Could we really spend a week on Bay Area related posts without some bonafide puffy sneaker thrash? Okay, so here is Vio-lence's 1988 debut Eternal Nightmare, a record, that for me, is somewhat marred by the rather choppy, one-dimensional performance of vocal dude, Sean Killian. However, Eternal Nightmare packs so much chunky wallop and delicious riffery that I can live with whatever Mr. Killian is arbitrarily shouting at me in lilting staccato. Vio-lence often sounded like a less skilled Slayer meets a more skilled Kreator, seriously, not a bad thing at all.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thanks for all the anniversary accolades, but we have work to do. I think we're going to keep this Bay Area theme going for a few more posts, and with that in mind, here is the debut from Verbal Abuse. Just an American Band introduced the world to VA's furious thrashing hardcore made even better by the nihilist lyrics and snot-on vocals of ex-Sick Pleasure dude, Nikki Sikki. This was released in 1983.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Sea Hags story is pretty typical of the heartbreak of a million bands in the '80s who struggled to land that most elusive record deal, only to have it all go up in a poof of drug smoke and poor decisions. The Sea Hags were meant to be huge, San Francisco's hat in the ring of sleazy streetwise chick metal ala Guns n Roses, in 1989 the fucking world was their cocaine oyster. Their Kirk Hammett-produced demo earned them the attention of the blood-sucking vampires over at Chrysalis Records. Ian Astbury of the Cult was so smitten by these hard-working/hard living young lads that he offered to produce their debut, however the job went to Mike Clink who was, at the time, having his balls washed hard based on the success of Appetite For Destruction. Before the sessions even started management stepped in and pressured the dudes into replacing great drummer, Greg Langston, with better known drummer, Adam Maples, as well as adding Frank Wilsey on guitar (maybe not a bad idea.) Despite the well known and advanced drug problems of frontman Ron Yocom and bassist Chris Schlosshardt, the band managed to eke out a pretty decent album that is as much the first Lords of The New Church album as it is GnR. Didn't really matter much to Chrysalis though, they sat on the album and subsequent tour support in hopes that Ron and Chris might get their shit together long enough to dazzle the waiting world. Well that didn't happen. Schlosshardt died of either an pneumonia or a heroin overdose, depending on who you believe. Wilson quit after a short tour of the UK, Maples joined GnR for a minute only to be replaced by Matt Sorum and his perm, and Yocom could be seen around San Francisco's Mission district in bad fucking shape, until a few years ago, when apparently the former Sea Hag pulled himself up by the cowboy bootstraps and DID get his shit together. He now fronts the band The Power of 3. Right on Ron. And this record still is lots of fun. Frisco!!!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sororicide was Iceland's best contribution to the worldwide Death Metal boom of the early '90s. Their one and only proper album, 1991's The Entity, is a lost classic of bloodsoaked teenage morbidity. The album was originally released in Iceland by Platonic Records and didn't really make it off that glacier. When the label folded, remaining copies were given to the band to be sold at their final gig in 2000. The Entity became a holy grail, of sorts, to collectors of obscure Death Metal, which resulted in a few copies turning up on eBay for ridiculous prices, as well as a few ill-concieved bootlegs. Another album that really should be reissued, perhaps by a certain big metal label that started out doing these sort of records, but has since aerially circumnavigated a certain aquatic predator. Seriously, I think the public needs this more than another Dying Fetus record. Just fuckin' sayin'.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Formed in 1992, Mysteries were one of Poland's first Black Metal bands. They only released three extremely rare demos but it was enough to launch what would become one of the most potent scenes in Eastern Europe. The first of these demos was the brilliantly titled In The Dark and Sodomy, and like so many of these early Black Metal artifacts, the sound is reminiscent of Hellhammer, Beherit, and punk, also reminds me quite a bit of Hearse favorites, Verivala. This is precisely the sort of Black Metal the world is lacking today. No beauty, no introspection, no tremolo picking, no forest romanticism, just hate and shitty gear, what more do you need really?
Monday, November 22, 2010
Charles Mingus was a great big man who was prone to violent outrages, a man who loved to fuck whores, and was never afraid to speak his mind no matter how cluttered with irrational thought bordering on the bizarre word salad of schizophrenic street tweaker. He was also one of the greatest composers, musical minds, and bass players of the last century, as well s an adamant political activist, so any transgressions or flaws in his personality are wholly irrelevant, especially when listening to, what I believe to be his most monumental work, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. Now I have stated here before that I am by no means an expert on the extensive world of jazz, however I do have a few favorite recordings that work incredibly well on my dillettante's ear. If you yourself find yourself a bit jazz-ignorant but are wanting one album to occasionally sate a thirst or accompany a certain mood, may I recommend this particular record. Almost all of Mingus' work from the late '50s and early '60s is absolute unhinged genius, but Black Saint... in particular will appeal to anyone interested in evocative music. Over the course of the four compositions there is enough goosebump heavy moments peppered with plenty of "what the fuck" changes and grooves. It also stands as proof that jazz can be pummeling and menacing and not all noodly toodly incidental bop. With it's lurid, lurching horns, moaning bass and crisp understated drums, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is the perfect accompaniment to a late night innercity stroll, or a peaceful rainy afternoon at home. Also, it should be noted that Mingus had his psychotherapist, Dr. Edmund Pollack provide the album's brilliant liner notes.Again, if you know it than I am sure it is one of your favorites, but if you don't you really should. Any feelings or preconcieved notions you have about jazz or Charles Mingus should be checked at the door like a pork pie hat, just settle into one of the greatest things ever.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
No reason the Brits and the Svennes should get all the love here, Upper Echelon kicked some serious Heavy Metal ass from their bullshit hometown of Seattle, a town known for computers and coffee. True Cascadian metal right here, kids. If songs like "Drivin' Mean" and "Evil" don't get you pumped than you may want to check your pulse. However, Surface Tension sort of peters out on the second half.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Cosmic Hearse is long overdue for a post on these snark-infested Florida antipunks, so I have decided to do this right and give you a whole lotta Sandwich in this one post. Maggot Sandwich started in Pensacola in 1984 and continues to this day (I think.) Over the course of their lengthy history the band has released a few 7"s, a couple of LPs and tapes, and contributed to many home-spun punk compilations. The hallmark of the Florida punk bands of the '80s was a certain degree of off-kilter humor (see F, Gay Cowboys, Roach Motel, Broken Talent) and Maggot Sandwich had this tenfold, and down to a fucking science. Check it out, I am giving you a bunch of stuff here, not exactly sure what, but the great Get off the Stage LP as well as the Murder War and Dead to My World EPs are included. There may be some duplicate tracks and shit but don't bust my balls over it, just party with classics like "Dinty Moore Night" and "USS Foreskin."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Bulgaria is a country in southern Europe. They love their yogurt, and their volleyball, and their orthodox church, but there is at least two Bulgarians that probably don't care for bacterial dairy products, or sports, and definitely don't care for churches. The individuals known as Necromant and Vesela operated as Stormsheim for a brief time in 1996. This unholy union produced one demo titled Ars Imperje, it is an odd bit of poorly recorded, keyboard heavy teenage darkness. Black Metal in an aesthetic sense but the music here is more like early Mortiis with harsh vocals. I like yogurt.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The process is called "Pure Pleasure" and it was invented and perfected by a mysterious group calling themselves The Legion of Rock Stars. The Pure Pleasure Process entails a band listening to songs with 30db blocking headphones and attempting to play the songs at the same time. The band can not hear their own instruments or performance, only the original composition. The results are often hilarious as this sample of the Legion's "best" work displays. More information about The Legion of Rock Stars and The Pure Pleasure Process go here. To hear their reworkings of classics by The Beatles, Loverboy, Human League and more, click the link below.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Another stunning rare FWOSHM single from 1984. Lonely Hearts hailed from the bullshit town of Boras, a town known for sheep and mail order businesses. Unfortunately the band only managed to eke out this record before singer/bassist Christer Eriksson died at a rather young age. The a-side is a steely scorcher called simply "Lonely Heart," and while the b-side is a decidedly less rocking AOR number called "One More Night" it is still an enjoyable enough song. These kids had chops and pep, sad they never did more.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The furious Japanese punkers of So What had huge hair and spikey leathers, much like the skeleton demon with awesome abs portrayed on the cover of their second of two great ep's, Blood Wash the Dead City You can probably imagine what this is going to sound like, gruff vocals, fuzzy guitars...blah blah blah.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Gehenna's brilliant 1993 EP was clumsily called Ancestor of the Darkly Sky and was released in limited numbers by Necromantic Gallery Productions. The riffing and atmosphere are exemplary of my favorite period of Norwegian black metal, when gaunt suburban norgie teens painted up and flocked to the woods to pose in the snow, a time when the woods echoed with reverb and fell screams....darkly.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Okay, this is an odd one. Metal Virgins sound pretty fucking punk throughout most of their one and only release, Animal People (1984) which isn't a bad thing in the least. The drunken punter vocals (and amazing lyrics) of a guy named Steve and the bands frantic, sloppy almost speed metal, almost hyper fast NWOBHM biker stomp is as confusing as it is delicious. Often Steve sounds like he's singing an entirely different song than the rest of his Metal Virgin mates, but his performance is so passionate and looney that you won't fucking care. I simply don't feel that I have the vocabulary to adequately express how fucking cool Animal People is. Just get it.
Friday, November 12, 2010
No Thanks hailed from NYC and had an angry young front lady going under the nom de puke of Debbie Damage. The extremely rare Are You Ready To Die 7" was No Thanks only official release. It was released Dead Space records in 1983. Coming in at just under six minutes, this little red record packs in a fair amount of pissed off hardcore, with Debbie Damage taking on the mundane workaday world, posers, and life in the big rotten apple, with an unequaled estrogenocidal rage. Fuck Everything!!!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Where has this been all my life? Dai hailed from the Czech Republic and were sonic cousins of Master's Hammer, the greatest metal band the country had to offer. In fact Dai sound so similar to Master's Hammer, I was a bit shocked to discover they weren't connected. Like the aforementioned band, Dai played deeply eccentric occult proto-black metal/death metal/space thrash, angular and mystical. The Advent was Dai's only album and it was released in 1993.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Measureless weren't the best (or best known) band to emerge from the extremely fertile Swedish death metal scene, but this demo, Abandoned to Die is still a great listen. If you have been riding the hearse for sometime you know roughly what to expect from these bored Scandinavian teenagers, however, Measureless wandered into some of the melodic territory of black metal (check out the track "Gory Incest.") Despite some obvious flaws in production and performance, this is one of the better unknown artifacts from the scene.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Here's some strange one-man black metal from Russia (with hate.) Death Triumphant was the name under which an individual calling himself Fallen operated between 1998 and 2005. Death Triumphant released two great demos, Obscure Origin being the second. Towering, buzzing, unfriendly black metal at times reminding me a bit of Furze. Kvlt!!!