THOMAS, PETER The Big Boss (OST) (Ascension) lp 26.00
THOMAS, PETER Warp Back To Earth (Bungalow) 2cd 21.00
With reissues of Peter Thomas' bombastic scores for 60's German sci-fi movies and tv shows appearing almost once a month, a remix album would certainly not be far behind... and here it is! Stereolab, High Llamas, Coldcut, John McEntire (Tortoise), St. Etienne, Mr. Scruff, Stock Hausen & Walkman, Tipsy, Momus, Dauerfisch, Yoshinori Sunahara, Mina, Brezel Goering, The Sons of Silence, Schneider TM, and Ronnie & Clyde all take their turns at mutating Thomas' scores. But that's just disc one... Disc two documents the sounds of Peter Thomas himself.
THOMAS, PRINS s/t (Full Pupp) cd 17.98
As much as we dig the collaborations between Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, we're beginning to think we might like these two Norwegians even more on their own, separately. With his latest solo outing, Prins Thomas has reminded us how masterful he is at creating glacial and spacious dance beats infused with waves of blissed out krautdisco. More so than on his collaborations with Lindstrom, Thomas demonstrates that he has a really nice range of sounds in his arsenal, with subtle hints of prog, psych and krautrock all mixed into a blend of his unique electronica. Lots of this record makes us think of some amazing remixed version of the cosmic kraut classic recording by Riechmann, or how Jonas Reinhardt might sound if they really allowed their more flowing and dance-y side to run wild. You can tell that Prins Thomas has a deep love of groups like Neu, Harmonia and The Phantom Band as much as he does of the space disco stylings of Giorgio Moroder, Patrick Cowley and Cerrone. So many epic and nuanced tracks here, with one of the standouts being "Wendy Not Walter", you have to love the nod to Wendy/Walter Carlos. Further proof that Prins Thomas is not only a student of great electronic music but also one of its best creators these days!
"Wendy Not Walter" MPEG Stream:
"¯rkenvandring" MPEG Stream:
THOMAS, PRINS s/t (Full Pupp) 2lp 22.00
Now available on vinyl! As much as we dig the collaborations between Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, we're beginning to think we might like these two Norwegians even more on their own, separately. With his latest solo outing, Prins Thomas has reminded us how masterful he is at creating glacial and spacious dance beats infused with waves of blissed out krautdisco. More so than on his collaborations with Lindstrom, Thomas demonstrates that he has a really nice range of sounds in his arsenal, with subtle hints of prog, psych and krautrock all mixed into a blend of his unique electronica. Lots of this record makes us think of some amazing remixed version of the cosmic kraut classic recording by Riechmann, or how Jonas Reinhardt might sound if they really allowed their more flowing and dance-y side to run wild. You can tell that Prins Thomas has a deep love of groups like Neu, Harmonia and The Phantom Band as much as he does of the space disco stylings of Giorgio Moroder, Patrick Cowley and Cerrone. So many epic and nuanced tracks here, with one of the standouts being "Wendy Not Walter", you have to love the nod to Wendy/Walter Carlos. Further proof that Prins Thomas is not only a student of great electronic music but also one of its best creators these days!
"Wendy Not Walter" MPEG Stream:
"¯rkenvandring" MPEG Stream:
THOMAS, PRINS Zero Set II (Endless Flight) 12" 13.98
THOMAS, PRINS Zero Set II (Endless Flight) 12" 13.98
THOMAS, RICHARD Shoes And Radios Attract Paint (Lo) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Record of the week second runner up! Extremely appealing, subtle, layered drones beautifully held together with "bleeps and clicks." Lovely, hard-to-describe full-length cd expounding the talent of Mr. Thomas who was featured on the last Lo recordings compilation (so you know it must be good). Unanimous store favorite. Sounds just so "right" -- kind of like the first time you heard Oval or Flying Saucer Attack. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
THOMAS, RICHARD Soggy Martyrs (Lo) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. While his previous outings marked an interesting return to music (he also was the drummer for the underrated 4AD band Dif Juz in the 80s), his painterly electronica has stumbled a bit, not quite succeeding where Squarepusher has in fusing electronic squiggle to 70's jazz.
THOMAS, RICHARD & THE WORMHOLES Seven Point Plan to Destroy Astrology (Lo Recordings) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. An amalgamation of the warped psychedelic out-rock generated by the Wormholes and the outstanding electronica fuckery from Richard Thomas, whose Shoes and Radios Attract Paint was one of the electronica gems for 1997.
THOMAS, ROSIE If Songs Could Be Held (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
In the mood for some ultra pretty, straight-up heartstring pullers? Achingly sweet songstress Rosie Thomas has some to share with you. She follows closely in the footsteps of female singers such as Shawn Colvin or Sarah McLachlan and more recently Norah Jones or Laura Cantrell. In fact, many of the songs here are totally teen coming-of-age movie ready. Made us think of that McLachlan-sung tune "When She Loved Me" which accompanied the Jessie montage scene in Toy Story 2. Come to think of it, this would've also been perfect for the soundtrack to Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants. If Songs Could Be Held certainly has the potential for very widespread appeal, but we guess it'll be embraced particularly by girls young and old.
"Since You've Been Around" MPEG Stream:
"Clear As A Bell"
THOMAS, ROSIE Only With Laughter Can You Win (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
Rosie Thomas' sophomore release is a soft, subdued affair. The first song is definitely one of its standouts. It might even make you want to keep hitting the "repeat" button, but listen on and you'll be treated to ten more hushed, intimate folky tunes. Luminous notes from a piano hang gently in the air. Thomas exudes a quiet confidence, delivering her introspective lyrics with an emotive lilt that brings to mind Shawn Colvin or Sarah McLachlan. Only With Laughter Can You Win gracefully walks the line between adult contemporary and indie alt-country. Perhaps pushing it further into the latter and adding to the close-to-home-and-heart feel are the presence of a number of her relatives - her mother, father, sister and brothers all join Ms Thomas on a song or two. As well, Iron & Wine's vocalist Sam Beam hops aboard for one song too.
"Let Myself Fall" MPEG Stream:
"I Play Music"
THOMAS, ROSIE These Friends Of Mine (Sing-a-Long) cd 14.98
O sweet Rosie, your tunes are such musical hug nuggets, but we have to say that your latest album reaches the pinnacle of sickeningly cute with the giggleful chit chat at the beginning and end of the second song "Why Waste More Time?". Oooch, made our teeth hurt. That said, These Friends Of Mine is filled with some of the wispiest lilting folk pop we've heard in a while. Golly, it made us suspect that Rosie Thomas might be the long-lost great granddaughter of Nana Mouskouri or Maureen McGovern (who sang the theme song to the original Poseiden Adventure). Apparently Thomas' list o' friends include Damian Jurado, Jeremy Enigk and Mr. Sufjan Stevens who lends his particularly complementary dreamy voice, banjo and guitar to the proceedings. Keep your ears peeled for the very Lilith Faire worthy covers of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" and Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird".
"Why Waste More Time?" MPEG Stream:
THOMAS, TOBIAS Please Please Please (Kompakt) cd 15.98
What can we say, this is just a really cool record. Please Please Please is electro-lounge at its finest- totally ambient and dreamy with a quirky bit thrown in here and there for good measure. Most of the album is instrumental, building slightly in speed to accommodate the minimal, sharp, airy vocals that come in on the third to last song and to make way for Thomas's most daring feat on the record -- a remix of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." If you are as big a fan of well remixed classics as some of us are, you'll be pleased pleased pleased. Overall, Please Please Please is a total chillout record perfect for summers on the porch. LOVE IT!!
"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Ada Mix)" MPEG Stream:
"Wild Wild Berry"
THOMPSON, BEN Time Traveler (self-released) cd ep 6.98
By far the best electronic sounds we've heard come out of San Francisco in a long time, and damn while this is only an e.p it may just be another major contender for electronic record of the year. Ben Thompson creates super saturated prismatic Technicolor colorful beats that swirl and flow and shimmer so infectiously. Like a standout track on a Kompakt Total compilation, this is electronic music that is as much about the dancefloor as it is a fully satisfying sonic experience. Like Gui Boratto or those early Aphex Twin and Plaid records we loved so much, the sounds on Time Traveler incorporate everything we loved about the heyday of IDM into a more current sonic template. There is something so flawless about Thompson's execution that really makes this record stand out, as it has the potential to appeal to both fans of dancemusic and those of us who would rather just put our headphones on and nod along to the music. We can't wait to hear more from Thompson, but for now we are blasting this ep over and over and it sounds so damn good each and every time!
"Time Traveler" MPEG Stream:
"Hands Down" MPEG Stream:
THOMPSON, BOB Sound Of Speed (Dionysus) cd 14.98
THOMPSON, CHRIS s/t (Scenescof) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
THOMPSON, HANK A Six Pack To Go (Sundazed) cd 12.98
THOMPSON, HUNTER S. Gonzo Tapes (Shout Factory) 5cd box set 58.00
THOMPSON, JEREMY & MARY BLOUNT Wired Up!: Glam, Proto Punk, And Bubblegum: European Picture Sleeves 1970-1976 (Wired Up Media) book 30.00
D'oh, we got more of these in 'cause we meant to put it on our "glam vs. grunge" in-between list last week, but then inadvertently omitted it... Another eye popping collection of crazy obscure record covers that had all the record nerds at aQ freaking out big time, and we're guessing a lot of you will feel the same. Even if for some reason you don't love seventies glam, or proto punk, or bubblegum pop, this incredible 384 page hardcover book of seventies Euro picture sleeves doesn't require any listening at all, it's just total over the top music nerd record sleeve porn, although we can't imagine seeing some of these records and not being immediately driven to track them down, even if just to hear what sort of musical madness could inspire such over the top colorful visuals. When we first picked this big book up and started flipping though the pages randomly, we first opened up to a stunning shot of the ridiculous German glam rocker (and former crime reporter) Ramma Damma, posed in a glamorous black light up (!) jumpsuit, complete with battery equipped utility belt, and covered head to toe in Christmas ornaments and glitter and garland. Flipped through a few more pages and happened upon a CRAZY 7" cover from a band called Children Of The Morning, the song, oh just a little ditty called "Ku Klux Man" (!), the cover adorned with shadowy hooded figures superimposed over a burning cross. WTF?!! Flipped though a bit more and stumbled upon the band Hector, in their striped shirts and patched overalls and platform boots, looking like the even more flamboyant older brothers of the Bay City Rollers. And it only keeps getting better. And crazier! There's lots of familiar groups: Angel, Slade, T-Rex, New York Dolls, The Sweet, The Osmonds (and the insane and awesome cover of their "Crazy Horses" 7"), Suzi Quatro, Bay City Rollers, Sparks, Tiger B. Smith, etc.; but a ton of super obscure outfits as well, some of our favorite names being Lieutenant Pigeon, Capt. Skid Marks, Bubblerock Is Here To Stay, Stud Leather, Hobnail, Shake A Tail Suzy, Bilbo Baggins, Rock Co. Co., Pantherman, Lemmings, Roobarb and of course Muff, but again, there are so so so many more. And it's not just the names that are ridiculous, the collection of covers is a parade of constant whatthefuck eye candy, lots of guys with big hair in poofy poses with INCREDIBLE outfits, some nudity of course, bizarre song titles, insane outfits, ridiculous (but totally rad) graphic design, it really is endlessly engrossing. Besides all the amazing record covers and band shots (as well as a super cool page of just label logos), there are also interviews with Iron Virgin, Hector, The Jook, The Hammersmith Gorillas, Ramma Damma, Brett Smiley and Milk N' Cookies. The book is separated by year(s), and in some cases thematically, in one instance a series of record covers featuring bands on motorcycles, in another, just records about streaking. So cool, and ridiculous, and fun. Totally recommended for all you music nerds and obscure record obsessives and graphic design geeks. And goddamn if we don't now have about a hundred more bands we're DYING to hear...
THOMPSON, LINVAL & FRIENDS Whip Them King Tubby! (Auralux) cd 16.98
THOMPSON, RICHARD Mock Tudor (Capitol) cd 15.98
Former Fairport Convention guitarist's lovely new album.
THOMPSON, RICHARD Starring As Henry the Human Fly (Fledg'ling) cd 16.98
THOMPSON, RICHARD You? Me? Us?! (Capitol) 2cd 17.98
THOMPSON, RICHARD & LINDA I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight (Island) cd 16.98
THOR An-Thor-Logy (Smog Veil) dvd 22.00
Ok. This is potentially the BEST THING WE'VE EVER SEEN. Seriously. If that isn't enough, we'll explain a little more. Jon Mikl Thor (aka THOR) is a Canadian body building champ and hunky metal cult icon from the '70s and '80s who got his start doing flashy, stunt-driven, super-human strong man performances (plus singing). These stunts include the bending of a steel bar with sheer muscle-power, then the blowing up a hot-water bottle with sheer lung-power. These became trademark moves as his metal-fantasy concerts progressed. Thor has described his high-concept shows as being based on Norse mythology where Thor (god of thunder and lightning) fights epic battles with monsters and evil warlords. We've seen him perform in person (in recent years) and it is actually kinda like that. As this DVD also proves. And on the DVD, he actually looks like "Thor" with long blonde hair and all, not someone's beefy dad, as he does now. Thor's AN-THOR-LOGY contains mezmerizing classic performance footage from 1976 through 1985, including a special appearance on the Merv Griffin Show (!) and several rare music videos. As an old flyer states, "BODY, ROCK, SHOW, BAND". That about says it all. If I were Kathy McGinty watching this (see AQ list #213), I'd say "uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugghhh!" Basically, if you do not see this, you are totally missing out. Hilarious, kitschy, rock n' roll beefcake fun. And, we urge you to catch Thor on tour this year. He's still darn brawny, and a master of tongue-in-cheek metal/fantasy/punk entertainment. Apparently these shows will find Thor on a quest "to find the magic lantern" as he promises not to disappoint his fans. SF locals, he's playing at the 12 Galaxies on August 31st w/ Slough Feg...and just might be showing up at AQ for some sort of meet-the-fans event!!
THOR Devastation of Musculation (Smog Veil) cd 12.98
THOR Keep The Dogs Away (Scratch Recordings) cd 14.98
Start small? Heck no, not our man Jon Mikl Thor! His debut album from back in 1977, reissued here on cd for the first time ever, finds him quite big in all his massive, muscle-bound glory (that's him on the cover). The burly, bodybuilding singer had been Mr. Canada 1973, after all. But, on the other hand, this is NOT the heavy metal album you might expect from exposure to his later musical output and overdeveloped, barbarian physique. Let The Dogs Out is much more eclectically new wave in its approach to hard rock than the '80s metal Thor with which we were familiar. Which was a pleasant surprise, if you don't take it too seriously. Is it a good album? Well... is the Rocky Horror Picture Show a good movie? Like that midnite fave, this album is kinda '70s glammy, and definitely quite campy at times. But it's also undeniably poppy. Pretty cool, on its own terms. Kitschy fun that might merely have been a one-off, 'incredibly strange music' entry from a beefcake wannabe rock star but for two things - Thor actually went on to have something of a successful career (as tongue-in-cheek as it might be), AND it's got some cool songs on it, or at least a bunch with a certain clumsy charm. You get the full quota of cowbell, Thor's over the top vocal stylings of course, and once in a while something more, where you're like, hey that was pretty good... and now it's stuck in my head! The title track is a quasi-classic of not quite metal, not all that heavy, but still quite rockin' good time music. "I'm So Proud" ("...to be the man I am") could be a more macho Jobraith with a goofy hint of Devo. And "Sleeping Giant" seriously sounds like a bubblegum BRIAN ENO! Yep, not exactly what we thought the He-Man of Heavy Metal would have done for a debut. Maybe this album is not for everyone (like the humor impaired), but as with all Thor's stuff we've heard, and shows we've seen (yes, we've seen him play more than once!), entertainment is job one, from square one. This 30th anniversary special edition reissue's got seven bonus tracks added to the album's original 10 cuts, among 'em the super corny "I'm Thor". While that one is a mite embarrassing (except we're pretty sure Mr. Thor is quite capable of laughing at himself too) there's other stuff here that makes us wonder, however briefly, if this album isn't in fact totally brilliant.
"Keep The Dogs Away" MPEG Stream:
"Sleeping Giant" MPEG Stream:
"Tell Me Lies"
THOR Live In Detroit (Ektro) cd 14.98
Ok, you wanna know where the NWOFHM (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal) gets all their ideas? Our pal Jussi (of noted NWOFHM purveyors Circle/Pharaoah Overlord/Steel Mammoth/Krypt Axeripper/etc.) kind of gives it away by reissuing on his Ektro imprint this classic 1985 live album by metal/bodybuilding legend THOR!! Yes it's a live album (the band rockin' Detroit rock city, with appropriate album cover artwork) but don't worry, it's an AWESOME live album. The recording is great, the band's performance is killer, the crowd is raucous, of course it's got almost ALL the hits ("Thunder On The Tundra", "Knock 'Em Down", "Keep The Dogs Away" among them), AND Thor's between-song stage raps are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Love it when he asks if the crowd reads Kerrang! magazine, gets no response, and is like, "anyhow..." and goes on with his story (about the remarkable size of his back up singer's breasts). Or when he introduces a song as being "a big hit in Alaska". Yes, he-man of metal Jon Mikl Thor is hilarious (he'd happily agree we're sure) but he also rocks, as anyone who's seen him play even recently knows, and heck this was laid to tape back in his heyday! At the time, his heavy metal superheroics were probably only matched by the combined might of Manowar. If you're gonna buy just one Thor album, you won't go too wrong to make it this one. It includes three bonus tracks also from '85, live recorded in England, New York City, and Thor's native Canada. One of them is a song that was lost for 23 years and has never been heard on any other Thor recording!! The cd booklet is stuffed with rad old photos of the band playing and posing, with glimpses of the feats-of-strength that, along with his cool tunes, made this campy metal muscleman famous. For a few seconds back in the '80s anyway. But not forgotten!! Yet more proof that Ektro is one of the best record labels ever. Not only did Ektro just reissue this live Thor album but at the same time they've released a live album by krautrock legends Faust! Thor -and- Faust. Damn. That's our kind of label. After all, we had Thor do an in-store album signing here a couple years ago, and still have the autographed hot water bottles to prove it!
"Thunder On The Tundra" MPEG Stream:
THOR Only The Strong Survive (Ektro) cd 14.98
Yes, this week we do have releases on our list by both Conan, and Thor! How 'bout that. In "real life" we imagine that Thor, being a god, could beat up Conan, tough as Conan is. In fact, we think that Marvel once issued a comic book about that very match-up. And in even more real real life, we're also pretty sure that Jon Mikl Thor, former bodybuilding champion and cult '80s heavy metal icon, could probably wallop the three guys in the doom band called Conan reviewed above. Or at least bend their big ol' horseback battle hammer into a pretzel with his bare hands. Sonically, however, Conan's sub-bass SUNNO)))-like sludge riffage is definitely heavier than the more traditional heavy metal rockin' of Thor and band. Yet, if you're into '80s metal, you'll agree, Thor kicks ass. Certainly Jussi from our fave Finnish band Circle thinks so - this is the third Thor reissue he's put out on his Ektro label so far! And we think so too. Especially when it comes to this album, 1985's Only The Strong, generally considered to be Thor's best. It contains his biggest "hits", and a lot of 'em, beefy kitsch metal classics like "Knock 'Em Down", "When Gods Collide", "Let The Blood Run Red", "Ride Of The Chariots", and best of all, "Thunder On The Tundra". Songs that Thor definitely still sings even today, heck they're likely encore material. We said Ektro's reissue of Live In Detroit, also from '85, was the one Thor to get if you were to only get one. Well, that's perhaps been superseded by this release. If you're ready to rock, and want do it to in the company of a musclebound he-man, this album should definitely get you pumped up. Bombastic, catchy, straight up very very metal! Nicely done reissue, with slickly designed booklet, complete with a back cover photo of a vintage Thor logo patch, and the slogan "Beware The Fury Of The Ice Viking", which sounds like something one of Jussi's NWOFHM bands like Steel Mammoth would use as a song title. The disc also includes a bonus bonus live track, "Warriors Of The Universe", boasting impressive crowd sing-along action only possible in Europe, recorded at Sweden Rock Festival we think in 2009, with original Only The Strong guitarist Steve "Lightning Lord" Price in the band!
"Thunder On The Tundra" MPEG Stream:
"Hot Flames" MPEG Stream:
"Ride Of The Chariots"
THOR Thor Against The World (Smog Veil) cd 15.98
THOR Unchained (Ektro) cd 14.98
What just-released reissue on Circle's Ektro label do you think the Circle guys are most excited about right now? No, not their own Taantumus (one of our Records Of The Week). It's more likely this, the 1983 ep from Jon-Mikl Thor, Canadian bodybuilding champion and tongue-in-cheek (???) he-man heavy metaller extraordinaire. It's been slickly repackaged with bonus tracks, for a total of eleven songs in all. The first six are from the original 12" ep, followed by four additional tracks taken from a 1986 soundtrack album Thor did called Recruits - Wild In the Streets (though these, for some reason, aren't noted as such), plus there's one more bonus cut, "Muscle Rock (The Vulcans Arrive)". Right from thunderous opener "Lightning Strikes", this disc is a triumphant (and, we'll certainly admit, goofy) '80s metal assault, of course... but also essentially POP music. Which part of what's cool about Thor, is the idea that back in the day, you could make music like this with hopes of becoming an actual pop star. So he's somehow simultaneously the most metal thing ever, we mean, he could kick sand in Manowar's collective faces and get away with it, but also totally, totally poppy. Thor wasn't doing this stuff to be a cult metal icon, not originally, he was trying to "make it" in the world of commercial rock/pop music. Let's not forget he performed on the Merv Griffin show! It just so happened that back then, metal (and sci-fi / fantasy too) was on the rise, and a guy with Thor's barbarian physique was ideally suited to exploit those new pop culture phenomena to the max, whether through music or in the movies. Although Thor never did get that huge (other than in terms of muscle, of course!) he did well enough to still have a career today, one now that survives more on irony and nostalgia, of course, but is still all about entertainment. As is Unchained, throughout which you'll find catchy choruses, heavy riffage, brawny vocals, and flashy guitar work. But also lots of new wavey synths, laid on thick on the likes of "Lazer Eyes" and "Anger", the latter being probably the least actually angry sounding song about anger we've ever heard, though it does rock nicely. Rock is what Thor does, for sure, from the swinging chug of "Rock The City" to the galloping "When Gods Collide". We figure this combo of utter absurd over the top metal-ness AND the not-so-brutal pop elements are why our favorite Finns are so into Thor. The silliness of their self-proclaimed subgenre "NWOFHM" (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal), which is as much pop it is metal, definitely had a precursor in the heavy metal vaudeville of Thor. Also, of course, Thor is quite literally one of their gods, right? (His use of Nordic mythological references done in a much more upbeat fashion that most Viking black metal does it today.) Definitely for fans of Steel Mammoth, Krypt Axeripper, another other NWOFHM favorites. Also for fans of Manowar (duh), old Cirith Ungol (have you ever heard their demos with the excess synth??), and we'd recommend this to anyone who was into that '80s Joe Hasselvander disc we highlighted not long ago, too.
"When Gods Collide" MPEG Stream:
"Lazer Eyes" MPEG Stream:
THOR AND THE TRITONZ Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare (Synapse) cd 15.98
The soundtrack to one of Thor's classic movies.
THORAX WACH Die Euch Geht's Ja Noch Viel Zu Gut (Knack) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Had it not been for this LP re-issue, the obscure German project Thorax-Wach would have certainly disappeared forever, and been forever unknown to us. Thankfully, that didn't happen. That said, we still don't know about this group other than that we like 'em, and the basic biographical info that they were a Berlin-based duo who originally released "Die Euch Geht's Ja Noch Viel Zu Gut" as a cassette back in 1979. Everything else about the band is a mystery to us. Musically, they appeared to have been sympathetic with (if not comrades of) the Berlin punk community of 'destructive dilletantes' like Malaria!, Der Plan, Einstuerzende Neubauten, Sprung Aus Den Wolken, and especially Die Todliche Doris. Armed with two Korg synths and a chicken scratch guitar, Thorax-Wach build simple electronic arppegiations that alternate between abrasive Throbbing Gristle noise and sneering, synthetic noirish pop tunes matched with dueling German vocals about eating children, old people, the body, and German serial killers!! Much of the vocals play with pre-existing structures ("Happy Birthday" being of note) and take on much of Die Todliche Doris' dada / fluxist sense of the absurd. Definitely one for the retro-electro crowd. Vinyl only.
"Tango Fontanello" RealAudio clip:
THORGERSON, STORM & AUBREY POWELL For The Love Of Vinyl: The Album Art Of Hipgnosis (Picture Box Inc.) book 45.00
THORNS s/t (Moonfog) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've been waiting for this one for a long time: the debut disc by Norwegian black metal legend Thorns! Aka Snorre W. Ruch. He's been an important, if obscure part of the Norse black metal scene since the early, church-burning days, but never managed to release more than a demo until now...well, not quite, 'cause he did do a split cd not long ago with Norwegian metal kingpins Emperor!! So the level of anticipation regarding his first real album has been high. And are our expectations met? You bet. In fact, we'd been expecting something more electronic and soundscapey and less metal, because of that Cubase-intensive split with Emperor. But, although that's a part of Thorns' approach, this is definitely very metal. Mechanized, futuristic, black metal that's powerful and grandiose. From blazing fast blasts to mid-tempo marches to doom, all is layered with Burzum-worthy fuzzed-out guitar and eerie keyboard flourishes. There's some clanking, industrial moments, and ominous quiet keyboard interludes, but mostly this is spiraling, evil, black metal mastery. No wonder the likes of Emperor and Satyricon (who's Satyr sings on this album, and who's Moonfog label released it) are fans. If you're into either or both of those bands (and you should be!) then Thorns is for you too. All hail.
"World Playground Deceit" RealAudio clip:
"Stellar Master Elite" RealAudio clip:
"Interface To God"
THORNS s/t (Peaceville) cd 14.98
This twisted black metal classic, back in print! Now on Peaceville, in one of those special rounded-corner jewel cases that they like so much. This new version includes 2 bonus tracks from their 'Demo 2000' plus the video for "Vortex"!! We remember when this first came out, we had been waiting for ages: the debut disc by Norwegian black metal legend Thorns! Aka Snorre W. Ruch. He'd been an important, if obscure part of the Norse black metal scene since the early, church-burning days, but never managed to release more than a demo until this one... well, not quite, 'cause he did release that split cd with nineties Norwegian metal kingpins Emperor!! Also recently reissued and reviewed on the aQ list. But back then, the level of anticipation regarding this first real Thorns album was crazy high. And man were our expectations met! We had actually been expecting something more electronic and soundscapey and less metal, based on that Cubase-intensive split with Emperor. But, although that's most definitely a part of Thorns' approach, this is definitely very very metal. Mechanized, futuristic, black metal that's powerful and grandiose. From blazing fast blasts to mid-tempo marches to doom, all is layered with Burzum-worthy fuzzed-out guitar and eerie keyboard flourishes. There's some clanking, industrial moments, and ominous quiet keyboard interludes, but mostly this is spiraling, evil, black metal mastery. No wonder the likes of Emperor and Satyricon (whose Satyr sings on this album, and who's Moonfog label originally released it) have been vocal fans. If you're into either or both of those bands (and you should be!), or hell any of the more classic Norwegian black metal groups, especially, the more twisted outliers, and somehow never managed to hear this, you are gonna lose your mind for this killer slab of elite futuristic blackness... Sadly, barring comps and demos and splits, this is the only proper Thorns record there is, but it's pretty stellar and definitely ranks up there in the Norwegian black metal pantheon alongside Emperor, Satyricon, Enslaved and all the rest.
"World Playground Deceit" MPEG Stream:
"Stellar Master Elite" MPEG Stream:
"Interface To God"
THORNS VS EMPEROR Thorns Vs. Emperor (Peaceville) cd 14.98
Originally released way back in 1999, this strange split/collaboration was at the time, just about the coolest weirdest black metal (and otherwise) record we had ever heard, a record that really sounded like it was made just for aQ, unfortunately, that was long enough ago that the aQ list was still in its infancy, and thus, this amazing and baffling and brilliant record got short shrift. Just three sentences. But really those three sentences should be enough to convince you: "Emperor covers Thorns songs, Thorns covers Emperor, although it's hard to tell which band is which, a good thing we think. Ends up sounding like a gothic, black metal soundtrack that's been given a John Oswald-style Plunderphonic treatment. The most evil use of Cubase we know of. Bizarre and amazing!!" If there was ever a should-have-been-Record-Of-The-Week, this was most decidedly it. Thankfully, this just got reissued, and with bonus tracks to boot, so it seemed like the perfect time to revisit, and give this record the aQ love it so very much deserves, and heck, odds are lots of current aQ customers might not have been getting our list back in the day, so this is for you, and for anyone who needs (or just wants) a little more than those three sentencesÉ Emperor should need no introduction, they are elite members of the black metal pantheon, alongside Burzum, Satyricon, Mayhem, Immortal, Ulver and Enslaved. Their sound epic and majestic, symphonic and super technical, easily still one of our favorite black metal bands EVER. Thorns however might need a bit more of an introduction. Folks who read Lords Of Chaos, might recognize Thorns mainman (only man!) Snorre W. Ruch as having played a part in the infamous murder of Euronymous, by Varg Vikernes of Burzum. Ruch was with Vikernes that fateful night and was sentenced to 8 years in prison as an accessory to murder. Thorns only ever released one proper full length, and that was not until 2001, well after this collaboration. But this collaboration, wow, not sure where to start, and not even sure how it came to be. It seems it had been years since the very first Thorns demos (not to mention the pre-Thorns outfit Stigma Diabolicum), so this split was intended to introduce Thorns to the scene, in preparation for his upcoming full length, and featured various older Thorns tracks reinterpreted by Emperor, as well as Thorns covering some classic Emperor jams. It was Thorns first new material since 1992, and weirdly enough actually featured Satyr from Satyricon on vocals. So it sounds like a pretty bad ass black metal match up, but it doesn't necessarily explain how goddamn weird it turned out. The opening Emperor track is some strange sample heavy orchestral industrial workout, all looped samples, field recordings, strange metallic clanks, martial snares, moaning horn like melodies, faux strings, bursts of glitchy distorted vocals, frenzied guitars, and a super intense cinematic orchestral outro that leads right into a new version of Thorns' "Aerie Descent" from his first demo, a buzzing midtempo bit of blackness, laced with soaring synths, programmed electronics, definitely that modern Moonfog black metal sound that came to define the label and the scene, there are some strange samples, but for the most part the song is a dirgey bit of black metal buzz, laced with various bits of strange sonic filigree, finishing off with a stretch of church organ, haunting and mysterious. The next track is where it gets really strange, a new Emperor created from various bits of an old Thorns demo, and it begins as a strange collage of weird electronics, backwards rhythms, whispered vox, disembodied guitar buzz, again weirdly industrial, before the black buzz kicks in, but it's all wrapped around that electronic skitter, not to mention some bizarre industrial percussion, the sounds looped and chaotic, changing speeds, the voices processed, skittering and stuttering, laced with rhythmic bursts of static, circus calliope, and then finally a furious blast of looped black metal right at the end. Still one of the coolest and weirdest black metal jams EVER. Next up Emperor tackles Thorns' "Aerie Descent" and it sounds like classic Emperor, epic and majestic, furious buzzing, super intricate and heavy, the drumming incredible, the production massive, the organ outro somehow even creepier here. Emperor go again with "Thus March The Night Spirit", a classical reworking of their classic "Thus Spake The Nightspirit" from their brilliant Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk, and the black buzz of the original is transformed into some Tim Burton-ish soundtrack, all soaring strings, darkly moody and tense, with flurries of rapid fire notes, and soaring strings, no wonder Emperor sounded so majestic. Thorns takes control again, redoing yet another old demo track, a creepy almost industrial sounding crawl, the guitars liquid and warbly, the riff slippery and strange, while a mechanical rhythm plods and creaks, the guitars get buzzier, the song gradually growing more and more blasting and black, but the vocals are weirdly processed, and even at it's pounding heaviest, the song is peppered with strange programmed beats and subtle electronics, exactly the sort of stuff that would end up defining Thorns weird mechanized take on black metal. "The Discipline Of Earth" is a Thorns original, and is the perfect blend of orchestral bombast, technical black metal, and brooding black ambience, again laced with programmed rhythms, swirling FX and electronics, creepy vox, before finally erupting into full on black buzz mode, only occasionally slowing down, at which points the underlying electronics and programming come to the fore. And finally, Thorns finishes things off with a cover of Emperor's "Cosmic Keys To My Creation And Times", a plodding doomy dirge, with huge crumbling chords, strange sung/spoken vocals, thick swaths of buzz, muted Teutonic pounding, all strangely and fantastically mechanical and industrial. In addition to the record proper, this new reissue tacks on three bonus tracks, two pre-production mixes of tracks from the record, and a previously unreleased track, the Thorns demo "You That Mingle May", featuring Satyr again, but also Fenriz from Darkthrone. So totally essential, black metalheads who have somehow made it this far without owning this, right that wrong RIGHT NOW. And the thing is, this record is so cool and weird and varied and textured, that even folks with only a passing interest in or curiosity about black metal, might just find themselves blown away...
EMPEROR "Aerie Descent" MPEG Stream:
EMPEROR "I Am" MPEG Stream:
THORNS "Aerie Descent" MPEG Stream:
THORNS "The Discipline Of Earth"
THORNS VS. EMPEROR s/t (Moonfog) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Emperor covers Thorns songs, Thorns covers Emperor, although it's hard to tell which band is which, a good thing I think. Ends up sounding like a gothic, black metal soundtrack that's been given a John Oswald-style Plunderphonic treatment. The most evil use of Cubase we know of. Bizarre and amazing!!
THORNS, LTD Banks Violette : Untitled (The Whitney Museum of Modern Art) dvd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We had been hearing rumors about an art installation at the Whitney Museum in New York that featured original music from cult Norwegian black metallers Thorns. So as you might imagine we were pretty excited and intrigued, and went on a little quest to find out if it was indeed true. So it was indeed true, the installation featured artwork is by a guy named Banks Violette, and the music was indeed by Thorns Ltd. (Snorre Ruch of the original Thorns plus two other folks). The exciting part was that there just so happened to be a recording of the Thorns material for sale!! So we ordered a bunch direct from the museum and they just finally showed up. So this isn't actually a cd, but a dvd, and it's more of a dvd-audio disc, just with still images accompanying the music. Each image displays for about 5 or 10 minutes, which means just a handful to go along with the 80 plus minutes of music. It's a little hard to get a feeling for Violette's art, as it's presented here in a series of blurred stills, but it seems to be mysteriously abstract, blurry images of lights and wires, faces and latex clad bodies, cords and strange machine shapes, over exposed faces, fuzzy close ups, the back of the cd case is a decaying wooden framework that looks decidedly like the remnants of a burned church, not sure if that has anything to do with Violette's choice of musical accompaniment or not... Thorns Ltd. seems to be a whole 'nother beast, no buzzing black riffs or pounding drums here, instead Snorre and his musical partners explore a series of abstract soundscapes, sometimes noisy and chaotic, but more often than not dark and droney. Slow drifting minimalist smears of sound, extended tonal rumbles, thick washes of gauzy high end, layers upon layers, slowly shifting revealing different overtones and strange reverberations with creepy almost inaudible melodies buried within. Machinelike whir, smeared into a pulsating blur, a wash of descending drones, like a series of turbines slowly losing steam, before more start up, only to rumble to a halt moments later. Crackling electronic splutter, keening feedback, piercing sinewaves, ambient clatter, tape hiss and crackly staticky noise, all woven into haunting dronescapes of distorted melody and abstract sound. Metalheads might not dig this (although they should, it's plenty dark and creepy enough) but it will definitely please fans of the dirge and the drone and the drift and the clatter, as well as the whir and the rumble and the creak and the creep (ie: folks who dig Coleclough, Mirror, Ora, Birchvile Cat Motel, Avarus, Axolotl, Skaters, Yellow Swans, Double Leopards, Hototogisu, Jazzfinger, Pelt Total, etc.) ULTRA LIMITED!!!
THORNSPAWN Empress From The Realms of Blasphemy (Baphomet / Necropolis) cd ep 10.98
You get American black metal played fast and nasty on this four-song ep. Yes, they are a ridiculous looking corpsepainted band (with a singing drummer!) but they sounded just as good as Norwegian forefathers Mayhem when we saw both bands play on different stages at more or less the same time slot at last year's Milwaukee Metafest. Blasting drums and throat rasps, trebly guitar savagery: nothing avant garde or advanced about this, just old-school black metal.
THORNTON, CLIFFORD The Panther And The Lash (America) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. WOW. And do we mean WOW!! Fifteen classic free jazz records from the late sixties / early seventies, long out of print, finally getting the ULTRA deluxe reissue treatment. For some reason these are incredibly limited, so these have been a bit tough to get, so we're going to list a few at a time as we can get them. More trombone (see the Roswell Rudd review elsewhere on this list)! The trombone ranks way up there right along side the flute and the tuba as far as our favorite instruments go. How did the sax become THE jazz instrument of choice when the trombone is so much weirder and more expressive? Okay, okay, sax freaks back off, we love the sax as much as the next guy, but a saxophone is way more likely to spoil a song or record than a trombone. Admit it. So besides Roswell Rudd, Clifford Thronton is another of that rare breed, the free jazz master of the trombone, as well as being a serious supporter of the Black Panthers and the black power movement. Thornton was a serious fixture in the scene, having recorded and played with all the luminaries, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Marzette Watts, Archie Shepp and loads more. The Panther And The Lash, recorded live in Paris in 1970, is as charged politically as it is musically (the album title, song titles like "Huey Is Free") and is an ebullient and passionate expression of frustration and hope. Thornton splits the composition duties with his pianist Francois Tusques, and in addition to the trombone, also handles the cornet, the piano and the maracas. His band on this disc is rounded out by Tusques on piano, celesta, balafon and more maracas, Beb Guerin on double bass and Noel McGhie on drums and percussion. With all those unusual instruments you might expect this to be way more out there, but it's actually got a lot more of a trad jazz vibe than a lot of the releases in this series. Wild piano is smeared and splattered all over the place, mirrored by dizzying drum figures and throbbing serpentine bass lines, there are occasional stretches of totally free abstract swirl with the celesta offering up soft drifting melodic chimes, everything sort of swoonsome and slightly chaotic, but those stretches are usually sandwiched between parts that sound a little bit more 'arranged'. And ultimately it's the trombone and the cornet that are the focus. The tracks with cornet sound sort of like a way more free Miles Davis, the cornet sounding quite a bit like a trumpet, but the trombone tracks are the heart of this disc, much more moody and mournful, the trombone moaning, long low notes stretched way out, languid and laid back over a busy soundscape of free jazz swirl. A bit of bop, big band and free jazz, all deftly arranged into an intense and emotional musical exploration. So fucking great. Comes in a gorgeous diecut fullcover three panel sleeve, with new artwork, as well as a huge booklet with the original album sleeve notes, new liner notes in french and english as well as a bunch of cool photos. So nice!
"Huey Is Free" MPEG Stream:
"Mahiya Illa Zalab"
THORON Return To Dust (No Colours) cd 16.98
We've sort of been burned out on death metal for a while now. Occasionally, something will catch us by surprise and kick our asses, like the most recent Deicide (yet to be reviewed) and some of the more over the top insane super technical stuff like Necrophagist. But for the most part, a few Incantation discs, a few Suffocation discs, some Cryptopsy, and maybe a few more odds and ends, and we've got our death metal fix perpetually, umm.. fixed! But for some reason this cold blast of blackened death metal from Swedish horde Thoron totally knocked our blocks off. Heavy and hooky, with super dense churning riffage, blasting drums, huge stretches of buzzy ambience, and all kinds of cool guitar harmonies, squiggly leads, and lots of classic metal sounding licks. As with all great metal, it's about the riffs, and Thoron come up with a mess of 'em, super original, but somehow completely familiar and catchy. It's sort of like a super charged, more downtuned, blacker, thrashier, version of some other classic thrash metal outfit. The vocals are gruff and gravelly, instead of the usual death metal gurgle, and suit the more classic sound. Heavy and buzzy enough to still hit the spot for the black metal obsessed among you, but for fans of classic metal, Bay Area thrash, Maiden, Slough Feg, stuff like that, this should totally kick your ass. Around here, it has definitely become one of our most listened to metal records of late! Way recommended!
"Hired To Kill" MPEG Stream:
"Unhallowed Ground" MPEG Stream:
"The Final Relief"
THORR'S HAMMER Dommedagsnat (Southern Lord) cd 14.98
Southern Lord resurrected and reissued this release a while back, but we just realised we hadn't yet listed it and figured that we really ought to, for the benefit of all you SUNNO))) obsessives out there who might have missed it. Thorr's Hammer was the deadly, doomful blackened sludge band that featured the SUNNO))) duo of Greg Anderson ("drones and sunns") and Stephen O'Malley ("crust and earth"), along with battledrummer Jamie Skes, subsonic attacker James Hale, and, last but certainly not least, vocalist Runhild Gammelsaeter. She being an authentic teenage blonde Norwegian and astonishingly capable of spewing gruff, vile vokills as ugly as she isn't. The band broke up when she went back to Oslo, which we're sure made them all very sad. But Thorr's Hammer left the legacy of 1998's Dommedagsnat album: four generally epick tracks of creeping, crushing dooom, plus for this reissue, a raw bonus track mpeg video of the band playing live in '95. So, get down in the dirt and get doomy with this, one of the blackened, gnarled roots of these guys' twisted family tree, other ropey branches being Burning Witch, Khanate, Goatsnake, and SUNNO))).
THORR'S HAMMER Dommedagsnatt (Southern Lord) lp 17.98
The very first Southern Lord release, the only release by this legendary band who existed for a mere 6 weeks in '94/'95, is now available once more, on super deluxe vinyl, 180 gram, housed in an embossed gatefold sleeve with deluxe metallic printing. Here's what we had to say about Dommedagsnatt when we first laid ears on it way back when: Thorr's Hammer was the deadly, doomful blackened sludge band that featured the SUNNO))) duo of Greg Anderson ("drones and sunns") and Stephen O'Malley ("crust and earth"), along with battledrummer Jamie Sykes, subsonic attacker James Hale, and, last but certainly not least, vocalist Runhild Gammelsaeter. She being an authentic teenage blonde Norwegian and astonishingly capable of spewing gruff, vile vokills as ugly as she isn't. The band broke up when she went back to Oslo, which we're sure made them all very sad. But Thorr's Hammer left the legacy of 1998's Dommedagsnat album: four generally epick tracks of creeping, crushing dooom, definitely for fans of all the Southern Lord filth to follow. So, get down in the dirt and get doomy with this, one of the blackened, gnarled roots of these guys' twisted family tree, other ropey branches being Burning Witch, Khanate, Goatsnake, and SUNNO))).
THOSE ATTRACTIVE MAGNETS Electromagnetic Pulse (Dark Entries) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Where does Dark Entries find all this stuff? Sure, Dark Day was certainly a known quantity; but before the label reissued the Eleven Pond LP, had any one really heard "Watching Trees?" Ditto for the Second Decay album? Those Attractive Magnets were a band that the world forgot, except for the discerning ears over at Dark Entries, who compiled this album from a handful of tapes produced in the late '70s and early '80s. And yes, it's another great piece of archival synth-wave! This primitive synth driven / new wave outfit was from small village of Tamworth, located in the English midlands, but their heart seemed to be directed north to Sheffield where the likes of the Human League, The Future, Clock DVA, and Cabaret Voltaire were blossoming at the same time. Those Attractive Magnets revolved around the charismatic duo of Andy Baldwin & Rikk Quay, who had been inspired by the punk class of 1977 but wanted to channel that spirit through electronics. Joined by a couple of like-minded musical partners from Tamworth, Baldwin & Quay propeled these urgent tunes along surprisingly catchy minimalist synth melodies, whose darkened atmospheres were amplified in futurist bleeps and alien bloops; but it's Baldwins voice that is really key to making the band work, as he does what he can to emulate an early Phillip Oakey (of the Human League) without sounding too smug or contrived as Oakly tended to be. Recommended for any and all keen on the resurgence of the minimal wave aesthetic! Like all Dark Entries releases this is limited to a pressing of 500 and comes with an 11x17 poster of artwork, lyrics and liner notes.
"1500" MPEG Stream:
"Love Chimes" MPEG Stream:
THOSE BASTARD SOULS Twentieth Century Chemical (Darla) cd 12.98
It says it nowhere on the sleeve but indeed this is one of the Grifters and may just be better than their recent full-length. He did it at home on some multi-track keyboard thingie. The electronic synth touches are wonderful additions to the Grifters tried & true indie rockingnessessessess.
THOSE BASTARD SOULS Twentieth Century Chemical (Darla) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It says it nowhere on the sleeve but indeed this is one of the Grifters and may just be better than their recent full-length. He did it at home on some multi-track keyboard thingie. The electronic synth touches are wonderful additions to the Grifters tried & true indie rockingnessessessess.
THOU Archer and the Owle (Robotic Empire) lp 15.98
Latest from these Louisiana heavies, and while it's not a 'proper' new album, it is another fucking fantastic collection of crushing sludge dirge bliss. The highlight of which, for us, might just have to be their cover of Nirvana's "Something In The Way". And yeah, Thou have covered Nirvana before (on Baton Rouge, You Have Much To Answer For they took on "Sifting") but the difference there, was that "Sifting" was already pretty heavy and sludgey, so to hear one of Nirvana's prettiest creepiest brooders transformed, is pretty awesome, and thankfully, they don't just play it straight, the verses are still hushed, the vocals a crooned whisper, the guitar and bass slithery and low slung, but when the chorus kicks in, it's MASSIVE, the best part being that they somehow mix throat shredding howled vox with warm clean "oooohhh"s, managing to keep the song broody and moody, while still letting it pummel and pound. Also included are a handful of tracks from the Summit sessions, as well as covers of two songs by a band called Pygmy Lush, from an aborted split, and like on past Thou outings, the band lace their downtuned dirgery with all manner of unlikely instrumentation, mournful trumpets, clouds of cymbal shimmer, symphonic percussion, but woven into long stretches of droned out drift, of rumbling crumbling low end, and almost post rock-y slow builds, as well as epic skull caving riffery, NOLA style sludge grooves, bursts of frantic double kick drumming, heaving avalanches of tarpit doom, but laced with surprising melodies, and lots of subtle textures, much like The Body, these guys are taking ultra-doom into whole new directions. "Cold World", one of the Pygmy Lush covers, sounds like an even more sludgey Melvins, with its super distorted riffage, and maddeningly repetitive structure, but it's crazy hypnotic in its own way, and then the piano comes in, and it manages to sound strangely haunting and pretty, while still churning and pounding away. The 2nd PL cover "There There" is another creepy crawl, that has us kicking ourselves for never checking out Pygmy Lush, cuz this one sounds like a weird little pop song transformed into something filthy and crusty, and hell it's Thou, so right in the middle there's a pretty little interlude all spidery clean guitars and shimmery ambience, even some violin it sounds like, but before long, it's right back into it, finishing off in a blaze of feedback doused churning black crush. And Thou always do it up packaging-wise too, and this one is no exception, a spot gloss printed old school tip-on style sleeve, with some super striking artwork to boot!
"Voices In The Wilderness" MPEG Stream:
"Something In The Way" MPEG Stream:
THOU Baton Rouge, You Have Much To Answer For (Robotic Empire) lp 16.98
What can we say? We love these Southern sludgelords, every record another fantastically grim pit of fetid sonic despair, crushing and pummeling and punishing heaviness, but still strangely catchy, few can really touch Thou, they're probably the most likely heirs to the Eyehategod throne, not that those guys would ever give it up, but still, that should give you an idea of what these guys are capable of. Baton Rouge is 4 loooong, sloooooow, looooow tracks of extreme doom sludge, the opener, "Baton Rouge, Louisiana", an insanely downtuned ultralow, barely moving expanse of amp buzz and chordal stasis, like SUNNO))) only SLOWER. Long streaks of squealing feedback pepper the glacial creep, it's almost like an ambient intro, but stretched out into a whole songs, a whole gloriously sludgey song! Up next is something a bit more propulsive, but only a bit. "By Every Hand Betrayed" is a grinding chugging beast, with a killer main melody, and some super dynamic riffage, the vocals thoughout, harsh and hellish, but buried within all this crunch and rumble are some awesomely melodic, nearly poppy bits, that sound a bit like Torche oddly enough. "Out of the Mouth of a Fool" is almost groovy, like Southern rock, melted down and dipped in black tar, woozy and hypnotic, downright speedy by Thou standards, that is until about 4 minutes in when it downshifts to ULTRAslow. But the final track is the deal sealer, a cover of Nirvana's "Sifting", which takes the already pretty sludgey original and totally transforms it into something even filthier and grimier and slower, but it sounds soooooooo rad, like playing the 45 at 16rpm, the combination of pop hooks and downtuned tarpit dirge is pretty tough to beat, and once again has us wishing their was actually a band that always sounded like that sort of extreme ultra sludge pop. But for now, we're perfectly happy playing this over and over and over and over. Killer packaging too!!!
THOU Peasant (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 13.98
Another band of slow heavies from New Orleans, following in the deep muddy footprints of the original NOLA sludgelords Eyehategod, and while Thou do in fact share much sonically with their legendary forefathers, they inject way more melody into the proceedings, some stretches are downright pretty, still caked in filth and crust, but weirdly melodic and pretty. In fact in some ways, Thou seem to be drawing on true UK doom for inspiration as much as their fellow NOLA noisemakers, Paradise Lost, old Cathedral, My Dying Bride, sure the vocals are harsh and throat shredding, the drums a lugubrious pound, the rhythm a lurching almost groove, but the melodies and the arrangements almost soar at times, the sound epic and massive, the melodies expanding what might otherwise be more of the same old sludge, in fact there are long stretches of undulating heaviness where the riff becomes a sprawl of near static buzz, and harmonies glisten and drift over the top, but it's never long before the band slip back into their grinding downtuned lumber and pummel. Fans of the usual dooooooomy crawl will not be disappointed, if you love Moss, Monarch, Corrupted, Trees, Bunkur, you'll pretty much definitely dig this, but Thou mix it enough to maybe convince some of the more skeptical freaks out there, that there's more to sludge than just pummel and pound. Definitely recommended.
"The Work Ethic Myth" MPEG Stream:
"An Age Imprisoned"