Category: thrash punk

Formed a little over two years ago, the rising New Orleans-based metal outfit Total Hell features an All-Star cast of the city’s metal and punk scenes: Sick Thoughts‘ and Trampoline Team‘s DD Deth, a.k.a. Drew Owen (drums, vocals); Static Static and Heavy Lids‘ John Henry, a.k.a Henry Hell; Persauders‘ and Tirefire’s Jason “Panzer” Craft (guitar); and Trampoline Team’s Micheal He-man, a.k.a Michael Maniac (guitar).

The New Orleans-based metal outfit’s self-titled debut EP is slated for a November 19, 2021 release through Goner Records. The tracks on the EP reportedly sees the band crafting melodic rippers with a floor-to-ceiling hugeness but while doing so in an economical manner. “Recorded on a Tascam 8-track cassette live at home (aka “The Parkway”) by Michael He-Man and the process was a nightmare,” Total Hell’s DD Deth explains. “Original tape crapped out on us back in early 2020 so we had to redo the whole thing.” 

The EP’s first single “Clones from Hell” begins with a hellish sounding countdown before roaring out of the gate as a Motörhead-like ripper, centered around scorching, felt-melting riffage, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. Lyrically, the song is perfect for the season: clones from hell have run amok! But seriously though, play this one loud and imagine yourself in a sweaty mosh pit.

Live Footage: METZ Performs “Pulse” Live at Toronto’s Opera House

Throughout the course of this site’s 11 year history, I’ve spilled copious amount of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. The JOVM mainstays’ fourth album, last year’s Atlas Vending found the band setting a goal for themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: they wanted to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album sees the band attempting to intentionally craft music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they — and their fans — navigated through life’s trials, tribulations and victories.

Sonically, Atlas Vending sees the band retaining the massive sound that has won them attention and fans across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album touches upon disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-inducing paranoia and the restless urge to stop everything and just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind. Much like its immediate predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it. However, what makes Atlas Vending different is that each of its ten songs were written to form musical and narrative whole with the album’s songs following a cradle-to-grave trajectory.

As a result, the album’s material emotionally runs through a gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simple of adulthood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. So in some way, the album finds the band tackling what’s inevitable for all of us: getting older, especially in an industry suspended in perpetual youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

METZ have developed and furthered a reputation as purveyors of abrasive melodicism and one of the planet’s most bombastic, contemporary live acts through relentless touring across the globe throughout both this site’s history and their history. Determined to connect with their fans and to find a way within the confines of the pandemic to create a live experience as dynamic as Atlas Vending, the members of the Canadian JOVM mainstays took the stage at Toronto’s Opera House in October 2020 to livestream their latest album in its entirety. Today, the band announced the official release of the live show, Live at the Opera House recorded by longtime collaborator Graham Walsh and mixed by Seth Manchester through all the digital service providers with bundles at Bandcamp and Sub Pop’s Mega Mart that include the full concert film, directed by the band’s longtime video collaborator Scott Cudmore.

There’s also a pre-order for a limited 1,000 piece vinyl pressing on tricolor (Black/White/Oxblood), which also includes a download of the full concert film. The LP can be ordered through megamart.subpop.com, METZ’s merch store, and Bandcamp, and will be available November 5th in select independent retailers in North America.

Now, as may remember I wrote about Live at the Opera House single “A Boat to Drown In,” which was also coincidentally, Atlas Vending’s first official single. While continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous, aural assaults centered around layers of distortion pedaled power chords, thunderous drumming mosh pit friendly hooks and chorus, and Eadkins’ howled vocals, “A Boat to Drown In” also finds the trio subtly moving away from their grunge influences with the song possessing an oceanic heft.

“Pulse” is a seething and furious roar, full of the anxious and uncertain dread and that has become a part of our daily lives since the Trump Administration — and has continued through a deadly pandemic that has put most of our lives in disarray. The live footage finds the band delivering a blistering and forceful performance that’s shot with an intimate yet cinematic aplomb.

Live Footage: METZ Performs “A Boat to Drown In” at Toronto’s The Opera House

Over the course of this site’s almost 11 year history — it turns 11 next week — i’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. With the release of their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace, the trio — Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) —  pushed their songwriting in a new direction, as they crafted some of their most personal and politically charged work with the material capturing the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage of the 2016 election cycle.

r themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations.r themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

hem attention and hearts across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind.  Much like its predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it; however, each of the album’s ten songs were written to form a musical and narrative whole with the album’s song sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory. And as a result, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simple of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. So in some way, the album find the band tackling what’s inevitable for all of us — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

, Atlas Vending closing track “A Boat to Drown In” was the album’s first official single and while continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous, aural assaults centered around layers of distortion fueled powered chords, thunderous drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and Eadkins urgent and howled vocals. But unlike their previously released material, “A Boat to Drown In” finds the band moving away from their grunge influences with their most expansive track to date, a track that finds them at their most oceanic. According to Eadkins, “A Boat to Drown in.” is “. . . about leaving a bad situation behind. About overcoming obstacles that once held you back, rising above and looking to a better future. The title refers to immersing yourself fully into what you love and using it as a sanctuary from negativity and a catalyst for change.”

Recently, the JOVM mainstays released a furious and urgent live version of “A Boat to Drown In” filmed as part of a live stream the band released last year at Toronto’s The Opera House that should serve as a reminder of their explosive live show — and of what many of us miss about live shows. Interestingly, with the release of the live footage, the members of METZ announced a co-headlining North American tour THIS fall with fellow JOVM mainstays Preoccupations. The tour will include two NYC area dates: December 9 at Elsewhere Hall and December 10 at Bowery Ballroom.

April and May 2022 sees the Canadians touring across the European Union.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing a real in-person tour for later this year!” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says in press notes. “We cannot wait to share Atlas Vending with you and to reconnect with our musical friends and family worldwide.”

New Video: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Technicolor Fever Dream Visual for “Lake”

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Additionally, the album finds the band employing a much different recording process than previously releases: the members of the Swedish act opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

The recently released video is a uneasy and hallucinogenic fever dream that features grainy Super 8 footage of a devil a technicolor field, pulsating to the oceanic sounds of the single.

Abyssal Trip is going to drop tomorrow release through RidingEasyRecords.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays METZ Follows Two Dedicated Skaters in New Visuals for Furious Ripper “Sugar Pill”

Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, METZ’s fourth album Atlas Vending sees the JOVM mainstays attempting to craft music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant, as they — and of course, the listener — navigated through life’s trails and tribulations. The end result is an album’s worth of material that retains the massive sound that has won them attention and hearts across the world, but while arguably being among their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their catalog and careers to date.Thematically, Atlas Vending covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind. Much like its immediate predecessor, Atlas Vending offers a snapshot of the modern condition as the band sees it; however, Atlas Vending’s 10 songs were specifically written to form a musical and narrative arc with the album’s songs and sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory.

Interestingly, as a result of the album’s cradle-to-grave narrative arc, the album’s material runs through a gamut of moods and emotional states, starting off with the most rudimentary and simplistic sensations of childhood, all the way to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. Getting older — particularly getting older in an industry that constantly suspends itself in perpetual youth manages to be both text and subtext to the material. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

Over the course of last year, I wrote about six off the album’s released singles:

Album closing track “A Boat to Drown In,” which may be the most expansive and oceanic tracks of their entire catalog.
“Hail Taxi,” an explosive and deceptively prototypical METZ track that’s centered a narrator, who desperately attempts to reconcile who they once were with what they’ve become.
“Blind Industrial Park,” a rapturous and euphoric ripper that’s an ode to the naivete of youth and the blissful freedom of being unburdened by the world surrounding you.
“Parasite,” a frenetic and pummeling ripper that they filmed at The Opera House in Toronto.
“Pulse,” a furious roar, full of the anxious and uncertain dread that was familiar to daily life during the Trump Administration.
“Framed by the Comet’s Tail,” Atlas Vending‘s most punk-like song, centered around the bitter recrimination and heartache of betrayal and the desperate desire to just say “Fuck all of this!” and start over.

“Sugar Pill,” Atlas Vending’s seventh and latest single is a furious, mosh pit friendly ripper, fueled by a bitter and uneasy dissatisfaction: it’s one-part desperate howl of the aging, who suddenly realize that they’ve been sold empty bullshit that has made their lives equally empty. “And now what?” the song seems to ask.

Directed by Shayne Ehman, the recently released video follows two diehard skaters — Jojo Johnson and Sara Smith — heading out to skateboard, even in the middle of a brutally cold, Canadian winter. Talk about dedication, right? “Skateboarding feels great. We love to skate. The birds need to sing, we need to skate,” Ehman says of the video. “I hope the winter skateboarding footage carries with it some of the love we have for skateboarding. I hope it contains a spirit of perseverance and the will to make it happen. Come wind, ice, or stormy weather, we shovel snow, we torch frost, we skate.”

Live Footage: METZ Live on KEXP — At Home

With the release of their first three albums, the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ developed a reputation for thriving on an abrasive restlessness. However, before they set to work on their fourth and latest album, last year’s Atlas Vending, the Canadian punk rockers — Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals). Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) — set a goal for themselves and the album: they intended to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating, most-pit friendly bludgeonings.

Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, Atlas Vending sees the band attempting to craft music for the long haul, and with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant, as they — and of course, the listener — navigated through life’s trails and tribulations. The end result is an album’s worth of material that retains the massive sound that has won them attention and hearts across the world, but while arguably being among their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their catalog and careers.

Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind. Interestingly enough, much like its immediate predecessor, Atlas Vending offers a snapshot of the modern condition as the band sees it; but unlike any of their previously released work, the album’s 10 songs were specifically written to form a musical and narrative arc with the album’s songs and sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory.

As a result of the album’s cradle-to-grave narrative arc, the album’s material runs through a gamut of moods and emotional states, starting off with the most rudimentary and simplistic sensations of childhood, all the way to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. There’s also a bit of subtext to the proceedings: getting older in an industry seemingly suspended in perpetual youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

Over the course of last year, I wrote about six off the album’s released singles:

Album closing track “A Boat to Drown In,” which may be the most expansive and oceanic tracks of their entire catalog.
“Hail Taxi,” an explosive and deceptively prototypical METZ track that’s centered a narrator, who desperately attempts to reconcile who they once were with what they’ve become.
“Blind Industrial Park,” a rapturous and euphoric ripper that’s an ode to the naivete of youth and the blissful freedom of being unburdened by the world surrounding you.
“Parasite,” a frenetic and pummeling ripper that they filmed at The Opera House in Toronto.
“Pulse,” a furious roar, full of the anxious and uncertain dread that was familiar to daily life during the Trump Administration.
“Framed by the Comet’s Tail,” Atlas Vending’s most punk-like song, centered around the bitter recrimination and heartache of betrayal and the desperate desire to just say “Fuck all of this!” and start over.

The JOVM mainstays closed out 2020 with an explosive live session for KEXP that they recorded at Palace Sound, which features a handful of the album’s singles performed live. KEXP recently released the video — and it makes me miss live shows immensely. I suspect it’ll make you miss live shows, too.

New Video: Bloomington’s Wenches Releases a No-Frills Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Wenches is a new Bloomington, IN-based quartet that features members of several locally known punk, metal and post-hardcore acts including Racebannon. With the release of a now-sold out, three-song demo cassette, the Bloomington-based act began to receive attention for a sound that No Echo has described as “raw, no bullshit . . . undiluted rock realness.”

Effin’ Gnarly, Wenches’ forthcoming full-length debut will feature what the band says in press notes “high-energy screaming hard rock, played the only way long-haired punk metalhead know how.” Interestingly, the album finds the band hopefully settling on a long-lasting lineup after going through a series of lineup changes featuring a rotating cast of bassists and drummers.

“Bad Man,” Effin’ Gnarly’s first single is an explosive and pummeling, mosh pit friendly ripper featuring thunderous drumming, enormous power chord-driven riffs and shredded vocal cord howling. Centered around a noisy, no fill, all killer approach and a beer guzzling, zero fucks given delivery, “Bad Man” finds the Indiana-based act’s sound bearing a resemblance to MC5 and Rye Coalition. So play this one loud and rock the fuck out!

The recently released video for “Bad Man” features animation by Loverman and is one-part lyric video and one part cartoon adventure, following a bearded and sunglass wearing motorcyclist, who seems like the bad motherfucker, the song talks about.

Effin’ Gnarly is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through LP and digital download through Master Kontrol Audio and through limited edition cassette through Small Hand Factory.

New Video: Belgium’s Let It Kill You Releases a Furious METZ-like Ripper

Deriving their name from a famous Charles Bukowski saying “Find what you love and let it kill you,” the emerging Belgian punk/noise rock duo Let It Kill You — Peruvian-born, Belgian-based founding member Diego (bass, guitar, vocals) and Dorian (drums, vocals) — began as a solo recording project of its founding member. After release an EP as a solo project, Dorian joined the band, helping to further flesh out the band’s sound, a sound influenced by Sonic Youth, System of a Down, and Drive Like Jehu.

The Belgian duo’s latest single “On Your Left” is a furious and roaring METZ-like ripper, featuring howled vocals, explosive power chord-driven riffs, thunderous drumming and enormous mosh pit friendly hooks and an urgent, forceful delivery. The song, as he band explains was inspired by real life, personal events: the band’s drummer had luckily survived a serious car accident unscathed. This event had forced Diego to think about how things can change in an instant — and how fragile life actually is. At the time, Diego jokingly told his bandmate that he would write a song about his accident.

Of course, the pandemic has changed just about everything for all of us, including the Let It Kill You’s Diego, who lost his job and was uncertain if he could even remain in Belgium. “‘On Your Left’ was my quarantine song,” Diego explains. “Between anxiety and a lot of disorder in my head, I dedicated all my time to this song. I made more than 15 versions of it. The song has two parts. The first verse is Dorian’s perspective before the accident.” Diego goes on to say that the first verse is meant to express the fear that he imagined Dorian felt as the accident was about to happen — and the desperate attempts to escape what may actually be inevitable. The last section of the first verse, Diego says is dedicated to Dorian’s mother: Dorian told him that as his car and the other were just about to collide, he thought of and saw his mother. And it goes son to Diego imagining having to tell his bandmate’s mother terrible news.

Featuring footage from Yoshiaski Kawajiri’s 1987 animated film Neo Tokyo, the recently released video for “On Your Left” is set in a dystopian future and following a jet car pilot, who’s one of the best in the entire world. Everyone around him views and treats him as an immortal hero but eventually he’s revealed to be fragile and mortal. The main character eventually dies racing — but while eliminating all of his competition. The band’s Diego explains that he saw a little bi too Dorian in the movie’s main character.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays METZ Take the Viewer on a Nightmarishly Sisyphean Journey

I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ throughout this site’s decade of existence. Atlas Vending, the JOVM mainstays’ fourth album was released earlier this month through their longtime label home Sub Pop Records.

The band’s three previously released album found the band thriving on an abrasive restlessness, but before they set to work on Atlas Vending, the Canadian punk trio set a goal for themselves and for the album: they intended to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating, mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they (and the listener) navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

The end result is an album that retains the massive sound that has won them attention and hearts across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind. Much like its immediate predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it; however, each of the album’s ten songs were written to form a musical and narrative whole with the album’s song sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory.

Because of the cradle-to-grave narrative arch, the album’s material runs through a gamut of emotions and emotional states, starting off with the most rudimentary and simplistic sensations of childhood all the way to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. Of course, as a result, the album finds the band tackling the inevitable — getting older in an industry seemingly suspending in perpetual youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

So far I’ve written about four of the album’s released singles:

The album’s first single, album closing track “A Boat to Drown In,” which may be the most expansive and oceanic tracks of their entire catalog.
“Hail Taxi,” an explosive and deceptively prototypical METZ track that’s centered around a deeply adult sense of regret, as the song features a narrator, who desperately attempts to reconcile who they once were with what they’ve become;
“Blind Industrial Park,” a rapturous and euphoric ripper that’s an ode to the naivete of youth and the blissful freedom of being unburdened by the world surrounding you.
“Parasite,” a frenetic and pummeling ripper that they filmed at The Opera House in Toronto.

“Pulse,” Atlas Vending’s latest single is a furious roar, full of the sort of anxious and uncertain dread that has become our daily lives during the Trump Administration — and in the last few of days before a momentous, history altering election. Our lives at this very moment is desperate and urgent; we all feel this and know this, even if we are loathe to admit it.

Directed by Jeremy Gillespie, the recently released and murkily shot visual for “Pulse” follows a space suit wearing astronaut on a nightmarishly Sisphyean journey through a Brutalist world fitting the pummeling and forceful soundtrack.