Massive layers of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals rendered by two Portland-based doomslingers in teeth-buzzing clarity by the evil wizard Greg Wilkinson. This is death metal shot through with sorrow and regret, to the extent that their slower passages, like the beginning of the track “To The Flame” moves into funeral doom territory, complete with a clean, lamenting choral element in the background. “Holiness Digested” is a short segue track before the epic title track is unleashed. Hear the darkness that has collapsed upon the self to torture that which would seek the light, only to find a prison of its own making, circling paths of infinity…
A Hardcore Punk vignette etched in Power Violence and old-school metal.
An impassioned sonic treatise on survival in a system designed to crush the individual, the iconoclast, and the marginalized, with a bit of genre cross pollination and a furious delivery by their powerful and very present front person who espoused an unrelenting spite for the crumbling empire. Greyhound opened for Negative Approach a little while back and I was impressed by the intensity of the performance by Ry, who was the embodiment of ferocity before a ragtag group of misfits who clearly appreciate some of the musical arenas I had orbited in my youth. Kinda felt like the old days, sans emphasis on adhering to scene approved costumes. My assumption is these weirdos don’t give a fuck about your fashion sense, they play fast, hard, and mean with only a single song that might be considered vulgar by the…
FCC on Track 11 (B6) “Sorrow/Pain”: “… give a fuck…”
Though the use of prolonged guitar feedback might be dissonant or even distasteful to some; it is hardly obscene, nor will it incur fines, and sounds, to this miserable volunteer, like heavenly minstrels rejoicing in the divine light of pure, eternal, unconditional love.
*All proceeds (of the cassette) go to Self Help Hunger Program’s Temporary Housing Fund in Oakland*
Oakland – 2022
Deliciously decayed sounds from Jo Montgomerie, of Manchester. She originally planned on being a concert pianist, but ended up falling into the world of sound design, foley work, and post-production. Utilizing objects around her home as well as connecting contact mics to her own body, she creates snaps, cracks, sizzles and delectable drones that waft through open steel warehouses and cold dark places. Industrial ambience, forlorn fevers.
It’s a downtempo, trip hop excursion floating through magic hour pastel hazed clouds, straight from Moscow. Chilled, laid back beats in half time… the feeling after that first sip of Cabernet. Subtle, sublime, summer synthy splendiferous-ness.
Colorful, percussive, sample-based compositions by Victoria Barca aka Vic Bang, who is based in Buenos Aires. The tracks are crazy catchy and don’t sound much like anything I’ve heard before. The way the perky rhythms and ingenious sounds are assembled push my happy button bigtime. If this doesn’t put a wide smile on your face, I don’t know if we can be friends.
Solo synth and drum machinery from John Touchton, of Florida. Dystopian midnight hovering car rides in swampy neon-lit cityscapes, 100 degree minimum. Razor sharp melodies intertwine and weave through synth drenched rhythms. Recent descriptions of equal parts synth-wave séance, abduction hallucination, and paranormal noir. Drift + Lift.
Thunderous squealing Power Electronics with textures and buried screams that do nothing to mitigate the horrific and appalling synaptic disturbance. Modulated frequencies, pulses, throbs, and white noise ejaculations. Not a wall of noise but structured, and perhaps composed expulsions of sound.
“Hure” is German for “whore” though little more information can be coaxed from the sopping wet panties of the web with my pathetic grasp of the German language.
Also of note is the apparent use of theater during their copious live performances. It appears that the two members are clad in masks and bandages of duct tape while manipulating their hand made instruments that are strapped over their shoulder like guitars and may even utilize strings and magnetic pickups but are also festooned with electronic hardware like laptop keyboards and mysterious black boxes with cables spewing out of the sides like the proper post-apocalyptic horror show they appear to be. HURE is a viable and appropriate accompaniment to our modern cataclysm, slide in the cassette and imagine our listeners lurch, nod, and spasm as we embrace the End Times.
Berlin, Deutschland – 2022
Sado-evangelic Noise Wall
Two perverse sides, two heretical slabs. Play in reverse and the holy ghost might cum on your stigmata. Play front to back to induce immaculate abortion… either one will put another nail in the cross of listener alienation.
BLJ is one Richard Ramirez. Impossibly prolific noise producer with irons in more fires than anyone else, including the avantgarde fashion industry. Initially from Texas, indefatigably active since 1989, and now residing in the Philadelphia area with his husband and collaborator (Same guy. His name is Sean).
A re-release from 2019 but made originally in 1994.
Alexander Sirenko’s sophomore NNF release as Coral Club. Aquatic washes of sound, seabird samples. Floatational drone, waves of synth. From the color trio, “Red” had a light Terry Riley flair to start, more keys and even drum machines get stacked on top. “Turn To Blue” evolves into the most tense of the tracks. “Spectrum” with little ticker-tocker techno trills dives back into the aquatic. When percussion shows up on the cassette, it’s pretty non-intrusive and this is largely all about a warm chill and drift.
This CD is a brilliantly concocted and collection of 60, that’s right, SIXTY mic breaks from a (sadly) fictional jazz radio station from the mixed-up mind of Tim Thorton. While these improvised tracks range from about 20 seconds to 80 seconds, any of these would fit seamlessly between practically any two tracks you wish since their absurdity falls perfectly in line with KFJC’s. It was impossible to listen all the through only because I had to pause it due to my uncontrollable fits of laughter. Here are a few of my favorite lines from these tracks…
“Trust me on this one, there’s nothing softer than the tip of a dolphin’s nose, but I guess that depends on where he nudges you…”
“It’s opposite Day here at the station, it’s actually not, and we’re not going to be playing your favorite bossa nova hits…”
“Broadcasting live from Reggae Fest! They put me in the tank! And they, uh, just dunk me when they get the answers wrong, it’s filled with reggae, uh, trivia, and I actually got to touch a steel drum so…”
“We have a shoe that was left behind at the hot dog roast, it’s a men’s size 7 and a half tap shoe, the color is not important, but I would like to get this shoe out of the studio as quickly as possible…”
“I went to an art’s gallery this past weekend, and let me just say, I didn’t realize that poetry could be an art, uh, and I still don’t realize it because you can’t just describe a bunch of flowers out loud and expect people to take you seriously…”
“Welcome back to ‘Jazz Music To Meet Your Wife To,’ and I did meet my wife to this song, that’s why I play it at the top of every hour…”
and much, much, much, much, much more.
There is no reason not to play this.
This cassette released in 2013 by Los Angeles based Latino punk label Silenzio Statico put together this international compilation featuring some of the best and obscure bands from Finland to Brazil to Japan and anywhere in between. Mostly compiled from hard to find records from the 80s the music spans various genres including Anarcho-punk, Crust, Oi!, and melodic hardcore. The music is fast, aggressive and catchy but not abrasive or very long. There are only a few songs in English but song titles and some of the lyrical content that can be understood suggest it’s anti-war, anti-nuke, anti-totalitarian, anti-conformity and general human angst. The types of issues that are still relevant today.
Beast of Bourbon
This limited edition cassette from 2015 captures a crusty slab of French doom from a project that has since disbanded. Side A has three more polished studio tracks, and side B has three rehearsal tracks engineered by the band. Side A checks the boxes for the bongrip soundtrack though the riffs aren’t super original. Side B, being a rehearsal, captures a little air and space and basically squashes the vocals in the mix. And though I usually don’t advocate for the live stuff, track 5 “GHB Uber Alles” might be the most vital track on the release. Where the studio stuff walks the path, the rehearsals capture a band imbibing and going for it, and it works in their favor. This is followed by the closer “In the Abyss”, with some groove-laden riffs to get stoned heads nodding in unison. Possible FCC in track 1; in this genre it can be hard to make them out, but steer this one into safe harbor.
One 22-minute track of atmospheric sound-noise-scape. For this live 2011 performance, Andre Custodio’s solo project Nihil Communication expanded into a quartet lineup including members of other projects such as Conure, Sutekh Hexen, and Neurosis. I hear laptops, microphones, and instruments such as flute and guitar in the mix. The dynamics vary from medium quiet to medium noisy. Nothing harsh or scary, though—just intriguing caverns of sound created by people who know how to do this stuff.
Preachers That Lie (PTL) formed in 1986 in San Jose, Ca at the end of the Bay Area “Skate Rock” era and beginning of “Crossover”. By the late 80s PTL was playing all over the Bay Area, including Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, CA, alongside Neurosis, Jawbreaker, NOFX, No Use For a Name, and Green Day. They recorded a demo tape, 7” EP and were featured on several compilations.
Their brand of hardcore punk dealt with abortion, right wing Christians, conformity, Gilman Street elitism, beer and sex with a satrical sick sense of humor. This may have led to their getting banned from Gilman. PTL broke up in 1995 in the middle of a West Coast tour. The members went on to form other bands including Apeface, The Flames, Angry For Life, Whiskey Sunday, and Boar Hunter.
This cassette is a re-release of the “Last Call” CD from 2010 (Vinehall Records) that coincided with a reunion tour of Northern California and several shows in Hawaii opening for Dead Kennedys, Misfits, and TSOL. It includes songs from compilations and 1993 7” EP. Hopefully a copy of the demo tape can be found someday.
Beast of Bourbon
A duo of Italian brothers Maurizio and Roberto Opalio, from the Torino area. Creating what kitty might be hearing in their head while staring at the wall, wide pupil’d at 3 in the morning. Spaced out strings, gurgling and churning electronics, pedal fx and whistful moaning put you into a stare-down daze. Side long tracks from a cassette, with side B (track 2) picking up right where the first left off.
Absolutely killer cassette from this Bay Area trio with heavy experience in other projects, particularly due to the presence of Leila Abdul-Rauf (this is the first CW release added to KFJC to feature her). Released deep into pandemic year one (Dec. 2020), it asks, “Do we have another battle left in us?” Doom-laced, soaked in driving riffs, and peppered with a few straight-up guitar solos. And yet this sound is very distinct and unlike other stuff I’ve been reviewing lately. Unconventional vocal stylings: mostly clean, eccentric passages from drummer Pranjal Tiwari, like a possessed town crier reading from an occult scroll cut with ghoulish whispers. Abdul-Rauf brings a guitarist’s perspective to her bass guitar work. The sound is agile as it plays off Nathan Verrill’s guitar. All the pieces really start to fit on tracks like “Imposter”—great intro, building structures, ideal lyric content for the vocal stylings, vocal contrast from with an ethereal Abdul-Rauf addition, but most satisfying to my ears is the range of sounds Abdul-Rauf generates from the bass. In “Canticle” Abdul-Rauf provides vocals reminiscent of her work in both Vastum and Saros, like a compilation album jammed into a song. I’m probably going to play this thing to death on my show.
Dear Laika is the phenomenal project of Izzy Thorn of the North Wessex Downs, who has been experimenting with pop music since 2016. Utilizing both digital and analog sounds via the Roland Juno 106, prepared piano, distorted field recordings, and tape-warped vocals, Thorn, at only 23-years-old, seems to have perfected the art of leftfield pop.
Every track on this album is quite striking, hitting themes of loss, anxiety, seclusion, self-identity and self-image, documenting parts of Thorn’s transgender experience. Washes of hypnotic mesmer, swaths of opulent murmurs, tones and drones, warped other-worldly vocals that speak directly to the depths of your ethos.
Absolutely stunning, one-of-a-kind, album. I am very excited to see where she goes next in her compelling musical journey, KFJC will be keeping their ears close.
Magical, hypnotic psychedelia rhythms from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They mix synthesizers, organs, and electric guitar among Andean rattles, bells, tarkas, and field recordings from Bolivia and Peru. The buzzy, whimsical sounds from the synthesizers give this a mystical desert feel. Ambient yet rhythmical, harmoniously futuristic, deep swamp jungle sci fi resonances. Very chill.
Regional Death Riffage
Guttural bellows esophageal tatters. Note intensive single note soloing with pinch harmonics and trem-dives. Cartilage quivering, heart palpitating bass profanation. Thunderous and technical drumming spurs down to uptempo necrotic-horror veneration and aural devil worship.The prominent Mortuous is a San Jose four-piece that delivers a doom laden unholy lament. in a powerful and bespoken south-bay tradition. Scolex shovel out a similar sounding offering ‘cept they’re from Oakland and a two-piece with revolving cast of live members.
The sprawling list of Death Metal allies and affiliates from the Bay Area adds provenance to both of these wicked talents. Play the tape loud, bang your head, imagine a human head decay in time lapse, read Lovecraft, repeat.
Low fidelity Hardcore from Spain 2015
Renou i ràbia desde Menorca.
Noise and rage from Menorca.
Furious attack (guitar,bass,drums,vox) without brakes.
A tirade of malice, though unintelligible, the message is clear:
Aim for the heart and pull the trigger.
Las Garras de la Otan = The Claws Of N.A.T.O.
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File