Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weed - Deserve

Label: Couple Skate
Year: 2013

In an effort to stay current with new music, or at least acknowledge that it's being made, I find myself browsing around the internets and other such unsavory places searching out exotic sounds and new musical vocabularies.
But, generally, I end up returning to, or at least being enticed by, sounds that I find familiar. It's that "return to the womb" syndrome thing I guess. Or, "if it ain't broke".
So, this band Weed, well, they knock it right out of the park, and then they're nice enough to return the ball right back into the park I grew up in so as to make sure I feel comfortable. They play on some of my favorite early 90's touchstones of poppy, sludgy, grungy type rock music, and then give it a new urgency and vitality. Like, they take the stony haze of a Dinosaur Jr jam, and cover it in the warm wash of a Waaves jam. Which, granted, isn't that far a stretch, I get that, but it's a recognition that Weed know where and to whom to doff their caps.
For our younger viewers, you might hear some (previously mentioned) Waaves, or No Age, or even (dare I say) Silversun Pickups. For our older viewers, you might hear some (previously mentioned) Dinosaur Jr., or Screaming Trees, or Truman's Water (not the super weird Truman's Water stuff, the more poppy songs). For our more obscure viewers, you might hear the second Castor lp, and how they deliver everything in that gauzy wall of sound that's so addictive.
This record has been on constant rotation for two days now, it's hitting a real sweet spot (my vagina?) of noisy, feedback-laden, catchy indie rock the way it was meant to be played, with ballz.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

V/A - Empty Skulls

Label: Fartblossom
Year: 1984

If you ever wonder why classic hardcore gets mixed in with the noise rock stuff on this blog (and it seems to bug a few of you), its simple: hardcore beget noise rock. The dudes (and occasional lady) who developed that noise rock sound did so based on a bedrock of hardcore. Hardcore took the streamlined rock and roll of punk, the dirty skuzz of early metal, the dissonance of early post punk, and painted it all black. You know, black, the color palette of noise rock. If you can't follow the line from bands like Black Flag, Void, or C.O.C. straight to bands like Big Black, Today Is The Day, or Unsane....well, I just don't know what to tell you.

The bands:
Outpatients (noisy, blinding hardcore, featuring a member of Deep Wound)
C.I.A. (catchy, not unlike a more straightforward Descendants songs, featuring members of 76% Uncertain, Vatican Commandos, Reflex From Pain, Onion, and Shelter)
Out Of Order (straight ahead hardcore)
Corrosion Of Conformity (the greatest North Carolina band in North Carolina history)
No Labels (speedy, no frills hardcore, featuring Reed and Woody from C.O.C.)
No Mercy (Venice locos, featuring members of Suicidal Tendencies)
Impact Unit (Boston hardcore O.G.s, featuring members of DYS and Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
Primer Gray (fucked up, harsh-core)
Against (the sound of the veins bulging in your neck)
Septic Death (truly ugly grinding hardcore, featuring Pushead and members of Condemned Attitude, and Raid)
Stalag 13 (fucking Nardcore!, featuring members of NOFX and Dr Know)
No Direction (straight to the throat hardcore)
Rights Of The Accused (fastcore forefathers, featuring members of Regress, White Zombie, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Local H, and God's Acre)
None Of The Above (ripping hardcore with a Bad Religion/Huskur Du steez), featuring members of Brother Inferior,
Electric Kool-Aid (raw and primitive)
Real Enemy (brutal hardcore, featuring members of Half Life)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dis- - The Small Fry Sessions 1 & 2

Label: Twelve Inch Records
Year: 1993

Straight outta Milwaukee, son! Straight outta the 9-3, boy! Straight up Albini production, kid! Released on a record label started by Poster Children's Rick Valentin, yo!

This is the debut album from the band that reportedly started with a flyer that read "Bass player looking to play in Touch&Go/SST type band". Seems good enough, right? And honestly, it's an apt description to boot, you get some of the later 80's more melodic SST influence (Dinosaur JR and Husker Du) mixed with the late 80's early 90's Touch and Go (Brick Layer Cake, Tar, Arcwelder).

They managed three albums total, with the final one being the "best" I guess, but they're all really good, and this one is a particularly great time capsule of this era...a particularly good era if you ask me (which you sorta did by being on this website).


Monday, April 7, 2014

Fashion Week - Coextinction Recordings #11

Label: Coextinction Recordings
Year: 2013

The Coextinction Recordings series has a pretty bulletproof track record, each release from the Translation Audio Studios (currently being rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy went ahead and destroyed them) a building block in an impressive heavy noise fortress rising higher and the walls becoming more dense with each catalog number befitting the pedigree of the three headed hydra who run the joint (Dave Curran [Unsane, Pigs, JJ Paradise Players Club], James Paradise [JJ Paradise Players Club, Pigs, Fresh Kills], and Andrew Schneider [Slughog]).
Fashion Week bring their own warped celebrity into the mix (members played with Mans Gin, Jarboe, and Victory At Sea), to make you uncomfortable via three songs based loosely week...get it? But not so much in a Right Said Fred way, it's less "campy and fun", and more "combative and fucked". It's noise rock that doesn't skimp on the metallic influence. It's a swarming biomass of thunderous heft. When they let a melody slip out, it helps to warn of how bombastic the gut punch coming is going to be.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Diet Cola - Early Learning

Label: Army Of Bad Luck
Year: 2008

Most "famous" as being the band Josh Fauver from Deerhunter did as a side project while Deerhunter were at their (arguably) artistic zenith. Josh is no longer in Deerhunter by the by, although his replacement is another guy named Josh, which is admittedly confusing, but, you know, the world is a confusing place.
Diet Cola only released this four song 7" (so far as I can tell), and it's only 8 minutes long, but really 8 minutes is about all the blown out post punk influenced noise rock one can handle in a sitting.
If you were a fan of Josh's previous band, Electrosleep Intl., or his other project S.I.D.S., or you're familiar with a good share of his record label's roster (Army Of Bad Luck), the spiky, spazzy, antagonistic bands like Vera Fang, then you're going to know sorta what to expect....and you're probably from Atlanta.
Only 300 pressed, so one would assume it's out of print by now, but if you can, it's a highly recommended purchase.


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Blind Shake - Key To A False Door

Label: Castle Face
Year: 2013

Wait, hold're telling me that there are STILL bands making NEW music?! AFTER 1997?!
Whoa. Nuts.
Case in point, there's this band The Blind Shake, who are actually a functioning, contemporary, rock and roll group. Now. They are doing this stuff right now. So weird. And to add to the weirdness, this band decided to go the ole tried and true two-guitar-no-bass route. That ole chestnut again. Granted, one guitar is baritone, so it's lower end, know. Works though. Works out real fine.
Take some primitive garage rock attack, filter it through the skewed psych pop sensibilities of a John Cale, then run that sound past the guys in Vaz, and you might end up with a sound similar. It can go straight for the toe-tapping melody of catchy fun time jam, or they can wrestle that melody to the ground and force a gallon of NyQuil into it's throat to watch it writhe into a slow motion drone, or it can be an ice melting blast of feedback scree that launches that very same melody into the wall in the back of the room at 1000 mph.
Highly recommended


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alarms & Controls - Reanimus Cataract / Kirtland's Warbler 7"

Label: Dischord / Mud Memory
Year: 2012

Here's the debut from this band, that almost wasn't, but thankfully is, and hopefully will continue to be.
Two of the three members have had long and storied pasts in bands that you and your cool friends have heard of, or maybe you guys even saw them in some small basement somewhere "before they had a record out"...that's how cool you and your friends are. Did you see Crownhate Ruin, Circus Lupus, 1.6 Band, Monorchid, Antimony, The Sorts, or Canyon? Maybe you're ahead of the curve.
If not, don't fret, it's just music, it's not some exclusive're welcome to enter at any time.
I would encourage entry here if you're a fan of the circuitous post hardcore styling's of mid to late 90's era Dischord Records, the kind of music that borrows from the Minutemen's jazz damage, and marries it to Rites Of Spring's cathartic urgency, with an overall sheen of arty pop bounce. If that seems like a good time to you, and there's no reason to think otherwise, then you should do yourself the favor of investigating Alarms & Controls.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hungry Ghost - Hungry Ghost

Label: Self Released
Year: 2012

"ex-Unwound" is going to go pretty far in my home as far as potential descriptors to get me interested. It could be argued that Unwound were the greatest band of the 90' could make that case. You'd get into a fight with a whole cadre of nerds and know-it-alls who would be talking about Fugazi and stuff, but there's a legitimate case to be made.
So, with Unwound having been merely a power trio (technically a quintet if you factor the second drummer, and the second guitarist), you have had merely three personalities to latch onto post-Unwound in hopes of hearing some of "that old magic" again. You'll never hear "that old magic" by the way, and the band members will be the first ones to tell you as such, but you can hear those flashes of brilliance that take you back to the drum tight mania that coalesced into the Unwound sound. Survival Knife is giving you some. Flora v. Fauna gave(?) you some. And Hungry Ghost give you some too.
Hungry Ghost gives it to you in an grooving, windows down, blues damaged, post-hardcore car ride baking under the last hours of a summer sun. It's a 70's vibe in the same way that Black Mountain or The Duke Spirit saunter through the 1970s via the Dischord Records catalog of the early 90s.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nirvana - Live - 05-14-90 - Lincoln Nebraska, Duffy's Tavern

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1990

1990 was a big touring year for Nirvana, and there are lots of shows from that run of shows posted (lots of them here [this actual one apparently...oops, just noticed that. oh well, the link was dead anyway]), and there's little variation in the set lists from show to show, but the constant touring has tightened up the band and honed their sound. For "seat-of-your-pants" type songs, they manage to play them with astonishing precision.
Also of note, Kris Novoselic introducing "Dive" as song that will appear on their new album coming out soon, which would have been Nevermind, of which "Dive" was not apart of. Not that exciting, just sayin'. They do play Nevermind songs in the set, along with some songs that were on 7"s and compilations, but it's a Bleach-heavy selection. Fine by me.
Technical notes:
The live set is supposed to end with the song "Blew", but it's cut off. Sorry. After the set, there's a collection of demo recordings that...well, I don't have a clue where they came from. They seem to be unrelated in terms of when and where they were recorded, but I couldn't tell you. This was a cd in a bindle of cds marked only as "Nirvana - Live 05.14.90", and I'm not even sure where I got it, but I've had it since 2000 or so, most likely downloaded from some Napster-ish site around that time.
Anyway, it's that band Nirvana, the one your grandparent's like, so, take a chance.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Raw Radar War - Double Equals

Label: Shifty / Traktor 7
Year: 2006

Hey, look who's still Sort of. Technically.

When life has you down, my prescription is 10cc of Kentucky bourbon, 75cc of obnoxiously loud hate music (please see the attached Raw Radar War album for your convenience), and 5cc fart jokes. Administer internally three times daily and get plenty of rest.

This particular brand of medicinal grade throat punching noise, is brought to you by Jonah Jenkins, the voice of Only Living Witness, Milligram, Milltown, Blind Surgeon, and 5ive (on rare occasion), along with his buddies from heavy hitters Toetag, Kozik, and OHM. Which basically means you're getting a that good time d-beat crusty hardcore that Cursed reanimated from His Hero Is Gone who reanimated it from Amebix, but given a thorough "sludging up", courtesy of the Milligram school of everything thicker than everything else.
It's bound to get that cold, dead heart of yours up and running again, and in the mood for romance. Look out ladies!

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