The Post-Metal greats, PELICAN

photo by: Pete Ashton

PELICAN, live at the world-famous Troubadour in West LA this Fri, and I cannot express how much I’m looking forward to this show. I’ve never been able to catch the kings of the riff live so this should be pretty solid. That lines sounds pretty damn cheesy, but it is 100% valid. I’ve also heard nothing but exceptional compliments from this metal band sans vocals from the Chicago natives. Every Pelican album I own just blows my mind. Not to mention, they’ve progressed so much since the layered Australasia (2003 – Hydra Head) full length debut to the most recent masterpiece, What We All Come To Need (2007 – Southern Lord). It’s actually pretty incredible what this band can do…heavy, very layered and full of depth, and all melodic at the same time without the use of vocals. Call them what you will or put them in any type of category, Pelican is an exceptional group. Don’t believe me? Check out the riffs below and enjoy!

Artist // PELICAN
Sound Like // Red Sparowes, Isis, Russian Circles
Site //
On Tour // October 30, 2010 at the Troubadour – W. Hollywood, CA

Song // “Far from Fields” from the album City of Echoes (2007)
Purchase // iTunes // HydraHead

Song // “Glimmer” from the album What We All Come to Need (2009)
Purchase //iTunes // Southern Lord

Song // “What We All Come to Need” from the album What We All Come to Need (2009)
Purchase //iTunes // Southern Lord

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BORN AGAINST are one of those bands I was introduced to by a friend towards the end of high school. At the time I was knee deep in “hardcore” that was tinging on metal with heavy doses of all that bland straight edge stuff. Think Strife, Snapcase, Unbroken, etc. So when I first glanced at a borrowed LP with a pic of a casket with an American flag draped over it and above that an amazing looking band logo I loved this band already without even listening to the album. Born Against were unique as they didn’t necessarily do the typical thrash/hardcore material. They had a dingy, dirty style about them at times where heavy in an Amphetamine Reptile band type of way. The lyrics at times were politically charged, but at the same they definitely seemed to have a sense of humor.  In other words, I always thought they were more punk than anything else. Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children seems more like an EP as it rips thru from start to finish pretty quickly, while their collection LP The Rebel Sound of Shit and Failure is in my opinion a punk rock classic. A few years back Kill Rock Stars reissued the mentioned LPs, which are worth checking out. Lead singer, Sam McPheeters is a regular writer at the OC Weekly and runs a pretty entertaining blog that rants on just about everything.

Artist // Born Against
Sound Like // Rorschach, Void, Econochrist

Song //”Mary and Child” from the LP Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children
Purchase //  iTunes // Kill Rock Stars

// “Janelle” from the LP Rebel Sound of Shit and Failure
Purchase //  iTunes // interpunk

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QOTSA Rated R Reissue!

Honestly, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE are one of those bands I sort of stopped paying attention to after they released Songs for the Deaf. It’s not that their music quality diminished, but I grew tired of hearing about them. Top tier radio played the crap out of them, they started to play all the cheesy “key market” music festivals, their fan base started to reach to those that played Disturbed on regular rotation, etc. In other words, they became a rock n’roll success story. However, I must say that their stunning and pretty much perfect  album Rated R (2000) is one of the best rock albums I own. It’s part stoner rock, with a heavy dirty garage-punk vibe that is just catchy as hell from start to finish. That said, I’m pretty excited to hear it’s getting the reissue treatment and I can only hope they release a vinyl version as well! It’s a trip that this album is already 10 years old.

// Queens of the Stone Age
Album // Rated R (2000)
Sounds Like // Kyuss,  Them Crooked Vultures, Mondo Generator

Song // “In The Fade”

Site //
Purchase // // iTunes
Reissue // August 3, 2010

Disc 1:

1. “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”
2. “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret”
3. “Leg of Lamb”
4. “Auto Pilot”
5. “Better Living Through Chemistry”
6. “Monsters in the Parasol”|
7. “Quick and to the Pointless”
8. “In the Fade”
9. “Tension Head”
10. “Lightning Song”
11. “I Think I Lost My Headache”

Disc 2:
1. “Ode to Clarissa”
2. “You’re So Vague”
3. “Monsters in the Parasol” (live)
4. “Born to Hula” (new version)
5. “Never Say Never” (Romeo Void cover)
6. “Who’ll Be the Next in Line” (Kinks cover)
7-16. Live tracks from 2000 Reading Festival

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WAVVES bring some quality lo-fi

Wavves. Although I definitely don’t like they way they spelt their name, they are quickly growing on me with their pop, quirky tunes that for some reason remind me of Ween and The Dead Milkmen. I am not sure why they haven’t been compared to those two bands in particular yet. Another surpise is that they’re from San Diego and not NYC. Weird. The song “Post Acid” is by far a highlight with it’s soothing and energetic chorus similar to the Queers, which is not a knock. I have also officially listened to the track mentioned 4 times in a row…it’s that good. Their upcoming album, King of the Beach will be released via Fat Possum early next month and from what I’ve heard so far “it’s rather good” as the Brits say.

Artist // Wavves
Sound Like // Japanther, Crystal Stilts, Health
Site //

Song //”Post Acid” from the upcoming album King of the Beach (2010)
Purchase //Fat Possum

Song //”Mickey Mouse” from the upcoming album King of the Beach (2010)

Song // “So Bored” from the album Self Titled album (2009)
Purchase // Fat Possum

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photo by: brendan docherty

Rousing, straight up, gritty rock and roll that’s catchy and electric. That is what comes to mind upon first listen to Pulled Apart By Horses self titled debut album. I just discovered these gents, but it looks like the UK is all over their nuts at the moment so stay tuned as I’m sure your local “indie” or “alternative” radio station will be spinning their single shortly. At first listen they remind me a bit of a post hard-core slightly tamer version of the Bronx with guitar parts reminescent of At The Drive-In. Lets just say it is a solid debut that will most likely blow up for this UK band.Gritty and ballsy that is a bit “hip,” but at least it doesn’t sound like MGMT or Sleigh Bells and the members of Pulled Apart By Horses are actually playing instruments!

Artist // Pulled Apart by Horses
Album // Self  Titled (2010)
Sound Like //
Site //
Purchase //Transgressive Records

Song // “E=MC Hammer”

Song // “I Punched a Lion in the Throat” live

Song // “Get Off My Ghost Train” live

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90’s metal via HELMET

photo by: nando harmsen

HELMET are one of those bands that remind me of high school as I listened to them over and over sophomore year via a crappy cassette copy. Aftertaste (1997) was great, and I really wish Page would have broke the band up instead of continuing with the pieced together group who continue to call themselves Helmet. That said, the tunes selected below highlight their progression from Strap It On (1991) to around the time they decided to put their “best of” album out entitled, Unsung: Best of Helmet 91-97 (2004). Often placed in the alt-metal genre, I always thought Helmet were closer to the whole post-hardcore, early 90’s metal scene (i.e Unsane, Surgery,Crowbar). Edgy, meaty and sludgy with no sense of style or bad hair via the Seattle movement during the time. But whatever genre they were pigeonholed into, Helmet brought on an onslaught of start-stop HEAVY music. They were unique. Often mixing jazz influenced groovy type chords with dual vocals as heard in the track “Vaccination” below. I only wonder if they were at their peek today would they appeal to the Ozzfest or Warped Tour crowds, or even both?

Artist // HELMET
Sounds Like // Quicksand, Prong, Therapy?
Site //

Song // “FBLA”
Album // from the album Strap It On (1991)
Buy // Site // iTunes

Song // “Vaccination”
Album // from the album Betty (1994)
Buy // site // iTunes

Song // “Crisis King”
Album // from the album Aftertaste (1997)
Buy // site // iTunes

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Sad Bastard music by THE INSECT GUIDE

photo by: wayne fox

It is no surprise that I enjoy “shoegaze” music. If there are tiny hints of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Spiritualized, etc I typically dig it. Case in Point: THE INSECT GUIDE. The band consists of a singer, guitar player and a laptop so I’m thinking that their tour van is pretty light. The Insect Guide are drone and fuzzy as their song “Liline” from their first album 6ft In Love (track below) clearly displays some decent pop hook to it. The female vocals definitely match the reverb heavy guitars similar to Blonde Redhead as you can hear in the track “Down from Here” from the new album Dark Days & Nights released via Dead Penny Records. Overall this is a nice UK gem that your local college radio station will be rotating pretty heavily soon!.

Artist // The Insect Gude
Sound Like //The Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, Blonde Redhead
Site //

Song // “Liline” from the album 6ft In Love (2007)
Purchase // iTunes // Band Site

Song //”Down from Here” from the album Dark Days & Nights (2010)
Purchase // iTunes // Band Site

Tour //
June 8, 2010 – Oporto – Leeds, UK
June 9, 2010 – Hoxton Underbelly – London, GB
June 19, 2010 – Playhouse – Bradford, GB
June 20, 2010 – The Wilmington Arms – London, GB
September 25, 2010 – Fell Foot Woods – Lake Windermere, GB

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