Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yahweh Brings Us To This Hell

Every time I head up to Buffalo, I always end up going to someone's basement and seeing a million new bands that spring up and often times dissolve just as often. That city is without a doubt my favorite breeding ground for excellent bands in New York. Bands of all sorts, but of course I pay attention to the grittier stuff. The hardcore bands that come out of Buffalo always seem to have this unique, quirky edge to them. Sperm, an astonishingly good noisy/weirdo hardcore band, who I have in fact never seen and probably never will since they appear to be over. Only releasing one demo last year, and this cassette EP way early in the year, and ending on a Top 10 of the year high note. "Yahweh Brings Us To This Hell", cassette, no idea how many there are.

Sperm (awesome name), are an unusual little sore thumb in their particular genre. Definitely hardcore, that root is certainly firmly in place. The blown-out, noisy recording utilized is definitely fitting, and adds a constant layer of roughness to the music, even when the band is at their most soft. Amazing guitar tone, utilizing a delicious distorted trembelo effect. This added bit of sound makes simple things like feedback seem all the more twisted. The bass guitar, fully up front in the mix, it's the meat of this EP. Clangy, gainy, crushing.


"Yahweh's" first half is of the more traditional hardcore sound. Hard and semi metallic, with excellent, acid surf guitar riffs and leads. Certainly the kind of riffs that you have to search for to find in hardcore. The 2nd half is where Sperm really shows off their dynamics as songwriters. "Animal Life In The Demlurge", a song consisting of only a single bass riff and vocals, creating a very captivating and even beautiful sort of "ballad". Leading into the closing track, "Hyperporea", an instrumental sweetie pie of a song. I call the opening guitar lead the "Linkin Park riff". For some reason is just always reminds me of something from "Hybrid Theory" or some shit. Sperm are cooler then Linkin Park, I swear. Both of these sides of this bands sound are executed perfectly in my opinion. This has been on repeat in the household and on the Walkman during bus rides.

I've seen this around in distros. If you see it, cop it.


~VII

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Voltage Drop

I've been waiting for this record for a while. Not only just to finally own it and hold it in my hands, but just for a grind record like this in general to spawn into creation. Gowl, an amazing, discordant quartet (a trio for this recording and all prior) from Connecticut put out their second 7" EP, "BLURRR" this year. An incredibly bold, stomping next step into grind supremacy that is stronger and more punishing then their first 7", the "Buzzbox" EP.  This is a masterpiece. Black vinyl, 33 RPM, limited to 500 copies.

I can't think of a more appropriate name for this record then "BLURRR". Yes, with the all caps and extra two R's. This record is so crazy that a misspelling like that is totally proper. The whole recording is a blur. A cramped, claustrophobic, atonal, distorted, messy blastfest. But it just so happens to be the best EP I've heard all fucking year. What Gowl achieve on this record is complete deathy, noisegrind perfection unlike really any kind I've heard before. The bass and guitars are constantly fighting each other over domination in the mix, creating a torrential storm of inventive grinding. What riffs that burst out and survive the incredible muck are crushing, catchy, disgusting, and chunky. Even when Gowl uses the same riffs and patterns we've heard a million times they still make it sound distinctly their own. There are just too many great moments to coose from on this record. Like the blasting middle part of "Voltage Drop", or the bass string bends in "Adventures In Blues Traveling". Uniquely chaotic is an appropriate description I think. 

Of course this record wouldn't be the same without the incredible shining star of the whole thing, the drummer. Holy shit, this guy gives one of the best drum performances I've heard all year. Yes he's insanely fast, that's a given, but more importantly he has style! The accents, tampers and even the grooves he utilizes are always interesting and add that perfect extra bit of personality. Even his blasts, though they are fast, still feels like it could all fall apart at any second from trying to keep the tempo. It's that bit of raw, lively tension that enhances this records enjoyability and delivery incredibly.

Excellent packaging on this as well. Mr. Sean Bovine made this look just like a classic Bovine Records release. Instantly reminds me of the first couple ANb records or the Spazz/Floor split. The unique cover art fits in beautifully as well. No idea what's going on on the cover. 

Only a few things this year equal up to the awesomeness of "BLURRR". Buy this from the band and please support them. A full length is on the way, I hope this world is ready.


~VII

I Hope I Get AIDS

The 2nd Waves Crashing Piano Chords 7" I picked up was this split with Funeral Parlor, from Texas. A curious pairing of two acts, performing very different styles of noise music. Black vinyl, limited to 64 copies, 33 RPM.

Waves is up first with yet another live documentation, again comprising of two pieces. Starting right off with sharp, metallic feedback, and a completely painful slow, piercing drone, going into "I Hope I Get AIDS". A staple of the WCPC live performance. It's a solid, active, clanging rendition of this hit song. I do like how this recording shows off some more nerdy things like "dynamics" and "arcs" in his set. "...Or Is It Me" is a slow, sorta atmospheric track of sleazy fantasy. There's overall a lot more slow parts on this recording, but with basically the same amount of intensity. No applause at the end too.

Funeral Parlor is a one-man harsh drone/noise act, who gives us the track "Sway Away". I was unfamiliar with this artist before grabbing this record, and it's honestly definitely not the kind of noise I go to for casual listening. A mid heavy, static feedback wall with a sad, repetitive, minor key synth riff over it comprises basically this whole track. It's the audio equivalent of a graveyard during a heavy downpour, nothing but grey sky's and black trees. Kind of reminds me of what Prurient was doing for the "Cocaine Death" affiliated tapes, but with that extra bit of pure aggressiveness I look for. Some vocals might have helped I suppose. A harsh wall closes out the track giving it a little more variation, but I wasn't sold. I can see creepy bedroom lurkers liking it.


Great silkscreened sleeve again, with fantastic photos. Out of the total 105 run of this record, 64 were on black. And I'm sure it is now sold out.

~VII

Young Mouth

The New York noise scene will soon dominate and fester inside all of your collective puny minds. Either grinding it to a mush or bulking it up into something with a little more substance. There are so many amazing artists on the rise. A few of which, like Deceiver, Sunken Cheek, Swallowing Bile and Waves Crashing Piano Chords have already achieved very strong and impressive status in the grimy underworld of the harshest noise in the country. The later of which being the most infamous. Rochester NY's Waves Crashing Piano Chords, for those as of yet uninitiated, is a Juggalo power electronics act. Someone that even people deep into the noise scene don't really know how to feel about sometimes. Be it from the aesthetic, or his nefarious live assaults. I had the enlightening pleasure/abuse of playing a show with Mr. Waves, which I acquired some of his gorgeous, self released 7"s. Here is the "Young Mouth/It Wasn't Even Worth My Back Seat" 7", single sided, on yellow vinyl, limited to 15 copies.
The recording in this record surprisingly turned out to be a live documentation! Something that made more sense to me as I listened, as WCPC is indeed a much more impressive feat live. Starting off with some crowd banter and someone possibly joking about the safety of the unfortunate basement this show was probably held. The trademark, raw microphone feedback suddenly barges out and Waves goes off into an abusive 3 minute set. Comprised of two more recent lyrical pieces. "Young Mouth", which is sure to get any Nicole 12 fetishist moist, and "It Wasn't Even Worth My Back Seat", a vitriolic tirade against free tapes that he apparently gets from various people. The intensity of a Waves performance is certainly captured well, the high end is absurdly shrill and painful. It's an excellent auditory display of one of the more polarizing noise artists of my home state. And you don't even have to get Faygo® in your hair or get punched in the face.

I've always thought WCPC had some seriously great looking and cutting edge releases. Thankfully stepping up from lathe cuts to actual vinyl. The silkscreened covers look great, and the opaque yellow vinyl is really damn fun to look at. It looks like tasty caramel. Out of a total run of 111 copies, only 15 are on this color.




Expect more records that you will never be able to get from WCPC next year.

~VII

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Worldwide Genocide

Another solid banger from the Hygiene Records catalog. A cassette run of the newest EP from the young Florida band Vatican Massacre, their 2nd overall release. "Worldwide Genocide", on red cassettes, limited to 100.

Very solid seven song EP from this band. Short, sweet, heavy, and to the point. Definitely leaning hard in the modern powerviolence side, with a big heaping dose of early Shitstorm distortion and raw delivery. Parts of this take me right back to the Magrudergrind/Shitstorm split, and I adore it. Throw in a couple slowww mosh chugs and you got a winner in my opinion.

Pro-job on this batch of tapes. My pictures might make it seem like they're fuzzier then they are. Comes with a big fold-out insert with lyrics.


Copies are still available at the Hygiene Records store. 




~VII


New Orleans Is A Hole

I think most of us at one point tried to keep up with the tyrannical musical output of Thou and buy all of their records. I did around the time I saw them in 2011 or so. Gathering up modern essentials such as "Summit" and some of the various splits they've done. Recently, mostly thanks to their collaboration with The Body, my interest in the band has been rekindled, and have made the bastard insane decision of hounding for their records again. Their output in 2014 already has my savings on it's knees begging for mercy. Will I realistically pick up most of these records? I do hope so, "Heathen" already seems to be a little elusive. Thankfully I at least managed to pick up this excellent 12" EP, "The Sacrifice". I believe it's their 3rd EP for Robotic Empire, who have done an amazing job yet again. Clear vinyl, 45 RPM.

I wouldn't be surprised if this lands in my top 10 EP's of the year. This is a mammoth record in sound, and packaging. We get three new songs, a guitar drone, and as is standard now, a Nirvana cover. These songs sound massive, earth-stomping. This is by far one of Thou's most consistently heavy records yet. Going for very little melody and relying more of the thicker strings for the majority of the time here. "The Pill" is a real highlight, opening with a fantastic sludgy tromp and a memorable lyric that I hope to scream out at a live show someday ("VACANT EYES MEET VACANT EYES"!) Thou decide to cover Nirvana's classic "I Hate Myself And I Want To Die", putting the expect Thou flavor on it. Great vocal work too, pretty different stuff for the band.

Wonderful packaging job from Robotic Empire as usual. That label really treats these guys well. Thick, wrap-around, tip-on jacket with a glossy matte finish. Kind of too tight for the record, but it looks beautiful. Lyrics and all credits are on the back. There's no spine labeling though, which is a real bummer for me.


All records on on extremely clear vinyl, I am unsure how many were pressed. A cassette with different artwork was also released by Robotic Empire. I'm still after their collab with The Body, and would love to get the 3xLP split collection that was put out.

~VII

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Toyota Has Nothing To Do With Hardcore

Obacha has been a favorite of mine from the catalog of amazing Canadian bands. A three-piece at the time of this recording, and onward, they made some of my favorite lo-fi fastcore ever. This split with Chetwrecker originally came out on a self-released cassette, which I've had for a while, and I finally got the 7" vinyl last month. Released by Mullet Death and Black Banana Records, 45 RPM, red marble vinyl.

This one of the lowest of fi records I've heard in a long time. You gotta crank this thing to get to that exciting, loud level. Never the less, Obacha's side is some of my favorite in their discography. This is one of their most manic sessions ever. Pulverizing stop and start fastcore, the kind where everything is brought to absurd, freakish, Japanese-level insanity. Chetwrecker is a lo-fi grindy violence band from the west coast with members of Misanthropic Noise. They bring some solid grind tunage to the table, a good mix of Despise You/Lack Of Interest style powerviolence and mid-west manic rawness. There's some good grooves and some creative enough slow parts to keep my interest, and peep the new 7" on Opaques Records that I'm pretty keen on getting.

DIY packaging; a photocopied cover sleeve and insert. Not far off-looking from the tapes packaging actually, except for the artwork. It fits.



The only Obacha record I need is the Stillbirth 7". And that damn split with Slave, who I swear are a ghost band by this point. I haven't seen their releases anywhere.' Obacha have split up at the tail end of last year, but a couple member kept going with an absurdely good project called Throat Slitter. Who's one demo is hands down one of my favorite releases of 2014. I still need to get that one too. 

~VII

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Insect Politics

The twin sibling follow-up EP to "Coping", "Adjusting", is a record that I've admittedly only recently added to the collection. It always seemed to just avoid my eyes for the longest time, until just a few months ago. This EP was self-released by the band, all on black vinyl, 45 RPM.

"Adjusting" was recorded in the same session that "Coping" was, so the sound is basically on the same level. And it's an amazing companion to it's predecessor, arguably even better. This is definitely the more ruthless of the two, the band really saved their most savage and weirder songs for this one. Opening up with a lone bass and drum intro that plays this mosh-stomping riff for the first half of "Dear Life", going straight into noting but relentless blasts for the last duration and into the next track. They manage to sound even angrier and angsty then on "Coping", which is astounding, and a bit more metal as well. "Swallowing" and "Gag Order" both ride these almost Mammoth Grinder/Kyuss riffs, and the B-side is filled with these very tasteful and disgusting dissonant riffs, pulling from some more noise rock/weirdo-metal influences. It's a pretty varied EP, and as usual, it's over before you can catch up. Brilliance.

Near identical presentation and package to "Coping". Down to basically everything except the images and white center labels. No idea why they decided to release it themselves but you can barely tell there's any difference at all.


Purity Control have unfortunately broken up, which is a real shame. But they left us with a near perfect discography, and one I hope to obtain all of. I'm fiending for those demo tapes.

Fun tip: play this at 33 for some murkey icelanding death metal with a 400 pound bald man roaring over it.

Holy Hell

Hard to believe that I haven't done any posts yet about Purity Control, especially about their brilliant vinyl debut, "Coping". I'm pretty sure I got this last year, after hearing some choice words about them by Sean over at SKULLFUCKED (look at the side bar to read his excellent posts and gorgeous pictures). One of Canada's most overlooked and sadly short lived bands in recent years. Their output was small, but they left a big impact on me, this particular EP eventually becoming one of my favorite 7" records. This is the larger black vinyl version, a more limited white vinyl version was released but I sadly missed the boat on that one. 45 RPM.

For the sake of ease, I'll call Purity Control a powerviolence band, but they always stuck out of the crowd for me with their own little unique touches. Coming out of an almost pure noisey hardcore style they had on their demo tapes. The jangely tone of the instruments is still there, but with an obvious improvement to the recording and performance. This sounds like a completely focused and inspired session, and each song displays it's own moments of fantastic song writing. The sharp left turn the breakdown in the first track, "Holy Hell", being a personal favorite.  Or the way they stick to and develop the groove the track "Bedrooms Eyes". What a fantastic record, and it's short! Each side will barely give you 3 minutes of stuff, but it gives me everything I need in it's small tidy package.

Very similar layout and presentation to the EP they put out themselves a few weeks after this one in 2012. Grim, hateful, loathing aesthetic. Youth Attack! should have snagged these guys up.



Fun tip: play this record at 33, it's some seriously disgusting sludgecore.

~VII

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Failure Addict

Priapus's first vinyl release on another label! I've always been so curious why these guys have never been scooped up by some big money support. Great guys and tremendous musicians, always delivering tech grind of the highest quality. This is their split 7" with Intheshit, released by Give Praise Records a few months ago. All copies are on black vinyl, 33 RPM.

Intheshit take up the A-side with 3 new tracks. These guys have been around for a few years, I have a tape of theirs that DIY Noise put out a while ago, but haven't kept up with them much since. I believe their's been some line-up changes and what not. The have a very different sound now then from what I remember. Much more chaotic and frantic, bordering on noisegrind honestly. Reminds me a lot of most of Last Days of Humanity's recordings; waves of low end distortion and gun shot snare hits gutting through the thick mess. But with a rough sounding hardcore vocalist instead of gurgles. It's not bad, it's actually better the more I play it. Priapus give us 2 new tracks of finely crafted, spotless, guitar player jizz flowing grindcore. Absolutely flooring stuff, definitely their heaviest recording. These two songs are some of their best tracks so far as well. Tons of archs, power slamming grooves and ridiculous fretwork exercising blast riffs. This is how you do technical grindcore. If you like bands such as Malignancy, Maruta or Noisear, check this band out.

Good packaging on this one. The cover sleeve is printed on very thick paper, it kind of has a hard time folding flat, but man is it sturdy. Very clean black and white printing too.

 Buy this!! Intheshit put out another EP this year as far as I know, and Priapus are recording for another split or EP.

~VII