MOONLUST - Six Years (Mini-Review)
In a continuing attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. Here's a mini-review of a rockin' single that I simply can't stop listening to.
Written by: The Administrator
When I find myself spending a little too much time in the doom and the gloom, a bangin' rock 'n' roll song serves as the inevitable cure.
"Six Years" is the only track Moonlust currently has on tap, and goddamn, it handily qualifies as a hard-rockin' barnburner. This thing is addictive, plain and simple. In an exceedingly brisk 2 minutes and 8 seconds, Moonlust delivers exactly what I crave in a single. Driving central riff? Check. Foot-stomping momentum? Check. Engaging vocals, delivered with the kind of emotive fullthroatedness that practically demands audience participation? Check. A no-nonsense solo that feels complimentary and not a mere accessory? Check. A speedy runtime that leaves me desperately wanting more? Check.
Check, check, check. Fully and completely. When I say I have listened to this song a total of 15 times in the past few days, I am not exaggerating. I am glued to that damn repeat button, and that, frankly, is a very good problem to have. "Six Years" has hooks and charisma in spades, and I can only hope that this standalone single exists as a harbinger of more to come. Give it a listen below!
Moonlust - Six Years was released Jan. 6th, 2023.
CARTOON HEAD - Worse! (Mini-Review)
Written by: The Administrator
About, oh, 18 hours ago, the mere concept of Doom Ska had simply never entered my mind. Presently, the possibilities presented by the mere existence of the genre conglomerate in question have me pretty damn excited. This change is due solely to a single song from Cartoon Head–a track that sits confidently under the two minute mark, and notably enlists the service of brass hype to accentuate the churning see-saw riffage and bombastic vocal delivery. "Worse!" is, for sake of brevity, a ridiculously fun track. This thing rips. It has me pumped up and ready to flail my arms and legs in some gross attempt at dance. I wanna learn the lyrics so I can shout along. Why is it so short. I crave more.
The guitar is nearly nauseating in a highly kinetic fashion–it pulls and pushes, instantly leaving the listener feeling a little ragdolled. The jubilant horns, while initially surprisingly, are significantly less overbearing than you might imagine, and ultimately fit very comfortably alongside the clanging guitar. They add a delightful emphasis to the track's carnivalesque mood and sense of bouncy momentum.
I mean, shit. I was really taken off guard by this track in the best of ways. In a world of music that often feels referential and derivative–which, I hasten to add, is seldom a bad quality–Cartoon Head has put forth something that feels remarkably fresh. Maybe that's coming from a place of unfamiliarity, but from my perspective, “Worse!” feels uniquely original. Give it a well-deserved listen here!
Cartoon Head - Worse! was released Nov. 25th via HVNG MVN RECORDS
Cartoon Head can be found:
DOPE SKUM - Folk Magic (Mini-Review)
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a swampy single worth checking out.
Written by: The Administrator
There's a lot that I love about the intrinsic qualities of stoner doom, but perhaps my favorite aspect is the fairly constant relationship between quality and simplicity. More often than not, stoner music striving to complicate the formula loses me, whereas the tunes that stick to a core motif with a grimy dogged stoicism tend to win me over. Despite a catalog only boasting six tracks, Chatanooga's own Dope Skum fall soundly into the latter category. They know their strengths, they play to them. Their tracks aren't overly complex, and that's the damn point.
This new single, "Folk Magic," is the first new music from the Appalachian trio since the release of their debut EP in 2020. While several of the tracks on that project felt slightly long, I quite liked Tanansi, and was excited to see something new from the Dope Skum camp hit the ol' inbox.
And let me tell ye: if you're in the mood for some swampy fuzz, "Folk Magic" will hit the damn spot. This is a great track. Plain and simple.
From a riffcraft perspective, the comparisons are honestly fairly endless, but in my mind, Dope Skum's approach particularly recalls the heft and organic appeal of Bongzilla. There's a tangible weight behind the bluesy central riff, a plodding-through-the-mire. An homage to a long Appalachian tradition of generational folk magic, the track itself has a very strong sense of place, pulling both from the grounded instrumentation and the atmospheric cicada-laden intro. The vocals, which are bellowed more than sung, stick to a single simple refrain of the track's title. It's a simple approach but, illustrating the aforementioned tenet, one that succeeds mightily. One does not need a hooky chorus when repeated howls of "Folk Magic!" serve, in and of themselves, as an earworm of significant proportion.
I can only hope that "Folk Magic" serves as a harbinger of more great music from Dope Skum. Give it a listen and consider snagging it from bandcamp here!
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a single worth checking out.
Written by: The Administrator
Watching the growth of Legendarium over the past few years has been a real treat. Each frequent release has been better than the last, which inevitably starts to raise the question: when does upward trajectory stop? When does a plateau in quality become apparent? Not yet, that's for damn sure. The forthcoming Death's Hand In Yours--this year's second full length LP from the band in question--demonstrates Legendarium at their best. It's a varied and confident continued foray into heavy metal. Death's Hand In Yours exists as a glorious homage to the tropes and motifs of the genre at large, and for that reason alone, it presents an absolutely delightful listening experience.
But alas, I am not here today to review the album at large; that can wait. Today's praise is reserved for the mighty "Caelador, Destroyer," the latest advance single. This is a rollicking single if e'er there was, built on the spine of a churning riff and a bounding sense of momentum. The verses carry themselves with a jubilant kineticism that, for all its punkiness, reminds me of a more blatantly heavy evolution of Witch Cross. This bouncy energy is quite engaging, to say the least, and if you're able to crank this track without involuntarily bobbing your head or stomping your foot, I'm not entirely sure how to help. And, lest ye forget, no Legendarium track is complete without a ripping-yet-tasteful solo.
Bottom line? It's a damn strong single. "Caelador, Destroyer" is the kind of no-nonsense heavy metal track that exists and thrives on the basis of its own component parts. No gimmicks required. If you're predisposed to enjoy new Legendarium material, you'll inevitably like this song. If you are unfamiliar, I can only hope that this serves as the portal for further enjoyment.
Give "Caelador, Destroyer" a well-deserved listen below, and consider grabbing a copy of that sweet preorder of Death's Hand In Yours prior to release on December 9th.
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a single that captures a certain rage.
Written by: The Administrator
Much like, y'know, anyone reading this, I'm consumed by persistent overboiling rage. Such rage necessitates an appropriate soundtrack, and here I am, hitting repeat on Helena Ford's "A Song of Independence" for the fourth time today. This is flag-burning music of the highest and most overt order--an explosive harsh noise catharsis with corresponding conflagration.
This 10-minute-and-change track has a strong foundation in the classic power electronic stalwarts. Roaring static and undulating waves of squealing and/or jittering feedback. A torrential white noise. Thrumming bass that sounds like the unholy lovechild of a hovering helicopter and the purr of a malfunctioning mechanized feline. Screaming electronic death knells. An unflinching wall of distortion. A tantalizingly nauseating environ. The noise is consistently overwhelming across the breadth, but the track truly hits a profoundly forceful peak as the vocals enter the fray. The delivery is so gloriously harsh, like unto the last monologue of a drowning artificial intelligence. While brief in the grand scheme of "A Song of Independence" as a whole, the vocals serve as a center point from which the remainder of the track is grounded.
I'll be the first to admit that harsh noise, power electronics, and experimental electronic music in general is not my bread and butter. As such, I have few points of comparison, and so any description mustered here is based entirely upon the listening experience itself. Hopefully that is a useful frame. In any case, if you're in the mood for an overwhelming and thoroughly enraged soundscape, "A Song of Independence" will undoubtedly serve you very well. In additional, all proceeds will go to anarchist mutual aid funds, so you really can't go wrong. Check it out below, andpurchase via bandcamp!
Helena Ford - A Song of Independence was released July 4th, 2022
Helena Ford can be found:
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of an EP from 2020.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Anything that calls itself “black ‘n roll” is going to have my attention immediately. A recent spike in blackened traditional metal that seems to stick with the NWOBHM riffs under a harsh and dark haze offers all sorts of interesting ideas. But New Jersey’s The Gauntlet rides almost entirely on slower, steady riffing that hooks the ear every time. War And Guilt is their sole release (outside of some splits), a twenty-two minute EP from 2020 with solid proportions.
Looking at the art work, you would never expect this, as I didn’t. Something that screams generic party thrash turning out to actually be music this compelling caught me off guard. In a way, the entire tape works as one massive song, in the sense that each of the five tracks weave into each other, using the same trick for every execution. Shifts in speed and tone help break this up some. Small licks like the bridge in “Damnation Calls With Haste” certainly add some life before the solo and resolution, and those rumbling drums under the bass in “Old Lord” will shake your insides.
War And Guilt displays a pretty impressive ear for gradual layering across the board. The harsh, stagnant shrieks somewhat mask the tweaks in patterns, allowing haunting, Bathory-like rhythms to make their way in. As you can imagine, it does feel a bit same-y at times due to the fact that it’s mostly a one trick pony. Don’t go into this expecting the tag to be too literal, The Gauntlet isn’t going to be Van Halen or Blue Oyster Cult under shrieking vocals. But for what we’re given, it scratches the itch every time.
The Gauntlet -War and Guilt was released August 26th, 2020. Find it here!
The Gauntlet can be found:
MOTHMAN AND THE THUNDERBIRDS - 96 Quite Bitter Beings (A Long Belated Mini-Review)
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of an excellent cover track.
Written by: The Administrator
Holy shit, I really dropped the ball on this one. The mighty Mothman and the Thunderbirds releases a certifiably sick cover track and I don't react for, like, nine months? Better late than never, I suppose, but this is pretty embarrassing.
In any case. While I'm not a huge CKY fan per se, no one amongst us can deny the sheer catchiness of their debut single. Indeed, "96 Quite Bitter Beings" contains, somewhat devilishly, one of the singlemost infectious riffs of all time. Stack it up against any of the common suspects, I don't give a damn. Listen to the OG intro once and it is stuck in your head for the better part of a decade, bopping around with wild and persistent abandon. Rather than letting a righteous earworm die, Alex Parkinson takes that very same riff and dives right in, unleashing it once more in all its jubilant glory.
This track has bounce and pep, and with production in the capable hands of Egor Lappo, the guitar is crisp as ever-living fuck. From a production standpoint, this sounds significantly more polished than the (excellent) Into the Hollow. Despite my affection for the band's sludgy origins, I love how fresh and clean this cover sounds on the first half, where it does not deviate particularly far from the original track. That said, the back end quickly floods over into increasingly metallic environs, with rolling drums and a general stompiness that utterly craters CKY's milder vibes across the bridge.
Regardless of whether or not you hold "96 Quite Bitter Beings" in the the same nostalgic shrine dedicated to MTV/Pro Skater aesthetic of the very early aughts, this cover is worth your while. Mothman and the Thunderbirds has improved on the original solely by benefit of intriguing and climatic composition, and the stellar musicianship and production don't hurt either. As an homage and a reinvention, it is excellent. Check it out here!
Mothman and the Thunderbirds - 96 Quite Bitter Beings was released Sept. 28th, 2021
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a sweet, sweet bandcamp find.
Written by: The Administrator
People are always rattling on about the sophistication and the benefits of Spotify's discoverability algorithms, but I'm gonna be real for a second: if you are willing to put on a good pair of boots and go wading through bandcamp genres tags, you're inevitably gonna find some damn good shit. Case in point: today's album in question. I wanted some dirty stoner metal to sooth my troubled soul, and after a brief period of sifting, Electric Cult's appropriately entitled Fuzzeremony fell into my waiting arms. Sometimes it's simply that easy.
On their second outing, Mexico's Electric Cult nail a delightful balance between scuzzy and fuzzy. Fuzzeremony consists of three tracks proper and a atmospheric intro, and across the album's swampy expanse, sasquatchian riffs and alternately melodramatic clean and throaty vocals plod a treacherous path through the murky mire. The doomy riffage is simple but catchy as all hell, and the rhythm section holds it down with a solid (and occasionally raucous) presence. The vocal refrains are relentlessly earwormy--take the wonderful chorus of standout track "Warlocks Of The Mangrove," which lends significant credence to the track's 6:46 runtime. The same catchy quality can be applied to closer "Rotting Beneath The Sun," which remarkably feels far shorter than its sizable girth might suggest.
While the aforementioned tracks are highly memorable and maintain an energetic sense of momentum, "Temple Of The Crow" is slightly less successful in this regard. The riffs are hefty and the vocals aren't too shabby either, but the number of ideas presented simply aren't enough to carry the track for the entire length without distractions taking root. That said, the sheer quality of the bookending tracks lends Fuzzeremony, as a whole, a high degree of replayability. I've had this thing on repeat for the better part of two hours, and at this rate it has sufficiently oozed its way into my brain. In short? This particular bandcamp foray has been quite the success--Electric Cult hath been uncovered, and their prior EPs await my immediate attention. If you're in the mood for some stoner doom, you could certainly worship at a lesser altar.
Electric Cult - Fuzzeremony was released April 30th, 2022 via The Swamp Records, Satan Monolithic Records, and Ruidoteka Records
FRESH MEAT FRIDAY: June 10th, 2022 Feat. Yatra, Dust Prophet, Adamantis, and Pillärs
Every Friday, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s crumbling gates, stuffed to the brim with our sustenance for the following week. Today is the day we must offload all this new music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be--and have been--listening to today here at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
On the docket for today, June 10th, 2022:
Yatra, Dust Prophet, Adamantis, and Pillärs
This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a ridiculously crushing single.
Written by: The Administrator
I'm a glutton for experiences that drown out the extremity of everyday life via, y'know, the gross application of additional extremity. As such, I tend to gravitate towards art that is overwhelming by design. Enter doomviolence pioneers Revered and Reviled Above All Others, my favorite outfit operating in the vibrant world of lung-collapsing antifascist music. They've got a new single out entitled "Mythocracy"--a short and poignant harbinger of the presumably forthcoming SWINEVOID.
Listening to RRAAO is pretty much the antithesis of leisurely activity. Indeed, willingly submitting to the (increasingly trademark) AS + DB brand of powerviolence-by-way-of-sludge necessitates an appreciation of unapologetic discomfort. And that's the point. The potent blown-speaker combo of blaring bass, clanging cymbals, and titan-esque roars are built to rupture eardrums and induce migraines. Here, notably, the vocals have an almost mechanized or industrial quality, which only lends weight to the overwhelming aesthetic. There's a tangible pressure to the sonic onslaught--this latest track in particular makes me feel like I'm caught in the confines of a depressurizing submarine. Make no mistake: "Mythocracy" is nauseating in a very physical sense. I love it.
RRAAO have perfected their formula: "Mythocracy" swiftly makes a point and doesn't stick around to witness the aftermath. Brevity works wonders in terms of impact. The track is over in very short order, but the sheer catharsis when the vocals kick in after a sludgy bludgeoning and hollow drums? Nothing short of excellent. This track leaves me immediately longing for more of the same.
Intertwined with "Mythocracy" is a pre-order for the sickest long sleeve tee of 2022 (which I will certainly be adding to the cart as soon as the ol' band merch coffers are replenished.)
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.