Monday, June 25, 2018

Non Compos Mentis - Smile When You Hate

Label: Wonderdrug
Year: 1997

I'm getting old, or dementia is setting in, or I've had one too many concussive head traumas, cause I swear we posted this record some time back. But I looked in the archives, and lo, I don't see it.
So, let's forget what we forgot and see it now. Here.
Burlington, Vermont band Non Compos Mentis came and went with little fanfare, but left a legacy of burled, sludgy noise rock that came out of the same Tortuga Records / Hydra Head family tree that brought you Scissorfight, Millgram, Quitter, Roadsaw, and Cable. A lot like Cable really. Mean and nasty and unrepentant in their actions. Seemingly uninterested in being "pleasant", or "sweet". Your basic, garden variety dirtbags essentially.
They dressed in all orange jumpsuit things to boot. For fun.
Members were/are/shall some day be in; Drowningman, 52, and The Cancer Conspiracy


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walking Concert - Run To Be Born

Label: Some
Year: 2004

All hail Wally Biscuits!
You wanna have a "British Invasion Period"? Great. No problem here. In fact, the more Kinks-rock you want to knock out, I'm cool with it. Pop hit after pop hit of sunny, creaky, catchy blissed out fun? What's not to love?
Walter Schreifels does no wrong. I don't care if he punches my daughter square in the larynx, he does no wrong. And with Walking Concert he indulges the most Rubber Soul tendencies exhibited in Rival Schools, and let's them shine through unencumbered by distortion or two finger points. Shouldn't come as a surprise, as the through-line in his discography has been a knack for burrowing earworm melodies into hardcore, post hardcore, psych rock, or whatever else he lends his songwriting to.
Please note though (I'm talking to myself now), that Walking Concert is a true band, and not a solo project, or a collection of hired guns to back up the singer-songwriter. Drew Thomas (Youth Of Today, Bold, Crippled Youth, Dead Heavens, Into Another, etc, etc.) is on drums, Ryan Stratton (Hedge, Ouisa) is on bass, and Jeffery Johnson (of what I have no idea) is on second guitar.

Go outside for a few minutes, it'll do you some good.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Goatsnake - Man Of Light

Label: Warpburner
Year: 1998

Two things to talk about real quick:

1. Stoner rock is a real witchy woman, and it takes a lot of real talent (and some intangible mojo) to make it work well enough to revisit. Yeah, big burly fuzzy riffs are fun, and a swinging groove gets your noggin noodling around, but that's not "enough". For every Kyuss there's a hundred Solarized's. Bands that are merely "okay", but don't have the missing link to transform a gnarly Sabbath riff into a hum-able Sabbath song. Right? It's not memorable.  Well, Goatsnake were that rare bird (pterodactyl?) that could grind your brain into dust with a suffocating low end boogie-hell, whilst simultaneously lull you into a toe tapping (half speed toe tap, mind you) sing along. Rare bird indeed.
Chalk it up to professional grade talent manning the helm of that longboat. Pete Stahl of Scream, Wool, Earthlings?, and Desert Sessions on vocals. Guy Pinhas from Beaver, Porn, Obsessed, Fireball Ministry, and Acid King on bass. Greg Rogers of The Obsessed on drums. And the lynchpin of hte whole operation, the deft master of heavy guitar, Greg Anderson of Engine Kid, Brotherhood, False Liberty, Burning Witch, Sunn, Thorr's Hammer, Galleons Lap, Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine, Ascend, and a million more. It's pretty unstoppable.

2. I got a Corticosteroid injection today in my elbow to treat a nagging and recently very uncomfortable case of Tennis Elbow. A shocking diagnosis as, it was in my left elbow, and I am right handed, and prior to last week, I had not played tennis in at least three years (fuck you, tennis is a wonderful sport...just tennis players are usually ding dongs. And don't even get me started on Andre Agassi...fucking asshole). So this injection is applied right to the elbow in a spot that is already in pain, and it's a pretty normal feeling shot (read: not fun, but as a Macho Man, not that terrible either), but when the medicine entered by elbow it started to make a visible dome on my arm (which is "normal", according to my orthopedist) which freaked me out a bit, but then, this intense burning pain became near unbearable for about 5 seconds as this ball of steroid hormone begins spreading across my lateral epicondyle. And as previously mentioned, you're dealing with 100% Grade A Bro Beef here...I ain't no sissy...but good lord it was uncomfortable. And then five minutes later my arm feels like a million bucks. No pain whatsoever, and I'm all, "damn medicine, you're the best". A quick panacea I would find, as within an hour my arm began to ache and throb worse then ever before, and has so for the last 10 hours,and now I'm all, "damn medicine, you're a butthole, you're making me feel like I got a broke arm or some shit". It's making me nuts! 
So sweet. I'm not operating a peak capacity right now, and I could use a little sympathy. And a hug. Just don't jostle my left arm. Please.

3. (BONUS talking point) World Cup starts tomorrow! I'm personally rooting for Germany, and Mexico, and Egypt, and Iceland. But as long as you're not rooting for Spain, we can toast the Beautiful Game (and the most corrupt FIFA).

Monday, June 11, 2018

Today Is The Day - Blue Blood

Label: Rage Of Achilles
Year: 2002

You happen to catch Today Is The Day at O'cayz Corral in Madison, Wisconsin back in 1998 when they were touring on Temple of The Morning Star with Unsane?
Chances are, the answer is "no", right?
I would say "too bad", except that the entire set was recorded, and Steve Austin went back and mastered it in 2002, and Rage Of Achilles went ahead and put it out, and now you can pretend like you were there. Just turn it up to an era splitting volume, have someone rain flecks of spit and esophagus lining at you, and for added authenticity, maybe pay a couple buddies to smoke and chit chat between songs.

This version of 'Hermaphrodite' is nuts, and 'The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself' is particularly disturbing.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Hey Colossus - II

Label: Jonson Family / Shifty
Year: 2005

A run through of this record will either leave you feeling drained from the punishing weight and relentless pounding, or quietly rejuvenated from the....uhhhhh...warm droning weight and near meditative...ummmm...pounding.
Guess it depends on your mood.
And to be fair, it's really equal parts 5ive-ish slow burning monolithic groove sludge, and blown out stoner punk, with some Part Chimp-y robot rock fuzz. And we shouldn't overlook the Fugazi influence either. And I'd reckon Godflesh too. All that kind of stuff mixed in.
But regardless of comparisons and influences, Hey Colossus will run you down and run you over. Not with their speed, but with their implacable tramble.
Or maybe it's the massage of someone walking on your back?


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Lacy Jags - Scodes

Label: Potluck Foundation
Year: 2016

As is common, found myself and my family in Asheville, North Carolina this past weekend to enjoy the hospitality of my parents (my father is still pissed that I wore a Circle Jerks tshirt in front of company when I was 12 or so....but not so pissed that we can't still drink some beers together on the patio and enjoy the weather), some beautiful scenery, some delicious foods, and some of my favorite beers on earth. Maybe or maybe not in that order.
The hospitality was great.
The scenery was fantastic. Saw some elk, and were about one week early to catch the rare synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus...look it up) at a secret back porch location (although the fireflies were still pretty impressive...just not quite in sync yet...few days early), and had great cool evening air.
The food was as good as always. In particular a brunch at Laughing Seed that featured some pretty bitchin' vegan biscuits and gravy.
The beer was out of this world, especially at Burial Brewery, which is far and away my favorite spot in Asheville to take down a few cool ones.

But this time around, on this particular visit, it just so happened that A Place To Bury Strangers was playing in town, and being the hip and with-it fellow that I am, my wife and I decided to hit it up.
Opening the show was Chapel Hill, NC band Lacy Jags, who come on high recommendation from close personal friend Matt Gentling (name drop...don't trip), so we made arrangements to be there on time. Plus, close personal friend Matt Gentling "owes me a beer" and I intended on collecting.

Lacy Jags were in fact, very very good. Live, they really play up a muscular psychedelic rock that balances a driving Black Rebel Motorcycle Club kind of dirty motorik drone groove with a twelve string electric guitar, and three part vocal harmonies to humanize the darkness. It was impressive. Catchy and buoyant, but with teeth. Damn if North Carolina hadn't done it again.

This record doesn't deliver the same power as the live show, and it took a couple listens for me to get over that, but ultimately its a quick hitting slice of power pop psych that comes in handy if you find yourself outside in the sun.

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