Sunday, May 31, 2009


(check out the first one here.)

Because almost ALL "metalcore" bands have really stupid, generic names with too many words in them, but also because their band photos are usually hilarious, I present the second installment of this series. I'm gonna open it up a little here and turn it into a point-based game. Can YOU beat me at Metalcore Word-Association? I doubt it. But you should try.


Bands must be linked by a word in their name (plurals OK). The words "a", "the", "and", and "of" don't count. Link 6 metalcore bands and add up your totals. You can go beyond 6 bands, but any points accrued by these bands will be halved. Also, the perameters of the term "metalcore" are flexible.


-A guy in the band photo is wearing a beanie: 5 points
-A guy in the band photo is wearing a hood: 5 points
-A guy in the band photo is wearing a baseball cap tilted to one side: 5 points
-Hood/beanie combo: 10 points
-Hood/cap combo: 10 points
-The band is Christian: 15 points
-The singer is the only guy in the band with visible arm tattoos: 5 points
-The singer is the only guy in the band with short hair: 5 points
-The singer is the only guy with short hair and tattoos: 15 points
-Someone in the band photo is wearing an Affliction T-shirt: 5 points
-Everyone in the band has weird bangs swept off to one side: 10 points
-Someone in the band photo is wearing a cape: 30 points
-Any sort of visual reference to "hyphy" in a band photo: 5 points
- 5 points for each neck tattoo visible in a band photo.
-10 points for each hooded T-shirt visible in a band photo.

That being said--
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Haste The Day >>> As I Lay Dying

Arm tattoo = 5 pts.
Tilted cap = 5 pts.
Christianity = 15 pts.

Beanie = 5 pts. (Ballcap isn't quite tilty enough)

0 points.

Christianity = 15 points

Christianity = 15 points

Christianity = 15 pts.
Arm tattoos = 5 pts.

LAST ONE DYING (half points, 7th degree):
2 hood/cap combos % 2 = 10 points

That makes my total score exactly 90 points. Not bad.

Surpass 90 points and win a prize. In the words of Michael Angelo Batio: "I'm giving you the keys to the Lamborghini". Email submissions, including links to band photos and final score, to


Need a kick-start? Check out this Christian metalcore Myspace page.


Intense, grinding powerviolence so streamlined that they eliminated the need for a bass player. Just guitar, drums, high vocals, low vocals. See also: Iron Lung. See also: Discordance Axis. Am I sensing some sort of trend here?

8 songs. 11 minutes. BRUTAL.

Download HERE

Below: 5 minute clip of Margrudergrind punishing an unsuspecting audience.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Ben Franklin


Everyone already knows Fear. Everyone already knows Lee Ving and Flea. So let's pop open a coupla frosties and party like it's 1985 already. No Fear? No beer. Know Fear, know beer.

Download BEER
Purchase BEER


Yeah, it's from way late in their career. But it still kicks ass. Pre-retro thrash from the masters of sudsy goodness. And thrash just sounds so much better with a thick German accent.

Download HERE
Purchase BEER

Friday, May 29, 2009


Highly influential, proto-metallic hard rock courtesy of the shaggy-haired punters in Uriah Heep. This is their third album, and swerves back and forth between both the hard-hitting, organ-driven thunder and lengthy, ponderous acoustic interludes that they are known for. They hadn't started singing too much about wizards and shit on this one, showing more interest in personal issues and the "pleasures of the flesh" (see "Love Machine"). If you do want more wizards in your Heep, head over to Cosmic Hearse and get this one. I recommend it as well.

PS: The original LP version (as well as several subsequent compact disc re-releases) had a piece of foil glued onto the front, to simulate a mirror. Get it?! Look At Yourself?! HA!!!

Somehow it doesn't quite justify that horrible artwork. But almost.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE


Last week, I stated that '80's Action Figure Corner' would be moving "to the future" today. While an unforeseeable complication stymied the actual "trip" I had hoped for, it has in fact been re-scheduled for next week. So rather than travelling to the "actual" future today, we will instead travel to the future of the 80's: A strange, magical, and evil place...

Mon*Star was pretty much the gnarliest, most brutal, and more importantly, most METAL villain from any cartoon/toy line of the 80's (he appeared in the short-lived series Silverhawks, created by Rankin/Bass in 1986). A "quintillionaire" alien mob boss, Mon*Star managed to escape from the dreaded Penal Planet to wreak havoc on the innocent citizens of Limbo and cause chaos and disorder in general. Kept in check by the shiny, psuedo-android Silverhawks, he still managed to fuck shit up on a pretty regular basis, assisted by his henchmen Buzz Saw, Mumbo Jumbo, and Molecular. Rocking a decidedly Hessian appearance (see above) which included a butthole-esque eyepatch similar to that of G.I. Joe's Golobulus, Mon*Star harnessed the power of Limbo's "Moonstar" to transform into a spikier, armor-plated version of himself by uttering the words "Give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!" (using a magical quote to transform was a gimmick also used by the Thundercats' Mumm-Ra, another Rankin/Bass creation).

Mon*Star was packaged with only one "weapon", his attack-bat, Sky Shadow. Sky Shadow hooked onto his wrist, and had pinching action on his front claws to incapacitate his enemies. But the Mon*Star action figure's main selling point was that he had two heads, one on his neck and another hidden in his chest. By pressing a button on his back, you could switch heads automatically, hence "transforming" him between Hesher mode and spiky-space-guy mode. Obviously, to an 8 year old kid, this was the coolest thing EVER.
Oh yeah, did I mention that Mon*Star flew around the galaxy in a giant biomechanical squid called Sky-Runner? Fucking. AWESOME.

Behold, the transformation of MON*STAR!!!:



I think that the rules of the game will explain themseves.

TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Beneath The Sky >>> Scars Alive

1) BENEATH THE SKY - Metal/Hardcore (according to Myspace) from Cincinatti, Ohio:

2) BENEATH THE SILENCE - Metal/Hardcore (sez Myspace) from Christchurch, New Zealand:

3) BURY THE SILENCE - Metal/Hardcore/Metalcore (according to from Bournemouth, UK:

4) BURY TOMORROW - Metal/Hardcore/Rock (Myspace) from Southampton, UK:

5) SCARS OF TOMORROW - Hardcore/Metal/Screamo (Myspace) from Orange County, CA:

6) SCARS ALIVE - Metal/Rock (Myspace) from Southern California:

Wow. That was fun. And relatively easy. Let's do it again soon, OK?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


As I was driving down Van Ness yesterday in the heart of scenic San Francisco, I saw the flyer shown above on the back of a city bus. Immediately disturbed, I decided to put a little research into this so-called "Eco Cup" (an event put on by "Rude Boyz Present", who in a rare show of supreme modesty gave themselves top billing for the show). Part of the Sonoma Valley Harmony Festival, The Eco Cup is a music and skateboarding festival taking place from June 12th to June 14th. The flyer freaked me out for several obvious reasons, but here's a quick list anyway:

1) Seeing the names "Bad Brains" and "Dead Kennedys" advertised on an official city vehicle was weird enough as is. Bands who built their legacy upon political disobedience and social unrest should not be displayed in such a civic manner.
2) It's called the "Harmony Festival". Neither band has much to do, musically speaking, with harmony (at least until Bad Brains turned into Steel Pulse).
3) The fucktastic pop-reggae-rock Sublime knockoff Pepper is also co-headlining.
4) Related events in the Harmony Festival include The Techno-Tribal Community Dance and the Matisyahu Shabbaton.
5) The event is sponsored by both Comcast AND Verizon Wireless.
6) The worst part (for me, at least) is that The Dead Kennedys are performing WITHOUT Jello Biafra (he has been replaced by the singer of The Wynona Riders). Which just goes to show: 30-year-old punk bands are worse than zombies. You can cut off their heads, but they just won't die.

Above: Kinda scary. Below: VERY scary.


Jesus Christ I had a fucked up day today.
But rather than dwell on it, how 'bout I brighten things up by sharing a wonderful sci-fi/fantasy soundtrack, from the movie Krull? Yeah, I like that idea better.
James Horner conducting the London Symphony Orchestra = EPIC. James Horner is THE MAN. This is proof.

Come and ride the Fire Mares, Bro.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Big, dumb, violent, barbaric, knuckle-dragging, cruel, guttural, bludgeoning, simple, foul, pummelling death metal made by a hunter-gatherer/serial killer type from Spain (Dave) and a tattooed guy that's fond of white ringer T's (Roger from Sweden). For fans of hatred, murder, and beating small animals to death with blunt, crudely-fashioned clubs.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

PS: The band used to be call "Deadbreath", hence the cumbersome album title.



-Lance from 80's thrash revivalists SKITZO vomits on command. His particularly offensive brand of "entertainment" has been featured on Jerry Springer, among others.
-Freak-punkers FARTICUS are obsessed with (you guessed it) FARTS.
-Oakland's br00tal Mexican-flavored metallers Savage Machine play in full luchador costumes.
-FLUFF GRRL: "Pre-Apocalyptic Post Punk Art Fag Music" (?)
-CRETACEOUS likes dinosaurs.


I urge anyone in or around the Bay Area on the aforementioned date to attend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Those of you who follow this blog (yes, both of you) might be aware that today is a very important day in the history of Illogical Contraption. As I mentioned here, May 26th, 2009 marks the release date of the instant-cult classic Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. Being a man true to my word, I stood at the counter of Blockbuster bright and early this afternoon, demanding my copy of this impending masterpiece. Said DVD now sits proudly atop my coffee table, beckoning me closer with its promises of giant sea-beasts doing battle off the coast of San Francisco.
So here's the deal: Much like I did for my first experience with the 80's sci-fi slasher Future-Kill, I'll be reviewing Mega Shark LIVE, as it unfolds before my very eyes. I will hit the 'Publish' button as the credits roll. But first, a warning: This review will contain every spoiler in the book. Those of you as excited as I am about the release of this film (yes, both of you) might want to avert your eyes.
Beloved readers, please try to contain your excitement. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is NOW entering my DVD player...

0:00:27 - Opening credits... Fingers trembling... Typing... Difficult...
0:01:21 - Special Effects by "Tiny Juggernaut". So far, so good.
0:02:45 - Poorly rendered images of a glacier collapsing, immediately followed by Debbie Gibson piloting a submarine (her fingernails are only painted one ONE HAND...?) and a shot of a bunch of hammerhead sharks. Epic.
0:04:02 - Cools shot of a seal freaking out.
0:05:43 - That helicopter pilot is rocking some super sweet Blu-Blockers.
0:07:15 - Whales committing suicide. Dang.
0:08:42 - "Haven't you guys ever been to a frat party?"
0:08:13 - JESUS FUCK!!! THE OCTOPUS JUST ATE AN ENTIRE OIL RIG!!! Followed immediately by some boring stuff.
0:11:20 - Whale-related gore. Rotting flesh, etc...
0:12:05 - Apparently, Debbie is a bit of a "renegade".
0:13:20 - Yep, she's drinking whiskey with her Bro. definitely a "renegade".
0:15:22 - This stuff is boring and completely unnecessary. Yawn.

0:18:18 - DUDE!!! MEGA SHARK JUST JUMPED OUT OF THE FUCKING OCEAN AND ATE A FUCKING AIRPLANE!!! This movie is ALREADY worth TWICE the $5.46 I paid to rent it!
0:20:20 - This dude's "Irish accent" needs work.
0:22:21 - "Say hello to Megalodon". Damn right.
0:24:10 - Establishing shot of "San Francisco International Airport". Palm trees and fluorescent paint job. That isn't actually SFO.
0:27:11 - This is pretty boring too. But in a good way.
0:28:08 - These shots of "the beach" in "San Francisco" look like they were shot in Mexico. Or maybe San Diego. This movie was not meant for locals.
0:29:50 - Mega Shark is totally about to eat a Navy battleship. This rules.
0:30:51 - "It rises".
0:31:26 - Movie cuts to another boring scene before Mega Shark attacks. WEAK.
0:32:18 - Bad news, guys. "Treasure Island" isn't actually Treasure Island. But Lorenzo Lamas finally showed up, so it's cool.
0:33:56 - Apparently, Lamas is somewhat of a "bad-ass".

0:36:04 - I think I just fell asleep for a second. You think maybe I could get a couple more scenes involving "Mega Sharks" and "Giant Octopi", Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus?
0:38:30 - Debbie Gibson is TOTALLY going to bone it to that creepy Japanese scientist. Ewwww.
0:40:30 - Jesus, they didn't waste any time. Debbie just boned it to the Japanese guy in a closet. What a slut. At least that annoying "sexual tension" subplot (established two minutes ago) is FINALLY out of the way.
0:43:24 - Debbie and the creepy scientist bid each other a heartfelt farewell. How touching. Hopefully this movie won't contain any more "sex".
0:44:45 - Oh shit, this fighter jet is gonna get eaten.
0:45:28 - Nope. My bad. It got slapped and blown up by a Giant Octopus tentacle. Nice.
0:48:48 - I'm pretty sure the "Irish" guy's accent is completely gone at this point. Which is an improvement.
0:51:52 - Awww shit. Mega Shark is about to fuck some shit up...
0:53:02 - Lamas: "Screw these environmentalists! When I give the command, shoot to KILL!"

Right: This is NOT an image from Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. It's still pretty cool, though.

0:54:00 - Best bad-CGI shark graphics I'VE EVER SEEN.
0:55:21 - Mega Shark attacks battleship. Hella death and carnage.
0:55:55 - THE MONEY SHOT. Mega Shark just ate the Golden Gate Bridge.
0:57:04 - Just cracked my fifth tall boy of Miller High Life. Beginning to think that maybe I should have eaten something today.
1:00:00 - Hey, maybe we can get Mega Shark to fight Giant Octopus! That's right, it took a FULL HOUR and a whole team of movie scientists to figure that one out. Bravo.
1:03:10 - Maybe I should start some laundry...
1:04:57 - So far, this movies has had maybe 45 seconds, TOTAL, shark/octopus footage. And about 45 MINUTES of Debbie Gibson footage. Maybe they should have called it Washed-Up 80's Pop Star Vs. Japanese Scientist In A Broom Closet instead.
1:08:00 - Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus has OFFICIALLY put my roommate to sleep.
1:08:58 - Submarines vs. Mega Shark AND Giant Octopus. That's better.
1:10:01 - Never have the words "Captain! Octopus approaching!" been spoken so convincingly.
1:13:07 - Don't get me wrong. Shark Hunter was the most boring giant shark movie ever made. But I'm beginning to think that Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is a close second.
1:15:06 - FINALLY. Shark vs. Octopus! Let's do this!
1:15:55 - Never mind.
1:16:50 - In case you were wondering, the crew aboard Japanese submarines ALWAYS talk to each other in crisp, accent-free English.
1:19:50ish - Mega Shark eats a submarine. As retaliation, Giant Octopus ALMOST busts up a submarine, too.
1:21:16 - Okay, these fuckers are finally going at it again...
1:22:11 - What the fuck?!? Is that it? Giant octopus wrapped around Mega Shark, and they both slowly sunk to the bottom of the ocean. No winner established. No gore. No nothing.
1:24:30 - END CREDITS?!?

The verdict:

That shit was weak. Despite a couple cool scenes (which were shown in their entirety in the trailer), this movie was really slow, really boring, and more than a little creepy (NOT in a good way). And the song playing over the end credits is the worst thing I've ever heard. I have to assume it's Ms. Gibson herself. What a disappointment.

Now I've gotta go watch Future-Kill again to get my mojo back.


Conjuring images of chainsaws, flannel shirts, motorcycles, and long hours at the sawmill, massively-bearded Humboldt County natives The Hitch played a distinctive brand of Bro-friendly hard rock that they dubbed "Mountain Metal". Although they broke up 2 or 3 years ago, these guys enjoyed a long and fruitful reign over the Arcata metal scene, which resulted in a whole lot of spilt beer and a long-standing rivalry with my old band. You see, we were both "large fish" in a "small pond", and while The Hitch's blues-based stoner jams were more popular among chicks and frat boys, MY band was obviously superior, both musically and conceptually.
But we ALWAYS remained Bros through thick and thin, and I stay in contact with these dudes on a semi-regular basis. I'm man enough to admit now that this CD ROCKS, and I commend The Hitch on the magical, burly sounds that they created.
Cover art sucks ass, though.

A couple of Hitch Beard Facts:

1) Laid end to end, the collective Hitch beard hair would reach to the Moon and back. THREE TIMES.
2) Steve's beard has its own weather system.
3) If one were adventuresome enough to explore the INSIDE of a Hitch Beard, they would not, in fact, find a chin. They would find only ANOTHER BEARD.

Download BEARD

Below: Drunk Hitch strikes a pose with Mr. Captain Blackdawg, the ORIGINAL Pyrate Punk (he's the one with the LEAST IMPRESSIVE beard).


I meant to post this on Memorial Day, but a sizzling hot barbeque packed with tasty jibs, in addition to a Land of the Lost marathon on TV and a DVD copy of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, delayed its creation. I regret nothing.

It is without any sense of sarcasm or pretension that I state the following fact: AMERICA KICKS ASS. Besides being the birthplace of Patrick Swayze and the home of Kennywood, the United States is a leader in innovation, producing such groundbreaking inventions as pizza and Mexican food. But as every red-blooded American knows, the freedoms that we enjoy here in this great country are not, in fact, free (some would argue that they cost exactly $1.05). Many a brave American soldier has lost his life in defense of the flag, making the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of his fellow countrymen. In the movies.
Today I present a list of five such warriors, a tribute to these heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and their government.
And remember, next time you salute the ol' stars and bars: Life was lost and blood was shed for that honor. All gave some. Some gave all. In the movies.


Ranking: Lieutenant
Military branch: Air Force
Cause of death: Shitty ejector seat.

Goose was the object of Tom Cruise's unabashed Bromantic feelings in this majestic tale of love, death, battle, and redemption. Goose was the epitome of an American Bro. He had a moustache, and followed up any sort of sweet Bro-move with the now infamous "Top Gun high five/low five" combo. His death was a major blow to Cruise's "Maverick", but also gave him the strength to carry on in a time of great adversity (this theme was mimicked two years later in the Cruise vehicle Cocktail, when his inferior, non-moustached sidekick Doug bit it).
And isn't that what Memorial Day is all about? Country and dudes and remembering stuff and barbeques and whatnot? Indeed.
Godspeed, Goose. You are not forgotten.

Goose flies a plane. Watch Goose die. Die, Goose, die!


Ranking: "Inspector"
Military branch: None
Cause of death: Devoured by giant, mutant shark.

Okay, so maybe Russell Franklin wasn't in the military, per se. But he did die in service to our government, working as an inspector aboard the undersea research station Aquatica. So he too deserves mention on this very important day.
I think that what made Franklin's death so meaningful was the manner in which he perished. Devoured by an enormous shark, mid-sentence, in the middle of a speech about survival and courage and stuff, the act of violence was a bloody exclamation point at the end of a monologue that really summed up what being American is all about. For the record, Mr. Franklin's last words were: " we're not going to fight anymore. We're going to pull together and we're gonna find a way to get outta here! First, we're gonna seal off this -- (CHOMP)". The words still ring true today, just as applicable (if not more so) as they were 10 years ago. Rest in peace, Russell. You taught us all a little bit about ourselves.

By the way, did I mention that there has never been a bad movie made about giant sharks? Hell of a track record.

Watch the scene itself below (if ever there was a clip in need of assistance from Keyboard Cat, it's THIS ONE - anyone have video editing software?):


Ranking: Sniper (?)
Military branch: Navy SEALS
Cause of death: Gunshot wound or something.

I hardly remember anything about the movie Navy SEALS, due to the fact that I haven't seen it in about 17 years. But here are a couple things I DO remember:

1) Navy SEALS kicked fucking ASS.
2) Hella shit blew up and hella dudes got killed.
3) Something about swimming or water or something.
4) Sweet moustaches.
5) Bill Paxton as "God", the coolest sniper ever.

Indeed, "God" was the highlight of this film. Always perched somewhere handy, within shooting distance of the nearest skirmish, "God" bailed his Bros out numerous times, always plugging the bad guys right as they were about to kill Charlie Sheen. "God" had everyone's back, and his death toward the end of the movie (I think) was a major blow to not only the Navy but to America as a whole. Don't believe me? Check out the cover of Time magazine shown below:

I'm afraid he is, Time. I'm afraid he is.


Ranking: Private
Military branch: Space Marines
Cause of death: Aliens, man.

Vasquez was a bad-ass. Long story short. She rocked a HUGE fucking gun, wore a bandana, and had a much larger set of cojones than any of the other Space Marines on her mission (especially that pussy Hudson). Vasquez blew tons of aliens away, logging the highest body count in the movie before her death about halfway through it. Not only was her demise a huge blow to lots of "butch" chicks in the LGBT community, but it affected EVERYONE at least a little bit. Even the kind folks at Lego (see example).
Vasquez died defending her country in the best possible way: In space, with a really awesome gun. And for that, we honor her here today.

It must be noted at this point that Private Vasquez is the only person on this list who doesn't have a moustache. While moustache-having is usually a prerequisite for action-movie-sidekick-awesomeness, Vasquez's gender prohibits such lip ornamentation. But I think that it's safe to say that her "inner moustache" is ENORMOUS.


Ranking: Higher than you
Military branch: US Marines Special Forces
Cause of death: Lazers.

Left: The nature of Blain's death reminded me of the JFK assassination. Only more significant.

WWF wrestler-turned-actor-turned-Governor of Minnesota Jesse "The Body" Ventura created one of the most memorable film heroes of all time in this 1987 masterpiece, the muscly-armed tail-gunner known only as Blain. Blain was a dark, complex man, a man ready to blow tons of guys away at the drop of a hat (to defend his country, of course), a man who "(didn't) have time to bleed". When he took a lazer to the back of the head, followed by another one through his chest, the country mourned what was arguably America's greatest loss ever, the loss of an icon, a hero, a Bro.
I still miss Blain, and think about what he did for our country almost every day. But especially today (or yesterday, rather), because of the whole "Memorial Day" thing. And remembering stuff is important.

Here's a quick tribute to the man (including his untimely death) set to some really awful music. Enjoy!

Want to say a few words about a fallen (movie) hero? Feel free to add your own in the 'Comments' section (PS the 'Comments' section = another fine example of American ingenuity).