V/A – Son Of The Transcendental Maggot …   Leave a comment

‘Transcendental Maggot’ was a great compilation that came out some time ago and now there is a sequel titled ‘Son Of The Transcendental Maggot’ and both comps have been put out by Tsuguri Records. To be honest, I am not much of a fan of compilation albums but ‘Son of the Transcendental Maggot’ is one of the better ones I have heard. With most compilations, there is always a few bands that just don’t do it for me so I tend to judge these albums on how many bands I like versus how many I can’t get into. In the case of this 13 band comp, there is only really 2 bands that fail impress me so this one of those rare compilation albums that I can almost listen to from start to finish.

The album starts with Shane Perlowin who gets the ball rolling with a acoustic-led instrumental called ‘Buried Histories’ and it is a trippy, spacey track that serves as a great intro to the next band, ‘The Wayward.’ The band has two unreleased tracks on this compilation which are both unique pieces of genre-bending rock. Their songs, ‘Big Oh’ and ‘Hard Target’ play out like a progressive rock version of Black Flag but without the sloppy guitar work. For starters the band blend complex guitar work, semi-shouted vocals, odd drumming and a defining element of technical, musical virtuosity and it is jaw-dropping exciting music. This band is a major highlight, make sure you check them out at – The Wayward @ Myspace.Com

The Grand Astoria is up next with a doomed-out, keyboard drenched version of Ash Ra Tempel’s psych-blues masterpiece ‘Light, Look At Your Sun,’  from that band’s ‘Schwingungen’ album. I am already a huge fan of this band so this was a no-brainer for me, a great band doing a great cover version of a classic band’s song, how can you lose? The Grand Astoria give the song some extra psychedelic swagger and sludge while keeping the feel of the original song intact….killer track and another highlight. U.S. Christmas chimes in next with the tune, ‘Fonta Flora.’ I have always had mixed feelings about this band but this is one of the best songs they have ever done. It sounds a little like Earth but only more melodic with a nice, steady groove.

‘The Asound’ are next on the bill and they basically kick you in the head with this pummeling track called ‘Liver Puffin.’ It is one-half sludgy dirge, one-half  pure stoner-metal riffage with down-tuned guitars, raw vocals and drumming that is from another planet, this dude is off the edge of the world somewhere. This is a band to watch out for, killer stuff…check them out here – The Asound @ Myspace  The next band, ‘Pigs’ is one of the bands I am not so sure about. Their track ‘Lurch’ has got some fine down-tempo grooves but there is something missing in the production and in the playing. The song is an instrumental that could really do with some vocals, it just sounds too empty to me but Pigs have got huge potential and I can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.

Ahleuchatistas comes next and they are a band that features Shane Perlowin on guitar who opened this compilation with ‘Buried Histories.’ It is distorted, ambient, trance-like music that can be best compared with Ash Ra Tempel. This track took me a while to fully appreciate but after a few listens, I found myself captivated by the hypnotic noises they create. After the strange sound of that band, the compilation launches into the prog/doom of Akris with one of the most interesting tracks on this album, a tune called ‘Kentucky Russian.’ The band blends doom, prog and THC laced stoner-rock creating one hell of a menacing tune. There is ethereal female vocals that are a perfect match for suffocating riffage which is almost jazz-inspired in parts. Basically it is like a Kyuss jamming with Voi Vod kind of approach but with a real sense of originality. This song is so good that any band following it would sound a bit weak and sad to say but the band in this case is Yellowthief.

Yellowthief have no less than 6 songs on ‘Son Of The Transcendental Maggot’ which I can only put down to the fact that their songs are so short. The longest of their tunes is just 3 minutes. This is another band that did nothing for me but I do admire what they are trying to do, the problem is the songs just sound disjointed and sterile. They blend hard rock, grind, jazz, and metal but it is held together with electronic programming and frankly it sounds very sloppy in my opinion. It is definitely a point in the CD where the skip-button comes in extremely handy. Enoch is the next band and I think most doom-fans would already know how good they are. Their contribution to this album is ‘Robbie’s Song’ and anyone that has heard the track on their ‘The Hierophant’ album would know what a masterpiece of crushing, doomy sludge it is. They are very old-school in many ways as they tend to write like a classic ‘Maryland’ doom act. This track from Enoch along with ‘Kentucky Russian’ from ‘Akris’ really stand out as the 2 premier tracks on this compilation.

Yuegen Syndrome’s contribution to the album is titled  ‘Jaajan’ and it easily takes the prize as the albums worst track. It has terrible production and even worst instrumentation, the less the said the better on this song – sitting through this lower than lo-fi racket for anymore than 10 seconds is torture….simply abysmal. The mighty ‘Sons of Tonatiuh’ is up next and it sounds great but two monkeys beating fry-pans together inside a dumpster would sound good after the horrendous noise that comes before it. Sons of Tonatiuh have two songs on the album, ‘Consumed’ which appears on the band’s debut LP and ‘Chain up the Masses’ which is available on a 7 inch. The band is pure, nasty sludge N roll that blends different genres such as doom, sludge, grind and punk to absolute perfection. I am really surprised that this band isn’t more popular right now.

A band called ‘Shit and Shine’ finish the album with a burst of noise or you can call it ambient or whatever but their track, ‘Youth Led Worship’ is not a good way of finishing the album. I like the odd dose of noise-rock as much as anybody else but at this far into the compilation, it seems like an ordinary way to finish things off. So, ‘Son of the Transcendental Maggot’ is a monster compilation indeed. The Wayward, Grand Astoria, The Asound, Ahleuchatistas, Akris, Enoch, and Sons of Tonatiuh all deliver killer tunes, riffage and musicianship. U.S. Christmas and Shane Perlowin provide very interesting tracks and Pigs is certainly a band to watch out for but the rest I would rather forget about. So this is mostly a winner and it has nice artwork with info and a sticker included in the package. Jon Cox who now plays bass in The Asound put this compilation together and has done a fine job with a unique choice of bands and if you dig compilations, this is one that must be put high on your most-wanted list. Out of Tsuguri Records. ……..8/10



Posted May 19, 2011 by doommantia in Tsuguri Records

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