Friday, October 19, 2012

My Two Cents: The Box of Skinnies Pt. 2

Continuing adventures through the box of CDs I rarely listen to because of their odd packaging. Again, I don't consider myself to be a writer or an expert on anything. These synopsizes are a product of too much time on my hands at work and nothing else to do. I contradict myself often and find myself typing the same things over and over again. 

ABSTAIN - "Defy" 3" CD (This is a lot better than I remembered it being. I have a bunch of their releases, but I always remembered them being generic sounding, therefor I haven't listened to any of them in years. Maybe the music has just gotten shittier in the years since making this sound better by comparison, but I can't find a single thing to complain about on this CD. Abstain were a two piece grindcore band from California. There isn't a bass player, but the guitars are recorded really well and sound heavy enough without bass. The music is both metallic and crusty with tight drumming and lots of blasting. The vocals sound a bit like Bob from Dropdead, but not as high. They kind of sound like the vocals on those early C.F.D.L. records, too. My copy came in a limited edition gatefold cover With the regular 3" cover inside. This was short and powerful and I really enjoyed listening to it today. I'll have to go back and listen to my other Abstain stuff now.)

ABSTAIN / ARSEDESTROYER - "Live Aboard the MS Stubnitz" CD (Released on the short lived In League Wit Satan Records, as the title says, this was recorded live on an old war ship. This Arsedestroyer stuff was confusing to me when I first heard it. I remember hearing that the original vocalist died and I want to say it was a suicide, so I guess this was the first release with the new guy and it didn't sound anything like the old stuff. Now there are more Arsedestroyer releases with this sound than with the original line-up, but at the time is was shocking to me. The between song banter is ridiculous, sometimes funny, but the songs are fucking raging grindnoise. Completely manic and over the top, unrelenting noisy grindcore. Abstain's set sounds tame in comparison, but on it's own it would have been killer. They should have put their tracks first on the CD and finished strong. They added a bass player on this tour, I guess, but the bass track sounds like a fart on this recording. The rest of it sounds great, especially the vocals. Great CD all around.)

AUBE - "Metal De Metal" CD (I don't remember where I got this one from, but it's my favorite of the Aube CDs I own. All of the sounds on this were generated from metal. Even the cover is made out of metal. The majority of this is really mellow, almost dark ambient, but there are some tense moments that bring this thing to a boil on occasion. There's one lengthy section that sounds like a fork being scraped across a gong in a circular motion, but it's totally soothing - almost consuming. Writing about this doesn't do it justice. This is really fucking good, trust me.)

AUBE - "Purification to Numbness" CD (I'm positive I ordered this from the Resound catalog. I've always liked Aube, but I prefer his more ambient stuff. I'm not sure what made me check him out, but I bought his "Metal De Metal" CD and loved it. The first track on this CD is really busy, harsh and multi-layered, but it sounds like multiple tracks of the same sound stacked on top of each other and panned to create a stereo effect. The second track is considerably less harsh with some interesting textures going on and some annoying high frequency noise that shows up way too often for my ears' health. The third track is the longest and sounds kinda similar to the first. I only have a few of Aube's releases, and while I still enjoyed this, it's probably my least favorite. In a different environment as background music I'd probably enjoy it more, but while focusing my full attention on it for over an hour I became bored towards the end.)

AVULSION - "80 Trax" CDR (I made this CDR to collect all of their recordings I had. I used to do that all the time years ago. Has the following releases: "Crimes Against Reality", split 7" w/ Laceration (who I still think are terrible), "The Green Scare" 7", split 7" w/ Forced Expression, Pneumatic Values / Vilently Ill - split 7", their track from the third Slap a Ham comp, "Prince of a Thousand Theives" 7" and most of the "Crimson Foliage Hit" CD. I had to omit two tracks from the CD to make it all fit. Slavestate were one if my favorite bands from ray powerviolence scene. Avulsion were excellent, too, but slightly less so. Super fast and technical, aggressive and pissed. That "Green Scare" 7" was one of my favorites in the mid-90s.)

BEARTRAP - "Live in Japan" CDR (I fucking love Beartrap. What's not to love about it? Their brain behind the project, Tim, is a German native living in Japan working as a teacher. While still in Germany he released a few records with the great Cadaver Feast. Tim possesses no real skill as a guitarist, but his Sahara-dry sense of humor makes for great song titles (often referencing death metal bands and album titles) and between-song banter. From what I've gathered, he has a revolving door line-up consisting of whoever he can convince to perform with him. All of their recordings are entertaining, mostly because of Tim's intros, but the noise itself is fun and sloppy and would be listenable on it's own. I'm pretty sure this wasn't released. There's cover art, but I got a copy because I asked them for unreleased material for "Small Doses" and he told me to choose something from this CDR. If you liked the two songs from "Small Doses", this is where they came from. This is fantastic. It's a shame more people don't know about Beartrap.)

BILL BASSET BAND - "Juvenile and Boring" CDR (BBB was my very first musical project that wasn't just me recording solo. My friend Mike and I went to an all-day bluegrass festival a couple of towns over and recorded the first BBB tape that night. It wasn't exactly bluegrass or folk, but it was all played on acoustic guitar and a makeshift drum set fashioned from tin cans, glass jars and whatever else I could hit with a stick. The music and lyrics were all improvised and everything was recorded on a crummy tape recorder in the bomb shelter in Mike's basement. We recorded two more times, then gave it up and started playing punk rock later under the name Unisex. Nobody outside of Ottumwa heard these tapes with the exception of a few zine editors that Mike sent copies to (one giving a favorable review from which the title of this CDR, out of context, came). Years later Mike pieced together this CDR from the best bits of the three recordings and sent me a copy. I had no idea he was doing it, so it was a nice surprise when I got it. Of course it's impossible for me to listen to this objectively, but it's a fun CD with silly lo-fi songs that often break out into laughter, percussion that's too loud 100% of the time and decent guitar playing. It also serves as a time machine sending me right back to high school with nostalgia. Man, those were fun times.)

BLOOD - "Impulse to Destroy" CD (One of the greatest death metal albums recorded. To the end Blood were great. Even after they learned how to play they kept things simple and retained that scummy 80s sound. This CD is on a whole different level, though. Everything about it us great. The mid-paced parts crush and the blasts are awesomely sloppy. The guitars sound as if they're being played through broken amplifiers in an empty warehouse. The vocals have effects on them the whole time making them even more ridiculous. The songs, however, can not be fucked with. So many catchy riffs on this thing. It's incredible, an absolutely perfect death metal album. The copy I have is the reissue on Morbid Records, I believe the first time it was issued on CD. The "Recognize Yourself" 7" is on the end as bonus tracks, also excellent.)

BONESAW - "Live By the Bone... Die By the Saw" CDR (Great old-school Scottish death metal. I met Paul on MySpace and we traded a few times. I'm pretty sure this is their first demo. While their second demo was a huge improvement, this is pretty great. It never really gets too fast, staying in that great plodding mid-paced speed Autopsy did so well. The vocals are deep and gruff and the guitars are filthy sounding. Everything is recorded perfectly for this style of death metal. This is a solid debut from a band that got consistently better with each release.)

BOTTLE WALKING SNAKE - "States" CDR (50 states, 50 songs - all in alphabetical order. This is mildly entertaining as the songs are all funny and short, but it's not something I'll want to revisit any time soon.)

BOTTLE WALKING SNAKE / KOLOB TRUST FUND - split CDR (So what do BWS sound like? I didn't cover that above. It would be folky indie rock in someone else's hands, but it's too retarded to be classified as such in this instance. Lyrical content aside, this is sonically stupid. Food's vocals are high and irritating in the same way they are on one of his other projects, The Poops. It's mostly acoustic guitar and keyboard, but often it sounds like the keyboards were recorded without even listening to the guitar track. KTF, I think, is a project with Wheelchair Full of Old Men dudes and Erik from Sonic Disorder. KTF are just as dumb, but at least there's some punk and core in their music, so it's more in line with my interests. The vocals are lazy, lyrics "offensive", but mostly this is just silly.)

BOY IN LOVE - "But Mama, I Love Him" + "Pracise Make Perfec" CDR (This collects the first two Boy in Love tapes, both excellent. When I posted about "Gleegle Eagles" earlier I said there was a folk influence, but couldn't explain what made me think that. I had forgotten, but a lot of those songs appear on these tapes with just vocals and acoustic guitar and they're just as good with that minimal arrangement. Again, Scott's vocals are what makes this great. His voice is so sincere sounding and the lyrics are sometimes innocent and child-like, sometimes offensive, always funny and ridiculous.)

BREATHILIZÖR - "For the Ultimate Pain of Medusa's Love" CDR (This is arguably the best release from Ohio's most metal band. Breathilizör have been kicking around for a long time now releasing a couple tapes and a split 7" w/ Faxed Head ages ago. Then, after years of silence they started recording again and took their music more seriously (maybe?) than before. It could be they just became better musicians during their hiatus, but the playing on here in excellent and the addition of a spotless studio recording really showcases all of the greatness. The lyrics are some of toughest and most evil things ever captured on tape, all delivered with completely venomous rage. Originally released on this CDR, this recently was pressed to vinyl by Rescued From Life and should be fairly easy to track down at this point. It's terrific, one of my favorite releases coming from the Wheelchair camp.)

BREATHILIZÖR - "Something of Something Part 3" CDR (This CDR collects two of their early demo tapes. It's a lot more primitive, but just as awesome. Those brutal breakdowns that happen in every song never get old and the reverb-soaked recording of the first demo sounds like it was recorded in an abandoned cave filled with the bones of posers.  The second demo is a little clearer sounding, but none of the evil or brutality was lost in the process. This is essential listening.)

CAPSULE - "Blue" CD (Robotic Empire sent me this loose replacement disc with the Floor set I ordered, as a promo, I guess, or maybe because they had stack of them laying around. Today is my first time listening to it and it's way too active and noodly for my tastes. I don't even know what label people give to stuff like this, but it's all over the place with tons of changes, tight drumming and active guitar playing, but completely devoid of anything to grasp on to. It kind of sounds like Dillinger Escape Plan's old stuff. Occasionally there will be a cool slower part that works well, but it just switches to something discordant, fast and spazzy again after that. No clue if this is any good or not as I don't listen to this kind of stuff. The recording is really good, though, and these guys can play. I'm sure someone loves it, but I can't get into it.)

CAULIFLOWER ASS & BOB - "Bad Luck Rising" CDR (CA&B are fantastic. It's some of the most miserable and depressing stuff ever recorded. Cauliflower Ass' voice is the sound of complete desperation with lyrics mostly about drinking and falling on hard times. The guitar sounds as if it hasn't been tuned in a good long time, but who has the energy to tune when life is as shitty as this music portrays? Bob's trumpet playing is even more pathetic, like it was lifted straight off a Brainbombs record. The recording itself sounds like it was done in a bathroom. Together it all paints a miserable picture, but one you can't turn away from. This is one of CA&B's better releases, just don't listen to it in the wrong mood.)

COLICO / DEEP FRIED EMBRYO - split CDR (I almost HAD to release this disc. People considered me to be well versed in noisecore and I've released so much of it on my label that it only made sense for me to take on this project with two of the best and most prolific noisecore bands of that time. I think it was Mario from Colico that initiated it, I chose D.F.E. as the other band. Absolutely no progression from either band, just the same noise they've been churning out for their released on the own perspective labels (Meirda En La Cabeza + MMR) Colico's half is made up of 100s of short noise bursts, D.F.E. grinds out 23 sloppy + harsh tracks. I made 100 copies of this thing. It took a while, but I eventually sold all of them.)

D.F.A. - "Destined For Assimilation" CDR (I got this at a Rambo show in Des Moines years ago. Rambo's drummer said they played a show with them a few days earlier and that this demo was the best thing in his distro box. He oversold it for me. I listened to it once when I got home and never had the urge to listen to it again. This is metallic crossover hardcore with group shouts, fast guitars and tight drumming. It sounds like it could have been recorded in the 80s and that's probably why I wasn't into it at the time. That bandana thrash retro thing was all over the place in the early 2000s and I thought it was stupid. I still do, actually, but this isn't nearly as lame as I remembered it being. I don't care what the dude is screaming about, but he sounds pissed. The recording is really good, especially the drums, but it could use a little more bass guitar in the mix. Not bad.)

DIMENTIANON - "Rehearsal Demo 2K2: Advance Songs From Seven Suicides" CDR (First time listening to this, too. Sort of black metal tinged metal with thin production and alternating gruff and Popeye vocals. Needless to say, I'm not into this. I don't even remember how I got this. When I pulled it out of the box I had no recollection of seeing it before.)

DISABUSE / PARKINSON - split CDR (Disabuse are from the Philippines. This recording is a mess. It's good in a good/bad sense. It's totally inept and sounds like those great South American grind bands that are unintentionally noisy. The recording changes for their last few songs, but it's still great for the same reasons listed above. Parkinson are from Malaysia and are a bit tighter than Disabuse. There are both crazy high vocals and weak low grunts, the music is sloppy grind with a lot of punk influence. I imagine I would hate this most of the time, but for some reason this is working for me today.)

EARTH - "Extra-Capsular Extraction" CD (I bought the first three Earth CDs from Hagamoto when he was thinning his collection years ago. This one came in one of those cardboard pocket sleeves. Every other copy I've seen came packaged in a jewel case. It's no "Earth 2", but it's really good. "Ouroboros is Broken" is excellent. It's difficult to imagine a time when this stuff would have been innovative and ground breaking after all the years of shitty bands that came after. Earth made the right move when they abandoned this style and left all the pretenders to feed off it's corpse.)

EGO DEATH / MIXTURIZER - split CDR (When I ripped this to my iPod I found 10 extra covers stuffed inside the sleeve. I guess I was supposed to make my own copies to sell, but that didn't happen. Oops... This is probably my first time listening to this, too, because I'd have remembered this Ego Death stuff. Again, no clue how this noise was made or how to describe it properly, but this stuff rules. Harsh harsh harsh with lots of texture and stereo panning. Mixturizer are less interesting, but still pretty decent. 30 minutes of this stuff is enough, though.)

EMBRYONIC CRYPTOPATHIA / FANTASMI DI SODOMA - split CDR (EC are amazing, completely filthy and brutally fast grindcore with sewage vocals. A lot of their songs are only a few seconds long and the tape stops abruptly chopping them off. Downtuned and scummy stuff with an appropriately thick recording. FDS is an occult themed drum machine noisecore band with several one second stabs of noise over cheesy dirgey synth and horror movie samples. It's funny in the same way Apator and Exmortes are, but not something I'd listen to on my own. On a car ride with someone else to torture them? Sure.)

FACIOUS KHAN - "Bomb in My Gut" CDR (This isn't as good as the "Snowbush Fight" CDR, but it's still really good. Ripping hardcore punk with ridiculous lyrics and a snarling vocal delivery. Food's aggressive vocals are awesome, it's a shame he doesn't use them more often. Nice riffs and guitar sound on this one and still a healthy amount of Greg Ginn-like noise, but the drums aren't as tight as before. It sounds like this might have been put together quickly, but the results are great considering. I love hearing songs skewering Mike Patton. Fuck that guy. This was a lot of fun.)

FACIOUS KHAN / BILLY SICKNESS - split CDR (Take what I wrote above and flip it for this one. The drums are tight and punchy and the guitar sound is thin and strange sounding. The rest is consistent with the above synopsis. Billy Sickness sounds like Food playing all the instruments and Poopy doing the vocals. It's more punk than hardcore. The vocals are pretty good and the music mostly sounds like Fossil Fuel with a better drum machine. Every once in a while there's some stinging guitar leads that made me laugh out loud. This stuff is okay, but Facious Khan were better.)

FATAL ERROR - "The Drinking Sessions '88/'92" CD (My friend Scab sent this to me years ago. This is some really old Dutch grindnoise, a collection of both demos, and unreleased compilation track and a full live set (the highlight of this CD). This is total old school greatness along the lines of Fear of God, demo-era Blood, old Agathocles and Sexorcist: sloppy drums, brutal noisy guitars and really exaggerated vocals. The recording quality varies from one session to the next, but it's all very listenable. I can only assume this their entire discography, but I really don't know for sure. I don't pull this out very often, but I'm always surprised by how great it is when I do.)

FLÄCHENBRAND - "Völkermord" 3" CD (This was the first release of this German HC/powerviolence band, released on R.S.R. with a normal sized CD booklet in a tight poly bag making it difficult to get to the CD inside. I've only listened to this a handful of times because of this. At least one of these dudes was in the band Necrophiliacs. I know the vocalist is the same, but I think there was at least one other guy. It wouldn't surprise me if the drummer was the guy from W.B.I.. Those great ham sandwich vocals are here over more structured, shorter and much faster songs. the guitars sound weird, but the rest of this is brutal. Their cover of S.O.B.'s "Raging in Hell" is almost as fast as Napalm Death's. This shit smokes. I should probably leave it on my iPod so I don't wait another 15 years to listen to it again.)

GHOOM - "Ghoom '94" CDR (Ghoom were a band from my hometown that my friend Mike did after Unisex broke up. I don't really listen to this kind of stuff, so I don't know what to call it exactly, but I'll just call it indie rock or "alternative". Fuck it. Anyway, they recorded one demo, "Mostly", which was released on our in-house make believe label, Jack Mackeral Records. In reality, though, Ghoom financed, released and distributed the whole thing. I don't think I ever sold a copy of it. These songs are catchy and well played, and while the mix is unbalanced (I think it was recorded through a 12 channel mixer live to cassette tape ruling out any mixing), you can easily hear everything. Threeskin played a lot of shows with these guys, so I've heard these songs many times. There are some live songs at the end of this CD (most of which you can hear me cheering on), including many unreleased songs and a covers of the Ventures, Minutemen + Threeskin. Their bass player released this CDR on his Mighty Feeble Lo-Fi label, but I'm sure nobody heard it. I uploaded it on my "This is a Tiny Town" blog if you want to grab it there. It's noteworthy to mention that the guitarist/vocalist, Greg, is currently living in NY and playing in the doom/sludge band Batillus. Don't expect any of that doom to surface here, though.)

GREEN TERROR - "Death and Destruction" CDR (Somehow I befriended their singer on Facebook last year. One day he posted about sending out free CDs to people if they wanted them, so I took him up on it. Apparently he does this often, or at least did at one point. This is pretty good and has a strong 90s feel to it. This must be one of their earlier releases as they've sped things up a lot on their other releases, but this CDR really sounds like Depressor when they added a live drummer. This is heavy and mechanical sounding, lots of samples taken from horror movies and the recording is a little fuzzy, but everything can be made out clearly. This is good, well worth looking into.)

GREEN TERROR - "Heathengrind" CDR (Really short, less than 6 minutes long, but these 4 songs pack a punch. Still really sounds like Depressor, and I love Depressor. I can't tell, but it sounds like a drum machine this time around. Nothing is lost or gained if it is a drum machine. The songs are still heavy and mechanical. The recording is better on this one, too. A lot better.)

GREEN TERROR - "Heathengrind Holocaust" CDR (A lot faster and with a clearer recording this time around. The riffing is more metal making me think there were some line-up changes. There's also more dual vocals than on the above discs. The Impetigo cover was a lot of fun and this was a great listen overall.)

GREEN TERROR - "Heathengrind Warfare" CDR (The entire "Heathengrind" CDR occupies the first part of this disc, then "Death and Destruction" closes it out. That's okay, I didn't mind listening to this stuff twice in a row.)

HERMIT - "Pain Machine" CDR (This was among the first CDRs I ever bought way back in 1997 or so. I haven't listened to it in years and I'm amazed it still plays. I've always liked Hermit. This CD is one 14 minute track. It's kinds mellow, rhythmic and there's some interesting textures going on throughout. It builds up to a noisy finale, but it never goes full-on harsh noise.)

HOLY BONER - "Crunch Crunch Woosh Rattatta Blaaargh" CDR (Nik from Super Fun Happy Slide sent this to me along with their demo. It took some digging to figure out where I got this as there's fuck all information on the cover, but an email from an Aussie sorted it all out. This is a jam room recording (totally blown-out) of really loud and messy noise. 5 songs in 9 minutes, the first being the longest and most structured. It starts out really sludgy, then things dissolve into almost total noise from there on out, just blasting, feedback and screaming. Needless to say, I fucking loved it.)

HONKY TONK OVERLORDS - "Sci-Fi Fish Fry" CDR (HTO was a short-lived project I was involved with for a few months. All three members on this recording were in C3L, and in all honesty, this should have been released as a C3L recording as it would have gotten more exposure if so, but this was Spence's baby and he wrote most of the songs and structures. Brian got involved because he and Spence lived in the same house, so it made sense. They asked me to play guitar and I agreed. If I remember correctly, I was unhappy with my overdrive sound, so one day I decided to play clean and with reverb and it changed our sound completely. After that I started writing surfier guitar parts instead of just following the bass and the style changed even more. This was the only recording we did, done on 4 tracks, and it sounds terrible. I recorded the entire drum set on one track, bass and guitar on another leaving the other two tracks open for overdubs. I think Spence had originally planned on doing vocals over this, but ultimately decided to just record a bunch of noise instead. The noises came courtesy of a Boss DR-5 drum machine and an reverb-delay pedal I had. If you dialed back the rate as a loop was going you could create this great noise like a spaceship zooming by  at warp speed. The drum machine noises were done by our friend John, no clue how he created them. After the recording was done we continued playing for a while, but Brian started missing rehearsals and Spence wanted to play shows, so we kicked Brian out and replaced him with Tom (from local doom/drone band Scat). The songs didn't work too well live without the noises, so I started playing with distortion again and we sped the songs up a bunch. We made some copies of the demo to sell at shows, but since Tom was the current drummer, he was pictured on the back cover. Brian's always been pissed about that, even to this day. We just talked about it at a show a couple of months ago. Whenever he brings up this recording he refers to it as "that stuff we did with Spence" and it takes me a while to figure out what he's talking about. I don't remember how many of these were made because we made them as we needed them, but I can't imagine it was more than 50. I think we played live 4 times. Tom eventually became unreliable, too, then things eventually just fell apart. Often I forget about this band even existing.)

HOT L.Z. - "How Do You Live Like That?" CDR (More tough stuff from the Wheelchair crew. This one is detuned and dirgey, sloppy and barely structured, but I'm enjoying it in spite of (because of?) those qualities. It sounds as if this was mostly improvised and vocals were added later. Food's vocals are great on this, really angry and harsh. If this was either shorter or better rehearsed it would probably be really good. I suppose that's missing the whole point, though.)

IMPETIGO - "All We Need is Cheez" CD (This is a CD reissue of their first demo, recorded live in 1987 if I remember correctly. It's a soundboard recording and it sounds pretty good. A lot of these songs are more HC sounding, less serious. I actually like these goofy songs more than what came later, they remind me of Stikky. Stevo's stage banter is awesome, sometimes funny, sometimes abusive. I have a bunch of their old shows on VHS from this era that I got from their guitarist, Mark, with similar abusive remarks hurled at the apathetic audience. As a citizen of Iowa, I can relate. This is a fun release, reminds me of my late teenage years. Weird hearing a Skafish cover on here.)

INHUMATE - "Ex-Pulsion" CD (I used to get death metal promos all the time when I did Mortville. I'd accept them, send something back in trade and we'd spread each other's flyers around. Inhumate sent me two of their promo CDs and I wasn't into either of them at the time. In fact, with the exception of Krabathor that whole late 90s death metal scene didn't appeal to me at all. Listening to this again today for the first time in over a decade I'm still not into it. It certainly seems well played and the vocals are brutal, but I'm not enjoying it.)

INHUMATE - "Growth" CD (Growth? Not really. This sounds about the same as the above CD.)

THE KILL - "Demo" CDR (This is the CDR version of the demo tape, limited to 100 copies. Most of these songs were released on their split 7" with Retaliation, too. If I remember correctly, this CDR happened because I took to long to get the 7" out and they were eager for people to hear this material. It didn't effect sales of the 7" any. It sold out quicker than most of my releases. I had the opportunity to sit in on one of their rehearsals before this was recorded and knew right away I wanted to release something of theirs. This is still my favorite The Kill recording and Neil was the best vocalist they had. His vocals fit perfectly with the hyper-fast blasting grindcore they were doing. The tinny recording works perfectly, too. Love this shit.)

KITA - s/t CDR (Mid-90s stoner rock from Iowa City with songs about cars, sluts, drinking and drugs. There was a period where they seemed to open for every single band I saw at Gabe's Oasis. Musically they're fairly one dimensional. The songs all hinge on the one riff repeated for 5 minutes or so. The vocals sound okay when he has a lot of words to sing, but on the slower songs there's a tendency to draaaag oooout aaaaalll the words on the vowel sound. I don't know any of these guys, but from what I've heard from other people, they're the real deal. Their songs aren't fantasies put to music. If this stuff sounds sleazy and dirty, it's likely they're singing from experience. For me, that's equally impressive and off-putting. When you remove that tongue from the cheek it becomes a whole lot less fun, and when you're not really into this style of music in the first place you're not left with much. The recording, however, is awesome, especially the thick fuzzy bass that carries most of this. If you're into Cavity, Eyehategod and Buzz'oven, you'd probably dig this. I'm not really into any of those bands, either.)

LABRADFORD - "Mi Media Naranja" CD* (Man, this CD is great. Totally mellow and soothing with lush guitars, simple drum accompaniment, rolling organ sounds and minimal piano. Again, it's the lack of those silly post-rock dynamics that makes this a stand out in that genre. Everything creeps along at a steady pace perfectly. This reminds me of some of Vangelis' earlier stuff and of Eno's excellent ambient albums. It's a bummer about the vocals on here, but they're infrequent enough to forgive.)

LABRADFORD - "Prazision" CD* (This one starts out with a long dark ambient piece, then moves into similarly dark post-rock stuff and returns to more noisy dark stuff throughout. There's more vocals on this than on their other albums, but they're all mumbled and really low in the mix. Occasionally things cheer up a bit, but it goes right back into more sombre sounds. This CD is great, but way different from the above disc. I appreciate this kind of range from a band.)

LASSE MARHAUG - "Science Fiction Room Service" CD (Reeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Skrshrrrrrrrrrr!!! Xxxxxxshrhkkks!!! Bdrpbdrpbdrpbdrp!!! Wrrrrghrrrsh!!!  for 62 solid minutes.)

LEBPROSIAKA - "6 Song Promo" CDR (Seb from Antigama sent this to me years ago, said it was a "punk" band he was playing with on the side. I guess this might be "punk" in comparison to Antigama, but there are a lot of grindcore bands that strive to be this heavy and come up short. Most of this is thick and crusty with super heavy guitars and pitch-shifted vocals that sound like the first Haemorrhage album. I can't tell if they're using a drum machine or a live drummer. The drum sounds are totally realistic, but they're stiff and mechanical. This is pretty good, but I don't remember hearing anything more about this band after this promo.)

LETTUCE VULTURES - "Egregious" CDR (Lettuce Vultures are great. I like Food's work the most when he works in aggressive styles of music. While the recording on this CDR sounds fairly wimpy and the drum machine isn't anywhere near as tough as "the punk drum beat maker", these are really good punk/HC songs. Played by anyone else this stuff would be tough as fuck, but the strange recording and vocal delivery makes this unique. I'd like a little more snarl on the vocals, but this works for me.)

MACHETAZO / ABSCESS - split MCD (I had copies of this for sale once and forgot to keep a copy for myself. I was happy to find a copy years later in someone's sale list online. Machetazo are great. Sure, I like their old demo material better, but they do a decent job of capturing that old death metal feeling with these tracks. The drumming is way fast on here and the guitars are filthy sounding. The high vocals are a little irritating, but the lows sound great, especially on the blast parts. Their last is a mid-paced song that crushes. Abscess are hit and miss for me. Most of the time I just want them to sound more like Autopsy, and there are too few moments on these tracks that do. Those guitar solos however? Fuck.... So damned good. The production is good, but some more bass would have been nice.)

MASSICK - "Discography" CD  (These German grinders are all over the place with adding different genres to their music. It's not unlike Le Scrawl's approach, but instead of clean breaks into different kinds of music, the genre changes sometimes take over entire songs. There's some straight-up grindcore, crust, pop punk, jazz, ska, funk and indie rock thrown into the mix. Somehow it all works, and I usually hate this kind of stuff. It reminds me of Mexican Power Authority, who I love.)

NETJAJEV SOCIETY SYSTEM - "New Tracks 2004" CDR (Magnus sent this to me as a promo, I assume because he was looking for a label. I had too much on my plate at the time, else I would have jumped on it. 12 songs on here, all of the scuzzy fast variety channeling Rupture. I don't remember which releases these songs ended up on, but this stuff rages. The recording is a little thin on the second half, but the songs are solid. The cover is a folded up piece of black construction paper with a sticker on it. I wonder if it's worth anything?)

NIHILIST COMMANDO - "Demo 2002" CDR (NC were a breath of fresh air for the noisecore scene when they came around. A lot noisecore shit was getting stupid and sloppier, all jokey. Nihilist Commando came along and made it all sound dangerous and serious again by playing furious, stripped down blasts of angry noise. This wasn't a throwback as Mikko's been doing this stuff since it's heyday. Instead, this plays as a complete rejection of all of the innovation that's happened over the years. This is completely stripped of humor and completely fucking angry.)

NIHILIST COMMANDO - "Demo 2005" CDR (Same scenario as above, only longer in duration and with shorter songs. An unrelenting barrage of hate and noise.)

THE POOPS - "Sandwich Cake Glob" CDR (The Poops are like the Special Olympics version of Renaldo & the Loaf and "Commercial Album" era Residents. I want to like this, but it's just so damn stupid. I will say that the longer this plays the more I seem to like it, but I've got a long way to go. Some of the percussion tracks are really inventive, so points are awarded for that alone. 73 minutes of this stuff is excruciating.)

SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM / THIS VIOLENT WORLD - "Deathgrind Massacre" CDR (I'm pretty sure these were both pre-Green Terror projects. Shock to the System play solid mid-paced death metal with some "chugga-chugga" riffs and breakdowns that happen often enough to wear out their welcome, but there are some decent riffs, great recording, etc. It's a little silly, but most death metal is. This Violent World has more of that mechanical Depressor sound that Green Terror has. It's definitely a step in the right direction.)

SLOTH - "It's Not Our Worst AKA Progress?" CD (This might have been my introduction to Sloth. I listened to this thing all the time when I got it and it was still in heavy rotation for years after that. This is a compilation of songs from their earliest releases with a couple of unreleased tracks mixed in. Wonderfully sludgy stuff, well written with interesting vocals, great sound quality and great use of dynamics. This is excellent, though I would have liked a little more info in the scant one panel insert. Listening to this now makes me hate their new shit even more. If they still sounded like this I'd still be going crazy trying to pick up every release.)

SNOWY PLOVER - "The Best of Snowy Plover" CDR1 (I got this from Dave of Wuzor and Funeral Shock fame. This was one of his bands before Wuzor. This doesn't sound too different from Wuzor, actually, only recorded a lot worse. These songs are a mixture of sludge/doom and rock, in the same way the Melvins blend the two. Some of the ideas are more developed than others, but it all works and there's lots of overdubbed noises and samples throughout. The recording sounds like it was done on a 4 track, but it often sounds sort of distant. The slower, sludgier songs are crushing and sound like old Sloth. I used to listen to this a lot when I first got it, but it's been several years since I've heard it. I really enjoyed it today. I haven't heard from Dave in years. I wonder what he's up to today?)

SNOWY PLOVER - "The Best of Snowy Plover" CDR2 (This is pretty similar to the first disc. I probably could have written about them both in the same entry. The recordings on this disc are worse than on the first. A lot of it sounds like it was recorded live and the sound is completely blown-out on some of the songs. The songs themselves are still really good, though.)

SOCKEYE / PUNKU BOI - split CDR (This was released by Lost Frog in Japan, limited to 100 copies and was difficult to track down. Recorded right at the tail end of Sockeye's run when their music had dissolved into almost total noise and the lyrics seem to have been made up on the spot. This is my favorite era, totally stupid, like a group of drunk friends fucking around having fun. A couple of these songs are really good, but all of them are fun. Punku Boi are really, really fucking noisy. It's probably just two people (maybe just one) as you never hear more than one instrument and vocals at a time. The first track is drums, screamed vocals and loads of feedback. The rest are just bass guitar and screamed vocals, screamed so high and loud that this actually gave me a headache. This is a single mic recording with loads of treble, completely harsh. Fuck...)

SPACEBOX - s/t CD (Guru Guru went to shit after Uli Trepte left. Great bass players leave holes that can't be filled. Average bass players are interchangeable. I never appreciated just how much he contributed to Guru Guru's sound until I heard this CD. This sounds more like Guru Guru than their albums that came after Trepte's departure. This is really jazzy, really experimental and progressive. I suspect this would be difficult listening for a lot of people as it's all over the place and his strong Teutonic vocals seem just to be spoken at random over everything. I love this, though. The CD came housed in a cardboard box with the name stamped on the front. I have the second album on vinyl, but I haven't listened to it in years. I need to dig it out again.)

VIOLENT HEADACHE - "Rare Sessions 1991-97" CDR (Toñyo sent me a copy of this a couple of years ago. His brother released it on his Face of Belmez label and nobody got a copy. I bugged Toñyo until he was able to get me a copy, then offered to re-release it on Mortville. The indexing and volume levels were a mess on the original. I straightened all of that out and trimmed the blank space from between the songs for the re-release. This is my favorite era of their music and these recordings are great. Still really noisy, but lots of great grind and crust parts. I made 100 of these and still have a bunch of them. People don't know what they're missing.)

WASTEOID - "Peeing Out the Butt " Tour CDR (This is really early stuff for these guys, definitely before their LP. Everything was in place from the beginning. Short, fast, manic and silly songs with no real breakdowns to be found. Decent recording, nice release all around. It took me almost as long to type this as it did to listen to it. Cramming 9 proper tracks into less than 5 minutes is the way this shit's supposed to be done. Good show.)

v/a - "Those Were Different Times" CD (This is a cool document of the early Cleveland punk scene from 1972-1976. The three bands on here all sound drastically different, but they sound fine together on this CD released by the great Scat Records in Ohio. The liner notes say they shared members and sometimes songs. Mirrors are first on here with some great garage rock stuff. Some of their songs would sound right at home on the Nuggets box set. Raw guitars, sung vocals, plinky sounding keyboards and a strong sense of melody. The recordings are mostly good, especially so considering the conditions in which they were recorded. There's a great cover of Rocket From the Tombs' "Frustration" with theremin instead of vocals. Their songs are strong, but they're my least favorite band on here. I picked this up for the Electric Eels songs, and they're my favorite songs on here. I have a 2LP collection of EE stuff that's great, and because this CD contained exclusive material from all three bands I had to pick it up. The Electric Eels were one of the snottiest bands ever and one of the earliest examples of punk rock. Totally raw, unrestrained punk rock from sketchy dudes making it up as they went. The first songs on here with drums are blasts of energy, then shit gets weird after that. "Now" is a weird, go nowhere song that sounds like they were just making noise. "You Crummy Fags" is an anthem if there ever was one. With drums it would have been one of the greatest and most covered punk tunes ever. Their set closes out with some great live stuff. The audience's laughter is one of my favorite things about this CD. The Styrenes are last and their chunk starts out with a track of electronic noise generated by Styrene-o-Phones (broken fuzz pedals rewired as noise makers). These noises make an appearance between most of the songs, actually, and they sound especially strange in contrast to the more folk-sounding songs on here like "Mr. Crab". There's some  krautrock-ish electronics stuff on here that was probably pretty groundbreaking here in the states. All of The Styrenes stuff is strange and the songs all sound different. I think I read somewhere that their drummer later joined The Cramps, but you won't here any of that here. This is a great CD. I'm glad I picked up a copy of it before it went out of print.)

1 comment:

gamma693 said...

I really need to do some proofreading before posting these things. Fuck.