Thursday 27 January 2022

Sadness - ________

Labels: Larry Records/Hunk Of Plastic

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 05 Nov 2021


1. See You In The Orange Light

2. Orange Love

3. On A Green

4. I Can't Say Goodbye

I have a lot to add to my existing review schedule but before I get anywhere near that, I've got the second of two Sadness reviews to write (and the third to feature a recent release from Larry Records). The increasingly prolific US post-black metal/shoegaze band released this untitled EP back in November of last year digitally. Since it's release, Larry Records has dropped (and subsequently sold out of) a limited tape run earlier in January and rumour has it that UK label Hunk Of Plastic will have their own run of tapes  out later this year. Let's get into it...

I love the artwork for this release. It’s simple yet it tugs at my heartstrings when I look at that seemingly sad rabbit, that adorns the cover. EP opener ‘See You In The Orange Light’ points heavily to the artwork. What begins as a peaceful and bright song thanks to it’s melody, takes on a different form when the heavier instrumentation comes into view. With that said though, the use of clean chorus-like singing keeps things bright, while Sadness’s harsh vocals sit deep within the mix. As with Motionless, Watching You that I reviewed a little while ago, Sadness continues to push boundaries further.

There are moments on this EP that remind me of J/K-Pop, such as the bouncing electronic synth melodies that are employed at the beginning of ‘Orange Love’. It’s quite the juxtaposition when held up against the harsh vocals and the guitar/percussion, which are very much in the background. It’s a joy to listen to either way and not at all expected. 

It’s hard to put into words how uplifting this release is. ‘On A Green’, with it’s choral vocals really takes you far away from the premise of post-black metal and into a sub-genre that’s defined only by Sadness. I’m perfectly fine with variation and outside influences when they’re woven into extreme metal like this. I mean, calling it extreme metal at this point it well…pointless. All I know is that it’s genuinely enjoyable.

The song lengths here are not just your usual three-or-so-minutes and thank god for that, with each one so far clocking in at near seven minutes, until closer ‘I Can’t Say Goodbye’ at least. Here, you’re greeted with well over double that. Soothing tones lull you in before Sadness builds up to one more round of subtly dissonant shoegaze and black metal. It gathers up so many layers and textures, which make up something that’s truly engrossing and way bigger than expectations could prepare you for. 

This collection of songs should be played on repeat over and over again, such is the craftsmanship that went into creating it. Sadness once again proves that the deeper you dig, the better the surprises get (in musical terms anyway). Listen to it for yourselves if you don’t believe me.

You can stream and purchase this EP for $1 (or more) from Sadness below:-

Sadness -

As mentioned above, tape copies from Larry Records are sold out, but keep an eye on Hunk of Plastic's Instagram page for news on a new pressing coming soon.

Larry Records -

Hunk Of Plastic - @hunkofplastic

Wednesday 26 January 2022

The World That Summer/Apostles Of Eris - Split

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 29 Apr 2016


1. The World That Summer - Some Guy Named Gabbo

2. The World That Summer - Swine Dialect Incantation

3. The World That Summer - Sad Boise State

4. Apostles Of Eris - So Far To Go

5. Apostles Of Eris - A Growing Emptiness With A Sense Of Completion

6. Apostles Of Eris - B.S.

7. Apostles Of Eris - Putting Faith Into Fantasy

This evening's review features two bands that seem to be intrinsically linked to Zegema Beach Records. Firstly, The World That Summer features one half of ZBR's duo, Mr Norman, while Apostles Of Eris and it's sole member Jesse has had music released by ZBR while in various bands over the years. It made perfect sense then for them to come together for this split tape, which saw the light of day in 2016, with help from Dingleberry Records too. It was limited to 75 gold coloured tapes, of which I'm a proud owner of one such copy. 

Now, how do you store your split releases? Do you store them in order of artist (alphabetically) or by who's on the A-Side? Seriously, I'd love to know because I found my copy amongst the A's even though The World That Summer is on the A-side.

I was naive in thinking that hassle only existed on working days. Apparently, it also exists on non-working days, when living in a block of flats. Escapism is only a finger tip away though and for a brief moment, it comes in the form of this split between The World That Summer and Apostles Of Eris. Canadian band The World That Summer’s discography is small and the band is currently on a sort of hiatus thing. They contribute three songs to this split and their first is one with a nod to The Simpsons. ‘Some Guy Named Gabbo’ is musically atmospheric and sometimes moody, while the vocals go from a spoken-word sort of tone to heart-wrenchingly harsh. It’s hard to make comparisons to this, but I here Time In Malta crossed with Times Of Grace (at least in this song anyway). That’s probably so way off, but I hear what I hear!

Comparisons are lazy though and The World That Summer are worthy of much more attention on their own. On ‘Swine Dialect Incantation’ they exhibit what makes Canadian post-hardcore/screamo so recognisable and great, while also sounding so much more old-school. The clean singing does it for me, as well as the sheer expansiveness. Properly infectious. TWTS’s final song ‘Sad Boise State’ takes on elements of countrymen Alexisonfire but moulds them into something all of their own. Off-kilter, mathy, dreamo-y and abrasive all in one. Despite owning the tape and spinning it countless times before, trying to describe it is difficult in the word sense, but please stick with me.

US band Apostles Of Eris make up the second side of this split with four tracks. You’d never know that this is (or at least was on this split) a solo project. It’s noisy and instantly more caustic on opener ‘So Far To Go’. The instrumental tones are somewhat darker here and the vocals are delivered with a kind of raspy, garage-like harshness. It’s violent but without being emo-violence, if you know what I mean. ‘A Growing Emptiness With A Sense Of Completion’ isn’t just a great song title. It also comprises a chaotically intense cacophony of noise and screams that end far too quickly, subtle metallic-isms and all.

‘B.S’ is the aural equivalent of ignoring the very phrase that it’s the abbreviation of (though I get the impression that the abbreviation relates to belief systems and not bullshit, as I was expecting!). It’s a calming and melodic instrumental song with a slightly rambling (in a good way) spoken-work sample that refers to US Presidents, so it could really be a reference to either! AOE’s closing song ‘Putting Faith Into Fantasy’ packages up everything that’s great about the band’s lo-fi (and honest) sound. It’s so emotive and real, teeming with life throughout. For a song that’s high in tempo and that nearly reaches the five-minute mark, it gives the impression that it lasts way longer. That’s totally cool though, as it closes out the split in powerful fashion.

I honestly didn’t think this review would end up being as long as it’s turned out, but I guess sometimes music breeds inspiration. This split release is just plain awesome. Both The World That Summer and Apostles Of Eris are perfect together, making post-hardcore/screamo that’s beyond epic. If for whatever reason you’ve slept on this, there’s still a chance to repent and make good with the modern-day god tier overlords that gave brith to this release.

You can stream the release and acquire it as a name-your-price download below:-

Tape copies of the split are long sold out.

The World That Summer -

Apostles Of Eris -

Dingleberry Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Sadness - Motionless, Watching You

Labels: Self-Released/Larry Records

Formats: Digital/Tape

Release Date: 24 Oct 2021


1. Blue

2. Your Train Is Leaving

I've been ordering a lot of records/cds/tapes over the last week or so. You'd think that writing about more music here would make me want to buy more, but you'd be wrong. It's actually a damn good distraction from pulling the trigger in online stores. Discogs states that Sadness has a 35 strong release catalogue, which is astounding given that the project has only been in existence since 2014 (if those stats are correct). My introduction to Sadness came via Avantgarde Music offshoot Flowing Downward, but this is the first time I've featured the band here. This EP was released back in October of last year and is due for a limited tape release via Larry Records very soon indeed!

It’s nearly the end of another week and I’ve been looking forward to sitting down to do this all day. I had another review in mind, but I guess that’ll come tomorrow evening instead. For now, the soothing sounds of Sadness will wash over me. Now, in typical fashion as soon as I say ‘Blue’ is soothing, those tones dissipate. In their place comes heavy, almost crashing instrumentation. The vocals; however, are anything but with clean melody sitting nestled within the music. There are moments here where the instruments take over and the vocals fade, where you may hear distant black metal-like screams (though my ears might be playing tricks on me here). The mid-section of ‘Blue’ is a treat with emo/pop style guitar and melodies swirling all around, but don’t expect those textures to go on forever, as harsh screams do finally overpower the song, even if for brief moments. Joined again by clean singing and towering layers of guitars and percussion, this one song feels like a journey in itself. 

The EP’s second song ‘Your Train Is Leaving’ covers the same trajectory as ‘Blue’, starting out gently and then building up quickly, but this time it’s a much more off-kilter effort with a greater emphasis on black metal. It definitely shows the other side of Sadness. Atmospheric black metal takes many forms nowadays and bands like Sadness are leading the way with their creativity and unapologetic use of pop-sensibilities. ‘Your Train Is Leaving’ is less about those sensibilities yet it still retains a catchiness, especially where the riffs are concerned. Much more metallic and almost akin to post-hardcore at times. It demonstrates the crossover that’s happening between post-hardcore and black metal, even if there are purists that bemoan such a thing. The true atmosphere comes in the last five-minutes, where train whistles and adjacent samples are spliced together with quiet guitar, which sometimes descend into occasional cacophonies of noise. 

They say that beauty (and art in this case) is in the eye of the beholder. As we start to take small and tentative steps towards normality again, the art that we treasure will have the opportunity to touch the hearts of others. In the case of music, bands like Sadness will be there to help cement a place (or a moment) in time. Listening to Motionless, Watching You feels like stepping out into the bright sun for the first time, being blinded by the light before your senses take over. Breathe it in, savour it and go out into the world.

You can stream and purchase the EP directly from Sadness below:-

Sadness -

Info on the tape release can be found here (I hope I've not missed the boat on that! Please correct me if I'm wrong) -

Copies may also be available in Europe via Hunkofplastic Records. You can find them on Instagram.

Tuesday 18 January 2022

2021 End-Of-Year List from Mikey Ortega (This Noise Is Ours Contributor/Diclonious)

Top 10 Albums of 2021

Well, it looks like we’ve survived another year.  Even though we’re still living through a pandemic and restrictions are still being enforced, at least we still got some killer tunes to help us get through the year.  We got another all-female three piece from Boise, making their debut. We got a blackened-screamo/post-hardcore band releasing two sick albums and we got one of the most influential experimental hardcore bands, collaborating with one of the most prominent singer-songwriters in the last 10 years. 2021 wasn’t as bad as 2020. At least we were able to see live shows. If there was one thing that sucked about 2021, it’s all the vinyl that had to get delayed, because all the major labels booked every plant there is. But at least we were given download codes, so we can at least listen digitally, before the vinyl arrives.  Lastly, before I get into my Top 10, I want to name some honourable mentions. As you know, it can be a bit difficult putting down your Top 10 with there being thousands of releases coming out this year. In no particular order, here are some albums that I think should get some love:


Lustmord & Karin Park – ALTER

Lori Bravo – BARE BONES

Circle of Sigh – NARCI



Kosmodemonic – LIMINAL LIGHT



Storie Grubb – CRAWLSPACE

Portrayal of Guilt – We Are Always Alone


And now my TOP 10 Albums of 2021:


#10. Sawtooth Monk – Peregrination

If you’ve listened to Boise’s Ealdor Bealu, then you know what a talented individual Travis Abbott is.  His side project, Sawtooth Monk, is a perfect blend of folk, space rock and prog, that really captures the atmosphere of the great outdoors. PEREGRINATION is a perfect example of that. It’s an album that really opens your mind and takes you in a journey. With tracks like “Off The Grid”, “The Centering Breath” and “Borrowed Time”, PEREGRINATION is an album that doesn’t repeat itself. Every new track is a new adventure. 

#9. Sara Ohm – Noise Creeps.

One of the most intense releases this year, NOISE CREEPS really packs a punch and makes a statement. It’s an album that captures a time where not everything was what we thought. Seeing everyone speaking up, you knew something has got to really change. When it comes to the writing and texture, you can’t help but admire Sara’s ability to create an atmosphere and challenge the status quo   and I hope that lots of people talk about this album for many years.

#8. Lori LaRayne – Thirst

For a good 5 years, now, I’ve been keeping my ears out on what’s happening in the Boise music scene.  And it’s artist like Lori LaRayne, why I do. Her debut album, THIRST, is an album I don’t come across that often. It’s a great blend of folk, Americana and goth, and it makes me respect each genres even more. Worth checking out if you want to get out of your comfort zone.

#7. Blood Lemon – Blood Lemon

Another Boise band that also grabbed my attention is Blood Lemon. I’ve been anticipating their debut album, ever since their first single, “Burned”, was heard on Radio Boise. It’s a record with lots of great jams that makes you proud of rock n’ roll. Right when you think you have Blood Lemon figured out, they will just change the course, and has you guessing again. When you have 3 talented musicians, who’s been at it for a while, you’re definitely gonna get an album that totally rocks and will blow your mind.

#6. King Woman - Celestial Blues

When King Woman released the video for “Morning Star”, you knew that CELESTIAL BLUES was gonna be another benchmark for the band. They already took Doom to new heights with their debut ep, DOUBT and would later take it up a notch with IN THE VISION OF SUFFERING. There was no doubt that CELESTIAL BLUES was gonna be a crushing album. Kris Esfandari and the rest of the band, have proven that they can push themselves and challenge the genre. It’s really great to see the band expanding themselves with Celestial Blues. You just know the band is going to exceed your expectations.

#5. Lingua Ignota – Sinner Get Ready

When ever Kristen Hayter puts out a new Lingua Ignota album, I can’t help but to be excited. I always wonder what direction the project is gonna take next and with SINNER GET READY, it really caught me surprised. It’s a record that isn’t like the previous ones. With SINNER GET READY, we find Lingua Ignota’s sound a bit more stripped down, but still has that raw power that we all know and love. 

#4. Backxwash – I Lie Here with My Rings and My Dresses


Canada’s Backxwash was definitely the darkhorse in my list. I remember Vile Creatures being hyped for this album but I didn’t get to check it out til August. Probably one of the most dark and intense experimental hip-hop albums I’ve heard in a while. You do hear a lot of influences from trap, industrial, black metal, etc. If I LIE HERE WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES sounds like something up your alley, then definitely check it out.

#3. The Armed – Ultrapop

It’s amazing to hear how The Armed started out as a matchcore band to what they are now.  Especially with an album like ULTRAPOP, which is all over the place, yet, very cohesive. ULTRAPOP is a high energy record that keeps the spirit of rock n’ roll alive. You are definitely gonna have lots of fun with this record.

#2. Portrayal of Guilt – Christfucker


2021 must have been one hell of a year for Portrayal of Guilt. The band put out two killer records this year – WE ARE ALWAYS ALONE in January and CHRISTFUCKER in November. As much as I would have love to put both records on my Top 10, I felt it wouldn’t be fair to the other artist who put out some killer releases this year. So, I decided to go with CHRISTFUCKER. Maybe because that one is their most recent, so it felt more fresh but CHRISTFUCKER is a pretty dark and ugly record. If there was a soundtrack for how bleak and misanthropic this year has been, CHRISTFUCKER is definitely the one you’ll be spinning.

#1. Amigo the Devil – Born Against

If there was one record that really clicked with me, it would be BORN AGAINST by Amigo the Devil.  From the lyrics to the songwriting, BORN AGAINST brought some comfort that got me through 2021.  Some songs were sad. Others had a sense of humour but above all, every track was beautifully written.  For a folk project, it gets pretty dark, compared to other heavy records that came out this year. This is one of those records that I put on while drinking some whiskey and just watch the World go completely mad.

Well, I hope everyone had an awesome 2021. Can’t wait to see what 2022 brings and keeps the momentum going. Really looking forward to some new music by Author & Punisher, Crowbar, The French Tips, The Black Scorpio Underground and more. Hope to bring new reviews and interviews this year.  

Everyone keep safe and continue supporting the music scene.

Friday 14 January 2022

Moongazer - Gone

Labels: Silentium In Foresta Records/Larry Records

Formats: CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 29 Jul 2021


1. This Wretched Existence

2. Catatonic

3. Please Don't Go

This review features a band that is new to me and a release that I was due to help promote via a premiere (at least the tape version anyway), but some things don't always work out so I decided I would write about it anyway. Gone is the debut EP from US depressive black metal/blackgaze project Moongazer. It was originally self-released digitally back in July of last year, before seeing a CD release via Mexican label Silentium In Foresta Records (which includes the bonus track 'Rumination'). US label Larry Records picked it up for a tape release shortly afterwards, with the run selling out just as we slid into 2022. With a hint that more maybe coming out later this month, it seems like a good time to give this a spin.

It’s a strange existence that we reside in right now, somewhere beyond normality yet accepting what we have as just that. In uncertain times we find ourselves grasping onto art or possessions that we might not have held so dear before and that certainly counts where music is concerned. Moongazer seems to understand this (whether on purpose or not) and EP (or maybe album?) opener ‘This Wretched Existence’ is aptly presented with both cold extremity and warm melody. Distancing itself from you but also extending it’s hand out in friendship. 

With the use of melancholic guitar, percussion that turns from sensitive to mournfully blasting and vocals that are both ice cold up front, and subtly choral behind, the opener really strikes a chord, as does the piano towards the end. ’ Catatonic’ is an otherworldly piece that features a lot of ambience and noise. It’s unnerving but then I guess it’s supposed to be. Not everything in this life is meant to be comforting. 

Sadness and self-reflection truly prevails on final song ‘Please Don’t Go’. It’s the record’s longest song and as such, it’s most expansive too. Moongazer weaves into it familiar black metal and lighter instrumentation that seems to move between genres. Whatever you feel about black metal and extreme music in general, you’ll be hard pressed to dismiss this release if you’re a genuine music lover. That such beauty and creativity can come from one person, no matter how obscure, is amazing. 

I’m not going to say anything else except listen to Gone and buy it in any format you can. You won’t regret it.

You can stream and purchase the release digitally from Moongazer's bandcamp page below:-

Moongazer -

Physical CD copies can be purchased from Silentium In Foresta Records below (only five copies remain):-

There may be more copies coming from Larry Records, but I'll correct this if not.

Larry Records -

Silentium In Foresta Records -

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Dr. Colossus – I’m a Stupid Moron with an Ugly Face and a Big Butt and My Butt Smells and I Like to Kiss My Own Butt (by Mikey Ortega)

Label: Self-Released

Format: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 21 May, 2021



1. Sex Cauldron

2. Pickabar

3. Lard Lad

4. So Long Stinktown

5. Get Mendoza

6. Hummingbird of Bengal

7. Space Coyote


Australia’s Dr. Colossus is a band that I feel in love with a while back, when Doomed & Stoned reported about a Stoner/Doom band, that sang about The Simpsons. Like, how can you not be a fan of that. As a 90’s kid, The Simpsons was a huge part of my life. Hell, in college, quoting Simpsons lines was a sport. Their impact on pop culture could not be denied. When Dr. Colossus put out their 2017 release, THE DANK, it brought back great memories with some heavy riffage. After releasing two singles, the Springfield worshiping Aussies have entered 2021 with a brand new album (probably the greatest album title), I’M A STUPID MORON WITH AN UGLY FACE AND A BIG BUTT AND MY BUTT SMELLS AND I LIKE TO KISS MY OWN BUTT. So how does this hold up against THE DANK?  Well, let’s go and find out.


“Sex Cauldron” gets things started, and boy, does it come out charging at you, like Drederick Tatum. It’s a song that goes full-throttle, like High On Fire. It will definitely get you banging along and flipping the goat. “Lard Lad” is a catchy tune that will have you singing along with your pals, while driving down Springfield. By the 3:30 mark, things pick up and we get a nice guitar solo, with an organ in the background. Excellent placement.  We then go into the heavy-blues of “So Long Stinktown”. The perfect track when leaving your shithole town. The riffs are killer and I’m sure any fan of Doom and Stoner Rock will appreciate it. If there’s a song that defines Dr. Colossus’ musicianship, it will be “Get Mendoza”. Love how it has a Mastodon influence with a touch of Alice In Chains/Jerry Cantrell. Not sure if that’s what they were going for, but it sure as hell would be interesting to be there during the writing process. The album closes out with “Space Coyote”, who is probably the coolest character that The Simpsons have ever created (and voiced by Johnny Cash). The song really captures the feel of the “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)” episode. You feel a bit lost traveling through a cosmic desert. But no worries, Space Coyote is here to guide us. The track does take you on a journey with the way the instrumentation is built up. From the acoustic intro to those killer grungy-stoner riffs, the solo and back to the acoustic, “Space Coyote” may be one of the best songs Dr. Colossus has ever written. Probably rivals “Holy Driver” from THE DANK. It’s definitely a track that you can crank up at a family BBQ.


You can say that the whole Simpsons theme is a total gimmick, but I’M A STUPID MORON WITH AN UGLY FACE AND A BIG BUTT AND MY BUTT SMELLS AND I LIKE TO KISS MY OWN BUTT proves that Dr. Colossus is more than that. From the musicianship to the song writing and vocals, Dr. Colossus have really stepped it up and have left their mark in the Doom/Stoner scene. They were able to have fun and be silly, but at the same time, back it up with killer riffs and with the whole Simpsons theme, I’m sure there are plenty of ideas in the works, that will last them for many years (I hope to see a Halloween album dedicated to Treehouse of Horrors). There’s a reason why the band won “BEST HEAVY METAL ACT” in the 2021 Music Victoria Award and if you can’t hear that on I’M A STUPID MORON WITH AN UGLY FACE AND A BIG BUTT AND MY BUTT SMELLS AND I LIKE TO KISS MY OWN BUTT, then EAT MY SHORTS.


You can stream and purchase I’M A STUPID MORON WITH AN UGLY FACE AND A BIG BUTT AND MY BUTT SMELLS AND I LIKE TO KISS MY OWN BUTT on the links below.  and be sure to follow them on social media:-

Website -

Facebook -

Instagram - @drcolossustheband

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Varoshan - ...And Then The Rains Came

Labels: Elitbolaget

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 11 Jan 2022


1. The Crow

2. The Wrath

3. The Tyrant

4. Tyger Heart (Interlude)

5. The Message (feat. Riina Rinkinen)

6. The Snake

Today marks the release of the debut album from European sludge/hardcore band Varoshan. With members residing in Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom, being able to release an album during the current restrictions is no mean feat. ...And Then The Rains Came is available both on tape and digitally via Finnish label Elitbolaget. I've read that Varoshan can be compared to the likes of Tombs, Converge and Black Sabbath, so this should be quite a ride.

…And Then The Rains Came is initially very different to what I was expecting, given the bands that Varoshan is compared to. I suppose it’s best to leave comparisons at the door sometimes. That might sound like a negative way to begin a review, but it’s not meant to be as Varoshan’s take on metal is very captivating on opener ‘The Crow’. Heavy, groovy and melodic with vocals that are both extreme and approachable. It’s certainly an intriguing listen straight out of the gate.

That groove I was talking about lies well and truly with the guitar work of Anders Bomberg, backed up by bassist Matias Lofman’s low-end on ‘The Wrath’. This is what I had conjured up in my mind when imagining what Varoshan would sound like (although I know that sort of thing is impossible). The very strong percussion of Anders Tornqvist adds a ton of volume to the song, while Mark Howes roars over the top. Heck, there’s even the odd bit of Incubus-like funk going on. I guess that’s where Varoshan’s alternative side shows through.

So far so good then. This album really hits the spot if you’re looking for something meaty and riff-laden. ‘The Tyrant’ is much more reliant on the band’s low-end, as well as atmospherics and spoken-word samples to add to Varoshan’s already intense layers of sound. When they change things up and throw in some nice psychedelic riffs later on, it all gets a bit too much (in terms of how enjoyable it is!). The second half of the album begins with the interlude ‘Tyger Heart’. It breaks things up slightly but at the same time leads you nicely on.

What follows that interlude is ‘The Message’, which features additional vocals from Riina Rinkinen. Varoshan’s sound here takes a slightly slower turn, at least for a time with the instrumentation definitely becoming more doom-like. The addition of Riina’s clean tones give the song a much greater occult feel, even when up next to Mark’s harsher vocals. This is a side that I like very much.

It’s left to ‘The Snake’, the album’s longest song, to wind it’s way to a final conclusion. It’s a mix of the doom of ‘The Message’ and the alternative elements from earlier on in the album. It’s a pretty calming way to close things out and shows the versatility of all members of Varoshan. All of the above mentioned sub-genres are gathered together to create a really solid metal album. One that has it’s own personality and poise. Great job!

You can stream the full album and purchase it both digitally or on tape (or both!) below:-

Varoshan -

Elitbolaget -

Monday 10 January 2022

Youth Novel/Coma Regalia - The Gentle Harm Of Tradition Split

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Middle-Man Records/Too Far Gone Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 07 Apr 2016


1. Youth Novel - V

2. Youth Novel - VI

3. Coma Regalia - Each Day A Gift

4. Coma Regalia - From Me To You

I'm back after a few days of family time. I'm getting far too used to not working a full week as well. Got a week coming up where I can catch up on writing/planning and I'm kicking things off with the first Zegema Beach Roster review of 2022, in the form of the 2016 Youth Novel/Coma Regalia split. Released both on vinyl and digitally via a select group of labels, it's not been mentioned much (at least to my knowledge anyway), so here it is.

It’s my intention this year to change up my writing style; however, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (as they say) and I’m not sure my slightly laboured attempts would suit this split anyway. Also, it’s pretty futile when both bands here lean towards the emoviolence end of the spectrum, meaning that their songs are pretty short.

Youth Novel come first with two songs that come and go in a whirlwind of intense screamo. ‘V’ is pretty much emoviolence but with a calm, melodic mid-section. It certainly shows their best side with accurate and engrossing percussion, bass guitar that’s almost funky, dreamy melodic guitar work and properly rousing vocals. ‘VI’ is no different though there’s a live sense to the song thanks to it’s opening, which includes stirring speeches and applause. It’s equally as engaging as it’s predecessor too, with angular guitar being the main focal point (for me anyway). 

Coma Regalia is a band that should definitely be familiar to you, especially if you’re a fan of anything screamo/post-hardcore. The band has not just released music on almost every size of vinyl format ever,  but has also worked alongside a countless amount of others on split releases. CR’s two songs are meant to come and go very quickly, starting with ‘Each Day A Gift’. Musically spot-on (as always) and like Youth Novel, they’re very good a painting a picture through their sounds and textures. ‘Each Day A Gift’ is instrumental too. CR’s second song ‘From Me To You’ is much more immediate, though moments of calm do show through the intensity. 

I still maintain that releases like this are great. Yes they’re short but that only lends itself to repeat listens and the yearning for more. Both Youth Novel and Coma Regalia are prolific bands in their own right, but together they’re pretty damn unstoppable.

Stream and grab the split digitally below (also available digitally from Middle-Man Records and Too Far Gone Records):-

Youth Novel -

Coma Regalia -

Physical copies can be purchased from the labels below:-

Middle-Man Records -

Too Far Gone Records -

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL -

Dingleberry Records -

Middle-Man Records -

Too Far Gone Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Monday 3 January 2022

Song Premiere: Formants - Plague + Interview

It brings me great joy to be able to bring you my first song premiere of 2022. It's one that's a little bit special. It comes from a new project called Formants, which is an experimental electronic project featuring Derek Allen of post-hardcore band Lower Automation. I was introduced to it by Dave Norman of Zegema Beach Records, Tomb Tree (previously Tomb Tree Tapes) and now also of soft music imprint Softseed Music.

The album is called You'd Think It Was A Mistake and it will be getting the tape treatment that Dave is known for in a week's time. I was lucky enough to be able to listen to a couple of songs before finally settling on 'Plague' as the one I wanted to premiere. I really dig it and I think many of you will too.

Formants was created so that Derek could experiment with different ideas and with electronic music, influenced by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Einsturzende Neubauten and Depeche Mode, amongst others. You can stream the song in full below:-

As well as premiering the song, I was able to ask Derek some questions about the project, the album and  the his love of electronic music. You can read the full interview below:-

1. What is the history of Formants? Has it always been a solo project?

I started Formants in 2018 or so. I’ve always been really into electronic/experimental music. My first show was actually opening for Dalek and Street Sects. I wanted an outlet for all of the stuff I was making that would never fit in the context of Lower Automation. In the studio it’s always been a solo project, but I have had a few friends (including Brian from Lower Automation) play live with me and contribute some samples. 

2.  What made you decide to go further down the electronic path with Formants, compared to your other band Lower Automation?

I’ve messed around with synthesizers and software since high school. I was primarily in electronic and industrial bands before Lower Automation was started. Actually, Lower Automation was started as a way to get away from all the electronic stuff and just play “organic” instruments.

3. Your debut release is called 'You'd Think It Was A Mistake’. What inspired you when making the album and what was the writing/recording process like?

I think the biggest inspiration for this album was working with Angry Blackmen on their first album and latest EP. It just made me realize how much I love grittiness and noise in music. That was a huge influence for how these tracks turned out. I wanted to get that same mood, but without using distortion outright. So I used lots of field recordings and tried to process sounds in different ways to get a similar feeling. 

4. The album is being released on cassette via new label Softseed Music. How did that agreement come about and how does it feel to be one of the first bands (if not the first) to be working with the label?

Dave’s main label, Zegema Beach, released Lower Automation’s first album last year. When I finished this album and decided I wanted to release it, I asked him if he knew anyone that would be interested. He sent me to a few people and told me to come back to him if none of them worked out. They all ended up passing on the album and Dave was still down to release it. 

5. More and more musicians are moving towards solo projects as a separate outlet from their main bands. Why do you think this is?

Playing in a band is such a democratic process - which is great, but it can be creatively frustrating at times. It’s really therapeutic to sit in the dark by yourself and just let whatever happens happen.

6.  Have you always been a fan of electronic/ambient music and if so, are you familiar with any other current artists/projects? If so, which ones stand out to you?

Yes - I love electronic music! My favorites are Hunz, Rabit, pretty much anything on the Halcyon Veil label, the new Low album, and Nebulo. 

7. What strikes me when listening to both Lower Automation and Formants is that you’re a fan of music and art. What artists/bands mean the most to you at the moment?

My favorite band is Public Enemy. I can’t describe what they mean to me, both sonically and lyrically. I think those first four albums are unmatched. But this last year, I’ve been really into Einsturzende Neubauten and Sisters of Mercy. For whatever reason, that’s been my comfort music the past year. 

8. Do you intend to play live with Formants?

Yeah, I have a Chicago show coming up in March. First Formants show in 2 years. It was supposed to be in January, but has been postponed due to Covid. 

9. It is early days I know, but how do you see Formants evolving and do you plan on releasing more music?

I finished this album in the early fall, and the vast majority of it was done last spring, so I’ve had some time to think about this. I think my next release will be somewhat more instrumental, or at least less lyric-based. I’d kinda like it to be more like the Formants live show - more experimental and free. 

10. I’m really interested in getting musicians views on the shape of today’s music industry. What do you think of things currently and where do you see music consumption going in the future?

I feel very out of the loop with the music industry. But I love Bandcamp. It’s what I use to find and buy pretty much all of the music I listen to - unless I can buy it directly from an artist. So I think that’s really exciting. I don’t use any streaming services, but that seems to be the way things are going. 

You can currently stream another album track called 'Liar' via Softseed Music's bandcamp page below, where the album is also available for digitally pre-order:-

Also, catch a glimpse of what the tapes are gonna look like below:-

For more news about the release, head to these social media pages:-

Formants -

Softseed Music -