Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: January 2013

D12 – Shit On You (2000)

D12 – Shit On You (2000)

I always have mixed feelings about D12: the potential with the group was absolutely fantastic; each artist is an excellent rapper in their own right, but if they work together as a group or not is something that has always bugged me. I guess it’s the endless “it’s Eminem’s old band, innit” that pisses me off. The first record shared the load fairly but the second album parodied this yet lived up to it entirely; employing Mr. Mathers as the lead vocal in nearly every song, not to mention on nearly every bastard chorus. But I digress. This is about a single that was released around the time of the first record, and is actually pretty awesome. The beat comes on like some pretty serious hip hop; a whole level of Immortal-Technique-ganna-fuck-shit-up vibe, but by the time Bizarre hits the mic and Em’s chorus of shitting on your family comes in, the hardcore street-beat has lost all seriousness. The B side is the track “Under the Influence” which originally appeared on Eminem’s second album, so it’s kinda cool to have it here collected under the D12 name. This 12″ is deffo for collectors / die-hards only, and offers no real merit to anyone who wasn’t a DJ in 2002. 

Little Roy – Battle For Seattle (2011)

Little Roy – Battle For Seattle (2011)

So, Nirvana. A touchy subject. Well, not touchy but a hard one to define. Awful? Maybe. Terrible? Maybe. Over-rated as fuck? Definitely. The thing with Nirvana is that the songs were fantastic. The songwriting was spot on, it’s just when the songs unfolded into real entities they were boring, nauseating grunge numbers. But, it would seem, a lot of people like Nirvana’s music, and that includes dub legend Little Roy, who for some godforsaken reason decided it would be a good idea to record an album of Nirvana songs in a rub-a-dub style. Had I heard the idea before the finished product I would indeed be questioning if Little Roy had finally had one toke too many on the peace pipe. But this record is absolutely fantastic, so keep on toking, little man! I won’t beat around the bush; Nirvana songs have never sounded so good. They are stripped back and the rhythms are exposed in their true colours; the sub-sonic bass carrying the lazy and friendly tunes along at a relaxing pace. Guitars are utilized simply; mainly for the standard reggae chord strums, and organs, moogs and other instruments take the lead. The drums are simple and are for the most part no more than the beat-keeping hat ticks, but sometimes there are devastating bass hits drenched in dub-echo and now and then all the bongos in the world come in for a laugh.  As with most records there are one or two stinkers but for the most part Little Roy has well and truly hit the nail on the head with this whole converting-Nirvana-into-dub-reggae thing. The fact that it really is better than any Nirvana recording is the icing on the cake for me and I want Little Roy to do more records like this. There is hope for awful music after all. Perhaps next he should try Anal Cunt. Out on Ark Recordings.

Clunge / Hyperemesis – Split 6″ Lathe (2012)

Clunge / Hyperemesis – Split 6″ Lathe (2012)

I put this out around Christmas time on my part-time label Pointless Records, and even managed to shift all ten copies. Holy shit, that’s a fucking first! Ha ha. These were cut for me by a lovely American chap by the name of Graham, who was exceptional in handling this project. Get at me for his contact info, if your looking for some cutting. Obviously I can’t review Clunge as it’s my creation but I will say that Canadian one-man goregrinder Hyperemesis does make a pretty impressive gurgling racket. Below is a link to the Pointless Bandcamp page where you can download the whole thing for free, or just give it a stream (RIP). I was going to upload an actual lathe play through in all it’s mono crackling glory, but I still haven’t got around to doing it. D’oh! (2021 edit: This was re-released on cassette in 2017 on Ill Faith Records. I never recieved my artist copies lol)

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium – Orgasmic Echolalia (2011)

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium – Orgasmic Echolalia (2011)

Another few months sail by, another Agathocles or Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium record falls into my claws! Ha ha! It’s good because I think that if I listened to Necro Vom on a regular basis I’d become a serial killer of skanky heroin-riddled hookers, but every now and then I need my fix of cold, Eastern bass-grind and this 7″ out on Escaravelho Records does not disappoint. The Necro Vom sound here is at it’s most typical, which is also when it is most enjoyable. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? It works for Agathocles, Unholy Grave and a hundred other grindcore bands before them, so why shouldn’t it work for these Necrocannibals? They are becoming very prolific and a quick look through Discogs will prove to you that they have amassed quite a discography of filthy releases under their belts, which is perfectly okay with me. Long live the grinding bass sickness!

Throatplunger – Pummeled by Cocks (2007)

Throatplunger – Pummeled by Cocks (2007)

I don’t know if I like Throatplunger because of their wigger-slam-cross-hypergrind nonsense, or because of their absolutely fucking excellent samples. Mingling both in disgusting pornographic unison, Throatplunger hit the fuckin’ spot with their sounding-suspiciously-like-XXX-Maniak grindcore. Pummeled by Cocks comes in DVD case with a photocopied cover featuring all the awful xeroxed porn you could ever want. What bugs me is that on the back, the tracklist is a couple of songs short! What’s up with that? Confusing as fuck! There is even a rap track at the end of the record which is totally out of place but so goddamn funny. I dunno how hard this is to get but it is obviously home-made so I’d imagine it’s quite rare these days (think I can even find a copy of their second album as a download let alone a physical copy? Dim chance!). This little package was released on Sexual Battery Records, which I’m assuming is the band’s own label. Whilst I recommend this to all open-minded grindcore fans I suggest that the uninitiated start with Throatplunger’s material from their split 7″ with XXX Maniak (Relapse’s Slimewave 5 to be precise). You can find my post about it here for a glimpse of what this fucking mental band can do in just 5 minutes.

Akercocke – The Goat Of Mendes (2001)

Akercocke – The Goat Of Mendes (2001)

This, along with the other Akercocke records, is something I have always wished to be released on vinyl. It’s fuckin’ death metal! Death metal belongs on vinyl! Ya hear me Earache / Peaceville? Re-press this shit on wax or I might blow a gasket. Ha. (2020 Edit: I believe this has now been pressed on vinyl? – Ed) Anyway, The Goat of Mendes is probably Akercocke’s most black metal of records, although they somehow retain that vibe on all records except Antichrist, which abolishes all blackened vibes, in my eyes. The production here isn’t exactly shit hot, but it is far cry from the previous effort Rape of the Bastard Nazarene. Everything seems a bit necro at first but when your ears adjust you should find that everything falls together nicely; the guitars are razor sharp and crazy distorted, the bass clearly audible on any decent sound system and the drums are fat as fuck. Dat snare, Dave, dat snare! It’s like a cross between a late 80s pop ballad and an entry level electronic drum kit. It is awful. I’m fucking loving it! For me I still find that Akercocke are criminally under-rated. Dave Gray is a fecking shit hot drummer and Mendonca’s vocal range is nothing short of the perfect front man, shitting over lesser bands who would have to employ several vocalists to cover the spectrum that he does. The time signatures and song structures are off the fuckin’ scale crazy. I’ve always thought of Opeth as a nowhere-near-as-heavy, boring-as-fuck version of Akercocke. Anyone see where I’m coming from here? Anyways this digipak has been out for nigh on five tenyear and is out on Peaceville records, so it should be relatively easy to find. The artwork throughout is creepy as shit, sticking to an ultra-realistic, almost Blair Witch type look at satanic ritual. For extra lulz the video for “Infernal Rites” is included on the disc. Raise your claw in awe!

Suppression with Crank Sturgeon / Misopsychia – Split 7″ (1998)

Suppression with Crank Sturgeon / Misopsychia – Split 7″ (1998)

Misopsychia seem to want to break my stylus. Here they play a down-tuned, faster than fast mush with endless blasts and EQ-piercing screams that want to escape up my needle, through my stereo and punch me in the fucking face. The music is a bit uninspiring (that’s not to say it’s awful) but the vocals are mental as fuck. Top points for the insane level of effort here! Why Suppression would collaborate with experimental noise maniac Crank Sturgeon really is anyone’s guess, and as expected it makes for some really bizarre listening. It’s great because it bridges the gap between noise and noisecore, which whilst sounding similar, isn’t really done that often. I guess a lot of noisecore and grind folk don’t have the time for the “artsy-fartsy-ness” of the noise genre. You know what I’m talking about right? (2020 edit: we don’t know what you’re talking about, no.) As much as I love watching videos of Crank Sturgeon dressed up as a giant bird with giant paper arms making a gigantic fucking racket with contact mics, on record he does just sound like any other noise artist. Well, here he does, at least. But hey, it’s not about the artist per-se but the recording itself, and on that grounds, this can be appreciated fully. Released in 1998 on Japan’s Nat Records. 

James Levine & The London Symphony Orchestra – Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (1975)

James Levine & The London Symphony Orchestra – Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (1975)

This is my second £1 Mahler purchase, and the second time I’ve been disappointed at not receiving some bat-shit insane classical music. I’m guessing that maybe Mahler gained his ambitions over time? The 4th is rather straight forward but complex in it’s own way, and number 6 (the final symphony he wrote) is absolutely maddening as fuck. Number 1 however, after building and building from nothing over a long period  breaks into something that sounds like a typical background film score. The second movement, however pleasant, is like something out of an old Disney film (before they started having rap music in lieu of orchestrated scores) and drags on a bit for me. Side two opens beautifully with the mournful third movement (you can fuck off if you think I’m going to write out all the German titles) that sounds like more of a soundtrack out of a Bioware game, or maybe earlier Elder Scrolls stuff by Jeremy Soule. It is like early Mortiis or prison Burzum but with a full blown orchestra and it sounds bloody brilliant, if I’m honest. If I close my eyes and concentrate for a bit I can literally see a small band of various adventurers shuffling around the wilderness of Baldur’s Gate’s Sword Coast at my command. Eventually the composition starts to get all Disney bunnies hopping everywhere before it fizzles out on a rather eery note. The final movement starts with a heart-attack inducing crescendo before becoming something that I think would go well to a montage of being chased through a busy, ambiguous European city by the Gestapo. Very good.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Agoraphobic Nosebleed (1996)

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Agoraphobic Nosebleed (1996)

Some of my most favourite ANb stuff ever! What a mess! There are like 28 songs on this 7″, all of them micro-blasts of pure grinding hell. For those of you that have Bestial Machinery, these tracks are on disc 2, so you’ve probably heard them before. I can waffle on about like I can with any other ANb release but this really just has to be heard. It’s been out since 1996 on Bovine Records and it’s still essential today. If you’re into grind you’ve more than likely heard this once but if not; get it down you, boyo! There is no link to this on YouTube, however they do have disc 2 of Bestial Machinery uploaded. If you can figure out when track 25 starts (hahaha) then you can listen to the demo from there. It’s worth a go? 😉

Kroh / Ice Dragon – Split 7″ (2012)

Kroh / Ice Dragon – Split 7″ (2012)

Kroh are on top form here, bringing up more mega-heavy tunage with their trademark crooning vocals. This could be a B-side from the S/T recording sessions for all I know, the sound is that similar to the recordings used there. Does it matter? Nope. Great stuff! Fat production, brilliant singing and THAT guitar sound that we love so much from Fukpig. Ice Dragon I can’t get my head around, unfortunately. The sound is an absolute mess, and the band play in some sort of melodic trad doom approach which is as confusing as it is interesting. Imagine merging Zeppelin and Sabbath in a birthing pool filled to the brim with the essence of the modern stoner metal sound, and then throw in some awful production values and you’ve pretty much got Ice Dragon. Eventually the song slows into one epic solo and shit sounds great, but when things are going faster it just all falls apart. I think I need to see these live to form a decent opinion on them.

Sleep – Dopesmoker (2003/2012)

Sleep – Dopesmoker (2003/2012)

So I’ve been holding off buying this fucker for a long time, mainly because I was plagued with the dilemma of getting it on vinyl (the far superior format, of course) or on CD (song plays through in one go rather than in three parts). As collectable as the vinyl pressing of Tee Pee’s release might be, I forever shied away from it due to the fact that the hour-plus trip that is Dopesmoker would be broken up into bits. That just wouldn’t do! Anyway, I never got around to buying it on CD either because I’m lazy like that, and in 2012 Southern Lord snuck this reissue upon us; remixed and remastered to absolute fucking audible ecstasy, causing stoners around the world to blaze socially-retarded amounts of da ‘erb in celebration. I was a few website clicks away from purchasing the CD when I happened upon this vinyl version, in all it’s shiny fucking beautiful glory. Southern Lord do not fuck about when it comes to vinyl. I caved, and I went for the vinyl version, rather than the CD, even though the journey was broken into three parts. And do you know what the best part is? That turned out to be a good thing! In an interview that I read recently, Matt Pike revealed that Dopesmoker was recorded on reel-to-reel tape – THE fucking medium that translates godly to wax. Good news yes, but there’s something else. Do you fuckers know the MAX recording time on a reel-to-reel tape? Well, on these particular tapes at least – no? Well, it’s fucking 22 fucking minutes. Holy fuck. That means that Dopesmoker was recorded in THREE separate parts; coincidentally the same number of sides that Dopesmoker is split across here. So what you can hear on this pressing is the three original reel-to-reel tapes, mixed to perfection. Why am I making such a big deal over this? Well, mainly because this is one of the greatest record packages I have ever bought. When I first read about another version of Dopesmoker I was skeptical, but the mix here is far superior to any other version; it’s just so clear! I’m not sure exactly what was done to clear the whole thing up so much but the guy who did it, Brad Boatright, deserves a fucking medal. Dopesmoker is a fucking monolith in the stoner / doom genres, and this is the absolute, definitive version that simply must be heard by all metal fans and/or stoners. An absolutely huge achievement in modern music, this is the version of Dopesmoker YOU should own! This is the version of Dopesmoker than Sleep deserved in the 90s. Warning: Listening to this record may make you a better person and/or a wizard. Dopesmoker by Sleep

Serj Tankian – Empty Walls (2007)

Serj Tankian – Empty Walls (2007)

The sound on this record is huge! Kudos to the pressing people, they really packed this one in. Having grown up through the nu-metal generation I have always had a soft spot for System of a Down, and I was fairly impressed by Serj’s first solo single. Unfortunately, the fun ends there as the album turned out to be rather disappointing (who saw that coming, eh?). Side B is just a shitty dance remix so unless your a serious hardcore fan of Serj Tankian there is no real reason to own this.

Agathocles / P.O.S. – Split 7″ (2008)

Agathocles / P.O.S. – Split 7″ (2008)

Another Agx split with (apparent) original songs here, so I went ahead and got it from the Goatgrind Records distro. The Agx stuff is fairly good but the sound leaves a lot to be desired. As far as I can tell it isn’t live or anything, but it really is a nasty recording. Yes, yes, I am still fully aware of what genre I’m reviewing here but is it too much to want on some clarity every now and then? Regardless, Agathocles do what they do best here, and I should just be thankful that the songs are originals. P.O.S. on the other hand aren’t worth mentioning at all. Well, I guess they are but they their stuff on this disc did nothing for me and I found them extremely uninspiring, and even rather boring. Oh well. I’ve only given it one listen so far but my first impression is rather grim. This record is out on 330 black copies thanks to the wonderful Bringer of Gore records.  PS I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I got this record from Goatgrind Records, who is unfortunately closing down. Check out his closing down deals on 7″s, tapes and CDs. Also, there are no links for this online. Gutted. 

Martin Grech – Open Heart Zoo (2002)

Martin Grech – Open Heart Zoo (2002)

This is one of those albums that I forgot about for nearly a decade until one day it’s existence just came crashing back to me like some sort of acid flashback. Of course, all that was left to do was to buy it off Amazon for 3p. In hindsight, I’m not sure if it was worth it. The title track is a totally epic and original composition of heaving modern-classical and emotional vocals. It builds and builds and then explodes like a typical post-rock song (without sounding anything remotely like the genre). And from there on in, things go downhill. “Dali” is enormously heavy for a track in this genre, although the extended LP version does get a little bit tedious. After that, this record sadly sinks to the unfathomable depths of Radiohead worship. Every single song begins to sound the same, which is total fucking disaster considering they all sound like bastard cunting Radio-fucking-head. “Penicillin” is probably the most boring and drawling song ever written in the history of the world, and closer “Death of a Loved One” is an absolute test of patience. You can see how brilliant “Open Heart Zoo” is compared to the rest of this pile of shit by checking out the video below. This was put out on some overblown major label, which I think is Universal. Martin Grech went on to make a whole bunch of albums that I couldn’t give a fuck about.

Esion / Bucket of Piss – Split Tape (2011)

Esion / Bucket of Piss – Split Tape (2011)

This is such an awesome looking tape! Just look at those colours! This is pure noisecore. I can’t tell who’s side is who’s as there is no information but one band plays in a slow, dirgy and nasty style whilst the flip-side counterpart seems to be smashing fuck out of an electric guitar in the name of noise. Very, very under the radar and for fans of true noisecore fuckery only. Limited to 20 pieces on the prolific Sludgesicle Records.

Last Days Of Humanity / Rakitis – Split 7″ (1996)

Last Days Of Humanity / Rakitis – Split 7″ (1996)

Another piece of goregrind history that is now mine! Hahahahaha! LDOH splits in the original forms are rather hard to find these days, so I am very lucky in the respect that the two I have (to date) I’ve gotten for fairy reasonable prices. What we have here is their split with Rakitis, which was, if I’m not mistaken, out a while before the Hymns…. album, so it’s fairly aged by today’s standards. In fact, this split is nearly 17 years old. Sheesh. This only exists on red wax with those ridiculously shitty jukebox holes, and was put out by Through the Eyes of the Hated Records, which I think is now extinct. Rakitis play with a lot faster and (dare I say it) clearer sound than LDOH. It’s almost punky in parts, but for the most part it’s pretty impressive grindcore through and through. Last Days of Humanity on the other hand, surely do not need any introduction? The band’s older, sloppy and downtuned-to-oblivion sound is something that really gets my dick swinging, and I am happier than a Japanese man receiving a package full of scat DVDs over the fact that LDOH haven’t quite called it a day yet after all…here’s to hoping that they make another record in the near future !HINT FUCKIN’ HINT!

Swans – Swans Are Dead (1998)

Swans – Swans Are Dead (1998)

This marks the first time in fuuuuuuck knows how long I’ve actually paid full retail price for a CD (by that I mean £9 or higher) but it is just impossible to get the career-end late 90s Swans stuff anywhere any cheaper (in Britain, at least). Swans Are Dead is a retrospective live album, released not that long after their original demise, and features two discs of live performances. 1995-1997 was an interesting time for Swans, having gone full circle through the spectrum of non-threatening genres, the band were on the verge of returning to their downright weird and extremely experimental ways when they abruptly ended. The mega-oversized Soundtracks of the Blind amply documents this, and Swans Are Dead is the live album for that era that accompanies it. There are two discs, one is a show from ’95 and the other from ’97, and despite this they flow pretty well and I originally thought when I downloaded it that it was the same show spread on both discs. It’s even a different line up and I didn’t realise – perhaps I’m losing my touch? Or would that be my hearing? Anyway, Swans Are Dead showcases the band’s very experimental final tour and is a slice of a place in time that was once very sad and nostalgic. Now that Swans have reformed however, the Are Dead set hasn’t lost any meaning; the Swans here is unlike any other period in the band’s lucid history so it still stands up with the rest of the catalog, even today. Out on Young God Records.

Scorn – Stealth (2007)

Scorn – Stealth (2007)

What better way to see in the new year than with some head-pounding Scorn music? Stealth is probably one of my favourite Scorn records and it is the record that I recommend to people that are new to Mick’s work and who are familiar with the concept of dubstep. Stealth is very similar to the album that followed it (Refuse; Start Fires), but unlike Refuse and its exploration of the one-dimensional sound by using real drumming, Stealth sticks to the straight and narrow floor-shaking bass and mind-shattering drum programming that Scorn is so damned good at. There simply isn’t a bad song on this record; each song is as stonking as the last. For all the slowed down, repetitive as fuck “dubstep” accompanied by eerie atmospheres you really need look no further. And considering I got this for £6 and it’s a double LP I literally consider it the steal of 2012. Hours of scouring Discogs has finally paid off! Ha ha! So welcome back to Lines In Wax, I hope you had a good new year. Let’s start the new year with some pure and positive music; turn this all the way up and feel the vibe! This has the Ohm Resistance logo on the back but the record was put on by Ad Noiseam and Jarring Effects. 

Swans – New Mind (1987)

Swans – New Mind (1987)

In my quest to own all Swans shit I endeavor to pick up all the singles as 12″s (2020 edit: that didn’t exactly go to plan), with the exception of New Mind as the 12″ doesn’t really offer me anything for the increased price. For the singles that follow, a lot of alternate versions / exclusive tracks occupy the B-side, but with New Mind all the 7″ gets is a shorter version of what’s on the 12″ B-side. And that is actually a good thing, because we get the lush Jarboe track “I’ll Swallow You” without the crappy remixed “New Mind” intro. Straight to the point! The whole 12″ version appears as the final track on any repress of Children of God anyway, so I’ve heard it and own it and it’s fucking crap. Also, as a note, the version of “New Mind” here is cut down to just under four minutes.