Monday, August 29, 2011

Metal Briefs: Bandcamp, Part 2

The Crust Punk Edition

I recently mentioned that I don't know anything about crust punk, but that Acephalix had piqued my interest. So, I thought there was no better (i.e., cheaper) way to educate myself about the genre than to get some free or pay-what-you-want albums off Bandcamp. In order, let's check out Australia, Austria, and California.

Space Bong: The Passion of the Crust (2007)

Space Bong mostly identifies itself as a stoner doom band, but you're not going to find any of that on their first release, The Passion of the Crust. At times you get sloppy, almost grind-like metallic punk, and other times they slow it down for some heaviness (check out the 8 minute closer). Most of the songs are short, and all but one start off with a healthy dose of feedback. This could appeal to metalheads who like it sloppy and angry, but the wide variety of punk vocals--including the dreaded gang vocals--could be a deal-breaker. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Plague Mass: Visitation (2005)

Plague Mass plays exactly what I think of when I imagine a generic punk sound, except it's heavier. It's catchy enough, and the heavier riffs and harsher vocals are satisfying. But when they go into those stupid clean vocals, or into the lighter punk riffs, it ruins it for me. This perfectly illustrates why crust is punk, not metal. Parts of this are excellent, and their metallic touch to punk is engaging--but rarely is an entire song listenable. I give Visitation 2 out of 5 stars.

Caulfield: untitled (2010)

Caulfield are named for that favorite literary character among schizophrenic celebrity assasins. Always raw and dissonant, sometimes slow and atmospheric, other times fast, and always heavy. They will evoke comparisons to Neurosis as well as French blackcore bands like Celeste. There are no goofy gang vocals here, only hardcore shouts, and it's seriously dark--so it should appeal to metalheads everywhere. This is a very cool EP, and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Check out Misery, they're an old school crust punk band from Minnesota and came out around the same time as Amebix. They're one of the first bands to be released by Profane Existence, a label/'zine that specializes in crust.

    Cosmic Hearse has their second album here:

    Misery also put out a self-released new album here:

    Misery reunited a few years ago to headline the 1st day the 2009 Chicago Apocalyptic Crust Fest. Check out some photos of their set, as well as some great crust bands that played that fest:

    day 1 (Misery headlined)

    day 2 (Hellbastard headlined)