Beehoover – The Devil and His Footmen (Exile on Mainstream, 30 September 2013)
Beehoover – Primitive Powers (UnUnDeux, 26 February 2016)
Hey, good afternoon, music fans! Did you know that this website is now in its fifth year of existence? Technically its fifth birthday will be coming up later this year, but I just thought it was interesting to think about that. That might be partly why I’ve been covering quite a few older releases over the past weeks, trying to get some stuff written about and shared with you that I’ve been listening to and meaning to write about for a long time: reaching (or approaching) that sort of milestone can make you do a lot of reflecting back, while also trying to stay on top of what’s happening currently and looking ahead to what’s next.
Anyway, that’s kind of a roundabout way of introducing today’s topic, which will be hitting a bit of each of those things, since I’ll be covering a pair of albums by German bass/drums/vocals duo Beehoover — one which came out in late 2013 (and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying, and intending to get a chance to write about, since around that time), and a brand-new one (that I feel confident you’ll enjoy just as much) which will officially hit the store shelves (metaphorically speaking) tomorrow!
Hey, guess what. It’s Monday. Another weekend concluded, another work week begun. By now, you’re all surely well aware of my Garfieldian opinions about Mondays (also, mornings; also, lasagna), so I see little point to continue any interaction with that particular decreased equine.
So let’s change the subject, because we all know you’ve come here to hear some music, not to read my grumpy mutterings. It’s been over a year since we last checked in on our favorite D.C.-area stoner/fuzz rockers Borracho, so it’s probably about time for an update there.
As it turns out, around three months ago, the folks at Nashville’s Palaver Records launched the first entry in their new series of 7″ splits, which they’ve titled Sludgy Erna Bastard. (Slur the syllables together a bit when you say it out loud, and it should make more sense.) This inaugural edition pairs a Borracho song with a contribution from Brooklynites (and Palaver roster alums) Eggnogg. I suspect you’ll find each of them well worth taking the time to check out…
King Buzzo – This Machine Kills Artists (Ipecac Recordings, 02 June 2014)
The bulk of my formative years were spent in the 1990s, from age eleven (when I was being introduced to Faith No More and Overkill) through twenty (when I was discovering Pentagram and Emperor). I experienced lot of music both new and old during that decade, all of which had a strong influence over my tastes and preferences, and frankly, made a huge impression on my life in general. And looking back, I think it could be argued that (taking into account both direct and indirect effects) singer/guitarist Roger “Buzz” Osborne and his band The Melvins had made at least as much of an impact as any other person or band, if not more.
After all, not only did I discover their own music somewhere in my teens (and found myself blown away by it), but that band can be said to have been almost singlehandedly responsible for entire genres of music — some of which rank among my absolute favorite. Where would sludge or grunge metal be, if it weren’t for their groundbreaking work? What would Crowbar or Eyehategod have sounded like; TAD or Harvey Milk; or dozens of other bands who’ve served such an important role in my life?
So clearly, I don’t think I could overemphasize how big of a deal they — and by extension, their one constant member over their thirty year history — really are. And so when Ipecac Recordings issues an album full of Osbourne solo acoustic material, needless to say I am very intrigued…
Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!
But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…
I got a few videos of their amazing double-set performance on Memorial Day in Pittsburgh. I just haven’t had a chance yet to get them edited and uploaded! (There are a few that are well over 20 minutes in length!) So keep an eye on this space; they will be coming soon!
Hello, friends. Regular visitors to this website have surely noticed that recently the volume of writing I am putting out there has significantly decreased. I apologize for that. But it hasn’t been the result of laziness, I assure you. I’ve been getting myself involved with a few other things — as I keep alluding to in several new posts over the past few weeks — and finally I want to let you know about one of those.
So, I have been asked to join the Pittsburgh-based record label The Innervenus Music Collective to help out with their PR and publicity. It’s a pretty exciting opportunty for me — first of all, as a writer I’ve been working with a variety of PR people and representatives from other labels, so I understand what’s involved, and it’s cool to be getting some experience from the other direction now. But even more than that, now I get to work directly with a group of people who do so much to support our local music scene — between planning shows and giving away the Iron Atrocity compilations, not to mention releasing albums from some really talented bands (Vulture, Invader, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot — just to name a few examples that I had written about last year)!
And so this new position has been using up a lot of my free time recently, mostly because we’re gearing up to put out two CDs in February: the debut full-length by grindcore/death dealers Grisly Amputation, and a self-titled EP by death-thrash-groove-sludge-core band Lycosa. I’ve been sending out promo materials to a whole slew of websites and magazines, so we should start seeing some reviews trickle in shortly, but I figure I wouldn’t really be doing my job (EITHER job – as a writer OR a publicist!) if I didn’t also inform you about the releases here on Valley of Steel!
Melvins – The Bulls & the Bees (13 March 2012, Scion A/V)
I’ve just got two things to say: first, there is a new Melvins EP, and second, it’s absolutely free to download. Really, that should be all you need to hear.
The generous people who run Scion A/V have done it again, putting out a handful of songs by an incredible band for no cost or obligation at all. I still don’t know what they get out of it (I’ve grabbed a copy of each one of their free releases so far, but I’d still never be caught dead behind the wheel of one of their ugly-ass cars!), but I sure am thankful they keep on doing what they’re doing.
This time, as you can see, they are featuring a five-song collection by the Melvins, who surely need no introduction to anybody reading this. But just in case you just immigrated to this planet from Pluto, or you have been in a coma since Ronald Reagan’s first term as U.S. president, let me bring you up to speed. These guys almost single-handedly invented sludge, grunge, and stoner metal. At the very least, they were highly influential in the genesis of each of those styles, and have been consistently churning out quality tunes for almost three whole decades.