Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Speculation Center--New Cut Your Teeth

This is Monsoon Cobra, and I'm about to be giving you a speculation money shot all in your face and hair!

*clip of me giving a thoughtful interview to Osama bin Laden*

Hello, everybody, and welcome again to The Speculation Center, where I, Monsoon Cobra, give you my best guess about what is going to happen.  Today's Speculation Center comes courtesy of an email that one Patrick Lukens of Cut Your Teeth sent me just hours ago, right before I started sipping whiskey and watching Breaking Bad.  Since I've watched my daily allowance of Breaking Bad, it's my journalistic duty to you, the two people who read this stupid blog, to let you know that HOLY SHIT CUT YOUR TEETH IS RELEASING NEW MUSIC THIS YEAR.

The newest cuts from my massive homebros and original party worms Cut Your Teeth will drop on December 30, 2011.  Last possible minute?  You bet your ugly girlfriend it is!  I wish that they had decided on a more apropos release date, since I already wrote the shit out of my 2011 best of the year list, but c'est la vie, to quote that Protest the Hero song that I like.

Pictured: Sam Katz and some bitches, doing Party Worm stuff.
So what should we expect from a new Cut Your Teeth release?

First of all, as I established in my first CYT review, the band solves mysteries, and their drummer is an anthropomorphic shark with a shitty sense of humor.  So this release will bring a lot of amusement park owners to justice, as well as bringing the Fucking Party Jams.  Second, Cut Your Teeth will begin to dabble in ambient soundscapes, forsaking anthemic jams like "Drink Beers" and "Stallion" in favor of something more layered and gay.  Hipsterism being so in vogue as it is, these are qualified as the new Fucking Party Jams.  Since Patrick Lukens is such a big shot in Asia due to his bizarre interest in Asian pop music, (I assume) he wrote a ballad for his Japanese body pillow/wife, Sachiko, and bassist Hartley Lewis insisted that there was a dubstep song produced by Skrillex on the album (I imagine).  Needless to say, it's sure to please anybody who thinks that some stuff is cool while other stuff is not cool.

Me?  Well, I've heard some of the new stuff, and I can tell you that it not only rocks and is ambient and gay, but that Cut Your Teeth will be our unequivocal masters of rocking the fuck out until the Mayan calendar destroys us later next year.  I'm just happy that CYT are releasing new material before I'm sent to Xibalba, where I will pay for all of the dick jokes and making fun in the Mayans that I've done.

But I'm not sorry.

Visit them here and see how much I've jocked them.  Or visit them here to listen to or download their music for FREE, without having to be a dirty criminal interwebbist for it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top However Many Albums of Whatever Year it Still Is

The end of the year is upon us, and I say it's about fucking time.  I've been battling what turns out to be the longest running minor head cold in human history, and I've been totally flaking on everything I do, from writing this pointless blog of mine to playing my guitar pointlessly to obsessing over Batman: Arkham City (which is far and away the best game of the year, and no, I haven't played Skyrim).  Indeed, my high-grade obsessive nature has been so co-opted by my lingering disease that it's turned me in to an apathetic turd man, lazing around on the couch, watching ancient episodes of Law and Order and getting pumped on Detective Lenny Briscoe's myriad wisecracks.

Pictured: Briscoe and Green being badass motherfuckers, in their standard fashion.
Additionally, all the piss and pomp has been drained from me by a relatively demanding work schedule and the fact that I'm so intimately involved in the process of moving our entire operation from our current location to a newer, bigger, more fantastic warehouse.  As such, I've been expending all of my creative efforts stacking inventory for the movers and concocting ever more elaborate reasons to not murder some of my coworkers.  It's a tough process that demands a great deal of my energy, so my idiot blog has suffered.  But since there are roughly two people who ever visit this site anymore, I think I should apologize to you by name: sorry, Dad and Ed.

My relative lack of posting and shortness of dick jokes hasn't stopped me from listening to lots and lots of music this year, though, and just like the rest of the Interhole masses, I've constructed a list of my top albums of the year, and have put them into an order that I felt made some sense.  It's pretty standard stuff, actually, if you've ever seen a list.  Now we all know that all of the Interbung music critics are going to be saying stuff like "2011 was a terrible year for metal" and "There wasn't that much good stuff happening this year" and a bunch of other stuff that translates to "I am a fucking douche bag."  But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this year has been fantastic for metal at large, and for the first time in years, I didn't have a clear cut favorite albums list, and was therefore forced to make tough, hard-reasoned, and--in the end--arbitrary decisions about what I would include on this giant list.

See what I'm talking about with the "lack of creative juices" thing?

So without further ado, here are the albums that I think were the best this year:


In what should come as no surprise to anybody who has ever read anything I wrote regarding my fanatical enthusiasm for Trap Them, their latest album won my Top Rated Super Lock Pick of the Year Deluxe award, given to the finest, crustiest, and most crushing album of the year.  If you haven't experienced this album yet, you are wrong and should have any children or animals in your home taken away by authorities and euthanized.  I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

Exhumed almost usurped the top slot from Trap Them this year with their crushing and crusty brand of death metal.  Indeed, they inhabit the very essence of death metal, from the artwork to the subject matter ("Your Funeral, My Feast," and "I Rot Within" pop into my mind).  Exhumed may indeed be the ultimate death metal band; they tickle my D-boner in a way that no other band who plays diminished key guitar solos has done in years, and have subsequently reinvigorated my desire to eat entrails.

Anaal Nathrakh are the embodiment of aural intensity.  They're the sound of your horrible, violent death distilled into monolithic guitar tones and frantic, burning-witch shrieks.  I didn't know if they'd be able to follow up 2009's In the Constellation of the Black Widow (which was my Top Rated Super Lock Pick of the Year Deluxe of that year), but I closed my eyes and wished upon a shining star, and my wish came true!  Oh, the glory of it!  Anaal Nathrakh is not recommended if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or are a pussy.  Please talk to your doctor before listening to Anaal Nathrakh.

I think it's safe to say that I've not been blown away by a black metal band so thoroughly in years, or maybe ever.  Blut Aus Nord play black metal that crawls with insects, all clawing horribly at their disgusting meat sack with their terrible pincers and things.  The year's most challenging--and rewarding--listen lies in wait in the nightmare that is 777 Sect(s).

How good can an album that is less than 15 minutes long really be, am I right?  Turns out, the answer is "really fucking good."  A nonstop orgy of frantic guitar riffing, whirling blastbeats and pterodactyl vocals, Orphan is a grind triumph of the highest order.

Revocation burst on to the scene a few years ago and showed everybody that awesome shredding is still cool.  A ridiculous mix of Children of Bodom style guitar wizardry and Dream Theater-esque progressive leanings ensure that lame shred nerds like me have plenty to think about while we jack off and change guitar strings.

Do you like crushing guitar tones?  Do you like pummeling tornadoes of blast beats?  Do you like when things FUCKING ROCK?  It turns out, you're a huge Rotten Sound fan.  Cursed sounds like the soundtrack to being mauled by a particularly angry bear, except it won't leave you alone when you play dead.  Also, don't climb a tree; Rotten Sound can climb faster than they can grind.

The technical death metal album of the year comes under the sage wizardry of Abysmal Dawn, who know how to level buildings with their awesome sound just as effectively as the worm monster that graces the cover of Leveling.  Whether it's a cascade of note-diarrhea or the lumbering crush of "Perpetual Dormancy," Abysmal Dawn show that it's actually possible to write cohesive songs as a technical death metal band.  And isn't that an achievement in and of itself?

Don't let the boring album art fool you; Ulcerate have carved themselves a unique sound from a monolithic hunk of Neurosis granite using a Gorguts chisel.  The Destroyers of All is an exhilarating listen, full of dissonant skronk, Earth-shattering heaviness and that certain something that my wife once described as "I can't listen to this.  Turn it off."

I've spoken at length with people who are longtime fans of Today is the Day, and it turns out that they don't like this album very much.  Me?  I think it's just dandy.  Forsaking the noisy grind standards of their back catalog, TItD have created something special that appeals to those of us who don't think that playing the guitar and allowing it to feed back endlessly are the same thing.  Excelsior!

Weekend Nachos--Worthless
The Atlas Moth--An Ache for the Distance
Lock Up--Necropolis Transparent
Protest the Hero--Scurrilous
Dream Theater--A Dramatic Turn of Events
Victims--A Dissident

Mastodon--The Hunter

1) Auroboros--Demo
2) Black Monolith--Demo EP
3) God Harvest--God Harvest Demo 2011
 Now, in accordance with the agreement I made with myself for finally finishing this super long post, I'm going to drink my expensive whisky I bought on Friday and play Mass Effect.  Later this week I'll be finishing my year end bullshit, if I decide to, which I probably won't.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Top Whatever Number Songs of Whatever Year It's Almost Done Being

After a long blackout, Mouthful of Acid is back up and running.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, except the non-Americans, who might not even know that we celebrate the generosity of the native Americans that the pilgrims took advantage of shortly before slaughtering them for land and precious, precious gold.  It's a time of the year that is exemplary of all of the major American values, including eating, watching football, getting drunk, and (the next day, at least) shopping.  Mine was great, and as a red blooded American dynamo, I was the picture of what it is to be an American for the entire long weekend.  

Since I had Thursday and Friday off, I did nothing but eat, drink heavily, drive my mom's golf cart around, and regret doing all of those things after the blank periods where I would fall asleep on the couch and remain unconscious for nine hours or so.

And I also drove in a parade.  Or rather, through a parade.  What a weekend!

With the end of Thanksgiving, the end of the year is upon us; Christmas cheer is running high and I'm actively avoiding grocery stores and shopping outlets as much as I possibly can.  It's not the throngs of people attacking each other with pepper spray for a copy of Modern Warfare 3 (which they could have gotten if they just preordered it like a normal human being).  It's not the gaggles of squawking psychopaths out to make their family's Christmas as good as possible by purchasing them things because they don't ever do things for anybody else any other time of the year.  They aren't the problem.

No, it's the Christmas music.

There's nothing that I hate more than Christmas music; it's really a canon of music that only has about 15 real entries, and none of them are actually any good.  It's just the season that they're associated with.  The only thing that I can honestly say I enjoy as little as Christmas music is breaking my bones, which I've done plenty of in my time (ask my mom if you don't believe me), and thankfully I haven't broken as many bones as I've listened to Christmas songs.  So I've resolved to take a page from my uncle's book this year and avoid Christmas stuff until the last possible moment, take care of everything I need to do in a frenzied scramble, and show up to our family Christmas gathering smelling like marijuana to give my wife the gift that I just bought for her at the 7-11.

It seems to have worked for him so far, so I assume that it will be perfect for me.

The other thing that December brings us is the Blogmosphere's endless stream of Top [Number] [Musical Thing] of [Year] lists.  Not to be outdone, and especially since I've finally fully regained consciousness, I will be slowly releasing my Top Whatever Lists over the course of however long it takes for me to get bored of doing that.  So in that spirit, here are what I have decided to be the best fucking songs of whatever year this is.

1) All Pigs Must Die--"Sacrosanct"

This song has everything that you would ever need for anything, including D-beats, crunchy riffs, and Ben Koller.  This song dominated my playlists this year, and I would listen to it so much that the guy I work with who only listens to Atmosphere would tell me to expand my musical palette a little, for God's sake.

He's so high and mighty since he started listening to Weezer also sometimes.


2) Opeth--"Slither"
Opeth are the only band who could achieve what they did with Heritage; just think if In Flames did an all acoustic band, or if Cannibal Corpse suddenly decided that they were going to make an entire album that sounds like Frank Zappa.  That shit wouldn't work, but Opeth can do it.  And it doesn't just come out okay, either.  This isn't like when I cook dinner for my wife, and there's a bunch of disasters and a horrible mess, but the food is technically edible; it's more like if I made dinner and it turns out, whoops, I'm like Emeril, or that fat lady that everybody loves these days.  You know the one.  The crown jewel in Opeth's treasure trove of music is "Slither," a song which Mikael Akerfeldt himself declared to be "a ripoff of Rainbow."

3) Abysmal Dawn--"Perpetual Dormancy"

You know what I like?  Heavy metal.  You know what I really like?  CRUSHING DEATH METAL.  Abysmal Dawn wrote what was probably my favorite tech death record ever with this year's Leveling the Plane of Existance, and the first time I heard this bone-crushing riff, I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.  This song has everything you need in a death metal song, including the sick Morbid Angel-style "pulverizing slow riff."  I'm not allowed to listen to this in the car anymore, because my wife doesn't like the intensity, and also because I got distracted by how awesome the song was and ran over my neighbor's dog.   Whoops.

4) Today is the Day--"The Devil's Blood"

I've never been in to Today is the Day until just lately; I've explored their back catalog and decided that, as I've said before, I'm not a noise guy.  But their new material is decidedly less noisy and more powerful, and this song gets my fists pumping every time.  I especially like to think of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin giving people the Stunner when I listen to this song, because I don't do research, but I do know that Steve Austin is the name of the main man in Today is the Day, and I therefore assume they're the same people.  Which makes me frightened of Today is the Day.

5) Trap Them--"Damage Prose"

I'm a Trap Them superfan, and this song is so crusty and awesome that I'm all giddy thinking about it right now.  I don't have much to say other than that, and that I'll bet the track everyone else lists from Darker Handcraft (if they do a song-related thing like me, that is) would be "The Facts," which rocks, but not as much as this.  Oh, and I <3 Chris Maggio.

6) Protest the Hero--"C'est La Vie"

I love busy, wanky guitars.  I love Rody Walker's weird singing voice.  I love Protest the Hero, and this song is a great example of a song that is as legitimately catchy as it is structurally labyrinthine.  And the breakdown at about 2:05 always gets my heart pumping, and not just because the song is full of hamfisted references to suicide.  When Protest the Hero fly, they soar high, and there's no "too close to the sun" for them.  Here's the official video for the song, which I've never watched before.  Enjoy.


7) Exhumed--"Distorted and Twisted to Form"

Exhumed are a symbol of everything I stand for, including crusty death metal, D-beat slams, and pictures of zombies eating guts.  This song is the reason that I'm glad they came back from their extended hiatus and made an album.  If you had asked me if it was a good idea, I would have told you "No, if they came back and made an album, it would probably suck."  Well, Exhumed, you made me eat those words, made me eat them like they were made of guts and I was a cool zombie doing cool zombie stuff.

8) Dream Theater--"Lost Not Forgotten"

Speaking of wanky prog, it's Dream Theater!  This song not only has the best guitar solo ever, but that wank at the beginning?  Perfect.  Fuck you, I love Dream Theater.  But you should probably ignore the lyrics.

9) Anaal Nathrakh--"Who Thinks of the Executioner"

Holy fucking balls, the intensity that Anaal Nathrakh bring to the table is almost too much.  It's like the aural equivalent of that show Breaking Bad, where you can't imagine such intensity being kept up for long, but then it FUCKING IS.  The only downside to Anaal Nathrakh is that there's no Bryan Cranston, and I love Bryan Cranston.

10) Rotten Sound--"Hollow"

If there's one thing I can't get enough of these days, it's grind.  Sweet, sweet grind, and I think Rotten Sound is my latest grind obsession.  They do the D-beat that gets my D-boner to stand at attention, then they punish you with slow, crushing riffing before bringing the crust back.  And I love the crust, except the kind that's on my underwear, because it's hard to clean off and it eats RIGHT THROUGH THE RUBBER GLOVES OH GOD NOOOOOOO!

So there's my list of my favorite songs of this year.  Since I'm almost certain that nobody reads this crap anymore, I'm afraid to ask, but I will anyway: Did I miss anything?  If you tell me in the comments, I'll be...surprised.