Wednesday, 21 November 2012

DEAD - Idiots

Melbourne two-piece, DEAD are about to embark on an 18 show tour around the country on the back of their new album, Idiots. With them will be Vaz, from Brooklyn, NY. Featuring two members of Hammerhead, a criminally underrated band from the 1990's Amphetamine Reptile roster, Vaz build on that legacy to play a unique brand of driving, sarcasm-fueled, off-kilter noise rock. Check out their album, Chartreuse Bull here.

We'll be getting a taste of the madness in Canberra on Wednesday 28 November, when this ridiculously exciting double header will be teaming up with local sludge/punk/grind fiends The Reverend Jesse Custer, who will also have their shiny new 10" in tow.

But back to DEAD. On their first album, THUNDAAAAAH! and the couple of times I've seen them live, Jace (bass/vocals) and Jem (drums/vocals) consistently belt out a raw, primitive racket that hits like a sledgehammer to the guts. They haven't done too much to mess with the format on Idiots, and that's a good thing. Their music hits hard because there isn't really anything to distract from the force they put into it - it's just two blokes throwing everything they can at their instruments.

However, that's not to say what DEAD produce is one-dimensional - they can pack a lot into their songs. For example, the opening track on Idiots, "The Carcass is Dry" begins like some kind of minimalist art film soundtrack until the neck-breaking bass riff cuts in to introduce a battering snare and scathing growl that in turn gives way to an open rhythm and strained melodic wail. The empty horror of "Murder Hollow" works because the gravelly sustain of the bass, the ringing out of the cymbal and the hazy drawl of guest vocalist Linda J Dacio are all allowed to overlap and hang in the spaces. The sound on Idiots is clearer than on THUNDAAAAAH! so those kinds of contrasts are pretty well defined, but it's not like these guys have any intention of diluting the stripped-back ferocity of their music.

DEAD's stock-in-trade in a live setting is that bottom-feeding groove, and that's here in spades too. "Inherit the Wind" is an absolute rager, and "UP!" offers a dirty mid-paced rumbling bass line that would make Unsane proud. The album ends with the 11 minute "Lego Men", which sounds to me like it could have been inspired by spacing out to the Melvins - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Have a look at DEAD's website: Listen to/buy Idiots here or at the shows.



This Friday 23 November will see the legendary EYEHATEGOD beat down the doors of the ANU Bar to humiliate and utterly obliterate Canberra's sense of well the best way imaginable. We're getting one of five shows on their first ever Australian tour, presented by Heathen Skulls, and it's definitely not to be missed. Supports I Exist and Law of the Tongue are both amped for it, so head out early and prepare yourself!

Until then, if it feels like you're "serving time in the middle of nowhere", try distracting yourself with this EYEHATEGOD live video essay: Cvlt Nation.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

I wasn’t wearing fingerless gloves but I had a bit of a head bang to thoroughly enjoyable sets from Captain Cleanoff & Blood Duster at BastardFest on the weekend. Great vibe at the Friday show and good to see a few old faces.

Code Orange Kids
Pittsburgh hardcore teenies Code Orange Kids have recently signed to Deathwish Inc. for the release of their forthcoming LP, Love is Love // Return To Dust. I’ve only heard the video below but I’m hooked, looking forward to hearing more.
"Flowermouth (The Leech)": YouTube

Sea Bastard
Brighton, UK bastards, Sea Bastard have a new 5 track release of bleak sludgy doom. Recommended.


Unkle K

Gig of the Week
Just jumping in on Unkle K's column to add that on Sunday 18 Nov, the Pot Belly is playing host to the fantastic pairing of Canberra titans Looking Glass and Hoodlum Shouts (yep, I still call 'em "local"), with A Drone Coda along for the ride. Will be a great night!


Monday, 5 November 2012

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Aluk Todolo
Instrumental prog rock from France with occult leanings. Brilliant.
Live at Out.Fest 2008: YouTube

Dusseldorf sludge monster. Download their killer demo for free.
Live in N├╝rnberg 2012: Vimeo 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Enabler have recently signed with Southern Lord records. Their All Hail the Void is an unstoppable brutal hardcore release.
Live at Saint Vitus 2012: Metal Injection

Gig of the Week: BastardFest
Big weekend for Canberra metalheads as Bastardfest makes its way to Canberra for 2 nights at the Basement (9-10 November), featuring big guns Blood Duster, Captain Cleanoff, Psycroptic and I Exist, as well as exciting up and comers The Reverend Jesse Custer and Law of the Tongue + many more. Tickets are limited so buy pre-sales or get in early.

Bang on

Unkle K

Friday, 2 November 2012

Renegades: Metalheads in Botswana

I was sent a couple of links today (thanks Dave) that opened my eyes to the existence of a small but strong and growing metal community in Botswana. The Lemmy/Rob Halford inspired leather-clad rebellion of Batswana metalheads was captured in Renegades, an exhibition by South African photographer, Frank Marshall. Since the exhibition has been covered fairly widely already, I'll let the material speak for itself, except to say horns up!

Frank Marshall, Dethguard, 2010
You can see photos from the exhibition on the Rooke Gallery website, which provides both a slideshow and the complete exhibition catalogue (PDF download). The catalogue also contains an introduction discussing the Renegades' relationships to Botswana's society and to broader heavy metal culture.

Some of the photos are also on Marshall's website (, along with other examples of his work (there's a live Carcass photo in there).