Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hooves demo cdr

demo cdr
self released

There are a couple bands named Hooves but this is the only real one you need to care about right now. This is a two piece from Spokane, Washington that play a very psych heavy version of instrumental rock. Having just a guitar and drums can pose some limitations but these gentlemen seem to really be able to play with those limitations in a way that uses space as another instrument. It doesn't hurt that the guitar player is able to fine tune his sound in a way that creates tons of extra movement and layers. Lots of chorus and phaser adds a subtle rhythm that allows the drums to play a role that is more than just a backing one. The drums, played by Joe Preston of These Arms are Snakes fame, are heavy, intricate and interesting. He is an extremely competent and artistic player and this band is an excellent showcase for his abilities. Fans of Mono, Pelican, Tool, Mogwai and Isis would probably do themselves well to own this. 

     The layout is amazing, mainly because Joe Preston is also an accomplished graphic designer and screen printer. I would recommend just heading over to their bandcamp page to check out the pictures of the layout. The type is minimal but handled perfectly. The images are well printed and the whole thing just feels professional. It's pretty awesome just to hold. 

     I would buy this. Here.

Void, Chaos an Cum
Crucial Blast

So one of the first things I hear of this, is of course, a sample, and it's some weird porn thing and i hear the guy say "oh yeah, I've been walking in dog shit all day". You have? Where the fuck do you work? Well, maybe a kennel but is that a thing? Fecalove is from Italy and apparently super crazy. This type of crazy isn't really shocking anymore though. It actually feels sort of adorable and quaint. Aw, you like torture, sex, excrement and noise? Aw, get in my pocket you adorable little man. It's pretty amazing power electronics though. I was actually excited to write this off as trying too hard, drama queen noise but this is some expert work. I am pretty damn impressed with this hour of noise. It's brutal and noisy of course but it's the contrast in the noise that makes it so amazing. Highs and lows, piercing feedback then distorted walls… it's all done so well I can only assume the taste level of this artist is almost being covered up by the schtick. 

     The packaging is all schtick. Inside, what I think is supposed to be an amray dvd case (my promo version was just in a bag) is a button, three black and white folded poster and a 20 page zine of artwork. It's pretty awesome. The artwork of course is pretty dumb but it's also perfect. It reminds me of a naive Ted McKeever and for that I appreciate it. Drawings of girls missing limbs, covered in poo and apparently cumming, photos of guys eating shit (maybe), and lots of cum. It's pretty juvenile but like I said, it's adorable. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Theologian "The Chasms of My Heart" cd

The Chasms of My Heart
Crucial Blast

Fucking gigantic. This is music set to the surveying of a massive planet, bent on destroying our earth. It's all encompassing. Huge distorted notes, buried rhythms, and strained, distant vocals create an amazingly dark and rich landscape to ponder all of your life's choices. I love this. This is like a huge sleeping bag of pain for me and I could just listen to this in the dark until my sad little heart just melted away. 

     It's packaged in a dvd sized digipack… it's weird to say that. "Dvd sized". At this point, with cds going the way they are, it's not really important to have a packaging like it used to. So for those of us that really appreciate packaging, anything outside the norm is welcomed. This is a gorgeous tri-folded package. I am really digging the packaging itself. The artwork is also really well done but it's a little on the goth side of things for me. The inside artwork looks like something from Hellraiser and the outside looks like a cross between Dave Mckean's post Cages work and a yoga flyer. For some reason though I still really dig it. The type is not really handled in any interesting way–just center justified on it's panels. That doesn't kill it but I think something much more interesting could have been done. In fact the type is so large on the panels itself I bet it was designed by someone with a small monitor. I have similar problems myself and that is often the issue. Either way the music is awesome and the packaging is the beginning of the way all cds of music that matters will look. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Moving this week.

Sorry for the delay this last week. My wife and I have been moving things around and getting rid of things in order to keep us from being horders for at least one more year. In that time I lost my office so work has been difficult but I am back up and running and I will have new reviews up shortly. Even some of these ones that are way behind... Thanks for reading and thank you for your patience.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Binary Marketing Show // The New Diet split 7"

The Binary Marketing Show // The New Diet
Already Dead Tapes

I have been trying to figure out how to start this review for a few weeks now. It's actually created a mental block for me. I want to talk about how both bands play a type of music that would fit well on Anticon records. I want to mention that are serious comparisons that can be made with Why? and that is a good thing. The Binary Marketing Show has amazing beats that really had me impressed. The New Diet is a bit dirtier and harsh but with really lovely vocals. Both bands have their own sound but they work so well together. I really want to express how nice and odd the artwork is but I just don't know how to start this one… I will figure it out. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Whitehorse "Live Ritual" cd

Live Ritual
Small Doses

This must have been one hell of a show. Whitehorse is a band I still have yet to see. I have designed a couple flyers for them but I still haven't made it to a show. Until I heard this cd I didn't really mind. I miss a lot of good shows and I have to hear about it is some friends with questionable tastes telling me I "totally missed out". This cd though, this cd lets me know two things. They are rad and I am totally missing out. Super heavy riffs that just destroy my desire to play guitar, because what's the point? The recording on this is pretty raw, not great but completely fucked in a good way. 

     Nice design. The best part is the killer cover art though. Seriously. 

     Buy this. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gnawed "Terminal Epoch" cd

Terminal Epoch
Phage Tapes

Gnawed should be hired to make ever creepy soundtrack forever. This is dark and grim industrial noise that has a very particular soundtrack quality. It's intense and brittle hell that just feels so damn comfortable to sit in. I have been following Gnawed on and off for a little over a year and it's always been brutal but this record has a new maturity, or maybe, depth to it. If you haven't had a chance to check them out yet this is as good a place as any to start. It's good. It's a bit long. That may be my only issue is that it gets a bit long near the end but it's not much of a complaint as it's all real good. 

     It's a simple look. Center justified text in a big bold font makes sense but I think they could do a lot more with it. I'm not a fan of the text with the opacity turned down so the images behind it come through. It's a little rookie and kinda screams photoshop but all that aside it still works okay. I think this kind of design is often handled pretty well by people like Feeding. It's not horrible at all, but it could really be more. 

     All that said I still very much recommend hearing this album.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Indigents "Bottomless Sinking" cs

Bottomless Sinking

This is harsh and strange. Lots of loops with unknown horn piercing over the top. Bits of synth squelching taking on the capacity for me to sit here with headphones on. It's pretty brutal and very piercing. It's very difficult for me to sit and take this damage to be honest. I respect and fear this but I don't think I am really enjoying this at all.

     It looks a little weird. I am not impressed with the layout although it's handling of the text is pretty nice. Nothing ever wrong with a little simple helvetica.

     I don't think I would pick this up. 

I Want to Kill Every Human cs + 7"

I Want to Kill Every Human cs + 7"
Bill Murray Tapes

I Want to Kill Every Human sounds like somewhere between nails on a chalkboard and the sweetest lullaby. The nails on the chalkboard part is pretty much expected for a noise band but the melodies and swells of notes buried below are very much a surprise. It's like finding a child sweetly crying at the center of a hurricane. I like this. It feels a little like Birchville Cat Motel at times and that always jives with me. 

     The tape is super minimal. Almost white on white cover and sticker on the case to let you know who it is. The 7" is destroyed in an awesome American Tapes/Soccer Mom Ebonics sort of way. Also pretty great. They don't go together but I am not sure they are supposed to. 

     I endorse this. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wretched Worst "Funeral Burning" 7"

Wretched Worst
Funeral Burning
Husk Records

Imagine you told someone with a really good imagination and an excellent pool of references to pull from that this record is the heaviest, noisiest, dirtiest, brutal thing to be imagined by four dudes that you have ever heard. Maybe you were able to hum a few parts (although I can't imagine what that humming might sound like. Maybe a stabbing through a gag), and maybe your general tone or arm movements were able to pretty accurately describe this record. Even then, after all that preparation, the sheer magnitude of this 7" would be a total shock to the first time listener. I think this may be one of my favorite entries into the best of 2012 I am putting together…  Get this. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ASVA & Philippe Petit "Empires Should Burn" cd

ASVA & Philippe Petit
Empires Should Burn
Small Doses/Basses Frequencies

Holy shit. This is not what I was expecting but it was what I was hoping for. Deep horrifying bass frequencies match with piercing and maniacal percussion. This is heavy. Really heavy. There are five tracks on this one huge opening doozy and four follow ups that are short, sweet and brutal. The opening track has vocals by Edward Ka-Spel so I know all of you Legendary Pink Dots fanatics will be owning this right away. You also get vocals by Stuart from ASVA, Jarboe and Bryan Lewis Saunders. It's good and well worth owning.

     The layout is a simple yet effective combination of textural photographs–fire, broken wood, Bosch paintings, warped film–and Trajan Pro. Well done.

Sujo "Kahane" 12"

Fedora Corpse Recordings

This took me a few listens to get my head around but I really love it. It may sound weird but I think this sounds a little like Emeralds meets KTL with a little touch of Pyramids thrown in. By that I mean I really like it. Epic, almost black metal, movements cover barely audible drum machine and buried shrieks. A huge wall os distortion is obscuring something sad and forgotten. This could take the place of Tangerine Dream's soundtrack for The Keep in some places (I have been listening to a lot of Tangerine Dream lately, bare with me). It's good. 

     I like Fedora Corpse's look. Chipboard sleeve with stamps along with nicely colored vinyl is great. The postcards for the inserts doesn't really fit though. They should have just gone to a Kinkos and run off a bunch of low quality xeroxes. Honestly I think that would have been more cohesive but it is a minor thing on an awesome record. 

    Excellent work. Buy. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tovarish "Red Hearts in a Dead World" cd

Red Hearts in a Dead World
Nefarious Industries

This is some very dark and fearful industrial from Russia. It's hauntingly scary. It gets a tiny bit heavy on the samples for me but they are usually being used in such a cool subtle way that it doesn't really bother me…  This is good. It's dark and deconstructed in such a way that no song feels formulaic but nothing seems totally improv either. It's pretty impressive. As a listener I will say that the cd is a little on the long side but it's so massive I doubt you will mind. 

     The layout is pretty standard fare. A pretty 90's cover with some random text on the inside. It's not bad but you can tell it was done by someone who probably doesn't really know or care about graphic design but they do seem to have pretty good taste. 

     I would probably skip over this based on it's looks but its a huge gritty slice of insanity on the inside… I would hate to have missed out on that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vasculae "Cultural Primitivism" cd

Cultural Primitivism
Monorail Trespassing

Fucking holy Harsh Noise Wall. This is a fifty plus minute pro cd of very blistering noise. Like a shower of blisters in your ears for almost an hour. There is really only one moment of rest near the end of the 20+ minute second track. Otherwise this is just a disc full of brutal. I can definitely get into this. My listening to things like this so much has pretty much ruined all other genres of "extreme music".

     There isn't much about the artwork that isn't minimal and bleak. Dark and textured photos with minimal text. It works great.

The DRX "The Deepening Hole" cd

The Deepening Hole
Nefarious Industries

I think more new genres may have been invented recently. I am having a hard time placing this one. Somewhere between rock, hardcore, screamo, prog rock, and doom. All with a healthy dose of horns. It's very strange. It really sounds like something I would hate but you know what? I kind of like the music and the screaming. It's really different to me. I think if I had to compare it to people I might say Muse meets Frodus and Quicksand with a strange touch of A Perfect Circle. I can see this getting pretty huge actually. I have to say that I am not super into the "nice" singing voice. It's good singing and hits the notes really well but I just don't like the sound. It's all over the songs too. Which I actually respect, I hate when people scream 90% of the time and then do the obligatory "singing" part over the awful hooky chorus. I'm looking at you, every new metal band I seem to hear these days. I bet some people love the singer's voice and I get it but it just doesn't sit right with me. It's not bad at all. Really, it's actually pretty brand new and I sort of love it for that but at the end of the day I don't think I really love the vocals. That's a big part of music like this. Whatever kind of music this is.

     It looks pretty cool. I think the whole of the art and text was cut from a wood block so they pretty much win in that category. I am impressed with the packaging in general. I would probably pick this up based on it's looks and how much effort obviously went into this. Overall this is a success but it is just not one for me.