Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bandcamp Picks: Tankcrimes

Even if I'm not familiar with Tankcrimes I'm no stranger to the bands on the label.  Based out of Oakland CA, they focus mostly on hardcore bands, but have released some great metal over the years.  And it's hard to rebuke their online mission statement:

Voetsek is a band I've been trying to track down ever since I saw them back in 2002 (twice - once at ABC No Rio and once at Gilman).  They were ahead of the curve when it came to the thrash/crossover revival, but more importantly they had their own take on it. Back then they were 3/4ths of an all-girl band; apparently that's changed with a newer, male-r guitarist.  No idea what happened to their foxy old guitarist, who stole my heart while I was helping them load out their gear after the ABC show:
Her: "Is that heavy?"
Me, carrying her amp head: "Uh, no, not really."
Her: "All right, then I'll let YOU carry that."

Of course, any discussion of the ups and downs of thrash revival has to include Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste, who join forces on the cleverly-titled TOXIC WASTE ep.  The split is available as a free download, which should be great news for anyone who loves to party like it's 1989.  Personally, I'm not a huge fan of either band, but every time I've seen them live, they've been hella fun (particularly Toxic Holocaust).  And the price is right.

Even if I have little patience for the current wave of thrash revivalists, I still have a soft spot for Ghoul.  Featuring members of Impaled (a band that's fallen just short of essential for most of their career) Ghoul have the same knack for meat(y) hooks and entertaining live shows.  And when I saw Gwar back in 2010, Oderus Ungus went out of his way to tell the audience, "I hate all those other costume bands...except Ghoul! I like those guys!" Praise from Caesar, indeed.  In addition to their latest, Transmission Zero, Tankcrimes has also combined the first two albums We Came For the Dead and Maniaxe for the very fair price of $6.66.

I'm sure at this stage of their career, Cannabis Corpse are finding their weed-heavy gimmick a double edged sword.  Though it still gains them a certain amount of attention, more often than not fans of the genre dismiss them as a joke (or worse - a cover band).  That's unfortunate, because underneath the bong smoke and pun-heavy song titles lies an incredible death metal act, one that could stand toe-to-toe with the best of the Florida scene (I'll take them over Malevolent Creation any day).  On last year's Beneath the Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise they shifted their red-eyed gaze from Cannibal Corpse to Deicide and Morbid Angel.  If "" doesn't make you laugh, I guess there's no hope for you.