The Screamin' Barfys and Burn Without Me - two new bands

I haven't posted anything since the end of May, so i figured it was time for an update.

First and foremost, I am still unfortunately unemployed. I had a few interviews, but didn't get picked for the jobs. Oh well.

Second, I have been helping out my next-door neighbor's band record their 6-song debut. The Screamin' Barfies now have four of their songs up and streaming for preview at their Myspace page, and would like to start playing some live gigs. Their music is a combination of Black Flag jamming with Pearl Jam, and sounds very much like the great old bands from the SoCal hardcore scene in the early 1990's. This was the first time I ever recorded real drums, but I think the demo sounds pretty good. They pretty much mixed and produced the demo themselves, ... I just pointed them in the right direction here and there with some mic placement issues, overdubs, separating dirty guitars and clean guitars onto separate tracks, etc.

They did a really good job mixing it themselves (well, mainly their bassist, my neighbor, Clint Mitchell - 'cuz he owns the computer they recorded on, the band space in his basement, etc.) and it really retains that classic raw 1990's SoCal sound - right outta the old SST Label (remember SST? Black Flag, the Minutemen, Husker Du, Gone, Saccarine Trust). Good stuff, plus the guitarist, Justin Lombard comes up with these really interesting chord progressions. Drummer James Jones slams the drums (loud!!!), but with a lot of finesse and interesting fills. He kind of reminds me of Brann Dailor (of Mastodon), almost never playing a straight beat. And vocalist/lyricist Dan Flynn is in that lost realm between Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and Jim Morrison. Really.

Good stuff - jump over to their Myspace Page RIGHT NOW!

Thirdly, I have been helping an experimental extreme metal band from Westboro, MA called Burn Without Me record and mix their album, which should be up and streaming at their Myspace page and at their Last.fm page. Actually, I really did next to nothing that they couldn't have done themselves. They recorded everything themselves at guitarist, Seth Tracy's home studio, called Blister Studio, and uploaded the song files to an online file-sharing space. I then downloaded the files, brought them up on my computer (which was very easy - we both use REAPER as our main Audio DAW). I just fiddled a bit with the levels between the instruments, added some compression and limiting, some delays and reverb and that's about it.

The drums were ridiculously easy, and sound incredible, because their drummer plays an electronic kit, and recorded everything as MIDI. We both use Toontrack's EZ Drummer for our drum samples/sounds, so I just loaded EZ Drummer onto the tracks, made some adjustments and whamo! Incredible sounding drums.

Oh, the music! Wow, that's a tough one - imagine Napalm Death or Gorefest jamming with Marduk and Infected Mushroom. Yeah, really. Agoraphobic Nosebleed if produced by Bill Laswell. Anyone remember Praxis? The kind of "super-group" with Buckethead, Bill Laswell, Mick Harris? Kinda like that. If you like experimental grindcore, avant-garde death metal, and weird samples from old, really bad Kung Fu movies, then this is the band for you.

That's all for now, kids.

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