How can it be that Valient Thorr has existed since 2001 and I just now heard of them? The affects of aging apparently. Wisdom and hipness must be inversely related. Thanks to the miracle of modern media consumption I can know the megarock sounds of VT!
I’ve lived in the same state as the Chapel Hill, NC-based band for seven years. That makes this oversight extra messed up. I probably missed numerous chances to see them live, without traveling the globe to do it. Looks like they are ripping up Europe this summer but I’m hopeful there will be a triumphant homecoming gig right here in Cackalacky sometime this year.
OK, here’s how I heard about Valient Thorr. I was lying on couch watching the Vevo channel on my Roku. When you search for a music video on Vevo it automatically continues playing “related” music. I started with Turbonegro. That was followed by a couple mediocre bands. Then we jumped way off the tracks and I was subjected to several seconds of Whitesnake’s “On My Own” before I could pounce on the skip button. Keep working on that algorithm Vevo! Mercifully, that was followed by Valient Thorr’s ultramega rocking, and funny, “Double Crossed.”
34 Bands, 4 nights, 5 Clubs! That’s Musique Automatique in Asheville, starting tonight. The band I’m most interested in are those alt-prog-metal-instrumental-video crazies Kings of Prussia. I probably won’t be there because I’ve lost the will to rock, or at least the time and money. Maybe I’ll stay home and play my Gore records instead. Go on without me! Save yourselves!
New Music Monday on W-I-H-Deeeeee… Make up your own jingle.
Thanks to Steven for the tip on this one. Serj Tankian (System of a Down) has a new solo record, Elect the Dead, coming out October 23. The first single and video is “Empty Walls.” It’s heavy thematically and musically, but maybe a tad smoother than SOAD. Tankian’s voice is so distinctive and immediately recognizable that I’m sure most folks will assume it’s SOAD. But those folks would be wrong. Apparently the band members are on hiatus while they pursue other projects. I’m a long time fan of the band. If “Empty Walls” is any indication of what the music from these solo projects is going to be like I think fans have a lot to be excited about.
Serj Tankian — “Empty Walls” video
And if you just can’t enough of that Serj stuff, check out the next video. It’s a whopping, and humorous, nine minutes of Tankian interviewing himself, with cuts from his home studio. There are several characters in the video and they all look familiar.
“1985 – C/Z is born (a year prior to the launching of the Sub Pop label) with the release of the DEEP SIX compilation featuring the first available recordings from Soundgarden, Melvins, and Green River (who later spawned Mother Love Bone & Pearl Jam). The record marked the earliest beginnings of grunge. In time these bands are signed and successful.”
The six bands are: Green River, Malfunkshun, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Soundgarden and U-Men. The most noteworthy descendant band not mentioned above is Mudhoney. Singer Mark Arm was first in Green River. Many would consider this the first significant record from the burgeoning 1980s Seattle scene. Some would call it “grunge”, but I’ve read that many of the bands didn’t like being lumped into a single category.
Wikipedia has a good article about Deep Six where you see the song list and the band rosters. Scan the list and you’ll see a lot familiar names sometimes under less familiar bands. These guys moved around a lot.
I was very excited about this music because it was essentially guitar-based rock that wasn’t, for the most part, stupid mainstream stuff from guys with teased up hair and makeup. I suppose it was punk in its own way, but with better riffs.
There were only 2000 copies of Deep Six made. It’s supposedly collectible, and tonight I saw a copy on eBay for $75.
Acquired: 1986 – Probably at Mother’s Records in Hampton, VA
No camera can capture the intense greenness of this album cover. I enjoyed The Blasting Concept Volume II more than I expected. I forgot how metal-sounding, a high compliment, some of these bands were back then. I have records by most of the bands on here, but it’s worth keeping for the few good songs I don’t have, like “Watch the Tractor” by Gone. My favorite is the Minutemen’s punkish cover of Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talking About Love.” I’ve never heard a bad version of that song, even from the garage band I played drums for in junior high.
Acquired: 1986 – Bought it when I was working at Mother’s Records in Hampton, VA.
“Live From Van Nuys With A Kiss And A Grapefruit” is etched into the vinyl margin on the side first. I have no idea what that means, but on most indie labels it’s worth taking a second to peak. Often there are little notes there, sometimes they’re funny.
Again, this was in the era when I would buy anything SST put out. I probably bought this because look like a heavy rock/metal band and I needed something with crunch. For the most part they deliver, but it’s little more punk than I expected, not a bad thing. I like the first song “Crossed Fingers” a lot. Doubt it’s a keeper though.
Acquired: 1988 – We got this as a promo at our store RIP Records in Norfolk, VA.
Updated November 14, 2006
SGM, not to be confused with the prog-metal band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The latter makes some pretty interesting and sophisticated music. This album is so bad I considered not even documenting it. The only thing that changed my mind is that the cover art is a painting by Robert Williams. This is a lame metal/punk “crossover” album with moronic lyrics.
For another opinion on SGM’s Aggressionsee this interview at the metal site RockEzine.net. An excerpt is below:
What is the most embarrassing album in your own private album collection. (How/why did you get it?)
It is an LP of SGM called aggression. I think I heard it just once! I bought it by mailorder because of the description of the music style. So, this is a good example for listen to the music before buying it. I never had disappointment like that again.
The Brain Surgery Experience
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