Ok, so itís now a new millenium, and this lot are from Estonia, but as band names and CD titles go,O3 with 3.47GB take the biscuit (notice the spelling!). Not just because it makes it damn awkward for me to do their name. The 3 is a subscript, you know, written slightly below and to the right of the O. But the package I use for this zine canít handle it. My brain. Aargh. Anyway, the great thing with all this is that I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the music. No preconceived ideas.
So whatís the music like? Well, as Run Away and Lucky Man unwind, the name Therapy? definitely springs to my mind. Kind of early T?, upto the Troublegum era, calling in quite a bit at the Nurse album. Itís a pretty tight sound, the guitar riffs relatively simple but catchy with hooks seemingly based around the repetition of one phrase. Prisoner builds around a simple groove and a strange treated vocal. Whatever they do, they seem to keep it relatively simple, but still interesting, songs taking center stage over effects. That Andy Cairns feeling is back for I Want To Die, nice retro kind of riff going on in there as well. Yeah, this is good. Nice squealy effects drenched solo in there, thought they were going to go for a noise option for a moment. Didnít quite make it, but nice anyway. And G.O.D. is a bit of alright as songs go, and things finish on a nice laid back groove with Stop The Rain. Nothing entirely original, but theyíve managed to capture something that keeps me interested. If only I could type the name! Sorry, no idea of the price, but like the Teardown demo below, send something to cover postage, it canít be cheap for a band to send something from Estonia.
Contact: O3, PO Box 62, 44302 Rakvere, Estonia. www.o3.ee
Bloody typical. Feels like thereís been a complete lack of demos this ish, and then a few of them pile in right as Iím supposed to be trying to finish this thing off. Well, letís see what we get. Otherwise itíll be a good few months until the next issue, and then you have to explain "yeah, itíll be finished when itís finished."
Got home from work to find one of those "please collect from the post office" cards. Went down next morning, showed a passport, got given a big box. Open it up and thereís this, a 3 track tape by Teardown all the way from Brazil called Persona Non Grata. And thatís it. No price. No contact. No cover letter. No details. No nothing. I know Iíve said I hate bios and all the crap, but this is like going to the other extreme. Of course it could also be that English is obviously not their native language, and therefore itís harder. But thatís weird, because on this offering all the lyrics are printed in english and in places they sing them faster than I could ever do. Weird. Anyway, the music itself? Well, are they keeeeela? Oh come on, you couldnít expect me not to do that now could you? Itís cliched, cheap and tacky. Thereís no way I could avoid it. And to be fair, the name Sepultura does spring to mind, and yes, it could well be totally to do with where theyíre from than a real musical connection. But itís like the earlier, well thrashy era Seps that springs to mind. A bit more hardcore than they were, but basically coming from a similar kind of musical place.
The tracks themselves twist all over the place, switching from slower moments to rapid fire speed bursts, with plenty of time changes. The three tracks on offer Persona Non Grata, Doctrine and Earthquakes clock in between the 4 and 6 minute mark, and the lyrics are pretty intelligent and angry. Most interesting of the bunch to me is the second track Doctrine, but it all sounds pretty intense and promising. The guitar could be a little more dominant in the mix, but again, thatís a production problem, and so not really much of an issue at this stage. Not sure that theyíll have an impact, but hey, who wouldíve thought the Seps would all those years ago. One to watch out for in the future perhaps? Not sure on the price, send a bit to cover postage costs:
Beto, Rua Alberti Albertini, 287 Jardim Lindoia, 91060 280 Porto Alegre RS Brasil.
John Holmes - el louso suavo.
This 10 tracker cost 6 quid I think it was, and itís another of those bands featuring members of Hard To Swallow and the like. Thereís a huge number of them around, and trust me, thereís more coming. So, time to settle in for a nice few relaxing AOR moments. Ah, Iím toying with you. Playing with your emotions and sensibility. Dangerous stuff - hope I didnít scare you tooo much there.
But yeah, itís not the total noise and yaaay fest I was expecting. It feels more structure and defined than that and a bit more grindy in places. Thereís still some yaaay going on, and it is noisy, but well, bluntly, itís just a damn site more interesting than some of the other bands. I can differentiate between some of the songs, thereís a few more twists, and some more discernible riffs going on. Forgery starts it off, and thereís a whiff of 3D House of Beef in there somewhere for me, Diary of a Badman has a more metallic riff and feel going through it. Howardís Song has a nice grindy chug and tempo changes. Downstream has a touch of the Lemmyís in the vocal growl, while Master Blaster is a pure speed blast whilst the closer Space Trip (666) is the most adventurous, and for me best song here, loads of things going on to keep the interest.
Lyrically itís as pissed off as youíd expect, the excellent Blacklist screaming, bouncing and threatening the vow of
"Youíre on my blacklist, top of my shitlist,
Letter bomb coming to you"
Yeah, surprisingly good. Or not surprisingly good, just surprised how much I actually enjoyed this one. Doesnít get me leaping around the room, but I can sit back and enjoy.
Flat Earth Records, "Bradford Music?" PO Box 169, Bradford, BD1 2UJ.
Ok, just got another batch of CDs from Copro, but Iím afraid theyíre going to have to wait for the next issue, as will anything else that arrives here after. Weíre closed for business this time round before I add another 4 pages and make this issue even more insane in size than it already is. Next time my cherubs, next time.