Celebrate The Year Of The Ox With Fist Fight In The Parking Lot

FFITPL-Album Cover

Fist Fight in the Parking LotYear of the Ox (self-released, 11 January 2014)

 

Good afternoon, readers! Happy Monday to you all. Hope you had a good weekend. I was out of town visiting relatives the whole time — which, surprisingly, wasn’t really as bad as that sounds. So that’s cool, I guess. Although being away from Pittsburgh did have one unfortunate consequence: I wasn’t able to make it to the Fist Fight in the Parking Lot CD release show that took place Saturday night. They always put on a very energetic, entertaining show (and plus, our Ohioan neighbors Black Plastic Caskets also played that night, and I’ve only seen them once and have really been looking forward to having another chance).

But anyway, at least I can check out the new FFITPL CD, and I can tell you about it so you can go check it out too. And then we can all party like it’s 2021.

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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 3)

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Dead Horse Cantina (McKees Rocks, PA), 16 February 2013

 
In mid-February, Innervenus Music released a pair of CDs: a self-titled EP by Lycosa, and the full-length Cannibalistic Tendencies by Grisly Amputation. The following videos were taken from the dual CD release show, which also featured five other bands.

 
Lycosa – “Barbara”

 
Grisly Amputation – “Hoarding Human Remains”

 
Storm King – “Wipe You Out” and “Today is the Day”

 
Victims of Contagion – “Terminal Evolution”

 
Torrential Bleeding – “There Goes My Bride”

 
Lythem – Untitled (New Song)

 
Meth Quarry – “Behind Sleeping Gods”

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
 
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

Deathcrawl – Accelerated Rate of Decay

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DeathcrawlAccelerated Rate of Decay (self-released, 16 October 2012)

 
Okay, true story: earlier this month, I had a cookout for a handful of friends (mostly musicians or music-related folks, just because that’s how I roll). At some point in the evening, as we were standing around the fire and socializing, I remember talking to someone about a song that was playing (I’d hooked up my MP3 player and set it to shuffle); during that conversation, the song ended and the next one began — and on hearing the grimey riffs that were pouring out of the speakers, I then remarked, “Oh, and this is Deathcrawl.”

Well. Standing nearby just happened to be Josh Thieler, vocalist for Slaves BC. You may recall that his band creates some awesome music, and so it’s no surprise that he’d generally have pretty good taste in stuff to listen to. Anyway, I could see that his eyes were all lit up. “I was just about to ask you what this is,” he told me, “because it’s really good. This is Deathcrawl?” I nodded, and he added (I’m paraphrasing here; this was a couple weeks ago), “So, my band is playing with this band at the end of the month??” I nodded again, and his face lit up even more.

Because yes, I’m pleased to say, the Ohioan sludge factory that is Deathcrawl is finally playing a show in Pittsburgh, and that show is tomorrow night!! In addition to Slaves BC, that line-up will also feature Meth Quarry and (coming back to the city for the first time since last summer) The Osedax from Virginia. More details on that show coming up soon, but first, I’d like to bring you up to speed on a band and an album that you really need to be listening to (if you haven’t already)!

 
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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Lycosa Guitarist “Tree”

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Six Questions with Lycosa Guitarist “Tree

by Asya Yanyo

 

So my next Person or Persons Unknown interview subject is someone I did not know very well before I decided to ask him for an interview, but I suppose that was the point of these: to shed some light on people not very many people knew much about. This one definitely qualifies. I first officially met Tree when his band Lycosa was having their Innervenus dual-release show with Grisly Amputation. Over the course of meeting all these new people, I would say that I am constantly surprised at how warm and friendly they are — which is a vast contrast to the mood and feel of the music that they play. No one surprised me quite as much as Tree — he’s sweet and kind and, just like my husband, you sometimes have a hard time hearing him because he really doesn’t talk all that loud (when he talks at all!). I have since gotten to know him slightly more speaking to him via Facebook messages and seeing him out at shows, and I am happy to now call him a friend. I hope you guys will find him as interesting as I do, and that you’ll check out Lycosa — maybe even venture out to Kent, Ohio, this weekend for a mini road trip to check them out. The band is great on CD, but even better live! Take it from me, it would be worth the drive from Pittsburgh.

 
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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Steve and Aaron Kaczynski of Jericho Theory

Person or Persons Unknown

 

Six Questions with Steve Kaczynski (guitar) and Aaron Kaczynski (vocals) of Jericho Theory

by Asya Yanyo

 

Here I am again, writing another Person or Persons Unknown about another Pittsburgh band member, but this time I decided to change things up a bit. This time I am focusing on two guys actually: Steve Kaczynski and his son Aaron.

While I have never really had too much interaction with Steve in the past, I have seen their joint band Jericho Theory and was impressed with the chemistry and talent they both posses. I must admit, doing this particular article was one of the main reasons for starting these interviews. In truth, I have known Aaron for a while now, and I’ve liked him from the first time I met him. He’s got an infectious enthusiasm that you couldn’t fake if you tried. I have gotten to know him better through this journey of Facebook messages, attending shows together, and also attending shows that his bands have played. I am not sure if I have ever met a more honest and caring person in our music scene. He is that guy that knows all your songs, and knows what shows you’re playing; he’s the kind of fan that makes playing in a band in Pittsburgh worth it. I don’t even think people realize what a positive and caring member of this circle he really is. He has a way of making shows I attend with him more fun — even with my weird habit of buying him a PBR at least once a show — it’s more a level of comfort and happiness when I know he’ll be attending a show. He’s kind of turned into an unofficial little brother for Eric and me, and listening to him tell me at least once during each show that this is his favorite band or his favorite song makes me happier then I could ever state — because his influence has actually made me want to be a better fan.

So with that, I figured that this kid with his infectious nature and love of music had to have an amazing musical role model just like I did. Now that I have the ability to figure that out, I was on a mission to do so — hence the reason for this interview, so I could see if my inkling about him was correct. I am very proud to call Aaron a friend, and I hope after reading this you’ll want to be friends with him and his dad too, and I hope it will make you want to see them in action this Saturday, March 30th, at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern.

 
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Vermithrax – Vol. 1 Sampler (FREE Download!)

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VermithraxVol. 1 Sampler (14 February 2013)

 
Hey! Remember back when I used to write about music? That was fun, I think I’m going to try it again.

So the Pittsburgh-based old-school thrash & NWOBHM-influenced band Vermithrax has some new material available for downloading and inserting into your ears. They announced this fact a couple weeks ago, but I was right in the middle of a million different things at that moment, so I grabbed myself a copy and planned to go back to it later.

Well, “later” ended up being just a few days ago, and now I’m kicking myself for not jumping on this sooner. If you’re already familiar with Vermithrax — perhaps from their appearance on the Innervenus free compilation Iron Atrocity Vol.2 (more info here) — then surely you understand.

If you haven’t heard that compilation yet, go download the damn thing already!! But in the meantime, here’s the Vermithrax song, “The Final Feast”:

 
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Person or Persons Unknown: Six Questions with Slaves BC Bassist Jason Cantu

Hey there, folks! I hope your week is going well. If it’s not, I guess you can be glad that it’s almost over! Personally, I’m just about totally recovered from last weekend’s Winter’s Wake festival, and sometime soon I’ll probably even start writing again.

In the meantime, please enjoy this BRAND NEW feature which will be running periodically here on Valley of Steel — courtesy of the lovely and wonderful person to whom I am fortunate enough to be married!

 
Person or Persons Unknown

Six Questions with Slaves BC Bassist Jason Cantu

by Asya Yanyo

 
Greetings and salutations! Many of you know me, or have met me, or at least know of me. My name is Asya (aka “Mrs. Valley of Steel“). I’ve been married to Eric (aka “Mr. Valley of Steel“) for about five years now — tomorrow [01 March] is our five-year anniversary, in fact.

I’m sure most of you have seen Eric‘s many posts about shows that are occurring in the Pittsburgh area. Well, he doesn’t just post about them; he actually attends — we both do, actually. [Editor’s note: at least, as frequently as physically possible!] Well, through the course of attending these shows, we’ve met some great people and it occurred to me that you (the general public) might like to hear a little bit more about these interesting people, the bands that they are currently in, and what brought them to the musical path that they are traveling down.

I will be doing these on occasion: they will always be six questions, just enough to give you a sense of the person and their tastes (as opposed to the same old stale band questions you’re always reading). So I hope that you will join me on this new journey in getting to know these wonderful and unique people, and — who knows — maybe you’ll find a new band that may change your life, too!

My first “Person or Persons Unknown” interview is with Jason Cantu, the bassist for Slaves BC, whom Eric and I have already seen three times this year. Jason, while just one part of this great band, has an infectious enthusiasm that really enhances their live show. His love and support of music in general is also infectious, and it has inspired me to do these interviews.

Everyone should have a friend like this: someone who’s always posting about records you’ve forgotten about, or wearing t-shirts you would kill for (specifically, I am referring to the Ten Years After shirt he sometimes wears), and someone who is supportive of not only his own band but all local and non-local bands. He is the type of fan that makes you want to be a better fan, too.

Check out his band Slaves BC on Bandcamp, and then come out to see them FOR FREE this weekend [Saturday, 02 March] at Kopec’s Bar. You will not be disappointed.

 
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