Monday, July 29, 2013

EP Review: Purify the Horror - "Untitled"

I honestly can't think of anything to use as intro text, so here's the album cover:

Dat logo.
Purify the Horror is from Birmingham, England, a couple hours out from Liverpool, birthplace of the almighty Carcass (holy shnitzel, guys, they have a new album coming out, and I'm so fucking excited you guys, you have no idea). Despite the short distance, these Birmingham boys have developed a different style of grindcore than the old Liverpool fogies. The band is actually anonymous, although they claim to be "three individuals prominent within the underground music scene". I know nothing of the British underground grind scene, so I really can't comment on who I think these guys are, and honestly I don't really care. As long as they can make music as consistently solid as this EP, they could be the fucking royal family for all I care.

Pictured: England's biggest Insect Warfare fans.
Purify the Horror is more akin to the stylings of old school Pig Destroyer, than more traditional Birmingham grind like Napalm Death or the goregrind titans Carcass (as mentioned earlier). This band definitely goes for a more depraved, tortured sound and groovier, meatier riffs than the former, and more direct and not-a-mess-of-sounds-and-white-noise than the latter's late-80s albums. The band definitely flies the punk flag more often than the metal one, but the band twists and turns through their songs with some wonky riffs and the occasional tremolo picked passage. I'm really not here to recommend this album to you because of the riffs and drumming, though.

While the guitar work and drum prowess of Bear Pig and Lord Pig respectively is definitely solid, I've got to commend Sergeant Squeal for his amazing vocals. This man. Holy shit. This man. If you isolated Sergeant Squeal's vocal track and played it to me, I'd think you were playing a recording of someone getting their finger and toenails ripped off one by one. While additional vocals come from Fatbelly Pig, I'm not quite sure what portions of the album he contributes on. If I had my guess, I'd the vocal work is divvied up into guttural vocals and high/ mid range shrieks (seriously, these are some goddamn shrieks if I've ever heard 'em) dome by Fatbelly and Sarge respectively.

I normally make a paragraph on production here, but really, this EP is produced pretty solidly, and there isn't too much more to say about it. It's thick, it's heavy, but it isn't anything amazing. If this band got a hold of Kurt Ballou and was given the holy-fuck-Kurt-Ballou-is-producing-our-album treatment like Nails did earlier this year, this EP would be an unstoppable slab of grind. Something to think about for next time, boys.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: PIG, Give Me Your Money, Imperialist

On A Playlist With: Pig Destroyer, Insect Warfare, Magrudergrind

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Purify the Horror's debut EP is a solid first foray into the grind world as a band. The individual members showcase their prowess as veterans of the scene, and it all comes together into one short, sweet, puss-filled package.

This EP is out now on Dissected Records and Sociopathic Sounds Recordings.You can download is for the low, low price of free, right here.

That's all for now, folks!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Split Review: Infected Society/ F Stands For Fuck You/ Miserable Failure - "Miserable Fucking Society"

Kaotoxin records has been rocking it recently with their grindcore releases. After dropping Nolentia's new album in March and the amazing french grindcore compilation In Grindo Veritas (listen here), they're dropping a three way split from the depths of hell (or Amiens, France. Same thing.) between french grinders Infected Society, F Stands For Fuck You, and Miserable Failure cleverly titled Miserable Fucking Society.

Get it?

Infected Society

Infected Society have already released their debut two years ago in the form of an EP and Snuff Fetish Infection, their first split on Kaotoxin, and Miserable marks their second release on this label. Infected Society contribute the first seven tracks on this 19 track split, and take up about 11 of the almost 30 minute running time.

These guys bring in a heavy and hard style of grindcore, blending the old school Carcass style goregrind with more modern riffs. They've got only got one vocalist, but holy fuck does he have a wicked growling range. Capable of Bill-Steer-pitch-shifted-like vocals, raspy Jeff Walker highs, and some powerful hardcore yells and screams, vocalist Brett is a monster behind the mic. The riffs are definitely more on the punk side of grindcore than the metal side, with tons of shifting power chords and groove laden bridges and breakdowns bringing in the circle pits. There no drummer in Infected Society, but instead a drum machine programmed by guitarist, Fack. I've gotta say they're programmed pretty well, because in addition to the usual machine gun blasting, Fack busts out some solid grooves and even a tribal beat here and there.

Production is about as heavy and thick as you can get it. Everything is mixed pretty well, but as usual, I'd love to have the bass a little higher in the mix. The drums are mixed really well into the human-manned guitar, bass, and microphone, and they don't have that usual sterile, clicky sound most drum machines are known for.

Score: 4/5

Infected Society's third of the split is definitely the strongest, with the hardest hitting music paired with awesome, awesome production.

F Stands For Fuck You

F Stands For Fuck You is a wicked hardcore/ grind project started by Adrien GuĂ©rin (guitarist of Benighted since 2012) and Kevin Foley (drummer to Mumakil, Nervecell, and Benighted. Not to be confsed with Kevin Motherfucking Talley of every fucking deathgrind band ever). This is the band's first release, and it's a damn good one. 

Adiren leaves his guitar duties to take up vocals on this split, and he does a pretty solid job. He lays out more an old school hardcore punk scream, which does along really well with the punkish riffing of Alexis' guitars. The riffs are groovy and angular, keeping you on your toes with their their shifting tempos and time signatures. Luckily, the music doesn't devolve into incoherent noodling, and Alexis manages to keep everything pretty fluid and natural sounding. The drums keep up with the guitarwork, grooving, double kicking, and blasting all the way through, sticking to the twists and turns like a fat kid sticks to the all-you-can-eat-buffet line.

Production here is a lot thinner than with Infected Society, and it really takes a huge shift aurally once the first section of this split is up and FSFFY's portion begins. There is no bassist in this band, and it really shows. If this band were able to get some Scott Hull magic going on to thicken up their sound, they'd definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Score: 3/5

F Stands For Fuck You definitely has piqued my interest with their debut release here, but unless they do something to fill out their sound, they'll always play second fiddle to the heavyweights.

Miserable Failure

These dudes are the least well known group on the split, and the promo package I have has nothing about them other than they are "a modern Grindcore failure by miserable fuckheadz". So uhh, Miserable Failure, everybody.

The music picks up in intensity again here, going back to a more pure grindcore sound, and it definitely reminds me of an old school Pig Destroyer sound. The riffs are razor sharp and technical, the guttural vocals are absolutely gut retching, and the production is pretty thickened up. It's not as heavy as Infected Society, and a fair bit muddier, which is a little distracting, but nothing too, too bad. Contrary to Infected Society, Miserable Failure's riffage is more metal oriented than punk inspired. There's a lot more tremolo picked speed riffing than jumping power chords, and more riffs in the higher registers, which for some reason remind me of Behemoth. I dunno why.

I do want to touch on the vocals here for a second, though. There are two vocalists, Bleu handling lead vocals, and Maldito manning the backing vocals. Bleu reminds me of Jon Chang from Gridlink, except not quite as terrifying, and almost mismatched against the heaviness of Miserable Failure's music. That being said, Maldito's brutal lows fucking shred, and are definitely reminiscent of good ol' Bill Steer's vocals in Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness.

Score: 3/5

Miserable Failure is the weakest of the three parts to this split, if only slightly. They bust out some solid grind jams, but the mix of muddy production and blindsiding high vocals distracts me too much to fully appreciate the awesome drumming and riffage.

Overall, I think this is a really solid split. It's another release that is slowly solidifying Kaotoxin's foothold on the French grind scene, and showcases some pretty varied, but consistently enjoyable music. You can check out the bands on Facebook (Infected Society, F Stands For Fuck You, Miserable Failure) and you can listen to the whole split for free(!), here. A CD version will be available August 5th, 2013, and I highly recommend you pick a copy up.

That's all for now, folks!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

So this past Saturday I saw Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's newest movie, in where Transformers fight the Cloverfield monster. Also, consider everything beneath this text spoilers.

So, PxR, piqued my interest when I first heard about it, because it seemed like one of those turn-your-brain-off-explosions-and-tits movies, but more importantly, it was a 100% thoroughbred B-movie with a Hollywood budget. For those of you who don't know, I love B-Movies. My long-abandoned (and hopefully soon-to-be rebooted) series It Hurts So Good showcases reviews of a couple of my favorite shitty movies.

So, like I said, Specific Rim is a fully fledged B-movie. I mean, if suddenly an extra-dimensional portal opened up at the bottom of the Pacific and giant Earth-shattering aliens started pouring out, what do you think Earth's first line of defense would be? Arm every border with giant guns and move everyone underground? No. No. That would be too easy. We should create equally giant Earth-shattering robots powered by nuclear reactors and controlled neurally by two people at a time. I want to know who the guy in the UN military base was just nervously glancing around after the world's brightest got idea after idea shot down, and in a moment of solemn silence after the last genius' plan was denied just piped up and said, "Hey guys... Giant. Robots.", and then sat there as the entire auditorium exploded into cheering and applause.

This is supposed to be a review, so it's time for reviewy things. Everything looks totally slick, and del Toro's monster design was pretty well done, but not amazing. The Kaiju (japanese for monster and what the aliens are called in the movie) were all heavily based of of common real-world animals, usually with two or three animals smooshed together. There was a saw shark/ swordfish, a frilled lizard/ bat, rhino/ crab, and a sharktopus/ Balrog, among others. As the movie went on, even though each Kaiju had a different look, they quickly lost their otherworldly mystique and terror, and became kind of boring. I will admit though, when the lizard/ bat took flight for the first time, I made an internal fuck yes this is amazing.

So, monster design, mediocre. Acting? Also mediocre, but hell, this ain't a Scorsese flick. You don't watch Prolific Rim for the acting. The story and characters were pretty alright, I guess. The story, if you haven't gotten it by now, goes like this.
  1. OMG, monsters!
  2. Make giant robots
  3. ????
  4. Profit
  5. Main character suffers sudden loss of brother
  6. Government shuts down giant robot military program because "LOL FUCK YOU, EARTH"
  7. More monsters!
  8. 7 years later, renegade Major herds giant robots and giant robot pilots (including the main character who had now moved on into Hong Kong to keep fighting
  9.  Operation: Nuke The Shit Out Of The Portal Is Totally A Rad Plan And Will Totally Work, Guys is go
  10. More monsters!
  11. Punch things with giant rocket powered fists
  12. Nuke portal
  13. Happily ever after!
So in there is also the explanation of every main and supporting character's super grimdark, I fight a war on two fronts, against the monsters out there and against the monsters within myself backstories, and the worst romantic sub-plot ever, where at the end of the movie, there is only an awkward as balls half eskimo kiss and a totally uncomfortable looking hug from like, four feet apart.

It was about as painfully awkward as this photo.
But, there's also this:

Yes, that's Charlie Day as a tatted as fuck scientist. My goal in life is to pretty much be that, so his character easily became my favorite part of the movie. And his pairing with Burn Gorman's equally hilarious bookworm/ math nerd Gottlieb was some of the movies most entertaining character chemistry. Above even Day and Gorman's characters were the Hansens, an Australian father and son who piloted one of the giant robots together. Honestly, Pacific and the Rims would have been really, really awesome if it took the egotistical hot-shot son and his level headed, stern, and no-bullshit dad as the main characters and played up their relationship rather than Blankface McGee and Ms. Not-actually-a-love-interest-but-kind-of-still-a-love-interest's stonefaced talking.

So, from the past few paragraphs, you might think I didn't like this movie. I actually really did, I swear. I'm outlining all the flaws if they really mattered, because who cares about semi-non-existent romantic sub-plots and poor monster design when there are giant fucking robots punching giant aliens in the ocean. Jesus. But really, PACIFICxRIM was a fantastic looking movie filled with cheesy dialogue and over the top action. It was a B-movie, and it knew it. There were no holds barred and no half assing on that part. I came to see giant robots fuck up aliens in a fist fight, and that's exactly what I got.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

That's all for now, folks! What movies have you guys seen recently?


Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly 3x3: 07-Jul-2013

I know, I know, I'm the worst at this. A day late again. Whatever.

Black Flag - Jealous Again EP: I'm only getting into Black Flag now (a sin, I know), and I'm digging everything from Nervous Breakdown to Damaged, but my favorite release so far has got to be Jealous Again. It's a solid mix of the punk aggression and not-Henry Rollins' voice that gets me riled up every time.

Rush - Clockwork Angels: I was jamming Rush's newest album in anticipation of seeing them this past Saturday. And while I loved this album, it was brought to even higher levels of awesome played live with a string sextet.

El-P & Killer Mike - Run the Jewels: This album is like the grindcore of hip-hop. Aggressive, loud, heavy, and before you know it, over. It only clocks in at half an hour, but both El and Mike rip out some freaking awesome lyrics over top of El's futuristic beats.

Magrudergrind - Magrudergrind: This album is what introduced me to this amazing grind/ powerviolence band. I don't jam it as often as I used to, but whenever I want to throw the fuck down, this is the first thing I go to.

Foals - Antidotes: This one is a surprise, even for me. I totally forget how it got onto my iPod, but I jammed it in the car one day, and shit, is it ever good. It's kind of a proggy, indie alt-rock sound, which I understand sounds pretentious as fuck, but I swear, it's actually pretty solid.

Big Chocolate - HiLion: Summer driving music. Especially the title track, my favorite Choco Grande song.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist: More summer driving music. Word.

Weekend Nachos - Worthless: What's a man without a circle pit every once in a while?

The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer: Mandatory (potential) AOTY jams.

That's all for now, folks!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Gupta's Top 10 Albums of 2013 (So Far)

Well, it's that time of year again. Well, not that time of year, but, y'know... that time of year. Not like that time of year, but like that...

It's halfway through the year, is what I'm saying. Christ, do I have to spoon-feed you everything?

#10: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

The french duo dropped an album this year that serves as both a doozy and a complete curveball to their listeners. Random Access Memories is less of a bumpin' and bangin' house record, and more of a 70s funk rock  danceapollooza. It's got booty-shaking grooves, arm swaying synth, and tons of hooks that just seep into your brain and don't leave until your body is involuntarily shutting down from dancing so much.

#9: Hatebreed - The Divinity of Purpose

Gang vocals. Caveman riffs. Jamey Jasta yelling so hard about believing in yourself that you can feel his wiggerish arm movements guiding your bench presses, curls, and power squats through your earbuds at the gym. In short, it's a Hatebreed record, and I love it.

#8: Yattai - Fast Music Means Love

This is the band that kicked off my connections in the French grind and hardcore scene. These dudes have hooked me up with tons of sick bands and some great opportunities for the blog. But this isn't LinkedIn. This is a music blog. Yattai grind hard, and grind fast. Hard as nails riffs, gut churning vocals, and blistering drums make these 16 tracks hit you like a fully loaded semi. A must listen for grindheads.

#7: Clutch - Earth Rocker

Y'all know how much I love Clutch. This band can make anyone shake their booty with their huge grooves and pounding rhythms. Earth Rocker continues Clutch's straightforward American blues rock approach, and is definitely one of the most energetic and fastest paced albums they've put out. It'll have you boogying and singing into the night.

#6: Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - 12 Reasons to Die

Awwww, yisss. Ghostface is back. Pairing up with multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge, 12 Reasons to Die showcases an awesome supernatural mobster/ revenge story over top of some simplistic but effective production. Blending together some new and old styles of hip-hop make this album fresh to listen to over and over again.

#5: Rotten Sound - Species at War EP

Yeah, I know. It ain't a full length album. Whatever, call the police, I don't give a fuck. Species at War is the next logical step for Rotten Sound take after 2011's Cursed. What I mean by that is, they just re-released a shorted version of Cursed.

Oh, yeah. Also, it's about 10 times heavier. Aural decimation at it's finest.

#4: Nails - Abandon All Life

Nails' debut album, Unsilent Death. It was a quick, devastating blow to your ears of top-notch grind/ powerviolence/ hardcore. Abandon All Life shows Nails expanding on that sound with some longer, bonecrushing tracks alongside the usual blisteringly fast songs. Nails coupled up with Converge's Kurt Ballou, and holy shit, has Kurt turned this album into a fucking beast. Definitely one of the heaviest things I've heard in a long time.
I freakin' loved

#3: El-P & Killer Mike - Run the Jewels

Dang. Last year, both El-P and Killer Mike dropped freaking sweet albums, and while they've been working together for a while (El produced Mike's R.A.P. Music), it's been a while since they released an album together properly. Jewels showcases El's subwoofer-bumping beats and both dudes' impeccable flow and unfuckwithable lyricism, all wrapped up into one quick banger of an album.

#2: Corsair - Corsair

When I reviewed this album, I gave it a score of 5 out of 5. I said it was going to be album of the year. I was almost right. While Corsair is a freaking amazing slab of 70s-prog-meets-80s-NWoBHM, it did get out-shadowed. I'll talk about that in a second, though. To really understand how much I loved this album, I think you should just read my review. There isn't anything more to say than that, really.

#1: The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer

If this isn't your #1 album of 2013, I'm not sure if we can be friends anymore. One of Us is the Killer proves that Dillinger cannot make bad music. It's just not possible. Ben Weinman could have just whipped his dick out and slapped it against his guitar for 45 minutes while Greg Puciato rolled around on top of a bed of microphones, but it would still come out as some of the best music around. This album is completely mindblowing, and while the music and production are stellar as always, the thing I like more on Killer than any other Dillinger album is, is the pacing. Soft songs and melodic sections fly by and interrupt the usual cacophonous and face melting  Dillinger sound, making for a album that I could listen to front to back nonstop for days.

Looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a pretty awesome year! What are your favorite albums of the year so far? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!

That's all for now, folks! Only 34 more days until I get to see Dillinger wreck shit live. Hnnnnnggggggghhh.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

OUT NOW: Grindhouse: Vol. 1!

FINALLY. It's here! It's here! After 6+ months of tracking down artists and getting artwork together, Needs More Noise Gate's first ever compilation album is out! I know most of you have been following along for a while, so for you fine folk, just scroll down and hit the play button. For those of you who aren't quite sure what Grindhouse is all about, it's a free digital compilation of the best hardcore, grindcore, powerviolence, and crust punk that I've run into over my time running this blog. It's only 22 songs long, and while it isn't the most expanive compilation album ever, I legitimately think every song on here is a winner.

Check it out below!

That's all for now, folks! Keep on grinding in the free world.