Friday, April 29, 2011

I Want Press Credentials

I have some friends who get to do cool things, like talk to bands that they like and get promo CD's for free in the mail.  Since I'm so cool and low-key, I've never really gotten around to harassing them for details about how to get sweet swag.  And I'm not even saying that I want it for free; I'll fucking pay for the new Anaal Nathrakh album.  I already have (I still preorder albums like some kind of caveman, and you can get confirmation from Candlelight if you want), and I'm likely not going to stop.  And I'm not pandering for free merch, either, though I'll never turn you down if you offer me a free t-shirt.  I once accepted six free Smirnoff Ice t-shirts from my beer distribution job just because they had that many in my size just sitting there. 

U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

I'm not saying any of those things; what I'm wondering is, how the hell do I get into the "advance copies of cool and not cool albums" game?  What do I have to do to start getting compact discs in the mail that have nothing but that little cardboard sleeve, which I love more than my toothless brother, surrounding it?  I want to know.

Keep in mind, however, that this isn't a news site.  I write about whatever I want, whenever I want, and that's how I likes it.  I'm not saying that I don't want to scoop other publications (I already did that here), but I am saying that I don't dig deep.  I don't ask the tough questions.  I have a job that actually pays me money, and as the only dude who has ever written so much as a fucking word for this website, I don't have the time of the day to be investigative.  I have ill-conceived grind projects to work on, and people from bands that I admire to email randomly after the proper amount of alcohol has been added.

And they all know who they are.

I just want to get in on the bandwagon here.  I have journalist friends in the Crusty/Cakey Alliance of Superfriends who can do that stuff, and they always lord it over me, because they know that makes them better than me.  And they're correct.  But I don't want them to be!  Just because I eat Taco Bell's Dollar Menu while they get to feast on Value Meals doesn't mean they are better than me!

Who am I kidding?  Of course that's what that means.

I would just like to extend an invitation to labels and whatever the hell other companies can send me things: Do that.  I'm so tired of waiting for the new Anaal Nathrakh album to come out (and that's what this is really about)!  I don't want to do that shit anymore.  I won't leak your album.  I can only send email and write this crappy blog of mine from this computer, and I don't have the foggiest idea about how to leak stuff.

This is beginning to sound overly desperate and unbelievable, isn't it?  Perhaps some reverse psychology is in order.

Hey labels, please send me stuff to leak because I'm bad and have three tattoos that all espouse the virtues of stealing!

Psst....I think that worked.

I'm just sad because I have to wait for stuff like some peon grunt wang just because I am that.  It's unfair!  This is America, and I should be able to get my way just by making a big stink!


Seriously, though, I don't like stealing from bands that I love, and I hate even more to jump through the hoops of giving them my hard-earned cash dollars.  And in an age where the New York Yankees will, for some reason, leak your social security number to Nigerians just because you wanted season tickets because you suck and have no personality, I don't think it's such a surprise that people are tired of transmitting personal information over the interbung.

Other than what they had to eat that night, complete with pictures, or the gory details of their last bowel movement (if you're into Facebook or this exact blog, respectively).

However, I want to be on the trail, and I think that I've given lots of usable text bites to use in advertisements to make my criticism sound legit.  I mean, just picture the phrase "Gave me a raging D-boner, which I promptly walked into the kitchen with and stubbed in the counter while I emptied the dishwasher."  That sounds like something Earache could would appreciate somebody saying for nothing other than an invite to the "listen to music that you want to hear anyway" party.  Or maybe Relapse or Southern Lord want to float me some new material on the off-chance that I deem it "so good I just crapped on the couch in my sleep, and now my wife has locked me out of the house.  Also I was drunk."

I'm just throwing it out there.

But I'm not going to dig for news; that's for assholes.  I just want to reap the benefits that those fine assholes enjoy is all.  And again, since this is America, I'm sure that I can find a way to reap those benefits without the work.  Perhaps a government program geared toward lazy bloggers?

I'm just saying:  Give me music to listen to.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Send MeThings (Via Email), Like Pat Lukens

I love it when people send me things on the internet.  Band demos, videos, pictures of bears; it's not that important what it is, because I just like to see things that aren't fake job solicitations or (for some reason) blueberries that "grow themselves!"  Seriously, has anybody seen that in their spam filter, or is it just me that's getting those ridiculous emails?

Anyway, Pat Lukens--from the original party worms Cut Your Teeth--did the right thing today and sent me a sweet new cut that he posted on Youtube.  In addition to inflating my already bloated sense of self-importance, this gave me the opportunity to not have to rely on my CD collection or music that I stole off the interbung to generate content for this pointless blog.

Sweet relief!

At any rate, I watched the video a couple of times, and it' interesting thing for a metal d00d to be doing.  The song is apparently a Kpop song, Kpop being, obviously, the colloquial term for Korean Pop music (which is, incidentally, way better than the pop music in America.  Yes, I listened to the original song).  The original artist is something called 2ne1, which appears to be either a lady or some manner of dance troupe.  I'm not going to do that much Googling for this, and if you think that's lazy and stupid, you've obviously never read this blog before.

Also, you're lazy and stupid.  And a pee-pee.

Pat has taken it upon himself to 1) listen to this music in the first place (which is, realistically, the most flummoxing part of this whole affair), and 2) write and record new backing music for the track, keeping only the vocals and the newly incongruous music video as evidence that it was once a different beast.  At least I'm pretty sure the music is new, since I'm pretty familiar with Cut Your Teeth's canon of music and I can't identify any of the tasty riffage as something I've heard off either of their two releases.  I like Pat's version better, and I'll tell you why.  For one thing, his version strokes my D-boner, which is my favorite boner to have stroked by another man.  Okay, fine, second favorite.

Wait, is this on the internet?

Next, the music is heavy and thrashy, and the fast D-boner-stroking part has this bouncy, staccato vocal line that sounds really otherworldly with the new music behind it.  It doesn't make for good pop music in the way that normal, functional members of society would regard pop music, but it's what I and my fellow social retards would consider "Top Choice."  And I particularly like the part around 1:15, where the girl is for some reason sitting inside of a giant playing card because I think the interplay between the vocals and the guitar line are highly effective, and retain the catchy nature of the Kpop song's original incarnation.

That's a really fucking weird thing to have just typed.  I feel all...gross.

Anyway, take a listen to what Pat Lukens apparently does with his spare time, because it's surprisingly palatable and weird.  For your convenience, I've embedded the original (well, possibly original) version of the song here.  It's something else, all right.

Since I can't find the Pat Lukens Remix to embed, I'll have to just let you follow your nose to it.  Inexplicably, there are no less than 10 "dance cover" videos that pop right up when I try to embed, but not the video with the verbatim title that I just put into the search engine.


Listen to Cut Your Teeth also.

Thanks Pat!

Addendum:  if you read the title of this post to mean that you should personally start sending me your band's demo, you read that correctly.  I get bored easily and enjoy this feeling of  having something to talk about fly out of the ether an land on my fat, stupid face.  If it helps, get drunk first.  People who deny that alcohol is, in fact, courage liquified are wrong and aren't your friends at all.  It feels lame to say it so blatantly at the end of a Cut Your Teeth related post, but I'm just going to do it anyway.  And if you decide to send me a data mining virus, you're just going to be bummed out by how many pictures of dicks I have floating around on my hard drive, and how little money I have.

Because I make blogger money.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Intronaut--Valley of Smoke

Intronaut are one of those bands that I discovered quite some time ago (with The Challenger) that nobody else seemed to like except for me.  I'm still flummoxed by that time period; I had lots of friends who were metalheads (at least in a loose sense of the term), and they all fucking HATED Intronaut.  I couldn't even begin to understand why, especially after the release of the stellar Prehistoricisms in 2008.  I listened to that album over and over in my car stereo, much to the chagrin of my passengers, who were unamused by a) Intronaut as a musical entity, and b) the fact that I listened to the album on a continuous loop for almost a full month.

But fuck the passengers in my car!  THEY KNOW NOTHING!

Needless to say, I was stoked when I heard that Intronaut were working hard on the album that turned into Valley of Smoke, which made my Top Ten Albums of 2010 List, which marked the original piece of writing that I did, and which subsequently turned into this pointless blog of mine. 


But it's high time I actually gave a fair and thorough writeup to all of those gems of yesteryear, and I wanted to get Intronaut done first, because I've been working on a special Intronaut-related project.  Though it's unofficial, I've been piecing together the making of the album Valley of Smoke through research I've done mostly while watching South Park reruns, and am turning it into an historical play set for the stage.  There will be music and fun; swashbuckling adventure and touching moments; laughter, tears, a chase scene, and full-frontal male and female nudity.  Also, Sacha Dunable's best friend will be a talking car with a rapier's wit and a sweet T-top.

Oh, the adventures they had during the making of Valley of Smoke!

I'd like to present to you, dear reader, a small excerpt from my play detailing the writing and recording of Valley of Smoke.  Enjoy.

From Act 2, Scene 3

Sacha Dunable, Joe Lester, David Timnick, and Danny Walker stand together in a small Los Angeles apartment, surrounding the smoldering remains of that day's Los Angeles Times magazine that they've been collectively burning in a discarded wok for warmth.  Danny Walker [seated stage right] is naked from the waist up, having painted himself in traditional Native American warpaint.  He wears a buckskin loincloth and ragged cowboy boots; on his head is a grandiose feathered headdress.  He slowly pounds a deerskin drum with a tiny mallet, gazing into the corner and counting to himself.  Sacha Dunable [standing stage left] is dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans.  He stands on a disabled Segway and wears a powdered wig.  Joe Lester [just right of Sacha], sits straight-backed to show off his 9-foot-tall frame.  He wears a USC snuggie and is picking his teeth with the headstock of his bass.  David Timnick [just right of Joe] reclines on a soiled beanbag chair.  He wears the garb of a saucy 50's greaser, complete with cigarettes rolled up in his shirtsleeve.  He combs his hair lazily with a switchblade comb.

Sacha:  "That was some chase back there.  Luckily I just installed that oil slick machine on Marty the Spry Wondercar!  That really gave those Feds the SLIP!  But I still can't figure out why they were after you guys think it has something to do with the magic amulet we found at the haunted amusement park?"  [Sacha produces from under his shirt the amulet, on a thick gold chain, pulsing an unearthly green]

David:  [Combing his hair thoughtfully]  "I don't know, man, but I need to get back to my laboratory and analyze those rock samples I took from the underground treasure chamber.  I think something fishy is going on, and I think those rocks are just the clue we need to break this case wide open!"

Joe: [Stops picking his teeth with his bass and looks quizzical] "But we needs ta work on da album, don't we?"

Sacha:  [Leaping from the Segway] "That's right, Joe!  Danny, what have you got for tasty drum grooves?"

Danny:  [Staring through the group]  "I've got just the thing.  I've been working on it all day...[pounds out a drum groove]'s pretty good, right?"

Sacha:  "Pretty good?!?  That's dynamite!  We'll make it the main theme to the title track of the record.  I was thinking "Valley of Smoke," because it's a reference to the valley where we live, but also marijuana smokers will identify with it as a lazy, ham-fisted reference to smoking weed!  It's the perfect marketing scheme!"

Just then the amulet around Sacha's neck starts pulsing frantically; a disembodied woman's voice calls out to the group.  The voice sounds like it's coming from all around them.

Voice:  "Hellp me, Intronaut!  Only you can break the mummy's curse!"

The band looks all around them, startled.  They gather their wits and look around at each other, gathering strength from one another's strong visages and chiseled good looks.  Sacha announces:

Sacha:  "Well, you heard the lady!  Let's VAMOOSE!"

Marty the Spry Wondercar:  [from outside] "Oh nah you din't!"

The group laughs loudly


That's just one small portion of the action, right before Joe Lester's big tapdancing number, which itself leads up to David's nude scene and subsequent soliloquy, which reveals one of his deepest secrets.


You should go listen to this album, because it's really fucking good.  I imagine it's easy to steal, too, but I don't condone stealing music of this caliber.  You should just eat the dick and buy the fucking thing.

And if anyone from Intronaut actually reads this (they won't), I'd love an email to let me know how accurate I was for about the amulet and stuff.  It's hard to piece together meaningful research when you're trying to watch every episode of Archer back-to-back while shoveling potato chips into your mouth.  You know how it is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bison B.C.--Quiet Earth

As a subgenre, beard metal is probably my favorite of them all.  I love beard metal; it combines all sorts of strange and disparate elements to create something that is heavy and crusty to the utmost.  My favorite part about it is the beards, though.  You see, I am a model of near genetic perfection; the genes passed on to me from my parents are truly and utterly perfect in every way, save for one glaring flaw.  I can't grow a beard.  I have a full, lush head of hair that even the straightest man is attracted to, and I'm surprisingly nimble on my feet for a man who is as tall and burly as I am.  I have great big feet and indicate that I wear great big shoes, and my hands were built to play my guitar.  I'm a model of human perfection, a pasty white, slightly overweight Adonis with plenty of stretch marks and twice as much charisma.

But never a beard!  Oh, the agony of beardlessness!

I always like to imagine what I would do if I had a beard like many of my friends.  Oh what marvelously beardy adventures I would have, just me and my big, stinky beard.  We'd go to a Round Rock Express game
at the Dell Diamond and I'd dip my beard in a cup of beer to keep my face cool in the hot summer sun.  I'd use my beard to test produce at the grocery store, utilizing its fluffy, greasy tendrils to feel for ripeness and overripeness; an avocado would never slip through the cracks of my untrained fingers again, and I would never experience the dismay of having brought home an avocado that is already all brown and shit inside.  I AIN'T PUTTING THAT SHIT IN MY GUACAMOLE!

Birds and spiders would nest in my beard, becoming my army of nature that I would command and rule with an iron fist.  As future generations were born and raised in my beard, their allegiance to me would grow ever stronger; the newer generation would regard me as their mother, and then subsequently, some kind of lumbering Titanic god like from Greek mythology.  I would try to dissuade them from this view, but they wouldn't buy it.  After all, how did I get such a magnificent beard if I wasn't descended from the gods?  They would perhaps make a compelling argument, but my amazing humility would ignore it.

To dream.

For now I have to settle for what scant little facial hair I can grow (which is a pathetically small amount, which I tend to like some jerk who's growing a single daisy in a tiny pot in his office cubicle).  I offset this settling for little by listening to lots and lots of beard metal.  I love it.  And one of my favorites in the beard metal scene are Canadian wunderbeards Bison B.C.

Now it's true that only two members of Bison B.C. have beards.  I know this.  Don't let this relative lack of beards dissuade you from checking out the newest juggernauts of beard metal, though.  Bison B.C. is probably the band that I saw live the most times in a single year ever, and they also share the dubious honor of being the band that I saw the most times live without ever having listened to any of their recorded material.  I've listened to it lots now, but for the first couple of years (during which I saw them no less than 5 times live), I acknowledged that they were a great band that I enjoyed.  There were even shows that I went to to see Bison B.C. specifically, along with a series of slightly lesser bands that invariably comprised a very good bill.  But through all of this, I never listened to any of their recorded material until late last year.  And I'm glad that I bit the bullet and started buying music again so that I could give Bison some money of mine (I need to buy a shirt or two next time they're in town).

Quiet Earth was their first full lenth (probably.  I don't do research and can't now anyway, since I'm scrambling to finish this before I have to leave for work), and it totally rocks.  It's a sludgy amalgam of lumbering, doomy heaviness, midtempo swagger and thrashy, D-beat laden shredfests.  I particularly love the way Bison B.C. approach using guitar harmonies.  It's somehow more distinctive than the standard approach to harmony.  The riffs thunder and crush with harmonized melodic lines swelling up from underneath periodically, like some kind of oxygen-breathing sea beast rising from the depths to quickly eat an entire pelican, catch a breath, and then swim away.  Melody is woven into the fabric of the music, seemingly ubiquitous but only apparent at appropriate intervals.

Probably my favorite (and most shame-filled) part of the album is the song "Slow Hand of Death," which contains a riff that I wrote.  I'm not going to lie to you, though, and pretend like Bison B.C. ripped me off.  They didn't.  I wrote almost the exact same riff, in the same key, with the same palm muting and articulation (it's at 2:24 and again at the end, for those of you who want to hear it).  The problem is that I wrote the riff in a fit of inspiration that occurred roughly two years after this album was released, before I had heard the album proper but after I had seen them live several times.  Osmosis allows me to subconsciously steal riffs from bands that I thoroughly enjoy without the guilt of knowing that I lifted it note-for-note from part of their back catalog, from a song that I've likely heard live at least once and probably more times than that.

Which is another reason why I'm genetically superior.  Boom.

So if you're like me and you can't grow a beard but wish you could, start with Bison B.C.  Their brand of sludged up metal will trick your brain into sending signals to your face to make you feel like the bearded dynamo that you are inside (for future reference, being drunk also achieves this feeling, but adds a hyperinflated sense of self worth.  Incidentally, I recommend tying one on and then listening to Bison B.C. to achieve maximum beardness).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20 Double Feature--Cephalic Carnage

As everybody well knows, today is 4/20, which means that it's time for the most niche and risque day of celebration that this nation will put up with.  I'm talking about Hitler's birthday, of course, and though I don't celebrate Hitler's birthday myself (I don't like being reminded that I'm white, and am therefore to blame for most of the worst things that have ever happened since time began), I endure.

We all know that Stalin killed more people, but this is the face that has launched a million anti-Bush and anti-Obama propaganda campaigns.
However, tucked underneath the grim facade of this horrible day lies something much more wavy gravy.  Yes, it is most wavy gravy indeed.  I'm talking, of course, about the national day that people smoke marijuanas and spliffs and joints and jeezies and everything else that is a slang term for "marijuana" or "marijuana cigarette"  or "glass pipe with a little bowl area stuffed with marijuana for smoking."  You get the drift.

4/20 reminds us what's important, like standing on buildings, and crying bald eagles.  And Dimebag, obviously.  Also weed.
 In the spirit of this hallowed day that a surprisingly large percentage of people actually care about (I live in Austin, after all), I'm proud to bring you today's 4/20 Double Feature's inaugural installment, with the spotlight on my favorite stoner band, Colorado's Cephalic Carnage.
Cephalic Carnage are self-proclaimed "hydro-grind," which translates into non-stony-speak as "totally crunchy technical death metal, but our old stuff was way like grind...*takes a bong rip*...have you ever seen Red Dawn?"  And they are top-tier...whatever it is that's in quotation marks right there...of that you can be sure.  Let's take a big drag of our bleezy together....there we go....feels nice, right?  Right.  And let's take a look at a couple of my favorites.

Looking at this album art probably makes it clear that they are a very stony band, am I right?
I first fell in love with Cephalic Carnage's crunchy, off-kilter brand of hydro-grind about four years ago while I was still slaving away at my beer distribution job in smoggy Bakersfield, California.  During those days, I had lots and lots of disposable income and very few bills.  I would take my slow days at work and spend some extra time browsing the metal section of our most legit music retailer, FYE (Bakersfield sucks.  I'm sure you've seen this before if you've ever read anything else by me).  One day I was feeling saucy and decided that I would pick up something by a band that I had never actually listened to, and this is the album that I picked out.  My friend had one of their shirts, and I was jealous of how evil they were able to make Jesus look with a simple set of ram's horns, and I decided to see what all the hubbub was about.  Turns out, Xenosapien would change things for me.

Before I had heard Xenosapien, I always assumed that tech-death was restricted to meandering songs that drip with chronic note diarrhea and inexplicable vocals.  Turns out, as Xenosapien ably demonstrated, all they really need are inexplicable vocals.  The songs can have hooks and instantly memorable riffs, and even clean singing.

Clean singing!

Xenosapien is ripe with electricity that is hard to find in other albums.  There's so much to enjoy, from "Endless Cycle of Violence"'s massive opening riff to the final notes of "Ov Vicissitude" (I don't think either of those things are actual words) and through the hidden track at the end.  Oh how I love it!  So much disjointed heaviness!  Blastbeats abound!

It's heaven, really.

I waited patiently until 2010 for Cephalic's next effort, which came to me in the form of Misled by Certainty (which was, incidentally, my favorite album of 2010, through the eyes of one of my earliest writings).  I love this album.

Holy shit, what a follow up.  The effect of this album conjures images of Lenzig Leal and company riding giant, fire-spewing, motorized bongs through a post-apocalyptic wasteland and setting fire to whatever local wildlife was able to escape the holocaust, nuclear or otherwise, that led them to their current situation.  Actually, to be fair, I really just like to picture Leal flying around on a giant bong, riding it as if it were some kind of speeder bike, like from the Star Wars movies.

Dude, you have to hit this shit.  *Hits it*  Have you seen Robocop?
He and the rest of Cephalic Carnage travel around solving mysteries in this scenario.  At abandoned theme parks!
Misled by Certainty won my heart last year by virtue of the fact that it was such a powerful and decadently technical record that didn't sacrifice the songwriting for shreddy riffs and extended solo sections.  In fact, Cephalic managed to keep the record sounding pretty unified and totally solid from beginning to end.  I really love "A King and a Thief" because of the collapsing guitar riff that I've talked up before.  There are other amazing parts in there, also, like totally appropriate and acceptable clean singing and saxophone noodling.  Other hot cuts include "Abraxas of Filth," an intense sleigh ride through a landscape of bass tapping riffs and guitar noises that sound like Mario Brothers getting pulled into big green pipes on the NES, and "Ohrwurm," which has the most appallingly graphic and groaty music video I've ever seen.  Here it is!  But I warn you not to watch it for any reason, or else you'll be sorry.
I told you!
Didn't I just tell you not to watch it?
But seriously, the album is amazing.  It makes me wish that I was a big conoisseur of the sticky-icky Don't get me wrong, however; I think that weed should be perfectly legal.  Whiskey costs a lot of money, and I have to drink a lot of it to get my sweet, sweet buzz on anymore!  And weed is cool, because everybody knows that smoking is the single coolest activity that a human can participate in, and smoking weed is even cooler because it makes the Harold and Kumar movies tolerable and allows certain members of the population to listen to Bob Marley records without shooting themselves in the face.  Interestingly, all of those people are white and have questionable haircuts.

So, this 4/20, I encourage you to have some fun without local law enforcement or your parents catching wind of it (Godspeed, 8===D!).  And make sure that your activities for tonight aren't in any way Hitler related.  People don't like things that are Hitler related.

Because fuck that guy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cut Your Teeth--CYTII

The interbung has revolutionized several aspects of our lives, some for the better, and some for the worse.  Example: most bands can't make an actual living playing music anymore.  We all know that stealing music is fun and easy, and I'm not going to preach one way or the other about the merits of supporting bands monetarily versus being able to listen to anything at any time.  Bo-ring!  On the same token, however, the Interhole has destroyed the necessity for great bands to have a label for non-local fans to be listening to them.  Enter Cut Your Teeth, New York's crossover kings, and perhaps the single band that I spend the most time listening to and writing up for this crappy website of mine (don't believe me?  Here, here, this current post, etc).

I credit myself personally with being Cut Your Teeth's first fan ever.  I know that's delusional and retarded, but if you read my first writeup, you'll notice that Patrick Lukens (I think) and I were shamelessly plugging, on Invisible Oranges, Cut Your Teeth and my not-actually-a-band band.  I went and listened to CYT first thing and was blown away.  There, for some reason I retold that story.  You're welcome.

Now, for the uninitiated, Cut Your Teeth are the original New York party worms.  They wear Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses round the clock I imagine, and they subsist solely on beer or other party-related beverages, many of them served with colorful umbrellas.

Four Loko made me do it, bitches!  Now LET'S PARTY!
Cut Your Teeth are the kind of band that you'd like to have playing your house party.  They're all about bringing the thunder and swilling things, and are the kind of band that would lead somebody to set your couch on fire in a well-intentioned but misguided show of enthusiasm for your sweet house party.

Such a hangover everybody would have the next day!

CYTII is an admirable--if poorly named--continuation of the band's first release, Cut Your Teeth.  To placate myself while I walk to work and stuff, I like to put both albums on back-to-back; it gives me the comforting illusion that there's one quite good and pretty-much-long-enough album rather than admitting that it's actually two that are too short to truly quench my thirst for songs about booze and telling women to fuck off.  There's something about Cut Your Teeth's brand of crossover thrash that really gets my heart pumping.  I suspect it has something to do with the massive D-boner strokeage inherent in most of their songs; there's also a nostalgia factor at play, since Cut Your Teeth would have been my group of friends' favorite band when I was in high school.  They'll have to settle for being one of my favorite bands now that I'm considerably older and crustier than I used to be.  Sorry guys.

Song wise, CYTII is a more than adequate match for their first EP; tasty riffs abound in songs like "Bum Wine and Tequila" and "T.W.H.W.Y.T.B."  Sweet solos are also readily available for those of us who are guitar obsessed fret-watchers; I once read in a writeup that Cosmo Lee of Invisible Oranges did that said he suspected Patrick Lukens of being a closet shredder.  Really?  I suspect Cosmo Lee is a closet writer, and that all this summer heat is coming from that big-ass bright thing what flies across the sky during the daytime.

Perhaps Cut Your Teeth's finest achievement with this new album, however, is "Stallion" and it's accompanying music video.  Do I think "Stallion" is the best song they've ever written?  No, but it's really good.  However, they've made a music video for it, and I can say with a high degree of certainty that it's the only music video I've watched all the way through in probably about 10 years.  I love headstock cameras and dizzying movement, and the video is ripe with those things.  Watch:

I've been piping on about these dudes for a while now.  If you've missed the boat up until now, I insist you stop being a turd and go download their albums, because they rule and are free.  Check out their Bandcamp page if you don't believe me.

And thank you, interwebbies.  Even though you distract me from doing important things with my life, you also distract me from reality, which is way better than being productive.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mouthful of Merch

So I've been teasing the big announcement all week.  Oh, I haven't?  I did once, though, right?  Yeah.  So I teased this big announcement once this week.  Since I'm like an apathetic teenager and I get distracted easily, I meant to do it more, but simply didn't, instead opting to play Bulletstorm and watch 3rd Rock from the Sun reruns.

I sure do miss 90's sitcoms.  Everyone was so clever!

But here's the big announcement, made in an anticlimactic manner befitting my lackadaisical style of writing and half-assed approach to life.  Luckily for me, however, my wife refuses to do anything half-assed, and the result is here.


That's right.  In my infinite wisdom, I've decided to start making shirts and distributing them to the masses for some reason.  Have you got a wedding or a bris to attend, but no t-shirt classy enough for a child to stare up at while he gets a hunk of his little dick sliced off?  Now you do, thanks to the classic Mouthful of Acid logo t-shirt!

Or perhaps you're at an awesome show, and you've obtained to coveted title of "Wiggity Wasted."  That's all well and good, but how do you properly show everybody that can see you that you like to live the Chug Life?  What the hell are you going to do?

Well, fret no more, because I've finally put together a t-shirt that is both refined and clean, while still being effective in telling people that you're a borderline alcoholic.  It's like one of those shirts that you can get at tacky giftshops around the world, but instead of boasting about the size and/or shape of your genitals, it trumpets forward for all the world to hear, "You'd better watch out, there's a good chance that I'm drunk."

Just like a stomach tattoo!

Perhaps you'd like to say the same thing, but also decry me as the smelly idiot that I am?

Now, some of us found out the hard way that Todd Jones isn't involved in any way with law enforcement and has great disdain for people who would say that he does (story here and my subsequent retraction here).  These articles launched what I've seen referred to as the Twittergate battle between Jones and J. Randall from Agoraphobic Nosebleed.

Finally I said something that qualifies as important...on the a bunch of nerds...


Show the world that you have disdain for the police department and simultaneously decry the assertion of Todd Jones' involvement in public service with this attractive shirt, available for a limited time only!

All shirts are printed on 100% American shirt and come in black and slightly grimmer shade of black.  Sizes range from Men's Large to XXXL and, due to a clerical error in the ordering process, baby sizes ranging from Fat Baby Onesie to Really Fat Baby T-shirt.  All shirts are beard hair resistant and wick away spilled beer very quickly due to revolutionary all-natural beer swilling fibers (which also naturally block the odors of marijuana and B.O.).  

Proceeds from the sale of these shirts won't go toward terrorism or bad stuff, but probably won't be used to help anybody either.

Get yours today!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maruta--In Narcosis

I have one more album to present to you this Grind Week, Maruta's 2008 offering In Narcosis.  This week has been quite a week, and between doing everything exactly the same as I usually do and staring at the wall above my computer desk, I'm beat.  Being a big, fat dynamo is difficult to keep doing nonstop all day, and with so many bands that I'm committed to stalking, I've got very little time for anything else in my life, like video games (I don't own any portable, play-while-you-lurk handheld systems) and guitar (which is usually too big to carry while you flee from the police).  But I'm not trying to transmit subtle cries for help through the Interbung today, no sir.  Today I want to talk about disappointment.

Disappointment is something that we all must deal with.  If you have kids, you probably know all about being disappointed (hi dad!).  I've been stewing on disappointment lately, and I'll tell you why.  The other night, I was walking around my apartment in my (increasingly) normal fashion, sober (?!??!?), clad in my fine sleeping shorts.  As I was walking, I disappointed myself by kicking the holy hell out of my couch, which is a large and unforgiving piece of seating when engaged with the bare foot.  I was in agony, my toenail broken into the quick and spouting blood like the neck wound of some Quentin Tarantino movie's villain during the dramatic final showdown.  I was quite disappointed in myself because:
  1. I know where that fucking couch is.  I see it all the time, and yet still swung my dumb foot at it like it didn't even exist.
  2. I made my toe hurt, and I need that toe for standing, which I do about ten hours a day for work.
  3. It made the floor bloody.
Shit!  I was so bummed out at myself it was only kind of funny to realize how hard I had inadvertently kicked the couch.  Seriously, I hit that damn thing like I was committing a hate crime against it!  I've also been disappointed by several movies that I've seen lately and by my coworkers' collective reaction to Black Breath, which was surprisingly negative considering the fact that I assumed they would hate Black Breath.  Fuck.

However, sometimes we are lucky enough to avoid the horrible sting of disappointment.  Literally just this morning, I was at the grocery store.  I was buying this week's groceries before work, which I always do.  The store was busy this morning, though, and as I loaded up my pointless shit onto the conveyor, I saw a dude standing behind me in line.  This dude was maybe my age, but probably younger, and he was holding a single item in his hand, a can of delicious Pringles, plucked from the vine of inspiration to set mankind free from chips that don't come packed in a tennis ball canister.

God I love Pringles.

I briefly considered being a cool d00d and inviting this forlorn fatso to cut ahead of me in line.  He had fewer items than me, and I didn't want him to just hang around.  But the store was busy, and I wanted to drink coffee at home, so I decided "fuck that guy," and checked out.  As I was loading the last of my bags back onto the cart, I noticed that this fellow had handed the Pringles to the cashier, who scanned them and gave him his total.  And this dude whips out....


...and pays the 99 cents via check.  I immediately decided that I was glad that I hadn't allowed that asshat to go ahead of me.  I might have murdered him with lots of witnesses and would be writing my inane opinions from the Green Mile.

Disappointment avoided!

So what does this have to do with Maruta and Grind Week, you ask?  Well, in the same fashion that I decided that the dude behind me could eat a penis, I've similarly come to be skeptical of my friends' opinions of music.  I love my friends, and each of them are like a star in the sky, unique, beautiful, and special in every way.  But I know what to expect from their recommendations, and I've (finally) learned to tailor my expectations of the music the recommend accordingly.  Maruta was a band that I assumed would suck because the recommendation came from 8===D, who I love like a velvet child but whose taste in music is highly suspect.

My low expectations yielded me a pleasant surprise, though!

Maruta is a technical grind band of the highest caliber.  They're borderline tech-death (which 8===D would never admit), but they fall into the genre of "grind" by virtue of the fact that they, like Nasum before them, languish in the characteristic sudden blastbeat and turn-on-a-dime style of classic and br00tal grindcore.  I love it.  Maruta's riffs are skronky and angular, their hooks hook-y and their songs off-kilter and hateful.

It's like a dream!

I think the thing that I really like about this album is that sense of wonder that somebody could write and then remember how to play such off-kilter and borderline proggy riffs.  It's something that, as a guitar player, I've always wondered about, since the riffs seem to have such odd phrasing and arbitrary time drops and they all have to learn to play the shit as a band.  I just can't imagine teaching a drummer to play along, and a singer (who tend to be pretty worthless as musicians and humans, on average) to sing along and hit his cues correctly.  What a logistical nightmare!

But Maruta pull all of this off artfully, and add some pretty saucy soundclips to convey their anger about...well...whatever it is they're angry about (there's lots of stuff these days, and I don't look at lyrics anymore).  So, I guess what I'm asking is, have you ever listened to Maruta?  NO?  But they're a really good tech-grind band!  You should go listen to them; it's easy to steal their music from the Interbung.  I mean, show me something that isn't easy to steal from the Interbung, right?  Maybe couches, I guess.  But fuck those things.  They'll hurt your toe and make the floor all bloody.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Gridlink won.  I don't know how they do it (it might have something to do with their painfully short run times on each album, though), but Gridlink wrote another album to end all albums.  It's as if they just have a stable of end-all songs sitting around one of their houses, all packed up and ready to go, twelve minutes apiece, with sweet artwork attached to it.


Let me back up for a second.  It wasn't long ago that I first experienced Gridlink's full frontal maniac assault, having been thoroughly regaled about the virtues of their album Amber Gray (which I reviewed here).  Such grind perfection the world was (and still is) not prepared for!  What shall we do when Gridlink is no more and music has nowhere else to go?  The thought pains me to no end.  If there is no Gridlink for my theoretical children (who are less and less likely to exist with every news broadcast I watch), who then will my fake children look to for inexplicably brutal and amazing seven-second-long songs?  Because my kids aren't touching my Gridlink record with their grubby, disgusting hands.  Fuck those theoretical children of mine!

They disappoint me.

As much as I loved Amber Gray (and that was a lot), Orphan is better.  The riffs are sweeter and more br00tal, the tempos are faster, and there's a drumsticks-clicking-together countoff before almost every song.  And I love those!  The only thing I love more is the sizzling hi-hat countoff.  Fucking br00tal, brah!  Orphan grinds in much the same way that the previous release did, but better.  Gridlink sounds like a man with horrible diarrhea running frantically to the nearest restroom.  In his frantic scrabble for relief, the man becomes rabid and desperate, tearing through pedestrian flesh in his maddening dash to get the softshell crab he had for his birthday dinner safely out of his colon without having it land in his relatively clean pants (I think that it goes without saying that this is autobiographical).

The title track, as per usual in the metal game, is a great example of the crazed and frenzied maelstrom that Gridlink have concocted.  And have you got a hankering to hear a pretty great seven second song, the likes of which my children-who-don't-exist will be clamoring for once I finally meet my demise in a foolish and ill-advised motorcycle stunt gone horribly awry?  Look no further than "Cargo 200."  What about something a little more laid back that doesn't sound like a group of cool demons with sweet haircuts shrieking at the god that abandoned them long ago?  Fuck you, then!  Look somewhere else, you stinky hippy.
Hippies aside, if you aren't listening to Gridlink and sending them pieces of dismembered Barbie dolls in the mail to express your adoration, there's something wrong with you.  I mean, if you aren't staking out their houses at night to get a feel for how they live and rummage through their garbage cans, you're a bit of a weirdo, and I'd appreciate it if you'd just stop reading right here and go turn yourself in to the nearest psychiatric treatment center, which is something that people have been advising me to do for years, but since I'm so mentally spry and not at all insane, I've simply  let their voices slide off me like water while I burn the eyes out of pictures of supermodels in my mom's basement.

Because I'm well adjusted, and Naomi Campbell should be punished for giving those men impure thoughts.

I'm not going to post a link to the download, because, seriously, it's really easy to find.  I myself bought the vinyl from Vacation Vinyl as a preorder.  Blood red with great big album art!  Here's a picture of me enjoying Orphan the way it was meant to be enjoyed, physical copy and all.

I like the tangy zip.
Goes down smooth!

At any rate, you should listen to Orphan and buy it and take creepy pictures of yourself doing things to it, because that's perfectly acceptable when you're listening to musical perfection.  Make sure that you're wearing relatively clean pants when you listen to it, because that soft shell crab I mentioned before will be promptly ejected if you aren't prepared for the onslaught.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I like when weird bands break into the scene all of a sudden and make a big splash.  It's fun to see when something comes out of the proverbial left field and starts ruling everything and everyone, even for just a little while.  I always get a kick out of this in the sports world, also; though I don't follow any sports anymore (writing this blog and generally being a giant fucking nerd doesn't leave much spare room to follow anything other than metal and video games religiously), I still love to see a team that I have always associated with being really bad or new or something make it to the Big Show and take it.  In fact, I was totally pumped on the Saints winning the Super Bowl whenever it was that happened, because when I was young and had nothing better to do, I followed the NFL and MLB quite closely, and I remember the Saints being one of those 1-15 teams every year.  Then one year they stormed the fucking gates and made shit happen!  It's exhilarating to see in sports, and it's even better in the metal sphere.  Enter Singapore's chief export that aren't canings (how's that for an increasingly obscure reference?), the grind boy wunderkinds Wormrot.

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Wormrot live at SXSW this year, even though it was only for a brief period.  Through the looking glass of the shitty photos I took with my wife's increasingly archaic camera, I realize more and more what everyone's talking about with Wormrot.  Truth be told, I listened to their first effort, Abuse, only a handful of times.  The classic overhype effect was working with me, though; I had heard so much about how killer the album was that my expectations were unreasonably high, and I was disappointed.  This effect is also the reason why I've never seen the movie Friday and why I was so crushingly disappointed with the movie There's Something About Mary.  When it transfers over to music, though, I am the most disappointed.  Out of everything that I know about (and I know from funny dick jokes), music is probably the thing that I know the most about.  As such, I was expecting the most mind-blowing technical grind whirlwind of heaviness and naked ladies when I first heard Wormrot, and I have to admit that I was let down.

The hype was too much for what I imagine would have otherwise been a highly enjoyable album.

Now it's time to examine their second album, Dirge, which I think still isn't out on physical copy yet.  Earache did the right thing, though, and quashed any and all leaks and album theft by simply offering the album as a free download.  FREE!  It's fun to steal, but sometimes it's even more fun not to steal!  So now there's at least one album on my iPod that was actually offered to me for free, which naturally clears my entire conscience for all the other stuff that I stole.

Sweet, sweet vindication.

I couldn't miss out on this; after all, it's not every day that the LABEL offers an album for FREE DOWNLOAD, right?  It happens about as often as getting your dick caught in a car door, which, if you're like me, has happened to you several times but not enough to call it a habit.  Realistically, though, my frenzied Interbung dash to the download (which I assume everybody who wants it already has), my real interest was not in getting new Wormrot, but to discover, like some kind of conquistador who doesn't throw smallpox blankets all over the natives, what so many other people saw in Wormrot to begin with.  I always assume with bands with this much fanfare and critical acclaim that if I don't immediately like them, it's because I'm doing something wrong.  I know this sounds kind of insane, but it's happened before with Converge, and I missed out so sorely and for so long that I have made a solemn oath to myself to make damn sure that bands that get so heavily trumpeted get a thorough shake from me.

I'm really ashamed of what happened with Converge, too.

Dirge has gone a pretty fair length in convincing me that I was just missing something when I first took a stab at Abuse, though I don't think I'm fully convinced that Wormrot are the great Pacific Island Hope that we've all been praying for.  Are they good?  Yeah, they're pretty good.  Are they as good as every metal reviewer anywhere ever is making them out to be?  I don't think so.  But they're still good.  I was really worried when I first considered doing this review that I was going to be the first person that I had ever heard of or encountered that said "Wormrot sucks."  If I thought that, I would say it, but I don't think that, and that thankfully allows me to dodge the inevitable landslide of text messages and Facebook posts about how gay I am for daring to dislike Wormrot.  If I wasn't so committed to being a conduit of truth in the vast desert of the Blogmosphere, I would consider lying about it.

But I don't have to.

However, Wormrot's grind assault isn't everything that it's cracked up to be.  I'm not praying to them at night the way that I pray to Gridlink (I've been praying for a pony).  Through all the relatively solid grind music that Dirge is stuffed with, there are still dank, inglorious moments of amateurish riffing and halfhearted guttural vokills that detract from the experience for me.  I hate to play the snob card again, but amateurish riffing drives me crazy, and there are spots throughout the album that mar an otherwise concise and enjoyable experience.  And the vokills sometimes detract very heavily from the music, the guttural belches and gurgles sounding like a lazy, hungover garbage disposal, and not in a good way.

I'd like to give Dirge more than a lukewarm review, but I can't.  I think it's pretty good, but I'm not a Wormrot convert quite yet.  Though it is some fun to see the Singaporean metal version of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.  Who the hell would have imagined that would happen?  Good for them!

Go get the download here if you haven't already, but realistically you have, because you're a nerd and are reading my stupid nerd blog.

And mad props to Earache for giving the fans something they would have just stolen anyway.

Trap Them--Darker Handcraft

One thing that I will never get away with is my fanatical love of Trap Them.  I had always heard great things about Trap Them in Decibel Magazine, which was my metal bible right around the time Seizures in Barren Praise was released.  I had to wait and wait to finally listen to it, because when it was released I was still living in disgusting, dirty Bakersfield, California, where the smell of car exhaust is covered by the lingering smell of a commercial dairy's worth of cow farts.  There was no music scene, and finding underground music to listen to was next to impossible.  If FYE didn't have it, you were outta luck, son.  Luckily, when I moved to Austin, I found that there are a great number of record stores that deal in underground and local music, which makes finding tasty cuts from your favorite bands relatively easy to find.  But that is, of course, if you didn't just steal that shit off the Interbung, which is way easier and more cost effective.

Anyway, when I first listened to Seizures, I was completely floored and astonished that there was such a crusty and hateful album that was so damn short.  I grew up a punk rocker, and as such, I'm no stranger to the 22-minute full-length album.  But having moved away from that lifestyle gave me a new perspective, where good songs were perceived as being at least 11 minutes long with lots of guitar soloing and labyrinthine, wanky song structures.  After my first taste of Trap Them, however, I made it my business to buy up everything that they had to offer, including shirts, CD's, my signed Seizures poster, and my favorite hat, which I wear to work every day.

Realistically, it's pretty pathetic.

Darker Handcraft is perhaps Trap Them's finest moment yet.  Seemingly gone are the days of Trap Them being a band that actually deserves the "grind" tag, but since I needed one more album to review for Grind Week, having inadvertently shot my Rotten Sound load several weeks ago, I decided that their classical tag would suffice to group them in with all the other bands that they no longer sound anything like.  Trap Them has made a gradual and elegant transition into being the finest hardcore/crust band this side of Converge.  Their d-beat laden attack has only grown more fierce and focused in the intervening years between their first album, the grindalicious Sleepwell Deconstructor, and Darker Handcraft.  I enter, as evidence to this fact, my throbbing, veiny D-boner, which points itself magically at Trap Them's actual, physical location on earth, the way that a compass always finds magnetic north.

Their songwriting has only gotten stronger, also.  Opening salvo "Damage Prose" contains perhaps my favorite Trap Them riff, while "The Facts" could actually function as some perfect-world lead radio single, it's catchy riffing, midtempo swagger and Ryan McKenney's vitriolic vocal hook boring into the listener's brain like some kind of brutal tapeworm in dirty cutoff shorts.  I point to this as evidence of Trap Them's finest hour yet, and Darker Handcraft stands as a testament to all the naysayers about why I'm such an enthusiastic and rabid fan of the band.

Probably my favorite part of the band, however, is their new(ish) drummer, Chris Maggio.  I've seen Trap Them live a couple of times since he joined, and to watch that dude play is awe-inspiring.  I understand that it's strange for me, as a guitar player, to focus as much as I do on drummers and how they play, but that Maggio plays with the fury, precision and speed that he does is truly magnificent.  I also suspect that he doesn't use a double bass pedal (!), which is a surprising choice in a world where fast feet rule the drum game.  And on top of him being a badass motherfucker behind the kit, the dude is also a dreamboat.  Like, a hunky piece of beefcake.  And I do mean that in the gayest possible way.  Look at this band photo:

In a band full of beefcake, Maggio reigns as Beefcake Supreme (far right)

So hunky!  Now, is it strange for one straight man to say this about another man?  Yes, but not when I do it.  When I do it, it's not creepy at all.  It's actually cute.

Trap Them have shown the world what they're capable of with this latest offering, and if you don't like it you're wrong and I feel sorry for you.  Trap Them are achieving the dream of every band; they get better with every release, bar none.  They only get better, like fine wine, or that cheeseburger I found under the seat of my car that one time.  Like that cheeseburger, getting crustier and more hardened only gives Trap Them more character and depth, but without all the discomfort of severe food poisoning.

It's Grind Week!

Welcome, fair readers, to Grind Week here at Mouthful of Acid.  I'm happy to report that I took last week off to do some soul searching and to take a self-inventory, which looks like this:

1. Rugged good looks, despite creepy lack of chest and facial hair
2. Great taste in music, and not enough of an asshole about it to really get under most peoples' skin
3. Strong hands
4. Drinks just the right amount, which is kind of a lot
5. Guitars

And so forth.

As you can see, I'm a true winner, and with being the real deal #1 type of dude comes a refined palate for food, drink, what a really dirty shirt smells like, and music.  Since grind is awesome, I obviously love it and have been rocking some sweet new releases that I will be summing up for you over the course of this week.  Sound pretty good?  No?

Well, how about if I sweeten the pot by teasing an exciting announcement that I will be making on Friday?  Now your nipples are all erect with excitement!  I'm not going to tell you anything about the announcement other than this:

It will change the way you do everything forever.

Never has there been such an important event in human history than what I'm going to unveil on Friday, and that includes man walking on the moon, the complete genocide of the natives of Tasmania, and whatever piddling crap Christopher Colombus ever did with his stupid face and ridiculous, high-pitched voice, of which there's no record, but I just kind of know that it was hilariously high-pitched and dumb.  Fuck that guy!

Or maybe it's not that important.  But you'll have to wait and see.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Protest the Hero--Scurrilous

I've never made to give you the impression that I was super tr00.  I never acted like I was the kvltest and br00talest d00d there ever was, right?  I am pretty cool, and my hair is generally perfect and thick, and I never get bug bites, but I'm not perfect.  Doing this review is going to clue you fine people in to something for which I feel deep and unwavering ambivalence (a paradox!).  I am no stranger to feeling shame, though I have developed a pretty sweet social mechanism for pretending that humiliations mean nothing to me (it helps my many, many humiliations go away more quickly and with less fanfare).  In fact, I feel shame every day, when I look in the mirror and see what my body turned into because of how I treated it like a booze sponge for so long and when I gaze at my CD collection (having one is shameful in and of itself anymore) and see all the prog that I have laying around.  And you've probably not felt shame like the first time you utter the words "I started a music blog."  Try it out, and look at peoples' faces when you say it; then you'll know the feeling of accidentally having your dick hanging out at a company picnic or something.

Spoiler alert:  I'm a massive prog nerd.  I love Dream Theater and Symphony X and well-executed clean singing (which, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist anymore), and I love wanky guitars.  Prog lyfe, bitches!  (Puts on finest puffy shirt and leather pants).

Well, needless to say that prog nerds like me got their pocket protectors in a great big bunch when the new Protest the Hero album dropped.  We rejoiced!  More powerfully wanky guitars!  More prog punk odysseys in one of the most unique musical styles in the 21st century!  And GOOD CLEAN SINGING?  Holy shit, my retainer just fell in the toilet.  My mom's going to kill me!

Unless you've somehow been living in a cave with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears, or you've had "good" taste in music for the last 7 years or so, you've probably had to tangle with PTH's noodly prog attack.  In the standard style of prog, PTH's albums started off amazing with Kezia and has only improved, which defies the metal standard, where the mantra is a broken record "I liked their old stuff."  If you only like PTH's old stuff, you are wrong.  You like some good stuff, I'll give you that, but their new stuff is better, and if you want to argue about it, we can take this to the D&D board, where my level 30 Mage does the fucking talking.  That's what I thought, punk.  (Pushing glasses up the bridge of my nose)

The songwriting on this new album is no less labyrinthine than before, but the guitars have become slightly more tasteful in their incessant cascade of notes.  I like all the riffs from before just fine, but for those of you who are inexplicably "anti-wank," Scurrilous might prompt you to say "[short pause]...this band sucks.  Do you have the new Wormrot album?"  For one thing, I heard that pause, sir, and that is one short pause more than you would have put up with my prog fanciness in the past!  And yes, I do have the new Wormrot, but we're listening to this, so don't be a butthole.

The entire album is an incredible and mind-melting current of note-diarrhea, and I love it.  It's the best kind of diarrhea, after all!

Probably PTH's greatest achievement during the course of this album, however, is the singing.  I'll be the first person to tell you, and everybody that will listen, that clean singing is a dead scene and that auto tune has killed the music industry just as terribly as downloading and the reality-television-based sense of taste for the American ultra-consumer.  This has made for some very awkward Thanksgiving dinner, of course, but that my family doesn't care about my oddball crusade against Lady Gaga and Indie Rock doesn't change the fact that I'm correct and that my hair is perfect and thick and smells good.  However, PTH are the exception that proves the rule (which is a turn of phrase that I never understood, but I still imagine it's true in this case).  Rody Walker has some fucking pipes on him, and I've seen them live, too.  I can tell you that he can sing this shit perfectly on stage, even when it looks like he's about to die of the flu in front of a thousand people, which was the case in San Antonio at the White Rabbit when I watched them.  Guitars squalling and executing perfect snaking melodies, drums crashing, bass doing something, above all was Rody Walker's pitch-perfect vocal attack, which only wavered when he had to stagger off to the side of the stage to vomit.  What a warrior!  We watched the taxi take him to the hospital after the show, idly conversing with Moe and Luke in the stilted style of a dude who is struggling to find something interesting to say to a band that he thoroughly admires.

What a night!

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I love Protest the Hero, and I could apologize for it, but I won't because they rule.  If you disagree, you are wrong and probably have a beard and a tattered Eyehategod shirt that you wear everyday.  I would love to be your friend anyway, because you sound like my kind of dude and I'll bet you've got a ton of manliness that I can imitate.  But I will not renounce Protest the Hero!  Give me prog or give me...well, just make fun of me for thinking that John Petrucci can fly and isn't creeped out by how often I send him bouquets of dead flowers.  It's how I express the fact that I want to eat his skin, alright?  Don't judge me!  And Protest the Hero should be expecting some dead daisies pretty soon, because they've written what will absolutely be one of my favorite albums of this year.  Kudos, fellows, and I'll see you on April 18th when you play Austin.  (Stares really blankly, dead eyes penetrating your souls)

Great job.

If you want to experience the fun that PTH have to offer and take a brief glimpse into my horrible, nerdy world, you should perhaps to buy the album, you jamoke.  That's right, I just called you a jamoke!  This is the Interbung; I can say whatever I think is fun because if we ever meet in real life I'll cry and use my ink defense to escape.  And I can run surprisingly fast for a man my size.