By Steven Dinnie
Scientists have determined that the Earth’s surface will not be able to support human life much longer, due to pollution and overpopulation. In 1957, Dr Carl Garstein proposed three alternative solutions. The first was a drastic reduction of the human population on Earth. The second, the construction of vast underground shelters. Alternative three?
So it appears it’s the time for babies. Royal ones, bastard sons of arsehole X-factor businessmen, hell, even Pandas are getting knocked up. The music year hasn’t been nearly so fertile. The vast unkempt jungles of incomplete Melvins impersonations and dead-eyed jock-rock tedium are really taking their toll, so I appeal to all readers of this dreadful thing, now in its third iteration: please send me something I might like, things I’ve missed or upcoming things I might get excited about. Also brace yourselves for a shameless bit of self-promotion, because Ripple Music asked me to write about the heaviest album of all time, if you’re a fan of this inconsequential rubbish, my opinion can be found here.
So if you’re looking for a little bit of revisionist history, you need look no further than the self-titled debut from Toronto’s IRN, available on super artefact limited edition tape from Breathe Plastic, or pay-as-you-please from IRN’s personal bandcamp. No connection to the Scottish gastric emulsifier Irn Bru (“made in Scotlan’ frum girders”) as far as I can tell. Their immediate doom is real marrow-shaking solidity from minute one. The doom scene is a bit staid, and it’s worth pointing out that if you aren’t already on board with Ramesses latest output then IRN are unlikely to convert you. But underground doom fans, gather and prepare for another dose of sound and fury.
Say it with me, but you’ll have to say it quite loud because I have tinnitus; that new Nails album isn’t as good as Unsilent Death. But Southern Lord comes through for all of us yearning for some audio battering with Dead in the Dirt’s ‘The Blind Hole’, feedbackapolloosa descends into grinding riffage a lot like the more chilled Nails cuts, but this album is a killer. Dead in the Dirt are a straight edge grindcore band, as much as that label makes me throw up in my mouth a little, they pull of something approaching aesthetic perfection. The sound is ground down into perfect brutality. However, if your favourite band is The Pretenders and you’re sad Chrissie Hynde is too busy flipping burgers to make more tunes like ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’, you’d be best advised to check out the new Haim song, which basically is ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’, except not quite as good. There’s plenty of inoffensive mewling riffs and soft rock goodness to be had. It’s toothless stuff for hipsters, sure, but it’s actually alright. The ‘chicka-wah’ vocal stuff might get on your tits if you aren’t a complete arsehole though. Neither grindcore battering or Springsteen-esque temple massage your thing? Howzabouts a 24-minute Casio-backed posse rap? Zone in on Hyperbolic Chamber Music 2, featuring dozens of weird rap’s top dogs spitting a verse; it’s alienating and stylish enough to keep me enraptured, and I’m whiter than a glass of milk in a snowstorm.
And because I think I’m duty bound to talk them up because I seem to have been doing it my whole career, do seek out the first two records by Edinburgh’s very own instrumental doom supergroup Jackal Headed Guard of the Dead. Great enough on their own merits and sounding like medieval churches sinking into a lava flow, they will be required reading come the time that their new record hits the scene later this year. Edinburgh has a ridiculously well-developed doom scene and Jackal are the best of them. A synthesis of old-school Reverend Bizarre and H.P. Lovecraft’s creeping horror and smoked through a bong filled with whisky. Their videos will teach you how to make dope tea and mysterious pentagram stars drawn with chip spice appear in their recording rooms. It might all be bullshit, but they seem to really mean it. Did I mention it’s free?
So what did I miss? I’m looking for some real audience participation here. Tell me what’s been rocking your world in the last six months(ish) and what you’re really psyched about. It’ll save me looking it up.
Act now, and you too could regret following me on twitter @stevendinnie