Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HEIRS: Hunter

2010’s full-length, Fowl, by doom-tinged avant band HEIRS didn’t quite hold up for me, the title track from their upcoming EP, Hunter, is wonderfully melodic, entrancing and beautifully dark. The three song EP is slated to release on December 6th via Denovali Records, which is HEIRS’ own imprint. All info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.  Give the video a look/listen.

Heirs - Hunter from Heirs on Vimeo.

Melbourne, Australia's avant-garde post-doom quartet HEIRS will unleash their newest release stateside next week, in the form of the Hunter EP. Picking up where their 2010-released Fowl full-length left off, the new three-song mini-release takes it's time permeating your psyche with nearly 25 minutes of even more mellow and somber passages, leading off with two original tracks and closing out the release with an extensive Sisters of Mercy cover track.
Hunter will be officially released on CD, 10" wax and digital download in North America on Tuesday, December 6th via HEIRS' own Denovali Records, bearing new stateside distro via Nail Distribution.

This week the band have posted a brand new video for the title track to the EP.

Hunter EP Track Listing:

1. Hunter
2. Symptom
3. Never Land (originally recorded by Sisters of Mercy)

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boris: New Album Streams

Boris' upcoming new album, coincidentally titled New Album, will be out December 6th via Sargent House. In the meantime, the album is new streaming over at SPIN (belch... fart...) if you can't wait to pick it up.

All links and info is courtesy of Sargent House.

Boris stream entire forthcoming album via, New Album in stores December 6th

"More complex than you'll notice on a first or even second listen, 'Spoon' goes places your standard pop doesn't. It's an intriguing look at a band trying their hand at a second genre-- and succeeding." Best New Track -- Pitchfork

Legendary Japanese trio Boris are now streaming their entire forthcoming release
New Album courtesy of Listen to the full album HERE.

Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Sunn O)))

Sunn O)))
ØØ Void (Reissue)
Southern Lord Recordings
Originally released: 2000 (via Daymare Recordings)
Reissued: 12.6.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, November 28, 2011

No Ripcord: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys
The SMiLE Sessions
Released: 11.1.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, November 26, 2011

ear X-tacy (1985-2011)

John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy, called it quits recently.  This weekend, the store is open for its last two days of business ever.

NPR interviewed Timmons for their "Hard Times" series, which focuses on our economically challenged America, interviewing people who've been hurt the most.  He blames ear X-tacy's closure more on the economy than on downloading and acknowledges the resurgence of consumer interest in vinyl, which is oddly reassuring since his earlier issues in keeping the store afloat had more to do with file sharing and loss of patronage thanks to the box stores

But, the store's closing is a huge loss for the indies and I can only offer Louisville my condolences.

A documentary called Brick and Mortar and Love covers ear X-tacy's struggles and also looks into the future of the independent record store.  I'm not sure when it's out, or what the status is regarding the film's progress, but a trailer is available.

R.I.P, ear X-tacy.  You will be sorely missed.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GZA/The Genius: Liquid Swords

Not that I should need an excuse to post anything by my favorite of Wu-Tang's MCs, GZA/The Genius, but an interesting press release came my way this week detailing a lecture he'll be holding at Harvard next month.  Also, there will be a new GZA album out in 2012.  All info is courtesy of Life of Death PR and Management. 



Gary Grice aka GZA/The Genius, a founding member of rap supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan, will lecture about his Clan, his craft, and his creativity on Thursday, December 1 at 4 p.m. The lecture, hosted by the Harvard's Black Men's Forum, will be followed by Q&A and is open to the public.

Grice's collaborators dubbed him The Genius because of his talent as a rap lyricist. His solo effort,
Liquid Swords is considered one of the best albums to come out of the Wu-Tang camp. The album was selected as one of The Source Magazine's 100 Best Rap Albums of all time. Steve Huey of Allmusic has called him "one of the best lyricists of the 1990s," while the editors of ranked him #17 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), making him the highest-ranking Wu-Tang Clan member on the list.

The Genius made an appearance in Jim Jarmusch's film
Coffee & Cigarettes, opposite Bill Murray. He also appeared on the Chappelle Show's in the now legendary skits "Wu-Tang Financial" and "Racial Draft."

While in Cambridge, The Genius, an avid student of many branches of science, will visit the Broad Institute and the MIT Media Lab to meet with some of the greatest thinkers in their fields to get inspiration for his forthcoming album project to be released on Babygrande Records in 2012.
The Harvard Black Men's Forum (BMF) is a student led organization focused on providing a space for African-American men at Harvard and combating issues that affect African-Americans at Harvard and around the world. The current President of BMF is Damilare Sonoiki, a junior at Harvard.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

John Zorn: “ done my way without compromise.”

This is a quick interview with composer John Zorn, highlighting his four-piece show at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on December 9th.

John Zorn Composer Portrait Preview from Miller Theatre on Vimeo.

Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records: Joyful Noise Recordings Goes Threesome with Dinosaur Jr.

Interesting year for Dinosaur Jr. and the campaign of nostalgia that's been following them.  Yes, Dino singer/guitarist J Mascis released his solo album, Several Shades Of Why, (which was one of the best albums of 2011 as far as I'm concerned), and toured for the release.  But, Mascis has also been touring with Dino, performing the entirety of the band's milestone release, Bug, which found itself back on cassette via Joyful Noise Recordings on top of being reissued alongside 1985's Dinosaur and 1987's You're Living All Over Me on vinyl by the Jagjaguwar label.  All in all, a veritable buffet of formats for Dino fans who will now also be treated to a three-cassette box set from Joyful Noise Recordings.  The initial Bug cassette release, which was limited to 250, sold out very quickly, so this Dinosaur Jr. Cassette Trilogy set is limited to 500, 150 of which will only be available to those attending Dino's upcoming tour of the west coast.

Got all that?

Now, I bought the Bug cassette, but I'm not sure I'll be shelling out the $39 for this, even though it's pretty cool.  Check out some product shots:

Info, links and tour dates are courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

Dinosaur Jr. Release Cassette Trilogy Via Joyful Noise Recordings

Dinosaur Jr. have announced the reissue of their first three albums on cassette via Joyful Noise Recordings. Sold as a 3-album custom wooden box set - limited to just 500 copies – the Cassette Trilogy includes each album from the classic Dinosaur Jr. canon: 1985's Dinosaur, 1987's You're Living All Over Me, and 1988's Bug.

Originally released on cassette and vinyl via the legendary Homestead and SST labels, the three albums were reissued on vinyl last month via Jagjaguwar. Now, in conjunction with Dinosaur Jr.'s upcoming West Coast tour, Joyful Noise is reissuing all three albums on the more archaic (but equally tactile) of the original formats. On the heals of the instantly-sold-out
Bug cassette reissue earlier this year, this is the first time Dinosaur and You're Living All Over Me have been available on cassette since their original 1980s releases.

Limited to a one-time release of 500 hand-numbered copies, the
Dinosaur Jr. Cassette Trilogy is packaged in a custom-built, screen-printed wooden box , featuring the classic Dinosaur Jr. "monster" artwork [VIEW PICS HERE]. The individual cassettes are manufactured on high-quality chrome tape with purple, black, and white shells. Each are individually wrapped with 8 panel original artwork.

Dinosaur Jr.'s
Cassette Trilogy is now available for purchase for $39 here:

[Note: only 350 copies of the box set are available for purchase online. The remaining 150 copies will only be sold on the upcoming West Coast tour (dates below). Orders will be shipped on December 9. Individual cassettes will not be sold apart from this collection.]


(Dinosaur Jr. performing
Bug in its entirety at each show, with Henry Rollins interviewing the band live)

December 12 - Costa Mesa, CA @ Segerstrom Center for the Arts
December 13 - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
December 14 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
December 15 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
December 16 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
December 17 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
December 18 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

Joyful Noise Recordings


Letters From A Tapehead

Boris: Flare

The inimitable and super-prolific Boris are releasing their third album this year, the appropriately and humorously titled New Album. Probably the most fascinating and risky creative transition heard this year can be found in the grooves of Attention Please, Boris’ foray into post-punk/new wave/pop influenced rock brilliance that, while deviating from their usual experiments with drone and sonic mire, basically allows the band to demonstrate their versatility and grow musically with little or no boundaries. New Album revisits and reworks tracks from both Attention Please and their more hard rock-oriented other release, Heavy Rocks (2011). Rolling Stone, (Seriously, why let Rolling Stone handle this one?), is streaming their latest single off of New Album, “Flare.” “Spoon,” was recently posted by Pitchfork.

A limited edition version of the New Album will be out late November for Record Store Day (Back to Black Friday) through Sargent House. Otherwise, release is set for December 6th.  All info and links come courtesy of Us/Them.

Boris premiere new song on from forthcoming album, set Australian dates for March 2012

"More complex than you'll notice on a first or even second listen, 'Spoon' goes places your standard pop doesn't. It's an intriguing look at a band trying their hand at a second genre-- and succeeding." Best New Track -- Pitchfork

Legendary Japanese trio Boris have premiered a new track via Rolling Stone from their forthcoming disc New Album. The MP3 for "Flare" is available to stream/download HERE. New Album will be available via Sargent House on limited edition vinyl and CD at independent retailers on Record Store Day: Black Friday November 25th and LP/CD/Download worldwide on December 6th.

The band also announces the first few dates of an Australian headlining tour in March 2012. Please see current dates below.

Pitchfork recently posted "Spoon", the first single from
New Album, giving it their coveted Best New Track rating. It is available to download HERE.

Boris has long been celebrated for their rare ability to reinterpret a multitude of esoteric musical genres into a sound uniquely their own.
New Album finds the intrepid Japanese trio etching their own post-noise, extreme pop niche with some of their most accessible and melodic music being equally their most subversive. Where their two previous albums, Attention Please and the all new Heavy Rocks -- both released by Sargent House on the same day, May 24th, 2011 -- offered divergent expansions to their sonic palette, New Album is the culmination of the band's ongoing experimentation that catapults its ferocious sound headlong into new territory.

Much of the inspiration behind
New Album derives from a confluence of ideas regarding the very basic notion of music as art in the modern age. The band was inspired by a current Japanese pop music trend in which a singing synthesis software program called Vocaloid, which enables users to create songs simply by typing in lyrics and a basic melody to be sung by an imaginary anime character vocalist. It has resulted in many chart topping hits created by people with little musical ability (vaguely similar to the success of Autotuned instant stardom in the US). On the other end of the spectrum, New Album also flips the script on the long established notion of the band as an experimental noise act -- based upon their prior albums as well as collaborations with sonic deconstructionist Merzbow and doom-drone duo Sunn 0))). It proves their enviable skill at penning catchy melodies that many of their extreme noise fans would consider reviling "noise" from their perspective. It's a dual jab addressing the rapidly changing landscape of music that situates Boris once again as innovators in their constant challenging of archetypes. And, it showcases the band's ability to embody the essence of myriad musical styles in Boris' own monolithic form.

The 10-track
New Album features a handful of revamped versions of songs from both Attention Please and Heavy Rocks (2011), along with a few new tracks, hyper-charged and rearranged with the assistance of radical Japanese producer Shinobu Narita resulting in a sound that could best be described as extreme pop. It shares both the hummable heft of Nirvana's Nevermind and the entrancing, droning haze of My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless, run through two previous decades' worth of electronic exploration and the merging of underground noise with sugary mainstream gloss. Boris usually self-produce their recordings, so working with a popular producer is quite an exception. The disc was first issued as a Japan-only release in March 2011, but this rearranged and remastered worldwide edition features a reorganized track listing and four songs not available on either Attention Please or Heavy Rocks.

Album opener "Flare" kicks off with a repeated whine of an emergency siren before hurtling into a speedy punk refrain led by bassist/vocalist Takeshi reminiscent of Sonic Youth's most radio-ready work, while elements of glitch and dubstep pepper the proceedings. "Hope" bursts forth with jangling detuned guitars and churning distorted bass as guitarist/vocalist Wata coos along with a soaring string section and chirping electronics. "Party Boy" could just as soon be a lost Bjork track, with drummer/vocalist Atsuo's bouncing dance beats and Wata's cryptic lyrics detailing an alien encounter at a hazy late night dance party. The chugging metallic riff of
Heavy Rocks song "Jackson Head" is transformed here into a slithering synth line and chopping rhythms befitting a violent grime tune. "Looprider" closes the album with a throbbing dream pop melody and gliding chorus that gently drones out throughout the 7-minute songs duration before fading into a delicate piano line that dissolves into the ether.

Boris formed in the early '90s as a four piece just-for-fun endeavor with the sonic template of influences like Melvins and Earth. By the time of its 1996 debut as a trio
Absolutego (later released in the US via Southern Lord in 2000), Boris had already hit its stride in creating unique ground-rattling heavy, melodic music. The group, bassist/vocalist Takeshi, guitarist/vocalist Wata and drummer/vocalist Atsuo went on to release nearly 20 studio albums, as well as numerous collaborative albums -- including projects with Merzbow, Sunn0))), Ian Astbury and Michio Kurihara of Ghost (who also currently tours with the band as second guitarist and frequently guests on albums) -- EPs and singles on various labels throughout the world.

These eternal masters of the aesthetic 180-degree shift, Boris prove once again with
New Album just how deftly the band can tackle seemingly disparate musical elements and forge new sounds that may seem inconceivable to other artists. New Album will be available on limited LP/CD on November 25th, 2011 in celebration of Record Store Day: Back To Black Friday and LP/CD/Download on December 6th via Sargent House.


03/22 Sydney @ The Metro
03/23 Brisbane @ The Hi-Fi
03/24 Melbourne @ The Corner Hotel

Artist: Boris
Album: New Album
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: November 25th, 2011 / December 6th, 2011

01. Flare (
02. Hope
03. Party Boy
04. Luna
05. Spoon (MP3)
06. Pardon?
07. Jackson Head
08. Les Paul Custom '86
09. Tu, La La
10. Looprider

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, November 14, 2011

J Mascis: I've Been Thinking

J Mascis is releasing a 7" album via Sub Pop with his cover of Edie Brickell's "Circle" and the B-side, "I've Been Thinking," which is available to sample.  It's a good listen, full of Mascis' blend of folk hero melody. 

   J Mascis - I've Been Thinking by subpop

Letters From A Tapehead

The Inbox Giveth: Pink City & Neur

My inbox has become this overwhelming, virtual, time-sucking swamp of unanswered emails and updates. It’s become the place I go to feel bad about being one person with too much to do and too much to write about. In an effort to spotlight many of the unsigned or hopeful bands that I’ve heard and really liked, I’m going to try and target a couple groups a week. Today, I’d like to discuss Pink City and Neur, each of whom owe much of their output to the post-punk/independent underground of the mid-80s and early 90s math/post-hardcore.

Pink City is especially Big Black-centric, industrially propulsive and similarly abrasive and aggressive. Their album, Designing Women, is available to stream and I really couldn’t recommend it more if you’re into Steve Albini-ian anti-melodies and chugging noise rock. Pink City is a two-man group that’s completely built online. The email I received from the band’s initials-only MM counterpart wrote that the two members live on different continents and have never met face-to-face, which does point to the value of the Internet as a way to inspire creative and artistic conversations and ideas and not just as a means to distribute political propaganda, stupid videos and porn. Utopian dissemination of anything life enriching works for me, especially when the results are this loud.

Neur is a New Brunswick, NJ math-rock band that impressively runs the gamut of rock-borne passion, pop melody and Pixies/Jawbox crunch. They also boast note progressions the likes of which would make many prog-nerds involuntarily want to blow fanboy wads so intense the mass could probably push through the front of their collective pants like Play-Doh through a cheese grater. (I’m only saying that because it happened to me. But, no it didn’t.)

Anyway, Neur released their Untitled EP last December and it’s six songs that unpretentiously exhibit the band’s talents and their ability to craft emotive music without catering to indie rock’s super-contemporized and softened palette. I think they’re worth a listen and it wouldn’t hurt to send them a few bucks so the band can keep doing what they’re doing.

Letters From A Tapehead

Talkdemonic: City Sleep

Talkdemonic’s “City Sleep” is pseudo-ethereal and jam-like, a resilient backdrop of snare tap and bass taking on the occasional string flurry and inciting drift-like absorption. The video, which depicts a woman sleepwalking amongst made-up weirdos in togas, walking closed-eyed in a desert, appropriately visualizes the song’s mood and intent.

Talkdemonic’s album, Ruins, recently saw release. All info, links and tour dates come courtesy of PMA PR.

Talkdemonic "City Sleep" from Alicia J. Rose on Vimeo.




The first video from Talkdemonic's spellbinding new album Ruins premieres today on MTV Hive! Check it out there or head to Vimeo ( to grab the embed link. Here's the scoop on the video:

"City Sleep," a five-minute instrumental opus by Talkdemonic and a standout on their new effort Ruins, has tremendous texture and movement with a gloriously climactic viola ending that inspired director Alicia J. Rose to create a music video employing the viola as the "voice" of the narrative. With cinematic imagery revolving around the concepts of somnambulism, astral projection and performance anxiety, "City Sleep" is played out against luscious Eastern Oregon desert landscapes, a vision laced with magic and the power of confronting ones fear.

Talkdemonic has a handful of shows on the horizon and many more in the works for February 2012.

November 8th Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater w/ MODEST MOUSE
November 9th Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater w/ MODEST MOUSE
November 10th Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom w/ MODEST MOUSE
November 18th Missoula, MT @ Top Hat Lounge
November 19th Spokane, WA @ A Club
December 31st Portland, OR @ Mission Theater w/ Deelay Ceelay

Talkdemonic recently went on tour with Kurt Vile and The Flaming Lips. Drummer Kevin O'Connor recounts a few highlights below.

1. Saving Wayne from a angry redneck at a roadhouse bar in South Carolina.

2. Hearing Wayne's description of "Skulls Unlimited", a store in Oklahoma City where you can buy human skulls and in fact where they bought theirs. Seeing a freezer photo of human heads on his cell phone!

3. Partying till 4AM with Kurt Vile and the Violator boys.

4. Playing in the massive haunted Armory building in Rochester, NY, a huge place just featured on
Ghost Hunters. It had a gun range underneath the floor and a hundreds of abandoned rooms.

5. Collaborating with Kliph (Lips Drummer) on "Summer Glass". Check out the video on You Tube:

Jump on over to for more videos, tour updates and photos.


Letters From A Tapehead

Deerhoof/David Bazan split 7" art

Since putting out Deerhoof Vs. Evil earlier this year, Deerhoof have been releasing split 7" collaborations steadily since.  Their newest split with David Bazan spawned a cover contest, so I took the opportunity to pick up my sketch book (which I hadn't done in months) and some watercolor paints (which I hadn't done in years) and come up with a couple options.  I'll know if they're selected by the end of the week, but figured they might be cool to post in the meantime.  I don't do too many art-releated music posts.

Some sketches:

Finished submissions:

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

St. Vincent: She Is Beyond Good and Evil (Pop Group cover)

St. Vincent, whose new album Strange Mercy is out and available, performed The Pop Group's "She Is Beyond Good and Evil" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  It sounds great.  I have to say, between this and her cover of Big Black's "Kerosene," she picks some esoteric material to emulate.

Letters From A Tapehead

Shining: In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster

I know I've been promoting Shining's upcoming live DVD, Live Blackjazz, something fierce lately, but videos for the release keep surfacing.  This one, a performance of "In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster," the lead-off track from Shining's fantastic Grindstone LP, should be reason enough for fans to pick this up. 

Information comes courtesy of Indie Recordings.


On II.II.II Shining is releasing their first ever live album and dvd from a concert in Rockefeller, Oslo. Today we are premiering the music video for the song "In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will be a Monster".

Watch it here:


Shining is also touring Europe.

Tour dates:
05-NOV - Damnation Festival, Leeds (UK)
06-NOV - Fleece, Bristol (UK)
08-NOV - Patronaat, Haarlem (NL)
09-NOV - Doornroosje, Nijmegen (NL)
10-NOV - Point FMR (Musiques Volantes Festival), Paris (FR)
11-NOV - STUK, Leuven (B)
- ULU, London (UK) W/ Devin Townsend Project (Deconstruction show)
14-NOV - De Kreun, Kortrijk (B)
16-NOV - Jagerklause, Berlin (GER)
17-NOV - Knust, Hamburg (GER)
18-NOV - Saint Oberhausen, Oberhausen (GER)


Tour dates:
06. January Total, Tønsberg
07. January Rockefeller, Oslo
11. January Folken, Stavanger
12. January Hulen, Bergen
16. January Koservatoriet, Kristiansand
17. January Tribute, Sandnes
19. January Driv, Tromsø
20. January Ski Kulturhus
21. January Storsalen Samfundet, Trondheim
28. January Union Scene, Drammen

Order the
Live BlackJazz album and DVD here:
Norway: (Special bundle available.)
US: (The album will be out in January in the US)


Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Locrian IV...

The Clearing
Fan Death Records
Released: 11.1.11

I’ve been writing about Chicago’s noise-shapers Locrian pretty consistently since 2009’s Drenched Lands. Having said that, every album that the trio has built (members André Foisy, Terence Hannum and Steven Hess) has worked to define the band’s creative and compositional development, their prolificacy allowing for creative and instrumental growth. Whether this clear and well-chaptered transition was intentional or not, from album to album their mastery of noise has been taking less prominence in their work, a significant breakthrough being made earlier this year with their last two-song 7,” “Dort Ist Der Weg” (Popol Vuh cover)/”Frozen In Ash.” The Clearing, their fourth LP in three years, transitions from this point, making it their most developed foray into what could be taken as “traditional composition,” though “tradition” isn’t a word I would normally apply to Locrian.

Simply put, Locrian is continuing to merge a more musical approach with their better-established experimental identity, making their sound both as accessible as possible while incorporating more invention into their work. “Chalk Point” is one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard this year, a simple piano melody adding some very distinct humanity to a sound-induced hallucinatory plain of weirdness and impending darkness. A guitar begins to weep, a beat is introduced, the keys flurry, the vocals drone, the effect is compelling.

As a lead off point, “Chalk Point” works to ease listeners in, “Augury in an Evaporating Tower” an industrially-powered piece of John Carpenter/Killing Joke-styled black metal and ambience that brings more of Locrian’s past “scape” conjuring into the conversation. The band will never let go off what makes them unique, “Augury” acting as confirmation of their unwillingness to do so. Even so, the barrage of drum noise and screams are relieved to allow for instrumental guitar soloing, calming the attack and prepping the next song, “Coprolite,” which is an acoustically built instrumental. Charring, crunching sounds wallow in the back as Locrian synthesize some country-tinged acoustical strings with blazing streaks of electrical buzz.

Although attention to notes informs much of what you hear on The Clearing, the title track is the album’s lengthy noise outro, its considerably spare pulse gradually building into swells of shimmering flashes, distant kick drum thuds, minimalist guitar play and faraway screams. The sounds collect, the environs pulsating and screeching, churning and growing. Once the blankets of static begin to fade and then eventually halt, Locrian leave only the thud in its stead, their least composed moment on the album still exhibiting the band’s technical patience, reliance on basic rhythm and the levels to which they can craft an intensified atmosphere. Dig into it and enjoy: there’s no guarantee Locrian will still continue to deliver something of this sort if the band keeps challenging itself.

Letters From A Tapehead

The Devil's Blood: Documentary and teasers for their new album, The Thousandfold Epicentre

Eindhoven psych rock band, The Devil's Blood, will be putting out a new album, The Thousandfold Epicentre, in early 2012.  An 11-something minute documentary about guitarist/founder, Selim Lemouchi, was recently released.  Discussions include his bouts with being rock bottom, his temporary hiatus from playing music, his art, his songwriting and his decor.  The man bleeds on the wall of his homemade altar as a way to show his appreciation for creative accomplishments (like writing a good song) and he remains very reserved while explaining this stuff.

Info, links and video come courtesy of Earsplit PR.

Holland's music video portal,, recently launched a mini-documentary centered around THE DEVIL'S BLOOD mastermind, SL. The subtitled video takes place in SL's home in Eindhoven and at Speedfest, and focuses on writing music, live, death, vice struggles and more. Check it out HERE.

Metal Blade Records recently announced its union with the eclectic cult rockers and will be unleashing the band's upcoming full-length album,
The Thousandfold Epicentre, in North America on January 17, 2012. The Thousandfold Epicentre features 11 tracks produced with the help of Pieter Kloos at Void Studios (Eindhoven, The Netherlands).

Commented SL of the new release:
"THE DEVIL'S BLOOD are pleased to announce the conception of a new Litter to be cast upon the sacrificial flames of the bullheaded God that resides on the plane of Gehenna. Eleven new children shall pass through His flames to become reborn in Chaos. We have taken eleven months to write and two months to record these monsters and to prepare, attach and inscribe the appropriate sigils, ornaments, chimes and bells upon these younglings before releasing their serpentine malignity upon the world...”

If you missed it the first time, be sure to check out an art teaser clip for the song "Within the Charnel House of Love" as well as a stream of "She" at THIS LOCATION.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, November 04, 2011

Pterodactyl: School Glue

The comic book geek in me was more than appeased with Pterodactyl's latest video, "School Glue."  They reenact the opening scene of the first Superman movie.  The song's pretty good, too.

Pterodactyl - "School Glue" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Letters From A Tapehead

Exploding In Sound Gets All “Label” and Shit. PILE Signs.

My good friend Dan Goldin of Exploding In Sound recently made a significant leap, building EIS into a record label from its beginnings as a well-maintained and very informative music blog. Goldin’s maiden acquisition, the Boston trio PILE, will be recording the label’s first release. Being a fan of Exploding In Sound, I’m very happy and excited for Goldin and his partners, Ty Griffin of Escaping The Ordinary and Dave Spak of Stereo Typing

In the meantime, here’s some info about PILE courtesy of the newly minted Exploding In Sound Records.

PILE sign with new label Exploding In Sound Records

Entering the studio in the spring to record their highly anticipated follow up to last year’s
Magic Isn’t Real

Exploding In Sound Records is beyond thrilled to announce that the first band signed to the freshly launched label is none other than Boston favorites PILE. The label will release the band’s next album on vinyl, CD, and digital formats in the summer of 2012.

One of the absolute best bands in the North East, PILE have made a name for themselves with a persistent touring schedule and their inherent ability to turn the uninitiated into diehard fans. Combining equal parts crushing post-punk, brilliant pop melodies, and a soaring fusion of early 90’s grunge, indie, and swampy blues, PILE’s sound is immediately accessible and impossibly catchy. Through abrasive guitars, enveloping bass riffs, intricate stampeding drums and triumphant vocals that range from woozy mumble to infectious howl, the band create a magnificent noise that simply can’t be ignored. Rising from the impeccable Boston basement scene that has flourished over the past few years, PILE are the kind of band that will appeal to everyone from hardcore punks to elitist indie kids, and everyone in between with their diabolically loose complexity and feverish charm.

Formed in 2007 as a solo project by frontman/guitarist Rick Maguire, Pile released the raw “ Demonstration” a lo-fi recording showcasing Maguire’s knack for songwriting. “Jerk Routine” followed in 2009, an eclectic album once again written and performed by Maguire. That summer found PILE expanding to a trio, as drummerKris Kuss and bassist Matt Becker became the band’s dynamic rhythm section. In the fall of 2010, the band self-released “Magic Isn’t Real,” a genuine masterpiece that has inspired a growing obsession in the band all across the country. Shortly after the release of the record, Becker left the band to focus on his growing family, while Matt Connery was brought in as the band’s new permanent bassist. Ready to make an impact, they did just that and hit the road, organizing their own tours resulting in over 100 shows in the past year to ecstatic and rowdy audiences across the country! This fall saw the release of the “Big Web Seven Inch” single, comprised of three tracks recorded during the “Magic Isn’t Real” sessions. Head over to the band’s official Bandcamp page where you can stream and download all of the band’s music. While Boston will also be home, the band is eager to hit the road and expand their rapidly growing audience.

PILE is:

Rick Maguire – vocals/guitar
Kris Kuss – drums
Matt Connery – bass

“I honestly couldn’t think of another band in the world I’d rather have as the premiere Exploding In Sound Records artist. As a label there are certain qualities you look for in a band, and PILE possess every last one of them. Aside from my uncontrollable obsession with their music, the band’s dedication and easy going nature is truly something special. I believe in PILE, and look forward to working with them,” said Exploding In Sound Records creator Dan Goldin.

Exploding In Sound Records is a new venture spearheaded by Dan Goldin and co-owners Ty Griffin and Dave Spak, the minds behind the diverse taste-making blogs,, and The three have spent a considerable time working in and around the music industry and are ready to put their collective knowledge to good use with Exploding In Sound Records.

When asked about his thoughts on the new venture, Griffin said, “I’m really excited to be working with Dan and Dave, on Exploding In Sound Records. I can’t think of any others I’d rather work on the label and honestly believe we can bring PILE to the next level, spreading their music to the masses”.

Spak added, “
I am really excited to work alongside two forward-thinking minds that have the grasp on the music industry necessary to propel a band as promising as Pile to the status that they deserve.”

Stream and download PILE’s music at


11/28 Philadelphia PA – Kung Fu Necktie w/ Ugh God, Psychic Teens, & Wives
11/29 Richmond VA
11/30 Somewhere NC
12/1 Charleston SC
12/2 Savannah GA
12/3 Orlando FL
12/4 Gainesville FL
12/5 Tallahassee FL
12/6 Atlanta GA
12/7 Athens GA – Caledonia Lounge w/ Gift Horse’s Hunter Morris
12/8 Charlotte
12/9 TBA
12/10 New Brunswick NJ
12/11 Brooklyn NY w/ Quilty, The Library is on Fire, Ovlov
1/28 Allston MA – Berfest

Band Links:

Pile Website
Pile on Bandcamp
Pile on Facebook
Pile on Twitter

Exploding In Sound Records Links:


Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Loincloth

Yes, the name of this band sucks. The music, though? Pretty severe. Jazzy, prog signatures and chunky sludge metal riffs, Loincloth has just signed with the bulletproof Southern Lord label. Some tracks are available to check out over at Brooklyn Vegan, two of which are from their upcoming new album, Iron Balls Of Steel. All info below comes courtesy of the wonderful people at Earsplit PR.

LOINCLOTH Sign With Southern Lord 

Two Tracks From Forthcoming Full-Length Posted

Riff-mangling instrumental/progressive act LOINCLOTH have inked a deal with Southern Lord Recordings for the release of their debut full-length, aptly dubbed
Iron Balls of Steel on January 17th, 2012. Brooklyn Vegan are helping us spread the word like the plague this week by streaming two tracks from Iron Balls of Steel.

Tune in and crank "Underwear Bomb" and "Sactopus" up,

Formed following the demise of Raleigh, North Carolina-based death/doom act Confessor at the turn of the century, drummer Steve Shelton and guitarist Cary Rowells were recruited by Richmond, Virginia-area guitarists Tannon Penland (Kenmores, Koszonom) and Pen Rollings (Breadwinner, Honor Role, Butterglove). The LOINCLOTH lineup was now fully realized, and the madness began to unfold.

The idea behind the formation of LOINCLOTH was to create a band that focused only on the things that made the members' favorite form of music inspiring and powerful, steering clear of cliché formulas, and choosing instead to carve its name out sheer force of will. Punishing riffs and a mean rhythm section were all they were interested in; no acoustic parts, no pointless leads, no repetition and no vocals! To them, metal was getting punched in the face by sinister riffs while a tight rhythm section kicked them with counter-beats to the gut! 

LOINCLOTH released their first four-song demo in 2003, which was met with immediate interest from Southern Lord Recordings. The 'Lord used two of the tracks from the demo, and with another track added, released the tracks as part of the 7" Of Doom series. Another track from the demo was included on a Swami Records Swami Sound System Vol 1 compilation that year as well. 

With the current band lineup now a simplified power trio comprised of Penland, Shelton and Rowells, the first output from LOINCLOTH since 2003 will hit the streets in January, in the form of their first full-length, Iron Balls of Steel. Representing years of sifting through ideas, constantly crafting and reshaping riffs into no-nonsense metal brutality, the album serves as an offering to all who feel that metal allows for more freedom of expression than other forms of music. Metal accepts extremes. In fact, metal is nothing without extremes! To create pure metal you have to push yourself, and Loincloth meant to do just that. Iron Balls of Steel is about metal's promise to kick your ass, and LOINCLOTH is keeping that promise!

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Lou Reed & Metallica

Lou Reed & Metallica
Released: 11.1.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dub Trio: Control Issues Controlling Your Mind

Dub Trio's "Control Issues Controlling Your Mind" is featured on their new album, IV, which is now something I need in my life.  Definitely one of the best rhythm sections in any sort of rock/metal-oriented music being made currently.

Check out my review of Dub Trio's last album, Another Sound is Dying.

Letters From A Tapehead

New Selections — Emma Ruth Rundle, Tropical Fuck Storm, Primitive Man, Private Life, Uniform, Erika Wennerstrom, Djrum, Windhand

Starting August off with some new singles. Emma Ruth Rundle:  " Darkhorse " (via Rarely Unable /  Sargent House  / YouTub...