Fistula - We the Beast
Man, I like my doom metal slow and raw, but this is some jagged shit. The production is kinda Steve Albini if he spent most of the recording budget on downers, with the drums nice and spacey but the guitars left to sink deep into a bog. Due to this nasty production, I can only understand maybe 1/8th of the riffs on this album, but surprisingly that doesn't take away from it's baddassitude (for the record, Firefox did not correct my spelling on that word!). No surprises from the lyrics on this album: one song is called "Die, You're a Fucking Cop" (which contains a most excellent maxim: "fuck parking tickets") and from what I can tell most of the other lyrics have to do with drugs and apathy. Reminds me a little of Facedowninshit but heavier and with more punk agression. The tempos vacillate from groovy downtempo to full blown d-beat punk. Personally, I wish every track was as head-noddin' as the opener and "We Don't Need You." Still, great album to throw on if you're in a shitty mood and happen to have a fifth of Evan Williams on hand.
Iron Lung / Lana Dagales - split 12"
Iron Lung is one of my favorite bands right now. Their newer albums sound a lot heavier than this split (which came out in 2004) but they do the modern powerviolence "sludgy part straight into one second blastbeat" thing better than just about anyone. On this release they mix it up with some weirder, more noisy guitar work peppered with their usual scary sounds-from-a-b-movie soundscapes between songs. Brutal set of songs, and they top it off with a totally unironic late 90s breakdown at the end. A good example of their newer, heavier sound is the Sexless/No Sex LP.
Lana Dagales is a band I know next to nothing about except that they're from California and have apparently been around since '98. Oh, and like Iron Lung they are a two-piece. Unlike Iron Lung, they don't have a guitar player. The bass tone is so damn fuzzed out that I honestly didn't notice that it was bass and not severely down-tuned guitar until about 3 tracks in. The material here is a little more tech. Plenty of odd time sigs, some jazzy licks thrown in, but don't get me wrong...this is still metal. The songs are short and the vocals are of the throat-scraping variety.