Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Barn Burner - Bangers II: Scum of the Earth (Metal Blade)

Sometimes a band sneaks up on you. That band that didn't really get tons of press. So instead of you seeking out that band, you just happened across them.  I saw Barn Burner as an opener for Kylesa. I thought they were alright but I was really focused on Kylesa so I didn't really give them a fair shake.  When I saw that they were coming back around, opening again, I checked out the debut album. That's when it hit me. Once I was able to focus on it, The full awesome slapped me in the face. "These dudes are pretty fuckin' rad!"
Fast forward to 2011. A year or so after Bangers became the fist vinyl I ever bought. (I'm a little behind on the retro format movement) I hear Metal Blade is releasing Bangers II: Scum of the Earth. Right.Fucking.On.Dude.
Bangers II makes the sophomore jinx look like a myth. In fact, it's probably better than their debut. It's a wonder these tour monsters even found the time to write and record 42 minutes of music, let alone music this good! The 10 tracks found within follow pretty much along the same stylistic lines as their predecessor without sounding like a rehash. While there's no doubt it's Barn Burner (thanks in no small part to vocalist Kevin Keegan's unique snarl) this isn't the kind of band you can get bored with.  Bangers II serves up a veritable riff-fest of stoner-thrash jams. They draw from the galloping rhythms of thrash and the swagger of stoner metal (much like fellow Canadians, Priestess) punctuated by the energy and attitude of punk.
As ripping as the album is, with the those nimble fingers dancing over the fretboard, the groove element keeps it at a pace that'll definitely keep you movin' but won't put you in traction. I've been trying to avoid using the word, but this album is "fun". I suppose that's something that tends to be lacking from a lot of metal these days. (At least good metal)  You can take the music seriously (please do) but it doesn't have to BE serious. How serious can it be with song titles like "Keg Stand and Deliver" and "Skid Marks The Spot"? Music is entertainment and it doesn't get more entertaining than Bangers II. Well, maybe their live show. It's what you need to see! I missed them last time they were in town. That's a mistake I won't make again. Especially since they'll be playing tracks from Bangers II: Scum of the Earth.
You heard it here: Canadian Release Of The Year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This Week In Wasted Bandwidth

I'm going to try and start a weekly column here at Kingdom of Noise featuring some albums that I've recently "acquired" that more or less amount to a waste of bandwidth. Not to mention my time. Here we go!
Morbid Angel - Some Latin Words: Um.........What the fuck?! I understand if Dave and Trey wanted to step outside their comfort zone (our comfort zone?) and do something different. But that's what side/solo projects are for. They shouldn't have tainted the Morbid Angel name. I'm still waiting for the press release that says "Ha ha ha. Gotcha! We were just kidding. Here's the REAL new album." But sadly, I don't think that's the case. I don't get it.
In Solitude - The Devil. The Somethin'. The World.: I think that's the title anyway. I couldn't care less. I don't like Ghost either. Sue me.
Scar Symmetry - I'm Not Even Gonna Try To Remember The Title: I tried to listen to this a couple times but I can't make it past the second track. I have almost successfully blocked all memory of it from my mind. All I can remember is I think I don't like the vocal style. I dunno. I don't have time for this. I have to go see if the new Necrophagia is any good.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Gates of Slumber - The Wretch

Once upon a time I remember really diggin' TGOS. I think Conqueror may have made my Top 10 in 2008. Then came '09s Hymns of Blood and Thunder and I thought, "What the hell happened?" To say I was less than impressed would be an understatement. So when I heard the The Wretch was supposed to be a regression, if you will, back to something closer to their old style, I was quite intrigued. I've listened to it twice now and I am starting to wonder what it was about Conqueror that I liked so much.
Basically, it sounds like these gatekeepers are wandering around looking for lost Black Sabbath riffs in St. Vitus County. They must be wearing cement shoes because it doesn't sound like they're getting anywhere. I like Doom (the genre) and I understand the pacing and what-not but that's not where the problem is. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of dynamics. It's like the album exists for its own sake and its fine with that. I'm not going to go the obvious route and say that it's Wretch-ed, because it's not. But it doesn't add any value to my "metal listening life." If I want to listen to Black Sabbath or St. Vitus, I'll go to my CD cabinet and pick my poison. It also proves that my "ANYTHING stoner rock/metal/doom is awesome!!!! Fu Manchu YEAH!!!" phase is truly over. (As if that waste of time masquerading as The Atomic Bitchwax - The Local Fuzz didn't prove that already.)