Sunday, September 26, 2010
Holy shit! The Son Skull LP is awesome. Another Olympia project on the Perennial Death label (along with HPP and White Boss) Oly is doin thangs. I had seen Son Skull a handful of times and was pulled in by the energy but never particularly grasped by the music. Now that I have the recordings its all I've been listening to, even moreso than the HPP release (which was my previous favorite and most spun). The lp starts off with two blistering punk tracks "Stand on the Shore" and "Laura"; both have the quintessential hardcore punk breakdown a'la minor threat that gets your blood boiling but are just dirty, gritty, and gnarly. The last two tracks on the A side move toward a more unique musical feel that borders on some serious Sonic Youth influence definitely embodied in the first track on the B side "Perennial Death". Great stuff. The next track "Housing" gets fucking wild and is my personal favorite. Has almost an intense SS Decontrol feel but more fucked up and unsettling sounding. I could easily see Springa belting out a 'Get it Away' style holler over the first measure, it then picks up the pace and gets a bit aggressive and breaks down once again into a slow dirge, "this is my fucking house"; gets crazy and the lyrics are super powerful. The last two tracks move back to a more straight forward aggressive punk feel with a little bit of melody in a feel-good outtro; "Cement Mixer". All in all I can't stop listening to this record, it's fucking great. Hoping to get Son Skull on some shows at our house. The last time we were called about playing I was out of town skating in Canada so we couldn't do the show. NEXT TIME! Lyrics range from existential crises, to scene politics, to family pain, to poetry. Seriously an awesome project that deserves recognition.
Well here we are, the last of the recorded Sixes material to date. This is the final mix of the "Wealth and Property" track I put up many months ago. It has kind of a metal-Undertow sort of feel. I like it a lot. I am excited to write more stuff. For your entertainment here are various photographs from tours and shows.
Ok now this release I am more proud of. Self-released on Travis's label Edmanrex we had a lot of fun with this. Toured the east coast on it and are planning on touring more and releasing another record, hopefully a full length.
A few things set this above the demo for me, first off I felt much more comfortable with my vocals and all the lyrics are new recently written material. Second was the addition of Bob of Ancient Head/Owen Hart fame on guitar and extra help with song writing. His input helped give us that gnarly sort of 'Buried Alive' feel on the third track. Our good friend Amy did the art for the cover and it is extremely personal to her so I was excited to use it.
I'll give a track by track breakdown: "Learned Nothing" I wrote mostly out of anger with some people in the Olympia music community but it can be applied to most anyone who fits the description. It basically boils down to being about how my behaviors and who I am are not because of any sort of label or cliche but are so because that is simply who I am. Long story short, why be something that you're not? "Bloated Minds" is a little less abstract and basically just about coming to terms with my own place in European Colonialism and coming to terms with what my life and privilege entail. It's not so much a call to arms as it is a call to awareness. I understand that it would take revolutionary means and serious sacrifice to change the world we live in but it starts with the way we think and the things we choose to consume. The lines "where are my thoughts, do they even exist" get a bit more on the philosophical side. What I meant to say was 'are they really mine' moreso than 'do they exist'. Everything that we know and believe is built up on suffering and an unawareness of our privilege. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking of the cost to outsourced countries populations and lives of animals we take for granted just for the most menial of satisfactions; a tasty snack, something aesthetically pleasing. I think it's fucking dumb so I wrote about it because I feel we seriously need to change the way we think about what we have and are capable of as a country. "Fifteen" is a song about my biological father and how the very thought of even having behaviors similar to his sickens me. "Illusion of Purpose" is a song about my own personal philosophy on life and human existence. It's a song about what I find value in and why people get upset when they push connection with other human, animal, and biological life aside. It's a more mature version of Apocrypha so to speak.
The end of the 7" has an outro where I have the opportunity to do a bit of spoken word. It's from a piece I wrote for a book I was working on out of College that I never finished. All I have left of it are scattered notes. The last lines "The certitude that there is no salvation... as the only way out" are quoted from Emil Cioran. I was bummed on the guitar solo Bob threw in there; coupled with the words it makes it seem pretty cheesy I feel. If you want to buy a record hit em up here!
The insert has brief lyrical explications. I love playing in Sixes.
Friday, September 24, 2010
It's probably about time I put up Sixes stuff. I guess I just felt odd about it because I have so much I want to say about this band but really don't have the time or energy for it over the internet.
This cassette demo was really a major step for me in my life. Although I look back on it with a bit of lyrical embarrassment the songs "333" and "Worse" were songs about problems I had never talked about with anyone ever in my life. I had to open up and put myself out there on a level I really wasn't sure I was ready for in a lot of ways. I don't know what compelled me to do it honestly; I always felt a severe admiration for people who were able to talk about seriously personal subjects with their music. It just seemed like a natural step for me in my life and the accompaniment of powerful music felt right. I remember jamming in the garage at a house Travis (guitar) and Tanar (drums) and I used to live in and realizing I had to explain the lyrics to them to defeat any sort of suspicions of melodrama. I opened up to them and told them about problems I really had no other ways of dealing with (See my post of Owen Hart for more information on how Timm really compelled me to keep going with the band because it was my only form of release). Through many ups and downs Sixes still continues and has really helped me. Sometimes I feel completely unable to put myself out there especially when heckled on such serious subjects as rape, drug abuse, and physical abuse and other times I feel so completely empowered by being able to yell about these things. I can never tell how I'm going to feel until we actually play.
In terms of the band itself I was asked by Tanar to join. He was jamming with Travis and McKenzie and they had tried out three singers before me. The music was much more metal influenced than I had expected but I really had a lot written I was eager to sing about. The lyrics to the first three songs on this demo I wrote in High School sometime around 2005. The songs were depressive and sometimes defeated sounding but that is most of what I read and enjoyed in my teenage years. The songs were just collecting dust in my notebook so I put them to use. We then wrote "Worst" and I put lyrics to it almost on the spot (it's an easy subject for me to write about because I have so much anger surrounding the subject).
"Apocrypha" was a title I stole from the name of an X-Files episode. Essentially anything apocryphal in a religious text is something of questionable authenticity. This meshed perfectly with the underlying theme of the first song which is really just a criticism of 20th century thought; basically just bringing to light that we justify our killing of other people and animals based on not just a religious text but on a society built off of those beliefs which are subconsciously ingrained in our thought. We are trapped in the mindset that we take command of our lives and have justification for taking advantage of everything around us. A very rapacious and advantageous primate indeed. I was also a big physical anthropology buff. I read countless texts and wanted to go to College to be an anthropologist. What I learned from these books were not just "age of science" 'truths' but ways of understanding human life that put a lot of my existential crises to rest.
"333" was a song I wrote when I was severely depressed. The second half of the song are lines from a poem I wrote about my mom and my life. The line "No one understands me better than those who have abused me" is still true today.
"At Home" was a song I wrote when my political thinking was beginning to take root. I was always upset about the fact that I was forced to go to school and work and criticized when I tried to be creative about it. I was sick and tired of having my imagination subdued by things I found no importance in. I was reading a lot of Thoreau, Cleaver, and Newton (Huey P) at the time and was really inspired by what they had to say. There is a line I didn't record but always sing live over the opening of the song which is "our society and our economy value human labor only insofar as it cannot be replaced". I hated having things forced down my throat and hated even more feeling so completely uncomfortable in institutions like school and work. Keep in mind I wrote this when I was like 17 but, albeit naive in some ways, I still feel very compelled by the underlying message. If you read the lyrical explications below the songs you'll get a little more of my two cents at the time.
Well there you have it, the Sixes demo. I was still coming into my own with the vocals, they get better on the 7" which I'll put up soon and better still with the comp track. The image on the insert and the quote are from Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground", one of my favorite books when I was in High School.
Friday, September 17, 2010
This record is easily in my top five of the 2000s. I remember being at a Blue Monday show at the Manium and not even knowing rewritten had come out (I often chose to skate over going to shows so was out of the loop about most releases during the years of 2005 and 2006). I remember seeing it and asking someone near me if they had heard it. They raved about it so I had to pick it up. HOLY SHIT! I love it. The opening track pummels and then throws you into a serious economic reality check with the lyrics to "...a moving train". The full length shows serious musical maturity and an amazing step up in the lyric writing. Blue Monday's last Seattle show was during Champion weekend and was easily the most fun set of the whole weekend for me. I absolutely love this band and love this record.
One of the first contemporary hardcore bands I ever got into and definitely the one that has best stood the test of time for me. I could never stop listening to this band I just love it. Their live shows were intense and their lyrics so goddamn good, moreso on their full length Rewritten which I will put up next. I uploaded the CD version which has the War Wounds demo tracks as well, "Mid-Course Correction" through "We Will Be Here Forever".
A new years show at the Manium in Olympia really turned me on to this band. Super fun and relatively humorous contemporary hardcore with some truly rockin' tunes. Unfortunately the last time I was able to see them was Sink With Cali 2006, they are now disbanded. Clad in Thrasher shirts I immediately knew this was going to be my kind of thing. I wore the grooves out of this record then Overload came out. Holy cow, I'll have to put up that too. For now here is their first record Get Out. I uploaded the CD version which has all the 7" tracks plus the demo, "The First Time" through "Eat Shit".