Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bandcamp of the Week: False Light

So this'll start in lieu of me having to get into the gritty details of particular releases. Instead, I'll just dump what I know and embed a good song. Also, a nice follow up from the piece I did a bit back about Bandcamp.

To start things off here's False Light from South Carolina who play a dark, brutal and uncompromising style of hardcore. Loud drums, pissed off vocals, razor blade guitars and plenty of feedback to set things off. With only one EP to their name, look forward to bigger things from this act.

Free download courtesy of the band.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moloch / Closure

While power violence bands and sludge bands have always gone hand in hand, stylistically they still maintained a strong gap between each other; speed for one and lack of speed for the other. This gap seems to be filling fast. I don't particularly care so much, maybe because I was still wearing diapers when Infest were pummeling people's faces in or maybe because I got into punk in my early teens in hopes of finding heavier and more powerful affairs. Regardless, Moloch's latest effort, a split with countrymen Closure showcases this gap's near end.

Closure plays the kind of stuff I stay up all night hunting blogs and webstores for, a type of power violence that just wants to play Dopesick. The guitars are wet concrete oozing through rusted pipes that eventually get dialed up into a vicious mixture of blast beats and faster vocals. Their side reminds me a lot of the nearly perfect Prodigal Son Brings Death by PV mainstays Mind Eraser. The production is a bit more genuine here and not as overblown and heavy as the aforementioned EP and the band's tendency to beatdown and ride a slower paces works perfectly as no one expects Moloch to hit anything more than a trot. A great match for their sludgy counterparts, Closure does more than I could've asked for having never heard them before.

While Moloch's trademark has been lurches of tortured vocals and painful amounts of feedback in between juggernaut riffs and crashing drums, the band decides to rock out a bit at a more constant and midpaced rhythm this time around. Starting with some tom play and a buzzing riff, Moloch's side eventually slows down  only to shoot out into this nifty syncopated beat and a noodly Southern inspired lick and of course back into comfortable dirge territory as things progress. Continuing the progression and incorporation of a more varied style that began with Possession, Moloch reign supreme on this excellent split.

Feast of Tentacles

Monday, September 17, 2012

Liquid Gold

Here's a mixtape I thought of when I was hungover last weekend and thought would work well since I'm taking a break from listening to things for awhile. Long story short, like many of you out there, I haven't been the smartest with my ears. Years of playing drums, listening to music on the subway and seeing shows has taken it's toll and frankly my shit's really hurting.

So anyway, I like the idea of a lyrical theme holding a mix together, and I kind of like the idea more when it's as mundane as liquids. Enjoy.

1. Coffins - Cadaver Blood

2. Wehrmacht- Drink Beer, Be Free

3. Magrudergrind - I Saw Jahova Sippin' A 40 At The Corner Of Georgia Ave

4. Thou - Fucking Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean

5. Sex Prisoner - Piss When I come

6. Lack of Interest - Fluids (Neanderthal)

7. Discordance Axis - Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said

8. Bad Brains - Pay to Cum

9. Toxic Narcotic - Drink

10. Witchtrap - Heavy Drinker

11. MDC - No Place to Piss

12. Man is the Bastard - Semen in the Eyesocket of Thomas Lenz

13. GZA - Liquid Swords

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amputee / Nimbus Terrifix

I love splits for the simple fact that they can be a great sampler or introduction to two (or more) bands you've never heard of and wouldn't want to shell out for a full length. The most recent one I've come across is between Amputee and Nimbus Terrifix and it's interesting to say the least.

Amputee play a super muddy and gurgling style of grindcore that sounds like the bastard child of Crossed Out and Last Days of Humanity. Everything is blown out, the vocals are anonymous gurgles that sound like Assuck blown through a wind tunnel and recorded with a cellphone, the guitars bleed into each song with a large dose of feedback and team up with the bass to become indistinguishable shields of noise that are powerfully heavy. When you do hear a riff they're awesome super metally chunks that rip right into you and would make Steve Heritage proud.

I'll admit I played this once or twice on 45rpm (it's a 33) to find myself puzzled as to which speed is actually the right one. I'm liking what I can hear, which at times is very little, I'm hopeful on upcoming releases they mix things a bit more clearer and cut out the atrocious amount of tape hiss (it sounds like my needle's pulling a cottonball with it).

Nimbus Terrifix on the other hand play a more punky style of d-beaty hardcore and still suffer the tape hiss from hell. Interesting contrast as Nimbus Terrifix employs a much more distinguishable old school punk bass and some hazy Black Flag/Dead Kennedys style riffs in between power-chord bursts. The strength of their side is the simple fact that they never let up and continually pummel you until the needle's done. The weakness, surprise, is the horrible production which constantly threatens the guitar out of the picture entirely.

Those of you that follow my blog should know how much I love shitty production, but this isn't shitty, it's poorly done. It's almost like the production was allowed a dinner plate's worth of space for every instrument and they gave a quarter of that room to tape hiss, a half to the vocals, and crammed the bass, drums and guitar into that last quarter. I like what the bands are doing, especially Amputee, I just want some better production next time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cara Neir - Sublimation Therapy

Hyper technical acts who apply themselves to simpler genres or rather those rooted in a non-technical formula are one of the few things that I am pretty closed minded about. Usually "technical" is an appropriate synonym for "wank," "pompous," or most fittingly, "pointless." . However, as I've had to do before, I climbed down from my high horse and gave Texas's Cara Neir the old college try.

What Cara Neir bring to the table with their EP Sublimation Therapy is a wealth of ideas and styles strained through a  proverbial  cheesecloth of technical grindcore. There's a large dose of death metal (mostly in the production) and some nice black metal flourishes that are very reminiscent of Krallice (Krallice's good material to be clear). Cara Neir occupy an interesting niche that might serve up just enough of what you want, or offer too little of what you're looking for. Tracks like "Prudent Oath" and "Synthetic Onslaught" have these great melodic bridges that work well admist the blasting chaos and really feel completely fluid, as opposed to tracks like "Scientific Rebirth" or "Son's Lament" which are brutal grinding affairs without melodic tendencies. These two worlds are where Cara Neir's at their best; fast, aggressive riffing with either attention to melodic spurts or brutal thrashings. At their worst, Cara Neir rehash one of the most black metal riffs/styles with "Stained Bedsheets." Instead of being a nice homage to Celtic Frost and Darkthrone, the chugga additions and extra steps in octave are just out of place on this EP. 

"You Are Missed," arguably the most black metal track is easily my favorite of the ep as it starts in this uncomfortable atonal void and quickly works it's way into a melodic gallop and a very catchy, yet strange riff. The heft of the track is particularly amazing as it's done in only a minute and change, yet  it feels like they could stretch it out for another ten minutes (I wish they would!).

It all makes a bit more sense when you see that Noisear mastermind Dorian Rainwater appears on the first seven tracks as his signature guitar style is an obvious influence for the band. For those unfamialr with Cara Neir, Rainwater's riffing is a very tangible and good comparison.

Operating in a very interesting field, Cara Neir are on the brink of something big. For a guy like myself who likes a more emotional and a stripped down style, Sublimation Therapy would be more attractive with more tracks like"Scientific Rebirth," "Prudent Oath," "You Are Missed,"  and "Sturdy Belief in Flimsy Gods." For those of you interested in staggering musicianship and broadening horizons you will be happily satisfied with Cara Neir's ingenuity and flare.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Protestant - Reclamation

Milwaukee's hardest working band, Protestant, add another LP to their already expansive catalog of shadowy hardcore. Reclamation might be only 5 songs, but from the varied textures and attacks, it feels like an absolute journey. Songs gallop and blast, hook and swing, slow down to sheets of raging guitars and intertwined melodies and then all back again; this is Protestant in a nutshell.

Protestant, like a good beer or favorite meal, has a familiarity not without some spark here or there that makes you feel like you've discovered something new and great. This couldn't be more true with the album's opener "Home" which reminds me of their other album openers "Revenge" from Judgments and "Disbelief" from The Hate the Hallow yet shifts into new territory with an aggressive break toward the end.. A strong melodic hook bobs in and out of the song admist the voracious vocals and thundering drums serving as a textbook example at how to introduce an album.

Personal as ever, Protestant are one of the few bands that have lyrics worth reading and following as they are impassioned sparks of outrage. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, I have a promo copy without lyrics, but the strained ones that break through, such as in "Home," "Jan Palach," or "Unbecoming" are tectonic sifters and worthy of your best fist pump.

I like this LP a lot, it's got that dark melodic vibe that I'm looking for, but with "Jan Palach," it feels a bit more optimistic than previous releases. There's disgust and angst towards a myriad of issues, but "Jan Palach" differs in that it feels more positive because of its namesake and overall tone. I like this positive driving aspect as it's different kind of emotional tether to the band.

Without fault and full of momentum, Protestant offer up a short, but thorough and fulfilling album that's heavier and more meaty than previous efforts.

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