Friday, September 27, 2013

Chalmers, new band from Justin and Matt of We Were Skeletons

Justin and Matt of We Were Skeletons have a new band called Chalmers. It sort of picks up where WWS left off with some more of the DC inspired screamy stuff (think Hoover or Sleepy Time Trio). Very excited to hear some recordings.

Staring Problem - 3 Songs

Staring Problem play that moody indie rock that was really popular in the 80's among the Goth kids at your high school.  However, all those bad production tactics that were prevelent back then are absent here.  It's a much more raw, unfilted take on the style and it's pretty well done. 

There's a nice canvas here of echo-laden female vocals, clean guitar and understated drums with some low tone bass/organ backing it all up. It all creates a dreamy sort of sound, but still down to earth and accessible.  

Listen to it here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kaoru Nagisa - Concessive

This is awesome.  There's just no other way for me to put it. Kaoru Nagisa is a chaotic hardcore band from Virginia that does a great job balancing an early 2000's screamo sound with something a bit more traditional and mid 90's sounding.  Maybe picture if Majority Rule, Orchid and Universal Order of Armegedon were all mixed together and spread across six songs. 

According to their bandcamp page, they have four people handling vocal duties, though it never sounds overbearing.  There's a good deal of dynamics as well with instrumentation that goes from extremely frantic but can switch to a more musical/melodic mood with a very seemless transition. 

I get to see this band twice this weekend.  I am very excited.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Big Bad Wolf - Demo 2013

Big Bad Wolf is a new project featuring ex/current members of Troublemaker, Altered Boys, Manalive and Damaged Goods.  It's fast hardcore done extremely well and without sounding too much like a copy of those before it. 

The screeching feedback of the guitar adds a nice dirty, raw vibe to the overall atmostphere.  Vocally this is extremely angry and comes across rather genuine.  Bass and drums are holding it down here providing a really strong foundation.  I'm getting a Carry On/Betrayed vibe here at times, but with the rawness and dirt of a band like Ass Factor 4 or Furnace.  Good stuff.

Have a listen here.

Youth Funeral - Symptom of Time

If I close my eyes while listening to Youth Funeral I can easily imagine standing around a VFW Hall in 2001 surrounded by a crowd of people with white belts and silly haircuts.  Luckily it's 2013 and Youth Funeral have taken the best parts of the screamo genre from that time to create something modern that does it's best to pay tribute to the bands from back then.

There's a very dark and frantic mood to the whole EP, communicating a good deal of aggression and sadness.  I love the noisier aspects of this when the guitars are brimming with feedback, as if they're about to explode.  "Lush" sounds like it could fit right in on the last Tiny Hawks album, while other tracks are more at home in the Jerome's Dream neighborhood of things.

All in all, I enjoy this and would be interested to see how this band pulls it all off in a live setting.  Thank goodness they're from the Northeast.

Have a listen here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Aspergers / 1849 split 7

Aspergers are back with more of their chaotic early 2000's sound, though the band is pushing the envelope extra hard here on what they can do with the sound and genre. There's some great moments of using dynamics to translate some extra dramatic song engineering.  You'll also find some moments of intense driving melody that are executed very well.  There's less of the heavier chugging guitar than their previous material, but it's more than made up for. Incoherent screaming, high gain guitars, chaotic's all there and it works.  

1849's recording quality leaves a little something to be desired compared to the production on the Aspergers material, so it may take your ears a second to adjust.  1849 play a more straight forward take on the screamier hardcore genre, playing something a little bit more similar to mid 90's bands like Embassy or Schema and perhaps similar to modern bands like Nurture. It's a bit minimalist at times in it's presentation with a very stripped down sound. 

Have a listen here.

That's A Thing - S/T

There are times when That's A Thing has sort of that mix where punk/indie meets up with a 50's rock and roll sound.  Sort of like if the Ramones were an indie band with female vocals.

Other times the band is leaning more towards the experimental side of things and creating something different all together (the most obvious example being the 8 minute long "Siamese Twin" and 10+ minute long "Indifferent/Deaf").  I compliment them on covering so much ground while still maintaining something of a consistent sound throughout.

To make things even stranger they offer two tracks of songs played backwards which are aptly named "Noise Track 1" and "Noise Track 2". The record as a whole can be a quite a long ride and my main issue is that the total run time does make some of this appear to drag on.  There's really about three releases worth of material here. 

Take a listen here.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Placeholder - Thought I Would Have Been Somebody By Now

Placeholder is from Pennsylvania and have a sound that reminds me of something that would happen if you crossed Jawbreaker with Texas is the Reason.  It's upbeat, it's melodic; but it's also rough and the edges, matured and rugged.  There's some exceptional songwriting here and the vocal delivery really emphasizes how smooth everything flows. 

There's not standout instrumentation here.The songs just come together nicely, complimenting each instrument and working to create a really nice canvas for the songs.  Too few bands are doing this style, and even fewer are doing as exceptionally well as this.   

Listen to it here.

Krill - Lucky Leaves

Krill plays what I can only describe as that brand of discordant, artsy, indie rock that was probably best defined by a band like the Flaming Lips, The Pixies or Built To Spill back in the 90's. I'm not the biggest fan of this particular delivery, though it has it's moments where the unconventional approach pays off in giving you an interesting approach to catchy melodies.

Dry bass tone, jangly guitar and reverb soaked vocals are the stars of the show here.  The drums remain understated for the most part, providing more of a backbone instead of anything too flashy. 

Listen to it here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moxiebeat - EP

Moxiebeat is pretty incredible.  It's downtuned and heavy but with an underlying hint of melodic nature.  Even among their most chaotic moments there's an excellent melodic sensibility that runs in the background.

In terms of tempo and style Moxiebeat can really mix things up, going from a totally chaotic attack to a more subdued, melodic approach without any issues in the transition.  There's some excellent musicianship happening throughout all four songs, keeping even the most straight forward punk influenced parts interesting and unique. 

Listen to it here