Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: October 2019

John Zorn / Quatuor Molinari – Cat O’Nine Tails, The Dead Man, Memento Mori, Kol Nidre (2019)

John Zorn / Quatuor Molinari – Cat O’Nine Tails, The Dead Man, Memento Mori, Kol Nidre (2019)

Canada’s Quatuor Molinari perform some challenging John Zorn compositions, bringing the terrifying hand that penned such musical atrocities as Naked City’s Torture Garden into the classical world. The menacing soundscapes of freeform jazz translate incredibly well onto the stringed instruments, resulting in a performance that is at times mournful and restrained, and at others, purely fucking unholy in every sense of the word.

The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (1981)

The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (1981)

I remember my parents had this album on cassette. When I had a bunch of money given to me on my 18th to contribute to my tattoo sleeve, they put the cash inside this cassette case and wrapped it up. Haha! As far as the record goes, its a bridging gap between the Stones’ world famous earlier work and the more divisive mid-to-late career outputs of the 80s and 90s. You can sense the changes here; there is more urgency here. The songs have always been busy and lively, but it is almost as if the tunes are rushing towards a conclusion, rather than flowing naturally.

Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle (1991)

Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle (1991)

This record was my first foray into the crazy world of Mr. Bungle. While the true craziness and musical tomfoolery would mostly came later on, this self titled offering is a slightly disturbing trek through ska-meets-metal, with a cheeky undercurrent. I’d love to know what inspired the guys in Mr. Bungle to come together and make music like this. Truly, there is no band like Mr. Bungle, not even with other experimental / avant-garde jazzy types.

Qveen Herby – EP 1 (2017)

Qveen Herby – EP 1 (2017)

Well, if there was ever a disgusting ode to a capitalist society and a pointless existence of mindless consumerism, Herby has that all nailed in track one alone. She has really strong flows, some of which are incredibly impressive. As far as substance goes though, this is pretty weak. Come on, girl. 

The Locust – Safety Second, Body Last (2005)

The Locust – Safety Second, Body Last (2005)

Hi everyone and welcome to the 1000th Lines In Wax post! It’s only taken me over 8 years of inconsistent posting (haha), but we got there in the end. I’m nowhere near completing the list on the A-Z page, and the site has gone through various identity crisis’ in its time, but we are still here, and we are still posting. Nowadays, Lines In Wax is basically a nice archive of the stuff that I’ve been listening to or watching. I love keeping track of the art, and putting together a few lines explaining more about the release in general. Gone are the days where we put out huge rambling reviews, gone are Kris, Gumpy, Griefmonger, Tom and Gareth (all of which have contributed excellent guest reviews to this site over the years, although Gar has said he will continue to submit reviews when he has the time), and gone are the days when i was distro’ing grindcore releases through this site. However the hit counter jumps up five or so times a day on each new review, so someone is out there reading still (maybe just Russian bots?), so in that spirit, here’s to another 1000 reviews. I raise a pretentious, overpriced IPA to you, my friends…. Anyways, this wouldn’t be a review without mentioning a record, so…. Here it is, the 1000th review, The Locust’s Safety Second, Body Last. The Locust has always held a place in my heart. If that sounds a bit mental, you have to understand that I first heard this band when I was very young, and whilst they haven’t always been my favourite group, their records are consistently brilliant. The sheer insanity on display here boggles the mind. There really is no other band like them. On SSBL, the spookier electronic passages take centre stage, with the blasting mayhem taking something of a back seat. It is not completely withdrawn – there is plenty of chaos here – but it is restrained somewhat, as The Locust explore more freely the electronic side of their maddening music.

John Zorn – 49 Acts Of Unspeakable Depravity In The Abominable Life And Times Of Gilles De Rais (2016)

John Zorn – 49 Acts Of Unspeakable Depravity In The Abominable Life And Times Of Gilles De Rais (2016)

John Zorn’s maddening orchestrations are brought to life by the massively talented three piece, Simulacrum. The compositions are almost operatic in a space rock / prog kinda way, taking the metal band template to strange new worlds. A glorious journey, but one, that for me at least, doesn’t quite invoke the horrors of the Gilles De Rais story. 

Cannibe – Hideous Human Vintage (2011)

Cannibe – Hideous Human Vintage (2011)

Hit and miss goregrind project from Italy. I love the swampy blur of the drum machine, but in all honesty the vocals and riffs are incredibly uninspired. All the pieces fall into place and at first listen it sounds great, but as soon as you start to dissect (lol) what it is that is going on, it is incredibly repetitive and monotonous. I traded this away a year or so ago, but took some pictures of it for the purposes of Lines In Wax-ing it eventually, so here it is. It’s not bad, but it’s not particularly great, either.

Windows彡96 – One Hundred Mornings (2018)

Windows彡96 – One Hundred Mornings (2018)

I love all this fucking mental vaporwave / nostalgia stuff. If I was a billionaire I’d buy a townhouse in Amsterdam and spend my days building a library of rare vinyl pressings of stuff like this, along with a sub-basement full of dodgy goregrind tapes. One Hundred Mornings is glorious, chilled-out, laid-back, takes-you-way-back brilliance. I’ll be running out of ways to describe vaporwave soon, but this shit is fantastic. Sold out as fuck on vinyl, but I hear a repress is coming…

Pathology – Lords Of Rephaim (2013)

Pathology – Lords Of Rephaim (2013)

Its funny, well, not funny, but fuckin’ great to see, how massive Pathology have become over the years. I remember this starting out as some low key project with disgusting zombie art, and that guy from The Locust on the drums. Not that it was bad then, but Pathology has morphed into this project that drops brutal death metal epics. The later efforts, such as Lords Of Rephaim, are much more polished and grandiose, even. Fantastic stuff, and under-rated. 

Fear Factory – Demanufacture (1995)

Fear Factory – Demanufacture (1995)

Timeless breakthrough record from one of the more consistent industrial metal bands (early 2000s aside, but that’s an era in music which almost everyone succumbed to). Crisp, clear production – mechanical, precise playing. Heavy as shit. Massive, massive Godflesh vibes vocally, especially on the single “Replica”. The Head Of David cover, “Dog Day Sunrise” is absolutely glorious, and is one of my favourite tracks – and covers – ever made.

Sweet Sugar (1972)

Sweet Sugar (1972)

A prostitute with a mouth fulla sass gets sent to a woman’s prison work camp where it turns out the guards are sadistic and the camp leader is “experimenting” on the women that work there. Queue all sorts of half-naked debauchery as the girls fight back and give the babyfaced freakazoid Dr. John (yes!) the runaround, with an absolutely insane ending. I haven’t personally for over half a decade, but it might be worth blazing out before watching this one.

Butcher M.D. / Distrophy – Split Tape (2014)

Butcher M.D. / Distrophy – Split Tape (2014)

Butcher MD are the greatest so it is always awesome to hear more gore from these guys. Distrophy, on the other hand, who I am not too familiar with, offer a much more rustic approach to proceedings. Soupy, Mortician-grade riffed mud and ants-in-your-pants drumming is the order of the day.  Tape now long sold out on Cadaveric Dissolution Records.

The Streets – The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (2006)

The Streets – The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (2006)

If you had to distill the sound of the The Streets down into its most marketable and easily consumable form, The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living would be the best way to do it. The record is short, sharp and to the point. It works well with the cocaine fuelled tales of Skinner’s new found fame, and there are some decent bangers here, although this is far from the greatest Streets album ever released. 

The Room (2003)

The Room (2003)

On the surface of it, The Room is yet another really bad movie about failed romance. There are plenty of them out there, I’m sure. However, what makes The Room so alluring is its creator and star, Tommy Wiseau. I am obviously not alone in this fascination, as the film has enjoyed a cult status for many years and has recently seem a mocku-docu-drama-whatever insight released with James Franco at the helm. As ridiculous as that film is, it does help shed a light on the backstory of Wiseau himself. As perplexing and morbidly fascinating that Mr. Wiseau is, I cannot shake the feeling that this guy just got lucky. Where he (and his money) came from is still a head-scratching mystery, but casting him or The Room in any sort of light that paints it as purposefully bad, ironic or even artistic is just plain wrong (I saw the awkward character interactions of The Room compared to the works of David Lynch on IMDb and whilst I drew my own similarities with the surreal or awkward moments, the directors are quite obviously leagues apart). If there was no such thing as meme culture, there would be no career for Tommy Wiseau, and he would most likely just be another dreamer who had a stab at Hollywood and then fell into obscurity. I mean no disrespect to the man, as The Room is incredibly entertaining despite its deathly pace and repetition. I could just happily go through my entire remaining existence in this world without ever seeing this film again.

Rompeprop – Menstrual Stomphulk (2002)

Rompeprop – Menstrual Stomphulk (2002)

When people think of Dutch exports they think of cheese, clogs and maybe Heineken. In the groovy goregrind world however, Rompeprop puts NL on the map. This gore and watery poo-soaked metallic blast of ridiculousness really needs no introduction. However, if you are new to this kind of thing, I implore you to zip up your wet suit, and put a peg on your nose. It’s going to get messy! 

Circus Mort – Circus Mort (1981)

Circus Mort – Circus Mort (1981)

The pre-Swans outfit that Gira was part of after moving from LA to New York. The history of this man and his revolving door of cohorts is absolutely fascinating and this rare EP is a gross little window into this bizarre world. I’ve heard Circus Mort described as Joy Division featuring Michael Gira. I think that is a pretty apt description. I also get Big Black vibes from this, though. I wonder if Mr. Albini took inspiration from this at all?

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

This was one of the first records I ever heard, and is probably responsible for my life-long interest in hip hop maintaining even as I spent most of my teenage years wallowing in the pits of grindcore. I remember being ten years old, over my friends house (who was the son of my primary school headmaster (that’s elementary principal to you yanks)) roaring with laughter at the contents of “Public Service Announcement 2000” blaring out from the speakers at ludicrous volumes. Some of the tracks haven’t aged that well, but others are absolute classics.

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989)

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989)

Incredibly awful Stephen King story that should have just stayed as a novel. With your active imagination filling the gaps, this might just work. Otherwise, it really hasn’t aged well (and no, I won’t be watching the remake!). I always wondered what happened to Tasha Yar from Star Trek, though.