About Us


There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.

There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.

If you are in a band, have released a physical (rather than an MP3) CD or record, and would like us to review your efforts, contact us at tickleyourtaint@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black Diamond Heavies – Every Damn Time

Alive Natural Sound Records, 2007

http://www.myspace.com/blackdiamondheavies

Reviewed by Jimmy “Explosive Diarrhea” B.

I was not an easy or willing convert to the blues. It was the rocking top forty hit-makers like The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, as well as friends’ generosity and suggestions (thanks Kloghole!) that finally convinced me to give the blues a serious listen. The blues, like all extreme/brutal music, is non-uniform. The blues can be fun and innocuous, like Robert Cray or BB King’s smooth blues. Or, there is the Son House, and Sonny Terry blues that make you want to crawl inside a whiskey bottle, slit your wrists, run away, check out or otherwise withdraw and disappear into a haze of despair.

The Black Diamond Heavies have more in common with the primitivist style of Sonny Terry than to Robert Cray. The Heavies are John Wesley Myers on bass and keyboard, and Van Campbell on drums. Notice there is no guitar player. The use of bass and drums gives the Heavies a dark brooding sound that is the perfect accompaniment to Myer’s scratchy, whiskey drenched, Tom Waits styled vocals. The musicianship on “Every Damn Time” is hard to gauge due to the rough style, and rough production. There are moments of clarity on the record when something will break free of the mud, such as a drum fill that is anything but bluesy. But, blues is not about musicianship; it’s about feeling. And, the Heavies play with feeling.

The lyrics on Every Damn Time are typically blues. Life, as we all know, can be a depressing beat down, with moments of happiness sandwiched between selling our labor and giving up our creativity for someone else’s profit and catastrophe. The Heavies write about relationships gone awry, being broke, having a fucked up piece of shit car, and a love/hate relationship with cocaine.

I suspect that the Black Diamond Heavies are a band that you will either love or hate. If you like brooding music, depressing lyrics, and Tom Waits vocals give them a listen. What else does a blues fan need?

I tickled my taint for 8 minutes

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Indricothere

Myspace:www.myspace.com/indricothere

Reviewed by Hartman.

Indricothere is a solo project from Queens, NY musician and engineer Colin Marston. You may have heard of him from his numerous projects including BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS, DYSRYTHMIA, BYLA, KRALLICE and INFIDEL CASTRO. Colin primarily plays bass or Warr guitar in his other bands; the Warr guitar is an interesting instrument that is much like a Chapman stick and is designed for tapping techniques but can also be played with a pick. INDRICOTHERE is all Colin's own so his broad duties include guitar, Warr guitar, keyboard and drum programming , and the album itself is older material that he wrote before forming BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS but was not mixed until 2007.

The songs on this debut are in his trademark Progressive instrumental Metal style but there's a more "technical death metal" influence throughout than in his other projects. Comparisons can be made to DEATH, CYNIC, ATHEIST, WATCHTOWER and even NAPALM DEATH at moments, such as the album's opening riff on the song "2". There's also some Black Metal, Noise and Grind for good measure. The riffs change quickly and seamlessly, rarely repeating themselves more than a couple of times but still the riffs are catchy, original and somehow memorable throughout the cacophony. The album's closing track entitled "3" concludes the album dramatically, highlighting the most dynamics on the record and ending with a droning black noise collage. Colin programmed the drums, which lends an interesting feel and adds to the uniqueness of the album through beats that are filled with plenty of odd time signatures to fittingly compliment.

Colin has his own recording studio, the Thousand Caves, where he did all the engineering and production on the album, giving it a very clean and separated sound so all the intricacies can be discerned. The record plays out just under thirty minutes, a perfect length for any release so it can be digested properly and listened to often. Remember "Reign In Blood" if you disagree. INDRICOTHERE's debut is another high quality addition to Colin's rapidly expanding repertoire and a welcome release for any Progressive Death Metal fan. Let's hope Colin is not too busy with his many other projects to grace us with another INDRICOTHERE release in the future.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Frog Holler - Adams Hotel Road


(Record Cellar, 1999)
Reviewed by SoDak

In 1999, I remember seeing Frog Holler’s Adams Hotel Road listed as a new release on the weekly Miles of Music (a now defunct music distribution group) email update. I thought the band name was odd, and the cover was strange, given that it is simply a goat sticking its head between two wires in a fence. The fine staff at Miles of Music had positive things to say about this band, so this peaked me interest. A couple months later, I attended a CD sale organized by the local community radio station. Each disc was only two dollars. For a music junkie like me this is a very dangerous situation, but one that I relish. Of course, I went fuckin’ wild, deciding to give all sorts of records a try—anything that seemed remotely interesting or promising to me. I love picking up a disc, not really knowing much about the band, only to discover that the artist becomes one of my favorites. As I am sure you expect, as I was flipping through CDs, I came across the Frog Holler disc. Into my box of goodies it went, along with dozens of others.

Frog Holler’s second release, Adams Hotel Road, was the prize of my booty that day. I was obsessed with it for months, and continue to treasure this record. I was hooked from the very first notes of the opening song, “Least Most Wanted.” The acoustic guitar leads off, with the fiddle softly working its way into the mix, as the banjo creeps in the background. Then Darren Schlappich’s voice grabs my attention: “Desperation’s grip is very strong. Road is now here and twice as long. Always been awake and followed signs. The way’s the wrong direction, anywhere, every time.” This song, like all of their work, has a great mix, as all the instruments in this six-piece band are audible. Everything is separate and clear.  “Always been me, cast out, it’s too weird, too proud.” Breaks in the song give the fiddle room to carry the tune. Then the driving guitar chords direct the band back for the finish, as the least most wanted declares, “How would you know how I feel? In the dim light of the new day, will you treat me the same way?”

I filled my mixed CDs with songs from Frog Holler, hoping to turn on friends to this band. I called Miles of Music and ordered their awesome first record, Couldn’t Get Along (recently remastered and reissued). Not only can this band play sad songs that are not boring, but they can throw down and play rockin’ rowdy songs. On “You’re Leavin’ Soon,” the drum and bass kick it into high gear. The electric guitar and lap-steel guitar trade off throughout the song, emphasizing notes, while the fiddle drifts in and out. This song makes me want to get up and two-step around the house.

I have always wanted to see this Pennsylvania band play, but they do not tour widely. I constantly check their website hoping that one of these days they will have a show in a state close to where I live, as I will jump in the car to see them play the first chance I get. But it looks like I will have to figure out some way and some time to travel to their state.

“Two Things” is an outstanding song. It starts off: “Right now, it’s two things I love. Both of them leaving, leaving me slow. And I wish they would stay. I’m doin’ right letting them go.” A mandolin follows just above the guitar. The individual in the song struggles, trying to hold on, knowing that certain actions have already been determined. Time is passing, but the memories remain. He misses the one that has left, but questions what it all meant and who the other person has become. And damn, Darren can stretch out the words, “And I,” in a fascinating way: “And I wish you well. Never decided just what to feel. And I miss you still. Just realized what I had feared—being left here.” A great guitar break creates a tingling feeling, capturing the sentiment of the song, which mixes tender quiet moments with loud parts that call out to the night. It is one hell of a great song.

The song “Overtime” is worth mentioning, given that focuses on the working day and exploitation. “In the factory, every morning, they’re tellin’ us lies. Work hard and share the glory, everyone overtime.” The song chugs along, as if we are experiencing the daily drone working on the line. “Everyday the same old story, working hard to survive, then the call comes from the foreman, everyone overtime.” The chorus calls to mind Karl Marx’s labor theory of value: “You got to build ten dollars worth to make a dime.” But it does not end with this statement, it calls for praxis and solidarity: “So if you stand up now to fight, so will I. Cause you work everyday of your life until you die.” The song goes on to note that after working forty years the body is worn out. There is no retirement or time to enjoy life in the latter years under these exploitive conditions. The guitar wails, mourning the loss of limbs and lives.

Following this call for unions is the song “Anytime Soon.” The banjo and fiddle make this song move. There is a darkness here, as a figure sits in the bar, drinking, contemplating days of disappointment and desperation. A tension swirls around the banjo and the emotion within the lyrics. I nod my head, feeling the desire to slam dance around the room, as the banjo bounces along.

The second to last song, “Drive,” would have made a great closing track. In many ways, it completes the journey started with the first song. Here the acoustic guitar is first heard. You can hear the fingers moving between the chords on the fret board. The fiddle, as is often the case, emerges, drifting above the guitar. This is one of my favorite songs about a car and driving. Darren describes finding an old rusted car with torn seats. Once he gets the car started, down the road and into the night he goes, taking in the world under the stars. “Set me free. Enabling me to drive. Out of the grace of the moon go I. Drive, under the watch of Orion. And I may cross the line. I leave nothing behind.” His love for the car, road, the land, and freedom grows every day. But the joy is also filled with sorrow, as one day he hits a possum. Nonetheless, he decides to get back out there on the road in order to take in the world, traveling down boundless highways. He asks us to join him on this trip, this experience. “Drive, by the grace of the moon go I. Drive, under the watch of Orion. And if I should die, I leave nothing behind. Just drive…by the grace of the moon go I.”

Frog Holler has released six wonderful records. I eagerly await each and every one. For anyone interested in top-notch Americana music, check out Adams Hotel Road. Also Couldn’t Get Along (1998) and Haywire (2006) are excellent starting points.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

April Wine – The Nature of the Beast

Transcription of Reverend Jimmy “Explosive Diarrhea” B’s sermon delivered at the Church of Cheese, 8/6/2010

*Warning, the good reverend Jimmy is perfectly in tune with the rock and roll gods. This is manifested in the cheesing of tongues, which can be upsetting to some readers.

Good evening brothers and sisters, whoooo-ah, hallelujah, welcome to the church of cheese, fedalappimozzerella. Tonight, children, I want to discuss with you the importance of making righteous dairy choices.

In the beginning, 1981, there were four men, four “Bad Boys,” who called themselves April Wine, who were “Caught in the Crossfire” between wine and cheese. I am here tonight to spread their message not “Just Between You and Me,” but “All Over Town.” Amennn-ah!

These prophets of the curd, on their ninth and holiest album, The Nature of the Beast have presented cheese in its purest, most highly pasteurized whey. Mmmm whoo-ha! There are no progressive additives or immoral complexity introduced in the production process. Brothers and sisters I want to read to you from the song, “Wanna Rock.” Please turn to page three of the liner notes.

Don't wanna move or get out of bed
That rock 'n' roll's going straight through my head
They say I'm stupid, I really don't care
Whatever they say, well I say that's fair

Children, I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize that all followers, particularly members of the Church of Cheese, must be willfully vacuous. Cheese must be permitted to go straight through our heads. Additionally, April Wine commands us not to care what others think. Purveyors and consumers of cheese must turn the other cheek-ah. We cannot let the disapproval of those we love sway us from our chosen path of consuming cheese.

All I wanna do is rock 'n' roll
All I wanna do is rock and rock some more
Wanna rock, wanna rock
Wanna rock, wanna rock

Yes, yes, yes, gorgonzolamuenstergouda! We all want to rock n’roll. Let the rock enter your souls. Hallelujah!

Don't waste my money driving 'round in a car
Save my money for electric guitars
Disco music's just a social disease
If it don't rock me, then it ain't gonna please me

We can all learn something from this stanza. Guitars are the center of the cheese universe. We must focus on the almighty guitar, brethren, and care little for money. All extra money should be placed on the collection plate (checks can be made out to the Church of Cheese). With your charitable donation, brethren, we can stamp out the blight of evil known as disco music and the culture of excess that accompanies this sinful music, which carries with it the funkiness of Vieux Boulogne. Whooo, give me an AMEN-AH!

All I wanna do is rock 'n' roll
All I wanna do is rock and rock some more
Wanna rock, wanna rock
Wanna rock, wanna rock

…stiltoncolbyccottagechechecheese…

Turn up the music, let's have a good time
Don't pull no punches, lay it right on the line
New wave, old wave, third wave will do
It don't matter when I'm dancing with you


Hallelujah, dancing! Heed this lesson, friends, the almighty April Wine commands you to shake your ass, not to club beats, but to 1980s guitar rock, waves and waves of 80s cheese.

All I wanna do is rock 'n' roll
All I wanna do is rock and rock some more
Wanna rock, wanna rock
Wanna rock, wanna rock, wanna rock

Brothers and Sisters, whoooeee, we all wanna rock, and rock we shall. Let us partake in this offering provided by the music industry. Take April Wine into your head and become one with their vintage cheese. Yes, sometimes cheese can carry a funky smell, but we must open our minds and let the cheese in. Brothers and sisters, when it comes to cheese, you can’t do much better than April Wine.

In the name of the lord, I anointed my taint with April Wine until I cheesed.



Friday, August 6, 2010

How and Why I fell in love with Ronnie James Dio

By Null

August 4th 2010

With Ronnie James Dio’s death on May 16th, 2010 I was filled with great trepidation. I thought “Who will be the keeper of the gate? Who will protect the world from untold evil?” Don’t be surprised if you begin to see unearthly demonic incarnations walking down the streets of your town soon.

I cover my dread and sadness at the loss of Dio with slightly funny anecdotes like this because I truly feel that the world of music not only lost an incredibly unique vocalist but also a seemingly kind, generous and driven human being. I believe as well, that outside the circle of his hardcore fans he is very misunderstood.

As I was never into metal, my first memories and impressions of Dio came from a few hit videos he had in the 1980’s. He was that guy that walked around in dungeons with a big sword, dressed like a medieval page boy or jester. It was hard to take him seriously. However, I always secretly harbored a love for the catchy keyboards in “Rainbow in the Dark”. In some ways Dio represented everything I hated about metal: those tiny guitars, masturbatory guitar solos that seemed to have no relation to the song, that laborious and uninventive drumming and the overwrought theatrics. Why would someone make their guitars sound that way? As I moved toward socially conscious punk rock I venomously turned away from what I thought was meaningless music that only seemed to serve as background music for stoners to getting wasted and have sex with their teenage girlfriends.

Little did I know.

Iron Maiden and other metal acts opened me up to more complex ideas about metal; Maiden didn’t sing about getting laid and getting fucked up.

Then several years ago I watched a great documentary by Sam Dunn called Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2005) and I fell in love with a very little man.

There he was, the little medieval jester man. I was not only struck by how small he was but how nice and polite he seemed. What a sweet guy! The following weeks were filled with reassessing who Ronnie James Dio really was. I obsessed on getting to the bottom of this mysterious little man. I watched several interviews and picked up many Cds, some from the 80’s and his more recent work; Master of the Moon (2004), Killing the Dragon (2002). In this way, I approached Dio’s solo work in reverse. I found myself loving his newer records and in succession finding a new appreciation for his older stuff. I went back though his catalog and found that each album has an incredible consistency. This guy was very focused, he made music that he wanted to make and didn’t seem to fall into various trends or “tastes on the times.” I was struck by his authenticity.

You see, I tend to fall in love with artists that have a unique vision and voice all their own…it is just how I roll. I get an incredible joy out of trying to understand what an artist’s perspective is by studying their body of work. Through this type of investigation one is able to recognize and appreciate an entire body of work and even the weaker aspects of an artists work can have significant meaning as the journey is perceived as a whole. Thus grew my Dio obsession.

Not only did his music sound refreshing and different than most other things in my music library but I found his albums fascinating on many different levels. In one interview Dio said that he saw himself primarily as a political writer. What?… Enter the world of Dio and the mysterious riddles of his mystical words. What is readily apparent is that Dio is incredibly serious about what he does. This is one of the most interesting and constantly fascinating things about him. I must admit that I love him for his seriousness but I also must admit that he is often funny. Now, this doesn’t mean that I laugh out loud when listening to him…no. But I often smirk when he belts out some of his linguistic riddles, this duality I experience with Dio is one of the endearing aspects of my love for him. His lyrics are often some of the most twisted run-on sentences all wrapped up in “metal speak.” In his unique world everything “happens at night” with lots of mysterious and haunting “eyes…in the night…of the gypsy moon….with people of the night…watching eyes…of the dragon.” I mean, sometimes I don’t know what the fuck he is going on about. For instance, take the famous line from “Holy Diver” - “Ride the tiger, You can see his stripes but you know he's clean, Oh don't you see what I mean”…no, I’m not sure what he means. Still, I have no doubt that Dio knew exactly what he meant.

However, one can see how Dio perceived himself as a political writer when one takes into account a song like “Children of the Sea” (which is about humankind’s endless destruction of the natural world -still delivered in “metal speak“) and there is a continuous theme of the individual against great powerful odds in his work, in the chivalrous heroic sense.

Besides Dio’s overwhelming sense of purpose one also has to realize that he has been belting the shit out since 1957. (I won’t mention all the bands he has been in, as most of you already know and if you don’t know then look it up). That voice, that fucking wail of a voice. One can recognize that amazing voice in only a few short seconds and unlike many heavy metal singers Dio was able to project an incredible dichotomy, a juxtaposition between a blood curdling scream and a soulful tenderness that would erupt from his mini-frame. He could howl like the dogs of Hades and sing in a soft vulnerable voice that seemed to speak of a tender humanity that is often lacking in metal vocalists. (Speaking of which, I am sad I did not see the day when Bruce Dickinson and Dio sang a duet power ballad, preferably a venomous anti-war song…but I digress.)

One of the most unfortunate things about Dio’s untimely death is that I believe he was at his creative peak when he died. I enjoy all of Dio’s work but I must say (and many of you may disagree) that in the last five years of his life he made his greatest albums. When he reconnected with Geezer, Tony and Vinny to tour and write with Black Sabbath (version II) in 2006 all four members reached a creative peak and made some of the best music in their entire careers. The 3 new songs on the Black Sabbath : The Dio Years collection (2007) were fucking mind-blowing heavy and sonically gorgeous. Finally, when the renamed Black Sabbath (fuck you sharon and ozzy) - Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know came out in 2009 I listened to it for weeks on end. That is a fucking GREAT record. The band created a world of the slowest, heaviest and most rockin’ riffs in the fucking world and Dio’s vocal performance is astonishing!

Although I prefer $15 punk rock shows, when I found Heaven & Hell were coming to Red Rocks on August 15th 2009 I threw down an incredible $89 for 4th row tickets. In the back of my mind I knew these guys were getting up there in age and I wanted to catch them while they were still able to tour. It was worth every penny. They had more energy and focus then most of these little twerp rock bands. Oh my god…and Dio was belting the shit out like there was no tomorrow and he was 66 years old! He was humble and very appreciative between songs. I was right there - 15 or 20 feet away from the little fucker!

Ten months later Dio was dead.

Listening to a pod cast of a radio show a few days after his death I realized I wasn’t the only person that thought Dio seemed like such a nice guy. The calls to the radio show were from people that knew and worked with him. They unanimously told stories of his generosity and kindness whether it was giving friends a place to sleep or buying groceries for fellow metal heads that had no money…he seemed to be a binding agent for a community that exists in a dog eat dog music industry. These stories add to the context of Dio’s legacy. I find the essence of the man in the song “The Devil Cried,” that Dio recorded with Heaven & Hell in 2006. The premise of the song is that everyone is in hell and there is only one way out; if you can make the Devil cry you can get out of hell. Dio is the only one that figures out how this can be done, through empathy. He makes the devil cry by telling the beast that he loves him. Thus, he escapes hell through compassion and empathy. Is this not also true for all of us? Fucking brilliant. In some ways this song sums up Dio’s overlooked humanity.

And let us not forget that Dio is the one that gave us the universally accepted sign of metal: the devil horns. This gesture or hand sign was not a celebration of evil or the devil but a sign used by his grandmother to ward off evil. In an interview Dio said that he didn’t believe in heaven or hell but only what we make here, in this life. We can make heaven or we can make hell.

When I listen to his albums now I not only hear stories of dragons and fire and mysterious fogs engulfing rock ’n roll children and strangely phrased riddles but also a humanity. It is a strange mixture and a complex picture. Yes, Dio was often cheesy and sometimes ridiculous looking (what was up with the rhinestone purple jester outfit?) and he did torture the world with the Hear n’ Aid project (his metal version of “We Are The World” and “Band Aid”) but his heart was in the right place. He was married to Wendy Dio for a long time (she helps run an organization that fights teenage prostitution and also served as Dio‘s manager) and he was never in the news with the boring rock clich├ęs of drunk driving or drug abuse…he was too serious for that shit, he had a fucking job to do….he was the keeper of the gate.