Wednesday, December 20, 2006

25 Best Records of 2006!!!

Im not much of a list person. In fact, thats why I keep this blog going, as its an unordered list of things I adore. But seeing as many of my peers have gone the lengths to make a list, I figured it would be a fun way to wrap up the year. Only problem is most of the best stuff I heard this year was from last year or years before. All that aside, my system for this list relied on a number of disparate points. For instance, was the Cold War Kids actually better than Boris? I listened to the Kids far more than any other band on the list, but Boris excited me in other ways, prompting a full submersion in their exisiting catalog and a whole world of doom which drew me away from listening to Pink repeatedly. So Boris' admission to #3 was based more on the influence they extended to my listening as opposed to how much I listened to that particular album. Whereas Gifts From Enola was something I heard in the last month of the year, but listened to religiously for weeks. But does that make it better than Red Sparowes, who at the time had a very similar effect on me? Two things I know for sure are the band I listened to the most this year was the Cold War Kids, and other than that, my list is not so much concerned with order, as I have already changed my mind more than once on the order of things. I finally just let it go as is. To me, these are the best records that cam out in 2006. Enjoy.


Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards
Genre: Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Modest Mouse, Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones

These guys began as a blog favorite based on one song, Hospital Beds, and that song, while great in all its sweeping glory, was only one facet of this talented band. Hang Me Up To Dry, Saint John, Tell Me In The Morning all proved that the Kids could rock. This is straight up rock and roll.


Gifts From Enola - Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind
Genre: Instrumental/ Post-Rock
For Fans Of: Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Isis, Pelican

A late entry into the books, but this album overtook me. The beauty of some of these tracks, from their ambience, to all their crashing bombast had me hooked and listening to this over and over. Plus the band recorded and released the whole thing DIY and it sounds amazing!


Boris - Pink
Genre: Punk/ Stoner/ Doom
For Fans Of: Boris, Electric Wizard, Motorhead

Boris was the most exciting thing to happen to my metal music tastes since Converge arrived on the scene in the mid 90's. Granted each of their albums has a different flavor, spanning post rock, doom, ambient, drone, and thrash and punk, but this album alone comprises many of the styles that the Japanese trio have perfected in their decade long existence. They are also the loudest band I have ever heard.


Six Organs of Admittance - Sun Awakens
Genre: Psych-Folk, Drone, Raga
For Fans Of: Espers, Vetiver, Feathers

Ben Chasneys Psych-Drone masterpiece. His best album yet on all counts.


Snowden - Anti-Anti
Genre: Post-Punk, Rock
For Fans Of: Interpol, Bloc Party, Q and Not U

Danceable post-punk with some icy cold bass, solid drumming and some good slacker swagger.


Red Sparowes - Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun
Genre: Instrumental, Post-Rock
For Fans Of: Isis, Neurosis, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Pelican

Amazing, expansive instrumental rock. This album travels far distances.


Figurines - Skeleton
Genre: Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Tapes 'n Tapes

Feel good, fast paced rock with a heavy early Built to Spill vibe. It sounds so youthful and honest.


Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
Genre: Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Pixies, Pavement, Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade

The Pixies comparisons are inevitable, but besides from being influenced from such a great band, the Tapes have injected much of their own fun, quirky personality in their songs. Cowbell is a burner and Omaha is bliss.


Yndi Halda - Enjoy Eternal Bliss
Genre: Instrumental, Post-Rock
For Fans Of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky

With only three songs to show so far, this young band has shown they still have much to give to music world. These songs absolutely burst with agony and ecstasy.


Comets on Fire - Avatar
Genre: Rock and Roll, Psychedelic
For Fans Of: I wouldve said MC5, The Stooges, Hawkwind, but this album
is more Can, Amon Duul, Hawkwind.

Comets on Fire have given us another turn with Avatar, and while lacking the thrust of earlier works they still work within a similar experimental framwork that theyve always found success in. These songs positively drip with acid soul.


TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Genre: Indie Rock, Post Rock, Electronic
For Fans Of: ? You tell me.

TV on the Radio officially defies description with their latest album. It combines so much of what makes so many different genres of music so good and would require too many disparate comparisons to make any sense.


Mammatus - s/t
Genre: Stoner, Psychedelic, Rock
For Fans Of: Om, Sleep, Boris, Goatsnake

A swirling psychedelic trip to a time with dragons and wizards. How can you pass up an offer like that? Seriously.


Boris - Dronevil - Final -
Genre: Post-Rock, Instrumental, Stoner, Doom
For Fans Of: Sunn 0))), Earth, Boris

How fitting that this disgustingly huge, dark slab gets to be #13. Boris have delivered tons of trance like doom and ambience for Dronevil. A bit of a commitment if you wish to reap the benefits, but wholly worth it.


Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Genre: Indie Rock, Folk, Psychedelic
For Fans Of: Bowie, Dylan, Donovan, New Pornographers

Destroyers Rubies reminds me of my childhood on a number of occasions. Probably 'cause I stole all my parents classic rock records. Rubies is warm and fuzzy just like Dan Bejar's beard. Absolutely beautiful instrumentation.


Mouth of the Architect - The Ties That Blind
Genre: Doom, Post-Rock
For Fans Of: Isis, Neurosis

A seriously huge monument to astrally projected Doom metal. Heavy and devastating whilst also drifting and cerebral.


Colour Haze - Tempel
Genre: Stoner, Psychedelic, Rock and Roll
For Fans Of: Can, Amon Duul, Kyuss, Orange Goblin

Expert guitar playing, dubby yet driving rythms and solid vocals evoke all your favorite classic rock gods. These songs can burn though as they crank up the volume and distortion and deliver the goods.


Annuals - Be He Me
Genre: Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, The Shins

A finely crafted pop record, written by a guy who cant even legally drink. Keep your eyes peeled for the Annuals. If they stay true to their name, we shoud have beauty every year from them.


Gregor Samsa - 55:12
Genre: Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Slow
For Fans Of: Low, Sigur Ros, Mogwai

Dark and Beautiful sweeping melodies for only the cold and lonely. This is a haunting record of expansive emotions.


Converge - No Heroes
Genre: Agressive Music, Metal, Death Metal, Thrash, Punk
For Fans Of: Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Today is the Day, Slayer

Another destructive, nihilistic record from my heroes of both the Hardcore and Metal scenes. Even though they are practically neither at this point in time.


Joe Lally - There to Here
Genre: Post-Punk, Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Fugazi, The Evens, Dischord Records

Joe Lally shows how valuable his work with Fugazi has always been. Dark, groovy, haunting tunes.


Om - Conference of the Birds
Genre: Stoner, Doom
For Fans Of: Sleep, Mammatus, Black Sabbath

A heady droning trip of transcendental proportions. Conference of the Birds is a mantra. Repeat with eyes closed until nirvana is achieved.


Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
Genre: Folk, Experimental
For Fans Of: Cat Stevens, The Microphones, Devendra Banhart

A collection of outtakes from one of my favorite albums of last year. There is just no denying this mans talent. He couldve released five more albums and they still would sound good. Oh wait, he did. The five disc X-mas album. Genius.


The Evens - Get Evens
Genre: Post-Punk, Indie Rock, Folk, Dischord
For Fans Of: Fugazi, Dischord Records

Where would we be without Ian Mackaye. Probably listening to whatever the man tell us to.


Isis - In the Absence of Truth
Genre: Doom Metal, Post-Rock, Stoner
For Fans Of: Isis, Boris, Red Sparowes, Neurosis, Mogwai

Theres no doubt that Isis has followed the Post-Rock path since Oceanic, and while this isnt their best release, it is another testament to their collective strength as pioneering force in metal.


The North Sea & Rameses III - Night Of The Ankou
Genre: Psych, Drone, Ambient, Folk
For Fans Of: Space, The Universe, and Everything in it.

This is what the sound of the universe is, a steady hum of life, echoing deep within the subconcsious and throughout, punctuated at times with what sound like snippets of radio broadcasts of life from earth and transmitted light years away to other sentient galaxies. It is a soundtrack for life.

Hot Cross

A New Set of Lungs (2002)

Cryonics (2003)

Split W/ Light the Fuse & Run (2003)

Fair Trades and Farewells (2004)

Hot Cross is a good band. Born of remnants of the late 90's screamo scene, they consist of ex-members of Saetia, Joshua Fit for Battle and others. While the members previous bands are pretty good, it would seem Hot Cross is the realization of those goals set forth into blistering action. Hot cross combines all the best things about screamo to make it more than just a silly genre name. This music is fast and technical punk rock. Super squggly and chaotic guitar blasts that function on just as much melody as they do might. Screamed ragged vocals and propulsive beats bring all sorts of emotion to the table as the band manages to throw just about everything they have into each song. Plus they are current. They havent actually broken up yet, like so many of their peers have. They are currently re-recording the songs for the new album, expected on Equal Vision Records sometime early next year. For now their works can be found on a variety of labels including drummer Greg Drudy's record label, Level Plane Records. I look forward to seeing what this band can accomplish with some more time on their hands. Too many of these furiously fast and technical bands disintegrate and move onto other endeavors quicker than their songs are over.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chavez - Ride the Fader (1996)

Chavez are some of the most unsung musicians in rock history. They came onto the scene with a bang, releasing Gone Glimmering, a bombastic yet subtle approach to rock, punk and even metal. That album was amazing from start to finish, and then the band followed up with Ride the Fader. Bringing all their best sounds together into a cosmic force of rock and roll. At times teetering on thin wires, all tension and lock, and then building a melody with massive drum fills and a keen sense of dynamics. Other times just kicking the doors in and laying waste to the whole scene. Their goals being quickly reached and exceeded, they thought they were onto something good. Yet, somehow, incredibly so, people just didnt seem to take to the band. Everything was there, killer hooks, twinkly sparkly little corners, deep subsonic pits, one of the best drummers in recent history, and they even had an awesome live show! But somehow, they faded into obscurity, and I wasnt sure why that was...was the band not getting along? did they reach their peak with Ride the Fader? Could it be that people just didnt like them?
It turns out the band actually wondered the same thing...

The band slowly stopped playing, without any real breakup, and went on to do other things in the creative realms, but then a funny thing happened....people started liking them. The more they faded into obscurity the more people started raving about their albums, and Chavez wasnt there to really enjoy it.

Feeling renewed and ready for a second round, Chavez have released a retrospective album/dvd called Better Days Will Haunt You, featuring a compilation track and an unreleased track along with a bunch of their best songs and some video footage, both creative and candid. They are also playing live again, beginning in their hometown of NYC this past weekend (I couldnt make it, but was lucky to see them for round 1 of all their rock and roll glory) and I strongly suggest you check them out if you see them coming near you. There are even plans for a new album.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia...

MBICR was a nice find. Thanks to the guys over at Purevolume for turning me on to this one. This band, which is now sadly defunct work within the post rock arena to create something that lay somewhere between Mogwai and Arab Strap. For fans of Mogwai you may recognize Arab Strap's Aiden Moffat as providing some of the very few vocals that appear on some Mogwai songs. As for Meanwhile, they tread the ground laid forth by Mogwai in terms of dynamics and the slow build ups, which could be of some detriment at this point, as even Mogwai, along with a great number of bands are upping the ante on the already changing post-rock music scene. They rectify this with the use of chanteuse Emily Gray, who provides her smoky, beat style spoken word delivery over the music. She doesnt actually sing at any point on this record, instead delivering breathy, sultry lines that would have any respectable male reaching to losen his collar and take a few hasty pulls from his drink. The sex is full blown her as even the melodies and rhythms are sensuously alluring with lots of delicate instrmentation and proper breathing room. A few moments reach to to heavens for some good bombast but the album as a whoel is very restrained and might even be of interest to fans of Portishead and Massive Attack as well as the aformentioned bands. The members have gone on to form other bands though very little information is available so far.
Here are some Peel Sessions of the band from the late great John Peel
Copy or click the link and the download will start.
Thanks to Perfumed Garden for these links. He has a bunch of Peel Sessions from other bands and his site is worth a look.

Peel Session 16/01/2003

Peel Session 20/06/2001

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You.May.Die.In.The.Desert - Bears in the Yukon (2006)

It must be the time of year, or maybe just the amount of metal and doom I listened to this year, but I get a certain melancholy, no, not melancholy...just a bittersweetness about everything...Maybe its the holiday season, maybe its just gearing up for the hibernation of the winter months. Maybe I am crazy. Nonetheless it adds up to me listening to a lot of introspective instrumental music and post rock...Maybe its because the first time I heard Mogwai back in 1997 it was in Burlington, VT and it was winter and I was there for a snowboard trip and a friend of mine said, "Dude, you gotta hear this new band!! They use a xylophone!!!" He was so psyched and it made me excited. Listening to Mogwai changed my life, at least musically speaking.

Well, enough digression. You.May.Die.In.The.Desert is not Mogwai, but Mogwai is what led me here. What led me to continuously search out post-rock and instrumental rock for the past 10 years. I have found some incredible life changing things and for the past few years there have been an abundance of like-minded bands achieveing powerful records and wowing audiences without using a single word. You.May.Die.In.The.Desert are not to be discounted on these points. They have the cathartic and epic quality of so many of their forefathers. What makes this release fun to me is the rhythmic and jazzy complexity that this band employs. You will notice it right off the bat from the first track. The use of echo and reverb is a great way to achieve repetition without painstakingly repeating everything, and also keeps the record from falling into that repetition trap which seems to overtake some of the less successful bands of this genre. After all, it takes alot more than repetition to capture and hypnotize a listener. The drums are seriously a standout as they pound away and make you want to nod your head in tribute...Just try not to toe-tap to this one. I dare you...

And like so many bands of today, they have no website and only have a Myspace page...I hate Myspace, but I kind of like it too. Either way, you will have to visit it to learn more and find out when the band is touring.

J. Robbins needs your help!!

For those unfamiliar, J. Robbins was in Government Issue, Jawbox, Burning Airlines and Channels and has produced classic/great records by Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, Braid, Sleepytime Trio, Engine Down, Jets to Brazil, Jimmy Eat World, etc. etc. etc.

J. Robbins son is very sick, and he is just a little baby. I am reposting messages from Rob of 108 and The Fire Still Burns...Of course you should check out those bands but this isnt about good music. This is much more important. Read on.

--------From The Fire Still Burns
Hi friends of J. Robbins, Janet Morgan and Cal Robbins:

J. and Janet’s baby boy Cal was born with a serious genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Though there is no cure for this condition, there are lots of treatments that promise to give Cal the the best possible quality of life. Unfortunately, many of these, especially the alternative treatments, are not covered by health insurance.

J. and Janet have given so much over the years to the music community we're all a part of, so Bill and I are hoping you can see in your hearts to help them out now.

We've set up a website with more information and a place to make a donation. All of the money will go straight to J. and Janet to help defray their growing medical bills.

Thanks for your support and feel free to send this email on to folks who might likewise be interested in helping. Take care—Kim Coletta and Bill Barbot

----------From Rob of 108

"J. Robbins, best known for his work in Jawbox, and Janet Morgan, gave birth to a beautiful son Callum Robbins. Callum was recently diagnosed with a genetic motor neuron disease called Type 1 SMA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Simply put SMA kills kids. The disease affects the brain's ability to communicate with the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, breathing, and swallowing. Type 1 SMA is usually fatal; most Type 1 babies will die before their second birthday. Those infants who survive into childhood are in for a long road of occupational therapy, wheelchairs, and assistive devices. Despite years of work on its treatment and "ongoing promising research," it has no cure.

I have two amazing sons that mean the world to me and I can't even imagine what J. and his family are feeling or going through. In addition to the emotional and physical tolls, the financial aspect to this situation is one that promises to get more difficult.

Everyone that knows me knows that I never ask for something unless it is important and this truly is. Punk rock is not a musical genre as much as it is a community and an esteemed member of our community needs our help now.

Bill and Kim, the former Jawbox members who also run DeSoto Records, have set up a fund where we can all help. The Callum Robbins Family Fund will help J. and Janet pursue every possible avenue of opportunity to help Cal out and give him the best treatments possible. I'd appeal to all of you to turn your attention to little Cal and to donate anything -- however small or large -- to his treatment fund.

For more information about Cal, SMA, The Callum Robbins Family Fund, and to donate something via PayPal, please visit Cal's site here.

With Love…
R and 108

Here is a link to the Pitchfork Media article. All sites have a link to the paypal account where you can donate money for the cause. I am not much of a philanthropist but a number of factors have led me to donate money. J. Robbins is very important in the underground rock scene, mainly the DC area and the Dischord group. He has produced many great bands, and I recently got a new puppy, and hes making me a softy. I cant imagine what I would do if something happened to him, and I can only imagine that is 1% of the feelings J and his wife must be feeling over the condition of their baby son....Donate a few dollars. If not for anything then a way of saying thanks for all the albums you have recently gotten for free.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gifts From Enola - Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind (2006)

I probably didnt make it clear enough the first time around...

This is one of the best instrumental post rock albums I have heard all year...and trust me, Ive heard some really good ones....There is a good chance that this will top my lists in a few weeks when the year comes to a close....

Each and every song is great. They give me chills and I feel like yelling out "YEAH!" when they play certain parts...They inspire excited feelings and energy. I will definitely make a point to see them live at the first chance I get, so I can whoop and yell "Yeah!" at all of those amazing moments.

PS. Sorry for the shitty artwork. You can purchase the album off of iTunes music store for a reasonable $8.91....Trust me, it will be the best $8.91 you have spent all year...and they give you really good full size artwork on iTunes...Though I can imagine you could purchase the record from the band as well...

Review from Silent Ballet

"One of the many great things about Loyal Eyes Betrayed The Mind is that no two tracks sound the same, and over the course of forty seven minutes you’re treated to many delights, with no song making me reach for the fast-forward button. It’s heavy in all the right places, but never too heavy, and Gifts From Enola mix moments of ambience really well, especially at the start of "Miles Of White" and "Memoranda." And when I say the album is heavy, it never ventures down the route of endless chugging riffs a la Isis and Pelican (two clear influences of the band), but instead Gifts From Enola develop intricate riffs, layered over a lead melody, to create something enjoyable each time. Gifts From Enola will fall under the umbrella of post-rock, but they are in no way confined to this genre, as they seem so adept at bringing others into the mix. There’s metal, rock, math-rock, jazz, and ambience all thrown together here, and it alludes to something quite wonderful. When the end of year polls come around, this album will feature highly in my list, and if there are any albums better than this, I can’t wait to hear them. Loyal Eyes Betrayed The Mind truly is a gift for all.

-James Ould (Taken from the Silent Ballet)

Gifts From Enola's Myspace

Dungen - Ta Det Lungt (2004)

Hearing that somethings from Sweden and labeled as psychedelic rock makes for some funny images of a country getting backlogged images from 1970's American culture. At least thats what I thought. Swedish Psych? They must be ripping off Zeppelin or Floyd. Right? Well, a little, but damn it if wasn't SO good! They may rip off some of the best sounds of the freewheeling seventies. They may not be playing the most original music. But if they were around in those mythical times of sex, drugs and rock and roll, we might have a different band that influenced current musical culture. There are a few things that will make this appeal to many people that probably havent heard it. For one, the sounds of the guitars they use range from old school fazed out gutiar fuzz to thick heavy grungy guitar sounds from Soungarden and the like. Even though all the lyrics are in Swedish (yes thats right - no english) the singer has a wonderful voice that sounds like the best of the Beatles the Byrds and alot of current popular indie rock bands of today. Which brings me to another point. They also use so many of todays indie rock sounds which brings their classical rock sound forward about thirty years. Coupled with their mastery and depth of songwriting (and their penchant for getting trippy) this couldve been a huge hit among many different genres of fans. From rock and rollers, to your hippie parents, to those kids that sweat everthing on (yes I am one of them) Check this album out and spread the word, because its not often we get to hear so much goodness on one record.

The above review is one I worte for Amazon in 2004, and I still feel the same about this album. I noticed while searching for my old review that alot of people were slagging this record as being just a generic rip-off and the hype was way too much. Honestly, if your a hype oriented person, then get the hell out of my blog right now. HAHA! No, really, if you are a fan of classic rock, or even just in general a fan of rock, then you should approach this album without the pretense of hype or what pitchfork said, or whatever anyone said. The sounds are all familar, but the thing that really makes this stand out is the songwriting. If you are looking for indie cred, go somewhere else, if you are looking for good rock and roll with great production and psychedelic touches than give it a spin.

Dungen Website
Subliminal Sounds Records
Dungen's Myspace

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Electric Wizard

Come My Fanatics (1997)

Dopethrone (2000)

Electric Wizard are one of the heaviest bands of all time. Similar in quality to the previous posts of Warhorse and Goatsnake, but an altogether different beast. Why is it that all the Stoner Doom bands have all the coolest names. Electric Wizard are slow, massively heavy and uncompromisingly good musicians. Jus Oborn is a great vocalist for the Doom genre, and the songs are long and incorporate lots of repetitive haze inducing riffing and lots of psychedelia. The drums and the vocals sound like they are buried below oceans of guitar and bass distortion, so the music can at once have a very textural feel and also reveal amazing intracacies on closer listening. And I think thats what makes Electric Wizard so great, is the amount of time one can devote to listening to them and still find more to love. This must be why they are one of the Premier Doom bands still around. If I had to choose between the two albums above I would probably say Dopethrone is the best of their work, but Come My Fanatics follows closely behind on the strength of tracks like the disgustingly huge psychedelic mess of "Return Trip" and the awesome Sabbath Doom of "Wizard in Black".

Electric Wizard currently resides on Lee Dorian's (of Doom pioneers Cathedral) Rise Above Record Label. Home of many great Doom bands like Goatsnake, Orange Goblin, Unearthly Trance, and more. Go check em out.

Boris - Vein - Versions 1 & 2

Version 1 (12 tracks - Thrash)

Version 2 (2 Tracks - Drone Noise)

Unbeknowest to me, there are ("were", they all sold out within a few days time) two versions of this highly limited vinyl only release from Japan's most prolific hardrock band, Boris. When stores and other ordered the album it was up to the gods (or Important Records, really) to decide which version you would recieve. The first version, supposedly the more common of the two, is 12 un-named tracks, beginning with serious Drone/ Doom and segueing into serious punk and thrash with vocals done by Atsuo (Drums) instead of Takeshi. The second version, which is far more rare, is 2 un-named songs. Thhis version consists of a completely mind melting drone thrash combo that recalls their ealier works on the Solomon series. The recording quality is meant to sound as damaged as it does, so if you are not into heavy squelching noises then you probably wont like these, but then you probably dont like Boris. Anyone looking for a head cleaning moment of electric destruction should be delighted at the complete and utter cacaphony made by these three unassuming musicians.

I learned of this information through a site called Boris Rocks. They have all the information you could want on the band and it looks as if Boris is coming out with yet another album this year, called "Rainbow", and it is a collaboration with psychedelic guitarist, Michio Kurihara. Keep your eyes peeled for that one and bookmark Boris Rocks for all the Boris news you can get.

Automotive Scratching

This commercial is fresh as hell!! Whoever came up with the concept is a genius.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Goatsnake 1 - (1999)

Trampled Under Hoof [EP] - (2004)

Flower of Disease - (2000)
thanks to Hyalf

Goatsnake is a beast. I had been happily enjoying my copy of Goatsnake 1/ Dog Days for quite some time and made many friends fans, and in an effort to search out their 2000 album Flower of Disease I came across all these goodies: The Trampled Under Hoof EP, amazing, the Goatsnake/ Burning Witch Split, which I had, but I think I like the Burning Witch side more than the Goatsnake side, a Goatsnake 7", Man of Light, also amazing, and somehow never came across Flower of Disease. I am now feverish in my search for that album, and I heard it is to be re-released, which should hopefully solve my problems. For the time being I am sharing all these goodies with you, as well as the Goatsnake 1 albums which is the best of the best. Goatsnake were one of the best Stoner/ Doom bands to come out in recent years. They were far underated and managed to do justice to an already tired formula. Greg Anderson (From Thors Hammer and Sunn 0))) fame) is on the guitars here, serving up some meaty guitar Riffs to drown all your problems in. And Pete Stahl (from DC hardcore legends Scream and also from Wool) is one of the best singers in the whole genre. He comes across somewhat similar to Chris Cornells early work with Soundgarden, but I think hes better and one Riff of Goatsnakes is 100 times heavier than all of Soundgarden recorded output. Its all about the thick, fuzzy guitars here....have a listen and become a fan...

Colour Haze

Thanks to A for Tempel and the introduction to Colour Haze. Since hearing them I have listened to the new album countless times, songs like Aquamaria, Fire, Tempel, Gold & Silver, and Ozean are among my faves of the psychedelic music genre now. I would place them at the forefront with Dungen and Ghost as being some of the best psychedelic music on the map these days. The album is a great listen and employs some serious musicianship. Colour Haze is bringing Germany back to the days of Amon Duul and Can, but they are upping the intensity with some thick and hazy guitars. The vocals are good but for the most part are pretty innocuous, coming off as another instrument more than a driving force. What does drive the music? The guitars of course. Complex and subtle and crashing all at the right moments, held together by steady drum work.

The self titled album is the previous album to Tempel and has the great songs Mountain, Tao Nr. 43 and the magnum opus of jamming psychedelia, Peace, Brothers and Sisters. At 20+ minutes, Peace.. never gets old or boring, unless youre not into masturbatory guitar theatrics, in which case, Colour Haze isnt for you. For fans of early Krautrock/ Psychedelia like Can or Amon Duul, and for fans of the current stoner rock craze and of course guitar greats like Page, Hendrix and Clapton, these works are essential listening.

The band has its own web page, which is designed to look like a pre amp and you can twiddle all the knobs and adust the colors of the page as you read about the bands history and their previous releases.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Warhorse - As Heaven Turns to Ash

Warhorse are Doom done right. They are thick, disgustingly heavy and drenched in all sort of druggery and sonic haze. Disasterously slow plodding rhythms, harsh (yet somehow tuneful) vocals, and all sorts of squiggly, creepy crawly guitar trickery. Not to mention the almighty Riff (Riff also deserves capitalization, not to be confused with the other capitalization which is destroying the world right now) Like all good Doom, Warhorse churns out some serious head nodders. Imagine if your speakers came to life and grew to immense size and started stomping all over your town, crushing cars and making people run for dear life, and then a race of aliens landed in their guitar shaped aircraft and started helping the giant speaker monster destroy poor little earth. Yeah, you'd have to be pretty high to imagine that. Thats what Warhorse makes you feel like. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fuckin' high. Haha!

One of the best Doom records I own...

Tides - Resurface

Tides are very similar to Neurosis, Isis, Pelican, Ocean, Mouth of the Architect and other countless bands that have shared the post-rock metal crown for sometime right now. The difference between the other countless bands and the bands listed above, including Tides, is they are riding coattails and the aformentioned bands have the skill and songwriting chops that are a necessity when dealing with such restrained and powerful music. So like I said, Tides are definitely good for fans of those bands. They have no vocals, but keep things very interesting by repeatedly lulling you into a dreamy trance only to punch you in the gut again and again...

Let me know what you think of this one..


Mammatus is swirling, fuzzy, acid dropping, psychedelic rock circa the 1970's. The songs (four total) are long and winding. The bass player plays like Al Cisneros from OM and Sleep so you can expect lots of dank, head nodding tunes. The guitars and vocals sound like Dinosaur Jr. on serious hallucinogens, jamming out to these hypnotic bass lines with steady and sturdy drum work to keep it all anchored somewhere this side of the universe. Somehow four songs never get boring as I find myself hitting repeat on this one quite often. The first track is pure JRR Tolkien meets his Doom (I always capitalize Doom, its a word that deserves capital letters) segueing nicely into a shire jam, The Outer Rim, induced by only the best of the shires weed. The last two tracks, Dragon of the Deep Part 1 and Part 2 are incredible jammers and couldve been the whole album if they stretched them out to 30 minutes each, wailing and weaving and arcing a path across the sky of god like guitaristry. The album artwork is amazing, the songs are amazing, so be prepared to be amazed.

One of the best releases of 2006.

As an interesting side note, Mammatus is a kind of cloud, that forms around or after tornadoes and other big storms. One look at these otherworldy clouds and you should have a good idea of what you are getting into.

Mammatus clouds

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Craw - Entire Discography

Someone anonymously left me a comment and left me a link to the Craw home page where it seems they are giving away all of their recorded material. They have all their albums and all the splits and live tracks they have. You have no idea how exciting this is. Craw is an aggresive band from Cleveland, Ohio who existed in the early 90's. Their album Map, Monitor, Surge was one of my favorite albums at the time, and I often wondered what happened to my copy. I finally purchased Lost Nation Road, and though I was happy, it is Map Monitor Surge and the first album that really blew me away. Thanks to band I have the ability to listen to all of them and Map, Monitor, Surge and the S/T are still amazing to this day.

The band is sick, twisted, primal, pounding, scathing, massive, and mathematical in their approach. The singer seems well read as the lyrics tread some esoteric categories such as Brownian Motion. All the lyrics are available through the site as well so you can see how good, and twisted all of them are. The singer sounds like Steve Albini from Big Black and Shellac. (Steve Albini also produced two of their albums) If you are fan of that or any heavy math rock like early Don Caballero or Rodan then you are off to a good start and will probably have no trouble getting into this. If you like hardcore or metal, or bands like early Isis and Tool then you should be an instant fan. The songs are complex, and heavy as a ton of bricks on the head. Having gotten into a lot of Doom Metal these days I have become very fond of thick distorted guitars and it seems Craw had been using and abusing amps with the same hellish abandon that many bands now do these days. There is really alot going on in these songs, including some jazzy passages, some with brass instruments, and plenty of tortured vocals and vast rhythmic crescendos, and plenty of prog like exploratory passages.

If you need a place to start, go with the aformentioned Map, Monitor, Surge or the self titled first record. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of the band.
And if you are feeling the philanthropy you can donate money to the band, who apparently are still together in some hibernating form.

Blogosphere Updates

Wine, Women, Song is back by popular demand! Oh Goodness Gracious.

The new design is pretty neat and is easy to use, and there is more Wine and Women for those who want it. And of course there is plenty of Song.

Welcome back _A_


Detectiefvanzwam has changed his blog host. He is part of Opera now and has renamed his new blog after his old blog: Open Your Arms And Welcome.

Same good guy, same good music.

So the two most sought after blogs are now back again. Make sure to stop by an say hello. Leave comments, as I am sure you will enjoy a quick chat with either of these guys as they know their stuff about music.

Updated links above in red, and links in the side bar.