Sunday, December 20, 2009


GUNS & ROSES Use Your Illusion II (GEFFEN)
VIV Sea Shells Listening (PEBBLE)

Still mostly bored with black metal, but there is something about Canada (see also Wold), which would after all be an appropriate musical heir to Norway, another resource-rich decadent suburban caucasian lifestyle happening on the next harsh-but-lush wintry continental shelf just 3000 miles across the pond, and it was with these heavy latitudinal thoughts of the climes of the great northern earthen pole in mind that I had a good listen to the Hammer of Antichrist CD by the Canadian "BESTIAL BLACK DEATH DEVASTATION!!!!" metal band Conqueror just this morning. The disc compiles two of their records, the War Cult Supremacy full-length from 1999 and the Antichrist Superiority demo from 1996. War Cult Supremacy has a better recording and is a powerful album, but I just don't think the riff onslaught trances out as much as it does on Antichrist Superiority, and yes, it's probably because it's easier for me to get lost in the grimy depths of demo fidelity. Either way, it has an overall raw and hungry surging power where the full-length sounds just a little more clinical and well-fed.

Put on Use Your Illusion II just to hear opening track "Civil War" and took it off soon after... the Izzy Stradlin tune is okay, though not as good as the stuff on the Ju Ju Hounds album... I love "Yesterdays," but after that was just not in the mood to sit through the Dylan cover, even if the delirium of "Get In The Ring" did await on the other side....

That's Sea Shells Listening by VIV in the upper right, image from Sound Projector magazine)

VIV is a group from the Brighton, England area... they sent a 3" CDR two or three years ago (under the name of Vole) and it was good and fresh-sounding improvised music, essentially free jazz but with a strong folk and prog undercurrent, a group tone that has come even further to the fore on this superb new full-length called Sea Shell Listening. Standard instruments like saxophones and drumkit mix uniquely with marimba, tapes and electronics, folk-style acoustic guitar, and other intangibles for big long tunes that are in fact mostly swells of dynamics and tone, certainly as close as anyone else has gotten to late-period Talk Talk playing the sound of strong flower petals breathing quietly after a thunderstorm..... 

The debut album by the Cosmic Jokers is about as deep into pure ambience as 1971 kosmiche rock got while still sounding like a rock band (i.e. keys, guitars, bass, and drums, sometimes even vocals), more specifically a mean rock band... not overtly, but it's in there... with German rock, no matter how beautiful or celestial, the meanness comes via a certain starkness of instrumentation and tone.

I'd never heard of this The Younger Generation 12" before but it's from 1979 and features Cowboy, Kid Creole, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness, and Rahiem (aka The Furious Five without Grandmaster Flash being mentioned on the label, although he is mentioned in the lyrics). Melle Mel sez: "Rap like hell and make it sound like heaven." Sequence song is also a slammer, take it from someone who knows...

1 comment:

Hive Mind Holy Shroud said...

el jesus- i agree!
stop by and listen...
Davey Highben

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