Disposable column: Musical Darwinism – 2003

Originally published in ‘zine issue #27, 2003

with J.R. Hayes

I went “into the listening room” with J.R. and played him some records. Here are his first impressions of each …

Boris Amplifier Worship
(Southern Lord)
I would say great tones, solid production, very crushing as long as you’ve got the time to sit and get crushed. This record requires a lot of time, concentration, patience, but it’s worth it. I can rock out to it. ■

Discoria 2002 Demo
This is a competent, well produced, well played, depressingly boring death metal demo. I don’t know who wrote their bio but they really need to get over themselves. There’s a lot of name dropping going on [in the bio], for example Morbid Angel, Nile, and Immolation, but this band opens for those bands, and probably always will. ■

Hortus 2002 CD-R
Hortus is strange music created by bizarre men of science. Eccentric the way the Melvins are eccentric. It kinda sounds like Devo playing Swans covers. Awkward rhythms, crazy noises, lots of kookoo bass tones. At times the bass sounds like Moog synthesizers. Crazy, spacy shit. ■

Ludicra Hollow Psalms
(Life is Abuse)
It’s pretty brutal. I’m not a big black metal connoisseur but I think I dig this. It’s really fast, the vocals are very spiteful, but it’s that thin black metal guitar, that Darkthrone guitar, that kinda drives me crazy. But it’s definitely vicious in parts and the packaging’s pretty rad. It’s pretty good. ■

Magrudergrind demo
Total pussy snare. Guitar tone is pretty sick. They’ve got some meaty riffs. The faster riffs are kinda nondescript. Vocals aren’t bad. Need to put a little more sac in there. Recording as a whole: pretty good for a demo. This band has potential so I won’t slag ‘em. ■

Mindflair Green Bakery
(Bones Brigade)
It’s pretty hairy. It’s kinda got the same swagger as the last Brutal Truth record. It’s grind but then it’s offbeat and obviously fueled by bong hits. The advantage of bonghit grind is that it’s interesting because they take the bong hits and go off in strange directions, but the disadvantage of bonghit grind is that those directions don’t seem to go anywhere. If you’re patient with them they’ll feed you a couple sick mosh parts. ■

Nigel Pepper Cock The New Way
(Life is Abuse)
Dude, that’s messed up. Dude, what the fuck is wrong with this band? Dude, this is depraved. I remember Slayer’s Reign in Blood scaring the piss out of me when I was 11 years old. Looking at the packaging of this record, I’m maybe the most uncomfortable since. Honestly I have no idea what to say. I’m fuckin’ speechless, dude. The music definitely doesn’t live up to the packaging, but the packaging is out of control. ■

Paganizer Dead Unburied
(Forever Underground)
All right. Fuck. More well played, well produced, depressing as hell death metal. In Virginia this is what I call meat and potatoes metal, and I only eat caviar. ■

Set Ablaze demo
The band photos kinda look like a Bold record or a Gorilla Biscuits record, but these guys are a straight-up death thrash band. At times they’re trying to be melodic, at times they’re trying to be heavy, but it kinda feels very middle of the road. I wish they’d make up their minds and go in one direction or the other. I’m not feeling the hate, I’m not feeling the mosh, so something’s wrong. They’re all definitely good musicians, though. It is possible to be too eclectic. ■

Sut-Nam demo
Dude, come on! This is somebody who’s been listening to Slayer and Hatebreed at the same time. The vocals sound like a rabid dog but not a threatening dog, if that makes any sense. Definitely not a cliché band. They’re interesting enough. Some of the riffs are pretty good but I’m not diggin’ the production or the arrangements. There’s definitely some Floorpunch parts, if you’re into that. I wasn’t really feelin’ the vibe but definitely not a terrible band. Live they’d probably be fun to watch. ■

Trap Them and Kill Them 2002 3″ CD
This fuckin’ rules. It’s good. They actually have good guitar riffs, which is more than 90% of the grind bands out there. It’s tight, it’s aggressive, it’s mad as hell. What’s not to like? … The vocals are raging as hell. Listen to him: he’s fuckin’ pissed. Relentless as fuck, period. ■


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