Thursday, May 17, 2018

No Time To Lose

Man, fucking Gat-Rot. Totally unknown and playing massively better shit than anyone else was at the time except Hatebreed (who were fucking forefronting the scene so cut 'em some slack)... their dry desert brand of Arizonian crossover metalcore should have been totally on everyone's metal mix CDs in the early 90's. Sounding like someone blended Internal Suffering with a Korn demo, it's a tad under-produced, the exact sound the aforementioned Hatebreed was trying to escape from after their Under The Knife demo, but it takes what Biohazard was kinda polishing up (pre their industrial-ish days) and makes it just that excessively bit heavier. For a bunch of West Coasters they really tapped into that Brooklyn back-and-forth lyricist vibe... token NYC accent and fucking all. There's a little token scritch-scratch DJ-ing/white-boy hip hop here and there trying to tap in to what Korn and Limp Bizkit were doing at the time and it's only confusing because it's mixed so weirdly... and kinda unnecessary... like it's an overdub to appeal to idiots. But enough old-man proselytizing, Strength Through Struggle fucking kills. "Equilibrium" is easily akin to the fucking pissed off shit in today's hardcore scene (personally I'd love to re-record this song bare-bones), "Down" has the most ridiculously chant-y bridge breakdown (bass break included), "I Resist" oozes an addictive crossover vibe; there's a weird-ass rolling groove to their songs that just makes you want to jump into your own personal mosh pit. Sure there is a little Bio-worship here and there ("Backfire" especially) but you wouldn't be listening to this band if you weren't quasi-familiar with the old school so whaddya expect? Check their other pre-Us Vs. Them record here and I think they actually get together and play locally - their window to the interweb is here. Enjoy.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ball Is Life.

Holy fucking shit... has it been almost a year? I'm not surprised with my absolute disdain of almost everything musical that's come out since 2015 but occasionally there is a diamond in the rough that keeps me from completely deleting this blog out of its induced-coma existence. Introducing the long-defunct Ari... a hardcore four-piece straight outta Louisville, KY (random shoutout to Kinghorse is appropriate here) and one of the few of the zillion things I've found on bandcamp that actually made me pause and listen for more than 15 seconds. Out of the solid 25 minutes of punchy, aggro hardcore, the opener "Womb" and "Dimwit" are easily my faves. "Womb" has got an insanely addictive flowing groove to it while the latter has a cool power-chord-up-the-neck outro with some awesome screaming fucking nonsense that makes me survive my daily morning commutes. Sadly the band hung up their instruments in 2015 but there is still some archival internet presence here and here. Check the rest of their shit out, you probably won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sans Lizard King

So your lead singer has either had a heart attack or gone into perpetual Enquierer-esque hiding to escape being famous or some other pretentious bullshit. What does a band do when you've arguably just released your crowning comeback album 6 months earlier? You take the trademark music you've already laid down and throw some Morrison-esque vocals on it. Which brings us to Other Voices, one of the two post-Jim albums the Doors would release, most assuredly as contractual obligations to Elektra. The fact that by the 70's the band was pretty much creating the music and letting Morrison just do his thing when he showed up at the studio so the guys were almost there. That being said, how is it? Actually pretty solid. The music is great, a depressing window into what could have been for their seventh album had the band been whole. Acknowledging the point that some of the Doors' biggest hits weren't written by Morrison ("Light My Fire", "Touch Me", "Love Me Two Times", etc.) all three remaining band members summoned their lyrical skills and gave a best shot trying to channel their deceased lead singer's arcane style to complete the record. So, not surprisingly, if the album has a problem. it's the fact that Krieger and Manzarek aren't great vocalists. It works (kinda) with the harmonizing on the bluesy "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" but on some of the other songs Manzarek just sounds like a kareoke's Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey (or pretty much any other popular 60's-era lead singer other than Morrison). Not that that's terrible, it's just not the Doors. Musically it's amazing, lyrically it works somewhat, the guys channel the vibe Morrison generally went for - it's just different "voices" and hence the album title I guess. But what the fuck, I really like this shit (especially the crazy end to "Hang On To Your Life" which is definitely shades of their live versions of "Not To Touch This Earth") and it's a somewhat melancholic window into the musical talents and potential future of a band who ended way too soon. Interestingly, the members of the band assured Elektra they never had the record's master tracks after the initial LP release... this album (and its follow up, 1972's Full Circle) never saw life on CD until 2006.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Back From The Dread

First off, after the unexpected shit demise of Photobucket I've finally reset the page to look basically (I think) like how it used to after switching everything over to a new photo host... that being said... music on...

Dude what the fuck is my hard-on for Kool Keith? Everything that fucker touches is gold. Even his new shit which you could argue against is light years past what any old school rapper is trying to do these days. Regardless, my way-cooler-than-me brother was wicked into Ultramagnetic back in the day... while Critical Beatdown is still a good listen, the quartet's best moment is their 1992 The Four Horsemen LP. By this point Keith was easily becoming the apex predator of the group - shit he raps more prolifically on this bitch then he does on some his solo albums. Clinging to all the dark groove samples of the early-90's hip-hop scene it's some of my favorite shit from the soon to be solo KK. Groovy shit with Keith dropping his trademark insane lyrics.... gotta fucking love it. Doo-doo rhyme hooks forever.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Twenty-something years ago I fittingly got dragged down to the Drag in Austin to go see some band my roommate had heard good things about. Evidently the band leader was some underground musical savant who was simply revolutionary when it came to jazz. We sat in some tiny empty upstairs club, my curiosity somewhat piqued but not quite... jazz wasn't (and still isn't) really my thing. Well, two hours later, I was rendered speechless and have recalled the story about seeing the Golden Arm Trio ever since. Theirs was the first band sticker I slapped on my Fender which I still play to this day. Gaudy with two decades of scum and slime (and layered with umpteen other band decals), you can still kinda make out the "Trio" in the band logo. Regardless, composer and band leader Graham Reynolds was on the drums that night (and occasionally the piano) and it was amazing to watch whom you would usually consider a background musician absolutely control the group (it was an actual "trio" at that point; later on, while the band's name stayed the same there could be as many as eight folks playing together but we can discuss semantics later). The drums were what really had me - controlling, heavy, almost blast beat death metal grooves at times as opposed to the casual background jazz-ish rat-a-tat-tat I expected. It was something else and only recently did I take advantage of this new thing we have called the "Internet" and see what the fuck ever happened to the band. Turns out a LOT. A couple albums, a movie soundtrack (A Scanner Darkly, 'natch) and some highly praised stage shows... it has been an absolute joy revisiting some of the music I completely considered a one-off show so long ago. Check out the band website here - it's amazing how the dude looks almost exactly the same as he did back in '96. Enjoy their first album... a real treat.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Get A Fucking Life

Goddamn, who the fuck are these guys? I found this little ditty of an album at some point a decade or so ago... unlike everything else on the internet at that time all Napstered the fuck up, these clowns actually had a web domain through their record label where you could just download their mp3's for free (I dug that shit up here). And thanks to the lyrics and bio of the band have been preserved for as long as they exist (check that shit here). 

That being said and the fact that this amazing two-piece has sadly faded into obscurity, this album fucking RULES. Brutal venom-core bitching at most everything, it's amazing most of this was conceived by two drunk dudes deciding to record a full album in 90 minutes. 23 songs later, post-dubs aside, the You Probably Suck is one brutal riff after another with screamo-ish lyrics killing everything in their path. Fans of Eighteen Visions get ready to jerk without repent. Unreal. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Black Hula

Is anyone who checks this sorry blog old enough to have watched a little non-music throwaway show on MTV called Liquid Television? If you did then you'd better be well acquainted with the interminably cute and devastating "Mauna Kea" track used in the smartly apocalyptic "Black Hula" animated short. Starting off with a duo of crudely-drawn Ichthyostegas quietly spawning the human race, the film sarcastically documents and anticipates the future of the human race (and equally idiotic) civilization beyond in barely 3 minutes. After binge watching Liquid TV marathons through my college years, learning ukelele (primitively... but still) and actually traveling to Hawaii since, I really wanted to find some retro Hawaiian sounds that weren't just Iz singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Shit, found them I did. "King" Bennie Nawahi was a young guitar/ukelele/steel guitar player who inexplicably went blind in his 30's but continued playing with a multitude of musicians until the 1970's. This compilation spans his most influential bands; although to me his music with the King Nawahi's Hawaiians is easily the best - almost like listening to the Hawaiian version of Robert Johnson's tunes. Wonderful bluesy shit, probably recorded on a fucking gramaphone. My ex-wife and I went to Kauai for our honeymoon and even though I hate that bitch I still love this stuff. That's saying something. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Electronic Go-Go Non-Stop

Un-fucking-believable. Fuck yeah, it's a tireless repost but deservedly so. 7 years after I posted this little fucker I'm still break dancing to this shit in my kitchen. Still my most-est favorite lawn-mowing music ever. I won't bore you with a sad retread of the original post - needless to say I absolutely fucking LOVE this groove and would do anything to find out more about the geniuses behind it. Scatwerk?!?!? Fucking godlike. Enjoy.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Better Tomorrow

Yay! Another 15 minutes of wicked fast Northern border grindcore. Reminding me of a poor man's RGTE (Jesus, is that a compliment or a wicked diss? - uh, sorry to both either way), Montreal's Saturation did little more than record one short album to promptly lay in wait for an eager record company to press and promote it. Only took nearly half a decade... the initial release was a scarce vinyl of the analog 8-track recording released and sold by the band itself (welcome to.... NOW!) Eventually the guys got with a label who took 3 years to release the shit on CD with a different album cover, etc. I gotta love the weird breakdowns that only last 8 seconds but there is still some definite groovecore in there that slays the fuck out of anything else out ether. Good sludgy grind to make you want to punch your ex in the face... repeatedly. Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Back From The Dead (again...)

What better way to belatedly ring in the New Year two months late than with twelve blistering minutes of British Colombian lo-fi powerviolence grindcore. This mini-album had been sitting forgotten on my iPod for who knows how long but it seemed every time a song from it would pop up on shuffle I felt the need to pause and see "who the fuck is this?" Sound is terrifically muddy - primarily due to the cassette format the band staunchly keeps alive - there is a satisfactorily skull-crushing warmth to the throbbing drums that bring to mind some of Loinen's early demos. Moshable groovecore mixed with the wicked fast blastbeats we all know, expect and love. The only letdown is the untitled throwaway final track - more akin to the noisecore dregs of the heavy music subgenre. The boys have a pretty diverse catalog for your perusal here - check 'em out and enjoy.