Showing posts with label metal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label metal. Show all posts

Aug 20, 2019

Penguins with Knives Have Come For Your Daughter, Chuck

By Robert Dean

Penguins with Knives is a goofy name for a band. But you know what's not goofy? The jams these dudes from New Orleans crank out.  The band's debut record Those People Are Dead, PWK is a subtle mix of bands like DOWN, Acid Bath, ZZ Top, and a little Memphis soul all wrapped in a filthy, dirty gas rag. 

There's some experimentation going on throughout the record, but the identity of the music never waivers off into unfocused territory. Instead, what PWK do is level an attack that's balanced and heavy, but also palatable thanks to how the vocals are phrased. Despite being four guys used to hammering back some whiskey shots with plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon chasers, the sounds on the record are a solid batch that offers a lot of promise. The New Orleans spirit comes through via the sonic grooves stitched throughout the album, giving frontman Benjamin Deffendal plenty of chances to capture his moods across the songs showcased. 

"Pickpockets and Loose Women" is a New Orleans sludge banger with all of the requisite head-bobbing riffs one needs while keeping their beer close. The smoke-infused intro with its wailing feedback is straight from the Eyehategod playbook, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. "Tale of The Wandering Witch" is distorted, nasty and heavy but keeps the groove at the center of the song, always keeping its foot on the gas.  

Trying to stand out in a town like New Orleans is hard. When you do breakout, you become canon immediately, it's just how serious people take the metal that comes from the Crescent City; it's dirty, it's flawed and always fucked up, but it's also delicious. Penguins with Knives is no expectation. If they continue to make more music, this is an excellent starting point, it can only get weirder, darker and sludgier from here. And you know, what? The world needs more bands that make you want to hoist your drink while making the nasty doo-doo face while you silently whisper to yourself, "fuck yeah, that's sick." 

Check out Penguins with Knives on Bandcamp today. Don't be a cheapass, buy the record. They put some elbow grease into it. 

Nov 10, 2017

The Classic Lineup of Sepultura Needs to Reunite Already

by Robert Dean

With no disrespect to Derrick Green who’s been holding it down as lead singer for the last twenty years, it’s time. For the members of Soulfly who’ve endured whatever it is that Max Cavalera puts them through, you know the deal. You know where this is going, everyone does.

As the original members of Sepultura get older – some of them creeping over fifty, when is it finally going to be a time when they can reunite? If The Misfits can play shows with Danzig in a festival capacity, any “never gonna happen” song and dance is moot. Dudes, it’s time to cash in.

As I watched Max and his family band shuffle through the classic Nailbomb record the other night, this notion of the classic-era lineup of Sepultura being in a weird “I’m not touching you” vortex is frankly stupid. These Nailbomb shows, which were clearly facilitated by his kids, were cool, but more of a novelty than a milestone of the past; granted, Nailbomb was a great concept and good record, but against the greater Cavalera canon, it’s middle of the pack.

What struck me about the event was that my city, Austin, Texas didn’t show up. Generally, we’re a bought in musical community. Most shows have a decent turnout and the crowd is typically 100% singing along and giving the band on stage everything. But, the Nailbomb show was different. The bars weren’t moving and the merch guys weren’t doing laps. Soulfly is a national act, this wasn’t an ill-managed local gig with a bad promoter. The venue, Come and Take It Live was ½ empty.  

You’ve gotta be deep with early Sepultura to know these songs and show up with $30 on a Sunday night to want to see it live. I guess Austin and to a greater degree, San Antonio weren’t feeling this tour stop. That’s fine, not every show can be a sell out. Granted, we did have a mass shooting down the road earlier in the afternoon, so that could have factored in with people’s desire to not be trapped in a room with hundreds of other bodies.

When I saw Max and Igor do the Roots record a year prior, the room was ¾ full. But, the venue holds 500 bodies. You do the math. For an elder statesman of metal, that sucks. I have no idea what Sepultura draws these days. I can’t imagine it’s much more. 

The fact remains that if the four original members of Sepultura reunited, they’d be selling out rooms triple the size and have a healthy demand for festivals that earn enough money in one appearance that equate a whole year’s worth of club shows. At what point does ego parlay actual reality? 

All we want are the tracks from Roots, Chaos A.D., Beneath The Remains and Arise. Everything else is whatever. In Sepultura and Soulfly’s current incarnations, these tracks make up for at least ½ of their respective sets. There are even a collection of videos on YouTube comparing the band’s renditions of classic songs when they’re booked on the same festivals. 

Dudes, you’ve been getting asked for over twenty years when you’ll reunite with Max and Igor. It’s time to set egos aside and cash in. You’re getting older and soon, that fire will diminish. Let the people who love those iconic four records hear those songs live. We’ve seen them played by this incarnation or that, why not move forward past your bullshit hangups? 

There’s a legacy and demand that people crave. There’s no one saying you can’t continue the club shows with the regular lineups. Honestly, we don’t want new records from the classic lineup. The ship has sailed. We want an hour of the hits in exchange for our cash. Everyone wins. 

It’s time. How many tours can you justify playing for mediocre crowds who want to hear the same songs? Let us buy you dinner. 

Apr 10, 2017

Album "Review" Mastodon - Emperor of Sand

How I Really Feel About Mastodon’s The Emperor of Sand

by Robert Dean

You know when you’ve got mutual friends with someone, and your friends try to sell you on that other friend like, “Oh man, you gotta meet Phil. Phil fucking rules. We went to high school together. Great dude. Kills on guitar. Hilarious. Knows every word to every episode of Family Guy.” And then you meet Phil, and Phil sucks.

You have no idea why your friends love Phil. Maybe it was because you were late to the game and missed out when this dude peaked and owned shit with that wicked sense of humor. (While we’re on it, despite it being funny, people who over-quote Family Guy are annoying.)

You keep giving Phil chances when you see him out. You’re desperate to like Phil. You study up on Phil history. You actively learn about Phil if he’s going to be a satellite member of your crew. You revisit his old material. You ask to be told the stories so that you can search for the deeper meanings in the payoff. Still, you’re just like, meh – Phil. Because Phil is relevant to your community of friends, you deal with Phil and learn to tolerate Phil, not love him as they do.

You’re having a few beers, and next thing you now, he’s there telling boring work stories, but doing a bunch of weirdo cartoon voices. He’s also obsessed with Rick and Morty to an uncomfortable level that makes his constant show references hard to keep up with. It’s kind of draining. But, you endure the night.

Phil LOVES Iron Maiden. Like, a lot and thinks they’re the best band ever when most people like a handful of tunes. Phil gets all obsessional about the content of the lyrics and by word seven of this whack conversation, you’re already fucking bored with Phil. It’s just too much.

You start to wonder if you even wanna kick it with your friends anymore because maybe you’re just as annoying as Phil is. Considering this, it blows your mind. It makes you wonder about all kinds of mind-altering, existential dread shit. Just because Phil is a dork, who thinks bacon flavored everything is cool. He’s spoken at length to you about “nature’s candy” and essentially just ruined breakfast meats for you.

Finally, you just learn to ignore everyone when they drop some Phil knowledge or try to sell you hard on him and his corny jokes straight from the pages of Reddit. Sure, he has some moments where he does shine, and you’re like, fuck – “why can’t you do that all the time?!” And then Phil goes right back to bumming you out. He’s not a bad dude, either. He’s just not your people. It took a little while to get it, but it just is what it is.

Once you’ve gotten over that crucial hump of learning to accept indifference and gain the ability to filter out annoying shit in your life, you can hang with Phil. Never alone, though. That’d be too weird. Phil will never be that cool, and you will never like him like that. He’s a group hangout instance only. You’ve been dodging that Facebook friend request forever and you ain’t about to hit the yes button anytime soon, despite the fact that he’s been following you on Instagram for like a year.

What I’m trying to say is, Mastodon is Phil.


Emperor of Sand is available on Amazon and everywhere else, and the head honcho of this site thinks it's excellent.

Feb 24, 2017

New Video: Gojira "The Cell"


From 2016's Magma. (one of Trailer's top 20 albums)

Feb 20, 2017

The Cavalera Brothers Return to their Roots in Austin

by Robert Dean

Twenty years ago, when Sepultura released Roots, it was a milestone in heavy metal. On the surface, it was unique to see a band embrace their cultural heritage instead of trying to be completely Americanized. Sepultura was from Brazil, and they wanted to make a statement that they were from a rhythmically different side of the planet. Their traditions gave them different time signatures, a deeper reliance on drums, a different feel of timbre. Roots showcased heavy metal as world music, and it changed the game.

But, as their signature record gained stream and bands around the world copied the crushing style, Max Cavalera bailed on Sepultura. The classic lineup of the band was over. And in the years since, Cavalera has gone on to form Soulfly, while the remaining members of Sepultura keep busy with recording and touring. Iggor, Max’s brother, stayed in Sepultura for some years later, but eventually left the band he and his brother formed all those years ago. 

With the 20th anniversary of the seminal Roots record coming to pass into 2016, the Cavalera brothers, along with Soulfly alum Mark Rizzo and Tony Campos hit the road to celebrate. As bad blood flows black as night after all of these years, getting the original lineup today proves a Misfits-style quagmire, but hey Glenn and Jerry patched it up for two shows, so who knows what the future holds.

The Roots tour made its way through Austin last night, and the vibe was exactly what I wanted from some vintage metal: very drunk and very excited. With lots of head bobs and beer guts, the folks who came up on the Roots album were in full force. Everyone might be a little older, but the excitement was just the same. As for the Cavaleras, it seemed like Max was a little skeptical, and going through the motions of the set, as this is the second leg of the tour. But, as he saw the reactions of the crowd, and felt the appreciation coming back from chants and interaction, he livened up as the songs went by.

As they pulled out the drums and held tribal jam sessions, or crushed their way through Dusted, or even the encore of songs like Procreation of The Wicked, Children of The Grave or Ace of Spades, it was evident to anyone that the band went from another night on the road, to enjoying the room full of people who wanted to do nothing more but pour their hearts out back to them.

Those songs may be old, but they carry weight. Root Bloody Roots, Cutthroat, Attitude are metal classics. While they don’t crush with the sheer brutality of the newer bands, it doesn’t matter. Hearing these songs in their entirety was just satisfying. There’s a level of appreciation when a band tours on a classic album and that wasn’t lost last night at Grizzly Hall. Austin came out to say thank you to the Cavalera brothers for giving us such an incredible record that stands the test of time, two decades later. 

Oct 19, 2016

New Video: Red Fang - Shadows

\m/ METAL \m/! Predator! Red Fang!

From their new album Only Ghosts.

Drunken Album Review: The Sword - Low Country

A drunken review by Robert Dean
*Robert uses colorful and unedited language*

For your reading pleasure: a drunk review of The Sword’s Low Country

Duuuude. You know who rules? The Sword. They rule so hard, they ran out of rocks to smash your head against. And you know what, mayne? They can even strum on them acoustics! That’s right my fellow longhairs, our favorite space nerd-cum-Black Sabbath- worshiping burnouts from Austin have a new record and there ain’t an electric guitar in sight. (Insert Matthew Dazed and Confused guy voice: and that’s all right, all right, all right. Now, go buy a Lincoln)
But, for real, though, Low Country is still The Sword, but when jammed acoustic, it feels like some of those timeless jams like My Captain from Grand Funk Railroad, or some even some Moody Blues, or Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Now, before you listen and you get your Doors shirt in a twist, I ain’t saying this is classic rock, I am saying it has a vibe that works and harkens to an old spirit we don’t get much of these days. Cuz, seriously, my dawgs – when is the last time you heard an acoustic record that rips that wasn’t straight country or some guy with a beard in a flannel? This is a throw back to the 70’s and makes drinking beer super easy. 

(If you’re keeping score, we’re drinking Rum and Cokes with limes. Cuba Libre’s if you’re into the fancy titles and such. I’m on number four.)

It doesn’t suck, like at all. You should buy a fat sack of that purp, turn the lights down low and get all down like you wanna talk to Sampson. And then, get weird to The Sword – yeah. Get weird to The Sword. Go to their shows, buy all of their shit. I own two Sword shirts, cuz I’m cool. You need to be cool, too. 

The Sword, Low Country – fucking awesome, fully sick. 


Low Country is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Sep 28, 2015

Sep 5, 2014

YouTube Gems: Crowbar \m/

Okay, so this video is pretty terrible, but the song rocks. From their 2014 album Symmetry in Black, here's Crowbar with "Walk With Knowledge Wisely." RIYL: Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Down.


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