Tag: Jack Endino

Last month, I wrote about the Seattle, WA-based grunge rock band Gruntruck. Initially formed in 1989, the band’s original lineup featured featured founding members Skin Yard’s Ben McMillan (vocals) and Norman Scott (drums), The Accused’s Tommy Niemeyer (guitar) and Final Warning’s Tim Paul (bass), and can trace their origins to when the band’s founding duo wrote a song while on tour with Skin Yard that they felt was worthy of forming a new project around. At around the same time Scott was briefly in Soundgarden and collaborated with Chris Cornell on a lesser-known project, the low frequency power trio Bass Truck. And interestingly enough, with the new material that McMillan and Scott started to write for their new project, they decided to blend the sound that Norman developed in Bass Truck with their then-primary project’s sound to create a harder, more metal-leaning grunge rock sound.

1990’s Jack Endino and Gary King-produced debut Inside Yours was released through Seattle-based label Empty Records with a simultaneous release through German label Musical Tragedies, and it featured album single “Not a Lot to Save,” which received airplay on MTV. Interestingly enough, the members of Gruntruck had opened for Pearl Jam throughout 1991 — and famously, they opened for Pearl Jam the night they filmed the video for “Even Flow.”

With the growing buzz on all things Seattle, the members of Gruntruck signed a multi-album deal with Roadrunner Records, who re-released Inside Yours later that year. Their follow up effort, 1992’s  Endino and King-produced effort Push featured album track “Tribe,” which received regular rotation on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. And building upon a rapidly growing profile, Gruntruck opened for Alice in Chains during their 1992 US and Canadian tour and Pantera‘s Winter 1993 European tour. Immediately upon their return to Seattle, the band went through a number of lineup changes but they managed to release a video for  “Crazy Love,” which received airplay on MTV — including an episode of Beavis and Butt-head, in which a stunned Butthead mused “I must be hallucinating now. I can’t believe they’re playing something cool. These guys rock!”

Sadly, at the height of their popularity in 1996, the members of the band were struggling to make ends meet while fulfilling their contractual obligations to Roadrunner Records. As the story goes, Polygram Records offered to buy out Gruntruck’s contract for $1 million, but Roadrunner Records refused. Based on the advice of their lawyer, the band filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to break free of their contract. Unsurprisingly, that was promptly followed by Roadrunner Records suing to block the band’s bankruptcy with the result being a precedent-setting case that’s been cited in subsequent cases, written about in legal journals — and eventually inspired congressional legislation. And although the court eventually ruled in Gruntruck’s favor, their various legal issues exacted a deep financial and emotional toil on the band, as well as stalled the band’s momentum.

By 1997, the band’s original lineup reunited, and began working on new material; some of which wound up comprising their self-titled third album, an effort that the members of the band envisioned as their breakthrough effort. Recorded and finished over a two year period in five different studios in and around the Seattle area with Jack Endino and Martin Feveyear taking up production duties, the band decided to build up buzz for the album with a busy live schedule, playing shows in and around Seattle; however, just as they were about to build up some buzz, the band went on a hiatus in 2003 to allow Ben McMillan to recover from a number of health issues.

Sadly McMillan died from complications related to diabetes in 2008, and the third album languished in the vaults until last year, when Jack Endino mentioned its existence to Found Recordings head, Scott Blum, who pushed to get the album released, over a decade since the initial recording sessions. Now, as you may recall, the album’s first official single “Bar Fly,” featured an ambitious, arena rock-based sound consisting of enormous power chords, and a shout from the mosh pit worthy course — and while nodding at metal, the song manage stop remind me of Dirt-era Alice in Chains and Purple-era Stone Temple Pilots. “Noise Field,” their self-titled album’s latest single continues in a similar vein — a quiet, loud, quiet song structure that allows room for enormous power chords and thundering drumming. However, the one noticeable difference to me is that the song manages to sound as though it were influenced by Core-era Stone Temple Pilots.

“Noise Field” much like its predecessor will remind many listeners of grunge’s high point of 1991-1994 or so and simultaneously its low point of 1996-1999 or so; but underneath, there’s a sad reminder of what could have been for the band. After all, for the first, second and even third wave bands that find some level of success, there are many more bands, who get a brief taste of recognition but never quite make it further than that.

Interestingly, the song will strike many as a remanent of a decidedly particular period — 1996-1998 or so — but underneath that, there’s a sad reminder of what could have been; after all, for the rare Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgardens, etc., there’s countless bands, who get close to making it and many more that never make it.

 

 

New Video: Found Recordings Set to Release Previously Unreleased Third Album from Seattle-based Grunge Rockers Gruntruck

Initially formed in 1989, the Seattle, WA-based grunge rock band Gruntruck featured Skin Yard’s Ben McMillan (vocals) and Norman Scott (drums), The Accused’s Tommy Niemeyer (guitar) and Final Warning’s Tim Paul (bass) can trace their origins to when founding members Ben McMillan and Norman Scott wrote a song while on tour with Skin Yard that they had was worthy of forming a new band around. Interestingly enough, around the same time Scott had a brief stint with Soundgarden and collaborated with Chris Cornell on a lesser-known project, the low frequency power trio Bass Truck. And with the new song and other material that McMillan and Scott started to write together, they decided to blend the sound that Norman developed in Bass Truck — in other words, a harder, more metal-leaning grunge rock sound.

1990’s Jack Endino and Gary King-produced debut Inside You was released through Seattle-based label Empty Records with a simultaneous release through German label Musical Tragedies. Along with the release of their debut, the band released a Henry Shepherd-produced video for album single “Not a Lot to Save,” which received airplay on MTV. (I should note that Henry Shepherd is the brother of Soundgarden’s Ben Shepherd.) Interestingly, the members of Gruntruck had opened for Pearl Jam throughout 1991 — and in particular, they opened for Pearl Jam on the night that renowned grunge rockers filmed the video for “Even Flow.” With the growing buzz on all things Seattle, the members of Gruntruck signed a multi-album deal with Roadrunner Records, who re-released Inside Yours later that year. 1992’s sophomore Endino and King-produced effort Push featured album track “Tribe,” which received regular rotation on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. Building upon a growing profile, Gruntruck opened for Alice in Chains during their 1992 US and Canadian tour, as well as in Europe during the winter of 1993 with Pantera. After the band returned to Seattle, they went through several lineup changes but they released a video for “Crazy Love,” which received airplay on MTV, including a reference on Beavis and Butthead, in which a stunned Butthead mused “I must be hallucinating now. I can’t believe they’re playing something cool. These guys rock!”

At the height of their popularity in 1996, the members of the band were struggling to make ends meet while fulfilling contractual obligations to Roadrunner Records. Polygram Records offered to buy out Gruntruck’s contract for $1 million, but the folks at Roadrunner Records refused. Based on the advice of their lawyer, the band filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to break free of their contract, which was promptly followed by their label suing to block their bankruptcy petition. The result was a precedent-setting case that’s been cited in subsequent cases, written up in legal journals and eventually inspired congressional legislation. Although the court eventually ruled in Gruntruck’s favor, their various legal issues exacted a financial and emotional toil on the band — despite the fact that they were attempting to recapture some of the momentum they had captured before.

By 1997, the band’s original lineup reunited and they had been working on new material together and some of the songs written wound up comprising the material on their self-titled third album, an effort that the band envisioned as a breakthrough effort. The album was recorded over a two year period in five different studios in and around Seattle with Jack Endino and Martin Feveyear, who has worked with Queens of the Stone Age, Mudhoney and Screaming Trees taking up production duties, and once it was finished the band went through a busy live schedule in Seattle, to build up buzz for the album; however by 2003, the band went on hiatus, as McMillan needed time to recover from health issues.

Sadly McMillan died from complications related to diabetes in 2008, and the third album languished in the vaults until last year, when Jack Endino mentioned its existence to Found Recordings head, Scott Blum, who pushed to get the album released. And over a decade since its initial recording, Gruntruck’s self-titled album is slated for an October 13, 2017 release, and the album’s first official single “Bar Fly,” features an ambitious arena rock sound consisting of enormous power chords, a shout worthy chorus and while clearly nodding at metal, the band’s sound manages to be reminiscent of Dirt-era Alice in Chains and Purple-era Stone Temple Pilots. Interestingly, the song will strike many as a remanent of a decidedly particular period — 1996-1998 or so — but underneath that, there’s a sad reminder of what could have been; after all, for the rare Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgardens, etc., there’s countless bands, who get close to making it and many more that never make it.

Filmed by Thomas Engisn and edited by Gary Lundgren, the recently released music video features grainy VHS footage from the band’s original lineup performing sweaty, ass-kicking shows — and it’ll remind you of watching similar videos on 120 Minutes and other video shows.

New Audio: Sub Pop Records and Soundgarden Release Second Single Off Remixed and Expanded Re-Issue of Their Debut Album

Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.

Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.

Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to an increasingly busy touring schedule, for self-recording and self-producing their first two albums, and attention-grabbing collaborations with Jack Endino, who has produced, mixed and recorded some of Seattle‘s most beloved and renowned bands and Mudhoney‘s Mark Arm. And over the past 18 months or so, the New Jersey-based quartet have added themselves to this site’s growing list of mainstay artists — thanks to when I caught them open for Mudhoney at the Bell House some time ago and the release of “Photograph” and “Vice” the first two singles off the band’s third album, After All. 

Just in time for the album’s official release today, the members of The Black Clouds released After All‘s third and latest single “Self Control,” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating  120 Minutes-era MTV/90s-inspired indie rock, complete with enormous, arena-rock friendly hooks and a radio-friendly vibe; but thanks to an uncanny sense of melody within the song, After All‘s latest single may arguably be the most Foo Fighters-leaning song on the album.

 

 

 

If you had stumbled upon this site last week, you may have come across a post on the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds. Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the New Jersey-based quartet have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to recording and producing their albums, for a busy touring schedule and a  continuing collaboration with renowned producer, engineer and musician  Jack Endino, who has worked with an incredibly impressive list of artists and who has mixed and mastered The Black Clouds’ first two albums. And building upon a growing national profile, the band has not only played at everal of the country’s largest festivals including Bamboozle and SXSW, they’ve also toured with  the likes of Mudhoney among others.

The Ashbury Park, NJ-based quartet’s third full-length effort After All is slated for a January 6 release and the album, which was recorded at Studio 606 will further continue the band’s collaboration with Jack Endino, who only only recorded, mixed and mastered the album but also produced the album and contributed some guitar on aa few songs. The album’s first single “Photograph” was a  90s grunge rock, barn-burner of song with growled vocals, aggressive power chords an anthemic hook reminiscent of Foo FightersNirvana and of 120 Minutes-era MTV.

Interestingly, After All‘s second and latest single “Vice” continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with Mudhoney’s imitable frontman Mark Arm while furthering the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting 90s grunge inspired rock —  all power chords, howled vocals, enormous hooks and thundering drumming but in this case paired with Mark Arm howling lyrics about debaucherous behavior and in a similar fashion to Jim Carroll Band‘s “People Who Died,” “Vice” manages to offer a sobering warning — some of that behavior will fuck you up and then kill you.

 

Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to recording and producing their material and for touring — and for a continuing collaboration with the legendary Jack Endino, who has mixed and mastered each of the band’s first two albums. Building on a growing national profile, the band has played at several of the country’s largest festivals including Bamboozle and SXSW, and have opened for the likes of the legendary Mudhoney; in fact, I caught the New Jersey-based band open for Mudhoney when the legendary grunge rock forefathers stopped at The Bell House last year.

The members of the New Jersey-based quartet will be releasing their third full-length effort After All on January 6 and the album, which was recorded at Studio 606 will further continue the band’s collaboration with Jack Endino, who only only recorded, mixed and mastered the album but also produced the album and contributed some guitar on aa few songs. Additionally, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm contributes his imitable vocals to a couple of songs, furthering yet another collaboration with a Seattle grunge rock legend. After All‘s first single “Photograph” is a 1990s-inspired, explosive barn-burner of a song, complete with aggressive power chords, growled vocals and an anthemic hook reminiscent of Foo Fighters, Nirvana and others — all while being rather radio-friendly.

 

 

 

Al Tompkins, the creative mastermind behind goth/industrial act Dark Matter Noise (DMN) is a grizzled, Seattle music scene veteran and quietly kept mainstay. As the story goes, Tompkins went to high school with Chris Cornell and college with Matt Cameron — before Cornell and Cameron met and formed Soundgarden. Tompkins’ first band Ebb and Flow received a great deal of airplay for a goth soundtrack tune that the renowned producer and audio engineer Jack Endino recorded as part of a test to get a job at Reciprocal Recording, where Nirvana eventually recorded Bleach. Tompkins next band, Strange Bulge recorded an album which had guest appearances by Ten Minute Warning and Mother Love Bone‘s Greg Gilmore and the aforementioned Jack Endino and Matt Cameron. Tompkins fourth band Yeast recorded split singles with Nirvana, Helios Creed and Coffin Break among others and opened for the likes of Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and The Fluid. Tompkins then pursued an interest in metal with a stint with Resonator, who opened for the likes of The Gits, Napalm Death, The Pleasure Elite and others.

Tompkins latest project Dark Matter Noise (DMN) was created out of his desire to fully experiment with an electronic sound — and to change up his songwriting approach, after spending years within the indie rock scene. The project’s second and forthcoming album Blackwing is slated for a March 18 release, and the the album has Tompkins producing the album, as well as performing most of the instrumentation on the effort, except for contributions from Electric Hellfire Club‘s Eric Peterson, Vladimir Potrosky contributed songwriting on “End of Line,” and Charlie Drown contributed vocals on “Open Wide” and “Hell’s Frozen.” Sonically speaking, the album’s first single and title track “Darkwing” sounds as though it draws from Ministry, Depeche Mode and early Nine Inch Nails as layers of buzzing guitars, industrial clang and clatter, propulsive and forceful drum programming and drumming and swirling electronics are paired with guttural yet crooned vocals. And although the song and the material on the album is reportedly inspired by a number of very dark things –the dissolution of a marriage, the lost of years of recordings and demos and so on — there’s a sense of resilience just underneath the murky surface.

 

 

 

New Video: Check Out the Creepy, Halloween-Themed Video for WINDHAND’s”Two Urns”

Comprised of Garrett Morris (guitar), Parker Chandler (gass) Dorthia Cottrell (vocals), Asechiah Bogdan (guitar), Ryan Wolfe (drums), the Virginia-based quintet WINDHAND have developed a reputation for a forceful, doom metal sound consisting of huge, dirge-like power chords reminiscent […]