Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cattle Decapitation Release In-Studio Video for "Monolith of Inhumanity" (Out May 8th on Metal Blade) / Show April 24th at Club Europa

Cattle Decapitation Release In-Studio Video for 'Monolith of Inhumanity' (Out May 8th on Metal Blade) / Show April 24th at Club EuropaCalifornia progressive grind conquerors Cattle Decapitation reveal the first of three in-studio video segments from their Monolith Of Inhumanity recording sessions. Set for North American release on May 8, 2012, the record was produced by Dave Otero of Denver's Flatline Audio and sees the band exploring innovative new techniques in song writing without abandoning their signature formula of confrontational audio wreckage and self-loathing lyrical content.

Check out Dave McGraw’s drum demolition and behind-the-scenes studio footage as well as first single “A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat”.

Monolith Of Inhumanity is an achievement that stands out as one of the most volatile, ambitious, and impossible to aptly categorize records you will hear in 2012. Dragging their ever-evolving deathgrind sound kicking and screaming into the epic territory inhabited by the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Anaal Nathrakh, the quartet redefine all perceptions of what Cattle Decapitation is. With their seventh full-length, the band have never sounded more focused, aggressive, or manically determined to get in the faces of those who erroneously believe they’ve already experienced the band at their extreme best.

The 11-track Monolith Of Inhumanity features a host of guests including Mike Majewski of Devourment (guest vocals on "Projectile Ovulation"), Lenard Leal of Cephalic Carnage (backing vocals by on "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat"), The Cephalic Carnage Community Men's Choir, consisting of all current Cephalic members and alumni Jawsh Mullen and Zac Joe (gang choir vocals on "The Carbon Stampede"), and ambient and noise interludes by Los Angeles' most extreme decimator of sound, John Wiese, as well as another strikingly brutal cover by Wes Benscoter.

In addition, Cattle Decapitation collaborated with famed pop culture artist Tom Bunk, best known for his work for the 1980s Garbage Pail Kids trading cards and MAD Magazine, for a very special art project. Bunk was gracious enough to create individual pieces of art for each member of the band, heavily influenced by and practically just as they appeared in the Garbage Pail Kids series of the ‘80s! A GPK-inspired Cattle Decapitation trading card set and T-shirts are included with special limited pre-order packages and collector’s bundles.

Cattle Decapitation recently returned from the successful Reborn of Death European Tour with Suffocation, Blood Red Throne, Cerebral Bore, Adimiron, Sadist and Ulvedharr and will take a short break before heading out on the Occupation Domination 2012 with Origin, Decrepit Birth, Aborted, Rings Of Saturn, Battlecross and more!

CATTLE DECAPITATION - Occupation Domination 2012
w/ Origin, Decrepit Birth, Aborted, Rings Of Saturn, Battlecross
4/14/12 - Forum 619 – Cheyenne, WY
4/15/12 - Budd Ugly's – Rapid City, SD
4/18/12 - Blackened Moon – Lansing, MI
4/19/12 - Lansing Elementary Community Center, Lansing OH
4/20/12 - Sonar – Baltimore, MD
4/21/12 - Mojo 13 – Wilmington, DE
4/22/12 - Champs Backstage – Trenton, NJ
4/23/12 - Railroad Tavern – Keene, NH
4/24/12 - Club Europa – Brooklyn, NY (Advanced Tickets are $20)
4/25/12 - Harpos – Detroit, MI
4/26/12 - Brass Rail – Peoria, IL
4/27/12 - Mojoe’s – Joliet, IL
4/28/12 - Camelot Arena – Portage, IN
4/29/12 - Fubar – St. Louis, MO
4/30/12 - The Rogue – Fayetteville, AR
5/02/12 - El Rey Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
5/03/12 - Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
5/04/12 - Ruby Room – San Diego, CA
5/05/12 - The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
5/06/12 - The Whisky a Go-Go – Hollywood, CA
5/07/12 - Slidebar – Fullerton, CA
5/08/12 - DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
5/09/12 - Plea For Peace Center – Stockton, CA
5/10/12 - The Alley – Sparks, NV
5/11/12 - Branx – Portland, OR
5/12/12 - Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
5/13/12 - The Venue – Boise, ID
5/14/12 - In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
5/15/12 - The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
5/16/12 - People's Court – Des Moines, IA
5/17/12 - Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
5/18/12 - The Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS

Cattle Decapitation

Cannibal Corpse: "Torture" Interview with Guitarist Rob Barrett, March 29, 2012

DOWNLOAD: BrooklynRocks Interview with Cannibal Corpse Guitarist Rob Barrett

Cannibal Corpse: 'Torture' Interview with Guitarist Rob Barrett, March 29, 2012 Long-running band Cannibal Corpse is back with their twelfth disc, Torture (released March 13th on Metal Blade). This new twelve track disc combines the raw thrash of the band’s early works with the technical precision of the band’s later works and complements this with clear production from (Hate Eternal/x-Morbid Angel) Erik Rutan. This new disc is the band’s third with Rutan and it follows in a similar musical vein as Kill (2006) and Evisceration Plague (2009).

I had the pleasure of talking with guitarist Rob Barrett last week about the making of the new disc and the band's upcoming tour. Check out the interview - the link is posted above.

Cannibal Corpse Tour Dates
Apr 05 - Jacksonville Beach, FL, Freebird Live
Apr 08 - Huntington, WV, V Club
Apr 13 - Rochester, NY, Club @ Water Street
Apr 14 - Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's
Apr 15 - Phoenix, AZ, Rhythm Room
Apr 16 - Des Moines, IA, People's Court
Apr 21 - Grand Junction, CO, Mesa Theater
Apr 25 - Houston, TX, Jake's
Apr 27 - Columbia, MO, The Blue Note
Apr 28 - Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom
Apr 30 - Nashville, TN, Exit/In
May 01 - Birmingham, AL, Zydeco (Upstairs)
May 02 - Pensacola, FL, Vinyl Music Hall
May 03 - Gainesville, FL, Double Down Live

Cannibal Corpse

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cursive Plays Headlining Shows at Bowery Ballroom on Apr. 3 & 4

STREAM: Cursive Live on Minneapolis Radio 3/23/12

On Cursive's seventh disc, I Am Gemini (Saddle Creek), the band tells the story of Cassius and Pollock, twin brothers who had been separated at birth. “One good and one evil, their unexpected reunion in a house that is not a home ignites a classic struggle for the soul, played out with a cast of supporting characters that includes a chorus of angels and devils, and twin sisters conjoined at the head.

Cursive kicked off their US tour in February and the band is playing two nights at Bowery Ballroom on April 3rd and 4th with support from Cymbals Eat Guitars and Conduits. Tickets for each of the nights are $16 and doors are at 7:30PM.

Later this month, Cursive will reissue their classic 2001 EP "Burst and Bloom" as a limited edition 12-inch in celebration of Record Store Day 2012 on April 21st via Saddle Creek. Available in this format for the first time in years, the EP will be pressed on RSD-exclusive yellow, white, and black marbled vinyl, with only 1,500 copies issued. A list of participating stores can be found here.

Burst and Bloom track listing:
Sink To The Beat
The Great Decay
Tall Tales, Telltales
Mothership, Mothership, Do You Read Me?
Fairytales Tell Tales


Crocodiles Play Glasslands on April 11th / New Album "Endless Flowers" out June 5th (Frenchkiss)

DOWNLOAD: Crocodiles - "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)"

Crocodiles Play Glasslands on April 11th / New Album 'Endless Flowers' out June 5th (Frenchkiss)San Diego, CA's Crocodiles are confirmed to support The Temper Trap on a set of North American tour dates in June. Beginning on the 10th at the House of Blues in Dallas, TX, the run will continue up the west coast before wrapping up on the 19th at the Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC. The band is also performing twice in New York this month: on April 11th at Glasslands in Brooklyn and on the 12th at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. A current itinerary is below and more Crocodiles touring news will be announced soon.

Last week, Crocodiles premiered an album teaser video for upcoming release Endless Flowers, which will be out in the US on June 5th via Frenchkiss Records, on AOL Music's Spinner. The Max Petrich-directed infomercial - which debuts clips of LP tracks "My Surfing Lucifer", "No Black Clouds For Dee Dee", and "Welcome Trouble".

Recorded in Berlin last summer, Endless Flowers is the first album to feature Crocodiles' full five-piece line up, which has evolved from their 2008 genesis as the core duo of singer/guitarist Brandon Welchez and guitarist Charles Rowell to now include keyboardist Robin Eisenberg, bassist Marco Gonzalez, and drummer Anna Schulte. Endless Flowers follows in the footsteps of the band's stellar two previous releases (2010's Sleep Forever and 2009's debut Summer of Hate), while adding a refined cohesion and unmistakable sunnyness to their glorious noise- and echo-cloaked pop. The title track opener is four and a half minutes of soaring, alarm-ringing guitars, while "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" comes next with a resounding, punk-inflected charge. The 7-plus minute "My Surfing Lucifer" begins with two minutes of grimy, hissed spoken word before ascending to glammy, distorted heights; the bass-heavy and buzzing "Dark Alleys" is a motorik march; and the swirling "Bubblegum Trash" has a sweet, dirty charm. Nearly all are single-worthy, and are embellished with Welchez's newly forward-mixed croon.

Crocodiles on tour:
APR. 11 -- BROOKLYN, NY -- GLASSLANDS (Tickets are $15)
APR. 12 -- NEW YORK, NY -- MERCURY LOUNGE (Tickets are $15)
JUN. 11 -- AUSTIN, TX -- STUBB'S (outdoors)*
* supporting The Temper Trap


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Across Tundras: Nashville Americana-Doom Band Plays Union Pool on April 20th (Neurot Recordings)

Across Tundras: Nashville Americana-Doom Band Plays Union Pool on April 20th (Neurot Recordings) Nashville, Tennessee's panoramic country crushers Across Tundras' Neurot Recordings debut, Sage, was released in May 2011, capturing the band's heritage perfectly, through an amalgam of haunting doom-tinged Americana, melding echoes of traditional country blues and psychedelic sludge. Their organic sound is well-honed, marking it as their most fully realized album to date with all of their influences and elements flowing cohesively.

Across Tundras will be heading "out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels" on a massive American tour this Spring in support of their Neurot Recordings debut Sage. The band also pressed and hand-screened 300 copies of Sage on 2xLP as well as a brand new split 7" with fellow Tennessee heavy psych rockers Hellbender, especially for these tour dates. Get stoked like a raging prairie fire for the Across Tundras live experience!

ACROSS TUNDRAS 2012 Spring Tour:
4/11/2012 The Foxhole - St Louis, MO w/ Thorlock, Time and Time
4/12/2012 Mike n Molly's - Champaign, IL
4/13/2012 Rozz Tox - Quad Cities, IL w/ Electric Machete, Greg Colson
4/14/2012 Club Garibaldi - Milwaukee, WI @ Milwaukee Day's Fest w/ Northless
4/15/2012 Ultra Lounge - Chicago, IL w/ Larks Tongue
4/16/2012 Peoria Pizza Works - Peoria, IL w/ Larks Tongue
4/17/2012 The Butcher Shop - Dayton, OH w/ Before the Eyewall, Imbroglio
4/18/2012 Carabar - Columbus, OH w/ Tank Destroyer, Traitors Return to Earth
4/19/2012 Smiling Moose - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Molasses Barge, Carousel
4/20/2012 Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY
4/21/2012 The Level Room - Philadelphia, PA w/ Ominous Black, Sadgiqacea, Hivelords
4/22/2012 Strange Matter - Richmond, VA @ Year of Shit 3 Fest
4/23/2012 TBA - Raleigh, NC (HELP WANTED)
4/24/2012 The Cave - Chapel Hill, NC w/ Bitter Resolve
4/25/2012 The Milestone - Charlotte, NC
4/26/2012 The Owl - Greenville, SC
4/27/2012 Lexington Avenue Brewery - Asheville, NC
4/28/2012 Wonderroot - Atlanta, GA
4/29/2012 Longbranch Saloon - Knoxville, TN w/ Wampus Cat, War Injun
4/30/2012 The Green Lantern - Lexington, KY w/ Stampede
5/01/2012 The Muse - Nashville, TN
5/17/2012 The Buccaneer - Memphis, TN
5/18/2012 The Road Map - Texarkana, AR
5/19/2012 The Conservatory - Oklahoma City, OK
5/20/2012 Lola's - Ft. Worth, TX w/ FTW
5/21/2012 The 806 Coffee House - Amarillo, TX
5/22/2012 Burt's Tiki Lounge - Albuquerque, NM
5/23/2012 The Red Owl - Phoenix, AZ w/ Rituals, Via Vengeance
5/24/2012 La Cocina - Tucson, AZ
5/25/2012 Matsumoto's 2nd Street Jazz - Los Angeles, CA
5/26/2012 Thee Parkside - San Francisco, CA w/ Electric Shepherd & Outlaw, Hollow Mirrors, Owl
5/27/2012 TBA - Sacramento, CA (HELP WANTED)
5/28/2012 The Alibi - Arcata, CA w/ Uzala, Witch Sermon
5/29/2012 TBA - Eugene, OR (HELP WANTED)
5/30/2012 Billy Kyle's House - Portland, OR
5/31/2012 Plan B - Portland, OR w/ Megaton Leviathon, Diesto, White Orange
6/01/2012 The Shakedown - Bellingham, WA
6/02/2012 The Highline - Seattle, WA w/ Samothrace
6/03/2012 The Venue - Boise, ID
6/04/2012 Burt's Tiki Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT w/ Lo Pan
6/05/2012 3 Kings Tavern - Denver, CO w/ The Sewer Rats, Varlet
6/06/2012 B & B Bar - Spearfish, SD w/ The Sewer Rats, Don't Touch Me
6/07/2012 Latitude 44 - Sioux Falls, SD w/ The Sewer Rats, Rifflord
6/08/2012 The Medusa - Minneapolis, MN w/ The Sewer Rats, Lungs
6/09/2012 Off Minor - Dubuque, IA w/ Aseethe

Across Tundras

Cannibal Corpse - "Torture" CD Review (Metal Blade)

Cannibal Corpse - 'Torture' CD Review (Metal Blade)Long-running band Cannibal Corpse is back with their twelfth disc, Torture (released March 13th on Metal Blade). This new twelve track disc combines the raw thrash of the band’s early works with the technical precision of the band’s later works and complements this with clear production from (Hate Eternal/x-Morbid Angel) Erik Rutan. This new disc is the band’s third with Rutan and it follows in a similar musical vein as Kill (2006) and Evisceration Plague (2009).

Torture is everything that you would expect from a Cannibal Corpse disc – brutal riffs and technical solos, throat-shredding guttural vocals and pounding blast beats. To mix things up, the band slows down on a couple of numbers (“Scourge of Iron” and “Sarcophagic Frenzy”) for some down-tuned, slow burning dirge. Rutan’s clean production gives the band’s music an ‘accessibility’ that really wasn’t heard on previous discs as each song has room to breathe and stand on its own. The production also highlights the band’s maturing songwriting and brings out the razor-tight interplay between the members. In an interview with ThisIsNotAScene, guitarist Rob Barrett said “we have got to a point where the chemistry has developed to its best point, now we’re all writing songs to a point where we’re keeping each individual in mind, as opposed to before where perhaps we were writing whatever we wanted to play and weren’t really keeping into consideration what anyone else was going to play”.

Some of the standout tracks are the Barrett-penned “Sarcophagic Frenzy”, “The Strangulation Chair”, which has a killer bass solo from Alex Webster and “Intestinal Crank”, with its chugging bass and tightly integrated start/stop riffs.

With track names like “As Deep as the Knife Will Go” and “Followed Home Then Killed”, one can see that Cannibal Corpse’s lyrics continue in the same horror/gore vein as past releases (…as if anyone would have expected differently). Going back to the This IsNotAScene interview, Rob Barrett said “When we were thinking about potential album titles and ended up agreeing on the ‘Torture’ title that pretty much gave us a focus of what we were going to write all the lyrics about, each song deals with some sort of form of different torture.” Adding to the overall experience is a return to the horror/gore art of the band’s early days with carefully packaged gruesome album cover by artist Vince Locke.

Cannibal Corpse Tour Dates
Apr 05 - Jacksonville Beach, FL, Freebird Live
Apr 08 - Huntington, WV, V Club
Apr 13 - Rochester, NY, Club @ Water Street
Apr 14 - Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's
Apr 15 - Phoenix, AZ, Rhythm Room
Apr 16 - Des Moines, IA, People's Court
Apr 21 - Grand Junction, CO, Mesa Theater
Apr 25 - Houston, TX, Jake's
Apr 27 - Columbia, MO, The Blue Note
Apr 28 - Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom
Apr 30 - Nashville, TN, Exit/In
May 01 - Birmingham, AL, Zydeco (Upstairs)
May 02 - Pensacola, FL, Vinyl Music Hall
May 03 - Gainesville, FL, Double Down Live

Cannibal Corpse

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

John Cale & Band: "Live" (Rockpalast 1983/84) CD Review

John Cale & Band: 'Live' (Rockpalast 1983/84) CD ReviewRock “stadium” shows are always a bit of a dicey proposition as rarely will a promoter select a cohesive lineup of bands whose music gels together. This two disc set of John Cale’s 1983/84 performances at Rockpalast start with his 1984 appearance and the other bands on the bill that night were Huey Lewis & the News, Chalice and Level 42. While both Huey Lewis and Level 42 were huge acts at the time, it seems like a very odd pairing with John Cale as the headliner.

With the 1984 show, John Cale took the stage at 3AM on the morning of October 14th and played an angry and raw seventeen song set. Allegedly, Cale was c*ked to the gills at the time he took the stage and he plays stinging and emotive versions of “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend” and “Streets of Laredo”. He totally deconstructs “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Waiting for the Man” and ends the set with a moving version of “(I Keep a) Close Watch”. It is a brilliant performance that shows that rock music doesn’t have to be bombastic to make an impact. While Cale’s setlist spanned his solo career to-date, this may be the only opportunity that one has to hear tracks from Cale’s 1984 release Caribbean Sunset, as this disc is still out of print. There are also two unreleased tracks that are part of the set – “Autobiography”, which I don’t think was played after the 1984 tour and a cover of The Doors’ “Love Me Two Times” (which is appended to “Pablo Picasso”).

CD1 (1984):
"Ooh La La"
"Model Beirut Recital"
"Streets Of Laredo"
"Dr. Mudd"
"Leaving It Up To You"
"Caribbean Sunset"
"The Hunt"
"Fear Is A Man's Best Friend"
"Heartbreak Hotel"
"Paris 1919"
"I'm Waiting For The Man"
"Mercenaries (Ready For War)"
"Pablo Picasso > Love Me Two Times"
"(I Keep A) Close Watch"

John Cale - vocals, guitar, piano
David Lichtenstein - drums
Andy Heermans - bass
David Young - guitar

The second show was recorded on March 6, 1983 at Zeche, Bochum and this performance was just John Cale solo with a guitar and piano. As compared with the 1984 Rockpalast show, Cale seems to be in a nicer mood and even talks to the audience here and there between songs. For this show, Cale has selected a mellower set of songs, which include a few from his first solo disc Vintage Violence. While this 22 song set starts out with a minimalist interpretation of songs from Cale’s back catalogue, the emotive power that dominated the 1984 show first starts to surface on “Guts” but Cale doesn’t starts building to a throat-shredding howl until “Cable Hogue” and, by the time he reaches “Fear Is a Man’s Best Friend”, his voice is completely raw.

CD2 (1983):
"Ghost Story"
"Ship Of Fools"
"Leaving It Up To You"
"Child's Christmas in Wales"
"Buffalo Ballet"
"Antarctica Starts Here"
"Taking It All Away"
"Paris 1919"
"Chinese Envoy"
"Thoughtless Kind"
"Only Time Will Tell"
"Cable Hogue"
"Dead Or Alive"
"I'm Waiting For The Man"
"Heartbreak Hotel"
"Fear Is A Man's Best Friend"
"(I Keep A) Close Watch"
"Streets Of Laredo"

John Cale

Tu Fawning - Download "Anchor" from Upcoming Sophomore CD "A Moment" (City Slang)

Tu Fawning - Download 'Anchor' from Upcoming Sophomore CD 'A Moment' (City Slang)Tu Fawning return this May with their sophomore release, A Monument. While the band retain their trademark sound in Corrina Repp’s formidable voice, the swampy blues-guitar howls are now replaced by a newfound love for vibrant percussive mania. A more ample use of keyboards have steered the band past the morbidly dark vaudevillian vibes of their 2010 debut album Hearts On Hold, and these new songs are even more focused and pointed than ever. A Monument delivers a set of dense, romantic, and highly energetic songs that fully represent Tu Fawning’s powerful live show. And on A Monument, this sparkles through on every track.

Tu Fawning has also announced the first dates of an upcoming headlining tour this summer. The band will launch the tour with a hometown show in Portland at Holocene on June 8th and continue down the west coast, also performing in San Francisco and Los Angeles. More dates will be announced soon.

Led by Corrina Repp and Joe Haege (31Knots), Tu Fawning expands upon the dark, vaudevillian vibes of their 2010 debut LP Hearts On Hold with A Monument. The album marks the first release written and recorded collaboratively as the four-piece of Repp, Haege, Liza Reitz, and Toussaint Perrault, who came together shortly after the duo of Repp and Haege returned from Tu Fawning's first tour. A Monument is steeped in the band's love of music from around the world, and wastes no time making its impact with the dynamic opening trio of "Anchor", the warped R&B/soul cadence of "Blood Stains", and the moody and sensual "Wager". The spooky theatrics of "Build A Great Cliff" and the choral loops and scaling of "Skin and Bone" segue into the mesmeric second half, which closes with the epic "Bones".

The songs of A Monument were found in the practice recordings made by Haege, or in Perrault's home-recorded demos, and - in addition to the usual guitars, keys, horns, and drums - feature instrumentation such as a ragini, a tuned-down marching band drum, old '80s synths, and South American chant samples turned into chords. Repp's formidable, smoky voice leads the charge throughout, at once ethereal and earthly.

Tu Fawning recorded A Monument with friends at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, CA, and at Type Foundry in Portland last summer, with some additional recording at Menomena's Justin Harris' house - all factors that lent a warm, familial feel to the recordings.

Tu Fawning

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Skabbs - "Idle Threat" CD Review (Jackpot Records)

The Skabbs - 'Idle Threat' CD Review (Jackpot Records)You have to love a band that formed around the goal of making music that sounded “less gross than Foreigner”. The Skabbs were a “Class of ’77” West Coast punk band that was making jagged “disaffected with the world” punk right around the same time that similar-minded (though not necessarily similar sounding) bands like Black Flag were first starting out. Adding to the comparison, The Skabbs went into the studio to record with producer Spot right around the same time Black Flag recorded “Nervous Breakdown”.

According to the band’s bio, The Skabbs “were (are) a punk rock or new wave band formed in 1976 or 77. Four guys from Torrance (aka: Lawndale, CA) convinced a uniquely talented guy named Steven J. Salazar (of South Pasadena) to join their already established "band" as lead singer, keyboardist, and songwriter. Over the next year or so, Salazar wrote a large quantity of songs for The Skabbs, performed with them, had the time of his life and then died. Eventually (thirty years later) we thought, "who else is gonna play this stuff?". Ultimately, the four of us decided to play Steve's songs again.

In the disc’s liner notes, the band describes The Skabbs’ concept as “[d]umb guys who can’t play their instruments very well and don’t care if anyone likes them or not”. This comment doesn’t do the band justice as their music fits well alongside with DIY punk bands of the time and the bands that followed. There isn’t a core Skabbs’ sound but, on many of the songs, the band combines quirky and jittery rhythms with the start-stop playing that was the hallmark of a number of the SST bands that sprouted up in later years. Just to confuse things though – on other tracks, the band sounds closer to acts like The Dickies (“N-N-N-Nervous”) or The Avengers (“Long May She Wave”, “Who Killed the Kennedys”). Adding to the disc’s punk charm, these rehearsal tracks were recorded on a open mic two-track reel-to-reel so there is a lo-fi “ragged but right” aura (which sometimes borders on the demented) to these songs. There isn’t a lyric sheet with the disc but, of what I can hear, lyrical themes range from ‘typical’ teen angst nihilism to socio-political punk.

Fans of old-school SoCal punk are going to want to pick this one up.

The Skabbs have started playing live again though, based on their current set of tour dates; it looks like they are just playing local and weekend shows.

The Skabbs Tour Dates
April 14th - Suzy's Bar & Grill, Hermosa Beach, CA
April 21st - Permanent Records, Eagle Rock, CA (In-Store Set for RSD @ 6PM)

The Skabbs

Sunday, March 25, 2012

First Aid Kit Start US Tour @ Webster Hall on March 28th / US TV Debut on Conan on April 16th

First Aid Kit Start US Tour @ Webster Hall on March 28th / US TV Debut on Conan on April 16th Stockholm, Sweden's First Aid Kit are confirmed to make their U.S. television debut April 16th on Conan, in support of their acclaimed sophomore album The Lion's Roar, which was released January 24th via Wichita Recordings.

Leading up to the performance, First Aid Kit will travel cross-country on their North American headlining tour, which begins on March 28th at Webster Hall in New York, NY and wraps up on April 18th at Slim's in San Francisco, CA. The tour includes multiple sold out dates - Washington, DC, Toronto, ON, Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, and Seattle, WA - as well as shows in Boston, MA and Portland, OR that have been upgraded to larger venues due to demand. First Aid Kit will also perform at the Coachella Music and Arts festival on April 15th and 22nd, and are confirmed to support Wild Flag at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on April 19th. In late July, the band will perform at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.

The band's North American trek comes on the heels of their tours in Europe, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, the majority of which were sold out plays (including Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, and all UK shows). First Aid Kit will return to the stage overseas this summer for six shows supporting Jack White, who produced and released the band's Third Man Records Blue Series 7-inch single in January 2010. A full itinerary is below.

First Aid Kit Tour Dates:
JUN. 27 -- COLOGNE, DE -- E-WERK**
* supporting Wild Flag
** supporting Jack White

First Aid Kit

Rooftop Runners - "We Are Here" CD EP Review

Rooftop Runners - 'We Are Here' CD EP ReviewCanada-to-Germany transplants Rooftop Runners are releasing their debut EP “We Are Here” – a disc of dark and melancholy torch songs with a slow-burning dance club beat - on April 3th. Rooftop Runners is composed of brothers Benedikit and Tobias MacIsaac, who are no strangers to the performing arts as they are respectively an internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer.

The band describes their music as trip-pop…while this label makes me think of post trip-hop bands like Sneaker Pimps and Alpha, Rooftop Runners’ music is more atmospheric than ambient and it is carried soulful falsetto vocals and minimalist instrumentation comprised of slinky bass beats, brooding electronica and dissonant guitar work. All-in-all, “We Are Here” is closer in sound and spirit (as the lyrics are equally as dark as the music) to Soft Cell than one of these later-period bands.

Rooftop Runners

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Public Image Limited - "Live at Rockpalast 1983" DVD Review

I just finished a review of Michael Schenker Group’s Rockpalast show and what MSG has in common with PiL is that both bands are led by mercurial leaders who change lineups as often as they change shoes. This particular Public Image Limited show was filmed Halloween night in 1983 with the short-lived “cabaret band” lineup. To put some context around this, bassist Pete Jones had left the band in early 1983 and guitarist Keith Levine had left (or was fired, depending on whose story you believe) prior to the band’s Japanese tour. As such, drummer Martin Atkins and producer Bob Miller recruited local NYC musicians Lou Bernardi (bass), Joseph Guida (guitar), and Tom Zvoncheck (keyboard) for the Japanese tour. Zvoncheck left the band prior to the band’s subsequent European tour (to work with BOC’s Albert Bouchard) and he was replaced by Arthur Stead (Frehley’s Commet, Foreigner, etc.) for the European tour which included this Rockpalast show. The “cabaret” tag was given to the band as Atkins had them wear tuxedos on the Japanese tour.

From my perspective, this lineup of the band gets unfairly blamed for the band moving its sound in a more commercially accessible direction. Like many of the bands who recorded in the 80’s, keyboards are prominent in the mix and the band plays with a rock-oriented polish that is comparable to Gang of 4’s evolution once Dave Allen left the band. All-in-all, this 13 song (60 minute) show is very solid and the crowd responds in full pit/pogo mode on the percussive rock-oriented tracks.

PiL gets the crowd moving with an opening 1-2 punch of “Public Image” and “Annalisa” but numbers like Metal Box’s “Chant” seem to take the fight out of the crowd. Lyndon doesn’t allow these slower moments to linger though and, in this case, he fired the crowd back up with a slick run-through of “Anarchy in the UK”.

John Lydon isn’t quite as obnoxious at this show as when I saw the band on the 1982 tour but he does get off a few audience-baiting zingers. He starts the show doing his spastic cheerleader dances and tries singing from in front of the security barricade for “Annalisa”, which nearly got him pulled into the crowd. There is a minimal amount of mugging for the camera with the cockeyed stare that John used to use with Pistols and a few comments about being bored and wanting to go home. Aside for blowing a few “snot rockets” at the audience, John is reasonably well behaved.

The bonus segments on the disc are interesting but somewhat of a mixed bag. There are a few classic one-liners during Lydon’s interview with Rockpalast host Alan Bangs (“I’m an egomaniac – I love being adored”) but, for the most part, John looks bored and abruptly ends the interview with the comment “Is that it?” as he gets up. The two rehearsals tracks “Annalisa” and “Chant” are both interesting but the audio comes through the soundboard and it sounds as through the mix is being balanced during the recording (i.e., there are missing and/or too loud instruments in parts of the audio and Lydon’s vocals are inaudible during the first minute of “Annalisa”).

Set List:
Public Image Limited
Flowers of Romance
Anarchy in the U.K.

(This is Not a) Love Song

Low Life
Under the House
Bad Life
Public Image II (Second run-through)

Just to make a couple of comments about the set list, “Under the House” is particularly impressive as I don’t think I’ve seen this song performed live before so it was fascinating to watch Bernardi and Guida take up positions on opposite sides of the stage and join Atkins on percussion while Lydon wails away. Some of the “oddities” about the set list are that the band opens and closes with spirited run-throughs of “Public Image”. They also leave the stage after “(This is Not a) Love Song” and house music comes over the PA (obviously someone in production thought the show was over) but Lydon quickly returns to the stage with the comment “Turn that tape off!”.

Public Image Ltd.

Huntress: Win a Pair of Tickets to Paganfest 2012 @ Gramercy Theatre on March 31st

Huntress: Win a Pair of Tickets to Paganfest 2012 @ Gramercy Theatre on March 31st Win a pair of tickets to see Huntress at Gramercy Theatre on March 31st. The band is playing on the Paganfest America 2012 tour, which features Turisas, Alestorm, Arkona and Huntress.

Drop me an email at Mike.BrooklynRocks at Gmail Dot Com with the subject "Huntress Tickets" and a winner will be chosen at random. Be sure to include your first and last name in the email as tickets will be at will-call.

Huntress was birthed in the underground of Highland Park, California, clawing at the roots of heavy metal. Lead singer Jill Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of Huntress. In 2009 she met underground metal band Professor. The universe spread her legs and delivered Huntress to Janus, combining former members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch.

The powerful pentad signed to Napalm Records in November 2011. They unleashed their first music video for “Eight of Swords” in October 2011, directed by Simon Chan of Artificial Army. The song was produced and engineered by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording in Silverlake, CA. Rakestraw will also produce their debut album, slated for release Spring/Summer 2012 on Napalm Records.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jonquil Plays Glasslands on April 2nd with Keep Shelly In Athens

Jonquil Plays Glassland on April 2nd with Keep Shelly In AthensLast month, Oxford quartet Jonquil released their full-length debut Point Of Go and, more recently, the band just finished a series of high-profile shows at SXSW. Following SXSW, Jonquil is kicking off a short US tour starting in Chapel Hill, NC on March 21st and the local tour stop is at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn on April 2nd. At Glasslands, Jonquil is playing alongside Keep Shelly in Athens and New Moods. Tickets are $15 and doors are at 8:30PM.

Point Of Go emerges as a glimmeringly positive step in a new direction, a record that is, in the words of the band, “far more poppy and accessible” than anything they’ve previously written. Recorded over a six-week period in a farmhouse studio it takes the band’s summery flourishes and intricate guitars, and strips them back to a set of immediate, direct pop songs. With influences rooted firmly in the past – from Fleetwood Mac to The Smiths, Chic and Earth, Wind and Fire to Arthur Russell – the quartet’s LP is an exercise in classic pop sensibilities held up by a modern backbone.


Dead Fame - "Frontiers" CD EP Review / Shows at Lit Lounge & Pianos in March/April

Dead Fame - 'Frontiers' CD EP Review / Shows at Lit Lounge & Pianos in March/AprilRichmond post-punk band Dead Fame released their debut EP “Frontiers” early this year which shows the band’s sound firmly rooted in the darkly melodic melancholia of bands like Joy Division and The Chameleons. Dead Fame started in 2009 when synthesizer player Christopher DeNitto reunited with former band mate, guitarist KC Byrnes and duo slowly found additional players to give the group a “live band” sound. The group is fleshed out by bassist Sadie Powers, drummer Eric Klemen and singer/lyricist Michael Means. Given that Dead Fame is Eric and Michael’s first band, the group’s debut EP is strikingly mature.

The five songs on “Frontiers” all run about 4 minutes in length and the disc’s clean mix brings the band’s edgy drive quickly to the surface. The disc was produced by Cam DiNunzio [of Heks Orkest, Denali and others] at Black Iris Studios and he did a wonderful job of balancing all of the instrumentation. There isn’t one instrument that stands out over another but I was especially taken Eric Klemen’s innovative drumming and Michael Means’ world-weary, almost British-sounding vocals.

Adding to the music, Michael Means’ lyrics are detailed and interesting: “As far as lyrics go, it is usually several "pictures" or contexts that feed into the lyrics. It seems to be that several ideas always go spinning around, interacting with each other, leading to the lyrical fabric for each song, with the music helping to spark or trigger many of those ideas and pictures. So for instance, "Glass Jacket" isn't about one thing - it’s more contextual, with various themes working off the other to create an overall effect. ” (from Magazine33's 2011 interview with Dead Fame).

The disc starts out strong with the dark and raw sounding “Frontiers” which starts with prominent keyboards and a pulsing bassline before heading into a big chorus. This track is followed by the edgy Chameleons sounding “We Can Run”. The band changes pace on the slow burning “Glass Jacket” but keep the high-energy and drive consistent across the disc. What makes Dead Fame exciting is that they have been able to put their own personal imprint on a well-traveled genre.

Dead Fame is playing two local shows at the end of the month. The first is at Lit Lounge on March 31st and the second is at Pianos on April 1st. At the Lit Lounge show, Dead Fame is playing with Praha Depart (from Japan), Keeps (NYC), and Good Morning Valentine; Cover is $6. At the show at Pianos, Dead Fame is playing with Autodrone, Star Fawn, and Labirinto and cover is $8.

Dead Fame

Saturday, March 17, 2012

King's X Offer 1991 Concert Recording to Fans Who Donate To Help Jerry Gaskill's Medical Bills

King's X Offer 1991 Concert Recording to Fans Who Donate To Help Jerry Gaskill's Medical BillsAs Jerry Gaskill continues his recovery from a heart attack suffered late last month, King's X are offering a download of a previously unreleased 1991 concert to fans who donate money to help offset the drummer's medical and personal bills.

Available for download via the Molten Music website ( click on the poster), Burning Down Boston: Live at The Channel is a 90-minute, 13-song concert recorded at the height of the band's 1990 tour in support of Faith Hope Love. In addition to purchasing Burning Down Boston, donations can also be sent to Jerry Gaskill c/o World Entertainment Inc., P.O. Box 3095, Sea Bright, NJ 07760.

Jerry's medical condition is improving - he is no longer in ICU, but is still hospitalized battling pneumonia. He can sit up, and is showing signs of recovery that have his family and the band encouraged.

King's X

Michael Schenker Group - "Hard Rock Legends Vol. 2" (Live at Rockpalast 01/24/81)

Michael Schenker Group - 'Hard Rock Legends Vol. 2' (Live at Rockpalast 01/24/81)The opening of the Rockpalast vaults is exciting as this German TV program has been broadcasting full-length live performances from an eclectic range of artists since 1974. One of the first releases out of the vault is a concert from Michael Schenker Group (MSG) which was recorded in Hamburg on January 24, 1981.

This 60 minute live disc captures MSG during their peak early years and the timing of this concert catches the band squarely between 1980’s The Michael Schenker Group album and 1981’s MSG follow-up. Aside for vocalist Gary Barden, the lineup from the first disc had already transitioned out so, this time out, the lineup is filled out by UFO bandmate Paul Raymond (keyboards, rhythm guitar), Cozy Powell (drums) and Chris Glen (bass). Of the disc’s eleven track, seven are drawn from The Michael Schenker Group album and the remaining four come from Schenker’s most recent stint with UFO.

After braving Michael’s “Live and Drunk” 2007 tour and being somewhat bored by The 30th Anniversary Concert: Live in Tokyo, this Rockpalast concert helps me remember why I liked the band in the first place. The early lineup of MSG was a great hard rock band and MSG, at their peak, could rival the Strangers in the Night lineup of UFO. This live recording shows Barden’s voice and Schenker’s playing in top form, both of which are complemented by Cozy Powell’s phenomenal drumming.

Given the strength of the band’s performance, it is hard to pick one or more “standout” tracks as I’ve done with other reviews. The crowd responds strongly to the UFO tracks “Lights Out” and “Rock Bottom” but Schenker and the band sound great on the MSG tracks as well. Of the solo tracks, “Armed and Ready”, “Lost Horizons” and the instrumental “Into the Arena” are probably my favorites due to Schenker’s stellar guitar work.

Michael Schenker Group - Markethalle Hamburg, Germany, Jan. 24, 1981
Armed and Ready
Cry For The Nations
Victim Of Illusions
Natural Thing
Feels Like A Good Thing
Into The Arena
Rock Bottom
Lookin’ Out From Nowhere
Lost Horizons
Doctor Doctor
Lights Out

Michael Schenker

Friday, March 16, 2012

Deathamphetamine - "The Lost Album" CD Review / Show at Saint Vitus on May 17th

Deathamphetamine - 'The Lost Album' CD Review / Show at Saint Vitus on May 17thBoston’s Deathamphetamine is one of the more unique bands that I’ve heard in a while as their music blends grindcore and death metal with a bit of thrash thrown on top. Adding to the band’s sonic attack is remarkable clean production which highlights solid guitar riffs and solos along with hints of melody beneath the grime and grind.

The Lost Album is the band's first full length cassette release, a concept album about an apocalyptic future where all of their cynical paranoid conspiracy theory lyrics turned out to be true. In real life the original masters of this album were stolen during the recording process before they could be completed. So the concept of the final version ties the real and fictional events together, a story where the recording is finally found in the future by the last man left on a hostile mutated Planet Earth.

The disc starts with a short track, “The Story So Far”, which sounds like a worn-out horror movie sound-effects tape on its last legs before the music settles into the core sound of the disc. The second track, “1-1-2-3-5”, starts with some grinding riffs before the dual death and black metal vocals kick in amidst the blast beats. “Losing It All” shows the band bringing a bit of crust punk into the mix with some hoarse and clean gang vocals along with clean thrash guitar riffs and solos. “The Black Moment” is the closest thing to a rock track on the disc and it has a melodic guitar & bass driven build-up to where the death metal vocals kick in. “More Sauce for the Goose” is a solid hardcore number that breaks toward the end of the track for a brief movie soundtrack interlude. “Stalinizer” brings some falsetto (Rob Halford style) vocals into the mix and the disc goes out with “The Last Man” which is a fully-developed metal/rock track that grinds to a halt for a final run through a different snippet of broken film soundtracks. As much as the band is all over the place stylistically, The Lost Album comes off as a cohesive body of work.

The Lost Album is available as a digital download or on a limited edition cassette, which is available in four different colors from Obscenity Cult Records.

Deathamphetamine are playing St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on May 17th. (No information about the show is posted yet)


Iron Claw: Scotland's "Lost Pioneers of Heavy Metal" Releases New Single 'Final Hours'

Iron Claw: Scotland's Answer to Pentagram Releases New SingleCapping off a year that found Scotland's Iron Claw being hailed as the Rock n’ Roll comeback story of the Decade, Iron Claw has roared back to build upon the momentum and notoriety gained in 2011.

From 1969 to 1974 Scottish Heavy Rock band Iron Claw plowed across theUK, blasting out relentlessly heavy doom-laden, heavy blues rock. In and out of the recording studios, the band never officially released an album, but the bulk of their recorded output finally saw the light of day in 2009, released as a self-titled CD by Rockadrome. 35 years had passed since their last recording, but it was as if time had stood still. 2009 found a hungry audience, salivating at the heavy riffs and earthshaking rock that was Iron Claw. Stunned by the overwhelming response, the lads of Iron Claw started talking and soon, the band had reformed to work on new material. The buzz began to build.

Rightly hailed as one of the silent legends, the pioneers of British Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, with their Ripple Music debut, A Different Game, Iron Claw proved that their role in Rock History shall never go unspoken again. A hard biting, bluesy album found the band re-energized and vibrant on their first ever official releases.

After separating with vocalist Gordon Brown, Iron Claw conducted an extensive, nationwide search to find their new lead singer, Dumphries native, Gary Hair, then immediately ducked into the studio to put their new vocal chords to work. Now, having emerged fully refreshed, revitalized and a bit meaner, Iron Claw are ready to unleash their new single, "Final Hour" onto a rock-loving world. As bassist Alex Wilson puts it, Gary brings a "heavier direction to the band, more hard rock energy and passion. This should mark a return to an even heavier, rockier Iron Claw sound." A sound befitting of a band that has rightly become legendary among underground metal fans.

Iron Claw

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fear Report - "Pandemic" CD Review (Soul on Loan Records)

Fear Report - 'Pandemic' CD Review (Soul on Loan Records)You can generally tell a lot about a band by the company they keep. Brooklyn hard-rockers Fear Report just played a show at the Trash Bar, opening for Crooked Man (which is the new project from Candiria’s John LaMacchias and the band now includes Fran Mark on drums). I also saw vocalist Dan O’Berry’s previous band, Maniacal Plan, who sounded similar to Fear Report perform at L’Amour a few years back.

Fear Report’s debut full length, Pandemic, dropped last month and the 13-song (51 min) disc derives its sound from the modern rock/alt-rock sounds of the middle 90’s. This new disc follows the band’s 2009 three song demo, “Theory of Threes”, which Gears of Rock described as “Chock full of hook-ridden guitars whose homogeneous mix of gunk and gleam captures the distinguished Seattle vibe while chunky rhythms aplenty keep the attack just menacing enough to allow melody to seep through”.

Personally, I think Fear Report sounds closer to bands like Fuel and Chevelle than the Seattle grunge sound as, while Fear Report can build up a solid head of noise, they don’t succumb to the post-Zeppelin bombast of bands like Soundgarden nor the lo-fi, near out-of-control punk aesthetic of other bands from the 90’s Seattle scene. At its core, Pandemic is a guitar-rock album and the band’s two guitarists alternate between crunchy riffs and clean solos. Adding to this is Dan O’Berry’s whiskey-blues vocals and a rhythm section that thunders along in lockstep with the rest of the band. The end result is a mature set of songs that both transcends the limits of any individual genre and are more-than-ready for FM-radio play.

Fear Report's next local show is April 13th at Arena Lounge (80-12 51st Ave) in Queens.

Fear Report

Monday, March 12, 2012

School of Seven Bells Post Remix from REWARDS (aka Aaron Pfenning) / Cover of Siouxsie's "Kiss Them For Me" out Apr. 20th

School of Seven Bells Post Remix from REWARDS (aka Aaron Pfenning) / Cover of Siouxsie's 'Kiss Them For Me' out Apr. 20th Vagrant Records just posted free download of a new School of Seven Bells remix on Soundcloud. This one comes from REWARDS, NYC producer and former Chairlift member Aaron Pfenning, and is a great take on SVIIB's "The Night." The original version of "The Night" (also posted above) is the lead track on SVIIB's new album Ghostory which just debuted last week and is available through iTunes, Amazon and all the traditional outlets.

To celebrate the release of Ghostory, School of Seven Bells played back-to-back sold out shows at Mercury Lounge.

School of Seven Bells will be releasing an exclusive 7” for Record Store Day on April 21. The new 7" will feature the band's unique take on Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Kiss Them For Me,” as well as an unreleased SVIIB studio track called “When She Was Me.” These limited-edition tracks (only 1,000 7” singles will be pressed) will be available digitally on April 24 as well.

School of Seven Bells

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Hounds Below: Post "For You and I" from Forthcoming Full Length / Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with The Cribs

DOWNLOAD: The Hounds Below - "For You and I"

The Hounds Below: Post 'For You and I' from Forthcoming Full Length / Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with The CribsThe Hounds Below have announced multiple performances at next week’s SXSW (South By Southwest Festival) in Austin, TX. Made up of Midwestern music notables, the band includes Jason Stollsteimer (who launched his former band The Von Bondies to global recognition) as well as Jesse Shepherd-Bates (bass), Griffin Bastian (drums) and Skye Thrasher (guitar). The Hounds Below are also announcing U.S. dates as main support for The Cribs (dates below). The U.S. dates will be immediately followed with a month long headlining tour of Europe in May (dates to be announced shortly).

"For You And I" which will appear on the band’s debut album (to be released summer 2012) recently premiered with a non-album version on Consequence Of Sound (link above). The song is an example of the band’s synthesis of 90’s alternative pop and 50’s troubadour rock and dollops of elements in-between.

Formed over three years ago, The Hounds Below organically grew their fanbase through touring, DIY single releases and working out their material in the live setting before recording. With that mentality, the quartet has been able to complete numerous U.S. runs along both coasts and Canada as well. Their formidable live show has seen them share stages with such acts as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Heavy, The Black Angels, The Raveonettes and Fountains of Wayne.

3/15-- Austin, TX/SXSW-- Camel Party (@Emo’s East)-4:00pm
3/16 --Austin, TX/SXSW-- The Side Bar-2:00pm
3/16 --Austin, TX/SXSW-- Texas Jumpsuit Party (@Lovejoy’s)-4:30pm
3/17 --Austin, TX/SXSW-- 40 Watt Party (@The Side Bar)-3:30pm
3/17 --Austin, TX/SXSW-- Do 512 (@The Rooftop)-1:00am
4/9 --Chicago, IL-- Schuba’s (with The Cribs)
4/10 --Pontiac, MI-- The Pike Room (with The Cribs)
4/11 --Toronto, ON --Lee’s Palace (with The Cribs)
4/13 --Brooklyn, NY --Music Hall Of Williamsburg (with The Cribs) [Tickets are $20]
4/14-- Boston, MA-- Brighton Music Hall (with The Cribs)

The Hounds Below

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's: "Rot Gut, Domestic" CD Review / Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 11th

PREMIERE: Margot & The Nuclear So And So's - Shannon - RCRD LBL

Prozac Rock by MargotCloud

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's: 'Rot Gut, Domestic' CD Review / Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 11thMargot & The Nuclear So and So’s are releasing their fifth disc, Rot Gut, Domestic, on March 20th via the band’s Mariel Recording Company label. Rot Gut, Domestic is the Nukes' rawest take on their evocative, soaring brand of guitar-centric pop. Singer/songwriter Richard Edwards wrote Rot Gut, Domestic over 26 days in Pismo Beach, CA last spring. Plagued by chronic stomach pain, he'd headed to Pismo Beach - which had become a somewhat mythical place for the band, a respite of calm and healing where they'd somehow always been drawn - following the last days of the band's touring around Buzzard. The album was conceived as the second installment of the band's 'panic pop' trilogy, Edwards composing a new set of songs about Midwestern fringe characters set to his skewed version of the pop music on which he was raised. Upon returning to his current hometown of Chicago, IL, Edwards and the rest of the band headed into Electrical Audio studio with producer/engineer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, The Walkmen). The Nukes churned out these 12 resounding tracks over 10 days in July before Congleton returned to his Dallas, TX studio to mix the album.

Margot & The Nukes shook up its lineup and almost completely abandoned its chamber-pop roots with 2010's Buzzard (called "masterpieces of controlled tension" by SPIN). Rot Gut, Domestic shows the band continuing to move down the same gritty alcohol-fueled path to the gutter, with twisted tales of self-loathing, serial killers and urban paranoia. On opener "Disease Tobacco Free", the band builds up a wall of sound and Edwards sings at the higher end of his register which leaves the track sounding like Radiohead off on a NYC bender. "Books About Trains" is a tale of urban paranoia with a big guitar sound that hits its overloaded peak and comes crashing back down to Earth. "Shannon" is more sludgy and psychedelic than the first two tracks but, a the same time is more melodic with some nice backing harmonies – yet again though this song builds right up to the edge of the cliff with its tortured backing vocals before it comes crashing down. "Prozac Rock" is the disc’s big ‘radio single’ (if there were still such a thing) with its pulsing bass lines, razor-tight harmonies and exploding choruses. If this wasn’t enough, the band shifts gears on "A Journalist Falls In Love" which is a shimmering love ballad about a serial killer (“I know I’ve killed a few / but none of those women were you”). Seemingly out of left field, there is even a track about Eastern European basketball star Arvydas Sabonis which utilizes a verse-chorus-verse song structure with some very melodic hooks.

The disc ends with the gothic “The Devil” and the piano ballad “Christ” (“Jesus breaks your heart every night when he doesn’t come”). On the last, alcohol-filled night in Pismo, Edwards wrote “The Devil” and “Christ” in succession, and scribbled “rot gut, domestic” on the cover of his notebook and “panic pop” on the back. In the morning, he hitched a ride back to his adopted hometown of Chicago with a Bible salesman who told him, “Times have gotten bad.”

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's Tour Dates:

31 – Columbus, Ohio @ LC Pavilion

1 – Akron, Ohio @ Musica
3 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ Pyramid Scheme
4 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Blind Pig
5 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Garrison
6 – Buffalo, N.Y. @ The Ninth Ward
7 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Brillobox
9 – Hamden, Conn. @ The Space
10 – Boston, Mass. @ Middle East – Downstairs
11 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
(Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 DOS - support acts are Ezra Furman and Writer)

12 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ First Unitarian Church
13 – Washington, D.C. @ Rock and Roll Hotel
14 – Chapel Hill, N.C. @ Local 506
15 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Exit/In
17 – Orlando, Fla. @ The Plaza Live
18 – Tampa, Fla. @ Crowbar
19 – Tallahassee, Fla. @ Club Down Under
20 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Bottletree
21 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Masquerade

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

WATERS Plays Sold-Out Show at Webster Hall on March 29th / Live HearYa Session Tracks Posted as Free Download

DOWNLOAD: WATERS - "Take Me Out to the Coast"
DOWNLOAD: WATERS - "For the One" (Live HearYa Session)

WATERS - Live Photos from Webster Hall, NYC 12-7-11On the heels of a European tour supporting Nada Surf, WATERS has announced their 2012 SxSW schedule. The band will perform eight times over four days at the Austin festival next week; a full schedule is below that offers ample opportunity to catch WATERS' blistering live show.

Today, HearYa blog posted their live session with WATERS, recorded in Chicago in late November during the band's tour supporting Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Three live versions of debut LP Out In The Light (September 2011, TBD Records) tracks - "Take Me Out To The Coast", "Ones You Had Before", and "For The One" - can now be downloaded as free MP3s.

Before heading to Austin next week, WATERS will perform at the Clift Hotel in hometown San Francisco this Saturday night, March 10th, as part of the hotel's Clift Sessions presented by IAMSOUND series. The show is open to the public and free with RSVP (21+, doors 9pm, showtime 11pm). Following the band's SxSW run, they will hit the road to support Delta Spirit beginning March 19th in Little Rock, AR, and running through May 12th in Solano Beach, CA. The tour includes a sold out show at Webster Hall in New York, NY, on March 29th.

WATERS tour dates:
(Satellite LA and Popantipop present Seanow! - 5:30pm set)
MAR. 14 -- AUSTIN, TX -- RED7
(Sony Electronics/RED Official Showcase - 9:30pm set)
(HearYa presents SxSWeetland - 2:25pm set)
(The Treehouse Diddly - 5:45pm set)
(My Old Kentucky Blog Party - 2pm set)
(Nylon Magazine Party - 5:30pm set)
(HGTV Official Showcase - 9pm set)
(Baeble Music Party - 5pm set)
MAR. 31 -- WASHINGTON, DC -- 9:30 CLUB*
APR. 12 -- HOUSTON, TX -- FITZGERALD'S (Upstairs)*
MAY 11 -- LOS ANGELES, CA -- THE MUSIC BOX (Henry Fonda Theater)*
* supporting Delta Spirit


Butchers & Bakers Play Union Pool on March 29th - Last Show Before Heading into the Studio for New EP

Butchers & Bakers Play Union Pool on March 29th - Last Show Before Heading into the Studio for New EPButchers & Bakers used to be four guys, all of whom sang (sort of) and many of whom played guitar, often at the exact same time, very loudly. They are now four people, based in Brooklyn, only one of whom sings. Rebecca Keith’s voice sounds kind of like Grace Slick and kind of like Glenn Danzig; sometimes she plays keyboards too. Founding members Chris Asta and Mike Morini play guitar and drums, and newest member, bassist Hank Baker, was given automatic admission to the band because of his last name. Butchers & Bakers are two native New Yorkers (one uptown, one downtown), one part Eastern Mass, and one part Western Mass.

Butchers & Bakers are playing a show at Union Pool on March 29th with The Homophones and Wojcik. The Homophones are coming up from Philly and this will be Wojcik's first show back from SXSW and Europe-- she'll be reunited with her drummer after playing without him in Austin and abroad.

Butchers & Bakers

Spiritual Beggars - "Mantra III" CD Review (The End Records)

Spiritual Beggars - 'Mantra III' CD Review (The End Records)Spiritual Beggars’ third disc Mantra III (1998) is a well-crafted halfway point between the psychedelia of Another Way to Shine (1996) and the hard rock/grunge of Ad Astra (2000). For this release, I think the closest point of comparison is The Battle Rages On- era Deep Purple as the addition of prominent organ / mellotron from newcomer Per Wiberg adds a “Jon Lord” feel to the songs. Adding to the Deep Purple comparison, vocalist Spice utilized a gruff “Ian Astubry” vocal style on Another Way to Shine but leans more toward clean bluesy leads this time out which sound similar to Ian Gillan.

The disc starts out on an off-beat note with “Superbossanova” which is an instrumental bossa nova piece (as if it would be something else given the name of the track) before kicking into “Homage to the Betrayed”, which is a hard rock number built around a riff-based groove and a big bottom end. This track is fairly indicative of the overall sound of the disc as it has more energy and drive than Another Way to Shine and there are shades of the arena rock (“Homage to the Betrayed”, “Land of Prozac”) that took full form on Ad Astra. Breaking up the core sound of the disc, in addition to the opening track, is “Inside Charmer”, which starts with a bossa nova intro before going into a Rod Evans style 60’s psychedelic stoner track. The band really hits their groove on the numbers that sounds as though they could have come from Deep Purple’s catalogue. Tracks like “Euphoria” and “Sad Queen Boogie” make me shocked that I never heard this disc at the time it was originally released. The band even pulls off an extended Deep Purple-like instrumental jam on the track “Mushroom Tea Girl” and doesn’t let the track sag at any point over its 8+ minute running time.

The original issue of this disc was 12 tracks (54 minutes) but addition of three bonus tracks to this reissue takes the running time to 70 minutes. “The Band is Playing” is a Southern boogie number, “Redwood Blues” is a guitar-based blues grind and the disc closes with an alternative mix of "Euphoria".

Spiritual Beggars

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spineshank Announce New Album, "Anger Denial Acceptance", due on June 18th on Century Media

Spineshank Announce New Album in June on Century MediaGrammy-nominated alternative-metal act Spineshank have reunited after a six year hiatus and are back full force and completely rejuvenated. The band have inked a worldwide deal with Century Media Records for the release of their new album, Anger Denial Acceptance, that will be released in North America on June 19 and in Europe on June 18.

"We're very excited to be on a great label like Century Media," comments guitarist Mike Sarkysian. "Aside from being the premier label for rock and metal, the seem to really understand our vision and are as excited as we are about taking Spineshank to a whole new level!"

Anger Denial Acceptance will be the band's fourth album and follow up to their 2003 release, Self-Destructive Pattern. "This is by far the proudest I have ever been of any Spineshank record," says Sarkysian. "Anger Denial Acceptance is the darkest and the most honest this band has ever been."

Spineshank - vocalist Jonny Santos, drummer Tommy Decker, guitarist Mike Sarkysian and bassist Rob Garcia - have sold over 300,000 albums with their three previous releases on Roadrunner Records and have played alongside System of a Down, Slipknot and many other notable acts. The band have held chart topping radio hits and even received a Grammy nomination for the single "Smothered". With the release of Anger Denial Acceptance and extensive touring plans around the album, Spineshank will reestablish their place in the world of rock in 2012.


All Pigs Must Die Kick Off March Tour @ Knitting Factory, Brooklyn on March 9th

All Pigs Must Die Kick Off March Tour @ Knitting Factory, Brooklyn on March 9thMassachusetts' riff-murderers All Pigs Must Die will embark on their latest cross-country killing spree with Narrows, the bands SXSW-bound for several massive live assaults on the legions swarming through Austin next week.

With the tour kicking off in Brooklyn this Friday they will crush their way south towards the SXSW festivities. All Pigs Must Die will perform next Thursday with CTTTOAFF, The Atlas Moth, Kill The Client, Mutilation Rites, more, on Friday they'll storm at the Southern Lord/The Power of the Riff showcase with Ringworm, Black Breath, Narrows, Enabler, Ken Mode and more, and on Saturday a free Death Comes Ripping day party with Ringworm, Kill The Client, Ancient VVisdom, Primitive Weapons, Mutilation Rites and others. Sunday will see APMD invading Dallas for Brofest, performing with Off!, Balaclava, Coliseum, Full of Hell and tons more before touring their way back home via a few stops throughout the Midwest.

All Pigs Must Die - March Tour Dates:
3/09/2012 Knitting Factory - Brooklyn, NY w/ Narrows (Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 DOS)
3/10/2012 Great Scott - Allston, MA w/ Narrows
3/11/2012 DC9 - Washington, DC w/ Narrows
3/12/2012 Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC w/ Narrows
3/13/2012 529 - Atlanta, GA w/ Narrows
3/15/2012 Club 1808 - Austin, TX @ SXSW w/ CTTTOAFF, The Atlas Moth, Kill The Client, Mutilation Rites, more
3/16/2012 Scoot Inn - Austin, TX @ SXSW TPOTR/Southern Lord showcase w/ Ringworm, Black Breath, Narrows, Enabler, more
3/17/2012 Longbranch Inn - Austin, TX @ FREE SXSW Death Comes Ripping day party w/ Ringworm, Kill The Client, Ancient VVisdom, Primitive Weapons, Mutilation Rites, more
3/18/2012 Club Dada - Dallas, TX @ Brofest w/ Off!, Balaclava, Coliseum, Full of Hell, tons more [info]
3/19/2012 Dickson Theatre - Fayette, AR w/ Narrows
3/20/2012 Fubar - St. Louis, MO w/ Narrows
3/21/2012 Subterranean - Chicago, IL w/ Narrows
3/22/2012 Now That's Class - Cleveland, OH w/ Masakari

A group committed to uncompromising sonic warfare, All Pigs Must Die explode on God Is War, the album's sound and lyrical content assaulting the listener in a fury of death-filled anthems. Their upbeat flurry is slowed only for the occasional snail-paced buildup of mammoth riff tension, the rush of obvious hatred for humanity relentlessly displayed through it all. Recorded and mixed by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou's God City Studio (Black Breath, Nails, Black Cobra, Disfear) in December, the tone of God Is War is as foreboding as the music itself. All Pigs Must Die contains vocalist Kevin Baker (The Hope Conspiracy), drummer Ben Koller (Converge), guitarist Adam Wentworth (Bloodhorse) and bassist Matt Woods (Bloodhorse).

All Pigs Must Die