Friday, August 22, 2014

This Is Revenge

Solid debut album from Bergen County, NJ. Don't get these guys confused with the Kalamazoo indie rock trio or roots rock L.A. outfit with the same name, this is straight up screaming fucking deathcore that will make you want to punch yourself or someone else in the face. While there's nothing terribly original here, the record has enough gritty vehemence that will make you forget there are bands like Carnifex and Whitechapel playing the exact same shit. There's even some 7-string Korn-esque licks here and there for the old school losers like myself. The opening of "Panty Sniffer Does Porn" is highlight of the album for me - the blast of riffage is simply awesome. The guys seem to have recently released a long-in-the-works followup EP - check out their shit here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wreck Your World

To celebrate its upcoming re-re-release on Southern Lord (you gotta check it out - 2xLP with loads of extra schwag for the über-fans) I thought I'd post the record that started it all, Excel's 1987 thrash metal debut Split Image. Being my favorite band from the late 80's Venice, CA/Suicidal Records musical rebellion much has already been written on this blog about Excel so I'll try not to obtusely repeat myself; needless to say such time-weary tunes as "Your Life, My Life," the title track and "Wreck Your World" are still some of my favorite songs to this day. Ever. Out of every fusion/crossover/thrash/speed metal band I've ever heard, these consistently rise to the top. I skip nearly 95% of the shit that plays via my iPod's shuffle but these will always get a full play. And not to say the rest of the album is bad at all - it's actually awesome. "The Joke's On You" is absolutely killer and I fucking love "Social Security" - especially while I was a 14-year old register jockey at the local Grand Union 25 years ago. Who knows what the newly remastered cuts will sound like, to be honest it gets no better than this weary, scratchy, well-played slab of vinyl (emblazoned with yet another incredible Michael Seiff cover to boot) which I still own to this very day. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If I Only Had A Brain

My junior year roommate fucking loved this CD-single (as well as all the other proto-techno/house bands  - al la Prodigy - that were blowing up at the time but that's another story) enough to curse me with a sort of Stockholm Syndrome opinion about it. By second semester I no longer wanted to kill myself as he blasted "Truth Is Out Of Style" through our miserable 600 square foot apartment - I actually dug it. Stumbling upon an mp3 of it the other day really uncorked a flood of memories from that great year. From Popov vodka bottle chugging marathons to gravity bongs in the fucking toilet - it was a fucking miracle I lived through it. Enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cull /kəl/ noun: A selective slaughter of wild animals

Fucking solid first release from UK grinders Human Cull. Not sure how I stumbled upon these crazy fuckers but it was worth it. Eleven songs in eleven minutes - totally manic ass crusty grindcore in the vein of Nails or Hatefilled Vengeance-era Regurgitate. Blistering blastbeats that hit you like a Drāno enema, ultra-fast riffage and screaming galore. They've released a bunch of other shit - all just as fucking insane - check 'em out here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


After their dissatisfaction with Imprint and Roadrunner Records (the band felt it was hastily recorded and the label mismanaged its release - a shame because I think it's a fucking amazing record), Long Island metalcore outfit Vision Of Disorder spent the end of the 90's off the major label radar. They re-recorded a bunch of tracks from their demo days and released them on indie label Go Kart Records. The result is For The Bleeders and is easily my favorite in their catalog. Recorded rough (8-track maybe?) and channeling the underground rawness of the originals, nearly every song is a keeper. I absolutely love "Adelaide" - the breakdowns in that song are simply epic. "Watch Out" and "Beneath The Green" are up there as well. V.O.D. eventually got back onto a major and released the so-so From Bliss To Devastation in 2001.

Friday, August 8, 2014

REPOST: The Funk Is Free

Five years and a month since my good pal Daniel Frouman passed on into the ether. In some weird way, I'm still in total denial that I won't get a random phone call, unexpected text, or simply bump into his lanky ass walking down Lamar Boulevard one day. I wish that were the case. I am happy to report that his memory lives on with yearly Funk Extravaganzas in his honor (featuring both a run and a concert) and on the amazing Daniel Frouman Memorial maintained by his brother. Photos and memories galore. I recently re-ripped all the cassettes of music I am privileged to have had him share with me; cleaning off as much of the tape hiss and other analog limitations as I could. I think the songs sound better than ever. While I was at it I also created a whole new slew of CD covers since I'm weirdly/annoyingly neurotic about that sort of thing so the (printable) PDFs are included with the songs. Enjoy and pass the word.

I                                                              II                                                              III

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hated Race

What a fucking great album. I was really into Fear Factory at the time (Obsolete era) I stumbled upon this and was intrigued by the obvious aliases, especially considering you got Jello Biafra narrating the whole opening as a pseudo-Pete Wilson. Jello may thrive in the counterculture but he's not stupid enough to head down to Tiujana to cut tracks with an underground drug lord death metal band. Smelling of San Francisco, I was happy to discover fave Faith No More veteran Billy Gould and Napalm Death mainstay Shane Embury trading off bass duties in addition to Fear Factory's Herrera (drums) and Cazares (guitar). The album is low rent death metal with a cool political vibe to it and if you took Spanish in highschool you'll be able to figure the lyrics out. "Hermanos Menendez" is my favorite song by far - I want that shit played at my funeral.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

VHS Memories...

Technology is fucking amazing. While I'm kind of a luddite in the sense that I don't own a fucking smartphone or GPS or any of that silly shit, I do put what sadly little money I have into my home theater system. Tonight I watched the recently released HD of Cannibal Holocaust and I simply cannot get over it. I have watched this film probably 100 times - and it's never been in the same format. Starting with my first 50th-generation Venezuelan bootleg in 1988 (which looked like it was filmed through a paper towel) to the limited 25th Anniversary box set which was until now the pinnacle; I've purchased nearly every iteration of this cannibal epic without even thinking twice. The new Blu-Ray is fucking amazing. I can't help but actually stand in front of the fucking TV while it's playing. Shit that was a blur of off-whites is now a clear, crisp hut in the corner, or discarded turtle carcass. In a nutshell - I fucking love Cannibal Holocaust and seeing it in a more beautiful format than the few folks who saw it in 1979 makes me feel oddly priviledged. Here's the uncut soundtrack from Deodato regular Riz Ortolani, a beautiful synthesizer symphony which stands alone as the most haunting soundtrack to an Italian horror movie in history. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Packin' Horse Dick

Oh boy, here we go again. Jesus, how many posts on this two-bit blog have started with that sentence? Too fucking many probably... Anyways, here's the hidden gem of Rap-A-Lot Record's late 80's catalog, the debut release by burgeoning Geto Boy Willie D (or "Ghetto Boy Willie Dee" depending on what set you're claimin') - a low-budget dozen-song LP that is so banally minimalistic i that it comes off as an epic of primitive genius. First off, Willie D is a terrible rapper. There, I said it. You can barely understand his strange lispy cadence and his rhymes are awful. That being said, it actually works with the dollar store back beats and sorry off-time samples (how anyone on this record had the balls to call themselves a DJ is laughable). Willie it at his peak on the fucking killer "Put The Fuckin' Gun Away" - easily the best song on the album. The absolutely austere "Bald Headed Hoes" probably influenced countless thousands of closet MC's out there who've since realized you don't need a TR808 or other fancy drum machine - pawn yourself a $5 Casio beat box and sign the record deal. D's hilarious "Fuck Me Now" and the terribly unsexy token sex rap "Kinky" will have you laughing out loud. Geto Boy fans will be pleased to hear one of the many versions of "Do It Like A G.O." (yet another two versions appear on both the Grip It! and The Geto Boys albums) and anyone hunting for the best duet in hip-hop history need look no further than this record. "I Need Some Pussy". Bolivia. Best lyrics ever.

Monday, August 4, 2014

24 Songs For Teens And Non-Teens Alike!

Waaaay back in 1987 a young 15-year old Aaron Freeman sat in his bedroom and crafted an hour-long acid trip of an album - an amazingly astute precursor to what his alter ego Gene Ween would co-create a few short years later on Ween's epic The Pod. The material for Synthetic Socks' eponymous debut was culled from two cassettes recorded over six months by the New Hope, PA native - the "best of the best" were chosen by Aaron and Teen Beat Records founder Mark Robinson. What you get is a strange amalgam of instrumental odes created on a Korg Poly-800 (my favorite being "Tree"), surprisingly humorous teenage ramblings ("Weenstock"), good ol' garage band noise ("Cops" and "Collectives"), sweet "Birthday Boy"-esque love songs, prank phone calls and KISS. From the liner notes:

"Sprouted out of deep psychological problems and blossomed into a young virgin sound just waiting to be heard. It's all recorded in my bedroom with my tape deck and whatever else I can borrow off people. Synthetic Socks consists of me, and various guest stars. This cassette has been recorded over a span of about 10 years. I'm still in high school and plan to move where the trees live."

The guest stars include future Ween brother "Mike" Melchiondo on guitar (his acoustic untitled ditty to close out Side A is probably my favorite track on the album) and Ken Everett who both played (along with Aaron) in the jam band Pine Sheep. All in all, Synthetic Socks is a welcome addition to the Ween catalog - I sleazed out a copy when Teen Beat reissued a scant 55 cassettes in 1998 and it's been the holy grail of my dusty tape collection ever since.

On a side note, I just picked up a copy of Aaron's new CD Freeman. Twenty-seven years since Synthetic Socks yet there's a strange similarity to both records. It took me a while to get over Ween's breakup (and in that weird non-involved sort of way I was siding with Deaner) but Freeman is a solid forty minutes and is much more reflective of what Ween was morphing into than Deaner's "My Own Bare Hands" type of stuff. Worth a listen.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dave Who?

Keepin' it on the cassette rip tip, here's a another random bootleg LP picked up by my neurotic gotta-have-everything-Metallica 15-year old self (blog disclaimer: I am 25 years past that annoying phase). Not-so-cleverly disguised as a "Metal Militia" album - astute Metallica afficionados will no doubt recognize the label's attempt to legitimize this release as something from the pre-Elektra Kill 'Em All days. To be fair, it is, albeit shitty dubs of the originals. Side A features five tracks from the No Life 'Til Leather demo recorded with infamous ex-band members Dave Mustaine (guitar, duh) and Ron McGovney on bass. Side B showcases three cuts from the somewhat more rare Ride The Lightning demo. Originally recorded in late 1983, it was the group's first recording to feature lead guitarist Kirk Hammett. Who knows what generation recording actually made it onto the vinyl, the mp3's here are ripped from a direct cassette dub of mine. Still sounds shitty but made up for simply from the rareness of the whole thing. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

REPOST: C(o)untless Songs!

Here are a couple new uploads of some old Anal Cunt cassettes I've had collecting dust. Their story is documented here - the new rips are significantly cleaner and much better quality. I also equalized the levels somewhat and sutured a lot of clip errors in the recording (especially the Club Baby Head show which had a ton of stop/starts). Finally, I also tightened the sequencing and added the extra 30 seconds of Incantation accidentally left on the end of tape #1 as a bonus. Enjoy.

Live 1991                                                       Split w/ Nut Screamer

Friday, August 1, 2014

Flea Market Blues

Oh man, the days I spent at the flea market off of Route 22 in Watchung during my lazy drunken high school days. Cheap, sticky back issues of Swank, a couple illegal butterfly knives and bootleg live tapes fucking galore. Amazingly, there were actual levels of bootleg legitimacy within the cardboard crates of dusty yellowed cassettes. You could find some semi-legit ones - especially if you were considering a well-known musician like Jimi Hendrix - such glossy, pro-printed boots as From This Day On and The Last Experience are familiar to even casual collectors of the guitar legend. Then there was the next level, adequate cassette copies of bootleg LPs - a cheapo xeroxed copy of The Who's Who Dunit? comes to mind but there were fucking thousands of them. Usually first generation copies on unlabeled TDK60s complete with all the pops and cracks of a shitty record player. Then there were the boxes and boxes of bootleg live shows. Utterly disorganized, barely labeled and akin to looking for a peanut in a pile of shit, these wretched excuses for music usually didn't cost more then $2 and were hardly worth the price. Case in point: a hand-scrawled copy of Suicidal Tendencies' 1984 show at the Rollerworks in Chatsworth, CA dubbed over tape #3 of some Learn French In 30 Days cassette series. The audio equivalent of trying to watch scrambled 80's cable porn, this is probably the lowest quality piece of media I've ever heard and that's saying something. Sounding like it originally was recorded with a Walkman buried in someone's pocket, this worthless tenth-generation dupe ups the ante by appearing to be dubbed by two boomboxes set across the room from one another. In short, the show is barely listenable which is a shame because it is actually a really good show and it would be something else to hear it for real. Under 20+ decibels of tape hiss the band cuts through most of its Frontier Records debut - guitarist Grant Estes and drummer Amery Smith really show off their skills, casually diverging from the traditional arrangements off the album with aplomb. Mike Muir runs around yelling like an idiot but hey, he was barely 21 at the time so easily forgiven. I ripped the download that stands before you off of that cassette and tried as much as I could to clean it up but it still sounds fucking terrible and is for ST completists only. Interestingly, the guy who originally(?) taped it tacked on the demo version of "I Saw Your Mommy" (from the 1984 Mystic Records Mystic Sampler #1 LP) at the end and its the only good-sounding thing on this. Try to enjoy a strange snapshot of L.A. skater hardcore circa '84 and don't let the hiss get ya down.