Bandcamp Picks of the Week is back and better than ever
Full of Hell – WEEPING CHOIR
Favorite Tracks: “Thundering Hammers,” “Aria of Jeweled Tears,” “Armory of Obsidian Glass,” “Angels Gather Here”
RESPECT to the mfing LADS! Nobody in this world and nothing they can say can ever take away the experience of seeing Full of Hell live in Japan in Winter ‘15 touring alongside noise icon Merzbow in support of their joint LP. As such, am I a little biased? YES! But also, there have been few, if any, bands in the spectrum of extreme music that have demonstrated such a willingness to branch-out, collaborate, and question the fundamental parameters and capabilities of their sound. Honestly, the only act that can come close is frequent co-conspirators The Body—listen to 2017’s ASCENDING A MOUNTAIN OF HEAVY LIGHT yesterday. All of this is to say that Full of Hell has turned in another watermark of death- and grind-adjacent cohabitation, all drooling amps, Hellfire drumming, tortured screams, and plenty of drone-indebted power electronic screeching for those who like it nasty. Whereas some of their previous albums occasionally felt like experimentation for experimentation’s sake, WEEPING CHOIR is resolutely their strongest cohesive statement as a solo act. Just listen to the masterfully composed and paced “Armory of Obsidian Glass” and tell me otherwise. I cut my teeth on ‘90s stalwarts such as Suffocation so I’m tickled to hear more of an encroaching death metal compositional sense here, but the inklings of sludge on tracks like “Angels Gather Here” and the machine-gun, traditional grindcore brutality of “Aria of Jeweled Tears” ensure that there’s something here for everyone. Listen to WEEPING CHOIR over on Bandcamp! [Thomas Seraydarian]
Radiohead – MINIDISCS [HACKED]
Genre: Demos, Outtakes, Live Cuts, ‘90s Alt Rock
Favorite Tracks: N/A
Look. I’ll level with you: The point of this feature is to turn you on to records you’ve never heard before, or at the very least highlight things that might be flying a bit under the radar in our opinion. As Music Editor, it’s my favorite feature we run even if it frequently is a labor of love.
But today I write about Radiohead. And while that doesn’t fly under the radar in any way, and the reports of the theft of Thom Yorke’s minidiscs of recordings from the OK COMPUTER sessions being up for ransom have been widely circulated, those minidiscs have finally been released by the band on, of all places, Bandcamp.
OK COMPUTER is a masterwork. I’m that guy and you can read into it however you’d like (no judgement here, I get that somehow in 2019 it’s both not cool to be into Radiohead and then simultaneously cool to be into Radiohead because it was uncool for long enough, it’s a strange dichotomy). I’m not going to push my OK COMPUTER beliefs on you here, not now anyway. Even if you aren’t a Radiohead person, or are a KID A person instead, or even if you hate most popular music, you kind of have to admit that this thing is special, the kind of treasure trove of goodies any music fan wants to find of their favorite album—and before you ask, no, I haven’t gone through all 18 hours of it yet, only fragments and sections, and that’s part of the amazingness.
If you’re thinking to yourself: I don’t want to wade through hour long tracks of demos and outtakes and rough cuts and general skuzziness, you’re covered. The fine folks who populate r/Radiohead, W.A.S.T.E. Central Discord, and /mu/ have you covered with an insanely detailed document that has everything you could need to know: What songs are rare, what songs are actively being certified as fan favorites, what stage of the recording process the songs are in, etc. That version of “True Love Waits?” Quite something! The rough, skuzzy version of “Karma Police” on MD117? Gave me chills. The irony of spending time with it is that even though this should devolve into a how-the-sausage-is-made demystification of one of the most important rock records of all time, it somehow makes it that much more interesting. Hell, even Thom Yorke beatboxing is fascinating. That this features weird early takes of “Let Down” (my favorite Radiohead track, not that anyone was asking) is worth the price of admission alone—give that version on disc 12 about 46 minutes in a listen. AND CAN YOU EVEN CONSIDER that up until last year, “Lift” was but a wish we all had, and now not only do we have the version on the 20th Anniversary reissue, but we have fucking eight various versions here. It’s a bevy of Radiohead fandome that’s genuinely unparalleled and the best part? It’s up on Bandcamp with proceeds going to Extinction Rebellion, a nonviolent climate activist group, so it’s a win-win. If you’re even passively a fan of songs on OK COMPUTER, it’s worth checking out the tracks here to see the minor or major evolutions! Check it out on Bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]