Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Maryland Deathfest XI: My Five Favorite Sets

Well, another Maryland Deathfest has come and gone. This was my humble 2nd time going, after missing on the stupidly awesome 10 year anniversary line-up, there was no way I was missing this one. And it was a real treat celebrating all forms of extreme music with thousands of like-minded people, even if it was in the ass-crack of Baltimore. I got to meet a lot of awesome really cool people, make some righteous friends (shouts out to my NC bros), and of course, see an epic amount of awesome bands. The inclusion of the Soundstage venue, a space highlighting more of the hardcore and grind bands, was a great addition (though I have some mixed feelings about it), and made seeing a lot of these bands a lot more enjoyable. I narrowed everything down to five though, here were my favorite shows I saw this past weekend.

Infest: Y'all shouldn't be surprised. Ff course this show was going to be amazing, and was by far my favorite set of the entire festival. I knew this show was going to be rowdy, but goddamn if this wasn't the craziest show I've ever been too. The soundstage was packed, and everybody was ready to go nuts. Joe even started the show off by telling the audience that he told the security guards to prepare for the craziness that was about to ensue. Bodies were flying everywhere (apparently I stage dived a total of 5 times, according to my friend. I only remember 3), bodies were smashed against one another, and of course, the whole band was absolutely perfect. The inclusion of Bob Kastiz from Lack of Interest and Chris Dodge were great, and Joe is an absolutely killer frontman. Staring down into the audience, built like a brick house, and that awesome, commanding, classic hardcore bark. They played all the classics, and of course ended with "Where's The Unity". It was certainly found that night!

Melvins: The Melvins, by far, one of my biggest musical inspirations. Basically growing up with them, after I found a copy of "Houdini" in my car while I was riding with my mom, and immediately being captivated by the hypnotic crushing rhythm of "Hooch". Consider them on of my, "bucket list" bands. I knew this was going to be incredible the moment I found out that they did in fact, come with the Big Business guys in tow! Yes, this 4 piece Melvins was absolutely incredible. Coming on stage dressed in extravagant costumes, and plowing though crushing track after crushing track, with Dale Crover and Coady Willis's jaw dropping synchronized drum solos. Every second of this set was hard hitting, loud, and impactful. Buzz's voice hasn't aged a day. Hell, it might have gotten even more powerful!! The band wonderfully chose to play a lot of classic older track, including many near and dear to my heart, like "Honey Bucket", "Revolve", and my beloved "Hooch". Mind blowing set.

Full Of Hell: Truth be told, FoH was one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing. After completely winning me over with their new record, one that I am still crushing on hard, I knew that their set was going to be something not to miss. Though I almost did after getting painfully lost trying to get to the Soundstage venue (note to the MDF: staff for next year, please include some obvious instructions on how to get to the venue next time. Thaaaanks)!!!! But fortunately, I was able to catch it all, and man, it was scary intense. This set was just evil!! With the dark lighting, the harsh noise transitions between songs, and their amazing frontman, who wins my personal "Best Frontman Of MDF" award. An absolute force on stage, brutal as fuck locals, and throat shredding high vocals. This set still has me pumped.

Pig Destroyer: I was fanboygasming for this whole entire experience. Another "bucket list band" for me, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. They started the set off with some choice cuts from "Book Burner", even having Kat come out on a couple songs! But thankfully, they evened out the set with tons of choice cuts from almost all of their albums, including a few of my personal favorites (they played "Thumbsucker"!!). The real highlights were the tracks from "Prowler...", they pulled out "Junkyard God", leading into "Piss Angel", and the "Jennifer" intro track. They even played "Naked Trees"! Closing out with "The Diplomat" with Jason Netherton on vocals was a great way to end the set, and I definitely got a serious bangover when it was done. Only problem, they didn't play "The Machete Twins". C'mon guys!

Disciples of Christ: Little known fact; these guys and Triac released my favorite record of the year with their untouchable split 12". So seeing these guys was absolutely mandatory. I even got my nocturnal ass out of bed before 11 AM to get ready to see these guys. That's giving a shit. And of course, their set was amazing. After some pretty hilarious banter between the sound guy and the band, D.O.C. busted into a crushing 8 minute set (boo-ya). Opening with one of my favorite tracks of the previously mentioned split, "Hosed", and not letting up until their time was over. They even played some new tracks in the middle of their set, which were fucking great. Very excited for their new record to come out. Get wise to this band and listen to that goddamn split!!!

Hope you all had a good MDF. See you next year, maybe.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vinyl Record Of The Week: False Light - "S/T" 7"

Three cheers to the good people at Headfirst! and Dead Chemists Records for bringing us a gorgeous vinyl edition of False Light's debut self-titled EP. For those who are still living under a rock, this EP burst forth from the murky depths of the underground and crippled almost everything else I had heard that year. A vinyl release seemed only appropriate, and more than justified, and it seems like a lot of you agree. I've heard that this first pressing is almost sold out from both labels.

(All photo's by VII)

I've already talked endlessly about this record, so I won't take the time to regurgitate past praises. I mainly want to use this new article series to talk about presentation, and packaging, and quality, and hopefully I'll influence a couple people to pick up the record. Rest assured, the two labels responsible did an incredible job with the presentation. All new cover art is plastered all over both sides of the barn-door style sleeve, with a silkscreened obi-strip and murky, marbled vinyl.

I'm kind of glad that they distanced the aesthetic of this record away from the digital version, to give it it's own identity in a way. That being said, this art is pretty curious, and pretty abstract. The grimness of the old cover art was definitely well suited, but this is just as cool. Kind of reminds me of Feeding's art, or Rudimentary Peni.

The closing slow track, "///", is also absent from this record. A bit of a disappointment, since we aren't really getting the whole EP here, but I can understand why they did it, given a 7" record's time limit per side. 

Great record though, very happy with the release. I believe the band still has copies, and you can pick it up from distro's like To Live A Lie and Diseased Audio. False Light will also have a track appear on the EPIC "To Live A Lie Vol. II" 12" compilation, and should have another new record come out in the future.