Last Rites: Accept – Devil’s Dozen

The Last Rites crew picked Accept’s finest cuts, and I wrote a few words about “Dogs On Leads”:

The Dieter Dierks produced Metal Heart was their shot at the top of the pops, with hooks that burst out of the speakers and production that verges on mid-80s parody. It’s also a classic Accept record, where the ambiguous and the catchy live in perfect harmony. Is “Dogs On Leads” about actual dogs (easily read that way) or is it Spinal Tap’s Smell the Glove in musical form? Or is it about some men who are prowling, lusting animals best kept leashed? Does it matter, when Accept kicks it off like it’s a cover of AC/DC’s “Squealer”, complete with Udo doing his best sprechgesang before rasping up the power as only he could do? “Dogs On Leads” was never a single, but it quickly and deservedly became a fan favorite. The appeal is all in the build, with its slow rise and held tension. The chorus is a limp noodle, “Balls to the Wall” writ small. But it doesn’t matter; “Dogs On Leads” already has its hooks in deep and strong long before it finally appears halfway through the song.


Last Rites: The Riff-Rock Variations – All Them Witches, The Well, Craang

I wrote about three recent or upcoming stoner rock records for Last Rites:

If only the same could be said about Austinites The Well. From the opening movie sample to the bog-standard stoner riffs that follow, The Well is treading such well-worn ground that there is nothing left but the rut they’re in. I feel like I bought this record in 1996, and 1999, and 2003, 2005, 2008, twice in 2010, in 2012, and I’m sure I already have this year’s copy collecting dust on the shelf. Or was the Uncle Acid record last year? Regardless, The Well’s full-length debut, Samsara, is as recycled as its title. The only standout is the incredibly dire cover of the Pink Floyd classic “Lucifer Sam”, and if “incredibly dire” didn’t tip you off it’s for all the wrong reasons. Put this back on the wheel of reincarnation as it’s D.O.A.

Last Rites: Pord

I reviewed the latest from French noise rock band Pord for Last Rites:

“What Are Tuesdays For?” they ask, and all music fans respond with, “new releases, duh!” (though maybe that isn’t true in France. I honestly have no idea). For PORD, Tuesdays are for inciting swirling violent pits, for churning charnel fires, for bass and drum workouts par excellence. There is someone yelling in the maelstrom, but fucked if I can figure out what it’s all about. Not that you or I should care; keep your elbows down and rage. Reap the whirlwind if you dare.

Last Rites: 5Q5A – Prizehog Revisited

I did a second email interview with Prizehog for Last Rites:

Back in April, before they started the first tour for their latest album, Re-Unvent the Whool, I reached out to Portland’s Prizehog to see what made them tick. They opened up to my many questions and answered honestly, thoughtfully, and at length. After getting a chance to see them and introduce myself at their tour stop here in Dallas, it was quickly apparent that I needed to follow up with them when they returned. Though the logistics proved a bit more challenging this time – as you can imagine, trying to make up for lost time and money meant life overwhelmed email for a while – Rion, Vern and Zakk all took the time to answer each of my questions on their own. It’s only fitting; though collectively the band is more than the individuals involved, they each bring their own unique viewpoint to the music. It’s interesting to read how the experiences both overlapped and didn’t, and to assemble the puzzle that is Prizehog.

Last Rites: The Best of What You Missed, Day Five

I wrote a few words about Black Bombaim for Last Rites:

Portugal’s answer to Earthless are as prolific and adventurous as any artist working in heavy psych-rock today. Every release is worth a listen, and some are worth many more. Far Out, their first album for British label Cardinal Fuzz, is one of those that invites and rewards repeated plays. The trio builds a solid base through repetition, anchoring a rhythm before breaking bits and pieces off to explore before reassembly. Joined here by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado for the alternately blistering and entrancing “Africa II,” and by modular synthesist Luis “The Astroboy” Fernandes for more eastward-leaning sounds of “Arabia,” Black Bombaim once again prove themselves able improvisors who avoid the trap of mere pointless jamming. This is a conversation and exploration of themes and ideas that keeps the listener fully engaged.

Last Rites: The Best of What You Missed, Day One

I wrote a few words about Comet Control’s debut for Last Rites:

From the ashes of the late, lamented (by me, at least) Quest For Fire rise Comet Control. On their self-titled Tee Pee debut, this Toronto band takes the heavy, fuzzy, psychedelic garage rock they explored in QFF and both amplifies and hones that sound. Gone are the sometimes sloppy jammy bits, and Comet Control is all the better band for it. The songs are sharper and catchier, yet somehow heavier as well; the distortion comes in thick, reverberating walls that most often parallel the melodies like hedgerows on a road. This isn’t metal, nor is it stoner rock. It’s fuzz worship, and these folks are worthy prophets of what I hope will be a growing congregation.

Last Rites: Outré Monde – Krang vs. Krang

Craig and I return with an examination of Krangs that reside both north and south of the Canadian border:

Krang #1 is a Canadian four piece from Edmonton, Alberta, but alas, they are no more. I was saddened and angered to read that, with the April release of Winds of Change, they had decided to call it a day after five fruitful years. How could they do this to me? After all, I had only discovered them in 2013 and now they were gone. I know that’s a childish reaction, but sometimes when a band clicks with every part of your being you can’t understand that they have agency outside of your wants and desires. It’s when fandom gets scary. Let’s just say Krang and I are both lucky they’re far away and I can’t make their final show. No one wants to see an old man cry.