Dapper Dan Man…

January 19, 2010

Total Fucking Destruction – Peace, Love and Total Fucking Destruction

Posted on Tuesday January 12th, 2010 – Scenepointblank.com

Grindcore is one of those genres where these days you are just as likely to come across an abject piece of music as you are something good. This could be said of all genres but you got to be skilled to provide something original with music where speed is the primary ingredient.

The classics brought something new and did it with a youthful and naïve charm and can still be considered supreme. It has been a long time since a band like Napalm Death was the most brutal thing in music – plenty of bands are more extreme today – but any new record they put out wipes its ass with anything by a modern grind band.

Luckily, Total Fucking Destruction carry some pedigree with them by having a member from a legendary grind band in the ranks and by delivering good music. It is refreshing to see that they have not opted for the most extreme delivery on Peace, Love and Total Fucking Destruction but have decided to spice up their politicized brand of grindcore with some different influences that helps from turning the listen tedious. Let’s face it – listening to over twenty songs with just blast beats and screaming can get tiresome no matter how much you love grind.

It starts with familiar territory though – “Bio-Satanic Terroristic Attack” is just under one minute and full of total speed. The quintessential song of the genre in other words. But already on the next song “Monsterearth Megawar” do things get slightly different. It’s not as fast and slows down even more with some rhythmic breakdowns in the middle. “Non-Existence of the Self” goes even further by for the most part being a melodic punk tune with clean vocal delivery. Small differences like these help make an album that could have been standard interesting. Even the closer, the longest on the album and a spoken word/rap piece does not feel out of place on an otherwise heavy, intense recording.

Advertisements

December 17, 2009

StonerRock.com review – Orcustus – S/T

Filed under: Music,Review — gazzabazza @ 5:21 PM
Tags: , ,

Orcustus – Orcustus
Review by Mirza Gazic (StonerRock.com)
Southern Lord Records
Release date: 2009

Link to review on Stonerrock.com

Orcustus are a slightly obscure entity made up of more or less reputable musicians in the black metal world. Luckily they don’t delve into the world of theatrical black metal rich with keyboards as so many of their peers these days do – this album is all the better for containing nothing more than the basics. There is more atmosphere here than on any work done by the likes of Dimmu Borgir.

Don’t mistake it for sounding primitive, though, as the production and packaging here is top notch, from the disturbing cover art and the accompanying booklet to the atmosphere of the bone sharp, melodic riffs.

The vocalist has the near perfect voice for this kind of music and more black metal front men ought to have voices this acidic and raspy. Orcustus go for depth on this album rather than full on speed and mayhem. Their approach has more vigour as they opt to vary by also having a lot of rhythmic delivery rather than playing blast beats for seven songs. At times the rhythm can almost be said to have a punky edge to it.

The fast songs are there though; “Coil” and “Death and Dissolution” have the pace, but the album as a whole provides a lot of contrast which is good since the songs are rather long.

These guys may not be as popular as some in the vast pool of black metal but should they pick up on the activity then they should be, as this self titled disc outdoes many in the genre.

November 26, 2009

I Klatus – Surveillance and Worship

Filed under: Music,Review — gazzabazza @ 5:25 PM
Tags: ,

I Klatus – Surveillance and Worship
Review by Mirza Gazic (StonerRock.com) – Click on site name for direct link to review
Label: Horse Drawn
Release Date: 2009

The two bands that keep coming to mind while listening to Surveillance and Worship are Neurosis and Isis. It’s inevitable when the music is atmospheric, noisy and experimental metal. Some might say that due to their similarities only one of them will suffice to mention, but there are reasons to disagree with that.

I Klatus sound like certain parts of both; the unnerving, slow doom of Neurosis is brought to mind and even the vocals during these pieces are similar, whereas the mellow and melancholy influences resemble Isis’s free-flowing suggestiveness (from their three last albums in particular).
The sound of desperation is at the forefront of the opening track “The Rift.” The first minutes are based on a glum intro of guitar strumming but with a creeping sense of unease, followed by black metal-like screams and then the eruption of the massive wall of riffs kicks in. This nine minute long opener is interspersed with little details that cement that unsettling feeling of the beginning. A small instrumental breather follows before “Flaw,” a song that bears the kind of nihilism that Eyehategod championed in the bad old days.

The record is not entirely full of noise though; “Flawless Covalency” is in parts a wonderfully sombre slow burner with better singing that can be expected from an album of this kind. Perhaps I klatus should have delved even deeper into these parts and let them flourish because at times the clanging and experimental noise tends to ruin their better, tender moments.Still, the good parts are in a definite majority.

Sadly, the band seems to have been struck by tragedy with the death of bass player Tariq Ali, so where this leaves them is unknown. Support them at least by giving this disc a listen. URL: http://www.myspace.com/iklatus

August 5, 2009

Music Review: Pike – Beneath Death Valley demo

Filed under: Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:24 AM
Tags: , , ,

Really good demo from a Swedish doom/stoner band- Could go the same way as fellow countrymen Kongh

Published on StonerRock.com – Link to review

August 1, 2009

For those unfamiliar with Pike – which currently must be quite a few – they are a Swedish trio playing groove-heavy doom metal who here offer up a promising demo consisting of two songs and an acoustic interlude. Not much material to dissect but this is easily overlooked since they’re still in the beginning of their recording career and since, in true doom fashion the two songs tick in at a length of over 15 minutes.

Beneath Death Valley draws a considerable influence from both classics like Sabbath and Motorhead, but even more so from contemporaries like High on Fire and particularly from the more grimy and rumbling jams on The Art of Self Defense, something evident on opener “Snowstalker.” Where Pike differ slightly is with the mix of psychedelic influences which function well as armament against a lack of variety.

It would be good to hear a recording with at least four longer songs on it next time, in order to make a more fair judgement of whether they can sustain the skill from Beneath Death Valley and spread it out over a longer period. It will especially be intriguing to find out if they can write another ten minute song with equal parts fast and doomy as good as “Manonian.” Until then Beneath Death Valley will do just fine.

http://www.myspace.com/pikesweden

Music Review: Carlton Melton – Live in Point Arena 7/8/08

Filed under: Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 10:18 AM
Tags: , ,

Published on StonerRock.com

August 1, 2009 – Link to review

Carlton Melton is a band made to be a cult favorite among those that love improvisational and instrumental music. They sound too trippy and weird to ever be big, but they do know how to make something engaging out of what sounds like nothing more than impromptu jamming. The deal here is slow, long pieces of space rock with a hint of drone added in – the first two songs, “Happy Song” and “Against the Wall,” have a constant rattling buzz throughout – that are pleasantly soothing and atmospheric.

There are similarities with latter-day Earth but where theirs is a dry, dusty character, Carlton Melton literally rise above and offer up spacey and ethereal soundscapes. Live in Point Arena has the atmosphere of a record just born out of a will to improvise rather than plan any song structures. It sounds like the band just plugged in and went wherever inspiration took them at that moment in time. The fact that all song titles here are working titles further cements the view of a loose environment. “Root Ball” consists of not much else except for a long, slow guitar solo, whereas the back bone of “Inter Mission” is based on the strum of a broken up old acoustic guitar and another drawn out solo, albeit with more of a blues feel to it this time.

For those that appreciate music that breathes and takes its time, that is made for concentrated listening Carlton Melton are a new acquaintance to embrace. They may remain unknown but will be liked by those that still love rock with an experimental edge.

http://www.myspace.com/carltonmelton

July 9, 2009

Music review: Bulldozer – The hammers

Filed under: Music,punk,Review — gazzabazza @ 9:15 AM
Tags: ,

Published on Scenepointblank.com

Sadly this is not a album by recently reformed Italian thrashers Bulldozer but a disc made by a New York band playing bog-standard punk rock with melodic and shouty sing-along choruses.

It’s hard to get wet and excited over another punk band that has flashes of rock’n roll and sounds like they came straight from the practice room – especially since most have probably heard, by estimation, around eight poorly produced albums of the same sound with tin-pot drumming this month alone. Last time was probably when your kid brother’s band played in front of twelve people in some dive bar.

The problem is not that the music on The Hammers is thoroughly bad but that it’s just bland and doesn’t inspire any reaction. Bulldozer is the quintessential bar band – there to play songs like “The Cocksmen/ Gravedigger” to whoever wants to hear jokey rock’ n roll in the vein of Guttermouth on a Tuesday evening and doesn’t mind the utter lack of variety. The guys are probably aware of and content with the situation.

Throw in some thoroughly meat-headed lyrics – apart from “Guido Beach” which did raise a smile – and you have a recording likely to be forgotten within the hour of turning it of.

Link to review

Music review: Big Business – Mind the drift

Filed under: Music,Review — gazzabazza @ 9:11 AM
Tags: , ,

Published on Blogcritics.com

Big Business is a band with a sense of humour. For proof of that take a look at some of the band photos over the years, or absorb the fact that they decided to create an audio commentary for the promo version of Mind the Drift, their third album and the first one recorded as a trio. It’s a surreal experience to hear Coady Willis, Jared Warren, and new member, guitar player Toshi Kasai talk about the recording process while the songs are playing, especially since some of it verges on gibberish. But it is funny too.

Mind the Drift also presents some differences and progressions in sound- overall the band sound cleaner here but still retaining their trademark sound. Big Business have always been a bombastic band, thanks to their massive drumming sound but the scuzzy, rumbling, and bass-heavy influence is now a part of a much leaner production, stripped of dirt but still heavy. With the addition of Toshi’s gentle guitar playing there is now an added dimension- instead of a straightforward rumble the music also has some texture throughout. At times it sounds as if Kasai doesn’t follow the bass and drums at all but digresses and plays a completely different tune but put together in the context of this album it is a vital part of the whole. Without this the songs would sound poorer.

Another small departure concerns Jarred Warren’s vocal delivery. On the previous two albums it was a raw, throaty and unpolished bellow and on Mind the Drift you get to hear a change in the deep and smooth singing- save for in the title track, a swaggering bluesy stomp that sounds more rock’n roll then anything out there at the moment. It would not be out of place on a latter day Melvins record which is fitting seeing as Willis and Warren also play with the cult heroes these days.

This could be their attempt at reaching a wider audience and there is nothing wrong with that. This is band that’s heavy enough to always be liked by the stoner rock/ doom contingent but also carries plenty of song writing prowess worthy of being heard by many more. They prove this with “The ayes have it”- a Hammond laden melodic piece that is one of the most refreshing things Big Business have put their name on. Its moody tunefulness makes it the standout track on Mind the Drift.

It all finishes with the 8 minute long “Theme from big business II, a slow psychedelic song that perfectly sums up their third album- slow, heavy but with added harmonies and experimentation.

European tour is hereby requested.

Link to review

May 12, 2009

Landmine Marathon – Rusted eyes awake album review

Filed under: Music,Review,Writing — gazzabazza @ 4:23 PM
Tags: , , ,

Here, finally after several months’ abscence is a piece published on Scenepointblank.  It’s about Landmine Marathon, a death metal band from Arizona (my favourite place in America, but the again I am slightly disturbed.)

Link to the review on Scenepointblank.

Otherwise, read on below…

One of the biggest pleasures of listening to Rusted Eyes Awake was to hear the music and not walk away with the opinion that this is just another modern U.S. metal band labeled with the death metal tag that actually plays nauseating post-millennial death-core. Landmine Marathon still does have some of those influences interspersed but for the most part the Arizonians play old-school- caked death metal with a heavy nod towards the old Earache Records releases. Even the cover art is brings to mind Repulsion’s seminal Horrified.

This album is an almighty brutal attack, it has to be clarified. There aren’t many pauses for breath amidst the scattergun approach, save for the occasional mid-tempo, chugging breakdown that betrays the band’s modern hardcore influences. Aside from this, Landmine Marathon let rip with pummeling drums and buzzing riffs. Rusted Eyes Awake is the kind of album that raises your pulse and puts you in the frame of mind to do something physical. A two hour Thai-boxing session would seem like the perfect activity for the soundtrack, as elbowing a sand bag (preferably with the boss of London underground’s face plastered onto it) is what you will be most inclined to partake in.

“Bile Towers” has the ultimate tempo for an album starter, immediately charging at you with churning, bass-heavy riffs with a loving nod to Bolt Thrower and old Entombed records. Sometimes the guitar players sidestep this with a few melodic riffing turns, and harmonies are good when avoiding monotonous rumblings. Along with this comes a worthy vocal performance by Grace Perry. She is definitely up there with the best in terms of bile and vitriol and the acidic throat renderings in “Heroin Swine,” to use one example, definitely do their best to convince you.

What makes Rusted Eyes Awake even better compared to many other modern metal records is that it doesn’t get weighed down by an overt technicality, something that can be a problem in this genre. Old school feel and grimy, lurching and sloppy riffs are always better for sheer enjoyment than a frenetic wankfest.

This isn’t perfect album by any means but it’s a joy to annoy neighbors with it. Supposedly these guys tour a hell of a lot – they need to bring their desert asses over to Europe soon.



April 30, 2009

Isis – Wavering Radiant

Filed under: Music,Review,Writing — gazzabazza @ 11:43 AM
Tags: , ,

Forget about genre classifications and under what category to place Isis; they have, as a band, always been bigger than that. When listening to Wavering Radiant all you have to do is take in the nuances of the record and think about how far the band has developed since the early stages.

Their brooding type of musicianship has travelled from the rhythmic and suggestive rumblings of “Celestial” to the more introspective nature of the spacey Celestial and the utterly majestic “Panopticon” where the mellowness of the electronica that was interspersed injected even more beauty to the music. They continued to develop over the previous album as well Wavering Radiant comes across as all their history and summed up into one recording. It is noticeable that the band has taken their time with developing this album, having also claimed to have done that. Every instrumentation and texture sounds as if it was given space to grow and create the perfect soundscapes.

“Hall of the Dead” starts of with a stuttering riff before kicking off with sludge-heavy grooves and Aaron Turner’s growling vocals. The keyboard that is utilized throughout the song adds an unmistakable depth, especially during the quiet breakdown when unified with the emotive guitar slings.

The following song “Ghost Key” goes the opposite way and begins with the placid and touching keyboard before the sludgy riffs are unleashed. It shares this characteristic with “Hand of the Host”, a song truly grand in the way its lush, thick riffs contribute to the epic ambiance. The interaction on Wavering Radiant between idyllic beauty and sonic darkness is what makes this, as all other Isis albums, such an enthralling listen.

Complex though it may be, it’s still a recording with a strong earthy feel to it and one — due to the songs creating a one cohesive whole — demands to be listened to in its entirety, the way all music should be enjoyed.

Wavering Radiant is the type of record where you need to just close your eyes and let the sounds carry you away and your mind wander. Isis have always had a strong cinematic feel to them due to the music having a palpable narrative structure to it, thus creating an overwhelming desire to hear their soundscapes as a backdrop to a movie.
The songs of Isis have always demanded concentration and many listens before one can even begin to grasp the nuances but
Wavering Radiant stands as an equal to their finest work so far, but its continuous growth tells of an album towering above its peers in the very near future.

Link to review on Blogcritics.org.

April 16, 2009

Hellamor – Denim EP Review

Filed under: Music,Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 3:02 PM
Tags: ,

Hellamor – Denim EP
Review by Mirza Gazic (StonerRock.com)
Self released
Release date: 2008

Most of us know that the stoner genre is within a very close reach of its saturation point. The worry that arises when confronted with a recording from a fairly unknown band comes from more than just the usual question of whether it’s actually any good – the other one is if it stands out enough to warrant multiple listens.

The answer here has to be a rather ambiguous, as it goes both ways. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Denim EP as such – the four songs on offer are suitably riff heavy and the vocalist fluctuates equally well between raspy croaks and soulful wails. The recording bears all the hallmarks of the genre and Hellamor also wisely throw in a more mellow song in the shape of the dusty “After All,” which is the pick of the quartet.

A redeeming feature with Hellamor is that, as they’re still unsigned, they’re at the beginning stages of their career and can develop. There is good songwriting here, but at the moment not much to outweigh the Nebula or Kyuss records on your shelf.

I’m a bit behind here as this review was published last week but I wanted to wait and upload some more writing at once, rather than the sporadic posting of one review every few weeks. I’ll get my Bigelf review up after this one and hopefully I’ll get writing up here more often.

But then again, who gives a hairy ass fuck- nobody reads this thing anyway…
If by accident you manage to stumble in here then go to StonerRock.com and check out the review there. Click here and then go and read some other good stuff up on the site.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.