Dunes EP 2 – REVIEW

Dunes EP 2

Review by Neil Ainger

Dunes released their first EP only last year. Short and packed full of energy, the release showcased the Newcastle trios brand of compact and infectious desert rock. The grainy guitar tones and thunderous drumming, as well as a keen sense of melody, are somewhat reminiscent of large parts of the Queens of the Stone Age catalogue.

Not even 12 months later and the band are back, offering their latest release and second EP. The new release offers much of the same as far as style goes. Still compact, EP2 boasts another 5 tracks that walk the line between desert and stoner rock while expanding on what came before it.

While describing the guitar tone as grainy was no insult, the new material bites that bit harder and with a little more clarity. The result is a release that continues the knack for writing contagious choruses while packing a more explosive punch.

Opening track Everything is OK is a ray of light. Upbeat and defiantly positive, it encompasses the bands approach to easily-digested and irresistible hooks with a pop sensibility, laced with biting stoner riffs. There’s even a rather superb use of hand-clapping.

Seapig is probably the most melodious track on the record, with a tuneful chorus and subtle vocal harmonies before the band break it down into a groove and perhaps their meanest riff to date. There is more groove to be found on Simian Circus along with a furious, machine-gun-like bass and Black Bridge is textbook, brooding, Kyuss-style desert rock.

Bringing the record to a close with the pacy, psychedelic outro to Illegitimate Hulk I’m left to conclude that while the latest EP is very much a continuation of the first, it’s the result of a band growing in ability and fine-tuning their craft, in capturing the energy of their live performances on record and in showcasing their strengths in the studio. EP2 suggests that when the time comes for a debut full length, the strides forward taken here should help to ensure that it is as good as it can be and personally I can’t wait to hear it.

Dunes EP 2 is out now available on CD and download here

 

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GEOMANCER – Khatt Al-Raml – ALBUM REVIEW

Geomancer – Khatt Al-Raml

Review by Neil Ainger

With an abrasive wall of shrieking feedback, which soon settles comfortably into the slow gloom of the riffing, you could be forgiven for thinking, even 30 seconds in, that you understand Geomancer. It would come as little shock at this point to learn that Geomancer play a brand of crawling, dreary doom.

In fact the opening, self-titled track Geomancer continues to crawl until it reaches almost an absolute halt before defiantly bursting into life once more, the pace quickened and more urgent, even the teasing of something resembling an unexpected guitar solo before the track is pulled back around to where it began. A fleeting moment of colour in an otherwise cheerless opening 10 minutes that comes full circle with the reintroduction of the same gloomy riff and feedback bringing it to a sharp end.

Geomancer - Khatt Al-Raml review

Second track Grief initially offers no respite. The deep, guttural growls are bleak and the pace tired. For the first few minutes the track, and therefore the album, barely has a pulse. Much like in the opener however, the track erupts. The riffing is sharp and precise with only a hint of fuzz and breathes life deep into its failing lungs, but where the track turns next is what perhaps will help to set this album apart from some of Geomancers peers this year – continuing to speed until the only way to go is down, the descent is not in to its dreary beginnings but in to glittering light as the remainder of the track is bathed in a gentler post-rock glow.

Clocking in at a little under 4 and a half minutes, Visions is the only sub 10-minute track on the album. Simplistic and minimalist, the band wind the album down into a much more subtle and reserved psychedelic haze, like the calm before a storm. A storm entitled Greed.

Greed begins with the most aggressive few minutes on the record. There is more assertion and vigour in the vocals than at any other point in the just over 50-minute journey of Khatt Al-Raml.

The riffs are at their most compact and arguably most focused and where this album really shines are in the instrumental passages of this track as well as the albums closing track Sacrifice.

The aggression at the outset of Greed is soon washed away in a hazy and fuzzy whirlwind of heavy psychedelia and feedback and the more subdued tone is only continued in to the opening moments of Sacrifice, with a slow and hypnotic beginning of precise post-rock, eventually interrupted by the marching beat of the drums and the most evil sounding riffs on the record. For a record with many peaks and troughs and several different influences pulling it in multiple different directions, it is, at its core, a slow, sludgy, gloomy doom record and comes to an end in the only way it can. Not in a blaze of glory, but in a whimper of a fade out.

The Geordie doom trio does not exactly shatter genre limitations entirely nor provide the most diversified and complex record you are likely to ever hear, but they do refuse to be labelled easily or at least accurately without doing them something of a disservice. Plenty of fans of stoner rock, post-rock, doom and sludge will find more than enough to hold their interest here and if we can put genres and labels to one side for a moment, hopefully most of them will be able to agree on one thing, and that is that with a debut album such as this, Geomancer may just be a band worthy of paying close attention to in the coming months and years.

Tracklisting and credits;

  1. Geomancer
  2. Grief
  3. Visions
  4. Greed
  5. Sacrifice

Rich Cartey – vocals, guitar
Calum Piercy – bass
Ruben Guastapaglia – drums

Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Tom Goodall, Mirrorman Recordings, at CHUNK, Leeds, UK
Mastered by Matt Deamer, Glide Studio
Artwork by Thee Ruiner

Download available now geomancer.bandcamp.com/releases

Physical copies available soon via invertedgrim-millrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/khatt-al-raml

IDLES – Brutalism – ALBUM REVIEW

IDLES – BRUTALISM album review

I’ve been watching these with keen interest, the hype machine is in high gear and for once it’s bang on the money.

Bristol based lads offer a refreshing blend of aggressive, melodic punk, bordering on shambolic at times, the working class southern drawl with some clever and often humorous lyrical content. Which makes a soundtrack to a Tory abused Brexit blighted Britain.

Quite frankly it’s the most exciting album I’ve heard since Blacklisters a few years ago. I’ve just blasted through their debut album and I’m about to begin my second play. Which no doubt will lead to a third play!

There’s a lot of easy comparisons in their sound (which I won’t make) the sum of it’s parts is equal something far greater and deserves to be recognised as such.

When Frank Carter went all Arctic Monkeys-esque here’s a band for us that can’t stomach the sickly sweet dredge, but still want that raw energy and passion. IDLES  arrived with a fat slab of hooky punk rock for a broken Britain. Politics and social issues often inspire great music. 2017 go see Idles on tour and find out why.

Touring tons including Newcastle…

March 2017

Monday 6th – Cambridge – Portland Arms
Wednesday 8th – Bristol – The Fleece
Thursday 9th – Colchester – Arts Centre
Friday 10th – London – Moth Club
Sunday 12th – Southampton – The Notes Café
Tuesday 14th – Birmingham – The Hare And Hounds
Wednesday 15th – Guildford – Boileroom
Thursday 16th – Brighton – The Prince Albert
Friday 17th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum
Saturday 18th – Bedford – Esquires
Monday 20th – Oxford – The Bullingdon
Tuesday 21st – Sheffield – The Plug
Wednesday 22nd – Newcastle Upon Tyne – Think Tank
Thursday 23rd – Aberdeen – Tunnels
Friday 24th – Dundee – Buskers
Saturday 25th – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s
Monday 27th – York – The Crescent
Tuesday 28th – Hull – The Adelphi
Wednesday 29th – Nottingham – The Bodega
Thursday 30th – Liverpool – O2 Academy 2
Friday 31st – Wakefield – Unity Hall

April 2017

Monday 3rd – Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill
Tuesday 4th – Preston – Guildhall
Wednesday 5th – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach

LITE – Cubic – ALBUM REVIEW

It’s rare when I have time to sit down, indulge myself in an album and attempt to make sense of it in word format. I just had to make the space in my schedule for this album.

As an added bonus, it’s great to stumble across a band I’d seen years ago at ArcTanGent Festival and I’d neglected to follow up and buy their albums. I blame the hazy party destroyed memory. So I am extra excited to re-discover LITE and their rich back catalogue to plunder and binge. But, I’ll restrict myself to just the new LP for now!

Lite Cubic

Anyway, I digress. LITE are a seasoned prog/tech/whizkid/instrumental band from Tokyo. As I type this, I’m on to my 5th or 6th play of the album. Each play reveals more subtle melodies, noises, blips, bobs, ufos, synths and more, layered in there for the listener to locate. It’s a record that you need to listen in stereo (who doesn’t these days?!), but stereo with the speakers placed as far apart as you can. Plonk yourself down in-between, turn the sound up, and just listen to that guitar interplay. Stunning. ‘Warp’ is a great example of this. I’m so fascinated by the compositions that it took me a few listens to even realise there are vocals on this song.

‘Square’ brings the Battles vibes, albeit without the comedy effects and samples. Recorded by none other than Keith Souza. Who captures a lush full sound, which is often missing from ‘cleaner tone’ band recordings. There’s a depth there, something that’s not quite tangible. Production-wise this is a heroic effort.  Souza along with Heba Kadry (who mastered it) nailed this one down.

‘Angled’ pops on, proving a highlight for me with it’s simple jarring hook. Perfect timing, after 5 songs the album still evolving, I want to know where this album will go next.

‘D’ is a ludicrous song. How do I describe it? Reggae, funk dance party jam and damn good fun! See for yourself.

Just when you thinking ‘they can’t top that’,  along comes ‘Prism’. Just perfection.

The album ends on ‘Zero’. This one frustrates me a little. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the album. Or at least it doesn’t feel like the right finale. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like the track? Maybe. It’s a short album at 37 minutes, but it does feel like the correct length. Ditch the vocal and it’s actually pretty good track. 2016 the year of the instrumental. Most of my albums of the year will be sans vocals. ‘Cubic’ may nudge it’s way into the top 10.

‘Cubic’ is an eclectic mix of intriguing,  robust, , snared and drawn in, lose technical precision. Seemingly effortless playing that can only come from serious dedication to touring and practising. 14 years together, I think they may have delivered their finest work to date.

‘Cubic’ is out on Topshelf Records 16th November 2016.

Revenge of the Psychotronic Man – Colossal Velocity – ALBUM REVIEW

Revenge of the Psychotronic Man – Colossal Velocity

I’ve not reviewed anything in a while, mainly as there’s been nothing that ‘floats my boat’ as they say. Every now and again something pops up that I can engage with. This one is filed under crank the f**k up. A good healthy dose of proper punk. How could I resist?

To keep it interesting (for me only, I suspect!) I am going to write this review as I take my second listen to it. That gives me 22 minutes to try and communicate why this album is class.

Manchester based three piece have been around for over a decade and have their craft nailed down tight. On their upcoming release ‘Colossal Velocity’ they flex their musical muscles.

Revenge of the Psychotronic Man - Colossal Velocity

Seventeen compact songs hurtle by in just over 22 minutes. ‘To Be Frank’ opens the album and entices a mad grin upon my face.

Album teaser

‘Small Minded NIMBY Prick’ is a thrashing shout along! Losing my shit to this track.

‘The Establishment’ is evidence that RPM are much more than the average a four chord punk act, some cracking compositional work, which goes beyond the punk boundaries with a nod at rock ‘n’ roll.

Barnstormer ‘I Am Absolutely Fuming’ gives a modern take on the current social media rants that have become common place. In 2016 everyone has an opinion and a platform to share their views. At least that’s my take on this track, have a listen for yourself below.

Further displays of their musical versatility on the delightfully titled ‘I Wanna Be A Spaceman’.

The production is light and compressed, I’d love to hear a bit more bottom end in the mix. That said, I think this will sound terrific on vinyl, surely far superior to the MP3 version I have.

The musicianship is absolute class throughout the record. It makes me want to see the band live, that energy and precision is bloody great. Thankfully they’ll be playing Gateshead next month, 30th July at the Black Bull, where I’m sure they’ll go down a storm.

20 minutes in to my second play and my time is nearly up! To sum up the record; ‘Colossal Velocity’ is a relentless barrage of masterful punk, fucking brilliant! Very refreshing to here this proper hardcore/thrash punk in a sea of pitiful bland pop punk dross. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how it should be!

I’m going back in for a few more listens, I need to get my head around the lyrics, interesting themes and social commentary that I’d like to explore and try to digest. Punk rock for 2016. Modern, thrashy, intense and bloody refreshing.

Out on TNSrecords soon. Have a punt, you won’t regret it! ‘Share if you agree’

Pre-orders up on Bandcamp now

JuJu (self titled album) – REVIEW

Review by Graeme J. Baty

A new act called JuJu popped up on my radar, 2016 seems to be experiencing a healthy/welcome resurgence for prog/Krautrock type music. I tentatively listened, unsure what I was in store for but found myself drawn in. Pleasantly catchy and soothing with a solid beat. This is interesting I thought. Intrigued by what I’d heard, I sat myself down in front of the hifi, turned the volume up and popped their self titled debut on.

The band name doesn’t really give a hint at what is to come, the album cover is rather captivating and it enticed me to give them a play. Their sound delightfully defies pigeonholing. There’s likely to be some comparisons to Broken Social Scene, Can, Sonic Jesus, flecks of later period Mercury Rev and even some British Sea Power. It’s a fair mixing pot of styles, the sound really does take on it’s own persona.

juju

They’re a band comprising of other musical projects (Herself and Lay Llamas). It’s a concept album of sorts, the blurb which accompanies the album states “Through the music, JuJu tells the legend of a continuing exodus from Africa that more often than not ends in ignored tragedies at sea, ‘a total defeat for humanity’.” Forming a soundtrack to a deep meaningful story of crisis. Musically the album captivates me, but I wish I could find out more about the stories behind the songs.

Samael‘ opens the album with an infectious fuzz groove, proving to be a highlight of the album, a very wise choice for a debut single. ‘We Spit On Yer Grave‘ changes the pace with a soft piano repetition, it lulls you in as it grows and grows, catchy as hell. It possesses a lovely Broken Social Scene-esque dance vibe. This is great!! Three songs in and ‘Stars and Sea‘ is where I’m really hooked, lovely acoustic based song. The mood is slowed for next track ‘Dance with the Fish’ . It’s a lush instrumental piece reminiscent of Mercury Rev, which winds down the 1st half of the record perfectly. ‘Sunrise Ocean‘ is a long exponentially growing looping hook that sucks you in as it evolves in front of you. ‘Lost‘ is the penultimate track, scattershot rhythms and marvellous entwining riffs.

The last track ‘Bring ’em War‘ feels somewhat out of place, with it’s sea shanty time signature it fits the theme but it is a bit of an anticlimax. It just doesn’t seem to click for me and at eight minutes it’s a slight chore. I’ve listened to the record four or five times now and each time I keep getting the urge to skip this one. However I do think this track will go down very well in a live setting. Here it feels a little out of place, the square peg in a round hole. That said I’d love to see this whole album performed live.

The word ‘delightful’ keeps popping in my head as I listen and write this. I think that is the perfect way to summarise this record. Delightful.

Their debut is due out 6th May 2016 via Sunrise Ocean Bender Records.

DEXTRO – In the crossing – REVIEW

Review by Graeme J. Baty

I stumbled on Dextro via a recommendation from a fellow music enthusiast. Curious to find out more I headed to their website and paid a humble fee of £4 to buy the download. Worth a punt I thought, comparatively what else can you get for £4 these days? A pint, a sandwich, a posh coffee with all the sickly trimmings? It’s a tiny amount and I happily invested in this album.

Dextro is a Scottish instrumental solo project, weaving a magical and immersing musical experience. I am late ‘to the show’ as they say, this being Dextro’s third LP. But better late than never. After about 4 songs into my first play of the album I was completely engrossed. I even uttered the words ‘this is f**king awesome!’ out loud. Since then I’ve spent a fair bit of time dissecting and living with the music. Here’s what I made of it…

‘Evacuate’ opens with a phasing synth riff that Shitwife would be proud of, which left me unsure as to where this musical journey will go. It’s a pleasant almost ‘dance’ like track. The synths make way for a soothing bass repetition, which is where it really locks in. The opening track feels like a bit of a curveball, the rest of the album is less ‘upbeat’ for want of a better word. This is not my usual cup of tea (although many will know of my love of instrumental and post rock) but this music transcends genre pigeonholing and I am eager to soldier on.

‘Amor fati’ is a mellow piano theme with drone. Winding it’s way into a delicious guitar arpeggio. This is where the album becomes much more intriguing than I had initially anticipated.

Three tracks in and ‘Break off’ hugely raises the bar, at this point I’m utterly hooked. With it’s jarring pulsating tones. It’s a standout track on the record for me. Stunning.

The pace changes again for next song ‘Clearing’. Soothing piano tones lull me into a mellow mood.  Gorgeous and organic sounding reverb.

‘Silent’ with its sweeping synths opens side B. It feels like a deep breath before the plunge into the second half. It also has the albums only hint of vocals. ‘The passage’ has a great striding beat lifting the tone away from the previous sombre tracks.

‘Sum poly’ was the track that enticed me to buy the album in the first place. Winding, looping, lush guitar motif. It clicked instantly when I initially heard it.

I am growing weary that the end of the record is coming. Time seems irrelevant at this point, I don’t want the music to stop. ‘Occupy’ closes the album with a beautiful piano motif, which rumbles and fades to the end.

I immediately put it on again. The length feels right at 42 minutes, not too long and not too short, however I do want more!

The songs are sonically well paced, and placed in an an order that traps you, you aren’t going anywhere until you’ve heard every last note on the record.

I’m glad I obtained a physical copy too, the artwork plays a big part of the vibe. It’s a musical journey which the album cover acts as a metaphor. The winding road through huge soundscapes in a barren but starkly beautiful landscape. As a photographer by trade, it’s music I can really visualise. It is begging to be made into a short feature or even a movie soundtrack.

Everything feels and sounds well thought out, planned and perfectly executed. I just want to disappear into a world of my own, in the middle of nowhere and play this as my soundtrack to a nomadic life. It really does feel like you’ve been on a journey listening to this album. A calm isolated journey of reflection and self analysing.

Equally it works in a busy world (I’m writing this staring out of a window in rainy Newcastle). I can vision myself sitting back and watching the modern world buzz past like flies while I indulge purely in the music. This is truly visionary music. I wonder if that’s why it appeals to me so much? Music is after all an escape from the day to day dredge of 9 to 5. Like a warm blanket on a bleak winters day. There is comfort to be found. Turn it up and tune out from the day to day bullshit of life.

There are a whole host of amazing artists around Scotland at the moment (and throughout the years) I anticipate Dextro will gain a lot of respect among his peers, this is a truly remarkable body of work. His talent on display is enviable. A quick chat with Ewan via email revealed a modest and enthusiastic character. 

I adore this album and I hope my ramblings inspire a few people to listen. Although it’s only just turned March, I am positive this will be one of my albums of the year, and I’ll be listening for years to come. A masterpiece. My next move is purchasing and devouring his back catalogue.

Shitwife – Big Lad – REVIEW

This instrumental duo from London are signed to Durham based label Sapien Records (also home to one of my all time fave bands We Are Knuckle Dragger). They came highly recommended to me by a trusted source and of course the name Shitwife grabbed my attention! Who am I to argue, let’s give this album a whirl.

Shitwife - big lad album review

Atari Teenage Riot, Apex Twin, Tooms and Venetian Snares comparisons are to be expected, and maybe some mid period Prodigy here and there. Think of Warm Digits if they were more out there. As a result, it has quite a crossover feel and will appeal to fans of different genres. I for one don’t normally go for this type of stuff but it is bloody brilliant and quite individual sounding. I must admit I am impressed!

The album kicks off it’s relentless energy with the appropriately named ‘High Octane Party Banger’, which is also the first single from Big Lad. The duo setup stall with a good hard kick in the head for the listener.

First thing I notice, and truly adore is the percussion, it is phenomenal. Lovely organic drum sounds. That is what sets them apart from counterparts, for me personally nothing beats the sound of real drums.

‘Clammy Little Hands’ slows things down a notch with an 8-bit Gameboy simple theme.

‘Die Hard 4 Point 0’ has a stabbing one note riff which feels like a Will Haven track, but then meanders into a slow paced jazz like groove. Certainly a highlight of the record.

At nine songs long it feels about right; not too long and not too short. Any longer and I think the listener would begin to lose interest. A short, sharp, punk-rock style delivery.

Their sound conjures up visions of an industrial Blade Runner landscape in my mind. Just close your eyes and go with it.

‘More Goose Than Maverick’ signs off the album in style like some crazy car chase movie scene soundtrack.

I often hear bands and think to myself that John Peel would love these. Which is sad in a way, as no one has or likely ever will come close to his level of commitment and willingness to give bands such as this the airtime. Anyway I digress…

You have to be in the right mood for this type of music, but when you are it is amazing. I tried using it as a wake up call after a long shift and little sleep. It worked I must say! Play it loud. An utterly intense experience.

Fascinating sounds. Though I think, perhaps it would benefit from a bit more bass in the mix.

 

Teenage Time Killers – Greatest Hits Volume 1 – REVIEW

Greatest Hits Volume 1 – Teenage Time Killers

Review by Graeme J. Baty

The word ‘supergroup’ is usually met with a disdain, thanks to a slew of self-indulgent drivel that often results from such projects. This is a Probot-esque project with some rather big names involved. Delivering a range of heavy styles; classic trash metal, punk-rock, with lots of interesting detours along the way.

teenage time killers

The album was conceived and co-produced by Reed Mullin, Mick Murphy & John “Lou” Lousteau. Mick played guitar on all tracks (except Barrio + Son of an Immigrant) which he played bass on and Reed Mullin played drums on all tracks except Big Money, Exploder + Teenage Time Killers. Despite that,  I suspect Mr Dave Grohl will hijack the limelight. It seems he can do no wrong in the eyes of fans and the media. So will this project continue the trend? Here he plays bass on many of the songs.

Let’s see where this 20 track dose of metal takes me. Yes that’s right 20 songs, this is a full on double dose of rock, so many songs it really feels like a binge but what the hell, if I could assemble a supergroup I’d want all my heroes to play on it!

The press were only sent this at the very last moment so as time is super limited I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to my review. I’ll take this track by track and feedback my gut instinct. One hour to write and listen to this, so this is probably the worst review I’ll ever write. But who cares, let’s rock!

“Exploder”

Vocals, Reed Mullin. Pat Hoed (Bass), London May (Drums)

A punk-rock stomper with singalong chants gets the album off to an explosive start! Instantly impressed. This could be a corker of a record. Mullin’s vocals are quite impressive.

“Crowned by the Light of the Sun”

Vocals, Neil Fallon, Jim Rota (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

Slowing the pace down a bit with some big fat slow riffage. Following the tried and tested grunge template. Almost sounds like Soundgarden with Ozzy on vocals. Pleasant.

“Hung Out to Dry”

Vocals, Randy Blythe, Mike Schaefer (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

Primus meets Lamb of God! Delivering an impressive rap, if that’s the correct term. Something I haven’t heard Blythe do before. My favourite track so far. This is ace but too short! 3 songs in and this is already shaping up to be an awesome album.

“Power Outage”

Vocals, Clifford Dinsmore, Dave Grohl (Bass)

Slowing things right down with some old school metal, this track takes a bit of time to get going in the punk rock style you’d expect from Dinsmore. Seems to fall a little flat this one for me, just no magic. NEXT!

“Ode to Hannity”

Vocals, Jello Biafra, Mike Dean (Bass)

Long soundblurb intro. ‘Blah blah blah!’ croaks in the intro and takes us nicely into a super short and super fun song from ex Dead Kennedys main man, gets the party back on track.

“Barrio”

Vocals, Matt Skiba, Brian Baker (Guitar)

Pop punk yawn alert! This guy is now in Blink 182, so I’m told. Good for a bit of variation in the album but pop punk is not for me. Sounding like a super tame The Bronx, I’d rather listen to the Bronx to be honest. NEXT!

“The Dead Hand”

Vocals, Reed Mullin, Woody Weatherman (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

Ooh now here’s a riff. Chugga chugga! This is pretty much what you’d expect from Corrosion of Conformity fans will enjoy this one.

“Egobomb”

Vocals, Corey Taylor, Dave Grohl (Bass)

I’m a bit disappointed in this song if I’m honest. Fans of Stone Sour will lap up the metal-core style vocals. Personally I was hoping for a Slipknot style rampage. Oh well still a mighty fine track. The chorus has a slightly annoying repetition which sounds like the needle is stuck.

“Plank Walk”

Vocals, Pete Stahl, Greg Anderson (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

Mr Growl used to play in Pete Stahl’s old band you know. Delivering vocals in a melodic punk style that hints at Iron Maiden at points. Fun song but it feels a little unfinished and rushed.

“Time to Die”

Vocals, Mike IX Williams; Greg Anderson (Guitar)

NOLA legend Eyehategod front man brings another angle to this party. Hardcore punk this is great!

“Days of Degradation”

Vocals, Tommy Victor, Dave Grohl (Bass)

Ahhhh Prong! What a great band and this sounds exactly like what you’d expect, erm like Prong.

“Clawhoof”

Vocals, Tairrie B. Murphy, Dave Grohl (Bass)

There’s a name I recognise, Tairrie asked me to photo one of her shows last year, small world! She’s a great vocalist, a Brody Dalle type growl but with a more ferocious heavy metal slant.

“Big Money”

Vocals, Lee Ving. Pat Smear (Guitar & Bass), London May (Drums)

Crazy noise intro. Pat Smear’s name instantly makes me hope for Germs style punk. YES! Add Ving’s vocals and this is one epic punk song, very catchy.

“Devil in this House”

Vocals, Karl Agell, Dave Grohl (Bass)

Uh oh cheeseball metal time. I’m not familiar with Agell’s work, although he was in CoC for a time. Sounds like fairly generic heavy trash to me. Nothing too interesting.

“Say Goodnight to the Acolyte”

Vocals, Phil Rind, Jason Browning (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

Is this a carbon copy of the previous track? Cool guitar riff helps to redeem it!

“Ignorant People”

Vocals, Tony Foresta, Greg Anderson (Guitar), Nick Oliveri (Bass)

Interesting lineup on this, Municipal Waste frontman and the notorious Oliveri providing a solid groove. Out there hardcore punk. Superb. Another highlight of the record.

“Son of an Immigrant”

Vocals, Johnny Weber, Brian Baker (Guitar)

Punk-rock time! Catchy little number, reminds me of underrated LA punk legends The Generators.

“Your Empty Soul”

Vocals, Aaron Beam

Oooooo time to slow things down. Stoner doom-metal territory. This is great, makes me want to go dig out some old Red Fang albums!

“Bleeding to Death”

Vocals, Vic Bondi, Dave Grohl (Bass)

Motorhead meets punk. This is pleasant. I’m not familiar with Bondi but I think I may come back and dig through some of his other work.

“Teenage Time Killer”

Vocals, Trenton Rogers

Greg Anderson (Guitar), Pat Hoed (Bass)

Oooooo a rather cool harmonized effect on the guitar intro, which smoothly makes way for a singalong verse.

And that’s it. It’s all over before you realise. Compact. Kickass and educational. 20 songs, it doesn’t feel like it, certainly not a chore to blast through these. Simply unadulterated rock fun. There is something on here for everyone, and I’m sure many will love some songs whilst hating others.

I think there’s a few artists on here I’ve overlooked or neglected and that’s the charm of projects like these, they can introduce you to some things you never even knew existed. Wish I had long hair to bang. Damn. I’m putting this album on again \m/