Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum (1988)

Now usually I don't do this, but uh, I'm gonna post two metal albums in a row. Pestilence's Consuming Impulse has been on my internally moderated "favorite death metal albums" list for quite some time now, but, as much as I've liked Malleus Maleficarum in the past, it hasn't gotten the same number of plays. Recently, I've been completely obsessed with this record. Even despite it's absolutely godawful cover art! That is like the worst color green of all time!

Aesop posted something about not liking the transition between Slayer and Morbid Angel a little while ago over on Cosmic Hearse, but this is one of the stepping stones between thrash and death metal that is fucking gloriously excellent. There is an awful lot of palm-muting going on, and melodies have an awful lot of notes. At some level, I prefer the more distilled down, heavier material to come later, but there is something to be said for this fucking flurry. I can't even imagine recording the vocals on "Parricide." So many syllables.

Also, Pestilence use major thirds as a primary melodic vector, which is a sound that really grinds my goat off. (Megadeth and Merauder have also used this technique to great effect).


PS It's my birthday. Comment and make me happy, you fucking lurkers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Morpheus Descends - Ritual of Infinity (1992)

Retardedly primitive and heavy death metal with that percussive New York sound. Linear, riff salad song structures that don't meander off into irrelevance like most current technical death metal bands. This is not a random collection of upbeats and pinch harmonics; these songs detail one path of a branched narrative.

Detuned power chord melodies swirl in sonic whirlpools before coalescing into an absolutely devastating riff that just completely blindsides you. See "Proclaimed Creator" for an example. This song gets my vote for having the most crushing death metal part ever recorded.

Also, the production is hilarious, and each kick drum hit does that weird volume swelling thing, which actually makes this a lot more primitive and heavy. Hey Andy, why does that happen again? Basically, I'm going to steal some of these ideas for Like Rats.

Monday, February 15, 2010

US Maple - Sang Phat Editor (1997)

Like many teenage punk rockers, I first heard of US Maple via a catchy Alkaline Trio song. At the time, I was probably 15 and I thought I was into "some really crazy stuff" like At the Drive-In. Cool, man. US Maple, however, bummed me the fuck out, and that rules. Bum outs rule.

Those weirdo Napster found files stuck around in my life for awhile until I was ready for them, and, since then, US Maple has been dear to my heart.

Anyway, with any sort of modernist, deconstructionist what-have-you, you often run into the problem of "cool idea, too bad I never want to listen to it." This is not a problem with US Maple. Their damaged, chopped in half rock riffs have just the right style of discordant melody for my ears. Is it weird to say that the intro to "Mountaintop" is one of the catchiest things I've heard?

Also, I came across this video documenting US Maple recording Acre Thrills. The most fascinating part is the sequences showing the vocal tracking, because dude meticulously plans out and notates how his voice should sound on each part. Fucking awesome.

Also, please note that I made a guest mix for top-notch internet destination ILLOGICAL CONTRAPTION. The theme is "THE FUTURE" and I spent some time making something that I'm proud of that tells a narrative about what might happen someday. Please enjoy this music HERE.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Guest Mix Volume 8 - Drew Brown

Drew is one of the best drummers I know. And apparently, he's also one of the best drummers that people who know more people than me know, as he has played drums for Owen (New Leaves live @ Beat Kitchen) and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy (hey a Prince cover). Keep in mind that these are people who have a very wide selection of drummers available to them. Oh yeah and he plays bass in Weekend Nachos. That's Drew on the right if you have the will power to pull your eyes away from Caution's seductive leather vest.

Drew has a music taste that is very interesting and foreign to me, so I was really curious to see what he would come up with for a guest mix. I am almost completely incapable of predicting whether or not he will like something. Like, I think I'll have him figured out, and then he'll completely love Arab on Radar or something and my model fails. Although science may not have the right answers, at least it's asking the right questions....

It seems as though Fall has been the theme for all of these mixes.* In keeping with that, I figured I would just pull songs from my laptop's itunes that have been getting a good amount of plays as of late. There is no real rhyme or reason to the mix besides that they're all songs I've been listening to in the past month. Maybe you will like some of these songs, and if you don't...I don't care.


1. The American Analog Set - Punk as Fuck
2. Califone - Funeral Singers
3. Cass McCombs - You Saved My Life
4. Gameface - Gibberish
5. Japandroids - Sovereignty
6. Lali Puna - Faking the Books
7. Morrissey - Boxers
8. Owen - A Fever
9. Prince - Kiss
10. Red House Painters - Byrd Joel
11. Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime
12. Wilco - We're Just Friends


*Whoa, I guess Drew sent me this awhile ago. Well Drew, if you don't like it... I don't care.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elza Soares - Elza Pede Passagem (1972)

Really squealy record with lots of nice vocal overtones. Some people have the genes that enable them to scrape their vocal chords together in completely insane ways, and Elza is one of those people. Her cornucopia overfloweth with squealy-ass overtones.

Did you guys remember that I had already posted one of her records? Did you remember this?

Anyway, this one is a bit more all over the place, although not quite entering into the tropicalia freakout zone that was existing in Brazil around the same time. There is some stuff going on here, though. The soaring chorus coupled with the sudden intro of those insane pipes in Maria Vai Com As Outras is really weird.

Tempos are a blur, which enable to Elza to say a lot of words really fast. Vocal melodies are loose, and vocals serve almost as an additional percussive instrument by augmenting the samba feel with a flurry of accents before switching into a surprisingly clear tone.

Track 7 is one of the most uplifting things of all time, so never have a bad day again.

(Sorry about the 128. Not really you're fine.)