2.08.2018

Video Mix Tape 05

Video Mix Tape 05
0:00  Count Raven
4:31  Mammoth Grinder
6:55  Das Efx
10:51  Shock Therapy
14:46  Dangers
16:11 English Beat
18:48  AC/DC
22:04 All
24:05 Jesus Jones
27:13  Tyr

2.05.2018

THE HEX BOMBS - Everything Earned

Artist: Hex Bombs
Album: “Everything Earned"
Year:  2014
Genre: Punk


Admittedly, working class punk is not my thing.  I generally listen to the plight of the laboring women and men within the Oi! side of punk rock.  With that said, Hex Bombs are so good and so infectious that I can’t help but love their street dog mentality and anthem-driven approach.  They are one of these bands that play all the right things; not necessarily original, but they show a vibrant spirit and energy.  Hex Bombs are a breath of fresh air in a genre that can get boring and cliché very easily.  


Listen to "None Shall Be Forgotten" here.

1.18.2018

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT - American Paranoia

Artist:  Attitude Adjustment
Album: American Paranoia
Year:  1986
Genre:  Crossover

American Paranoia is an under-the-radar gem in the musical concoction known as crossover.   This era of Attitude Adjustment saw the band wading heavily in the hardcore punk end of the crossover pool, but the velocity and intensity the band generated would send the run-of-the-mill punker running.  They had much more in common with speedsters like Cryptic Slaughter, Septic Death, Beyond Possession and Crumbsuckers than with even the most gnarly hardcore in the mid 80s.  Attitude Adjustment were like a punch to a raw nerve.  Although the tempos on this record may be typical of extreme music in 2018, it definitely was not in 1986.   Fast and faster were the rules for this record, as the listener only gets moments of any normal tempo before they’re off the races again.  Andy “Airborne” spewed his words and touched on world issues, addiction and realistic fears of war at an inhuman pace.  I always feel a tinge of disappointment listening to this album since the things he was saying 30+ years ago are still highly relevant in the United States today.  Yet, those feelings are easily overcome because the album just makes you want to thrash around like a manic.  Ahh, to be 15 again.  While American Paranoia isn’t the absolute, quintessential crossover record, it is a heavy hitter of blasting, youthful fury.

Listen to "Dead Serious" here.

12.30.2017

TERRORIZER - World Downfall

Artist:  Terrorizer
Album:  World Downfall
Year:  1989
Genre:  Grindcore

Due to the game-changing nature of this record, I have a clear recollection of how Terrorizer entered my life.  From the years 1988 to about 1991 I was in total music annihilation mode and only trying to find the most devastating sounds on earth related to heavy music.  This mostly introduced me to death metal bands that were really pushing boundaries of the genre.  Lucky for me, Earache, Peaceville, Nuclear Blast and a few other record labels were also interested in the same extreme music adventure.  This search led me to my go-to store (which I’ve worked at in some capacity to this day since 1992) and to a guy that was well ahead of me finding new bands.  I specifically remember entering the shop, him seeing me and calling me over to the “T” section of the cassettes.  Before I could see any title, I had Terrorizer’s World Downfall in my hand.  He did a little up-sell with very few phrases which contained things like, “Pete from Morbid Angel is the drummer,” and “It’s the fastest heaviest album ever.”  OK.  Sold.  My crappy car had a good cassette player (that shit was important) so I instantly popped in the tape.  18 year old me was not ready for what came out of the speakers.

At this time, I had very little experience with true grindcore.  I had heard the first two Napalm Death full lengths and I sort of liked them; but sort of didn’t.  Grindcore was new at the time and it took a little bit to process what was happening.  When World Downfall kicked in, I was expecting another extreme death metal record.  I was dead wrong.  Instantly I heard thrash-punk rhythms which morphed into the most furious and crushing blast parts that just sound like insanity being put to tape.  I remember being baffled once again as to whether this was good or just noise.  Another listen to the whole album laid my confusion to rest, and ever since then, World Downfall has not only been in consistent rotation, but also had a powerful influence on songs I would write in the future.  This album scorches the earth all the way through and does not let up.  Ever.  The Discharge-inspired lyrics are barked out perfectly for this record as Oscar Garcia’s use of short, sharp grunting outbursts create and intensity not heard on a record to that point.  There are blast beats for days, but they manage to break it up with circle pit inducing tempo changes that generally lead you right back into grinding chaos.  If being brutal was Terrorizer’s goal, they achieved it in droves.  The production is primitive enough to drive the music, but clear and dry enough that nothing gets too lost; even when the band is travelling at lightspeed.  This album was a gauntlet thrown down to all others challenging their peers to be as extreme, heavy, fast and destructive as Terrorizer were.

World Downfall brought things to light and made me understand what Carcass, Napalm Death, Repulsion and Siege had been creating.  Now and again I’ll see that former employee, whom I now call a friend, and every single time I will thank him for introducing me to the what I believe is the best and most important grindcore records ever.


Listen to "Fear Of Napalm" here.

12.27.2017

ARCKANUM - ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ

Artist: Arckanum
Album: ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ
Year:  2009
Genre:  Black Metal

Please don’t ask me how to pronounce the name of this record because I have zero clue.  What I do know is that I was never too impressed with a single Arckanum release pervious to this one as it all sounded formulaic and typical.  The other thing I’m sure of is that this release was a huge surprise and is a phenomenal dark piece of metal that is one of my favorite black metal records.  The production is perfect; clear, yet maintains an unbridled and raw presentation.  The album brutal and basic, and rips and tears in an early Norwegian style that is as strong as any Darkthrone, Mayhem or Emperor release.  Shamaatae, the one man show behind Arckanum, has been honing his grim craft since the early 90s and all that experience comes to fruition on whatever the hell the title of this record is.  

Listen to "Þursvitnir" here.

12.13.2017

Video Mix Tape 04

Video Mix Tape 04
0:00  Stray Cats
3:15  Witchfinder General
6:24  Adolescents
7:51  Fight Amp
10:02  Planet Gemini
15:31  The Hives
18:07  Christian Death
20:23  Joy Division
22:39  Sons Of Jonathas
25:25  US Distress

11.30.2017

ABATTOIR - Vicious Attack

Artist: Abattoir
Album: Vicious Attack
Year: 1985
Genre: Thrash Metal / Speed Metal


Abattoir was one of those purchases solely due to their association with Combat Records.  That’s how it was done back then.  Their speed / thrash amalgam is laced with a good deal of Motorhead worship, and that is never a bad thing. This record is the perfect example of what happens when youthful aggression and passion go into a studio and blast it out. This is a nasty little bastard of a record and is a long-time favorite of mine from what I believe is the best era of metal. 

Listen to "Don't Walk Alone" here.

11.18.2017

NEBRA - Sky Disk

Artist:  Nebra
Album: Sky Disk
Year:  2009
Genre:  Post-Rock

Nebra are and exciting instrumental band that combine a desert rock influence with something a bit heavier and more ominous.  The groves they lay down bring to mind something between the crushing riffs of Karma To Burn and complex, off-time rhythms of Keelhaul.  This EP is excellent and proves once again vocals aren’t always a necessity.  Unfortunately, you only get 5 songs on Sky Disk, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to be seeing anything else soon from this Swiss unit.  Too bad because this is excellent.

Listen to "Shoulder Of Orion" here.

11.04.2017

Songs You Should Know #19 - Ultraman, Tyrant & Powertrip

Artist: Ultraman
Song: Non-Existence
Genre: Punk

Artist: Tyrant
Song: Too Late To Pray
Genre: Power Metal

Artist: Powertrip
Song: Demons
Genre: Punk

10.25.2017

Video Mix Tape 03

Video Mix Tape 03
Featuring:
0:00  Coliseum
4:49  Bishops Green
8:19  Spectres
11:19  Norman Bates And The Showerheads
13:15  Steve Von Till
15:47  The Gap Band
19:51  Trashcan Darlings
23:18  Tribulation
27:18  Failure
30:22  Duran Duran

10.18.2017

CHELSEA WOLFE - Hiss Spun

Artist:  Chelsea Wolfe
Album: Hiss Spun
Year:  2017
Genre:  Alternative / Doom / Gothic

I fiercely dove into the world of Chelsea Wolfe around three years ago and have not come back up for air since.  Her wonderful album Pain Is Beauty instantly drew me into her doom-laden, dispirited shoegaze, quasi-goth-industrial web.  From that moment began the conquering of her previous catalogue and the anticipated wait for new material.  Since that time, two of her best records have been unleashed upon the world in 2015’s Abyss and the relatively new Hiss Spun.  Although her other works hinted at her potential, the last two records see Ms. Wolfe truly forging an individualistic approach that leads listeners down a twisted, bleak tunnel of experimentally pensive instrumentation and beautifully solemn vocals. 

With each album, Chelsea Wolfe’s songwriting becomes more chaotic, extreme and abstruse, but she never loses sight of her mission.  She and her band flow between jarring, Melvins-heavy dirges into minimalistic, captivating elegies.  The whole album is laced with emotional power and frailty.  If you listen closely, the complex nature of the composition shines through, and with metal/hardcore master Kurt Baulou on the production end of things, the tones are abrasive and imposing.  This is not a typical singer-songwriter album and has dynamics for days as there isn't a moment on this record that doesn't feel absolutely intentional and gone over with a microscope.  Although the album is a roller coaster of ambiance and emotion, it is all quite calculated with intent to bring the listener joy or suffering.  I’ve read elsewhere in many publications calling this a metal record, and I could not disagree more.  This record does get heavy, much more that her previous recordings, but there is just a different feel in the same way bands like Tool, Nine Inch Nails or Deftones use a heavier, more aggressive sound.  I haven't stopped listening to Hiss Spun since it hit my turntable.  It is easily up there for top album of the year for me.  Siouxsie Sioux,  Diamanda Galas, Gitane DeMone and Eva O need to move over and make some room for Chelsea Wolfe.


Listen to "16 Psyche" here.
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10.16.2017

KARMA TO BURN - Almost Heathen / Wild Wonderful Purgatory

Artist: Karma To Burn 
Album:  Almost Heathen / Wild Wonderful Purgatory
Year:  2001 / 1999
Genre: Sabbath Rock

I hate the word “stoner.” There’s no connotation of the word I like; but I especially hate it when it’s used for music. Instead of Stoner Rock, I’d rather just call it Sabbath Rock, since what these "stoner rock" bands create is so firmly rooted in the blueprint created by Black Sabbath.  Karma To Burn are the ultimate riff machine in my newly coined Sabbath Rock genre. With these two albums, they put on a clinic of how to write a heavy groove that will get your head moving up and down. Although an instrumental band, they keep the listener’s attention with their bulldozing, no bullshit, riff-above-everything-else approach. Highly (pun sort of intended) recommended! 


Listen to "Thirty Four" here.

10.02.2017

Video Mix Tape 02

Video Mix Tape 02
Featuring:
0:00  Cactus
3:16  Unsane
6:52  The Freeze
10:20  Icicle Works
14:07  Bathory
16:39  Condemned 84
20:00  Skinny Puppy
24:09  Guns Up
25:46  Leatherface
28:25  Catherine Wheel

9.15.2017

WE ARE HEX - Bleach Brigade

Artist:  We Are Hex
Album: Bleach Brigade
Year:  2014
Genre:  Post-Punk

We Are Hex are the best new band I’ve heard in years.  They crushed me at a music fest we had in Detroit a few years ago and ended up stealing the whole 3-day event from some pretty established acts.  Their releases do a wonderful job catching their off-kilter approach to post-punk.  Yep, the slight Siousxie and Bauhaus overtones are present, but there’s an adventurous, creative element this band has developed that sets them miles apart from their modern contemporaries.  It’s inspiring and exciting to hear bands take musical risks.  I cannot recommend this band enough.


Listen to "Tongues" here. 
(sorry...had to load up a song from a single from the same year as this album since there isn't
one fucking song off "Bleach Brigade" on YouTube that isn't live)

9.04.2017

DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Paracletus

Artist:  Deathspell Omega
Album: Paracletus
Year:  2010
Genre:  Black Metal

This French band’s boundaries are seemingly limitless so describing them is a daunting task.  Deathspell Omega are vastly creative entity leading the black metal genre into uncharted territories.  I look at them as if they are an extremely talented, traditional, cold Norwegian black metal band who was structurally influenced by The Locust or Botch.  They deliver uncustomary riffs and startling, jarring changes on top of their diabolic sound.  The talent level in this band is astounding.  You would never call this band progressive rock, but if you break down their unconventional way of doing things, that’s exactly what they are.  With preeminent bands like DSO, Spektr, Alcest and Blut Aus Nord, France is the country to watch.


Listen to "Abscission" here.