“Stampede of Savings,” the opening track on Stealth Beats, the third album from Portland’s Gaytheist (Gaytheist!), launches out of the speakers with a full-on aural assault, the driving guitar, unhinged vocals, and pummeling drums and bass all hitting at once. It lasts barely more than a minute, quickly setting the tone for a writhing, pounding, fist-pumping, booze-fueled, acid-tripping, stage diver of an album fit for crowd surfing in a packed, sweaty downtown club circa the year that punk broke. Equal parts joyous, reckless abandon and righteous anger, Gaytheist are tight in their relentless rhythmic attack, yet seemingly always teetering on the edge of falling into complete mayhem. This balance of mayhem and melody draws comparisons to late-eighties/nineties noise rockers such as the Jesus Lizard, and reminds me of one of my favorites of that time, Barkmarket. Ultimately, it’s an album that will batter and claw its way immediately into your bones and brain, driving you to tear off your shirt, push through the crowd and leap headlong and devil-may-care from the stage.
Stealth Beats is out now via Good To Die Records. Grab a copy on vinyl here, or grab a digital copy at the Gaytheist Bandcamp page here.
Damned if los grillos didn’t miss another quiet release of a not-so-quiet record from King Blood. Released earlier this year, Vengeance, Man follows Ryland Wharton’s initial offering as King Blood, the acid-fried Eyewash Silver, with more thick, throbbing, meditative, mind-melting guitar squall. The label, Richie Records//TestosterTunes, sold out of the initial limited run, but if you, like los grillos, missed that boat, it looks like you can still grab a copy on vinyl (or as a digital download) from Midheaven Mailorder here. Dig it.
Back in July we heard the horn-soaked advance single “Cry for Judas” from The Mountain Goats’ forthcoming album Transcendental Youth. Now, just a week out from its release, the album is streaming in its entirety via Rolling Stone. The band continues to expand its sound and vary its approach as John Darnielle continues to tell the tales of wayward sons and daughters and create anthems for outcasts trying to make their way through this world. Listen here.
Transcendental Youth is out October 2nd via Merge Records. Check it out here.
And here’s Darnielle with a live, solo performance of album track “In Memory of Satan”…
Back in March los grillos was psyched to report the arrival of a new Tim Foljahn album, Songs For An Age Of Extinction, a languid, haunted slice of Americana, and while checking that record out we had the good fortune to stumble upon the often equally haunted folk of Alexa Wilding via Coral Dust, the follow up to her 2009 self-titled debut. Produced by Foljahn–who has, in addition to his solo output and albums as Two Dollar guitar, recorded and toured with a number of talented folks, including Cat Power, Thurston Moore, and the late, great Townes Van Zandt–Coral Dust is a lush, atmospheric, and intimate collection anchored by Wilding’s layered, yearning vocals. Aptly described by Foljahn as “vistas of space dust and crystal cliffs,” the album invokes the hazy, soft-focus feel of a fading dream and plays like a watercolor painting of a grey, rainy day on a quiet city street.
Coral Dust is available now via Wilding’s Tiny Prism Records. Check it out here.
Satan’s Wrath tosses its goat-horned hat into the ring for title of best ever death metal band outta Greece with debut album Galloping Blasphemy, which lives up to its name with galloping riffs and blasphemous lyrics to spare. The only problem might be who finds the whole thing more blasphemous: the priests the band promises to make “vomit in agony” with “nine tracks of unholy terror” or the fans of black metal who recognize that, though Satan’s Wrath are clearly in solid musical command of the genre, they’re also taking the piss out of it, Spinal Tap style, and having themselves a bit of fun. I’m not so sure that the average, hard-core black metal fan is all that in to fun.
Los Grillos, on the other hand, loves us some good times, so we’re digging the hell out of the album, especially the way it filters our favorite early thrash from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, and Death Angel through the dark and majestic theatrics of King Diamond, the latter’s anguished howl replaced with a throaty growl that praises the Prince of Darkness at every opportunity over frenetic riffage and fiery solos. Led by former Electric Wizard bassist Tas Danazoglou, the album pushes ahead at full-throttle thrash from one mighty “hail Satan” to the next, but still manages to find room for plenty of melody in the mayhem as it raises its lyrical horns to the dark one–if only in, God forbid, good fun.
Galloping Blasphemy is out September 25 via Metal Blade. Check it out here.