Saturday, January 30, 2016
Go figure, in the cut-out dustbin at the local library I found this long-forgotten Richmond, VA gem. Mixed in with a sorry collection of Celene Dion, Billy Joel and Miley Cyrus beer coasters was a strange photocopied CDr that just screamed for its generic 50¢ "donation" fee. And boy, it did not disappoint. Recorded sometime in the early part of the millennium, this self-released demo (the CDr is hand-written "Rough") is a refreshing lo-fi garage rock dream. Think a slightly bluegrass-tinged Ween with some other assorted Kids Eat Crayons jazz oddity and you'll have a general idea of what to expect. Thanks to some sparse info on Teen Beat Records' website (forever noteworthy as being the label for the debut recording of one Mr. Aaron Freeman and who put DtK on the map with their inclusion on a 2004 compilation), Eternity With Numbers was piece-mealed over several sessions at a few different VA studios and had almost a dozen musicians (both official and non-official band members) contributing. The number of performers explains the somewhat chaotic style of the record which spans genres to the extent it almost doesn't sound like the same album from song to song. The record appears to have been intended for a legitimate 2007 release by Teen Beat but there is no mention if that really happened and I can hardly find anything about the band on the web so me thinks not. Which makes this CD even more rare and kind of even more cool so enjoy this slice of Richmond indie rock history.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Jesus, after dealing with a week of my poor little south-of-the-Mason-Dixon city struggling to deal with the twelve inches of snow dumped on us last weekend it's no fucking wonder some of the most miserable music in the world comes from such frost-addled climes as Norway, Sweden, and the home to today's music lesson, Finland. Thankfully not another run-of-the-mill black metal band (my initial idea for this post), the oddly named Arson Under The Sea spawn from the city of Oulu and play a rather devastating blend of sludge noise which was perfect to be pissed-off and shovel my driveway to (actually, it was the band's no-nonsense self-description I used in the post header that initially hooked me). The band has a few short releases, my favorite is their 2013 demo for an EP which came out a year later. Raw, overdub-free practice space recording which is probably the closest thing to the band live you can get from this side of the pond. If you like what you hear be sure to check out the plethora of websites fronted by this internet-savvy band: fb/bc/tumblr.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Probably my least favorite release from the ol' Geeg, and that's saying a lot when compared to dreck like the Live Fast Die Fast 7" and the umpteen posthumous live LPs. But it's still essential just, y'know... because. If it was some post mortem cash-grab it would be a lot easier to write off but the fact that there's quite a few interviews out there in which GG freaking extols this record (listen here) demands another listen. M. Physema was the multi-talented lead vocalist/programmer of Pittsburgh, PA lo-fi industrial unit Shrinkwrap (already with a half-dozen indie releases under their belt) who contacted the incarcerated Allin; over mail and phone the two conspired to create the 45-minute opus War In My Head/I'm Your Enemy. So what's it all like? As far as Shrinkwrap goes, listening to their non-GG recordings is a lot like listening to some of Ministry's Wax Trax outtake stuff. Pretty aggressive guitar-heavy industrial, not bad at all, just somewhat redundant at times. With that being said, WIMH/IYE can be a long listen. With most spoken material lifted from the GG/ANTiSEEN Murder Junkies album dubbed over looped music from throughout the scumfuc's career, it just feels too much like you've heard it all before. A trip into GG's mind? Yeah, kind of, I guess, but nothing too shocking for the seasoned fan. War In My Head/I'm Your Enemy would probably have the greatest impact on someone who had no idea what GG was all about - it almost works best as a sampler to the chaotic sociopathy (and discography) of the guy. Highlight is the last 5 or so minutes with an unreleased (by 1993 standards, anyway) spoken word over a bleak-ass noisy maelstrom. I think if anything, because GG and his bands changed sounds and styles so much over the decades it's a little tough to digest WIMH/IYE as a coherent piece. Still a worthy effort though, especially back in a day when it was obvious GG was mid-life crisising what musical direction even he wanted to go in. Ironically, something like this could be pasted together in GarageBand by any amateur mixer with enough time on his hands... a real example of how much technology has changed in the near-quarter century Allin's been dead. For those who are interested, M. Physema resurrected his Toilet Rock Production label in 2006 and re-released over thirty rare and long-lost GG demos, cassettes, live shows, etc on CDr. It's a pretty amazing selection, potential copyright infringements and all. Check it out here.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Lets start off 2016 with the first full-length by Melbourne brutal death metallers Whoretopsy. The band caught my eye sinply for the fact they call themselves a blend of deathcore and BDM, two genres which I'm trying to get back into after being out of the intestinal loop for a couple years. So how does the merging of such misanthropic styles sound? Pretty fucking good actually. First off, it is really nice to hear good musicians actually playing together, no drum machines, loops or over produced effects. The riffs and breakdowns are plentiful and absolutely vicious - the kind of stuff I wish there were still huge floor-sized speaker stereos to blast through. The weird deathcore guitar noodling (of which I never understood the popularity) is still there to an extent but it's completely overshadowed by the sheer crush of down-tuned power chord monstrosity. You still got to deal with a token movie sample intro on most of the songs but hey it wouldn't be brutal death without 'em, no? Great shit to nurse a hangover and rip the holiday decorations down to. Happy New Year.