Sunday, September 20, 2015

Oracles Of Ash

This will be the 3rd time that the Texas based, moody synth project Funeral Parlor has been featured on the blog. A curious one-man project created by head funeral director Josh Doughty. This is not the kind of music that I normally listen to, but I've always enjoyed revisiting Funeral Parlor and checking in. And Josh was so kind enough to send me a couple tapes of his respective projects for me to check out. If you're reading Josh I'm sorry it took a while. This tape is a split between Funeral Parlor and Nihilarch. Released on Perfect Hue and limited to 25.

Funeral Parlor always reminded me of music that would fit into the soundtrack of Twin Peaks. And no that isn't a diss. We get two tracks per side, Funeral Parlor still sounding as dreary and droning as ever before. Each track really has time to build here, each one going over the 6 minute mark. Plenty of time to let the über saddness stain your ears.  "Believe" opens up with a sample that sounds like it was taken from a Harrison Ford movie. The bleak tone is set straight away, and very soon the minor key synth chords come out. Staying consistent in it's 4everbummer mood, the synths drone on and on adding layers very sporadically, nothing harsh though. The next track "Tourist" opens with a surprisingly industrial, machine work sample that stays active throughout this tracks run time. For how minimal everything is it's actually pretty captivating. Good music to bury a body too.


On the flip side we get two tracks from yet another synth-centric project, Nihilarch. A one man show out of California I was unaware with until this split. Upon a few listens I can definitely find a lot of stuff to like in these two songs. Lots of Prurient adoration on here, and I wouldn't be surprised if dude had a few John Carpenter or Goblin soundtracks in his possession.  The opening track "Sanctuary" takes it's sweet time building up, stacking synth riffs and bass tones (minor key or bust). Waiting until the last minute to unleash screamed distorted vocals in a surprising twist into power electronics. The next track "Oracles Of Ash" is the real star of this whole split. I love the classic horror movie sountrack synth arpeggios that float all over this track. And the fantastic distorted rumbles that boom when the vocals take a step back. Sounds like something mad decent that would come off the Hospital Records catalog. I'd say this was the perfect way to close things off.


I somehow managed to get #1/25. Thank you Josh!! Standard 1-sided J card packaging. Sealed with a sticker. 


Pick this tape up HERE

~VII

Saturday, September 19, 2015

It Burns When I Pee

Another addition of the Hades Mining Co. vinyl split series. Noisecore truly is living and breathing healthy on Built To Blast this year. How could it not though with so many "amazing" artists releasing new and interesting records every day. The scene around the world is truly at a fantastic peak right now. One of my personal favorite noisey bands I've noticed from afar is Deathwank from the UK. A ski-mask wearing collective that do a great job at creating an intense buzz of grind. This was one of the records I was most excited to check out from the bunch of HMC. splits. Black vinyl out of 144 copies, 33 RPM.

The Hades Mining Co. side is just awesome. All post-irony aside, this is one of my favorite recordings that they've done. HMC. really are at their best when they're just a straight noisecore band. Operating on traits that I think are what makes the genre great. It's over the top, goofy, and aware of itself and exactly what it's trying to do. Ghoulish, cartoony, bellowing vocals intro the first couple of songs, grunting and belching out the titles among other gibberish. Then they slam into some excellent slop blasts. Nice, bassy recording on this one. The instruments have a real nice crunch to them. The second half is a smattering of nonsense band noise and bizarre samples. There are awkwardly edited samples all over the place, it's great. Where does a song end? When does it start up again? It was a wonderful mess of a session, I had a blast.

Deathwank have been on a very good roll lately with some of their most recent releases (like THIS ONE). I think they have some members from Sufferinfuck, remember them? On here they give us 16 tracks of some hard free grind, with touches of PV influence. The musicians on here are definitely fantastic improvisors, constantly switching through riffs and breaks on a dime. A lot of it actually sounds pretty tight for how free and structureless it is. I can't really call this noisecore per se, since I can actually make out real notes a lot of the time. It reminds me of the old jamming sessions I occasionally have with various people. Just hard riffing and having fun. Not the best recording I've heard from them, but a solid as fuck second half.

I'm a big fan of the cover art. 

This record is still available from CONTINUUM. I recommend it.

~VII

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Death Rattle Hummer

I am officially admitting here and now that I am completely done with "unlistenable" formats. Like any vinyl nerd, I get a kick out of weird sized and shaped records. They're strange, and uncommon and certainly cool to have. But at a certain point, I reach a point where I physically can not listen to a record because of it's formatting. For example, I can not play this little 3" lathe cut. It's at this point just basically an art piece I have sitting in my collection (along with all my other 4"-5" records). I know you can wrestle a manual-driven turntable to play records this size, but your boy doesn't have that shit. And I can't pay the big bucks for a fancy ass turntable right now. So here is this piece of art. A 3" black lathe cut record between Hades Mining Co. and Colostomy Baguette? from Australia.

You may be asking yourself, "how much music can you actually put onto a 3" record"?. In Hades Mining Co.'s case, fifteen seconds. Fifteen seconds of the most pointless audio ever cut onto carbon fiber. Half of it is a sample, the other have just solo guitar wanking. It's such shit. Colostomy Baguette? manage to cram in 4 more seconds of ear abuse then HMC. on their side. Some standard fare, sloppy, lo-fi grind that actually manages to have a couple changes in their track. This record actually comes with a download card, so you can  still listen to these songs if you're that tormented. If I payed money for this I would be so mad.

This record comes packages in a very tidy looking, double sided sleeve. Hand numbered out of 97 copies. Once again, this is for true noisefreaks and lovers of all that is dumb.

Cute lil' thing ain't it? Pick this up from CONTINUUM if you dare.

~VII

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Adult Diseases

Sometimes in my self-appointed roll as a music critique, I am generously and randomly send wonderful packages from bands or labels in return for me to review their records or tapes on this blog. And given that I rarely buy grind albums anymore because of my severe lack of frivolous online spending, these instances really help keep things going. Even if I do feel undeserving of all the kindness sometimes (gifts are kinda sorta hard for me to accept). The next batch of posts will be regarding the longtime Rochester, NY band Hades Mining Co. and their Father label Continuum Records. Gotta give a big thanks to Continuum operator and HMC member Dave, for very generously supplying me with some of these pretty limited releases. So, thank you Dave.
I figured I'd start with a post about this record. Given it's been obvious how much I enjoy records by our favorite Japanese duo Sete Star Sept. Any new SSS record is welcome into my home, and this one is definitely one of their more interesting 7" splits. Black vinyl, limited to 149 copies on black wax (the rest were on color), 33 RPM.

I've always had my eye on the latest batch of Hades Mining Co. splits. Even though I wasn't that initially impressed with them in brief streams online, they've been working with some cool bands. They're definitely one of those noisecore bands. They're totally oldschool sounding, genre fucking, completely free slopcore noise. One that you could write off as absolute talentless shit for their obvious wankery and fuck-you to actually "writing a song". Or a band you can take in with that great, sort of B-movie experience. Enjoying it for all it's flaws and just having some fun. And you're both right. Because goddamn this is shit, but I definitely do dig it. Four tracks make up Hades Mining Co.'s half. Opening up with a slow as molasses, drumless, doomy bass riff driven opus. Industrial, hissing guitar feedback and occasional soloing are a constant too. Basically sounding like the worst Sunn O))) cover band you've ever heard. HMC have embraced going totally slow and sludgy, which I think helps set them apart. It works better sometimes (definitely in this case) then others. The rest of their side goes more into standard noisecore territory. The second song even features a saxophone (standing ovation), and the band just proceeds to clusterfuck the crap out of anything resembling music. The last track is so lo-fi it literally sounds like a recording, of a recording, recorded and played through a cassette Walkmen.

Sete Star Sept's side was a very interesting and fulfilling listen to me. I love it when SSS record stuff that's a little stranger, more adventurous and creative then the standard noisecore fare. Unfortunately these are usually kept for their VERY limited cassette splits and don't see much vinyl treatment. This batch of songs is definitely in the spirit of this side of the band. The massive opener (taking up more then half the side) consisting of almost riffless bass feedback, with sporadic drum hits from Kiyasu. Sort of reminds me of the last track from their split with Lung Cancer, the feedback almost works as a power electronics instrumental. The next 4 tracks, entitled "Square Root A"-through-"D" are quick instrumental noise bursts, ending with a track that consists solely of Kiyasu's drums and some cartoonish grunts. I've never heard the band be this bizarre and different on any of their 7"s. So that right there says something It's a wild ride, and is one of the more unusual vinyl splits from them that I own.
I always saw the black and white, fold-over cover packaging that Continuum gave their releases and was not impressed. But only because it just looked like photocopied covers on printer paper with low pixel count artwork. But actually no, these are professionally done, sturdy and glossy sleeves. I was very pleasantly surprised! Hades Mining Co. certainly keeps a consistent aesthetic, and I like that a lot.

There were two 7"x7" inserts included for each band. Each one displaying an eye-bleedingly high amount of color in contrast to all this black and white. I kinda honestly wish these were the images for the sleeve, but it's a cool bonus. The test pressings were all adorned with these covers I believe.

This split is still available from the LABEL, and I've started to see it pop up on Discogs. If you feel up to it, dive into this slop. For true noise freaks only.

~VII

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sick Child

Despite my huge, fetishized obsession with the harsh music that comes out of the midwest, particularly Chicago. It took me until two days ago to acquired the ruthless split 7" between Socially Retarded and Daisycutter. It's baffling that it's taken me however many years to actually buy this monster. So much so that I've had friends tell me they were surprised that I didn't already. My love for Chicago filth is known and apparent. Released on Prgnt Records back in 2011, 45 RPM.

Now I bought this strictly for the Socially Retarded side, originally. I've known about Daisycutter, but never actually heard their half. Socially Retarded however still hold a spot as one of my favorite bands, and I've jammed passable MP3 rips of their side for a long time. Finally hearing it on vinyl was everything I had wanted. It's crushing, and disgusting, and the recording honestly doesn't even sound all that different from my beloved rips. Front to back though, it's a perfect five song collection.

In the bloated, rotting corpse pile of noisy/edgy powerviolence bands that have come out in the past five years, Socially Retarded were always one of the bands that performed this style the best. And also the most convincing at that. Seeing how members of SR have also served time in incredible PE groups like Constrictions and Machismo. Their love and blending of harsh electronics with powerviolence is not just done for the sake of cool noise. Opening up with the sleazy, raw PE track "Relations". Which became all the more disgusting once I read the lyrics. The lyrics all around are fantastic, unsafe and coated in perverted obsession. Graphic tales of blood spots, bleached needles, drug abuse, violence, screamed at their rawest from the perfectly suited vocals of Mitch Buller. The impact of song like "Permanent Damage", "Dark Space", and the incredible "Sick Child" is just visceral. Even if it does have the most no-fi recordings of their existence. Goddamn I love this band.

Daisycutter are a band I haven't heard in years. I remember initially hearing them on Myspace back in 2009 or so. I think they were going to do a split with Hooker Spit Windex or something. Anyway, they definitely impressed me back then, and they have held up. Super heavy, Despise You/Benümb influenced fastcore. With an equally rough, and super bass heavy recording. There is little to no presence of any powerviolence tropes in Daisycutter's side. The punch's and kick's here are from the sharp riff changes and fast tempo's. But keeping in typical midwest fashion, the image here is negative and grim. The vocals also give off a bit of a macho/tough guy delivery, which doesn't thrill me that much in this case, but I'll allow it. All in all, Daisycutter's side definitely doesn't have the same impact or response I get from Socially Retarded, but it's by all means incredibly solid.

This is the standard edition of which 300 copies were made. A one-sided, silkscreened fold-over cover with a lyric insert. There also exists a more limited edition with chipboard covers and different color ink. That could be fun to hunt for. Also, idk if other people had this problem but my center labels are reversed.

This record is still stupidly easy to find for a good price. If you haven't experienced Socially Retarded's filthy brilliance, you need to buy this. And then seriously consider spending the 20+ dollars for the Sea Of Shit split.

~VII