Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Funeral Diner - Underdark Kickstarter Campaign

Long defunct Bay Area band Funeral Diner is running a kickstarter campaign to repress their record "The Underdark".  You can get information on the campaign here and have a listen to the record in it's entirety below:.

Hush - Untitled I

Hush are tuned so low that it sounds like their strings are going to flop right off of their guitars at any moment.  It's a crushing sound that sticks to the slow and heavy formula.  Perhaps picture bands like Rosetta or East of the Wall when formulating an idea of how Hush comes across.

The production works well in translating the downtuned guitars and powerful vocals.  I wish there was a little more attention to the drum sound, but overall it's nothing that takes away from the experience.

I picture Hush playing through full stacks, pummeling the audience with ridiculous noise levels and tone.  Hoping to catch this in a live setting one of these days.

Listen to it here.

Blood Red - See Something Say Something

Musically and vocally, there's some serious Ink and Dagger worship happening here, but I suppose it's refreshing since no one really attempts to step into this territory all that often. Thankfully there doesn't seem to be any vampire themed lyrics or aesthetic though.  Blood Red is from Pittsburgh and features members of Hounds of Hate, Pissed Jeans and Rambo.  I find myself enjoying Blood Red more than any of those bands though.

The music has a good amount of variety, changing things up from fast to slow quite often in a smooth, well executed fashion. The musicianship is creative and doesn't just stick to the bare bones generic hardcore routine.  Vocally you'll hear the familiar Ink and Dagger style shout that almost borders on comical at times.  

Listen to it here.

Ardvarck - High Hopes

Ardvarck is one of few bands (Nurture is the other that comes to mind) playing this more mid tempo, halfway subdued, style of 90's inspired emo.  It's pretty excellent if you have a liking for this style. 

Think a little more chaotic than Life at These Speeds, a less pretentious Stop It and maybe a little bit of Four Hundred Years, then you can start to get an idea of Ardvarck's sound. There are some heavier moments that interject here and there, but they are used sparingly.  Scream/shout vocals that carry some coherence to them fill up the top end, while the dense, chord heavy guitar work rains over some solid bass and drums.

The production has some rawness to it, though you can hear everything pretty well.  It's that perfect balance between bad quality and too polished.  Lyrics seem to focus mostly on personal matters in a more abstract way. 

Listen to it here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Polemarch - A Static Future

Polemarch are from Finland and sound a lot like early La Quiete and Raein material.  The jangly guitars and mid range bass drive the engine of these songs that take on characteristics of both melody and chaos.  

The screamed vocals on top have a totally incoherent, over the top, sound to them that makes the whole presentation sound that much more intense.  Though, these vocals can sometimes drop into a more subdued talk/shout to work some quick dynamics into the mix. 

Overall, if you're a fan of that early 2000's Italian screamo sound then this will definitely be right up your alley.  It's well done and I can't wait to hear more.

Have a listen here.

Go Deep - Counseling

I almost wrote Go Deep off because the name makes me think of the jock hardcore bands like Ten Yard Fight or Mouthpiece. When I found out they were playing here this week I suspended my judgement and checked it out. 

Go Deep do what they do very well.  It's hardcore and it's aggressive, but it doesn't carry any tough guy nonsense that often bothers me about this genre.  Similar to a band like Hell Mary, Go Deep have a nack for not following traditional song writing methods and employing some vocals that present themselves as honest in their straight forward approach. 

These 7 songs are impressive to me because they take a genre that's been done to death and add new life to it. It's almost as if the band has taken everything from older traditional hardcore like Youth of Today and infused it with modern hardcore in a way that shows the best of what each time period has to offer.

Have a listen here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nervous Mothers - Demo

Featuring former members of Millions of Them, Nervous Mothers are from Antwerp, Belguim.  They play an intense style of hardcore with tons of blast beats and fast changes.  It's has an extremely brutal presentation that holds nothing back and gets straight to the point. 

Fast drums, furious guitars and vocals that go from a desperate scream to a low growl makes this assault work really well.  There's only two songs here, but it's worth the listen for sure.  I can't wait to hear more.

Listen to it here.

Bonehouse - The Long Summer

First and foremost, when designing your bandcamp page do not use white text on a foam green background.  It makes your lyrics impossible to read. 

That said, Bonehouse has a definite 90's emo sound to them, moving to the side of the Ethel Messerve/Braid sound but perhaps with a little bit more of an aggressive approach at times (particularly in some of the distorted guitar tones).  It can be catchy and interesting; the kind of songs that seem to have a good deal of emotional dynamics to draw you in.

The band seems to utilize the group chanting device often. This is used to emphasize particular sections of lyrics, repeated anywhere from 4 to 6 times in a row.  Sometimes they create a very nice effect when the lead vocals sprinkle over the top of the chanting. Speaking of the lead vocals.  This is probably the most compelling part of the whole thing for me.  The vocals come across in a slightly off key, but "still trying to nail it" sort of way that seems to lend itself well to sound very honest and present. 

Listen to it here.

Holy - The Age of Collapse

Holy play an angry straight forward brand of dark hardcore similar to Dire Wolf and Cop Problem.  There's a ton of fast d-beat influenced drumming with screeching feedback guitars providing a raw feel. The pummeling bass tone doesn't hurt things either.  The vocals hit that perfect mid range between a generic shout and incorherent scream. 

It's nothing that's going to reinvent the musical wheel, but it's done extremely well and in a way that promotes creativity moreso than most bands playing this style. There's some extremely accomplished drumming here and it translates a wonderfully aggressive tone over the whole presentation.

The band comes from Milano, Italy, which makes me think I should pay more attention to the area and see if there anymore bands of this calibur coming out of there. Lyrics tend to be focused on atheism/rationalism and other accounts of free thinking. 

Listen to it here