Saturday, September 26, 2009

September Countdown, plus EHG EP

It's the end of month, so that sounds like as good as time as any to run down the most popular downloads of the last two weeks. Stay tuned at the end of the post for something pretty rad.

1. Earth Crisis - To the Death

Earth Crisis continues to lead the pack. To the Death was the most popular download of the summer and it's shaping up to be the most popular of the year, adding another 112 DLs to its total.

2. Cypress Hill - Greatest Hits from the Bong

Posted back in April, Cypress Hill laid dormant for months but Greatest Hits from the Bong has sprung to life with 75 downloads in the last half of this month.

3. Gummo - soundtrack

The Gummo soundtrack has just missed the last few countdowns but an additional 63 downloads pushed it to the #3 spot.

4. Assuck - Anticapital

Assuck's Anticapital consistently makes the countdown. With 54 more downloads, it retains the #4 position from the end of the summer.

5. Rorschach - Autopsy

Like the Gummo soundtrack, Autopsy has been barely missing the countdown for months but 50 downloads in two weeks put it over the top.

Since it's the weekend, here's some EyeHateGod. It's the three-song EP 99 Miles of Bad Road, featuring one of my favorites, "Jackass in the Will of God."

99 Miles of Bad Road

EyeHateGod - 99 Miles of Bad Road


Friday, September 25, 2009

An Interview with Eric of Torture Garden Pictures Company

Eric, owner and proprietor of Torture Garden Pictures Company, released high-quality, DIY records for years before relocating to Houston this summer. Now that he calls the Bayou City home and immersed in the burgeoning GCHC movement, he's got even more projects on the way. I recently chatted with Eric, via e-mail, to discuss all things brutal.

No Funeral: What spurred the creation of Torture Garden Picture Company? Were you involved in any bands, labels, or other projects prior to TGPC?

Eric TGPC: Torture Garden Picture Company was created solely to release the INPITE one sided 7". I was in a band with the singer at the time and thought the material shouldn't be gathering dust unreleased. I was in a band called 13 S.O.S. which later changed its name to KERUM and I did a radio show called The Mongolian BBQ before starting the label.

No Funeral: The label started when you lived in Maryland. However, you recently relocated to Houston. What was it about Maryland that was bumming you out? What is it about Houston that is not bumming you out?

Eric TGPC: I've lived in Maryland ever since I moved to the US in 92 from Germany. I was bummed on their underground punk scene ever since I became involved with it in the late 90's. Apathy and bad taste seems to thrive there. I actually didn't see how positive and productive the underground scene could actually be until my old band KERUM went on a full US tour in 2003.

My move away from the East Coast has been overdue for years. Without shit-talking, I'll say that my confidence and trust of the MD/DC scene was broken beyond repair over three years ago. So far I see a higher caliber of bands here in Houston and a really fun gay bar scene!

No Funeral: The Torture Garden Picture Company features underground stalwarts like Machetazo, Frightmare, and Agathocles. You’ve also released material from bands like Mind of Asian, Coffins, and Brody’s Militia; bands that don’t neatly fit into the general preconceptions of metal or punk. What is the motivation or driving pathos behind the records you produce? Is it a matter of being a fan, feeling that these bands deserved to be heard, or is it something else/more?

Eric TGPC: I'm glad you used the term "features" when describing my label's relationship to bands. Too many times you hear someone say bands "on" this or that label. That makes it sound as if a label OWNS the band...

I'm a fan first and foremost. I think most people involved in the underground scene likes more than just one sub genre of metal or punk. Hardcore, grind, thrash, doom, powerviolence, whatever... When I first started the label I mainly just wanted to help friends get their bands' record out. There had seemed to be some strange barrier at the time preventing bands from releasing vinyl themselves. It was before the use of computers and CDrs made record pressing more accessible. Sometimes I'll have an idea for a record that I'd personally love to have and start from there. Sometimes I'll hear CD only release and think "This would kill on vinyl!" Most times though, I'll be contacted by the band itself asking me for help or wanting to work with me. There are only a few releases I regret being involved with, but I did what I could the help the band out at the time.

No Funeral: You mentioned the apprehension of DIY bands to release their own vinyl. I want to know not only what you attribute to that behavior but how you make the TGPC releases so spectacular. The ones that I own all have tri-colored vinyl, glossy inserts, and an overall aesthetic that major labels like Roadrunner don’t have. How do you do it? Are you going broke doing it? What tips or tricks do you have to share?

Eric TGPC: I really don't know what it is about bands not releasing their own material. There are bands that have, of course, but I think it may be a problem of distribution maybe. The idea of "Ok, we've got 500 of these records now what do we do with them?"

I've never really though about it but major labels in stereotypically are not going to pay special attention to individual projects. When someone at a larger record company is laying out a record, deciding what color to press the wax on, or designing the center labels- they are at work on the clock at the moment. Is someone at Jack In The Box going to focus extra time and care with your chicken sandwich order? No, they want to get it done and on the next one. Plus there may be one employee talking to the pressing plant, another employee involved with the printing plant and so on. I think that is their main difference from smaller labels in general.

With my own releases, I get to focus on designing with the end result. I deal with every aspect of production- so in the end it rests on my shoulders. Cover art is important to me and I like to somehow tie in the color the record is pressed on. I'm color blind, so generally I'll take two or three colors from the cover art and use them thematically for the rest of the record.

Sometimes my ideas will come back to bite me in the ass. That tri-color record came out great in my opinion, but cost as much as an LP to press in the end. Unless I wanted to charge $9 for a compilation 7", there was no possible way of breaking even on that. Same with the packaging for the RAINBOW OF DEATH 10"... Don't get me wrong, profit and return does not factor into my decision process at all when I decide on a release. But it’s silly to be so wasteful. Since I started the label in 2002 I dare say that I have not encountered one penny of profit.

As far as tips go, I’d say to take you time and do it right. Don't bite off more than you can chew and don't expect to make money.

No Funeral: In addition to all the cool music, Torture Garden Pictures Company takes the aesthetics of vinyl such as artwork, colored vinyl, and packaging to new heights. Each release is top-quality. Why is releasing high quality material important to you? Do you demand this level of work from yourself, do you feel that the listener deserves a total sensory experience, or is it a little of both?

Eric TGPC: I hold myself responsible for how a release turns out. I'm a bit of a control freak which is why the label has always been a one man operation. I try to do the best I can with the small amount of money I have. There has certainly been releases I'm not proud of or have been unhappy with and unless it’s a co-release (which I hate doing for this reason) I've only myself to blame.

No Funeral: Have you ever considered running a festival like No Idea Records’ Gainesville Fest or Initial Records’ old KrazyFest?

Eric TGPC: No. I've only set up a handful of shows in the past and I don't think I'm very good at it. Plus, although it’s cool to see that many bands in one or two days- I think it’s almost impossible to treat bands properly. Most bands on those ridiculous fests don't even get paid enough to make it back home.

No Funeral: How has Houston treated you so far? You’ve come at a when the city is filled with cool music and venues. This was a pretty stagnant scene in the first half of the decade. What are you’re impressions of heavy music in the Bayou City?

Eric TGPC: I've already had a strong impression of Houston. I've worked on five projects with bands from the area prior to my move and already have a few things lined up. Venues come and go, just like anywhere. But what’s good about this scene is that most of the people I deal with have been involved with the underground for at least a decade. There is probably a bunch of fly by night jerks around, but I have yet to deal with any!

No Funeral: Texas has a long history of bands that don’t ever leave the state, neither to “make it big” nor even to be heard in other parts of the country. You mentioned the number of musicians in Houston that have decades of experience in the underground. Houston, more than any other city in Texas, has and has had so many bands (Aftershock, Dead Horse, Bamboo Crisis, etc…) that were content to stay here and start band after band. What do you make of this makeshift philosophy?

Eric TGPC: Texas is sort of an island in that respect, unaffected by what’s going on elsewhere. My first visit here opened a world of punk/metal that I didn't know existed. My friend Dan playing records and tapes by ripping bands I had never heard of!

Some of that may be attributed to the apprehension of bands to release their own material, or an apprehension to tour outside of the state. Back on the east coast you have New York, Philly, Baltimore, DC, Richmond and so on all in a line making small tours easy. You could drive the same distance here and not even be out of the state yet!

No Funeral: Are there any bands you have not worked with that you want to? When are you going to release an Insect Warfare record? You’re damn near the only label that hasn’t put one out?

Eric TGPC: There are too many bands to mention that I'd love to work with, but I have my hands full at the moment. Well, I love INSECT WARFARE and I actually have worked with them on three releases already (the Violent Noise Party compilation, the split cassette with THE KILL, and another compilation not released yet). I had a few plans for releases with Beau that all kind of fell through when the band split up.

No Funeral: Speaking of Insect Warfare, I completely forgot about the split cassette with The Kill. You also released the Warmaster demo on cassette (one of the best demos in years, by the way). Why cassettes? Is it a grim and cult gimmicky thing? Is it an honest love of the format? Is it a matter of “why not cassettes?”

Eric TGPC: I've always loved cassettes. Bands have consistently been releasing demos on tape and I think that is THEE format for demos in my mind.

With the split for THE KILL, it was just a realization of an idea I had years ago for a one minute split. 30 seconds on each side. The cassette is the only format that makes sense for that. It has sides to split the bands on (unlike CDs) plus its possible to adjust the amount of tape spooled as to not waste space (unlike vinyl). It was never a question of "why not cassettes"- the cassette was the only format that made sense.

No Funeral: Beau’s a bit of an odd bird, isn’t he? Even though Insect Warfare maybe gone, sort of, are you interested in working with any of his leather punk bands? KG Beasley and the Leather Violence are, umm, interesting.

Eric TGPC: Beau's great! Besides Dave from PLF, he's the first person I became friends with in Houston. I'd be down to work on any of his projects. I love the whole leather punk idea and I've been a fan of bondage and Tom Of Finland-esque imagery for years. I've actually used that imagery for a couple of my old bands in the past!

No Funeral: As the owner of an independent record label, what are your thoughts on downloading music? How is it impacting TGPC releases?

Eric TGPC: Downloading and MP3s have never concerned me. People that want records and the real deal with cover art/inserts will always want them. Downloaders would never have bought the record in the first place. I don't feel as if it impacts the label in the slightest.

No Funeral: What future releases do you have planned?

Eric TGPC: The VACANT COFFIN and NASHGUL LPs are both going to press this month. I'll be doing a compilation CD for the much overlooked Swedish band LEFT IN RUINS and I'll also be releasing another split EP for EMBALMING THEATRE, this time with GRIND CRUSHER from Norway. As far as Texan bands, expect records in the near future from WAR MASTER, THE DRUNKS and THE FILTHOUNDZ!

Chainsaw Justice rules, but...

In response to this review of the Magrudergrind S/T LP from Chainsaw Justice, I feel the need to defend the album. I post a short review of the album without much information the other day, so let me explain why the record doesn't suck.

The charge of Magrudergrind selling out to Willowtip is a tad ridiculous. Six Weeks released the LP so Magrudergrind still has some respect and affection for the grind underground. It's my assumption that the album's polished sound is the result of having resources and higher-quality recording gear available to them for the first time. They've got the toys and they're going to use them. Everyone does. The sound on the new record is not an attempt to court the MTV/Hot Topic crowd. If that's the case, the change in their sound would have been drastic and not a mere polish.

Chainsaw Justice compares the S/T LP to Napalm Death's Harmony Corruption. It was not meant as a compliment but it's a totally fair comparison. Magrudergrind has adapted/changed their sound to include influences from the more professional metal scene, namely Nasum and Trap Them. I enjoy this change and I think it brings a dynamic new element to their sound. Besides, some of us enjoyed Harmony Corruption.

With No Funeral, I evaluate bands and records on their musical content. Other aspects of a band's existence are given consideration but whether or not said band is bringing it on their instruments is the key, deciding factor between whether they suck or not. While I fully understand the points raised by Chainsaw Justice, I have no qualms with the new music produced by Magrudergrind and you shouldn't either.

However, if you're the grim and kvlt type who prefers raw, DIY hardcore, give Coke Bust a chance. It's straightedge thrash by members of Magrudergrind.

Coke Bust
Lines in the Sand
Six Weeks

Coke Bust - Lines in the Sand


More PxDx for you D.A.s

Pig Destroyer
Phantom Limb

Here’s another (un)healthy dose of Pig Destroyer – the single most popular band amongst the No Funeral readership. On Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer has not deviated from the classic grind/thrash attack that made the band the biggest thing to come out of the D.C. suburbs since Patton Oswalt. However, this is the record where Blake Harrison of Hatebeak notoriety was added to the line-up as noise artist and electro-destruction specialist.

Guitar terrorist Scott Hull did mix in more Bay Area thrash riffs on Phantom Limb. There are riffs reminiscent of classic, early Metallica but ripped off by no means. Brian Harvey is still killing it on the drums, playing like a literate, non-transplanted Los Angelino version of Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel, Terrorizer). The afore mentioned Harrison brings the only thing that Pig Destroyer was missing – devastating electronic manipulation and samples in the live setting.

The lyrics of JR Hayes are less existential and more direct on this album. They are closer in spirit to Prowler in the Yard but without the arching motif of a concept album. Example from “Lesser Animal”: “Got no use for psychiatry. I can talk to the voices in my head for free.”

Look at me; I’m rambling on and on about Phantom Limb and you’ve probably already got it downloaded. I expect nothing less than for this to be another giant “hit” on No Funeral. I can picture you all jamming this on your iPods during your next grave-robbing spree. What are you waiting for? Click on the link.

Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb


Okay, call it a comeback.


OX is the comeback album for metalcore titans Coalesce. This isn’t a comeback in a they-were-never-successful-and-are-giving-it-one-more-shot, Anvil sort of way. No, this is a comeback in a they-never-should-have-split-up-in-the-first-place sort of way. This is around the 800th break-up and reunion for Jes, Sean, and the Nathans and (hopefully) they’re here to stay this time. Ten years after the release of 012: Revolution in Just Listening, Coalesce is here to put all the chumps and suckas in check.

Turning 30 hasn’t chilled out these dudes at all. The band that once put the physics in hardcore has now put their collective fist into the face of rock and roll and it’s about flipping time that someone did. Recorded in Kansas with long-time collaborator Ed Rose, OX is as angular and jagged as any past Coalesce material but the resulting album is more refined. Before anyone has a panic attack, this is not the result of any studio polish. If anything, they sound rawer now.

No, Coalesce is the rare band that is getting better with age. I love Mastodon but the riffs and the changes on OX puts Crack the Skye to shame. Everything on this record, every lick, every kick/snare pattern, everything; is written and played for maximum effect. OX molests your ears and buys you ice cream afterwards. This is one of the finest examples of musicianship in extreme music.

OX is the best Coalesce record since Functioning on Impatience; which puts it in the running for their best. All of you need this album. If any of you plan on attending November’s Fun, Fun, Fun Fest in Austin, this is THE band you must see.

Coalesce – OX


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I suppose this is the new sound for the new decade.


Suffokate is another band ensconced in the debate of the year for 2009: is this or is this not deathcore? On Oakland, I’m inclined to say no. I say no because I define deathcore as the amalgamation of death metal, nu-metal, and grindcore; bands such as Suicide Silence, Impending Doom, and Animosity. Suffokate doesn’t fit this description.

Like Emmure (who I reviewed last week), Suffokate plays no blastbeats, aren’t particularly fast, and draw heavy influence from the better nu-metal bands, specifically Slipknot, Korn, and Fear Factory. There’s nothing here that fits the bill of grindcore and the band doesn’t seem to be influenced by any hardcore at all.

This is not to say that Suffokate are a bad band. It’s simply that this isn’t a deathcore band. Personally, I’m sick of the deathcore rip-off artists that sprung up overnight to steal/leech from Suicide Silence and Job for a Cowboy. Plus, I’m intrigued by this new sound. It’s almost as if the second generation of nu-metal bands has arrived and they’re pretty good this time around. No chumps like Primer 55, Unloco, Union Underground, or Powerman 5000 are to be found. You know, jackasses that could barely play?

These young bands are taking the musical proficiency, technicality, and brutality of Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, and Suffocation and mixing it with the previously mentioned Slipknot, Korn, and Fear Factory. I’m not opposed to this. Thus far, the results have been pretty cool. Suffokate plays this nu-metal/death metal hybrid and Oakland is an entertaining album. All I ask is that when the meeting is held to put a name on this new sound, please come up with something better than “nu-death.”

Suffokate - Oakland


Monday, September 21, 2009

Most pissed album of the year.

Six Weeks

I'm tired and it's time to go to sleep, so this is going to be quick. Magrudergrind rules. The self-titled LP is mad. The band doesn't play pure grind, and that's part of what makes it so awesome. Jason from Deadthyme thinks it's the best album of 2009 and I'm not inclined to disagree with him. Like Trap Them, Magrudergrind has pulled together many, many different influences to create an almost wholly original sound. What sound? An urban Hatred Surge? What would happen if Nasum was from the East Coast? These are questions you'll have to answer for yourself. This is all I know: Magrudergrind is the maddest shit since Mr. T made that rap song about being nice to your momma. Recommended for everyone and everything.

Magrudergrind - Magrudergrind


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Too Gay To Rock

Too Pure To Die

It's been some time since I posted something that sucks. My generally view on bad music is to ignore it. There's too much good music in the world made by worthy bands to waste time on the chumps, but I feel that it's my duty to show the nation that I'm not looking at things through rose-colored glasses.

Which brings us to Too Pure To Die. These jokers went from metalcore to nu-metal to deathcore while enduring 4000 line-up changes in the span of a few years. The band was really good at selling merch and not much else. Confess is an album of tepid deathcore junk. Half of the record was co-written by Jamey Jasta, which explains a lot. Fortunately, these posers broke up a few weeks back. Adios, Too Pure To Die. You will not be missed.

Too Pure To Die - Confess


Destined for Greatness

Trapped Under Ice
Secrets of the World

Although Secrets of the World isn’t one of those perfect, earth-shattering albums, it is a very good album by a young band that has made amazing strides in its two-year existence. Fresh off of this summer’s 10 for 10 Tour, (alongside Madball, Poison the Well, Bane, and many others) Trapped Under Ice delivers, on its first LP, exactly the kind of hardcore record the world needs right now; one that’s actually a hardcore record and not a metal record.

Trapped Under Ice should be commended for being able to sit in a tight groove on a song without descending into Pantera territory. The band doesn’t rely on cheap, gimmicky breakdowns to convey any mosh-itude. It’s just ignorant East Coast heaviness. While describing this band to Casey from Yatagarasu, I said that Trapped Under Ice sounds like what would have happened had Biohazard been a Dischord band from D.C. I stand by this statement.

Long-time No Funeral readers know that I don’t give much credence to lyrics. I think that great lyricists in shitty bands should quit those bands and get into the poetry game. That said, Justice did a great job on the lyrics to Secrets of the World. He speaks of topics as varied as the economy, Baltimore, relationships, friendship, and the modern condition without ever coming across as preachy or condescending. Of course, after interviewing Justice last year, I know what a witty and intelligent person he is, so I expected nothing less.

I’ve long supported Trapped Under Ice and I’m a fan of their music but I took of the “fan glasses” when reviewing this record. As awesome as Secrets of the World is, the record feels slightly under-cooked. The groove in the middle of “TUI” only lasts four bars. The riff rules too much for it to end so quickly. Don’t get me wrong, this is one of the best hardcore albums of 2009 but, in situations like the above, it seems as though they were rushing to get the album released.

Again, this is one of the best hardcore albums of the year and I assure you that it will turn up in the year-end Top 10 list. However, if we’re giving out grades for these things, this is an A-. It’s almost great and Trapped Under Ice is destined for greatness. I patiently await the day when they release a record on par with Damaged by Black Flag – which will happen and soon.

Trapped Under Ice – Secrets of the World



James Brown
20 All-Time Greatest Hits!

The space program has done more for America than put a flag on the moon and give MTV the template for that bullshit award they give away each year. It's a high-technology industry which spawns good and services beneficial to mankind. Examples include Velcro, global positioning systems, and the integrated circuit.

Fountain pens do not work in space. When astronauts needed a writing mechanism that would work in a zero-gravity environment, NASA spent millions of dollars developing the ball-point pen. Today, you and I use ball-point pens all the time. No one is going to deny that the ball-point pen is a useful invention. We have all benefited from its creation.

When the Russians needed a writing mechanism that would work in a zero-gravity environment, they used pencils.

Sometimes, simpler is better.

James Brown - 20 All-Time Greatest Hits!


Oh, man. Y'all are gonna kill me...


Let's go ahead and get the negatives out of the way. Yes, Emmure is THE band to hate in metal and hardcore right now. Yes, many a high school linebacker is getting fired up for the game on Friday by listening to Felony. Yes, Emmure engages in ridiculousness like this and this. However, a good album is a good album. If I deviate from my criteria of judging music, then I'm being intellectually dishonest and I'm doing you a disservice. Felony is a good record.

First off, this is not a deathcore album. Maybe Emmure's older material is, I'm not familar with those records, but Felony is not. This is the evolution of doomy nu-metal with some early 2000s metalcore mixed in for good measure. Emmure plays a modern take on the classic Korn sound with an obvious Bury Your Dead influence but also with shades of bands like Sinai Beach and even Burnt by the Sun. Before I get death threats, let me say that I would be shocked if the similarity of Felony to the S/T Burnt by the Sun EP is anything other than a coincidence or an accident; but here we are.

Anyway, this record has no blastbeats. There are no songs that are particularly fast and all of the songs are stuffed to the gills with mosh/slam riffs. If Suicide Silence is the standard bearer of deathcore, then Felony doesn't fall into the category.

I can't say that I'm down with Emmure's gangsta/wigger posturing or the borderline sexism in the lyrics. Musically speaking though, Felony is a superb listening experience. Of all these young kids and new bands exploring the nu-metal sound and making it their own, Emmure has impressed me the most.

Emmure - Felony


Monday, September 14, 2009

No Funeral PodTape Vol.1, No.1

This is part of the secret laboratory project I've been working on lately. The other part is something truly epic that will (hopefully) be finished this week. Concerning this portion of the experiment, I've been tinkering with recording software in order to rip various audio samples that tickle my fancy. I've sort of got it down at this point, although I'm having difficulty ripping audio from DVDs. If anyone has a tips on this, please e-mail me at

Welcome to the inaugural No Funeral PodTape. What the hell exactly is a PodTape you ask? Well, it's equal parts podcast and mixtape. I've been kicking around this idea for awhile now and it's finally going forward. Much like the current MP3 blog and the zine before it, this is a constant work in progress.

Everyone is familiar with the concept of a mixtape. What sets this apart from other, lesser-quality mixes is that the music is culled from my vast collection of No Funeral-approved recordings. The other thing that sets it apart is the samples inserted between the songs. This isn't a mere collection of music. I'd like to think of the No Funeral PodTape as an experience; the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. That's the goal, anyway.

For the first edition, I've pulled choice selections from Jello Biafra, Bill Hicks, and Hunter S. Thompson; interwoven with the tracklist below. Feel free to leave feedback and comments about what works, what doesn't, and where I should go cram it. This is an experiment in audio radness that conveniently fits onto an 80-minute CD-R (or easily fits on you iPod). Enjoy!

No Funeral PodTape
Vol. 1 No. 1

Part One
Part Two

1. Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! – “Poke On” – Tim & Eric Awesome Record, Great Songs!
2. Trapped Under Ice – “See God” – Secrets of the World
3. Trapped Under Ice – “Believe” – Secrets of the World
4. Jello Biafra
5. Meatjack – “Falling Down” – Trust
6. Himsa – “Rain to the Sound of Panic” – Courting Tragedy and Disaster
7. Bill Hicks
8. Scissorfight – “Mantrap” – Mantrapping for Sport and Profit
9. Insect Warfare – “Manipulator” – World Extermination
10. Bill Hicks
11. Eyehategod – “Serving Time in the Middle of Nowhere” – Preaching the End-Time Message
12. Hunter S. Thompson
13. ABACABB – “Destruction” – Survivalist
14. The Warriors – “War is Hell” – War is Hell
15. Jello Biafra
16. Giant Squid – “Neonate” – Metridium Field
17. Jello Biafra
18. The Jesus Lizard – “One Evening” - Head
19. iwrestledabearonce – “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon” – It’s All Happening
20. Jello Biafra
21. Mastodon – “Ole Nessie” – Remission
22. Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! – “Love Slaves” – Tim & Eric Awesome Record, Great Songs!
23. Magrudergrind – “Built to Blast” – Magrudergrind
24. Infest – “Judge Me” – Mankind
25. Bill Hicks
26. Starkweather – “Shroud” – Into the Wire
27. Hunter S. Thompson
28. Trap Them – “Destructioneer Extraordinaire” – Sleepwell Deconstructor
29. Hunter S. Thompson
30. Cursed – “Hell Comes Home” - II


Thursday, September 10, 2009

End of Summer Countdown

It's that time of year again. School is back in full swing. Yankees and Canadians are bracing for snow which should start falling in about three hours or so. Yes, Summer is unfortunately over and we're embarking on the death march that is the final quarter of 2009. None of you went outside and did anything while the weather was nice because you were too busy downloading music. Let's take a gander at the most popular downloads on No Funeral during the Summer of 2009.

1. Earth Crisis - To The Death

One of 2009's finer album smoked (ha!) the rest of the competition with 389 downloads. That's over 150 more than #2 on the list. I love this record and clearly you guys do as well.

2. Coalesce - 0:12 Revolution in Just Listening

Is it 2009 or 1999? Another recently-reunited, much-missed, 90s metalcore band scored a hit this summer. Coalesce's classic album 0:12 Revolution in Just Listening racked up 223 downloads.

3. Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer

Long-time No Funeral favorite Pig Destroyer continues to perform well with 212 summer downloads of this classic LP.

4. -tie-

Assuck - Anticapital/Blindspot/+3

Hatred Surge - Collection 2005-07

Old-school meets new-school in an orgy of Southern grind/violence in the #4 position. Assuck and Hatred Surge each pulled down 190 downloads during the summer.

5. Pelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw

Pelican occupies the final spot on the list with 185 downloads. I would say that they swooped into #5 but you deserve better than that.

Thank you for your continued support of this website. Traffic and downloads on the site keep increasing and I'm humbled by the whole experience. I'm pleased to know that there are so many people who take this music seriously and don't treat it like a disposable widget. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write. I love hearing from you.

Finally, the "cover" photo at the top of the post is dedicated to Grim Chris Spann. Two can play at that game.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

democracy in action, part one

Aim for the Sunrise
The Bigger Picture; Hope

My man Fairty requested The Bigger Picture; Hope by Aim for the Sunrise. I'm here to give the people what they want and this is what at least one person wants. See... the shoutbox gets you results.

At first glance, this EP seems to be more swoopy-haired nonsense. However, DC the Medic (who is lost in the ATX somewhere. Where are you, dude?) once pointed out that many a cool band in the 80s had ridiculous haircuts. Even Repulsion had terrible 80s hair. You can't judge anything off of appearance, so let's move on.

Upon closer inspection, some cool stuff is occuring in The Bigger Picture; Hope. Formed last year by teenage Swedish maniacs, Aim for the Sunrise earns points for being a young band with NO deathcore tendencies. Instead, you get early 2000s-style melodic metalcore in the realm of early Killswitch Engage and early Poison the Well. The clean vocals don't come off as whiny as those by Howard Jones. Aim for the Sunrise brings serious heaviness alongside some seriously epic riffs while not forsaking melody.

As well-worn as this style may be, it sounds refreshing coming from this band. Maybe that needs to be chalked up to youthful enthusiasm. Moments akin to Refused abound on The Bigger Picture; Hope, but I suppose with the band being from Sweden that it's only natural. The only clunker on the EP is the title track and even it recovers in the second half of the song. A band you need to keep your eye on has produced some very cool stuff.

Aim for the Sunrise - The Bigger Picture; Hope


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Devoured, but not Wasted

Everybody Goes to Hell
Time Devourer

Yeah, I know I said I was going to be gone for a few days but you guys should know the drill by now. If I say I'm going to post everyday this week, that really means that I'll see you next week. If I say that I'm taking a few days off, then new stuff will be posted tomorrow. What can I say? Welcome to Dick Cheney's America. In all seriousness, I'm working on a multi-part posting project that will (hopefully) expand the parameters of what a music blog is and can do. In the meantime, let's get into some Everybody Goes to Hell.

Straight out of Bowling Green, OH, Everybody Goes to Hell plays d-beat hardcore with a twist. I'd expect nothing less from Midwestern weirdoes. I love Midwestern hardcore precisely because the stuff is never played straight and always delivers a left-hook to the listener.

The self-released Time Devourer has the typical d-beat influences of Discharge and Anti-Cimex but the other inspirations are what make the EP a rich listening experience. There are shades of Poison Idea's thrash attack and hints of the His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy sound. Drew of Everybody Goes to Hell expressed a particular love of Italian screamo like La Quiete and Raein.

I've heard to many people, especially my co-workers, bitching about the lack of good music these days. That's a totally jive argument and all No Funeral readers know it. There's tons of good music out there. In the last week, this site alone has posted Bowel, Tona, and now Everybody Goes to Hell. I challenge you to support these hardworking bands. All Houstonians need to be at the Die Young show at Walters on 10Oct09. Everybody Goes to Hell has a handful of shows lined up over the next few weeks. I also challenge all Ohio/Kentucky punks, grinders, and thrashers to check out this band. Backed!

Everybody Goes to Hell - Time Devourer


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heading into the Laboratory

Demonstrating My Style

I'm working on something special for later this week (or the weekend, it depends on when I get it finished) so there won't be any new posts for a few days. On that note, I wanted to leave you maniacs with something that doesn't require much explanation. That album would be Madball's Demonstrating My Style. We can argue this point all day, but I think this is their best album. It's one of the last albums made with the "original" line-up. It's hard-hitting NYHC with a metallic tinge and it's heavier than Oprah. Madball holds it down for the DMS crew and you should, too. Remember, mind-blowing hate is coming this weekend. Stay tuned...

Madball - Demonstrating My Style