In this edition of Freak Scene, we are getting knee deep in masculinity…sort of.
In terms of “crossover” (meaning: they appeal to real hardcore fans and to, you know, “hardcore fans”) hardcore groups, every one loves Sex Vid and Total Abuse (and I do too). However, right now Cult Ritual is hitting the spot with their darker, more acerbic (and fucked up) take on hardcore. Lyrics include Here is a man who can’t sleep alone/ bites the skin right off the bone. Perhaps it sounds cheesy as you read it on your screen but when it is set to a noisy and venomous backdrop, it sounds frightening and formidable.
As with all of the acts covered in this column, I recommend that you purchase the physical release but this is even truer with Cult Ritual. The packaging and artwork on the pictured release (which is The 2nd EP) is a real treat. The pictured 7-inch is supposedly sold out but I recently procured a copy at a local record store. If you do not care to chase down this one, the group just released their first full length album on Youth Attack, which is still available but limited to 500 copies. If luck isn’t on your side, they put up all of their releases on their blog, so you can hear the tunes straight from the band.
Another great act on Youth Attack is Ancestors, the new black metal group by Mark McCoy of Charles Bronson notoriety. Cacophonous and barbarous USBM. There is a doom group from California called Ancestors too, but I don’t know much about them.
I was supposed to see Sonic Youth play Jimmy Fallon for LOLs with my bff Diana Wong but homegirl had jury duty and the legal system/civic duty stopped our attendance. Apparently Thurston Moore wore a scandalous shirt. As always, dude has his hand in some real freak scene shit and I have been greatly enjoying the new SY song, “Sacred Trickster.” I support this ode to ladies and noise (!!!) and its Noise Nomads reference, what can I say.
Servile Sect’s Stratospheric Passenger LP is a newish reissue on Ecstatic Peace. Can black metal be uplifting? I’m the first to assert that the genre goes far beyond Norway and the early ’90s but it seems that now a lot of acts are working on a more contemplative vision of the genre. Let’s be honest, hardcore (read: male) fans of the genre would probably say that the fact that some girl is writing about it on the website of a major music magazine is another sign of its infiltration into mainstream independent culture. So, who knows. I’m not sure how I feel about it either. I like this record and its sci-fi experimental vision of black metal. Definitely worth a purchase and a listen. The record starts off sweet, and then it gets riffy with black metal snarls. The record insert shows two obscured figures in a forest, kind of kvlt but also kind of cool. There’s a really nice noise/industrial crunch to some of the tracks on the second side, making the record an enjoyable listen overall.
One from the archives: Noise Nomads’ Nose Picker. Unlike other noise performers/groups which flood the market with 10 releases a month, NN’s discography is rather tame for a noise act that is, by all accounts, over six years old. I have been looking for this sucker, released on the eminent RRRecords, for a while and to my pleasant surprise I stumbled across it recently at a record store. Noise Nomads’ work spans a broad swath of the current noise landscape. The live performance can be incredibly physical and the sounds range from pedal and amp frenzy to guitar yowls. Nose Picker is comprised of live and studio tracks from 2006. Legit as all hell and totally awesome.
Send your tapes/LPs/7”s/lathes/CDs /zines etc… to:
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(Please note that due to my trip to China, there will be a delay in listening to the goodies but I promise they will be treated with love and affection.)