Monday, May 23, 2016

Black Cobra - Imperium Simulacra


Label: Season f Mist
Year: 2016

Sometimes the heart wants metal, and the gets what the heart wants (except low cholesterol whole grain foods...the heart does not get that very often...it gets hot dogs...lots and lots of hot dogs).
When my heart wants something heavy and churning, my heart calls out for Black Cobra. It has for many years now, and it continues unabated, just as Black Cobra continues unabated to unabatedly pummel me and mine, and I appreciate that kind of dedication.

Maybe you take Black Cobra for granted? Just like you take High On Fire for granted? Constants that have been there for you in your time of need, and now they need you. Go to them.

DL

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

V/A - We No Fun - Athens-Atlanta 2009-2010


Label: We No Fun
Year: 2010

You are excused if the minor scene politics that accompanied the release of this record flew right over your head, as they weren't that big a deal anyway, and I don't think anyone cared 15 minutes afterwards.
Short version; Atlanta was chronicled in the documentary 'We Fun', which spotlighted the garage punk scene that centered around Rob's House and Die Slaughterhaus Records, and featured Black Lips and their satellite system. All good fun I guess, but those bands only represented one side of a much larger underground world of music, and the working musicians who made their own orbits may or may not have felt short changed by the lack of coverage in what was billed as a sort of "this is Atlanta" type film. Or maybe they never took it that seriously. Probably not. Or maybe.
Whatever the case, 'We No Fun' became the clearinghouse for another version of the city (and neighboring Athens), exposing a seedier underbelly of sorts. Less 'rock club' and more 'eviction house party', you know? The sounds of guys and girls weaned on smelly punk rock shows getting their kicks giving kicks.

The Bands:
Vera Fang - shout at the devil, and then continue shouting at everything and everyone else ever. Forever.
Brass Castle - the twin towers of power come staggering out of the gates with this motorik damage Kraut fuck that threatens to cloud over your weekend. Stay inside.
Retconned -try playing a Slaves 7" in a floppy disc drive and this paranoid chant is about right.
The Sunglasses - frayed edge post hardcore noise blow out. Easy cum, easy go home and eat a pizza.
Judi Chicago - dance floor freakazoid . I would hang the DJ, but he slit his wrists hours ago.
Hollow Stars - post punk informed stomper.
Lay Down Main - a touch of DC post hardcore propulsion commandeered by Atlanta noise rock alums who now how to rock noise.
SIDS - death-rock-y synth spazz that drags the corpse of a hundred mid-nineties emo bands through the swamps of your black memory. Their track gets split across two cuts.
Skin Problems - trash can Geza X ugliness, busted robot rock.
HAWKS - brutish, disrespectful, and easily agitated. Mouthbreathers to boot.
Thy Mighty Contract - threw you for a loop, but circles back to help you home. Loud on loud.
Chrissakes - back against the wall low blow throwing unstable types. Quintessential noise rock.
High Marks - Suicide solutions. Minimal to the max.
Chopper - if your friends started a motorcycle club for fun, this would be the house band.
Electrosleep Int'l - throw your future against the wall and laugh as the remnants slide dripping to the floor of your mind. Overboard always.

DL

Monday, May 16, 2016

Vent - Long Lost Human 7"


Label: Hydra Head
Year: 1995

Hydra Head numero uno. The beginning of a pretty miraculous run right?
I fell hard for Aaron Turner's taste in burly noise-core, and this record started his label off with a bang. It's a frazzled mess of chugging thuds and borax throated bellows that claws its way out from under a damaged hardcore cave in to lay waste to all in its path. Destructo rock.
The band was from Wichita, and had a demo, two songs that came out on a 7" called Ephemeral (which may or may not have actually been from their demo), and these two songs. That was it. They broke up and three fourths of them reformed as Boxer Rebellion, who also released a record on Hydra Head.
Enjoy. I do.

DL

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Desert Sessions -Volume Six -Poetry For The Masses (Black Anvil Ego)


Label: Man's Ruin
Year: 1999

Listened to this today for the first time in some time, and was transported back in time to another time. Which is relative. Time, that is.
But, in my mind, this particular time (not now time, the time back in time) was a treasure trove of music in the vein of Desert Sessions, the High Desert sound. Big, expansive, riff celebrations tempered by a cosmic tripping weirdness that seems to emanate from a specific Joshua Tree vortex which results in a soothing warm bath of sensory immersion. So heavy, but such a deep groove, such a bliss wrapped in mammoth rolling waves of volume. Can't get enough of this stuff. Anything with Josh Homme at the helm, count me in. Dude could read Mein Kampf and I think I'd be down for the ride. That's an unfortunate character trait in me I guess.

You no doubt know what this band is about, but for your reference, here is the personnel on this one:
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, Vista Chino, Mondo Generator
Gene Troutman - Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, Earthlings?
Adam Maples - Earthlings?, Sea Hags, Legal Weapon
Van Conner - Screaming Trees, Valis, Queens Of The Stone Age, Gardener
Dave Catching - Earthlings?, Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator
Barrett Martin - Screaming Trees, Skinyard, Endino's Earthworm, Mad Season, Tuatara
David Newfeld - Aliens, Broken Social Scene
Barry Conley - Aliens, Earthlings?, Fugitive Pope
Fred Drake - Earthlings?, The Shy Party
and probably more cameos and contributions that went uncredited.

Maybe one day I will get around to posting the whole Desert Sessions series, but for now, dive into this one and get covered over in it's holistic throb.

DL

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Zaleski / Ugly Zoo - Split


Label: Fleeting Youth
Year: 2014

Not a split as much as it is a consolidation. What you're getting is the debut ep from Ohio band Zaleski called 'Void', and the debut ep from Pennsylvania band Ugly Zoo called 'Ugly Zoo' (easy enough), and what those two eps, or bands, have in common I could not tell you. I mean, aside from being on opposite sides of this record, that is.
Zaleski are up first with five songs that draw from slightly spaced out post hardcore vein, but maintain enough vigor to keep their orbit in check. It's sort of the DIY basement show version of Hum, if you know what I mean. Their songs want to drift off into the sky, but the band seems to wrangle them out of the haze and into submission by way of volume, lurching power distortion, and well placed scrapes of anger. I like it. Whether or not it likes me is another story.
Ugly Zoo carry the flipside with four songs that also walk the post hardcore walk and talk the noisy guitar rock talk. And that walk is decidedly more upbeat than their compatriots on the reverse of this record. No hesitation shown, just punchy urgency. Moments of Crain, moments of The Great Brain, and a few hints of 400 Blows and No Age as well. I imagine their practice space smells a real fright. I like this as well. Feeling pretty good that it might actually like me back. Call it a hunch.

DL

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

V/A - 18:18 10"


Label: Carbon Music / Now Or Never Recordings
Year:

Fun idea #238:
I'm going to release a compilation record. I'm going to get some pretty heavy hitter bands to participate...but...BUT, when I release this compilation, I will include no information whatsoever on who those bands are, what the songs are titled, nothing. Insert? No way. Information on the label? No way. Listing of bands on the sleeve? Ludacris, won't do it. That kind of stuff is old fashioned, and I'm ready to turn the music world on it ear with a new approach to marketing. I'm thinking a silver sleeve with simply "18:18" (the running time of the record, naturally....goddamn I'm a clever bastard!) embossed on the cover, and my record label embossed on the back. Super clean. The 10" itself will be clear vinyl (or blue or gold if you're really lucky) with a white label on side A denoting the running time of that side, and a black label on the flipside with the running time labelled and that's its. Throw that baby in a plain white sleeve with a hand stamped "x of 500" jammer on there, and presto, we're done. Boom. People are going to LOVE it! (and I'm not even mentioning the lockgroove that ends the record...oh yes, those are the greatest...motherfuckers are going to flip out!)


Oh wait...what do you mean I need more money to put this record out than I had originally budgeted?
Crap.

Hey, um, Now Or Never Recordings, I've got this super cool record all ready to go, it's a totally mind-blowing concept with no information given about its contents....yeah...no info at all. Isn't that cool? Yeah, well anyway, um, I'm running a little short on funds and could reeeeeeeaaaaaaally use a little loaner to get this bad boy off the ground. What do you say?

No, but the whole thing is that we can't have anything written on the record....don't you get it? No? What do you mean? You don't think anyone will but it? Why not?

Ok....ok....fine. Ok. We will put a sticker with your logo on the back of the sleeve. Cool? What?! no way! No way am I going to put any....no wait...come back! It's fine, seriously. we can also put a sticker on the back that lists the names of the bands, alright? Just...no song titles please?

Yes! Dude, you are totally not going to regret it man! This thing is going to be so boss!

(And that my friends is the story on how to release a record that is immediately lost to the ether.)

The bands:
Dillinger Escape Plan
Ink & Dagger
Goddess
Today Is The Day
Black Army Jacket
Converge
(bonus sound collage at the end)

DL

Monday, April 18, 2016

V/A - Enlightenment 10"


Label: Soledad
Year: 1997

Four bands, each represented by one track. The common thread is written in the insert; "Tried to climb to new heights, but couldn't hold it together".
Thrones go first, and come out of he gate like a molasses covered lightening bolt. I assure you that the speed is correct, even though you will fight me about it for at least the first 30 seconds of this song. It's uglier than anything else you will encounter today (and knowing your mom, that's really saying something...ouch! Zinger!). Recorded by Justin Trosper of Unwound for extra points.
Spaceboy go second, and do a pretty convincing job of out-weirding Thrones. They go for a Breadwinner-after-a-hard-night-of-drinking sound that goes from here to there to back over there to out to the moon and then back under your thumbnail. All the metal in the world combined into all this metal.
Lice go third, and show no interest in making your day brighter or your whites whiter. They go wretched, they go gnarly, and I'm pretty sure they could give a shit if you go with them.
Toadliquor go fourth, and wrap this thing up with a slow motion bang. Psych resin that plods forth from within a collapsing star. Super fucked.

It's all super fucked.

DL

Friday, April 15, 2016

Victory Hands - Anderson 10"


Label: Headphone Treats
Year: 2016

In the long lineage of bands creating storylines, or wearing costumes, or adopting false identities or whatever, I'm not sure a more strangely esoteric concept for a band has been hatched that can top Victory Hands.
They are a band based on the presidency of Richard Nixon. Which is fair, I'm sure you agree?
Their lyrics are lifted verbatim from the White House tapes and Nixon's own speeches. Seem about right?
The plan for record releases is that each one (this being the first) will be centered on a reporter whom Nixon had "beef". Super normal? I'm just surprised that nobody has thought of this approach prior to these guys!

Luckily for you (us), this heady concept is being steered away from ridiculousness in the capable hands of some of Atlanta's most bestest musicians. Alumni from a long line of noisy, mathy, post-most everything bands. So what could be a mess of political in-jokes and nerdy fodder, is actually a concise and compelling two songs worth of premium rock music. It cuts through on the back of a Tar-like propellant pushing and pulling with an economy of movement. Nothing wasted here.

This is a brand new release, so step to! And if you're in Atlanta, they are playing at Wax N Facts record store in conjunction with Record Store Day this Saturday (April 16th...that's tomorrow) at 6:00pm. Get there.

DL

Spore - Giant


Label: Taang!
Year: 1994

Hey, look who's here!
Let's jump back into our old ways, alright? I'll write rambling non sequiturs about music, or my life, or what you could be doing for me, then I'll post a link to a record that I find enjoyable, and then you'll slink through the internets to download that album, and our business will be complete. No hugs.

And, what better way to get back on the horse, than to time travel back to Boston circa that city's high water mark of brutish, lumbering noise rock; 1994. Awash in ugly feedback, and fuzzed out low end stomp, Boston had a confederation of bands that were grinding alternative rock under their bootheels. Slughog, Pinto, Thrall, Black Helicopter, Green Magnet School, La Gritona, Luca Brasi, Bull-Roarer, Glazed Baby, Quintane Americana, Non Compos Mentis, and Tree. Tons of bands lurking in the shadows of that town.  Well, Spore were front and center, plying their trade of volume and mass, deafening rooms one show at a time. And while they certainly fit within the Boston scene from whence they were birthed, Spore had two elements that set them apart from their peers (almost said "Beantown peers"...but changed my mind); they incorporated a hint of Midwestern noise rock into their sound, and they had the bonus of both make and female vocals trading off (it's a noise rock X!). Both are pleasant additions if you asked me...and I imagine you did. Don't you always?

DL

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Gone Fishin'


More posts coming soon...just took a little time off to be a human and stuff.
Blogging (as dumb as that sounds) takes a lot of time and energy, and every few months I run out of both. But I went record shopping yesterday and got a little recharge of sorts. So, I'll be back in your life in the next few days.
Also still hoping our newly liberated exalted leader will join the fray as well.

Stay tuned. Or don't.

Love your body,
Gray
 
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