ALBUM REVIEW: Binary Code – Memento Mori

Yeah, I know a little bit about Binary Code. My first brush with this New Jersey act traces back to 2010 when I was a mere college student and just starting my internship at 91.5 FM WUML Lowell. It was there that as a metal padawan I delved deeper into more progressive and heavier music and Binary Code’s debut LP Suspension of Disbelief (Metal Sucks Records) certainly fit those parameters. And on their third full length, Memento Mori (Memory Facility), they’ve still got it.  Continue reading

Mantar to Release Covers Album, Shares Video for Mazzy Star Cover

Germany’s two-piece blackened crust band Mantar has announced that they are releasing a mini-covers album focusing on the 1990s, Grungetown Hooligans II, June 26th on LP/Digital via Brutal Panda Records and can be pre-ordered at the link below. Also, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mazzy Star’s release of their seminal debut album, Mantar have shared a music video for their cover of ‘Ghost Highway’, which you can see below. 

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David Roback, 1990s Alt-Rock Founder of Mazzy Star, Dead at Age 61

David Roback, who left an impact on two generations of Los Angeles Area alternative rockers Mazzy Star, Opal, and the Rain Parade has died. He was 61. No cause of death has been revealed at this time. Roback, said to be a notorious recluse, had his death was confirmed and announced by his publicist. His thoughtful, dreamy guitar work, compositions and producing, along with bands including the Bangles, the Dream Syndicate and the Three O’Clock, Roback’s early band the Rain Parade were often mentioned as part of the Paisley Underground, one of the pre-cursors to 1990s alternative rock. Later in the early 1990s, he found fame with collaborator Hope Sandoval in Mazzy Star, the band earned acclaimed for its laid back sadness in the time of grunge rock with their hits “Fade Into You,” “Blue Flower” and “Into Dust.” Many of his peers have taken to social media to send out their sympathies, as we also do to his family, friends, and fans at this time. Continue reading

NOIZ All-Dayer, Rebellion, Manchester UK

Noiz Alldayer ghostcultmag

He was so deeply huddled under a blanket that it took a while to locate the source of the voice hollering my name. Eytan Wineapple, curator of the rumbling beast that was the NOIZ All-Dayer, initially celebrated its second incarnation looking like death warmed up. After a long couple of days, with Wineapple escorting eventual headliners Dukatalon to Sheffield and back, they eventually bedded down in today’s venue. “They got here around 3 a.m., and I tucked them all in!” joked Rebellion manager and event collaborator Hayley. Five minutes later, the flat-capped Wineapple was bounding around like a madman: putting to serious shame Ghost Cult’s scribe who, twelve hours later, and still nearly three hours from the denouement, interviewed said host in a rather weary and addled fashion…

NOIZ is not your average festival. Displays of album-style art and guitars in various stages of completion (one of which is raffled off later in the day) stand beside the S.O.P.H.I.E. merch stall in the upper level of the club-style venue. A dedicated handful, meanwhile, witness the pulverising Industria of openers Khost: looking for all the world like a couple of local scallies bumbling about on a stage, yet laying waste with a mystical power which deserved a better slot and much more attention. The Birmingham duo’s ambient, crushing set, its implosive chords and guttural scours blending with a wonderful and passionate line in Middle-Eastern vocal samples, ended bang on time: a courtesy that some of the festival’s other performers could have tried harder to match.

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King Dead – King Dead

king dead album cover

Aside from the dreaded Facebook page, there’s precious little information about Stroudsburg, PA trio King Dead. Yet another instrumental outfit, their self-styling as ‘spaghetti western doom sludge‘ isn’t too bad a description of this eponymous debut full-length (Self-Released).

Apparently consisting of two bassists, one of them six string and taking the place of a guitar, there’s nevertheless a remarkably mellow, dark indie-style melodic riff dappling through opener ‘Ghosts Along The Riverbank’ which seems to belie this fact. The melancholic doom pace is interspersed throughout by these elements of beauty, squalling a la Mazzy Star or Jesus and Mary Chain; while true bass notes, possessing a twang which supports the western edge, grow stronger and plough through the mind.

This, and the ludicrously titled yet gloriously emotive ‘As One Plows And Breaks Up The Earth…’, with its shimmering lead tone and shuddering bass evoking a solitary figure trudging a well-worn road, begin to lay the curse of the instrumental album to rest. Sadly the ghost is soon awoken: a rat-a-tat marching beat, bringing to mind to the worst excesses of 70s glam, ushers forth the stoner jam of ‘Length Of Rope’ which possesses little of the earlier heartfelt sadness. The eerie, brittle whistling does little to rescue a passable trundle through the motions, the kind witnessed on countless occasions during indulgent live ramblings. Whilst the bass-led ‘Drowning In Dust’ is heavy to the point of ponderous; only a rousing middle section and portentous coda showing any invention.

There’s a slight Shadows similarity to the opening chords of closer ‘God Makes A Lot Of Fucking Promises’ [Editor’s Note: great song title!], and the reintroduction of lead effects gives the required boot to the arse. A brooding undercurrent reminiscent of The Doors‘ ‘Riders On The Storm’ quietly throbs beneath the track, whilst that post feel reappears in the middle section to decorate a bruising, slow rhythm. As instrumental albums go, this is intriguing and, in parts, memorable. Fillers, however, are too easily exposed, and more is needed to make a lasting statement. Like a chilli lacking chilli powder, there’s not quite enough here to make you blow hard.

king dead band

6.5 /10

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PAUL QUINN