Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rodon Underground vol.73 - 15/01/2020

Rodon Underground vol.73 - 15/01/2020
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. Nothing Is Real - Life Is but a Dream
2. Misery Loves Co. - Zero
3. Kill Your Boyfriend - Elizabeth
4. Foals - Exits
5. Kolars - Touch the Lightning
6. Hapax - Truth or Lie
7. Νεκροτσουλήθρα - Μετά
8. The Men - Children All Over the World
9. The New Rochelles - Animal Boy
10. Indonesian Junk - Mean Christine
11. The Fantastic Terrors - Empty Refridgerator Sunday
12. Dead Furies - Stay Gold, Ponyboy
13. The Great Black Shark - Serial Killer
14. Mammock - Theme for Pets
15. Kicked in the Teeth - One Way Street
16. Body Count - Carnivore
17. Anti-Flag - Hate Conquers All
18. Broken Fingers - Joy
19. Mass Worship - Spiritual Destitution
20. Gatecreeper - Boiled Over
21. Black Blight - Syltur

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rodon Underground vol.72 - 08/01/2020

Rodon Underground vol.72 - 08/01/2020
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. Las Casas Viejas - Während des Tages
2. Alien Mustangs - Sunrays
3. Nellcôtes - Suburbs
4. Black Lips - Gentleman
5. Rival Sons - Feral Roots
6. Begravningsentreprenörerna - Kan Inte Säga Nej
7. Grande Royale - Saved by Rock 'n' Roll
8. High on Vigers - Alive
9. Sleave - Homebound
10. The Good the Bad and the Zugly - Corporate Rock
11. Big Business - Let Them Grind
12. Year of the Goat - Subortus
13. Torche - Admission
14. Fvneral Fvkk - Chapel of Abuse
15. Hellhookah - Greed and Power
16. Borknagar - Thunderous

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Top 10+10 albums of 2019

And yup, this is officially a tradition now. The start of a new year is the time for everyone to lay down their best albums from last year and, although time is a luxury rarely available anymore, I too get compelled to do so, if only for historical reasons, just so no good music that was released this year gets lost or overlooked. I know I haven't been maintaining this blog properly apart from the Rodon Underground playlists and uploads (lack of free time again obviously), but even when there was an album I really felt I wanted to write about, well, it was going to be one of the albums that you're going to see on the following list anyway; so why write twice for the same thing? I still want to write and I miss it, but I'd rather do it for albums of this year that escaped my radar and I will discover later through other year lists or for the beloved Belated Obsessions section of the blog. ANYWAY, what I'm trying to say is that I'll try to write more; for anyone that cares anyway.

Enough talking, on with the list:

1. Lingua Ignota - Caligula

Lingua Ignota's third album (the first under a record label as the two previous ones were self-releases) is the one that puts this great artist on the map for good. I had come across Kristin Hayter (her real name) in collaborations here and there before, but, in my opinion, none of those were as breathtaking as Caligula. This piece of art drops on your brain like an anvil and imprisons your soul. See how I've used a word containing the term "art" twice already, which is a word I don't like using as I think is often arbitrarily used by people provocatively in order to just turn heads? Well, it is because I believe that this album carries the definition of the term "art" in all its layers; in its music, in its atmosphere, in its message. While musically it enchants the listener with its classicist/goth core and its industrial/blackmetal outbursts, lyrically it stands for catharsis, vengeance and against oppression, established religion and patriarchy. Many will say Diamanda Galas did it earlier and possibly better, but, while naturally her roots and influence are more than evident, here we have something considerably different, in a sense that it requires a whole new and original artistic approach in order to be realized. This is one of those records that I feel all my years as a fan of the extreme/atmospheric sound has been preparing me for, as it's unconventional and very difficult to the common ear, while it requires certain circumstances in order for it to be appreciated. Definitely not car music then, but an album that screamed "album of the year" in my ears ever since it crossed my path.

2. Reveal! - Scissorgod

The expectations for this album were as high as they could be as I personally adore Reveal! ever since their second album Flystrips landed on me in 2016 and their Opaque/What Pigs Get single last year (which carried a representative taste of the new sound of the band we could anticipate in the upcoming album), but believe me when I say that this fact alone would be nowhere near enough for Scissorgod to preemtpively make it so high in this list (there are several all-time personal favourite bands that haven't made it due to a rather mediocre or disappointing 2019 new release). But thankfully, Scissorgod successfully picks up where Flystrips had left off and then more than just some. Reveal!, through the years, have evolved their method of composing music in an absolutely personal and unique way, one that isn't encountered anywhere else. There is blackmetal feeling but with a punk approach, there is nihilism and darkness along with a considerable amount of experimentation. In their new album, apart from the ritualistic repetitive (but not in a tiresome way) rhythms and riffs, the band showcases blackmetal outbreaks as well as more atmospheric moments, sometimes with the addition of wind instruments that give an extra eerie layer to the whole sound. If nothing else, Reveal! definitely have created a trademarked sound of their own and I can only wonder where they can take it from now on. For now, I'm expecting my Scissorgod vinyl so I can spin this fucker till it melts.


3. Devil Master - Satan Spits on Children of Light

I had written all about it back in March (when this album fell on my hands) as I couldn't possibly contain the excitement. My brain went numb for several days just listening to Devil Master's debut album as, although it was full of elements that I recognised, the final outcome sounded so unlike anything else I had ever encountered. Inside Devil Master's pot are stirred many different and even opposite genres (old-school heavy metal, blackmetal, gothic, punk, deathmetal - to name but the surface), to create an absolutely personal sound with a unique almost otherworldly atmosphere and a chaotic sound that is full of order and meaning. Satan Spits on Children of Light is blasphemous and dark in its image and attitude, but it's so more than that as the music is really groundbreaking. We have a lot to expect from this band.


4. Antimob - II

The absolute leaders of the Greek hardcore punk scene have returned within great anticipation and excitement. Antimob is the band with the biggest amount of hype in the Greek punk scene as every release of theirs gets regularly sold out within days after its release. And note that they move purely and exclusively in a DIY sense, which makes any commercial success nothing short of a feat. Apart from that, the good thing is that the band easily manages to live up to this hype as it continues to deliver monumental releases, like this album. II, although it carries the trademarked Antimob sound with the furious vocals and the galloping guitars, also takes it several steps further in terms of composition and orchestration. The anger, fury and harshness are still here without any discount, only now they are accompanied with inspired and well-placed guitar leads that take the sound to another level.

5. Low Dose - s/t

Another debut album makes it to the top list of the year, something that should tell something to the "rock 'n' roll is dead" evangelists. Low Dose come from Philadelphia, PA and they have been turning some heads all over the world with their first full-length release. The band emerged from the merging of two other bands from the Philadephia grunge/noise scene, Fight Amp and Legendary Divorce. Itarya Rosenberg's dynamic voice is a perfect lead for the heavy grunge punk guitars that also carry a noise twist, making the overall sound the perfect example of what the grunge of the new millennium is supposed to sound. Apart from the hit charger "For Sure", the album is full of gems and experimentations that right now show us only a fraction of Low Dose's abilities. Until their next release, there is a lot to get into right here.

6. Martyrdöd - Hexhammaren

The thing with Martyrdöd is that it's one of the bands that make you wonder how the hell it is possible for them to never get a bad or even mediocre record out. It's true that crust punk purists will disagree saying that the Swedes have cleared and polished their sound a great deal along with their signing on a major international record label (and they wouldn't be wrong in that sense), but I prefer to see the matter exclusively musicwise. It's true that Martyrdöd, although maintaining the lightspeed velocity and extreme vocals, have also made a musical leap that makes them accessible to more listeners of the extreme sound. So, three years after their breakthrough List, Hexhammaren is here to solidify this trust for the fans. Mikael's screams still carry those distinct sobbing sounds at the end of each verse, the production is filthy and clear at the same time, and, in terms of composition, the band goes even to some old-school deathmetal areas, always in a way that fits to the total. A great album that adds to the Martyrdöd legacy.

7. Jesus Chrüsler Supercar - Lücifer

Another record that I was anticipating for months since the announcement of its release, and one that I just had to write about back then, as the death 'n' roll sound is what defines me personally as a listener and vocalist to a great degree. You can check my post back in May for a detailed review as there is no reason to repeat the same things again. I would only like to specify (feeling a little guilty that I could be a bit unfair in that review maybe comparing them too much to Entombed and specifically the classic To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth) that, although Jesus Chrüsler Supercar do have their starting point in the death'n'roll sound established in the mid-'90s by Entombed, their attitude is anything but pretentious and this is a sound they possess in a true sense. Adding the fact that they're probably (as long as my music radar can locate) about the only band that plays this kind of death 'n' roll nowadays, this is no small thing by itself.

8. Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel

I think this is the most mainstream I have ever become, but in this case we're talking about something just plainly inevitable. I don't think there is a person concerning themselves with the current affairs of today's music that can just overlook these handsome Dublin boys. Fontaines D.C. have been releasing only hit singles since 2018, and in 2019 there was finally their time to collect all these singles (and then some incredible stuff more) inside their debut full-length album Dogrel. And, although we already knew half the tracks from the singles, Dogrel is still one of the albums of the year. This is an album that unites pop fans, punks, garage punks, indie fans and all other music lovers under one sound. The music of Fontaines D.C. has a universal tone and it carries a quality and substance merged ideally with pop forms that can leave noone untouched. Checking the tracklist, we're talking about hit single after hit single that make an album placing itself easily among the best albums of the decade for the music industry in general, and promising great things for the future. Noone is too cool for Fontaines D.C., not even you; go out there and listen to them, if you haven't already.

9. Amyl and the Sniffers - s/t

This is a band I feel proud to have "discovered" ever since their early singles in 2017 and played on Rodon Underground radio show, but their debut s/t album (another "rock 'n' roll is dead" case) is just nuts. Australia is always a guarantee in rock 'n' roll, but in this case we have hit the bullseye. Amyl and the Sniffers revive the original punk feeling with their explosive live appearances we've been witnessing through video and praying to see live someday. You will not find musical innovations or experimentations in here, only raw punk rock attitude with a touch of glam, fronted by the charismatic female Amy Taylor. With Arctic Monkeys' producer behind the sound of the album, Amyl and the Sniffers haven't held back at all, instead they ride full charge into the next punk revolution.

10. Desert Sessions - vol.11&12

I don't think there are many people unfamiliar with Josh Homme's side project Desert Sessions that has been going on and off for more than 20 years now and it's the one he's been using for every experimentation or personal musical endeavour he wanted to get into from time to time. Well, calling it just "side-project" is an understatement, as Homme used each time to gather a bunch of his musician friends; and yes, one can only imagine what musician friends a guy like Josh Homme has. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lew Claypool (Primus), Matt Sweeney (Zwan, Probot), Mike Kerr (Royal Blood) and Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters) are only few of the guests in Desert Sessions vol.11&12 and the result is as multilateral as you'd expect. Counting the fact that everything was composed and recorded by said musicians within a period of some days, in this way we have the definition of the term "rock 'n' roll feeling", always carrying the stamp of its creators. This album is so good that it makes you wonder whether Homme should start writing music for the Queens of the Stone Age in the same way, instead of producing the crap out of it, like he does.

on the bench:

11. Sect - Blood of the Beasts
Personally, I still haven't got over the disbandment of Burning Love, but this is a small comfort as I get to have my dose of Chris Colohan's incredible vocals. Of course, this is an entirely different thing, as Sect relentlessly pierce through your brain with their uncompromising unique mix of hardcore punk.

12. Straitjacket Fit - The End
This is pure DIY in the truest sense of the term, as Straitjacket Fit refuse to receive any amount of money for their music or be part of the music industry in any way, instead they've always been releasing everything free. Musicwise, we have alternative rock, math, noise, all played in a personal manner that gets the listener even if they have never really been into similar kinds of music before. Let's hope that this is not their swan song, like the album title suggests.

13. Idle Hands - Mana
An unlikely selection for me, as I only discovered this because a dear friend recommended them and this way I found a favourite album for 2019. Traditional heavy metal forms never did it for me, but Idle Hands use it only as a starting tool and, enriching it with melodic post-punk forms, they create an ethereal sound that doesn't lack rhythm at all.

14. Entombed A.D. - Bowels Of Earth
Always a die-hard fan of the original Entombed, I never really got into Entombed A.D. To be honest, yes there was an amount of compulsion involved, having something to do with the feeling that this band shouldn't carry the heavy Entombed name, but it's also a fact that the first two albums didn't really get to me. And here we are with Bowels of Earth, where LG & co sound like they really own it this time having incorporated more rock 'n' roll elements into their deathmetal, making an enjoyable and fully replayable record.

15. Calabrese - Flee the Light
No matter how many years I've been an active music listener, from time to time there will be a case of "where the hell has this band been hiding all these years?". Calabrese from Phoenix, AZ are definitely one of these cases as they've been around for more than 15 years, but only in 2019 I heard of them. And the gothic punk they deliver satisfies a great deal of my deprivation symptoms since there are not many bands like Babylon Whores and Type O Negative around anymore.

16. The Crashes - Comedown
The Crashes are a band destined for great things, should they reach the right ears; I was blown away with their 2018 debut EP. A Queens of the Stone Age/ Arctic Monkeys/ White Stripes mix with a distinct personal touch completing the recipe makes for a great debut album which unfortunately is substantially underrated within the Greek rock scene.

17. The Mystery Lights - Too Much Tension!
The Mystery Lights are among the bands that you'd swear they happen to live in the 21st century by mistake or due to a time paradox. It's been 50 years since this psych-garage music was first heard throughout the world, yet these Californians do it in a fresh and enjoyable way showing that they really own it.

18. Silvertomb - Edge of Existence
The feeling of loss after Type O Negative is vast and painful and it's never going away. After several projects the ex-TON members were involved in ever since and unfortunately worked as much as a small band aid, finally Silvertomb are here to fill a big part of our void to an almost satisfying point of adequacy. This is not a Type O Negative rip-off, instead this is Kenny Hickey's next step as a composer and singer, giving us a taste of the shocking aftermath of such a great band's end.

19. Chain Cult - Shallow Grave
Chain Cult surfaced in 2018 with a mind-blowing demo EP and quickly became the talk of the town among the international post-punk circles. Coming from Greece, which is not exactly known for a said scene, added to the general pleasant surprise. The debut album Shallow Grave proves that Chain Cult's success is anything but coincidental.

20. The Wraith - Gloom Ballet
With great pleasure, during the last years I see more and more bands from within the rather general-sounding "post-punk" genre basically reviving the sound and feeling of '80s-'90s gothic rock/punk. Unlike Calabrese mentioned above, the Wraith from Los Angeles are new to the game with their debut album coming out just a month before the end of the year bringing dark joy to my ears.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.71: 2019 review - 11/12/2019

Rodon Underground vol.71: 2019 review - 11/12/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. Desert Sessions - Move Together
2. The Crashes - Alcoholism
3. The Mystery Lights - Thick Skin
4. Chain Cult - City of Ruins
5. Calabrese - Hallucinatory Void
6. The Wraith - Can Not Die
7. Idle Hands - Cosmic Overdrive
8. Fontaines D.C. - Too Real
9. Amyl and the Sniffers - Some Mutts (Can't Be Muzzled)
10. Low Dose - Not Break Skin
11. Silvertomb - One of You
12. Brutus - Carry
13. Refused - Malfire
14. Straitjacket Fit - Ghost Vision
15. Sect - The Blankest Cheque
16. Antimob - Στην Κόψη του Ξυραφιού
17. Jesus Chrüsler Supercar - From Death to Dawn
18. Devil Master - Skeleton Hand
19. Reveal! - Scissorgod
20. Martyrdöd - Sthlm Syndrom
21. Lingua Ignota - Spite Alone Holds Me Aloft

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.70 - 04/12/2019

Rodon Underground vol.70 - 04/12/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. NYOS - Curiosity
2. Black Midi - Ducter
3. The Venial Sin - Fundamental Addiction
4. Creshna - ...To Touch the Face of God
5. The Wraith - Ballad of Aeon
6. Deathwhite - Further from Salvation
7. Seer of the Void - Venom Black
8. Lost Breed - Cradle to the Grave
9. Janus Stark - Shuffling the Pack
10. Ozzy Osbourne - Under the Graveyard
11. Michael Monroe - Last Train to Tokyo
12. Beat City Tubeworks - Rat Race
13. The Wildhearts - Diagnosis
14. Cro-Mags - From the Grave
15. Bleach Everything - On a Rope
16. Integrity - Thaw
17. Reveal! - Feeble Hearts
18. Waste of Space Orchestra - Syntheosis

Friday, November 29, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.69 - 27/11/2019

Rodon Underground vol.69 - 27/11/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. 10,000 Russos - Runnin', Escapin'
2. Swans - The Hanging Man
3. (DOLCH) - Halo (Afraid of the Sun)
4. CocoRosie - Smash My Head
5. Marilyn Manson - The End
6. The Mystery Lights - I'm so Tired (of Living in the City)
7. Treep - Message to the Man
8. The Dark Rags - Lost Cause
9. Rotten Mind - Beat of the Street
10. Chain Cult - The Uninvited
11. Dr.Albert Flipout's One CAN Band/Mickey Pantelous - Tango till They're Sore
12. Phil Campbell - These Old Boots
13. Kvelertak - Bråtebrann
14. Raised Fist - Venomous
15. Touch - Determinate
16. Wolfbrigade - The Wolfman
17. Laudare - Acoria the Indulgent
18. Golden Core - Hrafnaspá

(Unfortunately, no audio this week due to technical reasons)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.68 - 20/11/2019

Rodon Underground vol.68 - 20/11/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. ΜΜΜΔ - Awogans
2. The Messthetics - Better Wings
3. Grey Gallows - 1982
4. Spectres - Northern Towns
5. DIIV - Skin Game
6. Teenage Wrist - Mary
7. La Dispute - Footsteps at the Pond
8. Monovine - Evergreen
9. The Chats - Pub Feed
10. The Overjoyed - Defanged
11. Good Riddance - Who We Are
12. Άλλος Κόσμος - Όλη Σου η Ζωή
13. Στράφι - Το Πιο Γλυκό Σκοτάδι
14. Junkheart - Φαντάσματα
15. Πέμπτη Κάστα - Where the Anchor Drops
16. Lindemann - Knebel
17. Worst Ones - Funeral Flowers
18. Silvertomb - So True
19. Smallman - Камък
20. Bad Men - Bong Weasley
21. Morne - To Rust