Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Store Update - 7/8

The below new arrivals have been posted!
 

Store Link: http://waxdelidistro.storenvy.com

New Arrivals:

Ancestors - "In Death" EP 7"

Civilized - "Dust and Blood" EP 7"

Demdike Stare - "Voices Of Dust" LP

Demdike Stare - "Liberation Through Hearing" LP

Demdike Stare - "Forest Of Evil" LP

Failures - "Decline and Fall" LP

Larry Heard - "Alien" 2xLP

Friday, February 26, 2010

Doombringers

Doom can go one of two ways. It can either be this torrid slow dirge of despair and the introspective exploration of ones own wrenching emotions, or it can be this torrid slow dirge of death, devastation, living sacrifice, and demonic obsessed destructive force.

I'm opting to go for the latter version of Doom for this post. I do enjoy eloquent Doom bands of the former aforementioned style which I will cover in future posts but today I'm feeling appreciative of the more insidious practitioners of the grueling art that is Doom.

Doom can either be this meandering boring creature or it can drive you to the depths while captivating you. The idea is for the slothful song creations to drag you from start to finish through the darkest muck of the self, or in the case of the following two bands, the darkness of death. This is all done while captivating you with the very heavy, slow fuck, style that it is.
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Hooded Menace - Fulfill The Curse (2008)



Hooded Menace is a Doom duo from Finland with two full lengths (the second coming out Spring of this year) and a plethora of splits lined up.

Fulfill The Curse Mixes doom and sludge with death metal themes. The band's debut carries plenty slow and devious momentum. Their doom influences only go on for so long until you are immersed in mid paced D-beat action that is so thick you can drizzle it over pancakes. Their faster parts are direct throwbacks to old school death metal and they are done most exceptionally well. Their balance between slow sinister grooves and wretched death n' roll metal riffage makes for a strong first effort.

Clearly horror fanatics, Hooded Menace deliver howling tracks that give you that locked away in a remote dungeon while awaiting your untimely demise by way of boiling to death feel.

It's going to be interesting to see if their follow up album continues in this way while still keeping things interesting. I believe Hooded Menace will step up and prove to be a powerful force in the Doom world.

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Coffins - Buried Death (2008)



Japan filth death doomsters Coffins are becoming more and more known by the day, and they should be. This band is clearly well versed in the way of classic Doom and Death Metal. Buried Death is their strongest full length, and note I said full length. The band currently has over half a dozen splits and four full lengths including the one mentioned here.

Similar to Hooded Menace but different in that they tend to lean more towards the Death Metal side of things, Coffins is another great tribute to the classic Death Metal era which I find myself appreciating more and more as new bands that enter the Death Metal world are either boring as fuck with their over produced mundane sound and Dan Seagrave knock off album cover art, or think that breakdowns are now a staple for any kind of music and thus compromise themselves.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Experiments Gone Right

Experimental acts can be fun, funny, weird, abstract, and sometimes just plain stupid. Lack of direction doesn’t exactly result in genius despite those who believe the contrary.

Many self proclaimed eclectics will consider simple name calling in the context of experimental music a matter of the listener not being able to understand what is being heard. I’m afraid that’s too easy of an argument. It comes down to the fact that if you give me a recording deal, I can put out a bullshit release too, and someone, somewhere, will like it, despite the fact that such a release was simply the execution of a joke intended to mock.

The following two acts I’m about to review are two of the most popular and for good reason. Like the aforementioned qualities of experimental acts, these two bands have their idiotic moments all the same. However, what separates these two rock acts from their own nonsense is that they have defining moments where their experimental nature is combined with their musical talents to produce high quality song writing. Basically what I’m saying is that when both bands succumb to traditional songwriting, they create some of the most intriguing rock n’ roll out there.
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The Butthole Surfers - Independent Worm Saloon (1993)



Independent Worm Saloon is considered the bands heaviest release which isn't a stretch seeing as how they were never primarily a heavy act to begin with. In addition to the distortion driven guitars, singer Gibby Haynes seems to be in his darkest hour at times. This approach helped create such memorable and disturbing songs like "Dog Inside Your Body" and "Alchohol". In the midst of their heavy rock drugged out insanity the band still finds room to be the comedians they have always been, being sure to never get too serious. When they do show their serious side, the results are fantastic.

This is the band's most accessible album and in a good way because the balance of experimentation and traditional song styles throughout the album remain equally distributed. This variation allows for the common listener to get a taste of the macabre and strange while having more direct songs to keep the release grounded. This characteristic produces a level of intrigue that can lead someone into exploring more music of it's ilk. I guess what I'm saying is that Butthole Surfers is a great gateway drug.
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Ween - White Pepper (2000)



I could have easily chosen 2003's Quebec for this post but again I feel the equal balance of experimental elements and traditional song writing are ideal when it comes to the multifaceted journey that Ween can provide a listener.

My first experience with Ween was when I heard Transdermal Celebration being played over and over in a promo DVD that a previous retail employer had been sent. I knew of Ween for a number of years, seeing their crazy face logo everywhere, but I had never actually listened to them. When I heard Transdermal Celebration, I was shocked to find it was Ween because what I knew about them was that they were a nutty duo that, like the Butthole Surfers, had a great sense of humor and a high output of material. I figured that the single I was being exposed to was merely a joke made by the band, so I set out to listen to their entire studio album catalog. Of course the first 4 releases by the band were off the wall and at times unbearable. Chocolate and Cheese became their most notorious album that saw the band go in every direction at once. Yet, it would be White Pepper that really drew me in.

All things in moderation is something I firmly believe in. Some Ween releases are just a bunch of fucking around with the goofy element very apparent and overwhelming to the point of agitation. Then there's White Pepper, which clearly exemplifies that this is a band of creative musicians that can really play and put together great music, when they feel like it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fulfilling Potential

I only have one release to offer to you today. Agoraphobic Nosebleed were known for the longest time as drug obsessed ‘Hypergrind’ humorists who produced some of the most intense grind in a not so serious manner. Far from taking things seriously, the band’s prolific catalog is filled with songs about blasting through an 8 ball and unloading banana clips into the unsuspecting scum of the earth.

Out of a plethora of releases (numbering a little over 20) the band has usually released material just for the sake of doing so, or at least it seems that way. Recording sessions couldn’t have gone on for more than a few days, and to (possibly) exaggerate, a few hours. While the extremes of ANB are a great introduction to the capabilities of speed combined with themes of drug use, nihilism, and violence, their material really just became this constant mess. For true Grind fans that was enough, but for those longing for truly different extremes in heavy music, there was no way to justify actively listening to the band.

As a dedicated fan of Grind, I too would find one release just as typical as the past 15, but this has changed for the 16 year old quartet. They have finally come to be the band I, and other faithful fans have always known they would become.

Enter “Agorapocalypse”

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Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse (2009)



Agorapocalypse is the first full length release by ANB to feature a female added to the multi-voiced assault, it would also be the band's first full length with the full utilization of Toonz's 'Drum Machine From Hell'. This is one of the best drum machines on the market, and the program has allowed producer/guitarist Scott Hull to really do Agoraphobic Nosebleed justice. The program, like other solid drum machine software, allows for each individual piece of the kit to be mixed out providing a sound that finally has the ability to completely fool the ears of the listener into thinking there is actually someone behind the kit. I say this because some drum machine programs give the impression that there is someone manning the kit only until you hear the first cymbal crash, then you know it's some damn robot.

When listening to Agorapocalypse, the stark difference between human and machine is virtually erased, I would say the only way to tell it's still a drum machine is due to the fact that everything is just that tight.

Reading interviews with Hull regarding the song writing process behind Agorapocalypse, it was revealed that the band was ready to really put their best foot forward. They pretty much became tired of the relentless output as the monotony of the split projects became all too common and easy for them to accomplish as little was actually expected.

More than just a better sounding album, it's a better written album entirely. The band finally utilizes levels of extremes. Everything from crushing breakdowns so smoothly inserted into the foray of madness to sludgy rock breaks, fill this album with the devastation one could only expect from an album called Agorapocalypse. Just look at the cover art! The music is a direct representation of the constant Armageddon that this world is experiencing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I don't speak my mother tongue

I had been listening to Dir En Grey and said I found it admirable that they continue to release albums in their native language without going for the English approach in order to boost marketability in the states which was something they continue to gain despite the apparent language barrier their music presents. A friend of mine who currently resides in Japan explained to me that the Japanese actually prefer when lyrics are sung in English. So I guess Dir En Grey’s adherence to their native tongue is a two fold example of a band’s ability to make good headway into the ears of foreign audiences.

Like Dir En Grey, Rammstein has also consistently stayed 100% native on their albums despite their English sung versions of ‘Hast’ and ‘Engel’ included in some versions of their breakthrough “Sehnsucht” as well as the Spanish sung track “Te Quiero Puta!” heard on 2006’s Rosenrot.

Although I know nothing of either language except the most common of phrases, to hear the language spoken in the form of poetry is something that I find myself caught up in and I can only wonder what sort of topics are being broached. While I could easily seek English translations for each band’s respective songs, I’d rather leave it up to my imagination as to what they could be professing through such passionate verses. (Except Rammstein, who have openly discussed their sexually charged subject matter)

I tend to focus a lot on tone when reviewing particular albums and in this case, the tone of how these unfamiliar languages comes across provides a world of intrigue into the unknown subject matter that would only be revealed to me by Wikipedia.

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Dir En Grey – Withering To Death (2006)

Having released 4 full lengths prior to their US breakthrough “Withering To Death”, Dir En Grey have managed to make some of the most intriguing and versatile heavy rock music I have heard in a long time.

I would have to say that Kyo’s singing brings the dynamics of the songs into full swing. A schizophrenic of sorts, he tends to be all over the map in his approach. There’s nothing like a diverse singer who sees his or her voice as a multi-faceted instrument, one they can use to manipulate the fabric of the music in order to really drive home the emotions that are playing out within the songs.

While each album is its own creature in the musical sense; “Withering To Death” just seemed to be the album that put all the pieces together just the right way. It was the album that saw their metal, pop, experimental, and progressive influences come together in cohesive way where as the following releases “Uroboros” and “Marrow of Bone” tended to stick to one particular angle. The albums are by no means without their strong points but there is a clear direction to those releases compared to the coalescing and unpredictable beast that is “Withering To Death”.

Basically, if there’s one album you were to start with, it would be the one mentioned here. All the others are equally important because they are all strong in their own right. I equally encourage everyone to check out “Kisou” as well.

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Rammstein - Liebe ist für alle da (2009)

Go ahead, do it, I know right now you’re saying aloud (in a deep German accent) “Du, Du Hast” but the fact of the matter is that following 1997’s “Sehnsucht”, Rammstein turned into some of the best mainstream song writers in the business today.

Friends of mine cannot take this band seriously due to the way that Till Lindemann passionately recites his sexually charged poetry. Lindemann’s approach which is subtle at times but always with a strong presence, gives this band the real ability to be so catchy. In a number of interviews with lead guitarist Richard Kruspe, people often ask him about Lindemann’s ability to sing the German language with such grace given the content and nature of the music. It basically becomes the topic of discussion and with good reason. His ability to map out patterns in such a fluent way with such a ‘hard’ language is what keeps this band memorable and gives life to their talented song writing.

I’m not here to profess that every Rammstein release is pure greatness, 2001’s “Mutter” was simply lame and the band was admittedly in turmoil at that time. In between albums the band would get together with a renewed sense of playing and the end product was 2004’s “Reise, Reise”.

Reise, Reise saw the band’s song writing mature greatly by taking their break core past and meshing it with their always apparent pop rock know how (their obvious love for New Wave being ever present as well). They would follow up “Reise, Reise” with “Rosenrot” in 2005 which was equal in quality if not slightly better simply based on the amount of hits you could pull from it.

I am posting last year’s “Liebe ist für alle da” because it is a great continuation of the band’s ever so catchy song writing. Richard Kruspe’s riffs never run dry. The fact they are so simple helps. To say this band is a monumental musical whirlwind would be pushing it, instead they are good at what they do, creating simple German pop hits using heavy elements while Lindemann’s sexually provocative lyrics make me believe that German is truly the language of Love, or just the language of very exploratory sexual fantasia. I would not want to run into that guy in a dark corner of an S & M shop.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Death N Roll Hall Of Fame

The following two acts are quintessential examples of fine Death N’ Roll. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Entombed and how they firmly planted their feet in the legacy of "Clandestine", "Wolverine Blues" and "Left Hand Path". Then there’s the Austrian perverted foursome known as Pungent Stench, who sadly split up before their final opus was released. The Stench finished their final album but due to frontman Rector Stench’s disillusion with the dissolving of the band for the second and final time, he never followed through with release plans. If I could contact this man directly and pay for it to be released, I most certainly would.

While I could easily dive into classical releases by both bands, I have chosen their latest two (for Stench, their last) because of consistency shown throughout their careers. What this means to you is that you can start from anywhere in either band’s catalog and hear pure gold. Well, for Entombed you would most likely start with “Left Hand Path” or “Clandestine”.
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Pungent Stench – Ampeauty (2003)



My earliest memory of this band was walking through a major chain music store and noticing the striking image of a dirty photo smeared with the complexion of a filthy backroom environment and the face of a gimp mask staring back at me. PUNGENT STENCH it read, in strewn bloody font. I wondered “What the hell is this shit?”

Little did I know the album that had haunted my fragile brain all those years ago would become part of my collection. I had also found out, of course when it was too late, that the copy of “Dirty Rhymes And Psychotronic Beats” that I saw that day was not only a used copy, but that version of the album was out of print.

Fast forward about 8 years later, I see the name Pungent Stench again. This time in the form of an amputated woman placed within this box with saws bordering her handicapped body. At this point I thought I had exhausted most of my options in Death Metal so it was only fair that I give the Stench a chance. I say most because there’s always a band or two that can be heard that will reinstate a sense of excitement when you become too cocky thinking you have heard too much of one genre to even care about another band of the same ilk.

“Ampeauty” would become my drunken/stoned anthem for an entire summer. The affect it had on me was immense. It made me a firm believer that rock n roll influenced anything, when done well, could heighten the strength of any song. They had a way with Death Metal that was beyond just the Death N Roll approach, one that professed all of Rector Stench’s deep desires through songs of female domination, sexual intercourse with amputees, and of course the occasional song about the hatred and destruction of human beings, all themes sexually gratifying in some way.

Once again my years of neglect for such an amazing act left me personally embarrassed and I reacted to this embarrassment as I do with other acts I have unjustly neglected, by scouring the earth for as much of their material as I could get my hands on coupled with learning as much as I could about the band itself.

I would come to find that just about every past release they had was made into 3 or 4 different versions with the originals being sought after and pricey. It didn’t matter though because Ampeauty kept me occupied for quite some time. I couldn’t get over how heavy and intoxicating it was. With such sexy barn burners as “Got Milf?”, “Lynndie” and the greatest tribute to amputees this world has ever heard “The Amp Hymn” it was clear, Pungent Stench were legends for a reason.

Turns out, every released carried this same infectious tinge. Been Caught Buttering and Club Mondo Bizarre were filled with moment after moment of death filled heaviness, grooving and waltzing aplenty. In addition to their traditional rock n roll approach and the occasional speedy thrashing; there is a clear blues influence heard within the music that adds an extra flavor to each repulsive composition.

Their perverse approach to Death Metal made me feel dirty just listening, and it was good to hear a band that didn’t take itself too seriously while at the same time releasing well put together tunes over and over again.

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Entombed – Serpent Saints / The Ten Commandments (2007)



Plowing through the catalog of these legends it was clear they were never comfortable with just releasing “Left Hand Path” over and over again which is what brought about such notables as “Wolverine Blues” and “Hollowman”.

Again I found “Wolverine Blues” to be too easy of a choice, as I believe its “Serpent Saints / The Ten Commandments” that shows that this band is just as strong as ever. Also, I firmly believe that this album over most of the others, fully integrated their earlier straight forward Swedish DM style with their developed Death N Roll driven sound.

The evil present is heard seething from many tongues throughout the album while old school DM style down beat blasts lead way to powerful rock riffs. There’s never too much comfort within one aspect of the music. Just when you are getting used to the mid paced feel of a furious Death Metal passage, the band shifts gears and slams into hooks big enough to ensnare your mother’s bulbous ass. As we are aware, with DM bands the themes do not tend to change all too much. It then becomes a matter of how devious they can deliver their dose of metal and Entombed have that pegged.

Once again, how it’s done simply makes all the difference, and the fact that these guys are just a bunch of talented Swedes also helps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Operation: Whole-Hog

Operation: Whole-Hog is what I have dubbed my current endeavor. This particular task involves listening to every album I have in my possession that is on my computer. Note I said computer, as what is on my PC is only a portion of what I actually own in terms of music media and does not count my music library in it's physical form.

While it can be said I should listen to every album as I acquire it, it is not always that easy, or at least it wasn't before.

My place of work allows me the ability to listen to my iPod and with that privilege I have finally decided to listen to every release that is in my possession in it's digital form. Gone are the albums I am familiar with and in their place are all the releases I have yet to really lay ears on completely.

I figure if I listen to at least 5 hrs worth of music, 5 days a week, it will take a minimum of 2 months to go through all of the albums. Once again this is not counting the physical music media I own.

I'm doing this as a way to weed out any lame albums I may indeed have (not likely) but in the rare case I find something that really isn't all it's chalked up to be, it will be done away with. The opposite of this is that I'll finally delve into some acts I've only had a glimpse of. The releases that I neglected since my initial listen will push me to explore more material of a given act.

Ultimately I'm doing this for YOU. With a keen ear, I will be able to provide you, the faithful reader, with oodles of selections that will see the material of this blog increase ten fold provided that my daily work load does not become too cumbersome.

Every day I will log which bands and albums I have gone through on that particular day. I admit I'll be a a little late on this as I will be on the B's starting today. So my next post will go through the albums I have already plowed through over the past 3 weeks.

Prepare for some new insight people.