Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Green Plague

So I sit down in front of the computer again. An inconsistent companion. I like this line a lot. Tomorrow morning I might think differently.

Hollow. My life. Hunger. Gone. Fuck. Rarely. Truth. Fantasy. Amorphis. Good. Kill me now. Never. The God On 42nd Street. 5th . Kid Rock. David Lee Roth. Devil. Fun.

The word “hundred” has been playing on my fingers for a while now. 100. Fucking weird. Why 100 ? I remember watching 100 rifles as a kid. A well watched movie cause Raquel Welch was in it and dad had a thing for her. I wasn’t complaining though. Raquel Welch.

I could now tell you a tale of real horror. Not horror of the KLPD variety but of the little horrors of every day life. A visit to the police station. Comfortable chairs it must be said. A general laid back attitude, conducive to chilling out with a book in hand. However, every few minutes, there will be a distraction. Two women beating each other up cause they’re married to the same man. A woman kidnapped for three days because her husband cheated some people. Lots of people cheating each other and two men who dragged each other into the jail. All the while cursing and shouting pretty cool obscenities at each other. A murder of a eunuch by other eunuchs and three cases of lost cell phones. All this in the span of an hour. The police seemed to be good humoured about it all. Not one raised voice or abuse hurled. The people though, man….. if I was a cop I’d fucking lock them all up. Not too horrific after all. I disappoint myself.

There has been no real romance in my life for a long while now. Hundreds. There it is again. Even before I knew it, I’d started typing that accursed word out. Anyway, I think I’ll stop now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A song of grief

Threinody – Live at AMC College

Threnody used to be a pretty cool band. Threinody suck. An 18 song live album, Threinody have put together a live album with 8 of their own songs and 10 covers. The band used to play a very good brand of thrash metal. The recording isn’t bad at all. Pretty decent job. There are plenty of metal bands around the world on record labels that have put out live albums with sound that’s way more shitty than this.

Of the own comps., In Extremis is a song I’ve heard before and it still kicks ass. Blind Leading The Blind is an own comp that’s just boring. The covers ? Boring. The band added the I in the middle and immediately became boring. This show sounds like it was more fun than the utterly horrendous performance at NLS last year but its still boring. Oh yeah, before I forget, there’s a cover of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire. Kill me. Now. There’s also a song called “I Wanna Be Me.” It starts off like a ballad White Lion rejected and then just gets worse. Man, this is just sad. Fuck it! I’m not listening to the whole thing. Quite disappointing.

Monday, December 27, 2004

That disco thing

Jazz rhythms vie with noise. Distortion every now and then. A voice on top. Screaming, singing, mumbling shouting, this is madness. More self indulgent than any prog. rock wankery band Mr. Bungle defies description. Disco Volante for me is Mr. Bungle at their most intense. A harsh difficult listen that never gets easy. This is some mad shit. Carry Stress In The Jaw has a jaw dropping performance from Patton. This is one seriously mad fucker. No real words to describe it. You either love Mr. Bungle or you hate it. No sitting on the fence with this one.


KHERT – NETER – Arrival Of The Funeral Dogs

I knew I would like this the minute I saw the album title. “Arrival Of The Funeral Dogs.” Kvlt or what ? \m/
From Finland, Khert – Neter play death fucking metal. I am very pleased to be able to tell you Dear Diary that they fucking rock! A proper death metal band that just writes really good songs and kicks major butt. After a long while a proper death metal album’s just blown me away. Very happy dear diary. Very happy. They remind me of Nile with the Egyptian themes but only on the surface. Imagine a cross of Entombed and Autopsy with a synth. That’s Khert – Neter. I just hope this band hasn’t broken up already with “Arrival..” being their only album. That would be a tragedy.


I feel I must do another completely nonsensical update. Far too stoned to write when I had my revelations this weekend.

The watchmen is so fucking brilliant. There’s so many bits I wish I could quote here but for now just one will do.

dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. this city is afraid of me i have seen its true face. the streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. the accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “save us” … and i’ll look down and whisper “no.”

A simply fantastic story and an even more fantastic way of telling it.

Oh yes. I got the Threinody album. Here’s the funny thing and I kid you not. I put the disc in the player and listen to it. The first song on this live album is a cover. Judas Priest. Grinder. Not bad. But then its Grinder. And Naidu makes everything sound like a Kreator outtake. The second song’s one of their own. Blind Leading The Blind. My speakers decide at this exact moment to completely fuck me over. The volume goes up. The volume goes down. There’s tons of hiss and static. The funny part is, when the song gets over I can hear the crowd and Siddharth with no interference from my speakers. I aim to listen to the CD on my computer one of these days so I’ll be sure to tell you what I think Dear Diary. For now though, Degradation Trip is on the player and Jerry Cantrell rocks.

A hundred miles. Freaks of every shape and size. All coming to audition. A line that could be seen from the moon. Idle speculation. The smoking man. A cigarette in every crevice of his body. Every one of them lit and every one of them being consumed. Smoked. In this menagerie…. his act is lame. The Missing link. Grotesque. Deformed. Walks with a hunch and makes sounds. Hundreds of them in this line. Inbreeding is not as rare as it should be. The bearded lady ? Old hat. The mermaid ? Interesting but this one’s ugly. See if there are any pretty mermaids in the crowd. Giants tread softly. The fat men are carried by their minders. “I can shoot my jizz to an astounding 15 feet.” Not likely. Not on this show son. Removed.

A chain of freaks. The audience will decide on who wins. On who does win takes home a Crore of rupees and a 15 minute pass to the page three lounge. Vote now. When you still can. You decide! Have your say. Which freak will it be ? Call in. Toll free. 1-600-FREAKSHOW.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How Knowledge Got Her Groove Back

Knowledge is in a foul mood today. Nobody really wants her anymore. Brother Ignorance is running wild. All powerful. She walks the street in a dark dangerous sulk. And yes knowledge can be dangerous and not just in the hands of fools.

She has lost her colour. She has lost her groove.

She sits down at heavenshore café. Asks for an espresso. Make that a double. She chain smokes gold flake till her eyes water and her stomach is all topsy turvy. The double espresso only makes matters worse.

She sits arms folded, her soft tragic face a picture of discontent. A finger curls a knot of hair. You see, knowledge was no longer in fashion. She was fashionable for a while. But now ? An outcast. People had embraced ignorance. Her brother. Her love for him matched by her hatred for him. She could hear herself die bit by bit. She will remain only in history now. That is enough for her to survive but not good enough for her to live.

She can only do so much for her continued survival. It is the people who decide. Sister Knowledge or Brother Ignorance. Sister Apathy is rising from sleep ever so quickly and she may toss a lock of her hair into the game at anytime. Everything could be lost if Apathy got into the game.

She walks on. Observant as ever. She dies with every step and with every step she is made privy to more ignorance. She observes. The dark sulk goes away. She is standing on the street. Her long white dress is perfectly still. Ignorance will win this fight. She is sure of it. She can almost hear her brother’s mocking laughter. The people have spoken. “I will survive in history and come back to this war when I can. Till then brother, you can have them.” The people get what the people deserve. She smiles. She walks on. She can hear the sound of a music. A bittersweet symphony. She loves this song. Sister Apathy has gone back to sleep. She smiles. She dances…. On and on and on.

Ichi The Killer

Ichi The Killer

A film by Takashi Mike

An exercise in sadism, misogyny, masochism and various assorted perversions, Ichi The Killer is not for the faint of heart. The plot is quite simple. Jiji a small time thug plays two rival yakuza clans with a mixture of disinformation and his primary weapon, Ichi. Ichi is a sexually repressed murderer who comes up with various incredibly brutal methods of killing people. A post hypnotic suggestion by Jiji helps him gain control of the seriously fucked in the head Ichi and use him for his purposes which to me were never quite clear. The movie isn’t really about the plot, nor does it contain displays in histrionics to rival Lawrence Olivier. The movie is an outlet for the viewer to get off on all his dark deeply guarded fantasies. If you’ve never had a sadistic thought in your head then chances are you’ll switch off this film in the first 30 minutes. If you have thought about causing grievous bodily harm to your fellow man, you will watch this film in its entirety and might even go back for seconds.

Ichi The killer is like a car wreck. Ever stuck your head out your window to peer at the scene of a car wreck in the hope of seeing blood ? Well, you know its wrong and you’re even a little disgusted with yourself but you can’t take your eyes off yeah ? That’s
like watching Ichi The Killer.

Ichi under instructions from Jiji eliminates gang boss Anjo following which Jiji and his clean up crew get rid of the body.. This in turn sets his underling Kahkihara on a quest to find Anjo or at least to find out what happened to him. Kahkihara played by Tadanobu Asano is the centerpiece of this film. Obsessed with finding his boss, Kahkihara is a masochist who wants to find his boss simply because he cannot bear to live without the pain his boss Anjo would inflict on him. Kahkihara is the poster child for BDSM clubs all over the world. Tadanobu has enormous screen presence and his childlike smile of pleasure during the torture of Mr. Suzuki is probably the most cringe inducing smile in all of cinema. Though the character of Kahkihara overshadows Ichi, it is Ichi and his fucked up mind that is at the center of the movie. While Ichi comes across early on as a repressed individual and reluctant killer, it is in his butchering of Karen that he displays his true feelings and enjoys it when his own mind convinces him that he’s just giving Karen what she wants. Right here, you can feel nothing but revulsion for this weak twisted little fucker. Any hope of extracting sympathy is lost. Infact sympathy is one thing that none of the characters in this film evoke. The only slight hope of redemption for Ichi comes in his brief encounter with the son of Kaneko, another member of the Anjo gang. This one hope though is also cruelly snuffed out in the climax of the film.

Takashi Mike has an incredible amount of style and visual flair. The camera through a car window going through the streets with the frame rate set on fast forward before finally closing in on Kahkihara’s severed tongue is a brilliant piece of film and it isn’t the only one. Mike displays style in every shot. Here is my basic problem with the movie. It displays sadism, torture and graphic representations of cruelty to women and it does so in a manner that is cool. Kahkihara with his flamboyant sense of style, is all chic while the rest of the Yakuza are super cool tough guys in designer suits. Ichi is dressed like a superhero of some sort when he sets out to do his killing. Its almost like Mike has made the film cool to appeal to Japanese adolescents. Ichi the Killer could be another Kill Bill. With Kill Bill, you figured it was all fantasy and the style added to the movie. Ichi The Killer is all style but the subject is far too disturbing and perverse. I may change my mind about this film if I ever sit down for a second helping, till then though, Mike makes graphic displays of sadism, rape and torture look very real and also very cool. That is what’s wrong with Ichi The Killer.

Monday, December 20, 2004

God's Honest Truth

"if you are to ever become a successful biter of people you need to stop associating biting people with sex."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

When Pornography Is No Longer Enough

Rape. The complete control of another human. Complete loss of control. Sutcliffe Jugend. Kevin Tomkins and Paul Taylor. A concept album on rape. A man rapes a little girl and then writes a letter to her mother telling her everything he did to her little angel. I wish your fucking mother would be here to see this. Noise was never this ugly. Merzbow is noise but strangely appealing. Sutcliffe Jugend is noise and just plain ugly. Feedback, machine tools and Tomkins’ demented shouts. Get on the fucking table. A demented piece of art or absolute rubbish ? Rubbish art. Still strangely captivating. Death metal has nothing on this piece of plastic. Gore-grind has nothing on this piece of plastic. For sheer unadulterated brutality, When Pornography Is Not Enough simply has no equals. The neighbours will complain tomorrow, but tonight this just seems right. I’m in control I’m in control… “With Murderous Passion” has the hint of a riff. Buried under layers and layers of feedback, it may be there, may not. Don’t fucking move. I got this CD a good couple of years ago. Traded for an Iron Maiden album with some fucker in Australia. I’ve heard it twice in that time. Tonight being the third full listen. Still, I wouldn’t part with this disc. Ever. This is something that just must be heard. If you have any interest in extreme music at all, this is about as extreme as it gets. Trust me, trust me, trust me. What do you have to be scared of ?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Method Of Groove

Life of Agony. Spawned from the NYHC scene, LOA is a band that could never quite live up to the expectations generated by their debut album.

River Runs Red released in 1993 is quite probably the finest suicide note set to music ever. Almost all the songs deal with death and the sound bites deal largely with a troubled teenager who after getting the shaft from his teachers, boss and mother finally decides to end it all by taking a razor to his wrist. The media focused on frontman Keith Caputo as the new poster boy for the troubled teen. Unfortunately while Caputo was full of himself he was also just a little too dark and a little too morbid to appeal to your garden variety troubled teen. LOA played crushing heavy music. One part Black Sabbath with a dose of the New York hardcore sound and plenty of thrash. Guitarist Joey Z. had some mighty riffs and was backed up by Sal Abruscato on drums and Alan Robert on bass. A bottom heavy sound, riffs firmly in the heavyweight category, an incredibly tight rhythm section with Abruscato completely owning the drums and Caputo yelling, shouting and singing with all his heart means that River Runs Red is an album that won’t grow old. River Runs Red is very much an acquired taste. The constant barrage of hopelessness and despair gets to you. Everybody dies. Still, LOA caused a good deal of noise with their debut and looked poised to become Roadrunner’s premier band. On a side note, River Runs Red was produced by Type O Negative keyboard player Josh Silver.

The follow up to River Runs Red again on Roadrunner was Ugly. The name of the album was Ugly and unfortunately the music was quite Ugly too. Dark and morbid but the heavy riffs had been replaced by a softer more thought out approach. Almost alternative or modern rock even. The band’s original fanbase did not know what to make of this album and it came, it went and not too many people noticed. Released in 1995, Ugly has aged reasonably well, but is still my least favourite LOA album.

1997 saw LOA release their final album. Soul Searching Sun was a huge leap forward (or backward depending on your point of view). The heavy guitars were now completely gone. Caputo was singing and Joey Z. had melodies and catchy choruses. The band wrote some great songs again. The song Weeds even got some airplay on MTV. Unfortunately, time had passed them by. Interestingly, Sal Abruscato had been replaced by Dan Richardson who also played for Pro-Pain. Still the core of LOA, Caputo, Joey Z. and Robert remained for this album and found their groove again but it was all far too late.

Caputo left after Soul Searching Sun and was replaced by Whitfield Crane from Ugly Kid Joe. This switch didn’t see any studio time and the band folded up soon after. A couple of posthumous live albums/ compilations saw the light in 2000 but LOA was for all intents and purposes, dead.

In early 2003, LOA reunited for a bunch of shows and this led to the live River Runs Again. Signed to Epic with a new album due early 2005, LOA are back. With a major label this time. We’ll probably never get another River Runs Red again but I can hope.

“If tomorrow never shows
I want you all to know
That I loved you all, you’re beautiful
And I had myself a ball.”

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Fits In A Teardrop

The Gathering – Souvenirs

The Gathering used to be a death metal band. Then they were a doom metal band for a bit. Today they are neither. Sublime mostly laid back rock with more than a touch of electronics in their music. Souvenirs is a logical progression from their last full length If_Then_Else. The rockier moments from that album have been discarded. Everything is about textures now. A multi layered musical backdrop and Anneke Van Giersbergen’s magnificent voice.

After If_Then_Else came the ep Black Light District which was done in collaboration with Ulver headman Trickster G. The electronic elements on Souvenirs may have come from this union. Whatever the cause, its all for the good. All ties with the band’s heavy metal past has been decisively cut. This too is for the good.

Souvenirs for me has no basis for comparison. Mellow laid back rock is a thought that comes to mind but the noisy discordant ending of Broken Glass is anything but mellow. You Learn About It sounds like the cranberries and IS laid back and mellow. The title song bang in the middle of the album is all swirling guitar feedback and ponderous bass line.

Anneke’s voice can be an incredibly powerful tool but she is subdued through most of the album and the tapestry of sound helps in creating a slightly claustrophobic feel to the whole album. Point in case being the superb We Just Stopped Breathing. A trip hop beat, distortion, various electronic trickery, a saxophone and Anneke’s dead pan vocal style makes this the center piece of the album.

If you thought the band sold out after Nighttime Birds, Souvenirs will do nothing to change your mind. If you stayed with the band through the brilliant If_Then_Else then chances are you’ll like Souvenirs a great deal.

<>The gathering is still a well kept secret. Souvenirs won’t do much to change that. The Gathering rock. Souvenirs will do nothing to change that either.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Spiritual Apathy Smile

I ride. Bangalore 9pm clogged. A gathering of vehicles and people. Curious. An accident or a fight. Maybe both. Truth ? An old man lies on the road. Bleeding. Not moving, not making a sound. Dead ? Maybe. Head propped on a gunny bag people standing around him, talking laughing. I look. Notice the gunny bag. Drive on. A traffic constable is making his slow way to the scene. I feel a little better. Things will be okay now I think. I ride on.

<>You better leave me here alone
I need this night to heal my world
Send me a smile and I’ll get by
But let me drink my wine tonight.
-- The beggars just wrote an awesome song with Send Me A Smile. No justice ? True.

I have my own copy of Veniss Underground now. I am truly kvlt.

<>I almost bought Death Wish yesterday. Almost. Ended up buying a Mick Foley video. The blatant brutality of his match with Vader was something I’d never seen before. Just two big fuckers beating the shit out of each other. Scary exhilarating. Pretty cool so far and the second disk only gets better. I’ve never seen the unedited hell in the cell match between Foley and Undertaker. I just realized what this means. I have no life. Excuse me for a bit. I think I’ll take sanyaas in the Himalayas now.

Fuck it. Mick Foley rocks.

<>I will now proceed to spin a tale. A tale sure to terrify you, delight you, repulse you but above all make you smile.

Ummm… sorry. No mood.