dimanche 30 septembre 2012

SSS - Problems to the Answer (2011

SSS from Liverpool (UK) are maybe, with Municipal Waste, the best band of the crossover (tHrash / hardcore) revival of last years. They choose to focus mostly on the speedy side of crossover and are good at delivering the feeling of urgency and the adrenaline that makes the style highly enjoyable. They have good songs, with the speed and aggression but also the good measure of melody that makes the songs memorable. And what also makes the difference from other bands in that style is the vocals that are really good, aggressive but also melodic a bit like it was in Suicidal tendencies. They also have cool instrumentals, a bit like Metallica used to write but more thrashy. They have three LP the last one being Problems o the Answer, released last year by earache. They are writing a new one.

SSS's FB page
SSS's Myspace

samedi 29 septembre 2012

Viking skull-Cursed by the sword (2012)

Viking skull played heavy metal. yes played because Cursed by the sword, their fouth record is the last, they split this year. Sad news bcause they were really good purveyors of classic heavy metal / hard rock. hey new well how to write cool groovy songs in the tradition of AC / DC, Saxons, Iron maiden, Nashville Pussy, cool rocking heavy metal in the good ol' ways. Cursed by the sword display all these different flavours in its 10 songs. it's a recommended listen if you like this kind of rocking heaviness. (won't miss their stupid macho lyrics, but their music was cool)

Viking skull FB
Viking skull Myspace

vendredi 28 septembre 2012

Ectovoid-Fractured in the timeless Abyss (2012)

See the old school artwork? Well then you have an idea of how sound their death metal : proudly old school! They are from Birmingham (Alabama) and play a death metal that remind swedish death but also Immolation or Morbid angel. Their originality is in the lyrics that deal not with zombies or killings but with outer spaces or abysmal regions, spiritual experiences or stuff like that. But that's not what's important. What's cool is their capacity to write vicious death metallic riffs in the good ol' ways. I also especially like the low and deep vocals, death metal vocals the way I like it. Won't be the death metal record of the year but for a first record (released in may 2012 by Hellthrasher productions) it's really a good one. You'll listen to it with pleasure if Death metal is your stuff.

Check it on BC

mercredi 26 septembre 2012

Listener-Wooden heart (2010)

Wooden heart is the latest record from the duo Listener. they are what they call a talk band, accoustic or nearly (mostly guitar and drums, sometimes a bit of trumpet or piano, or beats) with  spoken words that sounds a bit like talked emo vocals (sometimes it reminds also a bit Sole). the music sounds a bit like folk / americana or indie rock. The overall result is beautiful songs (or "talks") at the same time quiet and really intense and moving, they manage to carry a lot of emotions in their "songs". yeah I think intensity and emotions would be the key words to describe the music of Listener.

but just check it by yourself :

Listener's bandcamp
 Listener's website (with tour dates, video clips, news, etc...)

Dan Smith, one of the member of the duo (looks like it's a trio now) answered to my questions by mail. you can read it below :

-how does Listener started ? what was the project at the start and how it evolved ?

it started as a solo rap career.....actually it was just the rap name I used when I first started making music, and then after a while I didn't want to make rap music anymore and started touring and making albums with friends and eventually with Chris Nelson and it just evolved from there.
-a few words about Wooden heart your latest record?

it's a record we made on the road, and was interesting to make and tour on at the same time. We did a 6 month tour and by the end of it we had a full record released. 
-I think your semi-spoken vocals share with hardcore/emo vocals a similar intensity, do you agree? are you influenced by this kind of music?
I guess it's all what you make it or what you compare to what you know. I don't know much about hardcore music. Chris and Kris know more than I do about hardcore. When I grew up I listened to hiphop music, and grew out of that, but sort of kept the idea of writing in a sort of poetry style.
-in your previous records there was some hip-hop like beats, will it appear again in future record or do you decided to abandon it? 
probably not :)

-seems to me that Wooden heart sounds a bit more “positive” that your other record, do you agree?
oh yeah, I'd agree with that. Return to Struggleville was about struggle, and really so is Wooden Heart, but RTS was about a knife salesman losing his job and eventually getting stabbed to death, and WH isn't about that.

-what about your lyrics? What subjects are the most important for you?

I think lately the idea that we are all unique and special and have something to give, even if that is negativity, and that it's ok to have the feelings we have. I probably won't write about that all the time specifically, but with those ideas in mind.....trying to not be too critical of how other people live their lives.
-how do you write the songs?

little by little. usually all the time. I write a few words down or a line or two, and then day by day eventually sit down and comb through all that stuff and write out some songs.
-Wooden heart was released in 2010, is the next record coming soon, are the songs already written? How will it sound?

the songs are already written, and we've demoed them a couple times and toured a few months on them. it's a bit harder than WH, but it's better in a lot of ways, and it's just the three of us playing the tunes. we wanted to strip some of the extras down and just make some rock and roll music.
-with what kind of band do you usually play live? Mostly accoustic bands? Rock band? both?

like what kind of bands we tour with and play with? it's just a mix of all kinds. Usually just about everything goes with us, and we're up for all kinds of music and bands to play with. It's a lot nicer than playing with 5 of the same sounding style of band on a tour or show for all involved I think.

-what is planned for Listener in the end of 2012 and in 2013?

we have new music to put out, new tours. perhaps solo music from Chris and even myself. I've been writing for a poetry book and project...still molding what that'll be. but more music and touring.

lundi 24 septembre 2012

American Heritage - sedentary (vinyl reissue 2012)

Sedentary, the second LP from American Heritage, from Chicago, sounds a bit like a rawer and dirtier version of Mastodon (although it is a bit more polished than their already really good previous LP Millenarian). It has the same ability to write songs that marry brutality and complexity (with some math-rock elements), melodies and an aggressive delivery. It bites hard and grooves through all the record. The vocals are powerful, not clean, and not just screamed either. Sanford Parker recorded it and also appear as a guest musician, as does Bill Kelliher, Leon Del Muerte and others.
Sedentary will be reissued in the end of November in vinyl format by the good French record label Solar Flare Records (among other cool stuff they released the first Pigs, with Dave Curran from Unsane, that I reviewed HERE, with an interview).
you can listen to Sedentary on their Bandcamp and pre-order the vinyl on Solar Flare website.

The two guitarists in American heritage, Scott and Adam (thanks guys!)answered to my questions about the band and Sedentary. You can read it below :

-can you tell us a few words to present the band and its music?

Scott: I think Adamn once summed it up as “Nerd-Meathead Bro-ness”. I think that’s pretty on point.

Adam:  To be specific, we come from a background that embraces both visceral and heady music.  We’ve all grown up on hardcore and other variants of the punk movement, but early on also were interested in the avant-garde.  Our previous bands speak to that pretty well, as does early American Heritage material.  We’ve always just let our songs be what they are, and never have been the sorts to try to fit into any particular subgenre.  I think we play heavy, aggressive music that is put together in an interesting way.

-how was written, recorded and produced Sedentary?


Writing: Well, it was a huge complicated mess to be honest. Mike lives in Georgia and the rest of us live in Chicago. Writing only takes place in short bursts every few months. We are the kind of band that needs to be in the same room together to really flesh out a song. We are a pretty collaborative band in that sense. Sure, either I or Adamn will take the lead on this song or that song but overall I find that we all work as a unit. Mike does most of the arrangement tweaking after we have the skeleton of a song mapped out.

Recording/Producing: We are friends with Sanford Parker and had worked with him before. It was a very natural fit for us. He’s good at pushing or pulling us to perform better or just let shit be when we want to nitpick it too much. 

Adam: The writing process is, and continues to be, quite glacial compared to bands that are fortunate enough to live in the same vicinity.  Every time we end up in a room together again, going over the previous material is always a revelation, but we have little problem getting back on the same page again.  The time and distance allows us to get a bit more out of bounds with the ideas we throw back and forth, which I like a lot.

-a few words about the vinyl release by Solar Flare Records?

Scott: We’re stoked to see the album come out on vinyl. We managed to accidentally fall into an awesome label doing cool shit that was interested. I can’t wait to see the transparent yellow / solid Brown. Piss and Shit. It’s pretty fitting.

-in your opinion what’s the difference between your first album Millenarian and Sedentary?

Scott: Millenarian wasn’t our first album… we’ve been around for 15 years or so and have had a handful of releases prior. That said, I think that Sedentary is a little more direct than Millenarian. Our punk rock roots come out a bit more on it.

Adam:  Sedentary is way more of a vocal record, and the songs are all very well finished compared to Millenarian.  At the time of Millenarian, we were more about being and coming across as experimental.  We’ve never been very self-conscious as a band.  We do not sit around and contemplate our direction.  We just try to get shit done, and make it into shit that we enjoy playing and listening to.  Millenarian was put together much more seat-of-the-pantsily, whereas Sedentary had years to simmer, and most of the (i)s were dotted and the (t)s crossed.  In the end though, we just let it be what it is, and I think it turned out pretty well.

-many musicians appear as guests on the record, what about it? What was the purpose?

Scott: We parted ways with our previous bass player soon after Millenarian came out. We just did without one for a while, but really wanted to fill out the sound on Sedentary. I decided to make my life far more difficult and frustrating by having a different bass player on every song. I bugged a bunch of friends in bands that we’d played / toured with to help out. Everyone did a great job. It pays to have awesomely talented friends.

Adam:  I would add that Sanford did a particularly fantastic job of mixing in light of our method.  Not only were there different bassists on each song, but the bass tracks were recorded all over the place with different rigs producing vastly different sounds.  Not to mention the rhythm tracks were recorded in two different sessions. 

-sarcastic and pessimistic, is it a good way to describe the lyrics of your songs?

Adam:  Well, there’s a degree of sarcasm, but I don’t employ that too often in lyrics because I don’t think it comes across well.  Pessimistic, yes. Most have something to do with living in the rotting hulk of a dying empire, and the inevitability that things will only get worse. I suppose that could be construed as pessimism.

-what do you think about the situation in the US these days?

Scott: I think it’s well shit.

Adam:  Things are funny all over.  Election campaign time here is really disgusting, however.  And campaign time has gotten to the point where it never ends.  So we’ve got people saying things that are fundamentally dishonest in order to gain political power, and then half the country repeats this bullshit because they are attracted to an ideology which explains to them why they aren’t upwardly mobile like they’ve been told they should be. This ideology places the blame on some subset of the population for all one’s woes. And we have to hear about it all the fucking time, in fact, it’s nearly all you hear anymore if you pay attention to media or the news at all. It’s just too much and it makes you want to move to Montana and stockpile weapons.  Meanwhile, the ship is sinking and ideologues are willing to keep pulling out the caulking in order to show that the other side is the problem.  It won’t be fixed.  Time is up for the U.S.

-which bands from your area would you recommend?

Scott: Heaving Mass. Enabler. Sweet Cobra. Coffinworm.

Adam:  Stinking Lizaveta, Lord, Witchden

Scott: Stinking Lizaveta are from Philly…. That isn’t’t from our area dude.

-what is the next step for American heritage? Are you writing new songs?

Scott: We are currently working towards getting an EP done. I sort of took the lead with Sedentary and Adamn is writing almost all of the new EP on his own with Mike. I’m super stoked on the shit he’s bringing in. We’re a band that has slowly evolved over the years and I think that’s not fittin’ to change much.

Adam:  I didn’t realize I was heading up this operation.  I better get to riffin!

-something to add?

Scott: Poop comes from butts.

Adam:  Beers.

samedi 22 septembre 2012

White lung-sorry (2012)

Sorry is the second LP for the quatuor (three girls including the singer and a guy on guitar) from Vancouver, White lung. Their first record It's evil was already good. Sorry is better. What they play is fast paced post-punk with a punk / riot girrl feel (due in part to the really good half screamed half sung vocals). The record is 10 short and fast songs (the longest is 2.14 min long) filled with an intense urgency and cold melodies. simple in a very effective way. you dig the songs at the moment you hear it, and you keep on going back to it.

listen to it on their Bandcamp

check their website (with a good video clip of one song)

their singer Mish Way answered to a few of my questions, read it below :

-can you present the band ad tell us what are the different elements that makes your music ?

 We do not recycle punk rock. Our guitar player is a genius. We are current.

-why did you call your last record Sorry?

 Because the lyrics are all about moments and things one should apologize for, but I am not sorry.

-I like your first one, Its evil, but I think Sorry is better, in your opinion what’s the difference between the two records?

 It's The Evil was a record written by four musicians learning to write songs together and Sorry is a record written by four musicians who now know how to write songs together.

-I like the video clip you did for Take the mirror, can you tell us a few words about that video?

 It was filmed at The Alf House in Vancouver. We have some friends who live there and it's a great place to film. We made the video ourselves and were running out of new, free locations to film and The Alf worked. Kenny shot the video. 

-what about the lyrics and the artwork for Sorry?

 Justin Gradin did the artwork. He also did the artwork for It's the Evil and our new 7inch on German label Sabotage Records. As for the lyrics, it's a little crock pot of personal bullshit. Boys and drugs. I write about things that make me angry. Lyrics and performance are cathartic. It's all a bunch of inside jokes, mostly for myself. 

-is Vancouver a good place for rock music? Which band from your area would you recommend?

 Nu Sensae, B-Lines, Black Mountain, Defektors, Vapid, White Poppy, Johnny and The Death Rangers, Watermelon, PEACE.

-how would you describe your live shows? With which kind of bands do you like to play with?

 The bigger the crowd, the better the performance. I like mobs. I like gang mentality. 

-is touring in Europe on the agenda?

 We are in Europe right now touring! It's our 6th show and we are here for 3 weeks. The schedule is on our website.  I'm sitting in a cute house in Prague waiting for our driver to pick me up. Can you tell Leon in Berlin that he's an angel? Also, we miss and love Terrible Feelings. 

-what’s next for White lung?

 We are trying not to die in Europe. We tour the US again in November, then we are taking time off until February when we tour North America again. We have some festivals planned for 2013. In 2014 we are going to do a group suicide out the window of Bei Roy in Berlin.

mercredi 19 septembre 2012

Human error-10 reasons to kill your boss and destroy the whole world (2011)

Human error from Hungary is expert in delivering the grind / punk agression. they go straight to the point and makes no prisonners. their record released last year is called 10 reasons to kill your boss and destroy the whole world, the singing is in hungarian but its clear that it's not about romance. the production is sharp, the songwriting is good with enough change of rythms (d-beats, blast beats, etc) and dynamics in the songs to keep the listeners under their hold. and they are good at choosing bands to share a split with, recently Black hole of Calcutta and Livstid (with whom they share a similar approach). grind / punk is not only alive in Sweden and Human error make clear that eastern Europe is still strong on the grindpunk map.

Human error on FB

Human error on BC

lundi 17 septembre 2012

Hangman's chair-HOPE///DOPE///ROPE (2012)

This band form Paris (see the Moulin rouge on he cool cover art) plays some quality doomy heavy metal. heavy but not about heaviness only, they also have really good melodies, on guitars and vocal melodies, with a good heavy metal clean but powerful singing.
they sound influenced by bands like Down and COC but mix it with some more traditionnal doom influences and do it their own way. so in my opinion it's not just another stoner / doom band. Hangman's chair manage to create their personnal sound and offer really good songs on their latest record (released in july 2012) called HOPE///DOPE///ROPE.

listen to it on their Bandcamp.

dimanche 16 septembre 2012

Cara neir-Sublimation therapy EP (2012)

I recently posted about the Cara neir / Ramlord split (HERE), this time it's about Cara neir alone. The duo from Dallas released in august an EP called Sublimation therapy (17 sons-17 min). Cara neir is used to release songs within a wide range of styles in extreme metal. This EP is no exception, this time they explore the more grind / powerviolence side of their music (modern grind, more like Nasum or Noisear than early Napalm death), with touches of math rock and also some melodies here and there. they also keep the black metal feel of their music with the vocals and some guitar parts. something else that don't changes is their ability at writing good and memorable songs.
so we have with Sublimaiton therapy an other really solid release by Cara neir. recommended, especially if you like grind oriented music with a different and original direction. they also released this september a 4 way split with Horseback / Venowl and Nijiqahdda, more in the slower and more melodic vein of their split with Ramlord. their 3 songs on this split are also really good.

Check their releases on their Bandcamp 

Garry Brents and Chris Francis, the two members of Cara neir, answered to the questions I sent them. read it below :

-To start with can you present the band ?  are you a trio, a duo or a duo with some other associated people?

Cara Neir is a duo but we've included a recurring cast of session members. Dorian Rainwater (Noisear, ex-Kill the Client, Phobia, Artortured, etc.) has been featured on every release since Stagnant Perceptions in some form. He has an intro guitar lead and solo on 'Dethroned and Leprous', a middle solo on 'The Bridge of Despise' and backing vocals on those tracks. He also did backing vocals on the song 'Wilted Blue' and the rhythm guitars on the song 'Family Dirge' from our split with Ramlord, the solos on all three songs from our 4-way split, and all the rhythm guitars for Tracks 01-06 on Sublimation Therapy. One of our friends also performs occasional backing vocals throughout our discography since Stagnant Perceptions. Our friend Drew (Lonesummer, Angelcrust) also did backing vocals on 'Cradled by Apathy' from our split with Ramlord. We plan on having him throw more backing vocals for us in the future. With all that said, we intend on staying and writing as a two-man project.  

-what about the EP sublimation therapy, do you decided to record something more grindcore oriented?

It was more of a spontaneous decision for us to just let loose.

-what about the 4 way split with Horseback, Venowl and Njiqahdda, who had the idea?

Our friend Jon Rosenthal of Venowl asked us last November if we wanted to be included on this split and we gladly accepted.   

-the 3 songs on this split sounds a bit more like your other records, a bit more melodic maybe, do you wanted to go back to your more usual sound after Sublimation therapy?

Actually, all 3 songs were written and recorded last December before we had the idea for the Sublimation Therapy EP. However, the split was released several months later than the EP by Handmade Bird Records, considering their release schedule was backed up at the time and that our EP was ultimately self-released. 

-on the other side was the songs on the split with Ramlord like an exploration of the more melodic and “post-rock” side of your music? How did you get to do this split with Ramlord?

It was somewhat of an exploration and perhaps a revisit to our influence of post-rock in some of the material. Jan from Ramlord approached us with their song already complete, asking if we wanted to do a split with them.   

-how do you write the songs and how do you explain your ability to write good songs mixing different styles of while keeping a strong Cara neir identity,? Was it something you wanted when you started the band?

Usually, I (Garry) will write the guitar riffs first or compose drum patterns and formulate sections of a song based on either patterns/riffs until the song structure is deemed complete. Then I record the bass and any guitar leads/extra guitars. Whenever I finish the instrumentation to a song, I send it to Chris and he will spend time writing the lyrics and vocal patterns to them. I'm not sure how to explain keeping an identity or a specific sound, especially since we do mix different styles. We just put everything we have into our music and whatever we feel that fits will be there. Our first release (Part I/Part II) was actually written backwards with Part II as the "sound" we were aiming for but I had the idea to write something that was contrasting to that material and so the songs to Part I were conceived, something that we would expand upon. We didn't necessarily intend to implement as much different styles as we do now. But, it is inherently a trait in a lot of the projects we've been in respectively as well as our previous projects together. 
-are you more from a metal or a crust/punk background?

Garry: I definitely got into metal first but I've grown to enjoy crust/punk/hardcore more than metal over the years. 
Chris: I also grew up a strict metal-head before I dipped into the hardcore/punk gig.

-what about your lyrics? What subjects are the more important for you?

Chris: Some of my more recurring themes are regression and derision. However in the way of significance, there isn't a single facet of life that I don't consider important when writing. Not unlike our music, I want the lyrics to encompass all dimensions of experience.   

-which bands were the most important for you?

Chris: Gorguts, Cacophony, Rune, Metallica, Pig Destroyer.  
Garry: Ulver, Neurosis, and Majority Rule have been the biggest influences on me. A few other bands that were (and still are) very important and influential are Taake, Envy, His Hero Is Gone, and Pg.99.

-which band from your area (or from anywhere) would you recommend?

Great bands from the North Texas area: Tyrannosorceress, Cleric (evil homage to old school Swedish Death Metal that shares members of Tyrannosorceress and Chris from Kill the Client), Akkolyte, Dead to a Dying World, Steel Bearing Hand, Terminator 2.   

-how do you choose the artwork for your records? I think the one for Sublimation therapy is not as good as the others, but maybe it has a meaning that’s important?

We usually choose others to do our artwork, sending them the music and some ideas beforehand, so that they have some form of inspiration for the artwork. On the EP, we decided to go out in a homeless part of a nearby town and take photos for the artwork. 
The meaning behind the images is more of an open interpretation to the music on the EP for the listeners.

-I read on your Facebook page that you started recording a coming LP, can you tell us more about it?

Thanks to Broken Limbs Recordings it's gonna be released on vinyl. We're just about done, too, with only vocal tracks for a few songs remaining.  

-do you play your songs live or do you intend to?

We are a recording project but are interested in playing live under the right circumstances. Finding session members is the main obstacle.  

-a split with Thenn is also coming isn’t it? Do you think you’ll continue to write and record that much in the future?

So long as the opportunities flow in, we'll gladly continue to write for collaborations! As for full-length material, we have no intention of putting on the brakes. We plan to start work on a concept album relatively soon. 

-something to add to close the interview?

We thank you for your interest in us and for giving us exposure on your website. Thank you everyone for the support.

samedi 15 septembre 2012

Jayke Orvis-It's all been said (2010)

Jayke Orvis is an ex member of the 357.string band and current Goddam gallows, It's all been said is his first solo record, released in 2010 by Farmageddon records (a cool record label for outlaw/punk country music). Jayke Orvis is a killer mandoline player and his music could be described as "sinister hillbilly". the songs are good, the playing top notch and the vocals allright even if you're not that much into hillbilly singing style. it's really among the cool records from the "dark & punk side of country music".

vendredi 14 septembre 2012

Serpentine path-st (2012)

an easy one : take members playing or having played in Unearthly trance (the singer, Ryan Lipinsky), Electric wizard and Ramesses (Tim Bagshaw on guitars), what do you get? Doooom! yes of course! their first, self titled record, released this year is offering what we expect from them : high quality doom. the good surprise is that they don't rely only on the slow side. the tempo of the songs goes from slowed down old school death metal to funeral doom. the vocals adding to the rawness and aggression of the music. so what we have is really cool death/doom. some dark psychedelia would have pleased me but I'm completely ok with their more raw and death metallic musical direction because they do it so nicely (or so nasty would more correct maybe!).

doom it on their BC page

mercredi 12 septembre 2012

The satans

The satans is Nikolai Gawin is hardcore and is pissed off. don't know much more about it (the self titled record been digitally released in august 2012) but the music speaks for itself, pissed off indeed! just straight to your face old school (but with a drum machine it seems!) hardcore, no blackened beatdown, post something or whatever, just 10 cool hardcore songs, well crafted, with personnality and cool vocals.

check it on BC

samedi 1 septembre 2012

Tukaaria-raw to the rapine

This is a creepy record. very good bleak and dissonant USBM from the one man band Tukaaria (means "the night"). Raw to the rapine was first issued as a tape but is now reisued on CD by Profound lore and in vinyl by Fallen empire). bringing together good dissonant riffing a bit like in Blut aus nord, inventive and efficient drumming, good black metal vocals and you have songs that manages to develop a trippy creepy feeling, associating mystery, wildness and some epic moments. recommended!

tukaaria's blog