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.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Sonny Rollins is harder than Henry Rollins. Sonny had a mohawk in '63. Sonny served time on Riker's Island. Sonny practiced for hours and hours on the Williamsburg bridge so as to not disturb his pregnant neighbor. Sonny did heroin and then said "Fuck that shit!" Sonny would drop out of music study yoga and come back with some crazy record. Sonny is in his eighties and still plays his horn heavier than My War side 2. Sonny dropped Newk's Time in 1957.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Decomposed hailed from the bullshit town of Croyden in the UK. They played the sort of doom/death hybrid that was prevalent in the early '90s. After a few passable demos, Decomposed self released the standout moment of their brief career, The Funeral Obsession ep. Just two songs and ten minutes of colossal sounding bludgeon, with the occasional to-die-for dual guitar harmonies. This EP showed so much promise the never was realized in the band's first (and only) full length Hope Finally Died. What happened?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
VAMOS ALTA!!! Bango were an obscure Brazilian hard psych band that dropped one blotter soaked tab of an album in 1970, and what a record. Cool fuzzy guitars, kooky spooky organs, some mellower moments ("But I Felt"), a jokey song ("The Priest, The Doctor, The Mayor, and Me") and some primal fucking hard rocking freakout ("Rock Dream".) There is a lot going on here, Bango had no shortage of ideas, and the result was a stellar album, sadly their only recorded output. Get high, motherfuckers.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Here's some right fucked up Black Metal strangeness from Kalibos. Kalibos was the concern of two German youth calling themselves Schagrath Charondeimos and Phobos. During their five year run as Kalibos (before changing the name to Lugburz) these entities of unflinching Teutonic evil released six demos, but the only one I have been able to track down is Frozen Souls of Mystical Winter. The program is raw, poorly performed, poorly recorded Black Metal that makes Graveland sound like YES at times. Unlike many of their corpse-painted peers, Kalibos keep the songs short and unsweet, giving you eleven songs in just over fourteen minutes. This is truly bizarre outsider occult art that will melt the frozen soul of any of you who only come here for the fucked up Black Metal.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
You know that Cosmic Hearse doesn't really go for holiday posts, and I especially don't care for the pseudo-romantic pablum of Valentine's day, but this relic was too good to pass up. Seems that the awesome Scotty Luv (younger brother of Matty Luv) was sitting on this rare recording of Hickey doing their thing on Valentine's day way back in '97. Steve Stevenson of 1-2-3-4 Go Records cleaned it up a bit and now it goes in your earholes. Also this is as good a place to mention that 1-2-3-4 Go Records is on the verge of releasing a massive gatefold double LP edition of Hickey's Various States of Disrepair with extra tracks and shit. The image I used is the Valentine's day card I made for my girlfriend using nothing but porn and an Indian takeout menu.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Word on the street is that you been down. Shit's all fucked up and you want to pack it all in and give up. Well I am here to say "FUCK THAT!" Look at that picture above, listen to the shit I linked below, and I fucking challenge you to not feel better. Why do I do this shit? Because I love you, bitch.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
If you are old like I am, you remember those atrocious "Stars on 45" records that glutted shitty corporate radio in the early '80s. D.O.A., Vancouver B.C.'s greatest punk band ever certainly remembered, and in 1982 the band released an EP called War on 45. This stellar record collects eight songs, three of which have "war" in the title. War on 45 starts with "Liar For Hire" and it's trademark D.O.A. guitar intro. Lead dude Joey Shithead's instantly recognizable and most charismatic snarl rails against the untrustworthy and the false. "I'm Right, You're Wrong" is a classic D.O.A. singalong stomper. "America The Beautiful" might sound familiar to some, a live version was featured on the highly influential Rat Music For Rat People compilation. For Canadians, these dudes had quite a few songs about Reagan and the USA. After that searing political commentary, D.O.A. lighten up the mood with "Let's Fuck" a raunchy send up of the old Chris Montez tune "Let's Dance." D.O.A. return to the program with an excellent cover of the Edwin Starr classic "War." "I Hate You" is typically snarky D.O.A. "War In The East" is indicative of the type of goofy flirtations some punks had with Reggae (see The Clash, 7 Seconds...) it is wholly avoidable. This twenty minute conflict ends with a cover of The Dils best known number "Class War" and I almost hate to admit it, the D.O.A. version is better. D.O.A. in their prime were incredible musicians and really adept (for punk) song crafters. War On 45 only contains four real D.O.A. songs, three covers, and one bullshit bit of filler and still stands as one of the coolest punk records of the '80s. No other band could be this lazy AND this great. I love D.O.A.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Duuuude. Here's some home-grown Swedish progressive hard rock from a band called Pyramid. Most notably, Pyramid was the first working band of future Silver Mountain frontman Christer Mentzer. First Stone is a solid (if not a bit goofy) album that kind of reminds me of Uriah Heep with a horn section, Mentzer is a ringer for David Byron. This is by no means Demons and Wizards, and Pyramid venture into some really cornball territory at times, but that doesn't ruin it for me. This is an excellent summertime wizard bong album, or even a snowed in wizard bong album if you desire.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Psychobud were a band from Orange County (though you'd think they were English) that eked out one great single in 1984. Apparently these guys reformed and are playing shows. Not a whole lot on the interwebs about this band or record, but I can tell you that the two songs here are excellent and remind me a bit of the first Cure album meets Wire meets PIL. Kind of incorporates all the classic '80s Post-Punkisms in two brief, but effective, tunes.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Smokin' Roadie had a stupid name and were often associated with the NWOBHM scene, but musically, these guys played pretty awesome AOR/Power Pop with fantastic hooks. Their short run only yielded this great single and an incredible demo. Then the band opted for a better name (Tempest) for one more single before calling it quits. If anyone has that Tempest EP, please please please upload and send a link. Midnight just may be one of the greatest NWOBHM singles ever. Don't take my word for it.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Though Bud Powell is one of the most legendary names in Jazz and Blue Note history, I have purposely refrained from writing about him, until now. I was hesitant because I wanted to wait until I was in the right frame of mind when I tackled such a beautifully tragic genius. My words may never be able to do justice to one of the greatest musicians America ever saw, and my words could never properly express all the adversity and anguish that was Bud's life. Bud's limber playing belies the dysphoria that permeated his existence up until his death in 1966. It was also hard to choose a Bud recording, but eventually I settled on The Scene Changes for a few reasons. First off, it is the Powell record I reach for the most, I could listen to Bud, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor shuffle and glide for days. Then there is the fact that this would be Bud's last release for Blue Note, recorded in 1959, a very tumultuous year for the man. Then there is the cover photograph by Francis Wolff. Bud looks pained, deep in thought as his hands and mind try to conspire to wrangle the right notes from the keys. Many people thought Bud's playing was slipping at this point as he battled severe mental illness, but I don't hear it. If this is Bud's slop, then even on his worst days, the man played circles around everyone else. There is a child who peers from the darkness and stares at the camera, it is somewhat haunting. Does the child represent an innocence that has eluded Powell, or is this just the next generation taking what Bud laid out and carrying it into the future of Jazz? Or perhaps this is just one of the musician's children, brought into the studio for lack of childcare, and Wolff just saw a great photo op and snapped it off. Whatever the case, it is a powerful image, especially considering what we know about Bud Powell's struggle in life.
At a very young age, Bud was transcribing and building upon the compositions of Art Tatum and Fats Waller, he took lessons from Thelonious Monk and soon had moved his skill set beyond anyone playing jazz piano at the time. Monk was not a man of pettiness or jealousy and was genuinely excited to show this unsung genius to the cats down at Minton's. Soon Bud was recording with giants like Dexter Gordon, JJ Johnson, and Fats Navarro. The young player had a knack for incredibly expressive and fast runs, and while he didn't always execute perfectly, the melodic note choice and phrasing blew minds. Some folks were skeptics and when Art Tatum (Bud's hero) questioned Bud's left hand technique as "lazy," Bud just soloed with his left hand proving that his technique was thought out, not lazy at all, and that ultimately Tatum was just a dick.
In 1945 Powell was severely beaten by a cop, many close to Bud said he was never the same after. In 1947 Powell led his first session with a trio comprised of Bud, Curly Russell, and Max Roach. The dodgy Deluxe label funded the session but went belly up before the record was pressed. The session was released two years later by the Roost label as The Bud Powell Trio. Later in '47 Bud entered the Creedmor Psychiatric Center in Queens. He stayed for one year where he received electroshock treatment. Some speculate that this contributed greatly to Powell's failing ability as a musician. Upon his release Bud Powell's reputation as a troubled man and an extremely volatile drunk kept him fairly isolated, though he found friendship in two younger musicians, Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins. Powell's endorsement of McLean's oddball playing led Miles Davis to hire McLean and launched the careers of one of my personal favorite saxophonists.
The 1950's saw Bud in and out of mental hospitals and jail cells. Eventually he was released into the custody of Birdland Nightclub owner Oscar Goodstein. While under the watchful eye of Goodstein and the milky blanket of Largactil, taken for Schizophrenia, Bud continued to write and compose, but the psych meds and the crippling ennui of being in Oscar's apartment was starting to affect Bud's mind and playing even more severely than in the past. To make matters worse, Bud's brother Richie was killed in the same car accident that took the life of beloved trumpeter Clifford Brown. In 1959 Powell moved to France with a childhood friend turned business manager. This friend exploited Bud's renown, kept him doped up, and extorted money from the ailing genius. However, in France Bud managed to participate in some pretty amazing sessions with Kenny Clarke. When Dexter Gordon was recording the session that would become his Our Man in Paris album, Powell was asked to sit in for Kenny Drew who was stuck in Denmark. Pretty soon, all involved in the session became abundantly clear that Powell wasn't right. Bud couldn't learn new material at this point and thankfully the album was standards, songs Bud had played a million times before, but his behavior was erratic even if his playing was pretty remarkable. Bud returned to New York and in 1965 played only two live dates: one at Carnegie Hall and the other a tribute to Charlie Parker, by all accounts these performances were disastrous. In 1966 Bud's mental and physical state deteriorated further, he had Tuberculosis, was living alone, and simply not taking care of himself. In July of that same year Bud died.
Now I can tell you first hand that watching mental illness overtake a beautiful, fertile mind is about the worst thing to see unfold. Watching someone you love and admire struggle and fall deeper into into irrationality and slip further away from you is a motherfucker. I have seen photos from the session that yielded The Scene Changes, and you can see it in the faces of the others around Powell, they are worn down and deeply distressed. Perhaps this is why this album so moves me, even though the material is spry and peppy, there is a darkness, a black cloud that rolls over the entire record, it is the sound of the end. It's quite disheartening to imagine what sort of legacy Bud Powell might have left behind if he had not spent a third of his life in institutions. I think about it every time I hear his mastery of the keys, I think about it every time I am in New York City or Paris, I imagine Bud walking the same streets, his mind racing, his fingers tapping manically inside his coat pockets. Then I put on The Scene Changes or Time Waits, or Bud!, and I listen.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Here's the one and only release from Montreal band Lord Ryur, and Jesus fuck, what a record it is. This obscure single contains two of the coolest Heavy Metal songs you will ever hear. Excellent hooks, and vocal melodies and enough interesting moments to fill an entire LP. You will probably want more Lord Ryur, but you won't get it. Enjoy.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I don't know a whole hell of a lot about The Flower Leperds. They were on Mystic, appeared on a number of their comps. I think they hailed from Orange County. They put out this EP and then broke up only to reform with Tony of The Adolescents as the new singer. This kind of sounds a bit like The Adolescents, but a bit more grown up and jaded. Anyways, this is a great little record, even if it does contain a useless cover of "I'm Eighteen." There is also a pretty good discography CD of Flower Leperds material out there if you desire more.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Finnish Death Metal, You can't get enough. I hear your cries, your weepy, miserable bedtime prayers for more disgusting, dyspeptic dirges from the land of cell phones and reindeers. Even though I despise you, I can't deny your pathetic pleas. Here is Anguish and their 1991 EP Ground Absorbs. Get bent, plebeians.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Blue Mitchell may have been one of the lesser known of the Blue Note scene, but the lithe trumpetizer laid down a couple of cool records for the label between 1963 and 1969. Mitchell was born and raised in Miami where he was discovered by Cannonball Adderly. His work with Adderly put him on the radar of some of the rising bandleaders at the time, and pretty soon he Blue had himself a regular gig with Horace Silver. When Silver's band fell apart Mitchell set out on his own. His first record for Blue Note was The Thing To Do, and like many of the great, second string Blue Note releases, it contains standard but highly skilled hard bop. Mitchell's band, containing Junior Cook, a very young Chick Corea, Gene Taylor, and total fucking badass Al Foster, are just top notch, tight, and ready for anything. The Thing To Do isn't a clunky drink smokey dive bar jazz date, it is more like a rainy afternoon in coffeehouse type of thing.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Going back to 1992 and the bullshit town of Tampa Florida with Rites of the Black Mass, the first official full length LP from Acheron, the oft overlooked veterans of no frills Satanic Death Metal. I think Acheron get a a bad rap, they sound much like the no-frills Death Metal of Nunslaughter but seem to get only a small percent of the attention. Perhaps my favorite aspect to Rites of the Black Mass is the intros that preface every song. Acheron are loyal subjects of Satan, and opt to name drop as many demons as they can within their songs. It may seem a bit like these adepts are sucking up, but I think their devotion to deviltry is just that devout. Acheron mailman Vincent Crowley was even a reverend in the Church of Satan, but has since left the fold. If you like your Death Metal simple, punchy, and slathered in good old fashion orthodox devil-worship then Acheron is for you. If you are some pious do-gooder fuckstick, back the fuck away slowly and never speak of this again.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Fire of Love, the essential debut of one of my favorite bands, The Gun Club, was released in 1981 and was instantly a favorite of bespectacled rock critics and jaded punkers alike. I bought this album when I was an adolescent thinking it was punk. The Gun Club's name had been bandied about in those circles, and I expected something more akin to the Black Flag and The Circle Jerks I was enjoying at the time. Admittedly, it would be a few years and a few spins before I "got it." I have stated emphatically, drunkenly, with fists pounding on the bar that Jefferey Lee Pierce should be hailed as one of America's greatest songwriters.By now we all know how Pierce struggled in life, we know about the demons that rode his heels right to an early grave in 1996, and I am tired and don't want to write about it, but the darkness he carried permeates The Gun Club's work from stem to stern, and always makes me wonder if Pierce was brilliant because he suffered or if he suffered because he was brilliant. It hardly matters now, what does matter is the beautiful and poignant music and lyrics he left behind, and it still moves me. If you are unversed in this important, and oft-overlooked American icon, start here and work chronologically through The Gun Club's stellar discography. R.I.P. Jefferey.