Monday, May 18, 2009

Thou mixtapes I & II.

Although we've enjoyed a lot of success so far with Thou, we've also made a towering mountain of mistakes. One of our most glaring errors was trying to rush the writing and recording process to have records done in time for tours. There was no greater example for us than the comedy of errors that was our tour in the summer of 2008. Some regretful layouts and art choices aside, we had three records that we were getting piecemeal along our way, getting the vinyl one day, jackets another, inserts another. Parts got shipped to the wrong place, things came out wrong, etc etc. Even more foolishly, we decided to sell records without all the parts, take down folks' addresses, and mail them the remainder later on. This was a horrible idea! In the chaos of some of these shows, we didn't correctly list everything we needed to mail out, didn't always check to make sure we could read folks' chicken scratch, and sometimes missed taking down info. And then when we got home from tour, it took another five or six months before our printer could catch up on the work he was supposed to have done before the tour. And us being as busy as we are (read, "slackers"), we put off the packing and the mailing until we had just about everything and could do it all in one fell swoop. If you could have seen the colossus of vinyl and paper and cardboard, scowling at ineptitude, filling the foyer of the Iron Rail from floor to ceiling. The insanity of those five or six hours it took us to rectify certain packing mistakes, sort through emails and notes... A nightmare!

Along with the extra patches and pins and junk we always throw in orders, I had put together these "mixtape" CDrs as a sort of apology to a lot of the folks who had been waiting for so long for stuff they had ordered from us. They also served as a way for us to spread the word about bands we had played with or knew from Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Volume I - Punk Noise.
Our friend Sean spraypainted the tops of these pilfered CDs black, and I put a wolf stamp on top of that in silver--which didn't dry after the week I let them sit out in my apartment, and probably still haven't dried yet. Beware! Most of the bands on this one we played with on that 2008 summer tour.

Fiona Apple is one of the few artists we can agree on as a band. A Pearl Jam / Fiona Apple / Thou tour is probably the only one that could satisfy us all. Look for it in your dreamscape.

Barghest - Lapse
A practice / demo track from Matthew and Terry's black metal band with our friend Jason. Really, raw, intense stuff. What some folks would call "true," although I think it's devoid of the tired pagan notions that permeate the genre and is more of a direct channeling of pure despondency and misanthropy.

The Faeries - Your Milk is My Poison
I'll definitely be making a full Faeries post someday soon with all of their recordings. This is off the full length I helped release on One Eye with McCarthyism and Waking. They were a terribly amazing group. This is the track that really gave them that Nirvana rock-out feel while still retaining the elements of Born Against and Page Ninety Nine that made them so brutal. The Stupid Man rendition of this the other night was the highlight of the evening.

The Separation - Damnation
Ben from The Separation added us onto a fun show at a record store in Redding on our first west coast tour. Our friends in Die Young were also playing. It was funny to see Catharsis Jr. (Die Young) playing a show with Gehenna Jr. (The Separation). One of the guys from Dangers was also there singing for a band called 32 FPS that sounded like Avail meets the Bouncing Souls. Nuts. After the show, we stayed at Ben's house, and put together Tyrant LPs all night.

Atakke - Leviathan / Behemoth
Great female-fronted punk / thrash / metal from New York. Bill from Atakke set up a nice, if overly long, show for us at some hipster club with a bunch of crust lord bands. There are some scathing guitar solos on this track--a wreckoning for the bouncer who almost wouldn't let our merch wizard Jonathan Mudge into the show to smite the audience with his Sales Craft.

Salome - Black Tides
Our good friends from Virginia. We've played with them twice now in DC and are finally finishing up a split 12" with them. Kat's vocals are monstrous. She's literally a monster with multiple hands reaching out from under your bed like in The Gate. She's literally the size of a Cthulhu god and she literally levels entire regions with her screams and bellows. She's also singing for Agoraphobic Nosebleed these days.

Haarp - Fog Cutter
Our brothers from New Orleans. I've known Keith and Shaun for about eight years now. Great guys. And the rest of the guys in this band are just the same. All of these guys are really solid and super down to earth--burly and grizzled old men, but really a bunch of teddy bears. You wouldn't know it from the music though. This is the heaviest thing in New Orleans. And all five of these guys are brothers! That's where their band name comes from; Haarp is their last name. Five brothers in one of the strongest bands around. Look out, Housecore! Down fans will weep.

Vaast - In Homage
Tim and Jeff picked up the slack for us when we were having some trouble getting a show booked in New Hampshire. What a wretched, boring place is New Hampshire. It's the place where screamo and other watered down drivel lives and dies. The art space we played at, however, was incredible. And my two days at Crush Head's house dedicated to a Necromancer party in Final Fantasy I proved most satisfying--along with the holy reign of terror I brought down on the heads of all who thought they could best me in the lost Arts of Dr. Mario and Puzzle Fighter.

We Need to Talk - I'd Rather Die Twice Than Be Born Again
I sent our friend Ian one of these CDs and he wrote in his blog that WNTT "totally sucks" (you can read his full review here). Sorry, Andy! This is some great hardcore stuff from one fifth of Thou, from the Troll Fifth. I always think of these guys as some sort of cross between Left for Dead, Scrotum Grinder, and Memento Mori; but I think this song might have more of a "southern" feel. Thou's first tour only even happened because I had already set up the WNTT tour, I was driving them in my van, and they needed to borrow all of our gear. So we just got the other three guys to hop in and made it happen. I also helped to put out their 7" and did the layout. Thank you. You're welcome.

Adobe Homes - Relocation Was Bound to Happen
Only a minute ago, I was writing disdainfully about "screamo" and now I load up a track that is unmistakably so. Still, these guys are great--very heavy and discordant. And while there's a definite nod to the Circle Takes the Square / Majority Rule / Page Ninety Nine of yesteryear, these guys are obviously from Albuquerque and could very easily draw some comparisons to more obscure late 90s bands like The Hareste or Para la Guerra.

The Devil and the Sea - My Soul is My Abacus
Lafayette, Louisiana sellouts gone Austin turkeys. But we still love them...? One of the best bands to come out of this state. And as good as their record is, it just cannot compare to their live set which is incredible. I liked Ryan's music all the way back to the Icepick Revival days, and this picks up right where that left off for me. They sound like they would've been on Hyrdrahead Records back when that label was still putting out good, heavy hardcore.

Stasis Death - Graceful Sketches
Great kids from Oklahoma City. They threw us a really amazing show at an incredible infoshop up there. And they and Flood were both really awesome that night. That was just all around a nice, fun show with good bands. I mean, limiting the show to three bands, playing at a killer all ages space, having delicious food--sounds PERFECT. A great way to end the tour. And we got to hang out with our friend Chris Presly afterwards in his amazing art compound / warehouse, finish off Scrubs, eat more delicious food, take showers.

A Hunger Artist - From Point B
Another underrated local band whose discography I'll soon be posting. This was basically Dear Diary I Seem to Be Dead without me and Eric and with Greg Stein from Gathered Here on bass. This song is from the last recording they did for an LP before Katrina broke them up. The closest thing they've done to this sort of thing since this band is Dr. Scott Head Pro's solo project Secret Passage that they basically all play in.

Mania - Collapse of Spiraling Iteration
Nate from Leech's solo project. More Salem, Oregon Cascadian black metal malarchy. This one is a haunting, esoteric invocation to spirits and dark magi. It's very raw. You can rely on these guys to always bring some good music to the table in all their various guises (Leech, Vault Dweller, Ancestor Tooth, Munn, etc.) and pretty much everything they release under the Woodsmoke and Eternal Warfare monikors.

Pygmy Lush - The Lonesome Waltz of Leonard Cohen
One of our favorite bands doing a Page Ninety Nine cover ripped from their live radio CDr they sometimes have on tour. It's this kind of weirdo, circus drone that makes me think that the Bywater wizards and Big Ship acolytes would go nuts for this band--eyes closed, mouths agape, heads hanging, bodies swaying, dreadlocks bouncing, feathers rustling, jester bells ringing.

Volume II - Criminal-Minded Chaos Warriors (Magick. Madness. Mayhem.)
I did these to go with the third run of Smoke Pigs hoodies and the remainder of Earth First! benefit hoodies we were mailing out. I used plain white CDrs on this one and kept them free from hyper destructive ink stamps.

Turboslut - Invoking
Our sisters from DC. Fellow weavers of wyrd and conjurers of chaos. If they hadn't broken up recently, I'm sure they would've gone on to become an intensely followed classic hardcore band along the same lines as Born Against or Bikini Kill; now they're destined to be highly sought after cult sensations.

Gathered Here - They Say We're Not Alright
Obscure and underrated New Orleans punk. I wrote about them extensively here. This was the hit--where Jonathan bridged the gap between his coarse yelling in Structral Damage and his melodic singing in The Ghostwood. I can see Darin squeeling into his guitar as I listen.

Mohoram Atta - Dreams of Phanatos
Here's an unmastered song off the split 12" we're doing with our west coast pals. This is epic and heavy hardcore the way it should be, sort of crusty but still retaining that 90s west coast feel. You can also find their demo tape in this post.

Moloch - Green Pills
Heavy sludge from Nottingham. This is a track off of their demo. I posted the whole thing here. We're doing all of our UK dates with these guys this summer and releasing a split LP with them. Soon, we'll be making fun of their accents and they'll be making fun of ours. We'll be forging worldy friendships to last.

Starve - Catfight
Mostly female hardcore / punk band from the DC area. I think the one guy who is in this band was also in Attrition. Pretty good stuff--noisey and dirty.

Marrow - Water Liver Fire (Second Movement)
Adam set up both of our shows at Camp Nowhere in Seattle, and they were both incredible. The second one included his newer band Marrow who were simply amazing. The drummer was just an absolute pleasure to watch. A joy of joys. He really went to town. And while I'll often times compare Die Young to Catharsis, this is where it's really at for a band to pick up that torch. Their whole demo is here.

Rat in a Bucket - A Perfect Pass
Another underrated New Orleans band whose discography and history I'll eventually get to in these pages. This was Keith and Shaun's band before Haarp, but it's in the exact opposite direction, evolving from a straight up Charles Bronson / Spazz power violence band to something more along the lines of the controlled chaos of Coalesce or Botch. And yet both incarnations were still very southern. Very much of The Parish.

Samothrace - Cacophony
Spinks from Samothrace set up our Lawrence, Kansas show, but they ended up not playing, since he and another one of the guys were out on the road. Still a great time, and these guys are a really great band. I managed to catch them in New Orleans last fall, and I was not disappointed.

This Scares Me - K is for Kate Who Was Killed by an Axe
My old friends from Athens, Georgia. I did more shows for them in New Orleans than I did for some local bands. And with the exception of the couple of promoter flakes we ran into, going out on tour with them was one of the funnest and easiest tours I've ever been on.

Seven Generations - Ritual
Andy gives me a lot of grief for adding these guys to the mix since they're more of a straight forward hardcore band, but I think their LP was one of the best records of 2008. Although super nice guys, I was never really impressed by what they were doing until they put out this newest release. Still appalled that they went with New Age over Crimethinc, but I guess they're living the west coast dream.

The Helm - Lament
Great metal band from Tacoma / Seattle. Every time we tried to play with these guys in the NW or for the shows I had set up in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, we were met with catastrophe. But we finally made it happen in Birmingham. Success. And I wear their tshirt to work all the time now.

Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire - Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Ethan set up both of our Denver shows and I repaid him by pawning him off onto a horribly attended show at the Saturn Bar. Sorry! At least they got to play with Pygmy Lush and The Lovey Dovies.

Fall of Efrafa - Pity the Weak
Watership Down was one of the few books I read in high school that I really enjoyed. I think I've read it twice since then. I got turned onto these guys by Cory from Protestant / Halo of Flies the first time we played in Milwaukee. And luckily, this band is amazing enough to live up to my love of the text that they draw so much from. Hopefully, we'll get to do at least one show with them in the UK this summer.

Aphelion - The Tide
Our second show in New Orleans was supposed to be with these guys, but they broke up instead of making it down. Too bad because they're great. The CDRs they made for that tour look pretty amazing and were definitely a huge influence on what we ended up doing with our demo CDRs on that first west coast tour.

Frogskin - Necklace of Snakes
Intense doom from Finland on Streaks Records. That label was supposed to help me get the split 7" out with Haarp but got bogged down doing too many other awesome projects. This band and Austrasian Goat are definitely two to check out.

People take it to the next level at a Black Sabbath concert. If only this would happen at our shows instead of people whining that our 30 minute sets are too short. Maybe if we can get Derek to start talking more scratch between songs. Rock around the clock.


j.roadkill said...

sweet! as always i like your level of details. really appreciated!

Winslowleach said...

I wish you would post some Icepick Revival, but thanks for the Rat in a Bucket. I saw them together at the Dixie Tavern in '01 ('02?).

Josh daived said...

Winslowleach. I am agree with you idea nice word said.

Thanks for post.