Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sheesh! No sooner did I drop the Boredoms side project Z-Rock Hawaii then I was awash in another piece of Japanese noisecore phlegm - Osaka A.C. rip-offs Cunt Decide. Actually my introduction to the band was lead singer/screamer Manabu sending me the demo tape for his then-blurcore band, Senseless Apocalypse. I don't know if he thought I was a record label or fanzine or what, he sent the cassette completely unsolicited - side 1 was S.A., side 2 was a previous blur band of his called Cunt Decide. Kind of a Senseless Apocalypse 1.0 (less produced and more noisy), Cunt Decide blast through a hundred or so twenty-second tunes in 35 minutes. A few grooves here and there (á la Anal Cunt) but mostly a sheer wall of blastbeats and howling. I went ahead and sent him $5 for the demo - two bands spewing 500 songs in 90 minutes is worth a fin in my book. Senseless Apocalypse has since gone on to become a more typical (but definitely more listenable and talented) grindcore band and Manabu's still running the iconic Blurred Records so give 'em a listen!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
What can you say about a band that has broken-up, reformed and changed styles more times than the fucking Bible has been rewritten? Suicidal Tendencies carved there niche in musical history with their 1983 eponymous debut - a tight 20-minute slab of SoCal hardcore which I still treasure to this day. Underproduced, underappreciated and underrated, Suicidal Tendencies broke up soon after Repo Man made "Institutionalized" a college radio hit only to reform in '87 as a relatively generic thrash band. Remember Join The Army? Probably the worst album ever released by Caroline/Suicidal Records, it was embarrassing back then trying to pretend the new ST was the old ST... and by the time the late 80's rolled around it was barely the same band, mainstay vocalist Mike Muir was the only holdover. OK, crossover thrash was the big thing at the time and ST grabbed hold to the bandwagon with their How Can I Laugh Tomorrow... and tried to suck up to their prog/thrash No Mercy incarnation with their ...Deja Vu release in '89. Yet I gotta give the Venice boys credit - 1990 was a perfect time to release what most feel is their strongest mainstream album: Lights... Camera... Revolution! "You Can't Bring Me Down" and "Send Me Your Money" were MTV staples (back when being an MTV staple actually meant something) and I think there were actually Grammy nominations for the album. LCR got the band a tour with Queensrÿche (I still got ticket stubs from that motherfucker!) and "Lovely" is easily the album's tightest track; admittedly while a bigger fan of their older stuff, I think the breaks and grooves (there's like 6 of them) were way ahead of what Anthrax or Faith No More were trying to do at the same time. At some point I grabbed the song's promo single (with bonus track!) and here it is. Since then, the history of ST has been annoying; an unforgivingly pathetic attempt to rekindle what started in '83 but can ya blame the guys? Reviews of their newer shit claimed fans "warmly welcomed" the new style.... really? Listening to "Suicidal Failure" has never been as cool as it was back in 8th grade. Good luck fellas.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Back in their Pure Guava days, the brothers Boognish, still new to their "big label" contract with Elektra, were still openly jamming (and recording) with whomever they could find (Frente!, Kostars, Green Lipped Mussels, Chris Harford, etc.) with styles that weren't necessarily what Ween's record label endorsed. Among those bands were Japan's institutional Boredoms, four abrasive noise-core gods with whom Gene and Dean recorded eleven strange, quasi-listenable "songs" that start like a typical Ween track and morph into a screaming, blathering cacaphony of noise and babble. I love Ween, but do I love Z-Rock Hawaii? Well, yes and no. It's fun hearing Dean do his best George Thorogood impression while eYe is screaming bloody murder in the background, but to be honest it gets old really fast. It's just too fucking annoying. Sweetly delicate tracks like "I Get A Little Taste Of You" (which thankfully became a sans-screaming staple of Ween's shows in the mid-90's) get lost in the screeching and feedback. I'm sure the whole project was a big joke by two bands who happened to meet in the studio one afternoon and my annoyance is the punchline they're all laughing at but whatever. Boredoms are fine, for like two minutes. So listen to Z-Rock Hawaii one track at a time, it's a lot more digestible.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Finishing up my 700th or so hour (seriously, the game says I'm 30 days in) of the painfully addictive GTA IV last week, I figured I outta pay some respect to where the whole "open world" idea in video games began: 2001's groundbreaking Grand Theft Auto III. I've been playing it for about 4 days now and man, it is HARD! All the expected nuances today's PS3 version has are gone - there's no autosave, no GPS (!), no cellphone (you're equipped with a fucking pager), you'll drown in 2 feet of water, you barely use the "R" and "L" buttons... it's a trip. And the suicidal cops are even worse assholes then I remember them being. Amazingly though, there is a sweetly primitive genius about the weirdly rendered visuals and gameplay - especially when it comes to the music. Video game soundtracks and crossover scores are huge business today, but ten years ago the entertainment world was still in its "video games are for nerds" mindset. Unlike GTA IV's twelve or so radio stations with over 200 licensed songs, poor GTA III has but seven stations with only a few songs to boot! And because music licensing for video games was such an unknown back then, Rockstar Games hired some studio help to create a few original tracks. One of these tunes was a nifty little techno blurb called "Electronic Go Go". Performed by the suspiciously named Scatwerk, it reminds me a lot of something Fatboy Slim would have come up with for a rushed B-side. Anyone today with an iMac and GarageBand's supplied loops could create the same in an afternoon but back then it probably took creators Craig Conner and Stuart Ross at least a weekend. And a lot of patience. I could only get a 2-or-so-minute sample of the song which I remixed/extended a little bit and added in a bit more bass (with GarageBand, 'natch). For the two people who read this and remember the tune, enjoy the cop-killin' drive down memory lane.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
While digging around the boxes of music in my house for their first album, I stumbled upon Boston toilet rockers Bulge's second release: 1987's Second Cummin' (or The Second Coming depending on which part of the cassette cover you read). Less of a straightforward live gig then their first album, Second Cummin' has Stinky Ass-Finger and the boys recording a set in Brandeis University's legendary WBRS radio station. Still a year away from becoming an infamous footnote in history as one of GG Allin's backup bands; Bulge plays through mostly originals this time - including a painful 15-minute ad lib dirge when bassist Moe Lester vanishes and the equipment goes down. Wotta riot - can you really expect much else from an album that's produced by a guy named Chimpy Tunormal? Just like their other live tape, this one oozes with a banal self-importance and smarmy suck-my-dick attitude. The liner notes thank GG, Chimpy and the Mentors... ending with an "Everyone Else Fuck Off." Cheers boys.
Worthy of mention for Allin fans, Second Cummin' shows that the ol' Public Animal #1 wasn't above blatantly pilfering music from the guys he played with (in case you are a moron, Bulge backed up GG on Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies). We all know "Outlaw Scumfuc" was poached (heh) from David Allen Coe's "Longhaired Redneck" and that "Dope Money" is basically the Peter Gunn theme over and over but did you know Bulge already had a "Suck My Ass (It Smells)"? Sure, it's called "Wash Your Crack" but the obvious similarities are laughably apparent. They also play a familiar sounding tune called "Last In Line (Gangbang)"... could it be? Add a few tastier lyrics and Voilà! You got "Anti-Social Masterbator"! But then there's another song called "Last In Line For The Gangbang" on Freaks as well! Aw, fuck it... let's just say Bulge deserves more credit then they'll probably ever get for what many consider Allin's finest album.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wow, another lost Long Island demo popping up on the ol' blog! Introducing Oceanside, NY's Bearded Fetus, a poor man's Cannibal Corpse playing lo-fi grindcore with tongues firmly stuck in cheek. And I'm talking about ass cheeks here, folks. A hilarious 10 songs that fit right in with their inspirational cohorts: the Mentors, A.C. and Gwar. Everything about the demo is sweetly vulgar, from the inside photo of the possessed dog with a dick in his mouth (thanks Photoshop 1.0!) to the musician names (Sensei Feelherflaps, Major Woody and Big Daddy). The music is pretty standard grind fare (a bit muddy but pretty well-produced for a demo) and two vocalists trade off the gurgles/screams to keep it interesting. Songs topics range from the boring same ol' same ol' ("Severed Limbs") to the comical ("Mr. Miyagi", "E Poyo He Gante") including a funny musical shout out to Ron Jeremy. My personal fave track is "Virginia" - it's the state I call my home and the guys hit it right on the hangnail. Who knows why they never really went anywhere, too jokey for Cannibal Corpse fans and too heavy for Mentors fans? Bearded Fetus broke up to form the short-lived Entorturement (who never really did anything either), yet I was surprised to see a current Myspace site for the band. Don't get excited. It's new members who don't want anything to do with their Hooray For Vagina history. Too bad for them.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
A cassette-only oddity from Long Island, Horsemeat's 1995 demo Meet The Meat! is tough to categorize - it's punk, prog and power metal all mixed into one. Four tracks of straightforward jokecore, the songs are absolutely retarded (the highlight being a tune dedicated to Three O'Clock High's Buddy Revell) yet ooze a slick groove that keeps them listenable. My only real criticism is the overuse of echo and chorus effects, at times it sounds as if the guys were recording in a wind tunnel! Not much seemed to come of the demo and Horsemeat faded into mid-90's obscurity (hell, they're not even on Encyclopeadia Metallum!!) but I was surprised to find the members have moved onto quite significant music careers. Guitarist Bill Voccia formed the successful AC/DC cover band Live Wire while guitarist Scott Mosher has an extensive catalog of graphic design and artwork - as well as a series of progressive metal albums under his belt. 'Meat vocalist Todd Corsa is still with him providing vocals and keyboards. Check out his website for more info - you'll be amazed.
7/29/14 update: Just re-upped a brand new rip of the original cassette which removed all the annoying low-end hum found in the previous. Enjoy.
7/29/14 update: Just re-upped a brand new rip of the original cassette which removed all the annoying low-end hum found in the previous. Enjoy.
Monday, October 11, 2010
GG Allin's sleazy Freaks, Faggots, Frunks & Junkies oozed onto my turntable (thank you Princeton Record Exchange!) during my junior year in highschool, featuring not only some of the late Outlaw Scumfuc's greatest tracks but also his most coherent backup band to date - Boston hardcore pioneers Psycho performing as their Mentors-esque alter ego, Bulge. Surprisingly, unlike most of Allin's one-shot-barely-a-band outfits, Bulge was a legit threesome that had been making their own noise around the Boston area for a few years prior. Playing a sloppy, grimy snotcore complete with "err-ah" Kennedy accents to boot, Bulge dropped a few cassette-only albums in the 80's as well as a couple of vinyl platters once they saw GG's popularity began to take off (gotta ride the wave when ya can, no?) Their first release was 1986's Live, In The Raw!, a lo-fi testament to random cover tunes (Ramones, ZZ Top, Mötley Crüe and a few others) and a sadly unenthusiastic crowd. Recorded at the legendary Chet's Last Call in August 1986, the band stays pretty tight through six songs and ya gotta give 'em credit for incessantly trying to get the crowd going. I guess when you open with a 5-minute "We Are Bulge" theme song complete with porno clips in the medley you're trimming your audience base a tad. But who am I to judge, I'm probably one of a hundred people out there who willingly dropped $5 for this snapshot of local Boston hardcore twenty years ago. Who's laughing now?
Just figured out I can use my kid's Mr. Mike tape recorder to transfer some old cassettes I got onto my computer. They sound pretty shitty (there's sort of annoying "hummmmmm" in the background along with the requisite tape hiss) but hey, what the fuck? It's technology at it's worst and I'm happy to have a 2-year old who will never know the feeling of having his favorite album chewed to death by an unhappy car stereo tape deck. Stay tuned.
Posted by winston95 at 4:25 PM
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Hindsight is always 20/20 and I'm glad someone had that back in March 1987 when they pulled out a cassette deck and recorded some Aberdeen three-piece's set at a local house party. Jamming a bunch of Zeppelin tunes as well as a few originals, the gig was the band's first and lasted nearly 50 minutes. Of course non of this would matter if in fact the band hadn't eventually become what some believe to be the most influential musical group since the Beatles. Nirvana in embryo, in tiny Raymond, Washington (pop 3000) - drummer Aaron Burckhard only lasted through the rest of the year before Kurt fired him and house owner Tony Poukkula played rhythm guitar on the two Zeppelin jams (the incredible "Heartbreaker" can be found on the With The Lights Out box set). An amazing snapshot of a band; 4 years later they were the biggest thing in the world, yet here they are, three 20-year old guys jamming in front of friends for some keg beer. Drink up.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Bushwick Bill won't go down in history for his vocal agility, he has some of the worst rhymes in history ("Cereal Killer"?!?! Dude, c'mon!) and his strange obsession with the Child's Play flicks feels more like a 10-year old's weird crush than a grown man coming up with a somewhat-unique-but-not-really-scary theme. But y'know what? I still really dig the guy and think he is the reason the Geto Boys became what they did. Quirky, pissed off, and a hell of a player for 4' 2", ya gotta admit his amazing "Size Ain't Shit" is easily the best track on The Geto Boys album. Little Big Man is his first solo attempt, once the Geto Boys began falling apart (DJ Ready Red bailed, Scarface/Akshen was getting big and Willie D split for his own shit career) Bushwick started drinking a lot of Everclear and becoming generally dissatisfied with his life. One night he took matters (and a loaded pistol) into his own hands and suicidally tried to get his girlfriend to murder him by threatening his infant son. She retaliated by shooting him in the face. Bushwick survived, but not without losing an eye (check out the cover to the Boys' We Can't Be Stopped) and finding Jesus.
Well, with all that being said, how's the album? Well, Little Big Man suffers from the typical Rap-A-Lot Records production banality yet it's still acceptable... but the songs? I hate to say it but Bushwick is the rapping equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space, Breakin' or Black Devil Doll From Hell... he is just so miserably bad that you gotta love him. And if you think I'm sellin' the guy short - realize he changed his name to Dr. Wolfgang Von Bushwickin The Barbarian Mother Funky Stay High Dollar Billstir. And he sings Christian rap. So check yo' self bitch.