"All My Friends Are Going Death" CD (Deathwish)
First of all, this isn't the Juliana Hatfield group. Second, you probably already know that this includes members of Give Up The Ghost, Unbroken, The Locust, Over My Dead Body, Swing Kids and Holy Molar. Third, this disc collects existing and unreleased material (the two EPs released to date plus demo tracks and more fun). Fourth, it's fucking brilliant. This isn't hardcore so much as it is aggravated assault - it's pulverizing, punishing and astonishingly accomplished (not surprising, considering who's involved). Sure, there are straight-forward hardcore parts, breakdowns, mosh parts and everything else you'd expect from a hardcore record, but - like most things which I've heard from Deathwish lately - it's also strikingly experimental, primarily in the lyrical content but also in the sound (equal parts noise, spastic hardcore like Melt-Banana and The Blood Brothers, and seemingly chaotic rhythm). The mix leaves these songs sounding raw and feral (as if covering The Stooges' "No Fun" wouldn't do that by itself), while Wes' lyrics seem like picking scabs off self-inflicted knife wounds. However, I really wouldn't expect anything less challenging from the people involved with this album.
"The DNA Will Have It's Say" CD EP (Three One G)
What is the most important information I should know about Some Girls?
Call your doctor if you experience difficulty sleeping; mood changes; nervousness; irritability; difficulty concentrating; indigestion; nausea; vomiting (especially material that looks like coffee grounds); diarrhea; black, tarry stools; slurred speech; headache; extreme drowsiness; yellowing of the skin or eyes; hallucinations or severe confusion; vivid dreams, or changes in behavior. These symptoms may be early indicators of an awe-inspiring musical listening experience and may require immediate medical treatment.
What is Some Girls?
Some Girls falls into an unclassifiable genre of music which straddles hardcore, grindcore and other extreme forms. It affects chemicals in the brain and may result in happiness or cause anxiety, insomnia and seizures. This particular dose features Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, lasts for just over six minutes and is not unlike slamming face-first onto concrete with nothing to break the fall. It is used to treat boredom with other musical styles, frustration with a lack of experimentation and adventure, and general malaise about contemporary society. It is also an effective treatment for constipation.
Who should not listen to Some Girls?
No one. Some Girls is suitable for listening by everyone, including small children. To date, no birth defects have been reported as a result of listening to Some Girls during pregnancy.
How should I listen to Some Girls?
Frequently and at high volumes.
What happens if I overdose?
In the extremely unlikely event that you manage to listen to too much Some Girls, enjoy it. Very few people have managed that accomplishment.
(End notes: 1. All of the side effects listed above are possible side effects of meds I've been on in the last month. Go me. 2. Having actually fallen off of a fence from 10 feet up and landed face-first on concrete, this is an accurate description of how fierce this record really is. 3. Totally true. My girlfriend's kid likes it and she's pushing 4. She also likes to play scary songs on guitar. 4. This is one of the best records I've heard so far this year. It's challenging and offers no easy answers or even easy questions.)
"The DNA Will Have It's Say" CD EP (Three One G)
(Super-Extended Rock Critic Codeine Trance Mix)
I haven't figured out everything I need to say about this record yet; I usually have an album or two that I struggle with every year and this time, it's because these six minutes are simply too fucking dense to parse on even the twentieth or thirtieth listen. Perhaps it's because these sounds are the aural embodiment of how I'm feeling lately; next Monday, I'm heading in for my second operation in less than a month to try to fix some serious health problems. The ferocious, grisly sounds on this EP mirror the recent horror of my body - spitting hemorrhaged blood into the sink, looking at MRIs of cranial bone erosion, coughing up unidentifiable masses of solid organic matter that are the shape and size of the first two knuckles of my little finger. My body, at the moment, exists somewhere between the abject and the Kristevan sense of the other; this EP falls along similar lines, both alienated and alienating, ostracized and ostracizing. It is the other of pop music, the deformed thalidomide twin revealing (and revering) the ugliness which is glossed over by production values and marketing strategies. To understand what it sounds like, imagine running an industrial meatgrinder at full power until it starts to smoke and rattle, until it breaks down completely - and fill it with anguished yelps and screams. It sounds like warfare - the sound of machine guns and dying soldiers caught in concertina wire. It is openly hostile and abrasive; it is guitar-driven and grinding. It is musical dermabrasion for boring ideas expressed in dull ways by uninteresting people and in a decade in which some punk bands have essentially become collaborators, the musical equivalent of the Vichy French (and still more seem to aspire to that capitulation), Some Girls defiantly throw potato mashers whilst engaged in door-to-door partisan combat. This is, effectively, musical terrorism in any sense that matters. It is also the only logical response to contemporary music - the proper reaction to blandness is a sprint to an extreme, to seek out new terrain and leave the old world behind and the new ground unmapped. Let others follow at their own risk; whether they also find the way is irrelevant because they will find something new regardless. In many ways, Some Girls occupies similar music space as other seditious musical minds like Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Archie Shepp and Ornette Coleman - not in the musical style, but the approach, in the sense that something more is going on or could be happening and that ignoring what is known and staring into the abyss may reveal exactly what that is while teetering on the edge of chaos. These songs spill over with dizzyingly complex musical ideas; like a reservoir well past capacity. Rather than explore an idea or two, Some Girls throws a mass of concepts into a blender and liquefies them beyond recognition, transforming them into a corrosive substance which will eat through steel and concrete, and then plays the result faster than I ever thought humanly possible. The lyrics aren't what I expect from grindcore or hardcore; they're simply too literary, using near-rhymes and alliteration to craft images and borrow ideas from both prose and poetry. There is also humor here, although it's hanging from a gallows as Wes spits out lines like "Yea, well, fate is fucking romantic if you can get off on failure." Like most of the albums that I love, this EP requires just a little more engagement and commitment; it is not easy to absorb and it is not catchy in any traditional way (we aren't really talking about verse-chorus construction here). This record requires that you dedicate yourself to it a bit, that you put aside what you think you know about music and engage it on its own terms - it draws you onto its own ground for the fight, which is a dangerous place for you to be and an immediate disadvantage. However, you will learn from the beating this record dishes out, even though it's only six minutes long, and is not for the faint of heart or for people who have weak stomachs. You will learn, you will expand your musical horizons and you will grow. (Side note: While it's true that other bands have created similar records - Napalm Death, Universal Order Of Armageddon, The Locust, et. al., just to name a few - Some Girls happens to do it exceedingly well. 'Nuff said. For now.)