Hello — and Merry Christmas Eve Eve, to those who celebrate.
What a nasty, ugly day this has turned out to be: snow, rapidly plummeting temperatures, and huge wind gusts that very nearly sent our trash cans careening down into the river. Again. That is, we lost one of them to the river during a windstorm a couple years ago; this time both of them did go flying after they were emptied this morning, but I was able to rescue one from the edge of the embankment, while the other has managed to wedge itself between two trees halfway down the hillside, just out of reach of any of the long-handled implements I have readily available so I’m hoping it will stay in place long enough for me to figure out a way to retrieve it.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s listen to some nasty, ugly music befitting such a nasty, ugly day!
S.I.D. – City of Chemistry (digital 15 July 2022; vinyl 14 October 2022, Gruesome Records / SFA Records / V.A.N.G.A. Records)
Private Prisons – Extrication (Trepanation Recordings, 16 December 2022)
“Are you the guys on the beach that hate everything?”
Right around 30 years ago, as hair metal was in its final death throes along with most other remnants of the Reagan 80s, and the grunge movement was just starting to come into full swing in terms of global mainstream recognition, Californian hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe dropped their debut full-length, kind of bridging the gap between the dominant sounds of the previous decade and the one that had just begun.
This writer was in eighth grade at the time, and America’s Least Wanted may have been the very first cassette I ever bought for myself, or if not, at least one of the first two or three.
So when I heard that the band was releasing a brand-new album this fall — even working with the same producer they did three decades ago (Mark Dodson) — based on the nostalgia factor of course I had to check it out. But I ended up discovering that these guys (two who’ve been around since the founding days of the band and two others who’ve been on every major release in their history; only the drummer role has changed hands a few times over the years) have crafted a very good, very solid, rock record.
Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings of Destiny (Metalville Records, 21 October 2022)
We’re back! No new posts yesterday because I was celebrating “Two-sday” (2/22/22 or 22/2/22 depending on your local date formatting tradition) a little too hard.
Or to put it a different way, I found myself swamped with upwards of 70,000 email messages and about twelve hours of meetings (in just a nine-hour day, somehow) at work yesterday, which left very little time to think about anything else.
But like I said, we’re back! Today I have two different takes on post-metal to share with you, starting with an Israeli quartet’s second EP that came out late last year, and then we’ll check out the fourth full-length (and second as a six-piece band, following one I wrote about two years ago) by a Californian ensemble.
NŪR – Negative Transfer (Suicide Records, 15 October 2021)
Mountaineer – Giving Up the Ghost (Lifeforce Records, 25 February 2022)
Here we have two more noteworthy releases from last year. The first, a two-track single, debut release of a collaborative trio from Scotland and Germany; the other an album by a veteran deathrock quintet from the San Francisco Bay Area.
healthyliving – until/below (self-released, 25 June 2021)
Esses – Bloodletting for the Lonely (Bat-Cave Productions / Atakra Records, 06 August 2021)
Hey there. Here we are, midway through yet another week. And time once again to catch up on a couple releases from late last year. The first comes from a Portuguese instrumental post-rock/ambient/doom quartet, the other from a Californian post-doom/ambient/stoner-doom quartet — and both are absolutely worth checking out (otherwise why would I waste the effort talking about them or expect you to do the same reading about them)!
Fere – Visceral (Raging Planet Records, 15 November 2021)
Good morning, and here comes some more music for you all to start off your week with!
Don’t worry, I know how to operate a calendar, and I realize it’s Tuesday. But yesterday was a federal holiday here in the U.S., as well as a snow day, so we lazily decided to have ourselves a nice extended weekend.
But today we’re back on track, and I would like to call your attention to an album I particularly enjoyed when it came out last summer. Again, I assure you, I do know how calendars work, and I do realize we’re now into the third week of the new year. Within the next few days I promise the first review of a new 2022 release will be coming! But we’ve still got plenty of older ones to cover that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Like this one: the fourth album overall (and the first in 27 years!) by San Franciscan band Mordred — who, by the way, will be playing their first hometown show of the year this coming weekend, alongside fellow local thrashers Death Angel. Details on tickets (both in-person and live-stream) to be found below.
Mordred – The Dark Parade (M-Theory Audio, 23 July 2021)
Happy Tuesday! As we muddle our way through this final week of 2021, I’ll continue to try getting as much stuff written as possible to wrap up the year, culminating with the revealing of my highly-anticipated Top 21 of 2021 list.
While the exact details of that list are currently secreted away in a locked vault in an undisclosed location, but one thing I can absolutely guarantee is that it will include THIS record, which answers the question, “What if Body Void but slower, and perhaps — just maybe — a bit more emotionally devastating?”
Hellish Form – Remains (Translation Lost Records, 25 June 2021)
Battle Hag – Celestial Tyrant (Transylvanian Tapes, 11 January 2021)
Kultika – Capricorn Wolves (Loud Rage Music, 11 January 2021)
Well, readers, another dreadful work week is mercifully drawing to a close. We finally made it to Friday. As a treat, today I’ll be sharing not one, not two, … ok wait, yes two … different albums for you to check out! Both were released back in January, both reside somewhere within the realm of doom metal, and I found both to be quite enjoyable to listen to. I hope you will too!
Cyttorak / Revered and Reviled Above All Others – Split (Sleeping Village Records, 22 January 2021)
So okay, here we are. Exactly fifty-one weeks into mandated quarantine working from home, and truly starting to lose my mind from cabin fever. Looking forward to my wife coming home from work each day with stories of interaction with other human beings, since I’ve all but forgotten what that feels like.
2020 was — well, probably better to not even bring that up at all. You get it. So as a result, I found myself taking nearly two full months into 2021 just catching up on stuff I hadn’t gotten around to listening to, just to get my Top 20 list finalized. Managed to get that online about a week ago. So naturally, now I’ve begun the daunting task of working my way through 2021 releases that I’ve missed so far.
Which brings us back to the original purpose of me writing these words and you reading them: letting you know about something you may wish to cram into your ear-holes. In particular, today I’ve got a split release for you, fresh off the presses of Sleeping Village Records, the relatively new label run by the fine folks who brought you Sleeping Village Reviews.
Don’t forget that this is supposed to be a two-way street: I write words about music that I’ve enjoyed listening to, you folks read those words and listen to that music, and then you can leave a comment about how much you also enjoyed listening to it! For the sake of my sanity! Thanks for stopping by!