Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: April 2019

Cloud Rat – Blind River (2014)

Cloud Rat – Blind River (2014)

Blind River is a release going back a few years from the absolutely savage grindcore band Cloud Rat. This release is a compilation of sorts, and I’ve heard parts of it before on the split 7″ with Orgullo Primitivo. I don’t want to water down Cloud Rat’s entire thing into one descriptive passage (edit: I have wrote about Cloud Rat in more detail before), but imagine a female-fronted Pig Destroyer and you wouldn’t be a million miles away. Holy shit, those vocals! A short, but solid record. (2021 edit: This doesn’t seem to be a canonical release? The material is already found on splits as mentioned above, and again all of it is also found on the Discography 2010 – 2015 double CD. There is no listing for this anywhere except Spotify and the like, yet it is attributed to Artoffact Records, which does have an association with the band. Strange, eh?)

Lana Del Rey – Paradise (2012)

Lana Del Rey – Paradise (2012)

I think my girlfriend saved this record to my Spotify playlist, because I can’t remember ever showing any interest in listening to it. But, in the interest of enjoying artists like Grimes or Nicole Dollenganger, I thought fuck it, let’s give Lana a spin. My first impression is that this is some kinda Adele with manic depression shit, but it soon clicked with me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I enjoyed this record. 

Death Side – Bet On The Possibility (1991)

Death Side – Bet On The Possibility (1991)

Death Side are a Japanese crust punk band that hark back to the glory days of Discharge / Exploited era crossover, thrown together with some of the grimier aspects of the more upbeat skate punk kinda sound. This results in lightening fast thrashing riffs and a metallic hardness meeting a chaotic blend of hardcore and catchy sensibility that comes from the other genres. Some of the messier bits really bring Hellbastard to mind. It is really blended so perfectly. I had never heard of these guys until I saw them in OEF a few years ago, but they are so good.

Last Days Of Humanity – Putrefaction In Progress (2006)

Last Days Of Humanity – Putrefaction In Progress (2006)

Surely this is the benchmark by which all gorenoise is measured? In our bizarre and unfair world, I remember this thing getting some heat when it first came out. “Since when were LDOH a noisecore band?” etc. etc. – true, the ‘groove’ which permeated earlier slabs of noise is well and truly buried in the ground, but like… who gives a shit? There is plenty of moronic groovy gore out there (not that I would put LDOH in the same ballpark as that, ever), and this is a genre-defining classic which has stood the test of time. Many have come, many have gone, but very few have reached the heights of sheer goremageddon noise carnage that Putrefaction In Progress revels in. There is only gore. And snare. Lots of snare.

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium / Damage Digital – Split Tape (2007)

Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium / Damage Digital – Split Tape (2007)

Once you’ve heard Necrocannabilistic Vomitorium once, you’ve heard them a thousand times. Their noise is consistent. Sure, some sessions are tighter than others and some sessions are studio-clear whilst others are just abysmal. On this tape, more bowel-churning bass-driven porno groove is the order of the day. The OG vocalist for this band was 10/10. Damage Digital on the other hand… well I can’t make head nor tail of this, I’ll be honest. Their side of the split is just a crappily recorded live set, which is a bug-bear of mine. Rarely do recordings like this have anything to offer.

Eminem – Kamikaze (2018)

Eminem – Kamikaze (2018)

This dropped fairly recently to masses of hype. Personally I was not too impressed on the first go around, I found Kamikaze to be more of the “hey, look how fast I can say absolutely nothing at all” deal that MM has been working with on his last few records. But, of course, when he’s not wasting his time chasing after fucking mongoloids like Machine Gun Kelly, Eminem is an enormously talented rapper capable of putting together epic pieces of work. I gave this another chance and, thankfully, I was able to appreciate it for what it is. The track about D12 I thought was really nice, although it’s a shame to hear they will most likely never be coming back, ever. Here’s a question for you, though – how old do you have to be to stop rapping about killing your (ex?) wife?

Pop Will Eat Yourself – Dos Dedos Mis Amigos (1994)

Pop Will Eat Yourself – Dos Dedos Mis Amigos (1994)

I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes going in to this; its a 90s industrial / hip hop style pop album that isn’t exactly concocted out of the best elements of the era, but after the first few tracks I really found myself getting into it. The penultimate song, “RSVP” was the theme to the horrendously gruesome 1995 shoot ’em up PlayStation game Loaded, I remember absolutely loving the song at the time, even though I was 6 years old (how the hell was I allowed to play these games!? Perhaps I didn’t get stuck into Loaded until a few years later). Shit, perhaps I’ve got it all wrong… perhaps Pop Will Eat Itself is the reason I got into metal. LOL. Shocking plot twist!

Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun (1992)

Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun (1992)

I can’t really remember what possessed me to buy this record as a teenager. I was never really into grungy / desert shit, but I really found myself digging Blues For The Red Sun. It is easy to overlook just how heavy this record is. The band were still finding their feet, I think, but some of the heavier bits just grind out perfectly. Some beginning of an era shit right here. Best track: “Yeah”.

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder (2016)

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder (2016)

Arctic Thunder is the latest (edit: it’s 2019 now…) release from crusty black metal behemoths Darkthrone, which marks a colossal (and as if  “as one” with the cover art, an entirely warming) return to form from the Norwegian legends. I understand that a lot of people enjoyed The Underground Resistance, but the overuse of the King Diamond worship turned the whole thing into a bit of a parody, for me at least. There is a welcome absence of ridiculous wailing on Arctic Thunder, and that alone launches it on the correct trajectory.

Esham – Dichotomy (2015)

Esham – Dichotomy (2015)

There’s something desperate about guitars in rap music that reminds me of the late 90s / early 00s. Unfortunately that means we don’t get off to the hottest start with this quick 2015 offering from the legendary Esham. Honestly, all in all, its a very mixed bag of styles that is over very quickly, with nothing that really stands out (also, of note, there is zero dubstep here, after many of his releases before this focussing heavily on this style).

Christian Death – Pornographic Messiah (1998)

Christian Death – Pornographic Messiah (1998)

If you compare this stuff to the Christian Death of old, it comes across as a total fucking mess. Granted, that is part of what makes it so great. Female vocals (from the demonic Maitri) really work well with Christian Death’s macabre, sexy approach to industrial and gothic rock. Tracks are filled with punk venom but are delivered with metal velocity and a splattering of electronic sleaziness. Equally sprawling and ambitious as it is puerile (the four track album opener “The Great Deception” is a perfect example of this dual nature as it meanders back and forth), Pornographic Messiah is a scatological trip through the recesses of some disturbed minds, and it’s bloody brilliant. “Weave My Spell” is stunningly erotic for a piece of industrial; succeeding where many others have tried and failed. The trip that is “Out Of Control” is probably my favourite track, and I dare you to tell me “Sex Dwarf” isn’t the greatest song title you’ve ever heard.

Fart Wank – Alcohol Is The Answer (2009)

Fart Wank – Alcohol Is The Answer (2009)

One of the last recordings we did. This was originally supposed to be a split with Gorgonized Dorks on an 8″ lathe, but it fell through, mainly due to our ineptitude. I love the artwork, as terrible as it is. Above is the original 8″ version, below is the tape version. Neither came out, so its on Bandcamp now. Endless failure! I love the twin guitar sound on this, even though it is (purposefully) horrendously out of tune, and the drums sound surprisingly clear considering they were recorded with my PC microphone.

Converge – No Heroes (2006)

Converge – No Heroes (2006)

This record was my first experience with Converge. It introduced me to their melancholic brand of progressive hardcore (for a lack of a better way of putting it) and whilst it didn’t really resonate that much with me when I bought this CD in a record shop in Padstow when I was 15, I have grown to fully appreciate what is going on here, how it fits into the overall Converge canon, and the importance of their sound.

Lee Scratch Perry – A Serious Dub (1997)

Lee Scratch Perry – A Serious Dub (1997)

Like, who the fuck actually listens to this shit? I love Lee Perry, but this compilation is a fucking bag of shit. Rushed, thrown together jumble of half-assed dubs is the order of the day. Absolutely, definitely, totally, utterly, AVOID at all costs pointlessness. (PS – I read on Discogs that this isn’t actually Scratch Perry at all… who knows what the fuck is going on with this B.S.). I would also like to quickly apologise for the fucking dire cover art quality in today’s post.

Rammstein – Made In Germany (2011)

Rammstein – Made In Germany (2011)

‘Best Of’ compilations suck 99% of the time, so I’ll skip straight to the remix disc in this case. I guess I should also offer the disclaimer that remix albums are often also just a steaming pile of shit (some people just never learn though – I’m looking at you, Mortiis), but Made In Germany has some solid contributions from some decent names in the biz. Clawfinger’s go on “Sonne” is the first track to blow my dick off, and trailing subtly into second place is Laibach’s “Ohne Dich”, which is definitely more of a cover version than a remix. I don’t feel like this review would be complete without a mention of the hilarious Devin Townsend’s remix of “Rammlied”, you have to check that out purely for the crimes it commits against musical sanity.

Malodorous ‎– Amaranthine Redolence (2007)

Malodorous ‎– Amaranthine Redolence (2007)

This is something I have putting off listening to. I was involved in forums online with the majority of these guys and over time was slated to help release some of their other projects, which were, honestly, infinitely better. As much as I want to revel in memories of the good ol’ MySpace days, this album is, just, well, weak. Can’t really sum it up in any other way; the drums and guitars are enormously over-compressed, and the vocals from Pig Grinder’s Chase Martin are just…pathetic, if I’m being straight with you.  I could have sworn that this was a full band with four members, I recall watching an interview with a bass player who had hair like some Suicide Silence drop out, but only two people are credited as being actual musicians here. Oddly, and perhaps fortunately, despite the similarities in style, Amaranthine Redolence doesn’t hold a candle to Mike O’Hara’s other project, Splattered Entrails, whom in their tech-death later days, and certainly in their gore-splattered early days, knock the socks off this stale and long-forgotten abomination. 

Vomir – Musique De L’Indifférence (2012)

Vomir – Musique De L’Indifférence (2012)

I used to use the 45rpm track off Musique De L’Indifférence during my brief foray into daily meditation; I found that HNW was a distilled account of “I find peace listening to chaotic shit like death metal”, and therefore perfect for shutting off your mind and resetting your aural palate, as it were. Musique De L’Indifférence as a whole though, might be a test of patience for those even into the worlds of noise and industrial, as Vomir does not stray from his (and of course the subgenre’s) trademark of pummelling you into a hundred thousand pieces with the same unchanging wall of tone/distortion. This is either HNW’s downfall or most satisfying feature, depending entirely of course on the individual listener.  

She The Throne – She The Throne (2017)

She The Throne – She The Throne (2017)

What a beauty! Pulsating electronics and dark industrial vibrations meet enormous, explosive beats, all led by hypnotising female vocals. I have no idea how I found this, but I suspect it was through the Twin Peaks-inspired track “Sometimes My Arms Bend Back”, but I have walked into a whole new world of modern, fresh, exhilarating electronic music. She The Throne walk the line between a multitude of genres and somewhat defy definition, but I have never heard industrial music like this before. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, I don’t know, but this is absolutely outstanding.

Swans – Public Castration Is A Good Idea (1986)

Swans – Public Castration Is A Good Idea (1986)

Now this is a heavy one! I sold this record today (at the time of writing) so in honour of departing with one of my most cherished possessions (honestly, it deserves a better home where it will be played / appreciated and not just shoved in a box somewhere) I gave this one a play through for the first time in years. It is easy to under-estimate how skull-rattlingly heavy the tracks on this record are. Swans’ already tortured hymns are drawn out to breaking point here; stretching out into droning slabs of industrial noise. The opening 12-minute reworking of “Money Is Flesh” just makes me wish I was around for Swans’ early days. Those live performances must have been absolutely crushing.

The Prodigy – Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (2004)

The Prodigy – Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (2004)

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned always stood out like a sore thumb for me in The Prodigy’s history. I was in comp (high school for all y’all Yanks out there) when this came out and I remember in the press / build up to it that there was some sort of uneasy feeling that everyone had because Keith and Maxim weren’t going to be in tow as vocalists (I think Maxim sneaks in on “Spitfire” in the end). What I take away from everything that went on around this album; the fact it took seven years to come out after Fat Of The Land, the fact that it had neither of the two main faces of the band involved, the fact that Howlett has detailed how he struggled to get the music down for this until he was in the right frame of mind / place… I’m not saying that this album was rushed, but it is much more like a Liam Howlett solo album than it is a bona fide The Prodigy record. This is, of course, where the trickiness begins; Howlett is, by all rights, The Prodigy. It is all his music. The trouble is, is that everyone – especially Joe Public – associates Keith Flint and Maxim Reality with being the faces of The Prodigy, and with those two massively charismatic figures missing, if only from the record and not from the live show, its easy to see why this was a bit of a flop. Don’t get me wrong, everything Juliette Lewis touches just oozes sexiness, but I think this was a gamble that didn’t really pay off.

Cradle Of Filth – From The Cradle To Enslave (1999)

Cradle Of Filth – From The Cradle To Enslave (1999)

From The Cradle To Enslave is a weird stop-gap EP that came before the Midian album. At this point the band was in a serious state of flux, shedding members like a snake with alopecia. I think there’s something like 15 different drummers performing on this EP. It’s a bit of an odds’n’ends collection, but every track is a corker, except maybe the “Pervert’s Church” remix tune, which is just shite. The cover songs are worth the price of admission alone. Plus, if you turn the CD sleeve inside out you get a much better cover. My favourite track is “Of Dark Blood and Fucking THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” (such metal). PS – the grotesque music video is worth a punt if you’re either A.) into awful horror FX or B.) a 13 year old boy.

Kroh – Kroh (2011)

Kroh – Kroh (2011)

(Disclaimer: my version isn’t signed, I just bumped these pictures off Discogs. Sue me.) Before Kroh got a female vocalist and walked down the path that they are on now, they sounded like this. I got a whole extra-morose Goatsnake kinda vibe off of this, but always found it jarring how the super heavy Entombed-core guitars jarred with the melodic vocals and almost poppy song structures. Maybe it is just the production, IDK. I love how this LP looks, but I gotta admit that it doesn’t get that many spins from me. What is also interesting is that this entire section of the band’s history has been “consolidated” into one release now, with a fleeting mention of this LP on the group’s Bandcamp page, as well as the referring to of these songs as “demos” only. I mean, I wouldn’t call a full coloured 12″ vinyl run of your first album’s worth of studio recordings a demo, but there we go. Interesting.

Mayhem – Deathcrush (1987)

Mayhem – Deathcrush (1987)

Deathcrush is a special part of the Mayhem discography. It is a dank-ass, stank-ass, sloppy, mungin’ tape demo kinda deal; far cry from the band’s lightening fast black metal misery that they would go on to become infamous for. The band might sound like a bunch of teenagers in a garage (which they were, basically) but Maniac is on-point here. The vocals are absolutely mental, and lend a unhinged edge to the atmosphere, as do the spooky and now legendary instrumental / synthesiser tracks (2020 Edit: the opening track is composed by Conrad Schitzler of Kluster and Tangerine Dream fame). A part of black metal history.

King Tubby – King At The Control (1981)

King Tubby – King At The Control (1981)

What a trip! Laid back, seriousllllly heavy dub vibes. It is nice to come across some King Tubby shit that hasn’t been rehashed into some piece of shit compilation.  King At The Control actually flows, like a real album (despite the nature of dub), and whilst there is a similarity between the tracks, especially in the first half or 2/3, it doesn’t get tired or boring. I absolutely love dub music, but the genre is filled with fucking endless, mindless re-issues. This however, is brilliant.

Mac Lethal – 11:11 (2007)

Mac Lethal – 11:11 (2007)

I’m not really sure what it is about Mac Lethal. I really enjoyed the first record, but since then… I don’t know what it is, I can’t put my finger on it, because this guy can rap, that much is quite obvious…. but, I just hate this shit. I think its the lyrics more than anything. On one track he’s just ripping on Tool for seemingly no reason whatsoever. “Make Out Bandit” sounds like it should be a fucking Britney Spears track, it is so cringe. I gave up after “Pound That Beer”. Jesus….

Insane Clown Posse – Basement Cuts (1991)

Insane Clown Posse – Basement Cuts (1991)

Way back when ICP stood for Inner City Posse, the group dropped their demo cassette, Bass-Ment Cuts (yeah I know I’ve credited them as Insane Clowns in the post title, but what you gonna do?). Before the group “found” their horrorcore style (read: decided to imitate Esham lol) they had a much more gangsta rap style on the go. All things considered this isn’t a million miles away from Carnival Of Carnage, minus the whole clown vibe, of course. There is a warmer, more analogue sound here, and some of the scratching on these tracks is fantastic, but I guess it is sampled. Stand out tracks include the intro, as well as “Bitches” and “Insain Like”. PS – there was a second version of Bass-Ment Cuts, with more tracks, entitled simply Bass-Ment. You can find pics and details about this on Discogs, or in the ICP book Behind The Paint, but I’ve not been able to find any way to hear those tracks, only the ones re-issued by ICP in 2001 of the OG Bass-Ment Cuts appear to be available online.