What’s in a name? Beastmilk is here to rock your world!

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Anything Deathwish Inc or GodCity/Kurt Ballou related immediately piques my interest. Unfortunately, the fact that this one slipped through the cracks and I found out about Beastmilk through a Pantera anniversary issue of Revolver is entirely on me.

Yep, the name is gonna throw you: What kind of music is this? Are they serious? I’m telling you, though, look past the name and go for the meat and potatoes which is, of course, the music!

These Finnish former death metallers have crafted an album that puts Matt Skiba and Alkaline Trio to shame. Add some epic guitar ferocity in there along with some early Danzig and a small helping of Bauhaus for a better view of the “beast” that is Beastmilk.

But man oh man, these songs! “The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls” is an anthem and a half…you know, the kind of song that you just feel deep in your bones and makes you scream along at the top of your lungs during the chorus? “Fear The Mind” is one of THE best rockers out there with ungodly guitar tones that just moves the song to other levels of excellence. “Genocidal Crush” is the post punk single to end all post punk singles with an infectious sing-a-long refrain while “Ghosts Out Of Focus” sets a different mood altogether, slowing down but never stopping the intensity.

The only fault this album has is that it eventually has to end.

Climax was released late last year so you might have missed it but the important thing is that you know about it now so you can go  here and get yours.

Bob Mould continues musical reign with Beauty & Ruin!

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Apparently Bob Mould wasn’t done with  guitar rock after  the 2011 “See A Little Light” concert retrospective event inspired 2012’s brilliant Silver Age. If anything, the just released Beauty & Ruin is even more visceral and potent than its predecessor really harnessing the power of the Du at points.

It’s inevitable that anything Mould puts out is going to be compared to his older works but never in his career has he put out something so all-encompassing as the collection of songs found on Beauty & Ruin.

“Low Season” is a bit of a slow burn but paves the way for one of Mould’s most driving albums to date. From there, things get hectic. “Little Glass Pill” could be a new Husker Du tune and the same could be said for “Kid With Crooked Face” which is also the fastest Mould and co. have played in a long time. Speaking of “and co.”, the continued presence of Jon Wurster and Jason Narducy has reinvigorated Mould with a line up that really clicks on stage, in the studio, and with audiences.

The band continue to excel on first single “I Don’t Know You Anymore” featuring Mould’s signature songwriting prowess, on the pop punk “Hey Mr. Grey”, and on the Sugar-esque  “Nemeses Are Laughing” which really shows off Wurster’s drum skills.

Silver Age was just the prelude. If you thought that one was fierce then boy, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! Beauty & Ruin is out now on Merge Records. Get your copy here!

 

Greys debut If Anything: Rock and roll will never be the same!

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A while back I used to write for another site and did an annual column/dig on AP’s yearly “100 Bands You Need To Know In ____” issue (Mine was entitled “I Read AP’s 100 Bands You Need To Know in ___ So You Don’t Have To”. Clever, right?) Sometimes there were some diamonds in the rough, but more often than not it was junk. The diamonds, however, when found stuck with me forever.

One such diamond was Greys from Toronto. At the time, their 3-song Drift EP was a nasty slab of Nirvana grunge merged with the almighty Helmet’s wall of heavy. Cut to 2014 and Greys debut full-length If Anything is cleaner, meaner, and an all around breath of fresh air in the face of a world of stale rock and/or roll. The songwriting has grown considerably since that EP as songs like “Pretty Grim”  and “Chick Singer” focus on development of the song first and foremost instead of bashing you over the head with the hard rock (That comes later in each song).

However, If you prefer an intense head bashing immediately then try opener “Guy Picciotto” with its blistering wall of sound and staccato drums with your morning coffee. “Adderall”, like the name implies, is exactly that: an amphetamine-fueled romp that shares a similarity or two with “Territorial Pissings”. Elsewhere, “Flip Yr Lid” takes listeners back to Possum Kingdom while “Brain Dead” begins like a “Negative Creep” but ends somewhere else entirely leading into thunderous”Cold Soak” featuring an otherworldly guitar breakdown that makes this one of the many highlights here.

Do we need another Nirvana in this day and age? No. We need something more. Something else. I believe Greys is that “something else”. Take a listen to If Anything and find out for yourself.

If Anything is out on June 17th through Buzz Records/Carpark Records. Digital copies are available here.

 

Jokes! Episode 4: Marc Maron, Thinky Pain

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Marc Maron is another comedian/artist that I should be into but never took the chance. Much like Hannibal Buress’ latest (That I recently reviewed here), I finally took the plunge and, boy, am I glad that I did. Besides Maron’s appearance in Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me and a friend of mine raving about his WTF podcast on a semi-daily basis I know nothing about the man except that apparently he’s awesome. Does Thinky Pain prove that theory? It definitely does.

Recorded at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, Thinky Pain sees Maron flying by the seat of his pants with a set that he seemingly makes up as he goes. And it works.  Beginning with a story about following a set by the legendary Bill Hicks, Maron scores laugh after laugh with his acerbic wit and timing. Navigating from stories focusing on using a girlfriends hangover as an excuse to satisfy a need to purchase Captain Beefheart vinyl, meeting a mystical buddha waiting in line for a burrito (After purchasing said vinyl), and his thought process when formulating ideas for jokes which leads to a great bit on autoerotic asphyxiation and ultimately, more laughs.

Then there’s Maron noting how judgmental he can be (“Fuck those shorts!”) and connecting being on the “Morning Zoo” (You need to listen to know what that is) to the Zombie Apocalypse. As a mid-30 year old a lot of Maron’s jokes really struck a chord in my funny bone but after listening to Thinky Pain it’s apparent that his humor transcends generations and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Thinky Pain is available now through Comedy Central Records at all fine digital retailers or you can go old school and pick up the vinyl version here.

 

Slighter invite you to listen to the Science Of Noise on latest.

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Like a mixture of cEvin Key’s Download project, The Prodigy, and Massive Attack infused with Front Line Assembly’s immense soundscape, Los Angeles’ Slighter take everything that’s great about electronic music in 2014 to another level on their latest.

Drum ‘n’ bass is alive and well in 2014  as almost opener “Above Ground” proves (“Losing Time” which officially opens the album gives only a slight glimpse of what’s to come). Filled with enough beats to guarantee you get your groove on and some subtle guitar lines to enhance the mood, this track is just the tip of the masterpiece iceberg on Science Of Noise.

If Massive Attack was consistently putting out records (Heligoland came out when?) or Tricky was still in Maxinquaye mode then “Caught Up” featuring Nica Brooke would be their jam with its sinister piano chords building to a massive (pun intended) beats-driven finale with Brookes’ angelic vocals floating above.

“Last Light” (featuring Wolftek) is this beautiful sonic excursion that’s equal parts Skinny Puppy creepy combined with Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score while “ReSet” ups the ante on expectations as to what a dance floor anthem should sound like. Later still, the pairing of the jaw-dropping body moving “Wrecked (Featuring Risk Letter)” (On par with some of The Prodigy’s best tunes) with the tweaker meets UNKLE vibe of “Deadly (Featuring Simon Latham)” is enough reason why Science Of Noise is a vital part of your music collection.

Science Of Noise is available now through Amazon and Itunes but if you like what you hear, head on over to Slighter’s bandcamp page for the deluxe edition.

 

King Buzzo goes solo on This Machine Kills Artists!

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Worshipped by Nirvana (Thanked by both Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic at Nirvana’s recent HOF induction) and Isis among others, championed by Tool, The Melvins have followed their own rules since day one. Whether bucking trends by incessantly releasing albums whenever they want (Two last year, the trilogy between 1999 and 2000), trading lineup’s every other recording (Melvins (lite) for Freak Puke, 2013’s Tres Cabrones with original drummer Mike Dillard, the Big Business lineup…), or attempting world record-breaking tours (Playing 51 dates in 51 States in 51 days!), The Melvins has only proven that you never know what’s coming next.

Which brings us to the following: the release of mainman Buzz Osborne’s solo album, This Machine Kills Artists. It’s Buzz and a guitar. That’s it. If you’re looking for some metal sludgery or crazy riffage or general zaniness then you’ve come to the wrong place. Probably the most out there thing about This Machine… is how straightforward the album is as a whole.

In any case, it’s really good and shows off yet another side of Osborne. That’s not to say the album is filled with country sing-a-longs or Ryan Adams’ brand of introspective tunage. At the core, This Machine… is still Buzz Osborne being Buzz Osborne albeit a quieter version (sometimes).

Fans of his already will be bopping their heads along immediately when “Dark Brown Teeth” begins the 17-track LP. From there the many faces of Osbourne are on display. “Rough Democracy”  and “The Ripping Driving” are upbeat (For Buzz) little ditties while “Laid Back Walking” is a downtrodden Melvins-esque jam. Throughout the proceedings, Osborne displays his outstanding songwriting which further proves why he’s still one of the most prolific and versatile songwriters today.

If you’re already a Melvins/Buzz Osborne fan then it’s a no-brainer that you should pick this up. For all the rest of you googling “Who is Buzz Osborne?” after Krist Novoselic’s HOF speech, This Machine Kills Artists is your answer.

This Machine Kills Artists is available through Ipecac Recordings on June 3rd. Pre-order it here and be sure to head on over to (the) Melvins FB page to see where you can catch Buzz playing this summer.

What’s In A Name? Steak offer up some Corned Beef Colossus on latest EP!

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John Garcia recently revealed that he recorded some vocals for a band called Steak. Being a Garcia/Kyuss/Vista Chino/Slo Burn/Hermano fan, the news piqued my interest and I am happy to report that the music world is about to explode once they get a taste of Steak.

On their most recent (May 2013) release, Corned Beef Colossus, London’s Steak offer up some sumptuous sounds that are bound to fill your ear holes with delight. “Black Milk” opens the 5-track EP with Pepper Keenan-era COC swamp boogie giving way to some fuzzed out Blues For The Red Sun riffage and feels on the, ahem, colossal “Liquid Gold”. Vocalist Kippa is one of those truly exceptional vocalists. Switching from some blues-filled swagger (“Black Milk”) to some fierce growls (“Glanshammar”), Kippa delivers a performance that’s easily worth the price of admission.

That’s not to say the rest of Steak slack at all. The aforementioned “Liquid Gold” is an epic six and half minute masterpiece showcasing Reece’s intense guitar playing while “Acid Dave” hits that Kyuss sweet spot and sets up Cam and Sammy as this generations Reeder and Bjork (Sorry Nick!).

Corned Beef Colossus is available now through Steak’s bandcamp page. Get yours here. For more on Steak and info about their upcoming release, check them out on Facebook here.

 

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 4 (Godflesh, Decline & Fall)

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The news on the new Godflesh front was becoming increasingly quiet and I was wondering if A World Lit Only By Fire was ever going to see the light of day. I can only imagine that Godflesh must have sensed my concerns (Obviously!) because not only has their new album been slated for a Fall 2014 release but, to tide fans over, they’ll also be releasing an EP entitled Decline & Fall on June 2nd.

This is what you’ve been waiting for kiddies! The first new Godflesh material in 13 years (Along with the cover of Slaughter’s “F.O.D.” released as part of Decibel’s Flexi Series late last year) is here and it’s everything you hoped and dreamed for. Didja like Streetcleaner but prefer the vocal stylings a little more polished a la Selfless? Well, it looks like you got your wish here because opener “Ringer” reeks of both albums.

Want your Godflesh even more aggressive? Justin K. Broadrick’s bark is absolutely seething on “Dogbite” while “Playing With Fire” drones on with industrial aplomb. If you want the full experience, though, turn your ears towards the title track, “Decline And Fall”, which brings equal parts intensity and slight glimpses towards what the future of Godflesh hold.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for early Godflesh then Decline & Fall is sure to get you going and hyped for the upcoming full-length. It’s a nod to the past with a solid foot in the future and, hopefully, a vision of what’s to come this fall.

Decline & Fall is available through Avalanche Records on June 2nd. Get a copy here and here. North American fans can get their copy on bandcamp now.

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 3 (Prong, Ruining Lives)

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Prong can do no wrong in my book and, to be honest, I’m just happy they still exist because there seemed to be a time where that might not be the case anymore (Happily, that reality is in the distant past). Not only is Prong reinvigorated after 2012’s jaw dropping Carved Into Stone but the band has bounced back with one of the quickest turnarounds for a new studio album ever (For Prong, anyway).

The result is Ruining Lives which is undoubtedly more straightforward and more vicious than its predecessor. Probably the greatest surprise to be found on Ruining Lives is the amount of melody found within. Sure, it’s Prong through and through but RL succeeds the most when it takes the elements that made Carved Into Stone so great and experiments further. Where as CIS experimented with song structure, RL focuses instead on mastermind Tommy Victor using his voice in another way: to actually sing! Sure, the snarls and sneers are still there but the overall vocal presence on this one suggests a more mature Victor as lead vocalist.

For every thrasher like “The Barriers” and “The Book Of Change” (And boy, are those two thrashy!) there’s a pummeling song like “Windows Shut” with a chorus that’s just out of this world for Prong. Or take “Remove, Separate Self” which combines all the shredding Prong is synonymous for with another chorus that makes the song destined to be the next great crowd pleaser . Producer Steve Evetts returns once again to craft this next Prong classic along with new members Art Cruz and Jason Christopher on drums and bass, respectively.

Ruining Lives triumphs and strengths (Which is the whole of the album) also further proves why Victor is a staple when it comes to new albums by legendary personalities like Glenn Danzig and Al Jourgensen and why he has constantly served as a mentor for so many young musicians because at this point, and with the bass/drum revolving door within, Prong IS Tommy Victor. Prong band camp perhaps?

Ruining Lives is available now everywhere. Get your copy here now!

 

Jokes! Episode 3: Patton Oswalt, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time

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Let’s get one thing straight: I love Patton Oswalt. Not in the crazy way Paul Aufiero loved the NY Giants in Big Fan but in a totally platonic “he’s a cool guy” sort of way. I proudly wore a “sadness bowl” badge on my lanyard for work after Werewolves & Lollipops came out. He inspired a fun-filled night of drinking and Death Bed as well because of that album! Currently I enjoy his stints on Justified and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.L.D  as I wear my Shirts And Destroy tee with an Oswalt quote about the Boston Marathon Bombers (I don’t really wear the shirt while watching shows he’s on, just wanted to mention I own it).

That said, stand up comedy-wise I fell out of love with Oswalt when Warner Bros. snatched him up and he released My Weakness Is Strong in 2009. I don’t know what it was about that album but it didn’t seem to have the bite of his previous efforts. Cut to today and his latest album, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, and Patton has won me back. Back on Comedy Central Records since 2011’s Finest Hour and being a newer Dad has done wonders for the man and his comedic stylings.

Here, Oswalt’s notorious wit is in full effect as he talks about being an equally great and awful Dad, what adorable racism is, and being an undercover comedian to catch prostitutes (Not really). He also shares why you should or shouldn’t live in Maine, Florida, and Berlin (Apologies to those who already live there). And that just barely scratches the surface of Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, a brilliant return to form by Oswalt.

Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time is available now everywhere! Try Amazon or Itunes or go right to the source at Comedy Central.