Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Cacophemisms' 2014 lists

Unkle K

Amazing year for releases. I couldn't possibly narrow it down to ten and I was still discovering 2014 releases with a couple of weeks until the end of the year.

1. Electric Wizard - Time to Die - The kings return.
2. Eyehategod - S/T - Fantastic comeback considering their loss. Never released a bad album.
3. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene - Melbourne grind tornado lifts the bar. Look forward to the tour with Manhunt in February.
4. The Oath - S/T - Looks and hooks, great heavy metal.
5. Slomatics - Estron - Irish sludgers get better with every release.
6. Occultation - Silence in the Ancestral House - A late discovery. Great dark doom rock.
7. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend - Love the Neurosis-y elements creeping in.
8. Yuri Gagarin - S/T - Swedish space rock, a heavier Hawkwind/Monster Magnet. Brilliant.
9. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden - Best described by someone else as 'opium den metal'.
10. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh - Young Melbourne doomsters, killer debut.
11. Old Man Gloom - The Ape of God (I & II) - Double LP of APE CORE.
12. Space Witch - S/T - Heavy as shit instrumental pommie space doom.
13. Thou - Heathen - Maybe their best yet, which is a big call with their back catalogue.
14. Satan's Satyrs - Die Screaming - Sleazy rocking punk brilliance. Would have rated higher, but those vocals.
15. Manhunt - S/T - South Oz PV wrecking machine. Make sure to see them in February.
16. Witch Mountain - Mobile of Angels - Don't go, Uta. Will be interesting to see where they go from here.
17. Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves - Best death metal band ever.
18. Obliterations - The Hole - More Sab/Flag thrashing madness from members of Black Mountain and Saviours.
19. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind - Would have rated higher with more listens. Love this band.
20. The VeeBees - Outta Ammo - 'Berra grog monsters hit the big league in 2014 with constant touring and a fantastic looking LP. Hardest blokes, hardest drinkers, hardest tourers in the land.

Just missing out: Floor, USA Out Of Vietnam, The Shrine, Jig-Ai, Godflesh, Monolord, Atomic Death Squad, Fistula.


1. Thou - Heathen
Words and thought are nothing. Instinct and experience are all. The facile trivialities with which we imprison our true, wild essence must be cast off and destroyed. Of course, Thou surely see the irony that such ultimately human-focused conceits, which are doubtless distilled from the work of numerous thinkers and writers, are expressed on Heathen through discursive lyrics accompanying deliberately contrived musical compositions. But this infuriating, hypocritical struggle is a reminder that we remain inescapably human. And Heathen unloads every single savage fragment of that struggle that it can muster, reaching out of the speakers with sheer desperation to grab, slash and tear mercilessly at the insufferable bullshit coating every single surface of our existence. This album really is something else. It builds upon everything Thou have done previously to see them masterfully controlling the brutality of their painfully heavy, skin-crawling sludge with finesse and seamlessly weaving in poignant moments of calm and serenity. The result is cohesive and nuanced while being visceral and vicious. Heathen forces a reaction and leaves a huge impression that has not dulled at all in the months since its release.

2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
There are many reasons that people revere Yob as something akin to a force of nature, not least being their craft in making music that is at once shatteringly heavy and deeply meditative. In that vein, Clearing the Path to Ascend is a record that comes as close as any other to cracking open some new, unexplored dimension where all is unbounded from the constraints of time. The spiritual chasm that Mike Scheidt’s howls rise from in the darker parts of the album seems as though it would disintegrate any unsuspecting feeble souls that unwittingly glimpse inside. But perseverance yields reward, and the entirety of this creation is far more psychically comforting than it is terrifying. “It’s time to wake up.” Yob is love.

3. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Sometimes the hype is entirely deserved, and that rings true for Foundations of Burden. Pallbearer towered with their new spin on classic doom, which overflows with harrowing melodies, incredible tones and phenomenal songwriting. There are brilliant little touches secreted away amongst it all, which continue to reveal themselves after (many) repeated listens. A little more upbeat and accessible than Sorrow and Extinction, it remains epic, powerful and affecting.

4. Mantar - Death by Burning
It didn’t seem to garner that much attention, but this German/Turkish duo spat out a feral little mongrel with their debut, Death by Burning. It’s a raw, depraved concoction that both scrapes through howled doom and belts out primitive, straightforward death rock, while maintaining dark (but catchy) melodies. Rabid and hyperactive, it sounds like Black Cobra sinking into a tar pit and dragging Nirvana in with them, while Kyuss and Chuck Schuldiner (and maybe Darkthrone) throw rocks from the edge. I look forward to hearing more from this band.

5. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
Dylan Carlson and co. once again deliver the distorted dreamscapes and hypnotic repetition you would expect, but this time there is more. The enigmatic, rolling contours of Primitive and Deadly have a definite forward momentum. They are accentuated and given life by some surprising, soaring guitar leads and spectacular vocal contributions from Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi. It all fits together perfectly, resulting in an album of irresistible, otherworldly blues that compels you to return.

6. Oozing Wound - Earth Suck
In short, Earth Suck consists of Oozing Wound throwing seven more noisy, sludgy, thrash tantrums. It is debauched, petulant and annoying in the best way possible, with frenzied riffing, psychotic screeching and hammering drums all working to toe a fine line between speedy bangers that can induce neck spasms and maddening assaults of repetition that could drive almost anyone over the edge. Spite and cynicism have never been so much fun.

7. Martyrdöd - Elddop
The blazing metallic d-beat of Martyrdöd’s latest album is punctuated with slower passages, featuring chords that ring out to accentuate a heightened emotional focus, as compared to 2012’s Paranoia. There are rock 'n' roll touches here and there and characteristic, squealing guitar lines ascend above the searing rhythms which, for the most part, refuse to be shackled by what seems to be a more considered approach to the songs. And those throaty, barked vocals wail painfully over everything to make sure the intensity doesn’t let up for too long. Great stuff.

8. The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer
The Atlas Moth took another evolutionary leap forward on The Old Believer. The depth in the music is almost tangible, as if you were hearing it inside a fevered hallucination. All the elements meld together with amazing subtlety, and moving the vocals further back in the mix has helped round out the edges of their quirky amalgamation of prog, goth, doom and sludge influences. My only gripe is that if they tread much further towards Tool, they could risk falling into parody (some would probably say they already have). But otherwise, this is a damn impressive record.

9. Grand Magus - Triumph and Power
Countless times have I jammed Triumph and Power at ridiculous volume in the rattling, collapsing Pulsar. The other commuter drones peer blankly with dull-eyed scorn at the aging loser they behold: grinning maniacally as he furiously bangs his head, he grasps the wheel with white knuckles, stubbornly clutching to a faded adrenaline- and testosterone-fuelled teenage fantasy of righteousness and battle, loosening his grip only to pump his fist at them in mighty, victorious defiance. And then I pulled in to the workplace carpark.

10. Fu Manchu - Gigantoid
A welcome return to form by these old favourites, Gigantoid doesn’t shake up the tried and true formula too much, but it does have a few tweaks to keep things interesting. It’s a bit more laid back and much more dynamic than Fu Manchu’s last couple of outings. Psych-inflected fuzziness comes to the fore, balancing out the more raucous, punk vibe that carries over from their recent albums. Closing track, “The Last Question” is a highlight, providing a fantastic, unexpectedly subdued, spacey exit.

Honourable mentions
It has been a massive year for music, and picking out only ten albums was extremely difficult. A lot of my other favourites appear in the other lists in this post, but to avoid further duplication, here are some additional releases that I think also rate a mention.

Barghest - The Virtuous Purge
Corrupt Moral Altar - Mechanical Tides
Dead - Captains of Industry
Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
Harmony - Carpetbombing
Megaton Leviathan - Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell
Nux Vomica - S/T
Run the Jewels - RTJ2
Sunwolf - Beholden to Nothing and No One
Trap Them - Blissfucker

Shane (Cutting Hose, Burning Plastic)

1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Thou - Heathen
4. Tombs - Savage Gold
5. Bongripper - Miserable
6. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
7. Panopticon - Roads to the North
8. Mutilation Rites - Harbinger
9. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
10. Nothing - Guilty of Everything
11. Solstafir - Otta
12. Morbus Chron - Sweven
13. Gridlink - Longhena
14. Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem
15. Horrendous - Ecdysis
16. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
17. Today is the Day - Animal Mother
18. Eyehategod - S/T
19. Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will
20. Old Man Gloom - The Ape of God (I & II)

Geoff (Mendicant Music, also posted with reviews here)

1. Bethlehem - Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
2. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
3. Dead Congregation - Promulgation of the Fall
4. Bölzer - Soma
5. Thou - Heathen
6. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
7. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
8. Mournful Congregation - Concrescence of the Sophia
9. Horrendous - Ecdysis
10. StarGazer - A Merging to the Boundless

JJ (I Exist/BMA "Metalise")

1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Conan - Blood Eagle
5. Thou - Heathen
6. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
7. Autopsy - Torniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
8. Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will
9. Floor - Oblation
10. Eyehategod - S/T


1. Encoffination - III: Hear Me, O' Death
2. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
3. Monolord - Empress Rising
4. Boston Strangler - Fire
5. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
6. Eyehategod - S/T
7. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene
8. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
9. Fistula - Vermin Prolificus
10. Conan - Blood Eagle

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Holy Serpent
Another great new band from Melbourne. The stoner/doom scene down there is spitting forth some great new bands: Horsehunter; Watchtower. These guys are not as heavy as some of the other new bands, with the singer having a pretty mellow voice, but he can sing and combined with some rocking tunes, I’m keen to hear further output.

Corsair from Charlottesville, Virginia have a rocking Lizzy-Gary Moore-Maiden vibe - great leads, cool vocals, great hooks. I found myself singing along after a couple of listens.

Video of the Week
Keeping up with the old school vibe is Ryan Waste’s (Municipal Waste) Living Fast video channel, totally dedicated to heavy metal. First two episodes feature Raven, Venom and many other NWOBHM classics. Highly entertaining.
Episode 1: YouTube
Episode 2 (Part 1): YouTube
Episode 2 (Part 2): YouTube


Couple of killer shows in the next few weeks. One for the kiddies with Full of Hell from the USA at a new venue called the Crossroads (a house) on Thursday 4 December, supported by Idylls and Machina Genova. And then on Saturday 13 December, Witchskull appear to be the youngest band on a bill of nursing home veterans appearing on a great old school lineup at the Croatian Club in Turner.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Corsair - One Eyed Horse
2. Lucifers Friend - S/T
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Hawkeyes - Poison Slows You Down
5.The Shrine - Primitive Blast
Playlist: lxp
1. Baptists - Bloodmines
2. Today is the Day - Animal Mother
3. Hoarse - S/T
4. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
5. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
6. Pneumatic Slaughter - Failed Executions
7. Horrendous - Ecdysis
8. Holy Serpent - S/T
9. Captain Beyond - S/T
10. Om - Enjoying revisiting all their releases.

Unkle K

Monday, 10 November 2014

This week's gigs

A couple of killer shows to look forward to at the end of this week...

Thursday 13 November at The Basement
Meth Drinker (NZ), Whitehorse, Hygiene and Blight Worms

Friday 14 November at The Pot Belly
Sete Star Sept (Japan), Michael Crafter, Machina Genova and Blight Worms


Friday, 24 October 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

G'day folks,

Have not done this for a while, but with a bunch of killer tours coming up - Full of Hell, Sete Star Sept, Sleep and Whitehorse/Methdrinker before the end of the year - I thought I’d get back into the swing of things. The last few months has been spectacular for shows, with the Neurosis, Conan and Windhand tours all kicking arse, and that does not include Torche last weekend, which I unfortunately missed.

Young Melbourne doomsters obliterate all comers with their debut release.

Yuri Gagarin
Killer heavy space rock from Sweden. Great leads and Hawkwindy keys.

The Oath
Hooks and looks - great heavy metal from this now-split German/Swedish group.

Gig of the Week
The VeeBees, Stanley Knife (Sydney) and Brown Paper Bag (South Coast), Saturday 25 October at The Chop Shop.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh 
2. Yuri Gagarin - S/T 
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Fistula - Vermin Prolificus 
5. The Oath - S/T

Playlist: lxp
1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Megaton Leviathan - Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell
4. The Shrine - Bless Off
5. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh
6. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
7. Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
8. Corrupt Moral Altar - Mechanical Tides
9. Shellac - Dude Incredible
10. Bastard Sapling - Instinct is Forever
(I'm also really looking forward to Captains of Industry, the new album from Melbourne duo DEAD, which will be out in a couple of weeks.)

Unkle K

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Kansas City band Merlin have an interesting approach to the stoner/doom genre, with what sounds like Western style slide used at times. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are cool and they create a great atmosphere over the course of these 5 songs. This band has made a massive jump as they improve with each release. Check out if you dig Clutch, the Melvins or Pentagram.

Eight Bells
Out of the musical hotbed that is Portland, Oregon, comes Eight Bells, which is a new band made from ex-members of psychedelic rockers Subarachnoid Space. This is cool, going from proggy hard rock to proggy metal. I’ve read reviews that keep mentioning black metal but, besides the occasional vocal shriek, I don’t really hear it. I’ve also read some scathingly bad reviews of this, which surprises me because I think it’s pretty good.

Judd Madden
Judd Madden is from Melbourne and releases his own instrumental doom metal. This is around the 7th release from Judd in what seems to be a short period of time. Judd plays all the instruments himself and then puts his releases out on Bandcamp, and they are all available for "name your price" download. Each release seems to have stunning artwork and presentation. Support this dude.

Video of the Week
Electric Wizard - "I Am Nothing" (acid video), from the forthcoming LP Time to Die: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Merlin - Christ Killer
2. Bert Kreischer - Everything
3. Thou - Heathen
4. Neurosis - All
5. Dead Infection - Corpses of the Universe

Playlist: lxp
1. The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer
2. Sunwolf - Beholden to Nothing and No One
3. Trap Them - Blissfucker
4. Lecherous Gaze - Zeta Reticuli Blues
5. Barghest - The Virtuous Purge
...and also spinning everything Neurosis.

Unkle K

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Obits transiting

Next week, Canberra will be the first stop on a short Australian tour by Obits from Brooklyn, NY. Their indie and punk tinged rock 'n' roll comes straight out of the garage and will provide a welcome reprieve from the cold. The band features members of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and Girls Against Boys. If you haven't heard their music, there are a few videos and downloadable tracks on their website.

Wednesday 30 July at Transit Bar, with support from locals TV Colours and Wives (formerly Sweet Shoppe).


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mt. Mountain - EP

I'm really getting the impression that there is something in the water over in the west...

Hailing from Perth, Mt. Mountain are definitely on the softer and more subdued end of what we usually cover on this blog. But when I hear warm, earthy, psychedelic rock such as that displayed in the five tracks on their (self-titled?) EP, I find it hard to resist.

From start to finish, the relentlessly hypnotic, down tempo rumble of the bass acts like an undertow, churning subliminally but forcefully, to drag you wholly into the rest of the music. It is by no means the most complex bass work out there, but it is extremely effective. Upon repeat listens, I found myself happy to just follow those thick, rubbery basslines as they meander unhurriedly through the rest of EP's landscape.

And that landscape resembles some kind of dense, mossy forest, spotted with sunlight, its shadows populated with a procession of familiar spirits crossing your path - the Black Angels, Dead Meadow, Mark Lanegan, Hawkwind.

However, even with its inviting familiarity, EP is more than just a moody psychedelic scrapbook. Mt. Mountain are not afraid to throw unpredictable elements together to make their music reverberate in its own interesting way. "Tomorrow", with its crooning harmonica, adds a touch of the Doors-inflected blues. In "FX/My Love", you know the breakaway riff is coming as the song builds, and when it does it kicks with a big, groovy swagger (akin to Black Mountain). But it only rears its head in that form once - when it returns towards the end of the song it is dismantled with noise, bends and notes left hanging in the air. In closer, "Ghosts" unexpected outbursts of fuzzy, spacey guitar cut right through the brooding, heavy-headed trudge that characterises the rest of the song, lifting it to unexpected heights.

Mt. Mountain's EP has plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention, but is also more than capable of lulling you into the aether. Highly recommended if you are looking to just drift away for about half an hour. Listen here.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Locktender - Rodin

The premise of Locktender's music is the presentation heavy, emotional post-hardcore interpretations of creative works by figures such as Franz Kafka, William Blake and, on their new album, Auguste Rodin. And why would I want to listen to screamo art appreciation essays? Well, the couple of times I have seen Rodin sculptures in real life, it has been difficult to turn away - I remember standing and staring slack-jawed at The Gates of Hell, transfixed by the swarm of twisted, strained figures emerging from dark, solid bronze. So with that in mind, curiosity took hold and I decided to give Locktender a go...

The four tracks on Rodin, each titled after one of the artist's sculptures, provide a sprawling and compelling document of admiration for the album’s namesake. The music moves continuously and fluidly through myriad atmospheres in a progression of light and shade that, at different points, calls to mind Fall of Efrafa and Cara Neir.

Opening song, "The Burghers of Calais" is the standout. At just under 20 minutes in length, it patiently evolves from lonely guitar lines resonating gently in empty space, through tense, jangly riffs that build desperately into explosive outbursts of metallic sludge that monstrously bellow bloody murder (while retaining their soaring melodies), before returning to do it all again. The absence of repetitive hooks, laboured phrases or simple breakdowns provides a lot of time for contemplation, but when Locktender let their savagery rip, they give it everything. The jagged onslaught of percussive, noisy hardcore in the first half of "The Thinker" exemplifies this, until the song shifts into a rousing refrain - "can we still find the light at the end of the tunnel?" - which is delivered by voices that seem to be inviting you to join in the thinker's engrossed musings.

Then a black swan appears in the form of “Eternal Springtime”, a piece that is more romantic chamber music than hardcore. A surprising departure from the rest of the album, it features only a lilting violin accompanying a swooning guitar composition. But it also feeds smoothly into the intro of the final track, “The Man With the Broken Nose”, which resumes the extended journey through contrasts between the delicate and the brutal that characterise the album overall.

The music on Rodin unfolds in a way that makes it very easy to drift away thinking about the ideas Locktender are trying to express, or the stories behind the artworks they are trying to retell. Although it does get carried away in its own airs and graces at times, it does so honestly, and the theatricality of the band’s delivery seems completely forthright. While this album might draw some polarised reactions, Locktender are trying something a bit different and, in my opinion, managing to pull it off well and making it interesting to listen to.

Rodin and the rest of Locktender's music is available on their Bandcamp page and their website.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Geoff, setting new metal fashions at this year's Maryland Deathfest.

Beast in the Field
Two-piece from Michigan that creates a massive racket with lots and lots of cabs and amps. Possibly one of my fave instrumental bands at the moment. Very catchy tunes. Could maybe compare them to High on Fire without vocals.
Saw Her Ghost Records

Atomic Death Squad
More Melbourne thrash, this time a little bit closer to the crossover side of things. They do a Cryptic Slaughter cover on their 7”, which may give you an idea of where they are coming from.

Tree of Sores
Really like this band's name, but when I first gave them a spin a few years ago the tunes didn’t really do it for me. Anyway, these Leeds lads are back with a 27 minute epic track of doomy, crusty sludge that blows my socks off. Much improvement.

Gig of the Week
The VeeBees, Meatbeaters and Hell Crab City, Saturday 31 May at Magpies City Club.

Video of the Week
Blood, Sweat & Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Serpentine Path - Emanations
2. Deep Purple - Fireball
3. Floor - Oblation
4. Beast in the Field - The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below
5. Tree of Sores - A Cry of Despair

Playlist: lxp
1. Vidunder - S/T
2. Slug Lord - Transmutation
3. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em
4. Grimpen Mire - A Plague Upon Your Houses
5. Man is the Bastard - D.I.Y.C.D.
6. Mark Lanegan - Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011

Unkle K

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Wet Pensioner
There is a trash metal revival on and and Melbourne’s Wet Pensioner pull it off perfectly. This wouldn’t be out of place in 1987. Great catchy songs, cool vocals and the songs don’t go too long. I think this is a lot better than fellow Victorians Clowns, who seem to be getting a lot of attention and picked up the recent D.R.I. support.

Pastor from Vienna, Austria could be pigeonholed with other great hard rock bands like Witchcraft and Graveyard. They are maybe not on that level yet after this first 7”, but I look forward to their future output.

Morgue of Saints
One man project Morgue of Saints, from Montreal throws out classic instrumental metal in a doomy vein. The first song opens with a solo that would not be out of place on a Mercyful Fate LP and then kicks into some seriously catchy riffing and keyboards.

Gig of the Week
Thee Nodes (Canada), Gentlemen (Melb), Hygiene, Harrow and Primary Colours, Wednesday 21 May at Magpies City Club, 8pm.
Facebook event page

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene
2. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants and Grind
3. Thou - Heathen
4. Tree of Sores - A Cry of Despair
5. Nightfell - The Living Ever Mourn

Playlist: lxp
1. Thou - Heathen/The Sacrifice
2. Nux Vomica - S/T
3. Oozing Wound - Retrash
4. Floor - Oblation
5. Fu Manchu - Gigantoid
6. The Wounded Kings - Consolamentum
7. Hydromedusa - Debut 7"
8. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene
9. Quasimoto - The Unseen
10. Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion (RIP H. R. Giger)

Unkle K

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Upcoming gigs

Sunday 20 April at Magpies City Club (early show)
The VeeBees and Seedy Jeezus
Check out the VeeBees' latest album, Outta Ammo here.

Friday 25 April at the Basement
D.O.A. (Canada)

Tuesday 29 April at Commonwealth Park Amphitheatre
Disturd (Japan), Insidious Process (Sweden), Eye Gouge and Hygiene

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

I love a good instrumental band - no shitty vocals to mess things up. And I’d put Canadians Hawkeyes almost up there with heavyweights such as Capricorns, Zebulon Pike and Year of No Light. Hawkeyes feature a four guitar attack plus drums and bass, and this four track tape comes highly recommended if you like epic, big riffs and a good rock-out.

Evil Ways
God damn, great punky rock 'n' roll from these ex-Canberrans. Pretty sure this band was previously Panel Van Halen (please let me know if I’m wrong). Well worth checking. They have a 7” I need to get a copy of.

Slapshot (USA), Thursday 27 March
at Turner Bowling Club

Turbobelco, Saturday 29 March at the Phoenix

Kylesa (USA), Tuesday 1 April at ANU Bar

(Also see post below.)

Unkle K

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Upcoming gigs

Thursday 27 March at Turner Bowling Club
Slapshot, Toe to Toe, Hostile Objects, Bladder Spasms, Eye Gouge and The Fuck Outs

Saturday 29 March at the Phoenix
Turbobelco, Bulldoze All Bowlos and Baby Machine

Tuesday 1 April at ANU Bar
Kylesa, Looking Glass and Rise of Avernus

Saturday 5 April at the Phoenix
Harmony, Hoodlum Shouts and Sex Machine

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

To Cross the Oceans 2

Continuing from a post I put up in August last year, here are some more links relating to the global reach of metal and punk that readers might find interesting.

Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Since that earlier post, Alasdair Bulmer's geographic focus has moved progressively southward in the series of articles on African metal that he has written for Invisible Oranges. Although short, these articles offer a fascinating and diverse snapshot.
African Metal #3: Algeria and Morocco
African Metal #4: Cameroon
African Metal #5: Uganda
African Metal #6: Zambia and Zimbabwe

Picking up from the article on Zambia, which mentions that 1970s Zamrock records have been reissued by Now Again Records, a couple of years ago I got my hands on a compilation released by that label called Those Shocking, Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk: 1970-1978. The anthology, and its extensive liner notes, give an overview of a rock movement overflowing with fuzz and funk that drew on a range of influences, from James Brown to Black Sabbath, to hold a mirror up to the cultural and political landscape of Indonesia under Suharto in the '70s. Listen to the album here.

Decades later, it seems that psychedelic hard rock continues to have a good home in Indonesia. A couple of bands that exemplify this and are well worth checking out are The Sigit, who released the excellent Detourn late last year, and Sigmun.
The Sigit - Detourn (Bandcamp)
Sigmun (Bandcamp)

It is already well known that punk is also thriving in Indonesia. Punk Rock vs Sharia Law, a 20 minute documentary by Noisey, focuses on a marginalised group of punks in Aceh, highlighting the persecution the group has faced as well as the long lasting impact of the 2004 tsunami.
Punk Rock vs Sharia Law (Noisey)

Finally, the tale of Biquette the punk goat (thanks to Dave for bringing this one to my attention). Before her untimely death in December last year, Biquette lived on a farm/DIY space in rural France, where she spent her time hanging out and watching bands that played there, such as Wormrot.
"Grind Goat Will Never Die But You Will" (Noisey)


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Solar Halos - S/T

The music on Solar Halos' self-titled LP (on Devouter Records) may not immediately sweep you up and carry you away, but it doesn't take very long for the undulating doom undercurrents to begin to flow around you until, before you even notice, you have been sucked below the surface to find wave after wave of thick, hypnotic riffs washing over you. Once that happens, you can't help but focus on your surroundings. It becomes difficult to escape and, like the mesmerising refraction of the sun's rays as they pierce through from above the water, Nora Rogers' warm, enchanting vocal melodies soon dissolve your desire to swim up for air.

Solar Halos was formed by members who previously played together in ambient noise/doom act, Horseback. Developing from there, the band's music could sit nicely alongside Black Skies' (although heavier and more dynamic), Royal Thunder's (without the overt blues/alternative affectations), or Helms Alee's on Sleepwalking Sailors (without the post-metal eclecticism), while conveying a greater sense of depth and subtlety. The control the band wields over the gradual rise and fall in its songs - marked by surging, swirling guitar and bass riffs interwoven with slow-building crescendos, all carried by John Crouch's colourful drumming - is phenomenal. But even though the music is so entrancing, it doesn't become weak or insipid. Solar Halos' instruments rumble low and loud, and somehow, the balance they strike between transcendent wistfulness and rock-solid, doomy heaviness comes across as completely effortless.

This is a truly impressive release that seems likely to be a grower as its nuances come to light. Check it out here, and for more on Solar Halos, see their website.