Monday, November 27, 2017

Brain Fragment - LSD Is Good For You (2017)

It's been said many times that bands these days don't take risk.  Everyone wants to be successful and quit their day job so they can live off their music.  And I guess in order to do that, you have to play it safe.  It also seems that most bands think that being "experimental" is crossing two well know sub-genres that people are very familiar with.  When listening to Brain Fragment, you know they're really pushing things to a new level.  And they know the risk, which makes their sound adventurous.  
On LSD Is Good For You, what we get is "fun chaos".  There's definitely songs on here to get wild and have a good time.  Like when you hit the play button, and "Jammin'" comes blaring out of the speakers; you know that "outer-space/alien" sound means "this is gonna rip".  Then "Kill Yourself" follows next.  And you just can't help yourself say "holy shit" when you hear Dave's killer bass tone, and Luis jazz influence drum beats.  "I Become A Monster" is the punk rock song that this generation needs.  And as loud and vicious Brain Fragment can get, I really dig "Dandelion Kisses".  It reminds me of the late-80's post-hardcore bands like Rites Of Spring.
I like to thing that if Frank Zappa was still alive, he would had put out LSD Is Good For You on Bizarre Records.  To me, this album defines what free-form music and artistic freedom represents.  When you have no one to answer, and just create what you love; it brings out something organic and very real.  And it's those exact things that Brain Fragment brings to the table.  The musicianship between Dave and Luis is really tight and compliment each other very well.  Especially when it comes to vocal duty.  There are really great dynamics between Dave and Luis.  If you love your hardcore punk with a taste of jazz and avant-garde/psych, then LSD Is Good For You will be up your alley.  So follow the snail trail for one hell of a mind-trip

LSD Is Good For You gets "5 Hitlers Punched In The Face".

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Monday, October 23, 2017

The Great Sadness - WEEP (2017)

First off, I have to give huge props to Doom & Stoned for introducing me to this band.  To see that they are from L.A., makes me proud.  And we sure as hell need more artist like The Great Sadness and Aboleth, here in the SoCal scene.  When you first hear that guitar riff, it feels like being slammed into the glass by a defenseman at Staples Center.  And to accompany it is one powerful voice and a skinsman with a mighty stick.  A sick combo for a heavy blues duo.
If their first two releases didn't get you hook, then I'm sure WEEP will do the job.  After hearing the hearing the S/T EP, you pretty much knew The Great Sadness were gonna make some huge noise.  On "Enough"- drummer, McNeely starts things with hitting the snare, as if he's getting the troops ready for battle.  Or in this case, a rock'm heavy blues jam session.  Cathy Cooper then comes in and brings her awesome riffs and bluesy vocals.  "Birdman" is probably their most rock'n track on WEEP.  It's a track with a killer riff that makes you stomp your foot on the ground and bang your head.  The Great Sadness also have a sweet twang, and "Desperate" is a track that displays it very well.
On their first full-length, The Great Sadness managed to keep everything flowing smooth.  The guitar tone sounds killer.  No doubt about that.  To me, that what give The Great Sadness their identity.  Cathy and Stephen are one hell of a combo that play off each other very well.  Every chord and beat played, feels natural and has soul.  They flow very well with the sound that Cooper and McNeely have created.  Heavy blues has been something that is really getting my attention.  And if I wasn't already a fan of the sub-genre, then The Great Sadness would seal it for me.  WEEP is a album that packs a lot of POWER.  They may not be heavy in a sonic sense, but they manage to be heavy by putting a lot of heart in their music.  It's probably the reason why you'll see a lot of bloggers and music journalist giving a lot of praise to this awesome L.A. duo.

WEEP deserve my stamp of approval with "5 Hitlers Punched In The Face".

You can purchase WEEP at

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Faethom - Fury Of The Scorned Witch (2016)

When first hearing Faethom, I knew their was something special about them.  There have been many bands who try to bridge 80's metal and the more modern sound.  Most of the times, it feels a bit safe that I tend to not have any interest.  But the way Faethom are able to capture their sound, totally caught my attention.  The blend of 80's metal with Black Metal.  The King Diamond inspired horror stories.  And of course a synth sound that reminds me of John Carpenter.
On Faethom's 2nd full-length, Fury of the Scorned Witch, we are told a tale of a fictional mining town in Bolivia, where the minors suffer by a demonic entity called "El Tio".  During the album, we come across other characters who hold something dark inside.  The album opens up with "A Ghastly Funeral Curse" which has a dark and creepy atmosphere.  Very Carpenter-esque.  "Slaves to the Dawn" then follows with some ripping guitar work by David Diacrono.  "Soul-Eating Mountain" is great instrumental jam that fits well with the Andean Folklore influence.  "The Fanatical Swarm" is probably my favorite track, and also displays Mariela Muerte's vocal style.
With October on it's way, it's that time to get in the Halloween spirit.  And to me, Fury of the Scorned Witch should feel right at home.  This is a album that should click with all generations in the metal scene.  Especially with a lot of bands bringing back that old school sound.  The album also features tracks from the Mark of the Devil ep, which to me, sounds better as a stand-alone.  Faethom have shown that they have something special.  Which is why I give Fury of the Scorned Witch 5 Hitlers Punched in the Face.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Aeonic Impulse - A Night For The Troubled (2016)

Ever since people started to get into Rush, Tool, and Opeth, I've notice a lot of people forming a lot of Prog bands, and then bashing other bands for not being "Prog" or "being diverse".  If done right, Prog can totally be a musical journey where you can set your mind free.  But most Prog bands I hear try to be Rush or Opeth.  Or they throw a barrage of self-wankery.  With A Night For The Troubled by Aeonic Impulse, I do not get any of that.  You do hear a band with many influences trying to bring that all together, and make it as one.
On the first track, "View of the Sunset", you hear some Tool influence in the sound.  Seeing that we already have Socionic doing the whole Tool thing, wasn't sure if Aeonic Impulse was another Prog band doing the Tool thing.  But by "Part II: Regretful Insomnia", you start hearing some post-hardcore in the sound, which by then I started to get hook.  Of course my favorite will be the last track "Part VI: View of the Sunrise"  Mainly because you hear some Post-Rock/Post-Metal in that song.  The build-up was well done and executed.  And hearing Charlie Chaplin's speech from The Great Dictator was a nice touch as things were building up.
As the album goes from track-to-track, things start to change up without sounding like another band.  That's the one thing I can get behind Aeonic Impulse and still get into the album without losing interest.  Nothing feels force, which I also like because it makes the music flow nicely.  A Night For The Troubled is definitely a album that not only Prog fans can get into, but also fans of experimental music, and maybe your casual listeners.  You can totally rock out to this album and also let the sound just sink in.

A Night For The Troubled gets "5 Hitlers Punched In The Face" Approval.

You can purchase the CD on their Bandcamp page:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Green Room (2015)

For anyone who is familiar with underground/DIY bands, you've heard the stories about the road.  The struggles of getting to the next town with little money or looking for a place to crash.  But the one I do hear a lot is the altercations a lot of bands have with the locals.  In Green Room, director Jeremy Saulnier brings this nightmare to the screens.
We are introduced to a punk band, trying to get from town to town, so they can play a gig, get paid, and then move on to the next.  The band made a stop at Portland (or some other Northwestern town) and met up with the promoter.  Sadly the venue that they were booked canceled the show, due to the previous band who played there.  But the promoter was able to book them at a diner.  Things didn't go that well and didn't make enough money at the door.  The promoter was able to help them get another gig so they can get some gas money to drive back home.  The only thing is that it's a neo-nazi skinhead bar.  The band agrees to play the show and make there way to the gig.  Once upon arrival, they meet the staff and are escorted to the green room until there set begins.  Once they hit the stage, they start off with a cover of Dead Kennedy's "Nazi Punks Fuck Off".  Of course the crowd wasn't having it, so they go to their originals, which the crowd enjoyed more.  After their set, they head back to the green room to get their stuff, but see that their stuff is out in the hallway.  They grab there stuff and head on out.  But one of the band members forgets his cell phone and runs back to the green room.  Once he enters, he see's a dead woman laying on the floor with a knife stuck in her head.  He then tries to run out and calls 911, but the staff catches him and brings back the whole band back to the green room.  Scared that the staff my try to hurt them for witnessing a murder, the band barricade themselves inside the green room while holding the bouncer hostage.  The situation would then bring the bar owner and ring leader played by the great Patrick Stewart.  The bar owner tries to talk the band to open the door, but the band doesn't trust him, thus frustrating the owner.  So later in the night, the bar owner ends the show and have his staff to gather some red lace skins.  From here, things start to get intense as the boneheads try to get inside the green room, as the band try to fight them off and look for a escape. Sadly, some will lose their lives as others will be changed by this event.
Green Room does bring out some intense scenes that make you hold on to your seat.  And as charming as Stewart's character can be, at the same time he can be frightening.  There may not be a lot of bloodshed, but whatever violence they show, it's pretty brutal.  Green Room is definitely a movie that fans of action and suspense will enjoy.  Especially with today's political environment, I'm sure there are some people who will enjoy some dead neo-nazi boneheads.

Excited For 2017

Well, we are in the end of January, and so far I've been enjoying what has come out.  Some kick arse movies will be coming out this spring.  New albums by Joy Shannon, Swartwoud, and King Women will be coming out.  And of course some killer shows.
This month I haven't done any reviews or a podcast, but I hope to be more active in February.  The one thing I want to do is record the Lock Your Doors podcast.  I'm also hoping to do some interviews very soon.  Right now I've been very busy with Diclonius.  Finally I've been getting some bookings and it's been really fun.  I do hope to record some new demos.  I'll still be promoting shows on the Code 415 fb page and I hope everyone is following it.  So please go out and support the arts.  Especially in a time where unity is very important.  Hope everyone enjoys the rest of 2017.  Peace out, girl scout.  

Mikey O)))
-Code 415 Blog-

Friday, December 9, 2016

Top 20 Albums of 2016

Well, folks, we are now in December.  Pretty soon, we'll be going into 2017.  To most people, 2016 is seen as a terrible year, with all our heroes leaving us.  As depressing as it is, the one thing these events have taught me is to appreciate my favorite bands and artist even more.  Because we don't know when we'll ever see them again.  But of course, I didn't spend most of the year wondering what famous person will die next.  I was wondering if the next album I buy will be just as kick arse as the last album I bought.
This year brought a lot of killer albums.  Some from bands that I've been in love with for many years.  And some that I just discovered this year.  There are still some new albums I need to get my hands on.  Anyhoo, after many hours of lstening to a lot of albums, I was able to bringing it down to 20.  So ladies and gents, I present to you, the TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2016.

#20. Faethom - Fury of the Scorned Witch

I like to think if King Diamond and Goblin would have a kid, it would be Faethom.  These terrorizors from Florida are a great combination of old-school metal, black metal, and horror soundtracks.  Their 3rd release (and 2nd full-length), Fury of the Scorned Witch, is a raw and killer audio horror story with some great musicianship, that you can headbang in the campfire.  Faethom are still young with a lot of potential, and I'm sure the next release will also make the Top 20.

#19. Misery Ritual - I Hurt Because I Must

This year, we've seen Kyle Ferguson put out two releases and some collaborations with other great artist.  The one that I keep putting on repeat, over and over, is I Hurt Because I Must.  A very brooding and punishing album, that it will make you scream your lungs out til it is shattered.  Misery Ritual have definitely left their mark.  And can only imagine things getting more misanthropic.

#18. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Arc

A while back, Pig Destroyer but out a Doom EP which was really crushing.  I guess it's only fair that Scott Hull also does one with ANb.  Of course they had Kat of Salome do the entire vocals on this release.  And oh boy, what a Doom ep.  Scott Hull like always, just busting out some killer riffs, as Kat does on hell of a vocal performance.  Supposedly, they're doing another ep, in which another vocalist will contribute to the whole ep.  Can't wait for that.

#17. Medicine Moon - Tales of a Umber Earth

One of the most powerful neo-folk albums I ever heard.  The vocals sound very grand.  The songwriting just sound wonderful.  Never have I heard anything like this Oakland duo.  Hearing Medicine Moon live is also something to be seen.  Everything about Tales of a Umber Earth just sounds perfect.  It's definitely a soundtrack to taking a walk in the country.

#16. Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends - Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends

I want to thank Joe Black of the Nighttime Asylum at Radio Boise for introducing me to this.  For the past few years, I've been really getting into a lot of indie music.  Never did I thought I would get into bands like Jay Retard, JC Satan, and Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends.  Every track is really catchy with some great sing-a-long parts.

#15. Gatecreeper - Sonoran Depravation

 I heard a lot of hype about Arizona's Gatecreeper.  And holy shit, did they live up to it.  This is the way I love my death metal.  It's death metal, for fuck sakes.  It's suppose to sound grimy and ugly.  Sonoran Depravation definitely brings me back to the good ol' days of death metal, before bands started using protools and trying to get a slick production.  If you grew up in the 90's, you'll dig this album.

#14. Glaare - Surrender/Control

Another band I found this year.  Saw this band open up for King Woman and Wax Idols at the Slidebar in Fullerton.  And I just feel in love with them.  Synth-pop and Post-Punk is also something that I didn't think I would get into.  Hearing Rachel's voice just takes you to a happy place and makes you feel that nothing can go wrong.  And the atmosphere is very dream-like.  This EP really makes me interested in post-punk and want to dig deeper.

#13. dalek - Asphalt For Eden

Who would have thought that Profound Lore would release a Hip-Hop album.  If anything, dalek would definitely fit in with their roster.  dalek always seem to evolve on every release.  On Asphalt For Eden, dalek address some problems going on in this current society.  And they do it very well.  This EP continues to make me a long time dalek fan.

#12. Jagged Mouth - Louring

It's always great finding new Doom Metal bands.  Especially in places where I wouldn't think there would be any.  Jagged Mouth are one of those bands.  Hailing from New Mexico, Louring in one hell of a crushing and punishing album.  The sound will definitely punch you in the guts really hard, and you'll ask for more.

#11. Kyng - Breathe in the Water

This is a band that never disappoint.  They really do a killer job at making hard rock sound so goddamn heavy.  And with Breath in the Water, I really don't see Kyng calling it a day.  For many years, their fanbase is just growing and growing.  And I can only imagine album #3 just bringing in more people.  The lyrics that Eddie pins up just really gets you.  And their sound just keeps getting tighter.  Seeing that they recorded this album in Austin, Tx, you can tell that it brought new life to Kyng.

#10. SubRosa - For This We Fought the Battle of Ages 

I'm pretty sure by now, SubRosa are huge game changers in the Doom/Sludge scene.  On For This We Fought For The Battle of Ages, this Salt Lake crew continues to get more epic with their sound and songwriting.  There are also some elements that really helps their sound to grow.  And for this, I just love SubRosa even more.  Every praise they get is well deserving.

#9. Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us

In order to make a really pissed off record, you really have to be a pissed off human being.  Whatever it is that the dudes from Nails were channeling from, it really made You Will Never Be One Of Us a kick arse album. The riffs were just intense.  The drums were blasting like a motherfucker.  And Tom Jones vocals were more brutal than ever.  For sure, this album is the best one Nails has ever released.

#8. Muscle and Marrow - Love 

One of the albums that I've been looking forward, Muscle and Marrow's Love.  The Human Cry was such a awesome record, I was really looking forward to their 2nd album.  And Love did not disappoint.  "Black Hole" is definitely a favorite of mines, among other tracks from this album.  A bit of a pop-ish sound, but still has that dark undertone that made me a fan to begin with.  Of course seeing they're from Portland, you can always expect to hear a great record.

#7. Young Hunter - Young Hunter

Here's another awesome band from Portland, Young Hunter.  I have to thank Billy Goate for introducing me to this band.  They got a really sick Blue Oyster Cult sound with a Portland touch.  Hard to explain what that is, but I like to think you get what I'm saying.  If can get into the first track, then you're really gonna dig the rest of the release.  Great guitar work.  Some catchy riffs.  And of course a awesome chorus.  I'll definitely be keeping a eye out for Young Hunter, as I can only imagine that we'll be seeing some great thing from them.

#6. The Body - No One Deserves Happiness

According to the band, the dudes from The Body were getting a bit bored of the Doom scene, that they started listening to pop records, including Taylor Swift.  This would be the inspiration for their latest release, No One Deserves Happiness.  With the help of some female singers, The Body were able to create a very dark album with a Pop touch.  One of the things you got to admire about The Body is that they are willing to not challenge themselves, but also the listeners.  One of my favorite tracks is "The Fall and the Guilt"  The female vocals singing over a piano and white noise just warms my heart.

#5. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner

When I heard that the love of my life was doing a collaboration with one of my favorite Post-Metal bands during the 00's, I was super excited.  Mariner was everything I expected to sound.  Julie Christmas still sounds awesome as ever.  And the dudes in Cult of Luna did great work in creating a atmosphere that brought this album to life.  I like to think this is this generation's Jarboe & Neurosis.  When you got great minds working together, you can only expect something awesome to brew up.

#4. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proftwyd Dwyll

Another band that I feel like are game changers in the Doom Metal scene, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.  When they said they were gonna bring some kick arse riffs, oh, boy, they weren't joking.  On Y Proftwyd Dwyll, they really brought in some heavy riffs.  This is a huge step from their last release.  And their heavy use of the keyboard really made things a killer psychedelic journey.

#3. King Dude - Sex

 It seems that King Dude brings everything to the table.  From neo-folk to post-punk, and some high energy rock & roll.  On Sex, you'll hear what is King Dude's best effort to date.  This record will make you sad.  It will making you feel happy.  It will make you jump in a car and just step on the gas and ride like hell.  A very well written record by one talented bloke from Seattle.

#2. The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend

I have Whores to thank for getting me into The Coathangers.  Just like Whores, The Coathangers come from Atlanta and they bring their own take on indie punk and the riot grrl sound.  Listening to Nosebleed Weekend does bring me back to some fun times.  Everyone on this record does a great job in bringing their best to make this record sound awesome.  Crook Kid brings a poppy side, while Rusty brings some attitude to the vocal duty.  I can now hear why the dudes from Whores are huge fans.

#1. Oathbreaker - Rheia

I so regret not getting into this band sooner.  I'm pretty sure they would have made my "Best of" list a few years ago.  I don't know what is it that I heard that made me give them a pass.  But listening to Rheia, it really made me fall in love with this band.  A lot of female fronted bands are doing the whole singing and screaming combo.  But most of the time, it sounds very generic and forced.  Which is why I don't give a fuck about The Butcher Babies or YOLO.  Oathbreaker, that's a band that does it really right.  Their take on blackened post-hardcore is something that I can really dig.  Rheia is a perfect blend of beauty and intensity.  This album really doesn't sound like other bands who try to do the same thing.  If anything, this album really feels genuine, and it really connects with me very well.  Hence why this album gets the top honors.