Monday, December 23, 2019

Article: "NEVER DISCUSS MONEY, RELIGION or POLITICS" by M Teresa Clayton

NEVER DISCUSS MONEY, RELIGION or POLITICS
Article by M Teresa Clayton (from a post on Facebook)

We have all been advised to not discuss money, religion or politics. Don’t discuss it with family, friends or strangers. Don’t discuss it in public (or in public forums). But, we do it anyway.
For the past three years, we have been discussing politics at a fever pitch. We are deeply divided. We are critically polarized. We have come to see the other as an enemy, as lesser folks, as idiots.
So, why do we continue to discuss, debate or bully those that have a different take on the process? Could it be to hear ourselves think? Could it be that we love a fight? Could it be that we love the attention? Could it be that we want to publicly display our political prowess? (Oh boy, wait till I get into it with this guy and show him how intellectually superior I am!) What I do know is this, arguing causes a severe case of selective hearing.
There are always going to be people who disagree with us. There will always be people we do not agree with. There are always going to be those who believe one thing while the other believes something else. I could go on and on. Where is the truth? Where is the absolute correct side of the issues?
DEMOCRAT-------AMBIGUITY/TRUTHS-------REPUBLICAN
Using the above as a diagram – there are two deeply polarized positions on the political scale (maybe more, but for argument’s sake, we’ll only look at two). We tend to become zealots when attacked, or what seems like an attack. Another way of looking at this is to view the synonyms – fanatic, radical, maniac, extremist, nut. The truth does not solely exist on the extremes – it is, indeed, somewhere in the middle… finding it is the problem.
We all see a gross amount of news, posts, pictures, and written arguments to know how the other side sees its truth. We all have similar beliefs on who did what to whom and how the other side is lying or covering up something. It becomes even more evident in a public debate/argument. “What about what so-and-so did?” Gaslighting. Cherry Picking. Distracting. Etc.
Little do we know what is fact and what is fiction. It really depends on our own needs, wants, fears, prejudices, religious affiliations, family affiliations, so on and so on. Even where we live can have a great influence on our views of right and wrong, truth and lies.
So, how do we proceed? I don’t have an absolute to offer.
I liked you before I knew about your political views so why can’t I continue a friendship while respecting your choices?
Perhaps one way to better have this conversation is through a positive rather than a negative approach. I cannot change your mind while debating you, arguing with you or hating you. But, maybe I can affect your position by offering information passively. I can post articles, cite sources for my position, ask questions and invite you to ask me. No judgment.
One thing we can all agree on is this – the world is becoming more and more complicated every year. The world is an ugly place for beautiful people to coexist without incorporating some of that ugliness ourselves. But there are ugly and beautiful souls on both sides. There is no remedy in becoming more divided and polarized. We need to stop attacking each other and learn to dance. There will always be yin to our yang.
If you think that this world is close to collapse, let me remind you that life itself breathes in and breathes out. There will always be a time of struggling, of being broken down in order to rise up better and more enlightened. For some of us, this is a time of darkness and we fear it. For others, it is a time of light. That will change and those who felt the darkness will stand in the light and those in the light will come into their darkness.
People, we NEED to be on opposite sides in order to protect those the truth and our salvation. Falling into one mindset eliminates those checks and balances and we would find ourselves living like Eloi to the Morlocks (Time Machine by H.G. Wells – maybe we should all go back and watch this movie again – or for the first time. It is a good predictor of the future – according to Wells).
We must not be distracted by being separated into two camps that cannot get along. We must find a way to be critical thinkers and to remain our neighbor’s brother/sister. No room for hate.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Full Length Review: STRAIGHT HATE "Black Sheep Parade" (Deformeathing Production) by Reggae

Location: Chelm/Lublin, Lubelskie
Country: Poland
Genre: Grindcore, death metal
Full Length: Black Sheep Parade
Format: CD, streaming
Release date: September 21st, 2019
I've heard Straight Hate before and even reviewed one of their releases once. They set a rather high standard for their last release and now the time has come to review their next album. I have to say, it's really cool to see a band like this that I really liked last time come back with another really strong release. In fact so strong, I think I like it even better than their last release. For those that don't know Straight Hate combines a rather addictive mixture of hardcore and grindcore, and maaaannnnn it feels good to see a band do this stuff so well!
For those that don't know the lads hail from Poland, and fuck me, these dudes are angry. With the benefit of the modern age Straight Hate has managed to combine the riffage and pummeling drum sound of early Napalm Death (first few albums) with hardcore sensibilities, simple riffage, and some great breakdowns and made it sound really good. The crystal clear production means you can hear the riffage and the drumming perfectly and this allows the listener to fully appreciate it.
The songs themselves are no bullshit grind attacks. Most songs fall into the 1:30-2:30 minute range so there's no time for wanky crap.... just straight down to business. Delicious riffage with flawless execution is the order of the day. In my humble opinion, there is absolutely nothing bad that can be said about this band. The vocalist reminds me of the original vocalist from Terrorizer. This is addictive stuff, and I have to say I got drawn right into it from the start of this release. I know it sounds like I'm blowing smoke up these dudes’ asses, but this release really is that good. I would even say it goes beyond being good for the genre; it’s a great metal release full stop. Whether you like grind or not you won't be able to deny how good these guys actually are.
All I can do is implore you to look these guys up and see for yourself!!!! -Reggae

Lineup:
Kuba Brewczyński: Vocals
Kamil Nowicki: Guitars
Przemek: Bass
Wizun: Drums

Track list:
1. Pawns In The Game
2. Meaningless Trash
3. The Kneaders
4. Fuck Divisions
5. Uncontrolled Hypertension
6. Insurance Policy
7. Turn On Thinking
8. Patostream
9. Above The Law
10. Black Sheep Parade
11. Lost In Greed
12. Gnijące Istnienie
13. Degraded Modern Society
14. Bastard
15. Nosedive
16. Cribe Contest


Monday, December 16, 2019

Demo Review: Y3M "Demo 2019" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Band: Y3M
Country: Korea, USA
Genre: Mincecore, goregrind, noise
Demo: Demo 2019
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: December 2019
During my usual Youtube search, I scrolled upon Demo 2019 by Y3M. It was listed as a fusion of mincecore, goregrind, and noise, so obviously I had to hit the play button to see what this was all about.
First and foremost, I need to say that this demo is highly unique. Although there are hints of goregrind and mince, the aspects that stand out the most are all elements of noise. Harsh feedback paired with various off-the-wall audio distortions are rampant amidst sporadic and intense vocalizations, guitars, and tight drumming. This short release may not be for everyone, but for me, I find these tracks to be quite pleasurable.
Another thing worth mentioning is that I feel like I am on drugs when I listen to this. The "music" is so out there that it almost makes me high in a supremely dysphoric way.
As stated within the bio provided by "Gore Grinder" on Youtube, this is a "Fresh bi-national, noisy mincing grind'n'gore duet featuring Austin Eller (Ulcerating Noise Eruption) from Baltimore, USA on guitars/vocals and Yuying Lee (Sulsa, Little Puppy Princess) from Seoul, South Korea on drums." The only mentioned project that I have heard of is Sulsa, but after checking out this demo by Y3M, I am intrigued to hear more from this seemingly iconic duo.
"Demo 2019" is the first release by this pair, but hopefully they have more noises up their sleeves. Awesome distortions, Y3M! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Lineup:
Austin Eller: Guitars, vocals
Yuying Lee: Drums

Track list:
1. youtube is skynet
2. anti anti antifa aktion
3. 2bucks beat
4. i feel noise
5. 有錢無罪 無錢有MINCE


Friday, December 13, 2019

EP Review: INTREPID CORPSE "Human Scum Waste Pile" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Project: INTREPID CORPSE
Location: Pape'Ete
Country: French Polynesia
Genre: Mincecore/grindcore
EP: Human Scum Waste Pile
Label: Independent
Format: Digital
Release date: October 21, 2019
As I was writing some fiction and various true stories tonight, I came to the realization that it has been a while since I wrote a music review. After finishing up the editing that I had planned, I decided that it was time to remedy this.
As always, my first thought was to hit up Youtube and check out the newer grindcore and goregrind releases that have been posted. During my usual search, I came upon “Human Scum Waste Pile” by Intrepid Corpse. I clicked play on this short EP, and I was immediately transported to a realm of ping-snares and caveman riffs. Goddamn... I fucking love grind!
First off, I need to mention that I was instantly reminded of Autophagia and (older) Captain Cleanoff. This project has its own style, but there is without question similarities between Intrepid Corpse and these well-known grind projects. I let this release play through a handful of times to get a feel for the music, and I did so without complaint. This stuff is damn good!
Down-tuned guitars, vicious drumming, and violent, spastic vocals assaulted my ears as I listened. Grindcore touches my soul in a way that few other genres can, and Intrepid Corpse is no exception.
Intrepid Corpse is a one-man project from Pape'Ete, French Polynesia formed in 2019. This is his third release, so I am now inclined to check out his previous offerings. As I am writing this, I decided to let the EP play through one more time just for shits and giggles. Amazing, brutal, and raw. Epic mince, homie! -Devin Joseph Meaney

Track list:
1. Mind Boggling Thrust Advice
2. Mince Prince (Boom Snap Clap)
3. Thank God for Anal
4. Yippy Play Time
5. Fortunate Murder
6. xGRINDPOLICEx
7. ILLWILL
8. Horse Man
9. Sean Needs to Turn Down His Guitar
10. Morally Frowned Upon (Bob Plant cover)


Single Review: AUSTRALASIA "Mercurio • Argento" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Project: AUSTRALASIA
Country: Italy
Genre: Blackened post rock/electronica
Single: Mercurio • Argento
Label: Independent
Format: Vinyl, digital
Release date: November 5, 2019
Since 2012 Australasia has existed on the outer fringes of black metal, post-rock and synth/electronica, shaping them into something exclusively its own, adding piano, strings, female vocals and other sounds. When Frank Garcia reviewed Australasia’s 2013 full length “Vertebra” (released on Immortal Frost Productions), he commented on its striking balance between clear instrumentation and clear production. I’ve been listening to each of Australasia’s releases to get a broader picture of this project, and found their albums to be theatrical (“Sin4tr4”), futuristic and atmospheric (“Vertebra”), and mournfully contemplative (“Notturno”). Australasia’s latest single from last November, “Mercurio • Argento” is a departure of sorts from those albums. While the sounds still vary greatly, they’re mostly based on keyboards and synthesizers. There are guitar and drum sounds added, but their function is to complement the keys and synths when keys and synths usually complement the guitars. There are also no strings or vocals of any kind. This approach turns Australasia’s electronic themes to a multi-faceted soundscape you can’t tell is the ethereal plane or virtual reality. It allows you to decide for yourself where you are, how long you want to remain there and how far you want to travel. The music is smooth, distorted, stark, cold and dark without lacking vibrancy. The greys, maroons and dark blues you experience here are neither depressive or overly abstract but rather profound and dramatic. I see a lot of artistic devotion without the snobbery. I thought I may have been reading too much into this; but after reading fan feedback on Australasia’s Bandcamp profile I realized other listeners reached similar conclusions. While listening to this single I was reminded of the writings of Sylvia Plath, and the paintings of Giger and Goya. Whatever you perceive of this single, you’ll be exercising your imagination to its limits. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Mercurio
2. Argento


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Flash fiction: NOXIOUS LOVE by Devin Joseph Meaney

NOXIOUS LOVE
Flash fiction by Devin Joseph Meaney

One eye of newt, the tears of three virgins, and the tail of a spotted salamander. These were the main components necessary for the noxious brew that Evanora was concocting within her pewter cauldron. She added the blood of a love once lost to the mix, to help ensure that her spell would ensnare the target her cold black heart so desired.
The gruesome mixture began to bubble and froth, changing colors as she whisked the foul contents with her bare hands. Evanora's heart danced in her chest as she pondered over her lust for a muse that rejected her longing. Evanora was a fetching beauty, but her love was as vile as the deeds she committed to quench her yearning for intimacy.
The woman she adored had a heart of gold, and her embrace felt like woven silk on Evanora's icy skin. Sadly, that heart of gold cherished another, and rage now consumed Evanora's body and mind. There was no true love for the wretched. There would be no soothing touch for the loathsome. Only by the power of strong magic would the pure relish the damned. But only by the light of the pure would the damned ever be saved.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Single Review: WILLOW WYNTRE "This Day" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Singer: WILLOW WYNTRE
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Country: USA
Genre: Eclectic Vampire Metal
Single: This Day
Label: Independent
Format: Digital
Mixed by: Greyson "Queen Gene" Goodenow, Sound Of Music studios
Mastered by: William Bruce Smith, Sound Of Music studios
Release date: October 31, 2019
If you reside in New York City or Los Angeles and think your hometown has a monopoly on eclectic music, there is a solo artist from Richmond, Virginia who will explode and fragment your perceptions. I’ve read a little about this city and the local entertainment mostly ranges from rap to country to DJs. There’s also an underground scene giving more opportunities for DIY artists (rap and punk bands) to be heard. There are bound to be musicians in cities like this whose mode of thought and expression is far removed from everyone’s, and Willow Wyntre who breaks every mold imaginable is among them.
Having worked with the experimental project Nekrotrampz with Paul Munster, Wyntre (aka Danielle D. Everett) recently went solo and released a number of singles and covers streaming on Soundcloud (including She Wants Revenge’s “Tear You Apart” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”). She has been promoting her new single “This Day” just about everywhere online since it came out in October 2019, just in time for Halloween. Given what compels her songwriting, it’s anyone’s guess what incorporeal nocturnal beings would be summoned if you listened late at night… but I can imagine.
How to describe this and Wynter’s music in general? If you have an equal appreciation for musical theater, spirituality, vampire legends, occultism, horror literature, goth, hip hop, symphonic metal, synthpop and classical with touches of opera and commerciality, Wynter is worth noticing. On Facebook, she defines her music as “eclectic vampire metal”. This description may sum it up on a basic level but for a full understanding of what she means you have to immerse yourself in it.
“This Day” opens with a glacial mood, with keyboards, haunting background vocals, and a piano-driven gothic feel. A beat is suddenly added to generate an effect best described as trippy. It’s likened to hip hop, but not your usual hip hop. It’s slightly distorted with more percussive notes and additional effects. I consider it safe to say it goes far beyond anything Linkin Park has done crossing metal and rap over. I think both “camps” are going to be confounded hearing it for the first time. And this just the first thirty seconds or so.
Wynter’s vocals are ethereal and seductive as she alternates between rap flow, a melodic style likened to Tarja Turunen and Cristina Scabbia and agonized near-screeching. This is a riveting vehicle to describe a troubled childhood in which existence is the result of a drug-addled “momentary lapse of reason.” From there she describes being the odd girl out in school with angst that would have made Kurt Cobain swell with pride. Her intonation suggests the brutal honesty of daily existence.
As the song continues its gothic premise with its myriad of instruments from her backup band (including emotional violin passages) Wyntre relates how her salvation was found in occultism and dark magic. She does so in a way that makes her journey into darkness sound convincing and beautiful until she finally finds her heaven in the darkest afterlife. She now fears no evil as she passes into the realms of shadow and death. She has already experienced the hell of human existence, and has made peace with her demons within and without. She is now a succubus of medieval legend, reappearing on earth to inspire others on society’s outer fringes.
“This Day” is an exquisitely crafted tale in which alienation is a badge of courage and every night creature is welcomed as a personal friend. There’s no need to sell one’s soul since it has already found its home… in the shade of twilight. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Willow Wyntre: Vocals
Gabriela Midday: Violin
Eliza Vaughan: Piano
Geoff Vaughan: Lyrics
Emmanuel Artis: Drums
Andrew Halligan: Drums


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Full Length Review: REVERORUM IB MALACHT "Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas Innoble" (Annapuma Productions) by Reggae

Band: REVERORUM IB MALACHT
Location: Uppsala
Country: Sweden
Genre: Experimental black metal/dark ambient
Format: Vinyl, CD, digital
Release date: May 11, 2018 (World), June 15, 2018 (USA)
This is some bizarre shit.... this would fit into the black metal niche but to me fits a more experimental / dark / doomy vibe. This is not going to be for everyone. Some will like it, many will not. The rather grim production values displayed on this recording serves to keep the whole thing underground, the guitars are barely audible in some of the tracks, more a buzz and texture in many places, but when you can hear them it’s obvious these guys are good and the guitar player shows off some extreme shred skills in the vein of Sadistik Exekution or Blasphemy. I'm not sure how to feel about this, as it would be good to hear more of the guitars, but the production does give the band an identity and sound of its own.
The songs are lengthy and uncompromising, the drums are relentless (not sure if a human or machine) but they are punishing, the vocals fit squarely into black metal territory utilizing some gut-wrenching screams, chants and growls and throat singing. The songs tend to be underpinned by keyboard / organ sounds and some creepy gongs and other percussive instruments. The whole concoction fits together rather well in my opinion (despite the lo-fi production) In between the songs there's some kind of ritual church type sounds which give the whole affair some rather sinister overtones. This is EVIL nightmarish stuff. Soundscapes that musically really seem to re-create hell. Here-in lies the problem the band describe themselves as ”Roman Catholic Black Metal” and while I don't have a copy of the lyrics (all the titles would appear to be in Latin anyway) it’s hard to picture something as sinister sounding as this band producing anything that has any roots in Christianity.
I know a lot of metal elitists will dismiss this upon hearing they have Catholic undertones to the music but if you give them a chance this is some of the most hateful and evil-sounding music to be spewed from the underbelly of the black metal genre. And hey, at least the band are doing something original both sound wise and theistically, they deserve major kudos for that. -Reggae

Track list:
1. Intro
2. Where Escapism Ends
3. Incompatible Molokh
4. Cloud of Unknowing
5. E va um da
6. Etia si omnes, ego non
7. Skin Without Skin
8. (Natten inuti) en tagg som sticke
9. Outro



This review is also uploaded at Reggae's blog Metal Mixtape. -DW

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Single Review: 6HOST WITHASIX "Sleep Intoxication" (Independent) by Devin Joseph Meaney

Artist: 6HOST WITHASIX
Location: Cape Breton Island
Country: Canada
Genre: Hip hop
Single: Sleep Intoxication
Label: Independent
Format: Streaming
Release date: December 6, 2019
It has been a while since I spoke on the topic of 6host WithaSix, but today 6host has sent me another vicious banger. Personally, I think this new track ''Sleep Intoxication'' is one of 6host's best tracks to date, which is a lot to say, as the majority of his previous tracks are top tier quality. I highly encourage everyone to give this new track a listen! Remove the wires from the back of your brain stem, awaken your third eye, and swim in the lyrical flow that is emitted from 6host! -Devin Joseph Meaney



Single Review: AYUMI ANIME "Get Me High" (Bong Mines Entertainment) by Tony Sokol

Vocalist: AYUMI ANIME
Location: Los Angeles, California
Country: USA
Genre: Urban pop, R&B
Single: Get Me High
Label: Bong Mines Entertainment
Format: Digital
Release date: November 1, 2019
Ayumi Anime's smoking debut single “Get Me High” is sure to put you in the zone. Co-written by Alexander Frazier and Olena Kim (Anime's real name), the song is pinch of urban pop, a bowl of contemporary R&B, and totally chill. Director Togeze inspires some mad love for Anime in the accompanying “Get Me High” music video. "Let's fall for each other, in deep conversation," Anime sings in "Let's Get High." Autoeroticasphyxium zine had a light chat with the singer-songwriter after the song dropped a few days ago, and we fell into deep trance.
Ayumi says she "didn't want any heavy lyrics in 'Get Me High.' This song aims to let people chill, relax and stay positive, because this is so important nowadays." She told us she was inspired to write about "getting high in L.A." when she "first got the joint just to get rid of the stress and got flown into the universe."
The mesmerizing musician found a muse in marijuana, but not pure nirvana. "I think the only mystical property that it can have is relaxing your mind," she told us. "So when you're totally relaxed, you forget about all your problems and just focus on yourself or the things you really love and that make you happy."
Keeping us very happy, Ayumi also discussed her next moves. She revealed exclusively to us the she will release her second single, "Everything I Need," in mid-January.
Anime is probably best known as Penthouse magazine's Pet of the Month for October, 2017. Captivating as she is, the performer, who was born and raised in Kheron, Ukraine, is no mere eye candy. She says songwriting was always her "ultimate and planned goal."
Ayumi was 15 when she when got hit one too many times by the sounds of Britney Spears. When she was 20 she moved to Russia, but don't worry, she's not a sleeper agent. Her only K.G.B. connection is Killer Green Bud. According to what you can find online, Ayumi speaks our language, and many others. She graduated from Shevchenko Media Television High School in Kiev as a TV reporter with a degree in Philology.
The charismatic Korean who has appeared in shoots Nike, Armani, and Chanel, "strives to empower women and the Asian community to break the glass ceiling, become leaders and overcome any obstacles they may face."
And what better way to relax while pursuing lofty ambitions? Musicians have been separating stems from seeds since the Ink Spots' "That Cat Is High" came out in 1938. Even Woody Guthrie, the guy who wrote This Land is Your Land" invited the world to “Take a Whiff on Me.” So hotbox the room and play some music. Roll it up, burn it up, smoke it up. All night.
"Get me high" is available on Spotify and Apple music. -Tony Sokol



Friday, December 6, 2019

Full Length Review: HHOOGG "Earthling, Go Home!" (Crystal Space Bricks) by Dave Wolff

Band: HHOOGG
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: USA
Genre: Psychedelic space rock, jam
Full Length: Earthling, Go Home!
Label: Crystal Space Bricks
Format: Digital
Release date: February 25, 2019
Frazer Jones of Desert Psychlist recently made a loose comparison between Hhoogg’s “Earthling, Go Home!” and classic Star Trek. As much as I prefer avoiding comparisons, this one seems to fit, if it was an episode of Star Trek as seen from the perspective of the Doors or Pink Floyd who were given free reign writing the soundtrack. I also thought of Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey with special effects made under the orchestration of hallucinogenics. Forget CGI and massive explosions; what’s wrong with science fiction movies that look like an acid user who just graduated from art school remade Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon with psychedelic stoner rock that’s completely improvised. Improvisation is strictly trial and error; it either works or it doesn’t. But if it does work it comes from a place that’s timeless and unrestricted by money, genre or popular opinion. Many bands looked into this place and that’s exactly why they’re remembered years later while trends die and are forgotten. What Hhoogg bring back from the ether is a piece of that universe as cold and strange as it is monumental and eternal. The smallest piece can irrevocably change the way you look at music. That void is the canvas on which they painted, and even the brightest and most reassuring colors are distorted and warped beyond imagination. Yet you seem to anticipate where they’re going next if you’re attuned to their sudden impulses. I got that feeling more than once, for example, when listening to the first track and those that came after with their narrative overtones, repetitive bass lines, opiate guitars, frenetic percussion and astral keyboards. Whether the mood is euphonious, pensive, probing, uninhibited or seething, the personalities represented by each instrument piece together to create a whole that towers far above what would have been expected from a psych-rock band. Hhoogg sounds like they can only become more profound with each album they come out with. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Yig Narub: Synthesizer
Paul Yu: Guitar
Xtina Porcupine: Bass
Tom the Ninth Universe: Drums

Track list:
1. Ccoossmmooss
2. Rustic Alien Living
3. Journey to the Dying Place
4. Star Wizard, Headless and Awake
5. Eaten on the Frontier
6. Recalled to the Pyramids
7. Infinitely Gone




Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Full Length Review: CINEMA CINEMA "CCXMD" (Nefarious Industries) by Dave Wolff

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Art punk
Full Length: CCXMD
Label: Nefarious Industries
Format: CD, digital, streaming
Release date: November 1, 2019
It may be a rare occurrence for a punk or post-punk band to cross the line and venture outside their boundaries (and I don’t mean the kind of mainstreamized, reconstituted pop punk we hear too often). But when a band comes along and does so, the same motivation exists and it usually becomes something memorable. “CCXMD”, the sixth release from Brooklyn’s Cinema Cinema, crawls from the begrimed, trash littered streets of the five boroughs to contend with the experimental jazz/noise of the early 2000s. While checking it out I was engrossed enough to check out the band’s discography all the way back to their early releases. From “57” and “Shoot The Freak” to their 2017 full length “Man Bites Dog” the band investigated many different auditory impressions looking for what would eventually set them apart from their Sonic Youth/Clash/PJ Harvey-inspired provenance. It sounds like it was a measured, deliberate process of trying different ambient sounds to settle into the freeform avant-garde jazz, seemingly incoherent musicianship and premelting noise of their new album (“A Night at the Fights” and “Man Bites Dog” were particularly crucial to their growth). Those ambient sounds, or rather the sum total of those ambient sounds, play a part in how “CCXMD” turned out. Their hard work is apparently paying off as “CCXMD” has been recognized by Big Takeover, Invisible Oranges, Brooklyn Vegan, Pop Matters, Aural Aggravation and The Village Voice among other publications. Pop Matters said Cinema Cinema are torchbearers for the part of NYC’s music scene populated by unsigned bands who mix urban frustration with intellectual experimenting. The band says their disjointed song structure with its shrieking saxophones, wandering guitars, scrambled percussion and manic vocals (as well as some Doors and Jethro Tull influence) resulted from learning to play in an improvisational style and listening to bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra. Going into the studio and improvising as they went along, having come to know each other’s playing inside and out, is the only way they could make “CCXMD” sound spontaneous and voluntary. What’s more, the band’s arrangemernts leave it a mystery as to the direction they’ll decide to take on their next release. -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Ev Gold: Guitars, vocals
Paul Claro: Drums, percussion:
Matt Darriau: Wind, loops, vocals:

Track list:
1. Collective Outpoint
2. Cyclops
3. Revealed
4. Colors
5. Radio Ready
6. Ode to a Gowanus Flower
7. Cloud 3

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Interview with Andrew MacDonald of GET REAL! by Devin Joseph Meaney

Interview with Andrew MacDonald of GET REAL!

Devin Meaney: Hey Andrew! Please take a minute or two to introduce yourself and your band!
Andrew MacDonald: My name is Andrew MacDonald and I sing and play guitar in a three-piece alternative rock band called Get Real! (note the fancy exclamation mark). Drew Hawboldt plays drums and Jeremy Devoe plays bass. Fun fact, those two cats have the same birthday. Different years though.

DM: How long has Get Real! been a band? And what are some of the inspirations behind the music?
AM: We’ve actually been a band for a pretty short time. Drew and I started playing music together about a year ago. I met Jeremy when he started working at the same company I work for, and he joined on bass shortly after. This would’ve been around June of 2019.

DM: How did you guys come up with the name ''Get Real!''?
AM: Drew and I went through a few different iterations before deciding we liked the name “get real” the best. We were originally going to go by “Backseat Driver”, or “Social Divide”, both of which I still kind of like, to be honest.
Just around the time we started the band, the two of us had both had a falling out with a mutual friend. I think one of the last things that was said in this dialogue was “get real, dude” or something to that effect. Drew brought it up as a potential band name. He also was the one who came up with the idea for the exclamation mark. It’s kind of cheesy, but I like to think of it as the icing on the cake. Hey, that’s one of our lyrics!

DM: How many shows have you played? Any plans on touring, within Nova Scotia or elsewhere?
AM: We’ve played an average of around 2 to 3 shows per month since we started. They’ve been smaller shows for sure, bar shows mostly. We put our all into it. It’s been harder to schedule shows lately since Drew moved to another province temporarily. We still make it work though. As for shows out of province, we may be looking to do some shows in New Brunswick in the coming year.

DM: You informed me over Facebook you record your own music. How long have you been dabbling in sound engineering?
AM: I’ve been recording my own music almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar. I record pretty much everything I play, because I’m too nervous that I’ll improvise a cool guitar riff or a catchy vocal melody and then forget it five minutes later.
I really got into the thick of the whole recording process when I was in high school, making music for my project “Every Other Aspect”. I did a lot of the recording myself, but always had a revolving set of members. A lot of those guys are currently playing in bands around the Halifax area, namely Cyrus Robertson-Orkish (Cyrus R.O Quartet) and Jesse Macleod (Electric Spoonful/Matt Steele and the Corvette Sunset/Rudy & The Pacé Family Orchestra). Taking the stage with those guys was real fun.

DM: How much is it for a copy of your latest EP, and where can a person purchase one?
AM: Right now our EP is on Bandcamp for $3. You can also stream all the tracks on services like Spotify and Apple Music. We’re also working on some physical copies of the EP as well, made DIY style just like every other aspect or our music (I did the self-reference thing again). They’re pretty modest but they do the job well. Because they’re so simple and affordable to make up, we’ll be able to sell them for $3 as well.
For now, there isn’t anywhere online that you can buy the physical copies, but we will be selling them on our site at https://getreal.band once they’re ready. You could also send us an email if you would like to be notified when they’re available!

DM: If given the choice of having two giant penises for arms, or a giant third arm for a penis, which would you choose?
AM: This was a hard one. Really coming in hot with the phrasing here. Anyway, after consulting with my bandmates: all of us, collectively and as separate human beings with our own ideas, thoughts and desires — the third arm option is the way to go. We gotta play our instruments somehow, and I have a feeling that penis arms are not the way to do that. Plus, a third arm lets you have an arm that is always making a fist, ready to take out your enemies. Perfect level, too. Get ’em where it counts.

DM: Any final comments?
AM: I’d have to say thanks for doing this interview with me and the GR! crew. We’ve got a short history but it’s great to have the opportunity to lay out the details of what we’ve been working on.
To the reader, thanks for tuning in! To learn more about the band and what we’re up to, you can check out our website at https://getreal.band, where we just launched a blog to give “updates from the attic”: a glimpse into the recording process of our second EP!

DM: Thanks for talking with me, Andrew!

-Devin Joseph Meaney

This interview is also being published in issue #73 of Lights Go Out zine. -DW

Monday, December 2, 2019

Interview with Coleman Greenhand of HEAVY VIBE by Dave Wolff

Interview with Coleman Greenhand of HEAVY VIBE

Your website Heavy Vibe supports metal bands and rap artists. How long has the site been active and what inspired you to support both of these genres which have proven to be compatible since Anthrax and Public Enemy collaborated together?
Heavy Vibe was an idea for a while before it became an actual physical thing. The debate on if I should do Youtube or a website being ruled out by me not wanting to put on mascara every morning, the time I consider Heavy Vibe's birth is 11/8/17, 6:24 PM, the first official published post. And that's just from me going back and scrolling to the first post I ever made on that website, where I just make fun of a WikiHow list on how to be a "Rocker Chick". The reason that I decided to do not just Heavy Metal, is that it isn't the only music I listen to. I feel like it would be a waste of my time to fully invest in something that I would get burnt out of. If I ever get tired of hearing someone screeching into a mic, I can just swap over to rap submissions and listen to someone mumble offbeat. To say that everyone in the Metal community only listens to Metal would be something that people would showcase as the stereotypical "Metal Elitism". For example, I can reference when I have had bands refuse to work with me because I interviewed a rapper the week before. In my opinion, the genres have and always will be compatible. Honestly, I had to Google the reference in the question you gave me, I really didn't know what it was, and I would like to lightheartedly blame it on the fact that it happened eleven years before I was even born. But more recent examples similar I could reference would be $UICIDEBOY$ doing a collab with Travis Barker and Munkey from Korn, Ozzy working with Post Malone, Ghostemane being Ghostemane, and all of the new Underground rappers whose influences come from Heavy Metal, being transformed into a more fluid genre of music. But back to the whole Elitism, the second anyone announces they will be doing a collab with a Rapper, or for that matter, anyone from any other genre, the Metal community likes to make a game of hopping on the bandwagon of this really sucks" even though they haven't listened to it, or the all-time favorite of calling whoever from the Metal community does decide to branch out and step out of their fan bases safety bubble a sellout.

How long did you have the idea of doing Heavy Vibe in mind before you started doing it online? Would more work or preparation have been involved if you decided to make it a Youtube channel?
Heavy Vibe was like a one and done thing. I got the idea for it, spent a week trying to come up with a name for it, and then I made it. Simple as that. I didn't go through any life-changing event that I went through that made me want to start doing this. It was a "this would be fun" so I did it thought process.

Where can Heavy Vibe be found on social media, and how aggressively have you been promoting the site lately?
Heavy Vibe can be found on Facebook & Instagram at @heavyvibeofficial and Twitter @HeavyVibe. When I think about it, the amount of time I spend promotion Heavy Vibe on Social media, it is most likely double the amount of time I spend actually writing articles on it. Being able to network yourself on Social Media is the only way that anyone will be able to find success. So every day, I go on Facebook, MeWe, Instagram, Reddit, Amino, and Twitter, and just share posts and get new viewers worldwide.

In the 90s there was a massive crossover between metal and rap after Anthrax/Public Enemy. Biohazard worked with Onyx and Cypress Hill, and the soundtrack to the movie “Judgement Night” had several artists from both genres working together. Metallica also collaborated with Swizz Beats and Ja Rule for “Biker Boyz.”
I am familiar with the Anthrax/PE & Metallica's collab with Swizz and Ja Rule. It's always fun to go back and look at old music videos like the music videos of the songs you mentioned, because just going back and looking at those and comparing it to how music videos look now, the culture and the standard for music videos have changed so much, and watching old ones is funny, especially with all of the green screen cutouts of people and the amazing backdrops that work into the whole early 90's aesthetic that a lot of people in the fashion industry are trying to recreate.

What are some of the changes you’ve seen in promotional videos since those days?
Promo Videos now have taken a big turn to be edgy, and everything in their own way taking on a more modernistic theme. And music videos are a whole different breed than they were 7 years ago. It seems like all music videos have some kind of storyline so that it is like a miniature movie. Have you ever seen the Bring Me The Horizon music video for "True Friends"? It is a great song, and I think the music video is a perfect example of a storyline in a music video.

What was WikiHow’s definition of a “rocker chick”? Do you think that list you mentioned was written by someone who was not familiar with underground metal?
I really don't even remember the definition, it was for sure a work of satire. I really don't know if the authors of the Wiki Page thought it was as well, but let's be honest, eyeliner and safety pins mixed with a leather jacket and a Metallica shirt from Rue 21 doesn't make you a rocker chick, it just means your outfit is rocker chic. Defining the underground metal scene is a really difficult thing to do, on the other hand, the fashion that surrounds the scene is mixed in with urban street style, which has its own influences coming from the genre of metal it hails from. The only thing I know is that I really don't like those patch jackets. It's cool to see people in them, but I don't really think I would voluntarily wear one unless I really had to. So in a shortened word, no. I really don't think whoever wrote the "how to be a rocker chick" WikiHow page was into underground metal.

More often than not, underground metal places music above image. In my experience the patch is not about the patch, but what the band means to them. That being said, would you say people who author pages like the one on WikiHow was exploiting a perceived image?
Well sure, you could say that it is music over the image, but I know a lot of bands that are a lot farther than other bands because they can execute an image better than others who arguably have better musical talent, just because they can match that aesthetic that gains them more popularity. Let's be honest, no one wants to go to a hyped-up underground concert for a bunch of people dressed like your cousin’s dad to walk out and play their heart out, they want to see the dudes all decked out in their outfit’s and makeup that can keep a hyped energetic concert playing on their aesthetic of their genre. I wouldn't consider it exploiting a perceived image, more as just playing onto a common stereotype and very visible characteristics in a community.

To a point I see what you mean; in the case of King Diamond, Manowar and Misfits their stage gear is part of the show. However, most image-only trends died while bands placing music first kept cult followings for years (not even mentioning AC/DC and Metallica). I don’t include punk and black metal since the “image” is intended as a statement.
Gwar is another big image band. I guess it's all about finding a balance, like everything in life. And the musicians that find the balance and are able to execute the image and the music, are usually the ones who make it in the long run.

I have met many bands who listen to rap, Goth, Celtic, classical, progressive rock) and it enhances their songwriting. This shows sticking to your guns is not closed-minded or elitist.
I really can't put a real number on the "genres" I have been exposed to in the metal scene. I get emails every day where someone adds another adjective onto "Blackened Sludge" and sends the email in thinking that it’s a new breakthrough genre that will set them apart when in reality, it's really annoying to write down a seven-word "sub-genre". The most common genres I see are Deathcore, Doom, Sludge, Industrial, Prog, and leaving metal it’s mainly Shadow Rap, maybe some Horrorcore but that is really depending on how it is executed, older styles being popularized again like Rap Rock, and so on and so on. Genres aren't that important, and I feel like they hinder some band's abilities if they feel like they want to change their directions. Due to the fact that they require a fan base around a "genre" so if they have any significant changes in style, like a genre shift. An example that more people would know would be how BMTH (Bring Me The Horizon) had recently shifted to more of a pop-like genre, and their fan base basically solided themselves because "What happened to the screamy Ollie we liked in the beginning". But all in all, you can never make anyone happy, so you just roll with it and do what you want and if they don't like it, they don't have to listen to it.

Is it more beneficial for bands to change because they’re expected to, or why not simply play what you like? Also, what sort of impact are you seeking to make?
I know all bands need to change and growth is a great thing for a band. It really depends on what bands want to do. If their constantly evolving with their sound and do decide to let's say, change their genre. More power to them, even if they don't have a huge fan base, normally some of their fans, if not the majority of them will stick around, and when you broaden your fan base to a new genre. I feel like musicians who limit themselves and restrict growth are obvious when you see them, when the music is soulless, you can feel it when you listen to it.

As many people know, there is a vast number of bands who utilize clean vocals, and there are video channels run by trained professional vocalists who demonstrate the discipline needed for death and black metal vocals and point out it’s not all screaming (VoiceHacks is one of them).
I watched a short documentary on Youtube about Beartooth and an old lady vocal coach. It was really interesting. Another thing people should check out is the videos where the dudes walk up to random people and ask them to do their best metal scream and it sounds like a bunch of afraid cows and goats for the whole video. Not saying I would be able to do any better in the least, but if someone asked me to do a metal scream, I would plead the fifth just to keep the little respect I have for myself still intact. This leads to my favorite phrase from the heavier bands I have worked with: "It's all about the Gutterals", indeed the word "Gutterals" is my least favorite word to be said by another human.

Are you referring to Melissa Cross? I’ve seen some of her videos and she seems to have an understanding of how to use your vocal folds properly. What interests you about her?
Yup, that would be her. I think one of the most interesting things I can come up with for what I think about her is how casually this little old lady can just pull this gnarly scream and growl. If I tried that it wouldn't be pretty, and it would just sound like either a cough or a vocally damaging burp.

Who were the first bands you promoted on Heavy Vibe and how did they hook up with you?
When I look back on how I reached out to people, I laugh so hard because of how stupid it actually was. I would DM people on Instagram and ask them if they were interested. No one wants to do an interview with some weird account that has seven followers on Instagram and doesn't know how to actually conduct an interview. I did end up talking to Lena from Infected Rai for my first interview, and it was actually me sending questions every other DM and then she would reply, and they were like really short answers to really bad questions. I had no idea about setting up questions that would lead to big answers. But comparing how it was to how it is now, it makes me feel a lot more confident that the quality has gone wayyyyy up.

How were you able to improve the quality of your interviews? What kind of questions do you find important to ask interviewees?
The best thing I could say to anyone looking to improve the quality of their interviews when talking to a musician is don't talk about stuff that everyone already talks about. And if you do talk about the same stuff that is always asked in an interview, add a spin to it that makes it fresh for not only the reader, but the musician. It also gives you the opportunity to talk about things that haven't been talked about before, so always doing your homework and looking for interviews that the band has done before if the band has ever done any interviews. While a lot of the bands I work with have never been interviewed before, I personally think that's even better, because then it's even more questions I can ask to get more info out. Working in underground music, especially as someone who published these interviews, it's giving musicians the ability to take a step up from where they were, getting content out onto the internet about them allows people to find new information about them that their Facebook profile wouldn't let them know, if you get what I mean.

When interviewing bands who hadn’t been interviewed before, how much more do you and interviewees have to talk about?
With new bands, you really want to get a blanket of anything and everything. You're the first person talking to them, so you have something other people won’t have a few months or years down the road after more and more interviews happen. As the interviewer, you can get the best stuff out before other people can even ask them about it. But as the first person that will be talking about these artists online, or wherever you're publishing, you have to get the basics, and then after you get the basics of like who they are and what they're about, then you can move onto the fun questions.

How much do you have to think about asking bands questions who have done many interviews in their time?
I really don't think about what they've been asked already, because I am pretty confident that the questions I ask are not common, and a lot of them aren't even music related and just weird. Because when you do ten to fifteen interviews a month constantly talking about your music, you're gonna be relieved when you get some funny questions for a change that the audience you're giving these interviews too will see as some fresh and funny content, and be more obliged to read it. But one of my biggest suggestions to getting questions is thinking outside the box, what is downright cringey, and what will get the best stories from the questions. You can't set up questions for one-word answers, because then that is what you will get, you have to set them up for big responses.

What are some of the most intriguing questions you thought of while interviewing a newer band?
Gross stuff, like what's the grossest thing you've ever done while going on tour, or similar questions. Usually, all of the new bands are the ones that end up going to the sketchier venues, which attract the sketchier people. It all goes in a cycle. Usually, the newer bands have fresh stories of something that is gross. But the good kind of gross. The kind of gross that makes you cringe, but show someone else because it's funny, but horrible at the same time.

How much more difficult is it to interview bands who have been around for longer and interviewed more often?
They already know what they are doing, they know the standards publishers and bloggers create for their websites/posts. You may have to go out of the box for the questions, but that is honestly no problem at all, I already do that so it usually doesn't affect my mojo. And even if some of the questions are similar to ones that have already been answered, their most likely the important ones that the artist already wants out there to spread more info about something like a release, or tour.

Which bands, young or old, have given you the most engaging and informative interviews so far?
I did an interview with X, Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar for Gürschach. That so far has been my highest engagement interview, when it comes to most informative, it's really hard to gauge. Because a lot of the interviews when you look at them as a whole have their own perks and insights to certain things. So for the most informative, I wouldn't say one. I do get some really gross and descriptive stories though. Those are always fun.

What are your requirements for bands seeking to have their material reviewed at Heavy Vibe?
I currently only do a review as promotional content, mainly due to how much time it takes. To get your music reviewed on Heavy Vibe you gotta send an email and tell me what package/order you want for that review, I go in and tell you the price depending on what package/order you get. We do some collaboration and discussion about the release so that I can get an insider look at the music. And while some people may say that paying for a review is basically buying a good review, I give my feedback 100%, I just always follow what I think is a good rule of thumb for constructive criticism- which I think is the most important thing to come out of it one thing that I dislike, compared to two things I found good in the song.

What bands that you’ve interviewed recently would you suggest people check out and why?
Rather than recently, I am going to say check this out for the future. The whole Month of December Heavy Vibe will be doing what I call the "30 Days of Features", I am hoping to get more than 100 bands featured in the span of a month, all of it free of course. I just got really inspired to try and do something spontaneous and challenging. And I think this is challenging. So hopefully it doesn't overwhelm me, I think I have it set up pretty well so that it all will run as smoothly as it possibly can. So yea, be sure to look out for the month of December on Heavy Vive, tons and tons of new music and artists will be introduced that you would've never known about.

Your Facebook community/promotion group has about three hundred members at present. Are most of your members involved in bands? How much are they encouraged to promote?
Oh yea, that thing. I think that 99% of the people in that group are band members. The way I started it was by telling every band I worked with to join it, so I could keep in some form of a group contact with the majority of people I've worked with. If they aren't in a band, they are most likely a radio personality, a promoter, or someone who does something related to the metal scene. I use it when I want to put out specials like giveaway features to bands that I've worked with before and jazz like that. I also do some previews to merch and introduce new stuff to that group first. So it's kind of the behind the scenes/early access group.

What giveaway features have you posted in the group, and what responses do they get?
Oh gosh, the responses to those really vary. A lot of them just email me or text me on the side. I do work in multiple different groups just for the sheer convenience of having hundreds of thousands of people at my fingertips because of social media. The last feature giveaway I did, I said I would only give away 5 features and around 347-ish bands submitted themselves to Heavy Vibe just from that one specific Facebook post. But depending on the kind of feature it can be from 3-400 people contacting me wanting in. You can definitely tell who is more willing to put in work than others just because of what your offering to give- a better feature but the musicians have to do more work doesn't get barely as much attention as a copy and paste job. But sadly, that is usually what ends up happening.

What other musical styles do you consider promoting on Heavy Vibe besides metal and rap?
I do say that Heavy Vibe works with Alt music too, but Metal and Rap are so broad, sometimes I think they just blur into the lines of Alt. I really accept anything with heavy influences, or in general, stuff that I like, because overall, it is my website. So I can do whatever I want with it.

What would be the ultimate metal/rap crossover for you, and what styles of music would you consider promoting in the future?
Ohhhh boy. $uicideboy$, or Post Malone doing a song with someone. I know Post Malone did a song with Ozzy. But I really want to see something with like Ghostemane and Slipknot, or something like that. It is really hard to think about what would blend together well because there are so many possibilities. But I really hope more of it happens in the future, that would be awesome.

What kind of an impact do you want Heavy Vibe to ultimately have on metal and rap?
I really want Heavy Vibe to end up being the place people go to find new music, new artists, news, and all kinds of stuff. I am fighting tooth and nail to make it up. And for only having Heavy Vibe for as long as I have had it, I think I am doing a good job. I have daily readers who are constantly giving me feedback, tons of exciting collaborations and other things planned for 2020, new record labels I will be working with. Overall, if Heavy Vibe keeps heading in the direction it is heading- I really hope that I will have a personal influence on the Metal and Rap scene. Being able to have an impressionable/seriously taken opinion is one of the most valuable things as a "Public Figure". And even above that, I hope I make some form of an impact on people's music careers positively.


-Dave Wolff

Band Review: OLIGARKII by Kelly Tee

Band: OLIGARKII
Location: Newcastle
Country: Australia
Genre: Black metal
I'm discovering some absolute gems from my home town of Newcastle, Australia. Keep your ears to the ground for Oligarkii, blackened extreme metal band who are set for big things in 2020.
To date they have released two unique, weighted, menacingly dark and eerie tracks and here are my thoughts:
Let's start with Plague Masked Reaper. As I listened loud with my headphones on, this track truly engulfed me with its largely grim and malevolent sound. The vocal style projected here is extremely low, guttural and fucking beastly. It's impossible not to screw your face up to this sound with sheer heavy metal delight. The bass is absolutely off its face, prominent and opaque to a backdrop of ominous symphonic elements, drum tracks causing chaos and haunting lyrics around death, decay, and delightful darkness of course! Riffage is deliciously intense, creative and attention-grabbing. This entire composition excites me! The mash-up of tempo changes throughout this track worked so well creating good suspense and surprise, with striking movements of guitar solos and soundscapes crafting an unearthly and haunting ambiance.
Forest Of Ancient Graves is equally as prophetic, yet offers a difference from the track before, with the musicianship leaning toward even more doom, showcasing a tight and heavy groove flow of callousness with hymns void of any light and vocals that growl, spit and hiss across this track in a ritualistic manner. This number spirals deep down into an abyss of heavy as hell riffs, gothic sounding synth, thumping big drum tracks with an overall stunningly intense atmosphere. Oh, this is dark, this is very dark, carrying foreboding and emotive melody and a powerful metal injection as it ramps up to hectic and fast from time to time. That bass... that bass... so intrusive and threatening. A killer listen.
Both tracks are blackened, deathly and immaculately executed with a very crisp production and if this is a sign of what is to come from Oligarkii, well, then shit... I can't wait.
Guys, take a listen - these two tracks are on Spotify and please share your thoughts. -Kelly Tee