Posted by: Necci – Jun 05, 2012
It's porch-sittin' time. During yesterday's sunny downpour (and rainbows), those lucky enough to have rooves over their porches were treated to something special. These are the times when it's great to have a ukulele handy, just in case the porch birds and neighbors don't mind a little soul in the air. A guitar? Perfect. Anything that makes noise with the incredible background of rain falling will do. Thanks, RVA, for your ever-changing weather as inspiration and collaborator. This week has a few gems you might enjoy:
photo by Joh Moreno
RVA's favorite geek punks, The Haverchucks, are back with a little preview of their forthcoming LP. Two out of four demo songs the band just recorded are posted right now on bandcamp. If you heard the 'Chucks' self titled EP last year, you know how real deal these dudes are. The self-titled EP was the perfect theme to summer 2011. Will these songs be THE soundtrack to summer 2012? Maybe so.
The Haverchucks are playing @ Strange Matter on 6/27 for Vinyl Conflict Presents: Terrible Feelings (Sweden), Fucktard, and Broken Pony. ALSO @ The Camel on 7/7 with Pinkerton Thugs, The Scars, Amateur Thieves, and Ratmeat.
Gritty City Records has two new releases that are pretty badass. The first is a new album by Johnny Ciggs called 21 Tracks About Malt Liquor, Fat Asses & Other Ill Shit. This album is the "ILL"EST! The ladies may not approve of the blatantly sexist title (and photo of a woman's ass in jorts on the cover), but it's worth overlooking. Check out "Richmond is Mine," which brings to mind early Philly hip-hop.
Delta Automatik (aka Dirty Larry) has a bunch of new stuff lately, including The Dirty Larry Files: Swag Vs. Barz Vol. I on Gritty City. "Get Wild Shit" is pretty raunchy and heavy. Check out "VA Boss" for some serious hometown reppin with some critical flow. The beat sounds a little like "Everyday I'm Hustlin'" by Rick Ross, but Dirty Larry's put his own spin on it.
photo by Sabrina Vaz Films
Metallic Keem just dropped I.O.D: Valium 1, a mixtape of hip hop and R&B. Keem is a pretty smooth rapper and has some pretty cool ideas. For instance, check out "Only Been a Week," which is based on a sample of Royksopp's "Remind Me." (You know, from the Geico commerical that features the Caveman at the airport?) Listen to "Sydney," which is one tight line and simile after another. "...and take a walk in the clouds like Keanu Reeves... " or "...around the table hot-boxin like that 70s show."
Last week, On the Horizon featured Pike Possum, a metal band who recorded with Bryan Conner (of Hex Recordings), who plays drums in Cut the Architect's Hand (or CTAH). Originally started in 2002, CTAH is just now returning from a hiatus with a new lineup and fresh sounds. Sounds of RVA got to ask the band a few questions.
Who is lead vocalist, or do you all do that for different songs?
Bryan: Greg [Branch, bass] is our lead singer, but we all have vocal parts here and there. I sing a few entire songs to change it up a bit. We as a band have found it better to take on the vocals as apposed to having a stand alone singer.
Greg: It makes it easier to focus on the music. It was really important for our new guitarist (Tim Madison, The American Dream) to have vocal ability, which he does, and he is really bringing something new to our sound both in his singing and guitar playing.
Describe your songwriting process - is it a solo thing and then you bring it to the group, or a collective writing?
Bryan: It's a little of both. A good portion of the songs come to us from Greg as a whole. Then CTAH will bastardize them, turning them into a noisy mess that we have all come to love. But with the first new member of the band in its almost 10 year history, we are looking forward to collaborating more in the writing
Tim: So far I've only been learning songs. It was kind of intimidating joining a band I had loved before I even got started in the music scene, and especially one that has 60+ songs. I haven't taken part with the songwriting process yet. We have thrown around some ideas, but right now we have been concentrating on the comeback show. I'm sure some things will stay the same, but I'm planning on shaking up things up and adding my own influence to help this band progress.
What are you doing this weekend?
Bryan: I will be at Wonderland supporting my boys in Pike Possum, and on Sunday I will be at Bandito's seeing Seventy7 (Greg's other band). It should be good times at both shows.
Bryan--what are some of the positives and/or negatives of recording your own band?
Bryan: All of our previous recordings were at other studios; I bought a multi-track recorder in 2010 and recorded our last full length (Remove the head, destroy the stairs). Me and CTAH are very DIY kind of people. There were lots of positives and negatives, mainly on my part for being new at it. The positive is you can hit record or delete as often as you like, and turn knobs till you're happy with the product.
What kind of studio do you work out of? Where did you record Pike Possum?
Bryan: "Hex-Recordings Mobile Studio RVA"--there is no true studio. I have several locations /rooms I can use if need be. Typically I bring my mobile equipment to the bands practice space, set up shop and try to work some magic. I'm kind of like the cheap demo man that wants to help everyone out, before they go to a high-end studio. The Pike Possum album was recorded this way, with most of it being a live album recorded at their practice space with some overdubs, to help be true to their natural sound. Others I have recorded are Postcards, Wake Of Ruin (now called Dead Man's Hand), and we are also about to begin recording of the new Seventy7 full length. [Also,] I am finishing up three more songs for Pike Possum for a split they are working on.
What have you been listening to lately?
Bryan: Mastodon, Baroness, and Red Fang have been played the most lately, but I like all styles of music--rock, punk, alternative, and metal.
Tim: Structures and The Wonder Years.
What do you think of the Richmond metal scene?
Bryan: There are some great bands coming from RVA, many with very unique sounds, yet something in the water ties us all together.
Greg: We are really spoiled by the amazing pool of musicians that live in this city.
What is your favorite neighborhood in RVA and why?
Bryan: There are too many to name. If it's old and still standing 100 plus years later, I am probably trying to take pictures of it! RVA is so rich in history. I am really into the Church Hill train tunnel story and area.
Tim: Walmsley Blvd off Jeff Davis. It looks rough but some of the nicest and most noise-tolerant neighbors I ever had.
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.tumblr.com)