Category: thrash punk

New Video: The Wildly Psychedelic Visuals for Jon Spencer’s “Do The Trash Can”

Best known as a founding member of New York-based alt rock acts, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash and Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer’s solo debut album Spencer Sings the Hits is slated for a November 9, 2018 through In The Red Records. And as you may recall, the Bill Skibbe-produced album, fiQnds the renowned guitarist and frontman embracing a DIY approach while collaborating with Quasi‘s and Heatmiser’s Sam Coombes and M. Sord.

“Do The Trash Can,” the album’s propulsive and blistering first single will further cement Spencer’s long-held reputation for a scuzzy and abrasive sound that draws from the blues, industrial rock and metal centered around a snarling, garage punk attitude, caustic power chords and an oddly danceable yet mosh pit friendly groove — while kicking ass and taking names. Interestingly, the recently released video continues Spencer’s ongoing collaboration with director Alex Italics and it’s a wild, psychedelic nightmare that subtly comments on American consumerism and our predilection for fast food-like products. 

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New Video: Plague Vendor’s Frenetic New Single “Locomotive”

Over the years, I’ve written a bit about the Whittier, CA-based punk rock quartet Plague Vendor, and as you may recall the act which is comprised of Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass) and Jay Rogers (guitar) formed back in 2009 — and in a short period of time, the members of Plague Vendor developed a reputation for frenetic and raucous live sets. Naturally, as a result of their reputation they played an increasing number of shows, and along with that they had begun to write an increasing batch of material. Those early live shows lead to 2014’s debut album debut Free to Eat, an album that has been described as terse, dark and thrashing post-punk.

2016’s Stuart Sikes-produced sophomore effort Bloodsweat landed at number 2 on this site’s Best of List, and from album singles “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)“, “Jezebel” and “No Bounty,” the album was full of frenetic, furious and anthemic punk performed with a blistering and undeniable swagger. Up until recently, two years had passed without any original material from the members of Plague Vendor; but before joining renowned producer John Congleton to begin work on their untitled third album, the members of Plague Vendor, along with Brett Gurewitz and engineer Morgan Stratton entered Sunset Sound Studio 2, where they spent a furious two days writing, completing and recording two songs in two days — the first single was the anxious, raw and stomping “I Only Speak in Fiction.” As the band’s Luke Perine explained in press notes at the time, the writing and recording of “I Only Speak in Fiction” helped revitalize the band and restore their focus. “As a band, we grow anxious—often depressed to some degree—during our downtime,” Perine said in press notes. “Having these two days to get in the studio ahead of working on the next album released a lot of that tension. It became a more productive two days than we expected, as we were only planning on recording one song. I think we are reaching a higher level of focus together as we go into this next album.”

The breakneck “Locomotive,” Plague Vendor’s latest single was recorded during the “I Only Speak in Friction” sessions, and track is centered by rapid fire four-on-the-floor drumming, brooding guitar chords, a chugging bass line, a mosh pit friendly hook and Blaine’s vocals, which shift from crooning to manic howling — and while the song possesses a primal and furious energy at its core, the new single reveals a band that has grown increasingly confident in their songwriting and approach, decidedly expanding upon the sound that has won them attention. 

The accompanying video captures the band at their best — live, frenetic, furious and downright rousing. 

Earlier this year, I wrote a bit about the Austin, TX-based trio Exhalants, and as you may recall, the band which features Steve (guitar, vocals), Bill (bass) and Body Pressure’s Tommy (drums), can trace its origins to the breakup of Steve’s and Bill’s previous band  Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes. As the story goes, with the inevitably downtime that’s a result of a band’s breakup, Steve wound up spending his free time further honing his guitar playing before he recruited his former CSSS bandmate and Tommy to complete the project’s lineup.

Released earlier this year, the band’s self-titled full-length debt was recorded and mixed by Ghetto Ghouls‘ Ian Rundell and mastered by Yeesh’s Greg Obis, and the albums largely inspired by  ShellacUnwound and Cherubs, while nodding at the work of contemporaries like MelkbellyKal Marks and A Deer A Horse  — or in other words, much like those bands, the album finds the band balancing pummeling and bruising heaviness with an underlining melodic sensibility. Interestingly, album single “Punishers” is an aptly titled, furious, abrasive and — well, punishing ripper centered by enormous power chords, wild peals of feedback and pummeling drumming. Sonically speaking, the song is a mosh pit-friendly anthemic that should be played way too loudly in a dark, sweaty room.

Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for “Punishers” will bring 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind, as its an equally pushing visual, consisting of warped, distorted VHS footage — and while old-timey, it manages to evoke the terror and fury of our time.

Now, as you recall, earlier this month I wrote about  Lifestyles‘ breakneck, pummeling and grungy “Wail,” which is one-half of a split 7 inch that Chicago-based label No Trend Records! will be releasing later the month. The second half of that split 7 inch features another Chicago punk rock act, Meat Wave. Interestingly, the act which features Chris Sutter, Joe Gac and Ryan Wizniak has developed a reputation for crafting brooding and bruising punk; however, their contribution to the split 7 inch “That’s Alright” is the only song in their growing catalog that has any semblance of positivity or light, as it’s an ode to love within the frequently evil, near apocalyptic world we currently inhabit.

Centered around pummeling and forcefully urgent groove and layers of distorted guitars, the track will further cement the trio’s reputation for bruising punk and while being mosh pit friendly, the song features a rousingly anthemic hook. Certainly, the song is a brief reminder that there are brief and sometimes fleeting moments of light in our dark and fucked up world, and that we need to hold on to them desperately — with every fiber of our beings.

The members of Meat Wave are currently on tour, opening for Cursive through mid-November and it includes a November 7, 2018 stop at Irving Plaza. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
10/25 – Ybor City, FL – Pre-Fest
10/27 – Gainesville, FL – The Fest 17
10/28 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits*
10/30 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade*
10/31 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground*
11/01 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle*
11/02 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*
11/03 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer*
11/04 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony*
11/06 –  Long Island, NY – Amityville Music Hall*
11/07 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza *
11/08 – Boston, MA – Paradise*
11/09 – Hamden, CT –  Space Ballroom*
11/10 – Buffalo, NY – Tralf Music Hall*
11/11 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater*
11/12 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups*
11/13 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop*
11/14 – Detroit, MI – El Club*
11/15 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall*
11/16 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon*
11/17 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club*
11/18 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room*
* w/ Cursive & Campdogzz

 

 

Featuring members of well-regarded bands Foul Tip, Touched by Ghoul and Lil Tits, the members of Chicago-based punk band Lifestyles may be arguably be the most accomplished musicians in their hometown’s scene. Recently, the members of Lifestyles teamed up with another Chicago punk band Meat Wave to record a split 7 inch at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios that No Trend Records! will be releasing on October 26, 2018. Add some Chicago style hot dogs at The Weiner’s Circle, some thin crust pizza at Aurelio’s and some Jeppson’s Malort and the split 7 inch may be the most Chicagoan thing ever. Seriously though, the split 7 inch’s first official single is Lifestyles contribution to the proceedings — the pummeling and grungy “Wail,” centered by Hanna Hazard’s roaring vocals and a breakneck, most pit friendly tempo.

Sonically, the song recalls the likes of Babes in Toyland, The Wipers and The Misfits — and although it may arguably be one of the fastest songs in their growing catalog, the band actually has a reputation for employing experimental song structures and otherworldly vocals to carve out their own unique take on punk and grunge. Interestingly, the song which is dedicated to the memory of Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart is inspired by the band’s long-held obsession with cults — particularly Scientology. And as the band carefully notes “It’s about how any written contract among friends or practitioners of a shared belief is inherently a negative and suspicious thing – if one requires a signed contract to prove trust, then that person is clearly indicating they have no trust.”

Lifestyles is about to return to the Electrical Audio Studios to record their sophomore album. Be on the lookout for that one.

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Bambara Release Darkly Surreal Visuals for “Monument”

Now throughout the eight-plus year history of this site, I’ve written a lot about the JOVM mainstays Bambara, and as you may recall, the trio, comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire released their Andy Chugg-produced third, full-length album Shadow on Everything through Wharf Cat Records earlier this year, and the album is a decisive new, sonic direction for the Brooklyn-based band as they moved away from the noisy punk and post-punk of their previous two albums 2013’s DREAMVIOLENCE and last year’s Swarm to incorporate a Western Gothic-inspired take on punk rock. And while the music center remains the trio’s tight and forceful rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet incredibly metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s propulsive bass lines, unlike their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds the band placing Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics at center stage, and in some way it captures something wholly and uniquely — well, American.

With album single  “Jose Tries to Leave,” the members of Bambara managed to retain the forceful yet nightmarish dynamism, while focusing on the lives and thoughts of desperate, fucked up, seedy sorts — with a humanistic and novelistic attention to psychological detail and empathy.  “Doe-Eyed Girl,” continued in a similar vein but was imbued with a sweaty and furious urgency, fueled by a seemingly manic, desperate obsession.  “Sunbleached Skulls” may arguably be among the murkiest and bleakest songs of the Brooklyn band’s growing catalog  as Reid Bateh’s dark imagery centers around buzzing flies around sun-bleached bones, rotting flesh, dirt and grime paired with Brookshire’s propulsive bass, Blaze Bateh’s mathematically precise, metronomic drumming and shimmering bursts of Western guitar figures, and while the song evokes writhing about in dirt, grit and grime, underneath the bleak air and foul stenches, there’s a strange sort of peace  — the sort that comes when strangers have found brief moments of companionship, tenderness and comfort in someone else, even when fleeting.

“Monument,” Shadows on Everything’s latest single is a forceful, unrelenting and malevolent thrasher of a track, that’s centered around pent up and unfulfilled tension, obsession and questionable intent. Of course, much like album’s preceding singles Reid Bateh’s Georgia drawl sings stream of consciousness-like lyrics that at points possess a surreal and nightmarish beauty.  Directed by the members of the band and filmed by Tim Ciavara, the recently released video is shot in a lush and cinematic black and white that brings Anton Corbijn to mind while emphasizing the song’s malevolent, fucked up air.

Comprised of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Timo Ellis, who has recorded and played with the likes of Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, John Zorn, Melvins, Gibby Haynes, Ween, Joan As Police Woman, Spacehog, White Hills and others, and has released over 25 wildly varied solo albums as TE and other pseudonyms; Ava Farber (synthbass), Joel “Moon Daddy” Willis (drums) and Chealsea “Thee Chuq” Wierbonski (synthbass) the New York-based act NETHERLANDS since their formation back in 2008 have developed a firmly-held reputation for a maximalist approach that follows Ellis’ personal mission statement of making music that can be equally light-hearted, brutal and ecstatic centered around power chord led shredding, pummeling drumming, soaring vocals and madding hooks.

And while generally possessing a difficult to describe sound, the band which draws from heavy metal, arena rock, post-hardcore and math rock, the members of the New York-based act have played with a number of renowned acts across a variety of genres and styles including Napalm Death, Melt Banana, Mutoid Man, Yob, Black Flag, EYEHATEGOD, Candiria, Valient Thorr, Child Abuse, Mutilation Rites, Primitive Weapons, Freshkills, Vaz, Naam, Martin Rev, The Giraffes, The Death Set, BANGLADEAFY! DN’T, Unstoppable Death Machines, Mouth of the Architect, White Hills, Gull, Godmaker, Spacehog, The Austerity Program, No Way, Moon Tooth and Radkey.

​The New York-based act’s Black Gaia is slated for release this Friday through Records and Tapes Records, and from the album’s latest single “Army!,” the album will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting pummeling and furious material centered around equally enormous power chords and arena rock friendly hooks, distorted synthbass and Ellis’s shouting politically charged lyrics, lambasting rampant commercialism and greed — all while drawing from math rock, psych rock and thrash metal in a way that reminds me of Cinemechanica. Arguably, this song may be one for the most explosive and forceful rippers I’ve heard all year, and it’s so fucking necessary.

NETHERLANDS will be touring with Mastodon and Dinosaur Jr. throughout September. Check out the tour dates below.

Mastodon, Dinosaur Jr, Netherlands – 2018 tour:
Sep 1 – Edmonton, AB @ Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sep 2 – Calgary, AB @ Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
Sep 4 – Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
Sep 6 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theatre
Sep 7 – Duluth, MN @ Duluth Heritage Center
Sep 8 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sep 11 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
Sep 12 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
Sep 14 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Clyde Theatre
Sep 15 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
Sep 16 – London, ON @ London Concert Theatre
Sep 17 – Kitchener, ON @ Elements
Sep 19 – Hamilton, ON @ FirstOntario Concert Hall
Sep 20 – Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theatre
Sep 21 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore

Now, if you were frequenting this site back in 2016, you’d recall that I had written quite a bit about the Whittier, CA-based punk rock quartet Plague Vendor. Comprised of Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass) and Jay Rogers (guitar) the band formed in 2009 and in a short period of time, they developed a reputation across Southern California for raucous and frenetic live shows. And through reputation, their live shows began stacking up and along with that their material. Unsurprisingly, those live shows led to their 2014 debut Free to Eat, an album that has largely been described as terse, dark and thrashing post-punk.

The Whittier, CA-based punk rock quartet’s 2016 Stuart Sikes-produced sophomore album Bloodsweat landed at #2 on this site’s Best of List that year, and from album singles like “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)“, “Jezebel” and “No Bounty,” was furious, frenetic and anthemic punk full of piss and vinegar and undeniable swagger. Two years have passed since the release of the impressive Bloodsweat and before joining renowned producer John Congleton to begin work on their untitled third album, the members of Plague Vendor, along with Brett Gurewitz and engineer Morgan Stratton entered Sunset Sound Studio 2, where they spent a furious two days writing, completing and recording two songs in two days — and the and and first single from that session is their first bit of new material since their sophomore album, the raw, volatile and stomping “I Only Speak in Friction.” Sonically, the song feels and sounds anxious, and to me at least, it evokes a desperation of men at the end of their rope.

As the band’s Luke Perine explains writing and recording “I Only Speak in Friction” helped to revitalized the band and restore their focus. “As a band, we grow anxious—often depressed to some degree—during our downtime,” says Perine. “Having these two days to get in the studio ahead of working on the next album released a lot of that tension. It became a more productive two days than we expected, as we were only planning on recording one song. I think we are reaching a higher level of focus together as we go into this next album.”

Plague Vendor has a handful of upcoming shows, including festival appearances at Ohana Fest and Aftershock. Check out the tour dates, below.
PLAGUE VENDOR TOUR DATES

Aug 14 Pomona, CA – The Glass House w/The Kills

Sep 29 Dana Point, CA – Ohana Fest

Oct 14 Sacramento, CA – Aftershock

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Austin, TX-based trio Exhalants, and as you may recall the band which features Steve (guitar, vocals), Bill (bass) and Tommy (drums), a member of Body Pressure, the band can trace its origins to the break of Steve and Bill’s previous band  Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes. With the inevitable downtime that happens when a band breaks up, Steve spent his free time further honing his guitar playing before recruiting his former CSSS bandmate and Tommy to complete the project’s lineup.

Recorded and mixed by Ghetto Ghouls‘ Ian Rundell and mastered by Yeesh’s Greg Obis, Exhalants’ forthcoming self-titled debut is largely inspired by the likes of ShellacUnwound and Cherubs, while nodding at the work of contemporaries like MelkbellyKal Marks and A Dear A Horse — or in other words, the album’s material finds the band balancing pummeling heaviness; in fact, album single “Latex” was an an anthemic ripper with enormous “raise your beer in the air and shout along” hooks, arena rock-like power chords and deep low end. And while being deceptively simple, the song upon repeated listens reveals rapid tonal and tempo shifts that are barely held together by the explosiveness of the band’s playing. “Punishers,” Exhalants’ latest single is a furious and aptly punishing ripper, complete with angular guitar power chords, wild peals of feedback and forceful drumming. It may arguably be the most punk rock and mosh-pit friendly songs off the album so far — but they do so while nodding at 90s alt rock.

 

Deriving their name from a British English word that means to be an avant-gardist — one who emphasizes, practices and celebrates experimental and unorthodox methods and techniques and incorporates them into a craft, Avantist is a South Side, Chicago-based post-punk act, comprised of the Arias Brothers, Luis (drums), David (guitar), Erick (bass) and Fernando (vocals). And over the past decade, the sibling band has dedicated their live stop making avant-garde music, centered around their shared personal philosophy that art is, should and must be progressive, dynamic and unconventional, and that creativity is something to incorporate in every single aspect of one’s life. \
Now, over the past few weeks I’ve written quite a bit about the Chicago-based sibling band, and as you may recall the band’s recently released EP Terasaoma finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone as they forced themselves to write, record, mix and master the EP’s material within a month, rather than the two years it took for their debut. And while further cementing the Arias Brothers reputation locally and regionally for crafting raucous and infectious post-punk, the band also manages to push their sound and songwriting in new and wildly different directions; in fact, the EP’s material runs the gamut from angular and furious post-punk to soulful R&B. EP single “this_could_be_it” was a thrashing and angular post-punk ripper that featured Fernando Arias singing alternating lyrics in Spanish and English. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the furious, screamo, thrash punk of “UVB_76,” a track that sonically reminds me a bit of Thrice and The Blood Brothers, thanks in part to its pummeling intensity.
The Arias Brothers are currently on the road to support the EP. Check out the remaining tour dates below.
Tour Dates
6/25 – Austin, TX – Beerland (w/ The Boleys, Desilu, Black Basements)
6/26 – Spring, TX – The Blue Giraffe (w/ Brainstorm fir Tuesday, Kaleidescope Project, and Zzyzx)
6/28 – Birmingham, AL – Firehouse (w/ False Jasmine, Bible Belt, Mike Hombre)
6/29 – Nashville, TN – Betty’s Grill
6/30 – Louisville, KY – Lydia House (w/ Wax Astro, Legs Akimbo)
7/01 – Champaign, IL – Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (w/ Arboris, Parachute Day)