Friday, May 30, 2008

Ill Blood

In 2001 Bridge 9 re-released Toronto's No Warning's self-titled 7'', and it was my introduction to the band. I remember going to many Worcester shows, seeing B9's small (at the time) discography on sale, and after awhile I broke and bought it. That record, with "A Day In The Life" and "Too Much To Bare" hooked me and I probably listened to it everyday that year.

Then one year later they put it to a full-length and released "Ill Blood", a record that not only introduced hundreds of younger hardcore kids to the Cro-Mags and Judge, but was absolutely the best NYHC record of my generation...and they're from Toronto! The energy, the hooks, the riffs, the lyrics, the heavy drums and that nuts live show.

In those couple of years I saw No Warning three times in New England, but the best was at the Back To School Jam in Framingham, MA. The line-up was out of control: Some Kind Of Hate, Impact, Fit For Abuse, Count Me Out, Panic, No Warning, Reach The Sky, Converge (canceled because Kurt broke his hand, Hatebreed showed up and played a set of covers), Stars & Stripes, Slapshot and Blood For Blood. Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Anyways, I remember that "Ill Blood" has just come out, kids were flying everywhere and the singer kept instigating the cops who were doing security.

"Ill Blood" was one of the greatest hardcore records to come out of my generation of hardcore bands and they inspired legions of bands to copy the sound that they copied and perfected themselves. Everyone needs this record. Even if they made some, ahem, bad decisions further down the line, it's heavy, pissed and focused.

Bjorn from Rise & Fall has a two-part interview with the guitar player at his blog:

Thursday, May 22, 2008


fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cursed III: Architects of Troubled Sleep

(For fans of all things very heavy and very angry.)

I've been a fan of Cursed since Deathwish put out their debut "I", in 2003. I loved the darkness in the guitar tones, Chris Colohan's intense lyrics and growl, and the band's imagery, evident on all their releases and merch. I remember buying "II" in the summer of 2005 and to this day that record reminds me of driving up and down 95 in the dead heat of summer, blasting those cold, sinister songs.

Three years later Cursed finally put out "III: Architects of Troubled Sleep", and it is by far their angriest, most intense record so far. The minute and a half sample collage that opens it sets the tone for the rest of the record. Voices go in and out, talking about fear. In the end a woman states, "We really begin to feel that you don't have any power. That you're just going through the motions," before a man interrupts her with, "Go shopping. Go back to the mall, go back to your normal lives. We'll take care of everything." With that, Cursed leap into a blast beat that they don't relent from for the next 30 minutes. Insomnia, distrust and frustration are the keys and fear through religion and government is the subject they explore.

Cursed are on the top of their game and I am sick of waiting patiently for them to tour the States, (they're from Toronto). Oh yeah, and the artwork (top picture) was done by Baroness's John Baizley. That man's resume is incredible.

"Kill the bosses.
Kill the priests.
Kill the shepherds.
Save the sheep."

"Don't wanna bite the hand that feeds
I wanna fucking break it off."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Yesterday at the bar I met a local Vietnam veteran. I picked his brain for a half hour about his experiences and when I asked him if his year and a half tour was of average length he replied, "My tour was a little more than average and at the time I was furious, but compared to our troops' tours today, I have no complaints."

After that I started thinking, really thinking about what it means to serve two + tours like is commonplace today. All I kept thinking about was the Pogues' "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". The eight-minute traditional song, sung from the point of view of a young Australian soldier about his experiences at WWI's Battle of Gallipoli is, as my friend John drunkenly declared to me on St. Patrick's Day at his apartment in Cambridge, undoubtedly the saddest song we know.

The more I think about that declaration, the more I believe it. I don't know a sadder song. I can't think of another song that literally hurts to listen to like "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". Love songs hurt on a personal level; "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" hurts on a human level. It extends beyond your small life and looks at the experience of war that has lasted as long as humans have been on Earth.

No wonder Shane MasGowan's an alcoholic.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

True Punk & Metal

This blog has been one of my absolute favorites over the past year or so. I think the guy who does it has a hand in Gloom Records, a great Albany label that has put out awesome bands like Last In Line, 9 Shocks Terror, Close Call, Cut the Shit and the Prowl. Anyways, he searches his amazing record collection, uploads a record, and reminisces about it. He pulls out a lot of gems and tells great stories about growing up as a metalhead in Albany in the 80's.

"I eventually bought this only because the band thanked bong hits & brew hahs, I was baffled that this came out on the label that it did, not typical at all. Listening to this totally brings back those memories of Luke picking me up Friday after work, and us hitting all four record stores in Albany. I typically might have spent about $80 a week on records back then."

Soo good!


Friday, May 02, 2008

A good week for Providence

Also, Tragedy tomorrow!


I've been thinking a lot about Florida's Torche lately. Since I first heard them I've been absolutely hooked and they remain one of the heaviest live bands I've ever seen.

In the Spring of 2006 I went to see Mogwai at the Starlight Ballroom in Philly and was absolutely blown away by the volume and heaviness of the opening band, Torche. I knew the name, as they had opened up for Paint It Black a couple of years prior at the Church, but I had missed them then. I know the drugs had something to do with it, but I just couldn't get over their sound that night at the Starlight. Since then I've seen them once more, opening for Isis at the TLA.

The idea of intense riffs mixed with a slight pop sound is so simple and incredible that I wonder why it wasn't capitalized on earlier. Sabbath and QotSA might have flirted with it, but Sabbath relied more on songwriting than just riffs and Torche is a HUGE riff band.

Also, check out this awesome packaging courtesy of Robotic Empire.

I recommend: "In Return" and a six-pack.