The album was released two months ago but if you know how the band does it, you know what they’re capable of. Technically at 23 minutes, this is an EP but try to tell them that. It’s a punk rock album, you listen to the album and leave it at that. The attitude is still raw and fresh, the riffs are aplenty and the bullshit factor still doesn’t and will not exist. There’s no adventurous guitar solos here so don’t think of something weird you might catch on a Dwarves album as a one-off, but you might have the same feel as Coffin Break or the garage feel of The Sinister Six if you know how to catch that but otherwise, it’s OFF! as you like and love them, take it or leave it. You’ll still feel like saying “16 songs? Is that it?” but that means to catch them live and hear the album again along with the other material in their discography.
If you’ve been listening to Roger Osborne for close to 30 years as I have, then you know where he is capable of going. However, for his first solo album, Osborne, who we know as Buzz and commonly nicknamed King Buzzo, he wanted to try the unexpected. This Machine Kills Artists (Ipecac) may be the Unplugged technique, especially from someone involved in a band known for thelr electricity and volumne, but no one cares for Unplugged anything. Is it natural or woodsy? If you mean someone holding an acoustic guitar to play and sing, then yes, this album is woodsy.
This Machine Kills Artists is an all acoustic album but don’t think the songs are toned down by any means. Some of these songs sound like potential demos for the full version, but for those of you who are gearheads and flock/worship Buzzo’s guitar work, you’ll get a chance to hear him with just an acoustic, played on a guitar that sounds like it has one of those looser-than-loose strings. The majority of the seventeen songs are under three minutes, with a small handful under two, so it still has the spirit of Melvins’ other material. If there is another difference besides eliminating an acoustic guitar, you get a chance to hear what Buzz is singing about and not make up stuff for yourself.
By going acoustic, some might think Osborne is trying to be the next this or that, but don’t even compare. Think of him as doing something new, yet another different variation of what he has become known for. There are still a few weird elements heard in these songs that may lead you to think “aah, it still sounds like other people are there.” To be honest, there were some songs where I could imagine Ann Wilson of Heart doing a duet with him. I would welcome it, a return to Pacific Northwest greatness.
With only a few studio albums to their name, Portland’s Gaytheist have done something quite brilliant: released a live album, and yes, I’m not going overboard by calling this one “brilliant”. Live From The Banana Stand (Good To Die) is a fantastic document of what Gaytheist are live. You may already know the songs well, but to hear them presented in a live context while hearing each song after the other is definitely going to be a “you had to be there” experience, and that’s not going overboard either. This is the kind of album you’ll listen to and want to either head to a show or follow a leg. You’ll want to be a groupie and track them through parts of the country. If that is indeed overboard, you’re going to want to get involved with the Gaytheist live experience and this album will take you there, or at least half way.
The new album by Sad And French is a nice acoustic variation of indie rock and punk by by the middle of the album, I found myself wishing they would do something else. By the 7th song of 12, the novelty wore out a bit and if they were to punk or rock it up in a semi-brilliant manner, maybe it would make me listen. The songwriting is quite nice and makes them to be people who look at the world with bitterness but hope for better as best as they can, but again, do I want to hear it in a folk and country manner for 41 minutes? It just sounds like a novelty band trying to make folk versions of punk songs, and it went stale fairly fast. Within this, they through in a power ballad which sounds like they’re saying “this will be the one that will give us a radio hit” but by then, I didn’t want to listen to the rest of it (but did). Strong songs but weak format. Change the format a bit and I would be willing to listen once more.
(Vinyl pressing can be purchased by clicking here.)
It has been years since Eyehategod released new music but when I first heard about them over thirty years ago, I fell in love with their sound instantly. I was writing for a fanzine back then called Curious Goods, and all I knew was that these guys were from New Orleans and were making music that was a cross between Melvins and Slayer. In 2014, they are back with a new album, a self-titled one at that and it seems these guys are firmly balancing the sludge with the punk side, sounding like they are a fresh new band, not someone who has been around for over 25 years. The power of the music and lyrics will show that stories they share are still alive and vibrant as they have been throughout their career, and anyone who loves a metal band who offers a few twists or a punk or hardcore band not afraid to show their love of metal will enjoy songs like “Framed To The Wall”, “Flags And Cities Bound”, “Worthless Rescue”, and “Trying To Crack The Hard Dollar”, the latter coming close to Pantera and their brand of a vulgar display. This is a wonderful album and I am certain those who will experience to hear this live will be up in the front until they pass out front stage.
It is a documentary that has been over ten years in the making, and with the help of a Kickstarter project, it may be closer to reality. Directors James Schneider and Paul Bishow are looking into the early years of punk and hardcore based in Washington, DC, whose history is very much an important part of the music as a whole. It is called Punk the Capital, Straight from Washington D.C., and you can have a preview of it above. The goal is that if and when enough funds are raised, the film will be released by the end of the year or early 2015. If you’re able to make a donation, regardless of how small or large you’re able to give, do so below, or pass it along to others who you think may be interested. They have raised 25% of the funds needed so far as of this writing. If you’d like to read more on the process of the doc, head to DCPunkRockDoc.info.
That hardcore punk you love so much is amplified in a golden manner on How To Take The Burn (Creep), a new release by Goddamnit, whose blend of trusting rock is mixed in with nice-yet-cautious vocal harmonies. It remidns me of the kind of music I listened to on a regular basis where the punk rock is honest but they aren’t afraid to show how sharp they are with performing and songwriting. Some songs, such as “Quiet Distractions” and “It’s Not Astronomy”, sound as if they are hopefuly for a bigger audience while some of the more abrasive songs will fear people from entering a slam pit, and yet that fear may encourage others to get involved and have it out with everyone else. Fans of Bad Religion, Green Day, Operation Ivy, Social Distortion, and Seaweed will find How To Take The Burn of great interest.
Ugliness is what runs throughout Shut Up, the new EP by Two Knights but what also resides is a sign of beauty that may evenly balance things off at first, until you realize that the ugliness is what makes it strong.
Despite it having 13 tracks, Shut Up is close to 25 minutes and is thus an EP, but what they do during its duration is turn up the power and forced range into something that may feel as if they live in a chaotic world and all they do is fling their arms around to find sanity, but within that range is a mixture of civility and cynicism, if not downright sarcasm. The closest Two Knights come to coming up with a possible indie rock hit is “Dear God, This Parachute Is A Knapsack”, where the civility is kept to its limits and they don’t blow up musically and lyrically all over the place.
The arrangements are fairly level, going back and forth between the delicate and violent, but sometimes they’ll throw in something else unexpected, as they do in “Major League Bullshit”, where it might sound like some warped mini-opera but all they’re doing is playing with your minds and themselves. The cover shows a drawing of two guys beating up on each other, at least that’s how I see it and that’s how their music sounds like. Except those two guys are friendly punks, and maybe one of them lost their tooth.
Black Numbers Records are preparing to release Peace & Light, the debut album by Asheville, North Carolina’s Muscle & Bone, who have been hard at work on making sure this one will be worth listening to and letting others know to check out as well. It has been two years since the group released an EP but after a number of shows throughout North America, they want to take things and themselves to the next level.
The vinyl pressing will be available in three different color variations, including 250 on white, 150 clear with blue smoke, or 100 on navy. There’s actually a fourth variation, the standard black made for test pressings, only 30 of this were made, but you can only obtain this as a special package deal. For pre-ordering information, head here. The record will be mailed on May 20th, a week before its proper release on May 27th.
Looking For Love is the title of a forthcoming 7″ by Total Abuse, who plan on releasing the record in July on Deranged Records. If you love your rock on the punky/noisy side, have a listen to the title track from the record. When pre-orders are made ready, I’ll let everyone know.