Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Horror!!! Volume IV, “Awake the Dreamer”

Volume IV“Awake the Dreamer,” the gorgeous new video from Atlantan trio Volume IV, is more than just a pretty face.

Sure, it’s always nice to look at beautiful trees, and pretty girls, pretty girls underneath beautiful trees and plenty of stuff much more sinister which I’ll leave for you to discover. But what draws us to Volume IV is their willingness to step a bit outside the confines of what you might normally expect from a group of stoner/sludge/whatever beardos and longhairs. The acoustic intro of “Awake the Dreamer” references Opeth (or even Iron Maiden), while the main melodies that carry the song (not to mention the video’s over-the-top theatrics!) have a certain playfulness to them that indicates these guys approach their craft with just the right amount of levity, and they’re certainly not concerned with brutalizing anyone either.

Long in the Tooth is out now; snag it here on CD or MP3.

VOLUME IV: Atlanta-Based Biker Doom Trio Starts East Coast/Southern Takeover This Weekend

Atlanta's VOLUME IV may have been quiet as of late, but with a huge year ahead of them and many things to announce in the coming months, they're kicking things off by taking their southern-tinged biker doom riffs on the road and laying waste to the south as well as the east coast.

11/1 Birmingham, Alabama @ The Bottletree
11/4 Atlanta, GA @ The Basement
11/7 Brunswick, GA @ HBGB
11/8 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
11/22 Montgomery, AL @ Head On The Door
12/4 Spartanburg, SC @ Groundzero
12/5 Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone
12/6 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
12/31 Pensacola, FL @ Handlebar

Listen to Volume IV's skull-shattering 2014 release, Long In The Tooth, right here:

Watch the haunting video for "Awake The Dreamer," which premiered on MetalSucks:

With equal parts elegant beauty and steamrolling aggression, Volume IV serve up a piece of ear candy for the ages with Long In The Tooth. This first release with Ripple Music is a concise, 36-minute thrill ride of swampy metal heroics, featuring heavy grooves, classic bluesy stoner riffs, and an overall impending sense of doom. These boys bring back the old school attitude of musical sensibility, working hard to master your instrument, and taking pride in creating a wide pallet of musical styles: Thunderous drumming locked tight within the pocket, bass guitar providing a dense foundation for the thick guitar and gritty yet melodic vocals that lay on top. In a world where everything is mechanized, click-tracked and auto-tuned, Volume IV does it the only way, the honest way, straight from the gut.

Individually the members of Volume IV have shared the stage with legendary acts such as Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Danzig, Mastodon, Corrosion Of Conformity and Down just to name a few. Led by singer/guitarist Joe Carpenter and filled out by bassist Blake Parris and drummer Troy King, Volume IV has stunned the metal world with one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

"Volume IV draw from a set of southern, '70s, biker and stoner rock, amalgamating the mix into a very spacious, slow-motion burl that possesses a deep groove."
- Metal Hammer

"What draws us to Volume IV is their willingness to step a bit outside the confines of what you might normally expect from a group of stoner/sludge/whatever beardos and longhairs."
- MetalSucks

“The riff is heavy and the groove is huge, it's biker metal done perfectly. We mentioned this release was highly anticipated, but it surpassed even our expectations.  Definitely a top ten album of the year candidate.”
- Stoner Rock BBQ


Archgoat/Surrender of Divinity Split - Angelslaying Christbeheading Black Fucking Metal

When you put a title like that on your album, you're really putting it out there.  You better deliver.  And I can tell you, without a doubt, this entire release delivers in every way you can think of.  We have Hell's Headbangers to thank for this beast, and they did a fantastic job.  The black and white marble LP, although I think this color is way sold out now.  The double gatefold is really well printed, nice and heavy, and has some of the most evil and blasphemous artwork I've ever seen on a release.  And the music?  Every bit as brutal and foul and blasphemous as you would expect from an album with this title.  It's a live album, recorded in Thailand.  It's just fantastic.

The last time we visited Archgoat, they had released a sweet little album called “Heavenly Vulva”.  I reviewed it and one of my fellow Ripple writers referred to my review as the “Best. Review. Ever”.  (You can check it out here:  Not that I'm trying to toot my own horn.  It wasn't my writing that made him respond that way.  More the subject matter.  Anyway, this live blast has 9 tracks of unadulterated Satanic hedonism.  If you are not familiar with Archgoat, they really don't pull any punches.  There is no sacrilege they won't make.  They are easily the most brutal and hardcore black metal band I know of from Finland.  Highlight tracks are “Apotheosis of Lucifer”, “Hammer of Satan”, with a drum riff that sounds exactly like the title of the track, and “Goat and the Moon”, easily my favorite on this release with one of the most evil sounding riffs that I have ever heard.  I dig Archgoat a lot and for me this release is worth the price just for their contribution.

Surrender of Divinity hail from Thailand, so this must have been a hometown gig for them.  Whereas Archgoat put a lot of speed in their black metal, these guys offer more of the chaotic variety of black metal.  All 3 band members are just ripping away all at the same time to create a truly hellish cacophony.  There seem to be some pretty cool riffs in these 3 tracks but this side of the split suffers a little bit from a bad mix.  The drums pretty much take over whenever Mr. Drummer is doing fills and rolls and double bass insanity, which is pretty much all the time.  The drums are way too high in the mix so you just hear the guitar and bass in small windows when the drums mellow out for 5 seconds.  I was not familiar with this band prior to listening to this split but they have some good stuff going on and I'd like to hear some studio recordings with everything in the proper spot in the mix.  My favorite from them is the wonderfully named “Manifest Blasphemy”.

Rarely do I find a release that has the whole package like this one.  When you combine great design, beautiful vinyl, and Angelslaying Christbeheading Black Fucking Metal all in one, you really can't go wrong.  Check this one out while you can, I don't imagine there are many copies left.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

STUBB: New Track From London Heavy Psych Rockers Now Streaming At The Obelisk; Cry Of The Ocean Out Nov 14th

Today The Obelisk has premiered "Sail Forever," the first taste of Cry Of The Ocean, the long-awaited sophomore album from London heavy rockers STUBB, out Nov 14th in North America and Nov 17th in UK/EU. The Obelisk's H.P. Taskmaster gives the Cry Of The Ocean high praise in the accompanying review, calling it "a more complex offering...and in case you're worried, there's no shortage of fuzz, either."

Listen to "Sail Forever" at THIS LOCATION.

The power trios of the late '60s and early '70s are the blueprint for Stubb’s loud, hard-driving, fuzzed-up heavy blues rock. The band recorded their first full length album for UK label Superhot Records, and hit the road, gigging with such heavy rock luminaries as the Gentlemans Pistols, Firebird, Cherry Choke, Steak, Sungrazer and The Machine as well as appearing at Desertfest to a packed house. Making the trip over to Europe twice with Stone Axe from the USA further cemented Stubb's reputation as a solid live act with some serious chops. Quickly, their debut album sold out and fans of heavy rock have been waiting eagerly for their sophomore effort. Now, Ripple Music is proud to deliver Cry of the Ocean, a blissed-out new album that will cement Stubb’s reputation amongst the higher hierarchy of heavy rock bands.

"For the dedicated music fan, hearing a great new album is rather akin to the feeling that a gourmet gets when introduced to a particularly tasty meal. The pulse quickens, the heart pulses and a sense of excitement. It is just this feeling that strikes when you are introduced to the flaming guitars and psychedelic visions of London’s mighty Stubb.”
-Sonic Abuse

Stubb is:
Jack Dickinson - Guitar and vocals
Tom Fyfe - Drums
Peter Holland - Bass


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MOTHERSHIP: Dallas, Texas Riff Lords Reveal "Priestess Of The Moon" via Terrorizer; Mothership II out Nov 11th

Dallas, Texas-based, supersonic, intergalactic heavy rock trio and family unit Mothership have revealed the riff-heavy anthem "Priestess Of The Moon" from their forthcoming sophomore album, Mothership II. Terrorizer, who are hosting the stream today, note that "Mothership’s goal is a simple yet admirable one; to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70′s, updated and amped up for the modern day. Marrying Sabbath-esque riffs to a kind of ZZ Top swagger, if you’ve got a soft spot for this style of music then you’re going to love this."

Mothership II, which was engineered at Dallas' Crystal Clear Studios by none other than Kent Stump of Wo Fat, will be unleashed November 10th in Europe and November 11th in North America on both single LP gatefold vinyl and digipack CD.
Turn your speakers up and blast "Priestess Of The Moon" at THIS LOCATION.
“Mothership‘s new album is a scorcher, plain and simple. The Texas natives made waves with their self-titled debut, which got picked up by Ripple for a re-release, but Mothership II is a different beast altogether, and one that trounces its predecessor easily.”

- H.P. Taskmaster, The Obelisk

"Warning: May cause heads to explode and make your ears bleed. Mothership upped the ante with 'II.' It's Darker and grittier than their debut. If you only listen to one new release this year, this is the one you want! 

- Bill Goodman, The Evil Engineer (ex-The Soda Shop)
Mothership is:
Kyle Juett - Bass, vocals
Kelley Juett - Guitar, vocals
Judge Smith - Drums

See Mothership live:
11/14 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club
11/15 Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
11/20 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
12/19 Houston, TX @ End Of The World Festival

For all press inquiries, please contact

THORR-AXE: Indiana-Based Blackened Doom Quartet Announces New Album, Gates Of Winter; Preorders Available Now

As winter begins to rear its icy head in the Northern Hemisphere, the mythologically-inspired, blackened-doom quartet hailing from Bloomington, Indiana known as THORR-AXE have announced the arrival of their sophomore album, Gates Of Winter: January 13, 2015.

"Cold, frosty doom” act Thorr-Axe is a raiding party comprised of four guys with a mutual love of heavy music who belch forth tales of dragons, wizards, frost giants, and vikings putting axes through people's skulls. A party of the blackest kind, which the Sleeping Shaman once referred to as “a crushing rifforama that boldly sets all axes to bludgeon-mode,” and every metal head with a black heart and a wry smile is invited.

Track Listing:

1. Open The Gates
2. The Seer's Vision
3. Four Hooves
4. Mountain Crusher
5. The Forging Ritual

CD preorders of Gates Of Winter are available now at THIS LOCATION.

Praise for Thorr-Axe’s 2011 debut album, Wall Of Spears:

"Put simply, this 9-song showcase is a feast of continent-sized riffs. Imagine The Sword taking on Amon Amarth for a late night Dungeons and Dragons battle with Matt Pike on hand to drink beer and advise The Sword on its strategy and you’re pretty much there.”
- Pete Green, The Sleeping Shaman

"Wall Of Spears invokes a raging world of wizards and warriors, hell-breathing dragons and a nice cold beer or 50 to celebrate the smashing of the enemy’s skull under the double-edged blade. This is the kind of record that sneaks up on unsuspecting souls before unleashing a Viking hammer between the eyes."
- Nate Vaught, Forbidden Magazine

Thorr-Axe is: 

Tucker Thomasson: Guitar/ Vocals
Mitchell McKinney: Guitar
Garrett Daniels: Bass
Jacob Lett: Drums/ Vocals


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FUZZ EVIL & CHIEFS: The Obelisk Streaming Split 7-Inch Out Today On Battleground Records

The split 7" EP from Sierra Vista, Arizona-based FUZZ EVIL and Southern California's CHIEFS is out today via Battleground Records, and in turn, trusted underground rock go-to joint, The Obelisk, is streaming the entire short but intoxicating platter right now.

Comprised of Wayne and Joey Rudell of Powered Wig Machine on vocals/guitar and vocals/bass, respectively, and drummer Marlin Tuttle, the A-Side's FUZZ EVIL delivers a nearly five-and-a-half minute, solid, groove-laden, heavy psych rock track, "Glitterbones," The Obelisk partially offering that the track delivers, "a swagger and hook reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, played up with some falsetto vocals, and true to their name, some vicious fuzz." On the B-Side, the five-and-a-half minute jam of CHIEFS' fiery "Stone Bull" lets loose. With this recording created by Paul Valle on vocals/guitar and Stephen Varns on drums, the band delivers prime, hard-hitting desert rock, The Obelisk Taskmaster noting that the band begins the track, "with slower riffery but open up to a chugging verse and well-placed clean vocals buried Goatsnake-style under the mountainous tone..."

Jack-in and blaze a few minutes of prime riffology with the FUZZ EVIL / CHIEFS 7" RIGHT HERE.

Limited to three hundred copies, the heavy, white-splattered grey vinyl is cut at 45 RPM for devastating delivery, with the FUZZ EVIL side featuring artwork by the band's Joey Rudell, and the art for CHIEFS handled by David Paul Seymour. Place orders HERE.

FUZZ EVIL has already confirmed several new Fall gigs including release shows for the 7" in both their hometown of Sierra Vista as well as Tucson, the former having taken place on October 21st.

FUZZ EVIL shows:
11/07/2014 Flycatcher - Tucson, AZ - 7" release show
11/08/2014 Superbrawler - Benson, AZ

Monday, October 27, 2014

I've Got Your 7 Inches Right Here #4: Istengoat - MMXII

Haven't done one of these 7” things in a while, and what better time to break one out.  It's a combo of the 7 inchers and the “goat” series.  This is a good one.

I love South American death metal as much as I love French black metal.  It's interesting how some countries and regions just do one style of metal so well.  These guys are from Chile, and they are just as brutal as any other South American band I've heard.  The thing I love about these bands is that when you listen to this stuff, it's as though the last 20 years never happened in death metal.  Forget all the melodic and technical death that has come and gone, just go back to the original stuff, the good stuff, and you'll know what this sounds like. 

There are 3 brutal, devastating tracks here.  Nothing ground breaking, just good old meat and potatoes death metal.  I like the recording quality of this one.  A lot of these recordings sound like the band set up in a parking garage and then someone hit “record”on an old school boombox.  This one has some good production and is well recorded.  The drums are clear and where they belong in the mix.  Many times the drums get buried, and I really like to hear what the drummer is doing, so this is good.  And to make it just right, the vocals are drenched in reverb just as they should be for this style.

You can find this one on the Hells Headbangers site.  The other news I dug up on this band is that they are working on a debut full length so I will be watching for that.  You should be, too.  All hail Istengoat!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

It Came From ReverbNation - The Ripple Music-ReverbNation Playlist Part 1

Welcome waveriders.  Once again the good folks at ReverbNation asked us to participate in a promotion for their millions of bands and artists.  Who ever was interested had 30 days to submit one song to us.  I then promised that I'd go through each submission and write a quick line about the 25 that caught my ear.

1052 artists submitted from all genres.  Originally, I only wanted to review heavy rock stuff, you know, Ripple Music record label kinda stuff, but wouldn't you know it, I simply fell in love with some of the voices, songs, craft and melodies of some very surprising (to me) submissions. I don't really like country, yet a country singer named Maggie Baugh grabbed my ears and refused to let go. I've been bored with too many emo-ish singer songwriters and intended to skip the whole scene, but a 17 year old phenom named Charlie Leavy was way, way too talented to ignore.  Not looking for any indie, folk or alternative yet you'll find amazing songwriters/performers like Van Wild, Flora Cash, and Sirsy on the list.   And despite the fact that ReverbNation ranks submissions by how many fans, facebook/followers they have, etc, I intentionally ignored those rankings and often started at the bottom of the list where heartfelt soul like Rodney Hubbard were just waiting to be found.

In fact, I found so many surprises that I had to petition to increase the acceptance from 25 to 29. Simply couldn't let any of these go.

Its a very mixed, eclectic playlist for all kinds of moods.  In other words, it's what the Ripple Effect is all about.

My apologies to all the others who submitted.  Some of these cuts were brutal for me.  Once I got the list down to about 100 the process trudged to a snail's pace.   I wanted to keep them all, but simply couldn't.

So, without further ado, the Ripple Music ReverbNation playlist, part 1.  Part 2 plays next week.

Dream Aria - Gypsy Heart

Dream Aria is well known to us at Ripple, having reviewed their debut LP so, so many years ago.  With "Gypsy Heart" they do what they've always done so well, combine heavy rocking riffs with exotic textures of Eastern instrumentation and angelic female lead vocals of Ann Burstyn.  Delicate momments of pop melodies merge with some chugging riffs to set us off on a magic flying carpet of mysterious rock.

Van Wild - Cherry Tree

Every thing about this songs screams to me that it should be a hit.  If Ripple put out music like this, I'd sign her in a second.  Stunningly beautiful, blessed with a voice that is instantly captivating, and a song that has melody, rock, and a damn fine vocal hook.  A bluesy, rocking swagger of pop/rock perfection.   I've heard more from Van Wild, and it's all just as catchy, some rocks more, some a bit blusier, and all good.  If Alannah Myles can have a hit in 1989 with Black Velvet, then Van Wild should be a can't miss.  Any A&R people out there?   Snap her up quick and come thank me later.

Flora Cash - I'll be With You

A starkly beautiful, spartan duet of indy folk that is mesmerizing in it's melodic grace.  Shpresa and Cole's vocals intertwine and elevate and float and harmonize and it's all just so damn good.  Sure, it's in the Mumford and Sons vein, but nothing about this tune sounds like it's a "jump on the bandwagon"  attempt at a hit.  It's so heartfelt and swings wtih it's own natural grace.  And when her vocals come in following sequence with his, the juxtaposition of their two tones grabs me somewhere visceral.  Lovely stuff.

Charlie Leavy - The Way Life is

Man, did I freak out when I found out that this stunning talent is only 17 years old.   Man, the voice, the songwriting, the music, it's all so mature, so age-weathered, so, so  . . . so damn perfect.  It might seem trite to hear a 17 year old sing "this is the way life is" over a light blues beat, but nothing here seems forced.   There's a wisdom to her, a seeing well beyond her years.  Best of all,  I could listen to Charlie sing for hours and hours.  Her tone reaches all the right place with a deep honesty that belays her years.  And what a damn catchy melody.  Wow.  Again, if Ripple Music put out singer-songwriter stuff, she'd be signed today, or rather, yesterday.  Can't wait to see where she goes with her music next.

Devilstrip - Go

Now, before you think I'm going soft, let's break the playlist with the first of our rockers.  Perhaps not as heavy as you might expect from me, but Devilstrip manage to find that perfect balance of heavy rocking riffs, gruff vocals and accessible melodies without ever drifting into taboo-Nickleback territory.   When they riff, they riff, when they're tuneful they're tuneful.  The the hook of "Go!" simply works.  When they blast that in there, I go to where the rock is.

Mark Stone & The Dirty Country Band - Whiskey Talkin'

Let's keep it heavy now.  Not in volume but in tone.  Mark Stone may call his band the Dirty Country Band, but this ain't country.  It's downright dirty and gritty southern-fried blues rock.  Less Hank II and more like Ripple favorites Wes Ford and the Foundry.  Big guitars, whiskey-stained vocal chords, chapped leather, biker chains and tattooed babes.  Cigarette smoke hangs heavy over the bar, brass knuckles fill the pockets.  Bad decisions are made and lips get bloodied.  Join in on this bar fight.

Sirsy - Cannonball

Holy crap, did this one grab me.  I haven't been so hooked by such an obviously poppy song since the time I first heard groove rockers Modern Science.  Cannonball, well  . . . it bowls me over with it's poppy hooks, "Baby" choral break, thumping back beat and funky guitar work.  Melanie Krahmer's vocals are perfectly set for the song with enough tone and edge to make sure the song never descends into pop fodder, but stays meaty and juicy.  Meanwhile, Rich Libutti (the band is only a two piece) never loses sight of the funk, freaking it out on his guitar.  Put this one on and just feel the groove.  My ass is already out of the chair.   Don't watch . . . .

Mongrel - Consumed

You're gonna think I got a thing for female vocals, but that's not usually the case.  Just a bunch of talented women jumped to the front of my listening.  Mongrel are no exception.  You want to rock?  You're still swinging your ass to Sirsy?   Well, keep that ass moving but thrust some head banging into the mix.  Riding a charging, near industrial riff, powered rock and roll beat and a punked up attitude, Mongrel rage with all the fury their name would suggest.  Jessica sings with a touch of snot and anger in her throat as the boys rage all around her with a blitzkreig of guitars. And they never lose that open door where even non-metal fans can jump in.

Maggie Baugh - Midnight Train

Now this is country through and through.  And like I said, I don't like country.  Or at least I didn't think I did.  So let's refine, let's make it clear that I don't like bad country but damn if there's more country out there that's half as good as Midnight Train by Maggie Baugh then you can just go ahead and sign me up.  Starting off with that loose strung guitar, then that mournful violin (or I guess I should call it a fiddle) it all builds until Maggie comes in to join the fray.  And damn, if she doesn't have one of those voices that just makes me want to shake and quiver.   Tuneful, forceful and it cracks and squeaks in all the right places to add a ton of nuance to her singing.  I had the melody stuck in my head for days after hearing this the first time.  And best of all, it's got a bluesy soul all playing out over some beautiful guitar work and that damn nice vio--er.. . fiddle.  Suddenly I'm a country fan.

Big Red Beaver - Goat

Back to the heavy.  Need something to clear Maggie's voice from the earworm canal in my brain, and Big Red Beaver should do nicely.  I'd just been hearing a little about these heavy, stoner, sludge rockers recently when they submitted this song and I was damn thrilled to learn that they're local for me.  After hearing Goat, I know I'll be checking them out soon.  If they bring it live half as hard and heavy as they do on this track they'll be a treat.  Dragging their primal asses out of some tepid southern sludge swamp, full of searing guitars, truck stop vocals, haze and fuzz for days, and a bone structure of pure post-Sabbath heaviness, Big Red Beaver are a big red furry heavy treat.

Element A440 - Porn Star

I knew I was in for a sleazy, industrial sexfest when Porn Star started with the quote, "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you, but would you mind slam fucking me about an hour."  Yes, sets the tone well for this orgy of singed synths, spewed riffs and body-fluid drenched beats.  Element A440 follow in the semen-soaked, tenderloin streets of NIN, Rammstein, and Marilyn Manson, with electronics flaring, guitars penetrating, bass probing and vocals gargling all within a sex-adled, drug-fueled haze of decadence. Porn samples litter the song like discarded sex toys.  So, filthy, you'll need to bathe after each listen.  And you can dance to the whole damn thing.   Really, does industrial grind get any better than that?

The Black Cross Brotherhood - Hillbilly State of Mind

Since we're raging, let's keep it going.   Pure southern metal, all belched fire and brimstone from The Black Cross Brotherhood.  Howitzer aimed guitars fire away mercilessly at my brainstem while the boys unleash an armies worth of terror from the regiments of Down, Metallica and even the Black Label Society.   Vocals are thick, but clean enough to not be off-puting and the guitar work never lets up.  Perhaps surprisingly enough, coming on the heals of the dance freak out that is Element A440, hearing The Black Cross Brotherhood serves to show the uninitiated that true metal can have a killer groove as well as adrenaline, and damn it, you could actually swing your ass to this.  It wouldn't be pretty, but you could do it.

Cosmic Shakedown - Carrying On

Ok.  Ears bleeding.  Need to calm it down a touch.  But not too much!!  Cosmic Shakedown, as their name implies bring on a comet-dust trail of post-70's psychedelic rock and some heavy space jamming.   A certain acrid smoke drifts and trails around the electrifying guitar leads, pulsating bass and soulful swing.  Hendrix lives here, as does Zeppelin, and a universe of guitar gods and spaced psych legends who came before them, and Cosmic Shakedown distills their essence into their own purely unique sludgy groove of  Southern Psychedelic Stoner bliss.  Lava lamps pump away.  Incense burns.  The cosmos await . . .

Xzile - Around the World

Now for what may be the biggest surprise, but a perfect ending to this playlist.  A nice calm down but keeping that essential beat going . . . gently into the night.   Xzile caught me with his even flow, and strong tone.   A cool sample and smooth vocal line brings us in and runs throughout that is totally chill, while Xzile does this thing over the top.  I don't listen to a ton of rap/hip hop but when I do I want beats, intelligent lyrics, and a smooth beat.  Xzile brings all that.  Now the lyrics may not be what you'd want to play to your toddler for a bedtime story, but they're real not fake.  Nothing feels forced here, and the song is all about the beat, the flow, and the sample.  Not a producer-driven calamity of noises and manufactured hooks to try to make a few bucks.  I can't help but feel that if I ever met Xzile, he'd have a story to tell and the scars to back it up.  Real.  Gritty.  Smooth.   A perfect end to our night.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Featuring RxGF and Funeral Kab

RxGF - Any Other Way

Grand and epic.  Dark and Mysterious.  Lush and evocative.  I guess I can open up a thesaurus to try and find more descriptors but I think I got my point across.  RxGF specialize in moody, slightly electronic darkwave gothic somberness of the sort I treasured back in my DJ days.  Moody without being a downer.  Danceable in that post Sisters of Mercy way.  RxGF crosses into straight up goth, industrial, chill, even a bit of Techno without ever losing their way.  There's a soul to the music, never losing itself in electronics, but staying heavy in melody and tone.  Riding the somber, yet ethereal vocals of Angeline Schaaf, RxGF is the brainchild of ace producers and multi-instrumentalists, Jonathan Plum and John Morgan Reilly, who have created a shadowy yet gritty and chilling sound combines an ominous wall of saturated synths, samples, beats, and acoustic drums & instruments.

If you're a darkwave fan, RxGF is well worth checking out.

Funeral Kab - Self-titled EP

Combining a touch of punk snot and fury with the balls of bluesed out stoner fuzz, Funeral Kab rage on like they got something to prove.  With their sung-spoke vocals and raw, primal, gutter-rock, Funeral Kab remind me of an unholy lovefest between the Jim Carroll band and Ripple's own CFA.  Mix in some Subhumans, Dead Milkmen, and a fistful of narcotics anonymous meetings and you'll get a taste of the seedier side of Austin.   Listening to this punked up fury, you can't help but see filthy bathtubs full of homebrewed meth, sweating tattoos and puddles of bile.   Pure rock and roll punk destruction with no aim other than to decimate and vent.  Just the way I like it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mage - Last Orders

I wish all albums started off with deafening sludge-soaked riffage like Mage on their latest album Last Orders. I really get excited when, within the first minute I'm already sold and willing to pay money for more. Call it what you want, I'm an addict, but know when the "good shit" hits the streets. Vocally Mage’s singer resembles a cross between John Bush and Paige Hamilton, which may be of interest to anyone who even remotely adores heavy metal.

Last Orders combines the metallic crunch of the turn of the century hardcore/grunge with the occult sensibilities of classic doom metal. The riffs crush like a car baler while the vocals gnaw the speakers like Lenny Dykstra on a pouch of big league chaw.

The album does not reinvent the wheel, but accessibly maintains a catchy ring resulting in an extremely enjoyable and heavy as all hell record which should capture fans of both sides of the vocal tone fence. You say you can't stand harsh vocals? No worries here. You admit you are aroused by utter havoc in the vocal department? This is the crumble that the cookie monster ate off the floor. Granted, the pigs are not squealing here, in fact the vocals are only marginally harsh. The point being, the record is vigorously stimulating from either side of the rails you stand beside.

For fans ranging from Helmet, Candlemass, to Armored Saint, Mage has a little something for each of you. If you enjoyed the last album, Black Sands, you'll be in for another bludgeoning treat.

-The Huntsman

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with Supervoid

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

John: Growing up in the burbs as a kid I listened to a lot of horrible music and never had a cool uncle to make me listen to cool music from the 70s or even get me into Metallica. I started to branch out in college and when Mastodon released Blood Mountain, I was just absolutely blown away. As a bassist it's honestly one of the most enjoyable albums for me to play along to. It was such an epic culmination of groove, melody, and HEAVY. And man, those harmonies. I could probably sing you the bass lines of each song front to back from memory. I had previously really been into a lot of death metal, but that album really helped bridge me into the groovier side of things.

Brian: It was Local H - Pack Up The Cats for me, I never heard an album that completely flowed from beginning to end seamlessly and so well. At The Drive-In/Mars Volta...The Who's - Tommy...Mastodon - Blood Mountain was huge for me too. I'm a huge fan of concept albums.

Joe: There were a couple for me. When I was around 12 years old, Metallica's black album came out, and that's what made me want to play guitar. Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera were the entire world to me as a little shithead teenager. For a while in college I got much more into punk and alternative music, but later when I got AtG's Slaughter of the Soul and In Flames' Jester Race, those and their other albums brought me back into heavy music again.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

John: Sometimes we build off a riff, sometimes we build off an idea. Sometimes the best ideas come from just joking around and having a good time. It definitely varies. Joe is the main creative drive behind the song writing process. It's ridiculous how many new riffs he shows up to practice with week in and week out. He definitely makes the writing process an easy one for the rest of us. He'll usually come into practice with the skeleton of a song and through jamming it out as a full band, we build the muscle and tissue piece by piece.

Brian: The guys usually will come up with a good structure/starting point for a song, and I go from there phonetically how I want to sing.  After that, I come up with an idea that the song reminds me of and just build on it.  It helps me to envision the song as a soundtrack to a made up short film/movie in my head and that will usually get me going lyrically.

Joe: The experience so far seems to have been mostly me coming up with riffs/song ideas and rough arrangements and bringing it to rehearsal where everyone works on it and helps shape it. There have been some decent spontaneous ideas at rehearsal as well that have turned into some good riffs. Brian writes all the lyrics and themes, and I think he does an awesome job with it despite us trying to sabotage them with poop and dick jokes.

Who has influenced you the most?

John: I could name a hundred bands that have probably influenced me, but greater than any music I've ever listened to is the musicians I've played with along the years. I've gotten to play with some really great people and I feel that has helped mold and shape me as a musician more than anything, including my bandmates in Supervoid.

Brian: That's the funny thing because a lot of different bands have inspired me to go in different directions in writing music.  Everything from Mastodon, ASG, Maiden, Isis, Sabbath, Fear Factory, Rush, Opeth, the list goes on and on and on.  I like taking pieces of my favorite stuff and putting it into a big mixing bowl of tasty jams.

Joe: As a guitar player, like I said above, it was Hetfield and Dimebag (though I can't play like him) that made me want to play as a kid. I'd say they had the biggest impact, although I don't get to spin those records much these days.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

John: Most of our songs are very narrative. I think we draw inspiration from the world around us. Sometimes I'll stumble across an obscure yet extremely interesting subject via the almighty internet and suggest it to Brian as a lyrical theme. Be it a song about slave elephants rebelling against their masters that may or may not draw parallels to human society (War Elephant), or just a bear eating some guy's family (The Bear), I think any story can make a great song if told the right way, and Brian does a great job of that.

Brian: Honestly, it's just getting together with my friends and writing stuff that I find interesting keeps it going.  Whether it's things I find funny, inspiring or awesome sounding, that formula seems to have worked so far.

Joe: The bands that inspire me most tend to be the ones that are very clearly doing their own thing, or following their own path with little regard to what their peers are doing. Anyone who is sincerely striving for originality in any form makes me happy. I think Josh Homme and QotSA are a great example of this; they don't have two records that really sound the same, and he doesn't seem to give a fuck if that bugs his fans or not, because all those records are great in their own way. Personally, I don't find myself listening to a lot of new heavy music these days, not because I don't like it, but because I tend to imitate things I really enjoy. I don't want a bunch of subliminal Earthless or Sandrider riffs in our new songs just because I can't get those songs out of my head, yknow? So I've ended up listening to a lot of classic rock recently; The Faces, the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin. Stuff I can put on and play along to.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

John: Pittsburgh has a pretty large and diverse, yet rather small world feeling music scene. We've got great record stores, DIY spaces and promoters, small venues that do their best to help bands put on a good show... there is definitely a small town feel here. I think that results in us integrating a lot of different sounds into our music. For example, Ladders has a driving rock verse, a bluesy swing section, and then closes with a brutal death metal segment.

Brian: Well, I grew up here in Pittsburgh and I've been to different shows in the music scene for a long time.  I was actually in an RPG Metal band called Dethlehem before this singing songs about Goblins, Skeletons and things like that, but had to leave for personal reasons (no drama) That wasn't easy to give up haha  I think there was only one song Ladders that I took from a personal experience, the rest is my imagination running wild.

Where'd the band name come from? 

John: We're all nerds and not ashamed to admit it. In astronomy, voids are large areas of empty space that exist because of baryon acoustic oscillations that occurred during the Big Bang. Supervoids are the large voids that exist between galaxy clusters. I should probably stop there... we thought it sounded cool and we like space!

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

John: Well, we did have the pleasure of writing a song to be specifically used in a locally filmed and produced zombie movie The Other Side! I'd say the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie because, well, that just makes sense.

Brian: YES, this is a sweet question. Um....Evil Dead 4!  (Or Army Of Darkness 2 if you want to call it that)

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

John: The Beatles - I Want You (She's So Heavy) would be my pick. I don't even really like The Beatles, but that song is one of the earliest songs where you can say man, that's HEAVY. It's rather genre defining for its time, has some great instrumentation, and just has this downright nasty attitude to it.

Brian: My first instinct would be Rush - 2112, but honestly I think it would be Local H - All The Kids Are Right because it was the song that made me go to the store, buy the cd, put it in my computer, and truly want to be involved in music after finishing the album. Only took me 10 years to get off my ass and do it!

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

John: Tension and resolve. I want people to feel the dynamic and atmospheric landscape we're trying to paint.

Brian: I like telling stories or reflections on a subject in the songs.  Every song (for the most part) has a running theme.  Sometimes I'm very straightforward with what I'm trying to visualize, at other times I like to leave it up to interpretation. I want people to get a big atmospheric energetic feeling out of it... if that makes any sense.

Joe: I feel like this question could easily get people to make fools of themselves by rambling on and on, but I think it's a good one. I don't think the answer for us is anything like "ROCK THE FUCK OUT AND PARTY" or "HEAVY FUCKIGN METTALLLLL" or anything like that. We are part of a small scene that is very, very crowded with a TON of awesome bands. The intention of any creative endeavor, whether you're a musician, writer, or artist of any kind is to get people to respond to your creation. After that, it's pretty much out of your hands. I/we feel compelled to write and perform this music for some reason, so at the very least, we want people to hear it. What I think we're TRYING to express, are simply interesting musical moments, ideally put together in a creative way, that will make the listener feel something awesome for that moment. I don't believe that anything we're doing is breaking totally new ground; any music store nerd could probably pick apart all of our songs and say which riff is derivative of what. I think of it like a hamburger analogy. There are tons of restaurants making burgers out there, and there will never be a "best" burger, and just because there are tons of people making them, doesn't mean that others will say they're not going to try. There will be better ones, and there will be different ones, but I want to make a REALLY FUCKING GOOD hamburger that is unique and you can't get anywhere else, and you tell your friends to get ours.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

John: Personally opening for Orange Goblin has to be at the top of my list. Those guys released their first album when I was eleven. I've been a fan of theirs for awhile and getting to meet them and play with them was awesome. Ben Ward is one of the best front men in the business and was really friendly, and Martyn and I talked bass gear for awhile. No crazy rock and roll story here, just an awesome moment for me, and OG are great guys.

Brian: Well I guess I have to share my toilet story.  I was playing a show in Wheeling, WV and this bar happened to be two floors.  Well, prior to driving to the gig, I decided to partake in some baked Mac n Cheese dish at the practice space.  After it worked its way through my system, I needed to take action.  The downstairs bathroom's "toilet" was a bucket in the corner.  The upstairs bathroom (which was the women's room I went into mistakenly) had a toilet... with no seat... and no toilet paper.  Well, time waits for no man and I proceeded to unleash my fury onto this poorly crafted throne. The results were… not pretty. My drummer at the time ran to get me Wet Naps in the van and proceeded to show the other bands my handy work. I think I still have the reactions on video if you need proof hahaha

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

John: LOUD. We're repeatedly told we're the loudest band in Pittsburgh and I don't think people are joking. We want people to FEEL as well as hear. Immerse yourself in the music.

Brian: I love playing live shows. It's a bit different for me because different genres elicit different reactions from people, so I never know how to judge how people are enjoying the show. I know that when they clap at the end, we must be doing something right.

Joe: I think our live show needs a little bit of work, to be honest. For starters, we're not a sweaty/drunk/pit type band; no one is ever going to completely lose their shit while watching us play, that's just not the type of music we write. I think we play our songs pretty competently; there's not a lot of punch ins in our records or anything like that. Eventually I'd like to again add a second guitar player, because I think it adds depth to the music and the live show. I still get nervous playing live.

What makes a great song?

John: As a musician, I think a song is great when you rehearse it in practice all the way through for the first time, and when you finish your heart is racing, everyone is smiling, and there's just a general feeling of man, that was awesome.

Brian: All depends on the vibe and what you're trying to convey.  I like music to have a good variety to it, even if that means within one song itself. Peaks and valleys. Not that straightforward songs aren't great, as long as you're doing it right.

Joe: Well, for me personally, I think if it sticks in your head, it's halfway there. Having some element of a hook, or catchy part I think makes a big impression, especially in heavy music, because it can be hard to pull off. I like songs that are well-arranged, and I think we try to put a lot of effort into making sure parts go together well. After a transition into the next riff, you should be saying in your head "of COURSE that's where it goes next!" Having themes in songs is cool to me too, like a single riff or idea that keeps coming around in a song, or resolves in a way that you knew it would all along. I'm not saying our band does all of these things haha, but these are just the things that come to me as a guitar player.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

John: I think the first Supervoid song was called Knife Fight, which never got a release. That was very early in the writing process and we were still trying to figure out our sound. It's not a bad song, just not our best work. There is a cool Graveyard-like part towards the end that I always enjoyed playing. Maybe one day we'll revisit it. For me personally, the first full song I ever wrote was for a project in college. It was about flesh eating walruses that come into your house at night and eat your children. I cannot validate my sobriety during this period.

Brian: First song I ever wrote... god I think that was "No Reward Among Legends".  It was about a bunch of ridiculous D&D type banter, but it was in a real over-the-top metal theme (as it usually goes).  But thematically it was basically saying "Don't look for a short term reward if you're in it for the long haul"... like an inspirational cat poster.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

John: Well as a whole, I'm extremely proud of Filaments. Being our first full length release, I thought we did a really good job taking a lot of diverse style songs and building them into this one overall representation. But my favorite song has to be Ride the Snake. I'll never get tired of playing that one, and I blast it in my car all the time. I just love the energy we managed to capture when we recorded that one.

Brian: I'm really happy with how our full length "Filaments" turned out, but the song on there was "Arcane Groves". I remember the guys playing me that jam when I first joined the band, and they were discussing about making it shorter.  I said "DON'T YOU TOUCH THAT SONG" because I knew it was exactly the way it needed to be (with a few tweaks).  Lyrically I always thought it was cool too, one of the first more "abstract" songs I ever wrote.

Joe: "The Bear" off the LP we did. I like atmospheric, creepy music, and like I said above, this one is simple, has a hook, and a theme that it keeps coming back to. There are cool layered guitar parts, and it's repetitive in a neat way. Awesome lyrics and idea by Brian too. I wish we could do more stuff like that.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

John: One of my favorite bands right now is Monobrow. They seem to get better with every release, and the creativity behind their music is awesome. Three guys who are all monster players on their instruments just churning out these really original killer songs.

Brian: My favorites lately?  Mastodon, Steak Number Eight, Volbeat, Kvelertak, Beastmilk just to name a few. I really like hearing stuff from all over.

Joe: Josh Homme is my favorite songwriter, like I alluded to above...he can write any kind of song he wants, and it will fit on the record he's making. Pelican just kicks my ass. I love slow, heavy, melodic riffing, and they really know how to do that well. And Helmet.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

John: Well digital for the convenience. File sharing, cloud storage, online streaming, bluetooth... I can throw a ridiculous amount of songs on my phone and have them with me at all times. I'm also a big vinyl guy, but only as of a few years ago. I like how it makes listening to music more of an active experience rather than a passive one, and I'm a sucker for awesome album art.

Brian: Digital because I'm a huge nerd. I do collect stuff from time to time but mostly I'm on my phone/computer.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

John: Oh that's easy, whiskey all day. I have some weird medical thing where I can't drink beer and don't even mind. With PA's liquor stores being state run our good whiskey choices are rather limited, but we've got an awesome distillery located right in Pittsburgh called Wigle Whiskey. They make an amazing product and really support the local community. They are just now obtaining permits to distribute in other states, so everyone so go buy some!

Brian: Beer, Magic Hat 9 or Delirium if we're talking beer. But Liquor? THE KRAKEN RUM. It's my favorite.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

John: Just up the street from my house is a world-famous place called Jerry's records. It's ridiculous how many records are in that place, and most bands make an effort to stop there when they're in town. I personally listen to more modern releases than older stuff, so I'd have to recommend Sound Cat Records. They always have a real solid stoner/doom selection. Pittsburgh is definitely not lacking record stores!

Brian: Go to Eides music near Downtown/The Strip.

What's next for the band?

John: We've got a bunch of new tracks written, and are continuing to write without borders, experimenting with our sound and trying new things. It seems the response from fans every time we release new music is "I want more" which really makes us feel good. I hope we can keep delivering what they like.

Brian: Just keep writing… writing writing writing writing. We've played our debut album a lot and we want to give people more music

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

John: If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read! If you like what you hear on our bandcamp now, please stay tuned for our next release. I think it's shaping up to be an awesome one.

Brian: If you took the time to read our ranting and check out our music… thank you. I really can't stress that enough because this is something I really enjoy doing and if you get any enjoyment out of it, that makes me truly happy. Oh and Starburst Jellybeans are awesome.

Joe: I just want to keep writing music, and keep trying to make it interesting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Like every year, London promoters When Planet Collides and Human Disease Promo will be curating a stage at The Underworld, hosting some of the most crushing and bleak riffage on the whole festival.

Let's all welcome the mighty NOOTHGRUSH, MINSK, BLACK COBRA, DOPETHRONE, AGRIMONIA and WALK THROUGH FIRE at DESERTFEST LONDON 2015, taking place on April 24-26th in Camden.

Already confirmed:


Human Disease Promo / When Planets Collide Stage


For the fourth year running, Camden will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psyche gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, psychedelia and partying. As the first headliner of this 2015 edition, American stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will be treating the Desertfest crowd to the finest smoked-out odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at London’s famous venue Koko. Also headlining, Portland’s heavy rock’n’rollers RED FANG are set to turn this fourth edition into a massive metal celebration. The ground is set to tremble once again this year, with UK metal heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN delivering their fiery metal anthems for a one-off 20th anniversary performance. It’s very rightfully than German psych foursome MY SLEEPING KARMA will be perfectly embodying the cosmic side of the lineup.

This new announcement with cult North-American outfits NOOTHGRUSH, MINSK, BLACK COBRA and DOPETHRONE, as well as Sweden based AGRIMONIA and WALK THROUGH FIRE is giving our 2015 lineup the blackened twist that is expected by all sludge and doom worshippers each year. Impending earthquake in Camden...

April 24th-26th 2015 in Camden Town
Koko - Electric Ballroom - The Underworld - The Black Heart

Tickets on sale now 

More infos at
Find the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Introducing: Got Kinda Lost Records

Got Kinda Lost Records— named after the song by ex-Big Star founder member Chris Bell— is the newest reissue imprint by the Guerssen Label Group.
Curated by Jeremy Cargill (Assistant Editor for Ugly Things Magazine), the label’s focus is archival and reissue work specializing in the realms of proto-punk, ‘70s pop/power pop, glam, psych, privately-pressed hard rock, and “out of time” treasures.

Catching Up - Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts: Letter "R"- featuring Revelations, The Rising Sun Experience, and Rog & Pip

Revelations - Grip of Darkness

Rocking like it's 1979.  And that's a good thing.

 Funneling the passion and riff-mastery of the best of the NWOBHM through the pantheon of rock that has come since.  "Strange Dreams" charges with the urgency of early "Running Free" Iron Maiden with the melodic sensibility of some US 70's hard rockers like Legs Diamond.  A totally Maiden bass line kicks it off before the killer dual guitars come raging in.  Vocals are clean and nuanced enough to rock with a classic 70's vengeance and avoid any MOR mediocrity.  An absolute classic metal cut.

 "Under the Gun" brings on the passion of early Rainbow or Heaven and Hell-era Sabbath complete with big, thick, ballsy riffs.  Break out the brass knuckles, Revelations got a bar fight to go to and I'm jumping into the fray.  "Grip of Darkness" really channels the Dio.  Think of some early metal bands like "Sin after Sin" era Priest joining a street gang with obscurities like Dirty Tricks with Dio presiding over the street war and you'll get the idea.  Fiery, straight ahead burning rock and roll.  Just keeps getting better the more I listen to it.

One of my top releases of the year.

The Rising Sun Experience - Beyond the Obvious Abyss

Flying acid rock taking off in a purple haze of Hendrix-ian wail and feedback.  Toss in some massive Hammond organ and heart full of soul and we got ourselves a full on cooker!  So steeped in the '70's it should be unlawful to play these jams without elephant bell bottoms and flowing lava lamps.  But then why would you want to.  The whole intent here is to tear off a piece of the paper and let the freak flag fly.  And I suggest you do.  Crank up the speakers and tune into "Wasted Dreams of Red Flowers" (all six versions of it!!) with the lava lamp and black lights burning.  Prepare to lose your mind in the swirl.  Great stuff.

Rog & Pip - Our Revolution

Wow. I have no idea where this one came from. A long lost band that I'd never heard of,  but I'd recently been on a massive Slade and old school glam kick, wondering what happened to the good old days of velvet pant glam.  Then, suddenly, like a bolt of flowery shirt lightning, Rog & Pip pops up on my iPod with their stately Slade-esque glam anthem "Why Won't You Do What I Want?" and my all of my questions were answered.  Rocking a voice borrowed from Noddy Holder's larynx, full of gargle and flair, Rog & Pip picked up the Slade banner and charged right to the front line.  "My Revolution" leads the charge in their assault on bland, formulaic, producer-driven drivel rock.  Fuzzy and garagey and . . . well . . . .Slade-y, nothing was going stop Rog & Pip in their intent to jam glam right down the world's ear pipes.  "Rock with Me" brings in a Mott vs T. Rex wavefront to keep the armies of glam energized.

So, if you're like me and miss the glory days of flared corduroys and pirate shirts, feel free to enlist in the Rog & Pip long lost revolution.  The enemy is bland rock and I gotta feel that Rog & Pip are the winning side in this war.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Catching Up - Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts: Letter "C" - featuring Castero, The Casualties, Cellerscape, and the Cryptics

Castero - Revolutions

I just don't understand why more people aren't raving about this one.  Hailing from Ireland, Castero specialize in balls out guitar rock that chugs full speed ahead like an unmanned locamotive racing down the tracks towards a fully-packed commute station.  "Warped Mind" kicks it all off with red lights blazing, riding high on a charging riff that takes a break only to let some stellar guitar work wail.  Vocals are throaty and textured, menacing, as if to invite you to a bar fight between warring gangs. The lads of Castero like writing riffs as much as they probably like drinking beer and need to rock about as much as they need to breathe.  Not metal, sludge, stoner or grunge, but all of them-- ramrodded into the coal pit of the locomotive engine and jammed into the fiery furnace.  Full on steaming rock n roll.  A wholly impressive debut.  Jump onboard or get off the tracks because Castero is steaming through one way or the another.
                                                                                                                                                                    All brakes are off on this one!

The Casualties - Resistance

Mean-spirited, phlegm-addled punk-n-roll straight from the vomit-spewed gutters of big City.  The Casualties have been plying their trade for years and have become masters, jamming their spike of Oi! punk right into the heart of hardcore, spitting out the blood of old school punk along the way.  Gangland vocals beat out across the anarchic madness of flailing elbows, bloody kneecaps, and 100mph venom.  Pure rebellion, Resistance, is the assault of rebellion against a fucked up status quo.  Song titles like "Brick Wall Justice," "Behind Barbed Wire" "Modern Day Slaves" and Morality Police" read like graffiti on the walls of The Casualties revolutionary front.  Somehow, amongst the snot and bile, The Casualties manage to pile on enough hooks, choruses, and discernible melodies amidst the blistering guitars and galloping bass to make it an incredibly accessible, even an addictive listen.  If you miss the moshpit, and music of pure tattooed knuckles and disgust, The Casualties have created the album for you.

Cellerscape - The Act of Letting Go

I've written about Paul Terry and his solo project Cellerscape many times before.   Cinematic in scope, Cellerscape is the music for the movie playing in your head.  Lush and vibrant.  At times uplifting or despondent, Cellerscape is never anything less than majestic.  12 songs over the span of nearly an hour create a moody adventure in sound.  Terry's smooth tenor flows over beautifully strummed acoustic guitar, haunting cello, and gentle electronics.  Each song plays like a mini-soundtrack, layer with ambiance and tone.   Beautiful and evocative, each Cellerscape album is worth exploring.

Be warned though, one listen may just inspire you to write that screenplay you've been dreaming of.

The Cryptics - Black Lucy EP

Straight from the Bowery, Stooges-fueled street punk, oozing with cheap beer and methamphetamine.  Don't go here looking for anything intelligent or radical.  Instead, the Crytpics are all about the attitude.  Tearing it up in a smoke-stained bar, blazing through 3-chord burners while the audience flies high with sweat and grease stained t-shirts and torn jeans.  Not high on the originality scale but soaring the heights of good sleezy punked-up fun.


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