Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ken Mode - Venerable

Ken Mode lands somewhere in that neighborhood with bands like Botch, Breather Resist and the Minor Times.  At times the band also seems to bring you something a bit more straight forward (though never boring or predictable). 

"Venerable" is ten tracks of really nice, interesting hardcore that has an aggressive attack to it.  The production here is nice and full with a great drum sound that provides a solid backbone.  With thick, distorted bass tone and a guitar sound that has the perfect blend of overdrive and saturation, the front end of this sounds massive.

If you're looking for some mid paced heaviness that maintains an angry vibe throughout then check this out.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Heemeyer - S/T

Heemeyer come to us from Tulsa, Oklahoma and play a dark and aggressive form of hardcore that incorporates a little bit everything.  It's a nice mix of technical playing swirled about with heavy attention to maintaining a hard hitting sense. 

The production is a bit bass heavy, but seems to work in the favor of the band to emphasize a more pummeling sound.  The opening track "Misery On Hoof" will give you a good representation of what this band can do as it lands in influences that seem to incorporate Tragedy, Takaru, Botch and perhaps a bit of Majority Rule.

The throaty vocals never let up as the scream above some reverb heavy snare drum.  The bass and guitar seem to lock in perfectly with an extremely dirty tone that sacrafices a bit of clarity in favor of chaos.

"Turn In/Tune Out" was the standout track for me as it's extremely well executed breakdown around 1:30 just had had my head moving uncontrollably.  "Rung by Rung" follows suit incorporating some of the same scooping rhythms to create that fast moving feel. All in all, this is a pleasant surprise and a record that I'll be definitely replaying for the next few weeks. 

Have a listen here.

Convul - I'll Be Seeing You

Convulsions recently changed their name to Convul and are getting ready to release this new record, as well as hit the road for some touring. 

With each release this band seems to add something new to their routine.  "I'll Be Seeing You" is no different.  I was told that the this release should be listened to as one piece of music, rather than separate songs, though each song is quite a departure in tone and style between tracks that it's hard not to separate it.

The record starts out similar to the sound we've come to expect from these guys with a heavy 90's influence of chugging guitars and technical drums. It's a solid opening that dissolves into an aggressive breakdown. 

Though the record takes some turns after that incorporating what seems to be a heavy Torche influence mixed with perhaps some older Converge material.  We're also hit with a lengthy composition of slow, reverb heavy guitar that seems to last around 11 minutes. I couldn't help but feel it dragged on a bit and found myself wishing to trade the piece in for a couple songs that would match the band's previously initiated flow on the album.

The production communicates a pretty healthy sound that clearly represents all the instruments very well.  The band seems to have taken some chances here that might take the listener a second or two to adjust to.  I admire the creativity expressed and at times it's pretty ingenious.

You can preview the track "Dream Walker" here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heart On My Sleeve - Stand​-​by, We're Going In For Life

Based on the name, Heart On My Sleeve pretty much gives you exactly what you would expect. What you're going to get here is four songs of heart wrenching emo with heavy screams and dramatic melodies.

Though the name makes it easy to predict what this will sound like, you still get a quality set of songs that have been obviously crafted by some folks who are well acquainted with this particular genre and style.  I appreciate when this band takes things in their upbeat direction and you can hear this on songs like "Forever Summer" and "Bitter Verses".

This music is less about chaos and more concentrated on melody and dynamics.  Think of bands similar to Last Letters or Funeral Diner for better comparison.  All in all, not a bad batch of songs.

Have a listen here.