By Steven Dinnie
September 30, 2013
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?
No. No. No, no no no no no no no. I am not writing a word about Smiley Virus other than to say Do not reward news agencies with clicks for filling their pages with voyeuristic shit. She’s like a small child putting her head in the oven for attention. The best thing you can do is ignore her. Although I am happy to announce my new TV show, coming soon to BBC2, it’s called “Let’s Hunt Down and Kill Billy Ray Cyrus”. Spoiler, he got to the Canadian border before the attack dogs got him. It’s really worth watching. There is nothing else worth talking about, so on with the missed, the out and the upcoming.
And what did I miss? Only bloody Black Joe Lewis’s new album. Now pulling that Mike Scott bullshit of at first being the Honeybears, then Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and now just plain old Black Joe Lewis (and the artists formerly known as the Honeybears), but egomania aside, it’s really pretty good stuff. They play like a band rocking away in the background of a second rate Tarantino venture. Mammas Queen showcases their full rocking vocabulary and the pretty-decent string section. If you dig the blues rock revival stuff like the Black Keys or Tame Impala you’d be well advised to catch up on this one. Summer is kind of over, so the sunset cider-drunk moment this album soundtracks is largely over ‘til next May; but when it hits, it hits.
I’ve been waiting to tell you about the Good, the Bad and the Damned the debut album from Zud. Who had the idea of combining Robin Trower’s solo stuff and Deathcrush-era Mayhem? Maine’s Zud did, and in the car-crash of genres Zud actually approach something transcendent. They mix pretty stock seventies rock with some pretty stock black metal, but it’s still a lot more interesting to listen to than John McLaughlin’s noodley self-indulgence or any of the later indecipherable black metal attempts, and it’s a lot less hamstrung with cheese than anything Opeth have done in the last decade. Zud pull a remarkable trick of extending their songs while practicing musical economy, the solos never drift into abstract musicological fret masturbation. The moments when they move towards the black metal end of the party are catchy and never become too heavy, and the groove is laden with menace. It’s a joy of a record. I urge you all to go out right now and overwhelm their website with calls of “Gimme gimme gimme!”
I can’t stop telling people about Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, the Newcastle band that are bringing out a split with Glasgow’s favourite the Cosmic Dead. I’ve heard their side of the split, as anyone can who visits their Bandcamp page, and it’s superb. Pure Gnodlike genius, and probably the second greatest British leftfield heavy record of the year after Hey Colossus. So there. And today, although they might be sold out on pre-orders alone, Blackest Rainbow Records are releasing an all-new Bong album. Idle Days on the Yann is a psychotropic freakout following on from the glacial 2012 album of the year contender Mana-Yood-Sushai. Is that a boat coming in to dock on a foggy evening, or is it Bong’s spectacular guitar tone? Added to by Holly Forster’s vocals, which produce a euphoric spacial doom and the most outwardly religious heavy metal album since Sleep’s Dopesmoker, her vocal movements, gentle and ghostlike, had me pinned to the floor for an entire afternoon. Bong have yet again turned the bull loose. Available on crazy gold vinyl from Blackest Rainbow Records’ Bandcamp but at time of writing almost sold out of their 700 run; no word on a digital release, but you’d be well advised to check out their free stream. More evidence that the low-end rumble coming out of north Britain at the moment is really something to keep an eye on for anyone interested in the world becoming an improved place. It’s worth noting that if you dig this or the Cosmic Dead stuff that Carlton Melton are coming to the UK, who I will sadly miss, but they are the Grand Vizier threatening to topple Hawkwind from the space rock throne. Be watchful for that.
So that’s my recommendations, what to catch, what to go out and get right now, and what to keep an eye on. What did I miss? Lots probably, I’m as on the ball as a dead seal. Why not tell me what I missed and call me an idiot on twitter?
Act now, and you too can regret following me on twitter @stevendinnie