Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Mortice - Deathography 1992-1995

The distro is a year old now. It doesn't seem like two minutes since I was collecting cd's from No Fit State, Blagg, Trauma Unit, Faceshredder and Theia. All those bands are now dead. All those imaginary friends I created out of there music are neglected playthings rotting into perverse memories at the back of my mind. Maybe when my nephew turns 14 and tries to show me what his mates are doing musicwise my ghosts of obscure punk will surface with a quick ole skelp to the cheeks and a roaring "You think this is something, eh, kid?" from the gut before retiring to my bedsit in my sisters garage to blast some Parole and stab at a globe with a chisel. Oh I forgot to say, I suspect early onset dementia is going to be a big player in my future.

Yesterday all I wanted to do was rip off my face and bitch slap strangers into brain dead silence with the it. If you did ever rip your face off and swing it about like a wet towel I would imagine that it will feel like  a cross between slippery leather and malleable bread dough. Today all I want to do is lure people into my house under false pretenses, handcuff them to my radiators and forget about them. For the life of me though I can't point you towards the source of this growing annoyance. Maybe its this new form of capitalism that the rubberfaced/goatlegged leader is telling us to love. Should I really twist my grimace into a sweet smile and work an extra 23 years than my father did where I'll earn less retirement money and give more to a state that is going to give less to me? I'm not sure I entirely care about that more now than I did a few months ago though. Besides, I've got bigger portions of fish and chips to piss on. Scottish Independence. On a cerebral level I've never been proud to be Scottish or British. Anyone proud over anything they can't change is utterly suspect. As Orwell said "Nationalism is a sickness". On a more guttural level though my inner bigot is screaming "About fucking time.". With the calls for independence growing louder I can feel myself wanting to return to the motherland in an uncomfortable manner, much like Winston crying uncontrollably for his love for Big Brother. Maybe thats whats left me feeling so ridden with detest lately. Most of my closest friends are English, my partner is English and I've spent my entire working life in England. I could say it is a childish and petty notion to want to leave all these great people to return to my Heimat.

I disgust myself that I even have these notions. To hell with nationalism. To hell with borders and boundaries.

Anyway, the soundtrack to this blogpost is Mortice. No, not the troll. A death metal band from Spennymoor, County Durham, that were active in the early to mid 90's. Kat Gillham, singer of my own grubby quintette Winds of Genocide, cut her teeth in this band as a young baby faced artist. The Chilean record label Compilations of Death has released Mortice's three demos on CD with detailed six page inlay booklet. Considering I was six when this band started recording and nine when they broke up I must admit that I missed most of this, if not all. I hadn't found the underground death metal scene just yet. The three demos document the creative curve of this band more so than many other discographies. The first seven tracks are primitive and brutal. Concentrating less on speed and technical skills and going more so for precise and blunt bursts of aggression. The next four tracks expand a bit more on riff writing. Most of the interesting riffs are to be found amongst these tracks. The rest of the CD is an unexpected venture into black metal. Pulling it off by being more experimental than most underground black metalers at points. Overall some nail biting moments and some definite lip biting riffs.

What can I really say? If you like your death metal to be the soundtrack to a series of local murders, buy this. If you want your death metal to be compared to Mozart of Tchaikovsky, fuck off.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

I'll be back soon.

This distro is a year old now. Doesn't feel it but it is. I guess time flies when your not thinking about things. Say your going to do something pretty uninvolved and whelp a year later and a year has passed over. Woo yay, a measure of time has occurred. Perhaps nine more of these will happen and I'll get excited for some reason or other. I've got some cd's that I should really blog about but really, who am I doing the blog for? You or me? Why should I worry that I haven't done a blog recently? I'm not worried and I don't think anyone is missing it. Most people probably wont read this blog if it's not attached to a bands release. This is perhaps the most self indulgent post that I've put out in that case. While I'm not writing about music have a list of post ideas I didn't use and might use in the future.

-Are my thoughts killing me?
-Zelda, more of an inside joke than you ever knew.
-Why did the man at customs laugh at my passport and let me through anyway?
-Do I own this cat or not now?
-New Winds of Genocide album to be entitled "Schemocide".
-In Welsh Y is pronounced OO and O is Oh. Kids don't play with yoyo's they simply say the name and wonder why people won't play with them.
-Should I post after drinking?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dave Hughes - Despite the Blackout

It's Halloween weekend and I'm convinced the Misfits have ruined it. I was out last night in Newcastle upon Tyne and had similar conversations with strangers every 20 minutes or so. "Oh cool, your dressed as one of the Misfits!" "No, actually, I'm dressed as Dracula." "Oh Sorry"/"Oh cool, the Misfits." "Naw mate, Zombie." "My bad."/"Oooooooooneeeeee laaaaaaaaaast carrreeeessss" "huh?" "you know, Misfits" "huh? Oh no I'm a skeleton" "Of course you are mate, of course you are"/"Dig up her booooooones" "With suspicious minds"/"Danzig?" "Dildo". Most girls out there did the Misfits routine too but making it somehow slutty. Jerry Only as a lipstick lesbian. Not the best to be honest.

Why does this matter? It doesn't really I suppose. I have a few copies of my brothers latest ep Despite the Blackout. As far as I know he doesn't really care about the Misfits either. My brother plays acoustic punk folk type stuff. Think Billy Bragg with more anger and less money. Maybe Mescelaros if instead of playing world music they played variations of Nebraska (Oh, you know what album Nebraska is. Don't make me say the "S" word). These comparisons are meant to come in three's I've noticed. The third? CRASS! Yes, C through the R to the capital ASS! Somewhere out there some crusty has just spat some vegan friendly chili over his laptop and my brother has just shuddered and uttered an obscenity to himself. Let me draw some comparisons. Straight off, the politics. Sure my brother isn't advocating Bakunin styled anarchy but he does seem to share a similar level of disdain towards the current state of society. Rather than sneering "Fuck the government" and singing a dozen songs about drinking Dave sings about his ideas for change. Second, at first the members of Crass could not play their instruments. Guitars were dropped tuned to be played with one finger and tuning was often abandoned to a style of playing that created an atmospheric wall of distorted noise. Some of Daves tracks will feature a mandolin being thrashed to buggery completely out of time. Violins with intonation shot to hell lurking in the background. Third, when Crass formed anyone who wanted to get involved an who agreed with cause could join. 9 piece band which revolved around from song to song. My brothers own backing band The Renegade Folk Punk Band operates in a fairly similar matter. I've done a fair few gigs with the RFPB and never with the same line-up. Infact, on one tour I'm pretty sure the line-up changed on five consecutive nights. Fourth, Crass hated the average brain dead punk. I don't wanna drag Dave right out the closet with this one but if you have a PUNX tattoo and ever uttered the words "Yass, the Casualties are playing in town soon!" then you aren't for Dave. You know, I could go on. DIY Releases, Obscure Venues, Endless line of Benefit Gigs, The main guy singings name ends in VE. Fair enough, I know I'm clutching at straws here and any punk band could probably fit the above paragraph. I just wanted to write all this nonsense after an afternoon in Daves car where he listened to the first three seconds of every track on Stations of the Crass, said "no" and skipped to the next.

That being said everything I've wrote so far is true though. His current ep that I have in the distro, Despite the Blackout, is his first release on a label. Stamped by Corporate Records and Acoustic Riot. This is Daves most refined recordings as far as production is concerned. Despite recording everything at home he's achieved quite a polished sound on this with a more satisfying guitar tone than the average punk with an acoustic guitar and a laptop. Some carnivalesque drumming which sounds a bit like the Pogues spending the morning after trying to remember the song they wrote the night before, before the hangover kicks in. Theres a fantastic violin intro which made me switch the thing off, goto the window and inspect what the neighbors were doing suspecting they had bought some kind of intense power drill and were invading my kitchen. Scathing lyrics "Take me away to a happier place, perhaps the days before I met your face". Lyrics sheet. Although If theres one CD in the distro which probably doesn't need the lyrics sheet it's probably this one. What the hell is Parole, Feotal Juice or Theia on about?

Come get this ep out the distro if you like Frank Turner, Gaslight Anthem, Dave Hughes or Springstone.

While I'm at it. Here's some facts about Dave. We recently spent the night drinking our Glasgow friends under the table. Afterwards we ate our weight in meat and slept on the streets. Dave woke up, traveled a hundred miles by train and walked straight into work without so much of a shit, shower or shave. Anyone who wont come to their local pub to see some live music on a week night should man up and be more like Dave. The man is soon to become Dr Hughes. We were once kicked out of a national trust building for playing too loud. Back in the day most wounds were fixed with duct tape. During one recording session I did with him he blew up the coffee machine. It embedded ground coffee in his tear ducts. He drove himself and the drummer to the nearest hospital, had the coffee removed, came back and recorded the ep (Which oddly enough was nicked and released by a german record label that we didn't bother trying to get in touch with). Dave has three tattoos. Two of which lack punctuation and the third is a Crass tattoo on his inner thigh.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Foetal Juice - Live @ Dead Haggis 2011

Dirty hippy tricks! Bad bad hippies! Maybe it was the North Koreans or the Chinese. I dunno, who does know? Just some sinister money making ploy. Holland and Barret are selling under the counter Foetal Juice. It just might keep you young. Sucked from the gullet of young unsuspecting mothers lured from victory amusements by seemingly abandoned half cartons of fags. Packaged by demented monks. Drunk by yuppies. This chunky drink tastes a little like salty cream. It's an outrage I say. Just wait till the Daily Mail hears about this expensive daily meal. Foetal Juice tasting like yogurt mixed with excrement? Utter nonsense. If your gonna spend all that time kidnapping riff raff and stealing their unborn babies you may as well make it taste more like a rare steak or something more fitting. Think of dignity in all. If someone was going to devour your corpse what would you rather taste like? Warm stale man milk or sliced baby cow? They don't call it Foetal Juice by the way. It's called something like Tasty Lychee Drink. Lies, damn lies. Not even good lies! If they were to call it Foetal Juice people would be far to liable to get it confused with the Mancunian death metal band of the same name.

When I saw Foetal Juice live they opened their set with a song about Subway Sandwiches, "Colostomy Baguette". Well it might have been about Subway or it might have just been about eating scat. It's hard to tell some times. Either way, it was the start of something beautiful. "This song is about our guitarist, its called Lord Lactate.", my girlfriend nudged me looking worried and said "Are we allowed to laugh at that? He might actually be sensitive about his problem and is calling out for support.". Perhaps. Maybe I got this whole comedy lyrics thing wrong. What if "Service Station Masturbation" is more than a funny song title? Maybe its a call to arms. A way of sussing out those in the audience with an alternative to dogging. In a couple years time I'll post on the blog how I ruined a perfectly good Foetal Juice t-shirt after meeting a man in a service station with leaky tits. I can almost smell the fun times ahead.

Foetal Juice play refreshingly tight, loud and clear death metal. The riffs are never dull and the lyrics are witty on a biblical level. Semen Evil Smear No Evil. Eh? Some Jewish humor there for ya. I have free copies of their live cd in the distro now. Come and grab a copy the next time you see the distro.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Winds of Genocide - The Arrival of Apokalyptic Armageddon

You know what I hate in metal? When things are too clean. It's not right, damnit. There's something suspect about a live band with ironed combat shorts. Same go's for punk. Should an Amebix t-shirt ever enter the washing machine? I can tell if a band is going to suck or not just by their stench. If they step out the van smelling like piss and cider then your on to a winner. If they walk into the venue with designer stubble then your running the risk of watching a band thats liable to pull out cowboy hats and expects audience participation. Scary times my friends. Happened to me once at a gig in Newcastle. I should have guessed something was wrong after spending an hour or so in the vicinity of this hyper little man who kept running up to me saying "This is going to be fun!" with an elongated emphasis on the U of fun. "This is going to be fuuUuuun". It's bringing back a panic attack now just thinking of it. Why dear god did I stay? The live set wasn't too dissimilar to a terrifying clown making you feel obliged to circle jerk with goofy strangers you only just met at Sunday school. If you come across a well groomed man in a cowboy hat turn and walk away. Come to think of it. Another band in cowboy hats once took 45 minutes out of an hour long set to make my girlfriend and I play the name game. The name game, a game of alliteration and remembering everyones name. Wild, utterly wild.

No-one can accuse Winds of Genocide for being too clean. We've been called Grubby Crust Lords, Filthy Whorehouse D-beat and Durham Dirtbags if memory serves me right. None of us are even from Durham, that just salt in the wounds I think. I've been grubby since the day I was born. Fell out the womb covered in a film of grime that just could never be washed off. Winds is the band my dirty self had been made for. Three chords and a d-beat. Anything else is just pretentious. Last year we recorded "The Arrival of Apokalyptic Armageddon" in the 1 in 12 club with the mighty Bridoom at the mixing desk. I can't remember this recording session in great deal to be honest as I was on a lot of painkillers. We were due to leave for Bradford on the Thursday for four days. Woke up Monday morning unable to straighten my leg out or control the screaming that I can only presume was coming out my mouth. The pain pretty much eclipsed every other bodily sensation and in theory that screaming could of been coming from anywhere. Got the taxi to the hospital. Taxi drivers. Why is it that if you tell a taxi driver your in pain they feel the need to recite what they consider the worst pain to be for the entire ride? Doesn't help. "So whats up with you sonny?" "My knee, excruciating, need hospital." "Oh thats not good, I tell you what, I once had kidney stones. Imagine someone was using a pipe cleaner to clean your bits out only its old and rusted and snaps in half up your member? Just picture is sonny, my member stuffed with a rusty, jaggy pipe cleaner. Picture it son, was really sore. I tell you that. Sore sore sore". A few hours in the hospital later and they sent me home not knowing what was wrong with it. They pumped me full of drugs but wouldn't let me take any home. My own doctor thinks thats a bit suspect. I think they thought I was just putting it on for free drugs. They did however give me a rather nifty techno-brace. Made it home through another taxi driver which seemed to involve more screaming. Gp sent over more painkillers. Called Kat from Winds of Genocide to explain the situation. Couldn't walk, in excruciating pain, doped up and studio time booked in three days time halfway across the country. She convinced me that going to the studio was the better option rather than staying at home as their would be more people around to keep an eye on me in Bradford.

Like I say, can't remember much of the details. A dog bled on me. Glynn and I listened to a Consume album over and over, vegans were unhappy with herring rollmops I had bought, Martin from Gruel put us up, Kat got angry with yet another taxi drivers, bloody taxi drivers, Geriatric Unit played, Linus thought we should make all Winds songs faster, Kat disagreed, the jukebox had Bathory, a woman in a local pub said "I'm not racialist or anything but see all these asians, where do they come from?". I left a day early, my basslines were done and I was spending too much money sitting about. A jobsworth on the train spotted my railcard was a day out of date and charged me an extra £40 to get home. "That cripple over there trying to travel across the country on crutches with a basscase the size of him probably is having it to easy. SIR, I say SIR, the £30 you bought despite not really having the money for is invalid, you need to spend another £40 when logically you should only pay another £10. Yes I am a big diseased perineum.".

Anyway. We're going back down to record again in a couple weeks and I thought I'd post this as I have a few copies of the Arrival in the distro. Email me if your after one.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Faceshredder - Living Hell!

Faceshredder! The best thrash punk band the North East has ever seen.

I was tempted to leave this entry at that. You don't really need to know that much more. Take that morsel of information and carry it to the grave. Then when people are talking about the best bands from the North East you can wait patiently while you hear "The Fiend" "Venom" "Angelic Upstarts" "The Animals" "Penetration" and "Sawn Off" mumbled from all the imbeciles in earshot. Interject quickly with "Faceshredder" and bask in the awe of silence from a crowd of idiots understanding that they are merely fools who forgot to say Faceshredder before anyone else. You will be a king of general knowledge. People shall know you as a scholar who's words mustn't be doubted without running the risk of being known as a slavering dead eyed waste of oxygen who knows nah-thin.

In Thrash Punk some times I think theres nothing worse than a po-faced approach. Sure there's a whole universe out there to be angry about. Kids are getting stupider and books are getting more expensive. Kwik Save closed down and you need to go to Heron Foods instead. No one has a job, the goverment wants you to have a job. They haven't even tried to invent milk that doesn't go out of date yet. The list is endless really. But some nights you really don't want to see a punk band with a man of less than great articulation angry at something he doesn't understand fully screaming lyrics along the lines of "Hate, hate is hateful and it makes me hate you for hating me. HAAATTEE!". It can bore me somewhat. Don't get me wrong. If your going to write angry music politics and society is perhaps the best place to start but if your going to write angry lyrics it would be appreciated the subject is well thought out first. Anyway, I'm straying. The beauty of Faceshredder in many ways was the absence of politics. Maybe that was their damning in the larger punk scene. Who knows? Who cares? When Faceshredder played live it was as though the greatest punk band was coming to mock you, everyone and everything. The riffs were fierce and blitzed by quickly. If you turned to say something to your mate standing next to you you ran the risk of missing some of the best parts. The lyrics were harsh. School boy humor with adult hatred. "You can break my heart but I can break your arms" "Retarded tramp, oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeeaaahhh". They were the band to drink beer to and laugh at the absurdity of everything you've ever done or felt. 

Faceshredders life was short. Being the best band in the city most folk were too shy to show up to gigs. It's hard to get on with life after seeing a band as immense as Faceshredder live. Is there any real need to get up at 7.00 am and go work in a call center all day when you know you could really wake up at 2pm, open a can of beer and put Faceshredder on the stereo? No, it's probably best for the city that people don't go out and see anything that good. Best that they stick to the usual young men crooning about love and lost over a little bit of distortion and call that the best their ever going to get. Faceshredder did not get enough recognition and then they departed. I was there at the last gig when masks were removed and we learned the identities of the Shredder once and for all. Turns out it was an collection of folk from Mispent Youth, The Fiend and Insylum. Who would of guessed? I honestly thought that when Faceshredder weren't playing they spent all their free time drinking beer and killing distant buffalo with guitar riffage. A dangerous skill but once harnessed you can go on to form the best thrash punk band the North East has ever seen. Who would of thought they had time for other bands? Perhaps they even had day jobs and children. Who knows? Who cares? The last gig was an emotional event. Nary a dry eye was seen when the final lines "Fuck you you fucking fuck" were belted out for the final time.

I have Faceshredders six track Ep Living Hell! in the distro now. Only the most miserable self loathing cretin wouldn't seek out this cd.

Monday, 15 August 2011

On Alternation Radio show 22nd of August

Hey devoted followers of the wondrous spinning disc holly distro. I've been busy over the last month or so and not had time for the distro. I must admit that it's been neglected a little. This however is definitive proof that my distro is better than children. You neglect your children and people will threaten to take them off you, neglect the distro and people just forget about it. Neglected children will get louder and unbearably louder until eventually they get eerily quiet. The neglected distro goes silent straight away. Also, stop posting on your blog about children and people will be relieved. Stop posting on your blog about the distro and people start pestering you.

I started this distro earlier on in the year to show my support for artists who amuse me one way or the other. The lifespan of unsigned bands tends to be dwarfed by those of gerbils. Since the start of the distro and the blog four of the bands that I've written about have disbanded. Even one of my own, Theia, has given up the ghost and gone the way of Ole Scabby Winehouse. Sad but predictable times. People do their best to create unique music and give passionate performances. Often the more interesting music tends to be the least marketable. With little interest from those not involved in the project people simply burn out. Friends start to grind on one another as the point of playing music together becomes clouded and more ambiguous. I'd like to think I'm playing a small part in documenting a minute part of this here today gone, dead and rotting tomorrow scene with this distro. It's not all doom and gloom really. Bands break up and mostly the residents of small towns getting haunted by repeat performances in the local rock pub twice a month are relieved. Usually bands splinter into two or three even less marketable acts. Fantastic new oddities are formed. Take my old band Nails of Christ for instance. Broke up and members went on to form Adult Meathole, Theia, Faceshredder and Rat Faced Bastard. The Newcastle music scene was far better off with those bands as opposed Nails of Christ. That's not to say I didn't love Nails of Christ but I suspect the jig was up.

With all this in mind I'll be making a guest appearance on Alternation on the 22nd of August. Yes, the good people at Alternation have seen fit to have the canvas box of dead bands darken their threshold and play a mix of what's been and what's happening now on 102.5fm and at www.ne1fm.net between 7pm and 9pm. Tune in if you want to hear an incompressible Scotsman play tracks by Sepulchre, Theia, Nails of Christ, Winds of Genocide, The Fiend, Tooms and many others from my grey/pink canvas box of grimy goodies.

Normal service will resume to the blog later this week. Feeling slightly drained today after being at Bloodstock over the weekend. Napalm Death! I don't think I really need to say anything else. Napalm Death! I accidently incited two taxi drivers to have fisticuffs by getting in the first taxi I saw. Napalm Death! Next year I think I'm going to try and place bets and set the taxi drivers off like a regular cock fight. Napalm Death! We can throw bags of copper at them and yell out old timey advice like "DO THE EYE GOUGE!" "CHIB HIM IN THE FACEHOLES" "HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER? RIP HIS BALLS OFF LIKE A MAN!" and so forth. Napalm Death! Not that I think the fighting taxi drivers were utter disgraces to themselves and should be castrated before breeding or anything like that. Napalm Death! No, no thoughts of the sort.