Monday, December 29, 2008

THOU - complete released discography (plus some updates)

Running a record label means you meet a million dudes in bands, and sometimes those dudes are a bit more memorable than their bands are. I was able to tag along on a few PG.99 tours in the early 00's and met a lot of awesome folks all across the country. Louisiana's sons were immediately warm and welcoming to us, and Bryan Funck is one of the most blatantly dedicated, down-to-earth people I met on those tours.

I don't know if he was in RAT IN A BUCKET or EAT A BAG OF DICKS (or both), as the memories of the few shows PG.99 played with these two NOLA-area bands all blur together. I can't even remember what RAT IN A BUCKET sounded like, but EAT A BAG OF DICKS was just absurd. This band had somewhere between 10 and 20 members, most of them vocalists, and all-in-all the band was just kinda... bad. I don't know if they were trying to be a joke or serious or what, but the band had WAY too many people for it to even be remotely reasonable. This didn't hinder this massive army of dudes and ladies from being totally awesome people, but despite a mildly entertaining live performance, it bummed me out their music wasn't more enjoyable.

Fast-forward many years and Bryan hits me up saying he's got a new doom/sludge band going. I didn't have high hopes for it being exceptional given my underwhelmed reaction to his previous bands... but when I played THOU's original 3-song demo it was like a strong, long-overdue slap to the face. An absolutely intense mixture of desperation, melody and crushing, down-tuned riffage... and this was just the band's demo! This not only blew me away, it also made me really happy as I'd always liked Bryan but wasn't particularly moved by his previous bands. Not long after sending the demo, they re-recorded the vocals for these songs and finished the few remaining tracks that were initially recorded before a vocalist was even in the band. Bryan and the rest of THOU found each other somehow and his raging, scathing voice perfectly compliments the band's fresh take on genres that typically repeat history more often than looking forward.

I couldn't stop listening to THOU's self-released Tyrant LP, absolutely enthralled, fighting and fighting urges to ask them to release an album with Robotic Empire. I've reached this point with the label many times over the years, where the workload/stress becomes too intense to build on top of, and I hold off from lining up new releases for a while so we can just concentrate on the already full plate of pending stuff. During these times I've try to scratch that "need to work with this band!" itch by peddling said band to friends' labels. For better or for worse, this is how MARE ended up on Hydra Head, WILDILDLIFE ended up on Crucial Blast, and THOU ended up releasing their debut as a CD on Gilead Media (and eventually a vinyl re-release on Southern Lord).

I think THOU were the one I regretted not working with the most, as I still listened/listen to them constantly. It may sound hokey, but there aren't too many bands that give me goosebumps with their recordings... and THOU consistency succeeds in doing so. This band also has an approach to things that completely jives with my love for the underground, and as time went on and the idea for a PYGMY LUSH split was brought up... there was no way I could say "no" again.

Although the split 12"+CD with PYGMY LUSH is still quite a ways away (neither band has recorded yet), THOU have posted every song they've released on their own website. They make their entire released catalog available for free download, and I love how progressive and generous this is of them. As of posting this, THOU's two full-lengths, Tyrant and Peasant, and a pile of songs from splits are available in the following location:

* THOU - released audio (to date)

Their website also has the lyrics for every song they have (released and unreleased), and boatloads of content related to the band. This is how Bryan has always done things for his bands and I think the sheer massive amount of freely available content indicates how forward-thinking this band is.

Although the split with PYGMY LUSH probably won't be available until late 2009, we will also be working with THOU in the immediate future on a handful of projects. First off is the re-printing of most of their t-shirt designs, all on sweatshop-free American Apparel shirts, and available for as cheap as we can make them while still compensating the printer, band and ourselves a bit for the work. These will be available from us within the coming weeks, and following shortly after the shirts will be the "Baton Rouge" EP. Most likely a 12", this will contain an incredible (and crushing) NIRVANA cover and a few new songs the band's just recorded. More info on this release will be posted on our Robotic Empire news blog when it becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to check out the records and apparel we have currently available from THOU:

* THOU items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GODS & QUEENS lyrics posted for "untitled" 12"+CD

Although this isn't audio or video, I don't really know where else to post it. Direct from Jamie Getz earlier today:

do with these whatever you want. and no i'm not breaking them up song by song, or whatever. i'm pretty easily laid out.

tonights the night i'm gonna over dose on pills. get these blinds off my eyes. the camera sees everything, damn camera see it's all. that's not ours. i said that's not ours, now put it back. i'm almost over this depressed mess, when are you coming home? late nights and deep breaths are all that you'll ever know. it's straight lookin'. what do we have to buy? if i can't swallow i'll be alright. this is the last time, you said that last time. i've said it 5 years before. move the furniture in my room, and you'll find those hidden spoons. so we fake our smiles, and pretened that no one knows. pictures leave the words alone. just act like no one knows. just calm down. relax it's all ok. this is now, this is for today. i guess this makes you sick? the same clothes for days. thank yourself, this time has almost passed. such simple words are what i need when i wake up...i want to sleep. whisper words alone. no bags no clothes, the other side of this bed is gonna stay cold. this never sounds right, on paper with pen, it never reads right. hello friends, it's me again. we'll stay awake for days with the curtains drawn. stick a hose into the tail pipe. make sure the widows are up and air tight. i needed to meet you, yeah what's your name? a bottle of sleeping pills, and a cheap bottle of wine. i'm having thoughts about suicide. hey blake, not much has changed. their faces are younger, the problems still the same. the price is negotiable but you've already resigned that you're willing to do it. remove the basic hygiene. i needed to meet you, yeah, what's your name? i'm gonna use the same veins again and again and again. i'm gonna make you regret the tattoos, and the rest. this will be the last time, this will be the end. my bed is soaking with sweat, and i'm crawling. words lose their meaning when you repeate them. memories will make amends, this time we'll pretend. god damn i live this way? i hear you. recut open scars today? feel alive i hear your name? i see you. dissapointed myself again, you see the eyes, and the shape i'm in? 7 bags on the floor. i hear you...and if they call, we're gonna lie. we'll lie to them. it's almost the same thing we started from, it's almost done. dehydrated dry skin, i scratched myself into a mess...i'm over this. the last time, so bittersweet, at 11:00 a.m., i'm sick from this, and what's ahead. cover up the mirrors so i can't see the failures from the night before, curled behind the shower door. i don't want to lie, i've been awake for days but, when i do, i do to you. if you don't know it's all the same. there are holes in everything i own. sew my life together. deep breahts, chapped lips, rapid heart beats. it's say my friends are just like me. reflux, throw up, i give up, i've had enough. there's never any way to stop here. is there another way for us to communicate? even when you wait, sometimes things won't be the same. who's gonna copywrite all the good lines, like "there's no where to run, and there's no where to hide"? take drugs to come up, drug to come down, level me out. how pathetic's that sound? sometimes, i feel like i'm the only one.

There you have it, a window into the drug-recovered mind of Jamie Getz. I don't know why he refused to include these in the actual packaging of the 12"+CD in the first place, but whatever here they are now.

* GODS & QUEENS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* VERSOMA items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store

Friday, December 19, 2008

TRACK OF MONARCHS - live recordings

TRACK OF MONARCHS was a short-lived project that some of the NEIL PERRY / THE NOW / WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR guys were a part of directly after the demise of WTPY. Quote the band:
track of monarchs is a band from philadelphia. we started playing as a three piece in december of 2005 and played our first shows in june of 2006. we played our last shows in august 2006.

These dudes always liked PORTRAITS OF PAST and GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR, and TRACK OF MONARCHS sort of sounds like they were trying to find common ground between the two... but as a three piece instead of a five or eight piece. Atmospheric screamo? I dunno.

Mike Haley from The Electric Human Project label (and a million other projects) recorded every night of their sole tour, in hopes of duplicating and selling cassette tapes of the set the audience had just watched. Although a pretty cool idea in theory, I think logistically something went wrong and little to no tapes were actually made. Regardless, some recordings did survive and Mike sent them to me for ya'll to enjoy:

* download TRACK OF MONARCHS - live tracks (via MediaFire)
* download TRACK OF MONARCHS - live tracks (via RapidShare)

I don't know if the songs ever had formal titles; instead here are the locations and dates of the five tracks enclosed:

1. Pittsburgh, PA (06/28/06)
2. Kent, OH (06/29/06)
3. Kent, OH (06/29/06)
4. Detroit, MI (06/30/06)
5. Fort Wayne, IN (07/01/06)

Larry Everett - drums (formerly vocalist of JOSHUA FIT FOR BATTLE and WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR, now drummer of KICK ROCKS)

* KICK ROCKS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* NEIL PERRY items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OMEGAMAN - discography + more GARUDA stuff (unreleased demos, etc)

CD cover at left (sticker below)
OMEGAMAN were a classic 1990's underground band: straight-edge, hardcore, and introduced almost every song with a movie sample. The thing that set this band apart, and the reason why they always stuck out to me, was their decidedly metal approach to hardcore. In the mid-90's metal and hardcore were almost completely different worlds, and the term "metalcore" didn't even exist yet. There were definitely other bands mixing metal and hardcore, and had been for years, but before OMEGAMAN I hadn't heard anything quite like this.

Being a rabid REVERSAL OF MAN fan, I got the 403 Chaos CD comp they were on, and was introduced to ASSUCK, CAVITY, COMBATWOUNDEDVETERAN, OMEGAMAN and some other killer Florida bands this way. All my summer jobs' money got spent with the mailorder distros Bottlenekk, Vacuum and Very, and the OMEGAMAN CD surely came from one of them.

Listening to this again over a decade later, it does sound a bit dated... but it's also still brutal and fairly ahead of its time. I'm throwing in all the compilation tracks that I could find, so here's the OMEGAMAN discography as best I could assemble it:

* download OMEGAMAN - discography (via MediaFire)
* download OMEGAMAN - discography (via RapidShare)

Also dug up this ancient description from No! Records, the label that released OMEGAMAN, by searching the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
"Crawling from the ashes of Scrog came OMEGA MAN. A biting blend of Protestant - era Rorschach and the Accused's intense thrash punk, they released 2 songs on compilations and 1 self titled CD EP. The first 1000 copies of this EP were released by the band in 1997 and quickly went out of print with no airplay or distribution, only playing local Tampa Bay area shows with bands like Scrotum Grinder, Reversal of Man & Assuck. No Records repressed this record shortly after with a full color sleeve designed by graphic arts master John Yates (formerly of Allied Records), depicted pictures from the 1971 Sci-Fi flick, Omega Man. This repressed version is still available for $4.00 ppd in the USA, or $6.00 ppd anywhere else. Comes with a lyric sheet and Omega Man sticker."

Finding the dude from No! Records online, he gave me the thumbs-up to post this stuff. Everything included here is out of print, except for the song "Definition" that only a 30-second clip of is included. That song can be found on The Emo Phillips Diaries: From Tampa to Eternity CD comp which is available for just $4 here.

Dudes from OMEGA MAN came from the ashes of SCROG, who's discography can be found for $5 here. A couple of the OMEGA MAN guys are now playing in LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE, along with the vocalist of REVERSAL OF MAN. We released a cassette tape for LYOF which is now sold out, but some other items of theirs can still be found in our Online Store:

* LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store

BONUS: just found some more GARUDA stuff! (see below or click here for the first post about this band)

The original GARUDA demo was also unearthed in the bottom of a closet, which has four tracks recorded live (a bit more info can be found on the "press sheet" that they included with the demo). Three of these songs got re-recorded for Cold Wired Sentiment, but the last one remains exclusive to this demo. Also found in the same CD case was the other then-new studio tracks they sent us along with their contribution for the Mutation comp. Their track for the comp was called "Thirteen" and the CD-R of new songs was only labeled "12, 14, 5" which makes me guess those were the song titles. Anyway, the original CD-R hasn't survived too well over the years, so apologies for the small amounts of digital clipping that occur once or twice throughout these tracks. Pretty certain these never saw the light of day elsewhere, so enjoy these "new" GARUDA songs!

* download GARUDA - original and unreleased demos (via MediaFire)
* download GARUDA - original and unreleased demos (via RapidShare)

If you like these jams please consider picking up the Mutation CD comp that we released. GARUDA kicks things off on it, and we're asking less than 5 bucks for it. You can find it in the Robotic Empire - Online Store.

Monday, December 15, 2008

THE NOW - Self Titled CDep, NEIL PERRY - Jams and CANEPHORA - "Discography"

Please bear with me here, this one is longwinded.

Long disbanded mainly due to scheduling conflicts (every member was in a different band, some very active ones), THE NOW existed for a few years in Freehold, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. Robotic Empire was based out of Jersey at the time and I lived with their guitarist Josh, so I got to be around for the majority of the band's activity.

THE NOW originally started during a slow period for NEIL PERRY, with whom THE NOW shared 3 of the 4 members. I think some of the guys were looking to stretch their songwriting into a more aggressive ADD-friendly territory, and thus THE NOW was formed. A very boiled-down description could be: "techy metalcore with decent breakdowns and excellent sludge riffs, all in super-condensed songs with almost no repeating parts".

They originally had two vocalists, and played their initial shows this way. It all sounded awesome and the two complimented each other well, but when it came time to hit the studio, one of the vocalists blew out his voice almost immediately. It resulted in a very awkward day in the studio for everyone, as by the end of it all only one vocalist's tracks made the cut. That's mainly due to the whole EP being recorded and mixed in just one day. This was just how things were done with the shoestring budget we had back then. I think the EP still turned out sounding pretty damn good for being tracked and mixed in just a single day, but it's definitely a bummer that Derek's vocals got cut and were never able to be re-tracked.

Things were sort of shaky within the band after the weirdness of the studio experience; I think Derek felt pretty rejected and just sort of kept himself out of the picture. Not too long after recording the band was set to go on a brief tour with NEIL PERRY, but Kevin didn't go for reasons I never fully understood. The guitarists Chris & Josh handled vocal duties on this sole tour, and after returning home went into hibernation while NEIL PERRY's activity picked up again.

Regardless of the lineup changes, people still seemed really pumped about this band and we ended up doing a few different pressings of the CD. Above are images of the covers for the original pressing (left) and re-presses (right). One of the later pressings had a laser-etching underneath the bottom of the disc itself, which was stupid expensive and probably nobody even noticed it. If anyone has a scan or photo of this etching, please send it over as it's unfortunately not been saved in our archives. update: thanks to Joe Birone for the scan of the CD etching! (see below)

A vinyl edition was eventually pressed as a one-sided clear LP with no center labels, and Chris Smith from the band silk-screened 4 colors of ink on the side without music. This created a very cool pseudo-picture disc, but due to less than sterile work conditions, more than a few copies had some ink on the playable side of the record. I believe three different Gary's were used in the artwork, and roughly 110 of each Gary were used across 330 LPs total. To date, this is the smallest single pressing we have done of any vinyl release.

At some point things slowed down again for NEIL PERRY and a lengthy search for THE NOW's replacement vocalist eventually lead them to an old friend of mine from Virginia named Shawn Lindsey. Shawn had previously handled vocals in the freakishly-ahead-of-their-time Virginia Beach metalcore outfit CANEPHORA. Most of THE NOW dudes were total CANEPHORA fanboys so when he came up to hang out, it was a relief that everyone hit it off well. I think another relief was for the bassist Dave finally having another drug-free ally in the band, as everyone else was blazing constantly and it was pretty much impossible not to absorb a contact high at their practices.

They tried to keep things going for a while after Shawn joined the band, writing a couple of new songs and playing a handful of shows, but in the end I think the heavy activity of A LIFE ONCE LOST and HOT CROSS became too overwhelming to continue THE NOW, and they eventually just faded away without ever properly recording the new songs.

So I'm posting here everything I have from THE NOW. This is the six-song EP, plus two rough, incomplete practice demos of the new songs. These are probably just guitar and drums, and don't even get all the way through the songs... which eventually turned out to be pretty awesome. This is all I've got though so here it is:

* download THE NOW - Self-Titled EP +practice demos (via MediaFire)
* download THE NOW - Self-Titled EP +practice demos (via RapidShare)

* Kevin Hardy - Original Vocalist (also drummer of JOSHUA FIT FOR BATTLE and WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR)
* Derek Luchenbach - Original Vocalist (original NEIL PERRY drummer)
* Shawn Lindsey - Later Vocalist (CANEPHORA)
* Justin Graves - Drums (NEIL PERRY, A LIFE ONCE LOST)

Closely related was NEIL PERRY, who were maybe a bit more traditionally "screamo" vs. THE NOW, but still had plenty of heavy/hardcore/metal elements to help them remain atypical. One of the more left-field things they did was "jam" a lot. These songs were definitively mellow, and this was almost surely due to the impressive amounts of weed consumed before practicing, performing, recording... just about everything. A couple of the better "jams" were recorded and released on splits, but for unclear reasons didn't make their way to the Lineage Situation discography 2xCD that Level Plane released. These, plus one more jam I captured live on an old minidisc recorder can be found below:

* download NEIL PERRY - Jam Songs (via MediaFire)
* download NEIL PERRY - Jam Songs (via RapidShare)

And last but not least, the CANEPHORA "discography". Several different times we attempted to release this material (and re-mixed material) as a proper discography... but the delusions of bassist/engineer Jarred Pritchard pretty much repeatedly sank that ship. I know an entirely re-mixed, cleaned up and really good sounding version of this material does exist, but I'm not holding my breath on it ever actually seeing the light of day. Instead, here's the original, probably un-mastered, rawer version of CANEPHORA's released material. As far as I can remember, two or three songs here are from the At A Loss For Words 7" released by Moo Cow, one is from The Caligula Effect compilation released by Catechism and the other(s) is/are otherwise unreleased:

* download CANEPHORA - Discography (via MediaFire)
* download CANEPHORA - Discography (via RapidShare)

I know CANEPHORA also had a demo tape that was from a different recording session, but I don't have it. If anyone has this and wants to upload it, please let me know and I'll post it here. Dudes from CANEPHORA ended up going on to join THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, JESUIT, CONVERGE and of course, THE NOW.

* A LIFE ONC LOST items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* CONVERGE items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* HOT CROSS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* NEIL PERRY items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store

Friday, December 12, 2008

Unreleased/early GODS & QUEENS songs + VERSOMA demos

Jamie Getz is a smarmy bastard. I don't even remember meeting this guy, but I do clearly recall seeing him and Alexander T near-fighting each other on stage, mid-LICKGOLDENSKY-set at some poorly attended festival in Cleveland years ago. Alexander was clearly mad and just trying to do his frontman thing, but Jamie had a huge grin on his face while he's playing guitar and simultaneously throwing chairs and water jugs at the vocalist of his band. I think Getz gets away with a lot because he's a badass songwriter, and an all around hilarious motherfucker. Dysfunctional to say the least but the guy's got a heart of gold, and thus we've been suckered into releasing several things by this maniac now.

The first, a trainwreck known as VERSOMA, is probably one of the most underrated Robotic Empire releases sonically, but logistically was a total nightmare. Most of the band didn't really get along too well, and all I wanted to do was release a simple record that ended up turning into a total mess.

Directly after the disastrous dissolvement of LICKGOLDENSKY, but with a full US tour already booked, I witnessed Jamie and hyperactive drummer Eric McManus throw together an incredible near-improv live set under the moniker GODS & QUEENS. They knocked out 4 or 5 songs in as many days prior to the lengthy tour with HOT CROSS and wouldn't you know it, the songs were awesome. I asked Jamie to do a simple, two-man record after hearing a demo he'd done with another drummer and he agreed. Fast-forward a few months and he's gone and assembled a full band, with members spread across 4 different states. GREAT.

Although VERSOMA didn't make it in the long run, they did manage to nearly steal another band on our label's already existing name... and knock out one killer EP in the process. Life During Wartime was the result, 6 tracks of all kinds of weird shit on the outer crests of the "hardcore" realm... that make perfect sense in hindsight after hearing what the members went on to re-create separately in the forms of TOMBS and GODS & QUEENS... round two.

I'm posting the original demo material of VERSOMA's Life During Wartime. It's 5 of the 6 songs from the EP, 1 song missing vocals and 1 on there twice (with and without vocals). I feel like this band could've been really popular had they managed to overcome trivial personal squabbles, but in the end with Mike Hill going the direction he has with TOMBS and Jamie Getz going the direction he has with GODS & QUEENS, I'm just happy the two VERSOMA guitarist/vocalists are still making good jams... even if not together. Both of those dudes are total lifers.

* download VERSOMA - Life During Wartime demos (via MediaFire)
* download VERSOMA - Life During Wartime demos (via RapidShare)

It should be noted that these are raw demos and probably not even fully mixed, so if you're into what you hear here... the proper release of Life During Wartime is still available from us on both CD and vinyl, and probably will be for ages as we pressed way too many and the band broke up DIRECTLY after it came out (thanks guys).

Anyway the CD is less than 5 bucks and the vinyl is under 8. Our stuff doesn't get much cheaper than that, and you can find Life During Wartime here in the Robotic Empire - Online Store.

The two-man demo track mentioned above was eventually released by Level Plane on their "80 Records and We're Still Not Broke (Yet)" 2xCD sampler/compilation (still available here) under the moniker GODS & QUEENS. This eventually got scavenged by VERSOMA, but I still think this song rips... and honestly sort of wish everything else turned out sounding similar. Whatever, the end results of everything still sound cool, but this should at least give you an idea of why Robotic Empire foolishly got involved with Jamie Getz in the first place:

* download GODS & QUEENS - Song #1 (via MediaFire)
* download GODS & QUEENS - Song #1 (via RapidShare)

Also closely related to all of this is Getz' resurrection of the original name and idea: GODS & QUEENS, who as a relatively new band have somehow managed to stay together more than a few months past the release of their debut, untitled, which we've made as a CD and 12" vinyl packaged together. This is currently available in the Robotic Empire - Online Store.

Although I hesitate to say anything in fear of jinxing it, my fingers are crossed for these guys to stay together for a while as I (and others) really like them, and they're a pretty solid trio of dudes too. Anyway, they recorded a whole separate (possibly better sounding) version of untitled prior to pissing off the original engineer and the whole thing getting scrapped. One song wasn't re-recorded when they hit the studio in Brooklyn, and with the band's approval we're posting it here:

* download GODS & QUEENS - untitled (8?) (via MediaFire)
* download GODS & QUEENS - untitled (8?) (via RapidShare)

So while Jamie may be a surly sonuvabitch, I imagine we'll continue to end up working with this fool for ages.

* ANODYNE items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store (Mike Hill's band pre-VERSOMA and TOMBS)

* GODS & QUEENS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* GODS & QUEENS on myspace

* VERSOMA items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* VERSOMA on myspace

* TOMBS items in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* TOMBS on myspace

Thursday, December 11, 2008

GARUDA - Cold Wired Sentiment

2002 release of GARUDA's sole non-robo output, Cold Wired Sentiment. We had these guys open up our Mutation compilation as their track ripped the hardest, and the material found on this debut EP is equally powerful. They mix the perfect amount of death metal, grindcore, melody and sludge as only sons of Texas could produce.

Got to see these dudes live once in Richmond and they absolutely devastated. Had they stayed together I truly think they could've been a household name (in the metal underground world, of course).

* download GARUDA - Cold Wired Sentiment (via MediaFire)
* download GARUDA - Cold Wired Sentiment (via RapidShare)

Pretty much punk-ish grinding death metal with memorable riffs galore. Don't know anything else about this band, what the dudes did after GARUDA broke up, etc. What I do know is that this EP totally shreds, is probably long unavailable (released by the obscure "So, Why Worry?" label/zine) and the only other thing available by these dudes is Robotic Empire's Mutation compilation CD release.

We're selling Mutation for only 5 bucks so if you like what you hear on Cold Wired Sentiment, please consider checking out Mutation!

UPDATE: be sure to also check out this post for additional demos and a few final, unreleased songs from GARUDA!

HISSING CHOIR - First Show (live, 3 songs) +videos

Figured I'd kick this project off with the recordings that put this whole idea in my head in the first place. Cleaning up the office a few months ago I came across some old minidiscs, and this brief little monster in music history was buried within.

This is a (rough) recording of the first ever HISSING CHOIR show. They were a short lived (but never truly "broken up") band comprised of members of PG99, CRESTFALLEN, PIG DESTROYER and TRIAC... essentially trying their hardest to sound like SWANS but still being fairly unique. These are three songs from their first show, so it's sorta rough around the edges, but still pretty intense for a FIRST SHOW. Not sure if these guys will ever actually release anything so I decided to finally upload this. I think the mic got dropped during the first song while I handed Mike a beer bottle to use as a slide, so that may explain the partial dropout about halfway in the first song there. Not positive, but I think the show was sometime in October of 2003 at the Talking Head in Baltimore, MD (it may have still been the "old" Ottobar back then?). It was recorded with a cheapo Sharp brand MD-MT15 portable minidisc recorder and a tiny clip-on interview mic, which sorta explains why it doesn't sound amazing. Better than nothing though, hope you enjoy this!

* download HISSING CHOIR - First Show (live, 3 songs) (via Internet Archive)

Also relevant to this posting are the only (known) video recordings of HISSING CHOIR, shot at the Banks St. Warehouse in New Orleans, LA. This was filmed by Anderson Cook, probably also in late 2003. The first link below is the original file of "part 1" of this live video, with little-to-zero quality loss from the original upload. The "mirror" link of that is the smaller, compressed version hosted on YouTube. I couldn't find the original, uncompressed file for "part 2" of the show, so YouTube is all there is of that.

* watch HISSING CHOIR - Live part 1 (via Internet Archive - original file, high quality)

* watch HISSING CHOIR - Live part 1 "mirror link" (via YouTube - lower quality, faster loading)

* watch HISSING CHOIR - Live part 2 (via YouTube - *if anyone has the original file for this please contact me*)

And last but not least, HISSING CHOIR did sort of sneak one officially release out there under nearly everyone's noses. Chrome Peeler Records did a compilation CD called You've Got You Orders - Volume One for their very first release that features a bunch of bands & artists recording material based on existing song titles provided by the label.

Chris Taylor was asked to contribute, so he sent in a song from HISSING CHOIR practice session recorded live in the band's rehearsal space. Unfortunately no vocals were recorded, and this is an even earlier version of the same song viewed above in part 1 of the live videos... but it is a bit more audible than the other available HISSING CHOIR recordings.

* download HISSING CHOIR - Practice Session (1 song) (via MediaFire)

PLEASE NOTE: The You've Got You Orders - Volume One compilation CD (and it's stellar followup) is still available from Chrome Peeler Records for a very reasonable price. If you like this song, we highly encourage you to pick up the compilation CD(s) as they both have a lot of killer artists contributing some pretty unique songs.

Vocals - JR Hayes (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Enemy Soil, etc.)
Guitar - Mike Taylor (Pageninetynine, Pygmy Lush, Mannequin, Majority Rule, Haram, etc.)
Guitar - Nathan Grice (Crestfallen, Heavens, Dead To Me, etc.)
Bass - Chris Taylor (Pageninetynine, Pygmy Lush, Mannequin, Malady, etc.)
Drums - Jake Creggar (Triac, Drugs of Faith, Jesus of Nazareth, etc.)

Also, the above photo by Richard "The Grindfather" Johnson, from his ancient and impressive (and now online) zine Disposable Underground.

* HISSING CHOIR - Myspace Page (with an interview and some more information)


OK so this is where we're going to post LEGAL mp3 and video downloads of all kinds of unreleased crap, demos, live stuff, obscure stuff, OOP stuff, and whatever else we have lurking on dusty old hard drives... mostly but not 100% related to Robotic Empire and the bands/musicians we've worked or currently work with.

This is a work in progress, and likely to be a SLOW one.