ALBUM REVIEW: C*nts – C*nts

If you’re going to name your band Cunts then I expect some vile shit. If you’re going to double down and go with Cunts (Ipecac Recordings) as the name of your album, then you’re really looking to summon the Kraken here. I’m ready to slam a forty ounce of Olde English 800, get bashed over the head with a folding chair and crawl back home only to fuck on the floor. Let’s destroy something beautiful. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Cloud Rat – Pollinator

Cloud Rat has something to say, and if you’re not willing to lend an ear they’re just going to play louder and faster until they get your attention. No, there are rarely any moments that allow for you to catch your breath on Pollinator (Artoffact Records) so know from the rip that these Michiganders intend to keep your head submerged in gray waters for about thirty minutes. Continue reading

Tronos – Celestial Mechanics

Tronos is a side-project born of many late-night conversations between the two of the more prolific creative forces in underground metal, Napalm Death legend Shane Embury and legendary producer Russ Russell. Joining them is the equally talented Dirk Verbeuren on drums, Billy Gould, Troy Sanders and Dan Lilker on bass and vocals by Snake from Voivod – there’s no shortage of talent on display here. Continue reading

Watch The Trailer To A Documentary Dedicated To The History Of Grindcore

Doug Brown is finally done with his documentary Slave To The Grind, which claims to be the first film ever detailing the history of grindcore. The film features interviews with many greats in the genre such as Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and more. Brown is premiering the film at the Calgary Underground Film Festival on April 21st as well as showing it at film at festivals this spring and summer. Watch the first trailer below! Continue reading

Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand

Mastodon has been up front and honest about the concept for their Emperor Of Sand record since we first heard about them writing new material. With the band having to deal with cancer affecting their families and friends over the past eighteen months, the guys decided to take on that devastating news, and put it into song. Throughout the record the listener follows the journey of a person destined to die, and while important lessons are learned, and memories come to life, their fate, like many that deal with cancer, is already determined. With a powerful soundtrack accompanying the tragic theme throughout the album, Emperor Of Sand makes for Mastodon‘s most vulnerable, yet focused release in years. Continue reading

Lock Up – Demonization

Yes, it’s a cliché, and no, I don’t care if writing professors from here to hell say to avoid clichés at all cost, but Heinz was on to something… It has been six years since Lock Up’s last album, and three years since Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth) replaced much-beloved vocalist Tomas Lindberg and very simply, good things come to those who wait. Continue reading

Lock Up Releases Mindfight From Demonization

lock-up-2016

Lock Up will be unleashing their new album, Demonization, in March of 2017 via Listenable Records, and the first single has made it’s way online. Continue reading

Blurring – Blurring

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Hailing from the New York grind scene can be a challenge for any band. With such a prestigious history of bands the bar is set high for any new acts pushing out of the local scene. Blurring are a band with a difference however as, behind the awkward, uncomfortable mass of noise are the brains behind one of the most influential grind bands of the last 25 years.

Brutal Truth may no longer be sullying stages around the world, but that certainly hasn’t stopped bassist Dan Lilker. Joined by ex-Kalibas guitarists Scott D’Agostino and Matt Colbert and drummer Eric Burke who not only boasts appearances in both of those bands, but also appears as a guitarist in Nuclear Assault and Lethargy, Blurring are already name dropping their way as a serious player.

The only member of this super group that cannot boast a lengthy resume is vocalist Mark Weldin, however what he lacks on the CV, he more than makes up for in performance. Harsh and unrelenting, Weldin’s vocals sound like a man stabbed repeatedly in the throat. No relief can be found in the music either, as ‘Like Wolves’ backs it ups with a dizzying, churning sound only broken by aggressive blasting. ‘Terminus and the Flame’ has menacing undertones at awkward backing chords clash against lead while sole instrumental track ‘Rape Van’, sees a slow uncomfortable drag through 2 minutes of unsettling sounds that, unlike the real van provides a deliciously slow and addictive contradiction to the rest of the album.

Blurring perform the difficult task of taking every element they could think of to repel the listener on this self-titled (Handshake Inc.) début, but rather than adding it in small bite sized chunks, the whole album is a mass of chaotic sound that seems to barely hold itself together. The result is a depraved, uncomfortable half hour of black grind that somehow keeps you clawing back for another listen time and time again.

 

8.0/10

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CAITLIN SMITH

Southern Lord Reissuing Complete YDI Discography

ydi

Southern Lord is releasing the complete discography of Philadelphia hardcore crew YDI. This double-LP document contains every known recording of the band, as well as a 10″x10″ full color photo book with tons of never before seen images from the band’s existing recorded era.

In the early 1980s, YDI (why-die) put Philadelphia on the map with their ferocious brand of speed-obsessed hardcore. Their debut 7″ EP, A Place In The Sun, released in 1983, is a nine-track blast of frantic American hardcore fury, with blistering pace and heaps of fuzz that make your speakers crackle. Come 1985, the band had altered their musical direction, and created filthy, metallic, damaged punk that constantly spirals out of control via scraping guitar-led detours; if you’ve heard Brutal Truth‘s cover of the deranged “I Killed My Family” you’ll recognize the unhinged sense of danger that permeates YDI’s output. The Black Dust LP was the band’s final recording and a criminally underrated slab of disgusting mayhem.

YDI Lineup:
[for A Place in The Sun]
Mike Cole – guitar
Chuck Meehan – bass
Howard Twiggs – drums
Jackal aka Neil Perry – vocals

[for Black Dust LP]
Michael Kingnigger aka Michael Cole – guitar
Nikki Bones aka Brian Goldstein – bass
Eric Hardlonger aka Eric Peters – drums
Jackal SSexxzzombie aka Neil Perry – vocals

Track Listing:

Demo (1983)
1. Out For Blood
2. Not Shit
3. Rizzo’s Coming Back
4. Another Day
5. Zombie Youth
6. Mad At The World
7. Friends
8. Categorized
9. Why Die ?
10. 1983
11. True Believer
12. Snarling Hate
13. I Killed My Family
14. Get Up And Fight
15. 8th Man
6. Not Shit
17. 1983
18. Friends
19. Mad At The World
20. Out For Blood
21. Categorized
22. Another Day
23. Get Up And Fight / Zombie Youth
24. Why Die ?

Tracks From v/a Get Off My Back LP (1983)
25. Enemy For Life
26. I Killed My Family

Black Dust LP (1985)
27. Not Without A Fight
28. Get Out
29. Soylent Green
30. Violently Green
31. Bloodletting
32. Haunted House
33. Dying Day
34. Murder Is So Sweet
35. In Ignorance
36. My Hell
37. Black Dust
38. “Evil” (unreleased Black Dust session )

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Dave Hofer – Perpetual Conversion – 30 Years & Counting in the Life of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker

Perpetual-Conversion

My first encounter with Danny Lilker was 27 years ago. Relatively new to thrash metal, I bought Nuclear Assault’s The Plague and that clanking bommm, buh-buh bommmmm of the bass and striking image of a gangling mass of black curly hair stirred me to investigate more. Though he blazed a different trail than mine over the next 25 years, it amazes me upon reading Dave Hofer’s in-depth biography from Handshake Inc. how many times those trails crossed. Death, blackened doom, electronic metal…all twisted and perfected by the constantly low-fi, yet always curious and inventive Lilker.

Hofer paints his subject with warmth, familiarity, and honesty. Having ‘roadied’ for Brutal Truth in 2007 he swiftly became friends with Lilker, and has spent the last six years interviewing and researching for these 160 pages. That warmth is translated into the style of the book, loosely peppered with scrapbook-style photo insertions and dialogue consisting almost entirely of interview transcripts from Danny and many of the people he has encountered down the years.

Lilker’s words veer from self-deprecating – ‘I’m a slavic mutt’, he asserts almost from the off when discussing his Polish / Ukrainian ancestry – to remarkably laid back: even when discussing the tragic downfall of his beloved elder sister Barbara, an influence on his musical direction and lost to drugs when Lilker was just eleven. It was Barbara who introduced him to his lifelong love of ‘pot’, a recurring theme throughout the book and a road seemingly travelling parallel to his love of and devotion to creating music. Brutal Truth vocalist Kevin Sharp sums up his first meeting with Lilker thus: ‘The first time I met him, he said it was “Nice to meet me”, then said, “I have some pot. Want to smoke it?”. That was about the extent of it.’ His memory, though, is undimmed, recalling all manner of musical detail such as how the drum sound on the first Brutal Truth album was achieved, and how his arm was a bloody mess through chafing against his bass during those sessions. Every band he’s had an involvement with, even for one live gig or a day in the production booth, gets a name-check: it’s a phenomenal quality that displays his love of what he does.

The near-unswerving reliance on pure interview material becomes a little dry as the book progresses, and the intermittent flood of ‘picture pages’, containing often unnecessary images such as every Brutal Truth record cover under the sun, do break up the occasional monotony. It does, however, allow Dan and the people who know him to paint a picture we’d kind of expect. His likeability despite a laconic bluntness; his breakneck levels of creativity; his need to play music; all fondly recalled by all contributors just as myriad anecdotes affirm his legendary status. The ‘metal comedian’ Steve Hughes calls Lilker ‘…the Yoda of the metal underground’, whilst Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway refers to him as ‘Just a music sponge’. Cadaver’s Anders Oddington recalls how he was assisted in a crowd surge at Roskilde by Lilker; and Immolation’s Ross Dolan talks with reverence about Dan’s navigational skills, referring to him as a ‘Road map’.

Whilst not the easiest read there’s an undeniable attraction in such a wealth of information, opinion, humour and love for one of metal’s most prolific, influential and hard-working characters. The history of extreme metal oozes from every page and, for that reason alone, it’s something that all underground rats will devour.

6.5/10

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PAUL QUINN