Thursday, February 29, 2024

Comic Book Mixtape #5, February 2024 (Rom, Spy Superb, Hatchet, Groot, Bad Idea, Something Is Killing The Children)

 


ROM Facsimile Edition (Bill Mantlo) (Marvel)

This is, if nothing else, a nice reminder that ROM exists.  Why hasn't this been brought back in some form?  You think that Marvel having their version of a giant robot movie (such as the current kaiju films) would be something they were interested in.   Or at least give it a series on Disney+ or a comic book reboot.  

Even looking through the web searches for ROM, there are toys out there but they're vintage so they are, rightfully, expensive.   So it would also be interesting, from a marketing standpoint, for Marvel to bring this franchise back and at least make some sweet toys out of it.   But either way, I'm glad this issue is at least out there to maybe jar some nostalgia for folks.  



Spy Superb #3 (Matt Kindt) (Dark Horse Comics)

As we dive deeper into the world of Spy Superb, we learn more about both Jay and Lucky.  Jay is told that his brother was Spy Superb before him, which once his brother was killed that is how Jay was chosen next.  This comes as a shock to Jay, but he really is the perfect idiot, with the way he lucks into situations.

By the end of this issue, Jay and Lucky strike a deal that sees them work together rather than both of them being dead.  This leaves the door open for what comes next and at the end of the issue there is also an ad for a book which is the prequel to this so I must check that out now as well.   With the right amount of action, humor and mystery, Spy Superb has become one of my all-time favorites.


Victor Crowley's Hatchet Halloween Tales #1 (James Kuhoric, S.A. Check, Jason Pell / Cyrus Mesarcia, Puis Calzada, Richard Bonk) (publisher)

A series of stories about Victor Crowley and his desire to kill at that enters his swamp.  The way this starts is with a group of three children who are trick or treating and they are dressed like Victor Crowley.  When they visit someone who escaped the swamp, he goes mad and kills one of the children thinking it is Victor Crowley himself.

I always found it kind of funny that in the "Halloween" films they'd have people dress up as Michael Myers for Halloween.  You can say what you want, but for the same reason why you can't wear masks into a bank on Halloween, you shouldn't be able to dress as monsters that have terrorized your small town.


Groot #1 (Dan Abnett) (Marvel)

This is a sort of origin story for Groot, at least to the extent that his planet was set on fire and now he is the only survivor left along with two of his friends.   He got picked up by some humans who seem to not be able to understand him and I've always wondered how Groot got by with the language when it seems like Rocket can understand him, but what of his whole time existing before meeting Rocket.

That seems to be what this story is going to be about and as we go along for the ride we're also going to be looking out for some group of baddies that is literally destroying planets.  It's an interesting story idea to say the least and to find out more about Groot in the process just makes it all seem even more fun.


They're All Terrible #2 (Matt Kindt / Ramon Villalobos) (Bad Idea)

The story continues as our group of heroes (?) is on a quest to find the best in the land at any price to defend their city.   During this journey, they have found a mighty warrior without a tongue, a young child looking for refuge and a pirate who shot a cannonball through his former leader in an act of accidental mutiny.

As each new character gets their own introduction, we have these little stories along the way to what I feel will eventually lead up to the entire group getting back to the city and defending it.  I like that this is such an odd group of characters but together they seem to work.  I can't wait to see who they pick up next.  


Something Is Killing The Children #1 (Pen & Ink) (James Tynion IV / Werther Dell'Edera) (Boom! Studios)

Whether or not you've been reading Something Is Killing The Children, this is a Pen & Ink issue which can look like a rough draft in terms of the artwork (but is still really cool) but also it has notes on the bottom from the creators.    So if you think of a single issue comic book being released in the same way as a DVD then this would be the DVD with director's commentary.

I like what this series is doing on the whole but this just seems like an added bonus.  I feel like more comic books should do this, though many of them add this commentary as a special feature when you buy the trade paperback version of the first six issues.  The way that this just comments on every single page is something I've never seen before and would like to see more of with other series.  


Cassette Review // Orchard "'Til You Fall Down" (Cruel Nature Records)


https://cruelnaturerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/til-you-fall-down


I love cassettes because I'm never sure what kind of music is going to come out of them when I get them.   Orchard has a loud, punk sound that is quite wild.  It reminds me right away of Be Your Own Pet, but it can also become dark.  The song "Carry" gives us the hook "You're gonna carry it 'til you fall down" and I like that idea because it reminds me of something someone once said about the past weighing us down.

While the songs can be catchy, by "Song For Rosie" they can also start to become a little bit of that grunge and -gaze combination that I so much enjoy.  "4000 Years Old" slows down and is instrumental with big cymbal crashes.  "Hot Sea Waffle" has that specific guitar sound and makes me think of Dinosaur Jr.   It also happens to be instrumental.  

On the flip side I begin to hear a little bit of The B-52's.   Surf rock / garage rock also come into here.   There is a lot of strumming on "Freedom!" and it begins to make me feel like we're listening to a HHBTM! Records type of band.  The song "Burning People To Keep Castles Warm" does in fact sing that in the chorus and I hope it hits closer to home now more than ever as in the United States we have managed to somehow eliminate the middle class.

Whether it be for these powerful lyrics or because you simply want to get up and dance, Orchard is a lot of fun within these sounds.  If you told me this was a cassette you randomly found in a thrift store and it was from 1996 I'd be inclined to believe you, but there is also a modern touch to it which brings it back into the present.  Music which can connect the past with the future often times tends to be the best music for me to listen to and Orchard is just that.  







Cassette Review // IN DER WELT "IN DER WELT" (Les Disques Bleus enregistrements)


https://lesdisquesbleus.bandcamp.com/album/in-der-welt-ldbe001


This is such an amazing sound as IN DER WELT just bleeds hardcore throughout this cassette.  It begins and remains screamy throughout with little pause.  At times it can be melodic, but it is overall just hardcore music: heavy and loud.  Somewhere between Snapcase and Poison The Well, this also finds a way to touch down on the metal side of things with those screeching guitars that reign down on occasion.

The metal really comes out by the second song and then it gets crunchy during the third song.  It begins to also remind me of Nora, as there are crushing breakdowns on "Watchtower".  There are a few times during this cassette when it goes off into spoken word and those seem to be the more tranquil moments, the clarity in the chaos if you will.  Though it is also worth noting that by "Totem" we get into these dreamy Deftones-like guitars, which just set the mood.

As the sound slows and begins prodding more spoken words come over dreamy ambient tones.  This reminds me in some ways of Silent Drive as well, just for the mixture of beauty and madness.   On "Well Done Friends" there are these big beats to start off, like something Glassjaw would've done back in the day.   A quiet, whispering, lingering ends that song before we get into this super heavy distortion at the end of the final song, which is how this all ends.  

When listening to such a sound as IN DER WELT has created here, I'm not opposed to hearing just ten songs in ten minutes and have them all be very loud and in your face.   But IN DER WELT does carry that abrasive manner through their songs, but it also can take a step back and dip off into something different.  I like that this can both be played loud as a sign of anger or frustration, but at the same time there are also these intricate details which need to be appreciated just as well.  














Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cassette Review // If I Could Just Get Some Sleep "010715" (Personal Archives)


https://personalarchives.bandcamp.com/album/010715


One common factor I feel most people can agree with in present times is that no one is really getting enough sleep.  We have to stay busy to keep working so we can afford to be alive.  So when you have a musical project named If I Could Just Get Some Sleep, I am 100% going to be on board because I am always tired.  With this name and title though, I wasn't sure what to expect going in with the sound but it seems only fitting now that IICJGSS has an angry passion for hardcore.  

With synths accompanying most of these sounds, this feels like Refused at times but there are also elements of Snapcase and Drowningman within her as well.  There are screams, and the bass gets big and distorted on the second song.  We go from this video game groove into darker tones which have screams about not being able to eat nor sleep.  This is how we end the first side, after the lyrics: 

"I can't fix my head / I can't fix myself / I can't fix these words / Have I lost my mind?

On the flip side the synth lasers go through with the screaming.  Big drumming can be heard and the way in which this all comes through in unison is nice.  Before the end of the entire cassette there are some distorted drums and it just seems to end in an instant.   This cassette feels like one of rage but that rage feels justified by frustration.  No matter what your current situation in life is, I just think more people are likely feeling this way right now than not.  Put this one on, turn it up and let's try and take some power back.












Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Cassette Review // Aether "Janice Fears Dogsand" (Black Ring Rituals Records)

                                           



One of the things I've found in listening to music which can be harsh noise is that a lot of it drones, even when it comes through heavy, so when I hear someone using those harsh noise sounds in different ways it makes me excited.   "Janice Fears Dogsand" begins with this beep glitching sound and heavy breathing, but it eventually goes into this screaming.   At times, it can feel like just screaming through the HNW.

What's interesting about the screaming is that in some ways it's almost like singing to where this could be along the lines of a hardcore/metal type of idea.  But at the same time, the screaming is just pure agony.  It's that idea of going up onto a mountain or somewhere in the woods where you know no one else is around and just letting it all out.  This comes through glitching electronics and static until it feels almost like laughing and the beeping becomes like Pong. 

A pause, between songs now, and we come back with a loud "1234!" which takes us into wild percussion and screams.  What I love about listening to this is that it's pent up frustration being unleashed on your ears.  It's somewhere between hardcore and metal, harsh noise and noise.  Like a locomotive it comes through, pushing, and then the resonating bass really sets the mood.  

The whole time you hear this and think of HNW you're also thinking about this just being the most ruthless and loud band that you've ever heard before.  I'm hesitant to name names, but just thinking of someone like Darkest Hour and knowing it's wilder than that says a lot.  You can hear the drumsticks hitting each other, it gets heavily distorted and louder before ringing fades out to end the first side.

On the flip side we start with forceful blasts of distortion.  We get into a deeper bass synth type of sound.   Unlike the first side, there are no vocals here and this takes us on a magical noise ride.   Alien-like now, as if a spaceship is taking off, and then we go into the void.  You can hear airplanes and static skips before the screeching comes in.  It's cutting through the wind and then by the end you'll hear these Darth Vader-like movements.  

Everyone experiences music differently and that's one of the most beautiful things about it-- it doesn't hit everyone the same way.  When listening to this cassette by Aether, I feel like for how abrasive the first side was there was no choice but for the flip side to sound the way that it did.  I'm not saying that the B side was soft and quiet, but compared to the A side it felt like it was needed to sort of calm down for not only the listener but also the artist.  













Cassette Review // Walter Wright "Walter Wright" (MAANG #91)


https://www.kraag.org/


This is a cassette for which I do not have a lot of information.  It was released in 2016 and if you go to the site above you'll find the link of releases where #90 and #92 are shown- both by id m theft able- and this release is absent.  I did a flat out Google search, checked Bandcamp and checked Discogs and nothing really helped me find more information on this.  That actually makes it a bit cooler to me because you're going to have to dig to find this (probably) or if you're like me, pick it up from id m theft able at a show.

Footsteps begin this one.  A sound like a bouncing ball comes in, but then that sound is manipulated to where it squeaks and feels as if the bouncing ball is being crushed and making sounds based on that.   This feels like it could be a game of that type of tennis you play inside- when Kids In The Hall had The Eradicator- but it also just has that sound where you can feel as if it's being made with musical instruments of some kind over a field recording.

Screeching comes in now, like the zoo, and the level of this bouncing ball hitting increases to where it feels violent.   A fluttering of wind comes through now with electronics.   It's very much squeaky now, with higher pitched tones, but then these deeper demonic type of sounds come in the back to where they almost feel like they are forming words.   These whirrs go up and down while it sounds as if percussion is thundering down behind them.   A sort of glitch beeping now takes over as every other sound is thrown into chaos.

Banging and humming find their way into the sound as it slows down.   This feels rather mechanical and I'm not sure where exactly I saw this one going before but it feels now like it's inside one of those old barns that have airplanes in them- such as in The Rocketeer, but I know have been in many other forms of media throughout time.   It's just the echoing that makes it feel as such too.   Chirping like birds also comes through with these pinball machine type of glitches.  Still, that sound of an engine revving up and taking off persists.   

Loud, streaking lasers shoot through just when it seemed like it was calming down.  The rattling and banging of the percussion continues now as this sound like an air horn- as if to tell the villagers to evacuate the town- comes through and it is ever so loud.   The percussion becomes much heavier now, faster.   We're circling the drain now as the sound of fireworks streaking through the air comes in as well.   A scraping like vacuum comes through now, as the sounds waves up and down.

As everything once again seems to calm down to reach an end, there is this distinct type of laser sound coming through with a drone.  It feels like now we've just gone out into space and are blasting.   But this also somehow brings in this loud, horn type of sound.   This takes us into a percussion which sounds like bucket drumming.   It feels like we're getting washed at the end with this sound that's either up and down or back and forth while cleaning.  










Friday, February 23, 2024

Music Review // Laura Reznek "Time in the World"


What I love right away about this song by Laura Reznek is that it has this feeling of pop to it within the sound, but the way it is structured it might not be radio friendly.  At the start, this is a desolate pop song with pianos and it just feels like it's in a big room.  Acoustic strings come in and the line which is the title, "All of the time in the world" is repeated as almost a mantra.   Beats and claps come in and this maintains the same course.

About halfway through the song more lyrics enter.  This is intense and at one point it asks "Wouldn't you like to sleep?"   Big distortion with that crunch comes in as this journeys to its end.  Especially with pop songs you tend to think of them as being verse/chorus/verse, but Laura Reznek has this build where it starts at a one and takes us up to a ten, such as you would on an incline.  It just grows louder and stronger as it goes on.

The idea of having all of the time in the world is quite an interesting one.  In recent years more than ever it has felt like the life expectancy of the world is going down and so it doesn't feel that infinite any more.  At the same time, it seems like we're going to have shorter life spans perhaps because of everything else going on in the world.

I like to listen to this song and think of it in the opposite terms of what it says in the title.  I like to use it as motivation to do something because we don't have all the time in the world and if there is something you're planning on doing but you keep putting it off you might never get that chance to do it.  "Time in the World" is really an anthem for me to seize the day and hopefully it can be the same for you.  

Music Review // Mitchell Makoons "Courage"


Mitchell Makoons has created a song here that is an electric feeling folk number.  It has those elements where it can seem acoustic, but it really sounds more electric.  It's an electric John Denver sound that just flows quickly and direct to get the message across.  When you listen to this song though, I hope it does bring you "Courage".

There are a lot of things out there in the world which happen and make us feel like we need courage, even if we don't know it.  A lot of my social awkwardness and social anxiety can be placed to just thinking about how much I need courage.  Going somewhere I've never been before, for example, is one of those things and I always have that lingering idea of "What if my car gets towed?"  So I feel like I need someone there to tell me that my car won't get towed and if it does that's why I have AAA so I'll be okay.

This song takes us on a ride in that sense but much broader as well, as the world is currently a fairly scary place.  Mitchell Makoons sings in the chorus:" Creator give me courage / cause I'm scared as hell / everything keeps changing / I'm unsure of myself" and that's just needing positive reinforcement so we feel more certain of ourselves.  We need to focus on the good that could happen instead of the bad.

The chorus continues: "Don't know where I'm going / but I know just what to find / looking for a little peace of mind" and that's the conclusion of how we can find something in this world to help guide us through it.  I get it because everything is going up in price right now except for how much we get paid and so it seems like the future is just so unclear.  I hope this song can help provide us some of that courage to either spark that change or at least embrace it when it comes.  


Music Review // Acid Tongue "Acid On The Dancefloor"


If you're going to name your band Acid Tongue, people should expect you to have a song about taking the drug acid.  In some ways, Acid Tongue brings back those ideas of when rock n roll was dangerous and it kind of came through with the drugs but after the hippies.  It just feels like since the year 2000 rock n roll has generally been safer, so it's a nice change to have this song come on and be about drugs.

In a distorted rock n roll manner, there isn't a whole lot to say about the sound of Acid Tongue because by this point in time you should have an idea in your head of what a rock n roll song about drugs would sound like.   There is this nice sort of stomping beat in here though, which makes this feel catchy as well.  Musically, this is just upbeat and it feels like a lot of fun and, realistically, it makes me want to take acid and see Acid Tongue perform live.

Now, knowing what we know about drugs and how many of the pioneers of rock n roll who made music while on drugs, it might seem like a bad idea to have a song that seems like it's promoting drug use.  And it's not just that the band is saying it but it's like they're encouraging their fans to do it as well.   My feelings on that are simply that this doesn't feel like an endorsement in the sense of trying to get people to try acid for the first time, but rather a recognition of what is already happening.

Taking it one step further, the chorus even says: "I'm tripping on acid on the dancefloor / And I took too much", which could feel like a warning to make sure you don't take too much.  But to pretend like drug culture doesn't exist in rock n roll feels naïve, so to have a spotlight on it again just seems inevitable.   At the end of the day though, the message through this song, which feels like an important universal message is: "Let's be weird / Just let us be"


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Music Review // ROKI "Foolish Heart"


As soon as this song begins you know that you're in for a treat.  With elements of pop and big bass, ROKI has this sound which is unlike that of anyone else out there making music right now.  Between the music video and song itself, the closest artist I can come up with for comparison is Janet Jackson and that just speaks volumes on how grand this really is.  

This music video has elements which feel sexual but not overtly so.  You might even call this "sensual", which is something music videos had more of back in the heyday of MTV.  These days it feels like artists can just do whatever they want with music videos but you had to be somewhat toned down back then for cable television and in that way, with this video, ROKI does feel restrained which make it's that much more suggestive.

Within the movements and outfits in this video also comes a spiderweb in the background.  The message in this song is "Foolish heart, want what's not mine", as the chorus states, but then it gets into that indecision between going after something which you shouldn't.   On one hand, there are lines like "I'm doing good, I'm doing just fine without you" and at the same time ROKI professes "I crave what I can't get".

In my experience with music I've always felt like it's been one sided, it either is or it isn't.  The way that the lyrics on "Foolish Heart" are almost like ROKI debating with herself out loud whether or not she should go for this is really something which you don't hear a lot of in music in general.  So if you've got that indecision and need some help but might not reach a conclusion then this song is for you. 


Music Review // JEEN "Pour Your Heart"


The music of JEEN brings me somewhere between the alternative rock of the 1990's and the current sound of shoegaze.  I really enjoy how well this sound can combine the two so at times you can feel like this is a radio song from a band such as Letters To Cleo, but then at the same time you can hear artists like Lava Divers within here, in that more modern -gaze sense of music.

"Pour Your Heart" has this sound which just hits like a wave, but then there are these guitar parts which can be both intricate and huge at the same time.  In an oddly specific way this reminds me of a cross between The Verve and Sheryl Crow, which are both more nostalgic acts, but JEEN still finds a way to bring this all into the present tense and future.

Throughout this song, JEEN sings about pouring your heart out and this is just such a strong message to send.  A lot of times it feels as if music is talking in the lyrics, the person singing is the main character and they are telling you a story.  But in this case, "Pour Your Heart" just feels like JEEN is there to listen to you and as important as it is to have your voice be heard we all need to take time to just listen more.

JEEN has a sound which, as someone who really had their musical tastes perfected in the late 1990's, just makes me very happy.  It is everything I could hope for from a rock song in that sense of sounding something you'd have overlooked in 1996 but yet still feels present day enough to know that it's not.  And with a song about just knowing you have someone there to listen makes it even more special.  


Cassette Review // The Year We Discovered the Candy Drop "The Year We Discovered the Candy Drop"


https://idmtheftable.bandcamp.com/album/the-year-we-discovered-the-candy-drop


High pitched string plucks come through to start this off.  Sounds like traffic or a train passing by outside come in with it.   Whistling and then a feeling of hammering as well.  In a lot of ways, this makes me think of that old story about John Henry and how he built train tracks faster than a machine.  It feels like it has that mechanics of train tracks and machines, but then there is also this other sound which feels like a human clanking and banging to create a similar sound.  It really just feels like John Henry.

As we can begin to hear voices speaking, even higher pitched tones come in to join them.   Singing is in here now as well, replacing the high pitched tones, and then someone comes through saying you can win a hundred bucks but it feels a little distorted.   A loop now which feels like it's just pumping in a circle comes in and grows faster, feeling like we're going forward at large speeds.   Numbers are being read and the lucky winner is being found.  

Hearing this really makes me want to do more recording in random places, such as places where people might be but music might not.   This just really feels like it puts you right into the room, and if I was there in person I wouldn't have the winning number anyway.   I would not get to see Nancy to claim my door prize.   Motors are going by now and the voices are becoming more distant.   I believe the person on the speaker said they're getting the plane ready right now.   AC/DC can be heard over the house speakers now, as we are "Back In Black".

The plane is coming!   Everyone is cheering and you can hear the motor as a plane does a flyover.   After a laugh, this begins to swirl around to sound like a psychedelic swarm of bees.   Loud screaming and banging turns into a lot of applause.   Someone says something about a basketball game now and this field recording just has it all.  One day I hope to see drones playing basketball.  That'd be exciting.   Now a story about how someone got a potato but was told it was an apple.

There is the sound now like a turning of a jack-in-the-box, that type of melody, but also a lot of banging behind it.   Someone is speaking now through the rumbling of the train.   I'm not sure why these words are being yelled back and forth but I'm going to guess it has to do with trains.   They both just keep repeating "experts" now and I really want to be a train expert.   A quieter sound now, like blowing air into a soda bottle.  

The sound of running water is coming through now, such as a small stream coming from a faucet into a puddle.   Singing between two different people comes through now, as the water continues to drop.   The two voices are harmonizing together and also spelling out p-i-s-s, which is interesting with that sound of running water.   It feels like there could even be three voices singing at the same time now and applause can also be heard.  












Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Music Review // Nicky MacKenzie "Comfortable"


There is a lot to be said for this song "Comfortable" just in the sense that the message within it isn't about being comfortable so much as being not comfortable.  This raises one of those interesting points where you could wonder why the song wouldn't just be titled "Uncomfortable" and how that could change the whole basis of the song.   But it is just fun to take it as it is as well, without thinking about grammar.

The chorus has the lines "Don't wanna be comfortable / I can't be waiting too long", which makes sense, but I kept getting thrown off when they would say "I always wanna leave", but it's because it comes at the end of "I believe I can't get comfortable / If I always wanna leave".  That's your first sign that this song is about the opposite of the title and I feel like we all have places in our lives where we feel comfortable but they are less than they should be.

One of the lines I also really like says: "Close enough to find my truth but something's missing".   The thing about comfort and being comfortable is that there are times in life when you shouldn't be comfortable.   Sometimes you might find yourself getting too comfortable, and that's when you become complacent and just feeling stagnant and stale can really take its toll on your mental health.  Sometimes you need to keep moving.

With a big voice and overall sound like Alessia Cara, Nicky MacKenzie has created a song that wants to find comfort in living but also knows the importance of not settling at the same time.   Sometimes it's just a simple matter of knowing that the easiest way isn't always the right way, but if you've ever felt like your life was boring maybe it's time for you to put this song on and stop feeling so comfortable. 


Music Review // Hua Li 化力 "Part Time Muses"


Part Time Muses" begins with this energy that just does let up throughout the entire song.  On first listen, this feels like a pop song with elements of soul in it.  There are those thoughts of artists who you might hear on the pop radio in current time, but then there also is this added layer which can eventually be heard which pushes this more towards a genre of hip hop.

Musically, there isn't really rapping because there is singing but this sound can remind me of past artists such as TLC and Destiny's Child.  There is just a flow to it that is so smooth.  This is important as the song seems to present this idea of going to a place where you shouldn't go or that you don't want to go.   If you're a part time muse then that would suggest that sometimes you offer up inspiration and other times you don't.

This music video involves a lot of walking up and down the streets.   This plays into the idea when Hua Li refers to the avenues and questions why she went there.  So in many ways it feels like these part time muses are a place you can put into Google maps, but at the same time I feel like they can be almost vices- such as drugs and alcohol- as they can sometimes lead to an experience of writing a song but also at a price.

Whatever you feel like you are doing in your life that is going well at times but at other times does not could be your part time muse.  If you feel like you're spending too much time on something and just not getting that feeling from it which you feel like you should, then listen to "Part Time Muses" and demand satisfaction.  


Cassette Review // SPACE CAMP "GOLD STAR"


https://spacecampct.bandcamp.com/album/gold-star


The sound of SPACE CAMP can just overcome you like a wave.   To truly understand the sound of SPACE CAMP, in many ways you have to go back into the history of music which is both loud and violent.   I remember one of the first hardcore bands I ever heard was Sick Of It All.  Now, when you think about that sound as a genre of hardcore but then think of other bands who were prominent in the scene since then, it becomes quite vast.  

From Bane to Shut Down to Darkest Hour, the hardcore is out there if you're looking for it.  But SPACE CAMP seems to exist in the same sense that you would look at going from Sick Of It All to Atreyu or Nora-- it's an evolution.  One of the best ways that I think of this sound is being at the beach.  Imagine you go in the sand, as close to the water as you can get without getting too far into the water, and you pose for some sort of planned photo.

But your plans are interrupted by a wave crashing over head, drenching everyone involved and making for an unexpected yet somewhat cool photo.   SPACE CAMP has that type of sound.  It's hardcore, it's heavy, it's noisy, but most importantly you just feel it in every aspect of your body.  This sound completely consumes you.   This is that next evolution and I'm here for it.  This is the sound which could quite possibly end the world.

If you listen to modern versions of hardcore you may or may not be able to draw your own influences from SPACE CAMP.   For me, the nice touch to all of this is listening to a song like "WE HAVE DECIDED TO STAN FOREVER" and hearing these industrial elements in there, such as Nine Inch Nails might have used on one of those more instrumental songs on "The Fragile".  Regardless of the influences you hear, "GOLD STAR" is bold, in your face and not to be overlooked.  









Friday, February 16, 2024

Cassette Review // The Flesh, Full of Black Sand "Do You Feel Cold Hands Grasp at Your Throat as You Start to Fall Asleep?"

 




This begins with chopped up words but then says: "Welcome to a new dream".   I definitely enjoy how this already feels like it's going to play back and forth between the dream world and reality.   There is an eerie drone within here while the percussion pulsates behind it.   If this didn't feel so close to being scary, it could be quite relaxing.   A ringing comes through as well, and this makes it feel like we're in the movie "Psycho" as there is a great suspense.

As it grows louder, it begins to feel as if some strings are being strummed.  It feels like a harp with how they come out sounding, but they aren't as heavenly as a harp might sound.    We continue on with this feeling as if we're trapped in a basement somewhere with the only sounds we can hear are of someone sharpening their rusty knife.   The sound of heavy breathing and scraping come together now.

After a great deal of heavy breathing near the end there, we are told "Good luck", which comes out louder than everything else and can be a little bit of a jump scare since it interrupts the flow.   A brief pause and then the music returns as it fills the dark harbors like a mist, creeping up on us.   The sound comes through in waves, but then begins to build a steady pulsing beat.   The way that this moves now just feels like something out of a horror film.  This whole second half of the first side is just such a dark mood.

On the flip side we begin with these pianos of doom and then there is this mechanical back and forth which goes with it.   This is dark.   It feels desolate, barren.   Sounds like heavy breathing as this grows intense.    This is slow moving, like we're slowly sawing away at something which we wish to not be there any more, but it feels more metal than a tree.   This sound is as ambient as it is haunting.  
There is that way about this as well where it feels like footsteps echoing down the hall.   A little trill of the drumming takes us to an end of that piece.   It feels as if we might be done, as the silence takes over, but then we return with a bell tone with spoken words.   This drops off into a quieter drone which still can feel haunted and it's like we're in this place we're not sure we're supposed to be in.  

A sort of whirring / beeping comes through and then vocals in a Transformers type filter come through as well.  I'm not sure what it says, but it seems like a message from a machine so I can only assume it's dooming us all.   After a brief pause we return with that spooky air.  Wind chimes can be heard, normal at first but then they sound as if they're breaking.   They sound like they could be glass bottles now and they are back.   These are the only sounds breaking up the quiet, droning whirrs.

The sounds which come through next are these loud roars and it has me confused in a funny way.   To some extent, it has that scream like a baby makes because they are unable to communicate with words.   But at the same time, I just hear it like the type of primal sound a dinosaur would make.  Funny how those two sounds can be so similar, right?  This takes us to the end of this cassette and if you're certain that sound is either a dinosaur or a baby then you are probably wrong.  Maybe it's a baby dinosaur.