Tuesday, 20 October 2015

CITIES OF MARS INTERVIEW


Cities of Mars are a new 3 piece band from Gothenburg, Sweden playing some of the heaviest Stoner/Doom/(Insert genre here) I have heard in a long time, Whilst that opening line may have some of you rolling your eyes, as even though I'm a HUGE fan of the genre even I have to admit there's a lot of stale 100th hand Sabbath rip offs out there these days and it's getting a lot harder to find the real gems, however in this case, these guys are definitely one of them.

I recently joined a group for stoner/doom music on facebook and with 26,000 members there's always tons of stuff to check out, I don't know why in the avalanche of recommendations from members I decided to check these guys out but I'm glad I did it's not often I hear something that impacts me immediately but this had that effect, within seconds of the first riff kicking in I knew these guys were gonna be something really important. In fact it made such an impression I decided that the first interview in nearly 3 years of this blog would have to be These guys

Cities Of Mars : L-R Christoffer, Danne, Johan

Based round a concept of the many legends and tales surrounding the planet Mars the lyrical themes are as interesting as the music is amazing!  they have recently released a 2 song digital EP and both of the songs are phenomenal, First I have to say the sound is immense for a debut offering produced by Esben of Monolord who is someone who knows a fucking heavy riff or 2 with his own band he's really done these guys music proud! Opener "Cyclopean Ritual" begins with some eerie guitar strumming whilst this introduction is short it certainly sets the mood and is a stark contrast to the utterly crushing main riff which is enough to make anyone with the remotest interest in heavy music just snap their neck to it if you are not at the very least nodding your head with a look of sheer happiness on your face when that kicks in there is something WRONG with you!!!! What i find great about this band is they have a real sense of how to use their titanic riffage to best effect there's enough twists and turns within the song to stop it from just being one solid riff fest and shows a real maturity in songwriting though when you read the interview below the reasons why will become apparent! Second track "The Third Eye" is another stormer with it's stop start verse riffing and a vocal melody that reminds me a little of The Sword, that's another thing that i love about this band the vocals are just great, managing to sound on the one hand full of anguish and desperation and yet still hold a memorable melody to them! I've found myself humming both of these tunes which for music this heavy is no small thing! I would usually be gushing a hellavu lot more about a band this good but I think it's best that instead of my usual spiel you should read the interview below. Danne Palm (Bass & Vocals) was kind enough to find me some time out of his busy work schedule to have a chat on facebook and here we have Cities Of Mars in the words of one of it's members......


Dave : Ok So Firstly the obvious stuff Who’s in the band and who plays what?

Danne : Me - Danne Palm, bass & lead vox, Christoffer Norén, guitar & vox, Johan Küchler, drums & vox super stoked to have three vocalists!

Dave : Yeah it works well when i listened to the ep on headphones it sounds amazing on “Cyclopean Ritual”

Danne : Seems no musicians sing any more? Back in the day, every band had several singers

Dave :  yeah i notice a lot of instrumental music in the "heavy" scene these days or most bands seem to take a vocalist rather than handle it themselves

Danne : Indeed, the whole instrumental doom scene ain't for us...

Dave : no me either I'm always waiting for the vocals to kick in!!!

Dave : I know you have some previous experience in the “heavy” scene as a member of  the earliest incarnation of Monolord the sound of COM is not too dissimilar from Monolord  so how did you come to leave Monolord and form COM? Especially as you co - wrote the title track  (and my personal favorite) from their first album. Do any of your other band members have previous experience in other bands?

Danne : Well, I've played for 20 years, so there have been lots of bands during the years... My previous band Marulk was a boogie rock trio with Esben and Thomas of Monolord and we played together for five years. We developed a very hard working band ethos there, but when the steam sort of run out of Marulk a few years back we decided to form a heavier band as a side project, and that became Monolord. The other guys got super excited about this new band, but I had gone weary of the whole thing and felt that I needed to get out of the toils of a band for a while. The others pressed on to great success and I'm super happy to see their hard work finally paying off. We're still close friends and Esben acts as producer and recording engineer for CoM, so some old habits and ideas get spilled across I suppose. I love their sound, but it's not for me - I want to do other things musically and CoM is just beginning to realize its own potential, Johan is 20 years my junior and has played in different bands, but not yet with such a grumpy old geezer constantly on his back I suppose! Christoffer began in the 90's in the nu-metal scene in a band called Absent that I really liked back in the day. We've known each other all that time but never played together before. He's been in a band called Benevolent too, that has released an album and an EP, a bit progressive but lots of good guitar techniques that comes in handy in in CoM!

Dave : Wow had no idea you had all been playing so long and it's good you (Danne) are not bitter about Monolord's popularity and with the length of time you had been playing it's understandable why you would need a break. I think CoM whilst still being real heavy have some subtle touches that are revealed on repeated listens

Dave: tell me a little about the concept behind CoM I know Mars has always held fascination for the human race but where music is concerned it’s generally electronic/ambient bands that seem to look to Mars as influence? Also I notice that you have started at the 3rd and 5th points of your timeline (See Cities Of Mars Page HERE ) Is this because these 2 songs are the first written, or is it intentional?


Danne : The concept came first, along with the name of the band. What if those stories and legends were true, that Mars actually had an ancient civilization and someone stumbled across it? After that initial idea, the story has basically unfolded itself. The planet itself, legends and mythology just feeds the imagination - all we need to do is open up our heads and the story keeps bringing ideas to the songs.The timeline is still in it's infancy, each released song will be placed into the timeline so the listener can relate it to the broader story. "The Third Eye" was the first song I wrote for the band, kinda surprised that it actually survived and came out so good.The first verse really sets the mood and scenery for the whole band and the concept:

"Thunder rolling on the plains of red sand/storm is howling across this dead land/mountain of the gods rise into the dark sky/spires of Bahb-Elon loom in eternal night."

Dave : I'm glad you said that because my next question was going to be that with there only being 6 points on the timeline at present i wondered where COM would go with the concept once all 6 points had been filled?

Danne : The timeline is not full or set in stone - we have only placed the two first songs on it along with a few points of reference. It will soon be filled with lots of new songs and events. Our band universe has 8000 years of history, there will not be a shortage of stories any time soon!

Dave : ha ha yeah for sure, You recently played your first gig at the Wizard Of Fuzz festival how did that go?

Danne : It was wicked! Since I had been super busy in organizing the festival too, I was so tired that I propably made it through on pure adrenaline? The guys delivered beyond every expectation, and I seem to have performed decent enough too. A good crowd and an awesome response, it couldn't have gone any better! I had worked 14 hours straight, changed clothes and played the gig. Then worked 6 more hours.First minutes on stage, I forgot how to tune my bass. My head just turned blank. (Dave: That's understandable) But the spacetime transmission is strong - I made it through and now we can't wait to get back on stage!

Dave : Do you have any more gigs lined up?

Danne : Not right now. We are looking around and are certainly open to suggestions. But we are writing more songs and will be releasing live footage from the festival with some new stuff real soon!

Dave : I noted that you mentioned that on facebook I'm looking forward to it which brings me to my next question, I watched a teaser of a song “The Gaze of leviathan” is this the eye of the mountain you mention on your timeline?

Danne : No, the eye in the mountain is certainly a main feature in the mythology. But Gaze of Leviathan is a 1971 song where the cosmonaut Najda finds a hidden subterranean temple where robotic corpse-droids are performing a ritual to an unknown Leviathan that resides somewhere far beyond a black hole. The ritual has been performed for millenia, without humans to sacrifice. So when Nadja suddenly appears, these corpse-droids see the opportunity... A bit of doom in it, and a bit of up-tempo stuff too. It will be out on Youtube in a while. Most of our songwriting is very cinematic - we ask what "scene" we are doing, what mood, scenery and actions that are being performed? A new and interesting angle of songwriting for us.

Dave : Yeah because during "Cyclopean Ritual" everything drops out to the sound of what I assume to be a beating heart?

Danne : You got it

Dave : I was quite surprised by that because your sound is so heavy then everything drops to that beating before rising again it's a fantastic dynamic!

Danne : Thanks, We think of the sound like a movie too - a movie with action and mayhem for two hours might not be too interesting? We want to build suspense and atmospherics it is very crucial to our music.

Dave : Yeah i found that with your music even tho there are only 2 songs and you are working within a "heavy" framework for your sound what i feel separates you from similar bands,apart from your concept, is the real sense of drama in your songs it is, as you say not 2hrs of mayhem!

Dave : It's obvious that whilst you are a heavy band, loosely speaking in the stoner/doom mold, that there's far more to it than that what bands or music do you take influence from as it's obviously not the usual Black Sabbath plagiarism with you guys

Danne : I would say Mastodon and The Sword perhaps? There are sooo many good bands out there that create good music, but I would say that Mastodon's masterpiece "Crack the Skye" would be the single most influential piece - not necessarily the music itself, but how it combines heavy and eclectic music with a theme and that sense of drama that you mentioned.

Dave : it certainly does make it more interesting, So I know you are short on time so I should wrap this up so lastly.... I for one cannot get enough of your EP I have played it to death!! Can we expect any more music soon? Have you had any  interest from anyone wanting to release something?

Danne :  We cannot reveal all the details right now - but yes there is music coming. We have a label that is interested and we will release a 3 or 4 song EP, hopefully in early late February or late March. And real soon we will publish a new song, a live video, from the Wizard Of Fuzz Festival too. We will make the details public within a week or so!

Dave : That's great news I will be looking forward to hearing it! Ok Danne thanks for your time and looking forward to more Cities of Mars soon!!!

Danne : Cheers!

So there you go a supremely nice guy and a great band! Below you will find links to their 2 song EP which you can download free or stream from Bandcamp (where you can also buy a T-shirt or a patch as well) you can also stream it on soundcloud and also links to their facebook page and homepage all of which are more than worth a few minutes of your time.

I seriously think that these guys are going to be huge if they can produce a debut EP of such high quality with an interesting concept behind them just think how good they will be a year from now! You are seriously gonna be kicking yourself if you don't get onto these guys right NOW because once these guys get a proper release out I can assure they will be the name on the lips of every fan of good heavy music! So.... what you waiting for....GO!!!!!

EP download & MerchBandcamp

SoundcloudHERE

FacebookHERE

Homepage (and Concept Timeline)HERE

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

PRESSING ON


Whilst I don't normally even try to keep up with hardcore these days occasionally a band comes along that really blows me away and Pressing On are definitely one of these! Hailing from Portland OR. the home of some of the best music on the planet these guys feature no less than 2 former members of the amazing Talk Is Poison ( See my post on them HERE ) as well as John Wilkerson of From Ashes Rise if that's not enough the members of this band have served time in Raw Nerves, Coldbringer,Demise & Copout to name but a few. So as you can see these guys have some serious hardcore pedigree!

So with such an impressive history does this band live up to it, the answer from me at least is a resounding FUCK yes!!! This is their self titled first demo/tape release and you get 8 tracks and 15 minutes of intense,passionate and brilliantly played hardcore with some slight modern crust influences however these are only slight this tape definitely has it's feet firmly placed in the hardcore camp!

The great thing about this tape is i hear all sorts of familiar things and also a little of all the bands they have previously been in whilst still managing to present a sound that is fresh and nothing like any of their contemporaries this is due to the fact that whilst the sound is thick and chunky these guys right memorable songs that stick in your head immediately while still have a sense of rage that makes this recording so vital!Pounding drums topped with thick slicing guitar and bass with vocals that are intelligible but intense, it's not all fast either there's a lot of great mid paced and slower parts that make me just want to mosh like crazy and the songs are so well crafted, for a hardcore band with this kinda pedigree though I would expect no less! And even though it's only 15 minutes long because there's so much good music in there it feels longer, in a good way and never ceases to keep your attention focused!  Top that with a great production sound where everything is as equally in your face as it should be with this kinda music.

This is by far some of the best hardcore I've heard in years if you are familiar with any of these guys other bands then you should've been reaching for a download by the middle of the first paragraph but if you are not then i can assure you these guys are gonna be huge very soon if they continue to put music of this quality out because i can't get enough of this if your not circle pitting round your stereo within about 30 seconds of hearing this I will be surprised,you definitely need this band in your life!


Pressing On DemoMediafire

MASSAPPEAL


Ok so Massappeal were a band that came from Australia and whilst Aus has a great rich history of hardcore with bands like Depression, GASH,Civil Dissident and Death Sentence I always felt like they were kinda overlooked and only the most devoted of fans followed Aus HC for some reason it doesn't get the same slavish devotion as hardcore from far away lands like say Japanese Hardcore does despite the quality of the bands coming out of there over they decades. Massappeal are one of the bands that were criminally overlooked. Whilst they released 4 albums and a few EP's I'm only going to cover their early years here simply because whilst they did release music from 1986 to 1994 it's their 1st mini album and 7" that really hold a special place in my heart as after that they matured and went in a more melodic direction so i shall begin...

Massappeal burst out the gate with a raging 7 Track mini album "Nobody Likes A Thinker" in 1986 followed shortly thereafter by a single "The Bar Of Life" in 1987 I was lucky enough to hear these at the time through tape trading and eventually a friend bought them and we played those records to death at that time it was a case of the faster the better and Massappeal definitely fit the bill!

Fast forward a couple of decades and I managed to download some vinyl rips of those essential early records they weren't great quality so i barely listened to them and sent them to the hardcore folder for nostalgia purposes fast forward a few more years and I'm at band practice earlier this year and during a break our singer as he often does plugs his iPod into a speaker so we can listen to tunes and he says you must remember this? and i said is that Massappeal? and lo and behold it was! So we were having a discussion about how great they were and i said has this never been re-issued on CD to which our singer said it definitely had not. I was skeptical surely classic hardcore like this was NOT just languishing in the dust of HC history with only out of print records and shit quality MP3's as their legacy?So I went home that night went on the internet and discovered that not only had it been re-issued on CD in 2007 by Relapse they had also added the 7" a comp track and the entire first demo!!! I of course hit buy immediately and that brings us to this post!!

So how to describe Massappeal well take the speed of early Bad Brains (Rock For Light era) and D.R.I. (Dealing With It era) a ripping guitar sound and some great vocals with that kind of snotty punk belligerence that only the Australian's and Jerry A from Poison Idea can deliver! This is basically fast thrashing hardcore 80's style and if these guys had been from the USA they would be worshiped with the same reverence as bands from that period that they were easily the equal of like DRI, Excel, (early) Suicidal Tendencies, Verbal Abuse etc. What I think separates Massappeal from the pack is the awesome production sound of these early records the drums sound HUGE even when they are blazing at 1000mph the guitar is just gnarly and brilliant and loud and everything is mixed to perfection they sounded great on record on CD it's even more so!When i first got this CD I couldn't stop playing it for a week it was the same thrill i got from hearing it at 16 years old and it still slammed my Jaw to the floor and with track titles like "Rat In A Hole" and "Pissed On Life" you know exactly what you're getting this is raging stuff with a sense of humor a skateboard and a beer in hand and they came to rip your faces off!!!

So the CD reissue as I've said sounds great however the addition of their demo is a major bonus as I had never heard it whilst 7 of it's 9 songs later appear in much better sound and fury on the mini album and 7" it's a great glimpse into the early days of the band and it's  decent quality for a demo the CD contained an extract of a live set but i omitted that here due to repetition of the same tracks and didn't really think it was worth having and detracted from the greatness of the studio recordings.

So here you have it a retrospective of this amazing Australian hardcore thrash bands mid 80's (and best) music, if you are a fan of any of the bands or releases that I have mentioned in this write up and have not heard this it is definitely ESSENTIAL to your collection and you have missed out on some great stuff so you can remedy that now... click below and GOOOO MOSHHHH!!!!

Nobody Likes A ThinkerMediafire

BENT CROSS & ANNOTATION




So this is a bit of a double header here as these bands are both from Germany and obviously good friends and also released a split EP together whilst Bent Cross have broken up now Annotation whilst still a band are kind of on hiatus at the moment but I am informed by the band that they have every intention of getting back together and continuing with Annotation. I also wanted to look at these 2 great German bands because both owe something to Black Flag in their sound but in completely different ways so let's begin....

BENT CROSS


Bent Cross were from Hamburg I have little info about who's in the band or really any info about them at all however as their music was so great i really wanted to share it with you guys... during their short existence they released an 6 track EP and 2 tracks on a split EP with Annotation however though the songs are short fast and loud they leave an impression. these guys play a really intense blend of early Dez Cadena era Black Flag with a slight nod to the more rocking end of something like BL'AST! with some metallic flourishes here and there which makes them a little more interesting than your straight up Flag worshiping stuff! However when you hear the vocalist screaming "This is MY WAR" during the song "This Is War" you can be in little doubt who they are influenced by!!! These guys were great but with only 8 songs to go on and the fact they have split up there's not a great deal more I can say except wonder what might have been if they had stayed together. however one member has gone on to another band Teenage Hate who are not a million miles from what Bent Cross were doing just a lot less Black Flag and a little more garage and melody in there you can download the Teenage Hate demo from 2014 here free at Bandcamp and you can download Bent Cross at the link below


Bent CrossMediafire

ANNOTATION



So onto Annotation from Ibbenbüren of the two bands these were definitely a personal favorite, these guys have been around since 2005 they have released some demos/tapes and a couple of EP's up to 2008 however i manged to get in contact with the band and while their early outings were more in a generic style of hardcore their self titled EP from 2011 and the split with Bent Cross from 2012 show a serious change in style and when i mentioned doing a post on them here they said i should really concentrate on these releases as that's where the band are and where they are going now. Their 5 track EP from 2011 is fantastic I absolutely love their sleazy mix of 70's Rock/punk/garage/hardcore and a hefty dose of 84 - 86 Black Flag! These guys have obviously been honing there chops since 2008 because this EP shows a marked progression in not only style but technique, The songs though mainly short have plenty going on in the structure and take you on enough twists and turns to make you feel like you are listening to a much longer song! This continues over the 2 tracks from the split W/ Bent Cross though i would say every one of the 7 songs total over the EP and split are great there's a definite progression again on the Split EP where they are playing even more leads and riffs than before and the 2 songs are both fucking SHREDDING without having to floor the speed pedal! These guys remind me a lot of bands like Blasting Concept (See My Post HERE ), Annihilation Time (On their 2nd and 3rd albums See My Post HERE), The Shrine etc and they are as good as any of them and live would fit on the bill nicely with any of these bands! I was seriously glad to hear they had not split up and cannot wait for someone to give these guys a deal for an album!



AnnotationMediafire

Facebook PageHERE

Though Bent Cross have split Annotation are still going and as they only have 408 likes on their facebook page which means NOT ENOUGH people are hearing these guys so check the music and go give them a like on Facebook if you like them share a link to this post on your page and spread the word as your encouragement for a great band like these could mean all the difference and there's nowhere near enough bands playing music as good and a s rocking as this! Enjoy.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

KILL ORDER (Feat. Your Editor)


KILL ORDER (L-R) Mike - Bass, Piggy - Vox, Dave (Me) - Drums, Petch - Guitar.

So almost exactly a year ago I posted about a band  formed with some friends featuring myself on drums we were originally a 5 piece with 2 vocalists called The OldGuard (see post HERE) our 2nd vocalist Agz was unable to attend for a couple of practices last year and during his absence we wrote some stuff in a more "metal" vein (see "Thick Skinned" on the demo) Agz did not like it one bit and decided he was spreading himself a bit thin between this band and his main band Skitvarld anyway so he decided to leave, around the same time we were also struggling to find a permanent bassist enter Mike (see band pic above). Now with Agz leaving, the newer stuff we were writing and Mike joining and being a mere 21 yrs old we felt that The OldGuard was no longer appropriate so we changed our name to Kill Order.

This has been a shitty year for our band due to some ill health, marriage, holidays and just general life shit we have been able to practice about 3 times this year and things were looking grim however we decided to press on and we enlisted the services of Matt Snedvrida of Auralskit (see more on them HERE ) to record us and we made a first attempt at a demo with us all recording separately then Matt mixing it down, this was an utter fucking disaster and doing my part playing drums with only quiet guide guitar in the headphones to follow was not only hard but also one damned unpleasant experience so after a bit of discussion we decided the only way forward was to do it live because we really are not well practiced enough to play our parts individually. Now I won't bore you with the details but we ended up doing the demo partially live and some guitar overdubs. Lo and behold here is the Kill Order debut demo.

So we don't restrict ourselves on what influences us but i would call us Hardcore with thrash metal influences however, pleased as i am with the end result it is a pretty much "live" to 8 track recording of a band with plenty of ideas but unable to practice as much as we'd like and the sound of the demo is a testament to Matt's skill as a mixer as much as it is to our songs! That being said this will still SLAY YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF!!!!!! WE are now moving forward and are about to commence writing a whole new batch of songs and drawing a line under the original band The OldGuard and see where we go from here.

So i shall say no more I would hope that you guys would download simply on the strength of what i put on the blog or at the very least curiosity so below you will find a link to the demo, have a listen and see what you think any feedback good or bad is appreciated so make some comments damn it!!!



As a bonus whilst we were getting the demo together i got each member of the band to pick 20 minutes - ish of music and i put together a Kill Order mixtape to give people an idea of what influences us as a band so I have given you a link to that below as well it's an 80 plus minute comp with some utterly GREAT music selected by us and arranged by me.

We are not a "professional" band we are 4 guys 3 of whom have a long history in hardcore/metal/underground music and a 4th who is a young, enthusiastic and talented newcomer. we just wanted to get together and make some noise which is exactly what we have done and here it is.. Enjoy.

KILL ORDER DEMOMediafire

KILL ORDER MIXTAPEMediafire

More Links....

Our Facebook PageHERE

The Kill Order Demo on SoundcloudHERE

(Note the soundcloud page may not be up forever as it's Matt's page but it'll be around for a while you can also check out some of Matt's projects such as Dishavoc (1 Man D-beat and fucking awesome) and Dislodge (Mad Max themed crust) there also)


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

LOOP (UPDATED)


*NOTE* once again I have updated and expanded a post for you awesome readers so if you have been to this post before scroll down to where it says "UPDATE JULY 2015" if you haven't been before as usual please... read on...


Some of the more discerning readers of this Blog will be aware of this Band but some of you younger pups may not. Loop were active originally in the mid 80's early 90's and play a style of Psychedelic/Garage rock that pre-dates the stuff that's coming out now by about 25 years!!! I guess you could say they were well ahead of their time but back when they first came along they were a truly original band. I was recently alerted to the fact that Loop are reforming and playing some gigs at the end of the year/beginning of next year so I decided that a Loop retrospective was highly appropriate.

So How to describe Loop??? shit! fuck knows if I can! Best way i can describe it to you is if The Stooges had hooked up with Suicide in the early 70's and decided to do a Velvet Underground influenced project band it may well have sounded like Loop! Now those 3 bands mentioned are certainly heavy names to live up to and whilst not sounding exactly like any of them I can tell you for sure whilst there's elements of all 3 in their sound this is more the feel of the music rather than just pure copyist tactics. So that's all I'm gonna say as far as describing their sound goes do some research look em up on that google thingy and you'll be sure to find plenty of info! However you may be interested to know if you didn't already Robert Hampson of Loop was 2nd Guitarist in Godflesh for a number of years in the 90's and has his own band the more experimental Main.

Right back in 2008 Loop had all 3 of their albums re-mastered, re-issued and expanded to double CD's and they are great packages however at around £13 - £16 pounds each I decided having bought them all once on vinyl i was entitled to a download! They weren't that hard to find but I couldn't get them all in one place and it took me a while to download them all as well so i decided due to so much "Link - Killing" going on I'd hook you them up all in one place so here's what you get.....

"Heavens End" 1st album from 1987 and probably my favourite The Stooges/Suicide/Velvets influence is definitely felt here especially on album opener "Soundhead" plus there's 2 appearances for their cover of Suicides "Rocket USA" so that's pretty much an In-Your-Face what the influences are anyway as i said I'm not gonna blab about their sound heres the details, Disc 1 contains the full album remastered Disc 2 contains 3 alternative versions of album tracks and the 3 tracks from 1st John Peel session from 1987, not much bonus material on this one but well worth the having what there is.

"Fade Out" 2nd album from 1988 The sound is still in the same vein however it is a little less "Heavy" than it's predecessor and more akin to the sound they are best known for. Disc 1 contains the album remastered Disc 2 contains 4 demos & alternate versions of album tracks and their 2nd Peel session from 1988 and is rounded out with 5 "Guitar Loops" that were used on the album.

"A Gilded Eternity" 3rd album  from 1990 by this time Loop had been building quite a buzz and their sort of crazy psychedelic sound was becoming more and more popular and this album was their most successful and  is the most revered of the 3 released does it live up to the hype? Hell yeah! They really nailed their sound on this one it's less swirly and psychedelic than the first 2 albums and is a much more aggressive album without going for the "Heavier louder faster" thing, it's a really driving album and the songwriting shows they have really progressed and matured as a band and with utter classic tracks like the stunning "Afterglow" the buzz around them at the time was well deserved. The edition here contains the album remastered on Disc 1, Disc 2 contains 2 alternative versions of album tracks their 3rd and final Peel session from 1990 and a batch of 5 demo tracks recorded at "The House In The Woods" which was their home studio.

UPDATE JULY 2015

So in my original post I mentioned that I had posted the original 10 track version of the EP's & Extras comp "The World In Your Eyes" as i had a copy of the massively expanded 3 x CD version but it was in my malfunctioned external hard drive I feel i should never have mentioned this because in the original posts comments i was certainly bombarded by readers asking "have you had your hard drive fixed yet?" and "When will you be posting the 3CD version" and as Loop is one of the most downloaded bands on this blog (the albums have been downloaded from 900 - 1500 times) and because it was pissing me off personally as i didn't even have it to listen to myself i tried downloading the tracks and EP's that make up this compilation separately it was a partial success i manged to get all of the EP's etc downloaded but the quality was pretty poor so i bit the damn bullet and I've gone and bought it for my own pleasure and because i felt i owed it to the readers of this blog who have continually commented and kept coming back to the blog so £13 ($21) later and here you have it the full 3 CD expanded remastered "World In Your Eyes" ripped direct from CD at 320KBPS as per usual UTS style! It's a fantastic comp containing the "16 Dreams" , "Spinning" , "Collision" , "Black Sun" and "Arc Lite" EP's as well as some comp tracks a few live tracks some unreleased bits and their cover of "Like Rats" from their Clawfist records split 7" with Godflesh and as stated all remastered So there you go readers you can now stop asking when my hard drive is gonna be fixed hahahahaha

However... it does not end there as some of you may be aware Loop reformed in 2013/14 to play some gigs and most famously an appearance at Roadburn Festival however there was no mention of recording so imagine my surprise when i found that they had released a new 4 track EP called "Array 1" I wondered what if anything Loop could pull out of the bag some 25 years since their last recorded output, would it be any good? The answer is yes it is absolutely great the first 2 tracks are Loop business as usual swirling guitars ethereal vocals and really it is just like the last 25 years never happened and that loop had been sealed in ice since the early 90's only to be thawed out in 2015 and now there's a new Loop record out!! However the next 2 tracks to me sound like Robert Hampson is trying to sneak some serious influence from his project Main in there. "Coma" is a pleasant enough 7 minute drone nothing exciting just ok not offensive or anything however the 17 minute "Radial" is a combination of Main style drone building to a great Loop style rock out!! All in all I am pretty impressed with this EP and I am hoping that being titled "Array 1" that there may well be more to come!

So below you will find this post is now finally complete with links to all 3 remastered and expanded Loop albums plus the 3CD "The World In Your Eyes" plus the brand new EP "Array 1" Hope that makes some of you mad for Loop people happy as it does me!

OK so there ya go if you don't know this band go check them out if you like the sound of my description, if you're already a fan but haven't got the remastered & expanded editions of the albums here you go...

.....Tune in, Turn On and LOOP OUT!!!!!

Heavens' End - Mediafire

Fade Out - Mediafire

A Gilded Eternity - Mediafire

The World In Your Eyes (3 Disc)Mediafire

Array 1 EP (2015)Mediafire



Wednesday, 10 June 2015

BURNING FLAG ALBUM UPDATE


So readers you may have read my review/exclusive preview for the upcoming Burning Flag album? (If not it's HERE ) well you will be pleased to know that the album is available for pre-order NOW at the link below.

The band are pressing it themselves so i don't know how many will be available so DO NOT sleep on this album because judging by the buzz surrounding them right now and their appearance at Download this weekend I think it is gonna sell FAST! Don't say I didn't warn you...GO GO GO!!!!

BURNING FLAG ALBUM PRE - ORDERHERE

APHEX TWIN user48736353001 SOUNDCLOUD


So I have never made my love of ALL kinds of music a secret however I have mostly avoided putting up any electronic music as generally even with the most open minded of music fans IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) can be an opinion divider, it seems beats and bleeps are not everyone's cup of tea, however one electronic artist who seems to crossover into most open minded music fans collection is Aphex Twin someone I have been a fan of since about 1992.

Richard D James is what you might call a classic British eccentric and unless you have been living under a rock since the early 90's and the fact that his music has been used for advertising and many other media I can't see how you could not be aware of his music or his activities! So I feel there is no point in me delving into his history here you can find a million better articles on Richard/Aphex Twin with a quick google search should you wish to do so...

So Aphex Twin has been making music under various guises since about 1985 (tho did not release anything till the early 90's) and has been nothing short of prolific over the years tho he recently put out a slew of releases in the last 6 months he had been fairly quiet since his "Analord" series of 12 Inches ended in 2005 however as some people may or may not be aware a Soundcloud account was started under the name user48736353001 This person claimed to be a friend of Richard D James and claimed to have been making electronic music around the same time that was heavily influenced by Aphex Twin's output and began uploading quite a lot of tracks to Soundcloud eventually it became clear and was finally confirmed that user48736353001 was none other than Richard D James himself. The account was closed shortly thereafter and all the archive material gone (He now has 2 other soundcloud accounts with bits and bobs on but that's down to you the reader to go check out!!!)

Now people who are a fan of Aphex Twin will know that Richard D James has often said he has a VAST archive of unreleased material, it would seem that he has compiled greatly more unreleased material than what has actually been released so he began to upload big chunks of this archive material to soundcloud. Now this is no well kept secret here and I came to this whole Soundcloud thing late however I checked it out and found that the vast amount of stuff on there was too intimidating for me firstly I hate streaming and then I thought what should I listen to first? what will  he delete? etc etc so i had a look thought "Pretty cool" and left it at that and kinda forgot about it! Because I was late getting to it there was just too much stuff to go through.

However a few days ago I was looking for something else and i came across a 2.5GB download entitled "user48736353001 the soundcloud playlists" the user name rung a bell and I realized this was a download of everything that Aphex Twin had uploaded to Soundcloud on that account so I thought why the hell not so I downloaded it and kinda regretted it immediately what I was confronted with was a huge messy playlist with 207 tracks all in one long list however it was numbered 1 - 6 so i took that to be playlists uploaded at different times so I broke it into 6 slightly more manageable chunks retagged it all sorted it out into a more easily digestable format and that's what I present to you here.

Now I did some research and I will say that these tracks are no secret there are links on several well known internet pages to downloads of this stuff however when i did my research I found most of the links to be dead so I decided I would put up my "version" of these infamous tracks for you readers!

OK so onto the music firstly these are huge files the smallest being 138mb the largest around 450mb!!! the bitrates vary from 128kbps to 320kbps and the total playing time of all 6 parts is a mighty 17 hrs the tracks are taken from all eras of Aphex Twin from before he released any music to bang up to date however I have no idea which is which and he hasn't said either but if you are familiar with Aphex Twin then you will know his sound is completely unique and whilst always progressing his music forward he has also remained consistent again it's a case of when you hear Aphex Twin you know it can only BE Aphex Twin and no one else. I cannot claim to have listened to all of this music (yet) but from what I have listened to sounds as good and in some cases better than his released music. Whilst I am sure someone will either officially or unofficially release some sort of box set or something in the mean time i present you with 207 tracks 17 hrs of unreleased Aphex Twin material comprising demos,remixes some live stuff and just general Aphex Twin madness.

So before your links I want to mention something else Aphex Twin is probably best known for his 2 most popular albums "Selected Ambient Works" 1 & 2 when i downloaded the file originally as well as the playlists I've already mentioned there was another folder entitled "Selected Ambient Works 1.5" now I don't know anything about this why it is entitled that as i said i was late to the party with the whole user48736353001 thing however reading between the lines it would seem this folder contained tracks that were intended for the "Selected Ambient Works" series but never used now I have not uploaded this here because it turned out ALL the tracks in the Selected Ambient Works 1.5 folder were actually in the other 6 playlists anyway but just for fun here is the track list and in which playlist you can find them and you can make it up yourself as this seems like too precise a selection from 207 tracks to have not been put together by Aphex Twin himself ....

"Selected Ambient Works 1.5"

1: Sams Car (Playlist 1 track 22)
2: AFX Orig Theme (Playlist 1 track 18)
3: Red Alert (Playlist 1 Track 16)
4: Suzanne (Playlist 1 track 5)
5: Dance And Play (Playlist 3 Track 13)
6: Nova Robotiks (Playlist 3 Track 18)
7: 21 Forgotten T (Playlist 4 Track 1)
8: Lannerlog (Playlist 5 Track 6)
9: Bimbongo (Playlist 1 Track 6)
10: Symbonsad (Playlist 1 track 14)
11: Original Chaos Riff ( Playlist 1 track 2)

And below is the cover that appeared in my media player (tho it would appear there was a different picture for each track)....



So there you go you can D.I.Y. as i felt it would be stupid to give you 11 repeat tracks on top of the 207!!!

Right so below you will find links to the 6 playlists i would suggest downloading them all if you have the space because there are some stunning alternate version/different takes on some of his most well known work as well as a goldmine of unheard stuff and i for one have enjoyed everything I have listened to so far it may seem like an awful lot of music by one artist and I have not listened to it all myself yet but broken down into 6 chunks as I have done here even though they are far from bite size means you can dip in whenever you like rather than try to digest 17 hrs of music in one sitting.

Aphex Twin whether because of his eccentricities or the sheer originality of his amazing music is by far the most popular IDM/Electronic music artist around and the one who has had the longest career within that genre the albums he has released have all been real masterpieces of the style and the quality of the Vast amount of unreleased material here (and these 207 tracks are apparently a mere glimpse into his archive) shows that there's a good reason why he is that popular.
Here's your links Enjoy......


(Please note there was a TON of artwork for all these playlists there is a folder entitled Artwork that includes all the art plus the above cover (which i used for all 6 parts) plus all the individual pictures for various tracks this folder is included in Playlist 1 OK)

Playlist 1Mediafire

Playlist 2Mediafire

Playlist 3Mediafire

Playlist 4Mediafire

Playlist 5Mediafire

Playlist 6Mediafire

Not Included in the artwork are some notes from a Solid Steel Radio Show Mix that was done by DJ Food here it is if you save then open it in a picture viewer you can read some notes about this music by someone who was actually there at the time (The DJ FOOD mix is not enclosed on this post)....


Also you can find a full breakdown and all the information you could need on these tracks HERE


And finally I have a LARGE (4GB) archive of Aphex Twins released material including almost but not ALL he has done under his about 20 or more aliases should anyone be looking for anything then comment and I shall see what i can do however do see ON HIATUS post HERE and be patient Thanks)

AL CISNEROS & OM DUBPLATES UPDATED


If you have been to this post before then go to *UPDATE* at bottom of post if not then i encourage you to read on....

If you came to this post and got the First update above please scroll down to UPDATE II to find the Additional material if not then read on....

Al Cisneros is best known for providing the supreme 4 string bottom end for some of the heaviest bands on the planet, as a founding member of stoner titans Sleep, since 2005 with his own band OM. and more recently with doom supergroup Shrinebuilder. If you are unaware of OM they are a 2 piece band originally comprised of Cisneros and Sleep Drummer Chris Haikus (replaced in 2008 by Emil Amos) so effectively Om were Sleep minus Matt Pike who went on to start High On Fire, OM deal in a sound formed from Bass, Drums and vocals playing heavy rhythmical trance like mantras of epic length (Their first 2 albums contained a mere 5 songs in total!). It should be no surprise then that with his love of bass heavy jams that Cisernos has a love of that other, though at completely the opposite end of the scale, bass driven music that is Dub.

I happened across Al Cisneros solo material purely by chance when doing some research online and was quite surprised to find he had released 2 x 7" singles and a 10" under his own name, if you have followed OM over the years then you may have came across the limited Sub Pop "Singles Club" 7" that OM released called "Gebel Barkal" this 7" was backed by a heavily effected variant on the A-side simply entitled "(Version)" Now you may or may not be familiar with the world of Dub Reggae so I will quickly explain that the Jamaican originators of Dub often released 7" singles where the A side was a backing track made by the producer with a vocal over it however many if not the majority of Dub Reggae singles come backed with a B-side "Version" it's here where the producer is allowed to shine by using the most ground shaking Bass, primitive echo and various reverb type effects for the "Dub" version it was through these B-side "Versions" that many producers such as Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby came to the attention of the world. So although many would argue that there is already a dub influence to the music of OM it's on the "Gebel Barkal" 7" backed with it's "Version" that it is really brought to your attention and more recently OM have released 2 "Dubplate" 12"'s each featuring a remix and a dub of 1 track from their recent "Adviatic Songs" so as you can see Cisneros interest in Dub has obviously been bubbling under his work for a while.

So backing up to Al Cisneros solo releases then on the 1st 7" "Dismas" you get the A Side backed again with a dubbed out "Version" on the flip, on the 10" you have the A side "Ark Procession" Backed with "Jericho" though whilst having been given a title this time "Jericho" is a "Version" of the A side and lastly we have most recent 7" "Teresa Of Avila" which is backed by "Levitation Dub" again a "Version" of the A side. Now whilst all these tracks are dub influenced it has to be said they are not a million miles away from what Cisneros has done with OM just more spaced out and a lot less "Heavy" in the "rock" sense of the word these are slow motion head nodding instrumental dub bass jams!

So onto the files I've put together both Al Ciscernos 7"'s and the 10" into one file below now there are absolutely NO free downloads of these online anywhere i know i tried my hardest to find them so all 6 tracks are ripped from Youtube videos which are themselves taken from vinyl rips however the quality of the finished files was surprisingly good and the bitrates fairly decent as well. I've listened to them a few times myself and I am more than happy and anyone who knows this blog knows I'm a stickler for decent quality and if they were terrible I would not bother to share them with you the records are separated into their own folders with cover art correct tags etc. So bringing Al Cisneros solo material to a wider audience was the main point of this post but I decided in the spirit of the dub influence on these records that I'd add a few more bits for you so I also present for you both OM Dubplate 12"'s "Gesthemane Dubplate" and "Adviatiac Dubplate" as i mentioned before these were released last year on vinyl and feature a remix and a dub remix of songs from their recent "Advaitic Songs" album "Advaitic Dubplate" has 2 mixes of "Addis" and "Gesthemane Dubplate" has 2 mixes of the track "Gesthemane" (Obviously!!) All the mixes are done by long standing British dub duo Alpha and Omega I cannot tell you anything about these but i looked them up on discogs and it would appear that they have been around since 1989 and have released a stunningly prolific 24 albums and almost as many singles!!! But what i can tell you is that these OM Dubplates are exactly what they say they are Dubplates whereas Al's solo material bears some slight resemblance to what he does in OM these 2 x 12" singles are definitely pure DUB, bass heavy modern dub in the finest tradition of the style if you like OM and Dub music (as I do) you will love these records, if you are a "Stoner" fan more into what OM and the bands they are aligned with do, then i suggest you approach with caution as whilst OM and Alpha and Omega both deal in Bass driven music they come at from completely opposite ends of the Bass heavy music scale OK? Fair warning! The "Om Dubplates" file has both 12"'s in one file again taken from youtube rips (NOTE : New better quality direct from vinyl rips have been uploaded see UPDATE at bottom of post) but again also GREAT quality and in separate folders with artwork. And lastly just as a bonus because 1: I use it as a reference point and 2: because it's probably one of the rarest and collectable OM records I also give you the OM Sub Pop 7" "Gebel Barkel" so if you have not heard it and wonder what I'm referring to earlier in  this blurb well it's hear for you to d/l and listen to.



In closing I would like to think that as well as heavy music fans who have come to OM through the original 2 members connection to Sleep I would also think that OM being quite unusual for the "rock" world would also appeal to people with a wider range of tastes outside heavier music, the fact that free downloads of the Al Cicernos records and the OM Dubplates did not exist (at least from what my extensive searching tells me) until now and  that I like to post obscure and unusual music on here,as well as the usual brutality plus the fact they are only available on vinyl so if you don't have a record player then outside of youtube you won't get to hear them and that it's all involving a musician i have a lot of respect for and who's work I'm a big fan of makes it all the better so here's your links go enjoy something different!

*UPDATE* So instead of re-writing the whole post here I shall just quickly explain why this has been updated.  If you read my blurb you will know that i stated that these files were all ripped from youtube videos but a very kind reader of this blog got in touch and said he owned the Dubplates on vinyl and would i like a direct rip of them? Of course i said yes but what this very kind soul also did was send me a copy of Al Cisneros brand new 12" EP "Toward Nazareth" With 5 Brand New Dubs/Versions it's as brilliant as the other Al solo stuff I have uploaded it and it's a great quality 320kbps vinyl rip too so below there is a link to the new better quality 320kbps direct vinyl rip OM dubplates and also a link to the "Toward Nazareth" EP so there you go folks some New Al stuff and a WAY better quality version of the Dubplates I'd like to thank Vid Eckhardt for getting in touch and doing these rips for me and so i could share them with you especially as I had no idea that "Toward Nazareth" even existed!!! Vid you are now officially an Under The Surface Blog Hero! Anything I can do for you here requests etc wise you need only ask it's people like you that inspire me to keep doing this blog!

UPDATE II JUNE 2015 : So I had a few requests on the original post about the 2 further releases by Al Cisneros the EXTREMELY limited "Empty Tomb/Sepulcher Dub" 7" (Which, despite being less than a year old already sells for £25!!!) and "Lantern Of The Soul" 7" but try as I might even with all my resources all i could find was a youtube video of "Lantern Of The Soul" so I resigned myself to the fact that I was unlikely to get them anytime soon so in one last desperate attempt I put a post on Facebook asking if anyone had them or could provide MP3's.....

...Enter my good pal Agz (of 77 not 666 blog) he messaged me within 5 mins and said he had them for me I went to my FB messages and lo and behold there was MP3's of all 4 tracks! Cheers Agz!!! I exhausted all of my resources looking so I must ask him where he got them however in the meantime please find below links to Both 7 Inches!

"Empty Tomb" was at a low bitrate I have tried to jazz it up but it is a little quiet but NOT terrible quality just turn it up, however "Lantern.." sounds digital a good clean 320kbps rip so i am more than happy and glad to share them with you
Neither record is a radical departure from his previous releases with the exception of some stunning live drums on "Lantern..." which i suspect may have been provided by Emil of OM but i can't confirm that. Anyway go enjoy a further 4 tracks of Al's amazing dubs making this post his discography so far. ENJOY

Al Cisneros - Mediafire

Al Cisneros - Toward Nazareth EP - Mediafire

Om Dubplates - Mediafire

Om Sub Pop 7" - Mediafire

Al Cisneros - Empty Tomb 7"Mediafire

Al Cisneros - "Lantern of The Soul" 7"Mediafire

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

ON HIATUS

Hello UTS readers just a heads up to let you all know that due to some family issues the blog will be on hold for a while i have a few posts that are half finished some stuff uploaded that I haven't written up yet and I am gonna try and get those done and up as soon as i can but after that it may or may not be on hold for a while.

I have to be honest this year has been a pretty SHIT one for good music so far there's been a few things that have been half decent but nothing I have felt worth blogging about so instead of giving some half arsed posts of stuff that's good but not GREAT I decided to wait till some truly decent stuff comes along as I try to put things up on here that aren't on anywhere else and it's becoming harder all the time. This is why activity on here has slowed down a lot this year however....

UNDER THE SURFACE IS NOT DEAD AND BURIED

once things return to normal I will be back and have some new and hopefully great stuff for you in the meantime there is just shy of 200 posts still on here for you to investigate.

I hope you all understand I have stuff in my life to deal with and will continue to check back here and keep the blog going after all as I have said before i do this for you guys!

CHEERS,



Dave B.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

BURNING FLAG EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREVIEW


(L-R Jonesy, Matt, MD & Mark)

Burning Flag are a band I have been following since pretty much the beginning some of you more astute readers may remember the glowing review I gave their 3 track EP last year (If not See my posts HERE ) Well Burning Flag have been recording their debut album over the last few months with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios when they just received the final mastering done by Brad Boatright of oft mentioned Audiosiege studio (both of whom have done a great job because this album sounds HUGE!) and they decided that they would like me to have the exclusive first "media" review and preview so before i even start i want to give a heartfelt thanks to them for being good enough to give my shady little blog the exclusive on this and you readers should be thanking them as well because you get to hear 3 tracks, my personal picks from the album exclusive right here on UTS!!!!

(CD Cover)

I will begin by saying this has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me and DAMN it was worth the wait.... Burning Flag have shown a lot of progression here even considering they are a relatively "new" band and this being their debut it's definitely proof that if you want your album to sound good you have to work at it and these guys have definitely done that! Always practicing and gigging (with the likes of Agnostic Front, Extinction Of Mankind ,GBH and Subhumans to name but a few) and once you get a listen to the 3 tracks I have picked out of the 9 from the album you will see that this hard work has definitely paid off....

...Opening with the sounds of riot and a really realistic sound of crackling fire (what I can only assume to be a torched flag at least that's the picture i see in my mind) MD screams "BURNING FLAGS ON BATTLEGROUNDS" And the adrenalin immediately begins to pump!  "Burning Flag" is a great opener, a mid - fast paced number that immediately pulls you into the album and what is instantly impressive is the guitar tone it is thick and supremely heavy without falling into that "so-downtuned-it's-killing-the- riffs" territory which along with the bass gives the album the serious bottom end required and the trade off male/female vocals throughout give this song a really intense feel, like these guys just grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you in for the whole ride!

Next up is the testament to feelings of rage that is "Crash And Burn"  (Which you can get an exclusive listen to below) opening with a dramatic driving riff and some great drum work from Matt this song continues to spiral upward until breaking down to just gentle tom drum and Md chanting "I Know I'm Real At least I've That" over and over like a mantra and makes you feel like you are listening to someone looking in a mirror and desperately trying to convince themselves of their own existence and sanity before the riff thunders back driving you upward and just coming to a full halt leaving you feeling battered and bruised in the way only music as great as this can.

It's moments like these that showcase the fact that whilst intense and heavy Burning Flag are bringing something entirely fresh to Punk/Hardcore/Noise/Metal/Whatever. The blend of different influences on display here is refreshing whilst there are flourishes of the familiar throughout, like for example the way the riff changes subtly about halfway through third track "Nightmares" taking it from a barreling heavy hardcore riff to something that reminds me of GBH in their early 80's (though way heavier) but if you weren't paying attention it's gone and back to the barreling main riff and bridge before breaking down into a neck snapping heavy ending that reminds me of the best of sludgy grooves whilst MD just roars over it!

It can't be stated enough that this album is a really compelling listen there's high speed intensity from the likes of "Broken" which over its just shy of 2 minutes throws you in the pit and just slams you to the floor whilst this, I'm sure, is a route Burning Flag could have easily taken churning out a dozen variations on a theme, it is their reluctance to do this that separates them from the pack. Take "Parasites" (One of my personal favorites and again you can get an exclusive first listen below) with it's tribal pounding drums which (seriously) remind me of Adam and the Ants (on Steroids) that is of course until the understated yet menacing riff kicks in and MD's almost spoken rhythmic style here gives this song a real sassy groove that is until you hear what she is saying...

"Some People Make You Feel Heavy, Few, Make You Fly, Some People Try To Pull You Under, They Need To Die"

then it takes on a whole different vibe! It's a song that while builds brilliantly into a supremely heavy peak it makes me wanna get up and bounce more than it does wreck shit! Then there's the "stop start verse riff in "A Code To Live By" that takes the template set by the great early stuff of bands like Helmet and Godflesh and just dirties it up making for a real nasty sound! Or the bridge riff of "Early Graves" that tempers it's heavy verse riff with a "melodic" run that actually puts a smile on my face! No bad thing for an album chock full of punishing riffs!

However it's last song the dramatic and longest on the album "Wretched" clocking in at over 5 minutes that really showcases the maturity of the songwriting on this album opening with a strum of chiming guitars that put me in mind of early PiL or early Wire the song opens out into a supremely heavy and slow riff which repeats throughout the main part of the song it just pins you to your seat it's such a serious sound, this builds to a fast part that breaks out with some real dischordant industrial Voivod type riffage before moving into one of those great barreling riffs that to me, are becoming a BF trademark, before crashing to a shuddering halt and closing the album out with some eerie noise and what sounds to me like a cell door slamming shut! I hope they plan to play this live because i for one can't wait to here this crushing tune at ear hurting volume! I'm reading between the lines here but opening the album with the sounds of rioting and closing with the sound of a cell door slamming well I think it's pretty clever.

It can't be said enough how well everyone plays their parts on this album from the absolutely amazing vocals from MD who has really used her voice to encompass more than just mere "shouting" here, going from almost talking to screaming to, in fact, damn near "singing" to the stellar riffage and back up vocals from Jonesy on Guitar underpinned by the engine room of Mark & Matt on Bass And Drums respectively, providing a solid and intense backbone to this great sound. Whilst normally with "heavy" music it's either the speed, the vocals or the guitar that commands attention here, everything has been given a voice and as much as the production has played a part in that I also think it's the fact that these guys are a solid unit and play well together.

This is an absolutely amazing 5 star, 2 thumbs up 10/10 album here the variety in pace and style keeps the album from becoming A.N. Other "Heavy" release and also keeps your attention focused because it's such a powerful sound it's really hard to drag yourself away from it once you hit play you're in till the end!  I personally have not found myself becoming overly familiar or wanting to reach for the skip button even once throughout my MANY repeated listens of this album, I have also found that I keep hearing things that I hadn't noticed before as well it was only after repeated listening that i had noticed some of the touches I have mentioned in this write up making this an album that will stay with you rather than something you will listen to a couple of times and forget about and again this is because BF have made each song memorable it's not just something that washes over you I have found myself even humming the riff from "Parasites" a couple of times!!!! Also it has to be said that these guys deserve respect for their commitment to the underground scene otherwise you wouldn't be reading about this album first here on this blog!

In closing I want to say that I predict that when this album comes out that Burning Flag are gonna be a name on any if not every fan of "heavy" music with even the slightest of good taste and it came as no surprise but was definitely good news to me that these guys have a spot on the Boardie Takeover event at Download festival this year (see HERE ) Because a band as good as these need to break out a little (or a lot) and be heard by more people other than just say a small gathering of Punks and Hardcore fans because i can say for definite whilst not Pigeonholing them in any way that the modern metal crowd are gonna eat this album up!

Below is the three tracks I picked for you on my first listens to this album as my favorites however on reflection and repeated listening I could not pick a favorite now as there is no filler on this album every song is great but these are as good as any to give you an idea of what to expect and one listen to these 3 and i can guarantee you'll be straight to google using the keywords "burning" "flag" "album" and "pre-order" yeah it really is THAT good!

Here's your tracks.....

Crash & BurnSoundcloud

ParasitesSoundcloud

WretchedSoundcloud

Burning Flag's Self Titled debut album will be self released by the band on their own Broken Records imprint this summer it is coming out on CD and limited vinyl.

(cover for the limited vinyl release)

Below are links to their homepage and facebook page go check these out and like their facebook page for more up to the minute news on gigs and the release of the album.

HomepageHERE

FacebookHERE

Also you can still get a digital (and Possibly) physical copy of their AMAZING 3 track debut EP at bandcamp....

Burning Flag EPBandcamp

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

THIS IS BOSTON NOT L.A. EXPANDED!!!!


Anyone like me who is a fan of classic era American hardcore will know that the importance of this compilation as a document of the early Boston hardcore scene and USHC in general cannot be understated! Though having watched "All Ages : The Boston Hardcore Film" recently some people on that film have said that the fact that SSD are not on there means it's invalid I however STRONGLY disagree because as great as SSD were i think they are overrated (Yeah I said it so sue me) and this to me was, along with Jerry's Kids "Is This My World" album, my introduction to the Boston hardcore "sound" a sound I have loved ever since!

Originally organised through Newbury Comics a Boston store that the scene kinda revolved around as a place to meet and hang out and released on their Modern Method records in 1982 I was only 10 at the time but what i have read would tell me that with it's divisive tile and it's blistering bands this comp certainly put Boston on the hardcore map.

I am not gonna delve into the history and importance of this album here because it has been written about by many more talented writers than me, All i can say is that I was blown away when i got this album about 3 or 4 years after it came out and it was one of my most prized possessions at the time! Go do a google or a wiki search and read for yourself D.I.Y.!!!! Chances are you did NOT come across this post by chance!!!!

Ok so you may notice that this post is entitled "This Is Boston not L.A. Expanded" there is a good reason for this because at the same time as this album was released there was also a 7" compilation called "Unsafe At Any Speed" also released by Modern Method which featured another track each by 6 of the artists included on the album (Gang Green, Groinoids, The Proletariat,The Freeze, Jerry's Kids and F.U.'s) all the tracks were from the same sessions that the album tracks were recorded at. Both "This Is Boston..." and "Unsafe..." were compiled on an semi official CD issue bolstering the albums original 30 tracks to a healthy 36 tracks with the"Unsafe At Any Speed" tracks tacked on. 



This is where i step in.....SO... as many of you may or may not be aware many hardcore albums of the original era were fairly damn short with the invention of the CD and the thirst for re-issues many classic albums have been re-issued subsequently almost all the bands on the compilation have released the full sessions recorded for the "This Is Boston..." comp as bonus tracks on various CD re-issues (Or in the case of Groinoids as a 7" EP as the session for the comp was the only recording they ever did and only 2 tracks were ever released) and i began to think why has no one ever just properly re-issued/Remastered and expanded  "This Is Boston..."? So here i have taken the task upon myself to do so....

SO of the extras i have compiled here The F.U.'s, The Freeze, Gang Green & The Proletariat tracks are all taken from their own official re-issued CD's and are easily available should you want to find them The Groinoids were taken from their "Radiobeat Sessions" 7" Decadence had no further material available other than "Slam" the one song they contributed in the first place however the jewel in the crown here is Jerry's Kids They have never re-issued their full session however I was lucky enough to come across a blog called Blogged And Quartered a few years ago and he had posted the whole session (check his blog HERE He compiles some great hard to find stuff everything on his blog is pretty much exclusive to him and unavailable elsewhere it's a GREAT blog) so from the original session of which 7 tracks were released over the comp LP & 7" there are a further 4 tracks never heard before anywhere else officially!

So here you have my expanded version of This Is Boston Not L.A. it has been expanded from the 30 original tracks on the LP plus the 6 Tracks from the "Unsafe.." 7" plus the other stuff I have managed to find so here's what you get...

Jerry's Kids : 6 tracks from TIBNLA 1 Track From UAAS  + 4 Bonus Tracks

(Please note there was one further track from the Jerry's Kids session called "Circus" it was on the original download I had of the session file however it cuts off abruptly so i omitted it here, you can find the session with "Circus" at the Blogged and Quartered link in this post)

The Proletariat : 3 Tracks from TIBNLA. 1 Track from UAAS no bonuses

Groinoids : 1 track from TIBNLA 1 Track From UAAS + 3 Bonus Tracks

F.U.'s : 4 Tracks from TIBNLA 1 From UAAS + 1 Bonus Track

Gang Green : 7 Tracks from TIBNLA + 1 From UAAS No Bonuses

Decadence : 1 track from TIBNLA No Bonus

The Freeze : 8 Tracks from TIBNLA 1 From UAAS + 2 Bonus Tracks

So that's the breakdown expanded from 36 tracks on the re-issue CD comp to a meaty 46 tracks I personally just listened to my expanded version and it was just AWESOME So there you go folks Dave's "ultimate" "This Is Boston Not L.A." here's your link i even made a custom cover (see below) I know many HC purists may well slate me for messing round with an untouchable classic or be outraged to them i say... FUCK OFF out of my blog dicks go peddle your purist record collecting somewhere else! To everyone else I say enjoy this piece of hardcore history and the bonuses!


^(My D.I.Y. custom cover enclosed in the file)^

*NOTE* if my descriptions,breakdowns and abbreviations here confuse you just go ahead and download the file it'll take you 3 minutes max even with a slow connection like mine and all shall become clear!!! Cheers.


THIS IS BOSTON NOT L.A. (Expanded)Mediafire


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION


So where to begin with a band and a guy who has had a LONG career in underground music. Jon Spencer has been involved in many musical projects but most famously has played in guitar noise legends Pussy Galore however I'm not here to give you a history lesson I'm sure most of you readers are astute enough to know your history on this guy and his many projects let's deal with the longest running and most succesful the mighty BLUES EXPLOSION!

Formed in 1991 in New York JSBX (as they will be reffered to for the rest of this post) have been around for nearly 25 years Jon Spencer backed by the IMMENSE talents of Drummer Russell Simins and guitarist Judah Bauer (there is and never has been a Bass Player in JSBX) have been peddling their slightly hip hop flavored RAW garage/blues for nearly 25 years I first heard them in about 2000 when a good friend of mine played me their 1996 album "Now i Got Worry" at that time i had no idea there was music like this the extent of my "garage" rock knowledge at the time began with The Stooges and ended with MC5! However i just remember hearing the track "Identify" (a fast paced almost hardcore sounding number) and being completely floored however being slightly out of character for these guys after hearing the rest of the album I was completely addicted!

Investigating further I discovered that they had had quite the career and managed to just catch up with their back catalogue around the time of their "Plastic Fang" album in 2004 which was a stunning and rocking album chock full of great tunes! I have been pretty much keeping up with them since though not the most prolific of outfits of late having only released 3 albums in the following 13 years to date!

So I am gonna take the easy way out here (still trying to stick to shorter write ups more music and also I am not as familiar with all the history of this band as i normally am with posts on here this time it's really just about the GREAT music) so if you haven't heard JSBX I suggest you get cracking on these downloads if you want more info try wikipedia there's a page on them here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Spencer_Blues_Explosion

Ok so my main reason for doing this post apart from the fact that JSBX are one fucking howling raging force of nature in the garage blues world is because back in 2010 their 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th albums were all reissued and massively expanded however aside from the initial flurry of available downloads these seem to have quickly disappeared from the internet and after my external drive died I had a damn shitty time trying to find them and replace my copies so i decided that at least if i did this post they would be available online again as the actual releases though worth the money are a bit expensive especially when you already own most of them and have shelled out the cash once already for them! So onto your links

Year One - This is a compilation of ALL the first recordings done by JSBX these were originally released back in 1992 as the albums "Crypt Style" and "Jon Spencer Blues Explosion" however this "Year One" CD compiles all those sessions onto one handy disc and includes sessions produced by both Kramer (Of Bongwater fame) and Steve Albini.

Extra Width/Mo' Width - This is NOT taken from the expanded version unfortunately as i cannot lay my hands on a copy of the 2 CD re-issue however this contains both albums in full ripped from my own CD though they were released separately they were recorded all at the same time in 1993

Orange/Experimental Remixes - This is the 2CD reissued version "Orange" comes with 7 Bonus Tracks culled from various B-sides and a VPRO session "Experimental.." comes with a further 5 remixes from the "Acme" era

Now I Got Worry - Due to the fast short and furious nature of this album this has been massively expanded but even with all the bonus material this has managed to all fit on one CD! this issue comes bolstered with a further 12 tracks of b-sides/unreleased studio tracks and 4 radio ad's for the album.

Acme/Xtra Acme - so the original releases of these albums were confusing as hell they were released with different colored covers and titles in every country round the world each with different track lists but however the entire "Acme" sessions have been pulled together on this massive 42 (!) track reissue this is definitely one of the high points of their career and contains most of their best known songs and in my opinion some of their best as well!

Plastic Fang (Expanded) - Now this release is actually unique to this post as I put it together! I discovered that there were no less than 15 versions of this album over as many countries and each county had a slightly different tracklist also there was a Japan only CDEP called "Fang Plastique" which had some exclusive tracks for Japan from the session couple this with the multiple singles/B-sides etc as per usual JSBX style it was confusing but thanks to my trainspotting I managed to source pretty much all the "Plastic Fang" era material so if you live in Europe the original album had 12 tracks my version here has a tasty 18 tracks all the B-sides and the exclusives from the Japanese EP

Damage : I felt this to be another High point in JSBX career i really liked this album when it came out in 2004 however it was the best produced thing they had done so far and quite slick for their usual raw sound! I'm afraid there's no bonus material here as there was little to be had mostly remixes.

Meat And Bone : after an 8 year hiatus JSBX were back with a new album and was it any good? well to be honest i didn't think this album was all that great kinda lackluster and a bit disappointing nothing truly terrible just didn't move me.

Jukebox Explosion : between 2002 and to date 2012 JSBX have done 7 x 7" singles with exclusive A and B sides for Italy's IN The Red Records in 2007 enter the compilation "Jukebox Explosion" this contains all 12 A & B sides from these 7"'s plus a further 6 tracks of whose origin i have no idea but be assured this is one GREAT compilation! as i said there have been 7 of these 7" singles and only 6 are compiled on this CD in 2012 they did a further 7" "Gadzooks/Tell Me That You Love Me" I have given you a separate link for that below next to Meat And Bone as the tracks were recorded at that session and appear as bonus tracks on the Australian issue of the Meat And Bone CD

In 1999 JSBX did a collaboration with The Dub Narcotic Sound System I know nothing about that band but the album is called "Sideways Soul: Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion In A Dancehall Style!"
That's pretty much all you need to know! it's a pretty decent listen but not one of my most played JSBX projects!

So Onto your last 2 links Firstly in 2014 JSBX sneaked a 12" out for that fuckin godawful yearly "Record Store Day" with a very good take on the Def Jam records 12" sleeves of the 80's the 12" contained a medley of the Beastie Boys : She's On It and Jack The Ripper (don't know who did the original) backed with "Audio Vacation" a very fucked up take on 80's hip hop JSBX style!


And lastly in the interim while this post has been sitting in the vaults waiting to go BANG these boys only released a new album so hot off the press your last link is to "Freedom Tower No Wave Dance Party 2015" the latest offering from these guys and is it any good? HELL YES! this is a serious return to form for these guys I have been listening to this album a lot since i got it and I have to say it's the best thing they have done since "Plastic Fang" go check it out if you might have lost faith in these boys as a few folk did with 2012's "Meat & Bone" then this will restore you t a fully functioning JSBX fan!

I'm not gonna claim this to be a complete Discography as JSBX have been going far too long and been far too prolific and confusing with their music to claim every scrap is here but at a mighty 255 songs and some 14 hours i really think if this ain't enough you're a bigger geek than I am!

This band are abundantly talented and unique although sometimes under the sheer volume that may be hard to see but without a doubt NO ONE plays the blues like these guys and i find their take on it pretty consistent and always a pleasure hope you enjoy this almost complete discography of one of the best blues based bands on the planet!

Year OneMediafire

Extra Width/Mo WidthMediafire

Orange/Experimental Remixes (Remastered & Expanded)Mediafire

Now I Got Worry (Remastered & Expanded)Mediafire

Acme/Xtra Acme (Remastered & Expanded)Mediafire

Plastic Fang (Expanded)Mediafire

DamageMediafire

Meat & BoneMediafire

In The Red Records Jukebox Series #7 7"Mediafire

Jukebox ExplosionMediafire

With The Dub Narcotic Sound SystemMediafire

She's On It/Jack The Ripper (Def Jam) 12"Mediafire

Freedom Tower No Wave Dance Party 2015Mediafire