Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: December 2012

Birdflesh – Happy Fun Sumo Sandwich (2007)

Birdflesh – Happy Fun Sumo Sandwich (2007)

The best thing about this tape is that I have no fucking idea how I ended up owning it. I cannot for the life of me remember where I got the thing from! Anyway, this is a transparent purple tape containing a live set of Birdflesh performing in Japan. The quality is fairly clear, and the band play all the hits, but it definitely remains at the level of being a completist item for Birdflesh fans; I doubt that anyone new to the group would find anything of merit here. Out on the fantastic Haunted Hotel Records.

Torturing Nurse – Slave (2012)

Torturing Nurse – Slave (2012)

This isn’t as distorted and harsh as I originally thought it would be. The noise slowly builds and builds, and when the hellish garbled drone kicks in fully it is still without any eardrum penetrating fuzz or hiss. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; Torturing Nurse’s rumbling, harrowing soundscape of death is perfect just the way it is. It levels out a bit as it continues and some nice haunting female vocals weave in and out of the racket. Great stuff! Released by fellow Welshman – Red Venice Records, and limited to 40 copies only.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Merry Crystmeth (2012)

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Merry Crystmeth (2012)

Welcome to part 2 of my Christmas Day double post! Not sure how many of you will actually be reading this on Christmas but I hope the festivities have progressed satisfactorily for you all. I for one will be no doubt smashed off my face by now on my parent’s free beer. Can’t beat the Christmas visit! This year’s Decibel Christmas flexi is a follow up to last years cracking ANb EP, A Joyful Noise. This year however, the full modern ANb crew are utilized, sadly pushing Mr. Randall into the background again. Luckily then, the song is as fucking heavy as a protein rich turkey shitlog you can’t quite squeeze out on Boxing Day. It seems a long time since I’ve heard the beautiful screeching demon Katherine Katz, and her throat-shredding, tonsil-raping cries are a welcoming sound. A Joyful Noise grinded and blasted, but Merry Crystmeth chugs and clanks like a motherfucker. It’s a lethally angry song, pushed forward by Rich Johnson’s (and to a lesser extent Randall’s) livid vocals. Merry Crystmeth falls firmly back into the territory that a lot of old ANb fans dislike, but I for one (and I’m sure a lot of others, too) absolutely love this white piece of wax that has the consistency of cling film. Imported from Californ-i-a by the legendary Gumpytron 6000. Merry Christmas, you fucks!

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Make A Joyful Noise (2011)

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Make A Joyful Noise (2011)

Ho ho ho! Merry fucking Christmas! Hope your having a good one and that plenty of turkey and grog is consumed. In line with the festivities, I have planned a double post for today, showcasing both the Agoraphobic Nosebleed flexis put out by Decibel magazine. I’ll start with my favourite – the former of the two; last year’s Make A Joyful Noise on square transparent red. These flexis are an absolute bastard to get in the UK at a decent price, and I thank eternally my long-haul loving friend Gumpy for bringing me back a set from California. You’re an absolute legend! I always defend “new” Agoraphobic Nosebleed from the viscous attacks of old school grinders but then when ANb come out with something like this it does make me think; “shit, why can’t we just go back to this all the time?”. Make A Joyful Noise was an epic Christmas 2011 gift to the more demanding grind fans, with Scott Hull stripping ANb back to the microblast carnage of old; a simple recipe of harsh noise and fast as fuck drum machine grindcore, with longtime and not-currently-used-enough vocalist/mastermind J. Randall snarling all over the top of it like a deranged lunatic. A treat for us fans of old ANb, but it really does make you think that it should be this way all of the time! Ha ha (No offence to the excellent Kat and Rich Johnson of course, I’m just pining for more fuckin’ crazy digigrind)

Merzbow – Recycled (1992)

Merzbow – Recycled (1992)

Look It’s been a good while since I last reviewed a tape (the Electric Wizard one that went up yesterday was written months ago), so seeing as I bought a few recently it’s high time I did some more tape posts. This is my first ever Merzbow purchase and potentially an in-road onto a long slippery slope of trying to collect all his shit. I went through the same fad in 2007 with Agathocles, and failed miserably, but at least with them it is a case of every release being known (not counting bootlegs, of course). Merzbow’s discography is so large that it is said that not even the man himself knows of every release that has been put out. Jesus! This Recycled tape is an item in a returning trend in tape culture; the dubbing over of old shit tapes. A cheap and easy way to put out music! This was originally a Barbara Streisand tape, which has been butchered and dubbed over with some pulsing and horrible noise. The noise starts off fairly bassy, but gets pretty harsh as things develops. I like the way noise builds and reveals itself; constantly warping and molding itself into new textures, so I’m a bit bummed when other shit cuts through, like random singing and shitty beats. I guess this runs with the Recycled ethic and gives the impression that the music underneath is sneaky through the harsh wall. This is also probably the loudest tape I own yet; more than likely due to Merzbow’s massive bass frequencies abusing the depth of an analogue format. At one point there is a huge pulsing sound which shook not only my speakers, but my TV stand, sofa and whole floor. The volume wasn’t even particularly high. As far as I can tell, this is Merzbow self-released (2020 edit: its not), and as much as I enjoyed it, there is a million (literally) other Merzbow cuts out there that are so much better.

Electric Wizard – Legalize Drugs & Murder (2012)

Electric Wizard – Legalize Drugs & Murder (2012)

So if you weren’t at the London show when this 7″ came out, you were pretty much boned for an original copy! Represses exist on 7″ though thanks to Rise Above, and the EP was released more nationally as a free copy by the good folk at Terrorizer magazine, on the excellently under-rated format of tape and with a couple of extra tracks thrown in for good measure! You though vinyl had a warm sound? Son, you need to fire up that ol’ tape deck and chomp this fucker into it. Legalize Drugs and Murder is the usual Leccy Wizz affair of drugs’n’riffs; opening with a sample of bubbling bongwater before sludging headfirst into a muddy-as-hash-oil riff-fest. It is, quite honestly, the best thing in the world to nod your head to whilst smoking a fucking massive spliff. Word. All the tracks are excellent, including the remixes. I genuinely feel like I have stepped back in time plugging my headphones into my seldom used tape deck! Far out, man! This is currently selling for a variety of different prices on Discogs and eBay because let’s not forget that Terrorizer is a British magazine and there are still plenty of Wizard fans over the globe who cannae get a copy of this bastard!

Insect Warfare – World Extermination (2007)

Insect Warfare – World Extermination (2007)

Every now and then, in all scenes of music, a band or artist will come along and snowball into something massive. Insect Warfare were an absolutely fantastic grindcore band, so at least in that case they weren’t shite as well as overrated. It’ll just be the latter then. Phew. I feel bad writing that because I believe and want decent bands to get the attention and exposure that they deserve, but I don’t think anyone can deny that Insect Warfare were insanely overrated in the time leading up to their demise. I think statements such as saying World Extermination is the Scum or FETO of our generation are just too goddamn far-fetched. Also I think Earache bastard Records are to blame for the world and his fucking cat owning World Extermination shirts. They must be selling them four for a pound. Anyway, negativity aside (I genuinely do not mean to be so negative, I guess the sarcasm just takes over! I only mean what I say as an observation), World Extermination is a fucking cracking grindcore record. Those of you into the fast who somehow haven’t heard this band (although I think that might be impossible unless you were cryogenically frozen for a few years) need to rectify that right away. Insect Warfare as a band are incredibly tight. Even the d-beat sections of songs are devoid of the usual punky slack, which is almost unheard of. These are, truly, prime cuts of grind; blasting and shredding with machine-like precision. The guitar tone is fat, as is the drum sound. Gracing the carnage with an overflowing venom is the frenetic dual vocal attack, completing the perfected grind blueprint. World Extermination is relentless, but it is also not afraid to “slow down” to a pace now and then that allows for a proper riff to sneak in. If you can’t head-bang to “Hydraphobia” you don’t deserve to have a fucking neck. This album is everywhere, thanks to Earache, and picking up a copy cheap shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it’s a piece of piss. This version here what I got is the original 2nd vinyl pressing on 625 Thrashcore / RSR, which was out before Earache got thier claws into the band. I picked this up almost without thinking, back when I was rich enough to take album recommendations from people on internet forums. I’m fucking glad that I did, though. It has a fucking awesome colour scheme going on and it even comes with a fuck-off bitchin’ poster. Grind!

Jesu – Lifeline (2007)

Jesu – Lifeline (2007)

This is the first Jesu record I heard and it is still probably one of my favourite releases by him. It also introduced me to Jarboe, which opened up a whole can of worms in my life in the form of Swans (another very long story for another day), who appears here as a special guest, not to mention as a precursor to the pair’s collaboration album that would follow. Lifeline was released on the now sadly dying Hydra Head Records, who handled all CD and vinyl presses. As well as the black pressing you’ve got a golden one the same dirty colour as the EP artwork, and a swanky dirty-gold / black splatter edition, which I’ve got here. The song “Lifeline” introduced me to the lush beats and melancholy droning that is Jesu. Gone are the brain-battering barrages that adorned mighty Godflesh tracks; here the sample work is a laid back affair of deep basses and hissing snares, that whilst coming to and fro in the mix alongside the sparkling, hopeful synth sound almost like audible waves of the ocean lapping at stony shores. How the sound sums up the artwork (a photo taken by the man himself) so perfectly! “You Wear Their Masks” continues in the same vein before Jarboe (not to mention Ted Parsons) come along and all of a sudden it’s half of 1987-Era Swans up in this bitch. Early Swans basically invented Godflesh so it is rather ironic that all these musicians should work together so many years later and make music that is actually nothing like either early Swans or Godflesh. “End Of The Road” is one of my favourite Jesu songs ever, with Justin’s distant, distorted voice simply crooning “these scars don’t heal / I don’t mind”. Once upon a time, a friend of mine told me that Broadrick sounds like Ville Valo from HIM on this recording and I just can’t shake that now, every time I listen to it I’m reminded of that hatted Finnish bellsniff. Similar things have happened in other artist’s work, like Godflesh’s “Predominance” becoming “Dommelsch” after the Dutch lager, or even worse Electric Wizard’s “Venus In Furs” becoming “My Penis, It Burns” (don’t try it, I promise you will regret it), but I digress. Lifeline is a fantastic record and a great place to start with the Jesu discography, even if it is not the most logical.

Big Black – Songs About Fucking (1987)

Big Black – Songs About Fucking (1987)

One doesn’t really know where to start when it comes to analyzing the works of Steve Albini, and if I’m honest I’m still a total amateur on the subject; although I guess Songs About Fucking is a great place to start considering it is rather well known. I kinda worked my way backwards through the world of drum-machine propelled music, starting with Agoraphobic Nosebleed and other digigrinders, then onto Godflesh and other industrial. Big Black, as influential as they were, came as a bit of a shock to me when I finally got around to checking them out. Coming on initially to my inexperienced ears like a bizarre mix between Swans and Marilyn Manson, Songs About Fucking holds all the swagger of punk and rock’n’roll, mixing it oddly with the distorted and experimental edge of early drum-machine powered industrial and the growing synth-pop trend. Personally, I find Side A a load more fun that Side B, and it is no co-incidence that the two sides are separate sessions recorded in different parts of the world. “The Model” is so catchy it gets stuck in my head for days, whilst “Bad Penny” and “L Dopa” are two examples of drum machine rock music at it’s very best. Side B seems a lot more clanky and heavy. Unfortunately, this record was to be Big Black’s last. Steve Albini, as some of you are probably aware, went on to forge an extremely successful studio recording career as a producer, pushing his love of analogue and his more “authentic” recording techniques upon some of music’s more well known stars. Good man!

Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard (2001)

Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard (2001)

Pig Destroyer’s Prowler record is considered a modern classic in the world of American grind, and it doesn’t take a genius to see why. Adding a poetic, dark and downright creepy edge to the hyper-precision blasts helped Pig Destroyer stand apart from the legions of other grindcore acts clamoring for attention; and despite what your opinion is on what Pig Destroyer has become these days, it is very hard to deny that Prowler isn’t an absolute corker of an album. All the intensity in the world meets in this one 22 track monster. “Jennifer” is one of the best album openers ever, and sets the creep-o-meter fairly high. Bombardments of micro-blasts follow uniformly, punctuating stops in the frenzy of hypergrind with the odd chuggy moment or neck-snapping groove. It is not until side B however, that the Destroyer of Pigs slows things down to a crawl pace; “Hyperviolet”, “Starbelly” and “Piss Angel” are absolute monstrosities, utilizing the slow and doomy approach rather than smashing through the wall completely with the grind. This was definitely a  precursor of what was to come in the epic Natasha; a sprawling 35-minute audible nightmare, and is also a continuation into territory explored on the progressively hellish older song “Pixie”. All in all, Prowler In The Yard has something for everyone, as far as extreme metal goes. Well, barring any black metal moments, thank fuck. That would just be awkward. What we have here is a recording of Pig Destroyer in their prime; the excellent three piece line up that recorded this and follow-up album Terrifyer. J R Hayes’ vocals are at their peak during these two album sessions, and you cannot beat him for sheer velocity and rabid enthusiasm; he is one angry fucker! Limited to 1000 pieces on Relapse Records. (2020 edit: the remaster of Prowler is also most definitely worth a listen.)

Regurgitate – Effortless Regurgitation of Bright Red Blood / Concrete Human Torture (1994)

Regurgitate – Effortless Regurgitation of Bright Red Blood / Concrete Human Torture (1994)

This here is the fantastic repress on Power It Up Records. Mine, unfortunately, is not the edition with the bonus 7″ (I didn’t know it existed when I bought this, which is a shame as I wouldn’t have minded paying a bit extra for the whole set). This set contains Effortless Regurgitation… on one slab of wax, and the Concrete Human Torture tape plastered onto a single side of another slab of wax. Adorning side D is a brilliant etching of the old spiky Regurgitate logo. What a brilliant set this is! Shame about the 7″, as that too contains an old demo/split thing and it would have been nice to round off this package of old Regurgitate shits. Concrete Human Torture surprised me by having a slightly better production job; I always assumed it was a shitty demo, being one of their first released tapes and all. But, no! Everything is wrapped up in a crisper world here. The drums are much clearer and things seem a lot tighter, mainly because there is less muddiness in the mix. The price on this set is absolutely criminal, currently averaging £15 on Discogs. I highly recommend it, especially the version with the extra 7″, as it is a bloody good bargain and you get three early Regurgitate releases in one go, all on lovely jubbly vinyl. The only downer I can find with this release is that the gore pictures on the front and back cover seem a little stretched, giving the artwork a bit of a cheap feel, but that really is the minor downer here, this set is fucking amazing!

Om – Advaitic Songs (2012)

Om – Advaitic Songs (2012)

Om were an accidental discovery for me. I have had the mp3s of Pilgrimage for years thanks to a friend, but I had never truly appreciated them. To me it literally just seemed like SleepLite. What was the fucking point? Anyway, I’ll cut the bullshit and get straight to the point. One day I decided to try and smoke as much weed as I possibly could. I’m not talking “oh, let’s get totally baked”, I’m talking about smoking until I physically couldn’t lift the lighter to the bowl no more. I had to do once I guess, even if it could have given me schizophrenia if the Daily Mail is to be believed. And so I did it. And I had to do something whilst sitting there dribbling all over myself like a fucking idiot, so I managed to get my iPod on shuffle before I became 100% couch-locked. What followed was a musical journey of enlightenment which had two particular highlights; I devised that Electric Wizard used 87,000 guitar tracks on the Black Masses album, and I was also stoned enough to sit and listen to an Om song long enough for it to kick in! Bam! The rest is history! Dat bass! After “Bhima’s Theme” melted my face off, I was blown off this planet once again by the band (and coincidentally, a fuckton of weed) at their Roadburn 2012 performance, and again whilst sober as a judge during the Bristol date of their recent UK tour. It was at that point I finally realized I might be a genuine Om fan and I decided it was high time (no pun intended) I bought some fucking records. I picked up Advaitic Songs from the friendly folks in Spillers Records and I couldn’t have been happier! On this year’s release the band shy away from the endless distortion of old more than ever, exploring the heavy-Eastern and highly spiritual themes in more depth. That is not to say that the rumbling frenzy of bass doesn’t kick in every now and then to grind it’s way through another groovefest of neck-rolling awesomeness, but it is also used a lot more in its clean form. On Pilgrimage the clean bass parts did get a bit boring but here they are used to staggeringly brilliant effect; the climax to “Gethsemane” is something every musician should hear at least once – the clean bass takes centre stage, spazzing out in a jam of ecstasy without losing structure from the song, or without overpowering the other instruments.

Bongripper – Satan Worshipping Doom (2010)

Bongripper – Satan Worshipping Doom (2010)

What I’ve got here in today’s post is Bongripper’s 3rd pressing of Satan Worshipping Doom, which I wisely picked up at Roadburn in April. The band release all their records themselves, and it is now worth a small fortune on Discogs. Also, this is going to sound rather bizarre, but I see this as less of a record and more as a reminder, or a testament, to the band’s fucking mind-blowing set at Roadburn festival 2012. I gotta say, I was a bad place during last year’s Roadburn, I almost felt detached from the world for various different reasons, but several forms of drugs and mind / mood altering music helped me through the cold nights! Haha Bongripper played two sets that festival, and one of them was this four track monster in it’s entirety. It was a very draining experience, and I actually do not know how I managed to stand through the whole thing without collapsing and foaming at the mouth in a doom-metal induced spasm of orgasm, but that’s what weed is for, right? Since that day I have never been able to listen to this album again without longing for the sheer impact that it pushed upon me live; it will forever serve as a second hand memory. It is still as awesome as several hundred shades of fuck, but it will never, ever, EVER reach the feeling that it had live. You can take that in two ways. Some might say that this record is now tainted. I beg to differ. How good must Bongripper be to transcend that level of awesomeness when you play your entire record from start to finish live it actually turns out BETTER than the version you spent long days in the studio perfecting? That sirs, is art. And whilst I agree with people like M. Gira (to name a few, I just picked him because I am a gigantic fanboy) on the matter that songs should naturally take different forms in live environments, I can’t help but almost shed a tear thinking about standing in the 013 main room at Roadburn every time I look at the cover art to this record. Now, if that makes it tainted, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

diSEMBOWELMENT – Transcendence Into The Peripheral (1993/2012)

diSEMBOWELMENT – Transcendence Into The Peripheral (1993/2012)

Imagine how stupid I felt after shelling out for the super-ultra-mega-wicked-limited edition of this record that was ONLY available at day one of Roadburn 2012 when I found out there was actually less to it than the normal Relapse package and a few quid more expensive! Bitch please! In a European world where records cost an average of 20 Euros each I was not impressed. Never mind, I guess it is the same record regardless, not to mention it is just that; super-ultra-mega-wicked. Oh boy. diSEMBOWELMENT were another one of those bands that I would always hear mentioned and I would never get around to checking out. Shame on me. When Roadburn 2012 announcements came around and I finally was forced to download this to get familiar with them, boy was my face red. Nowadays my tolerance for death metal is as thin and worn out as Sasha Grey’s taint, and for that reason I will kick myself eternal that I did not discover this record in the peak of my death metal / grindcore days, where I surely would have appreciated it more! But it is no matter, it is still slower than a Land Rover Defender stuck in 2nd gear, and I can get down with that. “Death metal? Slow, you say? Have you had too many knocks on the head?” I hear you ask. Why yes I have, but that’s besides the point. I think this is the first death-doom record I own; that’s not to say that it is pure death-doom, you get the odd blast beat and a whole bunch of weird stuff to keep it interesting. If you like your records long, drawn out and quite honestly painful, I would highly recommend this band.

Swans – The Burning World (1989)

Swans – The Burning World (1989)

(2020 edit: It’s worth mentioning that in the last 8 years since this review was written, I have grown up considerably, and now appreciate The Burning World for what it is. Either way, here’s the 2012 review in its original format, some of which is also a bit factually inaccurate, so please take it with a pinch of salt.) Hmmm, this is going to be a controversial one for me. I don’t know how I can write about this without being downright horrible about one of my favorite bands of all time. Hard Times. Fuck it, here it goes. The Burning World is Swans’ sixth album, and marked the final nail in the coffin for the early days of audible hell. Industrialists, grinders, arty hipsters and noise nerds dropped their support for this band in fucking droves the moment The Burning World hit the shelves, and it’s very easy to see why (2020 edit: There’s a brilliant bit in the book Sacrifice And Transcendence where Lydia Lunch accuses Gira of selling out with this record, and he really doesn’t like that one bit!). Even compared to the tamer-than-usual sound of fifth album Children of God, The Burning World is a hundred thousand miles away from anything Cop or Filth. Gone are the dirging bass rhythms, the relentless and pounding drums, the hellish and fucking loathsome lyrics! In are all the acoustic guitars in the world, a plethora of studio session musicians, a major label budget and THAT Johnny Cash crooning. Yikes! And thus began a period in the history of Swans that both Jarboe and Mr. Gira like to pretend didn’t happen (2020 edit: again, not strictly true). In retrospect, Gira admits to loathe The Burning World, and he even repressed the two albums to follow it on a compilation called Various Failures. You think he’s trying to tell us something? The fact that he didn’t repress The Burning World for fucking aeons also cements the fact that he hates this record, and even when he did so in the compilation form of Forever Burned, the pressing number was significantly lesser than all the other Swans re-issues. Following  Swans records White Light… and Love of Life went on to achieve something of a cult status (I personally think Love of Life is spectacular) but The Burning World sank like a stone and for the most part remains in the depths of the music world where nobody gives a shit about it. I’ve seen this and the CD version go for some ridiculous prices online so when I saw it for like £15 on Discogs I snapped it up, mainly because I am a massive Swans fan boy and simply must get every single record (I cringe at the day I have to fucking buy The Great Annihilator which is by far their worst output), and in all honesty, it started to grow on me. I don’t really know why, because it is a shameless, major label funded, Bill Laswell fueled try-hard attempt to break into the mainstream, but I gotta say, The Burning World has a few great songs. If the tribal drumming aspects of “Mona Lisa Mother Earth” aren’t good then I might as well be deaf, “(She’s A) Universal Emptiness” is far more impressive that similar-sounding depressed cunts The Smiths and “Saved” is the best song in the world for describing my life. I don’t deserve it, but I’m Saved. Until the disappointing chorus kicks in, “Jane Mary, Cry One Tear” builds and builds in such an epic fashion, with heart-wrenchingly depressing lyrics, and closer “God Damn The Sun” has gone on to become a Gira acoustic classic. It is the only track on this album that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is purely one of the most goddamn fuckin’ miserable things I have ever heard. Even though Swans changed just about everything to do with their sound, the same themes remained. Okay, it’s not quite “push your ass up / cry / open your mouth / here’s your money / cry / this feels good” or “somebody weaker than you should rape you, bastard” but the lyrics still centre around demons, loss, death, depression and apparent incomprehensible self loathing. I think then, we can forgive the mighty Swans this one hiccup! Long live the crushing monster! 

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature (2013)

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature (2013)

This is one of the chunkiest metal productions I have heard in quite some time. Nothing Violates This Nature is an amazing performance from start to finish; mixing the blistering ferocity of grindcore with the, dare I say it, artsy hardcore edge of stuff like Converge, even Dillenger et al. (2017 edit: I have since discovered that not only is Converge drummer Ben Koller in the fucking band, but this record was produced by Kurt Ballou! Ha!) I’ve caught the band live on a few occasions, and I can confirm that this record is an accurate depiction of the violence and carnage that comes with the band. The guitar work of Adam Wentworth and Brian Izzie expertly walks the line between hardcore and the downtuned hell of death metal. One is reminded subtly of Entombed, but stripped of the trademark (and often imitated) guitar tone, instead plunged headfirst into a more jarred, mathematics frenzy. Great stuff! I mean, this is brilliant, it truly is (favourite tracks: “Of Suffering” and “Articles Of Human Weakness”). It’s just… I keep expecting Kurt Ballou to screech out a tortured roar over everything. I’m having trouble dealing with that expectation at every turn, but then again I’m an idiot. Check it out below. 

Fukpig – Spewings From A Selfish Nation (2009)

Fukpig – Spewings From A Selfish Nation (2009)

As much as I facking adore Fukpig I can’t help but get tits-bored of this album by track three or something. I almost feel bad writing this, but this record is equal amounts nasty, heavy and boring. I know that it is hard to be original in the d-beat/crust corner of grind and punk, but even when Fukpig bring their own rather unique black metal-esque distorted tinge to the table, the combination of different outcomes is still disappointingly low. For starters, you need to listen to this record on a decent sound system to get over THAT bass drum pattern. If you can’t pass this hurdle you might as well give up all hope now. Proceed no further, friend! Ha ha – in all seriousness however, this is an excellent record, I am just over-exaggerating. Do heed my warnings however; I am not lying when I say that it is very repetitive and sometimes boring. Despite my complaints this album contains some brilliant tunes perfect to get your head banging to, or to tear each other apart to in some of the mentalest mosh pits I have ever seen. To the uninitiated; imagine Anaal Nathrakh crossed with Extreme Noise Terror and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what is going on here, and hopefully what I mean by a bit boring! Sorry! Spewings was released by FETO Records and is/was limited to 200 copies. Some copies were released directly by the band and were called the “black” copies. Every single last piece of artwork on these was jet black.

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium ‎– Gorki-X (2010)

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium ‎– Gorki-X (2010)

(2021 Edit: You can thank Photobucket once again for shafting me out of the images of my record collection. Please enjoy this watermarked piece of shit! Ta!) I never thought that I’d end up with some of this band’s lesser available stuff, so I was chuft to see some excellent vinyl on sale really cheap on the recent Cemetery Rapist / Anal Penetration UK tour. This was the ridiculous price of £6, which is great because I never thought I’d stumble upon one of the 180 copies in existence, never mind get it at that price. Horns & Hoofs Records is the bands own label, and it’s cool to see them putting out little runs of real vinyl. What we have here from the Eastern grinding partnership is something altogether different than the usual Necrocannibalist sound. The churning, gutfucking bass is still there, but the songs are slow, plodding monstrosities instead of flat out blasts of hell. The vocals are still ridiculously shite and the band still sound like they can’t play a single note, but hey, this is sloppy noisecore / grindcore, right? That’s okay then, carry on old bean!

Year Of No Light – Ausserwelt (2010)

Year Of No Light – Ausserwelt (2010)

I don’t normally like post rock type stuff. Sure, I appreciate what the genre is all about, the sheer scope and beauty of it seems fantastic on paper, but for the most part I just can’t see passed the whole twinkly-twinkly-becomes-epic-climax-in-7-11-minutes thing. Ugh. Build, bash, repeat. Wow, that’s art, man. What I like about Year Of No Light however is that they retain the post rock epic and meld it with something more dark and haunting. There are overtones of doom metal galore, and an underlying sense of something altogether more film-scorey. Yes, I just wrote “scorey”. It’s how they say scary in Liverpool. This record opens like a slow-motion, mega-HD punch to the face. Guy Ritchie is filming the fucker and after the initial burst you’re left reeling backwards in all the sickening, gritty detail you could imagine. Possibly in sepia, too. Equal parts beauty and beast. I initially saw Year Of No Light live at Roadburn 2011 but didn’t feel them, but I was attracted to check out this record on the cover art alone. That is how I used to suss out records when I was in my early teens, and it is still quite fun to just go for a record because it fucking looks awesome, although I gotta be honest I end up disappointed more often than not, but now and then a diamond like this will come along and make it all worth while. Bizarrely, I ended up picking up this record at the next Roadburn when Year Of No Light didn’t have a set. Genius. Out on a variety of colours thanks to Music Fear Satan. Ausserwelt by YEAR OF NO LIGHT

Earth – Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (1996)

Earth – Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (1996)

For me, Pentastar is the essential first listen album for Earth. It combines the dizzying drones from the first few records with the unusual penchant for traditional song structures that would pave the way for the band’s later, more clean and folky shoegazer efforts. This is the last Earth record to fully embrace the wonders of the fuzz, and for this reason alone it must be worshipped! What I have here is the excellent value 2006 repress on Sub Pop Records. It is hard to review this album without defaulting focus on the now classic intro and outro riff (“Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor” to be more specific), which in all honesty and hindsight, can pretty much sum up the sound of Pentastar. The fact that Earth still play this monolith live – a somewhat more chilled and clean version, though – at shows doesn’t help my case. It can easily put you back into this era and you end up associating the whole bloody thing with those two tracks and that one poxy riff! Doh! But, armed with the power to see past that hypnotising riff and one can appreciate that there are lots of excellent songs here to rival any band with a leaning towards the fuzz, from the depths of the doom genre right through to something altogether more Kyuss. Acid King in particular come to mind whilst listening to “Tallahassee”, a crunching, laid back number of epic proportions. Opener (not counting the intro riff) “High Command” has all of the head-nodding goodness, whilst “Peace in Mississippi” brings the funk and “Sonar and Depth Charge” mixes everything up a bit by stripping right down for over seven minutes of haunting piano.

Scorn – Yozza (2011)

Scorn – Yozza (2011)

(2020 Update: Scorn is now back and released a new EP and new full length in 2019! Yay!) Sadly, Yozza (released in the arse-end of 2011) was to be the last thing that Mick Harris would put out under the Scorn moniker after 20 long years of pushing the boundaries of underground electronic music. Looking back now, it is hard to believe how far ahead of the times Scorn was; playing something that was the blueprints for the dubstep sound years before any silly cunt with a fucking Adidas cap decided it should be a genre. Oh, the injustice! But, never mind, because in the right circles Mr. Harris is known for being a true innovator and leader in music, from his involvement in birthing Napalm Death and the grindcore genre right through to his ambient, experimental, noise and prolific collaborative efforts with over 9000 different artists, producers and musicians. Holy mother of fuck! You can head over to the man’s own website to try and get your head around his discography. Best of luck! Yozza opens with what seems like real drumming (a theme explored on the previous record Refuse; Start Fires), mixing dirty and distorted bass with the usual anxious soundscapes and devastating lows. If I can be so bold I will suggest that side B is superior; opener “Shake Hands” is Scorn at it’s best, and “Name’s Not Down, Not Coming In” will warble your intestines to muck, in a good way. Cut on a 12″, the songs are phat as fuck and the mix is huge. Although this is a great EP, this isn’t the way I imagined Scorn to go out, but it’s not my fucking band and I don’t make the decisions so I’ll shut up. I will miss Scorn, but at least the music will live on his in records (not to mention the 160 other projects Mick has on the go). I’m just glad I managed to catch him live in 2011. What a fluke! Out on Ohm Resistance. 

Agathocles – Humarrogance (1997)

Agathocles – Humarrogance (1997)

What I have here for review is the 1997 Morbid Records (RIP) LP release of Humarrogance. The sound is that of the usual Agathocles stock, if not a little crisper than most recordings. The tracks blast and grind away with impressive mincing fury until it comes to an abrupt halt at the start of track eight, “White Horse”. This song has a strange rock and roll vibe to it, and it is very refreshing to hear Agathocles mince through something with such a prominent groove factor. The tracks that follow, “Ain’t I?” and the interestingly titled “Beam Me Up, Scotty”, are of equal quality and I find myself banging my head like an idiot. The four bonus tracks that come on the CD version (I have that too) are either live gigs or live rehearsals of songs that hark back to Agathocles’ earlier days, with even pitch-shifted vocals in tow. The quality of sound on some of these tracks is pretty grim, but enjoyable none-the-less. It is my opinion that these tracks belong on a seven inch record, to truly emphasise the crust factor (actually chances are they have already appeared on seven inch about 37 different times). The artwork perplexes me. It reeks of the typical D.I.Y. ethic you come to expect of grindcore, but the front sleeve is something else entirely. It is some sort of surrealist painting by an unidentified artist. Perhaps the painting is famous, and therefore does not require a credit. This could well be the case as I have little experience with the world of “art”. It is a painting though, that much I can tell, of two ghostly figures examining objects on a clothed table; there is a butterfly, an hourglass, and what appears to be a French baguette. Since this CD/LP was my first experience of Agathocles, and I fully appreciate this piece, I would recommend this release to any fans of grindcore, especially those looking for an in-road into the never-ending maze of Agathocles releases (trust me, it’s a fucking nightmare). Although, the constant vegetarianism / anti-nazi / anti-racism / anti-fascism edge may put off some people who don’t like that kind of thing (ie, right wing dickheads).

Gorgonized Dorks / Xanax Feast – Split 7″ (2008)

Gorgonized Dorks / Xanax Feast – Split 7″ (2008)

Gorgonized Dorks may be painfully noisy in their approach to grind, but at least they do it right. Odd keyboard tones accompany crusty drumming and a highly-punk-influenced guitar and bass performance. It’s highly infectious stuff, torn apart by vocalist Katz’ harsh laments. If you like this or not will depend entirely on your tolerance for the noisier, more distorted side of grind. Not so much can be said for Xanax Feast, unfortunately. You can barely hear the music at all, just a purring bass line and a flurry of horrid, fake sounding cymbals. These are basically made inept by the extra-loud vocal attack of what seems to be several vocalists. It’s just so bad. It doesn’t work for me at all. Apparently, these are live recordings, so Xanax Feast may have a second chance to impress me in the future. However, I feel sorry for the label who had to pay to put this shit on a proper 7″. Apparently, these copies are extras from an initial run of 100.