Dongahawk (NSFW)

By Daniel Cairns

I’ve been looking for an excuse to write about Mike Patton for a while now. He’s probably my favourite music person like… ever. A writer likes nothing better than to write about something he has genuine enthusiasm for, and an article about Mike would be the perfect opportunity to show you that I can occasionally be a nice manny.

In turn, he’s heard my silent plea… and whipped out General Patton.

Yup. Mr Patton brandished his tomahawk on stage at a Faith No More show in Brisbane at the Soundwave festival, waving it in front of a video camera, to the delight of many. Or no one. Who knows. Anyway, all I know is that it’s made me love the guy even more. He truly is peerless. Imagine if Chester Bennington did it at a Linkin Park show. Can you do that? No of course you can’t, because he’s got the charisma of a comedy sock. Patton though, he’s a proper maverick.

See the whole tawdry affair here at the PRP. NSFW. OBV. PMT. TTFN.

Fear Factory- Mechanize

(AFM)

By Daniel Cairns

Right, I suppose I’d better admit that Mechanize is good. Not as stunning as some reviewing people would have you think, but good enough to help you forgive them for the fact that at the turn of the century they were a heady amalgamation of Phillip K Dick, KoRn and Vanilla Ice. Dammit, Digimortal was fucking shit. Burton C Bell rapped for fucks sake. That’s like Glen Benton beatboxing or something.

Almost ten years and two more shonky albums later though, Mechanize heralds a return to form. They sound like the band that did Demanufacture again. The first time Mechanize kicks in it’s actually amazing. It’s the pummelling, bastard vicious Fear Factory of yore. The heavier bits are heavier than before and the melodic bits aren’t shit. It’s a marvel the first time you hear it. The title track is astounding, and songs like Controlled Demolition show that Burton can still actually sing quite well when he’s not doing his Justin Broadrick thing. After your first listen you’ll think it’s really incredible.

Then sobriety kicks in. The second or third listen through, you realise it’s not as amazing as you first figured, and that you’re just surprised the band have done something that isn’t cum-soaked balls. The bits that sounded brilliant first time around don’t sound so good, and you get bored half way through the record, turn it off and listen to something else that’s a bit less unremarkable.

And some of it is dull. But if the worst thing you can say about a new Fear Factory album is that it gets a bit dull,then there’s clearly been a Lazarus style resurgence. That a band, after 12 years of making an industrial sized balls of it, can return sounding pretty good again, is a bit of a miracle.

Soooo yup. It’s a solid 7/10. It’s higher score though if you look at it nostalgically, from when you used to nip down t’pit, hovis in hand, with Pisschrist on t’wireless.

Brad Boys

By Eric Hanneman and Daniel Cairns

Flannel shirted dudes rejoice! Loads of guys in bands from the time when your Dad could still get an erection have teamed up to release a new Brad album. I personally have never heard them, but the illusive Mr Hanneman was quite keen to let our myriad readers know about this. Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam (a band I could never like because of their stupid name, even though it probably means something disgusting and pornographic) has banded together some of his chums to release Best Friends? later this year.

They’re also playing a live gig in Seattle (duh) on April 14th at the Showbox. Go here sometime next week to get tickets.

In other news I just sat on my balls and it’s agony.

Stuck (on) You

By Noel Oxford

As the dust settled over Manhattan, somewhere in the choking miasma of pulverised concrete and thermite (shh) must have been the very, very first United States citizen ever to turn stinging, streaming eyes to the heavens, cut off from man by the pall of destruction, and utter the words ‘why do they hate us?’

Why do they hate us?

Have you ever had an actual real-life American ask you that? It’s a question on par with ‘why do you like to hit me, daddy?’ You can’t just say ‘well poppet, it’s because you suck.’ That don’t wash. So you might try to explain the long arc of the last couple of centuries or so, all without resorting to vague, uninformed handwaving about, like, you know, Israel and stuff, before floundering to a halt, having made no dent whatsoever in your cohort’s jingoism. There has never been a simple, easy answer. That is, until now!

I know why people hate America. It’s because America birthed Stuck Mojo.

Meet Stuck Mojo.

Stuck Mojo are one of those also-rans of mid-90s rap metal like Clawfinger, Hed PE and Insane Clown Posse. Apparently, they were once genre-defining pioneers, but when the genre under discussion is rap metal, you can see why they don’t shout about it. After a few mildly successful records, they disbanded in 2000 along with the Clinton administration, apparently convinced that their job was done once a Bush was back in his rightful place. You see, whereas Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Dope Hooks’ channelled equal parts Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Page, Stuck Mojo sounded sort of like Pantera reading aloud from Rush Limbaugh transcripts.

Fortunately for all of us, they got back together. Stuck Mojo, having identified a hole in the marketplace for bad music backed by ugly political sentiment, are once again a going concern. And in the meantime, a couple of them are also in Fozzy, a side project they started with a fucking professional wrestler. If that does not sum up the gigantic national problems of the United States of America, then I do not know what will.

Lads. Gather round. Let’s have a look at this thing.

Hey look, it’s ARE TROOPS. I’d recognise that dude on the left anywhere. And isn’t that the T-1000 in the middle?

Yes.

I’m American truly does embody all that is good and noble about these United States. OO RAH COME GET SOME HAJJI (that cloud of smoke used to be a puppy orphanage.)

These are a few of my favourite things.

Hey man, you said it. Flag-themed steps are not the least among them.

I bet that’s what Mr Liberty is thinking, too.

For the rest of the clip, you mostly just get a lot of this. A white man wanking in front of a dilapidated clapboard shack.

Which strikes me as odd, really. If this is a love letter to the USA, why didn’t they film somewhere a little more picturesque than this bible belt shanty? You know, I hear Iraq is looking pretty handsome nowadays.

After a few nuanced and totally representative shots of majestic United States Marine Corps Übermenschen kissing foreign brown babies – just to settle that whole debate about the merits and wisdom of middle east adventurism – the video’s done.

In conclusion,

Priestess- Prior To The Fire

(Tee Pee, 2010)

by Paul Stephenson

Very rarely has an album been so hard for me to review. I’ve had it a few weeks now, and have listened to it copious amounts, and in truth I’m no closer to reaching a definitive conclusion about it than I was when I first heard it. So hopefully the act of reviewing this will allow me to finally put my opinion to bed, so to speak. Because to be honest, I’d far rather be listening to the new Dillinger album.

With this their second album, Canadians Priestess have definitely moved on to a new sound. Their first album, ‘Hello Master’ was a sparkling stoner-pop affair, full of big riffs and bigger choruses. It was joyous and fun, and to my mind, bloody brilliant. The perfect summer album, heavy enough to give that tingle we all look for, but accessible enough that if you put it on at a barbecue full of people who think Muse are heavy they wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

Right from the start with ‘Prior’ though, there is a huge difference, with opener ‘Lady Killer’ coming across as some bizarre Judas Priest/new-era Metallica crossover. It’s a huge mess of a song, with pointless galloping riffs that sound utterly out of date struggling to fit in with the Priestess sound. And yet for all that, it’s not a bad song, its underlying shitness somehow circumvented by the charm that the band have always had in abundance.

And this is a familiar theme throughout. As with the first album, there are times when their songwriting is absolutely spot on, with great big choruses that you’ll be hard pressed to shake from your head for days afterwards coming up against a wooden production sound and pointless NWOBHM riffing that is boring and pedestrian. But then there are other moments, such as ‘The Gem’ where the band go in a more Baroneess/Torche influenced direction, and start to do some genuinely interesting things. Along with ‘Communicating Via-Eyes’, a folky stoned ditty that sits next to it, it’s the bravest and best thing about this album.

The history of this album is a little bit long and tortured, with their original major label deal falling through on the basis that the label didn’t think the album was commercial enough, and the band refusing to tone down the heavier new direction and taking their wares to an independent label where they could be free to do what they pleased. It’s a nice story, but one suspects the truth is that the label just didn’t think that this album was good enough and dropped them.

It’s not a bad album, and at times it’s every bit as good as ‘Hello Master’ especially during what is a very strong middle section, but there are too many times when Priestess fail to sound like a band confident in their abilities, resorting to galloping riffs that only Iron Maiden have been able to pull off for over a decade, and so it’s not as good as their first effort.

But for all that, I’m still listening, two weeks later, and not just because I have to write a review, but because there is something about this album that has an inherent charm about it, and because no matter what, you’re never that far away from one of the great vocal hooks that Priestess have shown they are so capable of.

So, a misstep, certainly, but perhaps not a fatal one. If you liked the first album it’s certainly worth checking out just as a curiosity, but newcomers should maybe start at the beginning. It is a disappointment overall, but like a drunken history teacher who comes to a subject that rouses old passions, there are moments of lucidity where Priestess show just enough to keep you hooked in.

Now can I go listen to the new Dillinger please?

6/10