Tag Archives: thrash

[pre-order] Iron Reagan – “Crossover Ministry”

Iron Reagan’s latest, “Crossover Ministry,” serves up a healthy dose of hardcore punk energy and attitude with thrash metal chops and aggression. Really the more that I listen to it the more Tony Foresta’s vocals remind of Tom Araya’s. It could also be that right now I’m listening to the track “More War” where Foresta alternates the title with sardonic battle cries of “let’s make more guns!” and “we live, you die.”

It’s pretty clear that Iron Reagan isn’t really going for the “evil” aesthetic like Slayer. The band does a much better job of capturing the overall spirit of hardcore punk. One can detect a touch of Black Flag and Fugazi  in some of the more biting lyric deliveries.

Take for example “Fuck the Neighbors.” Starting with a brief skit of a milquetoast neighbor wondering when the band’s loud party is going to end, the song counters with a steady pounding of muted eighth notes  with Foresta barking, “Fuck the neighbors, fuck your yard, the more you complain, the more we go hard,” and “not my problem!”

With “Grim Business,” heard above, the dual guitar attack storms through what seems like an epic two and a half minutes. Most tracks on “Crossover Ministry” hover within the one to two minute range. “Parents of Tomorrow” is the briefest track, clocking in at only seven seconds.

The hardcore punk ethos comes out in the brevity of the songs. Iron Reagan doesn’t seem particularly interested in languishing on lengthy introductions, or constructing complex transitions into extended solos. Every song starts out urgently, and doesn’t let up before an inevitably abrupt close. Sure, there are guitar solos on many of the songs, but they are definitely not the focal point by any means.

Great album from start to finish, showing that Iron Reagan is able to shred, and not take themselves all too seriously. This is exactly the album that we need right now. Blistering, forceful, and even a little bit cynical.
Pre-order Iron Reagan’s “Crossover Ministry” and tour dates
And you can find “Crossover Ministry” in any number of formats both physical and digital on either the Relapse site, or the band’s own bandcamp page.

You can also find the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Finally, Iron Reagan has a bunch of shows coming up to promote “Crossover Ministry.” Check them out below:

—All dates 2/24 – 3/17 with Power Trip —
Feb 24 Houston TX, Walter’s
Feb 25 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Feb 26 Birmingham, AL Saturn
Feb 27 Raleigh, NC Kings *
Feb 28 Richmond, VA Broadberry *+
Mar 01 Baltimore, MD Soundstage *+
Mar 02 New York, NY Marlin Room +&
Mar 03 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit +$
Mar 04 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class +$
Mar 08 Montreal, QC Les Foufounes Electriques
Mar 09 Ottawa, ON Brass Monkey
Mar 10 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground
Mar 11 Detroit, MI Marble Bar
Mar 12 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
Mar 13 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
Mar 14 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
Mar 16 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
Mar 17 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective

*w/ Genocide Pact
+w/Concealed Blade
&w/ Krimewatch
$w/ Protester

— With Wrong & Night Birds 3/22 – 3/24 —

Mar 22 Orlando, FL Will’s Pub
Mar 23 Miami, FL Churchill’s
Mar 24 Tampa, FL Crowbar
Mar 25 Greensboro, NC Blind Tiger

Last Sons of Krypton – “Teenage Trash”

They definitely don’t make ’em like this anymore (though I sincerely wish they did). This is gritty, pure garage-rock/punk energy and abandon, and it’s just gotten a proper release from Certified PR records. The album is stocked with tracks from early demos, some unreleased tracks and a few alternate versions of their material. It’s twenty-tracks of noisy-as-hell, blown out old-school punk. To my ear I am picking up on, maybe, some Dead Kennedy’s in that they may be thrashing about, but still with a focus on melody to at least a certain extent. Combine that with the overbearing feedback and noise of Terry Malts and maybe The Homostupids and I think you’re most of the way there.

“Air Raid” is a one-and-a-half minute blast of live thrash that plows through a couple breakneck verses and shouted choruses. The guitars can hardly keep still, inserting Sonic Youth-like asides in between lyrics all before the entire thing comes crashing to a halt.

Meanwhile, “It Hurts” takes a play out of the old-school rock and pop book, taking something that would probably sound like an outtake from the Rocky Horror soundtrack and turning it into garage-rock mayhem.

Turn it up. If you don’t have two blown speakers by the time you are reading this then you are doing something wrong.

You can buy the album from Certified PR Records here. The vinyl run was limited to 525 on virgin black vinyl. It’s only $13! That’s a steal! Head over there and check it out, and head over to Certified PR on soundcloud to check out what else they have cooking up.

Stream: Buffalo Tooth – “Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce”

Can one put together stoner rock, hyperactive punk, thrash and metal and still make it make sense? According to Buffalo Tooth, yes. Their debut full-length, “Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce,” hits us with one guitar assault after another. This band is not kidding around, with thirteen tracks of stoney thrash, there is hardly a moment’s rest. From the hard driving blues based riffage of “Little Girl,” to the fingerboard tapping dual guitar freak-out of “Sex Priest,” Buffalo Tooth has all the bases covered.

One minute the vocals can sound like Danzig, the next they might have just a shade of Jello Biafra in them; the same can be said of the transformation of the guitar styles emerging across the album – one minute slow and heavy, the next fast and clean. Also, let me just state for the record how nice it is to listen to an album that isn’t afraid to just throw in some guitar solos. The influence of Black Sabbath does factor in here, but in perhaps equal measure with some harder edged punk and metal. More than a hint of Bad Brains can be detected without question, but listening close I’m also picking up on some early Metallica, for example a little taste of “Master of Puppets” toward the close of “Street Poo.” Then there is some East Bay Ray style guitar tone and technique on the punk-rock boogie of “Laced Up.” Appropriately, the vocals reach maximum Jello Biafra delivery here. Finally, on the closing track “Greenbacks” we get some riffs that sound like early Nirvana that get thrown into a blender, sending the entire song into a speed metal tailspin before closing out the entire album with riotous noise and incessant aggressive drumming. If you love everything that Ty Segall has done, especially with his band Fuzz, then you are going to love this album.

Lyrically things don’t tend to get too serious here, as if you couldn’t tell from the song titles “Sex Priest,” “Street Poo,” “Smells Like Jello,” and “Street Polygamy.” Speaking specifically to this end are the lyrics to “Snacktology,” wherein we hear how much the singer loves snacks: “I love, I love snacks. I’ve got the munchies man, all I wanna do is eat some snacks.” What could be more stoney than that? Not much.

“Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce” is out now on Captcha Records on 160g black and white splatter vinyl, and you can choose to add a 24″×36″ “How to Tour Tijuana” poster to that. You can check out all that stuff on Buffalo Tooth’s bandcamp page.

Stream: The Swan King – “Last So Long”

For some reason or another the band Pelican popped into my mind just yesterday. I was mentioning some metal bands to someone, and all of a sudden the memory of that band sprang to mind, even though I wouldn’t be able to name a single song of theirs if I tried. I do remember listening to them a while back and I can feel their sound in remembering them. So I thought that it would be fitting to post about The Swan King today, seeing as how Pelican’s guitarist is playing with them; that and both bands seem to conjure the same sound-images in my mind.

Heavy, palm-muted chunks of distortion, but not the kind of uncontrolled distortion like what I posted about yesterday. This is the precise and sharp cut of thrash metal. Think Pantera without all the mid-rangeyness of Dimebag’s guitar. I guess while I’m comparing things, I could draw a line from Mastodon to The Swan King, though the latter is significantly more straightforward in their approach. The guitar work is equally dexterous, and the riffs arguably just as powerful, if a little slower. Slow usually translates to heavier though, and add to that that it sounds as if the guitar here is at least a minor 3rd down from standard tuning. It’s got a nice, almost warbling crunch to it, most noticeable on “Closer to the Source.”

The pulsating chug of “Built to Break” has about as close to a hook as a metal song can have. It’s on that track the band really shows that they aren’t relying solely upon punishing riffs, but can also think a little more melodically, with clear, open voiced chords fitting right in with a crunchy low string barrage in the bridge section. The fact that there’s a nice modulation right before the vocals comes in is also a nice touch. Along the same lines, the title track is equally as affective at creating catchy hooks out of thrash metal material. There are sections of “Last So Long” that are pretty close to what could easily be described as “anthemic.” The band also displays a penchant for extended instrumental sections between verses that aren’t necessarily filled with busy fretwork. Instead, it’s in these sections that the band tends to ruminate on some extraneous ideas that fit nicely within the song’s context. They will, however, not wait too long to remind you that they are here to shred, as evidenced by the opening of “As It Is” with it’s sweep-picked runs and persistent double kick drum action.

“Last So Long” was officially released this past Tuesday, June 3rd. It was recorded in their hometown of Chicago at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio. You can check out the entire album above.

Stream/Download: Bbigpigg – “Phantom Photography” EP

Bbigpigg
Bbigpigg


As if you couldn’t already tell, I’ve been angling toward the noisiest, most abrasive music that I can find. The more messed up the rhythms, the faster the songs, the more angular and distorted the guitar parts and the less intelligible the lyrics the better.

Bbigpigg is currently on tour through the beginning of November and is also offering a five song EP, “Phantom Photography,” for free at their site. There is also another free download at their main site here.

Similar in overall sound to THIGHS, Bbigpigg takes their energy over the top and keeps it there. Something comparable in texture to At The Drive-In where it’s impossible to discern where one guitar ends and another begins. Everything is just a cloud of interconnected squeals and accents pinned to the ground by a rumbling bass. “Bitch-Hogg” takes a completely frantic approach rhythmically, with air-raid guitars cutting across everything in its path. Everything is just heavy as hell, and worth more than a few listens.

Check their site for tour dates across New England and make sure to grab that download.

 

Stream/Download: Thighs – “Thighs”

Thighs - "Thighs"
THIGHS – “THIGHS”


Toronto thrash punk is alive and well, apparently. THIGHS sound like Tangiers having a seizure. The disjointed, monomaniacal, throbbing rhythms with ultra crunchy guitars and shouted vocals is nothing but pure energy and raw power. A song like “Tunnelr” covers a lot of ground in it’s 2 minutes, going from stomping, mosh inducing potential energy to the release that comes toward the end in the form of a 3 against 2 rhythm that sounds down right groovy coming out of krautrock-land where they began.

Each of the 9 tracks are similar in their sound: dominating bass pushed almost to the point of distortion, the guitar’s tentative grasp on pitch. Think the rhythm section of “They Threw Us In A Trench and Put A Monument on Top” era Liars with the guitar-as-extension-of-the-drums noise blasts of “Drums Not Dead” era Liars.

It’s actually remarkable how quick THIGHS goes from noise to total silence. The start-stops are so crisp and punchy, placing the intermittent silence at equal footing to the noise-stomp that encloses it, for example in the track “Horse.” A song like “Meat” pushes the mechanical kraut-rock sound to an industrial grind, driving that one chord into your head one measure at a time.

The self-titled album is available as a download on bandcamp for any price you care to pay, though I would suggest grabbing the limited edition (only 100 made) vinyl from Not Unlike for only $15. This should be on your turntable right now, loud enough so that the walls blow out while people 2 miles away call the cops.

Video: Oozing Wound – “Welcome to the Spaceship, Motherfucker”


Well, it might be too late for this now, but I sincerely hope that you heeded the warning at the beginning of the video, because they are not messing around. Oozing Wound wants to make sure that you are headbanging, even if that means it is the result of a seizure.

I’m placing this one right in between Slayer and Liturgy. More toward the Slayer side of things than anything else. For a few minutes at the beginning of the song I was wondering if it was going to be an instrumental or not. The band pummels that opening riff into the ground in a fit of metal hypnosis. It isn’t until about a minute-twenty in that the actual lead line/opening riff comes in, followed by the raspy, vocals that are clenched tight not very far behind.

Three full minutes of thrash metal insanity, going 900 mph straight toward a brick wall. Pretty intense. Pretty awesome. The ending motto is pretty classic too. Check it out above. If you aren’t awake now, you will be.

Chicago’s own Oozing Wound released their debut album, “Retrash,” last week on Thrill Jockey. Pick up a copy of the LP, pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with a fully artworked inner sleeve and free download coupon; or the CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package here. You can also hear a preview of each of the tracks at that link.

There is also a limited edition screen-printed LP version available at Permanent Records Chicago. Grab it while you can.