Wednesday, February 25, 2009

V/A - Rat Music For Rat People - vol. 1

Label: Go!
Year: 1982

Who's in the mood for some good ole' fashioned hardcore? How about some live versions of first wave hardcore classics? Sound good?
There's a decent chance that while you were piloting your Schmitt Stix Jeff Grosso (Mothra!) through the wilds of your town's surface drainage system, this cassette was rocketing out of those foam headphones from your Sony Walkman. A good chance indeed. Because after all, you weren't quite old enough to catch the original versions of these bands, but through the magic of the mall record store, you have discovered the joys of Keith Morris, Jello Biafra, H.R., Greg Ginn and the rest, secondhand. And boy does this shit light your fuse. I mean, goddamn, where has this been all your young life? Why did your older sister waste your time with Violent Femmes, when all these great bands were just around the corner?! Fuck her, you know? Fuck her, that was shitty of your sister to turn you on to Steve Miller Band when the real action was Black Flag. I'm so pissed at your sister right now, I can't even believe it!
Well, if you can get past your admitted familial issues, and you have any interest in these bands, then please take this compilation skateboarding with you.
Circle Jerks
Bad Brains
Dead Kennedys
Black Flag

Crust - Crusty Love

Label: Trance Syndicate
Year: 1994

Trivia Alert! Did you know that Crust was originally called "Mud Honey" (thank you Wikipedia)? Wouldn't that have been embarrassing to show up to that big "Mudhoney" show only to find out they'd booked the Seattle band in your place? Ouch!
So, with that out of the way, let's get back into more Austin weirdness from those wacky early 90's. Counting the talents of Ed Hall, Johnboy, Distorted Pony, Cherubs, and the like, the capitol of Texas was churning out some of the best distorted oddities of the age. Seems there was a strain of LSD that rampaged through the rock scene there, warping anything and everything to be blasted through a half stack. Certainly there's some of that roughneck blues damage going on, but everything is coated in the dust of some redneck hallucinogenics which gives Crust a less dogmatic approach to their brand of pig fucking. Humor, dead brain cells, aggression, intelligence, I don't know exactly how to peg it, but these guys were just a little different than their peers. They came out from the shadow of their Butthole Surfer mentors to carve a more focused path toward Valhalla, playing it straight with bass heavy thud rock, and alternately employing tape loops, and random tape hiss to mask their true intentions. 
So this is their final album, and in my opinion their best, not to mention it contains the best song title in the history of music, "Chlamydia Is Not A Flower". Genius! 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Steel Pole Bathtub - 1st Tape

Label: Self Released
Year: 1986

Have you ever thought, "man, that pop song would sound so much better if I listened to it whilst in the final spin cycle of my washing machine, surrounded by a loose collection of nuts, bolts, and screws careening off the interior walls"? Yes? Well then, by all means, please introduce yourself to the first Steel Pole Bathtub demo. 
Mid 80's twangy indie pop forced through a barrage of television noise, metallic echos, and general lo-fi production techniques. This band eventually went on to be far more of a post-hardcore/noise rock band, eventually becoming Tumor Circus (with the addition of Jello Biafra), and then Milk Cult, but before they got there, they were here. Here, being a female-fronted band in Bozeman, Montana giving their spin on what was essentially SST inspired college rock. Beyond that, I'm not real sure what else is going on with this demo, but it's a curious little artifact, what you will.

Brise Glace - When In Vanitas

Label: Skin Graft
Year: 1994

Please allow me to bring the room down for a moment, won't you? Not all the way down, but let's ratchet back a bit. We shall take a quick respite from the scraping noise rock of previous posts, and instead delve into the droning art rock of Brise Glace, who in retrospect are dubbed a "super group", but at the time, it was just another Jim O'Rourke project existing parallel with his more "famous" band, Gastr Del Sol. The personnel involved were, Darin Gray (Dazzling Killmen, You Fantastic!), Thymme Jones (Cheer-Accident, You Fantastic!), Dylan Posa (The Flying Luttenbachers, Cheer-Accident), and the aforementioned Jim O'Rourke (Illusion Of Safety, Gastr Del Sol, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Loose Fur, Red Krayola, and on and on). You may note, this same group of dudes would go on to meet up with KK Null in Chicago and record the Yona Kit album at Steve Albini's studio, an album I believe was posted on this very blog a minute back. And just for completion's sake, this record was also recorded by Steve Albini, so there you go.
O'Rourke claims this was his take on a "rock band", and while it does certainly contain elements of rock music, live drums, electric guitar, and electric bass, those elements are cut and spliced by O'Rourke post performance to create a uniquely odd collage of sounds. There are moments that drone and buzz, and moments that push forward like a conventional rock song. It can be mellow, or caustic, usually within the span of a single song, but it never gives you that whiplash of forced tempo changes (I'm looking at you, Mike Patton's entire discography), it all seems to flow.
Give it a shot, especially if you think that art rock, or experimental guitar, or avant-whatever are pompous horse shit. I think this record is a good bridge from traditional rock music into the world of shit. You will like it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Surgery - Trim, 9th Ward High Roller

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1993

Man, you cannot go wrong with this record, it's an absolute killer. Surgery were at the top of their game at the time this 10" came out, and this was their most straight forward, rocking record in their career. After this, they jumped ship (read: sellout! sellout!...oh, the 90' cute) to a major label to peter out after their Atlantic Records debut, and the untimely death of Sean McDonnell. So I feel this to be the apex of their recorded output.
You got your noise rock, but Surgery took that template and drug it through some NYC styled blues grit (think Loudspeaker and Pussy Galore, not Robert Johnson) to come up with a real unique take on that "sound". In the annals (insert "anal" joke here) of the Amphetamine Reptile canon, Surgery might have been the most conventional of their bands. They were easily the most likely to have success as an "alternative rock" band during that era when every shitty band to fart out a 7" was getting the chance to play a showcase for David Geffen ("hello Candlebox, this is David, David, this is Candlebox"). Of course it was Helmet who made the most hey after leaving the label to go on to mainstream success, but that was kinda weird don't you think? I mean, I wouldn't have predicted the frat guys at University of Georgia to be blasting "Unsung" during the Kappa Alpha alumni weekend mixer, but sure enough...they were. Surgery on the other hand, had that southern rock swagger that seems more accessible, at least on paper anyway. So how they avoided stardom is a mystery to me. 
There's my two cents anyway.
Great band, great record, great lyrics, all that shit. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Copass Grinderz - Krash

Label: King / POW!
Year: 1994

(to be sung) Japan is weeeeiiiiird. Sweeping generalizations aside, let's be honest, the prevailing culture of Japan is strange to us honkies in the Western world. And maybe that's why we Westerners find Japanese music so exotic. I mean Copass Grinderz could have been from the Midwest circa 1994 playing along side Mama Tick and The Hairy Patt Band, it's not like their music is from another planet or something. But (let's talk about your big butt), they would still sound just slightly out of place, and that's the Japan talking. Something going on in that crowded ass country has warped the brains of its musicians to take cues from Western music and spit it back out as uniquely Eastern. Think of Zenigeva's precise take on death/industrial metal, think Melt Banana's freaked out noise take on grindcore. You know? It's different. Well, Copass Grinderz throw American noise rock into their cultural (is it a Sony) blender to upchuck some seriously rocking vomit. Sometimes it thick, syrupy sludge, sometimes it's punked out thrash, sometimes it riffs on classic rock tendencies, and sometimes it veers into a loud indie rock. Regardless it always seems to be "right". 
So maybe it's America that's so fucking strange, and Japan is totally normal. Maybe...but I've never eaten blow maybe I'm the wrong dude to judge. 
By the way, when did I get so xenophobic? 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cop Shoot Cop - Live CBGB 1989

Label: Supernatural Organization
Year: 1989

More Cop Shoot Cop, and more live music, her you go. Originally this was released in Japan as a limited run of 300 cassette copies. So, unless your Japanese, a technophobe, and extremely lucky, you probably haven't had a chance to hear this. And friends, that's a shame, because for a band as raucous and noisy as Cop Shoot Cop, this recording came out phenomenally well. I mean, I doubt it sounded this good inside CBGB on the night in question, this is an A- quality recording. Plus you're getting (in my opinion anyway) the best era of the band, the oldest stuff. This was recorded just before Consumer Revolt came out, and there's even a song on here called "Dachau Hilton" which you can't get anywhere else, and later morphed into a couple different Cop Shoot Cop songs. That's a bonus right?
And we're good on "what they sound like" right? Straight? Awesome. Now go do something productive today, I sure as shit ain't gonna.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion - Volume 5

Here we go again, more rumblings from the Sonn Av Krusher camp, this time a live action to decimate the population of quaint local college town, Athens, Georgia.
And as two if the three members spent some of their higher education years toiling away in said town, we look forward to the opportunity to roll through, eat at the Grit, pound cheap beers, and play at as loud a volume as allowed alongside some great bands.
This time around we are sharing the bill with two bands we've not had the chance to play with before, from Athens, Music Hates You, and from Atlanta, Noble Rust. In addition, Athen's own Subrig Destroyer will round things out. Trust me, it will be loud and heavy and all that shit. 
We are either playing first or second, I don't really know, but the important thing is, this will be our second to last show...possibly ever (for ever ever, and ever ever?). The Krusher has decided to go into hibernation for the time being, so we are playing this show in Athens, then another one in Atlanta in April (most likely) as a "last show" type of event. In the meantime we're hoping to record a grip of new songs that we really like, and figure out what we're all doing with our lives. You know, normal big boy shit.
So, if you can get to Athens, Georgia this Friday night, head over to the Caledonia Lounge for an ass whooping not soon to be forgot.

Head Of David - LP

Label: Blast First
Year: 1986

This one is sort of a follow-up to the Godflesh post from yesterday, although not exactly. You see, while Justin Broadrick would eventually show up in Head Of David, at the time of this release he was still grinding away in Napalm Death and Fall Of Because, but if you can't hear the connection between Head Of David and Godflesh...well, then I cannot help you.
I think a quick summation of this record would be Big Black + Black Sabbath + Swans. It's pounding, repetitive, hateful music drenched in omnipresent feedback. Sometimes the songs crawl across the floor, and others bang away for a mid-tempo beating, but they all employ a particularly disturbing wall of sound approach. The guitar, for example,  rips off some cycling neanderthal solos, but they never jump out from the mix, rather they maintain a low squall, that one review I read described as "claustrophobic", which is an especially astute observation.
If you are a fan of the proto-industrial hammerings of Big Black, Cop Shoot Cop, Swans, or a fan of droning metal then this record is right up your alley. Maybe you just want to hear what spawned Godflesh? 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Godflesh - Live - Schorndorf - 03-31-90the

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1990

Here is a Godflesh bootleg that seems to be one of the very few floating around the interwebs, that I've ever noticed anyway. The sound quality is pretty good, not pristine mind you, there are some overblown moments, but you can easily make out all the vocals, instrumentation, etc. I'd rate it an A-
I don't really feel the need to "explain" Godflesh, because we're all pretty much in agreement that they are one of the cornerstones of contemporary heavy music right? We can all agree that they were an ominous steamroller that devastated the listener through unrelenting precision, volume, and intensity right? And it seems that we can also agree that the band was the "total package" in that they had that presence most bands aren't committed to, the one that cloaks the group in a real and metaphorical dark haze, few photos exist, few interviews were conducted, and the band didn't really tour that much. Plus they predated the internet (at least the internet we now know) so if you wanted to know about them you had to dig real couldn't Google "Godflesh" and get their discography to pop up. I guess what I mean is that the band existing within an aura of mystery, and that simply heightened the excitement of any Godflesh news.
Listen to this recording very loud and with the lights out. Also, punch yourself in the face every three minutes or so for full effect.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beasts Of Bourbon - The Low Road

Label: Red Eye
Year: 1991

For some reason I feel like this record was just posted somewhere else...maybe on this website? Did I post it already? What day is it?
Regardless, here's a mid-career album by the Australian "swamp rock" band who went through more members than should be allowed. Through out the years they have been graced by personnel from Lubricated Goat, Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, The Scientists...shit...even the fucking Divinyls! G'day mate! (I may or may not be drunk right now)
So musically, let's see, how shall we put this? Bluesy, dirty, classic rock inspired, swamp scum. I don't really know. They cover the Rolling Stones' "Cocksuckers Blues", so does that do anything for you? Maybe you're a Creedance Clearwater Revival fan, and wanted to to hear the Birthday Party shamble through some covers? Maybe? No matter what, the opening track slays.
I need to go lay down.
Did Inter Milan beat AC Milan today? It was 2-0 early in the second half, and I decided to go for a bike ride and missed the end. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thrall - Lifer

Label: Alternative Tentacles
Year: 2003

To follow-up on the God Bullies post from earlier today, here's a record alluded to there that features Mike Hard, the vocalist of God Bullies, along with a cohort from his post-God Bullies band, Hand Over Head. Plus, it's called "Lifer", and I totally called the dudes in God Bullies 
"lifers"...see how I did that? Will the ciiiiiircle, be unbrooooken, by and by Loooord, by aaaand byyyyyy....
So for Thrall this was their third lp (and I think the last one they've put out), and their heaviest as well. The things that were mean, weird, disturbing, and dark about God Bullies have been amplified ten fold here. I mean, what the fuck is going on with bands like this, why are they so damaged? Midwest rage I suppose. But my point is, the music is way meaner than any "metal" band's release, and way more disturbed than the "punks", yet they toil away in the barren wastelands of...Kalamazoo...are there wastelands here?
Anycrap, just give this one a try if you never heard the band, I think you will find it to your liking. If I'm lying, I'm cryin, and there ain't a tear in my eye.

God Bullies - Mama Womb Womb

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1989

An oft overlooked band from Michigan that was straddling the fine line between sludgy noise rock and twangy cow punk, resulting in an unclassifiable din of indiscriminate origins. If you consider yourself an adventurous listener with a penchant for warped noise (I'm looking at you Cows fans) then God Bullies will be right up your alley.
The members of this band went on to be in Hand Over Head, Thrall, Cows (hey, look at that!), LikeHell, and Debauched among others. Nothing that would ever require them to comb their hair or wear a shirt with sleeves. Lifers basically.
I apologize for the brief missive here...but truth be told I'm running late for a lunch date, so I shall have to bid you a fond farewell for now. Ta-Ta!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Zeni Geva - Maximum Money Monster

Label: Pathological
Year: 1990

So, I'm back at the Zeni Geva well, but what can I say, I've been listening to them a ton these last couple of weeks, so I'm under the influence. 
This album gets off on a decidedly Godflesh foot with a 16 minute industrial dirge, and then settles into the repetitious beating that is to be expected from the band. They seldom surface for air once a song has been set to "bludgeon" focusing on driving the song's riff and beat out the back of your skull. There aren't a lot of bands that deliver this type of punishment over the course of a record, so you have to respect their work ethic.
I wonder why more metal "dudes" didn't get into this band. Could it be that their records were never released on a "metal" label, so the heshers missed the boat? Are Zeni Geva the original "hipster metal" band (predating countrymen Boris, and current "hipster metal" poster children by a good 3 years)? You never saw a pair of Zeni Geva sweatpants did you?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blonde Redhead - Blonde Redhead

Label: Smells Like
Year: 1995

One of the most uncomfortable moments I can ever remember witnessing during a concert was at a Blonde Redhead show at the 40 Watt in Athens, Georgia. The band is made up of twin Italian (cum French Canadian) brothers on drums and guitar, with (at the time) two diminutive Asian women on bass and guitar. So, you have a unique stage presence to begin with, but then throw in the added dynamic that twin brother on guitar and Asian woman on guitar had until recently been romantically involved. Again, not outrageous, just slightly peculiar. So, during an intense, feedback laden freak out jam in the middle of one of the songs, guitar twin brother moves toward Asian woman on guitar while they both are playing, then proceeds to pin her against the wall while they still are both playing. He then commences to start grinding his hips into her, and pretty violently I may add. Her response was a real pained look on her face, and maybe it was an act, but it seemed pretty humiliating at the time. It was weird...uncomfortable weird. Weird enough that you could hear above the din, "what the fuck?", "should someone get him off of her?". It made an impression, that's for sure.
Date rape aside, the band was fucking great, and their first couple of albums (this one being their debut) were blissful pop coated in sharp guitar bleats with male/female vocals of the disembodied/haunted school, they are blurted, cooed, and yelped as the music dictates. There are certainly Sonic Youth comparisons to be made, and just to galvanize those, note the record was released on Steve Shelley's Smells Like imprint (he also produced it). There's a lot of tension and mood on this record, and the songs are incredibly well crafted, they move subtly and aggressively from moment to moment.
Anyway, great record, you should certainly have it in your collection.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

V/A - A Day In The Park

Label: The Now Sound
Year: 1994

For the love of indie rock! Let's all take a deep breath, and step back from the caustic noise of the last few posts to cleanse our palettes with the good-time innocence that was seeping out of every college town in America at the beginning of the last decade. Sloppy, naive, poppy, quirky, catchy, punky, fun music, that somehow reeked with the "earnestness" that indie rockers lived and died by. Good times.
The bands are:

The Dam Builders (Boston)
Archers Of Loaf (Chapel Hill)
Versus (New York City)
Spatula (Chapel Hill)
Unwound (Olympia)
Grifters (Memphis)
Butterglory (Lawrence)
Crayon (Bellingham)
Nothing Painted Blue (Los Angeles)
Small 23 (Chapel Hill)
Diskothi-Q (Inland Empire)
Blaise Pascal (Vancouver)
SPeNT (Jersey City)
Portastatic (Chapel Hill)
Further (Los Angeles)
Refrigerator (Inland Empire)

If you recognize any of these names (and let's be should...if not, go Google "indie rock") then you know what to expect. It's a good record, and not just a nostalgia trip. Go for it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shithaus - Live Crush 84-85

Label: Self released
Year: 1985

Here's an oddity to follow up the Cop Shoot Cop post from a couple days ago. This band features the talents of, Jon Spencer, Tod Ashley, Tom Fry, and Jaime Jacquin when they were students in Providence, Rhode Island, before going on to form Pussy Galore (Spencer) and Cop Shoot Cop (Ashley) among their myriad other projects. 
While not the greatest sound quality, this cassette was recorded live, and during a radio broadcast on Rhode Island station 90.1 WRIU during a show called Noise With Neville where the band had to alter their moniker to Knocked Up Teens in order to spare the wrath of the FCC. Still, you get the early industrial vibe of Cop Shoot Cop with what seems to be homemade metallic percussion instrumentation, plodding bass lines, and some nasty guitar screeches. Kinda lo-fi Foetus? Maybe? I'm not exactly sure how to categorize it, so you'll have to listen to it yourself and figure out if this is a historical footnote, or a diamond in the rough.
Also, while trying to find an image of the cover, I noticed that COD-Music beat me to posting this already. Bastards. They always win. So maybe you missed it there, now you can grab it here.

Chrome + Helios Creed - Rarities

Label: Amphetamine Reptile, Cleopatra, Purple Pyramid. Cherry Red, Dossier, No. 6, Sub Pop
Year: 1989 - 1997 

Quick preface, by "Chrome", I mean the Helios Creed era Chrome, and even that is later era Helios Creed. Let's just get that out of the way.
So, if you care to have your post punk rock warped almost beyond recognition, then Helios Creed might just be your man. He joined the band Chrome in the mid 70's either ruining or elevating their stature depending on who you ask, adding some spaced out and sometimes harsh guitar work to their cadre of whacked pre-industrial, post glam, pre punk, art rock. The latter versions of the band consisted solely of Helios with hired hands, so most folks don't consider that "true" Chrome, but rather Helios Creed proper. Do you care?
The bottom line is that Helios Creed is a dude named  who has spent his life trying to replicate the sounds of his youth most notably, "listening to Black Sabbath on LSD on headphones as a teenager" via highly effected guitar warps. Imagine Butthole Surfers versus Alien Sex Fiend versus Brian Eno and you're pretty close. It's strange music from an equally strange dude, but it remains somehow soothing even during the more raucous squalls of noise. 
I think this little collection is a nice primer to the gigantic catalog the guy has belched out. What you're getting is this:
Chrome - Man's Ruin 10"
Chrome - Gearhead Magazine split 7"
Chrome - Extended comp.
Chrome - Brian Eno tribute comp.
Chrome - King Crimson tribute comp.
Chrome - Pink Floyd tribute comp.
Helios Creed - Guitarrorists comp.
Helios Creed - Smells Like Smoked Sausage comp.
Helios Creed - Dope, Guns, and Fucking In The Streets comp.
Helios Creed - Space Daze comp.
Helios Creed - Dossiers 2 comp.
Helios Creed - Warming Your Spaceman 7"

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