#MetalBandcampGiftClub Spotlight

This week’s, I’m focusing on the first two albums I was gifted through the #MetalBandcampGiftClub. Both of these have become absolute favorites of mine. Their heavy and as different as you can get.

Dragged Into Sunlight & Gnaw Their Tongues – N.V.

DISGTT

N.V. is a dark, heavy, and brutal album. The collaboration between Dragged Into Sunlight’s grim and harsh sound with Gnaw Their Tongue’s uncomfortable noise is a must have for anyone into either band. Featuring unnerving samples from serial killers amongst the chaotic and vicious sounds, N.V. is an incredible listening experience. Check it out HERE!

N.V. was gifted to me by Ross McKendrick

 

 

Panopticon – Autumn Eternal

panopticon

Panopticon is hands down the best project/band in black metal. Austin Lunn is brilliant and bold and creates some of the mot unique albums I’ve ever heard. Following the groundbreaking Kentucky and Roads To The North, Autumn Eternal follows in the footprints of both of those albums. Lunn’s take on Appalachian bluegrass and black metal is infectious and breathtaking. This is an album you don’t want to miss out on. Check it out HERE!

Autumn Eternal was gifted to me by Head Ov Metal.

To find out about the #MetalBandcampGiftClub and join in on the fun, visit metalbandcampgiftclub.com for all the info you need!

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Album Review: No One Deserves Happiness by The Body

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Even after a good 5 years of listening, The Body are a band that continue to confound me. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but more of a “I’ve listened to this album 50 times and still have no idea what the fuck is happening” kind of way. Their take on doom is usually buried underneath beats and noise, sometimes completely obscuring whatever “normal” instrumentation is taking place.

After a string of collaboration albums, most notably with Thou and Kreig, The Body are back with their first solo full length since 2014’s I Shall Die Here. No One Deserves Happiness is a mindfuck of an album.  Chip King and Lee Buford stated that they were out to make the “grossest pop album of all time”, and they’ve definitely achieved that in spades. Featuring a handful of tracks with Assembly of Light Choir’s Chrissy Wolpert on clean vocals, the album is a pretty weird mix of weird pop and The Body’s typical harsh noise laden doom. The combination almost seems at odds with one another, but after a few listens, No One Deserves Happiness starts to make sense.
Fittingly enough, the most interesting thing about the album are the more pop oriented tracks. Wolpert’s vocals are soothing and add a nice bit of beauty to the ugliness she’s singing over. A track like ‘Adamah’ wouldn’t seem out of place being sung by Bjork. Opening track ‘Wandering’ features a great duet, for lack of a better word, between Wolpert’s clean vocals and King’s buried shrieks. It makes for an interesting opener and definitely had me confused as to whether I had the right album or not for the first minute and a half.
But don’t let all of this talk about clean vocals and pop music fool you, this album is gnarly. The third track, ‘For You’, is the full mode ugliness that’s usually associated with The Body. It’s two and a half minutes of suffocating noise with a brief but welcome drum beat for about 30 seconds in the middle. It’s one of my favorite parts of the album and works as an excellent one-two punch with the following track, ‘Hallow/Hollow.’
Overall, the album works as a whole, but it definitely leaves me wondering how it would be taken if it was split into two EP’s, one for the more pop sounding songs and one for the heavier songs. Either way, fans of The Body won’t disappointed and No One Deserves Happiness adds a new aspect to The Body that should make their future interesting. Their mix of noise, doom, and industrial griminess works wonders when added to pop beats and clean vocals. I’d be really interested in hearing them record an entire album like the more pop oriented songs on No One Deserves Happiness.
Go into this album with an open mind. It’s disorienting and weird and often times wonderful. It’s an album that needs your full attention to pick out the subtle details within. Those willing and patient enough won’t be disappointed.
You can pre-order No One Deserves Happiness at The Body’s Bandcamp page HERE or a plethora of physical packages through Thrill Jockey HERE.
No One Deserves Happiness is out March 18.

Eye On Springfield with Joe Deermieer

eye on springfield

Joe Deermieer is one of my favorite noise artists, particularly his project Hoggle. Creating harsh noise walls inspired by the movie Labryinth, Hoggle is memorizing and intense. Joe also has a pretty amazing project called Heavy Metal Vomit Party, which focuses on old heavy metal albums run through a series of chains to completely destroy the source material. I highly suggest checking out both of these if you are into cool, weird noise projects.

Joe has numerous other projects that are all worth checking out that I will list at the end of the interview. Joe rules and all my thanks to him for doing this interview.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
Growing up, I loved the show.  I can’t remember the first time i saw it, however, i do remember that it was on Thursdays when I was like 6 years old, and I was displeased that I missed it frequently because my mom taught aerobics at the YMCA, so I was usually stuck there instead of in front of the TV.

Who is your favorite character?
This is a hard one as there are so many great characters that are the best in their own right.  If I had to choose just one though, it would be Lenny and Carl.  Yes, I know that is two characters, but you rarely see one without the other.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
The one in which George Bush moves in on Evergreen Terrace is pretty awesome.  Also, damn near every Treehouse of Horror is amazing.

The Simpsons has had a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
The Ramones were on an episode, weren’t they?  That’s my favorite.  I also love when Tom Petty’s toe is cut off and lost in the Rock n Roll Camp episode, but that’s because i hate Tom Petty.

Who from the world of noise or metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Vicente aka Weon Culiao aka Bucket of Piss or Johnathon Cash aka Breakdancing Ronald Reagan would make for an interesting episode.

Do you have a favorite musical number from the Simpsons? Also, what noise artists would you like to see interrupt said song?
There are probably plenty of other awesome songs I am forgetting, but “See My Vest” was great.  It would be funny to see Vomir interrupting the song just standing there w/ his bag on his head. Norse Shit Band would be a great interrupter as well.

Is there a character from the show that you think could ever become a noise fan?
I think Moe Syzlak could find HNW appealing.  Comic Book Guy might like the harsh as well.

What character would you be excited to find out was a fan of your work?
Sideshow Bob.

I know you haven’t watch the Simpsons in a while. Do you remember what made you stop watching?
I’m not entirely sure.  I do remember that towards the end of college (~2004-5), I wasn’t finding the writing as funny anymore. I occasionally put it on if I remember and am able to on Sunday, but really, I don’t see it syndicated like it used to be.  I watched it more when Fox still put reruns on.

What would be your dream ending for the family and the series?
Gee, that’s a hard one to fathom.  Realistically, Homer would make some huge mistake while working at the nuclear plant and vaporize the entire town, thus ending the family and the series.

JD

To check out all of Joe’s work, just search for Planet Shithead, Pig Shrapnel, Extreme Chafing, Hoggle, Heavy Metal Vomit Party, Laboratory Fire, Dungeon Attire, Hair On My Food Tapes & Records, Serious Business CDr, and Busey Teeth CDr on Facebook. If you’re into noise, you’ll find a bunch of cool stuff. 

You can also stream some of Joe’s work on Bandcamp at:
Planet Shithead
Serious Business CDr
Hair On My Food Tapes

Album Review: Even The Files Won’t Touch You by Fire-Toolz

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Even The Files Won’t Touch You, is an album that shouldn’t work. It’s a sonic collage of madness that somehow manages to fit together 80’s pop music style keyboards, trip hop beats, song samples from everyone from Copeland and The Get Up Kids to Type O Negative and Loma Preita, harsh noise, and faint vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on any black metal album. Just let all those things sink in for a minute. The mishmash of those things working together cohesively is almost impossible. Yet, Fire-Toolz makes them all work in unison into a completely satisfying experience unlike anything I have ever heard before.
Fire-Toolz is the latest project from Angel Marcloid. Marcloid is responsible for on of my all time favorite noise projects of all time, Pregnant Spore, and the label Rainbow Bridge). I’ve followed Angel Marcloid’s work for a couple years now, and it has always been on the weird side. But Even The Files Won’t Touch You may be the weirdest and most fascinating I’ve heard yet. It’s the sound of all of her interests and former works colliding together and forming something new. There are moments of songs that are completely intricate in their collaboration between club banger beats and harsh vocals (Yellow Croc-Fire), songs that layer sound samples on top of each other in an almost Girltalk fashion (Pain Jerk-Off), and songs of almost Subdued, Mars Volta-esque soundscape (In-House Detox, Diet-Blood).
The best aspect to the album is that even after 20+ listens, I’m still picking out new things. The samples used are sometimes so minuscule that unless you’re paying close attention, they will blow right past you. There is a pretty great use of Darkest Hour as a sample, and the Type O Negative sample is so brilliant that I’d be curious as to how many people pick it out immediately.
Even The Files Won’t Touch You isn’t so much an album as an experience. It’s something that demands your full attention, and if you’re willing to give it, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. It’s the sound of someone’s life experiences being combined and expanded upon. It’s the sound of someone being completely and totally comfortable in their own skin for once.
I highly recommend sitting in the dark with headphones on and letting the full potential of Even The Files Won’t Touch You open itself up to you.

Album Highlights: The whole thing. Listen to it in full for the full experience.
You can pick up a digital copy of Even The Files Won’t Touch You HERE along with a remix album entitles Further Down The Files HERE.  You can also follow Fire-Toolz on Facebook HERE, as well as a Tumblr HERE.

BCW -Okto Media

OktoMediaThis week, instead of highlighting a band, I wanted to post about my favorite noise label, Okto Media. Stationed in Dayton, Ohio, Okto Media focuses on the weird and unique in harsh noise. Ranging from harsh noise walls to almost dance-able noise, there is something from everyone interested in noise.

Some of my favorite releases from Okto Media are:
Pregnant Spore- Chest Absence
Authority- Protect Us, O Lord
Gluttoness- Self-titled 2xCassettee
Medical Mechanica- Water Mammals
Foresight- Time Dude
Hoggle- The Oubliette
mASScOMM- Present/Future Shock

Check out Okto Media and most of their releases on their Bandcamp HERE!

Eye On Springfield with Graham & Ben from Endless Swarm

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Endless Swarm are a powerviolence/grind band with a lot of noise tendencies from Edinburgh, Scotland. I was introduced to them by Ross McKendrick based on their song ‘Hollow Victory’ having a sample of Troy McClure starting it out. I immediately fell in love with the band and reached out for an interview. And then their drummer parted ways with the band. This interview would have been up a long time ago, but losing a drummer right around the time of entering the studio creates a huge upheaval. But here we are and the interview is done and I’m really excited to share it. Endless Swarm are an incredible band and should be checked out but everyone reading this. They just released their new 7″ entitled Pointless Existence and already have a split with Pavel Chekov set for release by the end of the year.
Huge thanks to Garham and Ben for taking the time to answer these questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons?

Graham – The Simpsons was always on BBC2 at 6 o’ clock, Monday – Friday here in the UK. I always sat down and had dinner with my family and that’s what was on while we ate. I fell in love with it at a pretty young age and a remember going through a phase where everything I owned had ‘El Barto” written on it and my pencil case, lunchbox and folders were all Simpsons memorabilia.

Ben – Like most 90’s kids in the UK, I used to watch The Simpsons on BBC2 during the week. I instantly found myself caught up in the huge world of Springfield and all the characters living in it. It was a cartoon on at dinner time so it was always felt like a bit of a bonus after all the kids TV programmes had finished earlier. I used to spend ages sketching all of the characters so I can probably credit that in some way to my love of drawing, too. Also, my older brother owned the “Do The Bartman” single so I can remember hearing that a lot.

There is a pretty large and diverse cast of characters on the show. Is there a character you see yourself in, for better or for worse?

Graham – Growing up it had to be Bart. I had that rebellious streak and I always found myself getting in to trouble for various reasons. I also had a pretty dorky mate who I guess you could compare to Millhouse in some respects (Scott, if you’re reading this I’m sorry). Another big part of my youth was skateboarding, which may well have stemmed from my love for The Simpsons. Furthermore, my relationship with my sister was very similar to Lisa and Bart’s as my sister was always very successful at school and always made me look bad!

Ben – As much as I’d like to say Bart (I did use to skateboard a lot when I was younger) I’d probably have to say the social awkwardness of Milhouse. That, and the fact I used to wear a pretty ridiculous pair of bright red glasses for years.

Who is your favorite character?

Graham – That’s tough! For me it’s either Bart or Otto Mann.

Ben – It’s pretty hard to pick just one. I’d have to go with either Otto or Moe. They’re always entertaining in any episode. You can’t forget Disco Stu though.

How is the show perceived in Scotland? Is it a beloved as it is (or was) in America?

Graham – Yeah it’s extremely popular over here, shops still sell shirts with Bart on it and it’s always on TV. Although it’s still ongoing, I’d say you have people who appreciate it nostalgically too.

Last Scotland question (I swear). Is Groundskeeper Willie a popular character there?

Graham – Yeah for sure, he was actually used during the Independence Referendum and was backing an independent Scotland which was really cool.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

Graham – I’ve managed to boil it down to a few, so my favourite episodes are 1) Homer eats the chilli and trips out 2) Bart tries to find Santa’s Little Helper 3) Homer skates the canyon gap. There’s a bunch more but these were all the ones that stick out in my head. I was always a huge fan of the Treehouse Of Horrors episodes too.

Ben – There’s far too many to choose from. The ones that have always stuck in my mind are the X-Files episode, the one where Homer hallucinates in the desert after eating the peppers and one that Homer gains a load of weight in order to work from home. Also, the episode that Troy Mclure marries Selma. Mainly just for “Dr Zaius.”

The Simpsons has had a lot of great guest stars in their time. Who is your favorite?

Ben – Probably just anytime Kelsey Grammer is in it as Sideshow Bob or Danny DeVito as Homer’s brother.

Music-wise it has to be the Ramones singing happy birthday to Mr. Burns or The Smashing Pumpkins at Hullabalooza.

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the Simpsons?

Ben – King Diamond. He’s already that ridiculous and over the top as a character that it almost seems like he was purposely written for the show.

One of my first real big exposures to things like vegetarianism was through Lisa Simpsons. Has the show ever introduced you to an idea that changed the way you view things?

Ben – I can’t say the The Simpsons has had that big of an impact on how I view things in life. I’ve always admired how well the writers managed to make the programme appeal to all ages and still include such a wide range of issues though.

Do you still watch the new episodes? If not, do you remember what made you stop?

Graham – I haven’t watched any new episodes in a number of years which is a shame but it wasn’t something I decided to do it just kind of happened. Not having TV is a large contribution to that and with life getting busier I just don’t have as much time as I’d like to keep up with The Simpsons!

Ben – I don’t still watch new episodes. I think I stopped watching around season 10. We were always several seasons behind over here unless you had Sky TV channels, which I didn’t, so I was never that up to date with them to begin with. I’ve watched the odd newer episode now and again but I just feel that they lack a lot of the clever writing that the earlier episodes had.

Finally, how would you like to see the show end?

Ben – I don’t really have an idea story-wise but I really think that they should have ended it all with a movie. It took them so long to actually put one out yet I don’t feel like it had as much of an impact as it could have had. It felt like just watching a slightly episode.

Graham – I hadn’t really thought about it but after reading over these questions I thought I’d have a look on the internet and read over other peoples ideas on how the show should end. I must admit that the idea of having a full season of ‘last episodes’, parodying other famous last episodes and having Bart and Lisa growing up for example. That could be fun!

ES

Follow Endless Swarm at:
Endless Swarm Facebook
Endless Swarm Bandcamp

Band Crush Wednesday

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In the world of metal, most bands try and come across as dangerous and extreme. Then a band comes along that only has hints of metal in their sound and makes everything else seem tame. Couch Slut is one of those bands. A noise rock band that would fit in with the early Am Rep bands, the NYC based band sounds violent and confrontational. The first album, My Life As A Woman, came out last year and garnered well deserved attention. Angular guitar and truly ferocious vocals lead Couch Slut’s sound, like a truly manic Julie Christmas fronting Oxbow at their craziest. My Life As A Woman is highly recommended and easily one of my favorite albums released in the last decade. Everything about it is uncomfortable and confrontational. Songs like “Split Urethra Castle” and “Rape Kit” aren’t meant to be nice. The album has a truly nihilistic feel.


Check out Couch Slut at:
Couch Slut Facebook
My Life As A Woman on Bandcamp

“Stop, stop! He’s already dead.”

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I realize the last thing the internet needs is another list no one asked for. But I’m making one (hopefully each month) anyway. The idea is to take an artist or band I love and reduce their output to 10 songs I could listen to forever. Sort of a desert island sort of thing. For the first list, I chose an artist that has been with me since around age 7, Mike Patton. His work has shaped a lot of my musical tastes, from rock to metal to jazz to noise. Loving his work introduced me to John Zorn and Masami Akita, two other artists that will probably get the list treatment down the line. Patton’s vocals range from soulful crooning to full on manic, wordless noises. I think I did a fair enough job getting a good mix of his styles on this list. And by all means, if you like any of this stuff, his work is pretty easy to find around the internet, so check it out. I can’t back his work enough.

Mike-Patton-Berlin-1996

10. Matador by Faith No More

Matador is the newest song on this list, coming from this years excellent Faith No More comeback album, Sol Invictus. For me, it’s the best song on the album and comes off as a spiritual successor to the only other Faith No More song that will be on this list, Just A Man. It gave me chills the first time I heard it, especially the vocals towards the end. How this wasn’t the swansong for Sol Invictus is beyond me. It’s a perfect closer.

9. Six Pack by Rollins Band/Mike Patton

Coming from the Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three compilation, this song is basically Mike Patton with the Mother Superior version of Rollins Band covering an absolutely perfect Black Flag song. The final scream of “six paaaaaaaack!” at the end of this version is throat shedding. Plus, knowing Mike Patton doesn’t drink makes the irony of this cover and the “Fuck it, make it a Zima” line even better.

8. Where Is The Line? Fantomas Remix

Bjork is probably my favorite voice ever. Her music means a lot to me. When I heard she was going to be doing an album comprised of only vocals, I was excited. Then I found out Mike Patton would be on two songs. This was a dream collaboration for me. Medulla is a fantastic album, and the original version of Where Is The Line? is amazing. But this Fantomas remix is incredible. It takes the beauty of the original and basically turns it into a Fantomas cover. This remix doesn’t seem to show up a lot on lists of Patton’s discography for some reason, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

7. Archie & Veronica by Lovage

From Songs To Make Love To Your Old Lady By, Archie & Veronica is the closing track to this Dan The Automator led group. Featuring Patton and Jennifer Charles from Elysian Fields, the song is very lowkey and downtempo trip hop. Most of the album, Jennifer Charles is the highlight, but I love Mike Patton’s work on this song. It was a pretty close decision between this and their cover of Berlin’s ‘Sex (I’m A)’, but Patton’s vocals on this put it over the top.

6. Litany IV by Moonchild Trio

Moonchild Trio is a group put together and overseen by John Zorn. From the album Six Litanies For Heliogabalus and featuring Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron, their work is truly avant-garde. Litany IV is Mike Patton at some of his most manic since his Adult Themes For Voice album. I’m not too sure about the background of this track or how he decides on what sounds to make. There is a live video of Patton performing this online that looks like he has some form of sheet music for this. Regardless, this is insane and brilliant and slightly terrifying.

5. Julia by Carla Hassett

Carla Hassett and Mike Patton do wonders to this personal and subdued version of the Beatles song, ‘Julia’. Singing in both Spanish and English, the song is sparse and beautiful. Patton is there mostly to provide back up vocals and sounds great next to Carla Hassett.

4. Catch My Heart by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore

I only have cursory knowledge of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. I’ve always liked what I’ve heard, but haven’t fully dived in to their discography. Catch My Heart. a cover of the heavy metal band Warlock, is the first for Bohren & Der Club Of Gore to feature vocals. Patton was a prefect choice for this song. His crooning fits perfectly over Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s ambient jazz sound. This cover and the number one song on this list have both made me tear up or openly weep while listening to them.

3. Merry Go Bye Bye by Mr. Bungle

Disco Volante is a beast of an album. It’s still one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard. And I dearly love it. Merry Go Bye Bye is the closing track (minus a hidden noise track) and features everything that makes Mr. Bungle great. Poppy, 50’s style sounds smashed together with noise and even some death metal. The middle part of this song is incredibly weird and wonderful, and the vocals towards the end when it all slows down is great. Disco Volante should pretty much always be listened to as a whole album to truly get an idea of how brilliant it is. The fact that it still sounds as weird and relevant 2 decades later is a testament to how genius Mr. Bungle were.

2. Just A Man by Faith No More

Just A Man is easily my favorite song from one of my top 5 favorite bands of all time. Most people point to Angel Dust as Faith No More’s best album, but for me, King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime is their best. Closing out the album, Just A Man features some of Mike Patton’s best vocal work with Faith No More. His soaring vocals backed with a choir for the last half of the song is beautiful. It’s hard for me to put into words what this song means to me. It simultaneously makes me happy while making me want to cry at the same time. This song definitely ranks in my top 10 songs of all time. Maybe top five.

And number 1. Ballad Of A Thin Man by The Jamie Saft Trio

Bob Dylan is my favorite artist of all time. His songs, especially during the 60’s are timeless. Ballad Of A Thin Man, a poetic and hate fueled track gets a jazzy treatment from the incredible Jame Saft Trio. Mike Patton captures the essence of the original while adding his own original interpretation to a song that has probably been covered hundreds of times. His vocals have an anger, contempt, and sadness to them that fits the song perfectly. I’ve always wondered if Dylan has ever heard this and what his reaction would be. I could listen to this song all the time and never tire of it. Everything from Patton’s performance to the laid back jazz drums and gorgeous piano playing make this my favorite thing Mike Patton has ever been apart of.

Honorable Mention
I wanted to put Delirium Cordia by Fantomas on this list, but felt like it was unfair to pick an hour plus long song. Delirium Cordia is a terrifying listen full of the sounds of surgery and fills me with dread. We’re Not Alone by Peeping Tom and Dub Trio is another one that just barely got cut off. And I couldn’t figure out a song out of Mike Patton’s work with Eyvind Kang to pick because they’re all beautiful and should be heard as whole. John Zorn’s Elegy features Patton on all of the tracks and it’s another great album that should be heard as a whole.