“Face Your Fear” was an important record // Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
New York has a rich history of hardcore and punk music that reflected directly through the foundation of music history. There are countless bands to choose from that incorporated that rough cut, hard-hitting power of New York’s busy streets with the consistent aggression of punk music. While the bands were plentiful and the sound was overwhelming, Ed Gein’s Car became a cult favorite of cynical lyrical themes and story-telling ability that would throw a new adaptation into the harsh scene.
From the name alone, Ed Gein’s Car seems like a band of horrific obsessed musicians that pay homage to one of America’s most grisly killers. Instead, Ed Gein’s Car uses their 1985 release, Making Dick Dance to illustrate a more humorous style to the mostly abrasive sense of hardcore music. There is very little reliance on the instrumentation that attacks and instead on the lyrical content that is both catchy and comedic at times. From Ed Gein’s Car, there is hope to change the format and dive into their own style.
Through the track listing to the lyrics themselves, there is always some sort of funny element to Ed Gein’s Car that takes multiple listens to catch on the different ways of sarcasm and odd descriptions of daily life. With the first eye-catching track “Go Down On My Dog,” with the quick one-two step beats that leads through a three verse and two chorus song set up that is catchy, but just as strange as well. “My dog’s loud and fast and skates, listens to The Damned while he licks your plate. Goes to the beach to beat up gays, goes to the clubs but he never pays.” It is questionable and based entirely on satire, but can catch a smile in the way that the band is conducted behind lead vocalist Scot Weiss. He is backed with Eric Hedin on bass and backing vocals, Tim Carroll on guitars and vocals, and percussion with Fred Argenziano.
It is the self released care and love that Ed Gein’s Car showcases throughout Making Dick Dance that strikes a personal chord with the listener and opens the studio within a new perspective. The mixing done by Andy Ebberbach and the mastering completed by Tom Coyne is impressive for a self-release however and shows a real professional quality behind a hardcore record.
Then as the band move through into “Annette,” the musical direction takes several different steps as they become more of a garage-rock focused quartet with elegant strumming guitar and a bass riff that stands out through the consistent thumping. Then through the backing chorus where Weiss is supported as he describes “Cause I still get a boner from your rocket ship tits” is cruel but creates a laugh out loud situation in their lyrical style.
Ed Gein’s Car is an exciting change in the movement and flow of hardcore as they manipulate the sound through their comedy and bring in a guest vocalist on the track, “Cream Of Wheat,” letting another additional style be taken over within their music. Tim Carroll leads the direction completely and it quickly becomes one of the more memorable tracks for the way the chorus is shifted into from the verses.
Ed Gein’s Car wraps up Making Dick Dance in a progressive self-titled track that is a feel-good closer to the odd and twisted journey. It is entirely instrumental and becomes this feedback ridden monster that finally comes to a gentle silence after the mystery and intrigue that surrounds the band.
Prod. by Kendrick. // Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
The darkness fading in, the light drowning out, Opeth creeps swiftly like a specter through a large, but filling gap in their sound. Heritage is one of their first steps into the prog-ridden waters, clean vocalism, more refined instruments, and a more grand focus on the presentation and pacing than ever.
With any new direction comes possibilities that were never before imagined; Opeth already being the heavier metal band that had the technicality of talent would be able to erupt and form a large sense of scope with this new style. They had moved toward prog-rock and extended tracks before, but the decision to use no heavier vocals or hardened emotional stress through the overbearing instruments similar to their previous releases opened new doors for Opeth. That emotional stress was still present and features itself instead through instrumentals that rely heavily on daunting melodies and more broad focus on creating an evil, but gentler Opeth.
With the incredibly moving and near tear-releasing self-titled piano solo introduction “Heritage,” there is an immediate urge to move the fingers along with Joakim Svalberg who handles the grand piano on the track. It is beautiful, but sets a strange overture for Heritage as the album follows this sense of remission, but also death and a lurking perspective that is constantly transpired through Opeth’s grace and dualistic disparity. As they move into “I Feel The Dark,” the third track in the listing for Heritage, they capture an emotional pull with the track that moves through several territories of vibrating transitions.
It can capture the progressive nature that Opeth illustrated and demonstrated well in the past, but then also turn a new leaf onto several transitions that create these incredibly well produced and influential moments. It is important to have direction, but Opeth is at full control with their movements and with the way the tracks can flow about on Heritage. To see the overbearing organs that then flood over Mikael Åkerfeldt and his incredibly talented band of musicians that switch places over the years, but find a home on Heritage. Or on the following, the instrumentally driven, “Häxprocess” where the acoustic guitars that begin, creating the middle breakdowns, and eventually having an electric lead out the track. There is a heavy reliance on atmosphere here and some of the tracks on Heritage feature a very destructive, almost impending sense as “Häxprocess” begins to spread throughout and then die down once more.
Even more present on “Famine,” a heavy reliance on hellish atmosphere makes the background and mastering behind the track feel so incredibly important. Opeth uses the chains that rattle and the jungle-esque percussion to their advantage to pull a curtain over the listener, opening their imagination to the cruel sound that is revolving around them. The metallic soundscape that is in a surrounding state, to the flute that rushes in and creates a feeling of Jethro Tull with a heavier sensibility behind the band.
Even as Opeth begins to fade with “Marrow Of The Earth,” there is still that daunting and heavy presence that lingers behind as the final notes are being displayed. Opeth makes Heritage feel as an experience and as a newly formed extension of their artistic arm. Through the complexity within their musical style, Heritage shifts into different animals and makes the final moments feel just as somber, but emotionally touching as the opening instrumental.
The gravitation toward punk music was always something that struck a personal chord. It captured the isolation and anguish, while maintaining an energetic and productive sound behind the rampaging string mixes and the percussive crashes that would rattle the foundation of music. Stiff Love is one of those bands that can capture the essences of the abrasive qualities that makes punk rock the movement inducing style, but also rely on a familiar sound that takes their newest record, Trouble into a soaring animal of ability.
Perhaps it can be labeled on the rough cut instrumental functionality that Stiff Love adapts to, or maybe the charismatic lovability of four Washington state natives that have punk rock roots in previous bands, The Vitamens or Lowest Priority to name just two. It could also be the reason that the all female group shines through their frontwoman Xtine who delivers on the guitar and vocal performances. Or it could possibly be that Stiff Love rejuvenates a love for the quick and reckless days of music where the rules were arbitrary and unnecessary. “Walk In The Dark” opens in a systematic clash of overwhelming sound as Claudia on the percussion stamps the backing rhythm while Elysa and Dahlia on the strings move into position for the frantic wall that is about to come stomping into frame.
It is the glimmering example of rapid tempo changes on the title-track, “Trouble” that illustrates this rising tension and grindhouse influenced rock n’ roll that flows over Trouble in a friendly gloss. And this is present through most of Trouble as Stiff Love moves in a sweeping formation to cover a large range of sound. Through the concentrated movement, Stiff Love can quickly become the driving force through a steady, almost forceful shove which then leads Stiff Love to a break down in “Trouble” where the desert lick of the guitar can stand out. Even through the abrupt ending, Stiff Love then proceeds into “Up In Your Room” which is the marker for the third act of Trouble.
“I know where you hide your gun,” is what Xtine seems to be shouting as the rest of Stiff Love strums and crashes along in a fury of sound that becomes the theme for Stiff Love’s Trouble. Especially throughout the tracklisting that barely reaches under the ten-minute mark, giving Stiff Love a get-in-and-get-out approach. The band is fantastic in the way their sound coincides within the rough outer limits of punk rock that borders on surf styled rock.
Stiff Love continues to please through Trouble and the band makes interesting turns that make for a successful overall trip that never overstays its welcome and always plans on the unexpected. Stiff Love works well within the four-member limit and tries to manipulate the sound just enough to be original and outstanding in a sea of many fish.
A rare, but odd mix up // Listen Here – Soundcloud
Sax and Flute by: Jihoon
Lil Remains Hoe // Listen Here – Soundcloud