Know Your Product
Singles Mixer: Scum Again, Melungeon, Kill Life
Special debut 7-inch edition
Published: December 7, 2011
Scum Again, “Old and Jaded Song” Here’s another cool thing Mike Riley can do with his voice. Scraping it out at high velocity onto a microphone is pretty cool in Pulling Teeth, but with Scum Again—another project involving the punk/metal/Charm City Art Space scene vet—we find him in Sick of it All/Fucked Up deep guttural, phlegmy hardcore vocal/cartoon barf mode. It’s impressive. Dunno where exactly this band fits into the punk spectrum these days. “Old and Jaded Song,” off the band’s just out debut 7-inch, shifts gears a few times—high-pressure thrashy hardcore distills to pop-punk and actual catchiness. Thirty seconds from the end it seems like the song’s moving into some kind of hooky chorus but just kinda trails off like that, with Riley singing “and fuck tomorrow, fuck tomorrow, fuck tomorrow” as sort of an anthem tease. It’s the sort of hybrid that doesn’t so much feel like the future and might just be better for it. Good fun.
For more information visit toxicpoprecords.com.
Melungeon, “Escape From Freedom” The funny, kind of tickly feeling at the base of your brain is the sense of hearing something new and weird and out of the blue. And then having it pounded into your skull. Melungeon is still a rather new trio made up of a couple of brains from generally awesome no-wave/free-jazz-rock outfit Whoarfrost, bassist Tim Shaw and vocalist/guitarist Jon Lipscomb, and oldish-school heavy-rock drummer Kenny Sanders of Gag School and Die Monster Die (at least). It’s Lipscomb, a Berklee College of Music grad and Out of Your Head improv semi-regular, who really owns “Escape From Freedom,” one of the tracks off Melungeon’s debut 7-inch. Over five minutes it accumulates in intensity, from pummelling and expected aggro doom/sludgecore (a la Eyehategod, say) and then turns into this breathless and totally unexpected showpiece of super-technical shredding. If doom metal is like some slowly advancing piece of construction or military machinery, imagine Lipscomb covering an unflinching bulldozer blade all over with ornate yet not particularly ironic designs with his guitar. It’s all as harsh and brutal as doom should be, but there’s a breathless something more to it. This band is one of the more promising things in Baltimore heavy music.
For more information visit melungeon.bandcamp.com.
Kill Life “Dead End America” There’s no official word on who exactly Kill Life is (by design), and the Kill Life web site just directs to a gory image of . . . something. A spine? Dunno. In any case, the band’s said to feature a rotating cast from heavy-music luminaries Magrudergrind, Integrity, Pulling Teeth, Crass, and Fucked Up. Eyehategod’s Mike Williams makes the one explicit contribution to Dead End America, and the vocals—delivering the title words like so much shrapnel—sound a bit like Pulling Teeth’s Mike Riley (see above), with high-velocity hardcore pummeling more Magrudergrind-y. It doesn’t really go on for long enough to pick apart in a band-by-band influence way, just enough to singe and leave a couple of bruises. Though I have to admit the severely irritating “Amazing Grace” renditions that bookend the track’s brief couple of minutes bear the marks of Mike Williams’ brand of fuck-you.
For more information visit a389records.com.
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