Archive for the ‘2010s’ Category

Wet Ones

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Wet Ones LPWet Ones LP
Black Gladiator, 2016

For too many years the musical exports of the Kansas City area rarely captured the quality and quantity of what this midwestern mecca in the middle of the swollen gut of the United States has had to offer. For all the good shit tearing up sketchy, short-lived clubs and out-of-control house parties, the only groups ever to get much attention outside the sprawling expanse of the I-435 loop tended to be on the tame and conventional side of the rock ‘n roll spectrum. And while that’s probably how things should be, it’s always disheartening to witness how little of the crazed energy buzzing around the KC/Lawrence area ever gets adequately captured on wax. Thankfully that all changed early this year when the ace Slovenly offshoot label Black Gladiator unleashed this 13-track wrecker delivering frenzied garage punk every bit as vile as its predecessor Fag Cop. With the in-the-red burn of The Fatals and the panicked contagious energy of The Reatards earliest excretions, this record has slowly festered into the feel-bad hit of the summer. That’s fitting too, since the Wet One are a lot like summer in KC: hot, nasty and ready to beat your ass.

Wet Ones on Slovenly.com

The Chewers

Monday, September 14th, 2015

TheChewersDead Dads CD
Self Released, 2015

Right as the July heat began to simmer the sickly humid air and warp the atmosphere into a sweaty stew, the latest collection of madness released from this Nashville duo became an unexpected soundtrack to summer, permeating the psyche with tales of madness and absurdity told through the most weirdly seductive freak bungle. Plodding, lopsided, and spacious, The Chewers have honed their oddly odd sonic stew on Dead Dads, their third album, with disciplined songwriting that forces every pit and peak of their idiosyncratic music and madcap storytelling to shimmer in the haze. While they’re completely in a league of their own, those who are susceptible to the spaces between Tom Waits and King Missile, or in league with indie oddities like The Guinea Worms or The Country Teasers, may also be attracted to this lumbering freak feast.

LINKS

The Chewers on Bandcamp

The Chewers on Facebook

The Chewers on Soundcloud

The Chewers website

Threes and Will + Huerequeque

Friday, November 28th, 2014

blue thirteen C30
Blue Tapes, 2014

Threes and Will + Huerequeque

The UK’s Blue Tapes cassette microlabel (that now also serves vinyl, books, and film!) has steadily released noteworthy releases in small batches, each capturing wildly inventive takes on diverse genres. Acapella death metal, sound art, rock improv and whatever fits between, they’re always up to something interesting and always worth a listen, even if they end up being a bit of a novelty or one of those “challenging” listens you partake in when the mood is right. Their description of this mysterious Estonian duo links their expansive rock noise sound to the most focused LP from the long-running UK group Skullflower, IIIrd Gatekeeper, and holy fuck does it ever deliver on that promise. Starting from that sonic reference point, this 5-song (a solo track by each artist and 3 collaborations) tape stretches buzzed riffs into hypnotic, transcendent sounds that twist, turn, and drift for just over 30 minutes of blissed-out heavy psych. This link is not really a reference to Skullflower as much as a mark of quality on par with the greatness of that essential album, or the sublime quality of Skullflower’s 15-minute mind-melting “Diamond Bullet” from Obsidian Shaking Codex, a track so expansive that it could almost be its own genre. If you like your noise rock to push beyond the predictable and formulaic trappings of the form, prepare to meet this true form destroyer.

LINKS

Threes and Will + Huerequeque on Blue Tapes website

Watch “Sea Fourth Pt. II” by Threes and Will on Vimeo

Sex Scheme

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Self-Titled 7″ EP
Puppet Combo, 2014

If The Fall were hardened by the pummeling misanthropy of the Brainbombs and fueled by Big Black’s dynamic of jarring guitar shards slashing across throbbing, propulsive bass lines, you’d find yourself on the receiving end of something like this Brooklyn trio’s excellent vinyl debut. The repetitive and tattered anti-songs on this seedy 4-track stumble through the gutters of Gotham, detached and rambling, barely coherent enough to wrangle enough tortured notes together to make any sense of the mess. In other words, brilliant.

LISTEN

LINKS

Sex Scheme on Bandcamp

Sex Scheme on Tumbler

Basic Cable

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

I’m Good to Drive LP
Permanent Records, 2013

There are a number of higher profile groups pulling from the AmRep handbook of knuckle-dragging pigfuck noise rock, but this Chicago unit (with members of Heavy Times, Loose Dudes, and Running) plows deeper and harder with a dose of dark humor that draws a line of influence from groups like Scratch Acid to Mudhoney to Tractor Sex Fatality. Featuring vocals that oscillate from David Yow-style mumbling lunacy to full-throttled Mark Arm wails, backed with the lowbrow gut-punch of Tractor Sex Fatality, Basic Cable delivers the goods in a manner that won’t get them pixel plastered throughout the blogosphere. Heartily recommended for those with refined tastes for the unrefined.

LISTEN

LINKS

Basic Cable on Bandcamp
Permanent Records

Stone Titan

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Scratch ‘N Sniff LP
Safety Meeting Records, 2013

Despite an endless parade of doom metal bands crisscrossing the globe in mutilated Econoline vans reeking of weed and spilled PBR, there are only a few bands that can actually deliver the low-end punch in the gut that makes the genre worth your time. This gnarly two-piece from the wilds of Connecticut is one of the few bands that’s channeled enough generalized misanthropy into 7 slabs of steaming downtuned Doom to make it well worth the tinnitus Scratch ‘N Sniff dishes out by the pound. With the bile-infused rage of squealing feedback-ridden southern sludge like Eyehategod and Buzzov*en, fused with the epic inertia of riff riders Noothgrush and Damad, topped with a tinge of psychedelic stonerisms alá Bongzilla, Stone Titan deliver the goods and put themselves at the top of the doom metal heap.

LISTEN

LINKS

Stone Titan on Bandcamp
Stone Titan on Facebook

Lore City

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Absence & Time CD
Self-Released

Last spring when this album was released it was easy to escape the pull of this haunting disc. Now, as the last leaves fall and the palette of midwestern life is reduced to lifeless grays and browns, the soothing ache of Absence & Time is nearly impossible to ignore. There’s a sparseness and detached cool to Lore City that’s really seductive, as well as the sustained atmospheric haze that weaves through the 8 tracks on this Chicago duo’s debut. But there’s also an edge to what Lore City does that keeps them interestingly intense where most bands would be content to reflexively play by heart without pushing the envelope in any real way. With a monolithic, plodding pace that swells with occasional wave of exhilaration, Lore City has found a sound that fits somewhere between the preciousness of Zola Jesus, the warmth of Low and the severity of Swans. While the shock of Laura Mariposa’s haunting voice escalating to shrieking visceral growls is a bit unnerving, the deliberate manner by which they’ve inserted this texture into their sound gives Absence & Time depth and an experimental bite that refuses to be ignored.

LINKS
Official Lore City website

Kabul Golf Club

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Le Bal Du Rat Mort EP
Uproar for Veneration, 2012

It’s taken about a year for the five tracks on this deranged EP to saturate into my thick skull, and I’m grateful to finally make some sense of it. While this Belgian band’s own points of reference make sense (Dillinger Escape Plan, Jesus Lizard, Blood Brothers) their sound twists that source material into frenzied shards of raging hardcore served up in obsessively measured chunks that takes their sound into uncharted territory. Their balance of warbling, frayed-at-the-edges guitar and electronics to forcefully calculated, angular song structures make this record a beast sounding something like The Locust playing TFUL 282 covers of Coalesce songs. It’s a spastic, tendon-ripping good time that’s a few notches above the standard issue hardcore record. A new EP is in the works, so get acquainted with KGC before they unleash the next level of hardcore.

DOWNLOAD
Kabul Golf Club – “Demon Days” (3.9mb)

LINKS
Visit the Kabul Golf Club website
Buy Le Bal Du Rat Mort at iTunes

Magic Shadows

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Sunburned Mind 7″
Magic Shadows, 2013

There’s no better place than Canada these days to find dense, shimmering punked out psychedelia. Like Vancouver’s Sex Church, Hamilton’s Magic Shadows deal in thick noisy layers of primitive minor chord stomp that reveals more texture and swagger with every listen. Magic Shadows’ brand of racket packs an excellent detached vibe on this debut single, blasting out Stoogian riffs through a tranced out Velvets haze. Pick up the vinyl edition of 300 soon and enjoy one of 2013′s best singles thus far…

LINKS

Magic Shadows on Bandcamp
Magic Shadows on Facebook

LISTEN

Kellar

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Beloved Dean of Magic LP
Foolproof Projects

It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes some improvisational groups click while others fall flat. How can you describe that transcendent, sweaty, intense wave that sweeps you away as a song fires on all cylinders, keeping your undivided attention, moving beyond music into pure experience. This sprawling LP from Brighton UK’s Kellar, the first of 3 releases so far this year including March’s Smokescreen EP and the upcoming August release Cell Divides, is the definition of great improv noise rock. While the concept of improv noise rock is rightfully suspect — most groups of this ilk end up being little more than an exercise in endurance — Kellar demonstrates an uncanny knack for whipping up a magical racket with enough texture and volume to bloom new growth from the seeds planted by groups like Sonic Youth and Skullflower. The tracks on Beloved Dean of Magic are loose and free, unstructured enough to remain fresh after multiple spins, yet driven and forceful enough to demand your attention. It’s a deliriously stunning debut from one of 2012′s best new bands.

LINKS

Kellar on Bandcamp

Stream Kellar’s Beloved Dean of Magic