Eye on the Scene
Flash of the (Metal) Blade
It seemed like a big deal when Knoxville death-metal band Whitechapel signed a deal last spring with the upstart U.K. label Siege of Amida. That led to The Somatic Defilement, the bandâ’s crushing debut album, which has in turn led to the band signing a new and bigger contract with Metal Blade Records, home at one time or another to Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Mercyful Fate, and Lamb of God. The labelâ’s press release, issued on Oct. 16, praises Whitechapelâ’s â“face-melting, neck-snapping tunesâ” and hints at a second record from the band in 2008.
The announcement quotes the band collectively (â“We have all grown up listening to bands on Metal Blade so this is a dream come true for usâ”), but guitarist Alex Wade offered this in an e-mail exchange while the band is on tour: â“I believe weâ’re really the first band to ever get signed to something of this magnitude in our genre from Knoxville. Weâ’re all very excited and canâ’t wait to represent such a great city on the road and in the music business.â” (Matthew Everett)
I Remember Halloween
The annual Halloween masquerade show at Pilot Light is on again this year, with a line-up featuring members of Demonicle (including Metro Pulse art director Travis Gray) performing with members of Cold Hands and Wunderslut as Blondie, Cold Hands front man Henry Gibson and members of the Royal Bangs as Michael Jackson, The Cheat as The Misfits, The Bitter Pills as Creation, Sadville as Poison Idea, and Tenderhooks and Summer Bultmann as Patsy Cline. Doors at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, with a $5 cover. (M.E.)
Ten More Years
Major-label hard-rockers 10 Years announced on their MySpace page earlier this month that theyâ’ve finished recording the follow-up to 2005â’s The Autumn Effect. Like The Autumn Effect, the as-yet-untitled disc will be released by Universal Republic; itâ’s scheduled to reach shelves in March, with an advance single set for January. â“Wasteland,â” the first single from The Autumn Effect, topped the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 2006. A demo version of the new song â“All Your Lies,â” has been posted on MySpace.
The band has also just hit the road with Sevendust on a tour scheduled to last until early November, when 10 Years will hook up with Papa Roach for a series of dates through the end of the year. (M.E.)
Off the Rails
Less than a week after a Metro Pulse profile listed all the good things that have been happening for the Hotshot Freight Trainâ"signing with Future Destination Records and releasing their first album, The Devil Pays in Counterfeit, this weekâ"the band had about $7,500 worth of equipment stolen from their practice space off of Clinton Highway. â“They made off with pretty much anything you could carry on your own,â” says singer/bassist Joshua Tipton.
Tipton says insurance will cover at least part of the loss, and the band had photographed most of the gear and recorded serial numbers. But the bandâ’s scrambling to borrow enough gear for some out-of-town dates this weekend. Anyone with any information about the bandâ’s equipment can e-mail THSFT@comcast.net . (M.E.)
Local CD Review
More Dumpster Blues (Whisk-Hutzel)
Recorded in a dumpster somewhere in South Knoxville, the latest bit of madness and music to come out of the beery Whisk-Hutzel laboratories, Psychic Baosâ’ More Dumpster Blues, builds on Will Fistâ’s tradition of recording just about anything that pops into his head. The album begins with â“I Feel High,â” a joyous rag thatâ’s also one of the few Dumpster songs that manages to stay somewhat coherent from beginning to end. Fist strums his ukulele, mechanically grinding out his interpretations of carnival-esque folk tunes. Then things start to get a little more strung out.
His voice splats into thick sheets of white noise on â“Walkinâ’ Blues,â” as each note crashes into the walls of the dumpster. Amid all the static and metallic clang, he sings, â“Iâ’ve lost my mind,â” a brief moment of clarity just before the song falls back into acid-fried nonsense where noise reigns supreme. This is precisely where Fist is most comfortable, where traditional song structure breaks downâ"and thereâ’s nothing left but possibility. While waiting for something to emerge from the vast, thematically empty soundscape, it becomes clear that there may not be a point. The album is 14 minutes of experimentation. Whatever happens just happens.
The dense wails that fuzz out the albumâ’s closing scenes, during which the battery succumbs to a kind of narcosis, are the final recorded yawps of a dying electrical charge, which slowly churns out the last few inches of tape. â“The batteries are gone,â” Fist laments on â“Dead Battery Blues,â” 40 seconds of random squiggles and other found sounds captured by a hand-held recording device thatâ’s totally on the fritz by the albumâ’s end. (Kevin Crowe)
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