Throw The Goat – Blood, Sweat & Beers

Throw The Goat

If like us you are a sucker for dirt encrusted, alcohol fuelled rock ‘n’ roll then Blood, Sweat & Beers from US rockers Throw The Goat is a must. It is a brawl in the ears and party in the heart, rock music at its most instinctively aggressive and virulent. Whether the second album from the Californian trio offers anything more is debatable; certainly it is not trying to explore or expose anything particularly new but equally there is a freshness and tenacity to its sonic fight and incitement which ensures this is no run of the mill proposition. The truth is it does not matter if Throw The Goat is crafting riots from existing vats of ideation, with a sound which plays like the bastard son of a merger of bands like The Clash, Agnostic Front, and Motorhead to just pluck three from the past decades of rock ‘n’ roll, they and their new album is one irresistible rampage.

Blood, Sweat & Beers is the follow-up to the band’s acclaimed debut album Black Mountain of 2012. Recorded with, as its predecessor, Finch drummer Alex Pappas who also mixed and mastered it, the new encounter is a continuation of the power and addictiveness found in its predecessor but with an openly new breath and energy to its stomp. Released on the band’s own label Regurgitation Records in the US in March, it has been kicking up a storm of praise and attention, with the UK now in its sights this month.

Opener Buffalo takes a handful of seconds to make a gentle coaxing of ears before unleashing a tirade of rowdy riffs and antagonistic rhythms. Those beats are met head on in energy and aggression by the vocals of bassist Michael Schnalzer, and in no time aligned to a blaze of great varied vocals from across the band and sonic enterprise courtesy of Brian Parnell’s guitar. It is an instinctively anthemic punk ‘n’ roll provocation setting the party off to a mighty start, though the song is swiftly surpassed by the album’s outstanding title track. Blood, Sweat & Beers flies from the traps with a feisty roll of stick prowess from drummer Scott Snyder. Within the time it takes the listener to get to their feet he is driving forcibly on with fiercely swung beats with the track now a raging tempest of rabid riffs, squirming grooves, and vocal addictiveness. Again the whole band offers plenty to make an aggressive provocation a ridiculously magnetic one, in voice and sound, an offering rife with unbridled energy and ripe with virulent contagion. Quite simply the track is a roar of rock ‘n’ roll which will rarely be rivalled this year.

cover     The band brews up its dirtiest punk side for Drown next, a simple raw rage of riffs and rhythms bound in spicy melodic hooks and vocal antagonism which goes down like a beer in the hands of a thirsty man. Its unsurprising but richly satisfying incitement is followed by the slower predatory flirtation of Swamp. Its air is thick with toxic attitude and body a brooding mesh of rhythmic intimidation and wiry sonic colour, and yet another appealing twist in the variety by the album. Building up intensity and energy within its tempestuous dark climate, the song proceeds to shift from sludgy scenery to raucous explosiveness, entwining both within its imposing walls.

The filth clad bassline opening up All We Have is an instant addictive lure, bait increasingly infectious as a feverish rumble of beats from Snyder adds fresh dramatic with their temptation. The best opening to any song on the album, a riotous anthemic seduction all on its own, it leads to another ridiculously gripping and intrusive persuasion of punk and heavy rock. Parnell spins a melodic web as the song continues to twist and shift into new inventive and bewitching scenery, whilst noise rock and hardcore elements are flirted with for another major highlight of the album.

     Idyllwild Eyes crowds in on the acclaim given with its own bellow of bristling vocals, spiteful beats, and abrasing riffs. It also brings a highly flavoursome melodic lure from Parnell, a regular occurrence on all songs, alongside the unpredictable tendency in their invention which the band showed on the last song. These are times where you almost feel that the band missed a trick on the album by not using this increasingly successful adventure more in their songwriting, though it offers a potential which will hopefully be realised by the band and to be excited by ahead.

Ears and passions are lit again by Uprooted, a riveting prowl of a punk rock song, and straight after through the eighty eight second bawl of aggression and attitude that is 8 More Minutes. Soaked in a hardcore heart, the track simply rages around deeply grabbing hooks and addictive rhythms for a brief and seriously potent anthem. The album from its broader rock opening, delves into heavier and more hostile punk belligerence towards its latter stages, this song a prime example backed by the similarly bred Waste straight after. Despite the increasing animosity permeating the songs in sound and vocals though, hooks and grooves lose none of their enticement and potency within the tracks whilst the swinging sticks of Snyder are a constant source of pure incitement.

Road Home brings the album to a close, the song a rowdy and lusty slab of devilry which maybe is more straight forward and unsurprising compared to other songs before it, but still provides an exciting end to one of the most enjoyable encounters to stir up the year so far. Throw The Goat is rock ‘n’ roll through and through with a sound and indeed album to match. This is one bruising all rock fans need.

Blood, Sweat & Beers is available now via Regurgitation Records @

RingMaster 22/04/2015

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BL’AST! : Blood


It seems strange to us that a band, and a very good one can lose track and memory of a bunch of master tapes of unreleased recorded material but that is exactly what happened with US hardcore innovators BL’AST!. Thankfully for the world their discovery was made in an abandoned storage locker by guitarist Mike Neider who contacted Southern Lord with the news of his discovery and to shorten the story a little now we have the quite stunning furnace of fury to devour, an album which will be ravenous consumed such its startling presence.

Formed in 1982, the Santa Cruz band had the genre instantly drooling with their debut album The Power of Expression in 1985. Intense and dramatically potent their release and sound started the highly influential impression the band cast over hardcore over the following years, their live performances which saw them play with bands such as Exploited and Slayer only cementing their rapidly earned status. Signing with SST Records, the band released the devastating It’s In My Blood in 1987 with the equally impacting third, Take The Manic Ride following two years later. Not long after that record the band split up and certainly outside of the US, band and name arguably drifted into the shadows. BL’AST! did reunite in 2001 briefly for a few shows but little more was heard until the very discovery.

The recording sees a line-up including current Alice In Chains vocalist William Duvall who had joined BL’AST! as second guitarist at the time. His tenure was short lived and no recordings with him involved were ever released, until now. From Neider contacting Southern Lord Records’ Greg Anderson also of SUNN O))), the material was offered and placed before BL’AST! enthusiast Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) who eagerly snapped up the chance to mix the recordings. What has emerged is easily one of the best hardcore releases in modern times and one can happily suggest easily on par with what made the band so important and influential back in the eighties, so again the question lingers how did these tracks get missed at the time, as undoubtedly they are nowhere near being throwaway not good enough slices of antagonism.

Anyway they are here now to chew up the senses and the release takes little time to excite the ear as opener Only Time Will Tell goes to work. The immediate bass grinding of the senses is just delicious, a gnarly belligerent beckoning skirted by equally appetising discord lit guitar and thumping drums. It is the narwhale like call of the second guitar which unites it all to one of the best introductions to a song heard in a long time, so impressive and enjoyable that once into its stride the track is almost an anti-climax. Bruising and making welcome demands with the Malcolm Owen like vocals a caustic provocateur the encounter unleashes riffs and rhythms which taunt and eye ball the senses contagiously. Not for the first time on the album thoughts of the Ruts, not only vocally are rife and eagerly approved.

The following Ssshhh certainly does not understand its title, a crazed vocal squall heralding another fire of riffs and sonic abrasion which ignites the senses and passions. As with its predecessor the song is relatively straight forward but littered with hooks and slight grooves that grip attention and pleasure with ease as do the likes of the antagonistic Sometimes and the lethal Winding Down. The first of these two lashes and burns the ear with twisting sonic flames and savage energy whilst its successor lays down another strong bass enticement before expelling a predacious ferocity that sweeps the emotions up in a tempest of rhythmic and sonic incitement.

Through further rapacious persuasion with the likes of Tomorrow with its ridiculously addictive and blistering waspish breath and the pulsating Your Eyes, the album just seeps deeper into the psyche and passions, the second of the two a doom clad deliberate prowl which acid burns the flesh of the ear with sonic toxicity whilst offering the shadows of The Damned to its air. It is a brief treat leading straight into another pinnacle of the album in the virulent Poison and its irresistible anthemic pestilence.

The album is completed by It’s In My Blood, another song where the bass lays down a riveting bass and temptation for the guitars and drums to prowl and embellish with voraciousness. Sizzling hooks and grooves make a web of intrigue and compulsion only slightly tempered by the brutally forged eye to eye vocal scalding whilst into its hungry flow the song breaks out with a noise rock scything within an epidemic punk pathogen. It concludes an exhausting wholly outstanding assault which may be comprised of old tracks but is easily as fresh and vital as anything around today. A brief mention also for Grohl and his masterful touch which is just as important in making Blood so refreshing and impressive. Dare we hope this marks the return of BL’AST!


RingMaster 02/09/2013

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Centurian: Contra Rationem


    Formed in 1997, Dutch death metallers Centurian were one of the formidable forces in underground metal up to their demise’ in 2002, a band which was to the forefront of the second wave of death metal which included the likes of Angelcorpse and Krisiun. Now they have returned with their first album in twelve years in the destructive storm that is Contra Rationem, a release which in many ways just continues where the band left off but equally forges a fresh presence with an intensity and spite derived from current inspirations.

Started by Rob Oorthuis (guitars) and Wim van der Valk (drums) with the intent of creating death metal based on memorable riffs, one-foot blastbeats and lyrics that celebrate Choronzon333, Centurian fronted by vocalist Seth van de Loo grabbed attention with their demo Of Purest Fire in 1998. The same year bassist Patrick Boleij joined to complete the line-up and the band signed to Full Moon Productions who then re-released their demo before in 1999 the debut album Choronzonic Chaos Gods. The following year saw the departure of van de Loo and Boleij to be replaced by vocalist/bassist Jerry Brouwer and guitarist Oskar van Paradijs as the band began writing their follow-up album. Signing with Listenable Records the band unleashed Liber Zarzax in 2001 to great acclaim but by the end of the year due to Oorthuis wanting to explore other realms of extreme metal with a new venture NOX, the days of Centurian came to an end leading to its closure in 2002. The new avenue for Oorthuis also found strong success if at times hampered by line-up changes and by 2010 after the release of Blood, Bones and Ritual Death again via Listenable who also release this returning beast of a Centurian release, Nox was put on hiatus and the former muscular guise returned to action. Consisting of Oorthuis, Boleij, and van de Loo (on drums this time around) once more with vocalist Niels Adams adding his magnificent vocal scourge, Centurian leaps at the senses with an appetite and brutality which instantly harks back to their former presence whilst bouncing off the boundaries firmly entrenched in current violations.

Thou Shalt Bleed for the Lord thy God assassinates the senses first, its lethal rhythms and teasing sonic lashing sunk within anCENTURIANcontra1400x1400 OK onslaught of ravenous riffing, instantly contagious and intimidating. The vocals of Adams expertly scowl and scar the ear to match the intensity forged elsewhere and though barely two minutes in primal length the track is a declaration that the band is back mightier and more sadistic than ever.

The following of Crown of Bones and Feast of the Cross explode with sadistic hunger to continue the impressive start. The first of the pair courts and prowls the listener with unbridled malevolence fused within tightly infectious grooves and abrasive sonics carried on a further brawling tempest of vocal excellence. You cannot say Adams offers anything in his delivery which others have also not explored but there is a compelling element to his style and expressive craft which like the music grips firmly and magnetically. The second of the two songs is a maelstrom of back snapping rhythms from van de Loo which demand respect and attention and a rapacious attack of accomplished sonic venom and annihilatory bruising.

Into the heart of the release the band pull out their finest moments starting with Judas Among Twelve. Veined by spiteful grooves and further rhythmic violence, the song crowds the ear with intensity and passion whilst forcing through rabid sonic seduction and bestial riffs which chew and rampage across the senses until they are black and blue. Virulently contagious and equally corruptive the song shows the full potency drawn from the band recording the tracks on Contra Rationem as single takes fired by their intense passion. The outstanding demonic Antinomian and the tempest of malicious vehemence that is The Will of the Torch both raise a further greedy ardour with their commanding accomplished statures to leave a lack of easy breath in the lungs.

Ensuring the savageness continues to the final note of the release tracks like Sin Upon Man and Damnatio Memoriae unleash further irresistible barbarity, violence and persuasive grooves wrapped in impossible to refuse corrosive dynamics. Arguably Contra Rationem does not venture in to new territories but such the quality and irrepressible inducement on offer it is not an issue to make a dent in the pleasure it delivers throughout.


RingMaster 25/02/2013

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