Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blind Girls - Efflorescence

I don't hear about too many bands from Australia so I was happy to find out about Blind Girls. From start to finish I really like these 7 songs which put forth something akin to a more aggressive version of Funeral Diner or Coma Regalia.  The guitar and bass are bright and mid gain, but you can hear a heavy handed dig into the strings which adds more attack and dirtiness into the music.  This is capitalized on by some intense vocal work and frantic drumming.

The band seems to have a knack for songwriting as each track here flows really well.  The dynamics are well placed, giving you small spaces of quiet among the chaos.  There's a melodic element behind the whole thing, keeping a very introspective sound even when things are moving at high speeds.

Check it out here.

Elder - Lore

Remember back in the mid to late 2000's when everyone turned in their dual rectifier amps and mosh parts to start playing vintage amps and trying to start stoner rock bands?  It was a terrible time. Most of the bands lasted a couple of weeks and before you knew it those folks had decided to start hoax/ceremony copy bands anyway.

Luckily, there are bands out there that can give this music the treatment it deserves, backed by an enormous amount of talent.  To  call this stoner rock would not be giving it nearly enough credit for the musical intracacy and aggressive delivery that Elder has been able to put forth. Sure, there's a visible classic rock influence, but the band seems to manage to make it sound fresh, new and exciting.

The vocals are sparse, but when they do surface they are well fitting and carry a raw feeling to them that is absent from this style many times.  It's almost as though the blues influenced vocals you would normally hear over this particular style has been replaced with something more aggressive and charged.  It all works pretty well.

Check it out here.

Hush - Unexist

Back in 2013 I did a write up on Hush's untitled 7 song EP.  It was heavy, it was intense, and here we find Hush upping the ante from their previous material in a more refined and interesting way.

I would be interested to find out what tuning Hush has decided to use on these songs.  At times you feel like the strings are going to flap right off the guitars, while other times the low dropped tuning creates a complete wall of heaviness that would not be there with some standard tuned guitar.  Many doomier bands like this fall into the 'one trick pony' camp, using slow/heavy chords repetitively until you can't tell the difference between songs.  Thankfully Hush keeps things interesting with some very nice melody and dynamics that bring the listener on a pretty sweet showcase of sounds.

Recording quality here is huge and I'm very impressed with natural, roomy sound of the drums. The only stagnant part I'm finding here is the vocals.  They are very powerful and intense, however after about 8 minutes of monotone yelling it's easy to zone them out. Lyrics keep on the abstract side, veering in your depressing and dark territory.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shizune - Le Voyageur Imprudent

Shizune seems to have mastered the ins and outs of screamy hardcore, presenting a nice blend of chaos along with some straight forward sections.  There's no weak link on the instrumentation, as each musician pulls their weight and excels nicely.  The vocals are well executed and perfectly placed.

For the most part the band paints a nice canvas of mid gain guitars, explosive drumming and frantic screaming.  The delivery is always with an undercurrent of melody, even at their most chaotic.  At some points I'm hearing their Italian counterparts La Quiete and Raein come through, but other times this band is making a path all their own.

Check it out here.

Harangue - By The Strength Of The Mighty Atlas

You can't put a definitive thumb on Harangue's sound as it bounces around keeping you on your toes.  Sure, it's heavy about 95% of the time. But, between changing time signatures, rocket fire double bass and guitars that duck in and out at the most unexpected moments, Harangue aren't interested in following a cookie cutter pattern.

Ever wonder what Botch might sound like with an extra helping of blast beats?  Probably a lot like Harangue. I commend the band on taking some musical risks here that most heavier bands are shying away from.  Interesting pauses, small insertions of melody, twangy bass lines, etc..all set this group apart from their peers.  The vocals blaze over top, never really letting up for a moment and hitting all these unusual tempo changes right on their points.

Check it out here.

Brito - This wave is only for the goodhearted

If you grew up in the 90's listening to bands like Shotmaker, Julia, Embassy, etc then Brito may be like going back in time for you.  If you're not familiar with these bands then I'll break it down for you.  Brito play a slower paced, discordant brand of hardcore featuring some mildly aggressive vocals and very open guitar work.

The shining star in Brito seems to be the bassist.  Many of the songs seem to be carried by the creative bass lines which are reinforced by a mid range tone.  The vocals are buried in the mix, though this is akin to the style they are going for.
Check it out here.