Archive for April, 2013

Album Review: Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For A Modern World”

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 04/20/2013 by Shattered Platter

Well, this is kind of a stray away from my normal material that usually consists of heavy music but hell, it’s refreshing!

The Bay Area, home of Anchor Steam beer, the hated SF Giants, birthplace of US thrash metal and the current home of a bad ass garage punk band called Jonny Manak & The Depressives.

Who is Jonny Manak & The Depressives you ask?!?   This band is 3 piece powerhouse from the San Jose/Oakland area who stick to their guns and influences when it comes to bangin’ out good ol’ rock n’ roll tunes and LPs (they’ve released 3 so far)   Band consists of:

– An ex pro skateboarder named Jonny Manak (Fun Fact: His brother Chris, is the head of indie hip hop label giant Stones Throw Records)

– Flogging Molly’s/Dee Dee Ramone/Streetwalkin Cheetah’s ex bassist Bobby Wilcox.

– Flexx Bronco’s own Andy on the drums

What are they releasing you ask?!?  A new album of course, duh!  Their new record is called Primitive Sounds for A Modern World and is being released via a partnership between Manak’s own Reach Around Records and a new start up called Self Destructo Records.  14 tracks of garage rock hymns is what your getting with this. 

When is this coming out?!?  Street date for this polyvinyl chloride infused piece of fun is set for early May but you can now download the album in it’s entirety via iTunes or stream it over Spotify.

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Album cover is awesome, props to David McHank for the tiki man sketch!

So, let’s get in the review part.  This album is really fun and super catchy to the ears, take it from me a…a guy who practically listens to nothing but Goatsnake and Turbonegro….this album was really fun.

These 14 tracks make you move your head like the way when you first heard Radio Birdman’s “Radios Appear” album back when you were first getting into punk rock.  I specfically note the track “Ride the Barrell (and get Pitted) as the cream of this album though, that track’s tempo and hooks are as catchy as it gets.

Another foot tapper is the song Wha-Bam! (which by coincidence has kinda become his trademark saying with the band). It sounds like something The Saint’s would have done but obviously came to late on it, total power pop sounding track.

This album is not just a studio album but also a live album as Side B was recorded during a live session at KFJC over in the San Jose area. Songs from this side consist of back catalog material + new material that never had proper studio release (from what I understand is in the works!).

All in all, Primitive Sounds For A Modern World is a fun album from the starting track :Wha-Bam!: to the finishing track of the consequence of choosing a road to travel and bearing the outcomes “Choose My Fate.”

3 guys, a home studio, a passion for doing what they love and making it happen regardless of the outcome. America, take notice!

Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For a Modern World”

Album review: Kverlertak – “Meir”

Posted in Uncategorized on 04/04/2013 by Shattered Platter

Norway…… The land of Scandinavian black metal, prevalent  church burnings and a little band called Turbonegro.

With these native cultural and musical elements encompassed into recording sessions, Norway’s own Kvelartek is able to launch more fury at heavy music community worldwide with their latest offering entitled “Meir” which hit record stores worldwide on 3/25/13 via Roadrunner Records and will be released on vinyl 4/9/2013 courtesy of Norway’s Indie Recordings.

Kverlatek’s style mixes both hardcore punk chord strucuture, frantic black metal blast beats and dual harmonies coinciding with a vocal structure that always keep pace throughout “Meirs” 11 tracks of blistering aggression. They leave no room for the listener to abosrb what they’re hearing until well after the album ends, relentless assault throughout.

“Meir” also marks the return of the band’s collaboration with notable heavy music engineer Kurt Ballou (Converge) who also sat behind the production helm and assisted in shaping the sound of their self titled debut back in 2011.

Another key return for the Kvelertak camp is the involvement of Savanna, GA based artist John Dyer Baizley (Baroness) who is responsible for their stunningly detailed illustrations used for their album covers.  Cover illustration used for “Meir” below.

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“Meir’s” attitude is a definite continuation from where Kverlertak left off in 2011. With the three man guitar assualt consisting of Vidar Landa, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad, they blend the ripping chord interchanges of Darkthrone, the heavy hooks and catchiness of Turbonegro and the dual solo harmonies of Iron Maiden. Tracks like Spring Fra Livet (translated Run From Life) showcase the whole bands talents from staying tight during random progressions to blending elements of black metal with anthem like hooks that translate into an overall 3:25 minutes of overall energy from start to finish.

Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik’s voice matches so well with the energy throughout the album, he’s full force from start to finish. Even on mellower tracks that have acoustic arrangements (i.e. Evig Vandrar, Snilepisk and the single Bruane Brenn) his voice shatters the acoustic arrangements and gives cue to the heaviness that ensues the listener.

To summarize this album, it’s one of the great new pieces of heavy music to come into 2013. This band has accomplished a lot for themselves in only six years of existence (worldwide tours, festival appearances, gold award presentation by Dave Grohl in their hometown etc) and they’re only getting started on US audiences, even after considerable praise by fans from their festival appearance in Austin TX back in November (I was there, they ruled and everyone else I got drunk with thought so as well).

Damn, Turbonegro releases Sexual Harassment only some months ago and now this……….Scandinavia is coming on strong!!

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