Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Cutthroats 9 - The Cutthroats 9

Label: Man's Ruin
Year: 2000

The other Cutthroats 9 full length was posted a few months back, and I believe I made my opinions clear then as to which band was superior, Cutthroats 9 or Unsane (here's a hint, it was Cutthroats 9). But with that recent JJ Paradise Players Club post, I started thinking about these guys again (Dave Curran is in both bands) and thought we should get this record up here post haste. I'm not sure exactly how Chris Spencer did it, but he took the Unsane template and made a band that was more menacing than it' predecessor. This band just feels more aggressive and hateful than Unsane...and that's saying something. There's also a more liberal use of the slide in his solos on this record, if you're into that kind of thing. I don't want to speak for you or anything.
Reptilian Records re-released this album a few years after Man's Ruin went belly-up, and you can probably still find it in their catalog, it's an impressive catalog after all.

In other news, did anyone else notice that Fred and Ipecac were back in effect? It's like a real team here now, shit, I was just in the Shiny Grey Break room and Fred and I made plans for a little beach volleyball match this weekend (cue Top Gun montage), and Ipecac and I are back to our standing 3:30pm slap fight date. It's just like old times!

* originally posted 04.17.09, reposted 01.30.14 since someone asked really really nicely.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fiddlehead - Live Atlanta - Midtown Music Hall - 07-24-94 - Last Show

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1994

This morning I was listening to Fiddlehead on my commute, which, you know, I'm prone to do. I fucking love Fiddlehead. So, also as I'm prone to do, I shoot a text to my buddy James Joyce (yes, THE James Joyce) to air out my theory that Fiddlehead rules so hard, and that they should have been this big, popular, lasting thing.
James agreed. He knows the deal.
And who wouldn't agree? If you like Drive Like Jehu, you like Fiddlehead, they were one guitarist away from being Drive Like Jehu (and possibly one bad attitude away). If you like the weirder parts of Swiz mixed with Bitch Magnet mixed with Slint, you like Fiddlehead. You like Fiddlehead, you just haven't heard them yet. I honestly can't think of a reason why you wouldn't like them, and trust me, I've spent time on the subject. So barring a personal grievance (which is a legitimate possibility), this is something you will like.
The aforementioned James did a couple great posts on the band over at the Beyond Failure blog here, including a crucial contemporary interview with Geoey Cook (vocals) and Mike Haggerty (bass) reflecting on what was, or would have been...go read it. Included in those posts are all of their studio output, and some live recordings (provided by Henry Owings of Chunklet), which are well worth checking out, but this one in particular, being their last show, and seeing as they end with a completely peerless, unfuckwithable triumvirate of "Lock End" (personal favorite), "Hard Genny", and "Waiting With Dave"...well...shit, you just don't do much better, so I was inclined to get it posted here.
Of the "could of, would of, should of's" of 1990's rock music, Fiddlehead are one of the biggest unsung heroes there are, or were. They were perfect.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Glifted - Under And In

Year: Martians Go Home
Label: 2002

First off, I must apologize for the lack of posts recently, but some unforeseen changes in my professional life have forced a shift in priorities as of late, and thusly I have not been very motivated to "blog" as it were.

But you don't care do you? I probably wouldn't.

So then on to Glifted. A duo consisting of Tim Lash of Hum, and T.J. Harrison of Lovecup out of Campaign-Urbana who produced the first piece of music to rival My Bloody Valentine, since the release of the watershed "Loveless". And I mean that. This is a true shoegazing monster in that My Bloody Valentine vein; hypnotic, pulsing, droning waves of thick guitars with the disembodied, distant vocals swelling over the music. It's sort of Hum + My Bloody Valentine + Mercury Rev. It's strange music, maybe not "rock" music per se, but it's definitely heavy, and it should appeal to followers of this blog. 

Let me know what you think.

*Originally posted 11.24.08, reposted 01.27.14 - this one has been back in regular rotation in my life, so I assume you should rotate it accordingly.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dethscalator - Racial Golf Course, No Bitches

Label: Riot Season

Step One: Turn everything up as far as they will go.
Step Two: Start rocking out as hard as you feel comfortable rocking out.
Step Three: Rock outside your comfort zone.
Step Four: Curtail rocking in lieu of a more frenetic squall of directional hate.
Step Five: Commence with the rocking again.
Step Six: Feed your iguana.
Step Seven: Make some Throat Coat tea, your vocalist needs it.
Step Eight: Get back to abusing anything with a 1/4" input, and set that to a steady pound.
Step Nine: Call in sick for work tomorrow. Fuck that place.
Step Ten: Atone.

And there you have it, the Dethscalator formula...super easy. Now you go try it, and report back after your third noise complaint, or fifth banishment from any local music tavern, whichever comes first.


Capsule - [A]

Label: Self Released
Year: 2013

Tune down, turn up, drop the fuck out.
Southerners do this best (regardless of if you consider Miami "the South" or "Latin America North"), possibly as a result of high humidity and laconic communication skills. Possibly it's some residual Civil War shit, like a grudge or something.
Total bludgeon, complete destruction. Sludged out on the hate tip with a nod of the hat to the masters of  the craft Buzzoven and Eyehategod, but a wink to the more meticulous thrashing slayers American Heritage.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Girls Against Boys - Live - Rotterdam, NL - 11-13-02

Label: Bootleg
Year: 2002

From the touring cycle of their final album, You Can't Fight What You Can't See, here's a decent sound quality recording from Holland. The volume is slightly low, but you can adjust yours accordingly, and there is some very occasional microphone noise, which you can't do anything for, but it's minimal. Overall quality is C+...a little better than average.
There are a couple songs on here I can't identify, maybe you can. There are also a couple of songs on here that are some of the better songs you'll hear this week, so look forward to that.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Icarus Line - Penance Soiree

Label: V2
Year: 2004

My vote for most underrated rock and roll record of 2004, or possibly the first decade of the century. Possibly it was overshadowed by their connection with Buddyhead's rabble rousing (the gossip section alone?), or maybe it was the live antics of guitarist Aaron North ("liberating Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar from a glass commemorative case mid set?), or maybe it was the move from post-hardcore to post-Primal Scream that confused folks?
Don't really know. But I do know the band had a pretty raging hard-on for British rock music of the previous era, especially the druggy, arty, and confrontational strains, which shows. Imagine the Rough Trade catalog circa 1985-1997 shuffled, shifted, and spit back out by Spiritualized and the  aforementioned Primal Scream, then take those songs to a Hollywood studio and bake under a constant temperature of high ego...and high dudes.
Purposefully unhinged and running just shy of "off the rails", it takes legitimate talent to come this close to losing it...but keeping it. The requisite pomp and swagger are present and accounted for, and the prototypical "rock attitude" is front and center, where it should be. If you're gonna do it, fucking do it. Quit pussyfooting around.
After this record the band went all haywire, and founder/guitarist Aaron North split to play in Nine Inch Nails, then Jubilee, then whatever he is doing now. Don Devore, previously of Frail, Ink and Dagger, Rain On The Parade, and the like, went on to Souls She Said and then Amazing Baby, and I think he played on a later Icarus Line record as well...I think. Icarus Line is still out there, albeit in a new configuration, and with less "success" as shown on Penance Soiree.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Kinison - Mortgage Is Bank

Label: Fearless
Year: 2003

Cautionary Tale: Over one decade ago, I heard a track by The Kinison called "The Kinison Area 53" (the final track on this ep) on a sampler of some sort, possibly a Q Magazine thing. So, I thought, "you know, that's a pretty good Refused-ish jam, not bad." So, I went and got the record (this ep).
Moral Of The Story: I loved Refused, but not At The Drive In.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Pretty Please - Father

Label: Self Released
Year: 2012

Holy shit. This band opened for Whores this past week, which was the first time I had ever heard of them, but that's not saying much...I am "out of the proverbial loop". Anyway, it's one of those moments when you're not really expecting anything, and a band comes along and knocks you on your ass (not to be confused with the type of band that comes along and smacks you on the ass, or one that taps that ass...different band interactions all together).
Sounds like the early 90's (for lack of a better word) grunge aesthetic filtered through some sludgy noise rock. Elements of Cherubs and their scraping weirdness, elements of Black Cobra and their gut punching heavy tar, elements of Verbena (who they mention as an influence) and their big catchy choruses, and elements of Nirvana and their...well, their ubiquitous influence on anyone playing music based on early 90s guitar rock.
The opening to the song "Seeed" is one of the more effective "first song" sequencing choices I've heard in awhile. It sets the stage for the next thirty-something minutes of your life perfectly. Big, thick, catchy, wrenching, swinging, driving, goodness.
Man, Atlanta is fucking killing it right now! I should get out more!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Law$uits - Future Failures

Label: Rallidae
Year: 2013

Someone, possibly the band themselves but I won't cast dispersions, was nice enough to share this record with us (me) in the forum section of the blog, and while I rarely make my way to that dark and dusty stretch of internet, I admit that I sneaked a peek.
Good thing, cause otherwise I would have missed out on this one. Like how I miss most other things.
I'm feeling pretty confident that this record will go over well within the mutated and inbred Shiny Grey Community, as it takes a post hardcore (Bluetip) sense of urgency outside to play but insists that it wear a sweater of noise rock (Tar) to stay warm (sensible). You can tell Law$uits have good and disciplined parents, as they keep their rocking and rolling within respectable limits of decency, never having to bury their shortcomings in feedback or screaming caterwauls, they keep their sound on the up and up. Punchy and square on the nose.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Felon Wind - The Felon Wind

Label: Money Pit Media
Year: 2006

I don't often put up my patented "Money Back Guarantee", because...well, my currencies are limited to shells, pelts, and shiny trinkets, rarely accepted outside my own village. But in the case of The Felon Wind, I shall do just that. Your motherfucking money back if you don't think this record rips all over your motherfucking face (motherfucker). It's that simple.
You want proof? Fine, here's your proof motherfucker (again, with the motherfuckers)!
1. Blood Meridian reference in the band name. So, that's good enough right there.
2. The guitars are mountainous in their heaving avalanches.
3. The vocals will alert your neighbors that trouble is afoot.
4. Recorded by Ed Rawls (Hal al shedad) and Andrew Wiggins (Hawks) at The Living Room Recording, so there's that.
5. You haven't been this completely swallowed by an album in far too long...quite fucking around and get in there!
6. You need this band to compensate for your shortcomings (balls).



Friday, January 3, 2014

Big'N - Hoss

Label: Ratfish
Year: 1992

Here's a quick one for you (7 minutes to be exact), but a nice little shot of special goodness to start your day. It's a two song 7" from the "lil band that could've", Big'N. This band should have been huge. They should have been tour the land playing to packed bars of adoring fans, They should have been putting out records to the highest accolades. They should have been reuniting this year to take a victory lap around America (like the rest of their peers).
They should have...but alas...Big'N is resigned to be a footnote in the annals of rock history. One of those bands the "aficionados" dig, but the plebeians have foregone in search of bigger and better highs. Oh well, right? Their loss huh? 
Enjoy Big'N. 

*Originally posted 09-08-09, reposted 01-03-14

Big Jesus - One

Label: Self Released
Year: 2013

A couple years back Big Jesus were kind enough to release the album "Big Jesus", and we were kind enough to post it here (twice blame that one on Human Resources). Fast forward to 2013, and Big Jesus are back, and still in a kindly manner, releasing what they are puzzlingly referring to as their "debut album", this one here, the one they are calling "One". Maybe the last one wasn't long enough to qualify as an album (that's what she said)? Or maybe, they had different members and a different sound and therefore have buried that previous recording under a building foundation somewhere? I don't know.
But I can tell you that they have gone from being very "grungy" riffing dudes, to very "grooving" riffing dudes. As if the first album was released in 1993 under the purple haze of Seattle runoff, and this album was released in 1996 under the post hardcore haze of major label feeding frenzy. Like, they went from Alice In Chains (nothing really wrong with that) records to Quicksand (nothing really wrong with that either) records. Endgame: they sound almost identical to Aegis. You know, the band with the guy from Shift (Undertow, actually), that rode that Quicksand wave back when that was a thing, and now updated their sound with a thicker sound, polished vocals, and a hint...a very small hint, of Deftones type dynamics? If you get into Torche's blend of stoner-harmony, and you liked that Aegis record, then you'll be doing just fine with this.
There's a lot of catchy bits in here, and some big, fun riffs which I enjoyed well enough. Hopefully you will as well?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

American Heritage - Why Everyone Gets Cancer

Label: The Rosewood Union
Year: 1999

Even though it's been a couple of days since we last spoke, I'm still on the topic of instrumental music. Aren't you? Well, cool, let's talk about it then.
Our last post was Kinski, who come at you from a post-hardcore direction, ebbing and flowing, bringing in the big dynamic wallops when needed. That's one way to do it.
Another way to do it is by creating this big, twisting, gnarled nest of riffs, tempos, drumming, and general aggression. You take that mess, and you throw it straight at the listener and let them work their own way out of the dense thicket. Takes a minute. Maybe takes longer. It's not easy work trying to trace sounds back to their source as the sounds themselves are rarely settled long enough to take root. It's not chaotic for the sake of being "difficult", or to impress you with their "chops", it's just a roiling ball of ideas that have been competing for some time within the minds of its creators, and those ideas are fighting to breathe. Unlike the mathy hardcore bands (Dillinger Escape Plan comes to mind) who seem content attacking the listener with change after change after unrelated change, American Heritage threads their ideas together into a cohesive tapestry. Sure, it waves in the wind, and it can get all knotted up, but it always unfolds to reveal itself to you in a way that is universally understandable. Maybe that has to do with a rhythm section who actually play a rhythm?
If you like loud and heavy and manic...this works.
Members of Yakuza, Brass Knuckles For Tough Guys, Grout Villa, Heaving Mass, Target, and probably ten other bands you, your friends, and I have never heard of.

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