September 25, 2010

Seemingly Endless Time

Death Angel

Death Angel were of the second wave of Bay Area thrash, and they released three albums in their initial run. Many people love The Ultra-Violence and Frolic Through the Park. I am not one of them. I think both of those albums are decent, with The Ultra-Violence being the better of the two, but neither are on par with records by Exodus, Testament, or many other second- and third-tier thrash bands of the time. They are corny and sloppy at times in a way that is not charming (in contrast, check Exodus's Bonded By Blood, which is both corny and sloppy, and still mops the floor with 99% of other thrash records). But on Act III, Death Angel got their shit together in a huge way, producing one of my favorite thrash records ever. This record is so good that not even the bullshit funk metal on "Discontinued" can bring it down. There are two ballads, and they're both good. I'm sayin! The opening track, "Seemingly Endless Time", sets the tone for this one and shows that these guys are done fucking around. They're tight as shit, firing on all cylinders for the duration (except for the funk shit, obv).

Then they broke up. They regrouped as The Organization, then regrouped again as Swarm (maybe some other time), then finally, in 2004 or so, regrouped as Death Angel. And what did they do next? Release two shitty records.

BUT, against all odds, they released Relentless Retribution this month, and it fucking destroys. There is one shitty ballad (sounds like Nickleback), and a coupl'a songs are a little too chunky and groovy for my tastes, but overall, it's a killer record, full of great thrash riffing and tight-as-shit melodies. So I figured it was appropriate that I celebrate their return to awesomeness by posting their masterpiece (forgiving the funk, obv).

So, again, I know you guys love those first two records. Please explain to me what I'm missing! Why do I love the early Exodus stuff, but not the early Death Angel records?


September 15, 2010

You & Me (Less than Zero)

Less Than Zero OST

I've been on a bit of a Danzig kick for a week or so. It started as a Samhain kick, and then before I knew it I was full on into the Danzig years. I'm trying to listen to everything after Danzig III with an open mind, as I've never paid any attention to that stuff. Love those first three records, though.

Anyway, this soundtrack features Glenn Danzig in full-on schmaltzy night club singer mode, doing a sort of precursor to Lucifuge's "Blood and Tears". The Power Fury orchestra backing Sir Glenn is the original lineup of Danzig, minus Eerie Von and plus George Drakoulias.

Other notable tracks here are Slayer's cover of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (seriously), The Bangles' fantastic "Hazy Shade of Winter" cover, and Poison fucking "Rock'n'Roll" right in the pooper. Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" is here without Scott Ian whiting it up. Oh shit, "Goin' Back to Cali" is on here too, so it's got that going for it.

All in all, this is a typical shitty soundtrack, but the Danzig and Slayer tracks are shit you gotta hear.

Less than Zero

September 10, 2010

Since I turned on the spam filter, I get no comments.

Come on dudes. 231 people have downloaded that Belladonna record I posted some time back. 103 people have downloaded the Poison Girls record. 687 people downloaded the Masters of Reality record. 6 people downloaded the Xentrix record.

Is everyone just googling album titles and mediafire and ganking links? Surely some of you are actually downloading from the actual blog, right? Let me know what you think about this crap lest I get tired of doing it and start a blog of ambient noise tracks or something.

Oh speaking of which, I started a little blog to post some ambient tracks I make from existing tracks. You can find it here: ssoonnggss.

September 9, 2010

The Separating Fault

Elf Power
When The Red King Comes

You have probably heard of Elf Power, an indie rock band from Athens, GA. They are (were?) a part of the Elephant Six collective, of which Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Of Montreal were also a part. They've been pumping out good quirky, sometimes lo-fi-leaning, sometimes lush and bright indie pop for 15 years now, and pretty much each album falls somewhere on the pretty good to great spectrum. This particular album, however, is really something special. It's very lo-fi, full of fuzz, and borderline psychedelic at times. It's a concept album about the Red King and his kingdom, so it's basically like a few triumphant narratives away from power metal subject matter, which is kind of unusual for this kind of music. But the lyrics fit the music so well, and I can't even put my finger on why.

This record won me over on Elf Power in a huge way, and I'd spent a good 3 or 4 years talking serious shit about them before I heard it. Without going into massive detail, let me just say I hated these guys on a personal level due to an incident at a friend's house (a place known as The Landfill, where plenty of Athens bands played in the late 90s. Where my Athens duders at? Holla.) that involved a friend of mine barfing in some dude's car and passing out in the parking lot next door. This eventually led to Elf Power carrying my friend off and one of them calling me a "bad friend," words that sting almost as much now as they did then.

But then I downloaded "The Separating Fault" one night while drunk and everything suddenly became ok, because holy shit it's good. The whole record is. You can trust me. I'm a good friend.

When The Red King Comes

September 3, 2010

Tear You Down Build Me Up

The Quiet Storm

Ocelot might've been a year or two too early. The kicked a shit-ton of ass around Atlanta in the early aughts, but broke up before they really made a splash on a national level. I saw them in 2002 headline a show with Maserati and Explosions in the Sky as the openers. That's balls, right?

But anyway, this is a great instrumental rock record. These guys knew what they were doing. Drummer Alex Lambert has been in a handful of Atlanta bands, though imo none as good as Ocelot. I don't really know what the rest of the guys have done. Like 7 years ago I used to see bassist Brian Harris working at a pizza joint in Atlanta. Guiarist Kenyon Tavares was (maybe still is) the bartender at The Local, one of the better bars in Atlanta. Also there was a stretch where I saw him at literally every single show I went to, even the first Pitchfork Festival, way the fuck up in Chicago. Speaking of which, if you google "ocelot the quiet storm" the first result is a fairly badly written review I wrote of this record way back for Pitchfork. I can't really write for shit now, but back then I really couldn't write for shit.

At any rate, this is a little different than the usual crap I post, but it comes highly recommended.

The Quiet Storm