Posts Tagged ‘ metal ’

MAKE: September 9, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival, Pour House (Raleigh, NC)

September 29, 2016


MAKE represent another of my favorite recent finds from the Triangle in North Carolina. The three-piece, consisting of Scott Endres, Luke Herbst and Spencer Lee, make the kind of intense, loud-as-hell, but thoughtful metal that, with doom, black, and stoner elements, and a decent dose of flat-out classic rock, puts them in a category beyond a single niche scene. Like more than a few bands in the area, MAKE has been fighting hard against North Carolina’s bigoted HB2 law, including with their most on-the-nose contribution, the song “Human Garbage,” featuring Governor Pat McCrory’s face on the cover. That song made the rotation during this Hopscotch Music Festival show at the Pour House in Raleigh, which remains one of the best places in the area to see heavy music.

The band’s performance, kicking off the night in the venue, shook the rafters with Endres and Lee’s deep riffage, bringing the heaviest elements of the band’s sound to the fore. That’s in keeping with their latest album, Pilgrimage of Loathing, which (perhaps reflecting their view of the political situation) is a harder-edged and more rage-fueled affair than 2015’s The Golden Veil, which keeps company at many points with an entirely different group of bands (Sleep, Om, Arbouretum) than the references you might hear on Pilgrimage. The juxtaposition was thrilling live — experience the whip-turn from “The Somnabulist” and “Human Garbage” to “The Absurdist” and “The Architect” from The Golden Veil. It showed, in a relatively short set, how versatile, and how enjoyable, this band can be, and one would hope to see them around this part of the world (paging Saint Vitus) sooner rather than later.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V at the soundboard booth. The vocals are a bit quieter than I would like in the recording, but otherwise this is an excellent representation of this band. Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing on bandcamp, which is also streaming below, and the band’s other records. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing:

Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (LOC, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (hard limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 The Somnambulist
02 Human Garbage
03 The Absurdist
04 [banter]
05 Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You>
06 The Architect

PLEASE SUPPORT MAKE: Facebook | Bandcamp


The Body / Full of Hell: September 9, 2016 Market Hotel

September 12, 2016

[screenshots courtesy of Frank from Pit Full of Shit]

Earlier this year, two of metal’s premiere bands collaborated on an album with exceptional results. The release of One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache (Neurot Recordings) was met with universally positive reviews and fortunately a tour would soon follow. The Body and Full of Hell are from different regions and offer different takes on the genre, with The Body’s New England (Providence based) sludge complimenting the mid-Atlantic (Maryland based) grindcore from Full of Hell. The tour reached Market Hotel on Friday night and the results were as you might expect — a stage filled with bodies and a sound churning with sturm und drang. The set was culled partially from the album, but also included a couple of individual band numbers and one very cool cover of Devo’s “Gates of Steel”. Both bands have an excellent history of collaboration — including two superb albums of The Body with Thou, and Full of Hell’s recent work with Merzbow. But this melding of the minds reached full peak at Market Hotel with an intensity not often witnessed at the many shows we see. But sadly, as the bands return to their separate careers, we are not likely to see a repeat of Friday’s show soon again. Indeed, the final show of this collaborative tour took place Saturday in Providence.

I recorded this set with the installed AT mics in the venue mixed with an outstanding feed provided by house FOH Jason Kelly. The sound quality is quite excellent. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Set [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Set:

The Body / Full of Hell
Market Hotel
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Upfront Audience

Soundboard [Engineer: Jason Kelly] + Audio Technica 4051 > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 32:03]
01 One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache
02 Bottled Urn
03 World of Hope and No Pain
04 Himmel und Holle
05 Empty Hearth – Thrum in the Deep
06 The Little Death
07 Gates of Steel [Devo]
08 [encore break]
09 Cestoda

Support The Body: Facebook | Bandcamp | Buy One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache

Support Full Of Hell: Website | Merch | Buy One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache


Earthless: March 18, 2016 Mercury Lounge

March 28, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 1.37.08 PM
[photos of the Boston show by Elizabeth Gohr, from Earthless’ Instagram page]

It seems more than apropos that the Twitter handle of the San Diego band Earthless is “@earthlessrips”. ‘Cause that is, indeed, what they’re gonna do when you see them onstage during one of their relatively infrequent East Coast trips. During this run, they hit both Rough Trade NYC and the Mercury Lounge the following night. We caught the latter show, on a late Friday, and it was a doozy. For over an hour the band shredded through just three songs, two of which hailed from their 2013 LP From the Ages. While their records are cult favorites in their own right, the live show is the right place to experience these guys, as Mario Rubalcaba (drums), Isaiah Mitchell (guitar) and Mike Eginton (bass) tearing it up onstage is about as ideal of a fist-pumping, beer-swigging, rock n’ roll moment as you can have with a band that you aren’t embarrassed to like. This is rock music at is elemental, instrumental best, loud, pure and stacked with riffs. Somebody is bound to throw around the term “stoner rock” at some point or another, and who can blame ’em, but this is music that can go with almost any drug (or none at all, of course). After a short break, the band closed this show with a cover (with vocals, no less!) — a true-to-the-original rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” It wasn’t the twenty-minute thrashers that came before it, for sure, but the cover was perfect — one last time to let Earthless remind us why they’re a must-see when they’re out this way.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41V microphones and a direct feed of Mercury engineer Alex Beaulieu’s live mix. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete set: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream and download the complete set on our bandcamp page:

Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41V (ROC, PAS) + Soundboard (engineer: Alex Beaulieu)>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust balance
of SBD, adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Uluru Rock
02 Violence of the Red Sea
03 Sonic Prayer
04 [encore break]
05 Foxy Lady [Jimi Hendrix]

Support Earthless: Facebook | Buy their records from Tee Pee Records

craw: March 12, 2016 Saint Vitus

March 17, 2016

[photos by PSquared Photography]

Ohio is an interesting place. In some ways its an Eastern industrial state and in other ways its an agricultural Midwestern state. Its a state with large cities and large swaths of farmlands. Its largest metropolitan area of Cleveland is itself a unique place which is geographically both a lake city and a river city. Despite that Cleveland also happens to be the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s music has always indicated a similar off-kilter personality. Its most well known punk band was also one of the first art-rock outfits — Pere Ubu. Its early 70’s classic rock band was also a unique mix of jazz and blues — The Numbers Band. Its 80s alternative band was also a “gunk punk” act — Death of Samantha. And its 90s hardcore band was also its 90s metal band — the inimitable craw.

Even craw‘s reunion didn’t follow the standard script. We’ve seen a ton of these 80s and 90s band reunions. Generally speaking, the usual scenario is that the continued existence of a cabal of fans manages to finally convince a band of some repute to bury the hatchet and reuite. Most times the band enters the reunion with the advantages of maturity and sobriety and does their legacy proud. But the craw reunion was in large part the result of one uber fan who grew up to be a respected journalist and musician himself. Hank Shteamer is a senior editor at Rolling Stone and he plays in the bands Aa (Big A little a) and STATS, but as a teenager he was one of a few very rabid craw fans who saw the band repeatedly. His fanship never went away, and as outlined in this excellent Observer piece, when Hank teamed up with local record label Northern Spy the pairing produced 1993-1997, a remastered box set of craw’s long out of print first three records along with a 200-page book with an essential history of the band. The final piece of the puzzle was realized when craw agreed to play two reunion shows, one of course in Cleveland and the other at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn.

I arrived early on Saturday to record the show at Saint Vitus and was immediately met with the good news that the venue was sold out. As the crowd filtered in during the opening sets, it was an interesting amalgam of various types of people of various ages and styles, and as we found out when the band took the stage, from various geographical areas — people traveled from far and wide to see this show. But the crowd did all have one thing in common, they were there to hear the music, as all attention was focused forward to the stage and there’s almost no talking on this recording. craw took the stage and immediately recognized the large contingent of traveling fans before launching directly into a lengthy “Caught My Tell” from their still-in-print 2002 album Bodies for Strontium 90, and then stuck with that album for the next few songs. The remainder of the show consisted of material that appears on the current box set as the songs were roughly grouped by album in reverse-chronological order. By the time craw reached their self-titled debut album and one of its highlights “405”, the show was virtually complete. While craw didn’t leave the stage, the final two “encore” numbers were performed by the entire 7-piece band the represented every player who had appeared on all of their albums.

For a band that hadn’t performed live in the better part of a decade, and who has always relied on mathematical precision in their riffs, this show was phenomenally tight and focused. At the center of it all was lead vocalist Joe McTighe, whose sing/scream/talk approach to the strangely literary lyrics are part of the unique draw of this singular band. Although this show is purportedly the final craw show of this all-too-brief reunion, honestly I can’t imagine that the band won’t keep playing gigs. When something is this good and the fans are calling for more, there’s no reason not to give them more. At least that’s what we hope is the case.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps cards mounted in front of the soundboard and mixed with an excellent feed provided by Vitus’s FOH wiz Nick. The sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:


Saint Vitus
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [engineer Nick] + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wavs > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3/tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:16:48]
01 [introduction]
02 Caught My Tell
03 Chop Shop
04 Space Is the Place
05 Unsolicited Unsavory
06 Killer Microbes Devour Cleveland
07 New Plastics Diet Alters Man’s DNA
08 Parasitic Dad Evades Biocops
09 Divinity of Laughter
10 The Adventures of Cancerman
11 Botulism Cholera and Tarik
12 Sound of Every Promise
13 Strongest Human Bond
14 Cobray to the North
15 My Sister’s Living Room
16 To the Child Reader
17 405
18 Elliot
19 [outro]

SUPPORT craw: Website | Buy 1993-1997 | Facebook | Bandcamp


The Space Merchants: June 8, 2015 Rough Trade – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

June 25, 2015


Brooklyn’s The Space Merchants gathered us together a couple Mondays ago at Rough Trade to celebrate the release of their stellar self-titled debut album on the tiny imprint Aqualamb Records. The band’s sound boasts a cohesive but diverse set of rock influences, from the Velvet Underground to Black Sabbath to Bobbie Gentry (per a recent profile), and you feel the weight of those influences equally in a number of songs (take, for example, the stellar “One Cut Like the Moon”). Onstage, the Merchants are a cohesive unit both when they’re playing and not — I laughed at guitarist/singer Michael Guggino and keyboardist/singer Ani Monteleone bantering about who, exactly, the band’s rather novel release format (a 100-page book of custom images, with a download code at the back) was intended for. Guggino comes to the Merchants from beloved Brooklyn “stoner punk boogie metal” band Mount Olympus, which didn’t take itself very seriously (songs like “Get Yer Ass to Mars”), but musically was no joke, and we recently caught drummer Carter Logan playing with his other band, Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissim’s SQÜRL, at this very venue. Keyboardist/vocalist Monteleone and bassist Aileen Brophy have popped up in a variety of local bands and music-related ventures as well, making it a bit less surprising that The Space Merchants would be so dialed-in at a relatively early point in their cycle (not that they haven’t already opened for Acid Mothers Temple, among others).

Though they lead off the night, the Merchants played a tight set to a full floor, launching straight away into the stoner-metal crunch of “Kiss The Sky,” which gave Guggino a chance at some guitar pyrotechnics that would’ve made Mount Olympus proud. After the almost comically upbeat “Beatniks” the band took us back to earth with the sludgy “1000 Years of Boredom.” Then we got a non-album track, “Transcendental Superconscious State,” which with any luck will end up on official release somewhere. For my money, the deep groove of “One Cut Like the Moon” makes it my favorite of the band’s songs, but it’s hard to argue with “Evil Itch,” the song that they chose to close with, and the album’s lead single. Monteleone’s lead vocal, the mid-song tempo downshift, and the surge that follows sound exactly like Magnet described it — “the emerging days of California’s acid-rock scene and the final days of Woodstock.” With many positive mentions coming in for the record, and with a live show like this, The Space Merchants should be a don’t-miss on your Brooklyn concert schedule.

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

The Space Merchants
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Nic Cameron)>>Roland R-26>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, limit peaks)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 34:07]
01 Kiss the Sky
02 Beatniks
03 1000 Years of Boredom
04 Transcendental Superconscious State
05 One Cut Like the Moon
06 Mainline the Sun
07 Evil Itch

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT The Space Merchants, visit their facebook page, and buy their album from Aqualamb Records.

Grandfather: February 1, 2012 Glasslands – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

February 6, 2012

[Photos by acidjack]

In a north Brooklyn scene that has both thriving indie rock and metal scenes, Grandfather are one of the few bands that bridges that divide.  The band plays intelligent, aggressive hard rock (not quite metal) that capitalizes on the outstanding guitar work of Michael Kirsch and the focused, balls-out vocals of Josh Hoffman, already a consummate rock frontman even in his rookie years.  The closest reference point sound-wise for the band is probably the mighty Tool, but these guys clearly listened to plenty of Nirvana and other Seattle bands in their formative years as well.

Like many new bands, Grandfather raised the funds to record their first record, Why I’d Try, on Kickstarter, and they put the cash to good use by hiring the legendary (and legendarily curmudgeonly) engineer Steve Albini to lay down the record in old-school fashion direct to analog 2″ reels, with no digital bullshit in between.  For their trouble, they got a record that sounds beautiful – with a crisp, raw live-in-studio sound that captures the intensity of the band’s sound at its absolute best.  More tellingly, they earned Albini’s respect – difficult to come by for a man who has had few kind words for most of his peers.  Answering a GQ interviewer’s question about “a young artist with integrity who inspires you”, Albini said, in part:

I see little bits and pieces of behavior that are encouraging. There was a band that came into the studio a while back called Grandfather. They were an art rock band that organized the funding of their record through Kickstarter. They were really well rehearsed and came into the studio and knocked the record out in a couple of days. Because they didn’t have a record label or any promotion schedule to adhere to, they were able to get their record manufactured and distributed within a couple of months. That’s the kind of nimble, efficient behavior that was previously impossible when there was a corporate structure involved.

Grandfather took the stage this Wednesday night at Glasslands with a ferocity that should inspire any artist, starting with the two-minute banger “AWOL” from Why I’d Try before ripping into three brand-new tracks – “Greedy Eye”, “Spun” and “Sorry” .  After a full-throttle rendition of “Tremors” – where bassist Tyler Krupsky shines in the extended intro – it was all new songs from there.  Anyone doubting the urgency of the band’s live show by this point was eating their words or hitting the exits during the standout new track “Organ Thief,” which Hoffman kicks off with a demonic, diabolical laugh with a headbanging riff behind it.   It’s not hard to see, in a band that plays a Glasslands show with the same intensity as they might Madison Square Garden, to see what impressed Steve Albini.  “Integrity” certainly comes to mind with this band, but equally importantly, so does “passion”.

I recorded this set with AKG large-diaphragm microphones set to “wide cardiod” for a full-range, open sound.  I did record a stereo soundboard feed as well, but due to an issue with the club’s equipment, that mix consisted mostly of vocals, which were mixed in here minimally for clarity.  Enjoy!

Stream “Organ Thief”

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Stream “Tremors”

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Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] |  Direct Download of the FLAC files [HERE]

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Brooklyn, NY USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack
exclusively for

AKG C 414 B-XLS (wide cardiod, DFC) + Soundboard (vocals only)>Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod] (24/48)>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition (mixdown, EQ, mastering, downsample to 44.1kHz)>Audacity (tracking, amplify and balance, set fades, downsample to 16bit)>FLAC ( level 8 )

02 [tuning/banter]
03 Greedy Eye
04 Spun
05 Sorry
06 Tremors
07 Wishes
08 Organ Thief
09 Disorder

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Grandfather, visit their website, like them on Facebook, download Why I’d Try on bandcamp (for “pay what you will”) or better yet, buy it on CD or vinyl from that site to hear what a properly-mixed rock record should sound like.

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