Manic punk band Retox is an intelligent machine made of unstable energy. And in the NSFW (unless you work in a butcher shop, I guess) new video for “Mature Science,” the band throws on leather jackets to hold court on a classic musical topic, previously pondered by groups like Black Flag, NWA, and Body Count: the police.
After five years of relative inertia, Pig Destroyer — flaring up like an incurable Amazonian virus — is back on the books with Book Burner, a 19-track installation of furious, “misanthropic” grindcore that is as violent as it is relentless. Recorded at guitarist Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios, the album hearkens back to Prowler in the Yard with a raw, live sound that waylays studio artifice for aggression.
Coalesce: “The Comedian in Question”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Coalesce-The-Comedian-In-Question.mp3|titles=Coalesce: “The Comedian In Question”]
Kansas City, Missouri-based hardcore band Coalesce has spent the last decade in flux, with shifting lineups, hiatuses, and sporadic shows prior to a full-blown reunion that spawned a new seven-inch, a full-length, and an EP.
But just because its output and appearances have been limited, the band isn’t out of touch. The scene has simply changed, and lead vocalist Sean Ingram wanted to rediscover the magic of its early days. Now, he finds himself on the ground floor of yet another nascent, independent movement: hardcourt bike polo.
Punk Living Through Non-Musical Means, or This Bike is a Weapon
by Sean Ingram of Coalesce
There was a point a few years ago that I was completely depressed by the world I had created around myself with electronics and new media. A fellow I knew had offed himself, and it was great sport to come up with the best pun skewering his illness in the comments. A band from Japan wrecked on the highway here in the States, seriously fucking some of them up, and the response was, “Van frip, Paypar prease,” in a mocking and fairly racist manner. For whatever reason, this kind of assholery was getting to me, and I made a pact with myself that I would turn everything off, and do my best to disassociate myself from cynicism. A major task, I know. But there is only so much one can take of faceless assholes telling them what is and isn’t cool. So it was done. I was out.
Without all of this extra noise, it was easier to focus on tasks at hand. Planting an orchard, building some old-school hemp rope-swings, not knowing what someone’s done for the last week before catching up with them in person for a beer. Little things were more enjoyable. As my attitude started to ease up, and I started to take more time to enjoy the little things, I noticed some guys on some bikes with big hammers, knocking the shit out of a little ball. I spent the day by the sideline checking these guys out. It was like hockey, but on these Mad Max-looking bikes. But these guys clearly weren’t jocks. These were guys that probably heard “Skate or die, fag!” yelled at them a million times in high school, just like me. So I gave it a shot.
Neurosis: “To Crawl Under One’s Skin”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Neurosis_Souls_To-Crawl-Under-One-s-Skin.mp3|titles=Neurosis “To Crawl Under One’s Skin”]
Earlier this year, pioneering sludge-metal band Neurosis reissued its third studio album, Souls at Zero, on its own label, Neurot. Though it sounds just as fresh today, it has been nearly 20 years since that influential mixture of heavy grooves, diverse folk instrumentation, and mammoth metal riffs first cropped up. We asked frontman Steve Von Till to compile a playlist for us, and he came up with 11 bands that were instrumental in Neurosis’ formation and development.
Bands Integral to the Origin of Neurosis
by Steve Von Till of Neurosis
This playlist may contain the secrets to the origin of thousands of bands who became inspired to give it all.
1. Joy Division: “New Dawn Fades”
The driving bass. The melodic yet primitive guitar. The empty and bleak space as large as the riff. The words, “Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else.” The emotions left behind.
The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.
The Dead Kenny Gs: “Black Truman (Harry the Hottentot)”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/02-Black-Truman-Harry-the-Hottentot.mp3|titles=The Dead Kenny G’s: Black Truman (Harry the Hottentot)]
Smooth-jazz lovers beware. As an antidote to the polished alto saxophones and rarely improvised easy-listening jams of adult contemporary music, eccentric jazz trio The Dead Kenny Gs has released its second album, Operation Long Leash. Given its play-on-words moniker that simultaneously drives a sock down the mouth of smooth-jazz king Kenny G and recalls the early ’80s hardcore-punk band The Dead Kennedys, the powerhouse trio taps into a sound that fuses jazz and punk. It’s a crazy mix that works surprisingly well, played intensely by a group that has the skill and knowledge to pull it off.
Composed of three of the members of legendary Seattle-based Critters Buggin — bassist Brad Houser, drummer and vibraphonist Mike Dillon, and saxophonist Skerik — the band uses its genre-mashing experience to anchor it all down. The trio has played in countless projects together, including all three in The Black Frames, and Dillon and Skerik comprise half of Garage a Trois. Needless to say, the three have run in the same circles for more than two decades, playing hybrid styles that are everything but conservative.
The Mag Seven: “By the Time I Get Out of Phoenix”
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/The_Mag_Seven_By_the_Time_I_Get_Out_of_Phoenix.mp3|titles=The Mag Seven: “By the Time I Get Out of Phoenix”]
Morrow: Over the course of a dozen years and a half-dozen releases, The Mag Seven has traversed surf rock, Italian western, punk, rockabilly, guitar-centered jazz, and more. Originally configured with True Widow and Slowride guitarist Dan Phillips, the group shifted its sound in the mid-2000s with the addition of guitarist Brandon Landelius, and the decision was fruitful.
Black Feathers is the group’s new seven-track vinyl/digital EP — its fourth album with Landelius and sixth overall. It’s charged with the same surf-rock energy of albums past but scales back the jazz leanings and Angelo Badalamenti-style moodiness of its last release, Cotton Needle Sessions. Though short, it’s a well-balanced release, alternating between the down-tempo swagger of “Jive Turkey,” the reverberated rock of “My War,” and the western dub of “By the Time I Get out of Phoenix.”
Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.
The Rival Mob: “Hardcore for Hardcore” [audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/01-Hardcore-for-Hardcore.mp3|titles=The Rival Mob – Hardcore for Hardcore]
The Rival Mob has collected all sorts of praise with its approach to the New York hardcore sound of the late ’80s, and it doesn’t hurt that vocalist Brendan Radigan splits time playing drums in niche-loved Mind Eraser. Although everyone knows not to judge an album by its cover, the lush, conflict-laden painting adorning Hardcore for Hardcore, the band’s new six-song seven-inch, primes the listener adequately for what lies within.
Shawn Knight, a.k.a. designer and illustrator Pinky Blaster, has created art and music since an early age. Followers of the Detroit music scene may recognize his name – previously of the band New Grenada, Knight now performs in the high-energy punk band Child Bite. The band is notorious for its wide range of instruments, humorous live performances, and its members’ impressive facial hair.
While in high school, Knight began playing in punk and metal bands. These two genres influenced him heavily while he was growing up; he notes both Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys as significant influences. Knight got his start designing local band fliers and posters, and he continues to use live music as an opportunity to expose his artistic skills — though now at a national level.