Feb 272023

(Andy Synn presents three bite-sized morsels of brutality that you may have missed this month)

After my spectacular failure at keeping up with the various short-form releases which came out last year (ultimately having to relegate my coverage to most of the EPs, splits, etc, from 2022 to the end of year round-up instead) I made a vow to myself to stay more on top of things this year.

Obviously this hasn’t happened but… here’s three you may have missed from February that I didn’t want to wait until December to write about!

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Nov 302020


(This is Andy Synn‘s SYNN REPORT for November 2020, and this month he lines up reviews of all the albums by California’s Vampire Squid.)

Recommended for fans of: Cattle Decapitation, The Red Chord, Slugdge

Being in a Metal band and not taking yourself too seriously, while also treating your craft and your audience with the respect they deserve, is a difficult line to walk – but not an impossible one.

Matter of fact, some of my favourite bands are dead serious (and highly professional) about what they do while also being fully aware of the innate absurdity of using the medium of Metal to bellow barely decipherable lyrics about historical atrocities or struggles with mental illness or scorn for global politics… or any one of a hundred other deadly serious, and seriously dark, issues.

And while lyrically Southern California Tech-Grind crew Vampire Squid may be slightly less serious than some – most of their songs are based around the classic Death Metal themes of blood, guts, and dismemberment, albeit with a suitably briny twist – musically speaking they’re cut from the same creative cloth as bands like The Red Chord and The Faceless, marrying the angular technicality of these groups with a rabid intensity reminiscent of Cattle Decapitation and Benighted, all topped off with a dose of the complex-yet-catchy songwriting style of their mollusc-based brethren in Slugdge (with whom they also share a love for pun-tastic song titles).

But, hey, if all that sounds too good to be true then why not see/hear for yourself and join me on a free dive into the crushing depths of the band’s discography for this month’s edition of The Synn Report? Continue reading »

Nov 252009

Taibbi image

Earlier this year, the brilliant journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article for Rolling Stone called “Inside the Great American Bubble Machine.”  It was all about how Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs has been the driving force behind every major stock market bubble since the Great Depression, including the one that led to the market collapse from which our economy is still trying to recover.  The opening paragraph of that story has stuck in my head ever since:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Regardless of what you think about Taibbi’s thesis, you gotta admit that’s a pretty great opening blast.  As journalistic lead paragraphs go, it’s definitely metal.  In fact, there are some great potential band names in there, don’t you think?  Vampire Squid, The Face of Humanity, Relentless Jamming, Blood Funnel, Smells Like Money.

Oops.  Looks like two of those names (IMO the best ones) are already taken!  There actually appear to be bands already out there called Vampire Squid and Blood Funnel.  And they claim to be metal bands.  Don’t know if they’re worth a shit, but they’ve got good names.

Fortunately, based on a quick Google search, the other Taibbi names still seem to be available.