Rarified Mixtures and Sad Farewells

A few bits of news before I disappear for a week to watch England play India at Old Trafford – let’s hope the weather stays dry……anyhow…..

The ever prolific Melvins return with “Hold It In”, their first studio album as a quartet since 2010’s The Bride Screamed Murder. Joining Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover for the 12-song album are Butthole Surfers‘ guitar player Paul Leary and bass player JD Pinkus. The album was recorded in both Los Angeles and Austin earlier this year, and shall be released via Ipecac Recordings this October.

Melvins New Album

Bitchin Bajas‘ self-titled new album is according to the promo  “something delicate yet definite, gradually washing over your consciousness. Something pure and natural is happening-within the sound, within the song; in the album and in you. The shifts that come, make changes in your moods and your body temperature. On one hand, it is in many ways the ultimate album; and on the other, barely even an album at all. Where these ideas meet is immediately realised in the come-to-life video for the song, “Bueu””.

Using analog, modular video synthesizers, the video for “Bueu” was created by Nick Ciontea and is the first in a series of videos planned for each and every movement on the Bajas’ self-titled new album. The rest are set for a special, digital-only release of the album, available exclusively from Drag City. Tune in and drop out and watch 12 minutes of trippy visualisations.

Portland’s furious sci-fi punks, Big Black Cloud, are back from the lab with their latest dirty bomb, the cassette EP Lessons In Fuck You 2. Tripling down on their intoxicating rarefied mix of punk, noise, psych, surf, and rock, the agita trio takes a dark trip that drives and swerves like a B-movie soundtrack through threat-level guitar attacks, groovy alien eviscerations, and goddamn-us-all-to-hell preaching.

The band is from Portland, Oregon, and comprises guitarist/vocalist Nick Capello, bassist/vocalist Soo Koelbli, and drummer Travis Wainwright. Formed in 2005, They have released two 7-inches, a 10-inch, two 12-inch LPs (Dark Age and Black Friday), and the Shitty Vibrations cassette. They channels inspiration from sources as disparate as Brainbombs and the Beatles, Dolphy and Mingus, and Italian horror and creature features into unhinged rock ‘n’ roll that hits the high marks and innovation of noise-punk greats like Pere Ubu, Circus Lupus, Dead Kennedys, Cows, and Alice Donut.

Lessons In Fuck You 2 was borne of demo sessions recorded and mixed by Andrew Grosse of Caravan Recording (Drunk Dad, Tyrants, Tiny Knives) for the next  LP, the record capturing the band in its own anxiety-fueled element, a rollercoaster ride through a collapsing amusement park of overdriven shout-alongs and untethered instrumentals. The recordings, done on location with a mobile unit in the underground lair of the The Fancy Fox, gave the ever-prolific trio a chance to work through a host of new and old ideas. Whether due to the (dis)comfort of their own space, nothing-to-lose abandon, or present states-of-mind, Lessons In Fuck You 2 finds the band in top form: frantic, pissed-off, and sinister as they further explore their own dark territory with off-balance grooves, instrumental street-race sex jams, and wild freakouts, jagged guitar and cracking drums glued together with rubbery bass overlain with can-you-hear-me-now yells.

Big Black Cloud

Los Angeles sludgecore unit, Colombian Necktie  are about to release  their debut full-length, Twilight Upon Us. Named in honor of a song by Big Black but more commonly known as a method of murder where the victim’s throat is slashed and the tongue is pulled through the open wound, the album is  produced by Erol “Rollie” Ulug (Graf Orlock) at Bright Lights Studios, is the sonic equivalent of this violent and visceral act boasting thirteen maniacal tracks of dark, riff-heavy, emotionally stirring audio menace.

Since forming in the Los Angeles in the autumn of 2010, the band — vocalist Scott Werren, guitarists Juan Hernandez-Cruz and Ben Daniels, drummer Ben Brinckerhoff and bassist Alex DuPuis — has earned a reputation for their punishing riffs and maniacal DIY work ethic. Though clearly rooted in hardcore, tracks like the syncopated, sludgy death march of “Play The Game” and midtempo thrash of “Drought,” complete with squealing synths, add a welcome dose of variance to an album that’s uncompromising in its aggression. “We don’t feel like we fit in any one genre, we just kind of slam things against a wall and focus more on how it makes us feel than where it fits in,” Hernandez-Cruz admits. “Our influences range from Cave In and Snapcase to Orchid and Page 99 so we never try to limit ourselves when it comes to what we do stylistically.”

It hasn’t been a painless ride for the members of the band however and correspondingly, much of Twilight Upon Us is rooted in tragedy as evidenced in the ten-minute opus “Kevin’s Song.” “Kevin was a close friend of ours and former bandmate who actually brought the band together. When he passed away, something came over us and we started writing differently,” Hernandez-Cruz reflects. “The tragedy was really heavy because Kevin was just driving to a show in San Francisco and we knew it could have been any of us.” Instead of falling into depression, the band used their friend’s death as the catalyst to the manifestation of Twilight Upon Us.

“So much of the record is about loss and the struggle to try to cope in a city [Los Angeles] that isn’t always forgiving,” Hernandez-Cruz continues. “The silver lining is that this experience brought us closer as friends and musically in the sense that it made us all vulnerable and forced us to really listen to each other.”

Whether it’s the progressive bridge of “Weep For The Future” or ethereal intro to “Sleepwalking,” the bond the members developed over the past two years helped them dig deeper to incorporate elements that they never could have conceptualized in a perfect world. “This record has a lot of pain on it and a lot of unpredictable moments but it also feels good if that makes any sense,” Hernandez-Cruz summarizes, “and listening to this collection of songs, the listener gains the sense that not only are they not alone but that he or she can gain strength in the darkest of moments.”

Twilight Upon Us will be released independently on August 19th, 2014.

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And it is with great sadness I mark the passing of Positronik.  The band has been a key part of my life for the last four years or so and it is regretful that their excellent tunes didn’t get the audience they deserve. MzDee who left some time back continues to work with Blue Zen, and it is has been, I think, the failure to find a suitable replacement for Danielle that has led us to this situation. Monty continues to perform bass duties for Kit B, as well as his solo project The Junta (whose first gig will be at this years Salford Music Festival). Jeff Black is working again with Carl Lingard of Pearl Divers fame. All three of  the latter group of musicians can be heard on the Salford Streets Charity album.

 

 

 

 

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Salford Music Scene – 4th September 2012 – Salford Music Festival Preview #2

The second of four specials looking forward to this years Salford Music Festival

The festival runs from 20th-23rd September at over 20 venues across the city and features 160 live bands. This is the third year of the festival and it promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Listen to the show here

Featured this week are :

1 Johann Kloos Now You’re Dead Demo
2 Early Mojo Dirt Swimming in Circles
3 Kill Pretty Rob A Bank Dark Heart
4 Joe Thomas Original Sin Under A Salford Sky
5 Blue Zen Drifting Demo
6 Wonderland Trip Bring Back the Sunshine Single
7 Dirty Money Old England Demo
8 The Tuesday Club These Dog Bites Demo
9 The Tuesday Club Interview
10 The Tuesday Club Dolly Dynamite Single
11 Positronik Know My Place Demo
12 We The Dead Red and Black Demo Tape
13 The Cornelius Crane Duktown Demo
14 The Conspirators Jekyll and Hide Single
15 Ghost Outfit Waste Single
16 The Fall Monocard(Lunatic Mix) Single

Unfortunately the tickets for The Fall gigs are all sold out now

Dates and venues for the artists are as follows:

Blue Zen 21 September – The Star Inn
Dirty Money 22 September – The White Horse
Early Mojo 20 September – Lower Kersal Social Club
Joe Thomas 22 September  – Deli Lama
Johann Kloos 20 September – The Crescent
Kill Pretty 22 September – The Crescent
Positronik 22 September – The Hope
The Conspirators 22 September – New Oxford
The Cornelius Crane 22 September – The Blue Bell
The Fall 20 & 23 September – The Lowry/ 22 September Lower Kersal Social Club
The Tuesday Club 22 September – The Wellington
We The Dead 21 September – The Hope/ 22 September – The Lowry
Wonderland Trip 20 September – New Oxford

Salford Music Scene Radio Show – 8th May 2012

On this weeks show you can hear :

1 The Reveres Kick Your Maker Kick Your Maker EP
2 Kit B Just A Kid Demo Track
3 The Ascension Precipice Blood Upon The Rose
4 Dead Sea Apes Still Lupus
5 Glory for an Idol Headstrong Prepare for the Fight
6 Head 13 Broken Man Demo Track
7 Ninetails Blue Bottle Flu Single
8 Blue Zen Drifting Demo Track
9 Kin Chemistry Set Live Acoustic Radio
10 Lipstick Traces She’s Alone Demo Track
11 The Ligaments In the Fallout Bandcamp
12 White Vinyl Shifting Sands Bandcamp
13 WithiN When They Call Your Name Demo Track
14 Dead Sea Apes Medicine Lodge Lupus
15 The Fall Taking Off Night of the Humerons

Notes in respect of the above:

1. Sharp, intelligent and attractive alternative rock from the Manchester area – currently recording new material so here is something to remind you pending the new stuff.

2.  Another glorious tune from the pen of Mr Danny Cusick – we await their first live appearance with some anticipation.

3. They launch this new EP on Wednesday 9th May at the Kings Arms. Also the debut gig for new drummer Aaron. Check our their previous work “Last Fall” and “Idealistic Future”. Recorded by the ever popular Mr Archer at 6dB studios. Vidchip below done by that highly talented Kin person (more of which later)……listen to the words, almost Orwellian!

4/14. Catch them at The Castle on Oldham Street, Manchester (highly recommended intimate venue with excellent beer) on May 14th.  Get their material from Bandcamp. Probably the leading instrumental experimental psych/drone band in the conurbation at the moment. This album was released in March. Hypnotic stuff.

5. I was brought up on metal at an early age (Zepp, The Sabs, Purple) so it I have always retained a love for the better ends of the genre. This lot describe themselves as post-hardcore/metalcore and they immediately struck me as refreshing and far better than some of the material that I get sent. Formed in 2011 they are still new to the scene and have just recorded this debut EP titled ‘Prepare For The Fight’. Set to be released mid 2012 it includes the tracks ‘Regrets’ (feat. Sam Graves of With One Last Breath) and this is the first single ‘Headstrong’ (now streaming on the music page). You can catch them live on 4th June – The Flying Horse, Rochdale, 28th June – The Star and Garter with POLAR and in between those dates they are  playing with You Cried Wolf in York on the 23rd if you fancy a trip over to that fine city.

6. More metal – this time from the other end of the M62(W) via Southport , Wales and the States – again a refreshing sound with an absence of the usual cliches. They used to be called “Trollbangers” – interesting!  Anyway, an impressive debut album which you can acquire here. More information on their website.

7. New single which was sent to me by the knowledgeable and reudite Mr Lynham of Superstar Destroyer. More Merseysiders,  this time with a fascinating guitar driven  sound – preorder the single here….released on May 21st. This lot blew me away with their Ghost Ride The Whip EP last October which is still available as a free download  it says there that the CD is sold out but Nick Duke from Trojan Horse has a couple of copies if you ask him nicely.

8. Solo project from Positronik’s MzDee – glorious stuff here from Danielle really demonstrating what an excellent voice she possesses. You will be able to catch her and the rest of Positronik at the Salford Music Festival in October – and hopefully sooner than that.

9. The aforementioned Kin with the new iteration of the Kin Band from a Dutch Radio Session – glorious version of the tune from Dot Dot Dot/Flickering.

10.  Another track from this new band from sunny Salford.

11. Formed in 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Jake Maxwell (drummer of the Drowning Sorrows and Former Pink Hearse guitarist). Look out for their live debut later in 2012 and  you can get this debut release free from Bandcamp….not that we are into nepotism or anything at SCR but he just happens to be the son of Shaun Maxwell of Taser Puppets and Sinister Chuckles.

12. They will be on at the aforementioned gig with Dead Sea Apes at the Castle on May 14th – check out their available recordings on Bandcamp – a gloriously noisy lot…most enjoyable.

13. Manchester band – lots more info on their website – not sure what the capital N at the end of the word is about…..

15. The B-Side of the latest single recorded in Brighton at the end of last year.