Thursday, 27 February 2014

Gigs this weekend

Unfortunately both these gigs are on the same night, this Saturday 1 March.

The VeeBees were originally playing at The Phoenix but due to the fire in the Sydney Building, the gig has been moved to Magpies in the City. Support comes from Canberran band Bacon Cakes (mmmmm...bacon) and Wollongong band Cape Tribulation. $10.

The show at the Basement is young Duncan's 40th celebration, with Dead Life from Sydney, New Blood from Wollongong, and locals Inhuman Remnants, Wretch and Psynonemous - all for $10!

Video of the Week
Cosmic Psychos - Blokes You Can Trust (DVD)
Thank you to DD for lending me this DVD - bloody brilliant. Stupidly, I have never really checked out these legends before, but after watching this DVD I'm converted. Thoroughly entertaining watch. Check out the trailer here and a snippet from the film here.

Unkle K

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Grey Widow - I

In the last days of the Earth, when the land, the sea and the putrid decay they conceal are immolated by the expanding sun’s infernal heat; when the last remaining humans suffer frantically among the searing white ash, choking on the stench of burning death and screaming the abhorrent fear that leaves behind only the now futile instinct to procreate, and they claw desperately and indiscriminately at each other's blistered, melting flesh; this music will be the sound of the world’s violent, rotten shame tormenting itself into eternal, abysmal darkness.

The disgustingly bleak, misanthropic, noise-encrusted sludge that Grey Widow have recorded on I is not for the faint of heart. The torrential abuse contained within these eight tracks carries an overpowering sense of unease and dread, and the ambiguity created by the lack of song titles only aggravates the cruelty.

The same kind of shitty feeling you get from listening to too much Grief lingers in the wake of I. Electric Wizard inspired riffs buried under six feet of mud and scraping, nihilistic distortion in the vein of Corrupted serve to relentlessly compound the horror. Grey Widow do break up the demeaning drag in places, but with unhinged forays into wet, sloppy grind (as in “IV”) and bollocking Iron Monkey type groove (as in “III”), it’s never a picnic.

One of the things that really stands out is how disorienting the music can be, not least because the three band members who contribute vocals adopt enough different styles to make it sound like hordes of tortured voices are calling you from the void, trying to tempt your sick curiosity and lure you into the depths of madness. Just listen to the unnerving carry on between the agonised screeches and distant, shredded bellows throughout “V”.

Another thing this band does well is to force its music progressively downward, as if the songs are sinking into quicksand. After “VI” starts with the most restraint that exists anywhere on this release, it eventually descends into a churning sinkhole of a riff that gets lower and lower before closing over to seal out the song’s last glimmer of light.

If that sounds like too much to take, then be warned, there will be no reward for hanging on until the end. “VIII” is about as spiteful and gut-wrenching an insult as you are likely to volunteer to receive. Brutally heavy and antagonistically slow, it makes for a very blunt finish, and demonstrates just how much of a kick these unrepentant, depraved scumbags from England obviously get from trying to terrify people.

There is no middle ground. Grey Widow’s I is going to either repulse you or trap you.

Listen here.


Friday, 14 February 2014

Sangharsha - Bayou

The members of Sangharsha, originally from Nepal, churn out punishing, dynamic hardcore that is capable of leaving just as many spinning heads as bruises in its wake. Their new release, Bayou (Alerta Antifascista Records) showcases some truly impressive range. Sickeningly heavy percussive blasts that communicate a desperate need to reach for meaning at any cost (as in the beginning of "Muslo") become mired in slow dirges that crawl under the burden of the world's weight (especially in "Aseena").

Sincerity is high on Sangharsha's agenda. As if it isn't apparent from their music, a sweeping statement on their Bandcamp page reads, "the struggle to exist and the struggle to be alive was the sole influence to write and record this record". Sounds like an overwhelmingly expansive concept to reduce to a sole influence, but it's clear that a lot of consideration has gone into creating this music - all the moods reflected in the songs are both well placed and completely believable, including the excursions into more serene territory. For example, the heady intro to "Kachuli" is unsettling enough to welcome the song's lumbering attack, which in turn eventually retreats back to a place that might resemble the scene in the cover art.

But yes, this is predominantly an exercise in demolition of the downtuned, metallic variety (no prizes for guessing that Kurt Ballou and Brad Boatright are involved). However, in places Sangharsha add a hint of Breach or Botch to the usual Entombed/Converge influences. They very effectively meld engaging melodies into their noise-heavy approach without diluting its impact (as in the title track), and along with some clever changes, including a few unexpected u-turns between riffs, the songs are kept interesting while being given an overall sense of cohesion.

Bayou is a great example of what can happen when bands take the time to think about what they are doing and pour themselves into it.

It looks like there is no physical release until June, but Bayou is available digitally on Bandcamp. Also see Sangharsha's bio at Alerta Antifascista for more info.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Stone Dagger
Those that enjoyed Magic Circle's awesome self-titled debut last year will probably stoke on Stone Dagger. Pretty sure it's the same very talented members as Magic Circle, but Stone Dagger play a more traditional heavy metal style. "Black Clad Rider" is probably my fave of the two tracks.

Albino Python
Thanks to my cohort Alex for putting me onto Albino Python, as I never would have checked out a band with such an atrocious name. The music is what's important and AP deliver on all fronts - crushing heavy doom with great vocals, which one minute sound like The Wounded Kings, the next like a possessed witch, but they totally hold their own. I read a review that compares them to Acid King but I think it is a bit more diverse than Acid King's stoner leanings. I found The Doomed and the Damned catchy from the first listen and was pretty surprised to find out they are a two-piece. Great effort.

Lizzard Wizzard 
I've decided to try to include an Australian band in each post from now on. Opening up is another band with a "special" name, Lizzard Wizzard, who prove along with Zodiac (Bandcamp), that Brisbane isn't just full of shitty deathcore bands. LW deliver dirty, downtuned stoner doom with raw vocals, great song titles - "Dogs Die in Hot Cars" and "Total Handjob Future" (top riff) - and a killer Game of Thrones cover, "Game of Cones". I get the impression these dudes are pretty young and, if so, this is a very good debut.

Gig of the Week
With Heavy Heart: Kurt's Birthday Bash
Law of the Tongue are making a comeback at Kurt's Birthday bash at the Basement on Saturday night, 8 February. Other bands playing are The Veil, Tortured, Claret Ash, Mephistopheles, Summonus, Hematic, CHUD, Sorathian Dawn.

Videos of the Week
Slomatics - "Troglorite", from their new album Estron: YouTube
Flesh Parade - New Orleans grinders' first show with Jason Pilgrim in many years: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Status Quo - 12 Gold Bars
2. Pregnancy - Demo
3. Albino Python - The Doomed and the Damned
4. Ancestors - In Dreams and Time
5. Abandon - In Reality We Suffer

Playlist: lxp
1. Wooden Shjips - Back to Land
2. Obliterations - The Hole
3. King Diamond - The Complete Roadrunner Collection 1986-1990
4. Run the Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike) - S/T
5. Sewers - Hoisted

Unkle K