Welcome to PreGaming with the Top, a new feature we're going to try out where we here at Brutalitopia bring you a playlist of what we've been jamming on this week so you have some music to get you through the weekend. Like everything else we do here, there aren't really any rules; songs could be new or old, it doesn't matter. We just want to rock, and we want you to rock, so we're giving you some music to rock to. We may post some info about the bands, we may not. Honestly we're kind of making this whole thing up as we go along, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Sleep - "The Clarity"
So for my inaugural PreGaming with the Top post, I had everything ready to go, and all my ducks in a row. And then Sleep decided to release their first studio recorded track in twenty fucking years. Sometimes life just gives you lemons and you've gotta make that lemonade, huh? I really don't have to comment much on this. Listen to the sweet, dirty riffage of the inimitable Matt Pike and the sativa laced musings of Al Cisneros and realize that, no, this isn't a blast back to 1996... It's 2014, and we have new Sleep to jam to.
Graves at Sea - "Betting on Black"
I was only marginally familiar with the Portlandian quartet Graves at Sea prior to Brutalitopia's first trip to Maryland Deathfest this year, and boy am I glad that I heard the opening track to their 2014 split with Sourvein for the first time in the live setting. "Betting on Black" tore a dirty, doomy hole in the middle of the Edison Lot the size of Camden Yards, and I feel like I heard at least a hundred show-goers espousing how excellent their set was for the rest of the day. All of this goes to say that "Betting on Black" is probably my favorite track of the calendar year so far, and for good reason.
Lock Up - "Brethren of the Pentagram"
Speaking of Maryland Deathfest, the first round of bands was just announced on Tuesday for the 13th installment of America's paramount extreme metal party. Among the thirty something bands that were announced was Lock Up, the grindcore supergroup comprised of members of Napalm Death and the legendary Tomas Lingberg, who I had the pleasure of interviewing at this year's festival. Tompa and I spoke only briefly about Lock Up as we shot the shit and drank Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA on the third day of the festival, and he gave no indication that Lock Up was in for an appearance at next year's festival, so my hat is off to him for holding his cards close to his chest. "Brethren of the Pentagram" is easily my favorite Lock Up track, cause it rips harder than a fart after Taco Bell.
Serpentine Path - "Disfigured Colossus"
Speaking of bands announced for MDF XIII, the amalgam of Gotham City's Unearthtly Trance and Tim Bagshaw of Electric Wizard known as Serpentine Path will be bringing their brand of punishing doom to the masses next spring in Baltimore. Expect these dudes and their recent release Emanations to have the same kind of effect on the underground metal crowd that Bölzer and Hooded Menace did at this year's MDF.
Fu Manchu - "Anxiety Reducer"
I love Torche. Crutsy metalheads love to hate Torche, and my experience at this year's MDF proved that. And no band has influenced Torche more than Fu Manchu. The SoCal stonerockers new record Gigantoid is proof that even the bands that influenced the new wave of alt-rock/metal crossover acts are still here to push the envelope.
Mars Red Sky - "Hovering Satellites"
Durf got all salty last week cause I didn't tell him about how good Wo Fat's new record was, but I think I made up for that by giving him advanced notice of the new release from the French lords of THC, Mars Red Sky. These dudes are primed for a blow-up in recognition, as their brand of QOTSA catchiness and Sleep inspired downtuned fuzziness is nearly unmatched in today's stoner realm. Go roll that spliff and zone out to Stranded in Arcadia as soon as possible.
Thou - "Into The Marshlands"
If there's one band that can usurp the hype of Pallbearer's emminent release, it's Thou. With Gilead Media Fest starting today, it only seemed appropriate to remind everyone that there's another Yankee doom band that is pushing the boundaries of genre besides the neck-bearded homeboys from Arkansas. All hail the riff.
Anthrax - "Intro to Reality" / "Belly of the Beast"
Of all the Big 4, Anthrax is closest to my heart. And of all Anthrax's songs, none of them get me going quite like "Belly of the Beast." It's the perfect example of how Anthrax fit into the thrash metal genre, but also of how they were innovating with East Coast hardcore sensibilities and progressive elements that not many other acts at the time were implementing. Also of note, Frankie Bello is the shit.
Tankard - "Need Money For Beer"
So this is PreGaming with Top, right? Nothing encapsulates a good night out with ya' boys more thank Tankard. Or maybe I'm just talking about myself. Whatever. Get that circle pit started in your living room, your local watering hole or even on the street corner. It's Friday, motherfuckers!!! Die with a beer in your hand!
Michael "P.S." Hayes - "Badstreet USA"
It's only natural that I start my own tradition with the inception of our own new tradition here at the Top. I'm a pro wrestling nerd. And a huge one. So with every PreGaming with the Top Friday post that I throw up here, I'll insist that y'all listen to a wrestling theme of my choice. And if I had my choice of a pregaming partner on a random Friday, The Fabulous Freebirds circa 1983 would be very high on the list. "Badstreet USA" is still the preeminent self-made theme, and yes, I say that with Shawn Michaels in mind. The further down this street you go, my friends, the badder it will get.