Friday, November 30, 2012

My Two Cents: The Box of Skinnies Pt. 3

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. 

ABORT MASTICATION / PATISSERIE - split CD (A.M. play straight up death metal. Not really my thing, but the vocals are comically high in the mix and make this more entertaining than it would be otherwise. The music is solid, just not the sort of thing I'm into. Patisserie's trax are awesome, as always. Super fast, technical, brutal and sick - like everything else they've released.  Spotless production, too.)

ANAL MASSAKER - "Old Ass Fuck" CDR (Anal Massaker are one of my favorite bands. With the exception of the 2006 demo at the end I already owned all of the releases on this collection, but it's nice to have digital copies of them. The split live tape with Barcass makes up half of this CD. The sound is excellent except that the kick drum is the loudest thing on the recording and during the blast parts it creates a pulsing "woosh woosh" sound that drowns everything else out. The split 7" with Barcass is on here as well, along with the "Ka-Ka" 7", their trax from the "Noise Against the Machine" 7", the split 7" with Deche-Charge, the aforementioned "372 Trax" 2006 demo and songs from another compilation tape I forgot the name of. Everything is recorded with vetting sound quality, but mostly pretty good. The guitars are always out of tune and dropped down so low the strings are floppy. The song structures are minimal with lots of blasting. Yep, this stuff is great. Another winner from R.O.N.F..)

ANAL MUSTARD / PERMANENT DEATH - "Drenched in Noise" CDR (A.M. play super noisy short blasts of goregrind. On every one of their trax the samples before the songs (all from South Park) are way longer than the songs themselves. This sounds like a boombox recording, maybe 4 track, but things are clear enough to make out all of the instruments. They'd be way better without the stupid samples, though. It's difficult to make out what's going on with this Permanent Death material. It sounds like a full band playing, but everything is completely maxed out and it sounds like harsh noise when they play fast parts. It's so over-the-top it's impossible not to like it. This CDR is less than 12 minutes, the perfect length for this kind of stuff.)

ASTRO LAXATIVE STRETCH - "The Rats in the Walls" CDR (This is pretty decent, another solo affair from Food Fortunata, I think. Its a bunch of short, sloppy punk songs with stupid vocals and junk rock solos. The addition of drums would help this greatly, but it's still fairly enjoyable without them.)

BACON AXE DECISION - CDR (This is a bunch of fun, upbeat punk songs with programmed drums and memorable riffs. Food's vocals are pretty good this time around, though it's difficult to make out what's being said most of the time. I've got nothing else to say about it. Sorry.)

BARNACLE BEAK - "Songs For the Workin' Man" CDR (Another one from the Wheelchair camp. This one is great. It's just vocals and acoustic guitar with electric guitar solos over it, but Food's vocals are really lively with funny lyrics and the guitar playing is really aggressive. The acoustic guitar is being strummed so hard it sounds like strings should be breaking. The electric leads over everything are directionless and really sloppy. I'm not doing this stuff justice by describing it. It's really dumb, but really enjoyable.)

BEARTRAP / CUNTS - "Tokyo Kuso Noise Grind Split" CDR (I've written much about Beartrap and what makes them great elsewhere on this blog. This stuff sounds like it was recorded during rehearsal and there aren't any of Tim's spoken introductions on this recording. The guitar could be louder, but the noisecore blasts on here are sloppy and fun. Cunts are also from Japan and are a two man outfit consisting of just drums and vocals. They're normally pretty good, but this recording is lousy and doesn't show how powerful they usually sound. I picked this CDR up at a record store in Tokyo years ago. It was because of this CD that I asked Beartrap to be the other band on the Stab! split.)

BERMUDA TRIANGLES - "Terror in the Tropics" CDR (Jason from CNP + Suppression sent me this as part of a trade a few years ago. I really like that Jason kept at it once the bottom fell out of that whole powerviolence scene, experimenting with different styles and shifting the focus of his label to releasing projects he and his friends do. This is one such project, and it's a tough one to pin down. Most of it seems to have been recorded using vocals, synth and a drum machine. If this were less weird it could be labeled synth-pop, but it's strange enough that this would be right at home in the Wheelchair Full of Old Men catalog. The arrangements are really minimal, sometimes borderline industrial sounding. This whole thing sounds like it could have been recorded in the mid-80s, actually. I can't say I enjoyed this very much. I'd rather hear his more aggressive stuff.)

BÊTE NOIRE / BOWEL FETUS - "Death By Static" CDR (I was in contact with the guy that did Bête Noire years ago, but I only acquired this CDR recently. It's been a long time since I've listened to any of his releases, and to tell the truth, I picked this up for the Bowel Fetus material. Harsh noise is a genre I want to like more than I already do, but my short attention span won't allow it. I think the problem is that I tend to listen to music intently, not as background. Focusing too much attention on sounds that rarely changes for more than 10 minutes at a time wears me out. As harsh noise goes, this is pretty good. There's some nice use of stereo effects and while the sounds are mostly one-dimensional, there's some interesting texture throughout. Bowel Fetus are a terrific one-man drum machine death metal band from Australia with the most exaggerated gore vocals ever. The riffing often sounds like old Autopsy and there's lots of blasting. As with most of his releases, the recording sounds great. This stuff is great.)

BILLY CRYSTAL METH - "6 Song Promo" CDR (We recorded this less than a month into our existence as a band on my 4 track. Everything was recorded live in one take without any overdubs, so it sounds pretty crummy and there are fuck-ups all over it. The other members had no idea we were even recording the day they showed up to practice. I just mic'ed everything quickly and recorded it so we'd have something to give away at shows. The last song was made up on the spot. It's strange hearing these songs before everything was slowed down. This isn't pretty, but it served it's purpose.)

CADAVER REMOVAL TECHNICIAN - "Knick-Knacks for Neceophiliacs" CDR (I'm pretty sure I got this from Ern/Vomit Spawn, though I can't remember if he had a hand in this or not. I thought I recognized his voice as backing vocals towards the end. It's a fairly decent rip-off of Catasexual Urge Motivation, and that's not an easy thing to pull off. The riffs and bass sounds are similar anyway. The vocals are kinda weak and a couple of the songs suck, but everything else about this is okay.) 

CEDRIC'S LETTUCE / ANAL SADNESS - split CDR (I was kind of worried about having to write about C.L. because I like the guy behind the project and I know he reads my posts regularly. Luckily, this is pretty good. With the exception of every song sounding the same, I really liked this. I may have gotten the bands reversed when I labeled this, but I don't remember C.L. having drums. The combination of primitive harsh noise and drum machine blasting is great. I'm sure there are other projects like this, but I haven't heard any. Anal Sadness is pretty dumb, though. Sounds like someone fucking around with a cheap keyboard through tons of distortion.)

C.S.M.D. / GORGONIZED DORKS - split CDR (I'm really happy with how this release turned out. C.S.M.D. sound different on most of their recordings, but they're always great. Their stuff on here sounds like it might have been improvised, but it all flows together really well. It's cosmic and almost psychedelic sounding. Their first track on here is one of my favorite noisecore recordings. Gorgonized Dorks like to switch things up as well. This stuff is fairly psychedelic sounding, too. There's nice use of delay throughout and the keyboard pushes this into sci-fi territory, or maybe low budget horror soundtrack territory. Either way, this is really good. It's nice to hear different approaches to a genre that's mostly devoid of innovation.)

DeSALVO - "Tonguescraper Pts 1&2 / Get in the Black Van" CDR (After searching for a copy of the first Stretchheads LP for 10+ years, I finally found a copy on eBay. I found P6's email address online somewhere and fired off a proposal to do a CD version of it on Mortville. He wrote back explaining that the masters were owned by the label and wouldn't be released without a ridiculous amount of money and a percentage of each CD sold going to the label. Fuck that... Anyway, he was kind enough to send me this demo of his new band through the post and it ended up being great, too. The "singer" and drummer both came from Stretchheads, so there's enough of that old noisy sound retained to make me instantly like this. It really does sound like Stretchheads covering old Helmet. Just think about that for a minute and how awesome that would be... These songs eventually found a home years later on Rock Action Records and they released a killer full-length CD.)

GRÜNT GRÜNT - "Promo" CDR (These same songs are on their s/t CD and I wrote about it earlier. I love this stuff. It's crazy metal-free grindcore from France, spastic and all over the place with ridiculous vocals. I still have some of their stuff for sale in my distro. People have no idea what they're missing out on.)

ENBILULUGUGAL - "Cultivating Goat Vomit" CDR (What a mess... I'm not sure why, but I thought these guys would sound like Gonkulator. When this started playing I thought it was harsh noise with vocals over it, but the longer it played I started hearing guitar riffs (I think they were guitars anyway) and the faint sound of a drum machine. Everything in this recording is fried to the point of being almost Merzbow-like in sound. By the end of this I was completely sold. The horribly awesome MS Paint cover art ties everything together nicely. I'm glad I picked this up, though I should have done so years ago.)

EXIT-13 / HEMDALE - split CD (I used to have this on 7", too, but sold it because I didn't really need it on both formats. I wish I had kept it now. This CD has live bonus tracks, so I kept it instead. I used to have a bunch more Exit-13 stuff, but this seems to be all that remains now. I like the studio songs just fine, but the live bonus songs are shit, really. Oh well... I bought this for the Hemdale tracks. Since hearing their demo in the mid-90s they've been one of my favorite bands in this style. In 1997 my friends and I drove to Illinois and suffered through an all day metal fest just to see them and it was totally worth it. These tracks are a little thin sounding, but the songs themselves are great. Lots of double bass action, blasting, stupid vocals and muddy guitar riffs. "Demented Surgical Incest" is one of their best songs and it's reason alone to check this out. The live tracks sound great, as good as the studio tracks do. This stuff rules.)

FOOD FORTUNATA - "François Echidna and the Terrible Rash" CDR (The cover says this is the accompanying CD for the book of the same name. I don't remember if I have the book or not, but I must. I'm sure Food wouldn't send me one without the other. This CD is really, really good. It sounds as if a lot of effort went into this one. The songs are strong and catchy and the recording is better than usual. Food's vocals are interesting throughout and the lyrics are always either funny or clever. When Food is on, he's untouchable.)

FOSSIL FUEL - "Christmas Album" CDR (For the longest time if asked who my favorite WCFOM band were I could answer Fossil Fuel without hesitation. They might have been edged out by Breathilizör in recent years, but I've spent a good chunk of the past 15 years listening to Fossil Fuel. When I still lived with my parents I blasted all kinds of horrible noise from my stereo and Fossil Fuel were the only band they complained about. My stepfather would open my door and yell "What in the FUCK is this SHIT you're listening to?!?" It's great when they can provoke a reaction like that in a sea of all the other crap I was listening to. That's impressive. This was recorded after a period of inactivity, but you'd never know by listening to it. It's just as awesome as any of the old cassettes. Drunken, twisted versions of all the holiday favorites plus a ton of original songs - all stupid and awesome. My copy came affixed to a red Christmas card with a lovely drawing of a reindeer being stabbed in the head with a knife. That sort of thing will get you in the holiday spirit real quick.)

FUCK OFF AND DIE - "Tentative Incisions" CDR (These guys play decent grindcore. Not particularly fast or flashy, but they're certainly capable musicians. The recording is a little thin and the drums sound like plastic Tupperware bowls, but the songs are pretty good. There's a lot of chunky death metal parts on here, more so than I remembered there being when I've listened to this in the past, but this is primarily grindcore. Nothing great, but I've certainly heard mountains of CDs that were worse. Worth checking out, anyway.)

FUNERAL MONGOLOIDS - "Swastika of Love" CDR (Finland's F.M. are one of the better noisecore bands in recent years. All of their stuff sounds like it could have been recorded in the late 80s. Their releases are consistently good, this one is no exception. 16 solid minutes of sloppy blasting, noise and amplifier destruction. I've had this CD for a few years now but didn't notice the yellowed with age, German language, folded up page from "Mein Kampf" inside the packaging until I went to put this on my iPod. I already loved this CD, but that makes me like it even more. Do yourself a favor and check them out.)

GROSS / VOMIT SPAWN - "White Claudia / Live Boot From a Keg Party" CDR (No clue who Gross is, but it's super lo-fi and harsh. The guitars sound like they might be keyboards ran through a distortion pedal, the vocals are one dimensional screaming and they drums sound like they came from a Casio keyboard. Everything is pushed into the red and maxed out. I already had this Vomit Spawn stuff on cassette, but bought this CDR recently because I hoped it would sound better on CDR. It doesn't. Even with the lousy sound, these guys sound really fucking intense. Vomit Spawn were one of the greatest grind bands ever.)

GRUPA X - "Fuck D(emo)" CDR (It took some work figuring out who these Russians were. All of the text on the cover was in Cyrillic. I had no recollection of acquiring this when I pulled it out of the box just now, no clue what it would sound like. It was a nice surprise to find some catchy grindcore on this thing. It's a bit on the primitive side with a lot of HC influence and there are moments that remind me of Patereni, but without all the dazzling guitar work. It reminds me of Irritate, too. This is meat and potatoes stuff, solid all the way through and the recording is perfect. I always feel stupid when I find I've been sitting on something great for years.)

GRUPA X / K.P.I.P.S.E.N.B.D.S.M. / SAUERKRAUT - "All We Need is Slivovitza" CDR (I guess Trifon from Sauerkraut sent me the above CD along with this one. I didn't make the connection until I translated Grupa X's name into English characters. Grupa X's material isn't recorded as well this time around, but the playing and style is consistent. Still somewhat primitive making it more appealing to me than it would be otherwise. Sounds like a 4 track recording. Other than the floor tom maxing out every time it's hit, everything sounds pretty good. The second band is a lot noisier with a live recording of really short songs, most of which would be considered HC, but there's a load of short noisecore songs, too. Not terrible, but nothing to get excited about either. Sauerkraut are the best of the three with a raw rehearsal recording of short grind/noise songs. The drumming seems to be tighter than usual this time around and you can hear the band laughing at themselves between some of the songs. I love it when stuff like that is left in.)

HOMOGENIZED TERRESTRIALS - "The Amazing Knife Throwing Monkeys of Pluto" CDR (Thinking back on it, Homogenized Terrestrials was probably the first ever noise or experimental music I heard, all thanks to my friend Brian's older brother working with the guy behind H.T. at our local grocery store for a brief period in the early 90s. I acquired a bunch of his tapes, either directly or by inheriting them from friends, but this was the first CD - released right at the beginning of CDR technology, and among the very first burned CDs I owned. The material on this CD was originally released on cassette back in 1986. I'm still not sure how this stuff is created. A lot of it sounds like looping and sound collage, but this was recorded before digital editing and sounds as if it would have been a lot of work editing it together on tape. Regardless of how it was created, this stuff is often nightmarish in sound, like a bad acid trip. Snippets of indistinguishable audio repeat under layers of reverb and feedback creating a thick, dense, dream-like mood; one track bleeding into the next. This is so much better in my 30s than it was in my teens.)

IMMOLATION - "Providence" CD (I know fuck all about Immolation. Growing up and buying death metal cassettes with my lunch money there were a lot of important bands I didn't get to hear. Once I started listening to grindcore and Sore Throat I lost interest in death metal and never got around to checking out a lot of bands people consider to be crucial. I've also never once heard Malevolent Creation and, outside of their collected 7"s on those Relapse compilations, I've never heard Incantation. My friend Brian liked Immolation back in high school, though, so we went to see them when they played in Des Moines - the first time since the early 90s, apparently. This EP, released by Scion, sounds great and the songs are crushing. I don't often have the urge to listen to death metal, but this stuff is great. I guess you don't get to record for a car company if you're shit. I don't like it enough to want  to check out more of their releases, but I'll enjoy the shit out of this CD for free.)

JAPANESE TORTURE COMEDY HOUR - "50,000 JTCH Fans..." CD (I had this playing in the background while I was paying bills this morning, worried about finances and I'm sure it made my mood even worse. I was sweating with concern and this was the worst possible thing to be listening to at the time. Plain and simple, this CD is filled with walls of noise. Not one constant sound like HNW, but there's never a break from unpleasant noise. This was recorded back when JTCH was still just Scott Hull's project and there's fuck-all information in the liner notes.)

KNIGHT, DAN & THE DON BLEW TRIO - "Christmas!" CD (It's strange, but the only Christmas music I like are the jazzy albums. Dan Knight is a concert pianist I know nothing about. Don Blew, however, is a legendary figure in Ottumwa's music scene. I'm not old enough to have seen him in his heyday, but I jumped at the chance to see him when they played a Christmas concert at our high school years back. I know his son, Tony, through my parents. He's a funny guy, really nice and easy to get along with. He's a talented musician, gifted artist and pretty good with a paint brush. Don and his two sons provided the instrumental support for Dan that evening and on this CD. These are jazz arrangements of Christmas songs with solo trade-offs between the piano and guitar. Both Dan and Don play with fluidity. The recording is live, but with a pretty decent mix. This is excellent.)

LÄRM - "Extreme Noise" CD (I haven't listened to this in years, but when I got it I was hugely into it and listened to it almost constantly. My friend Zeno had dubbed me a bunch of their stuff and I loved it, but the only release I was ever able to track down a legit copy of was their live 7". When this CD was released it was a blessing and I jumped on it. I must have one of the earliest copies because there's an insert apologizing for the fucked up track listing and gave the correct listing on the opposite side. I've since seen this in jewel case packaging, but mine is in a pocket folder with a booklet. Upon revisiting it today for the first time in nearly a decade I found it to be a lot sloppier and less "brutal" than I remembered it being. Everything is so out of tune, mistakes all over the place, shitty recordings, etc. It's amazing people hold them in such high regard when there are other bands that achieved that same accidental noisecore sound and are almost completely forgotten. I remember listening to this and thinking how extreme it was. Today it still sounds extreme, but equally sloppy. It does tighten up slightly towards the end, I guess. Still really enjoyable, but not at all like I remembered.)

LETTUCE VULTURES - "Another CD Full of Songs That No One Really Wants to Hear" CDR (This is the newest release and it sounds different than the others, like there's a new drum machine and someone else playing guitar. Stylistically this is pretty much the same, but it's updated sonically.The lyrics are a lot easier to make out and I like the addition of backing vocals this time around.)

LETTUCE VULTURES - "Patrick" CDR (The cover says this was recorded for one of their/his friends, Patrick, who died recently and the first song deals with the subject. The rest of this CD is business as usual, the same punk rock with great, sloppy guitar solos and lyrics dealing with politics and current events. Food's vocals sound as if they were recorded in the bathroom on this one. There's a strange hollow sound on this entire disc. This is pretty good, like all the other Lettuce Vultures stuff.)

LETTUCE VULTURES - "This is Why We Don't Do Long Songs / I'm a Little Bit Disappointed in the Current State of the World" CDR (Compiled here are the first two Lettuce Vulture cassette releases. I'm really enjoying this today. The first demo is slow and noisy and the guitar sound is really scratchy. Lots of stupid, noisy solos on here, too, like he's channeling Greg Ginn or Ted Falconi. Food's vocals are really lazy and are a stark contrast to the angry, sarcastic anti-authority lyrics he's singing. The songs are all between 4 and 6 minutes long and are really repetitive. On the second tape the songs are all less than 2 minutes long, but more or less sound the same. The vocals are a little more inspired and the guitar isn't quite as noisy, but little else has changed. This CDR was very enjoyable.)

MALACHI / THE BASTARD NOISE - "The Immortals" CD (I really liked the Malachi half of this CD. It's really heavy, dynamic and dark sounding. Usually the addition of cello sends my eyeballs rolling into the back of my head, but it was a nice touch on this stuff. Their second track is a long atmospheric kraut-ish noise piece with dreamy, mellow female vocals in the background. Really cool... B.N. tracks are pretty good, too. I haven't listened to much of their stuff, but I was expecting screaming over harsh oscillator blips - not dark ambient with melodic vocals over it. I guess they haven't done that "MOLOCH!!!!!!" thing for a while now, but that's what I was expecting. This was a pleasant surprise.)

MAYHEM DECAY CUDGEL - "The Scene is You!!!" CDR (Zach Howard released this demo collection on his label Fuck Music Productions. Up until now I've only heard these guys on compilations. I think this falls into the accidental noisecore category. It sounds like they're trying to play "real" structured songs, but the results are a complete mess. Whether intentional or not, these songs are wonderfully disjointed, sloppy and noisy. The drums always sound as if they're trying to keep up with the guitar, the guitar sounds like a buzzsaw and the vocals sound like a rabid dog devouring humans. Zero progression as a band from one release to the next, in playing ability or in recording quality. Everything recorded on a boombox either out of necessity or for maximum noise potential. Only they know which. I'm not sure it matters.)

MIKE LOVE 666 - "Album #12" CDR (I can't remember listening to this before today. I got it with a huge package from Reality Impaired years ago and it got lost in the shuffle. This is noisy stuff, lots of popular music samples looped with garbled noise and spoken samples over them; equal parts harsh noise, plunderphonics with a touch of trip-hop.)

MINCH - "7" Collection 1990-2006" CD (Everyone into noisy music knows Minch. They're one of the oldest noisecore bands here in America and one of the most revered. This CD collects all of their vinyl output. I had this long thing typed out about how I didn't really like any of their material except for the first EP and the split with Mamarracho thinking maybe it was a case of too many cooks: fans of the original Minch incarnation getting involved and diluting it somehow, but listening to this again today I've decided that was a bunch of horse shit. Most of this stuff is really great, but I will say that the improved sound on the recordings from 1998 on loses a lot of the charm from the earlier stuff. There's a lot of surface noise from the vinyl transfers this material was taken from. It's a shame the original masters couldn't have been utilized for this CD, but it is what it is. This, too, is out of print now.)

NASTY SAVAGE - "Psycho Psycho 2 Minute Sampler" CDR (I've never listened to this before today because I wanted to hear the whole album intact. I never got around to buying a copy (shame on me, they're one of my favorite metal bands). This CDR has every song on the album, but only the first 2 minutes of each song. Every song cuts abruptly at the 2 minute mark. Sucks, because this is really fucking good. This is classic Nasty Savage, no updating their sound at all. This sounds like a natural progression from "Penetration Point", recorded really well, too. Those great backwards sounding riffs are still here, solid drumming and Ronnie's vocals sound excellent. I really need to find a legit copy of this now. I feel stupid for not buying this already. Fuck.)

NAZARENE WHORE - "Black Vulva Christ EP" CDR (8 minutes of 2-3 second trax of drum machine noisecore with pitch-shifted gore vox. No guitars, just the same drum machine blast for 8 minutes. Every song sounds identical.)

NOCTURNE FOR A DYING PLANET - CDR (It took me a long time to figure out what this CD was when I ripped it. There was no title on the front, no label on the CD, etc. I Google'd the first song title hoping it would dig something up and it ended up being the band/project's name. You'd never know that by looking at the cover, though. "Nocturne For a Dying Planet" was listed in the same font, same size and directly in line with the same spacing as the other titles. Just as it was difficult figuring out what this was, I'm having a difficult time formulating words to describe the sounds on this disc. It's dark and minimal most of the time. Not quite "noise", but not active enough to be considered music exactly. The whole thing has sort of a thriller/horror soundtrack quality to it. The tracks flow seamlessly into one another and give this a narrative quality.)

NOISE NAZI / CEDRIC'S LETTUCE - split CDR (Fuck, all of this noise is wearing on me. N.N. sounds like it might just be one dude. This is really lo-fi noise stuff, sounds like pre-existing recordings ran through loads of distortion and effects. It's not particularly harsh or interesting. I did like the song with the repeated "Nazi faggots" sample throughout. That was funny. Cedric's Lettuce are the better of the two projects, for sure, but their material on the Anal Sadness split was better. This is still really harsh, lots of stupid keyboard playing treated with mountains of distortion. Some of the tracks are better than others, but mostly this is pretty good.)

NOJSBOJS - s/t 7"
FILTHY CHARITY / S.R.M.P. - split 7"
MAMARRACHO - "Fifty-Nine" 7"
PROJECTILE AFTERBIRTH - "Hats Off to Larry" 7"
BRAINBOMBS - "Stigma of the Ripper" 7" (This is a CDR I made from 7"s I ripped. Nojsbojs - pronounced "Noise Boys", I assume, are a fantastic noisecore band from Sweden. This was one of my favorites in the late 90s, sounds even better today. The noise blasts are great, but there's lots of interesting stuff going on between them. Sadly overlooked, this band...Filthy Charity are a decent grind band from France with ridiculous vocals. Sounds like a drum machine, too. S.R.M.P. are really sloppy, but noisy and enjoyable. This record always sells cheap when I see it. Not sure why it's not collectable like those other Psychomania releases are... Mamarracho are pure insanity, one of the greatest noisy bands ever. Nobody else sounds like them and all of their releases are excellent. Another one of my regrets with Mortville was that I couldn't make that discography CD happen. I tried... INMF was Seth Putnam's short-lived acoustic black metal project. It's a funny idea, but enjoyable for about 2 minutes. Still, I'm happy to have this in my collection... To my knowledge, Projectile Afterbirth only did this one release. I didn't find out until recently that one of the guys from Stench of Corpse was behind it. I guess this is a tribute of sorts to "Wildman" Larry Fischer. His vocals are sampled over tense background noise and explosions of harsh noise and distorted vocals. This really is a strange record, not at all what I expected given the name of the project. The noise just underlines Larry's mental illness and makes it really dark. This is creepy stuff... Brainbombs are consistently great, of course, but in recent years I've given up on collecting all of their records. Under-pressing things on purpose is just stupid and I'm not playing that game. I'll still listen to their records, though, if I can find rips of them. If they don't want people downloading their music, they should press enough copies to meet demand. Fuck them.)

NUCLEAR VULVA / LARVATUS - "Black Mass Dysentery / Unholy Demo 1" CDR (Nuclear Vulva do a weird mixture of techno/dance music with noise blasts, the kind of stuff I imagine Eurotrash listen to while stuffing themselves full of drugs and hanging out at all-night raves looking for sluts to creep on. It's all really bouncy and happy sounding and the noise parts fit in seamlessly. I'm not really into this, but it seems like its well done. Larvatus are great! Total blasting grind/noise with everything completely blown-out on the recording. The first trac  is cut-up not unlike Aunt Mary's recordings, but the rest either fade out at the end or end abruptly. I wish the whole thing was cut-up like the first song.)

PENIS ENLARGEMENT / SAUERKRAUT - split CDR (The cover that came with my CDR is a cassette cover, so I don't know if this was released on CDR or not. Penis Enlargement are an Italian noisecore band made mostly of members from 2 Minuta Dreka, I believe. I never understood why a change in style required a whole different band. I love it when bands change styles completely between releases. Anyway, P.E. are great. It's nothing more than talking between noise blasts, all recorded on a boombox or single input recorder. Everything is in the red, so the noise blasts are nice and maxed out. Sauerkraut are amazing, the little band that could. They get better with each release, but it's their shortcomings that make them great. They sound like all those South American grindcore bands that are always "off" somehow. There isn't much to complain about on this release, though. Sure, the recording is a little strange, but the playing is fairly tight. The vocals are ridiculous on the entire recording, but that's a mark in their favor. Lots of cover songs, as is usually the case for these guys. This stuff oozes charisma, that's what makes them so great.)

PESTILENT DECAY - "Traces of a Massacre" CDR (I don't remember where I got this, but there was a note written inside the cover from "Rodrigo" explaining that this was his new band. The only Rodrigo I know was from Sweden and ran a label I traded with. Anyway, this is decent grindcore with dual vocals: one pitch shifted, the other doing highs. This kind of sounds like those old Retaliation recordings, but not as good. Sounds like they're using a drum machine, but it doesn't sound generic like they often do. If the vocals were better this would be really good. The whole thing is less than 6 minutes long.)

POOP SHIP DESTROYERS - "Live @ Paroxis '94" CDR (Paroxis was an annual live music event put on by a local zine, Real Life, and hosted by my friend Mike in his basement. Poop Ship Destroyers were a short-lived band that probably played more than this one show, but this was the only time I saw them that I can remember. I guess this would be considered punk, but it's not very aggressive in style. It sounds as if they're making the songs up as they go and between songs you can hear them discussing song structures. Everything is really sloppy and out of tune, the vocals are barely audible (mostly because of the strange mix coming out of the PA) and when they're present they're mumbled. On it's own, this is pretty lousy. It's a nice piece of nostalgia for me, but if you weren't there when it happened, it probably wouldn't interest you.)

RHINESTONE RASH - "Strange Sessions" CDR (My friend Travis played with these guys for a while. I only got to see them play once before things fell apart. They played a show with BCM at Travis' studio, but the singer didn't show up for some reason or other leaving the guitarist to take over vocal duties for the night. Outside of that one show, this three song CDR is all I know of them. The first thought I had while listening to this was how much the singer sounds like Doc Corbin Dart of the great Crucificks. So much so that it's unbelievable to think he's never heard them before, but apparently that's the case. These guys were inspired by the old LA scene, specifically X, and Crucifucks never entered their consciousness. This is "punk", not "core", everything well played and with that song writing economy that goes along with that genre. No parts wasted, just enough to get things done, not skimping on anything in the process. The recording, of course, is spotless. I can't imagine many people heard this. Too bad...)

SCHNAUZER - "Live 11/30/2002" @ The Phantasy" CDR (Spotless soundboard recording of these Ohio goofballs. I think most of this ended up as bonus tracks on the "When Your Bitch is in Heat" CD. The banter between songs is really stupid, so I don't listen to this very often. I love their records, though. I guess those are just stupid enough. 45 minutes of this at once is a bit much to endure, too.)

SCREAMING AFTERBIRTH - "Milwaukee Metalfest 2003 Promo" CDR (No clue how I obtained this one as I haven't attended any of the fests. I suppose as far as death metal in 2003 goes, you could do a lot worse. Nice recording with tight drumming and a pingy snare sound, pig squeal vocals and solid guitar playing. There's a Terrorizer cover on here, so at least they're influenced by the right kind of bands. These six songs ended up on their split CD with Mincing Fury and the Gutteral Clamor of Queer Decay, so if you have that one you aren't missing anything here. Not too shabby...)

SMOKESTACK AND THE FOOTHILL FURY - "Ain't Gonna Pine" CDR (This guy jumped on a show I saw in Iowa City at the last minute last year. It was pretty impressive; he was playing guitar, drums and singing all at once. His drum set consisted of a kick and a snare, both operated by a modified double bass pedal. He was a true one man band and the audience loved him. He had a stack of these CDs up by the stage while he played and told people to feel free to take one, but urged them to donate some money if they could since he wasn't getting paid for the show. I was happy to throw in a couple of bucks to get a copy. This is high energy, raucous bluesy stuff with lots of slide guitar. Think Mojo Nixon on his earliest albums, but without the stupid lyrics. I was initially let down by how good this CD sounded after his raw performance on stage, but while over-produced, this sounds really good. The songs are performed with just as much energy here. I'm really enjoying this today.)

SPAZZ / LACK OF INTEREST - "Double Whammy!" split CD (I had this on vinyl, too, but sold it and kept this CD for the bonus tracks. I haven't listened to it since the 90s. Again, Spazz sound painfully average to me. No clue how they blew up as big as they did. I don't know who's vocals are who's, but the deep death metal vocals and the Infest-like vocals are stupid. I've always thought L.O.I.'s vocals were stupid, too. I actually prefer the original guy's vocals. Somewhere I have mp3s of an LP they recorded with Trevor but never released. It's pretty good. If you can look past these vocals, the rest of their music is pretty enjoyable. The bonus material from both bands is live, both with good soundboard quality. There's 20 minutes from Spazz and 7 from L.O.I..)

SYSTRAL - "Fever" CD (These guys had a lot of buzz surrounding them while they were still together in the mid-90s. I picked this CD based on a recommendation from my friend Zeno, but I could never get into it. It sounds like all those pretentious, apocalyptic crust/HC bands that probably heard Neurosis and tried to do something similar (I'm not crazy about Neurosis either, btw). If the high vocals weren't so pansy sounding I could probably bring myself to like this more than I do, but it's too emo for me. The longer it plays the more I hate it.)

TDFNTFOTCFISOHOTDN / SAUERKRAUT - "2009 Split" CDR (Amazingly enough, that first band name is an acronym, but I can't remember what it stands for now. This sounds like a metal version of Buka, even the recording sounds the same. This is really sloppy, but in no way jokey. Another case of a band reaching too far and coming up short. Sauerkraut are fairly noisy on this release. Lots of short songs and sloppy covers of classic grindcore songs. The recording is complete shit, sounds like a garbled mp3 at 32 kbps.)

TOTAL YOUTH - "Destroy Corporate Hardcore" CDR (A convincing jab at hardcore punk by Poopy Necroponde and company (maybe it's just him?). This shit rules. The songs are short, fast and tough with shouted vocals about fake punks and about how metal sucks. The cover art has a quiz on it to determine if you're punk or not. I've listened to this a ton and it's always fun and entertaining. One of my favorite Poopy releases.)

TRAUMA / CALLIGERY - split CDR (This Trauma stuff is great, sounds like a lost Deicide demo from the 80s. The music isn't quite as metal, but the vocals are 100% in line with that style. This is raw death metal, but with quite a bit of melody. I dig it. Calligery also play death metal, a little less dark and melodic and a bit more thrashy than Trauma. They're also less interesting as a result of being tighter. This whole thing was pretty good, though.)

VAMPYRO / SPERMSHOT SOLDIERS - "Is This Good Enough For the Radio?" CDR (Vampyro play a weird mixture of techno, hardcore and black metal. Their vocals are annoying, but that guitar sound is raging! Sounds like Scroungers or the guitar on the Wadge demo. I guess this kinda sounds like Impaled Nazarene, but a bedroom version. S.S are a strange bunch. The first song sounded like a one man bedroom black metal project recorded on a boombox, then the second song sounded like a sloppy punk song. Third song was nearly grind/noise, etc. It's all really Lo-Fi bored-core stuff, but not too terrible.)

VENTILATOR - "EP + Unreleased" CDR (I downloaded all of this stuff from Toni/Anal Massaker on soulseek years ago. Ventilator are one of those German noisecore bands I heard about early on, but didn't get to hear until years later. To my knowledge, the only released the self titled EP and a split 7" with DSFA which I only recently obtained, but a search of Discogs shows two cassette releases I had no idea even existed before today. This CDR has four recording sessions, the first of which the s/t 7" came from. The second the split with DSFA. There are songs from both of these sessions that didn't make it on to vinyl and another two sessions totaling 37 minutes in length that weren't released at all. This stuff is more on the grinding end of the spectrum, but every song ends in a blast of noise. This is typical of most of the German noisecore bands of that era. If you like B.R.B., W.B.I., etc, it's safe to say you'll like this too. The last two sessions on here sound similar to Tumor. At least one of these guys is playing Slaughter of the Innocents now and they're also really good.)

VITAM ETERNAM - "Blackened Dreams of Nocturn" MCD (It's worth noting that this might be the first black metal band from Iowa, certainly the only black metal band from Ottumwa, and with the exception of Angelkill, they're probably the only Iowa band to have released something on Wild Rags. Having said that, I'm not into this at all. I don't like black metal, even when good friends of mine are playing it. Everything is played really well and the recording sounds great, but I don't give a fuck about this kind of music at all. EDIT: I listened to this a few times since and with repeated listens have grown to really like a lot of the guitar riffs on here. The vocals are still really annoying to me, though.)

WILSON, BRIAN - "A Conversation With Brian Wilson" 2CDR (I bought this at a record convention in Des Moines, IA sometime in the early 2000s. I guess this was broadcast over the radio because there are commercial breaks (edited out) on here. The very beginning of the first disc says "DIR is proud to present a conversation with Brian Wilson", but I have no clue what DIR is. Those don't sound like radio call letters. Maybe it was TV? There are two interviews on here, both from 1977, totaling 2 hours. The first interview talks about the career and history going back to their childhood, how they got along as brothers, Brian's views on pop music, his song writing approach, drugs, self-hypnosis, etc. The interview is cut-up with segments of their music reflecting the time period they're discussing. The second interview takes place at Brian's home and they cover "Smile", their impact on their audience, his future plans and "music nausea". I listened to this once on the drive home after buying it, then never listened to it again. I'm really enjoying it today. It's a nice break from all the harsh noise I've been spinning.)

WORMROT - "Noise" MCD (First time hearing these guys. I picked this CD up at the Immolation show as it was sitting on the table along with some Scion literature. 6 brief minutes of fucking fast grindcore with brutal vocals and tight drumming. The recording kind of sucks (not noisy enough to enhance it and not good enough to do these songs justice), but there's some quality playing going on throughout this release. I dig this one.)

XYSMA - "Swarming of the Maggots" Demo
XYSMA - "Fata Morgana" 7"
XYSMA - "Above the Mind of Morbidity" 12"
ABHORRENCE - "Vulgar Naecrlartry" Demo
CREMATORY - "Denial" 7"
(I've written about all of this Xysma stuff when I listened to that 2CD set earlier this year, but I kept this CDR for the other stuff at the end. I downloaded all of this shit from soulseek years ago when it was impossible to track down. This stuff rules, but I still like their rock albums more. Abhorrence and Crematory are both great, too.)

Z.A.T.H. - "Zebra Amplified Turd Harpoon" CDR (Z.A.T.H. is a project Food Fortunata does with Sluggisha. On each release, the letters stand for something different. They split up vocal duties evenly, alternating every song. Sluggisha's vocals are high, silly and almost freestyle rap-like. The music behind his tracks sounds like it was played on a cello or upright bass. Most of Food's vocals are pitch shifted really high, but towards the end we hear his natural voice. The music behind his tracks consist of drum machine and distorted electric bass, I think. This is a long CD, but it wasn't difficult to sit through like some of Food's releases can be.)

V/A - "Black River Recordings Compilation Vol.1" CDR (I haven't even thought about this CD since I got it, and that's been a really long time ago. Here's the line-up: Ethodius, Desolation Iced, Reality Check Review, Euphoric Downslide, The Pakman, Sonovox, Savage Acid, Mythodical Age, Self Inflicted, F2RC and something listed as Black River Improvisational. Most of this is synth based experimental stuff, some noise stuff thrown in, most of it is instrumental. All of it is fairly mellow and listenable. Not a bad way to spend 74 minutes, much better than I thought it would be.)

V/A - "Now Who's Crazy?" CD (This is a Drag City Records sampler I got from my friend Mike who worked there for a while. I'm not very familiar with most of this stuff, but a few of these artists I have full lengths from - also through Mike. The Loose Fur song is good, but the vocals are annoying. The music itself is minimal and hypnotic growing more active towards the end. Neil Michael Haggerty does sort of a folky song that I'm not much into. Azita's song is a nice piano backed singer/songwriter piece. Sounds like something you'd hear on one of Nilsson's older albums. Imitation Electric Piano are great, from a couple of the people from Stereolab. Musically they're quite similar. (smog) aren't too bad, but not something I'd reach for anytime soon. Continental/OP do an ethnic sounding instrumental. Scene Screamers are irritating. Monade sounds like something you'd hear on one of Morricone's film scores. Sounds like the woman from Stereolab singing. Alasdair Roberts does a straight-up folk song. Papa M is pretty mellow, but the song and singing are both pleasant. Bonnie "Prince" Billy is a name I've heard thrown around a lot, but this is the only song I've heard of his. It's okay, I guess. I suppose if I listened to more of his songs this might grow on me. The Suntanama sounds like a wimpy version of Roky Erickson.)

V/A - "Promo" CD (This is the first Relapse Records promo CD from 1997, the one with "PROMO" in black on an all white background. I've had this for years, have never listened to it. It's not terrible, and a lot of these bands I've not heard before today. The only bands I had heard from this were Xysma, Brutal Truth, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Merzbow, Dissecting Table and Mortician. I'll probably never listen to this again, but it was okay.)

V/A - "Riot on Ramsay St." CD (This was compiled and released as a fund-raiser for a bookshop in Australia. Most of these bands are HC with some other shit mixed in. I'm not feeling up to a track-by-track breakdown, but the stand-outs on here are Phobia (not that Phobia), Stand Against, Walsh Street Cop Killers, Vicious Circle, + Self Reliance. Most of this was lousy.)

V/A - "Solid" CD (Like the above CD, I've owned this for years and have never listened to it. In fact, this one was still sealed. Brutal Truth tracks were okay. Today is the Day did nothing for me. First time hearing Unsane, really liked them. Bongzilla are stupid and combine two things I hate: stoner rock and black metal vocals. Nightstick are terrible. Anal Cunt are great (duh!), but I'm sick of hearing this song. Soilent Green are better than I remember them being, but still not really my thing. Incantation's song is great, one of the best on here. Nile is cheesy fun. Agoraphobic Nosebleed are pretty good, too. I really haven't heard anything of theirs since their old 7" days. Blood Duster are terrific and these songs are from their best album, in my opinion. I can really only stomach 2-3 Mortician songs at a time, so this works for me. Those intros are so fucking long, though. Does anyone actually enjoy sitting through those fucking things? The Hemdale song on here is from their full length that was never released. It doesn't appear on their discography CD, either, so it's exclusive to this promo CD. Abscess are great. This song is really hardcore sounding, great leads. C.S.S.O. were one of the greatest bands ever and this is from their best period. Flesh Parade were a standout on here. First time hearing them, too. Benumb were great. Deceased were great on here, too. I need to get some of their stuff. Mindrot were heavy, but not very good. Karanoudjan aren't my thing either. If you can look past all the stoner rock, this is an okay sampler.)

V/A - "Wreckage Noise Compilation" CDR (This disc rules. Ronnald from Purulent Shitface put it together (why can't I ever remember the name of his label?). A list of the bands/projects on here says it all: Gore Beyond Necropsy, Ulcerrhoea, Nihil-Fist, Princess Army Wedding Combat, Government Alpha, Senseless Apocalypse, Fast Forward, Sickness, Gore Fuck Damage, Arsedestroyer, Noisecorefreak, T.E.F., DxIxEx, Circuit Wound + Nikidorei. There's no information listed at all and I don't think these songs are exclusive or anything, but this is a nice collection of harsh sounds.)

No comments: