Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Three 7"s from EPICENE SOUND


Seattles BSBC is Wm. Rage and Stan Reed, two dudes who run two killer labels (ENTERRUPTION and PSYCHFORM respectively). On their side they lay down the heaviness with whining feedback, buried guitar, crumbling distortion, and Godzilla vocals. Seriously, they're either using audio from a Godzilla movie as a sound source or someone is doing a damn good impersonation of the Japanese beast. Shit, wait a minute! I think I might have just listened to it at the wrong speed! OK, it doesn't say whether to play it at 33.3 rpm or 45 rpm but I like it more after listening to it at 45 rpm. The guitar is a little less buried and the vocals are tad more 'human' sounding . This is a doomy slab of dare I say, 'Power Violence' influenced noise. It reminds me of Bastard Noise but with more of an emphasis on layering. On the flip side is PIG HEART TRANSPLANT. PHT is the brainchild of Jon Kortland, who is most well known as being one half of Seattle's superhuman grindcore duo, IRON LUNG (one of my absolute favorite bands). Kortland collaborates with a rotating cast of characters from the hardcore/grindcore/noise worlds to make PHT a constantly changing 'band'. I've only heard one thing from PHT in the past and I loved it. This is no different. There's a definite SWANS influence here. It starts with a bassy drone and heavily delayed drums then gives way to a short chaotic noise burst only to return to the droning, this time made even more powerful by the addition of pissed as fuck vocals. It slowly builds more and more until finally it just stops. Both sides of this record are near perfect displays of hardcore influenced vocal driven noise/industrial. One of the best 7 inches I've heard in recent months. http://epicenesound.com

WETHER/TEETH COLLECTION - Split 7" (Epicene/No Horse Shit)

Here are two artists I've heard of but don't know much about. WETHER kicks it off on the A side with "Anything Worthless", 5 minutes of heavily echoed airplane sounds. I like the short breaks given in between the fighter jet's swooshing distortion. The tonality and buried vocals that creep in about halfway through the piece are surprisingly pleasant and welcomed. I like the idea of combining melody with noise and WETHER's Mike Haley does a great job at this. He seems to have quite a few releases out and after hearing his side of this 7" I definitely want to hear more. On the B side is Ohio's TEETH COLLECTION, the solo project of Epicene label dude, M. Reis. I've seen the name TEETH COLLECTION a lot he has a ton of releases out but I've never actually heard any of them. Here he lays down an incredibly mellow 6 minutes of deep, cavernous electronics and delayed field recordings. I thouroghly enjoyed his side of the record and found it to be very mood altering but one side of a 7" is not enough time to develop a piece of music as meditative as this. I want to hear what M. Reis can do on one side of an LP or on 80 minutes of a CD. http://epicenesound.com

I've never heard either of these artists before and this is the first leap into the vinyl world for both of them. Kentucky's VESTIGIAL LIMB fucks it up old school with an opressive wall of sound augmented by spastic screeching electronics via envelope filter. There isn't much to say about VESTIGIAL LIMB. This shit is awesome. The breaks are few and the noise is harsh with a capital 'H'. Purely pummeling. Fletcher Pratt goes the complete opposite route. His side of the record is a strange stereophonic tape collage adventure. The one-sheet that came with the record says he's like John Weise with a razor blade, tape, and a slightly longer attention span and I couldn't agree more. There are plenty of snippets of wierd sounds broken up by snippets of even wierder sounds and plundered recordings from who the fuck knows what. I love the pairing of these two artists. Highly recommended. http://epicenesound.com


Thursday, April 3, 2008

THE SLEEP SESSIONS - "Lead Into Gold" CD-R (Harsh Noise)

4 tracks from THE SLEEP SESSIONS, this time on the well respected HARSH NOISE label. Tim Oliveira and Bob Sato (a.k.a. STIMBOX and XOME) have been at it for a while putting out dozens of quality CD-Rs. Knowing what was expected of him, Dawid Kowalski seems to have finally turned out the Harsh Noise masterpiece we've all been waiting for. Okay, maybe not a full on masterpiece but this is definitely the most composed offering I've heard from him yet. The first track, "Lead into Gold Part I" is a 9 minute display of well thought out, magnificently edited harsh noise. The static crunch is broken up every now and then by raw field recordings and glitchy electronic sputter. There was obviously a lot of effort put into the recording/editing of this piece. The next 3 tracks continue in the same fashion with short glitchy delays and a very Japanese harsh noise sound. There's actually a surprising amount of dynamics (for how "pure" this release is) and enough change-ups and unexpected twists and turns to hold the attention of even casual noise fans (if there even is such a thing. "Lead Into Gold Part II" is my favorite track because of the distortion's utter brutality and extreme saturation towards the end. Comes in a standard jewel case with the bluish insert that HARSH NOISE is known for. All in all, another awesome CD-R to add to HARSH NOISE's back catalog and the first 'must-have' release in THE SLEEP SESSIONS' short discography. http://harshnoise.com


Monday, March 17, 2008


CAUCHY RIEMANN / THE SLEEP SESSIONS - Split c20 (Abelian Groups Records)

Dawid Kowalski a.k.a. THE SLEEP SESSIONS gets things under way on the A side with "Excess", a 9 minute excursion into lo-fi swooshing fuzz. Filter swept static is the order of the day and while I feel the track meanders a bit, it's still an improvement from the 3" he released on INDUSTRIAL CULTURE a few months back. It's pretty good. I especially like the dominating low-mid drones that appear towards the end of the piece. On the B side CAUCHY RIEMANN's Allen Cox chimes in with about 10 minutes of sci-fi synth sputter, done Ohio style. I like his track, "Black Boots" more than THE SLEEP SESSIONS' track on the A side. It explores a bit more and does a better job of holding my attention. However, there are some weak spots in the middle of the piece that I feel should have been edited out. The modulation starts to get out of control. It sounds like he tried to play a synth while riding a roller coaster. Does that make sense? Overall this split is pretty good. Not the best thing AG recs has put out but still a nice way to spend 20 minutes. Limited to 50 copies. http://abeliangroupsrecords.blogspot.com

CAUCHY RIEMANN & PEASANT GRAVES - "Without Hope Or Cause" Collaboration c20 (Abelian Groups Records)

Here is a live collab between two Ohioans, CAUCHY RIEMANN and PEASANT GRAVES. The first side of this tape has some massive low end droning going on, I'm guessing from a bass guitar courtesy of PEASANT GRAVES. I'm really digging the ominous low end and whining background feedback. It sort reminds me of Sunn O))) if they recorded straight to boom box and had no metal influence whatsoever. The second side focuses less on the bass but there's still a ton of creepiness spilling over from side 1 in the form of slow motion wasp-like drones and an excellent use of silence. I absolutely love the clanking sound that happens throughout the piece. It reminds me of a sign blowing in the wind in a deserted western town. This is without a doubt one of the better releases I've heard from CAUCHY RIEMANN (and his ABELIAN GROUPS RECORDS) and a fine introduction to PEASANT GRAVES (who I really want to hear more of). Limited to 50 copies. http://abeliangroupsrecords.blogspot.com

CAUCHY RIEMANN - "Field Theorist" c12 (Abelian Groups Records)

I've heard quite a bit from CAUCHY RIEMANN, whether it be splits or collabs with other artists but I'm pretty sure this is my first time hearing a solo release from him and I must say, I'm surprised. This release consists of two 6 minutes chunks of dense as fuck harsh electronics on a transparent yellow tape. The A side still has the weird airy synthery found in most of his other releases but here it's broken up with walls of low-mid domination and schizophrenic stop on a dime transitions from treble shriek to bass pummelling. I like the lo-fi production of this piece but I'd like to see what Allen Cox could accomplish with a cleaner sound. The B side has a massive pounding beat that makes me want to bang my head like the redneck metal heads that live down the street. Just before I give into temptation, the beat is overwhelmed by what sounds like a slow motion hydrogen bomb explosion ran through a plethora of distortion pedals. I'm fucking loving it. This side of the tape definitely benefits from the lo-fi production. Cleaning it up would just take away from it's raw power. The music on this cassette is miles better than most of the stuff out there. I recommend fans of creative conceptual noise check it out. I also recommend that Allen Cox put out more solo releases. Criminally limited to 28 copies so act fast! http://abeliangroupsrecords.blogspot.com


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

S.T. - “Redneck Vol. 5” c10 (Alienated Hominid)

S.T. is the ridiculously harsh alter ego of Kelso, Washington’s Suicidal Tendons. Here he lays down two short chunks of brutaller than thou harsh noise. The first piece is called “Stove”. After about a minute of what sounds like getting everything plugged in and preparing contact mics, S.T. lays the hammer down and pummells with thick walls of pure sound for the last 4 minutes. The saturation is almost unbearable in its extremity. The second piece, “Eye” picks up right where “Stove” left off and doesn’t let up for another 5 minutes. ALIENATED HOMINID realy did a great job with this release. The tape is dubbed nice and loud and the artwork is well put together and very fitting of a recording as menacing and heavy as the one supplied by S.T. If unrelenting DIY harsh noise is your thing then I strongly advise contacting S.T. or the label to see if this is still available.
alianatedhominidrecordings.com & barfingdagger@wheelweb.com


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Well, it's been a month since the last post but here I am. The 700 mile trek up to Oregon was a major pain in the ass due to snowy highways but we made it. Time to start looking for a job.

WHAT ABOUT ME RECORDS is a new label started by “Johnny Cash” from New Braunfels, Texas. He sent me his first batch of four CD-Rs. I don't want to sound like an ass but ordinarily I wouldn’t spend any time writing reviews for such amateurish, thrown together releases. I like this kid though. He's enthusiastic, friendly, and these are his very first DIY releases. He seems genuinely excited about what he is doing. Each of these CDs are limited to 10-20 copies and can be acquired at http://myspace.com/whataboutmerex.

ELDERLY PORNOGRAPHY - “Jacking Off An Amputated Nigger Midget (clean version)” CD-R (What About Me Records)

What the Fuck? This CD is seriously less than two minutes long. Every track is almost the exact same thing. This is the “clean version” (ha ha) so what we’re left with are very short blasts of bleeped out cuss words over static-lite pseudo harsh noise with cheesy samples and two seconds of negative space between each track. I hate it so much I almost love it.

XROTTEN NOISEX- “Grindcore is Fucking Dead” CD-R (What About Me Records)

Alright, this is a little more put together. “Grindcore is Fucking Dead” is 50 tracks of ametuerish shitgrind/harsh noise/power electronis. This shit is beyond silly. The vocalist is either a little girl or one of my little brothers weirdo friends. I can’t tell if this is bad in a good way or just plain bad. Part’s of it are actually quite enjoyable but the tracks are all so short there’s no time to develop anything that attention grabbing. The song titles reek of Anal Cunt too so if that’s your thing...


First up, McGRUFF. After listening to 20 minutes of retarded joke music, I was expecting more of the same. So I was a little surprised to find that THE WHEN McGRUFF WAS KING play actual songs. Actually it’s still retarded joke music, it’s just a little more charming this time around. TWMcGWK kind of reminds me of early PAVEMENT if they were completely wasted(er?) and brain damaged (not in a good way). However, I’d be surprised if these kids had ever even heard of PAVEMENT. In reality, they probably just raided their parents liquor cabinet and then tried to play rock & roll while running a tape recorder. The end of their second song does get a little ‘experimental’. It’s kind of like a less fucked, more adolescent version of THE DEAD C.

What do you get when you cross ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE with a total lack of talent? 50 WAYS TO KILL ME, that’s what! Jay Haley makes cheesy pop songs by programming beats/synths/whatnot and then sings over them. It’s out of tune and off time and I love it. It falls into the category of music that’s so bad it’s good. The added goregrind influence that sneaks in occasionally is a total boner... er... bonus as well. “You know what to do, kill me with Voodoo.” Genius.

BREAKDANCING RONALD REGAN is the solo project of label dude, Johnny Cash. “A History of Southern Tribalism” is his first track. It starts with a repeating loop of 'old thyme' southern sounding piano quickly followed by cut up distortion, strange percussion samples, and and ominous bass line that slowly creeps in and out. The track goes on for almost 9 minutes without really going anywhere but it still manages to create a creepy atmosphere. The second track is sort of built the same way as the first. A chiming loop starts things off and is slowly built upon by elastic crunch and boomy distortion.

WHITE TIGER A:. A:. - "Tiger 7" (What About Me Records)

WHITE TIGER A:.A:. from Australia drop a single 56 minute track of free improv and cosmic psychedelic ambience, heavy on the reverb and delay. I’m not sure what instumentation is used but I think I hear some drums and buried no-wave guitar in there somewhere. Possibly some violin(?) and synth or a wind instrument as well. I love the goofy shouting towards the end. It runs on a little long but this is still without a doubt the most fully realized of the four WHAT ABOUT ME releases. I’d say this recording definitely deserves to be packaged a little more professionally and NOT limited to only 10 copies but that’s just me.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This may be the last update until late February or early March. I'm moving to Portland in less than two weeks and won't have much time to listen to or write about music until I can get completely unpacked and situated in my new house. Thanks for reading. Stay Tuned...

I haven't reviewed any tapes in a while. What better way to get back into the habit than with 3 new ones from ABELIAN GROUPS RECORDS?

DROUGHTER - "Young Harm" c12 (Abelian Groups Records)

Two short sides of low end brutality from DROUGHTER's Kevin McEleney. I really love when noise releases are kept short like this. The artist is less likely to throw in filler when they've only got two six minute sides of tape to work with. My love of short releases probably stems from years and years of listening to punk/hardcore on 7" vinyl. I've pretty much trained myself to only tolerate 10-15 minutes of one band at a time. But this isn't hardcore at all. This is pure and simple harsh noise made by pure and simple means and done in a very effective way. I'm talking contact mics, distortion pedals, feedback, a tape recorder, and 12 minutes to kill. I'm totally into the burly as fuck lo-fi production too. Both sides are dominated by overpowering low-mids and sloppy mush but they still manage to sound huge and oppressive. Comes with a xeroxed insert on an unlabeled yellow tape. Limited to 50 copies.

CAUCHY-RIEMANN & SICK TO THE BACK TEETH - "Illness Transfer" c20 (Abelian Groups Records)

Ohio's CAUCHY-RIEMANN (a.k.a. Allen Cox) and New York's SICK TO THE BACK TEETH (awesome name!) team up for this 20 minute long collaboration. I love mail collaborations. It's always exciting to see what two very different artists miles apart from each other can come up without actually meeting face to face. The results are almost always interesting. This tape is no exception. The A side is ten minutes of tag team noise destruction. The artists parts are slightly panned left and right so you can hear what each of them is doing without it turning into one jumbled mess. They seem to take turns handling the low end and while I'm not sure who is on which side of the stereo field, I'm really enjoying the airplane nosedive sounds and squawking feedback. The B side is a little less harsh than the A side but no less entertaining. Synth slime slowly building and evolving Very intense, very ominous shit. Black tapes splattered with yellow paint. Limited to 30 copies.

CAUCHY-RIEMANN & ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE - collab. c20 (Abelian Groups Records/Parsimoneous Recurrence)

Y'know that spattering synth chirp that MITB/BASTARD NOISE is known for? That's probably my favorite sound in the world and it's also what the first side of this tape opens up with. This is another CAUCHY-RIEMANN collab, this time with Palmdale, California's ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE who I'm not really familiar with. Of the three tapes that Allen Cox sent me, this is definitely my favorite. There's a lot of my beloved synth chirp to be found on side A along with some jet engine distortion, buried scuzzed out vocals, and damaged guitar drowning in reverb. Side B is a much deeper, monolithic venture with crumbling distortion and tea kettle electronics. I dig. More paint splattered black tapes. Limited to 30 copies.
http://abeliangroupsrecords.blogspot.com & http://parsimoneous-recurrence.50megs.com/


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MX NIHIL - "Psycho Killer" 3" CD-R (World Nihil)

Oh geez. Here we've got another 20 some-odd minutes of beyond brutal harsh noise on a 3" CD-R. Germany's MX NIHIL sounds like a million and a half other indistinguishable harsh noise projects but for some reason I can never get enough of this shit. I just love loading the 5 disc changer with all sorts of random harshness and letting it rip. I could be wrong but it sounds like MX NIHIL's basic method for making noise involves running audio from an external source through an effects chain and then overdubbing (?) some more memorable feedback sputters and whatnot over the top. Very basic but very effective. I especially like when the horror movie screams and Godzilla growls cut through the thick distorted mess. Very nice looking black & white computer generated cover art pasted on a red spraypainted cardboard sleeve. Mine came with some absolutely ridiculous "Will Fuck for Harsh Noise" stickers. Limited to 35 copies. You already know if you want this or not. http://worldnihil.de but it doesn't work so try this... http://myspace.com/worldnihil