Conquer and Divide
Clearly, when it comes to band names, these guys win whatever fucked up game we're playing. So they've got that, for sure. Interestingly, their sound matches their loony moniker. It's sleazeball cock-rock, in the same thorny garden as Crystal Pistol, but it's also weird and otherworldly, like an alternate dimension Backyard Babies piped in from the negative zone. Ripsnorting-ist of the lot has gotta be Nitroglycerine, a nasty slice of punked-out biker-sleaze, full of hell's breath guitars, macho-bullshit Zodiac Mindwarp-esque lyrics, and some tasty background vox from the exotically named Anneka Latta. This Six-song EP/LP is obviously operating on the scorched Earth theory, since SFP never lift their lead-feet off the balls-deep pedal, but my theory is that there's some devastating balladry and mid-tempo ass-stomp somewhere in their guts, as well. They've just got that vibe. But for now, they're on pulverizing mode, so prepare yourself for a righteous beating.
Clip: Steroid Freak Pussy - the gripping documentary!
Rock N' Roll Monkey And the Robots
Back to Beatsville
Rock N' Roll Monkey Records
Yeah, I understand that their name makes you want to punch 'em. But we're gonna need you to get beyond that. RNRM&tR is a Detroit garage band with bonus sax-skronk, ala Morphine, and with a heady wash of lightly-buzzing psychedelia, sorta like Brian Jonestown Massacre with actual songs. It's effortlessly groovy stuff with almost supernaturally laidback vox. There's hits galore here, from fairly obvious Mummies-style garage-punk like Zombie Attack to weirdo spaghetti-western post-punk like Real Live Boy. Constantly mutating but always right-on, Back to Beatsville feels like the four coolest kids in town just sauntered in to steal your women/men/souls. And you'll let 'em, man. You'll fuckin' let 'em.
Clip: Rock N' Roll Monkey destroy everything.
Blood of the Black Owl
A Feral Spirit
A one-man exorcism machine from Rurh Hunter's own Chet Scott. Opens with a wispy native American flute and a grunting ode to nature that recalls late 60s' headfuckers Cromagnon, as does the propulsive doomblast that follows. It rolls on like that, a deathly serious buffet of depression and acid-folk freakery. If the Church of the Final Process still had their Satanic-hippy coffee shops, they'd play this all fuckin' day long. An evocative album that uses a host of organic instruments and enough minor chords to form a suicide cult, A Feral Spirit is one of the most consistently surprising and multi-layered doom albums I've heard. It is not, however, an easy listen. You can't rock out to it. You could, however, chug a Nyquil/Ambien cocktail and spend the weekend sweating on the couch, listening to it and hallucinating wildly. What else you got to do?
Listen: Blood of the Black Owl, The Melancholy Article
The Black Zombie Procession
Mess With the Best Die Like the Rest
Wrapped in an excellent splatter-movie cover/booklet combo from metal-art superman Ed Repka, Mess With the Best is a zombie apocalypse concept record that works rather perfectly with the recent video game juggernaut Left 4 Dead. Try 'em both at once, your head will pop right off. Along the way from here to the grave you get a whole mess of chugging guitars that alternate between bay-area thrash and the Misfits (not the easiest transition) and more melody than you'd expect, given the relentless obsession with murder and mayhem. The vox occasionally dip into teenage-emo territory, but mostly sound like a spooked-out Agnostic Front. So that's cool. If you're up for a metal-punk sojourn into the night of the living dead, then strap in, flyboy, cuz this'll take you there.