Posts tagged review
Posts tagged review
Moby - “Animal Rights” (Mute 1996)
Did you know that Moby did stuff before he was MTV’s darling electronic music poster boy? You know, he was the guy that showed off his book collection on MTV Cribs? Then he made a second appearance on MTV Cribs and had the really sweet house in upstate NY? Yeah I don’t remember him either.
I love Moby, particularly ”Play” the record that made him famous. I had heard he did stuff that was edgier prior to that record, but it eluded until recently when I scored a copy of this record. This is drastically different from the poppy ambient electronic music we all know and love Moby for. While that stuff is on here, this record is a hardcore record. Like this sounds like 108 with electronic drums with just a hint of Nine Inch Nails. There are some ambient electronic parts and alternative rock stuff on here that sound kind of dated, but yeah, all I could think of while listening to this was 108. I was pleasantly surprised and definitely like Moby even more now.
Robocop/Detroit - “Dead Language, Foreign Bodies” split (Give Praise Records 2012)
Being a huge fan of Robocop, the great, if not greatest movie about a robotic cop, buying a record by a band called Robocop was a no brainer. Add the fact that there is another band on the record called Detroit, the city Robocop happens in, and well sheeet, I couldn’t give up my money fast enough.
Turns out that the tunes on here are solid as well! Robocop occupies the a side of this record. They provide the listener with 6 solid grindcore by ways of brutal hardcore tracks that make stops along experimental electronics town. I normally don’t dig of super clean production in my grindcore, but this side is just right, a perfect blend of thick heavy as fuck guitar tones and clean drums, but the vocals are insane and dirty, which helps keep everything in perspective. Or something.
Detroit, who come from somewhere in Canada, are the winners of bringing the mosh on this record. They play that power violence stuff that seems to be all the rage worldwide right now, and they play it well. Compared to Robocop’s side, this sounds like it was recorded in a closet, there is like no low end on here, probably so the brutal riffs sting your ears that much more. Or something. Love this shit out of this.
Cold Cave - “A Little Death To Laugh” (Heartworm Press 2012)
It took me a while to give into the hype of Cold Cave. I saw them in 2009 and was like, “wow this is lame.” That weekend I also saw some of the sickest and best noise bands ever, so I wasn’t in a synth-pop mood that day. The hype machine rolled on and they got huge. I’m gonna level with you, my readers; in my experience, about half of the time a band is super hyped up, they usually deserve the hype. Generally I’ll ignore said hype, but occasionally I’ll give in. Cold Cave certainly deserve all the praise they get. They know how to write a catchy as fuck synth-pop tune.
The three tracks on this single are further proof of Cold Cave’s genius. Like these songs are so simple, just vocals, drums, and a few synth tracks; but they are perfectly crafted. Instantly memorable, the titular track will be stuck with me for days. The second track is a synth pop song delivered at hardcore speed. I love it. The final track is an instrumental of spacious synth bells and sounds almost like a Talking Heads song.
This single is more proof to me that Cold Cave will be around for quite some time.
Altars - “Live On Pure Hate” (King Of The Monsters/How Much Art Can You Take 2011)
I really wanted to dislike this coming into it. Like it all seemed so typical. Obscure art, lots of black, photo copied cover etc. But fuck (hee hee butfuck), this record is awesome.
Altars mix a lot of out there styles of music into one palatable blend of fury. Like if I was going to get the laymen into harsh black noise metal, this would be the record I would use to do so. The record opens with a desolate black noise soundscape which is kind of a reoccurring theme on the record. Then a sweet ass lead riff kicks in and we are treated to three brutal noisy black metal jams in a row, in the vein of Ildjarn and like Leviathan mixed together. All the tracks are dripping with feedback and are totally blown out. My favorite way of enjoying black metal. Then as a final fuck you to anything typical, the noise soundscape comes back and then we have a super depressing (and crystal clear recorded) acoustic song played over it. It’s totally genius in this humble reviewers opinion. Dig it.
Actuary/Bacteria Cult - split (Vomitcore Music 2011)
Man, Actuary is putting out some of the most exciting noise lately. I haven’t heard that much by them, but what I have so far has been ace. On this little record they bring one track of desperate haunted electronics, with some movie sample I can’t identify, but damn it works well. The result is a dark brooding trip suitable for play at your next dinner party with your relatives.
Bacteria Cult is the noise project of the illustrious Chris Dodge, you might know the guy, he’s been in a million influential bands, owned one of the most important hardcore labels of the last 20 years; you know, some jobber. The piece offered up here is a mixture of industrial machine sounds, samples, and percussion (both live and electronic). The result is a trip to unsettling city, where all the residents are creepy loners in baggy pants. That are probably bald. Or balding.
A fun little record. The artwork is awesome on here too. To bad there is only 160 copies (I got copy #10 somehow!).
D.O.N.D.O.N. - Last Warning (Schizophrenic Records 2007)
Oh no big deal, just one of the most insane Japanese hardcore bands I’ve ever heard. I never even heard of these guys before I happened upon this record. But let’s be honest here, look at the cover. How could I not buy this? I must say however, I could kiss Schizophrenic Records for reissuing this masterpiece discography from 1991.
While I want to say D.O.N.D.O.N. just sound like Discharge, that’s totally not the case. There is nary a D-beat on this record. To me D.O.N.D.O.N. sound like an early fastcore like Larm or Gauze or something, recorded really well and peppered with major metal influences. There are some odd guitar lead breaks that should seem out of place, but totally work. I don’t think it’s possible for me to hate a record like this.
JK Flesh/Prurient - “Worship The Cleansing Of Imagination” (Hydra Head Records 2013)
So this is the final release from the illustrious and amazing Hydra Head Records. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t think of a better combination of artists or a better release to send off the label.
JK Flesh is one of Justin K Broadrick’s 8 billion projects. If you don’t know who he is, kindly educate yourself, because while I don’t think I’ve reviewed any of his projects, every single one of them is excellent, and three of them are some of the most influential bands of the last 25 or so years. JK Flesh is sort an amalgamation of his later work with Godflesh and Final, the result is truly satisfying. The three tracks on here are ambient electronic tracks, with heavy distorted guitars playing doom riffs. I’ve honestly never really heard anything quite like this before, everything that tries to sound like this falls short and sounds cheesy. Mr. Broadrick pulls this off masterfully; this is definitely something that requires multiple listens to dissect every nuance and truly appreciate the musical genius presented.
Let’s flip this over.
Prurient has quite the task to live up to the previous side, but I don’t think it’s possible for Dominick Fernow to disappoint (well me at least). Prurient takes a different approach then his previous Hydra Head releases, which mostly revolved around synths and beats. These three tracks rely more heavily on ambient electronics and atmosphere rather than keyboards. The final track does have a synth lead, but brutal electronics slowly come in and take center stage while the synth becomes an afterthought.
All in all an excellent record. Do yourself a favor and buy this.
Brody’s Militia/Widespread Bloodshed - split (Sound Pollution 2003)
Fuck. This record is insane.
Brody’s Militia starts things of with super fast hardcore punk. Thrash if you will. Their side is bookended with two GG Allin covers, so I was sold before I even listened to them. They are fucking awesomely done. The rest of the side is insanely fast hardcore, as I mentioned already. They are members of Hellnation, so they sound like them, just more punky. I saw theses guys once in my friends garage, around the time this came out. They fucking destroyed.
Widespread Bloodshed bring it. If BM’s side is awesome, WSBS (WB?) is fucking ignorant. Like it’s kind of stupid how fucking fast this band is. But they are fast, but have this killer guitar tone so you hear all the riffs clearly, rather than just a blur of distortion (which isn’t bad don’t get me wrong). I have their split with Massgrav, which is equally as fast, but I haven’t listened to that in a while. I’m seriously speechless, but this band is unreal.
Great record. Also look at the cover! So awesome.
Plow United - “Narcolepsy” (Square Of Opposition Records 2012)
Have you ever gone to a show and there was a local band opening and they are like a punk band that really mean well and have all the right influences but just really really suck? You know what I mean, like they want to be the next Propagandhi or Avail or Pennywise or something but they just miss the mark slightly (or completely)? Maybe it’s a New York thing, but no joke, I’ve seen hundreds of bands like that.
What does this have to do with Plow United? Well first thing is this record was recorded in 1998, but this is the first time it was pressed on vinyl. I was wary to buy this, because a late 90’s punk band off the bat is a big no go for me. Mostly because most of them sound like the band described above. However, Square Of Opposition is behind the rerelease of this record, and if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I have a huge boner for everything they put out, so I gave this a chance.
This record exemplifies exactly what a fast melodic late 90’s punk band should sound like perfectly. Like they are fast, but not trying to sing when they can’t so the vocalist yells and screams and has tons of emotion dripping from his voice. The songs are well written and memorable. This is another case of I was totally skeptical and totally prepared to hate this record and I totally fucking love it. Good shit.
The one thing that sucks is that my copy came out of the sleeve with a huge imperfection on the b side that makes the record pop every few seconds during one song. I pre-ordered it months ago but I’m just getting around to listening to it. :( I don’t like being a pain so asking for a replacement so many moons after I received it. I work in retail so I know how fucking annoying that is. Oh well. End complaining.
Left For Dead - “Devoid Of Everything” (A389 Recordings 2013)
It’s funny how the hardcore scene works. Typically, most bands will have a tiny spark of interest around them, they’ll tour a bit, put out a 7 inch or two, maybe a 12” if they are really committed, usually they’ll break up around it’s release and everyone will forget about them and that’s it (see most of Bridge Nine Records early releases for examples). Sometimes bands get huge and put out a handful of records, then they break up and people kind of forget about them and that’s it (bands like Verse). One final scenario, a band gains some notoriety, breaks up then members will form another awesome band. Sometimes the old band will get overhyped and their records become legendary holy grail items even though they aren’t that good (see bands like Saetia and like American Nightmare [before you get all butt hurt on me, I think AN has always been overhyped. But feel free to bring it if you like. Also Off Minor is waaaay better then Saetia ever were, though Hot Cross is kind of meh.]).
Left For Dead did none of that and all of that. They put out 3 splits and broke up. They existed for just about a year and that’s it. All the dudes in the band went on to form fucking amazing bands and Left for Dead became this legendary band.
Quick aside, I knew of Left For Dead because of their split with Acrid, but I never listened to them. Honestly they have a completely forgettable name, and they broke up the year I got into hardcore, when I was a freshman in high school. I’m not going to brag and say I listened to them forever, because I’ll be honest, my first time hearing them was at their reunion show in Baltimore. I had completely forgotten who they were until that weekend, but everyone on the planet (aka almost all of my friends that listen to hardcore) were beyond stoked to see them.
Anyway. For this review it’s my first time listening to Left For Dead’s recorded output. Apparently this LP contains all of their studio recordings, and fuck. Fuck. Fuck this amazing. Like how the fuck have I never even listened to them? How have these song never passed my ears before? How have none of my friends that listen to cool music never recommended them to me?? This is exactly how hardcore should sound. Like I hear every awesome band of the last 20 years in these 17 songs. Goddammit. I wish I knew them even more now before the A389 anniversary shows because I could have gone apeshit like everyone else at the show. Ok I’m just rambling now, but thankfully A389 put out this collection because this is seriously an ESSENTIAL record for anyone who listens to any form of heavy music, hardcore or otherwise.
Thought Broadcast - “Thought Broadcast” (Old English Spelling Bee 2012)
I didn’t know what to expect from this here platter, which I find is always a fun way to encounter stuff. Like I knew nothing of this band, but Seedstock got a few of their albums in their distro, and usually everything I ever get from them is gold, so I of course gave this a try.
As per usual Seedstock does not disappoint. I still know nothing about this group, but I must say this is an interesting record. First off, everything is buried in tape saturation, like this was recorded on an ancient tape recorder which gives it a nice basement quality. The music itself is a delicious gumbo of repetitive rudimentary synth loops, distorted talking vocals, and super minimal melodies. While the music doesn’t sound evil, the basement sound described earlier makes for a super disturbing listening experience. Like this is the kind of thing that greasy nerds would listen to while browsing the internet in search of crime scene photography for the purposes of criticizing them for artistic merit. This is definitely not for weak ears. It’s so fucking good though.
Enzuigiri - “Welcome to Die” (Man Of 1000 Masks 2011)
Man I loves me some pro-wrestling themed hardcore and Enzuigiri deliver exactly that on this 7”. Coming to us from somewhere in Ohio, Enzuigiri kicks us to the back of the head (marks will get that) with three mid-nineties hardcore styled tracks. There is quiet parts, build ups, breakdowns, yelling; you know, dynamics. Shit like Guilt used to do. Actually this reminds me a lot of Guilt, who are one of my favorite bands. Does that make Enzuigiri one of my favorite bands? Only time will tell.
P.S.: The packaging on this is awesome and minimal. I should have left the sleeve on it in the picture…it has a smal Enzuigiri sticker in the top left corner. The luchadore on the cover is printed on clear plastic over the plain brown cover, So there is a multi layered effect for the cover. Very rad and well thought out! I’m such a sucker for stuff like this. Ok, goodbye.
Abhorer - “Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt” (Hell’s Headbangers 2012)
I don’t know guys, maybe it’s the acid currently destroying my esophagus, maybe because it’s so cold in my record room that my fingers are numb, maybe it’s because this is a picture disc, but I’m totally not into this record right now. Abhorer, coming to my ears from Singapore, play furious black metal in the vein of bands like Blasphemy and other chaotic acts that that group inspired. This was originally released in 1996, which means its a legit record, not something that is trying to bank on the current popularity of black metal; and don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad record, it has all the makings of a brutal as fuck record, I’m just completely bored by it.
One day I’ll give it another try, but for tonight, during Snowtorious B.I.G., this will have to take it’s place between my Abattoir and Abigail records.
Curmudgeon - “Curmudgeon” (To Live A Lie/Bullshit Propaganda 2012)
I know what you are thinking. “I’ve seen this Curmudgeon record before, but not that cover!” Well, being the hip and stealthy record buyer that I am, I happened to snag a special Smash It Dead Fest 2012 cover of this snazzy little record.
Curmudgeon hail from Boston, and they are not new to me. Their previous EP floored me and lots of other people with their heavy as fuck power violence style of hardcore. This new EP is even better. The fast parts are faster, the slow parts are slower (read: heavier). Like the breakdowns are so heavy that if anyone who listened to this didn’t bedroom mosh as hard as they can I think the gravitational weight of the notes might cause a some kind of intergalactic shift in the Earth’s pull. Or something. That’s it. Buy the fuck out of this 7” or the posers win.
How To Destroy Angels - “An Omen EP” (Columbia Records/HTDA, LLC 2012)
Let me get this out of the way. If you didn’t know already, How To Destroy Angels is a side project of Trent Reznor. I love Nine Inch Nails. No fucks given.
While there are hints of NIN here and there on this EP, if you didn’t now Reznor had anything to do with How To Destroy Angels, you’d probably just think they sound influenced by them. But in reality this is a tremendous trip-hop/IDM/glitch release. There is plenty of abstract beats created from found sounds, haunted female vocals, rudimentary oscillators, deep dark synth pads, and other fancy electronic doohickies that make scary new fangled sounds my old fashioned kind of brain can’t handle. Some easy comparions I could make musically to this would be Portishead, Autechre, and even some of Bastard Noise’s more recent electronic stuff. This record is the real deal, and I look forward to hearing more from this hip young rock and roll combo.