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Metal





Threshing Spirit "The Abyss' Embrace (A Ship Of Fools)"

Threshing Spirit has released the first single, "The Abyss' Embrace (A Ship Of Fools)", from his forthcoming The Crucible which is due out on October 28th via American Decline.

This is the Black Metal persona of label head Jordan Reyes, and The Crucible will be his debut full-length album as Threshing Spirit.

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Psychic Graveyard release "A Good-Looking Ghost"

Psychic Graveyard specialize in creating music built around a rich noughty center of garage rock backbeat and drone-y pummeling marshmallow fluff and infusing it with gooey streaks of wah-wah effects and random nuggets of congealed noise and covering the whole heart-clogging concoction in a hard-candy shell of throbbing synthesized sub-bass and Sprechstimme vocals—with the end result being vaguely menacing and entirely intoxicating, that is if you’re built for this sorta stuff which is something like if you took the entire candy bar aisle at your local Wawa convenience store and somehow transformed it into a gnarley fused musical version so if you’re “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” well you just found him.

Who are Psychic Graveyard? Enquiring minds want to know! The band themselves describe it best, so I'll quote from their Spot-i-fried bio here: “Noise Rock pioneers, Eric Paul (Arab On Radar, Chinese Stars, Doomsday Student), Paul Vieira (Chinese Stars, Doomsday Student), and Nathan Joyner (Some Girls, All Leather, Hot Nerds), [and] Charles Ovett (Battle Beasts, Joules) venture through uncharted territory with their new band. Nathan Joyner’s grinding synths and 'found sound' buries the seed of each song deep into the fertile ground--while Paul Vieira’s manic, fuzzed-out guitars, Ovett's bombastic drumming, and Eric Paul’s obsessive lyrics shower the proceedings with equal parts sunshine and rain" and see below for some interesting and occasionally alarming but in a good way videos (parental discretion inadvisable) from the various projects listed above.

Psychic Graveyard's latest single is called “A Good-Looking Ghost” and it can be witnessed at the top of this page. It's a strong contender for this year’s Most Outstanding Achievements In Creating A Song That Sounds Exactly Like It Should Based On The Title Alone award and it's also commendable for its opening quatrain which ably lays out the ghost’s origins: “This is not the death that I wanted / but this is the death that I got / The bleeding started around Christmas / and I was dead by March.” So if this sort of thing gets your goat (or your ghost’s goat, or goat’s ghost) and if you're digging this then check out more of their stuff below. (Jason Lee)

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Shed

Stoner Doom metal group Shed has released the first two singles, "Pus of Man" and "The Shadow of Totality" from their forthcoming self-titled debut album which is due out on August 19th.

What sets Shed apart of the Metal group is the addition of heavy metal brass section consisting of trombone, bass trombone, and tenor/baritone saxophones.

Shed is made up of Calvin Armstrong (6-string electric cello, vocals), Drew Baxter (Bass trombone), Chris Misch-Bloxdorf (Tenor trombone), Patrick Stevens (Bass guitar), Steve Wasilczuk (Tenor/Baritone saxophones), and Kelson Zbichorski (Drums).

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UgLi blur the line between DTF and WTF on heavy AF debut album

The South Jersey/Philadelphia-based band UgLi unabashedly bash out ‘90s style alt rock with panache—but still their music feels uniquely relevant to right now and it rocks hard enough to be relevant to any era.

Taking a genre (grunge) originally associated with flannel-wearing, chainsaw-wielding, primal-screaming lone-wolf types, the Philly foursome uses it to address topics like mental health afflictions, gender fluidity, body dysmorphia, medication overutilization, and the pure unadulterated joy of a new love. Surprised you with last one, huh? And while in reality grunge was always pretty multifaceted (oddly enough it only became less so in the later ‘90s morphing into rap-rock, nü-metal, and post-grunge all culminating in the nightmare of Woodstock ‘99) and it’s always included great female musicians (L7 easily rocks just as hard as Soundgarden) but in 1992 it was still necessary for a certain “sad little sensitive Pisces man” to put a not-unsubstantial contingent of his own band’s fans on blast in the liner notes to the Incesticide comp:

“If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us—leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records.”

UgLi could in this way be considered the culmination of Kurt’s wishes, and one can only hope that in between floating around and hanging out on clouds that somewhere up there he’s looking down pretty happy about it. Because as a band that’s otherwise made up of three pretty average looking rock dudes (no offense guys!) UgLi is fronted by co-guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Dylyn Durante who also happens to identify as a queer trans woman. So when she sings lines like “How would you find love / you don’t fit in the box / you’re mixing colors and shapes / I think you need to get off” (“Why Be Pretty…when you could be free”) it speaks not only to the youthful alienation of grunge-loving kids across a couple generations but also to a very specific situation—a situation driven home by the tight instrumental work of co-guitarist Andrew Iannarelli, bassist Lucas Gisonti, and drummer Teddy Paullin who pushes the album forward with Jimmy Chamberlin levels of energy.

Wait, what album? The track above plus seven others make up the band’s first full-length on the self-released FUCK, which at first glance may come off as a blunt, simple-minded attention grabber of a title. But when you break it down “fuck” is actually one of the more nuanced and versatile words in the English language given its dozens of potential meanings, ranging from a modifier used to add emphasis (“no fucking way!”) to a single-word exclamation indicating anger or disgust; ranging from the sensual physical union of two or more human beings to the state of being badly damaged or even ruined. And on FUCK, Dylyn covers all these meanings and more in songs where she “gets fucked” in every possible sense, and in songs where the band modifies the grunge formula to fit their own means—adding musical flavors ranging from the proggy side of the alt-rock spectrum (e.g., the Pumpkins/Radiohead-esque “Bad Egg” which deals with the difficulties of transitioning) to the dreamy chamber pop turned shoegazy slowcore rock ballad of the eight-plus-minute closer “Naegleriasis” with it’s vibey vibraphone and hazy horn section played in waltz time.

And finally, when it comes to the exclamatory qualities of FUCK, the record benefits greatly from the aforementioned intricate arrangements and the impressively warm/crisp/clear yet crunchy/dirty/overdriven production work on the album—produced in collaboration with Dave Downham at Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, New Jersey (Dave is credited with recording, mixing, and mastering the album alongside a full production credit on “Naegleriasis”) and I’m guessing that Butch Vig may be feeling just a little bit jealous now reading this. So whether you consider yourself a “House Pet” (“Nobody taught me how to care / I think I should’ve picked it up somewhere”) or a “Bad Egg” (“I’m searching for that high note / grasping for survival / well, what the fuck do I know”) you may want to follow the former song’s advice to “shimmer while you can” because the album itself follows this advice and it seems to work out pretty well. (Jason Lee)





VIDEO: “Holy Roller” Finds DEATHCHANT Doing Very Bad Things

image courtesy artist's bandcamp page

L.A.-based heavy metal / stoner rock quartet DEATHCHANT have released their sophomore album, Waste, on label Riding Easy Records, and you can watch the music video for track “Holy Roller” below.

The first thing to remark on is how the album was recorded: in a rented cabin up in secluded Big Bear, CA. According to T.J. Lemieux, singer and guitarist, “we packed a big-ass van and set up in the living room and kitchen, tracked it live, with overdubs after.” Despite the humble setup, the album has both a professional clarity and a hard-hitting brutality, especially on the vinyl version, which the author of this review was able to enjoy at maximum volume at a recent evening at Permanent Records Roadhouse in Cypress Park.

Track “Holy Roller” opens with cutting, rusty distorted slices of rhythm guitar at battle with dissonant feedback howls to arrive at your ears first, before both are shoved out of the way by a pummeling bass/drum combo. Soon, the vocals enter, sounding like a platoon of demented monks yelling unholy, apocalyptic incantations from inside a cave. Meanwhile, start-stop doubled guitar lines bring the chaos to a temporary halt, before cranking back up to break-neck speed, until the half-time bridge that offers somewhat of a breather before the song transforms into an ultra-sludgy, Hawkwind-style chug. It’s part sludge metal, part grunge, part Thin Lizzy in its dual lead guitar lines, but at all points it’s compelling. Which is all the more impressive when you discover that most of the band’s music is improvised (!).

Finally, extra points to the band for connecting all the tracks on Waste together with droning, abstract interludes, giving the whole thing a sense of oneness and cohesion. DEATHCHANT work hard to create a complete atmosphere and populate it with heavy riffs, hypnotic grooves, and dark sludge. Where they’ll take us next is anyone’s guess, but one can be sure it’ll be somewhere worth heading. Gabe Hernandez

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