The Obelisk Radio Adds: Buzz Osborne, Corrosion of Conformity, Blackout, Pale Horseman, Dwell

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A couple big names making their way onto the playlist this week, with Melvins guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne‘s first solo album and the new record, IX, from the Animosity-era lineup of C.O.C.. Some other cool stuff as well from Blackout, Dwell and Pale Horseman, so if you get to check any of it out, it’s worth digging further than what you might already recognize. But that’s almost always the case. Here we go.

Adds for May 23, 2014:

Buzz Osborne, This Machine Kills Artists

If you were to sit down and draw up a blueprint for what an acoustic solo record from Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne might sound like, This Machine Kills Artists would probably be it. Especially if your blueprint just had the words, “Like the Melvins, but acoustic,” on it. For someone who’s long since been the master of his sonic domain to step out in any fashion from the formula is interesting — and Buzzo makes a habit of doing so, usually in the company of Dale Crover — but on his own, the 17-track collection he’s produced is mostly predictable if also largely inoffensive. Songs like “Everything’s Easy for You,” “Laid Back Walking” and “The Blithering Idiot” are easy enough to imagine as Melvins tunes, and I had to check twice to make sure “The Ripping Driving” wasn’t one, but nothing overstays its welcome, and if Osborne is beginning a creative exploration branching off from his main outfit, it doesn’t seem fair to begrudge him starting from the root. The constant critical suckoff of anything Melvins-related notwithstanding, This Machine Kills Artists could be the start of an intriguing progression of Buzzo as a solo artist, or it could be a whim dabbled in and left to rust. Melvins fans will be on its junk either way, so I doubt it matters. On Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.

Corrosion of Conformity, IX


There was a news story the other day floating around the interwebs where Pepper Keenan said the name Corrosion of Conformity or something and people started getting all gooey about the possibility of a reunion. Uh huh. In the meantime, the actual band C.O.C. have put together a second full-length of unmitigated kickassery sans-Keenan following their 2012 self-titled (review here) and subsequent Scion A/V-sponsored Megalodon EP, and while I get the loyalty to one lineup or another for any band, to discount the quality of what Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin are doing right now — right this second — is just fucking stupid. IX, released by Candlelight, is more cohesive, more grooved out than was the self-titled, but songs like “Denmark Vasey” and “Tarquinius Superbus” still retain their crossover hardcore edge. Elsewhere, “The Hanged Man,” “The Nectar” (which gets a reprise as the album’s leadout), and opener “Brand New Sleep” touch off high order Sabbathian sludge rock and make fools of those pining for records that dropped 20 years ago. This band is vital, this record a triumph. On thee Facebooks, Candlelight Records.

Blackout, Converse EP


So apparently Converse have access to a studio in BBQ aficionados Blackout‘s native Brooklyn, which makes sense in this brave new world of corporate patronage of underground heavy, and they invited the three-piece down to record a couple cuts last week. Yup, last week. And the EP’s out now. Welcome to the future. Three tracks capture Blackout in raw, pretty live form, more fuckall tossoff than was their 2013 We are Here debut (review here), but doubtless that owes to the circumstances. Tones are huge all the same. They begin with the insistent push of an eponymous song, a heavy roller that’s short at 3:34 compared to the farther-ranging “Tannered,” which follows in likewise thickened¬†Melvinsian form, some screams and growls thrown in for good measure lead to a plodding slowdown at the end, and for a sendoff, Blackout offer a take on Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” that’s probably less ironic than it seems on the surface. Kind of a stopgap release, but it’s a free download and heavy as hell, so you’ll get no complaints out of me when it comes to Blackout‘s bacon-wrapped riffage. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Pale Horseman, Mourn the Black Lotus

Mourn the Black Lotus, the second long-player from Chicago bruiser rockers Pale Horseman comes topped with a Godfleshy Justin K. Broadrick remix of the song “Fork in the Road” from their 2013 self-titled debut. Not exactly representative of the burl in earlier cuts like “Running for the Caves” or “Conquistador,” both of which have riffs that seem retooled from ’90s-style hardcore, but a neato ending anyway, and it does provide some different context for the echoes on the throaty vocals throughout. Pale Horseman aren’t light on groove or really anything else, and the bulk of Mourn the Black Lotus is given to pummeling weight, though it’s not without atmospheric moments as well in lead sections. A clicky kick-drum aside, the album has a clean, crisp, metallized sound, but the groove in “Grudgulence” belies some crustier heritage. This is consistent with their first outing, which was also put to tape with Bongripper guitarist Dennis Pleckham at Comatose Studios, though there’s some progression in their aggro-sludge push. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Dwell, Far Dark Helm


Slow, as dark as its cover would indicate and straddling the line between post-metal angularity and doomed atmospherics, Far Dark Helm from Oakland, CA, trio Dwell — likely not named for the interior design magazine — periodically shift from the nod of “To Scry on Lamentations” into blastbeaten extremity. It doesn’t last too long, and if you’re previously hypnotized by that track’s repetitions, you might miss it, but it’s there and the changes add depth to the band’s approach. Far Dark Helm is comprised of four tracks, all between nine and 10 minutes long, and the remaining three make up installments of a title-track that don’t necessarily bleed into each other directly, but flow well nonetheless. Samples strewn about a rough production give Dwell‘s second full-length a sludgy edge, but the three-piece seem most in there element when exploring a grueling churn like that which rounds out the second “Far Dark Helm” leading to the sharp turns of the third. Including the opener seems to draw away from the theme of the record, but the ambience is consistent. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Also added this week were records by Harsh Toke, The Cult of Dom Keller and Begravningsentreprenörerna. For the complete list of updates, click here.

 

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