Music for 6/23/22!!! Kind Eyes, Clutch

@@@ Kind Eyes: Cruel World (xhsx, 2022) More listening from the 24 metal and hardcore songs of the week over at the Brooklyn Vegan. Part metal, part hardcore with an excellent guitar grind, this is pretty hot stuff. As you can see from the video clipped below the singer is African American and he has African American concerns. Good to see that going on, I love the black metal and black hardcore. They get a good and not cheesy singalong vibe going in the chorus but the key here is the locked tight rhythm of the guitars and the drums. I like these guys, they whip up a solid shitty and the sludgy distortion coming out of the guitars is excellent.

@@@ Clutch: We Strive for Excellence (Weathermaker Music, 2022) This is retro flavored boogie rock with a whole bunch of hard rock flavors. It doesn’t have a distinctly anti-social flavor as in the track above. I like it, but I like anti-social shit more. The singer is actually singing and not caveman throat singing. You get a proper guitar solo and some tasty bass playing. The drummer is full rock and the drums are mixed as such.

Music for 6/22/22!!!! Russian Circles, End It

@@@ Russian Circles: Conduit (Sargent House, 2022) I guess these guys are vets and this is a pre-release track of an upcoming full length. It opens up with that relentles metal flavor before shifting down into some minimal dour melodies. I like the churn, I like the guitar tones, I like the drumming and how they’re all locked together. It looks like this is gonna be an instrumental banger and in that light I guess I could use a bit more lead melody to keep my interest. There are a fair number of sections where they take the sound down and build it back up oh my they just brought back up and it’s pumped up pretty bigly. This is tight tight tight and I lean more towards the chaotic metal, it’s all personal preference. They have a lot of great shit going on here but I’d like a bit more, does that make me a bitch? I would listen to more.

@@@ End It: New Wage Slavery (Flat Spot, 2022) Some black hardcore out of Baltimore that I got to via 24 metal and punk songs on Brooklyn Vegan. The mix tilts towards metal, but the singer is classic ramped up hardcore. The energy here is most definitely ‘hey let’s go burn whitey’s house down’ and that seems very relevant and appropriate. I really love black hardcore as rhythmically it’s a bit more to my liking than your amped up white boy stomping his ass off. To say it’s funkier may be a mistake but it’s more flexible. Great track, would listen to more.

Music for 3/26/22!!! Soul Glo

@@@ Soul Glo: Diaspora Problems (Epitaph, 2022) I went to see the old school NY black hardcore band 24-7 Spyz last weekend, so I do appreciate that something small and different that black hardcore bands like the Bad Brains and Soul Glo deliver. In the first tune, Gold Chain Punk, they start out sorta poppy and expected before it devolves into a more dissonant and heavier thing, going out wig flipped and freak flag flying. The singer here is doing bigly work, he’s all over the mic with energy and a rhythmic intensity that is exciting to hear. The herky jerky business ocntinues with the second tune, Coming Correct is Cheaper with the addition of an occasional drum machine kick drum, but the formula is intact without being repetitive. The energy here is a notch underneath completely flipped out (it does not go into that crazy ass demented Butthole Surfers level of disturbing, it’s much more of a get up and burn shit down typa thing) and seems of this fucked up moment. I hope folks check out this record and I hope it blows the fuck up because they’re not trafficking in standard hardcore, this shit is a cut above. I don’t see how this record won’t make my best of year list, these guys bring it.

Music for 3/4/22!!! La Milagrosa, Ziur

@@@ La Milagrosa: Panico (Iron Lung, 2022) Some more listening off bandcamp’s best of February section with this a Puerto Rican punk release and the downstairs listen some dancefloor bangin’ out of Germany. Oh mama, they have a spoken word in Spanish intro before they get into the old school punk blasting. The reverbed and delayed vocals really kicks the pysch/Butthole Surfers aggro vibe here. These guys are focused and pissed, this second track, Bastardos really brings the heat. The crazy ass, alienated heat. Check this business out, they got it going on.

@@@ Ziur: Bin There Vol. 1 (N/A, 2022) This Germany based artist doesn’t appear to have his latest single up on the Apple Music but he’s got a lot of stuff up there if you want to check his other business out. There are two tracks here and the first one called Bottoms is a big splashy opener with big non groove percussive blasts as it appears to be building towards a groove. He’s got one going and it’s industrial flavored, not your classic techno, oh and then he speeds shit up and it’s quite slappy. I like it without loving it. Lemme check the second track Schnieke, which is German for sneaker. No it’s not. This one has more of a squiggly, funk feel while throwing in some video game drama and siren style synths. Sounds like what an emergency room in Detroit near the club might sound like. This track stands out more than the opener in my opinion. Oooh, he brought in a hand drum type sound and is building some organic contrast to that sci fi vibe and he’s got some energy here. He shoulda put this track first, it’s burnin’!!!

Music for 2/15/22!!! Punitive Damage, Archspire

@@@ Punitive Damage – Strike Back (Convulse, 2022) A three minute, three song hardcore punk record that obviously does not fuck around and just brings it right out of the gate in a track called Legacy. Needless to say many cans of Red Bull or other such chemicals were ingested prior to rocking these tracks. Big crunchy guitars and a shredded vocalist at the end of his rope. The tracks are brief but surprisingly tuneful. This is a quick blast to harvest the crust from your eyes.

@@@ Archspire: Bleed the Future (Season of Mist, 2021) This record opens up with a swirling, battering track called Drone Corpse Aviator with a caveman singer making his way through a sped up metal track with a big schmear of prog and even a quiff hair of arena rock most notably found in the guitar. Wow, there’s something symphonic and impressively musical at points here while it beats the shit out of you. This is a super energetic track that I feel raising my blood pressure but it’s far from the grizziest busted metal sounds I’ve heard. Where some metal is an acid bath of anger and bitterness, this is more an expression of that plus high energy playing and sorta celebratory. I don’t usually go for the virtuosic metal but this has plenty of muscle to make it a visceral listen. I like a visceral emotional listening experience and these guys provide it.

Music for 9/4/21!!! Turnstile, Helena Hauff

@@@ Turnstile: New Heart Design (Roadrunner, 2021) I got to today’s listens via the UK online music magazine possibly a collective Crack. These guys are blurbed as a super creative hardcore band and they are as this track isn’t even hardcore. I’m guessing, there it is, the mellow in the chorus (a la Bad Brains) and then into a quick chorus crush. I clicked over to the opener as I wasn’t enjoying that track and it opens with a panning swirling, snowflake-y type synth sound, and there’s the growl of the guitar. To me this is more developed musically than hardcore, it’s got more melody and intent so I would dub it post-hardcore. I think of classic hardcore as being intentionally minimalist. If it didn’t have mosh-y parts this could emerge from the mainstream complete with oooh aaaahs. I like it at some points and at some points I think it’s full of shit. I do appreciate them mixing up the pieces for sure.

@@@ Helena Hauff: Qualm (Ninja Tune, 2018) This is the ninth track of a record with the same title and it opens with some classic synth sounds and a sci-fi typa feel. This track is beatless which is fine so we have some blasting/noisy business, some up high action, a synth bass and maybe a bit more. Let me peep another track and see what’s up as this feels like a pig in a blanket. I’m on the first track and the retro sounds appear to be the palette she’s working with though here it’s packaged with a lot of distortion and compression related crunch which changes the feel. The song titles here are fantastic: Fag Butts in the Fire Bucket and It was All Fields Around Here when I was a Kid. I’m listening to Lifestyle Guru (Track 2) and it has a simplicity and urgency that I like. I like some of what’s going on here, other parts not as much. If that sounds vague I don’t really care, that’s where it’s at.

Music for 6/2/21!!! Soul Glo, Vaudou Game, Lil Baby/Lil Dirk

@@@ Soul Glo: Songs to Yeet at the Sun (Secret Voice, 2020) I have a regular reader with a screen name of Mr. Whirly and he sent me a note asking what I thought of this punk EP. What I originally concluded was a messy hardcore shitshow indeed has a lot of threads to it — a little Rage Against the Machine, a little Bad Brains, and some mathier bands I can’t pull of my hard drive at this point. Maybe a schmear of Fugazi, but the special gold star goes to the singer who is absolutely losing his nut. He sounds both sped up, pissed off, having a good time, and generally taking a well deserved shit on society. I don’t know what ethnicity the singer is, but he does have a HR thing going on where he gets worked up but maintains a tight rhythmic flow on the same time. The third tune flips it to a hip hop and ambient flow alternately where somebody is going rando spoken word and then into a drum machine with some trash ass 808 beats. The Bad Brains aspirations come to a head on the fourth tune Mathed Up, where the rhythm is tight as shit while the sound is just spillin’ up all over the place. I’ve always been a sucker for some hardcore shit that is tightly rhythmic and exploding. If you’re a young person, check this out, if you’re a crusty old fuck check it out too!

@@@ VAUDOU GAME: Bella (Hot Casa, 2021) One of my favorite African bands appeared on the WRIR weekly playlist email but a different single showed up on GooglePimpTube and the Apple Music. The first track (clipped below) is some breezy and funky Afro-disco complete with cowbell. Regular readers know of my undying love of cowbell, there’s no track out there that doesn’t benefit from a generous helping of cowbell. In addition to the cowbell there is a lot of call and response vocals going on, a funky drumkit beat and a spaceship synthesizer. Make sure to check out the B side which is entitled ‘Be My Wife’. Be My Wife sports the same vocal approach but a brisker tempo and a more driving set of components. Big ups for the distorted synth organ sound. This might be an appetizer for an upcoming full length but check out the two previous Vaudou Game for some overpowering African funk.

@@@ Lil Baby & Lil Durk: Voice of the Heroes (UMG, 2021) #1 in the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s mainstream major label hip hop which requires an epic chorus, in this case something about being the voice of the heroes. I have no clue what that’s about, at first I thought might be related to Memorial Day. The sounds are presented well but the synths are cheesy and combined with the hook in the chorus it’s a bit of a Hollywood trap situation. I checked the lyrics on Genius and it’s a mish mash of pill taking, panty quaking, and fast cars and more pills. I’m definitely not the judgy type and I’m also a low IQ gent but if this tune is trying to say something I don’t understand. If it’s a vibe track I get that but I don’t love that big Hollywood rap star lifestyle vibe, I could give a shit.

Music for 5/22/21!!! Fringe Candidate, Ziew

@@@ Fringe Candidate: Fringe Candidate (N/A, 2017) Some midwestern hardcore/hard rock I got to via the home recording magazine Tape Op. A singer that’s pissed but you can hear what he’s on about. They really get closer to the hardcore ethic with the fourth tune, the boy who cried Hitler. Excellent frantic puck action. These guys do a good job of riding the fine line between crusty anti-social aggro and songs and music and being able to hear what’s going on. I really like the tune Attention Merchants and as mentioned earlier the balance here is really good for me. It’s a familiar formula but I’m not bored or disengaged, I want to go burn somebody’s house down.

@@@ Ziew: Stop Being Poor (Showtime, 2021) I think it’s entirely possible for folks on both sides of this ‘debate’ to enjoy and find solace and comfort in this tune. It is ironic and show its face but not enough for the Ted Cruz types out theres to surf right through the joke of it and say it with some mustard on it. Sonically it’s a blend of krautrock and stripper hip hop. I can’t wait for Donald Trump to hold a rally with this blasting in the background.

Music for 3/6/21!!! Terror, The Armed

@@@ Terror: Out of My Face (Good Fight Records, 2021) Some in your face metal with a generous dollop of hardcore feels. These guys are definitely not up for a hang as this tune is called Out of My Face and the next tune is Keep Your Distance. That’s pretty aggro and clear. I like the drummer, he’s got some really good vibes going on, I like the guitar playing — it’s pretty standard but it’s good. I think the singer is a bit klunky he could use a mint, something to refresh him a bit. He’s definitely got the pissed thing down pat but a little swing would elevate this.

@@@ The Armed: Average Death (Sargen House, 2021) A little something different off the Apple Music metal section as this gets into a heavy pop place with a lot of electro elements. It doesn’t sport a frog stomping rhythmic approach and they whip a pretty solid post punk shitty in the chorus. The singer is layering in his whatever on top of this maelstrom and for the most part it works. I have a feeling this outfit has some art school graduates in it. I like the chorus, very Husker Du-ey. Both of these tracks are pre-release listens and there will be more when the full biscuit comes out.

Music for 1/15/21!!! Taina Asili, Scalp, Bleeding Out

@@@ Taina Asili: Here We Come (Self-released, 2020) I got this political anthem type track via an email from the Media Sanctuary in upstate New York. It’s got a mellow boombaton feel to it, some lush vocals, hand percussion and uplifting vocals. I like a political anthem as much as the next idot but this is a bit too Disney in the chorus for my taste. The lyrics go all out name checking everything from female genital mutilation, gentrification, trans rights, it’s incredible she stuffed it all in here. I would like it more if it has a bit more muscle — it’s strong on rhythms but it comes across as a bit lightweight.

@@@ Scalp: Domestic Extremity (Creator-Destructor, 2020) Some brutal metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Big stomp, drippy thrash, and plenty of hardcore muscle up in this badboy. The singer bounces back and forth between a hardcore throat scrape and that weird caveman shit a lot of metal dudes do. I wouldn’t say these guys get into any sort of technical metal but they jump around between sections and it gives a sense of them being very focused and tightly delivering ‘tha goods’. These guys produce a muscular collection of tracks with only a tad of doom here and there. I really like the drummer most of all, he sounds wired up on 14 cans of Red Bull and somebody rocked a great snare sound for this record.

@@@ Bleeding Out – Lifelong Death Fantasy (Profound Lore, 2020) Not as loud and thugged out as the above recording this metal record is also from this week’s CFUV playlist email. It sports a more epic death metal feel with some big melodies in the opening track. I’m hearing some Motorhead feels with a churning punky guitar hornet’s nest and a shouting Lemmy-ish dude on the mic. I started this review yesterday but I’m back to finish the week and clicked on the title track and oy it’s like have somebody pour hot motor oil right onto your brain. Visceral, thrashy domination. This is some hot shit — I’m not a full time metalhead but I get and embrace the genre appreciating its honesty. Imma circle back on this record for sure.