VIDEO: Columns’ “Punching Nancy Grace”


Ever felt like “Punching Nancy Grace” through your television? If you’ve ever felt like trying it but knew it would be impossible, you can at least do it in musical form, courtesy of Columns. The song is from their Relapse album (and their debut) Please Explode, which you may also feel like doing but you also know that’s close to impossible. Don’t make an attempt to try.

REVIEW: Trust Fund/Joanne Gruesome’s split 12″ EP

 photo TFJG_cover_zps955e5ddd.jpg If you know of Joanne Gruesome, you’ll be glad to know that they have three new songs for your listening pleasure. If you don’t know who Trust Fund are, get to know them on this brand new split 12″ EP.

Joanna Gruesome’s music may be called an in between release if you wish to call it that, but I simply consider it new music that they felt like releasing. I enjoy the dual vocals between Alanna Gruesome (McArdle) and Owen Gruesome (Williams). as it sounds good and is perfect for one another, you can place your emphasis on whomever depending on your mood. While all three songs are quite good, the one that jumped on me the most was “Coffee Implosion”, I love how it builds up but never to the point of an actual implosion, almost as if they’re saying we can take you there but not on record. Not yet.

Trust Fund also have three songs to discover. They are a spirited band. also from the UK, signed to Reeks Of Effort records and come off a bit like a cross between Weezer and The Go-Go’s, both retaining a pop passion but also not being afraid to rock out with bravery and soul. “Scared” is the second of three sides on their song and that’s the winner for me, although “No Pressure” is the most poppy of the three, light and sensitive but also crisp and strong.

It’s a nice set of indie pop music from two bands who are doing it with class, and I’m glad HHBTM Records put them back to back for this EP.

RECORD CRACK: Early Melvins records to get special reissues

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If you’ve been a Melvins fan as I have, you most likely already have the original pressings of what will be reissued. The exception is that you’re not going to have these specific pressings, which will be unique in this configuration.

The records that will be released are their second album Ozma, their third album Bullhead, their fourth album Lysol, along with the EP that came before Bullhead, the awesome Eggnog:

  • Ozma was the album that followed up their awesome debut, Gluey Porch Treatments. By then, bassist Matt Lukin left the band and headed up to Seattle to join a few members of the now-defunct Green River in order to start Mudhoney. By then, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover moved from Washington State to San Francisco, where Buzz met with bassist Lori Black. It was through this move that Buzz met up with Tom Flynn of Boner Records, and they ended up working together for a good four years. In fact, it is Boner Records who is handling the new reissues.

  • Eggnog was an EP that lead towards their third album, with three bite-sized songs on Side A and one bun-length song on the B-Side, which was incredibly slow. Despite its Christmas-themed cover, it was not a holiday record but its music was very much a treat.

  • I originally felt Bullhead was a weird album when it was originally released in 1991, not sure if it was because the arrangements of the songs sounded different, they began to be more open with their musicianship, or that the speed of the drums sounded different from their first batch of records. Perhaps it was the beginning of Melvins becoming more open with themselves, and it had taken me awhile before I got into enjoying this fully. I always loved “It’s Shoved” but by the time I finally got into the album as a whole, I realized everything I needed to hear was already there. I just needed to catch up.

  • When Lysol was released, I oddly enjoyed the music, and I say “oddly” for a few reasons. Originally, there was no track listing on the cover so I assumed that it was just one gigantic song divided over two songs. I hadn’t been familiar with Alice Cooper’s “The Ballad Of Dwight Fry” so I wasn’t aware it was covered on the album, nor did I know the album had six songs in total, so I loved it as some Yes-like mammoth feat. When I learned there were six songs, I had to re-listen to it all over again. Loved it more. It only seems slightly odd looking back because this was released in 1992, a few months after Nirvana blew up with Nevermind. No one knew at the time about Melvins getting picked up by Atlantic, so it seems unusual and perhaps now appropriate that they’d depart from an independent label with a set of music that sounded like it did here. Again, did one giant song really mark their entry onto a major label? The album also marked the debut of their new bassist, Joe Preston, whom I had known of as being a member of Earth. While his existence with the band was brief, he was more than welcomed. (You can see and hear more of him on their home video Salad Of A Thousand Delights.

    The new reissues from Boner are being released as two sets of two-record sets. This means Ozma and Bullhead will be released as one set, while Eggnog and Lysol, now called Lice-All due to the lawsuit, will be together as one. It may have come off odd to join these albums together opposed to Ozma with Eggnog or Bullhead and Lice-All but in many ways they’re fitting too, so that’s what fans will deal with. The new double records will be packaged with gatefold sleeves, featuring old photos of the band along with the original cover artwork. These sets will be out in the new year on January 20th. You may pre-order them below via Amazon.

  • SOME STUFFS: Disrotted preview new album


    The weather is already cold in many parts of the United States this month, which for some may make people think about their favorite music to listen to in these bone-chilling times. For some it may be a bit of doom/sludge and one band that may help to save the day (or make it more blurry) is the trio known as Disrotted, who are almost finished with their next album for Diseased Audio. It will be out sometime this winter but you may have a listen to a completed song, “Brain Death”. It’s a 14-minute blister that you’ll find it hard to pop, or maybe the popping of it is necessary. Pierce it now.

    RECORD CRACK: Diseased Audio release the “Bitter Cold Compilation” 7″ EP


    A collection of punk, hardcore, and grindcore bands from the midwest assembled during a very cold season last year and came up with a set of songs they agreed to release as a 7″ single. It’s simply called the Bitter Cold Compilation. The record can be ordered from Diseased Audio while the digital files are through Bandcamp above. If you want your songs fast, loud, raunchy, quick and to the point, you’ll love these songs.

    BOOK REVIEW: Scott Ian’s “I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax”

     photo ScottIan_cover_zps99038eb0.jpg One of my favorite guitarists since high school now has an autobiography to call his own, and if he has been someone who had felt like he could’ve been your buddy at high school (or the cool guy at the record store who would always know not about the cool stuff, but the “next” stuff), you will definitely enjoy reading I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax (Da Capo). If you became familiar with Ian in the 1980’s through Anthrax or maybe with the Stormtroopers Of Death, you’ll know that Ian is a fan of New York City for life, and he talks about his upbringing in Queens. He talks about his childhood, his relationship with his parents, his interests as a kid and what lead to some of his first musical influences. One thing lead to another and he knew he was hooked, but he didn’t realize how hooked he would become to the point where it would become a major part of his life, even though that’s what he wanted. Making music discoveries came a number of ways, with one of the biggest being that of his Uncle Mitch. If there is a moment where the seeds were planted, Ian describes it as being introduced to Black Sabbath’s first album in his uncle’s collection. On this album that he described as acid rock (a term he had not heard of before), he looked at the cover, heard the music, and knew he had to have more. Along with an uncle who appreciated comic books, that also started his fascination with superheroes, which would develop not only into Ian’s own interests in comic book collecting, but also songwriting.

    The book continues about getting involved in sports a bit, dealing with friends at school and also discovering the wonder of girls. He touches on problems his parents had but knowing that his music could allow him to get his mind off of the domestic issues and carry him to a new places. In time he’d have his own guitar, an acoustic one at that, before having his own electric, and it was as if you could visualize the transformation from Scott Rosenfeld, Queens rocking kid to Scott Ian, rock’n’roll guitarist. These things lead to him going to clubs, finding new music and bands at record stores, and getting involved with hardcore and punk rock during a time when headbangers and punks would never mix together, especially in New York. These gatherings would eventually head to him gathering his bands together to form a band and in time would help form Anthrax. Even though we know Anthrax as being one of the sources of thrash and speed metal, Ian talks about it as an eventual development, not just through hard rock, heavy metal, and NWOBHM influences but whatever he had felt like bringing into his playing style. The sound was rough yet abrasive and with a level of confidence that didn’t involve him in saying no to anything or anyone, he went out to get his music throughout the city, not being aware that his music would travel much further.

    Interesting moments in this include meeting up with the members of Metallica for the first time, getting to know bassist Cliff Burton and becoming a deep friend with Kirk Hammett; meeting up with Johnny Zazula; flying to Europe for the first time to do shows; and meeting with some of his musical heroes during the 1980’s, which included everyone from Lemmy of Motorhead to the guys in Iron Maiden. Outside of the personal friendships, Ian reveals the inside information about the recording industry, how things began as a band releasing their first record on an independent label to being a group-in-demand by a major label to getting advances that were beyond what they were expecting. The thrill was exciting and when Ian brought in his love of rap music into Anthrax’s world for a few minutes, that only helped open the world for them a bit more.

    While the 1980’s were very much a peak for the band, the 1990’s began as a world of fantastic adventures for the group but in time, Ian found that not everything turns to gold and that if one thing can get worse, it might lead to what feels like an endless thing of other bad things to happen. He touches on how Anthrax were signed with the same label as Metallica (Elektra Records) with a new singer, had faith with the label only to realize his decisions were disapproved by the label heads, only to lose faith when the label’s decisions lead to less-than-impressive results in terms of sales. One thing leads to another, and it becomes a blame game, trying to maintain the integrity of yourself and the band while trying to let the label know you are the band worthy of the contract. Then for the label to let you know they’re letting you go. While Ian didn’t come from a wealthy background, he admits he had never been rich when Anthrax were at their highest point but to hear him talk about how he was literally scrounging to make ends meet is devastating, especially when I had assumed they were getting attention and selling fairly well. They were selling decently but to be caught within the period when the almighty grunge and alternative music was the biggest thing around, anything metal-related wasn’t doing good for everyone within the community, unless you were Metallica and Pantera. Dealing with the personalities within Anthrax are brought up a number of times, and as someone who was the face of the band and the main lyricists of most of their songs, he was putting his life on the line every day, only to find things around him were falling apart.

    There is very much a positive side to I’m The Man, for despite the downside to being part of a rock band and dealing with the business of the industry, he talks about some of the parties and celebrating he did with different bands, finding sexual lust with ladies while trying to balance it with wive #1 or wive #2, and discovering that doing certain drugs is not good for him. There was a time when Anthrax always came off as a very clean band, not exactly Straight Edge or anything like that but unlike Metallica who were the Alcoholica boys, Anthrax seemed to be like their younger fans: comic book readers, movie buffs and nerds, and headbangers who may have done stupid shit at high school. It seems Ian’s primary vice was drinking beer, and it was never heavy. However, the person that changed him as a drinker was Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell, and that chapter in a book is worth reading from paragraph to paragraph. In time, he met up with the woman who would become the love of his life, which also happened to coincide with Anthrax’s new level of success.

    Throughout I’m The Man, Ian talks about changing perspective not only of his music and career, but his own life, changing priorities and understanding that age and maturity can lead to good and better things. His work regimen was always strong, but it’s balancing it with everything else around him is also what keeps him going, even when there were low points along the way. You might read the book thinking it will be nothing but inside stuff about the band and the recording industry, and it does touch on all of this quite well. It also has Ian looking at the world from a personal perspective, to show how he loves his music but is also someone with a mind and a sense of humor. He isn’t afraid to tell everyone he is still a man-in-the-works, someone whom he will continue to work on throughout his life, and now will pass on his experiences in his life to his son.

    As the lyric said, “now we’re Anthrax and we take no shit/and we don’t care for writing hits” and in I’m The Man, we learn how Ian didn’t take shit from anyone, be it his life or his career. It’s a wonderful book that has its share of wonderful peaks and depressing valleys, but it does lead to something positive and eventual good morals to the stories shared. To the man who made me want to find NOT shorts and actually lead me to shaving a rectangle in my stomach so I could have a half-assed version of the NOT shaving on his chest, thank you for your music and efforts behind Anthrax and S.O.D., your efforts will always be honored.

    AUDIO: Art Of Burning Water’s “At The Hands Of Them”


    On its way to you on October 27th is a new album (their fifth) by Art Of Burning Water, a band who mix up different textures of metal with doses of hardcore and punk to create something that’s on the level of Buzzov•en, Eyehategod, Cro-Mags, Anthrax, Crowbar, and Alice In Chains. Enough comparisons, the album is called Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting and you may listen to a heavy three minute dose in the form of “At The Hands Of Them”. The album can be pre-ordered through Riot Reason Records and will be available on vinyl, only 300 copies are being made.

    VIDEO: Columns’ “Bear Molester”


    When you name your album Please Explode (Relapse), I’m not sure if you should have a song titled “Bear Molester”, but that’s just me, and that’s exactly what Columns did. The group combines performance videos with found footage of unknown drug imagery, and perhaps that’s what is molesting the mind. You’ll have to find out for yourself. Please Explode was released almost two months ago.

    AUDIO: Thumbscrews’ “Life Is Pure Joy” (EP)


    For complete unadulterated hardcore punk that runs under six minutes, you’ll want to check out a new EP by Providence, Rhode Island’s Thumbscrews called Life Is Pure Joy. The EP is six songs in length, with the longest song just under two minutes, and it sounds like it was freshly recorded in their garage or basement, but comes off great. trange High House have released the EP on cassette, only 50 copies are being pressed. I hope these guys end up going into a proper studio to record a few things, and even if they’re limited to just three albums or two EP’s and five 7″ EP’s, I’ll be happy.