A Very Bad Trip: Dopethrone – “Transcanadian Anger” [New]

Dopethrone’s sixth solo release, Transcanadian Anger, brings the ‘slutch’ crew to some giddying new heights, but also the desolate bleakness that only a very dark sense of humour can handle. Did we mention the drugs?


Dopethrone’s new album is like that crackhead that breaks into your house, fucks the vacuum cleaner, vomits over the kitchen, and then collapses half-dead on your carpet – in a clown costume.

Transcanadian Anger, with its luridly apocalyptic cover, is the product of a band that’s comfortable with its sound, but more than able to make it do new things on every track. That’s to say, you know every song is a Dopethrone song, with that trademark shriek trademarking away with the equally trademark guitar sound that drones, thunders, croons and writhes up and down the blues scale like it wants to give it VD. (Presumably, also trademarked.) Continue reading “A Very Bad Trip: Dopethrone – “Transcanadian Anger” [New]”

Godzilla Metal: Oxygen Destroyer – “Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death” [NEW]

Oxygen Destroyer just loves Godzilla, and giant monster movies in general. As their new album, ‘Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death’, shows, this is a rich vein of inspiration for some nasty death metal, with blackened thrash undertones. The end result is violent, vicious fun, just like Godzilla himself.

What is good in life? Big rubber monsters twatting each other and everything else that gets in the way (usually Tokyo), of course.

We are living in a kind of big screen kaiju renaissance right now, as Godzilla (2014), Shin Godzilla (2016), King Kong: Skull Island (2017) and the forthcoming Rampage (2018) all show.

So, big monsters make for big box office, but do they make for great death metal? Seattle Gojira-fanciers OXYGEN DESTROYER say they do, and their new album Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death makes the case very, err, forcefully.

Continue reading “Godzilla Metal: Oxygen Destroyer – “Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death” [NEW]”

Something Bunny: Dubstar – “Disgraceful” (1995) [RETRO]

Dubstar’s classic 1995 dream pop album ‘Disgraceful’ manages to fill its songs with pain, heartbreak, hope and despair. But it does it in the nicest, softest way possible. Did we mention the crypto-fanny on the front cover? Yes, it looks like a vagina. The album’s rather good too, by the way.

How best to sum up Disgraceful, the 1995 debut album by dream pop crew DUBSTAR? As we’re about to see, there is a lot to say, and it’s very good. But let’s focus on the most obvious thing – the crypto fanny.

Because, on the cover, is, well – let’s just say you don’t need much of a dirty mind to spot what’s being implied here. It practically leaps from behind a (particularly hairy) bush, going RAAAAAAAAR. I dread to think what the rabbit ears represent.

This wasn’t even the original cover, which had a fluffy pencil case filled with a folded over balloon in it. The resulting ninja fanny was so blatant, it gave you a diploma in gyno just by gazing at it. It also looked a lot like the Eye of Sauron, which adds a whole new Freudian subtext to Lord of the Rings. Continue reading “Something Bunny: Dubstar – “Disgraceful” (1995) [RETRO]”

Low Notes – introducing a new music blog

Welcome to Low Notes – a music blog that covers more or less whatever I like.

If you can't see this, you're not really missing much, if I'm being honest. Anyway, it's the Low Notes logo.

So, hello there, and welcome to Low Notes.

But what is Low Notes? It’s a new music blog which will review a wide range of old, new and – most of all – cool sounds.

How do I define ‘cool’, you ask? It includes this, this, this, this and, of course, this.

What’s its USP? It doesn’t obsess over genre, trends or whether something is new or old. I will review albums from the 60s and next week. The only real test is whether the music is worth talking about, why and, of course, if it’s a fun read.

I freely admit to loving metal, the more underground, the better. But I don’t see why that should get in the way of liking other genres. So, if you’ve ever wanted to read reviews of Wham!’s back catalogue rubbing shoulders with the latest shriekfest by Tomb Mold, and just a dash of ZX Spectrum chiptunes, you’re in the right place.

There will be variety. It may get a little mad here.

Music journalism is too stratified and conservative these days. It lacks both a sense of adventure and the utter madness of it at its best. Low Notes will endeavour to bring back the old vibe.

What Low Notes won’t cover

Crap. My definition of crap is anything that lacks any depth or is plainly soulless nonsense, all defined by that arbitrator of taste and insight, me. I won’t celebrate most of the plastic tosh churned out in the 80s or the 90s, even ‘ironically’. So, no Kylie and Jason, no Spice Girls, no… You should know by now.

I hate most Nu Metal, with some honourable exceptions. Coldplay is liquid shit being blasted out of a rectal volcano. I don’t think you can truly love something without hating something else. For every slurry of crap music that is pushed out by labels, a dozen obscure bands with something to say fade into nothing.

The only exception is when I will take the piss out of some of the worst of the worst. Sometimes to know good music, you’ve got to know what utter rubbish is like. I will show you.

“Will Low Notes review my demo?”

Depends. This sounds flippant, but if I get submerged in links to all manner of Bandcamp pages, or Haulix links, I will choose what interests me, which may be a random affair. I’m also very busy and do this in my spare time.

That is not to say that I won’t listen to it. But I might not ever get around to it. Sorry – though it is always worth a try. Please do e-mail me first in any case.

One word of warning, though. My reviews are always honest and thorough. You may not like what I say, but I’ll never mislead or trick you either. All freebies, press junkets and potential conflicts of interest will be disclosed from the start.

This is something the best of American journalism does very well, and I see no reason not to replicate it.

“Who/what is Low Notes?”

I am a failed music journalist. Failed, in the sense that I keep doing it. Bite me.