any review that sucks

Micro-Reviewery 11: Satellite Skin, Minutes of Decay, Lana White, Vaginal Diarrhoea




Satellite Skin – Is This The Desired Effect?

This five track mini-thing is pretty cool when it’s loud, but that doesn’t happen very often. The opener “Waking Up” nails some lo-fi grunge guitars cutting through spacey drums and vocal echo. Even better is “Pissed Work”, a song that sounds like two or three different tracks playing simultaneously. The remaining three snoozers are definitely yawn-worthy, although “I Don’t Understand” has a great moody garage thing going on, sort of like the Kinks’ “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” for the bedroom lo-fi purist.


Minutes of Decay – Inchoate Death

This Metal/emo thing ends way too quickly. The first two tracks catch fire slow with doom riffs burrowing a hole into your brain. Filip Stojiljkovic strikes the perfect balance between screaming and whining, although it’s weird when the occasional clean vocals pop in. Unfortunately, the last track gets all fast metalcorey at the last minute and is thus less good.


Lana White – Letting Go

Sometimes I hear music my body doesn’t react well to. The melodies permeating the atmosphere invade my head, infecting my brain. My cerebellum bloats so much that it starts pressing against my skull until it’s going to rupture. In a fit of confusion and deep despair, I grab anything resembling a nail and furiously trepan my skull until I feel some sort of relief.

At first I thought this was the case here, but Lana White seems okay. “Letting Go” is definitely the stand out. The pop/folk singer-songwriter crowd should probably add a million points to my score here.


Vaginal Diarrhoea – Rotting Paradise

Ever since that dude from Mortician went crazy and stole a taxi cab a million years ago, there’s a huge gaping hole in the goregrind lexicon. Thankfully or unfortunately, there’s a million imitators out there, although few are as cool as Vaginal Diarrhoea. The classic Well Fuck Me Dead was definitely one of the better albums of 2009 and this better-late-than-never follow-up surpasses it in every way. Sludge guitars and tinny drum machine blast beats are all you get, battering the listener with a down-tuned onslaught that makes me want to bulldoze the fucking Earth.




Neil Young and Promise of the Real – Earth

Do you love classic rock? Do you love the earth? Do you love listening to bees suddenly buzzing in your ear? Do you want to hear Neil Young sing “GMO” auto-tuned? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Earth is the release for you. Ecological propaganda and synchronized animal sounds are richly dotting this two disc release. The smooth groove of Promise of the Real blends perfectly with the crows cawing artistically throughout the entire set.

This is a recording of live performances from last year, 2015. The majority of the instrumentation is excellent. Some of the guitar solos are odd and might be trying real hard to be dirty, that or Young was busy wrestling the guitar out of the hands of Promise’s frontman and son of Willie Nelson, Lukas. The result is some dirty guitar solos.

Most of the songs were selected for their message. Any tree-hugger will feel right at home listening to lyrics about sucking the oil out of the earth and the personification of nature as a feminine figure, if referring to concepts of energy as a mother are still socially acceptable. Most of the songs are rock songs, and Promise of the Real might be called Promise you won’t fall asleep until the ballad. Thank gaia Young’s voice is as warbley as the nearly extinct kirtland warbler and will keep you awake to hear the second disc.

Before we go any further, let us take a moment to reflect on the real messages here. Neil Young has been making music since he was 15 and probably earlier. He was popular over 50 years ago, already recognized as one of the most influential song writers of the era. This release contains many songs about a lost time. Neil Young may have felt his beloved Canada fading in the sixties as much as one might look at the time Young came from as the golden years of song writing and positive messages.

The truth is Young is one face in a crowd. In the sixties the majority of mainstream music sucked as much as it does now. The only real difference is any real artistic development risks being permanently lost in a sea of similar attempts struggling to stay afloat as the media machine churns the surface of the torrid black waters with bigger and bigger whirlpools. The momentum generated during the post WWII years floats larger and larger garbage heaps full of plastic-y waste aka top 40 million. Everyone makes music now. People who would have never touched a physical musical instrument pound old and used tunes until the curds of fetid death spurt out of a churn and right onto the billboard.

Young and Promise’s new release is very modern. It covers many current trends. Like our attempt at repopulating the kirtland warbler, who can decide if we should try to become a people who restlessly attempt to preserve the classics or pioneer forward until everything is used up? Tongue in cheek, Neil Young, his cow sounds, Promise of the Real, the honking of cars, the backup singers, and the repressive crows think “People Want to Hear About Love, ’cause it will make them feel alright.”


Micro-Reviewery 10: Meat Loaf, Ghost Community, Ally Gold, Sequestered Keep




Meat Loaf – “Going All The Way”

If you were excited about the newest Jim Steinman/Meat Loaf collaboration coming September, this single is sure to dispel any hope in humanity. Meat Loaf sounds like he’s slobbering all over his microphone, obviously ready for his next dose of geritol. The mandatory female vocalist character makes Meat Loaf sound even older, and the production’s synthesized instruments give it a super cheap feel. I don’t think Jim Steinman remembers what it’s like to be teenaged anymore either, making the entire affair a flaccid dullride.


Ghost Community – Cycle of Life

Prog is a very dirty four-letter word, but Ghost Community’s brand of adult alternative/AOR/prog/Dio/rock definitely excels. The secret is great songwriting. There’s never a moment wasted, with instrumental passages serving only to push all six tracks to a powerful climax. John Paul Vaughan has a clean, silky power, while Moray Macdonald’s whirling keyboards always left me wanting more. Hopefully this stuff isn’t too dense for the melodic rock crowd: nothing is under seven minutes, all tracks like an epic juggernaut of emotion and atmosphere. Sometimes you dig the music, but this music digs into you.


Ally Gold – The Noise Collective

Twenty years too late, these noise-pop zombies have some decent hooks to share. The opener “Caffeine” has this twangy shoegaze James Bond guitar thing going on, while “All My Old Friends (Follow New Trends)” displays rockin’ capabilities. The remaining two get a little too self-conscious for me, aping shoegaze and lo-fi sensibilities in that order, but if I knew anything about indie credibility, this website would have millions of hits a day and earn me and Ay-hole enough money to comfortably retire on a remote private island off the coast of Argentina where I’d sip on expensive margaritas made by my private Chilean bartender Franco Vicente. Ally Gold could play there sometimes if they want.


Sequestered Keep – Dawn of Battle

More metal than you’ll ever be, Sequestered Keep’s take on medieval ambient is absolutely perfect. I can feel my blood pump listening to “Parapet Wizard” and “Into A Grim Forest Battle”, their swirling synth-orchestra and subtle military beats filling my soul with delicious melancholy. “Upon Its Hilt A Shining Light” and “The Silent Call of Hidden Paths” also nail the dark atmosphere, but the real killer is “Tattered Banners Across the Fields of Thousands-Slain”. I don’t think the title could be more appropriate. This is my new vote for best kept secret in underground music.


Dirty Bombshell – Dirty Bombshell

junkheadv1tmbDirty Bombshell – Dirty Bombshell

Cock rock was a staple in the teenage American male’s diet for decades. Ted Nugent, Kiss, and virtually every hair metal band have bragged and begged for a woman’s affection time and time again, but it was only a matter of time before horny white guys died out. Much like Steel Panther, Dirty Bombshell attempts to recreate that classic time with reckless stupidity.

Reportedly an old cover band that realized rock songs about boning is mere pocket rocket science, Bombshell’s self-titled debut isn’t the dullest crayon in the toolshed. The music is pure hard rock, distilled like strong and sloppy AC/DC moonshine. Vocalist/bassist JD gives some spirited performances, the drums sound great, and Ryan riffs competently through it all. My only major complaint is how buried and muddled the guitars sound. In a genre driven by loud thunderous riffs, it’s a little odd that they sometimes come off more as quiet farts.

The lyrical content is sure to please everyone’s grandmother. The disgusting title of “Sixteen/Sexteen” would normally bother me, but the breakdown lyrics are just too good to be true: “sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex”. It only gets worse when they start trying to make sense, dumbing out hard in the only way rock gods can. Here are my favorite examples.

“Slut Queen” – So I tap her on the shoulder/And I tell her/ And I tell her/I’ve gots to get me some/Slut queen

“Drinking of U” – Are you drinking of me/Drinking of U/Can you feel it girl/Can I feel it too

“MicH377e” – Go to hell/Michelle

“Vince” – Phonin’ it in/phonin’ it in/phonin’ it in/Oi oi oi oi

The last one’s rather telling, as the shtick starts to wear thin over the fifteen track length. “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Walk of Shame” are like the awful tracks on your favorite Ugly Kid Joe album, which is definitely more of a compliment than I initially intended. For the vast majority of listeners, that’s a bad thing, but for us about to rock, it’s not too shabby.

Keeping your social justice warrior girlfriend in mind, Dirty Bombhsell were thoughtful enough to include “Pants Off” radio edit. She’ll still break up with you, but at least her virgin ears will remain intact.


2015 Round Up – 23 album review bonanza


2015 Round Up – Six Months Late

tinyjunkheadv1a Without a year like 2015, it’s probable that wouldn’t exist. Years had passed since Ay-hole and I were really on the pulse of popular music, the reason being that everything simply sucked. It wasn’t just music: movies, television, all media seemed to have fallen into a rut. Nothing was creative, and nothing captivated us. Countless nights, we sat around drinking beer, listening to thirty year old music and swearing we were born too late.
But then 2015 hit like a truck full of bricks. It wasn’t until very late in the year that Ay-hole and I realized just what was going on. It started by playing a single album playing through his Ouya and spiraled out of control into a maelstrom of music sharing and discussion. Not long after, Ay-hole was determined to chronicle his listening travails here, and I gleefully followed suit.
Six months too late, we’re going to look back on that fateful year that helped bring us into existence and see what made it so damn good. 

I’d like to take a moment to revisit one of those beer drinking, remorseful times as a poem we wrote during those dark times:
My brain feels like it’s bleedin through me head
When I watch the modern movies
There’s nothing juicy to dissect
When I watch the modern movies
Why did they make this?Hollywood gets my money
When I watch the modern movies
The media force feeds my brain
When I watch the modern movies

You can replace movies with radio and Hollywood with that company that has C C as its initials.

tinyjunkheadv1a The C+C Music Factory?
tinyayholev1a You wish
300h album2015jbst
Jeff Bridges – Sleeping Tapes
tinyayholev1a First release of 2015:
Jeff Bridges – Sleeping Tapes

This could have been Hollywood ennui or artistic genius, but thankfully it was the latter. Sleeping Tapes is everything I love about experimental music: dark, brooding, mysterious, and hilarious. I feel like way too many people miss that last part, but Jeff definitely understands how to use humor to grip the listener in his found sound landscapes.

tinyayholev1a I lost myself in the Temescal Canyon. I actually could smell the pine.
300h album2015jclt
John Carpenter – Lost Themes
tinyayholev1a Next is the aforementioned album that lifted our eyes. I had made a habit of listening to the old dudes who were still making music and John Carpenter’s solo album, Lost Themes caught my ears and my attention.

Yeah, he has a massive body of great work already. Escape From New York and Halloween 2 are synth treasure troves and probably did just as much for electronic music as any Kraftwerk album.

tinyayholev1a My ego was selfishly pleased when Junkhead nearly jumped off the couch when I put it on.
tinyjunkheadv1a Yeah, I couldn’t believe it. It was instantly the only thing I wanted to hear in the universe. I bought it almost immediately.
300h album2015lgmta
Litmus Green – More than Animals
tinyayholev1a Now for something more pop: Litmus Green – More than Animals
Pop is really not the best word to describe it. I am questioning that it is even more pop than Sleeping Tapes.

It’s definitely the poppiest thing we’ve talked about I think. There’s barely any modern hardcore music, and when there is it’s all emo-influenced. Litmus Green just picked it up like nothing changed after a twenty year hiatus, hating everything not crustie/anarcho/whatever with a passion I can understand.

tinyayholev1a It should be called “Litmus test – is the listener a sheeple or at least a little open minded”
tinyjunkheadv1a Too many sheeple totally overlooked it. They were all too busy listening to new shitty LGBT-themed hardcore punk that Pitchfork’s championing.
tinyayholev1a Pitchfork just made it into the 2015 review. That should be enough to tell you the state of affairs we live in.
300h album2015ea
Eclipse – Armageddonize
tinyayholev1a If you ever want to get Junkhead’s adrenaline going, especially after a long day of rescuing sheeple from other sheeple, just say one word:
Armageddonize was brought up in countless conversations and Junkhead played it every time I went over for months.

I think I did that with everybody. Talk about the best band in the world. This album was an enormous leap in developing their unique sound: the over-the-top AOR/hard rock/metal in-your-face slam. No human being can resist banging their head when any of its tracks come on. A lot of the time I’ll be rolling into work, thinking about how much the drudgery of routine bogs me down, but then I’ll just think of songs like “Wide Open” or “Stand on Your Feet” and I’ll be in my happy place.
It’s a unique combination of sheer electric bite and positive, life-affirming melodies that make it so intoxicating. I’m guessing Eclipse will never really break out because they have a virtually non-existent touring schedule, but at least they can make the best studio material in the universe.

300h album2015ewok
Europe – War of Kings
tinyayholev1a Europe was actually one of the bands I was looking forward to in 2015. They played a cool rock festival in Sweden over a decade earlier so I was excited to listen to War of Kings
tinyjunkheadv1a The title track has to be the best metal song of 2015.

I enjoyed it. My most shocking experience with War of Kings was how no one around me bothered to listen to it. This really began my effort to forcefully educate people that real music was happening and they were oblivious to it. I can’t believe Tempest can still sing!

tinyjunkheadv1a Yeah, he’s honestly better now, I think. It’s the material. It’s all metal now, and he’s clearly a metal singer at heart.
300h album2015el
Elder – Lore
tinyayholev1a Dude, I messed up the order.
It’s not the best elder. My favorite Elder story, however, is when M was listening to a youtube auto playlist and listened to the entire Lore album without shutting it off. So, it has to be good.

Yeah, it has a cool furniture doom sound to it. Like it’s really heavy wallpaper.

tinyayholev1a The album art is really cool, too.
300h album2015bbitloz
Bubble Bones – In the Land of Zimandias
tinyayholev1a One more time warp, turns out I forgot to sync my list with Junkhead’s.
The FIRST cool album that I know of that came out in 2015 is Bubble Bones incredible album, In the Land of Zimandias.

Sure that’s not 2014?


Whoops, that was their indie release. I had NO idea. Their label release was in January 2015 on nooirax.
If I go by the real rules, it’s okay because as long as something big happens in the year we are talking about it’s good. As official release vs. Promotional, or reissue vs original. So, this counts, because Ay-hole is my name.

tinyjunkheadv1a Sorry Ay-hole, I only talk 2015 and onward. Everything else is nothing to me.
tinyayholev1a So Bubble Bones gets ex-spelled because Junkhead doesn’t want to have to go and double check all of the reissues of 2015
300h album2015me
Moonspell – Extinct
tinyayholev1a I first listened to Moonspell’s Extinct on youtube and I saw what I’m assuming to be the original NSFW album cover. It is really upsetting and I was watching it on my crumby netbook because I was putting linux on it and it could only do one thing at a time, so I had to turn the screen around just to enjoy the music because I’m a naive little boy

Dead boobs don’t bother me. I loved Moonspell back in high school and decided to check it out. It’s probably their best album, mixing pop, goth, and metal to reach new, more accessible heights. Moonspell’s gone down some pretty oddball paths over the past twenty years, but it’s nice to know they can turn out some great poppy crunch. My favorite’s either the surf-rocky “Medusalem” or the wholesale Sisters of Mercy rip-off “The Last of Us”

300h album2015mssoam
Michael Schenker – Spirit on a Mission
tinyayholev1a Junkhead has a lot of man-crushes. One of the more powerful ones is Michael Schenker. I think he sleeps under a poster of him.

He’s got a lot of power, that’s for sure. He’s one of those mid-range guys who actually injects a ton of melody into every solo he drops. Schenker hasn’t really turned out a great rockin’ album since 1984, but Spirit on a Mission returns to that UFO and MSG sound: concise songs, tight riffs, and searing vocals.

tinyayholev1a Candidate for lamest album cover of 2015.
tinyjunkheadv1a Yeah, books by their cover yadda-yadda. It’s 80 million times better than this year’s UFO album or most sexagenarian man crushes.
300h album2015nasol
Neuroticfish – A Sign of Life
tinyayholev1a In 1999, Neuroticfish released No Instruments, a fantastic futurepop album. Then, they released it two more times, and again two more times with different songs. But in 2015, they released A Sign of Life.
Still good, not as good as No Instruments.

I like Gelb more.

tinyayholev1a I would probably still buy A Sign of Life if it was available on vinyl.
tinyjunkheadv1a A Sign of Life doesn’t really have any great songs, but it has a phenomenal atmosphere. It’s more of futurepop’s last gasp than anything else, but it’s a good hearty one.
300h album2015tbtfw
Teenage Bottlerocket – Tales from Wyoming
tinyayholev1a Teenage Bottlerocket does not sound like punk to me.

I guess their drummer died last year after this came out? It’s sad, they’ve been making cool music and touring non-stop for a long time.


That’s tragic. Accidents destroy bands. I mean, they destroy lives…
Of course, now I’m referring to all death as an accident, when it’s actually inevitable.


But yeah, I think the power pop guy in me like’s this one. It’s totally more of the same, but they’re so good at their little pop-punk niche.

tinyayholev1a Power pop it is.
300h album2015gbm
Ghost Bath – Moonlover
tinyayholev1a As we are about to talk about Ghost Bath – Moonlover, let me remind you that it is the summer solstice tonight and a full moon.

Every mix CD I’ve made this year has the second track off this one on it. It takes up 9 minutes, but it’s so damn good.


Also, I’ve tested this theory, and you can play Ghost Bath in the background during any other experience. It fits. The ultimate bar music.
I can hear all of the kiddos talking about their finals, their hotty girlfriend, the new episode of Naruto, while this plays in the background.


Yeah, they don’t let the math rock/post-hardcore noodling get in the way of their black metal intensity, but you barely notice.
It’s great music for making out, eating, walking the dog.

tinyayholev1a I read one review that said it was subliminally positive metal.
300h album2015bdnaf
Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours
tinyayholev1a Another fantastic background album, only, a little more aggressive sounding.
There are a lot of emotions flying around on this album.

Bosse-de-Nage is everything I love about Slint and Shellac mashed up with everything great about Darkthrone. It’s definitely emotional, but it’s not foofy at all.
This is supposed to be in the blackgaze category too, but you still feel like the band has a soul outside of atmospheric wankery.

300h album2015pnlcd
Peste Noire – La Chaise-Dyable
tinyayholev1a Speaking of atmosphere,
I don’t know how to pronounce it but I listened to it a ton.

Yeah, the title track onward is perfect. Searing electric ballads of a diseased rural French guy.


The first half is good because one will be listening trying to figure out what is going on when more stuff happens and the listener still is trying to figure out what just happened.
I could see myself in an experimental band that tries to do the same thing, just a lot less artistically. I guess I’m not French enough, though I could go for 30 hour work weeks.


Yeah, there’s nothing quite like it. Keep in mind this guy’s been honing his experimental black metal folk junk for fifteen years on some farm somewhere. He’s probably just fucking nuts.

tinyayholev1a I hope the album cover is his kitchen.

It has to be. Album art of 2015?
Michael Schenker loses to some crazy diseased French guy for sure.

tinyayholev1a Definitely better than the generic skull art featured on many of the 2015 releases.
300h album2015fnmsi
Faith No More – Sol Invictus
tinyayholev1a Faith No More released Sol Invictus in 2015. First thoughts, not as bad as I remembered Faith No More. They were made famous when they covered “Easy like Sunday morning,” and “Warpigs.”

Faith No More was the junk back in the day along with most things Mike Patton. I skipped it last year because I don’t care about either anymore. What’s it sound like?

tinyayholev1a Like more interesting agro butt rock. I think they’ve adapted new sounds pretty well. I was never really a fan of them in the 90’s, but I was listening to other boy bands.
tinyjunkheadv1a Fantomas was great until I realized they were a total Naked City rip-off. I liked Patton’s band Tomahawk, too. Their gimmick was that they were the Jesus Lizard with Mike Patton in it.
300h album2015rblfass
Reno Bo – Lessons from a Shooting Star
tinyayholev1a Reno Bo – Lessons from a Shooting Star
Amusingly addicting
Like sugary ice cream
but with better flavors

Shooting Star is the best power pop album in a long time. The sugary sweet stuff is the best.
No one was expecting this to be so awesome. Too much power pop spends a lot of time looking back, but Reno Bo does a good job looking for new paths in a dead and buried style.

300h album2015js
Jono – Silence
tinyjunkheadv1a It’s totally Queen on steroids! “Wasting Time” is the song I want to play whenever I walk in the room.
tinyayholev1a I usually hate this kind of sub-avant-garde emo pop. But this is good stuff. Nice mix, good writing, and very interesting melodies.
tinyjunkheadv1a I’d probably throw it in the melodic prog category, but that works too. They have a strong grasp of what makes melodic rock and progressive stuff, so well that it never feels like a “revival” album.
300h album2015ir
Iskra – Ruins
tinyayholev1a Iskra, the crust punk band that everyone considers black metal. I really enjoyed listening to Ruins. I am very excited about socio-political music that is not just media friendly bologna.

Yeah, I don’t care how many crappy anarcho-quotes you throw in your liner notes, tremolo guitars/blast beats/shrieky chick vocals=black metal baby. Ay-Hole, my girlfriend and I are pretty good at reproducing the sound a capella.


A: (blast beat)
What did you do again?

tinyjunkheadv1a I did the tremolo guitars playing some evil sounding riff.
300h album2015driioota
Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’
tinyjunkheadv1a Pop country is a dirty word, but this recalls a time when the term had something akin to a soul.
tinyayholev1a I’m just waiting to talk about
300h album2015s7
Seal – 7
tinyayholev1a I do not think anyone listened to this.
tinyjunkheadv1a I didn’t, although I had a Seal kick back in 2014.
That’s totally why I missed it.
tinyayholev1a I did. It was just as boring as expected.
tinyjunkheadv1a If only Haddaway had an album last year.
Totally would have given that a chance.
And that’s totally all I have to say about that.
tinyayholev1a I have been actually waiting to talk about…
300h album2015sf
Stryper – Fallen
tinyayholev1a Who’s hotter, Micheal or Robert Sweet?
tinyjunkheadv1a Michael for sure. He’s in Boston now, so he’s automatically a sex machine.
The three throwaway ballads aside, this is some awesome metal.

Robert definitely knows how to sport the flairs and even with his open shirt I can rarely tell him apart from a woman.
I regularly enjoy screaming “YAH-WEH!”


Huge production, great song. “Yaweh” is a six minute epic that feels like the love of Jesus is going to crush the shit out of you.
The title track rips too. The verse and chorus don’t really blend, but I think it’s the jarring screams of “FALLLLEN” that make the whole thing.

tinyayholev1a Also, best Black Sabbath cover of 2015.

Yeah, for real. I was listening to my vinyl copy of this last week and I realized the ending track, “King of Kings” is a virtual re-write of the Sabbath cover in terms of the first verses lyrical content.
“Do you believe in Jesus?/He’s good/But your friends don’t like him/And you’re a sheeple dingus”

tinyayholev1a Whoo. I’m getting hot. We should move on. And what better transition than to…
300h album2015pfhdw
Powers from Hell – Devil’s Whorehouse
tinyayholev1a Powers from Hell – Devil’s Whorehouse, with album art featuring a naked and tattooed nun. EXCELLENT mixing.
The sound that is.

The grimy old school thrashy black metal sound is great, and Devil’s Whorehouse kicks it out hard.
If I were a nun, this music probably would inspire me to get naked tattooed.


It most likely happened like this: “Yea, we had an old Panasonic camcorder in the basement and set it up to practice. The cut came out so good we just sent the video to the producer and he made a CD out of it. We never got any studio time.”


Studio time isn’t very black metal. Iskra is probably closer to Beyonce than Devil’s Whorehouse when you think about production values.
Powers From Hell needs to make more more more.


I’m telling you, man. The Call of the Winter Moon.
But the real coup-de-grace of 2015, possibly the album that made us wet our pants for future releases:

300h album2015bp
Baroness – Purple
tinyayholev1a I cried when I first listened to it, probably.
tinyjunkheadv1a I dunno if I’m even capable of gushing over this album anymore. I did it back in my review of the live show.

You did memorize all of the lyrics, then listened to the entire discography and learned most of those songs, too.
If anyone has not heard the Purple album yet, and not Whitesnake’s 2015 release, listen to Baroness ASAP.


I knew the Blue and Yellow and Green from before, but those kind of sucked.
Purple’s so perfect, it’s like a totally new band.


An example of fortitude.
Now that a new day has dawned, we will listen, we will research lightly, we will consider with great prerogative to absorb and implement modern music back into our previously malnourished diet full of old punk and never popular rock and roll bands.


Hell yeah.
Keep it very light on the research. I didn’t even know Transilvanian was how they spelled it in Scandinavia.
I thought it was like a punk rawk way to spell it.

tinyayholev1a I still deny Transilvania is a real place.

Transilvania is like my black metal/punk rawk happy place. Where dude’s chill in vans in the foresty mountains somewhere with naked tattooed nuns and churn out good music.

Honerable unmentionables :
Purity Ring
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Whitesnake, only because they also released the Purple Album
Third Eye Blind
Public Enemy
Lamb of God (the hard rockin one)
Six Feet Under
Dear Hunter
Strange Wilds
Buckethead (he releases like, thirty albums a minute and maybe 5% of those are good, so right on)

Micro-Reviewery 9: DRI, Astronoid, Nattsvargr, Palissade




DRI – But Wait…There’s More EP

Legends DRI prove their long absence from a recording studio was the nicest thing they could have done for humanity. This five track EP is totally useless. The opening “Against Me” was previously released on the band’s website a decade ago, while “Mad Man” and “Couch Slouch” were featured on Dealing With It! over thirty years back. They even ignore all of their innovations in crossover thrash, exclusively playing dull hardcore. We need to put microchips into punk rock guys so they spontaneously combust when they hit twenty-five.


Astronoid – Air

Astronoid throws their two cents into the blackgaze arena with a very focused sound. Vocals are never screaming, just melodic melancholy. The guitars and drums pound their way through largely atmospheric black metal sections punctuated with slow crawls. “Violence” is conventional shoegaze that totally disrupts the flow, but in general, you have to really, really like wistful whinery to get through the double LP length.


Nattsvargr – Winds of Transilvania

Misspelling Transylvania for the sake of metal, Stockholm’s Nattsvargr is less derivative thank you’d think. It definitely recalls the tr00 kvult Scandinavian stuff of yore: the title track in particular is a clear clone to Darkthrone’s similarly titled Transilvanian Hunger with its tremolo hypnotism. Further digging reveals a lot more, with the band slowing things down on the epic “Svarta natten…”, droning it up on “Ett lik utan en grav”, and thrashing out on “The Freezing Darkness”. This is as diverse as raw black metal can get without comprising its unadulterated hatred.


Palissade – Lanterne / Je ne peux oublier

Slick goth with that clean single-note guitar echo proves delicious with Palissade’s first demo. These two tracks sink into your brain and fill up the empty spaces. “Lanterne” is very coldwave pop and “Je ne peux oublier” is pure dark atmosphere, a distinction that only the purest post-punk junkers will ever understand. Thank God I’m one of those guys.




ayholev1tmbMara Simpson – Our Good Sides

I have a lot of female singer-songwriter Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell meet folk-pop albums. I do not own any albums by male singer-songwriters that sound like Mara Simpson. Our Good Sides provides light airy singing over sub-atmospheric non-electric instruments.

The first two songs are good examples of the 70’s-jazz-folk genre that I seem to enjoy based on the money I’ve spend on it, however…

“The Return” sheds some light on newer folk music singing. Thick vibrato, short, abruptly cut off vowels, Lou Reed style melody-less singing, pointless moaning and gasping over the same vowels as if the pressure was suddenly released from bottling them up; these things are okay in limited quantities, but are just the tip of the iceberg in hipster-folk. “Silent Women” contains a huge amount of these devices and almost no lyrical content.

Track five and six give another case of whiplash. Five is not bad, but six feels like the record keeps skipping. At least there is some cool reverb and distortion happening on the vocal track. The music on this track is very boring and contrived, right down to the representative piano pressed mysteriously on the up-beat. It represents a stereotypical attempt at creating high-energy music in a low-energy genre. Do not rely on good song writing, just add some rock and droll.

For a song titled “Whisky,” track 9 features a variety of unusual traits, like slow-complex melodies and heavy pronunciation. But the song is cool sounding and has pleasant lyrics. The final track is kind of boring, however. If it was called “Guitar at Midnight,” or “M1 at midnight,” it would be a lot better.

There are ten tracks, seven listenable, and four one might want to listen to again. Unfortunately for this female singer-songwriter, her newest album is not going to make it to my shelf.


Sockeye – Unruley King and I

junkheadv1tmbSockeye – Unruley King and I

In 1994, there was a lot of stuff that blatantly embraced the retarded. Retards were brought front and center in the cinemascape with Forrest Gump and Dumb and Dumber. Jerky Boys 2 was up for a grammy and GWAR had their very short stint with the majors. Wanton stupidity was becoming embraced by the mainstream.

But insensitive retardation didn’t pop up overnight. Throughout the ’80s, a handful of bands were the vanguard of stupid nose-picking humor, and Sockeye was drooling at the front lines. With songs like “Fuck Your Cat” and “Wheelchair Full of Old Men”, Sockeye’s early lo-fi tapes are as weird and wild as noise-punk get. If “Destroy everything while a bunch of retards fuck your mom/Then beat your dad to death with a pillowcase full of squirrels” doesn’t sound like a good time, then you probably listen to Mariah Carey and have no soul.

Among all of ’94’s big-budget retarded glamour, Sockeye released Retards Hiss Past My Window, tardcore’s White Album, Dark Side of the Moon, and Led Zepplin IV all rolled into one. Comprised of re-recordings of Sockeye old classics alongside some new tracks, Retards displays the band at their peak. The refined yet slimy studio sound and stellar performances really brings out Sockeye’s insanity, making the album a seriously unheralded classic.

So twenty-two years later, My Mind’s Eye has just released the Unruley King and I, a vinyl-exclusive collection of demos recorded prior to Retards remastered from the original four-track tapes. It comes in random colors. My copy’s baby poo green with some brown and black stains for good measure.


This collection is an instant must-have for any Sockeye aficionado. The remaster job is pretty great, with everything sounding crisp and clear. These are probably the best performances of “Destroy Everything” and “Freaky Friday Tits” you’ll ever find, the former featuring some great noisecore breaks mid-song and the latter absolutely ripping through the track. While versions of “Retarded Boy Rendevous” and “Your Muff Has Tusks” might not be better than their studio counterparts, they certainly are different enough to warrant attention. Most of the other tracks are good runs of the songs you know and love, but a few different tracks sneak in. Both “We Are Circumcized” and “Two Babies Fucking” can be found on other releases, but they definitely sound better here.

Basically, Sockeye’s music will appeal to anyone who thinks poop and dick jokes are funny, myself included. The only track I really dislike is “Yo Me Gusta Cum”, an acoustic track sung in fake Spanish that wasn’t really funny the first time around. Otherwise, it’s a great set that should be in every record collection ever.

It’s appropriate that they broke up right after recording these demos and Retards: with Beavis & Butthead and Dennis Leary rearing their heads, offensive humor was quickly becoming the status quo. How can you be noise-punk rebels when everybody’s making dead baby jokes? I’m glad these demos were sat on until now, a time where political-correction has returned in a big way. Unruley King and I reminds me that while culture is constantly changing, there will always be anti-everything vagabonds willing to fantasize about Ulysses S. Grant appearing on their pizza.




ayholev1tmbThe Winstons – The Winstons

Psychedelic prog-rockers, the Winstons, play some cool 60’s throwback stuff. Tracks combine a variety of rock influences and instruments. Some tracks have some cool jazz stuff going on with saxophones. Every track is saturated with Rhodes style organ, spring and wide reverb, and key and tempo changes.

There are no bad tracks. Track two, combining a version of jazz and Japanese lyrics by the album cover designer, creates what one might call completely unmarketable in America. It is true that jazz was born here, flourished here, then left.

“… On a dark cloud” smashes everything together with a dark-brooding atmosphere at the start, a prog ballad in the middle, and a minimalist jazz outro. “Dancing in the Park with a Gun” is another unusual combination. The final track also features lyrics in Japanese and is reminiscent of slightly more marketable music in America, mostly because it more closely resembles many different songs combined into one six minute track.

Fans of psychedelic should enjoy this one. There are a couple tracks that are straight rock songs, but most of them change very often and should at least be entertaining to the musician’s ear. The real bonus might be the Winstons appear to be very talented players and writers. The skill they exhibit is a treat for anyone who would appreciate quality musicianship.


The Monkees – Good Times!

junkheadv1tmbThe Monkees – Good Times!

’60s bubblegum rock holds a special place in my heart. Never again would rock raunch and Sesame Street melodies meld so seamlessly, selling sex and drugs to minors. While the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar” is an obvious example, my personal favorite is “1 2 3 Red Light” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company. The obligatory infectious melody is paired with lyrics that are decidedly anti-”just say no”: “Everytime I make a move to love you/1, 2, 3, red light! You stop me/Baby you ain’t right to stop me”. In general, there’s always something rude about the purest bubblegum, a tension bubbling under the surface that will always make Everything’s Archie infinitely cooler than Meet the Beatles.

Most of these groups were manufactured by evil corporations and the Monkees were no different, but somehow they’re back fifty years later with Good Times!, a retro bubblegum piece here to revive your love of ’60s radio-ready pop. Of all the bubblegum acts, the Monkees were the only one who actually had a consistent line-up. This was not by choice: the group had to be on their popular TV show every week and pretend they were a functioning unit. The members rarely wrote a track and often used a ton of session musicians even after they wrangled creative control of their albums.

And they’re still doing it fifty years later. Now slimmed down to official members Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz, it’s all studio glitz. Many songs have ten session musicians backing Micky Dolenz, with Nesmith and Tork taking over only a handful of the albums thirteen tracks.

Each Monkee has one writing credit to their name and they all totally blow. Tork’s “Little Girl” and Nesmith’s “I Know What I Know” are ballad drivel, while Dolenz’s “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had a Good Time)” is the worst “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” re-write ever.

Other songwriters do a better job, but not much. The opening title track is based on a Harry Nillson demo and even features the dead man’s voice, an addition that doesn’t keep the song from sucking ass. “You Bring the Summer” is a standout, written by the dude from XTC. It’s glittery ’60s bounce trumps “She Makes Me Laugh”, a soft verse/loud chorus piece by some dude from Weezer.

There’s a lot of middling tracks in between and the okay rocker “Gotta Give It Time”, but “Love to Love” definitely sticks out. A Neil Diamond track with ancient vocals from the departed Davy Jones, it’s garage-pop aged to perfection. The guitars jangle and the tambourines pound proudly as Jones sings with the perfect moody croon. Too bad it’s the only great song on the album, and it’s only appropriate that it was mainly recorded back in ’67.

So yeah, these are some shitty times. More of the Monkees or Headquarters were okay albums, but both are twenty times better than this garbage. I’d probably rather listen to Meet the Beatles than this…and I fucking hate the Beatles.