Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your Album Sucks

First by way of background, an excerpt from Roger Ebert’s infamous takedown of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo:

According to a story by Larry Carroll of MTV News, Rob Schneider took offense when Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times listed this year's Best Picture Nominees and wrote that they were "ignored, unloved and turned down flat by most of the same studios that ... bankroll hundreds of sequels, including a follow-up to 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,' a film that was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic."
Schneider retaliated by attacking Goldstein in full-page ads in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. In an open letter to Goldstein, Schneider wrote: "Well, Mr. Goldstein, I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind ... Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who's Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers."
But Schneider is correct, and Patrick Goldstein has not yet won a Pulitzer Prize. … As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.
I suck at writing shitty reviews. I just don’t have it in me for whatever reason. I hate doing it. My enthusiasm for grindcore always gets in the way. Maybe it’s because I, too, lack a Pulitzer (but I do possess a closet full of other, lesser journalism awards, if I may brag), but I also don’t think having hardware is necessarily a prerequisite for cultural criticism as Rob Schneider would aver.
And while that is one of the great smackdowns in cinematic criticism, what’s always struck me most about Ebert’s writing is that he’d much rather discuss what he loves about film then be bogged down dissecting disposable Hollywood tripe. Consider his recent evisceration of the new Conan movie. Ebert seems bored, exasperated to have to waste time and pixels critiquing a film that he knows will be forgotten within a fortnight of its release. You can practically hear the audible sighs as he counts out the minutes being wasted. Compare that to the loving, luxuriant tribute to Ingmar Bergman’s classic Through a Glass Darkly. Given something positive to linger over, Ebert gushes over every nuance of a wonderful cinematic experience. His enthusiasm is palpable in his writing.
I’ve previously bloviated about how Ebert’s writing has been an inspiration to me over the years, and this is another instance where I can relate to his perspective. I absolutely hate trashing somebody’s album. I’m terrible at it. It's probably lingering anxiety because I'm not a cultural producer. Rather, I'm a cultural parasite who draws from someone else's creativity for inspiration. Maybe that's why I’m just not good at being an asshole even though, if you were to meet me off the web, there’s a good chance I’d come off as an asshole.
I’m still flattered and astounded people actually care enough about my opinion that they ask me to check out their music or bother reading me at all, and I hate having to rip music apart knowing somebody, somewhere has invested so much of themselves in their art. It’s actually uncomfortable for me to give something a bad review. It causes me a lot of anxiety when I post something negative. I tend to put off writing about those albums, hoping some time later I might be able to find some redeeming quality that will mitigate my distaste.
When I find something that engages me, I get excited. I want to talk to other people about it. I want to hold it up to the light and study the sparkling of all of its facets. I want to peek inside its cranium to figure out how it performs its magic. When the time comes to write, the words are just there. It’s effortless, ideas flow, an organizing conceit comes easily. When I write about bad albums, I may as well be cracking rocks on a chain gang for all the enjoyment it gives me. It’s a labor, not a pleasure. I enjoy nothing more than nerding out with others who share my enthusiasm, endlessly dissecting our favorite artists, albums, songs, riffs, drum fills. That’s far more fun than squatting over a laptop to drop a deuce on somebody’s well meaning but amateurish album.
I really love grindcore (I’ve used “blastbeat” as a network password at the office, ferfuckssake). I know the internet is infested with anonymous assholes who feel free to shit on everything (*cough* Lambgoat message boards *cough*), but I’d much rather spend my time connecting with other people over something that genuinely moves me than ripping down someone else’s hard work. Unless it’s Rob Schneider. That guy fucking sucks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Demo-lition Derby: Fetal Injury

Fetal Injury
Ain’t No Party Like a Donner PartyLinkHas it come to this? With our meme-infested culture I should have known it was only a matter of time before we got to full on Nyan cat –core. I don’t know if I like it, if I really need it or if they're even being serious anymore, but dammit I just can’t get the meowing vocals of “Bite it You Scum” out of my brain. It’s the sort of screwball move you’d expect the Melvins to pull only all dolled up in its grindcore finest instead.
It’s an especially odd foil to Fetal Injury’s otherwise traditional grind and twisted humor. Or maybe just another example of their askew sense of humor. If you feared that irreverent, blackened joking got flushed down the toilet like a dead goldfish with the bloated, drug-addled corpse of Seth Putnam (ha ha, you’re dead [too soon?]), Fetal Injury’s absurdist grind might be the curative to your doldrums.
But the band that gives us “Ode to White Castle” and “Freebasing Coke is Good for You” is actually far more on the ball than they deliberately lead you to believe. There’s an impressive array of musical styles on display on Ain’t No Party Like a Donner Party and each one is pulled off with aplomb from the cowtipping “Rawhide” rip of opener “Steers and Queers straight through the spot on Ramones tribute of “Blitzkrieg Grind.” Even the aforementioned “Freebasing Coke is Good For You” slips and slides with a surf rock shuffle that would do Dick Dale proud. Or at least Wadge. Everything is nicely balanced in the mix and the performance has a nice raw edge without sacrificing clarity. This is exactly the album I had hoped Bastards would deliver. You can join the party here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Grind…But Why?: Suffering Mind

Suffering Mind guitarist Kuchar is the very reason I started asking this question of people. So thanks for the inspiration, Kuchar. See, last year I interviewed the Polish band, and being a smartass, I thought I’d open the conversation by asking him, “You suffer…but why?” I thought, given the band’s name, it would make an amusing interlude to hang a story on. But he took my question seriously, and that planted the germ of the idea in my head. So what makes him get his grind on?

“I was a young guy that started to explore more brutal genres in punk. I started to listen crust and grindcore,” he said. “I’m not sure which album was my first grindcore one, but I remember that Razor Sharp Daggers made by Agathocles was first one that makes me wanted to listen to it whole day.”

Kuchar went on to explain how grindcore eventually brought Suffering Mind together.

“Our previous band called People Hate (playing grindcore) had just split up and three of five members of the band decided to continue playing together,” he said. “We asked Ulka (vocalist) to join us for a sludge punk project influenced by Dystopia. After a few practices we decided to continue playing grindcore - and that was the birth of Suffering Mind. We decided in that moment that grindcore is the most comfortable genre for us. It's because we listen to many other grindcore bands and when we were making grindcore songs we had the feeling that they are much better than those sludge punk ones. When you do something good enough to feel satisfaction with that fact, it's just all you need at the moment, I guess. So we don't wonder now why we play grindcore. We just love to do that and we are very satisfied with playing, recording and releasing our stuff.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Comp Got Killed (By Fascists?)

I have it on pretty good authority that the radio star was murdered by video, and now it seems the internet is about to deal the same fate to the humble grind and punk compilation album. Grindcore and its slumming power violence cousin in their prime gave us the multi-volume Cry Now, Cry Later collections, Earache’s awesome (and slightly misleadingly named) Grindcrusher, the Japanese Grind Bastards series and the infamous Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrggaaah! collective. Thanks to file sharing and digital downloads, album sales have taken an $8 billion plummet over the last decade, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the compilation’s days are numbered.
There was a time when the comp made sense, back when it just wasn’t economical for small bands to either shell out for a whole album’s worth of recording time with no name recognition to guarantee sales and when consumers just didn’t have the cash to buy unknown albums willy nilly. Hence, the comp. They were great for what they were at the time and many of the aforementioned gave boost to genre defining artists and became classics in their own right. (I still have my first pressing of Grindcrusher that I stole liberated in the name of the people from the college radio station. But it’s more nostalgia object that essential listening experience these days.
There have been attempts to revitalize the let’s-get-a-bunch-of-bands-together-and-make-an-album spirit of the classics, most notably Scott Hull and Relapse’s This Comp Kills Fascists series. While I’ve given them kind reviews and spotted a handful of exciting new bands that way, the part of me that recognizes the musical landscape has shifted with the force of an East Coast earthquake (OK, probably shifted more significantly than that) wants to know: what’s the point?You just as easily could have posted up a link to a bunch of Myspace and Facebook pages on Relapse’s home page and accomplished just as much. The easy streaming offerings of the internet make the compilation superfluous when it comes to hunting down new music. And I don't have to drive to a mall or camp out by a mailbox to enjoy it. Probably more people would have explored the bands that way than those who bothered to actually buy the physical album. It seems like an anachronism in the age when bands can just as easily sell, stream or give away their music via a plethora of web avenues.I’m at a loss. I have no real insights to offer here. I just wanted to pause to pay tribute to moment that I recognize is lost but probably doesn't mean much to digital natives.
Does the humble compilation really have a future or is Relapse simply pressing a vanity item for obsessive record collector nerds to fetishize? And if the comp as we know it is history, what comes next?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Demo-lition Derby: Syntax

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words?”

George Orwell

If, indeed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Los Angeles’ Syntax have gone the full Single White Female on Discordance Axis with their nine song demo from a couple years ago. Aside from a truly uneven mix – the drums are often too big and the vocals don’t sound like they’re in the same ZIP code as the rest of the band – Syntax have clearly committed every note of Jouhou to memory (a certain notoriously opinionated singer disagrees with me, so what the fuck do I know). Hell, the guitars even do that signature Rob Marton move where they cut across the drums at half time and when Syntax do slow down, the influence of “A Leaden Stride to Nowhere” is obvious.
So yes, Syntax wear their influences in the open with pride (Assuck was also mentioned), but they’re off to a good start and possess a keen sense of what makes a song flow and move. The pacing across the nine songs is spot on and there’s a cohesion to the performance. Clearly this is band that’s all pulling in the same direction.
Syntax are so thoroughly awash in Discordance Axis-isms that I’m a little uncertain who they want to be. I’d like to see Syntax take their obvious influences and craft their own musical vocabulary, but if you’re going to steal ideas, that's definitely a decent band to pillage. You can check out their demo here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

You Grind…But Why?: Jon Chang

In the spirit of Napalm Death’s micro-song masterpiece “You Suffer,” I recently decided to micro-interview some of my favorite musicians to find out how they discovered grind, what they get out of it and why they feel compelled to blast a beat. The interviews, essentially, boiled down to a single question: You grind…but why?
I could think of no better person to start with than the guy who singlehanded has done the most to expand my notions of what grindcore is and can be, forcing open my musical and emotional vistas with all the subtlety of a tactical nuclear strike during his tenure with Discordance Axis, GridLink and Hayaino Daisuki. Ladies and gentlemen: Jon Chang.

“What got me into the style was the raw, all out emotion of the sound,” Chang said. “I've been attracted to things that ride the line between catastrophic and cathartic since I was very young, from the books and anime I liked to the music and games. When I started writing and making music, I only knew that I wanted it to be relentless, more like a pulp novel than the Great American story if you will.
“As I get older, I try to figure out what I can bring to the table that won't compromise what it is I liked about the sound in the first place. For me, every record is like another book in a series where you've got characters with history that people relate to, but to keep it interesting you have to explore new ground with them. With every new piece, I am pushing for hooks and angles, without shedding the momentum.
I don't want to ‘change it up’, i.e. ‘water it down.’ I want to make records that take the intense concentration of a bullet hell game, the hooks from Ennio Morricone and J-pop metal and set them to an unrelenting future robot war and then push it out at 1000 miles per hour.
“If we can pull that off, I'll think of something else.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

G&P Review: Maruta

And thus, through the serene tranquilities of the tropical sea, among waves whose hand-clappings were suspended by exceeding rapture, Moby Dick moved on, still withholding from sight the full terrors of his submerged truck, entirely hiding the wrenched hideousness of his jaw. But soon the fore part of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body formed a high arch, like Virginia’s Natural Bridge, and warningly waving his bannered flukes in the air, the grand god revealed himself, sounded, and went out of sight. Hoveringly halting, and dipping on the wing, the white sea-fowls longingly lingered over the agitated pool that he left.

Herman Melville
Moby-Dick or, The Whale


Forward Into Regression

Forward Into Regression has been my white whale for the better part of the year. The travails of my futile hunt for Maruta’s latest effort are probably only of interest to myself, but I have stalked the land like Ahab in his mad quest for Moby Dick until Mitchell Luna kindly relieved my suffering.
The Floridian’s sophomore power violence-mauling-grind in a drunken party brawl effort is a stronger, more confident distillation of everything that made In Narcosis awesome. There’s a definite upward swing to their growth. The signature slouching guitars have a 3D depth and the new rhythm section (complete with bass!) doesn’t alter their wonted sound. Instead, much like GridLink’s lineup shuffle pre-Orphan, it gives the band a larger platform from which to stage their assault. In Narcosis has been run through a rigorous bootcamp the last few years and Forward Into Regression has come out more toned and muscular as a result.
Both “Stagnation Routine” and “Salient” boast are a more focused deployment of Maruta’s penchant for slow parts without stalling the album’s momentum. The knuckle draggers now feel purposeful and pointed, like a knife twisted in your ribs to prolong the pain. If there’s only one misstep on Forward Into Regression, it’s that “Failure King” rides a single musical notion too hard for an interminable three minutes. However, that’s easily overlooked considering the closing body blows of “Gaiares” and “Blood of the Luddite” quickly right the ship.
Once I landed this white whale I immediately trucked it over to the local taxidermist so it could be stuffed and mounted on the mantle among my other trophies. As of today my 2011 top 10 list has a mathematically improbable 13 albums on it. Somebody’s about to get bumped to make room for Maruta.

[Full disclosure: The band provided me with a review copy.]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Demo-lition Derby: Rogyapa

Ghettoblaster Sessions
New Jersey sky burial functionaries Rogyapa don’t telegraph their punch as much as send you a fax, a text and possibly shell out for a billboard to advertise their Discordance Axis aspirations with an opening cover of “Castration Rite.”
Eschewing a bassist, the band shoots for that same sleek, technical vibe that pervaded Jouhou and The Inalienable Dreamless, but they haven’t unlocked Rob Marton’s flair for hacking memorable tunes out of blasting chaos. The 15 and 20 second splinters of shrapnel they call songs lack the varied facets and sharp edges that elevated Discordance Axis over their peers. Instead, Rogyapa build each song around a single musical notion, following it to its logical conclusion. While that means the band never overextends their ideas, the songs also lack movement or growth. The obligatory downtrodden number “STD” (not the last song for a change!) gets in and out in 90 seconds and isn’t too much of a disruption.
The name Ghettoblaster Sessions isn’t just an affectation; the band tells me it’s a literal description of how they recorded their seven song demo. So expect a tinny, smushed live recording that’s festooned with keening guitar feedback. That also works against the band because the guitars often get swallowed in the noise, devouring any subtlety.
With some maturity and an actual studio, I could see Rogyapa flourishing in the increasingly crowded post-DxAx field. You can download Ghettoblaster Sessions here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

G&P Review: Sandokhan/Krupskaya


7 Degrees
I’m sure we all had the same argument with our friends as kids: Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman. While I’m aware of arguments in favor of that Kryptonian fuck, those people are filthy liars and they’re not really your friends. Tell them to go read Hush and The Dark Knight Returns and then kindly shut the fuck up and never tax your brain cells with their stupidity ever again.
This split, available on a 12-inch from 7 Degrees Records, makes you ponder who would win in another fight: legendary Jamaican gangster Sandokhan, who was eventually gunned down by the cops, or Lenin’s wife Krupskaya, a scrappy political infighter whose turn-ons include libraries and education and whose turn-offs include Trotsky.
Let me spare you the trouble: it’s Sandokhan, whose 13 songs are far more poised and composed than Krupskaya’s 11 reedy offerings.
Sandokhan are guttural and grisly; the songs have a movement and flow like sharks queuing up for a feeding frenzy. Think Phobia’s more recent, better offerings; it’s not that strong but the focus is there. The drums are nice and natural, riding comfortably in the mix and the inexorable blasting is aimed squarely at your forehead, a burrowing brain worm of screaming rage and exploding energy.
Krupskaya are a good band undone by a bad mix. The sharp, pinging snare drum and distracting bass drum dominate the mix to the detriment of the songs. Additionally, the screeching vocals – think Dani Filth gone grind – can also be a bit grating. But if you’re into acceleration for its own sake, Krupskaya won’t disappoint.
Meanwhile, I’m wondering who would win in a Mother Theresa meets Gandhi smackdown.

[Full disclosure: The 7 Degrees sent me a download.]

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

G&P Review: Keitzer

You see, I’m no good as a clergyman. I put my faith in an improbable and private image of a fatherly god. One who loved mankind, of course, but me most of all. Do you see, Jonas, what a monstrous mistake I made. An ignorant, spoiled and anxious wretch makes a rotten clergyman. Picture my prayers to an echo-god who gave benign answers and reassuring blessings. Every time I confronted God with the realities I witnessed he turned into something ugly and revolting. A spider god, a monster.

Winter Light
Dir. Ingmar Bergman


Descend into Heresy

Yellow Dog FDA Rekotz
Keitzer do not “descend” into heresy on their latest death-grind smartbomb. That’s far too demure and passive of a verb for the German (and Portuguese) band’s terminal velocity body slam into the depths of religious negation on the follow up to 2008’s impressive As the World Burns. If you think of that prior album as the launching pad of a musical intercontinental ballistic missile, then Descent into Heresy is the concussive end of the trajectory, submitting to the lethal tug of gravity’s rainbow as Pynchon would put it.
Keitzer continue to churn out the complete, devastating album experience that seems to elude Misery Index. Grind and hardcore sensibilities get welded to a tank chassis carjacked from Bolt Thrower’s military surplus auction. It chugs and rumbles, feasting on a sulfurous diet of pure petroleum, belching noxious, toxic rage clouds as it burns across the countryside. Album superlative “Wrath” whirls like a death-spitting gatling gun. “Your Last Days” flattens the landscape with a cluster bomb barrage of devastating bass wastage. Then there’s "Chains," which probably typifies Descend into Heresy’s slavering maw: The song swarms like a kicked hornet’s nest until it all gets devoured by an iron-plated, Mothra-sized monster sporting an antique Pickelhaube and a Teutonic passion for precision-dealt death.
As the World Burns was just as pyrotechnic as its title suggested, but Descend into Heresy feels far meaner. There’s an abrasive, aggressive nihilism at work that crushes their competitors. This is the benchmark for death-grind in 2011.

[Full disclosure: The band sent me a download.]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blast(beat) from the Past: Insane Assholes

Insane Assholes


If Fallout: New Vegas has taught me nothing else, and I have no cause to doubt the veracity of its prophecy, I know the post-apocalyptic West will be overrun by gangs whose dedication to a costume theme would do The Warriors proud. Among the uniformed thugs will be a bunch of Elvis-worshipping hoodlums running around dressed as Jailhouse Rock extras, and I’m guessing they may trace their genesis to Insane Asshole’s Grindzilla.
I have the anonymous commenter on the Letter G mixtape to thank for turning me on to Italy’s not-Cripple-Bastards grindcore exports Insane Assholes, a playful amalgam of expected grind and unexpected straight up old timey rock.
The lip curling Elvis attitude and pelvic gyrations bring a welcome flair, but don’t let that fool you into thinking Insane Assholes wander too far off the grindcore nature preserve. This is an album that manages to violate both the Grindcore for Dummies and Sound the Alarm rules before you crack the introduction, but when they hit that sweet spot, Insane Assholes are a joking blending of bad Evil Dead references and other B movie detritus that justifies their retarded name. “You Make Me a Monster” and “L’Infero Di Ash” rock a delicious burr to their guitars, liked a six stringed Scottish brogue run through a screaming tube amp, divebombing around Dino with rabies screeching.
Insane Assholes are not afraid to allot two or three minutes to a song, letting it expand and stretch out like my lazy ass cat on the white velvet couch I just spent an hour de-furring. But sometimes that indulgence conspires against Grindzilla. In fact, at 29 songs and 42 minutes, a little Insane Assholes goes a really, really long way. Especially the six minute plod of “La Fine,” which fakes a bad Black Sabbath groove and rides it to death.
While the rock 'n' roll swing is a surprise treat, there is not going to be much else that will catch a cagey grind aficionado unawares. However, taken in small doses, Grindzilla can be a thrill.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blast(beat) from the Past: Mumakil

The Stop Whining EP

Blastbeat Mailmurder

Ponder the following analogy, if you will:

The Stop Whining EP: Customized Warfare :: Obscured By Clouds: Dark Side of the Moon.

Not only is Mumakil’s awesomely titled debut slab o’wax, The Stop Whining EP, one of the best named releases ever conceived, it is a near-perfect dry run of the subsequent grindcore smartbomb, Customized Warfare. Plus song titles (for the most part)! Early on it bears all the hallmarks of the band’s later development into a Euro-grind powerhouse.
This artifact from the Swiss Misters’ Neolithic past is carved from 12 giant blocks of super-dense granite grind that lacks the rounded edges of niceties of some of their later efforts. In fact, it sounds a tad like Circle of Dead Children’s pigsquealed death/grind brawl in spots. From the very first, Mumakil were compositionally gifted. “Tavernik Growl” bucks a groove like a pony that’s never been broken to the saddle. It paces and lopes with a rush of exhilaration and combative attitude.
However, Mumakil were still a young band and there was the occasional misstep. “Breu Breu,” which kicks off the second side is a thudding dud that threatens to bring the whole EP to a dead stop. It’s a poorly thought out doorstop of a tune that mopes in place without going anywhere in particular. But those are exactly the kind of growing pains to be expected before a band hits it stride. They got all of that out of their system before hitting the studio for Customized Warfare. So, if Behold the Failure wasn’t your thing, stop yer damn whining and give Mumakil’s earliest efforts a spin.

[Full disclosure: Blastbeat Mailmurder sent me a review copy.]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

G&P Review: Noise vs. Subversive Computing

He closed his eyes.
Found the ridged face of the power stud.

And in the bloodlit dark behind his eyes, silver phosphenes boiling in from the edge of space, hypnagogic images jerking past like film compiled from random frames. Symbols, figures, faces, a blurred, fragmented mandala of visual information.

Please, he prayed,
A gray disk, the color of Chiba sky.

Disk beginning to rotate, faster, becoming a sphere of paler gray. Expanding—

And flowed, flowered for him, fluid neon origami trick, the unfolding of his distanceless home, his country, transparent 3D chessboard extending to infinity.

William Gibson


Various Artists
Noise vs. Subversive Computing

Computationally Infeasible Records
To attempt to review Noise vs. Subversive Computing in any sort of traditional context is an exercise is Sisyphean futility that would make Albert Camus nod in stoically absurd appreciation. What you get out of this power electronics/computer programming/performance art circus on a jump drive is ultimately going to be so subjective as to render any sort of critical discussion moot if not utterly pointless.
Pascal Cretain, who some of you may know from his comments here, has wrangled together 10 noise musicians with 10 “subversive technologists,” asking them to provide him with something that represents their interpretation of the modern internetted world. It is the logical outgrowth of the musical hactivist skullduggery advocated by Creation is Crucifixion years ago but never fully realized.
While all the music contributions are noisey in the way you’d normally expect, it’s the multimedia projects that at least attempt to bring something new to the table - or keyboard. Contributor Gorrrgar serves the bit map image “My Kind of Shithole” that alternates photos of buildings in Bucharest with the insane coils of cable that are “omnipresent,strangulating the city aesthetically, but connecting three millions of brains.” It’s one of the more fascinating observations involved. Cretain, himself, chips in the video “Information Pollution,” which strobes a stream of random images at epilepsy-triggering rates against steadily building layers of vocal samples and eventually outright power electronics noise in an effort to make tactile the sensation of our modern information overloaded society. While it certainly builds to a claustrophobic finale, it is a bit of a one trick cyber pony.
As with any projects of this type, the danger of pretention is ever present and plenty of the contributors belly flop right over that line with abandon. Contributor E’s “Sifting Through the Noise” is a bad attempt at a postmodern/deconstructed narrative of Reagan and the internet that ultimately collapses under the weight of its own smug self satisfaction and faux postmodern fractured, recursive narrative.
Unfortunately, other web-based contributions are already down, shortening the promised experience. Which ought to teach me to start moving faster in the future. Also, since all of the projects are contained within their own folder on a jump drive, navigating between one application and the next is a bit clunky and awkward, which can mitigate your enjoyment a tad. If this sounds like your thing, give Pascal a holler and immerse yourself in his Wonderland world of the web.

[Full disclosure: Pascal sent me a review copy.]

Monday, August 1, 2011

500: The Doom That Came to Sarnath Andrew

If there’s a plodding, miserable yang to my normally up tempo grinding yin, it would be my love for painfully slow doom of the most miserable variety. Which is kinda odd considering how evenLink tempered and phlegmatic I am in general. I love good doom – something heavy and with some heart, none of that weepy red wine and roses bullshit – because it usually evokes a nice emotional reaction. I may not be a miserable bastard, but I can appreciate music that can conjure that kind of bleakness. A man cannot live on blastbeats alone.
About a year ago I commemorated my 300th mental fart with the most retardedly short mixtape I could compile. Loath to repeat myself having hit the semi-millennial post mark, instead I’ll indulge my oft-ignored penchant for sitcom-sized tunes. The 300 mixtape featured 3 second songs. This one features 30 minute songs (and one fat, hazy bastard weighing in at an hour-plus).
This is my way of saying thanks to all of you have stuck around for 500 freaking posts (For fuck’s sake why? Don’t you have lives?) . With several hours of suicidal music in the offing, don’t say I didn’t give you your money’s worth this time. In fact, it’s so fucking large (thanks, Sleep), I’ve had to upload it as two separate files.

500 Part 1

500 Part 2

Part 1:
Sleep – “Dopesmoker”
Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine – “He Who Accepts All That is Offered (The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter)”
Thorr’s Hammer – “Norge”
Eyes of Fire – “The End Result of Falling…”
5ive – “The Hemophiliac Dream”
Corrupted – “Bloodscape/[Japanese]”
Burmese – “Preyer”
Earth – “Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine”
Cathedral – “Ebony Tears”
Unearthly Trance – “In the Red”
Black Hell – “Zero (Deuce)”
Grief – “Earthworm”

Part 2:
Mindrot – “Incandescence”
Khanate – “Under Rotting Sky”
Halo – “20,000 Tonnes of Machinery to Smash Matter”
Disembowelment – “A Burial at Ornans”
Winter – “Destiny”
Electric Wizard – “Son of Nothing”
Boris – “Vomitself”
Sunn 0))) – “Cry for the Weeper”
Floor – “I Remember Nothing”
Burning Witch – “Sea Hag”
Wellington – “Friend, Son”
Toadliquor – “Nails”
Acid Bath – “Venus Blue”
Warhorse – “Scrape”
Gallhammer – “SLOG”