Saturday, March 28, 2015
Hailing from the Hellenic Reuplic of Greece, Dodsferd began as a somewhat typical one-man black metal outfit, eventually (inevitably?) expanding into a 3-piece by 2008's Death Set The Beginning Of My Journey. A welcome change from the tinny Burzum-esque guitar/drum machine loops of their earlier material, Dodsferd really matured into a legitimate band on this LP. While some of the songs drag on a few measures too long there are enough ample riffs stuffed into each of the six anthems to keep it interesting. "Suicide Was Created..." is my fave track - while never really letting up its rabid pace it manages some pretty cool breakdowns in the midst of the chaos. Vocalist (and founder) Wrath has a pretty good range - he's a bit screechy at times but all in all a solid howler - overdubbing his vocals in a cool crustcore style. My only complaint with the record is my neurotic gripe with black metal itself, the "trying to sound evil" vibe of the whole thing kinda comes off more silly than scary. But that's just me. Enjoy.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Suckin' down a 40 of Old E this Thursday evening has got me in an old-school frame of mind. Too bad most hip hop scholars' only clue to KMD's existence was frontman Zev Love X's cameo on 3rd Bass's subpar Cactus Album - a cameo that painfully confirms the lackluster rap skills of the two white boy frontmen. His tongue-twisting contribution to "Gas Face" saved that record from being completely forgettable. Since 99.9% of everyone reading this are newbies, a convenient intro to the group is their 2003 The Best Of KMD compilation LP. Culling tracks from Mr. Hood (1991) and Black Bastards (half-heartedly released in 1998), don't expect shades of 3rd Bass on this one. KMD sound like a lo-fi Brand Nubian (who actually turn up as guests on "Nitty Gritty") and are significantly more mean-spirited than the impression you may have gotten watching a young Zev Love spin around a lamp pole in the "Gas Face" video. Funny and cynical, it is amazing the band didn't make more of a dent in the scene before being dropped by Elektra due to their second album's controversial title. Sadly, DJ Subroc was killed on the L.I.E. before Bastards ever made it to record stores - Zev Love disappeared from the scene only to reinvent himself as MF Doom years later. I urge you to check out the full versions of KMD's albums - why don't they make rap like this anymore is anyone's guess...
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Solid British mid-90's lo-fi crust from an era where hardcore was having a much-welcome resurgence after too many years of grunge, death metal and godawful hair bands. Never released or repackaged on CD, this a shitty mp3 rip straight from the 2nd pressing vinyl. What I dig the most about Incubation is the genre-crossing - one second they are playing powerviolence (there are some definite Man Is The Bastard influences) before crushing into some fucking awesome Dystopia-esque breakdowns. Awesome shit. If you dig the band, check out the blog written by the bassist - some fucking cool reminiscing of his old HxCx days as well as a link or two...
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Solid 4-track E.P. (demo?) from an elusive RVA five-piece that I can barely find anything about. Fronted by attractive, well-tattooed female lead singer K.Z., I am unsure if the above I Am Providence was recorded by the time she joined the band in 2010, as the vocals sound significantly less screamo than their later albums. Actually, it makes me wonder if this E.P. is even by the same band as there's no mention of I Am Providence on any of the various bios I've found around the internet. Regardless, this is good ol' southern sludge with a definite Soilent Green influence. Heavy-handed with Lovecraftian references, my favorite track is the trippy, riff-heavy "Glossolallia." I was happy to discover the band is still chugging away and recently released a two-song cover E.P. - drop some duckets for a local DIY band here. Enjoy.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Over twenty-five years in retrospect - it's amazing how absolutely cheesy this album (and basically everything Manowar touched) is. I can actually remember the conversation I had with my confused anti-hair metal friend (sadly he was very much in denial...) at Alwilk Records as he tried to convince me that Manowar were putting the "heavy" back into heavy metal and I had to drop an ungodly amount of cash for this CD (of which he only had the cassette and desperately needed the bonus track). At the time Manowar held the Guinness World's Record for loudest band or something unremarkable like that, I don't know what about this made them "good" or "listenable" - as far as I was concerned fucking Duran Duran could fill a stadium with amps and claim that title and that was fine by me. Pushing the boundaries of geekdom, Manowar channel their Excalibur-esque version of metal to such an extent that the laughable "The Warrior's Prayer" short story could be mistaken for trailer narration stolen from any number of 1980's sword-and-sorcery epics. As far as the music goes, it's token heavy metal cheese - ultra-obnoxious guitar solos (courtesy of Ross The Boss, 'natch), big vocal choruses and an ear-piercingly screaming lead singer that would do Dio proud. Seriously, the guy is basically a parody of metal singers he is so obnoxious. The album's title track is really the only one that rises above the muck - it's got such a ridiculously presumptuous swagger that it is probably exactly what Seth Putnam was channeling as Anal Cunt recorded cock-rock tribute Fuckin' A. Awfully boastful prowess by a band who likes to claim they "wear jeans and leather... not cracker jack clothes" although every press photo I've seen shows the guys oiled up and dressed in Viking-esque loincloths. It's too bad Manowar shot their wad so long ago - this generation's Game Of Thrones fanboys would have probably eaten this shit up. Still, a fun ride down memory lane.
Monday, March 23, 2015
One of my weaker purchases back in 1989 was Arabian Prince's first solo cassette-single "She's Got A Big Posse." It was a simpler time where L.A. could do no wrong and I was blindly scooping up nearly everything remotely connected with Eazy-E and his Raiders hat-wearing crew. Had I realized Arabian Prince was the mastermind behind such forgettable N.W.A. album filler as "Panic Zone" and the execrable "Something 2 Dance 2" (seriously, did anyone ever not fast forward past that track?) I probably wouldn't have jumped at the opportunity to drop $5 for an arguably "four" song single. I've never heard anything since from the Prince so he gets a significant amount of beginner slack but for what it's worth "She's Got A Big Posse" isn't bad. Good grooves, samples and double entendres aplenty, he's got a solid voice and the lyrics fit in perfectly with what N.W.A. was doing at the time. Interestingly, I only just discovered Arabian Prince was a founding member of the Compton hip-hop quartet, only to be replaced by a young O'Shea Jackson upon his return to South Central from college. Good choice fellaz. The cassette rounds its running time out with an LP edit, radio edit, instrumental and the sample-heavy throwaway track "Now You Have To Understand."
Thursday, March 19, 2015
A fucking insane mix of blistering Ministry-esque industrial (Psalm 69-era) with brutally misanthropic Middle Eastern black metal, Ayat's debut full-length absolutely blows away anything Al Jourgensen has created over the last decade and has quite possibly become my favorite black metal album ever. Steering away from the funeral doom influence on the "necro" black metal hailed by Anaal Nathrath and their ilk, Ayat sounds much more like a "real" studio band. Moments of Six Years Of Dormant Hatred are very reminiscent of Lard, Bile and Godflesh, it's interesting to imagine what bands the silly-pseudonymed band members were actually influenced by. Sadly they've never played live and are little more than musical pariahs in their home turf of Lebanon. They announced a follow-up LP in 2010 but since have remained silent...
Sunday, March 15, 2015
MCA was really scraping the Townshend/Daltrey barrel in 1987 when they finalized the last of their much-contested drawn-out contract with The Who. Keith Moon had been dead for nearly a decade and the band hadn't recorded anything new since 1982's It's Hard... MCA acquired rights to The Who's significant back catalog soon after (an ownership that continued until 2003) and not only re-released every legitimate album but started marketing era-appropriate obscurity compilations to keep the masses hungry for more. After 1985's Who's Missing chronicled most of the band's B-sides and random live "hits" there wasn't much left but to dig through lowly master tapes of long-defunct record label reel-to-reel archives. The result? Who knows if this is stuff the band would have ever actually wanted to be released but for enthusiasts there are real diamonds in the rough to be found here. Some sweet blues tracks - "Bald Headed Woman" and the incredible "I'm A Man" (a song I'll always love thanks to Mr. Hendrix) as well as a couple covers for Stone and Vandellas fans make this record impossible to listen to without a smile. Sadly, this LP did not get the gold certificate as did its predecessor - nixing the potential for a Three's Missing...
Saturday, March 14, 2015
For what it's worth I liked Pretty Hate Machine. "Head Like A Hole" and "This Is The Only Time" were solid and most of the other other tunes would make a mix here and there throughout the early 90's. Still, I didn't really like NIN that much yet I was one of the shadowy posers lining up with two dozen proto-goth faithful at Oliver's one chilly Syracuse midnight slapping down $15 for the brand new halo five release. Twenty-five years later, broken remains my favorite NIN release by far. The influence by Ministry, Lard and other guitar-heavy industrial groups notwithstanding, Reznor was explicitly impacted by the sound of his live back-up band during the Lollapalooza I tour and decided to mimic that sound on record. The results are astounding - other than Land Of Rape And Honey, this is probably my favorite industrial LP. Ever. "Last" and the sweetly miserable "Help Me I Am In Hell" are standouts on the primary disc while the cover of Adam Ant's "Physical" on the bonus 3" CD is my all-time favorite NIN track (probably the best heavy industrial track ever recorded as well). And you gotta love the Krull sample in "Happiness Is Slavery". Amazing it was all done buy one guy in a studio. Enjoy an awesome throwback to the days where making a heavy electronic record wa't an app on your iPad.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Yowzah! Another early 80's GG Allin single! Recorded at the almost-legendary Massachusetts-based Destiny Records with his brother and a couple of Jabbers (I only learned the other day that the "X"-ish symbol in the upper left corner are two knives "jabbing" each other - get it?? - thanks to Terminal Boredom yet again), GG turned up the glam and amped the party vibe for his second solo record. "1980's Rock 'N' Roll" is easily the more sophomoric of the two songs while "Cheri Love Affair" remains a guilty favorite of mine to this day. Both cuts are mixed differently from what would eventually end up on Always Was, Is, And Always Shall Be - the backup vocals are weirdly loud (as is the awful synthetic piano in "1980's") but it's all terribly charming in its quasi-serious amateurness and makes the LP versions sound like gold.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Oh boy, here's the post that will do me in with the PC police... Straight outta Nashville come the intentionally provocative-titled HxLxAxNx. So what does such a thematically witty band of Tennesseans sound like? Well, as far as brutal death metal goes it's not half bad, considering. Song titles are the typical stupid/offensive nonsense - I'm surprised in this day and age the joke got as far as it did (2 demos) - but at the end of it all the musick is fucking solid downtuned double bass drop slamcore chaos. Of course my headphones cringed at some of the level blasts but I appreciate the effort. Vocals are nonhuman unless you enjoy deciphering the gurgles of a pig - but if you've made it this far you know what to expect. Shit, next thing I'll find out is the band members are fucking ΣΑΕ alums... enjoy.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Probably the coolest industrio-metal song to ever get routinely played on MTV, Ministry's one-shot collaboration with Gibby Haynes is a sick 8-minute blast of adrenaline-laced drum machine backed guitar riffs. I'm sure there's no one reading this who hasn't heard this track a billion times but in case you are only familiar with the truncated ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ version, the original single extended mix is the real deal. I can't imagine the amount of LSD those guys ingested during the recording session. Single also includes a proto/demo (and arguably better) version of "TV Song" that would appear on the aforementioned LP as well. Enjoy.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Still somewhat of a rarity in the annals of GG Allin's legacy, his one-shot 1981 recording with quasi-notable NY poet/writer Emily XYZ is yet another glimpse at a potential musical career that probably wouldn't have ended in his shit-smeared mid-30's heroin overdose. Featuring Al Chapple of Jabbers infamy on bass and "Fogerty" on guitar - GG plays an ample, albeit simple, drum beat behind Emily's avant garde non-linear lyrics. "Galileo" is the appropriately lesser B-side of the two, a somewhat dull rambling progression of a song while the flip "Jesus Over New York" has a very cool, definitely addictive rally chant quality to it. Interestingly, The Stripsearch (the band's actual name) released another single a year later with a cool handmade cover created from duct tape, sandpaper and crayon. I actually had that record as well but parted with it many years ago for some quick cash (with no musician listing I purchased it assuming GG played on that one as well, years later found out that was not the case). If anyone has a rip of that I'd love to hear it as I seem to remember "Hey Kid" was a pretty cool track. GG remained pretty friendly with Emily until his death and I think she even made it up to his funeral; yet another testament that the guy wasn't a total douche to everyone and the whole "I Love Nothing" persona was nothing but contrived schtick for the sheeple masses.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Honestly, I am beginning to thing that Weekend Nachos are the best heavy band currently on the planet. Not do they have an amazing amount of output - all of their shit is fucking punch-you-in-the-grill fucking violent. It's kinda grindcore then sludgy then almost metalcore-ish... the band slays through riff after riff of sick mania without missing a beat. And the songs flow one into another which makes you feel like it's all part of some giant master plan. Worthless is my favorite record by them and is anything but - an untouchable assault of catchy downtuned grooves played by a bunch of fuckers who couldn't give a rancid shit if you like 'em or not.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
24 minutes of riff-heavy instrumental euphoria by Polish stoner sludgelords Major Kong. It's a pretty amazing debut - a totally listenable garage jam of a record that one could easily be convinced was an unrehearsed one-take demo session. Still, the "songs" each bring something different to the table, not only in basic riffage but in simple progressive grooviness - the opener "Witches" is a standard sludge track while the next song begins to tinker with time signatures and effects, leading to "The Swamp Altar", a blues-drenched jam that would make Orange Goblin or Electric Wizard proud. The seven-minute closer is a worthwhile culmination of feedback and wah-wah, the jam actually feels like it finishes... A really nice record, the drums sound absolutely amazing bar none, the fucking recording is worth listening to just for them. Enjoy.
Friday, March 6, 2015
While Jerry Only continues to drag the Misfits trademark through the dirt, ex-guitarist Doyle quietly released his surprisingly solid debut LP in mid 2013. For those who crave the sound of the American Psycho-era 'fits, look no farther. Seriously tired of Only's current (and sadly lethargic) version of the Misfits, Doyle's eponymous band is a breath of fresh horror punk air. Recruiting ex-Misfit drummer Dr. CHUD (who is pretty awesome in his own right) and Danzig-esque vocalist Alex Story, Doyle focuses on the blistering fast downstroked power chord progressions that made him famous. Some of the tunes fall a bit short but at least they are not all based on a fucking movie (Misfits' "The Black Hole"? Puke). The bluesy "Love Like Murder" echoes shades of Soundgarden's "Outshined" while my guiltiest pleasure on the record has got to be the oddly Pantera-ish "Cemeterysexxx". Don't be fooled, Doyle's vastly superior version of "Land Of The Dead" is in title only, the songs are totally different; but if I were Jerry I'd be nice to his younger brother this Thanksgiving. Maybe he'll get an audition.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Keepin' it on the early 90's "alternative" tip comes Alice Donut's watershed Mule. Man, I can't tell you how many times this album stared me in the face as I repeatedly perused the "Alternative/Punk" section at my local Alwilk Records and yet I simply could not buy it. Just too much of a risk to spend my hard-earned $12 bucks on! Seriously, no one I knew had any fucking idea what the band sounded like... ironic since I lived only 25 minutes outside of Manhattan but that's another story. Decades later I finally grabbed a bunch of their music and discovered what a hesitant fool I was. Way ahead of their time, sounding like an even freakier Victims Family, Mule showcases Donut at their production-wise best. Lick-heavy proto-grunge with acoustic riffs interspersed throughout, this record eschews the "alternative" label and emerges as a pretty solid (albeit weird) party album. Nonlinear enough for the Ween/Lips fans and MTV enough for the Beck/Nirvana crew. Enjoy.