Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flagitious Idiosyncracy in the Dilapidation - Kakusei EP, 2011

Aah, the power of the low end. Not enough grindcore bands today recognize the power of a crushing bass groove, preferring to keep the riffs grinding and the drums blasting. Luckily, the gals (and guy) in Flagitious Idiosyncracy in the Dilapidation - the first non-gore related name Ive ever had to look up - know when to let up on the speed and settle into a gut busting groove. I had the pleasure of catching them last weekend, where they blew me away with an incredibly tight and focused performance. But the thing that stuck me most was the sheer intensity of the bass in this band, whether grooving or grinding: it was LOUD, and it never stopped.

I snagged a copy of their new EP after the set and, like their performance, the focus here is definitely the bass. Opening track Sakai starts off with a pretty ominous bass riff, which is soon joined by some rather tasteful guitar feedback, all before launching full throttle into familiar blasting territory. But the bass never fades from the foreground, crunching along over everything else. Its prominence forces the listener to recognize each song's rhythm, which tend to be rather strong, especially for a grind band. The punky, stop-start bounce of Zenmou is a shining example, sure to get circle pits started in a heart-beat.

While the excellent bass playing is Kakusei's biggest strength, it also contributes to its biggest weakness: you just cant hear the guitar. Normally this doesnt bother me, but every once in a while, a tasty little guitar lick rears its head to remind me that this guy is actually doing some neat stuff. Its the little flourishes at the end of the grind riffs in Sajou and Shosou that make me wish the band had just turned the guitar up a little bit. By the time closer Kyogen comes around, FID seems to have figured out the proper balance, and the reward is definitely one of the best riffs on the whole album.

This is a promising EP. FID knows how to write a memorable song, combining dinosaur-sized grooves with some creative guitar work that keeps the grindcore formula interesting. Hopefully by the time of their next release, theyll have found a more balance sound.

Engage in flagitious activity

Sunday, January 23, 2011


On January 22nd at the 31st Street Pub, I caught Rosetta, Fight Amp, Kylesa on the first legs of their US-Canadian tour.  Fight Amp is a band from southern New Jersey formed in 2003, and I got the chance to get introduced to them in 2005 at several basement shows in New Brunswick,NJ.  Considering it has been so many years since I last saw them, I was stoked to catch them here in Pittsburgh.  Additionally, VCPUNX had managed to get Rosetta to play a show at Vassar College, making the Pittsburgh show's line-up even more of a nostalgia trip.  Sadly the venue had some serious tech issues, and the resulting effect was a shortened show that lacked luster despite all the bands' determination to play through the issues.  Fight Amp's drummer Mike Howard ended up splitting his pedal in two... what a fucking maniac!  All the bands had great presence, having drawn out a packed crowd.  I look forward to catching Kylesa again, hopefully in their full audio glory.  They played some older tracks, though certainly focusing on songs from their most recent release, Spiral Shadow.  Anyway, despite the hiccups of the live show , the golden opportunity to pick-up schwag was there and I clasped my greedy little fingers around it.  The following albums were picked up at the show (minus Spiral Shadow) from the musicians themselves.   DIG THE MUSIC KIDS!

FIGHT AMP's Hungry for Nothing and it's follow-up Manners and Praise are two albums that call back to the days of booze-soaked metal-punk festering in the basements of New Jersey.  It's really great to see these guys getting the exposure they deserve.  Having been a touring band for about seven years and dealing with several line-up changes, theses guys are professionals in their craft.  Their many splits, especially those with with Exosus and Black Tusk, show case their brooding sound, and their two albums have been excellent explorations into the depths of their manic depravity and punk debauchery.  I mean honestly, the title of their first EP says it all: Ugly kids doing ugly things.  After that night's show they said that they are hopefully playing another Pittsburgh show in May/June on another US tour, so keep your eyes peeled!   

FIGHT AMP Myspace and Official Website

ROSETTA's self-labelling as "metal for astronauts" is adequately fitting, and they have been carving out their particular sound for a long time with relentless touring both in the US and abroad.  Their latest release A Determinism of Morality is an exploration into the emotive cascades of pounding drums and ethereal guitars and synths, layered with brutal vocals.  Loud, immersive and intense, Rosetta continues to remain aloof of the label "post metal" while maintaining the chaos of creativity.

ROSETTA Myspace and Official Store

I know Kylesa's Time Will Fuse Its Worth is already heavily trafficked on the internet, but I feel like posting this because it just deserves the attention.  Spiral Shadow, though having received mixed reviews for its accessibility, I believe is a great album despite it's tendency towards being more polished and produced. The latter is a true showcase of awesome stoner metal, while the former displays Kylesa's recent leaning towards a heavy yet noticeably more accessible sound... you be the judge.

KYLESA Myspace and Official Website


Braving the frigidity of the Pittsburgh winter to bring you dank tunes, yours truly,


Weekend Nachos BLEED EP and Daiseycutter from Indiana

Best way to start off the 2011 year of house shows in Pittsburgh: have Weekend Nachos play a house-show in your place.  The devils at the Helter Shelter in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood started off their year of house-shows with a packed powerviolence show on January 4th featuring the fun-loving Chicago natives.  They might have possibly been the loudest band I've ever seen, and they totally kicked ass; opening with the classic "Prioritize" and ending with the crushing "Shot in the Head," which is one of the two songs off their latest EP Bleed out on Relapse.  Bleed is a two-track, 14 minute descent into a madness of frenzied hardcore and straight doom-ridden sludge... a true little gem.  Can't wait to hear what is on the horizon for these guys.

Weekend Nachos Myspace


Another band that played that night, and totally blew me away, was Indiana's DAISEYCUTTER, who's 7" press, Invertebrate, I picked up and am working on posting onto here.  This is some brutal grind from America's burned-out mechanical heartland, and with influences from Terrorizor and Despise You.  Stay tuned for these guys.

Daiseycutter Myspace


Nails - Obscene Humanity and Unsilent Death

If there is one thing to know about Nails, it is this: they will crush you.  Though their live set at the Burning Love show mentioned in the last post was not as loud as desired, their execution was psychotically precise.  No bullshit, and it was written all over their faces as they played.  Their first release Obscene Humanity is a low-fi grind/hardcore album with distortion soaked riffs and machine-gun blasts firing over walls of feedback.  Southern Lord got their claws on them and re-released their second album Unsilent Death, an excellent follow-up demonstrating their ability to display variety without sacrificing focus.  Fast, grinding, and manic... basically, it smokes.

Southern Lord Records Blog

DL (MF)- Obscene Humanity

DL(MF) - Unsilent Death

It's cold down here,