Monday 30 January 2017

As The Sun Sleeps - As Good As Gold EP


Tracklist:-

1. Beering
2. Florida
3. Forever Sick
4. What Matters Most
5. Nothing But Net

I'm still searching for a modern day pop-punk band that's as good as early New Found Glory of Divit. Hopefully, Swindon four-piece As The Sun Sleeps will be that band. They formed back in 2013 and released their debut EP "Never Stars" last January. Exactly a years on and after countless live shows, they're at it again with "As Good As Gold", which was only officially released ten days ago.

The impressions are very good as debut song Beering begins. Melodic riffs and clean, British-accent vocals remind me of Me Vs Hero (which is not bad thing). The song itself is about the embarrassment that comes with excessive drinking, which is quite apart for a pop-punk really. It’s certainly catchy. A song with the title Florida can only be sickly-sweet and it sure starts that way.  An upbeat tempo takes the lead and As The Sun Sleeps prefer to make in impact without letting things go on for too long. Playing those live shows has clearly helped them to nail their songwriting and the sing-alongs are great here. Why does Forever Sick remind me of Forever The Sickest Kids! I never really got into that band but there’s no danger of that here. This is much more memorable and while pop-punk is a tried and tested formula nowadays, I think it’s hard to do it well. As The Sun Sleeps are very nearly there in my opinion. They’ve written the perfect pop-punk ballad of sorts on What Matters Most. There’s no point me saying anything else, you should just listen for yourself. EP closer Nothing But Net makes use of some subtle off-kilter time signatures to show that these guys aren’t content with just sticking to a formula. It’s filled with great musicianship and a oft missed nostalgia. They’ve got room to grow and time to develop their song-craft further but they’re well on their way. I think I’ve found a serious contender in my pop-punk search.

"As Good As Gold" isn't streaming on their bandcamp page unfortunately, but you can stream it via all of the other usual platforms. 

You can keep up date with future live shows via their Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/asthesunsleeps/

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Dorre/Bethmoora - Split


Tracklist:-

1. Dorre - Three Fell From The Sky
2. Dorre - Four Walked Into The Ocean
3. Bethmoora - Succumb

I'm on a bit of a new band binge at the moment it seems. Tonight's review feature two sludge/doom bands, Dorre from Belgium and Bethmoora from Denmark. Their split record was self-released in November 2016. Dorre has been an active band since 2008, though they waited until 2015 to release their first music, in the form of an album and EP. Bethmoora are a little newer having release a single demo earlier last year prior to this split. Dorre played a few dates in the UK shortly after the split's release and both bands are due to head out across Europe in February.

Dorre plays instrumental doom/sludge. Coming from a region of Belgium that has more in common with hardcore, you’d think the influence would seep into their music but it doesn’t. Their first song Three Fell From The Sky is calm and restrained. It has more in common with post-metal and like that sub-genre, you know that something heavier is around the corner. Indeed it is, as heavier riffs find their way into the song about a third of the way through, as well as some characteristic yet subtle stoner groove. Their second contribution Four Walked Into The Ocean seems to have a more distant vibe to it. Definitely more stoner in the song, as it is more upbeat as well. Bethmoora begins the seventeen+ minute Succumb in similar instrumental fashion. It doesn’t stay that way for long though as they employ guttural screams and shrieks to great effect. They’re definitely more of a menacing and miserable proposition (in a good way). Their music is a good fit when put alongside Dorre’s instrumental heaviness and they manage to get plenty across during Succumb. It all ends rather peacefully and too soon. This split underlines the amount of quality heavy unsigned bands across Europe that vying for attention; however, Dorre and Bethmoora are doing themselves no harm by choosing the DIY route. 

You can stream and purchase the split digitally/physically via the bandcamp pages below:-





Dorre Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/dorreofficial
Bethmoora Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/doomedbethmoora

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Molar/Pale Kids - Split 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Molar - Predictable
2. Molar - Sylvia
3. Pale Kids - One Thing At A Time
4. Pale Kids - Consent

Here's some punk. In fact, the reason it piqued my interest was because it features Pale Kids. I saw them play in Harrogate last April (I can't believe it was that long ago) and it's always fun when band you've seen releases something new isn't it! Plus after witnessing how strong the scene is in Leeds at the moment at The Shape Of Chunk To Come 2017 all-dayer this past Saturday, I've got a bit of catching up to do when it comes to newer punk bands. They previously released a digital single and an EP before this split, which was released by Everything Sucks Music in July 2016. Pale Kids are from Durham and Molar are from London.

This is my first time hearing Molar. They play jangly poppy punk. Predictable has a lot of attitude to it and the fact that all members (I think) provide vocals is a good thing. It’s empowering and is exactly what the world needs right now. Their second song Sylvia is faster and more raucous, but still maintains a good heap of pop-sensibility. I remember hearing One Thing At A Time when Pale Kids played Harrogate (at least I think it was played) and on record it sounds just as real (mainly because of the live recording). Much like Molar’s song, their’s don’t hang around. Consent contains a vocal melody and a riff that’s catchy as hell. It’s a short and sharp split this one but it’s great. Two UK punk bands coming together with a shared love of music. I know I post a lot on here about extreme and heavy metal, but punk like this reminds me that there are good people in the world and it makes me one to be a better person too. Not many records can do that can they?

You can stream, download, pick up a 7" copy of the split via Everything Sucks Music below, where you can also find links to the bandcamp pages of both bands (where you can do the same):-


Everything Sucks Music Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/esmusiclabel

Monday 23 January 2017

Camel Of Doom - Terrestrial


Tracklist:-

1. Cycles (The Anguish of Anger)
2. A Circle Has No End
3. Pyroclastic Flow
4. Singularity
5. Nine Eternities
6. Euphoric Slumber
7. Sleeper Must Awaken
8. Extending Life, Expanding Consciousness

The baron and boggy moors of West Yorkshire gave birth to the likes of My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. Camel Of Doom (while being active for large parts of the last 16+ years) are new to this writer, but they seemingly fit alongside both of those bands thanks to their own take on the stoner/doom blueprint. "Terrestrial" was released in February 2016 via the band and Solitude Records and is their fourth full-length; however, the PR wheels are still in full motion hence this review. 

Right from the very start of “Terrestrial”, you get a sense of British (and indeed Yorkshire) doom is so well revered. Cycles (The Anguish Of Anger) is a flowing and majestic journey through nearly thirteen minutes of orchestral, progressive doom. It has all of the usual genre trappings like the lurching riffs, precise drumming and low growls, but there’s more to it. Keyboard textures and brief electronic forays add to it’s textures alongside ambient soundscapes, like the ones present during the mid-section of Cycles. The calming ambience and heavy doom comes together in the latter section with menacing intensity. A Circle Has No End has both an amusingly factual title and an amazing musical quality, especially for a song that merely breaks up two huge songs. Pyroclastic Flow is the musical equivalent of being buried by molten ash. it makes everything darker and more acrid. The riffs in the song are more off-kilter and more metallic, leading to something that’s a lot more progressive. Some people’s visions of UK doom and stoner are very rigid, because sometimes it can be a bit same-y. You’ll get no such feeling when listening to this song, or indeed the album. Camel Of Doom’s music gradually increases tempo with Singularity and it’s near mix of psychedelic stoner and death metal forays. The noisy and oddly occult-sounding electronics of Nine Eternities lead into another slow number in the form of Euphoric Slumber. It is actually quite euphoric for a doom song, which is a strange thing for me to say but you’ll understand when you hear it. There’s a subtle gothic charm to Sleeper Must Awaken, due to the semi-clean/whispered vocals throughout. It plays further on the band’s psychedelic influences and even contains some punk vibes. I hope I’m not sounding to pretentious. It reminds of a band (whose name I can’t think of right now, but maybe Big Business). The song becomes both tumultuous and breathtakingly beautiful in equal measure, before pausing briefly and flowing into closing tome Extending Life, Expanding Consciousness, which seems to do just that with glorious keys. I may not have written a huge essay about “Terrestrial” here, but sometimes fewer words mean more. This is a spell-biding album that makes the extremities of doom metal pleasurable and more accessible. Camel Of Doom have made that possible and are more than just another band. 

You can stream and purchase "Terrestrial" (digitally and on CD) below:-



CD's can also be purchased from Solitude Productions if you're in Europe - https://www.solitudestore.com/en/category/solitude-productions/

Camel Of Doom Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/camelofdoom
Solitude Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/solitudeprod

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Let It Die - The Liar & The Saint


Tracklist:-

1. Release
2. One Hundred Days
3. Punish
4. Take All The Heads Of The People, And Hang Them Up Before The Lord Against The Sun
5. Dysphoria
6. Oderint Dum Metuant
7. Pathetic
8. Soul Deceiver
9. Choke
10. The Last Monument
11. Heaven And The Eternity Of Tears (Part I)
12. Heaven And The Eternity Of Tears (Part II)

It's been over three years since Let It Die's last recorded output (their split 7" with Monolithic), but their first-full length "The Liar & The Saint" is here (well, it was released last November really). They self-released it and managed to get some guests to contribute, Sammy Urwin (Employed To Serve/ex-Oblivionized) and John Hoffman (Weekend Nachos), thus proving that they don't need big-label help to release a stonker (some you might know what I'm referring to here). Anyway, I've used way too many brackets in this opening paragraph so I'm gonna crack on with the review. 

It was a joy getting this LP though the post after I’d ordered it. Luke Oram’s artwork and layout on the record’s sleeve coupled with the black wax within made this record even more intriguing. Let It Die’s fast metallic hardcore has always been a treat and LP opener Release feels like just that. They’re a positive bunch but you wouldn’t know it from listening to those riffs. The extended intro gives way too vocals that are crying out for crowd-wide shout alongs. Their grinding influence comes out during the crazed bars of One Hundred Days, as do huge sounding hardcore refrains. Punish features John Hoffman (Weekend Nachos) providing guest vocals, which add to the intensity of an already heavy song. Even Let It Die’s characteristic dirge-like passages don’t temper it and the screaming feedback that closes it is an uncomfortable listen for anyone. The sub one-minute Take All The Heads Of The People… starts fast and the slows down, providing an atmosphere all of it’s own. Dysphoria features an immense breakdown during the mid-section that winds it’s way into Sammy Urwin’s screaming fast solo. I still can’t get over how powerful Let It Die are as a trio. The production and mastering has allowed songs like Oderint Dum Metuant to sound incredibly bass-heavy. Everything sounds up-front. Pathetic is anything but. Bewilderingly heavy (I’ve used that word too much here already) and gone before you know it. There’s simply no let up as Soul Deceiver continues to bombard and bludgeon. The unhinged high-pitched screams towards the end are perfectly placed too. Choke contains some incredibly tight percussion and even brief amounts of groove. The Last Monument is filled with straight-up hardcore and sludge that feels as thick as it sounds. They end “The Liar & The Saint” with a two-parter. Heaven And The Eternity Of Tears (Part I) is very much more of the same, barely lasting over sixty-seconds, while (Part II) follows after a slight pause, with the sound of feedback and bass riffs. Things feel entirely different now and the sludge that was only hinted at earlier on in the record, makes a more lengthy appearance. It makes for an incredibly dank atmosphere. The perfect way to end. This is not easy listening, but then that’s why you’re here. Let It Die has produced an LP that will help you to let go of your pent up rage in a positive way. That’s got to be a achievement worth shouting about. 

You can stream and purchase "The Liar & The Saint" digitally below:-



LP's are available here - http://letitdie.bigcartel.com/product/the-liar-the-saint-12-lp

Let It Die Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LetItDie/

Monday 16 January 2017

Moloch(Ukr)/Gurthang - Split 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Moloch(Ukr) - Das Uraite Verweilt Dazwischen
2. Moloch(Ukr) - Unendlichkeit
3. Gurthang - Of Decay And Solitude

I was a little surprised when news of this split arrived in my inbox. Not because of the bands involved but because it's been released by Give Praise Records! I'm glad to see Moloch(Ukr) getting further into people's ears and it feels right that it should be via a label that surrounds itself with so much extremity. Unlike Moloch(Ukr), Gurthang is a new band for me. A black metal/funeral doom quintet from Poland, Gurthang started in and around 2010 and has released four full-lengths as well as a myriad of other release since. 

Moloch(Ukr) has always seems a bit too expansive for the 7” medium and that band’s two songs here are shorter than usual. Das Uraite Verweilt Dazwischen is one of Sergiy’s now typical ambient instrumentals. Unendlichkeit is a droning, orchestral black metal piece filled with maddening screams and spoken word vocals. I last listened to Moloch(Ukr) around the time of the “Verwustung” release, which seemed to be a real step forward for the band. I can see hints of that progression here. Gurthang seems like the perfect band to share a split with Moloch(Ukr) and their dark funeral doom seems equally as menacing during Of Decay And Solitude. There’s a sense of melody too them though, much like their Scandinavian cousins and there is also some similarities between their screams and those of Sergiy’s. As a glimpse into both bands, this split works really well though I would have liked to have seen them collaborating together as opposed to sharing such a record. That’s not a reason to overlook this release though. In terms of musical content, it’s very good.

You can stream Moloch(Ukr)'s second track Unendlichkeit via Give Praise Records below:-



Physical 7" copies can be purchased here - https://store.givepraiserecords.com/

Moloch(Ukr) Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Molochukr
Gurthang Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Gurthang.Official
Give Praise Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/givepraiserecords

Recollection - Didier (Black Basset Records)


This post marks the second milestone I've hid already this year (after hitting the 300,000 reader mark over the weekend). This is the fifth instalment of "Recollection" and this one was kindly sent over by Didier Gosset from Belgian label Black Basset Records. I reviewed the "Fractures" album by Mont-Dore a little while ago, which was released by Didier. Read on...


Fugazi – "In On The Kill Taker"
Now, that was a strange one. A CD I purchased straight after its release based only on the advice of one of my school’s cool kids. And an entirely new world opened to me. It probably took me two weeks by then to decide if I loved it or loathed it. Nowadays, I still consider the whole Fugazi discography a must-have for any clued-up records collector.


Facedown – "Friendship Is Everything"
Probably my first love story with a Belgian (straightedge) hardcore band. From Antwerp. At a time when H8000 (i.e. another area of Belgium) hardcore was all the rage! Although my Facedown favourite track (“Wartime”) is included on their first album proper (which also included two dodgy electro tracks of very bad taste for some reason), this is by favourite one. The CD version had live tracks and bonus tracks on it!


Culture – "Heteronome"
For no other reason than the sheer amount of times I listened to this album back in the days: I nearly destroyed the record! To be honest, it has not aged well.


Arkangel – "Prayers Upon Deaf Ears"
The Belgian UFO of 1998. So unexpected, so violent and, to top it all, straight from my hometown of Brussels. So much has been written about the band, yet there is no contest: this EP is their one true masterpiece.


Catharsis – 'Passion"
An aptly-named album indeed. And probably the best introduction possible to chaotic hardcore, in my opinion.


Ignite – "A Place Called Home"
By far the best Ignite album, the one for which they managed the best mix of both their hardcore and punk rock influences. I think we managed to see them 6 times on that tour, it was that enjoyable.


Converge – "Jane Doe"
It had to be there, right, if only for its sheer musical impact? To be honest, I am not even sure it’s the Converge album I listened to the most.


Fall of Efrafa – "Owsla"
I remember, as a small child, that my father brought me to the movies to watch the Watership Down "cartoon". It was a frightening experience but it led me, later on, to read and fully appreciate the book. The fact that Fall of Efrafa has managed to bring fantastic and majestic music together with proper story-telling and quality artworks make this record (and the entire trilogy around the book) simply extraordinary. 


Listener – "Wooden Heart"
This LP, and Listener's very own blend of "talk rock" is more than just a simple "favourite album”, it's a proper love story. There is nothing wrong in the band's whole discography. And, having had the chance to be involved in the promotion of a handful of their Belgian shows over the year, they are among the nicest people I have ever met. Must see band and a must have album. 


We Came Out Like Tigers – "Agelessness and Lack"

Remember Why You Are. Surely one of the best tracks of the naughties? This album is so addictive, it's unreal. An unexpected mix of black metal, screamo, folk music and violin.

Thanks very much to Didier for taking the time to write this (I know it's not easy). You can visit Black Basset Records via the links below:-

Black Basset Records Website/Store - http://blackbassetrecords.com
Black Basset Records Bandcamp - https://blackbassetrecords.bandcamp.com
Black Basset Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BlackBassetRecords/

Note: I am looking for more people who wold like to send in a list like Didier's. If you're interested and play in a band/run a label etc, then just drop me an e-mail at tnio@outlook.com. Thanks

Saturday 14 January 2017

Vacivus - Nuclear Chaos 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Unchaining The Winds Of Uncreation
2. Blind Idiot God

North-Eastern death metal band Vacivus will return with their first new music since 2015's "Rite Of Ascension" EP at the end of March, with a new 7" via Goatprayer Records. 2017 is also set to be the year they release their debut album via the mighty Profound Lore Records. I'm lucky enough to be able to get an early listen to "Nuclear Chaos", which should provide a glimpse of what's to come from the band. This 7" will be limited to 250 copies on black wax.

I loved “Rite Of Ascension” and also the previous incarnation of Vacivus, Dawn Of Chaos, so it’s good to hear new music from them. The 7”s opener Unchaining The Winds Of Uncreation begins with a morbid and terrifying ambient intro before Vacivus leap forth with blackened death. Resplendent in an old-school production, all of the instruments sound truly alive and the low/high-pitched growls sound like they belong alongside the likes of Incantation and Unleashed. The tempo rises on Blind Idiot God, with razor-sharp guitar riffs and thrashing percussion. High-pitched leads and subtle melodies break through the assault and the low bellows provide a greater sense of the occult coursing through the music. In truth, it’s unfair to both compare and pigeonhole Vacivus amongst other bands of their ilk, as they’ve touched upon a formula that is interesting and even (dare I say it) slightly approachable. They don’t go down the uber-necro route on this recording and they even allow for progression to seep through. I’m eagerly awaiting their Profound Lore debut album now! 

You can stream "Nuclear Chaos" and purchase advance downloads below:-



Pre-orders are available directly from the band's page above and from Goatprayer Records here - http://www.goatprayerrecords.com/product/pre-order-vacivus-nuclear-chaos/

Vacivus Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/vacivus/
Goatprayer Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/goatprayerrecords

Thursday 12 January 2017

Hamradun - S/T


Tracklist:-

1. Sneppan
2. Snaebjorn
3. Utlegd
4. Sinklars Visa
5. Tad Er Ein Stutt Og Stokkut Lota
6. Frisarnir
7. Kvaedid Um Hargabrodur

I'm in more of an easy going mood tonight and I've picked out the S/T album from Faroese folk rock band Hamradun. I don't normally listen a lot of folk rock (and apologies if the song-titles about contain spelling mistake, please correct me if so) but wild image that adorns the album's cover drew me in. Hamradun are a sextet that sing entirely in Faroese, signed to the domestic label TUTL Records. I'm unsure of the year of release unfortunately.

Hamradun’s music is more your rock with folk-influence than your traditional folk-rock. The rousing guitar riff and solo at the beginning of Sneppan suggests a bombastic dynamic, but they’re actually quite restrained throughout. Melodic vocals are given a dramatic backdrop and it does make you think of the cold and windy ocean that surrounds them. Snaebjorn’s mid-paced tempo is tailored to a more straightforward rock sound, where the lead guitar steals the show. The production and mastering on “Hamradun” is clean and crisp, as you’d expect. It certainly suits the music and helps the ballad-like Utlegd stand out. Sinklars Visa is the longest song on the record and also the one with the biggest folk influence. Hamradun begin with unaccompanied singing that’s very impressive and at times it sounds like there’s a full male-voice choir backing them up. It’s layers and volume builds throughout it’s eight+ minutes running time, conjuring images of warriors marching to war across frozen moors. Tad Er Ein Stutt Og Stokkut Lota feels like it was written as a direct continuation of Sinklars Visa, though it’s short and quite mournful in atmosphere. Frisarnir is rousing and made more so by the calm and quieter verses. The melody throughout the song does contain similarities to Amon Amarth and some Dark Tranquillity/Insomnium, but they are the closest metal influences that spring to mind.  The cool crackle effect on closing song Kvaedid Um Hargabrodur gives it the feel of a sea-shanty playing on the radio of a fishing boat sailing in the night. It stays that way for the song’s first half before the full band kicks in once more. This album is very well played and Hamradun is made up of a great set of musicians and performers. It’s a bit out of comfort zone as a writer but I’ve really enjoyed it and with the threat of colder/snowy weather hitting us tonight and tomorrow, is feel right to be listening to it. For fans of rock and folk-metal.

The record is not streaming online but there are "unofficial" videos on Youtube.

You can buy "Hamradun" from TUTL Records here - http://tutlrecords.com/artists

Hamradun Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Hamradun
TUTL Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/tutlrecords

Tuesday 10 January 2017

No Gods - No Gods EP


Tracklist:-

1. Permafrost
2. Coven
3. Ash And Blood
4. Drown
5. Dust

If you've survived the working week so far, congratulations. Have some thrash metal! I told myself that I'd write this up over the weekend just gone, but as you can see I didn't. Following the Funeral Chic review that I DID write up at the weekend, I had a taste for some more filthy, heavy music and while browsing the bandcamp page of Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, I came across Pennsylvania's No Gods. They released their debut self-titled EP via HPGD last October and well...the label has taste.

Energetic and loud thrash metal is where it’s at here. No Gods open with Permafrost and with it a wholehearted nod to the old-school. Powerful drumming, frantic bass/guitar riffs and harsh but audible vocals all come together with tonnes of youthful enthusiasm. It’s that enthusiasm that makes the difference for me. On Coven, No Gods go for the jugular in a slightly more mid-tempo fashion, though it’s no less ferocious. They show an experimental side and that it’s not just thrash that propels them but also hardcore. The production and mastering brings out the sheer volume of Ash And Blood, along with a whole lot of Exodus/Onslaught worship amongst the vox. Momentum is certainly the name of the game with this EP and there’s plenty of it during Drown. For me there are occasions where thrash bands can lose their way and get a bit staid on record. Thankfully with this EP there isn’t time for that and the melody that No Gods inject into it makes it much more listenable too. Dust’s intro is face-smashing in a subtle kind of way and it only gets better from there with screaming leads and the kind of extended instrumental that would make the big-four proud. Thrash doesn’t seem to get as much press nowadays (compared to the likes of black metal) but it’s still out there and it still slays. No Gods rule!

Stream and pick up a download of the EP here:-



No Gods Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NOGODS.PA/
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/horrorpaingoredeath

Monday 9 January 2017

Recollection - Fionn (Rubaiyat Records)

It's time for the fourth instalment of Recollections. I'm excited to say that this instalment's contributor was Fionn from DIY UK label Rubaiyat Records. Fionn is helping to release the 5-way split record that features the Healing Powers song I recently streamed. Enjoy.


Teenage Fanclub - "Thirteen"
Teenage Fanclub are my favourite band of all time, and I genuinely didn’t think I could pick an album to include on this list, as I love them all equally. I eventually settled on Thirteen just because it closes with my favourite TF song (Gene Clark). Plus I love a good vocal harmony and they do vocal harmonies better than any band I’ve ever heard.


The Birds Are Spies, They Report To The Trees - "Single Series"
I’ll confess that around the age of 13 I loved Asking Alexandria and thought Bring Me The Horizon was the heaviest thing I’d ever heard. Whilst looking for new “emo” music to listen to on the bus to school, I somehow stumbled upon a review of, and link to, this EP. I’m pretty sure I haven’t listened to Asking Alexandria since, which is as glowing an endorsement as I can give.


At The Drive-In - "Relationship Of Command"
I found this album in Kerrang when I was around 11/12, and instantly fell in love. I was considering putting Acrobatic Tenement on this list instead but this album just edges it. Around a month after hearing this album I started growing an afro as a homage to Omar and Cedric because I couldn’t grow a scene kid fringe and it was one of the worst decisions of my life. Fortunately that haircut hasn’t ruined this band for me.


Sport - "Colours"
Not only is this one of my all time favourite records, but it’s also the record that effectively kick started the label when I was maybe 15. I couldn’t afford to ship the record from France so I decided fuck it, why not email them and see if I can release it on tape in the UK? They said yes, but I was 15, skint, it didn’t happen and I’ve regretted it ever since.


Don Martin Three - "Don Martin Three LP"
One of the best emo/screamo records I’ve ever heard. Every song sounds like it’s on the verge of falling apart, but in the best possible way. Members also went on to be in Wilderness, who only just missed out on this list, so they get extra points for that.


End Of A Year - "You Are Beneath Me?
I own every record End Of A Year/Self Defense Family have ever put out, and this is head and shoulders above the rest, even including that wanky, instrumental proggy sort of track half way through.


Dinosaur Jr - "Where You Been"
Much like Teenage Fanclub, I really struggled to pick an album to include by Dinosaur Jr. I eventually settled on Where You Been, purely because it was the first LP I ever bought with my own money. You’re Living All Over Me is probably the better album but fuck it, this is my list.


Title Fight - "Floral Green"
Title Fight were the first band I ever saw live, and thus make it in. I remember listening to this album on a school trip to Spain, my iPod had busted the week before, so I had to take a shitty walkman and like 40 AAs just so I could listen to this and it was 100% worth it. Everything they did after this album was shite, but this is a great record from start to finish. 


Fugazi - "The Argument"
This record is an incredible way to end a stellar career. Most bands are lucky if they write one song half as good as the worst on this record.


Jay Reatard - "Matador Singles ‘08"
I found this album while browsing the metal section of HMV (still no idea why someone had put it in the metal section). I thought the name was funny cos I was a kid so I bought the CD. At that point I thought garage rock was stuff like the White Stripes so I avoided it like the plague but this changed my mind completely. From what I can remember he died within a month of me buying this record which was a real shame.

Honourable Mentions:
Ratking - "So It Goes"
Q and Not U - "Different Damage"
*Shels - "Plains Of The Purple Buffalo"
Wilderness - "(k)no(w)here"
The Rain Parade - "Explosions In The Glass Palace"

Lenin Death Mask - "Tried To Confess/Drowned"

Cheers very much to Fionn for taking the time to write this piece and again, it's great that this list is pretty eclectic. If you want to visit Rubaiyat's online strore you can do here - http://rubaiyatrecords.bigcartel.com

Rubaiyat Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/rubaiyatrecords

Sunday 8 January 2017

Funeral Chic - Hatred Swarm


Tracklist:-

1. Shade
2. Hatred Swarm
3. Ugly
4. Down From The Branches
5. Roots Of Bad
6. The Punishment
7. Hard Wind
8. Humanity Abandoned
9. Ready To Die
10. Unspeakable Acts

US hardcore band Funeral Chic released an LP in September 2016. I first heard about the band when they released a tape via UK label Headless Guru Records in 2014 (US label 13th Floor Records also released tape copies and Headfirst! Records pressed a 7" a year later). Their debut full-length is amongst a long list of killer US hardcore that I still need to listen to from last year, which includes Of Feather And Bone, Die Choking, Full of Hell and countless others. It's cool to see these guys moving onto better things. Let's see how pumped up this can get me for football this evening. 

The creeping feedback that opens Shade shows that “Hatred Swarm” isn’t all that it seems. That opening passage builds anticipation that heralds Funeral Chic’s blackened, grinding force. They hit full stride almost instantly and flail wildly on the title-track. Even the transitions leave no place to hide here and the pace doesn’t let up. The breakdowns show hints of hardcore and you can definitely see why this record was released via To Live A Lie. I don’t think any other label would have been right. Like the UK’s Geist, Funeral Chic possesses a truly deafening volume and intensity. Ugly is full of horrible atmosphere and rage, which flows into Down From The Branches. The blackened shrieks and riffs in the background prove how far this band has travelled down the left hand path since their EP. The layers and textures on Roots Of Bad paint a picture of the undercurrent of discontent in the US. The heavy scene there seems to be the mouthpiece for those most angry and Funeral Chic don’t shy away from showing their feelings on True Punishment. There’s very little in terms of mid-paced calm on here, but the song-writing is very clever in that even when the band ratchets up the pace, they still add short passages that break up the barrage, as demonstrated on Hard Wind. Old-school death-like soloing greets you on Humanity Abandoned, which harnesses that influence to perfection. Low-growls and thick riffs all around. That thick and murky death-metal sound carries on into penultimate song Ready To Die. It’s epic from start to end and shows how well Funeral Chic merges many influences and approaches into one whole. They definitely play as a band full of confidence and belligerence. It’s a real pity when final song Unspeakable Acts comes round because this album could go and on and on and I’d still be headbanging. Not one for the casual listener but a big step forward for Funeral Chic and an utterly infectious one at that. 

You can stream and grab "Hatred Swarm" from Funeral Chic below:-



LPs can be picked up from To Live A Lie Records here - http://tolivealie.com/store/

Funeral Chic Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/funeralchicnc
To Live A Lie Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/tolivealie

Friday 6 January 2017

What Of Us/Coma Regalia - Split LP


Tracklist:-

1. What Of Us - Landslide
2. What Of Us - Recognize
3. What Of Us - Worker's Compensation
4. What Of Us - Narcissus
5. What Of Us - A Worker Applies Heat
6. What Of Us - Bury My Shell At Wounded Knee
7. What Of Us - Take Notice
8. What Of Us - The End Times
9. Coma Regalia - I've Known People Who Are Dead
10. Coma Regalia - Here I Lend My Ears To The Wind
11. Coma Regalia - Second Semester Death Wheel
12. Coma Regalia - An Invisible Fortune
13. Coma Regalia - It's Always Your Fault When Kitty Dies
14. Coma Regalia - Excerpts Pt.2
15. Coma Regalia - The Killer At Our Door
16. Coma Regalia - The Prince, In Pain
17. Coma Regalia - Innuendo In Our Window
18. Coma Regalia - And The Lifeless Still Breathe

I'm venturing back into my physical review pile this evening. This split LP featuring US punk/emo-violence bands What Of Us and Coma Regalia was released in September 2016 via both Middle-Man Records and Time As A Color Records. What Of Us was born out of Capacities as well as a host of other bands and this is their first appearance on record (if I'm correct). Coma Regalia put out five releases last year, a tape and four splits (including this one), so continuing their ever productive streak. 

Something tells me this LP isn’t going to last too long, but then shoehorning eighteen songs by two bands onto one record must be hard. What Of Us kicks things off with blistering emoviolence on Landslide. Screams for days and a backdrop of crazy drumming and guitars loaded with melody sure do set the scene. Their music isn’t all about fast tempos though, as the atmospheric Recognize proves. It’s more akin to violent post-hardcore, which rules. Really it’s all sorts of things. Worker’s Compensation reminds me of all the Japanese screamo bands, energy wise. There’s a heartfelt undercurrent flowing through their music and Narcissus shows that off, with instrumentation that reaches a crescendo thanks to metallic guitar work and some great drumming, before the hardcore vox takes over. There’s so much to like about What Of Us. They hit warp speed on A Worker Applies Heat with exhilarating, grinding chaos. The way they craft their songs to cope with the transitions between mid-paced intros and fast verses is impressive, as on Bury My Shell At Wounded Knee. Penultimate song Take Notice is like the best punk songs after they’ve been sped up tenfold, while The End Times really does mean the end. The end of their side of this split anyway! Coma Regalia seems more pensive than usual on their opener I’ve Known People Who Are Dead Now. That’s probably not a surprise given the title. it’s melody is dreamy and hypnotic though. Here I Lend My Ears To The Wind is brilliant. I probably won’t be given any thanks for comparing it to something off of Too Bad You’re Beautiful” by From Autumn To Ashes (an early 00’s US post-hardcore band), but if you’re familiar their dual screamed/clean vocals then you’ll know what I’m getting at. I love it anyway. From here on in, Coma Regalia gets violent with a string of fast songs. Second Semester Death Wheel banishes any early 00’s post-hardcore hangovers and goes straight for the jugular with raw emotion. This band just gets better and better with every release and I think the material on here is their best personally. An Invisible Fortune is a slightly condensed version of what makes Here I Lend My Ears To The Wind so good. There’s something stark and angry about It’s Always Your Fault When Kitty Dies. The electronic effects on Excerpts Pt.2 sounds like they’re made up of jarring circuit bending, while The Killer At Our Door feels like it’s been stripped back in terms of it’s layers and sound. It’s also the first in a trio of sub one-minute songs that continues with The Prince, In Pain, which does a wonderful job of drowning out the constant door slamming and furniture moving that’s going on in the flat about me! They aren’t shy of clever song-titles either. Innuendo In Our Window could be about any number of things and you’d be forgiven for being curious about it. After a brief pause, they seem to pick up where they left off with And The Lifeless Still Breathe. The quiet/loud dynamics bring a dramatic end to proceedings. This split is a journey of emotions and colours that you don’t get very often. It’s probably not even half-an-hour long but both bands achieve more here than most bands do with records that are twice the length. 

You can stream the whole LP here:-



LPs can be purchased from Time As A Color Records here - http://timeasacolor.com/shop/ and Middle-Man Records here - http://middlemanrecords.storenvy.com/, as well as from both bands too. There's also a tape version out.

What Of Us Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/whatofus
Coma Regalia Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/comaregalia
Middle-Man Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/middlemanrecords
Time As A Color Records - https://www.facebook.com/timeasacolor

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Song Stream: Healing Powers - An Apparition


2017 is shaping up to be a great year already and that's certainly the case for DIY UK label Rubaiyat Records. The label has recently announced that it's helping to put out a 10" by Russian band Ensslin and a split LP featuring Australia's Nebraska and Diplomat. They will also be releasing a 5-way split 7" featuring I Hate Sex, Healing Powers, Yotsuya Kaidan, Thisismenotthinkingofyou and Ghostlate. I'm really excited to be bringing you a stream of the track "An Apparition" by Healing Powers, which will be on the 7".

It's a collaboration between Rubaiyat Records and Ukrainian label Samegrey Records. It will be pressed on 300 records (200 black and 100 opaque rose) featuring artwork by Valik Lapshin of Yotsuya Kaidan. The artwork is still in the process of being completed but the split is scheduled for release on 28th February.


(Not the final artwork)

The full tracklist for the split is below:-

1. Thisismenotthinkingofyou - Strange House
2. Yotsuya Kaidan - Hyperrealism
3. Healing Powers - An Apparition
4. I Hate Sex - Never Risen
5. Ghostlate - A Bouquet That I Held And You

You can get more information on the release as it's published from the links below:-

Rubaiyat Records Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/rubaiyatrecords
Samegrey Records Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/samegrey

Thisismenotthinkingofyou Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/timntoy/


Ghostlate Tumblr - http://ghostlate.tumblr.com