Monday 30 January 2012

Introducing - Swear Jar

I'd like to introduce you to a hardcore band from Jacksonville, USA called Swear Jar. I've had these guys on my radar now for a while, but hadn't got round to posting them on here.

They currently have two releases available via their Bandcamp page, their 2011 Demo and Summertime Jam, both available for free. Check them out here:-


Swear Jar have been lucky enough play with some great bands, including Code Orange Kids and Truth Inside

You can also find out more about them via their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Swear-Jar/187426014634310?ref=ts

Get on it!

Sunday 29 January 2012

Foxxes - Forget The Rain EP


Unfortunately, this is another release I've been sitting on recently, for no particular reason, but seen as the stuff I've reviewed lately has blown me away, I thought I ought to pull my finger out a review this EP.

Foxxes are a hardcore band that hails from Cardiff. They are signed to Italian label Strikedown Records, so they're in good hands.

Forget The Rain begins with rousing intro track, Darkest Days to get you mood. It's all driving guitar and speeding drums. Second track Only In Dreams I'm Alive, is when the EP properly kicks in. It's well produced, modern metal infused hardcore that's on offer, with great angry, anguished screams. There is a slight rawness to the way the guitars sit in the mix, but it does add something different to the music, as the guitars seem to fade in and out at certain points throughout the song and you get a real sense of the energy that is being shown by vocalist Cameron.

This is more straightforward hardcore, with a big emphasis on strong guitar and a very impressive rhythm section. I can imagine that Foxxes would create a hell of a wall of sound during their live shows. They don't rely on tricks or effects to make their point, they use good old, honest musicianship and skill to reel in the listener. It's the pounding, no nonsense approach that makes Forget The Rain so good. The songs don't overstay their welcome, and make the EP more rousing as a result.

The melodic edge of the band does show through as well, especially on fifth track Winters Alone, and if I had to compare them to anyone, I think it would have to be the short lived Hundred Reasons/A side-project The Lucky Nine. I'm not sure why though, but I thinks it's probably to do with those guitars and the way the whole band just plows on, not over-complicating things, but you can make your own minds up.

Sixth song and title track provides a bit of solace before Foxxes launch into probably their heaviest song, final track Escape Myself. They begin with kind of a hybrid breakdown style intro, before striding forth with their brand of uplifting hardcore. I can see Foxxes being embraced by the masses, due to their obvious sense of melody and the modern sensibilities at work in their music.

Forget The Rain is certainly an enjoyable EP, it's long enough to leave a positive impact and short enough to make you want more. I love it and hope that Foxxes continue on an upward trajectory.

You can check Foxxes out for yourselves at http://www.facebook.com/FoxxesUK and you can pick up Forget The Rain at http://foxxes.bigcartel.com/.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Wayfarer - Algiz/Eihwaz Cassette






Carry The Weight contacted me recently about reviewing the 3 tracks by Wayfarer that are being specially released in a box set shortly. The tracks are tasters of what's to come on the LP, due to be released later in the year.

First track Nithing begins with an almost Metallica-esque acoustic intro, where the feedback builds to head-spinning levels, before stopping dead to then reveal Wayfarer's brand of hardcore. The song has a sense of thrash too it, before those evil low vocals kick in. There are some great grooving riffs in the song and a wicked screaming solo. It's a great track to start on. The second track is an instrumental. The bass at the start gives it a sludgy feel, especially as it's played over the top of more wailing feedback. The drums keep a steady beat as the guitar strides on, with another great solo bringing a euphoric-ness to proceedings. The spoken word sample elements also add a great dimension to the song. There are a lot of good elements to this instrumental which make it more than just another instrumental track, and it's definitely not filler. It builds and becomes heavier, with some crashing riffs and continues to pile forward towards a climactic end. Third track Aelfadl, is as immediate as it could get. There's  no time to prepare as Wayfarer's hardcore kicks you in the head straight from the off. It's heavy! It again shows off the brand of hardcore that is becoming synonymous with the UK right now, heavy, crushing hardcore, with an emphasis on slower, meatier riffs. If this is just a taster of what's to come from Wayfarer, later in the year, then I can't wait!

Unfortunately, the special cassette box sets are already sold out via Carry The Weight record and will never be repressed, but you can listen to the tracks via Wayfarer's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wayfarer.






Dead and Divine - Interview with Chris LeMasters


A couple of weeks ago I posted about the two UK tours that Dead and Divine are about embark on. Here's an interview with Dead and Divine guitarist Chris LeMasters, where I asked him about the tours and the reception they've had so far to their album "Antimacy".


Are you looking forward to coming to the UK to play with Heart in Hand?

Absolutely. We love the UK and we've heard a lot of great things about Heart In Hand. They seem like great guys so this tour should be a blast. We've missed everyone over there!

Once you've finished that tour your going straight into a run of dates with Norma Jean and The Chariot. How did that come about?

We were actually in Hollywood at the infamous Amoeba Records when we heard that we got that tour. Our pals in Stray From The Path were originally on those dates, but they ran into some upside-down-van troubles so they had to drop due to financial reasons. We were next in line, so when Stray left we got a phone call asking if we'd like to replace them. We're really close with the guys in The Chariot and Norma Jean is awesome, so naturally we said yes.

How has the reaction been towards your latest record "Antimacy"?
  
The reaction has been great, actually. We were a bit worried because we definitely wrote a heavier record this time around. On previous albums we've always had a couple mellow songs, but for whatever reason we broke that formula on Antimacy. It's definitely faster and more aggressive, so we were curious to see how our fans would react to it. Luckily they dug it!

Do you have any weird tour stories you can share?

Good lord, there's too many. People pooping their pants, dildos, peeing, throwing up, losing a LOT of money in Vegas, etc. It's endless, really. Things our mothers will never hear about.

What do you think about the state of metal at the moment?

I can't say we're too in touch with the metal scene these days, but Mastodon exists so I think that's a huge plus. 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

Well we're playing a few shows at home before we leave for the UK/Europe. We're there until March 24th, and then it's looking like we might be heading back down to the US for a while. After that we'll be back in Canada for summer festivals, and we're planning our next Canadian headline for August. Oh, and we're working on getting to Japan and Australia later in the year, so hopefully that works out. Aside from touring, we'll probably start writing a new record in the fall/winter. 

What bands have you been listening to lately?

We listen to a lot of different music, it's bizarre. Some of the records that have been constantly playing in our van include:

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Mastodon - The Hunter
Coldplay - Mylo Xyoloto
Anything by John Mayer
Converge - Axe To Fall
Deftones - Around The Fur and Diamond Eyes
Crosses - EP
Glassjaw - Coloring Book EP and Vinyl Singles
Weezer - Blue Album and Pinkerton 

Are you still in touch with your local scene in Canada? If so, what bands do you recommend we check out?

Not as much as we'd like to be, unfortunately. I haven't been keeping up with new/local bands, but I really should. The only band I can think of is Sights & Sounds, but I wouldn't consider them a local band by any means. They're just awesome. Harlan Pepper is a really cool band out of Hamilton. They're doing lots of cool stuff, so you should definitely check them out.

So there you have it! Remember, you can keep up to date with everything that Dead and Divine are doing and find out more about their forthcoming UK dates on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/deadanddivine.




Thursday 26 January 2012

Hawthorne Heights - New songs on Facebook

Hawthorne Heights have recently posted two new tracks up on their Facebook page for you to enjoy. They are "Stay Awake/Stay Alive", which is from their new EP Hate and an live acoustic version of "Ohio Is For Lovers". You can listen to them here http://www.facebook.com/hawthorneheights.


Also, they have just started their US tour with Me Talk Pretty, Madina Lake and The Young Electric. The remaining starts are below:-


Jan 28 Birmingham , AL @ Club Crush
Jan 29 Austin , TX @ Antone's
Jan 30 Houston , TX @ Scout Bar
Feb 2 Dallas, TX @ Trees
Feb 3 Tupelo , MS @ Goodtime Charlie's
Feb 4 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
Feb 5 Memphis , TN @ Newby's
Feb 6 Sauget , IL @ Pop's
Feb 7 Grand Rapids , MI @ The Intersection
Feb 8 Columbus , OH @ Alrosa Villa
Feb 9 Philadelphia , PA @ The Legendary Dobbs
Feb 10 Richmond , VA @ Kingdom
Feb 11 Allentown , PA @ Crocodile Rock
Feb 12 Worcester , MA @ Palladium
Feb 13 Amityville NY @ Ollie's


Plus, they will soon be announcing the dates for their 2012 Stripped to the Bone tour soon.

Mallory Knox - Album news


Another smidgen of news, is that the UK's own Mallory Knox are currently debut album, for A Wolf At Your Door records. Their first EP Pilot, managed to get to No. 5 in the Itunes Rock chart in the first week of it release.

More news will be coming soon, but in the meantime visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/malloryknoxuk and A Wolf At Your Door records at www.wolfatyourdoor.com for updates.

Abandon All Ships - Album news


In a small bit of news, Abandon All Ships are currently recording their sophomore album. The record will be called "Infamous" and should be released in the spring/summer of this year, through Velocity/Rise Records.

Keep up to date with Abandon All Ships on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abandonallships.

Also, visit Velocity Records at www.velocityrecords.com and Rise Records at www.riserecords.com.

In other news, Abandon All Ships will be touring the US with Sleeping With Sirens and Secrets in March. 

Saturday 21 January 2012

Caravels - Well Worn Split 12" /w Gifts From Enola

Nevada's Caravels are due to release their split 12" entitled Well Worn, with Gifts From Enola on January the 24th through The Mylene Sheath/Topshelf Records.

I've been sent the Caravels side of this split to review, so here goes.

First song Sagen Genesis, is very melodic. The shouted vocals lines are supported by
indie inspired instrumentation. Caravels don't believe in battering you into submission, and
bring you hardcore that would sit firmly next to records by Touche Amore or even At The Drive In. There's a lot of emotion in the music and that come across in the vocals. Second track Beer Pressure follows the same format. The guitars caress the listener with melodic passages and the ability to let each instrument breathe in the mix, pays dividends as all of the textures blend together into one cohesive unit and is truly interesting. It's hard to categorise Caravels, and I know I have likened them to a couple of bands already, but they were just reference points for people, as I think Caravels are able to stand on their own two feet, oblivious to genre.

The vocals in third track Bone Voyage seem to hit a crescendo, where they seem to be at their most passionate. The low-fi production used of the guitars and bass in certain parts fits the music really well, as it does sound at time like it's coming out an old radio and gives you the sense that your listening to an old, undiscovered gem from days gone by.

Overall, this is certainly as emotional for the listener as it would have been for Caravels. It shows that the genre confines are well and truly crumbling and in their place, are
flourishing bands who have taken on new influences and human feelings, to help propel their music to audiences that will no doubt empathise and not prejudice against them for sounding unique. I've only reviewed one half of the split and would like to hear how Gifts From Enola provide on their side. If it's anything like Caravels side, it'll be an uplifting and bright experience.

I urge you to visit Caravel's Bandcamp page, where you can listen to second track Beer Pressure:-


Pre-orders are up for this split now on Topshelf Record's BigCartel site at http://www.topshelfrecords.bigcartel.com/ and check-in with Caravels on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/caravels and Gifts From Enola at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gifts-from-Enola





As Heavens Collide - What They Fear The Most


Well, I haven't posted about a band from the Netherlands for quite sometime, so I was pleased when As Heavens Collide got in touch with mean about reviewing their EP - What They Fear The Most.

As Heavens Collide are a metal band from Limburg, Holland. This EP was released in 2011 via CrossFireCult records, who you'll be familiar with if you've read some of earlier posts on Dutch metal bands. As Heavens Collide have already clocked up gigs in support of bands like Sworn Enemy and Texas In July.

Straight from the off, the big, heavy sound hits you, with a wall of furiously riffing guitar,
low, angry vocals and the underpinning galloping rhythm singing. AHC employ clean guitar melodies and breakdown-style riffs to add substance to their sound. First track Your Savior is a modern metal leviathan, with a guitar solo to boot. There are some thrash inspired riffs towards the end of the track, but it's very much inspired by bands of today, as the band say themselves, they play metalcore.

There are definite hardcore elements to AHC as well, as in second track Remember, where they use gang vocals and heavy breakdowns to emphasise their passion and influences. This is perfect pit music, but with enough melody to keep listeners of a more metal persuasion, happy. The production is very as you'd expect, with AHC adding in some subtle effects here and there to liven things up. AHC bring together different elements, including some well places Meshuggah-esque discordant riffs and some great melodic guitar touched, especially in third track Flood of Regret. The drums don't let up either, keeping things speeding along at a fair pace throughout.

AHC manager to take the foot of the gas briefly to add in a well placed, short instrumental interlude called Hopes & Dreams. They through more extravagant, syncopated riffs into the title track. The mix up the hardcore/metal influences more on this song,
with some especially heavy, slow breakdown riffs part way through. The guitar solo gives the song a very uplifting feeling and shows off their musicianship really well.

Each track on the EP has it's own identity, as AHC don't stick to the same formula all the way through, even using clean singing in penultimate track Through The Tides.
Last track Meant To Be is the most furious on the EP, kicking in with those rabid screams and brutal riffs, before the pace changes slightly to a punky gallop, with great double bass
drumming. The quietly plucked guitar section providing some solace, before launching back into the melodic metal that is AHC's signature.

Overall, this is a really goo, well produced EP from a band who are certainly trying to bring
European flair to the metalcore genre. In my opinion, European bands seem to be doing better at it than our American cousins, and along with our revitalised hardcore scene, I think As Heavens Collide could well be one the bands that pulls the  genre in a new, exciting direction.

So, make sure you check out As Heavens Collide on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/asheavenscollidenl and you can find out more too by visiting CrossFireCult records at www.crossfirecult.com



News - Suis La Lune sign with Topshelf Records


A short piece news to say that Sweden's Suis La Lune have just signed a deal with Topshelf Records to release their new album "Riala", which will be out in spring.

There will be more to come about this so keep you're eyes peeled.

Also make sure you visit www.facebook.com/suislalunee and www.topshelf-records.com.

News - Hildamay single and more tour dates

As well as the dates with Max Raptor that I reported recently, Hildamay will first be setting off on a small tour with the UK's own ska-punkers Sonic Boom Six.

Feb 7th - Leeds, The Cockpit

Feb 8th - Birmingham, The Ballroom

Feb 9th - London, Barfly Camden 

Feb 10th - Southampton, The Joiners  

Feb 11th - Nottingham, Rock City

Feb 12th - Norwich, Waterfront

Also, if that wasn't enough, they are due to do a run of dates in Mat alongside Set Your Goals, Make Do and Mend and Spycatcher. 

May 20th - Tunbridge Wells, Forum

May 21st - Brighton, Hydrant

May 22nd - Southampton, Joiners

May 23rd - Bristol, Fleece

May 25th - Kingston, Peel

And as a treat for fans, Hildamay will be releasing their first single "The Lights" around Valentines day. This will be the first single from their debut album, due out through A Wolf At Your Door records  in the summer. Check back here, as I should have a review of the single coming up shortly.

Remember keep checking Hildamay's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/hildamay and also A Wolf At Your Door's website at www.wolfatyourdoor.com for more news.


Friday 20 January 2012

News - Secrets album release and tour news


San Diego based screamo band Secrets have just released their debut album, The Ascent through Velocity/Rise Records. They have also just played their album release show at SOMA in San Diego. The tracklisting is here:-

1. Genesis
2.  The Oath
3. Somewhere in Hiding
4. The Heartless Part
5.  40 Below
6.  Melodies
7.  The Best You Can't Be
8.  Blindside
9.  The Hardest Part
10.  You Look Good In Plastic
11.  The Ascent

As well as this, Secrets are about to embark on the Let's Tour To This tour, in support of Sleeping With Sirens and alongside Abandon All Ships and Conditions. The dates are listed below:-

Feb 11            Chain Reaction w/ At the Skylines Anaheim , CA         
Feb 26            The Conservatory    Oklahoma City , OK                         
Feb 27            Stone Pony   Fayetteville , AR                               
Feb 28            Fubar w/ The Ghost Inside St Louis , MO                       
Feb 29            Boney June's           Evansville , IN                                  
Mar 02            iLounge w/ Sleeping With Sirens Pontiac, MI   
Mar 03            Peabody 's Down Under w/ Sleeping With Sirens Cleveland , OH         
Mar 04            Alter Bar w/ Sleeping With Sirens Pittsburgh , PA         
Mar 05            Middle East w/ Sleeping With Sirens Cambridge , MA                         
Mar 07            Gramercy Theater w/ Sleeping With Sirens New York , NY         
Mar 08            First Unitarian Church w/ Sleeping With Sirens Philadelphia , PA    
Mar 09            The Ottobar w/ Sleeping With Sirens Baltimore , MD                            
Mar 10            Greene Street Club w/ Sleeping With Sirens Greensboro , NC              
Mar 11            The Masquerade w/ Sleeping With Sirens Atlanta , GA            
Mar 12            The Social w/ Sleeping With Sirens Orlando , FL          
Mar 13            The Orpheum w/ Sleeping With Sirens Tampa , FL       
Mar 17            South By So What @ Quicktrip Ball Park Grand Prairie , TX         
Mar 18            El Rey Theatre w/ Sleeping With Sirens Mcallen , TX                          
Mar 19            Warehouse Live w/ Sleeping With Sirens  Houston , TX          
Mar 20            White Rabbit  w/ Sleeping With Sirens San Antonio , TX         
Mar 22            Nile Theatre w/ Sleeping With Sirens Mesa , AZ            
Mar 24            Chain Reaction w/ Sleeping With Sirens Anaheim , CA                     
Mar 25            Key Club w/ Sleeping With Sirens West Hollywood , CA         
Mar 27            *VENUE CHANGE* The Starline w/ Sleeping With Sirens Fresno , CA
Mar 30            Industry Theater w/ Sleeping With Sirens Lancaster , CA        
Apr 01            Knitting Factory w/ Sleeping With Sirens Reno , NV                            
Apr 03            In the Venue w/ Sleeping With Sirens Salt Lake City , UT                  
Apr 04            The Marquis Theatre w/ Sleeping With Sirens Denver, CO               
Apr 05            The Scenery w/ Sleeping With Sirens Wichita , KS                              
Apr 06            Sokol Underground w/ Sleeping With Sirens Omaha , NE               
Apr 07            Station 4 w/ Sleeping With Sirens St Paul , MN                       
Apr 08            The Bottom Lounge w/ Sleeping With Sirens Chicago , IL
You can check out Secrets at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/secretsofficial and also at both Velocity records at http://velocityrecords.com and Rise Records at www.riserecords.com.

Assyrian - Self-Portrait


Assyrian are a doom/death metal band from Puebla, Mexico. They released the EP Self-Portrait in Mat 2011. I've been sitting on this for a while but have always been intrigued about how it sounds, as I don't imagine that Mexico to be a dark place (metaphorically), yet heavy music seems to thrive there.

Self-Portrait begins with a very improvisational intro to the first track Impromptu, which features off-kilter rhythms and riffs before morphing into a more standard song-structure. The song is full of screaming guitar and some really evil vocals from vocalist/guitarist Josue Ramos. The whole song seems pretty improvisational, with lengthy instrumental parts and some pretty killer guitar playing. It has a kind of quirky jazz-like structure, which may not be to everyone taste.

Empathetic Narcissus, the second track, is more your archetypal doom/death track. The low, growled vocals give you a sense of foreboding evil, yet the instrumentation adds a very different dimension to the song, with it's very free-form nature. There are also some pretty cool melodic sections to the song that add to the listening experience.The tracks aren't too long, which keeps you interested and I have to say, this is definitely a new blueprint for the doom/death formula, which is refreshing and pleasing on the ear. Especially when Empathetic Narcissus ends with an awesome guitar section, which shows off more of the band's jazzy influences.

The production is also really good. Each instrument or voice has time to breathe, which brings out each idea really well. I can't really categorise it either, which is good, as bands now more than ever, strive for originality. The melodic-ness of the Self-Portrait being one
of it's best selling points. The singing and gently plucked guitar in third track The Gray highlights this. Assyrian take really good care of the listener, giving them plenty of ideas and variation, but not cluttering up the music. It's well played and very effective.

Fifth track Phobos, starts with sound samples and some really good piano, that kind of give it a 50s influence, to what is an instrumental song. The sampled sound in are quite unnerving though. As it finishes, it moves into the penultimate track Quiet. Again, this track shows of Assyrians musicianship, showing that they play to more traditional metal rules and are not confined by doom/death as a sub-genre. There are really clever, poppier flourishes that don't detract from the music in anyway, but poppier in the sense that they are prove that the band can appeal to fans of many different types of music. Final track Bright Green Light is probably the track that is furthest from the doom/death blueprint as Assyrian go on Self-Portrait, and proves their credentials again as a band of contrast and great skill.

Overall Self-Portrait blew me away. It's contrasting impromptu jazzy arrangements and heavy, ice-ridden growls work perfectly next to the cleanly plucked guitar and brilliant calming vocals. I sincerely suggest that you check out this EP, as it will change your outlook and perceptions of what a doom/death band should sound like and give you an amazing sense of accomplishment, knowing you have stumbled across one of the most talented bands you're likely to hear.

You can discover Assyrian for yourself by listening to them below:-


You can also visit them on Facebook via http://www.facebook.com/assyrianband.






Thursday 19 January 2012

The Saddest Landscape - Interview with Andy Maddox


The Saddest Landscape have just finished their recent UK and European tour. I caught up with Singer/Guitarist Andy Maddox to find how the tour went and what music has been inspiring them at the moment.

1. Can you tell us a bit about The Saddest Landscape and what inspired you
to start the band?


The Saddest Landscape formed 10 years ago, and it started just as a way
for us to express ourselves through music, there was no real trick or
thought out clear plan for it we just got together and played and it
seemed to work, Aaron and myself have been there since day one and over
the years have grown and learnt a lot and we are just amazed that we are
still able to do this and have people care.

2. You recently toured the UK and Europe, how was it?


The tour was great, we met a lot of really cool people and played to a
fair amount of really excited kids I could not ask for much more. No
Decline (who set the tour up for us) really did a great job so each night
essentially went off without a hitch which we were thankful for as it
allowed us the freedom to just play and hang out and not worry about much
which was nice for a change.

3. What were you're highlights?

Here we go, stream of consciousness style: selling out the first show in
Berlin, buying lots of records, talking about Dexter with Kris, selling
out the third show in Cologne, seeing We Were Skeletons each night, how
pretty our tour vinyl looked, the Brighton Pier, eating authentic Belgium
waffles in Belgium, eating quite possibly the worlds best tofu burrito in
Hamburg, Aficionado, more record shopping, the massive sing-along's to
Eternity, a haunted ghost tour in Edinburgh, realising our new band line
up sounds great live, Jeff turning us onto Pimms, Lion bars and Mr. Tom,
even more record shopping, Aaron's Pantera shirt, meeting a bunch of people
with Saddest Landscape tattoos, talking to people about what our band
means to them, the customs officials who thought we were post rock, Eric
explaining how often “Daddy needs his medicine”, Justin playing Goo Goo
Dolls songs, Matt being generally excited about AC/DC, what kind of dog is
that?, oh yeah did I mention record shopping?

4. What did you do to keep yourselves occupied during the long drive while
on tour?


For this tour we had a pretty posh vehicle to travel in with a nice TV and
movies so that helped, and our driver played lots of the National and
turned us into fans, mainly though we just slept a lot as we were up until
about dawn every day so the drives were our chance to rest.

5. How has the reaction been to "After The Lights"?

It is still a little soon to tell, the release date is still a few weeks
away, and it only just leaked a few days ago but so far it seems positive,
I know we are proud of it and Topshelf seems stoked on it so hopefully it
will do well.

6. What are your thoughts on the state of music at the moment?

I am very excited about the state of music right now, there are so many
bands doing amazing inspiring things, we truly feel lucky to just be a
small part of it all.

7. What bands are you guys currently listening to?

As I type this I am listening to a White Stripes bootleg, the new Pianos
Become the Teeth record is one of the best records I have heard in a very
long time, the EMA record was great, Deafheaven, Dangers, Fucked Up, I
have been spinning the new Neutral Milk Hotel box set a real lot.


8. What bands would you recommend that people checkout from your local scene?

I live in Boston and the music scene seems a little fragmented but there
is still a fair amount going on, I would recommend any of the bands on
either Topshelf or Run For Cover, who are both based here, Deathwish is
doing some pretty solid things still (even if a lot of their bands aren’t
from here), Defeater is awesome, I have high hopes for Choke Up.  The rest
of the band is from the New York area and there are some great bands there
as well, Sleep Bellum Sono, Laura Stevenson and the Cans come to mind.

Remember, you can find out more about The Saddest Landscape via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheSaddestLandscape and you'll be able to pick their record "After The Lights" via their BigCartel page at http://tslhbog.bigcartel.com/ and via Topshelf records http://www.topshelfrecords.com/.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

News - Attack Attack! new album/US tour





Attack Attack! have just release their new album This Means War, through Rise Records.

The track listing is as follows:-


The Revolution
The Betrayal
The Hopeless
The Reality
The Abduction
The Motivation
The Wretched
The Family
The Confrontation
The Eradication






As well as the new album, they have announced a US tour, due to start on January the 26th, alongside The Ghost Inside, Sleeping with Sirens, Chunk! no Captain Chunk! and Dream on Dreamer. The dates and venues are below:-


1.26.12 - Columbus , OH - Newport Music Call
1.27.12 - Toledo , OH - The Omi
1.28.12 - Grand Rapids - The Intersection
1.29.12 - Milwaukee , WI - The Rave II
1.31.12 - Des Moines , IA - Peoples Court
2.01.12 - Omaha , NE - Sokol Underground
2.02.12 - Fort Collins , CO - Aggie Theatre
2.04.12 - Reno , NV - Knitting Factory
2.05.12 – Sacramento , CA - Ace Of Spades
2.07.12 - Fresno , CA - Rainbow Ballroom
2.08.12 - Bakersfield , CA - Golden State Hall
2.09.12- Las Vegas , NV- Hard Rock Café
2.10.12- Pomona , CA- The Glass House
2.11.12 - Tucson , AZ - The Rock
2.12.12- Albuquerque , NM- Sunshine Theater
2.14.12- Austin , TX- Emo’s East
2.17.12 - Tallahassee , FL - Floyd's
2.18.12 - Jacksonville , FL - Freebird Live
2.19.12 - Atlanta , GA - The Masquerade
2.21.12 - Raleigh , NC - Lincoln Theater
2.22.12- Richmond , VA- The Hat Factory
2.23.12- Allentown , PA- Crocodile Rock
2.24.12- Washington, DC- 9:30 Club
2.25.12- Danbury , CT- Tuxedo Junction
2.26.12- Poughkeepsie , NY- The Chance/The Loft


Make sure you check Attack Attack! out via facebook at www.facebook.com/attackattackus and you can buy the album from Rise Records at www.riserecords.com. Thanks.


Sunday 15 January 2012

News - Hostage Calm tour dates


Connecticut punks Hostage Calm have just released European dates for April, including shows with Anti-Flag and an appearance at Groezrock!

Apr 15  Den Atelier w/ Anti-Flag    Luxembourg City, Luxembourg                       

Apr 16  Zentrum Altenberg w/ Anti Flag   Oberhausen, Germany                         

Apr 18  Luxor w/ Anti Flag   Cologne, Germany                     

Apr 19  Raeucherkammer w/ Anti Flag   Wiesbaden, Germany                           

Apr 20  Universum w/ Anti Flag   Stuttgart, Germany         

Apr 21  Overdrive Festival    Kapfenburg, Austria

Apr 22  59 to 1 w/ Anti Flag  Munich, Germany                      

Apr 24  Kleine Freiheit w/ Anti Flag  Osnabruck, Germany                           

Apr 25  Tower w/ Anti Flag  Bremen, Germany                      

Apr 26  Logo w/ Anti Flag   Hamburg , Germany                  

Apr 28  Groezrock - Acoustic Stage  Meerhout, Belgium

Also, Hostage Calm's self titles album is now available through Itunes here via Run For Cover records at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hostage-calm/.
You can also check Hostage Calm out via their website at www.hostagecalm.net or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/HostageCalm.

You can also stream and buy their records in various formats through Run For Cover's bandcamp page below.




Moshpit Tragedy review series - Part 2 - Alarido


The second review I've decided to bring you, in my Moshpit Tragedy series, is this three track demo by Las Vegas crust band Alarido. Alarido are a three-piece blackened crust band, who recorded this self titled demo in December 2010.

The demo begins with a song, simply entitled I. It begins quietly, with slowly building, lightly plucked guitar, which builds for the first two and half minutes, before launching into Alarido's filthy, fast-paced crust. It brings to mind Napalm Death, with it's chaotic mix of d-beat drumming and ravaged screams. This is pure, crusty grindcore at it's most violent. This song, unlike most, stretched for just over ten minutes which is fairly uncharacteristic of a crust band. The chaos breaks about halfway through and gives way to more lightly plucked guitar and percussion. Alarido are able to reduce the pace of their battering at this point. The second part of the song grooves more and takes on a more evil sound, before launching back at you at frenetic pace. The time changes help to break up the brutality and add more depth and variation to the track. The muddy production of the demo, does make it feel like an old-school black metal song and adds to the chaotic sound that is there to make you feel insecure and oppressed. The slightly sludgy guitar riffs toward the end, adding another dimension to their sound.

Second track, II, is a faster track, more to point and in your face. There's a bigger sense of Alarido's blackened punk influence, with those screams once again unsettling the listener. The urgency of the song, adding another dimension to Alarido's sound in the process. Final track, III, is driven on by crashing cymbals and frenetic, razor riffing. It drills home that sense of pure despair that comes from Alarido's sound. Overall, this short demo brings home two sides to a band that are fairly new. The quiet, Hispanic-inspired guitar parts are a great contrast to the rest of the songs. The production is as you'd expect from a crust demo, and it's filthy and evil. This is definitely for those who are more entrenched in crusts evil ways, but shows great promise to come from a band playing at the more extreme end of the genre. Pure nuts!

Go check Alarido out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Alarido and on Moshpit Tragedy's website at http://moshpittragedy.com/alarido-alarido.

Moshpit Tragedy review series - Part 1 - Columns


First of all, a quick history lesson. Moshpit Tragedy, is Canadian label that was set up by Rayny Forster, to supply you with top quality grind and extreme metal, that you can download on a pay-what-you want scale. The label started in 2006, on 6/6/06 nonetheless, as a conventional label, offering CD versions of their releases. Rayny recognised that the music scene was changing, and in 2007 abandoned the release of CD's, and instead releasing records digitally instead. This has been a great success and more recently Moshpit Tragedy has gone into partnership with other extreme metal labels, including the mighty Relapse, as well as Feral Ward and their newest imprint, Audioseige, that's been set up by From Ashes Rise member, Brad Boatright.

This is the first part of my review series, which is going to cover a number of releases by Moshpit Tragedy and the labels they work with. So keep you're eyes peeled for more to come.


Columns is a grind band from Salem, North Carolina, that was initially formed way back in 2002 as an instrumental band and then went through some member changes, before they released their first EP shortly after 2005, which by all accounts is pretty hard to get hold of. Columns released this EP in autumn 2010. They have played countless shows, alongside a slew of great bands, including Between The Buried and Me, Trap Them, and Dragonforce!

The EP itself is a blasting mix of grind and death metal. The brutal drumming,  backs up fast-razor riffage and the screams of vocalist Adam Cody. The music is fast but Columns do vary the pace and add effects into the music, including the wailing, jarring feedback at the end of first track “Ungrateful“, which flows into second track “What You've Done is Gone“, which contains more groove and both low growls and tortured screams, as well as clean singing. The riffs are more angular than those you'd find in more straightforward grind records, which gives this album more of a sense of originality. The members of Columns, bring a lot of outside influences into the music, which is no surprise when you think that vocalist Adam Cody was a member of Glass Casket, who in turn shared members with Between The Buried and Me. “Just Another Species” is more palatable that your usual grindcore record, preparing you for the brutality if the genre, while still allowing you respite, with the grooving, metal riffs that are employed throughout the EP. The rhythm section also contributing to this, by emphasising the time-changes and driving passages on in a more progressive manor. Don't get me wrong though, this EP is still brutal and would sit alongside any of the genres kingpins.

The vocals that form the majority of the record, added to the crashing of the cymbals in fifth track “A Guilty Bunch“, provide the listener with the familiarity of death metal, which is also a big part of Columns sound. “A Guilty Bunch” is the fastest song on EP, with the help of the blasting drums. That wailing feedback is again present at the end of the song and  leads you straight into the penultimate song, the brilliantly titled “Bear Molester“, with it's chaotic guitar solo and cleverly placed changes of pace. You can imagine some skull headed demon, driving a hot-rod with this as his driving music.

Having not heard of Columns until very recently, I was unsure of what to expect, but I've been blown away by the variation and skill on show amongst “Just Another Species“. Playing to a genre, that can get flat and boring if done half-heartedly, Columns have shown that they have the skill to progress beyond boundaries and appeal to a great spectrum of extreme music fans. Obviously though, Columns are playing music for themselves, and by doing so, they've made themselves very exciting to the listener. I'll be keeping my eye on them to see what their future holds, but for now, I urge you to get acquainted with them as I'm sure they won't be hovering below the radar for much longer.

You can check the EP out for yourselves, below via Bandcamp.


You can also, obviously, download it via Moshpit Tragedy's sliding scale download site at http://moshpittragedy.com/columns-just-another-species.

Both Columns and Moshpit Tragedy are on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/COLUMNSmusic and http://www.facebook.com/moshpittragedydownloads

Go show them some love!


Friday 13 January 2012

News - Dead and Divine UK tours


Canadian rockers, Dead and Divine, are due to hit the UK at the start if Feb for a tour alongside the UK's own Heart In Hand. The dates will also include fellow UK bands Departures and Demoraliser.

The dates are below:-

Feb 09 - Mansfield, Club Fist
Feb 10 - Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms
Feb 11 - Margate, West Coast Bar
Feb 12 - London, Camden Barfly
Feb 13 - Torquay, 27 Club
Feb 14 - Yeovil, Liberal Club
Feb 15 - Cheltenham, 2 Pigs
Feb 16 - Stoke On Trent, The Underground
Feb 17 - Manchester, Deadbolt
Feb 18 - Leeds, The Well
Feb 19 - Glasgow, Classic Grand
Feb 20 - Middlesborough, Liberties
Feb 21 - Leicester, Lock 42
Feb 22 - Peterborough, Club Revolution
Feb 23 - Brighton, Hydrant


After that, they head out on another UK/European tour with the mighty Norma Jean and The Chariot.

The dates for this tour are below:-

Feb 26 - Cardiff, Cardiff Uni CF10
Feb 27 - Birmingham, 02 Academy 2
Feb 28 - Glasgow, 02 ABC 2
Feb 29 - Dublin, The Village
Mar 01 - Belfast, The Limelight
Mar 02 - Sheffield, Corporation
Mar 03 - London, Camden Underworld

So, to get you in the mood for this mammoth double tour, check the video for their track Asphyxia Fiend, from the album Antimacy, which I'll be reviewing here soon.



And, don't forget to check em out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/deadanddivine. Thanks.






News - Lvcifyre album release


London based purveyors of black/death metal, Lvcifyre have released their debut album - The Calling Depths, through the always awesome Pulverised Records.

Lvcifyre is made up of current and ex members of extreme metal bands Adorior, Corpus Christii and Necrosadist.

You can find out more about Lvcifyre via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lvcifyre and if you like what you hear there, be sure to go to Pulverised Records at http://www.pulverised.net and buy the record.

I will be posting a review of this up shortly.

News - Hands Like Houses - Album release


Last week, I posted that Australian band Hands Like Houses had just signed to Rise Records. Well now, I can bring you more news.

Their Rise Records debut - Ground Dweller will be out on March the 13th. The album will be available for you to pre-order from the 19th of January, and as a thank you, new song "Antarctica" will be available for immediate download, while you wait for it.

Hands Like Houses have recently posted an album teaser video up on Youtube. I've posted here so you can view it.



The track listing for Ground Dweller is below:-

1.  Antarctica
2.  Don't Look Now, I'm Being Followed. Act Normal .
3.  This Ain't No Place For Animals
4.  Spineless Crow
5.  Starving to Death In the Belly of a Whale
6.  A Clown and His Pipe
7.  The Definition of Not Leaving
8.  Lion Skin
9.  One Hundred
10. Watchmaker
11.  The Sower

So, while you're waiting, check out their Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/handslikehouses and Rise Records website at http://www.riserecords.com.


Tuesday 10 January 2012

News - Before Their Eyes - Album tracklisting


Last week I posted news about Before Their Eyes' new album, which is due for release on March 27th through InVogue Records, as well as their new single.

I can now bring you the track listing for their new album Redemption:-

1.   Intro

2.   Lies

3.   Dream (featuring Breathe Carolina)

4.   Find

5.   Everything

6.   Redemption

7.   Revenge

8.   Revival

9.   Surrender

10. Backstabber

11. Faith

12. Alive

Before Their Eyes posted the first track, Lies, on Youtube recently. I've posted it again for you to check out.



Go visit Before Their Eyes on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beforetheireyesband and find out more via InVogue Records at http://invoguerecords.com