Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dirt City Chronicles podcast episode 47

Albuquerque Sky

Greetings from that island of enlightenment in a sea of intolerance. The land of enchantment, New Mexico. A man can only ignore the "boost" your post button for so long. Tempted by the promise of beau-coup views and a cascade of page likes, I caved in and ran a handful of ads on FB's sidebar. Though highly skeptical of the process at first, I gotta say that initially the results beat all expectations. A second go-round brought me back to my senses. Diminishing results while pouring good money down the FB drain just isn't smart. I did however pick up a dozen new likes, and I would like to welcome those new followers to the one and only podcast and blog dedicated primarily to promoting music produced in New Mexico by artists based in the land of enchantment or with ties to local music scenes. I write about music (local and national) at I produce an ongoing podcast (available on You Tube, Vimeo and Dailymotion) showcasing local music (past and present) gleamed from various internet sources or my own private collection. We got ya' covered. 

On the whole, social commentary and political content are sadly lacking in local music. There are a few exceptions. “We're the Vassar Bastards and we're here to pick your bones” The Bastards (not included on this episode) make no bones about it, they will rub your collective noses in it. Speak up, take a stand, say what you want, mean what you say. Their commitment is readily evident in all their releases, especially so with “Another Person Dead” a defiant middle finger in the face of those thuggish ruggish boneheads at APD. The album is credited to Bostons Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Band..... Boston being the band's guitarist. “Another Person Dead” chronicles the cold blooded murder of James Boyd by Albuquerque SWAT. “We expect them to do as we say, because we are the ones who they answer to. We don't answer to APD. APD answers to the people” Cops are servants not masters. APD demands respect without giving respect.... what the fuck is wrong with this picture?

Before the Vassar Bastards, Racist Cop earned my respect with their unflagging grassroots take on punk rock. “What's the reason for acting so funny?” Outspoken, openly political, capable of kicking up dust at every available opportunity. For the majority of us, living in 'Burque ain't easy. Plebeian hopes for a just society have been dashed on the rocks of the Sandia foothills and in North Charleston, S.C. “Living in my hood, in my neighborhood. People get what they want when the getting is good” Champagne dreams and Trumpian wishes will prove to be empty promises and a recipe for disaster once hoodwinked Republicans come to realize that you can't roll back time and they're nothing but pawns in a rigged chess match. Racist Cop is gone, there's next to nothing about the band online other than their My Space page. They did leave behind one glorious extended player: “These Colors Kill” A live wire five song manifesto that spells it out for ya'.... on your knees or on your feet, your choice. 

Behold Boar Worship's oozing sludge emanating from anguished speakers already tortured beyond repair by repeated plays of Inappropriate Necessity. For those who love sludgy stoner rock, Boar Worship is the musical equivalent of comfort food. A relentless static charged sound so dense and heavy that you could cut through it with a knife. This experimental doom outfit was formed in Albuquerque (2009) relocated to Oakland, Ca. and is currently based in Denver, Co. The release of their debut album “The Decline and Fall of the Christian Empire” in 2009 introduced us to their droning rock of ages and a Brahman inspired dogma designed to lift the curtain to those seeking enlightenment. I'm reading between the lines, but hear me out anyway. “Pro Death” an ep released in 2012 touches on the rejection of lower worship by the militant faiths as a way of explaining why they have conquered and kept a permanent dominion over the world's god fearing masses.

This search for profound spiritualism culminated with the release of “Boar Worship” in 2015. “The interior truths, the divine secrets, the real way of salvation are known only to a few. The great majority of men, being timid and ignorant are concerned mainly in propitiating the powerful and malignant influences by which they fancy themselves to be surrounded” The supremely dominant principle of modern times is that the world is on a course of continual evolution... though the current political climate in our nation leads one to think that Devo got it right, devolution not evolution is our destiny. As we gear up for the coming apocalypse, my soundtrack of choice for end of the world warfare shall be this beastly sound. Beats Wagner’s “Ritt der Walküren” every single time. “Boar Worship” is not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart. If you suffer from delicate sensibilities or are easily offended just stick with Slipknot or some other equally cartoonish band. 

Laying claim to Albuquerque and The Bronx as their place of origin, Inappropriate Necessity eschewed all pretense and went straight for the jugular, flinging a handful of brief shit stomping tunes at the wall of convention. They described their musical style as “Verbally abusive, drug, and alcohol induced, relentless, un-compromised, straight to the point, hardcore assault” and they weren't lying. Listing “the Local Dope Dealer” and Pabst Blue Ribbon as their managers showed that these fellas had tongue firmly planted in cheek. In a scene saturated with trendy lame bands that play mallcore / deathcore / metalcore / lamecore / techical metal /ect.. humor is a rare commodity indeed. This is exemplified by lead vocalist Dave As One, the skid row version of Cyko Miko (Mike Muir) from Suicidal Tendencies. I'll just describe Inappropriate Necessity as grindcore for those with attention deficit disorder and be done with it. This mindrot is NSFW, though yo' mama may like it.

Marma consists of Charlie Morales (drums) and Tug Keith (guitar & vocals)... a drum and guitar duo usually brings The Black Keys or The White Stripes to mind, but Marma goes down a much more melodic and inventive path than the aforementioned twosomes. Marma released two versions of its debut album “PPHRTD” a live version of the album came out in Feb. of 2016 followed by the studio version in April. An unusual move to be certain. There's a slight variation in tracks and tracking order. Live versions of “You Know” and “I'm Sorry” are in reverse order while “Bukowski” is absent from the live album. “PPHRTD” is an excellent hyperkinetic punk rock album loaded with solid tunes and substantial lyrics that drift about on the edge of being high concept without ever taking the plunge. It's intelligent music that steadfastly retains its raunchy roots, delivered in an energetic and invigorating fashion. Punk rock for the thinking man or woman, that's something I can get behind.

Gee Baby ~ Marma
Don't Wait Up ~ Scatter Gather
F.Y.Y.F.F. ~ Inappropriate Necessity
Burn Your Family ~ Word Salad
Hired Hand ~ Prison of Sound
Heat on VHS ~ Shitty & The Terribles
Blood on the Porch ~ Racist Cop
Icky & The Yuks ~ Icky & The Yuks
Punk Rock Song ~ Sputniq
Loan Groan ~ Litter Brain
Capitalism ~ Then Eats Them
Clear Blue ~ Train Conductor
Johnny Remains ~ Uranium Worker
In the Well ~ Young Lungs
Keelhaul ~ Distances
No Place to be Junky Juice ~ Free Pop Arkestra
One ~ Boar Worship