I have a confession to make; I own a shocking amount of band merch. My wardrobe is overflowing with logo-and-appropriately toughguy hardcore silliness / gory death metal slaughterhouse diorama-emblazoned t-shirts, long sleeves, and hooded sweatershirts. My wife has resigned herself to simply shaking her head in quiet disgust when I return from a concert toting a bookbag full of things that scream "I'm an adult that makes sound decisions about how to spend our disposable income". I know I have a problem and I don't care; If I like your band, I will buy ALL of your shit. What's that? You're selling a record I already purchased on iTunes four months ago on two different colors of vinyl? In the bag, good sir. You only have XXXXXL-size T-shirts that you poorly silk-screened yourself? Fuck it, it'll shrink in the wash. You've got a signature Pez-dispenser with matching lunch box?
If there is a band whose merch table I will pillage the most in 2014 if given the opportunity, it would be Cult Leader (Yes, I did just write an entire self-absorbed paragraph just to segue into a discussion about Cult Leader. "Blog" is just an easier way to say "Narcissism").
Cult Leader is a relatively new band formed by three quarters of the super excellent and now-defunct Utah-based Sludge/Hardcore/Grind/Whatever act Gaza. While Gaza released three full lengths and a EP during there existence, it was 2012's "No Absolutes in Human Suffering" that really made me a huge fan; oppressively heavy, tight musicianship, smart lyrics, and it imposes an atmosphere of pure dread and fury throughout (really, fun for the whole family!). Jon Parkin's vocals don't just sound angry, they sound positively unhinged.
In March of 2013, Gaza announced they were disbanding. While the band did not provide reasons for the split, it was reported that it was in part due to allegations of sexual assault made against Parkin by a woman in Idaho. While Parkin was never charged, it seems the rest of the band decided it best to move on. I was pretty bummed, as I had missed their last trip through Montreal, however in the same month three ex-members announced the formation of Cult Leader and just last month released a track from their forthcoming debut album "Nothing For Us Here". (Link goes to video - I'm unable to embed it here for some reason.)
"Skin Crawler" gives us a good idea of what we can expect from the new record; basically Gaza 2.0 minus John Parkin, which I certainly support wholeheartedly. So far this is the album I am most looking forward to in 2014. In short, Cult Leader, play a show in Montreal this year so I can buy all of your shit. I suggest your own line of Kool-Aid and shiny robes. I would totally buy that.