Music Reviews

Artist: Kill The Precedent
Title: Dialogues With The Dead
Format: CD
Label: Minus Head Records (@)
Rated: *****
Sacramento, California outfit Kill The Precedent is a hard band to pin down- mostly a METAL band, but what kind of METAL? Speed? Thrash? Death? Hardcore? Punk? Industrial? Actually, no one sub-genre fits; they slip in and out of all of them (often within the same song), and there is no definitive category. Obviously guitar-based (there's three of them in this seven member outfit) with dual dueling vocalists (Sean 'The Ugly American' Smith and Jason "Twig the Exfoliator" VonWussow) you'll be getting your money's worth in terms of sonic assault, and then some. 'Dialogues With The Dead' opens with the hard charging 'Questions for Weapons', blazing guitars, aggressive vocals, just what you might expect. 'Some People' kicks it up even a notch higher, faster, meaner, relentless. The band downshifts a bit for the anthemic 'Free Reign (Everybody's Dead)' ' 'HEY, HEY HEY, Everybody's dead, Everybody's dead hooray!' kind of a zombie celebration of sorts. After the radio dial twiddling opening of 'Goodbye Lullaby' the song speaks of a sense of camaraderie in a death row sort of way. 'Ghost Stories' is classic machine gunning speed metal (and yeah I think I hear actual machine guns in the mix). You gotta love the lyrics though ' 'The path of least resistance will get its turn, A parallel of coexistence, set up and ready to burn'.

There's a fair amount of Ministry influence here on 'Dialogues With The Dead' but KTP make Ministry seem tame by comparison. These fuckers take industrial metal to a whole new level, and their live shows are, well, unpredictable to put it mildly. The singers could show up dressed as butchers, airline pilots, hip hop zombies, hospital doctors, or god knows what else. Don't get the idea they're a joke band though; fun yes, but they're not kidding. True, they don't take themselves too seriously, but it's a crazy fucked-up world we live in, and they're making the most of it by not taking themselves too seriously. There are plenty of pluses on 'Dialogues With The Dead'- the injected dialogue samples, the sparse but effective electronics, the infectious and raucous choruses, the non-stop frenzied energy, the seemingly endless supply of nifty riffs, what more could you want? There is even an atmospheric semi-ambient finale ' 'Unhappy With The World''¦but it ain't over yet. The CD contains a hidden bonus track at the end ' '10172005 Goodbye', a boozy slowed down metal drinking song that might be equally at home at a Dublin pub as at Ozzfest. Speaking of that, KTP ought to get invited to the next one, I'm sure they'd go down a storm.

A word about the CD cover with its occulty weird séance front and mock ouija board rear- it really has nothing to do with the music, it just looks pretty damn cool. (More interesting images can be found inside and on the lyrics booklet.) I can honestly say there isn't a bum track on 'Dialogues With The Dead' and it's really well recorded and mixed. Kill The Precedent has become my new favorite metal band. Maybe they should be yours too.
Apr 23 2014
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Theme Of Electro Empire
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Electro Empire
Rated: *****
From Matthias Weise a.k.a. one of the Dominance Electricity crew and Sbassship I received the news of the creation of a new label called Electro Empire. If you love electro music in all its exceptions, probably you already know the forum and you already know all the story. For all the other people, well, it was the year 2003 and the forum made a contest where producers were asked to send their own theme concerning Electro Empire. Out of 37 entries from all over the planet, four winning productions were picked by a team of judges to be released on vinyl on the German label Electrecord. The original winners were Gab.Gato from Italy (The Villains Inc., Dominance Electricity), Finland's Laite (X0X Records) and Split DJ from Spain (Microciudad Recordings, Beathazard) and from Denmark DJ Wildthing . Now, eleven years after, it was time to reissue those tracks to launch the new label and for the occasion the guys decided to put four bonus tracks: Finnish duo Polytron (Kostamus Records), England's Paul Blackford (Militant Science, Twilight 76), The Metric Brothers aka Dr. Skunkenstein and Neil Stevens from the UK plus DJ D.S.K. out of China (Second To None, Electrolab Records) and once again DJ Wildthing with the second part of "Lesson Electro Empire". The first three entries presents three tracks of finest modern electro music with 80s influences, hard beats and spacey atmospheres, DJ Wildthing goes to the roots and with the two parts of "Lesson Electro Empire" presents a great mix of early 80s electro hip hop with scratches, vocal samples, synth stabs and vocoder filtered vocals. Polytron, instead, is here with a dark electro punching tune with catchy melodies and vocoder filtered vocals. Paul Blackford presents a quite minimal track with upbeat tempo, obsessive bass lines and little synth inserts. Last but not least, we have The Metric Brothers with "Flight To Electro Empire", a cool instrumental track that at the beginning recalls me Egyptian Lover just to continue with syncopated rhythms, spacey inserts, epic synth pads and a final with scratches and early rap atmospheres. Really nice release that you can check and purchase here
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Fuzz Dance ”Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol. 2”
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
After the Robotnick's compilation I reviewed few days ago, here's the second Medical Records' release for Record Store Day 2014, I'm talking about "Fuzz Dance - Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol. 2', a compilation of rare italo disco 12" singles that were issued by Fuzz Dance label (a sublabel of Materiali Sonori). The album gathers three 12"s. The first is Trophy 'Slow Flight' (vocal + instrumental versions), originally released in 1982 (a great mix of hard-hitting drum parts, synth arpeggiator bass line, vocoder filtered vocals which duet with clean ones and wave funky guitar riffs). The second is Zed 'Plastic Love' vocal and instrumental versions. Originally released in 1983 now is ultra rare and expensive. The track is an electro song with catchy melodies and it makes me recall a bit Gina X Performance. The third single is 'Hesitation' by Mya & The Mirror. Produced by Alexander Robotnick (Maurizio Dami) in 1984, it is a bit more lush sounding. It's a sort of mix of Sade with synth catchy lines, wave funk guitar riffs inserts, blows solos and female vocals. As bonus tracks we have two tracks produced in 1984: Mon Bijou's 'Just a Lover' (a poppy dance track that doesn't make me excite) and Naif Orchestra's 'Check Out Five' (a nice track that mix easy listening riffs with hard beats and pumped up synth bass lines. This compilation was a surprise and if you like the less pop Italian synth disco music of early 80s (do you remember "Tarzan Boy" or "La Colegiala"?), this is a must have! Remasterd by Mino Cavallo with additional mastering and restoration by Martin Bowes at the Cage, UK. Presented on high-quality 180gram striped 'Italian Flag' colored vinyl.
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Artist: Hybryds
Title: Music for Rituals
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is a reissue of the first CD album of this project, conceived as a 'mail art music' and recorded on a 4-track cassette, featuring a bunch of collaborations with people like Vidna Obmana and Pier Luigi Andreoni. The result is an essay on post-industrial and ambient music of undoubtable charm.
From 'A Door to Perception' to 'Coda' this album is focused on loop and just intonation singing as in 'the Garden at the Sea'. 'Ritual for Quetzal Coatl' is the center of the work as it juxtaposes the loop and the beat with a sort of field recording of ethnic flavor. 'The Man with No Shadow' features samples perhaps taken from japan movie. This release features also a bonus cd with more experimental tracks like 'Saxapulations' where sax samples are layered and juxtaposed and 'Girl hunter: Dabide no hoshi: BishÃÃÃôjo-gari' where film samples are in a dialogue with classic japan instruments like koto marking a departure from the atmosphere of the other tracks.
Even if it's a really long release, almost two hours and an half with his bonus, there's no fill-in or boring interludes, it's full of ideas and surprises so it's strange that it's so underrated when there's some books about ambient music. A gem rediscovered.
Artist: Aaron Poehler & Ryan Tully-Doyle (@)
Title: Dietrich
Format: CD
Rated: *****
'Dietrich' is a collaboration between Aaron Poehler (guitars, vocals, bass?)) and Ryan Tully-Doyle (drums), from out of San Diego. Poehler used to be in a band called Daisy Glaze (name taken from the song of the same name by Big Star?) when he was in Indiana, but I never heard them, nor have I heard the couple of solo albums Poehler released. On first listen 'Dietrich' sounds a lot like Joy Division with a growly gravelly baritone vocal similar to the guy from the Crash Test Dummies mixed with Fields of the Nephilim's Carl McCoy, lacking a bit of the menace. Opening track 'Sleepless' is a hard charging hot mess with vocals nearly buried in the wall of guitar noise. Actually pretty cool! Thereafter, things rapidly cool down with a more open and slower track, 'And in the End' where you Poehler's vocals are brought to fore. The song was didn't seem to be one of their stronger efforts. Thinks pick up with 'Right Behind You', arguably the most commercial and memorable track on the album, which would fit comfortably on most indie radio playlists. 'Aerial' sounds like sped-up My Bloody Valentine (except for the vocals) with its twisting wall of guitar noise. By this time though, I'm sensing Poehler's songwriting is of limited dimension. 'Everyone Knows Her Name' retires to MBV speed, and things do sound a bit warped instrumentally, but Aaron's voice is beginning to wear on me. The predominant bass line carries 'Anhedonia' once again into Joy Division territory, but other than that, it doesn't have a lot going for it. 'Unwinding' is an atmospheric piece of noise pop, with Ryan singing (for a change), and his vocals are a lot closer to MBV's Kevin Shields. While not the hit of the album, it does provide some welcome relief. Nothing much really stands out on the rest of the album, and all I can really figure out is that the songwriting isn't particularly scintillating from this point on. One may wonder why these guys even got a review here being closer to alternative guitar-based rock than what we usually cover. The album only skirts the edge of darkness; is only vaguely experimental; doesn't fit easily into any of Chain D.L.K.'s categories. The obvious reason would be that it was submitted for review, but my reason is that I sense the potential if they could just stretch out and embrace more experimental regions. I actually like the playing on the album a lot. Poehler's voice might be a bit problematic; Tully-Doyle's is under-used. Still, for those looking for artful noise guitar bands, you might want to check this out. You can find digital downloads of 'Dietrich' on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc, but if you want the physical CD, you'll have to get it at their Bandcamp site page.
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