Hazzard’s Cure: Heavy Metal Amorphous

By Avinash Mittur

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If you’ve kept up at all with music from the Bay Area, you’d know that the place has a habit of producing some of the weirdest and most unique bands you’ll ever hear. From the psychedelic rock of the ‘60s to the pioneering thrash of the ‘80s to the amalgam of rad heavy rock and metal bands of today, the Bay Area has always offered something fresh to the table. One Bay Area band that is doing just that is Hazzard’s Cure, a self-proclaimed epic blackened stoner thrash act. It’s an apt description for a band that incorporates everything from shredded shrieks to burly bong-ripped riffs. They released their self-titled debut two years back, and have completed a new EP entitled The Ugly. It’s a special release for Bay Area metal fans, because it accurately encapsulates how diverse and eclectic influences can come together to create a cohesive and downright rad musical statement. Continue reading

‘Gibson GuitarTown 3′ Set For Charity Auction In Hollywood This Friday

By Andrew Bansal

IMG_0034 copy For the past three years, the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood has been decorated at various historic venues and strategic points with 10-foot tall guitar art sculptures that instantly catch the eyes of locals and tourists alike. These beautiful pieces or art constitute the ‘Gibson GuitarTown’ series, an endeavor by the Sunset Strip Business Association and Gibson Guitars to honor the achievements of various musical personalities who’ve had an influence on the Strip in some way, shape or form. Gibson GuitarTown launched with its first wave in 2010, followed up with a second wave the year after, and is about to bring an end to its third wave of 2013-14 with a charity auction of the guitars on Friday February 21 at the Bonhams auction house in West Hollywood. Continue reading

Slough Feg and the Digital Resistor

By Avinash Mittur

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A resistor is a component found in analog electronic circuits. It impedes the flow of current, and experiences a change in electric potential energy (or voltage, as most call it) across its two ends. All of the current going into a resistor will make it through, but not without that voltage drop. That being said, here’s a bit of an oxymoron: a “digital resistor.” This particular resistor doesn’t impede the flow of electrical current, but rather the onslaught of digital technology in the field of audio engineering. The digital resistor I am referring to is a man named Justin Weis, proprietor of Trakworx Studio in South San Francisco, CA. Weis has served as an engineer on dozens of utterly brilliant metal albums by many of the genre’s most special acts, and his work consistently equals, if not betters, the frequently high quality of the music itself.

One of Weis’ oldest clients is a band called Slough Feg. For a little over twenty years, they’ve been one of the Bay Area’s finest champions for classic heavy metal, proudly standing alongside the likes of Brocas Helm, Midnight Chaser and Hammers of Misfortune. They’ve released albums with a shockingly high level of regularity, and the band consistently delivers one of the most fun live shows you’ll ever see in a grimy dive bar. Singer and guitarist Mike Scalzi is often cited as the sole constant throughout Slough Feg’s history. Well, maybe not the only constant; Justin Weis has served as an engineer on every Slough Feg album in one way or another. Slough Feg and Weis’ latest joint effort, Digital Resistance, is set to release on February 18th on Metal Blade Records. Continue reading

NAMM 2014 Recap [Writeup + Photos + Audio]

By Andrew Bansal

01 copyThe 112th edition of NAMM, North America’s biggest annual music trade convention, took place at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 22nd to 26th, and as always, brought together the who’s who of the music industry from America and beyond. Every year, NAMM, acronym for National Association of Music Merchants, ushers in the launch of new musical instruments and music industry-related products through appearances by world-renowned artists in the form of signings, live demonstrations and performances, and also gives an opportunity to the upcoming and relatively unknown artists to display their talent in front of such a huge audience. Metal Assault has covered NAMM every year from 2010 onwards, and it was going to be interesting to discover how different the 2014 edition would turn out to be in comparison to the previous ones. Continue reading