Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Recorded during rehearsals for the famous Fillmore East Band Of Gypsys concert 45 years (!) ago, Hendrix, Cox and Miles put down their beers for a few minutes and jammed out one of the cooler holiday medleys from the era. "Little Drummer Boy", "Silent Night" and "Auld Lang Syne" all recieve their acid rock due and Hendrix (as usual) turns what was probably an impromptu jam into a single for the ages. The 7-minute "extended mix" made available just a few years ago is the definitive version so it's the one I included. Enjoy.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Banking a sharp 180º degree turn from last post comes a solid slab of lo-fi dirge metal from obscure Erie, PA sludgers Village Of Dead Roads. Allegedly recorded in one live take, their debut full-length trudges along like a drunken rhino; slow and repetitive yet still managing to pull off some really inspired moments. The sluggish breakdowns in "Blind Albino" (slickly overdubbed with some bad-ass obscure movie samples - Bad Lieutenant maybe?) are completely addictive and could happily go on forever. My favorite track is "Ole Gravy Leg" - a song that totally fulfilled my expectations the first time I heard it. The riffage, brutal outro breakdown... everything fits to an absolute tee. Almost a perfect song. My only complaint with Dwelling In Doubt are the way-too-many "skit" tracks of noise-ish nonsense. Just get with the fucking music motherfuckers. Enjoy.
Monday, December 29, 2014
The few and far between purveyors of this blog will probably be blindsided by the fact that I am actually a massive Bee Gees fan. Tucked in between Beck and Begging For Incest are two dozen CDs of my favorite UK-via-Queensland pop trio. I thought I'd upload two hidden treasures in their extensive discography, completely overshadowed today by the billion-selling disco era LPs which forever defined the band from the late 70's on. 1968's Idea is a somewhat psychedelic offering which finds the Gibb brothers still searching for their own sound. Some tracks sound exactly like the Beatles (to such an extent my girlfriend asked if they actually were unreleased Fab Four tracks) while others venture into Jefferson Airplane/Mamas & The Papas territory. At the end of the day though, the songs that stand out are clearly Bee Gees songs. Some readers may recognize "I Started A Joke" from Faith No More's excellent Who Cares A Lot? version - while "I've Gotta Get A Message To You" is pure Bee Gees with an epic harmony chorus straight out of their later years together. "When The Swallows Fly" and the title track are also stand outs. Which brings me to 1974's Mr. Natural. Another quirky album cover aside (the Bee Gees were the undisputed champions of awful cover concepts) - get past the sappy opener "Charade" and you will be in proto-disco heaven. Backed by the producer (Arif Mardin) and back-up band that would help jettison them into worldwide fame a few years later with Saturday Night Fever (among other LPs), the Bee Gees locked down their unique mix of funk, blues and pop with this album. Ranging from delicate ballads ("Voices" and "I Can't Let You Go") to funky R&B ("Throw A Penny" and "Mr. Natural") to dance floor classics crying for a strobe light ("Down The Road" and "Heavy Breathing") it's a great party record will easily embed itself in your annoying I-can't-stop-humming-these-songs repertoire. Shit, who am I kidding, I fucking love almost every album these guys made but these two records top 'em all. Enjoy.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Not much out there about this Buffalo metalcore-ish deathcore four-piece - I'm not sure what spurred my discovery of this LP on iTunes but regardless, I went and downloaded it just the same. This record is a compilation of their two 2004 EPs The Hatred Spreads and Three Minutes Of Hate. Apparently self-released and completely obscure (were there actual CDs pressed?) it sounds well-rehearsed, well-produced and totally surprising that the band didn't seem to go anywhere. While there are moments that are token and tired, some parts are simply fucking awesome (the last 30 seconds of "Bloodlet" and "In The End" for example). And for being 10 years old, the fact that they sound even remotely pertinent today is a "win" in my book. Looks like most of the group stayed together long enough to reinvent themselves as a silly-named doom/death metal outfit called Darkapathy in 2012 who's bandcamp page got almost a minute of my fleeting attention. Enjoy.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Über-Photoshopped cover aside, Eminem's first wholehearted venture into hardcore hip-hop via the persona that would soon make him famous is a cool cultural snapshot of the ripple just before the storm... somewhat like the people who saw the hidden potential in Nirvana's Bleach. The EP that would get Dr. Dre's attention and soon catapult the name Marshall Bruce Mathers into the household vernacular is not nearly as good as the Slim Shady LP that would follow two years later but is also not quite as self-aggrandizing as his major label debut. You'll recognize most of the tracks - "If I Had...", "Just The Two Of Us" (a.k.a. "'97 Bonnie & Clyde"), "Just Don't Give A Fuck" as well as their "clean" radio edits - the real gem of this album is "Low Down, Dirty". A huge, sluggish Too $hort-esque beat backs up some of the most ridiculously twisted lyrics from Detroit's soon-to-be-favorite son. Surprising how this one escaped Dre's souped-up production. Silly skits aside, the other notable track on this one is "No One's Iller" - somewhat forgettable but featuring a bunch of guys who I think turned into D12. Nothing epic but always cool to hear proto-Eminem before he was doing fucking GMC commercials. Enjoy.
Friday, December 26, 2014
I was sold on their 2013 Anhedonia solely for the fact that they covered all 14 miserable minutes of one of my favorite Loinen songs - the inescapable "Lihaa" ("Flesh" for you non-Finnish speakers). Moscow's Thy Grave is a solid drone/sludge outfit harnessing the spirit of such wretched overlords as Otesanek and Thou with eager aplomb. They just released a couple tracks last week on a split CD with Torf (Ukraine stoners) and Sixpackgods (Finnish noise rock) but what really caught my attention was the band's amazing Talvisaatana demo from earlier this year. While the songs on the split CD are somewhat funeral doomy and not quite as bitter as I'd hoped, the demo versions are fucking awesome. Raw and underproduced - recorded on single mic, no after effects or whatever. The screaming lyrics sound a hell of a lot harsher as well. There's a live track thrown in to round it all out; fucking heavy-ass shit to wreck your brain. Check 'em out here.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Thirteen prophetic years to the day that their seminal Greatest Shits was released comes Cunt Sludge's rehashed abortion of an album Remasterbate. Offensive in every way possible, including their gross inability to play a fucking instrument, these tardcore losers make bands like Sockeye sound like fucking maestros. Remasterbate is a fully re-envisioned discography that spans the band's two main years of productivity (a couple old-schoolers might remember "KYFS" and "Jerkin' Off" from the early 90's) and the sweet caress of technology's pittance actually makes the band sound somewhat approachable. The lyrics are where it's at though, now or then. Making GG Allin sound like a choir boy is no small task but the 'Sludge vocal duet would make the ol' scumfucker proud. Sit back, suck on that candy cane while you go down on your underage daughter and download this shit before you kill yourself. Enjoy.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Who woulda thunk that the band with the most Christmas songs on my iPod was Korn. Go figure. Recorded during the 1994 Korn sessions, this unusual take on a traditional carol is no where nearly as funny as the band probably thinks it is nor as heavy as you hope it will be. I don't know who at Immortal thought this 12" single was a good idea (released 20 years ago this month!) - my best guess is someone was trying to repeat what the band managed to pull off with "Shoots And Ladders." Epic fail. Anyways, most of the song (the record offers clean and "Blatant FCC Violation" versions) features an inexplicably emotive Jonathan Davis sulking through a parody of "The Night Before Christmas" (dude, it's a holiday story, not fucking "Kill You"). Be forewarned, the lyrics are awful. Groan-inducing terrible, even for way back in '94. The tune wraps up with a quick 30 seconds of "Twist"-esque jabber over a somewhat heavier, albeit obviously freestyled outro. It sounds like the band is just phoning it in on this one, but still good for a dry smile as you spike the egg nog tomorrow. Enjoy.
Friday, December 19, 2014
After a long 3+ year hiatus, 2003's Murder Metal was a welcome return by the elusive Chicago serial-killer death metal trio Macabre. Back to the roots they sowed on Sinister Slaughter, each song on Metal showcases a particular rogue from the annals of criminal history, presented with glorious tongue-in-cheek aplomb. Amazingly produced, this record still holds the record for being the loudest CD in my collection. I can be playing anything at normal volume - switch CDs to this one and it's fucking blasting. As far as the music, while not quite as witty as 2000's epic Dahmer it's still got enough of a sick-ass sense of humor and ridiculously heavy riffage to destroy your brain. The Jerry Brunos "Fatal Foot Fetish" track is probably my favorite Macabre song ever; an incredible double-bass drum assault that I could simply listen to forever. As I've posited before, Nefarious is easily the best fucking drummer out there today - he routinely makes the craziest shit seem effortless. It's weird, I always picture Macabre as a bunch of guys working the blue-collar 9-to-5 at the local Midas or UPS; their co-workers completely oblivious to the fact that the long-haired guys down the hall in shipping are unbelievable musicians who have forever carved their own niche in the death metal world. Enjoy.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Saw this Baltimore-based hardcore band last weekend and I really fucking dug 'em. Crazy-ass NYHC influenced five-piece that tore up the front of the place and almost eclipsed the headliner in sheer insanity. Here's their 2013 EP for your listening pleasure, a somewhat cheesy rapcore-esque title aside the record has some great grooves, breakdowns and a general "Fuck You" attitude. Looking forward to their upcoming (within weeks as of this writing) full-length Nonstop Feeling - they played some songs off of it which absolutely killed (especially "Gravity" - fucking awesome). Keep up with the guys here and here.
Monday, December 1, 2014
I just got finished watching the 2008 documentary Until The Light Takes Us and decided to revisit a few of the albums that got the whole Black Metal Inner Circle shitstorm going. Listening to Darkthrone's seminal sophomore release I was surprised how good it sounds two decades later. A lo-fi mishmash of death and black metal, Northern Sky is far less cheesy than Burzum's debut and significantly darker than Mayhem's Deathcrush. Of course there are a few cringe-inducing vocal cues here and there but all in all a solid 40 minutes of angry bleakness. Drummer Fenriz came off as an interesting guy throughout the Light Takes Us documentary. At times defensive, at times unnecessarily aggressive and somewhat egotistical, he generally offers up a good sense of humor throughout it all; his opinions and recollections regarding this LP made for an even more interesting listen as well (evidently there is a 2CD re-release of this album with Fenriz offering that commentary on (or during?) all of the songs but this is just the basic Peaceville release). For even more in-depth material on the whole rise and fall of the Norwegian scene check out the amazing book Lords Of Chaos - essential shit. Enjoy.