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Following hot on the heels of the two big guns of the heavy metal festival season (Download and Sonisphere), the increasingly impressive Bloodstock, held in the lovely grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire, England looks set to have a glorious weekend, if its stellar line up of legends and contemporary metal is anything to go by.

 

Bloodstock has grown a fearsome reputation as the most metal of the metal festivals and this year’s line-up is no exception, covering all the bases you expect and some bases that you didn’t think needed covering but have been all the same. Anyway, everyone at Ghost Cult is getting hugely excited for what should be a very memorable few days.

 

Friday is packed to the gunnels with some choice options so it will definitely be a case of running between stages if you want to try and fit it all in: Krokodil, Rotting Christ and Winterfylleth are names worth marking on your clashfinder spreadsheet. There’s likely to be a lot of love and a lot of circle pits for Hatebreed; there won’t be many faces not adorning corpse paint for Dimmu Borgir but if you wanted to lay a bet, then the suffocating heaviness of Triptykon or the dirty, southern charms of Down are likely to slug it out for band of the day.

 

Saturday is likely to be none more black. There has been a near year-long salivating at the prospect of the return of black metal legends Emperor, who headline the Saturday night main stage with Ihsahn and co promising a blackened gallop through their classic opus In the Nightside Eclipse as well as plenty of other surprises. Unmissable, really. It’s not all about them though: Carcass are currently in rude health, Shining are likely to shake the hangover from you with ease but the prospect of seeing Crowbar pummel riff after glorious riff is likely to be worth the entrance fee alone. Elsewhere we will be checking out The King is Blind, The Mercy House and, hell yeah, HellYeah.

 

Thrash metal legends Megadeth get to close the festival on the Sunday but there is more than ample support from everyone’s favourite Vikings Amon Amarth, festival stalwarts Saxon and Graveyard are always worth 30 mins of your time. If you need more inspiration then you could do worse than checking out Northern Ireland’s Stormzone or the industrial influenced Avatar. Honestly, there’s piles more: it’s gonna to be a classic. See you in the circle pit or, given my advancing years, the seats near the bar.

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Buy Tickets To Bloodstock here!

Bloodstock on Facebook

 

WORDS BY MAT DAVIES

INTO THE GRAVE!

 

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A legend of hardcore punk and metal once told me that D.I.Y. is just a slogan. A catchphrase for t-shirts worn by non-punks. Meaningless words without action. More to the point, it’s what you actually do that matters, and it’s not about getting props, credit, or bragging rights when it comes to the music scene. However, some people just find satisfaction is helping other people achieve their dreams, on bit at a time. Russell Orcutt is one of those people. Between his venue All About Records, which also includes a record label, merch company, and other artists services he provides, Russell is helping punk and metal bands of all walks tour and support themselves. Earlier this year, All About Records secured their new, current location, and continue to soldier on, with little hope of a big payday. That’s not why he does it anyway. We thank him for clearing some time from his jam-packed schedule to let us pick his brain.    

What’s new with All About Records this summer?

We just released an amazing 7 inch with the band Dynamite Dynamite from the UK and The Hideout from Boston. Our next releases will be 2 LPs, Northernmosts s/t and War Games acoustic LP.

   

It must be a 24/7 commitment to run a venue like this in a small community and make it a success.

It is a huge commitment that requires a ridiculous amount of sacrifice, I have given up so many things to keep the space going. I no longer have a car or cell phone, but its worth it to be able to help artists have a place to showcase their talents.

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What were the challenges in securing a new venue? Did you need to get the cooperation of the town?

Well the 1st we had to find a place that would allow us to have live music, that took about 6 months of calls and meetings and looking at various spaces. After that the permit process began, which ended up taking about 6 more months and by the end we had invest around 12k in rent deposits and permits. All before opening the doors. A lot of people were afraid of the idea of kids in bands playing loud “punk” music and I actually had a probationary period on one of the permits due to their fears. Neighbors actually came to council meetings to express their concerns about noise and loitering, in a downtown area.

   

I see you have shows with not just local acts, but national touring bands as well. What can you offer the national touring act that most people don’t often associate with your type of performance space?

Yea we have booked bands from all over the world since opening the new space. All we can offer them is a place that cares about the music more than profits. A lot of promoters are concerned with making money and using small bands to cover costs of touring bands, I have no interest in what band is cool or not, I just wanna help bands when they need it.

     

In addition to running the space you have run a boutique label for many years. Tell us about your success with you annual Summer Download Cards?

This whole thing started with the label, I’ll probably always put out records. The download cards are just a good way to help bands get some promo, we pass them out at our booth when we do warped tour and try to give small stacks to touring bands so they get distributed all over the place.

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What about you business model allows the merch arm of your brand to be so competitive, when many other companies charge 2 times what you do?

Everyone involved with AAR is a volunteer, myself included. I have never profited off the label or anything I’ve done musically. I have always had other jobs or sources of income. This allows me to do merch orders at low cost, our profits go directly into the space. Their business models are to make money, ours is to help bands.

   

Do you do all the design work yourself for your original AAR merch? You have a lot of clever designs.

I’ve come up with some of them, friends, volunteers, etc have helped a ton. I have a hard time coming up with designs for myself, so a lot of time I put out a call for help and see what comes from it.

   

You have toured both the US and UK with bands in various capacities. Can you think of 3 Do’s and 3 Don’t to offer as advice to bands just starting to tour?

Don’t tour before you are ready, wait at least 6 months before doing a long tour, build up a base for that tour by doing weekends.

Don’t tour without merch. Merch helps fund your tour, and helps people remember your band.

Don’t tour without money. Your van will break down, tolls add up, and gas isn’t cheap. I tell bands to save $100 for each day of tour for an emergency fund. Also get a Paypal debit card, Paypal is quicker than normal banks for money transfers.

Do’s 1. Plan, Plan, Plan, start working at least 3 months before you plan on touring. Use FB, send messages to people in the towns you will be playing, try to create street teams, etc.

2. Make sure your van can handle tour, it’s gonna break down, but you should still make sure its in decent shape before leaving.

3. Talk to people, always have a CD or download card in your pocket. Give those things out! Tours are meant to promote your band, not act as a vacation.

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Any parting words about AAR for our audience?

You may have never heard about AAR before, but if you look at us as a company or label you’ll see an amazing history of working with some people and bands that have gone on to do amazing things. It isn’t always about money or being famous, sometimes its about memories and experiences and that’s why we keep going and will always be around in some way or another.

All About Records Official Website

All About Records on Facebook

    KEITH CHACHKES      

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As Machine Head puts the finishing touches on their highly anticipated new album, their first for Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the band has announced a 21 city, headline tour of the North America this fall.

 

A terrific lineup comprised of the modern kings of Bay Area thrash as headliners, with Children of Bodom, Epica and Battlecross in tow promises to be a fine show with a little something for fans of different styles of metal.

 

 

Rob Flynn of Machine Head commented about the tour in a press release:

 

Machine Head raised the bar with concert production for 2012 ‘s ‘Locust’ tour, and now we plan to raise the bar again with our biggest US show yet, and the strongest line-up out there for 2014, PERIOD! This is a MUST SEE event for any heavy metal fan in America! I am stoked that we were able to join up with our friends in Children Of Bodom, one of the premier power metal bands of our time, and our friends in Battlecross, who we toured with on Mayhem last year, and are going to bring the old-school thrash vibe. Epica’s symphonic metal will add a touch of much needed class to the drunken shenanigans that will surely take place on this raucous tour. Come out and be a part of history ladies and gentlemen!”

 

 

All tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 AM EST.

 

 

10/04/14 Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall

10/06/14 Dallas, TX – House of Blues

10/07/14 Houston, TX – House of Blues

10/09/14 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live

10/10/14 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

10/11/14 TBA

10/12/14 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory

10/14/14 Toronto, ON – The Sound Academy

10/15/14 Montreal, QC - Metropolis

10/16/14 New York, NY – Terminal 5

10/17/14 Worcester, MA – Palladium at the Rock N Shock Festival

10/18/14 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater

10/20/14 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall

10/21/14 Milwaukee, WI - The Rave

10/22/14 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater

10/24/14 Saskatoon, SK – O’Brians

10/26/14 Edmonton, AB – Shaw Conference Center

10/28/14 Vancouver, B.C – The Vogue – Vancouver, B.C.

10/29/14 Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO

10/31/14 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

11/01/14 Hollywood, CA – Palladium

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After their work at Jingletown Recording Studios in Oakland California, Machine Head are completing work on their eighth full-length studio album at Trident Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ghost Cult will be bringing you further coverage of this tour and MH’s new album as we get closer to the release date, expected to be announced soon.

 

Machine Head on Facebook

Children of Bodom on Facebook

Epica on Facebook

Battlecross on Facebook

 

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You’d be forgiven for thinking The Dagger, a band featuring former members of Grave and Dismember, might be a bit scuzzy. A bit riffy. A bit, denim-jackety. And, well, a bit Death Metally. You’d be forgiven, but you’d be very wrong. The Dagger (Century Media) swims in a different pool of influences to the past escapades of its protagonists, swinging its pants at Classic Rock and proto-NWOBHM with plenty of Deep Purple, Sin After Sin era Priest and The Who prevalent in the sound.

 

The first thing to note is the astonishing attention to detail. The Dagger doesn’t just reference these bands or that period, it has been painstakingly crafted to sound like it was recorded in the 70’s, finding those classic warm Fender guitar tones, that fuzzy bass groove and that thick Ian Paice pound and tickle on the skins. Vocalist Jani Kataja could well be singing on Very ‘eavy… Very ‘umble both in terms of his own delivery, but also in terms of the meticulously recreated rock sound playing around him.

 

But life is not all aesthetics, and while The Dagger has the tones, does it have the tunes? Opener ‘Ahead Of You All’ suggests so, as does the Mott The Hoople inspired ‘1978’ with its tales of weekend warriors and the Iommi worshipping Mob Rules of ‘Dogs Of Warning’. Elsewhere ‘Electric Dawn’ could have been one of the songs Iron Maiden left behind at the Ruskin Arms as they strode towards a recording contract, and ‘Call Of 9’ is all Blackmore stomp and swagger.

 

But for all the smiles it induces, for all that it is an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes, you can’t but think that while the sounds can be replicated, for all the homage being paid, one thing that can’t be copied or magicked out of nowhere is greatness. Where are the distinctive, iconic riffs, and timeless choruses of the Purples, Rainbows, Mountains? The Dagger are a good band, losing the listener in a bygone age, but this album holds no ‘Speed King’, let alone a ‘Child In Time’. (Try and) sound like the true legends and you will invariable come off the worse for the comparison.

 

But, when the twin guitars bring in ‘Inside The Monolithic Dome’ like Saxon’s ‘Strangers In The Night’, or ‘The Dark Cloud’ dances like it belongs on a Di’Anno era Maiden album, The Dagger can be forgiven their indulgences in paying reverence to their forebears.

 

7.0/10.0

The Dagger on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY

 

 

 

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UK-based instrumental rockers Maybeshewill have released a new video for their song ‘In Amber’, off of their new album Fair Youth (Superball Music) dropping on August 25th. The band will be celebrating with a massive headline show at The Garage in London on October 17th.

 

 

 

The band had some words to say to mark the occasion of their new album:

 

“As many of you may have gathered from various social media updates over the past year we’ve been working on a new record. It’s taken it’s time, but we’re very happy to say that it’s finally finished and we’re really, really happy with it.

Fair Youth was recorded at Seamus Wong and Park Farm studios with our very own Jamie Ward’s steady hand at the production helm once again, and was mastered last week by Mr. Tom Woodhead.

We’re also very excited to finally announce our first UK Headline show for what feels like a really, really long time. We’ll be playing downstairs at The Garage, London on 17th October. This is by far our biggest UK headline show to date, so we’d love you all to join us. We’ll do our best to make it as special as we possibly can, and of course we’ll be announcing some good friends as support in the very near future.

We’re unbelievably excited for what the next couple of years have in store, and we promise this is just the first of many shows that will become the ‘Fair Youth tour’.

See you all really soon,

Jim, Matt, John, Robin & Jamie – Maybeshewill”

 

Tickets for the London show can be bought here: http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/AJI1710X

 

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Two dates remain on the bands summer festival schedule:

 

16th August- Pukkelpop, Belgium

29th August- ArcTanGent Festival, Bristol (2nd Stage headline)

 

Watch this space as Ghost Cult will bring you more Maybeshewill and Fair Youth album and tour coverage soon.

 

Fair Youth album teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuMaVCHamQA

 


Maybeshewill on Facebook 

Maybeshewill online

 

 

 

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After a critical and commercial success last year in Pomona, CA Rob Zombie is expanding his Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare to a new city, Chicago IL, for “The Ultimate Horror Event”. Taking place on select nights from September 6th to November 1st, the opening night will feature a one-time only special kickoff concert by Zombie himself.

 

 

The event will invade the Chicago metropolitan area select nights from September 26-November 1 at Odeum Expo in Villa Park, IL.

 

Said Rob on the occasion:

 

“I am thrilled to be able to expand the Great American Nightmare to TWO new cities this year. My only goal is to make it twice as sick as last year.”


From the press-release:

 

The Great American Nightmare’s second city will feature three attractions based on Zombie’s own horror films: The Lords Of Salem In Total Black Out, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto 3D, and Haunt Of 1,000 Corpses. These attractions were first seen at the 2013 Great American Nightmare debut in Pomona, California and have been improved and enhanced based on visitor feedback.

 

The fully immersive haunted house experience at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare will include the Bloody Boulevard with freak shows, musical entertainment, roaming characters, themed food and beverages, games and vendors each night.

 

After the tremendous success last year we all felt we wanted to bring Great American Nightmare to as many people as possible,” says Great American Nightmare producer Steve Kopelman. “Chicago is a haunted house hotbed with the Odeum Expo center being the go-to haunted house venue for the past two decades. We really feel the Midwest will welcome this event with open arms and this will be the ultimate Chicagoland Halloween event.”

 

As previously announced, Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare will also make its debut at West World Of Scottsdale in Arizona for select nights from September 19-November 1. This engagement will feature the following three attractions–two that have never been seen before–based on Rob Zombie’s horror films: The Lords Of Salem In Total Black Out, Captain Spaulding’s Clown School In 3D, and The Devil’s Rejects.

 

At Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, patrons will sequentially enter three different attractions, each completely different in look, theme and effects:

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The Lords Of Salem In Total Black Out: This harrowing attraction–based on Zombie’s 2012 The Lords Of Salem independent horror film–is designed to twist the mind. It will accentuate some senses while limiting others. Fear of the dark, claustrophobia, and fear of the unknown will be preyed on as the visitor attempts to traverse this sixty-degree maze.

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The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto 3D: Utilizing Chromadepth glasses, this innovative attraction will take the patron right into the middle of the irreverent world of Rob Zombie’s El Superbeasto 2009 animated exploitation musical horror comedy film based on the comic book series of the same name. The attraction’s unique surprise entrance, brilliant colors, sudden chills and startling thrills, and salacious humor will make patrons scream with fright and laughter.

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Haunt Of 1,000 Corpses: This terrifying attraction pays homage to the exploitation horror film House Of 1,000 Corpses, directed by Rob Zombie. The extreme, traditional haunted house will take visitors on a walking journey through a recreation of the film’s “Museum of Monsters & Madmen” along with an expanded “Murder Ride,” confronting notorious serial killers along the way. This high impact, highly detailed attraction will use state of the art animatronics, video effects, costuming, sound, scents and lights.

 

Tickets for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare go on sale Wednesday, July 30 at 10:00 AM CT atwww.GreatAmericanNightmare.com, with prices starting at only $25 for September 27-November 1. Each ticket includes access to all haunted house attractions and the Bloody Boulevard activities.

 

Tickets for opening night (September 26) include the Rob Zombie concert and will be available starting at only $45. A limited number of VIP packages will also be available for purchase at www.GreatAmericanNightmare.com. All VIP packages include a commemorative t-shirt and quicker access to the haunted attractions than general admission. Some packages also include a designated viewing area for the concert.

 

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare will celebrate the Halloween season on the following dates between September 26 and November 1:

 

September: 26, 27

October: 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31

November: 1

 

Hours for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare will be 7:00 PM until midnight (Fridays and Saturdays) and 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM (Thursdays and Sundays).

 

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare is a creative collaboration between master of the macabre Rob Zombie and preeminent haunted house producer Steve Kopelman. The event is produced by Rob Zombie, Steve Kopelman and & Andy Gould.

 

Odeum Expo is located at 1033 North Villa Avenue in Villa Park, IL, just outside Chicago. It’s easily accessible from downtown Chicago by major highways, and from the Tri-State area by tollways.

 

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare is presented by 101WKQX.

 

Website: www.GreatAmericanNightmare.com

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare on Facebook 

Rob Zombie on Facebook

 

He is Legend Album cover

 

Wilmington, NC rockers He Is Legend will be issuing their forthcoming record titled Heavy Fruit via Tragic Hero Records on August 19th. Their first new record since 2009’s It Hates You, the album was produced by Mitch Marlow (In This Moment, Filter) and mixed by Bob Marlette (Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper).

 

Check out new song ‘Smoker Scoff’ below.

 

The tracklisting is as follows:

 

TRACKLISTING:

1. No Visitors
2. This Will Never Work
3. Miserable Company
4. Something, Something, Something Witchy
5. I Sleep Just Fine
6. Beethozart
7. Spout Mouth
8. Be Easy
9. Time To Stain
10. ABRACADABRA
11. Smoker Scoff
12. The Carpet
13. Heavy Fruit

 

He Is Legend is currently on tour with Maylene & The Sons of Disaster and Wilson.

he is legend tour

7/25 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

7/26 Ybor City, FL @ Orpheum

7/27 Jacksonville, FL @ Underbelly

7/29 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In

7/31 San Antonio, TX @Limelight

8/1 Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar

8/2 Dallas, TX @ Trees

8/3 Houston, TX @ Walters

8/6 Tucson, AZ @ The Rock

8/7 Phoenix, AZ @ Joes Grotto

8/9 La Jolla, CA @ Porter’s Pub

8/10 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House

8/11 Sacramento, CA @ Assembly

8/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

8/13 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre

8/14 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room

8/15 St Louis, MO @ Fubar

8/16 Joliet, IL @ Mojoes

8/17 ST. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam

8/19 Newport, KY @ Thompson House

8/20 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom

8/21 Lousiville, KY @ Phoenix Hill Tavern

8/22 Fayetteville, NC @ The Drunken Horse Pub

 

He Is Legend on Facebook

 

 

 

 

Sepultura DVD cover

Thrash metal legends Sepultura will release a brand new live DVD entitled Sepultura And Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio (Eagle Rock) on September 16th.

From the press release via our friends at Earsplit PR:

In a spectacular performance that finds Sepultura accompanied throughout by the French industrial percussion group Les Tambours du Bronx, notorious for beating 225-liter barrels with beech wood bats or even axe handles, the show was recorded from the band’s main stage appearance at the legendary Rock In Rio gala in 2013. Featuring Sepultura ‘s most revered tunes including ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Territory’ and ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ which sees the audience chanting the entire cut from beginning to end, the sheer volume of sound, percussive enormity and powerful presentation sets this release apart from any previous Sepultura concert offering to date.”

With a one-hour run time divided into thirteen cuts, the album also features a cover of Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’, the fan-chanted ‘Sepulnation’ and music from the band’s Kairos full-length. Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio will come available on CD, DVD and for the first time in the band’s history, Blu-Ray via a partnership with Rock In Rio, MZA Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition, the DVD includes an exclusive documentary of behind-the-scenes preparation with interviews, rehearsal and sound-check footage and clips of the band just seconds before they hit the stage.”

 

Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio Track Listing:

1. Kaiowas
2. Spectrum
3. Refuse/Resist
4. Sepulnation
5. Delirium
6. Fever
7. We’ve Lost You
8. Firestarter (Prodigy Cover)
9. Requiem
10. Structure Violence
11. Territory
12. Big Hands
13. Roots Bloody Roots

Irregardless of critics and a constant groundswell of some fans and former members of the group calling for a reunion of the classic lineup, slagging the current band; the present incarnation of Sepultura has been remarkably consistent both live and on record for many years. In addition to the afore-mentioned Kairos, Sepultura’s other albums such as 2009s A-Lex and 2013s The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must Be The Heart (Nuclear Blast) have been critically acclaimed, musically adventurous, totally brutal, and true to the sound and history of the band. The band formed by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in Belo Horizonte BR turned 30 years-old last year.

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As front man Derrick Green told Ghost Cult in an interview in the fall of 2013, this DVD has been in the works for some time:

We’re actually going to record a DVD at Rock In Rio with a French percussion group and when we have finished the current touring cycle for the new album with Eloy, we can sit down and put something special together, like people from the past of Sepultura showing up and perform at some great location. That’s something we’ve been brainstorming about for quite some time. But like I said, we need to finish the current touring cycle for the new album, because I feel our new album is really worth it. We really need to get out and play these new songs. We wrote these songs and recorded them in the studio, but playing them live on stage is quite something different. We really need to experience that first and I think a lot of these new songs will be included on the upcoming DVD. But yeah, celebrating 30 years of Sepultura would include a beautiful location and a lot of special guests (laughs).”

Sepultura on Facebook

Eagle Rock Entertainment on Facebook

The Drip album cover

 

Making fun of a band’s name is the kind of lazy, empty journalism that I’d normally try to avoid, but sometimes the temptation is just too strong. I mean, seriously… Before a note of their music has been played, The Drip earn their place amongst Gloomy Grim, Mournful Gust and Imposer as the elite of Metal bands with names that are a lot less threatening than they’re probably meant to be – with the exception that I can at least understand how those names are meant to be scary.

 

So yeah, that’s out of the way… leaving, it has to be said, not that much to talk about. The Drip make their intentions clear with vicious opener ‘Catalyst’, at two minutes and twenty-six seconds, the single longest track on the record, and then don’t do anything to change. A Presentation Of Gruesome Poetics (Relapse) is six tracks, twelve minutes and a near-constant onslaught of blasting, scything riffs and angry shrieks.

 

If all Grindcore is about controlled chaos, The Drip definitely lean on the side of control. The frenzied, staggering lurches made famous by Napalm Death or Terrorizer are entirely absent here, their place taken by the kind of muscular, look-at-my-neck-muscles Metalcore breakdowns you’d expect from Hatebreed or Terror. They’re deployed well, and probably get a huge response live, but for those who prefer their Grind wilder, more destructive and untamed, it sounds a little cheap, and perhaps a little posed. This is music for flexing your muscles and ninja-kicking your mates in a circle, not raging against the injustice of a system that doesn’t work.

 

A perfectly solid release, then, and one that delivers exactly what it promises, but it’s hard to imagine anyone getting too excited about this. One imagines that it was released primarily to give them something to do while ripping up tiny squats and club venues – a task for which it is well suited.

 

6.0 / 10.0

The Drip on Facebook

 

 

RICHIE H-R

 

 

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Cramming a massive ten songs into under thirty minutes, My Fictions’s latest offering Stranger Songs (Top Shelf) is a short, sharp containment of chaos. Furious drumming and guitar work punctuate each track in the album as this four-piece race through the album with blistering speed. The album is unrelenting from beginning to end, stopping for only the briefest moments to transition between tracks before hurtling full throttle into the next song. Rooted in hardcore, the US band throw in progressive elements that push the edges of the genre out into new territories. This movement away from basic song structures allows this album to inject new life into a sometime stale genre. The songs twist in unexpected directions, carefully crafted to capture the listener.

 

Much of the album may have be filled with ceaselessly aggressive songs, however I didn’t find it conveyed any depth of emotion, often feeling like it was imitating rather than truly capturing. It was only the end of ‘Airport Song’ and sections of ‘Parking Lot’ that displayed any semblance of expression. Really this band has a lot to offer the scene, but this album is too polished, too pristine. The album is wrapped in a clean-cut production that simply destroys the rawness of the material and sugarcoats any bleakness the album tries to emulate. The work and the talent that has gone into this album is coursing through each track, but they have altogether tried too hard on this record scrubbing out the ultimately addictive rough edges on the sound.

 

5.0 / 10

My Fictions on Facebook

 

CAITLIN SMITH

 

 

 

 

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There are few true iconoclasts in heavy music like King Buzzo. Of course, if you tell him that personally, he scoffs at the notion, perhaps even poo-pooing the weight of his impact in nearly thirty years of exciting fans, confounding critics and the like with his music. Obviously Buzz Osborne is known for his masterworks with the many incarnations of The Melvins (which he will at least acknowledge begins and ends with him). Arriving at the venue early to interview Buzz, he was mellow and cool as hell. Really humble to the last. Also at the venue early was Tim Bugbee, a concert photo and music journalist I look up to very much. It was cool talking shop, chatting with him and his wife all night. Check out Tim’s work.

 

Since I got done with the interview early I headed to grab some grub and a brew or three at my local BBQ spot in the neighborhood. By the time I got back in the venue, it was starting to fill up, although that would take some time. Despite The Melvins popularity and cred, its kind of hard to predict how full the crowd would be for a show like this on a weekday. Sauntering over to the merch table I spotted Brian Walsby selling merch and his own hand drawn wares. For those not in the know from graphic novels, Brian is author of Manchild, has done artwork for The Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity among others, played some drums in a few punk bands and has a cute daughter to take care of these days. Brian is a phenomenal artist, and has a unique POV story telling-style, and has done a fair share of music journalism via his work too. Please check him out and buy his stuff, it’s killer!

 

 

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Showtime was upon us and opener was Boston native Mary Halvorson. Her amazing solo-guitar performance brought out her own fans on this night, including one rabid kid at the front who was basking in her twangy glory. She played it cool, and played a set of interesting covers, mostly Jazz and Americana type track from what I could tell. Using the guitar not just as an instrument, but as an emotional foil for the source material, she is a master. Her between song, self-effacing banter was hysterical. I stood for most of the performance next to her mom, who was totally stoked and entranced as the rest of us were. If you love outside of the box thinking, and great guitar work in general, please do yourself a favor and check Mary out!

 

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After Buzz’s tour manager set up the stage (an incognito Dave from Unsane), Buzzo hit the stage casually with the lights up. Got himself together and ready to play and scanned the audience. Stepping in to his familiar stage walk, a gait akin to how a monster stalks his prey, Buzz started the jam the familiar first notes of ‘Boris”. The crowd immediately picked up on this, let out a whoop, and sang a long. There was even some rigorous headbanging, but no moshing tonight. Lots of bro smiles in the front and confuzzled looking girlfriends. Is Buzz unplugged girlfriend metal? I hope not. Meanwhile the man was up on stage doing his usual thing, just quieter. His playing immaculate, the acoustic holding nothing back as he roamed the stage between verses. I am a massive Alice Cooper fan and so is he, so it was no surprise that ‘The Ballad of Dwight Fry’ was next. He would later joke that we all better have known what that song was, and it seemed like people in the house tonight were fans, and had a clue. Alternating between some Melvins gems from across his career and his new solo album ‘This Machine Kills Artists’ (Ipecac), he constructed a killer set, full of twists and turns.

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About a third of the way through the set Buzz took a break to tell a story and he joked with the audience about which story to tell. When he settled on a “Mike Patton” story, he then had to decide which one to tell, since he apparently has many. What followed next was one of the funniest tales I’ve ever heard. I’d relay it here, but I could never do the delivery justice. You will need to see Buzz on tour and maybe you’ll hear it.

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Settling back into the music newer tracks like ‘Drunken Baby’ and The Melvins ‘Evil New War God’ meshed well, and in general it was just killer to hear this presentation of these songs. During another break, he made jokes about himself, touring, and imitated his wife picking on him pre-tour about the pretentiousness of doing a solo-acoustic tour. Classic. Ending the night with a spirited closing set of Melvins tunes, ‘We Are Doomed‘,

Hooch‘,Revolve‘, Buzz closed it out in rousing fashion. It was a really fun time and an interesting look into the mind of a genius, in a way we never have before.

 

 

King Buzzo Set List:

Boris (Melvins cover)

Ballad of Dwight Fry (Alice Cooper cover)

Suicide In Progress (Melvins cover)

Dark Brown Teeth

Rough Democracy

Laid Back Walking

Story break #1

Drunken Baby

Evil New War God (Melvins cover)

The Vulgar Joke

How I Became Offensive

Story break #2

We Are Doomed (Melvins cover)

Hooch (Melvins cover)

Revolve (Melvins cover)

King Buzzo on Facebook

Mary Halvorson on Facebook