Nocturnal Poisoning is Scott Conner; who formerly was the sole member of the highly influential black metal project Xasthur. In 2010 Conner dissolved Xasthur to move on to this project and using bluegrass guitar playing and American folk music as a starting point, he creates dark, complicated songs. The vocals are from Robert Nesslin, adding a layer of despair to the sometimes dissonant mixture of sound created by Conner.

The mixture of the instrumental and vocal songs works really well together and doesn’t weigh down the flow of the album. The songs have great textures and it feels more like you are there with them in the same room that they are in, not a dry, sterile environment and it really gives the album a warm sound. I’m not familiar with his previous music, but this really stands up on its own, no need to try to look for black metal, instead enjoy it for the pleasant guitar picking and personal feeling that is present on this release.

A very cool album that stands out from a lot of mediocre solo albums from other artists that hold things so precious and pretentious that you want to puke. This makes for a relaxing listen and an album that will surprise a lot of people who think that once you do a certain style of music, you are stuck in that style forever.


Half Grass cover art

Five piece psychobilly band that’s heavy on the ‘billy, their previous two albums, 2010’s Bender Bound EP, and 2011’s Boozed and Bloody, have been well-received and now we have their album, Half Grass.

ANGIE & THE CAR WRECKS have a great, fun and energetic sound on their album, you can almost feel their smiles as you listen to Half Grass’ eleven tight songs. “31 Coupe” gets the album off to a raging start with the band hitting all cylinders on this terrific song, that energy continues into “Draggin Down”, where the band is doing everything to get you up and dancing. “Dark Ride” is where the psycho part kicks in with its spooky sound and feel, and that carries us into “Billy Ghoul” where it’s not as spooky, but still a twisted little song all the same. Some of the songs that stood out for me were “Bottle & Friends”, and “Maniac” which reminded me of BOW WOW WOW a bit with the drumming, the guitar playing and the dual vocals, especially from Angie Ball who plays acoustic guitar and sounds like Annabella Lwin from BOW WOW WOW on a few tracks. “Duster Death Machine” had the sound and feel of being in a juke joint back in the 1950’s with its more traditional country sound, “Bender Bound”, and “Your Day Has Come” were other killer tracks and last song “Creeper” had a nice bluegrass sound.

A cool and varied album that took me all over the place with its diversions into similar, yet different genres. This was a trip that was well worth the journey and you don’t even have to sit beside toothless rednecks to have fun.