Friday, January 30, 2009

Mama Tick - Discography

Labels: Amphetamine Reptile, Skin Graft, Bovine, Dubious Honor, Action City
Years: 1991 - 1994

This one is by request, and I'm happy to do it. I should also thank Arsonaut over at Lucidmedia for providing digital copies of the 7"s months back at the request of my alter ego "Megan" who used to drive the boys crazy over there.

Truth be known, this is an incomplete discography as it's missing their 1991 demo, and a compilation track from a record called "Pressure Cooker", but otherwise, it's all here. Warts and all as they say.

As to the music itself, Mama Tick were an ignored piece of the noise rock puzzle in the early 90s. They released a few 7"s and one lp, but none if it ever caught on, and they ended things after the full length was released to a luke-warm reception. Why only a handful of folks "got it", I'll never know, because they had all the right bona fides, loud, crunchy guitars, throaty vocals that ripped throw the songs, and a pounding rhythm section that propelled their metallic cum sludge cum punk cum noise cum rock juggernauts. They were fucking loud, and fucking heavy, and fucking great. Shit man, their bassist played slap bass, and I'm not even going to fault him for it. It worked. Shit wasn't funky in the least. This was ugly music for ugly people. Plus they put out records on three great labels that people would normally eat up. I don't know man, but they should have been bigger than they were, even on the strength of the Skin Graft 7" alone, that shit is unreal.

Here's what you get:
Hatefest / Breathe Out - 7" - 1992 - Amphetamine Reptile (Research and Development)
Horsedoctor - 7" - 1993 - Skin Graft
Torture - 7" - 1993 - Bovine
Little Girls - 7" - 1994 - Action City
Crust Busting - 7" split with Faucet - 1994 (I threw in the Faucet track as well)
Gimme The Five Bucks - cd - 1994 - Dubious Honor

Cop Shoot Cop - Headkick Facsimile

Label: Supernatural Organization
Year: 1989

I think this particular record bounces around the music blogs from time to time, but I don't think we've ever posted it here, and that's a crime for which I truly apologize. This is an absolute "must have" for folks who enjoy the type of music spotlighted on Shiny Grey Monotone. No question, you have to have this playing in your ear holes at some point at least once a month. Minimum.
Cop Shoot Cop were the quintessential New York City noise rock band, and in my opinion, this (their first release) is their crowning glory. The bass tones are punishing, the drumming and percussive treatments are tribal, and the vocals are all seething bile and condescending vitriol. Note, there is no guitar, no screeching treble or slashing chords, only two mind-numbingly relentless bassists. In addition, Cop Shoot Cop have augmented their sound with keyboard and saxophone samples to enrich the low end assault. Please be aware that I do not condone, under normal circumstances, the use of saxophone in my life, hence my distrust for jazz, my suspicion of salsa, and my loathing of ska. I just don't want no goddamn woodwinds fucking up my good time. Period. But, and this is a big "but" ("let's talk about your big 'butt'" - Pee Wee Herman), Cop Shoot Cop have employed these sounds to great effect and so I must allow them to enter my brain just this once.
So, saxophone aside, if you do not own this record, please stop, drop  and roll...then grab it and listen at top volume.
By the by, there was a reissue of this put out in 1994 with an additional song, but I don't have that, this is the original 12" version.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Coffin Break - Rupture / Psychosis

Label: Tupelo Recording Company
Year: 1990

Here's an interesting little band out of Seattle who flew below the radar of that city's much hyped "other" musical scene. While they operated simultaneously with their bigger, more popular peers, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Melvins, and Soundgarden, they eschewed the temptation to look back to classic rock for their inspiration. Instead, they played a mix of punk, metal, and pop music that drew not from Led Zeppelin, but the Descendants and Corrosion Of Conformity instead.
This cd collects their first two albums, both released in 1989 on C/Z Records originally. And I'll be the first to admit that there are some real clunkers on this record, especially when they slow down and play power-pop, and the vocals are make or break for these guys. You either can get on board or you hate 'em. If you hate 'em, I can't rightfully blame you, because I hated 'em too. Now, in retrospect, they aren't bad, just different, a little cleaner than most of this style. And to further bash this band, there are moments of outright O.C. jock-punk bullshit (Offspring anyone?), but again, when they fire on all cylinders, it's good stuff. The second half (the Psychosis lp) is superior to the first half, but both have their moments. 
This might be the first thing I've posted to this blog that I can't stand behind 100%, but hey, you may like it, or you might have had this back in the olden days and want to relive the glory. Chalk it up to "Gray's cleaning off his hard drive", and before I released this album from this mortal coil, I thought I would share it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ed Hall - Motherscratcher

Label: Trance Syndicate
Year: 1993

Sticking with the Texas noise rock from the last post, here's another great example of how consistently good the Trance Syndicate was for a few years there in the early to mid 90's. Ed Hall took some cue's from label owner King Coffey's band, Butthole Surfers, in that they blended their bass-driven low end attack with moments of psychedelic guitar squalls. Another notable influence would be Flipper, in that the band seems to relish in drilling a rhythm into your head, and coating that rhythm with scratching vocals and venomous, prickling guitar. They even manage an homage to Flipper's "Ha Ha Ha" in opening track "White House Girls". 
If you like your noise rock a little weirder than normal, I'm thinking Steelpole Bathtub, Cherubs, and the aforementioned Flipper or Butthole Surfers, then you'll certainly be into this trio. 
I chose this record because it's probably the most straightforward of their releases (although their final lp "La La Land" strides mostly the same ground), and I think the best introduction to the group. I will post some earlier records though eventually so you can get a real overview of the acid backed psychosis that was Ed Hall.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Johnboy - Claim Dedications

Label: Trance Syndicate
Year: 1994

I believe someone was requesting Johnboy awhile back, and I kinda forgot about that until a day or so ago. Sorry. But, here's that Johnboy you wanted. Their second (and final) album anyway. 

The band were a trio that plays some thick, repetitive, noise rock that skews more towards the Shellac end of the spectrum rather than the Unsane side. Meaning, it's heavy but not in a chugga chugga way, more a molten lava advancing towards your Waikiki winter home way. The songs unfold as simple arrangements but very effective in creating a warm paranoid blanket of sound. This second album has a more polished sheen than the first one (which I'll get around to posting soon), which hearkens back to some of the midwest math rockers of the late 80s, but sans the more complex tempo changes. Johnboy likes to set a tempo, and then ride that all the way through the song, subtly altering the riffs around that beat as they progress. Of course, that's not to say they won't throw a curve ball every so often, but generally speaking once you're locked into a song, you're locked in. Vocally, it's reminiscent of say, Slint, but there aren't that many lyrics here anyway, and those are buried down in the mix more so than most bands, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. In fact, this record was produced by Steve Albini, so rest assured, it sounds perfect, the bass and drum tones are phenomenal, so heavy.

Basically, here's another band from Austin that kills it like a lot of Austin bands were killing it during this time, and if you know Trance Syndicate then you can get an idea of what this sounds like. It's real, real, real good. Alright? Great.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zeni Geva - Freedom Bondage

Label: Alternative Tentacles
Year: 1995

For my money, this is the best Zeni Geva record they've done, and that's not an easy thing to judge, as all of their records are fantastic. Few bands manage the same intense bludgeoning that these guys can, it's a tightly coiled snake wrapped around a rabid dog (how's that for a non-musical euphemism about music?), wild music played with supreme precision. And while there's some strange hesitation to call this music "metal", I'm not sure how else you could classify it. Certainly, there are elements of noise rock, hardcore, art rock, prog, and experimental music, but once it's all filtered through this band the resulting effects are purely metallic. To be more precise, it's heavy metal of the utmost quality. If you're prone to like Neurosis, Today Is The Day, Pain Teens, Melvins, Dazzling Killmen, bands like that, and Zeni Geva has slipped by until now, please do yourself the favor of getting this record into some headphones attached to your cranium at maximum volume. Do that for me, will you?
Just so you know, this record (like many of Zeni Geva's) was recorded with Steve Albini, so you get that punishing drum tone, and a stark, dry wall of guitar distortion. There is no bass on this record, merely two guitars, drums, vocals, and some synthesizer. Rest assured though, it's heavy as bass required.

If you listen to only one Zeni Geva record today, make it Freedom Bondage.

Cosmic Psychos - Blokes You Can Trust

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1991

So I'll make this one pretty quick, just cause, I don't know, just cause.
Cosmic Psychos are one of those Amphetamine Reptile bands who flew under the radar, and never achieved the kind of notoriety that the noise rock, or art punk bands on the label managed. Maybe because they were pretty straight up by that scene's standards. Musically, it's punk music as played by a rock-n-roll band, so you get a liberal dose of wah pedal, and some classic rock wankery, but ultimately it's punk rock music in the old style with enough dirt under the fingernails to raise the attention of your Subpop and Amphetamine Reptile record labels. Not unlike a band like Fluid you know? They called themselves "yob rock"which I believe to mean, blue collar, common man rock that speaks to issues if a day at the pub, and concerns scant little else beyond that. Of course, unlike Cosmic Psychos, I am not from Australia, so you probably shouldn't look to me for a treatise on yob rock, or what it takes to be a yob rocker.
I imagine people in 1991 felt this band was sort of "retro" the same way people in 2008 feel a band like The Bronx is "retro". Make sense? Well, do you like punk rock with emphasis on the rock? Yeah? You'll like this then.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Unsane - Lambhouse: The Collection 1991 - 1998

Label: Relapse
Year: 2003

Here's a "greatest hits" collection that Relapse Records decided to put out culling output from all of Unsane's studio records up to that point. There's a DVD as well, but you'll have to shell out the cash for that one.

If you don't know Unsane, and I'm not sure how you could be at this place on the internet, and not know them, but just in case you're someones mother checking out 'Lil Bobby's bookmarks, Unsane are the epitome of "noise rock". They craft deceptively simple songs that rely primarily on heavy, rolling bass lines with shards of guitar slicing across the song, pounding drums, and the omnipresent, slightly over driven vocal shouting of guitarist/vocalist/constant member Chris Spencer. They are from the same scene as contemporaries Helmet, Copshootcop, Pussy Galore, Loudseaker, Surgery, Action Swingers, Swans, and on and on. They refuse to play music that does not aurally bludgeon with relentless power and heft. They have a sound that has been aped by lesser bands, but no one ever manages to sound like Unsane. There mom, you got it? When I said they were like Action Swingers, did that drive it home for you? Lord knows, if you don't have a clue about Unsane, you sure as shit ain't gonna know Action Swingers.

The bottom line though is this: Unsane are a great band, and they excel at doing one thing very well. Their records are of a remarkably consistent quality (even the new ones), and their live shows are always of a high caliber in terms of volume, intensity, and punishment. They're good, but I've always been of the opinion that you can own one Unsane record, and you pretty much "got it". You can see Unsane play once and you pretty much have seen Unsane as many times as you need to. They seldom deviate from the formula, and while it's comforting to know that there's a band out there destroying themselves in this way for your benefit, and you have to respect their dedication to perfecting "that song", you can also check in and out of their career without missing much. Hence, and "greatest hits" isn't a bad way to wrap it all up in the Ipod world. 


Tad / Pussy Galore - Damaged I and II

Label: Subpop
Year: 1989

Let's get one thing real clear right now, I am not a religious person, and there ain't much I hold sacred, but buster, when you start talking about Black Flag it gets up my dander. Gets it up good and proper like. So the idea of anyone...ANYONE covering the mighty Black Flag is a losing proposition to begin with. You just can't. Sorry, but you can't. There was only one group of folks, and specifically one dude who could strangle that sound, that Black Flag sound out of thin air. Only one band can coax those most unholy notes from the ether, so unless your last name is Ginn, you might want to steer clear of this legacy. I needed to get that off my chest.

So then, why on earth would I post this record where Tad and Pussy Galore tackle Black Flag, and not just any ole jams, but two of the best, most iconic Black Flag offerings? 

Simple. They both kill it. Both of these bands pay homage to the original versions, but then put their own spin on them. By the songs' very nature, as long as you play the thing, it's going to illicit a certain vibe, but the key is then to not try and compete with that vibe, but to roll with it and make it your own. So I say, kudos to Tad and Pussy Galore. Well played ladies and gentlemen, you have made me, and America proud. Chuck Dukowski is somewhere saluting you. Greg Ginn is somewhere else petting his cats. Robo is...alive? Dead? In South America? Dez Cadena is wiping that ridiculous Misfits make-up off. And Henry Rollins just squat-thrusted an extra set in your honor. Oh, say can you seeeeeeeeee......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gear Jammer - Two Tons Of Chrome 7"

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1990

By request, here's a follow-up to the Halo Of Flies post, the Gear Jammer 7". They had a second 7" called Horespower 2000, but unfortunately I don't have it. This band features Tom Hazelmyer again, from Halo Of Flies and Amphetamine Reptile records, and is rounded out by Bill Hobson from Killdozer and Frank Thorpe from Like Hell. 
If you liked the Halo Of Flies stuff, you'll like this as well as it follows the same trajectory as that band, although more caustic and noisy. It's a really underrated band, but from what I understand Hazelmyer felt this band "failed" because he was trying to continue the Halo Of Flies legacy with two dudes who weren't Halo Of Flies, so it didn't work out. I'm not sure I agree, this might even be better than Halo Of Flies, but that's just me.
If I can track down the other Gear Jammer record I'll post it (hint, hint to anyone out there with it). Also, I don't have any Pogo The Clown  aside from one track on a Dope Guns and Fucking In The Streets compilation...which reminds me, I need to post those just in case folks don't have them.
Anyway, enjoy Gear Jammer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Halo Of Flies - Amphetamine Reptile 7"s

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1986 - 1991

The band that launched a record label.
Halo Of Flies was the band that featured TomHazelmyer who founded Amphetamine Reptile records and performed in other bands, Pogo The Clown, Gear Jammer, Otto's Chemical Lounge, and Halo Of Kitten, among other projects. Their sound was a revved up, fuzzy, punk rock via early 1960's rock amalgamation. That doesn't sound very good does it...let's try this, in Hazelmyer's  own words;
"At that point in time I already had a bellyfull of 77 punk, post punk, early American hardcore, 60's garage, primo 60's acid rock, and on some level was trying to blend it all together and regurgitate it.". That's better.
So, I had all the Amphetamine Reptile 7"s and decided to lump them together and post them. Convenient right? Yeah, great idea. Except, like an idiot I had completely forgotten that Amphetamine Reptile already did that when they released the compilation record Music For Insect Minds which pulls together most of the band's recorded output (as of 1991). Oh well, I don't have that record, and I hadn't considered it when I was putting this together. But you know what? Fuck it man, fuck all that convenience, you need the purist approach, and that's this collection of 7"s released on Amphetamine Reptile during their original run as a band. In 2007 a new Halo Of Flies 7" showed up, and then a year later they collaborated with Lydia Lunch (that my general disdain for anything Lydia Lunch related has forbidden me to hear), but what you get here is the original stuff.

Rubber Room - 1986 (scale 02)
Snapping Black Roscoe Bottles - 1986 (scale 03)
Circling The Pile - 1987 (scale 04)
Richies Dog / How Does It Feel To Feel? - 1987 (scale 06)
No Time / You Get Nothing - 1988 (scale 13)
Death Of A Fly - 1989 (scale 19)
Big Mod Hate Trip - 1991 (scale 35)

If you're a fan of the releases this record label churned out during it's lifespan, you owe to yourself to peep into the mind of it's proprietor and indulge in the rock psychosis that is Halo Of Flies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Melts - Salicoutinaw

Label: 227/Hammerhead
Year: 1993

I'm excited about this particular post, because it resurrects an old classic that has been long gone and out of print for years, plus it's a record that was barely heard beyond the southeastern United States, but if it was released today, it would be huge. That's the real beauty of these music blogs, rescuing the lost treasures and re-introducing them to the right audience (that'd be you guys reading this). Much like Skullfuzz, this album would be a good candidate for the Sludge Swamp. 
I initially remembered I had this record because I was looking for music from Atlanta to pass along to James over at Beyond Failure, and I knew there was some Atlanta connection to this band, I just couldn't remember what. I did a little research, and determined that Melts were based out of North Carolina (Greensboro I think) but did feature Andrew Barker who lived in Atlanta and started the Gold Sparkle Band (there you go James...update the genome) after Melts. The copy I have of this album is the promo version that came to the radio station in Athens while I was music director there, so there's no information at all about the band. I d recall them playing Athens at least once and being really loud, and really strange, but it's a foggy memory at best. If anyone else has any info on this band, please do share.
So the music...
This is the "southern Melvins" basically. It's super heavy, knuckle dragging Sabbath as strangled by the noise rock canon, then dragged through the southern red clay. Goddamn it's good. Big, huge, riffs drenched in the finest bass and guitar tones, pummeling drums, and vocals that are 75% Kinghorse, 25% Cherubs...weird right? It's more metallic than Melvins (that doesn't seem right), but that's the band I find the most common ground with.
If you like, Melvins, Harvey Milk, Cerubs, Craw, Regraped, Godheadsilo, Electric Wizard...shit...if you like heavy music, I command you to download this, then remember what year it came out, then say, "Melvins, who?". 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Les Savy Fav - Inches

Label: Frenchkiss
Year: 2004

I've been listening to the most recent Les Savy Fav record a lot lately, and if you don't have that one, by all means go get it, because it's great, but that made me think I should get something by the band posted up here. I don't want to upload their current record, because you should go buy it, but here's an older release to whet your appetite.

Inches is a compilation of 9 different 7"s released over the course of seven years, so it's a true career retrospective up to that point. The band has a reputation for releasing their best material via 7" as opposed to a lot of bands who issue their "non-album cuts" in the format. Consequently, this album holds together really well, all the songs work together as if they were always meant to be presented in this manner. The songs are presented in a reverse chronological order, so you do feel that the band has evolved over the years from a guitar-centric, punkish indie rock band (emphasis on the rocking), into a more sophisticated off-kilter arty post-punk ensemble. It's hard to label them, but the common denominator is that they write really catchy songs that tend to rock out, with top notch, inventive musicianship. I dig it, and I think you will too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Skullfuzz - Skullfuzz

Label: Hawthorne Street
Year: 2005 

This record might fit better on a blog liked Sludge Swamp, but hey, there's a lot of internet out there, and shit like this might otherwise fall through the cracks. So what you get is a stoner rock record as played by post hardcore dudes. Right? Sure.
The band is made up of Cache Tolman (Iceburn, Rival Schools, Civ), Charlie Walker (Split Lip, Chamberlin), and JJ Johnson (Walking Concert, J Majesty, New End Original), or I should say, "was" made up of those guys, because they broke up after this album. They got together to kick out the proverbial jams so to speak and ended up with a rock album that sounds nothing like any of their previous endeavours. Like, I didn't reckon the dude from Split Lip was capable of this Kyuss/QOTSA/Fu Manchu/B'Last/Soundgarden/The Cult/Danzig melange, but here it is. Listen for yourself. It's all fuzzy, groovy, smoked out, riff rock. 
I like it, and it flies under the radar, so give it a shot.

Burning Brides - Fall Of The Plastic Empire

Label: File 13
Year: 2001

The best Mudhoney album ever released by a band that's not Mudhoney. 
Alright, alright, that's a cheap shot, and this record is definitely worthy to stand on it's own merits, but damn do they ever like Mudhoney. They have crafted a record of hard charging pop songs in the tradition of the grunge and stoner rock bands of the decade preceding, giving those jams a new sheen for the new millennium. Burning Brides co-opts a lot of different types of music to pull together what is basically a rock-n-roll record that appeals to a pretty wide audience. I haven't met many people who didn't like this record when they listened to it. 
After this album, they signed to V2 and put out another record with the drummer from Hot Snakes on board, and then he quit, and they got the drummer from Guzzard and recorded another album, and lately they put out their newest record which I haven't heard yet, so I can't vouch for it. Everything I have heard by the band, I like a lot, it's just catchy good-time rock. I mean, what the fuck, you don't like catchy good-time rock all of the sudden? What are you, goth?

Archers Of Loaf - The Speed Of Cattle

Label: Alias
Year: 1996

Not real sure what the hold up was, not real sure what took so long to get some Archers Of Loaf up here, but the wait is over. The best indie rock band of the 1990s is finally represented on Shiny Grey Monotone, and to celebrate I picked the black sheep of their catalog, this collection of b-sides, demos, compilation tracks, and Peel Sessions. Probably not the best introduction to the band if you never hear them before, but you've probably heard them get on with it.
As a tarheel state native I have a soft spot in my heart for all the bands that came out of the Chapel Hill scene in the early/mid-nineties, but Archers Of Loaf were far and away the best. They took really great pop songs and coated them in noisy punk, then topped them off with Eric Bachmann's gravelly vocals. He wrote lyrics that were funny, vulnerable, and self-deprecating, but unlike some bands of the time, they were never fey, the band always summoned up a muscular heft that set them apart from the others. Everything about this band epitomizes "college rock", you know what I mean?  
When the band first started, I was living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina singing in a straight edge hardcore band (yeah, deal with that.) and we went to record our first 7" at Jerry Kee's Duck-Kee Studio in Chapel Hill. I remember getting exciting seeing all the reels piled up in his studio marked "Archers Of Loaf", "Superchunk", and "Polvo", but the other members of the band I was in didn't share my enthusiasm and wanted to concentrate more on our gang vocal choruses. It was a good time for indie rock...even if you were continually wearing a hooded sweatshirt and waiting for that Face Value show next month.
Archers Of Loaf played a few times in my home town, and then when I went off to school in Athens they played a bunch more, even once as part of a "Chapel Hill Night" at Hoyt Street, which I found an offensive piece of marketing. Hot show though. I also caught them on their final tour while I was living in San Diego and they killed. Live, they were almost a different band some nights, they had the potential to play a really loud, fast, sloppy punk set, giving the mellow songs in their catalog new life. 
They broke up in 1998, one of the members joined up with Superchunk, one guy is making music as Spookie J, and Eric Bachmann started up Crooked Fingers, and also releases records as Eric Bachmann. Both of those projects are well worth your time.

By the way, I'm trying Sharebee for the first time since Mediafire doesn't want to "verify" any of my files. So, if you have any problems with the DL let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gruntruck - Inside Yours

Year: 1991
Label: Roadracer

Hmmmm...I debated about posting this one, as I have mixed feelings, but then I was all, "fuck it dawg, it's a fucking music blog, and in the grand scheme of things not all that important". Then I was all, "did I skip lunch? holy crap am I ever hungry, i need to right now". And after that I was all, "christ does this dog stink. Cricket, you go outside and take care of that stench girl". 
I had a lot to myself.
Back to the Gruntruck record though. They were one of those grunge bands that sort of crawled out of the metal scene, made a few quick records and were gone. This particular record, their debut, was first released by eMpTy Records a year earlier, and then re-released by Roadracer. What you got here is the re-release, and it has three tracks at the beginning of the album not on the original release. Phew. So, anyway, the band was made up of dudes who had previously been in Skin Yard, The Accused, and Final Warning..not bad huh? They formed in Seattle in 1989, and proceeded to sound a fair amount like early Sound Garden, with some Skin Yard, Prong, Mind Over Four, Tad, and even Kinghorse steez in their rocking (although I doubt Kinghorse was a direct influence...oh Kinghorse...). Honestly, it's Jack Endino produced metallic grunge from the early 90's, I mean, what do you want? That's pretty much what it sounds like. I hadn't listened to this one in a hot minute, and I'm sure it'll be another hot minute before I hear it again, but it's a good listen if you're nostalgic for earnest flannel-rock.  
Like I said, it's a music blog, let's not be uptight.

*Update - The file has been fixed to include all tracks...sorry about that.

Guilt - A Comprehensive Guide To Anger Management Composed In Drop D

Year: 1998
Label: Nerd Rock

I promise I'll lay off the hardcore after this one, and get back to some more varied fare, but like I've mentioned, I'm trying to clean up my computer, and I'm finding these old records that I think should be shared before they are deleted from my hard drive.


Guilt were born of the fertile Louisville punk and hardcore scene and belong to the same family tree that brings us Endpoint, By The Grace Of God, The Aasee Lake, Enkindel, Elliot, and Ink And Dagger among others. This particular record is a compilation of vinyl and rare releases, although it doesn't contain the "Further" ep for whatever reason. It begins with the Stepdown demo from 1991 which is the straight ahead hardcore band that spawned Guilt as an Endpoint side project. It's pretty much by the numbers hardcore that really serves as a point of departure to gauge how far, or how much better, this band got as they aged. Once you get into the actual Guilt material, they pick up where Stepdown leaves off, but continue to spiral into more complex and interesting territory, taking cues from the Louisville scene elders, Slint and tempering the hardcore with math rock and big dynamics. Once you get to the halfway point in this record it's like listening to a new band, a much better band, a more evolved and sophisticated band. That being said, it's still heavy hardcore based stuff, but more interesting than a lot of their contemporaries. 
At some point I'll post the Bardstown Ugly Box lp and Further record, as those are the most fleshed out of Guilt's catalog, but for some good kick in the gut hardcore, this one does just fine.

Shameless Self Promotion - Volume 4

Here's another attempt to further my "career" as a "musician" if you live in or around Atlanta come on out and help me live out the dream. In all honesty, the show is going to be great, the lineup is one of the best one we've played, and if you downloaded the Atlanta compilation I posted awhile back you know that all these bands rule. Any fan of heavy music, noise rock, doom, or metal will do just fine this Saturday night at the Drunken Unicorn.

And if you do manage to come out, make sure you say hello, I'll be strangling the guitar for Sonn Av Krusher...the fat dude who's too old to be on a stage...that'll be me.

See you Saturday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fluf - Home Improvements

Label: Headhunter / Cargo
Year: 1994

When I was a younger, fitter man, I had one foot firmly in the world of punk rock, the other foot in the world of skateboarding. Two things that went hand in hand, things that feed off each other. So through skateboarding I got turned on to a few bands, and Fluf was one of them due to the presence of the Otis Barthoulameu, better known as skateboard photographer "O", as the singer/guitarist for the band. O had also been a member of quasi-band Titus Skate Rock Band who were made up of O, Lance Mountain, and Neil Blender and featured in the video Future Primitive, and the real band Olivelawn who were pretty decent riff-rock in the beginning of 1990. 
Fluf is kind of a strange proposition in that they effortlessly blend pop punk with some pretty heavy and distorted grungy rock. It's got moments of Tad, Seaweed, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Husker Du, Fugazi, Mudhoney, and Rocket From The Crypt, but doesn't really sound like any of those bands in specific. It really just sounds like the time in which it was released...early 90's alternative rock. Whatever that means to you. I dig it, I hadn't listened to this record in a long time, but it still rocks pretty well 15 years after it's release. Good stuff.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Galleon's Lap - Themes And Variations

Label: Scorch
Year: 1991

This one is more historical artifact than anything else, as the band features Nate Mendel and Greg Anderson back when they were prone to rock straight edge emo hardcore. Don't forget, both of those dudes have long pedigrees that involve hooded sweatshirts and camo cut-offs; Greg Anderson was in False Liberty, Amenity, Brotherhood, Inner Strength, and Statement before dooming in and dropping out, and Nate Mendel was in Brotherhood, and Christ On A Crutch before helping to define emo in Sunny Day Real Estate. I'm sure they've both done the two finger point more times than they care to remember.
I got this record as a cassette demo back when it came out (as I was prone to buy anything straight edge hardcore related, sight unseen in those days), and I guess they pressed it on vinyl as well, but I've never seen that version. 
Like I said, musically it's not going to change your life, but if you ever liked early 90s hardcore, or you're a completist for one of the guys in the band then go for it. Melodic hardcore with some older Dischord Records influence, plus a little "chugga" (just a little), and no mosh parts. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

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