Monday, July 29, 2013

Where Birds Meet To Die - I'm Alone in This

Where Birds Meet To Die are from Western Pennsylvania and remind me a bit some late 90's emo bands like I Hate Myself but also have a modern edge to them similar to Pianos Become The Teeth and Apart. 

The guitar work is simply beautiful.  Every note is shimmering with tone and precision.  For the most part these tunes stay a little more upbeat than you would expect, and that's where the band sets itself apart from the aforementioned influences. There's almost constantly a mid tempo feel happening which is extremely interesting done in this context with music that is usually more traditionally slower.

Vocally there is an over the top, passoinate scream that adds just the right amount of aggression and desperation on the top layer.  I find myself wanting the vocals a little lower in the mix, but they are acceptable as is. Definitely enjoying this!

Listen to it here

Locktender - Kafka

From the band's page:
"Five songs inspired by Franz Kafka’s lesser known, short proverbial works called “The Zürau Aphorisms.” While our songs focus on and borrow from only five of the aphorisms, there are 109 total that Kafka wrote while staying in Zürau over the winter of 1917-1918, published posthumously in 1931. The collection covers a vast range of topics and styles, is beautiful, contemplative, entertaining and insightful. The proverbs we have chosen attracted us particularly for their simplicity, beauty, openness to personal interpretation and in some ways, their obscurity."

Philosophercore?  Ok. Sure.  Locktender are back with a new record which further emphasizes their heaviness of their last release.  There's still a nice Buried Inside influence happening here, but perhaps with a little Majority Rule/Textbook Traitors/Caught in the Fall influence thrown into the mix.

The main vocal is a little bit too metal in it's delivery at times for me, but it doesn't spoil the feast..and after a while my ears adjusted, hearing it as part of the whole composition.  The vocalist seems to have a good sense of when to hang back and when to rage full throttle into the depths of these songs. There's a second vocalist doing some more melodic work that plays it's cards perfectly adding just enough extra contrast.

Each track is a bit of a journey, ranging in length from 4 to 11 minutes.  You'll hear a whirlwind of guitar saturation dynamically employed with clean delay soaked notes.  The drum and bass work here is solid, creating a heavy backbone.  The song writing here is top notch, using a good dose of dramatic buildups,chaos and interludes to build character. An epic masterpiece for sure.

Listen to it here

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Host Post New Song

Host is breaking up, unfortunatley. But this song and video has surfaced of a song from their last recording session. It's a testament to what a powerful band they were. I like to think of this as d-beat for people like me who normally hate d-beat. Host, we'll miss you.

Sed Non Satiata - Mappo

Sed Non Satiata has just released a brand new 8 song LP.  If you're familiar with the band then you've come to expect a sound that lands in the neighborhood with their homeland counterparts Amanda Woodward. 

Mid gain guitars, steady drums and vocals that have a nice range between strained screams to hovering melodic bellows are consistant throughout the record.  There's a moodiness to this music that sort of reminds me of Yage's "The Human Head is Too Strong for Itself" 10" that was released in the beginning of the 2000's.

The band brings things down a few notches on these songs pretty often, balancing the ultra quiet with some more intense melody to showcase some nice contrast. Delay soaked guitars work up the soundscape at moments like this (see "Sehnsucht" and "San Andrea") and some of these tunes are not too far from the neighborhood of instrumental post punk at times.

Have a listen here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crash Of Rhinos - Knots

Similar to some recent bands like Atlas and Resorvior, Crash of Rhinos is doing a melodic, rocking sound that doesn't skimp on creativity and bold musicianship.  For the most part it's upbeat (with some small breaks, ie "Everything Is"), but has a dynamic quality to it that keeps things interesting. Some of it actually brings up similarities to like Benton Falls or Ethel Messerve at times. 

There are two lead vocalists that tend to switch off between songs.  The gruffer, dirtier vocals carry a Small Brown Bike/Hot Water Music sort of vibe, while the cleaner vocal work is more reminiscent of some of the 90's work of bands like Garden Variety or Farside.

The production lends itself well to a large, roomy sound.  There's great pronunciation of all the instrumentation, and really shows how each pieces works off of the whole composition. The songs are pretty lengthy, so you may get overwhelmed.  Take it slow. 

Listen to the whole thing here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Atlas - With Love, Evelyn McHale

I recently saw Atlas play at a small VFW hall for the first time.  Perhaps it was the intimacy of the venue or the way that each band member seemed to fully embrace the power of each note, but this band was really something. The recording is good, don't get me wrong, but this group is definitely a live experience.

Atlas will give you something in the late 90's rock neighborhood, at times reminding me of At The Drive In, Walleye and sometimes Texas Is the Reason.  The instrumentation is creative and the presentation shows a good deal of thought and consideration. 

The gang vocals used on some of these songs is extremely well done and placed in a way where they're not overused or sound forced.  It's a nice touch and adds a bit more intensity to some of the compositions.  A good job all around here.

Have a listen here.

Lesser Life - The Light Will Never Touch You Again

For a while I was playing drums in a band called Less Life.  When I heard about Lesser Life I figured this a band that has upped the anty on hopelessness.  It's good stuff, even with the uber depressing band name.

This band calls themselves "North Carolina Blackened Grind".  There is a lot of speed picking, double bass and chugging guitars happening here.  The vocals layout over top and vary between a high pitched shriek to a low growl. 

The songs are fast and relentless, assaulting you over and over with no sign of slowing down.  Lyrics seem to be largely focused on animosity towards organized religion.

You won't see me complaining, this is good stuff.

Listen to it here.