Saturday, 30 June 2018

Slaughter Beach, Dog


Alright, you can cool it with the requests. Finally, here is Slaughter Beach, Dog, the project spearheaded by Modern Baseball singer/guitarist Jake Ewald that began in 2015. To date, he's released two EP's and two full-lengths, all of which have been a fantastic substitute to fill the void left by MoBo's hiatus (even though projects were active at the same time). Ewald's solo material definitely features some of his charismatic writing, with a focus on personal anecdotes involving characters and places. Sonically, he takes influence from the principal singer-songwriters of bands like Pedro The Lion and The Weakerthans. Not much else to say really, he's already established himself as a fantastic songwriter, and this project gives him a more subdued sound to allow his melody and lyrics to flow through. Enjoy.

1. Mallrat Semi-Annual
2. Real Annie
3. Bed Fest
4. Annie
5. Toronto Mug

1. Mallrat Semi-Annual
2. Toronto Mug
3. Monsters
4. Bed Fest
5. Forever
6. Jobs
7. Politics Of Grooming
8. Drinks
9. Toronto Mug II
10. Essex Street

1. Your Cat
2. Glowing
3. 104 Degrees
4. Building The Ark

1. Phoenix
2. Gold and Green
3. Pretty O.K.
4. Bad Beer
5. Shapes I Know
6. Sleepwalking
7. Fish Fry
8. Buttercup
9. Friend Song
10. Acoltye

Monday, 25 June 2018

Snag / Swallows Nest SPLIT PREMIERE


Alright, I've got another premiere for ya, and this one I'm especially pumped about. I'm happy to share the new split between Milwaukee's Snag and New Zealand's Swallows Nest. I'm lucky to have an exclusive stream of this incredible split here for you to check out. This release is as collaborative as they come, with Sam from Snag putting together the amazing artwork, and Dave of Swallows Nest putting out the tapes through the as-you-already-know fantastic label Zegema Beach Records. Those tapes will be available worldwide through the label, as well as through the bands in their respective countries.

This one I'm especially excited about because not only do we get three new tracks of screamy goodness and my useless ramblings, but also interviews with a member of each band to get the background on how these songs and recordings came to be. Check all of that out, in addition to the artwork, the full stream and more beeeeelow.




REVIEW

Snag come firing out of the woodwork on this split with some of the heaviest, most neck-snapping riffs I have ever heard. Within the first minute, they've entered a bone-chilling build-up, based around the unsettling mantra "and we eat our young", which culminates in a swelling chaos of apocalyptic proportions. The bass hits as heavy as a steamroller, with dissonant guitars noisily chipping away at the foundation. This track offers an intense sonic journey, which recalls one of the all-time greats, City Of Caterpillar. This is the soundtrack to a world ending not with a bang or a whimper, but a full-fledged forest fire with no end in sight. I'm not sure what else needs to be said about this song, it absolutely floored me when I heard it, and am fully anticipating the same reaction from most of you. This is what I love so much about modern screamo, how "progressively familiar" it can be. It's a distinct genre that creative bands are still finding ways to set the bar in.

Swallows Nest are a band you might be familiar with from the split they did with Crowning earlier this year. "Dark Hamz" opens with an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sample, which is just about the greatest way to start a song. The band wastes no time after that going full-throttle into blast beats and tremolo-picked guitars. They utilize two vocalists, which furiously weave in and out and on top of each other in a natural "harmony" (if such a word can be applied). Another thing I found of note here was the bass, which often times provides a subtle melodic backbone to the song. It's those little details that really change the feeling of a song, and that's expressed excellently here.

Their second song, "Apathy As An Infinite Manifestation" begins by burning slowly with a trebly, arpeggiated guitar before firing on all cylinders. The moments of full-band syncopation hit home, and the vocals really play well off each other. One is guttural and menacing, while the high and shrieked. When they alternate, it sounds like an inner conflict one might have, with two voices arguing at one volume: screaming. It's an incredible culmination to this split, one that truly blew me away. You can check out the video for that track below.



INTERVIEW

Peter (Snag): David from Swallow's Nest asked if we wanted to do a split and without hesitation we agreed. We discussed general ideas for what we wanted this to be, and Dave suggested the theme of violence, so we fixated on that a little bit. The Parkland, Florida school shooting happened right around the time we wrote this song, and so the concept seemed extremely fitting for what was on everyone's minds at the time. That having been said, the concept that violence is intersectional is one that weaves through a lot of our music. When we started this band our first songs focused on themes relating to climate change and environmental devastation. That's certainly still the case but we feel that a similar mindset informs all forms of oppressive violence. The same internal logic that allows a human to open fire on their peers in a school is the one that allows someone to abuse their partner, allows the state to round up and/or murder minorities, allows an economic order to extract resources at the expensive of life on the planet.

We used a sample from True Detective that connects these concepts to the idea of a self. And we borrow some lyrical content from the ideas Ursula LeGuin put in her novel The Dispossessed, which is about an actualized anarchist society on a resource-poor moon. In the context of extreme violence in the form of domination of one over others or systems over individuals at multiple levels, this song's message is about turning away from destructive notions of a hyper-individual self and turning instead towards mutualism.

We put together this song over the course of 2 days, and then recorded it with our friend Dante Fumo at his studio on the south side of Milwaukee in an afternoon. It's our favorite song that we've written and we've been itching to release it. We're absolutely thrilled to have worked with Dave and Swallow's Nest on this project.

Kevin (Sophie's Floorboard): What was the inspiration behind choosing violence as theme for this split, and how does that theme factor into your side of the split?

Dave (Swallows Nest): I'm not really sure what the catalyst was for that. I have noticed in the last 15 years that my lyrics have gone from being about heartbreak to focusing on purely social/political/environmental issues. It's not a concentrated effort, it just happens. I'm so fucking angry at most of the people on this planet for their greed, hate, intolerance, pollution, selfishness, arrogance and violence that lyrics don't usually come out of me in any other way nowadays. I told Snag that I wanted to do a very environmentally conscious release that was violent and about human violence.

Our side of the split is a little less based on violence and more toward apathy and selfishness. particularly on the second track "Apathy as an Infinite Manifestation". I wrote the lyrics for this as a retort to complete pacifism in the wake of corporate and government led terrorism abroad and within. It's also about being so self-centered that we are purposefully looking away from our collective species' suicide or, somehow, finding ridiculous justifications for it. The first of the two songs is called "Dark Hamz" and was just a joke title that I had as it sounded like Dark Hardcore Skramz to me, and then I just shortened it. Before that I referred to it as the Buried Inside intro song, thanks to Jörg's undeniably awesome bass riff. The song mirrors my relationship with my wife in New Zealand (she was suffering from intense morning sickness and the weather got her extremely depressed and negative) with humanity's connection with nature, urging both to reconcile their differences and live in harmony.

Kevin (Sophie's Floorboard): What was the background (writing/recording) for your material on this split?

Dave (Swallows Nest): We wrote 7 songs as a four-piece with myself on vocals, Matt on guitar, Jörg on bass and Gabe on drums, but upon the news of my departure back to Canada we decided to enlist Jörg's partner Lana (both played in Yung Nat$ together) and, as I'm a sucker for dual vocalists, we decided to record those songs as a five-piece. The band is back to a four-piece with Lana on vocals but Matt moved to the North island of New Zealand and the band is kind of a semi-internet based thing, although they/we are working on new material for next year.

These two songs on this Snag cassette follow "A Subtle Knife For New Doors" on the Crowning split 7" and then we've got four more that'll end up on a self-titled cassette that we'll release before 2018 concludes.

Kevin (Sophie's Floorboard): I've got to ask because of my deep-seated obsession with this film. Why/how did the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sample on "Dark Hamz" come about?

Dave (Swallows Nest): I'm a big fan of putting movie audio clips into songs, mostly because I've been in love with Graf Orlock for over a decade and think choosing the right one can really give the song something extra. Plus I get to geek out with people when they get the quote or ask to know where it came from.

This one came into being because my wife and I were having issues, primarily due to her morning sickness from her second pregnancy. I was also trying to correlate our relationship (embellishing the problems bigger than they were) with our struggle within society, and to fight in both cases for love, truth, compassion and happiness..."or we'll wash away." (not unlike the sandcastles getting toppled in the music video for "Apathy as an Infinite Manifestation")

Also, I knew I wanted a quote from that movie to go into the song and when I got to that part where Jim Carrey's character begins erasing his memory of his partner in response to her erasing her memory of him, truly an eye for an eye situation which we as humans dish out all too often.





Snag

Swallows Nest

Zegema Beach Records

Friday, 22 June 2018

Gillian Carter


This one has been a long-time coming, and a huge weight off my chest to finally get posted here. I mean this in the best and happiest of terms, because this band has been so highly requested and put out so much incredible material. It just took my lazy ass a few years to get around to doing it, haha. I'm talking of course about Gillian Carter, a three-piece screamo band from Palm Bay, Florida that formed in 2005. They play an emotionally intensive style of screamo that blends an array of other sounds, including post-rock, melodic hardcore, emo, post-hardcore, and and even acoustic elements in the mix.

They're a band that really does strive to craft its own path, with every track offering up something new. This makes for their two most recent full-lengths, Lost Ships Sinking With The Sunset and Dreams Of Suffocation being absolute landmark albums. For a loose band comparison, just to get an idea of sound, think Envy, State Faults, and early Pianos Become The Teeth. They've been fairly prolific over the years (well, relatively for a genre where more than one full-length could be considered "prolific"), with a handful of releases over the years. Essentials would be the two aforementioned albums, as well as their recent splits with Eyelet and Coma Regalia. Even then, they've been quite consistent for a band that has been kicking around as long as they have. Super happy to finally share this incredible band with ya, enjoy.

1. When The Music Stopped demo
2. Unspoken Words Demo
3. Dancing Under The Starts split with mayans version
4. Chapter 1 demo
5. The Storm Demo
6. The Conversation Demo
7. The Letter And The Response demo
8. The Epilogue (Of Things Unsung) demo
9. The Calm Demo
10. The Flood demo
11. Intermission
12. Between Space And Time self done album demo version with hade
13. The Calm That Didnt Come
14. The 14 Minute Goodbye
15. Welcome To That Special Place
16. Between Space And Time original demo with hade
17. The Faces You Once Remembered Now Have A Name
18. Spring Song
19. Gillian Carter
20. Kool Song (guitar And Drums - First Song Ever).
21. Omg (original Space And Time)
22. Between Space And Time alt. version
23. 14 Minute Goodbye alt. version

1. Chapter 1 
2. The Storm
3. The Conversation
4. The Letter And The Response
5. The Epilogue
6. The Calm
7. The Flood
8. (untitled)
9. Between Space And Time
10. Thank-You For The Memories

Note: 2017 Mastered version here

1. Intro
2. The Same Landmarks That Used To Miss Us
3. Memoirs
4. Having Lost...
5. Drowning Alone
6. The Same Misconceptions (past & present)
7. Dialogue
8. Interlude
9. March 17, 2007
10. Thoughts-Conversations
11. Bittersweet News
12. Realizations
13. Coming Along

1. Gillian Carter - Early Retirements
2. Gillian Carter - No Comment
3. Gillian Carter - Instrumental
4. Gillian Carter - Graduating With Honors
5. Gillian Carter - I've Been Forgotten And So Have You
6. Ghost Aviary - Chelsea
7. Ghost Aviary - Anya Did Coke For Like A Week
8. Ghost Aviary - Eat Your Cake, Panda; It's Gonna Be A Long Night 
9. Ghost Aviary - Ghosts Scare The Shit Out Of Me
10. Ghost Aviary - Math Event

1. Henrietta - A Spectrum
2. Henrietta - Blood Wool
3. Gillian Carter - Always
4. Gillian Carter - Remembering
5. Gillian Carter - Decisions
6. Echo Base - Launchies
7. Echo Base - Mike Bibby

1. Recently...
2. Dissertation #1 (Trapped)
3. Thesis Statement
4. Waking Up (Lost Ships)
5. Time (All That Is Left Is Fading)
6. I've Been Forgotten & So Have You
7. Sinking With The Sunset
8. Spring Song

1. I Went Down With The Ship (To Save My Family)
2. When The Music Stopped 2012
3. The Storm (The w/o Alan Version)
4. The Letter & The Response a.k.a The Blaq Metal Song (Version for 2012)
5. The Calm (2012 Version)
6. The Flood (2012 Version)
7. Vocal Warm Ups For 2012
8. Some Days...

1. Another Blank Page

1. Lament
2. Remembering Her The Way She Was (Alive)
3. Sparks To The Sky
4. Fragments Of A Eulogy
5. (Fuck Everything) One Day I'll Die
6. This Title Means Nothing
7. Rotting
8. Despondency
9. Rest In Peace 2012's Interlude
10. Discouragement (Better Luck Next Year)

1. Gillian Carter - The Novelty of Joy
2. Coma Regalia - The King Of Slings

1. Gillian Carter - Despair
2. Gillian Carter - Anguish
3. Eyelet - Famine
4. Eyelet - Cowardice

Reveries


Reveries are a four-piece screamo/post-hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts that formed in 2016. They play an instrumentally intricate but melodic style of screamo that hits hard without delving into absolute chaos. The vocals keep the lyrics semi-descernible (which is a good thing, they're solid lyrics), and are delivered in a screamed-spoken hybrid. Sonically, Reveries could be loosely compared to bands like Kidcrash, Shizune, Innards, and Age Sixteen, or something like that. They just released their debut self-titled album, which is out on cassette via Emo Cat Records and vinyl via Ancient Injury. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Growing Older
2. A Modern Invasion
3. A Thousand Suns
4. Rainwater Drowning
5. Firelight
6. An Undelivered Letter
7. Low Doses
8. Undergrowth
9. Fall Failings

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Outburst


Outburst are a five-piece straight edge hardcore band from New York City that were originally around from 1987 to 1989, but have been playing shows again since 2017. They put out a demo (recorded by Don Fury), a few comp tracks, and one 7" during their initial run together. Since then, Outburst have been incredibly influential (notably on bands like Fury and Soul Search, among others). Their sound is distinctly NYHC, but they don't quite sound like Agnostic Front, or something like that. They've got a uniquely aggressive sound, with blunt lyrics and booming instrumentals. In addition to what's below, you can also grab some live sets from there over at Blogged & Quartered here. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Learn To Care
3. Think For Yourself
4. Mission Impossible
5. Mad At The World
6. True
7. Outro

5. The Hardway
6. Thin Ice
7. Controlled

Note: Outburst tracks only

1. No Choice
2. When Things Go Wrong
3. Thin Ice
4. Misunderstood
5. Miles To GO
6. S.G.I.
7. Mission Impossible

Monday, 18 June 2018

Commander Salamander


Commander Salamander are a three-piece band from Washington, DC that (presumably) formed in 2017. I don't even know where to start with this band. They're kinda punk, kinda screamo, kinda emo, kind of all of the above and kind of none of the above. Either way, they're a good time with an awesome sound & energy. They dropped a solid EP last year, which poses the age old question "what the fuck rhymes with Fugazi?" and have their debut full-length due out this month. Based on the two promo tracks they've dropped, it's safe to say it'll knock some socks off. Enjoy.

1. Skeletor's Revenge
2. Lord, Beer Me Strength
3. Really Expensive Toss
4. Yr Not Ramona Flowers, Yr Knives Chau
5. Its Mario Kart, Not Mario Cart
6. Gross October

1. Lord Beer Me Strength (Live)
2. Really Expensive Toss (Live)
3. Mario Kart (Live)
4. Gross October (Live)
5. Ramona//Knives (Live)

1. Pamela
2. Skramton, PA

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Just Friends


Just Friends are a 10-piece punk/funk band from California that formed in 2013. Thus far, they've dropped an EP and a very recent full-length of catchy, energetic punk, complete with brass instrumentation, funky riffs, and touches of jazz and R&B. They find a middle ground between Bomb The Music Industry! and early Red Hot Chili Peppers, with a definite emo influence coming through. It's definitely a unique sound, with a collective feel-good vibe. Their debut full-length, Nothing But Love was just released by Counter Intuitive. It features an eclectic mix of tracks, with some immediate standouts such as "Never Gonna Bring You Down", "I Wanna Love You", "Sick Of It All", and "Worry". It's an incredible album, and absolutely recommended. Enjoy.

1. Shots Fired
2. Ryerson
3. Welcome Mats
4. Move 2 Miami
5. Bad Weather II
6. Graduate
7. Paint
8. Normal Me
9. Home Forever
10. Dublin, CA

1. Just Friends - Sad 2 See
2. Just Friends - The Good Life
3. Prince Daddy & The Hyena - Moo Moo Meadows 
4. Prince Daddy & The Hyena - Devotion

1. Bang My Line
2. Nothing But Love
3. Keep Up

1. 1-800-CHOP-CITY
2. Never Gonna Bring You Down
3. Keep Up
4. Supersonic
5. Flex
6. I Wanna Love You
7. 107.7 KJFC
8. Get Down (feat. Caliph)
9. Nothing But Love
10. Sick Of It All
11. Bang My Line II
12. Faucet
13. Worry

Saturday, 9 June 2018

The Cardboard Swords


The Cardboard Swords are a four-piece indie/emo band from Grand Rapids, Michigan that formed in 2014. A year later, they signed to Count Your Lucky Stars and released a 4-way split and their debut LP with the label. Fast-forward to 2018, and they're back with their sophomore LP, Once More, There Is Nothing Left To Figure Out. The Cardboard Swords play an interesting blend of indie and emo, featuring clean guitars, personal lyrics, and melancholic pop melodies. Fans of a variety of bands, including Marietta, Mom Jeans., The Front Bottoms, Grown Ups, Free Throw and Manchester Orchestra will definitely see the appeal in this band. Enjoy.

1. (S)He Said
2. Nickels
3. Cardigan
4. Flannel (Spoken Word)
5. Remnants Of My Garden

1. Dowsing - Cutoff (Blades, Blades, Blades, & Even More Blades)
2. The Cardboard Swords - How I Met Your Dragon Mother
3. Long Knives - Thaw
4. Sinai Vessels - I Quit The Choir

1. (S)He Said
2. Brian's Song
3. Flannel
4. Exit 47A
5. Cardigan
6. Your Dad Is Kirk Hammett?
7. A Year From Now
8. Nickels
9. I Swear I'm Usually Pretty Good At This
10. Remnants

1. (S)He Said
2. Flannel
3. How I Met Your Dragon Mother
4. Bloody Nose
5. Brian's Song
6. Cardigan

1. I Don't Wanna
2. Disposable
3. I Admit
4. Worse Moments
5. Bloody Nose
6. Odd Dates
7. Hell No
8. BrekFEST
9. Rejuvenation

Rained In

Rained In are a five-piece hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts that formed in 2018. They put out a 5-track demo a few months back. The band was formed by members of Vanna, Guns Up! and Cruel Hand, with Derek from Defeater on vocals, who sounds absolutely vicious here. Sonically, they don't really sound like an exact replica of any of their projects, they're more in the vein of Blacklisted, or something like that. Either way, this demo rips, and hopefully we'll be getting more material from them soon. Enjoy.

1. Love Sick
2. AM Gold
3. Loose Ends
4. Call It In The Air
5. Coil

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Inside Out


Inside Out were a four-piece straight edge hardcore punk band from Orange County, California that formed in 1988 and broke up in 1991. They only released one EP, No Spiritual Surrender, which came out in 1990 on Revelation Records. The original vinyl release contained only four tracks, but subsequent CD and cassette releases contained two extra tracks ("Sacrifice" and "Redemption"). Though definitely a hardcore punk band at heart, they also contained some elements of crossover trash influence, thus the often-cited comparisons to bands like D.R.I. or Sick Of It All.

Perhaps what's most discussed about Inside Out (besides their phenomenal EP) is its alumni. Most notably, their vocalist was Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine. Funnily enough, the name of the next Inside Out album was supposed to be Rage Against The Machine, but they broke up before that could ever happen. Thus, the name was used for his new band, which formed immediately after. Additionally, Inside Out's guitarist was Vic DiCara, best known for his work with legends such as 108, Beyond, Burn, and Shelter. The band also shared members with a laundry list of other bands, including Chain Of Strength, Gorilla Biscuits, Justice League, Wool, Smile, Pitchfork, Hardstance, and Forced Down, among others. This is definitely an essential hardcore release, so get on it. Enjoy.

1. Burning Fight
2. Undertone
3. By A Thread
4. No Spiritual Surrender
5. Sacrifice
6. Redemption

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Kid, Feral


Kid, Feral are a three-piece screamo band from Skövde, Sweden that formed in 2016. Thus far, they've released a demo and a semi-recent LP, put out by two incredible labels (Emo Cat Records and Dog Knights Production, respectively). They play with an incredible mesh of sounds, including shimmering guitar tones, distorted bass lines, chaotic rhythms, and visceral, piercing vocal screams, mixed in with experimental interludes to break up the skramz party.

Their debut full-length, Live and Let's Die! is a must-listen for screamo fans in 2018, this is definitely one of the most varied and exciting releases in recent history. Also, as OMSB pointed out, the Billy Werner/Saetia comparison in the vocal delivery is uncanny, which is certainly high praise. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Like it or not, we're the only game in town
2. Blue eyes white dragon (I'll close my eyes and imagine)

Note: Cassette available from Emo Cat Records here

1. So Much Money in the $kramz Game
2. Sensory Overload in the Afterclass Bathroom
3. Permanently Stuck in Small Town Limbo
4. Where You End Up Is Not Who You Are
5. This System Is a Bunch of Baloney
6. Listen Up You Nazi Fucks
7. Firedragon3651 Logs Out for Good
8. The Smallest of Intermissions
9. Quit Without Saving? (Y/N)

Note: Vinyl available from Dog Knights Productions here: EUINTL

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Downcast


Downcast were a four-piece hardcore band from Goleta, California that were around in the early 90's (unclear exactly what years). They played a riff-heavy intensive style of hardcore similar to contemporaries such as Inside Out and Struggle. They also contained elements of metallic hardcore, particularly in the riffs and throat-burning vocals. Downcast were one of the earliest bands on the legendary Ebullition Records, with their 7" being the label's first release ever, and their LP followed soon after. Enjoy.

1. Hate Comes Easy
2. Schedule
3. Lie
4. Force

1. Everything
2. See
3. They Are Not
4. Lie
5. Schedule
6. Paradox
7. From You And Me

1. System
2. De-Recognized
3. Paradox
4. From You And Me
5. In This Land
6. Grace
7. They Are Not
8. See
9. Privilege
10. Hope