Article by: Brian Halsey ‡ Edited by: Leanne Ridgeway
The first installment of my Rogue Reviews went exactly as you’d expect. It went viral. Four billion ‘Likes’ worldwide. Mark Zuckerberg thought he was hacked. Lemmy came back from the dead just to comment on it. Shoobies stopped feeding the seagulls and driving like assholes. And McDonald’s brought back the McRib; permanently.
So, it’s only right that during Summer, the season of the backyard mixtape, I go genre-hopping and tell you what’s good across the spectrum of heavy music. Listen carefully:
Genre: Filthy Rock N Roll Riff Metal
Band: BIG DURTY – ‘Electric Warrior‘
Everybody has that group of friends who live close to the woods, drink a shit ton of cheap beer, and have never left town. These are the dudes who yell “SEND IT!” for no fucking reason and right after that, someone usually gets set on fire and the night is totally ruined.
When you look back on it, the whole experience was pretty cool, because you got to ride in the back of an ambulance. And while you were riding in the back of said ambulance, somebody yelled “SEND IT!” again. Then the dude who was on life support suffering from third-degree burns gets pushed out of a moving vehicle and into oncoming traffic. Somehow he doesn’t die and ends up with a can of Natty Ice in his hands. Even though a few people get six months of community service, no one really has any regrets.
BIG DURTY is the soundtrack to that night. Burly rugged metal, raining down hot from a mountain made of fire. Wailing guitar solos, head-bobbing riffs. This is the apex summer drinking music on a humid night.
Genre: Black Metal
Band: OVATE – ‘Ovate‘
Do you hate the summer and wish you could block out the sun with a powerful arctic storm blast? Norwegian black metal, featuring members of Taake and Gorgoroth. That’s it. I’m done explaining why this is good, right?
It’s fast, evil, and mean. All the wicked harshness that’s best about the genre, plus some intricate and weird folky moments to keep you on your toes. There are legendary guest vocalists popping up all over the place, and musically there is a lot of raunchy black n roll, heavily reminiscent of (newer) Taake albums. They don’t burn down churches in Norway anymore, they just burn down riffs.
Band: BINARY – ‘Commit More Arson‘
Young Philly band takes the vicious sound of powerviolence and mixes it up with some abrasive, yet melodic screaming to yield a very promising release. Intense, emotional, and highly aggressive. Throw it on and pretend you’re still young enough to get invited to house shows where you can pay with money or beer to get in.
Their début album is NYP on Bandcamp, so download it, get into it, and feel cool because you weren’t suckered into hitting up “The Last Warped Tour” for $128.
Genre: Flower Doom
Band: TURTLE SKULL – ‘Turtle Skull’
Warm, fuzzy, running across a wide-open desert plain on acid, doom rock. TURTLE SKULL is as earthy as moss and custom-made for what seems to be a popular sound around Riff Relevant. I definitely run the risk of sounding like a dumb ass by acting like I’m introducing you to this band, so I’ll just tell you this is one of the smoothest psych doom bands out there.
If you enjoy being outside in the sun with the wind blowing through your hair, this is what should be echoing through your bones and your soul. Feel free to pick a spirit animal while you listen. Mine is the giant snake from the movie Anaconda that ate Jon Voight. His ponytail and poor treatment of Mateo pissed me off that entire film.
Band: DEATH GRIPS – ‘Year of the Snitch‘
Dude, I fucking love DEATH GRIPS. Some people can’t stand them, but then again some people hate freedom… and creativity. There’s nothing at stake here except your entire reputation.
Another weird-ass album, all over the place, but somehow brilliantly held down by consistency that can’t be explained and is only pulled off by the one and only. Hip-hop, punk rock, heavy experimental. Breakout the super soakers when this one comes on. It’s a shitshow.
Combining all this different music might seem like a risky idea, but so is mixing Four Loko with Vodka and eating 12 hot dogs. Now tell me, when has that ever gone wrong? If you’ve never done it, then you have no reputable evidence to disprove my claim.