Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Recollection - Tarquin (The Sleepwalkers Guide)


Here's a new instalment of Recollection, sent in by Tarquin who writes The Sleepwalkers Guide. TJ'S run various blogs in the past (including The Death Of A Modernist) and he graciously penned his top-ten a little while. Apologies for the delay in posting it up on here, I was a bit preoccupied and forgot to do it last week.


The Offspring - “Smash”
The Offspring were the first band that I ever got into as a youngster. This is their third record, which features their So-Cal skate punk influenced sound, as opposed to their later catalogue which begun to get a little more 'pop punk' driven. I remember this record having a massive impact on me. The cover was dark and had this ominous feel, the music itself was fast and aggressive and contained moments of melody to make it accessible. I was hooked from the first moments of Nitro's beginning drum rolls.

Check out:
Nitro (Youth Energy)
Something To Believe In
It'll Be A Long Time


Deftones - “Around The Fur”
Around The Fur is a pivotal record from my youth as I was expanding my horizons further into the 'heavy' band spectrum. Nu-Metal was huge at the time and Deftones always stood out to me as being unique and different to their peers. What resonated most to me, was the band being steadfast in their overall artistic vision. It is definitely a testament to the band's longevity and relevance since. They are also the only band from that era which I have stuck with personally and still get excited by with each new release.

Other noteworthy elements from Deftones are Chino's ability to juxtapose aggressive cathartic screams with this tender vulnerable style of melodic signing, Abe's tastefully restrained drumming with immense groove and Stephan's textured and heavily dense guitar riffs. You know right away from the first snare crack on My Own Summer that this record is going to be wall to wall filled with bangers!

Check out:
Around The Fur
Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
Dai The Flu


Neshamah - “Communicating In Heartbeats”
Neshamah were a local band in our Cape Town scene and were also one of the pioneers of South African hardcore. The band was my introduction into 'hardcore' music during my high school days and subsequently being immersed into the local underground scene there after. I owe a lot to them for shaping my furthered tastes in 'heavy' music, as their bassist Jen owned a distro called Silent Screams from which I would order CDs and various merch from bands I discovered. As they say, never forget your roots. 

In terms of this record, Neshamah showed local bands that it was possible to branch out of South Africa and get noticed abroad. They released this full length on the US label, Blood & Ink Records. They also did some touring in the States with some notable bands like Norma Jean, Stretch Armstrong and The Culprits and also shared the stage internationally with Figure Four, Underoath, Zao, The Hope Conspiracy and Thursday to name a few.

Check out:
Temporary Satisfaction of Desires
Sweet Goodnight
You Got A Deathwish Baby


The Chariot - “Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, And Nothing Is Bleeding”
This record was a game changer for me. I discovered it while looking through some CD's via the distro at Jen's house one day. I was drawn to the dark contrasting cover and knew immediately this album was going to be great. I wasn't disappointed when I put it on to listen to either... it was sonically heavy, filled with feedback and stacked with this visceral energy. The Chariot became a band that I highly respected for their musical and artistic vision. Their approach to song writing showed me that music can be rough around the edges, blemishes can add further character to a song and most of all the record felt like 'real' musician's played on it. It wasn't robotic or technical like most bands performances on albums at the time, it was a slick unpolished mess and purely organic. I loved how the songs were caught in the moment. Long Live, The Chariot!

Check out:
Dialogue With a Question Mark
Die Interviewer (I am Only Speaking in German)
And Then, Came Then


Norma Jean - “O' God The Aftermath: The Marvelous End Of The Exhausted Contender”
Most folks seem to have this debate about NJ. They either prefer Josh or Cory in terms of vocals. I liked both eras, but this is my favourite record from the band to feature Cory Brandan on the mic. The band delivered the perfect blend of unapologetic chaos, coupled with sharp piercing dissonance and dynamic hard hitting drums. Taking cues and paying homage to the great metallic hardcore forefathers, most notably Botch, Norma Jean pushed the envelope even further by adding some brooding post metal influences into the mix. I also love that all the track titles for this record are portmanteaux. Fun fact: On the re-release of this record, if you have a CD player, and if the rewind is held down until the display reads -2:20, there is a hidden instrumental song.

Check out:
Liarsenic: Creating A Universe Of Discourse
Absentimental: Street Clam
Pretendeavor: In Reference To A Sinking Ship



Fear Before The March Of Flames - “Odd How People Shake”
FBTMOF is one of the bands that I never tire of listening to. They blended 'sass' infused post hardcore with mathcore elements in a seamless fashion. Fans of Botch, Converge and The Blood Brothers will find lots to enjoy here. The guitar work is frenetic, the drums have this killer punch and what I enjoy the most, is the vocal interplay between the unclean vocals of David Marion and the back up melodics and yells courtesy of Adam Fisher. This juxtaposition creates a strong tension and building of emotion in parts of specific songs. I'd highly recommend checking out "Art Damage", which is the follow up to this release as well. It's a much more mature release, which shows the band expanding on this sound and highlighting their dynamic song writing. It's a flawless album indeed.

Check out:
Given To Dreams
The 20th Century Was Entirely Mine
Sarah Goldfarb, Where Are Your Manners


Refused - “Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent”
Most Refused fans would probably talk about "The Shape Of Punk To Come", and I agree completely that it's a record that is way ahead of it's time. My favourite Refused record though, is this one. I love how highly charged it is. It's the perfect blend of metallic infused hardcore punk, politically/socially injected lyrics which Dennis delivered with aggressive screams and seamless song writing which perfectly shows off the band's musicianship. All in all, I can listen to this album over and over again. It's filled with solid bangers... 

Check out:
Rather Be Dead
Hook, Line And Sinker
The Slayer


Thursday - “War All The Time”
During the 2002/03 boom of popularity of modern screamo, Thursday stood out as being a more cerebral lyrically driven band as opposed to some of their counterparts. I loved how vividly Geoff Rickly could paint pictures with his words. I also enjoyed that his singing was slightly unpolished and out of key. The conviction and pure emotive delivery more than made up for that. It was passion through and through. The band also showed strong musicianship with tight guitar work that weaved the songs together, killer bass lines that locked down the grooves and perfectly complimented drum work from Tucker Rule. I still think that he is one of the most underrated drummers out there. 

Check out:
Between Rupture And Rapture
Marches And Maneuvers
Tomorrow I'll Be You


From A Second Story Window - “Delenda”
Chaotic music has always been a bug for me. I enjoy bands that pushed the boundaries of audio listenability and emitted pure sonic noise. FASSW were a band that I came across while checking out a music mag. The title said their music was for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. It's exactly what I needed to hear at the time.... pure chaos that blurred the lines of death metal, progressive metal and mathcore. The songs had incredible guitar work from Derek Vasconi who unfortunately left the band after this record.

Nick Huffman's drumming is some of the most inventive stuff that I have ever heard in heavy music. The vocal work of Will Jackson is great here as well. There is the typical death metal growls for sure, but he also managed to employ some killer melodic vocals to mix things up and break the consistent intensity. 

Check out:
Soft Green Fields (Expired Terra Coffins)
Oracles And Doorsteps (ft. Billy Bottom of Nights Like These)
The Crusher


Daïtro - “Laissez Vivre Les Squelettes”
I am a big fan of European screamo, especially screamo sung in the native tongue. Daïtro really hit it home with this release. I love everything about it. The vocals are executed with true emotive passion, the guitars are beautifully textural and the drum work is inspired. It's another record that flows from one song to the other seamlessly. It truly is a timeless effort and hallmark of French screamo. For those of you that didn't know, Aurelien is now fronting Potence. They are a french neocrust infused screamo act. I highly recommend them. 

Check out:
Laissez Vivre Les Squelettes
Nous Sommes D'ici

Comme Du Papier

Honourable mentions:
Botch - "We Are The Romans"
The Bled - "Pass The Flask"
Hundred Reasons - "Ideas Above Our Station"
Converge - "You Fail Me"
Folly - "Insanity Later"

Thanks again to TJ for writing this and I hope you've enjoyed reading it! You can check his blog below:-

The Sleepwalkers Guide Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thesleepwalkersguide
The Death Of A Modernist (previous blog) Bandcamp - https://thedeathofamodernist.bandcamp.com

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