Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bad Brains - Bad Brains

I've been a bit busy with the Agalloch album, studio work, the Self Spiller debut album and moving, so this blog has been woefully neglected. I leave next week to move back to Portland, so I am afraid it will be neglected some more in the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, I leave you with a band, and record, I have been listening to a lot in the last month or so. The legendary Bad Brains. This is their debut album from 1982. The version I have posted is a re-release with one bonus track.

And with that, I am sailin' on...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Corvus Corax - The Atavistic Triad

A mostly unknown Pagan gem from Seattle's Corvus Corax. Released in 2000 on the Dark Symphonies label, the album made a relatively small splash in the scene, but deserves much more attention than it ever received.

If this album was released today it would be touted by critics as "amazing Cascadian Black Metal" or some such, but as it is, it was released long before its time and is largely unknown.

More info HERE and download HERE

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Covenant - In Times Before the Light

Covenant used to be good. No really, they did. Before they changed their name to The Kovenant and went all electro on us, they released "In Times Before The Light," their debut album. This was in 1996 and at the time Nagash's more known project Dimmu Borgir was still relevant, and black metal from Norway was still more good than bad. This album featured just two members, Nagash of Dimmu Borgir, and another dude from Troll.

After this album they got some more members, like some guy named Hellhammer, some chick named Sarah Jezebel Deva, and some piano tinkler named Sverd, and made a supergroup of sorts and released "Nexus Polaris." I will admit that I liked that album quite a bit, but it has never been the same since this first album.

Of course after their sophomore record, they changed their name, went electro goth, and started to be completely horrible. Then, they did the unthinkable and and remixed and re-recorded "In Times Before The Light" to match their new style. Utterly gross and unnecessary. Why sully your previous work? ugh...

Anyway, here is their debut album, a lost gem.

More info HERE and download HERE

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lawnmower Deth / Metal Duck - Mower Liberation Front / Quack 'Em All

You may not believe it possible, but Lawnmower Deth is one of my favorite bands. Yes, it is true. I love their unique humor, and obsession with lawnmowers, and of course their awesome riffs and hooks.

This is a supremely rare split, Lawnmower Deth and Metal Duck that I found in a used record store in Minneapolis on Lake Street. It is not their best material, but I am posting it as it is very rare and mostly unknown.

Here's to the flying killer cobs!

More info HERE and download HERE

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I.S.S. - Forget About The Girl

I.S.S. or Ideal Social Situation has only released this one album, published in 2002. The band is lead by Estradasphere bassist Tim Smolens, it is his nod to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, as well as the whole boy band phenomenon.

For those familiar with Estradasphere, perhaps you are also familiar with the songs where Tim comes out front and croons, if you are, this is for you.

It is rather hard to describe this music, as it is so well constructed and executed, that calling it a joke or a parody seems to fall short of what is actually delivered. I am sure that some is tongue in cheek, but you can also tell that Tim has a deep love for the music, but can also poke fun at it.

Definite must listen for Estradasphere fans or those who love The Beach Boys.

More info HERE and download HERE

Friday, May 7, 2010

Schloss Tegal - Black Static Transmission

This is one of my absolute favorite experimental/electronic/ambient noise whatever you want to call it albums. When this was released in 1999, I used to take my lunch breaks at work, lay down on a couch in the break room with my headphones on, close my eyes and be terrified.

This, along with projects like Contagious Orgasm, are the ones I refer to when people claim noise or experimental electronics has no organization, and has no craft involved. When done right, music like this is more difficult to compose well than any metal band. There is no framework, no structure, no blue print to guide you.

If you are a fan of industrial/noise/ambient, and you do not have this, do yourself a favor. If you never cared for the aforementioned genres, do yourself a favor and try this album. It may change your mind.

More info HERE and download HERE

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Forced Entry - As Above, So Below

I am not the biggest thrash metal fan. Sure, I like most of the classics, but for me, Thrash Metal was merely a stepping stone to Death Metal. But Forced Entry's 1991 album "As Above, So Below" is a groundbreaking and mostly unrecognized classic with thrash.

This has the usual humor and good time feelings that is inherent in most thrash, but it is also wholly unique in the fact that it sounds like no other band. This band was fairly short lived, had only two full length albums, this one being their last. Check this out if you are not familiar, it is undoubtedly worth it.

More info HERE and download HERE

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Godkiller - The Rebirth Of The Middle Ages

In 1996, this EP absolutely blew me away. Burzum or early In The Woods style screams with the blatantly synthesized horns of Norwegian bands like early Enslaved mixed with the melody of mid '90s Dimmu Borgir, and yet more raw than was the style at the time. At this time, Symphonic Black Metal was the flavor of the month, and albums became more and more slick and polished. This EP came out of nowhere and made a small, yet indelible mark.

After this EP the band released two strong albums, and hasn't been heard from since. It is easy to forget this band is a one-man band, as it does not sound like it in the least. Also surprising is the fact Godkiller is from Monaco. Not exactly the first place you think of when it comes to awesome black metal.

This is really a must have. A blazing gem from a time when metal was really exciting, and unfortunately, this one was passed over by many.

More info HERE and download HERE

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cultus Sanguine - Cultus Sanguine EP

I got such a positive response from my Ras Algethi and Monumentum posts, that I thought I would throw out another heavy hitter, my personal fave next to Ras Algethi, Cultus Sanguine.

Momumentum leader, Roberto Mammarella goes by the name Aqua Regis in Cultus Sanguine, and with his involvement, you pretty much know what to expect from this Italian group; lush atmospheres, heavy heavy dread and oppressing sadness.

The band released only two full length albums, all of which are decent, but my favorite is this EP from 1995 released before any of their full length efforts.

More info HERE and download HERE

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Soundgarden - Screaming Life/Fopp

I was talking to a friend today and the subject of Soundgarden came up and I mentioned these two EPs "Screaming Life" and "Fopp" and he had heard neither. So, I thought this post was necessary.

People who recognize how great this band are, are usually stuck in the "Superunknown" or "Badmotorfinger" crap, which is ok, but that stuff is fairly useless. Moments here and there, but overall a snooze fest. The REAL Soundgarden exists only on "Louder Than Love" and earlier. These two EPs are from '87 and '88 respectively, and this compilation of both EPs on CD came out in 1990.

Think Soundgarden aren't cool, are posers? Perhaps too weak, too poppy, too commercial? Listen to this, you can hear the influence of Melvins, Minor Threat as well as some serious doom moments and Chris Cornell can scream like no one else. So get a brain and check this out.

More Info HERE and download HERE

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monumentum - In Absentia Christi

Here we have the first band in what I call the Italian Doom movement. No, the movement is not documented or even real, it is just a little arbitrary designation I have for bands like Ras Algethi, Canaan, Neronoia and the like, and Monumentum were the first.

Roberto Mammarella was the main man behind Monumentum, but had help along the way with members of Ataraxia, Canaan... and oh, Roberto also was in the stunning Cultus Sanguine and owns the super awesome cult label Avantgarde Music.

This is Monumentum's debut album, they only had two full length albums, and is a good point of departure and blue-print for many bands to follow. You can hear this style aped and expanded upon by many bands even today.

More info HERE and download HERE

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seigmen - Radio Waves

This is an amazing Norwegian rock record from the little known Seigmen. I was turned on to them by Mauro Berchi of Eibon Records and Canaan. It is sublimely melodic, with hints of electronica, and very soulful. Some of my friends like their other work, but this, their last studio album released in 1997, is the only album Seigmen recorded that I like, and I love this album.

After Seigmen's break up, there has some been some activity with a reunion, but not much since. Some of the members went on to form the awful stomach churning Zeromancer. Not much more to say about this album, other than it is definitely worth a listen.

More info HERE and download HERE

Friday, April 9, 2010

Timeghoul - Tumultuous Travelings

My friend Tanner Anderson recently reminded me of these guys, one of my favorite demo bands from the early '90s. Timeghoul was the piece that just would not fit. They were ahead of their time, oddballs and rejects that didn't have a home or an easily classifiable sound to help them get noticed. They released two demos, the last of these being released in 1994, and shortly thereafter split up.

Here we have their first demo "Tumultuous Travelings," released in 1992. John Haughm and I were both friends with Jeff Hayden, Timeghoul mastermind, and spoke with him frequently around this time. If I remember correctly, Jeff was a high school teacher, and was very odd. At one point he sent John a piece of bacon in the mail.

More info HERE and download HERE

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Aphrodisiac - Nonsense Chamber

This album was released in 1997 on the legendary Elfenblut/Misanthropy Record label. The band consisted of Svein Egil Hatlevik of Fleurety, Dodheimsgard, and many others, as well as Vicotnik of Ved Buens Ende.

When this album was released, it opened doors to me. It showed me realms of sound I knew little about, but was hungry to explore. One day I sat in my apartment and did nothing else but listen to this album on repeat, like reading a sentence over and over, striving to glean what meaning you can from it. Later that day a friend dropped by and when he asked me why someone would take the time to make such a noise and record it to CD, my only response was "I don't know."

Now many years later, I still hold this album close to my heart.

Download HERE and info HERE

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crud Bucket Films Anthology

Many years ago, my good friend Food Fortunata sent me a VHS of some live Sockeye, live Fossil Fuel, a Boy In Love; movie, and some other nonsense. He also sent me these wonderful black and white short films starring himself, Matt Lindsay, and some other goofs. I loved them. I play them for everyone I can find. I was thrilled when last year, a DVD of these films arrived in my mailbox, and almost as thrilled when I recently found them on youtube.

The thing I love about these films is that they are very well done, and perfectly exhibit the strange unique quirkiness of the Ohio "tardcore" scene that these guys embody. Critics get hung up on the base and juvenile humor, so they miss out completely on how brilliantly clever these jokes and themes are as well as how they so deftly dodge boring comic pitfalls. These guys have always been my heroes. Enjoy.

Sweet Corn

Young Toughs

Crud Boy

Cast Short

Ras Algethi - Oneiricon - The White Hypnotic

The year was 1995. I was moving from Missoula, MT to Minneapolis, MN via a Greyhound bus, with little on me but my bass, a few items of clothing, and a CD Walkman. The ride was around 48 hours or so, if not more, and the landscape of Eastern Montana and North Dakota is nothing but barren, brown wasteland dotted occasionally with a gas station or small run down town.

A week or so earlier I had purchased the newly released Ras Algethi debut album through the Fullmoon Records catalogue. I bought it on a whim, never even being slightly familiar with the band at the time. Perhaps if I had known that it had affiliations with Monumentum, I would have been more prepared.

It was about 1am and I was in a ghost town populated by perhaps 100 people at the most called Oxbow, Montana, right at the edge of the MT/ND border and I put this album in my CD player. This is the closest thing I have ever had to a religious experience while listening to someone else's music. It changed me, it moved me, and every dead town, every slab of road kill, and every solitary mysterious light in the distance fit in with what I was hearing at each moment. I listened to that CD non stop until I hit Minneapolis, about 8 times in all.

Once getting settled in Mpls, I contacted Ras Algethi main-man, Mauro Berchi, and we have been friends ever since. Shortly after this album was released, Ras Algethi morphed into Canaan, and Mauro started the eclectic and awesome label, Eibon Records.

This album is one of my favorite albums ever, and one of the best and most convincing moments in doom metal. Period.

More info HERE and download this album HERE

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

MC Hawking - E = MC Hawking

MC Hawking is one bad mofo. He rules the streets and those bitches from MIT better recognize. The Hawkman has been rhyming and running the streets for years now, and the creationists better watch their backs.

"E = MC Hawking" is a compilation of some of the better tracks from this master MC, even including a Led Zeppelin medley.

Info on MC Hawking HERE and download this album HERE