Buried Treasure: The Johnny Arzgarth Haul


The loot was manifold. Priority Mail flat-rate boxes spread across a long table in a dining room, packed full of old promos from years past. Many of them were familiar to me — sleeves of this or that label release, jewel case demos from just a few years back when such a thing didn’t seem outlandish. Bent-corner digipaks, some of records I’ve known, enjoyed, reviewed, or put on an office shelf to languish, and many others unfamiliar, new names, or older releases from recognizable purveyors of the peculiar styles that were once lumped under the general banner of the old StonerRock.com.

Small Stone bands — Roadsaw, Lord Fowl, Freedom Hawk — played through computer speakers, which was appropriate, since it was the same night as the Boston Small Stone showcase at Radio. This, however, was earlier in the afternoon, and the boxes, the table, the computer speakers and the lovely house in Massachusetts in which they all resided belonged to one John Pegoraro, also known as Arzgarth. The promos were discs he’d accumulated over the years writing for the aforementioned and still-missed outlet, and I was more than happy to give them a good home.

There was some genuine treasure in the mix, and some albums John seemed loathe to part with — a feeling I can certainly understand, owning as I do many CDs that I’ll probably never want to listen to again and still others I never listened to in the first place and yet can’t seem to wrap my brain around getting rid of. Not to say anything against Mountain Mirrors or Whoremaon or Dark Fog or Lost Youth, whose discs I haven’t even had the chance to hear as of today, but it was probably harder to let go of older stuff like Bible of the Devil‘s 2002 sophomore outing, Firewater at My Command, Throttlerod‘s By the Horns 1999 demo, Freedom Hawk‘s Universal demo or Roadsaw‘s Takin’ Out the Trash. No joke, I was honored to be able to take these things and the rest with me when I left.

Along with stuff by Slomatics, Assrockers – from whence Borracho sprang — and Michigan devil worshipers Beast in the Field (their first and third), those were some of the highlights of the haul, but things like Mean Mother ‘s 2009 self-titled, the self-titled Telestrion and a promo-only copy of Yellow #5‘s Demon Crossing, which featured Brant Bjork on drums and Dave Catching on guitar and basked in Palm Desert weirdness, were a boon as well. I grabbed the first Mind Funk, which was recommended to me a long time ago, two records from Iron Giant, the self-titled Maligno, some Hawg Jaw, an L7 live record on Man’s Ruin, and stuff by Lords of Bastard, The Red Plastic BuddhaObskuria, Upwards of Endtime and The Valley as well.

Collector’s impulse, which I suppose is what had me there in the first place, led me to pick up the jewel case promo of the self-titled debut from Kalas, released on Tee Pee in 2006. The band was a side-project for Matt Pike at the time, and I already own it — I actually never got a full-artwork copy, so now I just have two of the promos — but it’s not something you see around, and again, I figured better to have it than not. You never know when a meteor will strike the ‘Ka-Ki’ shelf and you might need a replacement waiting in the wings.

It was an exceptional opportunity from an exceptionally good dude (you can read Arz‘s review of that night’s showcase here), and I look forward to continuing to dig through the box, pull out discs at random, and enjoy listening. I’ve got a ways to go, but if it’s a long haul, count me in. Thanks John for the chance.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Buried Treasure: The Johnny Arzgarth Haul”

  1. Skillit says:

    Side A of that Yellow #5 record is as good as it gets to me. Side B is pretty damn good too.

  2. JohnArz says:

    I had two Beast in the Field CDs in those boxes?

  3. Yeah dude, Goat Isle Seance and World Ending. Good stuff.

  4. JohnArz says:

    I still can’t believe that (a) you took that first Mind Funk album and (b) it was because someone recommended it to you.

  5. Gary Rosas says:

    Have you listened to that Maligno CD yet? In my opinion those guys produce some of the finest doom rock in recent memory. Mala Suerte and Las Cruces will be teaming up with them for their first US shows this weekend in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.

  6. I haven’t yet, but they were one I was looking forward to particularly. I wish I knew the Mexican scene better as a whole. Cool that they’re getting to the US for some gigs. Hope they’re killer and hope all’s well by you, man.

  7. JohnArz says:

    The s/t Maligno isn’t as good as the most recent one, but I take that as a sign that the band’s getting better and better. Their latest is flat out fantastic.

  8. Harry Booth says:

    oh lord I own that mind funk cd and would NOT recommend it…someone in that band ended up in some other band or was in some band before that….there was a reason I bought it…yes bought it

Leave a Reply