Monday, August 31, 2009

Hail to Spain, Hail to the Vuelta a España

In my ongoing effort to make people see how cycling is very metal, I've created yet another fake Mayhem record cover. This one features an image that was sent in by one of our readers. In case you're wondering, the badly translated name of this album is "this dude fell during a crit, and his bloody knuckles messed up his SRAM shifters." I ran it through an online Norwegian translator to make it even more kvlt. I know what you're thinking, I could have used one of those pictures of Jens Voigt after his crash..but that would be tasteless. I got to shake his hand and fawn over him this summer in now we are like best budz, and I won't do that to the man. Still, a reader requested here it goes. The name of this album is "Jens Voigt busted his god damned face." If you don't get why these images are funny, perhaps you've never seen the original Mayhem record cover...or perhaps you think my sense of humor is horrible. I would certainly understand that too.

Okay, this is the official beginning of the post:

This past weekend, I found myself at a rather pleasant ice cream shop with Mrs. Lucho Metales and fellow MI staffer Gene Hoglan's Balls. Aside from being known for their delicious ice cream, this place is also known for having highly unusual toppings such as bacon, wasabi peas and salmon. Although I doubt that anyone actually gets these toppings, since they would probably taste horrible with any ice cream, the mere idea of it certainly ads to the charm of the place. When selling an out-of-town guest on the idea of going there, I'll say "they have great ice cream, and you can get wacky toppings like bacon." Friends are usually revolted by the idea, but then will say "sounds cool, let's go." Similarly, I know that many find the posts that have anything to do with cycling on this blog to be a bit like the bacon topping. Most of you dislike the mere idea of it...but I hope that they add to the charm of the place. Also, what else am I going to post about? Tom G. Warrior's appendectomy?

So why a post with a cycling picture? Because the Vuelta A España started on Saturday, the last of the three Grand Tours of cycling. On the one hand, this is sad news, because it means that the summer (and the pro cycling season) is almost over. On the other hand, it means that my Dark Angel and Celtic Frost long sleeve shirts will be making their first official appearances this year....a real highlight for me, and all the ladies in town who are no doubt amazed by my fashion sense. It also means I'll get to ride wearing those ridiculous lobster gloves, and will thus get made fun of some more by strangers. Still, this all gives us the opportunity to take a closer look at Spain's metal output once again...and no, I'm not just going to write about Baron Rojo and their receding hairlines. Like punching a baby in the face, it's just way too easy.

I'm also not going to make stupid cycling/music references that only two people in the world will get...that would be retarded. For example, I will NOT be pointing out how the drummer in Earth Crisis looks exactly like America's cycling semi-sensation Christian Vande Velde.

But seriously...don't they look exactly alike? They even have similar Coco Puff-like moles on their general nose areas. But anyway...what I'm here to do is to once again look at Spain's metal output, and I do mean look, since I'm certainly not going to take the time to listen to any of these horrible bands.

What's the difference between this guy and the pile of dog shit he unknowingly just sat on?

The ill fitting t-shirt.

*As one of our readers pointed out...please notice the horribly stretched-out neck on this guy's t-shirt. Disgusting. Does he think he's in Flashdance?

Is this his best attempt at a cool metal pose for the picture on their album? No, this is the face you make, and the pose you hold when your venereal warts flare up.

Just look at his face, he knows that simply hitting that first chord in The Final Countdown can bring entire nations to their don't test him! He has a Korg X5D keyboard, and the sheet music to the entire Europe catalog...and he's NOT afraid to use it!

Inspired by the likes of Lacuna Coil, all young European bands are now forcing their nearly-attractive female cousins to join their bands. Due to a continent-wide shortage of Valtrex, these young women are often kept as slaves, and forced to sing for these bands in exchange for little more than a single dosage of the herpes medicine. On an unrelated note, please note the sweet eye make up on the guitar player. Alice Cooper? Juggalo? Black metal fan? We'll never know.

The all-brown outfit makes him look like the last shit I took. Check out his cigarrette, and the fact that he not only brought out his guitar, but also his guitar stand for this picture. This guy's middle name is: Commitment. His last name? That's easy: CreepyEuroRapist.

Speaking of creepy euro rapists...Andoni's hobbies include: polishing his throbbing, red, phallic guitar, and asking "you want to make sexy with me?" to unsuspecting American tourists. If said tourists respond with "no..get away from me you creepy euro", his hobbies will also include chasing them into their hostel and trying to seduce them by playing Joe Satriani riffs.

This is Juan's patented "I'm casting a spell on you" pose. Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that if these guys sang in English, the word "thrice" would be included somewhere in their lyrics? As in : "The fair maiden cast her spell upon me, not twice but thriiiice!"
Lastly, can you imagine how disappointed you must be as a parent when your son comes home wearing a fucking pirate shirt like this one? The day he wore this home for the first time after buying it at the goth/pirate/s&m shop, his parents probably exhaled with extreme sadness and said "we'll be in our bedroom...awaiting the sweet release of death."

The upside of starting a band in a small town in Spain is that you will be an instant demi-star within the local scene. The downside is that there is a lack of musicians to choose from. It's for that reason that you'll always end up having to ask the local janitor with a slight case of cerebral palsy to join the band. What other choice do you have? He's the only guy in town who owns a drumset! So what if he drools while he does a wicked blastbeat? Hey, you have to break at least one egg to make an omelet.

Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING says "extreme metal power" like practicing Pantera riffs through a Peavy practice amp with a 10" speaker.

Apparently, being insanely unatractive while tucking in your shirt and pulling your pants up until your genitalia burns in agony is not just for members of Mythic anymore.

An unrelated example of the same look, which we here at MI lovingly refer to as "Metal Mama" Jeans

Friday, August 28, 2009

Retroview: Revenant

A couple months ago the Sarg forgot about neon t-shirts, scene haircuts, and emo crunk long enough to give a stirring tribute to New Jersey Death Metal legends Ripping Corpse. Today, I'd like to focus your attention on another equally underappreciated Garden State Death Metal band--Revenant. Revenant was formed back in 1986 in beautiful Bergenfield, New Jersey. They released three cassette demos and a 7" single throughout the late 80s (I've never heard any of them, but they're probably awesome. If you have mp3s of them, you should send them to me) and actually played their first show with Metal Inquisition favorites Mucky Pup! Just Like their Jersey bros in Ripping Corpse, Revenant released their only full length album in 1991 and they've never received the praise and respect they deserve.

Remember back when bands looked this awesome?

Prophecies of a Dying World--is one of the best death metal albums ever released, period! None of that overproduced, super technical, hyperfast modern death metal bullshit. Revenant is 100% old school death metal. Thick, thrashy riffs, jackhammer drumming, and nasty as fuck vocals. The production is perfect--heavy, but still clear enough to make out every cymbal hit. Think early Death, but heavier and more epic. The songs tend to be on the longer side for death metal with the shortest song coming in at just under 5 minutes and the longest one approaching the 8 minute mark. This would spell certain doom for most death metal bands, but Revenant never runs out of steam or ideas. They just continue to bring it with riff after awesome riff amounting to almost an hour long pummeling. If you're a fan of Ripping Corpse, old Immolation, and the like you'll lose your shit when you hear this album. I promise.

I bet this show was sick!

Unfortunately like Ripping Corpse, cover art was not Revenant's strong suit. Though it's not nearly as bad as the cover of Dreaming With the Dead, it's still pretty lame. I understand that Revenant was trying to convey an image of the titular dying world, but a photograph of a barren landscape with orange clouds and a pile of branches in the foreground just doesn't do this album justice. If you're going to go with a landscape you might as well use a Georgia O'Keeffe.

A foolproof way to piss off your neighbors!

Shortly after the release of Prophecies of a Dying World, Revenant parted ways with Nuclear Blast Records. They went on to release another 7" single as well as another demo, and in 1995 they completed their final recording--the Overman EP, which wasn't released until 2002. So as shitty bands like Cannibal Corpse and At the Gates rose to prominence in the death metal scene Revenant faded into obscurity. There's no justice in this word, just Metal Inquisition.

While touring Europe in support of Prophecies of a Dying World, Revenant shot a video for "The Unearthly." It was premiered on Headbanger's Ball in the spring of '92 and featured on the first Death...Is Just the Beginning compilation.

And here's a bonus live video of Revenant performing their hit song "The Unearthly."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free International Travel, Courtesy of Metal Inquisition (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we mentioned how transatlantic travel is unnecessary when you can simply look at a country's record covers to fully understand their culture. This may sound small-minded, but I find it to be both true and economical. I should also tell you that this applies to travel within your very own country. For example, some may say that the covers of NWA's albums were exaggerated depictions of a reality that only a few LA residents ever experienced. I would normally agree with you, but allow me to tell you a little story.

The first time I was ever in Los Angeles, I landed at LAX exhausted. I don't mean just tired, I mean exhausted the way Lars Ulrich looks in those slow-motion shots from the Wherever I May Roam video. Upon arriving to Los Angeles, I boarded the nearest Avis car rental shuttle and made my way into their makeshift office. Once there, I quickly claimed the keys to my meh-worthy mid-sized sedan...which featured both AM and FM radio. As I drove out of the parking lot, I looked around and felt happy about the fact that I was finally going to see Los Angeles. I had been to San Francisco twice before, but never southern California. For a latino such as myself, who grew up drooling over the imagery in films such as American Me and Blood In Blood Out, Los Angeles (silly as it may sound) was/is a bit of a cultural mecca. I had lived in Miami, but Los Angeles is the real deal...a center of all that is latino scum culture. As I drove, the sun was setting, and even the not-so-great area around LAX looked beautiful to my tourist eyes. The birds were chirping, and the smog was barely visible...things were good. Los Angeles, I told myself, was my kind of town. Just as I thought about this, I made a right turn and encountered what looked like a photoshoot for an NWA record cover. Two cop cars sat by an abandoned body shop, as the LAPD law officers put handcuffs on about ten latino dudes, who sat on the curb. All the guys were wearing white wife-beater shirts, cut-off khaki shorts and had their long white socks pulled up. Either these were Travis Barker's fashion advisors, or they were the real deal.

By the way, check out this picture of Travis Barker (in which he barely looks like a latino gangbanger) with The Game. Note Travis' shirt, does the logo look familiar?

As I got closer, their heavily inked bodies revealed what I thought...these were some badass dudes, not just props from a hip-hop video, or a Travis Barker GQ photoshoot. As I drove slowly, one of the young men being handcuffed turned around and said something to the cop. Without skipping a beat, the cop beat him on the side of the neck with a club. The young man collapsed on the curb, I winced...and quickly accelerated my Chevy Malibu. Leave it to me to turn away when a fellow latino is being beaten by the po-po. For all the talk about unity amongst my latino brothers that I've done during my lifetime, my foot hit that damn gas pedal faster than members from Assuck go to whores upon their arrival to Amsterdam while on tour. But what was I to do? Why were these guys being arrested? What did he say to the cop? I'd rather not get involved. As I drove away, and got on the highway (they call them "freeways" in California...see...when you travel EVERYTHING is different) I began to think about the whole ordeal I had just seen. As I drove at speeds seldom exceeding 25 mph on the freeway, I thought to myself: The NWA record covers were actually pretty accurate. They did deptict LA as it really was. I could have saved myself the trip to California, and simply looked at the covers of the records while sitting at home.

It's with that spirit in mind that we offer you the following record covers from Russian bands. Why go through the trouble of booking a flight to Moscow? No need. Metal Inquisition is taking you there free of charge. Have a safe trip.

Before the iron curtain fell, doing business with western artists like Dan Seagrave was pretty much impossible for those in the growing Russian death metal scene. Not able to reach and commission the master of depicting fictitious, lava strewn caves...these industrious Russian bands had to make do with what they had. Much like cab drivers in Cuba have retrofitted their 1952 Chevys to run on kerosene, this band simply contacted their cousin in Poland who had just finished his first semester in art school. The letter in which they told him what to paint said the following:

Cousin, please paint for us the following:
A dark scary cave in which five creatures dwell. A purple lizard woman, a purple devil with a taste for gold Rolex watches, a melty lava man, a bat, and a skull/tarantula. Although this makes little sense, please render it as we have requested. Oh yes, and somehow inside the cave a weather system has developed, and as a result there is lighting. Thank you for painting this magical cover for us. By the way cousin, how are you and the family doing? Will the 20 year wait on your Lada be over soon?

One part Suicidal Tendencies, and one part Devo, these Russian masters were the first hardcore band to proclaim their love for skateboarding, which they called "wooden roller plank". This 12" record is actually a split between the first two bands in the Moscow hardcore scene, Pulse and Stylus (or something). Although many detractors referred to these musical pioneers as "infidels" for taking up such American pursuits as "wooden roller plank", Russia's entire hardcore scene should thank these guys for forging on regardless of what their comrades had to say.

I hate to be one of those "I only like their demo" douchebags...but this is where both Pulse and Stylus began to go downhill. Due to a limited supply of skateboard wheels, band members began making their own out of sawed-down broomsticks. Soon, they grew tired of the hardship they endured and took to other sports. Not able to engage in any sports that members of bands like Suicidal Tendencies or Cryptic Slaughter may have been involved in, they turned to the only sport that was available at their local Communist Party youth hall. Sadly, that sport was racketball. In an attempt to make the sport more "extreme", both bands chose to blend aspects of brakedancing into it...the results were both amazing and tragic. Although both bands managed to get Charlie Sheen to pose for the album's cover, the scene they had created began to many fans grew tired of hearing lyrics about racketball. The model that has worked so well for their obsession with skateboarding, failed terribly with other sports. Perhaps the best example of that would have to be their third and final recording, which completely revolved around jai alai, a sport they saw in an episode of Riptide.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Metal Inquisition guest appearances on X Stuck In The Past X and Hipster Runoff

Metal Inquisition made two appearances on the internets over the weekend. We are thrilled to be part of two of the finest blogs on the planet and contribute to the blogosphere/memescape. One thing I did not think about was the non-compete clause in our contract with Red Flag Media, the parent corporation that owns Metal Inquisition and Decibel. I am a little scared that we will be receiving a threatening phone call from their legal counsel, but oh well... what's done is done, fuck it!

I am Carles. I am a tatbro. I work in a conservative office environment.
Hipster Runoff makes me giggle like a schoolgirl and it is fair to say that HRO is my biggest influence as a writer/blogger/personal brand. If you are an HRO fan you probably noticed that I stole his idea for "Bands To Watch" when I wrote about Corn and Biohazard, and it is likely that I will steal more ideas from HRO in the future. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled to see my photo on HRO in this post:
Do u think that I can get sued 4 ‘discrimination’ if the IAMCARLES brand doesn’t provide long sleeve products for ‘bros with tat sleeves who need to work in conservative office environments?

Worried abt my brand–might not be ‘universal’ enough.

Read more at Hipster Runoff


All she wants to do is mosh

One of my other favorite blogs is X Stuck In The Past X, which is about the strange and wonderful world of 90s hardcore. We were honored to contribute a guest post in which we shared 5 Things I Miss About 90s Hardcore. For example:
2. Backpacks, JNCOs, sweater vests, and other fashion disasters
Sometimes you don't realize how absurd something is until you try to articulate it. For example, a while ago I was trying to explain 90s hardcore fashion to this 23 year-old hipster girl I was dating and the ridiculousness of it all hit me harder than the xbreakdownsx on the Green Rage 7". She listens to electro and Animal Collective so it was a bit hard for her to grasp: "I don't get it," she said, "Why did you guys wear Tommy Hilfiger? I thought you were like punk or whatever. My dad wears that stuff." I did not have a good answer for her, nor could I explain why Kurt Catalyst wore a backpack while onstage singing for Birthright (Catalyst records deserves a while thread of its own; that label's quality control practices are so atrocious it makes Back Ta Basics look like Rick Rubin's hit factory).
Read more at X Stuck In The Past X

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why Candlemass rules above all other shitty Swedish bands


I have never been much of a Candlemass fan. I don't know something about fat Swedish guys with brillopad hair wearing a Slanket never really turned my crank (Yes, I am aware he's not in the band anymore). However, if you follow my Twitter (and really, why wouldn't you?), then you'd know I've developed a little bit of an obsession with them. I have rediscovered them, if you will. Now, does the fact that I just started liking a band in 2009 that has been around since the 80s make me a poser? If some cretin came to me and told me he just now got into Hellhammer, I'd probably label him a fuckwad poser and steal his car. That's the usual poser punishment around here. Well, call me what you will, but I like Candlemass now. I did have Candlemass Live on cassette in high school, although I only listened to it once.

Other than the occasional Sabbath song here and there and some Paradise Lost, I don't usually dig on the sludgy slow doomy type shit, but lately Candlemass (and Messiah's fatness) have changed that. It's not only that I have found their songs incredibly catchy or that I have rediscovered how fat (and therefore funny) Massiah is, but the music seems to match my mood as of late. It's not that I have been sad or depressed. Quite the contrary, I have been on the up and up (which you'd also know if you follow my Twitter), but somehow their slow tunes have become an anthem to my life these days. Whatever, I'm a fucking werido.

The reason for this post, tho, is not to talk about the average Candlemass tunes, Messiah's fatness or to promote my Twitter, but to talk about the awesomest songs the Swedish meatballs, known as Candlemass, ever recorded. Read on, my friends. Read on!

Sweden has a long standing and well documented history of shit music. Who can forget Hick?

This image is so fucking funny on it's own, I'm not even gonna bother trying to say anything witty, mean or in anyway "funny" about it. I'll just point one thing out. We found Ron Weasely's real dad!

And there's Faith! Who can forget Faith? Who can forget the Doom pioneers who brought us the "Hymn of the Sinner" 7" single? Who can forget them? Not me! Mostly because it's hard to forget something you'd never heard of before until doing web research for a long-winded and all around retarded post about a second rate band like Candlemass.

From L to R: Assclown wearing my mom's suede boots // Moustache wilding frontman with a poodle haircut, my sister's sweater, my gym socks circe 1984 and a crucifix keychain // Guy looking sad 'cuz his mom won't let him grow his hair long // And... wait is that a dude or an ugly chick?

I didn't wanna bring these guys up, but...

So many poodle haircuts I don't know what to do. I wonder if that's like a "Swedish Thing", these terrible haircuts.

And then there's ABBA... Fuck me with a 15" black dildo! This whole Mama Mia! bullshit could have been avoided if these fucktarts would have died in their teens. *Sigh*, how I long for Nocturnus' Time Machine right now... Way to go Sweden, thanks for nothing.

Is it me, or does everyone in this picture look like his wearing a wig?

But all of the Swedish musical "legends," none is bigger (or lamer, really), than this gentleman. Allow me to introduce to Sigge Furst, a true Swedish icon. He was a mediocre actor and a horribly bad singer during the 40s, 50s and 60s.

He did more than 130 movies, and I'm sure they were all "very good." I wonder if the Swedes understood the concept of Two Thumbs Down in the 50s... Anyway, he was in the incredibly entertaining musical "I Dur Och Skur." What a picture that was! They sure don't make them like that anymore. Sven Lindberg was also very good in this movie. I recommend you put it on your Netlix list right away. In your Swedish Netflix, AKA "NeetFliiks"

And let us not forget the TV masterpiece "Himmel Och Pannkaka" featuring the incomparable Gunmar Bjornstand. That show was a kneeslapper! Imagine a mixture of Seinfeld, Gilligan's Island and and The Benny Hill Show! Actually that's not it at all, I just made that up. I have never seen and Sweedish TV, unless you count soft porn as "TV."

So, what does the prodigious Sigge Furst have to do with Candlemass? Aside from also being a Swede, in a stroke of true Swedish genius, in 1993 Candlemass decided to cover four songs by the late legend in an EP aptly titled "Sjunger Sigge Furst." I'm not sure why I said "aptly", since i have no idea WTF "Sjunger" means, but maybe I wanted to sound smart, and the use of words like "aptly" make you sound smarter than you actually are. I got a B in drafting once.

In any case, I think the whole EP is brilliance on mp3. Below, please find both, the original and the cover, of the catchy tune called "Bullfest." I don't really know if they even have bulls in Sweden, so I'm not sure what the song is about, but I love it! If it doesn't make you wanna get up and dance, there's obviously something really, really wrong with you. Or maybe there's something really, really wrong with me. Actually, I know there's something really, really wrong with me, so please disregard the previous statement.

I hope enjoyed that as much as I did. Probably not, but then again, I'm not sure I care.

Here's something else I found that I thought was interesting... Apparently Sigge Furst is not the only has-been dipshit Candlemass paid tribute to in the 90s.

So, what have we learned today, kids? Well, we learned that there is no cattle in Sweden, that I have serious psychological issues and that gluttony is a sin. Go fuck yourselves. Porn.


Bands to watch for: Corn

When I say the word "metal," what do you think of? Probably the same things I do: Charvel guitars, slap bass, wearing your own band's shirts, and having a job at a carwash. But there is more to metal than just thrash, as the upcoming California band Corn proves. They play an innovative style of new-metal that doesn't just regurgitate all the familiar cliches we have come to associate with metal, but instead introduces a whole new set of conventions that we think will be met with both critical and popular acclaim.

This is a DIY video they put up on their MySpace to create buzz around their band. The quality is a little rough because my friend Carlos did it as the final project in his video production class at Shoreline Community College but don't let that distract you. Please make a bulletin about it if you want to support them!!
Alts, bangers, or wiggers?
Like Biohazard, it is kind of hard to say exactly what Corn sounds like because they are pretty much doing their own thing. The only band I could really compare them to is Bloodlet, because they both play down-tuned, sludgy songs about how you hate yourself. But unlike Bloodlet, who are kind of derivative and unoriginal, Corn adds a lot of elements to the mix that make them much more interesting.

This is the bassist's zine. It isn't really like your typical music zine, it's mostly personal stuff about going to church, thoughts on straightedge, etc. It is either 2 stamps or a trade. He is on #hardcore a lot and really friendly!!

Sometimes I think that they are an alternative band like Stone Temple Pilots because there are lots of parts where the singer talks about how nobody likes him, his stepdad is a fucking shitbag, and how he has low self-esteem. He probably got stuffed in his locker a lot in high school. But when the jocks would mess with him, instead of fighting back he would just put on a big forced smile and fake-laugh at them because he wanted to make it seem like he was above all of it and it didn't really bother him. He would just let them push him around like he didn't care, like he was soooo over the whole bully thing that it didn't phase him at all.

Corn is the world's first post-racial band. The singer for Corn's fur-lined track suit transcends their race and sends the message, "Skin color doesn't matter." The fat guy on the upper left is like "Yo, what's up!!" and the guy in the shades is all, "Dawg, don't fuck with this unless you want ya wig split."

But actually, he would skip his last class ("Applied Math II") and go home and put his pillow over his face and scream as loud as he could "I FUCKING HATE YOU FUCKERS!!! FUCK YOU!!!!" because he saw this one cute semi-gothic girl that he likes watching him get stuffed in the locker. She wears cut-off denim shorts with those black-and-white tights underneath with Doc Martens, he ran into her once at a midnight showing of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and felt like they had a really good vibe.

The singer for Corn is wearing sequined track pants (although it looks like a lot of the sequins have fallen off). I think he is trying to say to all the bullies/stepdads who picked on him, "LOL @ you guys, I'm proud of being a 'freak'. I own this image, and I'm gonna be popular with it." But still he wants you to know that he is kind of vulnerable, which is why he is holding himself and swaying. The scars have not completely healed.

Also I bet his stepdad is like the dad from The Wonder Years, and was really disappointed when his son said he didn't want to play football. He probably came home from work one day all pissed off because he does framing/roofing and his foreman is a fucking asshole, and was like "Hey if all you're going to do is sit around my house and listen to Slipknot, get me a fucking beer!" Then the singer for Corn is all, "Fuck you, you're not my real dad!!" And his stepdad turns all red and pushes him up against the wall and is like "You think you can take me on you fuckin' pussy?!" and slaps him. The singer for Corn starts to cry and his stepdad is like, "If you're gonna act like a little bitch then I'll treat you like one!!" and sticks his finger in the singer for Corn's butt. I am not sure but I think that's what the Corn song "Clown" is about.

Corn's first demo, has a creepy pornogrind kind of vibe on the cover. They are from the same area as The Meat Shits.

But they also seem like they like metal, because a lot of the songs are really dissonant and heavy. I feel like they are probably big noisecore fans because on the record there isn't even a bass player. In the parts where most bands would have the bass, they just have these weird sounds that remind me of pieces of metal clanking together. It seems like something 7 Minutes of Nausea would do. They have a guy who plays with them live and does "noise/effects" and sometimes uses a bass to make the clanking sounds, I don't know how he does it. He's probably into circuitbending or whatever and rewired the whole bass.

This isn't finished yet, but I did this Corn poster in my "New Media III" class. I want to rework the highlights on the alien's skin when I have time (probably not until spring break).

Also, are they Mexis? I can't tell. Some of them look like it, but they could also just be wiggers who work outside doing manual labor so they are really tan. I don't really see a lot of Mexis with cornrows, and usually the only people you see with dreadlocks are rapey white pot dealers. They will ask you if you want to come over to their place to smoke some fatty dank nuggets and watch "The Wall" but really they just want to feel you up in their van, then when you're like "Fuck you, get off of me" they laugh and as you're getting out of the van, they're all, "Ass, grass, or cash, nobody rides for free!!" and drive off to go get some Taco Bell and find a pay phone so they can call all the people who paged them.

The bassist plays an upright bass, like the guy from The Stray Cats. I think it's really cool and original that they even incorporate elements of rockabilly into their sound/image. Also, I guess it's just the light or something, but it looks like there are 5 strings on his bass, LOL!

Here is an interview I did with Corn for my "Video Production I" class. Sorry I talked so much, I'm not used to being on camera and I got a little nervous and couldn't shut up. I laughed so hard when the one guy said his named was Fieldy Snuts (like "Feel These Nuts/Testicles" LOL!!!), that guy is so funny and crazy!!

What's next for Corn?
At the risk of sounding like a fanboi, I think Corn could be next Infectious Grooves (another genre-bending California band who I will cover in a future edition of Bands to Watch For). They would need to develop a charismatic mascot like Sonic, Bubsy, or Poochie, but I think the alien I made for the poster above would work perfectly so that's not really a problem. I just feel like the time is right for new-metal to break through into the mainstream, what with Desert Storm and the failure of the DotComs making everybody so nervous about the future. Corn's anger and vulnerability mirror the way that we all feel in these uncertain times.

I looked on WebMD and it said that hair loss and bloating in someone as young as the singer for Corn can be indicators of really serious illnesses like GRIDS.

The only thing I see potentially holding them back is the singer for Corn's health. I'm worried that being in a young band that is building a strong local following has led him into an unhealthy lifestyle. Because their music combines intense minor key riffs with dark lyrical themes, it seems like it probably attracts a lot of troubled young adults with low self-esteem, which means it would be really easy for an older dude in a moderately popular band to have sex with them. Since he hasn't accepted Christ into his heart yet I can see how that would be really tempting and probably put him in a lot of really bad situations and lead to tensions in the band.

"Life Is Peachy" 7" (Wild Rags). This one is easier to find than the demo but I think the production is a little too polished, kind of like how the Excruciating Terror LPs weren't as good as the demos and 7"s because they were overproduced.

Recommended listening
Corn has a demo and a 7" out. Both are excellent but I recommend the demo if you can find it. It's especially rad if you have a good system in your car. My friend Carlos, who made the "Blind" video at the top of the page, has a bomb-ass system in his Integra GS-R. We'll put the demo in his tape player and go to the Everett Mall and just chill in the parking lot or drive up Casino Road. Every time one of the bass drops hits people are all, "Damn what is that, it must be Def Bass Krew!!" but then the singer for Corn starts screaming and they're all like "Oh snap, I didn't know rock could bump like that!!" and we're like "What's up now, bitches!!" and give them the gasface.

Corn on MySpace

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free International Travel, Courtesy of Metal Inquisition (Part 1)

Foreign travel can be a satisfying experience. This year alone I've been lucky enough to spend time in five different countries, and have thus enjoyed varied cultures, types of public transportation and (perhaps more importantly) experienced five varying degrees of cleanliness among the populations of these countries. As great as this all sounds, I've also found myself cursing about the horrible state of bathrooms in five different countries, and I've also been let down by how terrible one thing or another is in specific places around the world. Andorra's bathrooms are okay, but have you tried to get a decent sandwich there? Why is it so hard to get a burrito in South America? It's for these reasons that today we are offering a free, transatlantic trip to all of our readers. Why pay for expensive airfare when you can enjoy other cultures from the comfort of your own home?

Today we are going to Russia (virtually, that is), and will learn about its culture and customs the only way we know looking at some of its record covers. These were sent to us by one of our readers, who I will assume looks like Borat. I know what you're thinking, Borat is a fictitious character played by a Jewish guy from England, and it incorrectly portrays a Kazakh person, not a Russian, and the movie was partially shot in Romania. Oh well, Kazakhztan used to be a part of the Soviet for most of us, that's close enough.

For most western metal fans, their knowledge about Russia is limited to the following:

- The Scorpions had that song "Winds of Change" about the Berlin wall, which references "Gorky Park". I should tell you that Mr Gene Hoglan's Balls and I have sung (or is that "sang"?) this song in kareokee multiple times, and we always forget how hard it is to follow along. Like a lost puppy finding its way back home, however, we always manage to nail the "Gorky Park" line.

- There was a band called Gorky Park, and some of us saw a picture of them in Metal Hammer back in the 80s, but we can't remember what they looked like, much less what they sounded like.

- James Heatfield went to Russia to hunt, and talks about it in the Some Kind Of Monster movie, where he describes drinking vodka with the locals during this trip. Like most of you, I was hoping a mountain lion of some kind would have ripped the remaining part of his face that the acne didn't damage during this teenage years. Either that, or perhaps a bear could have eaten him whole. Sadly, the only thing that happened during the trip was that he became a full blown alcoholic, and subsequently made the band suck worse.

- Metallica and Pantera played that huge show there a long time ago, and the footage features soldiers that are either getting into the music, or beating people who are getting into the music...but can you blame them? If you had a stick, and the ability to beat Pantera fans in their face and neck area, wouldn't you? I know I would.

That's about all most westerners know. So although I'm sure that entire region of the world is now filled with black metal bands (what country isn't?), horrible R&B and Wu-Tang-like hip hop..we have chosen instead to take a step back and look at album covers from the heydey of Russian musical production. Since we do not have access to the actual records, or background information about the artists, but we want to review them anyway, I will make some educated guesses about their musical content and share them with you.

Having left the band he started and helped him rise to popularity, Kris Kelmi (real name Saul Rabinowitz) opted for a more pop-based approach to his first solo album. Titled "open your sesame", this amazing musical effort takes its name from a sexual slur that is commonly used around asian prostitutes in Moscow's red light district. Having sworn to never use keyboards on his records, Kris widened his musical spectrum in this release, much like an asian prostitute opening her "sesame". Critics have often said that the albums tone and musical direction was highly influenced the Page & Coverdale album, but they are wrong. Only his hair and silver sport coat were influenced by Coverdale...the music is so horrible, that it has no predesessors.

As one of the leading bands in the prog scene in Russia, these guys were true pioneers. Not content with simple musical structures, Aria (or Apur, or whatever that logo says) opted for complex time signatures derived from traditional Russian music. Like most other prog bands, Aria produced only concept albums. This album in particular deals with an giant robot overloard known as "Kzchecheuz", who rules the land and shoots down helicopters that are transporting illegal jeans from America. Kzchecheuz, the robot overloard, seeks to control all denim production, and will stop at nothing to control the making and distribution of low-grade and premium denim throughout the world. Highlights of the album include:

- All Denim Is My Denim
- Wait In Line For Jeans, This Will Be The Way

Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Aria changed musical and lyrical directions. Four out of the six band members are now in a Boyz II Men tribute band.

With influences ranging from Slayer to Manowar, Abivct (or whatever that says) were a groundbreaking act in the Ukranian metal scene. Before the Soviet collapse, the band members recided and worked in the greater Chernovyl area, and as a result all of them emit a soft reddish glow that is only captured in photographic film. As a result of their exposure to severe amounts of radiation, the band's singer also sprouted a sword made of light which he uses as a stage prop. While this makes for great theatrics, sleeping with it permanently attached to his palms has turned out to be a bit of a pain. Similarly, his clothes and drapes have been torn to shreds. See the bottom of his shirt/smock? It's not cut up for fashion's sake, that fucking sword will cut any fabric like a hot knife through butter. When this guy says "wimps and posers leave the hall!" you better leave, or else he will kill you with his radioactice supersword!

South Florida's Nocturnus were a pioneering act in the world of death metal, primeraly due to their use of keyboards. Althoug you'd think that merely using an already existing instrument in poorly written music, and burrying it in the mix would be rather par for the course, the guys from Nocturnus congratulated themselves for this stroke of genius for the better part of a decade. Why do I mention this? Because the effects of Nocturnus and their innovative use of a horrid instrument are still being felt behind the no-longer existing iron curtain. Inspired by the Florida death unit known as Nocturnus, this Russian dude (whose name I can't decipher) has chosen to use the very latest technology available in Russia (which is basically an Apple IIe) and blended it with lyrics inspired by the pages of Keyboard Magazine. And why does he do all this? Is it for the sake of musical exploration? Well, yes...but it's also to seduce Saturday Night Live alumni Victoria Jackson, who has apparently ended up living in Russia and working in his makeshift recording studio.

More to come in Part 2.