Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fortress of Solid 'Tude

Two American fastcore bands unleashed full lengths on to the world last year. Both of them have an output that I consider to be something special. One more modern (I'll get to them in April), and the other a band of veterans. The Almighty Hummingbird of Death gave us their 3rd full length LP, "Forbidden Techniques", released by To Live A Lie records in a run of 500 copies. 100 on this orange vinyl color.

The 'Bird was actually the first band I've ever made a conscious effort to collect all their records. I fell off over the past couple years since my online buying days are past me, but getting this record was essential. HoD are always a band that push themselves and seems to strive to make every record they do stand apart from each other. Every one maintaining the signature style and grace of the band: from the 5" EP classic, "Goatmeal", to the 13+ minute long track on the Downsided split. "Forbidden Techniques" is the band at their peak right now, they've made what I consider to be their best record so far.

Everything about this record is just the best; it's the best recording the band has ever had. The drums sound full and punchy, same with the guitar and bass tones. The performances, the compositions, pshtt forgetaboutit. Not a dud in the whole line-up here, everything sounds so inspired and finely tuned. But not in a proggy, annoying way, they've just crafted amazing songs. Tons of fun little moments, like the solid decreasing tempo on the outro to the first song, "Fresh Hell". Which goes immediately into one of the most hard hitting tracks on the album, "Thicken". I can't not help but trash a few fists in the air every time that song kicks in. Or the fantastic gang shouts on "Fuck An Apology", one of my favorite tracks on the album and surely a future anthem for the band.

Always a band to have topical lyrics, "Forbidden Techniques" is not without it's fair share of social commentary. From our obsession with technology, the current political climate, to social media, the 'Bird have a lot on their minds. But still keeping a general fun attitude, more like poking and prodding instead of just preaching.

And the ARTWORK! Man, this is some of the coolest artwork I've seen on a grindy/fastcore album in a while. I love everything about this, the colors, the detail, it's glorious. Huge shout out to Lucan Korte for this masterpiece.

This release is still available, you absolutely need this in your life. Now a surprise kitty photobomb!


Lets Start A War

2017 was a bogusly shit year, but at least it managed to squeeze out a brand new Lace cassette! The One and Only Lace, the one true Lace, fuck what you heard about the rest. Lace is a beloved project to me, I tend to fawn over everything the duo does. This c22 tape, "Reclamation", was released on the new Persona Press label in a run of 60 copies. 

Lace have kept it pretty quite since their excellent 2015 cassette release, "Facade". Both members of the project have been keeping active with other projects (Weston has had an incredible run of Sunken Cheek releases, Valentine still crushes my soul with the V. Sinclair output). But alas, the time has come for the One and Only Lace (or Lace (20) if you're looking on Discogs), to rise up again. The time for reclamation is nigh. Over both sides of this sturdy, little, black shelled cassette, the duo twist and derange the output of those foolish enough to use the name Lace. Smashing it into an unrecognizable state, totally changed, and made their own.  

I was told that this session was a pretty cathartic one; going for more of a free and aggressive approach. It is a bit of a different sounding release, but mainly just with how the duo performs and presents themselves. There's a curious amount of swagger, that I pick up on anyway. Especially on the A-side track, "Let's Start A War". Valentine screaming wildly over rumbling low end crunching and a very anxious and steady dull rhythm hit. Towards the end the vocals go really off the deep end, y'all like some Whitehouse falsetto's? However the quality of Lace's plodding soundscapes, and the completely chilling and sorrowful atmosphere is very much here. The chemistry of this duo is just incredible, sound and style both executed perfectly. Both members are obviously totally on the same wave length. 

This is an excellent first release for the Persona Press label. Once again winning me over with a tidy, and consistent aesthetic and layout. The tape sounds great too, thankfully. 

Hail the one true Lace! Hopefully it won't take 3 years for another release, but if it does I'll accept the wait. 


Friday, March 16, 2018


Finally, finally, FINALLY I got my hands on a Dead Gods release. A little brick and mortar/cassette label based out of Brooklyn, NY, owned and operated by Justin Lakes (Shredded Nerve, Pusdrainer) and Matt Boettke (Scant). The newest tape from the excellent Breaking The Will, a long-going solo harsh noise/cut-up project from Stefan Aune (who also runs the excellent New Forces label). Most likely done in a run of 100.

Stefan's a buddy of mine, and now a resident of my home town. So personal bias not-withstanding, I'm a big admirer of Breaking The Will and Stefan knows how to make legit, brutal noise, straight up. Nothing but pure adoration for extreme volume, harsh feedback, and ridiculous tape manipulation. "Affinities" is yet another excellent 20 minute testament to all these traits; starting and ending 100% brutal. Mammoth waves of crushing distortion, rapid fire modulations and some of the most disgusting and disorienting sudden stops in the game. I haven't really gotten the background concept for this particular release; seems to be about war and violence and all that good stuff. So without getting to heady about this, a harsh noise tape, it's just thoroughly excellent and enjoyable. Everything is also recorded really well, you can tell that every tone is dialed in to sound exactly how it should. I love it, good work there.

As I expected, the quality of this release is outstanding. Amazingly loud dub, super crispy, and a lay-out and aesthetic to match. I also love the Dead Gods spine that adorns all of their releases. It's both cool, and an annoying thing for me; because I can't have just one of these spines in my shelf, I gotta get 'em all! It's the same thing with Smash Music spines, the consistency is just what my OCD needs to get sucked in.

As far as I know this isn't sold out, but at the time of writing this the Dead God's Big Cartel is temporarily down.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Smash Music Tour Tape 3-Way

This tape was released for the little American tour stints that Cunts and Spacegrinder did with Penis Geyser in 2016. Released under the glorious Smash Music label, with that beautiful spine. I played a date with them on this tour in Syracuse with my old grindcore band. It was a magical night, truly exceptional memories for a life time. Never will I forget watching Spacegrinder pick up a folded up Razor scooter off the basement floor and scream into it like a microphone. I digress, this tape is awesome and I've been wanting to talk about it for a while. No idea how many copies of this were made, no more than 100 I'm sure.

Up first is Penis Geyser, one of the greatest bands in the United States. The phrase "pure noisecore" gets thrown around a lot, but these really are guys are the real deal, and an incredibly important band to me. Fuck riffs, fuck fidelity, fuck proficient playing, this is noisecore! This recording is brutal, it's completely blown out and destructive. It sounds like the tape recorder they used for this was on it's dying legs. Brad's vocals are intense as fuck, when they actually come through all the noise. It's excellent, I actually forgot how good there part was until replaying it for this post.

Spacegrinder, a name a lot of you are probably not familiar with, is adorned by one Japanese man who seems to continually have a rotating variety of guest members and genre styles. Everything from violent harsh noise to almost psychadelic free grindcore, which is what this recording sort of leans too. It's a lo-fi but still relatively clean free grind jam, with a constant stream of changing riffs and tempos. There's a ton of slow and sludgy parts, which honestly kill a lot of momentum this tape had until this point. Maybe I need to do heavy drugs to get this one more. Not my favorite part of the split, but still an interesting one.  

Closing out the tape is the almighty Cunts, one of my very favorite noisecore bands who never let me down. Their recording is fucking incredible, it's just 1-2-3-GO! The feedback on Ucchy's vocals is blazingly hot, some parts of this recording are pretty painful to listen to if you're wearing headphones. Which I'll chalk up as a compliment in this context. I'm fascinated how this band manages to make such violent and claustrophobic recordings, yet still have such an amazingly fun and driving punch. The drumming is masterful, perfectly knowing when to build up, drop into blasts, and create fist waving pogo beats seamlessly. I could listen to this band for days, just amazing!!!!

The dub is excellent, as is to be expected with Smash Music.

I'm not sure how you're going to find this tape besides Discogs or your really cool friend. The Smash Music webstore has been down for a minute so scour away!


Friday, March 2, 2018

Clap Crap

Gonna kick back on a harsh and frosty Upstate NY day and talk about another lil'ol Facepalm Death tape that Colton sent me a while back. This time it's a split with the almighty Napalm Death Is Dead! Another Japanese noise/shitcore band featuring the legend himself, Ucchy. But you, who reads this blog, should know that by now. Discogs says that this tape was released in a run of 125 by the Hotel Broslin label, however this looks pretty obviously like a redub/self bootleg. I'm fine with it regardless.

THANKFULLY Colton has decided to put both bands sides over this probably 45+ minute per side long Pavarotti tape (could you imagine rewinding this to the end just to hear the flip side?). NDID open this greasy trash up with a large chunk of hand clapping noises. A nice little nod to their fellow split mates. Also ingeniously, the claps also serve as the count in to the blow out bursts of bass noise. Hyper repetitive and not the least bit musical, but the recording still has different "movements" if you will, in classic NDID tradition. I always like to see how the band uses the microsong/noise burst formula, but manage to create wholly engaging and hypnotic pieces with the subtlest of changes. Enjoyably crappy in the best way, as I expect and adore.

 Another way for me to almost immediately get on board with a release is to put a picture of Godzilla on it. I love me some Kaiju. Anyway, Facepalm Death's side starts up as soon as Napalm Death Is Dead are finished. They do everything just so right by me, it's like the looked at all my personal check marks for what I want in a noisecore band. Ridiculous and mysterious samples from assuredly fucked up films only the deepest of freaks would watch, harsh cut-up tape edits, tough vocals, and an angry as fuck but still down to earth vibe about them. The editing and composing of this side is vicious; warp 2 drum machine blasts, going into harsh techno drums, gym whistles, electronics flipping out, toilet sound bass guitar. It's all there and it all flashes by in the blink of a ripped-off eyelid. I love it all!

Nice little insert here giving you all the info you would or would not want. The dub job is also crisp and fantastic, so big shouts to Colton for the nice work.

Buy this, obviously.