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photo by Jess Dankmeyer

East Coast extremists FULL OF HELL have forged a formidable path through the underground the last few years and now return with their latest uncompromising collection of anguish and triumph, Garden of Burning Apparitions. This is a towering record that will stop you in your tracks and consume YOU, instead of serving as empty consumption. Parts of this record prove you really can love both your Hammerhead and your Harmony Corruption, kids.

Some of the band stop by today to fill us in on the new and even noisier than ever variant of the band’s evolving sound and just what it means to be FoH in 2021.

Read more BELOW.

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Well, this was a fun one. There are many blood flinging thrash albums that have kicked our asses here and back again over the years, but which one has the best opening track of all time?

We asked a wide range of scene folks for their opinions. Prong, Exhumed, Psychic Hit, High Command, Titan To Tachyons, Crisis, Walking Bombs, Filth Is Eternal, Bad Wolves, Hororhaus, Stormland, Gridfailure, Luna 13, Extinction A.D., The End A.D. members and alumni plus our pal Drewdas Priest all chime in with thoughts.

Let the battle begin BELOW!

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A big thanks this week to the Succumb camp for doing this brand new interview with us promoting the new, must hear XXI release. Not quite a “best kept secret” anymore now that their star is rising, but certainly they remain a band you hope thrive yet also whom are so good you almost still want to covet their music to yourself in a secret, blood encrusted cave. I actually was worried they had broken up but still rocked one of their older debut shirt designs anyway cuz they fucking rule even if they HAD been one and done.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Cheri Musrasrik, of course, is a very enigmatic vocalist but the whole band have stepped things up from their already brilliant early material to deliver a complete knock out punch via this latest release. I knew they were special but always hoped they could be THIS special. If that doesn’t make sense now, it will when you hear the new record from this bleak and bludgeoning crew of cadaver kickers.

Thank you to Derek, Harry, Cheri and Kirk for all participating in this. Read more BELOW.

photo by Jack Grisham

October 19th will see the release of an amazing self-titled solo release from KIRA. Kira Roessler has always been a bold and inventive player in bands like Black Flag, dos, The Visitors and many other lesser known yet also influential underground acts.

 

Basically like many punkers I always thought Roessler was one of the coolest people to ever walk the face of this rotten world, so it was awesome to get to chat about the solo record that Kitten Robot Records is releasing after a thirteen year gestation of the material. Roessler has also branched out and been part of sound teams in recent years for Mad Max: Fury Road, Joker, A Star is Born(2018), and Game of Thrones Season 2, in recent years.

 

Kira was produced by Kira and Paul Roessler (TSOL, Josie Cotton, Richie Ramone) and is incredibly refreshing and layered, an uncompromising artist’s pure vision that hurdles genres to capture personal horizons.

 

Stream a taste of the solo album via “The Ghosts” here.

 

And READ MORE BELOW for the full and in-depth interview!

pic by Alex Bershaw

 

CINEMA CINEMA join us today with a new track! The band sometimes sound like Attila Csihar got into devilish mischief inserting hidden messages into back alley Sergei Prokofiev compositions instead of smoking a doob and listening for Satan’s commands in the bridge of “Stairway To Heaven” like normal rockers, so I was excited to see what they have cooked up next! The answer is…”Bratislava”!

The nine minute song is an enthralling exploration of feel and musical adventurousness as the band weave through dynamic peaks and valleys during their at times relaxing and at times anxious (but entirely intriguing) journey. At times it comes off like a Pinback and Don Byron slow burn mescaline voyage, which is obviously fucking amazing.

Ev Gold tells us:

“Things got chaotic in our attempt to leave after the gig in Bratislava, on tour a few years ago. I had to walk out into a lane of oncoming traffic with my hands up, to plea for a halt. Seemingly no way possible to back the van out otherwise. There was a protest outside of a castle a few blocks away from the show, which at first sounded ‘cool’, but wasn’t after all. People and cars flooded the streets. Our place to crash for the night fell through, now we needed to leave Slovakia and drive to Vienna to sleep. We finally made it out and got to a quiet stretch of road over the border, then heard sirens. Pulled over by Austrian Law Enforcement. It was a saga. Deserved a song years later.”

The song precedes the band’s sixth album, CCXMDII, nearing release in August through Nefarious Industries.

CINEMA CINEMA was established in 2008 by Brooklyn-born cousins, vocalist/guitarist Ev Gold and drummer Paul Claro. They’ve been described as “experi-metal punks” by the Village Voice, a “jolt of adrenaline” by BrooklynVegan, and “feral and unrelenting” by Big Takeover.

In 2019, the duo joined with Nefarious Industries to release their fifth album, CCXMD. Taking a stylistic left turn from any previously recorded output, they found themselves delving into ambient and atmospheric free-jazz territories. CINEMA CINEMA invited reed aficionado Matt Darriau – best known for his work with Grammy award-winning world-music ensemble The Klezmatics – to join the group for the collaborative, entirely improvised affair. Darriau had been a guest on the band’s 2017 LP Man Bites Dog, providing saxophone on a handful of tracks. The album was described as, “no-holds-barred punk-jazz,” by Brooklyn Rail, and, “as intelligent as it is unintelligible,” by Invisible Oranges.

CINEMA CINEMA now presents their sixth full-length, CCXMDII, which serves as companion and conclusion to 2019’s CCXMD. Woodwind expert Matt Darriau returns, bringing along more tools from his repertoire as the trio submerge themselves in the strange beauty of chaotic sound, found together in the moment. CCXMDII was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Vin Cin at Electric Plant Studios in Brooklyn, New York, with artwork, design, and layout by Lauren A. Kelley.

Nefarious Industries will release CCXMDII on CD and all digital platforms on August 20th. Find preorders including merch bundles HERE and watch for additional audio previews and more to post over the weeks ahead.

Touring extensively through the past decade, CINEMA CINEMA has performed over four hundred fifty shows across eleven countries. The duo has toured numerous times alongside SST Records founder Greg Ginn, including a fifty-plus-date 2014 North American tour opening for Black Flag, select dates supporting Black Flag in 2013, and shared dates in 2010, 2011, and 2012 with Ginn’s other outfits The Royal We and The Taylor Texas Corrugators. In addition, the band has half a dozen European tours to their credit, including a 2013 stint in support of Martin Bisi Band and a run of Summer festivals in 2016.

CINEMA CINEMA appears in and has contributed music to the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary Sound And Chaos: The Story Of BC Studio. The band was also included on BC35, a celebration of the 35th anniversary of BC Studio – alongside members of Swans, Sonic Youth and other studio alumni, released via Bronson Recordings in 2018.

CCXMDII Track Listing:
1. A Life Of Its Own
2. Cloud 2
3. Continued
4. Bratislava
5. Crack Of Dawn
6. Trigger
7. Cloud 4

CINEMA CINEMA:
Ev Gold – guitars/vocals
Paul Claro – drums/percussion

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Hard Rock Heroism 2021

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 12:29 AM (PST)

With Guns N’ Roses eternal Appetite For Destruction inching towards its’ mid-thirties yesterday, it is a good time to consider the current state of hard rock genre. While the danger days of the Sunset Strip are gone or much more watered down than they used to be, the genre of hard rock as a whole was never confined to L.A. anyway. Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold pull huge crowds and still rule the roost currently and bands like Rival Sons or Royal Blood have been holding down the fort. And don’t forget the charming and dedicated Wolfie Van Halen! Who are some artists in the genre that inspire y’all currently? It is ok, Niratias – as Chevelle tell us. So it is ok if you aren’t decisive. We got you covered!

Ayron Jones has impressed me lately with a blend of soul, grunge influences and so much more. Jones can really play but also knows restraint and dynamics. Plus, I love any Seattle musician who gives props to Kim Thayil as an influence. Check out the Child Of The State release and turn your frown upside down with some great tunes. Certainly one of the coolest dudes in the game right now.

We are past the time when bands like Candlebox or Bush were in super heavy rotation but that doesn’t mean there aren’t modern rock bands getting lots of love. Some acts such as In This Moment, for example, have some stage shows that rival pop acts in scale and imagination. And Clutch continues to grow and dominate everything they take a Kraken at.

Count The Pretty Reckless out at your own peril. The band’s fourth album is basically unstoppable and a huge and vindicating moment for the Taylor Momsen led act. The Pretty Reckless became the first female-fronted band to have five number one singles when “Death by Rock and Roll” rose to the top of the Mainstream Rock Chart. I know that term is frowned upon as we all want to consider cis women (or any woman) a musician before their sex or gender identity but it still is a fucking rad accomplishment however you frame it. Much respect.

I never understood people who trash talked Momsen. She seems cool as fuck and her band rocks. They certainly are dedicated to their craft and it honestly just reeks of the basest sexism when people dismissed her out of hand. Who is laughing now, fuck faces?!! hahaha.

In April 2018, the band’s longtime-producer, Kato Khandwala, was involved in a motorcycle accident and died later due to injuries from the crash. I commend Taylor and the band for not giving up in such a bleak moment and for the fact that Taylor was able to come back from a dark time and reclaim her health. What is more rock and roll than a personal redemption?

August will see the release of Power Trio from outspoken power rocker Danko Jones, one of the most talented and fiery live performers in the world.

The long running band deserve an award at this point for being genre torch bearers and literally never sucking.  Three cheers for hard rock’s continued survival!

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photo by Janina Gallert

It is always stimulating when a band makes a long term impact by never sacrificing their drive to expand consciousness. Not every band has the guts or resolve to be a Dead Meadow, Kylesa, a Pharmakon or a Skinny Puppy. It is not an easy task to never fail to resist kowtowing to the framework of popular entertainment norms. To make each statement count.

Luminous Rot by metalgaze sound painters Nadja (Leah Buckareff & Aidan Baker) shows the duo remain capable of resisting the autopilot tendencies of many a long running group, whilst still retaining hallmarks that made them appeal to noise hungry weirdos, artsy types and sewer dwelling mutants. It is amongst a short list of my very favorite musical ‘moments’ of the year.

It was truly a Wayne’s World “We’re Not Worthy” checklist moment for me to get to interview the group about one of the year’s most thrilling records, an album that deserves to be revisited often by listeners in 2021. Frankly, it makes a lot of other albums feel semi-amateurish and will go over some people’s heads. What else is new?

We discussed Southern Lord, sci-fi “norms”, David Pajo’s role, pandemic peculiarities and much more. Luminous Rot is particularly compelling in how it effortlessly melds both obtuse and more welcoming musical forms into a cohesive soak.

Read onward BELOW.

Tracking the album at Nada Recording Studio

I just recently self-released a new, punk influenced album on Bandcamp for my collaborative WALKING BOMBS multi-genre project called Tears We Should Have Shed. People have been really loving this one and I super appreciate the support and energy exchange with you.

This record was made safely against the odds during 2020 in beautiful, forested Upstate, NY. It deals with a lot of collective and personal grief and the idea of how do we move through and transform that without destroying ourselves as individuals or a whole. I was blessed beyond belief to have an amazing crew of friends work on this record with me, Elizabeth “Le Fey” DaPena (Globelamp), Sean Paul Pillsworth (Nightmares For A Week, Jerk Magnet), David Brenner (Gridfailure), David Bodie (ex-Time Of Orchids, Divest, Kayo Dot), Taraka Larson (Taraka, ex-Prince Rama), Jack Manley (The Jennifer Shop), and Justin Zipperle (Shadow Witch).

More info on each song from the album BELOW.

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photo by Joey Wharton

“We were always clear on wanting this record to sound live and feel like it could have been recorded in an earlier time, and to steer clear of the sort of slick, modern rock sound that some people prefer.” – Jay Lindsey

Richmond, VA doomy psych philosophers BOOK OF WYRMS are a band who completely rocked my socks off the most unexpectedly this year thus far. This is not to say I underestimated them but rather that I had never heard their hearty blend of intensely immersive and vibey riffs, haunting vocals and ‘feels like you there’ production before. Suffice to say it was an incredible and welcome discovery.

It makes sense such a trippy but earthy band comes from such a beautiful and complicated state.

I knew I has to corral members onto these here blog ‘pages’ and get an interview. Their new full length Occult New Age is an essential tool for uplifting yourself through heavy and yet empathic creative roads. I work nights and so often have kind of crazy dreams in the day and just woke from one where there was a sort of mentally blocked character who became destructive or was almost choosing to be a killer, I’m trying to remember. He was kind of bullied in a small town for being sensitive to otherworldly forces by his own estimate and so was sort of frantic to prove or discover them around him to show he was telling the truth. But people pushed him down instead of nourishing his gifts so he was also almost resentful of the unknown. It was sad, actually. Waking from that and knowing I was going to publish this piece today, I couldn’t help but wonder what this dream entity/character’s life would have been like in their ‘story’ if they had a record as steeped in channeling and understanding these concerns as Book Of Wyrms have managed to write.

Occult New Age really feels like both a refuge and a tool as much as a place for your mystical, doom loving ears to call home.

Read more below.

One of the few good things about this pandemic life has meant time for people to dig deep and soul search for an even more meaningful sense of self-expression. After all, we have had reminders daily that time is precious and you ought to be true to yourself, right? As a writer it has also been a good chance to have random email convos with incredible and talented cool folks and Suzi Moon is certainly high on the list of radness level as far as “rad people I have gotten to communicate with” in recent times goes.

Suzi Moon radiates the essence of punk attitude and makes the balance of sweet and sour seem effortless in glam gutter songs like “I’m Not A Man” or the rollicking “Nuthin’ To Me” that you can snarl or sing-a-long with like nobodies business. Yes, the Civet and Turbulent Hearts alumna is going solo and has delivered a fantastic video for the instantly memorable “Special Place In Hell” track from upcoming debut EP CALL THE SHOTS.

Read our chat BELOW.

 

‘This album is essentially a reflection of the societal ills that hold us back from having the grand culture and community the United States loves to pretend it has.’ – KZ

Hello dear readers and happy Trans Day of Visibility. Hope people are lifting one another up today and feeling good and loved. I need cold water thrown on my face after the inane stupor I entered from just reading an article about how friggin’ Michale Graves might testify on behalf of some loser Proud Boy Jan. 6th insurrectionists. Uh, that’s your character witness? What is he gonna do? Get up there and go ,”You’re lookin’ through the eyes of a Psycho! An American Psycho (Whoa-oh!).” The sad part is I don’t know if that would work in the fash mob defendants favor more or less considering how compromised many of our courts are.

One thing that DOESN’T make me want to scream in frustration (at least not in a bad way) is listening to the cathartic and brilliant new record Modern Grotesque from melodic post-screamo East Coasters Dreamwell, pretty much the most impressive shit I have discovered in a long time. This record , especially after the shared PTSD of 2020 we are all semi-thawing from,  just feels like a massive release of hope, heart and triumphant defiance. A cry for a more caring and dignified world for people who are different, sensitive or just genuine… for the lovers, dreamers and you (to get more Kermit than Pepe up in here). It is an album that reminds me that feeling things is not weakness and which has some of the fiery and passionate type of playing that first got me into bands like UOA, At The Drive In or On The Might Of Princes.

Modern Grotesque also boasts some of the most impactful melodic playing I have heard in a long time this side of really good Modest Mouse, moments that just take artful twists and turns that couldn’t have been generated through a cynical aim and only through vibrant and vulnerable love for the music.

Please enjoy my chat with vocalist KZ as much as I did.

Read more BELOW.

Photo Credit: Jared Shute

photo by jarko mikkonen www.jarkkomikkonen.com

Vertigo from Finnish occult psych metal hybrid Jess and the Ancient Ones is nearly here, a brilliant bouquet of bold songwriting, deep mental excavation and explosive creativity. The Svart backed record (order HERE) releases this May in time for some of the finest weather for celebrating the sacred planet we inhabit -and too often regularly abuse- as well as the wider cosmos. It is an album that defies easy categorization even as it revels in nostalgia, riding waves of late 60’s bliss turned to unease through the dark heart of our current disoriented moment of mass ptsd and hopefully out the other side to better horizons. Rarely has escapism sounded so timely and alive, a defiance of folding up and dying without making a joyful, organ-steeped noise.

It is one of the most exciting, colorful and living testaments to rock you will hear this year and is in heavy rotation in my home, one of my favorite releases of 2021 yet by a long shot. The tornado on the cover might seem foreboding byt is also a fitting symbol of the intensity of the soaring vocals and enlightened playing within! It was a pleasure to pick the brain of guitarist Thomas Corpse about the release and other topics related to the band and their orbit.

Read more BELOW.

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Hail The Sun…are a band.
Image credit: Lindsey Byrnes

Corporate clown Adam Levine (of Moron 5) recently did one of this oh so bold “rock is dead because I can’t tie my own shoes’ moments and said that he doesn’t feel like there are bands anymore. He told Zane Lowe that there aren’t enough in the pop limelight even if there are still some around, but doesn’t see how his watered down brand of commercial rock which promotes the gatekeeping of the industry via very narrow creative standards has contributed to the problem. This is also to say nothing of the fact that rock radio was intentionally killed off years ago.

Also, isn’t Adam in a band or is he admitting they are a formula?

It doesn’t help that mainstream press acts like no albums in rock came out after admittedly huge and impressive OK Computer or Toxicity or whatever 20 years ago (with the rare token rock nod to Greta Van Fleet or whoever). Even really incredibly nuanced and terrific rock records paired with an entire  documentary on American music history like Sonic Highways by the massive Foo Fighters that do help keep rock somewhat noticed get hipster scrutinized to shreds in an effort to suck the life out of them for clicks while subpar indie formula trash gets ass licked or we elevate fucking Tekashi69. Zoomers acting like emulating 00’s Paris Hilton fashion is the new “alternative” is not exactly revolutionary either. And while she may think that she is well intentioned, Miley Cyrus ripping off Plasmatics and Celtic Frost art while covering all the most basic hit songs from any 90’s band isn’t really doing it for me.

Adam Levine should have used his platform instead like Ke$ha who has recently boosted acts from Royal Thunder to Voivod! Not to mention she made the best pop crossover album of 2020 as well with High Road! THAT is what I am talking about. I certainly don’t like when bands act like we have to eradicate pop or rap or other genres but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for rock and let it be announced as DOA by lazy types like Levine who have massive industry privilege but barely use it for anything other than to bloviate and (formerly) “judge” people on bad tv shows.

Here are a few crucial current bands who truly ought to be on your radar. Put some respect on their names BELOW.

Upstate, NY heavy hitters SICKBAY have become a staple of the regional heavy scene, putting out material consistently and always upping their dark and deadly game. Death metal with a slight amount of hardcore crossover in the mix, Sickbay are clearly not worried about trends and just intent on creating the special blend of brutality that makes them tick. Jim Sinon stops by Metal Riot today to discuss the band’s history, latest bludgeon-fest Death’s Cold Grip and more BELOW.

In defense of ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 6:16 AM (PST)

With the welcome rumor that Kat Dennings will be in WandaVision in some capacity, I wanted to go back and see Thor: The Dark World for the first time in awhile. It often gets dragged and I had started to believe the general consensus through the hypnotic power of repetition, but revisiting the movie reminded me that I actually loved it in theaters and it was , in fact, one of my favorites in the MCU.

Personally I am tired of people acting like Thor: The Dark World is the worst Marvel movie. It just simply is not true. Maybe you have to be a weird, queer fan of dramatic costumes, freaky fantasy elf shit and dramatic highs and lows like me, but…from the elaborate sci-fi settings to wider universe building and mythical expansion, to eerie and ominous dark elves to easily one of the coolest of the Infinity Stones and a great supporting cast, the movie holds up better than people give it credit. Sure, Malekith might look kind of like Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2 if he sported a Joey Jordison mask, but he was (and is) still a formidable threat.

It might not have the flash and knee slap levels of the revolutionary Ragnarok (pretty much the best MCU film after Black Panther and Winter Soldier, easily), but it nonetheless has a lot for fans of dark fantasy. Plus. the movie still had plenty of comedy and character building as well. DC for awhile had everything looking dour and smog infested but it is good to have a balance of dark and light tones in different films for Universe building. That made Birds of Prey and Shazam! really stand out in contrast and freshen things up. Likewise, if every Marvel movie was Ant Man (which I also love, don’t get me wrong), it would get too damn zany after awhile. Dark World sets high stakes with real consequences (Frigga and her beautiful funeral scene) and I personally love the visual feel of a lot of it. It is the tense middle movie of the first three and it creates a great contrast between all of the Thor movies for a very enjoyable trilogy arc. It certainly works better than the much more uneven Iron Man 2.

Natalie Portman was semi-sidelined due to being infected with energy but her character was still completely integral to the plot and it was annoying in other movies afterward how she was scarcely referenced for awhile. I also think the love interest between the scientist and the walking mythical anomaly/alien was always a fun angle and the two had fun banter and a cute awkwardness that added to their appeal as characters. She validated his research and he had even more to fight for.

Did I mention that this movie has some of the best flight action sequences in all of Marvel’s onscreen content?

Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter said, “Although director Alan Taylor manages to get things going properly for the final battle in London, the long stretches before that on Asgard and the other branches of Yggdrasil are a drag, like filler episodes of Game of Thrones but without the narrative complexity, mythical heft or all-pervading sexiness.”

I would argue with that statement because the narrative complexity was still being literally built, much of it in this movie. This is still very early on in the MCU as the stories filled in gaps for movie-goers unfamiliar with the wider comic galaxy or the realms. Also, while it may not be as scandalous as GoT by a long shot, you can’t pretend no one finds Portman or Hemsworth attractive, lmao. And personally I love all the Asgard stuff. It is always some of the coolest visual material in Marvel whenever you see the Rainbow Bridge spanning impossible reaches.

Dark World is also one of the most metal of Marvel’s movies, the awkward Manowar fan of the MCU. But essential for die hards and for the development of the wider saga of the ancient relics. It will be hopefully re-assessed as time passes and we see more Jane Foster growth in the future.