On When Love Dies, the Richmond, Virginia, kids in Outsider drop five tracks that pay homage to the Matt-Henderson-from-Madball riff approach, No Warning, and Murder Weapon, complete with divebombs and the bounce of Cro-Mags. Their blistering attack nods to New York hardcore stomp but with fresh energy. “Life Runs Out,” “Path You’ve Earned,” “Mind of Misery,” “Let Myself Go,” and the title track all channel crossover, vibrating with genuine spirit. Outsider’s East Coast tour begins when the 7” is released by Flatspot Records on Aug. 2, runs through Aug. 11, and features bands like Combust, Hoods, and Backtrack.
Rich Morel has been in Blowoff, BobMouldBand, Deathfix, and, of course, Morel, but he has also produced and remixed for Tina Turner, Tori Amos, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Yoko Ono, Depeche Mode, and Pet Shop Boys. Merge Records has captured the unique experience of Morel joining with D.C. musician Ian Svenonius—of Escape-ism, The Make-Up, The Nation Of Ulysses, Weird War, and many others—to unlock their debut single as Too Much, “Patent Leather” backed with “Dyslexia,” on July 12. “Patent Leather,” for which a video has already been released, is an elevated tune that boasts a punky, sexy synth bathed in a grimy-club, drug-haze feel. Too Much’s foundation of synth and drum machine is complemented by a seductive swag and psych guitar.
Guangzhou, China’s Space Monkey are a punk trio who appropriately open Blow Out the Candles and Make a Split with a theme song, “We Are Space Monkey.” They summon the sound of Dwarves, Ramones, and Swingin’ Utters on a tightly produced, clean and snappy punk track. They complement this with “Billy Billy.” Both female and male vocals are interwoven to induce maximum fun on these high-octane rock ’n’ roll odes.
Fuck Your Birthday are a garage math-rock band from New York City by way of West Virginia. DEVO meets Mr. Bungle meets Fishbone meets Weezer doing funk-jazz-rock comes to mind. It’s certainly a different vibe, and the punctual and syncopated rhythms are engaging. Time-changes and tangential segments keep the listener guessing on these two four-minute tracks, “The Plan” and “Go Outside.” The vocals are sung and emote a grunge feel on the harsher choruses, and some thicker chords are injected intermittently to add spunk and tempered madness.
Limited to 300 on black vinyl, this unique split was released on July 12.
Baltimore storefront and label Reptilian Records—whose roster includes Fight Amp, Multicult, Dwarves, Easy Action, and many more—released a new 10” split on July 12 to celebrate their new signees, Hoaries, who will also be releasing an LP on Reptilian.
Hoaries feature vocalist and guitarist Jeff Helland, formerly of Amphetamine Reptile band White Drugs, which is evident, as Hoaries exude AmRep influences like The Jesus Lizard, Cows, and Helmet. The slow, plodding, noisy verse bursts into some glorious noise and jazzy groove on the chorus of “Degladiator.” “Part Knocks” brings darkened doom at a quicker pace for rough-and-tumble, discordant punk, and the third track is Hoaries tackling a cover of ’80s industrial act Cabaret Voltaire’s “Product Patrol.”
The flipside offers the self-described “Detroit scuzz-merchants,” Beige Eagle Boys. They also provide three scorching tracks, including a cover of Human League’s synthpop classic “don’t you want me.” Beige Eagle Boys conjure a tough, heavy, thick, full sound. There is still a noise-rock underbelly, but mostly, it’s a cacophony of sludgy punk like ANTiSEEN, The Hookers, and ZEKE splashed with some Fistula or Weedeater. Badassery abounds.
In early 2019, Southern Lord reissued the first two LPs from Germany’s Caspar Brötzmann Massaker, 1987’s The Tribe and 1989’s Black Axis. Brötzmann is a wild, guitar-playing madman who explores his fretboard thoroughly, while Massaker are the power trio rounded out by bassist and vocalist Eduardo Delgado Lopez and drummer Danny Arnold Lommen who generate eight- to 17-minute tracks of haunting, disorienting riffs and beats.
Well, the eccentric guitarwork was celebrated again, as 1992’s Der Abend Der Schwarzen Folklore and 1993’s Koksofen were reissued by Southern Lord on black vinyl June 28. Brötzmann conjures up strange compositions that seem to channel Dr. John, John Zorn, Tom Waits, Tom G. Warrior, and Page Hamilton—with whom he even made an album in 1996 entitled Zulutime. There are elements of the Gothic embedded in the music, and not just goth as a musical genre but a Gothic literature atmosphere and the feel of recording in a cold castle. Choral parts and the disjointed echoes of icy guitars bless tracks like “Sarah” and “War Horse.”
As a bonus, a small European tour with SUNN O))) is happening in October, and a new album is also imminent.
The prolific vinyl propagators at Waxwork add three new banging-packaging splendors to their extensive library of horror and sci-fi records in August. The original soundtracks from Rob Zombie’s “Firefly Family Trilogy” are presented on gatefold double-LP, blood-splattered, 180-gram vinyl, each with 12 pages of behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive essays by Zombie, and new illustrations by Robert Sammelin. Each soundtrack was specifically mastered for vinyl, which is gorgeous placed inside Sammelin’s new graphic-novel-style interpretations.
The breakdown is: House of 1000 Corpses on pink “Blood-Soaked” vinyl; The Devil’s Rejects on “Desert Sand and Blood-Splatter”; and, from his upcoming conclusion to the trilogy, 3 From Hell, with disc one on “Black Satans” red and black smoke-colored vinyl and disc two on “Welcome to Mexico” purple, red, and black smoke-colored vinyl.
Get reacquainted with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ramones, Buck Owens, Slim Whitman, The Allman Brothers Band, and many others, along with several Rob Zombie songs and interwoven score segments.
A darling of the film world and a Jamaican-made love letter to reggae, “The Harder They Come” opened the world to a gorgeous and gritty collection of music. Jimmy Cliff plays the tenacious, glory-bound antihero Ivan Martin in Perry Henzell’s emotionally clutching 1972 classic. Licensed from Xenon Pictures, this three-disc collector’s edition from Shout! Select is the film’s U.S. Blu-ray debut, transferred from the original 16mm negative, completely restored, and available on Aug. 20.
The live soundtrack consists of six transcendent Jimmy Cliff classics; Toots And The Maytals’ pure pearls, “Pressure Drop” and “Sweet and Dandy”; the majestic “Rivers of Babylon” by The Melodians; and true rockers, “007 (Shanty Town)” by Desmond Dekker and The Slickers’ “Johnny Too Bad.” Each joint is a certified classic. The music envelops the listener with the blue skies and grimy streets of its ’70s homeland.
Despite having a Criterion Collection DVD edition, this new Blu-ray offers even more, including Henzell’s previously unreleased follow-up to “The Harder They Come,” “No Place Like Home,” as well as the documentary “Perry Henzell: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey,” which chronicles its “genesis and restoration,” according to Shout!