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.