Wednesday, August 31, 2011

pacification attempt

It's hard to deny the influence and quality of the majority of the Despise You discography. It's everywhere in today's crust/PV scene in everything from writing and recording styles specifically, right down to imagery, artwork and the like. Recently procured for a total steal thanks to a fellow named Carlos, here's their debut s/t EP, otherwise known as the "PCP Scapegoat" 7". Black vinyl, and a split release between Pessimiser and Theologian Records back in 1995, this has never really been a record I have been desperate to get my hands on, but out of all of the band's catalogue, this and the split with Stapled Shut were Despise You number one's for me. When it's offered to me for fuck all too, I don't really say no.
Attempting to actually bother describing the differences between most of the DxY release schedule since this record is actually kind of pointless. It all runs a very similar theme and style; fast blasts broken up with mid paced bursts here and there. Dual male and female vocals. Muffled recordings. It's the same across the board, the only thing that really changes between releases is the sound quality and (minor) style differences in the recordings approaches themselves. Most of it pretty good, but as I hinted, this and the split with Stapled Shut (and the new split with ANB) are the best.
Pretty happy to score this record in such a hassle free transaction. You can't beat that intro "EURGH" into the tremolo riffing on "Pig Mindset".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

god has vanished

Not a massive amount to say about the following record really. A split 7" with two European death metal bands. Nominon from Sweden and Exorcism from Germany. "Morbid Tunes Of Death". Deathstrike Records, black wax of 800. I'd never heard either of these bands before two weeks ago. Not the most of conventional ways of getting into new music, I was prompted to check out both bands after constantly seeing the cover of this record popping up in my regular Swedeath eBay searches. There's alot of bands records that I regularly see the same way, but I was really interested in the cover so I thought I'd give it a go.
The two Exorcism tracks are cool. Lo-fi death metal with a pretty heavy late 80's vibe. High(ish) pitched vocals over the top of mid to fast paced riffage. From what I can find, they've also released a demo and contributed material to a few other split records.
Easily the better material on offer here is the single Nominon song, "Black Chapel". Active since the late 90's, alot of their stuff is comparable to early Unleashed and the like. With a handful of subsequent releases under their belts, this is the demo version of the song that featured on their LP from 2007, "Terra Necrosis". The majority of this bands catalogue, especially their later material, runs a reasonably clean course in terms of recording qualities, including the album version of this song. This demo version though, is far grittier and rougher and in my opinion far superior for it. It may also have something to do with that fact that this was the first version that I heard, as often is the case in situations like this. I won't analyse it though, if you like rough death metal, then you'd probably prefer this version. It's like the difference between Nihilist and Entombed, though I'm not arguing that I prefer Nihilist, you can't beat the recording on LHP.
I doubt i'd ever hunt for this record if I had to, but for the stock price I paid I am happy to own music by these two bands. The Nominon contribution especially- very cool song. The artwork is a catch too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

you're wrong

Before I went on holiday I did a tape for Brisbane's Shock Value. Their third or fourth release proper, this one was called "The Palace". Tonight Crispy, the bands guitarist asked me to upload the digital version of it for him as he didn't actually have his own, and aware that it's long sold out, I've decided to link it on this blog. Fans of the the early Boston greats might like this. I think these guys in particular may be an acquired taste. Locals get it. Maybe you will? The tracks are in wav format in a zip file. If it doesn't work, tell me.

serve no man

The final piece of wax in my recent Painkiller Records batch is the non Painkiller Records 7", the s/t Put To Death EP put out by the Disposable Label. As most would know, this EP was put up in the PKR store at the same time as the rest of the batch with no warning prior. I had never heard of the existence of this release, or even this band at all, but news of it's collaborators was enough to pique my interest ten fold, and I think most fans of the bulk of the PKR roster would say much the same. Black vinyl of some unknown (to me) amount with a simple paper folded, black and white copied sleeve.
So if you haven't heard, this release has been credited to the expertise of Chris Cory of Mind Eraser/Boston hardcore elite and Alex Hughes of Austin's Hatred Surge. Rolls of each of the guys hasn't been divulged anywhere that I have read so far, but I would imagine that CC probably handled his usual roll of guitar, while Alex more than likely handled bass. Unaware if either is capable of playing drums, I'm not sure where that duty falls though. Vocals is another one I am a little confused about. Hughes normally takes care of business in that department, and I assumed he would here, but I'm not sure if it's actually him or not. It kind of sounds like him a little bit, but it's far from comparable to any of his previous works. This may well be the first time (to my knowledge) that CC has filled this role. Whoever it is, they do it well.
So maybe I should move onto what you actually get here? I think it could be reasonably open to interpretation, people I've talked with in the last few weeks didn't really get what exactly I was on about, but the first time a spun this EP, I was immediately reminded of later Infest, more precisely the "No Man's Slave" LP. Everything about this 7" reeks of said long player, the tinny guitar tone, the fast structures, the relatively clean, strummy riffs, the shouted vocals, the stark and confronting artwork, and the attitude in general. The band even openly admits to lifting lyrics from Infest (amongst other notables), and there's a very obvious reference in one of the tracks titles.
Easily the most faithful and on point Infest worship I have ever heard. This goes far beyond regular expectations, and it seems that once again, both of these guys have produced another absolute winner and grinner.

pray for water

A steady build up of cassette releases over the last month and a bit leads me to the following post. First up, acquired yesterday after a good four months of hunting, the "Pray For Water" demo from Illinois' own doom merchants, Druids. Having come across MP3 versions of the tracks from this demo via the VLV board a while back, hopes of acquiring my own hard copy were starting to seem dim until Jamie Grimes (Suburban Mayhem Records/Drainland song writer/bloke that has hooked me up with many good scores over the last 12 months) offered to gift me with his own personal copy, sighting that he wasn't really into these guys at all. I proceeded to come to the conclusion that Jamie must be a mad man, because this demo is amazing. Equal parts early Neurosis and later Baroness, without succumbing to the wankiness of the latter, the guys tear through seven tracks of slow, hooky, heavy mess. From what I can tell, this was later reissued as a CD album, then they broke up.
Subject to a their fair share of hype at the moment are Melbourne's Shit Weather and this is their demo tape. Lo-fi, grinding filth, with loads of feedback, I'd quickly compare these guys to the current crop of more shitty sounding bands playing a harsh mix of grind and punk coming out of the USA at the moment. This would easily fit in on the YA! roster and such, though I doubt that the band would appreciate such a description. Regardless, this is the best demo of this style to come out Australia since the Extortion demo, and does nothing but prove that Melbourne continues to be the breeding grounds for fantastic bands who know how to write and play cool music. Expect more from this band with time.
Procured for the cost of nothing in the same package as the Druids tape from Mr. Grimes comes the Exploding Birds demo tape. Again, similar to that of Shit Weather; scummy grind/punk played by members of Ireland's Crowd Control from what I hear, Jamie thought I'd like this so he threw it in. Three tracks as I described with a long noise outro. I'd vaguely heard of these guys before I got this tape, but my knowledge of them is minimal at best. I'm not sure weather they're still active or not.
Brisbane's healthy crust scene continues to spawn more bands with the new Last Chaos demo tape, "Wild Men" being the latest example. Members of other noteworthy bands (namely dudes from Tear Gas), this tape is a platter of pure driving crust filth. Having seen them live a few times before I heard this cassette, I must admit that I am a tiny bit let down. I'm not digging the whiny, reverbed vocals too much, an aspect I hadn't really caught seeing them live.
And finally a recent acquisition via trade for a few Delayed Response units is the Jarhead Fertilizer demo tape. Having never heard their namesakes output I can't tell you how comparable they are, but I can tell you that it's very heavy, downtuned PV influenced metal. It has it's moments, but I can't get into the recording a heap, something that I hope will be addressed with future output of theirs.

post mortem perversion

This record is probably going to end up being my top rated 7" for this year, followed very closely by a few others, namely the Get Destroyed 7". I'm having a hard time deciding actually. Finally I managed to get my hands on the new s/t EP by Washington State's Bone Sickness. 600 copies on black vinyl pressed by Belgium's Detest Records. Two tracks of low budget, American death metal. It doesn't get any better than these two songs. The best example of modern metal today.
Following a brilliant demo tape from last year, the guys have gone and recorded two brand new, noticeably higher quality songs of arguably very punk influenced Autopsy styled death metal. If you want a great modern incarnation of that early Autopsy sound, then go no further than this record. I've been totally flawed by the quality of these two tracks, there isn't a single bad thing about them. Fast, rough and angry. I'd go just about as far as to describe these two songs as on par with, if not better than the majority of the new Autopsy LP itself, that's how into this record I am. The recording is perfectly lean and heavy at the same time, it never gets bogged down or boring and it works perfectly to showcase Sam's absolutely BRILLIANT vocal range. Easily the highlight of this record, he seems to flawlessly switch between deathly lows and menacing highs all in the one breath. It's leaps and bounds from his performance on the demo, and really shelves these guys as one of the worlds premier death metal bands. If there's anything at all to slag off about this EP, it's the briefness of it all. Two songs over in barely five minutes, constantly having to flip the 7" between songs gets annoying at times. Need more metal.
This record has been out for a while now, but I'm just posting about it due to some massive delays with the label. To sum things up, I ordered this 7" from Detest Records directly, along with records by Miasmal and a few others. They never showed though, and after some very delayed responses from Jerry at the label, I decided just to order it from Dark Decent out of the USA. I'm kind of hoping that the package from Detest still turns up, but it's not looking hopeful. Kinda bummed, I spent a good chunk of money with that order.
An interview I read with the band earlier this year hinted at a new LP to follow this 7" in the latter parts of 2011, if not early 2012. Now I've heard nothing recently from either the Bone Sickness or Detest camps, but if said LP does materialise and it's along the lines of the recording of this EP, then it could quite possibly be the metal album of the decade. I cannot get over how good this record is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

moral panic

This is an LP that has been a long time in the making. Following their demo, then 7", then tour cassette, and then the stuff on the Brutal Supremacy comp, finally Scapegoat's s/t album has been pressed. With countless delays over a good 18 months in mind, I think alot of people thought this wouldn't happen at all, myself included, but yeah, here it is. AGAIN, I'm posting about the larger edition of black wax as opposed to the limited colour. Painkiller Records.
Recorded by Will Killingsworth nearly 18 months ago, arguably there's more of a crust vibe going on here as opposed to the blatant Crossed Out worship of their earlier material. What's immediately noticeable is the new guitar tone that the band is playing with. Now as I have mentioned many times before, I am no guitarist so I have no idea if it's a different tuning or if the Mike is just playing different sounds himself, but I think most will agree with me in what I am talking about. Not as much low end in the tone. Another big difference is the general faster pace of most of the material compared to any of the older music. Much more consistently up tempo, not nearly as many slow bits. It's almost at the point where you'd stop labelling this as powerviolence now. A few songs from earlier works have been revisited; a couple of songs from the tour tape, and the outro on this LP was originally used as the intro on the first demo tape.
Pretty simplistic layout that suits the release perfectly, I heard that a good chunk of the delay in this LP came down to the art.
A heap of people (alot of whom I wouldn't expect to like these guys normally) have been singing the praises of this album, and it is a very good release, but it's certainly not the bands best stuff, and I'll even go and say that it's not the highlight of this new Painkiller batch (Soul Swallower is). Regardless, it's a great album, and legions of bands would kill to be able to write music like this.

Monday, August 22, 2011

too much unity

In recent times I have realised how little modern kind of more 'straight up' hardcore I listen to. Put it down to the fact that there just aren't that many good bands doing the style justice, at all. Of the current crop, by far for me, Waste Management do it the best. I think there would be quite a few people that would argue that fact in favour of either The Omegas or Boston Strangler, but to me, if you're talking about a perfect rendition of early 80's USHC, then these guys are the best bet, and this, their second EP, "Power Abuse" cements it totally. Another of the recent Painkiller Records batch, I actually managed to snag the limited blue vinyl this time, nice. Sweet cover by Kenny Fontaine, the bands drummer.
This was released as a tape last year, so the music has been floating around for a while now, but it's good to see it finally getting the vinyl treatment that it deserves. Obviously this format lends itself to a far superior sound quality, and there was a live set on the tape that you don't get here, but other than that, it's the same product.
I don't know, I don't really get the comparisons, but with this new music, alot of people have been likening these guys to certain Japanese hardcore bands of old. Granted I don't listen to alot of the stuff, but to me this just sounds like Boston '82. Attribute alot of that to Carm's vocal delivery of course, but it's got all of the hallmarks of what I talk about. Short songs built with simple chord progressions, alot of which are centered around breakdowns. Simple, nihilistic lyrics. Hollow snare drum sound etc. There are noticeable differences here though, mostly in the general pace of the thing. It's not quite as fast as the older material (though there are a few very fast "1-2-1-2" tracks), and the quick little snappy, Neg FX styled snare fills that were so predominant on the the last 7" are fewer in number. Really though, the differences aren't massive from before, and I struggle to understand the new comparison that this EP has brought the band. Who knows though, I may be way off?
Bottom line.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

if you please

Pretty sure most people who read this blog regularly or who know me know how fond I am of Get Destroyed from Arizona/California. Heavy PV is the order here and this is their massively delayed third 7" EP, "Shut In". For reasons I don't know it's been a good six months or more that this record has been waiting to get pressed. White vinyl limited to 100 copies, there's also a more common press on black wax. A handful of influential labels have had a hand in getting this pressed. Chalk it up to Give Praise Records, 625 Thrash, To Live A Lie Records and RSR. All great labels in their own right, I am curious as to why it takes four separate groups to press one 7". All four labels regularly press their own records, so I doubt it's a finance issue. Maybe I'm not the only one who thinks this band fucking rules, and they all just wanted a hand in it.
Out of the current crop of current Northern American PV influenced bands doing the rounds at the moment (and there is quite a few of them, alot of which I have posted about on this blog in the last twelve months), these guys and Scapegoat remain at the top of my favourites list. Blatant Crossed Out and No Comment comparisons aside, this is just straight forward, no bullshit hardcore. What sets these guys apart from alot of their peers is their unique ability to write some really original structures. Their fast bits are just that; FAST bits, not really that much to it, but they get really creative with the obligatory slow parts too. I'm no music 'reviewer' so I won't use stupidly arrogant words to describe what I mean, nor am I that good at really purveying what I am talking about on a base level, so it's hard for me to describe well. They just seem to be good at making shit sound INTERESTING, a feat that evidently seems to be getting harder and harder to achieve for most bands who take a stab at this genre as time rolls by.
Now with all of that praise in mind, I will be honest in saying that I did enjoy their previous 7", "Burnt Offerings" a little more than this. Those creative slow bits that I spoke about were a little more frequent. The recording qualities on said record were also noticeably rougher. Here there's less grime and slime, and the guitar tone is obviously a little heavier/downtuned (not sure if I am using the right terms, like I am no reviewer, I am also no guitarist). It's possible that the recording here just allows the guitar tune to really shine through properly though, but it's certainly the first thing I noticed when I laid this EP down on the turn table and gave it it's first spin.
With each release the guys have gradually experimented and progressed though different vocal approaches. Ben's main vocal stylings have always been the base through all three EP's, but with each one they've always thrown in different little touches here and there too. On "Burnt Offerings" it was the very Alex Hughes styled closed mouth vocal delivery. At one point I actually thought it was the Hatred Surge main man conspiring with the band, but when I interviewed Nik he informed me it was just a style that Ben tried out where he cups his hands over the mic ball and his mouth. One of the most most noticeable additions that you will probably hear with this EP is the really low, chesty, almost grunted vocal stylings that are thrown in a few times. It's reminiscent of some more obscure MITB stuff and it pops up on a couple songs. The other big one is the inclusion of some female vocals in a few places. These are the pipes of Grace Perry of Arizona local grind heathens Landmine Marathon. It's a welcome, tastefully applied touch that doesn't at all get annoying like some female vocals sometimes can.
Over the years this band has broken up only to reform a few times from what I can tell. This more or less comes as part of Nik moving out to San Diego or somewhere similar to study and the rest of them staying in Arizona I think. After the second EP they said they were done, then this new release was announced, only to be delayed for ages like I mentioned. Now in the last few weeks they have gone on record to say that they've written a handful of new songs that they hope to have included on a brand new LP next year. I shat when I read that. I hope it happens.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

greed and disgust

Back in late April/early May I posted about a promo tape that Boston's Soul Swallower had just released. That was a preview of this new s/t LP of theirs. As most of you would know this was part of the latest batch of releases that Painkiller Records just recently launched. As with the Brutal Supremacy Comp, I was hopeful that I'd get the limited colour of this (white), but it looks like I just missed by a bee's dick. Bummer. Black vinyl, again of an unknown amount, probably something around 800. I can't imagine they would have pressed more, especially since the last time they did an LP of this nature in the form of the Breathing Fire LP, they reportedly had trouble moving a large percentage of the press. Learn from your mistakes.
I think when this LP was originally announced on the Mind Eraser blog in September last year alot of people were surprised. After the original 7" from 2005/06 not much else happened in the Soul Swallower camp. I don't think they bothered with many shows, and obviously the members were otherwise occupied with their many other musical projects. Well it seems that they're doing at least a few shows this year so perhaps they're making more time for the band, and maybe they plan to write some fresh stuff, who knows. As some may have heard, most of the material here is older stuff that was written around the same time of the release of the 7".
So I have mentioned it before, but this is basically Mind Eraser rearranged. Well kind of, DFJ and Brendan just swapped duties. No listed Bass player though, but I wouldn't be surprised if Carms fills in on the live front. Where this differs to most ME stuff immediately noticeable is the obvious vocal duty arrangement. Brendan's higher end is vastly different to the approach of DFJ obviously, so that's one thing that changes it up a bit. CC experiments with alot of different fret work too. I've heard these guys compared t alot of 80's thrash/death metal and the like (Sodom, Venom etc) and I guess to an extent that comparison rings through here and there. Alot of tremolo riffing, and a good proportion of crazy picked leads for good measure. Initial impressions though might lead one to believe that this could more or less just be ME left overs (or vice versa depending on how you look at it), and I mean really, especially with alot of the later ME material in mind, this could well be.
Who knows whether this band will do more, this was certainly a surprise for quite a few. My only concern if this band were to become a little more 'active' would be if Mind Eraser output were to suffer as a result, as we all know I like that band quite a bit. It's been too long since they did a good full length (and I don't count "C/Uc", that was just two songs.