Thursday, June 6, 2019

Belated obsessions: Dredg - Catch Without Arms (2005)

In no way do I stand here to speak as a Dredg fanboy or anyway someone who always followed them from the start, so they know and can pinpoint all small details this album carries and what they meant for the band and its history or whatever. I feel the need to write about this because it's one of those albums that, for some reason, stay with you for a whole lifetime; not always depending on its pure somehow "measureable" musical or historical value, but mainly for sentimental and/or conjuctural reasons.

2005 was a time that I had zero contact with anything post-punk. Not that Dredg were ever categorized as post-punk, but, according to today's musical standards, I think that Catch Without Arms would quite easily qualify for the term. Nu-metal was still around strong, and Dredg had a considerable deal to do with it, especially in their debut album Leimotif (as I retrospectively checked out), although they always had a more mellow and more "substantial" side. So, as I was mainly surrounded by garage punk noise on my speakers, Catch Without Arms stuck with me in an unexpected way. Back then, fans were accusing Dredg of imitating Radiohead or even somewhat going towards Coldplay, but, coming from a "virgin" musical environment in relation to the specific genre, I found a record that I could not stop listening to for months. Not complicated but direct warm melodies, supported by dynamic orchestration and Gavin Hayes' powerful vocals made for an album that can be with you everywhere; in friendly gatherings as much as in lonely cardrives. I couldn't exactly specify favourite tracks as I always devoured this album as a whole and it's full of beautiful ideas and memorable moments, but I guess I have to mention the incredible closer "Matroshka" or "Bug Eyes" with its amazing melody.

This is the only album I loved from Dredg, as I hadn't caught them before that and the next ones were kind of too "proggy" for me; but the musical timing on Catch Without Arms sounded just perfect. I have to say again that a Dredg fan would most probably have more to say about this album or its significance in the band's discography or why it is (not) their best one etc., but me, I found myself compelled to write a few words as to me this is a collection of tunes that has kept me company since their release and that it would surely be among my definite all-time favourite albums, had I ever been forced to make one. You would do very well to discover it, I think.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Jesus Chrüsler Supercar - Lücifer (2019)

Here it is finally in my hands, the new Jesus Chrüsler Supercar album that has been anticipated for months. The Swedes are considered to be the most definite version of death 'n' roll these days, a sound that was boldly established by grandmasters Entombed in the mid-'90s and unfortunately wasn't meant to be followed by many since.

Jesus Chrüsler Supercar do very well to hold the death 'n' roll flag up high, that is for the fans of the genre. For the rest, I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong, this is a great album and I've been listening to it in repeat mode the past week. And, after the initial excitement, I'm both happy and a bit sad to say that Lücifer is a pure Entombed-worship album; I will explain in a while. Jesus Chrüsler Supercar have been dancing around it since their beginning and there never was any doubt about it, but with their third album they are hitting the spot 100%, as it sounds almost like To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth was the only album they've been listening to ever since it got out. Lücifer sounds like it in regards to the compositions and riffing, even down to the production sound, even to the distortion in the vocals. Everything smells of Boss HM-2 while the songs reminisce of Entombed classics; for instance, "High Times for Low Crimes" bears a "Like This with the Devil" structure, "Boogeyman" is a mix of "Damn Deal Done" and "Uffe's Horrorshow" with a "Lights Out" ending, "Straight to Hell"'s chorus can't help but bring "They" to mind, etc.

To a die-hard fan of the Entombed star line-up (that is, the one of To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth), this is pure orgasm, and this is why I'm so happy, as I said above. But, to more generic listeners, I really don't know how much the appeal will be. Lücifer is objectively a very well done and thought-of record in terms of quality, but with a very specific thing in the minds of its creators; and this is why it probably won't be as widely accepted as the band generally deserves. I, for one, am to keep blasting this thing over and over again, and it will surely be on my top albums list of the year. But for the sake of their future, I really hope that Jesus Chrüsler Supercar got it out of their system this time around, and that they will return in time with something more personal and original.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.59 – 29/05/2019

Rodon Underground vol.59 - 29/05/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. Earth - Cats on the Briar
2. Vientre - Semillas
3. Cave In - Winter Window
4. Black Doldrums - There Is No Eye
5. Head On - Life Seems Johnny Rotten
6. The Big Nose Attack - Heat of the Night
7. Φαλκονέρα - Ηλεκτρισμός
8. The Jackets - Loser's Lullaby
9. Amyl and the Sniffers - Control
10. Gaahls WYRD - Carving the Voices
11. Numenorean - Adore
12. Deadwitch - Decaying Mind
13. Confusion Master - Reaper's Fist
14. Wine from Tears - Whales Swim Up
15. Gagulta - Long Live the Undead
16. Jesus Chrüsler Supercar - Never Sleep Again
17. Entombed - Left Hand Path (live)

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Straitjacket Fit - The End (2019)

This one came out of the blue and it just blew me away. Straitjacket Fit are from the Greek city of Patra and their fate had been unknown for 10 years, since their second album, Lies. The special thing about this band is that they always lived by a certain code, according to which they never received money for their music, played live only in squats and free places without any economic payback, and generally refused to be part of the "music labels slavery trade", as they called it.

Reaching today, it seems that Straitjacket Fit had recorded their new album The End (a title that signals that this is their final release maybe?) in 2014, and just now they are finally ready to release it. And this is a pleasant surprise, to say the least. The band continues to demonstrate their unique alternative mix of rock, with the Primus-esque bass and the whole Faith No More intensity, to name only a couple of influences off the top of my head. Yes, it all does reek of the '90s, but it sounds anything but outdated, with their certain noise rock chaos being put in a strange order by the almost math structures. This is not just dry experimentation, but it rather exhales rock 'n' roll with every note. Check out one of the albums of the year and download it freely at the band's bandcamp site.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rodon Underground vol.58 - 22/05/2019

Rodon Underground vol.58 - 22/05/2019
Rodon FM 95 (Serres, Greece),
Wednesdays 21:00-23:00 CET+2

1. Dury Dava - Σάτανα
2. Death and Vanilla - Nothing Is Real
3. The Coathangers - Bimbo
4. Jack Oblivian - Good Time Bad Girl
5. Diät - Foreign Policy
6. The Hives - I'm Alive
7. The Sick Things - Sick Things
8. Desertörerna - Rödvin & Betong
9. Kardinal Synd - Där Vi Bor
10. The Short Fuses - The Pink
11. Mary's Kids - Ill of the Dead
12. High on Fire - Vagabond of the Western World
13. Iron Lamb - Erase/Rewind
14. Nale - Death, Skulls & Satan
15. Khiis - Venom
16. Krause - The Rough Beast of Unpleasantness
17. Torche - Slide
18. Swordwielder - Violent Revolution
19. The Body - MIT
20. Kat Katz & Andy Gibbs - Sounding Stair
21. Akvan - Fereydoon's Revenge

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Reverend Beasts - s/t (2019)

The Reverend Beasts are the new rock 'n' roll sensation from Thessaloniki, Greece and, without even knowing, I was always waiting for them, especially after the disbanding of De Sades. Well, the Reverend Beasts more or less pick up where the unjustly late De Sades left things off, only this time with more garage appeal stepping on Radio Birdman as much as on Roky Erickson as much as on the Sonics as much as on the Dirtbombs etc; I think you get the idea and more words would be unnecessary. Seven new songs of pure garage rock 'n' roll are delivered  in our hands, making it the ideal way for the Reverend Beasts to introduce themselves and to make us anxiously anticipate a full-length release. I know I do.