Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: May 2015

The Misfits – Static Age (1997)

The Misfits – Static Age (1997)

Static Age is probably my favourite “early” Misfits release (even though it wasn’t released for sometime after). Earth A.D. is fast and even heavy, Walk Among Us probably the most legendary, but Static Age the most solid and consistent. Static Age to me, feels like a true long player, despite the fact that these songs have been released here there and everywhere over the last 30 odd years or so, in various guises and mixes. Static Age finally pulls together the early Misfits era into a genuine album. I don’t think there’s a single track here that’s not a total Misfits classic, or – some would probably agree – are not total punk classics in their own right. It’s a weird, rocky and romantic take on punk music that hadn’t quite fledged into the horror punk that Danzig’s Misfits would become so renown for. It’s like The Rolling Stones meets Electric Wizard at a Sex Pistols gig (if I could be so bold). The horrendous lyrics for “Last Caress” just don’t seem to fit the swaggering vintage rock, but hey, I’m not complaining. I’ll also say quickly that a lot can be said about Jerry Only, but fuck me this bass sound here is spot on. It tends to lead the songs, where the dissonant guitars fuzz out the remaining space. Banging, son, as us Brits say. The title track seems like more of a intro that anything, and the album for me begins properly with the excellent “TV Casualty”. “Return Of The Fly” is the best song in the world with the worst lyrics in the world (and again that warbling lead bass), and that’s followed by the hat-trick of “Hybrid Moments”, “We Are 138” and “Teenagers From Mars”. “Theme For A Jackal” bring piano to punk in such a bad way as Embalming Theatre brought piano to grindcore (“Bulldozer Blues” haha) but the three tracks that round off this album are some of my favourite songs of all time. I googled this album because I was writing this review and I was fucking elated to find out that the band (or what’s left of it) are currently touring Static Age, playing it in it’s entirety, and are coming near me a few days before my birthday. Fuckin’ A.

Phyllomedusa ‎– Lunatic Girl And Her Frog (2011)

Phyllomedusa ‎– Lunatic Girl And Her Frog (2011)

Phyllomedusa is a frog-based (yes!) goregrind band from, I believe, the US. It’d be easy to write this off as a gimmick but Phyllomedusa has a long-running, high quality output of over 50 albums of frog-based goregrind and gorenoise (2021 edit: and the rest!). Lunatic Girl And Her Frog is probably one of the more better known Phyllomedusa albums – I’ve seen it frequently in the past on forums / YouTube / Facebook groups etc. and I’m attributing this to to either A.) because there’s a chick on the cover or B.) it features slightly slower, more death metal-style songwriting than one usually expects from purveyors of gurgling gorenoise. The music initially comes on sounding a bit like Torsofuck but after a few minutes you realise there is more going on here than the usual blasting mush of noisy goodness. Phyllomedusa is the thinking man’s gorenoise; the sophisticated grind for the conscious and caring invidual; bubbling, throthing tracks about the welfare of frogs rather than the tired old hack / slash and porn (although hey, you can’t really get enough porn haha). Ribbit, motherfuckers.

Gut – The Cumback (2006)

Gut – The Cumback (2006)

Gut’s The Cumback is perpetually the best and worst comeback record of all time. How do you modernize the sound of a band whose lo-fi dirges shaped the porngrind genre so much? Why, with rap metal and dodgy electronic passages, of course! What The Cumback lacks in genuine grind it makes up for hilarity and dodgy European porno vibes. If you can see past the filler (and there’s a lot of filler – you could probably reduce this down to a decent 8 or 9 song EP instead of a 27 track album) the core of “full band” songs are pretty good. “Pimp The Underground” is the first proper song, followed quickly by the sexcellent “Jenna Haze (You’re A Pro)”. I love Jenna Haze, and I love this song (“I love you so”). “Three Handsome Guys” can only have been made by a band with the balls to end up starring in a porno, and then you gotta fast forward six whole tracks to get to the next half decent one – “G.U.T. Forever” is a stomping rock n roll declaration of a band that would last forever (or for another five years anyway). “Aurora Snow (You’re Not Bad, Hoe)” continues the pornstar tribute tracks (and GUT are right, she’s not bad) before “Throatjob” kicks in. “Throatjob” is by far the best song on the entire album; it’s catchy, groovy, and about blowjobs, so you can’t really go wrong. Personally, I stick to early Gut or one of the reunion EPs rather than spin this shambles of an album. It’s still got some good jams but overall, it fails to accomplish the simple task of being a listenable album. Saying that, given half a chance, I’d watch these guys live any day of the week, if they decided to reform.

Eyehategod – Eyehategod (2014)

Eyehategod – Eyehategod (2014)

Another long-awaiting comeback that paid off by the truckload! Eyehategod have been brewing their self-titled return for nearly 14 years, so it was understandable that fans were getting a bit itchy. But, like I said, the wait paid off. This album is absolutely fucking incredible. You’ve got the classic Eyehategod vibes as if they never went away, but they’ve given them a cleaner, modern spin. You could argue that the mud and sludge surrounding Eyehategod’s music is what gives it most of it’s charm, and previous to hearing the new self-titled I would have completely agreed with you, but the sound on this record is just too damn good to worry about the lack of dirgy production. For the first time, Eyehategod has the clarity to reach a wider metal audience, for better or worse. I think it’ll do them a world of good, as this thing is absolute riff machine. There are no bad tracks per se but “Trying To Crack The Hard Dollar” and “Nobody Told Me” are absolutely glorious. Those riffs, though! Those riffs! Daaaaaaaaayum. This is the last Eyehategod release to include contributions from drummer Joey LaCraze who sadly passed away before this album was released. I’ve seen this band live countless times, and they were always crazy heavy and super tight even though they always seemed to play whilst absolutely fucking wasted. R.I.P. Joey! At least this record is a fitting epitaph.

Cradle Of Filth – Vempire; Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein (1996)

Cradle Of Filth – Vempire; Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein (1996)

I was a big COF nerd when I was a teenager. Thankfully, the lust for hammy symphonic metal didn’t follow me far past the age of 16, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t jam any Cradle now and then. Cradle of Filth have a long, meandering, hit-and-miss series of records, but Vempire is my absolute favourite by a country mile. You cannot beat the atmosphere, songwriting and musical dexterity on display by this young incarnation of the band. Things don’t exactly get off to a flying start. Opener “Ebony Dressed For Sunset” is a garbled mush, and the great “Forest Whispers My Name” worked better in a more necro format on the previous album, Principle Of Evil Made Flesh, but when “Queen Of Winter, Throned” kicks off after a spooky Dracula quote you know shit is about to go down. “Queen Of Winter, Throned” remains one of my favourite songs of all time; a ten minute long catastrophe that blasts, crawls and shrieks through a gamut of epic proportions. The last few minutes are incredibly grandiose. “Nocturnal Supremacy” follows; a slightly more thrashier affair with less scope but more brutality. “She Mourns A Lengthening Shadow” offers a respite before the closing epic “The Rape And Ruin Of Angels (Hosannahs In Extremis)” takes us on eight minute journey through the windows of heaven and hell… of salvation and damnation…

Whoretopsy – While You Were Sleeping (2014)

Whoretopsy – While You Were Sleeping (2014)

What a gem! Brutal death metal is over-saturated as fuck (and I’ve made no secret of mentioning that in nearly every death metal post I do) and every time I load up a YouTube vid, a Spotify link or even put a CD in the stereo (imagine such sorcery!) that has some spiny logo and a compromised / disemboweled female on the cover, I sit there and wait for the disappointment to come, to wait for the OMG-we’re-super-serious mediocrity to wash over me for a few minutes before I inevitably turn it off thinking “What a shame that I didn’t like that, the album cover would have looked great on a shirt”. But not this time. Oh god no. The hilariously-named Whoretopsy are brutal as fuck. That might seem like a fairly narrow-minded thing to say about a death metal band or project but that is simply what it is. It doesn’t pretend to be, or claim to be “brutal”, like many of it’s peers – it simply is. That’s an achievement in itself. I tend to prefer the nastier-sounding slam acts to the more polished ones (probably stemming from my undying love for goregrind, which isn’t exactly a thousand miles away, stylistically) so it’s really refreshing to listen to something with a professional production job and really enjoy it. While You Were Sleeping rolls back and forth from headbanging slams to brutal blasting passages like waves of nausea after a Hepatitis vaccine. Seriously though, check out this little-known Aussie act, you won’t be disappointed. Loads better than most of the more well known slam death metal that’s about these days.

Emissaries Of Syn – Off Message (2015)

Emissaries Of Syn – Off Message (2015)

Wow, this is an unusual one! Take death metal tunings and riffs, the swagger of crossover-thrash era d-beat and the lyrical content and delivery of punk and hardcore, and you’ve got Emissaries Of Syn. Imagine all this “dark hardcore” type of stuff that is being peddled by Southern Lord given an injection of British authenticity and humour. It’s like Black Breath but with Mitch Dickinson from Unseen Terror on vocals. This EP kicks off with “Einstein’s Monsters”, a cheeky, nuclear-themed number, but the whole thing really gets going for me with the excellently-titled (and extremely catchy) “The Only Way Is Ethics”. Current political issues are touched upon in “Spare Some Social Change” and “Help Define Heroes”; the former dealing with the current austerity issues of Britain and the latter dealing with the somewhat sensitive subject of the armed forces. The playing is spot on; the drumming is savage, the guitar work spotless and that good ol’ 80s meat-grinder bass sound is more than welcome. If you think the clean, political punk vocal delivery doesn’t match the heaviness of the music, just give it a chance – everything will click into place!

Sedem Minut Strachu – Overmasonnizationated Twist (5″) (2014)

Sedem Minut Strachu – Overmasonnizationated Twist (5″) (2014)

I’ll admit to have never heard of Sedem Minut Strachu before they were recently announced for this year’s Obscene Extreme Festival but hey, as much as I like to pretend I’m the all-seeing eye of grindcore, there’s oceans of the stuff out there I’ve yet to hear. Overmasonnizationated Twist is a surprisingly coherent romp through a strange mixture of harsh noisecore and harmonica improvisation. The drum sound is clear as fuck, which is refreshing compared to the muddy blur that envelopes the rest of the ‘music’, but I’m not complaining! All in all a brilliant start with this band and I’m gonna check out loads more of this stuff in preparation for the Noisecore night at OEF 2015. Blast it!

Jucifer – L’autrichienne (2008)

Jucifer – L’autrichienne (2008)

I have been beyond in love with Jucifer (or maybe it’s just frontwoman Amber Valentine ;D) ever since I saw them playing in Temples Fest last year. They have always been one of those bands that I wanted to check out but I never got around to doing so. I was expecting some half-arsed female-fronted stoner rock bullshit that’s all the rage these days, but Jucifer tore me a new arsehole and blew away most of the bands that played that day, including the revered headliner Electric Wizard. They made an incredible amount of noise for a band consisting of two people. I believe that L’autrichienne (a concept album about Marie Antionette) showcases every facet of Jucifer in every possible way. As far as ‘rock’ goes, Jucifer are entirely genreless. The album opens with a sunkissed rock and roll number (“Blackpowder”) before blasting through messy, muddy grindcore and then into the almost acoustic siren song of “To Earth”, all within three songs! I get a Children Of God-era Swans vibe from the way the music is so juxtaposed from savage brutality to ethereal fragility. It happens again shortly after when the grinding mass of “Fall Of The Bastille” cuts straight into “To The End”. It’s like Anal Cunt doing a split with Imogen Heap, and it’s fucking brilliant. “Armarda” brings sludgy death-doom onto the menu before the absolutely insanely gorgeous title track steals your heart for 5 minutes. Other highlights include “Birds Of A Feather”, the 9 minute doom epic “The Mountain” and the creepy-ass outro track “The Assembly”. Seriously give this a listen if you’ve never heard of this band before.

Urinary Tract Infection From Severe Pus Clots – Demo 1 (2007)

Urinary Tract Infection From Severe Pus Clots – Demo 1 (2007)

Urinary Tract Infection From Severe Pus Clots is one of Bobby Maggard’s more prolific and well known projects, this one bridging the gap between noisecore and goregrind very nicely. Demo 1 contains 98 bursts of pitchshifted bile-inducing noisecore madness. A lot of this stuff kinda all blurs into one but this has a really good vibe and it’s absolutely sick as fuck. The bass is a bit furry and the Myspace-as-fuck Rhythm Rascal drum programming is a bit cheap but hey, this shit fucking rules. I’m a sucker for wastoid noise grind like this and it’s hard to top noisecore as furious as this is, even though there’s a drum machine and not a real drummer on board. For when you absolutely have to sit around in your pants watching sketchy Asian porn, this is your soundtrack.

Clams Casino – Rainforest (2011)

Clams Casino – Rainforest (2011)

Rainforest by Clams Casino is probably my top contender for favourite driving music at the moment, especially during the night time. Rainforest is as dense and multi-layered as its moniker suggests; overlapping, almost distorted layers of electronic auras mingle freely over retro drum programming and ethereal vocal tomfoolery. Honestly, the whole thing is a bit disjoined but each individual track works so well in unfolding its own world that you don’t want it to end. Opener “Natural” sounds to me like Jesu meets King Tubby, whilst the excellent “Treetops” that follows it is more akin to a jam between Emeralds and Burial. I could go on in this vein for quite some time, but it feels like I’m not giving Clams Casino any credit for the sounds on offer here. It’s really interesting because Mr. Clams is a hip hop producer. You don’t really see that many hip hop producers releasing solo stuff like this (if anyone says Dr. Dre I’ll fucking clock you haha) and asides from the Instrumentals series he’s released over the years, it appears Rainforest is Clams Casino’s only stand-alone original material. I could be wrong on this shout though – if I am, hit me up with more of this stuff, it’s simply gorgeous.

Death Toll 80k / Sete Star Sept – Split 7″ (2013)

Death Toll 80k / Sete Star Sept – Split 7″ (2013)

This is my first (and loooong overdue) experience with Death Toll 80k, the noisy grindcore machine that has eluded my ears for so long! What an unstoppable mess! This is the grindcore that I fell in love with; dingy, flat-out, unstoppable blastbeat carnage with a cheeky smattering of riffs thrown in for good measure. The order of the day though is mind-boggling grinding carnage. Get it down your Gregory Peck, son! Sete Star Sept have a surprisingly consistent output of awful noise (lol) considering they are on so many splits these days. They’ve always been prolific, don’t get me wrong, but we are reaching Agathocles / Unholy Grave levels of splitting. Sete Star Sept have been shitting out splits faster than a Valleys girl shitting out babies. Noisecore? Noisegrind? Who knows, who cares? 777 blast and rattle through some abysmal grindcore and that’s all you need to know.

Fistula – Vermin Prolificus (2014)

Fistula – Vermin Prolificus (2014)

I’ve really been jamming the guts out of this album for the last few weeks. Fistula mix sludgy, messy doom a la Eyehategod with elements of crust and hardcore punk. I personally think that any genre of metal can be vastly improved by adding musical elements of (or just the spirit of) crust punk (Darkthrone’s The Cult Is Alive being a prime example; a vicious bastard of an album that followed a long string of tired recordings, ironically containing zero amounts of crust punk). Fistula resembles the haunting downtuned bogscapes of Lines In Wax favourites Dragged Into Sunlight with their repetitive, sinister riffs accompanying long, eery passages of sampled vocal monologue usually revolving around drugs, drug abuse and the problem with cops (boy, can’t we all relate to that one). If I had to sum up sludge in one song to an ‘outsider’, opening track “Smoke Cat Hair and Toe Nails” couldn’t go far wrong as a perfect example. The opening riff just melts my face every single time – it’s just so nasty. “Pig Funeral” is probably the highlight of the record for me; a seething upbeat hate anthem towards the powers that be, that slows down to a chug for more horrendous sampling to unfold. I’m digging this template – fast songs and nasty slow passages accompanied by samples. Bonza! “Interlude” takes this sampling-feast to the very edges of sanity; droning on and on and on before “Goat Brothel” caps off the entire thing like a shotgun blast to the forehead; effectively putting you out of your sludgy misery with a dose of punk attack. Brilliant.

Slayer – South Of Heaven (1988)

Slayer – South Of Heaven (1988)

It says a lot when your favourite album by a band is a covers album (Undisputed Attitude). Add to that the sea of shit Slayer have been peddling both recordings wise and sensationalist news wise the last few years, and sprinkle that with me happening to catch a series of lacklustre live performances over the last five years or so. Cumulatively, I could be forgiven maybe for overlooking the fact that Slayer do actually have a few decent albums, South Of Heaven being one of them. I have a verrrrrrry limited palette for thrash (usually not going any further than the odd GWAR record or Municipal Waste’s second album) but you can’t deny that Slayer have their own brutal sound, more so detectable here and on Reign In Blood than elsewhere; that super-evil, lightening fast thrash metal which captured the hearts of thousands of spotty teenagers the world over. If I was pubing it up during Slayer’s glory days, I probably would have fucking lived and breathed this shit. I don’t need to tell you to listen to Slayer. 

Destructive Explosion Of Anal Garland – Sealing Off The Vagina By Sewer Lid (2006)

Destructive Explosion Of Anal Garland – Sealing Off The Vagina By Sewer Lid (2006)

Destructive Explosion Of Anal Garland (who possibly take the award for most unreadable logo ever) are a Czech goregrind band with brutal death metal influences. Sealing Off The Vagina By Sewer Lid has a lot of slam-style parts and farmyard vokills associated with the realms of death metal but the overall vibe is one of groovy porno grindcore. It’s got vibes of Jig-Ai, RazorRape and even Ahumado Granujo (just look at the cover art), but only if you take out the dance music parts. This band has three albums out now, but I still think that Sealing… is the best one yet. Sealing… offers 17 traxxx of sickness that average around the two minute mark. Expect slams, tinkly blastbeats that sound like they have been done on pots and pans and a sick, dirty, heaving guitar tone. There is Leng T’Che and Regurgitate covers for good measure, but DEOAG have their own brand of goregrind that I am interested in much more than the cover songs. Czech it out!