Our loud favorites. In this column we cover Metal of all stripes, Punk, Hardcore, Stoner-Rock, Garage-psych ragers, Distortion worshippers, and any other odds-and-ends that might turn it to eleven.
Epic Doom from YOB sounding grander than ever:
This caught a few ears at the shop. Yob's secret weapon has long been vocalist Mike Scheidt's unabashed ability to maximize the drama in their sound. Truly heavy, he manages to mix equal parts classic-metal bombast and modern anguish. One of the originals in the recent flourishing of Oregonian Doom Metal, their devastating style is still intact, though maybe enhanced by a recent brush with mortality.
A collision of noise terror and beauty from THE BODY:
The Body are a band totally willing to take sonic risks. Their records are always a bracing listen, and I Have Fought Against It But I Can't Any Longer is no exception. Cooper's take on this one: "Imagine Edith Piaf worshipping at the altar of Southern Lord records, gorgeous female vocals atop horrifying and beautiful soundscapes."
The Unrelenting force of MAMMOTH GRINDER:
What to say? You'll know in a heartbeat if Cosmic Crypt is for you. Mammoth Grinder deal in a high-quality and totally classic death/thrash hybrid with brutal efficiency. If that is what gets you going, these guys are some of the top vendors of that sound working. Vicious.
Raw Japanese freak-out with High Rise:
From the distortion worshiping Japanese underground of the late 80s, II by High Rise is perhaps one of the purest blueprints of unbridled extreme garage psychedelia ever recorded. These guys milked just about as much sound out of a classic rock-band set-up as I can imagine. Reissued by the excellent Black Editions label that has been getting a lot of the long out-of-print noise obsessed classics from the PSF label back in circulation. Not for the faint of heart, this is pedal to the metal maximalism all the way.
Tacoma's Criminal Code making melodic moody hardcore:
Bands from the south end of the Puget Sound have been inventively toying with punk's DNA for a solid generation now. One of the latest groups doing it are Criminal Code with their new full-length 2534. If you heard their early singles, they've poured in some new influences. It has some melodic elements, the skeletal evasiveness of 80s goth and post-punk, and a wiry lo-fi energy and chaos. Old elements recombined in a way that feels right, and very Northwestern.
Also, Mike at the shop made a limited run of these prints with a sick hand rendered logo, thought I'd leave a pic here for your enjoyment: