Thursday, January 26, 2012

Complete Failure--The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault

Here in Texas, when you can't think of something to say to somebody, you talk about the weather.  I know this isn't a phenomenon that is specific to this region, but one thing I'm surprised about is how in to the weather people seem to get here.  I'm from California, and our weather-based exchanges are really short and dumb, like this:

Me: "It's (hot/cold/raining/dusty)"

Guy I have nothing in common with but have to acknowledge for some reason: "Yeah."

But out here, in Austin, there's very little crime, and our black people aren't particularly frightening, so people seem to have arbitrarily chosen the weather as something to get well versed in for the purposes of inane small talk.  It's awkward for me, because more and more, I have to have quite long discussions about the weather with people that I would otherwise never talk to.  And talking about the weather is boring!  Our exchanges look like this:

Me: "It's (hot/cold/raining/dusty/crawling with snakes)"

Guy I have nothing in common with but have to acknowledge for some reason: "Have you seen the radar lately?  It looks like there's an Arctic front about to sweep in from the Northwest, and it's bringing sleet and maybe some snow with it!  It won't be as bad as Dallas is going to get, but you know how things are down here, when you're not expecting it to rain, that's when it rains.  Let me show you on my phone (pulls out phone)...

[flash forward 11 minutes]

...and you can see how it almost looks like the pocket of rain in red is going to break apart and miss us, but then it comes right back together and hits us hard.  One time, when my brother lived in Lakeway..."

Me: "Wahhh."

This kind of exchange invariably bums me out, which drives me to my favorite remedy for the doldrums of my painfully mundane existence: brutal, crushing hardcore.

Enter Complete Failure.  Last time we caught up with our hardcore heroes, we were talking about the subject of failure and their 2009 release Heal No Evil.  Well, I can tell you that, being as dynamic and powerful as I am (you can't see it, but I'm kissing my enormous biceps right now), I managed to take failure and squeeze success out of it, even if my success is relative and can only be measured by noting that I haven't driven my car off a bridge yet.  With their latest outing, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault, Complete Failure have done the same (though I don't know about the whole driving a car off a bridge thing in relation to the band).

What does Art Gospel have that other albums don't, you might be asking?  Well, for one thing, it's got backwards talking.  For another thing, it's got the "oh God I'm being attacked by an owl" shriek of frontman Joe Mack.  And judging by that agonized screech that Mack produces, I'm guessing we're talking about a Great-Horned Owl attack.  They have such crushing foot strength!  The album also boasts some really impressive drum work from drummer Mike Rosswog, who the Interhole tells me used to be in Circle of Dead Children.  D-boner, activate!  Finally, the riffs of guitarist James Curl evoke the more crushing punk rock aesthetics available to modern man, sounding like a crazed caveman painting naked ladies on the wall of his cave during a peyote-induced mania.  Cavemen used to do that, right?

In short, it's the perfect package for the crusty of discerning taste.

"And what makes them so angry?" you might be asking.  "I'm frightened of these young roustabouts and their guitar music!"

Well, the Interbung tells me that they're from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I've never been there, but sources deep in the know tell me that the only people who like Pittsburgh and people who spend their time yelling "Go Steelers!" and waving towels over their heads.  They're also usually covered in soot.

I make no secret of the painful, swollen, granite-hard boner I have for crusty, grinding hardcore, and Complete Failure don't hesitate to cradle and stroke my D-boner with the tender care that only crusty, grinding hardcore can provide.  Art Gospel is a towering maelstrom of powerful, ugly hardcore that sates even the most discriminating boners.  If you're looking for a good old-fashioned D-boner extravaganza, why don't you go to their Bandcamp site and listen to the album for free?  Or you can catch up on ComFail news and views at their website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blotted Science--The Animation of Entomology

Ron Jarzombek is an interesting guy.

Let me back up and say this first: I should have investigated Blotted Science long ago.  However, my busy schedule (drinking) only allows me to listen to so much new music, and since my handwriting is usually perfectly illegible (flawless pencil sketches of dicks doesn't count as handwriting), most of my great ideas that I have after 9 pm are generally unreadable or just plain old forgotten the next day.  I imagine that Blotted Science is written on the back of some pizza box somewhere, thrown away carelessly seconds after I scribbled the words over the Red Baron's face with my wife's brand new eyeliner.

I'm a creature of habit, and I always throw trash away.

But lo, I did not get around to listening to this tome, this priceless piece of technical instrumetal, this delightful treasure until after 2011 wrapped up and yelled "Eat my dick!" over its metaphorical shoulder, marking the end of the days when I could construct a year-end list (I had already finished my year end list anyway, so it wouldn't have made that much of a difference).  But I was looking all year for a tasty piece of technical, non-djent noodling that I could listen to while I jack off, and a great piece finally pops up and I totally balk on listening to it.  What a fool I've been!

My balls are blue and full, and it's all my fault!

So, to reiterate, Ron Jarzombek is an interesting guy.  You see, he seems to be the heavy hitter here in Blotted Science, and since he's a heavy hitter, he only associates himself with other heavy hitters, which is why Alex Webster (I don't have to say he's in Cannibal Corpse, do I?) and Hannes Grossman (Obscura, I think also ex-Necrophagist?) are palling around with him to make very fancy, shreddy, technical music.  And make no mistake; this isn't some kind of deathy, blackened soundscape bullcrap like everybody is doing these days.  Nay, this is music for people like me, who wear monocles when they listen to music, who talk about the preamps that their favorite players use, who watch frets like they were trying to break out of prison AND ONLY WE CAN STOP THEM.

Blotted Science have managed to do something which I've never really seen before, which is to incorporate 12 tone music into their repertoire.  Impressive?  Yes.  But if you're thinking this is the Schoenberg style of 12 tone, with Babbit squares to help map out the retrograde inversion and flesh out tetrachords, you're wrong about that.  In fact, Jarzombek utilizes an interesting (and unorthodox) schematic for the 12 tone method, which he describes on this here video.  Watch the video if you're a remorseless fretwatcher like me, or if you like to see things flashing in a circular to semicircular pattern.  This video has it all!

Better yet, if you want to get a really good idea for what Blotted Science is all about, you should scope out the video for the "A Sting Operation" suite that closes out the EP.  It's almost ten minutes of WTF, complete with ridiculous animations that manage to rival the bafflingly bad cover art for the album.

That's my one complaint about the album, incidentally, is the cover art.  They should really stick to something a little bit less perilous than 3d modeled creepy crawlies; it's just too easy to make look amateurish and laughable.  I imagine that maybe somebody's nephew is a failed artist or something and they had him throw together some CGI spiders so that he can say that he's active.  Which is fine; doing anything other than watch Law and Order is more than I do.

I'm just saying.

The Animation of Entomology is an exciting romp through the land of tech spells and shred fairies; indeed, the album is a foray into the fanciest and most upscale sphere that technical death metal has ever dared approach.  Many bands talk mad shit about 12 tone and being fancy, but I think Blotted Science wins.  And the best part?  It's indicated that Ron Jarzombek lives in San Antonio, which means that I've got to go down there and get my "lurk outside of Ron Jarzombek's house" on!

Because I want to get a shirt.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Speculation Center: Meshuggah's New Album

This is Monsoon Fucking Cobra, and you just stepped in a big pile of some jerk's speculations about what will happen.  This is The Speculation Center!

[Video montage of me yelling a Colin Powell and slamming my fist on a desk]

Well it seems now that my 2012 Wish List is more of a series of chilling predictions about what is going to happen this year.  It seems that Meshuggah are taking my wish list seriously and have complied with the unspoken part of it, where they finally release a new album.  We've all been waiting for another album since the 1,000th time we listened to Obzen, but it took me writing about what it should be about to get them to finish it.  You're welcome.

So here's what I assume happened: Meshuggah were sitting around the mansion that they for some reason share, perusing their favorite websites as a bonding exercise for the band.  They gather around the huge computer screen of the "Meshug-Puter" for their favorite time of the day, when they get to all read Mouthful of Acid.  Because I'm hilarious and debonaire and stuff.  So Meshuggah reads my Wish List and decides that they should finally finish that album they've had sitting around in order to placate me and avoid provoking my wrath.  Which is an excellent choice, because my wrath is terrifying to men with even the strongest and most unwavering constitutions.

So they very quickly wrote the lyrics for, recorded, mixed and mastered the album after they read that I wanted them to.

Since they haven't released any album artwork or even an album title for the new album (which, as you can see on the official Interbung picture at the top of this, comes out on March 27), I will once again predict that the album will be called Old Horrors, and that it will be a concept album based around the most terrifying piece of cinema created in the 20th century, namely the movie Fire in the Sky.

Oh, God, it's based on a true story, too?!?
Dealing head on with the subject of alien abduction and finally unraveling the truth about our extraterrestrial overlords, Meshuggah will be the harbingers of peace between humans and the terrible alien scum, who will provide us with the cures to our myriad diseases and free their human prisoners from their secret uranium mines on Titan (one of the moons of Saturn) as a gesture of goodwill.  I imagine they'll also teach us how to make dogs talk so that we can really know what's going on in their brains.  Wouldn't that be fun?
Also, the aliens will look like...I don't know...lobsters.  Yeah, lobsters.
But for me, I'll never be able to listen to the album, and I'll go in to hiding once the alien scum descend upon the planet, because there is literally nothing so terrifying as an alien for any reason.  It's been proven by popular culture that they only want to probe and enslave us (until the Meshuggah album teaches them the human emotion they call "love").  And didn't you just read what I wrote about the forced labor camps on Titan, where you mine uranium for them?  That shit should be terrifying you, because it's terrifying the shit out of me.
So on March 27, Meshuggah will save us from the lobster-looking extraterrestrial masters that put us into concentration camps orbiting Saturn, but until then, I insist that you all panic, start a fire in a dumpster or two, start hoarding canned food (I suggest Chef Boyardee ravioli.  Delicious!), and buy as many guns as you can, because until the aliens see the light that Meshuggah hold for us all, nobody is safe.  NOBODY IS SAFE!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Announcement: Part One

I assume this is going to be the first of several announcements that I foolishly put out into the interbung to coerce people in a feeble attempt to make my life a little bit easier.  Here it goes:

I was recently in the Golden State, which is California for those of you who don't follow the colorful or ridiculous nicknames given to certain states based upon asinine or unclear characteristics of the state.  I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, codenamed "Ed" to protect his identity, about the fate of this very blog.  I have recreated it here for you so that you can feel the drama of the situation.

Me: "I'm thinking about shutting down the blog.  Either that or expanding it.  I don't have time to maintain it the way that I would really like to, and I feel like it's got some potential to grow, but I'd need to find some new writers.  I don't think I'll be able to find anyone who is interested."

Ed: "You shouldn't shut it down.  At least try to find somebody else who can help write for it if you feel like you can't put out enough material by yourself.  [Ed runs over a raccoon in his Honda CR-V]  Fuck you, wildlife!"

Me: "I don't know [takes a thoughtful swig from a 64 ounce cup of Mountain Dew that I cleverly mixed with Triple Sec].  I don't see anyone wanting to do this kind of thing.  But maybe I'll try."

Ed: "You should at least try.  And if you can't do anything about it, maybe you can just keep updating it almost never, like you have been for the last few months.  Oh, no!  It's the evil ghost of Abraham Lincoln, come back to life on Truxton Avenue!"

Me: "I'm getting too old for this shit."

[We exchange a meaningful glance, pregnant with the memories of our many years spent as Hetero Life Partners.  The car skids to a halt and we quickly strap on our Proton Packs, preparing, once again, to fight the evil specters that terrorize the fertile Central Valley]

Ed: "Let's show that bastard that stovepipe hats have gone out of style!"

Me: "This is another play he won't see the end of!"

[We fistbump, super bro style]

After we got done busting the ghosts of history's greatest presidents, I realized that Ed might be right; I might be able to find some extra bodies to keep this blog afloat while I play Rage and watch Dexter.  So I'm going to put it out there and hope that somebody is interested.

What I'm looking for is one or two people to jump on and give their unsolicited opinion to people (read: nobody) about heavy metal music for literally no money.  Let me sweeten the pot, though.  Most of the bands that you write about will probably never read your words unless you force them to, which is inadvisable considering the stiff sentences given for kidnapping in the United States.  But sometimes they do, and it's a great opportunity to learn about how little your significant other cares about what you write on the interhole (spoiler alert: the answer is "very, very little").  You can brag about it to hobos or subway perverts or the weirdos at the laundromat.  The world is your oyster!

So basically I'm asking for one or two people to help me try vainly to be funny on the internet for free.

Sound good?  This is what I'd like:

Find my email address.  You should be able to find it somewhere on this stupid page.  Send me links to writing samples proving that you're capable of writing English and that you have the ability to be like funny.  In return, if I like the cut of your jib, we'll come up with a beefy Interweb name for you and start you posting up here.  If you're unfamiliar with the format of this page, here it is: I like to invent things out of thin air and make fun of stuff that I care about.  In other words, journalism has no place here, unless it's funny, like if the dude from Vader got hit in the face by a swan while he was on some kind of Bavarian rollercoaster.  That would be hilarious and also journalism.  But stuff like that also mostly never happens.

Since I assume there won't be anybody who responds to this, rest assured that if you're on the brink of giving it a shot, I'll be checking my email obsessively hoping that you'll at least take a stab at it.  I'm also not holding my breath.

Also, make the subject line say "MOA Potential Writer," and bonus points will be awarded for including references to boners in the body.

Show me what you've got, internets.

2012 Wishlist

So 2011 is finally gone, and we can all really start thinking of how our Mayan overlords are going to exterminate us this coming December.  Like the raptures of the past year, this is clearly something that is dead serious and totally going to happen, so I'd like to welcome our new Mayan ghost masters and let them know that I can be very valuable in the hunt for their stolen gold.  People tell me things, especially when it comes to their adventures in tomb raiding and grave robbing.  As an example, I was with an acquaintance of mine at work.  Following is a snippet of our conversation:

Me: "Hey [name], how was the weekend?"

Coworker: "It was fine.  I went to a Mayan tomb and stole the occupant's gold.  They said it was cursed, but I showed those stinky Mayans who's not dead!"

True story.

Since the Mayans are the only notable aspect of 2012 so far, and I don't like to make fun of civilizations that were exterminated by people who look suspiciously similar to me (well, I do, but I should probably stop), I've decided to put out there for everybody a comprehensive list of things that I want to happen in 2012, so that the many celebrities and industry luminaries and shadowy secret societies that follow my blog can have a good idea of what I think they should be working on this year.

I'm highly considerate in this way.

So here is my 2012 wish list; take notes, because I'm counting on YOU to make sure that most of this happens (if you're Meshuggah or the Nobel Prize committee):

--Trap Them goes on tour and we talk and then we become best friends and have a cooking show together on the CW.  We'll lead in to Nate Berkus, and everybody look under your chair because YOU'RE GOING HOME WITH A BRAND NEW CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

--Martians land on Earth, bringing us peace and love.  Turns out, they were going to stay away forever, but their huge Necrophagist fans, and it turns out the Martians had the new Necrophagist album we've been waiting for the whole time!

--Tosin Abasi takes a sabbatical from Animals as Leaders to hang around Guitar Center, thus stopping every Guitar Center wanker forever and allowing Guitar Center to be the wonderland it's supposed to be.

--Several words: Mouthful of Acid Radio (brought to you by Carl's Jr. and Yellow Rose Austin).

--I start a death metal band with myself, using advanced cloning technology from the Pentagon (I know a guy).  The band immediately breaks up because I'm terrible, and it turns out that four of me is way worse.  I have my clones exterminated, but get to return to my footloose lifestyle thanks to the windfall of kidneys and livers and hearts that I've just created.  I realize that there's a silver lining to having your clones exterminated.

--A new Meshuggah album titled Old Horrors, which will be a concept album about the most frightening movie in the world, Fire in the Sky.  I won't be able to listen to the album.

--I finish the book Atlas Shrugged, finally becoming convinced of the virtues of capitalism and the American way of life.  Thus starts my "Hyper Conservative" phase where I become humorless and start fucking other men at car washes across the nation, which in turn leads to my inevitable disgrace and a return to my roots, where I think stuff sucks again.

--On second thought, I don't actually want to fuck the men at the car washes from the previous item.  Maybe I'll just go ahead and skip that one.

--This blog takes off and I become as rich as the King of Siam.  I finally get to live my dream of flying around the world on a flying island of my own design, the general concept of which has, incidentally, been stolen to form the basis of the upcoming video game Bioshock: Infinite.

--I get to play Bioshock: Infinite.  That one sounds boring, but it's going to be awesome.  Believe me.

--Someone finally takes it upon themselves to develop and make available the cool technology that can be found in the myriad Batman comics/movies/video games, leading to my inevitable death in a flying cape accident.  Upon reading my will, everybody will be astonished to see that I knew it was going to happen years ago.  Enclosed will be a picture of me looking victorious, with a caption that says "Nailed It!"

--Dream Theater finally reads that article I wrote about their latest album and comes through with some tickets to a concert.  COME ON GUYS, YOU NEED TO STEP UP YOUR INTERNET PRESENCE.

--Two words: Flying scooters.

--A new sequel to the video game franchise Skate comes out.  It's so realistic that I can break my ankle for the fifth time while in the comfort of my own home.  The Reda voiceover in the game will declare it "super gnar."

--College football disappears forever without explanation.

--My wife starts to think that my farts are as funny as I do, and she also warms up to Exhumed, leading to a new Golden Age of peace in my household.

--I finally get to see Intronaut live, allowing the band to thank me for the awesome play that I wrote about them.

--I get a couple more able contributors to this blog so that I don't have to only post a couple times a month.  The hilarity never ends!

--Marijuana is legalized, leaving my pothead friends nothing to talk about.  They are forced to grow personalities based on something other than their love for an illegal substance.

--Reggae is outlawed.  It is the only triumph of lawmaking that has ever existed.

--90%  of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players are killed in a freak accident involving computer viruses or something, leaving those of us who can't stand them alone to enjoy some friendly multiplayer.

--Kurt Ballou wins the Nobel Peace Prize in the field of Record Production.  At the parade thrown in his honor, Glen Danzig is accidentally run over by a papier mache pterodactyl float and killed.  It's the best day ever.

So there is my 2012 wishlist of things to happen.  I fully expect whoever you are to stop whatever it is you're doing and go make at least one of those things happen, because I can't stand to be disappointed by you any longer, dear reader.  It's killing me, and your mother is always asking me "Why can't he/she be more like [someone else]?"  And I just don't know what to keep telling her.