Straight To Hell – Shoes This High LP out Jan 2014

Reprinted from: http://www.midheaven.com/item/straight-to-hell-by-shoes-this-high-lp

Ghost Ranch X - Fats White
Ghost Ranch X – Fats White; cover art for ‘Straight to Hell’

While Shoes This High’s existence was a mere glint in the eye of Father Time (a year or more, tops), they made every second count, stalking the New Zealand post-punk landscape—both North and South islands—with ravenous abandon.

For most fans, their legend and reputation rest solely on the strength of one highly formidable (and collectable) self-released 7-inch EP from 1981. And as anyone with ears who’s had the good fortune to come in contact with its jagged, scabrous genius can attest, the cry invariably rings out afterward: “Mein Gott, is this all there is?” In the 30-plus years since its initial release, the answer has been a most unflinching “yes.”

That is, until Siltbreeze tapped into the massive tape library of famed New Zealand underground music archivist Bob Sutton, who had in his possession a white-hot live scorcher of the group, culled from a set that went down at the infamous Billy the Club way back when. Straight to Hell showcases a band at the peak of their menacing powers.

Guitarist Kevin Hawkins slashes and rips strings from his ax like a mad butcher; the rhythm section of Jessica Walker and Christopher Plummer is par excellence, while the sneering, contemptuous vocals of singer S. Brent Hayward spit like poison darts above the swagger. Expertly sequenced by Jared Phillips (Times New Viking), Straight to Hell is a most welcome and astonishingly great artifact that delivers in buckets a shivering, toxic rain you always knew had fallen. Vinyl comes with a digital download of the complete album plus the four studio tracks from the original 1981 EP. One-time edition of 500—buy now or cry later.

Shoes This High posters – from the awesome collection of Bob Sutton

Up Front with the Yub Nubz

such a tease
such a tease

Hot on the soles of their forthcoming new 12″ release ‘Sac Tap Nut Jam’, the Axemen are chaffing at the bit for punters to step up into the stirrups climb into the saddle and hitch their wagons to the new guiding star, the star that comes from the South, the star that IS the Axemen. The current lineup, showing impeccable taste chose this outlet for their first official interview regarding the new album.

Steve McCabe - still working on the John Halvorsen / Eraserhead look
Steve McCabe – still working on the John Halvorsen / Eraserhead look

Steve McCabe, speaking from his idyllic kiwi coast bach in the Coromandel on the verge of a 3 month sabbatical in the Pacific Islands, was the first to speak out on the release:

Steve McCabe: “I was initially troubled by the concept of plant (‘inanimate’) objects being incapable of feeling pain. This is the reason we embarked on the ‘Sac Tap’ project in the first place. All things were pointing in this direction, we had a levy-breaking wall of song built up ready to breach the sea-walls, with nowhere else to run!” he enthused in answer to my first utterance “Hello”.

IMG_5391
William Daymond – Role Model for troubled youth

William Daymond: “Dragan came over and showed me the famous ‘swizzle-sticks in a jar’ experiment – believe it or not this was the first time i ever experimented with this kind of experiment – and frankly it blew me away. My ‘Sac Tap’ commitment started there”.

IMG_5341
Stu Kawowski – aka Ludwig van Beathoven

Stu Kawowski: “Yeah I kinda dug Will’s naivete in the beginning, but by the end of the sessions we were churning it up free flow like a machete machine with overblown muscle-cloth spun on a quantum wheel upon which no-one can see which way its rotating but experienced users can count the bleats”

IMG_5354
Dragan Stojanovic – go ahead… tap my sac!

Dragan Stojanovic: “I count my blessings. And I think the other lads are counting theirs. The Axemen are the only band I would get out of bed to play in. Of course I’m fantastic in bed too!”.

Accolades are already pouring in from all over the world and the roundabout at Stokes Valley Road is fast becoming a local tourist attraction, with double-decker buses frequently thrilling passengers by driving around it multiple times, in one case until one elderly passenger threw up (she soon recovered when the tour guide pointed out Dragan Stojanovic walking down the road to the alchemists and giving her and the other passenger his trademark “fingers” gesture – a Serbian sign usually reserved for Croation soldiers – much to the amusement of the appreciative cheering passengers).

Idols and rivals check out the scene
Idols and rivals check out the scene

Watch this Space[case] spacecasefor new revelations!

The Axemen wish to thank Ryan and Mor at Spacecase who were instrumental (and vocal) in making the project happen…  http://www.spacecaserecords.com/ cheers dudes!

Wellington Recording Diary – Day 1 [25 Feb 2013]

Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington

Day 1 recording at the Taita lockup went handsomely, boding well for the forthcoming Spacecase Records single .

Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski
Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski

The group, together again for the first time in a while in Wellington learned and laid down 5 soundbed tracks as single candidates in record time, as per usual. This being Day 1 of a 3 day session after which the  selection will commence, a process as arduous and gruelling as any Papal selection ritual.

Once the tracks have been selected work will start on overdubbing and production, a painstaking and often grisly set of steps involving adding, cutting, refining and polishing reminiscent of the inner workings of a diamond factory.

Looking forward to Day 2 and subsequent sessions – No serious bloodshed to report as yet.

EQUIPMENT:

Steve: Fender Telecaster thru NZ made Hotcake distortion pedal and Marshal JCM 800
Dragan: Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Les Paul through Jet City head thru Laney 4×12 cabinet

William: Fender Precision Bass thru Rockit 120 and Crate 15″ cabinet

Stu:

Paiste Hi-hats

5 x Zyldjian cymbals

Ludwig snare

Pearl kick

Pearl / Maxtone Toms with Remo pinstripe skins

MICS:

Behringer C1 condensor mic (overhead drums)

Rode NT 2000 (overhead drums)

2x Shure SM58

Peavey Instrument mic

various other instrument mics

RECORDER:

Zoom R16

TRACK LISTING:

A view to die for (McCabe)

Caught you fighting (Stojanovic)

Google That Girl (McCabe)

High Horse (Stojanovic/McCabe)

Kookaburra (Stojanovic/McCabe)

LOCATION:

The Dragan’s Lair, Taita, Upper Hutt, Wellington, NZ

THANKS TO:

Spacecase Records

Mighty Mighty

Phantom Billstickers

Theaxemen.org

——————–

And, if you’re in Wellington this week, be part of NZ Music History and come along to the Mighty Mighty Recording Axemen Party on Wednesday 27 Feb – It’s free and it will be recorded!

Axemen Aussie Tour 2011 – early dates info

reprinted from: http://www.messandnoise.com/discussions/4305304

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv-iM_1h5uA

Australia December 2011

http://tinyurl.com/axemenaustralia2011

10th: Brisbane Negative Guestlist Festival

14th: Newcastle

with

  • Cock Safari
  • Bare Grillz

15th: Sydney – Red Rattler

with:

  • Alps (Newcastle)
  • XNobbqx (siltbreeze)
  • Mad Nana( Melbourne supergroup)
  • School Girl Report
  • Satanic Rockers( Melbourne/NZ)

17th: Batemans Bay Festival
with:

  • Circle Pit,
  • Paul Kidney Experience,
  • Kitchens Floor,
  • School Girl Report,
  • Mad Nanna,
  • Cured Pink,
  • Alps,
  • XNOBBQX,
  • Satanic Rockers,
  • Meat Thump

plus many more…

19th-21st: Melbourne

22nd: Hobart

23rd: Adelaide

AXEMEN “Three Virgins” sure to rise again…

Like a phoenix, it’s flaming wings rendering liquefacted silt into weirdly shaped shiny psychedelic ceramic sculptures as it rises from the quake-decimated ruins of Christchurch’s State Trinity Centre, the penultimate Axemen tome “Three Virgins, Three Versions, Three Visions”  (commonly referred to in hushed tones as simply “Three Virgins“), well, more accurately, the four fragile lacquers of which are currently and patiently awaiting their turn at R.T.I. USA. Soon those lovingly engraved mothers will be slammed into steaming 180 gram piles of black vinyl, and slipped into exact replicas of the intricately elaborate 4-colour gatefold sleeve, the cost of said practically bringing Flying Nun Records to it’s knees back in the Christchurch of 1986.

The 22/2/11 quake-decimated ruins of Christchurch’s State Trinity Centre.

 

Kawowski’s vain effort to bake the original 7″ masters in a food-dehydrator, and transfer digitally proved unacceptable to his high standards of aural sensitivity. With the upwards nodding approval of the other 2/3 of the legendary flat-city triad, Steve ‘n Bob, together with the blessing of the sage Siltbreeze label boss T. J. Lax, Germany’s and possibly the world’s pre-eminate ‘needle drop’ exponent Thomas Hartlage of SHADOKS™ was contracted to place his own virgin pressing of the original 1986 pressing onto his unspeakably expensive transcription system, the result being a beautifully crafted replica with all aspects and nuances of the tricky trio’s debut vinyl of PQ (pre-quake) ChCh yesteryear. Not sufficiently content with this scintillating facsimile, the 24bit WAVs were broadbanded south to a dijkside upstairs warehouse near Amsterdam, where the legendary FIR International wove his mastering magic upon the 22 tracks, and soon after Mark at Prairie Cat Mastering in Illinois had manifested the four sides of the 88 minute set in shiny, shiny lacquer.

An announcement will be made shortly regarding worldwide availability of these waxy widgets. Keep watching here, and AXEMEN on Facebook.

Stop Press: In a generous 11th hour gesture, Shadoks & Fir International donated 60% of the mastering costs to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. In fact the whole exercise of re-releasing Three Virgins is all about the music, as the small 2nd edition pressing run will only produce 600 copies, and not return much of a profit to Siltbreeze’s hungry shareholders. The Axemen are very cognizant of this fact and super-appreciative of everyone’s efforts and generosity all round.

The doctor’s on Speed Dial

The doctor’s on Speed Dial

Dr. Martin Cooper
Dr. Martin Cooper, inventor of the cellphone

a song by steve mccabe

the doctors on speed dial
i’m making amends for
all the things i did to you

i may pretend to be all hard nosed but sometimes what can you do

the movies come out
its all comin out
has a persil shine

hungry enzymes and hungry hippos
they’ll both eat you alive

1984 IS OVER

Workin for the man

workin for the class

he’s a hardy hard habit to break

I’ll meet you at eight

by the lake

and when you pull up don’t forget to brake

(not like the last screwup who forgot to apply his brakes)

Bald-win!  paedophile at the rock’n’roll high school

hangin round the gym just to get an eyeful

panties sometimes stockings sometimes petite brassieres

the i think he’s got what he’s looking for clear

he’s the bald one, the only baldwin worth his salt

and i love him with every  figure of my soul

but i’m only a man can’t you understand it takes a minimum of two to tango

Smouldering Love God Alec Baldwin weighs in
Smouldering Love God Alec Baldwin weighs in
I break for cake for gods sake

my mans in the outfield buying yellowcake

but its cream, tangerine, lemon ivy

harangued by caramel thats a sticky mix i see

I tweeted the bird sanctuary

they told me you had flown the coop

no biggie for tupac and biggie smalls

they’ll be the biggest rappers of them all

…the… twittersphere… full of nudgerigars
oh what a collossal waste

Life is pretty cheap but for the frozen cheap wasters!

gorillaform contenders, suedehead boots downout racists

steer, queers, souvenirs, novelties, party tricks

wait, you dropped your phony dog poo back there in the sticks!

because 1984 is over
i predict
the earth will have a grand opening party

and while all crumbles and the earth spits and swallows

a little girl waits.
give her fifty dollars.
she don’t need fitty cent
she need fitty dollah