April showers bring… more metal? We welcome you once again to check out what the staff of Hellbound are playing and recommending this month.
Listening to: L7 – Scatter The Rats (Blackheart Records). It’s hard to believe that the last time L7 released a full-length album was in 1999. Any one of the group’s albums has aged so well, that they all continue to just ooze power and are able to hook listeners like a fisherman’s gaffe! That tradition continues to hold up on Scatter The Rats; L7’s seventh full-length album. Each track recalls the best of everything the LA band stood for when grunge dominated the world and they rode high, and does it truly and genuinely without relying on nostalgia in hopes of getting over. Rather, Scatter The Rats just powers through without the earnest posturing normally associated with a comeback, and listeners get to feel like the band never left, as a result. (Released May 3, 2019)
New release: Charger – s/t (Pirates Press Records). It may feel impossible to believe but, as of this writing, it has been just under four years since the death of Motorhead singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister. That name still carries a tremendous amount of weight, and the absence of Motorhead has left an enormous, enduring void in the realm of hard rock. It is into that space Rancid bassist Matt Freeman has cast his new project Charger, and damned if it doesn’t fit. In seven cuts, Charger claims some space for itself on the map where punk, shred and hard rock meet, play hard to all three camps and the results are fantastic. (Released May 10, 2019)
Live: Dead Kennedys – DK 40 3CD (Manifesto Records). Now that bands and record labels have accepted the possibility that bootlegs might have a valid place on New Release racks (you can thank bands like Pearl Jam, The Doors, Neil Young and Lars Frederiksen for that), Dead Kennedys have elected to throw their hat into the ring too, for the band’s fortieth anniversary. Now, in true bootleg tradition, getting used to the sound of this release takes some doing (the three live shows collected for this set are from 1982 and 1985, and sound like they might – MIGHT – have been recorded by plugging a tape recorder into the mixing board at the venue) but historians will easily find the value here. Fans will appreciate the opportunity to hear how good the band actually was in its prime and with all of the original members present, and even through East Bay Ray’s production credit on this release is a token one at most (if efforts were made to clean up the sound on this recording, it must have originally sounded pretty bad), it will be met with appreciation from longtime fans because at least they get to hear it. (CD released on April 26, will be released digitally on May 10, 2019)
Non-Metal: Tensei – Constellate Instrumentals (Tokyo Dawn Records). As good as the full album release of Constellate is, Tensei’s vocal-free release stands as a brand apart which definitely needs hearing. With the rotating vocal chair that the album originally featured left empty, listeners get the chance to absorb the slippery but serene urban rhythms of this record, and it won’t take them long to love this as much or more than the vocals-included version of the album.
Wild card: P – s/t (Capitol Records). Raiding my own record collection recently, I pulled out my old copy of P’s first and only album. For those who aren’t familiar, P was the work of two actors (Sal Jenco and Johnny Depp), a Butthole Surfer (Gibby Haynes) and an underrated songwriter/producer (Bill Carter who’s credits include work with the Butthole Surfers and Stevie Ray Vaughan) who took the few songs they had written, combined them with a couple of covers (one of an Abba song and one of a Daniel Johnston song), recorded them and handed the results to Capitol Records for release (because the Butthole Surfers happened to be signed to Capitol at the time). The album didn’t do much when it was originally released in 1995 and did about the same when it got reissued in 2007 (on Caroline Records) but, for those who DID find it, there is definitely a certain bent appeal. Throughout each cut, P features the sort of hazy, blurry vibe that the best Butthole Surfers albums do, but that’s combined with a kind of cutesy and intentionally disposable “we made this because we could!” Vibe which keeps the going consistently light. Every time I throw this record on, it makes me happy, and it did it again when it came time to fill out my Hellbound list this month.
New Release: Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – Yn Ol I Annwn. Heavy, psychedelic, and featuring the ethereal vocals of Jessica, this band deserve to be huge.
Live: Zealot Cult at Siege of Limerick. Local talent that can easily match anything on the world stage.
Listening to: The fabulous Death Waltz version of John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. An amazing soundtrack to truly great film.
Wild Card: The four album collection of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem from Esoteric Records. Great songs and performances will always be timeless.
Listening to: Xenoblight https://xenoblight.bandcamp.com/releases
New release: Periphery – Periphery IV: HAIL STAN out April 5, 2019 via band’s own label 3DOT recordings https://soundcloud.com/periphery-official
Live: Dark Tranquillity headlining the last day of Out Of Line Festival. I don’t think it would be possible for these guys to do an average show.
Non-Metal: I never use this category since I don’t really listen to much non metal (metal has plenty of subgenres), but since the Out Of Line Weekender I have been checking out some electronic industrial sounding bands. Belgians Any Second did impress me very much with their stage presence and sound: https://youtu.be/0feXeCXHeAk?list=PLbxsF7TbfWQvrq49U_nfupk_6rJ6VolGQ
Listening to: Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzn8GhxmwpY
New release: Hypoxia – Abhorrent Disease. Brutal, groovy, classic sounding Death Metal coming out of Queens New York. https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2019/04/25/full-album-stream-hypoxia-abhorrent-disease/
Live: Exhumed with Necrot at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. Sweaty crammed conditions only added to the true underground feeling of these two phenomenal bands being billed together.
Non-Metal: Seen Pink (again) live at the SAP Center in San Jose on 04/17/19. I’ve said it once and ill say it again, the complete package. Sing, dance, acrobatics, that woman can do it all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSkwWDhEtiI
Wild Card: Counting down the days to Heavy Montreal so I can be reunited with my Metal Brother and Sister Adam and Laura and super talented Niece Sarah. https://www.heavymontreal.com/en
Listening to: Truckfighters – Gravity X
New release: Spirit Adrift – Divided by Darkness
Live: Ufomammut/Kings Destroy @ Hard Luck tonight (April 27)
Non-Metal: Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Wild card: I just ate Kentucky Fried lamb pancreas, so there’s that…
Listening to: High on Fire – Snakes For the Divine (2010). Sometimes you just want a hurricane of riffs to tear your planet apart. That’s what High on Fire do. FROST HAMMER!!!
New release: Lord Dying – Mysterium Tremendum (April 26, 2019) Right from the cover you know this album is going to be… involved. The songs don’t try to hide the prog but I never felt it to be pretentious. You’ll get dragged in.
Live: I heard something about a Hellbound.ca 10th Anniversary Party June 1st in Hamilton?
Non-Metal: Danko Jones – A Rock Supreme (April 26, 2019). I don’t consider Danko Jones metal. It’s all about the rock! The energy and catchiness here is infectious. Would you expect anything less? It’s Danko.
Wild card: My wife and I burned though season 7 of Game of Thrones to get refreshed before the final season started. So far the final season is great. The Battle of Winterfell in episode 3 was just off the charts. How are they going to out-epic that in the final episodes?
Listening to: Death – Symbolic (Roadrunner Records, 1995). There isn’t one song on this record that isn’t a masterpiece. Never gets old.
New Release: Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods (April 26th, 2019). I had originally heard the single Blackened Call in 2018. It went right up my melodic black metal alley, so I immediately added it to my master playlist of stellar tunes. When I later heard the full album had been released, I had no doubt I’d dig it. If Tribulation and Be’lakor had a metal love child, it would be Belzebubs and I’m living for it. https://youtu.be/eUReGRHsGcI
Live: Laager, Cathartic Demise, West of Hell and Expain @ Dstrct, Guelph, April 13th.
Non-Metal: The Pixies – Bone Machine (Surfer Rosa, 1988)
Wild card: Coven Plant Based Marketplace opened on April 29th downtown Kitchener. Super cool Vegan grocery, bakery and deli spot. http://covenmarket.com
Listening to: Isole – Bliss of Solitude (2008, Napalm) https://isole.bandcamp.com/album/bliss-of-solitude
New release: Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring (26 April, Cruz del Sur) https://smoulder.bandcamp.com/album/times-of-obscene-evil-and-wild-daring
Live: Voivod & Yob @ the Phoenix, March 30th, 2019.
Non-Metal: Game of Thrones (Music from the HBO Series)
Listening to: Devin Townsend – Empath (Inside Out)
New release: Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring (Cruz del Sur Records)
Non-Metal: Arrival (Original Soundtrack) – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Wild card: Us (dir. Jordan Peele)