Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I was just thinking…I love me some good old fashioned moody, sludgy, grooving doom. I also love me some good old fashioned melodic vocals, with a little growl to ‘em, but still actual singing, ya know? Not the typical growly stuff a lot of doom bands favor, but some good old fashioned melodic hard rock and metal vocals with some good old fashioned grit to ‘em. Kinda like a lot of the 90’s bands used, with a lot of brooding anger. Maybe throw in some hauntingly cool harmony vocals here and there too…yeah…kinda like Ozzy, Chris Cornell, and Alice in Chains thrown into a blender…it would have to be a black blender of course. Well hold on to your ear surfboards Waveriders, cause I found just the thing.
Curse the Son’s Isolator begins with the title track, featuring a quiet melody of subdued drums and guitar behind some groovy mellow bass riffing before bursting forth with a wall of heavy sound chugging along at a mid-tempo stomp behind melodic vocals, all complete with stops and starts, fading out and back in at strategic points. “Callous Unemotional Traits” boils up to the surface next, slow and sludgy, with haunting harmony vocals recalling the legendary sound of Layne Stayley and Jerry Cantrell with a pinch of Mastodon thrown in. “Sleepwalker Wakes” brings the tempo down even more, alternating between straight-time and half-time, dialing up the sludge factor another notch while switching up to a more melodic vocal approach reminiscent of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Don’t get comfortable though Waveriders, because just when you think it’s safe to get in the water again, “Hull Crush Depth” envelops you in slow waves of sound alternating between ebbing tides of subdued drums behind groovy bass guitar with psychedelic-tinged vocals one moment, and tidal waves of fuzzy doom washing over your bow to send your ship to the doomy depths the next.
“Gaslighter” continues the slow roll of the rising tide, but this time opening with an infectious guitar riff doubled by the bass guitar behind bitter lamenting vocals begging for forgiveness as they “drain your soul.” The evil tritones are on display again as “Aislamiento” creeps up behind you with it's fangs ready before boiling down to a sullen waltz of doom complete with airy passages of melodic bass riffing that would make Lord Geezer Butler proud between layers of crushing distorted guitar, before a killer drum and bass breakdown about 5½ minutes in before building back up to carry the song out. “Side Effects May Include…” erupts forth from the sonic ground with a mid-tempo snarl of bass guitar before being joined by droning blades of sludgy distortion and thundering drums with earthy vocals alternating between sky high passages and low gritty ground level trips through the doomy mud. I think the side effects may include HEAVY!
Isolator is moody and heavy throughout, with lighter passages interspersed within, and you can’t help but bob your head and tap your leaden feet while listening. Guitar solos are nowhere to be seen, but the bass riffing and wall-of-fuzz guitars more than make up for their absence, and the drums are thunderous here, light and airy there creating the perfect light and shade within the dynamics of the album. So if you’re like me and you prefer your doom moody, sludgy, and groovy, and your vocals melodic and gritty with some hauntingly cool harmony vocals sprinkled about, check out Curse the Son’s Isolator. Your ear surfboards will thank you. Like totally bro…
Monday, May 2, 2016
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Now, Henry Rollins is a counterculture icon and rightfully so considering his part in Black Flag and as a voice in punk rock. These days Uncle Henry has retired from music but is doing endless spoken word tours around the world. He is an actor, writer and a radio host on KCRW where he is playing two hours of cool music very week. The man seems to have 48 hours in one day.
But back to 1994. This might be the best music year ever considering the amount of classic albums that were released back then. Google it, there are too many to mention here. But Rollins Band released Weight and had a massive hit on MTV with Liar and a minor hit with Disconnect from that very album.
Produced by Theo Van Rock it is the follow up to The End Of Silence released two years earlier that had almost the same line up apart from the new bass player Melvin Gibbs who had a quite intresting non-rock background. And that might have been contributing to the grooviness and new heaviness of Weight.
Rollins has never been afraid to mix things up musically. Black Flag had it's jazzy moments and with Rollins Band he really streched it on Weight. Tracks like Fool and Wrong Man is more of a groove affair than a bone crushing punk rock attack. But the cracking of bones is present in stuff like Civilize and Icon. And in Volume 4 in which Rollins Band turns into that monster of the riff honouring its name with Henry screaming his lungs out.
I love this album because of it's diversity and nonconformist attitude. And it is the high point of Henry Rollins creativity as a musician in my book. I listen to this album today and it doesn't feel dated or old. The production is as good today as it was back then and the songs are stellar.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Well it’s not 4/20 by the time this publishes, but it’s within an acceptable time frame to put that as the title for this round of bonanza fodder at camp. We know those of you that partake in the 420 festivities will be partaking regardless of the date, so cheers and happy day to all of you. The gift that keeps on giving (bandcamp) has given us more awesome albums, literally on a daily basis. Check out these fantastic albums I rummaged up recently.
Based out of Weinsburg, Germany we have this band named Fuddge. It was a challenge getting me to push play initially just based on the name being somewhat silly. They added an extra‘d’ to avoid copyright infringement of your grandma’s baked goods at Christmas. I made the corny analogy anyway in my short review on bandcamp. This self-titled EP absolutely blew my mind when I finally got around and gave it a good listen. Plenty of styles to keep a rock fan happy including bluesy riffs, stonerized vocal howls, and psychedelic grooves aplenty. This thing shows promise like I haven’t seen in a while.
“Oozing with heavy blues and glistening with jaw dropping psych, Fuddge soothe the musical craving with a mind bending fuzz fest powdered with sensational atmospherics. Eat this shit up, it's all organic and loaded with lysergic groove. Favorite track: Lilith.
THAL - Glitter
THAL, short for The Heathens Are Loose are comprised of just one man believe it or not. I did not realize that upon purchase, nor until after nearly a dozen listens later reading an interview on the blog page Metal Nexus here talking with the mastermind Vince Green about the project. Anyhow, whether or not you read the cool interview you should make sure and find some time to listen to this album. It played on repeat for almost a full week upon discovery and still gives me that love and feeling like the first time the burning riffs and intoxicating vocals graced my speakers. Below my mini-review starts off with a line from one of the songs, just letting you know. I just couldn’t resist getting weird. The album is amazing in every sense of the word.
“This is your homework Larry. The fucking Heathens Are Loose with a wildly melodic fuzz, pile driven with savage distortion and sensational groove. Favorite track: Whistleblowers.
Red Scalp - Rituals
Rituals summons a combination of heavy worth telling your friends about. Red Scalp rock hard, there is not much more to say than that. Great accessible vocals, gargantuan riffs with beefy hooks and doomy atmosphere keep you intrigued throughout each of its lengthy songs. Well done guys, well fucking done!!
“Rituals is a healthy dose of Native American desert rock straight outa Poland! The vocals cry with dreamy reverb as the colossal riffs concoct a spiritual groove. The doom length songs are weighted with sludgy girth but balanced with a stamina fit for a heavy stoner rock connoisseur.
Red Sun Cult – Red Sun Cult
Red Sun Cult stole the show one day while venturing into the stoner/psych/blues territory of camp. This one definitely has more of a jammy psych factor to it tripping out with extended instrumental intros before absolutely exploding with searing vocals rasping like a punk rocker lost in the desert.
“The guitar solos glow like a starlit sky on acid, the fuzzy riffs warm like a garage lined with shag, and the latent punk energy lingers effortlessly taking on the form of the heavy blues dressed in tie-dye. The riffs are endless and the psych factor is immense.”
Don’t pass this one up; join the cult, the Red Sun Cult.
Friday, April 29, 2016
I’ve become aware of a trend towards sabbathy, melodic, heavy stoner-doom bands with female singers lately. Had the stoner-doom scene not always been so utterly male-dominated, I might not have noticed… but, you know, it was.
As such, it’s impossible not to take note of the recent emergence of bands like Windhand, Ruby the Hatchet, and Holy Grove, all of whom are female-fronted, and all of whom fucking slay.
Holy Grove brings something interesting to the table, in that the tones are thick and sludgy, while the riffs shift back and forth from contemporary doominess to almost classic rock-esque at times.
Recorded by Billy Anderson, this actually doesn’t feel like a Billy Anderson record – and by that I mean he didn’t do that thing that wrings a Melvin-esque sound out of every band he works with. Maybe it’s been a while since I listened to Billy’s work, or maybe he took a gentler approach with someone who clearly has their own vibe and didn’t necessarily need that Anderson crunch to sound thick and heavy on tape.
The vocal question, to me, has the potential to be pretty polarizing: would this record and band sound as good with a male vocalist? In other words, should it be worth mentioning the vocals for their female distinctiveness?
I guess it depends where you stand on the whole political correctness issue. I mean, we agree that we have a black president, right? We don’t have to tiptoe around that? So then, we can agree to discuss the merits of the vocals in gender-free terms while acknowledging that it’s indeed a woman belting them out. Agreed?
I like what she’s doing. It’s not the elastic operatic thing that some female metal singers do, nor is it the breathy, Mazzy Star-possessed by demons thing. She’s just letting it rip, God of Rock style. Or, Goddess of Rock, I mean. Whatever. It works. It rocks.
If you like your Windhand a little less graveyardy, your Ruby the Hatchet a bit more seismic, and your stoner rock a few ounces less testosterone-fueled… or you just want to hear a quality fucking stoner-doom record, then check out Holy Grove’s debut full-length. Available now here.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
"HISTORY OF FRENCH DRAWERS" Exhibit
Wonderful! A history buffs dream come true!
I've always wondered what kind of drawers Napoleon used to store his belongings. Now I know!
Underwhelmed by Charles de Gaulle's use of faux-wood paneling. I expected a more distinguished material.
The brochure promised I could see Marie Antoinette's drawers. I did not expect them to be wooden boxes with metal handles. Highly dissatisfied!
I am shocked Notre-Dame would allow such a treasure out of their sight!
It's amazing that any drawers were left unscathed by the Nazi occupation but some managed to survive. Thank goodness! I would have liked a few more examples from the Maginot Line but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
Thank you! With your help I managed to pull off the best practical joke I've attempted in years!
Greetings waveriders. I have a confession to make. I've been listening to the self-titled album from the French band Drawers off and on for a couple of years at this point. Based off that information anyone with half a brain would inevitably reach the conclusion that I like this music. Since that is clearly the case you might ask why I have not yet written about this album? Well, I don't really have a good answer so I am going to rectify my lapse in coverage right now.
Drawers is one heck of an album! When I'm in the mood for some sludge metal with a more melodic slant to it then I know exactly where I can get my fix. The eight songs that make up this album's thirty minute run time waste no time delivering their sonic payload. If you require your metal to foreshadow future headbanging with mood setting introductory passages look elsewhere. The listener hits play and the audio explosions begin. It's as simple as that.
What makes Drawers stand out to my ears over other bands in the sludge metal genre? One aspect that immediately grabbed my attention was Niko Bastide's vocals. Yes they're almost entirely screamed/growled, but there is such a wide-ranging tonality to the screaming/growling that his voice is better able to match what the rest of the band is creating. Speaking of what the rest of the band is doing there is an altogether elevated sense of melody to their music in general. The riffs, while entirely massive and royally distorted, make me happier while I listen to them. Can you say that about many sludge metal acts you've come across? I know I can't.
While I enjoy all eight songs I understand that all of you reading this may not have thirty minutes to listen to the full album. That being the case I'd like to highlight two of my favorite songs off of Drawers. The first is called "It's All About Love" and the second is entitled "Shadow Dancers". Conveniently there is an official music video for the latter. Listen to these two killer tracks and you'll hear exactly why I continue to be so enthused over this band's work.
Head to Kaotoxin Records Bandcamp page to get your digital copy of Drawers or track down a hard copy from either Kaotoxin's online shop or your favorite music outlet. However you obtain these tunes, your mission once you have them is straightforward. Crank the volume and rock out!