Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows (Throatruiner Records / Basement Apes / BLWBCK / Tapes of a Neon God, 29 April 2016)
Verdun – The Eternal Drift’s Canticles (Throatruiner Records / Head Records / Lost Pilgrims, 29 April 2016)
When there’s a new Throatruiner Records release, you can pretty much be guaranteed it’ll be filled with plenty of gloomy, yet intensely vicious music of exceptionally high quality. That’s been the case each time I’ve heard anything from this French label (including a few that I’ve written about), and the two we’ll be discussing today — one by toulousainsPlebeian Grandstand and the other by montpelliérainsVerdun, which both came out back in April of this year — are no exception.
And for some additional good news, at least for readers who live in the U.S., Plebeian Grandstand will be kicking off an American tour this weekend! After you’re done reading about these albums, divert your eyes down to the comments section to check out all the relevant details. Bonne écoute!
Cowards – Shooting Blanks and Pills (Throatruiner Records, 30 June 2012)
Good afternoon, readers. How are you on this fine Wednesday? I’m glad that I’ll be leaving work shortly, but I’m also dreading walking outside into the terrible heatwave we’ve been experiencing this week. But I’d rather not think about that — right now I’ll just sit here and enjoy the air conditioning and listen to something especially nasty and dark and angry. At the moment, I’m listening to one of my favorite hardcore records I’ve heard in a long time, which just happened to be released two years ago this week.
The album came out through Throatruiner Records, a label I’ve mentioned in the past that I have a lot of respect for, and that I’ve also discovered some incredible underground bands from — most of which are European and many of which play in a dark-toned style of hardcore that I’ve really come to appreciate.
Parisian quintet Cowards is no exception, I found when I downloaded their debut album Shooting Blanks and Pills (for free, as per usual for this record label). As I listen to it now, perhaps for the fiftieth or hundredth time, it occurs to me that I’ve never written about this band or this album before, which is really a shame because more people should get the chance to enjoy this piece of fine art. So here we are.
Well, friends, here we find ourselves in the waning moments of 2012. It’s been an interesting, eventful year that’s had lots of high and low points — a ton of excellent new music has been released and quite a few brand-new bands have emerged that I’d fully expect to be making some serious waves in the near future.
One of the best things about 2012, for me personally, was that I found myself (and my wife) going to lots more shows than in recent years, and as a result I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of new people — as well as starting to take a way more active role in the local music scene.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a suggestion from one of those people I’ve gotten to know in the past year (I won’t say who — he said he preferred not to be given credit for the idea, although I will say that it’s somebody who contributed to this). The idea was to collect top-ten lists from various folks in the Pittsburgh metal community.
So I put out an open invitation for any musicians or other people who are involved in the scene in some way — I was looking for anything, whether it was the traditional “Top Ten Albums” or something totally off-the-wall like someone’s ten favorite sandwiches they ate during the year. Really, the only rules were that it had to be a list, and involve something from 2012.
Elizabeth – Where Vultures Land (Throatruiner Records / I for Us Records, 04 April 2012)
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: I have a lot of respect for bands and record labels who do what they do for the right reasons. Here, “the right reasons” are not to get rich and famous and live a life of luxury by taking advantage of people, but simply to create (for the bands) or disseminate (for labels) art based on a true passion for doing so. Now, I’m not saying that nobody should ever make money from their art — a lot of work goes into it and everyone involved totally deserves to recoup their expenses and bring in enough extra income to hopefully be able to continue what they are doing! But at a certain point, it seems like making a few dollars becomes more important than sharing a mutual love of music, and that is just a sad situation for anyone to be in.
Having said that, it’s obvious Matthias Jungbluth of French (Breton) label Throatruiner Records is in this for the right reasons. Anyone who would start an extreme metal label nowadays has to know beforehand that they aren’t going to be bringing in a ton of money, considering the state of the music industry these days, and so there must be some degree of passion for the art itself. The label specializes in small releases on vinyl or cassette, as well as some other merchandise, supplemented by free downloads of those releases in order to expose the artists to as many people as possible.
Packaged with the free download of an album from Throatruiner is the following text (contained in a file named “FVCK LARS ULRICH.rtf”):
Thanks for your download, we hope you will enjoy this record as much as we did! When I have started Throatruiner Records last year, one of my guidelines was to put all my releases on free download. Because the stuff i love should live without any boundaries. So if you want to support Throatruiner Records & our bands, please visit http://throatruinerrecords.tumblr.com/ and pick some stuff, we need it; and if you think we don’t deserve any $, be kind, share this album with five of your friends!
Sorry for your ears.
I’ve discovered a lot of great new music through this label, one example of which I’d like to share with you today.