Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Khayembii Communiqué

"I don't remember anything without you". Ya knew it was coming, it's been 7 years in the making; it's another installment of Sophie's Sad Times at Kinsella High, our Valentine's Day tradition here. Have things gotten better since we started this little tradition? No. Will today be spent coping with the dismal, lonely emptiness inside each and every one of us? Yes. This year the pickings were tough, since I've already used up a lot of the most fitting bands for today, but figured this band fits the profile close enough, and have to be posted on here at some point. I'll link to each other post in the comments, if you want to dive further into despair.


The Khayembii Communiqué were a three-piece screamo band from Minneapolis, Minnesota that were around mainly from 1999 to 2000. They poured a lot of passion into their limited material, releasing only one 7" and one split (with The Vidablue, who later become Ten Grand). Sonically, they are somewhat comparable to bands like Portraits Of Past or I Hate Myself, with chaotic, throat-shredding screaming, often mixed in with unorthodox rhythms and dissonant chords. They balanced this out nicely with some quieter dynamic moments, and the inclusion of a second vocalist, who often sung clean and melodically. You can read a lot more about their history here, which was written by vocalist/guitarist Mark Shaw. Keep it sad and loud today, here's to another year gone by, and I'll check in with ya in another 365 days to see if there's been a sliver of improvement. Don't enjoy.

1. The Thirtieth
2. AM1200
3. A Year And An Ocean
4. How To Change Addictions

1. The Khayembii Communiqué - The Des Moines Tapes
2. The Khayembii Communiqué - Better Times Are Left Dead
3. The Khayembii Communiqué - Lacking
4. The Khayembii Communiqué - The Death Of An Aspiring Icon
5. The Vidablue - Engine Down
6. The Vidablue - Me And Spike Lee
7. The Vidablue - The Dukes Are Trying To Corner The Market
8. The Vidablue - I Survived The Chair

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Slow Mass


Slow Mass are a five-piece post-hardcore/indie rock band from Chicago, Illinois that began in 2014. They contain members who were also a part of Into It. Over It. and Former Thieves. Thus far they've released one EP and one LP, both of which have received nothing but high praise. And rightfully so, since Slow Mass carve out a very unique corner of the indieverse in which they operate. They take the off-kilter rhythms, and tension-building, dynamic climaxes championed by post-hardcore greats such as Unwound and Fugazi, and mix in these more "indie" characteristics, including a lot of sweet, dual vocal harmonies. It's really hard to pinpoint exactly where their sound is derived from, because it truly is a unique mix. They'll be touring with La Dispute and Gouge Away this year, so be sure to check them out there, as I'm sure this is a band we'll be hearing a lot about for a (hopefully) long time. Enjoy.

1. Dark Dark Energy
2. Bruce Lee
3. Nice But Not Kind
4. Clint Eastwood
5. Portals To Hell
6. Treasure Pains

1. Dark Dark Energy
2. Suburban Yellow

1. On Watch I
2. Grey Havens
3. Blocks
4. Suburban Yellow
5. My Violent Years
6. Oldest Youngest
7. On Watch II
8. E.D.
9. The Author
10. Tunnel Vision Quest
11. Like Dead Skin
12. Schemes
13. G's End

Monday, 11 February 2019

WristMeetRazor


Wristmeetrazor are a three-piece screamo/hardcore band that began in 2017. Initially beginning with a demo as a solo project, they soon expanded into a full-lineup to release the a double-EP in 2017, "I Talk To God... But The Sky Is Empty". You might remember this, since the first half of the EP was premiered here when it was first released. They made an immediate impact with their ferocious sound, blending aspects of classic screamo bands like Neil Perry and Combatwoundedveteran, with hints of metalcore influence from Converge and early Norma Jean. Fans of other modern bands like SeeYouSpaceCowboy and .gif from god will also dig this. They recently released their debut full-length album on Prosthetic Records, and its the exact sonic throwback gutpunch we were hoping for. Awesome album, awesome band, I cannot recommend enough. Enjoy.

1. I
2. II
3. III

1. 1716
2. Razorwire Bouquet
3. Nothing Gold Can Stay
4. This Summer's Sorrow

1. Bible Study With An Atheist
2. De Nadi...
3. ...Querido Amor
4. Anesthetic

1. Loathsome
2. In Line For Halos
3. Insecurity Checkpoint
4. Come On In, The Water's Pink
5. Goodbye Sweet Betty
6. XOXO (Love Letter From A Loaded Gun)
7. He Smiled From Ear To Ear
8. Expiry Date : 12 Hours
9. No More Blue Tomorrows

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Spanish Love Songs


I don't think a week has gone by where I haven't got a request for these guys, so I finally did myself a favour and checked them out. And god damn, I have been missing out. Spanish Love Songs are a five-piece punk/indie band from Los Angeles, California that began in 2014. They play a similar style of catchy but visceral punk rock in the vein of bands like The Menzingers and Captain, We're Sinking. The vocals shout and tremble every word like it's their last, the lead guitars keep things melodic while the rhythm section pumps out enough energy to fuel a city.

Their most recent LP, Schmaltz consists of banger after banger, with catchy choruses and lyrics that hit home. Each track is perfectly paced with enough dynamic change-ups to keep them interesting, and the opening and closing tracks are perfect bookends, with the final track "Aloha To No One" living up to its name as a barstool anthem. Thus far I've only listened to their debut LP, but am looking forward to their earlier material, and will think twice before glossing over heavily requested bands like this again. Enjoy.

1. Bad Day
2. Nervous People
3. Concrete
4. Dying
5. Mexico
6. Vermont
7. Friends
8. Remainder
9. Stranger
10. Bright Day

1. Sad Songs
2. For Ruby
3. Check Your Hair
4. Stranger (Acoustic)
5. Concrete (Demo)
6. Nervous People (Demo)
7. Vermont (Demo)
8. Bright Day (Demo)
9. Roosevelt (Demo)

1. Buffalo Buffalo
2. The Boy Considers His Haircut
3. Hot Faucet Cold Faucet

1. Nuevo
2. Sequels, Remakes, & Adaptations
3. Bellyache
4. Buffalo Buffalo
5. Otis/Carl
6. The Boy Considers His Haircut
7. El Nino Considers His Failuers
8. Joana, In Five Acts
9. Beer & NyQuil (Hold It Together)
10. It's Not Interesting
11. Aloha to No One

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Knope


Knope are a four-piece emo/indie band from Fairfax, Virginia that began in 2018. They put out a fantastic EP last year titled No Life., that hits a really cool niche. My first listen through of it gave off some seriously nostalgic vibes and reminded me of classic revival bands like Dikembe mixed with a slightly newer act such as Free Throw. The vocals are in Knope little gruffer than most bands in the genre, which really set them apart from a lot of bands attempting this sound. Not to mention there is some heavy pop punk influence, which give the songs a real driving force. Not to mention the top-notch songwriting, which is really what makes this band so good. The lyrics are detailed and memorable, and tracks like "Ralph Gets His Heart Broken" are guaranteed to get stuck in your head, while "Demo Lovato" takes you on one hell of a ride. Rambling aside, this is a solid EP that I cannot recommend enough. Enjoy.

1. Ralph Gets His Heart Broken

1. Ralph Gets His Heart Broken
2. Firestarters Club
3. Demo Lovato
4. Dreamcatcher
5. No Life.

1. Collegetown

Monday, 28 January 2019

Lytic


Lytic are a two-piece screamo band from New York, New York that have been around since at least 2016, but only recently released their debut recorded material. They dropped an EP in December 2018, and a split with living legends Shizune this month on Zegema Beach Records. Speaking of legends, Lytic is notable for being the newest project from Jamie Behar, a former member of Saetia and Off Minor. Their debut EP was also produced by fellow Off Minor/Saetia alumni Steve Roche. As expected, this new material is insanely killer. It blends the chaos of emoviolence with the jittery jazz rhythms of Off Minor, all while adding melodic tinges and maintaining a fresh, organic sound. Not sure what else to say except you'll definitely dig this if any of the aforementioned bands appeal to you. Enjoy.

1. Bleak
2. The Last Northcore Kid
3. Screens

1. Shizune - greg e a roppongi con john macAfee
2. Shizune - occhiaie metafisiche
3. Lytic - Greener Grass
4. Lytic - All Bleeding Stops Eventually
5. Lytic - Lugenpresse

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Origami Angel


Origami Angel are a two-piece indie/emo/punk band from Washington, D.C. that began in 2017. Since then, they've dropped two bangin' EP's and a recent split with the also-fantastic Commander Salamander. Sonically, they blend the more modern indie leanings of bands like Modern Baseball and The Hotelier with the classic twinkle of American Football. However, their more recent material has started to slightly shift away from the mid-tempo sad jams and into a more energetic, pop punk-esque style of sad jams. Awesome band, check 'em out. Enjoy.

1. Ride Our Bikes To School
2. SpaceX T-Shirt
3. Osmosis
4. Hey There
5. Mark My Words
6. Step
7. Notice

1. effective. Power
2. ROM Hack
3. w / u
4. Thanks! I hate it.
5. fin (the long and untold story of how i know it's meant to be)

1. Origami Angel - Denny's Devito
2. Origami Angel - Origami Bagel
3. Commander Salamander - Kenny
4. Commander Salamander - Wassup My Good Man

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Envy/Love

Alright, now that we're back to our regularly scheduled programming, the first thing I wanted to share this year was this incredible compilation Zegema Beach Records put out last December. It's an Envy tribute album titled Envy/Love, featuring covers from some of the best screamo acts around now, including Gillian Carter, Massa Nera, Respire, Crowning, and Shizune, among others. The selection of tracks spans multiple Envy releases, though All The Footprints... is unsurprisingly the most represented here. Every band does an incredible job of putting their own spin on these classic tracks while still doing the original justice. I cannot recommend this comp enough for any Envy fan. You can read more about it over at OMSB here, or stream/purchase it below. Enjoy!

 

Order Vinyl

Friday, 28 December 2018

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Alright, so this wraps up another year. Not only that, but this is the blog's 800th post, and as you might know, I like to feature a major, noteworthy band for every 100 posts. This long-awaited, highly requested, and absolutely essential band seemed like the perfect choice for this for this milestone and year end. As always, thank you guys so much for your continued support, I'm happy to keep this thing going well past the expiry date of the mp3 blog. I'll see ya in the New Year (though I won't feel any different).


It's difficult to even know where to begin with a band this gargantuan. They're momentous in their respective genre, and very well known and loved across the musical spectrum for their orchestrated apocalypse, reaching new heights in post-rock and drone music. Of course we're talking about Godspeed You! Black Emperor, one of the most essential and breath-taking bands ever to exist. I'm not going to go into much detail about their history (since it's fairly well-known and documented), but they're (currently) a 10-piece post-rock band that originated in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) in 1994. They began as a small outfit (3 musicians and 1 film projectionist, the visual component has always been massively important to them). They released the limited hallowed cassette All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling, which was limited to 33 copies and has never been unearthed since its release. To this day, there are no copies online. Allegedly it sounds very different from the band we know today (they utilized vocals), and as their line-up expanded, so did their sound.

By 1997, they had rounded out a large line-up of musicians and instrumental variety, as they crafted these massive pieces marked by movements, crescendos and desolate atmosphere. This resulted in F# A# ∞, the band's debut record. Initially released on vinyl, it was re-recorded and re-arranged for a CD release the following year. Their next major output was a two-track EP, which is just as essential as any of their full-lengths. "Moya" in particular is an incredible piece on that EP. Y2K rolls around, and the world implodes at the release of their magnum opus, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven. This is one of my favourite albums ever, one of the best and most highly regarded post-rock albums ever released, and all in all an incredible listening experience. It ranges from drone passages to gorgeous heaven-reaching crescendos, with incredibly layered instrumentation and seamless movements. It's been discussed to death, just listen to this masterpiece if you have not already. Following Lift Your Skinny Fists... they released Yanqui U.X.O., which was a much more raucous affair than its predecessor. It unfortunately didn't live up to the group's first few standout projects, but it's still a very solid album and well worth the listen. In 2003 they disbanded, though many of its members were active in other projects such as Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Fly Pan Am.


The GY!BE spark was reignited in 2010, as they started to play shows again. In 2012 they came out with a new record, which consisted of material recorded both before they broke up and after they reunited. Their sound alternates between the massive ebb-and-flow movements of their early records and these new, droning interludes, providing something familiar and something new. It's a phenomenal record, and an absolute staple in their catalogue. They've since released two new albums in this decade, both of which are very solid outings, but again don't quite hit the same highs as their best albums. Having said that, even relatively "decent" GY!BE is still absolutely outstanding in the canon of post-rock. There's really not much more that needs to be said, this band and their music are super well-known and often discussed. The only thing I would like to add is if you get a chance, pick up physical copies of their material. The visual components of each album are integral to the full vision of these projects, and the artwork is always amazing. Thanks for another good year, and enjoy.

1. Nervous, Sad, Poor...
2. Bleak, Uncertain, Beautiful...

1. The Dead Flag Blues
2. East Hastings
3. Providence

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Sunshine + Gasoline
2. Fly Pan Am - L'espace Au Sol Est Redessiné Par D'immenses Panneaux Bleus

1. Hung Over As The Queen In Maida Vale

1. Moya
2. BBF3

1. Storm
2. Static
3. Sleep
4. Like Antennas To Heaven...

1. 09-15-00
2. 09-15-00 (cont.)
3. rockets falls on Rocket Falls
4. motherfucker=redeemer
5. motherfucker=redeemer (cont.)

1. Mladic
2. Their Helicopters' Sing
3. We Drift Like Worried Fire
4. Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable

1. Peasantry or 'Light! Inside Of Light!'
2. Lambs' Breath
3. Asunder, Sweet
4. Piss Crowns Are Trebled

1. Undoing A Luciferian Towers
2. Bosses Hang
3. Fam / Famine
4. Anthem For No State

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Best Of 2018

Another year end, another Top 50 "best of" list. Keep in mind this is based solely on my personal preference/enjoyment, so it's more of a "favourites" list than an objective ranking in quality. Additionally, don't take the numbering too seriously, it's super hard to pit one album against another, so the actual order is fairly relative. This list only contains full-length albums, thus no EP's are included. Let me know what your favourite albums from 2018 were, how terrible mine are, etc. Thank you guys for continuing to check out this blog, I've got one last post coming for this year, enjoy the holidays, and I'll see you in 2019.

Honorable Mentions:
Messes - The Ever Closing Door
Cloud District - Dont' Give Up, Skeleton
Pool Kids - Music To Practice Safe Sex To
Gulfer - Dog Bless
Infant Island - Infant Island


50

Night Birds - Roll Credits

49

Cassus - Separation Anxiety


48

Pianos Become The Teeth - Wait For Love


47

Super Unison - Stella


46

Turnstile - Time & Space


45

Cloud Nothings - Last Building Burning


44

Jay Rock - Redemption


43

Frank Turner - Be More Kind


42

Candy - Good To Feel


41

Jesus Piece - Only Self


40

Ostraca - Enemy


39

Snail Mail - Lush


38

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel


37

Jeff Rosenstock - POST-


36

Antarctigo Vespucci - Love In The Time Of E-Mail

35

Gillian Carter - ...This Earth Shaped Tomb


34

Camp Cope - How To Socialise & Make Friends


33

Sleep - The Sciences


32

Mount Eerie - Now Only


31

Foxing - Nearer My God


30

Respire - Dénouement


29

Fiddlehead - Springtime & Blind


28

Portrayal Of Guilt - Let Pain Be Your Guide


27

The Armed - Only Love


26

Fucked Up - Dose Your Dreams


25

awakebutstillinbed - what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you

24

Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs


23

Vince Staples - FM!


22

Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love


21

Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy


20

Kanye West - Ye


19

Culture Abuse - Bay Dream


18

Brockhampton - iridescence


17

Iceage - Beyondless


16

JPEGMAFIA - Veteran


15

Birds in Row - We Already Lost The World


14

mewithoutYou - [untitled]


13

Beach House - 7


12

Gouge Away - Burnt Sugar


11

Pusha T - Daytona


10

Single Mothers - Through A Wall

9

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog


8

Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer


7

Low - Double Negative



6

Death Grips - Year Of The Snitch


5

Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts


4

The Dirty Nil - Master Volume


3

Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want


2

Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance


1

Brian Fallon - Sleepwalkers








So there ya go. I drove myself up the wall trying to pick these out, because so much good material came out this year (some I had to unfortunately exclude). Coming up with the ranks for the final few albums was especially excruciating, because I love them all for different reasons. On a side note I'm sure nobody cares about, I spent almost this entire year telling myself I was not going to make Brian's new album my #1 pick, because I did that in 2016 and 2014 (with TGA) and later regretted both. Not because they're bad albums, but looking back there were better, more definitive albums that should have taken those spots (Atrocity Exhibition and Negative Qualities, for the 1 person who was wondering). So even though Sleepwalkers is a fantastic album, I didn't want to let my fanboyism get in the way again. But lo and behold, when it came down to making this list, I couldn't place it anywhere else but #1. It's probably my most-listened to release this year, one that I'll probably always associate with 2018, and in two years time I'll look back and regret it all over again. I don't know, I found that to be a funny factoid that I'm sure is only amusing to myself. If someone is still reading this, please do let me know what your top albums of this year were, I'm super curious to hear what you've been digging for the last 365 days.