Archive by Author

From Ziggy With Love: David Bowie’s New Video for “Valentine’s Day”

16 Jul

More creepy video goodness from David Bowie arrived today in the form of this new video for “Valentine’s Day”. For all you vinyl lovers out there, Bowie’s latest record, “The Next Day”, was pressed into a limited edition red vinyl in May. But before you get too excited, the UK only release comes with a hefty price tag; $250.

Grab The SPF 666! New Summer Metal Releases Will Melt Your Face Off

14 Jun

Summer is here, and that means the time is right for me to tell you about six more metal releases you need to make room for in your record collection. Read on and listen to the latest sounds of Japanese serial-killer band, Church of Misery, the blunt-force trauma that is High on Fire live, the new Queens of the Stone Age, my thoughts on the new Black Sabbath record, “13”, and the first full-length from Austin’s heavy metal cowboys, Scorpion Child.


Scorpion Child – Self-Titled

Scorpion Child’s self titled debut is due out on June 25st (June 21st UK), and according to the band’s official site, “Scorpion Child rocks like 1975, like somebody scrawled Physical Graffiti all over southern rock“. A comparison that smacks you right in the face when you hear the vocals of Aryn Schwartz on the track, “Polygon of Eyes“. Guitars hurtling at 100 mph, backed by hard-crashing percussion? Check. Songs about booze, women, and rocking out on the top of a mountain? Check. Straddling the line between classic rock and 80’s hair metal, Scorpion Child has made a record full of sweet, summer ear candy. And for all you wax-loving metalheads, the band is also releasing the double record on aqua colored vinyl, etched with the Polygon of Eyes logo. Via Nuclear Blast.


Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

There must be something in the water in Texas, because there is some great metal coming from them thar parts this year. Thrash metal band Power Trip hails from Dallas, and their first full length, Manifest Decimation is a face melting masterpiece. It’s a hardcore adrenaline rush from the get go, not unlike the one you get listening to Pantera (another Texas export), while running from the cops after knocking off the corner liquor store. Tracks like, “Murderers Row”, and the drudge of “Drown” will make you form a mosh pit in your living room. Decimation also broke through to my inner 80’s headbanger with the  track “Power Trip”, and the flat out frenzy of “Heretics Fork”. Power Trip vocalist Riley Gale is in full mayhem mode throughout Decimation’s 35 minute journey of must-have, head-throttling thrash. Out now via Southern Lord.


Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork

I generally like to feature bands that fly a bit lower under the radar than Queens of the Stone Age. However, the band’s latest release, Like Clockwork, took me by surprise. Not just because it was good, but because it’s easily the band’s best release to date. Clockwork is full of beautiful melodies, lyrics, and whining, doom-y sounding guitars. Speaking of lyrics, Josh Homme somehow manages to coolly channel Shawn Cassidy, by working the multi-decade lyric “Da Doo Ron Ron” into the impossibly ear-wiggy track “If I Had A Tail”. As if Queen’s didn’t have enough power on their own to make this one of 2013’s best records, they also get some help from Trent Reznor, Elton John, and regular co-conspirtor, Mark Lanegan.


Black Sabbath – 13

As a huge fan of every version of Black Sabbath in history, and since the reception to the band’s first record with the original lineup in 35 years “13” has been somewhat varied, I thought I’d jump into the heavy metal fray with my thoughts on 13. First of all, I don’t think that 13 sounds like it’s trying to recapture it’s former sound and glory. I’m also not saying that 13 doesn’t harken back to the band’s iconic back catalog, because without question, it does, but in the most carefully crafted way.

Sabbath came together and made a record that sounds better than I had expected, and not like one that got pushed through a meat grinder for money, as I had feared. Tony Iommi’s textbook riffs are clearly the stand-out stars of 13. Sounding as heavy as he did in the 70’s, especially on the tracks “Methademic”, and “Live Forever”. Iommi proves that Sabbath’s classic stoner groove is still very much alive and well. Speaking of classic, “Damaged Soul” sounds so much like vintage Sabbath, it even comes complete with a harmonica-playing wizard. And what about Ozzy? I won’t lie; I’ve always been a huge fan of the man. That said, it’s entirely possible, that despite my 30+ years of adoration, even I wasn’t sure Ozzy was up to the task of manning the mighty helm of Sabbath’s satanic ship again. As it turns out, I was dead wrong. Osbourne’s vocals are strong and controlled; steady, and haunting; nearly matching Iommi’s sludgy, epic chops, track for track. 13 is full of pushed-to-the-limit, ominous, bell-tolling metal. And it appears that Black Sabbath’s fans agree, as 13 is currently poised to become the band’s first ever #1 record.


Church of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum

Thy Kingdom Scum is Japan-based Church of Misery’s fourth full-length. Scum picks up where the band’s 2009 record left off, and continues their obsession with writing songs about serial killers. Historically, the marriage of serial killers and heavy metal go perfectly together, kind of like Jack and Coke. Here’s Scum‘s bad-guy breakdown: “Brother Bishop” takes on Philadelphia murderer, Gary Michael Heidnik; “All Hallows Eve” is based on 70’s spree-killer, John Lynley Fraiger; and if you are a student of the school of serial killing, the thunderous, psychedelic track B.T.K. requires no explanation. Scum‘s dark focus gets laid back on the creepy track, “Cranley Gardens”, named for the address of Briton’s answer to Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nilson. There’s also completely shook up, non-murder-related cover of “One Blind Mice”, originally done by 70’s prog-rock band, Quartermass. Like San Fransisco’s Orchid, Church of Misery is also possessed by the ghost of early Black Sabbath. Thy Kingdom Scum is an awesomely heavy, utterly dark, fuzzy freaked-out record. Out now from one of my favorite record labels, Metal Blade.


High on Fire – Spitting Fire (Live)

The brutal force of High on Fire comes through loud and fucking clear on the band’s new live record, Spitting Fire. The double-live record’s production is so clean, it’s almost like being there. Which is what any live album worth it’s salty licks strives for. Recorded last winter during two back-to-back New York shows at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, and the historic Bowery Ballroom, all 15 crushing tracks from the band’s decade-plus old catalog will pummel you until you’re black and blacker. If you haven’t seen the veteran Oakland-based trio (a band that gives the almighty Slayer a run for their money if you ask me), live yet, you must let the unbridled power of High on Fire live, whip you into a frenzy by way of your turntable immediately. Spitting Fire is out via Relapse Records on June 18th.

as recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
as recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
was recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:
was recorded live in two marquee New York City venues; The Music Hall Of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. It was later mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA with additional engineering by Kurt Ballou. – See more at:

Spring Brings Sounds Of Doom, Southern Sludge, And Stoner Rock

9 May

Spring is here. Which means the arrival of more metal releases to help cancel out the sounds of the birds chirping at four AM. So, without further delay, here’s another set of six highly recommended new metal and hard rock records, that you should give a spin about.


Orchid: The Mouths of Madness.

If you love metal, then you are probably a Black Sabbath fan of at least one or more era’s of the bands existence. Ozzy, Dio, Gillan, I love it all. And if you’re banging your head in agreement to that last statement, you will love “The Mouths of Madness“, the latest record from San Fransisco doom band Orchid. I know it sounds impossible, but Orchid sounds more like Black Sabbath, than Black Sabbath does. Madness is the bands second full-length release, and while it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite, the last track, Wizard of War might be it for me. It is impossible to not dig on Madness’ powerful LSD-laced rock, and Theo Mindell’s soaring, vintage sounding vocals. Doom rock awaits you!


Coliseum: Sister Faith.

Sister Faith is the fourth record from Louisville band Coliseum. Released on April 30th by Temporary Residence, Faith is full of feedback, tight percussion, and a surprisingly clean metal sound. A beautiful and big sounding record, Faith quickly gets it’s riffy hooks into you, and never lets go. Among Faith’s many musical contributors, is Jason Loewenstein of indie cult band Sebadoh, and The Fiery Furnaces. Even if you’re not the most fist-pumping metalhead on your block, after listening to Sister Faith, you’ll likely be prompted to dig through the bands decade old back catalog, and filling some of the holes in your ever growing record library with other Coliseum releases.


Howl: Bloodlines.

How black and dark do you like your metal? If you answered “very” to either or both of those questions, then Rhode Island band Howl is going to shake your doom-maker to it’s core. Out on April 30th on Relapse Records, Bloodlines is the bands sophomore record. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of metal fit for the apocalypse, but Howl thrashed me over while I listened to it on a cold, spring day last weekend. In Bloodlines press release, the band describes the records sound as “the child of sweet southern riffs with “primal urgency”. Sold.


Ghost BC: Infestisumam

Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost formed in Linkoping back in 2008, and has built a substantial cult following over the last five years. Although at times the bands second record, Infestisumam, had me scratching my heavy metal hair, I wasn’t able to stop listening to it. The band dresses like netherworld church figures on stage, and their music reflects that with it’s sound. So what does black mass sound like at The Church of Ghost? It’s a wide variety of anti-alterboy music infused with organs, crashing percussion, chanting about Lucifer, airy vocals, and buzzy guitars. The records strange likeability is also likely due to the incredible production by Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver). Infestisumam is the bands first major label release (Universal off shoot, and current home to Soundgarden and Cut Copy, Loma Vista) but despite that milestone, Ghost isn’t for everyone. Still, my money is on the fact that Ghost just might give you something you didn’t even know you were looking for.


Black Tusk 7″ split with Dead Yet?.

Two new Black Tusk tracks make their debut on a 7-inch split with fellow Savanna metal band, Dead Yet?. Out now via Hyperalist Records, Black Tusk is readying a new EP for release on July 23. Both tracks, “Fearing Your Mind” and “Iron Giants” are standout heavies. In a recent interview, Black Tusk guitarist Andrew Fidler says that the bands music really doesn’t have a distinct message, but rather many collective ones. According to Fidler, much of the bands music deals with “the shortcomings of our fellow man, or their own, as well as religion, and control. But of course some of it is about partying, but in an “apocalyptic sense.” And since I know you’re still scratching your hair, wondering how a metal band from Savanna is actually a thing. Fidler confirms what you’re assuming. The music scene in Savanna is dead. While profoundly sad, it is perhaps the desire to fill that void that drives the band, who’s sludgy stoner rock vibe has been hammering it’s way along for the last 13 years. I was lucky enough to catch Black Tusk live last week, and am happy to report that much like the trios music, they show no signs of slowing down.


Tracer: El Pistolero.

It took about five seconds for me to fall in love with UK band Tracer, and their new record, El Pistolero. After listening to the entire thing, color me completely obsessed with the band and their grungy guitar rock. El Pistolero has legitimate vintage metal sound to it, (think Scorpions/Dio), but also possesses plenty of 1990’s NW throwback appeal. And if that’s not enough, as the album title would imply, Tracer throws in a little tex-mex-metal for good measure. With 13 tracks in all, you definitely get your metal money’s worth on this one. Out on Netherlands based label, Mascot.

The Melvins Cover Venom, Bowie and Queen On “Everybody Loves Sausages”

24 Apr


Everybody might not love sausages, but everyone definitely loves the Melvins.

DJ Cherrybomb

On Tuesday, the Melvins started streaming their new record online, Everybody Loves Sausages. From start to finish, the band brings it’s A-game to the album’s menagerie of metal, alt, pop and classic rock cover tracks. Sausages kicks off with a snarling homage to Venom, thanks to Scott Kelly of Neurosis on vocals, and the track “Warheadfrom Venom’s 1984 album, At War With Satan. The record then continues on it’s noisy upward spiral with classic covers from Queen, an indulgent 11+ minute cover of Bowie’sStation to Station” with J.G. Thirwell of Foetus on vocals, and 1979 Kinks track, “Attitude“. When it comes to Attitude, the Melvins simply own it. Much like Johnny Cash did when he covered the likes of Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails.

Other non-Melvin members appearing on Sausages include Mark Arm of Mudhoney, who supplied the vocals for “Set it on Fire” from Aussie band Scientists, and Jello Biafra on the track “In Every Dream Home a Heartache“, originally done by Roxy Music. Obscurity proves to be the Melvins’ friend when they take on early 80’s Sacramento band, Tales of Terror. The band only put out one self-titled record in 1984, but their crunchy, junkie business brand of raunch & roll lives on in future sounds from Green River and Nirvana.

As we keep rolling along the obscure/bizarre musical train track with the Melvins, we arrive at the year 1974, and the bands cover of “Female Trouble” by Divine. According to Buzzo, John Waters has always been a huge influence for the band. Recorded on Christmas day in 2011, Buzzo sounds more like fellow weirdo Tom Waits than himself. Which only elevates the heavy darkness of the three-minute track. Sausages is a record as diverse as it is divey, loud and fuzzy.

Also included in the online album stream is some great commentary by the king of metal and hair, King Buzzo himself. Listen and read along as Buzzo talks you the through each track over at Spin. The band’s 30th anniversary summer tour kicks off on July 12th in Phoenix.

Full track listing follows.

1. ‘Warhead’ (Venom; Guest: Scott Kelly of Neurosis)
2. ‘Best Friend’ (Queen; Guest: Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird)
3. ‘Black Betty’ (Original artist unknown)
4. ‘Set It on Fire’ (The Scientists; Guest: Mark Arm)
5. ‘Station to Station’ (David Bowie; Guest: JG Thirlwell)
6. ‘Attitude’ (The Kinks: Guest: Clem Burke of Blondie)
7. ‘Female Trouble’ (Divine a.k.a. John Waters)
8. ‘Carpe Diem’ (The Fugs)
9. ‘Timothy Leary Lives’ (Pop-O-Pies)
10. ‘In Every Dream Home a Heartache’ (Roxy Music; Guests: Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis)
11. ‘Romance’ (Tales of Terror)
12. ‘Art School’ (The Jam; Guest: Tom Hazelmeyer)
13. ‘Heathen Earth’ (Throbbing Gristle)

Notable Hard Rock And Metal Record Store Day 2013 Releases

26 Mar


It’s that time of year again when audiophiles, vinyl junkies, and collectors across the country wake up early on a Saturday morning (for once), camp out outside their favorite Independent record store,hoping that they might get their hands on a few of the coveted vinyl releases that will be coming out on April 20th. Otherwise known as the 6th annual Record Store Day 2013.

Below are a few of the more metal from the massive RSD list this year. I also did an expanded list on, where you can see everything I think you gotta have this year. It wasn’t easy, but here it is.

Now, onto the harder, faster rockers, set to hit the shelves of your favorite record store this year. Check here to see a list of participating shops in your zip code. Record Store Day is April 20th!


Earache Records’ contribution to RSD this year is something they call “The Worlds Shortest Album”. Clocking in a only 83 seconds, the mini-5″ vinyl comes in a 12″ gate fold sleeve. The shorand brutally metal track listing follows:

Side A:
01. Napalm Death – You Suffer (1.9s)
02. Napalm Death – Dead (2.7s)
03. Napalm Death – Your Achievement (4.2s)
04. Wormrot – False Grind Sodomy (2.5s)
05. Wormrot – You Suffer But Why Is It My Problem (4.0s)
06. Brutal Truth – Collateral Damage (4.0s)
07. A.C. – Howard Wulkan’s Bald (4.0s)

Side B:
01. Lawnmower Deth – Be Scene Not Heard (4.7s)
02. Painkiller – Trailmarker (6.0s)
03. Brutal Truth – Blockhead (7.3s)
04. Morbid Angel – Bil Ur-Sag #2 Lava (6.9s)
05. A.C. – Windchimes Are Gay (9.5s)
06. Insect Warfare – Street Sweeper (13.5s)


Dio – Magica Picture Disc

Another Record Store Day thankfully means its time for another completely evil Dio picture disc. 2000’s Magica, was Dio’s first concept record. I can’t say enough about the art on these Dio discs, except for that they are even more amazing in person. Dio’s classic track Holy Diver does double duty, as the chosen cover for another RSD’s 7″ Side by Side with Killswitch Engage. Making this one even more metal is it’s pressing on opaque, ox-blood red vinyl.


Misfits/The Lemmonheads: “Skulls” Side By Side.

Something RSD is doing this year is a “Side By Side 7”. The release pairs a recording of an original classics on the A. side, with a cover of the original on the B. side.  This Side by Side has the Misfits and The Lemonheads, going head-to-head with the track “Skulls”. The track does double duty on the 7″ picture disc (above), with the Misfits version from 1982 on Side A., and The Lemonheads cover version from 1991.

7 Picture Disc [GD17PD]

Testament –  Dark Roots cover 7′ picture disc.

This 7″ picture disc from Testament has the band banging out two very metal covers, from two other, equally metal bands. Side A. has Chuck Billy and the boys doing The Scorpions proud with a title-track cover from their 1980 record, “Animal Magnetism“. Side B. features Testament’s take on another title track, 1983’s “Powerslave” from Iron Maiden.


Mad Season – Above (Expanded edition)

This 180 gram vinyl, expanded edition of the only Mad Season record, 1995 ‘s Above, will get it’s exclusive release as a double-LP on RSD. Included on the expanded edition are  three songs from the unfinished second Mad Season album with new vocals and lyrics by Mark Lanegan. There is also a previously unreleased instrumental “Interlude”, and a remixed version of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier.”


Aerosmith: Reissues of: Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic, and Get Your Wings.

Aerosmith is reissuing three records form their early catalog, their self-titled debutToys in the Attic, and Get Your Wings, all on 180 gram vinyl. If you only pick up one, my money would be on the bands first, blues-riddled release from 1973.


Soundgarden – King Animal Demos 10″

Soundgarden is releasing a few of the demo version of songs from their latest record, King Animal. Track listing follows:

Bones of Birds (demo), By Crooked Steps (demo), Halfway There (demo), Worse Dreams (demo), Black Saturday (demo), A Thousand Days Before (demo)


Wolvhammer and Atlas Moth 7″ Split.

This RSD exclusive split 7” features the heavy sounds of two Chicago metal bands. The originally appeared on a comp soundtrack on CD for the book DTV written by Andrew Bonazelli of Decibel Magazine. Init Records and the bands thought it would be cool to put these two covers out again on a limited 7” with new artwork by Stavros Giannopoulos (THE ATLAS MOTH), for a limited Record Store Day release. Pressed on color vinyl, and limited to 500 copies total; Side A – The Atlas Moth -“Black Trees(a cover of a Horray for Earth original); Side B – Wovhammer – “Burn” (formerly done by The Cure for The Crow soundtrack).


Golden Void – Rise to the Out of Reach b/w Smiling Raven 7

Both of the tracks on from San Fransisco’s Golden Void 7″ are brand new, and will get their exclusive release on Record Store Day 2013. After digging on the bands 2012 debut (the vocals on the record are very Ozzy/Sabbath era so do the math. Golden Void = Awesome), it’s truly excellent metal news that more sonic sounds from Golden Void are on their way.


Akimbo – Live To Crush.

This is the final release from Seattle heavy metal riff masters, Akimbo. The band disbanded in the fall 2012, but recorded one final skull-crushing record, Live To Crush, numbered, and limited to 500. Track listing follows:

1. The Fucking French!
2. Southern Hospitality
3. A Real Barn Burner
4. Weasel Rope
5. The Retard Blues
6. I Am Very Successful
7. Equal Opportunity Asshole
8. Acid Grandma
9. Building A Body


Dust: Dust/Hard Attack.

Dust was called the first “American Heavy Metal Bands”. Formed around 1969, the Brooklyn trio was also the first band of Marky Ramone (Ramones, Voidoid). This RSD release features both of Dust’s records on 12″ vinyl. The self-titled “Dust” (1971), and “Hard Attack” ,(1972). Members of Dust went on to play with with artist like Richard Hell, Joan Jett, Kiss, and Brian Setzer. Dust is easily the most bad-ass, proto-rock band you never heard of from New York.

You can see the full list of all the releases for Record Store Day this year, via RSD’s official site. And while you’re at it, check out the excellent vinyl for sale in the archives of Purple Dog Records.

Fistful Of New Metal: Six More Must Have 2013 Metal Releases

23 Mar

As I said in my previous post, 2013 is shaping up to be a very metal year. This time around, I’m here to extol the virtues of six (a much more metal number than five) excellent new/upcoming metal releases, ranging from the sweet old school sounds of yesterday, to new metal sounds from up and coming bands. So read on, and please turn up your speakers. For what lies ahead must be listened to loudly, the way metal mother nature intended.


Kvelertak: Meir

Out March 25th, Norway’s Kvelertak will put out an impressive bit of heaviness with their second full-length, Meir. A black metal band by definition, Kvelertak (which means “stranglehold” or “choke hold” in Norwegian), infuses their sound with equal parts darkness, good old fashioned high-powered vocals, endless guitars, and Maiden-esque percussion.

Choke hold’s aside, Meir is all but clear of  black metal’s typical gloom and doom. Still, the record sounds pretty brutal. Created in the witch capital of the world, Salem, Massachusetts at GodCity Studios, Kvelertak also recorded Meir in their native Norwegian tongue. A multi-layered recording at it heart, Kvelertak seamlessly blends their  bone-crunching melodic metal groove with nostalgic sounds from metal days gone by. The power-chords and riffs are fast and upbeat, keeping Meir awash in massive waves of metal adrenaline. Simply put, Meir is the kind of record that would make Armored Saint’s collective toes curl. And, keeping true to their headbanging form, the last track on Meir heralds the band’s name, and is an unapologetic, bic-thumb-up, balls-out anthem.

Without a doubt, Meir will be on many a metal head’s top ten list this year, and has quickly become my favorite metal release to date. Norwegian based label, Indie Recordings, plans to release Meir on vinyl, worldwide. As of this writing, you can listen to Meir it in its entirety, here. Look for Kverletak live this spring with fellow heavies, Savannah Georgia’s Black Tusk, and the Cancer Bats.



VHÖL is comprised of members of several great metal bands. Eugene band, YOB, Hammers of Misforune, and Worm, to name a few. Which makes it unlikely that their upcoming untitled debut record (mixed by the equally metal engineer/producer Randall Dunn in Seattle) will be anything but stellar. Out on April 16th via Profound Lore Records, both of the tracks the band has generously streamed this past week on Sound Cloud, Illuminate and Grace, are swirling full of crunchy, strap-on-your-speed-belt, metal. And since I’ve already professed my love of YOB out loud, I’m ready to embrace VHÖL. Head on.


Black Star Riders. All Hell Breaks Loose

There has been a lot of excitement around Black Star Riders. And it’s understandable. Ex-members of the revered Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders just released the first single from their new record, Bound for Glory last week. I’m not usually a big fan of the do-it-again-band, especially when a key element in the band is gone. In this case, one of metal’s greatest frontmen, Phil Lynott. But Glory gives me enough hope that this record will be as strong as it’s first single. And Ricky Warnick’s vocals sound right and tight. Look for All Hell Breaks Loose out on the always metal Nuclear Blast Records, on May 27th.


Saxon: Sacrifice.

Saxon is back.

Yes, this Saxon. The only Saxon. The Saxon that never left, refused to cut their hair, let it turn gray, and has kept churning out great metal since they came together in 1979. Sacrifice is Saxon’s 20th studio release, and is textbook classic, head-banging heavy metal. Vocalist Biff Byford, who turned 62 in January, sounds amazingly fresh and strong. The same goes for the epic chops of guitarist Paul Quinn. If I didn’t know any better, this record could have been released in 1983, at the height of Saxon’s North American popularity. Albeit with more polish and power.

There are so many metal bands keep coming back for second and third stabs at greatness. Including Saxon. Except, Saxon has never looked for, or needs redemption. Sacrifice is a rock-solid metal record, musically and lyrically. I envy my headbanging European brothers and sisters that will get to see the band live during their epic tour of the UK and Europe this year. Sacrifice is out March 26th on UDR Music. I highly encourage you to listen to the title track, at the highest possible volume, here.


Bovine. The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire.

Bovine hails from Birmingham,UK. Otherwise known as the never-metal world of Black Sabbath. Their new record, due out on FDA Rektoz April 12th, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire, has managed to do something rather elusive when it comes to the metal realm, by paving a bit of new ground. The band could easily  juxtapose itself into various metal genres. It’s not that Bovine’s music defies description, however, I will defer any further statements, and borrow a line from the band’s short press release that describes Bovine’s sound as whatever “sludge-soaked ghetto rockers” sound like. Dirty rockers from the ghetto? Count me in. Bovine is currently streaming two tracks from Empire online, Military Wife, and Thank Fuck I Ain’t You.


Clutch: Earth Rocker

I’m not breaking any metal news to anyone when I say that Earth Rocker is Clutch’s 10th record. But let it be known that I will go out on a very thick, very metal branch, and say that it is every bit as great as all those moderate bastards are saying it is.

Recently, Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon was quoted, saying that the band was going for a “Motorhead vibe” with Earth Rocker. And as eager as you might be to reject such sacrilege, after listening to Earth Rocker I can honestly say I was completely dazzled by it’s spot-on production, and kick-ass lyrics. Stuff that punches its way into your ears, by any means possible.  For me, a perfect example of said ear-punching is the track, “The Wolfman Kindly Requests“. Any metalhead worth their silver bullets will dig every track on Earth Rocker, as it repeatedly hits every one of it’s metal notes harder than the last. I even caught a hint of King’s X circa 1998, loudly bent out of shape, pumping faster than it’s predecessor. Are you in? You should be. Book, Saddle, and Go, motherf*cker.

The Down And Out Gospel According To Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away

23 Feb


“Well, if I were to use that threadbare metaphor of albums being like children, then Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator and Warren’s loops are its tiny, trembling heart-beat.”

– Nick Cave on his latest record with the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away.

Like a stalker seeking new blood on the boulevard, I am completely obsessed with the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s record, Push the Sky Away. It’s also possible that at the age of 55, Nick Cave’s 15th record (over the course of almost 30 years with the Bad Seeds), is perhaps his best work – a statement that could be considered blasphemous when considering Cave’s massive body of work. But it’s also a word Cave himself might use if you were to ask him if he ever made a bad record. Cave’s combined discography with the Bad Seeds, and the stellar project, Grinderman, have produced some of my favorite albums over the last five+ years.

As always, Cave brings his best love-sick-psychopathic-preacher-storytelling to Away, accompanied by the aforementioned, ever-present heart beat of the record, long-time Cave collaborator, guitarist Warren Ellis. Ellis helps keeps Cave’s derelict musings about hookers with hearts of gold, mermaid snatches, and rebirth, direct and hauntingly intertwined throughout the record. According to Cave, Away was inspired by his recent exploration of, all things, the Internet. In that recent interview with The Sun, Cave said that the only things he ever learned were while he was in school, while his twin boys  (now 12), “have much more interesting minds [than he did at the same age] because of the Internet.”

Away was conceived in a remarkably short period of time, only three weeks. From beginning to end, the record seems like a soundtrack to an out-of-body experience. A dream about people and places you’ve never met or been to, but can see clearly through Cave’s lyrical tapestry, whether you want to or not. Perhaps the best example of this musical imagery is the soaring track “Jubilee Street”. The song weaves a story about a man who falls in love with a prostitute. The song builds and rises with slow, sexually-charged intention. A musical style that, over the years, Cave has developed to unnerving perfection. Push the Sky Away is an indulgent treat, expertly crafted with love and malice. A “must listen” from start to finish in order to truly appreciate it’s darkly beautiful message.