Upcoming Shows: Orwell to Embark on a West Coast Tour

 
Hey readers! Here’s information about yet another tour that I’d like to share with you. Once again, this isn’t coming anywhere near my neighborhood, but the message I got from Orwell referred to visiting some foreign lands for the first time (this will be the Wisconsinians’ first trip to several of these western locales) and they politely asked for these details to be shared — which I am more than happy to do.

Any of you who live on the other side of the Mississippi, you need to check out the dates listed below. If, like me, you don’t happen to live near any of the scheduled stops for the band’s tour, you should still keep reading anyhow, because I’m also going to tell you how to grab a copy of their album A View of Heaven from a Seat in Hell totally free!

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Now Available: Undersmile – Narwhal

 

UndersmileNarwhal (Future Noise Recordings, 28 May 2012)

 
If you spend any amount of time poking around this blog (and I highly encourage you to do so!), you’ll quickly notice that I have a fairly broad range of musical taste. Most of the stuff that I listen to would be classified under some metal genre or other, although not all of it. Everything else would usually fall into one or more categories of punk, hardcore, hard rock, or pretty much anything that’s heavy, but once again, you still couldn’t fit all that I listen to in such neat little boxes. Even just looking at the metal music, you’d find me all over the spectrum there as well, touching upon (at least to some degree) practically every subgenre ever invented.

However, one recurring theme you might discover, is that I’ve always had a certain affinity towards the sludgey, the grimey, the filthy, and in particular, the mind-numbingly slow. If it sounds like it was recorded with an hourglass instead of a metronome, chances are I’ll be all over it like zombies attacking a MENSA convention.

So naturally, when I first discovered Oxfordshire’s Undersmile (courtesy of American Aftermath including one of their songs on last summer’s Summer of Sludge compilation), I instantly fell in love, because they just totally hit all the right buttons for me.

Late last year when I heard the news that they were in the process of recording their debut full-length album, I was delighted, and later, when more details and some preview tracks started to emerge, I got even more excited.

Did you ever have something you were anticipating so much that you almost felt nervous about whether it would ultimately live up to the hype? Even if it turns out to be really really good, could it possibly be as good as you were expecting? Or even worse, what if the thing you were so convinced was going to be amazing — and that you’ve been telling everyone around you how amazing you think it’ll be — turns out to be terrible? Of course, you wouldn’t be looking forward to something that much without having some prior knowledge or some sort of basis on which to establish those expectations, so there’s a very small chance that it would, in fact, be awful — but there’s still that remote possibility. Isn’t that just nerve-wracking?

Well now that I’ve gotten my copy of Undersmile’s Narwhal and listened to it a few times, I’ve discovered that I didn’t even know the meaning of the words “terrible” or “awful”…

 

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Two Reviews for the Price of One: Ritalin Attack – James Doesn’t Exist Split + Gutter Bombin’

Ritalin Attack / James Doesn’t ExistSplit (13 April 2012, Torn Flesh Records)

 

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Ritalin AttackGutter Bombin’ (07 May 2012, Torn Flesh Records)

 

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Hey there. I thought it’d never get here, but it’s finally Friday!! And there was much rejoicing. Yay.

So, remember last week when I was talking about music journalists who somehow find the time to also be musicians?

Well, at that time I also started writing this review of the recent split release between Ritalin Attack (the brainchild of Ross Gnarly, of American Aftermath fame) and fellow one-man grind band James Doesn’t Exist, which was intended to be published that same day as kind of a companion piece. But then, as it often does, life got in the way and I didn’t get it finished on-time.

Then, ironically, on Monday I learned that Torn Flesh Records had issued another Ritalin attack release, called Gutter Bombin’. I said ironically, because here I sit, unable to complete one article written on-schedule, and meanwhile an entire album of music (well, more of a mini-EP, to be fair) had been written and recorded AND released.

It’s no wonder Ross manages to write and publish nearly 4,000 articles a week (approximately), and it’s also completely fitting that this artist’s name should refer to Ritalin. Also known as Methylphenidate, Ritalin is a drug often prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — probably a condition with a high rate of occurrence among performers and fans alike in the grindcore scene — despite the fact that the medication itself is a stimulant, and from a chemical standpoint is basically a milder form of cocaine. Of course I’m not a doctor or a scientist or whatever, but I have absolutely no idea why that would help.

Anyway, the point of all this is, I’ve now edited and amended what I originally had begun writing, so that now it covers both releases — including how to download each of them 100% free, from the nice people at Torn Flesh.

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Now Hear This! Preview Some New Material by Author & Punisher

Do you remember back in the day when the word “industrial” as a descriptive term for music was actually meant literally?  Back before any snotty little kid with a drum machine could just dial up some digital distortion in Garageband, puke out some techno dance tracks onto his MacBook, and think he’s the next Trent Reznor?

Meet Tristan Shone, the San Diegan mechanical engineer who is otherwise known as Author & Punisher.  In case you hadn’t guessed, those little doodads and whatsits he’s holding in the photo above are not some newfangled kind of XBox controllers or something.  No, Tristan has manufactured himself a virtual army of mechanical and robotic devices whose sole purpose is to make a cacophony of industrial noises. Literally.

 

 

With a few releases already under his utility toolbelt, this one-man noise factory has got a brand new album Ursus Americanus slated to be released by Seventh Rule Recordings on 24 April, 2012.  However, as the kind folks at Catharsis PR have brought to my attention, you can have the opportunity to catch a sneak peek at a couple tracks from that record right now!

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