Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Primitive Race - Cranial Matter

    On August 10th, two years to the day that I finally got to meet Chuck Mosley (Faith No More/Bad Brains/Cement/Indoria/VUA) in person at Maggie Meyer's Irish Pub in Huntsville, AL, I received my copy of Primitive Race’s Cranial Matter in the mail. Such coincidences give me hope and kinda make me think that there might be some vague plan or consciousness behind the curtain of the universe. Cranial Matter is a remix album of tunes taken from Primitive Race’s second full-length, Soul Pretender, which featured Chuck on vocal duty. Soul Pretender was released to much critical acclaim (it was my album of the year), but Chuck passed away literally days after its release. It still stands as a landmark in his career. Now Chris Kniker and company have brilliantly pulled off an excellent tribute by creating a remix album that stands on its own from its processor, even with a couple of tunes repeated. Featuring remixes by the diverse cast of Toshi Kasai, Dave Lombardo, Dave Ogilvie, Bumblebee, The Skatenigs, Paul Leary, Angelspit, Rodney Anonymous, Kevin Rutmanis, and Ego Likeness, you can’t help but wanna check this out.
    I don't wanna spoil too much because discovery was a large part of my enjoyment during the first listen of Cranial Matter. Hell, even on my 5th repeat, I'm finding new angles. On some songs, Chuck is treated like another instrument. That description sounds bad, but any fan of old FNM can tell you that a lot of his charm was in making his unconventional holler flow in and out with the other instruments. Other tracks push his vocals into hyperfocus: listening to Leary's haunting take on "Soul Pretender", I hear more Bad Brains-ish affectations that I missed the first time around. I went back and they're totally there on the original release. Both new takes on "Bed Six" have given me a new appreciation for my least favorite tune on Soul Pretender. Before y'all break out the torches and pitchforks, a song can do a lot worse than being the weakest on THE BEST ALBUM OF 2017. The flow on Cranial Matter is sort of brilliant. The album is really a 6-song EP wrapped up with a potent new song called "Your Heart In Real Time" sung by industrial legend Chris Connolly, but then we're treated to 4 more excellent remixes. Chuck gets the last word and the Ego Likeness remix of "Nothing To Behold" wraps it all up perfectly. Bandcamp has an additional 3 more songs remixed by John Fryer, Go Fight, and Pop Will Eat itself. All of them solid. If you bought the CD, seek these out too.
    With all this electronic power, tinkering, and reevaluation (not mention guest vocals) Cranial Matter sonically comes full circle to their earlier pre-Chuck material while honoring the artist that left in the midst of what should've been a legendary comeback. Fans of Chuck Mosley, of course, will wanna check this out. Fans of Primitive Race that didn't care for the new direction of Soul Pretender might wanna give these songs another shot in these new forms. Even if you didn't pick up Soul Pretender, Cranial Matter has the atmosphere, bite, beauty, and just great songs to stand on its own. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Review: Savant Harde - Darkness (Demo EP)

   Joshua Dodd is the 

mastermind behind this 5 

song debut EP that aims to 

bring the thunder and the 

power and the head shakin,

hair swingin, dick slingin, 

to rawk your roll.

"Damnation Boogie" will 

get you up and going,

"No Remorse" will get you 

to smashing. There’s a new deputy in town looking to be 

the new sheriff. Keep an eye out.

-Alabama Sharp

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: Jonny & The Black Frames - Revolver Junkies

    Jonny & The Black Frames have been local faves for several years now. And although to date they haven't put out a bad release, I have felt that they haven't totally captured the complete package of what they so deftly deliver live. In their defense, that's a damn tall order. And I highly recommend any and all of their material that you can get your hands on. The critters in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as a lot of the Southeast, have known what's up for eons and still can't get enough of 'em. That's why Revolver Junkies is so important. This is equal parts the document the scene has been raving for and the badass punk rock record you've been needing. 

                                            "So what the hell do they sound like?"

    When Jonny & The Black Frames aren't giving us rock'n'roll with pure punk energy, they're putting out punk with solid rock'n'roll balls. These folks have got the entire delirious history of loud guitar pumping in their veins. Pumping so hard, in fact, there oughta be a health warning on the back. Overdriven Chuck Berry is one thing, but they take it to the next level. They ain't afraid to get dirty. They ain't afraid to get dark. I bet these motherfuckers wore sunglasses in the studio with the lights punched out. Rockabilly, old-school punk, new-school punk, glam, metal? It just comes natural to them. It all belongs and it doesn't sound crazy or pretentious or stupid. It's all just rock'n'roll to them.

                       Buy this ASAP and see them live whenever ya get a chance!! -Harmless

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Copper Top Dive N Dine June 2019 Schedule

Below is the June 2019 Calendar for Huntsville AL's Copper Top Dive N Dine

(Thanks, Salina Brilla!)

Every Weds. is Open Mic Comedy
Every Thurs. is Shitty Records with Carsten

Fri. June 7th: Dirty FussEvil EyeRough Dreams, and Drop Diver
Facebook Event Page

Sat. June 8th: The Raging NathansEl Escapado, and Qualifier
Facebook Event Page

Fri. June 14th: TreephortBone Zone, and Big Gaping Holes
Facebook Event Page

Fri. June 21st: the public iInclination of DirectionLow Frequency BuzzBad Idols, and Burnt Toast
Facebook Event Page

Sat. June 22nd: Hip Hop Night with CodeName UnderGround

Sun. June 23rd: The Return of Speed Metal Dating
Facebook Event Page

Fri. June 28th: Matt PlessTrash Cats, and TBA
Facebook Event Page

Sat. June 29th: Lua SolLocal OrbitJonny and the Black Frames, and Friendly Fingermen
Facebook Event Page

Sun. June 30: Benefit Event for Tent City!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Review: Tiger Helicide - Punk Rock Fanzine & Face Off With The Boneyard Mafia

Hard to believe these nutzo punkers have been at it for 10 years…. Time goes by when you’ve lost your mind, I suppose. Murder Boy Music is an apt label title too. PUNK ROCK FANZINE starts off with “Punk Rock Fanzine,” a straight up punk rawk masterpiece that sums up all of us holding on by our fingernails to this… I ain’t gonna tell you – listen to the song. "Death Rays & Razor Blades", mixed by Michael Kilpatrick, is another ode to the all ignoring gods of punk rock. You’re liable to find a little bit of everything scattered throughout the other tracks: shop vac – check!; trumpet – check! It takes a certain kind of warped determination to create songs like this, and these cats sound like the kind of punks that have spent a lot of time walking into walls repeatedly, and happily. Hellfire, that’s a compliment. And the FACE OFF EP – Goes to show that "Fuck This Job" is a local masterpiece. Sik Dik has gotta be proud, if he possesses such emotions anyway. This EP is simply a massive collision of everything opposite of what has come to be known as “modern punk rock music.” The snotty, snarly heckle of both the vocal deliveries, and the primitiveness of the tunes themselves are a ray of sunshine in a politically correct world. Carry on brothers, the world needs more bands that don’t look to fit in, or be in, but show up gleaming with madness to wreck the party with some murder boy music.
                                                                                                                         -Alabama Sharp