Thursday, 26 June 2014

ACROSS TUNDRAS & T.G. OLSON

ACROSS TUNDRAS

Across Tundras are band I've been into for about 4 years I was a bit late to the party with these guys they had been around 5 years before I got onto them and I don't even remember how i found them now! Tanner (T.G.) Olson : Guitar & Vocals was originally a member of a math/noise metal band called Examination Of The.... but has been doing Across Tundras now since 2005 and solo material since 2011 and boy are both sides of this guy prolific.

Across Tundras are a strange beast, hailing from Nashville TN whilst you could call what they do "metal" there's by far a huge influence from their homegrown musical traditions and historical traditional influences as well as plenty of elements of Blues,Psychedelia and Americana and to wrap all this up in a sound which is essentially "rock/metal" based is a serious testament to the talents of T.G. Olson.

Across Tundras have done 7 official albums 2 EP's 4 x album length collections of demos & outtakes a split 7" and a split album! all of which are GREAT! As there is gonna be a mega post of music I am not breaking down the albums individually here I will say if you like your metal with a little bit more individuality and talent and you like the sound of my description above you need all of this but my personal favourites are the "Old World Wanderer" album and latest albums "Sage" and "Electric Relics" are also favourites but there is nothing that i don't like by this band.

So not only being a great band they are very generous as well you can download their entire discography from bandcamp except for their 2010 demo's and outakes collection " Moonshinin' " which i have kindly uploaded to mediafire for you. they are all free/pay what you want on bandcamp just click download and put "0" in the box to get it free if you wish to pay a little something then that's up to you I have bought everything on CD my conscience is clear ha ha! I'm not a fan of "pay" downloads but the quality of music here is high and as AT are not some HUGE metal band with big label backing I'm sure throwing them whatever you can afford would be appreciated.
So here's the discography i have linked you directly to the individual pages for each release rather than just to the main page so you can pick and choose what you want...

Divides EPBandcamp

Dark Songs Of The PrairieBandcamp

Full Moon Blizzard (Outtakes,Demos & Live)Bandcamp

Western Sky RideBandcamp

Lonesome Wails From The Weeping WillowBandcamp

Herds Of The Fathomless Valleys (Outtakes,Demos & Live)Bandcamp

Moonshinin' (Outtakes & Demos)Mediafire

Old World WandererBandcamp

Metatotem EPBandcamp

SageBandcamp

Tumbleweeds (Outtakes & Demos)Bandcamp

Split 7" W/ HellbenderBandcamp

Electric RelicsBandcamp

Split LP W/ Lark's TongueBandcamp

(See My Post On the AMAZING Lark's Tongue with their discography HERE)

So there you go the complete Across Tundras discography listed in chronological order you will also find that the "demos and outtakes" tag is a little misleading i mention this cos these collections do contain demos but generally they are all worth having as most have a full albums worth of non album material on there as well as i said this band are prolific but believe me the quality of the music doesn't suffer because of it.

So Moving on as i said at the beginning Across Tundras main man T.G. Olson has had a busy solo side to his work so moving on.....


T.G. OLSON

So T.G. Olson has 2 sides to his solo work there is the ethereal solo americana/acoustic vocal releases then there are his more experimental guitar/drone releases I am going to look them individually as while there is some common ground between them i find the former far more appealing than the latter however both are aspects of the man's music and deserve looking at.

So first solo offering "Muddy Water Dredge Company" appeared in 2011 and i found it a bit hard to get into at first but after a while i really began to enjoy his ethereal and dark take on americana/country styled music and if you are a fan of Across Tundras and don't mind their more sedate moments then i definitely recommend any of his solo work to you! however there have been 5 solo albums as well as 5 x 2 track singles (4 of which are compiled on the "Colt .45 singles" release linked below) and although they are digital only i suspect that's a nod to the old days of Nashville music when the 2 track 7" single was king! He states that all music is created with "Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Bowed Slide Guitar, Drums, Bass, Electric Tremolo Guitar" and the sounds and effects he gets are pretty damn good!The "Ramble Hill Sessions" contains cover versions of Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, The Rolling Stones and more showing a hefty nod to his influences and obviously the "Songs Of Woody Guthrie" speaks for itself the rest are pretty much all original compositions. There's not a lot more can be said it's one guy and guitar if you like that sort of thing then this is for you if not stick to Across tundras!! I would definitely say fans of the more alternative country music such as Magnolia Electric company and Bonnie Prince Billie/Palace Brothers would definitely enjoy this but don't rule this material out because it's not "Rock" based this is some real heartfelt passionate solo music that deserves a listen.

Acoustic Solo

Muddy Water Dredge CompanyBandcamp

Ramble Hill Sessions 1 & 2Bandcamp

Colt .45 SinglesBandcamp

Ruined Temple BluesBandcamp

Songs Of Woody GuthrieBandcamp

Lake Bottom Blues b/w Shots Rain Down (Single)Bandcamp

Hell's Half AcreBandcamp

The Badlands To CrossBandcamp

So lastly we have the more experimental side of his solo material and whilst being a fan of his work it's around this point i wish he would employ more restraint and a bit of self editing but in the interest of fairness we'll take a look at the concepts etc behind this more experimental material. First up was the "The Blown 6L6 String Quartet" which is more of an EP than an album clocking in at only 3 tracks in 26 minutes this is all guitar drone stated as... 

" improvised and recorded live by T.G. Olson @ Ramble Hill Farm in December of 2012. The recording process utilized 4 tracks of 6 string acoustic and electric guitars, a blown 6L6 tube, harmonica, and a teapot"

doesn't get more experimental than that!! the sounds he gets are enjoyable but personally i find this sort of thing a little boring more atmospheric background music than  something you could give your full attention to. same would go for the absolutely mammoth set "The Complete Blood Meridian For Electric Drone Guitar" whilst the intention behind this release was a solid and interesting concept i find that 24 mostly lengthy pieces clocking in at 4 hrs 10 minutes is a bit much for anyone to take (it was also released as a handmade 6 x CDR box set) here's what the man himself has to say i thought although i don't like it that much it is not unlistenable but i find his commitment and the concept to be a worthy one....

"Blood Meridian For Electric Drone Guitar" - an acid western musical interpretation of Cormac McCarthy's violent masterpiece, set to improvised electric guitar drone and other analog sources of sound. Improvised, played, and recorded completely live by T.G. Olson at Ramble Hill Farm - Goodlettsville, TN 2012-2013. Not a mere "inspired by" set of songs. Armed with novel in one hand and droning guitar in the other to lay the groundwork of the tracks, page by page and sustained note by note. Defleshed out with ghostly field recordings of coyotes, rattle snakes, gunshots, crackling fires and other unique audio representations of actual events happening in each chapter. This epic sound recording follows every massive landscape and every bit of dirt and grime and every senseless murderous act in the name of Westward expansion that is found in the actual pages. The infinitely vicious circle of life. No glorification. The pure revelations of knowing we may amend"

So there you go reading the paragraph above made me want to go listen to it so perhaps you will give it a chance i do have it in my files but i know i have never listened to it all! Lastly we have "Sonata For The Outlander & Dark Sign Loner" a single track 44 minutes long in a similar vein to both the above releases this time all recorded live no overdubs and no further description required!

Drone/Experimental

The Blown 6L6 String QuartetBandcamp

The Complete Blood Meridian For Electric Drone GuitarBandcamp

Sonata For The Outlander & Dark Sign LonerBandcamp

So that's it a complete look at the work of Across Tundras & T.G. Olson. If you have never heard Across Tundras I would definitely say they are one of the most unique bands around playing "Heavy" music their sound whilst bearing many familiar hallmarks of the metal/rock sound transcends that by utilizing many sounds and influences that are not, it evokes an atmosphere and a uniqueness that is missing from a lot of the more "unusual" post whatever metal type music around and the fact they have been consistently great over a large amount of releases is again something that many bands with prolific releases lack. Same goes for his solo stuff whilst singer/songwriter type music is  vast field and has been for decades T.G. Olson has a style that is all his own and again like his band has influences that give him a sound that is familiar and enjoyable but just has that little something extra to lift it above the crowd. I have been listening to a lot of the A.T./T.G. stuff over the past few days which is why i decided to do the post hope some of you will be open minded enough to check out some of this stunning music especially since the artist himself who has poured his heart,soul and talent into this music is happily giving it away free should be an indication of how great this music is and not an indication that it's not of great worth and I hope enjoy it as much as i do.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Föllakzoid


So this is kind of a sister post to the one I did on Dead Skeletons (HERE) I mentioned the band who played with Dead Skeletons when i saw them and this band were Föllakzoid and just to be clear I was at that gig for BOTH bands it was definitely a double header for me more than a case of support and main act! Hailing from Chile of all places it's not the place that automatically comes to mind when thinking about psychedelic music but hey I have been proved wrong here.

Föllakzoid are a great band I have heard them described as Krautrock which is a pretty fair point as while these guys do break out in plenty of bursts of psychedelic guitar the body of their sound does most definitely follow the precision metronomic approach of bands like Faust,Can and Ash Ra Tempel and more than a nod to Hawkwind! However with song titles like "Arabic Hash" and "Pulsar" you definitely know where these guys are coming from! Obviously talented musicians these guys really have a fantastic sense of rhythm and dynamics allowing the songs the pace and space they need to develop and build but at the same time even over their longer pieces they keep your attention from the beginning.What I like about this band a lot is they gently lull you along through a song but the builds are so subtle than when they do reach a crescendo it's such a great payoff but never breaks out into sheer guitar noise freak out territory even the peaks of their songs are measured and considered which definitely prevents it from becoming jarring when they do peak which can be a bit of a tool that many bands rely on.

So not the most prolific band but i can see why as their music is obviously very carefully constructed and well played so better in this case that it's quality this high than quantity! So there are 2 albums "Föllakzoid" , "II" and 2 EP's "EP" & "II RMX" EP the remix EP has 2 songs from their 2nd album remixed by psychedelic powerhouses Moon Duo and Psychic Ills and that's all there is. So I'm not gonna break down each release individually as my description above pretty much covers their sound which is consistent throughout all their releases.

So below you will find links to their entire discography so far check these guys out as they are definitely deserving of your attention because as you know with this blog i don't do half arsed posts on mediocre bands! Definitely a good listen for one of those lazy Sundays in the garden but far from mere background chill out music you can ignore! Their great rhythms and fantastic builds will have you instantly hooked!

FöllakzoidMediafire

Föllakzoid IIMediafire

EPMediafire

II RMX EPMediafire

Friday, 20 June 2014

WHITE LUNG



I'm not a big fan of the word "Punk" it has been used to describe everything from 60's garage rock and psychedelia to beer swilling boot boys with right wing tendencies add that to the fact that some of the weakest wishy washy guitar pop of recent years (Think Epitaph  records, Blink 182, Sum 41) music that has no fucking relation to punk also masquerades under that banner. So I choose my words carefully when using "Punk" to describe Canada's White Lung.

Debuting in 2007 with their "Local Garbage" EP on tiny Canadian label Hockey Dad records the strength of this EP caught the attention of premier league Canadian hardcore label Deranged records which would be their home until 2012.

White Lung are a ferocious listen I said at the beginning I hesitate to call these guys punk but whilst this band have no shortage of intensity or aggression i feel that their highly original sound is just falling short of what you might call hardcore but not by much! this 3/4 female band (the Guitarist being the only male) make one hellavu racket! Their music reminds me of some of the early American female fronted proto-hardcore bands like say Avengers or X mixed with some touches of the more underground end of Indie/Alternative take that turn it up to 11 and add a female vocalist with some fire in her belly and you have White Lung. The thing I like about these guys as well is they have an original sound and they play that sound LOUD and HARD the guitars are right in your face with slashing and cutting riffs and whilst there is some hints of melody there it's not at all what you would call "melodic" but it certainly is memorable!

I have done this post once before if memory serves however they have had a few new releases under their belt since then and a brand new album that only came out 4 days ago (June 16th 2014) plus they are such a great band they deserved a repost! So your links the entire 3 album and 6 x 7" singles amount to a mere 96 minutes so i haven't broken down the individual singles into links i have put them together in a pack so your first link "White Lung Ep's" contains the "Local Garbage" 7" , "Magazines" 7" , "Atlanta" 7" , their split 7" With Nu Sensae the 2 track "White Lung" 7" and "Songs Of The South" 7" which amounts to 14 tracks which is pretty much an albums worth of material recorded between 2007 & 2013 The you have debut album "It's The Evil" from 2010 2nd album "Sorry" from 2012 and their latest "Deep Fantasy" from this year. All tagged with the relevant artwork etc.

All of this bands releases are great and even though they have been going 7 years and are now signed to huge indie label Domino records you'd think maybe their sound would have softened a little? perhaps been smoothed out some for a bigger audience? definitely NOT! whilst there has been some musical progression and better production over the course of their career so far the best thing about this band is they never change their fundamental sound whilst their latest album may have a better production than say their debut they have lost none of the fire, aggression and intensity that make them what they are and there are not many bands that can say that after a 7 year career and 3 albums! One of the best bands I have heard playing good and loud punk fucking rock! Go check them out I guarantee you will be feeling like wrecking your house after one song! Enjoy!

White Lung EP'sMediafire

It's The EvilMediafire

SorryMediafire

Deep FantasyMediafire

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

DEAD SKELETONS


Dead Skeletons are an Icelandic psychedelic band and yet another great band that can be credited to my girlfriend's discovery! At first i wasn't sure what to make of them as modern psychedelic music or "Psych" as I like to call it tends to be about loud overdriven guitars wah wah insanity and effects galore however Dead Skeletons have taken a different path with psychedelia whilst still quite "trippy" their psychedelia tends to look to the East for their influence and have a groovy kinda mantra-like approach both musically and lyrically!

It's hard to describe these guys really they have a real rhythmic drive to their sound with plenty of great keyboard swooping and effected guitar creating a kinda spacey sound but not so out there or difficult to listen to that only the stoned-out-of-their-heads can get into it! the vocals tend to go from the sparse to a type of mantra like chanting (there are many references to a Buddhist influence with tack titles like "Dead Mantra" and "Om Mani Peme Hung") and have been bolstered by a good chunk of reverb which adds to the effect of the music well.

Last year my girlfriend and I were bemoaning the fact that although we had seen MANY great bands that Dead Skeletons along with another Chilean Psychedelic band called Föllakzoid (See Post HERE) had not been on the bill for the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia in September 2013 then lo and behold in November both bands played together at a LFOP promoted event in our favorite local venue The Kazimier and both bands played a blinding show but to give you an idea of the kind of thing Dead Skeletons do here's a few of my pics...






In the top pic you will see a table they set up at the beginning of the show this is filled with all manor of Buddhist and religious icons and upon which huge amounts of incense is lit as the band warm up also during the warm up vocalist Nonni Dead paints a skeleton picture (2nd pic) each one is individual to the venue they play at, the one pictured was done at the Liverpool show he then pours water over the picture to create the running effect as you can see and the show begins! I mention all this not out of a need to brag but to give you a better idea of where these guys are coming from and as you can see they are fairly committed to the pursuit of psychedelia! The bottom 2 pics are just a decent one i caught during the show and a better view of the "Icon" table and thier guitarist!

So you no doubt get the idea so onto the music since 2011 these guys have only released 3  12" singles all limited and one album So all are presented for you here in the usual glorious 320kbps quality! First up is the album "Dead Magick" there was a 12" and a 7" that preceded this but all 3 of the tracks on those records are included on the album. The 12" EP "(Orð)" (Old Norse for "word") which has 4 tracks and was made partly for an art installation Then there's the 2 Track "Buddha-Christ" 12" to which i have added a bonus track "Kundalini Eyes" a different version from the one on this 12" that was used on the "Reverb Conspiracy  vol 1" Comp album and lastly we have the latest "Dead Comet" 12" from last year with 2 tracks I have also added a bonus for you in that folder the Dead Skeletons take on "Riders On the Storm" from the "A Psych Tribute To The Doors" compilation.

So there you have it the discography so far of this great Icelandic band I intend to post more of this recent wave of modern psychedelic music but before we hit the wah wah and effects pedals on those i thought i'd ease you in gently with these guys, by far one of the coolest and grooviest groups i have heard in a while and also a fantastic live band don't be put off by my heavy handed descriptions these guys are probably one of the more accessible bands of this genre and this is borne out by the size of the audience they draw and the amount of their t-shirts I have seen people wearing! if they come to your town go see them I guarantee your satisfaction!



Dead MagickMediafire

(Orð)12" - Mediafire

Buddha-Christ 12 " (plus bonus track)Mediafire

Dead Comet 12" (plus bonus track)Mediafire

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

ISIS


Isis are a band that i hope will need little fanfare to the readers of this blog they were along, with Neurosis pretty much responsible for the spawning of entire "Post Metal" scene and one half of the mocking musical descriptive term Neurisis!! Also Guitarist/Vocalist Aaron Turner also ran Hydra Head records and over there 15 year existence were home to some of the most interesting technical/experimental metal music that has ever been released.

Emerging with their debut demo in 1998 (later tacked on to the CD version of their "Red Sea" EP) they had a career lasting 12 years and released many great records always stunning and always progressing the band forward. If you don't know Isis then best way I can describe them is take Neurosis, Godflesh, Godspeed You Black Emperor and a big pinch of originality mix it all up and there you have Isis! Whilst they are a band that are way more than the sum of their influences you'd be hard pressed to deny hearing elements of the 3 bands I mention in their sound.

So I could go on for quite some time in typical Dave gushing manner as i have a lot of respect for Isis I have been a fan (albeit intermittently i shall explain further on)  since picking up their debut album "Celestial" in 2000 however to be honest even though I have long been a fan I know little of interest about them outside of the music they have released so continuing my theme of "shorter write ups and more music" let's move ahead and have a quick look at your links

Now first off there will is a case of repeated tracks here because it wasn't till i was sorting out the links for this post I realized that the recently released "Temporal" compilation had almost all the tracks from "Sawblade" EP on it however it doesn't have them all and as it's a bit of a rarity I decided to leave it up here for you. So Not getting into big details here as this is the last of the big discographies i had uploaded so lets get to it... The 1998 demo and the debut "Mosquito Control" EP are both dense harsh listens sheer walls of multi layered, thick, heavy guitars assault the senses for the most part here and they are incredibly accomplished for a band just starting out however on the last track of "Mosquito Control" "Relocation Swarm" is where you can start to feel more of the Godspeed/Godflesh influences creeping in, next EP "The Red Sea" continues this theme tempering the Guitar assault with some more dynamic parts paving the way for debut album 2000's "Celestial" however i feel that of all the material Isis released this one is the most heavily Godflesh influenced there's still those amazing wall of noise guitar avalanches in there but it's tempered with a more clinical approach and production with sharp industrial riffage and with song titles like "C.F.T. (New Circuitry And Continued Evolution)" and "Collapse And Crush" and the album being broken up by short eerie themed interludes named "Sgnl>01" - "Sgnl>04" well i'm sure you get what I'm saying? This continues throughout the sister EP to "Celestial" "SGNL>05" and this EP also contains a remix by none other than one Justin Broadrick that along with the split EP with Pig Destroyer featuring their version of Godflesh's "Streetcleaner" should leave you ion no doubt as to what page these guys were on in 2000! (Isis Version of "Streetcleaner" is on the "Temporal" comp link is below)

So getting those early releases out the way it's on next albums "Oceanic" and "Panopticon" where we see Isis develop their sound further and the albums that would definitely make them front runners in the Post metal scene. Whilst Isis had always been a talented band even in the early days it's here where you start to notice them getting a real grip on dynamics for example the 8 min opening track of  "Oceanic"  "The Beginning And the End" takes a full 5 minutes to build up before the trademark guitar avalanche this band are known for kicks in however there's some amazing guitar work and dare i say it? Melodies in those 5 minutes! This is an album full of surprises there's a lot of post/prog rock type experimentation going on throughout the album that works really well along side the crushingly heavy parts to make for a totally compelling album. The sister release to this "Oceanic : Remixes" was released as a series of 12 inch singles and then compiled on to a double CD with names like James Plotkin, Mike Patton and again Justin Broadrick among some more even out there artists getting their hands on Isis tracks and making something new out of them... well in some cases it works great in others it doesn't I would most definitely file this under "For completists only"! "Panopticon" sees a further progression of the sound of "Oceanic" however the main things I notice here is that the guitar sound whilst still heavy has a more raw distorted feel to it rather than a thick heavy sound and also Aaron Turner is actually singing in some parts rather than shouting! "Panopticon" is probably one of the Isis albums i listen to the most it's just fantastically done and the dynamics are soaring and as you will hear this has pretty much spawned a whole scene of copyists! next album 2006's "In The Absence Of Truth" was a real shock to me because if I'm honest I had drifted away from metal for a while between "Celestial" and "Panopticon" so "In The Absence..." was the first thing I had heard by them since "SGNL>05" EP. I was sent this by a friend and liked the nice slipcase packaging etc however having a big gap in my knowledge of their progression I had expected an album full of shockingly heavy guitar avalanches and scraped raw brutal vocal attack! Nope! This album though not without it's heavier moments is such a progression even from the last 2 albums that it is staggering! There are some heavier moments but this is most definitely falling into post rock territory not Metal there's stunning build ups beautiful quiet passages and Aaron's vocals are now almost exclusively sung with only the occasional shout to accent heavier parts but if you were expecting super downtuned sludgy guitarwork and screaming then you got nothing coming!! This is one of my favourite Isis albums it's really pleasant listening and the build up to the end of 3rd track "Dulcinea" just makes me want to weep it's just so utterly GENIUS! So final album from these guys 2009's "Wavering Radiant" I get the feeling that though Isis may have been comfortable and happy with their more sedate last album that heaviness was still close to these guys hearts and on this album they have pulled together the raw sound of "Panopticon" and blended it with the dynamics and sound of "In The Absence..." and it works beautifully this album is a masterwork and the fact that it was their final album is just saddening because it's a great sound a further progression and although saddening it's a fitting testament to a fantastic body of work spanning 10 years plus! So finally in 2013 Isis released a compilation of B-sides, unreleased tracks and unreleased remixes,demos and rarities called "Temporal" it's a mammoth collection clocking in at 9 mins shy of 2 hours! it would not be fair of me to try and break this down as the collection spans their whole career however i will say for even the casual Isis fan this is essential containing some great looks into the process of tracks from the albums with the demos, their covers of Sabbath's "Hand Of Doom" and Godflesh's "Streetcleaner" and both tracks from their split 12" with the Melvins. so along with the rest of your links this pretty much rounds up all the odds and sods all mastered and put together nicely! The only thing missing is their cover of Melvins "Boris" from the "We Reach.." tribute album but perhaps there's another volume in the works??

So this is in no way a "complete" discography I haven't got any of their live EP's as any followers of the blog will know i'm not a fan of live stuff but apart from maybe one or two bits this is a pretty much complete studio discography. I always felt that tho Isis had a huge following of their own that being the first of a second wave of post metal (Neurosis obviously get the credit for inventing the style disagree if you must but that's how I see it) I always felt they were kinda saddled with a Neurosis clone tag and nothing could be further from the truth there are a LOT of bands that have a similar sound to Isis but that is because of their existence not Isis lack of ideas! Isis were progressive and unique in their field and it's a shame they are gone because the void has been filled with a ton of bands the majority of which don't have half the ideas or sheer talent and brilliance of this band. One listen to anything fro "Oceanic" onward will leave you in no doubt of that.


Demo 1998Mediafire

Mosquito Control EPMediafire

Sawblade EPMediafire

The Red Sea EPMediafire

CelestialMediafire

SGNL>05 EPMediafire

OceanicMediafire

Oceanic: Remixes/ReinterpretationsMediafire

PanopticonMediafire

In The Absence Of TruthMediafire

Wavering RadiantMediafire

TemporalMediafire

Sunday, 15 June 2014

HOPE SANDOVAL , DAVID ROBACK & MAZZY STAR

David Roback & Hope Sandoval

Mazzy Star is a band that have been with me for quite some time and I was originally intending to do this post in the early days of the blog just on Mazzy Star however David Roback (guitar) and Hope Sandoval (vocals) have done such great work before and after Mazzy Star that I figured i would just take a look at everything...

So in the early 80's David Roback was originally a member of well respected indie band Rain Parade however all i know of that band is the name and the fact they get a lot of respect from people beyond that I can't tell you anything however in 1984 David left Rain Paraide and formed Opal the band that would eventually become Mazzy Star and the sound of Opal is not a million miles away from Mazzy Star they did an EP "Northern Line" in 1985 part of which is collected on "Early Recordings" a compilation released by Rough Trade in 1989 and then in 1987 signed to SST for debut album "Happy Nightmare Baby" what is strange is the earlier work of Opal shows more evidence of where the sound of Mazzy Star would later come from the album "Happy Nightmare Baby" is a bit louder and more electric and downright bluesy in places both of these are essential pieces of the history of these artists and well worth a listen.

So from what I can gather around the late 80's Kendra Smith (Guitar & Vocals) had a falling out with the rest of Opal and stormed off stage during a show, David and the band had Opal's next album "Ghost Highway" ready to go, the how and where escapes me I have heard Hope was in a folk band called Going Home but can't confirm anything or find any material by them, but at some point David Roback must've come across the talents of one Hope Sandoval enlisting her as a vocalist Opal became Mazzy Star (from what the internet tells me Opal members Suki Ewers, William Cooper and Kieth Mitchell along with David all played in Mazzy Star at one time or another) and Opal's "Ghost Highway" became Mazzy Star's 1990 debut "She Hangs Brightly" Whilst the seeds for Mazzy Star's beautiful, dreamy indie music may have been sown in the early years of Opal and Kendra Smith is a very capable vocalist it has to be said the key to Mazzy Star's brilliant sound are the utterly devastating and gorgeous vocals of Hope Sandoval If you have not heard her voice before it is near impossible to describe Hope's style it is all at once seductive,sad and ocasionally quite sassy and just pours like honey she has one of the best voices of any female singer i have heard and is talented beyond describing when David Roback found her he must've been beyond happy when she enlisted in his band. "She Hangs Brightly" was a stunningly original album for it's time taking the great work done by Opal and progressing it to a completely new level there's tinges of country, fragmented blues, stunning acoustic numbers and the title track is straight out of The Doors songbook although done with their own take on their style! 2nd album "So Tonight That I Might See" whilst continuing where the debut left off is a far darker and denser listen yielding Mazzy Star's most well known song "Fade Into You" which aside from being on this album has seen no less than 33 compilation appearances! It is a stunning song no doubt but the rest of the album has quite a deep and mournful sound one of my personal favorites "Five String serenade" is just so sad and beautiful it just melts you completely! Mazzy Star achieved a modest success with their 1st 2 albums and there was a lot of buzz round the next one "Among My Swan" and it was the first one to be released after i became a fan so i had high hopes for it and whilst it is a pretty good album i have to say i don't feel it's the equal of it's predecessors however as it was the last album from them for a LONG time i don't know if the band were fragmenting or having problems but I feel that although the last two albums had moments of sadness and maybe a little moodiness here and there I felt "Among My Swan" to be a fairly depressing listen aside from the single "Flowers In December" the downtempo of this album just made it hard to get into, as i said it's not a bad album but my least favorite of the original 3. and in 1996 that was it Mazzy Star were gone.




I don't know what David Roback did in the interim but in 2000 Hope Sandoval teamed up with none other than Colm O'Ciosig of My Bloody Valentine and formed Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, now if you like me couldn't get enough of Hope's voice and were a fan of My Bloody Valentine then you were probably as excited as me about this project! Whilst i don't want to take anything away from them the best way i can describe this band is if you take the most sedate moments of Mazzy Star and strip away the more dreamy layers of music down to the bare guitar and voice and some sparse instrumentation that is basically what you get here, it's impossible to put Hope Sandoval in front of any band and not be reminded of Mazzy Star. Both 2001's "Bavarian Fruit Bread" and 2009's "Through the Devil Softly" are both stunning albums and nearly to my mind as essential to fans of Mazzy Star as that bands albums.

So finally in 2013 Mazzy Star released a new single "Common Burn/Lay Myself Down" now at the time i was unsure if these were undiscovered treasures from the vault or what, but it turned out it was a taster for forthcoming album "Seasons Of Your Day" now i was skeptical about this because I felt that Mazzy Star were very much a band of their time that being the 90's and some 17 years since their last album why would they bother? However I am glad they did because again this album is a case of like the next day after "Among My Swan" not nearly 2 decades later and in my opinion no momentum has been lost this album is the equal of any other in their catalog Hope is still in fine voice and sounds as sweet and youthful as she did on "She Hangs Brightly".All the familiar Mazzy Star touches are there and David Robacks guitar work is just stunning! This is a fine return from a great band and i truly hope this is not the last we hear from them.

Mazzy Star 2013

So onto your links I have separated them below into the relevant bands and I've gone over most of whats here and the links are marked clearly enough but with both Mazzy Star and Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions there is a bonus you will find files titled B-sides for both bands it is what it says it is there is not much to be had rarity wise outside of the released albums by both bands however with Mazzy Star you get 6 tracks including all their B-sides that were not on albums and also "Tell me Now" from the "Batman Forever" soundtrack. With The Warm Inventions you get 5 tracks again all the B-sides from their EP's and singles that were not on the albums. However it doesn't end there....

Never one to stand still Hope and Mazzy Star were embraced by the more downtempo bands of the electronic/dance music community several times Mazzy Star songs have been used on various mix cd's etc and subsequently Hope has had quite a few guest appearances for bands from the very popular end of that spectrum so below you will find a link titled "Collaborations" This is a 10 track compilation researched, hunted down and put together by me featuring her immense talents being put to the music of 2 songs by Death In Vegas, 1 by Chemical Brothers 1 with Massive Attack an unreleased version of "Cherry Blossom Girl" By Air with Hope singing and a 1 track with Trip Hop artist 76, aside from the more dance orientated collaborations you will also find 2 songs she did with The Jesus And Mary Chain, 1 with amazing indie band Vetiver and lastly 1 with Bert Jansch!! How's That Hope Fans?


So there you go a retrospective of the work of David Roback and Hope Sandoval spanning 3 decades which alone should be an indication of how great these guys are! If you have never heard any of this stuff before and you happen to be one of those rare people who just browse for new music and actually read these blurbs then go download Mazzy Star : "She Hangs Brightly" as that's where it all began for me with these artists and to this day it never fails to make my brain and spine melt! Listening to Mazzy Star or indeed pretty much anything with the vocals of Hope Sandoval is like being wrapped in a blanket and given a cup of hot chocolate! Gorgeous stuff!

OPAL

Happy Nightmare BabyMediafire

Early RecordingsMediafire

MAZZY STAR

So Tonight That I Might SeeMediafire

She Hangs BrightlyMediafire

Among My SwanMediafire

Seasons Of Your DayMediafire

B-SidesMediafire

HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS

Bavarian Fruit BreadMediafire

Through The Devil SoftlyMediafire

B-SidesMediafire

HOPE SANDOVAL

CollaborationsMediafire




Saturday, 14 June 2014

BAD BRAINS


Well does this band really need much introduction or blurb here? I would hope not! Among the earliest front runners and also one of the most Important bands in the history of American hardcore. I have wanted to do this post for some time and I have put up their SST stuff previously but I figured it was time for a proper post!

Now this time folks I am really Going to try not to go crazy here but this is Bad Brains after all and there's a LOT of ground to cover! But can i once again refer you to Steven Blush's Book "American Hardcore" for my money the DEFINITIVE word on the music and it's participants....

If you go to this link HERE you can actually read the whole "American Hardcore" book online free but this link will take you to the middle of the Bad Brains section of his book if you scroll up a little on the reader you will find a header page that says "BAD BRAINS : HOW LOW CAN A PUNK GET?" that's the beginning of the article.

It would save me a lot of time if you could just go off and read that and i can continue the policy of shorter write ups/more music! So Assuming you either came across this through a google search and just want the links to free music or you took my advice and went and read the linked article we can continue with a brief look at the links....

Ok so first up there is Bad Brains "Odds & Ends" This file contains the debut "Pay To Cum" 7" (both sides) the recent "God Of Love" Demos 7" that came with the record store day edition of the "God Of Love" album the "I & I Survive" 12" EP (with cover lablels etc scans) their blistering cover of MC5 : "Kick Out The Jams" with Henry Rollins on vocals which appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Pump Up The Volume" and lastly because it's quite a cool curiosity I've put the 3 tracks from Mos Def's "The New Danger" which feature Black Jack Johnson the band project he was working on with Dr Know of Bad Brains! If you're a Brains fan you'll more than likely like them.

So lets start.... "Black Dots" these are Bad Brains very first demos recorded in 1979 at Inner Ear Studios with Don Zientara, now although most of these songs would be recorded and re-recorded over the next 4 years it's worth hearing these very early versions as though there are plenty of great fast hardcore songs that prove that Bad Brains were the first "fastest band on the planet" there are around 8 songs that were cut from their repertoire and didn't see the light of day till the 1996 release of this CD what's really worthy of attention is "Redbone In the City" with a riff taken straight off "God Save The Queen" and H.R. Doing his best Johnny Rotten impressions! That daftness aside it's a great set of demos and decent quality for demos too.

Not in order of release but in true chronological order next up we have "The Omega Sessions" this was released as a 10" and CD by Victory records in 1997 but was actually recorded in 1980!! This was Bad Brains first recording in a proper multi-track studio and not on 4 track you get six tracks which shockingly include a version of "i Against i" which would not see recording or release for another 6 years and the version on here aside from being less slickly produced that the album version is almost identical in every way which i find shocking because it would seem that Bad Brains had shown a HUGE progression when "i Against i" came out but they actually had this song in the can 6 years previously as tight and on the nail as it would be on the album also notable is the fact that outside of the b-side of the original "Pay To Cum" 7" this EP is the only place you will hear their funky reggae number "Stay Close to Me" this demo is just GREAT and i really wish it had seen the light sooner than 1997!

"Bad Brains" or "The Roir Tape" or "The Roir Sessions" or "Attitude" depending on which version you've seen was I suppose Bad Brains first album i don't know I never really felt it was though as it was a cassette only does that matter? i dunno? I guess it does to me! However this is the recording that put these guys into the hands of every hardcore fan it's certainly a blistering listen but some 3 years after "Black Dots" though they are faster,tighter and the songs sound better I don't see a GREAT deal of progression here, this is no doubt an utter a hardcore classic and I LOVE this album however for me personally i think these guys really hit their stride with next album and first album "proper" in my opinion...

"Rock For Light" from 1983 now i would appear to be in the minority here but this is by FAR my favorite Bad Brains recording I know that a lot of people hate the slick 80's production by Ric Ocasek of The Cars fame but I don't hear that myself what I do hear is one of the tightest, fastest and most accomplished hardcore records of the entire era. Now I have given you both a very good quality vinyl rip of the original 17 track 1983 PVC records LP and the overhauled remastered remixed caroline records 20 track CD version, Now I had lived with "Rock For Light" on vinyl for a long time before i bought the CD version and the remix/remaster/altered tracklist was so shocking in sound to me at the time I actually took the CD back to the shop and demanded a refund!!! However with older ears I bought it again when my record player died and I actually like it as much if not more than the LP version. I have given you both so you can hear how the album originally sounded in it's correct running order and so you can have the louder, better quality version with 3 bonus tracks because the bonus tracks include a short outro "jam" and blistering versions of "I" and "Supertouch" which were not on the vinyl and the latter 2 tracks are essential Bad Brains tracks especially "I" which is a personal favorite!

3 years later and after much inner band turmoil etc Next up we have 2nd album and first with all new songs and also first and only studio album for SST records 1986's  "i Against i" now going back to "Rock For Light" and it's supposed 80's production well if ever there was an album with a production sound that clearly dates it it's this album! Produced by Ron St. Germain this album is very slick sounding and aside from the title track there's very little of what can be described as "Hardcore" on here however what you get is a completely unique sounding album from a band who have an abundance of talent whilst it may not fit neatly into any particular genre neatly this is a fantastic album, the lightning speed songs may not be present but this album shows a depth of maturity and progression in songwriting beyond the grasp of any band with the exception of one as talented as these guys! They most definitley fitted perfectly with SST's lexicon of original and genre defying music!

It would be another 3 years before another Bad Brains album would see the light if you took my recommendation and read the article on them linked at the beginning then you will know that this band despite having an abundance of talent being among the first all black "rock" groups that they did nothing but fuck themselves over time and time again H.R. had left the band and returned numerous times by this point and his brother Earl being the drummer always jumped ship with him, this had fragmented the band often and next album and first for Caroline records "Quickness" in 1989 had by rumor actually been recorded with Chuck Treece of Mcrad on vocals before H.R. and his brother returned to the fold at the last minute and H.R. re- recorded the vocals however despite being pictured on the cover Earl did not play the drums on this album drumming was handled by Mackie Jayson of Cro Mags! This is not a terrible album in any way it does lack the awesome songs of it's predecessor however i get the feeling that the band were lacking "A" material for this album because here you will find an almost exact rendition of "Intro" from "i Against i" now given vocals and re-titled "Voyage To Infinty" this album has more of a metal/hardcore feel than "i Against i" which to me is more of a regression than a progression however as i say it's not the best they had done and to my mind is where they started to slip downslope with their career!

So a further 4 years down the line it's 1993 and next up is "Rise" well I'm not even gonna start! Now signed to major label Epic records H.R. and Earl have once again left and we now have Mackie Jayson back on drums (Did he ever really leave seeing as how Earl had still played on nothing?) and one Dexter Pinto now re-christened Israel Joseph-I on vocals a great H.R. impersonator he may be but H.R. he ain't. All I will say is if you like Bad Brains you probably do/will hate this album if you are a fan of the kinda early 90's "alternative" metal stuff that was around then you will love this! Me personally i think it's a turd!

1995 and H.R. is back bringing Earl with him now signed to Madonna's Maverick Records (yeah THAT Madonna) and entering the studio once again with Ric Okasek producer of "Rock For Light" there was a lot of promise to this new reinvigorated original line up and the producer of their best album so enter "God Of Love" I have to be honest i do kinda like this album however it really isn't much of a progression from the sub par metal they were doing on the last album except this time the album is peppered with electronic reggae type songs (5 out of the 12 tracks) which are not too far away from the terrible reggae H.R. and Earl had been doing on SST under the Human Rights guise it's not an atrocious album it's definitely better than "Rise" well because H.R. is back it has some great moments but also some cringeworthy ones as well! And so ended the 90's for Bad Brains

It would really be a long time before we would hear anything more from this band but in 2002 they released "i & i Survived (Dub) " which i think may have been something the band had wanted to do for a long time and as modern dub albums go and being a fan of the Dub genre myself it's a pretty good listen if you like Bad Brains early reggae songs then there's a good chance that you will probably like this, but as there are no vocals unless you love your weed or are a fan of Dub anyway this might not be your thing! and the dub/metal crossover on a couple of reworkings of old tracks in a dub style are pretty bad!

2007 and some 12 years had passed since Bad Brains had last been in a studio together rumors abounded  and as i've said from day one this band did themselves NO favours and they had lost the rights to their own fucking name at one point (see Soul Brains album in the live albums section) H.R. as if it was any surprise had had mental health problems and had been involved in some downright diry rotten scams and drug dealing etc so you'd think there would be little chance or in fact any point to this band doing anything new! Well BIG surprise in 2007 Bad Brains returned again with the original line up and a new album "Build A Nation" of which the cover heavily featured one of the oldest Bad Brains logo from their earliest days....


Was this an indication of taking influence from the early days or merely a ploy to remind people how great they were in the old days? Well to be honest before i start on this I have to say regardless of it's content to my mind there really isn't a place for Bad Brains in 2007 they have had too many problems, Major fuck ups and burned too many bridges and as I have said many times with the ease with which young new bands can get recorded and get themselves an audience via the good old internet to my mind it seemed like a pointless exrercise! That being said this is actually a VERY good album it sounds to me like an album that would fit kinda neatly between "Rock For Light" and "i Against i" whilst nowhere near the quality or importance of either of those albums the band really are firing on all 8 cylinders here and it's a fairly spectacular return to form! It has the fast hardcore songs the powerful mid paced stuff and also the reggae songs are actually pretty good this time! H.R. it has to be said whilst still a great vocalist is a little weak on here but the band themselves sound lean, fit and pretty damn blistering NOTE included in this file is the bonus track "Married Again" that was only available on the 7" box set version of this album!

So after this album all was quiet and it seemed like maybe Bad Brains had done a pretty decent album and tried to show the haters/disbelievers they still "had it" and that would appear to be that, but surprisingly another 5 years later in 2012 we got "Into The Future" This is also a pretty decent album this time round the production is a lot slicker there's a bit more reggae this time but it's still good and the pace is just a little more sedate than the last album I would say this album bears a little resemblance to "Quickness" with it's flashy metal chops and riffage of the 2 latest albums for me "Build A Nation" is the better but I really do think that both these post millennium albums are more worth a listen than "Quickness" "Rise" or "God Of Love" if these had been the albums they had done in the 90's after "Quickness" i think they may have had a shot at reedeming themselves however good as they are it just seems well.... a little TOO late!

So That rounds up your studio albums there are also no less than 5 live albums as well. "Live CBGB's 1982" released to tie in with the 2006 DVD of this show, it is a fairly decent run through the early material but the quality isn't amazing and sounds to me like a fairly average soundboard quality maybe even high end audience recording good but not essential. During Bad Brains time with SST i get the feeling that Greg Ginn  may not have been too pleased with the fact that he only got 1 studio album from them as "i Against i" was apparently a huge seller!! so in true Ginn milking it style he released the "Live" album and "Spirit Electricity" Live mini album both of them are cobbled together from various live shows of the SST era and whilst both are decent quality recordings neither represents a full Bad brains show and are only included for completions sake. "The Youth Are Getting Restless" recorded live at the Paradiso Amsterdam in April 1987 is an almost full set of Bad Brains live at their peak (Note this is only about 4 songs shy of a full set I have the full set but it's in my malfunctioning hard drive but if i ever retrieve that I will update this post) If you only download one of the Live albums in this post make it this one it's BLISTERING! Lastly for live albums we have "Soul Brains : A Bad Brains Re-union" from 2001 now as i said previously by this point the band were so fucked they had even lost the rights to their own name hence Soul Brains musically and quality wise it's a great set good song selection and a great raw but tight sound however H.R. seems to be a little lackluster here and not really giving it 100% more like 60%! However it's a part of their official releases and I include it here for you to check out!

Well that's it folk another one of my apparently not long write ups ha ha!! Unfortunately even with the minimal info i have given here it's still a lot of ground to cover and to be honest a lot of the material these guys have released I actually have been thinking while going over this write up that maybe i should've just gave you the essentials but Bad Brains story is a long,complicated and tragic one here were 4 very talented middle class kids from the D.C. suburbs who started out as a jazz fusion band discovered punk and along with Black Flag pretty much invented hardcore discovered Rastafarianism and started introducing some truly brilliant reggae among their lightning fast hardcore and believe me for quite some time Bad Brains were THE fastest band you could lay your hands on these guys were causing major interest wherever they went with their amazing music and blistering energetic live shows they influenced countless bands they were poised for world takeover and they fucked it all up! They never really regained their lost ground even after "i Against i" and have remained a curiosity ever since but damn those early records importance can NEVER be understated. Bad Brains were a supremely talented band and without the the face of Hardcore and to some extent music as a whole would be vastly different if they had never existed! So you've heard my opinion go check them out and judge for yourselves if you have never heard them before then i wish i was you because hearing the 7" version  of "Pay To Cum" or the albums  "Rock For Light" or "i Against i" for the first time was a revelation for me and still leaves me with my jaw on the floor some 30 years later.And judging by the amount of really young kids i see with bad Brains Patches/Badges/T-shirts proudly displayed i believe the appeal of this once mighty band is set to endure forever.



Bad Brains Odds N EndsMediafire

Black DotsMediafire

Bad Brains (AKA Roir Tape) - Mediafire

Omega Sessions (1982 Demo)Mediafire

Live At CBGB's 1982Mediafire

Rock For Light (VINYL Version)Mediafire

Rock For Light (CD Remix/Remaster)Mediafire

i Against iMediafire

LiveMediafire

Spirit Electricity (Live)Mediafire

The Youth Are Getting Restless (Live 1987)Mediafire

QuicknessMediafire

RiseMediafire

God Of LoveMediafire

Soul Brains (Live 2001)Mediafire

i & i Survived (In Dub)Mediafire

Build A Nation (With Bonus Track)  - Mediafire

Into The FutureMediafire





Thursday, 12 June 2014

RUDIMENTARY PENI


It goes without saying that Rudimentary Peni were one of the most important and unique bands to emerge from the Anarcho punk scene of the early 80's though they are loved by crusties and punks I feel that calling them anarcho is selling these guys short sure they may have had some "protest" type lyrics specifically over their 1st 2 EP's and the Death Church album but they always had a very different approach both musically and lyrically to the bands they were linked with even tho their music may bear some resemblance to some of that scene when you hear Rudimentary Peni you can be in no doubt who it is you are listening to!

I already did this post once before so I'm gonna try not to go on too much here however i said that about the recent Entombed post and look what happened there!!! Anyway as i said RP have a unique sound there's great loud bubbling bass topped with Nick Blinko's Scratchy high speed thrashing guitar lines and screaming vocals underpinned with some great drumming holding this insane mess together! Although there's no doubt that their self released 1st EP, Farce EP and "Death Church" album are all classics of the anarcho/punk genre RP have always been out there on their own and this is something that would come to the fore over their next 2 albums. Having been on hiatus due to various reasons of ill health etc there was a 4 year gap between the first RP album and 1987's "Cacophony" and it's here where the band start to develop even more unique sounds and ideas whilst "Cacophony" it can't be denied is still based on a punk framework there's far more than simple punk going on here this is an album chock full of crazy ideas lurching shifts in tempo and all manner of craziness! After the early material i found it quite hard to get into this album as for the time it was released you had the development of hardcore and grind in the UK just taking off along with the soon to be huge death metal scene bubbling under however RP's uniqueness is what makes them a great band and whilst the contributions of the rhythm section can't be denied it's the insane genius of Nick Blinko's lyrical themes and music that really sets this band apart from anything like anything you have ever heard! "Cacophony" is a great album all it takes is an open mind and a little perseverance and you will see that whilst maybe not the logical successor to "Death Church" it is equally as good!



It was a further 8 years before RP would be heard from again and in 1995 they released 3rd album "Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric" And whilst some of the experimental and out there touches from "Cacophony" have been retained this album for my tastes is just too out there disjointed and mad to me it has the sound of a band making it up as they go along there's no decent structure to the majority of this album the band just stopping and starting where they feel like and also usually RP songs in the majority are short, the songs on this album are all a rambling 3-4 mins in length, add to this the fact that the WHOLE album and i do mean all of it has a backing track of someone babbling, this can be heard during the breaks between songs during the songs themselves and is especially felt during any parts of the songs where the drums drop out and to be honest after a couple of songs it just drives me nuts! This is the only RP album i don't own and to be honest I may have a cheek writing it up because i have never got further than 2 or 3 songs I know people who consider this to be as essential a part of RP's discography as any other personally i find it annoying, frustrating and basically a terrible album and only include it here for completion and for the curious among you.

SO that covers the early years! Whilst you couldn't exactly call RP "prolific" between 1997 and 2008 they released 4 EP's they are one of those bands that would return with every so often over that 11 year period with a new EP and every time it was always something to get excited about! I was quite lucky to have a good friend who worked at Southern records the label that press and release all of RP's material and he would always keep me informed whenever there was new RP in the works! I don't want to go into it too much here because after the atrocious "Pope Adrian" album i lost interest in RP big time! However when the first of these 4 Ep's 1997's "Echoes Of Anguish" came out my friend at southern sent me a tape of it and i was shocked to find that it was a stunning return to form for this band and every bit as good as anything else they had done and to be honest there is little point in breaking each EP down too much because from "Echoes...." up to most recent EP "No More Pain" RP have been consistently brilliant and apart from maybe slight variations in sound and production each EP has been the equal if not the better of it predecessor so if you like RP these 4 Ep's are as essential as the 1981 - 1987 material and get multiple rotation round here!

So to round up the story we have something of a rarity in 2009 Nick Blinko released a very limited book/art package called "The Haunted Head" (a more appropriate title for something written by this man there could not be!!!) enclosed with this book was a 1 track CD the only new material since the "No More Pain" EP this was a RP working of Wilfred Owen's "The Chances" (if you don't know who Wilfred Owen was then get Google-ing!) it's a great song but as I don't own the book or the CD as the CD without the book sells used for about £40 and with the book from £250 - £350!!!! however some kind soul put the song on youtube and i ripped the MP3 from there! It's not the most essential RP song but needs to be here for completions sake!

So to finish up there's a couple of extra bits for you firstly we have the Rudimentary Peni Live EP which is a brilliantly packaged and well put together bootleg 11 track EP culled from live material from 1982 shows I don't know if the material is taken from different shows or a whole show as RP shows were rare and short however it's a decent quality live record and worth it for a rare glimpse of this band live. And lastly, in 1979 preceding Rudimentary Peni Nick Blinko was in a "band" of sorts called The Magits they released 1 very short 4 track EP (it clocks in at 3 mins in length!) called "Fully Coherent" and basically consists of English accented vocals backed by minimal keyboards and keyboard stabs for rhythm this EP is weird and strange and is included here simply because it's extremely rare and hard to find and is a strange listen also because you may be curious what Nick Blinko was up to before he started RP!

So there you go the complete works of Rudimentary Peni, Whilst i have mentioned Nick Blinko several times here Rudimentary Peni wouldn't be the band they are without the stellar work of Grant Matthews Bass and Jon Greville's Drumming the 3 members are lifelong friends and have been involved in everything the band have released however it's the lyrical, artistic and Musical vision of Nick Blinko that plays the main part in making this band so unique, I strongly suggest you do a google image search on Nick Blinko's art and marvel at the intricacies and insanity of his work (all pics with this post are Nick's art) as getting the music and front cover of these releases here might be great the artwork is as essential a part of the whole package. Also i would also seek out Nick Blinko's book "The Primal Screamer" it has recently been reprinted by Pm Press (direct link to the book on their site  HERE ) it is available through pretty much every online book seller from amazon to barnes and noble, It's a fascinating, scary and atmospheric read and is also a semi fictional autobiography of Nicks early years and also looks upon the formation of Rudimentary Peni and the early anarcho punk scene they were involved in.

If you have not heard Rudimentary Peni before and you come across this post the links below are in chronological order i suggest you start with any of the first 3 links and if you like them come back for more,This band are a truly unique one in every way and i hope you can love them as much as i do! Enjoy!




1st EPMediafire

Farce EPMediafire

Death ChurchMediafire

Live 1982 (boot) EPMediafire

CacophonyMediafire

Pope Adrian 37thMediafire

Echoes Of Anguish EPMediafire

The Underclass EPMediafire

Archaic EPMediafire

No More Pain EPMediafire

Wilfred Owen The Chances (Free CD With 'The Haunted Head' Book) Mediafire

The Magits - "Fully Coherent" EPMediafire

One Final note the majority of Rudimentary Peni's back catlog has and is being reissued at the moment all my rips are taken from my original versions of the CD's however should you wish to seek their records & CD's out now you will probably find it a lot easier than i did! Check those reissues out at Southern HERE

Saturday, 7 June 2014

GREEK CRUST BRUTALITY



Right a very quick one here as i'm nearly out of time! So i haven't been posting much crust of late i kinda overdosed on it during the last few years and i decided I needed a break but I recently heard 2 bands both from Greece who just literally shredded 90% of the stuff i have heard recently My good friend Agz of Punk as Fuck 77 not 666 blog (HERE) has blogged both of them himself but i figured since i haven't posted any crust for a while and both these bands blew me away a little extra net presence won't do any harm!

So first up we have Lethe with their " Λήθη " album (pictured above) this is their debut album and from the opening second these guys just go for the throat heavy thick guitars, FAST d-beat drumming accented with the occasional blast beat and some utterly shredding vocals that go from throat tearing screams of anguish and despair to the bowels of hell growling. While this may all seem like standard fare for crust and I'm using the same adjectives as i always use, I cannot stress enough that whilst this band has all the usual hallmarks they are incredibly tight and superb musicians they use all sorts of little flourishes that you are unlikely to hear elsewhere also it has really GREAT production it is totally razor sharp and everything is clear in the mix, this is a supremely heavy and totally punishing album it literally takes your breath away it's THAT intense,give this one quick listen and i guarantee you if you are a fan of this type of music this will utterly floor you within 20 seconds of hitting play! Free pay what you want on bandcamp link below....

Lethe - bandcamp




Next up we have Conspiracy of Denial also from Greece with their self titled debut whilst sorta coming from the same page as Lethe these guys are maybe a little more primitive than Lethe and maybe a little more "standard" this is again a heavy and fast band but they have some great dueling female/male vocals which really work well and they have some supremely heavy breakdowns which to my mind fall more into the "post metal" sorta arena than the normal sort of breakdowns you get with crusty stuff and they are all the better for it because it creates a good dynamic between the fast and slow parts. again this is an utterly ripping listen and again it's just non stop intensity from start to finish. free pay what you want on bandcamp....

Conspiracy Of Denial - bandcamp

I made this post a double header because both these bands are from Greece and while of the 2 Lethe definitely have the edge for my money though you may feel differently, the reason i am giving you both is that these 2 Greek bands are doing this sound with more passion and faster and more intensely than anyone else i have heard lately as i said there's been no crust on this blog for quite some time and if you are familiar with my rules of "quality control" then by that measure you can 100% guarantee that both these bands are needing of your attention right NOW! Also these bands put their hard work, sweat and talent into an album each and are giving them free to you on bandcamp and as these are both high quality releases i think that we owe these bands a chance to be heard as they would never have made it onto here if they weren't ahead of the pack!

No wonder they tell you not to drink the water when you're on holiday in Greece judging by the sound of both these bands "there must be something in the water" (groannnnns!!)

VIKING SKULL



Viking Skull are a band I like a lot apart from the fact that they are called Viking Skull which is enough to endear them to me greatly they also play some seriously down and dirty Rock/Metal that just kicks my arse!

Viking Skull were formed during the period between Raging Speedhorn's 2nd and 3rd album and originally featured no less that 3 members of RS however internet info is sparse but as far as i can tell there are no longer any members of RS in the band and Gordon Morrison has been replaced on drums by none other than Bam Margera brother of Jess and also of CKY fame but don't let that put you off!

Over the course of an EP 4 albums and a compilation these guys have played some GREAT metal music! They're dirty fucking nasty take on it is nothing less than addictive and with Titles like "Beer Drugs & Bitches" and "You Look Like I Need A Beer" i think they do not take the misogynist nature of the music they are influenced by with any kind of real seriousness and tongues are most definitely planted in cheeks here! This is 100% horns throwin, headbanging, whiskey drinking rock 'n' roll of the highest order and is also great fun. I'm not going to go into a big thing here about it but if you are a fan of bands like Nashville Pussy, Lecherous Gaze (see my post HERE ) , or the post i did on Burning Leather & Ripper (HERE) or any of the "Brit Metal" posts i did then this is definitely for you.

I really do love my metal music but the histrionics and general posturing of the majority of the bands who take the whole rock/metal thing seriously just leaves me cold but when bands take the right influences from the best of the old bands that I like (think Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead etc etc) and that have and do make the best kind of metal without taking all the bullshit that goes with that music seriously then I'm all for it and Viking Skull definitely fall into that category! Distorted, loud, gravel throated, rocking, brilliance!

Just a quick note below you will find a complete discography of Viking Skull however "Heavy Metal Thunder" was a compilation of the "Chapter One" EP , plus the bonus CD that came with "Chapter Two" that was also known as "Blackened Sunrise" EP plus a couple of unreleased tracks, I have edited it down to the "Blackened..." EP and the bonus tracks, as i have given you "Chapter One" EP seperately ok?


Chapter OneMediafire

Born In HellMediafire

Chapter TwoMediafire

Heavy Metal ThunderMediafire

Doom Gloom Heartache And WhiskeyMediafire

Cursed By The SwordMediafire