solution circa 1986.
It takes a couple minutes to get used to the "sound", but once you settle in, prepare to be unsettled.

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