Article by: Brian Halsey ‡ Edited by: Leanne Ridgeway
Now that Halsey has defrosted himself from the tundra and forest explorations of Winter, we bring you his Spring Rogue adventure.
As always, Halsey essentially switches direction at every incorrigible whim and Spring is no different… Unrepentant? Yes. Interesting and fun? Definitely. Alas, we expect nothing less from him. ~ Leanne
Book: Keith Buckley (of Every Time I Die) – ‘Watch‘
It’s hard to get an honest review of anything produced by a polarizing celebrity. As previously demonstrated by ancient fuckboi poet Decius, who was killed by a mob of angry Romans just for bearing the same name as the jackwagon who conspired to stab Julius Caesar; the crowd is fickle. Fans will exacerbate the undeserved flames of achievement just as swiftly as haters will piss them out for no good reason other than their own self-disappointment.
Fortunately, I am bound by New Jersey state law to deliver assessment without bias. Those who cannot do, teach. OHHH. And those who cannot teach, teach gym. OHHHHHH. Sorry, on to the review.
Keith Buckley’s first novel, SCALE, quickly showcased the talent and wit he had as lyricist for ETID. As the story progressed, the book turned into what appeared to be a self-glorifying (abstract), semi-autobiography. There was a clear mastery of syntax and diction. The guy is a friggin’ wordsmith, but the characters didn’t necessarily resonate with me. The book was well written, but I wasn’t rooting for anyone. I read it more out of respect than enjoyment and, at the end of the day, I’d still give it a commendable 7.8 / 10. (Yeah, I’m douchily breaking it down that precisely. It’s literature, bro).
I was gifted a copy of WATCH and read it in two sittings. I initially had it around an 8.9 / 10, but after further review, it’s more like a 9.8. The storyline is as intense as it is fast-moving. Moments of pure literary genius exist juxtapose passages where you’re decayin’ with the boys. What sets this apart from not only Buckley’s previous book but most other modern authors, is his unwavering confidence to dive into the abyss of weirdness and not give a shit if you can punch your way out. There were a lot of moments where I questioned what the hell was going on, but I was always grounded to reality and reeled back in by something familiar enough to identify.
Though most of the characters were crappy people, I still found myself emotionally bound to their fate. The loaded symbolism and heavily metaphoric wordplay had me re-reading certain chunks, especially toward the end, but it was always in an enjoyable way. I felt more like a detective sifting through the miasma rather than an asshole who was out of his intellectual depth.
At the core, this is a very serious novel, but there is enough raunchy degradation to keep it darkly humorous. However, the hidden gem is in the eye of the beholder. It’s the type of book that concludes in a maddeningly debatable fashion and is bred to be argued about with cheap beer and loud opinionated voices.
WATCH reveals what Every Time I Die fans knew all along. Keith Buckley is more than just a guy with rad leather jackets and a dope voice. He is talented as all fucking hell and after reading this book you just have to give it to the man. This is a literary banger. Turn those pages and contact me anytime, day or night, to talk some shit on how you think it ended. [Buy it HERE.]
Band: ANGEL DU$T – ‘Pretty Buff‘
Wow. Really? Damn. I can’t believe how infectious the new ANGEL DU$T is. Bouncy, crunchy, sing-along, punk rock. ‘Pretty Buff’ is unmistakably rowdy, but the party is carried on the shoulders of warm friendly rhythms and big dick energy. It’s just one of those sick albums where every song kinda gets stuck in your head, thus making it the perfect spin for Spring.
Rather than rant, fire up “Bang My Drum“, and tell me how fast you were singing, clapping, and dancing to a song you were hearing for the first time.
Has the “post” phase been dead long enough for me to admit I kinda miss post-hardcore? I’m not gonna go year hunting on Wikipedia, but my guess is it’s been over a decade since HOPESFALL released an album. And release an album they did.
‘Arbiter‘ is one of the greatest resurrection albums of all time. It does more than just capture nostalgia and revive the great memories of ‘The Satellite Years‘, ‘A-Types‘, and ‘Magnetic North‘. ‘Arbiter‘ progresses the legacy of a band who helped write the book on how to fuse the chaos of hardcore with layers of ambient alt-rock. Songs like “C.S. Lucky-One“, “Tunguska“, and “Faint Object Camera” are just a few that stand out on an album that is debatably their strongest effort.
The added bonus is that you feel like you got in a time machine and warped into the early 2000s; a magical place where dudes rocked flannel with unconscionably tight jeans and everybody had a carabiner with like 17 pounds of meaningless shit hanging off of it.
Film/Movie: Mötley Crüe – ‘The Dirt‘
Unpopular opinion: I don’t give a rat’s ass about Queen, aside from a few hit songs. I had zero interest in the film. Despite my piss poor attitude, the movie went on to be wildly successful and now the masses will soon swallow an even less interesting brand of rock n’ roll with that bullshit movie being made about Elton John.
HOWEVER! If those cinematic atrocities had to exist in order for ‘The Dirt‘ to get made into a movie, then I am 100% in support of their existence. I haven’t seen the movie, but the book is the most important literary artifact to grace this earth since Jesus penned Nergal’s favorite fire starter. ‘The Dirt‘ should be translated into every language and launched into orbit by Elon Musk so that future extraterrestrial civilizations are better adapted to rocking the fuck out in our atmosphere.
The lead single to the soundtrack (also named “The Dirt“) is vintage Motley Crue, to the point where a contribution from Machine Gun Kelly doesn’t even ruin it. Pretty impressive. Don’t give me some garbage about Crue not being any good cuz they’ve sucked for over 10 or 20 or 30 years. ‘Too Fast for Love‘, ‘SHOUT at the DEVIL‘, ‘Theatre of Pain‘, and ‘Dr. Feelgood‘ all rock.
Plus, there’s a few solid singles (“HELL ON HIGH HEELS“) sprinkled into the albums that do suck. Show some respect for the filthiest dudes in hair metal history.
Tour Update: Great Electric Quest – ‘Chapter II: Of Earth‘
ATTENTION! THIS IS NOT A TEST! For the first time in recorded history, the American rock n’ roll deity referred to as GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST will be granted permission by an extraterrestrial collective of headbanging aficionados to retreat their native soil, and shred hard as fuck overseas. The decision was marred in controversy and debated by academics across the constellations. Much like the Declaration of Independence or Stonehenge, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST is considered a national treasure, and to allow them unrestricted travel abroad without armed guards would be a risk that few patriots had the intestinal fortitude to stomach.
True to fashion, the dudes in question raged hard against all logical voice of reason. Loaded on weed, whiskey, cheap beer, and devil electric, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST is geared up to explore infinity and beyond…and then, even beyond that infinity. GET STOKED, EUROPE! This offer is only on the table for a limited time.
Once G.E.Q. returns stateside, they will be imprisoned back to their homeland of California with no definitive date of release. Guitar solos! Drum solos! Legendary bangers! The boys are back in town, to towns they haven’t even been to yet!
DON’T MISS GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST, EUROPE 2019!!!!!!!
May 01 – Bannermans Live, Edinburg, UK [info]
May 03 – Desertfest London – Camden, London, UK [info]
May 10 – The Underdog – London, UK [info]
May 11 – Maboel – Zottegem, Belgium [info]
May 17 – Umsonst & Drinnen Festival |Stadthalle Lohr, Lohr Am Main, Germany [info]
May 18 – Den Drummer – Gent, Belgium [info]
May 21 – L’Usine à Musique – Toulouse, France [info]
May 24 – Officine Sonore, Vercelli, Italy [info]
May 25 – Hirscheneck – Basel, Switzerland
Jun. 01 – Level Rock Bar, Uppsala, Sweden [info]
Jun. 07 – Undergangen, Stockholm, Sweden
Jun. 08 – The Rock Bar, Karlstad Sweden
Jun. 12 – The Abyss, Gothenburg, Sweden
Jun. 15 – MTS Records, Oldenburg, Germany
Jun. 20-22 – Freak Valley Festival [info]
South Jersey’s disappointingly mild Winter is officially over. I have returned from my sojourn to the cave of black metal and the self-imposed punishment of Varg Vikernes’ YouTube lamentations. The next obvious move is for me to get in touch with nature and try my hand at gardening (results may vary).