Exclusive Stream: Seven Inches of Seven Sisters of Sleep

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, listen On: Thursday, June 28th, 2012

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Orange County’s Seven Sisters of Sleep aren’t big on going out of their way to get in people’s faces. Then again, I’m speaking from a shaking babies and kissing hands perspective. I’ve never seen them live and judging by the rusty heroin needle guitar tone and sociopathic throat abuse that drives their hammering of metallic hardcore into cubes of sludgy waste, they sound like the sort of band who would enjoy intimidating those who dare come on up to the front. Maybe with live power tools; maybe with open sores; maybe with the shards of broken glass thrown at your eyesholes by the Dark Lord Himself…

Whatever the case, they have a new 7″ that’s been out for a couple weeks now, courtesy our good friends at A389 Records, and if they themselves ain’t gunna do any promotin’, we’ll help because this is pretty sweet. We’ve so had our kneecaps blown back that we’re just now getting around to letting you in on checking it out. So, be a dear and check it out. Then, check out the snazzy packaging. Know that the 7″ package includes three brand new tracks on vinyl, comes with an enhanced CD featuring videos and three bonus tracks from the Children Of God Split 12″, a 16″x23″ poster insert, PLUS an exclusive embroidered 4″ patch! Look for their full length Opium Morals due at the end of the year.

Do your looking here:

Do your listening here:

Do your ordering here: www.a389records.com

INTERVIEW: The Day After The Sabbath (Part 2)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, June 28th, 2012

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Last week, we brought you Part 1 of our interview with The Day After The Sabbath‘s proprietor Rich. This week not only includes the rest of our interview, but a mini-playlist of five tracks hand-picked by the man himself. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out the latest TDATS compilation (#71), his third collection of tracks featuring female vocalists and no doubt a fitting companion to our August issue.

3. In putting together your compilations, are they all made up of stuff you have or do you do a fair amount of digging around for new stuff? Your compilations focus on obscure bands, but which one has been the most arcane so far?
While I would love to have the time, space and money to own vinyl of everything I use, that’s definitely never going to happen! As my searches progress, I do buy them from time to time. I have original presses of about 30 of my all-time favourite obscure albums and about the same number on CD, which can also be surprisingly expensive and hard to find if the reissues were limited.

English rock historian Vernon Joynson has put out a few essential, and comprehensively huge, guides to 60s/70s psych from around the world and Canadian journalist Martin Popoff has written some great books veering more to the metal side of things. Other than books, I am indebted to the hardworking characters who run rarity labels like Rockadelic and Rockadrome as well as countless others out there on the internet who research, catalogue, buy, rip and share everything they can find. It is a truly collaborative effort and people around the globe contribute to huge databases like RateYourMusic.com, while guys like Robin Wills at purepop1uk.blogspot.com dedicate their lives (and mortgages it would seem) to revealing the most obscure stuff imaginable.

I think the special contribution I make is to crystallize and connect our finds in a way that is interesting to metal fans in particular, also making it quick and easy to hear the music as opposed to just reading about it. The other unique thing I aim to do is to theme the collections in ways that have not been done before. This helps to give historical context and efforts like the Native American comp I’m formulating at the moment are satisfying challenges that always produce interesting results.

As for an arcane favourite, I’ll go with Crank. This band is important to me as they are another of the bands, along with Budgie, that showed the potential quality of what you can find if you look a little further. They were brought to my attention by yet more knowledgeable types on the old stonerrock.com forum and very little is known about them, who the members were or the exact year of recording. Their demo tape from approximately 1969 was found in a murky Kansas studio basement quite recently and put out on vinyl by Rockadelic records. One track in particular called “Don’t Push Me Away” is an absolute stormer, the sadly untapped talent and potential of the guys who recorded it floors me every time.

If you had the power to give ONE of bands you’ve featured on your compilations the recognition it deserves, which would it be and why?
Night Sun. A German band (a country that pops up very frequently on my blog) who made one album called Mournin’ in 1972. The sheer nastiness and aggression of this record never fails to amaze me, but it is equally doomy and progressive. It has it all and demonstrates the innovation that came out of the Krautrock era (the album was produced by Kraftwerk’s early producer, Conny Plank). They were one of the only bands, including any famous ones you care to mention, that could have easily gone head to head with Black Sabbath in the heavy stakes, and in some aspects of their sound, even outdoing them. They only lasted a couple of years or so and pretty much vanished without trace, although a couple of members did contribute to subsequent bands.

To help give our readers a better sense about what your compilations are all about, tell us about five songs from your many, many volumes—why you like them, why they might be into them or anything else that comes to mind.

Mushroom—Crying For You (1970)
This is a brilliant Dutch single that I found while researching some compilations I did for the organiser of Roadburn festival in Holland. Crazy heavy slide guitar!

Captain Beyond—Raging River Of Fear (1972)
One of my less obscure choices that some of you may know, this band featured the original Deep Purple singer, Rod Evans, and one-time Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt, who sadly died this year. Everyone must hear this album, it rocks to an insane level from beginning to end!

Crank—Don’t Push Me Away (1969)
See question 3.

Night Sun—Living With The Dying (1972)
See question 4.

Jericho—Ethiopia (1972)
A really talented Israeli band that started out as The Churchills making psych in the mid-’60s and made a couple of great hard rock albums in the early ’70s as Jericho.

Be sure to check out The Day After The Sabbath and, while you’re at it, enjoy another of my personal favorites from all of the volumes I’ve digested so far…

Women In Metal Bonus: Uta Plotkin’s Playlist

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

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Decibel published its first ever “Women In Metal,” issue this month, which offers an exhaustive look at the enormous contributions women have made to metal music (and the metal industry). If for some inexplicable reason you don’t subscribe then you can snag a copy from our store . If you are wise, you might have already read our profile of Witch Mountain in the August issue. But since we can’t get enough of Uta Plotkin’s voice — Cauldron Of The Wild has been on my playlist since I first heard it months ago — we asked her to contribute a bit more and she agreed.

Plotkin named her five favorite female vocalists and picked five tracks that best represent their style. While the women in metal issue was a first this post might be a bigger first; the first and perhaps only time both Tina Turner and the Cocteau Twins are mentioned in dB. Give Uta’s playlist a listen below and then get her breakdown of her five favorite female voices:

From Uta: I love the human voice because of all the crazy things it’s capable of and the myriad of ways it can express, so I tend to enjoy singers that have a strange quirk. Each of these women’s voices have some special quality that sets them apart for me.

Diamanda Galas:

Diamanda Galas is a primal operatic wailer channeling demons in order to exorcise them. Her pureness and rawness are what I love about her voice. She opens her mouth and it seems there’s no filter or self-consciousness, only something demented and dark trapped inside, now gleefully unleashed. She’s an unrelenting force and her power is intoxicating and weird. You won’t hear her full multiple octave range on “Let My People Go” but you’ll get the idea.

Elizabeth Fraser: (Cocteau Twins)

Elizabeth Fraser’s voice has a crystal clear and fluid tone, reaching notes with easy grace. What I love about her voice is what sounds like a kind of warbling bubble caught in her airway that she can activate at will. Listen for the strange trills and precise cracks. I can almost feel the textures she creates in my throat. I love the floating world her voice transports me to. On “But I’m Not”, from Cocteau Twins’ debut album, her voice shines and the lyrics are cool (for most CT songs she makes up nonsense words).

Bjork:

Bjork’s incredible voice has captivated me since the first time I heard it fifteen years ago – her smokiness and range, her versatility and emotiveness. She can crack her voice like a whip and really let it go. Her tone coupled with her accent makes hers one of the most unusual and pleasing voices I’ve ever heard. She’s an otherworldly pixie-alien force of nature. She reminds me of one of my other favorites, Billie Holiday, for her power and intensity conveying emotions, sculpting them sonically.

Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde):

Johnette Napolitano sounds like a woman with experience. She’s earthy, strong and genuine in a way that makes me want to be her friend. Her voice has that worn in texture that I love but doesn’t sacrifice range or belting power. In the chorus of “Heal it Up”, she proves her vocal skills. Just try to sing that in one breath.

Tina Turner:

I’m pretty sure Tina Turner’s got vocal chords made of steel wool. If I tried to sing like her I’d end up in surgery. One of the reasons I love her voice is I don’t understand how she can sound that way. She’s got raw fire and buckets of soulful energy. Her raspy rockin-ness goes straight to my face, making it crinkle in time to her screeches and howls. “Steel Claw” is one of my favorites because it’s so badass and fast.

Order the most triumphant Cauldron Of The Wild from Profound Lore. Connect with the band here to tell them how much you dig the album.

STREAMING: Kalopsia “Salt Sown Earth”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

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We can count the number of times we’ve applied some Deci-clusivity to an unsigned act on the Deciblog. Of course, yammerers and Internet lonely-hearts will cry that we should only spotlight the label-less, the bands fighting for a slice of a slice of a depreciated penny. The problem is this: turn on the demo-powered floodgates and it becomes next to impossible to sort through the good, the bad, and the flat-out horrendous. Actually, we did sort out one killer audio thing that’s come our way recently. New Jersey’s Kalopsia.

OK, they had a full-length back in 2003, but who remembers the label Think Metal? See. And if you do remember Think Metal and the long-player—Exquisite Beauty of the Defiled—issued on said record purveyor, then you deserve a Gutted belt buckle. Anyway, Kalopsia was formed out of current/ex-members of Funebrarum, Dehumanized and Deteriorot, and based on what we’ve heard the group’s newest material kills in only ways American death metal can. As for how Kalopsia define themselves, well, they’re regular Jerseyans who buy coffee at “the WaWa” and refuse to call the “shore” a beach. Even vocalist/guitarist Matt Medeiros thinks Kalopsia ain’t sliced bread, “Unfortunately we’re pretty much normal dudes outside of our weird hobby of blastbeats, mosh riffs and monster growls.” As for the music, yes, it’s meta-normal. Whatever that means.

** Shuffle over to Kalopsia’s Bandcamp site (click HERE) to check out more Kalopsia ruleage. It’s just an album teaser, but it’s 3:44 of santoku-riffs, helicopter double bass, and surprise melodic breaks. Just for you sweeties while the wait for long-player Amongst the Ruins clocks down to August.

LIVE REVIEW: Municipal Waste Fucked Seattle Up

By: adem Posted in: featured, heavy tuesdays, live reviews, liver failure On: Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

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June 15, Neumos, Seattle, WA.

We received the message through the usual channels, but this time the priority was urgent. “We’re coming to Seattle,” said Witte, “and I need to go to Brouwer’s.” As the local beer ambassador to the extremely extreme set, we felt compelled to honor this request, so upon Municipal Waste’s arrival in Seattle, a meeting was set up and arrangements were made to deliver drummer to drinking establishment.

Bellied up to the bar at Brouwer’s, we both started with a saison. Witte went with a local (whose name escapes us) and we chose a Great Divide Collette from Denver. Next round, we went dark, both keying in on stouts. Mine was a Snoqualmie Louie Quatorze 14th Anniversary Imperial Stout, while he went with a soured stout called Featherleggy Bulrusher from Anderson Valley Brewing in NoCal.

Brouwer’s operations manager Matt Bonney intervened just prior to round three and treated us (and himself) to a very special bottle of Imagination Ale—a sour brown Brouwer’s collaboration with Port Brewing that Bonney himself had a hand in creating. This bad boy was aged in both bourbon and wine barrels with raisins, rosemary and honey. And, damn, was it amazing. Unfortunately, beery fun time was temporarily put on hold so we could return Witte to Neumo’s (somewhat tardily, we’re afraid) to attend to his pre-show band obligations.

L to R: Witte, Bonney & humble narrator.

Our own pre-show obligations lay two blocks up the street at the Elysian, where we and our brothers in thrash drank pints of the Bunsen Experimental Pale Ale (made with a new experimental hop variety) and ate poutine. Though this caused us to to miss both local opening acts, we did arrive in time to get bludgeoned by Black Tusk’s throbbing metallic ugliness.

Before 3 Inches of Blood delivered a killing blow of old-school battle metal, we plunged into the guts of Neumo’s to look for Witte and instead found MW guitarist Ryan Waste sitting on a couch with his Witchfinder General “stage shirt” hung out and ready for action. Cue extended discussion of the NWOBHM and before we knew it 3 Inches of Blood had nearly finished pillaging Neumos before we made it back upstairs. We caught their last two songs and were amazed at the strength of Cam Pipes voice. Dude is an old-school wailer.

If it’s indeed true that bands feed off of crowds, then Municipal Waste had a (fatal) feast in Seattle. A few hundred manic thrash fans lost their flippin’ minds for the nearly hour-long set as the band ripped through one song after another. Tracks from The Fatal Feast showed off Ryan Waste’s predilection for NWOBHM riffing and the crowd was as stoked to hear the title track of that album, as they were to chant along during “Born to Party” and “Sadistic Magician.” It was mayhem in the best possible way.

A continuous flow of stage divers launched themselves from the stage while vocalist Tony Foresta did his best Blaine Cook (The Accused) crouch, spitting out lyrics into the raised fists at the front. If there’s a better, faster, funnier, more entertaining metal band out there, we haven’t seen ‘em. Ten-plus years into their career, the Waste are unstoppable. Their dedication to relentless touring has honed them into an unstoppable, beer-fueled machine.

Due to the nearly 12-hour, high-gravity beer odyssey detailed above, we must admit that the end of the set became something of a blur. We know that the frequency of stage divers increased, as did the action in the pit. There was also a well-deserved encore at the end, the details of which escape us. If this seems like we neglected our journalistic duties in favor of consuming beers, then we plead guilty. In our defense, however, we did at least accomplish one mission by getting Dave Witte front and center at Brouwer’s.

Versus I: When Afgrund Met Church of Misery

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: contest, featured, listen On: Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Raging Bull

Welcome to the first installment of VERSUS, an online segment where we’ll stream exclusive tracks from new records that have piqued our interest, head to head, and let you, dear reader, referee the fight in the comments section. To sweeten the deal, the commenter who makes the most persuasive case for his or her preferred record will win themselves a little swag package.

Our first face off is between the awesome Swedish grind trio Afgrund — currently inveighing mightily against the Age of Dumb — and Church of Misery, a fuzzed-up doom metal band featuring Stevo from Impetigo whose uber-excellent 1993 debut Minstrel of Mourning is only now seeing the light of day thanks to Razorback Records. (Note: This Church is not to be confused with the latter day saints signed to Metal Blade.)

We asked each band for a little background info on the albums/tracks they graciously provided. True to form, Afgrund kept things short and (bitter)sweet:

The Age Of Dumb is the epoch we’re living in, where humanity ignores its own mistakes and where politics, enviromental devastation and alienation have reached points of no return. “Carniwars” [is about] the systematic exploitation of animals for food and goods in modern day carnist societies is an act of war on nature. “H.A.A.R.P.Y” — Quasi-sci-fi consequences of the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program.

And now enjoy Church of Misery’s “Old Man Tree” with commentary from Stevo below:

It may sound strange, but the concept of the lyrics for the song came from a dream I had as a very young child, resurrected in a reminiscence many years later. The protagonist is a Druid-type member of an ages-old sect who is confronting the “Death of Nature” in today’s world, against a backdrop of ancient knowledge and understanding. The concept of all of the Church of Misery songs were, indeed, odes to death and love letters to the passage of those close to us and how we are dealing with their demise as living beings…with that in mind, one can visualize how the prayer of the Druid in “Old Man Tree” aligns with this theme. The protagonist has accepted the fact that the ancient beliefs his brethren built their discipline upon no longer bear any fruit, and that the complex relationship of mankind and nature has, indeed, perished…his prayer is a final epitaph to the ‘old man tree,’ the patriarchal figurehead of his order’s fundamental beliefs, and his final words to the deity to whom he and his ancestors have devoted their spiritual lives to.

Brett originally submitted excellent lyrics for this song, not having known of my original concept beforehand. I hated to turn them down, but my thoughts on this were burning so brightly I needed to excorsize them to music before it was too late.

The music is a phoenetical representation of the lyrical prayer itself, you can hear elements of structure, pattern, and stanzas throughout the composition; the opening riff (invocation) repeated an modified throughout in the format of a more traditional “liturgy of the hours” with psalms interspersed, and ending in a benediction which completes the phrase. The bass solo/keyboard interlude is a meditative section; the ensuing guitar solo/percussion call and response is a responsorial psalm that follows the meditation. Music really is prayer!

VOICES FROM THE UK UNDERGROUND pt 2: HUMAN CULL on picking the crust off 30 second grind

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, June 25th, 2012

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Human Cull are a gnarly grindcore trio from the United Kingdom who deal largely in 30-second riff-salvos. Guitarist and vocalist Edd Robinson admits as much that the band’s entire canon will be fast and crusty, but dammit he’s a humanitarian, it’ll be memorable too.

Brevity in grindcore song structures was hardwired at the genre’s birth in the mid-80s, and since then there hasn’t been any artistic sea change where bands are sustaining their fury over four and five-minute jams. This is 2012, and we’re glad of the one minute or less status quo. Brevity has never been more of our time. No one has any time for anything. And the Deciblog is down with Human Cull’s internal logic: with that in mind, here’s 30 seconds’ words to introduce the band’s career to date:

Human Cull started out with a stupid name (Gran Toucher, c’mon… that’s awful) like many other grind bands. But unlike many other grind bands they saw fit to change it to something awesome. They have shared stages with Napalm Death and Black Breath, and most recently with Wormrot….. They play hard and fast, messy grind that’s spills over into crust. They’re part of a thriving UK underground scene that’s growing increasingly self-reliant (more on them another time). And it’s all pretty cool. ….. Time’s up: Over to Edd.

Deader Than Ever

By: rod.smith Posted in: featured, videos On: Monday, June 25th, 2012

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Mephedrone (bath salts), mushrooms, a new kind of acid—and in the case of Miami face-eater Rudy Eugene at one point—weed? So far, pretty much every official explanation for the wave of bizarre crimes slowly blanketing the planet has hinged on drugs with histories that make their purported roles unlikely. No wonder people are holding on to the zombie apocalypse hypothesis, CDC be damned. At least it provides a common thread.

But (apart from the Haitian variety) zombies are still mostly fictional (kinda), whereas She’s Still Dead are very real. And the reality lurking like a half-eaten penis in our collective McGMO breakfast trough is this: the current upsweep in global gore production commenced within days of a recent development in the NOLA-based horror-punk quintet’s unlife.

“I’d like to think that us going back into the studio would have something to do with the current wave of violence.” guitarist Kevin Dredge offers during a break in tracking guitar overdubs with White Zombie alum J. Yuenger for the Keeper of the Witch EP, slated for vinyl and digital release later this year. “All the shit that’s been going on, like with the guy cutting himself and throwing his intestines at the cops? That’s straight-up, true-life horror and I totally dig it. I know a lot of people shy away from that and think it’s the vilest thing ever. But I play in a horror band so I think it’s awesome. Remember the MMA fighter who ripped his training partner’s still-beating heart out of his chest? That was right around the time the band started.”

For dudes so eager to take responsibility for so many egregiously unnatural acts (even as they battle evil Feds in their effort to become the first U.S. metal band with a gig in Cuba under their belts), the band are surprisingly chill in real life. A trio of videos (soon to be a quartet) documenting the EP’s making depicts them and Yuenger having a swell time together without wasting a single second.

“We tracked drums, bass, and most of the guitars in one day at Piety Street,” Dredge says, “a big studio that’s like $1,000 a day. We’re recording everything else at J.’s place. I attribute the efficiency to the fact that we’ve been practicing a lot. We also just recently played a string of shows. We went into the studio with the mindset that we had this amount of time and we had to fucking bust ass. We weren’t interested in messing around. As a result, we went in and just fucking nailed it.”

What we hear of the title track reveals a band as hell-bent on going as far beyond the neo-trad horror rock (think: “Misfits in their prime”) of last year’s Immortal, Eternal as they are on getting everything right ASAP. Dredge, guitarist Taylor Suarez and Yuenger even ended up with time left over to experiment with feedback and tape manipulation.

“The idea came from Black Flag’s “Police Story,” Dredge says. “The song starts off with really slow taped feedback that speeds up until it’s really fast. We thought: Oh cool! Since we’re recording on tape, let’s try to recreate that. Violent, chaotic feedback is a big part of our sound. We had so much time left over that we were able to spend some time recording guitar feedback. We’re going to incorporate a lot of that on the record.”

Eager as he is to emphasize the band’s ever-extending reach into the grave they only started robbing a couple years ago, Dredge also makes no bones about Yuenger’s role in the recording process. All available evidence bears him out. In every video, the producer comes off way more like a facilitator than a boss.

“We’ve all been in other bands,” Dredge says, “and we’ve all worked with other producers. The thing about J. is, we’re all friends. He’s not just some guy who points mics at you and tells you what to do. He genuinely cares about what we’re doing. Earlier today, he said, ‘it’s a real pleasure recording you guys, ’cause I don’t have to do much. All I have to do is say, okay, I’m rollin’. Let’s go.’ That’s a great thing to hear from one of your childhood guitar heroes.”

Municipal Waste Tour Diary, Part Waste

By: Chris D. Posted in: diary, featured, tours On: Monday, June 25th, 2012

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** Scribbled by Municipal Waste lead screamer Tony Foresta. Don’t forget to check the stream of the Toxic Waste split 12″ on the venerable Tankcrimes label, as posted by the equally venerable Adem. It’s HERE, we think. Or, the Part One of the tour diary, called Part Waste, ’cause we’re cute. Click HERE.

6/1 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk Place as part of Chaos in Tejas:
I usually don’t get nervous before I play shows. I usually don’t give a shit. For some reason I was nervous as hell all day. Maybe I was stressing because this fest had one of the best lineups on a show that I have ever played in years? Our show was killer; Drop Dead, Forward, Skizophrenia and our good friends Ghoul. I was biting the hell out of my nails all day knowing that we had to play after all these killer bands and in front of friends attending that I literally haven’t seen in years. It was intimidating for me to say the least.

Regardless of a bunch of technical difficulties the sets were great from all of the bands and everyone was having so much fun that it didn’t matter a bit. Ghoul thanked everyone for attending South by Southwest and Ross did one of the shittiest speaker dives I’ve ever seen. It was easily one of the best sets of the weekend. Forward got the award for drunkest band of the year and of course Drop Dead talked about animals and shit. I couldn’t stop smiling watching all these great bands.

During our set somebody actually jumped off the balcony onto the stage during a song. A real stage dive! After we played we did our best to load out as fast as possible so we could run over to one of the Waste’s favorite venue in the states—Red 7—to catch a few St Vitus songs. So many friends and so much fun that next thing I knew it was almost 6 a.m. and I had to jump on the bus to leave.

Being here and being around so many old pals got me thinking a bit. I’ve known Timmy (Chaos promoter) for so many years. My old band played his birthday party in Richmond back around ’97 (fuck, I’m getting old). I’m really proud of that fact that he is able to put together such a fun and diverse music festival yearly as well as put out records and set up great shows in Austin all year long. So many punks and metal heads spend their time all day bitching on the Internet and constantly complaining about everything going on in their scene and life but really do little to get out there and improve it. This guy has been doing working at it and doing it almost his whole life. His way. This world needs more Timmys.

6/2 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves:
I woke up confused and still pretty hammered from Austin and got an early visit to the venue from Doug from Clearview/Selfless records. Have you ever heard of that label? If not you should check it out. I’ve been buying this guy’s stuff since I started collecting records way back when. He’s put out so much good shit that it’s absurd. He told me he had a few gifts for me but I had no idea about the mushroom cloud of cool stuff that he was going to drop in my lap. About 25 rare, insane, and out of print records. We’re talking Drop Dead, Queers, Screeching Weasel and Initial State test presses as well as a bunch of killer new stuff! I was in record nerd heaven.

Still hung over from Chaos we plowed through our set then spent the rest of the evening hanging outside in the perfect weather killing a bottle of Jameson with the Black Tusk gentleman and their crew (Kim). It was a good way to spend our last night in Texas.


6/3 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory:
Tonight’s venue was the Conservatory in Oklahoma City. There isn’t much to do around there so we went walking around to find a shitty Chipotle rip-off style taco joint. It was the worst tacos I think I ever had. They were cold and weird as shit. On top of that every table in this empty restaurant was dirty with lettuce and stuff all over them. Not a clean place anywhere to sit. It was clear the relatively teenage staff did not give a crap what so ever. I thought for sure that I was going to get food poisoning from this place. Regardless, I still ate all four tacos because apparently I am a glutton for gluttony.

The show ended up being really fun and lucky for me my stomach survived the Waste pre-set taco challenge. I also picked up some sweet records from my buddy Jim and managed to get some sweet people-watching in all day.

In other news Ryan is not drinking for a couple days. Liver rest. In his honor, I decided to drink twice as much this evening to keep the universe balanced. A couple of us ended up going to a bar after the gig called the Hi Lo. Unfortunately, immediately after my first shot there, I started getting the spins. I guess I went a little too big before I left the venue. I hung strong for about 45 minutes but then had to get Dave and Cartel (our tour manager) to drag my sorry butt back to the bus. My bad guys! I didn’t expect that one to happen.

6/4 – Albequrque NM (Day Off):
Not a whole lot really happened today. Witte and Lindsey went and saw that new Snow White movie. Ryan, Cartel, and I drank beers and watched the NBA playoffs and Phil spent his entire evening alone naked in the desert on a wild peyote journey much like the “spirit world” scene in Young Guns returning to the hotel in the morning a “changed man”.*

*one of these things above did not happen.

6/5 – Tempe, AZ @ 910 Live:
It was hot as all shit outside. So hot in fact that the outdoor venue that we we’re loading into had water misters shooting into the air on us throughout the load. I don’t know if it was the heat and being outside all day but this show seemed to go on forever. By the time Black Tusk got on the stage the crowd started waking up eventually turning the longest/hottest day ever into a pretty fun show.

During Tusk’s set a fairly young girl passed out partially on the stage from what became apparent later from way too many drugs. I guess nobody really noticed her chilling there at the time and while Athon was playing he didn’t see her either and accidentally stomped right on her head while playing. Whoops! Security quickly took notice after that and dragged this poor barely conscious girl (to our surprise) into our dressing room.

Imagine our surprise when all of us our standing around getting ready to play when this suddenly bursts through the door. Judging by her attempts to communicate and the fun that she still seemed to be having it seemed pretty clear that she was on drugs. Security runs off to call the paramedics leaving us in charge of her (!!!!) while she flailed around the couch. I mean I’ve seen a lot of people fucked up. I set up a music festival in Richmond for crying out loud and on a scale of 1 to 10 of being messed up this girl was at least a 9. I was honestly worried about her.

Next thing we know, this other girl starts pounding on the door, “I’m her friend Let me in! Let me in!” We do so and she says something along the lines of, “Oh, she’s going to be alright. She’s just fucked up. Do you guys want to party with us after the show?” (What?!?!?!)

We promptly kicked her out of our room while her friend got treated by the paramedics. Wow, that was something. Did I mention that it was hot? OK, cool. After the gig I packed up my shit and hopped in the car with a friend and headed over to the airport for a really early flight to Richmond to begin tending to my Best Man wedding duties for the next four days. I’m so excited!

Richmond VA (4 day tour intermission):


6/6 to 6/10 – Tour Intermission:
Like I said I had urgent BFF wedding duties to tend to back in Richmond so I flew home for four days. This was all planned well and worked out great for all of us. I got to attend one of the coolest weddings I’ve ever been to as well as sleep in my bed for a few days while the rest of the Waste got to fart around L.A. and do cool stuff like hang out on a beach, site see, attend shows like Midnight, Toxic Holocuast,, Suicidal Tendencies, and Torche (not all on the same show) as well as go to an airing of Jimmy Kimmel live. They also went to a comedy club where one of the guys from that show Workaholics got into a fist fight with an audience member. Nuts. Ask Ryan Dave and Phil about that one it’s a pretty good story. Fun times for all!

6/11 – Anaheim CA @ Chain Reaction:
This was my great return from almost five days away from my bandmates. Reunited! Woo hoo! I woke up at 5 a.m. to catch my cross-country flights from Richmond to L.A. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got to the venue, but I was still excited to hear about all of the adventures everyone had while I was gone. Not to mention that it was Ryan Waste’s birthday too! Not only that, it was 3 Inches of Blood’s first night with us.

My big arrival was squashed seconds after showing up. Right when I walked up towards our bus all I can hear are weird moans in the distance. I drop my bag and jog toward the back of the bus only to find Phil laying upside down on the ramp on his back clenching his teeth and grunting in a lot of pain. Apparently, he twisted or sprained his ankle really bad trying to unload his gear.

So instead of saying hello to everyone I just swing the door open in the venue and yell, “HELP! SOMEONE GET SOME FUCKING ICE!!!” Phil looked like he was in some major pain at the time.

After a few minutes of us icing his ankle up and in a chair Ryan comes in and delivers the heartbreaking news that our pal Jeff from Voetsek passed away in motorcycle accident the night before. Fuck. We weren’t closest friends of Jeff’s by any means, but he was definitely one of us and the times we spent together on tour were amazing. He was such a fun and stand-up guy. I can’t imagine the heartbreak our friends are going through in Oakland right now. It’s pretty heavy to think about and we we’re all pretty upset.

Shortly after that goes down 3 Inches arrived and we all introduced ourselves. It must have been a pretty weird scene for them to roll up on us like that having never really meeting us before. They seem like really cool dudes and I’m looking forward to getting to know them over the next few weeks.

The show ended up going off. Like really going off. Southern California never disappoints and the sold out crowd of really young kids were really going for it tonight. I love this part of the country!

Black Tusk and 3 Inches of Blood were fucking great tonight. I’m pretty stoked to have the full package together finally. This tour is going to be sweet. Our set was one of my favorites, Ryan was birthday drunk and being hilarious and Phil toughed it out and played his butt off even though barely being able to walk. We also got introduced to LP guy that night (watch the video you’ll get it). It was so much fun and there was so much positive energy happening, but the whole while I couldn’t get the passing of Jeff and the health of our friend Nikki out of my brain. I really hope his girl pulls through and I hope my friends in Oakland are doing alright.


6/12 – Los Angeles @ The Key Club:
We arrived at the venue to learn that the moron promoter booked seven local bands onto the gig. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with local bands. That’s how I usually discover tons of good music. Not only that but making friends with those bands and returning the favor when they come to town is something that this band has been built on from the start. When we go on a tour like this, we not only request one or two local bands every gig for these reasons, but we demand it…but what kind of asshole adds seven freaking bands to three band touring package?! That’s right ladies and gentleman; ten bands on a Tuesday night. Brilliant!

There are promoters like this all over the country. They ‘work’ their gigs by making local bands sell tickets, promote and basically do all the work for them while they take the cash, make a Facebook event page and reap the financial rewards. If your band doesn’t sell $x worth of tickets then your band doesn’t get to play the show. Lame.

This guy left the band and our booking agent completely in the dark about all these locals and what was going on. We didn’t have a clue of what was happening until we got to the venue the day of the show.

The bratty punk rock side of me wanted to tell everyone in the building to fuck off, leave and head up to Oakland for an extra day of drinking at Eli’s and being with close friends. But you can’t let folks down. It’s not their fault because of how one creep works. It’s not the other bands’ fault either; they just want to play with some bands they like or because they felt it would be a decent show to play and it could help them. It’s just one lazy ass behind a laptop scheming small bands to do his work, cover his costs and to put some coin in his pocket.

I was so pissed about what was going on that I kind of separated myself from the show for a while. Eventually, I chilled out and came back to check out an amazing set from a band called Witchhaven. One of the best newer thrash bands I’ve ever seen. Lots of fun with some great riffs. I’m definitely going to hunt down a recording of them when I get home from tour.

Black Tusk and 3 Inches sets were great too. I got to watch them from a killer wide screen TV set up in the dressing room. It was tight. I really like this venue. I just wish they got their shit straight promoter-wise. It’s such a shame.

Regardless of all of that, our set was so much fun. There we’re time when there was up to 10 people flipping out on stage at once. Hundreds of drunk smiling faces beating the crap out of each other. Lots of ladies kicking ass too. There we’re times where I had to stop singing because I was cracking up so hard at the sheer insanity of it all. I freaking love this town. I think L.A. might have the craziest Waste fans in the world. It’s great and they were really going for it tonight.

Afterwards we ended up doing our traditional after show hang out at the Rainbow Room and caught up with our pals in the Poor Kids Radio crew, Day by Day and a couple of old Richmond friends at the bar. It was a really, really good ending to a pretty stressful and long day. Oh, and I met Ron Jeremy.

** Visit and LIKE Municipal Waste on Spacebook.

** Municipal Waste’s split with Toxic Holocaust, the so-called Toxic Waste 12″, is out now on Tankcrimes. Order HERE or face the municipal holocaust, so to speak. Municipal Waste’s Fatal Feast is out on Nuclear Blast. It’s available HERE, and unless you wanna end up like a C.H.U.D., you’ll click the link.
Sick

The Lazarus Pit: Roachpowder’s Viejo Diablo

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, lazarus pit, listen On: Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Screaming skulls

Welcome to The Lazarus Pit, a biweekly look at should-be classic metal records that don’t get nearly enough love; stuff that’s essential listening that you’ve probably never heard of; stuff that we’re too lazy to track down the band members to do a Hall Of Fame for.  This week’s joint proves the superiority of crossbred strains, although you probably shouldn’t smoke anything called Roachpowder.  Anyway, this is their debut, Viejo Diablo (The Music Cartel).

In the mid-to-late 90s, there was a small but enthusiastic movement in Sweden of American stoner rock revivalists.  Spiritual Beggars, We, and Roachpowder faithfully re-created the sounds of Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and Down.  Much like the British blues acts of the 60s, hearing this style re-created by people with no connection to the geographical or historical context of the originals is a little weird, but at least weed and boredom is a universal constant.

Half Swedish, half South American, with a sound rooted in the desert by way of New Orleans, Roachpowder formed from the residue of Skintrade, an alternative metal act whose previous album had been called, you guessed it, Roach Powder.  When they realized that alternative metal basically sucked, three quarters of the band split off, grabbed guitarist George Bravo’s brother on vocals (probably because he did amazing Phil Anselmo and Dave Wyndorf impressions), and mutated into a sludgy stoner metal group.  Probably not the best path to fame and fortune in 1997, but hot damn, these guys got it right.

It’s not that they’re particularly innovative.  Hell, it’s not like this is a subgenre that embraces innovation.  Instead, they just slam home the sludge.  “Get out of My Way” could be an outtake from Nola (I’ve certainly mistaken it for one in the past), starting off a lysergic surge and a hearty “GOD DAMN.”  ”Galactic Blues” launches with the sound of a 1969 Barracuda launching into space before following a somewhat wobbling path through the lava lamp quadrant.  “Black Stone” takes a ride down the spine of God, “Cosmic Emperor” takes a crowbar to the dopethrone, and “New Orleans” pays homage to a town none of them have probably ever visited.  “Demon Bitch” is pretty self-explanatory, and then they close with an incorrect reference to a drink from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

After this, they swapped out their bassist for a dude from Entombed (who were pursuing a similar direction at that point anyway) and put out one more release, 2001′s Atomic Church.  And that seems to be it for them – Skintrade recently reunited, so looks like they’re giving that another go.  If Down couldn’t even make it big, these guys sure weren’t going to, but they might have had a little more luck if they had come from the south (or New Jersey, or Southern California, or really anywhere but Sweden).  As it is, they’re still wandering the cosmos, with a document of their journey left behind on earth for those adventurous enough to uncover it.

Buy it here!