Dead Cross is currently halfway through their U.S. headlining run, and they had a special surprise in store for their fans in Berkeley, California last night. Continue reading
After the death of Ministry bandmate 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.
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The Truth of Revolution, Brother: An Exploration of Punk Philosophy (Situation Press) is an interesting look at many of the common philosophies within the rebellious genre and it also acts as a biography for some of its key figures. Through a series of interviews authors Lisa Sofianos, Robin Ryde and Charlie Waterhorse, have crafted an insightful and at times dense examination of the personal beliefs that fuel the music, particularly in anarcho-punk.
Culled from over 20 different interviews with subjects including the likes of former Dead Kennedy’s vocalist Jello Biafra, producer Steve Albini and firebrand Gavin McInnes, The Truth of Revolution, Brother feels like a great documentary that hasn’t been shot yet. Punk isn’t just music, for the faithful it’s an unshakable bond that informs all of their daily decisions. It was an artistic liberation because it wasn’t the usual prog and arena rock that permeated the 1970s. If you had something to say now you can now express yourself even if you can’t play your instrument very well or have a record label to back you up. All the weirdos were allowed.
“Punk changed the whole world for me,” says Albini. “Punk changed all of my friends. Everything that I do with my life. This studio. All of this that I am doing for a living. Everyone I know. Every significant friend I’ve ever had. Every significant life experience that I have had, I owe that to the Ramones.”
However, it is also quick to point out that while punk was the undiscriminating genre when it came to musical prerequisites, age or sex; it is also very much steeped in hierarchy as you are allowed to come in and participate only if you wear the right boots and black shirts. The prevailing Do-It-Yourself ethos acts as the backbone that allows punk to stand, but also means that there is less focus on quality control as anyone can come in and take a swing at it. Doing it yourself can sometimes lead to doing it badly.
But for me what was most interesting about this tome is that so many of the interviewed always pointed to anarcho-punk trailblazers Crass as one of their main inspirations and the reason for adopting the punk lifestyle. The consensus is that they were the first punk band to adopt the DIY mantra, foster pro-environmentalist habits and call for everyone to drop competiveness out of their nature in order to improve the community.
“What is so deeply emotional for me about Crass, in particular, is that when I was sent to the correctional boarding school I was completely alone” says Jon Gnarr. “And I was so afraid that I carried a knife. I felt so alone, and there was nobody to tell me right from wrong, there weren’t even teachers at that place, so at a very difficult time in my life, Crass was there for me.” Feeling dissatisfied with his government’s handling of the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis, Gnarr would use some of that punk influence and form the satirical Best Party. In a shocking upset Gnarr ran and was elected mayor of Reykjavík in 2010.
So many other of the interview subjects continuously cite the short lived anarchist bent Essex unit, that it starts to feel like that you are getting an oral history of the band. Adding to that feel are insightful chapters directly from former Crass members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher.
Something worth noting is that with so many citing the same artists and similar philosophies as vital the book can begin to feel a tad repetitive towards the middle, but all things considered it shines a bright light on the inner machinations of one of rock’s most extreme wings. Now if we could only get that complete Crass biography.
Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:
Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.
Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.
Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.
Teenage Time Killers will be releasing their long awaited release Greatest Hits Vol 1 on July 31, 2015 via Rise Records. The brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, guitarist Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds of Satan) and producer John “Lou” Lousteau, the project has released a track listing along with a breakdown of guest credits. All instrumental tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 were recorded at Dave Grohl‘s 606 Studios in Northridge, California. The album was produced by Lousteau, Mullin and Murphy, engineered and mixed by Lousteau at 606 Studios.
Stream “Barrio” (with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio) and “Hung Out To Dry” (with Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God) below.
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Pat Hoed (Bass), London May (Drums)
02. “Crowned By The Light Of The Sun”
Vocals: Neil Fallon
Featuring Jim Rota (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
03. “Hung Out to Dry”
Vocals: Randy Blythe
Featuring Mike Schaefer (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
04. “Power Outage”
Vocals: Clifford Dinsmore
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
05. “Ode to Hannity”
Vocals: Jello Biafra
Featuring Mike Dean (Bass)
Vocals: Matt Skiba
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
07. “The Dead Hand”
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Woody Weatherman (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Corey Taylor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
09. “Plank Walk”
Vocals: Pete Stahl
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
10. “Time To Die”
Vocals: Mike IX Williams
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar)
11. “Days Of Degradation”
Vocals: Tommy Victor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Tairrie B. Murphy
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
13. “Big Money”
Vocals: Lee Ving
Featuring Pat Smear (Guitar & Bass), London May (Drums)
14. “Devil In This House”
Vocals: Karl Agell
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
15. “Say Goodnight To The Acolyte”
Vocals: Phil Rind
Featuring Jason Browning (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
16. “Ignorant People”
Vocals: Tony Foresta
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Nick Oliveri (Bass)
17. “Son Of An Immigrant”
Vocals: Johnny Weber
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
18. “Your Empty Soul”
Vocals: Aaron Beam
19. “Bleeding To Death”
Vocals: Vic Bondi
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
20. “Teenage Time Killer”
Vocals: Trenton Rogers
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Pat Hoed (Bass)
Teenage Time Killer, an all star project headed by Corrosion of Conformity’s Mike Dean and Reed Mullin, has reportedly signed a record deal with Rise Records. The name was taken from a Rudimentary Peni song. The instrumental parts for the upcoming CD were recorded at Dave Grohl’s (FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA) Studio 606 in Northridge, California on the famous Sound City mixing board, which was the central focus of Grohl’s acclaimed “Sound City: Real To Reel” documentary. The effort was mastered by Bill Stevenson (THE DESCENDENTS, BLACK FLAG).
Reported artists who have contributed to the project include:
Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God)
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour)
Neil Fallon (Clutch)
Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)
Lee Ving (Fear)
Tommy Victor (Prong)
Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, ex-Queens Of The Stone Age/Kyuss)
Aaron Beam (Red Fang)
Pete Stahl (Scream, Goatsnake)
Greg Anderson (SUNN O))), Goatsnake)
Karl Agell (ex-Corrosion Of Conformity)
Tairrie B Murphy (My Ruin)
Mick Murphy (My Ruin)
Vic Bondi (Articles Of Faith)
Clifford Dinsmore (BL’AST!)
Pat Hoed (Brujeria)
Max Cavalera (Soulfly)
Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste/Iron Reagan)
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (The Misfits)
Keith Morris (Black Flag, etc.)
Phil Rind (Sacred Reich)
Asked if there are any plans for TEENAGE TIME KILLER to go on the road in support of the upcoming CD, Mullin told INDY Week: “Touring, I don’t know. Dave Grohl’s folks — his management and marketing people — are going to help us do all that with the thing. We recorded about 98 percent of it at his studio. They were talking about — since there’s so many people from so many different bands — maybe do something like ‘[Jimmy] Kimmel [Live!]’ and have three or four different singers come out at one time, like Jello and Lee Ving, maybe Randy from LAMB OF GOD, something like that. All the songs are real short, so we could do, easily, four songs and not go over. But you know, we’d have Brian Baker come out and play guitar, Pat Smear play bass or guitar or whatever. It’s pretty star-studded.”
He added: “It sounds really organic. It sounds like we — the people that we associated with for the different songs — wrote the songs together.”
This year’s pilgrimage to Richmond, VA was full of a lot of strong and, at times, conflicting emotions. I didn’t make this trip as a writer. I did it as a Bohab and a human being who just wanted a chance to pay her respects to someone who had shown her kindness and had a profound effect on her life and to celebrate his life as well as grieve with some of the incredible people that make up an extensive hab family.
We arrived Friday morning and had breakfast with some of our bohab brethren staying at the same hotel before taking a nap and heading out for Hadad’s Lake and Dave Brockie/Oderus’ viking funeral. It was strange seeing the costume laid out in such a way, it was all very peaceful for a blood thirsty alien. I saw many habs sitting by the shore, some in quiet reflection, while others had their own conversations with our beloved monster.
The official memorial service featured eulogies by Jello Biafra, Randy Blythe, Adam Green, Michael Bishop,and others. There were a lot of tears but there was also a lot of laughter as jokes and stories about Brockie’s antics were shared. There was singing and the entire crowd let out a primal scream in his honor. Green played a voice mail that Brockie had left him. I had listened to it several months before but hearing his voice was still difficult.
The actual send off itself was beautiful and included an archer launching a flaming arrow onto the small ship and Danielle Stampe a.k.a. Slymenstra Hymen tossing a flaming torch into the water as bagpipes continued to play in the background. There were a number of different chants going around the crowd but it was very quiet until the firefighters showed up – after the flames and smoke had nearly completely died out. We have no idea if a neighbor called them but it gave us all a good laugh and seemed like a fitting way to end Brockie’s public memorial service.
Cut to the next day’s GWAR-B-QUE back at Hadad’s. There were a number of hiccups with regards to the event’s planning such as VIP ticket holders (myself included) not getting their lanyards, some people getting two of them in their bags, and some premium ticket holders winding up with them instead. Tents were not labeled properly and we wasted a lot of time in line at the GWAR merch booth before being told that we had to go to another line to start all over again just to be told that they were out of lanyards and to come back in an hour. We had already missed a number of bands and signings by this point and by the time we got our VIP stickers, the GWAR signing was well underway. I decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle of waiting around for a few hours in yet another line just to be rushed through the meet & greet and spent some time by the lake with some habs while listening to the festivities behind us.
There was quite a bit going on apart from the music as well. There were the mandatory band merch booths, the pool was open, there were a number of food vendors, a jewelry tent, tattooing, and a cigar truck selling CiGWARS. And that, kids, is how I had my first cigar. There were more bathrooms than last year but the lines were horrendous. You were looking at a minimum of a half hour wait for everything.
Unfortunately, I missed a number of bands due to being stuck in line hell but at least I had seen Bishop’s Kepone and Iron Reagan in recent months and they always shred. Revocation had to drop off the bill and, as far as I know, Goatwhore just didn’t show up. I can’t complain about the line for those delicious pulled pork sandwiches because that’s where I was watching Body Count from. They were fantastic! Ice-T and crew looked right at home among us and I saw more than my fair share of reciting every song word for word.
What about GWAR? They shared vocal duties with Bishop’s new character, Blothar, Slymenstra, and Don Drakulich’s Sleazy P. Martini. Blothar looked interesting, like some kind of weird wizard with antlers on his back. I’m sure the costume will have been changed and refined a bit by the time the fall tour comes through town. Slymenstra did some of her fire dancing but I would have liked to have seen more. Singe off my eyebrows! I hadn’t seen Sleazy since 2008/9 but it was nice to have him back on stage, even if he was, understandably, less energetic than usual.
I had a difficult time watching the performance. This is not by any means a reflection on the band, they were incredible, it was simply hard for me personally. There were people climbing on top of the smaller buildings to get a good view of the stage. I hung around the back of the crowd and caught maybe a minute of ‘The Years Without Light’ before my emotions got the best of me and I had to retreat back to the safety of our bohab base camp. I was content with staying behind and merely listening…Until those first few notes of ‘Gor-Gor’ hit my ear holes and I ran back into the middle of the crowd with Mama Hab. That Gor-Gor puppet is the beautiful demented dinosaur that I’ve ever seen. The song had been on my bucket list of songs that I wanted to see performed live but I just wish that it had been under better circumstances. There were more tears following its end than at any other time the entire weekend. ‘The Road Behind’ was played as expected and while my mind will always associate it with Cory Smoot first, I think there’s a little room in there for Dave too. GWAR & Company wrapped things up with a ‘Slaughterama’ that felt a bit rushed.
I know that there are going to be people criticizing the event and I know that with better planning, the problems of this year’s event can be minimized the next time around. With regards to GWAR’s performance after losing such an electric front man, all I ask is that you give them a chance. GWAR is more than just any one person and they’ve suffered a heavy loss, not of a musician, but that of a friend and family member. Picking up the pieces is no easy task but I think that they’re up to the challenge and I am optimistic about what the future holds for them and all of us.
For me, the main event of this weekend was the funeral and I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to grieve and celebrate with me, even if we did almost get the cops called on us. There will always be a cuttlefish shaped hole in our hearts but good friends and good music work wonders.
WORDS BY ALEIDA LA LLAVE
The Melvins are without a doubt one of the most influential bands within the rock, grunge and metal scene. Their latest musical exploit is an album full of covers, entitled Everyone Loves Sausages. Mat Davies sat down with drummer Dale Crover and they discussed the new record, their sense of humor and curating festivals. Continue reading
Jello Biafra, one of the original poster boys of American Punk, is back, and pissed as ever. The former Dead Kennedys man old has gone back to his roots, ditched the spoken word approach, and unleashed all his rage in a 50- minute ball of pure classic punk. Continue reading