Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A Japanese-only tribute album for a famous Japanese animator, Osamu Tezuka -- creator of Astro Boy, and considered the grandfather of the contemporaryhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif manga and anime industry. Features exclusive tracks by: SHONEN KNIFE, MAKI NOMIYA (of PIZZICATO 5 fame), CIBO MATTO, BOREDOMS, BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS, SEAN LENNON, CHOCOLAT, as well as Haruomi Hosono, Kazufumi Miyazawa, El-Malo, Kinniku Shojotai, Anji, Yui Nishiwaki, You, Dimitri From Paris, Tadanobu Asano, Ken Takagi,Ikuno Takagi (Jungle Smile), Genki Hitomi, Hiroyuki Nanba, Cosa Nostra, Kiyoshiro, and Motoharu Sano.
A Japanese-only tribute album for a famous Japanese animator, Osamu Tezuka -- creator of Astro Boy, and considered the grandfather of the contemporary manga and anime industry. Features exclusive tracks by: SHONEN KNIFE, MAKI NOMIYA (of PIZZICATO 5 fame), CIBO MATTO, BOREDOMS, BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS, SEAN LENNON, CHOCOLAT, as well as Haruomi Hosono, Kazufumi Miyazawa, El-Malo, Kinniku Shojotai, Anji, Yui Nishiwaki, You, Dimitri From Paris, Tadanobu Asano, Ken Takagi,Ikuno Takagi (Jungle Smile), Genki Hitomi, Hiroyuki Nanba, Cosa Nostra, Kiyoshiro, and Motoharu Sano.
This cd features wonderful packaging with metallic foil and silver ink along with die cut panels of Astro Boy's head. but unfortunately, as nice as it looks, it just doesn't scan very well. The above image is from the inside cover.
2nd time around...enjoy!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Sort of a Holy Grail of WTF records. The A Capella Cantata by Nondor Nevai bills itself as a piece for voice, reverb pedal, and magnetic tape. Well...to put it in other words, this is a piece for microphone, karaoke machine and hilarious drug buddy. Listening to Nondor Nevai is as bit like being at some sort of wacked-out disco club where records by Stryper and Saturday Night Live are played back to back; and some madman (armed with a cheap echo pedal) has taken over the dj booth and continually rambles non-stop over every song. Saying the most inane...yet brilliantly stupid things from off the top of his head. Whether it be going through a play-by-play of a random sexual encounter, reading the thanks list from a hip hop album, or spouting off some lesbian poetry, the results never fail to make me laugh and at the same time, make my jaw hit the floor in the fact that someone actually released this as a real Cd!
Needless to say, if you are a fan of all things stupid/amazing/psychotic/wtf?...then you know what to do.
(link deleted...but check HERE)
Although now defunct, Judy And Mary were one of the biggest bands on Japan's pop rock scene of the 90's. As a collective unit, they had a knack for kicking out some of the most innovative melodic music that took hand fulls of punk, noise, pop and mashed them all together in one technicolor mess.
The noisy elements mostly came from the guitar player Takuya who as a player, shows an amazing and unique style of playing...utilizing lots of effects and toys and throwing out some tasty riffs. The other ace in the hole for this band was the charismatic vocalist Yuki, whose shrill range and onstage costumes catapulted this group into the big time. Take groups like No Doubt and Avril Lavigne and strip them of all the superficial aspects of their sound, (oops, what would be left---?) then add in a ton of insane hyper magic energy and some strong catchy melodies and you'll come close to getting an idea of spending some time with Judy And Mary.
This is a post of the band's final album and one of their best. I'll be posting more from them in the future, but for now...here's the 2000 offering Warp.
Crazed manic pop music at it's finest.
Let's JAM! (updated link)
I'm not sure if it is the summer heat or possibly the fact that i've been trying to psyche myself up for afternoon runs; but old thrash/speed metal stuff is what's keeping me sane lately. And here's a few gems from a rarely appreciated band from the UK who never fully got their due. Seventh Angel were a UK group who crafted some quality heavy music that straddles the lines of thrash, doom, and even a few folk elements. The closest band comparison one could probably connect them to would be fellow UK rockers Sabbat. Both bands seem to share the love of an epic song or two and the skill level of playing takes a backseat to inventive song craft. Even lyrically, there is that same sense of singing about "ye olden ways of the wynd", and more arcane texts that involve religious imagery and esoteric Christianity.
Seventh Angel certainly knew a thing or two about setting a mood...just take a look at the album cover for their first record The Torment. It's a swarm of bearded locust attacking people! Now, i can understand that it's cool for bugs to attack people...but whose idea was it to have these creatures bearded? Brilliant and hairy! But the strange artwork really fits with the doomy feel of this album...so technically, i can't really call Seventh Angel a thrash band due to lots of style shifting going on here. But that shifting of style never bogs down the band's style with clutter...it simply shows what great songwriters they were.
File under Atmospheric UK Christian Esoteric Epic Thrash Doom Metal, then.
The Torment is a great album that sort up sets the stage for the bands masterpiece Lament For The Weary. This is a concept album that is much more dark and doomy and crammed with amazing songwriting and loads of interesting twists and turns. The band really seemed to have up'ed the ante with this one and it pays off with some challenging, and well thought out metal...bordering on prog at many times (just as the wonderful cover art suggests)
Lovers of obscure metal...discover these treasures.
Seventh Angel - The Torment
Seventh Angel - Lament For the Weary
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Nothing to pass away the grueling summer heat than some thrashing mad metal; and here we have two absolute gems worthy of investigation.
First up, an old band from Penn. called Believer. Extraction From Mortality was this quintet's first release and stands out as not only a pinnacle of underground thrash metal from the late 80's, but also an adventurous and astoundingly cohesive album. Musically, Believer sounds like the perfect cross between classic era Metalicca combined with the speedy riffs and tight sound of Slayer. I know those are two big names to drop and expectations must be really high when listening to this now....but see for yourself! Most of the songs are not blast-fests, but endorse more of a mid-paced thrashy sound with dark hints of melody and an overall epic sound. The production is unique for this kind of style and in this era. There is a terrific low end to everything that gives it all a cool kind of mood and sense of some kind of groove. As if it weren't enough already that Believer can write insanely catchy and neck-snapping tunes; they decided to make things even more interesting with bits of off-key piano and moody orchestration! Genius!
Check it out HERE
And in this corner...from Tokyo: King's Evil! Although not as profoundly obscure and weird as Believer, King's Evil still manages to kick up a great thrash album which reminds me of classic stuff like Kreator and Sodom. Lots of catchy, fun riffs and great guitar solos here. The production here on Deletion of Humanoise (whatta great title) follows more of the typical dry sound that was common with thrash albums of the 80's. Funny thing is though, this came out in 2001. While the rest of the world was in the throes of "nu-metal" (ahem) good old King's Evil were busy belting out these real metal anthems. God bless 'em!
Experience the Humanoise for yourself