Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Psychedelic Wunderbaum

When are a staple in the Norwegian avant-garde electronic alterno-psych scene, if there even is such a thing. When is the work of Lars Pedersen and a number of miscellaneous collaborators. The band's beginnings date back as far as 1987 with the Drowning But Learning album. Eleven more albums have since been released. As the '90s drew to a close, When enjoyed a bit of attention due to the endorsements of several Norwegian black metal bands who were themselves heading in a more experimental direction. In fact, the Psychedelic Wunderbaum album (1998) was released through Garm of Ulver's label, Jester. This is my favorite When album and a great introduction to this band. When is hard to describe. The best I can do is to call it psychedelic pop breakbeat acid weirdness. So infectious and bubbly, yet a chord of uneasiness permeates the entire work. In 1999 Psychedelic Wunderbaum didn't leave my discman for weeks. It was absolutely habit forming. Let's see if it has the same affect on you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stand Up And Fight

Quartz were one of the better second tier NWOBHM bands that, sadly, never really got the attention they deserved. While their first couple of releases were a bit clumsy and unfocused, Stand Up And Fight is a minor metal masterpiece of street-tough anthems loaded with hooks and jabs. Some duds here for sure like "Can't Say No To You" which is ripped off from some Boston song I don't know the name of because Boston sucked. There are some standouts as well like "Revenge" with its beautiful breakdown at around the 1:20 mark, that brings to mind UFO's more sensitive moments, and "Charlie Snow," a spirited rocker about the perils of heroin. Stand Up And Fight isn't anything that will profoundly change your life, but still well worth a listen.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blood Slut

Broken Talent were kind of like Miami's Flipper. They were noisy, abrasive, and were the non-conformists in a punk scene that prided itself on its non-conformity. They were hated, often booed off the stage, they looked like burnouts, and they were my favorite band growing up, hands down. Broken Talent and T.P.O.S. (bassist Malcolm Tent's label) really created a parallel punk scene in Miami. T.P.O.S. released many great tape comps with some very strange and incredible music. They had their own aesthetic with Broken Talent's frontman, Santo providing his twisted Ralph Steadman-meets-Nick Blinko-drawings. They set up shows and did fanzines and comics. They didn't wait for people to come to them, they made their own scene. To me, at 14, they were more than a band, they were like mentors. I took every opportunity to pick their brains and they were always ready to talk to me about whatever, even though I was a pushy, overbearing, hyperactive kid. It was the band's bassist Malcolm Tent who would turn me on to Hellhammer's Apocalyptic Raids album. They decried racism, organized religion, and society with snarky humor and intelligence rarely seen in a politically-minded punk band.

In 1984 they released the Blood Slut EP on T.P.O.S. Now this thing is a holy grail for punk record collectors but at the time nobody fucking cared except a handful of friends and followers in South Florida. On the title track Santo sings about a woman of loose morals, plasma donation, and the beauty of sex. "My Old Man" has Malcolm singing about his father: "My old man is really mellow/he watches C.H.I.Ps with Poncharello," and the lyric, "He feeds the plant lethal yellow," that means urine if you didn't know. This reference inspired another Miami punk band to name themselves Lethal Yellow. "My God Can Beat Up Your God," some of you might know, it was covered by Antiseen. I still get a kick out of this little record . Now I'd like to share it with you. Thanks to Hodapp for the cover scan.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Bone Awl's second release was the seven inch EP called Night Is Indifferent. It was released in 2003 in a limited run of 400 copies. It's raw, it's primitive, it's Bone Awl. This record is not your friend, it won't help you through a difficult time in your life, it just won't. It's as indifferent as the night of which it speaks. Fuck yourself.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Rattus Norvegicus, The Stranglers' first album from 1978, is so fucking great that I shouldn't really have to tell you about it, but I will. You see, the band started in 1974 and was kind of part of the dreary pub rock scene. They soon outgrew this world and were considered too eccentric and artsy for the Guinness-swilling work-a-day chumps down at the local boozer. It also didn't help that Hugh Cornwell's lyrics were often biting digs at English life, he was a notorious shit-stirrer. The Stranglers landed some gigs opening for The Ramones and from then on they were linked to the punk scene in England. The Stranglers were really only punk in spirit and attitude. Very unhip organs and keyboards swirled around their herky jerky songs and Cornwell's lyrics coated everything in venom. The Stranglers took some heat from feminists for some perceived misogyny. So what if these guys were dicks, this is a classic.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Have a Little Faith

Cosmic Hearse reader and friend, Nick, hooked me up with another lost Swedish metal rarity that was on my wishlist. Faith released this totally killer seven inch of doomy classic metal in 1986. I think some members were in Stormbringer who appear on the ruling Metal Knights comp. At least one member of Faith went on to join the band Mercy, the pre-Candlemass gig of Messiah Marcolin. This EP has two songs,"Possession" and "Hymn Of The Sinner" I can't decide which I like better, but why would I have to? Seriously, get this. Thanks, Nick.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Human Condition

Human Condition, the German bootleg released in 1995 is regarded as the best, and most respectful of the gazillions of G.I.S.M. bootlegs. Clearly done by fans, and not as a quick cash in, Human Condition contains all the band's compilation tracks and some pretty good quality live recordings. It came with an eight page booklet with tons of cool art and other G.I.S.M. ephemera.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fly People Fly

Maybe when you think of The Scorpions you think of "Rock Me Like a Hurricane," balding krauts, and striped spandex moose knuckle. Maybe you just fell out of your momma's ass too. Maybe you are too young and green to know that before all that dumb shit, The Scorpions were one of the coolest hard rock bands of the '70s. Maybe you don't even know about how they had on their team a foppish Teutonic guitarbarian by the name of Uli Roth who was just a bit fucking loony, but had style and licks and chops for days. Maybe you don't know that this album, Fly To The Rainbow (along with In Trance) is just overflowing with outstanding songs. Maybe nobody ever told you how precious and deep Fly To The Rainbow truly is, and that saddens me.

Oh, and tomorrow night, Uli plays in San Francisco and I am going.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Milan Gets Taken

Back when I posted UFO's live epic Strangers In The Night ,it got folks talking about their favorite live albums, which led to me dusting off Mayhem's Mediolanum Capta Est. This is a recording of the band's 1998 performance in Milan, Italy. Mediolanum contains material from every Mayhem release before '98, but sadly , only contains two songs from their quintessential album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Still it is a spirited performance with some quality between song banter, which is the hallmark of a memorable live recording. For instance when frontman Maniac, with all the snarkiness of a satanic observational comedian, says, "We have the fucking pope here in Italy. The next song I dedicate hereby to the pope, Chainsaw Gutsfuck!" I'm sure the pope was pleased. You will be too. Oh, and my copy is a super limited edition with an embossed and foil stamped jewel case.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Khmer Pop

Okay, I am a huge fan of the Sublime Frequencies label run by members of The Sun City Girls. Over the last decade the label has released what they call "obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers." This includes folk and pop from Southeast Asia and the Middle East as well as field recordings, radio broadcasts, and ceremonial music from all over the globe. The label's releases are produced in limited quantities (usually 1,000 copies), and are generally not reprinted.

My all-time favorite Sublime Frequencies release would be Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk & Pop music Vol. 1. Every song is a charmer, a hook-laden wonderland of primitive pop goodness.

Mark Gergis rescued over 150 Cambodian cassette tapes from the Oakland Public Library's Asian branch. He set about the daunting task of listening, archiving, and culling the best tracks for inclusion in this great compilation. Most of these tracks are from the post Pol Pot genocide, however there are a few numbers recorded before the Khmer Rouge's bloody rise to power. Knowing that some of these performers (like Sim Sisamouth and Meas Samon) probably ended up as skulls in Cambodia's killing fields adds an air of creepiness and sadness to these otherwise playful recordings.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Considered Dead

Back when I posted Immortal's Pure Holocaust album, I mentioned that it was the perfect introduction to Black Metal for the uninitiated. Well, Gorguts' first album, Considered Dead works in much the same way for Death Metal. With its greasy tones, gross-out lyrics and particularly wonky Dan Seagrave cover, it's almost too perfect an example. Just Death Metal as it was in 1991. Of course we all know that Gorguts grew leaps and bounds as musicians and rewrote the manual on technical Death Metal with their 1998 album, Obscura, but this interests me more. Pure, unadultered, Quebecois viscera.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The League

Yeah, I know this record isn't super rare, or cult, and is a bit dated, but in the spirit of the League themselves I gotta say "Fuck Off!" It's great fun, it's a drunken night out with your lads where the pints are flowing and the birds are friendly. There may be a fight and the bobbies might come along and kick ya in the bollocks, but so fucking wot? Okay, I'll stop now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dead Screams

Debauchery was basically just Akhenaten of Judas Iscariot trying his hand at a more Death Metal vocal style with lyrics about S&M and fucking. Just sounds like Judas Iscariot to me, which is fine because Judas Iscariot ruled and didn't have enough songs about whipping dicks and banging broads. This EP, Dead Scream Symphony was released in 2003 by Blood Fire Death Records. It fucking slays.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Look It In The Mouth

Gift Horse was an amazing, but short-lived, instrumental band from San Francisco that featured among its ranks, Doug Hilsinger on guitar, Dana Schecter on bass, and Jeff Whitehead on drums. Doug was a member of Bomb, who may have been the best SF band of all time. Dana went on to play for Angels of Light and later started her own band, Bee & Flower. Jeff went on to be better known as Wrest of Leviathan. Gift Horse released one album only, and here it is in it's entirety. It was recorded live in front of an audience at Klub Kommotion on January 30 1993. I was there. Gift Horse were waaaay ahead of their time which is evidenced by all the attention hipsters give to inferior bands like Pelican today. Gift Horse did it first and better. The rhythm section of Schecter/Whitehead just locks in to a mesmerizing groove in which Hilsingers skyward guitars just wail and scream over the top. This is topnotch musicians wrangling instrumentals that just don't get boring.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The New Wave Of Cleveland Heavy Metal

When you think of Cleveland...well, you probably don't. Anyways just because you never think about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and like a lot of ugly American cities in the '80s it had a pretty fertile metal scene of poodle-haired dirtheads with big dreams of rocking their way out of the Cleve. In 1983 Clubside records released this kick ass regional compilation of the city's most hopeful headbangers, most cleverly titled "Cleveland Metal." Before getting this from the godly §ĬÇҜИ ΛБΘЏИЧ blog, I had only heard of Shok Paris and only remembered them because of their exceedingly assy name. Clearly, none of these bands broke out and hit the big time, some are probably not even known in their hometown today, but that by no stretch of the imagination means that they are bad.

The whole affair starts of strong with Black Death who are believed to be the earliest known all African-American Heavy Metal band. They contribute two great songs (perhaps the album's best) titled "Taken By Force" and "Until We Rock," the latter having one of the worst guitar solos I have ever heard in a metal song. Sadly, Black Death's drummer, Phil Bullard, passed away back in February of cancer.

Sacred Few are up next with the track "Sacred Few." A tinny hard rock number with the smokey bar room vocals of Sandy Rago, who sounds like a female Bon Scott. Sacred Few are kind of lame, but like I find myself saying a lot here, full of spirit and enthusiasm. This is just hopelessly pub band material.

Cerberus just jump out of the speakers with their spunky NWOBHM-esque instrumental "Rampage." Cerberus never released a proper album, which is a shame because the dudes had some skills.

Jagged Edge got me excited. Maybe because their song "Eyes of Fire" is so confusing and wonky, and the singer, Frank Leo, sounds a bit like Bobby Leibling at times.

Mistreater is pretty great too, having more of an early '70s hard-rock vibe to their Metal. Curt Luedy's oversinging gets to be a little much at times but don't fault the guy for trying to do a bit more. Their contribution "Without You" left me wanting to hear more from Mistreater.

I guess Breaker were one of the better known Cleveland bands. They definitely sound more slick and produced then the others here and they were also quite proficient players, but these things are probably why I found this to be less interesting than the other bands. I imagine if these guys had a better singer and didn't look like the guys from the shipping department, they might have enjoyed some commercial appeal and all the cocaine and fake tits that affords.

Shok Paris, like Breaker, seem to have had the chops to rise above the chaff but were plagued with a horrible vocalist and that ridiculously gaytarded name. Jesus, could nobody in Cleveland sing?

Then almost as if to cleanse the palette after those last two duds, "Bloodline" by Sorcerer gallops in on a a greasy steed made of metal and beer, and quickly dismounts to bring forth some tasty wah-wah doom in the song's middle. Sorcerer is the best thing here by a long shot.

Cleveland may not be Stockholm, or London, or The Bay Area but metal knows no boundaries, and regional comps like this remind us that metal was and will always be ubiquitous. They give record nerds that giddy hope of possibly discovering a monumentally cool band that never got the respect they deserved when they were slugging it out in the trenches of their sucky hometowns. Cleveland Metal rules even if Cleveland doesn't, and that is a testimony to the rulingness of metal itself, right?

Oh, and if you are sitting on any recordings by Black Death, Jagged Edge or Sorcerer you should share those with me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stunt Rock

"The Stunts! The Rock!" read the tagline for Brian Trenchard-Smith's epic 1978 film Stunt Rock. He enlisted the talents of a young LA band called Sorcery to play themselves. The plot is rambling and incoherent and is only there at all to bring rock and stunt together. I guess what happens is a stuntman moonlights as a member/pyrotechnician for Sorcery and has some trippy flashbacks about stunts and, um, rock or some shit. Though their official website claims "their stage show made people like KISS jealous!" and "some of the BEST '70s hard rock that ever came out of that era," I find this to be in the category of bad/good. Corny and dated, the kind of stupid idea that could only come about in the '70s. Stunts, Rock, Stuntrock!

Ahhh, fuck it. Here's the trailer, but I'm only including it because of that awesome wizard.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Confuse's first full-length, Indignation, originally appeared on the Japanese scene as a cassette in 1984. Though this was their debut release, the band's earliest recordings from 1983 weren't released until 1987 as the Spending Loud Night EP. If you haven't been paying attention, Confuse were the absolute kings of crazy fuzzy Japanoise punk. Taking the groundwork laid out by Disorder and Chaos UK and tweaking it into abrasive white hiss, Confuse (and their buddies Gai) set the tone for what would be the Japanese noisecore aesthetic. Okay! Fuck! Die! Star of FIVES!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Black Mountains

Geheimnis is a stunning, one-man Black Metal band from Brazil, led by a character called Count Belial. This tape, Das Negras Montanhas, reminds me a bit of older Judas Iscariot. It was released by Gungnir Productions in 2005 in limited quantities. That means that you don't have this, unless you are really kult. Fortunately for you, I am, but not too kult to share.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Pleasure

Kreator was always a band whose name was often bantered about in my punk circle when I was a downy-moustached teen. We were interested in the band because word on the street was they were insanely fast, didn't use falsetto vocals, and weren't satanic or religious in any way. We talked about them a lot, talked about how we needed to hear them for weeks before we actually did.

Across the street from McArthur High School (my alma mater) was a mom & pop record store that specialized in metal called Record Haven. It was in a run-down strip mall. I think the owner was named Irv and he was a surly fucker. He and his wife chainsmoked in the store and the place reeked of nicotene and cat piss. I seldom went in there because of the smell and the fact that they didn't sell many hardcore records, but I was on a mission....Kreator's Pleasure To Kill. I also bought a used copy of Piledriver's Stay Ugly which had appeal even if only ironically. My friend Pat and I sat in my car in the strip mall parking lot ogling the cover, a buff demon pounding the shit out of a pile of hostile skeletons, one of them weilding a pretty menacing looking axe. Fuck, dude. We analyzed every element of the jacket while sitting in the car. We wondered why they were called Kreator when clearly destruction was their forte (later we would learn of another German band called Destruction). We waxed philosophical about the choice to spell the band's name with a "K" rather than a "C." We wondered, we hoped that the album would live up to the promises made by the cover and all our built up anticipation.

When we got the thing back to my house and dropped the stylus, we were immediately pummeled, our faces contorted into huge menacing smiles. Pleasure To Kill was everything we had hoped for and then some. Violent, frantic and always just on the verge of completely falling apart or blurring into a bloody smear. Instantly we understood this band's appeal to punks, and we felt like we were in on a real cool secret. For the next few months Pat and I were obsessed and annoying everyone we knew with the news of the coming of the Kreator.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It's cool when readers send in their band's stuff to be included in the Hearse, especially when it's good. Such is the case with Shelby's band Cretaceous. Cretaceous do what should have been fucking obvious to everyone from day one, play primitive metal about goddamn dinosaurs. I mean, what could be a more perfect union than thundering prehistoric lizards and thundering prehistoric riffs? Also of note is the fact that Mike (ex Scurvy Dogs, ex Phantom Limbs) plays drums and drew that excellent cover of the San Francisco skyline overrun by dinosaurs as panic-stricken headbangers look on. As for the music, it's sort of crusty punky early Death Metal. Think Autopsy and old Carcass meeting up to write a paper on raptors. Oh, and some amazing song titles like "Terrordactyl" and "Megaladon of the Dead." Thanks, Shelby. Your band is killer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

R.I.P. Witchhunter

It is with great sadness that Cosmic Hearse announces the death of original Sodom drummer, Christian "Witchhunter" Dudek. Of course we wish all the best to his friends and family. May he forever hunt witches in hell. Now let's all raise a pint and listen to In The Sign of Evil. Sorry I can't upload the pint.

Darkthrone Holy Darkthrone

You know as well as I that Darkthrone rules. So widely regarded is this fact that some of the greatest Norwegian bands came together on this compilation to pay tribute to the most influential Norse Black Metal band of all time. Here's the rundown...

Satyricon-Kathaarian Life Code
Enslaved-Natassja In Eternal Sleep
Thorns-The Pagan Winter
Dodheimsgard-Green Cave Float
Gehenna-Transilvanian Hunger
Gorgoroth-Slottet I Det Fjerne
Immortal-To Walk The Infernal Fields

Oh, by the way, the Gorgoroth and Immortal songs are one track because the Immortal track was supposed to be like a hidden bonus track.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

William Bennett Has No Dick

The Hanatarash continue their war against the noise music establishment on their third LP/CD William Bennett Has No Dick. Skreeeeeee, ponk ponk, skreet. zzzrrrrpppp!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Hand Of Death

Dantesco's Erico La Bestia may very well be the greatest vocalist in metal today. He has more in common with Placido Domingo than Rob Halford, but with Dantesco behind his booming voice, the dish is Heavy Fucking Metal served epic with a side of grandiose pageantry. Dantesco hail from Puerto Rico. They formed in 2003. De la Mano De la Muerte is the band's debut and was released in 2005. The obvious comparison is Mercyful Fate, both bands are exceptionally classy, and both have extremely recognizable and proficient vocalists, but the similarities end there. Del Mano is an honest-to-goodness heavy metal album, one of the best in years, even if Dantesco has room to grow musically. They have since released another album Pagano, but I haven't had the pleasure of hearing it yet.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We The Living

We The Living were another great South Florida hardcore band that you may have never heard of if you grew up anywhere else but America's flaccid dong. Made up of members Kraut, Adam, and Megalosaurus, WTL were miles ahead of their contemporaries in terms of musicianship. The Carnival of Vice seven inch EP was released in 1985 on Subversive Records, which was run by Mark of The Sewer Zombies. In the '80s hardcore bands thought it was really hilarious to cover unlikely songs, in this case Madonna's "Material Girl" changing the title to be "Mixed Up World." That's about all I got on this one. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Root Of Evil

The trio of Corvus, Necron, and Kryth, better known as Korgonthurus, aren't fucking around. The Finnish trio serves up Black Metal plain and simple, without any outside influence or digressions. Riffs, Satan, Evil, and that's it. And really, what would you expect? Like the aforementioned Sargeist, Korgonthurus has ties to Horna, one of the best known and respected cult Finnish Black Metal bands. I still prefer Korgonthurus and Sargeist to Horna, perhaps only because they stick to the formula with an almost orthodox devotion. Here's Korgonthurus' Root Of Evil demo from 2001.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kilroy Was Here

Written by Dennis DeYoung, Styx's, terminally douchey frontman, Kilroy Was Here was a bloated, pretentious, and absolutely shitty concept album/film/stage play that flopped even though it yielded a couple of hits for Styx. Their previous album, Paradise Theater was a critical success and the band, and especially Dennis, felt they could get away with anything, including a hackneyed, dystopian, allegory about censorship with racially insensitive Japanese robots. The story is so pedestrian and goofy it reads like a particularly subversive high school play. Here's the synopsis from the album's liners:

"T H E P A S T... Dr. Everett Righteous, founder and leader of the MMM (the Majority for Musical Morality) became influential in American politics through the use of his own cable/TV network. He spoke about the evils of Rock 'N Roll Music and how its permissive attitudes were responsible for the moral and economic decline of America. He was charismatic, entertaining, and above all, he understood the media. The MMM soon gained enough power to have Rock N Roll banned.

"Robert Orin Charles Kilroy was a world famous Rock N Roll star. As this new law was passed, Kilroy and his band were finishing a national tour. Their last performance at the Paradise Theater would serve as the test case. On the night of the concert, as Kilroy played to a packed house, the MMM marched in and stormed the stage. When it was over, an MMM protester was dead. Kilroy was convicted of the murder and sent to a prison ship with other Rock N Roll misfits.

"T H E P R E S E N T ... is a future where Japanese manufactured robots, designed to work cheaply and endlessly, are the caretakers of society. Mr. Robotos are everywhere, serving as manual labor in jobs that were once held by humans.

"Dr. Righteous enforces his own morality by holding nightly rallies where crowds hurl Rock N Roll records and electric guitars into huge bonfires. Jonathan Chance, the rebel leader of an underground movement to bring back Rock N Roll, has made Kilroy the symbol of his cause. Meanwhile, Kilroy has spent a number of years in prison. With no hope of release, he is subjected to the humiliation of mind control via the MMM cable network. In an attempt to contact Kilroy, Jonathan jams the airwaves of the MMM network, replacing a mind control session with outlawed footage of a Kilroy concert. Inspired by Jonathan's message, Kilroy plots his escape. Late one night he makes a daring attempt to free himself by overpowering a Roboto guard. Disguised as a Roboto, Kilroy moves freely throughout the city leaving graffiti coded messages for Jonathan. Jonathan discovers the rock code which leads him to the old Paradise Theater, now the site of Dr. Righteous Museum of Rock Pathology. There he sees the last Kilroy concert mechanically depicted by Kilroy look alike robots as the violent end of Rock N Roll... and there he and Kilroy meet for the first time."

Dennis DeYoung. Prophet? Mad Man? Genius? Visionary? Total Bag of Douche? You decide.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Singing From The Grave

Minotauri was a Finnish band hell bent on the classic, towering doom of such luminaries as St. Vitus, Pagan Altar, Candlemass, and Pentagram, however Minotauri cut their own path and sounded little like their influences. Unfortunately, the band called it quits in 2007 after releasing their second LP. Here I present their first LP from 2004 simply titled Minotauri. Great riffs, typically gloomy comic-book horror lyrics, and the distinct voice of singer/guitarist Ari Honkonen make Minotauri a stand-out release. If the cover and my description don't have you frothing at the mouth with anticipation, I feel I should add that this was released by the ultra-elite cult label Black Widow, a label that only deals in quality darkness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Metal Moo Cow

First off, big thank yous to Nano Chavez and Chris Reed. Nano found this comp on eBay and quickly let me know of it, and Chris Reed, who had a copy, ripped it and shipped it. Both these guys rule, why can't you be more like them? This has been on my wishlist for a long time, and now it can come off. Thanks, gentlemen.

So why was I so anxious to get a hold of a copy of this compilation of unknown Texas bands? Well, simply because it's really good. This was a favorite LP of mine when I was younger, and hearing it now fills me with weird nostalgic feelings. Although Metal Moo Cow is a regional compilation, it showcases the sort of eclecticism of the Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation. It was released in 1984 by Matako Mazuri records. Did the label ever release anything else? I don't believe so.

First up is The Fearless Iranians From Hell with their sludgy, sun-drenched pseudo-metal cut "Burn The Books." The Fearless Iranians, as you may know, released some great records on Boner Records run by Tom of Fang.

Napalm are next with "Sons Of Noise," a blistering track with some overly silly vocals. I know nothing of this band, though they rule. Never heard anything else from them or about them other than their contribution to this comp. Anyone?

Heather Leather are next doing a different version of "We Came To Destroy" than appeared on their self-released 7". Heather Leather were three Mexican-American sisters from San Antonio playing some poorly executed, but totally endearing metal.

Come on, you know The Offenders. They were friends and shared some members with DRI and made a couple of fantastic LPs on R Radical and Rabid Cat records. Pretty great hardcore band they were, but their contribution, "Fed Up" seems a little out of place next to all the art-damage and outsider metal here.

The Jeffersons, never heard of 'em. Is their track, "Gotta Walk The Dog" a skronky, acid-fueled retort to Rufus Thomas' classic "Walk The Dog"? Shit I don't know and it's kind of hard to think or write while the song is playing, those guitars...

The Hickoids had the idea to infuse country into their punk. The band had the legendary Wade Driver (Corduroy, 50 Million) amidst their ranks. Their track, "Animal Husbandry" is awesome.

Scratch Acid should need no introduction. David Yow went on to front The Jesus Lizard. "The Greatest Gift" is perhaps their best known song and it appeared here first. Kind of like '60s surf/garage pounded into unrecognizable mushy darkness. So fucking ahead of their time was Scratch Acid.

Never heard of Feast of Fools before this comp, but fuck if they don't sound a lot like Florida's Morbid Opera with their apathetic femme vocals and jangly clean-tone guitars. They sound like they were in college at the time. I can't clarify that statement, they just do.

The Technicolor Yawns offer up "Social Disgrace," sounding kind of like a lesser Simpletones. This is the dud of the album, but not because it's bad per se, it just seems that this wasn't really a band so much as a group of folks having a laugh at punk.

Okay, so Toejam is the most intriguing thing here, sounding like GISM being fronted by Colin of GBH. Any Texans out there want to tell me how I can hear more Toejam? This band was just too fucking cool to not have done more.

So there you have it, a trip through Texas's weirder punk scene of the '80s in just a pussy hair over 25 minutes. Again, big props to Nano and Chris Reed for hooking this up. I have said it before and I'll say it a thousand more times, motherfuckers like these two keep the hearse running. Awesomeness.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Ahulabrum is a mysterious Black Metal band from somewhere in the United States fixated on UFOs. Magonia was released on tape in a very limited run and contains five strange and noisy songs, each one based on a different UFO related phenomenon. Ahulabrum has succeeded in creating sounds as bizarre and uneasy as its subject matter.

The second track "The Rendlesham Forest Psyop" is about a number of UFO sightings in Suffolk, England in 1980. It's essentially the British Roswell. Track four is based on an incident in Cajneiro, Brazil on November 11, 1983. A farm worker encountered a heavyset, green, glowing figure obstructing the road. As the figure approached, it changed shape, assumed a strange yoga-like position, and vanished. The final track refers to Filiberto Caponi, a 23 year-old Italian who claims to have had many encounters with an alien being. He took six Polaroid pictures of it. Magonia is buzzing, chaotic and wholly disquieting. I really need to hear more from this brilliant band.

Monday, September 1, 2008

In The Shadow Of Steel

Some Swedish young'uns completely fueled on the metal from before their time. Kind of like if Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate met in Örebro one dark and gloomy night, and conceived a love child who ended up looking more like the Maiden side of the family. Here is Wolf's self-titled debut from 1999. Since its release the band has gone through many line-up changes and has failed to hold my interest (the second album was great, not so much the next two.) The youthful exuberance and sheer joy that pours out of this album hasn't really been matched even though their skills as song writers and musicians progressed. Not terribly original, and probably nothing that you haven't already heard done a million times before, but originality isn't always your best entertainment value, and sometimes things are cliche simply because they are good.