Amplifier Worship

We’re already over halfway through 2011. I wanted to highlight a few fine records I’ve gotten into so far. I wrote up a list of my favorite Iowa City releases for Little Village Magazine already, so I won’t be rehashing that, I’ll just single out some stellar releases and unnecessarily pigeon-hole and qualify them cause, why not?

Thrill Jockey

From about ages 13 through 16, give or take a year or two, metal and hard rock ruled my radio. Discovering Radiohead around 16, marked the beginning of a pretty precipitous decline in head-banging and a more regular move toward “the standing still.” After a violent shunning of all things stupid, loud, and crude–my dismissive stance on metal and hard rock–for the early part of college, I allowed myself to enjoy the louder things in life. I have, since my junior year of college, found a few records that really up the decibel level and also appeal to my “more refined” tastes. (more…)


(Photo: John C. Schlotfelt)

Iowa City’s premier punk outfit, Supersonic Piss, has itself a serious slab of shellac about to drop. The dirtiest quartet that the city has to offer is about to scramble some brains and blast through some ear drums with their debut full-length Umbilical Noose–out soon on Rotted Tooth Records. (more…)

Cedar Falls, Iowa has had some bruisers in the past. In fact, Cedar Falls has almost always been the Hawkeye state’s stronghold for tight, intelligent music with an edge. Continuing in that tradition is the fist-pumpingly good Former Thieves.
Yesterday, the normally indie-leaning AV Club posted a stream of the quartet’s upcoming jam, The Language That We Speak, dropping courtesy of  No Sleep Records on Tuesday, April 19th.
The Cedar Falls hardcore group’s full-length debut is pretty darn impressive. It’s lean–10 tracks clocking in under a half an hour, it’s muscular with enough riffage to keep the Converge-cravers sated, and it has just enough swagger to stomp around to. (more…)

Iowa City progressive/drone metal mavens Aseethe have thrown up their hands and surrendered to the 21st Century, folks. And that’s good news for us. All of their contributions to all three of their splits (with Mauul, Shores of the Tundra*, and their latest with Ghaust) are available for free download through the band’s website.
The band made these all available back in January, however, now is a great time to get girded-up, because Aseethe is playing a quick set of Midwestern shows this weekend before setting out to conquer the west coast at the end April. (more…)

Brooklyn’s “post-rock” black-metal outfit, Liturgy, is set to destroy eardrums and confound headbangers with their precise, over-amped blasts with the release of their second full-length album, Aesthetica, on Thrill Jockey in May. (more…)