Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Melvins- Nude With Boots

The Melvins have aged like a fine wine, but go down more like a cocktail of gasoline, bourbon, concrete, and tarantulas. Hailing as the almighty kings of sludge for damn near thirty years now, the core duo of King Buzzo and Dale Crover (Joe Preston's been out of the picture for quite some time now) created a new monster of sorts by grafting together with fellow Seatle noisemakers Big Business (Karp, The Murder City Devils) on 2006's (A) Senile Animal. Luckily, this wasn't a one-off wet dream, and the Big Business boyz have been a permenant part of the Melvins machine ever since, touring, terrorizing, and melting faces. Nude With Boots is the second album from this superMelvins monstrosity, and proves that this band has a lot of life left in them.

The latter album and this one have been more listenable than previous Melvins concoctions (compared to say, Pigs of the Roman Empire), but let's not jump to conclusions: this still rips. The album "kicks" things off with "The Kicking Machine," rich with strong Zeppelin-esque riffage, with more classic rock raging ensuing on "Suicide In Progress" (which ends with what seems to sound like silverware falling in reverse).

"The Stupid Creep" is a short and sweet rocker in the vein of Ozma classics like "Oven" and "Claude" while "Dog Island," the longest song on the record at 7:32 (the bulk of the songs under 4 minutes), is classic Melvins sludge-drone, complete with a tribal Crover drum solo at the end. If the Crover/Willis drum combo doesn't get you hard, than you should probably be thrown into an open grave full of venomous snakes.

The band still likes to wallow in sludgy noise drenched waters as is apparent in "The Savage Hippy," and the closing track "It Tastes Better Than the Truth," sees the band dueling it out in a a shrieking march towards insanity.

While not as strong as (A) Senile Animal, Nude With Boots is solid Melvins material. The Melvins will never die, and as long as they are keeping me on my toes and shedding my skin a bit, I hope they live forever. Love live the fucking Melvins.

The Melvins myspace

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Torche- Meanderthal

Carved out of the massive entity formerly known as Floor and featuring members of Cavity and Shitstorm, Miami FL's Torche have created a sound so large it could have roamed the earth freely amongst the prehistoric dinosaurs millions of years ago. Mesozoic layers of shattering bass forged together with heroic guitars and majestic vocals flying over a molten sea of doom, Meanderthal, their first album on Hydra Head Records, is epic and far from prehistoric. Torche take heavy music farther than the naked eye can see.

In merely four years as a band and two albums and one EP into it, Torche have managed to expand their sound and grow musically with every release, which is a difficult task to pull off. Meanderthal maintains a beautiful balance of heavy and melodic, soaring and thrashing, crushing and soothing. Doom pop anthems like "Grenades" and "Healer" could really find a place in the ears of anyone with an interest in rock music, while tracks like "Pirana" and "Speed of The Nail" throw the switch into the red and fly in like a T-Rex assault. And that's just in the first half of the album!

The second half of the album sinks deep into the sludge and paralyzes you with heavy, tribal, psychedelic waves of crusty rock as the album ends with the title track pounding you into the ground like a giant hammer.

Torche have found a way to dodge the pigeonholing commonly found in heavy music and have created a solid rock album that could crossover and cater to many different audiences while still pushing the limits of heavy, experimental music. Album of the year???

Torche myspace

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Slackers- Self Medication

Welcome to the Church of Slack. Let the sinnin' commence.

Everyone's favorite reggae, ska, soul and rocksteady pranksters are back with twelve more doses of healing that goes down smooth. Side effects included skanking, head bobbing, singing along, and feelin' good. The Slackers are the best at bringin' you the classic sound and feel of oldschool reggae and ska, and along with the Agrrolites, are bringing much more of an awareness for this amazing music.

12 years in and the Slackers still sound fresh. Everything they put out is just too fucking cool. Just a really talented group of guys reliving the glory days. They aren't shoving politics down your throat or whining about girls (although they do have an occasional "broken heart" song). And stylistically they cover a lot of ground, from the organ driven calypso of "Estranged" to the horn heavy ska of "Leave Me," to the old tyme sound of "Don't Have To." This record is a little more laid back than some of their past releases, but don't think that they have slowed down any.

RIYL: Trojan records, Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Clash, the Aggrolites, Red Stripe, getting high, good music

The Slackers myspace

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Young Widows- Old Wounds

More Louisville madness!!! Young Widows (Evan Patterson from Black Cross/The National Acrobat + 2/3 of Breather Resist) is back with more Steve Albini worship and haunting hardcore creepiness.

These eleven songs range from balls out Jesus Lizard torture to dense minimalism. "The Guitar" contains so much empty space in the recording you could drown to death. Evan's vocal delivery is very sobering and even hypnotizing at times, and the rhythm section seems almost mechanical, getting so locked in that it's amazing that this music is being performed by human beings.

Spacey and tribal, dark and brooding, and maybe a little unsettling. Definitely music to listen to in a dark empty hallway.

Try staring at the cover art while you listen to the entire record and see if you don't get creeped the fuck out as well.

Young Widows myspace

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weezer- The Red Album

Weezer ain't what it used to be, yes, but they have gotten a lot of unnecessary hatred thrown at them after their last album, Make Believe. The snobs and music press hated it, and although it is uncomfortably sugary at times, more hideous sounds have filled my ears. I'm all about second chances, so after a three year wait to see if Weezer could redeem themselves, I am left with mixed emotions.

If releasing another self-titled album known only by the color of the background is any indication of a good Weezer album, than this record should be pretty damn good. This album is all over the place. It's like the band had a bunch of ideas and just spread them out all over the table, put them face down, did the hillybilly shuffle, and then picked them up one by one and put them on record. Some of the ideas work, some dont'. The classic Weezer powerpop sound shines on songs like "Troublemaker," "Everybody Get Dangerous" and "Pork and Beans" (a song that dismisses all the haters out there). But everything else just lies there flat.

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" is a rock opera of sorts, combinging rap, Greorgian chant, falsetto vocals, acoustic guitars and piano, spoken word, and straight up rock in a mess of a song. Like trying to chug a whole gallon of milk: it may seem like a good idea at the time, but once you try it you just end up throwing up.

"Heart Songs," while a little cheesy, is a homage to the music that influenced frontman Rivers Cuomo. It's a terrible song, but relateable. "Dreamin'" is another failed attempt at a feel-good flowery pop song.

A couple songs include lead vocals by the other members of the band, but leave nothing but a bad taste in your mouth.

The band tries to be adventerous, but if things were a little more cohesive, this might be a decent album. This just seems bloated.

Weezer myspace

Zs- The Hard

Unclassifiable doesn't begin to describe this. Chamber music shoved down the throat of a bunch of rockers, or rock music being beat into the heads of a bunch of classical musicians? Somewhere in the ballpark of Frank Zappa (think Grand Wazoo meets Lumpy Gravy maybe?) or if the Boredoms picked up some brass instruments. This single composition is 15 minutes of no-wave, avant-avant-garde wackiness. Excellent range of dynamics. Dig it if you like the Flying Luttenbachers or anything Weasel Walter has done.

Zs myspace


Bored? Been up all nite mainlining Fun Dip and pouring Mountain Dew into your Frutti Pebbles? Do you think the NES is the greatest invention of mankind and believe it will end all wars and solve wolrd hunger, rape, and class differences? sBACH may be right for you! Three easy steps and you'll be on your way to a magical journey into a doom-ridden 8-bit wonderland.

1. Quit your job, then fill your living room with blankets, matresses, and other soft objects.
2. Place the sBACH self-titled compact disc directly into your CD player. This is crucial! Make sure the label is facing up or it won't play correctly. Now, push play. It's the one that looks like a sideways triangle. Don't hit the square!
3. Consume a near lethal dose of sugar (or psychedelic drugs if you prefer, but that's for cheaters!). Now, let the sounds soak into your rigid ears.

WARNING: At times you may feel angry and want to punch something. This is normal! You may also feel disgustingly happy and want to dance around the living room in day-glo pajamas with feet. Completely normal as well. You may even be led to believe that you are a robot and that this music is conversing to you. Let it talk! Just remember, that when the sounds have ceased to come out of your speakers, it's OK to play it again.

DISCLAIMER: Suicide Squeeze records is not responsible for any property damaged during the listening of this record, nor will they pay for your trip to the Looney Bin.

sBACH myspace