Posts Tagged ‘Neurosis’

This week’s guest is none other than Kamala Parks! Fans of the Berkeley punk scene would no doubt be familiar with her work. Not only was she the drummer for bands like Kamala And The Karnivores, Cringer, Naked Aggression, The Gr’ups, etc. but she was also one of the key people in starting The Gilman Street Project; the iconic punk rock DIY venue that gave such bands as Green Day and The Offspring a place to play before they were launched into the mainstream in 1994. This inspiring interview has Kamala opening up about her involvement in the Berkeley punk scene from booking shows in her hometown to touring Europe – all before she was 20 years old. She tells of working with the likes of Green Day and The Offspring as well as the story behind the Screeching Weasel song, Kamala’s Too Nice. This interview is really something special. If this doesn’t make you want to get up and start making things happen, I don’t know what will. We all need a Kamala in our lives to show us that anything is possible. I hope you enjoy the show which you can listen to right now by clicking on THIS LINK. Don’t forget to subscribe by clicking on the link on the left.

Enjoy these bitchin’ tunes:
Cringer – Petrograd
Cringer – Pay To Play
Cringer – Rain
Cringer – Triangle Pt 2
The Love Songs – All Branches, No Trunk
The Pathogens – Johnny Hit & Run Jenny
Screeching Weasel – Kamala’s Too Nice
Citizen Fish – Next Big Thing
Kamala And The Karnivores – 29 Degrees
Heartless Folk – Coffin Nail
Subhumans – Supermarket Forces
Cringer – Signals

NOW GO BUY SOME RECORDS!

For more information, please visit 1986’D Music Industries.

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Sometime in the first quarter of 2012, Neurosis’ frontman, Scott Kelly, toured Australia for a handful of intimate acoustic shows with support from none other than John Baizley from Baroness and Blackie from The Hard-Ons. Before the show in Melbourne, I sat with Scott Kelly and chatted with him about all things Neurosis and other such delights. Having been a Neurosis fan since the release of Souls At Zero, this interview was long overdue. I had wanted to include Neurosis in an issue of Long Gone Loser for years so when the opportunity came up to interview one of the band’s driving forces, I immediately jumped up and found myself at the Corner Hotel armed with my iPhone and questions to conduct an interview that can now be ticked off the bucket list. Now on the lead-up to his return to our shores in November, I felt that this interview is a good taster to get you guys psyched for the shows that I am sure will be nothing short of phenomenal. (more…)

One time I was in Missing Link Records in Melbourne and was flicking through their Drone / Stoner Rock section and I discovered the band Kylesa. I immediately liked them cos they had awesome cover art. Yeah, I know, pretty lame but what can I say? I am into cool looking record covers. I had no idea what they were like musically, I just knew that they were awesome. The same can be said for a band like Pig Destroyer… they always have cool lookin’ record covers so you know you’re gonna dig it. And even if you hate grindcore, you still find yourself owning their albums. And why not?

I never did buy any Kylesa stuff though cos their records were always expensive here and I don’t like buying CDs so I was in a bind (yeah, I am one of THOSE guys… the ones who still buy vinyl). But then this turned up in my mail. I put on my heaps excited face and got into it straight away. Better sooner than later cos if I listened to it tomorrow, that’d be one day of missing out on it as we get closer to their show at the 2011 Soundwave Festival. I’ll be there, front row centre as Kylesa tear up the stage. Anyway, I got this album and have played it repeatedly and in doing so, I have come to this conclusion: If Neurosis had sex with High On Fire (I am talkng metaphorically), Kylesa would be the offspring (as in baby, not to be confused with the band, ok? You got to keep them seperated). Big call, and probably setting myself up for a barrage of hate mail but this is what I am hearing and you know what? That’s a heaps good compliment. If some dude who likes Danger Danger told me my band was similar to the likes of Neurosis and High On Fire, not onlywould I say they were wrong (cos we actually steal everything from Motorhead… just sayin’) but I’d still thank the dude for knowing good music and paying me a heaps wicked compliment (and then make him listen to Motorhead’s Another Perfect Day and check out the riffs in Shine and Rock It and then listen to our songs… actually, I am probably revealing too much there. We don’t sound like Motorhead at all. Yep.) Trust me on this one, if you are into the likes of Neurosis, High On Fire and hell, we’ll throw Torche in there as well, then you are gonna freakin’ love this. I am now on the hunt to find the older stuff on vinyl. I hope Relapse or Hydrahead re-issue them or something. Fingers crossed.

Spiral Shadow is experimental and atmospheric, yet full of riffs, pounding drums and interesting vocals. The song structures are huge and really intricate, yet not self-indulgent. A really talented bunch of songs have been served up here for you to endulge in. To be brutally honest, I was a bit hesitant to put this on cos, like, I mean, I had put this band on a pedalstool and praised them without even hearing a single note… what if they sucked? What if the awesome record covers didn’t match their sound? So many what if’s… But low and behold, luck was on my side and this band just dished up a complete winner. I was all over this album like the rash I heard my ex-girlfriend got from banging some stranger after we broke up (that’s karma!). This album stayed on repeat for ages and is still being played all the time. Like even now, it’s on and probably annoying my housemates who are no doubt fuckin’ sick of hearing it. And the cool thing is, when I listen to this in headphones on the way to work, I find I hear new things in the music all the time. It’s kinda like paranormal activity but audible. Crazy stuff! Ghosts n shit inside the music. Woooo! Scary!

So Kylesa, if you’re reading this (and I’m sure you are, cos, like, my blog is the most awesome blog on the net and everyone rushes to read its wisdom and insight on an hourly basis), you’ve done well. And for you fans, this album, I should let you know, has been released in a couple deluxe editions. First up is the vinyl edition: Pressed on 2 LPs at 45rpm and comes complete with a poster and a slipmat. Yeah, you know it! Hot! And for you CD digital fiends, it is available in your format too and comes complete with a bonus DVD that has the making of the album. I love watching those things and this is one I want to see (as it unfortunately did not come with this promo… yes, I have a sad face) because the songs are so bizarre and interesting that I’d be keen to see how it all came together.

This, my friends, is highly recommended listening. Yep. Now, if you’re in Australia, don’t forget to see them at the 2011 Soundwave Festival. It’s gonna be pretty awesome.

Those in Australia can order it through Riot! Distribution.
Overseas peeps can order it through Relapse in many different formats and packages.

Season of Mist website is here.
Kylesa’s website is here.

DANKO JONES – “Below The Belt” (Bad Taste)
How good is this dude? I mean, really? Oh, if you live in any country that isn’t either in Scandinavia or Europe, you probably have no idea who Danko Jones is and that’s a shame. Mr Jones seems to play primarily in those regions these days… kinda like how Manowar don’t play in the USA or any other country where English is a first language. The mind boggles… I am not sure why DJ isn’t one of the biggest names in rock. He has it all; the songs, the style, the live show… it’s a great combination. Maybe it’s cos he’s Canadian cos nobody really knows who Devin Townsend is either these days.

I remember when Danko Jones toured Australia on the ‘We Sweat Blood’ tour. My band, Muscle Car, got to open for them. There were around 30 people there. Serious! A measly 30 payers! Granted it was a Wednesday night and it was in Adelaide, but still, I knew right then it was going to be one of those gigs that people would talk about and people who didn’t go will say the usual “Yeah, I should have gone to that… I dunno why I didn’t” Um, cos you have no fuckin’ taste? Yeah, exactly! ANYWAY, I remember watching the show and being completely blown away. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. For a trio, the power coming from the stage was just over the top. It just sounded unlike any other band playing live at the time, and to this day, Danko still sounds like Danko. He’s one of those artists that keep on releasing quality albums, one after the other. It’s like the dude just knows how to write a good tune.

‘Below The Belt’ kicks off with a quality balltearer titled “I Think Bad Thoughts”; a lyrically awesome track of guts and glory. I have felt and thought the same things. It’s good stuff. “Tonight Is Fine” brought back shades of KISS for me which is cool cos at least Danko’s albums aren’t filled with filler and his lyrics are 1000x better than Gene’s will ever be. Really, the dude’s a lyrical genius. I used to think he hated women but further investigation had me realize he doesn’t hate them all, he worships them; just not those lying, cheating bitches who like to fuck up people’s heads and cause bullshit. But I could be wrong. This is just speculation, after all.

There’s a song called “I Can’t Handle Moderation” which I found amusing as I have always believed Danko to be straight-edge. When we did that show with him, we never saw him indulge in anything except awesomeness. He stayed calm and collected and most quiet after the show while everyone else was in party mode. I think my favourite tune on this album is “Full Of Regret”; I love that use of the cowbell. I’m a sucker for good percussion, plus, the song kicks serious amounts of ass.

I gotta hand it to him, Danko Jones is one talented guy and ‘Below The Belt’ is another fine edition to his catalogue of cool. If you’re a fan of rock, no, I would go as far as to say that if you are even a fan of music, you are already diggin’ his shit, am I correct? If you answered ‘no’ then you seriously need to re-evaluate your loyalty to the rock!

Side note: I wonder why he has never recorded the song ‘Mountain’ on any of his albums. If you don’t know the song, here’s a YouTube video. He played this at the show in Adelaide and I remember my drummer’s girlfriend freaking out when he started hitting himself. Good times!

KLONE – “Black Days” (Season of Mist)
Whenever I see a band line-up and a dude is credited as to playing “atmospheric guitar” I know I’m gonna be subjected to a bunch of arty wank. Well, I had never heard Klone before (that’s a terrible band name although I am thinking Klone probably means something weird and wacky in their native tongue… which is French. Trop bien!) but I read the back of the promo disc and immediately saw in capital letters the word TOOL. Now, I am by no means a TOOL fan so I was getting’ kinda worried. What was I getting myself into here? Still, I had to have an open mind so the disc was played with open ears.

Some describe this band as prog-rock, others call them a stoner rock band, and well, to me they’re kinda both but I also hear a lot of 90’s grunge in there too. A weird mixture of Neurosis meets Pearl Jam cross genre heavy music. I like Neurosis but never got Pearl Jam. I know, I was one of those guys. I did like Green River though and Mother Love Bone were heaps awesome, and of course, Mudhoney were the cream of the crop, but I digress… this is about Klone! These guys started in 1999 and I had no idea they existed until today when this appeared for review. I’m glad it showed up too cos it was good to hear something so different to the blasts of grindcore I was also sent (which you can read about following this review).

For me, this album was a bit long to sit through. Yes, I know it’s a bit double standard of me to say such a thing after praising Watain for their 80 minute long opus “Endless Lawless” but you gotta understand, they’re heaps evil and might stab in the neck with an inverted cross. I would have preferred more of an EP cos this album’s 54 minutes long and you gotta keep in mind that I think Screeching Weasel’s “My Brain Hurts” is one of the most perfectly crafted albums of all time with it’s fitting nicely on to one side of a 60 minute tape. Still though, I toughened up and sat through all 54 minutes of it. I found that some of the songs just dragged on a bit. Like they mean well and they have the right ideas but I guess you need to be in the right mood to enjoy Klone at their best… or a hippie stoner (of which I’m not).

I was quite impressed though with what they did with the Bjork cover, “Army of Me”. Even though I went to University and studied an arts degree, I am not a fan of Bjork’s music at all but I do think she’s an interesting character and her music videos are always unique and something outside of the standard music video formula. This cover by Klone made me want to check out the original just so I could see how different it sounds. I like it when that happens cos it gets me listening to other bands and I may end up liking it (although this is Bjork and I doubt I’ll be rockin’ away to the Icelandic princess anytime soon).

This Klone album was alright. It wasn’t a smashing success but it will get a bunch more plays around the office, albeit in parts. I think fans of grunge and stoner rock will really enjoy this one.

LENG TCH’E – “Hypomanic” (Season Of Mist)
I always know I am in for a big night when a Season of Mist release winds up on the desk and this one comes from grind kings, Leng Tch’e. You see, when I was in highschool, there was this dude named Stuart and he had a holiday in the UK and came back with this video that had this TV program hosted by Elvira that was about the history of metal. The buxom beauty sat on her couch and told us random facts about the metal bands she played. The highlight for me was a double header segment on Slayer and Napalm Death. Especially the Napalm Death segment. This was the real deal line-up of ND. The one that I believe was the best one; Lee Dorian, Bill Steer, Mick Harris and Shane Embury. Keep in mind that I haven’t ever seen ND live (this will soon change though come September), but the line-up has changed so much that I am sure it isn’t at all like what is seen in this video. It’s brutal. They’re all so young and they only play songs from “Scum” and “From Enslavement to Obliteration”. The real brutal stuff! ANYWAY, my point of this is that there’s this dude down the front trying to light a cigarette on the monitors and this proves unsuccessful but he doesn’t care and starts headbanging anyway with the unlit cigarette in his mouth. Oh and I should point out that there is usually more people on stage than in the crowd while ND pound out songs like “The Kill” and “Control”. So why all this Napalm Death malarkey? Well, that is how I discovered grindcore. All thanks to that video tape.

Leng Tch’e I am sure listen to tons of ND. Probably not so much the “Scum” record but no doubt the “Massappeal Madness”-era. And I am guessing Pig Destroyer are one of their favourite bands too. But hey, who doesn’t list Pig Destroyer as one of their favourite bands? I mean, isn’t that the given thing? Like, you go to a bar and you see a nice lady having after work drinks with her friends so you strut up to her and say “Why hello there… I saw you from across the room and was wondering if you’d like to come back to my house and listen to some Pig Destroyer?” I am sure it works everytime. That’s like heaps sexy. Well, my friends, now you can use the new Leng Tch’e to add to your pick-up lines and draw the ladies in. This stuff will hook ‘em by the truckloads. Not that I have tried it or anything but I’m sure it works. How could a girl resist the chance of a night at your house while “Death’s Head Cockroach” blasts through the speakers at breakneck speeds? Or what about the soothing sounds of “Refined Torture”. Sure, they’re clichéd song titles for a grind band but if it’s fine for Manowar to use hammer or steel in every song title then it’s ok for Leng Tch’e to crank out happy numbers like “Anthropocentric Suicide” or “Corrosive Rotgut”. The latter has me just itching to say to someone “you’re a rotgut!”

Leng Tch’e are one of those bands that you either love or hate. There’s no sitting on the fence with this one so don’t bother trying. It’s grindcore metal; fast as fuck, full of riffs, and indecipherable lyrics. Yep, you love it.

SEVERE TORTURE – “Slaughtered” (Season Of Mist)
This album was heaps funny. It was grindcore death metal from some Dutch dudes. Very well produced / recorded with a big beefy slick sound n stuff. I totally don’t listen to this type of music unless I am sent it to review so sometimes sitting through an album like this is a hard task for me. This was one of those times. I am a big fan of harmonies and melodies (of which this album has none) so when I just hear a bunch of fast riffage and lots of gruffy vocals that I can’t make out a single word from, I do kinda get bored and just phase out. I know, totally not cool of me and I should be paying attention if I am writing a review but I can’t help it. I’m a fan of Cheap Trick and Redd Kross, not Severe Torture. I ain’t saying this band is terrible or anything, it’s just not doing it for me. I need more variety in my grindcore; especially if I am expected to sit through a song that goes for 4 and a half minutes. That’s a real chore for me. My attention span is too short and I usually find myself shopping on eBay for Motley Crue action figures or a new skateboard deck. It’s a bit like that Leng Tch’e album, only not as good for some reason. The drummer plays like a motherfucker though. So fast and his blast beats are out of control. I wish I could steal him for my band. I am sure live this band would be pretty good. I like seeing grindcore live cos the sheer power of it is something to witness. As for this album? Well, I made it about half way and needed a break from it; just after the guitar solo in the album’s title track (which I might add was about the most melodic thing on the whole album).

All of these albums can be purchased from Riot! Entertainment.