The internet is a buzz with the sad news of Bob Johnston's death. Sucks it would take this horrible occasion to light a fire under my ass to get you the complete works of the band I have often touted as the best thing to come from Miami since 2 Live Crew. Supersonic, motherfucker.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Holy fuck, are you ready to fall in love with an obscure bit of punkified metal from the bullshit state of New Jersey? This gem was released in 1983 on the great Mutha Records, the concern that brought the world the brilliant Chronic Sick EP Cutest Band In Hardcore. The Beast were often associated with the Metal scene due to their contributions to the early Megaforce comp Born to Metalize, and while The Beast's material on that record are decent enough, they are by no means as awesome as the four blazing tracks on this EP. In fact, this isn't too far from what Chronic Sick were laying down. The opening track "The Beast" is the band's mission statement, it establishes The Beast as a no bullshit crew of leather jacket wrapped Jersey toughs who simply don't give a fuck, but can still lay down the hooks. This becomes more and more evident over the course of the next three songs. The secret weapons here are the absolutely charm slathered vocals of Scott Ruth. The guy is Danzig without the fanboy horror nerdisms, Rollins without the Manson/Jim Morrison affectations, but still remains Scott Ruth, Long Branch badass wise guy. Seriously, my words can't do this justice. This is one of those rare records that almost makes you ache this band didn't record more material. The amazing Devil Dick over at The Devil's Music Blog wrote a great and informative piece on The Beast and Mutha Records here, I'm going to shut up now, my ramblings shouldn't keep you from this bit of genius any longer.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Here's a bit of youthful anger that may have eluded you the first time around in the 1980s. Perhaps you weren't born yet, perhaps you (like me) avoided the bulk of seemingly meat-headed Boston hardcore bands. Anyhoo, Last Rights was the short lived band of Jack "Choke" Kelly after the ridiculously awesome Negative FX and before the ridiculous Slapshot. Not as frantic as NFX and nothing about sports as was the case with Slapshot. The sound here is pretty standard Boston, reminding me of DYS. The B-side, "So Ends Our Night" even tells a typically Boston HC story of hanging out with your asshole buddies and beating someone up. Interesting factoid: some band called Dinosaur JR. covered "Chunks" on their album You're Living All Over Me.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Yonkers, New York, a bullshit town known mostly for giving the world Anthrax (the band, not the disease,) Gene Krupa, and the morbid florist himself, Will Rahmer. Not really surprising that such a place would churn out some pretty sick metal in the early '90s. Deathrune spent this fertile time cranking out decent enough demos but never managed to get anything widely released before their demise in 1995. Guitarist Mike Saez would go on to play with Incantation, just like anyone else into Death Metal in the area. Beneath the Cypress Groves is the band's second demo, and it offers up a solid half hour of solid American Death Metal. Not as crushing as the Swedes, not as adept as those rednecks down in Florida, but still packing enough putrid riffage and atmosphere to be a keeper.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Iscariot were a gaggle of Heavy Metal hopefuls from Portland, Oregon. A bullshit town known mostly for craft beer and rain. In 1985 the band cranked out one cassette demo and it's not bad, not bad at all. Traditional Heavy Metal is served here with tinges of classic Doom. Dragons, kings, and demons provide lyrical inspiration and keep the proceedings fairly orthodox in the approach. I have asked a few Portlanders I know if they have any info on Iscariot, what became of them? But, alas, the info is as scarce as the eye teeth of a unicorn.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
THIS BLOG IS NOT DEAD!!! Okay with that out of the way allow me to introduce you to a band I recently stumbled across who just blew me away with a youthful vigor and unyielding love for real Heavy Metal. No retro cool, no ironic facial hair, no tattoos, just five baby faced bangers from Daly City calling themselves Hell Fire. These duders are just barely out of high school and already outplaying many of the seasoned Shreddy Roosevelts out there, and doing it on some right crappy gear no less. Kind of sounding like the classic German bands Grave Digger and Helloween, Hell Fire also inject a bit of Bay Area dirt head thrash in their trip. They were cool enough to flow me this cool CDR demo with a the humble caveat that this is a bit outdated and may not be the best representation of the band. I tend to agree, the drums are a bit "suspicious" sounding and this piece of plastic can in no way truly convey the sheer joy of playing and charm Hell Fire overflow with in the live setting. Seriously, support these kids, they absolutely deserve it.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Hey everyone, I am taking a few days off for no other reason that I am way behind in some other projects. Also I want to address the recent influx of requests to re-up dead links since the great file sharing holocaust. I am still on the fence about what to do about it. I certainly can't re up everything. I was thinking of having every Saturday's post be a re-up of something lost, starting with some of the first posts. I understand it is a drag to read a paragraph that entices you so, only to find the link dead. I also want to thank all the people who subscribe, comment and contribute. Oh, and seriously, I appreciate and try to take the time to listen to all the stuff people send me, but it gets overwhelming at times and I sometimes miss stuff. I don't want to discourage people from sending things my way but I also want it clear that sending me something does not guarantee it will be posted. Also, if you DO send something you are implying that you do want it posted, if you do not, please say so. All contributions sent by publicists or with a generic form email will be rejected and ridiculed. Thank you.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Supuration were without a doubt France's best contribution to the ever flowing stream of global Death Metal in the early 1990's. The Creeping Unknown was the band's second EP and it is a fucking masterpiece. Sadly only two songs, but this young band crams enough strangeness and pummel into these tracks you might find yourself listening to this one several times in a row.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I think it's about time for another obscure compilation of spotty Heavy metal. Metallic Storm first dropped in 1982 courtesy of Ebony Records out of the UK. As far as I can tell, Ebony's sole output was a myriad of slapdash samplers of lesser known NWOBHM and Hard Rock, usually peppered with a few hidden gems, Metallic Storm, however, packs a lot of rough diamonds, and an early appearance by a young band from Denmark calling themselves Mercyful Fate. Following the King and his plucky pack of Danes comes the Econo-Judas Priest via Sunset Strip coke pablum from Tantrum, no thanks. Scimitar deliver an awesome charmer of a NWOBHM style tune called "That's The Way I Want It To Be." The unappealingly named Tarot Sutra contribute a clumsy 70's rocker that brings to mind images of wood -paneled dens, dirt weed and high school talent contests. Mean Machine are a hot mess of AC/DC-esque biker drool. I fucking love them. Confessor (not that one) are up next with an oddball keyboard and flange-slathered number that kind of comes off like W.A.S.P. meets The Stranglers. Jury show up in a glittery coke chariot of AOR schmaltz, but still not terrible. Wells Fargo (the band, not the bank) are pretty bad all around, but still better than Tantrum, they sound kind of drunk, I dig 'em. Mercinary are the blandest of the bunch, no real magic. Wykkyd Vikker are as corny as their name would indicate. Pentapus kind of sound like the younger brothers of those dirtbags in Mean Machine with their very NWOBHMish bath tub amphetamine scooter bitch rock. Detroit border on some cummy booger sugar mean street meandering with a confusing number called "USA Light," but even this one is pretty enjoyable, sleazy, poorly recorded... what's not to like. Moby Dick aren't nearly as heavy or dicky as their name might indicate, but their peppy AOR inspired pop metal is pretty infectious. All in all, Metallic Storm is a ridiculously fun listen, with every band (with the exception of Tantrum) offering something of value in their material. Also it almost seems that every band (with the exception of Mercyful Fate) are drunk. Metallic Storm may be a great album to get absolutely blotto blackout with. I fucking love this record. I think you will too.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Storyteller, a rather low rent NWOBHM concern managed to eke out one awkward one single called Mystery Girl. The A-side is a catchy but utterly inane song about a mysterious female that you see at a party and a nightclub, she dances, you see her, she disappears. Nobody knows her, she's a fucking mystery. For a band called Storyteller, they completely fail to spin any kind of tangible yarn with this song. The B-Side is a neon-beer sign scorcher called "Easy Living." Storyteller dropped this little bit of generica in 1985, a bit late in the game for the NWOBHM scene. No real mystery why Storyteller didn't rocket to superstardom.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
A great release from the time where most Norwegian Black Metal albums looked more like postcards than epic monuments to blasphemous evil. Released in 1997, Mellom Skogkledde Aaser was this young Norwegian band's second (and best) release. Despite the rather arctic looking clime portrayed on the cover, the title translates to "Between Wooded Hills." I imagine the band could have easily called this album "Valley." Kampfar's sound is more viking than Satan, reminding one of a less frenetic Enslaved. This isn't that childish flute fail of these new-fangled boring Napalm Records bands, this is well-executed 2nd wave Norwegian Black Metal.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Doomsday for the Deceiver was Flotsam and Jetsam's debut and the only album to feature some guy named Jason who soon after became a millionaire with a terrible haircut. Flotsam and Jetsam were one of those bands that sat on the fence between Heavy Metal and the new Thrash, sometimes being referred to as "Speed Metal." Doomsday for the Deceiver is a plucky energetic album full of razor-sharp riffing and top notch performances from all involved, particularly the Jason kid. It is easy to understand why that rich band would want to snatch this kid up and totally mix him out of their albums. My only beef with Doomsday... is the songs seldom shift outside of the formula, plaguing a great album with a bit of sameness and lack of dynamics. But fuck if this band wasn't already at the top of their game on their first album, these dudes did their homework. This is a great for careening down a highway or ripping a drained pool on your stick. The pace is relentless. Protect your neck, son.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Shataan are a part of the extremely interesting Black Twilight Circle, but they may be the least Black Metal of the lot, the sound here is more akin to Hearse favorites Mighty Sphincter (R.I.P. Joe.) Shataan take the BTC's fascination with indigenous culture a bit further starting this oddball artifact with a flute laden instrumental called "Trail of Tears." This tape is a truly strange and engaging piece of work that didn't leave my deck for weeks.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Easily the most compelling and well-constructed release from this new fangled Witch House scene. If you are familiar with this strange world, then you may know this, or at least know what to expect. All others are in for a veritable feast of archaic drum machines, layered outmoded synths, creepy vocals and a generally unfeeling coldness that coils itself like a snake around infectious melodies.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Easily the best Finnish Death Rock album you never heard. Bleak, yet full of pomp, melodic yet infused with an ennui that can only come from Finland. Strange that the band would title their debut Agony of the Undead Vampire part II, but that is hardly the oddest thing at work here. This dropped in 1991, which strikes me as a bit late for this type of thing, but goddamn if this doesn't scratch that maudlin Goth girl itch inside of me. Every song here is a delectable morsel of Scandinavian sullenness, with the peak being the lugubrious lurch of the track "Winter." If this doesn't resonate with you, you are most likely undead yourself.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Swankers P.M.S. were a young bunch of Swedish punkers that managed to eke out one excellent EP called Anti-Oi before calling it quits. For taking such a fervent stance against Oi, Swankers P.M.S. played a somewhat '77 style Oi punk (notice the '77 on the cover.) Not the blistering hardcore assault of Avskum, Anti-Cimex, or Antisocial, but still a great piece of Svenne rebellion from the way back.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Born Innocent is the result of rich Hawthorne kids discovering the seedy punk rock of Hollywood and distilling it through their own love of pop culture and teenage snark. Redd Kross was started by the McDonald brothers as The Tourists and then Red Cross but changed the spelling to Redd Kross when the benevolent association of the same name took umbrage and threatened to unbenevolently sue the shit out of these kids. Originally the band featured Greg Hetson and Ron Reyes, but they left soon after to join the Circle Jerks and Black Flag respectively. Born Innocent brims with attitude, great songs, and enough references to the band's troubled anti-heroes to fill out a who's who of 70's and 80's icons, and hints at the full-on 70's retro concern the band would become with each subsequent release. I have pretty much loved everything Redd Kross since I myself was a snarky, pop culture-obssessed teenage punker, but Born Innocent remains my favorite.
Friday, June 1, 2012
On a tour stop in St. Paul, Minnesota, I had the extreme noise pleasure of seeing and meeting Cognitive Dissonance, an excellent crusty grindy band from Minneapolis. They played with such ferocity and conviction that I was pretty sure that while I stood there agape, sipping my watered-down whisky cola, the system collapsed and oppression was abolished. Such wasn't the case, however, and when they finished I promptly used my remaining survivor vouchers to purchase this fantastic tape titled Omens of Doom. Now I know the twin cities is known for this kind of filthy, anarchy-politico monkeyshines, but I think Cognitive Dissonance are miles ahead of the pack. Check it.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Maybe you heard about the shooting in Seattle yesterday. Apparently Joe Albanese, the original bassist of one of The Hearse's favorite bands, Mighty Sphincter, was among one who was killed. I know this might be a great place to decry senseless violence and state how important it is to look after our fellow man in these troubled times but I just don't have it in me. Fuck this place. Bye Joe.
All apologies for taking so long to return to bloggery. Europe was grand, MDF was brutal, but we have important business to take care of. If you have followed the Hearse since it's inception, or sycophantically poured over past entries in my absence, you may be aware of my theory regarding albums with castles on the cover. Wallachia's debut EP cements this notion with it's hooky mid-tempo Black Metal with some engaging oddball vocals. Despite the band's name and castle, Wallachia hail from Norway, and the bullshit town of Steinkjer. I have a lot of catching up to do, writing, uploading... So I will say no more. Good to be back.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
I am headed up to Portland, and then to Europe for a tour where I get to see some favorites like Ulver, Killing Joke, Voivod, etc., so the blog won't be updated until mid April. In the meantime, go back and pick up anything you may have missed that hasn't been taken away by the feds. If we should meet out there somewhere, feel free to give me stuff, just don't be weird about it. I love you all, see you soon.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Really one need only consider the inclusion of Miles Davis and Art Blakey to pique an interest in this one, but it is noteworthy to mention that Something Else is widely considered one of the most important Jazz albums of all time. Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was a giant man with a giant tone and an a keen intuition as a player. Like Basra, I can confidently recommend this one to those folks who aren't Jazz aficionados, but maybe are looking for a few landmark releases to keep around should the occasion arise.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Rock Clef were a hopeful young band of Southern California suburban stoners who chipped in and pressed their own little scorcher of a single in 1983. The A-side is a somewhat generic AOR rocker, but the payoff is the B-side "Trippin'" a somewhat NWOBHM slunkster about getting fucked up. Strange thing about this one is that both songs seem to fade out at awkward places, giving the impression that Rock Clef only wanted to give you a sampling of their rocking prowess. Maybe the only reason to make this was to catch the attention of some shrewd record industry assholes, but needless to say, that didn't pan out.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Encoffination are one of the few new bands that genuinely excite me. The logo may lead you to believe that Encoffination are yet another Incantation worship band, and sure, on their first EP the influence was more than obvious, but by their second release, Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh, the band started to expand on the formula and create something of their own. The two members of Encoffination also operate in the Death Metal ressurectionist outfits Father Befouled and Decrepitaph, both of which are excellent, but Encoffination still remains my favorite. Most of the band's catalog is still in print and should be bought immediately, however I haven't seen many copies of this astounding EP titled Seventh Temple of Laodicean Scripture floating around. It is as great an introduction to this special band as any other release. Worship and support Encoffination, they fucking deserve it.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
What can I possibly say about this one that hasn't already been stated before? It is one of the single most important releases in the expansive world of Black Metal. It certainly had a profound impact on me. If by some glitch in the universe or some vast cosmic injustice you haven't experienced this monument, then I urge you to drop what you are doing, and spend the next fifty minutes flying through the snow flurries and untamed wilderness of Norway with some beautifully strange Scandinavian teenagers in the midst of the most creative point in their lives, their own celebrated summer of diabolical holocaust. Absolutely mandatory.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I think I love the Bullshit Detector series of compilations more than any other CRASS related records. The first of the series was released in 1980. If clumsy punk and British accents are your bangers and mash, mate, dig in and fatten up on bullshit.
Monday, March 5, 2012
This album was saxophonist Charlie Rouse's only Blue Note date. Bossa Nova Bacchanal teams the seasoned vet up with Kenny Burrell, Larry Gales, Willy Bobo, and Potato Valdez for a joyous date with Latin and Caribbean flavored jazz. This one could prove useful at a laid back party for your most swingin' pals or a night home wooing your most favorite lady.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Another nugget nicked from the treasure trove that is the Terminal Escape blog. Noisy Death Rocking Punk goodness from Chicago. There is something particularly inviting about the general atmosphere of this recording, captures an authentic '80s vibe perfectly. Reminds me of a bit TSOL's better stuff, Cortex, Christian Death and black nail polish.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Branikald are part of the notoriously sketchy Blazebirth Hall scene. Mainman Kaldrad operates in Forest. Although Kaldrad's political views are clear, Branikald deals in non-political subjects such as depression, nature, and the esoteric. The music is hypnotic and evocative, not unlike Forest. Stormheit was Branikald's first release, maybe their best. You decide.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
These mop tops started out gigging on the Sunset Strip in 1965 as The Ragamuffins but soon after they changed the name to Music Machine. The band had a couple of minor hits but discord settled in. The band essentially split, but foppish dandy-pantsed frontman, Sean Bonniwell signed to Warner Brothers as Bonniwell's Music Machine. The resulting album was really just a collection of unreleased material by the original band. Maybe lazy, maybe a dirty move on Bonniwell's part but either way it is a great record of vintage dated psych pop deliciousness. Farfisa organs, fuzzy guitars, and Bonniwell's exaggerated vocalizings conspire to create a near perfect album. This is my happening and it freaks me out! Bonniwell passed away a few months back and no one told me.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Bollweevil's contribution to the growing list obscure NWOBHM relics by bands that only released one single is this plucky little gem. The A side is a rookie rocker with great fuzzy tones and lyrics about rocking. The B side is a more 70s hard rock number with a mellow intro. Bollweevil have an amateurish charm in their clumsy and overly stiff playing. Rock Solid!!!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Bloodsoaked may be Mexico's first Death Metal band having formed in 1989. The band's brief three year career yielded a demo, a full length, and an EP, and all are awesome relics of putrid Death Metal. 1993's Frost Image is a bit murky in the production, has a few questionable riffs, and that cover art is weak, but beneath these issues lies a decent early '90s Death Metal album.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Nergal is one of the earlier purveyors of Hellenic Black Metal that doesn't get the recognition of your Rotting Christs and Varathrons, perhaps because those bands were better. But I like Nergal, and their first album The Wizard of Nerath. It is so Greek Black Metal By Numbers it's hard not to.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Shakespeare were from the bullshit town of Eskilstuna Sweden known mostly for stainless steel and handball. You know the drill, these Svenne youth release one fucking amazing single, fail to rocket to superstardom, and go back to working at the Volvo factory. Meanwhile an incredible record drifts further and further away into legend.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Finis Gloria Dei is another excellent band from the same camp as Seigneur Voland, Blessed In Sin, Desolation Triumphalis and the like. I believe this unit's mission statement is to be more Satanic than the member's other bands. Goat: Father of the New Flesh, Finis Gloria Dei's sole full length, musically reminds me of Grand's Belial's Key, and the more Celtic Frosted moments of Darkthrone. These guys lack some of the melodic sensibilities you may have come to associate with the French Black Metal, but they make up for it with simple, effective, headbanging riffs. Goat: Father of the New Flesh is a triumph of good old fashioned Satanic Black Metal.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Massacre's 1986 album From the Womb to the Grave may be a bit late to the punk party but it remains hands down one of my favorite bits of Finnish teen angst. If you don't like this album, you don't really like Finnish Hardcore and you can take off that stupid shoe string headband thing that you wear to all the shows.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Testament, some people call them "thrash for girls," but duuuuude, the first two albums kill, okay? Much of the magic of The Legacy is the solo work of Alex Skolnick, the guy writes songs within the songs. Testament were slick and technically proficient from the get go (having cut their teeth under the name of Legacy) and The Legacy is about a strong as a debut album can be. Seriously, even if you thought you didn't care for thrash before, The Legacy could change your mind. Mandatory!!!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Here's an absolutely essential bit of hard rocking metal from a sadly overlooked Australian band called Taipan. The band released a single, couple of EPs and then called it quits in 1986. However, Taipan resurfaced in 2007 and has since released three albums. This EP sometimes called Taipan and sometimes called Breakout was released in 1984, and contains four catchy NWOBHM inspired rockers. Seriously mandatory.