Jan 122015


(DGR gets Raunchy… and he wrote this review. Your humble editor made a few intrusions in italics.)

It’s time to get a little silly don’t you think? We’ve covered a whole lot of really heavy shit over the past few weeks. It feels like we’ve covered a billion death metal bands and ground a million lists to dust. We’ve been in the murk-covered swamps of gore that metal comes from for far too long, and it’s time to lighten shit up around here. And personally, I feel like I’ve done enough with my year-end list, helping out with infectious song nominations, and sharing groups like Unbeheld out there that it’s time to swing the pendulum back in the other direction. This site needs equilibrium — we can’t let people actually think we’re going to take our own name seriously, now can we?

Now, we could go in depth with what the fuck Myke Terry’s been up to lately — given that the man is partially responsible for the name of this site — but that feels a little uncouth. Instead, I propose we check back in with the guys in Raunchy.

More than a year ago I started my only real contribution to a series for the site, a “higher criticism” feature that began as a sort of joking half-take on a whole bunch of Raunchy albums [the last installment of which is here]. It was  a feature partially proposed to me on a dare by other NCS staff, because over the years the band’s name has made them the unfortunate butt of a few jokes and their sound, which combines a hefty dose of pop music with the more modern metal scene, has been one that could turn off people in our usual audience. This is how you wind up with a bunch of people sitting around a table going, “Let’s make the new guy do a Raunchy discog run.” Continue reading »

Oct 112013

(Andy Synn offers some thoughts, and some questions, about why we do what we do here. The artwork above is a new piece by Sam Nelson, and it’s here not because it resembles Andy Synn but because I like it.)

Something that comes up occasionally, both online and out in the real world, is the question of what a review is really for? What is it trying to achieve… what is the point… heck, why even bother?

So I thought it might be interesting to put down a few thoughts about why we here at NCS – or at least, me personally, since I’m not aiming to speak for anyone else really – do bother writing, blogging, and putting our thoughts and opinions out there.

Although I’ve had this column in my head in a vague form for a while now, just recently a couple of (minor) incidents have helped me start to crystallise this question of who/what we are writing for, who our audience might be, and – notably – who our audience definitely isn’t. Continue reading »

Sep 122013

(When DGR joined our foul yet fecund staff, we challenged him to review the entire discography of the Danish metal band Raunchy. Amazingly, he has done it. To see his reviews of the band’s first four albums, go hereherehere, and here.)

And thusly, we have reached the rear end of our Raunchy wrap up. We find ourselves standing at the gates of 2010’s release A Discord Electric. It’s crazy to think how much stuff can happen in the time between albums, but think about it this way: NoCleanSinging wasn’t a thing when Wasteland Discotheque hit in 2008, NoCleanSinging was a fully formed website by the time this album rolled around. I had probably burned one to the ground by 2010, although I’m not sure, as the time between when I started pretending to be some sort of metal blogger and winding up here tends to be something of a haze for me.

A Discord Electric would prove to be the last album for the long-fabled stable line-up that Raunchy had held, although the one guy who would leave the band – vocalist Kasper Thomsen — wouldn’t do so until the beginning of 2013. So even then, he still held out in the group for another three years following this album.

As with prior entries in this esteemed series of articles, I have tried to get some sort of grasp on public opinion about the album. Asking my fellow writers didn’t really grab me anything on this one, other than another, “Wow, are you still doing that thing?”, and most reviews tend to paint the disc as being good with middle of the road moments. So, long story short, I know nothing – because for some reason I’m laboring under the delusion that people actually care that I type this opening paragraph with virginal ears so as to make the exploration of the actual disc seem more fresh. My journalistic integrity hinges on my ignorance. Continue reading »

Sep 112013

(We challenged DGR to review the entire discography of the Danish metal band Raunchy. Amazingly, he is doing it. To see his reviews of of the first three albums, go herehere, and here.)

The chronological aspect of this project is really starting to get to me, mostly because the last album that we covered hit while I was in high school, and now we’re at 2008 and I’m two years into working graveyard shifts at my current job. Now, to be clear, I knew almost nothing about Wasteland Discotheque going in, other than that original vocalist Lars Vognstrup shows up during one of the songs and that they have a cover that has become something of an unofficial NCS theme song; mostly for the hilarity of it.

The Wikipedia article for the band states that Wasteland came out in 2008 and that it was, “generally well received among the press”. Which press? Who knows. Who is responsible for the Raunchy page over on that site? The fun part was traveling to the actual article about the album itself and seeing a one-sentence summary and a link to one review…which gave it five stars. The website is still around, although the review link on that page points to nowhere.

Now, as a pragmatist I know not to be worried about stuff like this, but I figured I’d ask my fellow NCS compatriots what they thought about this disc. Andy, acting as my Sifu for much of this trip. said the disc was “half awesome”. Everyone else wondered what the hell I was doing. That’s what I get for trying to provide some sort of backstory to the disc and not just doing this entirely off of a first listen. Continue reading »

Sep 102013

(We all forgot that when DGR joined the NCS staff he was subjected to a mild form of hazing — we challenged him to review the entire discography of the Danish metal band Raunchy. He, however, did not forget, though he did take his sweet time on the follow-through. This is the third part of this raunchy hazing; the first review can be found here and the second review here.)

Raunchy continue to make big shifts in their careers by this point. We’re actually achieving something big here, because we’re starting to move into an era where the Internet really came into its own as a music-covering force, and I can actually try to dig deep into what happened without the wayback machine kicking out gibberish in the shape of a middle finger.

Death Pop Romance has a few things interesting in terms of Raunchy’s history:  This was their first release as part of a new contract with Lifeforce Records, their first disc that put them on the two-year album cycle, and their first disc with vocalist Kasper Thomsen. As usual, I tried to get some perspective from the various NCS hooligans in regards to this disc, in my own stupidity forgetting that this whole thing was supposed to be a joke on me. I got a singular “its pretty good” and my personal favorite response so far, which was just, “You’re seriously doing this?”. There were no dire “abandon all hope!” sort of messages, so even though the disc adheres to the Dimmu Borgir styling of “three words that sound good but make no sense together!” album naming, I’m curious as to what Death Pop Romance has in store.

As has been the case so far, some of this will be stream of consciousness and other bits will be written after a few listens. I made one cursory spin prior to typing this specific paragraph so I already have some minor thoughts but have yet to dig deep or even try to differentiate each song – it almost feels like I have a fifty-minute blank space, and no alcohol was involved to accomplish that. Continue reading »

Sep 092013

(We all forgot that when DGR joined the NCS staff he was subjected to a mild form of hazing. He, however, did not forget, though he did take his sweet time on the follow-through. This is the second part of a raunchy hazing; the first one can be found here.)

So, fun story: Apparently nobody in our staff remembers giving me this assignment, and all of them seemed pleasantly surprised that I would accept the challenge of such an undertaking. I knew, in one sense, that it would be easier on me than expected because Andy’s and my own musical taste probably share the most in common amongst the NCS dudes, and he seems pretty defensive about his Raunchy. I actually used him a bit as a guide for what to expect on Confusion Bay and he seems pretty passionate about this disc, saying that there’s maybe one song on this one that isn’t awesome.

It is a very noticeable improvement from the group’s debut album, Velvet Noise. Debuts are always a little shaky though, and considering that the guys were founded in the early-to-mid 90’s I imagine putting anything out must’ve been an exciting change of pace after a few demos. One other author had this to contribute to our e-mail thread, though, which was amazing. We were mid-discussion over this release when all of a sudden this gem popped up:


As you can see, we’re off to a fantastic start. Continue reading »

Sep 082013

(We all forgot that when DGR joined the NCS staff he was subjected to a mild form of hazing. He, however, did not forget, though he did take his sweet time on the follow-through.)

So, fun story: When I finally became an official writer for NoCleanSinging at the beginning of the year, fellow writer TheMadIsraeli was wrist deep (and at risk of losing a very nice watch!) in his Higher Criticism series – in which he took on a group’s whole discography for something that was part history lesson, part retrospective, part modern day discussion of a group’s music as they had gone through the years. At the time it was Kataklysm, and the idea seemed very sound. It would require a ton of work, but it seemed like a fun way to bring up old discs and expose them to a new audience. Thus, as luck would have it, there would be some joking about how “we should make the new guy go through Raunchy’s discography hurf durf hurr”, followed by repeated head slamming into the keyboard as a sign that the caretaker should probably give them their lunchtime juice box.

Now, I will admit that the name alone tended to cause me to recoil – despite never having listened to any of the band’s music. It always seems like the name Raunchy is the butt of a joke, like it should belong to an R&B boyband, or a nu-metal group. Hell, the name alone has always felt like it was literally (and figuratively, and ultimately) two steps away from either being Rawnchy or R4unchy. Thus, because the name alone is fuck-awful, I’ve always recoiled at the idea of listening to their music. There was a lone voice of support from fellow writer Andy Synn, who has always owned up to having something of a soft spot for the band. I ignored him, because RAUNCHY. Continue reading »

Aug 022012

(Here we have another of our UK scribe Andy Synn’s collections of five favorite things. The last such post was about five of his favorite guitar solos. This one is going to take us outside our usual stomping grounds.)

Ok, so if you follow the site at all closely, I’m sure you’ve got at least a vague idea of the areas each of the regular writers tends to specialise in. You might even be able to make reasonable predictions about what bands we listen to, and what bands/albums coming up we’d be expected to like and give coverage to.

You’d know, for example, that my bread and butter these days is black metal, the more interesting the better, with a side helping of more melodically inclined (but still heavy as hell) death metal. I’m not so much of a thrash or hardcore guy as I was when I first started my metal journey, and while I still have a soft spot for some metalcore (and its ilk), that’s very much on a band-by-band basis. Overall though, I like metal for its variety, for its honesty and integrity, and for the skill and effort it takes to compose.

So what I’m thinking is that I’ll throw away any remaining kvlt or tr00 cred I have left, and namecheck 5 bands – all peripherally related to rock/metal – who I absolutely love, but who I don’t think any of you would guess at in a million years. Continue reading »