Nov 202014

Photo credit: Dustin Rabin


I need to whine for a couple of minutes. Yes, even I, with my usually sunny disposition, need to whine every now and then.

First, I’ve been getting so little sleep lately that my eyes are as red as a baboon’s ass. Second, I inflamed a muscle in my arm from curling massive amounts of weight at the gym, the kind of crushing weight that’s comparable to a grocery bag loaded with a single loaf of bread. Third, and most egregious of all, my fucking day job has been making me run the gauntlet the last two days, with no end in sight, leaving me no time for my usual self-appointed NCS duty of scouring the web for news and new music.

I do know about a bunch of song and album premieres that appeared over the last 24 hours, but only because of messages received from my co-writers and some sharp-eyed readers. I’ve collected streams or links to them in this post, but don’t have time to write about them or even provide album art or helpful links. Shit, I haven’t even listened to all of them. How embarrassing. Continue reading »

Dec 092011

(The MetalSucks-sponsored METAL SUCKFEST in NYC early last month was a milestone event. Two NCS emissaries were on hand to witness it — BadWolf and photographer Nick Vechery — and they’ve already turned in reviews of the show here (Day 1) and here (Day 2). BadWolf also interviewed a number of the performers, including this discussion (completed a couple weeks after the SUCKFEST) of Ramming Speed drummer Jonah Livingston.)

I caught on to several outstanding bands at the Metal Suckfest, but none of them caught my ears the way Ramming Speed did. Their hooky mix of punk and classic metal is perfect recession-era drinking music. Thanksgiving weekend, I sat down with their drummer, Jonah Livingston [also head of TDB (Teenage Disco Bloodbath) Records] during the OSU/Michigan football game to talk about Suckfest, Boss HM-2 core, and why marching bands need more Entombed in their repertoires.

Ramming:  sup!

BW:  Hello, Jonah! I’m just glad Michigan is actually ahead rt now!

Ramming:  Cheers dude

BW:  But enough about that. How does the band feel post-Suckfest?

Ramming:  Personally I’m feeling energized, we spent a lot of this year sitting at home writing but it’s been super busy since the fest. We’re leaving on tour in a few days so this last month has been dealing with merch, finishing the booking, promoting etc. We also got to try a bunch of new songs at the Suckfest that seemed to work well, so we’ll be doing even more of them on the tour.

BW:  It was a very good set! Are you changing it for the tour? As in, even more new material, or more older stuff?

Ramming:  Out of all our new songs I think 9 of them are ready to play live, so we’re doing one set with like 4 new ones and 5 old, and a second set with 5 different new ones and 4 old ones. The idea is to switch off between the two sets every day so when we get home those 9 will be as tight as shit so we can hopefully we can hit the ground running and go into the studio as soon as possible after that. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

(The METAL SUCKFEST that took place in NYC on Nov 4 and 5 was a milestone event — the first U.S. metal festival organized and co-sponsored by a metal blog, and Metal Sucks pulled together a fucktastic line-up to boot. So, NCS decided to document the event up-close and personal by sending two emissaries — NCS writer BadWolf and photographer Nicholas Vechery.  They returned intact, and this is BadWolf’s report of the festival’s first day, along with Nick’s photos. BadWolf’s Day Two report will be tomorrow, and we’ll have interviews to come after that.)

Blogs will control the entertainment industry within our lifetimes (if the industry lasts our lifetimes). TMZ will overtake Entertainment Tonight. In some ways, Pitchfork has already taken Rolling Stone’s place.  Case in point: MetalSucks just threw the first (to my knowledge) blog-driven extreme music festival on US soil, Suckfest, and NCS was there to cover it.

On November 4, 2011, suckalos—yours truly included—flocked to the Grammercy Theater in Manhattan for seven hours of thrash. NCS photographer Nicholas Vechery and I rolled in sleep-deprived and sore after a 20+ hour bus trip from Ohio. The venue –the Grammercy Theater—was indeed a theater once and remains dark and sparse.

Initially, I thought the Grammercy would be too small to fit a decent crowd, but the first day was poorly attended.  Attendees shouted “Occupy Grammercy!” between songs, but otherwise behaved themselves too well by my standards. New York headbangers seem more reluctant to mosh than when I lived in the Big Apple. I smelled a division between lineup and audience—the first day’s bands all shared a background in hardcore punk, but in general MetalSucks caters to a more technical/progressive metal loving audience. The lineup was strong, but perhaps suited for a more intimate venue. After all, who wants to see Magrudergrind behind a security barrier?

Audience aside, the first day’s bands exploded over the lower-east side with white-knuckle intensity. Continue reading »