Friday, October 30, 2009

fuck off nowadays global pandemic

Whilst the rest of Toronto is in a panic about a possible H1N1 epidemic and desperately trying to get barely plausible vaccines adminstered to them (in a rush that resembles an iphone marketing campaign in structure and effect) The Endless Blockade is sitting with middle fingers exposed to the world.

Eric is so fucking hardcore he went and LAUGHED in the face of H1N1, daring it to kill him.

Eric lives, Swine Flu was destroyed by his immune system and he was only hospitalised for a mere 24 hours. Take that disease culture! The Endless Blockade lives on with our no longer in hopital and 100% not dead from Swine Flu drummer!

Anyway, the upshot of this cage match is that we're no longer siq moshing with Cro Mags (jam) and Iron Lung in Montreal this weekend.

What this means to you is that i'm reluctantly forced to do mail order for two dfferent shirt designs. Vishnu/ Crowley and Serpent/ Messiah Rasputin are both available. $15 each post paid anywhere in the world. E mail to enquire about sizes, availability and paypal details

(dog hair not included)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Currently being pressed

I'll write more when it's actually available.

This has been a long stressful time in the making.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Nation of Shop Keepers?

The British Isles is a collection of small nations made up of former barbarians and conquerors lost in time and unable to understand how to work in the modern era. At least when there was an Empire we could still console ourselves that we were a force to be reckoned with.

You only have to observe almost any group of Brits Abroad as we drape our flag over ourselves and urinate on sleeping Spanish homeless dudes in some atavistic territorial marking to see that we're a lost bunch of savages with absolutely no idea how to behave. Anyone familiar with Amsterdam can attest that the British are the only thing that can actually lower the tone of the red light district anymore than it already is.

And far worse than Brits Abroad is actually being one stuck on the Islands with all the other displaced savages. It's modern times, go work in a shop and raise capital, go drive mass transit systems. Fuck, have you met Glasgow bus drivers? Whilst spending some time in Spain a few years ago i was amazed at how easy it was at the time to scam on to the subway system for free right in front of the workers eyes. If i tried that back home they'd have chased me out of the station and kicked the living shit out of me for daring to avoid paying.

Any excuse for a fight and i'd be lying if i said i didn't suddenly spark to life when near any form of conflict. The hardest thing about moving to Canada for me six years ago was changing the way i intereacted with people on the streets and in supermarkets. The casual offerings of violence that in general aren't going to actually transpire and usually merely demarcate personal space and community standing don't mean the same in sunny Toronto.

It took me a while to figure that one out and actively change the way i interact with strangers.

When people talk about looking for the meaning of life i think what is more accurately being done is looking for a way to experience a life most of us feel divorced from. I've always found that playing in the bands i stick out for the long haul fills a large part of that existential gap relatively well for my needs.

Shank started two years after i moved to Glasgow, Ebola overlapped the first eighteen months of Shank's five year existence and i think i'd parted ways with Sawn Off about a year prior.

I've written some stuff of this before.

I guess i was revisiting Shank recently to hear how i used to write songs; i'm in the midst of a lengthy personal experiment where i'm writing in an intentionally mechanical and highly restrictive way in Blockade. Not that it's entirely comparable as regarding direction Shank was mostly a duality and Blockade is generally a dictatorship.

Shank's formation was essentially the same as Ebola's; life is shit, let's do something better.

At the time i was working in a shit job at a community mental health residence. I intentionaly put myself on to permenant night shift and work would generally consist of making long distance calls from the office phone, write songs on the beaten up acoustic guitar rescued from Carstairs (god knows what former cannibal descendent of Sawney Bean that had belonged to..), smoke a bunch of hash whilst watching a horror film rented on the unit's microscopic entertainment budget then fall asleep listening to whatever harsh noise i'd traded for that week. Seven hours later i'd get up twenty minutes before the boss came in and just barely pretend to have been awake all night.

Anyway, Shank, four displaced angry bastards that used to drink in Halt Bar on Woodlands Road together and happened to all have the necessary skills to be in a barely functioning band together

Getting anything done was always a major problem; we owned no equipment, none of us could drive (and most of our friends lacked that skill as well), no one ever had any money and there was always the black hole pull of Glasgow's legendary entropy of the human spirit holding at least one of us back.

It's funny i look back on it all with fond memories (and typing this with the rain pelting against my window inspires even more nostalgia, all i need is a screaming smack head outside my apartment door and i'm set) but at the time it was a nightmare. Amazingly we never came to any physical blows amongst ourselves despite all butting heads constantly, though i do remember quite clearly one on-tour suicide threat that had the rest of us almost relieved that if carried through we wouldn't be compelled to do this shit anymore.

Looking back on the recording of our LP now seems almost farcical to me. We set up in our by-the-hour practice space with our friends new fangled hard disk eight track recorder (a big deal in Glasgow circa 2000) and blasted through twenty one songs live (like, actually live) in less than four hours. About three months later we recorded a second guitar and i did a small amount of additional vocals in a sketchy lock-up on some industrial estate in Edinburgh.

And this all took fucking months to plan. Hell, it took so long that Slap a Ham (the label it supposed to come out on) folded and 625 and Deep Six had to step in and release it.

And live? Equally ridiculous; Playing with an anarchist puppet show in Bradford (you have no idea...), being chased out of a squat in Poland by neo-nazis, three of us chasing some poor kid up the stairs and out on to the street (over God knows what) in Glasgow leaving Jason playing drums on his own to a perplexed audience.

Oh, and let's not forget the perfect end to that band; me having chronic pneumonia on tour in California and playing our last ever show almost unable to breath. Two nights earlier in San Diego i was hallucinating my arse off in the van immediately before we went on and i had to be propped up against a pillar just to make it through a vastly reduced five minute set.

Alas the proposed gig in Glasgow that would've been Shank, The Exploited and a bunch of Gabber DJs never happened. That night of old school crazy Exploited punks Vs young Mad Skwad Team Gabber Ned would've undoubtedly been punks answer to the Heysel Stadium Disaster of 1985. I guess i'll never be able share that tale of adventure with my grandchildren. Still, at least i'm not dead because of it...

Here are some download links:

Coded Messages LP and split split LP with Iron Lung
Curse of Shank pre LP discography

Shank was undoubtedly the most "real" band i've ever been and ever will be involved in. On a romantic level i miss that, but on a practical level i'm glad those days are long gone.


Orcustus - s/t
Grey Wolves - Judgement
Spacement 3 - Playing With Fire


The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

slaughter strike shirts

New shirt by Chris Reifert, $15 plus postage, also have a few logo shirts, black on white or white on black for $10 plus postage

Paypal info here.

Also made another batch of demos, Nurse Ettiquette from Detroit will also be releasing a version in a few weeks to keep up with demand.


Mammoth Grinder - Extinction of Humanity
Swans - Real Love
Prosanctus Inferni/ Witchtomb
Grunt - Terror and Degeneration


The Good, The Bad, The Funny - Ramsey Dukes
LA Despair - John Gilmore

Saturday, October 10, 2009

come friendly bombs pt 2

Noise label Dada Drumming released Come Friendly Bombs as his first non-noise release after Greg Dada had been my online stalker for a few years. Greg managed to drag Joshua Norton Cabal out of wilfull inactivity not once but twice and is still one of a very small handful of people i will record noise on request for if the occasion requires it.

Anyway, Greg took a break from the world and resurfaced again recently.

Apparently Greg also found a box of the first press of Come Friendly Bombs on colour and some Blockade rat king shirts.

Feed his addiction to crystal meth and send him an e mail to purchase

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some vague ramblings about the commodity of truth in art

In my opinion the two most important aspects of musical development of the last fifty years were John Cage and Discharge. And certainly guitar and volume based bands that have no connection on at least some level to Discharge, Hell Hammer or Autopsy usually hold little to no interest for me. Bands influenced by Sabbath is a little less cut and dry for me...

Beyond these, on a cultural level the two musical currents of the last fifteen (ish) years that have resonated the most with me are Riot Grrl (the worst genre name since Power Violence) and Black Metal; both of which polarised (and still do) a lot of people.

In both genres intent became more important than proficiency, proficiency being often consigned to a lower rung on the ladder of importance.

Both genres were (past tense intended) about the acknowledgement of being a part of something larger. Of course Black Metal's aims were usually more obscure, but that was always an important facet of distinguishing outsiders and intellectual interlopers from the core who "got it". And some of the less political aspects of Riot Grrl were also arguably similar in intent.

Anyway, this lead in is just that; a lead in. I have no desire to attempt a comparitive study of two only superficially similar and largely impossible to correlate cultural strands. I'll leave that to some boring post-grad and i'm sure the book version of the thesis is just around the corner. I'll no doubt ultimately shelve it alongside some of the more recent stunningly bland books about noise that have been published.

This weekend i was in Montreal (yes, American readers, that's where some of them speak French), Teenage Jesus and the Jerks entertained me on friday night and Blasphemy formed the centre of my saturday night escapade down the path of drunken revelry.

Lydia Lunch falls into a group of people along with Boyd Rice, Throbbing Gristle, Robert Anton Wilson, Jello Biafra, Oliver Fox and Anton LaVey that quickly and dramatically reshaped my teenage interests and thought processes. Of course more than a few of the above now irritate me to varying degrees, but they were good access points to other perspectives.

Like anyone at the frontier of some cultural plague, from Ragnar Redbeard to Tim Yohannan to Dwid Hellion, Lunch's legacy has a lot to answer for. And that legacy can be summed up as 'endless boring pricks bending over, spreading their gaping anuses and commanding you to stare into their honesty'.

For every Emilio Cubeiro there's twenty Elizabeth Wirzel's and something like two hundred and fifty seven Netto's Henry Rollins.

Though in all honesty i don't know if i should be blaming Lunch or Annie Sprinkle for the Stare at my Ugly Truth untertainment cult.

So, after suffering through one and a half (i liked half of one set) rotten self professed weird and strange bands whose weirdness and strangeness was their major selling point (bar camel toe and shit haircuts). Teenage Jesus and the Jerks played and they were really good, hell, far far better than my relatively low expectations were (i felt time may have completely passed them by).

The mosh pit was inexplicable and the well placed boot to the face of one would be stage diver glorious.

For a woman who's made her name in spoken word there was a lack of on stage banter and the set was pretty short. THIS IS A GOOD THING. God damn i hate almost anyone that thinks i should listen to them for more than twenty minutes (generally it's ten) unless it's Godflesh before 1992 (in my all time top five shows ever), Hijokaidan (ditto), Bastard Noise or the upcoming Autopsy one off i promised myself i'd go to despite swearing off MDF after playing there earlier this year.

Oh yeah, and unlike Throbbing Gristle in Chicago back in May there was a welcome lack of middle aged bank managers desperate to prove to the world how much more of a transcendental experience than anyone else they were having. Fuck, i wish i'd secretly filmed some of those wankers, eyes glazed over in rapt nostalgia which is essentially the lowest form of emotional connection, as sarcasm is to wit and Christianity is to Divinity.

Basically it was still relevant (and didn't need a Burning Man overhaul a la TG), unpretenious and far heavier than any number of riffless amplifier bands the youth seem to dig these days. Just a great performance.


Much is made of Black Metal's tendency towards the Kvlt and the True at the expense of the False (and occasionally the Posers).

As mentioned briefly above, initially this was a great way to ward off outsiders. The scene was small and insular enough to have its largely unwritten rules and a structure akin to a magical order intact (initiates, probationers, adepts, illuminates etc etc etc). But it got too big, its uncommerical edge became it's suprise selling point.

Point in case when i saw Mayhem recently i was amazed at how insanely awful they were, not just terrible sound and poor performance on such a huge stage to large audience, but also just how utterly unforgiving and listener unfriendly the music was. Clearly this is a band who have triumphed somehow in managing to sell what many would assume to be unsellable. And on a personal note i've enjoyed every Mayhem studio recording immensely (bar A Grand Declaration of War which is laughable) .

In 2009 a lot of the Scandinavian bands might as well be Led Zeppelin (fuck Led Zep) and a lot of the Americans are for all intents and purposes idea-free punk rockers trying to liberate themselves from punk but without any real idea of what to replace it with. As confused and as useless as what appears to be a current trend for people describing themselves as 'spiritual atheists', only with bad drumming and tinny guitars.

When the only real value a scene seems to (superficially) have amounts to being true to the unholy spirit of Black Metal a mass cop out occurs and we have an inversion of meaning on a level with Britney Spears singing about love and devotion.

In general it's the one's who don't get it that become obsessed with truth and falsehood, their own insecurities around both their personal motivations and their tenuous grip on what they hold in high regard are vomited forth endlessly. People just keep yelling "False!" like some Antichrist Tourettes War Command Fallen Angel of Truth because that way they'll never have to hear anyone elses criticism or be alone with their own terrifying thoughts for a minute.

Let's face it, almost every worthless False has a project that sounds "exactly like Ildjarn (dude)" these days. The commodity of being True is being sold back to us by the False en masse.

And to my mind the real problem with never getting past endless what's True and what's False is that they've become such arbitrary and comical terms. Which means that bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and the unimaginably rubbish Krallice get a free ride because barely anyone can muster up any criticism beyond a sheep like sour grapes bleat of "false black metal". Or worse, any one that can muster up a half decent critique is easily dismissed as yet another stupid Tr00 Kvlt Black Metal moron.

Which brings me to Blasphemy.

In the last four years the amount of redirection towards Blasphemy (and to a slightly lesser extent Von and Beherit) has grown massively. As people search for truer and truer alibis to their own sense of self worth they fall back on these guys.

And with good reason; Blasphemy pretty much broke the mold on every self-conscious nerdy metal jack off that made you laugh whenever they spoke of their 'warrior spirit'. No one else was really like Basphemy before and really, there won't ever be another band like them again.

Proclaiming themselves Satanic Black Metal Skinheads (a seriously bold move) twenty years ago they synthesised youth cultures in the most honest and quite frankly genuinely terrifying ways imaginable.

Satanic Skinheads? That was a weird fucking proposition, sometimes easy to forget how out there that was at the time.

And of course they're inadvertantly responsible for so much dreadful music masquerading as 'True Black Metal'. A simple scan of the sub-sub genre they're responsible for reveals that little is needed to fool a lot of people.

Chris Moyenesque cover, song titles more pathologically obsessed with Christ than most Christians and a whole bizarre mish mash of incongruous imagery liberally lifted from the western occult tradition. Throw some inverted crosses with some Enochian script and maybe a key of Solomon or two and Black Winds is your uncle. No need to add any actual substance to it.

It's more disingenuous than Cradle of Filth and it's being sold as 'real' and Kvlt. The reality is that it's frequently a passing lip service to theistic Satanism with occult clip art profusely splashed all over the cover. And don't forget your five bullet belts Young Warrior.

Which is not to say that it's all bad, Diocletian are doing something genuinely interesting with the style and i love the utterly neanderthal approach of Proclamation.

But really all underground cultures suffer this contraction of thought being sold back to people as either pushing the envelope or guarding the tradition. And like i said, most of it (in any underground culture) is largely dishonest and an inversion of the actual principles that they profess to embody.

In any case, the Blasphemy show. There were far less posers yelling about reality like some kind of Satanic Hip Hop all stars than i had anticipated. I think art witch Diamanda Galas performing the same night probably split that vote. Better being seen as cultured than intentionally cultureless if the occasion calls for an either/ or in some peoples mind i guess.

So Blasphemy, way too quiet to instantly endear me to them, but writing this on the train home two days later i'm struck with a lasting sense of how powerful a spectacle it was on a primal level.

Blasphemy were exactly what a gang (as in GANG) of 40 year old Christ hating coke dealers would look like; intimidating mother fuckers without even having to do anything 'intimidating'. In my line of work i meet a lot of people, a lot of them talk big, but in general the really mental ones don't need to do a damn thing; they just exude 'don't fuck with me' and are usually very friendly. But you know they could kill you in a heartbeat and wouldn't loose any sleep over it.

(this is a version of a larger piece that may one day eventually make it in to the print zine i've been threatening to do for a few months now)


The Rita - Skate/ Snorkel
Drowned - Aerth (these guys need to release more)
Black Sabbath - Peel Sessions
Cro Mags - Age of Quarrel
Kito - the Long Player


Psychogeography - Will Self
Cinema Purgatory 2 - Rick Tremble
Magic and the Qabalah - W E Butler