Posts Tagged ‘noise rock’

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.



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.



Basic Cable on Bandcamp
Permanent Records

Subtle Turnhips

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Terd LP
Hozac, 2010

Apparently the Turnhips have been around for a while — their first ragtag LP came out in 2002 — why the fuck hadn’t I heard of them? They’ve got a solid Hozac 7″ from 2008 and now this raging LP which begs to be blasted continuously at all hours of the day. Totally worth your time if you’re a devotee of the type of cranked tunes found on early Swell Maps records, with crazed singshouts over loose, blaring riffs and sloppy-but-solid beats. Although the Turnhips are a bit meaner, kinda like what you’d hear if you starved the Swell Maps for a week and then invited them to play a set of Brainbombs covers at your Sunday afternoon picnic. Brash and obnoxious, but completely endearing to coarsened ear holes. The songs on this album have a little meat to them than their early records, as shown with the start/stop song structure of “Sonic Tooth” and “Comment” where all elements blast off and then quickly fall apart, creating elastic time signatures that are far more interesting than your typical 4/4 garage banger. And the song “Two Two” is essentially a remake of “Files” from their first LP that transforms it from a decent but forgettable tune into a punchy jam from the gut with layered, mantra-like vocal effects and weirdness. Despite the ugly-ass cover art, you’re gonna want this Terd.


Subtle Turnhips on MySpace
Hozac Records


Subtle Turnhips Internet Album

AmRep 25

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

It goes without saying that the Amphetamine Reptile label weighs fairly heavily into this blog. The word ‘NOISE’ appears in all caps behind its logo for fuck’s sake, and since 1985, the label has been releasing burly, weird, and most of all NOISY records that have become a genre in itself — although I still don’t think the oft-mentioned “AmRep sound” is a good descriptor of music when you consider the wild diversity of bands that found a home on the legendary Twin Cities label. This weekend the label celebrates its 25-year anniversary with a huge bash in Minneapolis, resurrecting a number of its flagship bands (God Bullies, Vaz, Hammerhead, The Thrown Ups, Boss Hog) while bringing some currently active bands to the party (Today is the Day, Gay Witch Abortion, White Drugs, and the almighty Melvins) to blowout eardrums and deliver a rumbling suckerpunch to the gut of tepid rock and roll. For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to attend the festivities, Tom Hazelmyer’s been kind enough to serve up a taste of the ultra-limited fare available with a CD compilation of the show-only record releases. I’m happy to say that the mostly dormant label is true to form with this compilation, offering up some quality tracks from AmRep legends and newcomers alike. The CD even includes Vol. 12 of the ace Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets compilation series, with amazing new tracks by the God Bullies, Boss Hog, Vaz, and the Thrown Ups, plus solid, rocking tracks by Gay Witch Abortion and White Drugs. It matches the quality of the legendary early volumes of the series, which says a lot since Hazelmyer was always able to coax all-killer material from bands featured in the series without a single throwaway track in twelve fucking volumes. Seriously, how many compilations can you say that about? It’s rare to find a comp without at least one stinker. And at $2 ($5 with shipping) you’re probably not gonna find a better use of your time and money.


Buy the “AmRep 25th Anniversary Non-Collector Scum” compilation
The Amphetamine Reptile Discography
AmRep 25th Anniversary Article at Noise Creep


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

This Quiet LP
Self-released, 2010

The debut album by this Austin quartet has been slowly wrapping its tentacles around my DNA since its release earlier this month. At first listen, their influences came in loud and clear, with aggro Hot Snakes riffs and clever Les Savy Fav songwriting prowess backed by a rock-solid Drive Like Jehu rhythm section. Further in, Markov also evokes the better moments of John Reis’ and Rick Frohberg’s pre-Hot Snakes, pre-Drive Like Jehu band Pitchfork, with a more direct attack from the gut that doesn’t get too mired in cerebral approaches to methodically dispensed hardcore aggression. There’s also a nice rambling Barkmarket quality to the delivery of the vocals, with a pinch of mania and a looseness that ebbs and flows with waves of soaring guitar, both pleading and demanding, often at the same time. Beyond these reference points, Markov — named after a famed Russian mathematician — have formulated a uniquely potent mixture of these influences that give them an x-factor that elevates their music well above any dismissive math-rock comparisons their moniker or cover art might suggest. You can stream This Quiet at the link below, but I recommend picking up a digital copy (only $5) in order to fully understand the intricacies and charm of this band.


Buy digital album at Bandcamp
Markov on MySpace

Ritual Device

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ritual Lips / Grandma 7″
Aural Rape, 1991

Probably one of the most literal versions of the “pigfuck” genre — loosely defined as ugly midwestern noise rock with a nasty mean streak, ala Big Black, Killdozer, Drunks With Guns, etc. — this Omaha band of miscreants was a minor legend in these parts, upping the ante for twisted records and live performances. Being a fellow Nebraskan, I had the opportunity to see them a number of times and still consider them on par with more widely known acts of the era. One particularly memorable scene (as recounted in the Horror Punk 101 countdown last Halloween) was seeing them open for the Jesus Lizard at Gabe’s Oasis in Iowa City. Being a college town, there was a sizable and drunken crowd, and at one point in Ritual Device’s set, singer Tim Moss started tossing out rendering plant refuse into the crowd. I can still see the shocked horror in the eyes of a pair of alternagirls picking up leathery, hairy sow ears, thinking it was some type of sticker toss or something. And that pretty much sums up the Ritual Device experience: ugly, visceral, and unnerving. And brutally rifftastic with a sick sense of humor. Members went on to other heavy ’90s bands like Men of Porn and Ravine after releasing a few other 7″s, a split 10″ with Killdozer, and a solid LP, Henge. Here’s their rare debut 7″…


Ritual Device – “Ritual Lips
Ritual Device – “Grandma”


Ritual Device on Built On A Weak Spot blog
Ritual Device/Ravine history from website

Iowa Beef Experience

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Jubilix / Nitro Burning Funny Cow 7″
Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1991

From where else but Iowa City, Iowa could such a burly ass sludge punk band named Iowa Beef Experience go ripping into early-nineties grunge obscurity? Actually, IBX did have a bit of clout in the pre-Teen Spirit world of grunge, with an interview in Maximum Rock ‘n Roll and an LP released on the London-based Vinyl Solution record label. In 1991 they may well have been the best-known punk band from Iowa, despite the fact that Iowa had, and has always had a pretty healthy little scene. Learn a more about it from previous posts here and here, or from The Secret History of the Cedar Valley wiki site here. Anyway, IBX had a fairly unique take on the pigfuck genre, namely with some of the gnarliest growling vocals you’ll ever hear, and a gut-rumbling guitar sound that can only gurgle up from the deepest depths of the rural midwest. This 45 is their best release, featuring forceful, antagonistic riffs and a floor-rumbling production that some of their other releases lack.


Iowa Beef Experience – “Jubilix”
Iowa Beef Experience – “Nitro Burning Funny Cow”

Helios Creed

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The Warming / Your Spaceman 7″
Amphetamine Reptile, 1991

No self-respecting blog with the word “noise” in its title would lack at least some mention of one of the most mind-blowing noise-centric brainfry guitar gurus ever to drift across this mortal coil. Grandiose introductions aside, the contributions, or more accurately, distortions, to the rock music form that Helios Creed made starting from the late 1970s are nothing short of legendary. And while his radically inventive work in Chrome rightly overshadows his long and prolific solo career, the slew of releases he cranked out throughout the 1990s are worth taking a closer look at. Some of my favorites came out in the early part of the decade, after his first tinny and weaker solo records X-rated Fairy Tales and Superior Catholic Finger — both listenable, but synth-heavy and staid compared to the blown-out fuzz of his following records, starting with 1989’s The Last Laugh. This single, released between 1990’s Boxing the Clown and 1992’s Lactating Purple perfectly captures the best elements of the Helios Creed oeuvre: overblown effects-ridden guitar, synthetic alien vox, and swirling psychpunk riffs that practically ignite speaker cones.


Helios Creed – “The Warming”
Helios Creed – “Your Spaceman”

Slug (Part 3)

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Slug 7″ EP
Magnatone Records, 1990

In this final installment of the Slug singles series, we go back to a massive slab of double-density noise jams, the debut vinyl release from this legendary Los Angeles noise unit. Along with Cop Shoot Cop, they were one of the early adopters of non-traditional rock instrumentation, featuring two bassists, two guitarists, a drummer and a vocalist — a novelty that both piqued the interest of mutant rockers while also overshadowing their interesting musical ideas. Reviews of this 4-song monster often emphasized the quantity of players instead of the quality of the overall sound, reducing them to gimmicky purveyors of sludge. I never got to see them live, but other reviews reflected on the inability to effectively capture the full scope of their sound on vinyl, which I imagine would reveal a whole new level to the massive Slug experience. Still, with proper volume there’s a lot to dig from this souped-up noise rock classic. If you can’t find this somewhat hard-to-find 7″, it’s included on the CD version of their Swingers 10″ release, which I’ve seen in $1 bins from coast to coast.


Slug – “Sore Thumb”
Slug – “Painbaby”
Slug – “Freak of Nature”
Slug – “Aversion”

Slug (Part 2)

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Hambone City / King of Ghosts 7″
Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1993

“Streetsweeper” from split 7″ with Unsane
PCP Recordings, 1992

“Borax” from Jabberjaw Compilation 7″ No. 1
Mammoth Records, 1994

Here’s some Slug odds and ends, prompted for you dear reader, by a comment left by this noise-addicted scion of good taste. See how that works? Leave a little feedback and who knows, I might just throw some more pounding tunes your way. Anyhow, here’s a few more tracks from the almighty Slug, each in the focused, rocking style that all of their singles highlight — a Slug singles collection, if you will. If you dig what you hear here, I encourage you to find one of their LPs because Slug, starting from their first 10″ release Swingers, always had a knack for weirdness and the unexpected which you don’t necessarily find with these singles tracks. Without time constraints, Slug playfully tweaks noise rock formulas with wild experimentation and spacious expanses of dub soundscapes, especially on their later releases. They were never content to simply pump out noisy slabs low end pummeling, making them one of the more interesting and art-damaged groups in this genre. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Slug singles saga for the first 7″ release on Magnatone records…


Slug – “Hambone City”
Slug – “King of Ghosts”

Slug – “Streetsweeper” (Unsane)
from split 7″ with Unsane

Slug – “Borax”
from Jabberjaw Compilation 7″ No. 1