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Forged by Hellfires, Absolute Uunderground has been supporting the underground music scene since 2004. The Absolute Underground team has been out there covering events and interviewing local and touring punk, hardcore & metal bands, new album releases, artists & art shows, skateboard events, horror movies, burlesque shows, DVD reviews, zombie walks, tattoo artists & shops, comics & music festivals.

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Live Review: High Tea with Cypress Hill

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00 Published in Underground News

HIGH TEA WITH CYPRESS HILL
Oct 17th, 2018
by Bella P Cuffley
photos by Ryan Johnson

“I want to get high, so high!”

The opening line from Cypress Hill’s 1993 song ‘I Wanna Get High’ is a sentiment simple enough that even a bunch of adolescent misfits, such as my friends and I at the time, could understand that it was a battle cry worth rallying around.

It was a battlecry for a war between Reagan-era propaganda and truth. A war between stubbornness and creativity. A war between the establishment and the unestablished, and Cypress Hill was at the helm, bongs and blunts all ablaze.

Now, take a weed addled quantum leap to October 17th 2018 at Fortune Sound Club and it was hazy, very hazy, yet still clear. We have won the battle.

This night marked the long awaited “freeing of the weed” in Canada and what better way than a headlining performance by the godfathers of the cannabis legalization movement; Cypress hill. In recent years frontman B-Real has been working with DNA Genetics, an equally important player in the cannabis industry, who alongside Canopy Growth were the big sponsors of the show.

The slogan of the night was “we were all there on day one,” an ode to those who have been championing cannabis legalization all along.

Outside the venue there was an unintentional orderliness to the tangled string of committed fans. Everyone maneuvering to the unavoidable dose of nostalgia billowing out from beneath the marquee. Once inside our anticipation was met with the opening acts; Dj Kookum and DJ Marvel Of The Freshest. 

Through the hippie fog I heard tales of magical tokens that were as elusive as Easter eggs; but once found would grant you entry through the rabbit hole into a secret room in the venue filled with doughnuts, candy, and make believe. If you were lucky enough you might have even caught a glimpse of a live interview with High Times Magazine. 

The set list was full of classic songs you would expect to hear including “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” “When The Shit Goes Down,” and the opener, “Weed Medley,” which strung together such hits as “ Dr. Greenthumb” and “Hits from the bong.”

They also played contemporary hits like “Put ‘Em In The Ground” from their newest album “ Elephants on acid.”

Released at the end of September, the 21-song album is the first new release from Cypress Hill in eight years. It also marked the return of DJ Muggs, the producer behind seven of their albums, recreating the quintessential sound fans have come to expect from the group. 

The last song of the night also came from the new album. “LSD (outro),” an extended mix on the thirty seven second interlude that mingles trumpeting elephants and haunting circus piano for the perfect come down from a truly psychedelic experience.

However, it was the second to last song, the timeless hit, “Insane in the Brain” that was the pinnacle of the night. The house erupted with a plume of smoke and everyone danced towards the stage like the floor was on fire. It truly felt like I was back with my teenage friends watching Cypress Hill during the height of their commercial success.

Corvus the Crow does not have to fly far as this Albertan-based heavy metal band launches their debut album, “Consumed by Flies.” This record will be available digitally through Google Play, iTunes and Spotify. In this province, hard copies can be bought at Freecloud, Blackbyrd Myoozik & Sloth Records March 18th. This band will be having a CD launch party at the Mercury Room Yeg in Edmonton on this date and there’s a few tickets left for those to get their view of this constellation getting their time on stage.

Exploding Boy "Four" will Hit the Roof! A Review

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 16:47 Published in Album Reviews

New listeners of The Exploding Boy's music may well find their music spiritually charged. Their album, Four is due out by Artoffact Records on November 5th, and their music is influenced by bands like Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Bauhaus. When listening to the tracks from this newest album, perhaps there is more influence from The Cure than any other. Their sound is infectious. The rhythms are hypnotic--with a light tinge of the goth aesthetic--and it can easily be played for hours at a café, perhaps even to invite in visitors inquiring as to who this group is.

Johan Sjöblom (vocals, acoustic guitar), Lars “Les” Andersson (lead guitar), Stefan Axell (vocals, electric guitar), Nick Isgren (keyboards) on form this melodic team. As The Exploding Boy, they have been at the big European festivals like Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Blackfield, Nordstern, and Summer Darkness. Their first North American show took place at last year's News Years's Eve celebrations at Time Square, and they may well take America by storm if this album is any indication.

And their recognition is due to hit the charts in more ways than one. Four is a very accessible album. The tracks are edgy, melodic and varied. The blend of hard edged guitar with synth-pop is familiar. The sound is tailored to achieve mainstream success and this band is well on its way to achieving that kind of recognition. The single "Dark City (Part 2.)" is produced by Johan Edlund (Tiamat) and its music video is a shining example of a cleverly suggestive narrative. The contrasts are certainly well laid out. When the video is shot to feature decrepit warehouses, a femme fatale, a city of neon lights and a red rose, there is a metaphor being made than fans will have to figure out.

Lyrically, the fun tracks to listen to are "Street Cliché," "Going to Hell" and "Runaways." A persuasive theme may well be part of what this album is about.

And listeners can decipher this band's messages when Four releases in a few weeks.

Agent Side Grinder "Hardware," An Album Review

Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00 Published in Album Reviews

Agent Side Grinder's latest release, a double-album titled “Hardware,” has all the vibe from the late 70's being deconstructed. The echoes, beats and resonance just wants to get the body moving once those headphones are plugged in. And for old timers like me who hail from a different era, this is one album that I can really get into.

The titular track, "Wolf Hour" (featuring Henric de la Cour) is perhaps my most favourite. The images that form in my mind are like that of an escapist fleeing down a metal forest. All anyone can hear is the resonance. The mechanical drumbeats suggest that there may well be robotic beasts stalking me, and I can hear them pacing.

Singer-songwriter Kristoffer Grip provides melodies that are very accessible to listeners who enjoy a broad spectrum of musical themes--from electronic to soul—and to hear "Rip Me" is very reminiscent to something I could hear on my old Commodore 64. Yeah, I'm that old, but when the album cover features a computer from the mid 70's and a monitor that's just as equally ancient (showing a sine wave no less), I can not help but think of some of those old video games I enjoyed playing. Remember Pong?

Retro gaming is a go-go, and I enjoyed this hobby while the punk rock movement was coming of age. The track "Die to Live" is an excellent song dedicated to counter culture. Listeners just have to very slowly absorb the words that Grip is making. I can listen to Agent Side Grinder and early Blondie at the same time. But the 80's was just as significant to influencing the sounds found in this album. Depeche Mode is definitely an influence in a few of the tracks, especially with the song "Look Within." 

But with certain albums, the music has to be absorbed into the body and soul in order to be appreciated. This CD release by Artoffact Records certainly does just that. This 23-track album contains 13 original songs and 10 remixes, and is available for purchase as your usual online music outlets.

Puscifer/Carina Round

Sunday, 11 March 2012 00:00 Published in Live Reviews

Puscifer/Carina Round
March 11, Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary AB

As soon as Maynard James Keenan appeared from the right corner of the stage pulling behind him a trailer hitch, you knew this would be no ordinary concert. Dressed in a leather hat and matching jacket, the singer began the Puscifer experience with a Bill Hicks style monologue while setting up a mock hippy camp fire jam session set, complete with chairs, wine, glasses and a wooden snake.

Slaughterfest

Saturday, 18 July 2009 00:00 Published in Live Reviews

July 18, 2009 – Rendezvous, Edmonton, AB
 - It was a dark and stormy night… and it truely was a perfect setting for the most satanic, evil metal festival to hit Alberta.

July 8, 2009 – The Underground, Calgary, AB
 - About 30 people showed up on this Wednesday night; caught between a cowboy and a hardened turd in the midst of the Stampede.

Lust Boys - Bloody Betty - Mishits - Pom Pom Girls

Thursday, 02 July 2009 15:49 Published in Live Reviews

July 2, 2009 – Pub 340, Vancouver, BC
 - Apparently Pom Pom Girls showed up a couple hours before the show and asked if they could open the show ‘cause their guitar player was going back to Japan in three days. Pretty random way to start, but also memorable.

Sled Island featuring The Bronx

Saturday, 01 August 2009 00:00 Published in Live Reviews

June 27, 2009, The Distillery – Calgary, AB
 - With four amazing days of Sled Island performances behind us, everyone wanted to see the festival end with a bang. The Bronx came all the way from Los Angeles to deliver the explosives.

Megadeth - Slayer - Machinehead - Suicide Silence

Saturday, 27 June 2009 15:14 Published in Live Reviews

June 27, 2009 – Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, AB
Dave Mustaine’s sobriety continues to affect even his audience as the drinks stopped flowing as soon as Slayer started playing.

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