[Tin Wyrm] 001 – A Very Fond Farewell [Tin Wyrm] 001 – A Very Fond Farewell

Tin Wyrm is the logical coupling of the good Kaptain Carbon’s propensity for extremity as displayed in his exhaustively inspired work in the endless metal melee under the Tape Wyrm banner and Charles’ determined lap of post-adolescent obscurity typified in the ringings of Tin Ear Tuesday. It’s aim is to promote a mutinous racket highlighting artists whose work in volume and genre-defiance they (collectively, respectively) find both inspired and inspiring. Soundtracks for salt futures with a distinctive dystopian bent whose hopes spring and echo the everyday eternal essence of hardcore, avant metal and experimental noise. The good shit, that is, to be sure.

Tin Wyrm I – A Very Fond Farewell from pinpointmusic on 8tracks Radio.

Hydra Head Records formed in 1993 on the distro whim of one Mr. Aaron Turner. Their first release was the Long Lost Human 7″ by a band called Vent (I never heard it). Since then, the label has grown into a independent powerhouse, promulgating a little something called “Thinking Man’s Metal.” They’ve released records by Converge, Soilent Green, Xasthur, Drowningman and a litany of like-minded (but not really) lunatics determined to make some of the most innovative and uncompromising racket imaginable. Without Hydra Head, hardcore might still belong to the thugs, metal might never have escaped the drunken snark of the parking lot and Curse of the Golden Vampire could have very well been the last thing we ever heard from the illustrious horror of Justin Broadrick. I certainly wouldn’t have known that vinyl could be produced in so many swirls and colors or that jazz bands could play half-naked and totally fucking terrifying (Hi, Oxbow!) or that violence and art could meld so seamlessly for the everyday sonic adventurer.

In December, however, they’re closing their proverbial doors (you can read Mr. Turner’s statement here) and we are fucking devastated. To ease the pain and commemorate the extraordinary work of Mr. Turner and his label, we’ve decided to make the inaugural passage of Tin Wyrm a brief retrospective of some of the albums and artists that blew our minds out through our teeth. This list is far from complete but our intentions are good even if our attention spans are weak.

So grab a beer, light a joint, stand up. Fucking ROCKIT.

Botch – “To Our Friends in the Great White North” from We Are the Romans (HH666-41)…I’m not sure if this is the first Hydra Head release I ever purchased (that dubious distinction goes either to Drowningman’s Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline or Cattlepress’ Hordes to Abolish the Divine) but it’s the one that left the deepest, most nerve-shattering impression on me. I mean, Jesus. This shit is epic. From the ornate mania of the first attack salvo “To Our Friends in the Great White North” (presented herein as a statement of purpose) through the millenial inertia (by way of Gregorian doom) of “Man the Ramparts” and even including the disparate elecronish coda of “We Are the Romans” this is an album not with whom to be fucked. Twelve years since it’s debut, it still stands as a watershed moment in the world of post-modernity comparable in spirit and execution to the serpentine genius of Yank Crime (albeit with an almost negligible fraction of the melody) or Dillinger Escape Plan if they canned it with the fret-board circus tricks in favor of a swift knife in the spleen.

Pelican – “Red Ran Amber” from The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (HH666-91)…Pelican, by their own admission, are a triumphant fucking band whose elliptical sun rock salutations (this is me, not them) walk arm in arm with absolutely merciless power riffage. Well, not quite merciless. They are no Isis, though it’s easy to see how the mystical plodding of the band that marked the man who made this fucking label famous were integral to Pelican’s creation. It’s funny, I haven’t listened to this record for a while but now that I’ve revisited it a couple times I’m totally fucking furious at Explosions in the Sky for turning instrumental guitar epics into some fucking pussified guy cry porn with all their tinkerbell bullshit. Fuck those guys. VIVA PELICAN!

Daughters – “Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are One)” from Daughters (HH666-195)…Most folks know that I am no friend of Daughters (and that they, conversely, are likely no friends of mine). I’ve seen them a ton of times. Watched them shift focus from screeching convoluted nonsensicals to gloomy, brooding Cave ape, bells and whistles while still maintaining some air of sexless indifference. Frankly, I fucking hated them and (in many respects, I still do) but the more time I’ve afforded their self-titled swan song, the more I appreciate that they were trying to do something legitimately unusual with it which is a WAY more titillating premise than any of this bullshit new weirdo cool. Fuck you.

Harvey Milk – “Motown” from Life…the Best Game in Town (HH666-159)…Harvey Milk may be the greatest band that no one ever really listens to. I certainly didn’t until this release and now I’ve got most of their fucking catalog on my docket at all times to offer any given good day just the right amount of subterfuge and confusion. Harvey Milk’s music is an intoxicating blend of drone soul, no wave AmRep hatefuck destruction, heavy is as heavy does, Leonard Cohen covers and a deep-seeded love of the near inimitable guitar bomp off ZZ motherfucking Top. Like Melvins, but party. Like Swans but dying inside. Like nothing that should have ever been revived after fading into the Georgian void but was and thank fuck because this sound should be your life.

Cavity – “Cult Exciter” from On the Lam (HH666-47)…This is sludge, right? I often get that notion confused. I know Eyehategod play that groovy swamp junk sickness and people seem to love those guys and I guess I could see a little parallel between those beasts of the Bayou wild and the nasty ass feedback stink finger extending up from the flickering sweat lamp of Florida but Cavity is just something different, man. These boys aim for the gut. Like a nut punch, like sour milk and tequila shots, like Two Girls, One Cup, like FUUUUCK! UHN!

Khanate – “In that Corner” from Clean Hands Go Foul (HH666-173)…There is really nothing good about this record and you should pretty much never listen to it under any circumstances. I’m being serious here. This shit is dark and mean and relentlessly spare and dudes contained herein went on to be in Sunn O))) and Gnaw and were in OLD and Blind Idiot God and Burning Witch so you can probably catch the drifting frames of snuff films diced and splayed and covered in an once lover’s cold feces before being replayed at an insufferable (almost parodic) crawl. DO NOT LISTEN TO KHANATE! Live long and walk forth in peace.

Cable – “Whiskey Mountain Mantra” from Northern Failures (HH666-56)…Cable started off a discordant semblance of a hardcore noise freakout band from Connecticut and turned slowly and with surprising certainty to a dark catalog of Southern new nightmare gothic rock. Is this sludge or is it just pot talking? I still don’t know but I wish these boys were still around because rumor has it they were totally self-destructive maniacs who took great pains to ruin everything in order to make the dismorphic crush of their flange and thrust screaming blood lust all the more authenticated. Big bad beards, baby. Crush it.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – “Mantis” from The Poacher Diaries (HH666-46)…You know, I think I might have actually liked Converge if the first time I’d heard them hadn’t been as the B Side of a split 12″ with Agoraphobic fucking Nosebleed because when you fucking put anybody next to the hypergrind freak the fuck out on PCP and eat the faces of everyone that’s ever loved you abhorrence of Agoraphobic fucking Nosebleed they are going to come off smelling like an anemic pack of PhD candidates showboating chin strap dildos. Funny thing is, this isn’t even Agoraphobic fucking Nosebleed’s most relentless fucking shit but fuck it…I love you.

Discordance Axis – “Jigsaw” from The Inalienable Dreamless (HH666-50)…I missed Discordance Axis every time they played CBGB’s. I don’t know why. I was at the fucking shows. I just got there late or didn’t stick around so I could get drunk or laid or something delightful but ultimately meaningless in the long run of my existence when compared to catching the bassless concept grind commandos do the sci fi fury whip so it pains me a little to listen to this record now. It’s a classic of the genre. Smart, artful, weird, relentless with allusions to Joseph Conrad, Philip K. Dick and Neon Genesis Evangelion and fucking Dave Witte on drums. At least I caught Anal Cunt.

Jesu – “End of the Road” from Lifeline (HH666-127)…I have to be honest. Nothing J.K. Broadrick ever does will be as good for me as Streetcleaner but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect the man and his many reaches. Take Jesu por ejemplo. This shit is fucking lovely. Long and soft and almost uncomfortably melodic, it cascades with a tenderness I never EVER would have expected to emanate from Birmingham let alone from the man who once made a video drowning in pig’s blood but I guess that’s what makes the work of Jesu so effective. It’s pretty as a sundress.

Coalesce – “Bob Junior” from Coalesce/Boy Sets Fire Split (HH666-30) and rereleased in the expanded reissue of There Is Nothing New Under the Sun (HH666-135)…We can not speak of the unexpected without discussing this track which – for my money – is the most powerful thing that Coalesce has ever done and still gives me chills after twelve years of every other day play (any more would be too much). Coalesce, who are better known as the band that sounds like Godzilla vomiting vaguely theological cum crypto sociological polemics to the sound of a train crashing into a collapsing building warehouse full of flaming car parts, show the naked power of man in an acoustic reliquary of family, punk rock and the pain of understanding who we are (and might be) in this aging regret.

Tin Wyrm I – A Very Fond Farewell from pinpointmusic on 8tracks Radio.

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