Sunday 25 October 2020

Black Gaff

Black Gaff
Black Gaff

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Sludge, Death/Doom, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Su19b, Agents Of Satan, Thug, Cianide

If you're looking for 3 minutes of chaos, this might just be the tape for you. Not every submission kicks my ass as much as it stumps me in terms of finding comparisons, but this one certainly did. In this essay, I will try to tell you why this is great, and attempt to make comparisons to other artists, even though those comparisons won't really do it justice. 

Some background first: Black Gaff was started by union stagehands who also happened to skate and are/have been in some other bands you may or may not like (but it's a secret), and when COVID19 hit, they were put out of work, and dedicated time to making this project happen. And goddamn, did they make it happen. While this is only 3 tracks (or 2 tracks and an interlude if you want to be that person), clocking in at under 3 minutes, it's a perfect display of savage fury and gives a really interesting spin on microbursts of sludge, death/doom, and even some odd NY no wave style structures. The whole thing sounds very informed by 90s west coast power violence, Japanese doom/sludge, and the Bovine Records catalog, which should sell you right away. There isn't much that sounds exactly like this that comes to mind, which is pretty exciting, and makes it incredibly difficult to pigeonhole. But it's fucking good, and it's relentless. 

All I can say is that if you like music that sounds like getting your teeth knocked out, don't sleep on this. Also, if you like skateboarding, you should probably get into this too. 

1. Truss Failure
2. Deathride
3. Folded

Aqua-Eroticum - Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets

Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Industrial, Power Electronics, Noise
For Fans Of: The Sodality, Genocide Organ,  The Grey Wolves, Brighter Death Now

Releases like this remind me why the genre is called power electronics. No, not because it's powerful electronic music har har, but because it explores power and its effects/consequences/etc in a truly disturbing, yet poignant manner. This is the kind of power electronics release I hope to hear when someone submits to FBN, yet rarely do.

Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets was recorded in 2015 before Aqua-Eroticum took a hiatus (which they have recently announced is over), but wasn't released until 2019 by noise's shining boy Joe Frataxin's label Uninvited. The release runs the gamut of different sounds in the style, from harsh piercing screeches of 80s UK artists such as Un-Kommuniti and Ramleh, to low rumbling pulsing of 80s-90s German and Swedish artists such as G/O and BDN, and everything in between, all accompanied by frantic, manic vocals that send a chill down my spine. The subject matters are appalling, as is to be expected, but not done in such a way that brings to mind juvenile antics. One thing that sent this over the top for me was the cover of The Sodality, an artist who I feel are often criminally overlooked by many industrial fans, but are absolutely crucial as far as I'm concerned -- and yes, they nail the cover. The collaboration with Interracial Sex, another bright light of contemporary power electronics, is also fantastic, and a perfect way to close out this absolutely brutal exercise in pain tolerance. 

This release is essential listening for anyone invested in contemporary power electronics, and I can't wait to hear what Aqua-Eroticum has in store in the future. Listen or don't. 

1. Crack Rocks & Colt 45
2. Dead Or In Jail
3. Instant Release
4. Hot Rails!
5. Burnt Carpet Stained Sheets
6. Another Compulsion 
7. An Obvious Disease
8. Saturday Night Special
9. Catch The Whore (The Sodality)
10. Blisters (Feat. Interracial Sex)

Saturday 17 October 2020

Backslider - Bacterial Eye


Bacterial Eye

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Fastcore, Power Violence, Hardcore
For Fans Of: Despise You, Column Of Heaven, Apartment 213, No Less

Back when I was going to shows in Philly on an incredibly regular basis (almost a decade ago at this point), Backslider was one of the staples whenever there was a fast band worth seeing coming to town. Their sets always blew me away, usually clocking 20-something songs in around 7 minutes, although their style evolved over the years, incorporating more groove, longer songs, and a lot of influence from 90s alt-metal (or at least that's how it sounded to me). However, with their most recent material on Silence Is Death, it seems Backslider has -- and please forgive me for doing this -- backslid, and is back to chaotic microbursts. 

I should be clear, this material has way more going on than the typical fast/slow/stop/start fastcore that has become all too commonplace and formulaic in the bandcamp age. There is a healthy dose of influence from weirdos such as Gasp and Column Of Heaven -- that is to say, there is plenty of noise driven guitar work, electronics, samples, and oddly placed, yet perfectly integrated death metal licks -- resulting in a unique twist on the sound we all love so well. In addition, this material features Triac drummer, Jake Cregger, recording through a gopro to great effect. I wish more fastcore/grind/etc artists would use this approach to production, because it sounds absolutely massive and sheds that overproduced/overpolished sterile studio sound that most bands seem to be going for in the past 5 or so years. 

And here's the kicker: Silence Is Death is a benefit label, and will be donating all proceeds to Black Lives Matter activist groups/orgs, so if you can spare to buy a tape or digital download, know that it's going to a good cause. With this being their first release, I expect big things from this label, so keep your eyes peeled. Trust me, you'll listen to this 4 minute burst 3x in a row and still want to hear it again. 

1. Ataxia / Cyclops
2. Device
3. Lapse
4. Purgatory
5. Octopus

Sunday 9 August 2020


The Shits

(Artist submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Post-Punk
For Fans Of: Brainbombs, Rusted Shut, Drunk In Hell, The Homopolice

Let me make this easy for you -- this is one of the best noise rock records of 2020, and not much, other than Brainbombs and maybe a handful of others, comes close to the ferocity and abject filth that comes out of your speakers listening to this LP. When I say noise rock, I mean NOISE rock. I'm not talking about all those boring grunge wannabe bands who people hype up in a certain facebook group I'm a part of, I'm talking about the real, vile shit. And what better band for the real, vile shit than The Shits?

Many of you remember I reviewed their first tape, in addition to bands members have previously been a part of (No Form, Foot Hair, etc), and that I gave it all high praise. Well, this review is not going to be much different, in that it's got nothing but the highest praises. Every single track on this 40 minute monsterpiece is a dirge through a broken bottle littered hellscape, where, if you're dragged along for the ride, you have the misfortune of catching on every single piece of sticky, dirty glass that can possibly get stuck in you; so for your sake, I hope you like infected wounds. You can almost smell how repugnant this album is, taste how acerbic, and feel its fetid, revolting textures more and more as it plods along, uncaring about the destruction left in its wake. As I said, the highest of praises. Brown Sugar may have already taken the title "Get Mugged," but I would argue it's way more fitting for this band.

But don't take my word for it, listen for yourself. Experience the euphoria of being bludgeoned to death by killer riff after fucking riff, while being snarled at in a heavy Leeds accent. The Shits will drink your fucking blood.

1. Jackal
2. Witching Hour
3. Murder On My Mind
4. I Am The Street
5. The Boss
6. A Slow And Aching Pain
7. Whatever
8. Drink Your Blood

DOWNLOAD (or remain a coward)

Monday 27 April 2020

Brainbombs - Cold Case

Cold Case

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Post-Punk, Psych
For Fans Of: The Stooges, Chrome, Paul Chain, No Trend

I know, I'm late on this review (life is weird), but I have been jamming this since it dropped a couple months ago. Brainbombs is a perfect band. That's all I should have to say, but there wouldn't be much fun in that, nor would it be very informative, so I guess I'll just have to type out a real review. I saw the members post about recording this on social media last year, and thought I would die from anticipation.

A lot of people have said this is a departure for Brainbombs, but anyone who is a fan of the band and has been following them (i.e. not listening exclusively to Obey) can easily tell this is right on course. The last two LPs, Souvenirs and Inferno, both saw the band exploring a higher quantity of haunting, melodic passages, but less bombastic tracks have always been a part of Brainbombs' repertoire. Those of you looking for the total bangers fear not, because this LP features some of the most memorable and explosive tracks the band has done to date. All around, Cold Case is in line with Brainbombs' trademark "what if The Stooges kept making music like Fun House, only way more evil" sound, and is far from a disappointment.

I doubt anything else will come out in 2020 that will get me more excited than this. Sometimes the veterans really do always know how to show up the fresh up and comers, and Brainbombs are probably the best in the game.

1. Cold Chase
2. I Am Cocaine
3. I Love You All
4. In Pain
5. Shadows
6. Trust
7. Return Of The Ripper
8. Lost In The Past
9. It Was Easy
10. Die, Dead, Death


Saturday 18 April 2020

Oil Spill - Ashlands

Oil Spill

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Black metal
For Fans Of: Rhinocervs, Dispirit, Cirrhus, (early) Emperor

I'm going to be honest, I definitely have not been as into black metal (and metal in general) in the past few years as I once was, but this definitely piqued my interest. The complexities employed here, which often come across as subtle, definitely drive this sucker home. Don't mess with Texas, right?

On their debut tape, Ashlands, Oil Spill brings everything I want to hear from a black metal band to the table. The riffs are spacey and chilling, the songs are winding and tortuous, and occasionally they show a punky edge and even display an ear for noise. The noise is not just tape hiss and poor production, but reminds me of bands such as Black Dice (in their early days) in the way the songs become deconstructed and swell back up, includes atonal soloing akin to Black Flag and Void, and they incorporate some fantastic horror soundscaping and samples. And then of course there are the doomy parts on here which are just crushing and oddly mosh-worthy, which I wasn't expecting, but was a welcome surprise. Really, one of the most impressive things on this is the use of dynamic, building and collapsing song structures which have a truly ominous effect and actually feel organic/not contrived. There isn't a dull or wasted moment on this tape, which is certainly refreshing in a genre that often prides itself in self-indulgence.

It's hard to shoehorn comparisons, but I think the ones I listed are pretty good reference points. We're all quarantined, so what better time to listen to black metal (to be fair, I've been listening to mostly grind, art punk, and industrial/electronics, but I might get down this hole too)?

1. Great Black Pit
2. Bloodshed Obsession
3. Trepidation

Listen / Download (Bandcamp)