Music Reviews

Mastodon

Remission

Relapse

What an great name (almost as good as Vomitory)! An unpredictable, careening juggernaut of hair, tusks, teeth, and nails. You gotta figure that a Mastodon was as noisy and violent as fuck, and damn if this band don’t do a pretty reasonable facsimile of a prehistoric rampage in Remission. To appropriate the title of a Skinny Puppy record, you’ve got to be a pretty good hand. Thankfully, Mastodon deliver the goods. In fact, they almost seem to have the same aesthetic need for catharsis through pain that characterized the best Skinny Puppy records. And oblique as hell, to boot!

Remission has got an ace December/Today Is The Day feel – though a little more reined in and kept in check by a healthy appreciation for, I think, early Godflesh and other classic Earache fare. Musically, they’re schizoid, but there’s no noodling or showing off, songs are focused around a central series of ultra-heavy-fukker riffs, it’s like a suicidal Dillinger Escape Plan (or mental patient, I’m not picky) reflecting wistfully on a life of pain, right before they put a shotgun in their mouthful of Valium. Some excellent vocal torment is on display here as well. The songs are angry, disjointed and so instinctive. “Crusher Destroyer” is a nice, bruising statement to begin the record, full of drum rolls, fret craziness and some raw Dwid-esqe vocals. “Where Strides the Behemoth” oozes such low bass rumble that it almost sounds like a tear in the very fabric of reality, contrasted with some high squiggly guitar and subhuman animal vocals, like Obituary vs. Earth Crisis. Bowel-liquefying low end! “Burning Man” is total grindcore/free jazz lightspeed, with a guitar crunch eerily reminiscent of Megadeth. “Trampled Under Hoof” alternates between ominous metallic rumble, and guitar/drum seizures. In “Trilobite,” the music almost seems organic and sentient, acting out the “fight or flight” response – lash out, cower, lash out, cower.

Are the indie rokkers getting into this? Seems a little heavy for them. I feel so lame and stupid because Mastodon used to play up here all of the fucking time and I’d always miss them because of some weird, but non-inevitable, quirk of timing. Piss. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Relapse Records: http://www.relapse.com


Recently on Ink 19...

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

Print Reviews

With his latest book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, celebrated stand-up Jedi Bill Maher “shocks” readers by doing the most outrageous, unthinkable, and socially unacceptable thing imaginable: he speaks rationally, logically, and objectively.

Gasoline Lollipops

Gasoline Lollipops

Features

Gasoline Lollipops’ newest single, “Freedom Don’t Come Easy,” is today’s mother lovin’ punk rock folk anthem.

Basket Case

Basket Case

Screen Reviews

Frank Henenlotter’s gory grindhouse classic Basket Case looks as grimy as the streets of Times Square, and that is one of the film’s greatest assets. Arrow Video gives this unlikely candidate a welcome fresh release.

Jimmy Failla

Jimmy Failla

Event Reviews

Despite the Mother’s Day factor, hundreds of fervent, faithful followers still flocked to Orlando’s famed Plaza Live to catch an earlybird set from Jimmy Failla — one of the hottest names on today’s national comedy scene.

Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker

Features

Ink 19 readers get an early listen and look at “Cool Sparkling Water,” a new single from Lonnie Walker.

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier has a bucket list day at a Los Lobos 50th Anniversary show in Davenport, Iowa.

Always… Patsy Cline

Always… Patsy Cline

Archikulture Digest

Carl F. Gauze reviews the not-quite one-woman show, Always… Patsy Cline, based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who met the star in l961 and corresponded with Cline until her death.