Monthly Archives: April 2020


Nasty pathological Goregrind by Hagamoto from Bodies Lay Broken etc and Isaac from Sulfuric Cautery etc. A meeting of masterminds – echoing snare ping hyper blast beats coursing like hammerblows beneath the kind of Steer-ist, mind blowing riffs you’d expect from Haga, with excellent low-but-pronounced vocal prurience and a rather atmospheric recording quality, resulting in a head melting, morgue dwelling riff storm of Goregrind perfection. There is a seriously high quotient of massively catchy Death Metalish riffs here, and a more restrained use of pinches than you might be expecting. And of course the Drumming is a totally inimitable avalanche of death, with lots of thrashing and slamming amongst the blasts. Riffy, deathly, deadly Goregrind from a pair of connoisseurs. Completely fucking essential. Dead, deader, deadest.

Discos Al Pacino

Two tracks of early 90’s Doom Death Metal putridity from Mexico. I love Cenotaph’s seminal, dark and doomy masterpiece from ’92, ‘The Gloomy Reflections of our Hidden Sorrows’ and I was unfamiliar with these versions of these two tracks so I thought I’d check them out, and I’m not disappointed. Gory, atmospheric Death Metal with a repugnant demo/rehearsal sound quality. Putrid, demonic low vocal, shifting rhythms with lots of blast beats and slow Doom parts, nasty chunky riffing with insane spiralling squalling solos and a haunting, almost solemn atmosphere. Track two ‘Tenebrous Apparations’ also appeared on the above mentioned ‘Gloomy…’ album, and it’s a foul, doomed Death triumph, dripping with cadaveric aura and merciless riffs. Excellent EP.


Primal heavy psych from Cardiff-based stoner veterans. This is Lacertilia’s second full-length studio offering, recorded in the remote valleys of central Wales, and the dank, rural magic of that region seeps into the record’s pores. Not in any kind of fey or pastoral way, mind you; this is more like the soundtrack to a frantic druid ritual! It’s a bubbling cauldron of driving riffs and astral, delay-drenched atmospherics, heated by a furnace of punkish intensity. This ferocity rarely lets up and the shamanistic vocals soar above it all, showering the tracks with an impressive array of ominous snarls and powerful roars. The album’s few acoustic moments conjure the spirit of the UK’s free festival scene; you can almost hear the joints being passed back and forth around the campfire during “Feral” and the opening portion of “Furthur”. There’s a maturation to their sound which long-time fans will surely dig, perhaps best exemplified by the moody album closer “So Mote It Be”, which builds upon a series of groove-laden riffs before blossoming into a transcendently psychedelic coda. A must-have for psilocybin warriors and worshippers of the riff!



Archaic Black/Speed Metal from hell played by devil worshipping Punk vets. This demo reminds me of Midnight in lots of ways –  I’m certain that Witchtrial would share with Midnight many of the same influences in Venom, Bathory, GBH and Motorhead, and assemble a similarly wild and violent throwback sound comprised of these primordial styles. Bombastic, swaggering Metal of Black, rolling Bass rumbles, storming Drums from the cavern (or rehearsal space), cool vocal screech & warble attack, Black ‘n’ Roll rockers with a shit load of attitude and memorable riffs. Headbangin’ Hellfire, covenant crushing sinful spite! Lots of mid paced smashers to get pissed up to. I’ll be checking out their self titled 12″ EP next.



Sinister Black Ambient dirges and synth Vampire worship. Mouldy, frozen rot creeping over an ancient cadaver, eyes turned black to a putrid moon. Werwolfsblut invoke a Dark Ambient noise scape full of lycanthropic hate and swirling misanthropy, Crypt of Carmilla walk you through a mausoleum of mummified Strigoii barons, stately and spectral. Vocals and samples, blurry Synthesiser sounds, Black Metal vibes, Dungeon Synth descriptors. Crypt Of Carmilla’s material here is a bit more structured and storied than the less romantic and gothic, more bestial Werwolfsblut side, making for a nice listening contrast. Frost-bitten, isolating noises for children of the night.



Zombie-obsessed cadaverous Grindcore from Winnipeg, on Aggressive Valley tapes. Classic Goregrind and Grindcore Canadian style, steaming fast, violent and laden with choice samples and crusted-over, blown-out tones. Atmospheric, slimy horror movie samples and movie muzak synths lead into pulverizing programmed blast beat Grind with putrid low vocal zombie grunt, cascading punk chords tearing through undead targets and an old school unwieldy drum sound hammering away, showering gore and brains all over you! Fucking horrible, fucking perfection. Illegible, unknowable Gore from the dark underground. Screaming Feast has 6(?!) of these ‘Crawling Hopeless Banquets’ on offer on their bandcamp page… I guess I know what I’m doing in quarantine this week – watching Bruno Mattei movies, getting stoned as shit and blasting Screaming Feast! You should too, ghoul.


Instrumental maritime synth dirges. As the title suggests, the waters we sail on this record are bitterly cold. Frosty, wavering synths reminiscent of aged RPGs recount the saga of an apparently doomed voyage over the course of 11 short tracks, though only the titles clue you in on the narrative. The music itself is really cool (hah), very stark and ponderous with an abundance of sea sound effects adding to the nautical fantasy feel. Stoned dungeon lurkers, get on it.


White Denim really have been spoiling us with their prodigious output over the last few years. This, their latest record, was conceived as an experiment to write, record, mix, master and release the entire thing in just 30 days. I imagine this process was probably helped* by the current lockdown; no distractions! For the most part, it’s successful. There’s some true instant classics here (Matter Of Matter and I Don’t Understand Rock And Roll are two that immediately spring to mind), but there’s a smattering of underdeveloped ideas too, which considering the creative turnaround time of the record, can hardly be held against them. Stylistically, it’s more of the soulful, psyched-out, mishmash of southern rock and garage rock they’ve been treating us to for years, made especially fleet of foot by the recent addition of keyboardist Michael Hunter and drummer Greg Clifford. The musicianship is top-tier, and the production is raw and punchy. It may not be quite as dazzling as their previous few releases, but it’s White Denim, so it’s definitely worth your time.

*Not entirely. The vinyl press has been delayed.

Radio Milk Records


Black Pearl Records is one of those crate digger type labels who reissue older and often overlooked records. Here’s some excellently weird early 70’s Croatian Jazz Funk, heavy on the Psychedelia and experimental fusion type sounds, compiled from several recording sessions. Funky and driving grooves with blurting psychedelic riffs and interesting arrangements, Jazz Rock mastery and a bit of Krautrock and Lounge vibes. Fantastic organ and Bass sounds, all slink and parp. Has a rather demo-style raw sound and a very dusty, forgotten and obscure vibe. There’s not a bad track on this thing! Perfect for burning cones in your lair.

Black Pearl Records

2017’s “Drunk” was one of my favourite albums from the last decade, so you can probably guess that I was more than a little excited for the release of “It Is What It Is”. All the ingredients that I could hope to find in a Thundercat record are present; the oddball humour, the lo-fi jazz-funk beats, the rich bass, the silky synths and of course, Stephen Bruner’s mellow, friendly falsetto. It’s a well arranged and concise collection of tracks, contrasting nicely with the sprawling madness of “Drunk”. There’s an ethereal yet occasionally melancholic feel to proceedings, with a handful of passages resembling the end theme to some stylish anime. It’s a superbly produced cocktail of dreamy funk, hip hop and soul, and it should be in your record collection. Essential.


Debut EP from UK grit merchants Muscle Vest, recorded at what seems to be the studio Mecca for heavy London bands at the moment, Bear Bites Horse Studios. Angular rhythms, a punkish sneer and dense, crunchy tones all wrapped up into a nasty little four track package. The EP firmly doffs its cap to noise rock of the 90s, but with a more crisp, modern sounding production; the vocals lurch from sinister groans to mad, desperate yells while the guitars and drums pummel away, rarely giving respite to the unsettled listener. If noisy and pissed off is what you’re after, I recommend it!



Having heard “Smoko” sometime last year and finding it one of the funniest fucking things I’d heard in a while, I was super keen to get my hands on their first full-length album, released in March 2020. Oh boy, it didn’t disappoint. “High Risk Behaviour” is fourteen tracks of Fosters-and-speed-fuelled punk rock hilarity, combining swift, buzzy riffs with a suburban “there-ain’t-shit-else-to-do” mentality. Complaints about it being too fucking hot, catching the clap, having no job or no money sit side-by-side with odes to getting wankered, eating at the pub and drink driving, all delivered in the most Australian way possible. Records like this are a reminder of why I fell in love with punk rock. Fackin’ BONZA.




Eagerly anticipated second full-length from Oakland’s Once & Future Band, out on John Dwyer’s Castle Face label. It further expands upon the jazzy yacht rock worship of their first record, but there’s a bigger dose of psych and prog this time around. This is by no means a white-jacketed, coke-spoon-wielding pastiche of soft 70s decadence, these guys have the chops and melodies to make the sound their own. Gorgeously harmonised bitter and introspective lyrics drift atop languid dreamscapes, interwoven with moments of gravity-defying musical agility. It’s predominantly keyboard driven; there’s plenty of Fender Rhodes and silky smooth synth textures to sensuously massage your earpipes while the white-hot rhythm section kicks your arse all over the joint. The album’s not without humour either; check out the McCartney-esque goofy pop schmaltz of lead single “Freaks” for a howling good time. Any band that has the gall to assimilate the most uncool elements of my old man’s record collection and drag them kicking and screaming into 2020 in such a sumptuous and exciting manner gets a big old thumbs up from me. Totally worth the wait. I don’t mind waiting another three years if they’ll be dropping something of this calibre on us again in future. Managed to bag myself a copy of the Dinked edition LP that came with a bonus live flexidisc. Very nice. Buy it. Buy it now.




Discography tape from England’s Rat Cage, one of the very best Hardcore Punk bands going. Furiously pissed off Totalitar style D-Beat Raw Punk with a filthy Nihilistics vibe and an absolute bastard tonne of jackbooted attitude and down-and-out post apocalyptic, gutter crawling mentality. Screeds of total abysmal rage are fucking bellowed over super intense catchy chords and bulldozing rhythms, perfectly captured bass tones. Influence pulled from UK82 sounds, Swedish D Beat, US 84 Hardcore and more. Gnarly, angry, just perfect! Their new LP ‘Screams From The Cage’ just came out too, and it’s as excellent as everything Rat Cage has done previously, from what I’ve had a chance to hear. Manic, deranged, desperately pissed Hardcore Punk. Get ’em both.



Vast apocalyptic Stenchcore from Boston, Massachusetts. Thrashng Metalpunk from the darkest recesses of a failed civilisation. A short Synth opening piece gives way to barbarously crusty Thrashin’, thunderous drums underpinning muscular, downbeat and damn catchy guitars and throaty, echoic full-desperation vocal sorrow. Great sound quality, rough and booming, the drums in particular are perfectly burgeoning and classic-sounding. Properly downcast, archaic Metalpunk for bleak times; excellently executed, terminally filthy Stenchcore. A very promising demo. If you enjoy Sacrilege, don’t hesitate and grab this. Then blast it from the empty windows in an abandoned tenement building.



6 track compilation of cityscape Future Funk from Pink Neon Tokyo. Dramatically sugary, breezy and funky. Anachronistic beta beat sounds, slightly overdriven audio quality, silken Bass grooves, catchy and infinitely sunny. A lot of Future funk seems to me to be almost like Vaporwave in purpose and intent but without so many seemingly post modern, anti-capitalist pretences or concepts – repurposed 80’s & 90’s radio friendly jazzy Funk and Smooth Jazz tracks, deep cuts harvested from forgotten singles re-wrapped in pastel anime visuals and consumed by stoned ‘net surfers. The visual language is even a bit less hazy and perhaps less melancholy? Meaninglessly upbeat Funk jams for the Groove seeking nostalgist. お 楽しみ ください



Shimmering Vaporwave compilation from label businesscasual. Breezy blue vaporous bliss sound, future culture smooth Funk plunderphonics for accessible nostalgic cityscapes and secret depression. Languishing endless refrains in glitched samples & extra cheesy smooooth vocal cuts repeated over and over, making for a niche listening experience in an intoxicated and quixotic state. Faded, hazy, enjoyable? Yes indeed. I like the sort of absurdism of a compilation like this, with many sounds very similar from artist to artist, in a genre like this which in some ways prioritizes a certain anonymity of sound. Listening beginning to end provides a strange parallel to listening to Noise and Grindcore comps, with little means of knowing who you’re hearing from track to track unless you really know your shit (which I don’t) or you’re staring at the track list or liner notes. Anyway, a cool listen. Worth a stream or twelve for Dystopian Chic’s contribution alone, a 9 minute drive through long forgotten cast-off hazy bass funk and mournfully nostalgic electropop.



Glorious Hooligan Heavy Metal from the US. Lo-fi and devotional rehearsal room rockers. Sounds like a bespiked wasteland Metal warrior ripping through a crowded subway car full of false metal posers with a hunting knife! Evil, rad guitar lead harmonies, killer riffs and burning vocal passion, stomp and gallop rhythms, and decayed audio quality. Reverbed vocal, blasting loud strings and jam room drum sounds, a little on the drunk side, with a badass hand drawn skull on the cover. Sounds like Chain take influence from the likes of Brocas Helm and Cirith Ungol, with way crasser lyrics and bad attitude. Perfect for crushing beers to. Rippin’!