Saturday, February 28, 2009


Absu are a black-metal/thrash band from Texas, whose sound evolved from death-metal origins. 'The Third Storm of Cythraul' was their coming of age black-metal album, the band's third full-length released in 1997. It took four years until their next album surfaced, titled 'Tara'. The band's sound progressed into a thrash/BM hybrid, improving upon their already talented drums, guitar, and vocal (sorry, I mean, the bass is good too, Absu). For a genre like BM, it's rare to find a band who strays from the aesthetic yet retain signature BM qualities...and do it well. The vocalist explores the familiar scowels/shrieks, but his stylings/structure give Absu their own voice -- plus the drummer/guitarist(s) are no slouches.

Fans of BM will appreciate this, but anyone looking for some grime-groove to inject in their system will be tweaking-out in spades. The band also released their self-titled 2009 release just this month (which I haven't heard yet), their first album since 'Tara' in 2001...just
thought you should know.

The Third Storm of Cythraul

mind the graves

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


When is truly one of those groups you can't categorize -- everything from cut-and-paste industrial mash-ups to the most sporadic folk/pop/electronic veins of When's music confound and bombard the listener, often all at once.

When is primarily Norway's Lars Pederson, who employs various accompanying musicians throughout his albums (starting with his debut, 'Drowning but Learning' in 1987).

Pederson has earned praise from nearly every corner of the music world (easy to see why, as Pederson seems to draw influence from nearly every genre, including some of his past bands -- Lars was formerly in one of Norway's first punk bands, experimental/new wave group Holy Toy, etc) -- the influence of his work largely impacted the black metal scene, particularly his second album, '
Death in the Blue Lake' -- adding elements of psych/folk/pop into black metal's familiar canvas of mourning and dark atmospheres.

Every album I've tracked down from When has impacted me in a different, positive way. His 2007, '
Trippy Happy' album is a freak-folk psych-out, holding your hand through the lightest of melodies before deserting you in a chaotic beauty of noises and hollows.

These two albums are as good an introduction as any to When's music, and I'd highly encourage to dig deeper if you dig these -- cause you never really know what you'll discover with When.

Death in the Blue Lake (1988)

Trippy Happy (2007)
mind the graves

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This City Sunrise

This City Sunrise are a New Zealand/Australian-bound three-piece who make an energy soundshake of punk/experimental flavours, with all those mysterious chunks grinded between. The guitar player/singer Alex gave me a heads up on their 2008 EP -- a 7 song, 20 minute, choral thunderstorm of chants, yelps, growls, and grooves. So chaps/chaplees...keep the Folgers in your cup amid this city sunrise in your mugs.
(lol c wut I did there? D-?)

This City Sunrise EP (2008)
mind the graves

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Residents - Title In Limbo

Hey man, you know about The Residents? Like, this totally obscure avante-garden shit of over sixty albums/numerous other projects? ...the dudes in eyeball masks? No? Damn. Well they got this album in 1983, 'Title In Limbo' -- it's like a collaboration with meatloaf or some shit and it's pretty good man, for real. You sure? You know, the dudes with eyeball masks an' shit? Click.

Title In Limbo
mind the graves

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, Herro!

*Picture unrelated

Hey friends/strangers, remember how I was all excited for Kashiwa Daisuke's new album? Well, it's here...but rather than upload it, thought I'd kill at least thirty birds with one stone...

...My alter-ego started up his own music blaerg recently, and put me on as a contributor. It's a wonderful place called Mirror Shades, and therein you will find Kashiwa Daisuke's newest, '
5 Dec'.

.....I was also contacted recently (well,
not that recently, sorry mang) for a write-up request by the ever-patient Christian Filardo, and his project 'Panda Steps In Chocolate'. The album is called 'Creep of the Crop', and while I initially judged it as standard solo-indie fanfare, the latter-half of the album especially shows a promising musician in the making. The songs I didn't enjoy as much still merit a listen for the compositions Filardo pioneered himself, even if in execution they sometimes waver. All in all, the album reminded me of a one-man Animal Collective without the sporadic drums -- replaced instead with upsy, melodic keys.

While all of it wasn't my cup of tea, I gotta' respect the potential of the flavor. Give it a try, and keep movin' ahead, Christian.

And while I doubt this horrible trend of my opinion being valued can last, if any artist would ever like me to check out your stuff, just send me an email or post a message here.
I promise no ass-kissing or favored judgement, though I will promise I'll at the least give your shit a listen...afterall, it's what makes the world go round.' shit.

Creep of the Crop
mind the graves

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eels - Beautiful Freak

Eels is primarily the mind-child of singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett ("Mr. E"), implementing his subtle but deranged lyrics in uplifting pop soundscapes. 'Beautiful Freak' was the first album under the name Eels, earning praise & recognition for singles like "Novacaine for the Soul" and "Susan's House". While Eels have received critical acclaim from corporate pen and underground alike, the band is overlooked by both circles in my opinion.

'Beautiful Freak' is the perfect introduction to a great band -- just a wonderful blend of pop, rock/grunge, and even hip-hop/beat-driven compositions. Not to mention the stoic charm of Everett's voice -- and more importantly -- just what he has to say. The band went through numerous lineup changes following 'Beautiful Freak', but anyone who enjoys should def seek out their later material (esp. the following album 'Electro-Shock Blues', possibly Everett's most tormented display).

Beautiful Freak
mind the graves

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lukestar - Lake Toba

Growing up on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, Lukestar members had an ear for pop, taking-to bands like Queen for inspiration. Lukestar has progressed into a band of endless hooks that don't dangle from a transparent line of pop -- but rather a structured, complex, and gracefully shifting vein of rock.

The first time I heard this album, I was under the impression the band had a female vocalist -- but compliments to their singer, he's just an ordinary dude in a sweater with an enchanting falsetto.
It's pretty hard to be angry listening to this album...Lukestar weave pop sensibilities into a formidable barage of upbeat rock that calls out your inner child, but isn't so light that it fades together. Au contraire grey-poupon, even the softest of pop
can have fangs.

White Shade

Lake Toba

Lake Toba
mind the graves

Friday, February 6, 2009

Alucard - Watch Them Fall


I've been seeing this dude Alucard getting air-time in some underground circles, so I decided to check out his album, 'Watch Them Fall'. Alucard is a Brooklyn MC who also does artwork for handfuls of other artists, as well as handling the art for his own project/albums.
Initially I was skeptical when I saw the 15+ tracks, expecting filler/repetition -- but Alucard and his troop of cameos hit hard; the beats sound sharp and grimey, the MC's syphon some muddy-water flow, and the overall package never lets up or puts its guard-down. And for
23* tracks, that's saying a lot.

There's a few standout tracks, like the dark 3-minute interlude, "Life Threatening", where DJ Jedi rolls from one ill of living to the next, with the trumpet/theme of "Fistful of Dollars" sputtering in the background for a haunting and visceral acculmination of '
Watch Them Fall' at its core.Sometimes life just got grime.

Watch Them Fall
mind the graves

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gospel - The Moon Is A Dead World

Brooklyn's now-defunct Gospel released one album, 'The Moon Is A Dead World'. It was recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), and as usual the tones/intensity of Ballou's craft shine-through magnificently. In my eyes/ears, this album is perfect -- start to finish its just a hardcore/prog powerhouse; the drummer provides a sonic-eargasm on every track, the guitar/synth allign (or collide) pristinely, the vocals keep the pace frantic, and the bass bellows (or Ballou's? lolz) to keep the masterpiece framed.

The unique sound Gospel merged into existence should be venerated for years to come by word of mouth and chance by ear -- I've yet to find someone who hears this album and is disappointed.
I've yet to find someone who hears this album and doesn't instantly regard it as a favorite.

In a word, "What Means of Witchery" is the soundtrack to my life.

The Moon Is A Dead World
mind the graves

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Tolkien would be proud

MAGMA was a French progressive/"zeuhl" (meaning "celestial" in drummer Christian Vander's invented language of Kobaïan) band formed in 1969, who not only created the sub-genre of Zeuhl, but influenced a wide number of groups in the jazz-fusion/symphonic-rock scene.

The band was primarily led by drummer Christian Vander, who composed the majority of the music and also invented the Kobaïan language. The basic concept behind MAGMA's albums entails people fleeing a doomed Earth and discovering the seemingly-utopian planet Kobaïa, rousing conflict with the locals. What this means musically, is that MAGMA's vocals are sung entirely using the fictional language of Kobaïan -- often in layered choral chants -- with experimental fusion mapping-out every acid-spewing geyser within Kobaïa.

Jannick Top, the bassist for MAGMA, is also responsible for composing a bulk of MAGMA's music, particularly the 'Üdü Wüdü
' album, their 5th studio-release. Following 'Üdü Wüdü', the band took another departure musically with 'Attahk', with Vander spear-heading a jazz/funk/zeuhl hyrbid.

Def one of the more interesting groups, whose career and influence spanned across multiple genres. If you dig these, give their earlier work a try.

Üdü Wüdü

mind the graves