Tuesday, 17 October 2017

UPDATE

I'm working on a bandcamp megapost and have to go through a lot of submissions, hence the time lapse. I may throw something else up in the meantime, however. But don't worry, when I said I'm back I meant it.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

MINIMAL MAN - THE SHROUD OF

The Shroud Of
Minimal Man
1981

Review by Joey (back from the dead, maybe)

Genre/s: Industrial, Post-Punk, Power Electronics, Noise Rock, Art Punk, Noise
For Fans Of: Factrix, SPK, Flipper, Monte Cazazza

I was so happy when this finally got reissued last year with the original mix (as opposed to that tinny garbage on the 2004 "remastered" CD version) through Spain's BFE Records. The Shroud Of is Minimal Man's first LP, and also the weirdest  -- within the grooves of this 12" lies a lethal mixture of sounds which draw from across the post-punk and industrial spectrum; and somehow, it is all cohesive. It shouldn't be hard to see why this might be (read: is) one of my favorite LPs of all time. And if you aren't already in the know, soon you will be.

Minimal Man was masterminded by Patrick Miller; the project had a revolving door lineup, which often featured collaborators from other San Francisco weirdo art bands such as Factrix and Tuxedomoon. Much like their fellow (and more famous) San Franciscan peers in Flipper, Minimal Man did not make any attempt to portray disillusionment / despondency / detachment / etc as romanticized or quirky; and instead, they unleashed an honest sonic representation of what all of that turmoil really feels like, accompanied by what can be seen as a sardonic attack on those who do take the romanticized or quirky approach. However, while Flipper focused on a more brooding and antagonistic approach, Minimal Man's method was more somber and unnerving, relying more on subtle (and overt) ominous soundscapes.

From the opening sample of the emotionally vacant Ronald Reagan, all the way through the climactic ending and ensuing fade out, The Shroud Of takes the listener on a frightening journey through the dark recesses of a damaged mind. The cacophonous arrangements of synth, electronics, bass, and hollow vocals on this LP  are constantly at ends with -- yet complimentary of -- each other to a haunting effect; and each track is a an overwhelming push/pull of invasive thoughts, emotions, and urges which scramble the mind and plunge it deeper into nothingness. This is not fun music, even though at parts it may seem to be. The chilling moods created by Minimal Man do not disappear when the music ends, rather they saturate the air and stick to the listener's raised hairs like an elusive nervousness.

And now that you've gotten past the boring review part, here's what you came here for:

Tracklist
1. Loneliness
2. Two People
3. High Why
4. Hospital
5. Blue Step
6. Hatemonger
7. The Shroud
8. Now I Want It All
9. The Hex Of Sex
10. You Are
11. I Don't Resist
12. Jungle Song
13. She Was A Visitor

I HURT ALL OVER INSIDE...

P.S. I think I'm finally back and ready to bring the pain from my ears into yours (for real this time).

Sunday, 28 May 2017

BRAINBOMBS - INFERNO

Inferno
Brainbombs
2017

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Psych, Post-Punk
For Fans Of: The Stooges, Chrome, Strangulated Beatoffs, Paul Chain

Well, they did it -- they released another album essentially titled "Burning Hell." Brainbombs are a band who can do no wrong; their uncanny ability to consistently churn out riff after riff of psych-driven noise rock perfection is unmatched, and this new LP is no exception.

The first thing I noticed about Inferno (aside from the fact that they've finally recorded a studio version of "Stormy Blast Of Hell") is that each song builds from an uneasy calm into a terrifying wall of aggression and intimidation. Brainbombs are generally thought of (by pedestrian fools) as a band who always explode right out of the gate, but on this LP they rely on uncomfortable slow burn buildups which are incredibly effective at evoking the level of dread inspired by their lyrics -- much like what they do on "Right Side Of Hell" and "Skinned Alive," which are two of their most powerful (and oddly underrated) tracks -- and the chilling album art represents this perfectly. Each song on here feels like being out in the country and looking back suspecting that you're being followed -- and then being right (coincidentally, that actually happened to me before listening to this for the first time, so I can confirm that this really nails it) -- but will you be able to escape?

Brainbombs are a truly interesting band, because they are one of the few whose lyrics focus on extreme violence and abuse while still acting as a commentary rather than being used simply as a means of being offensive -- something which has always been integral to noise, but tends to get lost when edgy dudebros don't get it. Don't get me wrong, it's still definitely problematic, but I would argue that the clear self-awareness of the presentation makes it far less dangerous than Black Flag casually (and sincerely) throwing in that they want to beat up their girlfriends.

Anyway, a huge thanks to my friend for ripping his copy (including the bonus single-sided 7") and sending it my way! Now I just have to wait for that new Rudimentary Peni EP to come out, and I'll have my two best releases of the year. But what are you dorks waiting for? Download this fucker, turn off the lights, and let your paranoia run wild.

Tracklist:
1. Inferno
2. They All Deserve To Die
3. Rock Your World
4. If You See My Face
5. An Eye For An Eye
6. Just An Ordinary Fuck
7. Malfunction
8. Wanted To Kill Your
9. Trust Me [bonus 7"]

INTO A PLACE I CAME

I'm going to try to post more frequently again now that I've finished school. Expect a submissions megapost and some other random goodies in the coming weeks. Fucked By Noise isn't dead (yet).

Not sure how I made it through this without making a "burn, baby burn" joke.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

PLASTIC

Plastic
Plastic
2017

Review by Joey

(Band Submission)

Genre/s: Synthpunk, Industrial, Post-Punk, Power Electronics, Dark Ambient, Art Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Nervous Gender, Clair Obscur, Trop Tard, Flipper

Plastic's 2.0 tape was, in my opinion, one of the best synthpunk releases to come out since Nervous Gender's Music From Hell LP; and also one of the few which I feel actually can be compared to Nervous Gender, based on their use of synth-based electronic noise (not to mention a healthy dose of influence from The Residents). Hell, I'd go as far as to say that Plastic is one of the best synthpunk bands since Nervous Gender, period.

On this newest offering from Chicago's weirdest, their heavier use of industrial/electronics, paired with a descent into much darker post-punk territory, results in a level of bleakness which is as suffocating as the band's music is irresistible. While its predecessor is ostensibly more aggressive musically, the crushing dirges and almost stark soundscaping on Plastic effectively conveys despair and disillusionment so overwhelming that it becomes mesmerizing, and absolutely conducive to disassociation. These songs bear a striking resemblance to those performed by Flipper, not just in the crawling pace, the use of chilling, ironic laughter, and snide, painful delivery, but also in the way that they sound the way depression feels -- although obviously the addition of synth creates a good deal of dissimilarity. The ability to fully capture that state of being, in my experience, is elusive to say the least. If I had to make a visualization of the sounds contained on this release, it would closely resemble the ominous, harsh background of a Dali painting. Needless to say, this release floored me, and I'm hoping they tour around my way again this year; and if they come anywhere near you, I highly recommend going to see them.

Download this, turn your lights off, and get bummed the fuck out. Nothing here is real.

Tracklist:
1. At The Gates
2. A Good Laugh
3. Mannequins
4. Untitled (Mark II)
5. A Call For Help
6. 731
7. The Garden

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

ACRYLICS - DESPAIR

Despair
Acrylics
2017

Review by Joey

(Band Submission)

Genre/s: Hardcore Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Tar Babies, Mystery Product, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Stick Men With Ray Guns

Oh shit, January 2017 is gonna be over in a few hours and I still haven't posted anything -- so let's start the year out right (even if it is a month late). I'm sure many of you remember how much I loved Acrylics' s/t tape from last year, and I'm also sure that a good deal of you heard the news about them putting out a 7" on the almighty Iron Lung Records (a.k.a. the greatest label on earth); and if you didn't know those things, now you do. And guess what, sports fans: Despair is Acrylics' most volatile material to date.

Acrylics are a rare breed. They're the sort of band whose music can accurately impart the feeling of being thrown down six flights of stairs and into a pit of tar -- a very specific, yet relatable sensation. Their 2016 tape was a fantastic barrage of disquieting, aggressive punk, and Despair picks up right where that left off; however, these two tracks feel even more fully realized than those on the preceding release. The tracks on this 7" tap into some classic tendencies of noisy punk, but rather than sounding rehashed, they do so in a way that reminds me of what made me fall in love with bands like Tar Babies to begin with. In other words, they are successfully able to sound fresh, and escape the stale trappings many of their contemporaries fall into. The winding riff/stompy thing has gotten pretty played out (especially because a lot of bands can't pull it off), but thanks to their guitarist's amalgam of Greg Ginn's, East Bay Ray's, and Dome's unique styles, along with a stomp comparable to Stick Men With Ray Guns, and a truly unnerving presentation rife with anxiety and dread, Acrylics easily stand out far in front of most of their peers. Simply put, Acrylics exemplify everything I love about wonky, noisy hardcore punk; their brilliant subtlety and ability to overwhelm make them a force to be reckoned with -- a wording which may be cliche, but is accurate nevertheless.

So what are you nerds waiting for? Hurry up and download this slugger -- or if you're able to support, head over to the ILR bandcamp, and get your hands on a copy while you still can!

Tracklist:
1. Despair
2. Reassurance

DOWNLOAD