Living up to their name, Confuse offered neck-snapping, fuzzed-out confusion. Under the harsh scratch of surface noise lies some ass-kicking hardcore like only the Japanese could deliver. Confuse made many 7" eps in the '80s, each one a bit different, but never losing the rawness. This was the first, and it simply rules. Spend loud night in crazy bomb fuck!!!!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Wicked Lady story is one of amphetamines, motorcycles, violence, despair and a wah-wah pedal. Formed in 1968 by Hell's Angels members, Martin Weaver and "Mad" Dick Smith, Wicked Lady cut their crooked teeth playing their brand of heavy psych in smoke-filled biker clubhouses and greasy English pubs. Rumor has it that Martin Weaver was approached by an A&R guy from EMI about signing Wicked Lady, Weaver's response was to beat said A&R guy to a bloody pulp. The Wicked Lady wasn't fucking around. The band's gigs were equally violent, and it was not uncommon for sets to end with "Mad" Dick hurling his drum kit into the audience. But for all this spectacle and barbaric rage, was the music any good? Nope. It was spirited, lo-fi, caveman proto-doom-metal slop, but undeniably anguished and so very fucking real. In a way, Wicked Lady were the Saint Vitus of their time, a brutally real flesh and bone dirtbag band that might have been better if forces like addiction and jail time hadn't impeded their path. Wicked Lady's material is a downer. The lyrics are about war, mental illness, being a rebel, and THE wicked lady, who will apparently "take your soul away." Dark stuff that, like Sabbath, was a far cry from the hippy love insipidness that prevailed at the time. They seem barely able to play their instruments. You can tell that Weaver and company were drunk when they finally got around in 1972 to recording this collection of songs on a stolen 2-track machine. The results are primitive, depressing, and dark, and I think you will agree, absolutely amazing.
Monday, April 28, 2008
A Forest Of Stars is a rather cereberal black metal band from the UK who incorporate elements of post-rock, neo-classical, and psychedelia into their grimness. The strange monikers of Mister Curse, Queen of Ghosts,The Gentleman, and Kettleburner further distance the band from the pack, and suggest a sort of stylistic afinity for the grandiose and surreal. The songs are beautiful massive landscapes of guitar, drums, male and female vocals, piano, and violin.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Like any one who has seen it, I have a love/hate relationship with Ruggero Deodato's exploitation film Cannibal Holocaust. Yeah, it's unecessarily brutal, it's mean-spirited, it's despicable, it's poorly acted, it's racist, and it's cruel to the little critters, but most importantly it's mesmerizing in it's sheer ugliness. Love it or hate it, no movie has ever been more polarizing, making it an important part of film history, whether you fucking like it or not. Riz Ortolani's amazing soundtrack still fills me with the same kind of dread it did when I first saw the movie back in the '80s. Here it is to give you the willies.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
So we don't have to have long protracted discussions of what kind of -ist I am, here are my views on race in a nutshell: Neo-Nazis and fascists, it's lazy and stupid to be proud of something you had nothing to do with like what race you happen to be. PC obssessives and liberals, it's painfully candy-assed to be ashamed of something you had nothing to do with like what race you happen to be. If you bothered to read the "What It's About" blurb at the top right of the page you might remember that you might find some things here that you don't agree with. The views of the bands are their own and don't necessarily reflect my ideology or political views. So you can spare me your outraged (and most likely anonymous) comments about how evil Hitler was, and you can spare me your morality, I'm not interested. With all that being said, here is Finist from The Ukraine. Finist has created, with Awakening, a truly bizarre album of upbeat, almost Disney-esque, symphonic metal, with lyrics about how awesome being white is. Creepy in more ways than one.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Gash were a great hardcore band comprised of three women and one man from Melbourne, Australia. Their songs were angry anthems decrying sexism and championing womanity and feminocity. Topics include unrealistic standards of beauty, gender roles in romantic relationships, and the media's portrayals of women, all dealt with equal parts intelligence and outrage. These were strong women taking up the frontlines in the boneheaded male-dominated world of hardcore, and they definitely deserve a "Right On Sister!!!" some 25 years later.
Friday, April 18, 2008
If you lived in the Bay Area in the '80s or '90s you probably remember the piss-poor music rag BAM (Bay Area Music.) And if you remember BAM it is likely that you remember a small classified ad that ran in the back of every issue, an ad with a photo of a wizened Asian man with long hair and the word "LELAND" in large print above his head. No other information was given, just a vague reminder of Leland's existence. I was pretty shocked to find out that Leland had been making albums since 1976 and they ain't bad. Here's his first, titled This Is My World. Leland's vocal delivery is pretty unique, it's hard not to really like the dude after hearing this. Clearly he was one of those weird musical eccentrics who exist in every city, the ones who've been financing their own heavy trip for decades, so sure that soon the big break will come, the ones who wear capes every day whether they're rocking or just going to cash that SSI check, the ones who take out uninformative classified ads in corny local rock mags. God bless 'em all, God bless Leland!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
"Wold embraces the Mytho Poetic; the communication is expressed through our music, and theoretical as well as practical work done through our Woldclan brotherhood. Wold venerate our ancestors and cultures through myth and existence, and remain open and reflective to other effective metaphors. Wold promote awareness. Wold strive for honour and dignity above materialistic lies and novelty culture. Wold solemnly swear to adhere to the law of the Self." Wold are a mysterious Canadian band that bridge the gap between Black Metal and Power Electronics. Badb was a tape limited to 100.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Would you believe there are people in this world who think the universe was created by a single being, and this single being had a son with an Earth woman who grew up and could do things like turn bread into fish and walk on water? Would you double over with laughter if I told you they actually believe this son was killed and stuffed into a cave, but a few days later he rose from the dead and danced around? They also believe that by simply stating your love for this special man that all past transgressions are null and void, and you will get to spend eternity in a magical kingdom in the sky. Pretty nuts, huh? Well, what if I told you that there are well over 2,039,000,000 people worldwide who believe this? Still, this is not enough. There exists still a great number of people who think these notions are absurd, or know nothing of them at all, and some of them are children. Well in 1975, a couple of young forward-thinking evangelicals came up with a brilliant strategy for witnessing to the most malleable of Earth's beleaguered populace, the fucking kids. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker had just started their own television ministry in North Carolina, the fledgling PTL network. It was here they first introduced two loveable characters, a borderline retarded Alligator named Ally (voiced by Jim) and a cloying pig named Sue (voiced by Tammy,) that looked suspiciously like Porky Pig in drag. See Jim and Tammy understood that lying to children is easier done with puppets, and ventriloquism is easier done on records. Hence the album bearing the gramatically stunted title, Oops! There Comes a Smile was born. Side one is a collection of some of the weirdest, most uncomfortable hymns to Jesus ever comitted to tape. When Sue sings of her love for JC it seems rather inappropriate. Take for instance the song Happiness Is to Know the Savior where Sue ecstatically sings "Jesus and me in close relations/Having a part in his salvation." I guess there's more than one way to feel the love of Christ come all over you. And this is hardly the most twisted song on the album, oh not by a long shot. There's the track God Is Watching You All the Time, which tells of an omnipotent creator who watches everything you do including extorting money from your ministry or banging your secretary, which Ally, I mean Jim, coincidentally did in 1987. And what about Heaven Is a Wonderful Place? In this song Sue sings of her eagerness to die and "see her saviour's face." Well, in 2007 Sue, I mean Tammy, got her wish when she died of lung cancer. Cancer was like her golden chariot that delivered her into Jesus' arms, cancer is a wonderful thing. Then a bit off topic is the cut I Wonder. It is here where Ally and Sue wrestle with their uncertain futures and wonder what career path they should choose. While Sue deliberates on whether to be a "nurse or a teacher or a mother of three,"Ally contemplates a future as a policeman, a firemen or a fisherman. Ultimately these two animals decide to not decide and let Jesus solve this conundrum by choosing for them. Nietzsche famously stated that god is dead, but Ally and Sue claim he isn't in the rollicking jam God's Not Dead. Who are you to believe, one of the most influential philosophers of western civilization or a pair of doltish animal puppets? I know, tough call. Side two has some bible stories told by Ally. I have never successfully made it through side two. There is no shortage of disturbing christian children's records collecting dust in the Goodwills of the red states, but the songs on Oops! There Comes a Smile are perhaps the most bizarre with their blatant message of subservience and forfeiture of mind. To the rest of us evangelical christians are fucking creepy, and Oops! There Comes a Smile does little to change this, but is it really possible that 2,039,000,000 people, an alligator, and a pig could be that fucking stupid?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Worship are a painfully slow and crushing doom band from Munich. This was released as a demo titled The Last Tape Before Doomsday in 1999 and was later released with extra tracks as The Last LP Before Doomsday and The Last CD Before Doomsday. This isn't doom in the Pentagram/Sabbath vein, this is deconstructed molasses drone funeral dooooooooom. Bleak and unrelenting, Worship absolutely exudes misery and desperation in these five dirges, the point is driven home further by the fact that drummer/vocalist, Mad Max, took his own life while vacationing in Quebec in 2001. His parents, convinced that this depressing music must have contributed to their son's undoing, subsequently destroyed his record collection and personal affects. The band reformed in 2004 to further honor Max's vision and memory. Best song title ever: Keep On Selling Cocaine To Angels. Indeed.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Blues Creation, Japan's premier purveyors of heavy blue-based psychedelia released Demon & Eleven Children in 1971, it was their second album. Their first is a subpar collection of American Blues covers, but with Demon... the band started writing their own songs in the style of Cream, Mountain and Blue Cheer. Blues Creation was lead by guitarist Kazuo Takeda who used a revolving door of musicians. After a brief stay in London in 1972 Kazuo returned to Japan and shortened the name to Creation. They continued to make albums into the '80s but it is really Demon & Eleven Children that most interests me, especially the epic title track. I must confess, part of this album's novelty charm is hearing a Japanese band performing a song titled Mississippi Mountain Blues, but that aside, it's a pretty ass-kicking piece of fuzzed out eastern psych.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Disorderly Conduct was a mainstary of Florida hardcore in the 1980s and Amen is the band's only full length recording. Most notably, Disorderly Conduct was fronted by a young Casey Chaos, who now leads the corny Hot Topic rage rock band, Amen (apparently Mr. Chaos' favorite word.) Also amongst Disorderly Conduct's ranks was Ken Decter of the band F. While not as raging as F, Disorderly Conduct was not without merit. Amen is a good (not great) album of snarling metallic hardcore, even if it contains a few lame numbers, mainly Groove Thang and Nightmare. Rumors surfaced that Disorderly Conduct was a christian band (as evidenced by the big cross on the cover) but this was never confirmed or denied, and really, who gives a fuck. The lyrics are the standard "You were my bro, and then you fucked me over" personal politics that was favored by bands like Minor Threat and 7 Seconds. This was ripped from the vinyl I bought in 1986, I was in the 10th grade.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
For part three of Cosmic Hearse's homage to Les Legions Noire, I've decided to do something different by uploading scans of the Black Plague fanzine, no music today. Black Plague was the official voice of the reclusive LLN and you won't see interviews with some of these bands anywhere else. Featured within the pages of this infernal tome is Vlad Tepes, Mutiilation, Belketre, Black Murder and more. Don't worry it's in English, but should probably be read by candlelight. Read up, I'll be back with more music tomorrow.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Veronica Lipgloss & The Evil Eyes was a great, but sadly short-lived band from San Francisco. Obviously influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees and X-Ray Spex, the band also seemed to be fueled on the works of The Birthday Party and the The Pixies. The Witch's Dagger from 2005 was the band's first and last album, and it's an engaging stew of gothic punk no wave darkness from start to finish.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I am told that this classic is out of print so I guess it is suitable for posting here. If you didn't already know, Storm was the one-off union of Satyr Wongraven (Satyricon), Fenris (Darkthrone, Isengard) and Kari Rueslatten (The 3rd and the Mortal), who came together in 1995 to play metallic versions of some Norwegian folk standards. The end result sounds like a more refined Isengard due partly to the skaldic vocals of Fenris. Apparently the nationalist slant to the album came back to bite Ms. Rueslatten in the ass when she attempted to shed her metal past and make it as a mainstream Norwegian pop star. She back-pedaled like a wounded doe drowning in the icy fjord of her own ignorance, claiming to not have understood the very lyrics she sang on Nordavind and vehemently stating that she was unaware of the anti-christian themes in the songs, whatever. If you end up playing this for your non-metal-loving friend, prepare to hear one of them make a crack about the old Swedish Chef character from The Muppet Show. This would be as good a time as any to cleave them with your well-worn battle axe, and let their inferior blood stain the snow of your fatherland. Your friends are assholes, and aren't fit to be galley slaves in Storm's dragon-prowed longboat of old. If you can't enjoy Nordavind you are already dead, and Valhalla is lost to you.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Look, if you are anything like me you like your hardcore angry and primitive and NOT performed by malnourished pretty boys with sideways myspace haircuts. You probably want it to be about war and destruction and not about being blown off by some teenage mall skank that let you finger bang her after prom, hell, in my day punkers avoided prom like an AIDS-filled piñata. Well, lucky for you there was YDI (pronounced Why Die?), perhaps (along with Negative Approach and The Fix) one of the most brutally pissed off hardcore bands of all time. YDI hailed from Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, and go figure...their singer, Jackal, was a brother brimming with hate and an insatiable appetite for choice blotter acid. Nowadays the punk scene is a haven for PC touchy-feely goodness, but in the '80s being Black and punk was tough and you had to be tough to get by, just ask The Bad Brains. YDI had two Black members and perhaps this is why, to this day, their rage and hostility is unequalled. YDI scared even punks. If you've seen Paul Rachman and Steven Blush's amazing doc American Hardcore then you'll remember YDI as being the very essence of raw primal animosity, with Jackal's arms flailing in a whirlwind of ebony fury. In 1983 YDI unleashed their very first recorded statement in the form of a seven inch ep titled A Place In The Sun and it is a classic. So forget what passes for hardcore these days, it's just rehashed At The Gates worship with about as much edge as a Paul Mitchell hair salon, forget romance, forget eyeliner, forget bands with names longer than three fucking letters, forget the prom queen, forget your facebook page and remember, always fucking remember YDI.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
CWT ,or Hundredweight, was a great British hard rock band from the '70s that reminds me of a more tepid Sir Lord Baltimore. What separates CWT from SLB is the standout horn section that gives the whole album a rather soulful edge, and if I have learned anything from years of record collecting and consumption it's that any album with a graveyard on the cover is bound to be a heavy trip. You'd do wise to check this out.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Cruor Cultum are a Brazilian band that worship at the bloody altar of Norwegian black metal circa early '90s. In fact they sound alot like Gorgoroth did when Gorgoroth was about Satan and darkness rather than infighting and lawyers. The duo of Lord Mephyr and Hamon don't draw things out too much, the songs are concise, effective hymns for the horned one. This gives Cruor Cultum the opportunity to showcase an arsenal of melodic riffs. Cruor Cultum is so dedicated to the rules of traditional norse black metal they've create something of a tribute album in Bloody Days on the Altar . It is rule!!!!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Evertything I know about this demo...
1. The band is called Devastation
2. The demo is called The Upcoming Mayhem
3. It was released in 1987
4. The last song is an S.O.D. cover
5. The vocals are terrible
6. It has an undeniably naive charm
7. You can download it here
Huge thanks to bounded by metal for this one
Friday, April 4, 2008
The Feederz, Arizona's nihilist-Situationist-punk geniuses were the greatest band ever, period, end of debate. But if you need convincing, let me first start with the cover of their debut album, 1983's, Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss ? It's fucking sandpaper. It's meant to destroy whatever records it sits with in your collection, it hates your other records, it hates your boring life. The whole thing, packaging, lyrics, and music spew vitriol and venom over anything from religion to government to love to school, while lauding terrorism, necrophilia, anarchy, destruction, and lawless rage. And all this is done with a certain poetic flair and sneering sense of humor. Mainman, Frank Discussion gained some notoriety by gluing live bugs to his closely shaven head at shows (so punk), and drummer DH Peligro went on to play for the Dead Kennedys. Which brings me to the music, if you have never experienced the magic of this record, imagine the DKs with more hatred. In fact after hearing The Feederz, the Kennedys seem sort of tame. As provocative as Jello Biafra can be, I can't imagine him penning anything like the lyric "You thought it would be cute/ you thought it would be fun/But wait 'til I split your shitter with a soldering gun" from the Feederz best known track Jesus Entering From The Rear. Here's another gem, "You told me you love me/ I wish you were dead/ Use that word again and I'll blow off your head" from L-O-V-E (Another Damp Thing). Still not convinced? Well fuck you.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
People erroneously refer to Bedemon as a side project of the godly Pentagram, but the truth is Bedemon was the brainchild of Randy Palmer and former Pentagram drummer, Geoff O'Keefe, and was a serious full-time entity of its own. A number of badly recorded demos were produced. When Bedemon found themselves without a proper singer, Randy invited Pentagram frontman Bobby Leibling to add his inimitable stylings to these basement recordings. Pretty easy to understand why Bedemon might be labeled a Pentagram side project-- the two bands share a similar sound and aesthetic. Both bands held acts like Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and Mountain in the highest regard, but still managed to eke out something entirely their own. After Randy Palmer's untimely death in an auto accident in 2002, the bulk of Bedemon's recorded output was reissued in tribute by Black Widow records. Most of this is extremely lo-fi and muddy but the genius of Randy Palmer shines through the muck, and as you may know, anything Bobby Leibling touches is gold. The art was done by Wes Benscotter using some rough sketches found in Randy Palmer's belongings after his death. I really suggest picking this up for the extensive liner notes and photos, it is worth whatever you pay. This one's for you, Palm.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Kältetod are a fine German black metal band. Layered and cavernous production, melancholic riffs, and a generally despondent mood set this apart from the other illegible logos crowding the black metal section at your favorite kult record shop. Leere,released in 2005, is the band's only true album so far, and it is beautiful.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
My first exposure to Christian Death was the 1983 book Hardcore California by Peter Belsito and Bob Davis. The images of Christian Death members Rozz Williams and Shron performing live (both photos by Ed Colver) are indelibly marked on my psyche. Rozz is dressed in black, holding a crucifix, various bells and skull trinkets hang around his neck. Shron appears to be in the process of nailing a dead cat to a another crucifix, the hammer visible in the photo. Both men are rather androgynous in appearance. These two photos seemed so wrong to my fourteen year-old mind, and the idea of actually listening to such a band felt so taboo. I needed to have this album. I grew up in suburban South Florida, not exactly the oppressive bible belt, but not LA or New York either. I took a long sweaty bus ride from my burb to Open Books and Records in North Miami to buy the record. The bus ride home was considerably less grueling as I sat staring at the cover, in eager anticipation of what the album might sound like. At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old geezer I must say kids today don't understand this kind of build up, this raw excitement. Most of them have already heard the music and have been bombarded with images of the artists long before they download them from iTunes. Nowadays the time between when I become interested in hearing something and actually hearing it is never any longer than preparing a sandwich or finding my keys. Not that I miss long bus rides and the occasional shitty album bought because the cover was cool (fuck you, Exploited) but I believe that having such experiences is why music is sacrosanct to me today and still the source of much excitement, long after everything else seems boring, futile, and cheap. Upon getting the album home, and dropping the stylus on the vinyl, I almost wept. Christian Death seemed more mysterious, and more forbidden even after hearing them. I felt like I was a member of some secret club, as if I was in on some great universal truth generally unknown by the lesser beings who constantly stood between me and my hapiness, I was a sullen teen, and Christian Death were a sullen band. As clichéd as it may sound, I felt as if Christian Death existed only for me as a tangible manifestation of my confusion, my frustration and my typically adolescent angst. Of course later I learned this was simply not true, many people had bought and enjoyed this album, they pressed quite a few of them. Not one iota of Only Theatre of Pain's appeal has been lessened by time, this album still fills my head with grainy sepia toned images of crucified animals, matricide, swastikas, and other unsavory things. Rozz Williams remains one of my favorite lyricists. His gift for stream of consciousness prose and vivid imagery was unparalleled. His lyrics ranged from the uncomfortable to the stirringly beautiful and romantic, all the while presenting himself as a degenerate poet with a firm resolve to end his suffering once and for all. And as I listened more and more, he became less of a scary gender bending demon and more of a human, an extremely hurt and vulnerable one at that. The rare sort of genius that can never last. I even at times worried about his well-being though I never met the man. On April Fool's Day 1998 I heard that Rozz Williams had hung himself. I wished it was a joke, but it wasn't.