Cattle Decapitation vomit forth rarities and hit the road for North American tour

Cattle-Decap-Pablo-Montano
Photo by Pablo Montano

Many of you readers have pointed out that our favorite meat-is-murder goregrind band, Cattle Decapitation, aren’t actually all that weird anymore, since most of their more recent material is no longer quite so specifically about the evils of factory farming and turning cows into cannibals. (And yes, that last part is a thing that actually happens, not just some twisted fantasy of Cattle Decapitation.) But they’re still awesome, so who cares? We’ll continue providing updates on their activities until somebody finds us another deathgrind band with a weirder back catalog and a frontman more unhinged than Travis Ryan.

Besides, their latest release, Medium Rarities, goes all the way back to Cattle Decap’s early days, when Travis would sometimes wear a mask made out of beef jerky and their songs had titles like “Diarrhea for Dahmer” and “Flesh-Eating Disease.” In addition to those early demos, the collection also includes several hard-to-find bonus tracks and all the songs from their 2005 split EP with another of our favorite weird metal bands, Caninus, the dog-fronted grindcore group. Also, the LP comes in special “rare” and “well done” meat-colored versions, as well as European versions that, according to Ryan, “resemble diseased meats.” Those, needless to say, will be highly sought-after collector’s items, at least until the cows rise up from their feedlots and kill us all in an orgy of bovine-on-human torture porn.

Here’s a promotional video for Medium Rarities, featuring its gross-out album art and the 2012 track “An Exposition of Insides,” previously only available in Japan. Oh, and did I mention that Cattle Decap will be on tour starting Oct. 21st, supporting technical death metalers Suffocation? Well, they will be. Full dates after the clip.

CATTLE DECAPITATION w/ Suffocation, Krisiun, Visceral Disgorge:
10/21/2018 Mulcahy’s Concert Hall – Wantagh, NY
10/22/2018 Middle East Down – Cambridge, MA
10/23/2018 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC
10/24/2018 Lee’s Place – Toronto, ON
10/25/2018 Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
10/26/2018 The Forge – Joliet, IL
10/27/2018 Amsterdam Bar And Grill – St. Paul, MN
10/29/2018 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
10/30/2018 Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO
10/31/2018 Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UT
11/01/2018 Diamondz Event Center – Jerome, ID
11/02/2018 Club Sur Rocks – Seattle, WA
11/03/2018 Lola’s Room – Portland, OR
11/04/2018 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA
11/05/2018 Whisky A Go-Go – West Hollywood, CA
11/06/2018 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
11/07/2018 Club Red – Mesa, AZ
11/09/2018 Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
11/10/2018 Gas Monkey Bar ‘N’ Grill – Dallas, TX
11/11/2018 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
11/13/2018 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
11/14/2018 The Cone Denim Entertainment Center – Greensboro, NC
11/15/2018 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
11/16/2018 Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
11/17/2018 Reverb – Reading, PA

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Clown Core

clown-core-toilet-album-cover

Last week, a video surfaced on YouTube of a band called Clown Core performing a song called “Hell” inside a porta-potty. It went viral in a matter of days, getting reposted by Adult Swim and written up on various metal sites, because it is awesome. Here, judge for yourself:

Did you catch all that? The horror movie synths, the industrial beats, the death metal vocals, the Kenny G interlude? Can you grasp the sheer, unadulterated genius of it all? Maybe you better watch it again just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. We’ll wait.

Although prior to last week, hardly anyone (including us) was aware that Clown Core existed, the duo has actually been around since at least 2010. That’s when they released their self-titled debut album, which features 13 similarly unhinged ditties with titles like “Diarrhea Inferno Welfare Burrito” and “I Ate a Luna Bar and My Dick Fell Off.” It’s available on Spotify and iTunes, where it’s listed under “Children’s Music.” What’s remarkable is how fully formed the whole Clown Core concept seems to have been, even back then. Mostly using just sax, keyboards and drums, the duo mix punk-rock, death metal, jazz and plenty of comic relief (the Benny Hill theme shows up at one point, and there’s also a death metal cover of “Deck the Halls”) to create a sort of cartoon version of Mike Patton-era Mr. Bungle by way of Moon Hooch. They’re clearly not taking any of it seriously, but they’re also clearly very good musicians — which just makes it all that much funnier.

“Hell” is from Clown Core’s just-released new album, which is called Toilet, presumably because these guys were smart enough to realize that Porta-Potty is a terrible album title. It’s an even nuttier, more tightly wound hodgepodge of abrasive sounds than their debut, with more dubstep-like synths and death metal vocals and song titles like “Google Your Own Death” and “The Area 51 Snack Bar Sucks.”

So far there are no clues as to who’s behind the clown masks. Aside from their two albums, their online presence is limited to a YouTube channel and a Twitter account that’s less than a month old (and already three times more followers than us — thanks a lot, Internet). [Update: They also have a Facebook page.] We’re not even sure where they’re from, although the fact that the Porta-potty in the “Hell” video has a SoCal Industries logo suggests that they’re based right here in Southern California. Maybe they’re a spinoff of our favorite local masked electro-punks, Fartbarf? Although last we checked, no one in Fartbarf plays sax. Maybe it’s a couple of the guys from Kneebody — the jazziest track on Toilet, “Truth and Life” (also, at 2:44, the longest), actually sounds kinda like Kneebody in places.

Ultimately, though, who cares who’s behind Clown Core? Let’s just enjoy the fact that while I was writing this post, they released a second video, this time for Toilet‘s skittering title track. It also takes place inside a SoCal Industries porta-potty — but this time, the porta-potty has moved! What does it mean??? (Also, trigger warning for anyone who was molested by a clown as a child.)

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BloodHag

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Underneath all the tattoos and black clothing, a lot of metal fans are nerds. They collect manga comic books, play Final Fantasy, can rattle off the names of secondary Game of Thrones characters, and read a lot of sci-fi. Like, a lot of sci-fi. And that sci-fi permeates the lyrics and imagery of many successful metal bands, from the dystopian concept albums of Fear Factory to the intergalactic space demons of GWAR. But it’s fair to say no band ever took the intersection of metal and science fiction to a more literal extreme than BloodHag.

Formed in Seattle in 1996, BloodHag (or BlöödHag, for those of you who like your metal garnished with umlauts) played short, spastic bursts of throat-shredding death metal about sci-fi authors, from the famous ones taught in high school and college English classes (George Orwell, Aldous Huxley) to the genre heroes known only to those hardcore fans who have “Hugo Awards” in their Google alerts (Michael Swanwick, Robert Silverberg). They did this, until calling it quits around 2010, while dressed like high school math teachers, in white shirts and horn-rimmed glasses, under such learned stage names as Dr. J. M. McNulty (guitar), Professor J.B. Stratton (bass) and Ambassador Brent Carpenter (drums).

Their music, as heard on a handful of albums and EPs with names like Hooked on Demonics and Hell Bent for Letters, was classically thunderous death metal compressed down into punk-like two- and three-minute blasts of growls, double-kick rumbles and and Sabbath-y guitar licks. Combining that with gutturally delivered lyrics like “Along with Asimov, he’s on a list of the most gifted secular humanists in history” (from “Kurt Vonnegut Jr.”) is weird enough, but what really earns BloodHag a spot on the Weird List is this: In 2000, they managed to convince someone in the King County Library System that their “edu-core” tunes were enriching enough to be part of their literacy program. So they embarked on a tour of Seattle area libraries. Playing death metal. The absurd brilliance of this was captured in an eight-minute documentary called BlöödHag: The Faster You Go Deaf…The More Time You Have to Read, which is on YouTube and which you should really go watch right now because you haven’t lived until you’ve seen gleeful children and horrified library staff getting their hair blown back to songs with titles like “Marion Zimmer Bradley.”

We’ll leave you with what, according to McNulty, is BloodHag’s only music video, for their two-minute ode to gifted secular humanist Kurt Vonnegut. We hope these guys do a reunion tour soon, because clearly our increasingly semi-literate society is more in need than ever of being smacked upside the head by a few nice thick Orson Scott Card paperbacks.

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Weird of the Day: Cookie Mongoloid, “C Is for Cookie”

Cookie Mongoloid

Recently a reader named StArSeEd (obviously a big fan of tUnE-yArDs) bombarded our Submit a Band page with about a zillion bands of varying levels of weirdness. And while we wish we cover them all, StarSeed (sorry, I’m not putting all those goddamned caps in your name twice), for today, you’ll have to settle for us sharing Cookie Mongoloid with our readers.

Cookie Mongoloid is (or possibly was—they seem to have been inactive since about 2010) a Bay Area bunch of freaks who took the popular description of death metal growls as “Cookie Monster vocals” to its logical conclusion: They got Cookie Monster himself to be their lead singer. Actually, I suspect it’s not Cookie himself but probably his alcoholic brother, Mookie Conster. But since we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them live for ourselves, it’s hard to say for sure. They call their music “Sesame speed metal” but I think “Muppet goregrind” is catchier, though perhaps less accurate.

Anyway, here’s a video of them performing (what else?) “C Is for Cookie,” complete with flames, motorcycles and a cookie cannon. Looks like fun! If anyone knows whether or not these guys are still together, let us know.

Hey, remember that parrot who sang lead vocals for the death metal band Hatebeak? Now he’s a fucking music critic.

For Those About to Squawk

Listen, magazines. I know times are tough and no one subscribes to you anymore and all. But do you really need to start replacing your writers with fucking birds? It’s not like us freelance writers cost all that much to begin with. And most of us don’t shit all over your product on a regular basis. Most of us.

Anyway, it’s true: Whether to cut costs, as a desperate bid for attention, or because somebody lost a bet, Waldo the Grey African Parrot from Hatebeak is a music critic for Decibel magazine with a bi-weekly column called “For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week.” Actually, he’s been one of their critics since 2010, so we’re a little late in breaking this story. No wonder we’re being phased out by birds.

In case you’re not familiar with Waldo’s other gig: Hatebeak was a joke death metal formed back in 2004 with Waldo doing lead vocals. We’ve embedded their 2007 masterpiece “The Thing That Should Not Beak” below for your listening pleasure. I gotta give it to him: He’s a talented bird, that Waldo. He even writes pretty good. “This record has the teeth of an infant, and is about as warm as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s corpse,” is how he describes one particularly shitty album. Metaphorical and offensive…nice one, Waldo!

Hatebeak has been out of circulation for a pretty long time…so long that their main web presence is still their MySpace page. Between Waldo’s busy writing schedule and the success of Hatebeak drummer Blake Harrison’s other band, Pig Destroyer, I guess they just haven’t had a chance to get back in the studio. But in a 2012 radio interview, Harrison hinted at a full-length Hatebeak album dropping sometime “before I die,” so hopefully we haven’t heard Waldo’s last death squawk.

Finally, an experimental death metal song about the Teletubbies. Thanks, VirginTurtleWhore!

Teletubbies Say Fuck You!

It’s about time someone made an experimental death metal song about the Teletubbies. And VirginTurtleWhore was just the band for the job.

On their new track, “Teletubbies Say Fuck You!”, the Mexican metalheads invite the Teletubbies over to play, then bash them over the head with their Flying V’s and stomp their soft, squishy bodies into paste. At least I assume that’s what happened, although that doesn’t explain the Texas two-step breakdown, so I don’t know. Maybe all they did was party.

Here’s what VTW say about the track on their Bandcamp page:

Turn on the ole’ boob tube and enter the realm of Satan and become his anal bead today! Every time my urethra sings this song it gives me an orgasm which in turn drowns the singer, so tragic really. Sometimes I put the in ear headphones in my bum hole and let the vibrations rattle my rectum until I get diarrhea. If the yellow and red teletubbies have sex is the baby orange?

My friend’s two-year-old says the answer to that last question is definitely “yes,” by the way. He also asked what a urethra was, but I just told him it was none of his goddamned business.

Anyhow, enough talk. Let’s rock. Oh and if you want to download the track: I’m pretty sure the market value of a song this good is at least half a million dollars. But you can name your price, you cheap bastard.

A Band of Orcs

A Band of Orcs

Somebody really should do a TV show called Dungeons, Dragons & Death Metal. Has a nice ring to it, right? Way better than Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. The host of Dungeons, Dragons & Death Metal would swallow Guy Fieri whole…except for his hair, because his hair probably tastes like peroxide and bacon grease.

I’m not really sure what they’d do on Dungeons, Dragons & Death Metal…drive around to role-playing stores and declare their figurines to be “the bomb,” I guess…but I have the perfect soundtrack for it: A Band of Orcs. They’re Orcs who play death metal. Any questions? Didn’t think so.

A Band of Orcs are a five-piece from Santa Cruz…or I should say, they’re from “the blasted doomscape of Hirntodia” but came to our world via Santa Cruz because when stoner hippies aren’t surfing, they’re playing Dungeons & Dragons. They’ve been around since 2006. They released an EP in 2007 called Warchiefs of the Apocalypse and a full-length album in 2012 called Adding Heads to the Pile, both of which shred pretty hard for a bunch of guys in rubber Orc suits. Or, if you don’t want to spoil the fantasy, I guess you could say their music shreds pretty hard considering they didn’t learn to play guitar, bass and drums until they were cast into our world by a monster summoning spell and heard some Slayer.

They made a video in 2007 called “Into the Maelstrom” that is so fucking awesome they haven’t made another one since. I mean, how can you top this shit? There’s an entire conquering Orc army! With giant beasts with stages strapped to their backs so A Band of Orcs can do a concert in the middle of the battlefield! I have to watch it again and break stuff.

Apparently no one knows the true identities of A Band of Orcs. Unless they really are Orcs. That could explain why they haven’t made any more videos. Orcs are notoriously camera-shy. Although they have given a ton of on-camera interviews, so that blows that theory. Maybe they prefer to just let the music speak for itself. Yeah, that must be it.

By the way: Thanks to reader “enragedlime” for suggesting that we add these beasts to The Weird List. You can stop being so enraged now, OK?

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