Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Song to Do Bong Rips To

 Metal's version of Willy Nelson, Mike Scheidt, sure knows his way around heavy as fuck riffs. I've been jamming the new YOB album "Atma" for a couple weeks now and I'm coming around to the musical styling of doom metal much more easily then ever before. Especially the first song "Prepare the Ground". This track fucking KILLS and is to me the best on the album. The last three or four songs are much slower paced and emotionally heavy while "Prepare the Ground" is just heavy as fuck. It starts out with down strummed riffs that are chunky and full aurally. The same chord progressions remain prevalent through almost the whole song, building up the whole time. Not in speed but atmosphere and energy. There is a little slowing down before everything explodes at 6:45 into an ultra heavy Hadouken to pummel your face with the bong you are holding. It makes me want to swing a four foot glass bong around Pineapple Express style. This song is long enough to take a couple rips before the song and then one more big one four or five minutes into the song. Not my normal preferred song length but they're a doom band, what do you expect?

Stream the whole album here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hayaino Grindsuki

 So "Orphan" came out way back at the end of winter this year. I've been trying to keep it in rotation to fully digest it and get a feel for what's going on. What I like and don't like. The recording method (each song live in one take), production, mixing, all that jazz. At first listen, and reinforced by subsequent listening, I got a huge Hayaino Daisuki(Hi-No Die-Ski(or did I mean Hawaii Daisuki?)) feel. There's just sick speed metal shredding with Chang's high screams and fucking raging blast beats. Obviously faster with shorter songs then Hayaino Daisuki, and some of Chang's older low growls, there's not much of a difference to casual extreme music listeners. I'm not one of those and there's still not much difference. This isn't the Gridlink that fucked my skull a couple years ago, this is Hayaino Grindsuki. Chang and Matsuraba really outdid themselves on this album though. Everything is insane in speed and technicality. Where Hayaino Daisuki win in song writing Gridlink wins in skill and precision. Song lengths have been literally quartered. Gridlink's longest song on here is 1:28 with Hayaino Daisuki's shortest being just under 2:30, but averaging more at three minutes which is twice as long as any Gridlink song. Another huge difference is just production. The Hayaino Daisuki EPs sound crisp with an acute metal sheen of shredding seven string genius. They're the CD quality metal you would expect from Hydra Head circa 2002. Meanwhile this twelve song full-length is just as long as the new HD EP. Like stated earlier this album was recorded entirely live with each song being done in one take, this is very obvious in the four count that precedes almost every track. Think about that for a sec because it's incredibly impressive. Two footed blasting kept in time with staccato shredding riffs. This takes incredible amounts of practice to achieve. This very well may be what sets this LP apart from the previous "Amber Gray". A whole level of confidence and power. This record is several planes above "Amber Gray" in all aspects and it shows. All the hard work these dudes have put in yielded a truly insane piece of grind gold. "Orphan" is quite a fabulous record to sit down to sober or stoned. My favourite tracks are probably "Scopedog" and "I Accept Your Last Wish". I can't express why I like so much this time, but they stick out the most on repeated listens for me.
 A fun experiment to do is listen to the four Chang/Matsuraba collaborations in order. HD, Gridlink, HD, Gridlink. There's an obvious progression one can see and hear.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Demo Shit

 Third in my series is the band Barren Waste. One of the dudes in the band (Scott) sent an e-mail with the subject "Music for review" that only contained a link to Reverbnation and no other info. Upon clicking the link we learn they're from New Hampshire and that's sort of a relief because there aren't enough bands from states like that. Like Utah. How many bands are from Utah? Not enough, that's how many. But I digress. The second thing I noticed was the sweet artwork for their newest EP. Dunno where it came from but it has blasting robots and people fucking terrified, I dig it. Musically it starts off being hardcore and there's lots and lots of shredding that seems out of place, to the point of beeing noodly and annoying. And this coming from a guy that likes bands like Brain Drill and Necrophagist and PsyOpus. After seven or eight songs songs start getting really long and slow and boring. The band tries to start being progressive and free form, but it doesn't work. There is a lot of room for Barren Waste to develop, but they need to write actual songs. A straight grind band(which they are not) can get away with only blasting but when you try to incorporate other styles and genres into your music you need to learn actual songwriting too. I don't know how old these tracks are, but I'd be interested to hear some new stuff to see how it compares, and I'll apparently get the chance later this as the band is recording again at the end of the month.

There will be a two-part final post for the band Guilty As Sin who have sent me two CDs to review, I'm just a lazy hack and haven't listened to them enough to review yet, but I will get to it. Sorry for sucking at life Zach.

Altars of Meh

 Here's the second part of a short series reviewing things I've been sent in my e-mail. I got an e-mail from a dude named Justin Oakey with a link to a music video he made for the band Column of Heaven. They contain former members of Shank(awesome), Endless Blockade(meh) and Slaughter Strike(meh). It appears the end result of this amalgam of power-noise-violence in the vein of Bastard Noise. Not my cup of tea. Too much noise, too many electric gadgets and not enough punk. This band is for sure abrasive and intense, just not my preferred brand. The video Justin shot looks great (as well the rest of his work) I just don't understand the imagery or message it's trying to convey. It's too cosmic and cerebral for me.
 Final summation: Justin Oakey is a talented dude with a sweet future ahead of him. Noisy-violence bands are not what I like. Feel free to check them out yourselves though. Here are links to the EP and video, in that order.


"Ecstatically Embracing All That We Habitually Suppress"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Never A Cognitive Waste, Not A Post About Municipal Waste

 I got an e-mail today(sent yesterday) from a dude named Corey telling me he likes this blog and the bands I talk about. This makes me super pumped because it's not often people writing blogs get random affirmation e-mails. Unless you're Cosmo Lee. He said he found link from the other site I write on and has been reading mine for a while. I just wanted to give this dude some props for making my day start off fucking legit.
 I noticed at the end of his e-mail a well placed link to his band's Bandcamp page, so I checked it out. He plays bass with a dude in a band called Mental Waste.They remind me of a more hardcore influenced Nails. Less blasts and heavy as fuck riffs but plenty of circle pits and anger. I dig Bryan's vocals and lyrics as well. Bleak observations about humanity. Something interesting is that all the drums are programmed, AnB and Enemy Soil style. Corey and Bryan have been a band since February but haven't been able to keep a drummer due to time constraints and location. Mental Waste is from Califronia, but they're from the central coast which doesn't have a strong DIY scene and is full of kids in metalcore bands so finding a full time drummer has been difficult for them. They don't even have regular practices right now, but that doesn't hinder songwriting. Both dudes have been around a while in various bands (Corey is also in a doom band called Cold Mourning) so recording is an easy process for them according to Corey, "We take about 5 minutes to write some songs, then Bryan works on lyrics, we add vocals and we take a couple months to finish the recordings and get them mixed how we like." They've recorded four other songs and are just waiting to add vocals and mix them, but sort of feel a lack of impetus. So if anyone wants to help them do a 7" or a tape (I'm looking at you To Live A Lie and Last Anthems) get in touch with them so they can record more!
Get into their three song demo below.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Scorned for Ska

 Le Scrawl is not a band for everyone to listen to. They take thrashing, deathy, grindy metal and splatter it with bits of skas more surprising elements such as saxophone, organ and skanking 4x4 beats. This is for sure experimental music, but not in the vein most people think. There's no droning seven minute songs, no keyboards/synth/electro elements, no "atmosphere". Just grindska. Or skadeath. Or skagrind. Or thrashska. I really don't know what to call it besides enthralling and catchy as fuck. Could this be another case of music by location? Le Scrawl are from Belgium, which might have something to do with it. Wedged between France(prominent language in Belgium), Germany, The Netherlands and the English Channel with the UK to the North it makes sense where their influences come from. England was the start of the punky ska movement once it got exported from the Caribbean and Germany is a thrash/death metal Mecca. It all makes sense. I have no clue where their experimental impetus came from but man am I happy they found it.
 The thirteen songs presented here on "Eager to Please" start off with energetic metal that bounces and makes you wanna skank until the death metal slaps your face again. The first six songs do really well at alternating tempos and moods with middle songs slowing down to more mid-tempo and letting the organ and horns really shine through. The first three or four times you listen to this you'll ask yourself and those around you "Is this a joke? Are these guys for real?" The answer is fuck yes. It's for real. You probably will chuckle at what seems to be absurd, but you'll eventually go "Oh shit this is really good!". I personally love the metal riffs with guttural vocals that transition into the ska parts that are more light-hearted, with the sick guttural vocals. This interplay of atmosphere gives me the same feeling power-violence bands that play blasts into breakdowns give me.
 So do yourself a favor and get adventurous and experimental without listening to Boris.

"One by one, you will die"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Song to Do Bong Rips To

  Nails is a punishing hardcore band from California made up of stalwart scene vets, such as Todd Jones from Carry On and Terror. While still totally original and unique sounding, they can easily be lumped into what bands like Trap Them do, though only douche bags. The bands influences come from all over the place utilizing blast beats, short songs lo fi bass and circle pits. The obvious ones(to me) are Holy Terror bands (Integrity, Gehenna), Napalm Death, C.o.C./Crowbar and of course being fucking angry. But they have this song near the end of the new album that just shreds and is perfect for loading up a fat bowl on a bong.
 This specific song was the first Nails song I heard. It was on a Deathwish Inc. comp and is by far the sickest song on it. It's fast as fuck hardcore until 1:08 when it gets sludgy and heavy as fuck , finding it's relentless groove for the last (almost) two and a half minutes of the song. The end head banging groove has it's own tone with changing chord progressions, chugging riffs on guitar and bass, the latter of which incites old school stomps until the instruments fades out into a wall of distorted feedback.

"It's just a fucking lie!"