Friday, August 31, 2012

Bandcamp Artists Of The Week: Beatriz Carnicero, and Shoveit!

I'm gonna treat you guys this week, and expose two pretty gnarly bands to you for your listening pleasure.  The first of which I believe is the first band from South American that I've talked about on here. More specifically, from Uruguay, a country that I don't think I've heard any kind of abrasive music from. Anyway, the band is called Beatriz Carnicero, and they are a pretty killer fastcore outfit. On their EP, "No Recess", they tear through 15 tracks in almost half the time, with only one track reaching the 1-minute mark. Pretty proper for a fastcore band, amiright? They're definitely more inspired by the old-school sound, as opposed to the modern-mindfuck fastcore bands like xBrainiax or Dead Radical. But they incorporate some tastefully placed stop-start passages(always good), and some more unconentional down-tuned riffs show up every now and again. Check them out!

The next project is a seriously vicious drum-machine grind band that fans of +HIRS+ and Agoraphobic Nosebleed should be all over like white on rice. This band, Shoveit!, will definitely appeal to those who still get a stiffy for the early 7" days of ANb. I wouldn't be surprised if this dude listens to their two self-titled EP's religiously. Short, short, short songs, fast drumming, and a super thick and distorted guitar sound. Not a whole lot of groove on here, but there are plenty of good, simple riffs to sink your teeth into. Check it!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Sakatat - "Bir Devrin Sonu" Review

One of the most debated topics in music is what constitutes as a full-length, and an EP. Where is the line drawn? What is the cut-off point where an EP can become a full-length. Some would argue that it's the actual length of the record, which is fair, others will tell you it's how many actual tracks are featured. Nowadays, it's made even more confusing and hard to tell. Gridlink have released two full-lengths, both not even reaching 15 minutes, and Sufjan Stevens released an EP in 2010 that reached an hour! I always thought that it was up to the artist to determine what their record should be labeled as. Take in point the new debut long player from Turkish mince-grinders Sakatat have entered the fold and probably frustrating a few curmudgeonly music fans by making it a staggering 8 minutes. Hold on to your butts, kiddies, this band wastes no time grinding the fuck out.

When it comes to grind that's on the more "mince-y" side, Sakatat were always one of the more advanced and polished of the bunch, and this record proves no different. The eight tracks on the album are all fast, visceral, and go right for the throat. It's refreshing to hear a band like this not just rehash a bunch of semi-fast, Agathocles style riffs. In fact, I would say that the band is pretty much past that style by now. They're more Insect Warfare than Archagathus by now. The band grinds out some serious riffs on here, and they all sound great thanks to the excellent recording. However, the album is far from perfect, as there are a few glaring issues that are hard for me to get past. First and foremost are the vocals. Performed well, yes, but I feel as if they were lazily written out. The main vocal pattern on here, for the most part, is a spaced out, two syllable bark ("Dur Dur!...Dur Dur!...Dur dur!..."), and it just keeps on repeating throughout most of the album. It really makes listening to the album kinda tedious, like I'm listening to the same song over and over again. Another thing is the drums, which can be pretty sloppy at times. There are a few moments where the drums are obviously decreasing in tempo during the blast beats. Even though these things may detract from making this album amazing, it's still pretty damn solid grind record. Definitely check it out, and try and pick up the single-sided 12" version if you can.

Rating - 7/10


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bandcamp Artist Of The Week: Gets Worse

GRUFF! Oh man, if you like your powerviolence mean, burly, and crushingly heavy, than you need to listen to the new album from this English powerhouse band, Gets Worse. These songs are fucking tough, and will kick your bitch ass wether you're asking for it or not. Seriously, this album has balls. The production is perfectly heavy. The guitars are just smothered in this deep, crunchy low-end, and the bass guitar just booms right along with them. Like, imagine if The Afternoon Gentlemen and Xibalba decided to join forces, and kidnapped "Unforgivable"-era John Hoffman to do vocals. It's heavy (very heavy) and has a nice balance of fast and slow riffs, it's fantastic. AND! On top of all this, included in the song, "Loner", is a sampled from on of my favorite Adventure Time episodes. Bloody brilliant. A 10" vinyl release of this should be out soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Column of Heaven - "Mission From God" Review

I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop, trying to plan out how I'm going to approach this review. Because I have a lot on my mind. People in the know about Column of Heaven, and this new full-length album, "Mission From God", should know that this release has been swallowed in gargantuan amounts of hype and praise. Normally, no big deal, things like that don't usually get to me and challenge my opinion on an album. I usually just acknowledge that things get over blown in the press, and I'm usually very good at not letting stuff like that influence my own opinions(as it shouldn't with any critic). But, I'm gonna level with you guys; the first several times I heard this album, I didn't get it. Let me rephrase that, I didn't get why this album was getting all of this praise(I guess I still don't, read on). And honestly, this really bugged me, almost to the point of anger. Every one I talked to, every blog post I read, every review I've seen, has been positive. Extremely positive, actually. And it frustrated me because I think that "Mission From God" is pretty undeserving of most of the things said about it. WAIT! Before you go spouting off in the comments about that statement, let me just preface the rest of this review by saying that I like this album. I think it's a good, enjoyable, powerviolence record, that has a few interesting ideas and utilizes them successfully. But that's the thing, to me, that's as far as I can go with it.

There's a few things that people might not know about this album going into it. The biggest detail of all, is that "Mission From God" is a concept album of sorts. Not in that it tells a story, but the general theme of the lyrics is about the English serial killer, Peter William Sutcliffe, or "The Yorkshire Ripper". A man who in the late 60's to the early 80's brutally killed 13 women in Yorkshire, England. The lyrics, in a nutshell, reflect how Peter Sutcliffes actions effected the physical and psychological landscape of the city, and of a couple members of the band. The album in a whole acts as closure for the band members effected. You can read their actual statements here, it's an interesting read. So yeah, it's an creative and pretty left-field concept for a powerviolence record, it's definitely more developed than your typical "album-about-a-serial-killer", I give it that. But I'm generally not one to concentrate on concept, and tend to focus more on the actual music, so let's talk about that.

The songs on here range from good, to great. They're all written well, performed well, and like I said before, utilize some interesting ideas and instrumentation. The sound of this album is rooted in metal-tinged powerviolence. I've heard people say it's "too metal", but I'm not hearing it, personally. Fan's of bands like Iron Lung, Extortion, and probably most obviously, The Endless Blockade, should find a lot to love here. However, that's as far as I can go again. The riffs on here are all pretty familiar for the genre, and the extra instrumentation is the most interesting thing this album has going for it, musically. The noise is fantastic, and it's orchestrated into the songs beautifully. The vocal manipulation in the 2nd half of "The Devouring Grief" and the deep, harsh noise rumble in the song "Entheogen" are do die for. Woodwinds and what sounds like Tuban throat singing is also used, which is definitely pretty cool But it's not like noise is anything new for powerviolence. It's been there since the genre started taking off, obviously with bands like Man Is The Bastard. Hell, I think I can say that most people into powerviolence have dabbled in noise/power electronics at some point. Which again makes me wonder why people are acting like this album is breaking new ground for the genre, it's not! I've read some articles where this is called a "smart powerviolence album". Why? Is it because of the concept? Is it because of the noise? News flash, noise and flutes don't make an album smart. Im my opinion, all the hype about this album makes it seem pretty pretentious. Which is a word I rarely, if ever, use when I'm talking about powerviolence or grindcore. Aside from that, the production isn't really to my liking, particularly when it comes to the drum tones, and the vocals don't have a whole lot of power or forcefulness to them. I guess in closing, I'm just trying to understand why people think this album is "smart" or "groundbreaking". I'm not trying to get people to stop loving this album, I'm just asking for some more definition. Good album.

Rating: 7/10


32 Seconds of New Pig Destroyer Is All I Need To Get Stoked.

Well fuck me for not being on top of my game when it comes to juicy new streams from the new Pig Destroyer album, "Book Burner". Definitely, probably, certainly my most anticipated full-length of this year, and the details the band shared with us about it in our recent interview with the band only fueled my roaring excitement (thanks again to Alex Cha!). And now, we can give thanks to the British, for streaming a short and sweet sample of a brand new song entitled, "The Underground Man", on the BBC 1 Radio site. Just going by this sample, it definitely lives up to the "fast and furious" sound the band has mentioned the album will have. It sounds like typical fast Pig Destroyer, which is definitely not a bad thing. The production sounds akin to the "Terrifyer" album, Adam Jarvis drumming sounds great, and is that the Grindfather, Richard Johnson's vocals I hear? Guhhh, so excited, guys! Stream the song here and experience the magic. Be sure to pick up "Book Burner" on October 22!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Holy Fetus", Batman! The New Hummingbird Of Death Song Is Killer!!

Everyone should know that my love for the Boise, Idaho fastcore outfit, Hummingbird of Death, burns deep within my soul. And that I've been craving to own their new, awkwardly named album, "Skullvalanche", ever since I heard of it's early stages. Not being a band to stick to the standard fastcore formula (their last release, a split with Titanarum, featured two 5+ minute fastcore monoliths), HoD said that this new album would be their most "experimental" yet. Showcasing more of a slower sludge/doom metal influence. Curious, is it not? Well, a new track from the album entitled "Holy Fetus" has just been released, and it is fucking awesome! For one, the production is fantastic. Chunky and full of crunchy low end distortion, definitely the heaviest the band has ever sounded! To go along with that, the vocals are much deeper and more guttural than any recording before. It really has an old-school death metal sound, especially in the first have of the song, which is the faster part. It has this awesomely riff with a great primitive blast beat driving it forward. The 2nd have is where the slower doom influences show up, and it's just crushing. Fucking A, this band can do no wrong! I've already pre-ordered the new album, you can too on the Deep Six website, and be sure to order all the other new releases the label is ready to put out!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bandcamp Albums Of The Week: Obacha & Skuff - Demos 2012

Double post!  Seeing as Skuff and Obacha both have recently released 2012 demos, and are touring the west coast together next month, it was all too fitting.
Obacha are a band that knows how to do fastcore right. These guys have been consistently killing it for a few years now, but their 2012 demo is their first release as a 3 piece (drummer quit, singer became drummer/singer) and it is a very apparent step up. With the sound being a lot dirtier than their previous output, these 8 songs in 4 minutes are as fast and frantic as any PV fiend could want. The vocal duties are also shared a little more, which rules and totally works for these guys. As you can tell I have a huge boner for their new demo, but all their stuff is worth checking out(  here's their first demo, the only thing not on the bandcamp).
*Edit: I was totally off, Obacha were still a four peice for this demo. They're even faster now. Here's proof.

Skuff on the other hand are a drum and bass two piece, playing super, super catchy and greasy PV.  Seriously, listen to “Wasp Eyes” and try not getting that shit stuck in your head.  Sweet samples, no songs longer then 1:10, and the least shitty Skuff production yet, what more could you ask for?  This new demo is showing up everything they’ve done previously so hard, while still being the perfect amount of raw.  These guys are going to be on that all drum and bass six way split with the almighty Water Torture so keep your eyes open for that as well. 

Check out the tour dates here , and listen to these bands at full volume!


Well Look At That, A New Rotten Sound EP Is Coming Out!

Well, this sure is awesome. Hot off of a very successful not-really-a-reunion tour with Nasum featuring vocalist Keijo Niinimaa, and a year after the release of their excellent full-length, "Cursed", it appears that our favorite Finn's, Rotten Sound, are nearing completion of a new six-track EP! According to a very non-schelaunt post on their Facebook wall, they seem to currently be in the mixing stages.
So yeah, I had no idea that they were even writing new material, so this is a very nice surprise! Hopefully it's all original material this time around. Their "Napalm" EP was cool, but I'm sure we can all agree that we would have rather had 3 more Rotten Sound songs instead of the covers. No word yet on when this new EP will be released, or any other details like that. Hopefully sooner than later!


Converge/Napalm Death - Split Review

Expectation can be a funny thing sometimes. If you're mainly an optimist, like me, then you would naturally expect only the better things in life to happen. But, say you're a music fan, and you get your hopes up for one release that you expect to be incredible. And really, in the case of this split 7" release between Converge and Napalm Death (both legendary bands in their respective genres) there should be no reason why it should be anything but amazing. Two of my favorite bands sharing a single slab of pretty looking wax? Sign me up! So of course, I was hyped. Especially coming after the astonishingly disappointing split with Dropdead that came out last year, I was really counting on Converge to deliver the goods this time around. So this time around, we have two tracks from each band, and on the Converge side, we get one original and a cover of Entombed's "Wolverine Blues". The original song in question is called "No Light Escapes", and it's very, very, very, very...underwhelming. Goddammit, Converge, I was really hoping for something excellent here!! For one, it's a modest 52 seconds long. Which would normally be no problem at all, if the track was interesting in the slightest. It's just a standard, fast, Converge song, like I've heard many times before. Some D-beats, some skronky riffs, some bass breaks, it's all familiar. None of it is captivating, or memorable. It also just isn't a satisfying amount of music. I mean, the Entombed cover is pulled off faithfully, and it's definitely heavy, but I just don't care about it. It doesn't even really register in my mind as being a part of their side. Maybe if they added another original track that was more fleshed out and memorable, I wouldn't be as aggro towards their side. Fortunately though, this split isn't a total disappointment, as the Napalm Death side really is excellent. Two new tracks from them too. The first one, entitled, "Will By Mouth", is one of the most straight forward, grinding tracks that the band has made in years. The band just sounds ferocious, particularly Barney, who just sounds gnarlier and gnarlier with every release. After that, we get a more standard ND track entitled "No Impediment To Triumph (Bhpoal)". This song, I actually think I like more than the first. Mitch lays down some interesting melodic, semi-dissonant riffs all over this track, and the song has a nice gradual build into a fantastic bridge. It really sounds like the band is having fun while recording this. The recording does sound a little flat though, I would have liked to hear some more low-end. Something that recent ND recordings seem to lack. Overall though, Napalm Death dominate this split in terms of good song writing, and enjoyment, for me. I'm again left disappointed by Converge's contribution, which is upsetting, but hopefully their new full-length will restore my faith in the band.

Rating: 6.5/10


Friday, August 10, 2012

New Music Alert: New Jams From Noisear and Sex Prisoner

The fall season is almost upon us, and that means tons and tons of awesome new albums, EP's, and splits are rearing to get released. Besides counting down the days until the new Pig Destroyer album us dropped, a couple of my most anticipated upcoming releases are the new Noisear record, "Turbulent Resurgence", and the 3-way split between ACxDC, Magnum Force and Sex Prisoner. And it just so happens that both the latter of the three and Noisear have new tracks streaming! Noisear have 2 new tracks, showcasing their familiar ripping, techy/spastic grindcore that fans should already know and love. The new album (apparently written and recorded all in the span of 3 days) will feature 22 tracks with noise from Winters of Osaka throughout. You can pre-order it now through Willowtip and Deep Six.
On the flip side, Sex Prisoner have one new track streaming right now, and it's a basic and brutal powerviolence assault. Crossed Out worship in full effect, this track keeps the heavy beat-down assault, but keeps an even balance of fast and mid-tempo. So fucking stoked. The ACxDC/Magnum Force/Sex Prisoner 3-way split will be released by To Live A Lie records. It will be one of the last records the label will produce before the year long hiatus. No word yet on when it will be released.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bandcamp Artist(s) of The Week: Slave & The Satans

Two bands this time around, not only to make up for last week, but because there's just too many cool bands I want to talk about, and I want to expose them all to you as fast as I can. You can thank me later. First up is a solid powerviolence band from Birmingham, AL. called Slave. They bring absolutely nothing new to the genre, but the songs they write are familiar enough to make their stuff instantly enjoyable for seasoned listeners. A good, semi-lo fi recording, well timed breakdowns, and shouted mid-range vocals, it's all key ingredients for an awesome powerviolence group. The five new songs on their bandcamp are included on their upcoming full-length cassette, and they have an upcoming split with False Light, so get stoked. 

Next up is a project that I have to thank my homie, Ross Gnarly of American Aftermath, for showing me (love you man!). The Satans is a one-man band spearheaded by a Mr. Nikolai Gawin, who some of you might know as the man behind James Doesn't Exist. Straying away from his usual drum machine grind blasting mayhem, The Satans is an exceptionally badass hardcore assault. I may not be a fan of the name, or the album art (and I'm gonna guess that most of you aren't either), but don't let that steer you away from this because it really is an excellent EP. Undoubtably, this is the best and most professional sounding recording that I've heard Nikolai do. The guitars are loud and trebly, the drum programming is excellent, and the whole album just has this constant momentum that keeps this thing engaging and fun the whole way through. And those riffs, goddamn son, those riffs. I can see fans of groups like ranging from Dangers to Every Time I Die digging this. Solid.  


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Interview: Pig Destroyer

Pig Destroyer have been pumping out some of the some of the most brutal grindcore since their creation in 1997. The band has just put the finishing touches on “Book Burner”, their newest record which drops October 23, 2012 on Relapse Records. I’m sitting in the control room of Visceral Sound in Maryland where I have in front of me vocalist JR Hayes, guitarist Scott Hull and sampler Blake Harrison. While newly-appointed drummer Adam Jarvis, also of Misery Index, shoots drum endorsement videos in the next room, we get to talking about the new record, studio, drummer and more. 
Photo by: Nick Martin

Cha: We had short straight grind on "Prowler in the Yard" and "Terrifyer", slightly longer songs on "Phantom Limb", straight up ambient doom on "Natasha". What can we expect from "Book Burner"?

Scott: Shorter grind. It’s a mix of a lot of different things but definitely a lot more shorter grind on "Book Burner" then there was on "Phantom Limb".

Blake: When Scott was starting to write and get some ideas, he asked JR and me what we wanted and we were like “lean, mean and stripped down”. Let’s just make it raw. I think the longest song clocks in at 4 minutes. The rest are about a minute long.

Scott: We got some new blood in the band and that blood wants to grind a little more so we’re trying to play to that strength.

Cha: Speaking of which, this new record is your first with Adam Jarvis on drums. Can you discuss the events surrounding the exit of Brian Harvey, the brief involvement of Dave Witte and any other drummers you had in mind, to Jarvis being a full time member?

Blake: Brian left. Let’s just leave it at that.

Scott: He had other issues in his life that sort of diverted his focus. He was our brother for 13 or so years, but I think the effects of the bad economy and his home life and work life kind of prevented him from being able to push forward with the band and we sort of let that situation dangle. 

JR: There was a little while where we thought we could work it out like we have in the past but it just got to a breaking point and we had to move on.

Cha: Ok, so Harvey is out. Where do you go?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Interview: False Light

False Light, if I way be so bold, is one of the most impressive new grind/powerviolence bands I've heard in the last couple years. Even when they put up half of their excellent self-titled EP on bandcamp, it was some of the best music I've heard this year. I've listened to their EP countless times, and it really is one of the most enjoyable releases of 2012. In my effort to spread the word and get every single person aware of the force of nature that is False Light, I bring you this interview, done via email, with their vocalist, Patrick(I never got his last name).

Operation Grindcore: Boring question first, how did the band start? 

Patrick: We were all in bands that either broke up or that we stopped playing in around the same time. Brian's old band was actually also called False Light which I almost did vocals for when I was still in my old band, but it never worked out. But I stayed in touch with him, and we finally were able to work on something together.  

OG: Your EP is one of the best things I've heard all year, How long did it take to write the whole thing?

PatrickThanks! We started jamming together as a band at the very end of 2011 and recorded in March. We had some songs come and go, but everything was done in that time. 

: The recording sounds absolutely disgusting and raw, in the best ways possible, of course. Did you guys intentionally go for a sound like that?

Patrick: Absolutely. Grind should sound disgusting. Our friend Cory who recorded us is a genius, and he nailed the sound we were trying to capture.

OG: My friend wants to know how you get your massive bass tone. Care to share the details? 

Patrick: For the recording we ran an Electric Volume Unit 120 through an Emperor 2x15 and used an HM-2 and a Peavey t-40. This gave us the tone we were 
looking for, but we also recorded a clean DI track that really pulled out a lot of clarity and punch. Nothing overly intricate.

OG: Do you guys generally prefer the rougher sounding recordings, or do you see False Light getting a more refined studio recording in the future? 

Patrick: We definitely appreciate quality studio recordings. We're not pretentious enough to act like that isn't something that is important. The trick is still keeping a gross sound but one that is clear at the same time and hits hard. 

OG: Where do your lyrical themes stem from? They's some pretty grotesque and negative things being described.  

Patrick: Like most aggressive bands, I tend to write about things that piss me off. Whether it involves politics, religion, animal rights, or human nature, it's easy for me to write about issues that trigger emotion. Which is why a lot of my lyrics also deal with really personal issues like anxiety and depression.