Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Meatlocker hosts Ides, Collapse, Dead Serious and Pour the Pirate Sherry

It was one of those last minute decisions to jump in the car and head up to Montclair to fill my ears with some good tunes. The shows Facebook page listed "Doors at 8:00 show at 9:00" but as I arrived at around 9:40 there was no sign of life in the cavernous lair known as the Meatlocker. Frustrated and nearly knocked unconscious by a toxic smell that I can't begin to describe, I headed out for some air. A trip to the liquor store and Dunkin' Donuts killed some time and by 10:30 the smell of death had dissipated and the possibility of some live music began to take form.

Pour the Pirate Sherry opened up and played a stellar set of high energy Rock and Roll. Though I give them a lot of shit for their namesake, I have to admit they are pretty damn good. The Palisades Park trio don't seem to have any official releases but you can check them out here Pour the Pirate Sherry on Sound CloudPour the Pirate Sherry  Facebook

Brooklyn's Dead Serious followed and really brought a Hardcore vibe to the room. Though I am completely new to the band, I hold many fond memories of catching singer Ryan Blands old band Home 33 in the 90's at venues such as the Pyramid and Coney Island high during the mid to late 90's. Watching him perform with Dead Serious really brought me back to those times and reminded me of a particular set where Ryan was hanging from the ceiling pipes of the Pyramid while belting out tracks that would become staples on the album 'Jody's Courtier'. All comparisons aside, Dead Serious are an entirely different band with a lot to offer with their straight forward style and the energy in which it's delivered. The band has opened for Converge and will soon be performing with Citizen's Arrest. Not bad if you ask me. Dead Serious Facebook

Next up were Detroit Rock Cities Collapse. After hearing the bands "Disarm" Ep I was excited to catch  an act that had managed to capture both my interest and curiosity after just a couple of listens. When I first heard the name 'Collapse' I mistakenly thought it was a reunion or reconfiguration of the short lived NYHC band I had seen at CBGB's and the Pyramid club in the  late 80's. With all the reunions of bands, even the more obscure ones, who could blame me.After briefly meeting the band at their merch table prior to the show I was quickly put back on track and placed firmly in the present.  From the very first note I felt perfectly in tune with the bands rhythm section was so powerful. it felt as if a sinister army of tanks were descending with a vengeance on Montclair's suburban streets. Accented with powerful vocals and stinging lead guitar, the Collapse quickly grabbed the attention of the crowd and personally had me wishing they were indigenous to these parts. Despite having downloaded 'Disarm' and speaking to them before the show, I found myself wanting to dig deeper. Just hoping they'll stop by on the way back home from their tour.
Collapse  Bandcamp

By the time Collapse closed their set I was physically exhausted and started to make my way back to my car for the trip home. Thanks to some much needed fresh air and a few words of encouragement by Pour the Pirate Sherry's Paul Beir, I decided to take a deep breath and head back downstairs. By then New Jersey locals Ide's had just launched into a manic set. I inched my way towards the action slowly as if approaching a rabid stray and before I knew it I found a spot where I could be close enough to get bit and gettin' bit is what I got. Ide's, another female fronted Hardcore band combine a ton of energy and emotion with some serious musicianship and a vibe that gives you the feeling off the vibe of "Your either with us or you're against us." Safe to say, I was definitely not the latter. Ide's Facebook

Overall, this was an excellent mix of bands and people. Proving once again that it's not so much about the real estate as it is about the people who occupy it. Until the next time... James Damion

Collapse - Disarm EP

Female fronted Hardcore band from Detroit that features impassioned vocals and riffs that rip and shred their way through some of the most impressive and sinister rhythms. The vocals are particularly impressive here,
finding a middle ground that walks the tightrope between more melodic Hardcore and Screamo.
Throughout the genre's history
I really can't recall any female fronted Hardcore bands that kept my attention or gained my admiration. Mostly due to a delivery that was often overbearing and discordant. Thanks to Collapse and a handful of new acts such as locals Archie Alone and Ides, that seems to be changing.
Collapse are the perfect balance. While tracks like "Fuck you, we're done" bring to mind
The Avengers and Penelope Houston, The opener "Animal" makes me wonder
"What if the New York's Nausea had a more melodic side to them?" Each of the eight tracks featured on 'Disarm' left an indelible mark on me. I can only hope to hear more soon.

If you're lucky enough to grab some hard copy of 'Disarm'. It comes in an artsy yet stark black dvd sized gatefold cover. Though the band is currently touring in our area I'm finding it difficult to find much information on them. Hopefully that will change soon. James Damion

Collapse Get it Here

Wreaths st album

Wreaths have been my  favorite local band for a few years now. I've seen them numerous times all around NJ and I have had a few mix cd's etc that the band have given me over the years, and I pretty much loved everything I've heard.  The bands brand new self titled Lp is full of all the songs I have heard live and likely in different stages of development on those mix cd's, but I have to say hearing the songs as a proper collection is a bit mind blowing.

Musically Wreaths songs are an intricate interweaving of psychedelia  and 70's alt rock (Eno comes to mind) with a modern twist. I find the songs to be somehow soothing yet invigorating at the same time. Wreaths create one hell of a good vibe with this album and I am glad they brought me into their musical universe...An absolute top 5 album for 2013 in this listeners opinion..Dave G.

Download album 

Purchase 10"   Recently release 10" that is a must have as well. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Death - ...For the World to See

Detroit's Death are one of the most intriguing music stories to emerge in years. Formed in the 1971 by brothers Bobby, David and Dannis Hackney. In 1974 the band, with the financial backing of Colombia Records Clive Davis, went into the studio to record their first album. When the brothers refused Davis' urgings to change the bands name to something more commercially viable. Financial and label support ceased. The band released a short run of 500 copies the following year. By 1977 the brothers called it quits. By all reasonable means, that should have been the end of the story. Thankfully for everyone involved, a recent documentary and official release on Jack White's Third Man Records is giving the band Death their proper due and respect.

...For The World to See features the original seven tracks from that fateful 1974 recording. Seven songs of minimalist, bare bones hard rock that clock in at around
twenty six minutes. A sound that, years later, would serve as building blocks to what would become Punk and eventually American Hardcore. One can't help but draw comparisons to the Bad Brains. Those comparisons tend to get trippy when the listener is reminded that Death and '...For the World to See' predate the highly influential band by years.
Songs that portray rage, frustration and alienation with a raw urban vibe that paints a perfectly bleak picture of early 70's Detroit. Think the Stooges meet the Bad Brains in soul soaked time warp. 'Rock-N-Roll Victim' and 'Where Do We Go from Here?' are two of the albums stronger tracks while 'Politicians in my Eyes' is just mind blowing and as socially relevant today as it was in those tumultuous times.

This recording serves as a reminder of just how timeless music and the raw emotions that inspire it can be. '...For the World to See' feels just as relevant and urgent today as it was when it was recorded decades ago.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Purple Suns - Yours

On their second release and follow up to January's 'Mines' EP, South Jersey's
Purple Suns show they are definitely a band on the rise with their impressive take on Metal and to be more precise, Stoner Rock. 'Yours', like its predecessor features four tracks that left a deep and sludgy footprint on this listener. Purple Suns deliver early Sabbath influenced vocals with fuzzed out dirty riffs and downright depressing rhythms.  Elements that reach vicious heights on tracks like 'Villains' and 'Concussion'.
Though somewhat different in style and approach,
'Mines' and 'Yours' compliment one another when played as an album. 'Yours' showcases a progression in the bands evolving sound and style. Impressive considering these guys are still a band in their infancy. Purple Suns seem to be brewing a sound comparable to current heavy hitters Kylesa and High on Fire. Knowing that these guys are cooking things up in our own backyard of Jersey is a comforting thought.
James Damion

Get it Here  Bandcamp

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ratnip - Done More On Less

Born out of the ashes of the band Suspect.
Review Here
New Jersey's Ratnip follow a similar musical path while kicking up the musicianship a notch or two.
'Done More On Less'
the bands debut full length delivers twelve songs of guitar driven Punk with elements of Hardcore thrown in here and there.
The instrumental 'This Quality of this Record is Suspect' introduces the album promisingly enough. While
'Big Hooker, Little Room', 
'Beer, Food, Dudes', and '973' highlight the record while informing the listener that Ratnip isn't looking to change the world. There are some really good guitar leads, riffs and bass lines on here but I can't help but feel as if I've heard them before. And while  'Done More on Less' definitely has it's moments, overall it doesn't do much to separate itself from the pack  or to leave any lasting impression.
James Damion

Ratnip  Bandcamp

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WARXGAMES - 9 Trax / No Nightmare

Blistering hardcore punk delivered at lightning speed with pin point precision and accuracy.
WARXGAMES takes all the speed and nihilism of early hardcore thrash and attack it with  new sharpened claws.
Featuring members of Deep Sleep, Mindset, Oak and The Pist, the band more than lives up to it's Hardcore pedigree. Nine nihilistic songs delivered in less than nine blistering minutes.
Though the songs remind this listener of bands such as
The Abused, Infest, Brotherhood and to get downright obscure,
NYC Mayhem. The band and the songs featured more than create their own identity. It's the dark and ominous uncle that the clean cut, Champion adorned straight edge bands warned you about. Get ready to get dirty.
James Damion

Buy it Here

Pelican - Immutable Dusk (new song)

The mighty riff masters Pelican have released the first single " Immutable Dusk" from their upcoming Southern Lord Lp "Forever Coming".  Pelican haven't released  an Lp since 2009's "What We All Come To Need", but they haven't missed a beat either. These heshers are true masters of consistency, and of the monster riff...Dave G.

Heavy Riffing  Here

A Band Called Death; Official Trailer

Before the Bad Brains, the Ramones and the Clash, there was DEATH!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Cinema Cinema - Fifty Ft. Queenie / Adult Themes

In the oddest of couplings since President Obama and Governor Chris Christie walked hand and hand along the Jersey Shore. Brooklyn's experimental noise duo Cinema Cinema team up with New Jersey's micro-indie label Dromedary Records.
As the label gets ready to celebrate its twentieth anniversary it will be releasing an album featuring covers of songs released in 1993.
The fateful year Dromedary was launched.

'50 Ft. Queenie', a cover of the opening track to PJ Harvey's album 'Rid of Me' features the mind twisting reverb, savage guitar riffs, schizophrenic vocals and tribal drumming that we've come to expect from this Brooklyn duo. Yet somehow these kissing cousins managed to take things to a level of intensity that somehow manages to go beyond the scope of it's music. Since first being introduced to this very special band in mid 2011. I've noticed myself move from a position of observance to somewhat of spiritual inclusiveness. Where I once surrendered to the trip.
I feel as if I am now part of it. Just as Cinema Cinema's cover of '50 Ft Queenie' manages to take the song to new and barbarous heights. It also gave this listener a new level of appreciation and interest in PJ Harvey's classic.

The records B side 'Adult Themes' is surprisingly more melodic and atmospheric. The band really take it down on a notch on this song which features a spiraling guitar sound and a jazzier more rhythmic approach to the drums, it's a both interesting and welcome side of the band  that I've seldom seen before. The upcoming   'Covers' album will feature more than a dozen artists covering various songs from 1993. The double LP is to be patterned after the great 1994 compilation "Why Do You Think They Call It Pop?" from Pop Narcotic records. Look for it in the fall. James Damion

Dromedary Records  Get it Here

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Star: "Nothing Can Hurt Me" Rockumentary

New rock doc to shed light on the greatness that was/is Big Star. The bands dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you 
"Nothing Can Hurt Me".

BL’AST!: Unreleased Recording Session Brought To Life By Dave Grohl For Release Via Southern Lord

"As far as stories of lost and found recorded material go, few tales can be told where all the pieces of the puzzle come together in fortunate ways, resulting in a brand new recording that surprised even the band themselves.
Having formed in 1982, infamous Santa Cruz hardcore legends BL’AST! released their first album, The Power of Expression in 1985. This debut blew everyone away and went on to become one of the highly sought after, “must- have” hardcore albums of the ‘80s. BL’AST! was beyond intense, continually pushing the boundaries of hardcore with their advanced musicianship, unstoppable energetic delivery and explosive live performances.
This overwhelming power caught the attention of SST records, who released the band’s second album, It’s In My Blood in 1987. Their third LP, Take The Manic Ride, was then released by the label in 1989. BL’AST!’s wide-eyed, ambitious approach and intense perseverance became an influence for many bands to come. Shortly after the release of Take The Manic Ride, the band broke up and their story was buried by time and dust….UNTIL NOW!
Earlier this year BL’AST! guitarist Mike Neider contacted Southern Lord with news that he had found some mysterious old BL’AST! master tapes in a abandoned storage locker.
Greg Anderson, a BL’AST! fanatic, wasted no time in sending the tapes to a studio to be baked. Needless to say, after 25 years gathering dust, the quality had deteriorated. Still, nobody could have anticipated what would follow. With the audio digitized, Southern Lord contacted fellow longtime BL’AST! fiend, Dave Grohl about mixing this recording, his response was an enthusiastic “FUCK YEAH!,"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NYHC Legends Judge Announce First Ever European Shows

After a historic reunion performance at this years Black N' Blue Bowl. NYHC legends Judge have scheduled their first ever European shows. No further plans have been announced as of yet. Stay tuned.