Sunday, 31 May 2015

Heaven In Her Arms


Heaven In Her Arms are a five-piece screamo/post-hardcore/post-rock band from Tokyo, Japan that formed in 2004. Two full-lengths and numerous splits and EP's later, Heaven In Her Arms are definitely one of the most notable Japanese hardcore bands. Perhaps the other one of most note is the one that everybody knows (and for good reason), Envy. HIHA and Envy are definitely quite similar, in more ways than just geographical location. They both craft immense songs that balance atmosphere with gripping intensity and emotional passion. There's definitely a very prominent post-rock influence, with tremolo-picked guitars, massive crescendos, and spoken monologues, but where they really peak is their dark and heavy climaxes, which are topped by some animalistic screaming. This band is highly recommended, especially if you're looking for more progressive and experimental screamo/post-rock. Pretty much all of their song and album titles were originally in Japanese, but most have English translations floating around the internet, which are below. So if you wanted the titles in Japanese, sorry about that. Thanks to the people that mentioned them in the cbox who reminded me of this amazing band, and enjoy.

1. Light To The Hope
2. Just To Find The Answer
3. Untitled
4. Owareta Kokoro
5. Bikasareta Omoi

1. A Secret Signal... Here Is...
2. Akai Yume
3. Get Out!! (Live)
4. A Secret Signal... Here Is... (Remix)
5. Akai Yume (Remix)

1. Tomato Steal - You Can't
2. Tomato Steal - Love O.G.R.2003
3. Tomato Steal - C.C.K.C.257
4. Heaven In Her Arms - Tessen to Kanaria

1. Heaven In Her Arms - The Old World Is Behind Us & The Jailors Speak Of Freedom (Ampere cover)
2. Killie - Giugno (La Quiete cover)

1. Manifesto
2. Filled Up With A Bruise
3. Intersection Arrangement
4. Iron Wire And A Canary
5. A Sublingual Tablet
6. Correlative Sign
7. Get Out
8. The Balance Drowned In A White Rub
9. Partiality Of Luminosity Eight
10. Recursive Dependency
11. Red Dream
12. Erosion Of The Black Speckle

1. Wound Dehiscence
2. 39/40
3. Rusty Trace
4. Moon Get Distorted By Cornea

1. 46x
2. Anamnesis Of Critical
3. Morbidity Of White Pomegranate
4. Jade Vine
5. Echoic Cold Wrist
6. Halcyon
7. Butterfly In Right Helicoid
8. Veritas

1. Aussitôt Mort - Une défaite à la piaule
2. Aussitôt Mort - Supraliminaire
3. Heaven In Her Arms - Lost Title/Inversion Operation

1. Heaven In Her Arms - White Night Recrystallization
2. Yumi - Empty Circle

1. Heaven In Her Arms - 黒い閃光
2. Heaven In Her Arms - 繭
3. Heaven In Her Arms - 終焉の眩しさ
4. COHOL - 不毛の地
5. COHOL - 木霊
6. COHOL - 疎外

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Diamond Youth


Diamond Youth (originally known as Diamond) are a four-piece alternative rock band from Baltimore, Maryland that formed in 2011. They share members with bands such as Trapped Under Ice and Down To Nothing, but the similarities end there. A good way to describe their sound is "big". They've got a massive guitar sound, soaring vocals, drums that boom and echo, and production work that fills up every corner with sound, but with a tasteful hint of reverb that gives each instrument its space. Diamond Youth don't fall into the terrible trend currently going on where the reverb level goes to 11. They use it for its actual purpose, to create a wall of sound with room to breathe. Thankfully so, since this band has some incredible songwriting capabilities, and are able to crank out tons of catchy melodies and solid guitar riffs. I mean, these songs could be on the radio and they'd fit right in (and I mean this in the best way possible). Diamond Youth have way more in common with radio friendly unit shifters Foo Fighters and Muse than anything else really, plus they could sit between Nirvana and Weezer on the 90's alt. rock station and not seem out of place, perhaps except for the little "2015" on the release date. Regardless, they're an amazing band that I highly recommend. They just put out their first full-length on Topshelf, and have an amazing back catalogue of EP's that are all worth your time, so here you go, enjoy.

1. Sunburn
2. Fix of Mine
3. Fly Solo
4. Don't Lose Your Cool
5. The Feeling
6. Keep Dreamin'
7. Pleasantries

1. Driving Home
2. Love Somebody
3. Don't Belong
4. Blood Does A Bat
5. Baby Please

1. Christmas Time Is Here

1. Cannonball
2. Separator
3. Come Down
4. Orange
5. Swing From You
6. Lola

1. Red Water
2. Can't Shake The Feeling
3. Don't Feel Real
4. Warm Scene
5. Maryland Ice Cream
6. Follow Through

1. Don't Feel Real
2. Bonfire
3. Lola
4. Cannonball

1. Nothing Matters
2. Thought I Had It Right
3. Spinning
4. Far Away From Earth
5. Succulent
6. In The Clouds
7. Riptide
8. No Control
9. The Nothing
10. Deep Love
11. The Difference

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Departures


Departures are a five-piece melodic hardcore band from Glasgow, Scotland that formed in 2007. They emerged branding a similar sound to other notable UK hardcore bands such as Dead Swans and More Than Life, tearing from the inside-out. Their first full-length, When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted came out in 2011, and gave them a solid foot in the door for what would come next. In 2012, they signed to No Sleep Records and released another album, Teenage Haze. The melodic hardcore base that Departures had established grew to incorporate very melodic guitars, that would often intermingle between cutting leads and distortion-laden backing chords. Sonically, they have more in common with emerging American post-hardcore bands such as Pianos Become The Teeth, Touché Amoré, and Balance And Composure. Perhaps one of the most notable things about this band is the vocals. Their singer shreds his voice to the point of being hoarse to get his point across, which makes the emotionally-charged and personal lyrics much more powerful.

Overall, their sophomore album is incredibly solid, and really holds up well over time. Despite their stylistic similarities to a lot of other bands, Departures manage to hold their own without ever sounding too derivative, which is a trap that a lot of bands in this genre have fallen into in the past few years. Unfortunately there's been a bit of a gap since their last release, which was a split with Moose Blood in 2013 (also recommended). Hopefully a new album is on the way, but until then, here's what they've done so far. Enjoy.

1. Left To Drown, But Smiling
2. Out Of Season
3. First Light
4. The Sign Off
5. The Dawn Chorus

1. To Those Concerned
2. Weak Before Winter
3. Disappointment
4. The View From Below

1. Fear Of Falling
2. Swallowed Up
3. Sunday
4. Disappointment
5. A Life In Pieces
6. Remembrance
7. The View From Below
8. The Last Drive
9. Midnight Lights
10. Over The Edge 

1. Those Miles Meant Everything
2. Fuck Living With Sadness

1. Drained Out
2. Making Maps
3. 21
4. The Home Stretch
5. Teenage Haze
6. Those Miles Meant Everything
7. Where The Time Will Go
8. Planting Weeds
9. Small Steps

1. Departures - A Song For The Sunset
2. Departures - Closing Doors
3. Moose Blood - Stay Here
4. Moose Blood - Girl

1. Sleepless
2. The Last Dance
3. In Colour
4. Waiting
5. Broken
6. Set Adrift
7. Death of Youth
8. Lost
9. 1994
10. Memorial

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cavalcades


Cavalcades are a four-piece emo/screamo band from Aberdeen, Scotland that formed in 2010. To anyone even remotely into modern screamo/hardcore, you must give this band a try. They've progressed a lot in their half-decade as a band. The melodic hardcore influence is incredibly prominent early on, with intensive songs that throttle through an emotional catharsis that could be compared to bands as diverse as More Than Life or Envy. Their vocals are scathing and highly passionate, and are backed by some very melodic guitar parts that add slivers of beauty in their chaos. Their more recent work shows more progression and evolution, with the vocals being more sung than purely screamed, and the songs are even more melodic, eschewing the blasts of hardcore for a more refined indie/emo sound. The guitars craft riffs and progressions that are more reminiscent of Tiny Moving Parts and My Heart To Joy than their prior work. Though this change isn't radical, their sound is definitely something that is constantly being worked on. This exemplifies their forward thinking, which is the sign of any great band. I cannot recommend this band enough, they have put out some amazing material in the past, and just dropped a new album that you can definitely be sure to see on my best of list at the end of the year. Try your best to support them how you can, and enjoy.

FFO: Old Gray, Tiny Moving Parts, My Heart To Joy, Envy, More Than Life

1. April 4th, 1968
2. Quiet Voices, Loud Places
3. (a dramatic procession of people or things)
4. Half A Year

1. Manbearpig - Ray Brower
2. Manbearpig - Tongues
3. Cavalcades - Coastal Route
4. Cavalcades - It Took Stitches
5. Nai Harvest - Red Letter Day, On Play
6. Nai Havest - Crossing Days Off My Calender
7. For This World Is Hollow And These Hands Have Touched The Sky - Old Religion
8. For This World Is Hollow And These Hands Have Touched The Sky - Untitled #4

12. It Doesn't Matter What Your Name Is

1. Cavalcades - Sea Milne
2. Roots - Wraith

1. Frayed
2. Blackboards
3. Sleep Debt
4. Counting Breaths
5. Swallow Water

1. Cavalcades - Distort
2. Cavalcades - Morning Eyes
3. Coma Regalia - What It Costs
4. Coma Regalia - What It's Worth
5. Heart On My Sleeve - A Fabrication Of Life
6. Heart On My Sleeve - Petticoat In Ashes

1. First Ice on Pavement
2. Burning Matchsticks
3. Even in Dreams
4. Orchard Street
5. Artificial Warmth
6. Projectionist
7. A Loss Of All Control
8. Headshakes
9. Reverie
10. What Once Was Poorly Lit

86 Mentality


Not many bands have a name that embodies what they're all about. 86 Mentality are an exception to this. They are  a four-piece hardcore/punk band from Washington, DC that formed in 2004 and broke up in 2008. If it weren't for that bit of information, I would have no issue believing that they came straight out of '86 after listening to way too much Negative Approach. If you want angry, in-your-face, fast, messy hardcore punk, this is band you want to be listening to. No bullshit, straight-to-the-point old school hardcore in the new century. Enjoy.

1. Intro/Life Trap
2. Terror Boys
3. Get Away
4. Escape
5. 86 Mentality
6. Violent Nights

1. Scumbag
2. Chemical Threat
3. Fall In Line
4. On The Loose
5. Oppression
6. Blood Red Violence

1. Intro/Life Trap
2. Terror Boys
3. Get Away
4. Escape
5. 86 Mentality
6. Violent Nights
7. Total Hate
8. Scumbag
9. Chemical Threat
10. Fall In Line
11. On The Loose
12. Oppression
13. Blood Red Violence
14. Way Of Life
15. Final Exit
16. Terror Boys (Live)
17. Get Away (Live)
18. Evil
19. Gonna Hafta Fight (S.O.A. cover)

1. Outro/Anti-Society
2. Called Out
3. Degenerate
4. Crash The Gates
5. Next Generation
6. Out Of Control
7. 4Q
8. Intro/Lifetrap (Live)
9. Blood Red Violence (Live)
10. Soldier Boy (Live)
11. 86 Mentality/Violent Nights (Live)
12. Oppression (Live)
13. On The Loose (Live)
14. Untitled

Friday, 15 May 2015

CHON


CHON are a four-piece math rock/progressive band from San Diego, California that formed in 2008. They play an intricate style of music which is mostly clean and melodic, and predominantly instrumental. They released their debut album Grow this year, and have gained a ton of attention from it, and rightfully so. It's a solid 12 tracks from front to back, and I definitely recommend giving it a listen. They also self-released two EP's in the past few years, and a demo way back when they first formed. Thanks to Jacob Shumaker for the help with this post, and enjoy.

1. Across The Spectrum
2. Mountains of Creations
3. Temporary Destabilized
4. Elliptical Illuminations
5. O.G
6. The Perfect Pillow
7. Breathe

Note: Only the first 4 tracks are on the demo, the last 3 appeared on other things that I have little information on, so any insight into those would be appreciated

1. Potion
2. Puddle
3. Fluffy
4. Bubble Dream
5. wut the.. (poop)
6. Dew
7. Frosting
8. Newborn Sun

1. Super Potion
2. Knot
3. Ecco
4. Sketch
5. Dust
6. Suda

1. Drift
2. Story
3. Fall
4. Book
5. Can't Wait
6. Suda
7. Knot
8. Moon
9. Splash
10. Perfect Pillow
11. Echo
12. But

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hop Along


Hop Along was originally known as Hop Along, Queen Ansleis, and was formed in 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hop Along originated with one member, Frances Quinlan. In 2006, she released a little album called Freshman Year, that introduced the world to her folky storytelling, consisting of stories that sound more like diary anecdotes in the form of witty lyrics. Her unique vocal drawl, catchy songwriting, and penchant for creating unique music (both instrumentally and lyrically) made for an amazing album. It was a very modest effort, and sounds more like a personal recording than a formal debut, but perhaps that's where it gets its charm from.

In 2009, Quinlan was joined by another three individuals to round off the full-band line-up, which is when they formally became "Hop Along". Two EP's were released that year, but the real attention was brought by their 2012 debut album, Get Disowned. The ingenious songwriting of Quinlan was brought into a full-band context, which sounds like a mesh of 90's slacker rock like Pavement, the indie/folk honesty of Bright Eyes, and the power pop-punk energy of Waxahatchee or Lemuria. Even with the addition of electric guitars and drums, the intimate and modest sound that made Freshman Year so good still translates to the new album. These songs are stunning, and they are still as catchy and lyrically open as before, the full band only adds a whole other dynamic to make these songs even more interesting. The instrumentals are just as unique as the core songwriting. Hop Along just put out their sophomore album, Painted Shut, and even after a few listens, it is evident that they have done nothing but progress in the three years since Get Disowned was released. If you want some amazing songwriting, catchy hooks, a distinct and impressive voice, all backed by some nice guitar work, Hop Along is exactly what you should be listening to. Enjoy.

1. _
2. Sirens
3. For Sebastian From A Friend
4. Elizabeth & Elizabeth
5. The Cactus
6. Failure
7. The Big House
8. Of My Brothers And The Bear
9. Organ Song
10. Hi Too Loo Rye
11. Laments Of A Mattress
12. Bruno is Orange
13. Bride And Groom Hot Air Balloon
14. The Goose & The Wren
15. Workers
16. A Drummer's Arm 

1. Junkyard James
2. Coney Island
3. Bay Area Baby
4. La Strada
5. Cow Eyes
6. Green Water
7. Breakfast Song

1. Bridge And Groom
2. Sally
3. Second Voice
4. For The Bonzai Tree You Bought 4 Me

1. Some Grace
2. Tibetan Pop Stars
3. Diamond Mine
4. No Good Al Joad
5. Kids On The Boardwalk
6. Laments
7. Trouble Found Me
8. Sally II
9. Young And HappyA!
10. Get Disowned

1. The Knock
2. Buddy In The Parade
3. Horseshoe Crabs
4. Waitress
5. Happy To See Me
6. Texas Funeral
7. Powerful Man
8. I Saw My Twin
9. Well-dressed
10. Sister Cities