Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - "Sinister Whisperz" CD

Subtitled "The Wax Trax! Years (1987-1991)", this 13-song collection harkens back to the glory days of this Chicago-based glam/dance/industrial act. And as a tribute to Wax Trax! founding fathers Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher (R.I.P. gentlemen), it's a fitting set, keeping the group's trademark mix of horror/occult themes and kitschy glam-club disco. As it turns out, "Sinister Whisperz" is not as much a compilation as a remix, from the early "And This Is What The Devil Does" or "Do You Fear For Your Child" to the more undeniably classic aggressive club sounds of "The Days Of Swine And Roses" and "Kooler Than Jesus".

And truth be told, TKK founders Marston Daley (aka Buzz McCoy) and Groovie Mann (Frankie Nardiello) have kept just about everything as I remember. Perhaps there are some minor tweaks here and remasterings there, but these cuts are oddly similar to the original tracks. Not that it's a bad thing, but fans expecting a modern mash-up of great Chicago dance cuts apply elsewhere. As a collection of the TKK's best tracks, this one hits the spots perfectly. The only thing missing is "Sex On Wheelz", but that's a minor complaint. Cooler than jesus indeed, this one's a must-get for old-school, die-hard Wax Trax! fans like me. (Rustblade)

TKK website

The Workhorse III - "The Workhorse III" CD

Brash and snotty sounds from a new Philadelphia act who play a raw and reckless sort of rock that isn't quite metal, punk, or sleazy post-grunge grime, but falls somewhere in-between. Vocalist Lisa Flynn has a brazen, snarly swagger that's like a female Iggy Pop, while her band creates a clot of loud post-punk that's messy but melodic. Fans of stuff like the Stooges, Radio Birdman, or the MC5 should appreciate this. "Infect The Masses" is especially vitriolic, and this short, sharp rock fix is catchy in all the right places. Enjoyably rough. (DRP Records)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Year Of No Light - "Ausserwelt" CD

From France comes this formidable and majestic post-metal juggernaut which calls to mind the potent tribal nihilism of bands like Isis or Neurosis (sans caveman grunting, thankfully), all the while maintaining a crystalline drone/shoegaze guitar backdrop that could please fans of Mono or Explosions In The Sky. "Ausserwelt" opens with 20 minutes of "Persephone" (in 2 parts), and these crushing instrumentals aptly exhibit the massive, earth-crushing momentum of what must be one of France's most potent bands.

This album only contains 4 tracks, but make no mistake -- it's 48 minutes of carefully-crafted, intense psychedelic-metal that's so stunningly tectonic that YONL must aim to summon primordial beasts from beyond with every reverberating drum laceration and swirling guitar whirlpool. When it all winds down, on the 13-minute "Abbesse", a fleet of ambient sounds gently lulls the beast back to the abyss. An amazing, powerful, and standout release here. I am duly impressed. (Conspiracy Records)

Year Of No Light site

Year Of No Lightspace

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hytest - "Dishing Out The Good Times" CD

Aussie stoner/punk wiseguys Hytest have been active for 6 years, and this debut full-lengther shows them firing on all cylinders. Opening with the raucous "9 Volt", Hytest's speedy, take-no-prisoners approach borrows the raw, loose-nut qualities from punk (think Black Flag), and a dirty, downtuned sludge-rock vibe from precursors like Kyuss. In fact, it seems Hytest have impressed Nick Oliveri (Kyuss/Queens Of The Stone Age/Mondo Generator) well enough to get themselves invited to tour with him, both as opening act and backing band. So that should seal the deal for fans of the aforementioned. The rest of you?

It's like this. "Girl In Black" is a under 2-minutes of blisteringly fierce heaviness with a melody that gets under the skin. "Goodbye" begins with a rockabilly-style riff before launching into another blistering speed attack. Yet the melody underneath the thick-as-molasses guitars is undeniably pop-oriented, and in a good way. "Abolisher" begins as a ramshackle spitball of immense riffage and high-octane speed riot vocal throttling, and doesn't let go at all. It's just massive. "Dishing Out The Good Times" is jammed with smoking heavy rock sounds with plenty of good times indeed. My only complaint is that these 11 songs are over within 28 minutes. Kick-ass heavy rock for speed freaks, this! I like. (Impedance Records)