Sunday, February 28, 2010

lechuck - fragments of hysteria

LeChuck is an Israeli trio comprised of two abundant guitar players and an octopus-like jazz trained drummer. Their debut album "Fragment of Hysteria" was recorded live, all one-takes, with no overdubs. This straight to the point and in-yer-face recording fully captures the raw spirit of their live shows and their angular rock latitudes, crossing over between slanted noise rock to metallic math-rock in feedback heaven, overpowered by the stoner-blues yelps 'n' burps, in a Gibberish manner, by vocalist David Blau.

This debut album is as heavy, bare-boned, merciless, and imaginative as noisy math rock should be and is recommended for you to check out if you're into Hella, Don Caballero, Shellac, Laughing Hyenas, Keelhaul, Racebannon, Drive like Jehu and Jesus Lizard.

hysterically fragmented

king fire goat

One-off all-star sludge / noise project that only released a live album called "Live May 13th 2002" on Shifty Records.

king fire goat - live may 13th 2002

son of jor-el - s-t 2-song ep

This is a side-project by members of various sludge bands (fistula, 16, ultralord, scumchrist, rue, king fire goat, accept death, etc) playing sludge metal with strong thrash/hardcore accents. Many members of the sludge scene of Ohio appear as guests on their first LP.

son of jor-el

sexual harris - obvious

Experimental modern instrumental groove-based jazzish electric rock textures.

Eclectic & solid rhythm selections combined with spacey electric guitar melodies & complementing tuneful bass lines give Sexual Harris a unique sound & direction.

There are no vocals here, the acoustic drums, guitar & bass do all of the talking.

Occasional analog synth layers with tight & bold electric instrumentation give "Obvious" a sound unlike any other in your music collection.

It's OK to say you like it.


tenebre - in everything give thanks

The first Full Length album from Tenebre, In Everything Give Thanks is a monument to all instrumental projects.

Featuring stand up bass and other strings throughout, the songs give you mood and feelings while leaving you to want more. Finger tapping rules these beautiful tracks with many interlude type songs in between.

for fans of Don Caballero, the Owls & Explosions in the Sky!!

give in thanking everything

silencio - dead kings

Silencio (from Columbus, OH) combine many different styles including hardcore, noise, metal, jazz and others to craft very precise and explosive songs.

Silencio shares some common ground with the Flying Luttenbachers (longer, more composition oriented racket), Naked City (genre switching, mind boggling, manic intensity), and late Iceburn (unbelievably good musicianship used to make totally innovative music).

Silencio are truly forging new ground in music.

"a righteously catchy pop/grind/jazz/avant/prog/salsa/death epic !" -Crucial Blast

RIYL: Mr Bungle/Fantomas, Naked City, Flying Luttenbachers, Coptic Light, Samuel Jackson 5, Ruins, King Crimson, Don Cab, Battles, Coltrane, Iceburn, Kayo Dot

dead kings

minus - dark lit

On their long-awaited new album, Dark Lit, local power trio Minus does much to negate the assertion that the classic rock of the '60s, '70s and '80s left the guitar without further avenues of exploration."

"Mark France coaxes tones both subtle and overt out of his customized Frankenstein of a guitar. He demonstrates in the process how much of the rock canon has been excluded over the years by rejecting the influences that progressive rock, fusion and the avant-garde sought to incorporate"

This is music all-consuming in its beauty and power, and not to be missed either as studio product or live shenanigens.

Hailing from the small Oregon based label New & Improv, Minus is an improvisational "power trio" with something of a dark, menacing style. Those familiar with Bozzio Levin Stevens or Attention Deficit wouldn't be surprised with what they find here. Dark Lit is noisy guitar/bass/drums improv rock, occasionally augmented with some synths, loops, and a little turntable work from label mate DJ Scratch 'n Sniff.

The use of programmed loops and other electronics adds a small extra dimension to Minus' sound, separating them from some of their improv rock colleagues. Don't expect electronica, however, as this is still first and foremost guitar-led rock - just with a sprinkle of dub.

Technically, they might not be as crisp as a Bozzio Levin Stevens, but they display maturity and avoid falling into the "let's turbo-jam!" pit trap of other projects like this. They occasionally get a bit jerky and spastic, and sometimes get locked into one riff for a bit too long. Fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.

"Acidflesh", easily the highlight of the album, demonstrates the strength of the band: the guitar and drums run circles around a steady looped melody and synth moans.

Minus are intriguing and entertaining improv rock. There really isn't anything that's completely mind-blowing, but Dark Lit has enough high points to recommend to fans of the style.

darkly lit

Saturday, February 27, 2010

the islands & the sea

Producing a right bloody racket which can be heard all the way from Texas, USA is The Islands And The Sea, an instrumental trio who kick the living shit out of guitars, bass and drums to create devastating waves of noise and dense, sludgy soundscapes.

... a wondrous cacophony of noise that blasts out of the speakers with devastating ferocity. Immensely powerful, domineering and huge in sound and presence are six tracks, running for a combined time of almost 50 minutes, which will push you as far as you can be pushed by instrumental music, without making the noise and textured collages of sounds they produce too overpowering in such a way that they become unlistenable or overly confrontational. In fact on occasion, whilst not exactly softening their sound, the music they produce takes on a melodic quality, awash with captivatingly descriptive presence, but still nestled together with thunderous percussions, bass and guitar.

Now, whilst there may be a lot of bands that inhabit the instrumental post-rock/post-metal genre, not everyone is going to throw something original or fresh-sounding into the pot. It's all too easy for bands to just blur into one another, without making any real effort to stand out from the crowd. Yet this ability to offer up something slightly different from the norm is one of the strengths that I feel The Islands And The Sea deliver throughout their debut album. As opposed to going headfirst into a frenzy of noise, or making thickly claustrophobic cinematic-styled aural structures, this trio have extracted the important and precise elements from both of these styles, and amalgamated them with a sound and atmosphere that is very much theirs alone. This fluctuates from almost dark ambient soundscapes to massive walls of drones, to distorted feedback that isn't a million miles away from the sounds of harsh industrial noise to delicate yet ready-to-erupt crescendos of tactile composition, building to monumental levels of descriptive beauty and emotive power.

Featuring James from the phenomenal The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, it's easy to see why these two bands make great bedfellows. If you've been knocked sideways by the power of TGLH, then TIATS serve as a welcome journey into similar yet still different territories. 'Return' is definitely a must for those of you who love your instrumental music loud and in your face, yet still maintaining enough dignity to be intelligently presented and well worthy of your time and investment." (review from


brutally handsome gentlemen

Pummeling staccato and hopeful melodies from this young and handsome two-piece spazz core duo.

The Brutally Handsome Gentlemen are yet another one of the emerging mathrock/spazz-core two-pieces akin to Hella, Orthrelm and Lightning Bolt. 10 tracks of instrumental rock genius as well as some tracks showcasing Spencer's knack for experimental electronica.

Well-chiseled musicianship combined with glorious soaring melodies and pummeling intricate rhythms, all of which are channeled through shifting time and space changes and then EQed to rock

bhg vs a computer

jail bait - the soundtrack

If "The Wall" had been recorded by Stoner Rocker's in Joshua Tree, California.

The Jail Bait Soundtrack is a concept album that came about while scoring music for the independent film Jail Bait at the Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California. The film is about a "Troubled teen who falls in love with the dwarf fisherman who found her as a baby in a dumpster."

While writing the screenplay I was introduced, thru my producer Dana Lee Anderson, to a bunch of great bands from the Desert and Alternative Rock scene: Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, the Earthlings?, Fatso Jetson, Pigmy Love Circus, Ween ect... The music blended perfectly with the story I was writing and I now can't think of one without the other. Full Album is forthcoming.

This single features Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Unida) on vocals and bass and lead guitar. Dana Lee Anderson and Barry Connely from The Aliens on Guitar and Buchla, Dean Chamberlain on Guitar (Code Blue, the Motels) and John X (producer extraordinaire) on drums and piano.

jail bait

the owl watches - ghost of a train

This project had its beginnings while I was playing in another band, the eccelctic Tony Island based out of Boston MA. While we were working on a Tony Island CD in 2000, I started to do The OWL WATCHES simultaneously. Inspired by working with a multi-faceted artist like Tony gave me tons of impetus to try something of my own, which he wholeheartedly supported and encouraged. I gradually constructed it at my home studio in Boston MA where I lived at the time and finally unleashed it in May of 2002 in the form of "Tales From The Inflatable Forest". It was me (Phil McKenna) playing ALL instruments (guitars, bass, keyboards/fake Mellotron, drum programs) and wrote the whole thing. I self-produced it and sold/marketed it online. Even though doing everything on it, I am primarily a guitarist who doubles on bass.

I would consider my strongest influences to be Miles Davis, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and composers like Ravel, Stravinsky and Debussy. My musical background included private lessons and being self-taught (or rather a self-inflicted musical miseducation so to speak). I played with fusion, art-rock, folk, blues and rock & roll bands of varying descriptions. When home recording technology became more and more sophisticated and affordable, I felt a clear calling to seek out my muse. I do however plan to put together a live Owl Watches band, still, nothing beats playing in front of an audience.

After having relocated to Atlanta GA in early 2004 and re-equipped myself for digital music production, I set to work on my new disc, "Ghost Of A Train", this time utilizing the contributions of live drummers and others. I sought to convey a loose theme/vibe of the long-gone steam age and the remnants it left behind.

"Ghost Of A Train" is a dark, fiery and complex disc of instrumetal progressive rock best experienced at night with candles and your favorite pair of headphones or good speakers.

toast of a grain

massick - discography

... rippin' genre-skipping grind-pop-punk ...

Massick are a band that, much like Le Scrawl, at first glance appear to be a crusty grindcore outfit, but then they start to toss in all kinds of musical styles into their songs, one second playing goofy, super-catchy garage rock and Misfits style pop punk, the next tossing bits of ska, funk, f**ked up noise rock, surf rock, keyboard heavy Reggie And the Full Effect-esque pop, polka, trumpets, and jangly indie rock into a ferocious grindcore assault.

Perplexing, sure, but these guys are so catchy and energetic that it's tough not to get swept up in their schizophrenic genre hopping. It's like a Teutonic punk band heard Naked City and tried to apply that kind of cut-and-paste songwriting style to their fast paced, goofy melodic thrash, turning into a tightly constructed schizo hybrid of Napalm Death, Samiam, Melt Banana, Mr. Bungle, and Swedish melodic avant-crusties G-ANX.

Fans of genre-splicing grind and avant outfits like CSSO, Le Scrawl, Naked City, Cibo will love this disc, which includes Massick's self-titled 10", the 7", compilation tracks, and unreleased stuff, 19 tracks total which mostly date from the late 90's. -crucial blast

massick - discography

justice on a budget

Justice on a Budget are a core trio of musicians from the Philadelphia area who craft bold compositions through the language of improvisation. Justice on a Budget began as an informal collection of musicians who gathered to improvise over very loose structures and soundscapes, with all preconceptions left behind.

With one foot in the past and one foot in the future, the group explores genres and themes that are linked by simple structures, resulting in expressions from standard jazz to post-rock to breakbeat and beyond. Over a three-year period, these players developed a relationship that allows them to collectively express a shared sonic vision, with a wide-open approach to the creation of new music.

For this recording, the addition of guest musicians ranges from Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussionists to four part horn chorales, augmenting the scope of sounds offered by this thoughtful and dynamic trio. With this unique debut, Justice on a Budget will deny and maybe even confirm your wildest categorizations.


the shy trafficker - hurt seconds

The Shy Trafficker is a math rock band that embraces pathos on an epic scale. On its debut LP "Hurt Seconds" (Ariadne Records 2004), the band carves out an expansive, volatile soundscape that resonates with fans of bands like Explosions in the Sky, The Sea and Cake and Tortoise.

Formed in 2001 by three students at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Shy Trafficker played its first few shows in a placid town known mostly for its raucous role in Texas state history. Like the city of San Antonio, band members Mark Coburn (guitar, vocals), Kenny Day (drums, vocals), and David Irvin (bass) seem quiet and unassuming, more intellectual than intimidating. But onstage, the members of Shy Trafficker shed the mildness, trading it instead for explosive intensity. Shy Trafficker has played shows throughout Texas, with bands such as The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo Industries), Oma Yang (Slowdance Records), and Jana Hunter (Fleece Records).

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, or so the saying goes. In "Hurt Seconds," Shy Trafficker peeks under the bandages and measures its wounds with a ruler, asking the listener to decide whether the painful experiences of life are really worth the pain. The album starts off with an intellectual conundrum and a slew of mathematical song titles, but evolves into a suspenseful quest through the human heart. "W" begins with tension and danger, but moves to a heroic and triumphant, but tragic climax. "Boolean Train II" begins with upbeat, impish guitar lines, but devolves into a song fraught with with peril and dissonance.

Though several members of the band sing on the record, Shy Trafficker lets the music speak for itself on "Hurt Seconds," in the language of muscular bass lines, playful guitarwork, and urgent rhythms.

The record was recorded at and produced by Shy Trafficker at their studio in San Antonio and mastered by Chad Clarke (Fugazi, Q and not U, Black Eyes) at Silver Sonya in Arlington, Va.

hurt seconds

the star junction - euphemic

We are four guys that make Instrumental Rock which is as heavy as it makes your eyelids. Incorporating everyday sounds and noises in a way that makes you forget they are even there. We like noises. Anything that has rhythm, texture and some sort of sonic depth, we like it. We also like guitars, bass and drums. It's the cornerstone of rock and roll. Artful punk aesthetic. Repetition, drones, riffs and organic sounds culminate in huge dynamics that attempt to take you along. Distorting our guitars with objects as well as effects pedals, we wring out the emotion with any method available. Noise = Rock

We don't really like singing. Don't get us wrong, some of our favorite bands have great singers, but most lyrics are saying the same stuff over and over, and they reside higher than the music. We want to hear the music, loudly, and want the music to be more of an experience than just a song. That probably sounds pretentious, but we also strive to keep it as unpretentious as possible.

Check it out, I think the music will speak better than I can write.

"Kent-based The Star Junction fuses a mix of experimental elements to create a sound that's equal parts noise and melody. Throughout Euphemic, the band jumps between two different worlds of music, creating rich, full melodies one moment and offering creeped-out collections of everyday noises the next. It captures a sound similar to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, though the lack of vocals makes this mood music more than anything else." —the free times

the star junction - euphemic

suppression - release the piranha

Suppression formed from the ashes of Suppression. The last man standing (Jason from The Amoeba Men) came across a human mathematical equation (Ryan from Darkest Hour) and the 2 men have channeled all demons and sexual energy into musical form to delight pop fans worldwide with overdriven bass,and vocals heavily treated as another instrument and outlandish drum patterns. Guaranteed to alienate hardcore/grindcore/crust elitists

Man, these guys have been around forever. I remember seeing them in DC in 1998 where their entire performance was comprised of them assaulting a car transmission with sticks. It was pretty wild. So here we have the new configuration of Suppression, after more than a decade of hardcore festival performances and raw split 7"s with the powerviolence cognoscenti, the duo of Ryan & Jason. Release The Piranha takes the grindy noise and hardcore of their older stuff and seasons it with the weirdo skronk and rubbery bass blast of bands like Lightning Bolt and Ruins. Wonderfully f***ed up.

Suppression is a bass and drums duo, but stow your accusations of bandwagon-jumping under your seats for now pilgrim, because these two twisted f***s have been at it for years. Similarities to Ruins and Lightning Bolt abound, due to the sheer fact that their instrumentation is the same, but these guys are coming from a far sillier, noise-punk based viewpoint, complete with vocals. Opening with a bubbling blast of treated electronics before shatting out the first song proper, which sees someone a-whooping and a-hollering over some tapped drums before going into some seriously noisy spazzcore s***, the band continue in a seemingly random vein, neatly complemented by the unpleasant lyrical content. These two guys are pretty much reassuringly wrong in the head, and the whole thing is fun, if a little disposable. Incidentally, the drummer also plays in Darkest Hour. Sometimes you can really tell. Short, sharp and sick. I like it! -Collective-zine

Blasting, weirdo, wall-of-noise, distorto f***ed up punk rock. Ten tracks culled from recordings over the last three years. “Release The Pirahna (into the gene pool)” is pure genius: “mail my head to Afghanistan/ drop the bomb/ wax the gland/ wear the t-shirt/ buy the magnet/ conceive a cab driver/ watch Dragnet/ release the piranha into the gene pool.” “I masturbated when the Challenger Shuttle exploded” is precious. I like this quite a bit. Fans of the band will love it and fans of the B*tthole Surfers, Fat Day, Lightning Bolt or Mr. California who haven’t checked out these long running loons could start right here. –MRR

Suppression incorporates numerous elements and styles into one enjoyable, noisy romp. It’s p*ssed and thunderous, then small and quiet yet frantic. There are some hints of grind, but much more intricate, with lyrics that sound like beat poetry at times. Great record. –Punk Planet

release the piranha

heavy metal jazz concepts

Heavy Metal Jazz Concepts is a group of individuals who share a common interest in integrating heavy sound in jazz. Our consistent elements are improvisation and emphasis on heavyosity. we love all music and try not to restrict ourselves to any one style. We compose our originals and as well, has arranged jazz standards. Our music consists of different styles, for example, rock, lLatin, funk, swing, free style, etc. We attempt to fuse these elements together in a cohesive way with artistic expression and for listening enjoyment.

from t
he Musicians' Ombudsman:

A new jazz concept?? Canadian based ''Heavy Metal Jazz Concepts'' is definitely taking the mainstream jazz idiom to the 'edge.' To say that this disc is experimental, would understate the group's focus. The merging of heavy metal, punk, & funk to the bebop jazz style as in the case of their treatment of the Miles Davis romantic composition, 'Blue In Green' tests our acceptance as to whether or not these two distinct musical idioms (heavy metal & jazz) can or should be mixed in any manner.

All in all, the band is 'out there' however, testing the musical waters, & that's good. It'll certainly be interesting to see if they develop a solid jazz following. All music is valid! It's not the first time that a band has tried to create a new 'musical school.' It won't be the last! A disc like this can be helpful to all music lovers in that it tests our ability to search for the deeper meaning of music in the abstract.

conceptual jazzy metallic heavies

a surgical instrument with a cylindrical blade ...

.... is how the word trephine is defined in a dictionary ...

musically speaking however:

" ... (trephine) sound like unfinished metallic mini-operas played by musical mad scientists taking the best parts of one idea and applying it to the next uncharted direction." -Metal Maniacs

"If Mars Volta and Yes swung the ropes in a game of double-dutch for Mastodon with Voivod and Mr. Bungle kicking cans along the gutter, you might get the unpredictable street soiree that comprises Baltimores' Trephine."
-Live 4 Metal

"Baltimore's Trephine delivers an invasive blend of black, shale rock like Jack the Ripper on acid strapped in a chair watching a slow-motion train wreck while trying to psychically manage an exploding cosmos."

"Purely instrumental math-rock with teeth, this plays like some rabid , Slayer-ized version of Don Cabellero... The Fucking Champs meet Mastodon... Clutch and Moe Staiano's Moe!kestra!... or something like that. These guys pull off some obtuse, angular riffage and jazzy beats but keep this firmly rooted in the HEAVY, balancing all of the abrupt shifts, propane-tank percussion, and complex shredding and abstract structures with some serious metalcore riffs, swaggering Southern sludge ,and over-all evil-sounding crunchiness."
-Crucial Blast Records

"... one of the most distinctive metal acts gracing the underground and deserves to be heard far and wide."
-Fishcom Collective

"Imagine the bastard offspring of King Crimson and the Melvins sold to the traveling freak show... moody prog rock pieces to heavy noise complex math rock chaotic assaults... recommended listening for your next surgery disaster."

"... a bit metal, a bit sludge, a bit math rock and all good, so definitely give these guys a listen... "
-Daredevil Magazine

"If you like music at all, dig up Trephine and rediscover whats so enchanting about this audible form of art."
-Ultimate Metal

"...teeming with demented circus tunes, futuristic robot sock hops, and dark forays into doom-land ... these guys are well aware of their abilities to drop jaws with the kind of cyclical riffery that will leave your head in a thick but welcome fog. So when they flirt with jazzy elements and mathed-out herky jerks, it just pushes this one into the realm of brilliance. You wont be disappointed."
-The Nerve

"TREPHINE dodges in and out of traffic while juggling sharp objects and simultaneously kicking dirt in your face."

"To put it as easily as possible, it's as if Buckethead somehow lent his DNA to Candiria, found a way to wash out the hip-hop elements, dismembered Carley Coma, and then fed this scientific hybrid a steady diet of Coltrane, Davis, Beefheart, and Patton. Then left it to fend for itself for twenty more years. And did this four times (once for each member)... If you thought Dysrhythmia or Pelican were intriguing and awe-inspiring, you haven't heard Trephine. This is a shameful release, leaving all other instrumental prog-funk-jazz-metal fusion bands in a wake of scattered ashes, debris, and unrecognizable bone structure."
-Decoy Magazine

trephine - s-t

the mass - towards darkness

note: this is NOT the jazzy, thrashy, avant-garde "the mass" from oakland, ca .... this incarnation of the mass are from canada.... they are now called towards darkness

from crucial blast:

First things first... nope, this isn't the Oakland indie thrash / klezmer dirge outfit with two releases on Crucial Blast. Yes, "our" THE MASS had the name first.

Moniker confusion and band alligience aside, we've gotta admit that Canada's THE MASS are pretty crushing, due in no small part to the prescence of former members of the 90's Canadian crustcore / powerviolence band SEIZED, who were sort of Canada's answer to Man Is The Bastard, doing the two-bassist thing with brutal, bleak, grindy hardcore. There's a little bit of SEIZED's apocalyptic churn here, but MASS are tipped further towards the "crusty epic post-metal" sound making the rounds... think WAKE UP ON FIRE and the crop of newer crust/grind bands that have been listening to alot of later NEUROSIS, GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPORER, and ISIS.

Mega heavy dirge metal played at a sludgy tar-crawl with monstrous vocals that breaks into subdued, haunting post-rock passages. Imagine early ISIS / early 90's NEUROSIS with a gnarlier doom/crust attack and minimalist MOGWAI-esque quiet parts. Gloomy, oppressive, and monstrously heavy.

the mass - towards darkness

the sha-pels - nights of malta

Instrumental music that is a mix of jazz, prog, metal, surf, experimental, psychedelic & primitive rock elements.

...noisy, instrumental pseudo-jazz music.... heavy rock noodling, populated with irreverent tenor saxophone lines, sort of like the band Morphine but furiously hyped up on crack..... a heavy soup blend of atonal psych rock and jazz tendencies.

nights of malta

apis bull - exercises in futility

This strikingly brash, peculiar, and loud North Carolina duo formed late 2005 with the purpose of delivering sonic messages to the public. These two make a statement with their drums and guitar. The meaning of these statements cannot always be determined, but there is a true, concealed meaning.

Apis Bull is not to here please the listeners with melodic vocals, catchy riffs, and pop sensibility. Rather... Kevin Apis (guitar / cynical rants) goes to "The Oracle" for answers to today's questions about government, society, life, etc... He takes these amphibolies to Tony Murderhands. Together the two decipher and preserve these messages to be abrasively delivered at loud volumes to anyone in within reach of Kevin's guitar cable.

exercises in futility

united movement - rock destroys your mind

It is that kind of rock that deserves "noise" written in big letters behind its logo, if you know what I mean. Liberated from the ideological constructions, the music of United Movement fills any room like a massive block of distorted guitars and heavy hitting drums. And they like to deal heavy blows. In between they polished their double-vocals for screamers and wailers and manage to, unlike many other modern bands, never lose their pressure and power even in the "softer" parts.

United Movement are the raudy, raunchy revenge from the soft white underbelly of rock music at the over-styled fashion-bands topping the alternative charts. There is no "the" in front of the bandname on purpose. Dial "UM" for United Movement, motherfucker.

On their first proper full-length album United Movement have refined and destilled their very own formula for noise rock like the best alpine liquor. The reduction of means, the reinforcement of effectivity and the preference for the more direct approach make this hard but tasty stuff. In between United Movement fall into a completely distorted version of blues rock, or into a bigy city pschosis run amok and put into music. They only take themselves back to come back again harder.

Whenever they start a refrain that invites to singing along, they’ll come around the bend with another dirty, weird idea. Like taking the fists up towards alleged modern heroes (e.g. Bobby Fisher or Red Adair). Inspite of all the variety and diversity the songs all sound like they have fallen from one single mould, forming a big bastard of a record together. Which brings us right back to the beginning. -(written by Georg Cracked)

destroy your mind

fat little bastard - idiosyncphony

Fat Little Bastard met while studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in the late 90's.
They are a dynamic, eclectic guitar trio that crosses diverse musical boundaries with a unique rock sensibility. Originally joining forces in a full rock band, the group frequently snuck away to play sessions as a trio while they spent countless hours jamming, inventing grooves, exploring texture, melody and time signature. Various influences were brought to the table and a sound was born... a bastard if you will. What came about was something special and unique.

With influences ranging from Hendrix to Raymond Scott to Thelonious Monk, the band's original music is laced with wit and infused with turn-on-a-dime improvisations. There is a definite rock foundation, but you’ll also come across signs of jazz, klezmer, country and the avant.

Idiosyncphony is a continuation of the trio's adventurous foray into the realms of what one can only describe as "bastardly". From gospel-ish tunes to African inspired jams, funky slide guitar to avant waltzes with banjo and theremin, the new record really has it all.

Live performances from the Lizard Lounge and Harper’s Ferry in Boston to CBGB’s in New York to the Waiting room in Burlington, VT have racked up many enthusiastic listeners.


samus - desengano

Desengano is a surreal landscape of mutated freaked-rock comprised of lumbering sludge riffs that contort into tape/turntable manipulations amidst melodious keyboards and sustained guitar tones/drones. Ranging from the crushing droning doom-laden EARTH-esque guitar thud of "The Happy Sultan", and the bountiful melodies that playfully flow under the sugary electronica and plunderphonic jazz of "Super Orthopedic Caravan", to the expansive Ennio Morricone-influenced slide guitar ambience found in "Who's Pumping Estrada" and the wall reverbating drones and tape oscillating backwash that drifts into the no-wave dissonance of "Bone Ape Tit", SAMUS create a cohesive, multi dimensional soundtrack comprised of heavy duty psychedelia, avant-rock experimentalism, and opium-den cartoon soundtracks.



Comprised of six performers who are not very funny, twelve 20 six more successfully makes music that could be new to you or at least a friend of yours.

These concubines of sound, all born a few years after Steve Reich bought a razor blade and an XL-1, after Cannonball Adderley recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" before Paul Motian shaved his head, have taken advantage of the information technology of their youth and assimilated a broad range of approaches to music into a new pluralism that aims like hell to inspire your children's children.

This pluralism will admit that it reaches mostly into American traditions from the last century which have barely weaned themselves from Europe and Africa, but who's counting? The music pours out of a highly improvising mindset even though extensive arrangements have become a staple for this group.

The most rampant influences are from the harmony and concept fathered by Ives and Copland, the open improvising music of Ornette Coleman and Paul Bley, the highly composed sound of George Crumb and Tan Dun, the rock and roll, the hip-hop, the folk singers, the film scores- all of these things they grew up with.

You will hear stretches of possibly pretentious harmony, quirky and/or romantic melody, unlikely sounds from our environment and elsewhere, and, oddly enough, even a groove at times.


bift [wildman glassmeyer moran]

Sean Moran (guitar), Jason Wildman (drums) and Matt Glassmeyer (saxophone, buzzaphone and other miscellaneous sounds and samples) surgically drop convention in instrumentation and composition while piquing curiosity through ten tracks. The trio's unencumbered improvisation is the three-legged planchette that pulses around the Ouija Board, spelling out any number of calming to shocking results.


species being - orgone therapy (2001)

The only thread linking Orgone Therapy to Species Being's first opus Yonilicious is the presence of the band's leader, drummer Frank Grau. On Orgone Therapy, Grau is surrounded by a brand new team of musicians: Eli Good (guitar), Jai Young Kim (keyboards), and Kenseth Thibideau (bass).

Stylistically, this second album marks a clear departure from Yonilicious. The music is entirely improvised and deeply rooted in the space rock idiom. The band is still driven by Grau's ferocious drumming, but, unlike what happens on Yonilicious, he does take a rest once in a while.

Fans of Mushroom will feel at home here, although Species Being doesn't share the Krautrock influence. Yonilicious sounded very structured and was quite varied in style; Orgone Therapy is the absolute jam session. And even though the former was more impressive in terms of form and contents, the latter remains an enjoyable space rock CD. -amg

orgone therapy

species being - yonilicious (1998)

This CD is wild, raucous ride for anyone interested in new approaches to recording, improvisation, and composition.

Yonilicious is a collection of musical vignettes which mutate various genres in an unpredictable manner. The selections are not quite songs nor improvisational free jams! They are strewn together to make a discontiunous whole, leaving the listner capitvated by the high energy rhythmic force and unpredictable twist and turns.

If you like intense rhythm, progressive/experimental music, and music which overflows with creativity, this is a must have!

I read somewhere that Yonilicious — an album of instrumental space-rockish vignettes — started off as a 40-minute-long solo track by drummer and mastermind Frank Grau (also formerly of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), over which Grau and various compatriots overdubbed parts on a variety of other instruments. Listening to this album with that in mind, it seems entirely plausible, because Grau's drumming is pretty much off the hook the entire time. He's all over the place, seeming to propel the music to new heights every time this mostly improvised affair seems in danger of bogging down or becoming tedious.

As one might guess from the title, the musicians on Yonilicious don't take themselves too seriously. Having initially heard the more sober Orgone Therapy I was a bit taken by surprise by the moments of whimsy here — the Yoshida-like vocals on "Pt. II," for instance, the brief use of a touchtone telephone as a melodic lead instrument in the very RIO-like "Pt. IX," or the tongue-firmly-in-cheek clich├ęd ending to "Pt. XI," which closes the album. Many of the melodies have an almost circus-like feel to them, adding to the sense that these guys were just having a lot of spontaneous fun in recording this.

While Grau's rather maximalistic drumming is a constant, the style of music is hardly so. In fact, while the entire album flows together as one long improvisation, each of the eleven parts is distinctly different from what came before, making Yonilicious a pastiche of individual vignettes united only by Grau's percussion. There are free-jazz blowouts, slow folky shuffles, post-rocky tension building, moments of symphonic grandeur, and hints of everything from Latin jazz to klezmer to absurdism. Most pieces are brief, with the notable exception of "Pt.X," a beautiful ten-minute ballad that takes the listener on a journey through dreamy percussion, gently meandering flute melodies, and a perfect, quiet two-minute comedown after a slightly more energetic saxophone solo.

Although it's not as compelling or coherent as the improvisational masterpiece that was to follow in the form of Orgone Therapy, there's plenty of good stuff on Yonilicious for fans of off-the-wall space rock. -from


trenchant - life of stone [ep] + s-t + live on kspc 88.7

trenchant was one of Jason Corley's (16, maxmillion, fistula, scumchrist, king travolta, etc) side projects.

from their myspace:

"Trenchant was a heavy band.

We played heavy music.

There was no theatrical pose, pop trend, political stance or fashion show.

We tried to create musical weight and we didn't talk much."


life of stone [ep]

live on kspc 88.7

animal - lp1 + live on kfjc radio

Here is the long awaited avant-crazy Animal explosion. The self titled album, LP out on UNFUN is the combined efforts of Patrick and Alexander, both destroying the minds of NY gangsters and NYU dropouts with their improvisational fury. The two piece features a barrage of guitars from Pat, and Hella-esque ranting drum beats by Alexander. All proceeds of this album will benefit the bands conquest of the Americas as they plan their Summer 2006 tour. Tracks on this album range from conceptually frustratingly, to intensely trippy. Not for the weak or immature musical taste.

animal - lp
live on kfjc radio

organz - the cuts!

Here's a wheel barrel-load of low-end insanity from these screamo-inspired youngsters from the Midwest. Like Lightning Bolt, Organz only make use of bass and vocals, but they up the ante on that critically lauded band by employing no less than three four-string-pounders, giving them two more net strings than your average three-piece rock band.

Honestly, if I hadn't taken the time to read up on Organz I never would have realized that they had no guitarist; the three bass players make use of varied enough techniques that the band sound extremely full. At any given time there seems to be one bass player holding down the rhythm in standard bass player fashion, one bass player playing some kind of "lead" that might have worked equally as well as a six-string guitar part and one bass player making crazy ambient noises that add to the general atmosphere.

This is a pretty gross generalization, though, as Organz are capable of making their instruments sound like everything from Masters of Reality-era Black Sabbath to Darkest Hour and with surprising song structures that incorporate everything from death metal to post-punk this record won't be boring you anytime soon. A keeper for sure. -Deep Fry Bonanza

organz - the cuts!

lobe - shellack the merkin

Heavy bass on bass action. As if a bass player had grown two heads and four arms and managed to find a drummer that didn't mind the weirdness.

Lobe is Dead! Long Live Lobe! Born in the fall of 2000, Lobe stands as a shining example of not letting a lack of traditional instrumentation get in your way. Bass players Marc and Isaac were eager to make music and got right down to it. Sharing a love of bands both heavy and weird, they set out to forge their own sound. After years of playing with different drummers, including a short stint with Marc behind the kit (see: Gazebo of Destruction), they found a true believer in Steve. After several years slugging it out in the underground, the band split up in the spring of 2006 to focus on other projects.

Marc and Steve both contributed some drumming talents to the legendary Medlar Doss, leading to the eventual formation of Slave Traitor, where you can find them flexing their metal muscles. Isaac and Marc continue to play a Gazebo of Destruction gig once or twice a year and hope to get some recording done sometime this century. Isaac has also joined up with the funsters of Happy Birthday Secret Weapon to play the kind of inaccessable brainy pop music he always wanted to play. As for Lobe, we would be glad to reunite if you've got a multi-million dollar recording contract for us.

lobe - shellack the merkin

nominally instrumental

Crafted with equal parts willful experimentation & hard earned experience.

Seemingly unaffected by the traditional record/release/tour/repeat routine that defines the world of independent music, the three members of INSTRUMENTS are content to let their career unfold at a pace that requires absolutely no compromises.

J. LaPointe, Jon Hutt, and Daniel MacDonald began playing together as early as 1991, formally establishing themselves as The MOTES (along with Craig Thibault) in 1994. Isolated in small town pre-internet Nova Scotia, the foursome released six albums of genuinely odd atonal rock that were, by all accounts, way ahead of their time. Achieving minor cult status fame in Canada and beyond, they included among their fans such luminaries as Sixtoo (Anticon / Ninja Tune), Eric's Trip, Patti Schmidt of Canada's legendary late night radio show Brave New Waves, and Brian Borcherdt (Holy Fuck), who named his solo act after The MOTES The Remains of False Starts album, and would later spearhead the re-release of critical MOTES material on the Dependent Music label.

The MOTES disbanded in 1998, and LaPointe spent the next three years in seminal math rock outfit North of America, touring Canada, the USA, and Europe extensively with the likes of Blonde Redhead, Trumans Water, Storm and Stress, and Fugazi, and releasing four albums to considerable critical acclaim. Hutt spent that time developing his Recyclone project, releasing three albums and collaborating with Sixtoo, Graematter (Buck 65), and LaPointe once again on the well received Numbers full-length.

LaPointe, Hutt, and MacDonald reconvened as INSTRUMENTS in 2001. Intent on realizing their longstanding goal of total self-sufficiency the trio set about building a makeshift studio in a small house just outside of Halifax, NS, Canada, and began developing new material. Circumstance and opportunity would cause this cycle to repeat three more times, culminating in late 2004 with the completion of studio number four, at The Archive, in Mineville, NS, Canada. With its environment stabilized, INSTRUMENTS was quick to complete work on its debut recording, Nominal. Juxtaposing LaPointe's inimitable guitar and Hutt's machine-like drums with an unsettling ambiance, Nominal's four pieces strengthened the band's growing mythology, drawing comparisons as diverse as Pink Floyd and Shellac. Their live debut in the fall of 2006 was met with unanimous raves, but the band quickly retreated back to the studio, spending 2006-2007 completing the score for Hutt's short film Chimera, and collaborating with Montreal based experimental hiphop label Endemik Music. Their track on Bleubird's rip usa 2LP was hailed as the standout among an allstar cast including Anticon's Sole and Alias, and their remix of Skyrider's "Hello Loneliness" extended their reach into Japan on the Granma Music label.

instruments - nominal

iced ink - there's a bee in here

Iced Ink were an instrumental surf-jazz-metal guitar-drum-bass-percussion group from the snowy bowels of Minneapolis, MN. It spawned in 1998 when Mike (guitar) abandoned all contact with outside musicians for a few years to focus on writing music he wished he was hearing more of in the Twin Cities area that couldn't necessarily be written by just "jamming".

Let's move ahead to July of 2001: Freshly transplanted to the Twin Cities from that one famous music school in Boston full of gifted wankers, VomitGod (drums) along with his wifeperson Sara T. (percussion) were lured in by shameless Iced Ink promotional bait printed on the back of Minneapolis' premier weekly alternative news source, City Pages. He contacted Mike, and 6 months later, Joe Berkman's skillful (and very audible) bass manipulations won the Iced Ink Bassist Pageant to complete the lineup. They bought a colorful bus, were driven around by their mother and manager Reuben to perform to the delight of many screaming fans, and compelled families across the world to tune in every week for a half hour of pure watery comedy and bad lip-synching.
- (cdbaby)

RIYL: fantomas, mr. bungle, john zorn

iced ink - there's a bee in here