Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ashes To Ashes

As you might be able to tell by now, the NWOBHM bands I dig the most are the ones who had obviously laid down solid roots in the 70's and, more often than not, simply injected an aggressive early 80's swagger into proceedings..  Them, or the long-standing but anonymous-till-then outfits whose time had eventually come around and were now cynically seen as worthy of consideration, due to being vaguely commercially viable courtesy of a tentative 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' affiliation..  So, with a foot firmly planted in both sides of my hypothetical divide, here's yet another case in point for your careful consideration..  Mansfield's seemingly pseudo-metal, but more like low-key majestic rock-warrior marauders: Limelight!  Whose roots can be traced all the way back to 1967 if you happen to give a shit..  Unsurprisingly, this particular record caught my eye immediately, from the revealing cover photo on, obviously offering enough coiffured clues to the eagle-eyed observer (not to mention one of the axe-master siblings mashing it up on a double neck)..  It's apparent from the off, that these fellas viewed themselves as the semi-logical bastard offspring of those pretentious and decadent decades..  There's no doubt left after an initial spin, that the additional fifteen years immersion in prog and hard rock had certainly left its mark on these crafty veterans..  Remarkably, the brothers Scrimshaw were actually aiming for a chart hit with this release..  No mean feat when you think about it really, technically accomplished as they were, the jams were kept rigorously reined in and commendably concise..  Ultimately renaming the 1984 re-release of their solitary self titled LP from '81, 'Ashes To Ashes' in a final futile attempt at gaining wider acceptance..  As you can probably guess, instead of the hoped-for adoration, our hapless trio found themselves the target of a great deal of gleeful derision..  Has the passing of time smoothed out their eccentric edges anew?  Only you can decide..

Friday, 23 March 2012


Here's Australia's nastiest bunch of deliberately antagonistic, scumbag degenerate punks: Rupture!  With their bad-taste-in-the-mouth tribute to the late, great gross-out outlaw scumfuc terrorist of rock 'n' roll:  the one and only GG Allin..  Delivering faithfully filthy covers of six classic 'n' catchy, 80's era GG tracks..  Originally issued by the Dutch freakos at No Fucking Labels as 'Gus Chamber & The Ruptured Wanksparks' back in 2001, this is the 2nd press (reductively re-christened, 'Wanksparks') from '05 with different artwork..  Not many bands then or now could've believably pulled off GG's (nudge, wink) nubbin-cocked nihilistic schtick with such realistic sounding results..  Luckily, these Aussie nutters had both the necessary conviction and the relevant convictions!  Recorded in an irreverently reverential fashion, aptly enough on the anniversary of Jesus Christ Allin's death back in 1996, on what sounds like an authentically rickety 4-track.  Rupture were committed to the aesthetics and advocacy of the lifestyle, no doubt about that..  In fact, head throat-shredder Gus went on to pay the highest tribute possible to GG a few months after this was released, by OD'ing in a phone-box or summat..  Oh well..  Feel the hate!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Blood Of The Sun

Calling all red-eyed wreckoids..  Feel free to unclench what's left of yer teeth and gradually release ya death-grip on dem rekkids!  It would seem that further doses of heavily boogified blooze have once again become available for general consumption after all..  That's handy!  To help prevent your melancholy turning morose, we've unearthed a fella 'ere who knows just how you feel, or so it would seem..  Please, allow him to put that strut back in your step..  Hey, you deserve it!  Right?  'Course ya do!  Anyways, without any further whiffs of cynical reservation, I give you: Leslie West!  Yes, the legendarily larger than life proto-Mountain man himself!  Now, some self-important and drearily ignorant hacks out there in the 'real world' (wherever that is), ever-desperate to prove their cutting-edge credentials, would have you believe that bands like Mountain were the absolute nadir of Rock Music's seemingly otherwise hallowed trajectory in the 70's..  But, (lucky for us) here we're able to swiftly dismiss such callow analysis and easily parry any and all calculatedly callous attacks from the mouths of blowhards with a quick 'n' easy three-word rebuff: 'Mississippi Queen', motherfucker!  But that singularly scorching piece of cowbell-heavy Rock History had yet to be molested forth out of the molten magma..  So, let's consider Leslie's solo album from 1969 then..  It seems the good Mr. West had something of a personal epiphany in the late 60's..  Finding his puny mind being blown clean out of his esteemed cranium and replaced with something altogether new (was it goo?) watching primo-era Cream, live, after necking a coupla tabs of industrial-strength blotter acid..  Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you..  Listen to Leslie lick his late-sixties mutton-chops!  Soak up all the burned out, bloozed-up boogie-loogie you can handle, before gently sinking into some tentatively tenderfooted balladeering..  After all, this is half of the band who would ultimately become the mighty Mountain, this is the band whose fourth gig was friggin' Woodstock!  And yes, this was also the first time Leslie and Felix got to indulge their propensity for a mutual fondle-fest of their respective (musical) instruments together etc..  Gadzooks!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Hey, The Links Are Down!

Yeah, okay I know, I know..  And I'm trying to fix them as fast as I can, alright? The links in the last 70 posts have now been replaced and I'll update this number as soon as more are done..  Normal service will resume asap after that if not sooner..  So just hold tight!  Cheers!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Moth Balls

Stack Waddy were a hairy buncha slovenly bastards from Manchester with a neanderthal knack for amping up old rhythm 'n' blues gems and early rock 'n' roll standards into something a little more visceral..  Here's their self-titled LP, recorded in 1970 but unfortunately held back til early '71 due to John Peel's Dandelion label having a few distribution problems..  Ultimately costing the band valuable momentum during the feeding-frenzy of the 'heavy UK blues boom' of the early '70's..  Comin' on like early Sabbath (Ozzy was a big fan and used to turn out for shows) meets The Sonics (via an overwhelming R 'n 'B / R 'n' R fixation) and, prone as I am to over-stating my comparative propositions, in this case I'm not drawing the comparisons lightly (honest)!  Massively under-rated stuff here for sure..  Shaggy, blue-collar, back-to-basics boozy-boogie-woozy with lumbering licks aplenty, always sounding encouragingly fierce even when they'd slowed things down to a crawling growl..  Expanding upon their intrinsic garagey vibes and wherever necessary condensing the grooves into their most essential arrangements..  A cranky quartet who imbued their raggedy-arsed rhythmical interpretations with a heavy shambling syncopation and topped it all off with the imploring guttersnipe howls of a rasping brickie for a frontman..  John Knail would alternate between a gruff alcoholic croon and several sweaty-bucket attempts to out-honk Beefheart or Edgar Broughton, all in between puffing on a gasper and occasionally tootin' that ol' harmonica son.. Phew!  Ten triple-distilled tracks on the original LP fortified here by nine previously unreleased bonus tracks of comparable calibre..  Play loud as always and don't forget, further understanding can always be facilitated by providing your own counterpoint in the background: i.e. the tinkling of ice in your glass, the steady flick 'n' click of your lighter, a sharp inspiration of breath followed invariably by the grateful exhalation of any residual fumes and vapours..  Hmmm..

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Jams From The Heart

What's that?  Drug-addled axe-wizards from the 60's and 70's who've under-achieved their way into funked-up arpeggiated immortality regardless?  Yeh, we love 'em too friend..  Well now, how 'bout Funkadelic's minor-key manipulating, (maggot) brain-bending, tripped-out funky string-tickler with some heavy 'Jams From The Heart' then?  No probs!  Here's Eddie Hazel given a rare chance to cut loose by himself in 1975 as a way to cool down from his faintly criminal inclinations and kick-start the ol' lick-chopping machine for his first 'proper' solo album, 1977's 'Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs'..  Having been more or less given the bootsy from Funkadelic by George Clinton at this point, Ed needed to stretch out a little after finding himself behind bars at Lampoc for a spell..  Allegedly convicted of trying to bite a chunk out of an airline hostess mid-flight, while deep in the grip of an angel dust frenzy.  Backstepping hastily from that definite 'Yikes!' moment, he duly delivered a scant four tracks in half an hour here..  Two long, psyched-out, funked-up snorters topped 'n' tailed with two concise fragments of foot-tapping, bounce-adelic rubbery butt-shake..  Supported strongly in his ecstatic endeavours by none other than Buddy Miles (from Hendrix's apex-era Band Of Gypsies amongst many others) an obvious adept at reacting to his fellow funkateers - keepin' the drums alternating between a tight, clipped beat and loose, free-form flourishes to punctuate Eddie's exploratory freak-outs..  For best results:  Relax..  Don't pay no mind to that income tax..  No need to seethe..  If you'd just let yourself breathe..  Watch the walls psychedelipeeps, they'll show ya..

Thursday, 12 January 2012


So, imagine you're the former drummer from legendary fast HC band Siege and you've finally reached a potentially terminal constriction in your creativity by utilising such a narrow-minded, one-dimensional approach to noise-making..  What's left to do but a big, fat free-form musical U-turn to state your now uninhibited, lysergically induced intentions?  How about opening up your record with a droning four minute atonal bass 'solo' that lasts longer than three of your old band's songs played back-to-back?  Not bad!  Nightstick's first full-length, 'Blotter' from '97 saw them furiously furrowing their brows into fucked up grooves, confirming the confrontational nature of their caustic wit and consolidating their concept of belligerent anti-any-state-but-altered art via the rhetoric of class warfare..  Half the album consists of massively monged-out cover versions (Funkadelic, Pink Floyd and Lydia Lunch), no doubt conceived in a twitchy, transfixed state of cosmic fear and loathing..  Cranking up the sense-subtracting onslaught even further for live shows the band were joined onstage by a succession of 'performers' named Padoinka The Clown..  Why?  To perform interpretive dance and improvisational movement of course!  Doing the cold-turkey hot-step and monkey-on-my-back boogaloo nightly was clearly a draining experience for the poor chaps and so the 'Stick unapologetically blazed through a handful of their junkie type associates in the process..  In short, a totally twisted trip of titanically turgid dirge-a-thon proportions!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Out On The Street

Excavating another curious nugget of the late NWOBHM era from the depths of the beer-cellar - Harrier's lone EP emerged in '84 on Black Horse Records a label named for and very probably sponsored by their local metal-pub (Metallibar? No.).  'Out On The Street' definitely sounds dated enough nowadays, but even back then it must have sounded almost archaic..  Seemingly underwhelmed by the rapid progressions in style and speed occurring around them, the lad's inspirations audibly sprang almost exclusively from earlier decades..  That most surely includes the heavy freaks from the sixties as well..  For example, a definite Steppenwolf (!) vibe can be detected on 'Nickels And Dimes', with its familiar punchy, boogie-driven staccato swing..  Maybe it's their regular deployment of groovy keyboard noodles and general mid-pacing that invokes thoughts of the seventies.. But then there's the side-long 'Shine On', which might well initially send shivery fingers of man-ballad dread down yer sweat-flecked spine but it eventually heats up into a sweet bass-driven rocker..  It's not exactly a hitherto undiscovered artifact that redefines contemporary metal analysis and transcends time itself - but, for those no-lifes who still retain a vague affection for the rampant sugary rush of ridiculous self-righteousness that only the decaying recesses of the NWOBHM underground could provide, there may be ample sustenance indeed..

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My Nerves Are Shot

Taking their name straight from the classic 1987 Lip Cream mini-LP, Cleveland's worshippers of Japanese HC chaos 9 Shocks Terror were a considerable force to be reckoned with back in their day for sure - able to bash dem bonces whether they were live or in the studio..  Arising from the smouldering ashes of the H100'S, apparently with the sole intention of revitalising a recumbent scene with the sheer force of their frenetic fervour - by jamming up a fearsome firestorm of recondite rage..  Here's one of 9ST's final releases, a fitting testament to their previously established potency (only Tony and Steve remained from the original line-up unfortunately) - a self titled EP from '03 on Even Worse Records.  Augmenting their incendiary hardcore assault at this point with some semi-melodic discordance and the occasional Sabbathian 70's rock-style rifftastic breakdown..  Lyrically we get more disconsolate denunciations and angst-ridden observations of early 21st century ennui.  At times it does sound like they were struggling to recapture the energy they so effortlessly enunciated on their earlier LP's, but never for long..  When the ignition sparked the old musical machine into life there was more than enough of the old magic still there in the tank.. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Extinction Of Mankind's second scabrous slab of vinyl now - 'Weakness' released in 1994 on Skuld..  Coming a year after their initial demo-tape and split EP with Swedish scumfuckers Warcollapse but before the fulminating feculence of their debut LP, 'Baptised In Shit' from '95..  Still with original axe-masher Mass at this point and his trademark Antisect meets Celtic Frost guitar tone is firmly in place, bouncing back and forth against Ste's belligerent bark.  Commencing, concluding and interspersed throughout with some dark and eerily evocative horror-soundtrack-esque synth-ambience..  In between kicking out the corrosively crude, crushing crust-jams of course!  A grimly glorious musical combination of those two apocalyptic riff-titans (Anti-Frost?) sets the pace here, occasionally speeding things up into a fast d-beat thrash just in case your attention wanders..  There's a faint but disappointingly discernible lack of low-end presence in the mix this time around but the non-beefiness of the bass just ends up enhancing the acrid mid-80's-ness of the compositions as a whole rather than detracting from the polluted atmosphere in general..  So there you go, rough as fuck but so what?  It's a killer quartet of shit-kickin', cider-swillin', smoke-breathin' catastrophe crust!