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Dillinger Escape Plan @Brighton Concorde 2 4/11/10

December 7, 2010

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Unfortunately owing to the company kept at the gig (that being your humble author) I have been able to keep a brilliant memory of this gig. Of course I’m neglecting to tell you that I would have remembered such a fucking incredible show regardless of who was there and who wasn’t. Kicking off the evening was The Ocean, who I’d previously been unaware of, admittedly I was expecting a show resembling the old Concorde2 toilets, but I remembered that they were on tour with DEP so they can’t have been terrible. And they weren’t, they were really damn good, tight as hell with some awesome tunes. Resembling a mix of The Defiled and DEP themselves, I’m sure I would have largely ignored them had they been presented to me via Youtube, but live they made a great impression. One to look out for. UK fuckingmentalyetsomehowawesome-core band Rolo Tomassi were next up and while it’s clear they are a band in their infancy, it’s also clear that they are aware of the underground fuss being made of them, after their awesome album ‘Cosmology’ was released earlier this year, their frantic blend of hardcore, metal and electronics is beginning to take the shape of something slightly more coherent with a hint of something special waiting in the wings. And if the mutters of ‘Wow she’s hot… holy shit she’s growling’ are anything to go by they’ll be getting plenty of attention anyway.

Dillinger Escape Plan burst onto the stage with ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’ the opener from this year’s album ‘Option Paralysis’ and literally tore the place apart. (It’s really surprising how the Concorde is still standing after all these hardcore and metal bands threaten to tear it down and usually near on do). The epic-ness of ‘…Mona Lisa’ showcases their unquestionable skill in the first 5 minutes of the gig, leaving those wondering how they were going to pull off their insane songs live slapping themselves for being so stupid. They tore through favourites ‘Fix Your Face’ and ‘Milk Lizard’ straight after and then continued to plough through their set, a good mix of old and new songs, including the spectacular ‘Good Neighbour’ and the bonkers classic ‘43% Burnt’. During the hour or so they were on stage, nothing stood still, the whole place was just a sea of people going mad. Frontman Greg Puciato wastes no time in whipping the crowd up and even goes for a little jump during the last song.

Dillinger are on fine form and hopefully it won’t be too long before they come and destroy our seaside resorts again.

Come back soon, lads.

10/10

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The Rotted- Anarchogram EP

August 28, 2010

Label: Metal Blade

The Rotted are the band that rose up from the gore inspired death metal beasts Gorerotted, having changed their name and their music the debut album they released in 2008, “Get Dead Or Die Trying” was fucking superb. That said, they still aren’t as big a prospect as they should be. Their blend of death metal and hardcore punk played at blistering speed with a hint of black metal thrown in for good measure helps to spread appeal over so many scenese that it’s genuinely shocking that they havn’t just teared themselves a new spot in the UK metal scene. Their superbly played and intense live shows could easily put them on a tour with anyone from Behemoth to Slipknot or Dying Fetus to maybe even Converge or Justin Bieber. Okay maybe not that last one, but these guys definately deserve more attention, especially if this EP is to go by.

Firstly Anarchogram includes 6 tracks, 2 originals and 4 cover songs, one chosen by each band member. The two originals continue where “Get Dead Or Die Trying” left off, with genius and a touch of insanity. The first track ‘Drink Myself To Death’ whips you up into an instant attack on the senses, a short but evil guitar solo breaks us in gently as Ben’s commanding vocals tear in over the top of an awesome punky, hardcore infused riff before the blast beat kicks in and basically removes your head. Forget head banging to this shit, you’d have put your face in a blender to keep up. The second track “Dawn Of A New Error” has definately got that hardcore stomp to it, the simple but angry guitar riff of the verse is intermittent with and almost black metal style run up that fast leads into a blast and a break down of powerfully restrained yet heavy as fuck proportions that takes us to the end of the track.

The four Covers are Motorhead’s Iron Fist, Sepultura’s Propaganda, Mayhem’s Deathcrush and Entombed’s Out of Hand. They do a fucking sterling job on all of them, not to mention getting their sound perfectly suited to each song, while still retaining that Rottedness we know and love. Special mention has to be said of Trud’s mental gritty bass sound on Iron Fist. The band have obviously put a lot of effort into these 4 covers, getting the conditions for them pretty much perfect. If this EP is anything to go by, then the upcoming album should fucking slay, and hopefully gain them the status they deserve.

9/10

NatureBoy

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Whitechapel- A New Era Of Corruption.

July 13, 2010

Label: Metal Blade

Whitechapel have always been a band to stand out slightly from their peers, their ferocity and triple guitar assaults combined with a relentless “fuck you” attitude has earned them a strong cult following thanks to their last two albums. “A New Era Of Corruption” gives us the atmosphere of “…Exile” while probably not quite as technical it still retains that manically aggressive feel. The first two tracks blast out of the speakers as if Whitechapel themselves where stuck in them, a desperate onslaught of a caged beast inches away from tearing your fucking face off. After the first few tracks the album kind of finds its forumla and stays in it for the rest of the album, not to say the songs are bad, but from track to track they don’t change much and at some points I found myself checking to see if the next song had started yet. That said, live I’m very very sure that these song’s will destroy venues across the globe, as they still maintain that insanity and schizophrenic desire.

On the whole, “A New Era Of Corruption” isn’t a bad album, and their recently announced live shows with Job For A Cowboy will be something to look forward to off the back of it, but it’s not as good as “This Is Exile”. I find myself missing something, perhaps more grit and emotion from the music, a few tracks do ignite it and get the blood pumping, and when that happens it’s fucking insane. For an band capable of something as awesome as “This Is Exile” it’s a tad disappointing. For the deathcore scene, it’s still better than most of the shite out there.

6/10

NatureBoy

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Too many, too soon

May 25, 2010

R.I.P Paul Gray

Slipknot's Paul Gray 1972-2010

Rest In Peace, buddy, you’re already missed.

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Blood Of Kingu- Sun In The House Of The Scorpion

May 18, 2010

Label: Candlelight

This record blew me the fuck away on first listen. Opener “Those That Wander Amidst The Stars” is just over 4 minutes of pure brutal black metal. The blast beats kicked in with raw guitars seeping with atmosphere, and when the deep booming growls kick in, it takes you to another level. The assault is so intense, yet it hits the spot perfectly, just what you need to unwind after a long day. That sets the tone for the rest of the album, its just insanity at it’s best.

One thing that stands out after a quick listen is the quality of the instruments’ tones. The balance of all instruments is perfect in the mix, and the bass drums rumble along with maximum impact without destroying your speakers or giving you a hernia. You can even hear bits of what sounds like fretless bass creep though in places. This is all the while your senses take the battering of their lives. Third song in and theres even a 10 minute progressive aggressive epic.

The blast beats are incessant throughout and the power is totally relentless yet somehow it’s just so enthralling, and it portrays a perfect understanding and creation of atmospherics which these Eastern European black metal bands seem to do so well. Track 7 “Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness” demonstrates this perfectly, as the first ‘break’ of sorts on the album combining 2 minutes of synth rumbling and near tribal drum rhythms to prepare you for the final charge of track 8, a cover of Beherit’s “Gate Of Nanna”.

Overall the album displays awesome strength and a great comprehension of atmosphere and brutality within music, as well as intelligent creation. Despite the frequency of the blast beat, you don’t get tired of them, you just fall deeper into the Blood Of Kingu’s fucking mental world. Especially impressive as it is just one veteran metaller from the Ukraine. The only drawback is the lack of long meandering break downs found in the more Norwegian of black metal, however that said I’m certainly not complaining. Well worth getting your mits on.

9/10

NatureBoy

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How To Destroy Angels, the poor winged bastards.

May 11, 2010

How To Destroy Angels is the new project from NIN man Trent Reznor and his (as of October 09) wife, Mariqueen Maandig from the band West Indian Girl. They took their name from the 1984 Coil ep of the same name and have been releasing a few teasers here and there over the last months but now the website is finally up, pictures have been released and so has a single song. The first song to come from the project is called “The Drowning” and it’s a hypnotic 7 minute epic soundscape, it’s very chilled out and slow, and is quite reminiscent of With Teeth era NIN, electronic beats with subtle yet powerfully atmospheric guitar and synth work. All the while Mariqueen spreads her soothing voice over the mix.

It’s not bad. But it’s not great. To be honest it’s just NIN (not brilliant NIN either) with a girl singing over the top. While we all expected Trent to stick to what he is so good at, NIN / WIG by numbers isn’t quite what was expected. The problem is that while it’s not a bad song at all, it doesn’t really explore new ground outside NIN so far. I’m not gonna jump the gun and condemn the whole project just yet as it’s just the first song and past NIN collaborators Alan Moulder and Atticus Ross are also involved some how, but I am hoping that HTDA pull a shit load of awesome out the bag for their forthcoming EP. I wont dislike the music if it’s all like this, but knowing Trent’s epic brain I would like to see him explore something more than just NIN + Mariqueen. That all said I am excited about it, and the website indicates that there is more to HTDA than what we’ve had so far, so I can’t wait to see what comes along, I just hope all goes well for Trent & co.

If not, he’ll get depressed and we’ll get another “The Downward Spiral” so win all round really. (Yeah it was harsh, I know, but everyone is thinking it).

Anyway, head over to Amazon (the website, not the river) and download the track for 79p. Even if you don’t like it, 7 minutes for 79p is a bargain anyway, if only I was paid that much at work.

6/10

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Sharing the Knowledge

April 30, 2010

Thought I’d educate people on Primus. A band I love, but one that not many people know of properly or at least only know that they did “that song“.

First off, Primus is a three piece band comprising of Les Claypool on bass (basses of many varieties I may add), Larry ‘Ler’ Lalonde on guitar and Tim Alexander on drums. The trio play a sort of jazz/funk inspired bass heavy rock/metal, which also takes influences from country, prog and thrash metal. Now some of you may be wondering where you’ve heard this weird, trippy funk metal before. The original South Park theme tune was performed by Primus, the current one being a remix of one of Les’ solo projects. Their song “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” featured on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and “John the Fisherman” was on Guitar Hero: II, which is how I fell in love with Primus. Bass players among you will be aware that he is basically pornography for four string slingers, and hopefully the other musicians among you will know the other guys for their extensive abilities.

The trio started as the brainchild of Les when he was playing bass in the early thrash band Blind Illusion (alongside future guitarist, Lalonde), who released their only album, the inspiring “The Sane Asylum” in 1988.

Before joining Blind Illusion, Lalonde was in the first wave death metal band Possessed when they released their landmark debut album “Seven Churches”, which had a large impact within the various metal scenes. After going through several lineup changes, Les eventually settled on the current lineup when going to record their first studio album, Frizzle Fry.

The trio all share similar influences, with a strong love for Rush, The Residents, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, to name but a few, and not to mention childhood friendships with Metallica, their sound was bound to be wierd. The album is a heavy, dark and twisted drug enthused trip through extended jams, anti-war metaphors, tales of strange people and general love for all musical things weird. If I had to recommend an album for beginners to buy, it would be Frizzle Fry. Still one of the few albums I can listen to all the way through without stopping. The trio had large success for the early years of the 90’s, playing Reading Festival in the UK, opening for U2, Public Enemy, RHCP and appearing on Jane’s Addiction’s Lollapalooza where they received their big break.

Primus then followed up with two of the best albums of the 90’s. “Sailing The Seas of Cheese” and “Pork Soda”. The first three Primus albums, are in my opinion the best 3 to date, which is not to say at all that the others are bad. “Tales From The Punchbowl”, the last album to feature Tim before his temporary departure was a stormer, featuring the singles “Southbound Pachyderm” and “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”. For their last two proper albums, session drummer BrianĀ ‘Brain’ Mantia joined the ranks. “The Brown Album” featured live drums and had a much more groove orientated, dirtier feel to it than previous albums. “The Brown Album” is not a favourite amongst fans, except one famous one in the form of Tom Waits, who featured on “…Seas Of Cheese” as the voice during Tommy The Cat .

“Antipop” saw a return to form for most people, and was somewhat of a star-studded event, with Tom Waits contributing again as well as Tom Morello, James Hetfield and of all people, the delightfully cuntish Fred Durst. After Antipop Primus took a break and Les farted about with his millions of side projects, including work with Adrian Belew, Danny Carey, Oysterhead (which invloved Phish and Stewart Copeland from the Police), work for video games, more theme tunes, the original Primus lineup way before Primus was Primus, and the Frog Brigade and the Holy Mackerel. Phew. I don’t know how I remember or care about all this, but I do.

The original trio, Les, Ler and Tim reunited for an ep in 2006 “Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People” and played a handful of shows in the US, having not played outside the US since the 90’s (except for last month when Les came to London and I nearly died of excitement). Anyway I’m trying to keep this short and informative, so hopefully those of you who like the weirdest of weird, random rhythms, shredding guitar, complex fretless six string bass and clever drumming inspired by fishing, hallucinogenics and old school funk/jazz players will find something to die for here. It’s definately a love or hate thing, and if you love it, Primus only scratches the surface of Les Claypool’s vast back catalogue.

As of late the band have been quiet, BUT on the PrawnSongRecords twitter (yes it’s a parody of Led Zep’s Swan Song for those of you who thought I was being silly) they twatted (or whatever it is) about this Monday 3rd May. Fans, keep your eyes on http://www.primusville.com.

Natureboy