Thursday, March 31, 2016


There are bands doing a lot of shows in the near future, so make it your beeswax to leave your safe little comfort zone (i.e- mom's basement, your couch, prison cell) and check them out because getting your hearing ruined is a lot more fun than it seems.

BLEAK, "Fuck You, We Only Stop Touring To Record"
Bleak will be hitting the road (again) real soon to promote their soon-to-be released split 7" with Syracuse's Dialysis, as well as their upcoming second full length "No Light, No Tunnel" (out this summer).

Thurs 4/21 Syracuse NY. Lost Horizon (with Eyehategod) 
Sat 4/23 Buffalo NY. Sugar City (with ChristWorm) 
Sun 4/24 Syracuse NY. Gorham Brothers Music (with ChristWorm) 
Fri 4/29 The Fuze Box. Albany NY. (with HUSH) 
Sat 4/30 Lowell MA. unchARTed Gallery. (with HUSH) 
Sun 5/1 Boston MA. Obrien's Pub. (with HUSH) 
Mon 5/2 Boston MA. The NonFactory. 
Tue 5/3 Bangor ME. Central Gallery. 
Wed 5/4 Wells ME. The Spot. 
Thurs 5/5 Dover NH. Spun Records. 
Fri 5/6 turners falls MA. The Brick House. 
Sat 5/7 Worcester MA. Hotel Vernon. 
Sun 5/8 Providence RI. Dusk. 
Mon 5/9 New London CT. The News. 
Tue 5/10 East New Haven CT. ASK. 
Wed 5/11 Wallingford CT. Cherry St. 
Thurs 5/12 West Babylon NY. Evolution. 
 Fri 5/13 NYC. Fat Baby. 
Sat 5/14 Brooklyn NY. The Acheron. 
Sun 5/15 Boonton NJ. Boon Tunes.

DIALYSIS, " Fuck You, We Have Adult Stuff To Do So We Go Out When We Can"
Dialysis have a split 7" coming out with Bleak real soon.  You'll hear more about it in the next couple weeks.  So they should probably play some shows to promote it.

4/8- Worcester, MA @ Distant Castle w/ Empty Vessels
4/14- Philly, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Hells
4/15- Providence, RI @ Funky Jungle
4/16- Ithaca, NY @ Chanti-cleer w/ Empty Vessels, Old Bones
4/17- Syracuse, NY @ Spark w/ Empty Vessels
4/18- NJ?
5/6- Potsdam, NY
5/7- Burlington, VT w/ Grizzlor
5/8- NH w/ Grizzlor
5/15- Syracuse, NY @ Westcott CC w/ Die Choking
5/20- Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City

GRIZZLOR, "Fuck you."

Grizzlor are doing a weekend in April with W. Virginia's Rhin (who, by the way, are awesome).  It's a good pairing of noise rock kings doing battle on the scuzzy-field.
April 28th
The Fire
Philadelphia, PA

April 29
The Grand Victory
Brooklyn, NY
April 30
Three Sheets
New Haven, CT

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


As the last phase of Winter rolls out (hopefully) to make way for the hectic activity of Spring some really rad stuff has started showing up in musical form.  There's some real bangers here.  It's just the sort of reprieve I need to get past the last hurrah of icy cold days, and out of a miserable Winter funk.  And speaking of Spring, don't expect to hear too much on this page in terms of reviews for the next month or so because all the cool shit I've been planning during the Winter is going to start happening and I'm going to be a busy bee.
So check the new stuff first, and treat yourself to checking out the classic review I have at the end...  which really isn't that old of a record.

This is the sound of a pile of greasy dudes who crawled out of a Waffle House at 3AM and decided to lay down some ‘fucked up shit’ between nasal blasts of oven cleaner.  The result is two songs that are the long-lost twin (“Evil Twin” maybe?) of Hammerhead, “Ethereal Killer”-era.  It’s loud and stupid, crammed with so much distortion and feedback you’d think they recorded next to a garbage truck emptying its load into a landfill.  But hey, I love it.  Give me more, this is clearly not enough to satiate.  (Reptilian Records)

CHERUBS, “Fist In the Air” 2x7”
If I had to take a guess, I would imagine this was recorded at the same time as the “2 Ynfynyty” album and I will lay out my detective work for you now:  one of the songs on the aforementioned record begins with a section of a song on this double 7” before breaking off into it’s own thing.  And on “Fist In the Air” you get the full blast of “Red Carpet Blues”, a fully charged rocking song from the re-activated kings of catchy noise rock.  The title track of this offering is quite possibly the poppiest song the band has ever released.  Previous efforts hinted at the bands love for catchy hooks and pop vibes, but was often overshadowed by the torrential downpour of fuzz, distortion, and weird riffs that buried most of their material like some great flood.  I mean, all that stuff is still present, but the gloss is beginning to shine through.  That is, until you get to the second 7” and “Donkey Suite” kicks you blind across the noggin with a sludgy, skuzzy bludgeoning.  Now, to finalize this thing, there is not one, but two, remixes of “Fist In the Air”.  I am not a re-mix enthusiast.  It’s basically just filler as far as I’m concerned.  But I gotta say, I don’t mind these ones.  Of course, I’d rather just have two extra new Cherubs songs, but I’ll live.  (Brutal Panda)

For a band that I wish was more active it is understandable that band commitments of other members, and distance kept this group largely part-time (very part time) for a long stretch.  But things have seemed to align and they finally drop a second LP of music that basically sounds like their name (though ‘Murdergrind’ might be a more apt moniker).  Blast after blast of downtuned rippers flex all over this thing, and it’s quite impressive what they are able to pull off with just a vocalist, drummer, and guitarist.  It’s definitely a great record to get you in the mood for some sort of high-stakes crime spree, and the simple photo on the cover basically says everything you need to know about what you’re getting into here.  If you cram the simple brutality of Infest (whose vocalist makes a guest appearance here) with the calculated grind of Nasum or Rotten Sound you’ll get the idea of what’s in store with Magrudergrind.  (Relapse)

RED HARE, “Lexicon Mist” 7”
Unless Red Hare happen to release an LP this year this is one of the best things I will hear in 2016.  Red Hare can really do no wrong.  Their last LP still gets regular rotation from me, and remains one of the rippin-est punk records of the last several years.  I mean, it’s pretty much Swiz (who were excellent in their own right) grown up and more in command of their instruments, backed by a different drummer, who happens to be one of the better drummers out there.  The record opens with “Silverfish”, a fast refresher for anyone who might have forgotten how good this group is.  The closing statement of “Your existence promotes your demise.  Do you understand?!” is a primer for things to come.  Jason Farrell’s jagged, but catchy guitars are made for tearing up a half pipe as they roll into the shorter second track, “Faced”.  They resolve the record with a longer song, a cover of Lungfish’s “Sphere Of Influence”.  Red Hare’s version utilizes Lungfish’s notion of making every song a raga, yet making it their own by adding just enough twists and turns to keep it totally respectable, but a bit more varied.  A perfect little nugget of awesome from one of the current best bands making hardcore punk.  (Dischord)

I feel like previous outings from these grizzled California stalwarts threw a lot of stuff into the pot, yet came out with material that was overall pleasing.  Their combinations of sludge metal, crust, hardcore, and occasional grind parts put a bunch of stuff together that didn’t always mix well for others, but worked good for them.  Pus, they had riffs for days.  This new album adds some black metal parts into the mix that I can’t say I’m a big fan of, primarily because I’m almost always not into black metal.  Additionally, where I had mentioned that sometimes throwing all those subgenres together doesn’t always work…  well,  on “Ezekiel’s Hags” it doesn’t quite work as well as it had on previous records.  There are definitely still some great parts on here, and equally as pulverizing songs.  But on the whole this isn’t doing it for me like they did on “Opium Morals”.  (Relapse)

SOME GIFTS, “Win Instantly”
My man Vic moved across the country not too long ago after fronting something in the order of about 25,000 bands in the Western New York area, all of which were pretty good.  And somehow the guy still has piles of songs crowding his brain so he got together with some LA people to spill them out in the form of Some Gifts.  Having known Vic and his various bands over the years, I’ve become an astutely keen observer of his style and I’d like to think this new band brings a few other influences to the table.  There is still a sense of technical proficiency and angular guitar work, but not quite as math-y as previous outfits.  The love of all things J. Robbins is ever-present, as are some less expected nods to catchy rock in the vein of Guided By Voices.  My favorite track here is the almost 80’s pop-meets post-hardcore feel of “Choice”.  My least favorite bit is the tacking on a section of “Teenage Wasteland” to the end of one of the other tracks.  It just feels wildly out of place in some Dad rock sort of way.  (self-released)

TORTOISE, “The Contortionist”
Fr whatever reason that I cannot quite explain, every once in awhile my musical tastes take a wildly divergent path than what is mostly expected of me (punk, hardcore, noise rock, 80s/90s hip-hop) and I freak out about bands like Tortoise or Battles (the latter I feel is like the heir apparent to the Tortoise kingdom for the 2000-teens).  But here we are, and another Tortoise LP has landed.  After nearly 25 years in the game the Chicago-based jazz/post-rock/electronic/whatever group is still creating interesting music that keeps me thinking.  Their compositions exist in the background, textural sounds that open the mind and getting you drifting off thinking about this, that, or whatever before bringing you back to reality as they throw in some other unique part emanating from some instrument you can’t quite place your finger on.  While more recent efforts have been a bit more minimal in nature, particularly in terms of more structured songs, and aren’t quite as grand in scope as a song like “DJ’ed” (from “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”) Tortoise continue to impress me.  But I gotta ask, why on Earth cover the Corey Haim-approved 80’s hit “Rock On”?  If there is anything that could be further from what you’d expect from Tortoise this is it.  It’s downright befuddling.  Furthermore, it is not the only song on this record with vocals (another rarity for the band), as the spectrum swings the opposite way on the breezy, jazzy “Yonder Blue” (featuring guest vocals from Georgia Hubley).  But hey, Tortoise likes to keep things interesting, so I guess we all have to live with that.  (Thrill Jockey)

In the late 90’s a guy by the name of Artie Phillie came to my attention because he was the maniac frontman of a band called Milhouse. That band was bonkers.  Not only was he a witty, envelope-pushing comedian of the darkest nature as a frontman, his lyrics were crammed full of incredible prose, brimming with clever wordplay and devious intention.  He had a pretty damn good voice too.  So when that band went kaput he joined up with Milhouse axe-shredder Brian Meehan and a couple guys I’m pretty sure were in either C.R. or Black Army Jacket, or both, to form Celebrity Murders.  It was quite the combination of Long Island hardcore awesomeness.  I guess there are some similarities to Milhouse, as Phillie continued his vocal killing spree, packing each song with dense amounts of lyrics that could convert listeners to Chuck Palahniuk-level misanthropes.  But while Milhouse dabbled in some post-hardcore grooves and a fair share of Deadguy-esque freakouts Celebrity Murders, for the most part, went with ripping fast hardcore.  There’s a few moments scattered here and there where they introduce a massive riff, or some noisy breakdown, or a moment of Rorschach-style crust-prog.  But by and large, they opted for wholesale slaughter by plowing through 18 tracks in under 30 minutes, on this, their lone LP.  The band previously had a 7”/demo, and I believe maybe a comp appearance or two, and that was it.  So if you’ve got a bone to pick with life, and need a soundtrack to rip shit up to, this isn’t a bad place to start.  (Chainsaw Safety/ ReptilianRecords)