Monday, December 18, 2017

Planet B + Dangerous Minds

"It’s an ominous, beautiful, creepy, and euphoric, and it was a massively depressing track to release as a single to begin with, but Planet B’s version is a lo-fi screamer that significantly ups the ante on the song’s bleakness, stripping it of its drug-high euphoria and leaving in its place a harrowing withdrawal."
-Dangerous Minds

Planet B has teamed up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner for the "Love Oakland" benefit compilation, covering Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again." Read a review of and listen to the cover, via Dangerous Minds, here.

The "Love Oakland" LP can be purchased here.

Love Oakland tracklist:
  1. Damaged Bug - Anchorite Showdown
  2. Planet B - Never Let Me Down Again
  3. Nopes - Shedding
  4. Naked Lights - Hyde
  5. Scraper - Lookin' for Pain
  6. HGS - Mopey Monster / Klown March
  7. Saba Lou - Love Letter Full of Promises
  8. New Faultlines - Mendocino
  9. Tony Molina - Fluff
  10. King Khan - The Mourning Song
  11. Silver Shadows - You Were Right (Part Time Punks Session)
  12. Jaime Paul Lamb - When I'm Gone

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

THE CHAIN: Best of 2017

Top 10 lists from The Chain and friends...

Justin Pearson (The Chain, Three One G, Retox, Dead Cross, Planet B, The Locust):
1) Panicker - s/t
2) Chelsea Wolfe (live at Belly Up in San Diego – specifically Fred Sablan's bass lines and tone)
3) Metz - Strange Peace
4) Organic gardening (City Farmers Nursery in San Diego)
5) The Festival of Dead Deer (live at Blonde in San Diego)
6) Micro-dosing (to rid of chronic migraines)
7) The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
8) Bastard Noise (live at Space in San Diego)
9) Uncle Grandpa: Odd-yssey (Cartoon Network)
10) Anal Trump - "If You Thought 6,000,000 Jews Was A Lot of People, You Should've Seen My Inauguration!" 5" EP 

Curran Reynolds (The Chain, Body Stuff):
1) TV Baby - Dignity Don't Dance
2) Code Orange - Forever
3) Martin Rev - Demolition 9
4) Jay-Z - 4:44
5) Analepsy - Atrocities from Beyond
6) Escape-ism - Introduction to Escape-ism
7) Succumb - s/t
8) Xiu Xiu - FORGET
9) Bhad Bhabie - "Hi Bich"
10) Quicksand - Interiors
Honorable mentions: Luis Fonsi, Collapsing Scenery, The Black Angels, Lecherous Gaze, Pyrrhon, Krallice, Uniform, Kelly Moran, and every band I worked with this year!

Brandon Gallagher (The Chain, Coarse):
1) Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
2) Death from Above 1979 - Outrage! is Now
3) All Pigs Must Die - Hostage Animal
4) SZA - Ctrl
5) Eisley - I'm Only Dreaming
6) At The Drive In - in-ter-al-li-a
7) Employed To Serve - The Warmth of A Dying Sun
8) Incendiary - Thousand Mile Stare
9) Glassjaw - material control
10) Orthodox - Sounds of Loss

Kelly Moran (composer, pianist):
1) Oneohtrix Point Never - Good Time (Official Motion Picture Soundtrack)
2) Krallice - Go Be Forgotten
3) Kara-Lis Coverdale - Grafts
4) Future - HNDRXX
5) Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid
6) Hauschka - What If?
8) Bjork - Utopia
9) Jhene Aiko - Trip
10) 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin - Without Warning

Geng (PTP):
In alphabetical order, and not including any releases from my own label:
1) Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper
2) GRID - s/t
3) Irreversible Entanglements - s/t
4) L'Rain - s/t
5) Lil Eto & V-Don Omerta: The Movie
6) Mach Hommy H.B.O. OR Dumpgawd: Hommy Edition
7) MIKE - May God Bless Your Hustle
8) Pharmakon - Contact
9) Phew - Light Sleeper
10) Roc Marciano - Rosebud's Revenge

Sonny Kay (Year Future, The VSS, Angelhair, GSL):
1) Tau Cross S/T - First album from a couple years back. Slept on this when it came out, not sleeping any more.
2) The Bug vs Earth "Concrete Desert" LP
3) Flowdan feat. Wiley "Original Ragamuffin" 12" - Flowdan's my favorite rapper, period, especially on Bug tracks. This isn't one, but still far above average.
4) Silent "A Century of Abuse" LP and live in Tijuana, March 2017 - Renewed my faith in shadowy post-punk. Ripping band and a great frontman.
5) Io/Echo TBA Sargent House album 
6) Tera Melos "Trash Generator" LP and live in Las Vegas, October 2017 
7) Psychic TV - Live at Psycho Fest Las Vegas. Haven't been moved by GPO for a long time, but this performance was incredible.
8) The Festival of Dead Deer Reunion show, Los Angeles, April 2017 - Who reforms 20 years later and are better than they were to begin with? These guys, apparently.
9) Thievery Corporation "The Temple of I & I" - Until Hash reforms Gogogo Airheart, I'll make do with this.
10) Echo & The Bunnymen "It's All Live Now" LP - 1985 bootleg officially released 32 years later. The last truly great thing they did.

Aaron Heard (Jesus Piece):
1) Tyler The Creator - Flower Boy 
2) A$AP Mob - Cozy Tapes Vol. 2
3) The Impalers - Cellar Dweller
4) King Krule - The Ooz
5) Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
6) Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
7) Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy 
8) Drake - More Life
9) Migos - Culture
10) Death of Lovers - The Acrobat 

Justina Villanueva (photographer):
1) Gnaw - Cutting Pieces
2) Downtown Boys - Cost of Living
3) Depeche Mode - Spirit
4) Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
5) Bestial Mouths - (Still) Heartless
6) Winter Severity Index - Katabasis
7) Björk - Utopia
8) Wax Idols - American Tragic (tape release)
9) Lorde - Melodrama
10) Jay-Z - 4:44

Matt McAuley (TV Baby):
1) Escape-ism - Introduction to Escape-ism
2) Alan Vega - IT
3) TV Baby - Dignity Don't Dance
4) Brian Hill and the Noh Stars -  s/t
5) Slam Section - demo
6) Telepathic Alliances (Daniel Carter, Patrick Holmes, Matthew Pullman, Hilliard Greene, Federico Ughi)
7) Endless Boogie - Vibe Killer
8) Krallice- Loüm
9) Tinariwen - Elwan
10) Princess Nokia - 1992 Deluxe

Andee Blacksugar (KMFDM, Black Sugar Transmission):
1) Living Colour - Shade
2) Marty Friedman - Wall of Sound
3) Dead Cross - s/t
4) Panic Scenery - Exalted Voidstate
5) Sharon Needles - BattleAxe
6) V/A - Rave or Die Vol 8
7) KMFDM - Hell Yeah
8) Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold
9) Loi Loi - Viva La Vulva
10) KXM - Scatterbrain

Jessica Pimentel (Orange Is the New Black, Alekhine's Gun, Brujeria):
1) Prayers - Baptism Of Theives
2) V▲LH▲LL - Stendhal
3) seven)suns - For The Hearts Still Beating 
4) Juanes - Mis Planes Son Amarte
5) Igorrr - Savage Sinusoid
6) Nytt Land - Fimbulvinter
7) Sorne - House Of Stone: Death V
8) Depeche Mode - Spirit
9) Fever Ray - Plunge
10) Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
11) 3TEETH - Shutdown.exe

Doug Moore (Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores, Seputus):
1) Krallice - Loüm / Go Be Forgotten / Prelapsarian
2) Cleric - Retrocausal
3) Succumb - s/t
4) Verge - The Process Of Self-Becoming
5) Hell - Hell
6) Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained
7) Artificial Brain - Infrared Horizon
8) Couch Slut - Contempt
9) Ingurgitating Oblivion - Visions Wallow In Symphonies Of Light
10) Dodecahedron - Kwintessens

Ava Farber (Netherlands):
1) Brian Charette - Kürrent
2) Tyler, the Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy
3) GWAR - The Blood of Gods
4) Jay Z - 4:44
5) Dälek - Endangered Philosophies
6) Spotlights - Seismic
7) Kendrick Lamar - Damn
8) The Necks - Unfold
9) Fever Ray - Plunge
10) Melvins - A Walk with Love and Death

Jose Palafox (Swing Kids, Struggle, Bread and Circuits, Yaphet Kotto):
1) Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (Dir. John Scheinfeld)
2) I Called Him Morgan (Dir. Casper Collin)
3) Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 (Dir. John Ridley)
4) Heroin(e) (Dir. Elaine McMillion Sheldon)
5) Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing et al., Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene 
6) Peter Cryle and Elizabeth Stephens, Normality: A Critical Genealogy
7) Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin, eds., Futures of Black Radicalism
8) John Merriman, Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree That Gripped Belle Epoque Paris 
9) John Merriman, Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree That Gripped Belle Epoque Paris
10) Kimberly Mair, Guerrilla Aesthetics: Art, Memory, and the West German Urban Guerrilla

Kyle Rasmussen (Vitriol):
1) Death Like Mass - Jak zabija diabel
2) Sinister - Syncretism
3) Suffering Hour - In Passing Ascension
4) Immolation - Atonement
5) Ascended Dead - Abhorrent Manifestation
6) The Ominous Circle - Appalling Ascension
7) Daemusinem - Thy Ungodly Defiance
8) Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained
9) Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper
10) Biesy - Noc lekkich obyczajow
Honorable mention: Cenotaph - Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions

Tommy Cantwell (Axis, Gouge Away):
1) Power Trip - Nightmare Logic 
2) Paramore - After Laughter 
3) Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
4) Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy
5) Lorde - Melodrama
6) Land of Talk - Life After Youth 
7) Code Orange - Forever
8) Open City - s/t
9) SZA - Ctrl
10) Converge - The Dusk In Us
Honorable mentions: The National - Sleep Well Beast, Hound - Born Under 76, Unsane - Sterilized

Matthew Taylor (Monotrope, Bellini):
1) Anjou - Epithymía 
2) Big Brave - Ardor 
3) Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest
4) Juana Molina – Halo
5) Institute - Subordination
6) Loincloth - Psalm of the Morbid Whore
7) The Poison Arrows - No Known Note 
8) Pontiak - Dialectic of Ignorance 
9) SAVAK - Cut-Ups 
10) Yowie - Synchromysticism
11) The New Year - Snow

Adam Gnade (author): 
1) Goin' linear here. "Top Ten Things that Happened When I was Back Home in San Diego During My Second 2017 Tour." I live on a farm in the rural Midwest these days and San Diego feels like it's a million light years away. So, that aside, choice #1 is standing at the shoreline of the beach neighborhood I grew up in for the first time in years with the huge, stormy Pacific Ocean booming out in front of me; feeling the heaviness and immensity of life and history and the coming future. Some Thomas Wolfe shit. Ah.
2) Day later I did a book reading at SD Zine Fest with a full room and nice people who asked thoughtful questions during the Q&A. Got interviewed by the SDSU newspaper afterward.
3) Same day as above: tabled with Justin and Becky, who were running the Three One G table. We were sat next to the legendary Alice Bag, who absolutely rules and has great hair. Drank the SHIT out of some Guayaki Yerba Mate. For this year's event, I was an "invited guest" or something so there was endless free cans of it all weekend. Yes and yes. This is how you win my heart. I didn't sleep for three days.
4) The next day I went on 91X radio to promote that night's show at Space Bar and felt very welcomed by the good Tim Pyles.
5) Couple hours later I played with Silent and Planet B and they killed. Silent's record, A Century of Abuse, is essential. When you get mad at certain shitmouthed dictators, throw that one on. Lookin' forward to that new Planet B, especially the Kool Keith collaboration. Hope the Depeche Mode cover makes it on there.
6) Was on the Cult and Culture podcast the day after the show which was really fun. We talked about Fahrenheit San Diego, the history of the so-called "Locust House," weird local music, my vicious hatred for spoken word, the Che Cafe... went deep on all fronts.
7) Verbatim Books right after the podcast recording session. Excellent shop, wonderful humans. Signed some books. Picked up some Proost, Gertrude Stein, Pasternak's Poems of Dr. Zhivaho, and a James Baldwin novel.
8) After stopping at Verbatim: Walking around in the sun in North Park. Felt like a proper homecoming. It was like Spiderman Homecoming only with me instead of Spiderman and burritos instead of Aunt May.
9) After that, went down to Barrio Logan and made a new record with my great friend Demetrius Francisco Antuña on the same block as a warehouse my family rented in the late 1970s. Easy takes. End-of-world drones. Bastard Noise vibes. New emperor blues. Whiskey flowing. Record announcement forthcoming.
10) San Diego Mexican food post-recording session in the after-afterhours. Yes. Etc. Yes. Sleepy drive back to Golden Hill. Then goodnight, San Diego, I love you always.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

DEAD EMPIRES - Designed to Disappear

Silent Pendulum Records announces the February 23rd, 2018 release of Dead Empires' new album, Designed to Disappear.

Known as an instrumental band, Dead Empires deal in a heavy-rocking brand of metal that veers toward the exuberant. On Designed to Disappear, they debut new vocalist and knob-twiddler Jason Sherman of prog-death freaks Torrential Downpour; Sherman adds a whole new layer of darkness and danger to the sound, via his wide range of voices and his palette of electronics/noise.

Metal Injection has premiered the video for the song "Slay Rider" from Designed to Disappear – it's a charging, soaring jam, laced with extreme-metal darkness. Watch, here:

Designed to Disappear was recorded and mixed by Scot Moriarty at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, New Jersey. It was mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Mastodon, Every Time I Die). The album radiates color and texture: Sherman's vocals jump from deathly growls to soulful clean vocals; guitarist John Bryan's fingers bleed rock n' roll twang as well as metal shred; bassist DJ Scully (also a member of The Number Twelve Looks Like You and Black Table) commands with a massive, distorted tone; drummer Phil Bartsch blasts and grooves seamlessly.

Founded in the Hudson Valley of New York in 2009, Dead Empires began with 2010's Monuments EP and followed it up with Waiting in Waves (2012) and Secret Snakes/Silent Serpent (2015). Third full-length Designed to Disappear sees the band reinvented with the arrival of new frontman Sherman, and is a must for fans of Mastodon's rock majesty as well as The Dillinger Escape Plan's radical gear-shifting.

The album art was created by Revolution Dream Design.

1) Spectacular Ruin
2) The Form
3) Slay Rider
4) Reverse Speak
5) A Summertime Song
6) Ones and Zeros
7) Ergot
8) Designed to Disappear

Jason Sherman - vocals, keys, noises
John Bryan - guitar
DJ Scully - bass
Phil Bartsch - drums

John Carbone (Moon Tooth) - spoken words on "Ergot"
Jason Volpe (Torrential Downpour) - piano on "Reverse Speak"

Photo by Joseph Pelosi

Friday, December 8, 2017

Out today: CLERIC - Retrocausal

Cleric's new album Retrocausal is out today on Web of Mimicry Records.

"Total, blissful sensory overload. Like staring into the sun... for your ears."


"A jazz-spiked dispatch from the Philly underground that's one of the sickest avant-garde metal albums we've seen all year."


"If you like violent music rife with surprises, this should be your new favorite nightmare."


"Sprawling avant-garde metal masterpiece... Cleric is one of the most unique and brilliant modern metal bands around... One of the most insane and epic metal albums I've ever heard."

–Metal Injection

"A dense cacophony of death/grind with the incredible stamina of doom and, stunningly, all the same Web of Mimicry freakery exhibited by the label’s other fare, but drenched in the raging napalm fires of the heaviest guitar music ever made..." 

"Blending the chaos of mathcore's playful time-signature and tempo number games, with metal's brutality and a jazz-like sense of adventure and wonder, Cleric throw all expectations out the window."

–Invisible Oranges

"For those of us who like our metal adventurous, unorthodox, and breathtakingly ambitious, Cleric deliver heaven in metallic audio form on Retrocausal."

–No Clean Singing

"Massively dense soundscapes... Cleric and Retrocausal are as exciting as any music that came out in 2017. Five full listens in and I'm no closer to parsing all the intricacies the album offers."

–Nine Circles

"Free-form jazz in the middle of a death metal circle pit; noise mangled into a singular vision that feels ten years ahead of its time."

–Heavy Music HQ

"An esoteric masterwork of technical proficiency, skillfully free-form-sounding performances, and songwriting that walks the razor's edge between random noise and true art. I normally don't go in for releases that go this far into pure pandemonium, but damned if Cleric haven't taken me to the very edge of the abyss without allowing me to fall. MUST LISTEN."
–Metal Trenches

Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Love Oakland" benefit comp + Culture Creature

Artwork by John Felix Arnold III

“I wanted Love Oakland to be really special. The community in Oakland welcomed me when I moved there and I wanted to give back. One of the first people I met when I moved to Oakland was Ara Jo; she passed in the fire. I was able to get a recording of her band HGS and get it onto the record. Being able to do that made me really happy. … Without the help of so many people there is no way this record would have happened.”
-Ed Taylor, Loose Grip Records owner

In light of the one year anniversary of the Ghost Ship Fire tragedy, we are focusing on the “Love Oakland” benefit LP- a compilation of twelve songs dedicated to the 36 people that lost their lives in the Ghost Ship Fire of Oakland, CA on December 2nd, 2016.

Read a brief summary of the benefit, as well as stream the tracks, via Culture Creature, here.

Love Oakland tracklist:
  1. Damaged Bug - Anchorite Showdown
  2. Planet B - Never Let Me Down Again
  3. Nopes - Shedding
  4. Naked Lights - Hyde
  5. Scraper - Lookin' for Pain
  6. HGS - Mopey Monster / Klown March
  7. Saba Lou - Love Letter Full of Promises
  8. New Faultlines - Mendocino
  9. Tony Molina - Fluff
  10. King Khan - The Mourning Song
  11. Silver Shadows - You Were Right (Part Time Punks Session)
  12. Jaime Paul Lamb - When I'm Gone