Monday, April 22, 2013

Longings - Demo

I have to admit the opening bass line had me worried.  There's a definite chorus effect on the bass which I typically don't like all that much.  But when the rest of the instruments kick in everything is blended extremely well and I found the bass working to the band's advantage.

The set up for these songs consists of some strong, yet simple bass and drum foundations that provide a backbone for swirling guitar and catchy vocal melodies.  The team up between the male/female vocals is pretty outstanding in providing a nice range that emphasizes the dramatic effects. 

I'm reminded of a lower key Embrace, Torches to Rome or Bullets In, with perhaps some sprinkles of Joy Division and Sonic Youth added. Overall, this is good stuff and I'm interested to see what this band is the future. 



Listen to it here.

Capsule - [A]

Capsule forego some of their older, busier work in favor of focusing on heavy, sludgy riffs piloted mostly by down tuned guitars and lose, single notes. Despite the slow pace, things still remain pretty interesting as the time signatures take you down a different road than the usual road map for this type of playing.

The guitars do take center stage here, but that's not to exclude the well executed bass and drum foundation that glues it all together. There's some glimmer of faster chaos in parts of "III" and "IV" that show some spastic drum work, though it retains it's focused, solid execution throughout.

The vocals seemed to take the back seat, as their just audible enough to know that they're present, almost falling into the background.  The addition of a cavernous reverb adds to this feel.  The production value here is pretty impressive and you get a monster of a sound.

Listen to it here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hate Vacation - Vol. 1

Hate Vacation (formerly Cowboy Boys) are from Philadelphia and feature ex and current members of Storm The Bastille, Holy Death and others. They carry a sound similar to bands like Botch and The Minor Times, though perhaps with a bit more rawness and attention to chaos that has me leaning more towards a comparison to Rats Into Robots or Bleeding Kansas as well.

These are six songs of fast changing time signatures, guitars that trade off each other nicely and vocals that project the sort of scream that sounds genuine and honest.  For the most part these tunes clock in at under two minutes, so you get a lot in a short amount of time.  Though, the band hasn't snubbed the listener; this songs are packed to capacity with time changes, starts/stops and a flow that keeps things interesting at all times.

Things slow down for the closer "Of Mice" which crawls along with an unsettling melody and clocks in at about three minutes. I'm thoroughly impressed with the song writing here and I'm glad someone is doing this style with such precision and well thought out movements.

Listen to the whole thing here.  

Chaotic Neutral - Living with Neighbors

Holy shit.  Here's a band doing that whole 80's throwback thing in an interesting way that blends more modern aspects of melody and noise in with the standard formulas.  Chaotic Neutral is from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Their sound is definitely defined by some faster, older hardcore, but take a listen and see how this team is interweaving their own influences to create an interesting sound.

The production quality is an extremely in your face mix that puts emphasis on the guitars, almost creating a wall of noise feel at times.  It's a thick sound that adds a more ferocious mood to this style. 

There's no lyrics included on the bandcamp page, so I'm going to have sought them out.  I'm definitely interested in what is being screamed about so desperately here. The song structures on this one seem to be very well thought out.  The band seems to be very coherent that this style can be killed by repetition, and so does their best to keep things moving from a nice selection of tempos, instrumentation and pauses. 

Listen to it here.

Priests - Radiation/Personal Planes

This is charming in a minimalist sort of way.  Priests is a three piece outfit from Washington DC that draw some comparisons to The Gossip or Heavens To Betsy.

The vocals seem to carry the songs, soaked in reverb and way up in the front of the mix.  The drums and guitar seem to stay pretty minimal and basic, almost to just provide a background to these vocal fits. 

I probably wouldn't like seeing this in a live setting (due to it's minimalist approach) or listening to it for any long duration, but these two songs give you just enough of an idea of what the band is going for.  Charming, moody and just enough to wet the palette.


Have a listen here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Song by FORCE QUIT.

I've been waiting patiently for some new Force Quit material as I was really impressed both lyrically and musically by the preview they posted a while back. 

Here's a new song by them that will appear on a 7" that should be out by the summer time.  Force Quit is from Toronto and play an angry style of hardcore that jumps from fast to slow without a moment to take a breath.  Well thought lyrics, great musicianship and an overall wonderful presentation make this band something I am eagerly awaiting to hear more of.

Listen to it here. Check out the lyrics here.

New Dirt Drinker track posted.

Dirt Drinker will be coming over to the United States in June and I'm very excited to see how they pull of their sound in a live setting being that they are a two piece band. 

This new track is from their upcoming LP that will be out in time for the tour and gives us a taste of what to expect.  I was drawn to this band for their ability to mix some of the heavier aspects of bands like Botch or Coalesce with a more raw, down to earth sound that incorporated some screamy and chaotic aspects. 

Check out the new song here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Aspergers - S/T

Aspergers are a current band from Russia, but sound as if they came from the year 2001 and lived in New England, United States. This is an almost a by the book replica of bands like Jerome's Dream, Orchid, Textbook Traitors, etc. 

That said, these folks set out to play a certain style and they play it very well.  There's no slouching on the level of execution brought forth, as the the playing is all totally on point. 

The intensity here is throughout and never stops. Personally, I'm a bit of a sucker for this style when it's done right...and this is done right.  The production quality is raw, but doesn't take away from understanding the intricacies of the chaotic musicianship. 

Have a listen here.

Bocanegra - S/T

From Guadalajara, Mexico, Bocanegra is a chaotic and screamy band that carries some beautiful melodic sensibilities to their music.  Picture the melody of bands like Yage or Funeral Diner mixed with the chaos and intensity of something like early Orchid material. 

The recording is extremely powerful as the large roomy drums pound under a very coherent guitar.  The desperate vocals and distorted bass sit just in the right part of the mix to not be hidden, but to subtly add that extra layer of warmth.

I love the urgency that this band presents in their composition. Every song sounds like an epic masterpiece.  I might even go as far as to compare this to Portraits of Past in that regard.

Have a listen here.


Very Rare - Demo 2012

It's sort of hard to place the sound of Very Rare.  They're from Brooklyn and at times tend to fall into a bit of that regurgitated "raw punk" trend that's happening there on a couple of these tracks.  Though, they pull out a bit more of a melodic card on a couple of these tunes to set themselves apart. They continue to further stretch the canvas adding some elements of chaos and break downs.

Song like "Shareholders" and "Wasting Nothing" bring an almost Samiam-ish quality to the band with some interesting and catchy melodic guitar/vocal work. "Ajax" has more of a chaotic break down feel to it that highly contrasts against the previous songs. They return to this style for their closer "Strange Ways". I have to admit to liking these four tracks the best out of the bunch.  They have character and some individualist shine to them that puts them above the set.

Nothing is breaking the 2 minute mark here, so the songs come and go pretty quickly.  You never feel like the entire composition hasn't been fully realized though.  Each song seems to carry a fair amount of peaks and valleys. Definitely a mixed bag of tricks here that can keep the listener on their toes.

Listen to it here.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ola Madrid - Distance is Decay

Ola Madrid is from Northern New Jersey and play a brand of post punk that reminds me of what would happen if you mixed Small Brown Bike with Pianos Become the Teeth.  There's some interesting musicianship here as each player seems to take great lengths at showing through with creativity.

The production is very clean, which strangely is the only thing that bothers me.  It's almost too clean in the sense that the little part of rawness you can expect from a live show doesn't come through. I'd probably also prefer the vocals to sit a little lower in the mix, personally.

It's five songs of vocals that range from gruff melodics to desperate shouts rising above some ever changing tempos and well pronounced instrumentation. 

Have a listen here.

Long Night - 3 song demo 2013

Long Night is a hardcore band from Northern New Jersey that plays a style that reminds very much of early to mid 90's metallic hardcore bands like Downcast, Chokehold and Culture. 

I really love the shouted vocals that go back and forth from speaking to a more intense yell.  The instrumentation is text book hardcore, but put into a package that works in all the right ways.  I have a soft spot in my heart for this.

While this isn't at the level of some of the other bands that are doing this style like XRepentanceX, it's still pretty damn close. The dramatic breakdown two minutes into "I'm So Tired It's Not Fair" or the slowed down intensity at the 1:20 point of "Troubled Times" are impressive and show some real promise that once this band gets it's bearings they will be a force to be reckon with. 

Check it out here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blood Sun Circle - s/t

Blood Sun Circle is from Syracuse, NY and have a strong 90's alternative rock sound that mixes well with a slower, moodier indie flavor.  Think Afghan Whigs meets Isis if you can imagine it. You'll hear plenty of reverb ridden guitar and melancholy vocal lines backed up by some understated, but tasteful bass and drums. 

I like the large, roomy sounded of the recording and feel it translates a nice soundscape for this particular style they've put forth.  Nice work here.

Listen to it here.

Taxa - Ressurrection Year

Taxa has a noisey mid tempo sound that reminds me somewhat of Drive Like Jehu at times, but carries a bit more body to it's presentation with some intense screaming (see "Real Actual") and pounding drum work.

The band offers two tracks; one presenting them in a faster, upbeat light, while the other sticks to a slower, moodier feel. Both seem to work for the band and the execution is pretty flawless. 

Definitely interested to hear more.  Check it out here.