Monday, December 30, 2019

great falls / thou - split




released: 2015
label: hell comes home

it's great falls covering shellac's "wingwalker".
it's thou covering shellac's "prayer to god".

it's great falls making shellac's "wingwalker" sound as if its eaten its wheaties.
it's thou making shellac's "prayer to god" sound as if it's being played on the eyehategod setting on the record player.

great falls shellac attack.
thou shellac attack.

DL

butthole surfers - independent worm saloon demos




why looky here,kids. it's your fa-vo-rite buttholes. and what they brought with them today are some demos of songs that ended up on their 1993 album INDEPENDENT WORM SALOON. that's a good album right there,lemme tell you. it's been suggested that you never drive and listen to the song "dust devil" at the same time because you could very well end up going 80mph through a cornfield with three of your pals sitting in the backseat....on acid. yeah. some folks just don't seem to have a sense of humor nowadays. anyway. we'll move on past that. and besides...it's not your fault that your one friend still isn't able to eat corn on the cob. it's been almost twenty years! come on now!

DL

Monday, December 23, 2019

THE BEST OF 2019

You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest list in the land...the annual Best Of list from your buddies (singular buddy, if we're being honest...my opinions consult to no man, woman, or child...nor can they be contained within any sort of "collaboration"...doesn't work, nor would or should anyone be forced to take any responsibility for what is contained herein.) here at Shiny Grey Monotone! All the reckless platitudes and uncorroborated claims you've come to know and "love". The lack of research, the lack of diversity, the rampant ego...it's all here!
Please allow me to introduce you to the records that raised my dander in the most unholy of ways this past calendar year, that I actually heard. There were plenty that I did not, and maybe never will. Or maybe will hear and lament next year in this space that I missed the boat. If I allow myself the vulnerability of admitting an error...TBD. But doubtful. 
Congratulations to all the folks on this list, and on the previous Almost Best Of List. We (me) owe you a laurel, and a hardy handshake for our new town...favorite records. Without those willing to slog it out in the mostly thankless world of music-making we would exist in a much quieter, more boring life. So, please keep being creative and awesome and keep going for it. There are thousands of people out here who appreciate your efforts, and hope that you continue on your path.
And to those reading this (hi Mom!), please do consider supporting these artists by buying physical copies of their releases, buying shirts, going to see them when they pass through your town, and reach out every once in awhile to let them know you give a shit, and what they are doing is important to you. Also, call your Mom...she would appreciate an update.

Ok, so here we go...enjoy!

35. (tie) Harrison Ford Mustang

So yeah, it's a tie, which is a copout to squeeze in one last record, but what do you want me to do? Not include this 'lil gem of indie rock goodness?! This shit is in my fucking DNA man, there was no way around including this band!

DL


35. (tie) Den - Iron Desert
(there is no video evidence of the band Den known to man [or my Googling])
Mountain moving, industrial strength, low end gut punch. It's sludge, it's metal, it's hardcore, it's stoner boogie...it's a bad vibe, biker speed, rough trip. Plus, added bonus, one of the dudes was in Constatine Sankathi...weird 90's emo connections.

DL


34. Spotlights - Love & Decay

Do you recall how tedious all those bands were post-Isis, that tried to do the big, epic, heavy monumental post-metal sound? Cause it got real awful real fast, especially when you consider that Neurosis are still in business putting out records that are 100x better than whatever Tides was doing (no offense Tides, but it's the first band I could think of that I was thinking of). Well, anyway, fast forward few years and folks starting taking those boring sounds and bringing the wall of sound shoegaze bliss into the mix, and all of a sudden your Isis has some Loop in it and we're off to the races.

DL


33. Djunah - Ex Voto

From the smoldering husk of Beat Drun Jul, comes Djunah, which needs to be seen to be believed. It's just two people, but Donna Diane is out here playing guitar, singing, and playing bass via a Moog Taurus with her feet, all at the same time, and all really well. How her brain is able to sort through those tasks simultaneously is far beyond my pay grade (which is essentially volunteer...I do not get paid anything to write these asinine reviews), it's amazing. And the thing is, performance gymnastics aside, the band is generating great great songs of powerful, dark, emotionally charged noise rock. This is an exciting band to watch out for.

DL


32. Pinko - You And You

Each year that I have done this Best Of rigmarole, there seems to be one record that could be nominated for "Noise Rock Template Of The Year", which I mean in a good way. Like, there is one band that checks all the boxes we want in a noise rock record, and fly the flag high and proud. This year, I would point to Pinko as that record. It's quintessential and perfect noise rock. I appreciate that.

DL


31. Marriage + Cancer - Bro

Usually a two song ep would not make a "Best Of" list, but in all honesty, this is me begging pittance for neglecting to including last year's self titled full length, which was phenomenal. I just didn't listen to it until this year. And the two songs on "Bro" continue the patient, menacing, build of that album, so...it all works out. It's fair. They remind me a little of the band Heads. in how they let their songs uncoil and breath in a way that creates a dark, queasy pall. So anyway, sorry for the omission last year, I hope this makes up for it. Both records are phenomenal and you (we) should own them all.

DL


30. Tropical Trash - Southern Indiana Drone Footage

Punk rave-ups that call to mind the Wipers-cum-Hot Snakes fun times, but with a sinister vibe that keeps one foot in a swampy graveyard (New Orleans?) and prompts one to keep an eye over their shoulder.

DL


29. Help - Help

Out of Portland, Oregon, this triumvirate set forth to blast ears with a workman burl of tangled punk noise that is at once defiantly uplifting and alternately wall-punching viscera. You would be hard pressed to accept the CV that there is a member of the band Portugal. The Man within these outbursts, but alas, the world is full of surprises.

DL


28. Youff - 20/20 Hindsight and If Wishes Were Horses, Homicidal Beggars Could Ride

While I’ve never actually heard the sounds of my tormentors laughing at me while a hornets nest has been placed over my head, and a metal garbage can that’s being whacked with a wooden baseball bat is placed atop that, I feel that this record is a pretty apt approximation. Youff put out two full lengths this year, and both could just as easily soundtrack your next disorienting heat stroke, so I'm including them both.

DL, DL


27. Giants Chair - Prefabylon

Graduates of the Midwest Emo Class of 1996, who would have guessed that Giant's Chair would resurrect 23 years later to put out the best album of their "career"? Not me. I would not have. Yet, here we are, talking about how good this new Giant's Chair record is. It's good. Really good.

DL


26. Salvation - Year Of The Fly

Of the approximately 34 different bands who have released records under the moniker “Salvation” (and not including all the straightedge versions of that band name), this particular Salvation (of Chicago, Illinois USA) were the best Salvation of 2019. Their brusque take on noise rock brings in elements of Burning Brides’ maximum grunge-n-roll right alongside the downer thud of Metz, and it makes for an invigorating brew.

DL


25. Big Bite - Trinity

As an older person, trying to raise younger persons and navigate their teenage proclivities and interests, I often have conversations with them about how "times are different". And a lot of those conversations are initiated by musical inspirations; me complaining that they listen to terrible music...mostly. It's not to bag on them or to not understand that the cultural landscape is in constant flux, but it's just to say, "why don't you guys want to dig deeper? Aren't you curious to hear different, more challenging things?". That was part of the fun of music to me, and how my own identity came into focus, by digging and chasing down leads. But I guess that's not how today's instant gratification, hold-the-entirety-of-the-internet-in-the-palm-of-your-hand world works. My children will never care that Big Bite has mastered an old guitar driven, fuzzy indie rock style that put a smile on my face decades ago, and still doesn't fail to make me smile. They just don't get it. Youth is wasted on the young. Or young til I die...or whatever.

DL 


24. Whep - Welp

If you could only ever eat one type of food for the rest of your life (and we're not concerned about the scientific or nutritional effects of a mono-diet here), what would it be? I think mine would be burritos. Although there are times that I would say pizza (I had pizza for dinner tonight; black olives, onions, tempeh, vegan cheese, extra sauce, it was delightful), but until a vegan cheese is truly mastered, I'm going to stick with my original answer of burritos. My burrito would have black beans, pinto beans, rice, lettuce, pico de gallo, onion, cilantro, fresh jalapeno, guacamole, tofu, corn, and a shit ton of hot sauce. It's actually not that unhealthy really. When you think about it. Has fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and even a superfood. Shit. Imma live forever on my burrito diet! My under drawers may take a beating, and my wife may kick me out of the bed, but I'll be stuffed and satiated.
Also, this Whep record is great. Can't speak on the status of their skivvies, or if they are off-gassing to offensive levels though. But the record is great.

DL


23. MTN ISL - Let Us Pray

The underdog's underdogs, MTN ISL continue to create a specific strain of burly thud rock at their own pace and as they see fit. No hype, rarely any live outings, no real warning that they are lurking about actually. Just all of a sudden, there you go, here is a new album from MTN ISL. Enjoy. Or don't, your enjoyment doesn't seem to be a priority. The overall theme of "fuck it" seems to carry over from the members own dispositions into the lumbering compositions they bellow out. A PR machine, they are not, as evidenced by me having to post a five year old live clip of a song that isn't on the new album, cause nothing on the new album exists as video anywhere. But that's ok. We live in an oversaturated world, so it's nice to see some humility. You all should buy their record and reward their efforts. Make them feel loved, and wanted, and beautiful, like they are.

DL


22. Great Sabatini / Great Falls - split

We got a real bruiser here fellas. Like, just viciously heavy and gnarled. All the grace of a sledgehammer and all the beauty of a ten car freeway pileup. Super ugly music. Perfectly ugly. Exquisitely ugly.

DL


21. Child Bite - Blow Off The Omens

I used to get a real Dead Kennedys feel from Child Bite, but on this new album I'm getting more of a Clutch-plays-Jesus Lizard feel. Which I have zero point zero issues with. I encourage it, actually. Go on Child Bite, do what makes you feel good.

DL


20. HARDCORE ROUNDUP '19

PROCESS BLACK - COUNTDOWN FAILURE: While we patiently wait for a new No Escape record (I was promised a new No Escape record), Process Black gives you the Tim Singer dosage you need. And this time with Aaron Edge supplying the heavy riffs. I really hope they keep this project going, I love it.

DL


SHINERS CLUB - WIRES IN THE WATER: OCHC royalty b'last! through a quick set of raging rippers that keep things pounding. It's great to show the young folks that even past the age of 50, if you got it, you can still give it.

DL


MIRACLE DRUG / PIECE OF MIND - SPLIT: Miracle Drug come correct with some damaged Ressurection styled hardcore, played by some heavy hitters who know how to deliver. Piece Of Mind roar through some abrasive Bloodlet meets Turmoil meets Integrity blunt force trauma.

DL


TAP AND DIE - BOMBS OVERHEAD: Matt Anderson from Heroin, Steven Miller from Unbroken, Oscar Paz from Impel, and Sam Stothers from Narrows. Real deal SD hardcore legends take Swiz and give it a swift kick in the pants on this album. Perfect.

DL


FRAME OF MIND - IRIESHUN: You could slot this record into the New Age Records catalog squarely between the Turning Point lp and the first Outspoken 7", and nobody would realize you had time travelled to do it. It would be considered a minor classic.

DL


L.O.T.I.O.N. - WORLD WIDE W.E.B.: Take crusty hardcore, run it through a noisy industrial sieve, and give it a fully formed dystopian cyber-world armageddon backstory, and there you get L.O.T.I.O.N. Kudos.

DL


A HORSE CALLED WAR - GOOD FOR GLUE: Obscenely heavy and aggressive nihilism in the form of sludgy hardcore that takes parts from Iron Monkey, Noothgrush, Anti Cimex, and Charger. Gross.

DL


MIL-SPEC - DDM SESSIONS: Live and raw versions of Mil-Spec's Verbal Assault meets Turning Point meets Rites Of Spring take on hardcore. Vital and exciting.

DL


CANDY - SUPER-STARE: Only two songs, but holy fuck, they bring an Integrity blasting that is music to these ears (granted, it's literally music to everyone's ears, as it is music, and you can hear)

DL


19. Greys - Age Hasn't Spoiled You

I really respect a band who can pull an album off where each track is different from one to the next. It takes a sonically adventurous, and musically accomplished group to do it right. Greys have done it here. They give you exuberance and melancholy and experimentation, and straight up rock music. From the Brit-pop leanings of Blur to the slowcore haze of Codeine, to the kitchen sink approach of Eels, to the fuzz pop of Solids. It's not as jarring as that may sound. It works. I love it, and I'm a fucking curmudgeon who hates anything "new"!

DL


18. Tile - Stendell

We should be talking more about how good this band Tile is. Unless of course, you already talk too much about dumb music stuff, and need to "broaden your horizons" because you are "boring the ladies", and "alienating the guests". So, in that case, I don't know, bone up on sports or politics or whatever adults talk about, and just keep it to yourself that Tile is real fucking good. Unless, of course, you find yourself in a discussion on the finer points of the Allentown, PA noise rock scene, and if that's the case, by all means, go for it!

DL


17. Garbage Man - The First Two 7"s

Ok, sure, if you wanna get me on a technicality, the first Garbage Man 7", half of this compendium, was released in 2018, and I missed it. But, to my credit, the second 7" was in fact released in 2019, so...even with my super important and busy lifestyle, I managed to remain at least sort of current. And even if I am late to the game, you'll excuse me for still wanting to get some exposure for this JJ Paradise Players Club meets Vertigo shit kicking stomper. Maybe you aren't so cool either? You ever think of that?

DL


16. USA Nails - Life Cinema

Nervy and jittery in that quaint English post-punk way, but bitter and acerbic in that sneering English punk way. So you get the sense that they have disdain for you (not me) in that universally excellent noisy way. They truly do seem annoyed with you. Like, they are quickly losing patience for you bullshit, man.
Sidebar: probably my favorite record cover of the year.

DL


15. Vandal X - Blood On The Street

If you react favorably to the repetitive crush of any project Chris Spencer has been affiliated with, then you should absolutely be reppin' Vandal X (yes, the band name gives away their allegiances). You've had a quarter of a century to get hip to these Belgian bulldozers, so, get fucking hip. Previous records were a little wilder and less direct, Blood On The Street really finetunes their focus and drills you for the full 45 minutes of this album.

DL


14. Hex Machine - Cave Painting

From the fertile crescent...the other fertile crescent, the one along the James River, Hex Machine continue the Richmond lineage of weirdo-heavy-rock that can be traced back to Pen Rollins. Non-linear, but totally satisfying. They manage to give an interesting twist to the noise rock rulebook with off-kilter turns and strange proggy guitar runs. And who here doesn't want something a little different?

DL


13. Buildings - Negative Space

Damn, this one hurts. Nonstop pummel rock, that gives you momentary glimpses of the respite you need, right before throwing a burlap sack over your head and continuing to take turns swinging on your skull with a rough hewn length of wood. A primal sort of workout, all sweat, pain, and assholes who don't wipe down the elliptical machine after they use it. Fucked up shit.

DL


12. Multicult - Simultaneity

Five full length albums in, and I think we should all be prepared for the professional grade ass whipping that Multicult are going to rain down onto our...asses(?). They have continued developing a tightly coiled brand of tense noise rock that harkens back to the Midwestern Epoch of 1987-1992, when Scratch Acids, and Jesus Lizards, and Tars, and Arcwelders, and Flours, and Arsenals roamed the Frost Belt.

DL


11. Coilguns - Watchwinders

Having jettisoned some of the more exploratory passages that dotted their last record, Coilguns have tempered the attack to a fine point. Urgent and vibrant like Refused, rumbling and knuckle-dragging like Cult Of Luna, it’s a hardcore record that got held up at gunpoint by Barkmarket on their way to a Mastodon show.

DL


10. Tropical Fuck Storm - Braindrops

I was late to the game with this band, missing last year’s debut album by many month, and discovering both it, and this new one at the same time. So I apologize for my tardiness, but you must understand I have a very important life to lead over here (just kidding). Tropical Fuck Storms brings that certain Australian style of warped weirdness that has steered that country’s musical exports for the last few decades off the beaten path. In their case, TFS sounds like if Captain Beefheart (who I never listen to, cause they are irritating) were commandeered by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. It’s twitchy and uneasy, and at the same time revolutionary and scummy. Like a phD carnival barker ranting about global politics and cultural erosions. Has members from The Drones.

DL


9. All The Saints - Looks Like You're Going Somewhere

Hazy, noir, sinister. Creeps who bow to no man nor whim. This band has taken the long road, but every turn sees them the better for it. Their deliberant slink out of the shadows has them taking a distortion pedal and bottle of cough syrup to Bauhaus’ goth scree, unwinding their warm dirges as to seduce you into their underworld.

DL


8. Kal Marks - Let The Shit House Burn

I love the way this band has cloaked these melodic songs in unique structures, big distorted loudness, and with the distinctive croak/screech of singer Carl Shane. It doesn’t sound like anybody else really, even though it scratches this writer’s constant itch (no, not the one in my undercarriage) for noisy, fucked up, catchy indie rock. So if bands like Ovlov or Solids float your boat (or scratch your undercarriage [which on a boat would be called ‘the hull’]), then Kal Marks will do the same.

DL


7. Bummer - Thanks For Nothing

While I’ve never personally experienced the feeling of standing behind a jet engine during takeoff (hell, if we’re being honest, I would be hard-pressed to explain even a rudimentary understanding of basic avionics or flight engineering mechanics), but I imagine it would be something akin to blasting this new Bummer ep straight into your face. Maybe they will use these songs in the new Top Gun movie? That will most likely have airplanes blasting off in close proximity to human heads, right? Danger Zone indeed! I would be remiss to not mention the (Mall Goth) elephant in the room that is the inclusion of the Marilyn Manson song ‘Beautiful People’ on this record. And while that song was goofy when it came out, and Marilyn Manson was a hick version of Nine Inch Nails, Bummer give it an overdriven kick in the ass, so it works out in the end.

DL


6. Big Brave - A Gaze Among Them

The Bardo Pond for a new generation! Wielding a bombast so heavy that it circles back onto itself as a soothing meditation, but with the welcome addition of Robin Wattie’s soaring vocals to humanize an otherwise otherworldly experience. Maybe not the best music for a long drive in the car (unless you’re on some sort of suicide pact or something), but great music for working, creating, or contemplating (that suicide pact, for instance).

DL


5. USA/MEXICO - Matamoros

So a dude from Butthole Surfers, a dude from Shit And Shine, and a dude from Todd walk into a bar…and the health department shuts the bar down for violating local code (rimshot). These three guys have crafted a truly noble piece of noise rock art with this album. It is start to finish, one of the most combatively heavy and unapologetically ugly records I’ve heard in years. It’s maximum everything, everything turned way the fuck up, everything bleeding over everything else, and everything slowed to a troglodyte stomp. Exactly as you want it to be. And the fact that they revisit the best Cherubs song ever, WITH Kevin Whitely on vocals…it’s just…perfect.

DL


4. Austerity Program - Bible Songs

You know what would make listening to Big Black more fun? Putting a beehive on your head and having your friends take turns swinging on you like a piƱata while you recite Old Testament verse. That’d do it! You’re not allergic are you? I mean to the Bible; are you allergic to the Bible? I know exposure has varying results, and you should limit your time in the Bible’s presence, but this record is only 22 minutes, so you should be fine.

DL


3. Cherubs - Immaculada High

I’m not sure that anyone would have thought that Cherubs would come out of a nearly 20 year hibernation in 2016 to release a great album, and then follow that up a year later with an incredible ep. Men of such…dignified, age should be taking it easy, enjoying spending time with their families, maybe even writing an unnecessary music blog. Anything but creating such disgustingly perfect noise rock such as they are. Play some fucking shuffleboard for god’s sake, will you?! And now, here we are and the Cherubs mk II train keeps rolling with another incredible album of the distinctive sound they have animated out of the Austin underbelly since day one. The roiling, churning, rumble that has endeared the band to lowlifes and dirtbags going on twenty seven years now.

DL


2. Pile - Green And Gray

Pile is a band with such a deftness of craft, that they can volley from minimal, quiet introspection straight into vein bulging aggression without any problem, and more importantly, in a manner that maintains the album’s cohesive integrity while doing it. Musically, the interplay between players is good enough to make this top album of the year, but then layering on top of that the perfectly worn vocals and mordant-cum-tender lyrics of Rick Maguire, and this quickly jumps from “oh yeah, that’s a really good band” to “fuckin-a, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Pile, they are better than any of that shit you listen to”. Like, they are legit incredible. Their entire discography is fucking incredible, and ‘Green And Gray’ continuous to make the case that Pile is as a good a band as you’re likely to come across in your lifetime. Seriously.

DL


1. Mannequin Pussy - Patience

Man, do I ever hope that Mannequin Pussy become the biggest band on the planet. I would be so refreshing to live in a world where I’m hearing Marisa Dabice’s vocals and lyrics on the radio instead of…whatever that person’s name is who’s on the radio now…or at least my idea of what I think the radio sounds like. Assuming there even still IS a radio? I have teenagers and they don’t seem to know what a radio is…so maybe I’m out of touch (you think?). That’s not the point though, my cultural blindspots are well documented already and we shouldn’t dwell on them. The real point here is; just how fucking awesome is the latest Mannequin Pussy album? Keeping one foot in the caterwauling hardcore buzzbomb of their previous records and adding in a newer, vulnerable, tuneful approach (a more melodic Yeah Yeah Yeahs might be a good starting point) gives the record a balance and personality that creates a life-affirming joy (even in the misery of some the material here) and gives you a record that you will be listening to in 10, 20, 40 years to get the same jolt of excitement. Personally, I’ll be long dead in 40 years, but, I assume you young folks will still be doing your proverbial “thing” after I depart. As Marisa Dabice says on this record, “I did not choose my life, and I won’t choose my death”. You can ask those in close proximity to my person that I have been subjecting everyone I can to this album. I could not love it more than I do, and then after seeing the band live this year (even in an opening slot with a sick Dabice), I was completely fixated on it.

DL

Monday, December 16, 2019

THE (ALMOST) BEST OF 2019


Look, y'all know I'm a braggart of the worst kind (an underserved one), but please do allow me to (introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste) toot the 'ole horn (woot woot) here and tell you that unlike years prior, I have actually been preparing for this annual undertaking for the better part of the year! And in recent months I've really kept diligent notes on the releases I came across in 2019 in order to better organize what is (and will endearingly remain [I'm certain]) a shitshow of self flagellation/masturbation as I try and walk you through the dusty hallways of my memory as illuminated by the happenstance and hardly justifiable lantern that is "my opinion".
Get ready.

As always I think it's important to note the following:
1. If you are in a band that is out there following your passion, then I applaud you, and I wish you all the best. Music is an increasingly tough business to break even on, and so we all owe a collective "thank you" to the bands, the labels, the distributors, the pressing plants, the managers, the venue owners, the talent bookers, and the folks who actually SPEND MONEY to listen to the labors of those passions. Thank you. And if your band is terrible...you'll find out soon enough.
2. I am an amateur at pretty much everything, yet an asshole about pretty much everything. So, please take it for what it's worth (it's worth a free blog post...pretty much), and don't worry about what I think, or what most anyone thinks (except your parole officer. You should most definitely be on your best behaviour around your P.O.), and get out there and do cool shit that makes you happy. And again, if you're terrible at the cool shit that makes you happy...you'll find out soon enough.
3. Pay money for things that are of value to you. Life isn't cheap, so don't be a cheapskate. If you hear something here that gets your neck hairs (or backhairs, you disgusting pig) up, then go buy it!

Alright, on with it. As of today, this exact moment, these are the 30 records from 2019 that just barely weren't my favorite 30 records of 2019, but they very well could be. Tomorrow.


30. Cellos / Not Of - split

Two songs apiece, and all four are jammers. Driving, raw, and rocking. I'd say that's kinda all that you really should care about. Right?

DL


29. YC-CY - Beton Brut

Wildly careening and abrasive damage straight outta...ummm...Switzerland(?). If things are fucked up enough for you, don't worry, they unleash a goddamn synthesizer to ratchet up the disorientation factor. Rad!

DL


28. Lower Slaughter - Some Things Take Work

Lower Slaughter is "one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds" that has the unfortunate luck of being named after what sounds like some precursor battle in the Roman siege of the British Isles (where my Hadrian-heads at?)...which is weird. And then this sludgy grunge band came along and stole the name clear out from under them? Rude!

DL


27. Gloop - Smiling Lines

I feel like you're always yelling at me, but I don't understand why. Was it something I said? Something I did that offended you? Gloop? GLOOP?! I'm asking you a question, GLOOP!

DL


26. Aneurysm - Awareness

Here's a five piece out of Boston who have mastered the art of subtlety, infusing their slow burn love songs with flecks of jazz syncopations to draw attention to the nuanced shadowplay of light against dark in a genre-less diaspora of...wait. What? Wrong band? These are the folks who just blast ahead with wild-eyed hardcore and blown out noise rock? Oh...man...that's on me y'all. Sorry.

DL


25. Luggage - Shift

I think they described themselves as "disciplined", but maybe that's the Fifty Shades Of Grey playing in the background on the Hallmark Channel talking. Regardless, this is very measured and exacting...like a good flogging.

DL


24. Killer Hill - About A Goat

Only two songs, so, points for brevity. And speaking of two, you get the two brothers Beeman (maybe there are more brothers Beeman that we don't know about?) on here, who previously dazzled as guitar and drums for the greatest band nobody ever brings up in "Greatest Bands Conversations", Guzzard. Too much t(w)o ignore.

DL


23. Hungry Ghost - Let The Healing Begin

Sara Lund on drums...which could easily be the beginning and end of this blurb, and I would be excused for giving you enough information to go on. But, since I'm a professional, I will add that beyond that impeccable pedigree, Hungry Ghost stomp a bluesy rock footprint across the back of your Retribution Gospel Choir tshirt.

DL


22. Black Midi - Schlagenheim

For a goodly amount of time I avoided this record because of my strict "No Posers" policy, and due to the hype around Black Midi and their sort of fully formed arrival from out of nowhere (art school), I was suspect of their authenticity. But, as is usually the case, I was merely being prejudiced.

DL


21. Pet Fox - Rare Occasion

Driving melodic post-hardcore that takes me back to the mid-90's and the emo bands like Friction, Christie Front Drive, Castor playing house shows that girls would actually stay inside for. The more I listen to this one, the more I really love it...and I'm all man...ask around.

DL


20. Grizzlor - Coolness Factor 6

Grizzlor is consistent (and prolific) in their gross, noisey, punk sludge hammerings. I appreciate that. They should be rewarded for their dedication.

DL


19. Vampyre - Other Growths

These are not the goth droids you are looking for (based on their band name). This is a focused attack of a band that comes blazing at full volume and high velocity (maaaaybe with a goblet in hand and a black candelabra in the background)

DL


18. Wilco - Ode To Joy

Jeff Tweedy continues to make a case for being included on my personal singer/songwriter Mount Rushmore, and with the rest of Wilco in tow...it's hard to beat. This album is a slow burn that picks up a little the last quarter, but the whole thing cuts to the bone.

DL


17. Oozing Wound - High Anxiety

I never had a "metal phase" in my life, but I've lived consistently "metal adjacent", and on occasion a band like Oozing Wound sneaks a little "metal" into my "life".

DL


16. Sutphin - Medicine Machine

I don't want to say that the fact the opening song is called "Vomit Date" is, like, ALL you need to know. But, if you knew then we'd all know.

DL


15. Tunic - Complexion

They wilin' in Winnepeg, y'all.

DL


14. Plague Vendor - By Night

You know I sometimes get confused by Refused influenced post hardcore that has a bit of tongue and cheek sassiness. But usually I'm right. I'm a pretty good judge of character.

DL


13. Membrane - Burn Your Bridges

Very easily could have told me that this was a band from Savannah, Georgia with members of Damad, Baroness, and Kylesa, and I would have said, "Word?". It has those riffs that get pushed out and then pulled back in, and that open-car-window-on-the-freeway vocal bellow, so you would be all "Word?" too. Especially when I tell you they are from France (do they have Christmas in France?).

DL


12. Body Spray - Music To Fall Down To

This band has a very "when Gray was in college in Athens, GA in 1993" vibe to it. It reminds me of the local bands around town with names like, Slumberjack, Magneto, Landspeeder, and Bob. They were bands comprised of surly dudes who worked as line cooks and listened to worn out copies of Killdozer, Black Flag, Surgery, Mudhoney, Tad, and Led Zeppelin tapes all day. It was a fun time, and I hope Body Spray takes this as the compliment it is intended to be.

DL


11. Intercourse - Bum Wine

Full bore with this one. You got to want it, and you have to be willing to reach down into that open manhole to get it.

DL


10. Low Dose - Low Doses

Straight to the point, sweaty, punchy, grungy rock music. Are you all of a sudden some kind of snob or something? That ain't good enough for you now? Princess?

DL


9. Trigger Cut - Buster

It's exactly what you want to hear when somebody says, "hey buddy, you wanna hear some 'noise rock'?". Which, admittedly, is not a question you probably hear that often, but then again, I can't be blamed for the low quality of those you surround yourself with. Have some self respect how 'bout it?

DL


8. Sofy Major - Total Dump

For a few years now, Sofy Major has been doing a pretty convincing job trying to get me to consider them the J.J. Paradise Players Club of France (maybe the club franchised?). And now they go and get Dave Curran to record and mix this record?! That's a fucking long grift. Although, I will say there's a bit of Red Fang creeping (death) in on Total Dump, so maybe next time they get Aaron Beam behind the desk?

DL


7. Show Me The Body - Dog Whistle

Show Me The Body sounds like the name of a speed strip club concept, for perverts who are pressed for time. But Show Me The Body the band don't seem like the type of dudes who are into quick nudity. So, the mystery of their name lives on...

DL


6. Nerver - Believer's Hit

If you were a prankster, and you wanted to pull a reeeeeeaaaallly funny joke on somebody, you could tell them that this record was actually by a band from the Louisville, KY scene circa 2003 who used to open for Breather Resist and National Acrobat and Black Cross a bunch. And then they would believe you, and then you would say, “you dumb pile of shit! This band isn’t from Kentucky, they are from Missouri, and they are from RIGHT NOW! Wow, what a gullible stupid idiot you are.” That would be a hilarious joke.

DL


5. Post/Boredom - Ritualistic Time Abuser

Heavy, shit-kicker trudge from Seattle, but with nary a “grunge” in sight. I mean, maybe you hear some Tad in the riffs, but this is a newer, more modern take on the primitive pummel that you came here for.



4. Opium Lord - Vore

Hulking, down tuned behemoth of a blackened creature which strides purposefully throughout the barrens of the English midlands flattening medieval townships and pastoral villages alike with no remorse or second thought. Casting despondent malevolence across the landscape as sport. Darkening days, burning down all hope for a better tomorrow.

DL


3. Petbrick - 1

Easy listening for the kind of person who takes bath salts and chews the face off of a homeless man. Or a white noise machine sounds for when your Mercury capsule is re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Chillwave soundtrack for taking a barrel over Niagara Falls. An unrelenting industrial noise hammering for everyone else.

DL


2. Swervedriver - Future Ruins

Since returning from the wilds back in 2013 (maybe 2008, if you’re nasty), Swervdriver’s “space travel rock-n-roll” has reclaimed the band’s rightful place on the mantle of music history. This year’s new album continues their ascent to the outer galaxies with more of the gauzy shoegaze indie rock perfection that has endeared them to misfits since the turn of the decade, three decades ago. Mastercraft shit.

DL


1. Cavity AD - Wraith

Cavity went from being the Eyehategod record you wish Eyehategod would put out in the 1990s, to now being the Head Of David record you wish Head Of David would put out now. They have been nice enough to differentiate this version of the band from the older hardcore sludge assault of the original incarnation with a handy "A.D." moniker. But believe me, this music is as ugly and wrenching as anything they did twenty years ago. It's way fucking ugly.
(could not find any video clips from the new record, so please do enjoy a track from the 2017 Cavity AD album...and then do some snooping around on your own)

DL

(the) melvins - 9 clowns of the apocalypse

                                                     



label: amphetamine reptile records

everyone loves the melvins.
it's a fact.
and if you don't agree with that you're just trying to look cool in front of your....
i couldn't make it through the writing of that without a chuckle.
friends?
what are those?
it's ok not to have those.
they just keep wanting to borrow your stuff.
they keep asking you questions about your sister.
they keep asking you questions about your mom.
there's that one that keeps asking you questions about your dad.
they think most of the tv shows you watch are dumb.
they never want to go and see the bands that you want to see.
and so what if you like to wear leather pajamas to bed.
who needs all of that noise.

but i digress....

everyone loves the melvins.
and it's a well known fact that the melvins love other bands.
and we like bands that like other bands.
but have you recorded any of their music?
the melvins have.
they did all of that work for you.
and here's the proof.
and as the kids say "the proof is in the pudding".
a melvins pudding?
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[link fixed]

released 2013: a tribute to the scientists DL

released 2013: a tribute to roxy music DL

released 2013: a tribute to pop-o-pies/tales of terror DL

released 2013: a tribute to venom DL

released 2013: a tribute to the kinks DL

released 2014: a tribute to david bowie DL

released 2014: a tribute to queen DL

released 2015: a tribute to the jam DL

released 2015: a tribute to throbbing gristle DL

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

septic death - 6.18.86 - the farm - san francisco,ca




"from the depths of boise,idaho will you please welcome septic death!" -james hetfield

this is one of those "unofficial releases" that seem to be all the rage nowadays.
i'm going to assume that you know who brian "pushead" schroeder is.
you've more than likely seen his artwork somewhere before....

metallica t-shirts
skateboard decks
the metallica cassingle for "one"
the metallica cassingle for "eye of the beholder"
the cover of metallica's CLIFF 'EM ALL
misfits t-shirts
the cover for jawbox's ABSENTER 7''
the cover for monster voodoo machine's SUFFERSYSTEM album
the cover for kylesa's SELF-TITLED album.

i could continue on but hopefully by now you're all like "yeah. i've totally seen that stuff."

he also runs some record labels that go by the name pusmort records and bacteria sour.

"but what does all of this have to do with this septic death thing? he obviously did the band's artwork but there's got to be more because you keep prattling on about it."

it's funny you should ask.
pushead was the band's vocalist.
ta-da!
are you surprised?
i can't really read the look on your face.
either your excited or you just made in your pants.
i'll just leave this here for you and you can decide what you want to do with it after...uh....

1 - negative threat
2 - child
3 - hardware
4 - fear
5 - poison mask
6 - control
7 - demon inside me
8 - quit
9 - insanity

DL


uncle touchy - somos extremos




released: 2010
label: self-released

the SGM has been following this here thing ever since the beginning.
first it was crank sanatra.
then it was milquelizard.
then it was uncle touchy.
and now it goes by the name genki genki panic.
and by "it" i mean chris [redacted for legal reasons].
he's been the constant in all of that business.
he plays a mean geetar (as the kids say).
i'm really hoping that this here band doesn't really need an introduction to you.
you should've been around here long enough to have been exposed to (and then attend meetings about) this band.
you come to this place for one thing: that there noisy muzak.
and that is what this is.
they also did you the solid of covering some of your favorite bands on this here album.
bands with names like: (the) bad brains and black flag and (the) dead kennedys along with a few others.
and now we've come to the part of the show where you do what comes naturally.
pull your pants up.
didn't you see the sign by the door?
we're not allowed to be that kind of place anymore.
you'll be wanting the place next door (which is also not us wink wink nudge nudge).
but while you're here...go on and click the

DL

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

v/a - a butcher's waltz: vol. I and II





VOL. I released: 2011
VOL. II released: 2015
label: learning curve records

i know you like wrasslin.
i know you like cage matches.
that's why you have that cage in your basement,yeah?
and rumor has it that you like some music as well.
well get ready for some of this action!

in cage 1 it's seawhores going up against power take off,skoal kodiak and gay with abortion!
in cage 2 it's stnnng going up against blacklisters,blackthorne and hey colossus!

now get out there and do your thing!
i'll be in the locker room making some nice and refreshing post match nyQuil smoothies.

VOL I:
1 - seawhores - our embassy
2 - seawhores - the architect
3 - seawhores - cleaning lady
4 - power take off - plow share
5 - skoal kodiak - 99999
6 - skoal kodiak - ruined rings
7 - gay witch abortion - oblation-seeds from space
8 - gay witch abortion - oblation-dinner bell
9 - gay witch abortion - oblation-s.t.a.i.
10 - gay witch abortion - oblation-crocoite
11 - gay witch abortion - oblation-barbados let
12 - gay witch abortion - oblation-angola rodeo

VOL II:
1 - stnnng - the idiot
2 - blacklisters - king prick
3 - blacklisters - quiff richard (a duet)
4 - blackthorne - vicious charm
5 - blackthorne - hotabox
6 - blackthorne - lac can is just bitch milk
7 - blackthorne - street drugs
8 - blackthorne - scott hall as the sign guy
9 - blackthorne - seal tamer
10 - blackthorne - get the fuck outta
11 - blackthorne - my house
12 - hey colossus - they don't live

DL

Friday, December 6, 2019

ultramantis black - ultramantis black




released: 2014
label: relapse records

"what the what is an ultramantis black?! is this something that i need to be worried about? should i be stockpiling insecticide? should i?! honey! get you and the kids into the bunker now!"

this is nothing like that.
but i do like that you have a bunker.
we'll talk about that later.
ultramantis black.
what we have here is a pro wrestler (and one time member of the band the ultimate warriors) fronting 2/4 of the band pissed jeans (matt korvette and brad fry) and 2 other fellas.
really.
that's what this band is.
look it up for yourself if'n you don't believe me.
and what they play is some good ol' fashioned screamy hardcore.
last i'd heard you were all about some of that action.
so with all of that being said....
enjoy.
waitaminute.
don't go wrasslin around in your room again.
you don't want to have to go the ER and make up another story about how that thing ended up there,yeah?
ok.

DL

v/a - nothing short of total war (part one)




released: 1989
label: blast first

well well welly well.
what do we have here?
it's another one of those compilation things.
blast first did you a solid by putting this together.
say "thank you,blast first."
it's got the bands that you like.
who else could give that to you?
could that person you're still pining over from grade school do it?
probably not.
could your parents do it?
probably not.
could that pizza place you like downtown do it?
probably not but they know what you like on your pizza so we'll consider them exempt from the could they/coudln't they spotlight.
just look at all of those bands.
just look at them.
would you like to listen to them?
well you're going to have to stop just looking at them in order for that to happen.
unless you're on some kind of "medication" that makes you able to see sounds.
either way....

1 - sonic youth - come and smash me said the boy with the magic penis
2 - head of david - bugged
3 - ut - fire in philly
4 - sonic youth - he's on fire
5 - big black - kerosene
6 - sonic youth - magic wand
7 - rapeman - dutch courage
8 - dinosaur jr - bulbs of passion
9 - lee ranaldo - scratchy heart
10 - ciccone youth - ****
11 - ut - evangelist
12 - head of david - snake domain
13 - big black - he's a whore*
14 - big stick - devil's jukebox
15 - arsenal - little hitlers
16 - butthole surfers - jimi
*=cheap trick cover

DL

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

grizzlor - cycloptic




released: 2015
label: hex records

it says alot about a band when you can picture them fitting comfortably with another band.
bands with name like:

godheadsilo
the jesus lizard
oozing wound
KEN mode
(the) melvins
pissed jeans
shellac
tongue party
unsane

that about sums these here fellers up.
enjoy.

DL

Monday, December 2, 2019

the original misfits fiend club: 1979 - 1983




we're going to try a little something different here. instead of listening with your ears you're going to look with your eyes. i know. it might be a little hard at first but you can do it. i've seen you do it before. i was in your closet and i saw you looking at that catalog. i wasn't really able to make out what kind of catalog it was because the blanket on your bed kept moving. how do you sleep there with all of that moving? you might want to get that looked at.

i'm going to assume that you know who the misfits were/are. yeah. metallica likes them. sure. but their more than that. but what they're not is no goddamn sonofabitch. you don't want to go into the bathroom with them. [insert another misfits reference here]. well once upon a time they had a club that you could join. and with that membership you'd get card stating that you were a member for life. you'd get records and t-shirts and stickers and buttons and newsletters and letters from their singer and whatever else they could manage to scrounge up in their basement.

so now you can take a look back and think "awwwwwman! why didn't i join up like everyone else was? stupid dumb dire straits fan club!"

DL

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Cable - Take The Stairs To Hell


Label: Translation Loss
Year: 2019

And another 2019 heater.

As a lifelong Cable fan (their life, not mine), I was very excited to see an unexpected new Cable record pop up this year after a decade of silence. It's great that the band are back swinging their indomitable hammer of sludgy misanthropic southern boogie gloom. This time with new drummer Alex Garcia-Rivera in tow (Get High, Baby Gopal, 454 Big Block, Bloodhorse, and a zillion other bands), and assists from Mike Hill (Tombs, Anodyne, 454 Big Block), Jeff Caxide (Isis, Red Sparrows, 5ive, House of Low Culture), Aaron Harris (Zozobra, Isis, Loga), Christian McKenna (Empty Flowers, Hex Inverter), and Graham Brooks (Barishi).
It's pretty much where Cable left off, so if you know, then you probably already know. And if you don't know, that seems easily rectifiable.

DL

Town Portal - Of Violence


Label: Art As Catharsis / Small Pond
Year: 2019

And yet another from 2019.

This one is from Danish instrumental trio Town Portal, who have put together an engaging album that patiently develops a mood, then quickly drops into a mathy, heavy, riff-centric flow. It keeps me interested, and not all instrumental music does that. In fact, most instrumental music does not. But when Town Portal drops the hammer, it all sounds right, and it makes me happy.

DL

Microwave - Death Is A Warm Blanket


Label: Pure Noise
Year: 2019

And another 2019 banger for your consideration.

This Atlanta band may or may not be old enough to have heard the 90's grunge/alternative bands that they are drawing their sound from, but I am, and I appreciate the effort. It's not exactly pioneering any new ground, but not everybody needs to. Sometimes you find a sound that speaks to you and you go with that, and you do your best to make a valid version that has your own fingerprint on it. Which I think Microwave has done here. It's a very very enjoyable listen.

DL

Hey Colossus - Four Bibles


Label:
Year: 2019

And another 2019 banger for your consideration.

Hey Colossus puts out. Like..enough so that they should hit up the clinic and get tested. Their collective loins have got to be riddled with STDs at this point. Something like 26 full lengths, eps, and splits since 2004. And while I can't say I've heard every single one of those records, I can say this one is the most "conventional" of the discography. It doesn't have the experimental art-sludge of prior releases, this is a cleaned up, grown up, big rock riff version of Hey Colossus. Which, I dig, and maybe you will dig too?

DL 

More Pain - More Pain


Label: Three One G
Year: 2019

And another 2019 banger.

It will take me longer to type this sentence then it will take you to listen to these three songs. But, I guess that's what grinding hardcore is for, right? A quick, visceral reaction, and then gone. Out.
The fact that these songs are written and performed by Nick Zinner and Justin Pearson should leave no doubt as to the quality and legitimacy of this record. It also has a slight Ottawa vibe...and that ain't nothing to sneeze at. No scrubs.

DL

Meatwound - Culero


Label: Pax Aeturnum
Year: 2019

More "almost" favorite records from this past year before we get into the "actual" favorites of the year.
Meatwound have consistently churned out record after record of gut-punch aural annihilation. It's always maxed out everything, with no thought for the safety of those performing, listening, or caught in the crossfire of these tunes. Super great record, as to be expected by this point.

DL
 
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