Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shizune - Le Voyageur Imprudent

Shizune seems to have mastered the ins and outs of screamy hardcore, presenting a nice blend of chaos along with some straight forward sections.  There's no weak link on the instrumentation, as each musician pulls their weight and excels nicely.  The vocals are well executed and perfectly placed.

For the most part the band paints a nice canvas of mid gain guitars, explosive drumming and frantic screaming.  The delivery is always with an undercurrent of melody, even at their most chaotic.  At some points I'm hearing their Italian counterparts La Quiete and Raein come through, but other times this band is making a path all their own.

Check it out here.

Harangue - By The Strength Of The Mighty Atlas

You can't put a definitive thumb on Harangue's sound as it bounces around keeping you on your toes.  Sure, it's heavy about 95% of the time. But, between changing time signatures, rocket fire double bass and guitars that duck in and out at the most unexpected moments, Harangue aren't interested in following a cookie cutter pattern.

Ever wonder what Botch might sound like with an extra helping of blast beats?  Probably a lot like Harangue. I commend the band on taking some musical risks here that most heavier bands are shying away from.  Interest pauses, small insertions of melody, twangy bass lines, etc..all set this group apart from their peers.  The vocals blaze over top, never really letting up for a moment and hitting all these unusual tempo changes right on their points.

Check it out here.

Brito - This wave is only for the goodhearted

If you grew up in the 90's listening to bands like Shotmaker, Julia, Embassy, etc then Brito may be like going back in time for you.  If you're not familiar with these bands then I'll break it down for you.  Brito play a slower paced, discordant brand of hardcore featuring some mildly aggressive vocals and very open guitar work.

The shining star in Brito seems to be the bassist.  Many of the songs seem to be carried by the creative bass lines which are reinforced by a mid range tone.  The vocals are buried in the mix, though this is akin to the style they are going for.
Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

UnaxManoxAlxCuello - UxMxAxC

I love when a band can't be easily categorized.  Such is the case with UnaxManoxAlxCuello. This band will take you for a ride through a few different genres without sounding awkward or forced. There's a tinge of desperation expressed no matter if they're giving you mid tempo melodics or full on blast beats. "Lo Provisional de lo Definitvo" even gives you a glimpse of clean guitar.  The recording quality is raw, but aggressive, matching the bands sound perfectly.

Highly recommended.

Check it out here.

Tharsis They - Formless/Shapeless

A band like Tharsis They will bring you back to the mid 2000's when chugging guitars were meeting off time drum signatures for the first time.  While the band makes great use of the noodly guitars and off time drums, they also have a tendancy to bring on some straight forward fast parts and even the occasional 4/4 time breakdown.  I have to admit to liking the parts when this band thinks outside of the box, employing crazy guitar scales and abrasive drum fills. There's no lack of musical ability on this team.

Lyrically the band stays on the abstract side of things, but the words seem well-written and thought out, while still open for interpretation.  The vocals can, at times, fall a little bit too far to the tough guy side for me.  Songs stay around the 2 minute range, delivered a really focused sound that has no need for extra frills.

Check it out here

Double Me / Lifes - Split 7"

Double Me gets things started with some fast, no-nonsense hardcore.  It's aggressive music that maintains a nice interweaving of tempos and changes. You might throw this in the power violence category, but some of these songs surpass the 1 minute mark, breaking the golden power violence rule. A nice, full guitar sound with tight drumming really give you the impression that Double Me are accomplished at their craft. The vocals have a low, brutal tone to them that I would usually stray away from, but for Double Me it seems to compliment the music very well and sit in the mix just right.

Lifes take over side 2 with a very distinct brand of two piece hardcore featuring just bass and drums while the two players split up the vocal duties. The use of the 8 string bass employs a bit of circus music type feel to the more noodly parts, however adds texture to the more straight forward sections.  The tight drum stops and harsh vocals add more throttle, making you forget all about the absence of guitar.  

Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Under A Sky So Blue / Celebration split 7"

Under A Sky So Blue return with more passionate, lyrically-smart and hard hitting songs. With commentary on capitalism and racism, the anger and honesty boils to the top giving us a glimpse at a new generation of politically consious hardcore.  Musically you're going to experience some excellent dynamics that blend aggression and melody together to convey a desperate sense of emotion.

Celebration immediately took me back to the early 2000's with a noisy, chaotic sound reminiscent of New England bands like Jerome's Dream and Orchid.  Dual vocals sit just beneath chaotic drumming and sharp octave chords, with songs that come and go before you know what hit you.

Check it out here.