Chvad SB - Crickets Were the Compass
Though complicated in name, Chvad SB’s Crickets Were the Compass is even moreso in delivery, which is why it’s a long term reward (as is learning the name).
Crickets Were the Compass is both the darkest metal and drone, and though it doesn’t rely too heavily on either, the elements are still present enough to label it both so fans of the genres are keen to find it.
In reality, Crickets Were the Compass is far more rudimentary in its presentation though not in composition. Chvad is more akin to Loren Connors or Alan Licht, using the dark space of silence and anticipation to guide his thought projects. The meatiest of this ruminations occur in the middle of the album: “The Dust Cloud Permeates” and “People Keep Asking and I Say You’re Well.”
Both are haunting enough in title to project one’s own experiences but “The Dust Cloud Permeates” is a particular, airy piece that mimics specs floating in a beam of sunlight only to be broken by shade. “People Keep Asking” is heart-wrenching as the aggressive static of doubt battles with sharp tinges of hope.
It’s a lonely world out there. Having Chvad SB providing a soundtrack makes it a little less so.
Found this weird plague doctor kitchen witch at Jason Young’s house….
Rllrbll – 4 Corners 7.3
‘4 Corners’ is steady as she goes. Rllrbll uses the steady rhythm to counterbalance the otherwise unbalanced nature of the album. At any moment the songs threaten to descend into pure chaos. It is thanks to Rllrbll’s incredible skill that they do not. Opting to flirt around a complete and total breakdown they are highly enjoyable pieces of work. Noise gets much needed attention during the album providing some of the best moments. Similar to Electrane’s work with a completely perfect marriage of rock and electronics, it creates sense of unease with and without vocals.
‘Robin with a cheeto’ sounds like a carousel theme gone very wrong. To mix things up the song breaks down into outright noise before straightening itself up into perfect melody once more. Rllrbll appears to be knocking the song down only to pick them back up as soon as it is bored. ‘Meximelt’ goes for a more casual approach. Vocals are straightforward. Synthesizers add to the overall lounge mood. A muscular approach defines ‘Cyclops’ which is the most physical song on the entire album. The repetition adds to the overall enjoyment.
By the end of the album the rock influences make their presence felt. ‘Mockingbird in Gazza’ takes a straightforward, slightly skeletal approach before erupting into complete madness. ‘Windy as fuck’ ends the album off on a relatively jazzy note, with a nice smoky atmosphere. Rllrbll takes its many influences and effortlessly merges them into a coherent compelling album.
Based out of Duluth, Minnesota, If Thousands has developed a reputation for a unique brand of ambient drone. For is the band’s first release in eight years, and on the album’s first single “Lucky,” you’ll hear a gorgeous bit of drone that sounds as though it should be played in a large church, just for the acoustics.
Kind words about the new If Thousands. http://www.silbermedia.com/ifthousands
The Kickstarter for our thousand plus page ebook of guitarist interviews is up! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/462361469/qrd-the-guitarist-interviews Spread the word if you can or even just clicking on the link to view the page helps us out. Pretty massive compilation going with it too where half the proceeds go back to the artists (because that’s how Silber rolls).
(Finding Conan is a 14 min web documentary free to watch via the player above. It has been broken up into four parts. You can access parts 2-4 by clicking the Youtube logo in the bottom right hand corner of the player.)
I got a ton of blank stares when I first told people I was making a documentary about Conan the Barbarian. Many had never heard of the character, and those that had associated him with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, Arnie in a loincloth is an image that’s not exactly easy to forget…
It was the 1982 film after all that made him the iconic face of Conan, catapulting the former Austrian bodybuilder into the limelight and launching his film career. The film got mixed reviews but garnered a cult following, and Arnie-Conan became lodged in the pop cultural psyche…like a splinter in the eye.
Decades on, the film Conan the Barbarian and the woeful 1984 follow-up Conan the Destroyer are still regarded as the calling card for the franchise. While for many they would serve as an introduction to the fiction of Conan creator, Texan pulp-fiction writer Robert E. Howard, for most it was a full stop to their idea of who and what Conan was.
The films were just one example of the monopolisation of REH’s stories following his death, a monopolisation that has spawned an inferior and seemingly endless series of derivative works.
It all began with American science fiction writer L. Sprague De Camp. Hired by Howard’s publisher to edit his stories for publication, De Camp eventually succeeded in wresting away a portion of the copyright for himself.
His initial edits and re-writes led to a series of pastiche novels towards which the fan community is equal parts nostalgic and scathing. Some believe these books gave Conan exposure which he might not have otherwise gotten and introduced readers to the works of Robert E. Howard. Others point out that De Camp, in preventing the publication of the original unedited stories in favour of his curated pastiches, effectively opened the door to the exploitation of the source material.
This exploitation in turn led to an unfaithful depiction of Conan and Howard’s story world. Some fans noted that Conan had ceased being the instinctual, amoral barbarian that had first captured the imagination of thousands, becoming instead a cerebral, stock-standard superhero.
Many consequently never got to see Conan as Howard intended, or understand the true appeal of his fiction. And in deviating from Howard’s brilliant stories, the film adaptations were ultimately setting themselves up for mediocrity.
You’d think that after the critical and commercial failure of the 2011 film revamp featuring Jason Momoa (the actor who played Conan-inspired barbarian Khal Drogo in TV series Game of Thrones), Conan copyright-holder Paradox Entertainment might actually consider making a faithful adaption of REH stories. Not so. Recently it was announced that yet another pastiche-style Conan film was in the works and that Arnie would be reprising as the titular character.
I could wax at length about the virtues of REH’s rich, visceral sword-and-sorcery novels. Yet that would hardly do them the justice they deserve. Instead I’ll just refer you to any one of a number of Conan story collections on Amazon: amzn.to/1avuSPa. Best you see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
It’s my 1,000th Tumblr post. It’s also my 2-year Tumblrversary, apparently.
I wanted to post something cool and probably art-related for my 1,000th, and most definitely self-serving. Instead, I decided to post something only slightly less self-serving, but still pretty cool.
My hetero-life/art/podcasting partner Jason Young has written and drawn a new comic coming out at the end of this month and I have been working very hard on it.
Last weekend I scanned in all the pages to get ready for print. Jason had already scanned and colored the cover and back cover, but it was… let’s just say “not right”. So I offered to rescan them and color them myself. He asked me if I could touch the cover up to make it look more like the thing it is parodying.
I present the final cover for Jason’s new book WITCHCRAFT: THE CONJURING.
This is a horrific, traumatic and harrowing comic about a collectible card game played around the world by fucktards of all kinds and how it and they are ruining LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.
This is basically a Chick Tract, but instead of discarding it, you WILL TEACH THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN FOR DECADES TO COME.
From my buddies Jason & Eric.