Friday, October 29, 2010

BONGRIPPER - Satan Worshipping Doom 2xlp

My weekend nights used to be about where my friends were going to be, what was going on, who was partying where. In the last few months I sort of detracted from that and started staying in and spending whatever time I got off from work with my girlfriend and my dogs. It's nice to sort of become unavailable for a while and just spend time with yourself. Work things out in your head, evaluate and reevaluate things that happen in your life. It's a positive thing. 

Since my job has changed over the last year I not longer work a Monday-Friday 9-5. My schedule is all over the place but I am usually always off one weekend day to enjoy. When I get out of work the day before a day off I tend to do a few routine things. One is head to my parents house to pick up any records I may have gotten delivered ( I haven't begun to trust my mail person at this apartment yet). Next is grab some alcohol from the store, come home and get some take out with the lady and watch a movie. After all that, when my girlfriend goes to bed I like to go into my record room and sit on the couch and put on something that can melt away an entire weeks worth of grief. I tend to have a nice alcoholic drink within reach and my dog, Lemmy, by my side. We will sit and listen to Boris or Floor and just relax. Let time melt away and just enjoy the sounds rumbling from the speakers.

Tonight Lemmy and I have found our new soundtrack.

Satan Worshipping Doom is the most recent album from Chicago Doom monsters, Bongripper. It was released back in August of this year but it took me until today to receive it. This is the first release I have purchased from the band and that is both exciting and totally sad. This however is not the first I have heard of the band.

While checking out some sale threads over on the Vinyl Collective message board, I found a guy selling some records and cassettes. One of those tapes was by Bongripper. I wanted it right away just based on the name but I acted too slow and missed out. I found the bands Myspace page and checked out a few songs and thought it was something worth checking out. Fast forwarding, I heard about this record coming out and when I saw the artwork I knew I had to have it. However I completely missed the first press of the record and just today received my copy of the second press.

This album is amazing. It's heavy, it's thunderous, it's sludgy. It is an all instrumental album and turns out it is also the bands sixth full length album. The album is only 4 tracks spread over 4 sides of vinyl. Each side gets it's own soundtrack. Saying they are songs doesn't feel quite right because this album is so much more then that. The titles of each side are Hail, Satan, Worship, Doom. This is one to put on and melt into your couch with. Each instrument is clearly audible and while it forms a monsterous wall of sound, you can still make sense of it all. I had my receiver set a little bass heavy when I put this on and it sounded so good I didn't bother to adjust. I imagine the ride to Hell being a long, slow ride in an elevator. The only light being one red lightbulb, smoke filling the small area which is hot and humid and this record pounding out through the speakers.

At least that's what I hope it's like.

Like I mentioned before this is the second press of the record. I think the first press was 300 copies and this press is out of 200. It is on a beautiful red and black mix vinyl that is totally fitting. The albums artwork is also absolutely beautiful and totally jam packed with crazy images. Inside the sleeve there is also a smaller sheet of paper with some additional artwork, song listing and some contact information as well as a download code.
I found this available a few places online but ultimately ordered directly from the band through their website. I got the record in a timely manner and it was even packaged correctly to appease the vinyl world. Records out of the sleeve and wrapped in bubble wrap and sent in an LP mailer. All this for like $22 bucks shipped so I recommend hurrying to that link above and grabbing yourself a copy. From what I understand these are going fast and won't be repressed again any time soon.


While working on the next update I figured I would throw my twitter link on here in case anyone is interested in that.

SurfaceNoise on twitter!

The Cro(w)s - 7" and Durty Bunny LP

I first purchased this record I think around 2000 or 2001. Give or take a year on those dates. I basically bought this because of the name of the band. The Sheryl Cro(w) Mags. What's not to love? I still chuckle when I say it out loud. I guess that isn't the only reason I bought it though. Around that time the name Chris Wollard on a record was a no brainer for me. After all, Hot Water Music had been churning out record after record of solid rock albums and there was no better music investment at the time. You couldn't lose with a record any of the HWM guys were involved with. Everyone is familiar with Hot Water Music, and if you aren't please give me one damn good reason why not. This was one of those side projects that I really felt slipped through the cracks.

This 7" contains 2 songs. #1 Hit (also on LP) and Watch For Repetition. Neither are really knock your socks off punk rock anthems but if you ever see this record sitting around for a couple bucks pick it up. It's certainly worth having. It was released on Crows and Pawns which I think probably only put out this one record and I'm sure this was heavily distributed by No Idea Records. There were 1200 copies of this 7" pressed. 100 on clear brown, 200 on pink marble and 900 on black. If anyone out there has a copy on pink or brown that would like to get rid of it let me know! I tried looking up the Crows and Pawns website listed on here but it somehow redirected me to adult friend finder. Thanks Nicelips2, I think you're cute too but I need to finish this update. Maybe later.In the mean time the band still has a website available here.

The band also dropped their name down to a simpler The Cro(w)s and released this full length LP "Durty Bunny" in 2003. This took me a while to track down but I eventually found a copy at Vinyl Junkie. They no longer have them available but it's still a good distro to check out. When the band put out their first record they were a three piece. They lost a member and gained two others. On this release the band is Chris Wollard (HWM), Bill Clower (Radon), James Ross (Radon) and Kaleb Stewart ( As Friends Rust). Similar to a Hot Water Music record but I think maybe a little more Rock and Roll. The song Everyday Revisited has been on every mix tape I have made in the last 2 years or so. It's is an excellent faster song which has a little harmonica in it.

The record was released on Sounds of Subterrania which is a German Label. It looks like they still have this LP available on their website and it will run you about $16 plus shipping. Get yourself an online translator and maybe find a few other records in their distro to save on shipping costs. The record itself is on thick 180 gram vinyl and comes with the outer sleeve and a lyric sheet which has the lyrics for 10 of the 11 songs. The extra song is at the end of side A and the lyrics are just the name of the album.

Overall I really think this is a must own if you are a fan of Chris Wollard, Hot Water Music or any of Chris' countless other side projects. It's a great record to throw on and enjoy a few beers too and share with friends. Mostly fast paced, gruff vocals, some nice riffs and even some backing vocals by fellow Hot Water Music band mate Chuck Ragan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All Pigs Must Die - s/t

If someone told me that Matt Woods, Adam Wentworth, Kevin Baker and Ben Koller were putting out a record together I would not hesitate in ordering it based on nothing more than those names. Tell me that Florian Bertmer, one of my favorite artists going, is doing the artwork and I can't put my money in your hands fast enough. Inform me that the new Shirts & Destroy record label NonBeliever is responsible for all of this and I am literally waiting at my door for the package to arrive.

This is step by step how it all happened for me.

APMD consists of the above mentioned four members, who without knowing, have been partly responsible for me almost getting into more then a few car wrecks in my time. Previous and ongoing bands that these four men are involved with are some of the heaviest bands out there. You can not put on a Converge record and keep the accelerator at 55 mph. You can not drive in a straight line while flailing your arms about while blasting any Doomriders track. The irresponsibility that takes place on the road while I listen to these bands continues as you go through the extremely impressive discography these members have churned out over the years. 

If those records and bands have come close, this record is surely going to get me into some trouble.

This record is 5 songs and is over way too fast. The music is tight, fast and punishing. My heart is racing just from listening to this. Kevin's vocals are one of my favorite in hardcore/metal. The honesty, the misanthropy, the hate scream from my speakers and fill the air with brutal emotion. There is no bullshit about this record. They call it as they see it and there is zero hesitation to paint a realistic and graphic picture for the listener. You can't do anything but respect that.

The artwork is done by German Florian Bertmer  who has never let me down. I purchased the $65 super nerd package and his artwork is on everything from the gatefold LP sleeve to the patch and the amazing screened poster. I can not wait to get that print framed and up on my wall. It is one of my favorites in recent memory.

Pressing information seems to be 150 copies on 180 gram vinyl in that clear/black/smoke colorway. This color was exclusive to the $65 package and is now sold out. The remaining 850 copies are on black 180 gram vinyl and available here for $15. You can also get a T-shirt here but the stock seems to be getting a little low.

There is still some time left but I would be amazed if a record came out by the end of the year that tops this. I've read that the band has already put 7 new songs to demo so hopefully there isn't too much of a wait for a full length. That should give me enough time to save up money for any future traffic incidents. 

Torche - Songs For Singles

After the departure of guitar player Juan Montoya a while back, it was clear to anyone who saw the band live that Torche was changing. The now 3 piece were more playful on stage and the sound, while still heavy, was just different. Songs For Singles is the first recorded documentation of the new Torche sound.

The record starts out fast and fun with the tracks "U.F.O.", "Lay Low" and "Hideaway". Those first 3 songs fly by in under five minutes and if you aren't paying attention you will lose track of what song you are listening to. Things slow down a little on the track "Arrowhead" which really has some of the first heaviness on the record. The tempo once again picks up for the song " Shine on My Old Ways" which is followed by "Cast Into Unknown" which sounds like it could have been on Meanderthal.

The final two tracks on Songs for Singles are the stand outs. "Face the Wall" is a slow, heavy and hypnotic monster. The power of this song is immediate but it's unbelievable live. The whole mood and energy in the room changes with this track and for my money is the best song on the record. Things end with "Out Again" which clocks in at over 6 minutes and can be equally as hypnotic as "Face The Wall" but in a lighter way.

The LP is packaged to mimic a greeting card and actually comes with a letter opener to slice your way through the top of the outer envelope. I have seen people that took the time to steam open the seal but I was entirely too impatient to go that route. Inside the envelope you find a picture of the guys on the front of the card and when opened the album notes look handwritten. A simple HydraHead records seal on the back for a very simple package. I am not in love with the packaging but honestly how to you follow up the massive layout of Meanderthal?

There are multiple color variations for this release. I think something like 5 different colors. The copy I bought was on teal colored vinyl and came from Vacation Vinyl records. I did not receive a letter opener with my copy but the guys were gracious enough to give me one at one of their shows. I have heard that mail order copies are now coming with the opener but I am not 100% on that. It seems that the copies the band have with them are on white vinyl.

Seeing the band play songs off of Songs for Singles gave me a slightly different opinion of the tracks then just hearing them on my turntable. The record seems to be more of a flirtation then a love affair found on previous releases but in the end it leaves you hoping that something more permanent develops. I am eagerly awaiting the next full length record from Torche.