Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: December 2017

Neuropathia – Satan Owns Your Stereo (2008)

Neuropathia – Satan Owns Your Stereo (2008)

They do say that the devil has all the best tunes, and that is mos-def the situation here with Neuropathia’s 5th album (I could be wrong as the band have a long and varied discography and I just took a cursory glance at Discogs lol). Prepare yon lugholes for a bombastic explosion of somewhat rock-n-roll tinged grindcore madness. Imagine Regurgitate meeting Blood Duster at a Malignant Tumour gig and distill all of that through a modern yet still organic production, and you’ll get something akin to this devilish recording. It’s not all-go however; the carnage is punctuated with some doomier moments, slower tracks with samples running over them, or with sludgier riffs that call back to the song structure styles used by acts such as Gut (but with layers of grume scraped away by the clear sound). Song titles such as “On Your Knees”, “Transsexual Worshipers of Satan” and “Iron Midget Buster of the Elephants” similarly hark back to that particular school of grind. The one thing about this record that I don’t understand is the bizarre inclusion of the ambient, moody track “Brain Damage” bang at the end of the, err, first act, as it were. As the listener, when you are full swing into the type of carnage presented here, the last thing you’d expect (or even particularly want) is a curve ball thrown at you in the shape of a drifting soundscape that goes absolutely nowhere. Bizarre choice, saved by the plethora of amazing tracks that follow it.

Sodom – Tapping The Vein (1992)

Sodom – Tapping The Vein (1992)

It’s thrash-o-clock here at Lines in Wax! Its not often that I spin a thrash record, but when I do, you’d best be sure that it is a nasty thrash sound. Sodom always hit the spot every time, and I was reminded to write a little bit about them after catching them live briefly back in November. Tapping The Vein is a solid, denser-than-dark matter metal record, with a tight, condensed production and a dry, crisp sound. Sodom entering the 90s took on a more amped-up, terrifying sound; tighter and more brutal, much like the death metal stylings at the time, which have an obvious influence on this album, if only in the production job. The tracks remain quite punky; that springy, almost sloppy hardcore drumming jars madly into the watertight song structures (almost in the same way as if you program a d-beat into a drum machine it just doesn’t sound quite right). Highlights include the hat-trick of “Bullet in the Head”, “The Crippler” and “Wachturn”, as well as the excellent closing track, “Reincarnation”. One has to wonder if Rage ATM took any “inspiration” from that “Bullet…” track, as the choruses are barked in a remarkably similar manner (the songs as a whole are entirely different however). Decent bit of German thrash, my luvvies, with more-90s-than-the-90s art to go with it. Bonza!

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (2017)

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (2017)

This is a thousand fucking lightyears away from the previous steaming pile of turd that the band put out. Credit is due where credit is due, and I must admit that Kingdoms Disdained is absolutely crushing; miserably heavy riffs meet inhuman drumming and a solid, dense yet full of life and clarity production. One should look to the latter half of “Garden of Disdain” for the perfect example of all these elements working together in the harmony of pure death. If one was to highlight a criticism it would be with the treble heavy, slightly over-compressed sound, which results in the riffage getting a bit lost in the middle, but allows the drumming by newcomer Scott Fuller to shine through in their intricate glory. I probably don’t have to remind you that Dave Vincent is out (again) and Steve Tucker is in (again), but it is worth mentioning that age has added a gnarled throatiness (lol) to Tucker’s subhuman growl. All in all, it works really well, and it is a pleasure to see Morbid Angel alive and kicking with pure, disgusting energy.

Tyler, The Creator – Wolf (2013)

Tyler, The Creator – Wolf (2013)

Wolf is the third album by Odd Future founder and, I suppose leader – Tyler, The Creator. It is a solid record that prominently develops the rapper’s style and direction, not only as a lyricist but mainly as a producer. Goblin, for all its entertaining malice, wallows in darkness. Wolf expands on Tyler’s off-key production style, adding more colours to his intrinsically different yet instantly recognisable track design. Track-wise, the album begins proper with the howling “Jamba” and the lurching “Cowboy” (edit: is that an orgiastic moan in the background of “Jamba” or a girl shouting “Wolf!”? Ha!). Tyler’s lyrics are still rather obtuse and somewhat disturbing, but the sonic variety of the track structures really makes Wolf an easier and more varied listen than its predecessor. Other stand outs are “Domo23” (which sounds like it was leftover from Goblin), “48”, “Colossus” (which reminds me of Eminem’s struggles with fame and idolisation), the three-in-one medley of “PartyIsntOver / Campfire / Bimmer”, and “Rusty”. That album cover, though? We ain’ gon talk ’bout that.

Old Man’s Child – Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion (1998)

Old Man’s Child – Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion (1998)

Where has this band been all my life? The incredible symphonic metal sound of Ill-Natured… is like Enthrone Darkness Triumphant-era Dimmu on steroids, boasting a fatter production job, slightly-less-twinkly song structures and a drum sound that is nothing short of an absolute privilege to listen to. I mean, the fact that we as humans can make sounds that are as awesome as this… it brings a tear to my eye! sobs. It’s almost enough to get me excited about metal again! Cross Dismember with the already mentioned Dimmu and you get Old Man’s Child, on this album’s sound, at least. Plus, the art is the stuff of metal album sleeve hall of fame. My only complaint about this album that it is too short. I literally want more. Luckily for me, this is my first experience with the Old Man’s Child canon. Galder might be focusing full time on Dimmu at the moment, but I have plenty of time to check out the rest of this project’s discography.

Pirates (2005)

Pirates (2005)

Yes, I am actually reviewing Pirates. A new low for Lines In Wax – our first ever porno review! Haha! In my recent sleaze-engulfed foray into horror and sexploitation film history, I thought it fitting that I should check out a full length feature pornographic movie. I thought that the line between sleazy exploitation and actual pornography, especially because of some of the more intensely risque exploitation stuff, would be fairly blurry, but it is not. It also quite jarring how the story escalates into full blown porn scenes, often with absolutely no tact. I wasn’t expecting Hamlet, but still. Honestly though, this is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, which was surprising. Sex wise (let’s just get this part out of the way) the scenes are super sterile, incredibly unerotic porn shoots that cater to the lowest common denominator. Some of the girl-girl scenes invoke a little more passion, but still fall into the category of “Porn for people who read Nuts magazine”. But, the story in between all of the soulless fucking is actually pretty hilarious. Evan Stone as Captain Edward Reynolds is brilliant – invoking the onscreen lovechild of Jack Sparrow and Zap Brannigan – as is his sidekick Jules Steel, played by Jesse Jane. These are the most entertaining couple in the fairly large cast, with the villains being rather boring and wooden (pun intended). At one point, a legion of CGI fucking skeletons rises from the ground and engages our heroes in combat, which was an unexpected touch. It was nice to see that some of the supposed $1,000,000 budget actually got spent on special effects, rather than just on industrial quantities of tanning lotion, cialis and anal bleach. Would I recommend you actually watch this, though? Nah, probably not. 

Queef Huffer / Nothin’ Suss – Split CD (2009)

Queef Huffer / Nothin’ Suss – Split CD (2009)

This is (now) a fairly old split released by Rotten Roll, putting US goregrinders Queef Huffer up against Aussie equivalent Nothin’ Suss. The whole thing kicks off with Nothin’ Suss’ tracks, and whilst there isn’t anything particularly that much at fault with the band, the overall production is pretty shabby to be honest. Queef Huffer on the other hand, have their shit together. The production is much more on point; everything is clear and concise. It is quite interesting to see the band thanking a studio that has never recorded goregrind before in the linear notes. This is a gory, groovy, watery mess. This split is something like 10 years old now, which is fucking terrifying, as it reminds me of how many years of my life I’ve wasted (edit: been enjoying ) listening to stuff like this! Check out this beauty of a track:

Haggus / Archagathus – Split Tape (2017)

Haggus / Archagathus – Split Tape (2017)

Haggus are easily one of my favourite bands right now, simply for having the perfect blend of dank mincegore nailed down to a fucking tee. I love goregrind that you can dance to that also doesn’t have songs about penises and bondage. Each to their own, and I do like a lot of groovy goregrind stuff, but it is currently over-saturated to fuck with a legion of shit bands. Haggus is brutal, yet with that mince/crust approach that brings with it the reality of death; the stench of gore! Fucking hanging! Archagathus are now at the forefront of their particular niche of mincecore/goregrind, pushing that slightly restrictive variant of grind forward with a whole farmyard of bizarre vocals, not to mention perplexing and deeply, satisfyingly weird grind. Out on cassette, and thanks to Grindfather for throwing a copy in when I bought a shirt a few months ago.

Gutulax – Shit Beast (2011)

Gutulax – Shit Beast (2011)

You can always count on porno/goregrind to keep things classy and hi-brow; to touch on society’s most pressing issues and philosophical dilemmas. In the case of Gutulax’s Shit Beast record, the maesters of flatulence ask the lifelong question: to dance or not to dance? With this many fart samples and songs about poo, the dilemma is a short lived one, as the answer is of course, yes. Shit Beast has enough tupa rhythms to get your gran dancing, and then some. At this point in not only this review, but in my life as a whole, I’m starting to wonder if a track by track analysis is something I should even bother lending my time to here. I mean, these are songs about the brown stuff, perpetrated by a bunch of Europeans who wave toilet brushes around at their gigs. The particular nuances of said art-form’s songwriting can probably wait, although I will quickly acknowledge that “Asswolf” is a fucking brilliant song. If you don’t fall into the small category of people who like to gather in the Czech Republic once a year and wave dildos at each other whilst in a circle pit, then I can’t imagine Gutalax is for you.

Esham – Dead Flowerz (1996)

Esham – Dead Flowerz (1996)

Dead Flowerz is probably my second favourite release behind Closed Casket (a close tie with KKKill The Fetus), which deals less with fantasy realms and rapping about the devil and focuses on the life of an inner city black man in the 90s, played up entirely with the excesses and absurdity of E’s “wicket shit” acid rap style. Drugs, guns and XXX girls is the order of the day, and whilst that might sound somewhat tedious, Esham’s flow, whilst not the most inventive, is positively infectious, matching the cheap 90s analogue vibes perfectly. If Poot Carr from The Wire recorded a rap record, I would expect it to sound like Dead Flowerz. Boasting a stunning production, which is a bit cleaner than previous records but still has that stank-ass bass and the distorted kicks. Stand out dimes include the opener “What”, which follows perfectly into the legendary “You Better Ask Somebody”. “Kill Or Be Killed”, “Foodstamp”, “Fried Chicken” and “Trick Wit Me” are all further examples of Esham’s porno-drenched murdah style (maybe not as OTT as Necro’s The Sexorcist but it is easy to make comparisons here). “Charlie Manson” is probably my favourite track, with the bass synth being one of the most stinking things I’ve ever come across in my entire life. It wasn’t until a recent re-listen that I caught the bit about him smoking “dead flowers” that I realized what the title could mean. Very clever, Mr. Esham. PS – Try the LIW / Esham Dead Flowerz drinking game: every time he mentions or rhymes the phrase “drug related” you better take a swig.

Zyklon – World Ov Worms (2001)

Zyklon – World Ov Worms (2001)

World Ov Worms is a lesson in razor sharp, sadistic death metal, taught by purveyors of the “other side” of the school: that being some of black metal’s most revered elite. Couple this with a dodgy name, very long trench coats and similar bizarre electronic passages to those on Mayhem’s A Grand Declaration Of War, and you have the icing on the cake to what is Zyklon’s Wormy World. I remember World Ov Worms coming out when I was just a nipper getting into the world of alternative music. The track “Deduced to Overkill” appeared on a Kerrang! Compilation CD and I could not process nor understand what I was hearing – it was truly too extreme for me at the time, bless. The overall production here is astoundingly clear; there is crystal transparency, an equilibrium between the extremities of brutality and listenability that is rarely so well traveled and executed. Honestly, the electronic passages would probably put a few purists off but Zyklon is definitely under-rated in the death metal world.  Some of the more chaotic riff patterns remind me heavily of 1349, and Trym’s drumming is on point, as per usual. Great stuff.

Doyle – Abominator (2013)

Doyle – Abominator (2013)

I can’t really remember how I stumbled across this record. I guess I was on “that part of the internet”. Regardless of how the stars aligned, this is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, I’ll be completely honest with you. Things get off to a shaky start, and it takes some time for me to get used to the vocalist on this project (Cancerslug’s Alex “Wolfman” Story offers a grunge meets horror punk approach to the scenario at hand, which is a little jarring to start off with), but by the time track three is playing (the excellently catchy “Dreamingdeadgirls”) I’m fully on board for the entirety of the journey, even though I cringed reallllly hard at the line “The quickest way to her heart is to cut through her fucking chest”. Yeesh. Honestly, it all kinda blurs into one, but its nice to hear Doyle riffs again, especially with that chunky Dr. Chud percussion holding it all together. I always thought his playing style on the 90s Misfits records was itching to break out of the typical poppy punk conventions that the band practiced (his fills especially, longed for massive rolls, and his thrash-paced beats are top notch) so it was great to hear him tear out a little more behind the kit on something a bit more metal related. The overall production sound is much more metal actually, even of that of the sound on the 90s incarnation of The Misfits, but Abominator still retains overarching vibes of horror punk, which is to be expected. Not bad.

Action Bronson – SAAAB Stories (2013)

Action Bronson – SAAAB Stories (2013)

You better slow down baby! SAAAB Stories is the excellent debut EP by NY rapper Action Bronson, which has been out since June 2013 (holy mother!). I really need to pick up the pace with my reviews! Action is probably one of my favourite “modern” rappers that have come about within the last few years or so, and the SAAAB EP is a shining example of everything that makes his music so great, but tied up in a neat little package. None of the tracks (except for one) are particularly long, and the content is quite fluid in nature, much like Bronson’s flow, allowing the whole journey to gel into one big trip, kinda like a short mix tape. As per usual with an Action Bronson release, Big Body Bes guests on a track, offering more of an aggressive form of hyping than anything relating to an actual verse. The tracks “Triple Backflip”, and “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” are monumental examples of the talent on display here, but my favourite of the release has to be “Alligator”, with its bizarre chorus and densely introspective, in-the-feels ending.

Tollund Men – Autoerotik (2016)

Tollund Men – Autoerotik (2016)

There is something about this release that I find very hypnotic and mesmerizing; there is definitely a sense of mystery here, which I absolutely love – it isn’t something you see all to often in these glory days of the information age! Couple the fact that this cassette release meanders within itself as much as it leads with hypnotic rhythms, and you have the perfect recipe for pulsating electronic work. The “cassette” quality sound of the sound make it hard to differentiate whether this has been composed on analogue or digital equipment, but the density of the tape sound really adds to the overall atmospheric. Beautiful stuff. If you can track down an original tape, I strongly recommend that you snap it up.

S.M.E.S. – Gory Gory Halleluja! (2006)

S.M.E.S. – Gory Gory Halleluja! (2006)

Whoever thought that goregrind that sounds like it has been composed entirely on an early 90s game console chipset would be a good idea? I mean, I’m not even sure if it is actually a good idea, but fuck it, I think it is pretty awesome, so who cares, eh? S.M.E.S., if you don’t know, is the baby of once Last Days Of Humanity vocalist Erwin De Groot (who is also doing vocals more recently with the amazing Butcher MD), playing goregrind / tupa tupa style stuff in an entirely synthetic way. The sound combines gurgled pitchshifter noises with ‘scapes of MIDI-grade instrumentation, resulting in an ultra lo-fi experience, like Libido Airbag meets Mario Kart. Yeah. Embrace that shit.