Friday, 30 September 2011

Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage

Wolves in the Throne Room
Celestial Lineage
Southern Lord 

The best artists within metal seem to have an air of mysticism about them. Ronnie James Dio possessed it in spades. Ghost are doing it pretty well right now, despite everyone's attempts to decloak them. Even Kiss had an aura with the whole facepaint thing. And Enslaved seem to have the ability to rapture us all with the Norse Gods, Vikings and more. That's just scratching the service. I'm sure there's plenty of bands out there who carve their living from the air, the spirits and more.

While those bands aren't exactly connected to one another in many other ways, it serves to show that mysticism in metal takes many forms. If Wolves in the Throne Room don't give you that air at the beginning of 'Thuja Magus Imperium', what with the chimes and the operatic vocals from the returning Jessika Kenney, perhaps you're missing something. It instantly takes you to a cold, harsh and desolate landscape where hope comes in small quantities. Use of such cliches is tired and old, but entirely correct. It sweeps through several different phases from here, as brothers Nathan (guitar) and Aaron (drums) head on the attack.

You'll notice the running themes of nature, the afterlife and more within - 'Woodland Cathedral', again featuring Kenney's vocals and organ over a doomy riff, almost makes for a real out-of-body experience; whereas 'Astral Blood' has all kinds of surreal going on, starting as battering ram blackness before wind and atmospheric effects briefly take over, introducing a brief harp solo, before the darkness returns to complete the ritual; and the closing 'Prayer of Transformation' really feels like the final act of transcendence, with a slow guitar opening the song before tremeloing into life around three minutes in, with guitarist/vocalist Nathan hallowing a final call to the sky, awash with ambience and minimal percussion. Within 49 minutes, the spiritual adventure is complete. A perfect end to a fine album.

The Wolves sound is gritty and as raw as the wasteland it inhabits, yet completely in harmonious existence with it too. That mystical feeling I referred to remains throughout, and while happy to attract other components, it retains a distinctly uncompromising, yet entirely encapsulating feeling. The multi-faceted approach is so that any of their releases, and particularly this one, need to be listened to as a whole to be fully appreciated. The individual tracks are great, but the experience has to be one as a whole. Wolves in the Throne Room fully realise this and deliver with aplomb.

Peter Clegg 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Here come Ufomammut!

There's a rumbling on the horizon - nope, it isn't Godzilla. Nor is it a Mega Shark or a Crocosaurus. Yep, its only psychedelic doom titans Ufomammut, who are heading back to the UK for a series of live dates sure to smush the designated venues into a pulp. It will be to be the last tour in support of current album 'Eve', with new material on the way. They've also just signed with Neurot Recordings, having caught the eye of Neurosis guitarist Steve von Till. Visuals will also be provided during the dates by longtime collaborator Malleus. Support comes from fellow psych monsters Morkobot, who are touring supporting recent release 'Morbo'.

Tour dates as follows:

3rd Oct 2011 – The Croft, Bristol
4th Oct 2011 – The Well, Leeds
5th Oct 2011 – The Continental, Preston
6th Oct 2011 – The Purple Turtle, London

This is sure to be a special set of shows, and is sure to a heady sonic brew designed to dazzle and fry the senses. Get on down.

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Evile - Five Serpent's Teeth

Five Serpent's Teeth

The new wave of thrash has reached its apex. Such was its love affair with the first wave, it was bound to reach a crescendo fairly quickly, and so it has proved. For some, it came and went too quickly; some still stuck in the 80's simply didn't deliver, some didn't get the credit they deserved, and a few seized upon the thrash ball and ran with it, to reap the rewards for simple awesomeness or for daring to bring the genre up to date. That paragraph is, as a mega thrash fan, equal parts heartbreaking, true and triumphant.

Evile certainly fall in the latter camp. I feel priviledged to have seen them in Huddersfield during their unsigned days because to have watched their rise into the metal stratosphere bestows a feeling of pride and awe. Having tracked them from the 'All Hallows Eve' EP through to 2009's 'Infected Nations', I was certainly looking forward to the next step in their career, although admittedly with quiet optimism, as I found 'Infected Nations' to be a bit of a grower. I needn't have been so cautious.

Whereas they hinted towards a move away from thrash on the previous record, 'Five Serpent's Teeth' sees Evile fully reembrace the thrash spirit with added groove and dynamic. The ten songs here are among the finest you'll find anywhere all year. The proof is in the pudding - the opening salvo of the title track and 'In Dreams of Terror' attack and strike with razor-sharp precision, the latter in particular possessing quite the shred. Straight away you'll also notice vocalist Matt Drake's increased vocal prowess, an instant sign of the work gone into making this record.

Lead single 'Cult' slows down the pace to a midpaced groove. A stab at organized religion, Matt Drake's wider vocal range really makes this song possible. It's accessible but without sacrificing any verve - it's hard not to sing along to the chorus of "all we ask is that you join our...cult!", before rocking out to the main riff the next. It's an anthem in the making. Collectively, they've fully harnessed the slower grooves and become a much more intelligent beast. The album continues to excel as it continues, the progressive angle of 'Xaraya', which gradually builds over the course of the song, culminating in another searing guitar solo from lead guitarist Ol Drake, and 'Origin of Oblivion', one of the finest all out thrash songs of the resurgence, charging through out before hitting a slightly slower groove at the end to the defiant shout of "I will not become machine!"
Proof of the elevated maturity of the band is evident particularly as the album reaches its climax. After the ripping assault of the first seven songs, 'In Memoriam' is a largely acoustic number throughout, featuring the Drake brothers' father, and ex-Pilgrym guitarist Tony, and a fitting epitaph for their former, late bassist Mike Alexander. The bass riff is one he frequently played during rehearsals and feels extremely poignant. No doubt Mike's death hurt Evile, but equally no doubt it strengthened them as a band.

The album closes with two more knuckle-grinding thrash numbers, and its 'Descent Into Madness' that particularly stands out. If this was Bay Area in the 80's, it'd be held as a classic, cos the first half if an absolute rager. It gets really interesting when bassist Joel Graham, on record with Evile for the first time, gets the spotlight with a little bass solo to finish the song. It obviously owes to Cliff Burton but its bloody great to see.

Expectations were certainly high for this album and not only. have Evile met them, they've blown.them out of the water. Naysayers will still argue there's too much Metallica influence, but that's negligible. Hand on heart, if this had been the 80's we'd be hailing this as a genre classic - it certainly has that feel about it, such is the quality of the material. Let's ensure that in 2036 we're still talking about this album. I also make no apologies for labelling 'Five Serpent's Teeth' a thrashterpiece. Because any album you can't fault despite several listens has got to be worth the recognition.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Machine Head - Unto The Locust

Machine Head
Unto The Locust

The world at large went positively nuts when Machine Head released 'The Blackening' in 2007. It was positively great, although comparisons to the great 'Master of Puppets' were a little over the top. Needless to say, anticipation for new album 'Unto The Locust' has been feverish to say the least. Following years of touring for their previous record, how has it shaped their new release?

Well, for starters, there's some choiral harmonies from the band at the start of the three-part 'I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)'. It's definitely not like 'Burn My Eyes'. It's certainly not 'Supercharger'. It's certainly an eye opener in some senses, but not in others - it shows how far the band have matured that they are willing to incorporate such an influence. It soon heavies up though, with a real thrashy section soon to follow the intro, and a massive slow groove to finish. The album's most epic track, covering more ground in one song than most bands of their ilk can cram into one album.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Textures - Dualism

Nuclear Blast

When Textures first emerged in 2004 with their slightly more melodic take on Meshuggah mind-mangling technical metal, it’s taken the world at large a little while to come round to them. Efforts like ‘Drawing Circles’ and ‘Silhouettes’ deserved wider attention – the mixture of technical riffs, beats and ambience was certainly a winner and Textures showed they could pull it off with ease. Since releasing ‘Silhouettes’, a slew of (progressive) technical metal has emerged, each claiming to be original by going under a name derived from an apparent guitar sound.

That claim I refute on two grounds:

1. They wouldn’t exist without Meshuggah and, to a lesser extent, bands like Textures;

2. It’s not even a word! Hence it shall not be named here, and simply known as what it is: technical metal.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Farewell, Cosmo Lee

Those of you among the blogosphere, and particularly those of you among the metal community, may have encountered upon Invisible Oranges, the best of all the metal blogs out there, run by Cosmo Lee. That is, up until today. Yes, Cosmo is retiring from running the site, in pursuit of other things in life that up to now have been tied up from running Invisible Oranges.

Cosmo has put in an incredible shift since first starting Invisible Oranges, stating in his leaving announcement that he often worked 30-40 hour weeks, seven days a week, totalling thousands of unpaid hours and a constant battle with a huge surge in submissions and press releases. We serve and receive only a tiny fraction of this so you can imagine what the guy has been up against at times.

Invisible Oranges was probably the first metal blog I ever came across and without a doubt was the main inspiration in starting up We Must Obey. Cosmo’s writing is unparalled – he writes about bands and albums and music in general in a way that nobody else does. It’s not just crushing riff here, blistering beat there. Cosmo’s ability to write as though its an actual experience, a journey – that’s what sets him apart from other writers out there. His taste in music has led me to check out bands I would otherwise not be familiar with, and is about to conclude an epic series on each track from Metallica’s first four albums, which is simply essential reading!

With that in mind, we here at We Must Obey would like to extend hails and horns to Cosmo and wish him the best in whatever he does in the future. And to the people taking over IO, good luck in continuing with the best blog in the business!

Peter Clegg

Friday, 23 September 2011

Help save The Well from becoming a restaurant!

In the last few days, it’s become apparent due to campaigning on Facebook that the future of the Well (formerly the Joseph’s Well) venue in Leeds is in doubt, thanks to plans by the owner of the Joseph’s Well office complex to turn the venue into a restaurant, which he feels would be a more profitable venture. Along with many other like minded people who want to see live music in Leeds and the UK continue to thrive, we think this is a huge mistake.

The Well is located on the fringes of Leeds city centre, a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from Leeds rail station, and isn’t ideally situated for a restaurant for starters. In a city chock full of brasseries, bars, restaurants, cafés, etc., and really doesn’t need another one located out of the way of everything else. It already serves some food in the daytime; burgers, chips, stuff like that – that’s cool. It doesn’t need to extend beyond that. There’s plenty of other places to eat if that’s not your thing.

Furthermore, Leeds is crying out for venues supporting a range of music, particularly heavier genres from the underground circuit. Yes, there’s The Cockpit, which does host the occasional heavy bash but more frequently hosts trendy indie bands. We used to have the Bassment and Subculture – they’ve been and gone. And Rio’s moved from Bradford into Leeds, and then back again. To lose another venue would be a hammerblow to the underground punk, hardcore and metal scenes; we can’t allow this to happen.

The Well has hosted live music for over 15 years and regularly hosts up and coming bands from the local scene and has hosted many a great band over the years – to name a few, Gallows, Chimaira, Necrophagist, Converge, Eyehategod, Rufio, Electric Eel Shock, Black Breath, G.U. Medicine, Weedeater, Voorhees, The Eureka Machines, Municipal Waste, plus upcoming shows from YOB, Sick of it All, Ufomammut, earthtone9, Royal Republic and more. A little known band called The Kaiser Chiefs also played there before they got their big break!

Put simply, it’s essential for The Well to stay open as a music venue, and not as somewhere to simply scoff yourself silly. Please sign the petition, wherever you are, and help convince the owner of the premises that this is just a bad idea and that live music, homegrown and from around the world, is essential, and well and truly alive.

Sign the petition here. We’ve also added a widget in the top corner. Help us spread the word.

Peter Clegg

Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

Dream Theater
A Dramatic Turn of Events

Since founder member Mike Portnoy decided to up sticks and leave Dream Theater, there’s been two side stories to go along with the whole debacle – firstly, the remaining members long drawn out and highly publicised search for their new drummer – eventually settling on former Annihilator/Extreme sticksman Mike Mangini – while Portnoy still continues to try and hog the spotlight, filling in for Avenged Sevenfold before they too ditched him. The amount of spotlight that Portnoy seems to be trying to obtain is a little hard to digest. I’d rather he kept quiet rather than becoming something of a sideshow – particularly in light of the recent development in which he apparently issued a notice of summons on his former band mates over the use of the band’s name.

That drummer mystery aside, Dream Theater have otherwise got on the with job in hand of making their first album without their Portnoy, conjuring up ‘A Dramatic Turn of Events’. The first thing I would note about this record is that – personally at least – Portnoy isn’t missed. Anyone who doubted Mangini’s skills before will surely be shushed as he at least matches Portnoy’s standard throughout. As a whole, Dream Theater are still Dream Theater, progressive, complex and dynamic as ever, and while ‘A Dramatic Turn of Events’ isn’t going to be held as their greatest achievement, it’s still very much business as usual, and business right now is pretty damn good.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Hackneyed - Carnival Cadavre

Carnival Cadavre


is undoubtedly the world’s biggest metal market, holding the world’s largest metal festival (Wacken Open Air) and no shortage of metal fans at all. As far as rock and metal in general goes, look at each sub-genre respectively and they’ve nailed it. Hair metal? The Scorpions. True heavy metal? Doro Pesch. Thrash? Kreator, Destruction, Sodom et al. Punk? Die Toten Hosen. Industrial? Rammstein. I could go on and on, but the point is moot.

However, when it comes to death metal, Germany has yet to really corner the market that once dominated by Florida, USA, and Gothenburg, Sweden respectively That’s not to say they aren’t giving it a go though. Hackneyed emerged on the scene with ‘Death Prevails’ when they were fresh-faced teenagers, and they’re now on their third album, ‘Carnival Cadavre’. Such progress brings comparisons with Polish luminaries Decapitated, although their rise to prominence came about much quicker than Hackneyed.

Carnival Cadavre’, as its title suggests, seems to be a record about a macabre circus, and it sits within pretty comfortable groove-laden death metal territory, a little like Kataklysm or their compatriots in Centaurus-A. Some of the song titles are borderline amusing/cringeworthy, particularly ‘Damn (Your Dead Again)’, which sounds like a Seth Putnam castoff at first glance. Hackneyed do shine on this track though, a most mid-paced stomper but with a certain catchiness within the chorus to give it that anthem appeal. On other occasions, they’re going straight for the throat with devastating effect, most notably on ‘Bugging for Mercy’ and ‘Circus Coccus Spirilly’.

That said, much of ‘Carnival Cadavre’ walks a tightrope between traditional speed and blast, and going for the brutal slam kill – and too often does it fall for the latter. Up to a point it’s bearable, because it’s enjoyable enough and has enough quality to just get by. But eventually the sheen wears a little bit thin and though they do speed up a little more towards the end of the album, they still chuck in another beatdown or two when really it’s not needed.

It lets down what is otherwise a solid, if not spectacular, death metal record. Hackneyed are still a young band with plenty of time to improve and evolve, but relying to much maligned past trends isn’t really the way to go. All the fun of the fair? Hmmm…not quite.

Peter Clegg


Monday, 19 September 2011

Primus - Green Naugahyde

Green Naugahyde
ATO/Prawn Song

It’s been eleven long years since Primus went on hiatus, and in that time their cult status has only grown, following their rise to prominence in the nineties with their experimental jams of absurdity. After years of Mackerels, Bernie Brains and Fearless Flying Frogs, Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde, now reunited with original drummer Jay Lane, are back with ‘Green Naugahyde’, their seventh studio album and first new materal since 2003’s ‘Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People’.

There’s plenty of interesting themes abound on ‘Green Naugahyde’; ‘Jilly’s on Smack’ describes a friend the band lost due to a heroin addiction; ‘Lee Van Cleef’ is a tale of Claypool’s childhood, and there’s more in the form of alien abduction (‘Green Ranger’), stabs at reality TV and indeed our viewing habits (‘Moron TV’) and our obsession with eternally socialising online (‘Eyes of the Squirrel’)

There’s a heart of darkness within ‘Green Naugahyde’ that pervades through the course of the album. It’s not all grim but the aforementioned ‘Jilly’s on Smack’ has a deep rumbling bass groove, as Claypool refrains “Jilly’s on smack/and she won’t be coming back/for the holidays” at numerous points. There’s also a psycho-circus vibe of ‘Eternal Consumption Engine’, which ends with a bastard chant of “Everything’s made in China” In a weird way it’s a gleeful moment, and let’s not forget that Primus are forever capable of making catchy, hopping songs that give the three-piece their trademark quirk – of which there are plenty of those.

For example, ‘Last Salmon Man (Fisherman’s Chronicles, Part IV)’ continues the aforementioned Chronicles and leads listeners through a merry swamp march;
while ‘Tragedy’s A’ Comin’’ is one of the finest funk songs I’ve heard in a while, with a bouncing chorus that will worm into your brain and command you to jive; the aforementioned ‘Lee Van Cleef’, which doubles up as a tribute to the actor of the same name; and ‘HOINFODAMAN’, which is aggressive in its delivery but has enough pop and zazz to keep it uptempo.

Returning drummer Lane often takes a back seat in more ways than one to Claypool’s obvious ridiculous bass skills, but does get the chance to shine often enough too, getting a nice little drum intro on ‘Green Ranger’ and chucking in tight little fills and rolls all over the shop when called upon. LaLonde doesn’t even get quite as much prominence as on previous Primus records, but still backs up Claypool favourably, shoving in plenty of subtle licks and bridges above those numerous grooves.

With Lane back on the throne, the album definitely takes a more direct approach akin to the ‘Frizzle Fry’ days, rarely meandering and drifting off into jam experimentalism. The years have been kind to Primus – they’ve managed to return with an album that doesn’t rely on their previous success and still sounds remarkably fresh today. It might take a little while to grow on you but it’s worth repeated listening, and it’s pleasant to see that Primus haven’t lost their touch while in the wilderness.

Peter Clegg


Saturday, 17 September 2011

G.U. Medicine back in Huddersfield this coming Friday!


Yes yes, you heard that right. Barnsley rockers G.U. Medicine those of the mightily excellent 2010 release ‘Lords of Oblivion’ – and pictured here with previous guest vocalist Rocky ‘The Rockhopper’ Penguin – are heading back to Huddersfield for a night of explosive rock action supported by four of Huddersfield’s finest – resident kings of the chorus The Pretty Machine, experimental rockers The Coroners, plus 3 Ways To Fly and Died of the Smack.

It’s being held at The Camel Club, Huddersfield’s premier nightclub, on Friday 23rd September, and will feature rock DJs all night, followed by the Bedlam club night at 12am afterwards.

Tickets are £5, which are available through contacting the bands direct (we’ll give you the links for G.U. Medicine and The Pretty Machine), or direct from the Camel Club. Purchase of a ticket guarantees you free entry into Bedlam, if that’s your sort of thing.

So if you’ve nothing to do, get yourself down there for some of the finest rock action the UK has to offer.

Peter Clegg

The Pretty Machine – event information

Muchas gracias!

Just a quick shout out and a massive thank you to anyone who's viewed the site lately. Interest in the site spiked overnight when Catharsis PR retweeted Mike's review of the recent Cannabis Corpse show. We're really grateful for the extra exposure. It was nice to log in this morning and see the hits it generated.

We've excelled over 2,000 unique views for the site since it launched in May. It doesn't seem like a lot but it's a big deal for us. Thank you to anyone who's visited, read the articles, left a comment, submitted anything for reviews, and to anyone who's put stuff our way so far in general.

Laura's going to drop any time now, so that break will no doubt be coming soon. I'll hopefully have some stuff lined up to tide over the lull in activity.

Once again, cheers everyone! Keep visiting We Must Obey, and let us know if you think there's any improvements you think we could make, or if there's anything in particular you want to see - hit the Contact tab. And yes, we'll get round to a logo. Eventually.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 16 September 2011

Cannabis Corpse @ The Star and Garter, Manchester, 07/09/2011

Having arrived a little too early at the Star and Garter, I’m forced to contemplate, not for the first time, that this self proclaimed shit-hole should probably be avoided like the plague, as my wallet is raped repeatedly at the bar and we play pool on the world’s worst table. This is probably forgiven though, as upstairs is host to some of the best underground bands in town, and things look up as there’s movement on stage.

Slayer cake

I turned 27 last Friday. I jokingly asked for a Slayer cake.

Well, if you don't ask, you don't get:

It quickly disappeared. Piece by (delicious) piece.

Thank you to my wife Laura and my sister Sarah for their hard work on this one!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Alpinist/Masakari - Split LP

Split LP
Alerta Antifascista (EU)

The split, for me, is an often overlooked and undervalued way of getting your music out there. I’ve lost count of the number of bands I discovered just by picking up a split release by a band I’ve already heard of. Unfortunately, in this digital age, it seems that they’re firmly the realm of the underground nowadays, and often they’re given limited print runs. Still, the split is a valuable tool, and in this case, it was an introduction to Germany’s Alpinist, whom I might not have picked up on straight away were it not for Masakari, who came to my attention last year with the excellent ‘The Prophet Feeds’.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wormrot bring the 'Noise'

Wormrot announced via their Facebook and Tumblr pages yesterday that their new EP release, ‘Noise’, will be released “soon” via Scion A/V. This follows right off the back of their stellar album ‘Dirge’, which was the first album reviewed for We Must Obey and a real boot to the face at that. They’ve also just ground numerous venues in the UK to a mushy pulp. Put simply, ‘Noise’ will likely be quicker than a hiccup and dizzyingly loud and intense.

Scion A/V and metal in general make curious bedfellows, not least because Scion is a well known car manufacturer in the United States, and because any collaboration with metal using brings out the sellout brigade. (See the hoohah over Magrudergrind’s ‘Crusher’ EP on the label last year). But having given numerous top metal bands a push, I can’t see much harm in it, particularly if they’re handing out free releases a la Magrudergrind and Enslaved.

The tracklisting for ‘Noise’ is as follows:

01. Loathsome Delusions
02. False Assumptions
03. Outburst of Annoyance
04. Breed to Breed
05. Perpetual Extinction

We will be sure to review this bad boy as soon as we get hold of it. Hold onto your hats! It will be available as a free download via Scion A/V, and also on CD and 10” vinyl. More details as and when we get them.

If you’re in need of an introduction to Wormrot, Dirge’ is still available as a free download here.

Peter Clegg

Review Roundup: Mogwai/Belzebong/The United Sons of Toil

Earth Division EP

Rock Action

2011 has been a prolific year for Mogwai, releasing their 7th album ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’, and a spate of EPs, including this one. This latest release leans much more towards the atmospheric end of post-rock – rock used loosely in this instance, as this is largely piano and electronic driven. First impressions may get a bit of chin-stroking going, but it opens upon further listening.

It plays out a little like a mini movie-soundtrack, ‘Get To France’ being a simple piano melody to introduce proceedings, leading into ‘Hounds of Winter’, which provides the solitary vocal, and a hushed one at that. From then on its closer to what Mogwai have been producing recently, as ‘Drunk and Crazy’ starts with plenty of noisy electronic effects and later layers in the strings, as though it’s the setting for a climactic finish, while closer ‘Does This Always Happen?’ is more atypical, implementing a lone, sombre guitar with another classical flourish atop it.

While this doesn’t rock like some of the Glaswegians’ other work, the experimental approach still pays dividends and this is still no less impressive. ‘Earth Division’ is at times haunting, and completely exquisite and beautiful as sum of its parts. Mogwai will never die, but you will.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Iron Witch - Single Malt EP

Iron Witch
Single Malt EP
Witch Hunter

Since the halcyon days of Iron Monkey, the UK hasn’t really had a sludge band who’s punched their way to prominence in the same way Monkey did. The US continues to provide wave after wave of kickass sludge bands -  Eyehategod and Sourvein are still going strong, Buzzov*en are back, and newer bands like Weedeater and Thou are cranking out quality weed and hate fuelled bile. This isn’t to say the UK lacks a healthy smattering of such bands – that it does – but it’s very much a part of the underground, free of mainstream influence and continuing to manifest its nasty, swampy ways.

Now whether Iron Witch can make that leap is another matter – I’m not sure the UK rock scene’s current musical statement will permit it – but here be a band that possesses that same booze-soaked sound that ferments in so much classic American sludge, and indeed, they it with aplomb. I’m not suggesting for a minute that no other UK sludge band can provide this, and there’s plenty I could go on and recommend. But ‘Single Malt’ is a sure sign that we can do this sludge thing pretty damn well too, and make it look easy at the same time.

Potential for disruption

OK, I do the majority of work on this blog during the daily shift. I really shouldn’t, but that’s my guilty secret. If I didn’t, We Must Obey would not exist – I don’t have home internet. Besides, I get a lot done when I have a spare few minutes and generally it’s not a problem. But my job is about to change drastically and the word is the snooping is going to increase. With that said, and of course with my upcoming paternity leave, I'm sad to say there’s going to be some major potential disruption to the blog in the next few weeks and possibly beyond. Which sucks, but hey ho.

I will not let We Must Obey die. I’ve had some really positive comments from people whom I know read the site, particularly for the AC/DC and Wildhearts articles – more of those sorts definitely coming and we may yet have another contributor coming on board. Rest assured readers, I will find a way around this little problem and will ensure service resumes as normal.

I’ll keep posting up until the day the twins decide to arrive, and then I’ll decide what I’m going to do from there. What is certain is that We Must Obey will continue to provide quality features and reviews of kick-ass heavy music. Cheers everyone.

Peter Clegg

Monday, 12 September 2011

Flying the flag for hypocrisy

I couldn’t help but notice that Kerrang! are running an issue at the moment hailing the rebirth of British rock, supposedly led by Rise to Remain (led in turn by Bruce Dickinson’s son. Hmmm…) While there’s no doubt there’s a few British bands doing well for themselves right now, I’d say there’s considerably more in the underground who wouldn’t mind getting a bit more of a push, instead of being overlooked for numerous years.

With that in mind, Kerrang!, get off your high horse. British rock never died. It never went away. It just got shoved into a corner, swept under a carpet and locked in a shed like an unloved pet, by a magazine that left behind its glory days, shed its notion for diversity and instead began chasing anything with a foppish haircut and a penchant for mediocrity. Partly thanks to magazines like yourself, obsessed with image and the American dollar. With mags like you around, would Motorhead have succeeded if they had just come about?

The sooner we see proper rock and roll upcomers like Black Spiders, Hawk Eyes (to name but two) getting proper coverage, and more proper bands getting a push instead of yet more style above substance, I’ll actually believe you.

You’re late to the party. British rock did fine without you, and is doing just fine without you now.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Wildhearts - Rooting for the Bad Guy

I could well analyse the whole album as far as calling it under-rated goes. Although it was well received and charted at number 55 upon its release, I personally feel this may well have slipped under a few people’s radars, especially when you consider The Wildhearts’ classic record ‘Earth vs. The Wildhearts’, their plethora of classic B-sides, numerous tales of drunken and debaucherous behaviour, and more recently, their resurgence with the album ‘
¡Chutzpah!’, as well as Ginger’s ever cracking solo career. Hence, it makes perfect sense to cover this article in my as-yet-unnamed series on the songs and records we consider underrated (the first being the homage to AC/DC’s ‘Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)’). That and the obvious reason that ‘The Wildhearts’ was a kick-ass riff fest from start to finish.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Worthy of Your Time: Iron Witch

I’ve been wading plenty in the sludge and doom metal live scene for well over two years now since serving time with the 'Dwarf, and in that time, I’ve seen plenty of evidence to show that UK sludge/doom metal isn’t just in rude health, but might actually be on the rise as well. One such band making a name for themselves in this grimy, muddy scene is one we played with recently, Iron Witch. Hailing from Liverpool, their brand of whiskey n’ booze soaked sludge tore Wakefield a new one that night and it’s likely most other venues in the UK haven’t been the same since.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Evile are coming home! (Repost)

It’s been a good few years since Huddersfield thrashers Evile played live in their hometown. The last time they did, they’d only just signed to Earache following their crushing performance at Bloodstock 2006. Since then, they’ve experienced great success, releasing two killer albums, supporting names such as Megadeth, Overkill, Destruction etc., touring the festival circuit and touring across North America and much more besides. Tragedy struck with the death of bassist Mike Alexander in October 2009; however, the band has continued to go from strength to strength, riding the new wave of thrash metal with ease towards the very top.

Expectation is at fever pitch for their forthcoming new album ‘Five Serpent’s Teeth’, which is set to see them further expand their sound and hit new heights – the album’s currently riding high at #15 in HMV’s pre-order chart and closing on bland pop fodder! Check out 'Eternal Empire' after the jump.

It’s fantastic to see Evile flying the flag for metal in the UK and indeed flying the flag for Yorkshire talent, and now we have the news that Evile are to return for a one-off performance at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on Sunday October 2nd!

Support is coming from Toranaga and Grieve, and tickets are priced handsomely at just £6.00! So what are you waiting for, citizens of Huddersfield and beyond? It’s time to salute your local thrash metal heroes!

Peter Clegg

That HMV pre-order can be found here, complete with a signed photo by the band. Other pre-orders are available around the web as well.

Evile - Eternal Empire

Friday, 2 September 2011

Mariachi El Bronx - Mariachi El Bronx (2011)

Mariachi El Bronx
Mariachi El Bronx (2011)

The Bronx certainly turned a few heads in 2009 when they brought forth their mariachi alter-ego and let loose a homage to that finest of Mexican traditions that received positive appraisal and stood apart in the mainstream music world amongst a party of one. Their detractors will most likely either a) not find them trve or kvlt enough to be real mariachi, or b) will describe them as something of a novelty act.

That said, on album number two, Mariachi El Bronx continue to provide the yang to their main, hardcore punk yin, and the result is another batch of enjoyable American mariachi music. While the surprise element isn’t quite the same as it was on album number one, they still know how to write catchy, quality songs, and Matt Caughthran’s voice still provides all the passion necessary to capture the spirit of this music. Arguably, it’s a step up from the first album; with better all round production and punchier, more complex songs casting aside any doubt that this just for novelty value.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Big Business - Quadruple Single EP

Big Business
Quadruple Single EP
Gold Metal

Big Business never ever fails to sound heavy, and the trait admirably continues here on the ‘Quadruple Single EP’, their first release with newly-installed guitarist Scott Martin (400 Blows) and their first on their new label, Gold Metal. We’re still waiting for the full-length follow-up to ‘Mind the Drift’, but for now we’ll have to be content with this slab of sonic genius.

It maintains that thunderous feel throughout, opening with ‘Always Never Know When to Quit’. It’s right up there with other memorable Big Biz anthems such as ‘Grounds for Divorce’, ‘Just as the Day Was Dawning’, etc. The drums roll, the guitars squeal and the bass rumbles like the sound of hundreds, if not thousands of hooves pounding the savannah, as bassist/vocalist Jared Warren yelps over the top. Even with two guitarists on board, Warren and drummer Coady Willis are still the ones providing the horsepower. ‘Ice Cold War’ follows, a six-minute-plus machine that rumbles throughout. It shifts through a few different gears, culminating in a huge riff that gradually slows and crashes to an end.

‘City Ham’ isn’t quite as grand in scale but still maintains a heaviness and crunch in trademark Big Biz fashion, setting up nicely for the closer ‘Guns’, a one-chord stomp which leads to the gang chant of ‘guns are better than everything else!’ It’s a fine way to conclude proceedings, and one that’s guaranteed to have you repeating those words as though Warren is the drill sergeant, and you’re the grimy little maggot doing his bidding.

Put simply, Big Business continues to do what they do best – making quality heavy sludgened rock without giving a fuck about what anyone else does. Free of such restrictions, it’s onwards and upwards for this band. And it’s high time you paid attention.

Peter Clegg

‘Quadruple Single’ is streaming here. As soon as I find a decent link to actually purchase the thing, I’ll post it up here.