Fuck me, there is a LOT of music out in the world.
The premise of Flip-Flops, Yo-Yos, and Fuck You Fridays is simple: there is so much music. (True science fact: in the time it takes you to read this sentence, 17,000 kids will buy their first guitar.) You can sit with the truth of music’s staggering overabundance in two ways: disdain or curiosity.
Maybe you think, heavy metal is a dried-up apricot, a busted old shoe: destined to recite ever-diminishing facsimiles of its foundational texts.
But here at Free Yoga Pants and Fuck You Friday, we choose curiosity: heavy metal is a bottomless well, an aquifer that renews itself and is remade with every new hand that adds to its crafting.
So that’s the idea: a column that says, “Hey! Check this out!” Plus, there are cusses and sometimes jokes and usually visual non sequiturs. In today’s installment, we take you straight into the squirming heart of the sausage with a rapid-fire distillation of the patented je ne fuck you friday quoi template:
What and who is?
Why is fuck you?
Fucking Recommended If You Fucking Like (FRIYFL)?
Try it at home! And, as always:
Fuck you, why not go listen to some of THIS music?
Morgul Blade – Into the Piercing Cold
What and who is: These Philadelphia-based, Tolkien-obsessed blackened heavy metal thunderers return with a two-song live demo on the heels of their tasty 2021 LP, Fell Sorcery Abounds.
How is: Into the Piercing Cold brings the almighty thump of doom-leaning trad, with “Beneath the Black Sails” in particular summoning a steel-eyed midpoint of Viking-era Bathory and Amon Amarth’s “Where Silent Gods Stand Guard.” “Spider God” careens into a d-beat before pulling back into a melodic NWOBHM flutter.
Why is fuck you: Fuck you, I am not the boss of Morgul Blade and I am not in charge of making them make more songs. Probably they are working on it! Maybe you should relax.
Is joke: Why did the Morgul blade cross the (F)road(o)? To get to the other side (of Weathertop).
FRIYFL: Cirith Ungol, Visigoth, Summoning, Helcaraxe, Eternal Champion, Magic Circle
IKEA Mutilation Manual – Internal Karmic Entropy Accelerator
What and who is: Anarchic, musically fertile derangement from this Belgian two-piece’s collected discography which gathers a 2017 EP and two LPs (from 2018 and 2019).
How is: Spazzy mathcore, free jazz noodling, a wry sense of musical humor (including a Simpsons sample against which the band writes a melodic counterpart, quoting the music to the Pink Panther, and so on), grindy hardcore, and a delirious, seemingly extemporaneous set of vocals. To spend time sitting in the midst of this surprisingly thoughtful noise is a little bit like putting on your finest tuxedo for an evening at the symphony, only to find that the orchestra is a mob of kangaroos on methamphetamines and your tuxedo is made out of pubic hair.
Why is fuck you: If you have read the above and are not currently stroking your nipples with the collected works of Samuel Beckett, fuck you!
Is joke: Vladimir and Estragon walk into a bar and ask the bartender for two glasses of water. “Why are you guys wearing bathing suits?” asks the bartender. They reply, “We’re wading for good eau.”
FRIYFL: Colin Marston’s fretting hand, Fantomas, Dillinger Escape Plan, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Daughters
Pénombre – Lueur Noire
What and who is: Second LP from Québec black metal act with a confident disdain for bells and/or whistles.
How is: Lueur Noire is a devilishly tight, bulldozing album, devout in its commitment to early Darkthrone and Judas Iscariot with just a soupçon of Demoncy’s Joined in Darkness. Melodies are buried deep in the lo-fi recording, so the best way to enjoy is to play it extra loud and hypnotize yourself, hypnotize your mail carrier, hypnotize your dog, hypnotize your ZIP code.
Why is fuck you: Fuck you if you, like me, thought it might be fun to pretend that the song “Sous leurs crocs” was a black metal jingle for the slip-on shoe company Crocs. Instead, the translation is vampiric and utterly non-shoe related “Under Their Fangs.”
Is joke: Does this mean that Québec has an island somewhere for vampires recovering from addiction issues called “Croc O.D. île”?
FRIYFL: Darkthrone, Judas Iscariot, Avsky, Demoncy, Nehëmah
Enterchrist – We Are Just Getting Started
What and who is: Poland! Grindcore! Debut album!
How is: These jocular Poles play a scuzzy, mostly straightforward style of grind, often punky in style and execution, but littered with sewer-trash vocals and greasy, grimy death/grind breakdowns. What they lack in innovation they more than make up for with manic, careening energy and, frankly, disrespectful noise.
Why is fuck you: Equally compelling to this particular knucklehead is Enterchrist’s Star Trek-related sass, as seen on such excellent song titles as “Janeway’s Addiction,” “Fuck this Shit, Let’s Go to Warp,” and “The Naked Cow.” But yes, fuck you, I was getting to the point, which is, what about something like “Frozen Quark Stuffed with Dope”? “In Battle There is No Lore”? “Prowler in the Tasha Yar”? “From Enslavement to O’Borgteration”?
Is joke: Why did Enterchrist cross the Gene Roaddenberry? To get to this (other) side of paradise.
FRIYFL: Phobia, Autopsy, Repulsion, Obituary, Xibalba
Naitaka – Emergence
What and who is: Emergence, the debut album from British Columbia’s Naitaka, wastes approximately 0.0 seconds before getting to the point: high-octane, low-politeness, harsh-edged thrash.
How is: If you like thrash but also enjoy other things, welcome! If you like thrash but also enjoy no other things, go suck a lemon. Naitaka’s thrashy base sprawls with plenty of melodic death metal sheen and a hybrid power metal undercurrent. Equal parts shreddy and snarly, Emergence also benefits from the rough and ragged venom of vocalist Cara McCutchen (also of Edmonton thrashers Mortillery).
Why is fuck you: You could say that McCutchen is singing Lesstillery now, but fuck you, please don’t.
Is joke: Naitaka’s cover art for Emergence seems to answer the unspoken question, “What if Smokey the Bear was Canadian but also a demon skeleton hell-bent on vengeance?” Puny humans, only you can prevent forest fires by purchasing your milk in bags instead of flammable cardboard. Sorry, eh?
FRIYFL: Arch Enemy, Kreator, Exmortus, Unleash the Archers, Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquillity’s cover of “My Friend of Misery”
Udol – El Regne
What and who is: Spanish duo’s long-gestated debut album following a pair of EPs brings sundial-patient riffs and hairy-chested vocals.
How is: Udol sits in a lovely gray area between a cleaned-up version of stoner doom and a rough and dirty take on epic doom, weaving in calm, folk-inspired interludes and dense, lumbering riffage.
Why is fuck you: Hey you, yes, in the back row there, I heard you asking Udol to play faster, but with humble greetings and salutations may I request you fuck thyself because it is NOT this lovely band’s fault that 4-second advertisements on the internet have turned your synapses into a Rolodeck of capitalist detritus. Come to think of it, Rolodex of Capitalist Detritus is a pretty fucking sweet name for a grindcore album, so… maybe you’re onto something.
Is joke: Why did Udol cross the road? You first, doll. Or maybe you’d all rather stay.
FRIYFL: Procession, Reverend Bizarre, Om, Iron Griffin, Electric Wizard
Mordran – So Falls the Night
What and who is: Debut LP from Swedish solo act Mordran
How is: So Falls the Night is all moody, nocturnal ambiance, a murky plateau where the solo production aesthetic of a hip-hop beat tape meets the furrowed-brow treble wash of fuzzed-out black metal arpeggios.
Why is fuck you: Did you ever listen to trip-hop and think, “Gee, this is really good, but is there a version of it that is guaranteed to never get me laid?” Congratulations and fuck you! because that’s rude. Like, Gandalf’s “So passes Denethor”-level disrespect.
Is joke: Mordran, Pat Metheny, and Yo La Tengo walk into a bar. One drunkard hoots, “Play ‘Freeeebirrrrrd’!” Another spews, “Play ‘So As the Wichita Night Falls on Hoboken, So Falls the Wichita Falls Night on Hoboken Freeeeeebirrrrrrrrrrrrrd!’”
FRIYFL: Striborg, Portishead, Paysage d’Hiver, Perdition City
Parte de Nada – Atacan los Monstruos
What and who is: Parte de Nada is a new Argentine band, and on debut album Atacan Los Monstruos they fuse spine-collapsing stoner/sludge heft with psychedelic overtones.
How is: Would you get a load of the ball-swinging grooves of this bass guitar? The whole band tumbles and shimmies aggressively, but the bass anchors it all to a gnarly fuzz root. “Viaja el Tiempo” is a particularly freewheeling highlight, but the album swings and groans and buzzes at the sort of vibrational level that touches the listener in their places most in need of touching.
Why is fuck you: Parte de Nada’s song “NO SOY YO” most likely translates to something like “It’s not me” or “I am not,” but I sure would like to think that it means “It ain’t me” because then we can summon a world where Bob Dylan fled to South America, ditched the whole midlife crisis diversion into gospel, and burned one down with Parte de Nada on that classic 1964 folk-doom chorus, “No soy yo, nena / no soy yo a quien estás buscando.” Or, fuck you, maybe not.
Is joke: I heard that band couldn’t decide on a single mode of transportation to take to Paris to showcase the album, so they commandeered a fleet of boats in order to steer the Atacan Catamaran Caravan to the Bataclan.
FRIYFL: Sleep, Reino Ermitaño, Kyuss playing High On Fire’s Surrounded By Thieves on a gallon of downers
Caustic Vomit – Eloquent Requiems of Necrotic Decadence
What and who is: This pleasantly named Russian four-piece releases a second demo of lurching, shambling, antagonistically belch-y death/doom.
How is: In between a brief intro and a Thergothon cover, Caustic Vomit wallops through two lengthy pieces with the quivering momentum of a rubber tank rolling over rotten molasses. The starting point is death dragged through doom rather than vice versa, so the low-key Demilich vocals and Gothic-esque searing guitar solos point the way. The production here is virtuous and impeccable for this type of rotten and unrushed muck, so if at some future point you say you “only liked the demos” I will not immediately roll my eyes so hard they rocket out of my head and bounce into a game of ping pong played by those Easter Island statues.
Why is fuck you: A cautious “fuck you” here goes to track 3, but only because “Unhallowed Girth” was the author’s nickname in finishing school.
Is joke: Knock-knock. Who’s there? Caustic vomit. Caustic vomit wh-OH GOD THERE’S VOMIT ON MY SHOES AND IN MY EYES AND IT BURNS, IT BURNS, OH, THE HUMANITY.
FRIYFL: Disembowelment, Dead Void, Unholy, Morgion, Winter
Squid Pisser – My Tadpole Legion
What and who is: Debut album from Los Angeles two-piece plumbs the maniacal depths of skronky mathcore and tweaked-out cybergrind. My Tadpole Legion wants to take a shit on the hood of your car.
How is: You know the scene early in Kubrick’s 2001 where a spaceship glides through space in a patient ballet of weightlessness and docks with a slowly rotating space station while Richard Strauss’s elegant waltz “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” plays? Squid Pisser is the literal opposite of that. My Tadpole Legion is furious, stop-start madness that nonetheless hangs together remarkably well as an album instead of just a handful of (squid)piss-takes. The mixing and mastering from Kurt Ballou and Alan Douches, respectively, also means that this dyspeptic Molotov cocktail of sound just sounds absolutely phenomenal.
Why is fuck you: Is it a squid that just pisses a lot? Is it someone who pisses on squid? Is it a description of the rare medical condition in which a severely swollen urethra suddenly disgorges a stream of piss that consists of actual squid? Fuck you and fuck squid, because these are impertinent questions that take us down uncomfortable pathways to perish in the unutterable darkness of the inky deep.
Is joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? It was being pissed on relentlessly from behind by a legion of fucking asshole squids.
FRIYFL: Melt Banana, The Locust, Pupil Slicer, Blood Brothers, Genghis Tron, Psudoku