COLISEUM/DOOMRIDERS: NOT OF THIS WORLD

(MAGIC BULLET RECORDS/AUXILIARY RECORDS/LEVEL PLANE RECORDS; reissue 2016, original release 2005)

mbl189-1024x1024

Eleven years ago, Ryan Patterson of Louisville three-piece Coliseum released a split EP on his Auxiliary label, sharing the slab with a Boston band called Doomriders, one of Nate Newton’s many side projects when he isn’t playing bass for Converge. The intent of NOT OF THIS WORLD was to pay tribute to Glenn Danzig’s eponymous metal monster, Danzig. Each choosing one song from Danzig’s 1988 debut, the bands added some originals – very much in a similar vein to Danzig’s dark metal – to the mix (Coliseum, two tracks; Doomriders, one). Now, as part of their twentieth anniversary celebration, Magic Bullet Records has taken the two tribute tracks and stuck ‘em on a special 7” reissue. I wouldn’t have minded hearing the whole thing, but… I will definitely take what I can get.

Coliseum (Matt Jaha, Mike Pascal, Ryan Patterson, circa 2005) (uncredited photo)

Coliseum (Matt Jaha, Mike Pascal, Ryan Patterson, circa 2005) (uncredited photo)

Coliseum’s contribution, “Am I Demon,” comes across as standard-issue lo-fi heavy rock… you know, the good stuff. It’s kinda like Mountain and Blue Cheer tag-teaming with Lemmy, taking the low road while the ref’s not looking to retain their championship belts. Patterson offers suitably dark and gravelly vocals, as well as some brilliant guitar work; bassist Mike Pascal and bassist Matt Jaha lay down an underpinning that is so brutish, so heavy that you could caulk a window with it. If you like what you hear – and who wouldn’t? – check out the band’s latest release, 2015’s ANXIETY’S KISS, available here.

Doomriders (Chris Bevilacqua, Nate Newton, Jebb Riley, Chris Pupecki, circa 2008) (uncredited photo)

Doomriders (Chris Bevilacqua, Nate Newton, Jebb Riley, Chris Pupecki, circa 2008) (uncredited photo)

Possession” comes from Doomriders… DUH! The track starts with a wicked backward guitar that leads into a riff that reminds me of “Battle Axe” by Billion Dollar Babies, with sort of a minimalist (for a metal band, anyway) percussion thing from Chris Bevilacqua and Jebb Riley’s sonorous bass groove; the guitars, supplied by Newton and Chris Pupecki, are more akin to Tony Iommi’s dense slabs of tonality than anything else. Danzig’s punk pedigree is definitely on display on this one, particularly with the Misfits style gang vocals on the chorus. You gotta go back to 2013 to find new music from the quartet with the album GRAND BLOOD. You can find that and everything else Doomriders at this location.

NOT OF THIS WORLD original packaging.

NOT OF THIS WORLD original packaging.

So, short and sweet… just like this awesome blast from the past. Any fan of pure metal, hardcore or any type of aggressive music, really, will want this limited edition release in their collection; likewise, if you’re a fan of any of Glenn Danzig’s previous work, whether it be the Misfits, Samhain or Danzig, this record will fit in nicely with those, as well. It’s available on black, white or clear vinyl from Magic Bullet or any of the usual suspects.


THE GREAT CRUSADES/PLANEAUSTERS: SPLIT

(BOXING CLEVER RECORDS 7” single; 2014)

Freat Crusades Planeausters Screen-Shot-2014-07-27-at-4.45.25-PM

Way back in the previous century, the Great Crusades released one of my favorite albums, 1997’s THE FIRST SPILLED DRINK OF THE EVENING. The record was filled with songs that were equal parts sloppy Rolling Stones rock ‘n’ roll, snotty Replacements punk, moody Americana and drunken Celtic reels, with Brian Krumm’s smokey Leonard Cohen cum Kris Kristofferson baritone delivering his own Dylanesque lyrics. Seventeen years later, the band still sounds wonderfully ragged on “Sometimes On Sundays, Too,” a love song that wouldn’t be out of place on something coming from Dylan himself. During the ensuing years following that first release, Krumm has continued to gargle with broken glass, giving him a voice that is a huskier (and more melodic) approximation of Rod McKuen. When he rasps the chorus, “There were parties every Saturday/At the house on Illinois Street/And sometimes on Sundays, too,” you may find yourself clearing your throat in sympathy. The music is a jangly, acoustic blast of what has been dubbed “rock-noir,” featuring a very hymn-like arrangement and orchestration. In short, “Sometimes On Sundays, Too” is every bit as sublime as anything from that first Great Crusades album.

The Great Crusades (Christian Moder, Brian Leach, Brian Krumm, Brian Hunt) (uncredited photo)

The Great Crusades (Christian Moder, Brian Leach, Brian Krumm, Brian Hunt) (uncredited photo)

The B-side of this special split single features frequent tour-mates and kindred spirits of the Great Crusades, Germany’s Planeausters. In fact, Crusader Brian Leach is listed as producer; he adds a nice bit of piano to the track, as well. “Wouldn’t Say It’s Over, But It’s Gone” also acts as the flip-side of the new-love tale of “Sometimes On Sundays, Too.” The tune has to be one of the most horribly effective break-up songs of all time. Musically, the track is a sleepy, languorous bit of shoegazing with some nice guitar work from Michael Moravek and an impossibly slow drum track from Per Ceurremans, one that sounds like it was played back at half-speed while the song was being mixed. “Wouldn’t Say… ” is my introduction to Planeausters, but I gotta say, if this cut is what this band is all about… gimme more. As the magnificent Boxing Clever Records branches out past the release of these exquisite split singles, moving into the realm of full-length albums, maybe a deal can be struck for the release of the latest Planeausters record. Make it happen, Jim!

Planeausters (Michael Moravek, Per Ceurremans, William Kollmar) (uncredited photo)

Planeausters (Michael Moravek, Per Ceurremans, William Kollmar) (uncredited photo)

The Great Crusades’ latest full-length is THIEVES OF CHICAGO, available at their Bandcamp page. As with all singles from Boxing Clever Records, this release is available directly from the label’s web-site; also available from the fine folk at Boxing Clever is a limited edition skate deck featuring the record’s cover art. Tell ‘em the Mule sent you!


THE ADORING HEIRS/THE MICRODANCE: SPLIT

(BOXING CLEVER RECORDS 7” single; 2014)

Cover

There is truly something majestic about this “Deep Red” thing from the Adoring Heirs. It could just be the fact that the incomparable “Sir” Ian Baird sits atop the drum throne. But, let’s not discount the virtual tsunami of vibrant activity from guitars (supplied by Brian Merry and Joe Metcalf) and bass (that would be Rob Wagoner) and vocals (Wagoner again) that fight and strain to remain just above the surface of the sonic waves. The music of the Adoring Heirs has been called “arena rock for dive bars” and likened to the magnificently noisy Kansas City band, Shiner, and the working man’s supergroup, Bad Company… and, if that ain’t enough to convince you to consume, did I mention that the band’s drummer is Ian Baird? You remember when the Saint Louis music scene was relevant? No, I’m not talking about Miles Davis or Johnnie Johnson… I’m talking about the late ’90s, when major labels were ripping off (oops… I mean, signing) a band or two from the Lou every week? This band has that same sound… a Saint Louis rock and roll sound, with great vocals, powerful drums and, above all else, a funky bass sound that immediately identifies a group as a product of Saint Louis. The Adoring Heirs are a major reason why the Saint Louis music scene is suddenly relevant again and, we can all use a little relevancy in our lives. Right?

The Adoring Heirs, doing that which they do best, circa 2013 (Joe Metcalf, Ian Baird, Rob Wagoner, Brian Merry) (uncredited photo)

The Adoring Heirs, doing that which they do best, circa 2013 (Joe Metcalf, Ian Baird, Rob Wagoner, Brian Merry) (uncredited photo)

Hailing from London (which, as far as I can ascertain, is in some foreign country… California maybe), the Microdance encapsulate everything that has rocked and/or rolled since people have been keeping records of such stuff. Just when you think you’ve got their style pegged, they go and slip you a proverbial musical mickey, leaving you bleary eyed and dizzy; they deftly move from dreamy shoegazing to the heaviest of metals, wrapping it all in a psychedelic haze… all, by the way, in the same song. The oddly titled “Moopy Moop” is a stunning cacophony of noises, with muted drums and swirling guitars behind vocals that can best be described as whispered screams from frontman and chief songwriter, Alex Keevill, and Shona MacMillan’s haunting and alluring counter-balancing voice. I’ve always heard that there’s a strangely calming effect that overcomes a drowning person and, to me, that kinda sums up the wispy introspection of this track; “Moopy Moop” is almost ambient-sounding in its… I wanna call it “raging minimalism,” as dichotomous as that sounds. Call the music of the Microdance what you will, but just one listen will find you hooked.

The Microdance (Cheryl Pinero, Gavin Mata Hari, Tomas Garcia, Alex Keevill) (photo credit: The Microdance)

The Microdance (Cheryl Pinero, Gavin Mata Hari, Tomas Garcia, Alex Keevill) (photo credit: The Microdance)

The Adoring Heirs recently released a full-length called BEGINNING OF THE END OF DAYS, available at their Bandcamp page. The Microdance is nearing completion of their upcoming full-length, as well, featuring the latest iteration of the band, as shown above. This beautifully packaged limited edition split single is available directly from Boxing Clever Records and comes in two flavors, yellow and yellow/white, which is, indeed, the rarest egg; also available from the fine folk at Boxing Clever is a limited edition skate deck featuring the record’s cover art. Tell ‘em the Mule sent you!