Saturday 13 May 2017

Screamo Stanzas: Rubaiyat Records

Another label spotlight, another terrible title. Thanks goes to Google though for helping me to stave off writer's block and for teaching that Rubaiyat is a Persian word for a four-line stanza in poetry. My third spotlight belongs to West Midlands label Rubaiyat Records; which began releasing music in 2014 as Allende Records. Rubaiyat is single-handedly run by Fionn, who has released records by homegrown acts like Thisismenotthinkingofyou and Yuri, not to mention bands from as far away as Australia (Nebraska/Diplomat) and Japan (Ghostlate) to name a few, while cooperating with like-minded labels including Halo Of Flies, Time As A Color and more. This spotlight covers three release, two of which are fairly new.

Masada - S/T LP


1. Uneindeutigkeiten
2. Vier
3. Defeat
4. Schwarzester Punkt
5. Sandkasten
6. Remains
7. Untitled 1
8. T-S
9. Nach Aukha
10. Fragments
11. Repeat

I'm starting out with a record that was released almost a year ago by German screamo band Masada. They're a quartet and they started playing shows in 2013 according to their Tumblr page, but aside from that I can find very little info about them. This self-titled record was their first full release following a demo in 2014 and it was the fruit of a collaboration between seven labels including Rubaiyat Records. A cool feature about this record is that it came with an envelope, which contained a number of card inserts featuring the songs/lyrics and thank you, along with the label logos stamped in the back. You don't see that everyday. 

Containing eleven song, most of which being under two-minutes long, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a emoviolence record. LP opener Uneindeutigkeiten does begin that way though, with feedback, vicious screams and pummelling instrumentation. There are moments though where calming guitar melodies break through and clean vocals add brightness. Masada is quite a technical band as demonstrated on Vier, with it’s intelligent percussion. It’s music that has a lot going on but actually reminds you of early screamo/hardcore bands that shot more from the hip. Guitar melody once again pokes through on Defeat. The caustic screams give way to singing that wouldn’t be out of place on an indie record yet Masada’s restless energy is never far away. Defeat ends calmly with lowly guitar before a jolt of noise as the band ploughs through two sub-one minute songs. Schwarzester Punkt takes all of their off-kilter textures and condenses them with the help of some restraint, while on Sandkasten they forge headlong towards the self-destruct button. If you ever got hold of a copy of the Dog Knights Productions tribute to Orchid then you’ll be comfortable with the heaviness on show here. Remains goes by in blur of fizzing feedback and intense screeches. They show off their punk  roots on Untitled 1 with the help of rumbling bass and forays into mid-paced instrumentation. T-S is another relative long-player consisting of odd electronics and white noise. It doesn’t act as an interlude, more as an instrumental sent to test your resolve. It flows into Nach Aukha and the balance is restored. At first it’s easy going but it builds and builds before the band explode with more pent up energy. There’s tempo changes aplenty and some heavy hardcore riffs too. Penultimate song Fragments is refreshingly catchy and gloriously all-over-the-place. It’s the longest song on the record and is really well-written. Some bands tend to get pigeonholed as one-trick ponies but that’s not the case here. Last song Repeat is one final blast of infectious screamo that will indeed make you want to repeat the entire record. Creativity comes in many forms but non are more life affirming than music played by individuals who’re overwhelmingly enthusiastic about what they do. Masada definitely gives you that sense. Great stuff.

The LP is available to stream and purchase as a name-your-price download here:-

Masada Tumblr -

V/A - 5-Way Split


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

It's only right that I write about the 5-way split 7" that features the Healing Powers song that I got to stream for you back in early January. The split featuring UK bands Thisismenotthinkingofyou and Healing Powers, Yotsuya Kaidan from the Ukraine, Canadian's I Hate Sex and Japan's Ghostlate was released via Rubaiyat Records and Ukrainian label Samegrey Records in late February. A record with five tracks from five bands playing a mix of screamo, emoviolence and hardcore, from different corners of the world has surely got to be worth it.

First up is Thisismenotthinkingofyou who’ve just played Miss The Stars Fest, with the barren and atmospheric Strange House. The menace in the instrumentation and the heart-wrenching emotion in the screams make it impossible to ignore. Yotsuya Kaidan are more up-tempo on Hyperrealism. Their angular hardcore sound is powerful yet not overpowering, as melody peers through the recording. Now it’s time for Healing Powers! If you checked out my stream feature a little while ago, you’ll have heard An Apparition. It’s violent passages at the beginning and end are a stark contrast to it’s more laid back mid-section. Never Risen by I Hate Sex leans more towards indie at it’s start, before melodic riffs and animated dual-female/male vocals shatter the mood in the best possible way. Ghostlike get the honour of closing out the split with A Bouquet That I Held And You, which mixes punk and emo in a euphoric manner. This release may be brief in running time but it gives each band a moment to shine. Screamo and punk is all about collaboration and this is another positive example. if you like what you hear, all five bands are well established now and have longer releases that you can track down. 

You can stream and purchase it as a name-your-price-download below:-

Thisismenotthinkingofyou Facebook -
Yotsuya Kaidan Facebook -
Healing Powers Facebook -
I Hate Sex Facebook -
Ghostlate Tumblr -

Pettersson/Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer - Split 7"


1. Pettersson - Sensory Deprivation > Motion Sickness
2. Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer - Reverse Polarity

The third and final review of this piece features the recent split by Austria's Pettersson and Sweden's Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer, who've both appeared here before. You can read my previous reviews of "Rift And Seam" (Pettersson) and the split with Coma Regalia (Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer) by clicking on the links above. This 7" was another collaborative effort between several labels (they're all listed below) and once again shows that European screamo is growing all the time. 

Pettersson captivated me on “Rift And Seam” and on hearing Sensory Deprivation > Motion Sickness the feeling is no different. There’s still the indie influence in their, as well as cinematic atmosphere. They do well to not sound too aggressive even with the harsh vocals. The drawn out ending that gradually gets quieter is strangely effective as well. Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer’s Reverse Polarity takes a more angular approach, sometimes being off-kilter but still melodic. It’s got a bit more impact as well and their songwriting shows that sometimes productivity can be good for a band. Both bands are definitely on top of their game and while this split may be short, they make the most of what they’ve got. There you have it, short but very sweet.

You can stream the split via Form und Leere below:-

Pettersson Facebook -
Det är Därför vi Bygger Städer Facebook -

You can purchase all of the above records (and more) from Rubaiyat Records here - and you can keep up to date with label happenings here -

In the interests of promotion I've listed the social media pages of all of the labels that Rubaiyat Records collaborated with on these records below:-

I.Corrupt Records -
Ruined Smile Records -
Dingleberry Records And Distribution -
Upwind Produzioni -
Don't Care Records -
Samegrey Records -
Koepfen Records -
Through Love Records -
My Name Is Jonas -
Pundonor Records -
Hardcore For The Losers -
Krimskramz -
Zilpzalp Records -
Time As A Color -

No comments:

Post a Comment