Encrotchment With Eddie Gobbo From Jar’d Loose: Weeks 12 & 13

By: Eddie Gobbo Posted in: encrotchment, featured, nfl 2014 On: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

chriseddie

Black Hole Son

Two weeks ago, I watched a game that captivated me like few have this season. It was a match between the then 7-3 Kansas City Chiefs (who are riding what I believe will be a massive tailspin) and the 0-10 Oakland Raiders. The Raiders had nothing to play for but their fans. As usual, said fans showed up in droves to support the team they love. The result was a team with nothing to play for willing a win over a team that had everything to play for, in prime time, no less.

When asked about the win after the game, quarterback David Carr said simply, “ I just can’t wait to get back [to the locker room] and see my teammates smile.” Veteran safety, champion, leader and future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson said in his postgame interview, “I needed this win like I needed to breathe.” Losing sucks. But one thing’s for damn sure: Habitually losing really sucks.

This week, it was back to normal for the Raiders, getting fucking LEVELED by the St. Louis rams 52-0. Seriously, how do you lose 52-0? That means literally you lost every play in the game. Also, it’s not like they got blown out by Green Bay or New England. It was the Rams. Jesus Christ, Raiders.

In order to get some perspective, I spoke to Early Graves guitarist — and diehard Raiders fan — Chris Brock about his take on the current Raiders, as well as what it is like to Raid in the US of A. It seems like forever ago, but the Raiders had a great team in the early 2000s, and then seemingly overnight, that teamed vanished. Brock recalls the moment of the sea change:

“The Tuck Rule Game changed everything [2001 AFC Division playoff game, New England Patriots/Oakland Raiders]. It dismantled the team and left Al Davis with little time left to live and [accomplish] the goal of winning another Super Bowl. He was a penny rich and dollar short with every draft pick and free agent signing from then on.”

Al Davis passed away in 2011, and his son Mark Davis took over as owner. I think it’s pretty easy to see that Mark isn’t as accepted as his father was by the Oakland fan base. Brock agrees, and thinks a change in ownership might put the team back on track:

“His son isn’t a great owner. He doesn’t know the game of football like Al did. They need to sell the team to an owner who doesn’t have a bowl cut, hire a GM that knows what he is doing, and hope they get lucky.”

I LOVE first round draft pick Khalil Mack. I think he will be the face of the Raiders D for many years. However, besides Mack, I can’t see anything the Raiders have to offer but a bunch of question marks. Starting with rookie QB David Carr. I’m not sold on Carr, and neither is Brock, but I think we both agree that it may be out of context to analysis his skill set on this current team.

“I think he is going to be a solid player, but how can you possibly judge a quarterback when there is no running game to speak of? MJD and McFadden are so abysmal that Carr has to throw the ball way more than he should. They are always playing from behind. The other teams they play know that a throw is coming. He has proven to be a very tough player and resilient, but I guess I still am left wondering what season two will have in store for him. I think it’s too early be sold on or to give up.”

Now as far as next season for the Raiders, they frankly don’t know who the hell is going to be leading their team on the field. Coach Dennis Allen was fired four games into the season this year. He was replaced by assistant coach Tony Sparano. Even if he’s able to get a few more wins this season, I think everyone will collectively agree that Sparano’s done with the team after this season. Brock argues that his coaching style is not NFL-caliber, and it’s time to get a fresh guy in the mix who might be on the outs with his team at season’s end, as well. Then there’s the Jim Harbaugh rumblings. In four weeks, when the San Francisco 49ers don’t make the playoffs, the Niners organization will turn on their acclaimed coach, and he them. They will take a first-round draft pick for their head coach. The Raiders, a team that lacks direction in all aspects, would be a legit landing spot for Harbaugh. The Raiders would give him the keys to the low-rider, without hesitation. Brock would approve.

“I don’t trust anyone who runs a gimmick offense — the wild cat, the read option — like Sparano does. I would love to see Jim Harbaugh end up in Oakland. I don’t really remember anything about his tenure here in Oakland when he was a QB coach or assistant or whatever he was, but seeing how he turned around the 49ers is crazy.”

A new coach can turn a team on and off like a light switch. I look at the mess that was the Arizona Cardinals a few years ago before Bruce Arians came in to the mix and made them a juggernaut.

I love Early Graves. Best Bay Area band to come out California since Ugly Kid Joe (who actually were from Isla Vista, but wore backwards caps). Check them out here!

http://youtu.be/6Tff38z80mA

L.A. Bowl?

I mentioned the Rams/Raiders game this past Sunday. I read this interesting article this week where Boomer Esiason said that he is certain that both the Raiders and Rams are headed back to L.A. Both teams’ leases are up and L.A. wants football in the new stadium they’re erecting. They want their erection to not go to waste. We know how frustrating that can be. I believe the Raiders relocating would be okay. Why the Rams, though? It seems like overkill. The Oakland fan base would travel over with the Raiders moving to Los Angeles. The St. Louis fans would not move over. Who in L.A. would jump on the Rams bandwagon after a 20-year absence?

K.C. Masturbate

You want to hear a statistic that you won’t believe? A Kansas City Chiefs  (7-5) wide receiver has not caught a touchdown all season (13 weeks). Seriously. I’m not making this up.

Mike Check

Good for Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine, who yesterday announced that he will be sticking with Brian Hoyer (for now) as QB over Johnny Manziel. Here’s what sucks, though: Manziel can actually use the experience. Manziel, no doubt, will win the starting job this offseason and be the Browns starting QB next season. If Manziel got the reins now, it’d be a trial by fire that would season him for an inevitable push for a AFC North division championship next year. Regardless of what happens this week, Hoyer either pulls down the win, or he gets benched for Manziel next week. Tall order for Hoyer. But with playoff pictures already shaping up, the Indianapolis Colts seem to have less and less to play for every week. I like the Browns A LOT this week.

If You’re 555, I’m 666

I will tell you one thing about the month of December in the NFL: sixes are wild. All these teams are fighting over the last playoff spot in their conference, and it will all come down to the last week of the season to decide. Two bold predictions:

1) the Arizona Cardinals, currently positioned as the #1 seed in the NFC, will be the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC. Their next four weeks are Chiefs, @Rams, Seahawks, and @Frisco. They will lose three of those games. The Seahawks will win the NFC West in the last week, setting up a much-needed first round bye for the Eagles, and the Cardinals going on the road to try and upset Seattle.

2) the Pistburgh Stillers will lock up the sixth seed in the AFC UNLESS Baltimore beats the Fins on the road this weekend, in which case Baltimore gets it. Pitt plays Cincinnati twice in the next four weeks, which they will split. Their two other games are @Atlanta and vs. KC. They essentially control their own destiny. I am certain the Miami Dolphins will split their last four games (Baltimore, @New England, Vikings, Jets), which will mean they will more than likely fuck off and lose a winnable game, and not deserve a playoff birth.

As far as those five seeds go, the Chargers and Lions are locks. The Chargers have an unbelievably hard last four weeks, but Philip Rivers owns December. They will at least split December, which will more than likely have them a game ahead of all six seeds, or winning tiebreakers against said six seeds. In the NFC, the Cowboys will look back to November 2, 2014 as their demise: The day they lost the (would be) tiebreaker to the Arizona Cardinals, which at the time no one would fathom to be a tiebreaker.

My Michelle

And finally this week, I’d like to address something that NBC is doing right now under our nose that will actually lead to something pretty revolutionary: they are slowly introducing us to their future play-by-play commentator for Sunday Night Football once Al Michaels (70) leaves. The revolutionary part: It happens to be a woman, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya. I’ve noticed them going to her for random comments approximately every eight minutes, which is a hell of a lot. If you’re not familiar with Michele, check out this clip.

The problem is every comment she has during SNF is horrible and nonsensical. It’s shit like, “Jonas Gray ate a bunch of Kix cereal this morning, hence him out of nowhere having four touchdowns in this game.” Just really bad comments that make her look like a total fool or someone who picks winners based on jersey color. I don’t blame her. I blame the producers feeding her the lines. We are subconsciously learning not to trust her opinion when, in actuality, she’s a beast when it comes to football knowledge.

This is why the NBA will be the most sexually progressive of the Big Four sports in the next decade. Not only will Spurs assistant head coach Becky Hammon eventually be the first female head coach of a major male sport, I believe that the lead voice of the NBA will eventually be female sideline commentator, and occasional color commentator, Doris Burke. If you haven’t seen Burke’s commentary work, she’s amazing. Burke and Tafoya just happen to be the same age (49). The difference between the two is that the NBA feeds Burke legit stats and topics to address when she gets mic time, not BS like the NFL feeds Tofoya. Either way, Tafoya has my stamp of approval. She’s great.

Also, I’d like to take this time to apologize to all my Facebook friends who read my post recently about me wanting to have a threesome with Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong. I was joking. I don’t even watch SNL.

Happy holidays, everyone.

Pick of the Week

Cleve +4.5 at Indy

Fight Amp Studio Report, Part III

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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By Mike McGinnis

The point of no return. It’s not always the easiest concept to absorb. But approaching that point during the production of a record is both frightening and cathartic. After about a year of writing and almost half a year of demoing and recording eight new songs, we’re now approaching that point.

We left off last time with Fight Amp directly in the midst of vocal tracking, and a session that left us frustrated and spent. Well, as predicted, upon return to the studio we had exactly what we needed dialed in and belted out the remainder of these songs with relative ease.

We incorporated more of a new approach and sound vocally than ever before, adding a pinch more melody and harmony than on previous records. With the help of our engineer and co-producer Steve Poponi, we finished vocals with something that far exceeds any previous record we’ve recorded.

fightamp2_noiserock_decibel_2014

Now it was time to open another can of worms; mixing. We spent another week or so clearing our ears and then got to it. After some house-keeping type edits we spent a little time working with one song to get an overall tone that we could use on the rest of the tracks. The guitars and bass are always recorded extremely close to how we want them to sound in the end, so very little changed on that end. We spent most of this time on the drums, tweaking the EQ here and there to get get exactly what we wanted. We referenced two of our records for comparison quite a bit, Hungry For Nothing and Birth Control. We were basically searching for something that sits somewhere in between those two drum sounds, and we nailed it. After some vocal EQ-ing and tweaks, we used that general mix to get all of the songs close to where they should be. And that’s rough mix number one.

Mixing is a tricky process. Very stop and go. We spent another week off listening to the first mix and taking notes, then returned to the studio to spend the day going over both the general mix and specific parts. Bass drum up, cymbals too bright, etc etc.

I won’t bore you with too many more details on this end, but after about 6 more hours and going over each song with a fine tooth comb, we had rough mix #2.

fightamp3_noiserock_decibel_2014

Another stop. Another go. Vocals up, vocals down, vocals up, guitar down, guitar up…

When your notes start to go back and forth multiple times, it means you’re finished and it stops being a matter of what’s “better” and simply a matter of taste.

We scheduled one final session with Steve Poponi, listened to the record in it’s entirety, made a few last minute volume tweaks and called it a day with our ritual of celebratory malt liquor. Two days later we approved the final mix.

And now here we sit with a finished product waiting for the first master. Beyond the point of no return. Our job is basically done, and now we begin a whole new process working towards a record release and getting our live show back in order to support the hell out of a record that we put a ton of energy into. There’s something about this record that we’ve never captured before. Fucking energy. All killer, no filler. We can’t wait to show it to you.

** See Fight Amp Studio Report I (HERE)

** See Fight Amp Studio Report II (HERE)

** Fight Amp’s new album is out Spring 2015 on Brutal Panda Records. Keep your limbs peeled for pre-orders and other cool announcements.

CONTEST: Axegressor CDs

By: zach.smith Posted in: contest, featured On: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

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Axegressor hails from Finland, home of Decibel HOFers like Amorphis and Skepticism. As you can tell from the video below for “Command to Last”, even though the quartet might sound nothing like those fellow countrymen–it’s more thrash than anything else–like most Fins we’ve encountered in our worldly travels, the band seems to know how to have fun.

Since the group’s hometown of Turku is set to average under an hour of sunlight this month, the folks at Listenable decided they’d try and bring back some summertime memories, like when Axegressor’s third LP Last dropped in June, by giving away one copy of said CD to two lucky winners. Check out the details on how to enter after watching the video.

Entry rules: simply send in your response to the following question here by 5pm EST on Monday, December 8th and we’ll pick two winners:

Name two bands other than Axegressor that appear (on a shirt or otherwise) in the video

While you’re at it, pick up a copy of Last from Listenable here.

Album Stream and Giveaway: Murder Junkies

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: contest, featured, free, listen On: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

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Old outlaw scumfucs never die. Actually, the virtuous go first and the bad people continue along in almost cockroach fashion. They’re unkillable.

Case in point: Merle Allin, brother of the legendary musical outlaw GG. You might hate GG but you certainly know about him. Not only did Merle survive life with one of the craziest people to ever walk planet Earth he also survived life in his backing band Murder Junkies. And now, almost inconceivably, Murder Junkies are back with a platter of PC-bashing insanity as we close 2014.

To celebrate this, we’re teaming with our friends at MVD for a full stream of Killing For Christ Sakes, which many will loathe and a few will love.

We’re also giving away a Murder Junkies prize pack. To be considered: write a poem about Murder Junkies in haiku format. A haiku is a three-line poem written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Entries must be received by December 10.

The winner will receive:
–One Killing For Christ Sakes LP
–One G.G. Allin Hated picture disc, limited to 1,000 copies

Enter your haiku below and stream the new album for some inspiration.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Pord’s “I’m Swimming Home”

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured, videos On: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

pord

One album that has snuck in under everyone’s radar this fall has been Wild, the second album by French noise trio Pord. A rambunctious hybrid of modern noise, vintage AmRep skronk, and good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, it’s a clever, incessantly catchy record that’s sure to appeal to anyone who enjoys Decibel faves Wizard Rifle.

Fortunately, for those who might have missed out on Wild‘s release back in September, they’ve teamed up with filmmakers Vincent Lacan and Aurélien Foisse on the brand new video for “I’m Swimming Home”, which strangely enough, features clips from the 1968 film The Swimmer. So if you’re into a killer combination of “Let There Be Rock” energy and classic noise atonality or just have a craving for a shirtless Burt Lancaster, then you’re in luck. Or if you’ve got a hankering for both noise rock and a shirtless Burt Lancaster, well, you’re really in luck. Either way, it’s a fun clip from a very enjoyable album. Watch the video below, and be sure to check out Pord’s new album Wild at Solar Flare’s Bandcamp page.

STREAMING: Twingiant’s “Devil Down”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Twingiant

Holy shit, someone actually did a play on Van Halen’s most underwhelming (DLR-era) album. Don’t expect anything off of Devil Down to sound like “Dancing in the Streets,” however. Twingiant prefer their guitars low and slow, eschewing fancy musicianship for heavy grooves and psychedelic effects pedals. This is southern-fried stoner doom at its finest, and we have the whole thing for you right here.

***Devil Down comes out today on vinyl via Medusa Crush. You can order the LP or download it here.

Primitive Man/Fister Split Stream

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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So, last week, we debuted the self-produced video for Fister’s “Life is Short, Life is Shit, Soon it Will Be Over.” That was done here. That was done in the lead-up to the split release with Denver’s Primitive Man which is out now via friends of Decibel, A389 Recordings. Primitive Man “deliver three savage new tracks, while Fister is on the flipside with two tracks of pure extended-release sonic misery,” A389′s Bandcamp page is quoted as saying. Below is a stream of the record with a link to said Bandcamp page, and below that links to various A389 online portals where you can presumably order one of these puppies for your miserable self. Enjoy, and remember to slice length-wise, not across.

A389 Webpage
A389 Facebook

The Strange Case(s) of Decibel v. No Echo

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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So, No Echo is hands down one of the most eclectic, interesting music culture websites out there these days and over the course of past year its erudite, seasoned proprietors — former Noisecreep editor Carlos Ramirez and Andrew Aversion — have been kind enough to invite a few Decibel writers to contribute.

Here is what transpired…

Managing Editor Andrew Bonazelli wrote a sublime ode to Faith No More’s best, most consistent non-Chuck Mosley record, The Real Thing

I vividly remember sitting in the backseat of the family Astro van with my older sister after church, crossing my eyes and going, “THE PAIN THE TORMENT THE TORTURE PROFANITY NAUSEA SUFFERING PERVERSION CALAMITY… YOU… CAN’T… GET AWAY.” My mom was like, “Andrew, stop it,” so I did. Temporarily.

The great Jeanne Fury predictably slayed her essay on the Lunachick’s Jerk of All Trades

This band understood anger and resentment, but they also reveled in absurdity—and they rocked so friggin’ hard. I paid the cashier, took home this crown jewel, and played that damn album ’til every bark, belch, and bellow was absorbed into my being. Somehow, the Lunachicks made me feel less defective as a young woman. To this day—almost 20 years later—Jerk of All Trades makes me laugh so hard I sound like a hammered donkey, AND it makes me want to fuck shit up, AND it makes me feel a thousand feet tall. From now ’til whenever, no matter what band crosses my path, the Lunachicks will forever be worst-er.

J. Bennett’s out-of-left-field, fascinating deep-dive into Life, Sex, & Death’s The Silent Majority is one of the best bits of music journalism you’ll read this year…

Musk Ox: Video Premiere Part 2

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, tv, videos On: Monday, December 1st, 2014

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Right before people started pulling up their carts to head home for Thanksgiving we premiered the first making of video from the Canadian neofolk project Musk Ox, the perfect accompaniment to the time of the year when the days get shorter and much colder. In case you missed it you can check it out here.

Now that you’re back at your desks at work and ten pounds heavier we’re concluding the video premieres with an installment on guitars in the band’s new album Woodfall below. Check it out and let us know what you think.

New Swedish Black Metal From Bhleg

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, December 1st, 2014

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I would give all the skin from my left armpit to hear a DJ at the local 80s/90s soft rock station –which right now is exactly one week deep in their Christmas All The Time holiday barfaganza – say, “Weather and traffic coming up, but first, here’s new music you’ll love from Bhleg!”  I don’t even care which song gets queued up after that; just the announcement itself would be preposterous enough to make me proud.

Given the opportunity to listen to a band called Bhleg, most people would elect not to.  In fact, the choice between listening to a band called Bhleg and feeding a beloved family member to crocodiles would at least cause the average workaday American to hesitate before deciding.  At Decibel, we have already listened to Bhleg, and even so, we saw no reason to let the crocs go hungry.  (Sorry, Uncle Gary, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.)  And we’re offering you the same choice, though sadly we couldn’t send any toothy reptiles your way.

Bhleg are a Swedish duo (with a session drummer for recording purposes) who play music that dances on the fulcrum between savage black metal and misty forest atmospheres.  Today they release their first album through Nordvis, the label who has recently brought us material from Lustre, Skogen, and Stilla (if none of these names ring a bell, find crocodile, insert head).  Stream the full album below, and read about the band’s origins and dreams in our interview.

Welcome to December.  Don’t forget to brush.

Who are Bhleg? What kinds of backgrounds, musical or non-musical, do the members have?

We are two individuals from Ale, a suburb north of Gothenburg. We have been writing together since 2007, the same year we got to know each other. Neither of us had any earlier experience of writing music before that.  The way I learned to play instruments was through expressing myself and write music. Neither of us are any good at the theoretical parts of music or music in general to be blunt.

What were your inspirations to start this project and play this particular type of music?

Our first thought was initially to be able to express ourselves together once again. Because there had been a couple of years when we didn’t write music together.  We really didn’t have any expectations or hopes that we’d sound in a special way. But it felt very natural to express ourselves through metal, because that is something we have been very passionate about since we first met when we were both 13 years old.  Metal is a very forgiving genre when it comes to the creation of abstract and atmospherical music.  We gather our inspiration from the great mystery called life. The great megin within all that lives and dies, the sun and the moon, the stars and the great space in-between them.

 I find it interesting that the album starts out being very obviously metal, but the next couple tracks back away from that aggression quickly. What role does this play in you intent and pacing of the album?

I didn’t really think of that when the album was being created.  I just wrote the songs, and placed them in the same order they had been made.

What does the album title mean to you in the context of your music?

Draumr Ást, To fall in love with the dreams. We want the listener to be able to dream themselves away amongst the tones, and hopefully feel the timelessness of which the album was inspired of and maybe fall into a different state of mind.  We do not claim to be able to speak Old Norse, nor to be correct in the small parts where we are using it.  The reason why we won’t release any of the lyrics is that we don’t want to chain your mind to the ‘meaning’ of the lyrics. We want you to be the interpreters. We want those who hear it to be able to reflect their own emotions and lives into the music.  Of course there is an inner meaning for us in all of the songs, but that we will keep it to ourselves.

Bhleginternal

How long did it take to write/record Draumr Ast? Was this an easy, natural process or were there any difficulties along the way?

It took us about 3 months to write the instrumental part of the album. And another 1-2 months to write the lyrics.  The writing process came very natural. Although the mixing and mastering of the album was a bit tricky.  At first we recorded the whole album with another drummer, but we weren’t satisfied with the results.  So after a while we came to the conclusion that we wanted to record it all over again. This time with a different drummer.  The first drummer Vidar had been rehearsing the album with us since we started rehearsing. He played on our rehearsal demo which was actually recorded on our first ever rehearsal. So he already knew all of the songs.  Whilst Robert hadn’t heard a single thing from our album. But he didn’t have any problems what so ever. And it all turned out very well!  Our last recording session was this fall, when we recorded two guest artist on our title track.  The mixing of the album was a long and outspread process. We didn’t even work on the album for a few whole months. But we managed to finish it this summer.

What is your opinion of the final results on the album, compared to your original ideas?

We actually didn’t have any clue or thoughts of how we would sound. To us, the most important thing is the atmosphere and the emotions you might feel whilst listening to the music. I think we have managed to capture the feelings that I felt while I was writing the songs.  The sound can always be discussed, changed, improved and so on. But as long as the music carries the emotions to the listeners, I don’t really care about the ‘sound’ of the music.

Does Bhleg play live?

No we don’t. Considering that there are only two of us, it never felt really natural. Although Bhleg is still a very young band, and we know of a lot of interesting musicians that we’d like to work with.  Only time will reveal where Bhleg is headed.  Thanks for the interview.  Árs ok fridr!

Check out more Bhleg news at their Facebook page, and more Nordvis releases at their official website and Bandcamp site.