ALBUM REVIEW: The debut LP by Belgian noise-rock group El Yunque opens Baskenland with the explosive drums, insectile guitar, and manic vocals one might expect venturing into this genre. I wasn’t disappointed, to say the least, but rather pleasantly surprised when the rest of the album offered a more constructed version of that first track. What I proceeded to find was a mix of industrial elements and versatile guitar, accompanied by a combination of English and apparently Belgian lyrics, ranging in style from folky, Gira-esque drawls, to shrill screaming. There’s a nice mix between fast progressive songs, and longer more hypnotic tracks revolving around a central groove.
“Kabeldraad” is an almost nineteen minute pounding jam that gives off a doom vibe at certain times while bringing you through a range of highs and lows, all while somehow not being boring. Noztechtransch takes you through an evil, country influenced, instrumentation overlaid with catchy verses with gems like, “I’m a redneck baller”. The classical rock elements given the context of the rest of the album gives it an interesting edge, I felt like I was in a dive bar that allows smoking mixed with some warehouse art rock performance. The way the band draws on each of their influences is very nuanced which can make it difficult to discern their core sound. With this in mind it opens up every new track to be a blank slate they can do whatever they want with, which is potentially very refreshing. When they’re using conventional rock elements it still has an edge to it, and when they have a noise interlude that’s a lot more deconstructed it retains a very cohesive feel because of the scaffolding the rest of the track provides.
Baskenlandis this band’s first LP, after just an EP and a cassette, and it showcases everything in a really promising experimental group. If this is step one, then I’m very much looking forward to the progression of El Yunque.
ALBUM REVIEW: 11 songs of noise rock on Slow Release by the Australian power crud rock trio Yes I Am Leaving have a few sharp and dull knifes up their sleeves. The opening track “One” below is a jesus lizardesque pounder and a great introduction to the swinging future punk swagger on the rest of the record. You really need to be a fan of AM/REP bands to appreciate the first three tracks or generally scorching your inner ear drums with cork screw. As the record gets deeper it’s get a little more melodic and husker du sing/song which makes them omni directional. The tracks “Alchemy” and “Timer” picks-up with just a little more of a show-gazer song-scape mentality nod (see what I did there) that I am talking about. So something for everybody here to make you look up the playlist a few times. This record is a follow-up to their 2013 record Mission Bulb. I couldn’t tell you the difference just yet but I can tell you they will be touring the states in Oct/Nov 2014; at least that is the plan anyway and if you were worth the prize tag of your hoodie you would just pick this shit up and check them out. This is minimalistically melodic when needed and has mucho bass thuds to rock the crud out of your head with a swift kick of their boot. You can listen to this record backwards and forwards and it will still be just as good. Facehook| Homeless Vinyl | Soundcloud
RIYL: Janitor Joe, METZ, Today is the Day, Laughing Hyenas
VIDEO: YES I’M LEAVING – FOUR CHORDER from MISSION BULB (2013)
ALBUM REVIEW: I am starting to wonder what is in the water now that all global warming is melting all the snow in Canada because the rock-n-roll that is starting to come down by the likes of Champion Lover is getting meaner and darker. The Toronto based noise punks have their scopes set on getting you fucked-up a lot which we’re totally fine with being that we’re in New Jersey and our home state’s super hero is The Toxic Avenger. This is a monster sized caliber release with jagged distortion episodes that manage to get inside your worst dreams. At other times pretty trippy power psyche(yea we said this) where the bassiness will make your bad day get worse. Pounding you with the opener “Read my Mind” and wipe off the blood with “She Likes Wu-Tang”; these are the real champions on this debut. The last track “Vacant Heart (Spring Break)” is what we can only imagine is a bad trip gone completely sour. So put your head in the barrel on their bandcamp to dose yourself. You might not need drugs listening to them because they are drug rock and will make you scrape your face-off.
RIYL: Weekend, Sonic Youth, Place to Burry Strangers
The Color of Noise – Third Man Record is going to premier the film by writer/director Eric Robel May 30th 2014 in Tennessee. The film has been in the works for over the past few years. In this documentary Robel interviews all of the bands that were on Tom Hazelmeyer’s record label Amphetamine Reptile Records(AMREP). These were mostly the bands that made the 1990’s notorious in a few small cirlces of fanzine, artists and record geek’s worlds like myself. Most of these bands never went on to do anything else except be on tour but one thing was certain they were all part of a gang that appreciated the same aesthetic sonically. There were many and I can say that The Research and Development picture disc series was an example of somebody with vision. Every 7″ was something you might find in a very twisted S&M gallery. Many underground artists before basement shows were a huge thing that you may have ever heard. Tom (HAZE XLL) had it under control and gladly put things out there in the hopes of grabbing your attention even if he never really was able to “cash-in”. DOPE-GUNS’N FUCKING IN THE STREETS 7″ compilation EP series was another of my favorite comps from this era of noise rock. You got a great bang for your buck. usually four bands and zero complaints. One’s you might have heard of like Mudhoney and rest were there laying to waste your turn-table for the afternoon. In this series there was always a simple illustration right smack in the middle of the custom typography were items like a used condom, needle or vibrator. All these Bands were part of this world that bands like Helmet and the Cows played. These were my go to bands to see play live at CBGB’s and other parts of NJ and NYC. If I didn’t know about them Tom made sure that 50 of us did so music by Tar, Janitor Joe, Unsane or Hammerhead had a small but loyal audiencee. A club within a club of punk because this music was not necessarily as popular as Nirvana got to be or would it ever become. It was dangerous and the poster Artwork for the show alone made it intriguing with guys like Derek Hess, Coop and Kozik. Album art produced by Hazelmeyer made the point clear this was something unique and a one time thing. You should proceed with caution while you blow your ear-drums out and annoy your neighbors but this is something that won’t ever be replicated – a close facsimile maybe. This type of music was an under appreciated sub-genre of grunge because what happened to grunge was a obmination compared to what it really was. Here’s the evidence.
ALBUM REVIEW: Yea so if you told somebody to make a band that sounded something like Hole and but told them to make the music and guitars drill deep in your head they would sound like Sex Jams. While not as bombastic or crude as lets say Songs About Fucking the tunes have a sonic youth flare. In particular the 2 guitar attack is evident on the slow sex jam “Twist and Turns”. Now we you know we don’t just push any old crap on you so know that if you are a sex worker or a naughty librarian this music should speak to your inner throbbing nyc style punk rock. Not quite GG Alin gutteral punk but something that rises above the blood and bad smell of the rest. This is smooth when it needs to be in a etheral Ravenettes kind of why and so ungodly distorted at other times in the vein of No Age or GvsB you’d think you can actually walk on the music itself. Out March 1, 2013 from the mighty fine Austria label www.siluh.com.
Was very excited to learn that there is a Documentary being made about Amphetamine Reptile Records called The Color of Noise. Kind of made my day yesterday. Also that I’m going to be able to contribute some live footage of HELMET that has been hiding out in my basement since 1991 when they played with Jawbox. We’ll see if it makes the cut. The director Eric Robel interviews Tom Hazelmyer who ran the ship at Am/Rep and if the trailer is any indication judging on the graphics alone it looks amazing. Such an amazing roster from the COWs(pictured at CBGB’s photo by yours truly) to the God Bullies. It really fulfilled a void for the music and genre known as “noise” which we love here at the RS blog.
ALBUM REVIEW: Little did these two bands know that their last performance would leave behind rubble and a set of burnt out souls. I’m of course talking about the fire that destroyed the Sound Station in Westfield where above video was shot a week before that tragic Sunday on Jan 22nd, 2012. This was not their intent only metaphorically of course. Bob Larsen the owner loves to celebrate all sorts of music and these guys were part of that musical entertainment. So, if your a fan of noise, as he is, and copious guitar notes then you’re gonna love A FUCKING ELEPHANT and EL DRUGSTORE on Nefarious Industries. Besides the fact we love capitalization. We sincerely dig these two bands and are rooting for the Sound Station to come back stronger in a badly needed music scene where culture is slowly disapearing. Fortunately for us bands like these two have put out split LP that is as much gut spilling as it is ear bending. Taking the art of noise to places that need exploring. Disfigured in the anti matter of rock something great will rise again. Your spine will bend a little when El Drugstore goes off the rails in what’s best described as a cacophony of uprooted trees being torn down by a bulldozer where Live at Pompei once stood. These jams bend the sequence of time. Those Arm Rests are Fire MP3 by El Drugstore
The opening track are by AFE make you feel right off the bat that bands like Neurosis and Melvin have had impact. Two of my favorites combined with the anti-Rush. Now for the avid listener it obvious why these two bands put out a split release together. Their line in “Football with Ukrainians” describes the music best. “They scream heart attack”. I mean shit this is a beating. When I was chatting with Matty Keys the guitarist he was we have to be totally sober to place this music. A listen and you’ll realize this music is about precision. Well at least as much as you can have accuracy if your scalpel is buzzsaw carving through sheets of metal and earth. Lots of guitar taping on few numbers and juggling of said notes in furious numbing beating like a boxer on punching bag. Football With Ukrainians MP3 by A Fucking Elephant
Hundreds of bands have sprung from the very ripe boon-dock known as the New Brunswick N.J. Hub City/Rock City scene, even though some of is straight-up emo basement level variety hardcore. ExVegas was one of the more promising urban alternative legends that morphed into another band called Prosolar Mechanics. EV had a double guitar storm featuring Alex(Saville) the sonic reducer and T.Sands on the V2 Rocket which were more Chicago sounding than anything from Chicagoland(you know jesus lizard, rapeman, etc) Their guitar combo was as serious as a trailer truck on biodiesel fuel injected with amphetamines with a starfire voice led by Amy (now married with children to the sonic reducer). This 7″ cover artwork was illustrated by the very talented and sorely missed E.Gun Aka Eric Gundry (RIP) who used to book The Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ after Tom Crow for awhile in the early 90’s. This music was recorded at Trax East by Steve Evetts (Supultura, deadguy, Nudeswirl, buzzkill) and was pretty damn close to what they sounded like live. Everything is thick and messy sometimes like rock should be.
Fast forward the time continuum and put the date below in your rock calendar in advance because I’m emailing your from the future. Their next show is gonna be spacey if their latest tune that I have “Primer” is any indication of your coming future. Prosolar Mechanics Live March 12, 2011 Maxwells! BONUS MP3’s: The Future of Sex from Kitra Vol 2 Impact Primer from the web release Last song of the Month – Orchestra of distorted noise meets angry mountain of insects yelling and crawling on your skin like a jungle of mites on your scalp is the best way I could describe it with a electronic infusion of something ecstasy like.
DAISYCUTTER SHITHAMMER 45 Rockville
It’s not a secret around these parts were big on the grunge psychedelic scene. In particular when it about the home grown NJ Variety. So here’s Daisycutter from the Jersey Shore noise scene from back in the day when drug references were still cool on the Rockville label. These folks were more big black tribal jam rock. So if your’re a Monster Magnet fan you’ll like it but more than likely if your a Jersey MM fan you know this schwagg already since at one time it featured Ed Mundel on guitar and of course Reg Hogan on drums and Jim Hogan on the slithering bass. Drop in, dope out & do some crimes with the Shithammer. Download MP3s: Pull Glutton (5 mg) Glutton (10 mg)
EP 2 MUSIC REVIEW: If you would have told somebody you could play this many notes in the 1930’s they would have thought you were an octopus or a carnie but yet here you are on the eve of closing out yet another decade and metal is alive and well. Not that you’d know what metal was then but if you want to call Gondoliers prog metal you’re more than welcome to do it in this decade whilst you can.
I’m going to reserve sticking these Somerville Mass experi-metal (yuk yuk) geeks in any one particular sub-sub genre for right now because they mutated again into something deeper and beautifully darker. When they go-off the rails they are in the wires – reconfiguring the mess. Twisting out the guts from some random piece of roadkill and then proceeding to schredd and serenade the double octavewave pedal in celebration of their carnage and physical feats. These are your neu metal duo geeks with fast machine gun like reflexive notes playing the soundtrack of your prom copulation in discordant Glass like un-harmony. The noise is free but the sting of the memories will only last this life time so dig in and get weird cuz punk is sorta dead or at least the 1980’s version. Did I mention it’s fast like Don Caballero and precise like a razor and yet dumb like bull for everyday use? If not pardon moi let it rip.
Nothing really is the answer, unless you consider SY the only band of it’s type of which case you live in a very narrow universe. So the other night a post caught my eye on mog by a mogger posting a Live Bush tetras video at the knitting factory, which i have scratched up, i mean really scrappy 7″ copy of “Things That Go Boom in the Night” (i think), and was then subsequently chatting with my friend Jim about Danceteria and couple bands from the past including Mission of Burma and the one other bands that came up during the conversation were of course the Dustdevils and I said holy hell I just ran into this band accidentally again…blah,blah,blah. Seriously file Dustdevils with your noise bands on the farther end with neurosis and live skull as far as I am concerned. SY is a pop band compared to this drug smuggling outfit or least in the middle of their output. for the most part Dustdevils are a really noisy rock band founded by English Guitarist Michael Duane and Aussie vocalist/guitarist Jaqi Dulany. They started the band in the Mid 80’s in the UK then transplanted themselves to NYC. With a inconsistent line-up of now well known NY scenesters playing in the band on and off again up until the late 90’s where they toiled their brand of sonic pollution. The exact dates for these things are not so important sometimes if the discography overshadows it in the annals of rock history. Probably a foot note (if that) for some but for others a major part of a scene along with thinking fellers union, Fly Ashtray, Wider, Gerard Cosloy Matador owner, and Crown Heights among other band folk; all whom did time as part of the Dustdevils. I can’t even keep up but this trouser press discography review does a good job naming names. Now seriously, you really need to be into dissonant guitars and feedback that creates this aural landscape to enjoy it. The later stuff gets all trance and mixxy but you’ll like it. I have.
Here are a few choice selections: Mp3 – Young Moss Tongues – from Geek Dip (Matador 1989) where you really get that SY comparison to something could have easily been on EVOL and you would be none the wiser. Mp3 – Encient – from Rhenyards Grin (Rouska/Fundamental -1987) – This album starts does hit part of pop department alla throwing muses a whee bit but i think it has to do more with production and more apparent song structures. I honestly start with this one then work you way up or down. Mp3 – Receiver – From Extant EP (Matador – 1996) Recorded in 1993 sometime and released posthumously after for good parting of Duane and Dulany.