Saturday, 22 July 2017

Rocket up your...!

BENELUX was famous for its hardcore punk scene in the first decade of the 2000's (at least that is when I got into the bands that were in this scene) and last thursday at Devilstone 2017 I witnessed an outstanding performance by a Belgian band of hooligans that totally stole the show and were the highlight of the whole festival for me. I'm pretty sure that they also stole most of the front row women's hearts as the drummer got onto the stage wearing nothing but a transparent raincoat and boots. Classy fucker, he even made me scream "Show us your dick!" during the breaks between the songs, no homo! 

Raketkanon are a bastard son of mother sludge and father European hardcore. They possess gnarly tones, hypnotic riffs, extreme low end, Dillingerian style vocals, strange atmospheres, killer attitude and rhythm control that is far beyond phenomenal. I just can't get enough of these guys and I've been listening to them for nearly a week straight now, so it's not just a phase MOM! They have released two full length records so far - RKTKN#1 and RKTKN#2. I personally prefer the production on the first record but they're both great, give them a spin and judge for yourself.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tunes by my hometown bands worth your attention and money

Riga - the city of contrasts. Where old meets new, ugly meets beautiful and West meets East. Very seldom I mention my own countrymen and their music simply because most of it is utter garbage and I'm actually a bit ashamed when someone labels Saturn's Husk "metal" and as a result puts us into the same bucket with other edge-lord crap. Don't get me wrong I do appreciate what the veteran bands of Latvian metal scene did back in the day, it is just that I don't care for the most of the new stuff that keeps getting released here and just doesn't fall into the category of "quality music" by my book. Stop pretending that you like something only because the trendy kid next door seems to like it or some oldfag tells you that you should appreciate this or that band because of what they did at the turn of the century. If they sound like shit live and on record I don't care how many fans they have and under which worldwide label they're signed. Bottom line is, if they suck, they suck. Rise above, dig what you dig, support the local acts you care about, educate the young and spread the word!

Kristofera Sapnis

An avant-garde adventure from a defunct band featuring Saturn's Husk drummer. Kristofera Sapnis is a band that almost nobody knows of. Here is the link to the whole experience - (click on the bunny first and then click on the gramophone to hear the music)

NEKAD - Klusumā

Crusty punk hardcore from our hometown. Artwork by the one and only, the provocative Kristiāns Brekte.

Eschatos - The Grand Noir

Satan & female vocals. Artwork by Jānis Burmeisters of Rīgas Tinte and Tesa.

Anna Kijevā - Māsa

My recent discovery. I have no idea how this band flew under my radar for so long.

The Pink Elephant

Beautiful and psychedelic. The only analogy I can think of is Cigale.

Soundarcade - Moving the Great Hadron

Soundarcade is probably one of the best things that happened in the scene and is one of the very few experimental bands that keep expanding their sound and keep pushing their songwriting skills with each release. The way they layer the sound is insane.

Tesa - G H O S T

Besides being genuinely nice guys, Tesa are a post/sludge powerhouse from Riga. Their album G H O S T is probably the best offering to the genre that comes from the Baltics since the fall of the Soviet union. I will add that one of their accomplishments was touring Europe by supporting the great band Neurosis last summer. Enough said!

I would also like to mention Ģirts Laumanis aka "Lomiks", the founder of Hodila Records as he is probably one of the very few people that keep quality music and underground culture alive in our country.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Honey, I'm totally into Whores!

The heading of this post is probably the most abnormal way to tell your significant other that you enjoy a particular band. Also don't forget to pay these whores, the sounds they make will make you harder than a pedophile in a preschool! OH, THE PUNS! THE PUNS EVERYWHERE! Long live prostitution!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I finally caught Neurosis live

In the previous post I mentioned that in the beginning of this month I together with my wife-to-be finally caught the great band Neurosis live at Kraken in Stockholm. I spent around 780 euros total on the whole trip but it was totally worth it and I don't regret a dime. Neurosis need no introduction as they have been in the scene for 30 full years and have inspired a whole culture of people. They are one of the best bands out there both on the record and live in my peasant opinion. Their live show was unforgettable and probably the best one I have ever attended. The dynamic range of the sound was just dick-tickling - it was mellow and soothing at times and at times it was so punishing that it was borderline unbearable (in a good way). Their stage presence was unparalleled with anything I've seen before and I've been to a couple of shows. During the "At The End of The Road" I looked around and I saw Dave running around the stage simultaneously playing his bass, Scott spitting and sweating like a motherfucker while he was forcefully bashing the riffs out of his guitar, Steve doing some weird feedbacks by spinning and holding his guitar in the mid-air, Noah fiercely pushing and pulling his synth rig and Jason drumming away hypnotically, his drumsticks looked nearly like butterfly wings in this lighting. The whole experience was very surreal, it resonated with me on a primitive level and I remember that during this exact moment I thought to myself: "This is madness. This is why they called themselves Neurosis."

Monday, 17 July 2017

Engineering, EM and DOOM

At the beginning of the month I went on a trip to Stockholm to see the mighty Neurosis and Author & Punisher was opening up for them. The opening act got on my radar a couple of times before but it never seized my attention because it was too "industrial" for my taste. Until...until I saw A&P live. It turns out that it is a one man live band, aaand it gets even better - the dude's apparently an engineer and he builds all of his instruments himself. Well, big deal you might add, because there are a lot of multi-instrumentalists who create their own guitars, basses, drums, etc., but there is a great "but" here. Tristan (the man behind this extra-ordinary project) builds unique sound controllers that resemble heavy-duty industrial machinery much rather than traditional music instruments. His stage persona reminded me of a cyborg straight out from a sci-fi movie as he masterfully operated these so called instruments that he himself calls the drone machines. I would say that this interaction between the man and these considerable implements brought a certain amount of eroticism and sincerity to the performance and was not cheesy or homosexual in any way. His show was accompanied by some of the most intense visuals I've seen and soundwise it all reminded me of a NIN and SUNN O))) hybrid. Give it a shot, it is totally worth it!

Here's an interesting interview with Tristan Shone about his craft.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The criminally underrated

I've come to a conclusion that music unlike any other legitimate art-form has a life of its own, especially in this wonderful age of technology that we're living in. Once you release your work into the masses there is very little you can do to contain it or help it spread, so eventually it will either expand like a plague or will land somewhere in the vast oblivion of "I have never heard of it". Nevertheless keeping an eye out will reward you with a few gems here and there in the never-ending torrent of feculence. Here are some of the most criminally underrated albums that gave me some of the hardest metal boners to this date.

Leechmilk - Starvation of Locusts

289 people like this on Zuckerberg's bookface. Become the number 290.

Buried At Sea - Ghost

Most of us who are in the "artistic metal" scene (this should be totally made into a thing) have heard the Migration but have never heard of Ghost. It is a nearly 30 minute long buildup for that one final riff at 28:55 that will send immense chills down your spine and leave you wanting for more.

Suma - Ashes

I've been returning to this record numerous times since I first discovered it last year and it seems that I've been listening to it profusely for these last couple of weeks. If it is too slow and too heavy for you, you are probably too young!

Shora - Malval

"Post" has become somewhat of an insult in the last couple of years and I do agree with that to some extent because most of the things this genre has to offer sounds kinda same-same. However dial this one in and listen to the tones and the drumming. 

Cattle press - Showered In The Love Of The Abhorer

9 minutes of insanity and dirt pushed forcefully down your throat. Skip to the last track if you cannot endure the first two.