The Blackest Curse
10 Half a decade in the making, Dwid Van Hellion emerges from behind the shrouded myths to lay down a whole album’s worth of pure Holy Terror. If last year’s Walpurgisnacht EP got you excited then the first chords of opener “Process Of Illumination” will have you hooked. From there on in it’s a sheer masterclass from an unparalleled outfit that defy just about anything you’ve got. Rumour has it they may or may not be playing a certain pub at some point in the very near future so watch out for that.
Don’t Fuck With The Apocalypse
8 We were bananas for this one before we even got past the Pettibon illustrated sleeve but once we actually got this thing in the CD player all manner of spiralling riffs spilled out and then we were even happier than when we saw the cover. Definitely a better signing than the guy who pretended to be Kurt Cobain in that Gus Van Sant movie Thurston.
Lair Of The Minotaur
The Grind House/Southern Lord
8 This is a record called ‘Evil Power’. It’s by a band called Lair Of The Minotaur. It features guest vocals by a guy called ‘General Diabolical Slaughter’ as well as tracks with titles like “Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers” and “Riders Of Skullhammer”. In other words it wouldn’t be all that hard to laugh at this album if it wasn’t so uncompromisingly raw and utterly great.
8 How has no doom band ever in the whole history of playing Sabbath riffs slower than Sabbath thought to call themselves Sloath before? I mean Sloth was good but Sloath? It’s perfect! I even doubled checked on metal-archives.com and these chaps from the South Coast really are the only ones. Congratulations on the name there guys. These three 10-20 minute dirges on the CD you sent me aren’t too bad either.
9 The concept of Ben Chasny, Sir Richard Bishop and the drummer-that-makes-all-other-drummers-look-plain-lazy aka Chris Corsano embarking on a project together was always going to be one that built expectation. False Flag however, easily vaults any expectation and thumbs its avant-free-form-indescribable-jazz nose at us for ever doubting it for a second.
5 The band who everyone found lots of nice things to say about first time around and whose song was in all those Orange ads are back and guess what? They are still about as interesting as having a conversation with a fermenting pot of crème fraiche. There’s absolutely nothing wrong here and that’s probably the problem.
8 Wait a second. Did you hear that? A guitar! Yes, everyone’s favourite capering Canadian purveyors or euphoric, ramshackle dance music are back and they have added a Strat they probably found backstage at one of the 475 shows they play a year to the mix. Despite departures on the instrument front it’s business as usual in the main as looped, chirping keyboards build walls of melody and textured sound to the point you think your head might implode. More please.
The Bride Screamed Bloody Muder
8 The whole having two drummers gag got a old a while back but luckily King Buzzo seems to have decided to go all weird again. If you like your Melvins closer to Bullhead than Nude With Boots then this is worth picking up. There is even a totally unhinged cover of The Who’s “My Generation” that goes on for about 8 minutes and is worth the price of admission alone.
The Three Kings
6 This release is the soundtrack part of a DVD for a film that looks like it was definitely conceived under the influence of too much marijuana and YouTube searching Jodorwsky clips. Trying to explain what goes on in said film is pretty pointless as we genuinely have no idea but if you like Dead Meadow, smoking marijuana or the films Jodorwsky of you will probably be in to these songs.
Thee Oh Sees
In The Red
8 Yet another near-perfect, frazzled, frayed, battered and blown out nugget of psyche-garage brilliance from one man garage rock jukebox John Dwyer. The title track goes on for a mind-warping 14 odd minutes but elsewhere it’s rip-snortin’, boot-stampin’ business as usual.
8 After what seems like approximately 211 7” and 12” EP’s and splits Male Bonding finally release their debut long player on Sub Pop. Yep, you read that right, Sub Pop. If you aren’t familiar with the London three-piece’s kinetic Wipers-played-at-45-instead-of-33rpm punk then you’ve probably been sleeping under a boulder since 2008. Here’s a handy single disc to get you familiar.
7 It’s amazing that anyone can hear this guys frail but wholly engrossing vocal and piano-led laments of pain and suffering above the furious tapping of fingers hitting keyboards to blog about the tough years which bore these ten sparing tracks but really, who gives a crap about another teen-years sob story when the tunes are this good? Just saying.