Monday 31 July 2023

Yarostan - II

Labels: Araki Records/Bus Stop Press/Crapoulet Records/Hardcore Fore The Losers/Saka Cost/Seaside Suicide Records/Seitan's Hell Bike Punks/Self-Released/Yoyodyne Records/Dingleberry Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 04 Apr 2022


1. Minéral 

2. Les Maines Vides

3. Jouer Dans Les Ruines

4. Aux Miroirs Brisés

5. L'attente A Fait Un Désert Des Jardins De Notre Jeunesse

They say tiredness can kill and they're right. Thankfully though, the only thing it's killing right now is my energy. I'll get it back though and music always helps. French post-hardcore quintet Yarostan's second album II was released last April by the band on CD and digitally, as well as on vinyl by all of the lovely labels mentioned above. I first learned about Yarostan on the CINQ 5-way split LP from ZBR. It backed up what I already new about the French heavy music community, who have been ever so supportive since the inception of this blog.

If you want dramatic post-hardcore then venture no further than Yarostan and II. Opener ‘Minéral’ has all kinds of musical elements flowing through it, from heavy hardcore instrumentation and harsh screams to emotive clean singing from multiple vocalists. Something a little different then, especially given the softer edges of their sound. Post-hardcore seems to shapeshift into post-metal on ‘Les Mains Vides’ and in doing so, it paints a picture of a band that is comfortable wherever they sit musically. Oddly there’s some viking/folk metal-esque riffing and melody that follows the dark, angry opening bars (you’ll get what I mean here if you listen closely). The mid-section is filled with extremely well-written instrumental music before Yarostan reels you back in with a final blast of post-metal. Like the album’s opener, it’s a proper journey.

‘Jouer Dans Les Ruines’ ebbs and flows between melody, harshness and introspection. The expansive nature of Yarostan’s music is clearer with every passing second here. I don’t know if this is something they aspire too but I can totally see them on the roster of a label like Pelagic Records sometime in the future. They’d be a great addition if so. The last two songs on II pass the ten-minute mark and ‘Aux Miroirs Brisés’ is an ambient number at first before growing in layers and intensity, becoming something more familiar but with a sinister twist. The sound of what could be an organ or ghostly synths can be heard within the mix, adding haunting warmth. The musical movements that Yarostan go through during all of their songs are something to behold but here, they really seem to flourish.

‘L’attente A Fait Un Désert Des Jardins De Notre Jeunesse’ closes out the album with a bang. That bang was pretty instant and it led to something much bigger. Progression is a term that’s thrown around a lot (by me included) but it feels like Yarostan have really embraced it here, where sludge-like riffs rub shoulders with their now familiar clean vocals, while off-kilter dissonance jolts you one last time. I honestly don’t know how to end this review. Yarostan’s unique approach to post-hardcore is filled with genuine affection and a clear sense of musical enjoyment. Merci Yarostan, tu es parfait. 

You can purchase II on all formats (including on tape, which I failed to mention above) via Yarostan's bandcamp page below:-

Copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-

Araki Records -

Crapoulet Records -

Hardcore Fore The Losers -

Saka Cost -

Seitan's Hell Bike Punks -

Dingleberry Records -

Araki Records -

Bus Stop Press -

Crapoulet Records -

Hardcore Fore The Losers -

Saka Cost -

Seaside Suicide Records -

Seitan's Hell Bike Punks -

Yoyodyne Records -

Dingleberry Records -

Friday 28 July 2023

Loose Teeth - Confronting The Inevitable Premiere

July 31st, save the date, because it's the day that the brand new split between Toronto (CAN) chaotic hardcore band Loose Teeth and and fellow metalcore countrymen Constrain is being released by Tomb Tree. To wet your appetites for the release, I'm lucky enough to be able to share Loose Teeth's closing song 'Confronting The Inevitable'. Play it loud below:-

Loose Teeth had the following to say about both the song and the split:-

“Confronting the inevitable is a commentary on the encombrant struggle that is; accepting a wealth of mental health issues brought on by years of maladaptive substance abuse as a means of coping with trauma. It is meant as a reminder that there comes a time when excessive medication used as an anxious-avoidant agent without coupled therapy - or other means of acceptance - leads to a breaking point. For some, that breaking point can be harnessed as a positive turning point where they seek out appropriate help or manage to make significant changes on their own. For others, it can mean a detrimental impact on their livelihood or worse.”

“This split is a large departure for Loose Teeth. We wanted to do something different and express our more emotive side following “A Comorbid Letter” and ahead of an even more aggressive album later this year. There are very few times where we have a moment to breathe and reflect when expressing the darkest forms of ourselves constantly and we had some spare time to do so over the pandemic when we wrote these songs from opposite sides of the continent together. Constrain are a new group formed from long-standing friends and pillars of the hardcore community in Hamilton and they were a natural fit. We’re also stoked to be backed by the amazing people at Tomb Tree and even had some assistance from No Funeral Records with the artwork.”

In terms of the physical goods from Tomb Tree, the split will be pressed on a total of 33 tapes. 20 will be on silver swirl, 10 on grey with 3 test dips coming with matching swirl cases. You can peek them below:-

Finally, the full tracklisting for the split is as follows:-

1. Constrain - The Fantastic Mr. Fox (You cussin_ with me -) ft. Thomas Erak of The Fall Of Troy

2. Loose Teeth - Rancor

3. Constrain - Lavitz

4. Loose Teeth - Longest Week

5. Constrain - When I Was Sick

6. Loose Teeth - Confronting The Inevitable

Keep your eyes peeled on the links below for news of the split drop:-

Tomb Tree - /

Loose Teeth -

Constrain -

Tuesday 25 July 2023

Vimur - Transcendental Violence

Labels: Boris Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 02 Apr 2022


1. Aeonic Upheaval

2. Transcendental Violence

3. Infallible Contra Animus

4. Emanations From The Sun Behind The Sun

5. The Greatest Dying

6. Death Absolution

7. The Warrior Seers

I spotted a pattern when I came to write this review. All three of Vimur's fill-length albums to date have started with the letter T. Anecdotal as that might seem, I thought it was worth mentioning as I wasn't sure how to open this review. Atlanta, Georgia's (USA) Vimur began playing USBM back in 2006. but it wasn't until 2014 before their first demo was released (though a demo CD from 2010 pre-dates that). Since then there have been two full-length album, a live album and an EP leading up to this, their third album. It was Boris Records that first brought Vimur to my attention and it was they who helped bring Transcendental Violence to the ears of plenty of extreme metal fans last year.

I feel this burst of extremity is very much needed, given the purgatory that has been my day job over the last couple of days. Album opener ‘Aeonic Upheaval’ is full of blasting percussion, ground-shaking bass work, icy yet atmosphere-building riffs and vocals that cut through the instrumentation like cold sharp steel. I don’t recall Vimur’s sound being this black metal heavy on previous releases, but it is an enjoyable sound that they create here. That enjoyable factor comes in the form of the groove that’s prominent in their song-writing, I’m not talking stoner/doom groove but there is something mesmeric about the closing bars of ‘Aeonic Upheaval’.

From something pretty lengthy to something altogether more brutal sounding. The album’s title-track ‘Transcendental Violence’ drip feeds death metal into Vimur’s sound, albeit subtly as they still take no prisoners when it comes to their black metal. The other thing worth noting here is the sheer volume of the recording on this thing. It’s pretty damn loud even at half volume!

The tempo on ‘Infallible Contra Animus’ is deceiving, especially following that title-track. It’s the riffs that seem to slow it down in places even though most of the time it almost reaches grinding intensity. That intensity gives off a false sense of time because the song isn’t even halfway through at this point. It’s latter half does nothing to dispel the sense of pace and it leaves you wondering how Vimur can sustain such velocity for so long.

That same velocity is carried through to ‘Emanations From The Sun Behind The Sun’, which pretty much follows in exactly the same vein. Hearing the guitar melodies ringing out amongst the percussive blasts is a dream-like experience if you find solace in heaviness. After escaping the bludgeoning of ‘Emanations...’, the metallic lead guitar of ‘The Greatest Dying’ brings you back to life with quite the shock. It’s only a brief shock though as Vimur once again stride forth with more unrelenting black metal. It’s final third leaves some room for breath but it feels only fleeting.

Doom, death and black metal form a holy trinity on penultimate song ‘Death Absolution’. It’s the atmospheric piece that Transcendental Violence has been promising and it shows another side to Vimur’s song-writing ability As somebody who has been drawn further down the post-metal rabbit hole of late, I have to say that I find this side of Vimur more appealing (but ask me in a couple of weeks and I’ll probably say that their rabid black metal is hitting the spot). That says more about my constantly shifting attention span than it does about their music,. 

Album closer ‘The Warrior Seers’ eschews that post-metal calmness and retreats back into the cold shadows, enveloping you one final time in Vimur’s black metal majesty. You could describe it as cinematic, as Vimur reaches a climactic peak with such ease and poise. This album is the perfect length in my humble opinion. It captures the attention and the imagination without being too long. A great listen but don’t just take my word for it.

You can stream and purchase Transcendental Violence on all formats from Vimur below:-

Vimur -

Copies are also available from Boris Records below:-

Boris Records -

Friday 21 July 2023

Neuman Portentum - God Monster

Labels: Ripping Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 02 Jul 2023


1. Crucifixion Asphyxiation

2. Fourth Movement

3. A Brick Through The Window Of Opportunity

4. Ghost

There's a sad story linked to the release of this four-track LP containing songs by Floridian hardcore/screamo band Neuman Portentum. The band existed for merely a year between 1998 and 1999 before splitting up, without releasing any finished songs. Their bassist Ron K paid to get the original tape tracks converted to digital ones in order to make this vinyl release happen, before he sadly passed away last year. With all of that being said, this release is a celebration of both Neuman Portentum and more importantly Ron, and his love for the music that he helped create.

Having the privilege of hearing a band from the late 90s such as Neuman Portentum is not lost on me. The fact that recordings like this are being preserved is fantastic. LP opener ‘Crucifixion Asphyxiation’ is a breath a fresh air as it’s heaviness is tempered by plenty of introspective ambience and melody. Sometimes we forget about the bands that paved the way for what we know and love today musically. Despite Neuman Portentum’s very short lifespan there’s more than enough to inspire here. That extended instrumental mid-section gives way to sludgy hardcore mixed with vicious yet emotive screamo. Not quite emoviolence but veering towards it in brutal fashion. 

There’s a shift in mood during second song ‘Fourth Movement’, given the sampled call to prayer that adorns the intro. Lowly guitar and synths lead into something much darker. There might be an anti-religious slant to the song here and I’m certainly not averse to it if so. Whatever the subject matter, it’s properly furious and engrossing throughout. The band split up due to a difference of opinion around politics and it’s influence in their direction. It’s a shame that it thwarted their progress.

The song title ‘A Brick Through The Window Of Opportunity’ is not just brilliantly thought out but it’s also apt for the current climate in which we live. It fits musically too, as Neuman Portentum make it their longest song. Bold riffs, aggressive blasts and squalid screams are all present alongside Ron’s unique bass delivery, which adds so much heft to the music. Even for me who was not familiar with the band prior to this release, is getting quite emotional listening to it.

LP closer ‘Ghost’ opens with another dramatic sample before Neuman Portentum unleashes a final blast of their metallic, anxiety-inducing screamo/hardcore. It’s melodic without being over-the-top, while progressiveness shows through as it has throughout. It’s definitely one of those releases where you long for more but savouring what’s in front of you is important too. No comparisons are needed here.

You can stream and purchase God Monster on all formats below:-

Physical LPs are also available from the below links (while stocks last):-

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL - / USA -

Ripping Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Thursday 20 July 2023

Montana - Necessita

Labels: Crapoulet Records/Smelly Cat Records/Sonatine Produzioni/To Lose La Track/1a0

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 17 Dec 2021


1. Allerta

2. Posto

3. Tonsille

4. Decompressione

5. Ribalta

6. Contesa

7. Altitudine

8. Brombo

9. Perimetro

10. Offendicula

11. Scienza

I can't remember the last Italian fast/hardcore punk band I featured here. I've fallen further and further out of touch with the newer wave of punk bands coming through (which, to this day, I still blame on the demise of the MRR print zine). Are there any alternatives to MMR still in print and available? Let me know if so.

Anyway, as alluded to in the opening sentence above, Italian band Montana is my focus for this evening. I only learned about the band in June 2022 thanks to a newsletter e-mail from French label Crapoulet Records. Montana's latest album Necessita was originally released digitally by the band in late 2021 before being released on vinyl in June 2022 via the aforementioned Crapoulet Records, as well as Italian labels Smelly Cat Records, Sonatine Produzioni, To Lose La Track and 1a0. To date Montana has released four full-lengths, one EP and a split record.

I need a decent injection of loudness this evening and Necessita’s opener ‘Allerta’ is exactly that. More punk than noise but really enjoyable all the same with hints to bands like Dark Thoughts and AFI (in places). Those are both US comparisons obviously because my European punk band vocabulary is somewhat lacking at the moment (aside from Sweet Empire and Irish Handcuffs). What’s immediately noticeable here is the crispness of the production, mixing and mastering on the album. ‘Posto’ sounds very crisp instrumentally while the vocal grittiness works really well too.

There’s no meandering going on with Montana’s music and the driving guitars of ‘Tonsille’ sound even better when laid up against the band’s Italian lyrical delivery. The rhythm section of bass and drums keep the tempo in check and bouncing too. ‘Decompressione’ is a more than solid instrumental punk song that’s catchy and to-the-point. There’s a definite pop-punk vibe about it as well!

‘Ribalta’ sees Montana jump straight back into it with raucous punk that contains some killer shouty vocals that sound remarkably clean. Things get a teensy bit more artsy on ‘Contesa’ but only during it’s intro, which has a great off-kilter feel. The rest of the song is pure unadulterated punk in all it’s glory. Loving it! The pause between ‘Contesa’ and ‘Altitudine’ seems almost unnecessary, except for the sample that opens the latter. ‘Altitudine’ follows in completely the same vein as it’s predecessor, keeping the heart racing and the blood pumping.

You might be thinking that ‘Brombo’ is another interlude/instrumental but it’s not. Instead it’s a song filled to the brim with urgency and one that exemplifies Montana’s quality as a punk force to be reckoned with. ‘Perimetro’ gathers that same attitude and injects it with plenty of melodic riffs and a lengthier playing time, which is also characteristic of the album’s closing numbers.

Penultimate banger ‘Offendicula’ channels Montana’s AFI vibes without taking things too far. Such a good song filled with excellent bass lines that propel their way to the forefront of the instrumentation. Album closer ’Scienza’ begins with piano that’s oddly broody before that mood is quickly erased by Montana’s up-tempo punk for one last time. 

This album goes by way too quickly. Montana combine’s subtle heaviness with catchy punk that writes itself really. Musical exploration for the win! Give this a go while you’re heading into the weekend, it’ll sort you right out. Brilliant stuff.

You can stream Necessita and purchase it on both digital, and vinyl formats below:-

Montana -

Physical copies can also be purchased from the below labels:-

Crapoulet Records -

Sonatine Produzioni -

To Lose La Track -

Crapoulet Records -

Smelly Cat Records -

Sonatine Produzioni -

To Lose La Track -

Thursday 13 July 2023

Ara Solis - Ashvattha

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions/Zazen Sounds

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 14 Apr 2023


1. Trono Negro do Firmamento

2. Ara Solis 

3. Ashvattha (The Tree of Life and Death)

Black metal appears in all corners of the globe; however, the Galician region of Spain isn't a corner that immediately springs to mind when thinking of the often ice-cold, raw sub-genre. The duo Ara Solis released their debut album Ashvattha in April via Greek label Zazen Sounds (who handled the CD and digital release), while German heavyweights Iron Bonehead Productions too care of the vinyl release in May. 

Ara Solis are not one to go for it straight out of the blocks, as the unnervingly quiet intro to ‘Trono Negro do Firmamento’ demonstrates. What follows that intro is best described as raw, intense black metal. The drums sit deep in the mix underneath surprisingly warm guitars, while there’s a constant hiss (that’s probably employed for atmospheric reasons) flowing through the recording, adding to the unease that’s created by the shrieking/crying vocals.

The album opener stops dead giving way to ‘Ara Solis’, which this time employs deeper growls and grunts amidst the trance-inducing instrumentation. The guitars are much more drone-like here and the percussion blasts away in the background, as if it was an afterthought (though I’m sure it wasn’t). This is certainly at the more extreme end of the black metal spectrum, especially given it’s extended playing time. With all that said, ‘Ara Solis’ is very much a grower thanks in part to that droning and repetition. It’s growing on me anyway!

The album’s title-track ‘Ashvattha (The Tree of life and Death)’ goes another step further in both song length and bleakness. It brings together all of the elements woven into the album’s previous two songs. The repetitive song structures and the frightening raw screams make it an engrossing listen throughout it’s seventeen+ minute playing time. As the riffs slowly fade out, you’re left with calming ambient music that fits the release perfectly.

I was a bit unsure about this release at first but I really enjoyed it. It feels strange to say that you “enjoyed” something that’s meant to be the antithesis of catchy/radio-friendly music but I’ve been listening to heavy music for long enough now to know what I like. As debuts go, Ashvattha hits the spot. Iron Bonehead has done it again and I’ll be digging deeper into Zazen Sounds now too.

You can stream and purchase Ashvattha on all formats from Ara Solis below:-

Physical copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-

Iron Bonehead Productions -

Zazen Sounds -

Iron Bonehead Productions -

Zazen Sounds -

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Sans Visage - Moments

Labels: Asian Gothic/Dog Knights Productions/Utarid Tapes/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 20 Dec 2017


1. 22

2. Song 1

3. Song 2

4. Worthless

5. Denial

6. Alt

7. Barricade

8. Distance

9. Life

10. Sway

11. Past

Time's moving too quickly again, which in turn means I've been slowing down on the writing front (not through choice but because of tiredness). With that being said, slow progress is still progress and so I'm back with another ZBR roster review. It's another rare one this because it's about an album that I own on a physical format (I'm trying but I'm nowhere near owning everything). 

Japan's Sans Visage released their first demo in 2014, while their latest release to date is the 2020 split 7" with Look At Moment. Moments remains their only full-length so far, having been released on vinyl by Asian Gothic and Dog Knights Productions in 2018 following it's initial digital release in late 2017. Tape runs from both Zegema Beach Records in 2018 and Utarid Tapes in 2019 helped to spread their sound further.

Honestly, this week’s been a breath of fresh air so far. I’ve felt way more focused in my work life, though it hasn’t translated to the blog just yet. I still need to book some time off to truly get back on track with everything. The evening sun has caught me at the right time and so has this latest instalment of my ZBR roster review series, especially as I hold a lovely maroon vinyl copy of Moments in my personal collection. I’ve been listening to mathcore on my way to and from work today too, so the slower tempo of opener ’22’ is a welcome change of pace. A fantastic piece of Japanese screamo that typifies just how good the island nation is when it comes to heavy music where melody is king.

‘Song 1’ is misleading (and you don’t need me to tell you why) but it still feels like it has a completely fresh sound, such is it’s higher tempo and immediacy. ‘Song 2’ follows on, much more in the vein of Sans Visage’s countrymen Envy, subtly. Spacey, earthy post-hardcore with quieter passages interspersed between more fractious ones. Brilliant! The song ‘Worthless’ is anything but. It’s filled with genuine and heartfelt emotion that only comes from music, and musicians that you have an affinity with. You’ll know what I mean when you listen to that song or artist that you hold in such high regard. That one that reminds you that things are good. There’s even some loverly math-like riffs gong on to.  

‘Denial’ goes in a more angsty direction, though it’s also amongst the album’s most melodic songs (instrumentally). Again it’s not a long-player by any means but it doesn’t need to be. Sans Visage hit the nail on the head perfectly. The sub one-minute ‘Alt’ is an example of controlled chaos. It’s fraught but not frenetic if you get my drift. I’ve always admired Japanese bands for their ability to be sensitive even at their most intense. I think it has a great deal to with their character as individuals. Sans Visage bring about a shift during the second half of Moments with lengthier songs, starting with ‘Barricade’. It’s a shift that creeps up on you somewhat, especially when there’s an injection of euphoria during ‘Distance’.

Progressive/slightly bluesy tones greet you on ‘Life’. For the ninety seconds that make up the song’s intro, you’re whisked off to a place of instrumental freedom before the layers build and crescendo in typical post-hardcore fashion. What comes later on mixes harsh vocals with cleans that sit on top of the recording beautifully but also somewhat desolately too. Penultimate number ‘Sway’ brings the band’s instrumental prowess to the fore once again in a very understated way. You’re forever waiting for an explosion of dissonance and energy, but that wait only conspires to frustrate as Sans Visage remain measured to the last.

Album closer ‘Past’ stands with abundant grandeur, such that no additional words can describe what this music feels and sounds like. It’s incredibly hard to believe that Moments was/is still the first full-length album from Sans Visage. Their maturity and sensitivity flows through the music. They deliver it all in such a neatly packaged way too. If ever there was a reason for abandoning mainstream music (that’s almost always dumbed down), this is it.

You can stream and purchase Moments as a name-your-price download from Sans Visage below:-

Sans Visage -

Physical copies can still be purchased from the labels below (apologies if I've missed anyone):-

Dog Knights Productions -

Dog Knights Productions -

Utarid Tapes -

Zegema Beach Records -

Friday 7 July 2023

Seasons Worn - A Flower In Faith

Labels: Tomb Tree

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 14 Jul 2023


1. The Rose Chamber

2. Tragedy

3. Bound In Dead Leaves

4. The One Who Stops The Water (feat. Jordan Chase)

5. Revealing Light

Another working week draws to a close and I'm exhausted. Two days of rest just aren't enough! Hopefully this EP will give me a boost of energy. As promised when I premiered 'The One Who Stops The Water' two weeks ago, I'm looping back round to give the full EP from Canada's Seasons Worn a review prior to it's release next Friday via Tomb Tree. A Flower In Faith is the second EP to come from the band in little over sixteen months.

For those who are discovering Seasons Worn for the first time, the trio plays dissonant/off-kilter hardcore that leans into metalcore. The EP’s cover art gives off an old-school metalcore vibe and opener ‘The Rose Chamber’ flies out of the traps with plenty of signature changes and anxious heaviness. There are some solid mosh parts going on too, but the breakdowns are subtle (if at all). ‘Tragedy’ could be an homage to the legendary US hardcore band of the same name, but I doubt it is (as cool as that would be). It sees Seasons Worn picking up the pace considerably, leaving no room for breath. 

When I was writing the premiere a couple of weeks ago I was listening to the EP in full. I drew comparisons to Refused at the time and ‘Bound In Dead Leaves’ was the song playing at the time. The vocal delivery reminded me a lot of Denis Lyxzen, as did the riffs later on in the song. I still stand by that comparison.  Single ‘The One Who Stops The Water’ takes things back in a more chaotic direction, with more off-kilter rhythms, riffs and screamed vocals that could shred vocal cords. It’s an exhilarating song that ends in the most unlikely way (you’ll understand when you listen to it). 

EP closer ‘Revealing Light’ leads with furious drumming while excellent dual guitar riffs bring the melody up front. The remainder of the song provides heart-wrenching bellows and symphonic-like instrumentation. For  a five song EP, there’s a lot going on here. That’s good though as music shouldn’t sit still and bands should never get comfortable. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve spent most of the last few weeks listening to the newest Sleep Token record. You may pour scorn on my music taste but it sort of proves my point. Seasons Worn aren’t just settling for one distinct sound. They’re clearly willing to be experimental and expansive. I’m completely on board with that. 

You can stream and download the single 'The One Who Stops The Water' prior to the full release below:-

Seasons Worn -

Keep checking below for pictures and links for the imminent tapes:-

Tomb Tree - /

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Alex B Kurbis - Mondays And Tuesdays

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 12 Jun 2023


1. While Not In Paris

2. In And Out Of Moment And Focus

3. Bargain Hunting

4. Topical Kinda

5. Lesson 3

6. Aurora Babsealis

7. While Not In Manchester

8. Crowbar Handy

9. Mondays And Tuesdays

10. Finders Keepers

11. Beehive

I've been trying in vain to find out who Alex B Kurbis is. I thought they might have been a historical figure that could have added a bit of weight to this opening paragraph. Lack of educational facts aside, Alex B Kurbis (the band) only recently came to my attention. The band is based in Switzerland and is about to embark on a UK run of shows later this week! Mondays And Tuesdays is the band's debut album and was released last month. An amalgamation of punk, indie, emo and more.

Opening with a song that has the most apt title (if you’re up on current events), ‘While Not In Paris’  is less chaos and more sweet melody, wrapped up in a slice of mid-paced indiemo/punk. A glorious sing-along if ever there was one. ’In And Out Of Moment And Focus’ brims with understated post-punk alongside it’s more upbeat moments. The production/mixing/mastering for what is essentially a DIY solo-recorded album is brilliant. It was mastered by Joe Caithness (who has also worked with Doe, Human Hands, Renounced amongst many others). If you’re a fan of UK emo/post-hardcore and computer game soundtracks, you’ll know how good his work is.

I’ve forgotten how much fun it is just to listen to a band like Alex B Kurbis to be honest, as I tend to have my ears buried deep in much heavier bands but ‘Bargain Hunting’ is the feel-good hit this summer needs even if it’s not blaring out from festival stages (which it should be!). Mondays And Tuesdays is an intricately written album when you delve deeper into it, as no song sounds the same. ‘Topical Kinda’ is darker than it first seems, taking subtle cues from The Cure and Franz Ferdinand. My sphere of reference when it comes to similar bands is limited but comparisons aside, I like it a lot.

The riffs jump out on ‘Lesson 3” with a whole heap of upbeat melody and joyous colour. Colour that’s magnified by the vocals and all-round song-writing. The percussion gives off so many pop-punk vibes without being cheesy (though maybe it’s only me that can hear Lit in this song!). More intricate musicianship fills the relatively short ‘Aurora Babsealis’. It’s hooks are subtle but they still make it memorable. For an album that features eleven songs it goes by way too quickly, especially when you cross over the midway point here.

‘While Not In Manchester’ isn’t an ode to Britpop. Instead, it weaves a vitriolic and celebratory collage of sound that’s way more engrossing than it first appears. Noise (in the scuzzy rock sense) isn’t really a thing on Mondays And Tuesdays, but if it was then the intro to ‘Crowbar Handy’ would be as close as it gets. It gives way very quickly to reveal more warming punk. The album’s title-track ‘Mondays And Tuesdays’ acts like an interlude but It’s perfectly placed to lead you into penultimate song ‘Finders Keepers’. By now, you’ll know what to expect from Alex B Kurbis and if you’re not on board with it then you’ve got no soul.

Final song ‘Beehive’ closes things out with a bleary eyed nostalgia that’s rooted in the UK music scene of old, with it’s anthemic melodies and sensitive instrumentation. It’s been a breath of fresh air listening to this record this evening and I’m feeling way more positive because of it. Props to Alex B Kurbis for writing such an enjoyable album.

You can stream and purchase Mondays And Tuesdays as a name-your-price download below:-

The flyer for the band's imminent UK tour is below, where CD and Tape copies will be available:-

Alex B Kurbis -