Readers' Choice


  • Axl Rosenberg


Hey-o!!! I guess we’re going four-for-four on these, as reader John Thompson has now sent us a bunch of bands from his town — including his own band — that he thinks we check out. So let’s see how Columbus, Ohio fares against Houston, Kansas City, and the Philippines, shall we?


Struck by Lightning are on Translation Loss and even made Satan Rosenbloom’s 2009 year-end list, so this is cheating a little — all the other bands we’ve been concentrating on this week have been unknown entities, and I don’t think many, if any of them, have been signed. But Struck by Lightning are excellent (and their MySpace URL is great, too!), so I’m including them anyway with the hope that you’ll check them out. Mr. Rosenbloom called them “Mastodon and High on Fire’s d-beat-crazy lovechild.” If that doesn’t make you wanna give them a listen, fuck yourself.


This is reader John Thompson’s band. In case you couldn’t tell from song titles like “Hipster Grinder” and their MySpace URL, they play, y’know. Grind. And, wow, it’s actually pretty good! I don’t think it’s anything grind fans haven’t heard before, but I’m always down for some music that makes me wanna hurt people. I could see this band being on a really fun bill with New York’s own Defeatist. So, uh, yyyyaaaaayyy John! His band doesn’t suck!


Blackened deathrash. Actually, this is really good, too. I especially dig the guitars — they have edge and warmth to them, which seems like a difficult trick to pull off, if we’re going by the way that so many like-minded bands sound. Also, the lead singer’s name is “Deerhake,” which for some reason makes me think of a bunch of dudes bukkaking (that’s a word, right?) a forest animal… but I’m sure that’s a perfectly natural reaction to the name.


Is this the same band that played at Scion Fest in 2009? I dunno but I have to assume that it is. In any case, I can’t get the audio player on their MySpace page to work, so let’s just assume that they’re good, since John has an excellent track record thus far.


The first song that plays on this band’s MySpace page is called “Eat Shit and Pie,” which is a merit. Unfortunately, the music is really generic grind that doesn’t do anything against me, which is a demerit. This is the first band on the list I haven’t really enjoyed. It’s not awful, I just see no reason to care. In fact, I’ve stopped caring. I’m not listening anymore starting… now.


The good: They’re named after a character in Big Trouble in Little China, which, as everyone knows, is one of the finest films ever made. The bad: On their MySpace page, they describe their music as “crunk,” a joke which hasn’t been funny since at least 2008. Anyways, it’s pretty typical stoner/beardo shit. I like the singer… it’s kinda like if Maynard were doing vocals for Howl. Not bad, but not great. I bet I’d like it way more if I was high.


This is like Lo Pan’s less-fun cousin. It’s faster and less groovy than the last band, but it’s also basically stoner metal. Yeah, it’s fine. I don’t really have an opinion about it; if their live is show is great, well, then, great!, but if not, I already own like eight trillion CDs by bands that sound just like this. Struck by Lightning and Bastard were still my favorite bands from this batch.

Alright! I wanna thank John again for sending those in. Someone e-mail me some local bands from their town so I can do one more of these tomorrow.


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