Hear two tracks from founder Paul Lemos’ guitar-centric new album, Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps.

In 1978, the avant-rock no wave scene was making a clatter that mattered in downtown Manhattan, thanks to bands like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, DNA, Theoretical Girls, and Mars. But a few hundred miles away, in Boston, an equally brave and edgy—if lesser known—klatch of creative noisemakers was burrowing into the consciousness of adventurous music fans. Among their leaders was Controlled Bleeding, a trio who burned bright by blending improvisation with grinding industrial noise.

More than 30 albums—including early cassette-only releases—later, founding member Paul Lemos soldiers on with a new guitar-centric Controlled Bleeding album, Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps, which mixes serenity and insanity. For a taste of the latter, check out Lemos’ home-studio rip through “The Perks of Being a Perv,” a frantic example of the kind of abuse he routinely administers to his Heritage LP-style guitar.

Lemos and Controlled Bleeding have gone through all sorts of sonic shifts over nearly four decades, embracing ambience, dance music, grindcore, dub, prog, and other styles, but as our second premiere—“Driving Through Darkness” from Larva Lumps—displays, Lemos has found his creative groove as an intense, disciplined guitar stylist with tight control over dynamics and an original voice on the instrument. The release of Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps coincides with Artoffact Records’ reissue of several vintage Controlled Bleeding titles including 1983’s Knees and Bones, which was a pioneering set of American electronic/industrial music. Lemos is currently rehearsing a new version of the band with an eye toward returning to the stage after a five-year absence.

Need to buy a new bass? Start here.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less