March has snuck up on us and the only way to fight off this continual shit weather is to listen to good old fashioned metal, punk and indie. As always, The Pit brings you the best from all corners of the guitar-led spectrum and this week you’re all in for a treat, you lucky beggars. The Pit is here and ready to educate, so sit down and pay attention, or else you’ll be sent into the corner with the dunce cap.
James Sherry is rocking out to:
It’s punk rock. It’s not rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or a really tough round of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’. It’s simple, it’s direct and it can’t be beat. No Trigger hail from the East Coast and deliver here twelve tracks of solid gritty punk rock that is jammed full of killer melodic hooks with more energy than a gang of kids cut loose in a Red Bull factory. Taking their influences from classic melodic punk bands like Lifetime, Hot Water Music and Jawbreaker, No Trigger are emotional without being emo and tough without being hardcore. Like we said, there’s no game plan, no hidden agenda and no blatant attempt to cash in and make their money on the commercial punk circuit. This is the real deal and every song sounds like the band are putting everything they possibly have into their music. Real and raw, just the way we like it.
To understand Venom you really had to be a teenager in the mid-eighties. They had everything any pissed off teenager could want; they were horrendously loud and brash, blatantly satanic and crammed full of occult imagery, explosions, death and skulls! Having practically invented black metal back in 1981, the band are back again to reclaim their crown as the heaviest and sickest band on the planet. And although ‘Metal Black’ doesn’t feature the original Venom line-up, newer members Antton and Mykus do a fine job of backing up original singer/bassist Cronos’ demonic howl. Sure, songs like ‘Antechrist’ and ‘Death & Dying’ are not as raw and harsh as the original classic Venom material, but they’ve created a dense heaviness here that they should be proud of. Their UK tour in March promises to be explosive. Don’t miss your chance to see this classic UK metal band.
The Easy Way Out
The fact that Fixit Kid had to form their own label in defiance against the many independent labels that felt the band didn’t fit any particular genre says all you need to know. In an age when, more than ever, music is tidied away into neat little boxes ready for mass consumption, Fixit Kid’s stubborn refusal to fit-in must be encouraged.
Exploding into life with a barrage of Big Black and Jesus Lizard inspired lurching noise, opening track ‘Insects And Gods’ sets the scene for an album that somehow manages to draw on influences as far apart as the buzzing stoner riffs of Kyuss, the slacker indie rock of Pavement and free jazz psychedelia complete with string sections and horns. Wild.
The Pleasure Is All Thine
Here’s yet another incredible album of rock action from the fine folk at Deranged Records who just keep on pumping out the hits. Following hot on the heels of recent godlike releases from Career Suicide, Dead Stop and Fucked Up, Brutal Knights effortlessly fuse the sheer speed and raw power of early eighties hardcore with the gurning garage punk of bands like Zeke and the New Bomb Turks. It’s an awesome mix and thunders along at break-neck speed, played at maximum intensity with all the suitably of a band that sound like they’ve had their fingers removed and replaced by hammers to play their instruments with. They’re from Toronto, we’ll probably never get to see them live but fuck it, buy this CD, turn it up and peel your own skin off baby.
The Punk Singles Collection
You’re not going to be able to move for teary-eyed nostalgia for the 30th anniversary of punk this year and while all and sundry will be waxing lyrical about the Sex Pistols and The Clash, you can bet The Ruts will hardly get a mention despite the fact that they are, without doubt, the greatest punk band off all time. This CD does exactly what is says on the tin and collects all of the bands single tracks, combining both A and B-sides for an unbeatable collection of punk rock energy. Who knows what this band would have achieved had singer Malcolm Owen’s dumb heroin death not cut their career so cruelly short. Despite that, they left behind some incredible recordings and still inspire to this day. Do yourself a favour. Buy this.
Ryan Bird has been whoring his body for fag money to the tunes of:
Alive or Just Breathing?
In the summer of 2002 came an album that was to change the face of modern day metal as we knew it. A jaw-shattering mix of thrash metal mayhem with a melodic hardcore twist, Killswitch Engage laid down the foundations of metalcore for the hundreds of clones that would follow. Re-packaged with a bonus disc containing previously unreleased live and demo materials – as well as exclusive band member interviews – this is one album you can’t afford to miss out on again.
(In at the Deep End Records)
Hailing from the deepest and darkest depths of California’s death metal underground, Suicide Silence are possibly one of the most sonically terrifying bands to grace the planet thus far. It’s no coincidence that their very name portrays a self-destructive death, because this torturous collection of vengeful screams and drums capable of drowning out even the most violent of stampedes; the great unknown is almost certainly the only escape from terror. Utterly devastating.
Fewer bands have come in for more stick in recent years than Brazil’s thrash veterans Sepultura. Though the initial material that followed front man Max Cavalera’s sudden departure in 1996 would be less than inspirational, the follow-up to 2003’s promising ‘Roorback’ is an undeniable sign that after almost a decade of apparent struggle; Sao Paolo’s finest are ready and raring to reclaim their crown as one of metal’s true leading lights.
Volume of Hate
Pantera. Crowbar. Corrosion of Conformity – the list is endless. Groove-laden heavy metal peppered with raw hardcore attitude and deep fried in a crunchy southern batter. While Atlanta’s Organ may not yet have achieved the same stellar status as the aforementioned greats, ‘Volume of Hate’ is a foot-stomping and spine-shattering statement of intent – and one that may just be the missing spice in the secret ingredient to future success.
They may hail from the Northern America heartland of New Hampshire, but with whisky-soaked vocal harmonies and riffs the size of bulldozers; Scissorfight are living proof that the South is by no means the only place to have a good time. Their first full-length in almost three years, ‘Juggernaut’ is packed full of bottle-smashing anthems capable of getting even the most raging rockaholic absolutely shitfaced. Hold on to your beers.
Alex Gosman has been having fits over:
There Are No Happy Endings
This one isn’t for the faint-hearted. How can three good-looking Essex lads have created such a twisted, cynical and downright malevolent debut album? Musically reminiscent of ‘Troublegum’ era Therapy? and the Pixies at their most abrasive, Engerica’s not-so-secret weapon is the Jekyll-and-Hyde persona of frontman David Gardner, who unleashes semi-garbled lyrical hell and razorblade guitar on eerily insistent anthems like ‘Funeral Song’ and recent single ‘The Smell’. One of the best British debuts in recent memory – misanthropy has rarely sounded so good.
EXENE CERVENKA & THE ORIGINAL SINNERS
Formerly the singer of LA art punk legends X, Exene Cervenka’s early solo efforts went largely unnoticed, but 2002’s self-titled debut Original Sinners album was a real return to form. ‘Sev7en’ is arguably even better: a clutch of melodic folk-punk songs with hints of country and rockabilly, refreshing in its musical simplicity. Among the highlights are the arresting stomp of ‘Sky Blue Pink’ and the semi-acoustic lilt of ‘Tavern’; both sounding oddly upbeat, given the often serious lyrical matter. Quite simply, a great American roots record with a strong rebellious streak.
NYC based rapper MC Lars describes his music as ‘post-punk laptop rap’- intriguing, eh? This, his second album, includes amusing fictional tales (‘The Roommate From Hell’), critiques of the record industry and commercialisation of alternative culture (‘Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock’; ‘Download This Song’), and even a warning of the perils of chat-rooms (‘Internet Relationships’), whilst incorporating samples from diverse sources such as Iggy Pop, Supergrass and – ahem – the ‘Tetris’ theme tune. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, Lars is clearly on to something here. He’ll be touring the UK in April.
SONIC BOOM SIX
Sounds To Consume (Champion Edition)
(Moon Ska Europe)
Imagine a gang of Mancunian ska-punkers going nuts with a sampler and with a hyperactive female MC on lead vocals; the result is one of the best live bands around. This is a mini-compilation, including eight tracks from the band’s two EPs (‘Sounds To Consume’ and ‘Turbo’), four demos and four remixes. For the most part, it’s highly addictive stuff; a musical melange of ska, dub, hardcore, funk and hip-hop, all topped off with socially-aware lyrics and a renegade attitude. It’s the sound of a British multicultural band with something to say; you’d be well advised to listen up and to get dancing.
Bound To Ravage
(Fading Ways Music)
Swedish rockers Diamond Dogs formed over a decade ago, but have only just got around to their debut UK release. Listening to ‘Bound To Ravage’ will make you wonder why they took so long; as this 12-track compilation is bursting with quality rock n’ roll tunes in a Hellacopters/Quireboys/Hanoi Rocks vein (the Hellacopters’ Nicke Anderson even provides guest vocals on ‘Gotta Be Gone’). There’s a storming opener in ‘Sad To Say I’m Sorry’, the brass-laden brilliance of ‘From Now On’ and a couple of heartfelt weepies in ‘Somebody Else’s Lord’ and ‘Passing Through My Heart’. Listen to this one in a smoky barroom with a large JD and coke to hand; it’ll make perfect sense.
Dee Massey has been house-hunting along with the sounds of:
THE EARLY YEARS
All Ones And Zeros
This debut single from the London 3 piece is anything but run of the mill. ‘All Ones and Zeros’ bounces out of the gates with a soaring beat, followed by raw guitars, building up your expectations for a strong vocal to kick in…but it never really does. But therein lies the charm of this band, all three tracks on this debut are mood and emotion driven – drawing on the bands main influences of more experimental bands and movements. If you’re expecting catchy hooks and melodies, then you’ll be disappointed – these guys are on a different level and are unlike anything else out there. Psychedelic guitars and some out of this world effects pedals harp back to the 60’s s, and combine to make one of the most original ambient sounds out there. If you’re sick of the same same stuff out there, ignore the emo-esque band name and shrug this on for size.
Not So Merry
When the major-signed Audiovent faltered, guitarist Ben Einziger and bassist Paul Fried rejected the idea of going back to a 9-5 job. Instead they bought together a new act in the form of Agent Sparks, whose debut on Immortal Records is a really promising, gutsy indie/pop EP which really delivers. From the onset guitarist Einziger’s vocals bond perfectly with Stephanie Eitel – who was bought on bought onboard on the strength of her lyrics and vocals -and what a contribution she brings to the table. She has a catch to her voice which seems to really emphasise the captivating pop punk choruses, and extend lyrics further than just mere words. It feels like they’re really finding their feet with this album, each of the 5 tracks has it’s own identity, ranging from the poppy ‘Choke‘, the angsty ‘Mr Insecurity’ and the crunching guitars and heavy bass of ‘So Long, Darlings’ All in all this is an exciting and enjoy able EP from a band who, with some direction and focus in the new recording could really become a force to be reckoned with.
Five Sunsets In Four Days
Every so often you come across a band that you really can’t label, and Young People is one of those bands. Made up of three friends, the multi talented Katie and Jeff Josenburg and Jarrett Silberman, they are almost a mini Arcade Fire, swapping instruments between songs and producing an array of moods rather than prevalent verse-bridge-chorus tracks. Katie’s vocals are raw and almost sound disjointed from the rest of the recording, sometimes swinging to southern soul and other times almost veering towards native american chanting – someone pass the war paint please. The production is simple, stripped down to the bare minimum, the sound clear and pure. This experimental album is an antidote to today’s mainstream, but could be too way out there for most.
Lines, Opiates And The Demented Operation
Dirty Perfect are a bit of a global group, hailing from Cardiff – via Manchester, Australia and New Zealand – and yet they sound like a dirty American garage band mixed with a hefty dose of British cynicism and talent. If you’re looking for a kick arse EP to pick up your spirits look no further – these guys storm through a pitifully short track listing with attitude, raw energy, a spot-on mix of hooks, ripping guitars and angry vocals – it’s no wonder they’ve been enjoying Radio One airplay already. ‘Condo Royale’ is a dramatic affair, whilst ‘Scheme Eugene’ rips through you with a smile- all tracks maintain a gloriously sleazy air without becoming too fuzzy or confused. I! t’s been a while coming but this EP almost does everything is says on the tin, yes its beautifully dirty..and it’s not far off perfect either.
BOY KILL BOY
East London’s BOY KILL BOY really shift up a gear with this disco-fantastic indie twist of a single. Dramatic and sharp vocals courtesy of front man Chris Peck pull the track together -the production is bright and clear, the disco vibe making this an instant dance floor filler. They’ve been described by one music rag as a split between The Smiths and Hard-Fi (who they toured with last year) and add a heft dose of The Killers spongy verve into the mix and you’re not far off. Whilst the overall tone is upbeat, there’s darker undertones which hopefully Muse/Razorlight producer John Cornfield will coax out of them with the upcoming album, which if it’s anything as good! as this sampler is going to be very exciting indeed.