Monkey3 – Beyond the Black Sky

(Stickman Records)

Fuck monkeys.

Don’t. Don’t do that. Not literally. That’s how we ended up with AIDS, apparently; not that fatal STIs are likely to make much of an impression on my purity-ring-encircled life. But figuratively, yes. Fuck monkeys. How am I supposed to recommend a band with a name like Monkey3? Perhaps you should check out my other favourite bands, Epic Win-a-Lot, Teh Awesomesauce and I Respect Females.

Beyond that however, I invite you to fuck figurative monkeys because, besides their instant lol random comedy value to cretins, they’re also responsible for everything. Have a look out the window. See that kindly old man getting happy slapped upside the asymmetrical fringe by a gaggle of chavs? That’s monkeys’ fault, that is. The dogshit-smeared pavement, the rising prices at Sainsburys, Gold Cobra. Blame them for all of it. You’d not be wrong.

What did they think they were doing when they started evolving? Where did they think it was going to end up? Space colonies, designer drugs and free love? Or Britain’s Got Talent and Crocs? They don’t think about the consequences, that’s the problem with monkeys. Who do they think they are? Romping around, jumping like loons, having endless wild sex, using rudimentary specialised tools and emitting continual ear-piercing screeches. They’re like a less primitive Panic C3ll.

Shall I carry on with this monkey business, or shall I talk about a record now? Unfortunately, the moment I start trying to write about actual music, I discover I can’t be arsed, which is why this site is dying a protracted death. We’re all tortured geniuses wasting our meagre dribbles of talent on reviews of computer games and children’s music for plebs. And that’s a real pity from at least one point of view, because all the reviews of this album on the band’s website are in French, and I think it’s only fair the civilised world should get to hear about it as well. Thus, I begin to see why other ‘zines just lift chunks of press release verbatim and call it a day. It’s so much fucking simpler than trying to find a fresh synonym for ‘monolithic riffage’ for the seven hundredth time.

Look, here’s what you need to know: Monkey3 are a Swiss stoner/space/psychedelic/progressive beat combo who make instrumental music full up with proper ideas. Their third proper record Beyond the Black Sky is a really nice album, with some really nice tunes. To my nerdling ears there’s a robotic quality underpinning the crunch, and there’s a heavy reliance on synths to spangle up the overall sound. It works really nicely, and tends to suggest the heavy footfalls of a Japanese battle robot as it traverses a desert planet at night, its chromium skin shimmering with the reflected glow of three moons. Or something of the sort, fuck knows.

It’s a short album, barely tipping the 40 minute mark, yet it manages to contain two bona fide pocket size epics in the shape of Black Maiden and Through the Desert, which between them account for almost half the album’s running time. Black Maiden starts with a swagging groove and builds and builds and builds and keeps building for four minutes, around a spine of monolithic riffage and whistling keys. Then it disappears with a cymbal choke, and alternates between a quiet finger-picked bit and a loud wedge of noise that will make you nod your head and go ‘hmm, indeed’, assuming you’re a bearded dork like me.

Through the Desert is essentially the same but with some of the sounds changed and the monolithic riffage made different. And where Black Maiden suggests some sort of sleek needlenose spaceship hanging above the troposphere at sunrise, this song has a martial, marching quality which suggests the heavy footfalls of a Japanese battle robot as it traverses look I can write your fucking press releases for you if you like, my rates are mad reasonable. I need an exit strategy here, help me out. Check out the quality of that literary image. So good I used it twice. Would you get that anywhere else?

No.

In summary, the rest of this record is excellent as well, and it’s a rare album nowadays that will get me spooning up a second helping as soon as it’s done.

But why ‘Monkey3’? Why? My last.fm reputation is in tatters.

http://monkeythree.com/

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Origin – Entity

My initial thought as I sat down and waited patiently for this new album to, ahem, arrive, was that the opening song title was a bit unfortunate. I’m sure Origin thought Expulsion of Fury was the kind of turn of phrase that summed up their no-nonsense how-the-fuck-do-they-do-that Tech Death, but to me it conjures up images of lonely fat death metal fans masturbating furiously over album covers by Morbid Angel while trying to keep pace with a Cryptopsy album and praying to some fictional anti-deity that they wont wear their nubbin penii to a bloody stump in the process, before finally bringing themselves to a finish in an expulsion of fury. I’m not sure what that says about me though.

Thankfully all such thoughts are removed from my head immediately by the barrage of quite ridiculous technicality that is displayed in the first minute of this album, and then again for the 40 odd consecutive minutes, before it all comes to an end in a flurry of confusing and bewildering sexual release and double kick.

It has to be said that my opinion of Death Metal is hardly complementary. In my eyes the vast majority of it is as dull as running into someone from its slightly idiotic fanbase on a night out and being unable to escape while they wear you down with talk of the kind of shoes the drummer from Nile wears. I love Origin though, for one reason. They do tricks. Origin manage to reduce me to nothing more than an excitable poodle desperate to have the ball thrown one more time.

Ever since I heard that track that opens with a quote from Dogma, Origin have made me giggle when they do one of their look-how-ridiculously-good-our-drummer-is show-off flash-bastard moves. This laregely revolves of course around their drummer being somewhat insanely good. If their last album Antithesis managed to make Gene Hoglan look like a slouch, and it did, then this new album should have every drummer in the state of Florida hiding under their bed.

In essence, what you have here is the best songs off Antithesis, rewritten with extra tricksy bits, with a few extra riffs here and there, and hey presto. Parts of it are so staggeringly similar to Antithesis that I wouldn’t be surprised to see the band suing themselves in court. But then what does it matter if they are recycling the same old scales over and over, throwing in little flourishes here and there? It still puts a silly rictus grin all over my stupid fat face.

If you are the sort of Death metal fan who is more interested in speed, however, then you are a cu…I mean you are ably served by this album, which intersperses the off kilter rhythms and progressive lunacy with extended periods of speed that in my opinion tend to blend in to one, but there you go.

For a band who are so progressive in their approach to a such a tired, bloated scene, this isn’t so much a radical step forward but more of a tinkering with a formula that ensures they are still head and shoulders above the pack. Relentless, showy, stupid and faster than Jesus in a jet plane.

8/10

E3=CCG²

E3 is not simply a particularly unfortunate bra size.

It is a place where the reclusive internet-posting masses convene; a place where the children’s computer game and the children’s computer game contraption manufacturing corporations gather to large theatre halls. A place where the average mental age in every room is ten years old. A place where hour after hour of computer generated visuals and obnoxious marketing is inexplicably received with orgasmic throes, rather than the usually anticipated retch of disgust.

Here at Demon Pigeon HQ (which happens to be a septic tank) we take this kind of thing fucking seriously.

Following live online broadcasting of the event, that I tearfully watched in my underpants, I have undertaken the great task of documenting E3 2011.

ign's piece of shit sony whore greg miller

Microsoft’s conference engaged a simpering sycophantic baby audience in a soylent green haze. As with last year’s E3, Microsoft are continuing to attempt to convince a load of simple minded idiots to STAND UP and MOVE, both two of my least favourite things. The result is in fact that you end up looking like you’re miming squatting for a shit behind a bush rather than playing a computer game for children. When you fire a gun in Tom Clancy’s Gun Brown Shoot Desert War 3, you have to move your hands in a way that looks all too similar to shaking a tin can like a beggar, which is appropriate. These stupid shiny things are a fucking mint, all of them unnecessary bourgeois luxury.

Kinect and the subsequent Xbox updates are also introducing voice recognition, which means we finally get the chance to talk to a loud white fat thing, and not be listened to. If games are art, art is now imitating reality. This voice recognition shit allowed for a bunch of horrendous demonstrations of what we can now expect in our children’s computer games. For example, the audience applauded when some gentlemen from Ubisoft got onto the stage and started hooting commands at the Xbox and a customised gun (a gun, in case you have forgotten, is a device which is used to kill other human beings – epic win!) magically appeared onscreen. In Mass Effect 3, you can now talk into a mic during the conversational cutscenes. Presumably this means that nerds everywhere are trembling with anticipation for the opportunity to literally exchange space wedding vows with their bright blue videogame girlfriend.

Speaking of videogame girlfriends, Tomb Raider.

Following the old Eidos Interactive Lara ‘Videogame Sex Symbol’ Croft games, someone thought for some reason it would be a good idea to bring this fucking franchise back yet again and produce another game. This time, the objective was to update Lara in order to give her some appeal to some alleged ‘new audience’ (I think they’re called ‘women’, or something. I’m not quite sure). The new improved Tomb Raider sets out with the intention of presenting a strong independent female.

As the demo begins, we are introduced to Lara dangling from the ceiling of a cave like a twisted scrotum, groaning erotically and in bondage. On dropping to the ground she is impaled on a branch, and makes several sounds that would have been more appropriate in a Bang Bros feature. I don’t know about you guys, but nothing gets my crumpet moist like internal bleeding and shredded organs. For the next eight minutes she wanders around breathing heavily, being threatened by everything around her – the air, some water, chinking glass – and making not at all very astute comments.

“I’ve got to get out of here!”, she says, after catching sight of a crucified corpse. After scampering away from being seized at the ankle by a man and dragged about she mumbles “phew, that was close.” The whole thing is depressing. It depresses me. Thanks anyway, game developers, for trying. But what you’ve got here isn’t a strong independent woman at all. You’ve got what the majority of men THINK is a strong independent woman, which isn’t a strong independent woman. It’s a sex symbol.

Nothing has changed.

And don’t you come to me waaaing about “Oh but Jo, she has to be AESTHETICALLY PLEASING! IT’S FICTION!” and “Waaahaahaaa, you’re just a feminazi! You don’t understand these things because you’re too emotional.” No. Listen to me for a change, I fucking implore you. Just stop making these games.

Almost everybody I know grew up with Nintendo games, but I didn’t. And now they don’t appeal to me. Platformers usually do it for me, but not when there have been over eighty incarnations of the same fucking videogame. How many fucking Mario games are you going to make Nintendo? For that matter, how many fucking Zelda games are you going to make Nintendo? How many fucking Kirby games are you going to fucking make Nintendo?

As expected, Shigeru Miyamoto turned up to make some constipated faces and sell some games with the patented Authentic Nihongo™  experience. It turns out in the new Zelda they’ll be including ‘hint movies’ which allow gamers to cheat their way through a videogame without using logic or intuition. Though I guess if you self-identify as a gamer, you probably don’t have logic or intuition to begin with.

Nintendo also unveiled the Wii U, which is not only trying to be an Apple product, it looks like one too. You can apparently use the Wii U controller to draw, though I can’t imagine why you’d want to, unless of course you were doodling cocks and tits. It seems that to get full value out of the Wii U controller, you need to have  an entire host of Nintendo paraphernalia. And also some friends, which many gamers do not have.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t catch the full conference and it didn’t particularly interest me, so this is all I have to say about Nintendo.

Sony’s conference began with some cool street music to show how approachable and down to earth their multi-millionaire CEOs are. In fact during the conference Jack Tretton even threw in some references to Kaz Hirai’s ‘Riiidge Racer!’ comment from an earlier E3, in hopes of winning over some little boys.  He apologised for the PSN downtime by performing a little bit of McIntyre-esque stand-up comedy, before wrapping the nerds in flattery, telling them that they were ‘loyal’ to Sony. I’d like to point out that being loyal to a billion dollar corporation is not as admirable as you might think it is.

At the end of the day, Sony compromised valuable personal information and then refused to inform their customers about this fact for at least a week. Companies are not people. “You are our lifeblood,” they say. “Without you, there is no Sony.” All this means is that if you stopped taking their shit, stopped buying products as if your life depended on it and started thinking about what the fuck you were doing, they’d have less money. Not a bad thing.

They introduced the PSVita, which looks exactly like what the PSP Go should have been. A touch-screen product, the PSVita allows you to turn handheld children’s computer games into glorified iPhone apps. The word ‘connect’ was used about three times per second, ‘network’in every other sentence; and at the utterance of ‘uploading a save to the cloud’ I audibly gagged. Sony have also got a £499 3DTV arriving soon, which lets you play local multiplayer in 3D without the need for split screen. With two pairs of £60 3D glasses each player can see a different image on the same television. This means that for £620, you and your hired friend can play a computer game without squabbling about screen peeking like fucking useless children. Alternatively, you could save £620 by ceasing to defecate your trousers over the slightest issue and by fucking growing up.

To celebrate a ‘spoarts game’, Sony got the famed rapist Kobe Bryant to stand on-stage and call their wavy shiny glowy magic stick a ‘remote’. There was more of a furore about PSVita’s dealings with AT&T than the appearance of a rapist. He babbled foolishly about realism, betraying to the entire conference his complete and utter ignorance about computer games. Boo, I guess. Generally in my experience when someone coos ‘gosh this is realistic’, they have absolutely no idea what the fuck they’re meant to be paying attention to – or at least what they have to pretend to pay attention to, in order to convince adult babies to spend a month’s salary on an electronic product. Not that I care, but could they not have at least bothered to provide Kobe Bryant, a rapist, with some kind of script?

Sorcery was so bland that it deserves a mention. Whilst it is meant to be one of the debut Playstation Move games, it has level design that a student flash project would be ashamed of. It’s an ugly, dull, useless looking game which was demonstrated by a honking nerd with evident problems around social interaction. He seemed incapable of pointing out one good thing about the game.

Sony’s conference concluded with a smattering of Japanese drums, a DJ who looked like he was on speed and a motionless woman, posing. I guess they know their audience pretty well.

So the Electronic Entertainment Expo was a success, I guess; a success in that everybody who attended in order to sell shiny things managed to produce a stream of uninterrupted shows which the audience of industry participants hungrily and gleefully lapped up like hot piss. Primarily because they were being paid to show enthusiasm, regardless of what was being shown. But most obviously it was a success because, once again, the children’s computer game industry has shown itself to be an infantile, violence-obsessed misogynistic fart in the swollen gassy winds of capitalist society.

Fuck this shit.

Jack Kevorkian 1928-2011

I’m pretty sure I speak for all the writers here when I say we wish we were dead. I’m a big fan of the inevitable mutability of all life, which must ultimately collapse before entropy’s thermodynamic might; so “assisted suicide” sounds like a bullet point I would like to see in between “giant naked tits everywhere” and “big bags of drugs for nothing” in my ideal fantasy holiday brochure.

But that’s not the only reason it’s sad that Dr Jack Kevorkian – famed killer of as many as 130 hapless humans – is dead. It’s sad because how many large-scale suicide-assistants can you name who’ve recorded their very own smooth jazz album? He’s like a sinister cross between Harold Shipman and Leonard Cohen.

Turns out he was a fucksight better at offing people than he was at playing The Jazz, but we salute him irregardless. RIP Kevorkian, you’re ripping dull flute solos and killing miserable people in heaven now.

Morbad Angle- Millud Latinus Pooperum

(Season of Mist)

I’m not sure who I’m the most revolted by, to be honest. Is it the idiots who expected an album by the assortment of strong gentlemen pictured above to be worthy of time or attention, and who are now flooding the internet with briny glandular liquids at the revelation, like a buckle-end belt to the chops, that it is not? Or is it the battery of smug self-appointed experts who have rallied behind the record for ???? reason, and who, from atop their high horses, dismiss the ‘bile’ of critics as the virginal hand-flapping of hollow-headed idiots, and even attempt to get airborne ill-conceived comparisons between histrionic metal fans and planet Earth’s greatest newspaper, the Daily Mail? Crikey, what a palaver, eh?

And then there’s us, the lantern-jawed and intrepid pigeonauts who bestride the musical landscape on a timetable determined by our mental disorders, turning our flammable breath and caustic flatulence on fans and critics alike. In the 18 months or so we’ve been going, we’ve ascended so far above it all, we’ve had to don bacofoil suits and goldfish bowl hats just to keep breathing. In the meantime, we’ve ‘pigeoneered’ a brand new strain of criticism, wherein we don’t even need to bother writing reviews. We just sit here, at http colon oblique oblique http://www.demonpigeon.com dot com, seeing all – judging you, silent and malevolent. We’re like a CCTV camera covered in dogshit.

And when we go over a month without updating a sodding thing, you can just look at our homepage and imagine a little picture of the last stupid children’s record you wasted £15 on and think about what words we might have used to excoriate it, if it wasn’t beneath our notice. Some of them would have been swearwords. Those ones are easy to guess.

So where does that leave us with regard to Morbid Angel? Who cares what we think? Who fucking cares what anyone thinks? I haven’t listened to their record, and I have no intention of doing so. They look like idiots, they’ve got an unintelligible spiky logo, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and imagine they sound like a beehive in a biscuit tin booted off a mountainside by a bored adolescent. Also, look at them. Just look.

But from this unassailable position of absolute ignorance, I bet I can say one thing that none of you morons would dare argue with: You either like this kind of nonsense or you don’t. Christ, just shut up and fucking get on with it, would you, whatever ‘it’ is. Is it metal? Is it not? Are they experimenting? Are they progressive? Is it naptime yet? Where’s nanny’s tit gone? Either way, it scarcely fucking matters, does it? It’s like having a stand up argument about which Warhammer 40,000 army is the best.

In conclusion, you’re all fucking virgins and we can’t fucking stand you any more. Don’t come back here because we’ve got a gun.

http://www.morbidangel.com/