Faster Than Humbug

The music purchasing is still a bit anemic, so I have only two to speak of.

Bulletbelt – Faster Than Death

I was internetting a few nights ago, and I came across this release on Bandcamp.

Bulletbelt are a Wellington (New Zealand) black metal band who have been metalling since 2009. Usually I don’t go for black metal, but this was just so darn catchy that I had to buy it immediately…it was only NZ$2 anyway.

As I said it is catchy, and is really more thrash metal than black. It is also very well produced, it sounds good cranked up a bit. They have three albums as well, but after sampling those I decided that this single will be about all I buy from them for the moment, they all didn’t grab me much.

Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

The Arctic Monkeys are a band I have only gotten into in recent times, beginning with their first album which is top stuff. I also have a few other albums and an EP, so when I saw this album buying it was a forgone conclusion.

And it is a decent album, but at this point I would say it is not nearly as good as the first album. No regrets though. I am looking forward to listening to their latest album which from what I have read is good stuff, and quite different.

Next Monday we are off to Tokyo for one night, so I will be going to Shibuya where there are a couple of vinyl places I want to visit, along with my usual haunts when I go there. Looking forward to it.

Music count 2018: 73

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

This is the latest album by Deafheaven, a band I wish I got into a long time ago, but it ain’t no thing.

I pre-ordered this on Bandcamp a couple of months ago, and last Friday I was glued to Bandcamp, waiting for it to finally be released. I downloaded it and listened to it shortly after.

It did not disappoint. One song was released before the album came out, “Honeycomb” which I mentioned in a post back in April. I was wondering if maybe that song would be the highlight of the album, but as it turns out each and every song are works of metallic-shoegaze art (labelling Deafheaven is a tricky thing, I like to call them shoegaze metal).

Definitley not to everyone’s tastes, but I think it is pure bliss.

Music count 2018: 71

An Aural Binary of Putrid Reckonings

I have only two purchases to write about this time around.

R.E.M. – Reckoning

After the recent disappointing purchases I decided to be much more careful about choosing new music, spending more than the usual 280 yen per CD (this was 500 yen) and this one is a result of that new directive.

This is R.E.M.’s second album, one that I had not even heard one song from before. And it is very good, very R.E.M.

A fine addition to the R.E.M. collection, and a good start to my new and improved music selection process.

Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction

I had this album on vinyl a long time ago, and I now wish I still had it…why oh why did I sell it?

This is Carcass’ first album and is much maligned due to it’s terrible recording. From Wikipedia:

Reek of Putrefaction was recorded in four days at Ritch Bitch Studios in Birmingham. According to guitarist Bill Steer, the studio’s engineer “ruined” the record, especially its drum tracks. Carcass had only had a few hours available of mixing, so they had to release the LP as it was to meet the label’s deadline. The band were “everything but happy” with the end result, declared Steer.

When the master recording was first sent to the pressing plant, the original vinyl LP had to be pressed at lower volumes, because the bass frequencies were so low (sometimes reaching 25 Hz) that they were in danger of rendering higher frequencies inaudible.

Indeed it sounds pretty bad, but in a way it adds to the atmosphere of the album. But, when I saw on Bandcamp that there is a “Full Dynamic Range Edition” I had to get it to see what that is all about. Earache (the record label) are re-releasing their back catalogue by taking the original tapes and instead of fiddling about with all of the buttons, knobs, and sliders to try to make the sound better, have instead preserved the original dynamic range as recorded. The reason for all the fiddling back in the day was due to something called the “loudness war“, which is something I had not heard of before.

Anyway, this new recording does sound a little better, but not as much as I would have hoped. There are 22 tracks on topics such as detruncation, fermenting innards, and excretions of various things.

This is a classic grindcore album, certainly not to most people’s tastes, but I am an avowed Carcass fan, and John Peel called it the best album of 1988, so there you go.

Music count 2018: 70

An Enneadic Fusion of Omnifarious Tunes

The music purchasing has slowed down somewhat in the last few weeks, if not months, but a sudden spurt in the last week or so has yielded an assortment of CDs and downloads. So here they are in no particular order.

Gazelle Twin – Hobby Horse

I stumbled on this while perusing through Bandcamp’s catalogue, and liked what I heard. Gazelle Twin is the stage name of Elizabeth Bernholz, who likes to perform on-stage in a blue tracksuit, and a kind of stocking over her head. She says it is a version of her P.E. uniform that she wore in high school.

This purchase had only two songs which are quirky, but I quite like it.

3TEETH, Ho99o9 – Lights Out

Another Bandcamp purchase, and again only two songs. It is a collaboration between 3TEETH, who I have never heard of before, and Ho99o9, who I had just recently discovered. Good stuff, kind of hardcore/metal/electronic music with a bit of The Prodigy thrown in.

NOFX – So Long And Thanks For The Shoes

I went to a place way across town called “Hard Off” (a sister company of Book Off) that sell used stuff like furniture, clothes, games, cameras, and all other kinds of things, quite often over-priced. There is a decent CD selection there, and even a small vinyl section. And there is a CD bargain shelf with everything costing only 100 yen. So I had a good look through and came away with three albums, this one and the next two.

NOFX are not a band I am particularly fussed on, and this album does not change that. It is standard California punk stuff and quite forgettable. For 100 yen though I am not complaining at all.

Terrible album cover.

Ice-T – Home Invasion

An album from the O.G. for 100 yen…score!

Pearl Jam – Riot Act

As I mentioned a while ago in another post I seem to be collecting Pearl Jam albums, even though I am not really a huge fan, just slightly interested. So when I came across this in the bargain shelf I could not pass it up.

The music is quite standard stuff, I am listening to it as I type and are just waiting for it to end so I can listen to some Ian Brown.

Betty Boo – Boomania

I remember getting this way back in the day, 1990, and buying it because it was a catchy novelty thing. Listening to it now though I feel that this really should have stayed in the 90’s. It is still catchy, but not really something that I needed to listen to again.

She is still in the music business these days, but seems to be writing songs for others, and has not released a song of her own since 2007 (her last album was in 1992).

Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescents

This is an EP of four songs, with the title track coming from their Favourite Worst Nightmare album. Good stuff, I like it a lot.

The Cooper Temple Clause – See This Through And Leave

I just bought this tonight after work on a very hot day (a high of 37 degrees today), I just felt like buying some tunes. I spent a while looking through the 280 yen section at Book Off and was about to give up due to the paltry choices, but determined to get something I settled on this.

I have not had a good listen yet, but a quick sampling of some songs gives me the impression that this too is going to be a bit mediocre.

Charlie Parker – Bird Symbols

I dropped by my fave used vinyl shop again to see what I could find, and settled upon this for only 680 yen. The cover is a bit worn, but the record itself is good. The music though did not grab me as much as I was hoping.

I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but I think I am just not a fan of the saxophone, which is probably all Kenny G’s fault. After a few more listens it might grow on me, but I am now wishing I had bought a Stanley Clarke album I saw there for the same price. I may go and get that sometime soon.

So most of the music I have bought recently has been a bit disappointing. I think I am going to have to be a pit more picky, and maybe stay away from the bargains. I still plan on blowing ten grand on vinyl sometime. I might just do that next time I am in Tokyo, which will hopefully be sometime this summer (Tokyo is bananas hot in summer though).

Music count 2018: 68

An Exiguous Convocation of Sounds

The purchasing of music recently has been quite sparse since my last musical post, but I have four to speak of


The Bronx – The Bronx
A few weeks back I saw a post on Facebook from my cousin, who posted about this album, an album he had been seeking out for some time it seems (on vinyl). I thought that it must be worth checking out, so I found it used on Amazon (on CD) for the very low price of one yen, and so bought it.

The Bronx are a hardcore punk band formed in 2002 in Los Angeles, and have released eight albums named either “The Bronx” (5 albums) or “Mariachi El Bronx” (3 albums). This album is their first, released in 2003.

The music itself is quite good, but nothing outstanding. I do like the cover though, most excellent.


Ken Owen – Symbiotic Possibilities
One of my all-time fave bands is Carcass, a British grindcore (a type of metal) band. I saw them once in New Zealand, and I remember leaving the gig almost totally deaf (not permanently)…ah, good memories!

Ken Owen was the original drummer, but in 1999 he suffered a brain haemorrhage which put to an end his drumming skills and he had to be replaced. He was in a bad way for quite some time.

This instrumental album is his first effort in making music since his recovery. This is available through Bandcamp only as far as I can tell, and is very much an obscure release. But, being the Carcass fan I am, I had to buy it.

The music is a kind of techno/industrial mix, with a slight hint of Vangelis, a smattering of jazz, and a dash of Kraftwerk. It cannot compare to The Chemical Brothers, Fuck Buttons, or Yanni (I just threw that in there because I couldn’t think of a third), but I like it a lot.


The Wonder Stuff – The Eight Legged Groove Machine
I found this down at the local used books/CD place I spoke of before, and at only 300 yen it was a delicious bargain.

I had this a long time ago, so it is good to listen to it again. A good blast from the past.


Burial – Ghost Hardware
As is becoming customary now, I bought another Burial release on Bandcamp to beef up my post a bit.

Unfortunately though, it is the last release I can purchase as I have all of his major releases now, except for one that is available on vinyl only, although I am tempted to get that.

As I just bought it only a few minutes ago I have not listened to it yet, I have only listened to a sampling of it on Bandcamp, but I think I can say with certainty that it is an excellent listen.

Music count 2018: 54

New Manics Old Peshay Digital Burial

For all three of these releases click on the cover image to be taken to a song.


Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile
Yesterday was supposed to be an exciting day as a package with the new Manic Street Preachers album “Resistance Is Futile” was scheduled to arrive from Amazon. It didn’t turn up however, even though I use Amazon Prime which guarantees delivery the next day. A phone call to the courier company today revealed that the courier dude had taken the package to the next house, and the neighbours accepted it, signed for it, and even opened the box! Well, the opened box finally made it’s way here today and I have in front of me the nice new album from the Manics. I have not listened to it it, but have have heard the first single online, and it is typically excellent.

The cover photo was taken in 1881 by a German photographer by the name of Baron Raimund von Stillfried, and was of one of the last samurai.


Peshay – Miles From Home
While I was on my Drum ‘n Bass high last week I discovered this album and thought it would be worth a try. So, I bought it used on Amazon and it turned out to be a most astute purchase. It reminds me partly of DJ Food as well as Roni Size. Peshay is a British drum ‘n’ bass producer who has four albums out, with “Miles From Home” being his first, released in 1998. I shall collect more of his releases.


Burial – Young Death/Nightmarket
As I did a few blogs back, I decided to beef up my post a bit by buying something on Bandcamp, so I chose another Burial release. This one has two songs and is a bargain at only two pounds. A short listen to both tracks reveals yet another atmospheric and soothing Burial release.

Music count 2018: 42

A CD and Two Downloads Later…

I thought it was time for a website refresh, so I spent some time looking through all of the WordPress themes available and found this simple and clean one that suits me just fine. I then had some more fun putting the banner together. I’ll give a virtual chocolate fish to anyone who can name all of the people/ bands in the pictures.

As for music I have bought recently, I have only three to write about…


NOFX – Punk In Drublic
NOFX are a band I have heard several songs from thanks to my complete Punk-O-Rama collection, so when I came across this at Book Off I thought I may as well buy it. This is their first album, I always like to get first albums, so that was a bonus. I have not had a good listen yet, but a quick sampling of a couple of songs suggests it is not going to disappoint.


Symbl – Serenade EP
I was thinking to myself the other day that it would be good to add some more DnB (drum and bass) to the music collection, so I sallied forth over to Bandcamp and perused their fine selection of downloads. This EP suited my wallet, and has some excellent bass, not to mention drums, so I bought it without impunity. Take a listen for yourself if you so desire… I find it toe-tappingly good.


Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love album (pre-order)
This is a band that I got into very recently, and when I saw the video for a song from their next album, which is brilliant stuff, I had to return to Bandcamp to pre-order it. The song from aforementioned video is the only song available for download at the moment, with the rest being released on July 13th. But, even just the one song is worth the $8 I virtually plonked down for this. A warning though, it is probably not to everyone’s tastes, it is a bit noisy you see.

Music count 2018: 39