Apr 082010

We don’t know of any poker games that allow you to raise your own bet without an intervening raise by another player, but here at NCS we make up our own fucking rules as we go along.

So this game began when our friends at Reign in Blonde posted a ridiculous album cover by Kivimetsan Druidi (here). Which prompted us to raise with the ridiculous album cover above by the non-metal band Florence and the Machine.

Now, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll see ridiculous new album covers every week. So this game conceivably could go on, well, forever.  Who knows, maybe it will. But we’re at least going to continue the game for one more day by raising our own raise, not once but twice, courtesy of a Canadian rock trio called Danko Jones and a French “power metal” band called Heavenly.

The new Danko Jones album, scheduled for a May release, is called Below the Belt. Danko Jones recently opened for Guns N’ Roses and Sebastian Bach at a tour of hockey arenas across Canada. Which pretty much guarantees their music blows large hairy balls.

Heavenly’s latest album (December 2009) is called Carpe Diem. Their music’s not our style either. But we’re grateful to both bands, because their album covers allow us to keep this ridiculous-album-cover game going for one more day.  (to see these covers, you’ll have to click past the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 182010

Recently, a friend of ours who regularly visits this site gently criticized us for almost never posting a negative album review. He wondered if we’d ever heard an extreme metal album we didn’t like.

The answer to that question is “Fuck, yes!” We just (usually) choose not to spend our limited time verbally peeing all over hard-working bands because their music doesn’t favorably impress us or because their dreams exceed their talent. We get more satisfaction from supporting bands we think are deserving and from suggesting music we think our readers might find worth their time.

Maybe that’s a bad decision. Maybe we should spend more time warning people off craptastic metal. After all, that is what music critics generally do — they praise the good and they criticize the bad.

Except we’re not really music critics. We’re just a bunch of goof-offs who happen to really love extreme metal. We write about it because we dig it, and so it just comes naturally to talk about what rules instead of what sucks. Besides, you can find lots of sites whose writers just can’t wait to tell you what sucks.

There have been times when we’ve had misgivings about this, when we think our credibility could be enhanced by mixing in more scathing commentary along with the panting adulation.

We’re certainly capable of it, but so far we’ve chosen to reserve our invective for select company — not for the struggling bands who are doing their best to create new music because they love it (even if it’s bad), but for the the self-important, the self-indulgent, the overly dramatic. In a word, for the Axl Rose‘s of the metal music world. (more after the jump, if you’ve got the stomach for it . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 182010

Henry Rollins has led an interesting life. In the early 80s, he was the uber-intense frontman of legendary hardcore punk band Black Flag. After Black Flag broke up, he formed the Rollins Band and continued to record and tour, while also releasing a series of spoken-word albums (and won a Grammy for one of them). He’s published multiple books of diaries, essays, and stories, he’s appeared in more than 20 films, and last year he became a running character in the TV biker drama Sons of Anarchy. And he continues to tour the world as a one-man show.

Whenever he opens his mouth, which is basically always open, something interesting usually comes out. A few days ago he touched down in Dublin and gave an interview to TimesOnline (UK), which you can find here. The whole interview is worth reading, but this passage in particular caught our eye:

A couple of years ago Rollins went to see Van Halen on their reunion tour. “And they were good,” he says. “I know all the lyrics. I like those records. But to watch men in their fifties play music they wrote in their twenties, there’s something distinctly sad about that.” A famous friend of his, he says, “sells a gajillion records. But he has to go out and play the same 20 songs each night. He says, ‘Well, that’s what the people want’. That’s one school of thought. I’m more from the Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane school: What they want? Who gives a fuck what they want? The art says we move on. So as I hurtle toward 50 I’m trying to be brave. I want to do stuff that looks like I am. I’ve got grey hair, a leg that kind of thunks around. I’m still mad as hell. I’m just trying to rouse rabble in a different way.”

Seems to us that Mr. Rollins has hit the fucking nail on the fucking head. His words resonated in our addled brains as we browsed the latest metal news on Blabbermouth this morning. There we saw the following reports about the following bands/performers — all on the very first page of Blabbermouth reports. My mood?  Bored shitless. Continue reading »