You know what time it is: Reviewvalanche.

Looking at all the shows I’ve been to recently and my inability to review them either to being inebriated, not in the writing spirit, noticing that I fucked up the order big-tiume, or just being inconvenienced from many directions at once in the grand tradition of life, I’ll just leave this here.

Boris @ Brighton Music Hall

Fucking Flood. Damn.

Nomad/Kromosom @ Cambridge Elk’s Lodge

It’s a wonder I somehow avoided injury during this thrashing d-beat noisefuck raid experience. Ye gods. I swear a boot was mere inches from my face, and I also saw a tit.

Coke Bust @ Cambridge Elk’s Lodge

I only saw 10 minutes of Coke Bust, but that was all I needed, because I would have died of exhaustion had I been punctual. A dollar a minute, and eternally late to the point where I missed all the other bands for free Chinese food, sake and beer. No fucking regrets.

Parasitic Extirpation @ O’Brien’s

I’m pretty sure my conduct was unbecoming of my gentlemanly status, but with 64 ounces of Steel Reserve in my system, anything short of getting ripshit was inexcusable for one of Boston’s finest in slamming brutality. Fields Of Elysium from New Mexico were pretty sweet, having made it to Boston for the first time ever, and fialing to disappoint with their PsyOpus meets a more interesting but even more insane Spawn Of Possession.If you’ll excuse me, I have to write some apologetic letters to the people whose souls I ate because I’m a monster.

Nuclear Special Forces (or N.S.F. if you’re lazy and drunk) @ some basement in Allston

I don’t remember a lot of this show because the beer intake was constant, but I remember it was fun. Pornstars For Romney play some form of rippin’ hardcore, and N.S.F. boast some eldritch amalgam of d-beat, crust punk, and powerviolence, with a killer cover of “City Baby Attacked By Rats”, complete with some tasteful blastbeats. I think the opener was Jake And The Infernal Machine, but I can’t be sure. The internet holds no record of this, and I may have imagined that one-man acoustic folk-punkish guy. But then again, acoustic folk-punkish guys own everything from Mission Hill to the outer edges of Lower Allston, so I’m just trying to make this interesting for you.

The Melvins @ Brighton Music Hall

They played a lot of heavy songs, and Buzzo had a get-up reminiscent of some sort of alien from an early sci-fi movie. ‘Twas cool.

Or maybe it was just a robe and I was seeing shit.

Summer Slaughter ’13 @ The Palladium

It was a fantastic show overall. Thy Art Is Murder exceeded my low expectations, Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders signed my palm, I had a pleasant post-brutality chat with some members of Cattle Decapitation, and Unearth was surprisingly good live, if not handicapped by the muddy sounding breakdowns. Curse you, Palladium sound. The main hiccups of the evening were Rings Of Saturn just being silly, Periphery playing for about 45 minutes too long (ha!) getting stranded in Worcester due to some last-minute revocations of a possible ride home and experiencing some wicked sleep deprivation that only being utterly rezzy high can emulate, and, speaking of Revocation, their set was mainly steeped in new material, which is still good, but some oldies would have made it a far more satisfying show. Have they all but forgotten Empire of the Obscene? Oh and Greg Puciato semi almost killed himself. Again. Anyone reading this now should know I put this in here weeks after this article was written. Feel free to comment if you’re one of these lucky souls. Ha.

Backslider @ the Democracy Center

This show reminded me just why I sometimes opt out of going to the Democracy Center, even if the line-up shows much promise and potential for window breakage. Case in point, the wimpiest of Boston’s punk scene gathered singly to not destroy one another while Congenital Death and Backslider destroyed the surrounding air with their clatter of fastcore devastation. Fucking Invincible was just Fucking Boring (the merch reads FI. F. Fucking. I.) and Curmudgeon was another roadblock to guilt-free enjoyment. Despite Logan’s (guitar/vocals in Backslider) goading and pointing out the stand still/keep your arms crossed policy that Boston’s PV lovers adopt, there was nary a twitch more than a hearty shaken fist and some aggressive nodding to the beats to show approval. Plus they played way more breakdowns than I remember being in any of their material. Overall, disappointing, but I’m still glad I at least got to see these nerds. They’re skinnier than I thought they’d be, is all I can say on that last sentence.

Ceremony @ Sinclair

I skipped ALL the openers because I hated their names and descriptions, (with the exception of GIVE, who are just boring psychedelic punk with no aim) and I’m sure I did well to that end. Ceremony’s definitely taken an odd turn since the olden days of Ruined and Violence Violence, which were essentially exercises in how many times a band could rip your face off within the span of under 15 minutes. The new album, Zoo, is more of an experiment in how to travel back in time, record an album in the 70s, and make people think that a completely different band wrote the material. Seriously, go listen to even Rohnert Park, which is somewhat more sober in its approach, and then Zoo, and you’ll swear there are two bands called Ceremony. They weren’t kidding when they basically said they were sick of hardcore punk. Luckily they still busted out a few choice jams from the aforementioned albums, (not like the kids didn’t mosh to the non-core material anyway) but overall, the heavy British accent seeping from Ross Farrar’s gob during those tracks is unavoidably a conscious want to put the olden days behind them. Pack your fist full of love, give a gift to the world.

The Impalers/Vaaska @ The Boiler Room

It smelled strongly of fresh spraypaint, and I swear I’ve been slightly dumber since being in there, but it was fun at the very least seeing d-beat bands and spiky brats all crammed into one nearly uncomfortable spot in a middle-of-nowhere Allston parking lot that probably sees more activity by people looking for a place to do drugs and drink than the local businesses that are only open when you’re completely mentally unprepared for them to be.

Suffer On Acid @ Pt-109

I think this place may officially be murdered by the pig-state, but at least I got to act a damn drunken fool during Demoralizer‘s set even though the space is now no larger than a broom-closet as opposed to a living-room like it was before.

Sean Smash would be my scene name if I were a bigger faggot than I already am.

Infest/Los Crudos @ ChiTown Futbol

Going a long way totalling up to or more than $2-300 in travel expenses for a 10 dollar punk show is something that everyone worth knowing should do at least once in their lifetime. Never knowing if Infest or Crudos, bands that are technically ‘broken up’ despite their recent resurgence in activity (always trust Wikipedia) will ever come even as close as New York or Connecticut, I say it was well worth the trip. Gas Rag played some decent d-beat with just enough energy, Violent End was okay but repetitive and sort of like a 2nd rate Nails, and Hard Skin was equally comedic and badass with their limey British skinhead swagger showing through as they simultaneously mocked and celebrated the whole of punk in all its forms. I doubt they successfully converted everyone from Hardcore to Oi! as was their openly stated aim, but everyone had fun. Punx and skins did unite on that dusty street in Chicago while kids played soccer not a room over.

Infest was on par with a religious experience, though if you replace the wide lanes of a megachurch with a surging pit of crowdsurfing, mic-rushing, flailing bodies, and clothing heavier than appropriate for the warm weather, it’s essentially the same thing. The vocals were equal parts hilarious and rousing, the drums missed not a single beat, and the slowing down of their iconic pre-Powerviolence breakdowns only made for more friendly violent fun. Los Crudos got just about the same fervor as kids thrashed about responsibly but wildly, showing that “that Spic band” is nothing to fuck with. Glory be to me, for I have seen both of Martin Sorrendeguy’s bands within a year, and I’m not even old yet.

I’d like to take a rare human moment to say that I really felt at home in Chicago, before, during, and even after the show. So many brown people in one place, girls pitting as hard if not harder, and streets that don’t say “fuck you” like Boston. Was this the only place designed after the listless meanderings of livestock? Living arrangements are in order. Perhaps Cleveland or even good ol’ Chi-Town will be my next resting place once my earthly body in Massachusetts has grown tired of taking the MBTA and dealing with a mayor that’s nowhere near as hilarious as Tom Menino. Also, ChiTown Futbol has legit the best burritos I’ve ever tasted, and they don’t even put rice in them. I’m ruined forever to all the joints here.

And there you have it, a brief summary of the last few months, as lazily put together as I could manage without cheating you, the reader, out of some verbiage and colourful illustrations that you’ve come to neutrally know me for. Here’s to trying harder to try harder once again, because not having normal internet access AND a job makes it hard to say stupid things for the world to see and me to feel ashamed for writing later.

The only reason I haven’t given up on TBMD entirely is probably some odd sense of duty that I feel to people that like to know about random shit. Well, I’m still here for you idiots, so feel free to not react as I languidly struggle to bring you the most up-to-date news about things that have long since passed, you nerds.

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Maryland Deathfest X – Over The Hills Came The Bottles Of A Thousand Drunks: Sunday

On this most final of days, a mixture of emotions welled up in my dying heart: I was at once sad to see it all end so quickly, yet at the same time I wanted nothing more than to be back home on a normal eating schedule.I missed out on Backslider due to group dawdling, but I caught wind of their set not being particularly great anyhow, so I probably didn’t miss much. In addition to them putting on a mediocre performance, apparently the promoters of MDF didn’t realize that Backslider’s entire discography adds up to just about 10 minutes, and still gave them a half hour with which to roughly hew the faces from the attendees. Coke Bust, being none the wiser to the schedule and how important it is to adhere to it, started a bit early, so it’s good I showed up early.

The ideal drummer outfit includes short-shorts.

Coke Bust aren’t exactly a Grindcore band, but their intensity, song lengths, and love of the blast might have some fooled. They’re Straight-Edge and quite proud of it, so don’t let that be a turn-off, since they’re probably one of the best Hardcore bands I’ve discovered in recent times. The set probably only lasted about 8 minutes, but anyone who knew how to dance did so accordingly, because time is money for a band who pride themselves on keeping it short and sweet, giving any band after them time to dick around during set-up. I greatly enjoyed every second of it, with this DC outing pumping out some of their sweetest tunes, including No Authority, Deathbed, Degradation, and Another Fucking Problem. I am a satisfied customer.

Up next were Australian grinders, Agents of Abhorrence, who have drawn comparisons to the legendary Discordance Axis, and you’ll see why if you give both a listen.

It was loud, dirty, and at times surprisingly harmonic, which is the kind of brain-bending stuff I like in my Grindcore. Not to say the old way isn’t great too, but a little experimentation is always great, and not just for your sex life. I’m sure these guys don’t hit up the US very often, since Australian bands who aren’t Parkway Drive have a hard time getting big, much less the support for tours, so for anyone who missed this half-hour of power, shame.

Still dealing with blows of exhaustion after going all-out for Coke Bust, I basically sat through Cough and Rwake‘s sets, taking in the Sludgy mayhem both unleashed in a row. Note to all: When exhausted, keep in mind that this kind of music will counteract any rest you try to get if you’re sitting too close to where it’s being played. After the latter finished, I dragged myself into the sunlight to catch Church Of Misery, Japan’s bluesiest serial-killer obsessed Doom outfit.

Someone please photoshop a Head & Shoulders logo over this

You would never believe the amount of Hardcore dancing that went down during this set. It was damn ridiculous that any went down at all, to be honest. Blame it on spillover from fans of the two opening bands of the day, I suppose. The dickery of the crowd did little to diminish the quality of the music blasting from the stage, luckily, with pounding grooves and early 70s psychedelia colliding with Hideki’s schizophrenic delivery, ranging from Rock’n’Roll howls to hellish growls and pained screams.

The band didn’t miss a beat the entire time, despite looking stoned out of their minds, but for a band of their type, it must come with the territory.

Keeping in line with the Sludge/Stoner/Doom theme of the Sabbath day was YOB, who are in my personal running for one of the heaviest bands out there.

The dancing weirdo trend must have caught on for YOB, since some people were picking up some dropped change during some of the sludgier parts of the three songs YOB played. Successfully enjoying their ethereal brand of Stoner Doom (some call it “stoom”) involved a little meat dodging, but no matter. YOB played two tracks off the new release Atma, which seems to be even larger and more crushing than previous effort The Great Cessation, which I thought impossible. They seem to be actively trying to one-up themselves with each release, and that’s the mark of dedicated musicians. Also, it is indeed pronounced like “Yawb”.

YOB’s sound can only be described as celestial bodies waging war by colliding into one another, so if that sounds like your thing, do it up. The final song they played was The Mental Tyrant from The Great Cessation. Not one of my favorites from that album, as I would have preferred The Lie That Is Sin or the title track, but it’s YOB, so it promised to be epic regardless. Seeing only three songs seemed much too short, so I hope to catch them headlining a tour soon.

Right after YOB’s last note I fought my way outside and towards the stage where Suffocation was already in the process of laying waste to the crowd.

The Slap-Chop is a go-go

This set was quite special amongst the 3 other times I’ve had the pleasure of catching them (two of which were in their home state of New York), in that they played a set consisting mostly of old songs and stuff they either don’t play often or haven’t played in over ten years. The whole set was a trip back in time, with the most recent tracks being Cataclysmic Purification from Blood Oath and Abomination Reborn from the 2005 s/t. They even played a couple tracks off Despise The Sun, which was a real wowser.

Another difference between this set and all the others is that long-time drummer Mike Smith has stepped down (again) to make room for Dave Culross of Despise The Sun fame, which probably explains the heavy leaning towards the old, and two tracks from a release he kinda helped create. Guy seems to be growing his hair back, and looks weird as hell. I was almost getting used to him being bald, but the curly moptop deal he’s currently sporting makes him unrecognizable to say the least.

Happy late birthday to the broccoli head.

Frank’s banter was classy as usual, with talk of him wishing he could be in the army just to kill people, and how the sun’s a bastard and screwed him over, it’s the story of everyman. The crowd was violent and I think I witnessed a few injuries, and a man walking around with a bleeding eye was swinging wildly at anyone he came in contact with. Great success was had. Saint Vitus followed on the opposite stage, and so did a cloud of magic smoke.

Never look a wild Wino in the eyes.

Saint Vitus have been delivering some of the fuzziest, bombed out, bluesy Doom this side of the Atlantic for just a decade less than the masters Black Sabbath, which is still a damn long time, and considering that Saint Vitus is officially making a return like a slow, stoned phoenix from resin laced ashes, they’ve proven their tenure shall be grander and more enduring. Weinrich and co. playing back-to-back with Electric Wizard is a scientific formula made to get people goddamn high, and nothing more, but good music was involved, so the crowd willingly fell for it.

My only gripes with this set were that Wino’s voice wasn’t as powerful as it is on record (possibly due to lack of ridiculous reverb) and this is my own fault, but I didn’t recognize a great deal of the songs. Though I was hoping dearly that they’d either play Zombie Hunger or their self titled song, I still enjoyed the slow, brooding heaviness that is 34 years of smoky doom come back from the grave. Weinrich proved to be an able frontman even after all these years, surprisingly encouraging the moshers during their set, and saying “Fuck the pigs”. A man after my own heart.

Not one to stand all the way in the back during Electric Wizard‘s set, I made my way down to the other stage during the last few songs, and I learned that pot doesn’t always mellow people out.

The true stoner witch

To say that Electric Wizard don’t play the US often is to say that not all homeless people are in a dire situation. Due to a combination of legal issues and hating the weed over here, they seldom make the flight to the land of baseball and saturated fats. It just makes it all the more urgent that one be willing to make the journey to see them if they feel generous enough to blaspheme our shores.

The mark of a phenomenal performance is the intensity of the crowd, and there was no shortage of passionate movement. Even before the band officially began, it was already a roiling mass of flesh and po t. Allow me to describe the scene: countless plumes of smoke, frenzied eyes, ravenous inhalation of intoxicating fumes, humans taking flight, mentally and physically, all at once, it was a raging no-sided war and a joyous dance, a tribute to mother nature and her greatest green gift. The ultimate aftermath; a desert plain of broken plastic and misshapen aluminum, lakes of spilled alcohol and mounds of ash. A lost shoe as well.

I needed a good sit-down afterward, so I was almost praying they wouldn’t encore, and got lucky. God exists after all, but must be angry at Bethlehem for stealing the name of a holy land and playing something called “Dark Metal”, which to me comes across as some weird kind of Black Metal that hints at Gothic, Symphonic, and Doom elements. After that was Mortuary Drape, who I’ll check out later, decent Death Metal. Can’t you tell I’m just about done posting? I can, so fuck off. Until I have the strength to review a project named Amish Noise, goodnight.

Huffin’ The Bassline. Phantom Glue and others at What We Talk About When We Talk About Partying

You rebel scum. This is a well-hidden fortress in the Allston area, looking just about as inconspicuous as any, but still, I feel What We Talk About has a short lifespan, though I do hope to see more excellent shows here. I missed Gaza and New Lows shows, but this time I had the time, energy, and willpower to go looking for it, so there I was like double cherry pie.

Bar Sinister

I’m assuming these guys are a hot new addition to the music scene, since they don’t even have pictures of themselves yet, and their like counter on Facebook reads low for such a good band. That or they’re a bit camera shy. Whatever may be the case, Bar Sinister bring forth something that will either excite your senses or bore you to tears. They impressed me personally, as their style is hard to pin down with one conclusive tag. They’re a bit Post-Rock, but their songs are too short for that. They’re definitely not Metal, but they’re too heavy to just be rock. They could be called Proggy, but they’re not all that complex, as they’re influenced a bit by Hardcore and Punk. Blah. I’ll just compare them to Cave In’s album Perfect Pitch Black and call it a day. They’re a huge lumbering beast, never going past mid-paced, and yet light enough to stand on your shoulders without breaking your back as they poured both sweet melody and vitriolic anger in your ear. It’s good stuff, go check ’em out on bandcamp.

Falls Of Rauros

FUS RO DAH

I’m surprised it doesn’t suddenly start raining and misting wherever Falls Of Rauros play, because their brand of Atmospheric Black Metal creates bleak landscapes in your mind like no other. Their cavernous bellows sounded as if they came from miles away, and the guitars created a melodic tapestry of ruin, occasionally verging into brightness only to plunge back into the nether. They also have long songs, so people with extreme ADD need not apply. For fans of Summoning, Agalloch, and WITTR and those who wish Black Metal had more good old fashioned headbangery.

Waranimal

Real photo

Imagine a band that parties as hard as Andrew W.K., possesses the Hardcore/Sludge/Skateboard-obsessed powerhouse hybrid of Doomriders, and throws a hearty helping of old school Thrash on top, sort of like a razor filled gravy. That’s Waranimal in a nutshell for you plebians. Waranimal gave the room a shot of adrenaline straight to the jugular with their grooves, breakdowns, and circle-pit riffs. No movement was to be had, but it was fun enough to listen and headbang, which is a good sign. One song in particular, Waranimal House, sounded like it could’ve been ripped straight from Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album, showing that they have respect for the greats. Or once-greats, if you’re in that camp. Definitely don’t miss a chance to see these guys, because people aren’t always as willing to just stand there while a carbide drill of ferocity is jammed through their forehead.

Living Void

This bass is what all true warriors strive for!

Living Void are off the wall, if there are any left should a crowd actually appreciate Living Void correctly. Their hyperdense amalgamation of Deathgrind, Sludge, Hardcore, and straight up Death Metal hasn’t met the most receptive crowds in all three times I’ve seen them, which is a damn shame since the vocalist writhes as though his very skin is an impurity he’s trying to shake loose, and the drummer grows visibly more weary over time from what I can safely say must be the fastest blasts coming out of the Bay State. To say nothing of the 16-ton bass and anguished yelps provided by Anthony Budy of Revocation fame and the pugnacious guitar tone by Kurt, who was sporting a wicked groovy Backslider shirt. I wonder why crowds always seem to freeze up when Living Void plays. Maybe they’re paralyzed with fear from this expression of humanity’s ugliness. Or they don’t know how to mosh to Grind.

Phantom Glue

That’s what happens when you dive into a shot at the last second.

I was thinking of leaving before their set as I was hungry as hell and forgot to bring a mammoth snout with me for a snack, but I’m glad I stayed since Phantom Glue are a pretty good band. Like a less epic Tombs worshipping early Mastodon, it was slow and heavy, but also picked up when you think it’s gonna get boring, and had its melodic moments, which made it catchier than other bands that opt for the sound of being mired in swamp goop. One audience member seemed to be enjoying it muchly, as he had about 4 PBRs too many and began ramming the entire crowd like some sort of sentient bowling ball. A lot could’ve broken, but nothing did, and that’s the bottom line, cos Stone Cold said so.

I’m gonna post about something or other soon, like normal. Stay tuned.