Tag Archives: STB records

Review: GOYA-Obelisk (STB Records)

Here we go. Like clockwork, the burgeoning Boutique label STB Records will be squeezing out a limited amount of CDs and cassettes of the new GOYA release Obelisk on Saturday August 1st at Noon sharp. If you have listened to the many brutal and magnificent GOYA releases, such as Satan’s Fire, 777, and the limited edition  45rpm eps Nothing but Dead Things, and the Split they did with Wounded Giant (both released by STB Records), then you will know that this is very good news.

GOYA, from Phoenix, AZ., is Jeff Owens – guitar, vocals, Nick Lose – drums, and Ben Clarkson – bass. Three guys that sound like ten.

read my Full review on Core of Destruction Radio @ http://coreofdestruction.tumblr.com/post/125485338164/goyaobelisk

cassette case


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Thugbrarian Set-List: Le’ Betre/King Buffalo 12″ Split- STB Records

le' beltre


Review: Le’ Betre/King Buffalo 12″ Split-STB Records

Well it’s about that time again- time to sit by your computing device, waiting for 12 noon to get your order in on time for a new STB Records release. Most of you unfortunately,  will be weeping and moaning on Facebook about how you didn’t get in on time. A select few will be taking selfies with their new splattered vinyl, and free stickers, giggling like farting schoolgirls who drank  too much ginger ale.

Hot on the heels of last month’s release of  the Goya/Wounded Giant split, STB Records is putting out another highly collectible release with Le’ Betre/King Buffalo Split 12″,  in a dizzying array of colors. Both bands, while certainly from similar genres, are just as markedly different.

What both bands have in common however, are two vocalists who possess actual talent, and have a good amount of soul. Le’ Betre, hailing from Sweden, barrel through a set of heavy blues sludge, with vocalist Marcus Jonsson exuding a swagger that I haven’t heard since maybe Ian Gillian’s run with Deep Purple.

Marcus lets the emotion flow, and while his style is based on straight up blues, his style is his own, and not some reheated version of the blues that many a dandy have been pooping out like so many soiled jelly beans. (I just made myself sick) There is a level of dissonance and harmonic manipulation that gives Le’ Betre a rough and raw-edged sound, which in my opinion is the source of their charm. My favorite of the 5 songs of theirs is Mother, it’s just good ol’ kick-ass Rock and Roll

King Buffalo, from Buffalo, N.Y., have 3 cuts on the record, with song 3, Providence Eye being 10:46 long. They open up their set reminding me of the Stooges on morphine, which I enjoyed. They are more Sabbath-like, but have a Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe about them, with a little Alice in Chains thrown in. Weird combo, but it works.

Sean McVay‘s vocals pierce through the music, and demand attention. I can only imagine what a powerful performance he would give live. To top it off, there is a killer harmonica riff, and after hearing both of these bands, I can say with confidence that Rock & Roll is back! I really love both of these bands, and I never heard of either of them until STB started marketing this record. Once again, STB Records has produced another release of next-level Rock.

That said, I suggest that you Absorb the below information. Because at 12 Noon, this Saturday Feb. 21st, this limited pressing of 405 1st eds will promptly go on sale, and will disappear within hours, if not minutes. This label, which is a boutique operation run by one man, is on it’s way to being one of those record labels that people will buy whatever they put out, because #1 the music is always good, and usually it is an unknown band that is ready to blow up nationally, and #2 the damned things are hard to obtain! You have to set your alarm, have everything you need (coffee, smoke(s), chips etc), and be ready to press that key before hundreds of others just like you right at 12 Noon on the button. I have only been this lucky twice. You gotta be quick son, you heard me?

This Saturday, 12 Noon, February 21, 2015, if you want one of these bad boys, you will need to go to the STB Big Cartel site HERE

You can also stream the album for free right HERE

Good luck. Look below for release break-down, vinyl color, special variations etc., you can also check out each band’s Bandcamp page to check out their music.

Release info: On SALE Saturday Feb 21st 2015 12 noon eastern standard time!
Limited Vinyl Pressing of 405

Die Hard Edition – 75 pieces
Band Only – 100 pieces
OBI Series – 100 pieces
Not So Standard Edition – 130 pieces

Mastered specifically for vinyl

Exclusive artwork done by Thieves Of Tower


Release 2/21/2015 12 noon EST

King Buffalo (Rochester, NY)

Le’ Betre (Sweden)

STB Records


February 19, 2015 · 12:07 pm

The Thugbrarian Set-List: Top 10 Albums of 2014

This is a list of my 10 favorite releases of the past year. I didn’t review every album on my list, either because time didn’t permit, or there were already plenty of great reviews circulating out there. Thanks for following the blog and sharing the posts, I am looking forward to hearing what 2015 has to offer.


1. Triptykon-Melana Chasmata (Century Media)

Listening to this gave me the same feeling I had when I first heard Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion– I realized that I was listening to some next level shiz! This was my favorite new album of the year by miles.

Read my review from May 14th HERE


Chrome album feel it like a scientist

2. Chrome- Feel it Like a Scientist (King of Spades)

Feel it Like a Scientist is brandy-new Chrome, and it is Chrome to the next level. Whether you are an old fan, or someone who has been listening to music from underneath a rock, you need to listen to this album.

Read my review from 5/5/2014 HERE



swans-to be kind


3. SWANS-To Be Kind (Young God Records)

No matter what Michael Gira and company put out, you can be sure that it would be honest, intense and most importantly, different from what anyone else has been doing. With To Be Kind, and the 2012 release The Seer, I believe that Gira has  found a way to fuse the guttural intensity of Filth era Swans with the more melodic melancholy of White Light From the Mouth of Infinity. To Be Kind is one of the best Swans albums I have heard in a while, and I am looking forward to seeing them in Richmond, Va. March 2015.

Read my review from 5/5/2014 HERE





 4. Druglord-Enter Venus (STB Records)

Sludgy Psych/Stoner/Doom, whatever you kids call it today,this is mega-heavy and will squeeze the last breath from your lungs. The superb packaging by STB Records makes this an instant collectible. Ya heards me?

Read my review of May 5th HERE




5. GODFLESH-Decline & Fall EP (Avalanche Recordings)

Most people paid attention to the full length A World Lit Only by Fire, which is an amazing album to be sure, but this ep that came out a couple of months earlier is what throat-punched me. As brutal as Streetcleaner, Decline and Fall was a fitting reintroduction to the  evil genius of Justin Broadrick.

Read my review from June 3rd HERE



savage sagas


6. The Meatmen- Savage Sagas (Self Destructo Records)

Simply because they’re The Meatmen and you SUCK! Since 1982, Tesco Vee and the Meatmen have put out fun punk records, and after 18 years since their last record of new material, they have released the future classic Savage Sagas. I remember owning the Blood Sausage ep in 82, that record jangled my giblets. 32 years later I saw them at the 2014 GWAR-B-Q, and they burned down the damn stage. That old croaker Tesco Vee, the original Dutch Hercules, still has it and he’s always more than willing to infect you with it. Still a great band, and this is a kick ass punk/metal album that any fan of the Meatmen will love.



The United hates

7. David Rat-The United Hates (Digital Only) (dromedary Records)

Rat at Rat R , along with the SWANS and Sonic Youth, were at the center of the early 80s No Wave scene in NYC’s Lower East Side.  David Rat, who is now a teacher living in Brazil, has released a solo project that absolutely took me by surprise. My only complaint is that it was a digital download only release. But, the proceeds from The United Hates all go to PAWS, an animal rescue charity. SO hopefully, this will be re-released on vinyl or at least CD in the future. I hope so, because this album is amazing on many levels.

Read my review from November 10th HERE




CTH Green



 8.Close The Hatch~ To Collapse in Absentia: Green (EP)

Hailing from Ohio, this Prog/Doom/Metal outfit offers up some savage heaviness elevated by the use of keyboards, giving their sound an added dimension. Watch Close the Hatch, their next release should be interesting.

Read my review from August 19th HERE



real tears

 9. The Real Tears- Self-Titled (EP)

There were a lot of great records released right here in Norfolk, Va. this year, but The Real Tears are my favorite I believe. With a thick sound, and some snarling vocals from a grizzled misanthrope, The Real Tears are Punk as fuck.

You can read my review of The Real Tears HERE


10. SICMaN of Virginia- Mourning Sicness (SICMaN of Virginia)

Known for their Heavy Mellow sound, sicMan of Virginia can best be described as Black Flag meets The Grateful Dead. Seasoned chops and live shows that are never the same as the last make this one of my favorite live bands in Norfolk, Va.

Read my review from May 23rd HERE.


Again, thanks for the support, and have a Happy New Year. I plan on adding more reviews in the coming year, so stay tuned.

Go to The Thugbrarian Review Top Ten Books of 2014 list HERE




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December 28, 2014 · 3:26 pm

Thugbrarian Set-List: GOYA/Wounded Giant split (STB Records)


STB split

Goya/Wounded Giant Split (Jan.3 2014 release) STB Records

1. Goya- No Place in the Sky (14:02)

2. Wounded Giant- The Room of the Torch (7:06)

3. Wounded Giant- Dystheist (6:08)


I know that the above statement is not a suitable review, but the two words above are pretty much my reaction upon hearing the Goya/Wounded Giant split for the first time. It literally knocked me back a bit. I am an old man, I was part of the early Hardcore/Metal underground of the 80s and 90s, and as I grew older, I lost track of any sort of underground music scene- I wasn’t even sure that one existed. Sure, I listen to Electric Wizard, Sleep, and Yob, and I have been a fan of bands like Neurosis, Melvins and Celtic Frost for years. I also remember when Black Sabbath put out Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (yes, I am old like your dad, but much cooler). That said, I am not approaching this review as a writer who is an expert on the new Doom/Stoner metal milieu, but as someone who has been involved in music for over 30 years, and knows what he likes. And I really like Goya and Wounded Giant. A lot.

Having mentioned Sleep, Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath, it is clear that Goya and Wounded Giant are continuing the tradition that these ground-breaking bands started, although, it is also clear that each is adding their own special DNA to the genre- they have built a future for the scene from the shoulders of giants so to speak. Goya puts forth a viscous wall of sadness and despair with the song “No Place in the Sky” which clocks in at 14:02 minutes. I was afraid that I would be bored after 7 minutes, but I admit, I was hypnotized by the crushing riffs and the massive psychedelic fuzz that circled around me as I sat transfixed taking in every note. To me, the vocals are perfect for  the music- no caterwauling  like a Muppet on steroids. Jeff Owens’ vocal style exudes a sense of loss, sadness and resignation, and I appreciate that a lot of the newer bands coming out are relying on vocal skill rather than the cookie-cutter (monster?) style of over the top screaming and growling. Hearing the lyrics of a song is always a good thing I think.

While I find Goya to be a sludgy, heavy band, Wounded Giant brought me back to the 80s and 90s- I was hearing some traces of early Voivod (especially the vocals) and even some Trouble.The songs The Room of The Torch and Dytheist are hard to explain- the heaviness of the riffs, and the amazing drumming anchor the music,  while the deft time changes and wall of reverb help Wounded Giant to stand out from many other bands in the genre. They just have a uniqueness about them that I feel will help them to rise above the pack in the near future. Again, the vocals are well done, giving the listener the ability to enjoy the lyrics as well as the music. I will be following both of these bands closely, as well as most any other band that comes out on STB Records. Release info is as follows:
Limited Vinyl Pressing of 430

Die Hard Edition – 80 pieces
Band Only – 100 pieces
OBI Series – 100 pieces
Not So Standard Edition – 150 pieces

Mastered specifically for vinyl

Exclusive artwork done by David Paul Seymour.

Now, STB Records is making quite a name for themselves. I first heard of them when Richmond, Virginia’s Druglord put out Enter Venus on STB  earlier in the year. I was one of the lucky few to get in on this release, and I will say that the design was immaculate, with extras like patches, stickers and buttons, as well as really beautiful cover and inner sleeve art. This operation is run by Stephen Macioci, where he puts out up and coming, as well as unknown bands in the Doom/Stoner realm on ultra-limited editions, usually less than 500 available. Personally, I have been slow at the draw, having missed out on releases by Doctor Doom and Lightsabres. You have to be fast, because everything STB puts out immediately sells out. Like you gentle listener, I will be paying close attention to the STB Records Facebook Page, hoping to get my copy of the Goya/Wounded Giant split. Do not sleep on this one, this is a must have for any Doom lover’s collection.

Check out the STB Records Bandcamp page to stream The STB Sampler which contains many of the bands that they are putting out on ultra-limited vinyl. This is a great way to listen some  new bands that need to be heard.

Also, Goya and Wounded Giant have other releases on MP3 that you will also enjoy, I know that I did. Check out Goya’s Bandcamp page as well as Wounded Giant





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December 7, 2014 · 1:39 pm

Set List: Chrome, Swans, Savages , Druglord

After reading a ton of books, I like to relax and listen to some of my favorite band’s new releases. Every week, after the book reviews, you will find my weekly Set List. Hopefully you will check these bands out and support them. You will also find here some older releases that I think are cool. This week, I am listening to releases from 2 of my old favorites in the form of the Swans and Chrome, both have new albums, and they Kill. I am also listening to Druglord, a viscous Doom metal outfit out of Richmond Va, and finally, I discovered the band Savages while tooling around YouTube, their debut blew me away. Below you will find a few comments, and information on the albums, as well as links to the bands.


Chrome- Half Machine From the Sun: The Lost Chrome Tapes 79-80

I remember the first time I heard Chrome, back in 1982; an older friend turned me on to the album Half Machine Lip Moves, which was released in 1979. At the time, I was playing in a Hardcore Punk band, and listening to mostly Hardcore and Punk music. Chrome most assuredly changed my outlook on music, such as what it can accomplish, how it can make one feel, as well as changing how I played guitar. I am not alone in this either. If you have ever listened to bands like Nine Inch Nails, killing Joke, Sonic Youth or Gang of Four, then you have listened to music that can be directly attributed to musicians who have had their minds expanded by Helios Creed, Damon Edge, and the band Chrome.

The sound was forged from a mixture of influences such as the Stooges, 60’s Psychedelic rock, and Kraut Rock. From that, Chrome pretty much invented industrial music. But I will not pigeon-hole the band into any one genre, that is almost impossible. The question is: Why is Chrome not widely known by the general music listening public?  Excellent question.  I wish that I could answer it.   That said, with the death of Damon Edge in 1995, and after over a decade of pumping out amazing solo albums, Helios Creed came back to Chrome after having left in the mid 80s,  and brought Chrome back to life. 4 albums were released, such as the excellent Angel of the Clouds, which featured some material recorded during the  last collaboration of Damon Edge and Creed. Still, Chrome was relegated to underground status. However, 2013 may have been the year that Chrome took its rightful place as a major force in the music world.

Helios Creed was able to buy back a lost collection of old tapes featuring the un-released out-takes from the Half Machine Lip Moves sessions from 1979-80. Through the crowd-funding site PledgeMusic, Chrome was able to release these 18 songs directly to fans who pledged  funds that enabled Chrome to put out Half Machine to the Sun (a combination of the titles of two cult classic albums,Half Machine Lip Moves, and 3rd From the Sun). I was one of those fans, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results! The songs to me, are a continuation of that era of Chrome that changed my music listening, and performing life. They are all just as viable as the songs that made it onto Half Machine Lip Moves, and just as fresh today as in 1980.  Chrome’s music certainly is timeless in my humble opinion. The album consists of 18 songs that range  from hard rocking psych-outs, to brooding, space-aged weirdness, veering off into dark, spooky synth compositions. Throughout all of this, Helios Creed weaves psychedelic guitar riffs, and heavy rhythm bursts that envelope Damon Edge’s heavily machined vocals and gloomy synthesizer work .

Chrome is one of the first bands to utilize sampled sounds and tape loops effectively, and you can be sure that any Electro-Industrial band worth its salt took notice. Every one of the 18 songs are excellent. There are however, a few breakout tunes that will stay with you, such as the beautiful and spooky Ghost, which is one of my favorites. Autobahn Brazil, replete with artfully utilized sampled sounds, sad and majestic synth lines, and tied together by Creed’s masterful psychedelic guitar riffs, traverse a tense but elegant terrain. Another song that I believe anyone who loves music should hear is  The Rain. Creed’s vocals are at his best here, as he mournfully croons, accompanied by an Electro-Rock composition that exudes a sense of loss and sorrow. (see video link below to hear Rain).

If you have never heard of Chrome, I would suggest finding this album, and once it is embedded into your soul, I suggest searching out other albums such as Half Machine Lip Moves, 3rd from the Sun and Alien Soundtracks. Chrome is about to put out a new collection of fresh material titled  “Feel it Like a Scientist”, on their own King of Spades label in August of this year, and they are about to go on an extensive tour of Europe as well. Almost 40 years after the inception of Chrome, it looks like they will get the recognition that they deserve, and hopefully a new generation will learn to love them as so many of us older fans have.

***** (out of 5)

Chrome’s website link below


Listen to Chrome’s The Rain from the album half machine From the Sun here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHRqurNf7Kw


Druglord-Enter Venus

Richmond, Virginia’s Druglord have been lumped together with the ever-expanding pantheon of Doom/Stoner Metal bands that are proliferating at a steady pace.  While the plodding, intense, black tar goo to be found on this album certainly falls within the aforementioned genre, Druglord bring a little extra meat to the table.  Enter Venus was released on Feb 22nd by STB Records in 3 vinyl formats, all of which are highly limited edition.  All come with extras like stickers, badges, and the Die-hard Edition comes with custom artwork by the album cover designer  W. Ralph Walters. I am pretty sure that these editions are extremely hard to come by, but I would check their Bandcamp page for info about CD releases and mp3 versions (Link below review).

Comprised of  Greta Brinkman on Bass, Bobby Hufknel on Drums, and Tommy Hamilton on guitar and Vocals, the music is infused with a psychedelic swirl which differentiates them from the garden variety Doom Metal band. The vocals seem to come from all directions, while remaining in the background, as if Hamilton is screaming to be released from a locked basement, where rats and spiders are tormenting him in the dark. The drumming is top-notch, no doubt due to Hufknel’s years of pounding beats for hardcore and metal bands for over 25 years. Greta Brinkman’s bass is at once baleful and menacing, while displaying a musicianship that is just a bit more seasoned than most others. Hamilton’s guitar sound at times squeezes the air from your lungs, delivering a slow, relentless jackbooted assault of the senses, only to release its grip to let you breathe, before tightening the vice once again.

Listening to the Title Song, Enter Venus , the sludgy pace is mesmerizing, but it is not a one note experience, for as slow as it can get, there is a swing to it that rocks you from side to side, I can’t explain exactly what it is, but it  immediately demands your attention as a listener. The album is just under 30 minutes long, and was pressed to play in 45 rpm mode. I would recommend Venus Rising to anyone who likes Windhand, Inter Arma, or early Black Sabbath.

*****    (out of 5 )
Druglord Bandcamp page link: http://druglord.bandcamp.com/

swans-to be kind

SWANS-To Be Kind

The Swans have been producing intense, heartfelt and angry music since 1982, where they emerged from within NYC’s No Wave movement. Albums like Filth and Cop were comprised of pummeling, heavy dirges of industrial angst and despair laden diatribes. By 1989 they had softened their tone, if only a trifle, writing more traditionally structured songs with verse and melody, as experienced on the album White Light from the Mouth of Infinity, among others.  After a self-imposed exile in the mid 90s, Michael Gira brought his Swans back in 2010 with a new determination, as well as a retooled line-up and sound. The first release of this comeback was My Father will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, followed by The Seer.

I just listened to a free streaming of To Be Kind on NPR, and it is amazing. At times, heavy and intense, with moments of minimalist ambiance. This album clocks in at 122 minutes, with the average length of the 9 songs at around 7 or 8 minutes. The song Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’ouverture is a whopping 34:05 minutes. It is scheduled for release may 13, and I can’t wait to own it. They are currently on Tour, and from what I hear, Gira and Norman Westerberg, although they are pushing 60, are as intense and spirited as they were in 1982. One aspect of the band’s sound that I find commendable is the fact that I cannot compare them to any other band-because the only band that sounds like the Swans, are the Swans.  Highly recommended. To Be released on Young God/Mute Records May 13th

***** (out of 5)

Info at:  http://younggodrecords.com/

Swans “To Be Kind” album teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vntpzqsHt8w


Savages-Silence Yourself

There have been quite a few “New” bands that are really just a rehash of the early Post-punk movement. Bands like She Wants Revenge and Interpol have introduced the sounds of Joy Division, Gang of Four and PIL to a younger audience, who were not around in the early 80s (unlike geezers like me). Some old heads are a bit curmudgeonly about it, thinking that the originals were the best, but I disagree. This new crop of Post-Punk revivalists have brought back the sounds that I loved from the 80s, and made them fresh and new.

Savages are indeed a revival of sorts- a four piece all girl band, they have drawn comparisons to early 80s mainstays such as Siouxie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and Magazine. Having said that, I believe that Savages actually stand on their own, and in my estimation, are one of the best all female acts to come along in a long while. Their debut album Silence Yourself was released in May 2013, and was an instant smash in their native England, but after performing at last year’s Coachella fest, as well as the CMJ in NYC, they are making steady progress here in the states. Check out the video below and judge for yourself.
I recommend Savages for fans of Siouxie, Joy Division, P.J. Harvey and Post-Punk music in general

**** ( out of 5)

Savages website:   http://savagesband.com/

Video for Savages-Husbands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQL5Ma9gcqo


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