Saturday, August 17, 2013

Anenzephalia - "Kaltwelt" CD

Industrial death noise from Genocide Organ member

German death-industrial project Anenzephalia has been around for 20 years now, but this is my first exposure to them. Centered around Genocide Organ member Michael Keck, this is pure retro-noise, with obvious parallels to early industrial pioneers SPK and Whitehouse. 

Tracks like "Frostschrae" wed simple and fuzzy electronic noise nihilism with distorted vocals. It's a morose, oppressive atmosphere that permeates the whole of "Kaltwelt". "Bodies Of Gold" is another bleak, evil celebration of death, disfigurement, and possibly, murder. All the requisite distorted sounds, tape voices, overloaded electronics, and a simplistic semblance of rhythm are here to create a mood of unease and foreboding. Imagine an alternate soundtrack to "Nekromantik", and you wouldn't be too far off. For hardcore death industrial fetishists only, I'm afraid.

b.o.s.c.h. - "Apparat" CD

Rammstein clones

This German band certainly owes a lot to their more famous countrymen in Rammstein or Oomph! Tracks like "Engel" are near-perfect clones of Rammstein's electro-tinged metal. There's the big riffs and gruff vocals, and the backdrop of simplistic electronic sequences. It's all there. Which would be great if there weren't already a Rammstein in the world. Or an Oomph!, or an Eisbrecher.

"Schwarze Sonne" is certainly effective enough in it's attack -- strong production, big rock elements, and borderline evil vocals. But, I'm at a loss with b.o.s.c.h.'s all-too-derivative sound. There's just nothing here that hasn't been done a decade or more earlier by Rammstein, Oomph!, or even some of Laibach's early rock/metal experiments. "Apparat" is the band's second album, but here's to finding a more individual and unique sound next time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Blowing Fuses Left & Right - The Legendary Detroit Rock Interviews" DVD

Collection of raw interviews with Stooges, MC5 legends

This lengthy (3 hour) disc is a collection of full-length interviews conducted in 1988 by a young writer fascinated by the legendary Detroit rock scene of the late 60s/early 70s. These interviews are raw and taken from old VHS tapes, but the quality is fine, and there are some fascinating conversations with some now-departed legends.

Beginning with a long interview with Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, the disc also features extended interviews with MC5 mainman Rob Tyner, as well as MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson. The interviewer (Gil Magulis) coaxes many untold stories from these guys, and to any serious fan, this should be a must-see. 

"Tribute To Ron Asheton Featuring Iggy & The Stooges" DVD

Fittingly powerful tribute to Stooges guitar legend

The Stooges' Ron Asheton helped to change the face of alternative music, from punk to metal, with his game-changing guitar-work. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, but his friends and colleagues remember his life fondly with this special concert that was a benefit for the Ron Asheton Foundation (which assists in both animal/pet needs as well as supports aspiring musicians and children's music programs).

Recorded in 2011 in Ron and the Stooges' hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, this special show opened with Henry Rollins doing a monologue and introduction in his usual inimitable and self-deprecating style. He then belted out "I Got A Right" with the Stooges before Iggy himself took over for a full 19-song Stooges set. The band was smoking hot, with Iggy himself as energized and manic as ever. The finale featured the band with a backing orchestra -- a weird and unlikely pairing I couldn't imagine.

Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman also joined the band for several encores, and this enhanced version of the Stooges ably captured the spirit of Asheton and the Stooges. Any serious Stooges fans will be delighted by this superb live show.