I received an email this morning from the folks in Thelema. I for one am looking forward to hearing some new music from them. Here is the text from the press release:
Buzz Rodeo is an Art Punk/Noise Rock Trio from Germany whose latest release “Sports” could easily fit in well on the Touch and Go label. This three piece wears its influences on its sleeves. Very familiar without being obvious. Elements of Man or Astroman, Shellac, and Arcwelder abound on “Sports”, simultaneously pointing back toward the sound of “Entertainment” era Gang of Four and yet moving forward to add something new and vital.
Sonically speaking this is a really tight record. This is apparent right from the get go. On the opener “Arkansas” the drums sound like they were recorded in a nice sized room with a descent set of overheads and some well placed pzm’s to catch the hits as they reflected off the walls. Nice and open without losing any of the definition.
The bass has a nice tight midrange tone that compliments the lows. Not always easy to do with any kind of fuzz involved, but here it’s captured nicely. As if a buzzsaw is cutting through a hard wood, like maple or oak. Listen to the tracks “Sound of the Universe” and “The Gap” and tell me you don’t hear it. Seriously.
The guitars are suitably jagged and bright, falling right into place with the rhythm section when necessary and floating atop of it or stepping aside just as deftly when required. Witness this tightrope walking on songs like “Pop”, “Movie Star”, and “Station 41”.
The album as a whole clocks in at 30 minutes and the songs mostly hover around the 3 minute mark. Each song leaves you wanting more and when the album ended I felt as if there had to be one more track. Just one more taste, as it were. Each song has its own feel without drifting so far out that you would guess it was another band. There are no stand out tracks on Sports because there are no bad tracks.
Can be purchased from their Bandcamp site.Read More
I’m very proud to announce the re-release of Porkfist’s lone studio album “Plastic” in all its newly re-mixed and mastered digital glory! It’s taken almost a year from start to finish but like a good brandy, these things take time. Please enjoy responsibly.
Porkfist was the last live band I have played in to date. It feels like eons ago that I bought a brand new Ibanez Iceman and began writing what was to become Porkfist’s Plastic. At the time, I’d been trying to form a band with Geoff Dailey for a few years and nothing seemed to come together. The closest we got was with a band called The Let Downs, with Ryan Crane, that had a serious singer problem. We eventually did one gig but the last singer we had (in a long line of singers) was so hopped up on meth he couldn’t shut up between songs. I have video of the show somewhere, proof of how bad it was. Don’t ask me to digitize and upload it.
Regardless, we finally killed that band and Geoff and Ryan formed the mighty Shi-nei with Damian and Kohei. While they were beginning to gig around town I presented Geoff with the songs I’d started on the Iceman. He was ecstatic about the new direction and we started working on them immediately.
Soon we had five to six songs mostly fleshed out enough to go looking for other players. We put together a flyer and posted it at my friend Matt’s record store Underground Sounds. I honestly can’t remember who we got first, Santi or Glenn, but they ended up knowing each other from working at a local grocery store. The pieces fell into place and for a time it was awesome.
Santi’s vocals and writing perfectly matched the fury of those riffs. Glenn’s embellishments to my writing blossomed into a full on collaboration. It was magical and I really miss those days in Geoff’s basement hammering out songs. It was either Santi or Glenn who got us our first gig. It was at Nokamura, a cooperative house on U of M’s campus. We killed it that night.
Eventually all good things have to come to an end. Glenn was getting married to his long time girlfriend and she found a job in Seattle. They moved there, had two beautiful little girls, and made a life together. Santi wanted to explore his acoustic blues and folk side and moved to Portland, where he is now a freelance writer. He released two records on Bandcamp you should go get. They’re really good.
Fast forward to 2015. For those of you who’ve been paying attention you’ll know that we had a complete studio redesign here at Soiled Utilities Productions. To shake out some of the bugs I asked Randy Williams, (whose Tascam board the new studio is based around) to remix Plastic. With access to much better technology and far more patience and skill than I had at the time it was recorded, he took this meager recording and hammered in into the record it was meant to be all along. I personally remastered it (again, better tools, older/wiser, what have you). I believe the end result is much better than the original. I hope you all agree.
So with out further delay:Read More
Kowloon Walled City’s “Grievances” is one I discovered through an NPR countdown of the 100 best metal records released in 2015 http://apps.npr.org/best-songs-2015/#. It was one of a handful on the list that grabbed my ear. I admit that I’ve lost my patience with most of what passes for metal these days, but curiosity got the better of me. I”m glad it did simply for turning me onto this band.
This past weekend I spent a great deal of time working on a few of the amps we have in the studio. Three of them have issues severe enough that I thought I’d have to take them in to Al’s Diner for proper repair, but after doing some reading I decided to at least attempt to simply clean them up. To do so, I purchased a can of DeoxIT and a can of compressed air.
The first amp on the bench was a Gallien-Krueger 800RB that has been in the basement for several years. It was essentially abandoned by it’s owner and has been sitting unused since the last repair I had done. It worked for about a week before becoming a noisy inconsistent wreck. Taking the top off was a breeze. Getting the front panel off and pulling the preamp, which had all the pots and jacks on it, was less fun.
Once I got it apart I blew out as much dust as I could including blowing out each pot individually. I then sprayed the DeoxIT into each pot and switch. I was afraid that three of the pots would need to be replaced because they were a bit loose, although none of the solder joints were cracked. I worked each pot and switch for a bit then left it over night to dry out.
The next morning I put it back together and plugged it in. The difference was amazing! No glitching, no static, no sudden bursts of volume; just gloriously even sounding solid state tone. With this first amp working I was emboldened to start on the next two: a Fender Deluxe 85 and a Peavey TKP 65.
The Fender was another amp that was given to me by Steve Toth. He told me at the time that it didn’t work and if I could fix it I could have it. I left it alone for quite awhile but got curious one day and plugged it in. The reverb pot was broken and it was somewhat scratchy sounding on about half the other pots, but it worked. Anthea has used it occasionally, but never really liked fussing with it tonally because of the static bursts from the EQ pots.
I ripped into this amp and cleaned it up in the same manner. This was much easier to work on. I found that the speaker was not secured in place. There were only two screws, both on the same side of the speaker from and they were about an 1/8 of an inch unscrewed. I moved one of the screws to the opposite side of the other screw and tightened them both down. Issue number one solved.
Cleaning this amp up took quite some time. Steve’s a smoker and I had to scrape a bit of cigarette tar off the knobs and face plate. I also sprayed the pots three separate times to loosen them up. I found a spider nest under two of the input jacks as well.
I was going to put it back together and plug it on, but decided to look for the replacement pot for the reverb. It had been sheared off prior to my receiving it. I was able to find the parts list for the amp and ordered the pot and knob from Darren Riley’s Guitar & Amp Shop. Darren Riley was a blind Google search find, but was super awesome to work with and had exactly what I needed in stock. He even emailed me to let me know they shipped. On a Sunday. He was awesome and I highly recommend using him.
Since the parts were on order for the Fender I turned to the Peavey. I bought this from Eric Brown sometime in the 90’s and used it on stage a couple times, but mostly used it for occasional band practice since it was much smaller than my stage rig, which consists of a the second Fender Bassman 135 (Blackface) on top of a Fender Spectrum two 10″ by one 18″ cabinet that I bought in 1989 for my first Bassman head (Silverface). It’s been pretty good in the studio as well both direct and mic’d, but over the years it’s gotten more and more nasty sounding.
I’ve pulled this amp apart a few times so no surprises here. I followed suit with the pots and jacks as I did before, but on this amp the attached power cable needed to be replaced. It was frayed at the plug and the amp. This was more difficult than I had wished for. There is a protective clip that surrounds the power cable so the metal backing doesn’t cut into it. I ended up having to cut the cable off to figure out how to get it out. It’s a squeeze clip that cute into the cable a bit. This proved more difficult to get back in later than it was almost worth, but I got it on the end.
The parts for the Fender arrived on Thursday. I pulled the preamp board out with little difficulty and propped it up. Since I had no solder sucker I had to use braid to pull the old solder out. Not ideal but after some time and with a little patience I got the broken pot off. Putting the new one in wasn’t that difficult, but my soldering skills are a bit rusty. I’m hoping I didn’t do any damage.
Once together the amp sounds much better but the reverb is still not working. I banged on the reverb pan and got it to make some sound but nothing being driven from the amp. It seems to need more work. For now I’ll leave it alone.Read More
The Hunt for Blue Harvest is a short story told in sweeping soundscapes about grand space exploration, cosmic battles, great escapes, and… awww who are we kidding. It’s a blatant homage to one of the greatest movies ever made. Minus the lens flares of course.
Recorded primarily live in the studio with very few overdubs during the fall of 2015 and mixed and mastered early winter this is a small taste of what we hope are grander things to come from Edweird.
You can listen to and purchase it from our BandCamp page in multiple formats including FLAC and MP3. Also included is a PDF copy of the liner notes and CD gatefold suitable for printing.Read More
I Shall Die Here is the fourth studio album by American sludge metal band The Body. Released on April 1, 2014 through RVNG Intl. record label, the album was produced by British electronic musician The Haxan Cloak.
It’s rare sometimes that a recording comes along that won’t allow you to skip tracks. This is one such record. From the opening pummel of “To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me” to the final track “Darkness Surrounds Us” with it’s reverb drenched violin dancing thru the stereo field nothing feels like filler. The album feels like a post apocalyptic statement on the cruelty of life itself, and is breathtakingly intense and dynamic.
I’m in awe of The Haxen Cloak on any given day, but the production here is impeccable. If this band collaborated with him again I would buy that record without a second thought nor a need to hear it first.
This album begs for a good set of headphones, a single lit candle, and a thunderstorm off in the distance.
This album can be purchased direct from RVNG.Read More