Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deep, dark Irish dirge...

Dublin's Wreck Of The Hesperus plays some sweet ol' doom/sludge in the cancerous vein of Corrupted mixed with Coffins - pounding, sludgy guitar work, deranged vocals and thunderous drums. 2005's Eulogy For The Sewer Dwellers opens with a souped-up sample from Fulci's Zombi 2 and then hits you in the face like a barbed-wire sucker punch. Thirty minutes later its over. A huge showcase of sick drumming, killer riffs and insanely masochistic vocals. What a ride.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shameless plug...

OK... OK... I've been doing this blog since January so I guess it's about time I threw a self-promoting shout out to my current band. We're called Dixie Guano, we've got an angry punk vibe going for us and just released a 3-disc DVD set covering our growth (or lack of...) over the last five years. Check out our Myspace page and buy some shit!!!

UPDATE 7.14.13: Never mind... band broke up long ago and has since reformed as the Bong Ludes so fuck off!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SOUNDS LIKE: A Broken Record Player Going Down A Clogged Toilet

Can you really criticize a one-man noisecore band who names an album 42 Shitnoise Blasts? I guess it's kinda tough to demand your money back, I mean, what could you argue you were expecting? Regardless, welcome to the world of Zombie Militia, solo project of Ohio's Justin Barger. We all know the drill: overdo the bass on the blastbeat drum program, über-gain the guitar into a wall of noise, spit out some "grrrs" once a second into the vocal EFX processor. And then up the EQ levels on everything for the final mix. There ya go, 551 songs. For what it's worth, Zombie Militia has taken what groups like 7MON and End Of Silence did with an entire band and condensed it down into a DIY operation. And he's been doing it since 2006. It's only listenable for a few minutes but it's still somewhat hypnotizing. You can also check out his official download page for more feces-spraying nuggets then your ears will be able to take. Trust me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tel-Aviv Grind

Whorecore formed in early 2003 out of the ashes of Lehavoth and Aborted, quickly becoming one of Israel's top death/grind/crust acts. 2006's Protection (sweetly produced by ANb's Scott Hull) is an amazing album, perfectly blurring the boundaries between death metal and cybergrind. Angry and aggressive (with a couple Pantera grooves to boot), each song is a keeper. With the glut of bands out there doing the same formulaic shit it is so refreshing to finally find one that sounds somewhat different without straying too far from the genre. I guess for a while the band changed its name to They:Swarm (releasing a good, though not as good, five-song EP), although I've read they're now back to Whorecore. Whatever. While they figure out the semantics, check out this amazing album then do the right thing and buy it!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We beat the SHIT out of our old man that night...

It's amazing how you can recall shit as a kid. I remember my ten-year-old self being smuggled a fifteenth-generation cassette copy of Eddie Murphy's 1982 show at NYC's Comic Strip; listening to it over and over again under the cover of my Walkman to the point where I could nearly recite it verbatim. And this was no Doctor Dolittle / Nutty Professor Eddie Murphy here, this was the parental advisory sticker, vulgar, off-color shit that made him a star. Of course back then I hardly understood half of the shit he was talking about, yet this album was so ingrained in me that twenty-five years later I can still do "Hit By A Car" word for word. Though I probably don't come off quite as funny.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shoulda stayed Quiet....

Having just watched the relatively entertaining Anvil: The Story Of Anvil DVD I got thinking about other 80's metal bands that never seemed to want to relinquish their fifteen minutes of fame. While heavy metal almost goes hand-in-hand with the idea of one-hit wonders, none really came out of the gates as huge as Quiet Riot did in 1983. Yeah, I know they'd been around since 1975 but for a heavy metal band to go from relative obscurity (outside of Japan) to holders of the #1 album in America in the blink of an eye is still to this day unheard of. And after that, how could they not be doomed to fail? For chrissakes, their biggest hit was a cover tune to boot! Like Queensryche, Extreme, Trixter, Kix, White Lion, Great White (etc...etc... ad nauseum) and other metal bands who went from zero to hero overnight (usually with a shitty ballad), QR hoped lightning would strike twice. But it didn't (even with another Slade cover tune) and they should have just wrapped it up as most others did when grunge destroyed the heavy metal genre. Unfortunately, much like the aforementioned Anvil (who were never nearly as big but chased the same fifteen-minutes-of-fame dragon), Quiet Riot ignored reality and kept at it (under various lineups but usually with mainstay vocalist Kevin DuBrow), releasing a seemingly unending string of forgettable albums. Seriously, can you name one???

Well, with all that being said, I now bring you to 1999's Alive And Well, the first Quiet Riot album since 1984's Condition Critical to feature the original lineup of DuBrow, Sarzo, Cavazo and Banali. Did they hit the lottery again? Well, I wouldn't say that. Alive And Well is pretty much a snapshot of what heavy metal sounded like in 1984 and if you are into that scene, you'll probably love it. Nothing original, cheesy guitar solos and godawful lyrics abound but you'll definitely get some smiles (and laughs, and heckles) at your next party if you play it loud enough. It does rock in that extinct 80's way and "Slam Dunk" has GOT to be the cheesiest song ever written - I mean, really, basketball metaphors for sex? Sheesh, c'mon guys. The equally forgettable Pretty Boy Floyd actually penned the retarded anthem but for Quiet Riot to cover it shames them just as much as their cornball co-conspirators. To welcome the new millennium, QR also re-recorded their biggest hits for Alive And Well. You'll get "Metal Health", "Cum On Feel The Noize" and other hit singles (even the not-really-a-hit "The Wild And The Young" from QRIII) in all their over-produced, played-too-many-times-live, passionless glory. None outdo the originals and it makes me think the band was just trying to secure song copyrights. What can ya do. The band kept on slogging through the sadly retro club circuit for most of the next decade (while still releasing albums (!)) until DuBrow's death in 2007 from an OD. His passing dealt the final blow to a band which had sadly became a caricature of itself over nearly twenty years. I've never heard any of their final stuff and probably never will... Alive And Well is a fitting send-off in my mind - it's awful but in that "kinda good" sort of way.

Friday, May 14, 2010

IT + All + Ext + Evil = Abruptum

Much has been written (and speculated) about Sweden's most infamous contribution to the black metal scene. Spewing forth in 1990 and eventually reaching pioneering kult status within the Satanic Black Circle whilst becaming mainstays on Euronymous' Deathlike Silence label (the late Mayhem guitarist calling them nothing less than "the audial essence of pure black evil"); Abruptum stand out from most tired black metal acts simply for the fact that they sound like a screaming noisecore band rather then the usual necrowizard dreck. Supposedly recorded live and unrehearsed while they were self-mutilating, their first two demos (1990's Hextum Galæm Zeloq!!! and The Satanist Tunes) and 1991's Evil 7" are compiled on 2007's incredible Evil Genius CD. Remastered, they sound incredible when compared to their cassette-hiss original releases. Booming, chanting drums thunder through the echo chamber while IT rambles off his Latin musings. Who knows what anyone is doing with the guitar or what actually separates one song from another but that's part of the ritualistic bliss. Interestingly, IT responded in 2006 to the bevy of internet claims about his old band...

"Hate & worship...

In all honesty perhaps the latter is a somewhat more frequent manifestation of the feelings people all around this world experience, tuning into the odd experience of listening to Abruptum. An artist is a seeker, relentlessly emerging and expressing assorted parts of him or herself through a materialistic point of view, be it poetry, painting, music or any other ways to reveal our “inner beings” to this flesh.

Some 17 years ago I was in a unfathomable hunt for certain parts, veiled within the foundation of myself, prying ever deeper to conjure up my personal anguish, hate, desire and the gloomy, spiteful darkness, lurking profound within my corporeal shell. For me, this journey was an essential component of my own evolution, one of the paths to discover what some people may call “utter hell”. Recording this pursuit was a task I chose, not for the somewhat more ordinary causes of recording and album, but purely as a purpose to alter into and transmit this energy right back to myself, thus being able to mirror the matter, reaching even further along this dark road.

In a sense “inquisitiveness” was a trigger not only to investigate deeper into the substance, but also one of the reasons why I chose the share these journeys with other persons, for in a search it is wise to be capable viewing things from a wider perception, thus consulting our “neighboring” energies of their opinions and experiences with this matter.

In sense Abruptum has distorted from a personal quest to “seek for the unholy grail”, to stories manifold, practiced and told to me in letter, mails or in personal conversations that I’ve had with people through all these years. It has been a precious tool for the many, looking for whatever they used the substance for, be it a pure session of listening, for religious ceremonies, a soundtrack for lust and sex, for self torture and self mutilation…

When first Psychoslaughter Records, and later my friend Euronymous and his Deathlike Silence Productions, offered to release some parts of these Journeys, it was not in my consideration to share as in a regular sense of musicianship. In fact, though this is an obvious fact for the majority, Abruptum is NOT in any ways music, something that for reasons I never grasped, I have had to point out time yet time again.

“The essence of pure black evil” may be a way to illustrate it, as Euronymous formerly put it, but for me these recordings are journals of certain journeys of whatever has been my individual and personal “evil”. With Abruptum I have toiled to conjure up and beckon my wrathful demons, befriend them and compose them to an utterly natural element of myself.

To the mass consumer, facts as “IT tortured himself in the studio” or “these are sessions of occult rituals, forbidden mysterious arts recorded” may be ways of selling points, but the sincerely curious mind will unearth that the quintessence of this experience lies in the individual quest one might practice throughout the sinister voids of Abruptum.

Last time this material was released, compiled in the form of a CD titled Evil Genius, it bore a sticker on the cover saying “Includes Razorblade, KILL YOURSELF” and within the booklet one could locate such a device. This exhortation could be simple as this, get rid of your physical structure, but also in a more poetic sense we can decipher this to the cutting and killing of that which was “you” previous to listening to it.

Why the “Latin only” lyrics? Unquestionably for the plain reason that the composition and atmosphere fuses to the form in the only way viable for me, and because we find this language been used in occult practices of a fairly near past. In any case, this is the legacy of something that has become legendary and cult, something that will indisputably never cease to bring us more questions than answers, even so for myself because of the “surreal” states of energy I traveled upon has left numerous blank spaces within my recollection.

This is blood, chaos, fornication and various acts beyond where most will ever dare to venture. The only thing truly within my power is to bid you welcome, take a step ahead and plunge yourself into this abyss. Keep in mind that you do so at your own peril, we take no responsibility for any actions that may spring from this source of utter obscurity.

May you be Gods of creation, not creations of stagnation.

Darkness IT will be, 

IT, November 2006

Post Scriptum: Our self image, identity and control of ourselves, points out the sole factual face of the enemy within us…"

Well, that about sums it up. Check out the hate. 

10/6/14 update: Great new rip of the original Hellspawn Records CD release just in time for the Day Of Bad Omens (Dies Ater for those still speaking Latin folk out there). Try to enjoy... 

Friday, May 7, 2010

How did Richmond get so lucky...

Two of my favorite bands are hitting up downtown Richmond, VA staple Alley Katz this June. Eyehategod arrive on the 6th and Anal Cunt hit the city up on the 25th. Man, what a fucking great month it will be.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

(C)Rap Masters

Once again comes a post that (more than likely) no one on the planet except my brother will have any interest in, save for other nostalgic retards like me. The year was 1987 and my brother arrived home fresh from the local mall with K-Tel's latest compilation cassette, Rap Masters, advertising "Today's Hottest Rappers!" Um, rap "masters"? Who the fuck were these bands? Not that we New Jersey suburbanites were overtly hip to the rap scene but we were close enough to NYC to have a clue. Of course we knew Run-D.M.C., and my hipper-then-me brother probably knew about Whodini and Stetsasonic. But I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone today who remembers Worse 'Em, B. Fats or Steady B (except the PA State Correctional Board - heyooo!) Yeah, Mantronix I guess had what you could call a few quasi "hits" but you would have to put up quite an argument to call them hip-hop founders. As far as the mp3's, no, I was too lazy to rip the cassette, instead I searched and scoured for singles of the songs and crunched them all together. Interestingly, after listening to all of the tracks, I discovered that K-Tel must have done a little "shortening" of the songs to fit their cassette release. A little snip of a drum beat bridge here, cut out a verse there... great! Exactly 20 minutes each side! Rest assured though folks, you're getting the full original album-length tracks, no second-hand K-Tel mixes here!

All that aside, the weirdest track on the album has gotta be the Issac (sic) Hayes / Millie Jackson duet "Do You Wanna Make Love." Nope, it's not rap (more like terribly cheesy R&B), but it did appear on Millie's 1979 Royal Rappin's album so maybe that qualifies it (although that would make the "Today's Hottest Rappers" claim a little thin unless by "Today's" they really meant "This Decade's".) Who knows - I'm sure the intern putting this one together from the batch of K-Tel's recently purchased "urban music" song rights couldn't have given a shit. Actually, some 25 years after its release, Hayes' song is the funniest on the album when one imagines it's South Park's Chef doing the singing.

Strangely the cassette is labeled on the spine as "Volume 1," and while I'm sure the masses were clamoring for another hot compilation, K-Tel sadly fell into bankruptcy. It resurfaced years later peddling Hooked On Classics to the masses and eventually died its final death with the dot bomb in 1998.

9.6.14 update: One drunken, very boring evening this week I scoured the internet for some lossless versions of this LP's tunes (a successful venture save for Steady B's "Cheatin' Girl" which was never released on legitimate CD), compiled and re-ripped them into glorious 320 kbps mp3's. Enjoy.