Friday, April 4, 2014

Glass Coffin/Harassor—Split lp

Glass Coffin/Harassor
Split lp
Universal Consciousness/Husk Records



Yes! I love Glass Coffin and I love Harassor and I guess someone figured that out because they obviously made this record for me. Glass Coffin does that amazing naive-bedroom Black Metal thing that totally works for me. I gotta say that this is also incredibly catchy. You will find yourself singing the chorus for the first song while you do dishes at least every night for a week. Harassor does this blackened punk/thrash thing that somehow sounds like music stopped after Bathory and has now progressed to this. It's modern and relevant but also has this classic dark feel in both the music and production. It's real damn good.


The art is from Sir Josh Lay and it's killer. Fits perfect for the music and just makes me so damn happy. Highly recommended.

Hogra 7"

Hogra
Trust Krusher Records





Excellent harsh noise from Hogra. It has this cool canned sound that I hear from time to time that I really enjoy. If you are a fan of HNW i assume you are familiar with Hogra's work. He has more than a few vinyl records and cassettes floating around. I like saying that word outlaid— Hogra. Hogra. Hogra…


The layout is probably cool but it's printed so dark that it feels like a mistake and is basically illegible. The vinyl though is the coolest smoke-filled clear vinyl I have ever seen. This guy is making me a fan. 

Ritual Addict —Obediently into Nowhere lp

Ritual Addict 
Obediently into Nowhere
Enemy Closer





Seattle's Ritual Addict have recently changed their name from Sane Reaction but this is the same blazing-fast politically-charged punk that made me love them live. Definitely for fans of Christ on Parade, GBH and Assück. It's got this late 80's, early 90's sound that you will love very much. Fast, screaming punk rock with a touch of grindcore. 


The packaging is also very 90's and it's awesome. I can't speak to the art on the back cover because I drew it but the whole package feels like it came out in 1992. This would have been worn out by the time I got through my senior year. I also love that the vinyl is bright transparent blue. Nothing in the layout is that color and it has that feel of the early Revelation records color vinyl spree where everything was a random color just for the hell of it. I love it. 

Earl Long—Term Two lp

Earl Long
Term Two
Shan GORIL la Records




I was in a band for a short time called Andyland. It was a totally improvised project with revolving musicians that was a lot of fun but had absolutely no focus at all. In my mind we sounded like Whitehouse or Current 93 but in reality it probably sounded like a mess. At least when I played with them.  Anyhow, Earl Long reminds me a lot of that but with much better musicians. They fall into these cool grooves and the music is pretty good but it doesn't really resonate with me. It feels like it's missing something. I'm not sure what, but I almost wonder if they are too good at their instruments. Like there isn't enough experimentation happening. I may have to listen to this a few more times because there really is a cool thing happening but I am having a hard time finding it.


I really don't like the way this looks. The layout is very unattractive and the text looks like it was copied from a Christian rock cd from 1997. I just can't get over the drop shadow on everything. It's driving me crazy. 

Vomir/Hogra split 7"

Vomir/Hogra
Blackseed Recordings and Releases







Two current greats of HNW decided to get together and make a scary little baby. Vomir's track is a little less brutal than usual but it's way more anxiety-inducing. It's a nice change although Vomir could do straight up HNW forever and I would be fine with it. The Hogra track is more over the top. It sounds like a dying radio on a sinking ship. Tragic. It's killer stuff all around.


The layout is pretty punk and sparse. It looks like a 7" released in 1993 and I kinda like it. It's not really that good but it just feels right for some reason. I think the milky clear vinyl with plain white labels helps as well. Anyway, there is only 100 of these so good luck. 

Lord Time—Black Whole at the End of the Tunnel lp

Lord Time
Black Whole at the End of the Tunnel
Universal Consciousness



When this was a cassette only release I reviewed it and I dug it. Now that it is on vinyl I am very excited. It's still awesome but I'm hoping this is the beginning of a trend of more Universal Consciousness cassettes finding their way to vinyl. This is the second Lord Time LP but I think I am now ready for a couple Moonknight lps or the record I would have to buy almost every copy just in case it got worn out, the Mawdryn release. I think the best way to make this happen would be if you would all purchase this excellent release from Lord Time. It's so fucking black. 


It looks fantastic. My version is screen printed and spray painted and fucking awesome. Buy.

Delay.

Sorry for the delay. Family emergency that includes multiple surgeries, a blood transfusion and my pending financial ruin. Not kidding. How does someone as poor as my pay a $200,000.00 bill. It's a long story. I will try to get to everything as soon as I can but at this point I request that you probably shouldn't bother sending me anything until I mention otherwise. I just won't get to it for over a year at this point.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Propast—Vestnik Preispodnji cs

Propast
Vestnik Preispodnji
Misanthropic Intolerance




We argue about Black Metal. All of us. What is and what isn't black metal is something we have impregnated message boards with for years. We are so insecure in our ideas of black metal we worry that if we say we like Wolves in the Throne Room that means we are ignorant of what true black metal is. Some of us like to talk about bands like Liturgy or Deafheaven as being black metal or at least the new wave of black metal and that starts a whole other argument. I for one do not think of those prior two bands—Liturgy or Deafheaven—as being black metal. They certainly use the vocabulary of black metal—the screeching vocals, tremolo picking and blazing drums—but they lack the main, most important ingredient. Atmosphere. Without that instantly identifiable atmosphere of icy-cold, empty, haunted, horror-filled depression you are not within the limited confines of black metal. That's why Burzum can put out a record of keyboards and it's more blackened than the Explosions in the Sky at 500mph style of Deafheaven. I'm not trying to talk shit here. I own all those Deafheaven records and I enjoy them but they are about as black metal as Ned's Atomic Dustbin. So what is the new wave of black metal? I don't know, nor do I actually care but Propast is certainly refreshing to these old ears. This is fast brutal black metal that I think belongs right next to the best record of last year, Inquisition's Obscure Verses for the Multiverse. It's a bit different but it contains the same frenzied angst and the same level of musicianship that blew me away. Propast also has only two members, a drummer and guitarist/singer. Aksinomantijan and Kasapin respectively, and they are able to capture the atmosphere of hopelessness and channel it into some wonderfully hateful tracks. The cassette itself looks great with both roman and cyrillic text. The j-card is embossed with something wicked-satanic and the design is solid. All tracks were recorded in Serbia and I think that adds to the mystique of desperation, at least for me. They might not be living in cabins in the middle of nowhere, never sure when the next World War is going to turn their life into a scene from Come and See but they certainly understand darkness and horror way more than someone who complains about having to connect between BART and MUNI too late at night. I guess I look at it in the same way I look at Hip-Hop. If I  hear a rapper is from Detroit I am a lot more interested at what he or she has to say as opposed to a handsome white guy from Seattle. I guess that is what this whole conversation is about. Perspective. I have a feeling this conversation will not be ending anytime soon. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Faint Glow—Dust in the Sun cdr/Horror Vacui cs

Faint Glow
Dust in the Sun cdr/Horror Vacui cs
Self Released







Faint Glow does quiet a good job at the minimal, noisy drone. This would be the  second time in as many weeks I have made the comparison but I think that Faint Glow could even be at home on Hanson Records. Maybe even Worthless Recordings. It's pretty killer stuff. Of the 10 tracks on the cdr most are very focused and not too long. I like it and I think you might as well. I have zero complaints in that department. The cassette is even a little better in my mind. It's a bit more piercing and brutal but still focused and drive. I hope to hear more from Faint Glow in the coming months. 

     My issues with these releases, and the reason I am reviewing them together, is the packaging. There's is nothing there. The artist thought enough to get completely blank cdrs but then they just print out some info and scotch tape it to the cdr. Same with the cassette. The Arigato packs for both the cdr and the cassette are killer and more people should use them but these just have poorly stenciled text on them that is far south of both legible or attractive. I can get with minimal and messy but this looks like the artist thought that this part of sharing music was either too much effort or worse yet, beneath them. I'm probably wrong but that is what is being communicated to me. I would love to see some of the aural creativity become visual. If you are going to go with minimal text and no images then make it a strong typographic layout with structure and beauty in it's simplicity. If you are going to use plain cdrs (please no more tape, you can order inexpensive custom rubber stamps from simonstamp.com) then make the packaging exciting. All of the Wolf Eyes cdrs I own are basically just memorex cdrs with sharpie on them but the packaging is a crazy, beautiful collage with hand painted elements. You want to hold it and own it. That's the thing with physical copies these days. You must make it something that someone would want to touch. Tapes and cdrs are becoming fetish objects. We can just as easily download stuff all day but that isn't interesting to me at all. That is why I don't review downloads. Making music well is difficult and Faint Glow has a pretty good handle on that but making objets d'art is extremely difficult. I want to see how much you care about your music. Show me with my eyes before you show me with your ears. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sujo—Repent///Ondan cs

Sujo
Repent///Ondan
Auris Apothecary



Beautiful release by Auris Apothecary. I have alway sheen blown away by their innovation and attention to detail on their releases. This is no exception. The translucent cover in the clear DVD sized case with the totally clear cassette is awesome but then they went the extra mile and printed the download card on transparent plastic as well. It's pretty amazing wrapped up in the double sided obi strip. I think they could have done something a little different with the typography but it's not bad. 

The music is fantastic. This picks up were both Birchville Cat Motel and Nadja left off. Well, Nadja is still doing stuff but not like they were a few years ago. Regardless this is real good. Driving drone accompanied by drums and loops that has touches of kraut rock and psychedelic rock. 

Levi Jacob Bailey—Shoot Me in the Face Book mini-comic+3" cdr

Levi Jacob Bailey
Shoot Me in the Face Book
Self Published





This mini-comic with a 3" cdr is pretty awesome. There is a huge movement of independent cartoonists in Seattle right now and a lot of them have connections to the noise/experimental music scene. Artists like Max Clotfelter and Marc Palm are two excellent artists that have delved into both worlds perfectly. Levi Jacob Bailey does some very similar work. The noise is great. It's tense and a lot of his textures contrast each other in such a way to create a huge amount of depth. Good stuff. The mini-comic isn't bad but I think he could work them out just a little more. I like the drawings and the short nonsensical stories are great but the backgrounds and some of the execution in general feels pretty rushed. Or maybe like he was really high when drawing. Pencil high, ink sober. Still, it's good stuff and you should check it out. I am glad I did. 

Liver Cancer—Adrenalflag Cirrosismantis Livormortis cd

Liver Cancer
Adrenalflag Cirrosismantis Livormortis
Love Earth Music



Wow, I thought I was going to hate this. Between the name, the title and the cover artwork, which is great but goofy, I thought this was going to be silly gore-grind nonsense. This is actually half grinding noise with deep guttural vocals and half deep dark noisy drone work. It's not bad. In fact. I think I will listen again and again. I should have known that something on Love Earth Music would be good. 

The layout is not really my thing. Plain ol' jewel case with single, boring card. It's not horrible but I would have never checked this out if I had to buy this at a store. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Remnants–The Process cs

Remnants
The Process
Self Released



Remnants continues their slow burn on this one. This is one of the many cassettes that I received awhile back and never got the chance to review until now. I feel bad for this. I always enjoy Remnants minimal drone adventures and this is no exception. This definitely belongs in the library.

     Good minimal layout as well. Decent, subtle type that isn't afraid to get a little tracked out. 

Matthew Akers—A History of Arson cs

Matthew Akers
A History of Arson
Out of Body Records



I love being surprised. When I saw the cover art, read the album title and then opened the cassette to have a wooden match fall out I thought, "alright, what kind of HNW am I in for". I was very wrong. This is owes so much more to Tangerine Dream than almost anything and for a guy that owns waaaaaaay too many Tangerine Dream albums this was a good thing. I really recommend this to any fans of this sort of synth adventure groove. Sometimes this stuff is just someone who just got a Moog learning how to sequence and turning some knobs but this has some thought and innovation put into it. Nice. 

The layout is okay. i love that all of Out of Body's cassettes have the same type on the spines and cassettes but I think they need to reign in the rest of the design a bit more. I think they should probably commit the that being the only type on the whole layout, except for something unassuming like helvetica or akzidenz grotesk for small type. The mishmash of types can seem a little unfocused or lacking cohesion. Still good though. 

Lucid Pyramids—Demo 1 cs

Lucid Pyramids
Demo 1
Prime Ruin




At first I wasn't so sure about this. It seemed a little boring on a first listen but I am glad that I listened again. This is way better than I first thought, I must have been in a bad mood. It reminds me of something that should have been on Hanson Records in 2005. I can see this being a new Aaron Dilloway project. It has that awesome scraping feedback and canned recording quality that totally places me in the place that I first heard the early EmeraldsThe Nevari Butchers or Aaron's Corpse on Horseback cassettes. It's damn good and looks rad as well. Simple and unpretentious. It even comes with a tiny folded up poster. It's really nice. 

Black Cum—is the best band on the planet and this is Black Cum's best album cs

Black Cum
is the best band on the planet and this is Black Cum's best album
Self Released, probably



I love these guys. I have no idea why but there is something so innocent and sweet about their insane and offensive music. I could review it but I think you would get a truer sense of their work if I just listed the song titles:

Side A
Black Cum'$ Been Playin' Lot$ of Ba$ketball
Kill the Pre$ident (Black Cum Cover)
Black Cum Play$ the Ba$$ Drum and $ing$ at the $ame Time
Black Cum, Black $care
Trick the Dick (A Black Cum Tip)
Black Cum i$ $mokin' Bluntz
Black Cum ha$ a Job
Black Cum Party

Side B
Black Cum, A Whole Nother $ide
$atan has a Barbed Cock (Explicit)
You Must Believe in Black Cum
Black Cum i$ all American
9/11, Black Cum Love$ You
Black Cum i$ Dead


I think that takes care of it. 

German Army—Barrineans cs

German Army
Barrineans
Lava Church



 I really love my daughter and my daughter really loves this. It's pretty cute. I wish I could include a video of here dancing to this but every time I start to film her she runs away. Just imagine a 4 year old in a Regular Show t-shirt dropping it like it's hot to some very noisy yet groovy loops. It reminds me a lot of a modern soundtrack to a cartoon film noir that would have taken place in the 80's. Seriously, you should see this kid cut a rug.
     The layout is pretty awesome. Wacky hand-drawn type on pearl paper. The rounded corners are a nice touch. The whole thing is thoughtful.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Nagual s/t lp

Nagual
s/t
Ergot Records




I hate how backed up I am on reviews. I sometimes come across an album that has been sitting in my possession for a long time without hearing it. In this case that is a tragedy. This album by Nagual is the kind of record that you could use to convince the uninitiated of the validity of drone as a genre. This is effective and beautiful. This has the beauty and unease of the scene in Come and See where the girl is dancing in the rain. In fact that scene basically looped in my brain while I listened to this album. This is a must own for anyone who wants an audio representation of tragic humanity. I love this. 

Check these:


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sunn O)))—La Reh 012 12"

Sunn O)))
La Reh 012
Ideologic Organ/Southern Lord



This and the last rehearsal demo LP are basically Sunn O))) in the most purest form. Two guitars and totally brutal. I love this stuff so much that sometimes I swear I could listen to guitars going "bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" for an entire week and never get bored. Sunn O))) should probably tour more often and also continue to reissue their back catalog but I'm very glad that they are continuing with new releases. Stay tuned for a collaborative album with Ulver next. 

     Oh yeah, It looks rad. Super simple and totally perfect. Not much else to say here other than do your best to find this or at the very least check their bandcamp where you can at least stream everything. 

Dead Neanderthals—Body Horror cs

Dead Neanderthals
Body Horror
Utech Records



Yes! Fuck yes...  I first heard this shortly before it came out and was floored. Super intense saxophone and drum insanity that is as unrelenting as the most brutal grindcore. This is wounded and spastic in a way that will slightly bend your mind if you sit in the dark and listen to it loud on headphones. Hella and Naked City certainly come to mind when you hear this but it's more abstract than Hella and somehow more focused than a lot of Naked City. I really love this.
     The layout is simple and clean. Keith Utech is an amazing graphic designer and I always trust him to make tasteful and beautiful layouts that utilize illustration and typography in a killer way. The illustration was obviously done by a genius. Let me check the credits... holy shit! It was done by me! Heh. I'm a dork. If you really do like the artwork though Dead Neanderthals are selling shirts. Check it here.

Living Phantoms—Shiver cs

Living Phantoms
Shiver
The Mylene Sheath



So when DRIVE came out awhile ago I completely fell in love with that soundtrack. I'm sure everyone did actually because I heard it everywhere I went. It's still a great album but the one thing it really did for me was remind me about all the synth stuff I have sitting here on my shelves that I had generally neglected for the last few years. Thanks to that movie I started playing more New Order, Klaus Schultz, Antartica and Tangerine Dream. This album by Living Phantoms might be a new favorite of that sprawling genre. It sits right around the M83 but with a touch of Múm or even last year's Ulfer. It's good stuff and an excellent palette cleanser from a whole day of gore grind.

     The design and artwork are great for being so minimal. The designer was obviously a pro because the type is handled perfectly and I have to say I love the gradient across the text. I usually don't care for that technique. With the nice psychedelic cover art this is a solid release. I think Motor records may want to check this out. 

303 Committee—Conquest cdr

303 Committee
Conquest
Inam Records




I don't understand how 303 Committee isn't gigantic. Every release not only sounds amazing but also looks amazing. This cdr is 8 tracks of beautiful and haunting noisy drone. This is as good or better than any contemporary drone albums you may be into at the moment. There is a sense of taste and competence that runs out of this beautifully designed package. I may have missed a review for an older 303 Committee cdr that I was sent as well but I have to encourage you all to find these. Very good. 

Homogenized Terrestrials/Andrew Quitter/Cruudeuces/Dog Hallucination—The Moon is Hungry 2xcs

Homogenized Terrestrials/Andrew Quitter/Cruudeuces/Dog Hallucination
The Moon is Hungry
Intangible Cat



This double cassette 4 way split is all about worship. At least that's how I see it. It feels vaguely religious. Like you are listening to some tribal conjuring happening just beyond the trees. It makes me feel a little nervous. I like that. The Moon tape is smooth and hypnotic where as the Earth tape in more bludgeoning or eerie. I had heard Andrew Quitter before but everyone else on this was a surprise. Excellent work.
     The design works pretty well. I'm not a huge fan of that vertical stacked type. As typography goes it's not very readable and therefore not generally successful but I think since they really committed to it on this release I was sold by the time I read everything. It comes with little photo cards inside as well as being packaged in one of those cool double Norelco cases.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Knifecream—Bind•Torture•Kill cs

Knifecream
Bind•Torture•Kill
Hanged Man Records




So look at the awesome drawing on the cover. Imagine you woke up in a place that you didn't recognize and that thing was dancing to a song that reminded you of Hamburger Lady in front of you. Sometimes the music would change and it would be a slow, swaying dance and other times a spastic insanity. Always dancing and always communicating a sense of unease and fear. That's what this sounds like. It's awesome. The artwork and design is all done by hand and it looks great. I recommend this highly. 


Tachdé—Deluge cs

Tachdé
Deluge
A Static Reason



I'm finally getting through some older submissions and I apologize for how long this is taking. 


Tachdé makes some very beautiful psychedelic,  trance-inducing art rock. Hailing from Puerto Rico, they create a sound that has a deep, sad darkness that isn't what you would think of first when thinking of the Caribbean American territory. Sounds a bit like Midday Veil with a touch of Godspeed! You Black Emperor. It's packaged in a simple J-card with a pretty basic layout. Nothing too memorable here although I wouldn't say it was bad. It's a fine layout.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Vickers—Satanic Blasphemy 7"

Vickers
Satanic Blasphemy
Self Released




This is the best record I have reviewed lately. Eight tracks of genre-challenging Black Metal played without guitars. It's a giant, evil disaster and I will be so sad if these guys stop doing this band. Just look them up on youtube. You will get a taste of the power of Vickers. I have always loved Nebraska and this is just another reason for me to one day run away to live there. It looks great, sounds great and doesn't give a shit that I think so. Buy this. 

Jorge Arana Trio/Ambulants—split 7"

Jorge Arana Trio/Ambulants
split 7"
Bridal Horse Records



Good record. I almost just want to leave it at that and hope you track one down. It's a good one, at least for a kid that grew up with 80's and 90's Dischord and Touch and Go Records. Jorge Arana Trio play this excellent instrumental jazz that has touches of Mahavishnu Orchestra meets Dazzling Killmen meets Fugazi that completely work for me. These recordings are a little more special because the have added one to the trio by way of a violin player. It works quite well and honestly before I put this on I didn't think it would. Ambulants have a stronger DC sound. I would compare them pretty confidently to Faraquet. I don't know if people picked up Faraquet's full length on Dischord a few years back but the opening track on that thing will blow your mind. These songs by Ambulants are right up there. Smart musicians playing some smart and bizarre rock/jazz. The record looks great. Although unless you knew for a fact that this was a split you may think the record was called Ambulants and it was just a JAT single because of how the cover looks to me. They make a nice use of hand drawn type and a great illustration. Good work. 


Feral King/Lonely Ghost Parade—Split 7"

Feral King/Lonely Ghost Parade
Split 7"
Last Anthem/RDG




Feral King is hardcore. Like Iron Lung hardcore though. So brutal, thick and fast. It's pretty rad. If you like that stuff you will like this. I did. Lonely/Ghost/Parade is a bit more experimental but in a hard rock way. It has a singer that really sings and he does a good job. I guess this probably sounds more like Tool than anything. Not really my cup of tea. When I was blasting Handsome records in the 90's I would probably been more into this. Let's talk for a second about the packaging though. I'm not sure how what they decided to do gels with the music very well but it's pretty cool. The cover is 3-D and it's well done. The swirls behind it give it this Man's Ruin 1994 vibe and I dig that. In keeping with the idea the vinyl itself is half red and half blue. It's fucking brilliant. They include 3-D glasses but if you loose those to look at the cover you always have the clear, colored vinyl. The back cover with the text is a little meh. Arial Black is the type. Who are you? Al Gore? He used that in his movie, maybe I should be more specific. It just isn't that nice of a font and the white stroke around it makes it a little dated. Whoever laid it out did understand basic typography though. I can tell that. It just need a little more consideration I think. 

Mangled—Sewer Metal 7"

Mangled
Sewer Metal
Boris Records




Rad heavy fucking metal. Had a bonehead vibe that makes me think of Sacred Reich meets Overkill and something a bit more relevant. It is not something I would have picked up because it looks so silly but it get me in that nostalgic bone that makes me grab my Leeway album right after this goes on. You can almost smell the cheap, spilled beer baking on top of their amps. Awesome.

It looks crazy. Comic style art of zombies, pigs and death that would probably ruin my daughter's childhood if she saw it

Spewilator—Inhale Awaits 7"

Spewilator
Inhale Awaits
Boris Records




So this came to me at a pretty good time. It's not exactly what I am into much anymore, kinda sounds like a grind band decided to be funny and make their music a little more of an 80's kickback but at the same time keep the sound and approach of grindcore. It's actually quite funny and played pretty awesome and kinda just hits all the right irony and radical buttons all at once and I kinda like it. The Celtic Frost cover alone made me smile. It's just a good time all around. It looks terrible but in a way that makes you sorta shake your head from side to side and say "you go get 'em guys." Take that Slayer

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stephen O'Malley—TEMPESTARII + DISintegration cs

Stephen O'Malley
TEMPESTARII + DISintegration
Editions Mego







I am not really a prideful guy. I don't really care about local sports, I don't feel like my city, state or country is really any better than anyone else's but that said, there is something about Seattle when it comes to music. I feel like this city has produced a number of amazing acts and I don't mean Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Stephen is from here, as is Greg Anderson(Thor's Hammer, Brotherhood, Engine Kid), along with Master Musicians of Bukkake, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Pig Heart Transplant, The Accused, King Dude, At Jennie Richie, Drowner… I could go on and on. That said, I like Steve's success. He does great work and has fantastic taste. When you get to know him he is a very sweet and generous guy. He is great to collaborate with and a serious thinker. In other words, he, like many of my friends from Seattle, is a solid dude. This latest cassette release from Stephen is a soundtrack to a film. It deals with power and disintegration. It's a massive piece. 90 minutes of raw audio walls. It build and crashes like a tsunami slowed down 900 times. It's gorgeous. It looks gorgeous too. Excellent typography mixed with many stills from the film. There is a tiny booklet stapled inside the j-card that makes you wonder why every release on cassette hasn't always had these booklets. It's very worth owning. Put this on next time you get to read some Henry Miller. Trust me. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Josh Lay and Dread collabortive cs

Josh Lay and Dread
s/t
Husk Records




Josh Lay is basically the ambassador of bedroom black metal, at least for me. This collaboration is a revelation of dark ambient/electronics and black metal. There is a unnerving sense of pain throughout this recording. If you told me that the guys recording this tape were cutting themselves when they scream to get real anguish on tape I would totally believe it and then tell other people. That's how religions are made. It's dark and you should try to pick one up. Unfortunately there are only 50 and at press time there may not be many left. Good luck.

RJ Myato & Paregorik split cs

RJ Myato & Paregorik
Split
NNN Coalition



RJ Myato does noise in a way that reminds me of how it all started for me. In my bedroom, 1994, making tapes for the one other guy that I knew dug noise. It has this harsh intensity that drove me to this weird genre years ago and hearing his work hits my brain like a forgotten scent. It's almost nourishing. Not quite HNW, not really that glitchy just good noise with a warm embrace of analog. I love his work and this collaboration is a great example of his work. I was not familiar with Paregorik before this, which seems weird, but it's also good work. The first side is the collaboration and the other side is a track from each. Well worth checking out.


The layout is very light on content but I have nothing really to say. It's fine. I would have loved to see a little more work here but I have, recently, seen much less effort so this is doing pretty well. 

Terminal Fuzz Terror cs

Terminal Fuzz Terror
?
Self Released



I haven't talked about these guys in about a year but they are still going strong. They recorded a full length that was released to both cdr and a super limited lathe-cut. It's pretty awesome fall-apart psychedelic rock but let's go to this tape first. I actually love the recording quality on this. It's maybe recorded on a 4 track but I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a boom box in a corner of a basement. It's super raw and dirty and says "recorded by Satan" inside. The Satan they are referring to is probably just a real guy wit that name. These dudes are pretty out there.


It looks how it's recorded. Spray paint and sharpie make up most of this "layout". Super low-tech but somehow it works.

Sutekh Hexen • Monuments of Decay 2xcs

Sutekh Hexen
Monuments of Decay 
Belaten





I barely need to talk about Sutekh Hexen anymore. They are probably one of my favorite acts continuing to work to this day. They have excellent taste and a really good track record. This 2xcs is a great return to an earlier form for them. This reminds me a lot of the earliest cassettes. In it's sounds and length. Each side to this release is about 5 minutes. That does lead to the question as to if this needed to be two cassettes but I will never be bummed about short cassettes. 


It has that beautiful Belaten look that I am always impressed with. It takes a lot of focus to keep every release looking this cohesive. If you have seen these you know what to expect and you will be stoked. 

NO XIVIC • YKSITYISYYS cs

NO XIVIC
YKSITYISYYS
Merzbild



Before I talk about the packaging I will dive real quick into the music. It's fucking insanely good. Totally dark electronics that are good enough to define the genre. It's so haunting, dark, creepy and subtly aggressive that I could listen to this everyday in hopes that it kills me. It's really, really, really good. 


So I got the tape and it has no j card. The tape was pro-printed and imprinted but there is nothing else in this case. That may have been a mistake but I don't know. If it is intentional then why? I don't get why you would think this looks worth anyone's time. Maybe that's the point but I still don't get it. I would rather have seen a 3 panel j card made out of transparency in a way to say, "yup, no info here jerks." I could get behind that. I leave the possibility that I received a copy without a j card open but I just not sure...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Slave cs

Slave
s/t
Tapes of a Neon God




Eric Wood invented the term Power Violence. Rumor has it was to describe Rorschach. At least that is how I have heard it and I have since decided to believe it. If you know Eric Wood he gets pretty excited and a bit hyperbolic when describing music he digs. In fact he picked up Andrew Gormley from Rorschach onceapparently the same day he coined Power Violence—and yelled into his face that he was "total lee majors ankle!" So there you so. Eric is awesome. Anyhow, I loved what came out of the 90's power violence scene. Despise You ruled me life and I basically stalked any band on any of the Cry Now, Cry Later comps. I think I still have everything that Pessimiser/Theologian and Bovine put out and I still listen to it all. When I first put Slave in I was so stoked. This could have destroyed in 1995 but it still destroys today. Heavy, fast, pissed and nothing particularly metal about it. It's fucking great! If you love Despise You, Crom, Iron Lung or anything in that vein you will not be sorry. Buy this. 

Shoji Yamamoto • Shiiin cs

Shoji Yamamoto
Shiiin
Worthless



For me Worthless has mainly been know for two things: excellent HNW and the entire audio track of killer movies on cassettes. They do those super well and I always love what they decide to put out. This  particular release is a little unusual for them because it is soft and beautiful drone but it is fitting because it's super fucking good. This has played on repeat all day today and I am in a much better place for having heard it. It's hard to describe but impossible not to love. Check it out.


The art is simple and sprawling, just like the music. The only issue with the whole thing is a typographical problem. Not a huge deal but I have to say something. When using all caps you must letter-space them. In other words you have to have some air between all caps. Capital letters in no font are designed to be next to other capital letters. They are meant to be next to lowercase so when they are crammed up together you get all these awkward spaces and uneven gaps. This is where kerning comes in. I could go on and on about this but I recommend everyone do a couple things. First, go to your local bookstore (not amazon) and buy The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. This is the bible of type and although you won't retain it all—I've read it three times and still screw up constantly—you should have it as a reference. Second, whatever program you use for layouts start experimenting with kerning and tracking. I think everyone has been doing beautiful stuff in the last year and it's a joy to see but we can always do better… That rant wasn't really directed entirely at this release. This release has a total of 4 words on it and only two of those need to be addressed but I have been wanting to mention this for awhile.