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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Without the Extreme, Humanity Would Decay. (Regurgitate Life, Condemned From The Beginning, 2010)

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One of the great pleasures of having a fascination for extreme music is that there is always more to explore. I have found that even though the fan bases of Death Metal and Grindcore may be limited in numbers, the dedication of most fans and bands reaches far beyond that of the more (Pop)ular of the music genres. Through the exploration of many different sub-genres of these extreme music’s it is to be seen that some of the most chilling brutal experiences that can affect the human mind are found within the underground. I also have seen that within these extreme communities many strong bonds can be found. Alex Layzell has given me the opportunity to come across and review some fantastic bands on a fanfuckingtastic site now for a bit, and for that I thank him. I also send cheers to him for showing me the band Regurgitate Life and If my sources serve me pertinent the band forming in the U.K. (of course) and including Sammy Urwin (Decrepit Womb, Defective Brain) and Sam Yates (Ingested, Decrepit Womb) personifies the meanings behind the words “Brutal” and “Epic”. Not sure exactly when the band has played with a full lineup live, but I do know that for right now it is a one man band for shows. This review is on the bands 2010 EP: Condemned from the Beginning.

The first track Unprovoked Violence/Decaying Humanity opens the album with a mystical sounding intro and moves into some of the heaviest slams that the Brutal Death world has seen to date. The vocals are percussive, clean, and help assist in the super-groove of the guitar’s excellence. Track two Hear You No More begins with a clean guitar chord progression that causes my dark heart to melt. It’s chilling yet beautiful and accomplishes an astonishingly melodic mood. The song transitions with a blisteringly fast explosion into an epic riff that causes the teeth to grind. This song especially reminds me of an early Cattle Decapitation sound with the mix of guttural vocals, grindy guitar riffs, and speedy drums. This Deathgrind sound seems to continue throughout the remainder of the violently excellent piece of art. Test your ears capacity to withhold its blood by finding and listening to this album of epic proportions.

I would highly suggest checking this band out and if you live in the U.K. area go see them destroy with Putrid Pile and many others at the London Death Fest 12.



Film Review: Almost Famous

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There was just no way I wasn’t going to like this film. An aspiring writer’s journey through the realm of 1970s Rock and Roll? Sign me up. When showing up with the promise of Rock and Roll the opening scene, with Alvin and The Chipmunks accompanying inoffensive suburban America, can be a little jarring. But every journey has humble beginnings and our protagonist William Miller’s is about as vanilla as they come. Oppressive mother Elaine, portrayed by Frances McDormand, has had his entire life on lockdown. She lied about his age and forced her family to celebrate Christmas in September to avoid commercialism. Her tyrannical nature drives William’s sister, Anita away. Anita, played by a young Zooey Deschanel who is finally residing in the era that she appears to come from, is instrumental in her brother’s musical enlightenment. She leaves home to become an air stewardess leaving him her entire record collection. Resulting in a sublime scene as William flicks through great album after great album focusing on their striking imagery. He ultimately comes to The Who’s “Tommy”, and a note of one of my favourite Non-Verbal film quotes of all time (a short list undoubtedly) “Listen to Tommy with a candle burning and you will see your entire future”. He drops the needle on “Sparks”, the bass fades in, and there is no going back.

Skip to 1973. William, now played by Patrick Fugit, is 15 and gunning to becoming a music journalist. He seeks out Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who takes an interest in him and becomes a sort of mentor. He tasks William with writing up a Black Sabbath concert, being an eager naïve journalist he tries to blag his way backstage, where he will eventually meet the rest of the films principal cast. Also trying to gain access is groupie troupe calling themselves “Band-Aides”. Among their ranks is Anna Paquin, playing Polexia, two other actresses who haven’t been in much else and their leader Penny Lane (Kate Hudson). William is left outside as they gain admission easily; life’s hard if you’re not a beautiful young girl.

He later runs into opening band Stillwater. They initially ignore him presuming him a fan but after he launches into an insightful critique of the band’s music they ask him to tag along and grant him an interview. Lead Singer Jeff, played by the actor I most disappointed to find out had converted to Scientology: Jason Lee and lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) take him under their wing. William is then approached by Rolling Stone magazine who want him to go on tour with Stillwater and write a cover story for them, a plot point that may seem a little farfetched given that he is 15 but this exact thing happened to the film’s director and writer Cameron Crowe when he was just 16 years old.

From here on the film transforms to a cultural time capsule, I wasn’t there to prove it or know for sure, but this film looks and feels just like the 1970s rock scene. All the acid, alcohol and music from the over spill of the summer of love is still in full force. Yeah, it’s probably a romanticised view of a time that was on its last legs but who doesn’t want to believe that is was a fucking great time? The whole notion of a band against the world is getting increasingly foreign; with the advent of the internet a band can become huge without ever playing a show. While I think that looking back at something with nostalgia that you were never even alive for is a waste of time, there really was something lost. The idea of a band conquering the planet by driving from city to city and playing straight up Rock and Roll is just fucking cool, but it has always kept a mysterious aura around it. What exactly does happen when you get a band of egocentrics, throw them some drugs, and ship them around together for months at a time? Well Crowe’s autobiographical content in the film must give it a sense of believability, and since out protagonist is unfaltering in his belief in absolute sincerity in his journalism it would be very surprising to find the film dishonest. It’s not all ‘super fun times’ though, the dreaded rock star ego’s that tore so many bands apart begin to surface in Stillwater. The bands chief creative force Russell confesses off the record to William that he may leave the band at any moment, and is only still present out of loyalty to his friends than of want. The others are fully aware of his lack of commitment causing resentment when he is still considered the bands most famous member. Tensions erupt when Russell is the only member featured in the foreground of an image on the band’s first t-shirt. The clashing feelings of distaste but reliance between Russell and Jeff mirror that of most major turbulent band of the era. They are so close to getting everything they have ever dreamed of, and they are even closer to fucking it all up for themselves.

Russell is the biggest contributor to the films dramatic elements, his masked unfaithful love for Penny Lane is one of the best plot elements. It helps identify one of the darker sides of 1970s rock bands, its treatment of women. I suspect that few females can identify with the film due to its female characters. Three quarters of them are groupies; another is a crazy over protective mother, the only real normal female character is Anita whose rebellion sets her free on her own journey of independence. The other girls just seem to be tagging along onto someone else’s journey. Sure girls did choose to be groupies but seeing the way the band treats them they just seem stupid, as Russell eventually trades the “Band-Aides” group off to another band for a case of beer. The film doesn’t shy away from showing the 70s Rock culture in all its misogynistic ways. Rock is clearly still a predominately male genre, and the film really taps into the lifestyle as a male fantasy but also has a perspective that shows what damage was done.

Cameron Crowe never really set the world ablaze as a director. But Almost Famous is crafted perfectly. It has many fantastic set pieces set to music that remind me of Martin Scorsese, William’s musical revelations set to The Who, the bands arrival at a bustling hotel set to David Bowie’s cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”, or the famous bus scene with Tiny Dancer. Plus any film that features a single Led Zeppelin song is such a rare occurrence that one featuring five has to be taken notice.
Music takes the back seat occasionally and allows the acting to shine through. Hudson, Hoffman and Crudup all provide stellar performances, each representing an entirely different area of Rock and Roll. The film peaks at a phone conversation between Lester Bangs and William; they discuss being uncool and what real friendship is. See it once and it will stick with you for a lifetime.

The film captures a time and culture perfectly, showing the good and the bad but does it so well that it doesn’t make those ideals seem horribly out of touch with the modern world, and all the while possessing enough perspective to get away with every clichéd rock radio staple that it throws at you. It’s a perfect look into everything Rock and Roll and will leave you wanting to get on the tour bus.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Los Crustaceos / Vacuum split

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If I had been able to, I would have offered a review here of Los Crustaceos' self titled EP. Unfortunately of the three links that Cloromiro, the vocalist, sent me, this was the only one which worked. What we have here though is a fine slab of raw, angry powerviolence at its best. So, instead i'll simply review Los Crustaceos' side of this split, and you can all make do with that until i get hold of a copy of the EP. This split is more than enough to keep you happy until then though, and i'll tell you why.

Los Crustaceos formed in the distant nation of Chile in 2008. They rehearsed once and stuck a video on youtube, then went straight in for the jugular with a show with Czech band Onanizer. After this show, Cloromiro states, the band decided to go in a more Powerviolence direction, having previously been more of a thrashcore outfit. Along with Vacuum and RichardHarrison, they began playing vicious powerviolence with a no-holds-barred rawness that is equal to any powerviolence emanating from the states or Europe. Their lyrics and their imagery do not, as far as i can tell, represent their views - the band are vegans and have appeared at an animal liberation rally. However, Cloromiro tells me their lyrics are sarcastic in nature and reflect rather nihilistic points of view.

With a ripping punk guitar sound that slices through the psychotic yelling like a wall of distortion, the songs are short frantic bursts of power, a chaotic and very angry style. The speed of the playing is incredible, tidy neat little blasts perfectly sculpted into structures slightly more complex than your average powerviolence band. The vocals slip between high screeching and a more hardcore style of yelling/shouting, seamlessly blending into the noise of the overall piece. Consisting of simply a drummer, guitarist and vocalist, the overall sound is an overwhelming wave of brutality that feels like getting punched in the face, to put it lightly. They carry a raw anger which seems to be lacking in a lot of contemporary powerviolence, but they seem to manage to keep the songs fresh and interesting with varied riffs and structures that would be considered slightly more complex than say, Dropdead, for example. They remind me more of Plutocracy, but whereas with Plutocracy they are hard to call a powerviolence band, these slip into the genre with ease. This band also use a lot of samples in their music, and even have a cheeky reference to Plutocracy with a hip-hop outro. They have a small following within Chile, and have played throughout the country in both the north and south. However, despite having a wide and varied punk/hardcore scene, Los Crustaceos are one of the only bands in Chile taking it to the next level with this kind of stuff.

The only problem, if there is one, is that this is a relatively small split. The songs are short, and Los crustaceos' side of this split is no longer than five minutes long, which is a real shame because it leaves you wanting more. A whole lot more! As of yet they have only released this split, a live split with another band, and their self titled EP. The self titled EP is hard to find but the live split is available on numerous blogs. Luckily they have more plans - a split with fellow Chileans RichardHarrison, and a 5-way split with some fastcore bands. But still, this split could have done with more material from both bands - and especially Los Crustaceos. They could have easily had double the amount of songs here, and it still would have been short enough to leave you wanting more. Undoubtedly, these will be a band to watch out for on the international scene, as they may be tearing it up someplace near you soon if they carry on in this way. Overall, this is a quality piece of Powerviolence perfection, solid in every way except length. Definately one of the better powerviolence bands i've heard in the past few years, Los Crustaceos are gonna blow your mind if you give them the chance.



Don't Be Swindle Podcast

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Good day folks! Will Butler of the ever prestigious  To Live a Lie Records, has once again shown his love for the music and the industry, by branching out into the realms of Podcasting, and has granted very kindly to us to reblog his podcast.
So if you like your punk loud and fast, check out this great collection of tracks! Currently on my third listen through!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Grinders Digest

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  • Wormrot Dirge is up for pre-order here.
  • They say what comes around goes around, remember when Metallica took Napster to court? Well Napster might be buying out Warner Brothers Music, of which Metallica belong to. Poetic Justice?
  • Atomck/Paucities split now available on physical format: here.
  • Obscene Extreme have announced a few more bands, increasing my jealousy levels.
  • Feel like a broken record on this one, but once again Grindcore Karaoke has released some new amazing material, including Robocop's demo, and Death Cult Jocks first full length, here.
  • A music industry spokes person, gives tips on how to make vinyl worthwhile to fans here
  • A L. Dram has reportedly smuggled himself into Libya, where he claims he intends to sell life insurance to rebels and loyalist forces, however amongst his belongings was a Kcmota CD, and as the international community has not yet fully recognised the rebel government as being the official government, Gaddaffi's 32 year old ban on heavy metal music and its derivatives is still legal and effective, where L.Dram risks being conscripted into the loyalist army as punishment. No one from the White House has commented yet.
    Random Fact of the Week: Colgate had trouble marketing in Spanish speaking countries, by virtue of the fact that in Spanish Colgate is the imperative form of go hang yourself.

    Saturday, 26 March 2011

    LOVER (Total Fucking Destruction - Hater, 2010)

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    Choose-your-own-review of TFD's album HATER!!

    1. It's Saturday afternoon and you are supposed to be writing a review of this TFD album for some blog or whatever- but HELL NO GIRLFRIEND! you recently lost your magic pen, the proximity of which is required to be able to write of review that is any good at all.
    Boldly you unzip a mediafire rar and prepare to do your best all by yourself.
    DO YOU LIKE GRINDCORE? yes goto:10 no goto:5 I'd rather look for this magic pen! goto: 11

    2. The production here is quite good, if a tad drum-oriented (understandable considering) and the song structures are well thought out.
    DO YOU LIKE CLEAN SOUND? Yes goto:3 no goto4:

    3. As you continue listening you start to really dig the overall vibe, but wonder if it's all a bit too tongue in cheek IS IT? yes goto:8 no goto:6

    4. The problem is Grind should always be about blasting to fuck punk-arse volumes, not this studio malarky, but having said that it is Rich Hoak so maybe you GIVE IT ANOTHER CHANCE? yes goto:10 no goto:7

    5. Not liking Grindcore you wonder why you ever let Alex pester you into doing this silly reviewing game in the first place- you load up gmail (or similar) and prepare to tender your resignation email when PROF busts in- "Great Scott I'm back again!!" but that's another review...

    6. You decide a sense of humour is a good thing for extreme music to have, and moreover this album is full of good ideas in terms of riffs and dynamics. MADE UP YOUR MIND YET? yes goto:9 no goto:10

    7. Nah, shag this for a game of hopscoth you decide to go listen to your ASSUCK vinyl instead, but realise only digital music exists now BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN THE FAR FUTURE!!! DAH-DAH!!!

    8. You just can't get over the sense that this isn't played quite straight enough, but it is enjoyable so do you GIVE IT ANOTHER CHANCE? yes goto 10 no goto 7

    9. SO there we have it HATER is pretty darn good overall, irreverent, catchy and blasty in equal measures. TEN GOLD STARS! Ok, having done that you decide now is the time to dust off some old plastic classics GOTO 7

    10. Ok, Grind is go! However the owner of this blog (Alex Layzell) has been pestering the fuck out of you on FB chat recently, kind of OFF PUTTING? Yes goto:7 no goto:2

    11. Ok, before we get started on this TFD business you decide you reallllly need that magic pen which enables you to write the review blogs all the girls don't like! You brave up and wedge your hand down the back of the sofa and THERE IT IS! THE MAGIC PEN!! Ok you think, now I can get on with this bullshit... buuuuutt you have been meaning to see if that vinyl you bought last week off ebay sounds good VINYL FIRST, OR REVIEW? vinyl goto: 7 review goto: 2

    Haves a facebookes

    Aside: to best enjoy this choose-your-own-review you should repeat it repeatedly (actual TFD joke)

    Friday, 25 March 2011

    Alamak! What are you doing on Grind to Death-lah? (Analdicktion, Sluts, 2011)

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    To all gore-grind bands and porno-grind bands I warn you, its a great gamble to request from me a review of your material, aside from my complete disdain for porno-grind, and my general loathing of 99% of gore grind bands for reasons of unoriginal, shit music, crap choice of aesthetic, etc. So when Analdicktion contacted me about writing a review, deep down I was dubious that I am going to have to slander another band off judging by band name, album art, lyrical concepts etc, but if I preach openness I best live up to it, lest be a hypocrite, so thus I accepted the challenge. And luckily for Analdicktion the gamble paid off, yep that's right it paid off, yes I know that I lured you into thinking this release was going to be terrible, but that is a technique I and actual real authors and journalists employ to keep attention, yes I know I am wasting time, and even more time by constantly writing, but its my blog and my post, and I can right as much as I like about whatever I like, did you know Hippo's eat only Red Herrings?
    Time wasting aside, Analdicktion although as suggested by the name and artwork are not really goregrind, although there is that tone to it, however I personally would describe them as Cerebral Bore meets Circle of Dead Children  in a blood soaked bath tub of death metal cacophony, with all the free cadavers and chainsaws you can muster. Architectures of rhythm are grand and foreboding as they shake violently amongst the snare slamming savagery  as a constant howl bellows on occasion warping to a testosterone laden scream of intense anguish and despair.
    Sporting bone crushing break downs that force the very earth before you to tremble, and a tyrannical manic smashfest of blast beats and rolling drum kicks, they quickly establish a dynamic that operates on interlacing rhythmic and harsh moments in a superfluous conjecture of brutal death metal than occasionally protrudes violently its bloodied fangs into a grindcore vibe like a hell bent rabid dog.
     The only grumbles are two in number, firstly the drums in the more intense moments play the same fast paced beat, which although one hell of a bestial beat it can feel samey as the tracks progress and the second qualm is a personal one, and that's I don't really like the general gorey porno theme, but in no way is a reflection of the top notch pounding they offer, and besides that's the beauty of music, you can make it about anything you want.
    To be honest it is no surprise that these guys are good, this release will be released by Scrotum Jus Records, the same guys who originally released the legendary Wormrots - Abuse, and if my memory serves me well, Analdicktion's logo is designed by non-other than the man himself Arif Rot, either that or someone else from Singapore whose artwork goes by the name "Rot Art". Once again, SE Asia is showing up trumps as the new homeland for extreme music, with Analdicktion amongst is arsenal of sickening sounds from the orient. Fans of Brutal Death Metal, prepare to have your faces shredded off.


    Thursday, 24 March 2011

    DIY or DIE! (Terrorismo?, Catacumba Apodrecida 2011)

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    In a day were the world is becoming smaller and smaller, and more and more impersonal, music is merely an accessory to ones perception from others and expendable at a mere click, we often feel we lost something deep in musics transition into the age of 1's and 0's. However not all have forgotten the beauty of the scene that once was, operating on the ideals of personal interaction and DIY ethics.
    Once such beautiful acquaintance with this vanishing underground is Brazil's Terrorismo?  who after contact had been established via email, agreed to send me their demo. After much time, I began to be anxious that once again the postal service had failed to deliver me goods sent to me, and I would have to resort to asking for a digital copy. However thankfully  the goods arrived, and what glorious goods they were.
    A beautiful envelope displaying the picturesque scenery of Brazil lay before me, and as I rummaged inside I pulled out a letter, and two discs. They were kind enough to hand write me a letter explaining the band and what they stood for, and the purpose of the delay, which turned out to be that they wanted me to get not only hear their demo, but to hear their latest release Catacumba Apodrecida, both of which were about the most DIY fashioning s I had ever seen, from the self printed covers and its lamentation, printed CD's and accompanying lyrics sheet, all instantly recognisable as work people have slaved over every step of the way.
    However back on track I run a review site of music not of rating music on its DIY factor, of which this would rate in more DIY than Blue Peter category (doubt non Brits will get that reference.
    Catacumba Aprodrecida  reminds me a hell of a lot of a more lo-fi Archagathus Sick Life,  the mincecore vibrancy is just sheer bliss, finding yourself shacking your head and tapping your feet in tune with its fluid feel, only to have the feel disrupted with the desperate screaming pleas and harsh guitar work in a scrambling outrage of political rhetoric.
    If the art and accompaniments weren't DIY enough, the release is recorded live and its quite gruff, but if you can see past the reverb and audio corrosion (of which I might add, I am starting to like lofi quite a bit now, much like a fine wine, but with more decibels and beats, either way too much of either will give you a splintering headache! And a good one too!), you will notice a fine rythmyn snaking its way in and out of the mincing mode, slithering around before it bites you again with its screaming venomous elocution.
    Terrorismo? lay waste to the traditional mincecore formula and offer something really stimulating with just as much sting as the rest conjure up on world wide woes. This will slay your senses!


    Film Review: Paul

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    Despite neither Nick Frost nor Simon Pegg playing this films titular character, no one is under any impression that its main appeal is anything other than the two of them. Their dynamic has been at the core of two beloved comedy films and a TV series, which I may as well name as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Spaced as every review of any film featuring the duo will have to name check at least one of these modern comedic staples.

    Another name I have to throw into the mix is Edgar Wright, who directed the holy Pegg/Frost trinity and collaborated with Pegg on the scripts for the two aforementioned feature films. Despite their success through their close association with each other, they predictably wanted to try things solo. Pegg has had varied successes with small roles in big action blockbusters Star Trek and Mission: Impossible III, Wright has gone on to critical acclaim with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Frost has had a far more muted career with his most notable film separate from the others being The Boat that Rocked. Paul is sort of reunion with Wright being the only hold out, but I would guess that Pegg and Frost wanted to see what they can achieve without Wright, as they co-wrote the film.

    Now, I presume that the average film audience has no knowledge of Edgar Wright’s involvement in Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. So to some people this probably appears to be the third instalment in what has been named as the “Blood and Ice-cream Trilogy”. Those better versed will know that the real third film in this series has been named The World’s End and is still in pre-production. I would love a film in the same vein as the first two, and that is kind of what I was hoping for in Paul, but Paul is definitely not part of the series.

    The first two were perfect send ups of the genre they inhabited, deriving its humour from the clichés and tropes associated with them. Paul is less of a strict genre film, it is more of a comedy with science fictions elements, the humour could arguably work independent of the genre it is set in. Its comedy comes from the tropes being atypical; yes there is a little grey alien but the comedy comes from its human like qualities as opposed to how a character like this would actually be in a serious sci-fi genre film. The zombies in Shaun of the Dead were just regular-ass zombies, they behaved exactly as you would expect, and they derived comedy from them through the characters reactions. Paul is just a comedy character who happens to be an alien, he looks like one but he is funny simply because he is so human.

    Upon realisation that this is more of a straight comedy film with a sci-fi premise as opposed to a genre spoof the film is a lot easier to take. It makes you realise that you are not going to get the Hot Fuzzian film you had hoped for, and to just take it for what it is. It may be unfair to compare it to the two Blood and Ice-Cream films but when these two actors are present, and the advertising ties the films together, it is unavoidable.

    Frost and Pegg play Clive Gollings and Graeme Willy, respectively. They are a pair of English comic and sci-fi nerds on a road trip through America’s UFO hotspots. The two find more adventure than they had anticipated when they meet Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen, an alien on the lam from the government. They of course harbour him immediately, and their road trip turns into a mission to get Paul home. Others join along the way with Kristen Wiig portraying a naïve but devote Christian: Ruth, who enters as love interest for Graeme. Jason Bateman plays a big nasty government special agent, since every film featuring a friendly alien needs one of those. Also an actress, so closely associated with the science fiction genre that I immediately presumed she must be playing herself, has a minor and ambiguous role as “The Big Guy”. I don’t know how much of a surprise it was intended as but the film built it up as such so I might as well to.

    Paul the character is ostensibly Seth Rogen in a little grey alien shaped package. Everything Rogen has become notable for is present; there are dick jokes, weed smoking and bare-buttocksery. He is likeable, but the only real originality in his characterisation comes from the fact that it is an overly familiar role being filled by an alien. He is more the main character than I would have liked, Pegg and Frost’s chemistry is downplayed, they seem to interact more with the alien than they do with each other, and with the introduction of more character they become part of a group rather than the two standouts. The idea of two British characters in a typical gross-out US comedy film is a refreshing idea; it could have toyed with the difference in humour stylistics but the film instead ops for a safer and all around American comedy style. Surprising to me since the film is written by the two Brits.

    Its predictability in its humour also carries over to the story as a whole. The film’s set ups of upcoming plot point’s verge on painfully obvious. How exactly Paul’s ability to revive animals from the dead will come into play is never in question. But to make it more glaringly obvious he is of course asked if he has ever revived a human (not a spoiler because the film makes it more blatant than this write up ever could). Ruth and Graeme’s drama free romantic path is also clear from their initial scene together. While the film is not trying to reinvent anything, the predictable aspects of the film just seem like lazy and bad writing. I aimed to avoid reverting to comparisons to Shaun of the Dead, but can anyone really say that they expected that film to become a drama lead zombie film an hour into its run time? That sort of unpredictability really set that film apart in a way that just makes Paul seem mundane.

    The referential humour that the two Edgar Wright films are famous for is also apparent in Paul but in an entirely different way. What Paul alludes to is far more familiar to the general public. It makes call backs to Back to the Future and Indiana Jones mainly through the uses of famous quotes. Wrights films also did this but the references where far deeper and far more extensive knowledge of the subject matter in question is required to get the majority of them. Paul plays it safe and uses broader references that can be understood by more less anyone, but there are still enough nerdy in-references to keep the hard-core sci-fi fans happy. This is usually to the films strength but it becomes distracting in the last 20 minutes when it becomes a movie-quote-a-thon.

    I really did enjoy this film a lot more than it probably sounds like I did. It is a straight forward no surprises comedy film. I usually prefer my comedy with a sense of intelligence and wit about it, and Paul certainly is not that. It is more entertainment based than it is laugh out loud funny. If you like the duo you will not be disappointed. They are their usually cheeky, funny and charming selves. It probably will not resonate with you, but you should enjoy it.

    Tuesday, 22 March 2011

    The South Has Risen Again (Flesh Parade, Dirty Sweet, 2011)

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    I consider myself an old school grinder, sticking to the past and liking current releases that show a lot of influence and raw sound from the older stuff I appreciate. This long awaited and overdue release is finally here and much like the album itself, my review for it has been quite delayed due to a tight schedule. Dirty Sweet is the second full length (if you don't count Kill Whitey as a comp) from Cajun Grinders, Flesh Parade. For all the people waiting over a decade for the amazing album's follow up, I think most of us can say it was definitely worth the wait. Although I do love Flesh Parade, it pains me to admit that they are criminally underrated along with possibly my favorite Grind band, Warsore. With Dirty Sweet under their belt and an entirely new generation to infest, I think they will finally start to get the attention they deserve.

    Dirty Sweet is a little over 30 minutes and manages to destroy every preconceived negative thought I had about the album. Starting off with kind of a boring Choir Intro I started getting worried and had second thought; luckily this was just a tease, much like the album cover. Jumping right into the next track is a furious blast fest topped with their signature animalistic vocals. This is Flesh Parade at their finest, with upped production and sounding as vicious as ever. Perfect riffs matched with excellently cued blasts and beats, every riff was soon engraved into my memory like a pocket knife carving an oak tree. By far my favorite aspect of Flesh Parade has always been the vocals and the production has them louder then ever. Even though the production has been raised quite a bit, it is not over-produced into sounding lame and stale like most stereotypical Death Metal, this is Grindcore and no Death Metal is in it. I only have two complaints from this album, my first being the amount of songs, with only 17 tracks I would have liked to seen 21-25 tracks on this record, but the final song being as long as it is makes the album stretch out as if it did contain more songs. My other complaint is the album is only on CD for the time being, but the band has talked about releasing a vinyl version so this is just more of a minor annoyance for now. These minor things do not negatively impact the album in any way for me however, I love it just as much as Kill Whitey, if not more and both are extraordinary releases. If you loved Kill Whitey or just want some refreshingly intense grind to melt your brain, give this album a go, as it will definitely go down in the history books. Buy it and support these maniacs, they deserve it. The south has risen again.


    Spreading the Dis-Ease: No Good Can Come From This

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    Torn Flesh Records are giving away a free compilation (all their works are free respectively) of blistering audio terror and depravity. Featuring many a decent band from the far corners of the earth, each bringing their  gruesome platter of cacophony to the table, akin to musical worship to the respective elements of defilement and anger. Be sure to get this monstrosity before it gets you!

    01 - No Good Can Come From This (Intro)
    02 - Paroxsihzem - Nausea
    03 - Abriosis - As The Shepherd Spites
    04 - elephantknuckle - This song SUCKS, a Ramones sample couldn't even make it better
    05 - Robocop - Fed To The Wolves
    06 - XII Boar - Train Wreck
    07 - Disphere - Behind Red Eyes
    08 - Kusari Gama Kill - Kabuki Jesus
    09 - Nekropolis - Ground Zero
    10 - Everfailed - Haunting Me Within
    11 - ATOMÇK - Dark Prism Strategy
    12 - Deadskin - kAtAsTrRrOfFf 0010 [Feat. -(rG13)-]
    13 - Magenta Harvest - Spawn of Neglect
    15 - PiGSHiT- Sweet Rats
    16 - DEEP COMA - Under The Ground
    17 - Dala Sun - Drunk
    18 - Unhumanity -Through Hell
    20 - Igorrr - Putrefiunt
    21 - Ending Quest - Body of Christ
    22 - Carcharias - Büntetés és Bosszú
    23 - ...and then, there were FROGZ! - I Am The Loris
    24 - a beautiful lotus - oh! a breakdown
    25 - Relikt - Master Of The Fools
    26 - Cerebral Engorgement - Shit Fuck Garbage Truck
    28 - Macabre Demise - Full Of Hate
    29 - Blasphemation - Immaculate Deception
    30 - Cosmic Shock Absorber - Guiltrip
    31 - Venomous Supremacy - Removal Of The Flesh
    32 - Fallen Grace - Putrid Remains
    33 - Wraith - Lacerated For Your Pride
    34 - Surachai - Isolation
    35 - Avoidant - Catatonic Force, The Disconnection Phase.
    36 - Expendiency - Masturbation Lust
    37 - Gore Obsessed - Dis-Organ-Ized (Impetigo Cover)
    38 - Flatulated - Burn The Flames (Roky Erickson Cover)

    Monday, 21 March 2011

    Focus on my mind. Focus on my strength. (Suffer the Cycle, Expire, 2011)

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    This band, oh man. Where do I even start? I fell in love with them when I first saw them with Rotting Out last summer, of course. They were promoting their EP, Grim Rhythm. Heavy, fast, and energetic. I found myself moving to every beat of their music, wanting to go completely nuts. I know that the next time they came back, I definitely did. I sang my little lungs out and went home with no voice. So you can imagine how incredibly fucking stoked I was when I received a little preview (or all of it) from their new 7", Suffer the Cycle. I was all smiles and immediately started listening to it. It has literally been on repeat since I received it last Tuesday.

    Suffer the Cycle is being released under Six Feet Under Records. The 7" contains 4 songs worthy of both east coast and west coast mosh. While the rest of the world has been arguing which coast is the best coast the Midwest creeped up and boldly said "No coast is the best coast, Midwest is where it's at motherfuckers." I can't really say much else without giving the whole thing away. Basically, you need to listen for yourself so pre-order the 7" here before it's too late. You can also to listen to "Sleep Lost" on there, which is one of the track on the record. Obviously. So what the fuck are you waiting for? Do not sleep on this.

    Sunday, 20 March 2011

    A bit of the old Ultraviolence? (Kuntpuncher, Take Drugs and Eat Kebab 2011)

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    Had I not known better, then I very well might of guessed that Britain's very own happy hardcore grinders Kuntpuncher were non other than the violent youthful rapists and general troublemakers that  are Alex DeLarge and his fellow droogies. Blending in loud electronica abuse with grind, they offer a fast paced, aggressive, yet humorous and even sometimes trippy reality, to their mind boggling grind. Straight from the outset one can see that an Altered States of America era Agoraphobic Nosebleed are a heavy influence on the material, although not as fast nor intense, but more mellowed out, as if years of drug abuse have finally caught up with them, and thus either fucked up their perception of time, or it has impeded on their cognitive ability to process so much rattling noise.
    Aside from the overtly politically incorrect and offensive choice of band name, Kuntpuncher offer an even more vulgar array of abuse in the form of merchandise and lyrics, in a manner befitting the Burgess' aestheticisation of violence in a  regressive dystopian urban youth culture. From the head cracking pounding fury to the mind screwing audio sampling of complete randomness of it all, your heads going to be giving you  "what the fuck is going on!" voice for the most part of it, and perhaps I think this may be one of those rare instances in art, where things actually make sense if you took drugs prior to exposure (perhaps drugs and kebab, maybe the title is instructional?) give the full picture to this psychotic cyber frenzy. Actually upon reflection, perhaps taking drugs to listen to Kuntpuncher isn't the best idea, as the band learnt first hand. From masquerading around in black face, fucked up videos and a rather messed up feel of Doctor Who crossed with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the rape of cultural innocence these drug fiend bastards offer, is going to be more than a sober you will ever tolerate! Highly recommended for those who just like to fuck shit up!


    Saturday, 19 March 2011

    Grinders Digest

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    • The Grind World Wide Series will be done every month instead of every two weeks, academia must prevail, plus give it more time for people to voice their opinions.
    • As per usual Grindcore Karaoke shows no sign of stopping its free killer grindcore rampage.
    • Myself and Luke Oram have launched our own label Dataclast Records, all releases will cost 5 us cents the exact cost it is for us to host, so that way we stay completely non-profit, and incur no financial loss to ourselves. Currently we have 3 releases that you can preview for free, just to get a hint as what the label will be offering soon. Artists feel free to get in touch, and readers spread the word!
    • Napalm Death offer their new track to the decibel flexi series here or listen to it on this post at the bottom.
    • Grind and Punishment offers a outlook into the death of physical and the rise of digital music here, with Luke Oram offering a series of opinions here (alongside contact with the future), mine to follow suit soon.
    • The Grindcore Alphabet series also over at G&P has reached letter F here.
    • Czech Grinders Malignant Tumour, have won a award, awaiting old time and isolationist grinders verbal abuse on the "popularisation of grind" and how it should stay KVLT and in the underground (source)
    • For those of you want to know the variations of Dirge that will be available check out this graphic.
    • Something I forgot to mention when Hydrahead originally mentioned it, a karaoke competition is in place to win a copy of Orphan, see here, with a preview of available via Noisecreep.
    • Total Fucking Destruction have two new music videos one here the other here
    • New Haemorrhage is available for pre-order here.
    • Police are still searching for a L. Dram who has recently claimed responsibility for a number of fires at grindcore gigs, he has been noted as claiming on his site that he wishes "To destroy this god awful music, and pave the way for djent"
    • Random fact of the week: Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

    Don't Be Swindler (My two cents ((or pence, really) on the physical format debate)

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    A few days ago I was reading this post on the gold-standard of grind blogs Grind & Punishment. For those how have not read it I'll sum it up: the author has finally acquiesced to his music no longer being in a physical format due to the prevalence of digital media.


    Now this little old nugget of worms caused particularly strong feelings in me gulliver, and I immediately posted up a comment what where I spoke my brain.
    And then it occurred that mayhap Grandpa Oram's outlook on this might be, heaven forfend, informed by a different set of experiences than yer average kid who knows how to fetch music down a series of tubes.

    So let's begin by stating my gut feeling, and then I'll try and expand upon it.

    I think that digital-only music basically harms music, in the long run.

    GOSH! WOW! WHAT!? etc etc...


    I also must make it clear that I download a fantastic amount of music. BUT WAIT! How can I possibly find a moral perch between these two seemingly opposed aspects?

    I consider it pretty straightforward: downloading music in order to find what one likes is much like listening to radio, or getting given a mixtape. In many cases I will never see a real copy of whatever-it-is in front of me so stealing it from the electric ether is most likely the only option.
    And taking that as a given I don't think many will opt to actually pay for that privilege, not really. Be honest about it.

    And here we arrive at a bit of an issue, powerful enough to warrant discussion despite it's obviousness.

    Someone has paid for that music at some point. These days that person is probably going to be the band themselves (especially if you like grindy old bunk like I do). So the underground musician is paying to entertain you: that is my first objection.

    ++++++++BLOGCAST INTERRUPRTED+++++++++
    Greetings earthbound readers of unpopular music related entity 'Grind to Death'.
    This is a communique from far-future Humans (now called Hoomanz) that have colonised the universe, sort of like in your contemporary film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure only different enough to avoid copyright infringement.
    Anyway we are just intervening into what our futuregoogle stats has termed the most negative post on the primitive early web to point out all the obvious logical flaws that 'Luke Oram' (real name, Luke Dram) has made in this post. He needs to big-time get over his starving musician bullshit and grow at least one pair. Here in the actual future us Hoomanz enjoy universally free information, and file sharing porn and music was it's inception. So good work.
    +++++++++OVER AND OUT+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Now personally I don't have much issue with making music for free, christ knows I have done it enough over the years (all music available free online, countless trips around the country to play gigs for no pay) and I very much doubt that will ever change. But I do see a odd perspective creeping in: many will say such things as 'but it's your hobby' or 'other people are willing to do this for free so why should I pay for your crap music Luke?' and those observations are of course correct- if I turn down a gig someone else will indeed take it for nothing, and yes, I do this because I enjoy it.
    I consider this to be a fundamental risk to music however.
    You see these days the only currency in music is attention. There is no money actually in the act of creating or playing music, only in the cultural capital created by doing this which is leveraged against tertiary sales like tshirts. I believe a band should be first and foremost a band, making music and playing it. Merch is fine but is not the reason why I bothered to learn all the riffs.

    So us bands find ourselves in the somewhat narcissistic position of paying for that attention by funding everything with no return ever; I wish music could be more than that but I can at least accept it. But here comes the next problem: little old band saves up their cash and records some music, plonks it online and waits for the interest to come rolling in but it never comes. Or maybe it does, very hard to tell how many people have your music once it's proliferated across the mindbending multitude of P2P networks.
    Unbeknownst to them hundreds of people download their music, but because they don't know about it little old band assumes no-one cares.
    Gigging goes just as bad for them alas, the interested audience have no direct relationship with the group and aren't in the same location so no-one turns up. Six months later little old band calls it quits because they think there is no interest and as musicians they owe rent and shit.

    Ok ok, so far I am being a bit glib and pessimistic but let me assure you this is from experience.

    Well my young apprentice, there are a few ways available to the enterprising chap or chapette.
    First and foremost music like grind is a community, and if you claim to love it you need to be supporting it somehow, this could mean chartering a team to find a record shop still trading and buying some music, or it could mean actually going to see some bands play live, right in front of you!! This way you'll be giving the music you consume not only some money from the gate, but the actual manna of attention! A good gig is what keeps a band going, what makes them bother to release that cool ep you swagged from soulseek yadda yadda yadda.

    ++++++++BLOGCAST INTERRUPTED AGAIN+++++++++++++
    Dear humans of the 21st century, we are actually from the future unlike the previous interruption. We are very sorry we didn't get here in time to prevent it. The news is grim, here in the far future we are ruled by a race of heartless robot masters, sort of like your contemporary film Terminator only different enough etc etc. We urge you to stop file sharing right now- the computer virus that spawned our digital overlords began as a corrupted song in a Metallica album that was being fileshared. We replaced Metallica with agents in an attempt to stop the initial spread, but this is the second film now and things have gotten worse. Please heed the warnings of Agent Luke Oram

    You can also improve your own experience of the music by appreciating it's finer qualities, and by this I mean not listening to everything through the inbuilt speakers of a laptop. Bass-less tinny zero dynamics crap is not music, it's not how that music actually sounds at all- it's like being a Botticelli enthusiast but only clicking 'save images as' from a google search. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE TYPE of person your child-self wanted to grow up into? A dull, disengaged collector of not-even-real music files? Thought not.

    Having said all that I do not like the elitist record collector fallacy either, but it is a different kettle of oranges so just take it as read I don't mean become one of those either. Hah, good luck avoiding my judgemental wrath on this one buster you have it stacked the fuck against you, I've been backtracing your internets and you've totally downloaded the entire slap-a-ham catalogue, AND DELETED THE COVER ART TO SAVE HDD SPACE you philistine, the art is part of the album! Which brings me to another point:

    When I was a child, running in the night I saw a cool album cover in a shop. I won't mention what it was but it had a awesome looking well-know monster on it and 23 years later that is why I like the sound of guitars, because I bought that album. uuuuuuurrrrRRRGH I AM NOT LIKE YOU, I COME FROM ANOTHER and eventually forged a life-long relationship with vinyl as a music ritual. It could be any form of physical format however, it doesn't matter so long as it completes the proper fan<>band transaction.

    So anyway, as you can all tell I'm against everything now with no real solution just like everyone else. Whoooope.

    Right you lot, this is the actual future here, not like those other two imposters. Let us tell you this, here in the future no-one cares about your weak problems- we got space invaders, mole men and twelve different Zombie holocausts to deal with so do you think we give any thought about how some 3000000 year old spoilt chumps listened to long-dead formats of something I'm informed was called music? Hell no buster. I'm called LUUUUK ORRAMM, distant descendant of Luke Oram as it happens. Basically we believe he started this post as a genuine moan about the state of music but got worried it was boring and somewhat pointless. Anyway I'm the last human alive and I'm just about to finally defeat the Crawling Terror from Dimension Zogg by exploding all the universes. Good day.


    Thursday, 17 March 2011

    Film Review: Adventureland (the most un-metal thing on this site)

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    A recent viewing habit of mine is the easy to watch dumb comedy film, the sort of film that requires no thought. Just turn your brain off and enjoy the dumb sex jokes and gross out humour. This habit of course eventually leads me to Judd Apatow, who seems to have written, directed or produced the vast majority of films in this genre. Leading me to believe that he will soon have a “six degrees of dumb comedy films” theory surrounding him. The guy is responsible for the majority of the best of these films to varying degrees, he wrote and directed Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and produced Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Stepbrothers. It is his producing credit on 2007s Superbad that brings me to my point. Superbad is directed by Greg Mottola, also the director of Adventureland. Making Adventureland one degree away from Judd Apatow.

    Adventureland was released in 2009, but I discovered it amongst one of my many dumb comedy benders. It seemed to have all the making of another great Superbad like coming of age film, a group of friends sharing a summer together, parties, alcohol and various narcotics. There is talk of virginities being lost and a trip to “sexually permissive cultures”. Main character, James Brennan, is seemingly your typically socially awkward nerd ready to embark on a journey of social and sexual acceptance; he is even played by Jesse Eisenberg who played this exact character ark in another “-land” suffixed film (Zombieland). But prepare to be misled, his trip is cancelled and he is forced to get a summer job to fund his college education due to his Father’s demotion.

    From here on the film performs a complete 180 from my expectations and the expectations it laid down in the first 5 minutes. Sure it is still a comedy and sure it still has sex and drugs in it, but prepare for drama and a slower pace than envisaged. This is not the type of film that I thought I was in for and it pretty much flat out lied to me, but I have got to say. I fucking loved it.

    The story follows Brennan as he is abandoned by his friends and begrudgingly begins working at theme park Adventureland. He gains a whole new group of friends in his co-workers, including Joel an eccentric Russian literature enthusiast, Em a sweet girl with a troubled home life and Lisa P the girl of every Adventureland employee’s dreams. Romance ensues with Brennan and Em developing a relationship. Em’s characterisation is another of the many reasons that the film took me by surprise, she is played by Kristen Stewart, now everyone has an opinion on Twilight but it is hard to deny that the series hasn’t exactly given anyone confidence in Stewarts acting chops. But her portrayal of a character that is being tugged at by a cavalcade of different emotions, from grief, to love, to self-hatred is fantastic. Further strengthened by it remaining subdued when it could have so easily drifted to melodrama. Despite her problems there is something ultimately appealing and instantly likeable about her. One of the hardest things to present in a comedy film is a believable romance that a viewer can invest in; many exist only as a means of humour. Brennan and Em seem to have a romance that comedy simply occurs around and due to the films atypical nature, the jokes really aren’t all that frequent anyway. The jokes act as a break to the romance as opposed to contrariwise.

    Brennan’s apparent social awkwardness is broken down quickly. He seems to want to break free of peoples past interpretations and change for the better. He is strangely confident and honest, asserting and openly discussing his feeling for Em as soon as he is sure of them. It is definitely a coming of age character ark but he takes all of the things often encountered by these characters in his stride, greeting them with enthusiasm and eagerness instead of wide eyed naivety. He constantly complains with his friends about how he hates his current situation, but gives off the impression that he has never been happier. He knows what he wants but presents himself with such an atypical selflessness that he is almost impossible to dislike.

    Of course trouble awaits the romance, with Brennan going out with desirable Lisa P, simply because he knows not many people get the opportunity. Em’s relationship with park maintenance man Mike Connell also lays the ground work for trouble. I won’t spoil were every leads but its ending is predictable even if the tone of the film is not.

    It is sort of appropriate that I am some 750 words into this before mentioning that this film is set in 1987. The unimportance of this setting to the story is similar to the unimportance my review has showed it hitherto. The story just happens to be set in the 1980s; it simply serves of an example of what day to day life may have been like at this time. It doesn’t mock or use its settings as a basis for humour, yeah there are questionable haircuts and clothes border on flamboyance, but it gives of the impression that this is just what people were like back then. I really enjoy this understated look at the 80s, just the most miniscule things that were part of simple day to day life somehow interests me. Just seeing characters set a needle on a record or place a tape into a cars stereo, just moments like this that make the setting apparent are great moment that fit with the films downplayed but fantastic style. Establishing its setting through the miniscule rather than obvious clichés, such as “HEY LOOK MOTLEY CRUE AND LEGWARMERS!!” is a stroke of refreshing genius.

    It even continues straying from the obvious in its soundtrack selection. While it does have to feature the obligatory dated 80s anthems, the offending track being “Rock Me Amadeus”. It generally treats its soundtrack with some form of sincerity, with the dated and cheesy music being used predominantly to illustrate the characters derision for it. It is a great use of a licensed soundtrack featuring music from various years, genres and artists, with great songs from Lou Reed, The Replacements and The Cure.

    The film just has a lot of heart. It is mostly about the simple seemingly insignificant moments, moments featuring pot cookies and bumper cars, and a conversation on Herman Melville that is just perfect. It’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s sincere and it will surprise you if you let it.