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.

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October 19, 2009

Necrophobic – Satanic Blasphemies

Posted on Friday October 16th, 2009 – Scenepointblank.com – Link to review

Necrophobic are one of the classics of the legendary old school Swedish death metal scene, along with underground titans such as Entombed, Dismember, and Carnage. They remained slightly less known then the aforementioned compatriots but nonetheless command great respect in underground circles and bring a lot of history with them. If you are at all familiar with and love old Swedish death metal then you will instantly know where the gratification will come from here.

Satanic Blasphemies has nine songs brimming with evil vibes and the trademark buzz saw guitar riffs that are so prevalent in the genre. Think Entombed circa Clandestine or Carnage’s Dark Recollections for further reference. The songs are never too fast here but rather fluctuate in tempo and always remain savagely raw.

This collection is comprised of re-mastered material from the band’s infant years. It contains songs from their first two demos: 1990’s Slow Asphyxiation and 1991’s Unholy Prophecies along with The Call 7” EP from 1992 and a deluxe twelve-page booklet.

It’s enough old material to have fans salivating, and listening to it you are struck with how the band seemed to find their voice so early on. One of the reasons these guys get so much respect is, apart from the great music, the fact that they have never changed their sound. It has always been based on death metal with a heavy touch of black metal, which is where they also slightly differ from the above mentioned colleagues. They may have found their feet fully later in their career and sound a tad unpolished here but still recognizable.

This is most evident in the melodic, heavily frostbitten guitar melodies in the title-track but they’re also interspersed throughout the album. It is cold sounding as only music made in Scandinavia can be. Bands like Necrophobic never excelled technically but with small means they have always managed to outdo most modern metal bands that think it’s important to sound as technically adept as possible.

A song like “Sacrificial Rites” with its swarm-like riffs, shifting tempo and sick growls will always sound more savage. The guitar playing gets even grimier and scuzzier in “Unholy Prophecies” but still maintains the underlying melodic quality. The guitar harmonies are one of the band’s best features and contrast well to their otherwise feral attack. Get involved.

September 21, 2009

Four New Reviews Published

New reviews have been published- two each on StonerRock.com and Scenepointblank.

Click on the links below to read.

Behold! The Monolith – Behold! The Monolith EP

Melon – Never Eat on an Empty Stomach

Lanterns – Apocalypse Youth EP

Black Market Fetus/In Defence – Split 7″

May 29, 2009

The Poison Arrows – Casual Wave review

Filed under: Music,Writing — gazzabazza @ 12:25 PM
Tags: , ,

Posted on Wednesday May 27th, 2009 – Scenepointblank

Being from Chicago, The Poison Arrows have a style that unmistakeably brings to mind the old, early to mid 90’s alternative rock scene. Since that particular time spawned quite a few great bands then this can be considered a good prospect. The debut EP from this band doesn’t necessarily resemble the noisy endeavors of Steve Albini or the madness of The Jesus Lizard – instead, their languid, flowing sound has more in common with the dark and gritty sound of an underrated bunch like Girls vs. Boys, while the wash of the mellow synth and electronic sound behind them adds color to the urban feel.

This sounds like it was borne out of a concrete jungle, as the repetitive beats of the likes of “The Lure of Lore” evoke visions of city lights and neon reflecting over Michigan Lake. Casual Wave finds the band in a dark and contemplative mood, something they manage to bring to the listener with ease. It’s in the small details, like the moody trumpet in “Frozen Human State.” It’s just a tad frustrating that four songs are all we can listen to at the moment.

Should The Poison Arrows continue to deliver on the promise of this EP than those who like their brooding music have much to anticipate.

Link to the 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.



October 23, 2008

Waco Fuck – Record review

Waco Fuck

Paranoia is Total Awareness

Anger is a gift, at least when making music. Some really manic but great recordings have been borne out of huge amounts of frustration and anger. Waco Fuck are one seriously angry sounding band. Spend enough time listening to this and you will realize just how much. The album is called Paranoia is Total Awareness and the record label is some small obscurity called Life’s a Rape. It doesn’t get more disillusioned and furious at the state of the world than this piece of plastic.

Paranoia is Total Awareness consists of twenty-three songs, one full-length album put together with their Slow Decay and No Child Left Behind EP’s from 2006 and 2004 respectively.

The music here is an amalgamation of classic grindcore perfected by stalwarts like Napalm Death and Siege along with destructive old school 80’s hardcore in the vein of Negative Approach and Infest to really let the extremity and fury shine through. To top everything of, Waco Fuck are not averse to throwing in some thrash metal bits that are just tangible enough but also subtle enough not to take over from the main focus of their music. Listen to the breakdown and the guitar shredding in “Narcotic Fuckup” for proof.

Strange as it may sound when this kind of music is described, it is a varied album. It is at least varied enough to keep your attention, which is a vital attribute when you have just unleashed a hardcore album consisting of more than twenty songs, especially since many hardcore combos tend to fall on the listener losing interest halfway. I can sincerely say that in the case of this collection, it did not have a detrimental effect. There is enough to keep my interest going all the way.

Many songs do deal completely in grind or power violence, being full of hyper speed drumming and shrieking vocals but some have slow breakdowns or are more based on a beat that really puts the East Coast influence on display. All of them absolutely destroy.

This is a record that completely fills you with energy. These guys may live this but for us working stiffs it’s enough to hear the violent assault of “Mob Mentality” or “Eulogy” and fantasize about being subversive and protesting and it certainly does a sufficient job in getting the heart jumping.

Buy it and get paranoid.

This is a review that I sent over late last week, to Scenepointblank.

I believe that it was posted on the site yesterday but I was too busy to write a blog post and link to it. I’d never heard of these guys before and to be honest still don’t know much more. They have a Myspace page but it’s not exactly stacked with information, they don’t have a we site and their record label is so small that there is no web site to it either. The music, however is quite fantastic. I love hardcore and punk and these guys play that but mix it up with some grindcore which we all know is descendant from punk anyway. East coast hardcore influences like Battalion of saints, Infest and a bit of classic Siege in the mix makes this a great release. I really wish I could catch Waco Fuck live but, living in the UK and these guys being virtually unknow means that I’ll probably have to wait a considerable amount of time. Maybe next time I visit the Us.

In the meantime, go to Scenepointblank to read the review.

September 30, 2008

Album review – Lizzy Borden: An appointment with death

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 2:26 PM
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lizzy Borden are only one of very many grizzly old metal bands that have either picked up the sticks again and decided to have one last shot at glory or that have ultimately experienced a revival of sorts and made their sound more in sync with the modern times.

This new attention to their music and the other musicians’ new found energy can have many underlying factors, but one of the biggest ones is definitely the fame of new young pups – Trivium are a good example – paying tribute to their childhood heroes by name dropping, re-using their riffs, and wearing t-shirts that would get you kicked in the head in the eighties.

Thrash metal is revived because of this and many old “heroes” are even touring as support bands to kids that used to stare at posters of these guys plastered all over their bedroom walls. What this says about kids and trend-following these days is a different debate altogether but it is clear that Lizzy Borden have gained from this interest. And this is in no way meant to belittle their career and their old output, but merely an observation on music today.

They sound better for it. Plenty of younger musicians, such as Corey Beaulieu from the afore mentioned Trivium and former Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan, are guests on An Appointment With Death and that adds to the cutting edge. Rutan has also undertaken production duties here and his work sounds crisp and clear, and provides Lizzy Borden’s music with a more modern sound.

It is just a shame that these guys play power metal, or at least traditional heavy metal with strong power metal tendencies – kudos for throwing in some chugging thrash riffs though – in the vein of Helloween and other such metal bands veering slightly on the cheesy side.

The singing is what ruins it, for there is nothing inherently wrong with the actual music. Metal should not sound chirpy and have all too obvious sing-along qualities. Piercing screams like the one halfway through opener “Abnormal” are really enervating. It sound happy and if you were singing this to karaoke then you would be throwing ironic shapes and pulling silly faces. Try doing that to a Slayer tune.

But enough with the negative aspects. I’ll openly admit that this style of metal really is not my jug of mead, but I am not that single-minded that I can’t recognize its qualities.
The riffs are chopping and Lizzy Borden definitely know the art of shredding. The short breakdowns, like the brooding “Bloody Tears” demonstrates, add rhythm and show some versatility. There is also pace to these compositions and a good solid drive, thus keeping your pulse up for the record’s duration. As before mentioned, there are distinct thrash elements as well, particularly in “Abnormal” and to these ears at least, these are the most enjoyable parts of the album.

Borden have managed to inject new interest in a traditional style of metal by keeping fresh and by decent song writing. If only the singing was more Mille Petrozza then Bruce Dickinson then this would have been great, but if you wear denim vests with Blind Guardian patches on then you will like An Appointment With Death . I, however, am off to listen to some power violence.

This is the full review that was published yesterday on Scenepointblank. Click here to read it on the site and to browse some more music news and other excellent record reviews and features.

I really like that site, it has some very good writers contributing consistently.

I tried to write the review of Lizzy Borden’s latest record as objectively as I possibly could. Under normal circumstances I absolutely loathe power metal but I thought a somewhat balanced review would be best. I did after all claim the promo personally and there are definitely parts of that record that I find to be quite decent. In other words, it’s not for me but I can see why certain people might like it.

I was also in a good mood when I wrote it so next time I might not be so generous. But I promise to try.

Over and out, battallion of saints…

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