Friday, October 31, 2014

Guest Post - Mike Barth

I got my buddy Mike to do a guest post. You may know him from one of the 513 bands he is currently in, such as Clay Davis, The Heads are Zeros, Boat Water, or Mickey and Mallory.


Today Robbie messaged me telling me “if you are bored you can do a chug life guest post”. Turns out I was bored, so between masturbation sessions and sending the Westboro Baptist Church overtly homosexual fan mail, I cranked this bad boy out. This is a whole bunch of music that I frequently listen to and think you all should know about. Do what you will. 


BIG UPS is a band that I think anyone who likes any type of punk/post hardcore/post punk/whatever should know about. They are a four piece self described ‘nerd punk’ band from New York who play fast, simple, power chord laden punk songs with an occasional Slint vibe about all of the confusion that is inherent in being a young adult with only about 15 years of experience being self aware under your belt, and sometimes topics of a lighter and more jovial nature; high fives, comics, video games, chillin with the homies, etc. A friend of mine who lives in the area brought them to my attention not too long ago and they have been a daily listen since. They just put up a 3 song LP released in 2011 as well as a split with Flagland for free download in an effort to help LVL UP repair their van and get back to touring, so go grab that shit while it’s available and maybe even donate a penny or two. 


Are you an apathetic teenager? Would you inwardly, but never publicly, self identify as something of a ‘hipster’? Do you like songs that sound fun and upbeat but are really about sexual depravity, an inability to process or understand emotion, and other horrible and depressing topics? This band is for you. They are from Syracuse, New York and I just discovered them about a week ago. I don’t really know much about this band other than they play fun punk laced with indiscernible vocals. 


Holy shit, this band is off the fucking chain. This Italian blackened hardcore band achieves nothing short of a full scale sonic assault with their latest record ‘Agnes Dei’. Pounding blast beats coalesce with sweeping discordance delivered via one of the most disgustingly heavy guitar tones you’ve ever heard, cascading down into lead brick weight ‘breakdowns’ (I hesitate to use the term ‘breakdown’ given it’s stigma, but am falling short of another applicable term) cover to cover. Last year this band put out a record called ’Solve Et Coagula’ which caught my attention immediately. Putting out records this heavy, it’s no surprise they’ve found a home on Southern Lord Records. If you think you would like anything I described in previous sentences, check this shit out immediately. Word. 


Seems like I’m covering a lot of New York bands today. Brooklyn outfit Man Without Plan, formed in 1997 and repped by too many labels to list, is a band that everyone should know about, and no one knows about. Although they broke up in 2012, for about 15 years they put out some of (in my opinion, obviously) the best pop punk/hardcore ever. I could write more about them, but I really don’t feel like it. All of their shit is up for free on bandcamp, so go and snatch up those goodies. 


Okay so I’ll be honest here and let you know that I haven’t listened to this record all the way through yet. The only reason it is really on here is that my buddy Travis of Rota, Ted Nguyent, and the late Grower, recently recorded and played bass on it. Woohoo, Trav. Claps, pats on the back, high fives, cheers, etc. They are from Philly and I think were all in other bands before this, though I don’t know who. From what I’ve heard the record sounds pretty tight. 


This band has been a constant favorite of mine for years. Codeine is an incredible melancholic slowcore outfit formed in 1989 in, you guessed it, New York. They put out two great full length records and broke up by 1994, reuniting for a short period in 2012, which I actually was not aware of until right now and can feel my blood boiling in vehement anger towards myself for missing out. They were on Sub Pop Records. FFO: Hopelessness, emotions, apathy, nasal singing. 


The Jazz June are an emo band formed in 1996 in Kutztown, PA who are apparently still currently active, and have put out at least one record which has received what I would consider to be less than the deserved amount of recognition. Their 2001 11 song full length ‘The Medicine’ is in my opinion, one of the best emo records of all time. There is nothing ground breaking about this band realistically, and for the amount of time that they have been around I haven’t listened to anything they have released aside from this particular record. However, on this particular record, they have found their niche and fit into it incredibly well. 


Surprise! Another band from New York. This was not intentional. Some of you may feel like I have an aversion to New York and bands that come from there by now. I assure you (the reader), if that is the case, it is purely subconscious. 

There isn’t really much I can say about this band other than the one song that they recently released is tight! Golley gee! Shoegazey punk featuring someone from BIG UPS. As previously mentioned, they only have one song, but it’s a good’n. I mean, I totally opted out of giving them money when allowed to ‘name your own price’, but like, maybe you shouldn’t. Here is that one song, and now I am done with this. Maybe I will do this again eventually, or maybe I will find someone to help me seal myself into the giant block of ice that my pool will become over the next couple of months. Either way, listen to this music if you want to, like it if you are so inclined, or do nothing at all. 

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