Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Van Pelt


The Van Pelt were a four-piece indie/emo band from New York City that formed in 1993 and broke up in 1997. They have since reunited a few times in 2009, 2014, and 2017. They were formed by Chris Leo, who was formerly in the seminal band Native Nod (he's also Ted Leo's brother). The Van Pelt took a decidedly less aggressive approach than Leo's previous band, and instead focusing on clean, winding guitar arpeggios, with odd song structures that fall and rise. Vocally, the stream of conscious, sung/spoken vocal he is renowned for are still present, though far more intelligible and a little more opaque. They released two full-lengths during their initial run, and a new album in 2014. If you dig 90's emo with some heavy post-hardcore leanings, you'll dig this. Enjoy.

1. The Van Pelt - His Saxophone Is My Guitar
2. Radio To Saturn - Young Friends
3. Radio To Saturn - (She Likes The Part) About Wolves
4. Radio To Saturn - Somber Town

1. (Young) Pioneers - April Violence
2. (Young) Pioneers - Great White Hope
3. The Van Pelt - Everything's Alright

1. His Steppe Is My Prarie
2. It's A Suffering
3. Shame On You
4. Magic Fantasy (We Are Provincial)
5. You Are The Glue
6. Simone Never Had It This Good
7. His Saxophone Is My Guitar
8. It's New To Me
9. Turning Twenty Into Two

1. The Speeding Train
2. Evil High
3. The Democratic Teachers Union

1. Nanzen Kills A Cat
2. The Good, The Bad & The Blind
3. Yamato (Where People Really Die)
4. My Bouts With Pouncing
5. Don't Make Me Walk My Own Log
6. The Young Alchemists
7. We Are The Heathens
8. Pockets Of Pricks
9. Let's Make A List
10. Do The Lovers Still Meet At The Chiang Kai - Shek Memorial?

1. The Van Pelt - Yamato (Where People Really Die)
2. Chisel - Towncrusher

1. Same As Stone
2. The Swede's Down At The Beach

1. Infinite Me
2. The Threat
3. ABCD's Of Fascism
4. Three People Wide At All Times
5. The Betrayal
6. Democratic Teacher's Union
7. Evil High
8. The Speeding Train

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Slow Bloom - Hex Hex Hex REVIEW

Long-time friends of the blog Slow Bloom are back with a fantastic new EP, titled Hex Hex Hex. It was released on January 26, 2018 by No Sleep Records and Dog Knights Productions. They return with their trademark ferocious energy and post-hardcore/post-punk blend, but with some new sounds in the mix.


The EP kicks off with 30 seconds of feedback that throttles into the first track, "Neon Sequitor". This introduces the defining sound of the band, with chorus-laden angular leads, fully fleshed-out chords, and shaking vocals that build into screams. The refrain hits with a memorable intensity, something that's immediately noticeable about these songs. They are just as easy to sing along to as they are to mosh the fuck out to. The band established such a high, fast-paced energy on this first track, it's bound to grab you out of your seat. "Immaculate" continues to crank it out, with skull-fracturing verses, and an incredibly catchy melody in the chorus of straight-forward singing. The bass and drums roll steadily in the bridge, allowing the guitars to shimmer in atmospheric noise.

"Sarcophaguts", the first song released from the EP, features a call-and-response verse between the vocals and instrumentation. The vocals are manic throughout the track, except for the chorus, which cuts through with one of the EP's strongest melodies to tie the track together. This is a personal highlight on this thing, especially when it breaks to just guitar and vocals before bringing it back full-force for the outro. Simple things like this can often be the most effective, and Slow Bloom absolutely kill it on this track. They waste no time launching into "Cataracts", with a spoken-sung vocal passage, which is why I've often drawn comparisons to ATDI in the past. This track is a bit more winding than the previous ones, and burns slower, but with the same intensity.  The vocals hit soaring highs in the choruses, and rally throughout the rest. Plus, the bass tone here is impeccable.

"Hex Hex Hex" closes this 5-track EP out with a wall of sound for rhythm. The echoed background vocals playing off the lead vocals in the chorus makes  for a definite highlight, as well as the change-up of vocals about half-way through, which are a little toned down, but twice as seething. This song is undeniably memorable, with catchy melodies, solid lyrics, and a climax build-up into the final chorus that's sure to snap your neck back. They finally pump the brakes to leave some breathing room at the end, letting the EP exhale to a close.

Overall, there are not enough good things I can say about this. They are absolutely recommended for people who just want a high-energy, catchy band with some instrumental chops to boot. You can stream the entire EP on Bandcamp below,  or pick up the 12" from No Sleep or Dog Knights Productions. Also, check out the dates for their upcoming US West Coast Tour in April.


Slow Bloom
Bandcamp
Facebook

No Sleep Records
Purchase

Dog Knights Productions
Purchase

Spurn


Spurn are a four-piece hardcore/grindcore band from Calgary, Alberta that have been around since 2015. Their debut LP, Comfort In Nothing, was released in 2016, and absolutely rips. The band play this noisy blend of grindcore and metallic hardcore, with elements of death metal in the mix. They utilize very technical, chunky riffs, blast beats, and some guttural, throat-shredding vocals. Lyrically, they tend to focus on sociopolitical subjects. If early Dillinger Escape Plan were really into grind, this would be it. It's a fantastic full-length spanning a ton of extreme genres, and I highly recommend it. Apparently there is a follow-up in the works, which is something to look forward to. Enjoy.

1. Spoiled Failures
2. Newsfeed

1. Spoiled Failures
2. Comfort In Nothing
3. News Feed
4. Reproduction
5. Obsolete
6. Quota To Meet
7. No Next Time
8. Old Man
9. No Safety
10. Refugees

thisishowitendedintokyo


thisishowitendedintokyo are a five-piece screamo band from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2017. Their debut album, april(s)in came out last month, and it is a true spectacle to behold. They mix very upbeat drum patterns with bright, slightly noodley guitars typical of midwestern emo, with some of the rowdiest screaming imaginable on top of it. They are undoubtedly an interesting band, and their debut has a very unique energy that's hard to really pin down. It seems lodged between melodrama and a fun time, which is a strange mix, but I love it. Definitely recommended if you need some new screamo in your life. Enjoy.

1. i may be a scumbag but i'm not a fucking loser

1. Martha's Got a Limp Wrist - Worthless
2. Martha's Got a Limp Wrist - Cannibal
3. Martha's Got a Limp Wrist - Suicide
4. thisishowitendedintokyo - dies irae 
5. thisishowitendedintokyo - tantrum of a 3rd grade boy
6. thisishowitendedintokyo - daemon 

1. 3
2. november snow
3. math song
4. theoneishowedjeffreyatwillsuncleshouseonmapleinbrookfield
5. i may be a scumbag but im not a fucking loser
6. boys life
7. chanting song

Note: You can grab the cassette from Mount Seldom Records here

1. harriett
2. these moments
3. cap tap.
4. split
5. The Comforts You Seek Before And After Sleep

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Think I Care


Think I Care were a four-piece hardcore band from Winchendon, Massachusetts, that were around from 2000 to 2007. They released a few fantastic EP's, as well as two LP's in their time. Their sound is heavily influenced by Boston hardcore, and early on in their career they played with such speed and ferocity, I wouldn't be surprised if Infest also had a hand in their sound. As they progressed, they slowed down a bit in tempo, but never aggression. They began taking a heavy Celtic Frost influence, in addition to their hardcore roots. They made the jump to hardcore titans Bridge 9 for their final record, and broke up after that. They've played reunion shows in 2015 since. Enjoy.

1. Draw The Lines
2. Trapped
3. Stay Home
4. First Things First
5. Think I Care
6. Persist
7. No Turning Back
8. Quick To Quit
9. Where's The Courtesy
10. Without

1. Phase
2. Belong
3. Burn
4. Force Fed
5. Different Face
6. Toy Town Crew
7. Doubt It
8. How's It Feel?

1. Broken Neck
2. Easy Answers
3. Stepped On
4. For Real
5. 28 Visions
6. No Chance
7. Black Out
8. Move Back
9. It Surrounds
10. What A Pity
11. Struggle
12. Bitter End

1. The Hammer
2. Disease
3. Drain
4. Fifty Two Pickup
5. Choke
6. Rotting Away
7. Scraps
8. March Of The Mongrels

1. Fucked Up - Color Removal (Live)
2. Fucked Up - Police (Live)
3. Think I Care - 28 Visions (Live)
4. Think I Care - Disease (Live)
5. Think I Care - Nature Of The Beast (Live)

1. World Asylum
2. Chains
3. Nothing Means Nothing
4. Life Sentence
5. Nature Of The Beast
6. Reality's Nightmare
7. No Where Man
8. Heads Will Roll
9. Matter Of Time
10. Survival Machine

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Worst Party Ever


Worst Ever Party are a four-piece indie/emo/punk band from Sarasota, Florida that formed sometime around 2014. They broke up temporarily near the end of 2016, but are now back with a new album in the works. These guys play an incredibly fun, energetic, bedroom-demo style of music. They're catchy as hell, with fantastic lyrics built around personal anecdotes. Some of it's acoustic, some of it is full-band. They bear a striking resemblance to very early The Front Bottoms, which is an absolute compliment, as well as Modern Baseball and Mom Jeans. Fans of those bands absolutely need to check this out, they won't be disappointed. They've released a couple of EP's thus far, as well as Anthology, which contains a good chunk of their recorded material up until now. I'd suggest starting there. Enjoy.

1. Sleeping With My Cellphone
2. Wires
3. You Don't Party

1. Sleeping With My Cellphone
2. I Drive Past A Light Store On The Way To Your House
3. Lakes

1. Kicking Myself In The Face
2. Come On, Guys
3. Lakes (Acoustic)

1. Cheap Haircuts - Callaway Villas
2. Cheap Haircuts - Paper Cuts
3. Worst Party Ever - Real Sports
4. Worst Party Ever - Dewey
5. Junior College - Deja Vu
6. Junior College - Limescale And Rust
7. I Am Clark Kent - OhLookADonnybrooke
8. I Am Clark Kent - Bronchitis

1. Kicking (myself in the face)
2. 1:30
3. Come on, guys
4. Swimming

1. Big Wave
2. Trying Soda (I Know You So Well)
3. Brian, In Tampa
4. Creeper (Instrumental)

1. Sub Bean Every Day
2. Did The Cubs Just Win The World Series?
3. Trying Soda (I Know You So Well)
4. Trying Harder
5. Ohmygodicantbelieveiforgothowtoplaythis
6. Big Wave
7. Dewey
8. Real Sports
9. Brian In Tampa
10. Kicking Myself In The Face
11. 1:30
12 Come on, Guys
13. Swimming
14. Wires Demo
15. Sleeping With My Cellphone
16. I Drive By A Light Store On The Way To Your House
17. Sleeping With My Cellphone (Demo)
18. Fault Lines (2014)
19. Wires
20. Come On Guys (Demo)
21. Lakes

1. Worst Party Ever - Ganon Main (Demo)
2. Wake Up Spaceboy - I'm Never Leaving Florida

1. Ganon Main
2. Camping

Friday, 23 March 2018

Jejune


Jejune were a three-piece (later four-piece) emo/indie band that were around from 1996 to 2000. They originally formed in Boston when all its members attended the Berklee College Of Music, but moved to San Diego in 1997. They played an energetic style of emo at the beginning of their career that can be loosely compared to bands like Jawbreaker, Christie Front Drive or early Jimmy Eat World (who they put out a split with). As they progressed, they began to develop a jangly-pop song, featuring clean bright guitars. Into the mid to late stages of their career, they start taking influence from elements of shoegaze, most notably in the heavily distorted guitars and reverberated vocals. They are also known for the interplayed, dual vocals, which had a knack for harmony and some striking melodies. Overall, this band isn't nearly as well-known as they should be, and definitely stand out among their "emo" contemporaries as being truly unique. Highly. highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Garden Variety - New Guitar Parts
2. Jejune - Drive By Negly

8. Hialeah

1. Meteorite
2. Greyscale
3. Pablo
4. Stresser
5. Ethan Allen
6. Pablo
7. Radical Firepower
8. Ford

1. Jejune - Early Stars
2. Jejune - That's Why She Hates Me
3. Jimmy Eat World - What I Would Say To You Now
4. Jimmy Eat World - Speed Read

1. Morale Is Low
2. Coping With Senility (Lowlife Owns A Pen)
3. This Afternoons Malady
4. Fixed On The One
5. Sitcom Epiphany
6. Solar
7. New Clear Saturday
8. Regrets Are Unanswered Dreams
9. Demonica
10. 38 Calumet
11. One Transmission
12. Same To You

1. Jejune - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (The Smiths cover)
2. Lazycain - Handsome Devil (The Smiths cover)

1. Jejune - Record City Afterworld
2. Dignity For All - Transparency
3. Dignity For All - Short Distance

1. Record City After World
2. The New State
3. Lunatic
4. The Highs And Lows
5. 2000 Miles
6. Heart Of Desire
7. Early Stars
8. Morale Is Low
9. That's Why She Hates Me
10. Solar
11. Lowlife (Version Remix)
12. Grace (Wizard Glick Is Swimming)

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Benton Falls


Benton Falls were a three-piece (originally four-piece) emo/indie band from Santa Rosa, California that formed in 2000 and broke up in 2010. They released two incredible full-length records, as well as a compilation of previously unreleased material, all on Deep Elm Records. Sonically, Benton Falls took their cues from the great emo bands of the decade that preceded them, such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Braid. They utilized quiet, twisting, clean arpeggios, moody, melodic vocals, and explosive build-ups of furious, distorted octave chords and screamed vocals. Their songwriting is top-notch, and they really hit the melancholic note that the genre is renowned for. This band is highly, highly recommended for any fan of that classic emo sound that obviously influenced its current revival. Quick side note, guitarist/vocalist Michael Richardson was a member of The Jealous Sound during their last few years of existence. Enjoy.

1. All These Things
2. Swimming With You
3. Fighting Starlight
4. Sad Like Winter Leaves
5. Always Behind A Smile
6. June Port Bridge
7. No Hero
8. Coastal
9. Back To Nothing
10. Eudora

1. The Housecall Could Kill
2. The Race To Die
3. Bitter By Choice
4. Trial And Terror
5. Angel On Hiatus
6. Like Portraits On Walls
7. There's No "F" In Team
8. Defining The Warm-Up
9. Beneath The Ashes And Lies
10. Broken Frame

1. Occupied For Now
2. Hold Out
3. Tell Him
4. These Lies
5. Zinfandel Dream
6. Angel On Hiatus (feat. Clair De Lune)
7. Untitled Demo 1
8. Untitled Demo 2
9. Untitled Demo 3
10. Untitled Demo 4
11. Untitled Demo 5
12. Untitled Demo 6

Second Story Window


Second Story Window (not to be confused with the band From A Second Story Window) were a four-piece hardcore/emo band from Del Mar, California that were from 1993 to 1995. They only put one EP and one LP, both of which were on the legendary Gravity Records. Along with their labelmates such as Heroin and Antioch Arrow, Second Story Window are often credited as being a pioneering screamo band, and share a lot of commonalities with the aforementioned bands. If you dig the noisy, aggressive shrieking of those bands, with a bizarrely melodic tinge, you will undoubtedly like this. Enjoy.

1. Bottle Opener
2. Justified
3. Pole To Pole
4. Abigail
5. Left Behind

1. Big Eyed Blue
2. New York Loop
3. 86 Submunitions
4. Unfinished
5. Hypothalemus
6. Circus Act
7. Targeting Precision
8. Executive Realignment
9. Sophisticated Engineering