Don Juan Matus / Oxido split 7″

Another one from Freddy over at his killer Wardance Records, this one more on a metal tip.  First thing you notice about any record is the sleeve and this one is cool as all get out.  It makes sense on the splits when each band gets a side to personalize their artwork, and both these sides capture the bands in an intensely eye catching way.  Freddy’s releases that I have been exposed to are all sharp.  The description on the Wardance page reads, “Oxido: Legendary 80’s Peruvian Metal band, 1st. time on vinyl.  Don Juan Matus: Current heavy Psych/Doom project from Peru HC & Metal scene veterans. Split release with Basilica Records, 300 copies pressed.”  Both bands are out of Peru and both bands could loosely be termed metal but that’s where the similarity ends.  I don’t have a favorite, because these bands are not in the same genre and I’d have to favor one genre over another…and I don’t.  In 1984, when Oxido was in their heyday, I was listening to hardcore and punk, but I was most decidedly labelled a metalhead stoner.  The crowd I hung out with, myself included, smoked weed, had long hair, wore those woven hoodies from Mexico and listened to bands like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Slayer, Venom and Motorhead.  Both these bands could have easily been spinning on my turntable back then and they take me back to that glorious time.  Freddy writes up a nice history of Oxido and does an informative interview over at his place, Quixotic Dreams, a great read.  As far as Oxido, this is my first exposure to the band and probably yours too, but these guys rock in that NWOBHM and proto-thrash/speed kind of style.  Hardcore early 80’s all the way, and I don’t know what it is, but it reminds me a little bit of what I think was going on with metal in Japan at the time (don’t ask me why, I have no evidence to back that up).  Good chunky riffing with a hook of a chorus, a little bit of noodling and soulful singing.  Don Juan Matus on the other hand are that modern stoner doom thing going on that’s gotten pretty big these days.  Heavy, dirgy and a vocalist that reminds me a little bit of the guy from Sound Garden (and that’s a good thing in my book…c’mon the early stuff was good).  If I still smoked weed this would go great with a big bong hit of the kind sticky crystaly red haired green (or the compressed seedy stemy dirty brown if you are on a low budget), but mind alteration is most certainly not necessary to enjoy the vibe these guys lay on you.  Ever seen the animated flick Heavy Metal (an absolute must if you haven’t and I might even call you lame if you didn’t)?  Both these tunes could easily be on that soundtrack and I absolutely worship that flick so that’s a huge compliment.  If you are a fan of metal of any kind, do yourself a favor and go out and get thing from HERE.  For now I have some minute long samples I ripped for your listening pleasure.

Don Juan Matus-Kadath (sample)

Oxido-El Angel de la Muerte (sample)

“…some stupid with a flare gun…”

Who is that noodling up on that killer (alembic?) bass?

Still listen to the radio as I’m driving to and fro in my journeys across the high plains. There’s two classic rock (loose term) stations within an hour’s drive of my farm/work that I go back in forth from. In fact the other day I turned on the radio and one station was playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. I dig some LS, I’ve even posted some but that tune is on every jukebox in every bar in America and I spent too many years in bars having idiots play that tune (there’s several of those types of tunes, I’m sure you can think of a few) over and over. So I change over to the other station…lo and behold, they’re playing the same tune. I turned off the radio. I have all the agency cars at work programmed with both those stations, in fact sometimes to fuck with people I’ll set all the presets to just those two stations. There’s KQNK, they just have a DJ in the mornings with a call in thing where you can call in birthdays and anniversaries, and if you want to buy/sell/trade/give away shit. Other than broadcasting sporting events, high school/college/pro they are pretty much the rest of the time syndicated classic rock. The other one, KFIX has their own DJs for most of the day and then they’re syndicated with the likes of Nights with Alice Cooper, House of Hair (Dee Snyder), and House of the Blues (Dan Akroid). At noon, on weekdays, they have an hour of requests, but they don’t have any other shit besides the stuff they play regularly (no Stooges, MC5, any garage, and only one tune each from Motorhead and the Ramones). They also interrupt regular programming for local sports. Both stations have almost the same playlists and they pretty much favor certain tunes, George Thorogood’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” is big on one, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” on the other, and I’ll even catch them playing the same tune twice in one day. When you cover three decades of Rock n Roll, how the fuck do you play the same tune twice in one day?!?! Every once in a while, as I’ve shared in several previous posts, they’ll play a tune I don’t hear a lot (a few times, tunes that I didn’t ever remember hearing) and it will really get my groove going. Today I was in my favorite agency car, which just so happens to have a damn decent stock stereo system and it was Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” that caught my fancy. Yeah, I know, DP has a ton of more obscure cool tunes, and this one is probably the most popular/commonly played. In fact, it, like “Sweet Home Alabama” is probably on too many jukeboxes across the US (and the UK too…do they have jukeboxes in pubs?) as well and over played. But that riff…DAMN! Today as I listened to it, all I was listening to was the bass and keyboards, and was completely blown away.  The lyrics, the story…anybody who mentions Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in a tune should automatically have a platinum record from it.  Plus, everybody knows “some stupid with a flare gun” or maybe you were/are one.  Have loved that line ever since the late 70’s when I picked up my copy of “Made in Japan”.  The comments as usual on Youtube ranged from lame to interesting, probably my favorite being “…is smoke on the water like a total metaphor for when you dont finish all ur bong lol…”  Anyway, long story short thought I’d share the moment.  The version I heard today from Machine Head…
Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
…The Made in Japan version, arguably the best…
Deep Purple – Made In Japan – Smoke On The Water
…great live version from 1973…

VA – New Breed Tape Compilation CD

You know doing this thing for the past five years, I have met some really cool cats…the latest being Mr. Freddy Alva of Wardance Records, an internet friend of a friend.  Recently got a beautiful package from him, a mix of some 7″s, a CD and a cassette, so some reviews were obviously pending.  Freddy also has a killer blog of his own over at Quixotic Dreams…a great read.  So anyway, the first thing I thought I’d review would be one of Feddy’s biggest and earliest outputs, the New Breed Tape Compilation.  Originally released as a cassette in 1989 and now brought to you as a CD/2xLP, it’s basically a who’s who of New York hardcore from that era.  To be honest with you, not an area I’m all that familiar with, most of the bands were new to me.  The man did not fuck around when he put this out, it’s beastly, with 20 bands doing 36 tunes (5 extra tunes on the vinyl version).  I don’t know my music history as well as some, but I guess this represents 2nd generation New York Hardcore (1st being Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, and the likes…right?).  It’s metallic hardcore, but not crossover, does that make sense?  These days I’ve kinda strayed away from the grunted and growled vocals (my buddy Mike calls it Cookie Monster), like anything it has it’s time and place, but on this thing just about every band has the common feature of having intelligible lyrics.  Don’t get me wrong though, this is angry, sweaty hardcore at it’s best (I used to have a t-shirt with a cartoon monster on it that said “wicked mean and nasty”…that’s what this is).  And best case scenario has occurred here, the lyrics are included in a really nice booklet.  In fact the packaging on this bad boy is top notch, this ain’t no CD-R in a paper envelope (although there’s nothing wrong with that either).  I’m not even going to try to pick any favorites here, EXCEPT one, I really like the Show of Force track, they kind of break it down a little bit.  Anyway, my words can’t really capture the immensity of this thing, GO HERE and get it. In the meantime…these samples, are just the very tip of the iceberg…

Breakdown – Don’t Give Up

True Colors – Finding It Hard

Raw Deal – Wall Of Hate

Direct – One Life

Uppercut – Down For The Count

 

Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Hot Head

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band SNL1A quick interlude before I review some killer releases from the almighty Wardance Records. My bro Jefe posted the video bellow at his place and it just blew me away…thought I’d share that potential blown-away-ed-ness with my other homies. Always heard of Captain Beefheart but never took the time to aquaint myself with his music or the man himself. YOU probably are several steps ahead of me on that, I grew up sheltered, but I ended up spending several hours watching all kinds of videos related to the gentleman…from live sets to his appearances on the Letterman show. Fucking love this song…

EDIT:Unfortunately the video is gone from you-fucking-tube, for whatever reason (use your imagination…sad, really), but there’s still the audio…oh well

VA – Anglican Scrape Attic 7″ flexi

Had never seen the video, just the pictures which in themselves made a powerful statement.  I guess people are doing it these days too.  Not sure how a guy does that unless you have a pretty intense vision of the afterlife.  I’ve been suicidal but for stupid shit, and I certainly would not have made any statement except that people would have thought I was a selfish bastard.  This though is the epitome of an unselfish act.

Was going through my media player on the computer the other day and seeing what kind of stuff I have, about 500 gb worth, and maybe listen to something I hadn’t in a while.  Found it ironic how I preach about the importance of having physical copies of the stuff and I have so much digital crap…oh well, call it lazy or call it too expensive to pick up for myself.  For some reason I was wanting to hear the Faith/Void split. I have it on vinyl but I couldn’t find it among the mountains of mp3s. So sticking with the digital moment, instead of ripping it (or much better listening to it on vinyl), I decided to see if I could track it down from a pirate (am I a pirate?).  Very easy find, it’s basically all over the place, but I can’t stand a blog that just posts links to the music with maybe a scan, without at least giving his two cents.  You can get it from this guy for example, he at least has something to say. Funny how everyone (I did find one who disagreed) likes the Void side better…I do too. It turns out that in my wanderings they, much later, released what is called the Faith/Void/Faith cd, which is the split plus Faith’s “Subject to Change” ep. You can find that out there too for download, if that’s how you roll, but do the bands a favor and go get it from Dischord. For now, the best song on either side of the split…
Void – Who are You?
Another one that I was in the mood for was the Heresy “Never Healed” flexi. One of the finest examples of music ever put to a flexi disc. The poor sound almost lends itself to the vibe of the tunes. Not that rare though, there was 3000 made, but I couldn’t find any on ebay and the cheapest one Discogs is $35.  Have that record too (maybe I should post it, but I’m sure the links are dead because someone reported them…Earache maybe?), I was on a roll, so WTF. I’ll be damned, in my search, there were several blogs that had it posted, but the external links were dead. Had to settle for a last resort…Filestube, to find at least an upload. I hate using that site, so impersonal, but even that place is dying with the collapse and corruption of external file storage sites. There was just one song I wanted to hear anyway…
Looked on utoob and couldn’t find the tune there either so I uploaded it, hahaha.

ASA1Was kinda thinking about flexis now, so went on a search for another one of the best flexis ever put out…the Anglican Scrape Attic comp.  Another one that’s not all that rare, 5000 pressed, but I didn’t find any on ebay and at discogs it starts at 20 bucks from England.  Pretty sure I got mine when it first came out in ’85 through mailorder.  I used to get Flipside and Maximum Rock and Roll all the time and would look through the ads and reviews for stuff to pick up.  I think this was released by the same guys who released the Heresy flexi, Dig (of Earache) and Kalv (of Heresy) but this was earlier.  All the blogs who have posted this have dead external links too, but this time, I figure it’s been out of print for almost 30 years, so what the hell, let’s give you a chance to give it a listen.  There’s not a disappointing track on this bad boy and you get quite the variety in styles.  They were all previously unreleased tracks except the Hirax one, which is disappointing, even though it’s a good tune.  They may have been released later, but I didn’t research it that far.  Tough to pick a fave, they’re all classics in their own way.  Sacrilege was always my favorite and I played the hell out of this thing (so the sound may suck even more than it did when it was brand new), but listening to it, as I ripped it, I was kinda favoring the Concrete Sox tune.  Japan, UK, USA, the big three of mid 80’s metallic hardcore (although Germany and Italy may be open to debate) are represented.   I have a feeling that the dead links on all the previous uploads of this is for the same reason the Heresy one is mostly dead, so this may be the first thing I’ve been asked to take down.  I honestly could not find that it has been re-released in any way shape or form so give it a listen while you can…