Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Straight Outta E.R.

As the spring kept warming up in the prelude to summer, things were also warming up in the scene. Mainly, the release of the Epileptic Brain Surgeons new cassette tape. Even though it was their third release, they went with a self titled tape, a fashion which most bands usually do with their first release. Mind you their previous two releases were d.i.y. demo tapes, even though "Hell's Big Apple" was recorded in a studio, the cassette cover was still a homemade photocopy. 

So now the boys had a real release that was recorded at a real studio. it had a real cover and it was on a real independent record label, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. When the day finally arrived I was ecstatic, and needless to say, happier than a pig in shit. The cover looked very slick and it was a play on N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" but instead of a victim lying on the ground looking up at the "Niggaz With Attitude" this cover depicted you as a patient looking up from your bed at the surgeons surrounding you. All the boys were dressed in surgical gear. I later found out Ron Sumners took the photo while lying on John McCuish's bed. Genius. 

The inside of the cassette had a very cool photo collage, which was what a lot of hardcore bands were doing for their inner sleeves. I was happy to see a snap of Waller wearing my old dreadlock wig, a little piece of me made it to the tape I thought to myself. The lyrics were even printed inside the sleeve as well as a small special thanks section. There was also a special "welcome aboard" announcement, congratulating Mike Chapman, who was now the new bassist for the band. Although Mike Myre actually played the bass parts on the recording, they still have Chapman full credit which I thought was a solid, yet modest thing to do.

As far as the music went, all of the classics were on here, as well as some new songs, there was even a reggae song! James from Mal Havoc actually produced the demo along with a fellow named Serge, at a studio known as Cabin Fever. Al Nolan from "Deep End" another local punk band, even made a cameo on the release.

All in all I was stoked over the tape and I was loving the new songs, but something didn't sit right with me and I couldn't put my finger on it at first. After awhile I finally figured out what the issue was, the sound! It was almost to clean and perfect for a hardcore record. I had become so accustomed to ghetto 4 track recordings and even worse, that this just didn't sound proper to me, it was too polished. I actually preferred the original demo that was recorded on a shitty boom box in a basement. Never the less I still loved the tape and rocked it non stop. I was curious to see what new heights this new recording might carry my friends to...

Stream/download the album for free:

Monday, 29 July 2013

Back To Work

Well, two weeks have passed, my holidays are officially over, and it is now Monday and I'm back to work...unfortunately.

I did however, enjoy a glorious 16 days of  vacation with my son Gabriel. It was very nice just being a father son team ready to take on the world!

We got up to quite a lot of fun over our two weeks. We did some shopping at various malls around the gta, went to the movies, spent a day at centre island, went to the beach, Gabe had a sleepover at his friends house, we went thrift shopping in Kensington Market, we hit up lego land at Vaughn mills, visited my grandparents, and went and stayed a weekend with my parents. 

On top of that we had various visits to the park, play land at McDonalds, Wal-Mart, and our small local pond to catch frogs and fish. In our down time there was plenty of video games, YouTube, and movies. 

I even managed to compose and record a new song that will be featured on an upcoming benefit cd of various artists, I'll have more info for you on that next week.

I was sad to see the little guy go and definitely not thrilled to be back to work, but it is what it is. I had a blast and wouldn't change it for the world. I hope you are all enjoying your summer vacations as much as I did.

Join me Wednesday as I continue on with the story of Heavy Ghetto...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Vacation update 2013

I hate to do this to my readers, especially as the story is starting to pick up once again and is getting back on the musical track, but that magical time of the year has come again....holidays! 

Just as things were starting to get interesting I've got to put this blog on hold for awhile. I will have my son Gabe with me for the next 16 days of vacation bliss, so I will be taking a break from the blog until the end of July.

Fear not, I shall be writing as many entries as I can over the next 2 weeks so there will be lots of material waiting in the wing for your reading pleasure. Who knows, I may even post a few of them over the next two weeks if given the chance. It all depends on what we decide to do and where we decide to go over the next 16 days. If I happen to be in wifi territory than I just may post a blog entry. 

Worst case scenario, Heavy Ghetto will be back Monday, July 29th, 2013. I just wanted to forewarn my readers about this situation so you weren't all like wtf? Have a safe and happy July and I shall post something ASAP! Cheers!

- Kabal

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

An epic Epidemic

It was nice indeed to be back in the loop and back in the swing of things, as far as the hardcore world went. Not long after the show at Pizza Pino's, I was informed by E.B.S. member Mike Myre, that the boys would be heading back into the studio for yet another recording session to produce a new release. They had also been picked up by a local independent label, Epidemic Records, which was owned by a fellow named Ron Sumners, who I had nothing but respect for despite any tales I'd heard of him. I was very impressed that someone in our area put their money where their mouth was and tried getting something off the ground. The roster was small but it boasted some great local acts such as Overthrow, Deep End, Mal Havoc, Beyond, and now Epileptic Brain Surgeons.   

Speaking of which, it didn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that these guys weren't going to be millionaires, but it was nice to see them being represented, getting opening slots for bigger bands, making new contacts, and gaining exposure in general. You had to admire Ron for that, wether he was out for his own personal gain, I don't really know, but I admired and respected him for what he did and I still do this very day. I was happy and stoked to see my friends be on an independent record label. I was happy to see my friends start getting bigger shows. I was happy to see my friends start getting more appreciation and admiration from people, which I felt they rightfully deserved the whole time. I guess Ron believed in them as much as I had for years now. 

Ended up that Ron was also a drummer, more specifically for a local death/thrash band called Slaughter, from 1984-1986. Their album "Strappado" is classic and legendary, if you don't own it or know of it, you're not metal, your a puss-bag! The E.B.S. boys started referring to Ron as "The Incinerator" one of the song titles from Strappado. I believe Slaughter had some legal issues when the glam fag band from Vegas came out on the scene in 1988 using the same name, but I could be wrong so don't quote me on that.

Another big deal was the fact that after years of not having a full time bassist, the Epileptics had found one in none other than Mike Chapman. With all these new happenings within E.B.S. it was hard for one not to be excited, and be filled with wonder of just how far this local band could go. I for one couldn't wait for the new demo to drop, and that's what was consuming my thoughts most of the time....until the day finally arrived...

For more information on Ron Sumners & the history of Epidemic Records, check out this article compliments of BW&BK:

Monday, 8 July 2013

Pizza Pino's

After being confined to my room for the majority of the winter & spring, my folks had finally eased up on the reigns a bit and I was now allowed back to the world outside of my spare bedroom. The trials and tribulations that took place during this time could be a blog of its own, but I'm not going to delve into the endless stories of shit disturbing and trouble making, as they have nothing to do with music in my life, which is the whole point of this blog, so I shall spare you from all the stories of nonsensical behaviour. I was just happy to be a free man again and be able to go out and do stuff. I still had my curfew by law which dictated I had to be inside my home by 10:00 pm on weekdays and 12:30am on weekends. 

I was definitely looking to get away from the troublesome crowd I had gravitated towards this year, and what better way to do it then to go back to my musical roots, and my group of friends that I related to the most, the thrashers! It was time to start going to see shows again and get with the times. E.B.S. was playing a pizza joint called "Pizza Pino's" in the Ajax area, with this band called Mal Havoc, who we had heard interesting things about. We actually caught them once at an all ages gig E.B.S. played at The Apocalypse Club in Toronto, but they had changed things up a bit since. Apparently they had a video screen present when they performed now,displaying all types of intense and shocking footage.

We made it out to the show and it was pretty killer. We all hung around the parking lot burning and shooting the breeze, this was actually the first time I EVER stepped foot inside the big white legendary van that belonged to Pooh's brother Steve. As we sat there cooking b.t.s I couldn't help but feel that this was were I truly belonged and these were the people I was meant to be with.

I remember E.B.S. having somewhat of a different vibe that night, I believe it was because a couple of the guys, who normally didn't blaze, had partaken in a bit of the old "devil's weed" none the less my friends and I were stoked to be seeing them again and we expressed that fact all over the "dance floor" of the pizzeria. After the set, it was right back out to the parking lot for more tailgating until Mal Havoc was ready to play.

They were different to say the least, more of an Industrial metal sound, they had no drummer, just samplers, synths, guitars and drum machines...but they were heavy as hell! As promised the video screen was projecting disturbing images of violence, death, lab animals being tested on, etc. I sat there mesmerized by this as I had never seen anything like it, except perhaps the horrors I had witnessed in "Faces of Death" Although the footage was dark, negative imagery, I believe the band was trying to get some form of positive message across, or they were at least trying to raise people's awareness levels. 

None the less I really dug these guys and I had no qualms about spending $10 to buy their newest cd entitled "The Release" All the bands I knew only had demo tapes but these guys actually had a cd! That was a big fucking deal! Or so it seemed to me at the time anyway...
I rocked that disc religiously and it grew on me more and more by the minute.

It was nice to be out of my world of shit and back in the pit...

Friday, 5 July 2013

Theo's Top Tens

I've been a bit overwhelmed this week between working and tattooing, that I haven't had much time to write. On Monday I plan on getting back in the swing of things and continuing the story. 

For today's post however I've decided to share some top ten lists with you, these lists merely express my personal opinions and they are not based on any type of charts or record sales. With that being said I hope you enjoy my essential top ten lists for punk, thrash, and hardcore. Please keep in mind that these records are listed in no particular order.

Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols
The Clash - Combat Rock
The Exploited - Punks Not Dead
Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Misfits - Walk Among Us
Angry Samoans - Back From Samoa
Ramones - Self Titled
The Monks - Bad Habits
Fear - The Record
Beastie Boys - The Pollywog Stew E.P.

Slayer - Reign In Blood
Anthrax - Among The Living
Metallica - Kill Em' All
Nuclear Assault - Survive
Possessed - Seven Churches
Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales
Death Angel - The Ultra Violence
Kreator - Pleasure To Kill
Sacred Reich - Ignorance 
Death - Leprosy

Minor Threat - Filler
Bad Brains - Rock For Light
S.O.D. - Speak English Or Die
Crumbsuckers - Life Of Dreams
D.R.I. - Dealing With It
C.O.C. - Animosity
The Accused - The Maddest Stories Ever Told
Cro-Mags - Age Of Quarrel
Day-Glo Abortions - Feed Us A Fetus
Suicidal Tendencies - Self Titled 

If you don't own any of these releases, or have never heard any of them, then I strongly urge you to check them out! Have a great weekend everybody, Heavy Ghetto will return on Monday, July 8th, 2013.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Welcome to my mind

Not long after my birthday I ended up getting into more trouble with the law. I won't go into particulars but it was my heftiest offence to date. I ended up on probation for a year and now had to check in with my P.O. on a regular basis. I also had to perform community service hours, and I was also put on curfew by law, which was essentially the pre cursor to house arrest. 

Due to the circumstances, I was now a prisoner of my own home, specifically my room. The only thing I was allowed access to was music and books. No tv, no video games, no fun. I'd say I was in the darkest place I had been thus far in my lifetime. At first I sat around brooding doing absolutely nothing. After a week of this I was going crazy so I decided to set up a timetable for myself which consisted of music, drawing, reading, crossword puzzles, exercising, and meditation. 

I had recently found interest in Buddhism via The Cro-Mags, a band of hardcore New York skin heads who followed the harikrishna lifestyle. It was in the pages of these books that I started exploring my inner self, which I now realized needed some significant changing. 

I also started reading a lot of books about the mind and dreams. Through this material I had awakened a piece of my brain that most people don't even realize they have the ability to do. I got to the point where I could change and control my dreams, I could even dictate to my mind what I would dream about before I even fell asleep. I also started writing my dreams down as soon as I woke up in the morning. After a few weeks of doing so it was interesting to read it all back to myself in one epic story that made no sense and had no rhyme or reason, yet it was a fascinating read. 

I went on to spend the majority of grade 11 in my "cell" and I made the best of it, in hopes of bettering myself as a person in the long run...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


I hope all my fellow country men had an amazing Canada day weekend, with Monday being a holiday I decided to take a vacation from my blog.  Just wanted to touch base quickly with a few updates.

First and foremost martial artist/actor Jim Kelly passed away this weekend after battling cancer, he was only 67 years old.  Kelly gained fame in such films as Enter The Dragon, Three the hard way, Tattoo Connection, and Black Belt Jones, just to name a few. The film Black Belt Jones was the inspiration behind one of my bands, but that's another story for later down the road in this blog. I'd like to give my condolences to Mr. Kelly's friends, fans, and family. Rest in peace to the black superman of the martial arts.

Over the weekend I also added two full length albums to my bandcamp page, both releases are from "Rotten Utensils" a 4 man rap group I was a member and producer of. You will hear all about that later in the story as well, but in the meantime enjoy the music for free!