Friday, February 26, 2021

Helios Creed - The Warming

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1991

The noise rock shamen, high priest of psychedelic guitarism, Helios Creed, man of a million releases,  gifts you with two more songs to challenge your outmoded ideals on music as a linear pursuit. The signposts are familiar, the road is rutted with generations of passage, but the destination is unknown and dependant on forces beyond your control.

It's Friday where I am. Freak out.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Nonzoo - Wazoo

Label: Already Dead Tapes
Year: 2017

When you want something fucked up, I would submit this record for your consideration. It's a free association, free jazz, free freakout, bleep blorp wig out. Which I mean as a compliment.
This is one of those "DO judge a book by its cover" situations. Look at the cover of this record, and imagine what that should sound like. Chances are, you won't be too far off.

Mood music for the criminally agitated.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Gnomes Of Zurich - Dispenser

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1996

When considering things like, "who's the most underrated band on Amphetamine Reptile?", and after you've talked about Love 666 and maybe Hammerhead for awhile, you will eventually circle around to Gnomes Of Zurich (of which 2/3rds of the members went on to form the also underrated Janitor Joe). This Minneapolis (where else?) band that delivers on a warbly post hardcore noise rock combo of bass rumble and riff waves. I mean, it's pretty much perfect, really. 
This 7" is only two songs, but I think you'll quickly get the point that Gnomes Of Zurich are one of those "best kept secret" sorta deals. They don't get spoken of with the same reverence as some of their peers, but they are every bit as good. I think so, anyway.

Monday, February 15, 2021

T-Tops / Cyrus Gold - split


Label: self released
Year: 2016

Two Pittsburgh bands for the price of one...that's a hot deal. And it's worth it. This record comes correct!
T-Tops ply in a sludgy, mid-tempo stomp at times and in a dirty rock stomp at others. Either way, it's a heavy, gritty workman-like roughing up. It's quality belligerence.
Cyrus Gold pump up the jams with a punchy noisecore pummel. The riffs are feral and difficult to wrangle, but the band has the good sense to utilize an ugly thud to do so, as opposed to a spazztic blur. Make sense? The third of their three tracks on this split is the highlight, it's an insanely great song. Well worth it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Noose Talk - Demos To Hate Yourself By


Label: self released
Year: 2017

How about some blown-the-fuck-out noisy hardcore? How about if it's from Canada? How about if we don't know what ever happened to the band, or if this is the extent of their musical existence?
Wouldn't that be something?

Blisters - The Sleepless Nights

Label: self released
Year: 2017

This record was released in 2017, but the band recorded it in 2010, after reuniting in 2009 from a break-up in 2000, following their formation in 1998. Got it? The band was based in the Netherlands, but the personnel was a collection of a Dutch guy, a British guy, and a Croatian the easiest practice schedule I'm guessing.
Musically, this album covers as much ground as the membership. It goes from Melvins-esque riffing to boogie damaged King Snake Roost type rock, to meandering post rock atmosphere, to circling Midwest noise rock sounds, to driving post hardcore bluster. Covers a lot of ground.
I liked this one, which is why you're reading this. Not to overstate the obvious. You should give it a whirl and let me know if you like it too.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Giant Love - Way Too Bitter


Label: self released
Year: 2020

Four songs of contemporary Spanish grunge...not a sentence you were expecting to hear today?
Had this been released in 1994, your local "Whatever Whatever X" alternative music radio station would have been all over it. There are some bona fide earworms on here, legit, well crafted earworms. The production is super professional. The musicianship and vocals are all ready for the big time. Which, in this case is a compliment. 
Moments of Nirvana, Jawbox, and I'm going to say Foo Fighters(?) all come together in a well balanced, memorable blend of throwback fun. You know the deal, and it's a deal, with it, I guess.
Worth it for the opening track 'Best Regards' alone.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Beat Combo - Kind Regards

 Label: self released
Year: 2020

You can chalk this one up to, "would have been on the Best of 2020 List had I not been so lazy and forgotten to listen to it in time". Sorry. I'm not always "on top of things".
From Nottingham (home of Fudge Tunnel!) this four song ep knows exactly what it's doing and exactly how to do it. It's a boisterous, loud, tantrum of a record. The band claim Metz and Hot Snakes as influences (among others), and you can hear it. but more importantly you hear their own sound amalgamating from those influences to deliver a scorching rock record that never lets up.
Wish I hadn't been so stupid and had paid attention months ago. Don't be stupid...get on it!

The Great Lie - Defying Extinction


Label: self released
Year: 2020

Here's what happens when dudes from Madball, Neglect, Mind Over Matter, Errortype:11, Milhouse, and Splinterface get together to shake off the rust and belt out a quick set of Long Island Hardcore circa now. Happens to be good. They know what they're doing, and they do it with a convincing wallop. 
If you liked Mind Over Matter, then I think you'll find this one hits the right spot. It's vigorous and charging, but it has that Wreck-age Records groove backbone to keep the songs volleyed. 
I hope their wives aren't too pissed about the racket they are making in the garage, cause it would be nice to hear more when they find the time again.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Harry Cloud - The Pig And The Machine


Label: self released
Year: 2020

I've been sitting with this record for months now, revisiting it on occasion to see how its settling. Praying on it, if you will. You see, the band (person) sent this record over when it came out, and like most things, we (I) didn't catch the message, and I wasn't aware there was a record in the 'ole inbox for a month or two. But then I did. I did eventually work through messages and came upon it. And, I listened to it. I listen to everything that people take the time to create and pass along. It is literally the least I can do.
Well, this particular record is one of those that may need to hit your particular mood, because upon first listen, it didn't. I wasn't sure what to make of it. But, there something about it that compelled me to want to circle back. Which I did. A few times over the last months. And it wasn't until recently that something fell into place and the record clicked with me. It has a lot of quirks, and I think I got used to those quirks. I came to understand their place in crafting the sound of the record. 
It's a strange album, that covers a lot of ground. A lot of sounds. Closest thing I could reckon it to would be some of the Conan Neutron stuff. It's essentially a rock-n-roll album, even though there are lots of off-kilter passages, noises, and detours between the rocking and the rolling. And I think that was what kept me from immediately liking this, but what eventually drew me back to it again and again. There's a lot to explore in this album, which gives it a longer shelf life than most. You just have to give it a chance.

I also realize I made this entry all about my feelings towards the record, and less about the record itself. I apologize for that. I'm going through shit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Hip To Death - TMI America


Label: Die Indy
Year: 2020

This Atlanta band has been kicking around for over a decade now, and are just now getting around to album number two (there have been plenty of eps in the meantime), but I think we can agree it was worth the gestation period. Hip To Death have taken their past post-punk noises and wrangled them into a mix of agitated dream pop and slashing punked out deathrock. The Jesus And Mary Chain looms large in the shadows of this record. Bauhaus is around. 45 Grave may have been mentioned. Cleanliness was never considered. Your safety is not guaranteed. Leather jackets are mandatory.
A phenomenal dark journey through thirteen (naturally) distorted episodes. Maybe the third record won't take ten years though?

The Strap - A Different Point Of View...A Different Point Of You

 Label: No List
Year: 2012

Were The Strap not from Winnipeg circa 2012, and were instead from New York City circa 1992, then you would have caught them live at Brownie's opening a show with Loudspeaker and Unsane, and you would have left that show thinking, "fuck, I gotta remember to get that opening band's record". 
This is a fantastic outing of skuzzed grit. Everything is pushing at the walls to garner escape, everything is mean, everything bleeds frustrated anxiety.
Highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Drug Sauna - 2% Saunic


Label: self released
Year: 2020

Ok, stop me if you've already heard this pitch: 
A band, a two piece band to be exact, one guy plays drums and the other plays bass and sings. Easy enough. Ok, well this two person bands plays a warped version of doom sludge with bass tone could easily have been confused for a synthesizer, and a general vertigo sensibility. Still with me? Great, cause here's the twist, the band writes, records, and performs their weirdo rock music IN their vans. Physically inside a van. So, take that notion of "boogie van", and make it less about freewheelin' SoCal sun-and-fun, and more about Canadian head trauma (hockey induced, no doubt). 
Fucking unique, I promise you. When they yell "getting fucked up in the Drug Sauna" it seems like warning sign as much as a clarion call to the good people of Alberta. Like, if this van's a rocking, don't come a knocking, cause when these doors slide open a drug addled army of hesher freaks will emerge to gnaw your faces off. 
Don't believe me? Look.

And listen.

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