Total Slacker: Not slacking at all on Slip Away

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Total Slacker’s latest album, Slip Away, is akin to a musical Oreo cookie. On either end, you have the crunchy exterior (In this case the Killing Joke rocker of an opener “Out of Body Experience” and the Bleach-ed sounds of “I Don’t Want To Be A Yuppie” to close) covering this gooey, sugary filling that just makes the overall cookie that much better.

Post-punk, Post-rock, grunge….what’s the point of a label when you have bands like Total Slacker just making great quality music? If the aforementioned tracks don’t hook you then any number of songs on here are bound to.  “Keep The Ships At Bay” is another solid rocker followed by the lo-fi drone of “Sometimes You Gotta Die” with a massive wall of sound which meanders into Pixies (and Failure) territory at times. Bassist/vocalist Emily Jane and Guitarist/vocalist Tucker Rountree complement each other perfectly on “U Ever Been Satisfied?” as their respective instruments speak to each other just as they do through their mics. Meanwhile, “Who Killed Kennedy” slams relentlessly thanks to drummer James Colon as Chris Topah adds that second guitar on top.

As far as sophomore albums go, Slip Away is tops. If you like your rawk honest and loud, then Total Slacker’s latest is definitely an album you’ll want to check out.

Slip Away is out now on Black Bell Records. Be sure to head over here to see where you can catch them live this summer (July 21st at Brighton Music Hall and July 24th at Pearl Street for us Massholes) and go here to get their latest album.

 

Cocksure’s TVMALSV is the only industrial album you need in 2014.

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Fans of Chris Connelly are in for a treat in 2014 as the eclectic vocalist returns to industrial in a huge way with not one, but two projects being released. There’s Bells Into Machines which sees Connelly partner up with his former Ministry co-hort Paul Barker and the RevCo-inspired slab of awesome that we’re talking about here: Cocksure!

Teaming with Acumen Nation’s Jason Novak, Cocksure’s debut full-length is a rollicking throwback with a firm foot placed firmly in the now. Were you a fan of early Revolting Cocks or the Connelly-era of Ministry in the early to mid-’90’s? Then you better not miss this one.

“Skeemy Gates” comes out swinging and easily lays waste to most industrial music out there today. Connelly, as always, is in fine form with a range that goes from Bowie-esque croons to “Cannibal Song” shrieks of madness instantly. “Alpha Male Bling” distorts Connelly on top of swirling, hypnotic Novak electronics while “Guilt, Speed, & Carbon” is almost The Damage Manual “Take Two” with its’ Geordie-like guitar line looped throughout.

If you’re craving some raunch, go no further than “Cock Ripped To The Giddy Tits” which has some hints of NIhil-era KMFDM swagger and would make for some fine pole dancing music (Imagine the booty shakes to Connelly’s “Hoo! Ha!’s”). “Silikon Suckaz” is even more perfect for that setting with Connelly at his most maniacal. Soon to be touring partner Richard 23 of Front 242 shows up on “TKO Mindfuck” further into TVMALSV  to really bring things full circle on a track that is instantly mesmerizing and a reminder that you can’t keep a good Cock down.

TVMALSV is the album you need if you’re looking for some old school industrial without having to go on a nostalgia trip. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it’s easily a must-have for any industrial music and Chris Connelly fan.

Cocksure’s TVMALSV is out through  Metropolis Records on August 12th. You can pre-order yours here.

MOTOFIGHTR mix Daft Punk with Buena Vista Social Club on Pacific Post Highway!

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Much like Captured Tracks own Tomboy, MOTOFIGHTR fuse organics and electronics seamlessly and effortlessly. On Pacific Post Highway, Expensive Looks’ Alec Feld and Miles Gabriel (Named for Miles Davis and Peter Gabriel. How awesome is that?) craft five futuristic jams a la Daft Punk without all the bravado. Forget futuristic. More like out of this world!

“Real Sex” and “Piano Fuck” are the perfect gateway drugs to get you hooked on MOTOFIGHTR with their seductive beats and lush vocals. The latter sounding as if it belongs in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. Throughout PPH, though, MOTOFIGHTR easily manage to funkify the most out there electro with some guitar riffs that’d make Bootsy Collins himself proclaim : “Daaamn!”

“Nomad” is a great example of that but it’s really the finale of a title track that takes MOTOFIGHTR to a whole other level. Take some Angelo Badalamenti-style synths and mix it with some Prince guitar licks and a sick bongo solo adding some Afro-Cuban flavor and you have a recipe for some fresh music, my friends.

Pacific Post Highway is out now. You can get yours here and find out more about MOTOFIGHTR here.

 

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 6 (Martyrdod, Elddop)

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I liken my first time listening through a Martyrdod record to my first experience with Nachtmystium’s Black Meddle, Pt. 1 in that the music is so utterly engaging from the get go yet the vocals are undeniably jarring for a virgin listener. Even more vicious than Blake Judd, Mikael Kjellman is an absolute monster behind the mic making Martyrdod’s fifth album and the dichotomy within a must own this year.

If you like Converge but could do without the breakneck pace, want more from Aaron Turner’s Split Cranium, and like your Entombed with their foot planted firmly in the Clandestine days then Elddop is an album you need to listen to.

“Nodkanal” opens up the floodgates and once that musical monsoon is unleashed, you better make sure you’re strapped in tight because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. “En Jobbigt Jnvel” is a headbangers delight and just pure thrashing madness. The riffs are urgent and intimidating with Kjellman’s and Pontus Redig’s guitar squeals and harmonies lighting the song on fire.

If you want it slow, then  you’ve come to the wrong place. While “Tentakler” might start off on the low end of the BPM spectrum,  it quickly gains momentum into another rock out so that minute reprieve at the beginning should be considered your “break”. “Slav Manual” is another rager and the title track that follows, even more so. Then there’s “Synd” which blisters and boils with sinister fury with riffs up the a-hole early on.

Elddop is out on July 22nd through Southern Lord. Pre-order yours here if you dare!

 

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 5 (Monuments, The Amanuensis)

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The next evolution of djent is here. Monuments latest album, The Amanuensis, is a blistering aural assault of machine gun riffs, technical mastery, and vocals that soar above the stratosphere only to strike down with visceral intensity at a moments notice.

From the instant “I, The Creator” fades in fans should already know they’re in for a crispy, metallic treat. Equal parts Meshuggah with hints of Roadrunner Records upstarts Five Pointe O while vocalist Chris Barretto channels Ra’s Sahaj Ticotin during meloidic moments and Threat Signal’s Jon Howard and Phil Anselmo at Monuments most animalistic times.

“Origin of Escape” slaughters senses next with an acoustic opening acting as a facade before the mayhem begins while “Atlas” is a little more straight up and eases on the tempo but not the force with which the message is delivered. “Quasimodo” is just a gorilla of a song that has John Browne and Olly Steele proving their guitar prowess on The Amanuensis once again.

Then there’s songs like the odd “Saga City” which starts, um, well you just have to hear it. From there it progresses into a sweet little Pop jam until the inevitable metal maelstrom with Adam Swan’s divine bass strums peaking in throughout. But if you want even more range, skip directly to Genesis-like closer “Samsara”. Wow. And lest we forget drummer Mike Malyan who slays on the hyper-aggressive “Jinn”, pummels with tribal aplomb on “I, The Destroyer”, and basically kills on every song here.

If you like progressive metal, you like it heavy, and you’re looking for a new sound this summer then be sure to pick up Monuments The Amanuensis today!

The Amanuensis is out through Century Media Records now. Pre-orders are available here.

 

1000Mods release Vultures, the world quakes.

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Vultures, by Greece’s 1000Mods, is filled with that kind of Wretch lo-fi aesthetic but produced in the Vista Chino era. “Claws” is a great example of that (Especially with an ending reminiscent of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop”).

But I digress.

1000mods is by no means a carbon copy Kyuss clone. These heavy rockers rise above the sophomore slump on Vultures with an album that is miles away from their stunning debut , Super Van Vacation. Experimenting more and expanding upon their sound (“Horses’ Green” alone blows apart the majority of SVV with its’ massive grooves) at greater lengths, Vultures preys upon all other posers and rises above to forge something new.

Giannis  and George blues soaked guitars on “She” are high points until their mastery of the instrument and the foundation of the feeling is established during the title track. Add bassist/vocalist Danni to the mix with Labros drumming his ass off and 1000Mods is THE veritable stoner rock psychedelic force to be reckoned with in the new age.

And then “Modesty” chimes in sounding like the bastard child of Kyuss and Clutch and all bets are off. Until the beyond epic instrumental “Reverb Of The New World” kicks in, that is (Just wait until the five and a half minute mark but make sure your seat belt is buckled before you hit that point).

Vultures is out now through The Lab Recs. Do yourself and buy yours here now.

Unstoppable Death Machines provide some “Single Clarity” on newest single!

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I don’t think there’s ever been a name more fitting for a band and the music they create then “Unstoppable Death Machines”. On their upcoming 12″, “Single Clarity”, the brothers Tucci yield impeccable skill on a completely improvised track that doesn’t relent for a second of its’ almost ten minute run time.

It’s a barrage of guitars and drums that hit like a nuclear bomb from second one. Billy Tucci’s playing is frenetic yet almost a metronome in spots with a sound reminiscent of Lars’ “trash can” overproduced St. Anger bullshit but, y’know, actually good. When the vocals eventually saunter in around the three minute mark, it’s like Jello Biafra is singing at you.

Take all the modern duos out today, throw ’em in a blender, and you still wouldn’t have the creativity and ferocity that Unstoppable Death Machines create on “Single Clarity” alone.

Need I say more?

“Single Clarity” is available on July 15th through Beat Imprint. Pre-order it here, and hey, the digital track is only a buck. What have you got to lose?

Lazer/Wulf bring some “thinking man’s metal” on The Beast of Left and Right

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Holy crap! Behold excellence! Are you still not feeling Mastodon’s evolution? The good news is that Lazer/Wulf is here to comfort you during this difficult time.  Some Metallica, some Masto, some Kylesa (They are on Retro Futurist after all), and a little bit of the (melvins) on speed make for a very interesting musical concoction.

Set aside all the aspects of The Beast of Left and Right that make it technically great and go with this: if you like to rock the eff out then this is the only record you need to own this year.

Okay, now back to the brilliant parts.

Nothing about this record is conventional which makes it even more, ahem, brilliant (Sorry, it’s true!). In some spots there’s no song structure but it still works so freaking well. Take opener “Choose Again (Right Path)”. Sean Peiffer, Bryan Aiken, and Brad Rice just come at you full force with their bass, guitar, and drum attacks respectively. When you expect the song to “start” after such an epic intro, it doesn’t. But then there’s a breakdown around the minute and a half mark. Then it gets heavier and a little mellow and then there’s some vocals around the six and a half minute mark. Makes no sense but is pulled off spectacularly.

“Lagarto” is a thunderous three and a half minute sonic vortex of amped up goodness with a sick bass solo leading to an all out groovefest. “A Conflict of Memory” is a spacey little ditty with hints of Tool and staccato bursts of guitar fury. “Beast Reality (Center Piece)” brings in some familiar themes as does “Choose Again (Left Path)” making for a monstrous second half.

Some bands are just too smart for their own good. Gods among men? Maybe. Luckily, you don’t have to be a member of Mensa to enjoy The Beast of Left and Right. You just have to like good music.

The Beast of Left and Right is out on July 15th through Retro Futurist.

 

Video View: Sex Hands, “Pivot”

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In the all encompassing category of “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover”, Sex Hands come out of left field with “Pivot”, reminding listeners of Caesars’ raucous “Jerk It Out” albeit without that organ. It’s a wacky video (Those eyes! Mad psychedelia!) for two solid minutes of jangly guitars, dreamy hooks , and solid beats on a song which may or may not be inspired by a particular Friends episode (It’s totally not. I think).

Anyway, Sex Hands might not be a household name on theses shores yet but with “Pivot” and their debut full-length right around the corner that’s going to change real soon.

Sex Hands debut album, Pleh, is out on July 28th through Faux Discx and Negative Space. Pre-order here and get an immediate download of “Pivot” as well!

 

Raum Kingdom deliver on debut EP!

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If Maynard James Kingdom fronted Neurosis the end result might be Raum Kingdom.  On their self-titled debut EP, Raum Kingdom set the bar very high as to what’s to come with five songs that are unrelentingly melodic yet intensely brutal.

Forget Isis. Forget Pelican. Raum Kingdom is the evolution you’re looking for. Equal parts Neurosis and Tool (Especially on “This Sullen Hope”), Raum Kingdom incite the kind of slow burn riot fans of that genre (and beyond) have been hoping for.

“Wounds” is a visceral monstrosity of a song opening the floodgates of what’s to come with vocalist Dave Lee’s screeches cutting through Andrew Colohan’s epic riffing and Mark Gilchrist’s thunderous, oceanic drum bashing. “Barren Objects” settles into a softer groove before a wall of noise opens up underneath Lee’s surprisingly soft whimpers while bassist Ronan Connor rumbles below.

This is just three of the five, people! To really experience Raum Kingdom, you need to sit down and really listen from beginning to end. Essential listening in 2014? Definitely.

Raum Kingdom is out now. Get yours here.