After a rough night at the office on Saturday, I gathered what little energy I had left and headed over to my afterparty. I wasn’t in the mood after getting my ass kicked for fifteen minutes, a little earlier on. Not wanting to disappoint anyone (or upset the people that worked so hard organizing it!), I got to the club Just before midnight.
El Corazon in Seattle, Washington… awesome venue. We had three bands booked for the show, playing a mix of their own songs and some of my favourites. Cascabel, Hollowpoints and John Pettibone’s mighty Heiress. Three storming performances got me excited about how many ass-kicking bands there are out there, that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of grinding my teeth to.
Heading back to LA on a late night flight the day after, I got my trusty iPod out, freshly updated with a few new albums. In the added selection I had three albums by three local Nottingham bands, that had all sent me their new work in the past few months. I took the opportunity to dedicate my entire attention to my listeneing skills and see what my city is contributing to angry music.
Starting from ‘Z’ and scrolling up through my library, I first hit Widows and pressed play. The first track on their album, ‘Raise the Monolith’, is ‘The Kiss of Failure’. A galloping onslaught of smooth, bass-heavy riffs and rough-throated vocals. The only way I can describe them is if you took Pantera, Black Label Society and Clutch, crammed them into a hotrod and drove at top speed until the wheels fell off or it burst into flames. Angry, intense and hell-bent on making your ears bleed.
Continuing up, I found My War, sitting comfortably between Municipal Waste and Nailbomb. They came together from other groups (Varukers, EyeHateGod and Iron Monkey) and formed a strong line of grindcore enthusiasts, to put out their debut album, ‘Wounds’. Every song on the record contributes equally to a truly awesome piece of work. Technical and smartly crafted, at the same time as being ferocious and powerful.
Getting towards the upper echelons of the alphabet, I got to F.U.K. Their album was sent to me at the start of training camp, and never left the CD player in my car for the whole ten week stint. It was my adrenaline shot right before a tough session, and is to me, what British punk is all about. Listing ‘cider’ and ‘peoples misery’ as their influences, its no suprise that the record turned out as it did.
Pissed-off and politically aware, they hammer through twelve tracks, letting you know exactly what they think of the world. Think Crass or Conflict for the 21st century, it should be played to every tourist coming to the UK on holiday. After doing all of the sugar-coated shit in London, this will help balance your perspective on British society.
To anyone in bands out there, or anyone with the desire to create something, please go ahead and do it. Its important to keep music alive, and the alternative music scene does it better than any other. Thanks for reading and if you get a chance, check out any of the bands I mentioned that you haven’t heard of before. Show some support, buy a CD and a shirt and represent.