Bl’ast

Bl’ast
‘For Those Who Graced The Fire’ EP
Rise Records

blast_photo

In the mid-eighties, iconic Californian hardcore demons Bl’ast took Black Flag’s menacing heavy-fusion template created on their ‘My War’ album and ran with it, unleashing three albums from 85-89 on SST Records that blew minds, and the genre, apart. In 2013, with Southern Lord having just reissued the bands back-catalogue, Bl’ast took to the road again with original vocalist Clifford Dinsmore and guitarist Mike Neider playing alongside Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo from Queens Of The Stoneage and the results, unsurprisingly, were devastating.

Re-inspired by the power of the music, the band hit the studio and have now recruited Dave Grohl and ex-Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski to fill in for Nick and Joey who had touring commitments, to record two new tracks for a new 7” EP. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that that little combination can only be one thing, utterly explosive!

Sure enough, when first track ‘For Those Who Graced The Fire’ kicks in, Grohl’s unmistakable pounding drums detonate into life and the band lurch through a weird, contorted time signature that jars and splutters, uncomfortable and unsettling but powerful and addictive. ‘The Pulse’ is next, igniting with a churning signature Dukowski bass run before kicking into 60 seconds of prime nasty hardcore. Perfect.

It’s so good to hear Grohl back behind the drum kit and in good company, rather than the mainstream pap he churns out in his day job. His involvement will shine a lot of light upon this release. It’s deserved. The world needs to hear Bl’ast.

James Sherry

Pre-order the 7″ here or on iTunes.

Dave Grohl sent fan mail to Ian Mackaye

dave_grohl_ian_mackaye

Renowned equally for cataloguing and preserving every single piece of memorabilia to do with Dischord, as well as his legendary punk rock status, Ian Mackaye has today unearthed a letter he received from a 14 year-old Dave Grohl.

Pictured above, the note sees a young David reaching out to Mackaye on the whim of ‘Good Thrash’ to ask for a couple of phone numbers and a leg up. Dave tweeted it out to his 2m+ followers last night too.

Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck trailer

kurt_cobain_nirvana_montage_of_heck

In the 21 years since Kurt Cobain passed away, Nirvana and Cobain’s work has been subjected to an endless barrage of cheap cash-in films and books, few of them showing the art and lives the respect they deserve. At last, however, the real story of Kurt Cobain is being told with love, respect and credibility.

Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck’ (named after the heavily bootlegged Cobain tape featuring cut ups and audio mash-ups) has seen his daughter Frances Bean Cobain take on the roll of executive producer of the film. With full access to Kurt’s archive (hours of never-before-seen home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos, personal archives, family archives and songbooks), we finally get a real look at Kurt’s life. This is the chance for Francis to get closer to the father she never got to know.

The first trailer for the film has just been released and it’s an instantly emotional, thrilling ride with the inevitable horrific end. Starting out with Kurt as an innocent young boy, it roars by, flashing through his intense life and leaves you hanging, desperate to see the whole film.

HBO will air the authorized Kurt Cobain documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck on May 4.

QOTSA

Desert stoners Queens Of The Stone Age have released a new song today that will feature on their upcoming album ‘…Like Clockwork‘ which is set to be released June 4th on Matador Records.

New track ‘My God Is The Sun‘ is a straight up banger. No disappointment here, especially when Dave Grohl’s venomous drum steez is featured too. It’s the only way they could have returned. The overall result is another journey into the dark and dusty road that QOTSA are most famous for ruling. Why ruin history by taking a wrong turn elsewhere? It’s where they left off and it’s absolutely rocking.

The full length that is coming is said to have guest appearances from drummers Grohl, Joey Castillo and Jon Theodore plus the likes of Sir Elton John (barf), Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri (thankfully), Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, James Lavelle and Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys. Let’s hope that more of the same has been recorded to tape.

Look out for them at this year’s Download Festival at Donington Park. Turn this right up and get hyped on what’s coming next.

Scream

Complete Control Session
Side One Dummy Records

Scream’s place in the annals of US Hardcore History is assured notably for their 4 albums albums on Dischord Records. Formalised officially in 1981, the band comprised brothers Franz and Pete Stahl, on guitar and vocals, with bassist Skeeter Thompson and drummer Kent Stax holding it down in the engine room.

The debut Still Screaming was a rip-roaring collection of thrashers. By their second album This Side Up they were well on their way from straight-ahead Hardcore, throwing in reggae fused jams (on the side produced by Dr Know of Bad Brains (a band whose influence on Scream cannot be understated) and then some heavy rocking numbers on the flipside where they added a 2nd guitarist.

Whilst many of Scream’s peers had discarded their ‘70’s rock albums in the Punk Rock Year Zero, these guys clearly still had their Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath records at the forefront of their collections and in my opinion, were a better band for it. This Side Up was the first album I picked up, in ’84, at Max’s Records in Eastbourne. I sure hit the jackpot there but I was also gutted a couple of years later, whilst overseas, my brother told me that he’d seen them play a show in Brighton. Oww!!

After the ’86 Euro-tour, Kent Stax left, and was replaced by a young DC skin basher by the name of Dave Grohl, who augmented a line-up that would release 3 more studio albums, touring relentlessly, including more trips to Europe (where I finally got to see them again in ’88). The end of the century was also the end for Scream as they fell apart on West Coast during a US Tour. The Stahl brothers headed to Los Angeles and started WOOL, with Pete later forming cult Stoner outfit Goatsnake. Dave went to Seattle, joined Nirvana and paid his dues to his former band by wearing a Scream t-shirt in the Teen Spirit video. Franz would also play in Foo Fighters early on.

The band has reunited occasionally over the years with Dave Grohl drumming, but with global world domination now firmly on his radar Kent Stax returned and these 7 songs were recorded live in February 2011 at Dave’s home studio and capture a band in really fine, fine form. The end result is totally raw and smoking, kicking off with the soulful rock grooves of opening duo Stopwatch and Get Free before the doors are blown open by the blasting Jammin’ at 606. Imagine Lemmy and the Bad Brains going off in the studio! Elevate is fired by a (way) snazzy NY Dolls inspired lead  and tongues are firmly in cheek for The Year Bald Singers Were In which vibes like a lost-track from This Side Up. Move (All Alone) is sublime, scorching riffage and cracking vocals. Demolition Dancing closes with “something’s gonna happen, that’s for sure”… and it really is! I would love to see them play again, let’s hope that they tour soon.

Pete Craven