Earth Drive “Stellar Drone” Album Review + Stream…

Earth Drive

Stellar Drone – CD // DD

Raging Planet – released June 10, 2017 (DD) & October 20, 2017 (CD)

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

 

Lineup:
Hermano Marques – Vocals and guitar
Luis Silva – Bass
Luis Eustáquio – Drums
Sara Antunes – Vocals

 

Previous Releases:
2014 Known by the Ancients
2015 Planet Mantra

 

Tracklist:
Lactomeda 01:49
Known by the Ancients 07:01
Dead Blood for the Royal Weather 07:14
Two Temple Place 09:36
Stellar Drone 10:59
Are we Drowning in Digits 06:13
Magical Train 05:07

 

 

Review:
The band have their album described as an “Addictive cosmic journey, one entrancing hybrid embracing heavy psych riffs and sweet vocal harmonies.” The album does have those elements of that. When Hermano is singing it sounds like Jane’s Addiction but heavier and more distortion on the voice. The parts when Sara takes over it sounds like either Belly or Hole. When they sing together it sounds almost new, but still has those influences. So in shorter terms; they gave their album a good description.

Track-by-Track:

Lactomeda – Is a Spanish term for the Milky Way Collision with Andromeda. The cover even seems to be depicting it. The song is a collision of Noise Rock and Space Rock. It is almost sludgy for a noise song but in pace but it is also fast for a space song. It is a good intro for what the rest of the album holds.

Known by the Ancients – Here is where the Jane’s Addiction comes in (Especially in the 3 minute area). This song is more of noise than of space origin. This is a heavy rock song, Hermano comes in at the last two minutes and makes the song seem even heavier.

Dead Blood for the Royal Weather – This is one of the more radio friendly songs, even though it is eight minutes. It plays it safe and doesn’t do anything too crazy. It stays on the cusp of being space and noise.

Two Temple Place – This is the first true Space Rock sounding sounds and as it moves along it introduces some of the harmonies the description on bandcamp mentions. It is a slow song with slow vocals with stretched out chords with reverb and drum fill. That is until the 3 minute mark; more drums and distortion to the guitar is added and everything gets slightly faster. At around the four minute mark the tempo changes again and is like Known by the Ancients.

Stellar Drone (Favorite track) – This track is more spacey than the previous track but it is also faster and more distorted and changes tempo a few more times.

Are we Drowning in Digits – This song is almost like a continuation of Two Temple Place. It sounds very similar but has more “Normal” Rock influences.

Magical Train – This is the most radio friendly track and could have been released as a single to promote the album. It is also the song that reminds my the most of Hole (the first album.) Sara really goes in on this track and gives a great performance. It is like the previous track but stays on the heavy rock side of music.

Pro Band Pic

Review (Continued):
Musically, Earth Drive are bringing back the 90’s Noise Rock and helping to bring back Space Rock (in the more expansive tracks). During the mostly instrumental parts it sounds almost like a soundtrack to a late 80’s sci-fi movie. In some ways it sounds like it is two separate ideas for an album that were pieced together but it is done well so it doesn’t sound too different. To paraphrase the TV Series “Stranger Things” – ‘The Upside Down'”.

This is a very easy first listen and is also very accessible because the stretches of odyssey are in between more pop/rock radio-ish oriented tracks. If you have any interest in Space Rock or a modern take on it with influences with 90’s Noise Rock, you should take a listen.

 There are two choices either from the Raging Planet (For a physical and/or digital) Bandcamp HERE or the band’s HERE !!! (Where you can get the full digital discography)

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/earthdrivesound/about/?ref=page_internal

Album Promo


Container “Mountains of Gaia” Album Review + Stream…

 

CONTAINER

Mountains of Gaia – Limited Edition 12” Vinyl // Digital Download 

Independent: Released – March 26, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Daan – vocals
Boudewijn – bass
Rutger – guitar
Erwin – drums

Location:
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Review:
One might expect and album that opens with a piano excerpt from “Entry of the Gladiators”, more commonly known as the song they play at the circus as the clowns pile out of their tiny car and climb on their unicycles to juggle bowling pins, or break into a tumbling routine or whatever else clowns do… well you might expect an album that opens with this to be a bit of a joke.

 

 

But you’re not quite right. While Mountains of Gaia does have its fun moments, most are relegated to the opening track which is appropriately named “Circus”. Once the piano fades behind the percussion, the bass takes over, carrying the tune while distorted screams point us in a different direction. Thankfully, the screams give way to more melodic, though still filtered, singing. Really, this is where the lightheartedness goes out the window and we begin a musical adventure.

“Backstabber” takes us to a completely different locale of Container’s sound with a little 70’s Black Sabbath worship and an edge all their own. It’s a bit stoner and a bit “garage”, as they put it. It’s clear listening to the band that this was recorded in a studio, but I still think garage is a very apt term to describe a certain rawness or lack of refinement in Container’s style.

 

Band Pic

 

“Challenger” is an 8 minute, long, slow piece that musically reminds me of the Doors. Maybe Riders on the Storm or LA Woman, but then there’s some spoken word reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine, if you can imagine these two together. That’s only the first couple of minutes. It picks up with more of a Vol. 4 ambiance before slowing again to that Doors-y, wandering-through-the-dessert-on-peyote feeling with one last increase in pace to close it out.

Even though we’re only about halfway through, it’s hard now to look back and remember the silliness Mountains of Gaia opened with. The album leads us down a path of variety with different tracks blending the (aforementioned) base elements, stoner rock & “garage rock”, with a touch of post-rock, punk and hardcore. The result is an eclectic adventure that might seem to stray yet is uniquely Container. It’s almost surreal how after the 8th and final, the title track, another 8 minute opus taking us through the Mountains of Gaia until the music ends. Surreal, I mean if we decide to press play and take the trip again. We realize we’re started back at Circus. Is it a metaphor?

 

Live Band Pic

 


Traffic Death “Dead End” Album Review + Stream…

TRAFFIC DEATH

Dead End – Vinyl // Digital Download

Sump Pump Records – Released – Dec 10, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

Line Up:
Nate “Fetus” Phillips – Vocals
Andrew Smeltzer – Bass
Brian Greenfield – Drums
Garan Drozd – Guitars

Review:
Traffic Death is certainly an interesting band name. I figured I’d dig into this bad boy while I was stuck in the passenger seat of a large suburban-type vehicle on a long road trip as I tilted my seat back for a nap. Don’t let my nap fool you, this album is heavy as fuck – I just happen to sleep incredibly well with loud abrasive music in my ears. What I can’t sleep through is shit music. It wasn’t long before I nodded off and found myself in a very non-vanilla sex dream about Miley Cyrus that unfortunately ended too soon. Whether Traffic Death’s lullabies inspired my sweet images of leather and chains and Miley, I can’t say.

So now that I’m fully awake I’m giving Dead End a more serious listen. Traffic Death describe themselves as a “high speed, violent crossover 4 piece”. I see no reason to re-invent the wheel here as they’ve nailed their sound in six words though I will elaborate later. Near as I can tell, Dead End is their 3rd exclusive release but they also have a split release with The Lurking Corpses… whoever they are (I’m going to check them out for sure).

Dead End starts out with “Spontaneous Decomposition/Nothing to See Here” which reminds me a lot of M.O.D. and Billy Milano. I hear aggressive, thrashy, unapologetic hardcore with a touch of dark humor. However, it’s not long into this ingeniously titled tune before it steps up a notch, both musically and with the vocals leaving my comparison behind moving to a more Converge-cult sound.

Promo Shot

“Mandatory Sentence” opens with some seriously fun speed metal guitar work from Garan Drozd that I just was not expecting after hearing its predecessor. What comes next, though, caught me completely off guard. Nate Phillips rips a speed metal scream reminiscent of early Tom Araya. The rest of the track goes somewhere else but the change in direction is completely fluid.

I’m not going to track-by-track this album because the rest of it is more of the same. Clever and darkly comedic song titles perhaps over-use the “/” to translate multiple concepts. There’s a merge of, or shift into and out of, several styles. It seems to be random but if you go onto the band’s (hyperlinked) Facebook about page and read their influences and you know even half the bands, it all makes perfect sense.

My biggest complaint about Dead End is the fact that it’s only 24 minutes long. So even in waking, Dead End is a would-be wet dream cut entirely too short.

Additional Links:
https://sumppumprecords.bandcamp.com/album/dead-end

https://www.facebook.com/TrafficDeath/

Trafficdeath.bandcamp.com

 

Band Logo

Psy:Code “MØRKE” Album Review + Stream + 360degree Video…

Psy:Code

MØRKE – Vinyl // Digital Download

Independent – Released – July 29th, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Lineup:
Schou/ Vocals
SteiN / Guitar
JezpR / Guitar
Dag / Bass
Gøtsche / Drums

 

 

Review:
Psy:Code is a Danish modern hardcore / deathcore act who recently signed to Pavement Entertainment. Mørke is their 3rd independent release that’s created a stir of interest just before their recent signing. According to their website, it’s been a dream of Psy:Code’s to go to America and play their music and between signing with an American label and the scene’s current fascination with deathcore and grind core, the timing couldn’t be better for Psy:Code to realize their aspirations.

Starting with the cover, I’m not exactly sure what they’re going for with this one. The plant and the head and the skull… no clue. I was hoping translating the album title would shed some light on this. Ironically, Mørke is Danish for darkness. I guess that’s where I’m going to stay on this one for now. Maybe one of my readers can explain it to me? I love symbolism when I’m smart enough to get the reference.

Musically, this album starts with some slow guitars, slightly off-tune guitars for a few seconds before going hard and heavy. Schou growl-screams his way through the album Anselmo-style; though there are some periodical clean backing vocals for effect. How original that is? Well… I’d tend to say not very.

Where I think Psy:Code is going to garner most of their fans is from the technical guitar work from SteiN and/or JezpR. To be honest, there’s not much indication who’s playing the lead here so it could be one or the other or both. While the capitalization seems random the song structure tends to be more technical and progressive. This is an area where my expertise is extremely limited, though I can say that the guitar has six strings… except when it doesn’t.

Pro Band Pic

Interestingly, to write and compose Mørke, Psy:Code recluded themselves to a cabin in the Swedish wilderness. If the story in their Riven video is truth, the plan was to make some awesome metal. Instead, they got drunk. I can’t say how many times this has happened to me. Not the part about the Swedish cabin or the part about making awesome metal… just the getting drunk part. Perhaps you can relate? Anyway, what came out doesn’t appear to be the work of drunken fools so I assume they were just kidding. That or I need to start writing shit down when I have a few beers in me. I can hardly operate a pen sober… so maybe not?

Lyrically speaking, I’m not sure what they’re singing. I scoured the internet for lyrics but the best I could find was a lyric video for Riven. They seem to like this song, as this is 2nd video I could find for it. Riven seems to be about being scarred by a vicious former lover or perhaps an over-bearing parent. I’m a little confused but the recurring line “I can’t receive”. I don’t know how this ties into the rest of the words.

In conclusion, Psy:Code is a hard hitting band and  Mørke is a hard hitting album that’s going to appeal to those who enjoy a more technical sound. I believe some will criticize it for lacking variety, which might be a legitimate concern for those who like me who can’t follow the progression. In this case, I think you either get it or you don’t. Check them out and see what you think.

Additional Links:
http://www.psycode.info/

https://psycode.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/psycodedk/

https://www.youtube.com/user/PsycodeDK


Olde “Temple” Album Review + Stream…

OLDE

Temple – Vinyl // Cassette // DD

STB Records – released August 10, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Welcome to the Temple of Doom!!

 

Line Up:
Drums – Ryan Aubin (Sons of Otis)
Guitars – Greg Dawson (Sons of Otis)
Guitars – Chris Hughes (Moneen)
Vocals – Doug McLarty (Jaww)
Bass – Cory McCallum (Five Knuckle Chuckle)

Review:
I just finished listening to “Temple” by a band from Canada’s Greater Toronto Area called OLDE.  “Temple” by OLDE is the band’s 3rd  album. With a focus on crushing riffs that has left me with ringing ears and a spinning head, I had to recover a bit before I started writing this review. Formed by guitarist/producer Greg Dawson who was inspired by a recording session with long-time stoner metal stalwarts and bandmate in Sons of Otis as well as friends in Moneen, Jaww and Five Knuckle Chuckle, Dawson (Cunter, Grift, BWC Studios) handpicked and assembled OLDE.

Pro Band Shot

I loved what I heard on “Temple” but I wanted to hear what OLDE’s past work sounded like to get a better feel for the band. So I cued up their 1st 2 albums as well as “Temple,” turned out the lights, put my headphones on and had myself a musical feast. What I liked most about the music in general is how the band focuses on crushing heaviness and the almighty power of the riff with bellicose vocals and sludgy bass and heavy handed riffing .

Yet the music isn’t just a bunch heavy riff and growling vocals.  Just like OLDE’s previous albums – “Shallow Graves” and “I”,  “Temple” has tons of meat to it. Besides the amazing guest solo on ‘Castaway’ done by  Joshua Wilkinson, and the stunt guitar work of  Ryan Aubin on ‘Maelstrom,’ “Temple” is full of intense leads and hooks. Some of my favorites are ‘Subterfuge’ and  ‘Now I See You’ which both have some killer riffs with drums by Ryan Aubin that sound positively tribal. The album’s title track “Temple” is an ominous bass heavy doom masterpiece that highlights the vocals of  Doug McLarty.

This album will leave you feeling like you’ve been in the mosh pit with Sasquatch (The animal) as you listen to OLDE  tell the world “it’s collectively full of shit.”

“Temple” was recorded mixed, mastered, and produced by Sons of Otis, guitarist/producer Greg Dawson at BEC Studio with album art by Joshua Wilkinson. The album also features a guest solo on ‘Castaway’  by Simon Talevski and a stunt solo on ‘Maelstrom’ by Ryan Aubin. “Temple” can be purchased as a Limited Vinyl LP on Bandcamp through STB Records, Limited Edition Cassette via Medusa Crush Recordings and in digital format on OLDE’s Bandcamp page.

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/oldedoom

http://medusacrushrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/temple

http://stbrecords.bandcamp.com/album/olde-temple-2

http://oldedoom.bandcamp.com/album/temple


Dead Ranch “Brumation” Album Review & Stream…

DEAD RANCH

Brumation – Digital Download

Self Released – April 14, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed – 2011

Hometown – Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Band Members – Chad Alsop-Guitar/Vocals,  Andre Cornejo-Guitar/Vocals, Ryley Devine-Drums & Alana Mercer-Bass/Vocals

Previous Releases – “Birds Of Pray” EP (2012) / “Antler Royal” (2013)

Review:   Self described with the tags ‘metal, noise, punk, sludge, hardcore, stoner’, this is the second full-length release from this four piece and has been a while coming. Emerging from what they describe as a place that is “8 hours away from everything, isolated in their winter city” they had already started touring Canada promoting the first release that was garnering play on college stations leading to recording the first full-length in early 2013. Touring steadily, this release signifies their dedication to their craft and commitment to doing what they do best… to be, as they themselves put it, ‘Catchy and Crushing’ all at once.

 

Band Pic

 

Seven tracks totaling 32 minutes, there is little doubt from the first power chord riff of ‘An Awkward Moan’ through to the narration filled ending of ‘Maple Ape’ that this band has paid it’s dues and is ready for more and they come out swinging from the first to the last.

The ripping beginning of ‘Blood Staff’ with all the angst you could possibly imagine to even faster paced ‘Tarred and Feathered’ with that pure fury that had been hinted at on the previous releases and left to shine through on this album. Even as ‘Garrulous’ has a slow fade in that fury-driven pace and raw edge is back in less than 30 seconds into the track and is as unrelenting as any other moment on this disc as ‘False Negative’ shows, brutal as fuck!!

 

 

‘The Skinning’ is equally frenetic in approach and execution and prove that DEAD RANCH are a force to be reckoned with.  ‘Maple Ape’ is the bookend on this album and while filled with as many time shifts and fretboard-flying as the previous tracks, this one stands above the rest with this demonstration of just how musically ‘tight’ they are and let us know this album is well worth the wait we have endured in anticipation. Buy it NOW, share it with EVERY pair of ears you can and support them live if they come anywhere close… and above all else, keep it LOUD!!

Band Logo

 


BLOODCLOT (Past/Present Cro-Mags, QoTSA, Danzig, Etc. Members) Reveal Debut Artwork & Tour

The revival of the band Bloodclot is something I have been extremely excited about since I first learned it was happening awhile back. Not only because the iconic vocalist John Joseph of Cro-Mags fame has reactivated the band but because of who has joined him in this latest incarnation of it. Alongside him in Bloodclot circa 2017 are guitarist Todd Youth (Youth Of Today, Warzone, Murphy’s Law), drummer Joey Castillo (ex-Queens of the Stone Age, Blast!, Sugartooth) and bassist Nick Oliveri (ex-Queens of the Stone Age, Dwarves, Mondo Generator)! The band has announced that their upcoming album, ‘Up In Arms‘, is due to be released on July 14th via Metal Blade Records. A Lyric Video for the album’s title track is streaming below and Joseph recently commented on the band’s mission statement more or less saying:

“In this band we’re doing what each of us have always done: give it our all,” John Joseph states plainly. “We work hard, and we have a lot to say. Look around the planet – people are fed up with the corrupt ruling class. They destroy the planet and kill millions for profit, and the formula for our response is simple: Anger + applied knowledge = results. Don’t just bitch. Change it.”

Bloodclot Up In Arms

To accompany this fantastic news is some other cool news, that Bloodclot will be hitting the road on a touring run with Negative Approach. Here are the scheduled dates so far:

July
14 – Amityville, NY – Revolution Bar and Music Hall
15 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
16 – Washington DC – DC9
18 – Virginia Beach, VA – Shaka’s
19 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
20 – Belmar, NJ – Paul’s Tavern
21 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus
23 – Buffalo, NY – Studio at the Waiting Room
25 – Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo
26 – Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class
27 – Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club
28 – Detroit, MI – The Magic Stick
29 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
30 – St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill

August
1 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
3 – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside
4 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex w/ Nails, Final Conflict
5 – Santa Ana, CA – The Constellation Room w/ Nails, Final Conflict
6 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick w/ Nails, Final Conflict

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

 


PERPETUA Deliver ‘The Age Of Collapse’ Official Video

Scottish modern thrash band Perpetua have just unleashed their new single ‘The Age Of Collapse‘ upon the planet. They did so with an Official Video accompanying the viciously aggressive song but the good thing is the band’s ability to change things up. Pummeling metallic ferocity one moment, hardcore breakdowns and gang vocals the next and then before you know it, some melodic elements before you can gain your senses.

To be honest, I don’t know anything about Perpetua other than they have got some scathing intensity going on and that ‘The Age Of Collapse‘ is one bad-ass tune. I definitely want to hear more as soon as possible!

To learn more about Perpetua and what all they’ve got going on, visit their Facebook page here.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


Album Review – Gravehuffer “Your Fault”

Gravehuffer

Your Fault – CD / Cassette / DD

Grind/Hardcore/Crossover/British Punk

Swamp Metal Records – Release Date: March 3, 2017

 

When most of us come across the word “retro” used to describe music, we readily think of the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, but rarely do the 90’s enter our minds – Even though the last day of the decade was over 17(!) years ago.  Of course, it surely didn’t/doesn’t help that as the new millennium loomed close, so too began the severe, still-ongoing decline of quality rock reaching the mainstream.  Joplin, Missouri’s Gravehuffer have something to say about this time frame getting thrown in the trash, and they say it convincingly.

 

Live band Pic

 

“Your Fault” exhibits few, if any, signs that it gives a damn about what is hot or happening in 2017. Throughout it’s thirty minute run time, the record never wavers from taking the 80’s D-Beat punk of GBH, Broken Bones, and Discharge and and infusing it with a strong dose of the early Earache catalog, back when they were actually presenting the most extreme music available circa the early 1990’s.  I do believe I also hear elements of Agnostic Front and the mighty Bl’ast in there too.  Add it all up and you have eleven tracks of unrelenting mayhem, smoothly delivered and more than the sum of its parts.

So, hell yeah, Gravehuffer’s latest gets a thumbs up from me. It’s kinda the musical equivalent of flicks like “Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer”– It’s not a casual, off-the-cuff experience, but when that right moment arrives, little will work better to scratch that itch.

Words by David “The Lovely” LaMay