Wednesday, September 13, 2017
So your lead singer has either had a heart attack or gone into perpetual Enquierer-esque hiding to escape being famous or some other pretentious bullshit. What does a band do when you've arguably just released your crowning comeback album 6 months earlier? You take the trademark music you've already laid down and throw some Morrison-esque vocals on it. Which brings us to Other Voices, one of the two post-Jim albums the Doors would release, most assuredly as contractual obligations to Elektra. The fact that by the 70's the band was pretty much creating the music and letting Morrison just do his thing when he showed up at the studio so the guys were almost there. That being said, how is it? Actually pretty solid. The music is great, a depressing window into what could have been for their seventh album had the band been whole. Acknowledging the point that some of the Doors' biggest hits weren't written by Morrison ("Light My Fire", "Touch Me", "Love Me Two Times", etc.) all three remaining band members summoned their lyrical skills and gave a best shot trying to channel their deceased lead singer's arcane style to complete the record. So, not surprisingly, if the album has a problem. it's the fact that Krieger and Manzarek aren't great vocalists. It works (kinda) with the harmonizing on the bluesy "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" but on some of the other songs Manzarek just sounds like a kareoke's Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey (or pretty much any other popular 60's-era lead singer other than Morrison). Not that that's terrible, it's just not the Doors. Musically it's amazing, lyrically it works somewhat, the guys channel the vibe Morrison generally went for - it's just different "voices" and hence the album title I guess. But what the fuck, I really like this shit (especially the crazy end to "Hang On To Your Life" which is definitely shades of their live versions of "Not To Touch This Earth") and it's a somewhat melancholic window into the musical talents and potential future of a band who ended way too soon. Interestingly, the members of the band assured Elektra they never had the record's master tracks after the initial LP release... this album (and its follow up, 1972's Full Circle) never saw life on CD until 2006.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
First off, after the unexpected shit demise of Photobucket I've finally reset the page to look basically (I think) like how it used to after switching everything over to a new photo host... that being said... music on...
Dude what the fuck is my hard-on for Kool Keith? Everything that fucker touches is gold. Even his new shit which you could argue against is light years past what any old school rapper is trying to do these days. Regardless, my way-cooler-than-me brother was wicked into Ultramagnetic back in the day... while Critical Beatdown is still a good listen, the quartet's best moment is their 1992 The Four Horsemen LP. By this point Keith was easily becoming the apex predator of the group - shit he raps more prolifically on this bitch then he does on some his solo albums. Clinging to all the dark groove samples of the early-90's hip-hop scene it's some of my favorite shit from the soon to be solo KK. Groovy shit with Keith dropping his trademark insane lyrics.... gotta fucking love it. Doo-doo rhyme hooks forever.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Twenty-something years ago I fittingly got dragged down to the Drag in Austin to go see some band my roommate had heard good things about. Evidently the band leader was some underground musical savant who was simply revolutionary when it came to jazz. We sat in some tiny empty upstairs club, my curiosity somewhat piqued but not quite... jazz wasn't (and still isn't) really my thing. Well, two hours later, I was rendered speechless and have recalled the story about seeing the Golden Arm Trio ever since. Theirs was the first band sticker I slapped on my Fender which I still play to this day. Gaudy with two decades of scum and slime (and layered with umpteen other band decals), you can still kinda make out the "Trio" in the band logo. Regardless, composer and band leader Graham Reynolds was on the drums that night (and occasionally the piano) and it was amazing to watch whom you would usually consider a background musician absolutely control the group (it was an actual "trio" at that point; later on, while the band's name stayed the same there could be as many as eight folks playing together but we can discuss semantics later). The drums were what really had me - controlling, heavy, almost blast beat death metal grooves at times as opposed to the casual background jazz-ish rat-a-tat-tat I expected. It was something else and only recently did I take advantage of this new thing we have called the "Internet" and see what the fuck ever happened to the band. Turns out a LOT. A couple albums, a movie soundtrack (A Scanner Darkly, 'natch) and some highly praised stage shows... it has been an absolute joy revisiting some of the music I completely considered a one-off show so long ago. Check out the band website here - it's amazing how the dude looks almost exactly the same as he did back in '96. Enjoy their first album... a real treat.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Goddamn, who the fuck are these guys? I found this little ditty of an album at some point a decade or so ago... unlike everything else on the internet at that time all Napstered the fuck up, these clowns actually had a web domain through their record label where you could just download their mp3's for free (I dug that shit up here). And thanks to last.fm the lyrics and bio of the band have been preserved for as long as they exist (check that shit here).
That being said and the fact that this amazing two-piece has sadly faded into obscurity, this album fucking RULES. Brutal venom-core bitching at most everything, it's amazing most of this was conceived by two drunk dudes deciding to record a full album in 90 minutes. 23 songs later, post-dubs aside, the You Probably Suck is one brutal riff after another with screamo-ish lyrics killing everything in their path. Fans of Eighteen Visions get ready to jerk without repent. Unreal. Enjoy.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Is anyone who checks this sorry blog old enough to have watched a little non-music throwaway show on MTV called Liquid Television? If you did then you'd better be well acquainted with the interminably cute and devastating "Mauna Kea" track used in the smartly apocalyptic "Black Hula" animated short. Starting off with a duo of crudely-drawn Ichthyostegas quietly spawning the human race, the film sarcastically documents and anticipates the future of the human race (and equally idiotic) civilization beyond in barely 3 minutes. After binge watching Liquid TV marathons through my college years, learning ukelele (primitively... but still) and actually traveling to Hawaii since, I really wanted to find some retro Hawaiian sounds that weren't just Iz singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Shit, found them I did. "King" Bennie Nawahi was a young guitar/ukelele/steel guitar player who inexplicably went blind in his 30's but continued playing with a multitude of musicians until the 1970's. This compilation spans his most influential bands; although to me his music with the King Nawahi's Hawaiians is easily the best - almost like listening to the Hawaiian version of Robert Johnson's tunes. Wonderful bluesy shit, probably recorded on a fucking gramaphone. My ex-wife and I went to Kauai for our honeymoon and even though I hate that bitch I still love this stuff. That's saying something. Enjoy.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Un-fucking-believable. Fuck yeah, it's a tireless repost but deservedly so. 7 years after I posted this little fucker I'm still break dancing to this shit in my kitchen. Still my most-est favorite lawn-mowing music ever. I won't bore you with a sad retread of the original post - needless to say I absolutely fucking LOVE this groove and would do anything to find out more about the geniuses behind it. Scatwerk?!?!? Fucking godlike. Enjoy.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Yay! Another 15 minutes of wicked fast Northern border grindcore. Reminding me of a poor man's RGTE (Jesus, is that a compliment or a wicked diss? - uh, sorry to both either way), Montreal's Saturation did little more than record one short album to promptly lay in wait for an eager record company to press and promote it. Only took nearly half a decade... the initial release was a scarce vinyl of the analog 8-track recording released and sold by the band itself (welcome to.... NOW!) Eventually the guys got with a label who took 3 years to release the shit on CD with a different album cover, etc. I gotta love the weird breakdowns that only last 8 seconds but there is still some definite groovecore in there that slays the fuck out of anything else out ether. Good sludgy grind to make you want to punch your ex in the face... repeatedly. Enjoy!
Monday, February 20, 2017
What better way to belatedly ring in the New Year two months late than with twelve blistering minutes of British Colombian lo-fi powerviolence grindcore. This mini-album had been sitting forgotten on my iPod for who knows how long but it seemed every time a song from it would pop up on shuffle I felt the need to pause and see "who the fuck is this?" Sound is terrifically muddy - primarily due to the cassette format the band staunchly keeps alive - there is a satisfactorily skull-crushing warmth to the throbbing drums that bring to mind some of Loinen's early demos. Moshable groovecore mixed with the wicked fast blastbeats we all know, expect and love. The only letdown is the untitled throwaway final track - more akin to the noisecore dregs of the heavy music subgenre. The boys have a pretty diverse catalog for your perusal here - check 'em out and enjoy.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Wow, way back when I was proclaiming good ol' Whale as the "next big thing that never happened" my pretentious ass never even realized those crazy Swedes actually released a second album just three years later. With the delicious Cia Berg again at the helm (talk about the pioneer of the "hottie nerd" revolution, no?), Whale's second slab of wax delivers in just that way late 90's alternative rock did. Of course comparisons can be made with nearly every female-helmed band at the time (Breeders, Garbage, Veruca Salt, etc) but Whale owns a weirdly Euro Pop sensibility that most bands this side of the pond lacked (or at least lacked at the time). The band eschews a rocking "Hobo Babe" anthem on this record for a lot more depth and darkness; a bunch of slow, heavy-lyric ballads mixed in with lots of manic trip-hop. Not quite the party album as their debut (unless you are still holding raves in your basement) but a lot more satisfying a listen. The epic "Go Where You're Feeling Free" cannot help but bring shades of "Happy Colored Marbles" or some similar bigger-than-its-britches mini-epic. Solid stuff that still sounds as good 20 years later. Enjoy.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Take one part Big L and one part House Of Pain and you pretty much end up with A.D.O.R. With rap skills straight outta Mount Vernon, NY, A.D.O.R.'s career began with producer extraordinaire Pete Rock (just then coming into his own) producing his first single, "Let It All Hang Out" which enjoyed some significant 1992 radio and video play. Floating through the scene and eventually signed by the majors, A.D.O.R.'s career stalled significantly when he was dropped by Atlantic on the cusp of his debut LP release for "creative differences" (generic industry-speak for artists not falling into line with label demands). The Concrete never saw the light of day save for limited promo/review copies and the world would have to wait another year until A.D.O.R. released a quasi-revamped version on his own label (entitled Shock Therapy). As far as the music, it all sounds terribly familiar and will constantly remind you of any number of early-90's rappers (especially anyone on Tommy Boy) but man, it is nice to hear some old-school hip-hop I haven't played to death (to gotta be honest, I had never heard of A.D.O.R. and only recently stumbled upon him thanks to SiriusXM's Backspin). The rip I have is culled from vinyl (possibly one of the promo out there?) so there are some skips and cracks but it's the most complete version out there I could find. Enjoy.