This experimental Chicago band has been toying with the dark sonic corners for over twenty years. It’s been eleven of those years since we have had a new album from Yakuza, and it is good to dive back into their land of twisted shadows. The focus has shifted to a more deliberate brand of heavy, that places them not far from the sonic zip code of older Mastodon. The differences are fewer guitar pyrotechnics and a much darker trajectory than the Atlanta progsters. Bruce Lamont’s baritone moan carries a hint of anger as the opening track is framed with dissonance.
Extreme metal band Lord Mantis has shared their new video for their song ‘Santa Muerte’, off of their recent Universal Death Church album, released last fall via Profound Lore Records. Universal Death Church was produced by Sanford Parker, who provides synth work to the album. The album also features guest performances by Dylan O’Toole of Indian, Dallas Thomas of Pelican, and Bruce Lamont of Yakuza, and is completed with artwork and design by VENIEN. The video for ‘Santa Muerte’ was created by Chariot Of Black Moth and you should watch it right now!Continue reading →
Ghost Cult is once again honored to be part of Psycho Las Vegas, a goddam heavy metal casino/beach party extravaganza if there ever was one. The filth of Rock, Sludge, Doom, Trad, Hardcore, Prog, and Stoner Metal genres and the glitz of Vegas- baby, all rolled into one. Headlined by Original Misfits, Opeth, Electric Wizard, Corrosion of Conformity, Bad Religion, YOB, Lucifer, High on Fire, GsY!BE, Clutch, Carcass, Triumph of Death, Graveyard, ASG, Primitive Man, Deafheaven, Kadavar, Vio-Lence, Soft Kill, Andrew W.K., Tomb Mold, Power Trip, Full of Hell, and a ton more bands, it promises to be a rager. Sadly, Oranssi Pazuzu and Rotting Christ have dropped out. Every band is carefully curated and picked, so try to see them all if you can. If you can’t get set with the full lineup, and our “must not miss list” picks for each day!Continue reading →
Chicago post-metal band Bloodiest, which counts Bruce Lamont of Yakuza in its lineup are streaming their entire self-titled new album, ahead of their release this Friday from Relapse Records. The album was produced by Sanford Parker (Corrections House, Minsk). You can hear the stream at this link or below:
The band will embark on a short tour this March with Electric Hawk and Sweet Cobra.
Mar 03: UFO Factory – Detroit, MI Mar 04: The Hard Luck -Toronto, ON Mar 05: Gorham Brothers Music – Syracuse, NY Mar 06: Bar Le Ritz – Montreal, QC Mar 07: St. Vitus – Brooklyn, NY Mar 08: Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA Mar 11: Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH Mar 12: Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
Bruce Lamont – Vocals Cayce Key – Drums Tony Lazzara – Guitar Eric Chaleff – Guitar Colin Dekuiper – Bass Nandini Khaund – Piano/Synth
Two of the leading lights of underground metal, Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont have teamed up for a tour where they two continue to mine the fertile ground they have laid together in their band Corrections House, their solo material in several guises, and their work in crucial bands such as Neurosis and Yakuza respectively. Performing both separately and together, these collaborators meld their minds and muses together to make some truly challenging and rewarding songs. On this night they played selections from their own albums, a Corrections House song and a cover (‘Cortez the Killer’ by Neil Young. Joined by openers Jim Healy and Keith Bennett (Panzerbastard), the night of music was anything but mellow, despite the acoustic guitars. Hillarie Jason captured the action at The Middle East Nite Club for Ghost Cult.
Know How To Carry A Whip is Corrections House‘s second album following on from 2013’s unique Last City Zero (both Neurot). Colder, Harder, Bleaker than before, Know How To Carry A Whip takes that what they did before and refines it.
A potent mix of clashing styles hung together with a framework of pounding industrial beats and loops, punctuated with mechanical clanking courtesy of Sanford Parker, leave the listener on the back foot as the rhythm travels down the off-beaten track. This mechanical cacophony brings to mind the factory sounds of the industrial English midlands which famously inspired Black Sabbath and continued with bands like Godflesh of which this shares a sense of aesthetics.
Layers are hammered together disjointedly with crushing and oppressive riffs courtesy of Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), which feels like you could imagine Dälek covering Neurosis’Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) would sound like, whilst also having a similar feel to DHG in the way the styles are shoved together.
Added to this potent mix, Mikey IX Williams (Eyehategod) puts in one of his finest performances to date with his distinctive lyrics and poetry that’s both persuasive and abrasive, a dystopian flow of decadent imagery and sharp-witted wordplay as evidenced on song titles such as ‘Crossing My One Good Finger’ and ‘I Was Never Any Good At Meth’ delivered with fervour of a manic street preacher who’s doing it for his own amusement rather than to save anyone in particular.
This is most notable on the tracks ‘Superglued Tooth’ and ‘Hopeless Moronic’ which contains some Mikey’s more memorable lines, delivered with cold calculated fury and working in tandem with Scott Kelly‘s intoned incantations and reverberating roars: layer upon oppressive layer of jarring discordance and a cold machine-like calculation make this album a step up from their first album.
‘When Push Comes to Shank’ shows more than a smidgen of influence from Joy Division, but with even more despair: love won’t tear you apart it’ll leave you in an alley missing a kidney. The album finishes on the lengthy ‘Burn The Witness’ a bleak meditation on the industrial world grinding to a halt and tearing itself apart with a fury and efficiency, machines drown in a black sludge of despair.
Know How To Carry A Whip sounds like a soundtrack to the end of the world as we know it, and it sounds more relevant with each and every listen.
Helen Moneywill be supporting Agalloch on their forthcoming North American tour in June. She is supporting her current release Arriving Angels, out via Profound Lore, which was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio and features drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis, Sleep). Cellist/composer Alison Chesley, a.k.a. Helen Money, merges her classical training with a lifelong affinity for punk rock and a taste for heavy metal. In addition to her own material Chesley has also performed and/or directed string arrangements for artists like Anthrax (Worship Music), Russian Circles (Geneva), Broken Social Scene (Forgiveness Rock Record) and Yakuza.
Helen Money Tour Itinerary (all dates may be subject to change): Jun 06: Midtown Barfly – Sacramento, CA Jun 07: Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA Jun 08: SLO Brew – San Luis Obispo, CA Jun 09: Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA Jun 10: Casbah – San Diego, CA Jun 11: The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ Jun 12: Hotel Congress – Tucson, AZ Jun 13: Sister – Albuquerque, NM Jun 14: Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO Jun 15: Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT Jun 16: Neurolux – Boise, ID Jun 17: Crocodile – Seattle, WA Jun 18: Venue – Vancouver, BC Jun 19: Victoria Event Center – Victoria, BC Jun 20: Star Theater – Portland, OR
Following two very special shows as part of this week’s Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, the musically combustive force known as Corrections House is taking over Birthdays on April 12th in London. The post-metal super-group for the ages (and recently seen on the cover of Ghost Cult #14) features Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest), Sanford Parker (Minsk, Twilight), and they are joined by their minister of propaganda, Seward Fairbury too.
Out on the road supporting their excellent 2013 release Last City Zero (Neurot Recordings), the collective will showcase their individual talents with brief solo performances, collaborating in groups while finally joining up for what they describe as their “end times apocalyptic jam”. The London show is an exclusive following two exclusive Roadburn sets, beginning tonight in Tilburg. One set will be the traditional CH set followed by a more independent “anything goes” type of one off show highlighting more personal work from the members of the band.
Bruce Lamont told Ghost Cult Senior Editor Rei Nishimoto in a recent interview how the group approached the creative process that birthed Last City Zero:
“It’s still a collaborative effort. It was still all of us working with each other. In various situations, we recorded in multiple studios. Sometimes at the same time and sometimes not, but we were able to bring it together. Sanford is not only a member of the band but he’s also the main engineer of the band. He was there or bringing things together and making it cohesive. The base of all the writing was already there, but he pulled it all together. Having the engineer be one of the creative entities makes things a lot easier.”
If you have already seen them live, the performances are more akin to a transformational live art installation, than a mere show from an ordinary band. If you miss your chance to see them on tour, you have my sympathies.
Supporting the band in London will be Consumer Electronics and Necro Deathmort. You can buy tickets here.
Super-groups have become a dime a dozen aspect in the music world, where players from well recognized bands team up to create music in a variety of ways that allegedly differ from their point of origin. Corrections House is that rare project where four personalities brought together spoken word pieces and experimental rock and metal into an experience beyond what many could truly comprehend.
Corrections House features Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod vocalist), Scott Kelly (Neurosis guitarist), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza saxophonist) and Sanford Parker (Minsk bassist/noted producer who handles keyboards and extra percussion). Their live set consists of their entire Last City Zero CD, along with “Hoax The System”, which closed the set.
The foursome had an interesting set up, as Williams’ lyrics came from his book Cancer As A Social Activity, as he recited lines from it in between songs. The show operated as part experimental metal show and part spoken word set, which blended well and his words were quite powerful yet grim. Lamont and Kelly both traded vocal lines at times with Williams, adding to their atmospheric vibe to their sound. Plus Parker playing the multi-instrumentalist role switching from keyboards to percussion gave them a cold industrial-esque vibe on top of their already darker overtone.
Despite only having a limited amount of material, Corrections House still managed to resurrect a powerful live show and left quite an impression. The four members bring a lot to their overall sound and made it quite the interesting experience. Hopefully this won’t be the end and future material is in the works, either musically or through future writings by Williams or any of the other members. This is something fans of dark, experimental music should not miss as it is unknown how often they will be bringing Corrections House onto the live circuit.
Corrections House is a super group of sorts, bringing together five creative minds into project that evolved in front of the public’s eyes and ears. Featuring Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Mike Williams (Eyehategod) and Sanford Parker (Minsk), they quickly evolved their experimental sound into this powerhouse project and took the world by storm.
Lamont was vague about how the band moniker (as well as many other specific points about the band’s overall message and vision), due to their Minister of Propaganda, Seward Fairbury, being missing in action at the time of the interview. Lamont said Fairbury is the spokesperson of the band but could comment further on his involvement.
As for as what is known about Corrections House, they made a huge splash into the world with a brief North American tour in 2013 and an underground buzz grew.
“I think close to a year,” explained Lamont, about how quickly Corrections House came together. “It evolved into a band out of some previous collaborative efforts. Scott Kelly and myself collaborated. We’ve done some shows together as well – his solo and my solo stuff. Mike (Williams) and I have also collaborated a number of times, some noise and experimental works. We discussed to doing a tour and doing a collaborative effort at the end. Sanford (Parker) got mix as well and said why don’t we write some songs and start a band. So we did and went on the road for three weeks in January and February of 2013 with three songs recorded. We did some solo sets which all merged into one thing. Then the collaborative works at the end – that was it. Then it blossomed from there.
As of interview time, Corrections House has done one North American tour of twenty or so dates and a couple of one off shows in Chicago prior to their debut European tour.
“We did one three week tour. It was twenty plus shows,” said Lamont. “We are doing a European run when our record comes out. It’s twenty shows when we’re there. Then we have a West Coast run in January, and then we’re going back to Europe in January. We definitely have enough shows under our belts – definitely comfortable in the live setting.
He explained how they make the set list work with a minimal number of songs. “We were interweaving ourselves in and out of each other’s stuff. The set would begin with Sanford and Scott (Kelly), and then I would come in, and then Mike would do something. Then we would go in and out of stuff, which is the basis of a lot of the recordings of the record.
They released their debut full length Last City Zero (Sargent House), amidst a strong buzz in the underground music scene, where fans as well as the press were raving with anticipation over the release. Despite the hype, Lamont claims this never influenced a second of Corrections House and their decisions on how to operate this project.
“No. I could speak for all of us and none of us think like that. It was something we wanted to do. We love each other and working together is satisfaction enough. As far as there being reaction to it at all, obviously it’s nice that there’s positive reaction but there was never a thought about it.”
The lyrics behind Last City Zero works like poetry in motion, and the members of Corrections House creating a piece of musical works that went beyond anyone’s expectations. Inspired by writings taken from his book, it took on a life of its own and created a work of art.
“Like it says in the liner notes of the recording, it said it was either taken from or inspired by Mike’s book, Cancer As a Social Activity, a few years back and went from there,”
“Things were written with that in mind. Everybody had their hands in that kind of stuff. Majority of it is Mike. He’s an amazing lyricist. His spoken word stuff – you get a sense of it in couple of the songs. He did “Last City Zero”, which is the second to last piece which he does a spoken word thing. When we play live, we would change it up and do different pieces every night. His choice of words is excellent. Normally I’m not so critical of it because it’s been done so often and poorly. I could say every night the three of us watching him is captivating by what he’s saying and the way he articulates his words. It wasn’t just us who felt this way. The crowd was pin drop quiet. They were hanging on every word. The guy’s the real deal. It’s amazing what he could come up with.”
Vocals were also a collaborative effort. Even though Williams is the main voice in Corrections House, Kelly and Lamont also take part in the vocal mix- “We all sing. Mike sings the majority of the vocals. The three of us – me, Mike and Scott – Sanford does some backing stuff, but Mike sings not all of it but a good amount. It’s like the song ‘Serve Or Survive’, the first song on the record – Scott starts, then me and Mike. Then we go back and forth.”
Musically, each member has its unique styles from their individual bands but found a medium into creating Corrections House’s dark, experimental sound.
“It’s still a collaborative effort. It was still all of us working with each other. In various situations, we recorded in multiple studios. Sometimes at the same time and sometimes not, but we were able to bring it together. Sanford is not only a member of the band but he’s also the main engineer of the band. He was there or bringing things together and making it cohesive. The base of all the writing was already there, but he pulled it all together. Having the engineer one of the creative entities makes things a lot easier.”
Lamont’s saxophone sounds do shine through on the record and once again his role shines through in Corrections House. He speaks about his background and his writing style:
“I trained in my youth. Then I gave up for a while, and then I picked it back up 15 or 16 years ago. I had some formal training, like a one on one basis. But I do have that training and can read music, but I didn’t intend on becoming a jazz player. I do have interest in other music besides that – heavier stuff, experimental music, noise and soundscape. I started tinkering with the horn and electronic by manipulating sound and looping pedals. I’m into that kind of stuff. It’s a lifelong challenge trying to do something different or taking a different approach or not settling and getting comfortable with one idea or style. I try to take in as much as possible. I listen to a ton of different styles of music, internalize all of that and somehow seep into the creative juices – keeping the mind open to new possibilities.”
Corrections House is embarking on their debut European tour in December. Fans there should be expecting quite the experience, and will be hearing much of Last City Zero live. Lamont explained:
“We’re going to play the majority of the record. We may have some open-endedness, more like the first tour we did. We always like to keep the audience and ourselves on our toes. We may have some improvisational moments. We’ll see where it takes us. Mostly stuff off the record and a song off our last seven inch – that’s basically what you can expect.”