No Good Music, My Ass! Albums of 2016 I’ve Been Enjoying the Heck Out Of

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It’s Friday night and the first night of a four day weekend for me.  I didn’t feel like heading out tonight, so instead, I decided to mix me a vodka/soda cocktail and, rather than get into weighty philosophical or political topics, talk about my favorite albums of 2016 so far.  If you’re a music fan, you have no business complaining that you have nothing to listen to.  Here is a list of some fine albums I’ve listened to and/or purchased so far this year.

UXO – UXO

I already did a lengthy review of this album, but to recap, UXO, which is military lingo for unexploded material that could soon blow, is also a pairing of two of noise rocks best and longest enduring guitarists; Steve Austin from Today Is the Day and Chris Spencer from Unsane, The Cutthroats 9 and Celan.  My only complaint about the album is that it’s too short; it’s supposed to be an LP, but it only has seven songs on it, and they aren’t long songs.  Last time I checked 26 minutes does not an LP make.  This, however, is a very minor complaint.  Spencer lays down the crushing, low end riffs, while Austin plays whirling, noisy Frippian melodies atop.  Scorchin’!  Buy here at Reptilian!

Värähtelijä – Oranssi Pazuzu

Black metal in space!  Hawkwind crossed with Mayhem!  Or something along those lines.  I’m not even going to try to pronounce the title for the fourth album by this wicked Finish band.  I like ’em A LOT!  I have their other three albums as well, and this one is no disappointment.  Are you in space? Are you in Hell?  Who knows?  Just take this 70+ minute journey; I dare you!

Post Society EP – Voivod

No need to be objective about one of my favorite bands.  Voivod have been rockin’ and rollin’ since the early 80s.  And while they’ve gone through a number of styles, their key approach, the one loved by most fans, is their mix of King Crimson style prog and thrash metal.  Current guitarist Danny “Chewie” Mongrain, who replaced Dennis “Piggy” D’Amour, who passed away from colon cancer in 2005, shows that he’s up for the job of playing those odd, spacey, dissonant chords and weird melodies that made Voivod one of the most unique metal bands.  Also Dominique “Rocky” Laroche takes the place vacated by Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault nearly two years ago.  Singer Dennis “Snake” Bellinger and drummer Michel “Away” Langevin remain intact.  Group covers “Silver Machine” by Hawkwind, but why only five songs?

Terminal Redux – Vektor

Third and latest album by this Arizona based band and first released on Earache.  Voivod inspired, sci-fi metal overkill, but with black metal vocals and blast beats; just a lot of great ‘n’ weird melodies, complicated time changes and dissonant chords for 70+, relentless minutes.  Saw these dudes at Berserker Fest and they totally destroyed.

Revengeance – Conan

I still wonder if the ridiculous name for the fourth Conan album was inspired by  the unintentionally funny title for the latest Slayer album, Repentless.  Either way I’m enjoying this British sludge metal power trio more and more.  With a name like Conan, for some reason I thought they would be way more technical and melodic, maybe like Cirith Ungol or something, but it turns out they just play really heavy and slow.  Their first couples albums are a bit, “eh.”  But they finally hit their stride with some killer riffs on their third Blood Eagle and this here fourth album Revengeance, going all High on Fire style; The Art of Self Defense/Surrounded by Thieves High on Fire, that is.

Three Men and a Baby – Mike & the Melvins 

If someone were to tell you that the music on Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1998, would you believe it?  Aside from disrupting the flow of the Melvins discography by naming the band Mike & the Melvins, it’s pretty darn safe to consider  Three Men and a Baby a Melvins record; also their first to be released on Sub Pop.  If I’m not mistaken, the Melvins’ lineup at the time of this recording was King Buzzo, Dale Crover and former Cows bassist at the time was Kevin Rutmanis.  But, for this release, the group teamed up with Mike Kunka, who played bass for GodHeadSilo.  Album has plenty of hot ‘n’ heavy King Buzzo licks and killer Dale Crover drumming, as you would expect with the Melvins.  They also cover “Annalisa” by Public Image Ltd.  And make sure to guffaw at the song title “A Friend in Need Is a Friend You Don’t Need.”  The Melvins have another album coming out shortly, but don’t they always have another album coming out?

Negative Noise – Child Bite

I was fortunate enough to get a copy of this dope album for free because they were giving them out at the show in Detroit, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I would have easily bought a copy.  Released through Housecore and produced by none other than Phil Anselmo, Negative Noise, although a tad more accessible than their previous few efforts, is still full of their weird, Jesus Lizard/Killdozer inspired punk-prog-sludge.

The Machine Stops – Hawkwind

Long time reigning gods of space rock are back with their first official studio album in four years.  If you’re familiar with Hawkwind, then you know their discography is huge, and you also know that their members have a ton of side projects, in effect creating a whole mini-musical universe.  Hawkwind fans get just as excited by side projects, such as Hawklords (the new Hawklords that is, not the old Hawklords, which was really just Hawkwind with a different name) or solo albums by former bassist Alan Davey, as they do with the group’s official releases.  I would say Nik Turner, but, if you’re familiar with Hawkwind, you know there’s acrimony between the Brock and Turner camps.  I don’t get into these petty debates and, since I’ve seen Nik Turner twice, well, ya know… but, man oh man, what a great album!  Epic space rock, ambient electronic, a song with Middle Eastern influences, and the entire thing is based on the EM Forster sci fi classic.  What can I say other than, “when will Hawkwind finally come to the United States?”

Dystopia – Megadeth

Megadeth have now released fifteen studio albums, and yet have one of the patchiest discographies.  Part of that has to do with Dave Mustaine’s desire to try new stuff all the time.  Dystopia hearkens back to Rust in Peace era melodic thrash.  Also, hot damn, they do a Fear cover!

It Came from N.Y.C. – White Zombie 

It Came from N.Y.C. is a box set containing long-awaited reissues of the group’s pre-La Sexorcisto, independent releases, when they were an underground, New York based, noise rock band.  The box set contains an LP with the Gods on Voodoo Moon EP on side 1 and the “Pig Heaven”/”Slaughter the Grey” single on side 2 along with full reissues of Psycho-Head Blowout, Soul-Crusher, Make Them Die Slowly and the God of Thunder EP.  It also comes with a killer coffee table book.  I do a more thorough review of the box set here.

 

 

Playlist 5/24/2016

The Gun – The Gun
Megadeth – Rust in Peace
Megadeth – Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?
Autopsy – Mental Funeral
Bolt Thrower – In Battle There Is No Law
Hawkwind – Quark, Strangeness and Charm
Killdozer – Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite
Killdozer – Snakeboy
Killdozer – Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Killdozer – Burl EP
La Düsseldorf – Viva
Van Halen – Women and Children First
Van Halen – Fair Warning
Status Quo – Dog of Two Heads

 

Playlist 5/23/2016

Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction
Megadeth – So Far, So Good… So What!
Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I
Superchunk – On the Mouth
Einstürzende Neubauten – Alles wieder offen
Peter Hammill – Nadir’s Big Chance
Peter Hammill – Fool’s Mate
Roxy Music – Stranded
Frank Zappa – Lumpy Gravy
ZZ Top – Degüello
Rush – 2112
Status Quo – Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon
Sepultura – Beneath the Remains

Fight the Power, The Other 98% or 99%, Word!

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On a Facebook thread, one of my buddies responded to my snarky comment “Then you would be mistaken; it [affirmative action] applies to anyone who is allegedly ‘oppressed.'” by saying, “So about 99% of the country, then.”  Damn right 99% of the country is oppressed.  I’m not part of the “1%”, so I must be part of the “99%” of oppressed people, and it got me thinking; how exactly am I oppressed?  Well, I’ll tell you gosh darn it!  Every single week that is!  In fact, inspired by Punk magazine’s top 40/bottom 40 list, every week, I’m going to throw out a list of 40 things that are oppressing ME as an American citizen.  So, without further ado, here is my top 40 things that are oppressing me this week!

  1. Getting up at 5 in the morning for work four days out of the week
  2. Pot holes
  3. Speed limits
  4. Tailgaters
  5. Tailgaters who flash their brights at you
  6. Tailgaters who tailgate even though you’re driving the speed limit
  7. Ben Shapiro
  8. Knowing that Gavin McInnes writes for Taki’s AND is on Greg Gutfeld’s show.
  9. Risk by Megadeth
  10. Movies with too much CGI
  11. Not having my awesome interview with Ben Shapiro article go viral
  12. Not getting to skydive today
  13. Having to pay $163 to the government
  14. The social stigma of not tipping a waitress even when she’s particularly lousy at her job
  15. Lousy map quest directions
  16. Getting a male server in a bar where all of the other servers are women who wear super tight black tights
  17. Being ignored by Truthsayer, one of the popular Jew haters on Takimag’s comment section
  18. When the light is a fresh green, but the person at the head of the line is in la la land and takes five seconds to get moving
  19. Not having Lemmy around anymore
  20. The Velvet Underground
  21. “Intellectual” hip hop
  22. Drone metal
  23. People who think Slayer is a left wing band
  24. ZZ Top replacing the drum track on their early albums with an 80s style drum track
  25. My ex Holly, who has a huge ass (which I like), but only likes Tomahawk for Mike Patton and not Duane Denison, Kevin Rutmanis or John Stanier
  26. The singer of Ghost, who ruins an otherwise awesome band
  27. Overpriced beer
  28. People who compare bands to other bands that aren’t like those bands in any way
  29. People who think Islam is a race
  30. People not recognizing that Homer Simpson in a moo moo is proto trans
  31. People who listen to Anal Cunt and then yell at me for being offensive
  32. Schindler’s List
  33. Ernesto Yermolli
  34. People who question you when you use certain slang words, rather than just listening to what you have to say
  35. Mark Prindle
  36. Spergs
  37. Narcissists
  38. People who use your arguing techniques against you, in spite not having an actual counter-argument
  39. The Saw movies
  40. When Page Hamilton started singing his lyrics, instead of shouting them

Playlist 5/20/2016

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Strictly Personal
Jello Biafra with Nomeansno – The Sky Is Falling and I Want My Mommy
New York Dolls – Too Much too Soon
Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind
Battles – Gloss Drop
Anubian Lights – The Eternal Sky
UFO – Lights Out 
Van Halen – Van Halen II
King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
Megadeth – Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!