Jan 082015


(BadWolf provides his annual list of personal favorites among not-metal albums released in 2014.)

I’ve never written so few lists at the end of the year. During my first year at No Clean Singing, I wrote three separate lists. Many writers compose even more, and I have no idea how they do it. However, each year my format has changed as I think of new ways to think about music. As time goes by, I simplify, I erase boundaries.

There’s only one meaningful distinction in my list this year: metal vs. not-metal. My metal list is currently up at Invisible Oranges, and it serves as my unified vision of 2014 in heavy metal. However, this is my favorite list—my favorite piece of copy that I write each year. There’s something about writing about mainstream music on an underground metal blog that strikes me as fun and transgressive.

More to the point, I always loved reading the opinions of metal heads and musicians about non-metal music. To people outside of the culture extreme music is what sets us apart. Inside the community, however, our tastes in other genres of music can offer interesting window into people’s personalities. I also wonder if the commonalities we find outside of the music reveal something about the threads that other artists and metal share. For example, my #1 album is, I know, fairly popular among metal bloggers, but you’ll have to wade through my bottom nine to get to it. Continue reading »

Dec 022014


(BadWolf has been missing in action for a while, spending much of his blog time helping to run the esteemed Invisible Oranges, but today he re-surfaces with a new post in an NCS series he created to take us off our usual beaten paths,)

I’m pretty certain I am the strongest proponent of California resident Jerimiah Johnson’s one-man industrial rock-pop outfit The Ugly Façade that exists. However I’m pretty sure that’s more a result of lack of exposure than a mark of quality, because The Ugly Façade is the real deal, as evidenced by Johnson’s latest album (more of an EP, really) Many Waters, now available at any price on Bandcamp.

I first became aware of The Ugly Façade in the wake of an article I wrote for Stereogum.com about Trent Reznor, the musician behind Nine Inch Nails. Reznor is one of my favorite songwriters on earth, and while Nine Inch Nails is not precisely metal, or extreme, the band has a large following in the metal subculture, and has had a profound influence on several groups, including The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Author & Punisher, and others. Continue reading »

Oct 022014


(In this post you will find BadWolf’s interview of Jamie Walters, aka Athenor, of Cleveland’s Midnight.)

Cleveland’s Jamie Walters struck gold (though maybe he didn’t know it) when throwback metal outfit Boulder became inactive and he formed his one-man project Midnight. Part black metal and part cock rock, Midnight has won over a surprising number of fans with a mixture of powerful hooks, depraved lyrics, and shocking imagery. The band’s 2011 album, Satanic Royalty, made me a fan. Their set at 2013’s Maryland Deathfest made me a devotee. Now, with their sophomore LP, No Mercy For Mayhem, I am a fanatic. Still, Walters’ music has the hooks, but perhaps not the ethics we as listeners demand from modern rock music. I got on the blower with Walters to see what satanic royalty has to do with sexism and an undying love for AC/DC.


I don’t see that many interviews with you.

Jamie: No, I try not to do too many interviews. I don’t know, over the internet. . . I’m not really an internet type of person, so over the internet you get kind of just like short answers, kind of half-ass, and then over the phone it’s always just like, ‘hey, we’re just talking’. I don’t like talking to people but it’s like, sometimes it doesn’t come across as an interview, because then you start talking about the Steelers, the Lions, kind of stupid shit — you know? — that has nothing to do with an interview. So.


You’re from Ohio, you’re like, you’re an Ohio boy, and you never play Ohio.

Jamie: Well, I wouldn’t say never, but not as much, you know, I guess just as much as any other cities.


Well, I mean, you played Cleveland maybe twice last year, you’re from Cleveland. . .

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.


. . . and you’re about to do this Hell’s Headbangers warehouse show.

Jamie: Okay, it’s just a warehouse, essentially, so I’m sure you’ve been to a warehouse, it has a bay door, a garage, and all that kind of stuff, and it’s a warehouse. You know, it’s basically like a private party here, just do a little gig here in the parking lot and play in the, you know, the bay doors, and just have bands play, and just have hotdogs and pop or whatever the shit and those guys are good and it would be cool. And of course they think on a little more bigger level I guess, and it’s like yeah, well, just have it open to everybody…. I thought it would be like a private party at most, you know, 40 people or something like that, but I guess beyond that it grew bigger than we anticipated. I don’t know. We’ll see, but it seems like there are a lot of people coming. Continue reading »

Sep 022014


(In this post we present BadWolf’s interview with Tomas Lindberg of Lock Up, Disfear, and of course At the Gates, whose comeback album At War With Reality is headed our way in October)


“We still have a sense of urgency.”

That’s what Thomas “Tompa” Lindberg, vocalist of Swedish death metal legends At The Gates told me in between vocal takes as he called No Clean Singing from the studio. Now that At The Gates have finally released the cover art for their upcoming album At War With Reality, their first in 19 years, Lindberg is ready to talk—about finding his screaming voice, his political views, and the magical realist literature that has informed his new work.


So, you’re in the studio right now?



How’s it going?

Very well. All the drum tracks are totally done, and guitar tone is set and Anders has done the long song. We’re going to do guitars on one song, then I’m going to do vocals, because we do the whole setup so I can alternate so I don’t burn out the voice. You know, we’re going to have the first song written, really, finished today.


It’s good that you’re taking care of your voice, because I saw you at MDF and I have no idea how you can do what you do for an entire hour.

Me neither. Sometimes, life is a bit of a struggle, but it’s intense live because then no one can really . . . you can’t rewind and listen to it again. Well, you can on YouTube. In the studio, you need to be perfect 100%, all the time. Continue reading »

May 062012

(BadWolf is sacrificing what’s left of his peace of mind for the greater good of NCS, beyond which there is no greater good.)


Dear loyal readers, haters, and bad skaters

It has come to my attention that many of you out there do not receive nearly enough furious metal nerdrage delivered instantly to your mobile devices.

To this end, I have joined twitter.

For my first act as future Alpha Male of the instant-communication inforverse, I declare that I will follow every single metal-related twitter user that you readers insist I follow, in order to filter out the filler and relay to you killer bits of inane, digitized NOTHING!

Follow me at @BadWolfNCS and leave me suggestions as for who to follow in the comment thread below. Here’s the profile link: https://twitter.com/#!/BadWolfNCS


Jan 042012

(BadWolf did something like this last year — HERE — and it looks like it’s becoming a tradition.)

You might as well call this list “Bad Wolf’s ongoing love affair with angsty woman-rock.”

Yes, it’s true—I have loves outside of metal. I have lesser-but-significant passions for female-fronted lyrical rock outfits, Trip-hop, underground Hip-hop, Hard Rock, Folk, Pop, and extreme non-metal music like math rock, prog and noise. The best concert I saw all year, except possibly Converge, was Portishead.

2011 was a poor year overall for Hip hop, I think—and there hasn’t been a good year for Trip-Hop in close to a decade. Pop is stuck in an awful electronica-fueled gutter binge, and grungy rock n’ roll has been almost completely devastated by radio friendly emo-metal hybrids. Ugh.

But 2011 brought a bumper crop of amazing femme-rock, much of it drenched in filth and darkness fit for goat-throwers to enjoy (not-included but honorably mentioned would be St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, Cults, and Zola Jesus). Hell, one of them feels like a black metal wolf in indie sheep’s clothing.

I challenge you all to listen to some of this music, broaden your horizons, and explore those darknesses from foreign shores. Without further ado: Continue reading »