Mudhoney: Live in Europe


On this rare snowy day in Olympia, I thought I could use a little warmth, and so I searched for it in the local section of newly arrived music here at KAOS. I was immediately able to find something from someone with experience in this winter, and a few minutes later Mudhoney’s madness was penetrating my mind, with the raw energy of grunge that just shoots through you, replicating the Pacific Northwest’s piercing wet cold like a medicine ten times stronger than the disease itself.

Released on January 19 of 2018 through Sub Pop, ‘LiE’ follows Mudhoney on their 2016 tour through Central Europe, from Norway and Sweden down through Germany and Austria to Croatia, according to the Bandcamp description. The album covers work from all through the bands' history, with a healthy balance of songs from each decade. The description also mentions the band has a studio album to be released later this year, which is the 30th anniversary of the band’s forming in 1988.

‘LiE’ is somehow exactly as I expected it to be, and that is far from a bad thing. Mudhoney’s music is admittedly foreign to me (I was always more of Sonic Youth guy, though I have enjoyed a few playings of SuperFuzz BigMuff in my day), but I think sometimes I just hear something once, decide I like it, and then am finished with it, as if the evaluation of it is all that matters. But here Mudhoney has used this new opportunity to mold a solid place for themselves in my listening catalog. The album has the feeling a live performance gives in which it picks you up and shakes you around the room, bouncing you up and down or at the very least starts your head bobbing up and down.  Songs like "Get Into Yours", "What to Do With the Neutral", "I’m Now", and "Editions of You" are the meat behind the power of Mudhoney’s first official live album, while longer tracks like The Final Course and Broken Hands open the album up, allowing the music to sustain itself on epic journeys. The band has maintained their spastic and driving sound through the years, and to see a punk band celebrating their 30th anniversary with not one but two releases is rare and exciting, especially when they do so as gracefully as Mudhoney has, without losing their grasp of that city sickness, or house show heritage. It is a golden tribute to the punk rockers all over the PNW, using music to find the energy blocked behind winter clouds.

If ever you want a way to get your party turned away from the typical music normal people seem to like and get yourself some good rock to move to, ‘Live in Europe’ is a great place to start. I recommend avoiding the album however if you have downstairs neighbors, as symptoms including jumping, shoving, shouting, and craving more.

Album Review: Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar

Genre: Black Metal

Band: Endalok
Album: Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar
Country: Iceland
Release Date: January 20, 2017 Label: Signal Rex

Another pretty new band, Endalok has put out their first EP Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar (Icelandic for ‘From a Dream world of Abominations’) on Portuguese label Signal Rex. This follows their demo from last year on the same label. Edalok play a very eerie type of Black Metal, definitely on the experimental side of things. Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar is a dark brand of psychedelic sounds that probably reflect what it feels like to have your car break down in winter in Iceland.


Review by DJ FLExIN USA

Album Review: Brain Eater by Cryptic Brood


Genre: Death Doom
Band: Cryptic Brood
Album: Brain Eater
Country: Germany
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Label: Xtreem Music


Brain Eater is Cryptic Broods debut full length album and second release on Spanish label Xtreem Music after their 2015 EP, Wormhead. 2017 has seen a good amount of Death/Doom metal with Brain Eater being one of my favorites so far. It has all of the old school Autopsy and Asphyx vibes that we all enjoy along with plenty of weird riffs mixed in to make it their own. The production is on point with that gunky yet grinding tone.

Crank this album and you will be head banging in no time!

Review by DJ FLExIN USA

Album Review: The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset

The Julie RuinHit Reset from Brooklyn, NY

Rock/Dance Punk

Label: Hardly Art

The Julie Ruin

Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin releases their sophomore album “Hit Reset,” and its songs are fueled with bitterness, contempt, handclaps, and group chants. The dance-punk album also has elements of surf-rock, synth-pop, and even a tinge of funk/blues on the song, “Time Is Up.”

As mentioned previously, the entire album is exceptionally bitter. Throughout the album, Evergreen State College alum Kathleen Hanna sings and shouts rancorous lyrics like, “I don’t think you’re sorry at all,” and “Start a Kickstarter for your heart.”

The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

The instrumentation complements the lyrical tone throughout the album. Distorted and fuzzy guitars ring chaotically with aggressive strumming patterns, and synthesizers swell to musical climaxes in multiple songs. Drums and bass usually stay fairly consistent throughout songs letting the lyrics shine or letting the guitar and synthesizer parts be hectic in certain spots.

The album’s closer, “Calverton,” is a stark contrast from the tone set throughout the album; up until this point, we have heard aggressive screaming and songs soaked with that bitter attitude. Instrumentally, we have heard brash synthesizers, harsh guitars, and the bass and drums setting the groove for each of the songs; in “Roses More Than Water” we even hear some Monkees-esque organ tones. However, “Calverton” sets this all aside for a piano and some light, clean guitar tones in the latter part of the song. “You made me think I could fly,” Hanna closes the album.

“Hit Reset” is harsh, loud, and bitter album, but through all this, it manages to be extremely catchy and danceable. Each song has a groove that makes you want to bob your head and tap your foot.

Review by Luke Putvin

Album Review: Kaia Kater, Nine Pin

Kaia KaterNine Pin from Toronto, Canada


Label: Kingswood Records

With an exploration of Appalachian and African-Caribbean roots, Kaia Kater brings something precious to the table with her simplistic, deep, fully loaded vocals. The music she is composing is bountiful and transformative. She keeps the past present and isn’t afraid to explore her core with vast creativity as heard on “Fine Times at Our House” and “White”. These two songs especially grab my attention with her more traditional technique and accompaniment. She is able to convey very lucidly the spirit of being merry and maintain a dim flicker of sorrow. “Harvest and the Plough” has a ghostly reminiscence of New Orleans marching bands. She manages to fluidly express her Appalachian roots with relevant blues references.

Her music is timeless and lets me gently fade away to a place with sweet sensory induced banjo tunes. The album name Nine Pin originates from a square dance most frequently seen in West Virginia, where she has spent most of her time. With this symbolism portrayed in the album name, you can bet that symbolism will be a common theme song by song. Her adventures exploring old time music has proved to be collaboratively successful, integrating layers of antiphonal qualities with many instruments and incorporating reel and jig like songs.