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Ira Hunter

Ira Hunter

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AU Vol. 18–4 Issue 106

Friday, 17 June 2022 21:02 Published in Volume 18

Absolute Underground #106 – Special Issue dedicated to everything you never wanted to know about B.A. Johnston and his new album Werewolves of London, Ontario – Includes in-depth interviews and analysis plus gig poster, album art, and photo collages.

 

Also In This Issue:

 

  • Victoria's Locals Only - Razorvoice
  • Vancouver Vengeance - Daddy Issues
  • Wolf Rider
  • WAKE
  • Pure Punk: Snuff
  • Montreal Massacre - Hood Rats
  • Pirates Press Records - Subhumans
  • Stomp Records - The Dreadnoughts
  • Satanic Surfers
  • Calgary Carnage - Citizen Rage
  • Shr-Edmonton - Kill Witch
  • Fire!
  • Director Jack Sholder
  • Decimate Metalfest
  • Calgary Horror Con
  • Piledriver
  • Loud As Hell Festival
  • The Wailers - Aston Barrett Jr
  • Thirteen Goats
  • Svneatr
  • Podium
  • Elektric Mistress
  • Supreme Echo - The Nostrils
  • Shred Session - PD’s Hot Shop
  • Modern Terror

AU Vol. 18–3 Issue 105

Friday, 01 April 2022 00:00 Published in Volume 17

Absolute Underground #105 - 420 Issue!!! - The Weed Olympics, Watermelon, Lee Jaffe, Cannabis Corner, 420 Events Guide. Also an exclusive interview with Beyond The Wasteland director Eddie Beyrouthy as part of our Calgary Underground Film Festival coverage.

Also In This Issue:

  • Bruce Dickinson
  • Booze And Glory
  • Pure Punk: Brian James
  • Commando Ninja
  • Cursed Blessings Records - Choices Made
  • Beyond The Wasteland -
  • Eyehategod
  • UK Subs - Alvin Gibbs
  • Paddy Waggin’
  • Hyperia
  • Dreadnoughts
  • Comic Book Icons - Sergio Aragones

AU Vol. 18–2 Issue 104

Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00 Published in Volume 17

Absolute Underground #104 – Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark special edition. Interview with Cassandra Peterson about her new book Yours Cruelly, Elvira. Explore Elvira's Cult of Personality with Absolute Horror's Vince D'Amato. Then Unearthed From The Haunted Vault is Vampire Vavoom and article written by journalist Les Wiseman in 1987. Also featuring an artist profile on Elvira pinball artist Greg Freres. Bonus features include an Elvira Photo Collage by Demonika and eye-popping pin-up art by Sun Khamunaki, Lawrence Denvir, and Maria Joaquin.

Also In This Issue:

  • Victoria's Locals Only - The Poor Choices
  • Vancouver Vengeance - Worse
  • Calgary Carnage - Caveat
  • Absolute Metal - Voivod
  • Cursed Blessings Records - Sacrifice - Slaughter
  • Shr-Edmonton - Malicious Intent
  • Regina Rage - Into Eternity - Hyperspace
  • Toronto Trash - Idol Of Fear
  • Montreal Massacre - Fall Of Stasis
  • Corpsegrinder
  • Ink Slingers - Biomorphs Tattoo
  • Pirates Press Records - Sweat
  • Stomp Records - Real Sickies
  • Supermodel Taxidermy
  • Beneath The Wheel - Tzimani 
  • Ditched - Soundtracks From Hell - Clayton Worbeck
  • Cannabis Corner - Single Stoners Guide
  • Supreme Echo - Stick Farm
  • Comic Book Icons - Sergio Aragones
  • Quit It!

2021: The Year of the Filthy Party in China

Saturday, 18 December 2021 23:57 Published in Underground News
2021: The Year of the Filthy Party in China

Disciples of gore, grind, smut, porn and all things found in the sex shops or the sewer discovered their chapels at concerts put on by goregrind heroes Rectal Wench this year in China. The Beijing band brought out the best in people at their concerts named Filthy Parties throughout 2021. People dressed in wild costumes such as bananas,  Pikachus or thong underwear over their heads while throwing down in the mosh pit or grinding on stage. Sometimes, a few people who got too sweaty and excited wore no clothes at all. 

The Filthy Party concert series was created in conjunction with Rectal Wenchs new album, Judgment of Whore Labia From the Sewer Throne, (released in March through Splatter Zombie Records) with the aim to bring together the underground community within China who are fans of extreme music, and to celebrate, as the name implies, in an unhinged, filthy way. Since March, the events have taken place in Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao and Chengdu. Along with Rectal Wench, other bands have joined the cause, playing alongside them like Want ASS, Globularcyst and Impure Injection. 

At a typical Filthy Party - the scene looked as follows: on stage is a toilet throne which the band or audience members sat on occasionally, while blow up sex dolls, blow up sex aliens (with alien fucker written across their chests) and dildos of all shapes and sizes are swung around, used as pseudo weapons or even dry humped by the band and audience members throughout the performances. The scene afterwards is like a crime scene of murdered blow-up dolls and aliens, who sadly couldn’t make it to the Filthy after-party. 

If you think a crowd beating up on inflatable sex dolls is strange, there is a method to this madness, as it ties into the theme of Judgment of Whore Labia From the Sewer Throne. According to guitarist Laoshi Guo, the story goes - Humanity is being held hostage in a sewer made of flesh (like a big rectum). The four members of the band put on their lucha (wrestling) masks and set out to save humanity from the inflatable dolls. It's just like our live show, where we go crazy with the audience and defeat them to save humanity. We are heroes of the human race! 

The band knows that the style of goregrind they perform is not extremely popular in China. In countries like Germany (where their record label is located), the Czech Republic, Mexico, Italy, Colombia, or France, however, the scene for this type of noise is huge. None of my favorite bands ever played a show in China, says Guo. You have to go abroad to see them. But we are the same people who play with the same things and are part of the same culture, even though they may not know we exist. Hopefully through these shows, they will begin to understand that Chinas scene is just as strong as anywhere else. 

Not every show has gone smoothly, as the Beijing gig, previously slated to take place at School Bar, had to change venues at the last minute. Guo says that the police thought that the Filthy Party would include naked women and be an X-rated affair, based on the poster. While nudity is known to happen at shows due to overzealous fans, it isn't encouraged. The Beijing show was moved to UFO Space and despite the last-minute change, the extreme underground community came together and made sure everyone knew via the bands WeChat group. 

The shows have gained the attention of the web-based music festival Sick Dog Fest, in which the band was recently featured on as one of their 80 bands showcasing grind, gore and death metal from around the world.

Extreme metal get-togethers do have a history in China, with similarly themed Gore Feasts taking place as early as 2013 - featuring Rectal Wench, along with the now defunct Cave Have Rod, Ready to Die, and The Dark Prison Massacre. The concerts have been recognized as being the birth of the extreme music community in China. Cave Have Rod famously made it to the Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic, which was a high-water mark for the underground music community in China. The Filthy Party series could be seen as miniature versions of this major grind festival - at the Obscene Extreme, the limits are basically turned off. People dressed in outlandish costumes (like men wearing ballerina outfits) routinely hit the stage as bands are playing and jump into the crowd via inflatable shark, dolphin, or nothing at all, hitting the dirt smiling. 

Zibos Impure Injection have joined Rectal Wench on every Filthy Party show thus far. Front man Gore Geng weighs in on the connection between Obscene Extreme and the shows in China, To play at the Obscene Extreme festival is a dream for every grindcore band on earth, he says. I have never been there, but I’m very familiar with it and hope one day I can play there on stage. There are always some issues with visas though, so for now we are making these local shows the best they can possibly be, and for any grind fan in China who has wanted to go to the Obscene Extreme, but cant, we see it as an acceptable substitute. 

If not Obscene Extreme, Rectal Wenchs Guo hopes the band can still make their mark any place which will take them. "After China, we hope to tour the world and meet all of our filthy friends abroad. 

Until that day, though, the Filthy Parties in China will continue, with the next taking place in Shenyang.


-Ryan Dyer

AU Vol. 18–1 Issue 103

Wednesday, 01 December 2021 00:00 Published in Volume 17

Absolute Underground #103 – A Fully Crazed Xmas Issue featuring festive interviews with Twisted Sister, The Vandals, Descendents, Good Riddance, Hawkwind, and L.A. Guns.

 

Also In This Issue:

 Skincrawl

Shot Caller

Russ Rankin - Only Crime

Hammerdrone

Thrash La Reine

Josh Freese - Devo

Hard Charger

Bill Stevenson

Fully Crazed

Twisted Business - Jay Jay French

The Professionals

The Filthy Radicals

Hank Von Hell Memorial

 

 

DAFA Club 3rd Anniversary Party

Sunday, 14 November 2021 08:56 Published in Live Reviews

DAFA Club 3rd Anniversary Party 

November 13, 2021, Tianjin, China 

 

The big, shitty baby has finally turned three, and on this occasion, it has presented a diarrhea-filled diaper of bands representing the best Tianjin has to offer in terms of punk - with a few guests from neighboring cities, as is the custom. 

For this edition, eight bands were advertised on the poster, though due to the ongoing uncertain nature of your favorite virus, a few could not attend. Thankfully, highly anticipated acts Gum Bleed and Rectal Wench made it to the show, as they are only a train ride away, being from Beijing. 

The show started with local psychos Teddy. Its always a mystery as to what Teddys singer will be wearing on stage. I have seen him don butterfly wings and a pink ballerina dress, underwear and a gimp mask. This show nearly outdid all of those in terms of creativity, as Teddy - The Boys, as they like to be called became Teddy - The Good Boys, with the vocalist coming through the crowd with sneakers on his hands, on all fours, with a new gimp mask on his face - literally a human dog. Their set was equally rabid, with songs like Masturbation Master” and Noisemaker” allowing mosh pits to open up early and the temperature in the chilly DAFA bar to heat up significantly. 

The heat kept rising with the Beijing-based three-piece band Shochu Legion. The heavily tattooed frontman brought the heavy, crusty riffs which the crowd ate up - now in addition to skanking, started jumping on the stage and shouting lyrics into the mic to favorites like Mask” - which wouldnt be the last time this would happen.  

The next few bands acted more as breathers after the barrage of Teddy and Shochu Legion. Kids Factory played a fairly typical set. This band has been opening a lot of shows at DAFA and are improving with each performance.  

Up next were Gum Bleed, whom this crowd is not shy about showing their ever-loving support to. The classic Beijing punk band broke into Kiss Me, Im Punk” with the whole floor becoming a moving entity. The microphone was passed along generously, with many fans belting their hearts out to songs like Punx Save the Human Race.” Every Gum Bleed show at DAFA is a huge event, and this was perhaps their biggest showing, with many fans leaving the venue to go home, after, completely satisfied.  

Those who did stick around, though, as the clock went beyond midnight, were the filthy followers of Rectal Wench. The sickest band in China brought the blow-up dolls and even blow-up dinosaurs for this special appearance - not being at one of their own Filthy Parties, but still being filthy enough to want to shower afterwards. The overlord of filth first took the stage with a ski-mask and thong on his head before taking off his pants, unveiling fishnet tights. He put a cute little dress on and then got the fuck off the stage so Rectal Wench could take it. Without a drummer for this show, their sound was similar to when I first saw them back in 2013 in Beijing. This was a rougher, uglier Wench than usual. The blow-up doll was soon degraded and deflated, a shell of her former self. But as the story with their album goes, that is the point - the doll was trying to enslave mankind! The band played a new song this time entitled Furry” or maybe Furry Fucker.” Its good to know the nasty boys are writing in between Filthy Parties.  

A cake was brought onstage for the big birthday finale after Wench finished. Hours of punk and gore really brought out the appetite in people, and the patrons feasted while reminiscing about the good time they had. As they say, heres to a few. Heres to a few more. 

 

- Ryan Dyer 

 

AU Vol. 17–6 Issue 102

Friday, 01 October 2021 00:00 Published in Volume 17

Absolute Underground # 102 – Halloween Issue! Cover art by Sun Khamunaki. Arthur Brown: The God Of Hellfire. Punk Rock Bowling 2021. GWAR 30 Years of Scumdogs. Tribute to Lyle's Place.

Also In This Issue:

  • Tiberius Merge
  • Shattered Throne
  • Megadragon
  • Bishops Green
  • White Cowbell Oklahoma
  • Horrorpops
  • Helloween
  • Mourning Noise - Steve Zing
  • Splatter Gods - Steve Johnson
  • PRB 2021 - Descendents - Milo Aukerman
  • PRD 2021 - Pears - Erich Goodyear
  • Archspire
  • Bloody Monroe
  • Helix - Brian Vollmer
  • The Monster Collection
  • The Hex
  • Why We Celebrate Halloween
  • Absolute Horror

 

A Lesson in Violence - Execution, Dressed to Kill, Mortality, Mr. Lizard

Sept 19, 2021, The Lotus Club, Tianjin, China

 

By Ryan Dyer

 

At the Lotus Club, the out of the way venue located in the far east end of Tianjin, a few lessons would be given to the metal community of the hulking sister city to Beijing. A lesson in thrash. A lesson in hard rock. A lesson in speed metal. A lesson in old school death metal. All together, it equated to a lesson in violence.

It was a day of incessant rain, which continued until the evening and carried over throughout the show. Thinking back on it in retrospect, the rainy city at night could be compared to the aesthetic of Blade Runner, which fits the 80s theme of this concert.

The soaking wet audience packed into the club and got dry enough while wetting their throats with beer in order to get ready for the show at hand. Mr. Lizard were the first to take the stage. This Tianjin band have been hitting the stages around the city for the past couple of years. The singer spent a lot of years in Australia and is heavily influenced by the likes of Metallica, but musically, they sound similar to Canadian rockers Danko Jones. They were a suitable opener for the rest of the visiting bands, who all came from Beijing.

Mortality is a new four piece band who worships at the alters of madness, bringing an old school death metal attack with nasty riffs and contaminated vocals. Like newcomers Crimson Flag or stalwarts of the scene, Ready to Die, they utilize female vocals to bring a different dynamic to brutal song structures you’ve likely heard many times before, but never get sick of.

The speed metal mania of Dressed to Kill has been revamped with a new singer, who brought a different dimension of power and dynamics to the songs recorded on their debut album Midnight Impulsion. This stop was somewhat of a homecoming, as many of DTK’s members were originally from Tianjin. A new song, “It’s Over” made an appearance tonight, which was originally written by their old singer about COVID, and reworked by the band to what it is now - a half ballad/half rocker. Other song highlights were the infectious “Midnight Comes Around,” “Rose of Kowloon,” and their anthem “Speed Metal Mania.” For fans interested in a little speed metal done with an oriental spin, pop in a Dressed to Kill tape.

Execution are the new prodigal sons of thrash in China. Their Bloodline EP is a furious slab of Bay Area thrash with enough fury to make any Vio-lence, Exodus or Slayer fan jump in the pit without any second thoughts. Their twin guitar attack brought both the beef and the beef shredder, with solos heavily influenced by Slayer (check the eagle tattoo on one of their arms). Two guitars can make the difference between Mr. America and Mr. Universe. Doing double duty tonight, the Mortality guitarist sat behind the kit for Execution, and rattled those skins like they owed him money. After playing through every song on their EP, the band brought out a surprise Metallica “Creeping Death” cover, which sent everyone home happy thrashers.

AU Vol. 17–5 Issue 101

Sunday, 01 August 2021 00:00 Published in Volume 17

Absolute Underground # 101 – Our Biggest Issue Ever!!! Special Edition History of Canadian Punk Rock and Hardcore Issue.

Featuring: 

  • Death Sentence
  • Red Tide
  • Pointed Sticks
  • Genetic Control
  • The Modernettes 
  • Asexuals / Doughboys 
  • Personality Crisis 
  • D.O.A. 
  • Nomeansno 
  • The Nils 
  • SNFU 
  • Stretch Marks
  • The Dishrags
  • The Furies 
  • Ripcordz 
  • Neos
  • Forgotten Rebels 
  • Dayglo Abortions 
  • No Policy
  • Art Bergmann
  • Viletones 
  • Teenage Head 

 

Plague Fest - Pest Productions 15th Anniversary Road Show

July 25, 20 Years Livehouse, Tianjin, China

 

Since 2005, Pest Productions has been the top label in China concerning black and dark folk metal. With the Plague Fest road show, Pest has put together some of the grimmest, darkest and most cutting-edge bands on its roster to celebrate both the label and the current breed of exceptional bands practising the dark arts in the country.

The Tianjin show was the last stop of the two-part festival run which began in May, meaning tonight would be the last stand - an all-out black metal assault from all the bands involved. Throughout the tour, the festival would have different bands playing each night, with some reoccurring acts bringing the star power to each show such as Frozen Moon.

One main difference in this event was the abundance of merchandise on hand - many of the shows I have attended in China offer few things to take home, but Pest Productions went all out, with t-shirts, bags, CDs and patches available. For promotion and merchandising, a band could do no wrong with Pest Productions in their corner.

The poster for the Tianjin show had Obsession listed as one of the bands, though it was The Illusion of Dawn who were the first to take the stage. A body caked in blood and the band members faces smeared in corpsepaint, TIOD are veterans of the black metal scene in China, being active since the mid 2000s. They revved up the audience from the get-go with primal riffs and depressive wails. During the penultimate song, members of the other bands from the festival took the stage for a duet. The final track, “Obscene Benediction” certainly made an impact, with audience members exchanging anguished, obscene screams into the microphone with the band.

I had seen Tianjin’s Bergrisar twice before on different multi-band shows, but these concerts usually had the band as the odd-band out. With the Plague Fest, though, Bergrisar are now right at home among their black metal brethren. Emerging late last year, the blackened death metal band has made an impression in a short time with their debut album and crushing live shows. They burst through tracks like “War” with unabashed fury, but with Bergrisar, there is time for old school ambiance as well. - when the bell comes out for “Prologue”, you know shit is about to go down. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” indeed.

Vengeful Spectre put out what I consider to be a black metal masterpiece with their 2020 self-titled debut album. The hype for them at this show was real, with many anticipating seeing just how the band would deliver in a live setting. Vocalist Fan Bo is also known for being the front man for Frozen Moon, who would play later in the night. With Frozen Moon, Bo’s stage costumes and eccentric, theatrical poses bring the band to the high echelon of live acts in the country. With Vengeful Spectre, he is no different, dressed in tattered robes with his face painted up like the band’s moniker. Unlike Frozen Moon, Bo’s demeanor with Vengeful Spectre is more menacing and merciless, matching the aggressive musicality of the band. The band played through the entire album, with songs like the hypnotizing “Wailing Wrath” bringing the tempo down to further transfix the in-awe audience.

After the life-altering spectacle that was Vengeful Spectre, it was time for the music to get back to its basics. Not burnt, not well done, but meaty, bloody, and raw, Throat Cutter, like their name, offered primitive poundings from a time of darkness. Three men on stage, their faces concealed by hair - possessed by the power of the riff. With Throat Cutter, singing was rare, with the odd scream into the microphone after two minutes of raw pounding - and the crowd loved it. At this point in the night, the crowd was getting anxious to do a little throat cutting themselves, and used the music as a fitting soundtrack to animalistic shoving and dancing.

The primordial grind of an earth lit only by flame continued with Acherozu who brought a dose of blackened thrash to the 20 Years Livehouse. The Shenyang natives don’t opt for the theatrics - being plain clothed without a trace of makeup on their faces. Their musical output, however, is painted fully black. “Sun Katana” is the slogan beneath their name, and the sharp bladed, war themed songs performed by the band gave those in the pit one more battle before the final act of the night.

Like label-mates Black Kirin and Zuriaake, Frozen Moon have built themselves up to legendary status within the Chinese black metal scene. Their genre-defying albums as of late such as the Legend of East Dan EP and enthralling live shows are something to behold, and for the band to play last at the final Plague Fest show, was fitting and respectable. With lit candles, a table with a skull on it as well as other mythical objects, the band slowly emerged from the darkness, ready to mystify and horrify. They broke into the chanty “Legend of East Dan” as the audience got a good look at the band - Fan Bo’s antler-mask gave him the appearance of a shaman possessed by several malevolent spirits. With each shrieked lyrics, his poses grew more maniacal. At one point, he acknowledged the table skull and did a sort of ritual before tossing Taoist Talismans into the crowd. The spell of Frozen Moon continued until they left the stage as suddenly as they appeared, much like apparitions. Did we just see that? Well, the photos prove that this was all real.

 

- Ryan Dyer

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