Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Lord Darksoul getting his big dawg on, Maryland Deathfest
I'm not really aware of any gigs this weekend besides the Sharon Osbourne Experience, so to all those who make the trip to Sydney, enjoy.

Alex and I have set up Bandcamp pages with music we have purchased, so please come and click on some bands for some new tunes (also linked at the side of the page):
Bandcamp (fan page): lxp
Bandcamp (fan page): Unkle K

Big thanks to Curby for bringing the Obscene Extreme Festival to Melbourne. It looks like it will be back again next year. Hopefully they go for one venue, like the Corner, with 2 stages. Cheers to Jason PC, Roby BAF and Christoph for their input and effort, and to my friends in Sete Star Sept from Japan and Melbournians Umbilical Tentacle.

Band of the Week
Thank you Shane (4Dead) for the heads up on these awesome groovy Italian doomsters. The highlight of this band, besides the fantastic rocking doom, is singer Dorian Bones' amazing voice. It ranges from Danzig to Wizard, but better. Highly recommended.

Doom on

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sete Star Sept

The notorious Obscene Extreme Festival hits Australia for the first time this week, with freaks of all kinds converging on Melbourne on 12-13 April for two days of riotous grind and insanity.

And lucky for us, Japanese noise/grind duo Sete Star Sept are stopping by Canberra on their way to OEF, to give a lesson in annihilation at the Pot Belly on Thursday 11 April. Joining them will be the wild Melbourne noise act Umbilical Tentacle and local pricks The Reverend Jesse Custer (who are also playing at OEF - tear it up lads!) and Throat of Dirt.

Check the links below for a taste of what's in store, and visit the facebook event page for more.

Sete Star Sept: Bandcamp / OEF / Live at Funeral Home (2011): YouTube
Umbilical Tentacle: Live at Disco Beans (2012): YouTube
The Reverend Jesse Custer: Bandcamp / OEF
Throat of Dirt: Bandcamp


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Iron Reagan - Worse than Dead / Baptists - Bushcraft

Here goes another double-barreled review, this time for no other reasons than these two records arriving in the mail together and both getting under my skin instantly.

First up is Worse than Dead, the debut full length from Iron Reagan on A389 Recordings. The band features members of Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour and Supression, and if last year's The Fatal Feast was the Waste in space, then this is the survivors returning to earth. The album shreds without respite through 19 tracks of sharp, slamming thrash/crossover/hardcore.

There are no bones made about this being another 80s throwback in both attitude and approach - just look at the name and artwork. But the serious chops displayed in relentless short bursts that explode out of Worse than Dead ensure that it's not just a hollow trip through now very familiar nostalgic territory. The songs get straight to the point with a rapid fire succession of hooks and mini-breakdowns you can easily grab hold of, while the unexpected transitions grab your collar and knock you senseless from riff to riff. Tony Foresta's unmistakable vocal delivery cuts loud and clear over the festivities as he rages furiously, not about partying and horror movies, but about gun control and nutters preaching the end of the world.

Nonetheless, there is still a snarling sense of humour present throughout the album (they titled the sole instrumental track "I Ripped that Testament a New Asshole"), and Iron Reagan are clearly having a riot playing this stuff. Put simply, this record bangs, and wants to be played again.

Next up are Vancouver's Baptists with their debut full length, Bushcraft, on Southern Lord. While also being a very straightforward record in intent, there is nothing funny at all about the raw nerves this bastard deliberately seizes on and plucks at. Yes, Southern Lord's recent focus on punk, crust and hardcore makes it tempting to lump Baptists in with bands like Nails, Dead in the Dirt, Heartless, etc. Converge are also often cited as a point of reference, and Kurt Ballou did record this. But on listening to their self titled 7" a couple of years ago, I thought this band really stood out, and Bushcraft holds true to that.

From the outset, it feels like there's a vacuum sucking you into the middle of the music, which is both a sign of the top-notch recording job and a reflection of the desolate aggression Baptists capture. The all out pounding of drums batters indiscriminately and vindictively from the near side of the beat, while the devastating bass adds stomach churning weight to the songs' constantly driving momentum. The guitars usually hang back a bit, free to tear between neck breaking chainsaw riffs, controlled feedback and quirky, noisy lines that amplify the brooding sense that something bad is happening. And to round it all out, the astonishingly bitter vocals spit out every ounce of disdain that could possibly exist in each syllable of each lyric, which is especially evident in the "slow" track, "Soiled Roots".

Put that all together and you end up with a remarkably brutal record that has enough breathing space to highlight the band's unique characteristics without trading off any of their music's intensity.


Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Mother Brain
Long Island's Mother Brain deliver an absolutely pulverising grind assault mixed up with some devastating, chunky-as-fuck sludge.
I've mentioned Slomatics before, but feel they need to be revisited. I first heard them on their split with the awesome Conan, where I enjoyed their output but favoured the scousers. With each release since, Slomatics have got better and better and I actually think they might have swapped positions in the UK Doom/Sludge Premier League.

Their latest 2 song epic, The Future Past is a monster. "Running Battle" lurches into a massive riff right off the bat that will have you tapping, banging and throwing the claws (see photo for a perfect example of what I mean). The second track, the brilliantly named "Son of Ampbreaker" may be even better. Highly Recommended.
Check the video for "Running Battle": YouTube

Gigs of the Week
A couple of ripping gigs this weekend.

On Friday 5 April, The Levitation Hex, The Schoenberg Automaton and None Of Them Knew They Were Robots are playing at the Basement. Doors at 8pm, $15.

On Sunday 7 April, Black Breath (website) from the US are also playing at the Basement on the Canberra leg of their 2013 Australian tour, supported by locals I Exist (Facebook / listen) and Hygiene (Facebook / listen). Doors at 7pm, $25.

Unkle K