Melvins – Basses Loaded (2016)

MelvinsBasses Loaded (Ipecac Records, 03 June 2016)

 

Around here, we’ve talked pretty extensively about the Melvins. Mostly because since forming in Montesano, Washington about thirty-five years ago, the band has been a highly influential part of so many of the genres we love, even having a hand in forming and shaping several of those. Also there’s the fact that, with their ever-revolving line-ups, there are approximately ninety-seven Melvins releases (on average) each year. Being so prolific, it’s likely that they’ll have some stuff kind of flying under the radar, and today we’ll be looking at an album from last year that you may have missed. And then down in the comments you can find information about all their tour dates for the rest of the summer and beyond (and if you have the opportunity to see these guys, I really could not recommend it highly enough!)

 
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Problem with Dragons, Brujas del Sol – Starquake (2015)

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Problem with DragonsStarquake (self-released, 10 March 2015)

 

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Brujas del SolStarquake (H42 Records, 14 December 2015)

 

So within the last year, something kind of strange has happened: two different and (as far as I know) completely unrelated bands, both of them from the northeastern United States, have each contacted me to check out their new album (one was in the spring and the other at the end of the year). Both of these happened to be bands I’d heard before and already liked — in fact, for one of them I had already written about their previous album. The unusual part was that both of these new releases happened to be named Starquake.

Now, that’s certainly not impossible — I mean, thousands of bands put out new stuff every year, and they all need to come up with song and album titles, so I’m sure there is a lot of repetition out there. Maybe you remember, back in 2011, there was a ton of hype surrounding an album called Path of Totality, considered by many to have been one of that year’s finest metal releases, and then a few months later a terrible (although significantly more famous) band did a thing called The Path of Totality?

Surely that sort of thing happens a lot, but still I thought this pair of Starquakes was an interesting coincidence. As it turns out, both of them sound really good too, so I’d like to share them with you now.

 

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Meth Quarry Interview: Pittsburgh’s Grim Hardcore Assault!

Grim banner

 
Folks, if you’ve had your ear to the ground over the past few months you might have noticed that there has been some rumbling coming out of the dark underworld of hardcore. There has been so much hype swirling around the crusty, grimy beast known as Meth Quarry lately, that the band has reached a nearly mythical status — without having played a single show yet!

But all of that is about to change, because these guys are finally ready to come crawling out of the dank cellar of Pittsburgh’s underground and expose the good people of the Steel City to their grim “dirge” hardcore style. Last weekend I met up with the quintet (guitarists Chris Smith and Kevin Hogue, bassist Aaron Kaczynski, vocalist Adam Joseph Bailey, and drummer Brandon “Fluffy” Baker) to talk about the story of the band’s formation and what sort of things they’ve got on the horizon — I joined them at one of their rehearsals, which took place in the basement of Kevin’s house, so when I say “crawling out of the cellar” I actually mean it literally…

 
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Out Last Week: The Faceless – Autotheism

Autotheism album cover

 

The FacelessAutotheism
(Sumerian Records, 13 August 2012 Europe / 14 August North America)

Well, folks, you’ve been looking forward to this for several years, and it’s finally here: The Faceless have finally put out their third album!

Well, when I say “you” I mean “a LOT of you” — here’s a band that has almost 200,000 Facebook likes (compared with the typical band I write about, which might have several hundred, or a couple thousand at most). So yeah, that’s a lot of people, and probably a good chunk of my faithful readers, hence the reason I felt compelled to pass along the details about this new album when they popped up in my in-box.

Do you know who was not among those hundred-grand-plus anxiously awaiting? Yours truly. The news of new The Faceless material left me feeling pretty indifferent, simply for the reason that I’d never heard this band before. True story. Now, I’m not one of those über-elitist types who refuses to listen to anything that isn’t underground enough — I like to believe I’m more open-minded than most — but more often than not, the modern style of metal music that’s currently in vogue (without naming names, let’s just say I’m referring to the bulk of stuff that gets played on Liquid Metal, or the bands that seem to have the most rabid fans among commenters over at MetalSucks) just doesn’t do anything for me.

Or to put it another way, it seems like the more hype that surrounds a band or an album, the less likely I actually end up enjoying it. Not that I purposely dislike stuff because it’s popular, it just seems to work out that way a lot of the time. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, and so I would never totally dismiss something without first giving it a shot, but I also typically wouldn’t go out of my way to check something out if I got that sort of a vibe from it.

But part of that earlier post prior to the album’s release included a video trailer, and the small amount of music that was included in that preview didn’t really sound like all the other generic crap floating on the airwaves nowadays. In fact, it struck me as a bit intriguing. So I decided I wanted to check it out — to see what the big deal was.

So Autotheism officially hit the store shelves ten days ago (figuratively speaking, as I’m pretty sure they don’t actually have shelves at iTunes or wherever), and since then I’ve heard it from start to finish no less than ten times. At this point, I feel that I can confidently say, this is an amazing album and I strongly recommend you take the time to discover what it has to offer — I’m sure that you, too, will be glad you did.

 
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