Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Podcast: Ep. 21 - Black Friday and Shit Gets Out of Hand

Lost Tribe Podcast
EP. 21 - Black Friday and Shit Gets Out of Hand

This episode the boys discuss the shameful ridiculousness that is black friday.  I mean really people, do you actually NEED to buy a leaf blower that's 8% off on Thanksgiving?  You Americans are crazy.  There is also lots of lamenting about shitty show venues, but tons of praise for adults-only movie theatres (not that kind of theatre, sicko).  Finally, the consule vs. Computers debate begins to rage!

Get it on iTunes or here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: Fucked Up - Year of the Pig

Fucked Up
Year of the Pig

1. Year of the pig
2. The Black Hats

Starting in 2006, Fucked Up began putting out a pretty-much-yearly 12 inch single (with b-side) centered around the Chinese “Year of the ____” zodiac calendar.  Starting with Year of the Dog, these annual releases usually go far beyond Fucked Up’s already bizarre musical purview, regularly resulting in long instrumental sections, 15+ minute tracks, and esoteric lyrical content.  In other words, these zodiac releases are where Fucked Up, an already weird and enigmatic band, gets to be more bizarre than usual.

While some might find the above description less-than-favourable, I actually mean it in the most endearing way.  These ‘Year of the...’ releases often result in some of the most interesting and enjoyable output by these Toronto legends.  While I regularly hunt down each of these releases, Year of the Pig has always held a special place in my musical heart.  Not only was this the release that solidified Fucked Up as one of my favourite all-time bands, but proved that you could add melodic female vocals and piano interludes to a 18 minute song and still rightfully call it ‘hardcore’.

The lyrical subject matter of the title track deals with Robert Pickton (a notorious serial killer, who fed his prostitute victims to his pigs to dispose of evidence) and the chronic mistreatment of sex workers in Canada.  With guest vocals by Jennifer Castles (Castlemusic), the group is able to present a haunting and compelling composition about an important and often overlooked social matter.  It’s proof that there truly isn’t anything that this band can’t do.  Oh ya, and it’s a 18 minute song that never gets boring, and I don’t think I’ve ever willingly skipped over in favour of a shorter song....and this coming from a guy who prefers grindcore and powerviolence to most other forms of music.

As if that wasn’t enough, the 12” single also comes with an original b-side called “The Black Hats” which is a pleasant mix of old/hardcore and new/progressive Fucked Up.  In fact, it’s one of those songs that I always secretly hope they play live and scream myself horse whenever they do.

Do yourself a favour and pick up all of Fucked Up’s zodiac records, but especially this one.  Get it here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Podcast - Ep. 20: ...Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying ad Love Thrash Metal

Lost Tribe Podcast
Ep. 20: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying ad Love Thrash Metal

In this episode we find out what happens when a punk falls out of love with Social Distortion and in love with Thrash Metal, but not before pointing out that a tv biker gang is waaaaay different than a real biker gang.  The boys then proceed to shit talk Metallica and discuss how nazi-esque Norwegian Black Metal can be.

Get it on iTunes or here.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Review: Skin Like Iron - Arrival

Skin Like Iron

01. Arrival
02. Blame
03. Legions
04. Silence Swells
05. Freeze
06. Blame II
07. Consequences
08. Dim Horizon
09. Reason
10. Wisdom

The first time I ever heard Skin Like Iron, I’m ashamed to admit, was their split with Nails that was put out earlier this year.  I say I am ashamed of this because this band has been absolutely tearing it up for over 5 years and I somehow completely missed out on them.  Luckily for me, I have been able to dive into their back catalog like a fat kid swimming in pudding and revel in all of their metallic glory.

Now, anyone who listens to the Lost Tribe podcast probably knows that I have a hard time figuring out whey SLI is classified as a hardcore band, and Arrival furthers this mystification.  I mean, it’s obvious that these guys grew up on a healthy dose of Black Flag, COC, and a ton of cross-over bands, but in my opinion, Skin Like Iron is a straight-up metal band....and one of the best metal bands currently thrashing today.

The riffs on Arrival are massive, and the melodies and rhythms seem like a logical extension of what the band had been doing on All Human Failings and Descent Into Light.  There are true dynamics to this record as well, which is a welcome change to many similar groups, who seem to be stuck on ‘shred’ 100% of the time.  These more subdued parts make the faster, more cacophonous parts seem all the more crushing and impactful.  Listen to “Arrival” or “Consequences” and try and tell me I’m wrong.

Metalheads and hardcore should put aside their mosh-pit differences to celebrate this criminally underrated band. 

Buy the album here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Podcast: Ep. 19 - Pushin' Books Like Blue Meth

Lost Tribe Podcast

Episode 20: Pushin' Books Like Blue Meth

In this episode the boys are re-joined by their guest host, Smithers while they talk about all things comic books.  After that, season 5 of Breaking Bad is thoroughly discussed and praised.  Because it's fucking awesome.

Get it from iTunes or download it here.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Review: Purity Control - Adjusting

Purity Control

Track Listing:
1. Dear Life
2. Insect Politics
3. Swallowing
4. Light Pollution
5. Mock Suicide
6. Gag Order

During this year’s Not Dead Yet Fest there was heightened anticipation for many bands: Boston Strangler, Iron Lung, Career Suicide, etc.  While this was all deserved, I was additionally excited to check out Toronto’s own Purity Control yet again.  Why would I be anticipating seeing a local band that plays shows on a fairly regular basis?  Because I like good music, that’s why. I like breakneck, blistering, bludgeoning music.

Now, the time it took you to read that last paragraph is about the time it will take you to listen Adjusting, one of Purity Control’s two new 7”’s (the other being the equally impressive, Coping).  Adjusting is 6 tracks (I added it up) hardcore-inspired power violence at its finest.  The first track, “Dear Life” begins with a trudging build-up that explodes into a furry of misanthropic fury.  The second track “Insect Politics” doesn’t allow for any slower tempos, delivering 27 seconds of raw grind power. After that there is a steady barrage of grinding power-violence with a trudging hardcore sentimentality that translates the bands on-stage intensity in a way that I wasn't sure was possible (needless to say, this band is a 'must-see' live act).  "Light Pollution" and "Gag Order" especially show exactly why this band is getting so much well-deserved buzz/press/whatever you call it when people talk about power-violence bands. 

Buy it straight from the band here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Podcast: Lost Tribe Ep. 18 - Dredd and the Return of Comic Talk

Lost Tribe Podcast
Ep. 18 - Dredd and the Return of Comic Talk

In this episode the boys are joined by a special guest and get back to their nerd roots.  Tons of metal talk, reminiscing about shows of yester-year, and a thorough run-down of Dredd.  Then everyone talks about what they are big, giant, scaredy-cats about and finally some good old-fashion comic book talk!  It's been way too long since the boys discussed all things x-men, avengers, and how DC sucks.  Enjoy!

Get it on iTunes or here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: Code Orange Kids - Love is Love // Return to Dust

Code Orange Kids
Love is Love // Return to Dust

1.  Flowermouth (The Leech)
2.  Around My Neck // On My Head
3.  Sleep (I've Been Slipping)
4.  Liars // Trudge
5.  Colors (Into Nothing)
6.  Nothing (The Rat)
7.  Roots Are Certain (Sky Is Empty)
8.  Choices (Love Is Love)
9.  Calm // Breathe
10. Bloom (Return To Dust)

When I attended This is Hardcore 2012 I knew that Code Orange Kids were playing, but to be honest I wasn’t particularly looking forward to their set.  I was tangentially aware of the group, especially since their signing to Deathwish Inc. had been announced long before, but was put off by simple things like the band’s name, aesthetic, etc.  Are those stupid reasons to not check out a band?  Sure.  But what can I say; sometimes I’m lazy and try to wade through the sea of up-and-coming bands by less than perfect means.

So going into TIH I was expecting a quick and unremarkable early day set from these too-young-to-drink-in-America looking kids, but was blown away as soon as they hit the stage.  This group was tight, loud, chaotic, and brought an intensity to the show that sent me running for the merch table to pick up both of their 7”s and the cassette they had for sale.  In short, I was completely wrong about Code Orange Kids and has now kicking myself about missing out on these guys/gal for as long as I had.

The only question that remained was whether they could put together a full album that would match the quality of output their 7”s and live performance promised.  Unfortunately, a full length LP can often spell doom for hardcore bands, who are able to string together 5-10 minutes of intense music, but fall apart, get overly-artsy, sound boring, etc. when it comes to a lengthier release.

Luckily, Code Orange Kids don’t fall prey to the LP-curse.  Love is Love // Return to Dust completely delivers!  Songs like “Flowermouth (The Leech)”, “Nothing (The Rat)” and “Roots and Certain // Sky is Empty” stand out as punishingly heavy tracks, but still offer enough variety and dynamics to not seem monotonous or overly repetitive.  There is no shortage of memorable riffs, crushing bass lines, and sludgy breakdowns, and the group also delivers on several more atmospheric tracks (although these tend to drag a little in places, but not enough to detract from the album as a whole). 

So be smarter than me and get into Code Orange Kids as soon as possible.  Definitely check out their earlier output, but Love is Love // Return to Dust will deliver the destructive, doomy, down-tuned art-rock/hardcore that I know you are craving.

It’s not available to buy just yet, but when it is you can get it here.