Cosmic Hearse will be inactive until sometime after the first week of October. I am heading up to the Pacific Northwest for Fall Into Darkness and an exclusive Seattle show with Agalloch. The blog will resume for about two weeks in October and then be down all November so Worm Ouroboros can finish our album and Agalloch can play a show in Tel Aviv. In the meantime, go back over the archives and get caught up. See you soon.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Before Eva O joined up with Christian Death she had a great, unsung Death Rock outfit of her own called Super Heroines. Cry For Help was the band's 1982 debut album, and it is premium gloom not terribly unlike Only Theatre of Pain in it's vibe. Some excellent guitar work soaring and twisting over rudimentary bass lines and herky jerky drumming. Almost like a blue print or a manufactured archetype of what Death Rock is without coming off like a parody. Great album.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Formed in 1986, Sorcery were one of the earliest Swedish Death Metal bands on the scene. Their demo beginnings were a bit more thrash, but by the time they eked out their stellar debut, 1991's Bloodchilling Tales, it was all about the Death Metal. Sadly, this would be Sorcery's only album. Around 1994 Sorcery split and the members went on to form two bands; In Aeternum and Fear My Solitude, neither of which were very interesting, in my opinion. Whatever, this rules.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Proclamation play live in front of a small, but dedicated, audience in San Francisco. If you are not familiar with this kvlt Spanish horde then let's just say that they worship at the profane altar of Blasphemy (with a smattering of Beherit.) You may not want to reward this kind of blatant appropriation, but these guys are hardly the only Blasphemy clone out there, but they very well may the best. Advent of the Black Omen was Proclamation's first putrid ritual of Satanic darkness (ie:album) and it was released in 2006 on the stunning Nuclear War Now label. After a brief intro, the unrelenting chaos begins. Lyrically there is quite a bit to chew on, but you won't be able to make that out (lyric sheet, another reason to buy this masterpiece.) Let's just say that over the course of Advent of the Black Omen, bitches copulate, bodies get covered in semen, anuses are kissed, goats ejaculate, crucifixes are burned, Baphomet rises, a fetus is crucified, a heirophant cuts his veins, altars are stained with the blood of the weak, all fears and nightmares come true, damned ones agonize at the shores of Styx, fallen angels march triumphant, corpses are incinerated, and towards the end, a scarlet monstrosity with ten horns rises with low tide. This sort of rumination on the visuals of hell would probably delight Bosch and Benjamin Christensen to no end, but alas Proclamation is barely known in their own time. Let's change that. Let us all march with with fallen angels, let us all stain the altar. Let us all kiss the anus of the master. Hail Proclamation, hail the Black Omen.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Shudder to Think really only can be associated with the DC punk scene through their work with Dischord records, nothing here is very punk. I recall describing them to someone as Fugazi meets the Cocteau Twins, but even that description seems lazy, and not all that accurate. Shudder to Think sounded like no one else. This may not appeal to everyone, all you tough guys may want to step out of the room. You probably won't be able to handle the wispy, feminine vocals of Craig Wedren. You definitely will struggle with lyrics about men in love, and dreams, and summer rain. The rest of us will wax and weep nostalgic for this sublime piece of '90s schmaltz.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Fuck, I love this. Sometimes I think if Infernal Majesty had a better name and weren't from Canada they might now be hailed as one of the more important thrash bands of the '80s. Seriously, have you heard this? Right out of the gate it's ripping with speed, and solos, and roto toms. None Shall Defy was Infernal Majesty's debut and these calamitous Canucks wasted no fucking time. Musically, these guys kind of worshipped at the same inverted church as Possessed and Slayer. Fortunately Infernal Majesty mixed up the tempos and had a firmer grasp on dynamics and arrangements than alot of their contemporaries. This keeps None Shall Defy. This is mandatory, even if you don't generally care for the thrash. This one may just change your mind.
Friday, September 23, 2011
A pair of panties was added to the provocative cover art on the reissue version of Uncle Sam's album Heaven or Hollywood, but that just makes the cover go from cool to corny. So what is the story on Uncle Sam? What kind of band with any real ambitions would choose a cover that was bound to cause a few problems? Well Uncle Sam were from Rochester, not Heaven, not Hollywood. But the sort of nihilist, sleazoid, bad boy, junkie rock that these fuckwits laid down does seem more akin to Hollywood. The band was fronted by a charismatic gent who sounds a bit like Alice Cooper at times and a bit like Eddie Tudor Pole at others. This is more artful and punk than say GnR or Ratt, shades of chequer-board power pop creep in. Heaven or Hollywood is a party but the kind with bad drugs and friends that will fuck you over. I like this album.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Uriah Heep's sophomore album Salisbury, is a very special bit of legendary crush. From the first track, David Byron's dominance as a forceful frontman is cemented. Monstro-riffs and kooked out Hammond organs, this may be Heep's most 'eavy work, even if it is their most unrefined. Maybe you always thought of these dudes as a junior varsity Deep Purple, and never really bothered to look into their catalog. Well, you're wrong and you are a horribly misshapen freak, but it isn't too late to right one of these wrongs. Dig into Salisbury then work up to the next three albums after it. The rest of you should just go to the store and get a Swanson's Hungry Man Dinner, the one with the Salisbury Steak. Do they even still make those? If they don't then just get some beer.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Guilty pleasures are for chumps. Why should you feel guilt because something gives you pleasure? Why would you cringe in embarrassment when one of your shithead buddies is thumbing through your collection and finds that Rita Coolidge or House of Pain album amongst the rare Corrupted and Paysage d' Hiver vinyls? I like Duran Duran, well the first three albums anyways. I like their uber-slick cocaine-on-a-yacht pop music, I like how they embody everything cum-soaked and greedy about the '80s. I like their hair, I like their white shirts. If you are my age and male you hated Duran Duran when this album came out. You hated them because every teenage girl in America wanted to be fingerbanged by Simon LeBon and John Taylor, and not you. The very existence of Duran Duran was a giant fingerblock. But listen now, plunge into the hymen tight rhythm section of the Taylor tots. Get the cosmetic keys (to my creations and times) of a haircut named Nick Rhodes all over your face. Snort a huge line of cheap, glassy guitars. Swallow up the loveless, semen-smooth vocals of a douchey dandy named Simon. Ahhhh, now you get it. This album is more evil than Beherit, darker than Bonnie Prince Billy, more lonely and crestfallen than a hundred funeral doom albums. It's the sound of the air conditioned plastic emptiness of the nineteen-eighties. It's blood flecks on an Armani handkerchief, it's the arrival of AIDS, it's the constant fear of Mutually Assured Destruction, it's anonymous sex, it's Patrick Bateman, it's cold legs in a cold city, it's whore's sweat, it's death. It's a whispered lie from the urethra of oblivion. And now I have spooked myself.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Who is your favorite Italian Futurist painter and composer? I know mine has to be Luigi Russolo. Widely regarded as the first noise artist, in 1913 Luigi penned his manifesto L'Arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noises) which categorizes noise into six groups:
- Roars, thunderings, explosions, hissing roars, bangs, booms.
- Whistling, hissing, puffing.
- Whispers, murmurs, mumbling, muttering, gurgling.
- Screeching, creaking, rustling, rustling, buzzing, cracking, scraping.
- Noises obtained by beating on metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery, etc.
- Voices of animals and people, shouts, screams, shrieks, wails, hoots, howls, death rattles, sobs.
Russolo, in his time, constructed many devices to generate noise, he called these objects Intonarumori. Among these inventions was Russolo's noise cabinets shown above. He went as far as to assemble an orchestra to perform alongside his machines. Audiences were baffled, angered, and often moved to violence by these unorthodox performances, and I imagine this pleased Luigi to no end. Luigi and his brother Antonio (who had similar interests and ideas) made a few recordings of the Intonarumori, but what you are about to hear is the only recording to survive the ages. The effect is unnerving, with conventional instruments accompanied by unearthly wooshes and tones and the occasional glossolalia vocalizings. You can hear, from time to time, the brothers Russolo become excited and the sounds they are producing. Sixty-three years before Merzbow or Whitehouse, Russolo was making sounds and terrifying audiences, and oddly enough, I think these recordings still hold a fair amount of unease. Now answer the question: Who is your favorite Italian Futurist painter and composer? I know mine has to be Luigi Russolo.
Monday, September 19, 2011
China Doll is the next entry in our seemingly endless parade of NWOBHM bands that never seemed to rock their way out of the sweaty pubs and cobbled alleys of whatever bullshit shire they called home. These lads hailed from the dreary seaside town of Poole in Dorset County. Besides China Doll, other notable Poole partyers include Greg Lake of ELP, Edgar Wright, and even J.R.R. Tolkein saw fit to live there briefly during his retirement, he did of course eventually return to Mordor where he was cast into the fires of Mount Doom. Anyways, China Doll, like so many of these fucking bands, released one single and then sat back and waited over pints down at the local boozer for the hairy knuckles of fame and fortune to come knocking. The a-side "Oysters and Wine" is a boogie woogie bar rocker that really gives the what for to some painted lady who thinks she's some kind of high society fancy-fanny bint. The b-side "Past Tense" starts off like a typically cornball ballad but jumps into gear and yields some passable shepherd's pie and darts rocking. Pretty cool little record, wouldn't really want much more China Doll than this. Go for it.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Paul Chambers was taken from the earth at the young age of 33 by tuberculosis. However in his brief life, Paul turned in outrageously brilliant performances on well over a hundred albums, including memorable sessions with the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Oliver Nelson, Lee Morgan, Thelonious Monk, Hank Mobley Jackie McLean, Freddy Hubbard...well just about everyone. Chambers also lead eleven sessions, three for Blue Note in '56 and '57. The third of these Blue Note dates yielded the amazing Bass On Top album. On this fine record, Paul Chambers, joined by Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell and Art Taylor, digs in to standards by Cole Porter, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, as well as others. There is also one original piece at the album's close titled Chamber Mates cowritten with guitarist Kenny Burrell. Dig into this monumental work by one of the most innovative and prolific bassists in Jazz history.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Go back in time with me to when rap was young and innocent. Back to a time when guys with fun names like Biz Markie and Kool Moe Dee were at the top of the game. Remember when Just-Ice was probably the most terrifying emcee making records? Remember Big Daddy Kane, and how much diamond-studded pink canoe this dude pulled? Seriously, there was time when this fresh faded Lothario just uttered a few lines and the furback turtles came a crawlin'. Look at the cover: it's Kane's first album, and already he has women bringing him fruit, fanning him with purple peacock feathers, and offering him goblets of wine. When was the last time anyone fanned you? Right. Long Live The Kane starts of strong with "Ain't No Half Steppin,'" utilizing a sample from The Meters. Here Big Daddy makes it abundantly clear that he is a formidable emcee with his voice, delivery, and the fact that he mentions it about a hundred times. And in case you were unclear on Kane's role as a leader in the rap game, "Raw" contains more boasts, more bold claims, and once again the whisker biscuits get buttery at the confidence and swagger of the Daddy. "Set it Off" picks up the pace and shows why Marley Marl was one of the leading hip hop producers at the time. Kane still isn't done letting you know how badass he is. Big Daddy eventually takes a break from stating his own case to woo all the smelly jelly holes with a tender R&B ballad, "The Day You're Mine." Kane can't really sing, and this is before autotune, but it doesn't matter, the butter boat still comes. "On the Bugged Tip" is a fun number with a great guest spot by BDK ballwasher, Scoob Lover. More boasts, more beats, and Long Live The Kane has done its work. No half steppin'.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Fuck yes. Canadian Speed Metal Gods second, and far superior, album was called Evil Invaders. It would seem that between their debut and this one Razor trimmed some of the fat and became something more vicious. Evil Invaders seems a bit more punk even than Executioner's Song. Also gone is the desire to "please the crowd, it has been replaced with the need to "Spit on those who dare to pose." Cool.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Here's a pretty killer hardcore 7" you may have missed. Bored Youth were from Detroit. Touch and Go records released their one and only statement. There is a serious dearth of information on this band and record. I believe that the band originally released this on a tape, then T&G issued the EP in limited numbers and in 1990 Lost and Found reissued it, presumably without permission. I don't know what became of the bored youths of Bored Youth, perhaps they grew up to become bored adults with boring jobs. I just don't know and now I am bored of writing this.
Link Removed at Request of Artist
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I imagine there were abut a million bands calling themselves Gypsy in the '80s but this post is about a young band of Swedish hopefuls who managed just one single in their time, but what a record it is. "Explosive Hangover" starts with a mournful acoustic guitar intro but soon jumps up to a mid-tempo rocker about waking up after a particularly drunken night. Our protagonist wakes to find a strange girl in his bed but not much else happens other than a clumsy guitar solo. "World War III" has a more 70s hard rock vibe, and fairly typical lyrics about the anxiety young people faced in the '80s around nuclear arms proliferation, a much more serious concern than waking up with some tramp you don't remember. So, Gypsy weren't all that good, but this record is a charmer, and at seven minutes, doesn't wear out it's welcome.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Skepticism, like Esoteric, formed in the early '90s with the intent of creating some of the most deconstructed dooooom the world has ever heard. After and EP and a demo, the band oozed forth this massive shoggoth of sonic bludgeon titled Stormcrowfleet. While the focus seems to be on mammoth tones and unfathomably slow tempos, there is a certain despondency to the material that works incredibly well. The production is sepulchral, conjuring images of vast landscapes, unfathomable dread, and insurmountable sadness. Skepticism are often lauded as the originators of what is called "Funeral Doom" and for good reason, Stormcrowfleet is a monument carved in stone that will survive the ages, forever reminding us just how fucked up things can be. Absolutely mandatory.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Here's a an ugly berserker of an album from a Japanese band called Gibbed. As far as I know, Gibbed released just this one EP in 1991. Rumors arose that this was actually members of CFDL and/or Unholy Grave and S.O.B. working to create something even more extreme than their main bands. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but I guess that could be possible.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Hades were somewhat early to the whole Norwegian Black Metal party, mainman Jorn even did some time for being an accomplice to a young Varg Vikernes in some church burning, but people just don't really talk much about Hades anymore. Shame really, Alone Walkying, their demo from 1993, is a solid piece of Bathory-inspired epic Black Metal. The production is typical Grieghallen. Hades evokes the feeling of overlooking misty fjords, longboats cutting through icy waters, heroic battles, and a pantheon of bearded, bellicose gods who weave fate for Norsemen as rugged as their coastline.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Here's another small dose of this Witch House drug that has all the cool kids panty-moist and clamoring for more obscure vinyls and CDRs by entities with names like †‡†, ///▲▲▲\\\, ▼□■□■□■, pyr∆mid, White Ring, oOoOO, SLEEP ∞ OVER. But this is SALEM, one of the bigger names in this fledgling scene. This single contains two druggy, synthy, throbby numbers that sound a bit more benevolent than other SALEM releases I have heard. You may hate this kind of shit, I do not. You may dismiss this whole thing as another passing trend to clutter up the landfills and clearance bins of a not-too-distant future, sure, but who gives a fuck?
Friday, September 9, 2011
I like Dark Angel simply because they were the most German sounding American thrash band of the '80s. They were all skilled, but they also weren't afraid to be a bit rough around the edges, and they fucking played fast. Most will agree that Darkness Descends was the band's benchmark release, but I would go as far as to say it is one of the five best American thrash albums of all time.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Assault on Precinct 13 may not be my first pick for best John Carpenter film, but it does have his most compelling soundtrack work. Carpenter's minimalist compositions, dated synths, and general creepiness would sit quite comfortably alongside these new-fangled electro-hipster bands. Get this now before it is repackaged as the cool new Gatekeeper release.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The best works as compiled by the frenetic fuck freak himself. Might be a great introduction to one of the first dirty rappers on the scene, Miami's master of the party album, the sultan of stag, the bishop of blue, Blowfly. For those of you not in the know, Blowfly is the Nom de Poon of Mr. Clarence Reid. Motherfucker has been churning out nasty fucking albums and tapes for forty years. I grew up in South Florida, where Blowfly is a local legend. His tapes were sold at flea markets, in liquor stores, head shops and often kept behind the counter in cooler record stores, where they couldn't fall into the hands of minors. Ironically it was young punk rocker kids who found Blowfly's juvenile parodies and absurdly pornodelic lyrics most hilarious. My first Blowfly tape was Blowfly's Freak Party and for that reason it remains my favorite of his vast dickography. I vividly recall listening to it with my friends and squealing in delight as Blowfly cackled and spewed forth lyrical gems like "Safari, watch her suck a lion's dick." In the course of his twenty-plus albums Blowfly managed to fuck on tape Satan, Mr. T., Fidel Castro, punkers, animals, mythical creatures, and a myriad of cock-crazed bitches and ho's. Now let Blowfly give your ear holes the deep dicking they deserve with his very best works.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Louise Huebner is the official witch of Los Angeles, and considering the high volume of batshit crazy crones running around in the city of angels, that is quite a high honor. In the extremely witchy year of 1969, Ms. Huebner released this album in the hopes of teaching the powers of seduction as well as educate the benighted public to the realities of witchcraft. Over the course of the album's run time. Louise, with the aide of reverb and spooky sound effects, demystifies such topics as demons, magick, and most important...witch fucking.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Here's the first album by the kvlt Kraut Rock band Ash Rah Tempel. Klaus Schulze played the drums, Manuel Gottsching played guitar, and Hartmut Enke played bass. The album contains two lengthy, seemingly improvised tracks. "Amboss" starts as a low hum, cymbals swell, toms rumble in. The song builds with chaotic drums and effected druggy guitars. Things break down into a lopey drum solo by Schulze which gives way to some chicken scratchy guitar that rings in the chaos of the first half. I swear there are blastbeats around the 19 minute mark. "Traummaschine" is a bit more tranquil at first and then turns somewhat menacing before returning to it's original shape. When I listen to this album (which isn't often) I am always reminded of the trajectory of Godspeed You Black Emperor's songs. I would not be the least bit surprised if the members of Godspeed cited Ash Ra Tempel as a major influence. Now you can list them as one of your influences as well.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Lou Donaldson's earlier records get dismissed as Charlie Parker imitation by some harsher critics, but fuck those chalkies, Blues Walk is about as perfect as a hard bop album can get. Lou walks in and immediately starts swinging, the vibe is smokey, seedy, vaguely sinister. Over the course of the album Lou takes you through jumping numbers and a ballad, and then packs up that well-worn case shown on the cover, and heads out. Lou was just cool like that.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Here's a cool privately pressed treasure of Heavy Metal obscurity from Chicago. Emmy Strut were a spirited bunch of well-dressed lads who took the bull by the horns in 1985 and self-released this EP. And while Emmy Strut had some slick duds, professional hair, and some decent songs here, the production, particularly the guitars, are paper thin and amateurish. Not the kind of record that holds the promise of super stardom and boatloads of premium poon, but exactly the type of release that has record nerds and fans of lost metal drooling. Does anyone remember the Chess King stores?
Friday, September 2, 2011
"Nardcore" refers to the punk scene from Oxnard, California's lima bean capital and home to some of the better bands that played the ol' hardcore in the '80s. We heard from Ill Repute, Stalag 13, and Dr. Know but this comp also has tracks from other Nard-hitters like R.K.L., Agression, and Scared Straight, and some lesser known Nard tards like False Confession (who rule,) Rat Pack (also rule), The Rotters (not so great,) A.F.U., and Habeas Corpus. More good than bad on this regional compilation. Nardcore (the album) serves as a great primer in Nardcore (the scene) or a snapshot of certain place at a certain time. So what if it's on Mystic?
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Trespass were another NWOBHM band that managed a modicum of success in their day, with a few decent singles and EPs. The third (and best) of these records was Bright Lights, which contains three tracks. The standout title track tells the all too familiar story of a city kid running afoul of the local constables between the neon and the urban filth. "The Duel" is a gallopy number about, what else, a duel. The EP ends with "Man and Machine" is about a man's love for his motorcycle. So there you have it, in just three songs Trespass cover three quintessential NWOBHM topics: City kids, heroic deeds, and motorcycles. That sort of makes Bright Lights a kind of NWOBHM cliff notes, and so highly recommended.