bigthinks’ picks of the week

30/08/2010 2 comments

This will be a lil’ weekly blog about what’s been floating my musical vessel for the week. Any genre may crop up, and usually I will include not only new releases, but albums that I think are just generally worth checking out. I won’t bother covering the more mainstream or well-known releases obviously as you won’t bother reading about it here when you can read about it in Kerrang!; it would be a waste of my time. I also promise right here to minimise my use of the word ‘brutal’. So yeah this week I have mostly been listening to;

ION DISSONANCE - CURSED

The new release from Canada’s technical metal stalwarts is heavy as a concrete elephant fucking an oil tanker into oblivion. From the first few seconds in I knew I had to talk about this record here. Ion Dissonance combine intense technical chugging using, what sounds to me like drop A tuned guitars with schizophrenic tapping, dissonant chords, inventive breakdowns and enough fretboard speed to make your face collapse to a quantum singularity. Combined with amazing drumming and some ferocious metalcore-esque vocals you’ll never know quite where you’re at or what the hell you were doing before you pressed play. Essential.

8/10

F.F.O – Meshuggah, SikTh, Anata, Botch.

Recommended track – You People Are Messed Up

http://www.myspace.com/iondissonance

Introrectalgestation - Hooves Of Human Teeth

Turned onto me by Terrorizer magazine this is extreme death metal hailing from Hull. This band blew me away at the Dead Haggis death fest just last week as a mere three-piece! Now with their second guitarist returning they’re sure to be a stand out act on any bill. The EP ‘Hooves of Human Teeth’ bares the legend ‘Rampant Blasting Death Grind’ and does exactly what it says on the tin, but more;  With so many of todays extreme death bands, the experience of listening to them can be like looking for a single tooth in a blood drenched pulped mush of viscera; all the songs can seem to blend together, bands can be hard to tell apart and it becomes a chore to remember why we should care. IRG however bring a level of craftsmanship rarely seen before in the genre, and weave a complex tapestry of their influences whilst never compromising on extremity.  Heavy… HEAVY music with disturbing artwork reminiscent of Silent Hill this EP is a great purchase.

8/10

F.F.O – Ingested, Devourment, Wormed, Human Mincer.

Recommended Track – Hooves Of Human Teeth

http://www.myspace.com/introrectalgestation

Swarming Hordes - Swarming Hordes

What is it about the American North West area and amazing bands? Arguably the beginings of tech death were laid down with this Seattle band’s instrumental insanity in 1995, though much has come since, you’ve never heard anything quite like this before. Quite frankly astonishing technical skill is used to denote  a Sultan’s wealth of expression and honest emotion through blistering dueling guitar riffs, complex melodies and split second timing. Endless ideas are explored here so well and it’s wonderful hear a band whose songs all sound different. Though at the moment quite unsung, their discography is being made available from Trademark Recordings so I expect a resurgence soon. I got this album as a digital download from Amazon.co.uk and have hardly stopped listening to it since. Definitely one of the most vital bands to emerge from Seattle in my opinion; oh yes! You read that correctly.

9/10

F.F.O – Necrophagist, Decapitated, Cryptopsy, Psyopus, Primus.

Recommended Track – Firmly Ensnuggled By The Fearsome Bladder Wort

http://www.myspace.com/swarminghordes

Goldfrapp - Velvet Mountain

I became aware of Goldfrapp through the TV series ‘Monkey Dust’ quite a number of years ago, but have only just checked out their work so most of you will already be aware of this brilliant album, but fuck it I want to talk about it. This electronica duo formed in 1999 have utilised a number of different styles throughout their discography, this debut release could said to sit comfortably amongst the trip-hop artists of the late 90’s and early 00’s, though apparently their sound has evolved since. I love Alison Goldfrapp’s voice; the soft vintage crooning lays down so well with the cinematic score of songs like ‘Lovely Head’ and smolders on the jazzy lounge of ‘Human’; together they make such beautiful and eccentric dreams. Buy it on vinyl if you can, pop on the headphones in a warmly lit room and bliss out.

8/10

F.F.O – Portishead, Boards of Canada, UNKLE.

Recommended Track – Lovely Head

http://www.myspace.com/goldfrapp

Thanks for reading. Happy listening!

-Martin

Categories: Metal, Music, Review

Updates on the upcoming Unnatural Selection debut EP ‘En Theos’

22/08/2010 Leave a comment

As most of you reading this blog will know my band Unnatural Selection are recording our debut EP D.I Y style on my laptop, this decision was mostly born out of issues of money, time and a personal desire to limit the process to as few people as possible; I get very possessive of personal projects you see… But besides this I personally think this approach has given the project a lot more edge and authenticity. Part of the ethos of grindcore, I’m sure you know, involves the D.I.Y ethic, as did punk before it. Artists using whatever means and materials they have, to get their music heard is a topic that really resonates with me, especially since I got to explore themes like this in my dissertation. I love the idea of music that was produced entirely beyond the scope of the industry, without compromising the artists’ vision and without any motivation, other than for the sake of expression. It’s honest I guess, and pure. (Well that’s debatable… Let’s say ‘purer’.) I feel that the striving for perfection and hungering for the dollar is a problem in today’s music scene, with fans becoming apathetic about artists pandering to them more and more in an effort to get the rat eyed little thieves to buy their album (*coughs* METALLICA!!!! *coughs*).

It’s been really hard, and it still is; as much as I am liberated I am hindered; hindered by my lack of experience and knowledge of the recording process. I’m not going to debate the pro’s and con’s of D.I.Y vs professional production here, Jesus this was just going to be a little blog about where me and Tom are at with the sodding thing!

Anyway, we’re almost there; a few vocal fuck ups have to be re-recorded, as well as some guitar stuff but other than that the music’s finished. We need to come up with album art that we can manage ourselves but we’ve got time still. We’re also thinking of putting the album up for download in exchange for a charitable donation as well as just for free if people wish… But that’s another thing we need to discuss.

We can’t wait to get it finished, we’re bubbling over with ideas for the next EP, which already has a title and theme to be disclosed later, as well as ideas that won’t make it on either EP; maybe they’ll be on splits with other bands, but almost certainly they’ll become part of our live shows.

This is what it’s all about for us, please visit our myspace page, or message us for a chat, we’re friendly guys! And make sure to download our music and make the effort to come to shows (when we have them). We’ll be eternally grateful.

Categories: Unnatural Selection

The Piper’s Deep Pockets

22/08/2010 2 comments

(sigh) I took the last 5 days off work and by Christ have they flown by. I had all these plans to get stuff done and use the time wisely, and by all definitions I probably have done just that; I got some recording done, spent time with my girlfriend and with friends, I spent time out and about and I even made some new acquaintances, whom I’m sure will prove valuable to have as I try to really get my creative career going. No matter how much is accomplished it never seems like enough time does it? Especially when your job is as far away from your ideal as it could possibly be.

For purposes of not wanting to get fired for slagging off my employers, I will not divulge their name, but I will say I work in a large department store. Yeah envy me right? It’s been my desire for some time now to live my life for my creative passions, find a way to make say, my band support my life so I can enjoy a life of creativity. And before you think I’m romantacizing such a life choice, thinking it’ll all be opportunity and fulfilment left and right, let me assure you I understand how cripplingly poor and artistically frustrated I would be (as well as a long list of other problems too tedious to go through here), but I’m sure all this suffering would not be worse than the current suffering I undergo on a daily basis. After all, existence is suffering; so choose a suffering you can deal with.

I spent so long in education putting off when I’d have to join the “real world”, gaining more debt and less experience; and now I’m reaping it and let me tell you; it hurts. It really bloody does. Not that I regret my education, I just really wish I’d made more of it. I thoroughly treated it like a stop-gap, I never committed to it and as a result I left uni with a vague degree, mediocre results, no connections, few friends, and absolutely fuck all idea what I wanted to do in general. Add a recession on top of that and you get fuckmylife soup. Now I have no choice but to work shit jobs I can’t stand and that pay peanuts to help support my family who have so wonderfully supported me throughout my confused romp that was my adolescence. Hence the (sigh).

I may have lost a few of you there with that self-pitying monologue so I apologise and will now attempt to win you all back with my conclusion;

Whilst I was at uni I was lucky enough to read ‘Candide’ by Voltaire, if you’ve not read it it’s a wonderfully satirical adventure story of a naive young student and his tutor travelling the world, confronting some of its stickiest problems and attempting to make sense of it all using the popular black and white, pessimistic and optimistic philosophies of the day. Hopefully without spoiling it for you, the student Candide states at the end of the book “we must tend to our gardens”; meaning that things can always be better and they can always get worse, there is no perfection and good times will never last; but that’s no excuse to not try because you get out of life what you put in. Hard work and effort reap rewards to be enjoyed but it’s fair that they don’t last forever, so when things get tough it’s time to start making them better again. All we can do is keep trying to make things the best they possibly can be and we have to leave the rest of it up to (for lack of a better word) fate.

Relaying this message makes me feel good about life and hopeful for the future, but I guarantee this feeling wont last me the train journey to work tomorrow… Oh well. C’est la vie.

Categories: Uncategorized
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