Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More reviews shortly

Well I guess I didn't expect the holidays to be as busy as they ended up being. Wanted to get a review done for each day in December but I have fallen well short of that. Work basically every day and then need to do run errands after work, holiday parties etc. So looks like 31 won't be happening but I do have a few more going up this week. Most likely Wednesday and Thursday. So I hope you enjoy and thanks for sticking around and checking out my scribblings.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Disappearer - The Clearing

As 2010 draws to a close, many folks are compiling their "Best of the Year" lists. Since I still have a few records I feel could place in my top ten, still unlistened too, I am not ready to make that post yet. Instead I thought I would go back and talk about my favorite release from last year. One that, a year later, I still feel hasn't gotten the recognition it should have.

I don't remember how exactly I first heard Disappearer but I am eternally grateful I did not miss the boat on this incredibly powerful release. Since this record arrived in the mail it has been in constant rotation. More than a full year later this record still gets listened to a few times a week, and in my opinion is one of the greatest records to come out in the last ten years. I might seem like I am overselling it, but believe me when I say this, this record makes me wish I could afford to buy every copy and give it away to every person that I thought should hear it. I don't have to be a thousandaire to make that happen because the full album is already available for free download online and you don't have to feel like a dirt ball when you take it for yourself. You can head over to Gimme Sound and pick it up there and every download nets the band, label and a charity some cash.

Magic Bullet put out The Clearing on 2xlp format. I have long supported Brent and MBR although there is still a large chunk of his releases I still have not heard. I've never met the man but I'd like to think that he and I could share some good music conversation over a drink or two. This label has put out a number of releases I hold near and dear and this one tops the list.

The Clearing is the first full length record from this band but not their first release. I have found 2 different compact discs floating around. The first I picked up contained 2 songs and it looks like it was their demo. The second cd I actually found in an online distro and I thought it was going to be another copy of the demo cd, that I planned on giving away to a friend. When I got it though I was pleased to find out that it contained the 2 songs from the demo and one additional song. That cd was released by Trash Art records and looks like it is still available for sale, although the website hasn't been updated in about a year so you might want to drop an email before placing an order. I highly recommend picking the cdep up for the $7. All 3 songs are wonderful instrumental powerhouses. Here is to hoping that someday these songs get a vinyl release.

Back to the record at hand! The Clearing is 10 songs spread over 2 lp's and clocks in around 50 minutes or so. After all the hundreds of listens this record has gotten, it is still hard for me to simplify it to a few words. It's loud and powerful, it's hypnotic, it's crushing, it's cold. It's that first gust of fall air that cuts you to the bone and the harsh reality of the brutal winter ahead. Even with heaviness through out there is enough melody in these songs to keep the entire ride interesting. Equal parts Sludge and Post Rock, it ties together seamlessly in an amazingly produced record (Kurt Ballou) While all these songs are good enough to stand on their own, this album is really meant to be listened to, without interruption, in it's entirety. Please also make sure to play it as loudly as possible. I've listened to it many times on my laptop but it seems to be an entirely different experience when pounding through my stereo speakers.

Pressing wise there were two different colors. First was a color press of pink/clear(pictured above) that was limited to 150 and sold out pretty quickly. The rest of the press was 350 copies on black/black vinyl which is still available for ordering here. It amazes me that this is still available and I will be ordering myself a black/black copy soon enough. I am not much of a collector of variants but this album warrants another copy in my collection.

Although available for free online I really can't recommend this one enough for your turntable. If for some odd reason you buy this and don't care for it, give it to a friend. It won't be long until that copy lands with someone who will love it for the incredible album it truly is.

As a side note I am looking for a test press of this record, any xxl t shirts/hoodies that might be out there or any other cool merch. I only have the 2 cds and the lp and am striking out as far as everything else goes. If you can help shoot me an email at surfacenoiseblog at gmail dot com

Carl - Space Time Discontinumm 7"

Buffalo has a great history of bands. From Every Time I Die, Snapcase, Despair, etc all the way to the ever terrible Goo Goo Dolls. One man however tends to remain lovingly, Buffalo's secret. Carl Malford.

Carl is a simple man who you have run into many times if you have ever attended a basement show in Buffalo, however seems to slip into the shadows once you look for him. Armed with an acoustic guitar he has taught us all some of lifes most valuable lessons"don't ever drink wine from a box" and brought smiles to the face of thousands.

Hearing from Carl is a real treat and unfortunately too much time passes in between appearances. I was very pleased to dig up this gem from 2007(I think). I could have swore I had a copy of this but regardless I purchased this past weekend. 7 songs from a much tripper Carl then we are all used too. Still some nuggets of truth in this one but also some spaced out moments. I really don't think anyone outside of the Western New York region will appreciate this like those of us that have sat in dank basements and sang along with his silliness but I still thought it would be fun to share.

Record is hand numbered out of 300 and on black vinyl. White dj sleeve has some hand written goodness on it. Comes with a photocopied sleeve and a fold out thank you/song list sheet. This copy also came with a sticker from the CRAL purposeful typo tour 2007. This was Nancy Jo records number 2 but I am not entirely sure that website is the correct mailing address. If you are interested in finding out drop an email to nancyjorecords at gmail dot com.

Negative Approach - S/T 7"

Even though this is a remastered version, I am still really excited to have this on vinyl. I never had this record when I was younger but instead had a dubbed tape that I got from somewhere back in the early 90's. I haven't heard these songs in at least 10 years so I was beyond pumped when I saw this sitting in the 7" bin at my local record store, Spiral Scratch.

Having been so long I was a little impressed with myself having remembered most of the 10 songs on this record. If you haven't heard NA then you need to get your shit together. The band was formed in Detroit in 1981. Pissed off, fast and threatening. The way hardcore records should fucking be. 5 songs per side and each side ends with my favorite songs. Side 1 ends with the song Nothing which is probably my favorite song on here. Side 2 ends with the song Negative Approach. This is the shit that your favorite hardcore bands, favorite hardcore bands, were listening too.

Don't know the pressing information on this but I do know that it was remastered and released in October of this year. The artwork was redone and it's kind of corny looking now but it will do until I eventually pick up a real copy of this. Comes with a folded insert with awesome pictures on one side and the lyrics on the other side. Pick this up. Any good punk rock record store will have it in stock and it is also available from the Touch and Go webstore.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

31 reviews in 31 days!

I have been slacking a bit and have records piling up. My goal is to review 1 record everyday in December. If I miss a day, I double up the next. Day 1 review is up so check that out and come back everyday for new reviews. Ghastly City Sleep, Kylesa, Charles Manson, Phantom Glue, Horror Show and a ton more are all on deck! Spread the word and follow us on Twitter! If I get 100 followers this month I'll be giving some stuff away so join up!

Jesuscentric - 1 sided s/t 12"

Tor Johnson is running a pretty sweet sale right now. Everything is on sale. Used cd's are $1.50, records are all marked down 25% and Tor Johnson label releases are all marked 50% off. I saw this sale not too long ago and placed an order but never pulled the trigger. I had a few extra bucks in my paypal so I decided to just pick up a used Disappearer cd and this record by Jesuscentric.

I was a little skeptical about how good the record might be as I had never heard the band before and they were described as "three dudes who don't play metal, who decide to play metal". If you like metal, you understand why that's kinda off putting. But Paul, from Tor Johnson and possibly Jesuscentric(?), posts on a message board I frequent and is always very nice and after a reassuring review on Omgvinyl I went for it. Plus with a price tag off $4.88 how can you go wrong?

This record is really pretty damn good. 5 songs 3 of which are between 4-8 minutes and the other 2 clock in around a minute each. The record goes from spacey and ambient to crushing in the same track. I bet these songs are awesome live. Some good riffs on this record too. I like the vocals, even though I have no idea what he is actually singing/screaming about because there are no lyrics included with the record but he's got a pretty solid yell going on. Even though this record goes by pretty fast (21 or so minutes) it really covers a lot of ground. The B-side is screened with a cool skull but in all reality the first side of this record makes me wish there was more music on the flip.

Vinyl comes in a bunch of colors but it seems maybe only red is left. Can't imagine it was a very large pressing. Inside white sleeve is stamped and hand numbered. Since I got the red mine is out of 96 copies. Comes with an insert with thanks and credits and there is an additional slip of paper with a download code. Like I mentioned before the B side is screened with a skull off to one side.

Totally worth the $5 Paul is asking for it. Go to Tor Johnson and pick it up and grab that Phantom Glue lp for $9 while you are there!