"The future of music."
"Not only is their music as mercilessly murderous as you'd want it to be, but their incorporation of elements from action films in brilliant."
"[Graf Orlock] has spent the last decade carving out its niche in the crowded Los Angeles heavy music scene by turning sound samples and dialogue from action movies such as ' and ' into blistering punk- and noise-fueled musical diatribes that leave listeners as dazed as moviegoers were the first time they saw those seminal flicks."
Graf Orlock announces new album Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1, coming December 7th on the band's own label, Vitriol Records.
Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1 is Graf Orlock's fourth full-length album, and eleventh release in all.
No band of the past decade embodies the spirit of DIY hardcore punk in a more creative or relentless way than Graf Orlock. Releasing music via their own label, touring to nearly every continent on earth without a booking agent (repeat trips to Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and beyond), and designing their own implausible artwork and packaging (one EP cover was riddled with real bulletholes and another folded out into the form of an actual-size boombox), the Los Angeles band is a self-made powerhouse that keeps on trucking, year after year.
At the core of all its output is one very specific vision: to create music inspired entirely by Hollywood's best and worst action movies. Fueled equally by a sincere love for cinema and by an utter disdain for the current state of the industry, Graf Orlock's vision is arguably a ridiculous one – guitarist Jason Schmidt himself has referred to the band's work as "basically moronic fan fiction" – yet Graf Orlock executes it with dead seriousness, pouring into it more creativity and dedication than most bands ever muster, going on fifteen years now.
On a perpetual quest to outdo themselves, the band presents its newest creation: Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1.
For this new album, Graf Orlock claim to have narrowed their focus exclusively to films released in 2017 – films referenced on the album are rumored to range from John Wick 2 to Blade Runner 2049. A statement printed inside Examination's layout describes it as "a testament to the rigor mortis of the vapid film industry... Inspired by a dearth of good 2017 films, Examination finds Graf Orlock in fine classic form; basing the entirety of this new release on twelve violent 2017 movies commingled with haphazard and bizarre ideas laid over pointlessly confrontational lyrical content. Contained therein is not only commentary on the weak and prosaic state of the last decades' endlessly recycled and not-nearly-violent-enough releases, but also the question of how one could even contemplate the creation of 'art' in a landscape so devoid of vision. If there will never again be the singularity of almost-politicism and almost-social commentary that was the beauty of 1987’s Predator, should we continue to push this same human-sized ball of celluloid and shit interminably up the same hill?"
Fittingly, Schmidt describes Examination's LP packaging as "a body bag containing a fully-sealed LP jacket with perforations in a triangle like an autopsied corpse... you have to rip open the perforations to get into the record and get it out."
Though the conceptual stuff might threaten to overshadow the music, Graf Orlock's music stands on its own: an instantly recognizable sound built on fragmented hardcore punk and bursts of thrash and grind, held together by lyrics that are in fact dialogue from films. Freedom is the name of the game: songs twist and turn, a mix of blastbeats, breakdowns, and sweet-ass riffs, unfolding without structure but designed for maximum impact, and administered in a raw fashion that is more in line with Black Flag's later recordings than with most modern-day perfectionism. "Visceral, life-affirming violence" is how the band likes to classify it.Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1 was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business in Greensboro, NC.
Graf Orlock will be touring throughout 2019.
In a world where we can rely on nothing, Graf Orlock stands as an absolute anomaly, a beacon of inspiration, following their own bizarre path with total commitment. With Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1, they have delivered the goods yet again and added another new act to their film. May it never end.
1) Back in the Ground
2) Alternate Route to Mexico
3) A Man Named Suicide
4) He Jumped Off a Roof
5) Steps to Eggroom
6) Dominant Species
7) Five Star General
8) Go Away (to Paradise)
9) Minimum Freedom
10) Extreme Measures
11) Rooftop Anarchy
12) Almost Human
Graf Orlock, 2018:
Jason Schmidt - guitar, vocals
Alan Hunter - drums
Karl Bournze - vocals
Bryce Hurlson - bass
Sany Solezi - live drummer
Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1 (Vitriol Records, 2018)
Crime Traveler (Vitriol Records, 2016)
Los Angeles EP (Vitriol Records, 2012)
Doombox EP (Vitriol Records, 2011)
Destination Time Today (Vitriol Records, 2009)
Destination Time Tomorrow EP (Level Plane Records, 2007)
Destination Time Yesterday (Level Plane Records, 2006)
Split w/ Greyskull (Dood Records, 2005)
Split w/ Hurry Up and Kill Yourself (Attrition Records, 2004)
Corpserate Greed EP (self-released, 2004)
Graf Orlock EP (self-released, 2004)
Photos by Alexis Acosta