Monday, May 10, 2010


My headphones have been all out of whack. Sorry about that. There are some good things on the way, though, and hopefully you will like them too.

- "Piece of Tomorrow"

As I may have mentioned before, there are many benefits to being a music critic, not least of which is inflicting your opinions on a captive audience. The more socially positive benefits include things like swag and guests lists and whatnot, and if you want to get really serious about the wonderful things that can happen to you when you join the ranks of the semi-professional douche, then look no further to my burgeoning acquaintance with Crappy Indie Music's new friend Mike Kirkland.

He got the interview treatment back in December, and the shadowy figure of my teenage fandom of course turns out to be a very cool and erudite dude all around. He sent the promo version of the new The New Evils disc not long before he sent the full release and I am glad to be able to review them here. I only hinted at the nature of the Evils before in my interview, and the easiest way to hint at what's going on here is to share the fact that my first impressions of this disc were also repeated by other listeners scattered far and wide. Cramps- Iggy- Lou Reed. I would go so far as to say that this is almost the Stooges reunion disc that we should have gotten. One of the reasons I say that is that Denny Morrison's truly sleazy and wonderful vocals, along with Mike's clear, dark production really anchor this disc. You can easily see these tracks ending up on scary indie movie soundtracks. The only spots that lag, and this is more of a general principle than any specific qualm, are when brother Steve Morrison and Aldine Strychine (ex-Poison Idea) take turns at the mic. Neither of them inspire the same killer-on-the-road frisson that Denny does, so those songs, while perfectly competent, just seem like bar rockers in comparison with the rest of the album. Which begs the question: why is there no trace of known good vocalist Mike Kirkland, who sticks to guitar and drums? Maybe it would have been too evil. Regardless, pick this album up, okay? I have insisted that they come here on tour, and seeing that drummer Leif Nyrberg lives here, I'm sure it will happen. We'll be there.

DR. LOOMIS- random Myspace shenanigans

Nostalgia time. My little brother- the one of first-concert-being-Clutch fame, not running-Brave-Recs fame, announced at Mother's Day dinner that he was going to his "first thrash concert." How could I not be intrigued? I didn't go so far as to say "Pics or it didn't happen," or "Get off my lawn," but I believe it was something along the lines of "According to who?" Well, according to local band of high schoolers Dr. Loomis. Now, I must admit to not having much knowledge of the Portland (or Vantucky) underground metal scene. But I do know that the definition of 'thrash' is pretty loose. When you turn a grip of high-schoolers loose on some old school metal, the result will be somewhere between grindcore and crust and who knows, especially when you have a girly-girl on pig squeal vocals. Not that there is anything wrong or even exceptional about having a girl on metal vocals or otherwise. Jo Bench refuses to even talk about it. I suppose it is the age thing that makes it cute more than anything, and their death metal stylings about the Lament Configuration and the Mad Arab's book are much cooler than my own 13-year-old doom grind and reggae songs about Cthulhu. Dr. Loomis is playing May 11th at the Hawthorne.

JOHN HORNAK- "A Needle, A Feather, And A Rope"

Man, is my memory slipping? I keep thinking that one of us has already reviewed this album. Yes, I know, I am an old fart who is not in touch with the times. Or my own synapses. Anyhoo, Hornak sent us his stuff in April despite my deja vu or jamais vu or whatever my poor beleaguered brain is undergoing, and it's time to share. John Hornak seems to have globetrotted both in real and imaginary worlds for some sweet and bitter lowkey dubstep adventures. To be perfectly honest this music challenging me- I don't know that I like the 'exotic' aspect of it, which might be have a little too much clever artifice, but the music itself is deep, complex, and spot on. Well worth taking a look- it's available on itunes download-wise, but there are plenty of streaming outlets too.

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