Monday, 25 June 2012

We've moved

That's right. After just over a year, I lost patience with Blogger's interface screwing me about and have decided to now transfer the site to Wordpress. Thanks for supporting us here, we hope you'll continue to support us there.

The new site can be located here:

See you there!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Deathwank/Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair - Your Scene Means Fuck All

Deathwank/Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair
Your Scene Means Fuck All

Deathwank emerged from the grind cesspool last year as Scotland's answer to Anal Cunt. Their songs were so ridiculously titled you couldn't help but thinking they were perhaps aping them a little too closely, especially given that their songs struggled to even reach 30 seconds a time. Here, they play the title track, their only track, at precisely six minutes. It's here they prove they can be more than pure imitators. It could well be the case that this is several songs rolled into one track, given the high number of time changes, stick clicks and paces on show, all nailed in one take. Whatever, its fucking genius. It's insane. It's sounds like the bloated offspring of Melt Banana and The Afternoon Gentlemen, getting bounced from wall to wall, with only the briefest of respites before getting submerged back into its torture cell with no true means of escape. Put simply, this is one of the grind highlights of the year so far.

Conversely, Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair contribute tracks, and in comparison to last year'a fantastic 'Contraception', is altogether more concerned with brevity than concept. This despite an intro and outro track, both sounding suspiciously like a TV theme tune in structure  bookending their side of the split. It's rampant and chaotic, only truly letting up with a truly phlegm-wretching snarl during 'A Film That No One Ever Watches', the only post-minute track they post.

It's two very different approaches to grind, though the end product is still the same. If it were a boxing match, I'd perhaps hand it to Deathwank on this occasion, simply for breaking out of their micro-shackles in favour of a singular take rollercoaster of insanity. Still, 'Your Scene Means Fuck All' is ridiculously great stuff all the way through, and has left me greatly anticipating each band's next move, particularly the new Wheelchair x4 album, which promises a sexual concept. Nice.

Peter Clegg

Download Deathwank's side here
Download Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair's side here

Stream each side of 'Your Scene Means Fuck All' below:

Deathwank Bandcamp

Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Wheelchair Bandcamp

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cannibal Corpse - Torture

Cannibal Corpse
Metal Blade

Let's get one thing straight before we continue here; one given with 'Torture' is that there's no real surprises to be expected. Everybody knows what Cannibal Corpse brings to the table, and that's brutality, riffs, blastbeats and buckets and buckets of gore. That they're still doing this on their twelfth studio album and still remain at the top of the death metal is testament to their merciless delivery time and time again.

'Torture' quite up there with recent albums 'Kill' and 'Evisceration Plague', but those two albums were mercilessly brilliant and that doesn't mean 'Torture' is a slouch in comparison. Far from it. There is an ever so subtle shift in dynamic without dramatically cutting at what Cannibal Corpse do. There's more than one occasion where they're almost in groove territory, which, if you've not heard the new album yet, is not something to be alarmed by – the riffs are still ultra heavy and George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher delivers his guttural vocals in much the same fashion too. There's also some sterling bass work by Alex Webster on here, the highlight being a ripping bass solo during 'The Strangulation Chair'. 
Cannibal Corpse - Encased in Concrete (official video)

To sum it up with various tracks is futile because Cannibal Corpse is Cannibal Corpse. But once again, Erik Rutan's has turned out a sterling production job and captured Corpse's bloodthirst on record supremely well again. One or two outlets have proclaimed this album as a career best although, once again, I would still take 'Kill' from their recent output, but even if you've heard everything they've had to offer before, this is still a worthy pick up, and you're one of the few people on this planet to have never heard Cannibal Corpse (where have you been?), now is as good a time to start as any.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Visions: Motörhead – God Save The Queen

So today’s the day of our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It’s also my second wedding anniversary!

Enough about my personal life though. Here’s some things you need to know about Motörhead’s cover of one of the Sex Pistols’ biggest hits.

1. I’d wager it’s better than the Pistols' original. It certainly rocks more.
2. They bothered to make a video for it. And it’s quality, as they perform on a flotilla around ol’ London town.
3. Lemmy. Without a beard! But still the coolest frontman you’ve ever seen.
4. Yep, definitely better than the original.

But that’s my opinion. You can weigh in with your two pennies below. Once you’ve watched the video, that is. It’ll only take around three minutes of your time and it’s more fun that the day’s celebrations, that’s for sure.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 1 June 2012

Shameless Plug: Wort - Worts N' All!

I'm not going to review this EP properly because although it doesn't contain me as a band member, it does contain fellow contributor Mike as well as my other Poison Dwarf bandmate Phil. They are now part of new band Wort, and play diabolical blackened sludge/doom metal. Completing the line-up is Sanhedrin drummer Sam, who I must say takes my place in this offshoot band and puts in one hell of a shift. Their debut EP 'Worts N'All!' was released recently and I unashamedly can say it rules. Four tracks of face pummelling sludge channelling the usual suspects of Black Sabbath, Bongzilla, Electric Wizard, Dragged Into Sunlight, Grief, Eyehategod and more besides. If I didn't have obvious bias I'd give it a full review – nonetheless, tracks like 'KDK12' and 'Plumplestiltskib' absolutely slam with all their misanthropic intensity – I personally love the whole thing and ain't ashamed to state it right here.

You can stream the whole thing below here, and the EP is available as a free download on Bandcamp. Go get it now and keep in touch with them – hopefully they'll be playing a show near you very soon!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 31 May 2012

This is not a tribute

For some reason, I feel compelled to devote time and energy to the subject of tribute bands – a niche of live music that really doesn't normally interest me and has no relevance to me as it's not a representation of incoming talent. With the greatest respect to these bands, as good as what they provide might be, I want to hear what the likes of Iron Witch and Zillah have got coming next, and not how good an impression of Phil Lynott a Thin Lizzy tribute act can do.

What has stirred the hornet's nest, so to speak, is my own gullability. I was drawn in by my local rock bar, The Parish in Huddersfield, putting out a status on Facebook asking how many people liked TURBONEGRO. The post got a fair few appreciative comments with one or two people perhaps wondering and suggesting The Parish were about to announce something big. I certainly did, I'm embarrassed to say. I wish I hadn't.

Maybe it was the fact Wheatus had just played there. Maybe it was because they'd had big acts in the last year or two. Maybe its because Turbonegro, much as I love them, haven't had as great a profile in the last couple of years as they did around the middle of the last decade, owing to ill health and the departure of frontman Hank von Helvete…to scientology. I'm fully aware they did recruit ex-Dukes of Nothing singer Tony Sylvester to replace Hank and they're doing the festival circuit this summer in support of new album 'Sexual Harassment'. But I could dream. Aside from the aforementioned Wheatus, the venue had recently lured Ginger Wildheart and Fleshgod Apocalypse among its big names to perform there. Surely, surely this was going to be the epic announcement the tease suggested.

Not so. Instead, what was announced was Turbonegra, 'the world's number 1 all-female Turbonegro tribute!' Several people appeared to like the announcement, others said they'd be on it in a shot. Out of respect I declined to comment further simply as I didn't want to appear to be criticising the venue's booking strategy (which I have no say in at all), and wasn't intent on upsetting good friends with my brutally honest assessment.

Which is as follows: Aside from the irony of an all-female Turbonegro tribute potentially singing songs such as 'Denim Demon' and 'I Got…(which I'm sure isn't lost on them), I really don't see the appeal. I've already seen the previous incarnation of Turbonegro three times, once at the Cockpit in May 2005 which I remember very well due to being on the verge of fainting from sheer sweat and heat exhaustion. That will probably be the Turbonegro experience for me that will never, ever be topped. But more importantly, the real Turbonegro are still very much active – why would I want to see a tribute act when I can wait for the real thing to come around again? And why would I want to tarnish such a memory by watching a band who, as good as they might turn out to be, will never be as good as the band they are imitating?


Surely that's a conundrum that most music fans that live in towns that bands don't visit very often face. Do you save your money for the day your favourite band announces a tour within accessible reach? Or do you take a wild stab at that really similar sounding tribute act who play the area often? Who knows when Kiss will be back around town? The temptation to instead see Kiss Alive! Or Hotter Than Hell, for example, will always linger for those wanting a Kiss experience but not wanting to fork out the high prices the real Kiss charge. But again, I was lucky enough to see Kiss when they performed at Donington in 2008, an experience I will never, ever forget as long as I live. I even have the copy of the show on CD if I ever get reminiscent.

I'm not a rich guy. I'm comfortable but that's through hard work and prudent financial sense. I've saved for the gigs I want to go to and more often that not, get the necessary bang for my money. I will never disrespect what bands like Turbonegra, Limehouse Lizzy, Hotter Than Hell, Slack Babbath, Motorheadache, Live/Wire et al do, and one day, my opinion may shift. But, while their heroes/heroines are still going strong, I'd rather sit back and wait. I'm not going to regret missing any tribute. I might regret it if I didn't take my chance there and then to see the real thing live while they were in the UK, or while they were going. Fair enough if the actual band you're aping isn't around any more. 101% Pantera is one good example, considering the real Pantera will most likely never perform again owing to Dimebag Darrell's death. Even then, I'd never feel desperate to want to go and see them.

Maybe I'm being a prude. Maybe I'm losing sight of the fact that a tribute band isn't really going to make a lot of money out of their fan service, and that what they do is something they do well. Putting the effort in to be their heroes, performing to a range of spectators, not all of whom will regularly chuck themselves into a moshpit and more than likely have only the most passing of interests in rock music. More likely than that, they probably just want a good time, and who can blame them?

I'd love for people to chip in with their opinions. It's not the most pressing of topics on a blog that is constantly championing fresh new bands. But I personally feel I needed to put it out there, because my own gullability certainly set me up for disappointment – disappointment at which I needed to vent.

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Visions: Primus - Lee Van Cleef

It feels like ages ago since Primus released 'Green Naughahyde', their first album in 11 years. At last, however, they have released an official video for the song 'Lee Van Cleef', which asks the eternal question burning on Les Claypool's mind - whatever happened to Lee Van Cleef? The question was apparently born out of Claypool's curiosity as to what became of the late Van Cleef, against the clamour for living legend Clint Eastwood, whom he starred alongside in some of the great Western movies in years gone by, including starring the villainous Angel Eyes in 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly'.

The answer apparently lies here. You see, if you watch 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' right through to the end credits, you'll see Angel Eyes reincarnated as a zombie. Apparently.

Peter Clegg

Monday, 28 May 2012

Dope Body - Natural History

Dope Body
Natural History
Drag City

The term 'punk' is more loosely defined than ever. Once a defiant statement of rebellion, its label has been applied to some many undeserving things that the lines of what is punk and isn't punk are more blurred than ever before. Evolution is a welcome thing but the watering down of punk's description certainly hasn't been. These days, unless you really sound and look the part and chime in with an acidic bark and a sheer defiance of authority, the next best attributable thing is probably to acts which exudes a hint of apathy and a smattering of could-care-less what you think attitude blended with a penchant for excess. That's perhaps how I could at least best sum up Baltimore's Dope Body, a quartet whose 'Natural History' is perhaps one of the finest dangerous, reckless and indeed careless statements of arguable punk today.

Friday, 25 May 2012

John Garcia and Brant Bjork respond over Kyuss Lives! lawsuit; Kyuss name dragged further through the mud

Deary, deary me. Now it seems its getting personal between the four men at the center of the pending lawsuit over the Kyuss name. As you may remember, Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit against former bandmates John Garcia and Brant Bjork over the use of the Kyuss name in relation to Garcia and Bjork's reformation of the band under the name of Kyuss Lives! Garcia and Bjork have remained largely silent. Until now that is, with this revealing e-mail exchange courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Some of the more interesting exchanges are listed below:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Live Review: Black Sabbath @ O2 Academy, Birmingham, 19/05/2012

First of all I would like to highlight the predictability of this "review", which can't realistically be called a review, because that would imply it was an objective analysis. Attempting to write anything too derogatory about Black Sabbath might be compared to asking a devout Roman catholic to sodomize our good Pope Benedict XVI. This wouldn't be a good example, because Black Sabbath are the creators, not an implement, secondly, I cannot vouch for the extent of sexual deviancy within the Catholic church.

We Must Obey is one year old!

Holy crap. Little did I know when I started this little blog on May 23rd, 2011, that it would be where it is today. Little did I realise I would have a nice little thing going on, with people from around the world viewing this little site and actually giving a crap about what I, and occasionally Michael, have to say, on subjects as diverse as rock, metal, live music, videos, popular topical culture, idiotic journalists, cake, beer, local issues, etc.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight - Going Home

Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight
Going Home

Despite my burgeoning interest in what the UK underground has to offer, which was sparked by the creation of We Must Obey, it has taken me until now to check out the fantastically monikered Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight. Only earlier this year they released an acoustic performance of Eyehategod's 'Dixie Whiskey', played on a ukulele and with a melody the song had never seen before. It was genius. Therefore when notified of the release of their new album 'Going Home', I was on it in a flash.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Graf Orlock - Los Angeles

Graf Orlock
Los Angeles

Having run the gambit on forging together classic action movies together with hardcore and grindcore noise, Graf Orlock can rightfully claim to be the undisputed kings of 'cinemagrind'. Some might have thought they might have run out of good samples to use following 'Doombox' and the 'Destination Time', but Graf seem to keep unearthing them. And where better to turn to than 1995 action classic Heat for four tracks of surging violence that reminds us why Graf Orlock are one of the most exciting extreme bands of our ilk.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Manchester City and the final day of the Premier League 2011-12 season: A musical analysis

Unless you've been living under a rock or are perhaps in a country not as obsessed with football as we are, you'll be well aware that after 44 long, painful years in the shadow of their arch-rivals across the street, after spending millions (billions?) of pounds and many other ups and downs, including a demoralising relegation to League One, Manchester City finally clinched the Premier League title by pipping the previous champions Manchester United on goal difference, courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers in which they were still losing 1-2 the 90th minute of the match. United's 1-0 victory at Sunderland would have been enough, but City were in luck – five minutes of added time brought about by a moment of madness from QPR's Joey Barton allowed City to finally make their tidal wave of pressure count, as goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero clinched City victory from the jaws of defeat.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Steak Number Eight - Dickhead

This is one of the most fun videos I've come across in a while. Not quite the most bonkers, but still. This delightfully titled track from sludgy Belgian rockers Steak Number Eight has come to my attention as these guys have received some kind press attention in the UK through one or two metal publications – although when you're doing videos like this in this day and age you're bound to get noticed.

It features a bunch of animal mascots pursuing a heinous banana who seems intent on pranking his chasers as a means of escape. That includes slinging turds at them. The mucky pup. In any event, it's a chuckle and certainly one that keeps your attention. The lyrics are slightly brainless but there's an undeniable quality to the song thanks to its riffage which I feel improves as the song progresses towards its final moments.

I must say as well, it's really hard to believe that this band has an average age of just 18! Lyrics to this song aside, they sound really mature for their age, a notion I haven't had since I first clapped ears on Decapitated in 2002. You're sure to be hearing more about these guys in future.

More info on the band can be found at their official site.

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hesper Payne - The Strange Tale of Samuel Gonzalez

Hesper Payne
The Strange Tale of Samuel Gonzalez
Works of Ein

This release missed my roving ear by some distance – 'The Strange Tale of Samuel Gonzalez' was released by Newcastle-Upon-Tyne's Hesper Payne right at the beginning of the year, and it wasn't until towards the end of last month, following some slightly earlier but nonetheless late buzz on another metal site that I chanced upon this band. I'm glad that I did, because Hesper Payne are another well kept secret that the U.K. north has churned out in recent years.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Saint Vitus - Let Them Fall

The only video I can recall ever getting round to watching of Saint Vitus was on a reissue of their seminal album 'V', which featured grainy black and white footage of Vitus playing at The Palm Springs Community Centre in 1986. 'V' happened to be the last Vitus album that featured Scott 'Wino' Weinrich on vocals, until this year with the recent release of comeback album 'Lillie: F-65'. Those ever supportive chaps at Scion A/V have gone as far to put out a video for the album's opening track 'Let Them Fall'.

Directed by Michael Panduro of Siegfried Productions (who has shot vids for Cephalic Carnage and Rotten Sound among others), it's a bit of a strange one. It's basically a lot of people apparently in some sort of agony or screaming at the sky, with no sign of the band at all. That said, the song itself isn't half bad, with Wino's signature vocals over the top of Dave Chandler riffs again! I've not yet heard 'Lillie: F-65' in full but this song is a good omen of what to expect from the return of one of doom metal's overlords.

'Lillie: F-65' is out now on Season of Mist records.

Peter Clegg

Sunday, 13 May 2012

16 - Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds

Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds

Having put themselves back in the sludge picture with their Relapse debut 'Bridges to Burn', 16 are back with ten more tracks of sonic bleakness, where once again positivity is properly shut out and only heavy misery remains, and vocalist Cris Jerue spitting out lyrical woes over various chug sludge riffs. They haven't evolved much over time, even up to now, and simply don't feel the need to. They convey their message very effectively indeed.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Bong - Mana-Yood-Sushai


Murmurs in the Bong camp have been quiet since Newcastle-upon-Tyne's heaviest four-piece dropped 'Beyond Ancient Space' upon us all last year, a record so earth shattering and mesmerising even in a sober state was I able to be taken away by the hum and the drone of the band's heavy brew. A few live shows aside, there's not been much to see or discuss about their activity since. That's probably just how they lie. No worries though, as their previous discography shows a prolific release record that has just been added to with new album 'Mana-Yood-Sushai'.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Primum

Oro: Opus Primum

Ufomammut's sound defies any natural explanation of doom. Intrinsically the core elements are there, the body hammer riffs, the booming drums, the thick sludgy grooves. The ethereal vocals, the spacey effects and the mystery with the band serve to convolute matters. Not that's it's a bad thing – everyone loves a bit of mystery. And then there's their lofty ambition to stand out from the rest of the pack. Be this their collaboration with Malleus to provide their stunning visuals or the concepts they employ, and you can see why Steve Von Till was keen to make them an addition to the Neurot family. Following on from the success of 'Eve', Ufomammut's next step is to unleash a two-part opus entitled 'Oro'. The first of those parts 'Opus Primum', has dropped like a proverbial atom bomb, and even the highest of expectations for the new relationship between Neurot and Ufomammut have been blown away thus far.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Planet Janet @ The Parish, Huddersfield, 28/04/2012

w/ Beretta Suicide, Hellbound Hearts + more

Disclaimer: This review includes a band that features my brother Davey on guitar. I don't give a hoot if you feel the review is somewhat slanted. Even if I'd have been born 5,000 miles away, been completely unrelated and not known a thing about any of these bands, these bands would have still rocked it as much as the below account details.

As with any gig these days, fatherhood takes precedent over the party, so my late arrival means I missed the first two bands (Escape Artist and Animated respectively), and only caught the last two songs of Hellbound Hearts' set. What I did see, though, I enjoyed. They reminded me of bands such as Backyard Babies and earlier Wildhearts, with some great classic synchronised rocking action on the frontline. Featuring ex-members of Terrorvision, expect to hear a little more about this band in the future.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Beastwars - Beastwars

Destroy/Witch Hunter

Some of the best new bands are the ones that go largely quietly unnoticed. That's the feeling I get with Beastwars, who were previously unknown to this country prior to being picked up by Witch Hunter Records, who are handling distribution of this album in the UK. That said, they received much critical acclaim back in their homeland for their debut album, and it was only a matter of time before the wider world got word of Beastwars.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Torche - Harmonicraft


It feels like ages since we had a proper Torche release. That is, if you discount the quicker than a hiccup release 'Songs for Singles' in 2010. 'Meanderthal' would have been an appropriate mantra for the band following the release of that album, with the following full length held up by line-up changes, singer/guitarist Steve Brooks getting back together with old band Floor, and a split with Part Chimp last year that featured not one but three Guided by Voices covers. Good things come to those who wait, however, and 'Harmonicraft' is by and large the follow-up we all hoped for.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Visions: Flayed Disciple - The Shrine of Dahmer (NSFW)

The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer isn't exactly new ground for metal artists to cover - Japanese stoner boogie overlords Church of Misery didn't miss the opportunity to add him to the list of killers they've based songs on, and grind legends Macabre had a whole album on him ('Everybody do the Dahmer!'). Even so, it hasn't stopped Flayed Disciple from tackling the subject of Dahmer head on. More so, they've only gone and created a downright nasty video to accompany it - plenty of shaky camera movement and grisly imagery make this an assault of depravity, occasionally cutting away to shots of the band, who pummel away at their instruments while their vocalists emits agonized brutal howls doing his best Chris Barnes impression (visually).

In all seriousness, we recommend you check out said video, after the jump, obviously. Flayed Disciple have been one of the leading lights of the UK extreme metal underground for a while now and their debut album 'Death Hammer' is released on May 28. On this evidence, they're going to tear the scene a new one.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

XII Boar - Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof

XII Boar
Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof

Last year we reviewed Hampshire sludge rockers XII Boar and identified a band with work to do, but with plenty of potential. Now they're back with 'Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof', another four tracks of raw power that signify a huge step up from the band.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Visions: Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast (NSFW)

I'm by and large a big fan of Municipal Waste, having been a big part of satiating my wish for thrash to be the in thing in my lifetime - I missed the original wave as I was blissfully unaware, due to young age, of the effect this style of music was to have on my neck one day. I've been quick to obtain their albums upon release and have enjoyed them all right up to 'Massive Aggressive', which was still a great album even if not quite on a par with the two albums that preceded it.

The 'Waste are back with 'The Fatal Feast' and the title track is the inspiration for a brilliantly and typically over the top video from the Richmond crew, as they engorge their way through a space vessel's crew and its rescue team. The track itself surprised me at first with its more melodic vocals - but its no less thrashy and old school and it certainly picks up a gear at the right time. Their bloodlust is seemingly insatiable and hence, its every bit the reason you should probably not let your boss catch you watching this. As comical as it is, there's always plenty of blood to be spilled in Municipal Waste's world, and they're not holding back here. After the jump.

Peter Clegg 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Feist/Mastodon - Black Tongue/A Commotion 7"

'Feistodon': Black Tongue/A Commotion
Warner Bros.

I just thought I'd add my two pennies on this given that despite not attending Record Store Day (due to personal responsibilities, not lack of support for the cause), I have managed to listen to this limited release 7" that caused quite a commotion (pun very much intended) building up to its release, not least because of the unlikely connection between Canadian songstress Feist and Atlanta, Georgia metal titans Mastodon, which developed following their respective appearances at the same recording of the Jools Holland Show last year.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Pelican - Ataraxia/Taraxis

Southern Lord

Returning with their first new material since 2009, Chicago's Pelican deliver unto us yet another EP – they do love 'em – with 'Ataraxia/Taraxis', their third release for Southern Lord. It's free of the distractions that were brought with 'What We All Come to Need', namely the numerous guest appearances and the presence of a vocalist (The Life and Times/Shiner's Allen Epley) on 'Final Breath' that became such a talking point for a band which, musically, has become more introspective of late. The new EP is a return to basics for the band, focusing squarely on the efforts of its four members, although there's absolutely no surprises from Pelican on this release, and truth be told, there rarely is, although their influences have seemingly shifted over the years.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Melvins - The Bulls and the Bees

The Bulls & The Bees
Scion A/V

The Melvins feel to have been around an eternity, yet show no signs of letting up their prolificacy. Indeed, 2012 is setting up to be an even busier year for them, with the forthcoming release of the 'Melvins Lite' album 'Freak Puke' almost upon us, following hot off the heels of the Scion A/V-backed EP 'The Bulls and The Bees', once again comprising the quartet of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and the Big Business rhythm section of Jared Warren and Coady Willis. Now in the 29th year as a band in one shape or another, the Melvins are still bang on form and firing on all cylinders, even if 'The Bulls and The Bees' isn't quite classic material, although still far better than anything you can do.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced to Life

Black Breath
Sentenced to Life
Southern Lord

Seattle's hardcore thrashers Black Breath have whipped up such a frenzy in the last two or three years after unleashing 'Razor to Oblivion' and debut album 'Heavy Breathing', while touring the blue hell out of both of them. Such is the fervour generated in this short space of time has inevitably led to 'Sentenced to Life' becoming one of 2012's most anticipated albums, but at the same time it's anticipation that should be tempered with caution. No doubt there are still a few people sniping with the 'Entombed-lite' tag, not just at Black Breath, but at the entire hardcore/d-beat movement that has recently been forged with huge backing, particularly from Southern Lord. And the surprise that Black Breath caught people with on 'Heavy Breathing' is no longer that. I hate to refer to that 'difficult second album' cliché, but it's true.

Friday, 20 April 2012

High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis

High on Fire
De Vermis Mysteriis
E1 Music

Despite seemingly continuous revelry, it feels as though in some quarters, High on Fire have yet to please all the purists, despite increasing acclaim for their work. Some would argue 'Snakes for the Divine' was lacking High on Fire's true raw power, beckoning for another 'Blessed Black Wings'. Others, myself included, would argue High on Fire don't need another one of those albums, or indeed another 'Surrounded by Thieves'. They seem to gamely go about their task with the requisite menace and intensity without any need to shift their approach for an audience which widens a little more with each release. Nevertheless, there will always be a few who can never be fully satisfied.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Overkill - The Electric Age

The Electric Age
Nuclear Blast

Within many walks of life, age is seen as a potential barrier to any further progress or indeed success. Within music and indeed heavy metal, it couldn't be any more the opposite. Showing absolutely no signs of letting up even as they get well into their fifties, New Jersey thrashers Overkill have unleashed sixteenth album 'The Electric Age' to the masses, off the back of the incredibly well-received and thoroughly awesome 'Ironbound', which no question was a huge shot in the arm for the band which arrived just as the thrash revival began to run out of steam. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gripe/Diseksa - Indefinite Detention

Indefinite Detention
Tombs In The Valley/Opaques

Regular readers to this site ought to be aware of Gripe by now, the Athens, Georgia, US grind/hardcore punk crew whose first two releases were reviewed by the site. Having originally been a three-piece, it now appears they've added a bassist to their ranks as their sound certainly has a slightly groovier dimension, and they continue their good form shown on 'Pig Servant' with six new tracks of slamming punctuating politically-charged ferocity, and five from their split partners for this release, Malaysian grinders Diseksa.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Pelican @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 09/04/2012

I can honestly say that Pelican have provided me with some incredible musical mementos, from their heavier early days through to their more recent melodic period, which on occasion has journeyed with me on an almost personal level, being the commuting man I am. Still, I'm not a cannot of any sort. I was oblivious to the fact they last toured over here with Torche in 2008 and only found out they stopped off in Manchester thanks to a flyer I spotted on my way home from a Meshuggah concert on the very same day.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Visions: Gurt - Dudes With Beards With Cats

In what has to be one of most perplexing yet original sludge metal videos yet, London sludge metal crew Gurt have come up with an appropriate DIY video for their new track 'Dudes with Beards with Cats', taken from the soon to be released split 7" with fellow UK heavies Dopefight (available here). Sandwiched between a slight unnerving sequence of meowing cats as the cameraperson shuffles into and out of the house is a sequence of mainly still images of cats, some content, some happy, some pretty miffed, the occasional unreal cat, and the occasional scowler/roarer, and some with dudes and dudettes, some with, some without beards. It's a boss track from the Gurt lads and hopefully the sign of more quality stuff from them.

On a side note, hasn't UK stoner/sludge/doom had a cracking 2012 so far? Let's hope it stays that way!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sloth Herder - Sluggard EP

Sloth Herder
Sluggard EP

The famous connection Sloth Herder have to modern day heavy music is that Jucifer's Edgar Livengood counts one of Sloth Herder as a cousin. The similarity between them ends there. Sloth Herder's debut displays four tracks of knee deep in the mud grindcore. All tracks hit around the two minute mark, so they're allowed time to breathe before violently fuzzing out. The low quality production gives it a blackened edge but it stays entrenched in grind territory, dipping a toe in sludgier waters on occasion.

I don't know if there's enough yet to set Sloth Herder apart of the zillions of grindcore bands stepping up for a crack, but 'Sluggard' is a reasonable first release. It's available for free via the band's Bandcamp page, so there ain't no reason for you not to give them a fair crack. Stream or download it after the jump:

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Every Time I Die - Ex Lives

Every Time I Die
Ex Lives

By now, the law of averages says that Every Time I Die ought to have a bad album by now. With each album comes a further upward swing in a seemingly endless trajectory skywards, and the amount of awesomeness their previous releases have brought coupled with their fans rabid enthusiasm and indeed, expectation, you could argue there might be one or two expecting ETID to hit a snag somewhere. Yet within moments of Keith Buckley yelling 'I want to be dead with my friends!' in the opening to 'Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space', its business as usual, setting the tone for 'Ex Lives' to become the best album of ETID's career to date.

I could easily leave it there having pretty much summed up that you need this album right now. But that wouldn't do the album's many highlights any justice. Keith Buckley's trademark wit is still rife: 'I refuse to be the only man/put to rest in a mass grave' ('Underwater'…) is one such delight from many and his voice lends itself to many other the album's catchy moments, of which I'm sure you'll be able to pick out.

Every Time I Die - Revival Mode (official video)

'Ex Lives' displays a huge range of ETID's influences old and new merging themselves to blistering effect. 'Holy Book of Dilemma' ups the speed and intensity, one of the heaviest songs on the record. The rockabilly beginnings to 'Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow' offer a brief respite but by and large this is perhaps the heaviest ETID record yet – Keith Buckley's howl at times conjures pure hell, evidenced by a blistering roar of 'I have declared a war' on 'Drag King'. For all its intensity, at times 'Ex Lives' does change the pace, and while fairly melodic in contrast to the majority of the record, the darkness of 'Revival Mode', with its catchy refrain of 'Thanks Lord/but I don't need any more/poor advice', is one of the record's stand-out tracks, while 'Indian Giver' even sees the band steering into Melvins territory with a hypnotic psych-tinged sludge riff.

It's still the same Every Time I Die we know and love six albums in, fourteen years down the line. Arguably their defining album, they're still loaded with swagger and packed with more answers than any questions that could be asked of them at this stage of their career, whilst making one unholy din. 'Ex Lives' is, to repeat, ETID's most accomplished album to date, still managing to stay one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to merging heavy-ass grooves and punk rock intensity with a bloody good time.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here EP

Chimp Spanner
All Roads Lead Here EP

You may remember when I reviewed Dutch tech-metallers Textures' new album 'Dualism' a while back, I refused to use a certain 'word' aimed to encapsulate their sound. This stance remains today. That doesn't mean I won't stop covering such bands, as evidenced by this particular review of the latest EP from Chimp Spanner, the project created entirely by guitarist Paul Ortiz. Ortiz does shy away from that particular label and prefers to describe Chimp Spanner as 'ambient/progressive metal'. 'All Roads Lead Here' is Chimp Spanner's second release for Basick Records, following 2010's 'At The Dream's Edge'.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Woods of Ypres
Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Whatever talk of this album there may be in future, the only certainty is that it will be forever overshadowed by the death of Woods of Ypres' primary creative force, David Gold, who died prior to the album's release when he was hit by a car whilst walking down Highway 400 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, near the end of 2011. Their deal with Earache should have been the beginning of a new chapter in the Woods of Ypres' story. Now, it's almost certainly the epilogue, brought to a tragic, abrupt and premature end. Woods of Ypres were certainly lauded in the underground for their effective blackened doom metal, but that reputation and recent events alone shouldn't have any bearing on whether the fifth Woods of Ypres album, 'Grey Skies & Electric Light', produces the results that Digby Pearson foresaw upon signing the band to Earache.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pelican tour begins this week!

Yes yes y'all, Pelican are hitting the UK's shores this week! We've been mega excited for this tour since it was announced way back in November last year. They're soon to officially release their new EP 'Ataraxia/Taraxis' through Southern Lord on Monday April 9th, a date which sees their gig in Leeds on the 9th as a record release show!

Supports for the tour are mostly locally based, with the exception of 'doom-folk' songstress Chelsea Wolfe who will be heading over from Los Angeles for two shows with the Chicago instrumentalists.

Saturday 7th – The Garage, London (w/ The Skinny Machines + Chelsea Wolfe)
Sunday 8th – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham (w/ Chelsea Wolfe + Bleaklow)
Monday 9th – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (w/ Blacklisters + Bleaklow)
Tuesday 10th – Stereo, Glasgow (w/ The Little Mill of Happiness)
Wednesday 11th – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (w/ Blacklisters + Bleaklow)
Thursday 12th – The Haunt, Brighton (w/ Blackstorm + Sea Bastard)
Friday 13th – The Cooler, Bristol (w/ The Death of Her Money + Black Elephant)

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Visions: Corrosion of Conformity - Psychic Vampire

The new Corrosion of Conformity video is like watching paint dry.

Just kidding. Or maybe not.

It's just a performance video but I'm digging the backdrop effects even if they don't contribute greatly to a video than doesn't greatly add to what is a cracking song from a cracking album. Scion A/V's last couple of videos haven't been that entertaining to previously - the Weedeater one for 'Mancoon/Turkey Warlock' was entertaining as hell. I just wish they could all live up to that standard.

Still, if you want anyone to do a performance vid, there ain't many who do it better than CoC.

Peter Clegg