Monday, March 30, 2009

Radiohead - 1991 - Manic Hedgehog

Radiohead's first real release when they were called "On A Friday." A terrible name but an interesting find. Great versions of "Thinking About You" and "You." A cool thing for a Radiohead freak, but not clearly not essential. Oh, and if you can't read what it says on the cover (which I'm pretty sure was a paper bag) it's "Work sucks."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Dillinger Escape Plan - 2004 - Miss Machine

Mathcore is an understandably love-it or hate-it genre. With its heavy use of complex time signatures and frequent harmonic freak outs, mathcore is not for everyone. With Miss Machine, however, the Dillinger Escape Plan have done the impossible: make a catchy, accessible mathcore album without eschewing the musical complexity or spazziness that the genre is known for. Far from "dumbing down" their sound, DEP have struck the perfect balance between technicality and accessibility. Mathy guitar noodling abounds everywhere, but never at the expense of memorable song writing. Awesome jazz interludes sit side by side with sing along choruses. Where prior DEP effort Calculating Infinity was lost among its own technicality and follow up effort Ire Works is just too damn poppy, Miss Machine is a fantastic assemblage of noise and hooks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's true. I do.

AND SO CAN YOU! The Noise Wiki is a great site to find bands you nor anyone you know has EVER heard of. Their names are offensive, crude, cryptic, and strange; their music follows suit; and this website attempts to catalogue them all. From the post-industrial, to the minimal noise, to the fat kid who plays with tapes (not to mention himself) down the hall in your dormitory, there's a decent chance you'll find a bit of everything. It's a cool site, but they're also severely lacking in details and info. So help 'em out. They're really bizarrely political about it too. It's kind of hilarious. Good shit.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ayat - Six Years of Dormant Hatred

I think if Ayat had waited seven years to release this instead of six, they probably would have blown themselves up by now. Which, unfortunately, would not be a totally unexpected event in their hometown of Beirut, Lebanon. Ayat plays a damn solid black/thrash hybrid, with a chunk of punk influence thrown in for good measure (Ive heard their sound also described as industrial, but these ears did not pick up on that). There are some riffs in here that will stick in your head for days, as well as some gang chants catchy enough to have you singing (shrieking?) along to within a few spins. Furthermore, Ayat throws in some wacky ambient shit here, notably at the end of Fornication and Murder, as well as the final track Such a Beautiful Day! (The Exaltation of St. Francis). Ayat clearly restrain themselves to no preconceived notion of what black metal should sound like, and are altogether better for it.

mediafire is fucking with me right now, but heres a link you can download it from:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Genghis Tron - 2006 - Dead Mountain Mouth

As per request (by my fellow contributor, but a request nonetheless), here's Genghis Tron's first full-length release. Great opening track, full of wack-tarded drum programming. Still kind of feels like one of their less-polished releases but it's slightly more evolved with songs like "From The Aisle" which show their move towards more structured songs, with varied stylistic and thematic elements. The build up to that song is particularly awesome with the dark, lyrical processional that suddenly cuts to silence. You think it's gonna come back super fast and crazy but when the guitars kick in, they're subdued and slow, pushing for a grinding, churning effect. Plus we even hear bits of guitar solos (something not entirely typical of the band) with some awesome screaming in the background. And then it fades out in absolutely beautiful fashion. The album art is sick--the little inverted crucifix on the ground in the foreground is kinda hilarious as it really doesn't fit the tenor of the band at all other than them being metal.

download: Genghis Tron - 2006 - Dead Mountain

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Genghis Tron - 2005 - Cloak of Love [EP]

Genghis Tron's first official release, mostly categorized by some super heavy riffs, some ill techno-y hooks and rather chaotic sound-mush. More fun than Dead Mountain Mouth but less interesting than Board Up the House. It's very clearly their first release as it's all over the place, never really sticking to one sound or one style consistently. Not that a band should be grounded in one thing, but it's just not very polished and when put up against their newest release, it's flaws really come out. But it's still hella fun and "Laser Bitch" is just so freaking good that it's totally worth downloading (or buying...hell yeah, buy this shit...I should be plugging you guys to be buying all of this stuff anyway) just to delete the other four tracks.


download: Genghis Tron - 2005 - Cloak of Love [EP]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HORSE the Band - 2006 - Pizza [EP]

So this EP is just so silly I thought everyone should have a listen. Basically these guys got so obsessed with Lou Malnati's (yes friends, Lumelnatis...don't worry if you don't get this, only a handful of peeps will appreciate it) deep dish pizza in Chicago that they took time out of their schedule to write 5 songs about how awesome pizza is. I would tend to agree with fucking rules. But I've never had Lou Malnati's.

Anyway, it's not bad either. The keyboards are the most hilarious part as they really do sound like video game music. These guys invented the term "Nintendocore" which is basically a conflation of metalcore and video game music. They got the hooks, they got the jokes, they got the rage and they got the ill fucking keyboard. It's good shit. Check it, son!

plus, there's an ill cover of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can you go wrong?

download: HORSE the Band - 2006 - Pizza [EP].zip

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pelican - 2003 - Australasia

At the intersection of doom metal and post-rock there is a throne, and upon that throne sits Pelican. Or maybe they built the throne. What is post-rock, anyway? Explosions in the Sky? Pelican are kind of like them, with the long, gradually developing songs that handle all sorts of dynamic changes. And the crushing, repetitive riffs are akin to doomers like Earth. But without question, Pelican are doing their own thing, which is becoming more and more common these days, as genre classifications slide into irrelevance.

Critical pontification aside, this is Australasia, and it’s heavy and monstrous and beautiful. No vocals, just down-tuned guitar and bass and ridonkulous drums, pummeling you into the motherfucking ground. The songs flow seamlessly, so I encourage listening from beginning to end. This may be emotionally taxing, but it will also be really rewarding and maybe even life affirming (dig Angel Tears). If Australasia turns you on, so will the rest of Pelican’s catalogue, which is really consistent from release to release.
- sfs

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nine Inch Nails - 1992 - Broken [EP]

Released about three years after Reznor's first album Pretty Hate Machine, Broken is a radical break from the previous release's synthpop sensibilities and really opens up ground for what would become the sounds so reminiscent of his later work. Really angry stuff here. My favs are "Wish," "Happiness in Slavery," and "Last." Also a really strange release in that in some version there are actually 99 songs (the last two tracks are called "Track 98" and "Track 99" respectively) and each track not labeled in the tracklisting is a single second of silence. We see his use of silence, out bursts of anger and a huge emphasis on swear words, violence, sexual deviance, etc. Truly first in line in his "industrial" work (though from a purely technical standpoint, his music never becomes actually "industrial" until Ghosts I-IV--nothing really implements the requisite ambient and minimalist and noise for true industrial music until then (almost 20 years after his first release)).

download: Nine Inch Nails - 1992 - Broken [EP].zip

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The 13th Floor Elevators - 1966 - The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

So I know this is decidedly “unhardcore,” but this band has been steadily reaching the upper echelons of my most played music since I first downloaded them a few months ago. One of the first bands to describe their music as “psychedelic,” this album has been rather influential to a number of scenes (most obviously the psychedelic music world) including punk rock for their simple rock and roll hooks and wacky showmanship. A far cry from the traditional psychedelic sound, their jugband-sound (no seriously they use an old-timey jug) creates an atmosphere I’d rather call “wacky” than “psychedelic.” Also, these guys were at the forefront of the drug legalization movement in the 1960s (I mean how could they not when they self-ascribe the “psychedelic” label all over the place) and were huge acid heads. Some good covers of rock and roll staples (Gloria, You Really Got Me, You’re Gonna Miss Me). The best track is “Don’t Fall Down.”

download: The 13th Floor Elevators - 1966 - The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor

Total Fucking Destruction - 2008 - Peace, Love, and Total Fucking Destruction

John Zorn may have pioneered jazz-grind with his Naked City project, but Total Fucking Destruction have mastered it. Stepping up their game considerably from 2007s mediocre Zen and the Art of Total Fucking Destruction, drummer Rich Hoak and his merry band of pranksters have, in Peace, Love, and Total Fucking Destruction, delivered something truly bizarre and unique. Almost every song on here is instantly memorable, due to a combination of intelligible (and intelligent) lyrics and truly vicious melodies. Opener "Bio-Satanic Terroristic Attack" will have you running for the hills, shouting the lyrics the whole way, while both followups "Monsterearth Megawar" and "Non-existence of Self" deliver some infectious riffing.

Things get really interesting on "Grindcore Salesman," where the guitar melody morphs from a brutal crush into a jazzy little ditty that wouldnt sound out of place in New Orleans. The ability to switch instantly from grinding destruction to bluesy guitar harmonies is really what sets this CD off from other grind albums. Hoak does a masterful job of setting the pace, blasting away when the moment suits, but effortlessly switches to subdued kit work when the song calls for it (see "Let the Children Name Themselves, nary a blast on the entire song). The guitarist, when not churning out delicious melodies and riffs, is capable of some truly spacey work, floating ethereally above the rhythm section like the Northern Lights over the Arctic Circle. Even the bass has its place on the album, maintaining an audible harmony between the at-times breakneck drumming and occasionally kooky guitar work.

The lyrics, too, are a pretty interesting read. Im told that they tell the story about a child soldier, but I must have missed that, as they seem to be a much less specific, but no less important, call to action. Its the typical political rant, urging you to break free of the status quo, but are nonetheless delivered in an over-the-top ranting style, which makes them enjoyable to listen to. Many songs are comprised solely of a single lyric yelled over and over again, lending the whole album a mantraesque feel, and is ultimately responsible for the discs' memorableness. My only complaint about the entire effort is the final 7 minute long experiment "Last Night I Dreamt We Destroyed the World." Its a too long psychadelic trip with lots of feedback that makes the seemingly interesting monologue indiscernible. It closes with a pretty solid piece of music, and could have been made stronger if the lead up had just been cut. That being said, Peace, Love, and Total Fucking Destruction is like nothing Ive ever heard before, and I cant imagine hearing anything like it in the future. Except for the next TFD release.


download: Total Fucking Destruction - 2008 - Peace, Love, and Total Fucking