All posts tagged: metal

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Welcome To Pittsburgh #8: Horehound/T-Tops/Del Rios/Old Dream – Gooski’s, 1.08.16

Welcome to the firecrackers-strapped-to-your-Rust-Belt column “Welcome To Pittsburgh,” as today we find ourselves entranced by stars yet lamenting another fine night of noise at the Polish Hill dive bar/cheap beer institution Gooski’s. It’s been a week and change now and we just barely got sober enough to write this ourselves. Well, there was no clear frontrunner or headliner bathing in Gooski’s familiar blue and blood-red neon lights the other night, as a four-band bill of Pittsburgh troublemakers stormed the stage. While Popdose favorites T-Tops drew down the curtain in truly rollicking, drunken fashion with a handful of new songs and a shitload of energy, Horehound and Del Rios held their own and then some with sets full of venom and vigor, not to mention enough metallic and hard-rawk vitriol to keep the crowd knocked back on its heels. Old Dream opened the night with an enveloping set of trippy guitar loops, deceptively quiet glue. Del Rios’ songs like “Blood River” show why these guys are straddling an interesting intersection of the hard-rock, punk and metal scenes here …

coney hatch

EhOR: Coney Hatch walked the fine line between metal and AOR

Editor’s note: In this ongoing series of posts about Canadian AOR acts of yore, Jay Kumar looks back at Toronto hard rockers Coney Hatch. The hard rock and metal scene in the early 1980s was jam-packed. In the U.S., Van Halen led the way, providing inspiration for a slew of homegrown bands featuring flamboyant frontmen and virtuoso guitar gods. In Europe, mainstays like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest competed with upstarts like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Scorpions and many others. And in Canada, Rush, Triumph and April Wine were the pacesetters. It was from that last scene that Coney Hatch emerged, quickly gaining notice in their homeland but never progressing beyond footnote status south of the border. Coney Hatch was a four-piece out of Toronto named after the London mental asylum Colney Hatch. Formed in 1980 by bassist-singer Andy Curran and drummer Dave Ketchum, the band didn’t really pick up steam until singer-guitarist Carl Dixon and lead guitarist Steve Shelski joined a year later. The band caught the eye of Pye Dubois, who made his name …

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Review: BATTLES – La Di Da Di

It’s been a handful of weeks since Warp Records released BATTLES’ La Di Da Di, the experimental outfit’s third full-length LP proper, and we should all still be shouting from the tenement rooftops about it. It’s that kind of record – part demented dance mash-up, part math-rock/post-rock opus, part Slick Rick-dropping, year-defining mythos – and it mostly surely, most definitely injects dangerous, toxic, brutal, poisonous, and utterly lovely things into the hearts of men and women alike. Sickness abounds. But then there’s that song. No, I’m not talking about “The Yabba,” (check out this sweet NYC session), that intricate gem, the oft-cited, texture-vampire, album-opener that’s been making the rounds on the Internet. (That’s the song you’re hearing that’ll make the indie set feel cool about dancing to something this autumn.) No, no, no. No, no, no. It’s the third song, “FF Bada.” (Get the sense yet from these titles these guys just want you to let your brain and your arms sway loose and not clamp down on your arteries so goddamned hard?!) “FF Bada” starts with …

Liberty Bridge over Allegheny River at sunset with Pittsburgh skyline

Welcome To Pittsburgh #6: Night Vapor – S/T

Welcome to, Welcome to, Welcome to Welcome To Pittsburgh. Long time, no see. My fault, really. Computer died, brain is fried, et cetera, et cetera. No time for small talk, though, because today Pittsburgh, if there’s any justice left in this dusty speck of a universe, should be covered in the oily residue that is Night Vapor, a self-described avant-punk quartet whose debut full-length should soon be slivering around the underground in these parts. CLIMBER!   Sorry, after a few listens, you’ll see why I have a natural tendency, a tick, if you will, to do that from time to time now. CLIMBER! God save us. I’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO GO FAR IN THIS ORGANIZATION! Exhale, exhale. Okay …   If T-Tops is Pittsburgh’s answer to Melvins, then Night Vapor is surely its sour-faced, punch-to-the-gut response to Killdozer. That’s as close a goddamn summation as I can muster. The typical Night Vapor dirge, if you will, features bass like a leech sticking to the bottom of your feet and lurching, aggro/almost-arrhythmic time signatures. …

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Welcome To Pittsburgh #5: Night Vapor/T-Tops/Gangwish – Gooski’s, 5/30/15

Is it smoky in here or is it just me? [Rubs tears from bloodshot-red eyes; guy next to me passes out from lack of oxygen.] No, it’s definitely goddamn smoky in here. So, so, so, take off your momma-made sweater and your Velcro-strap sneakers and bark hello to the neighborhood of fucking make-believe! This is the fifth installment of Welcome To Pittsburgh … Now Go Home, friends, and tonight we’re reporting from the front lines of the dive bar scene, the legendary Gooski’s, where the drinks are cheap, the music’s loud, and the smoke (of both the tobacco and marijuana variety) is thick and welcoming and loverly. Somebody must’ve forgot to tell guitarist/vocalist/man-about-town Patrick Waters and, um, just about everybody else in Polish Hill that T-Tops weren’t headlining this dual record-release shindig – the band was second on a three-act bill – because they goddamned owned Saturday night. The crowd was thickest and loudest for them. The walls and floors shook the most when they played. The set was impeccable; not a note was out of place. …

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Review: Zu – “Cortar Todo”

Want a quick hit summary on an interesting record? Zu’s Cortar Todo, out now on Mr. Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records, is a mind-bending mélange of metal, grindcore, math-rock and no-wave. Boom: there’s the two cents. Wait: no. Take two! Cortar Todo, out now on Ipecac, feels inconsistent in spots but it also is blessed with a kind of morbid inconsistency. No, that sounds ridiculous. How about, “It welcomes the ability to manipulate space?” Yeah, yeah, thanks Asimov. It is a great record. Well. It is weird around the edges. Sometimes. You should hear it either way. Probably. I think. The record is perplexing, for good reason. It pairs knockout tracks (the metal-for-the-masses thrash of “Rudra Dances Over Burning Rome”) with meandering sound experiments that seem to be ill-placed or ill-sequenced (“Serpens Cauda”).  In one breath, it’s truly mesmerizing art-metal (“Orbital Equilibria”). In the next, it falls down the same traps as other bands of its ilk, which think the answer to stagnancy is more takes on electronica (Sorry guest Joey Karam, I’m not buying most …

Calgary’s the Unravelling Stage a “Revolt”

In 2010, Canada’s hard-rocking duo the Unravelling released their debut album to critical acclaim; the press dubbed it an “industrial-infused metal masterpiece.” They showed true promise of channeling venerated bands like Tool, NIN, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and others. Then, one year later, they were forced to put their dreams on hold when lead singer Steve Moore fell ill. He spent the next year and a half in surgery and recovery. The future of the Unravelling was, indeed, unraveling. But, behind the scenes, Moore’s partner in crime, Gustavo De Beauville, was honing his production skills and working on keeping up the momentum and even released some solo work. Then, as Moore recovered, the duo came back together and began to work on their first new tracks in years. One might expect a band that’s been on hiatus to ease themselves back into the game, but not these guys. Their first single, “Revolt,” is perhaps the most aptly titled comeback song of all time. As Moore says, “The song was the first piece of new material Gus …