Nov 082013

Regular readers of the site should recognize the name of this San Diego band, since I wrote about them only three days ago. Plus, their name is Those Darn Gnomes — not an easy name to forget once you’ve seen it. Their music isn’t easy to forget either. As of three days ago I had heard only one song, a long number named “Blacklip”, which will appear on their forthcoming debut album The Invariant. And now I’ve heard a second one — and you’ll get to hear it, too, because we’re premiering it right now.

The song’s name is “Relief Organ”. Like “Blacklip”, it’s longer than average, and like “Blacklip”, it’s a wild ride: heavy, slow, sludgy riffs mixed with distorted, proggy meanderings, mixed with cool jazz interludes, mixed with blasting drums and a blizzard of distorted chords, mixed with gargling gutturals, vomit-spewing howls, and mellow jazz-influenced female vocals (courtesy of guest vocalist Katie Walker). Continue reading »

Nov 052013

We get messages every day from bands who ask us to check out their music. I wish I had the time to listen to everything that comes in, but I don’t. I don’t even have time to write about everything I hear that I like. But I thought for this MISCELLANY post I would write about the music of the last five bands who wrote us over the weekend. Obviously, there’s not much rhyme or reason to the selection, and as you’ll see, the bands don’t have much in common with each other.

But that’s the way MISCELLANY works: I pick underground bands whose music I’ve never heard, I listen to one or two recent songs, I write up my impressions, and I stream the tracks so you can make up your own minds. Here we go:


Eastern Spell are a group of hairy, doomy dudes from Portland, Maine. Earlier this year they released a single via Bandcamp entitled Entraced, and about two weeks ago they also released a video for the song. Eastern Spell bring the misery with seismic resonance. It’s slow, pulverizing music, with burly riffs, agonized, gravel-throated vocals, and a drummer who sounds like he’s trying to drive his kit straight into the ground. Deep into the 11-minute song, the band briefly rumble into more animated life, and there’s a surprising (and beautiful) acoustic finish to the song, but in the main this is suffocating sludge/doom — done very well. Continue reading »