Another month goes by and we give you another month’s worth of staff picks and playlists from some of the folks at Hellbound. Feel free to add your own picks of the month in the comments!
Listening to: Seized Up – Brace Yourself LP – Ever heard an album which hits the mark brilliantly and causes you to remember why you like or got into one particular type of music or another, reader? Brace Yourself, the new album by Seized Up, hit me like that – about half the time while it played. The other half of the albums runtime just had me hoping it would find a way to regain its own momentum. That would be fine (although not ideal, obviously) if it meant that one side of the album was great and the other wasn’t, but Brace Yourself is not consistent like that; there are great songs interspersed on both sides and tedious ones sewn in the same way. That means listeners really need to be patient when they’re listening – or sit close to their turntables in order to lift and drop the needle repeatedly (and this critic is pretty sure that nobody really likes doing that).
New release: The Germs – (MIA) 2LP (reissue) – I’m not sure if this is ACTUALLY true, or just my perception, but I can’t be the only one who has noticed a significant number of reissues by California bands which have turned out to be really great this year. The Jane’s Addiction Rocktober edition of Ritual de lo Habitual was fantastic, as was the reissue of Smell The Magic by L7. Arguably the best of the bunch is (MIA) by The Germs though. With much MUCH improved production and sound quality compared to the CD version originally released in 1993, this reissue is hands down the best way to hear The Germs.
Live: It’s CoVid. There IS NO live.
Non-Metal: The Jim Carroll Band – Catholic Boy LP (reissue) – Not to be confused with The Basketball Diaries soundtrack (for which Jim Carroll also provided a lot of vocals – but the music was performed by Pearl Jam, I think), Catholic Boy vibrates brilliantly with punk vision supplied by the musicians and the auteur’s own street hardened experience. Originally released in the Eighties, it is true that the music does reach for a little more than just the “four chords played quickly” paradigm and even comes reasonably close to New Wave occasionally (which can feel a little awkward, on the wrong day) – but ducks coming off as dated with the help of some truly timeless lyrics and performances of them.
Wild card: Various Artists – For Family and Flag Volume 1 LP – While I’ve never been the single greatest fan of compilation albums, For Family and Flag Volume 1 stands out as arguably the best punk compilation I’ve heard in years. Collecting songs from albums released by Pirates Press bands over the last two years or so, listeners get a tight and street-y sensation which plays really well throughout and feels incredibly consistent in spite of each band having only one cut each on the comp.
Listening to: Right now I am listening to Death Angels – The Enigma Years. Which, is an absolute feat of metal-at four CDs. I’m not listening to anything else!
Listening to: Magnum – On a Storyteller’s Night
New release: Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind
Non-metal: Hedge Wizard – More True Than Time Thought
Listening to: Altars Of Rebellion
New release: Shores Of Null – Beyond The Shores. Released November 27th, 2020, via Spikerot Records
Non-Metal: October Falls – Syys. Metal band, non metal album. Regardless of genre, I think, it’s utterly beautiful!
Listening to: Kriegsmaschine – Enemy of Man
New release: Dark Tranquillity – Moment
Live: Trepaneringsritualen – Boiler Room Berlin Live Show
Non-Metal: Fab Tool – Carpenter Brut ft. David Eugene Edwards
Wild card: Eric Bugenhagen’s Youtube Channel
Listening to: Véhémence – Par Le Sang Versé (Antiq Label, 2019)
New release: Nepenthe – Elegies of Loss and Doom (Nomadic Arts, November 27th, 2020). Blackened Doom from Guelph, Ontario.
Non-metal: The Steel Woods – Rock That Says My Name (Old News, Woods Music, 2019)