The fact that this starts with a mid-paced battle-hymn sing-a-long is pretty deceiving. Once track 2(A Love Radio) kicks in, your ears get blasted with an explosion of angsty barroom rock and roll! Track 4 slows down a bit. Maybe it’s to give you a breather and to make sure you don’t wreck the living room. After this they slowly build up tempo and take off full speed again by Sickness, track 6. RRB leave nothing to the listeners imagination while belting out jam after jam of nasty unapologetic grit rock complete with kick ass guitar solos. Every time I listen to this CD is gets better and better and the riffs seem to pop out more and the overall writing make more sense. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tesco Vee was a fan of these guys. Even though they’re from Regina, Saskatchewan I would swear they were based in Boston, Mass. Something about the attitude and energy, I dunno, maybe the back up gang vocals? Who knows. Anyway, the artwork is fairly minimal and there’s no lyric sheet, but it well done at the same time. And to round it out, the recording and production are super clean ,but in an analog sort of way. The sound is very large for a four piece. (Jake)
Harvest King Records / email@example.com
I threw threw this on during my drive home recently without ever having heard anything by these guys before and it couldn’t have been a better soundtrack. I live about 20 miles out of town in a heavily hilly and wooded area of Western New York. The trees are bare, with the exception of snow and/or ice and everything is calm, quiet and almost post apocalyptic. The cd starts with lush layers of beautiful guitar, playing clean and picking through chords creating a serene, but mildy oppressive atmosphere. Suddenly, distorted guitars tastefully kick in, but the mood isn’t altered. Things just get heavier. Vocals are minimal which creates an even more dramatic effect. They oddly fit, but seem like the vocalist may have been in a crust band at some point. Each song has a similar structure, but each as unique as the last. THRANENKIND is all about atmosphere, not blazing speed or brutality. They remind me a bit of WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM with out the black metal, but have a lot in common with CELESTIIAL, a “woodland doom” band from the Mid-Western U.S. Upon further investigation I found that these folks are very political and promote the vegan straightedge anarchist lifestyle. I love when political folks like these guys don’t play the expected musical style that fits their beliefs. There seem to be more and more Green Anarchist Black Metal bands popping up lately, which is awesome since I’m a huge black metal fan, but hate wading through all the sketchy bands to find the good ones. Not to mention that the production on this is perfect. No fake creepy wet dungeon recording. This is their first full length and this is a promo copy, so who knows if there will be any changes on the actual release. Oh, and my copy came with a little piece of what might be a fern in it. If you like slower atmospheric doom laden blackmetal done by people who give a shit, pick this up immediately. (Jake)
Damn! This cd is just so raw and energetic from the second you hit play. These guys play a sort of timeless rock and roll driven punk that draws from 70s acts like MC5 and THE STOOGES, while at the same time I can hear bits of DEVO stylings in the rhythms. Their set up is a basic five piece complete with a keyboardist that really adds a nice bit of dimension and depth to the over all sound. The guitar is slightly overdriven, but not very distorted and is played in a way that it’s percussive at times, but not in a way that interferes with the bass. They work in great harmony as the bass rumbles and climbs through each riff while being pushed forward by Andy’s creative skin banging. OPPOSABLE THUMBS have created a great sound for themselves out of the blueprints of great rock acts, but at the same time are not mimicking anyone. From the opening track, She Roll It, straight through to the tenth and final track Miss Represented, they roll like a train car that has derailed and it on a crash course to oblivion. The recording sounds like it was done “studio live” which gives it more a gritty feel that adds to the overall character. Besides the live shot on the back and a little drawing on the insert, the artwork is minimal. Under the disc tray is a picture of what looks like somebody’s parents. Kinda sweet, but not sure if there’s a connection that I’m missing. Either way, these guys play some fine rock and roll. (Jake)
Gubbey Records / PO Box 7481 / Louisville, KY 40257
It does really matter what your living situation is or who you are, this is a book for everyone. Most of us are guilty of being a little lazy when it comes to doing certain things ourselves for different reasons: lack of knowledge, lack of confidence, laziness or who knows what, but this is a book that can help us all through it. It’s a much less expensive and much less dry version of those “how to fix everything” books, but can be almost as valuable. Make It Last is broken down into three chapters: Clothes, Food and Home, then each chapter is broken down into subgroups in order to help the reader jump straight to whatever they might need to patch, pickle or repair. While having fairly detailed step by step instructions and quite a few diagrams, I did find some of the projects a tad confusing at times, but as long as you have even a bit of common sense you’ll be just fine. The first chapter walks the reader through many of the simple annoying little things that tend to plague us at the worst times. We’ve lazy zippers, split seams on skirts/pants/shirts and reattaching buttons. And before jumping in, there’s a basic supply list and how tos for basic knots and stitches. Chapter two is where it gets more interesting(for me anyway). It’s about food. More precisely, preserving food. Starting off with some harvesting tips and planning a root cellar, then a lesson on drying herbs, canning, fermentation, jerky making and much more! The third and final chapter is no less important and some might say it’s more so. This is where we learn tips and tricks and skills to repair things around the house. Cover it up with duct tape? Put an out of order sign on it? Hang a poster in front of it? Nope! Here you’ll learn to patch that hole in the wall that your drunk friend put his foot through while playing drunken air guitar to DRAGONFORCE, fix a squeaky door hinge, basic plumbing and repairing a hole in a screen from a door or window(no doubt caused by the same drunk guy). Plus this is easy to carry around. It’s 1/4 size and only 128 pages. Get this and keep it handy. (Jake)
Microcosm Publishing / 636 SE 11th Ave. / Portland OR. 97214
While at the local food co-op a few weeks ago I was thumbing through this issue after noticing that there was an anti-fracking article in it. Fracking is a huge issue in my area of New York, so naturally I was interested. Oddly enough, a voice in my head told me not to buy it. Imagine my delight when, shortly after that, I eagerly emptied a box of review materials on to the living room floor and this issue slid out. Well played universe, well played. As usual, my favorite section is the EF! News section that has updates on ecological political direct actions carried out around the world. Then there’s the prisoner update pages(Daniel McGowan is out now!) and a slew of great articles, such as the info on all of the farmer suicides that are taking place in India due to biotech giants getting involved with agriculture and a brief history of what Israel is doing politically, physically and environmentally to the land they are claiming as their God giving right. Plus there are articles on herbal healing remedies, notes on the 2012 Round River Rendezvous, Anti coal mining action in Scotland and a history of Luddism. As always, lots of great stuff, some common knowledge, some not, but always something new to learn. I hope we never lose this as a resource. (Jake)
Daily Planet Publishing Earth First! Journal / PO Box 964 / Lake Worth, FL 33460
In our house we have a tendency to make more food than we are going to use for that meal so that we always have leftovers for lunch, dinner or to take to work and that means we have to get creative sometimes to avoid eating the same thing day after day. This time we had leftover mashed potatoes, so I did this:
- Approx 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- Half a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, diced
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Approx 1 cup almond(or other non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients, then blend in mashed potatoes, onion and jalapeno. Add wet ingredients and mix together until you get a thick gooey paste. In a wel greased small muffin tin, scoop in mixture filling to about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with gravy, hot sauce, vegenaise or vegan margarine. For another option, use an ice-cream scooper to scoop into an oiled skillet on medium heat, press flat and fry like pancakes. Super yummy!
Well goddamn it if this album doesn’t make me want to flip up the bill on my hat, put on a few bandanas and goes nuts counterclockwise. Or maybe just terrorize a neighbor on a skateboard bonelessing off fire hydrants and hitting wallrides on people’s garage doors! This just kicks so much ass and takes me back to the mid 80s thrash scene with bands like DRI and EXODUS (even a bit of Steve Harris style bass thrown in)and CLUSTERFUX can thrash with the best of them, but having the advantage of much better lyrics. Political punks have a way of making every music genre better. So, this killer piece of grey marble wax starts with a beautiful clean intro, then thrashes nonstop for six more songs, including one by Colorado band END OF STORY. Each song has a back story of the meaning behind the lyrics, including punk bands that ask enormous guarantees to play, more or less taking advantage of the scene, the United States coming off like they are the center of the universe and citizens staying drunk and oblivious while the government fucks us even harder. Those are my words, Josh has a better way of phrasing things. The recording is a bit dirty which adds to the fast and loose thrashy mayhem and every song is a banger. Too bad the bands has decided to pack it up after 16 years. At least they will live on on our turn tables. Cheers folks! Great stuff! (Jake)
Less Art Records / PO Box 2963 / Denver Co, 80201
I don’t know that I’ve ever been disappointed by anything from Vex Records that has hit my mailbox. Who ever chooses the bands to release over there has a great ear for good bands. This is no different…and is on blood red vinyl! As far as the rest of the visuals, everything is black and write and minimal. There’s a lovely photo of these handsome lads on the inside cover and a photo catalog from Vex opposite that. No lyrics, but there’s a track listing on the back. So, how do they sound? If I didn’t know better, Id say they were straight out of mid 90s Minneapolis. At times I feel like I’m listening to a mashup of MISERY and ASSRASH. Each song is pissed off and powerful, but still holds on to enough fun to stop you from breaking everything and just get drunk as shit on cheap beer (locally sourced of course. keep that money in your community!). This beautiful drunken audio nightmare finishes up with a NOMEANSNO cover – Dad. Not familiar with the original, but everything I’ve heard from them is killer. So, if you want to annoy the neighbors or just have another awesome slab o’ wax to put on at your next painted jacket, charged hair filthy piss-up, you need this! (Jake)
While there are a million “dis” bands out and around these days, few are standouts. They tend to be lazy about it and just go through the motions so that they can play drunk hoping nobody will notice. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with playing what you love whether it’s good or bad, but fortunately there are a few bands like DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE that pull it off incredibly well. As soon as the needle drops it’s like a runaway freight train of perfect dis-comfort. Other bands should be lucky enough to sneak by the bulls and get a comfortable spot inside a grainer when they belong in the coal car compared to this. All you get here is stripped down power, fury and anger with straight to te point haiku style lyrics and black and white visual atrocity for artwork. Although, it would have been nice to get a little more art on an insert with lyrics, but instead, the lyrics are posted straight to te back of the LP cover. * songs of no BS d-beat bliss (seven sets of lyrics in English and one in Norwegian) covering all the topics you know and love: power struggle, oppression, war and genocide. Nothing original, but everything you want! Get it! (Jake)
Dishonorable Record Company / postboks 49, Valerenga / 0626 Oslo, Norway
Vex Records / firstname.lastname@example.org
After an amazing crop of sunchokes in our garden this year, we are still exploring new ways to use them. Hopefully we find a few we like, because I planted twice as many at the end of the season! Here’s my latest experiment.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 TBSP baking powder and 1.5 tsp sea salt. Add 1 cup boiled and mashed sunchokes, 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP non dairy milk. Mix until dough forms, shape into biscuits and bake for 20 minutes. There you have it. The chokes give the bread an interesting flavor and a potato bread like texture.