10 May 2023
Fishing for Luckies – Part 1
You know the feeling – scrolling through Netflix for that something that isn’t trending but has all the right hallmarks of an undiscovered classic in the making. For some the payoff for those precious moments of discovery is validation enough, for others the smug content of a knowing recommendation to the friends list is all. But whatever drives you here is a selection of – but never definitive – collection of overlooked – but great – albums: the nearly discovered, the once cherished, the inexplicably forgotten, the splendidly hidden, call it what you will. So go wild with your time, scroll to the right and give the algorithm something new to factor into your profile and go fishing for luckies.
Tomorrow Come Today – BoySetsFire
This debut for New York-based label Wind-Up sees the post-hardcore band fully embrace the melodicism that After the Eulogy hinted at. Tomorrow Come Today is a meticulously detailed sound recording, highlighting Josh Latshaw and Chad Istvan’s guitars. Singer Nathan Gray’s voice — with its whisper-to-a-scream range — conveys intense emotion as her delivers his vitriolic lyrics. Dying on Principle and Handful of Redemption might be the best songs on the album, perfectly encapsulating the band’s rage, rhetoric, and conscious movement toward melody. Glorious and uplifting. The band hit a high mark never to be repeated. Pity no one was listening at the time….
Haste by The Mercury Lift
Century Media test the emo-metal waters. The first song, With All the Pride and Dignity of a Drowning Swimmer, sets out the stall with a body-slamming guitar riff, double-bass drums, and screamo vocals, but when the chorus hits, its all change into a melodic emo-punk chorus. And it hits the spot. The rest of the album carries on in much the same way, alternating between hardcore-metal and emo-pop. Full-sounding production and tight, energetic performances from the rest of the band only add to the effect. The real Linkin Park? Sublime songwriting, belting riffs, great vocals. Do yourself a favour and go find it.
Greed by Pulkas
The sound of the bass is heavy enough but when combined with the heavy grooves provided by guitarist Martin Bourne, Pulkas delivered an awesome racket. Singer Luke Lloyd delivers a performance of barely controlled rage as he whispers, howls and roars his way through the record. Greed also has great songs too, from Loaded and Rubber Room to the closing Close To The Enemy. Like the bastard child of Killing Joke and Korn, Pulkas snarled out of a London underground in the late 90s. One album and gone. But what an album…
Embryonics 90-98 by Alchemist
A two-disc, 28-track collection spanning the cult Australian prog space/death metal quartet’s “lost” years. It highlights the adventurous and unpredictable nature of the band’s songwriting, with lyrics that meld together science and spirituality, as well as their kaleidoscopic blend of metal and prog into music of truly alchemical power. All fuzzed up n tripped out and nowhere to go but ‘out’. A gem.
Murder Inc. by Murder Inc.
Killing Joke without Jaz Coleman?! During one of their many breakups, key members of the band joined with industrial vocalist Chris Connelly whose aggressive vocals bring exactly the right swagger to the collaboration. Album opener Murder Inc. is a great example of the music matching Connelly’s energy. When his bandmates allow him room to breathe, as on Supergrass, Motion Sickness and the title song, the dynamics make for a thrilling listen. What a surprise: real songs, big sounds. Makes you wonder what they could’ve done next…
American Pearl by American Pearl
Real songs you crave? Hits you say? As if hailing from the heyday of ’70s arena rock, L.A.-based hard rock outfit American Pearl delivered epic vocal, melodic guitar solos, spiraling guitar riffs and a punk rock attitude. Killer cuts like California and Free Your Mind and Automatic demonstrates this admirably. American Pearl is the US TV anti-soundtrack to the nu-metal noughties.
Beautiful Creatures by Beautiful Creatures
Led by former Bang Tango frontman Joe Leste this album successfully fuses commercial rock with sonic muscle. The appeal lies in the band’s command of traditional rock songcraft and expert musicianship, with the dueling guitars of DJ Ashba and Anthony Focx particularly compelling. Killer cuts 1 A.M., Wasted, New Orleans and Goin’ Off prove it. Wrong place, wrong sound, wrong time. A rock n roll gem released in the midst of nu-metal.
Testament – Low
In 1994 the hard rock landscape had changed and on Testament’s sixth studio album they were fighting for their lives as things went alternative. So the band join forces with Rage Against the Machine producer GGGarth Richardson, who succeeds in helping them regain their confidence. The album combines huge guitar riffs, Tempesta’s massive drumming, Chuck Billy’s growl and a classic Bay Area thrash sound. The guitar duo of Peterson and James Murphy effortlessly peel off one guitar harmony after the other. “Dog Faced Gods” is an absolute scorcher, and undeniably the album’s highlight. Overshadowed by the rise of Pantera and oh dear, no one gives two fucks anymore what the best of the second wave of Thrashers are doing. Which is a shame – because Low is a total belter of a metal record.
Prong – Beg To Differ
Prong’s major label debut is a tightly disciplined thrash metal attack with guitarist Tommy Victor and bassist Mike Kirkland alternating lead vocals as well as writing credits. Drummer Ted Parsons adds Neal Peart-like precision and a touch of Prog. There’s a powerful, insular intensity to a stripped down, rhythmically focused three piece. Standout tracks are For Dear Life, Steady Decline, Take it in Hand, Lost and Found and Your Fear. Before Goijira, before Trent Reznor there was Prong. And they shit big, black-souled riffs for breakfast.
Misfits – Static Age
The ‘lost’ album! As in literally lost in the vaults of Glenn Danzig’s dungeon for 20 years after non interest from various labels and intra-band disputes forced Danzig and co to issue various re-recorded and unmixed versions across numerous releases. But here, in all its raw pre-horror theatrics is a rare beast of urban savagery and teenage nonsense. Raw and strong with Danzig’s amazing singing and Franche Coma’s fierce guitar it captures a blend of punk, horror and wicked humor. Killer tracks include TV Casualty, Teenagers From Mars, Attitude, We Are 138, Return of the Fly and Last Caress. Glorious!
Headswim – Flood
The dark and dirty sound of a band with a haunting grunge influence that Incorporates keyboards and a splash of psychedelia, along with stunning Metal riffage which helped distinguish them from the rest of the herd. A dark, grunge meets prog sprawl of mental psychosis and tub thumping defiance. Hits well above its weight division.
Stabbing Westward – Ungod
One of the more mainstream and melodic of Trent Reznor-inspired, industrial/alternative rock bands. Grinding and wailing guitars, a thunderous, tribal rhythm section drive some catchy melodies and create music that is infectious and kinetic. Little wonder it provides the soundtrack to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Control, Nothing and Lies all stand out. Riding the industrial wave of the early 90s? Who cares!