Saturday, May 26, 2018

Frost Cracking Trees

The latest batch of releases from Prime Ruin offered a lot to the listener in the ways of expansive and shapeshifting audio adventures. They're a label I can always trust to have quality output, and support for a wide variety, but still cohesive mixture of experimental artists. One of the newest tapes from the label was the excellent new Kjostad release, entitled "Frost Cracking Trees". Limited to 60 copies on yellow tapes.

A sibling project to Stefan Aunes long going Breaking The Will moniker (both having releases on his label New Forces), Kjostad has been having a rather exciting and active past year. Releasing the split LP with Ligature, called "Overgrown", and with several more cassette releases on the way. Brilliantly recorded natural/organic textures and loops, tape manipulation, and a calculated rise in aggression and tension. A convergence of the natural and the industrial, but with neither side trying to overpower the other. "Frost Cracking Trees" is yet another incredibly detailed and layered offering, but with a much more rapid pace and destructive sound. Bright, fluttery bird calls are quickly met with the tight whip crack sounding loop of some scrap metal. Sharp bursts of finely tuned, crushing low end spastically cut into the mix in a cut-up style. The whole track builds into an enormous amount of sound and industrial rhythms. It's very impressive how Stefan is able to manipulate these field recordings into something so loud, but still keep the integrity of the organic sources. The pacing and movements of the loops also keep everything engaging.

The journey continues on side 2 with more bird sounds and the subtle crunching of feet on a foresty turf. The pulsing, crackly distortion yet again swells up in a timely manner. The wormy and gritty sound of the compressed sound sources really get under my skin sometimes, in a good way. There's lots of scratchy textures on here. It sounds like the actual scraping against tree bark and digging into the earth. Not as rapid paced as the A-side track, but the claustrophobic atmosphere is tremendous.

I adore all of the art on this tape. It's one of my favorite collages on a Prime Ruin release, it encapsulates what the recordings sound like perfectly. As usual the tapes sound pro as fuck.

Not sure how many of these are left, but if this sounds good to you at all I recommend spending your money on it.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Roses Are Red, Grinders Are Cool

Bruised Ego are a band that are very near and dear to my heart. One of my favorite bands to come out in the past few years for sure, and some of the raddest dudes. Their first demo tape really knocked me out when I first heard it a couple years ago, and their very active progression has been insane. This, their first full length LP "Roman Numeral One", was recently released on a variety of labels. I was lucky enough to be able to pay for a handful of copies before it went to press, and Brad was generous enough to put my lil' ol labels logo on the back. So yes this review is pretty biased, but fuck it cause y'all really need to check out Bruised Ego (and buy this LP from the band and other labels please).

Bruised Ego are a fastcore band through and through, exemplifying all the traits I love about the genre and its over the top sonic nature. Passionate, opinionated, the right amount of tongue in cheek, plus they can push the tempo's to mach 5. "Roman Numeral One" is the product of many hours spent refining their craft and they gave it the treatment it so deserves. I was so stoked when I heard that super metal producer/engineer Colin Marston was going to be recording the LP, and he definitely put a large roomy, thick sound to everything. A very raw, aggressive and energetic sound and performance comes through. It's warp speed shit, I gotta catch my breath a lot when I listen to this, and I've heard it quite a lot at this point.

Every song from the first demo is re-recorded here, but the remaining 15 tracks are all new and in your face. Bruised Ego always been really terrific song writers. Brad is a riff machine, incorporating a ton of influence from different styles of heavy music besides the tried and true fastcore bands. Adam's drumming is perfectly able to add the right amount of accents and tricks to make the riffing come alive in a new way. One of the craziest drummers to watch live. The track "Dundalk" for instance, has so many sharp stops and changes, it sounds like a track from No Comment's "Downsided", but on fast forward. Or the strange and staggering snare hit break in "Old Guy In The Pit". "Human Garbage" has a fantastically structured intro that weaves and morphs so tastily, then explodes into full on war mode. Mike is also sounding as aggressive as ever. Insane praise for being able to keep up vocals towards this music.

The packaging and layout of this record is total eye candy to me. It came out so good! The absolutely amazing cover art (done by Lobo Ramirez) is full of wonderful little easter eggs that were a lot of fun to pick out.

You can pick this LP up from the Bruised Ego link up above. Also from To Live A Lie and Craniophagus Parasiticus Records (can). Tru Freak doesn't seem to have a webstore. Fastcore is alive and well in 2018!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Garbage Gets Me Hot

I'm a big fan of the whole 4-band split thing. I suppose most people would call that a compilation and call it a day. Personally I say you gotta get up to at least 5 bands for it to reach that "compilation" level. Anyway, four bands on one tape means more bang for your gorebuxxx, and I'm always down for more hot garbage sounds. This tape that Ben put out on the bodacious Craniophagus Parasiticus Records I've been after for a minute. I was happy to finally get it from him in person on the Scab Addict tour. Here's the Twat Slug/Womb Stew/Post Natal Drip/Cutaneous Horns 4-way split.

I've had an affinity for this split since it got announced. It's a stacked line-up, obviously, but everyone really just brings some of their most over the top material. One of the most coward-unfriendly splits I own, it's marvelously filthy. Twat Slug's quarter opens up the tape with four tracks of stomping, lo-fi gorenoise. Cheap, programmed drum beats, bizarre porn samples galore, blown out bass riffs and cavernously burpy vocals. This shit is great, I really adore Twat Slug. This is the kind of healthily porn-obsessed music I can get behind, and getting to see how rad the dude behind it is was really sweet too. The love for hunting down the most ridiculous and wild films, kinda like finding the most unmusical music.  Real freak music, total fetish material.
Right after Twat Slug, shit gets seriously fucking loud with Womb Stew. A harsh, harsh, HARSH gorenoise project from Aaron who ran Fermented Bile Vomit Records. This offering is one of the more pure harsh noise recordings from Womb Stew. I've always admired the projects almost complete lack of separation between pure noise and gore-stylings, but again on this split it's just extra cracked out material. The drums are almost completely buried under the overdriven distorted noise and feedback, absolutely no string instruments by the sound of it. It's a harsh and heavy wall that doesn't let up, the only thing that puts it in familiar territory are the continuous roaring troll vocals. Painful and unfriendly.

Post Natal Drip come through again with another session of drunk, no-fi jamming insanity. Post Natal Drip will rip every cowards face off, as is declared while the band prepares to slam dunk this shit. Completely free, way too overblown, sloppy and wild. Like if Deche-Charge mixed up with Peter Brotzmann. Seriously, the complete bastardization of music here is so on point and in your face, I love it.
And of course we end with Cutaneous Horns, who honestly could not have done a better or more proper job with the closing track. Big ups to starting it off with a good hip-hop sample, again referencing lack of friendship towards cowards. What follows is just pure wetness. I'm almost certain that it's just layers of water under distortion. Wet gorenoise taken to the fucking limit, shamelessly and triumphantly. What's funny is that the way the different samples weave and come in and out, it actually sounds quite nice and somewhat creepy at times.

As is usual with Ben's releases, the tape sounds great, and the whole package looks nice. 

If you can find this you should buy it, it gets a big recommendation from me. Real freak shit.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I'll Give Ya Mook

I’m not too into introductions, but my name is Tyler Hammer, I play guitar for Hallucination Realized and today I’d like to talk about Deterioration and their newest EP, "Lupara Bianca". We recently went on tour with Deterioration and I’d have to say they are 100% the best grindcore band in America right now, and this EP is their best material yet. Currently out on their label Shattered Dreams Production as a CD and a now sold out 8-track and cassette. Hopefully their will be a vinyl version in the future.

Production wise this is their best stuff. The guitars and bass are massive sounding and the riffs have a lot of energy. The drums sound solid with a great sounding snare tone that has a nice crack but still has good ping to it. Riff wise they really bring it with a lot of really catchy parts and good slower sections, like the sludge-y riff in "Lupara Bianca" and the breakdown in "Car Battery Interrogation". For the most part the songs are blasting or doing some sort of hammer blast variant. The main theme of this release is Mafia related and it's nice to see a mix up from the usual gore related albums and songs they've done in the past. They are one of the few bands that can have funny song titles like "Car Bombing In The Name Of The Family (Bada-Boom)", while still keeping the music serious.

You can listen at their bandcamp which is linked right here. Keep on the look out for new material sometime soon and of course they will likely be playing near you as they as touring non-stop and aren't likely to slow down anytime soon. 

~Tyler Hammer