Dead Cross (Faith No More, ex Slayer, The Locust, Retox members) has been working on a new album for release at some point in 2020, but today they shared a cover as a new single. Black Flag’s searing ‘Rise Above’ has been covered by the band in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The band shared a video and a mission statement for the track you can see here.
Dead Cross – Rise Above (Black Flag cover) created in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and staunchly opposing police brutality and systemic racism. As such, the track opens with a recording of a Los Angeles resident voicing his displeasure with the LAPD during a public comment period from a regularly scheduled LA police commission meeting.
The video for “Rise Above” was edited by Displaced/Replaced. Filmed by Dave Lombardo, The Lonely Rager, and Becky DiGiglio. Track mixed by Jim Goodwin.
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Returning from an extended self-imposed hiatus, My Ruin celebrated Valentine’s Day by releasing a new covers album Rock Love & Red Lipstick. Released as a free download on Bandcamp, the covers range from Black Flag, PJ Harvey, Eric B and Rakim, KISS, Plasmatics, Van Halen, AC/DC, Soft Cell, Frank Sinatra, and many more. My Ruin went on hiatus when it’s main conspirators Tairrie B (Manhole, Tura Satana), and Mick Murphy (Heavy Seventies, Chevy Metal, Teenage Timekillers) moved from Los Angeles to Nashville. My Ruin’s last release was 2012’s The Sacred Mood. Tairrie has been busy of late releasing her out of print albums with other bands to Bandcamp, writing her highly-anticipated memoirs, and pursuing future musical projects, photography and video directing. Watch the Tairrie directed video for their cover of ‘My Way’.
Punk, a new documentary series made its debut on the EPIX channel tonight. Produced by Iggy Pop and designer and music mogul John Varvatos, Punk is a four-part series that explores the birth of Punk Rock. A huge assemblage of stars has come together including Pop, Varvatos, John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Marky Ramone (Ramones), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana), Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses), Donita Sparks (L7),director Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization), Joan Jett, Danny Fields, Legs McNeil, Wayne County, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF), Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (Blondie), Wayne County, Flea and many more. It may become a recurring series since the listing on EPIX refers to it as “Season 1”. You can watch the trailer below and click the link to sign up for a free trial to watch episode 1 on your phone on the EPIX NOW app or mobile device if your cable provider doesn’t feature the channel. Continue reading →
There was once a fabled war between Punk and Metal. It seems hard to believe today with the two being so often deeply entrenched both musically and ideologically these days, but alleged reports of intense violence at cross-genre shows are a thing of legend. A sort of peace deal was brokered with the advent of Crossover Thrash, Grindcore and Hardcore, particularly the Metallic Hardcore subgenre. It’s here in the grey area of what is Punk and what is Metal we find Endorphins Lost, a Hardcore/Powerviolence outfit straight out of the Pacific Northwest with Seclusions (From The Head Of Zeus). Continue reading →
Not even a whole year after the release of their debut self-titled album, the extreme metal mob, Bitch Hawk are back at it again with their latest full release Joy (Adrian Recordings). The short time span has no effect on the quality of the music whatsoever. With a diverse range of musical backgrounds in the band, from Ska bands to writing for Charli XCX, this mixed bag of influences and sounds come together to create this unforgettable album. Continue reading →
How do you put to bed any doubts about your band? Come hurtling out the traps with an opener as neck-snappingly, riff-chunkingly awesome as ‘Gatekeeper’, and follow it up with a slew of hits steeped in the ultimate Black’s (Flag and Sabbath). Continue reading →
After the death of Ministrybandmate Mike Scaccia in 2012, the band’s frontman and former walking heroin and alcohol repository Al Jourgensen came to the decision that, after one last release, it was time he retired the Ministry name from active recording duty, keeping the band alive solely as a touring entity.
So, after the release of final studio album ‘From Beer To Eternity’ (AFM, 13th Planet), and with the aid of engineer Sam D’Ambruoso, work began on a brand new project. The eponymously titled début, Surgical Meth Machine’(Nuclear Blast) is the result, and anyone foolish enough to wonder if age or recent events might possibly have led to Uncle Al calming down or mellowing out is going to be in for quite a rude awakening.
Listening to Surgical Meth Machine is like having an aggressive, urine-soaked vagrant grabbing you by the collar and shrieking random shards of broken-toothed, spittle-flecked abuse into your face through cracked, vomit encrusted lips for forty horrifyingly disorienting minutes.
The ranting begins with ‘I’m Sensitive’, which, after a sarcastic opening monologue, bursts into life with all the actual sensitivity of a breeze block as Al screams ‘I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!’ at the top of his lungs. The jagged tirades continue with the Ministry-esque ‘Tragic Alert’ which climaxes with some stupidly fast electronic beats, and things continue in the same vein with ‘I Want More’ as the drum machine really starts to panic.
More bile is spewed as Jourgensen demands ‘Rich People Problems”, and although he clearly doesn’t need any help getting his feelings across, he enlists the help of an equally irritated Jello Biafra on ‘I Don’t Wanna’. “Blah blah blah blah blah!” barks Al on ‘Smash and Grab’ and by now, you really want him to leave you alone.
Things get seriously demented with the aptly titled ‘Unlistenable’ as the poor drum machine finally suffers a complete nervous breakdown and goes to sit in the corner and cry before the boisterous punk of ‘Gates of Steel’ bounces its way into the room like Andrew WK covering Black Flag‘s ‘TV Party’.
Things taper off sharply with ‘Spudnik’ and ‘Just Go Home’, all widdly guitars, drum machines and samples, but with all the impact of a rambling alcoholic losing his way halfway through a sentence. ‘I’m Invisible’ rounds things off. A very different, trippy, but strangely compelling track which sounds like a 3am drive with Timothy Leary and Hunter S Thompson.
With both feet still planted firmly in Ministry territory, Jourgensen shows no real interest in wanting to change or update his sound. If you enjoyed his particular brand of fast, obnoxious, Industrial noise before, then the chances are that this will float your boat just as much. If you want growth or innovation, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. But something tells me Uncle Al doesn’t give one single, solitary fuck about that.
World Be Free occupies a very particular space in the in today’s musical landscape. A sort of hardcore supergroup featuring members of Terror (vocalist Scott Vogel), Judge (drummer Sammy Siegler), Strife (guitarist Andrew Kline) and Gorilla Biscuits (bassist Arthur Smilios), World Be Free is not the sum of its parts or a reflection of hardcore in 2016. Full length début, The Ant-Circle (Revelation), is more of a simulacrum of the New York and DC hardcore sounds of yesteryear with the occasional dash of pop-punk hooks.
And as an homage to those reverential 1980s bands, The Anti-Circle seems to check all the boxes. There’s an economical approach as 14 tracks come and go in less than half an hour and with only one clocking in at over three minutes. ‘Shake the Ghost’ and ‘Never Slip’ are fantastic examples of making the most with just the necessary musical ingredients.
However, while World Be Free’s riffs and lyrics were designed with the intention of channeling the vitality of their musical heroes, The Anti-Circle feels likes its spinning wheels. When Vogel bellows “You’ll never be a part of my world,” or “The times have changed” it doesn’t come across as empowering or intriguing as it isn’t saying anything Black Flag didn’t already say in 1981 (albeit in a much more satirical tone). And since its treading such familiar creative waters it, songs like ‘World Be Free,’ ‘All These Colors’ and ‘Breakout or Busted’ fail to distinguish themselves from one another.
That’s not to say that there aren’t successful moments of musical reverence to be found on The Anti-Circle. While probably the most tuneful song of the bunch, ‘Empty Things’ impresses with Kline’s melodic guitar lines. Also when World Be Free decides to shift gears and speed up they can generate some worthy slam dancing like in ‘I’m Done.’
World Be Free has a great album within them. It’s all a matter of them addressing the line between impression and homage.
“No all of it. The whole thing. You have to get the whole thing in there. It’s good for your stomach. Especially if you have a sour stomach, which is weird if you think it would make it more sour. Eat the whole slice – rind and all,” yells bassist and lead vocalist Kelly Ogden of LA pop punkers The Dollyrots, to her drummer for the evening Rikki Styxx (also of LA based The Two Tens), over a discussion about how to drink water.
“Whenever it’s in my water – you’ve gotta get your Vitamin C or [you’ll get] scurvy! We’re rock pirates but we won’t go that far!,” she says, with a smile.
The band has been successfully supporting their latest album titled Pregnant and Barefoot, where they had just completed a national tour supporting Bowling For Soup this past summer, and previously doing a West Coast run with Black Flag and a UK run with the Buzzcocks.
This was all done following the birth of Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas’ son River, and balancing their home life with promoting their new album in 2013.
“I love it! In so many ways it’s easier and some weird ways it’s harder. People are like ‘how do you bring a baby on tour?’ That’s the easiest part. I think my enemy is boredom. The kid is super smart and so aware of everything. We want him to have the best childhood ever. After childhood, everything is downhill. He might as well live it up and have the best experience possible. We’ll put on our happy faces no matter what. Just have the best life he could have,” said Ogden, about becoming a punk rock mother and raising their son within a rock n roll environment.
Would she do it again? “I might do it again if the cards align someday soon. We’ll see. Not right now,” she says, with a smile.
Styxx became the latest drummer to perform with the Dollyrots, and since the band’s start in 2000 back in their home state of Florida, they have encountered a Spinal Tap esque situation with drummers (except without the explosions).
With a little help with Cabezas, Ogden named off the alumni of drummers who had fulfilled their tour of duty with them.
“I totally remember all of their names. It started with Mike Benbow, then Frank Beasley, Josh Valenti, Amy Wood…Joaquin was in there for a week…one show,” she said.
“Chris Black, Rick Welta, Alicia Warrington, James Carman, Aixa Vilar, Reed Crier…,” said Cabezas.
“There’s one time we played in Massachusetts and we had 12 different drummers because Chris had to fly home for a wedding. Every kid in that city learned a song. It was cool in theory but it was the most excruciating show I’ve ever played in my life,” she then said.
“These weird yetis would show up and they looked like punk rocker drummers. We thought ‘oh they’re going to be awesome!’ and then you’d have these dorky high school kids come and they’d kill it!,” he said.
“I guess we don’t know all of their names for that one show,” she added. “Oh…there’s Mel. Fink. Mel Funk. I always mix up that.”
Since 2011, the band chose to release their own music without the help of a record label and handle their own affairs. Their self titled album was the first release on their own and through the help of crowdfunding via PledgeMusic, they found the help of their longtime fans to get their music out to the world.
“I mean it’s based on the fact that we’ve put out enough records to have really awesome fans. So once you tour enough and put out enough music, then there’s people that will love you band no matter what you do. So the way we do it now through crowd sourcing, we feel like we really owe it to our fans to give them a really good album,” she explains.
Ogden elaborates further about how being a DIY artist has changed their approach at how they reach fans without the help of a record label or a marketing company.
“We push ourselves even harder than when we were on a record label. We’re really lucky to have [these fans]. The thing is, we’d be making a record in little bubbles and we wouldn’t have a lot of feedback except from the labels. We wanted them to like it. It wasn’t for so much for our fans. It was kind of weird because we make music for the people who listen to your music.”
“It feels so much clearer now. It’s like we’re making music for these people and we’re going to put it in an envelope and send it to them ourselves. It feels the way it should be. It’s cool because we get to be close to them and they get to see a lot more of our life and we get to be back during the writing process. It just seems…for our band at least – the whole growing up in the 90s was like…aww…you get to be in a band and we get to be mysterious. Nobody really knows things about you. That’s just not how our band works, which is a little surprising. Listen, I probably seem very outgoing but to be honest if we were to go to your house for a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon, I would have diarrhea because I would be so nervous about having to interact with people. We’re actually socially awkward. It’s funny but within the band thing it works. It’s cool doing this with our fans.”
Aside from the crowdfunding and touring, the Dollyrots have constantly promoted their music through social media and kept their name out in the public. They have regularly released free songs (usually cover songs and holiday related tunes), and have used StageIt to attract their fans to watch their show streamed online.
It’s here! Our annual Holiday Merch Explosion! Head to http://www.thedollyrots.com & hook it up… brand new hoodies, bundles, & an ugly Xmas sweater!
Ogden talked about how much work went into running their crowdfunding campaign.
“The bands that do PledgeMusic now – we were just talking about it – Sum 41 just did their new record. Weezer did one. Freakin’ Smashing Pumpkins did one….Soul Asylum….it just makes so much more sense now.”
“But those bands – I don’t know if they do it the way we do it with lots of personal stuff, which makes it a lot more fun for us. They do a preorder and then they have a merch company ship everybody their stuff.”
“Sum 41’s not sitting there personalizing all 40,000 CDs! Once you go over a certain quantity it’s not feasible,” says Cabezas, cutting into the conversation.
“I didn’t bake cookies this time but I’ve been feeling the guilt working in. I’m considering making the cookies a super prime item. I’ll send you a dozen cookies…but it’s going to cost like $80 because last time I had to make 37 dozen cookies….in a one bedroom apartment with one oven and one rack! It took me four days. It was kind of awful. The thing is…it’s that many days of my life that I can’t do anything but bake the cookies,” added Ogden, about one of her ideas that became a bit challenging.
Through the PledgeMusic campaign, they reached fans from all over the globe. She shared some of the more unusual spots they received pledges from. “Obviously we have a lot of fans in the UK. There’s this island…some part of France…Revere Islands and it was some French island and the post office couldn’t even figure it out. It’s some weird French island the US owns.”
Then she talked about the biggest challenges behind doing the pledge campaigns. Being that the Dollyrots have to run their own campaigns, the work involved is not always for everyone, but the band still chose to tackle the challenge head first.
“Fulfillment. I think some people that are new to the method don’t understand that if they get a song and if 25 other people get a song that’s written for them, it may take us a year. We’ve honestly I would say 99 percent of the time people have been really cool about it. But I feel like there may be other people that are disappointed that we don’t hear from, and that sucks when it’s just the band. We don’t hire a merch company. It takes up our lives until we do it again and then it takes up our whole lives.”
“I know the ins and outs of the US Postal System. I have my own postal scale. We do every single bit of it. It’s kind of crazy. We get a discount in doing it online.”
“The Koreatown post office – the Dosan Ahn Chang on 6th Street is the one that me and Luis would take everything to before we got our own scale. They would see the two of us walk in and I would be holding the baby…I think we started before he was born. We started shipping before he was born. We would see us walk in with these huge boxes and they would all shake their heads and look down. People in line behind us – I would feel this stabby stab in my back when I’m at the window. It would take us about three hours at the window.”
“We’re there so long. We know their names. We know where they go on vacation and where they grew up. It was really funny. After a few times, they would be funny when they’d get us because we can just hang out and chat for a while. The managers at the post office were not happy.”
While they are still promoting Barefoot and Pregnant, they have proceeded with working on their Family Vacation: Live In Los Angeles CD and DVD, recorded and filmed on tour this past summer. Ogden explained the story behind the release.
“So we just finished and got the mastered audio back. So the audio part is done. The live video we filmed stuff all along the last couple of tours, starting in June until now. So we did the East Coast, Texas and the West Coast. So we did a lot of tour diaries.”
“The main shows, because hiring a camera crew is real expensive, so we only really filmed New York and LA, and we used LA pretty much for the show. It’s just a live show experience because it’s different touring for us now. We only do a week and a half because we have to fly in. We have a baby and a nanny and the three of us. It’s complicated and with the economy the way it is, it doesn’t make sense for us to be on tour for eight weeks at a time. So we find the places where we can afford to go and then book short little tours around that. It’s awesome.”
[Teaser] A few more seconds of our upcoming live DVD!! #TheDollyrotsFamilyVacationPre-order: http://bit.ly/DRpledgeLIVE