Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: January 2015

Exit_International – Chainsaw Song (2012)

Exit_International – Chainsaw Song (2012)

I picked this up because a few of my mates really like Exit_International, and swear by their unusual bass guitar driven sleazy rock swagger. It was also nice to see a 7″ for sale locally, of a local band, so that swayed me. I love bass guitar focussed stuff, and I’ve heard a fair amount of it over the years, but this, well, it just bores the guts outta me. Exit_International have got their sound, and I respect them for it, but it literally does nothing for me at all. It’s hard then, to really continue writing a review about this 7″ without getting negative, which is something I want to avoid doing because Exit_International aren’t exactly bad, I juste don’t like them. Anyways, this a single release of a track from their Black Junk album, released by the Undergroove label in 2012.

Devin Townsend ‎– Ziltoid The Omniscient (2007)

Devin Townsend ‎– Ziltoid The Omniscient (2007)

For me, the blow of Strapping Young Lad’s dissolution was softened somewhat with the release of this album shortly afterward. The recent release of Z2 (the sequel to this record for those catching up) reminded me that I haven’t written a little bit about the original Ziltoid, which is a modern metal classic, in my opinion. If you’ve not heard of Ziltoid The Omniscient I suspect you may have been living under some sort of metal-resistant rock. Ziltoid is an intergalactic overlord of Ziltoidia, who invades earth under the premise of tasting our universe’s finest cup of coffee. His story is told through the medium of Devin Townsend’s meandering, almost operatic in scale heavy metal madness. I feel that this stands apart from the rest of Devin’s solo work as it incorporates a lot of straight-up metal songwriting, although his signature stamp is easily detected. It basically first comes across as a slightly-scaled-back-in-intensity SYL, unlike his previous solo work which has always been sprawling and atmospheric in scope. There is also the comedic factor to consider; something which has always been a part of Mr. Townsend’s work, but this also reaches wacky new heights on this album, with plot devices such as The Planet Smasher, Captain Fantastic, Ziltoid himself (who is so omniscient, if there were to be two omnisciences, he would be both), and the twist at the end of his metal epic revealing that it’s all the daydream of a kid working in a Starbucks or something. Can you ruin the ending to a concept album? Looks like I just did. All in all if you don’t take your metal too seriously and perhaps contradictorily also love searingly precise instrumentation and extremely well-crafted song writing, you need to check this out, if you haven’t already.

Libido Airbag – Knee Deep In Her Pussy (1999)

Libido Airbag – Knee Deep In Her Pussy (1999)

Welcome to the album that got me banned from the Vinyl Junkies group on Facebook! Haha! There was some spat happening on there over the use of the nude female form as album artwork. The usual pros and cons were discussed, where the line between pornography and art lies etc. etc., and I argued (quite sensibly, I would like to think) that no matter what the image may be, if the band or artist has chosen that image to represent their sound, it becomes art. It is irrelevant if the image is crass, offensive, moving, beautiful or plain boring. It is now art. A lot of people agreed with me so I posted this record sleeve as a kind of hamfisted example – and was promptly booted from the group. LOL! But fuck those prudes, this is German techno porno gore grind, bitches! I’m here to dance, not moan about nudity! This is by far the most lo-fi of all Libido Airbag releases, and it is often mistaken for the band’s debut album, but it’s actually a collection of two tape demos. It was released on CD and went out of print many, many moons ago, but Goatgrind Records did the scene a massive service and re-issued the collection on vinyl record for the first time. Side B has a much better sound than side A, as it’s from a different session. All in all I listen to this album much more now that I have a decent pressing of it; the already muddy sound was crapified even further in dodgy mp3 downloads that I’ve possessed in the past. This pressing was fairly limited to, I think 200 copies, so if you’re gonna get it, I’d get it sooner rather than later (you ever seen the price on out of print Libido Airbag vinyl?).Rock out with yer cock out!

Unholy Grave / Rotten Sound – Split CD (2001)

Unholy Grave / Rotten Sound – Split CD (2001)

Two grind legends head to head on one split – that’s all it takes for me! I’m sold! Rotten Sound’s polished uber-super-grind has gotten more and more streamlined and refined as albums have come and gone, so it’s refreshing to hear some old stuff from them now and then and remember what sounds they used to make ‘back in the day’. Mixing Napalm Death-brand grindcore ferocity with tinges of death metal, Rotten Sound plough through two originals and a Unholy Grave cover with “Nanking Atrocity”, which is actually really cool. Unholy Grave on the other hand play their usual mash up of noisecore and old school grindcore, only with a better quality production sound than most splits. My favourite tracks here are opener “Horror” and “Social Rinse”, which is also the longest track from UG. The “Outro” track is frankly, pointless as fuck, but this is some great shit from Unholy Grave, as per. Grindbastards unite!

Embalming Theatre – The World is a Stage… For Murder! (2005)

Embalming Theatre – The World is a Stage… For Murder! (2005)

If you’ve been following this site since the beginning then you’re probably somewhat aware that I have had mostly nothing but praise for all the Embalming Theatre stuff that I’ve reviewed. This 2005 full-length record is going to be no exception, as it showcases everything that I love about these Swiss grindcore maniacs. What I have here the 2007 pressing on vinyl by Power It Up from Germany (the original 2005 release was just on CD). If you know what Embalming Theatre are about then The World… isn’t a particularly ground breaking or forward-thinking record. It is, basically, Embalming Theatre doing what Embalming Theatre does best; churning out oddly-catchy, death metal tinged grind hymns of disturbing sickness. “Amputation Of The Wrong Leg Part II” is obscenely catchy for a track bathed in such grim subject matter, as is “Get High On A Dead Dog” – another highlight of side A – which blasts and rattles through the horrendous (true) tale of two thieves from Essex (yes!) who snorted the cremated remains of a dog called Charlie because they thought it was, ironically, coke or something. Shit! “Foetal Remains In A Trash Compactor” has another killer groove that rounds off side A. Side B houses such classics as “He Attacked Her With A Chainsaw” and the gastronomic “Bake The Baby”, before rounding the entire bizarre, macabre circus off with the piano-driven (double yes!) “Bulldozer Blues”, which really has to be heard to be believed. Whoever said grindcore has to be serious? Ha ha! Embalming Theatre seem to subtly balance a gallows humour with their morbid tales of mutilation and destruction based on true events from around the world. Filter this balance through a dirgy, treble-heavy, gurgly and guttural grindcore assault, and you’ve the perfect recipe for the (perfect) disaster!

The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)

The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)

This is one of my all time favourite albums. In fact, there’s a few Streets records in my all time favourites, but this one has got to be the best, IMO. In my youth I found The Streets’ quirky raps about everyday life rather amusing, and in my maturity (err… LOL) I have discovered whole new deeper social commentaries within them, as well as a greater, more profound love for the instrumentation itself. Mike Skinner signed to Locked On and started this debut off the success of “Has It Come To This?”, which I believe the label released before commissioning an album, but I could be wrong. It’s rare that UK garage or jungle stuff bridges into the UK charts or into the worldwide hip hop environs, so I think a lot of people were surprised with the initial success of this record back on it’s release – especially considering it doesn’t fall into the usual trappings of rap subject matter.  “Turn The Page” is one of the best intro songs ever – a 3 minute or so constant flow of epic lyrical prose. “Don’t Mug Yourself” is the daft as fuck lead single, “Too Much Brandy” is a brilliant ode to overdoing it on the substances, “The Irony Of It All” (a parody on the prohibition of cannabis) is still one of my favourite songs of all time and “Let’s Push Things Forward” is a profound message on the state of the music industry as a whole. To top it off, there’s my favourite song, “Same Old Thing”, which is about the monotony of everyday life. There’s only one iffy track, “It’s Too Late”, which is a bit lovey-dovey, but other than that every single last track is absolute solid, even the instrumental break. Hard to beat, Original Pirate Material is an absolute gem. Easily one of the best rap records of all time, if not one of the best records of all time, regardless of genre. Give it a goose.

Lord Gore – Resickened (2004)

Lord Gore – Resickened (2004)

Now here’s a band I don’t listen to enough. Lord Gore are (or were) (2020 edit: are) a goregrind-tinged death metal band from the US of A. I can never remember where I got this album from but it’s a corker. The first thing you’ll most likely notice about Lord Gore is the extremely watery and disgusting vocals; a welcome break from the endless cookie monsterisms of the death metal genre. Despite their bowel-churning watery goodness, the band pride themselves on the natural authenticity of their vocals. So sayeth the linear notes: “Vocals may contain GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), and MFG (Monosodium Glutamate), but contain no pitch shifter, modulators, slicer, or harmonizers”. I’m all for pitchshifters myself but props to the vocalist Gurge for these insane sounds! Lord Gore’s music combines the downtuned blast of goregrind with the pace, production and playing styles of musicians steeped in a death metal background. Their use of samples is surprisingly sparse for a band of this nature, but extremely effective. Everything here is a step up from the (also excellent) debut album The Autophagous Orgy, from the production to the quality and consistency of the tracks, right down to the album art (which is fucking brilliant by the way). Again, just like the debut, this was put out on Razorback Records in 2004, and makes me feel really, really old.

Aun – Multigone (2008)

Aun – Multigone (2008)

AUN are another band that I picked up on thanks to Roadburn Festival. I missed them on the day (2012 edition I believe) but in a ritual that my friends call Pre-Roadburn Listening I got listening to their Black Pyramid record. Multigone is an earlier recording of theirs, and is a bit harshier than the meandering ambience present on Black Pyramid. AUN’s approach to noise is droning, unfolding soundscapes that almost have some tangible tune to them, but the edges are blurred with harsh electronics and soaring, cutting synth works. Multigone is a 7-tracked affair, with track lengths spanning from the usual 4/5 minute length up to 10/15 minutes a piece. The longest track, “Steel Skull Plain”, suprisingly doesn’t seem too long, which is a problem I find with a lot of experimental and noise tracks. My favourite tracks are the opener title track, with it’s droning splashes of noise and atmosphere, and “Palejoy”, with it’s heavy guitar drone overlaid with dark and throbbing beats. Yummy. Available in a really fancy CDr package from Crucial Blast, and limited to 300 pieces.

Mistress – In Disgust We Trust (2005)

Mistress – In Disgust We Trust (2005)

This album should be called In Disgust We Crust! I’ve never been into Mistress really; I always got my superfast metal fix in Anaal Nathrakh and my crusty d-beat headbangery fix in Fukpig, both projects relating to members of this band. For these reasons I always tended to look over Mistress’ existence – that was until I caught their farewell show at Damnation Festival a few years ago, and bloody shitting heck, son – that was a mad one! Mistress’ fervent blend of grindy blasting and sludgy doomery really blew me away. And that’s exactly what’s on this disc of crusty bludgeoning anthems. Take away the muddy live sound and filter the excess roughness through a decent studio production job and voila – the crème de la crème of sludgy grindy, er, music. In Disgust We Trust starts off with faster, more blastbeat orientated tracks and slowly works it’s way (but not too slowly) towards a meandering groovy conclusion with latter tracks possessing astronomically heavy riffage. As always, Dave Hunt’s vocal carnage is a welcome bonus to literally any music on the planet (except maybe hip hop? Ha!).

Gwar – Bloody Pit Of Horror (2010)

Gwar – Bloody Pit Of Horror (2010)

I dunno the last time I listened to a Gwar record all the way through. In fact, I dunno the last time I even attempted to listen to a Gwar record in the first place! Ever since Oderus’ untimely death last year I’ve been meaning to check out more Gwar stuff – simply because they are one of my favourite live bands ever, and I feel like I haven’t given them a proper chance. Dave Brockie’s death was a sullen remind of that, and so eventually I actually started my listening of Gwar records. I started with Bloody Pit Of Horror because I remember reading an hilarious interview with Oderus where he mentioned in passing that Bloody Pit is by far the heaviest Gwar album. And he was totally right, because this doesn’t sound like Gwar at all. They’ve been heavier in their later days than at any point in the past, but the band seemed to perfect it’s own crazy brand of story-telling thrash metal, which is present here on the Bloody Pit, but this album incorporates a lot of influences from heavier metal subgenres such as death metal and doom. I never thought I’d hear Gwar do anything that could ever even be remotely interpreted as doom metal, but there you go. The album begins with the title track(s) – a four part epic split into different segments. It’s a bit much, but hey – this is Gwar motherfuckers; if you can’t accept shit is going to get ridiculous, then stop listening. After that though, the album sails by at a quickening pace. “Tick Tits” reminds you of what band you are actually listening to, and then the rest of the album is over and done with before I know it, surprisingly leaving me with the urge to listen to more Gwar albums. Well, fuck. 

Weedeater – Sixteen Tons (2002)

Weedeater – Sixteen Tons (2002)

Weedeater’s Sixteen Tons is a beer and whiskey soaked southern-tinged romp in sludgey doom metal. The guitar tone is literally the audible equivalent of a Louisiana swamp; a thick bog of rumbling riffs and plodding rhythms. I first got into Weedeater when I saw them at Hellfest nearly five years ago (bloody heck) and they were so heavy that I fell asleep. Granted, it was probably the monumental amount of people within the tent who were blazing up on that sunny afternoon that helped push me into festival lethargy, but Weedeater were one hell of a band to be lulling me into sleep. And I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve always preferred the later stuff (God Luck & Good Speed, Jason…The Dragon) but you can’t fault this earlier album either. The one before it isn’t so heavy but the thick sludgey tunes really come into their own on Sixteen Tons. I suspect that if Electric Wizard came from New Orleans it wouldn’t sound much different to this. Another lovely little thing about Weedeater is when they throw in the odd instrumental that isn’t as heavy or sludgey as the other songs (album closer “Kira May” as an example), which really helps break up the endless mud. I believe that all Weedeater recordings are now classics of the doom and sludge genres. It doesn’t get much better than this. 

Sunn O))) & Scott Walker – Soused (2014)

Sunn O))) & Scott Walker – Soused (2014)

Sunn O))) are a bunch of folks who love their arsty fartsy, hipster-baiting collaborations. The split with Ulver, the featuring of Julian Cope on earlier drones, the covering of “Che” on a 10″ shared with Alan Vega, that art installation thingy that Oracle was based around, and I’m sure there’s more but those are the ones that spring to mind. So I’m not surprised then, to see this collab with Scott Walker come along at some point, after being rumoured for quite some time, and only be available on some ridiculously overpriced limited label release. Oh well, at least it’s on Spotify so I don’t have to burn in hell for downloading music on the sly. A friend told me before I started listening that this collab record suffers a similar symptom as Metallica and Lou Reed’s mash up – that basically, it’s one band doin’ their thang as usual, and then another guy just rambling incoherently over the top of it all. As Soused opens up with “Brando”, I can totally appreciate where the comparisons to LuLu are coming from, but this record is much more well put together than that fucking Loutallica farce. Despite Scott Walker having an extremely unique voice he does remind me of Lou Reed a bit, actually. I’ve never actually heard Scott Walker before but he’s now on my enormous fucking list of shit to check out. I wanna hear him sans-O))). Anyways, this collab is actually pretty good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, which is not something I particularly expected to do. I just sat there and read pretty much the entirety of Garth Ennis’ Preacher Book 4 whilst listening to it. With the good ol’ Americana feel of both of these things pairing quite well, I had a hell of a time, to be honest. What I’m really looking forward to though is a brand new Sunn O))) full length, so get on it ye cunty fuckin’ radge robe wearing spastics!