Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Banshee!!!" (director: Colin Theys)

This interesting indie horror flick harkens back to the days of classic splatter-monsters, and does it with flair and fun. The story involves a group of college friends who, upon vacationing in rural Connecticut, encounter a rural "legend", in the form of a demonic banshee with a devastating subsonic cry (and a taste for human flesh). The creature effects are actually quite superb (kudos to Dan Anderson and director/visual effects master Theys), and the gross-out gore here is top-notch. The acting and dialogue is a stumbling point, though, as some of the acting is delivered a little too "scripted" and unnatural. The lovely Ashley Bates is obviously the focal point here, and some of the other actors are likeable enough, too, though the aforementioned dialogue hurts the film's overall impact. I admit to cringing with the finale, where, not to give away too much, "Rocker" uses his guitar riffage to banish the beast. Ugh. Despite these flaws, "Banshee" is an entertaining and well-done little film that gets the job done better than many major studio offerings.
(Synthetic Cinema via MVD Visual)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pajo's Evila - "Hexes"

It's always good news to hear of a new project from David Pajo, former guitarist for Slint, Tortoise, Zwan, and Dead Child, and mainman behind Papa M (and someone Goatsden interviewed/got stoned with 20+ years ago - hah!). He's unveiling a new solo album, under the name Evila, and there's a definite black metal influence. The album, titled "Hexes", is now available as a download from amazon and itunes, with a vinyl and CD release imminent (I am waiting for these to be announced to order!).

Visit Pajo's sites:
Pajo/Papa M site
Evila site
Dead Child site

Here's a video for his solo Pajo cover of the Misfits' "Where Eagles Dare", from his last release, the vinyl-only "Scream With Me". Notice the presence of lovely Papa M collaborator Paz Lenchantin!

Johnny Action Figure - "Good Eye" CD

Upbeat and melodic indie power-pop from some Pennsylvania dudes, Johnny Action Figure craft back-to-basics songs sans studio trickery, and in the process harken back to the 'good old days' of alternative radio, and wouldn't sound out of place on a roots-rock show. The single, "Young Rider", will appeal to fans of stuff like Dead Cab For Cutie, which isn't a bad thing. Nothing about JAF stands out too far in the crowd, but their lite-rock vibe is cool and gentle on the ears, and they definitely know how to write a hook-laden pop song. No claws or unintended noises here, just radio-friendly indie rock with a clean and nondescript vibe. It may not be too unique or memorable, but "Good Eye" is pleasing to the ears. (Johnny Action Figure)

Johnny Actionspace

Nekrasov / Aderlating - "Split" LP

This is an ultra-limited (300 copies) split vinyl album from a couple of little-known artists who are working well outside the lines of the mainstream. Australia's Nekrasov take one side, and their "Qualities Of Being Futile And Valueless" is an epic 24-minute ambient doom-ride, and certainly coming from the darkest recesses. Drones, disembodied voices, and effected electronics make this one an unsettling listen, like a trip through a horrific fun house. They refer to themselves as 'black metal/ambient/experimental', and that seems relatively appropriate based on the material here. Not bad, and certainly not for the easily-spooked. Aderlating is a project of Mories from Dutch extreme metal/noise group Gnaw Their Tongues, and it's outlook is much the same. Blackened ambient drone with atmospheres that evoke an oppressive mood of claustrophobia and tension. Flashes of noise and feedback litter the opener, "Chalic Of Abalam", and though there are 3 tracks listed (including the charmingly-titled "Dog Semen"), Aderlating's music flows into one. It seems a little more static and less subtle (and thus less interesting) than Nekrasov's side, but the mood and texture fits. For fans of classic noise-based ambient industrial, this LP will prove to be a fulfilling journey to a hellish sound-world. (Chrome Leaf)




Free download of Aderlating's new "Dying Of The Light" EP