Saturday, April 21, 2018

Godflesh - Messiah

Label: Avalanche
Year: 2000

Self released in 2000 as a limited fanclub CDR, with approximately 1000 copies in circulation, this ep was actually recorded in 1994 around the same time as the 'Selfless' lp, and the original four tracks have a similar pounding avalanche warp versus proto -and-bass approach as 'Selfless'. A year or so after sitting on the songs, the band made dub remixes of each (which...I mean...ok, I guess), and proceeded to sit on those even longer. It wasn't until they broke up that Justin Broadrick decided to package all eight tracks together and give it away. Which was very nice of him.
The record was re-released in 2003 by both Relapse and Ritual / Howling Bull (and again by Relapse in 2008).


Cable - Variable Speed Drive

Label: Doghouse
Year: 1996

Right in the thick of the mathy, destructo-core of the mid 1990's there was Cable. A self loathing Connecticut based wrecking crew that fused a Rollins era Black Flag with Tim Singer era Deadguy, and at least in the beginning, some vein popping Groundwork styled hardcore. Potent stuff. Unfriendly, caustic, potent stuff. Later the band would carve out a more sludgy, wide open riffing style, but this first album goes straight for the throat with no detours and no delay.
Members who played in this version of the band were also in, Isis, Empty Flowers, and Hex Inverter.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bauhaus - Live In The Studio 1979

Label: Nemo
Year: 1997

Decent chance that there isn't a practice tape by your band that's going to surface twenty years from today and be studied by music nerds, dissected, and celebrated as a Rosetta Stone of a nascent genre. I mean, I could be wrong, you might be in one of the best bands out's entirely possible, just not entirely probable. If you catch my drift.
But by all means, keep at it.
And when you stumble across something along the lines of 'Dark Entries', please let me know.

Originally released with a Bauhaus retrospective book that I never saw (cause I can't read...ok?! Fucking rub it in, why don't ya?!). Ground zero shit. Essential darkness.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Gasp - Ghost In Scow Out

Label: self released
Year: 2017

File this one under: Never Thought I'd Be Listening To A New Gasp Record...Now If Only They Would Mount A Tour With Noothgrush (probably won't fit on one of those plastic record dividers, so abbreviate as space dictates).
I'm pretty sure (but am well documented to have been wrong on at least four [possibly five] occasions) that I reviewed the Gasp demo "Sore For Days" the summer I was living in Isla Vista and writing reviews for Heartattack fanzine. I'm pretty sure. I definitely still have the cassette in my possession, and recall writing it up that summer.
What's definitely for sure is that a couple summers later when their first album came out "Drome Triler Of Puzzle Zoo People" (which still scores in the top ten when ranking worst titled records that I own), I wore the thing out. The absolute weirdness that Gasp manages to combine into a cohesive and, most importantly, highly listenable package is difficult to convey. To just say, "yeah, they are that fucked up psychedelic power violence trip", is not doing them justice. Sure, it's kinda right, but Gasp are more than the sum of their parts. They were fucked up, but they in turn fucked you up.
The bulldozing sludge and scattershot grind are in the way backseat here on these two songs. Long ass songs, mind you. There isn't any of the lo-fi scraping hardcore of the demo here.The hazy noise treatment of both the instrumentation and song structure itself, is what holds the often conflicting elemental fragments together, and run them through an oscillating flange of cosmic debris. Hallucinatory music for deviant explorers. Start listening, and next thing you know twenty minutes just went by and there you sit, no worse for the wear, but the floor hasn't swept itself.

Very happy to hear Gasp in the year 2018, a solid 22 years since I'm pretty sure I wrote that demo review.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Samhain - Live - Minneapolis, 04.12.86

Label: bootleg
Year: 1986

Legitimate question: is there a "cooler" band than Samhain?
The whole thing. Musically, visually, historically, or in terms of mystery?

I'll answer: no. No, there really isn't. You can come up with a thousand memes of Glenn Danzig carrying cat litter to his car, or recount stories of him getting cold cocked by a meathead backstage...but you can't top Samhain, and how diabolically brilliant they were. It just won't happen.

So, please bask in the black light of this rampaging live set from 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis from 1986, that has the band raiding their entire discography , save 'Final Descent'. It's not pristine, but I've yet to hear any Samhain live recording that is (if you got one, holla atcha boy). This one does the trick just fine.

Dark aspect,
The breed divine.
Knee deep,
The blood of swine.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Season To Risk - Season To Risk

Label: Red Decibel
Year: 1993

A true relic of the early 90s, complete with major label shell company record release and attempts to "build ground buzz by pushing hard to college radio". But, in spite of it, Season To Risk put out a really solid record of alternative rock music as funneled through a noise rock filter. How you feel it's aged, well, that's up to you, and will most likely be a reflection of your age.
As for myself, I honestly believe that had I not seen Season To Risk before hearing them on record, I probably would have written them off as another Paw kind of band. You know, like a band that has some cool riffs and genuine heaviness but sabotages it with too much forced melody? There were lots of those bands during this time period. But, Season To Risk's live show was really loud, and aggressive, and mean and all that. So, when I saw the record I grabbed it, and could "hear" it as the live band. Don't know how you will "hear" it now, but I'm curious to know. If you can get excited by Helmet, Quicksand, 700 Miles, Barkmarket, and JJ's Paradise Players Club, and you aren't scared off by some actual singing...then I feel pretty good you'll enjoy it.
The other thing that keeps me revisiting this record every so often is what Season To Risk did AFTER it, how they got progressively dirtier and weirder but kept a distinct sound that was identifiable. It's like they learned from this one, and worked really hard to hone their songs. Plus, they put out a split with Glazed Baby. So...I mean shit, that makes them worth it right there. Also did a split with Starkweather, if that helps. They had Derek Hess drawing their posters and covers and stuff...they had it going on.
Members were in and went on to be in: Shiner, Glazed Baby, Roman Numerals, Life and Times, Libido Boys, Year Of The Rabbit, Joy Circuit, Gunfighter, Quitters Club, and on and on.
Give it a whirl in case you missed it the first time around, just maybe skip the last track...for everybody's sake. Neil Young covers are tough.

*originally posted 05.11.15, reposted 03.27.18


Monday, March 26, 2018

MTN ISL - Maybe Sometimes People

Label: self released
Year: 2018

The good news first: There's a new MTN ISL record out, and it fucking rules. Which wasn't a given (the new record part, the ruling part was assumed), as the band has been laying low in the intervening years since their last release.
The bad news second: This new record currently exists as a cassette tape or a digital download. Unless your Sony Walkman is still handy, or you drive a car manufactured between 1979-1993, I'm not sure a tape is doing you much good. But the download sounds that will do until some philanthropist puts up the cash for a vinyl release (Learning Curve? You listening?)

Maybe Sometimes People is an economical display of thunderous rock damage. Big and burly and ugly and direct. Some Pissed Jeans, some Tad, some Lubricated Goat, some Sunglasses (from which this band descended). Nothing is rushed, nothing is frivolous. It's a straight forward, relatively simple approach, but...since when has that been a bad thing. If you got a gnarly gut punch, then simply apply volume and repeat until desired effect. Easy.

Early contender of Album Of The Year.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sperm Donor - Sleight Coincidence

Label: self released
Year: 2018

I'm a straight shooter, so I'm gonna level with you all; had this record not been sent to us by the band themselves, I would have never given it the time of day. That's just how shallow and stubborn I am. The band name is too juvenile to be taken seriously, and the cover art is some hand drawn...something or other, that gives no indication of what lies within (or worse, gives the wrong indication).
But here we are, together, reading about the new Sperm Donor album.
Because I was too quick to discount this based on my own prejudices (where have I heard that before?), we almost missed out on a legit noise rock ripper. I mean, how would I have known that the band who thought it prudent to name three out of the seven songs on this album as Rolling Stones songs, would come correct with a Hammerhead-ish blue collar bluster like this? Why would you expect me to believe on first glance that Sperm Donor have studied the Amphetamine Reptile playbook down to the letter, and deliver on a caveman-bass lurch-n-roll attack?
Stereotypes are a real time saver, you know?! I can only do what I can! Sue me.

Don't let my obduracy rub off on you (don't let my pubic lice rub off on you either)...don't sleep on the unfortunately named Sperm Donor. Trust me...I have great judgement!


Tight Bros From Way Back When - Lend You A Hand

Year: 2001
Label: Kill Rock Stars

I'm on the fence about these guys, as in, I'm not sure if I buy what they're selling. It's full-on arena rawk via glam punk, complete with dueling guitars and Bon Scott styled histrionics. It's well, executed, and these dudes have enough of a pedigree that I want to like this, but there's just something missing. Curiously, they started this band about the same time as a lot of other retro-rock outfits were touring the country, sooooo. You tell me. But like I said, check their bloodline: Karp, The Whip, Big Business, Melvins, Behead The Prophet, Han Shan, Mukilteo Fairies, and Brent's TV.

*Originally posted 08.31.08, re-up'd 03.20.18 (holy shit..I've been "blogging" for over ten years?!)


Melvins - Making Love Demos (Manchild 3)

Label: Bifocal Media
Year: 2007

Seems pretty certain that this record was previously posted on this blog, a previous time...but I looked and don't see it. So look at it now.

Originally recorded as 4-track demos back in 1987, these songs were committed to compact disc under the watchful eye and talented hands of artist/musician Brian Walsby as a companion to his third issue of Manchild zine.

It's raw and feral Melvins. It's the Matt Lukin era of Melvins. It's eight songs, four of which were never released anywhere else. So, that should pretty much be a case closed.

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