Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Label: self released
From the edges of D.C. comes Highway Cross, who's post hardcore jet propulsion bears a certain amount of geographical residue to the metropolitan area from whence they came. But, in a curious twist, they have amalgamated the Bluetip version of workingman's punk rock with the Swedish(?!) version of Division Of Laura Lee's rave up hardcore, and the San Diego sound of Hot Snakes all-killer-no-filler brand of garage influenced good times. Which, yes, is a fine line to draw I realize, and it borders on complete nerdery to even get that deep into the minutiae of post hardcore...but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't. Right?
Point being, sure, it's not reinventing the wheel or anything, but who cares when the songs have this much vigor and punch? The wheel works pretty fucking good as designed, so just ride that shit...that's my opinion.
Members have been in Cloak/Dagger, Striking Distance, Haram, Triac, Shoutbus, Multicult, Hatewaves, and Majority Rule. This is their first record, and they have a brand new one out on Cricket Cemetary, which is leaning less punk and more math/noise rock. Is good.
Friday, March 27, 2015
End this week louder than we started. End this week under an avalanche of ugly riffs and corroded vocals. End this week where Greenmachine ended their careers, on this, their final album.
The Japanese Eyehategod essentially. Which means total Black Sabbath worship, as distilled through a decade of bad luck and poor life decisions. More hatred, more bile, more MORE!
And I'm aware that this one gets a little bit on he fringes of what this blog is all about, but at this point, you're just going to have to trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong? Or REALLY wrong, rather?
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Label: Touch and Go
This band just gets better and better with age. Your age of course, not theirs. I mean, the songs are sorta hermetically sealed, but you on the other hand, you're hurtling ever more rapidly towards death. Better get used to it, Bub.
The Husker Du and Naked Raygun and Mission Of Burma comparisons that helped describe their other records hold true here as well, but this time around they delve ever deeper into murky melodic hooks. The noise is crisp and clean, the songs are memorable and fully realized, and the tone continues towards alienation. There was an Atlanta band called Freemasonry back in the early to mid 90s who shared a lot of the same tendencies as Arcwelder, but if you've heard of Freemasonry then you're probably already listening to Arcwelder, huh?
Produced by Bob Weston.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Label: Sub Pop
The polar opposite of yesterday's post, this band plays soft and sweet as opposed to feral and unhinged.
Carissa's Wierd (misspelling is intentional) is always going to be best known as the "band that turned into Band Of Horses", cause honestly, Band Of Horses got huge. And they're really good to boot (I don't care if you disagree...they are), so that will be the legacy to most people. But, if you really listen, you'll find a band who crafted super intelligent songs that built on subtle layers of instrumentation to make for a truly haunting listen. You could make a comparison to a less baroque Jeremy Enigk, or a more pleasant Iron and Wine. Take your pick.
The Morrissey cover on this record is really nice, which is sometimes hard to pull off. They pull it off well.
Other bands that came out of or are associated with Carissa's Wierd are: Grand Archives, S, Crictor, Small Stars, Modest Mouse, and 764-HERO.
This record was #45 in the Sub Pop Singles Club v.2
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Label: Stinky Bike
The origins of the gnarled noise that defined Kilslug was firmly rooted in equally gnarled noisy hardcore. A raw and primitive attack that relies on equal parts droning sludge and attacking bash. A cousin to the damaged sounds of Flipper. Just complete madness really.
I can only imagine the endless bummers of a Sunday matinee show a the Rat circa 1982 with Kilslug being paired up with The Freeze, Gang Green and SSD...oh man, the punks would have been pissed.
So fucking warped. So fucking righteous!
Label: self released
Distorto-hardcore with a real nasty sheen which gives the whole record the feeling that you're viewing it through a layer of pond scum. Which is totally meant as a compliment.
Mostly it's ripping at you real fast, but there are moments of relief to set you up for the next blast, but mostly its real fast. Some D-beat elements, but pretty straight ahead hardcore. Also, a total compliment. Sort of like Flux Of Pink Indians meets Dead and Gone. More compliments.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Label: Man's Ruin
Not to be confused with power violence progenitors Infest, this was a Bay Area band who spent their brief existence bringing you that punchy alterna-post hardcore sound that only existed in 1996. Like, mix Jawbreaker with Seaweed and add in (and I can't believe I'm even saying this) a touch of old Offspring (or similar southern California power punk type band...Fluf would also work....possibly Olivelawn).
It's a nostalgia trip, and probably more valuable as a missing link in your Man's Ruin collection than anything. But, if you're over 35, you'll get a kick out of it. It's a fun throwback to a bygone era.
Oddly enough, the drummer went on to be in The Weird Lord Slough Feg, which is truly weird.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
This band is playing a show with the subject of our previous post, so I found it apropos to submit this record for consideration as well.
The show, by the way, is April 4th in Atlanta. Just, FYI and all.
So Unholy Two, were never in fact a two-piece, but formerly three, and now four. And hey, who knows, maybe by the time you read this they will have had a baby and expanded to five. Never know.
So, this 7" represents the band between their debut album and their most recent one, and finds the band chest deep in noisy aggression. Real nasty type stuff too. The kind of unfriendly music that a band like Twin Stumps plays, or Slices, or the earlier Clockcleaner stuff. Brutish and unwelcome at any white table cloth affair (unless the local mental hospital is having an awards banquet or something...then, maybe).
If you enjoy feedback and misanthropy, this one is going to feel great. If you suffer from epilepsy, maybe hold off on it.
Label: No Breaks
This band was referenced a few posts back, and even incorrectly spelled to boot, so we figured we should take a listen to their demo and see what all the hub-bub is about.
The verdict of all the bub is...hardcore punk.
It goes fast, and sometimes faster. There are no mosh parts within a hundred miles, just straight ahead intensity. Maybe the cover art of the one-eyed punker huffing out of a satanic beast skull does a better job in describing this one than my words. Even those ball-and-chain skull spider things are speaking to the feral howl that this demo unleashes. Blown out to the max.
Is good though.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Label: Posh Boy
Riding that 80's nostalgia train for another post, this time veering into southern California punk (before that descriptor was so bastardized to mean only Fat Records minted pop-punk dreck). Good time punk, to pair with what we are currently experiencing in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), good time weather. The brief window at the beginning of Spring before the oppressive Summer sun bakes our humidity soaked brains into oblivion, when the temperature is near perfect, the sun is shining and the time change means you can drink beers on the front porch until 8:00pm before it gets too dark to find your coozy.
This is a quick, six song fix of near perfection. Ideal for being outside and doing not much of anything.
The band changed from "Red Cross" to "Red Kross" later on, but this is the O.G. version. Punchy, and darkly melodic.
On this recording you're dealing with an un-fuckwithable lineup of: Jeff McDonald (married to a Go-Go...so not bad) on vocals, Steve McDonald (OFF!, Anarchy 6) on bass, Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Bad Religion) on guitar, and Ron Reyes (nee Chavo Pederast of Black Flag) on drums.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Today we show our softer side, which is, of course, a euphemism for our vaginas.
But, if you can't admit to being vulnerable enough to enjoy the occasional sullen pop majesty of The Cure, well then, you need to get in touch with your feelings Bro.
Honestly, this post comes about after reading the Touch And Go compendium over the last few weeks, especially the record reviews, whereupon Tesco Vee writes up both The Cure AND Discharge in the same issue. And he likes both! It reminded me of those glorious years when the lines between sub-sub-sub genres was less important than, "is it any good?". Underground music was united under an umbrella of "does this get played on the radio? No? Great."
Case in point, I had a cassette tape (remember) of The Cure's "Standing On The Beach" singles compilation on the A-side and GBH's "City Baby Attacked By Rats" (Sick Boy!) on the flip. Seemed perfectly normal to me. Even had to justify it once on the bus in middle school when my local skinhead buddy Monte Smith (now a poet and crusader for racial justice....look it up) was listening to my Walkman (remember those) and when the GBH side ended he flipped the tape and got all pissed that I had The Cure on there. I had to explain to him that we're all in the same gang (West Coast Rap All-Stars reference! The first of the day!), and that while yes, there are sonic differences between the glorious roar of GBH and the dark melodies of The Cure, but ultimately it's eliciting a similar response, which is the joy of music in and of itself. Two sides to a coin kind of shit.
We posted "Pornography" some years back, so I suppose the floodgates are already open, but here's a more poppy record for you and your girlfriend to bond over.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Label: New Granada
This one is sort of a "friendship test" record (not unlike the Kinghorse lp). You "get it", or you think I'm an idiot. Although, it's fair to say that you might both "get it" AND think I'm an idiot, and you wouldn't be completely wrong.
Also, special thanks/shout out to my main man Phil "fuckin'" D for helping me get this (again). I have had this and lost it more times than I care to remember. Even though I have all the 7"s, having the discography all together is certainly handy...a real time saver.
So anyway, who the fuck are Scrog?
Well, I'll tell you. In the early 90's there was this band from Tampa, Florida who decided to play loud music. But not the typical "Tampa" loud music, which of course was death metal (holla atcha boy, Morrisound!), they were playing a strain of southern sludge inflected with a strain of southern weirdness. Like, early Eyehategod, but with start/stop time changes, and softer passages to set off the big riffs. The results were big. Big, and heavy. Super heavy.
You hear elements of other bands in Scrog's sound, but you won't hear another band that sounds like Scrog. Especially then. The Melvins are a good touchstone, but Scrog doesn't share their sense of humor. Floor (the old Floor) is another good touchstone, as is that Eyehategod reference I threw out a second ago. But there's more to Scrog than just the gnarly sludge and feedbacking wall of amps, there was a fractured vulnerability to the songs, a slight beam of light piercing the ink black pummel.
Listen to "Hands Hide Sun" and get back to me.
Also, this one goes out to anyone lucky enough to find themselves in a "Scrog pile" sometime circa 1993 or thereabouts. I only saw them once, at a house show in Atlanta that they felt the need to loading multiple full stacks for. Louder than possible. So good!
Included are all the 7"s except the first one, "Old", which I think the band decided wasn't "that good" or something, and a few compilation tracks. Eighteen songs and a voicemail message touting the underappreciated genius of the band.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Label: Scavenger Of Death
This one is a few years old, and unfortunately a fair amount of the bands have departed this mortal coil, but fortunately a lot have reassembled into newer, weirder, wilder permutations of their fallen kin. Lovingly assembled by Greg "Goat Ravisher" King (who appears more than once in different bands here) and Ryan Bell in tribute to both the city's under appreciated underground, and the long lineage of Japanese flexi thrash compilations.
A lot of these bands have been written about previously in these (digital) pages, so some readers may be familiar with the names. But in the interest of those of you who live outside the sound of my voice, there's a decent chance you missed this one when it was new. And, that's a shame now, isn't it?
Maximum volume maximum carnage.
Bukkake Boys - scathing hardcore that comes at you like a Void/Necros hate-child
Ralph - quick fast turn and burn hardcore blast
Predator - seems like a lost Subhumans track, but they aren't from England...which is weird.
Maniac - ripping death that gets its thrashing crusty
GG King - punchy, with a nod to '77 era punkers and '80 era post punkers and '90 era garage punkers
GHB - some Agent Orange and Adolescents given a post punk spin
COPS - layered stabs of Wire, but with added weed
Wymyns's Prysyn - an SGM favorite, destructo rock hellfire
God's Balls - grinding no-fi death metal, with mother-approved moniker!
Gentleman Jesse - the friendliest of the bunch, mod powered punk burner that's over before you want
COPS - possible "favorite song on record", semi-droning lurcher punk.
Acid Freaks - soundtrack to your next knife fight
God's Balls - death metal as heard fro under your floorboards
Vincas - throwing a bit of noise psych into their oversaturated punk rock to blow speakers accordingly
Predator - Germs-y to the max but not without some Teen Idles to boot
Shaved Christ - go fast and hurt yourself
Bukkake Boys - first wave hardcore cooked in a blast furnace to perfection
Maniac - continued velocity riffing and rolling
GG King - aneurysm inducing puke punk that gets other vote for "favorite song on record"
Friday, March 6, 2015
Label: Slap A Ham
As far as ugly music goes, this one is in the top half of the top 1%. It's such an abominable blast of pure mania. I wore this record out in 1994, just couldn't get enough of their downtuned damage.
The band had Javier Villegas on bass (Born Against, Cattle Press, Kylesa, Capricorns, Our Gang, The Ladybug Transitor [really?!]), Dave Witte on drums (every band ever), and Joey Capizzi on guitar and vocals (Cattle Press). And shit, they got Clive Barker to draw the cover art. Not bad, right?!
This was their only record (thought they do appear on the Cry Now, Cry Later compilation), and then they morphed into Cattle Press, who we have previously covered in this very blog. You should get covered by them.
This is an all time favorite 7" of mine, I can't overstate that enough. When you need something super heavy, and dirty, and fucked up sounding, then you really can't do much better than this.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Haven't posted one of these in awhile, and I can only imagine you guys were starting to get panicked.
Like all my children (metaphorically and "for reals") I love each and every volume of this series, but this particular one has the special twist of being bookended by North Carolina greats, so that's fun. And, I think this volume encompasses the spirit of the blog pretty well, going from catchy indie rock through some post hardcore to some arty stuff to some plain ole rocking grungy rock, to some metallic riffing to some sludgy noise. It's only missing hardcore and folk music. And ska.
Ha ha, just kidding, nobody over the age of 12 likes ska.
Plus, this one has that Jubilee song that's so so so good. Really...it's a perfect song...listen to it and tell me I'm wrong (I won't listen...I never do).
I think this installment also has my first "mistake", in that I repeated a band from an earlier volume. Eagle eyed readers may pick it up...or maybe I'm being too generous in thinking that people actually listen to these things.
But you should. It's fucking quality compilation construction! I could mix the fuck outta a tape in my time, and these are no different...a real point of pride (like my hair).
Alright, I gotta go. Mastodon announced a show here in Atlanta at the Earl (capacity...200?) next week, and I have to work my connections to score a ticket or two. Wish me luck.
Archers Of Loaf
The Vile Cherubs
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Label: Ear To Ear
Well, there's certainly something to be said for truth in advertising, right?
Rainy morning here as I work at my computer, so this hour+ journey through a bunch of new shoegaze bands I had never heard of was just what I needed.
Lots of My Bloody Valentine styled warps and throbs. A fair amount of Cocteau Twins style gossamer prettiness. And generally just lots of quality shoegaze music. You know what that is going to sound like.
Thought it was kind of neat that the record label assembled this as a mirror to all of the older shoegaze bands jumping on the reunion nostalgia trip, Medicine, Slowdive, Swervedriver, and Ride, to provide a window into how these new, smaller, bands are building on those sounds.
Thirty bands, so, you'll find at least a few you like.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Officially released on the DVD rerelease of Vieuphoria in 2002, as an extra feature not included in the 1994 VHS version. But, somehow I had this tape way back when, so I'm not sure if this version I am posting sounds any different than what is on that DVD. Feel free to comment.
Regardless, it's seeing the light of this blog today because of the Fugazi post below, and my heart wrenching story of personal discovery that accompanied it. You see, much like Fugazi and their own ebb and flow of favorability to me, Smashing Pumpkins also rocketed straight out o the gate to a place of prominence in my tape deck with the release of Gish. And I mean, how could it NOT?! With the opening salvo of "I Am One" straight into "Siva"? Fucking forget it man...pure gold!
When Siamese Dream came out, sure, there were some weird feelings about the commercial success the band was afforded, but hey, they didn't change their sound, the general public changed their sensibilities, so bully for Smashing Pumpkins. Good for them. Meant there were more people at the shows, but the shows around that time were still glorious.
Like the Fugazi show described below, seeing Smashing Pumpkins up to around 1995(ish) was a powerful mistress. Earth moving kind of power. The riffs came through as big, burly steamrollers, on the back of some of the fullest, warmest tones. The band was going nuts at that point, hitting all their marks with rabid intensity. Billy Corgan was a masterful soloist, and his use of feedback was pretty tough to beat. They could go from dreamy shoegaze to gigantic doom to thrashing rock at the drop of a hat. Really impressive. Impressive enough to overlook any issues one may have had with Mr. Corgan's live vocals, which generally were fine, albeit not as polished as on record (no surprise), or his penchant for a scat styled improve vocalization he would sometimes employ. Whatever though, no major complaints. The huge waves of fuzzed out bliss more than compensated. Shit man, everybody was trying to use a cello in the mid-90s...it's ok.
So, in my memory, Smashing Pumpkins will go down as an all-time great for those first few years alone. Doesn't matter how they have ended up (not good?), they were untouchable for awhile there.