Tue, 11 October 2016
It was a cold, rainy night fifteen years ago in San Francisco, and I was partying at the Lower Forty-Eight's record release party. It was a historic night - I heard the Mass for the first time, and I was blown away: crazed avant-garde proggy metal with saxophone? It was a sound I hadn't heard before.
These guys are older/slower and more annoying. They are set to release a brand new album - Ghost Fleet - in December 2016, after eight fucking years in hibernation. Here they talk about the decision to get back together, make out, and create some mayhem.
Matt Waters (sax/vocals/synth)
Tyler Cox (drums)
Andy Lund (bass)
Tom O'Donnell (guitar)
What inspired you guys to get out of your wheelchairs and start making music together again?
Matt: We were still bros from the previous incarnation of the band. At some point in 2014 we all realized that we were all bored. It was kind of a "let's just jam and see what happens".
Andy: I figured we're all still friends, all still in the Bay Area, all still alive so why not get together and play some of the old "hits" for friends. It then snowballed into writing new music.
Tyler: For me it's a futile attempt to not go postal living in the bay area.
What has changed from your last album to this new recording?
Matt: It's surprisingly similar how the writing stayed the same since we were writing years ago. The difference now is that none of us has the time (or energy) to get together and write songs for 10-12 hours a week. Now, we've got maybe one session per week to hash out ideas and start to make something that resembles a "song".
We used to be able to crank out a lot of music and put out an album every year or so. The newest album took more than 2 full years and it's only 5 songs, granted one of them is 20 minutes.
We were much more deliberate and honest about these new songs. We had them all finished about a year ago, then we went back and re-wrote pretty much every one of them. The writing in the band is very much by committee, for better or worse and usually we like to find a consensus where everyone is stoked on the tunes.
Tom: Same basic approach but spent more time keeping the songs more focused.
Andy: We spent a lot of time (2 years basically) working out these songs and how they should sound. I think our music listening habits have changed a bit in 8 years but we're still the same guys so the outcome is what you would expect from us.
Tyler: We spent a lot more time crafting the songs. I think the music on this record is more focused more fully developed than our previous stuff.
Who in the music world impresses you?
Matt: Dawn of Midi
Tom: Mikael Akerfeldt, Watkin Tudor Jones, Bjork, Melvins, David Eugene Edwards
Tyler: Jamie Saint Merat
What ultimate goal do you want achieved by the Mass?
Matt: To die in peace
Tom: Rock till we drop, or at least for a few months.
Andy: It's mostly short-term goals: play a show, finish new songs, record new songs, release album.
Tyler: I just want us to stay active. Even that much feels like an uphill battle.
What's the point?
Matt: An old naval base in Alameda
Tom: I don't understand the question.
Andy: There may never be one.
Tyler: I don't know what people are into these days. Everyone seems to have lost their mind. Take it out leave it.
Matt: Yes, Fuck you
Tom: That's not nice.
Andy: Of course!
Tyler: It is all my fault.
PRE-ORDER the album and immediately download the track ‘Neuronic Channels Driven to Agitation’.
Accompanying album art in December by the infamous Jon Wayshak: http://www.scrapbookmanifesto.com/
Category:Music Interview -- posted at: 10:39pm EST
Wed, 5 October 2016
Angular, proggy and even a bit of industrial sprinkled into Veilburner style of black metal.
Postmortem Exordium: Veilburner (PA)(0:28-7:26)
Vermin Womb is driving grind, but broken down deliciously, to give your brain a chance to catch up.
Industrialist: Vermin Womb (Denver)(8:57-12:56)
Tree spirit metal from Parisians.
Oiseaux de proie: Alcest (Paris)(13:36-21:18)
Gorgeously grotesque album art to match death with psychedelic.
In the Shadow of the New Gods: Usurpress (Sweden)(22:04-26:00)
Vampiric black metal.
Ensigns Of Victory: Winterfylleth (UK)(26:42-33:25)
Filthy, riffy, good-time sludge.
In Decay: Hierophant (Italy)(33:50-37:04)
Raw event black metal. Long songs, but an epic journey. Listen to the whole album.
Transfixion Of The Spheres: Battle Dagorath (CA/Swiss/Italy)(37:42-48:52)
Orchid drummer in another fuzzed out blues rock band.
Call The Priest: The Watchers (SF)(49:50-54:14)
As the Thoughts Began to Be Tarnish: Doomed (Germany)(54:41-END)
Tue, 27 September 2016
Rich renaissance-style album art to accompany avant-garde and vivid melody and spiritual vocals.
Malmok jarnak: Thy Catafalque (Scotland)(0:28-10:30)
Chicago-style complexity and distorted guitars mixed with alternative, post-hardcore and post-punk.
Sunk: Ganser (Chicago)(11:45-16:53)
Deep and thoughtful melodic, the good kind.
Winter's Gate, Pt. 7: Insomnium (Finland)(17:31-22:53)
Greek black metal that is interestingly disjointed and noisy.
Winter: End (Greece)(23:51-30:32)
Sumptuous stoner kraut rock with Björk-style crystal sweet vocals.
Embryo: Katla (Sweden)(30:52-37:15)
Black metal that pumps in mosh-pit thrash.
Beneath the Relics of Old: Ravencult (Greece)(37:43-42:07)
Rocking synth and death rock and 70’s, but darker.
World Peace: Okkultokrati (Norway)(43:00-49:02)
European death metal is bringing in their nationality’s folk sounds, but in the good non-contrived way. Like Spanish folk death metal band Noctem, this band is bringing in the Roman folk-style.
Carthago Delenda Est: Ade (Italy)(49:42-54:20)
Come on, I had to play some Ukranian death metal off an excellent split with Swedish band Grift (played on Show 162).
His Twenty-Fourth Spring: Drudkh (Ukraine)(54:53-END)
Wed, 21 September 2016
Neurosis. I like this better than their last two albums.
Broken Ground: Neurosis (Oakland)(0:28-8:22)
More aggressive groove.
Leave the Door: Take Over And Destroy (Phoenix)(9:46-13:43)
Swiss death that is broken up by hooks and proggy instrumental.
Tentacles of the Sun: Virvum (Switzerland)(14:10-19:05)
Darker death dripped on sludge. It ain’t boring, don’t worry.
Iron Fists Shall Rust: Tides of Sulfur (Wales)(19:43-25:43)
Brooklyn death rock. Waiting for a full-length, this is off a split with Cemetary.
The Breaking Wheel: Pawns (Brooklyn)(26:43-29:42)
5-song EP with (4) covers, including Echo & The Bunnymen and Eurythmics. The original is what stood out.
Square Hammer: Ghost (Sweden)(30:36-34:32)
Beer-drenched death with aliens and zombies.
Candiru: Asphyx (Netherlands)(34:50-37:28)
Riffy vintage psychedelic.
Monokraut Jupiter: 10.000 Km² Gegen Die Zeit (aka ZQKMGDZ) (Germany)(38:13-48:20)
LA anthemic black metal for warriors.
Giga Shadow: Conjuror (LA)(49:39-53:34)
Hardcore and angular grind.
Spoke the Cancerous Void: Sunlight's Bane (Michigan)(53:51-56:48)
Bluesy psychedelic FINNISH rock.
Ghost Flyers: Kremlin (Finland)(57:12-END)
Wed, 14 September 2016
Waiting at the edge of my seat for the new Soft Kill album in November after hearing this luscious song. Later in this set is their side project Criminal World, also alternative, is releasing a new cassette in October.
Wake Up: Soft Kill (Portland)(0:28-5:30)
4th full length is Spanish-war history-loving metal.
The Submission Discipline: Noctem (Spain)(6:44-10:47)
Naturally flowing pagan from black metal.
D'an usved: Belenos (France)(11:10-21:32)
Bang thy head hardcore, catchy and fun and what else do you need.
Hellionaires: Trap Them (Boston/Seattle)(22:00-25:29)
Wide spectrum of genres represented: Fully acoustic songs, fuzzy psychedelic, moody, and metal.
One From The Heart: Spider Kitten (UK)(26:45-32:55)
Another example of pagan and metal together without any cheese.
Memories: CrystalMoors (Spain)(33:28-38:22)
Sharp and painful grind stabbing you in the face.
Entropy: Cognizant (TX)(38:43-40:58)
Side project of Soft Kill, they describe as blissed out doom.
Human Pillar: Criminal World (Portland)(41:31-46:46)
Brutal noise from duo Gnaw Bone.
Initium: Gnaw Bone (Indiana)(47:29-52:28)
Anthemic retro thrash and classic beer buddy basement metal.
Black Speed Delirium: Bewitcher (Portland)(52:58-56:09)
Irish grind, so probably super cute grind.
Fleeting Joy: Unyielding Love (Belfast)(56:32-58:40)
Old cabin Bernie Sanders Vermont metal.
Grave Of The Creator: Barishi (Vermont)(59:07-END)
Thu, 8 September 2016
Defs tech death, that breaks into trippy atmospheric influenced by Colorado pot.
Hidden Species (Vitrification Of Blood Part 2): Blood Incantation (CO)(0:28-7:23)
You had me at members of Magic Circle. Great vocalist, inspired by classic 70’s metal.
The Guardian: Sumerlands (Philly)(8:22-12:19)
Punk-ass black metal. And some thrash.
Narcognosis: Cemetery Piss (Baltimore)(12:48-15:59)
No more Wounded Kings, they left us with the heavy doom.
Vultures: The Wounded Kings (UK)(16:22-24:36)
Chicago-style experimental and technical guitar nerds.
Bloodless Breathless: Scientist (Chicago)(25:47-32:14)
Varied black metal, and not the usual over-produced American -style.
Coil Strike: Barghest (Baton Rouge)(32:41-37:30)
Debut textural black metal mixed with doom, Sacramento style.
The Cold Suffocating Dark Goes On Forever: Vrtra (Sacramento)(37:52-45:25)
Distorted, raw, aggressive nutball one-person brain.
A spell of sorrow to relieve the curse of triumph: Rebel Wizard (AU)(46:27-52:10)
Reminiscent of BrainOil in that slowed down thick distorted groovy way.
Mâchefer: Fange (France)(52:30-59:16)
Solid hardcore 8th album from Ringworm, ugh, gross name.
Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun: Ringworm (Cleveland)(59:50-END)
Tue, 30 August 2016
One of my favorite releases this year. Sounds just like old school Controlled Bleeding: industrial noise.
Trawlers Return: Controlled Bleeding (NY)(0:28-6:16)
Inquisitions’ seventh full release, riffing with clear guttural vocals accompanying. Fun retro thrash that dives into brutality and Satanic verses.
Vortex from the Celestial Flying Throne of Storms: Inquisition (Seattle)(7:45-13:03)
Hypnotic experimental jazz drone.
Two Of A Kind: Convulsif (Switzerland)(13:35-20:56)
Death that destroys. Exhausting. This new stuff is as good as their last stuff, so you’ll probably like the shit out of it.
Extinguished Light: Ulcerate (New Zealand)(21:30-30:12)
My boyfriend Chris Black just released another Dawnbringer (which I played last week); and now a new single from classic heavy metal High Spirits.
Reach For The Glory: High Spirits (Chicago)(31:05-35:20)
3-piece old school thrash with tons of breakdowns that you’ll feel to the depths of your armpits.
Realm Of The Heretic: Hellbringer (Australia)(35:56-39:12)
Even though I kind of compared him to a modern Chris Cornell, I dig the singer a lot. Stoner usually takes me want to kill all of you and life and eternity, this band jams and they sound more 70’s retro, so that is fun.
On And On (In Your Mind): Devil to Pay (Indianapolis)(40:05-44:09)
Beautiful and raw from Nox Formulae.
Hidden Clan NXN - Pt a Eleven Rays of Sorat, Pt b Black Magic Assault: Nox Formulae (Greece)(44:33-51:22)
Andy left San Francisco to go back to Minneapolis, which is probably 100% a good choice. He still owns part of an AWESOME Polish diner Stuffed, in the Mission, and if you haven’t been there, get over there and drink some beer. The band has romantic for the soul, crust to energize, and brutal for the wicked. Just wait for it to breakdown, it got me all perky.
Baptized In Shellfire: Feral Light (Minneapolis)(52:29-58:09)
Ridiculous gurgling cacophony.
The Curse of Zootankhamun ft Capt. StankDank (Bong Rips for Jesus): Dopehammer (UK)(58:40-END)
Behind the Vocals This week is all new retro synth and electronic: Ghost Suns, NightWave, Lehans, Peter Zimmermann, Moodblanc, Medsound, Vast Hill, Po-One, Hotter Than December
Wed, 17 August 2016
Epic shredding and then some drone and then recycle.
Bask in the Lingering: Mizmor (OR)(0:28-8:31)
Horseback listens to Edward Ka-Spel.
Lion Killer: Horseback (Chapel Hill)(10:01-14:57)
Young Canadian black metal infused with aggressive hardcore.
Bellflower: Gilded Lily (Ontario)(15:18-19:00)
Lotus Thief has two members of Botanist. They are melodic, riffy, beautiful, nerdy and have excellent vocals.
The Book Of The Dead: Lotus Thief (San Francisco)(19:51-26:24)
Doom guttural death that chugs.
Deliver Us From Evil: Among Gods (Norway)(27:19-31:46)
Arkansas-born harmonious psychedelic jamming (now in Arizona.)
Form and Force: Spirit Adrift (Arizona)(32:26-39:36)
Giant alien spacecraft metal.
Helicoprion: Circle Spectre Haunting (UK)(39:57-43:41)
Pallbearer has come out with yet another vocalist-driven emotional album.
Over & Over: Pallbearer (Arkansas)(44:50-50:46)
Savage South American black metal.
Macrocosmic Invertion: Henosis (Chile)(51:05-54:44)
Legendary Chris Black loves 70's heavy metal that can be the soundtrack to 80’s musical montage.
North By North: Dawnbringer (Chicago)(55:35-END)
Tue, 9 August 2016
Proggy mathematical black metal from the superior country of Greece.
Embrace the Savior: Imperium Infernalis (Greece)(0:28-7:48)
Mesoamerican-led Black Twilight Circle members Shataan is flute-infused black metal.
Release: Shataan (CA)(9:11-14:32)
Irish Okus is crusty melodic hardcore. Melodic, but angry.
Regicide: Okus (Ireland)(14:52-18:55)
Members of Carpathian Forest, In the Woods and Old Forest. I mean, read those band names again.
Realm of Breathing Eyes: Svartelder (Norway)(19:33-26:40)
Two-piece Wreck and Reference is samples and drums and industrial vocals. They layer in filth and noise, but who doesn’t.
Languish: Wreck and Reference (LA)(27:49-33:06)
Brutal death from Gatecreeper manages to slow down, but stay super headbang-y.
Craving Flesh: Gatecreeper (Arizona)(33:45-37:05)
Oh yeah, I like this one from them, this time.
Sorceress: Opeth (Sweden)(37:35-43:20)
Excellent sludge from Bädr Vogu. And I officially hate sludge, so that is saying something. I think it’s because they are good musicians, and keep it evil/real.
Deprogram: Bädr Vogu (Oakland)(43:42-51:10)
Gimp leather grind.
Putrid Prophet: Pink Mass (New Jersey)(52:01-54:26)
Within the Arms of Nothingness: Temple Nightside (Australia)(55:11-END)
Wed, 27 July 2016
A split with themselves, Defeated Sanity slams together crazy avant-garde and death.
The Mesmerizing Light: Defeated Sanity (Berlin)(0:28-7:09)
Proggy 70’s strains mixed with pagan and death. Love. This. Album.
Wake Of Infinity: Witherscape (Sweden)(8:49-13:24)
Nostalgia, for days.
Lost All Day: Dinosaur Jr. (MA)(14:03-19:00)
VIII description of their new album: "Terminally ill, eroded by an existence condemned from birth as the son of a gangrenous uterus. The protagonist in this concept album suddenly awakes in a decadent reality. Creeping maggots and ruin's dust mark the passing of time, like grains in an hourglass. Feeding in decomposition and walking slowly a path towards the Void, the protagonist craves for freedom and true liberation."
Symptom: VIII (Italy) (19:43-26:23)
Shimmering black metal, and not at all shoe gaze.
To Die Or Bear The Burden Of Death: Old Graves (CAN)(27:19-34:52)
Filthy filthy sludge.
Belly Full Of Rats: Iron Witch (UK)(35:13-40:43)
Frenzied doomy death.
Dawn Of Sorrow: The Drowning (Wales)(41:15-48:19)
Oakland black metal, sweet. Dirty, raw, and rich.
Remnance of a Ghost Haunt: Void Omnia (Oakland)(49:14-56:37)
Filthy swamp punk.
Too Many Devils and Drugs: Fistula (Ohio)(57:08-END)