Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elders - S/T CS; Meatsmoke - Meatsludge


Daniel, occasional Girth Crisis contributor and a good friend of mine, plays drums in Elders, who play, to simplify matters, Black Flag-influenced negative hardcore (and are based in Phoenix, Arizona) and feature members of Pigeon Religion, Slut Sister, Streetside Prophet, and every other band in that scene. Friendships aside, I think they're really good, and apparently I'm not alone, since if they ever record an LP, it'll be released by King of the Monsters, who released the Locust/MITB split back in '95 and haven't done anything in a while. Anyway, this is the rip of their second demo with tracks split up by yours truly. I didn't get a copy of the tape because they sold out very quickly, but then again, neither did Daniel. Oh well.


Meatsmoke - Meatsludge

Meatsmoke is a band I started early this semester to have fun playing loud. The five of us have practiced together a grand total of twice, we have played about six shows, and, true to form, the five of us were never in the same place while we were recording this demo. However, I don't think that kept it from turning out pretty well. I know this is a plug and everything, but yeah, I'd put us in the "sludge metal" and "noise rock" categories. The picture is of 3/5 of Meatsmoke doing an Eyehategod cover set because no pictures of us together exist. MYSTERIOUS, huh?


Monday, May 10, 2010



I've been booking shows at the house which I live in (and am soon moving out of) for the past year. The first time we had a show here, my friend Anthony got in touch and asked if his new band, COSMOPOLITAN, could play. He's a great dude so it didn't take much convincing. They started playing and Jesus, they were tight, energetic, loud, and original. They got through about three and a half songs that night before the cops came and shut the show down, but I was totally blown away, and have since seen them perform about ten times, a few instances of which have been in my basement. Anyway, this was recorded on a Zoom field recorder in my basement with an audience of about seven people. It sounds good and it's the full set, and they're totally on as usual. Anthony has said that they're going to change their name soon, but for now they are COSMOPOLITAN.

Anyway, more descriptively, COSMO play "noise rock" which usually falls somewhere between Lightning Bolt and the Melvins, but with a flair for showmanship neither of those two bands possess, as well as a technical bent which would make Buzzo cry. Anthony (bass/vox) and Matt (drums/vox) are always on their own wavelength, so watching them live is a sight to behold. (Sometimes they don't even count into their songs!) Anyway, I feel like they've got a pretty good chance of getting "big," so don't sleep on this:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I don't have a picture for this show yet, but a band I play in, Polluted Bitch-Hound, played a show in a hall at the school I attend last week and we got a pretty good audio recording of it. The vocals are almost inaudible, but it contains a relatively small number of mistakes and it's got a bunch of songs we haven't recorded before.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



I've begun to notice that over the past few months, I've listened almost exclusively to metal. This was a weird realization to come to because I used to hate metal, so the fact that I'm suddenly seeking it out so actively is weird to me, but I love it.

I stumbled upon this gem of a band a few months ago when the only true "metal dude" I went to high school with sent me a youtube video of Dissection. My impression was that it was a wild-eyed, evil-looking bald dude spewing hatred in every direction, and while I enjoyed it greatly, I didn't give it a second thought until I thought about it again a few weeks ago. These dudes are considered "melodic black metal," and I can totally see where they're coming from. This album came out in 1995, and it's got everything from ambience, acoustic guitar, and reverb (plus a piano tune) to blastbeats, double bass, and the like, plus some of the most vicious chord progressions I've heard in a long time. The production on here is also very good, more akin to the stuff Emperor ended up doing than to Mayhem or something, only minus synths. This isn't a very obscure band by any means, but it's a masterpiece well worth checking out.



Since the start of my metal binge, three bands have really risen to prominence among what I would consider my all-time favorite bands, period: Sabbath, (vintage) Metallica, and CARCASS. Like what I still consider my favorite band, the Clash, Carcass came a long, long way during their time as a band, and I'm well aware that many who are familiar with their later work (Heartwork or Swansong) can't stand their days as a pioneering goregrind band, and vice versa. That being said, the majority of fans consider Heartwork to be their masterpiece, but while I adore Heartwork, this album is exactly my speed: the riffs are better than ever before, Jeff Walker manages to articulate the lyrics and (surprise!) they don't make me cringe, and the production is utterly sparkling. The solos shred, and Ken Owen's drumming is more inventive than ever before, showcasing an extremely unique and awesome style despite his relative lack of technical prowess compared to, say, Dave Lombardo or Gene Hoglan or something. Anyway, as far as "death 'n' roll" goes, this completely eclipses the previously-posted Wolverine Blues (Entombed), and fans of this should also check out the compilation Wake Up and Smell the Carcass, which features five outtakes from the Swansong sessions as well as some great live cuts.


Saturday, January 9, 2010


I decided to make lists of my favorite albums of 2009 and my favorite albums of 2000-2009. Here they are. (Not going to link to all of them; find 'em yerself)

TOPS OF 2009
1. Pygmy Lush/Turboslut split LP- Everything here rules. Two great bands ensure that this LP is ugly, beautiful, sad, angry, you name it. A very important release to me.
2. Divisions- Fin CS- Briefly sums up the hardcore of the last five years. Absolutely crucial/the best of the "hype" bands.
3. Iron Age- The Sleeping Eye- In a year when I learned to embrace the riff wholeheartedly, this album delivered some absolutely great ones.
4. Teenage Cool Kids-Foreign Lands- More complex and experimental than their demo or Queer Salutations, but everything is still charming and wonderful with this band.
5. The Hunches- Exit Dreams- This one totally took me by surprise. I guess I would call it "raw garage indie," so not normally my bag, but most of the songs here are just flat-out great.
6. Darkest Hour- The Eternal Return- This album does exactly what they wanted to do, it combines the best parts of their previous three full-lengths. The solos are sick as usual, the vocals have a bit more of a roar to them, and a lot of this is just anthemic. A great album.
7. Protestant- Antagonist- This band doesn't need my shitty rave review. Super-heavy, super-dark, super-well-written, all on the perfect format, the 7". Points for packaging too.
8. Villains- Lifecode of Decadence- This album slowly grew on me, but man, it delivers. The songwriting is never mathematical, conventional, or forced, the riffs are just dirty, the whole record seethes with pure hate.
9. Hatred Surge- Deconstruct- Hatred Surge has become one of the most talked-about bands in hardcore, and it's not hard to see why- this album rips.
10. Graf Orlock- Destination Time Today- So what if this band's a gimmick? My favorite Gorlock LP, somehow more accessible than the others despite the fact that this is still just another testament to the power of cinema-grind.
11. The Horrors- Primary Colours- I never would've guessed that I would ever like these guys, but hey, they got good fast. This album takes risks, but everything works.
12. Mala Suerte- The Shadow Tradition- I'm so glad that new bands keep appearing and releasing very high-quality stoner metal. This one goes a little more towards the doom end, but man, some heavy shit.
13. Converge- Axe to Fall- Converge continues its progression. More shred than usual, overall really good.
14. ANS- Pressure Cracks- With Annihilation Time broken up, ANS picks up the flag of pizza punx and runs with it. So, so fun.
15. The Catalyst- Swallow Your Teeth- This band is sick. Some seriously intense and riffy skramz-influenced hardcore (or something). This band can just throw it out and have it rule.
16. Ancient Sky- S/t- Awesome record. Psychedelic rock can go very wrong, but Ancient Sky is perfectly melodic and pretty trippy. Far, far better than Ghastly City Sleep, with whom they share members.
17. Iron Lung/Walls/Pig Heart Transplant- Public Humiliation- A great bro-down in lieu of a new Iron Lung LP this year. Adds new depth to everything they play here.
18. Black Dice- REPO- BD continues to get more beat-driven, but for some reason I'm still really into it.
19. Cult Ritual- S/t- The most-hyped of the hype bands, but not without some justice: CR was a really, really good hardcore band.
20. AA Bondy- When the Devil's Loose- I think I like American Hearts slightly more, but Bondy can seriously get you down.
21. Nazi Dust- ?-I don't even know what Nazi Dust has released in '09, but I do really like this band, myriad releases and all.
22. Vile Gash- I and II-A very good year for hardcore, at least in Florida, yields at least one more solid, short-lived band.
23. Mariachi El Bronx- S/t- A very legit mariachi record. The first song is really, really good, and everything else is nice and fun.
24. Skeletonwitch- Breathing the Fire- Another band with riffs to spare.
25. Candlemass- Death Magic Doom- This band is fairly critically-acclaimed for the doom scene, but they definitely deliver the goods.

1. Eyehategod, Unearthly Trance, Tombs- Europa, Brooklyn, NY 26 Oct.
2. Iron Lung, Mind Eraser, Brain Handle, Nomos- Cake Shop, Manhattan, NY 10 Nov.
3. Iron Age, Hatred Surge- Living Room, Tucson, AZ 30 July
4. Mark Kozelek- Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 6 Aug.
5. Comadre, Trainwreck, Saddest Landscape- ABC No Rio, Manhattan, 13 June

TOP RELEASES, 2000-2009
1. Fugazi-The Argument- This record is one of a handful ever to make me shudder with its brilliance. The songwriting here is utter perfection; my favorite album from one of my favorite bands.
2. Electric Wizard-Dopethrone- The Wizard answers the question of who will push stoner metal to its slowest and heaviest once and for all. Pure hate, pure heaviness.
3. Radiohead-Kid A- Everyone does this one, but it's so obvious. This is a legitimately great band recording their defining record. One of the few "electronic" records I can totally get behind.
4. Majority Rule-Interviews With David Frost- This album is so ass-thrashingly good. So many risks are taken, yet nothing feels out-of-place. The only problem is that it's too short!
5. City of Caterpillar-S/t- Intense, emotional, and gripping. Things don't ever really seem drawn-out even when they are. Super-creative.
6. Fucked Up-Hidden World- Another critics' darling, but this beast delivers 70-and-change minutes of awesome innovation. I prefer this over The Chemistry of Common Life, but that one's very cool too.
7. Black Eyes-S/t- I've been debating whether to put this one or Cough first, but I'm going to go with this one because I have fond memories associated with it and because I've listened to it more.
8. Black Eyes-Cough- The second great statement by one of the most creative bands of my lifetime.
9. Pygmy Lush/Turboslut Split (see above)- The best material from both bands. Pure greatness all around, a fantastic LP. Unfortunately, the best Turboslut will ever release (RIP).
10. Pg.99/Majority Rule-Document #12- Pg.99's side finds them at their most awe-inspiring, and that's saying something; Maj Rule's side is not quite as good, but is still absolutely great.
11. Dillinger Four-Versus God- D4 are just one of those bands where you feel like you can do what they do, but you just can't. This is my favorite of their albums, it rules.
12. Annihilation Time-III: Tales of the Ancient Age- This band laid waste to everything in its path. Who cares that this album contains basically one uniform tempo? Riffs, riffs, riffs. I love this album.
Skitsystem-Stigmata- Fast, loud, heavy, and angry. This album relentlessly crushes, and this band's back together! Fuck yeah!
14. Black Ships-Omens- The sole LP from a band which will never gain any recognition for anything other than sounding sort of like Cursed. This band was beyond heavy, beyond miserable, beyond loud, and could write a song with the best of 'em.
15. Black Dice- Broken Ear Record- My favorite BD record. The perfect combination of the Beaches and Canyons- and Creature Comforts-style weirdo-sounds with just enough rhythm to move it along.
16. Darkest Hour-Undoing Ruin- I think this record is Darkest Hour right when they reached the perfect blend of metal and hardcore. It's technical but not too technical, and just raw enough. This album really got me into metal.
17. Pygmy Lush-Bitter River- This is such a fantastically good album. I like it more than Mount Hope because the loud songs on here absolutely rule, and the quiet songs are among some of my favorite PL songs. Not as good as the Turboslut split, but very, very close.
18. End of a Year-Sincerely- I'd say this is one of the most "solid" releases I've ever listened to. The lyrics, as always, are a huge strong point, but everything just meshes together so well, it's all just so well-done.
19. The Locust-New Erections- I'm never ashamed to say I like this band because their music really does back up the hype. This was a perfect progression. I like every release even more than the last one, and the darker edge here really suits the band.
20. Eyehategod-Confederacy of Ruined Lives- Not as good as Dopesick, but then again, nothing is. A great album by a great band. Hurry up and release the fucking follow-up already, dudes!
21. Teenage Cool Kids-Queer Salutations- This band is just so charming in its simplicity. Overlapping catchy melodies backing up lyrics I can really get behind.
22. Hot Snakes-Suicide Invoice- Whenever Froberg and Reis get together magic happens. This band was so, so good and I think this is their best. A great album to listen to at any time whatsoever.
23. Darkthrone-Sardonic Wrath- I don't honestly mind their more recent crust outings, but I think that this is the best effort Nocturno and Fenriz put together this decade. The riffs are so evil and so good, and the production here may be my favorite on any Darkthrone release.
24. Iron Age-The Sleeping Eye- To me, this album stands up to a lot of what was put out when anyone could play great thrash. Iron Age can throw out great riffs with the best of 'em. The lyrics are pretty stupid, but who the fuck cares? THRASH!
25. Divisions- Fin CS- Sweet.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So I decided to plug the new band I am in before the year is out. I spent all day yesterday recording and mixing this demo. I came out very well and I am happy with it. My new band is called Polluted Bitch-Hound. We play riffy psychedelic/hard rock stuff, I guess somewhere in the ballpark of Sabbath, Flag, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer, Bl'ast, etc. We have played some shows and done some basement demos, but this was done in a studio with nice mics and such. Anyway, please give it a listen!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I doubt I'll be posting on here again before the New Year, so I thought I'd end the first full year of Girth Crisis, one of few posts, with a special Holiday treat. I believe I've used ELECTRIC WIZARD as a reference point when describing various bands on here, but have failed to post anything by the good Wizard itself. Well, a little background, then I'll make with the links.

I'd heard Electric Wizard was mind-blowing from some pretty respectable sources, but it took me a while to check them out. For whatever reason, the concept of slow, heavy, weed-reeking, disgusting vibes had limited appeal for me, so I kept listening to Pg.99 and really didn't budge on the issue. One day, on a whim during a particularly depressing day or evening in my old dorm room, I read one last time that Dopethrone was a bona fide classic, making every other "heavy" band look like lightweights.

In retrospect, it was a great idea to start there. Dopethrone begins with what probably is the Wizard's most accessible song, "Vinum Sabbathi," a three-minutes-and-change introduction to what instantly became one of my favorite bands. Calling Dopethrone "heavy" is like saying that Rush are "good musicians" or George Carlin was a "funny guy." The record flat-out crushes, every riff sounds like something Master of Reality-era Sabbath wrote, forgot about, handed off to Jus Oborn, and asked for it to be tuned down like five steps, the drummer, Mark Greening, hits the drums harder than anyone I've ever heard, with the possible exception of Bill Ward himself, and Tim Bagshaw's bass just adds to the heaviness. Jus' vocals are distorted, low in the mix, and pure hate, spewing some of the coolest lyrics I've ever heard. Dopethrone is a modern-day classic.

From there I went to Come My Fanatics..., Dopethrone's full-length predecessor, which is a tad less heavy and hateful (but only a tad), but about 99% the classic Dopethrone is. "Return Trip" and "Wizard in Black" are both up there with the Wizard's best songs, and I count them among my favorites. No song on the album proper clocks in at under 6:42, making this record a slightly more challenging listen, which is probably the only thing keeping it from reaching the heights of Dopethrone. The first record, the self-titled, doesn't quite run with those two, but still shows a band reigning far above most any other band daring to play heavy and slow. The two EPs I'm putting up, Supercoven and Chrono.Naut, only add to the madness, and "Supercoven" is a particularly great track.

Alas, all was not all in the Wizard camp. After the somewhat-disappointing follow-up to Dopethrone, Let Us Prey, Bagshaw and Greening left to form the great Ramesses, whose EP was covered in a recent post. Electric Wizard Mk. II soon emerged with 2004's We Live, which was an improvement over its predecessor but failed to reach the heights of vintage Wizard. 2007's Witchcult Today was a much more solid effort, and though I did not include it here, it is thoroughly worth checking out. Anyway, you probably want me to shut up and post the links:

Dopethrone: buy/download
Supercoven: buy/download
Chrono.Naut: download
Come My Fanatics... (Incl. bonus tracks): buy/download
Electric Wizard: buy/download