Sunday, 21 October 2018

Messes


Messes are a three-piece post-hardcore band from Somerset, Kentucky that began in 2011. They've progressed quite a bit since then, with a natural shift in sound. Early on Messes took heavy influence from the emo/screamo hybrid of bands like Merchant Ships, William Bonney, and The Reptilian. This sound is best exemplified on Don't Be A Let Down, their debut LP and the first release to tighten the screws on their production quality. It's a solid record through and through, and fans of the aforementioned bands will definitely dig it.

They recently dropped a new full-length, titled The Ever Closing Door is a marked departure from their early sound, but a welcome change because this record is absolutely incredible. Sonically, they blend elements of post-hardcore, post-rock, and indie rock and emo to build a very diverse album. I'm picking up some possible influence from bands such as mewithoutYou, The Appleseed Cast, Manchester Orchestra, Moving Mountains, Caravels, and Prawn, but it's really hard to pin down just one when every song offers up something new. Some tracks can hit hard (such as "Smelled Like A Halloween Mask" and "Lurk", two of the album's screamier tracks) while others leave room for atmosphere (such as "Parlor Trick" and the dynamic highlight "Teeth To The Limestone"). This is an album where every track could be touched upon, because they're all solid in both their writing and performance, and make for one hell of an engaging listen. This album absolutely blew me away, and I cannot suggest checking it enough. Enjoy.

1. My Dad Calls It Riptide
2. We Prefer Kickflips
3. I Wish I Was As Pretty As You...
4. This Isn't The First Time That The Wind Blew Trash In My Face

1. Slumber Party
2. All Of These Teeth
3. There's No Good Sharks?
4. Last Day Of Summer Camp

1. Pushups
2. Thirteen Centuries
3. Skunk
4. Bible Belt
5. LDM
6. Cults
7. Bones
8. Cycles
9. Sleeping Bags
10. Haunt

1. Pass

1. Messes - Wampire
2. Messes - Bags
3. Leaving - Catwalk
4. Leaving - The Box

1. Parlor Trick
2. Smelled Like A Halloween Mask
3. Lurk
4. the hollows
5. Two Glasses of Water
6. True Bruise
7. Wind Cut Bone
8. Teeth To The Limestone
9. Aim

Note: 50% of Bandcamp sales for this album go to Bethany House Abuse Shelter in Somerset, KY. Please consider purchasing it if you can, link to their Bandcamp can be found below.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Closer


Closer are a three-piece screamo/post-hardcore band from Brooklyn, New York that began in 2016. They released their debut LP in early 2018 via Lauren Records, Conditions Records, and Middle Man Records. All This Will Be is an incredible testament to the band's versatility, carving out a sound that's instrumentally intricate while being emotionally intense. They make an excellent use of dynamics through their heaven-reaching crescendos, offbeat syncopations, and a variety of vocalists and vocal styles (from spoken word to yellfests). The band sounds super tight as musicians, it's crazy to think that this is their first official release, since they sound like seasoned vets. Every song brings a new idea to the table, and shows a wide range of influence from the screamo/emo/hardcore/post-hardcore world. Some bands to loosely compare them to would be Circle Takes The Square, Suis La Lune, Old Gray, Touché Amoré, Mahria, Foxtails, and I Hate Sex, though none of those really nail down the same sound Closer works with.

Another thing I personally love about this album are the numerous vocal chants/mantras (whatever you want to call them) that the band have mastered. Every few songs there's a repeated vocal line that just gets stuck in your head and bound to make you shout along long after the song is over, most notably on songs like "Hardly Art" and "Three Halloweens". This LP "slaps", as the kids are saying these days, and though I mention it a lot, I do truly mean this is highly recommended stuff, and I'm happy to have heard it before the year is out. Enjoy.

1. -
2. Gift Shop
3. Hardly Art
4. This Year
5. Dust
6. Birdhouse
7. Three Halloweens
8. Rec Room
9. An Athema


Thursday, 18 October 2018

John Henry West


John Henry West were a five-piece hardcore band from San Francisco, California that began in 1992 and broke up in 1993. They released one 7" posthumously, which was one of Gravity Records earliest releases. Years later, a compilation emerged (released by the equally legendary Ebullition Records) containing additional material from demos and live shows (including their set from their 50th and final show). John Henry West were certainly a hardcore band first and foremost, delivering biting vocals and d-beat style drum patterns. However they went a bit beyond on that, particularly in the guitar work that showed splashes of melodic prowess, quite similar to what bands like Rites Of Spring and mid-era Hüsker Dü were doing a decade before. They sometimes get thrown into the "emo" category because of this influence, along with their associations to Fuel and Navio Forge (both definite influences in the genre) through vocalist Sarah Kirsch. Sharing a label with Heroin and Evergreen might also be a factor, but this is veering off topic here. Main point is John Henry West are an absolutely legendary band with an incredible 7" to their name, and thankfully their legacy has been cemented through the semi-recent compilation issue of their discography. Enjoy.

1. Ten Thousand Words
2. Shut Your Mouth
3. Bullet Proof
4. Sell Yourself

Disc 1
1. Ten Thousand Words
2. Shut Your Mouth
3. Bullet Proof
4. Sell Yourself
5. Avoiding
6. Holiday
7. John Henry West
8. Ammunition Aimed

Disc 2
1. Avoiding
2. Sell Yourself
3. Shut Your Mouth
4. John Henry West
5. Ten Thousand Words
6. Bullet Proof
7. Avoiding
8. Ten Thousand Words
9. Bullet Proof
10. Shut Your Mouth
11. Holiday
12. Sell Yourself
13. Ammunition Aimed
14. Avoiding
15. Ten Thousand Words
16. Bullet Proof
17. Shut Your Mouth
18. Sell Yourself
19. Holiday
20. John Henry West
21. Let's Hear It For JHW!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Vestiges


Vestiges are a five-piece band from Washington, D.C. that began in 2010. They released their debut LP (and magnum opus as of now) The Descent Of Man that same year. The band makes a massive statement here, with a record of monumental proportions that delves into hardcore, black metal, crust punk, screamo, and post-rock, all in its 45-minute run time. Conceptually, the album is said to deal with the relationship between man and nature, a theme they would carry on into their later material. It's pretty hard to nail down other bands to compare them to, since they take on such a wide array of sounds, but they lie somewhere in between Envy, Alcest, and Darkthrone. Following The Descent Of Man they released a series of solid splits, with a second full-length supposedly in the works. It hasn't come to fruition as of yet, but hopefully one day it does. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. I
3. II
4. III
5. IV
6. V
7. Outro

1. Vestiges - VI
2. Ghaust - Among The Ashes
3. Ghaust - Sleep And Release

1. Vestiges - Zombie (The Cranberries cover)
2. Caulfield - Dive (Nirvana cover)

1. Vestiges - VII
2. Vestiges - VIII
3. Panopticon - A Letter
4. Panopticon - The Eulogy
5. Panopticon - Collapse & Die (Suicide Nation)

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

California Cousins


California Cousins are a three-piece emo/post-hardcore/math rock/pop punk band from Rochester, New York that began in 2011. Following two EP's, they released their debut full-length earlier this year, titled Distant Relatives, and it packs A LOT into its 10 tracks. Sonically, the band encapsulates influence from a litany of semi-related genres (such as the aforementioned), and bring in both melodic and screamed vocals with harsh, distorted guitar tones juxtaposed with mathy, noodly lines and off-kilter rhythms. They don't ever get stuck in one sound, which really makes each song truly distinct, and a varied listen in both the individual songs and the album as a whole. It's like they take the rauccous energy of Prince Daddy & The Hyena, with the melodic noodles of You Blew It!, Marietta, or Snowing and the shredding rhythmic dynamics of The Fall Of Troy. Or something like that, California Cousins aren't the easiest band to pin down, but this album is fucking great, and will definitely appeal to fans of most of the shit posted on this here lil blog. Enjoy.

1. Soft Earth
2. Let The Cold In
3. Your Backyard
4. Benedict Drive
5. Your Kitchen Floor

1. Benedict Drive
2. Early Graves

1. Aspirin
2. Hold This Coupon
3. 7 Minute Freestyle
4. Redeeming Qualities
5. Brockport 1995
6. Simple Math (#1 Two For Fives)
7. Jeff Gordblum (Jeff Goldblum In The Back Of The Jeep, Jeff Gordon In The Passenger Seat)
8. Extendo Weekend
9. Sand In Pockets
10. Camp Shorts

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Komusō - Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week EP PREMIERE



Today (October 13th) Komusō are back with their anticipated second EP, Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week. It's the follow-up to their debut self-titled EP that was released earlier this year, and set the bar very high for this band. They are a four-piece from Tokyo, Japan that features members from multiple notable bands, including No Omega, Careless, Det ar darfor vi bygger stader, Cape Light, and 5000. Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week features three new tracks, all of which offer up something different and make for an incredibly intense listen. You can pre-order the 7" EP from Zegema Beach Records today, with 149 records being pressed on black and 151 on clear. It's also being released by Left Hand Records, zilpzalp records, and Adabana Records. Check out the full album stream and pre-order info down below.


"Still / まだ" introduces a pulsating rhythm section with an immediately recognizable Spiderland influence. The guitar arpeggios are dissonant and off-tempo, while the vocals mutter quietly in the background. The song slowly builds tension through clashing guitars before blasting into its climatic end that recalls the final moments of "Good Morning, Captain".

Track 2, "Forgotten People / 忘れられた人々" wraps around a single arpeggio with melodic subtleties added to it, and again brings back the whisper-thin vocals. The build in this song is absolutely fantastic, and a strong indicator of Komusō's strong musicianship. It's the way they walk the fine line between melodic and dissonant, and make for entirely new emotional experiences through their very deliberate notation. Plus the guitar solo on this is an unexpected but very welcome surprise, as the underlying instrumentation begins to trip over each other to bring the track to a surprisingly pleasing end.

And finally, "Extension / 拡大". This song takes a bit of a detour from the Slint influence, and the first to bring back those insane screamed vocals from their debut EP. This is a passion-fueled scream fest, with enough dynamic depth and instrumental aptitude to not fall into total chaos. They manage to create an incredibly sad emotional palette through longing chords and an over-the-edge vocal delivery, which really hits and resonates with the listener. It's an incredible closer to this short-but-sweet EP.  Overall, it's a notable progression from their already-solid debut, and a fantastic demonstration of a new band whose about to make waves in the screamo world.





Komusō

Zegema Beach Records

Left Hand Label

zilpzalp records

Adabana Records
Bandcamp

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Bastos


Bastos are a four-piece emo/screamo band from Bucharest, Romania that began in 2014 (presumably). Thus far, they've put out one split and one LP, which are both incredibly solid efforts. Style-wise, they play a blend of emo and screamo influence, taking the clean, noodly and melancholic guitar work of midwestern emo and conjoining with the shrieked vocals and chaotic drums of screamo. Fans of bands like Merchant Ships and You'll Live will see the immediate appeal here. Definitely check this band out ASAP, they are one to watch out for. Enjoy.

1. Bastos - No Handle
2. Bastos - Fingers Crossed
3. Pandrea - Cămătar

1. Sherilyn Fenn
2. Man Walking Into Theater
3. Henry Parker
4. Monroe
5. Party Guest Carla
6. Mrs. Valentine
7. Principal Howard Green
8. No Doubt

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Best Witches


Best Witches are a four-piece emo/indie band from Chicago, Illinois that were around from 2013 to 2014. In that time, they put one album and one EP. Sonically, they're pretty hard to pin down. They've definitely rooted in Midwestern emo (in the Cap'n Jazz vein), but incorporate minor elements that fall somewhere between garage and math rock. They craft some odd sounds that can really only be described with the cop out "experimental" tag. Basically they created some really interesting music in their time, and proved that the wave of emo bands coming out of the Midwest could expand and tinker with the definitive sound. Enjoy.

1. Margot's Song
2. I've Got An Idea, Man
3. Bird Riff
4. Warped
5. Cubby
6. Glowing Green Tomahawk

1. Orange Things
2. Weaver
3. Heat Moves
4. Labor Day
5. Me & Hawkins
6. Muffie
7. Skeleton
8. Wrinkles
9. Muffie's Return
10. Happy Guy

Friday, 5 October 2018

Anasarca


Anasarca were a six-piece screamo band from Cockeysville, Maryland that formed in 1994 and broke up in 1997. They put out a very limited amount of recorded material, with only 7 songs spanning a demo, a 7", and a split. Thankfully, these were all compiled in 2002 to document this band's legacy. Sonically, they are comparable to early progressive screamo acts such as Portraits Of Past, who pushed the fury and intensity of hardcore into new, instrumentally more chaotic and intricate, while drawing songs out past the two minute mark. Anasarca are highly recommended for fans of the early Ebuillition/Gravity Records roster, despite having never put out a release with either label. Enjoy.

1. East Bunk Hill
2. Eugene Debs
3. Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt
4. Stationary People
5. Enginize
6. You Know
7. So Tell Me

No Comment


No Comment were a four-piece powerviolence band from North Hollywood, California that were around from 1987 to 1993. They are considered one of the earliest and most influential bands in the genre, thanks to a string of incredible 7"'s they put out (the most notable one being 1992's Downsided). They, along with bands like Spazz, Crossed Out, Infest, and Man Is The Bastard (who vocalist Andrew Beattie would later join) are absolute essentials in defining the head-splitting sound of powerviolence, and their discography compilation (available below) is a must-have for people even remotely into this style of hardcore. Enjoy.

1. Skin Rape
2. Scum Human
3. World Of Difference
4. Modern Moses
5. Guinea Piglet Alone
6. Community Slugs
7. Jugular Scars
8. For Tomorrows Sake
9. In The Name Of Stupidity
10. Modern Moses
11. For Tomorrows Sake
12. Saying Uncle
13. A Mother Crime
14. Community Slugs
15. In The Name Of Stupidity
16. Farmer Hitler John
17. World Of Difference
18. Open Face Down
19. A Mother Crime
20. Community Slugs
21. Guinea Piglet Alone
22. World Of Difference
23. Skin Rape
24. Open Face Down
25. Jugular Scars
26. Dead Stare For Life
27. Past Tense
28. Sarcastics
29. Distant
30. Hurt
31. Hacked To Chunks
32. Lament
33. Soiled By hate
34. Downsided
35. Push Down And Turn
36. Curtains
37. Life
38. Dead Stare For Life
39. Past Tense
40. Sarcastics
41. Distant
42. Hurt
43. Hacked To Chunks
44. Lament
45. Soiled By hate
46. Downsided
47. Push Down And Turn
48. Curtain + Downsided/Push Down And Turn/Curtains Live

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Euclid C Finder - Euclid C Finder! EP PREMIERE


Here's one that'll dent some skulls. Euclid C Finder is a one-man Baltimore, Maryland-based mathcore/grindcore project created by Mike Mehl (who was also in Egarra, Kiss The Sky Goodbye, and Neck First). It began earlier this year with the release of his debut EP, A Standard Basis For The Set Of All Discontent, which is now being followed up with this new 6-song EP (titled Euclid C Finder!). This thing is a blissfully chaotic blend of extreme music influences, with throat-shredding vocals, dissonant guitars that sound more like alarms, and rhythms so off-kilter they could cause cardiac arrest with their irregular beats. Fans of bands like Graf Orlock, .Gif From God, Daughters, and Fear Before will particularly get into this.

I'm super happy to share with you this latest EP, which you can stream in its entirety now. Its official release date is slated for October 8th, with tapes available through both the band and Zegema Beach Records. The self-titled EP is on the A-Side, while their debut EP takes up the B-Side, making for twice the gut-punch experience. Check all of that out down below.


1. If You Pray You Get Your Way
2. If You Hope The Answer's Nope
3. A Rumination On Empty Years
4. Dr. Cloudshouter's Secret Weapon
5. Aesthetic Distance
6. Dead Soundboy



Order Tape In The USA

Order Tape In Canada or Internationally

Euclid C Finder

Saturday, 22 September 2018

The New Amsterdams


The people have spoken, and it's clearly this band is what they want. I didn't have much of theirs, so thanks so much to Tim for supplying all of it. The New Amsterdams are a five-piece indie rock band from Lawrence, Kansas that formed in 2000. Originally, they were conceived as a side project by Matt Pryor (best known as the guitarist/vocalist of the legendary Get Up Kids), who wanted to explore more acoustic-based material. Since then The New Amsterdams have evolved into a full band, with Pryor still at the helm. Their early work features collaborations from other members of the Get Up Kids (notably Rob and Ryan Pope), though in recent years The New Amsterdams have solidified a line-up entirely of their own. The band isn't currently active, since The Get Up Kids are back together and Pryor's involvement in his now truly solo career.

There's not too much I comment on sonically, since admittedly I don't listen to this band a whole lot, but if you can imagine The Get Up Kids songwriting (with Pryor's unmistakably distinct voice) in a slowed down, acoustic-oriented atmosphere, this would be it. There's a ton of material to delve into here, and I'm super happy to finally deliver it. Never again will the requests be flooded with "The New Amsterdams". Enjoy.

1. Every Double Life
2. Lonely Hearts
3. Proceed With Caution
4. Slow Down
5. McShame
6. Goodbye
7. Idaho
8. Drama Queen
9. Make Me Change My Mind
10. When We Two Parted
11. Never Treat Others
12. I Won't Run Away

1. My Old Man Had A Pistol
2. Picture In The Paper
3. Son Of A Prophet
4. Stay On The Phone
5. That Side Of Me
6. Four More Years
7. Forever Leaving
8. Adeline, Out Of Tune
9. All Ears
10. Losing You

1. Vignette
2. The Spoils Of The Spoiled
3. Hover Near Fame
4. From California
5. Hanging On For Hope
6. The Smoking Gun
7. Are You True?
8. Asleep At The Wheel
9. Poison In The Ink
10. All Our Vice
11. Worse For The Wear
12. Slight Return

1. The Death Of Us
2. Turn Out The Light
3. Bad Liar
4. Past The Pines
5. Your Ghost
6. Intelligent Design
7. Calendar Days
8. Beautiful Mistake
9. A Small Crusade
10. Turn Out The Light (Reprise)

Disc 1: Killed
1. Wears So Thin
2. Your Red Hand
3. Watch The World Cave In
4. Drinking In The Afternoon
5. Maybe I'm A Fool
6. Heaven Sent
7. Full Thunder Moon
8. Has Anyone Seen My Wings
9. Just So Over You
10. Strangled By The Thought

Disc 2: Cured
1. Wears So Thin
2. Your Red Hand
3. Watch The World Cave In
4. Drinking In The Afternoon
5. Maybe I'm A Fool
6. Heaven Sent
7. Full Thunder Moon
8. Has Anyone Seen My Wings
9. Just So Over You
10. Strangled By The Thought

1. Revenge
2. Wait
3. Fountain Of Youth
4. This Day is Done
5. Without A Sound (Eleanor)
6. Silverlake
7. Last Long Shot
8. Hughes
9. Beacon In Beige
10. Story Like a Scar
11. Fortunate Fool
12. Lay On The Rails
13. Drunk Or Dead
14. Blood On The Floor

1. Guitarkansas
2. Dear Lover
3. Ex's And Oh's
4. Too Many Of A Good Thing
5. Stand Here And Bleed
6. Whatever You Say
7. A Mile In Your Shoes
8. Heaven Sent
9. The Ballad Of Mike And Beth
10. Your Look Gave You Away
11. Old Enough To Know Better
12. A Long Event
13. Suit Sacrifice
14. The Connoisseur

Elle


Elle are a four-piece screamo band from Oakland, California that began in 2015. They share members with other Bay Area legends Beau Navire, Loma Prieta, and Yearbooks. With such an incredible lineup, there's bound to be high standards for this new project, and holy shit do they deliver. It's a little difficult from their other projects; most notably they've pulled back on the chaotic, shrieking nature of it and let a little melancholic light in it. They have a bit more in common with bands like Raein or Suis La Lune than their past work. The guitars incorporate a lot of shimmering tones and melodic chords, while the vocals are shouted with a desperate exuberance and emotional exhaustion. Both their self-titled EP and recently released She are absolutely incredible, and definitely recent screamo highlights. Enjoy.

1. The Clear
2. Mockingbirds
3. Pulse
4. Parts & Parcels
5. Cold Hands

1. Frame By Frame
2. X
3. Crossed Out
4. Wonder
5. Lost, Not Found
6. Grey Things
7. Floral
8. Crush
9. Colorless