Having major issues (again) with my machine. Hope to get things running again next week. Until then the blog won't be updated, maybe use this time to go back and get the things you may have missed before the links expire or Nuclear Blast or Dischord records has them removed.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Some manly fucking late '70s Cleveland style Punk Rawk courtesy of No Talk, a band from who are not from the '70s or Cleveland. These guys are circa fucking now and calling the humid stink pit of Houston Texas home. This LP is some bare-knuckle shit that woke me from my apathy towards the ol' punk.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Here's the first album from the self proclaimed "Most evil band in Japan." Intercourse and Lust was released by the sketchy Modern Invasion label in 1997. Abigail's Black Metal is rooted in thrash and punk, the lyrics are brilliant Engrish soliloquies paying homage to things like nymphomaniacal witches, nefarious wizards, and the Yakuza, among other things. "Thrash til Die/To Glory of Attack/Attack with Spell/In my Attack," howls main man Yasuyuki on the track "Attack With Spell." Intercourse and Lust, I almost hate to say it, is a fun album, a record to spin with beer, lots and lots of beer and your bestest bros, and beer.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Generally most garage psych records bore me, too much of the same thing, useless cover songs, and most fall just shy of being truly heavy, or truly strange. However, The Jacks' Vacant World is just too enticing to be overlooked. Vacant World carries a darkness and a desperation that pushes it far beyond much of the typically saccharine psych-pop of the time. Some wild vocalizing and absolutely stunning guitar work keep the album interesting. The Jacks gets into gear with "Marriane," with it's strange crashy cymbals and almost free-jazz bass lines, wild styles indeed. "Stop the Clock" is a delicate glockenspielly track. The title track is another dour ballad that almost reminds me a bit of Leonard Cohen, if Mr. Cohen was Japanese that is. "In the Broken Mirror" has some of the greatest sounding fuzz guitar committed to tape, but "Gloomy Flower" is the standout track with Yoshio Hayakawa's pained crooning, the man sounds at his wit's end and although I have no idea what he is on about, I am assured that he fucking means it. "Love Generation" may be the most average track here, but still packs plenty of hooks. "Bari-Manji" is a bluesy lope with more Hayakawa wailing. "Where" is a laid back strut that sounds like it came from a Suzuki gangster picture. "Love" is a gorgeous ballad, and then the Vacant World comes to an end with "500 Miles from the Sky," a strange organ/vocal piece with spoken word. All in all, Vacant World is a trip, and a very satisfying one at that.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Another cassette treasure nicked from Terminal Escape. I couldn't resist, this little demo is just so fucking delicious. Dekoder hail from Montreal and play the kind of dark and desperate post-punk that you so crave. Drums and bass pound out a stiff backbeat while the maudlin female voice and brooding guitars convey a wealth of unflappable, infectious melodies. My only problem with this demo is it leaves me wanting more. Dekoder, if you are reading this, please please please make an album or twenty. I love you.
Monday, December 19, 2011
You need some NWOBHM right about now, I can sense it. Your bird ain't right, your boss is a fucking cunt, and even the berks down at your local boozer got you a bit mithered. Fear not, you bloody minge bags, After Dark is here to make everything pukka once again, with their one and lonely little record, a real roister doister of a disc for your bloody saft earholes.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Kenny Dorham's career trajectory was spotty due to the master trumpeter's ever-failing health, thankfully before his death in 1972 Dorham put out some great and versatile albums. As much as I love his entire body of work, my favorite Dorham moment is this 1956 club date committed to tape and titled 'Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia. First let's take a gander at the cover: Dorham in a hideous blazer grips an old mic, superimposed behind him is a landscape of urban rooftops at dawn. The whole package perfectly captures the smoky, seedy city vibe of the recording. Dorham's band, comprised of names like J.R. Monterose, Bobby Timmons, Kenny Burrell, Sam Jones, and Arthur Edgehill, slide and slunk through the Monk classic from which the albums title comes, as well as a number of standards and a few Dorham originals. The perfect late night, ice clinking in a stiff drink type of record.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Shiver were Switzerland's answer to the Krautrock boom of the late 60s and early 70s. They played weirdo, organ-heavy, psych, hung out with Geiger (who provided them with cover art) and released one pretty stellar album before the members went on to pursue other interests. Walpurgis, released in 1969, is a great album that suffers from spotty sequencing and a useless cover version of "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but the strength of the opener, "Repent Walpurgis" and "Hey Mr. Holy Man" redeem The Shiver. If you are one of the handful of people that went all fucky over that Paternoster album posted here sometime ago, I recommend checking into Walpurgis.
Friday, December 16, 2011
So the top ten lists are rolling in, and some of you may have noticed an obscure CDR demo being mentioned, a demo by a little known Seattle doom band called Bell Witch. The gracious dudes from the band were kind enough to send me a copy. Admittedly I slept on it a bit, for this I am foolish. Bell Witch have ex-members of Samothrace, so right there I should have clamored to listen. This isn't terribly unlike Samothrace, perhaps a bit more menacing and less delicate in parts than the former band. Bell Witch also can boast some pretty compelling vocal work on this release. A truly special band that will go on to do great things. Someone give them money to make an album. This is gorgeous.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
As far as all these new fangled bands looking to Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus, and Joy Division, please consider The Vanishing. The San Francisco/Berlin band churned out creepy cantos of Deathrock's dusty past over a decade ago, and I think they were one of the best at it. In the Bathaus was the band's follow up to their strong debut titled Songs for Psychotic Children, and while I love that album, this EP feels deeper and darker. Absolutely mandatory.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
One of my favorite Death Metal demos of all time, Finland's Necropsy were such a stellar band that really never got out of the demo barn. Someone may have had the good sense to release all this rare bloody gold into one abhorrent anthology but I am not certain. I do know is that Necropsy were a skilled group of youngsters that packed a certain clinical crispness to their bludgeon. Another World contains four absolutely mandatory tracks.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I am taking a break from The Hearse in order to focus on the recording of a new Worm Ouroboros album (to be released Spring '12 on Profound Lore) and then a quick jaunt over to Tel Aviv for a one off engagement with Agalloch. Cosmic Hearse will resume its activities some time in December.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Here's another lost Sunshine State Hardcore artifact, Blemish on Society's sole vinyl release, The New Beginning. These Tampa terrors were a bit late to the party issuing this bit of adolescent fury in 1988. Like recent Florida-based Hearse honorees FWA, these guys just wanted to play Hardcore, and they fucking did.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Eugene, Oregon isn't exactly a place you would equate with epic Heavy Metal. You might think of drum circles, smelly Anarchists, and Ken Kesey, but probably not the mustached metalions known as Lazarus Sin. Shame really because Intracranial Mass, the band's one and only release is a veritable treasure trove of steely, melodic, metal that deserves more attention. Perhaps the location or the Christian lyrics kept these guys out of the spotlight, who knows?
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Some of you may only know Herbie Hancock as the composer behind the immensely successful and influential proto-hip hop hit "Rockit." Long before the '80s, Hancock was already one of the most respected and beloved Jazz pianists and composers of the 1960s. Hancock's airy playing and elegant yet strange arrangements made him an instant favorite amongst Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff, and for this legendary date, they put him in the studio with the ubiquitous ryhthm section of Warren and Higgens, along with Freddie Hubbard, and the elusive Dexter Gordon. The results were stellar, but only hinted at the greatness to come. If this piques your interest in Hancock, I highly recommend spending some quality time with Empyrean Isles or Maiden Voyage.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Brace yourself for some caustic grindcore from Hungary and a band who operated in the early '90s under the mundane moniker of Subject. Diaphanous Writhes of a Soul was the band's second demo and was later pressed into an EP. Subject had a steady six year run that yielded a few demos, two full-lengths, and a four-way split with fellow Hungarian heavies Set Off, Mindcrime, and Loser's Lair. Admittedly I haven't heard any other Subject material but this demo is just so fucking great I am not sure I need to.
Monday, November 7, 2011
In the '90s the ambitious Future Primitive Sound organization set out to pair DJs of note with one another for live performances that would eventually be pressed into limited number CDs. There were only two sessions documented: one matching Cut Chemist with Shortkut and this one that combines the turntable treachery of Z-Trip and Radar. Sad that this brilliant concept yielded just two discs, but damn they are fine listening. And while Cut Chemist and Shortkut are by far superior in skill, Z-Trip and Radar's session is infinitely more enjoyable. The two skilled DJs cut, mix, and match a number of classic records, some of which may surprise and titillate your tired ears.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I have to thank my old Florida homie Justin Cudney for getting this hen's tooth off my wishlist and up in my earholes. So FWA maybe weren't the best hardcore band to come out of the flaccid dick-shaped state that I spent my first 18 years in, but they were an integral part of the scene playing many hectic shows and opening for whatever punk legends were ballsy enough to take the extra travel day down to Miami, only to have their tires slashed, and their merch guy pummeled by subtarded, sun-drenched skinheads. FWA managed to crank out this one EP in the midst of all the heat and chaos. The cover shows a typically South Florida landscape of big ominous skies and rows of buzzing power lines. It may not mean much to you, but to my eyes it is all the loneliness and ennui of my adolescence in one single image. So let's talk about the tunes, shall we? FWA were amateurish, that is for sure, but in that simplistic, rickety untalent was a charm that may even remind you of your own teen angst. Hardcore with little outside influence, no experimentation, no metal, no emo. Mohawks and skateboards, flannels and boots. Thank you so much, Justin and FWA wherever you may be.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Well it would seem that Cosmic Hearse now officially has a time-honored holiday tradition; The Dennis Dread Halloween Mixtape. I always look forward to his eclectically spooky grab bag of razor-infused apples and cianide-laced candy corny gems of obscure sonic fright. For those of you who don't know the man, or dare to doubt his creepy credentials, Dread is the man behind the great Battle for Art blog, Destroying Angels Magazine, and most notably the twisted artist behind all great album covers for Darkthrone, Autopsy and a few other notable noisys. So sit back and let Dennis Dread haunt your dreams.
Children's Black Mass ~ Quintessence
Quintessence was comprised of the entire Mazzei family: Michael, Edith, Francine, Terese and Loretta. The gang’s all here. Who are they? I have no idea. To the best of my very questionable knowledge, this score for John Russo’s 1982 “thriller” Midnight is the only thing they ever recorded. Our All Hallows Mass has begun, brothers and sisters....
One/Werewolves On Wheels ~ Don Gere
Meandering hippy evil from the best genre-bending satanic/werewolf/biker flick ever made. Recorded in 1971 and recently re-issued by the fine audiophiles at Finder’s Keepers. “Hey, we all know how we’re gonna die, baby! We’re gonna crash and burn!”
Sinister Purpose ~ Credence Clearwater Revival
Put me in coach. I’m ready to play. Today. Look at me. I can be. Centerfield.
God of Darkness ~ Bum
Bum was formed in 1964 in Essex, England and released this occult rocker in 1967 shortly before changing their name to Iron Maiden in 1968. Relax, their other jams are mostly longwinded and not nearly as menacing as this wild invocation would suggest. An altogether different bunch of limeys would go on to have much better luck with the name Iron Maiden. Catchy isn’t it?
Voyage Of Darkness ~ Jagged Edge
Street metal from Cleveland, Ohio circa 1982 that will kick your ass and make sweet love to your woman in the Chinese take-out parking lot. Punk upstarts like Minor Threat are often celebrated for hand gluing their records and booking their own shows but there was a whole microcosm of “privately pressed” hard rock that doesn’t get enough credit for keeping the D.I.Y. spirit alive during the 70’s and early 80’s.
Prince Of Darkness ~ Omen
Omen did everything right on Battle Cry. This is a perfect heavy metal record from the fucking awesome album cover art to the hyperactive ode to nocturnal emissions ‘Be My Wench’. If you’re in a band that professes to play “heavy metal” and don’t listen to Battle Cry on a regular basis you should probably reconsider your genre. And reason for living.
Werewolves On The Hunt ~ Stormwitch
Thanks to the musical genius and sheer determination of Steve Harris and Dave Murray, nerdy longhairs can waste the rest of their lives on youtube turning over obscure stones of NWOBHM and watching bands like Stormwitch clamber into the light. This is the lycanthropic power anthem from their 1984 debut LP.
Dead Of The Night ~ Demon Flight
You don’t see many Demon Flight patches sewn onto metal vests. That’s probably because their entire catalog consisted of three songs, including this shrill castle stomper featured on the very first Metal Massacre comp in 1982 that gets in and gets out without wasting our fucking time with moody intros, meditations on trees or general progression. Play this in a room full of black metal symposium types and watch ‘em squirm…
I Am The Skull ~ Danava
Danava has come a long way since their humble formation as a Goblin cover band back in 2003 and emerge from the theatrical basement prism as one of the most potent bands in the Northwest. Their new album Hemisphere of Shadows is one of the best records of the year. Ignore all the inevitable “hipster” and “faux retro” bullshit and enjoy some righteous banging.
Satan’s World ~ Crysys
More exceptional heavy rockin’ from Portland, Oregon! The mostly unknown and unfortunately spelled Crysys self-released one LP called Hard As Rock on the mysterious Long Street Records and it’s a smoker. I’d love to find the boulders along the Sandy River where they painted CRYSYS ROCKS and raise a few Budweisers from an inflatable raft in their honor.
Witches ~ Doomed
From the 1992 Doomed To Death 7” but widely heard for the first time this year thanks to Aphelion’s green vinyl comp, Doomed was an Autopsy side project featuring Chris Reifert, Danny Corrales and Petri Toivonen of Funeral. Corrales is one of the most underrated guitarists in any genre (and one of the nicest dudes you’re likely to meet) and if Reifert didn’t actually invent death metal he certainly twisted it to its greatest, goriest heights. Essential!
Buried Alive ~ Deathrash
Here’s a fun ripper from New Jersey’s Deathrash circa 1986 featuring Tony “Whiplash” Scaglione on drums! These dudes are actually back together and my talented pal Rich Rethorn did the cover drawing for their 2010 compilation Thrash Beyond Death which features a hapless mosher who is banging so enthusiastically that his grinning skull has exited his face. If this sounds too happy for a Halloween mix tape, go read some Edgar Allan Poe and fuck off.
Satan Theme ~ The Nightriders
The classy title theme to Al Adamson’s 1969 biker classic Satan’s Sadists, a “wild new movie all about the wave of revolution and anarchy sweeping the U.S. today.” Composed and conducted by Harley Hatcher and performed by The Nightriders. I just looked up Satan’s Sadists on IMDB and the Plot Keywords are: “Biker, Stabbed In The Throat, Female Nudity, Russian Roulette, Gore.” What else do you need to know?
Ballet ~ Michel Polnareff
If your ears feel as though they’re being molested by this creepy little synth number, it might be due to the fact that it’s the score to a creepy little 1976 film about a serial rapist. Side two is a queasy concept composition that plays like a bummer meth binge titled, fittingly, ‘The Rapist’. Fortunately overlooked by miserly record collector types due to the incongruous cover art, this one can still be salvaged from Goodwill bins.
The Hungry Moon ~ Xander Harris
Justin Sweatt is the enigma behind Xander Harris, one dude with a laptop, synthesizer and taxidermied raven who gets Italian horror soundtrack disco right! I scored this Contamination cassette a few months ago at a Portland gig in support of his Urban Gothic LP and was thrilled when he turned out to be a totally nice guy who can carry a conversation. I admittedly expected some greasy Klonopin addict with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and pointy shoes.
Halloween ~ The Coffinshakers
Tonight the graves are opening up! The beautiful baritone of Swedish Johnny Cash/Lon Chaney disciple Rob Coffinshaker beckons the bad moon rising and summons the children of the night. For fuck’s sake, can someone please tell Mr. Coffinshaker to drop me a line? I really want to draw a cover for this guy.
Little Black Bag ~ Gene Moss and the Monsters
1964 was indeed the “year of the monster” and this little ditty summarizes the ghoulish zeitgeist pretty well. There were tons of novelty records like this but Dracula’s Greatest Hits is distinguished by outstanding artwork by none other than Jack “EC” Davis! My copy still has the monster fan cards insert and, predictably, the drawings are far better than the actual music.
I'll Cut You Down ~ Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
They have a dumb name and recently signed to Rise Above records so I can already sense a Ghost-like backlash on the horizon but this catchy dirge perfectly invokes the urban malaise of Whitechapel circa 1888. Enjoy it while you can.
Spell Thrust ~ Cult of Daath
Cult of Daath don’t seem terribly active and didn’t bother responding to my adoring e-mail last year informing them that this tune from their 2010 Doomed By The Witch cassette is an instant classic. In fact, it’s one of the best metal songs of the past decade. “Ring the astral bell!”
Golem ~ Protector
In Jewish folklore the Golem was a hulking creature made of mud, sorta like Frankenstein with a kippah and an overbearing mother, so I figured I could slip this German thrash homage into my Halloween mix without stretching the parameters too much. “Myth? Truth? Who knows?”
Excrement Exorcist ~ Cross
I imagine these dudes living together in some filthy Seattle punk house that smells like moldy bong water. As weird as it sounds, I hear influences as disparate as Hellhammer and Integrity on their 2010 Never Ending Death demo and I actually mean that as a compliment. One of these guys was in Wormwood who played at my house back in 1999 and I remember them sounding vaguely like mid-era Neurosis but that’s mostly gone on this three track offering.
Halloween Queen ~ Acid
Some fans consider this third/final album the band’s weakest link and it certainly lacks the cool cover art of their preceding LP’s and Black Car EP, but it’s still a total rager. The Halloween Queen married Satan when she was 17! Is that even legal? For those who don’t already know, Acid was a Belgium rock band which boasted musicians named “T-Bone”, “Anvill”, “Demon”, “Dizzy Lizzy” and of course the beautiful Kate De Lombaert. Class act!
Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess ~ Ultimate Spinach
To my untrained ears this groovy epic perfectly echoes the CCR tune we opened with and merits the 8+ minutes it has usurped here. These mild mannered New England “heads” recorded a few albums of mostly lite rock back in the late 60’s but somehow managed to nail this sexy psychedelic death ballad in the process. Great Von-esque intro too!
Munster Mosh ~ Virus
Yup, the third-tier UK thrash band with some of the most poorly executed artwork to ever disgrace 12 square inches doing their uncredited 1988 rendition of the Munsters theme song. It’s not like I could put this on my Thanksgiving mix tape. Happy Halloween!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Here's a rare NWOBHM single that is sweet as diabetes and hotter than a poop. Sacred Alien hailed from the bullshit town of Manchester. A town known mostly for football hooligans and Joy Division. Both songs on this single are worthwhile rockers made better by the charismatic voice of a jerk named Sean Canning. This is one of those rare instances where both sides leave me wanting more. Shame these lads didn't make a full length.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
With Jazz the prevailing notion was that a player needed experience to truly excel at his chosen instrument, but when Clifford Brown was tragically killed in a car accident after a gig, it was a young Lee Morgan that filled his ginormous shoes, and caused people to question if experience was requisite to great playing. Lee Morgan was so impressive and prolific a musician it is impossible to think about Blue Note or Bop trumpet playing without Morgan immediately coming to mind. He was an integral part of Art Blakey's best and most noted Jazz Messenger's line up, as well as leading twenty-five sessions as a leader for Blue Note. Morgan's drug use was also the stuff of legend, and in 1961 it led to his dismissal from The Messengers. Morgan cleaned up and in 1963 struck pay dirt with his most successful album The Sidewinder. Over the next decade, Lee was unstoppable as a leader and a sought after sideman. Like Morgan's life itself, his death was dramatic, tragic, and completely unexpected. On February 19th 1972 Morgan's common-law wife, Helen, shot him in the chest on stage, killing him instantly. She served six years for the crime. The bulk of Lee Morgan's massive discography is brilliantly executed standard hard bop, though Morgan was not opposed to more avant styles (Search For New Land). It was incredibly challenging to find a single album to share here so I opt to go with Lee Morgan Indeed, his first session as a leader for Blue Note. Why not start at the beginning, right? The album features a great band: Horace Silver (piano), Clarence Sharpe (alto sax), Wilbur Ware (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The album kicks off with the vaguely sinister, oddly latin number "Roccus" penned for the session by Silver. Note how the whole rhythm shifts to a fast paced shuffle for Silver's adept solo then returns back to its original creep and lope. "Reggie of Chester" is a classic Benny Golson tune, it was these lilty metropolitan boppers that Morgan excelled at, immediately after the opening riff, he's off hot dogging the valves and showing the haters who the fuck he is. For me, the album's crescendo is the ballad "The Lady." Here Morgan and Sharpe's notes billow and coil around one another like trails from a lonely cigarette in a shitty dive, but then around the 2:13 mark, something (though I am not sure what) happens to the lady. It is a story told through brass and wood, and in a sense, isn't that is what a great Jazz ballad should be? "Little T" is another uptown scorcher this time written by Donald Byrd (that guy had riffs). Philly Joe Jones does a pretty spot on Blakey impersonation on the opening of "Gaza Strip," and Sharpe delivers some of his best soloing on the album. "Stand By" is another peppy Golson arrangement that showcases the talents of Morgan and Silver both. Indeed is a magnificent, but somewhat typical hard bop affair, it is also a great jumping off point to examine the career trajectory of one of Jazz's most beloved and skilled trumpetizers.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Cosmic Hearse supporter and friend, Dirk "Dino" Noben is a stand up motherfucker, and hands down my favorite Belgian on the planet (my apologies to Jean-Claude Van Damme and Plastic Bertrand). Over the years Dirk has turned me on to more than a few cool bands (and beers) from his country. The lastest was this masterpiece that so perfectly sated my recent thirst for devastatingly fucked up Funeral Dooooooooooooom. Wijlen Wij (I have no idea how it is pronounced) unleashed this hulking shoggoth of an album in 2007. Spiritually and sonically akin to Esoteric's colossal Epistemological Despondency. My sincerest thanks go out to Dirk and Wijlen Wij for sharing this behemoth.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Sluggo were a Hardcore band from Cincinnati Ohio in the '80s. They were kind of like a sloppier (these guys were really young) Minor Threat with a lazier vocalist. Contradiction was their only release and it does everything an '80s HC 7" is supposed to. Apparently these guys got older, and went in a more metallic direction, recordings were made but never released? Anyone want to share those?
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Dissect were yet another overlooked Dutch Death Metal band. After a couple of promising demos, Dissect signed to Cyber Music to release their debut (and what would be their only) album, Swallow Swouming Mass. For the record, there is no such word as "Swouming." Dissect were not innovators, or risk takers by any stretch of the imagination. The fare here is just no-frills, old school DM pummel, and that is exactly what makes this album a favorite for me. Swallow this.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Born in 1885, Papa Charlie Jackson eked out a modest living playing his Banjo/Ukelele hybrid and singing his ribald songs at medicine shows and on the streets of Chicago. In the 20s, several recordings were made. In 1972 an LP compiling these dusty delights from a bygone era was released by the brilliant Yazoo label. Most of these recordings were made with an audio horn rather than a microphone, and the technology of pressing records was still very new at the time, so almost needless to say, their is layers of hiss that often eclipse the music, but for me, this adds to the experience,and lends a ghostly, otherworldy feel to the whole thing.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Aeshma was the infernal collaboration between two Brazilian fiends, Impuro and Nocturnus Tepesh. Both have operated in several other devout Black Metal bands around their area. The Dark Misanthropic Woods is Aeshma's sole release, it was released in 2003. As you might have guessed, the production is terrible, the playing is sloppy, but the vibe is there. Some guitar overdubs and spooky keyboards seemingly added to a boombox practice room tape, not sure if there is bass, not sure it matters in these woods.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
This self=released single by an obscure Heavy Metal band might be just the thing to cure your blues. There isn't a whole lot of information about Satin Steel coursing through the tubes of the ol' interweb, but my searching did yield this: "The only website dedicated to the '80s rock band from Erie, PA....Satin Steel." The site has plenty of information regarding the history of the band, some great photos, and even a track that didn't appear on this single, the only official Satin Steel release. The a side "Kick Me Where It Hurts" is a slunky, hooky rocker. The b side kicks it up a notch with the oddly titled "Let's Not Die." Despite releasing a great little record that got some airplay and critical acclaim, and a move to Hollywood, Satin Steel never cracked the big leagues. Seriously, bro/sis, I know shit has been getting to you lately, just sit back, pop open a brew, and let Satin Steel make it okay.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Here's some mega-fucking-evil death/thrash from Spain and 1989. There were about a million metal bands in the '80s calling themselves Aggressor, most were pretty aggressive as I imagine, but for my money you can't do better than these venomous Valencians. They only managed to eke out one demo, Brutal Aggression, before they aggressed no more, but damn, what a demo it is. You get some Kreator style thrashing, proto-Death Metal vocals from some guys named Captor, Animal, Pelufo, and Chapa. Also want to add that this Aggressor has perhaps one of the coolest logos of all time.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Before we delve any deeper into this Jazz classic, let's get a gander at the cast of characters, the pantheon of absolute bop deities that "star" rather than simply play. Yes, this was the pinnacle of super group and all under the guidance and leadership of Oliver Nelson. So is it as good as one would expect? Absolutely, maybe even better.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Killing Children, were they children that killed, or is the name a verb? Not sure, and not sure it matters. These uncelebrated punkers hailed from Indiana, but this could have come from Southern California circa '81. Killing Children would've fit right in on one of those Posh Boy comps. You know, one of those bands that sits between punk rock and hardcore. When Tim Yo reviewed this little record in 1983 he so eloquently stated, "I really like this" I am inclined to agree.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Fuck yeah Torsten. By now you should know the deal. Torsten, a hopeful young Swedish Heavy Metal band from the bullshit town of Loddekopinge, releases one great single, and then fades into obscurity. The singer sounds kind of punk as he sings about how he is "the best" on the a side "King of the Nest." The b side, "Are You Ready" is a balls-out rocking call to arms. The two tunes here are excellent, spirited, and just plain cool rocking Heavy Metal numbers. Like most of these one-off FWOSHM singles, this is more fun than you should probably be allowed.
Monday, October 17, 2011
The Bay Area scene is interesting. It seems that every so often a whole crop of great new bands spring up but then a year later, maybe only one or two still exist. Lately we have been lucky enough to see the formation of such bands as Owl, Hell Ship, Badr Vogu, Pale Chalice, Lady of the Lake, Pins of Light, and one of my personal favorites, Lycus from Oakland. Lycus plays expansive doom with melodic flourishes. There is enough quality material to make this a regular listen. I imagine that Lycus, if they managed to stick it out, could potentially make an album that dominates and eclipses all other bands doing this sort of doom. Watch for them. And you can secure a copy of this tape here.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Cosmic Hearse will be inactive until sometime after the first week of October. I am heading up to the Pacific Northwest for Fall Into Darkness and an exclusive Seattle show with Agalloch. The blog will resume for about two weeks in October and then be down all November so Worm Ouroboros can finish our album and Agalloch can play a show in Tel Aviv. In the meantime, go back over the archives and get caught up. See you soon.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Before Eva O joined up with Christian Death she had a great, unsung Death Rock outfit of her own called Super Heroines. Cry For Help was the band's 1982 debut album, and it is premium gloom not terribly unlike Only Theatre of Pain in it's vibe. Some excellent guitar work soaring and twisting over rudimentary bass lines and herky jerky drumming. Almost like a blue print or a manufactured archetype of what Death Rock is without coming off like a parody. Great album.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Formed in 1986, Sorcery were one of the earliest Swedish Death Metal bands on the scene. Their demo beginnings were a bit more thrash, but by the time they eked out their stellar debut, 1991's Bloodchilling Tales, it was all about the Death Metal. Sadly, this would be Sorcery's only album. Around 1994 Sorcery split and the members went on to form two bands; In Aeternum and Fear My Solitude, neither of which were very interesting, in my opinion. Whatever, this rules.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Proclamation play live in front of a small, but dedicated, audience in San Francisco. If you are not familiar with this kvlt Spanish horde then let's just say that they worship at the profane altar of Blasphemy (with a smattering of Beherit.) You may not want to reward this kind of blatant appropriation, but these guys are hardly the only Blasphemy clone out there, but they very well may the best. Advent of the Black Omen was Proclamation's first putrid ritual of Satanic darkness (ie:album) and it was released in 2006 on the stunning Nuclear War Now label. After a brief intro, the unrelenting chaos begins. Lyrically there is quite a bit to chew on, but you won't be able to make that out (lyric sheet, another reason to buy this masterpiece.) Let's just say that over the course of Advent of the Black Omen, bitches copulate, bodies get covered in semen, anuses are kissed, goats ejaculate, crucifixes are burned, Baphomet rises, a fetus is crucified, a heirophant cuts his veins, altars are stained with the blood of the weak, all fears and nightmares come true, damned ones agonize at the shores of Styx, fallen angels march triumphant, corpses are incinerated, and towards the end, a scarlet monstrosity with ten horns rises with low tide. This sort of rumination on the visuals of hell would probably delight Bosch and Benjamin Christensen to no end, but alas Proclamation is barely known in their own time. Let's change that. Let us all march with with fallen angels, let us all stain the altar. Let us all kiss the anus of the master. Hail Proclamation, hail the Black Omen.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Shudder to Think really only can be associated with the DC punk scene through their work with Dischord records, nothing here is very punk. I recall describing them to someone as Fugazi meets the Cocteau Twins, but even that description seems lazy, and not all that accurate. Shudder to Think sounded like no one else. This may not appeal to everyone, all you tough guys may want to step out of the room. You probably won't be able to handle the wispy, feminine vocals of Craig Wedren. You definitely will struggle with lyrics about men in love, and dreams, and summer rain. The rest of us will wax and weep nostalgic for this sublime piece of '90s schmaltz.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Fuck, I love this. Sometimes I think if Infernal Majesty had a better name and weren't from Canada they might now be hailed as one of the more important thrash bands of the '80s. Seriously, have you heard this? Right out of the gate it's ripping with speed, and solos, and roto toms. None Shall Defy was Infernal Majesty's debut and these calamitous Canucks wasted no fucking time. Musically, these guys kind of worshipped at the same inverted church as Possessed and Slayer. Fortunately Infernal Majesty mixed up the tempos and had a firmer grasp on dynamics and arrangements than alot of their contemporaries. This keeps None Shall Defy. This is mandatory, even if you don't generally care for the thrash. This one may just change your mind.
Friday, September 23, 2011
A pair of panties was added to the provocative cover art on the reissue version of Uncle Sam's album Heaven or Hollywood, but that just makes the cover go from cool to corny. So what is the story on Uncle Sam? What kind of band with any real ambitions would choose a cover that was bound to cause a few problems? Well Uncle Sam were from Rochester, not Heaven, not Hollywood. But the sort of nihilist, sleazoid, bad boy, junkie rock that these fuckwits laid down does seem more akin to Hollywood. The band was fronted by a charismatic gent who sounds a bit like Alice Cooper at times and a bit like Eddie Tudor Pole at others. This is more artful and punk than say GnR or Ratt, shades of chequer-board power pop creep in. Heaven or Hollywood is a party but the kind with bad drugs and friends that will fuck you over. I like this album.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Uriah Heep's sophomore album Salisbury, is a very special bit of legendary crush. From the first track, David Byron's dominance as a forceful frontman is cemented. Monstro-riffs and kooked out Hammond organs, this may be Heep's most 'eavy work, even if it is their most unrefined. Maybe you always thought of these dudes as a junior varsity Deep Purple, and never really bothered to look into their catalog. Well, you're wrong and you are a horribly misshapen freak, but it isn't too late to right one of these wrongs. Dig into Salisbury then work up to the next three albums after it. The rest of you should just go to the store and get a Swanson's Hungry Man Dinner, the one with the Salisbury Steak. Do they even still make those? If they don't then just get some beer.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Guilty pleasures are for chumps. Why should you feel guilt because something gives you pleasure? Why would you cringe in embarrassment when one of your shithead buddies is thumbing through your collection and finds that Rita Coolidge or House of Pain album amongst the rare Corrupted and Paysage d' Hiver vinyls? I like Duran Duran, well the first three albums anyways. I like their uber-slick cocaine-on-a-yacht pop music, I like how they embody everything cum-soaked and greedy about the '80s. I like their hair, I like their white shirts. If you are my age and male you hated Duran Duran when this album came out. You hated them because every teenage girl in America wanted to be fingerbanged by Simon LeBon and John Taylor, and not you. The very existence of Duran Duran was a giant fingerblock. But listen now, plunge into the hymen tight rhythm section of the Taylor tots. Get the cosmetic keys (to my creations and times) of a haircut named Nick Rhodes all over your face. Snort a huge line of cheap, glassy guitars. Swallow up the loveless, semen-smooth vocals of a douchey dandy named Simon. Ahhhh, now you get it. This album is more evil than Beherit, darker than Bonnie Prince Billy, more lonely and crestfallen than a hundred funeral doom albums. It's the sound of the air conditioned plastic emptiness of the nineteen-eighties. It's blood flecks on an Armani handkerchief, it's the arrival of AIDS, it's the constant fear of Mutually Assured Destruction, it's anonymous sex, it's Patrick Bateman, it's cold legs in a cold city, it's whore's sweat, it's death. It's a whispered lie from the urethra of oblivion. And now I have spooked myself.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Who is your favorite Italian Futurist painter and composer? I know mine has to be Luigi Russolo. Widely regarded as the first noise artist, in 1913 Luigi penned his manifesto L'Arte dei Rumori (The Art of Noises) which categorizes noise into six groups:
- Roars, thunderings, explosions, hissing roars, bangs, booms.
- Whistling, hissing, puffing.
- Whispers, murmurs, mumbling, muttering, gurgling.
- Screeching, creaking, rustling, rustling, buzzing, cracking, scraping.
- Noises obtained by beating on metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery, etc.
- Voices of animals and people, shouts, screams, shrieks, wails, hoots, howls, death rattles, sobs.
Russolo, in his time, constructed many devices to generate noise, he called these objects Intonarumori. Among these inventions was Russolo's noise cabinets shown above. He went as far as to assemble an orchestra to perform alongside his machines. Audiences were baffled, angered, and often moved to violence by these unorthodox performances, and I imagine this pleased Luigi to no end. Luigi and his brother Antonio (who had similar interests and ideas) made a few recordings of the Intonarumori, but what you are about to hear is the only recording to survive the ages. The effect is unnerving, with conventional instruments accompanied by unearthly wooshes and tones and the occasional glossolalia vocalizings. You can hear, from time to time, the brothers Russolo become excited and the sounds they are producing. Sixty-three years before Merzbow or Whitehouse, Russolo was making sounds and terrifying audiences, and oddly enough, I think these recordings still hold a fair amount of unease. Now answer the question: Who is your favorite Italian Futurist painter and composer? I know mine has to be Luigi Russolo.
Monday, September 19, 2011
China Doll is the next entry in our seemingly endless parade of NWOBHM bands that never seemed to rock their way out of the sweaty pubs and cobbled alleys of whatever bullshit shire they called home. These lads hailed from the dreary seaside town of Poole in Dorset County. Besides China Doll, other notable Poole partyers include Greg Lake of ELP, Edgar Wright, and even J.R.R. Tolkein saw fit to live there briefly during his retirement, he did of course eventually return to Mordor where he was cast into the fires of Mount Doom. Anyways, China Doll, like so many of these fucking bands, released one single and then sat back and waited over pints down at the local boozer for the hairy knuckles of fame and fortune to come knocking. The a-side "Oysters and Wine" is a boogie woogie bar rocker that really gives the what for to some painted lady who thinks she's some kind of high society fancy-fanny bint. The b-side "Past Tense" starts off like a typically cornball ballad but jumps into gear and yields some passable shepherd's pie and darts rocking. Pretty cool little record, wouldn't really want much more China Doll than this. Go for it.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Paul Chambers was taken from the earth at the young age of 33 by tuberculosis. However in his brief life, Paul turned in outrageously brilliant performances on well over a hundred albums, including memorable sessions with the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Oliver Nelson, Lee Morgan, Thelonious Monk, Hank Mobley Jackie McLean, Freddy Hubbard...well just about everyone. Chambers also lead eleven sessions, three for Blue Note in '56 and '57. The third of these Blue Note dates yielded the amazing Bass On Top album. On this fine record, Paul Chambers, joined by Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell and Art Taylor, digs in to standards by Cole Porter, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, as well as others. There is also one original piece at the album's close titled Chamber Mates cowritten with guitarist Kenny Burrell. Dig into this monumental work by one of the most innovative and prolific bassists in Jazz history.