ALBUM REVIEW: Rated Eye – Rated Eye


Almost 60 years on from the kaleidoscopic cultural explosion, tied to the back of free-loving, flower-powering, mind-warping hippies and the kicked-open-door of artistically experimenting possibilities, Hard Rock-New-Wave-Jazz-Punk ensemble Rated Eye demonstrate on debut Rated Eye (Wax Donut Records) that people are definitely still strange. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: CNTS – Thoughts and Prayers


CNTS is a classy band. You already know that before you’ve heard a note of the music. So for the uninitiated (this being the band’s second album, following their self-titled 2019 debut) what are you going to expect of Thoughts & Prayers (Ipecac Recordings)?Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Pissed Jeans – Half Divorced


Even in a world of Butthole Surfers and Cuntroaches, there’s something about the name Pissed Jeans that’s so… gross. In terms of bands with names that might bother your parents though, the Pennsylvanian four-piece’s latest record Half Divorced (Sub Pop), has more in common with The Circle Jerks (not to mention Black Flag and Fear). This album here is quintessentially hardcore in spirit (and often in sound too). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: ZAHN – Adria


 

German instrumental three-piece ZAHN (featuring members of Einstürzende Neubauten and Heads) combines musical elements that might seem strange on paper, but make perfect sense on record.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Liturgy – 93696


When it comes to describing 93696 (Thrill Jockey), the latest album by Liturgy, one could just as well start by describing what this album is not. It is not a record to easily put on in the background and definitely not a go-to if you want to reduce your anxiety. Pretty much the opposite is true. This is a record screaming in your ears for attention, that induces anxiety all along the way.

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UPDATED: Supergroup Tomahawk (Faith No More, Jesus Lizard, Battles) Teases New Album and Music


Legendary avant-garde rock supergroup Tomahawk, comprised of current and former members of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Battles, and more, has dropped a video teaser! You can hear new music and this may mean we will get news of a new album, too The teaser was shared via the Ipecac Records social media pages, which is the bands’ label, co-owned by frontman Mike Patton. The band has not released new music since 2013’s Oddfellows. Last year, guitarist Duane Dennison revealed the band was working on a new album. The full reveal is expected on January 21st, 2021! (UPDATE you can hear the bands’ new single here!)

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Exclusive: Hex Volt – Full EP Stream, Out This Friday


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Arizona punk and sludge merchants Hex Volt are streaming their new EP at Ghost Cult today. The Best Hex Volt EP Ever (it’s their only one) releases this Friday and you can hear it below: Continue reading


KEN Mode – Success


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A wail of feedback, a sludgy, laconic riff, a jarring bass line and Success (Season of Mist) shudders into being in the style of that too-cool-to-give-a-fuck band that ambles on stage and begins the song with each member starting at their own pace and point of choice. KEN Mode, kings of the post-surf/noise rock power-trio kingdom stroll acerbically into their sixth album.

Jesse Matthewson, known for intelligent, confrontation and biting observations, has chosen to measure his delivery this time, and most of his outpourings are part-spoken and spat, rather than roared or thrown from his maw, seemingly intent on imparting off-centre soundbites. “I would like to kill the nicest man in the world” he states at the outset of ‘These Tight Jeans’, where he trades off lines with Jill Clapham in both a catchy and knowingly cool fashion, channelling his inner Jesus Lizard.

The hand of Steve Albini is present all through, as the In Utero (Geffen) producer skuzzes up ‘The Owl’, an astringent swagger with stoner undertones, before a bass crunk and cello mid-section pull the song into a discordant yowl over clashing chords, as KEN Mode play with the notion of traditional song-structure effectively. Sonic Youth would be proud.

Yet all is not rosy in KEN and Barbie’s world. There is a nagging feeling that while Clutch (for whom KEN Mode certainly owe a something to) are naturally and instinctively quirky, for the first time KM things feel a bit forced, as if stating “Handfuls of proverbial shit tossed over and over against that same proverbial wall” (‘Blessed’) is a little close to the mark, and that moving to a more caustic pop sound may be contrived, such as on the overly self-aware and smug ‘A Passive Disaster’. The cap might not fit at the moment, but all it would take is adjusting the clasp at the back. At times, this new KEN Mode just sits a little uncomfortably. But then such doubts are stomped to dust by the rising dynamic of ‘Management Control’ which builds to feedback end, or the exemplary dark, brooding, sprawling ‘Dead Actors’, that recalls The Doors clashing with a more progressive Nirvana.

Mixing a Clutch of stoner, a Tad of grunge and pinch of Mudhoney slovenliness in their Helmet of groove, KEN Mode can consider their transition a Success. Just.

7.0/10

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STEVE TOVEY