Saturday, November 18, 2017

PRE-HOLIDAY SALE HAPPENING NOW!

Beating that holiday rush! Between now and Thanksgiving go to either the Hex webstore, or the bandcamp, and save 20% on your whole order using the code 'PORTLAND'. Now that I'm settled into my new place I've gotta get rid of some of this stuff and what better way than to sell it to you. So think ahead and get a gift for someone you love, which will likely be gifts for yourself. I won't judge. Go here: http://hexrecords.bigcartel.com/products or here:
https://hexrecords.bandcamp.com/

Thursday, October 19, 2017

CLOSING SHOP FROM 10/24/17-11/6/17 PSA


Just as a head's up I won't be doing any label business between Tuesday Oct. 24th- Monday, Nov. 6th because I'm moving across the dang country, and getting settled in my new home. So if you want to order anything the next couple of days would be the best time. Otherwise you'll have to wait a couple weeks for me to send orders out. Cool? Thanks. http://hexrecords.bigcartel.com/products

Friday, October 6, 2017

REVIEWS FOR OCTOBER!

It has been a wild last few months.  I've traveled everywhere, seen tons of shows, done lots of stuff and now that summer is over and fall is kicking in I am moving across the country, so truly, there is no rest for the wicked.  And now that that crazy moving sale I had is over I can leave readers with this- a batch of reviews covering probably the best couple of months this year so far for new music before I bail out.  I tend to be someone who favors spotlighting new bands that I find interesting, rather than pining for the past.  But I have to say, several reunion bands made some pretty excellent music worth talking about.  And, of course, Unsane never broke up, they just went on pause for a few years and have come back to remind you why they own heavy, mean-spirited music.

-->
BIG HUSH, “Spirit/ Wholes”
People from Pygmy Lush go for broke with a variety of songs that collects two separate EPs onto one record.  The first half evokes heavy-duty shoegaze vibes with wispy male/female vocals, like Swervedriver meets the Breeders.  “Cold Shoulder” sounds like the whole song is going in reverse, and sounds more like an experiment in writing a cool song and trying out bizarre effects pedals.  “Cough”, strangely enough rips the first riff from “Iron Man” and then turns it into a lackadaisical jam that could have been a B-side on “Last Splash”.  Opener “Soft Eyes” is the standout song on the whole record with it’s more upbeat tempo and catchy lead, and it goes right into another very upbeat song (“Pay To Play”) that keeps things moving along.  However, once you move into the second half of the album (or, second EP), “Wholes”, it’s a far more restrained affair, considerably mellower, but almost as enjoyable.  There’s a bit more of a twangy element to it and focused a bit more on the vocal interplay…  almost, dare I say, alt-country (yuck, what a weird-sounding term).  Still, I really like it.  So I definitely think people who like Pygmy Lush will really love this as well, even though it is a bit different than that.  (Robotic Empire)

BURN, “Do Or Die”
I heard that first single from this record and was pretty turned off.  It was not very good.  Luckily, that’s the one clunker on this record.  It’s not that it’s even a terrible song; it just has a few too many parts that don’t work all that well together.  But for those looking for “Shall Be Judged” over and over again look elsewhere.  It’s been over 25 years, if these guys didn’t change somewhat in that time than I’d say they haven’t grown much as humans, which is kind of sad.  Yet what remains the same is the fact that Chaka has the energy of a teenager, Gavin Van Vleck continues to write some of the most forward-thinking hardcore/noise/inventive riffs around, and that new rhythm section is still as tight as anyone the group have had in their ranks in the past.  For those who truly pine for times past I’d say a good half of the record retains some of that faster, strangely melodic, and weirdly aggressive hardcore that the band is known for…  just recorded much better and bigger.  Two old songs have been re-recorded, but they feel really unnecessary since they both sound fine in their original forms.  And then you get a few songs that work in a new and different way, and a couple that don’t work all that well.  All in all, for a band that has, in a way, re-invented themselves two decades later (despite the handful of reunions over the years) they’re pulling it off pretty good I’d say.  Heck, the packaging on this sucker is worth the price alone.  If you end up not enjoying this you can just stare at it for hours with how ridiculously awesome it looks.  (Deathwish)

CLOAKROOM, “Time Well”
I’ve really been looking forward to this one and I have to say I’m pretty pleased.  It’s kind of a grower because it’s lacking some of that instant gratification (which is a relative term considering the rather glacial pace this band’s songs tend to flow) that was present on songs like “Moon Funeral” and “Starchild Skull” from their last LP, “Further Out”.  Still, those tones remain ridiculously awesome and sludgy as all get out while the shoegaze-y melodies throw an atmospheric haze over the whole thing.  Additionally, this record plays around a little more with some otherworldly psychedelic songs that have an almost Pink Floyd-ish aura to them (“Hymnal” and “Sickle Moon Blues”).  The entire first half of the record stays a little closer to what people sort of expect, at this point, from Cloakroom and they do so quite fantastically.  “Big World” and “Concrete Gallery” tend to be the best examples of this and contain some of the slowest, heaviest, riff-iest moments on the entire record.  Plus, unlike “Further Out” where it didn’t quite feel like a full length exactly due to some interludes passing for full songs, “Time Well” is almost a whole hour of music with not a single dud on the whole record.  So, hat’s off to them.  I think I personally may be a little more partial to a couple of my favorite songs from the last LP, but this is certainly a worthwhile follow-up. (Relapse)

METZ, “Strange Peace”
Heck yeah, Metz.  I’d like to think they have matured in a sense, or tried some new things on this record.  Aside from it not being named “III”, that’s not really the case.  It’s just another pile of amazing, total hearing-devastating, non-stop crazy noise rock gems.  They rolled with Albini to record this one and most would say he’s a master at capturing a band’s live sound.  Well, this record sounds fucking amazing, huge, and dirgy, like there’s some studio magic going on.  But I’m guessing that this is just what all these songs sound exactly like live.  There’s still plenty of weird guitar effects (the opening riff on “Drained Lake” being a good example), catchy garage rock on speed (lead single “Cellophane”), some strange interlude-like creepy melodic songs (like “Sink” and “Caterpillar”), and absolute rippers (“Dig a Hole”, “Mr. Plague”).  I think my favorite song here, though, is the mid-way point “Lost In the Blank City”- it’s relatively slow, massive heave and gigantic riffs just lure you right in for 4 and a half minutes of bliss.  Metz have just really nailed it.  Not only are they one of the most electrifying live bands in the world right now but they manage to pull the grungy aesthetic of Nirvana, the strange inventiveness of Drive Like Jehu, a metric ton of nervous tension/anxiety, and a wild catchiness that goes unmatched.  (Sub Pop)

MODERN PSYCHICS, "Paid Vacation Time" demo
After the split of Albany’s weirdo crunchy post-hardcore band Throat Culture a couple of the members have re-emerged as Modern Psychics, who have a decidedly far less hardcore sound to them.  However, there are tidbits of their writing style present, such as vocalist Seth Eggleston’s raspy shout.  But the music takes a turn for faster beats and catchier riffs.  The band certainly pines for some Wipers-style garage punk, yet I think they lean a little dirtier, slightly heavier.  Regardless, it’s a fun debut and I feel like they’re onto something cool with this so hopefully they keep it up. (Modern Psychics)

THOUGHTS OF IONESCO, “Skar Cymbals”
Reunions abound everywhere.  I tend to be interested when bands that were absolutely crushing, but severely underrated in their time come back years later when no one outside of their immediate hometown remember them because they really have nothing to prove by making a return.  There’s really no pressure.  Thoughts Of Ionesco are one of those bands.  Hailing from Detroit they released a handful of records between the late 90’s and early ought’s before totally imploding from their own insanity.  I saw them once and it was one of the most visceral and threatening things ever, how these three individuals could so outright hate the world and themselves while still ripping some weird, ugly melding of hardcore, noise rock, prog and jazz improvisations…  like if “Hard Volume”-era Rollins Band did cheap drugs and worshipped both Miles Davis and Dazzling Killmen.  It hurts to listen to, like in a good way.  And then you wonder how the fuck they pulled off that drum fill and Voivod-esque fret run while screaming like someone’s shoving forks in their eyes.  So yeah, a dozen years or so pass and they just up and decide to record a few more songs and play a single show.  That’s the way to do it.  And I gotta say, the three tracks on the A-side of this slab do a pretty good job of reminding you all why Ionesco was nothing to fuck with.  This material fits in perfectly with anything from “And Then There Was Motion” to “For Detroit, From Addiction”.  The B-side, on the other hand, is the band getting weirder than ever.  It’s a single 13 minute track that is kind of broken into 4 parts that range from an improv jam, to a sort of spaghetti Western sort of dusty, bluesy thing, to shoehorning a re-recording of “… And None Were Human” (arguably their most well-known song) randomly in there, and back to some strange noise experiment.  I don’t really get why that was done in that way, or why they re-recorded that one song, but it’s not my place to attempt to understand.  All I know is this is a seriously weird and violent, yet astoundingly talented band that deserves your attention.  (Corpse Flower)

UNSANE, “Sterilize”
It’s an Unsane record, what do you think I’m going to say?  My love for this band is about as predictable as the guarantee that this will be louder and meaner than just about anything else you hear this year.  Unsane have never relented in their mission to be violent, grimy, and unpleasant to your eardrums.  They may take several years between albums and tours, but they always eventually come back to do more damage and their consistency in delivering quality records never ceases to amaze me.  Now what I say next may sound disparaging, but I mean it in the most sincere way- you could take any of the last four Unsane albums and make a mix and you would swear it was all the same album.  That’s really not a bad thing because every one of the songs on this, and those previous albums, are great.  Unsane kind of write the same song over and over but it’s a really good song, so I have no complaints.  Their earlier material, especially from “Total Destruction” to the landmark “Scattered, Smothered, and Covered”, and onto “Occupational Hazard” showed true evolution of the band where you could hear how they slowly honed in on recording and production techniques to truly capture their sound adequately.  They also played with different tempos more on those records with some glacially slow pummeling songs (“Get Off My Back”), as well as upbeat, faster songs (“Committed”).  But once they got to albums like “Blood Run” they tended to settle into a tempo that has worked for them and a recording style that captured them perfectly and they have rode that wave ever since.  And it’s damn good.  “Sterilize” continues this tradition, particularly on lead single “Aberration”, the slow and violent swing of “Lung”, and the crawling swell-and-crush of closer “Avail”.  Drummer Vinny Signorelli never overcomplicates things, making sure the beat is steady and the bludgeoning is precise.  Dave Curran has a better bass tone than just about anyone and uses it to drag his sludgy riffs through muck and through your dang face.  Chris Spencer is the serrated knife, chopping through the guts with bluesy riffs, stabbing jolts, and gigantic gouges across the songs; his voice a static howl blasting spit and sweat at anyone in the front three rows.  They know what the fuck they’re doing and have been doing it better than anyone for close to 30 years at this point. Unsane never fail to disappoint and that’s why they are the forever undisputed kings of noise rock.  Bow down, so your head doesn’t get blown clean off.  (Southern Lord)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

HEX RECORDS MOVING SALE!

MOVING SALE!!!   At the end of October I will be moving out to the Portland, OR area and before then I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  That's where you, dear reader, come in.
Tons of stuff up in the store- LPs for $5-8, CDs 10 for $10, LP package deals, 7" package deals, cheap shirts, some old tapes/cassette lots, selling off a few test presses (someone will get a free one in their order too!), and I even managed to dig up some copies of zines I did back in '95 before Hex even began. Cringe worthy. This is running from 9/20-9/30, so get to it. * most of these deals I can only afford to ship within the U.S. so sorry to internationals.
 http://hexrecords.bigcartel.com/products

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

GRIZZLOR NEW LP UP FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!


New Haven, CT's own weirdo noise rock trio, GRIZZLOR, offer up their brand new and first full-length album, "Destructoid", after releasing a small collection of EPs and splits thus far. The band, having formed in 2014, now venture into the land of full-lengths and are more bummed out and irritated than ever.

In preparation for this gargantuan release they are offering up the first single from this new LP over at New Noise Magazine.  Go check out the song, "Too Many People" over HERE.

Once you've done that you can continue the misanthropic feelings by ordering the new record either through the Hex webstore HERE, or via our bandcamp page.

"Destructoid" is a 29 minute glimpse into the reality that is GRIZZLOR, spewed out through a barrage of sharp angular riffs, aggressively pummeled rhythms and vocals spit through a wall of misanthropic fuzz. Just when you think things can't get any worse, GRIZZLOR returns to remind you that it always can. "Destructoid" is the center point where THE JESUS LIZARD, MELVINS and DRUNKS WITH GUNS meet with finality.

Pressed onto 300 copies, split evenly between the following colors:
150- black
150- clear yellow
State your preference if you like.

* international orders are better off rolling with www.mvdshop.com for better international shipping rates*

Thursday, July 27, 2017

NEW REVIEWS FOR JULY

I am compulsively going through all my seven inches, of which there is likely about 500, trying to see what I want to siphon off from my life, and in the process I have listened to most of them to assure myself if I want to keep them or not.  Is that obsessive?  Well, somewhere in that mess I managed to listen to and read a bunch of new stuff too.  So here it is.

FOTOCRIME, “Always Hell” 7”
After Coliseum quietly called it a day after over 10 years together Ryan Patterson really wasted no time in organizing a new project where he is essentially the sole songwriter and musician.  However, this is far from a solo lonely guy with a guitar type project.  This follows a steady path that one could see as a logical evolution of what Coliseum was doing towards the end.  Just as each Coliseum record moved slowly in a post-punk type direction this new project, Fotocrime, seems to fully realize it and gives heavy nods to those Killing Joke and goth-y vibes you kind of figured Patterson would eventually roll with anyway.  On this 7” his playing and vocal style are still present (along with stark socio-political lyrics), but a little more use of background textured synth is utilized, along with a drum machine in place of a person.  It presents a different air of presentation and a new direction in terms of production and recording style.  As with nearly everything Patterson has done in the last few years it’s a bit of a grower, but once it gets in my head a bit I tend to really enjoy it.  Apparently the live version of this band is pretty damn exciting, so not only am I happy to see the man still in the game, but also taking a chance on something he is passionate about that might be a tough sell to old school fans.  It’s a good start.  (self-released)

GREEN SLIME, s/t
This duo is comprised of Eric and Blake Ellman, who have played both individually and together in every Buffalo band ever.  Their rap sheet on past bands is nothing short of prolific.  So, naturally, aside from being brothers, they have a pretty instinctual feel for playing together.  This little project of theirs combines a monster dose of thick-as-molasses rock that fits somewhere between the non-shitty Weezer stuff, Torche, and Sugar (or at least the songwriting style of Bob Mould and his various projects).  I’m quite into it because it’s really easy to get into and exceptionally catchy while still keeping it pretty chunky and riffy. (Ruby Disc)

GT/ NULL split live LP
I’ve spoken at length about Null.  On this they have four live songs culled from their already known releases (plus one new song), and they’re almost indistinguishable from the studio recordings.  They play slow, heavy, but melodic (mostly in the vocals) songs that bring to mind bands like True Widow, Floor, and Cloakroom.  However, instead of bass they use synth, but it sounds so deep and heavy you really wouldn’t know the difference.  I’ll pretty much consume whatever this band releases.  GT are, from what I can gather, a regional Alabama band that is kind of bluesy rock, but with a slight punk vibe and a dark swagger.  Think maybe Vincas, but less noise rock, Hot Snakes minus as much personality.  Their tracks are also live, and again, they play real tight and get a good recording so you really can’t tell.  This was a Record Store Day release (meh), but focused more regionally as benefit for a local charity (Girls Rock Birmingham), which is awesome.  It made it more fun tracking this one down.   (Seasick Records)

INTEGRITY, “Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume”
At this point I’m going to say that Integrity is kind of Dom Romeo.  He pretty much went from being their #1 fan, to playing in several bands that heavily sounded like Integrity, to being in Integrity.  And he has written a pretty solid Integrity record.  Honestly, I have not kept up with all the various Integrity stuff since “Humanity Is the Devil”.  This record weighs in heavily with more galloping thrash and speed metal type stuff, and a little less on the meat-y breakdowns of old material (save for “I Am the Spell”).  Of course, there are solos everywhere, almost non-stop.  “String Up My Teeth” is a strong departure and will likely throw off long time fans with it’s kooky backing vocals, but hey, after 20 plus years you gotta try something new, right?  The thing that has always kind of bothered me about Integrity though is the adulation thrown at their frontman, as if he is some sort of great visionary.  And instead of being upfront about admitting that, “hey, I’m just the singer” the dude seems to bask in the glory.  He’s the singer.  He’s not writing the music.  The Melniks laid the groundwork and a backing band has worshipped that style ever since.  Dwid basically has to just give the OK to other people writing music that sounds like Integrity.  That’s it.  So if you liked Integrity before you will enjoy this.  Dom Romeo put together a good band that wrote some solid jams for the dude from Integrity to sing on.  (Relapse)

OUT OF BODY, “Voiceless”
Feel good record of the year?  It’s quite possible.  I’ve been jamming on this album since probably late last year, awaiting its eventual release into the wild, and it surely delivers.  Out Of Body are the little secret from Austin, TX that isn’t so secret anymore now that they’re on the road a lot more and getting some deserved attention.  Their take on 90’s-era post-hardcore is informed as much by standard bearers like Quicksand and Shift as it is by more alternative-rock champions like Failure, Far, and Smashing Pumpkins.  There’s as much emphasis on groove and riffs as there is on spacey melody and uplifting vocals.  And I know I’m a predictable sort, so since it has the best qualities of the aforementioned groups of reference I’m all over this like your weird aunt getting a tarot reading at a psychic fair.  The only small downside is that all four of the songs that appeared on their demo from last year are also on this and I was hoping for some additional new material.  Still, you get a total of 10 jams to rock your socks off for the rest of this year.  After that they better deliver some new stuff, so help me.  (Coin Toss Records)

POST/BOREDOM, “Casual Friday” demo
Pacific Northwest homies invoke spirits of their regional brethren in the form of Harkonen’s more chunky smashiness and These Arms Are Snakes more caustic/less artsy (less snarky?) moments, with a good dash of all out noise rockin’ drive.  Naturally, there is a good sense of humor going on, what with song titles such as “Chef Goldblum” and “Buttmans Bathole” to keep things in check and the pretty cover painting of the band.  Give ‘em a chance, let them be your friend.  (ConditionsRecords)

RIOT STARES, “Let the Phase Speak” 7”
Here is another band that is taking many cues from 90’s hardcore in a great way.  They totally nail the sound Snapcase was coming out with on “Progression Through Unlearning”, which, at the time, was a great combination of their chunky, pinch-harmonic mosh-y hardcore, and something a little more upbeat and rocking.  To be honest, I’m surprised there aren’t more bands out these days that do stuff like this.  Snapcase was fucking huge when that record dropped.  I guess these South Carolina cats picked up on that in a big way and I suppose they’re getting in on the ground floor of that particular revival niche.  The two new songs on this seven inch progress the style they started with on their debut 7” last year and it’s pretty damn good.  They blow the roof off things with the B-side, which is a cover of Cast Iron Hike’s, “Boxed”, an absolute crusher from an very overlooked band who dropped one amazing record almost 20 years ago and then called it quits.  I’m exceptionally happy to see a new band draw some attention to that and hopefully people will explore more for themselves.  Here’s to more from this new-ish exciting band who obviously have good taste.  (Bitter Melody/ Speedowax)

SCRAPS COMIX,  Paul Rentler
An art zine full of off the wall pop culture mash-up’s with photocopy hell, melting faces, and the arcane.  Paul Rentler has an exciting style where random ephemera from every niche of popular culture collides in strange collages pairing everything from my childhood (and before) to create fantastic new spontaneously combusting monsters.  Bart Simpson’s aura exploding with the original X-Men, a stock image of a 50’s housewife fainting and the equally terrified specter of Slimer rising from her soul while the Hamburgler makes off with a skull, Orko the ghost (floating dwarf wizard?) being exorcised of actual ghosts, Garfield bursting out of Alice in Wonderland’s face petrified like he is boggled by the terror inside, Mayor McCheese rescues a buxom beach babe from snakes while dreaming of Robocop.  It’s a freaky head trip of roughly photocopied madness, cobbled together to form collages that are like all the random reference material of Craphound in a cross-dimensional rift with every back page comic book ad from the last five decades.  Give me more.  (paulrentler.com)

Monday, July 24, 2017

GRIZZLOR, "Destructoid" COMING SOON!

The new GRIZZLOR record is fast approaching.  Tune in soon for a new track and pre-order info.  In the meantime, here's a little teaser.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

DIALYSIS "PRETTY MEN" OUT NOW!


Oh, did we not make it clear as of yet?  This is probably the last place you will find out about this snack-tacular record from the weird grind-noise-punk shredders in Syracuse's DIALYSIS.
So just get a load of the fancy picture above and gaze upon how nice the whole thing looks!  It sounds almost-sorta as good even!
It's available on LP/CD/digital.
You can stream the entire record at this location HERE (as well as purchase the digital version)

Or, you can order the LP or CD, or a bundle deal with previous 7" records HERE

Finally, if you are a curious international person I would highly recommend ordering from MVD because they have good international shipping rates.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 22, 2017

HERE'S SOME REVIEWS FOR MAY!

It's that Spring time thing where I'm out traveling all the time whether for adventure, leisure, shows, or a combination of all of the above.  So it does not afford me a great deal of time to be writing about music.  I also doubt any one reading this is fervently looking forward to every time I post one of these things up (well, there's like maybe 2 people who do), so I don't feel much pressure to go at it.  Anyway, here's some stuff that came out recently that I think is just aces.  Enjoy.

BLOOD SUN CIRCLE, “Distorted Forms”
I didn’t release this so I get to gush about it as much as I want, so it’s not like I’m biased or anything.  There is so much tension on this record.  Every song sounds tense and anxious, yet sullen, heavy, and moody at the same time.  The band has been working on this record for a couple years now, perfecting the parts, getting a recording that does justice to the big sounds they produce, and it pays off.  I know they probably hate comparisons, but a lot of this reminds me of Young Widows, “In and Out Of Youth and Lightness” in a way.  That record showed YW stripped down, extending simple parts into big ideas that worked really well because they had the best tones in the world.  BSC mine a similar vibe.  Songs like “Mercy Kill” are essentially one part played a slightly different ways for a couple minutes, but it sounds amazing.  “Hideous Twin” (probably my favorite song on the record) works in a very similar fashion with a monstrous bass line dominating over a repetitive jangly and grating guitar part that only breaks for a melodic chorus.  I can’t recommend this enough.  If you’re a fan of stuff that is really heavy, but super exacting about the minute detail of crafting songs and getting super nerdy about gear this is a pretty good place to get that fix.  (Drops Of Us)

BUMMER/ PINKO split 12”
This may be one of the best splits to come out this year.  Both bands are very much on my own personal sort of ‘up and coming’ list of bands that I think are really doing some cool stuff.  Bummer has started making the rounds with not only a really cool name, but they make some of the best riff-heavy grooving noise rock around.  Lots of rolling thump and smash to their songs, which is great.  Fuck it, they got a song called “Freedom Cobra”.  PINKO made this amazing demo last year (I think it was last year anyway) that I greatly enjoyed and they bring more of that same style here with a handful of songs recalling the more chaotic moments of At the Drive In, mixed with some old Botch and Refused bits.  I know, all big names, but think of them all sort of mashing up in a really spazzy sort of way and you get the wildness of PINKO.  Both bands totally deliver the goods.  So investigate people.  (High Dive Records)

CLOAK DAGGER, “I Want Everything”
I was pretty certain this band was all finished.  I guess they have laid dormant for several years while they thought up their next thing and now they strike back with a self-released LP of hyperactive Hot Snakes-inspired garage punk that may be my favorite thing I’ve heard from them in their fairly long on-and-off existence.  They move between quick slash-and-burn heaters (like on “13 Everything”) and some more melodic, emotionally charged rippers (“Black Rose”).  It makes me wish they got out a little more because while I was fairly lukewarm to their previous material this particular record smokes.  (Quit Life Records)

CLOUD RAT/ MOLOCH split 12”
Cloud Rat is quickly becoming one of my favorite aggressive type bands out there.  I’m not sure why I slept on them for so long, but having played with them (seriously, go see them live, it’s insane) and kept their most recent full-length “Qliphoth” in steady rotation it’s pretty exciting to see what’s next.  So on this split 12” they release a handful of new songs that have a more chunky metallic/bigger sort of production that also tend to be a bit more complex in their arrangement overall.  It definitely works well.  It’s interesting to see them work within their known framework while attempting a number of different things (check the last track for something very out of the norm from them), and remain prolific as well (they’ve already released three splits this year and it’s not even June, an even more recent split- with Disrotted- is their most challenging and unique contribution so far).
Moloch is some straight depressing, super nihilistic sludgy doom that moves at a hateful glacial pace.  Think Noothgrush, think Grief, but from England.  Their two songs take up almost 20 minutes if that gives you an idea. (Halo Of Flies)

INFORMATION DOMINANCE zine #1
I have known Jonah Livingston for a very long time I am happy to say.  He is one of the most hard-partying people I have ever encountered and not in that annoying ‘calm down fella’ sort of way.  It’s like the man is a never-ending well of positivity, even in the face of absolute crumminess, a top of mountain of crushed beer cans and Motorhead records.  So I have to say it’s a little strange that he has committed some very well put together scribblings in a polished paper zine format.  There is a great deal of political/social ruminations mixed with some varied and thoughtful interviews with Matt Harvey of Exhumed, Swedish thrashers Fredagden 13:e, Richmond metalheads Left Cross, and Gwar prosthetics creator Margaret Rolicki.  It’s a nice mix of cool shit all curated with Jonah’s thoughtful and knowledgeable insight.  Party on Wayne.  (Information Dominance)

MUTANT SCUM, “Field Recordings” tape
I don’t have much to go on here except the music on this thing and some live pictures of this band.  Personally, the music isn’t re-inventing the wheel by any means.  It’s kind of dirty hardcore/thrash all about slime monsters from the sewer from dudes I can only imagine smoke a good deal of dope.  However, live it appears that they all have elaborate Swamp Thing- meets-Bigfoot-meets skull monster costumes they wear so I kind of want to see them based on that alone.  (Handstand Records)

PILE, “A Hairshirt Of Purpose”
This feels like Pile’s most reserved and calm (for lack of a better word) record to date.  When I first listened to it I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.  But like all their other releases it takes a few listens before all the genius of it unravels and becomes more apparent.  Opener “Worms” is evident of this- a very lackadaisical and breezy affair that contains some serious depth within the lyrics and thoughtful arrangement.  “Leaning On a Wheel” moves very slow and sullen before it opens up into one of the most beautiful songs they have ever crafted.  Pile’s signature has always been a combination of the strange arrangements of the constantly shifting rhythms of their music that twist and turn as if lost in a maze, yet still incredibly catchy, and Rick McGuire’s off-kilter croon that soothes, breaks, yells, and instructs.  While their odd sense of melody envelopes their music they are no stranger to aggression and that is on display as well with the title track rumbling along, directly following the clatter and shouting of the B-side opener “Texas”.  They are, if nothing, a band that remains consistently good, continually crafting music that veers further into less expected structure yet still these perfectly crafted songs.  (Exploding In Sound)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PSYCHIC TEENS, 'Hex" FROM RECORD RELEASE SHOW WEEKEND.

Hey there!  Here's a video of PSYCHIC TEENS playing "Hex", from their new record "Hex" from one of the record release shows they played over the weekend!  The quality is not amazing, but I never claimed to be some sort of Spike Jonez or Marvin Sclorsezzy!


Friday, May 5, 2017

PSYCHIC TEENS RECORD RELEASE SHOWS THIS WEEKEND!

PSYCHIC TEENS, "HEX" has been out for a couple weeks, officially, now.  So what better way to experience the awesomeness of these jams than to go see them play a bunch of that stuff live.  And why not go see them live anyway?  They rule.
That being said, see the above image for the shows.
Here's the event page links in case that info isn't enough for you:
Phillyhttps://www.facebook.com/events/628113777386243/
Syracusehttps://www.facebook.com/events/197955484025307/

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

PSYCHIC TEENS RELEASE "HEX"!

Yeah, it's not just a clever ode to the badass putting this thing out.



Written during a flurry of creativity immediately following the completion of their last LP, PSYCHIC TEENS return with HEX: a five song EP that showcases their unique blend of post-punk, goth, shoegaze, and noise rock. With HEX, PSYCHIC TEENS set to capture the sensory overload of their live show -- colossal guitars and ear-piercing volume --and combine it with the gloomy mood they have brought on their previous three LPs. 

"There is an overreaching theme of overcoming despair and disillusionment ," Larry (Ragone, Guitar/Vocals) says of HEX. "Everyone copes with it in some way or another whether its due to the fucked political climate, personal relationships, an existential crisis, or whatever. You can either deal with it head on or just try to escape and try to ignore it." 

Sonically speaking, Psychic Teens deliberately created two very distinct sides to HEX; choosing to place three abrasive noise rock songs together at the start of the record and two of their more sparse melodic songs at the end. "I think HEX Is a good representation of the PSYCHIC TEENS through the six years we've been together. There are moments of overblown screeching guitar as well as some of the more melodic song-structured pieces from that would at home on our last LP." 

The album was recorded in October of 2016 by Joe Smiley at Red Planet in Clifton Heights PA and mastered for vinyl and CD by James Plotkin (Mondo, Horseback). 

Wanna hear a new song from the record?  Check it out over at Invisible Oranges

Wanna go and buy the record?  YES, YOU DO!  SO DO THAT HERE.

If you live outside the U.S. and want that fucker best bet is to order HERE for a good deal.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

IT'S 2017 AND THERE'S FINALLY SOME NEW REVIEWS

I'll admit, I've been laying low, planning and scheming so far this year, so I haven't really put any time towards even thinking of writing record reviews.  Actually, there hasn't really been all that much new music so far this year that has blown my hair back.  But now that winter is drawing to a close and people are actually coming out of hiding and doing things I'm starting to catch wind of some exceptional stuff making it's way into the world.  So yeah, here's some stuff to investigate.  Make it so.

FALL SILENT, “Cart Return” 7”
Reno’s Fall Silent are a band that have sort of been lost within the cracks of hardcore-metal history, even though their contribution to metallic hardcore is massive.  Bands such as Every Time I Die and Ed Gein owe a large debt to their fine-tuned thrash metallic assault.  Their second full length, “Superstructure” is one of the heaviest records ever, replete with all sorts of interesting technical twists and turns, huge plodding layers of heaviness, that were able to blast and groove all at once with vocalist Levi Watson’s screaming socio-political lyrics backing it all up.  After that they simplified their sound a little, opting for speed and a little less technicality.  And then, they vanished.  It’s been something like 15 years and all of a sudden the band just ups and decides to record a new 4 song 7”.  So naturally, I’m curious.  The lead-off track is straight up what one might expect (who is familiar anyway) from Fall Silent- super fast thrashy parts, followed by a technical groove and chunky riffing, and those Rorschach-styled vocals.  The first song on the B-side is in a similar vein.  But the other two tracks on here are more of the “Drunken Violence” style of keeping things a little simpler riff-wise and just going for quickness.  It’s certainly a worthwhile effort from this group who may have let their instruments collect dust over the last decade.  But will people take notice?  (Revelation)

FUCK YOU PAY ME, “Dumbed Down”
The band with easily the best name in hardcore returns for 10 more songs (well, one is a cover) of absolutely zero bullshit, fast and ruthless punk fury.  And they do it all in under 18 minutes.  There is really not much that needs to be said about this.  If you get off to hardcore that’s really fast and really fucking angry, with lyrics that are snarky and to the point, then you will enjoy this.  Otherwise, go shit in your hat.  The title track is my favorite (with a line like ‘if you got that PMA then stay the fuck away from me’ gives an indication of where they’re coming from), but, I gotta say, “Douche Chills” might take a close second.  Despite the apparent lack of any empathy whatsoever, there are a few topical songs that clearly hit close to home for the band- “Dark Side Of the Spoon” deals with friends and acquaintances lost to hard drugs and “Steubenville City Limits” is a rally against suburban jocks that get a free pass on rape, as long as they know the right people.  If you don’t have a chip on your shoulder about something after listening to this you probably don’t go outdoors much.  (Tankcrimes)

GRIZZLOR/ GODSTOPPER split 7”
OK, I’m obviously super partial to both these bands since I released material from each.  So, ya know, the fact they have teamed up for a 7” makes my groin area just a little bit moist.  Is that too much information?  Well, try to visualize it while you’re at it.  That thought might be just as ugly as the filthy, riff-laden noise rock of Grizzlor.  Or, if you’re some sort of pervert, it might be just as sweet as the soothing sounds of Godstopper that ultimately crash down on you like the weight of age (aging moist groins at that).  No, really, I can keep going here.  Anyway, Grizzlor, with a handful of singles already under their belts toss out a couple more of their weird grooving noise rock with those wretched, reverb-y ‘man in a tinfoil hat yelling about reptoids’ vocals, and quick to-the-point sludge riffs.  Godstopper return with pop songs disguised as Disembodied.  Down-tuned monster riffs and Queen-level choruses on the first song.  The second song, “Cellophane”, could be a deep cut from an early 80’s Genesis record (and I mean that in a good way) as it weirdly meanders through a creepy-quiet sung bit, bereft of distortion save for all of about five seconds.  My description does it little justice.  To know the band’s M.O. you gotta understand they just like catchy and clever hooks and often bury that love under piles of distortion.  But sometimes they just bare all and let that love show minus heavy guitars.  A great, if not a little weird, pairing.  (Corpse Flower)

HAWKS, “No Cash Value”
I feel like this long-running Atlanta band never quite got their just due.  Maybe it’s because they have a very bland name?  I don’t really know how much they toured.  This is their final LP and in their time they were quite prolific, releasing 5 LPs and several 7” records.  My own interest in them involves tracking down their various releases (some of which were only released on European labels) and having an incomplete collection of their material.  So I might be off with their progression, but on this last LP it feels the most restrained of their releases.  Earlier material was awash in tons of feedback, plenty of drunken howling and growling, and a total love of Jesus Lizard’s rock-your-fucking-face-off mentality.  “No Cash Value” reins in the feedback a bit, has learned to pace their drinking, but still loves the Jesus Lizard.  And the singer still sounds like he’s reciting his death wish from underneath a barstool.  So there’s that.  “Wash and repeat”.  (Learning Curve Records)

MUMS, “Land Of Giants”
OK, I’ll admit, this actually was released in October of last year and I’m just getting obsessed with it now.  So it’s not exactly new, but I really wanted to gush about this a little bit so deal.  This is a UK trio that has dropped some kind of sonic bomb in the form of incredibly fuzzed-out muddy riffing in the vein of Floor (for the dual down-tuned guitar attack, no bass), KARP (for the thunder and sense of absurdity), and fellow UK noiseniks Todd (in the nihilistic over-the-top sludge and feedback).  So ya know, it’s right up my alley.  Still, they manage to toss in some of these ultra-quiet restrained parts to the mountains of heavy to make for some very accentuated dynamics.  It certainly adds a bit more variety to the music than their last outing (under the moniker Aeroplane Flies High), an EP, that had cleaner production, catchier Torche-inspired riffing, and moved along at a pretty steady pace.  A noteworthy release, for sure.  But this is just kind of next level good.  I like that it’s mixed up a bit more, it sounds a littler slimier, more fuzzy and crazy, but somehow manages to be quite catchy, no matter how much they might slow it down.  It’s generally kind of tough to keep up with international bands and generate interest on this side of the pond, but I’d strongly suggest giving this band a try if you dig your sludgy noise rock with lots of catchiness and weirdness.  (Super Star Destroyer)

OAK, “It’s Your Mess As Much As Mine”
Not to be confused with the metallic drone-sludge band that released stuff with A389 Records, this band opts instead for hardcore dudes trying to get a bit noisey and weird, but ultimately end up sounding more hardcore than Botch-y, if you get my drift.  There’s a large dose of that sort of Indecision style of keeping the music simple, heavy, yet meaningful.  However, the second half of this record (it’s only 5 songs) tries some different things and veers off into some more interesting territory, particularly on “Elsewhere”, probably the best offering here.  If you dig your hardcore just a bit off the beaten path, as well as emotionally cathartic this would be a decent record to check out.  (State Of Mind)

OPEN CITY,  s/t
A couple years back Dan Yemin (of Paint It Black, Lifetime, etc) had mentioned to me that he was working on a new project that he described as sounding like Torches To Rome.  Always a good thing.  He mentioned the pieces weren’t all in place yet, but it was getting there.  So, if this is the same project, it appears that it took a bit of a turn because it doesn’t really sound like any Mike/Sarah Kirsch project.  It sounds like a band that Dan Yemin plays guitar for.  Which he does.  The guy has a fairly distinct style to his playing that certainly gives nods to 80’s/early 90’s Dischord melodic hardcore, catchy punk, and shades of early emo.  Along for the ride is Chris Wilson, who drummed for Ted Leo for years, Andy Nelson (also of Paint It Black) and Rachel Rubino (of Bridge and Tunnel) handling vocals.  When I first heard about this band I thought maybe Yemin was on vocals and I secretly hoped Rubino was on guitar because she might be one of the shreddin’-est guitarists I’ve ever seen.  But her strained and gruff vocals do the job nicely here.  Musically, it is along the lines of what I might expect from all these people making music together.  The overall feel has a bit more of the melodic bent that was present on “Paradise” (Paint It Black’s second LP) that, again, evokes shades of Dischord luminaries (distinctly, the Swiz-like momentum of “Brother, I’m Getting Nowhere”, and the J. Robbins style of playing on “Sofa Drugs”).  However, it’s the almost-midway point on the noticeably slower “Black Veils” in which Rubino really shows that she has some serious pipes, and lays the emotion on thick.  Heck, it even kind of sounds like it could have been on a Bridge and Tunnel album.  I know its kind of an easy out to compare this music to the members other outfits, but the combination of all those parts makes for something truly special and this is one heck of a debut.  (self-released)

PISSED JEANS, “Why Love Now?”
Pissed Jeans has obviously carved their niche within the punk/noise rock scene over the course of four LPs.  Finally, on their fifth outing something feels different.  They’re trying some other weird shit, messing around with song structures and production values that are not quite what one might expect from the suburban Philly grown-up’s who throw around guitars and convulse on stage on the weekends.  I can’t really nail what feels out of place about this record as compared to others.  Songs like “Ignorecam” are right up there with the best of the band’s canon of ‘take one lumbering riff and repeat ad nauseum’, and “Waiting On My Horrible Warning” lines right up with awkward and excellent opening songs where a first time listener might have second thoughts about what they’ve gotten themselves into.  But maybe it’s that Pissed Jeans is in better control of their chaos these days.  Whereas in the past they wrote great songs that were completely unhinged at every angle (despite all being good musicians), tracks such as “Love Without Emotion”, “The Bar Is Low” (which, if you haven’t seen the video for yet stop reading this and check that immediately), and “It’s Your Knees” are of the fast/heavy sort, but executed with slick precision (as much as a band that is often filed under ‘noise rock’ can get away with).  Perhaps it’s the lyrics?  Past efforts have managed to describe the mundane details of adult life that were chock full of deadpan humor, the intentionality of which was ambiguous.  On this record I can’t really tell most of the time if vocalist Matt Korvette is attempting to be serious?  Maybe?  Regardless of all this, my first listen of the record was a bit on the reserved side of appreciation.  After a couple more spins now I’m enjoying it almost as much as their past efforts.  (Sub Pop)

Monday, March 20, 2017

DIALYSIS SPRING TOUR!

The dastardly trio (treacherous trio? tubular trio?) in DIALYSIS are hitting the road for as long as their jobs and wives will allow them to act like idiots on stages in America this Spring.  See the above flyer for laughs, see the below info for dates and places.  This is in anticipation of their full length LP, which will (maybe) be out when they hit the road.  I guess you will just have to come to the shows to find out if they have it or not!

Friday, April 21st- Buffalo, NY @ Dreamland w/ Healer
Saturday, April 22nd- Cleveland, OH @ Foundary
Sunday, April 23rd- Detroit, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
Monday, April 24th- nowhere as of now.  Pittsburgh hopefully.  Please help make that happen someone
Tuesday, April 25th- Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar w/ Blurring, Coming Down

Monday, January 2, 2017

HERE'S A BUNCH OF VIDEO FROM HEX FEST!

For those who couldn't make it out to Syracuse over the weekend (which is most of planet Earth) due to shitty weather, inebriation, laziness, or location I've done you all the favor of recording some stuff from most of the bands that ended up playing.  So behold, the magic of an iPhone and the internet.  I never claimed to be a film expert so this will have to do.  Plus, Matt Jamie filmed the Dialysis stuff because I can't play and film myself at the same time, that would just be stupid.

ACHILLES


BLOOD SUN CIRCLE


PSYCHIC TEENS


DIALYSIS


BLEAK


ED GEIN