Hambeast is a one man project from the States, dealing in unbelievably strange, stupid, outsider Ambient music. Simplistic, catchy Synth melodies underscored with sub Techno clicky beats, with weird samples and a somewhat unsettling vibe. This stuff is creepy and funny at the same time, which is something I always get a kick out of; this is like the soundtrack to a terrible early 90’s Science Fiction movie. This also has that kind of intangible Tardcore vibe, only achieved through crappy Electronics, and I really dig the ridiculous cover art. Easily one of the stranger releases available at Mortville Noise, which is certainly saying something. I have listened to this more often than I care to mention, It’s great, weirdo fun!
Blotter Acid Eucharist is the Psychedelic Noise project of J. Randall, utilising Binaural Tones to create sound-scapes of psychoactive auditory hallucination. A single track of sprawling, minimal, ambient Noise, very subtle and soft sounding, with spiraling left/right contrast tones and massive sounding low end dirges of vibration. This stuff is the complete antithesis to Randall’s other Noise projects (Seal Team 666, Japanese Torture Comedy Hour), and will appeal more to fans of Dark Ambient and Soundtrack Noise rather than Harsh stuff. I found this release to be extremely trippy and at least suggestively psychoactive; the effects of Binaural Tones vary from listener to listener, so I would advise listening to this without any hopes of getting high, rather enjoy it for what it is. A very passive listening experience, this must be listened to on headphones, and you should download the lossless FLAC file version for optimum effect. Very interesting.
Yet another vomitous, disgusting Gore project from Andy from Hyperemesis. 5 tape recorded tracks of belching, gnarly Goregrind with a crusted-over sound, hammering Drum Machine and grinding bass, all dripping with festering puke/roar vocal, the kind of which Andy is the Shaolin master. This has a more audible quality than many of Andy’s other projects, and is closer to straight up Dead Infection/Regurgitate worship than some of his noisier/crustier projects; of his other stuff I’d say this is most like Cadaveric Maggot Infestation. If you dig Hyperemesis or any affiliated project this one’s a total no brainer!
Kathogah is a Industrial/Noise/Post Metal project of Jon Engman, also of Custodian and Urth amongst others. The release is two tracks of lumbering, crushing Industrial in the vein of Godflesh or very old Pitchshifter. The production is very noisy and crackly, with layers of Noise woven beneath the muscular Bass and Drums, creating a very dense listening experience. Echo laden burly vocal drifts in and out of the musical framework, creating a simultaneously damaging and weirdly Ambient vibe. The metallic samples form a fibrous web of sounds worked into the cogs of the music, and the echo vocal works to pierce this and really accent the thunderous musical rumble. This stuff also really reminds me of the first couple of Depressor demos, as well as the obvious Godlesh influence. Great, great throwback Industrial Doom. Can Engman do no wrong? Massively recommended!
The first Seal Team 666 release, all recorded live behind the Boston Aquarium. 8 tracks of violent Science Fiction Pulse/Harsh Noise. Very futuristic and confusing, lacking any Ambience in favor of rampaging, blasting cuts of Pulse. There is a certain intricacy at work here, but really only serves to keep the record interesting and varied rather than any range between quiet and loud. The influence of 90’s Japanese Noise hangs over this release, specifically legendary Noise producer Pain Jerk, as it does most of Randall’s Harsh Nose output; to me this record sounds much like the Pain Jerk ‘Psychowars’ release from ’98. A very full-on, caustic listening experience, not relaxing or calming in any way at all. If your taste in Noise veers more on the side of Dark Ambient or Sound-scape then this probably wont do much for you. If however you enjoy stuff like Pain Jerk, MSBR or anything Harsh Noise related with lots of cuts and loops this one’s recommended.
3 track release from Harsh Noise grand magus Jah Excretion. Dissonant, Harsh sandblasting electronics scrape, dense as hell and super blissful. Harsh Noise layered and tempered with texture, with a very 90’s ‘Japanoise’/Dynamic Noise sound. As always the vibe is geared towards a blissed out, intense trip rather than dwelling in the gutter in terms of subject matter. If there’s one thing that’ll put me off a Noise project guaranteed, it’s some played out ‘gruesome’ porno/mysoginist theme, hence Jah Excretion being one of the most listened to Noise projects on my ipod. There’s an obvious stylistic nod to Dub and Harsh Bass Noise here also, although I’d be lying if I said that extends into the sonics of Jah Excretion particularly; if there are Dub Bass lines in here they’re so buried they can only be experienced on the level of the subconscious. Massively recommended! RIDE
Tetrahydrocannibal is Sean Jenkins, contributor to this very blog, writer at LinesInWax and general fool behind Pointless Records. Sean spews out weed obsessed gurgling watery Gorenoise, replete with rolling, blasting Snares, burbling Harsh Noise and Bong vocal. That’s right, Sean’s bong is Tetrahydrocannibal’s vocalist. It works well as a tool for aquatic Gore vocal, and adds to the smoked out aesthetic. This stuff is super dank, rancid sounding and extremely noisy, being way more on Noise side of Gorenoise, with no riffs or groove and heaps of Noise walls and random drum patterns. One small quibble I have is that the whole recording is a little on the quiet side; it would be nice if this demo were a little louder as it would make the whole experience more damaging. I’m excited to hear more of this stuff, get stoked on the recently confirmed Tetrahydrocannibal/Ultracide split by downloading this, smoking up and dropping out!
If Cave State are the “breakout” band of 2013, then To The Point are “THE BAND” of 2013. Owning absolutely every release they’ve thrown at you since their conception, this compilation of songs can be downloaded for free at Chris Dodge’s (Slap a Ham godfather & To The Point vocalst caveman) blog.
This one contains various songs from all of their releases (including the split with Pick Your Side, one of the must listen records of the year in my opinion), sort of like a delicious hardcore appetizer platter before you sink your teeth into the vinyl (good luck finding it!). Every song this band creates is top notch. You know the story. TTP is sort of a “Lack of Interest 2.0”, but they’ve obliterated any misconceptions that this is going to be a formulaic cookie-cutter clone of a now legendary band. No, To The Point is it’s own monster & adds something desperately needed to hardcore: Spontaneity! You can never guess what they’re going to end up half way through any one of their songs. And then they do it. And no matter what path they choose the result is always something insanely pleasurable to hear at the end. Everyone in the band is literally “on point” when it comes to every aspect of the music. There are no weak links at all. But in my humble opinion, what separates this band from everyone else is the guitar playing. Things you would NEVER think to put in a hardcore song on top of a flawless foundation of bass and drums suddenly make complete sense. It’s meticulous, it always comes out of nowhere & it compliments everything else so perfectly that their sounds becomes instantly recognizable. The fact that they can achieve this all while never ignoring the basic fundamentals of fast music & what makes a great HC song truly great is a thing of beauty and harder than anyone is willing to admit. Being hardcore veterans, they have used their knowledge to basically transcend the genera without losing an ounce of the speed, brutality, wit or integrity that makes this type of music so pure and wonderful to begin with.
Ah yes, the Cave State demo. THE demo of 2013.
This band (young southern California residents who all cut their teeth playing in various amazing grind/powerviolence bands over the past few years) has come together and right off the bat assaults you harder than the L.A.P.D. you with these 7 rib-breaking tracks. Signifying that this is one of those bands that’s going to absolutely fucking kill it with every release they throw at you. From this demo to their eventual last album (which will be a sad day). There’s damn good reason everyone’s going bonkers over Cave State.
This is a band that did their homework. Flashes of Crossed Out, Despise You, Neanderthal, No Comment & a dash of Crom, all with the juice that makes it unique and a sound that they specifically own. Something I would say 95% of the bands going for this sound ultimately fail at.
Already, their upcoming release on To Live A Lie Records is one of the most anticipated pieces of vinyl of 2014 and will be making many a top- ten list I predict, just as this demo did for 2013. Get on this or get left in the dust.
A Beautiful Lotus is Phil Acevedo, Midigrind wizard and all around lovely man. If you enjoy Cybergrind/Midigrind you have probably heard of ABL, having been around since the early 00’s and being a bit of a Myspace household name. ‘Here It Cums!’, a re-release of the first ABL demo, delivers 10 tracks of very lo-fi Electronic Grindcore; thin Guitars looped ad nausea, breakbeats, blast beats, weirdo samples and crazed, effects-mauled high/low Grindcore vocal. Everything sounds digitized, and the whole thing has a very bedroom project vibe. I find much Midigrind to be hit or miss, but this stuff is so strange, outsider and devoid of Metal that I find it endlessly enjoyable and fun. Phil is also heavily involved with the excellent netlabel ROBO! Robotica, which is well worth checking out.
Bandcamp – Can’t link to the release directly, so seek this one out from the ABL bandcamp page, and check their other stuff out too!
Romero are a Stoner/Doom three piece from the States. Couch surfing, amber drenched riffs, Doom swinging Drums, smoky production and hazy reefer yell vocal. Warm tones and a laconic, high vibe. Definitely one to recommend to your little stoner buds for a bong session. Heavy but also with a certain pop sensibility, with lots of range in dynamics, and quieter moments emphasising the crushing heaviness. I really dig how much of the time the Drums are the lead instrument here, playing almost over the underpinning, droning Guitar work. I find this release very relaxing. I guess they sound like Kyuss, Sleep or perhaps Cavity. You can pick up a physical copy here, which comes with a bonus track. Super solid, super high.
Second release from J. Randall’s Gorenoise/Noisecore effort Ultracide. 18 tracks of utterly manic Noisecore blur with full retard gurgle/roar pitch shifted vocal, Bass Noise slaw and crazed, nauseating Drum programming. Crushing, noxious spore cloud Gore smothered in sloppy, fuzzy Noise. If I’m not mistaken, (I might be), the drums here are manually played on either a drum pad or a touchscreen. It’s interesting to hear Randall turn his hand to anything Gore related, and while I suppose it’s a shame there’s none of his trademark cynical lyrics, the song titles more than make up for it, and this kind of crap is a perfect vehicle for his cryptic sense of humor. This weirdly reminds me of the Agoraphobic Nosebleed demo and the Clean Plate 7″; Ultracide makes me nostalgic for the old, freaksauce ANb material, before the riffs. Other sonic references can be made to Last Days Of Humanity and Gore Beyond Necropsy. All around an awesome release, here’s hoping to more in the future since Seal Team 666 got name-jacked by Hollywood. Next!
Yet another Amphibian Gorenoise project from the always great Big Frog. 8 tracks of swampy, skull crushing Gorenoise/HNW with endless blasting Drums, ridiculous pond mud Guitars downtuned to the point of complete incomprehension and insane Toad calling vocal. Similar to some of the more intense, noisy Phyllomedusa stuff but the Drum sounds here distinguish Toad Birth and push them further into HNW territory. Short, blunt and damaging, like beating a Frog hunter to death with a ball-peen hammer. For Gorenoise/HNW fans alike. Liberate Amphibians, kill humans. If you dig this or any of the myriad Big Frog projects, pick up a shirt here or donate to SaveTheFrogs here.
Spew-Gina were a Noisecore band from the States. This is a retrospective release by Mortville, collecting various recording sessions and split records. Micro song blurts of spastic Noisecore in a very traditional style; hundreds of samples from movies, harsh blasting manual Drum machine, barely audible Guitar/Bass grinding garbage and deranged roaring vocal, all wrapped in a strange and sarcastic sense of humor. This also has one of the crappiest sounding Snares ever, and not in the typical ringing Gore sense, more in that it’s flat as hell and totally unwieldy. The vocals here are excellent, sounding genuinely pissed off and goofy at the same time. There’s an occasional nod to old Hardcore thrown into the mix, and a free associative style, with little song craft or design. However, when the Punk rock riffs do surface they’re surprisingly catchy. My favourite material here is from the Weird Vision split. Great, enjoyable Noisecore. Get into it!
A collaborative piece between Japan based Noise artist Kelly Churko and Manuel Knapp, an Artist who works in many different medias including painting and installation work. This stuff consists of tonal, shifting Harsh Noise, constantly building layer upon layer of ringing, stinging frequencies and low end howling white noise into a stressful experience. This is tempered with a sense of ambient design and tranquil, eerie quieter passages. The swelling and waning nature of these sounds gives an impression of creation and inevitable corrosion or degradation, with the focus on texture make these tracks cold, anxious and unsettling. I find the cover art very representative of the designed, alien organism audio on offer. Recommended migraine.
Xrin Arms is a one man Hip Hop project from the states. He deals in cryptic, decadent Hip Hop with jaunty beats and a very drunk, off tilt vibe. This record is entirely instrumental, with samples taken from a wide array of sources from traditional piano to noisy effects and accordions, and dank, dark, weirdo-funkin’ beat(z)s. Laden with repetitive nauseating hooks, and a lop-sided sense of melody, the record is very catchy despite being so psychedelic and at times noisy. This is like a soundtrack to some unknown Harmony Korine movie form the early 2000’s. Very, very niche left field Hip Hop that probably won’t appeal to every Hip Hop fan, but for those that can stomach the sea sickness this is essential. I also really dig the artwork for this one, it looks like a still from a Lynch movie which is somewhat appropriate.
Jah Excretion is Yu Iwasaki, a Japanese Harsh Noise dealer kickin’ out blissful pot haze audio concrete, all recorded live the old school analogue way. One track of quaking, roaring white noise textures stretched into nearly 24 minutes, higher frequencies tearing through the barrage of sound and climaxing into orgasmic THC Noise eruption, and one track of slow building Ambiance involving what sounds like sampled taps and percussion and very minimal Noise loops and effects. This paring of extremities makes for a cosmic, meditative listening experience. This stuff is unbelievably Harsh even amongst other Noise artists, but with a focus on the trip and the experience rather than any violent or negative subject matter. This onus shift make these sounds expansive and exploratory, but no less Harsh or Intense. Trippy, ponderous and unbearably loud. Easily one of my favourite current Noise units, and a record I return to constantly. Legalize It, Seriously!!!
I had a bit of a personal falling out with Death Grips earlier this year when I read all about their ridiculous and childish approach to gig commitments, but after a while I realised that this was probably just some silly publicity stunt and I’d been sucked right into it. That aside, I finally got around to checking out the album that got them dropped from Epic Records, the rather phallic No Love Deep Web. On the first listen, No Love… just sounds like Death Grips. I know that’s probably a stupid thing to say, but my first impression is more of the same. That gradually falls by the wayside though, as I get into the tracks. “Lil Boy” is a Death Grips classic, and “No Love” makes me remember why I loved this group so much in the first place, with its heavy beat, dark electronics and impossibly unusual rap vocal approach. “Black Dice” is another favourite of mine, as is the sparse “Hunger Games” and the second half of the title, “Deep Web”. It’s easy to see why Death Grips are so big at the moment. They seem to appeal to a whole spectrum of different underground scenes outside of Rap and Hip Hop with their dank, mysterious sound and heavy beats. Worth a listen if you’ve got an open mind.
A collaborative effort between Matt Ants, also of Crutch and other Hardcore bands, and Absent Acclaim whom I’m less familiar with. 7 quick tracks of hypnotic, piano laden Hip Hop; laced with tranquilizing sampled melody and strange found sounds, rudimentary, creaky beats and irreverent, mad lyrical criminal rhymes. I really enjoy how short the tracks are; Matt Ants generally brings a Hardcore get-in-get-out mentality to his Rap stuff and it makes it stand out from the crowd. Very old school and rusty sounding, with much of the sampling sounding organic rather than digital. Ill, blazed and catchy. Highly recommended to Hip Hop fans.
Yattai are a Grindcore band from France, and this release collects their previous records and demos. Fifty tracks of hyperactive, crusty, metallic Grindcore. Lots and lots of blastbeats with ringing snare raspy yelling vocal, with a certain Black Metal sound in the dissonant Guitar work and grinding Bass. This stuff is cold sounding without being clinical or safe, with a howling, wind tunnel approach to their Blitzkrieg Grindcore. This sounds kind of like a dirtier, crustier Rotten Sound or Nasum. I also hear and influence from stuff like Suffering Mind or Blockheads. The disc is available for purchase on the bandcamp page in various formats, if you dig this then order a copy!