Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Retribution - Consumed

Retribution doesn't offer anything groundbreaking, but what they do offer is some straight forward hardcore that seems to have a nice, raw sound to it that communicates more desperation and genuine effort than the usual macho posturing scenario that this genre is known for.

When the band is taking you for a ride with some fast beats they have a very tight sound which is complimented well by the frantic vocals.  Launching into breakdowns and two step parts to break things up, the songs have a nice flow that never seems forced or unnatural. 

I dare say there's a bit of 90's influence in here and at times I can hear a heavy Downcast sound.  This style hasn't moved me lately, but this stuff does. 

Listen to it here.

Pity Sex - Dark World

Pity Sex has that sound that can simultaneously be poppy yet super depressing.  This may seem strange, but picture the mood of Dinosaur Jr mixed with Minus The Bear and I think you can start to get a good idea. Personally I find myself focusing less on individual instruments, but rather taking in the composition and the feeling as a whole. 

I'm really impressed by this for the feeling that it communicates.  I think most of this rests on the shoulders of the song writing, though the blown out production style takes what kind have been a sterile pop sound and adds some nice grit and rawness to it. 

There's five songs here that keep a consistent sound that draws me in.  Even when the vocals are alternating between male and female the same vibe is maintained without any drastic change. I'll be listening to this all week.

Listen to it here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Plastic Cross - Grayscale Rainbows

Plastic Cross features some members spanning through a history of New Jersey Hardcore (The Scarlet Letter, The Degenerics, Doc Hopper) and deliver nothing short of what you'd expect from this batch of seasoned veterans.

You can certainly hear elements of all those past bands within these compositions,though, the formula takes on a new shape with some interesting melodic singing, noodly guitar work and carefully calculated stops that come out of nowhere. Just about every song of the sixteen tracks here carries a run time just around one minute (with the exception of "Future Science" and "Dead Can't Dance"), though a plethora of twists and turns are found within a very short time.

Based on the song titles and what I can make out of the lyrics I am pretty interested to get a lyric sheet for this.  With song titles like "Totalitarian Eclipse of the Heart" and "Philosophy Student Action Figure" my curiosity is peaked.

Host / KYOTY - split 7"

Host comes at us at full speed with a brutal assault of d-beat influence hardcore that still maintains it's melodic edge.  The production here lends itself to display the band's heavy sound very well.  With crushing vocals and interesting guitar leads, these songs definitely stand out well and distinguish themselves clearly. There's nice mix of tempos here and the songs move like a well oiled machine.  There's just about something for everyone in this as it takes from a wide pool of different styles to put together something all it's own. 

KYOTY provides one five minute track of instrumental heaviness that has me thinking of a mix between bands like Russian Circles and Pelican.  There's an ambient element to it at times, and I must admit I prefer when this band is taking more of a Sabbath-influence approach with their single note heaviness as opposed to the soaked delay pedal activity.

Listen to the Host side here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Siddhartha - Subject to Change

Siddhartha play an interesting style of music that has me thinking of some of the early 90's emo in it's presentation (Think Managra or Embassy).  Mid gain guitar work falls beneath some desperately shouted vocals while the drumming seems to dance a bit more, stretching out beneath the songs to add some spice.

There's a lot of melody here as things seem to keep careful attention to creating a whimsical texture of guitars.  Even when the band gets on the more aggressive side (see "You Are Not Alone") the music still retains a clarity and seems to sound a bit subdued.  I'd be interested to see how this translates in a live setting.

Have a listen here.


We Must Dismantle All This - Eomaia Scansoria

We Must Dismantle All This play fast, angry hardcore that features rapid drumming, high gain guitars and an intense screaming vocal. Things move pretty fast here, though, if you pay attention you can catch this band pulling a mid tempo beat or breakdown for just a second (See "Poison The Heavens"). This music is fast, fast and more fast.

As the name implies, some of these songs deal with deconstructing civilization as a means of attacking power structure. The lyrics are pretty well written in my opinion as they touch present a nice balance between abstract and outright.

The production on here is not bad, though the overall master is a little low.  Turn up your speakers for this one to get the desired effect.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Woodwork - S/T

Woodwork is a new band from Toulouse, France, though, they sound more like they would fit right in back in 1993 in the United States.  The sound here is very much inspired by 90's hardcore.  At times I'm getting a strong 108 "Holyname-era" vibe mixed with a later Unbroken sound.  Subject matter here keeps in the political realm focusing on issues of political and social oppression. Lyrics and explanations to the songs are both provided giving the listener some further insight into the band's perspective.

Woodwork provides a pretty nice representation with these four songs, letting the listener know what they're all about both musically and lyrically.  The tempos and music change up on a regular basis, not harping to much on any one part. Things never get stagnant as these guys run through some pretty tightly written songs.

The production is a little rough and even reminds me a bit of some of those old sub par recordings of the 90s, though not nearly as badly produced as any Chokehold material. 

Have a listen here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mio - jedes wort eine lüge

Leipzig, Germany was probably one of the greatest cities I have ever had the pleasure of playing in.  Mio comes from Leipzig and I can't help but envy their being situated in a city that has such a thriving network of DIY hardcore.

Mio gives us five songs of female fronted chaos here that sounds very similar to bands like Koaspilot, Caught in the Fall and Orchid. 

The production is a little raw here and I think with a better recording some of the more chaotic musicianship would shine a bit more.  That said, the music seems very well cared for and carefully arranged.  The highlight is the epic "hin und wider" which clocks in at almost eight minutes.

Check it out here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pray For Teeth - Demo

Pray For Teeth is from Pittsburgh and has a dark hardcore sound that can remind me of His Hero is Gone at times.  They create a very hard hitting composition that communicates a good deal of doom and gloom, while still staying upbeat and exciting. 

The production on a whole keeps things pretty dark, as the higher end brightness is pretty absent.  Though, it seems to work, not sounding muddy or overly bass heavy.  The high gain guitars rage over top of some very pummeling drums, as the vocals stay in the lower register of the things, belting out a sustained growl.

The band mixes up tempos and drum work which keeps the listener on their toes (check out "Hive" for a good example of how seamlessly this band can change things up).  You get some classic d-beat here, but you also get a nice variety of mid tempo, slow and even some sludgy moments.   "Puritan Eyes" seems to be the Opus, coming in at 7:27 sitting mainly in a slow and epic presentation with use of delay on the guitar. 

Have a listen here.

Apart - Gray Light

Apart jumped on a show last night at the last minute and I caught their set.  I knew nothing about the band at all so one could say I was going in fresh, with no expectations.

The band played a short set due to jumping on the show, however from the first note (opening with "Carolina Cold") I found myself totally drawn into the power of the drums, the urgency of the screams and melodic nature of the strings. As the set went on the drummer precisely bashed the large cymbals to create a warm hum and emphasize every transition with some drum fills that alerted you of the change without being too showy.

Apart could possibly be lumped into that whole group of bands that are defined by the Touche Amore/Pianos Become The Teeth sound, however, there's something about Apart that chooses to take their sound a bit further.  Perhaps the dynamics of these songs where every pause is placed to create a good deal of intensity, or perhaps it's how the lyrics are communicated in a scream that never lets up or gets exhausted. A great record here, if you're into this sort of thing.

Listen here.