You can’t judge a book by its cover, well maybe you get a good idea from the covers of Carpazine. What if I asked you to imagine a Ska Punk band from Southeastern Connecticut? No horns, a teleukulele, bass, drums, and a MIDI keyboard? The possibilities may overwhelm you, however, with Sonorous Rising you can see and hear it.
As Erik Larson on drums keeps the uptempo energy, Effa Pecoraro hammers on keys, Stephanie Sutera’s deep vocals pairs with an electric ukulele, and O’s bass bringing it all together; is it Ska Punk? Who knows, who cares, we like the wine not the label. When the influences and genres are organically melded before you the result is 100% punk rock stew.
Their new release Disinformation is available now!
CARPAZINE WAS THERE at a sold out Amityville Music Hall for GBH! It was the first night of their 40th anniversary tour for their album "City Baby's Revenge". Their first time playing on Long Island in over 30 years and it was amazing to see them at such a small venue. They sounded just as good as they did on the record back in 1982!
If you were to connect seemingly unrelated things – Heavy Metal and the symphony orchestra, for example – you might be guilty of apophenia. That friction between opposites has never been a problem for Nick Vasallo, though – his music is equally at home in both worlds. Melding Xenakis, Varese, Extreme Metal, and Dark Ambient with gothic charm, Vasallo conjures up a muscular sonic battle that leads you on an inexorable musical journey to a conclusion where surrender is your best option.
Catharsis comes as a relief in his new album, Apophany (the follow-up to his Monuments Emerge of 2012): 79 minutes of varied orchestral and chamber works seared to the bone with a Metal edge. It strikes with precision (Vasallo is a certified martial artist, after all) and uses a refined timbral palette with filmic orchestral mastery to powerful effect.
The programmatic themes in Vasallo’s titles combine sources of ancient wisdom with contemporary spiritualism. The Eternal Return refers to Nietzsche’s challenge to imagine that every action one makes will repeat for all eternity. This track leads to The Moment Before Death Stretches on Forever, Like an Ocean of Time – a reference to the 1999 movie American Beauty: the monologue that closes with “and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.”
With epic performances from a variety of university orchestras and new music ensembles (including Red Shift, Wild Rumpus, and The Living Earth Show), Apophany is as gritty as it is satisfying. This is music for the metaverse, bedroom headphones, and giant auditoriums; but maybe not the parlor.
Bay Area native Dr. Nick Vasallo picked up the electric guitar while in high school and formed Antagony, later credited as birthing a popular subgenre of metal music called “deathcore”. A graduate of California State University, East Bay, Vasallo completed his doctorate at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Honors include the American Prize, International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition, and the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices award.
CARPAZINE was there for Skinny Puppy’s final show in DC! I battled my way through a ring of Hell to a monument of commerce. Emerging from the parking structure, the possibility of seeing Assimilate was already causing me to walk in step to an instinctive different drummer. Litters clad in black were both jarring and comforting along the walk, they would have been chased away by adults during Last Rights; now we are the adults. The image of Goths lined up across from a Dave and Buster’s was sublime.
From Lead into Gold’s opening set to Ogre’s unmasked double encore the energy was palpable. As I write this a week later I am still feeling that heartbeat. I traveled back in time to many dark memories that are now nostalgic and fuzzy. I felt again that youthful drive toward impact, a lifetime later more I am more likely to deflect and blow past. A determination that felt somewhat immature clad in B horror glory, today, lyrics of songs like I’mmortal have never been more timely in perspective.
I spoke with quite a few lifetime fans at their first show, upon reflection, the band’s influence on my own writing and so many other fans and bands is staggering. It was clear the crowd at the Fillmore in Silver Springs, Maryland had seen some shit and yet BRAP on.
Kevin, Kevin, and Dwayne: thank you for Nivek Ogre, cEvin Key, and Skinny Puppy.
It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it: this does not apply here. The audio tracks contained within Pandemia by Collin J Rae with Red Gnein Sextet are more like transmissions from other dimensions. The accompanying volumes of Pandemic Portraits can exist on their own; each portraiture pulled from video chats (over 100 in each volume) could be conversed upon for hours.
The video is reminiscent of watching scrambled 90’s cable porn channels. Rarely any nudity outside of an occasional nipple, then intermittent faces emerged: lust, pain, elation… The allure of those images to a teenager were somewhat confusing. The combined audio and video of Pandemia, through the lens of the pandemic makes a great deal of sense. Using found glass objects as physical lenses Rae produces the desired images of trauma whilst encouraging nostalgic sensory intercourse across spectrums. Taken as a whole, it is clear that these distortions are honest reflections of our immediate pasts. We have never been more broken yet beautiful.
In the early days of the pandemic Gary Robert and Community’s Open Wide would blast through car speakers while embarking upon Valkyrie like grocery store missions. Their latest release, Black Palette, spawned from the lockdown times and the uncertain darkness of those days can be heard as both beat and breath pound past. Now maskless, venturing into the world where vocals’ undertow warn us to be leery of the light at the end of the tunnel. We march defiantly into the future searching for a sonic silver lining: a cimmerian shade on a black palette. Listen loudly and every once in a while the eye begins to see.
We had never been to Chelsea Music Hall before, but CARPAZINE could not resist being with THE DAMNED! As we got near, there was a line as far as the eye could see. Person after person after all in black, we knew we were at the right place. September 1st, night two of two! No openers, all The Damned. Opening for Blondie just two weeks ago at Pier 17 in front of 3,000+ people, this was an intimate show for closer to 200 people that brought the same energy!
Photos by Jimmy The Gem
Carpazine Art Magazine was there! THE EXPLOITED, ! Fantastic show! Great band! Great trio of bands! A guest appearance by Jake Kolatis, from The Casualties during Sex & Violence brought the Punk Energy!
Maybe we are just getting older, but the venue was definitely not used to punk shows. The horror, epic in security's eyes! They didn’t know what they were in for when they booked these three bands.
No stage diving??? Throw us out??? Not the right energy.
Once THE EXPLOITED took the stage they told security to back off. They did a little bit and let us take care of each other. Even in the pit these days we have to compromise for everyone’s safety.
Instead of 100 dives we did 50!
The Exploited, Cro-Mags, Total Chaos
May 19, 2022
Photos by Jimmy The Gem
Carpazine Art Magazine
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Carpazine Art Magazine Issue Number 37 Featuring John John Jesse! More: Floyd Bingo, Reggie Thomas, Joe Tucholski, Vincent McLoughlin, Amsterdam Graffiti Part II, Little 5 Points (Atlanta), Skinny Puppy, Sonorous Rising, Nick Vasallo, Elise Fontano, GBH and many more!