Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kaleidoscope Death - Litost (2009)

Litost is a word we don't have in English. It's Czech and means, amongst other things, a state of torment created by the sudden insight into one's own misery. A feeling that is the synthesis of many others: grief, sympathy, remorse, and an indefinable longing. Pretty heavy. This album, maybe heavy in lyrical content, is anything but miserable. Unlike many of his previous albums, Chuck Chambers has firmly planted himself in the rockus world of punk-rock—experimental noisy punk rock, at that. Chuck lets it all hang out on this one. Scratchy distorted guitar, spazz drums and blistering bass lines drop in and out of these 12 songs in an unexpected, lively, and berserker fashion. Almost unrecognizable, Chuck's voice yells and shouts his frustrations and contempt for all things contemptable. Honestly, I think his vocal chords were meant more for this ferocity, then anything else. Being a big fan of the previous 25 (?) Kaleidoscope Death albums, the energy on this one took me by surprise. Every punk enthusiast in Greensboro should crank this shit up loud and drive around town in your beat up car with your stupid faded high school bumperstickers on the back. Crank it, go a little nuts, get drunk, ditch the car, jay walk, spray-paint some stop signs, bark at some dogs, piss in the woods, then hitch a ride home and try to make out with your housemate(s).

1. on the clock
2. the saddest sadist
3. sender
4. watch it time out
5. unsubst
6. gravel
7. fingers
8. litost
9. mass culture shut in
10. tired
11. #1
12. shitty

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Geezer Lake - King Frost Parade (1997)

Alternative Press magazine said that, “North Carolina’s Geezer Lake pick up the baton from June Of 44, Grifters, Unwound and Sunny Day Real Estate and Parade is a hodgepodge of influences that makes for 11 songs with more cohesion and thematic focus that has been heard in some time. Filled with equal parts beauty and ferocity, King Frost Parade is simply startling.”

This was their 3rd and final album. The band broke up in the late 90s. Scotty Irving, who still lives in Greensboro, now plays as Clang Quartet, a truly crazy/amazing solo electronic/noise/experimental project that is comprised of the father, the son, the holy ghost, and Scotty.   He puts on quite a show. Like the Raymond Brake, Geezer Lake was before my time in Greensboro, so I missed out seeing them play live.  I'm posting this older stuff up here because I think it's important for all the younger Greensboro rockers to get a little bit of a history lesson - and these albums are damn good. Sure, at times you can tell they came from the 90s, but sounding like where your from ain't always a bad thang. 

Get it here

Raymond Brake - Never Work Ever (1996)

So here's something different: Greensboro indie/post-punk from the 90s. The Raymond Brake are definitely one of the better bands to come out of Greensboro. Unfortunately, they existed before my Greensboro time, so I never got to really experience their music.  Lead man, Andy Cabic now lives in California and is the man guy for new folk band Vetiver, which also features members of another 90s indie/post-punk outfit Rebar. Vetiver often collaborates with Devendra Banhart, so I guess they're doing alright.  It would have been interesting though, to see what would have become of them had they kept on with the experimental rock music like what is on this disc from 96.   

And if you like what you hear, and want some Rebar to go with your Brake, check out this post on my brother's blog: Raymond Brake/Rebar Split 7"