OHIO DOOMED AND STONED FEST

It’s been quiet around here lately because work has been a beast and I haven’t had a lot of time for listening to records. Don’t cry for me, Argentina, I’ll get back on the horse soon enough. Instead of a long-overdue review for today, I wanted to bring up this great, two-day festival we’ve been invited to play this summer.

The folks over at the Doomed & Stoned blog have been steadily expanding their reach and influence and this July will see the first officially sanctioned event here in Ohio. The brainchild of Black Spirit Crown’s Dan Simone (also a D&S contributor) and all around rocker and bass-playing professional Bill Govan is being held Saturday July 21st and Sunday July 22nd at the Buzzbin Art & Music Shop in downtown Canton, OH. The event is being presented by Akron’s own EARTHQUAKER DEVICES, so you can expect to see and hear plenty of pedals to try and buy between getting your ass handed to you by rock bands.

Across these two days in July, twenty-four block-rocking bands will take to the stage and perform their concussion-inducing riffs. Actually – it’ll be  two stages: one outdoor, tented stage, and the normal venue stage within Buzzbin. Hot!

Check out the finalized line-up and a copy of the poster (by Joel Chastain from Matter of Planets) below!

July 21 – Day 1

Monastery – Stoner/Doom Metal from Cleveland. It’s my first time seeing these guys and I’m curious to see what they’re capable of. The kids are the future, man.
DoomChrist – You know what’s hot right now? Harsh noise. You know, people with tables full of pedals and tone generators and noise makers and all that crap. Well, DoomChrist is just that, a doom influenced noise duo sure to harsh your mellow and smother your hopes and dreams. Fun!
Cult of Sorrow – Doom Metal from Cincinnati. I don’t know anything about these guys, but the name is cool. Come get sad, together!
DeathCrawl – Sludge from Cleveland. We might play some new songs if I can convince the other guys any of them are ready enough to be tested live.
Black Spirit Crown – Heavy Doom Metal from Cleveland. Frontman Dan Simone is responsible for this party, so you better make sure you’re in attendance in time to check out his band. As is the sad trend here, this will be my first time seeing them.
Matter of Planets – Sci-Fi Post Metal from Columbus. We’ve played with these dudes a couple of times now and it’s always a fun set of intricate tunes that pack plenty of punch.
Night Goat – Noise Rock from Canton. The sole “home town” band on the bill, this band is dishing out all that AmRep style nastiness you desire.
Enhailer – Sludge/Stoner/Doom from Akron. We’ve played a ton with Enhailer. They’re in an almost constant state of evolution, but their current line-up is their most fierce yet and not to be missed.
Maharaja – Sludge from Dayton. Whoops, this will be my first time seeing this band. Can’t wait!
Bridesmaid – Instrumental Hard Rock (Awesomeness) from Columbus. I’ve said it many times before, but Bridesmaid is one of my all time favorite bands. They are playing SATURDAY (not Sunday like the initial poster stated). They will rule, and I will drool.
Pale Grey Lore – Heavy Psychedelic Doom Rock from Columbus. These guys are hitting it pretty hard and heavy as of late, but of course this will be my first time seeing them. Pumped.
Weed Demon – Doom/Stoner/Sludge from Columbus. I don’t know these guys, but I have a feeling that they really love marijuana. Whether you do or not, I bet their riffs are killer.
Horseburner – Sludge/Stoner Metal/Rock  from Parkersburg, West Virginia. Horseburner rules. They’re the real deal, stoner-metal band you’ve always wanted to hear. The power of early Metallica with the swagger of a drunken master.
Howling Giant – Rock from Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t know Howling Giant, but they’re driving all the way up from Nashville so you better stick around and check them out. I know I will!

July 22 – Day 2

Reflex Machine – Noise Sludge from Columbus. I love noise rock and I love sludge, so there’s a good chance I might love this band. How about you?
Urns – Doom Metal/Sludge from Pittsburgh. I don’t know anything about Urns and this will be my first time seeing them. Neat.
Sweaty Mammoth – Sludge Metal/Hard Rock from Akron. These guys are also constantly working and putting the time in. I can’t wait to see them with Mike Shea on second guitar for the first time.
supercorrupter – Hard Rock/Stoner Punk/Sludge Rock from Cuyahoga Falls. We’re gonna play some new stuff and maybe dig way back in the catalog and let rip a few of the nastier Gingerdead Men songs.
Blackwater – Sludge/Stoner/Doom from Cleveland. Once again, I’m dreadfully unaware of this band.
goosed – Heavy Metal from Akron/Randolph. They use only the best blanks for their shirts and their logo is ace. Be the envy of your entire neighborhood by buying a goosed shirt at this event. Also, be ready to bang your head cause these dudes got riffs on top of riffs and they don’t give any effs.
Contra – Instrumental Stoner/Doom Riff Rock from Cleveland. We’ve shared a ton of bills with Contra and they never fail to deliver. They’ve got memorable riffs, nasty tones, and straight-up kick out the jams.
Pillärs – Stoner Punk/Doom/Sludge/DBeat from Cleveland. I’ve said it before, but it bares repeating, Pillärs is one of the best bands coming out of the region at the moment. If you haven’t seen them, this is a heck of a place to catch them for the first time.
Close The Hatch – Post Metal from Dayton. I’m not familiar with this band either, but I can’t wait to see what they’re all about.
Silent Monolith – Stoner Rock/Doom Rock from Nashville, Tennessee. Day two sees another headliner from Nashville. Look, I think maybe this “music city” thing might be getting to Nashville’s head. All jokes aside, I’m new to this band as well and I’m excited to hear them up close and personal.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or vending at the event, send an email for more information to ohiodoomedandstoned@gmail.com. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with most (if not all the bands) by downloading and voraciously consuming the Doomed & Stoned in Ohio compilation from Bandcamp.

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OHIO DOOMED AND STONED FEST

ALBUM REVIEW: TONGUE PARTY – LOOKING FOR A PAINFUL DEATH

last August I reviewed Tongue Party’s “Drugs, Probably EP.” It was a high-speed, distort-everything experience and I was into it. Last month, these Minneapolis rockers released an LP on Learning Curve Records, and I’ve just now had the time to sit with it for the three spins Bandcamp allows.

First and foremost, Looking For A Painful Death sounds light years ahead of its predecessor. The bass and guitars have more separation and the drum kit sounds thick. The vocals are dirty, but still clean enough to understand (for the most part). In an odd way, it reminds me a lot of Ministry’s Psalm 69.

For the most part, this is a quick listen, with most tracks well under three minutes long. The band blasts out one gnarly riff after another and it’s a solid listen. Check it out! – Jason

Clocktower – The record opens with a big dumb riff that gives way to an unexpected surf-like verse. The start/stop nature of the tune inspires both head banging and a bad case of stink face. The dissonant guitar crescendo towards the end is rad. This is dang catchy. Thumbs up.

Service Please – The downtuned guitars sound so dang raunchy and this opening riff is immediately catchy! I love it! The Helmet-esque riff bounces along nicely, and the weird feedback delay accents are a nice touch. The chorus stands off nicely and the song moves along with ease. The chaotic dissolution of the song in the middle is cool as well (everyone solo/fall apart!). The big dumb riff in this track is nice and sludgey, reminding me somewhat of early Torche as well. Good stuff!

Is It Really That Good – The bass opens this track with a simple, massively head-bangable riff. The Daisy Berkowitz sounding guitar lead is neat and I find my heel stomping at a mile a minute. This is a neck wrecker of a track. The title of the track makes for a nice refrain. Thumbs way up!

Hot Garbage – This track starts with a very familiar vibe. Look Tongue Party is not super dimensional, they do one trick but they do it well. I’m just rolling with it. This is another fun, fast body-rocking kind of tune. The guitars once again sound excellent, adding tons of interest to this tune as it runs you down. After how awesome the prior track was, this one feels a bit underwhelming, but it’s not bad by any stretch.

Sweaty Dollar – The headbanging bus continues and I’m all aboard. The vocal on this track is catchy with a bit of a early hip hop cadence to it, and I love the half-time stall out near a minute and half in. Fist in the air and a grimace plastered across my face. The stuttered guitar lick near the end is awesome.

This Exists – The band double down on their formula and does it with gusto during the intro of this track. The verse comes in at about fifty seconds with a half-time plod that suits the band well. The track has plenty of bounce and my neck’s getting sore. Rocker.

Shit Dead – Dang! A barn-burner. This track hits the ground at 1000mph. It’s a herky-jerky awkward rocker that keeps my foot stomping and my fist pounding. The guitar parts continue to shine while the bass and drums hold it all down. Thumbs way up.

I Can Shit Anywhere – This track starts with an almost dramatic, triumphant vibe which is hilarious given the title. The busy drums relentlessly propel the track forward and the nasty riff is the stuff of the stankiest face imaginable. Thumbs way up! This is super catchy and fun and kicks ass.

Make A Friend Earn A Debt – The longest track on the album, this rocker tips the scales at over 5 minutes (which is epic for these dudes). The verses are punctuated by another relentless, ugly blast of punk rock. I’m furiously kicking the ground and banging my head in obedience to this groove. About 2 minutes in, the band suddenly shifts gear into a weird garage rock meets stoner blues kind of sound. I can’t stop body rocking! Just when I start thinking that maybe it’s overstaying its welcome, they wisely launch the track into the stratosphere with swelling guitars that sound like rockets in flight or sirens or both. What do I know? It’s cool.

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ALBUM REVIEW: TONGUE PARTY – LOOKING FOR A PAINFUL DEATH

NORTHEAST OHIO GEAR SWAP & RESCUE SALE AT MAHALL’S!

Sorry for the lack of reviews lately, but I’ve been buried at work and can’t give new albums the attention they deserve. It’s killing me not listening to anything new, but eventually things will get back to normal!

Today I wanted to take a moment to promote a neat thing that is happening this Saturday, June 9 2018, at Mahall’s in Lakewood. Mahall’s is a bowling alley that is also a music venue and it’s cool.

 

On June 9, from 11AM to 4PM, Mahall’s will be hosting a musical equipment flea market of sorts. This is the second event organized at Mahall’s by the Facebook Group, Northeast Ohio Gear Swap & Rescue. This group has been around for a number of years and is superior in many ways to Craigslist (in my opinion), particularly with the very public “member feedback” thread that can save people from dealing with scumbags. Admission to the event is any non-perishable food item for people or pets, and folks are welcome to walk in carrying anything they want to trade or sell. For those people with too much to carry around, a limited number of “vendor table” spaces is available for sale for $25. If you are interested in a table, shoot an email over to Dylan at dgloveslive@yahoo.com.

I’m going to be there trying to sell some extra bits and pieces of the DeathCrawl/supercorrupter musical arsenal. As of right now, I’m planning on bringing the following stuff. Of course, this list is subject to change, and I’ll likely have more as I dig through  my basement this week.

  • 2002 Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling Bass with HSC – white on white, made in the USA. This is a great bass that deserves to be played. The case is a ding-dang work of art with the stickers I lovingly applied. I’ll miss the stickers more than anything.
  • Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass – Black on black on black, setup for Drop A bass destruction, made in Japan. No case.
  • Verellen Meatsmoke Dual Channel Bass Preamplifier pedal
  • Electro Harmonix Enigma Q Balls effect pedal
  • Boss Bass Limiter/Enhancer LMB-3 effect pedal
  • DOD 250 Preamp/Overdrive effect pedal
  • Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
  • SaturnWorks Buffered Splitter
  • 1989 Fender MIJ Jazz Bass pickups
  • Anvil rolling road case – thing is massive. could be good for merch or other giant bulky things.
  • Space pending, I might bring up some old metal/hardcore tshirts that I’ve outgrown thanks to too much doughnuts and pizza.
  • Speak And Spell – come on all you circuit benders, this thing is pristine and ready for you to make electronic warfare.

I’ll be vending alongside my friend Dave whom is also a hoarder and will have a ton of stuff to sell (if he can come to terms with selling it). I hope to see you Saturday!

NORTHEAST OHIO GEAR SWAP & RESCUE SALE AT MAHALL’S!

SHOW REVIEW: HELMET / PRONG

Back in 1993 or so, my brother introduced me to Helmet by way of a bootleg cassette of tracks from Meantime and Strap It On. I liked it a lot – the band was heavy and kind of weird to 8th or 9th grade me with the abrupt, staccato riffs and sing/shout/atonal vocals. When I first started buying CDs for myself, Meantime was among the first I picked up, and I can still remember ordering Betty from BMG or Columbia House (whichever one of those old 10 CDs for a $1 promotions).

By the time I started working at VRock in 1996, I was a pretty big fan of the band, yet I had never seen them live. As the PR buzz started to build for the release of Aftertaste (I still have a weird unbranded promo copy on cassette), I was excited by the prospect of finally seeing the band. They came through Akron with Korn, but I missed it. Then, they came through Cleveland for a free WMMS lunch-time set at the Odeon, which I also missed. It wasn’t long afterwards that the band broke up and so went my chances of seeing Helmet. Eventually, main man Page Hamilton resurrected the band name (probably at the behest of record label attorneys) with the release of Size Matters in 2004 (featuring songs he’d mainly written under the Gandhi moniker). I can recall driving down to the Grog Shop to see the reformed band (featuring John Tempesta, Frank Bello, and Chris Traynor alongside Hamilton), only to discover it was sold out and I was left in the lurch once again. 14 years later, I can finally check Helmet off the list of bands I love but haven’t seen live.

Taking a nostalgic approach to a spring tour, the band hit the road with Prong. I liked Prong as a teenager, particularly Prove You Wrong, Cleansing, and Rude Awakening (thanks to my time at VRock), and I’m fairly sure I saw them touring the release of Rude Awakening back in the day. In the ensuing years, I hadn’t given much thought to the band – rarely (if ever) playing any of their records and generally forgetting about them in a sense. When I walked into the Beachland Ballroom on Sunday night, Prong was already mid-set and I was immediately right back in the late 90s. The band sounded like Prong, but also didn’t. It’s hard to explain, but the grooves didn’t feel like I remembered them. I caught only the tail end of their set, which favored heavily on Cleansing with Broken Peace, Whose Fist Is This Anyway?, and of course, Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck (a fan favorite and probably their perpetual set closer). The crowd was rowdy, something I’m out of touch with since I haven’t attended a “big name” metal show in many years where people still “mosh.” At one point, Prong’s bass player derided the lackluster circle pit by asking “are you a bunch of old men?” too which the obvious answer was a resounding yes! Almost everyone there was approaching 40 or older, just like him. All in all, it was alright. I wasn’t inspired to dig back into the Prong back catalog, but that’s life.

The set switch-over to Helmet took longer than I felt it should have, but I was able to secure a spot right up front. The band came out and went right to it with no fan-fare. Hamilton sounded pretty good, and the hired guns he had backing him up did a fine job. I was surprised at the variety of the material. They touched on material from Strap It On, Meantime, Betty, Aftertaste, and their latest Dead To The World. I’m admittedly not the most familiar with anything past Monochrome, so I attributed anything I didn’t immediately recognize as a song off their latest. I could be wrong. Whoops. The whole band looked to be having fun, and I loved the vocal harmonies provided by both the drummer and bass player. Speaking of the bass player, while his tone was a little meh, he locked into his grooves AND he was sporting an awesome NOSTROMO crew hat (I’ve gotta get one of those!). Hamilton was pleasant and accommodating to the crowd, happily clinking beer bottles in salute with those pressed against the stage. Through all of it, only Vaccination sounded bad to my ears, and that was entirely due to the vocal which seemed rough. Otherwise, there wasn’t much more I could have asked for besides John Stanier and Henry Bogdan to be on stage (and that isn’t going to happen). The crowd on the other hand quickly devolved into drunken, belligerent a-holes throughout the set. Again, I’m way out of touch with it, but it’s easily been 12 years since I’ve had to deal with sweaty, shirtless, bald dudes throwing haymakers at anyone/everyone, and as a 39 year old guy, I was over it immediately. I wound up retreating to the back of the club for the last two or three songs because someone started throwing beer all around. Getting hit is one thing, but getting beers splashed all over me is another and I was done.

So, there you have it! I got in a weird time-machine of sorts and saw Helmet and Prong in Cleveland in 2018. It was fun.

SHOW REVIEW: HELMET / PRONG

THE LONELY WORLD OF THE DUDLEY CORPORATION

Today I found myself thinking of an album that I listened to countless times after I graduated from college; The Lonely World of The Dudley Corporation by The Dudley Corporation. I found this CD in a cut out bin back in 2001 or 2002 (it came out in 2001), and I was immediately sucked in. I never listened to anything else the band ever did (couldn’t find anything), but I adored this record.

Today I discovered it was remastered back in 2011 and that it was available on Bandcamp (linked above).  Clicking play took me right back to that immediate post-millennium time in my life. I didn’t have a great job back then, nor much of a social life for that matter. I listened to music a lot. At the time, this record took me off guard a bit because it sounded like a folk-rock/pop act making a record after binging on some post hardcore and punk rock. Looking back on it now, it isn’t nearly as jarring as young me thought it to be. It’s still a fantastic collection of songs with a very unique tonal approach, packed with plenty of emotion and intensity.

The songs just plain ache – it’s one of the most honest sounding records I’ve ever loved. The remaster fixes the weird looseness in the bass that I had on the original CD (a sound that I actually thought worked really well), and overall sounds fantastic. The drums are tight and crisp and sound like they’re in the room with you. The guitars are just a tad overdriven, riding the fine jangly/raucous line to perfection. The vocals fit the sound of the band perfectly, and the subtle accent adds a lot of character. The record is filled out with other sounds as well, like the killer cello on Quick. Dang. This is a great record.

I love almost every song, but if you’re looking for a good place to start, it’s hard to top A Song Against the City. It’s packed with energy and pounds along relentlessly. It’s also catchy as all get out.

So yeah… if you haven’t listened previously, get on this ASAP. It’s pop rock how pop rock should be. Fans of stuff like Far, Cursive, Belle & Sebastian, and the like would probably dig it, but I think even folks into harder stuff would find something to enjoy on this record if they’d give it a chance.

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THE LONELY WORLD OF THE DUDLEY CORPORATION

ALBUM REVIEW: THE DECEMBERISTS – I’LL BE YOUR GIRL

When I first met my wife back in 2008, she introduced me to a number of bands I previously never would have sought out or listened to. This included bands like Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Broken Social Scene, Built To Spill, and The Decemberists. I was immediately drawn to the latter’s “Her Majesty…The Decemberists” for its throwback tones and lyrical prowess. The band definitely had created a neat sound for themselves.

We’ve kept up with the band over the years, and while I wasn’t blown away by the last two LPs (affording them only passive listens thus far), I loved the Hazards of Love (a fantastic concept album featuring some haunting lyrics and brutality that many metal bands cannot match). Earlier his year, my wife traveled out to Arizona to catch the band live for the first time at a big festival. They had just released a new album, so I picked it up for her to study before the gig. The CD was delivered too late to satisfy that need, but that’s life.

First, the record sounds crystal clean and punchy. It also often sounds very modern (check out these synthesizers why don’t ya?) at times. Now, there are still a number of tracks that feel more like the Decemberists I know, but overall, the band seems to be shifting centuries a bit on this album. I like it. The vocals are always the focus of a band like this, and that’s certainly the case here, but the mix is really solid overall. There’s some acoustic guitar and electrified bombast to accompany the vocals while the bass and drums hold it all together. Keys (organ sounds, synth sounds, etc.) add a ton of detail throughout. The record really does pack a dense wall of sound, especially with regards to backing vocals. The songs themselves have a generally depressed theme to them, and hey, that’s right up my alley!

A lot of folks only gripe with this band is that they seem like hoity-toity people playing pretentious music for hipsters, but I don’t care about all that. I think there are some really cool songs on this album and it’s overall an enjoyable listen. It’s not the band’s best work, but I found it much more inviting than The King Is Dead. Check it out! – Jason

Once In My Life – “Oh for just once in my life, could something go right?” is a decidedly angsty teenager way for a bunch of middle-aged indie rockers to open a record, but you know what?, it’s cool. There’s a synth riff in this track that reminds me a ton of the Cure, and the slick sheen of the recording also feels unlike the Decemberists I know. The track has a modern, electrified feel to it that betrays some of the bands more nostalgic tones of the past. That said, it’s a catchy track and a decent listen.

Cutting Stone – The almost mechanical drums and the synths on this track make it sounds a bit like a Maserati tune. The acoustic guitars and pulsing bass betray that weird futuristic/retro vibe, and the vocal seals the deal. This is a solid track that tells a great story. Dig it.

Severed – This track is the lead single from the record and the pulsing synthesizer and the bass line gives it a very DEVO sound in my ears. It’s ridiculously catchy. This is a really fun track and I’m into it. I find myself nodding along throughout, and when the guitars make themselves known, I upgrade to full head bang. Thumbs way up.

Starwatcher – The drums in this track take on a battle-field like cadence, snapping along while mournful melodies play out above. This track has a hypnotic pulse to it as a result, pulling me helplessly along throughout. Good stuff.

Tripping Along – On first listen, I didn’t care for this song at all. With each additional spin, however, I’m coming around. One of this band’s strongest qualities is in the lyric/phrasing. Colin Meloy does a great job of using unexpected words in his songs (see hoity-toity comment above) and has a creative way to fit syllables to a melody and this album (and track) is no exception. I wind up enjoying this tune. It’s oddly catchy

Your Ghost – After the brooding dirge of Tripping Along, the up-tempo urgency of this track was a nice surprise. The track itself has a 60s psychedelic meets country-western feel, especially with the hard-panned vocal multi-tracking, shuffling rhythm, and the keyboard/guitar solo. I’m really liking this track. The song is just plain fun. Thumbs way up.

Everything Is Awful – The way this track begins is kind of obnoxious, but when the backing vocals, bass guitar, and drums come in, it all turns around and I find myself loving it. From here, the track has a fantastic pop sensibility to it (love that piano accompaniment) that is made all the more bizarre by the nature of the lyrics. “Everything is awful!” The raucous guitar accents are a great touch. Dang, this is just a slick piece of bummer rock disguised as a bubblegum. Love it.

Sucker’s Prayer – The band takes another turn, this time into a somewhat 70s country-rock sound with this track. It’s a fun story about being a miserable sad-sack. I can relate! The song is very accessible sounding, and the country sheen could very well earn the band a ton of fair-weather fans, until they listen to the message of the tune and drop it like a bad habit. I like tracks that trick you like that… The song might be a little too long for its own good, but all in all, I enjoyed it. Cool tune.

We All Die Young – The drum beat on this rips off Gary Glitter (similar to how The Black Keys did the same with Gold On The Ceiling). The fuzzy, squawking guitar accents give it a bit of a garage rock vibe. It’s a head-bobber for sure; a simple roots-rocker with a traditional 12 bar blues structure. It’s a fun tune in the same way that Your Ghost was fun – a tried and true rock and roll tune. The children’s chorus chanting “we all die young” is a nice addition, as is the saxophone solo (told you this was a rock and roller). There’s even some subtle cowbell buried in the mix at times. I like it.

Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes – The first half (Rusalka, Rusalka) revisits a slow, brooding sound with a heavily reverberating piano accompanying Meloy through the first minute-plus, until the drums and a synth melody join in. The snail’s pace and insistent beat demand head bobbing, and the lyrics of a man drowning in the same waters as his love continue the gloriously miserable arc of this album. The transition into The Wild Rushes is slick and raised the hairs on my arm. The song itself sounds like an outtake from the Hazards of Love due mostly to the way the guitar is strummed, but it’s cool nonetheless. Some subtle honky-tonk piano fills are nice flourishes in this half of the song. I like it.

I’ll Be Your Girl – The final track is just kind of there. There isn’t much about it that draws me in or makes me want to pay attention, which is odd since it’s the title track. Meh.

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ALBUM REVIEW: THE DECEMBERISTS – I’LL BE YOUR GIRL

ALBUM REVIEW: ANXIETY – S/T MLP

Today I chanced upon this fantastic noise-punk blast from 2016. Anxiety hails from Glasgow and they’ve perfected a first wave punk vibe that packs the punch of the late 70s/early 80s but has the sonic benefits of a modern recording. It’s a quick listen, wisely never over-staying its welcome. It’s also a fun listen that touches on some familiar sounds and approaches without falling into a copycat trap.

The record sounds great for as noisey as it is. The gritty bass is prominent in the mix, often anchoring the songs while the guitars spill out noise-addled splats and squawks as well as fuzzy chords when applicable.The drums cut ok, but the kick could use a lot more love in the mix for my tastes. The vocals sit down in the sound a bit and compliment the songs very well. It’s all-in-all pretty rad. The song Delayed is great. I’ve listened to it 8 times today already and can’t wait to listen to it again.

If you like noisey, rough around the edges (but tight) punk rock, do yourself a favor and get on board with Anxiety! – Jason.

Dark And Wet – Feedback opens the record, along with an ominous, DEVO-esque bass riff. The band wastes little time on the intro, quickly launching into a double time romp that quickly inspires furious head bobbing and heel stomping. The chorus lifts the track nicely, and the feedback squawks that punctuate the brief stops are pretty cool. I’m digging it. The guitars dish out an ugly splatter of sound over the more driving drums and bass, while the vocals drip with a contemptuous snarl. Cool.

Fool In The Shower – This is a barn-burner. The chorus approaches black-metal territory with its bleak chord progression and speed, nicely offsetting the more traditional hardcore punk verse. This is another fun listen; I’m dancing in my seat and my face is locked in on a “what’s that awful smell” grimace that all rockers know and love. I’m into it!

The Worst – This one opens sounding almost like a Locust tune, but I think the weird synth sound is actually the guitars? In any case, it settles more into a traditional hardcore punk romp and it’s a good ‘un. It’s catchy and simple and a fun sub-three minute tune. “I’m the worst, I’m the worst, I’m the absolute worst, 24 hours a day (I wouldn’t have it any other way)!” is a fantastically relatable and sing-alongable refrain. Thumbs up!

Addicted To Punishment – The wild walking (running) bass line and rhythmically contrasting guitars on this one make it a tough listen. It sounds like the band is playing two different songs simultaneously at times. The chorus is great, when the band unifies behind a crusher. All in all, this song is ok.

Human Hell – Launching straight into a punk rock fury, this one also gets my heart going. It’s fast and fun with a touch of Dead Kennedys DNA to it. It’s short and sweet at under a minute long.

Delayed – This song is the kind of tune a band can hang their hat on. This is an amazing piece of punk rock art. It’s got a relentless drive to it, a ton of atmosphere and vibe on top, and it’s dang catchy. I can’t get enough of this track! I’m body rocking and I want to get up and dance. Thumbs way up on this whooly rocker!

Trapped Shut – After the thick bruiser that was Delayed, this track hollows back out with a mid-tempo bass and drum groove accompanied by some chirpy guitar details. It’s raunchy sounding, and I’ve got a bad case of stink face to boot. With about 30 seconds left, the band suddenly launches into a double time blast with the guitars joining in full force and it’s a doozy! Good stuff.

Sewer In My Mind – This track once again oozes with a DK vibe. It’s fast with an Eastbay Ray style verse guitar bit. The chorus thickens up wonderfully and I’m feverishly banging my head in agreement. Thumbs up! The half time about a minute in catches me off guard and I find my whole body lurching along to the groove. Rock and roll!

VMD – The final track is an experimental track built on an ominous drone, looped vocals, feedback wash, and noise. It’s alright.

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ALBUM REVIEW: ANXIETY – S/T MLP