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Sollubi – ‘At War With Decency’ and ‘The Struggle’

In Hardcore Punk, Metal, Music on November 28, 2010 at 11:57 am

Here at HARD FEELINGS headquarters, the house band is always SOLLUBI. This group of degenerates has amazed my ears with two stellar releases: their debut CD “At War With Decency,” and “The Struggle,” a 36+ minute dirge issued on a split with Aquilonian (ex-Bongzilla.) Both discs are available from Choking Hazard Records.

In Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs refers to the Sollubi as “an untouchable caste in Arabia noted for their abject vileness.” The band lives down to this description in all departments: instrumental, lyrical, and most of all, vocal – the hostile snarling of frontman Jesse Kling is a perfect match for the psychedelic bum-trip riffs and lyrics of guitarist Griff. Scott Stearns (bass) and Corey Bing (drums) provide the heavy rhythmic damage.

“Ours is the sound…the sound that defies all interest,” goes the refrain in “Underage Drinking Party,” and these guys sure know how to weed out the poseurs. Sing along with Kling: “There was a sexual assault…at the underage drinking party…and no one was surprised… and no one gave one fuck.” (Technically, at least one fuck must have been given if a sexual assault took place, but why argue with a nihilist?)

The title track of “At War With Decency” is 28 minutes of total negation. (It’s worth looking at the lyrics.) Throughout the disc, the band produces hateful, slow and horrible sounds with the kind of ugliness that only the truly sick-minded can achieve.

‘”The Struggle” really ups the ante not only in its grueling running time (a brutal endurance test best suited to the drugged and unemployed) but also in its chilling white-trash narrative. The song tells of a bound-and-cuffed motel-room scumfest in which subhumans become sordid “superstars” (presumably on Cops). The band builds a gigantic tower of instrumental doom, and when Kling starts to vocalize, the song just paralyzes. The grand finale, in which the mantra dissolves into a menacing wash of electronic noise (also courtesy of Kling) reminds me very much of what my cousin and bandmate Philip Markonish once said in a songwriting “strategy session” (cough, cough) for our doom band Blood Farmers: “We need to go for the slo-mo, gaseous ending.” In “The Struggle,” Sollubi takes this concept to its most radical extreme; the question is, what will these freaks do next?

In the meantime, Griff hosts a radio show called MY GHETTO in which he brings the ultra-heavy on a weekly basis to CHSR 97.9 FM in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Cana-duh. (Just to get the swinish graft right out in the open here, I’ll be guest-hosting an episode soon.)

Members of Sollubi also play (or have played) in Fistula, the Pennsylvania Connection, Rape-X, Cough Suppressant Alcoholics, and other insalubrious outfits. If you like Kil-Slug, Upside-Down Cross, Black Flag, Flipper, St. Vitus, Post Mortem,  or if you just hate everything, then you will dig on this noise.

Most people won’t give one fuck.

Barry Richards: The Heavy Head Leader

In Music, Uncategorized on January 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

An amazing time capsule of rock history exploded onto the screen in October 2009 at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring, Md., as legendary D.C. music personality Barry Richards screened highlights from his long-lost TV show “Turn-On”. Remastered from the original 2-inch broadcast videotapes, the mind-blowing series is headed to DVD this year.

Barry has worked as a DJ, concert promoter, and music-biz mover all over the country, but he’s best-loved in his hometown of D.C., where he’s known as “The Boss with the Hot Sauce” and “The Heavy Head Leader”. An early champion of hard ‘n’ heavy rock, Barry was among the few underground radio jocks to play such proto-metal bands as Sir Lord Baltimore. He brought Black Sabbath and many other major acts to Md./D.C./Va.-area venues back in the 1970s.

“Turn-On” was a free-form, late-night television show that featured live rock bands, old Flash Gordon serials, stoned interview segments, a hippie comedian, celebrity guests (Richard Pryor, Cheech and Chong, Wolfman Jack, even actor Robert Mitchum), and the bearded Barry Richards hosting it all on low-budget Day-Glo sets. WDCA Channel 20 allowed “Hairy Barry” to roll “Turn-On” all night until it was time for the UHF station to play the National Anthem.

Barry presented rare, live in-studio performances by Alice Cooper (doing “Eighteen” and “Black Juju” from the brand-new “Love It to Death”), Humble Pie (with Steve Marriott and the very young Peter Frampton, “Rock-On” era), Richie Havens, Little Richard (jamming “Good Golly, Miss Molly” with the obscure ’70s band Jamul – who play a loud version of “Tobacco Road” in what looks like the TV station parking lot), Crow (“Evil Woman”), The Illusion, and many more.

One now-vanished episode featured Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band circa “Lick My Decals Off”. Surviving shows in the Barry Richards vault include footage of Fats Domino playing with the Byrds, Rory Gallagher in his early prime, Peter Kaukonen’s band Black Kangaroo, and the Bob Seger System blasting songs from their early LPs.

Along with the videotapes of his show, Barry has unearthed a radio interview he did with all four Beatles just prior to their historic Ed Sullivan appearance!

Fans can also look forward to previously unreleased footage of guitar hero Tommy Bolin (with his early band Zephyr), and clips from other Barry Richards TV shows: a ’60s precursor of “Turn On” called “Groove-In”, “Barry Richards Presents”, the “Rock and Soul” show, the disco-era “Studio 78”, and more.

Richards’ TV shows have not been seen since their original airings. But those who saw the show remember it fondly. Musician Joe Hasselvander (Pentagram, Death Row, Raven) raves about “Turn-On” and Barry Richards, as do Hasselvander’s erstwhile bandmate Bobby Liebling, Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat, and underground filmmaker Nick Zedd (They Eat Scum). Author Edward Lee prominently references Barry Richards in his twisted novella “The Pig” and its sequel, “The House”.

The DVD will offer interviews with Barry Richards, audio from his classic radio shows, and other surprises. The Beatles radio interview is among the special features.

Little Richard even wrote and performed a song about Barry, which can be heard in this YouTube trailer for the upcoming DVD collection. Watch out for the segment with the mighty Iron Jaw Samson!

For more information, visit the official site BarryRichardsShows.com and read Joe Hasselvander’s excellent, enthusiastic blog here.

Black and Blue

In Metal, Movies, Music on December 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Happy Holidays. Here’s a vintage poster for the 1980 “Black & Blue” movie showcasing the heavy metal thunder of Black Sabbath (with Ronnie James Dio),  and Blue Oyster Clut. This concert flick played loud in local theaters when I was growing up and was reviewed (unfavorably) in the Boston Globe.

Shot at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, the live performance was captured on video and blown up to 35mm film for theatrical release. Sabbath was supporting the “Heaven & Hell” LP (with Vinnie Appice replacing Bill Ward on drums) while BOC was touring behind the Martin Birch-produced “Cultosaurus Erectus”.

Eric Bloom’s stoner monologue before “Godzilla” and Dio’s dramatic flamethrower flourish in the extended “Heaven and Hell” are classic moments. Al Bouchard wears a ‘Zilla mask during his strobe-lit drum solo, Bloom rides a motorcycle on stage, Buck Dharma rips the strings from his guitar, and Iommi and Geezer are heavy as a crushing lead weight (natch). Someone should release “Black and Blue” on DVD!

Meatmen, ‘Prisoner of X’

In Books, Crime and noir fiction, Hardcore Punk, Horror, Metal, Movies, Music on November 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Meatmen-DVD-Cover

A few links/recommendations:

Tesco Vee of the Meatmen analyzes the blonde from ABBA and her solo career here. This article was originally published in Forced Exposure.

I saw the Meatmen twice this summer on their tour with Chapstik. They wrecked the place both times, and Tesco was hilarious as always. On the final night of the tour in Austin, Tx., they played “Centurions of Rome” with Leighton of Chapstik on second guitar as the whole band donned Ben Hur headgear.

The new album “Meatmen Cover the Earth” features Tesco and his new band storming through Blue Oyster Cult’s WWII Nazi warplane anthem “ME-262”, G.G. Allin’s “Highest Power”, FEAR’s “I Love Livin’ in the City” two Black Randy songs and many more. It’s worth it just for the tour through Tesco’s musical tastes, with his rendition of the Temptations’ “Psychedelic Shack” and even a Saxon tune among the standout cuts. And yes, ABBA is represented. Plus, you get the return of Shecky Shpilkis in “Sex Mart 2010”.

All the essential Meat CDs are now back in print, including the metallicized War of the Superbikes and Rock N Roll Juggernaut, along with the Tesco Vee’s Hate Police album and Vee’s noise project, Blight. I’m excited about his forthcoming Touch & Go book with the complete run of the essential punk ‘zine; I just ordered the Meatmen DVD (see cover above), which I’ve heard is amazing.

Chapstik proved a worthy opener for the Meatmen with a roaring, balls-to-the-wall three-guitar attack. Barnburner and the EP Fire! Die in It are both excellent. “Cream of Everything”, “Egregious Philbin”, “Twat’s it To Ya”, and “Mustache” are among my fave tracks, and each album ends with a choice Sabbath-style dirge metal epic.

I mentioned the Meatmen in my recent contribution to The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists – specifically, Tesco’s lyrical reference to Captain Beyond in the War of the Superbikes classic “Pillar of Sodom”: “Drugged-out visions of the dead in crypts/That dust be bringin’ on a Mesmerization Eclipse.”

When I saw the mighty Meatmen in L.A., I asked Vee about Captain Beyond. Smiling, he enthusiastically pointed out that he swiped a riff from that ’70s rock band in the Tesco Vee’s Hate Police song “BGC” (“Big Giant C*ck”).

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Allan MacDonell’s PRISONER OF X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine is the best book yet written about the insanity of working in the X-rated entertainment business. MacDonell’s prose is bulletproof, and his story is incredible. He spares no one, including himself, in this amazing account of his career with Larry Flynt’s notorious publication. His recollections of the early L.A. punk scene here are great and deserve a book of their own. Mandatory purchase.

New Pulp Press has added three new titles to its upcoming slate, including the reissue of Gil Brewer’s Flight to Darkness. Check them out here.

Look for some big news on EVIL DEAD in the coming weeks. I’m setting up the U.S. theatrical tour for Sam Raimi’s classic unrated splatterfest anounced here and anticipation is high. This is going to be a major event in the horror world!

I’ve also received favorable early reactions to my noir novel-in-progress, THE CREEPS, which I hope to see published in the coming year.

– David Szulkin

now playing: Serpent Throne, “Ride Satan Ride”