Last year, about this very time, I had received an email from AndroidVirus, asking if I would be interested in contributing to his eZine, THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE. Having just pulled out of a year long spell of brutal depressive anxiety, with overwhelming agoraphobic symptoms *(that carried over to technology as well – – – I very quietly ceased all online activity, as there was a nice long writer’s block to accompany it – – – not good for a writer), I wasn’t entirely sure of myself, really, at that point. But I submitted an article anyway. Overlong and over-personal story short, a day or so later, I was asked if I wanted my own column. I said “sure, why not.” Little did I know that this would not only help chip away at the writer’s block, but would actually be read as well. Mostly music based, I’ve covered a variety of topics here *(weird sex, film, rants and retaliations – – – yes, I mean you, UDR PR Firm), but mostly I’ve focused on music. *(In all reality, if it weren’t for music, I might not even be here today – – – it’s saved my life on many occasions throughout the years of pain and dissatisfaction I’ve existed in – – – just as doing this column has.)
So, with that, I’d like to extend an immense THANK YOU to my bosses, AndroidVirus & Sean Breeding, founders & editors of THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE, and the ANDROIDVIRUS & SEAN SHOW weekly live radiocast *(they also happen to have bequested myself and Manic MoJoE Dancer with our own radiocast, 2 in the Same Boat, as well), for having the faith and taking the chance on inviting me into their ever-swelling beasts of culture, entertainment, and knowledge. It’s been an honor and pleasure to write for T.I.F. for the past year *(and seriously helped bring me out of the writer’s block debacle I was facing). Enough gratefulness cannot be shown.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve decided to do something a little different here in the ROSETTA BONES today. September 18th will be one full year since that first article was printed, and in that year I’ve had the chance to hear some truly fantastic music, and to hear some that made me want to cram my ear canals with ice-picks. I’ve decided to give mention *(in no particular order) to the 20 best albums I’ve reviewed over the past year, as it’s music that you should most definitely seek out – – – sounds of originality, sometimes of experimentation, and sometimes of just straight up good rock-n-roll *(rock-n-roll being used as a general statement here, applying to all I’ve covered, regardless of “genre”). As stated, these are in no particular order, but merely what I feel is the best of what I’ve heard throughout this strange year that has passed. Here goes:
1) PHILM – FIRE FROM THE EVENING SUN: This modern metal masterpiece is the current project from SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. It’s a sonic monolith of Leviathonic proportions, and something completely unique; psyche/doom of a completely different sort.
2) VOMIT FIST – FORGIVE BUT AVENGE EP: Don’t let the fact that this is “grind” put you off. They are a father/son band that in all reality pull from many different genre’s for influence. This is different, with a walloping dose of influence from old-school NYHC, and their own particular touches of experimentation.
3) BLOODY MESS ROCK CIRCUS – MOUNTAIN ROCK: A modern punk classic of depth and change from long-time performer and legend BLOODY F. MESS, that covers a multitude of subjects, mostly tales of his ascension toward betterment from ragged the pits of despair, both as a human being, and for the world. There’s much to be learned on this if given a proper listen and pontification.
4) RIGOR MORTIS – SLAVES TO THE GRAVE: The definitive final release from these long running metalpunk masters of horror. Unfortunately, founder/guitarist Mike Scaccia (MINISTRY, REVCO) passed during a RIGOR MORTIS set just before this was released. While not their catalogs best-best, tis a fitting farewell nonetheless, and still a really good album. RIP Mr. Scaccia.
5) SOME KIND OF NIGHTMARE – NEVER HAD A CHANCE: A blast of true punk rock from this San Diego, female fronted “power trio.” Old-school, yet still its own, I was incredibly surprised by this, their second full length. It’s powerhouse, and it’s real.
6) DOUBLE EYELID – SEVEN YEARS: Another three piece, vocalist Ian Revell’s DOUBLE EYELID brews goth, synthpop, cabaret, 70’s glam, and ERASERHEAD in a cauldron of beautiful sadness and gutted romance that is truly something unto itself. This album is brilliant, passionate, romantic, morose, and it is a must-own.
7) JOHN CARPENTER – THEMES: What’s there really to say? Never released and newly written compositions by one of the greatest not only directors, but composers, as well, something that many seem to overlook *(how, I don’t know, but I’ve always been a huge fan of his soundtracks). Sit back, close your eyes, and let best film he never made play out in your mind through his compositions.
8) THE FEVER – DIRTY HOT EP: An amazing male/female two-piece post-punk act from Germany, THE FEVER are exactly what the album title implies. Dancey, raucous, early NY punk in sound (leaning more towards BLONDIE than the RAMONES), their live performances are unbeatable. Not only that, they are two of the absolute nicest, egoless musicians I have ever had the pleasure to hang with.
9) THE MOIDALIZERS – S/T EP: A six-piece rock-n-roll metalpunk powerhouse of a band from the wilds of Philadelphia, PA. Cryptids, conspiracies, ufo’s, it’s all there. These gents put a lot of work into their anthems, which every song is, and it shows. Check them out, ASAP. And if you can see them live, do it.
10) CANCERSLUG – ROOTWORK: Perhaps one of the finest releases from this long-running, notorious Huntsville, AL collection of musical monsters. Haunting, seductive, and downright different from anything else in their overwhelming catalog, or that you’re bound to hear anywhere else. But be warned, they are addictive, and once in, you won’t come out the same, if you even come out. Slugcult Rise.
11) THE DROOGETTES – S/T EP: Another incredible group out of Philly, and something one doesn’t see too frequently anywhere: an all girl streetpunk band with a CLOCKWORK ORANGE appearance, and full-on attitude, to boot. Excellently produced, this is another log on the fire of decent undiscovered music that is out there, if you know where to look. Milkbars are usually a good place to start.
12) SEPO – S/T EP: I’m not entirely sure what’s up with this release, as it’s still not officially out, however, it is some classic sounding Los Angeles punk in the true-tradition, even featuring AGENT ORANGE’S Dave Klein on bass. Some great tracks on this, Mitch Bateman’s latest release. Another straight to the gut.
13) GHOST – MELIORA: Those not familiar with GHOST should do so, there’s not much else to be said. Visually stunning, sonically amazing, and completely Satanic in philosophy, this is some of the best you’ll hear in the doom/stoner/psych realms of rock-metal. *(This and UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS, whom I haven’t gotten around to reviewing just yet, but am quite familiar with.)
14) SLEEP OF MONSTERS – PRODUCES REASON: A beautiful, almost genreless album, and the latest work from former BABYLON WHORES vocalist supreme Ike Vil. Just as occultic as his previous band, S.O.M. come at it from a different angle, musically and lyrically, than his previous project, though no less intensely. This is genius at work.
15) MILK SPOT – HETERO-FLEXIBLE EP: Looking for a little humor in your punk rock, say, along the lines of classic ANGRY SAMOANS or DEAD MILKMEN? Look no further than MILK SPOT, a Florida band who’s short-n-silly, fun ep is sure to bring that bit of uplift and (much needed) political incorrectness to your day.
16) ROCK JONG IL – DICTATORS OF ROCK: A kick-in-the-balls all out metalpunk thrash attack is what you’ll find here. From the sandy wastelands of ABQ, NM, comes this secret like a buried treasure. Intriguing topics, stellar classic sound, this blew my mind like a North Korean landmine upon first listen. It should yours, too.
17) DI AUGER – WHITE LABEL / BLACK NOISE: A brilliant blend of industrial, punk, and goth mixed into something you’ve never quite heard before – – – this is NEO INDUSTRIAL GOTHIC ROCK. Dystopian, haunting, romantic, pain-stricken, This is for when the need annihilate (or fukk viciously) presents itself. An astounding album from a one-man band, this needs to be heard.
18) ALEX STORY – THE JUNKIE CHRONICLES: The main-monster behind that indestructible force known as CANCERSLUG, and lycanthropic vocal-charisma of DOYLE, splays his own soul and mind in two, for the world to take as it will, on this intimate disc of acoustic, brutal beauty. As with all things ALEX, this is not quite like anything you’ve ever heard. The passion, lusts, truths, pains, cravings, demons, and rare moments of strange solace cum through from first song to last. Slugcult Rise.
19) CHRISTIAN DEATH – THE ROOT OF ALL EVILUTION: It’s been a long 8 years, but Valor & Maitri have recorded possibly the best album of the millennium for these ever-controversial Grandmasters of Goth. Sonically almost harkening back to another era, the sound, concepts, and production on this album are all in the red, and that’s a good thing. They’ve been around a long time. If they were to stop here, at this high point, I would be satisfied. They’ve finally honed what I think they’ve been trying to do for years now, but never fully achieving. Here they do, and it is a fully welcome pleasure, as well as surprise.
20) KILLMAMA – SOFT COOKIES: Another male/female two piece, also from FL (and featuring Rob Kingsley of MILK SPOT), they play a dingy, dankly morose everglades blues that is no frills, all meat, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Sophie Sputnik’s vocals ripping right down deep into the soul, the heart and quite cathartically battling those self-defeating plagues of the mind, carried by a steady flow of wavering, soul-soaked blues ax-manship of the greatest and most honest magnitudes.
And that about sums it up. Honorable mention goes to JUSTIN SYMBOL – VOIDHEAD, and POUND OF FLESH – PILLS, BLACK MOUNTAIN – IN THE FUTURE, and HIGH ON FIRE – LUMINIFEROUS as well. As for the really bad stuff, there just may be a five album list or some such thing, I’ve not decided yet.
Once again, many thanks to Aaron & Sean. It’s been not just an honor to write for T.I.F., but I’m also lucky enough to be a regularly working writer at that, something not so easy. And also for all the work they put into helping make 2 in the Same Boat w/MoJoE & Vincent *(which airs live every Monday night at 9pm EST, only on THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE RADIO NETWORK), the 120 minutes of fun and madness that it is *(to which I can also thank my co-host as well, MoJoE). And anyone who’s read this column, followed it to an capacity, replied to a review, I also say thank you. October’s right around the corner, a special time here amongst the ROSETTA BONES: Be prepared *(for what though I have no clue).
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is email@example.com