Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Video: Colourmusic - Yes!

Found this Colourmusic gem on yvynyl who claim "BEST. VIDEO. EVER." And I hate to piggy back and shit but you know what. Fuck. This is the best video ever. It's the most positive, enthusiastic, life affirming, fist pumping, party starting, Oklahoma traveling, jangly garage punk buzz rocking video that you'll ever see. All I wanna do is crank this shit and rock the fuck out. "Gonna change my world." "Gonna love my life." YES!

I bet Andrew WK fuckin loves this.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kyle Bobby Dunn - A Young Person's Guide To... (Low Point, 2010)

Kyle Bobby Dunn - Small Show Of Hands

I know there were probably, like, hundreds of you who creamed your pants over that supreme original art print/album The Intimate Rituals Of Kyle Bobby Dunn on Songs From Under The Floorboards. And you had every right to because it was fucking gorgeous. Well, Mr. Dunn has another release with more than twice as much music on it.

A Young Person's Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn is a double disc of old(ish) material. The first disc is basically last year's digital release Fervency and the second contains songs culled from the same time period when the Fervency recordings were made. So all of these tracks were physical release virgins until now.

Have you ever been walking down the street and it was raining so hard that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face? And the clouds were so thick that not even a single beam of light could penetrate. And your entire body was comprised of water, soaked, quite literally, to the bone and you were bordering on hypothermia. Me neither. But you can imagine it, right? Imagine how fucking pissed off at the entire world you would be.

Then imagine you take another step and it's all gone. The clouds are gone. The rain is gone. The sky is blue and the sun's rays are warming your instantly dry body. Your shoes aren't squishing out water and you lay down on the dry grass basking like a lizard. You would be the happiest motherfucker alive.

That feeling of absolute luxury bathing in the sun when seconds prior you were about to kill baby unicorns is how I feel when listening to A Young Person's Guide To... The lush, majestic tones that float out of my speakers turn me to mush.

The way Dunn can digitally manipulate classical instruments is incredible. It puts him in the same class as Stars Of The Lid and William Basinski, though he imitates neither. Dunn may only have a handful of releases so far but this dude is going to go down in history as one of the masters of minimal 21st century drone. Grab as much of it now as you possibly can.

Monday, March 29, 2010

MP3: Robe. - Vacant (Crucial Blast, 2010)

Robe. - Vacant

Crucial Blast just put out this fucking killer 10 year anniversary, 54 track digital comp called Blastwave X with tons of shit you probably don't have. A lot of it is previously released material but there are a couple of exclusive tracks, such as "Vacant" by Robe.

A sprawling 12 and a half minute doom ride through the murky fog, this beast is fucking heavy. Turn your headphones up loud enough and your head starts vibrating. Beautiful gray ambient rumbling that just keeps diving downward into the abyss until you can't see or hear a goddamn thing except the total blackness of the lowest trench of the deepest ocean.

Totally. Fucking. AWESOME.

Here's hoping the next 10 years for Crucial Blast are as badass as the first.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Haiku Review: Counterspark - The Halpern Experiment (Resting Bell, 2010)

Counterspark - 5:39

The Halpern Experiment (download)
/reworked new age tape/
/clouds shimmer in golden pond/
/softly looped glory/

Friday, March 26, 2010

OOPs: The Advantage - Underwear: SO BIG! (self released, 2006)

The Advantage - Gremlins II

You should already know The Advantage. The dudes who play punk math rock covers of video game tunes? And Spencer Seim, the guitarist for Hella, plays drums?

Well, I saw them back in 2006 and they were selling this tour only EP called Underwear: SO BIG! so I obviously bought it. The tracklisting speaks for itself. Clearly, you need to hear every single one of these songs.

Fester's Quest
Gremlins II
Gradius II: Boss
TMNT II: Technodrome
Megaman III: Sparkman
TMNT: Minefield
Solar Jetman: Truckstop
Final Fantasy

Yes, Gremlins II, Solar fucking Jetman, and the damn near impossible Minefield level from Ninja Turtles. These guys pick some of the coolest games to cover and they make them sound so badass. Like "Fester's Quest" is pure fucking evil. I know there are a lot of video game cover bands out there but The Advantage is hands down the best one ever. And I can't think of a single reason you shouldn't download this.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reuben Son - Glowing Departure (Private Chronology, 2009)

Reuben Son - B.1

It's becoming more and more apparent: Boston is one of, if not the best place for experimental music. It's about quality, not quantity. Sure, New York and San Francisco have throngs of artists living there, but in terms of the good/bad ratio? Boston's got this shit hands down. Add Reuben Son to the pile of 100% Boston quality.

Reuben's new to the scene, debut tape released on his debut label. Glowing Departure: "Three improvisations for tape on guitar." Dude knows how to push my buttons.

The A side is one 26 minute piece that spends most of its time hiding in your grandparents' attic. Dusty and hazy, barely there guitar plucks with an ethereal drone pressing underneath, made up of both Reuben's tape work for the song and the (presumably purposeful) inescapable tape hiss from your own copy. The piece is so thick you can see light beams shining through it, yet it's delicate enough that the slightest movement would cause an avalanche of disintegration.

But about 3/4 of the way through, the pace picks up and shit gets foreboding, like getting caught in a river and you just fucking know that there's a waterfall coming up. No matter, enjoy the ride 'cause this river is goddamn beautiful and you're fucking floating in it. OOOOOH my fucking god you're already falling down the waterfall. How did you not see it or hear it coming? It just fucking appeared and now you're falling to your death. But WOW. It's so gorgeous. It envelops you and rains chaos upon your head. Just you and the deafening water. And it lasts forrrrevvvverrrrrrr.

Click. Tape's over. Breath. Compose yourself. Flip it over.

The B side is just as outstanding as its A counterpart, though broken up into 2 tracks. The first one is super wobbly, plenty of tape fuckery going on, not too much guitar at first, then lots of droning e-bowed strings and singing bowls. The final piece is all guitar, all acoustic, like the beginning of the A side (sans drone) and like Neil Young doing a classical guitar version of the Dead Man Soundtrack.

So that's how Reuben Son does it. Fucking skydives into the scene with this killer tape and is just like, "Hey guys what's up." My recommendation? 1: Don't fuck with him. 2: Do nothing but stare at the Private Chronology website until he puts something else out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Foxdye - M4g1c47 G71mm3r1ng R41nb0w (Fukdup, 2010)

Foxdye - Martha's Mega-Meowssive

Don't be fooled by the twinkling bookend ambient tracks. I promise that's not how the rest of the record sounds. Like, at all. It's just Foxdye's way of priming you for the rainbow storm that's to follow, and then smoothly easing you down off your sugar crash.

There's an image on the inside of the insert that probably explains the music more than words ever could. It's a smashed cupcake. Frosting, glitter, sprinkles, rainbow shit everywhere. It looks delicious, like someone ate the fuck out of it and then stomped on it with clown shoes. I don't know about you, but just that picture alone is enough to tell me holy shit this is going to be so fucking good.

I'm not sure if there's a genre already in place for music like this. Joycore, cupcakecore, candycore? They use the phrase happy hardcore occasionally, but I'm not too partial to that. It's a bit too long. Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea. It's unbelievably crazy awesome.

This shit is sparkle exploding ecstasy breakcore with a fuck ton of samples. Like Dev/Null plus Girl Talk plus rainbows. There's dubbed out wub-wub fart sounds, skwee tweeking, rave-offs, blasts of drill-n-bass, every electro dance sub-genre thrown into a breakcore Blendtec and shat out in the shape of hearts, stars, and neon dinosaurs.

And the samples. OH the fucking samples. They're incredible. Martha Stewart, farts, Jock Jams, keyboard cat, poop, that old Encarta "duhn-duhhhnnn" sound, Aqua Teen, more farts, yakety sax, Full Metal Jacket, Frasier, faaaarts, "Genie In A Bottle" (on "Christina Aguerilla Warfare" obviously), even the goddamn volume adjustment blips on Macs. Every pop song ever, old and new, that you secretly love chopped & processed to oblivion, barely recognizable. I can't believe I'm saying this but there's actually a fucking awesome version of "We Like To Party" by The Vengaboys. Just trust me.

I think it's kind of a prerequisite to like breakcore to enjoy M4g1c47 G71mm3r1ng R41nb0w, but I'd say you could probably enjoy this even if you've never heard breakcore and are just really into candy and bright colors. The only thing I ask is please don't write this off if you can't stand Girl Talk. I know there's a lot of GT haters out there but this is really different and only shares a few similarities. I can pretty much guarantee that you can love this and hate Girl Talk at the same time. Because this shit is so ridiculously good. I mean come on, it's happy hardcore.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tom Plsek, Barn Owl, JaJuNo Trio, Mystic Out-Bop Review at The Griffen Theatre

Tom Plsek: invisible hand in front of your face pitch black, underwater warble trombone, near-Niblockian circular breathing trombone, LED spotlights, scattered black feathers, dozens of neon orange rods thrown at Tom's back, pierced cow heart with said rods, hung in the middle of the stage, fierce fear trombone played at the heart, collapse

Barn Owl: not that one, drummer = Eli Keszler + Dan from Neptune + Steve Albini, fairy dust turns entire bass into pickup, guitar gets the knife/screwdriver/ice pick treatment, nobody plays fair, those sounds? coming from inside your head

JaJuNo Trio: microtonal microcosm, theremin, voice, and sax sound like a drafty window and a tea kettle making love, one starts where the other begins, eruptions of magic in silence

Mystic Out-Bop Review: not quite weird enough restrained frenetic free jazz, not especially my cup-o-tea, except the DIY oscillator/synth/electronics box, very much my cup-o-tea

More photos on Flickr.

Tom Plsek

Tom Plsek

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

JaJuNo Trio

Mystic Out-Bop Review

Mystic Out-Bop Review

Monday, March 22, 2010

MP3: Girlfriends - The Day I Was A Horse (Ampeater, 2010)

Girlfriends - The Day I Was A Horse

I love Girlfriends oh so dearly, and after listening to their debut tape on repeat a hundred zillion times in my car for the past 4 months I really regret giving them a half-assed "list review" of their A+++ tape. So here's my chance to make up for that massive error.

Ampeater has put out another one of their world renowned digital 7 inches, this time with 2 "new" Girlfriends songs. The first is a revised version of the first track on their tape, "Good To Be True." It's cleaned up a bit, polished, and the alien theremin solo is missing. Not too different. But the other song is "The Day I Was A Horse." Yeah, it's a Vaselines cover!

It's short and sweet, with the female Girlfriend having to sing a bit more than usual (obviously). If you know the song and/or The Vaselines, you'll love Girlfriends having a go at it. If you're totally oblivious to The Vaselines, you'll still love it because it's a great fucking song and Girlfriends are the best.

Download the new digital 7" here.

P.S. They played this song at Blastfest III on Saturday. It was awesome.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Haiku Review: Dropa - Sloppyy Seconndd (Breakfast Of Champs, 2010)

Dropa - Sun Spot 1

Sloppyy Seconndd (download)
/raddest bedroom beats/
/endless slumber dance parties/
/rain cloud cough syrup/

Friday, March 19, 2010

OOPs: The Mausoleums - Blackened Fawns Cleanse The Earth With Fire (Chinese Workers Labor Union, 2008)

The Mausoleums - Totem Pole

I reviewed this beast a couple years ago and it looks like it's disappeared since then, at least in terms of finding a physical copy. These two years have done nothing to wane by obsession though, because this motherfucker still destroys.

It's like The Mamas & The Papas black metal. You know how Torche became the poster boys for pop metal? Well The Mausoleums are the fucking wizards of speaker shredding blown out black pop metal. Seriously seriously killer.

Download this regardless of your taste in music. It will blow your fucking mind no matter what you like. But you'll probably only enjoy Blackened Fawns if you're into the whole having your mind blown sort of thing.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Black Pus, Sissy Spacek, Nautical Almanac, Wittmer & Knowles, Weyes Blood at Great Scott

Black Pus: whirlwind chaos, heavier and more metal than on record, surprisingly chill crowd, "Fuck the beat police!"

Sissy Spacek: dude had guitar with springs for strings, Wiese looks like a creepy pedophile (via The Lovely Bones), indescribable noise that somehow didn't (but should have) shattered my lens

Nautical Almanac: crazy ass rear projections on a giant's sheet distracted from the already distracted radio-scanning incomprehensible clatter

Wittmer & Knowles: performance noise, Germanic human robots played tuning forks with their feet, the mouth of hell opened up, dragged to a cacophonous world of guttural growling & strobe lights, wall of mayhem, sight & sound cease, robots collapse

Weyes Blood: shamanistic organ drone pop with Zola Jesus vocals and warped backwards tapes of wind & dust, the man made her blown out her essential mood-enhancing candles

Some photos below, shit tons more on Flickr.

Black Pus

Black Pus

Sissy Spacek

Sissy Spacek

Nautical Almanac

Wittmer & Knowles

Wittmer & Knowles

Wittmer & Knowles

Weyes Blood

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Of Sand - How Beautiful To Walk Free (self released, 2010)

Book Of Sand - Hidegen Fújnak A Szelek

Awesome news everybody! The dude from Light (Dan) has gone from making fucked up doom metal with Emily to fucked up black metal all by his lonesome (with a little help on the drummin). So Light is officially no more, and not that I'm happy about it, but with 3 kick ass records, they had their time to crush minds with the doom. Now it's time to bring the motherfucking black rain down upon your sorry souls.

The filthy buzz, blast beats, and tortured screams are so refreshing to hear coming from a guy that just recently put out an hour long record of a single piece of glacial sludge. But even though the genres are almost polar opposites in the metal-sphere, there's still so much in common that you can tell the same guy is at work. The vocals haven't changed all that much, which shouldn't be a surprise because the singing in Light sounded like it was coming from a fucking screechy angsty demon and that fits just as well in doom as it does BM. Then there's songs like "The Night And Day Will Pass Away" which for it's breakneck speed is just as creepily foreboding as any Light song.

What makes Book Of Sand stand out amongst the hordes of BM bands is his lack of focus on the necrotic decay, instead finding inspiration in things like veganism and feminism. A BM dude that cares about chicks and animals? Fuckin POSER. Haha. I kid. Not only are animals THE BEST (do you see that bunny up there?) but he's also a whole-hearted supporter of VHEMT (The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement). See how that works? He's SO metal and self loathing that he thinks the entire human race should be wiped from the planet. But seriously though. What the fuck ever. Politics and ideals and moral arguments are all fucking bottom rung when it comes to music. I mean yes, it adds another (possibly cool and interesting) dimension but this guy could prance around in a rainbow tutu sprinkling glitter in his trail, and How Beautiful To Walk Free could be about flowers and marshmallows and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. The fact that he put this album out makes him the coolest motherfucker ever.

Lucky for you, How Beautiful To Walk Free has that same style of glorious hand made packaging that the 3 Light releases had, but they made, like, 5 times as many copies of it. It's still limited though (only 1000 made), so make sure you grab one of these hot bitches. Just look at how badass this packaging is.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Feedback Makes Everything Better

Wayne Rogers of Heathen Shame at First Night 2010

I'm going to be redesigning AGB a little bit and I figured while I'm at it, I should take a poll and see if there's a strong feeling out there for me to do anything differently. Because you, dear readers, are the reason I do this, and my sole purpose in life is to make you happy.

Feel free to elaborate on anything in the comments, especially if there's something you'd like to see that isn't one of the options listed.

So just check away on those little boxes down there. Check as many as you'd like. Maybe if you wish hard enough, it'll come true!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Show Worthy 3/15 - 3/21

Tuesday, March 16
Black Pus, Sissy Spacek, Nautical Almanac, Gerrit Wittmer & Paul Knowles, Weyes Blood, DJ 2xA (Double Awake) at Great Scott (8:00, $10, 18+)
Whoa everybody. Calm down. Just because Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale's solo noise project Black Pus is playing at Great Scott with Sissy Spacek aka John motherfuckin WIESE is no reason to freak out. So everyone just chill the fuck out. Don't get too excited. It's just another show.

Seijiro Murayama & Jean-Luc Guionnet by wot nxt via

Wednesday, March 17
Seijiro Murayama & James Coleman & Greg Kelley, Keith Fullerton Whitman at Outpost 186 (8:00, donate, all ages)
Murayama is the dude from Absolut Null Punkt (along with KK Null), he's played with Keiji Haino, and he put out that collab with Lionel Marchetti on Intransitive. He's just plain awesome. He'll be doing percussion shit with Coleman on theremin and Kelley on trumpet. Guaranteed to be rad. Plus KFW is opening. Holy shit?

Saturday, March 20
Blastfest 3 at Cambridge YMCA (11am-11pm, $5-$10, all ages)
I already did a whole post dedicated to Blastfest 3. Fuckin read it! It's going down this Saturday.

Sunday, March 21
Barn Owl, JaJuNo Trio, Tom Plsek, Mystic Out-Bop Review at Griffen Theatre (Salem) (7:00, $10, all ages)
Guys! Cool shit is coming to Salem!! That means I don't have to drive or take the train to have fun and see awesome experimental music. This is the first show in the Sonorium music series (put on by the Qfwfq Duo) and they're making sure they're on the map right from the get go bringing fuckin Barn Owl to town. Plus JaJuNo trio is playing, who consists of James Coleman on theremin, Jules Vasylenko playing the saxophone, and Noell Dorsey "singing." I wrote about them when they played at The Piano Factory with Lord & Karhlheinz, and Audrey Chen & id m theftable. They were incredible. This show would be so fucking cool if it was in Boston, but it's in Salem, and that just makes it a hundred million times cooler. Can't wait to see what Sonorium's got up their sleeves for round two.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Haiku Review: Michael T. Bullock - A Mountain (Coming Around) (Homophoni, 2008)

Michael T. Bullock - A Mountain (Coming Around)

Michael T. Bullock
A Mountain (Coming Around) (download)
/twisted contrabass/
/expectation filled silence/
/vacant raucousness/

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Video: Jonas Reinhardt - Atomic Bomb Living

If there was ever a Kranky artist who could pull off the "forgotten film footage music video" it would be Jonas Reinhardt. His synth space kraut begs to be matched with some unknown sci-fi B movie, and "Atomic Bomb Living" lives the dream. Something to do with pterodactyl heads, a robot with clawed feet (to help with dancing on the rocks), and clam breasted, island bound sirens worshiping both.

"Atomic Bomb Living" is a track off the just released Powers Of Audition, which from the sounds of it, adds a whole ton of instruments and groove to Reinhardt's repertoire of vintage blorpy synths found on his debut self titled record.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tom Vourtsis - The Driver (self released, 2010)

Tom Vourtsis - Green

Tom Vourtsis did it right. He e-mailed me, complimenting AGB, talking about which posts he liked, what albums he bought because of reviews he read, and then told me he makes music, linking to his SoundCloud. Clearly, I'm going to at least give whatever he made a whole hearted listen with my full attention. And if it's good, I'm going to write a review where I basically cream my pants over it. Well, guess what...

The Driver is a wonderfully delicate work of clicky drone, with each of the 6 songs named after a color ("Chrome" is too a color, stfu). I'm not too good at the "This song makes me see this color" sort of thing (although my wife is the fuckin queen of that) so I'm not too sure if the colors he's ascribing to each song are appropriate, but I'm gonna just say yeah, they're totally appropriate, because why tf not.

The tunes are something of the Mountains/Eluvium/Hecker variety, although at the same time not quite like any of them. Lots of digital processing, but also super organic. Smooth blissful tones washing under everything, with little water bugs skimming across the surface creating the tiniest of ripples that catch the sun rays. Warm air drifts through the green canopy, just enough to rustle the leaves while raindrops trickle down the branches. Sweet euphoric mind candy.

But it ain't all flowers and rainbows, sometimes the rare bald eagle makes an appearance, fucking shit up and taking out some of the smaller birds, being as graceful and majestic as nature can be. Beauty in the macabre, glory in the static bath, harmony in the glitch.

So yes, The Driver is fucking incredible. Absolutely gorgeous ambience that will cleanse your regrets and free you of guilt. And did I mention it's free? It's free. Download it now and you'll be swimming in awesomeness as fast as your internet connection can allow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blastfest 3!

Alright dude(ette)s, it's March, and March means Blastfest!

The Whitehaus, the coolest commune this side of of the Catskills, is throwing down the gauntlet for Blastfest 3. Check out this fuckin lineup.

Avi Jacob, Gregory J Mullen, Manners, Shai Erlichman, The Needy Visions, Duck That, The Woodrow Wilsons, Wolf Woolf, Tulsa, Ambitious Tugboat, Concord Ballet Orchestra Players, Debbie and the Bullets, Casey Rocheteau, Apollo Sunshine, Rene, Boy Without God, James Lindsey, The Great Valley, OH!OH!MINTS!, The French Cops, Girlfriends, The Meadowlarks, Turtle Ambulance, and more, YES MORE

So much fun is going to be had at Blastfest 3. You have no idea. It's going to be like the epic party you always wanted to throw but never had enough friends to make it crazy enough. Well, everybody at Blastfest is your friend (true story) and that means THIS IS THAT PARTY. The music is going to be sosososo fantastic and, get this, FREE PB&Js!! Just don't be a glutton.

They'll be celebrating the release of The Whitehaus Family Record Family Record, a 2xLP compilation featuring a ton of the people playing Blastfest and then some. And there's not just music, there's also a zine fair put on by the inimitable Papercut Zine Library (who just found a new home in Somerville!), plus a comic jam (?). Yeah, this is going to be pretty grand.

The whole hootenanny goes down on March 20 at the Cambridge YMCA from 11-11 with a "sliding scale" of $5-10 for tickets. Meaning if you can swing it, and you should be able to swing it I mean they're giving away goddamn PB&Js you guys, then you should drop a tenner in the bucket.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Haiku Review: Michael DuFault - MicroD (self released, 2009)

Michael DuFault - Palisade

Michael DuFault
MicroD (download)
/one-bit music cubed/
/genius in simplicity/
/silver tones evoke/

Friday, March 5, 2010

OOPs: The Music Of Primitive Man (Horizon, 1973)

Fiji Islands Dance

Tonga Chorus

I know, the title isn't exactly the most politically correct way of talking about old school tribes living off the map and off the grid. I didn't come up with the name and it's from the '70s ,so if you look past it you're getting yourself into some seriously amazing sounds from remote corners of the world.

Hypnotic chants, exotic instruments, dance songs, folk songs, "songs about work, war, love and celebration." There's over 40 songs, most under a minute long, and they're all endlessly fascinating. There are 80 second clips of a Finnish Lapland joik or 45 seconds of a Dusun bamboo stick orchestra. There's a Motilón Indian musical bow solo, using what might be the earliest known stringed instrument. Akawai women and children sing while grating cassava root, Cuna shamans chant away a young girl's fever.

The back cover describes what every song is about, like the "Cuna Puberty Celebration" that says "This male chant, the Yayganagadi tune, is accompanied by two flutes and maracas. The girl being honored remains with her family inside a specially built circular hut while the other members of the village make the fiesta." Or the "Walbiri Blooding Ceremony" which consists of "Chanting accompanied by a bull-roarer, a wooden slat attached for a string, which makes a whistling noise when whirled. During this ceremony the Walbiri, Australian Aborigines of the desert regions of Northern Territory, cover themselves with feathers using blood as an adhesive."

These songs are from a world completely unknown to me and are perhaps centuries old. But the funny thing is, is that there are so many similarities found in contemporary music. Give Eye from Boredoms one instrument, or strip Animal Collective of all their electronics, and you could have the great-great-great-great-grandchild of a Fiji dance or Tonga chorus.

You need to download this. Some of it is more interesting than enjoyable, but the majority of it is definitely both.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Locrian - Territories (At War With False Noise / Basses Frequences / Bloodlust! / Small Doses, 2010)

Locrian - Procession Of Ancestral Brutalism

Where the fuck do you start with a record like this? I guess the first thing I should mention (in case you didn't notice) is that Territories is too much of a monolithic beast to be contained by individual labels or continents. It took FOUR labels to put this thing out. That right there should clue you in as to how fucking massive this record is.

Then there's the fact that this isn't just André & Terrence playing, like most Locrian releases. Nope, they've recruited, like, every awesome metal dude around. Mark Solotroff (of Bloodyminded) on vocals and synths, Blake Judd (of Nachtmystium) on guitar, Bruce Lamont (of Yakuza) on sax and vocals, and Andrew Scherer (of Velnias) on drums. DUDES. We get it. You're trying to make to most badass record ever. No need to go overboard (just kidding, always go overboard please).

What Locrian usually go for is black. You know, black metal, blackened ambience, black doom, black noise, all the black one record can handle. But combine their entire discography's blackness and you still can't muster even a half hearted fight against the epic black hole that's Territories.

This record is fucking incredible. It opens with a super textured lurching hunchback of a song, with piercing squelches of feedback over a gurgling swamp of vocals and noise. The next song chills out a bit with some not-too-scary low end drone played by a mourning sax and commiserating synths, accentuated by spurts of crashing cymbals. But the third song is where they fucking kick it into gear. All out black metal fury that totally fucking annihilates in the most gorgeous way possible. I don't think I've heard them delve this far into the BM yet, and it's so. fucking. good. It's not especially fucked or twisted that way I normally like my black metal, but it's not too straightforward either. They balance the blast beats and wall of buzz with droning static and plodding thunder in a way that makes me think "Why don't they always do this? It's unbelievable." But then I listen to the rest of the record and remember why.

Territories finishes with 3 more songs that really get into some true terror, blackened rumbling, traipsing thrumming, soaring static, and more of that torturous feedback. Clouds roll in and shit gets dark, heavy, and scary as fuck. Helicopters flying in launching tear gas rockets to stop the rioting masses, decrepit malfunctioning machines topple, rusted tetanus infections, doomsday alarms, the demise of our society. And it all culminates with a black metal march of triumph over the decay, proof that even in the Future American Dystopia, no matter how debased and degenerated we have become, it's still going to be fucking beautiful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Have A Nice Life at The Stone (NYC)

Pictures first, then the review. BAM!

See 'em bigger on Flickr.

Connecticut's devastatingly amazing metal/shoegaze/whatever duo Have A Nice Life played their first show ever at The Stone in New York on Sunday night. Living 5 hours away and being in the middle of the Salem Film Fest at work wasn't going to stop me from going. The only thing that could have stopped me was the fact that The Stone is fuckin ridiculously small and you can only buy tickets at the door, so hypothetically I could have gotten all the way there and still not have gotten in. Luckily, that wasn't the case.

I got in line around 8:00, there were maybe 15-20 people already ahead of me, and HANL was scheduled for 10. And they were the only band playing, too. No openers. No headliners. Just the best fucking band ever playing in a tiny room packed with about 100 die hards (sitting in folding chairs, wtf) and stacks upon stacks of amps.

HANL added a couple more people to the live lineup to make things go smoothly. In addition to Dan and Tim (on vocals and bass respectively), there was Dan's brother Will (of Afterlives) playing keyboards and Cody Kestigian (of America Addio) playing guitar. I was really hoping there would be live electronic drums or something, but they ended up just having the drum track pre-recorded, for mostly obvious reasons I guess.

So much power, emotion, and fucking volume. They rocked so hard. Everybody fucking loved it, although I think there were plenty of people (myself included) who wanted to toss the goddamn folding chairs out the non-existent windows and just rock the fuck out. When you're watching Dan turn into a screaming madman singing songs about his deceased father, the last thing you want to be doing is chilling out in your little wooden chair.

Here's the set list, complete with 2 new songs:
Deep, Deep
Waiting For Black Metal Records To Come In The Mail
I'm Dr. House

I swear to God when they played "Earthmover" I was going to fucking die. That shit was unbelievably epic.

Once they finished playing, they had a tape called Time Of Land with 4 new songs that they were selling exclusively at that show. Can't get it elsewhere. And it was 1 tape per person, too, so I doubt you'll be seeing any copies for sale on eBay or whatever. Although you'll likely find it for downloading pretty soon (maybe even here?).

BUT, good news for everyone, more Have A Nice Life shows are already planned. They're scheduled to open for Alcest at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT, and I'm pretty certain they'll be doing to same at Unit 11 in Allston, although that has yet to be confirmed. But seriously dudes, do whatever the fuck it takes to make it out and see HANL. Totally won't regret it.