Every other Friday, Waldo the African Grey Parrot, frontbird of thrash-grind immortals Hatebeak, will get you caught up on the week’s latest “extreme” releases. What’s up? Your boy Waldo is back from the humdrum void of “real” work. As the year starts to wind down, so do the releases. Not that there’s not plenty coming out; there’s just not much coming out that’s good.
We’ll start out in the “Where have they been/who beaking cares where they have been” category. JUDAS PRIEST release The Chosen Few, ANOTHER collection of songs culled from the back catalog by such luminaries as Alice Cooper, Slash, James Hetfield and more. Absolutely pointless. There is no need for this. CYCO MIKO release the punkish The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour; c’mon, who needs this? Does he really need, like, five bands? Does someone really need to release everything he’s ever done? You know what this sounds like: punk-y stabs about losing your mind. He definitely proves he’s no English major. And MICHAEL SCHENKER comes out with Temple of Rock. This thing truly sucks: watered-down rock with even more watered-down vocals. Yeah we get it, you can play guitar sometimes. The solos even seem out of place. More like Temple of Cock, check out the intro riff to "Miss Claustrophobia." Sounds like bagpipes. Wretched. At least the cover gets a chuckle.
Otherwise, EVILE come at us with Five Seprent’s Teeth on Earache. Mixing in old-school thrash with a little bit of power metal harmonies. This is pretty good, not breaking any new ground here. The production is a little stiff, but just like everything else, it hearkens back to the glory days of the Bay Area. In your boy’s personal squawking opinion, the vocalist is still the weak link in this band, but this bird brain knows that a lot of people like his style, so please don’t hate. Just not my cup of seeds. The title is a real beak-scratcher, though: Is it the teeth of five different serpents? Is it five teeth from one serpent? Some combination of the two? 7 Fucking Pecks.
TRASH TALK come at us with Awake: angry, nihilistic hardcore with no other “trash” mixed in. Just raw, angry and visceral. There’s not much to be said about this; it’s hardcore, no doubt, but really good pecking hardcore. In a genre that’s mostly known for being generic, TT stand above the rest. Kudos on the production; it makes the generally pissed band sound genuinely angry. If this is your thing, then Awake is for you, hands down. 8 Fucking Pecks.
TSJUDER prove they can maintain their kvlt status with Legion Helvete. This is not your usual polished black metal. The first track, "The Daemon Throne," kicks you in the feathers and keeps trucking along. Trem picking, black metal scissor beats and growled vocals abound. This is a solid return after a five-year hiatus. Black metal isn’t really your boy Waldo’s thing, but fucking intense music is intense music, and this is that. 7 Fucking Pecks.
On the Mike Muir tip, my old-school peck is NO MERCY. Xover CA skate-thrash. If you can get past the vocals before Mike Muir replaced him, this is a solid classic. Here’s a No Mercy song with Mike singing before ST just basically ripped this song off.