Wednesday, October 13, 2010

His Name Was Yesterday - "His Name Was Yesterday" CD

Hmm. New metalcore act opens here with the emo-ish "Where It Ends", which joins pulsing hardcore with more melodic breakdowns. To their credit, His Name Was Yesterday are capable of some punishing sonic assaults, at least when they're not being all sensitive and emocore. But I am skeptical of their need to comfortably fit in with their silly, juvenile metalcore brethren, with awful self-pitying lyrics and all the genre's teenage stereotypes firmly in place. Sonically, "His Name Was Yesterday" is clean and potent, but on closer listens seems rather lacking. "There is only sorrow" indeed, as this positive-message hardcore only makes my ears hurt. (His Name Was Yesterday)

His Name Was Myspace

Righteous Fool - "Forever Flames/ Edict Of Worms" 7"

From a couple of COC members (Mike and Reed joined by Jason Browning of Bad Brains' HR band) comes this heavy doom-stoner-sludge-riff extravaganza. With molasses-thick Sabbath-style guitars, "Forever Flames" tears through a speedy 4 minutes of smoky heaviness (and solid songwriting). The B-side, "Edict Of Worms", is an even more monolithic mid-tempo rocker with a bluesy vibe. Another strong new project from the COC boys, whose COC3 reformation already nets them a renewed interest from old skate punks and metalheads alike. (Southern Lord)

Righteous Foolspace

Monday, October 11, 2010

Corrosion Of Conformity (COC3) - "Your Tomorrow Part 1 & 2" 7"

This is the legendary reformed COC -- the lineup responsible for the "crossover" metal/punk holy grail "Animosity" from 1985. After some years with a major label, and several lineup changes, the trio of Mike Dean, Reed Mullin, and Woody Weatherman re-convene (sans sometime vocalist Pepper Keenan) to bring the heavy punk-meets-metal sound screaming into the 2000s here. Part 1 is a thick and sludgy Black Sabbath meets Black Flag assault -- with elements of doom metal sandwiched between speedy Greg Ginn-styled jazz-noise guitars. Part 2 adds another layer of guitar for an even deeper riff-o-rama. Superb and rocking material, and the best I've heard from COC in years! (Southern Lord)

COC official site

Jesse McReynolds & Friends - "Songs Of The Grateful Dead" CD

I've never been a fan of the Grateful Dead, but mandolin innovator and country and bluegrass legend McReynolds and friends are, and here they ably translate the Dead's material (songs written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter) into timeless songs that resonate with warmth and old-time country honesty. From the folksy Americana of the opener, "Black Muddy River", the songs of Hunter and Garcia are re-imagined in a fresh and enjoyable fashion, with a down-home flavor that wouldn't be at all out of place on a Tennessee stage. It's no surprise that Jesse McReynolds is a 45-year member of the Grand Old Opry and member of both the Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall Of Fame.

Standouts include "The Wheel" (with some great harmonizing), the lament of "Loser", the elegant "Stella Blue", and the ultra-catchy "Deep Elem Blues". "Day By Day" is a beautiful closer, and is actually a new song co-written by McReynolds and Robert Hunter. It works well to close out this cool collection of roots music that combines two unique legacies into a cohesive whole. (Woodstock Records)

Jim & Jesse McReynolds official site