Tuesday, 27 July 2021


Svalbard are a four-piece post-hardcore/post-metal band from Bristol, England that began in 2011. Right from the get-go, I'll admit that I have slept on this band for far, far too long. They are a name I've seen pop up for ages, and for no good reason always put off checking them out. That has most definitely changed recently, and it's been a disservice to myself that I did not listen to this band sooner, as they check all the boxes of what I'm looking for in a sound-bending hardcore/metal band. I actually started with When I Die, Will I Get Better? as I recall seeing a ton of praise for that record last year, and absolutely fell in love with it. From there I went back to their first few EP's, and while they are vastly different from where the band would end up, are still incredibly solid efforts with a sound that is absolutely up my alley. Now in hindsight the many years of recommendations for this band make sense, as they encompass all things I love about extreme music. The honest, brutal aggression, the catharsis, the technical capabilities, the chemistry of a band to meld a vast array of sounds into a singular, tight unit, Svalbard does it all and does it well. From their hardcore/post-rock origins to their current (I guess you could call it "post-metal") sound, this band has not missed a beat in developing new, creative ways to play amongst each other while producing anthems and epics for us to experience.

I've said it before, but I hate making direct comparisons of one band to another (though I do it a lot), so don't take it necessarily as x sounds like y, rather; fans of y may also like x, if you know what I mean. Having said that, fans of Deafheaven, Oathbreaker, and Converge need to pay attention here, as this could easily be one of the most talented and definite hardcore acts to emerge out of recent years. I apologize profusely for putting this off for so long, and enjoy.

1. So Much For Meritocracy
2. The Damage Done
3. Anything Goes, Nothing Stays

1. Melting Hands
2. Never Look Back
3. Pick Up The Pieces
4. Leave It

1. Flightless Birds
2. For What It's Worth

1. Let It Die - War In The Head (7 Seconds cover)
2. Pariso - Straight Hypocrisy Images (Witch Cult/Weekend Nachos cover)
3. Svalbard - This Is The End (Victims cover)
4. Mine - Everybody Hates Me (Tear It Up cover)

1. Pariso + Svalbard - Floating Anchors
2. Pariso - Howl of The Forest
3. Pariso - Underground Notes
4. Pariso - Helios, The Demise
5. Pariso - Delirium
6. Svalbard - Ripped Apart
7. Svalbard - Grayscale
8. Svalbard - Allure
9. Svalbard + Pariso - Faceless

1. Perspective
2. Disparity
3. The Vanishing Point
4. Expect Equal Respect
5. Unrequited
6. The Damage Done
7. Unnatural Light
8. Lily

1. Ripped Apart
2. Grayscale
3. Allure
4. Floating Anchors
5. Faceless
6. This Is The End
7. Flightless Birds
8. For What It's Worth
9. Melting Hands
10. Never Look Back
11. Pick Up The Pieces
12. Leave It
13. So Much For Meritocracy
14. The Damage Done
15. Anything Goes Nothing Stays

1. The Tidal Sleep - Are You OK?
2. Svalbard - Open The Cages

1. Unpaid Intern
2. Revenge Porn
3. Feminazi
4. Pro-Life
5. For The Sake Of The Breed
6. How Do We Stop It
7. Try Not To Die Until You're Dead
8. Iorek

1. Open Wound
2. Click Bait
3. Throw Your Heart Away
4. Listen To Someone
5. Silent Restraint
6. What Was She Wearing?
7. The Currency Of Beauty
8. Pearlescent


Ivich were a four-piece emo/hardcore band from Saint-Maurice, Val-de-Marne, France that were around from approximately 1992 to 1997. Their earlier material brought the fast-paced visceral energy of hardcore to its brink, with cathartic vocals and chaotic instrumentals. As they grew, their sound got darker, balancing quiet melodies with climatic, emotional outpourings more akin to the greatest screamo bands of their era. This is definitely evidenced on what could be their best release, La Vie Devant Soi, which came out on the legendary early screamo label Ebullition. Enjoy.

1. Lumière
2. Marie et moi
3. Solitude
4. Sales pensées
5. Masque
6. Les oeillets
7. J'veux pas
8. Dégoulinade
9. Danse macabre
10. Volcan
11. Revolver
12. J'aurai tant aimé
13. A quoi bon

1. Ivich
2. Damien
3. Icar
4. Un Ailleurs

1. Les Belles Images
2. L'autre
3. Malheur
4. Los Olvidados
5. Bonheurs Totalitaires
6. Il Etait Une Fois
7. Cicatrices
8. Une Soif De Mal
9. Du Sang Sur Les Mains

1. Ivich - H.I.V.
2. Jasemine - Restriction
3. Jasemine - Choix

1. Les Monstres
2. Ici Et Maintenant
3. Du Rire Aux Larmes
4. Les Voix Du Silence
5. C'est L'epoque Qui Veut Ca
6. Pourquoi Faut Il Que Les Homme

1. Ivich - Si J'etias Libre
2. Ivich - Volcan
3. E-150 - Todo Perdido
4. E-150 - Pro-Eleccion
5. E-150 - Locura De Guerra (Maximo Volumen)
6. E-150 - Vendran Lluvias Suaves

Friday, 18 June 2021

By Surprise

By Surprise are a four-piece emo/indie band from Haddon Heights, New Jersey that began in 2006. They are one of many bands I always figured I had posted early on, but have since discovered to be missing completely. They were one of the best of the early "revival" bands, which culminated in a fantastic LP put out in 2011 on Topshelf. Though their first album and their early work got tons of love, I'll admit I kind of lost track of them after that. Turns out they put out another album two years ago, along with a handful of other releases which I'm looking forward to finally checking out. But to start, I cannot recommend Mountain Smashers enough, that is quintessential listening for fans of emo of that era. Also, if anyone happens to have more of their earliest material please send it to me. I know I'm missing some stuff but cannot track any of it down, would be great to share it as well. Thank you, and enjoy!

1. Ode To Pollard
2. I Liked You Better
3. Terra Cotta Army
4. Circuit Breaker (Blow Minds)

1. Hightide Hotel - Shuttle
2. Hightide Hotel - Elementary Biology
3. Hightide Hotel - Apartment Buildings
4. By Surprise - Invisible Ink
5. By Surprise - CB Radio
6. By Surprise - I Miss You etc.

1. Books By Thoreau
2. Realometer
3. Mostly Harmless
4. Last Chance To See
5. Photoshoot
6. Fountain Splashers
7. $600 Exorcism
8. So Long And Thanks For All The Shark Jaws
9. Daggermouth Is Playing At My House
10. Hanging Out With Wendy In Sulkiland
11. Direct Loans

1. Criteria
2. Wear That Crown
3. Way To Be Tall

1. Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Pt. 2
2. Always Ruining Everything
3. Who's To Say This Year Will Be Any Different?
4. Shovel
5. Worst Christmas Ever
6. Snow Angel
7. No Mistletoe

1. Broadcaster - Bottle Rockets
2. Broadcaster - Hornet's Nest
3. By Surprise - Photosludge
4. By Surprise -Point Set Match
 5. By Surprise - Postmodern Laziness 
6. By Surprise - Photonova

1. Aspiga - Fading Into Summer
2. Aspiga - Eucalyptus Nights
3. By Surprise - Teton Range
4. By Surprise - Amateur Status

1. Ribald
2. Be Composed
3. Honeydew List
4. Pretend
5. Low Hanging Wire
6. Basement
7. Be Minor
8. Summer Is Now
9. Marry Me
10. Anarchyville
11. I Can See The Sun
12. Be Alright
13. Your Time Will Come


Snacking are a five-piece emo/indie band from Petersburg, Florida that have been around since 2012. Their latest EP Painted Gold came out in February of this year. These four tracks all offer something different, with strong songwriting and some fantastic production being the common thread. Sonically, the band takes clear influence from emo with an indie rock temperament, with a sound that would appeal to fans of bands like Into It. Over It. or Death Cab For Cutie. Highly recommended stuff, enjoy!

1. Penalty Shot
2. It's a Spring Thing
3. Crumby
4. Phone Etiquette
5. I Don't Want To Live On This Planet Anymore

1. Unravled
2. Rocket Town
3. Genius, Actually
4. Quincy
5. Hum
6. Weathervane

1. Blacked Out On A Train
2. Crossword
3. Edward
4. Painted Gold

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Expert Timing

Expert Timing are a three-piece emo pop band from Orlando, Florida that began in 2016. They're a relatively new addition to CYLS with the release of their EP Whichever, Whatever last year, and were pretty prolific up until then. The band have made life easy with the self-assigned "bubblegrunge power pop", which really encapsulates their sound. They bring high energy, dual vocals, earworm choruses, and bright chords with the occasional blast of distorted guitars to each song, making for some unforgettable tracks. Fans of Weezer, The Format, Dowsing, and Camp Cope should check this band out, though those are some pretty loose comparisons. Enjoy.

1. Cement
2. Speak
3. Nervous Wreck
4. Sad Enough

1. Sleep
2. Act Your Age
3. Nervous Wreck
4. Swimming
5. Slow

1. Don't Look Back
2. Classic Case of Narcissism
3. Disastrous
4. Never See Me Again
5. Smother
6. Alone
7. Sever Your Ties
8. Cement
9. I Just Might Surprise You
10. Littlest Amount
11. Glare

1. Complain.gif (Acoustic Demo)
2. Elevator (Acoustic Demo)
3. Cruis'n USA (Demo)

1. Disastrous (Acoustic Version)

1. Gravity
2. Good Things
3. Constant Melody
4. Luckin' Out
5. My Body

1. Cement (Live At Shards)
2. Never See Me Again
3. Classic Case Of Narcissism
4. Sleep
5. Wait, Wait, Wait (The Format cover)


Stella were a three-piece indie/emo band from Auburn, New York that were briefly active in 1995 following the break-up of another band, Underside. Members of that band went on to become 2/3s of Stella, who played a handful of shows and recorded these 5 tracks as their swan song. Those recordings became the debut release of Grafton Records in 1995. Stella can be loosely compared to bands like Everyone Asked About You and Ribbon Fix (another Grafton band), with some very washy guitars coated in distortion and reverb, bordering on a shoegaze tone. This is a fascinating little EP, definitely worth giving a listen to. Enjoy.

1. P.s.e.
2. Rum
3. Fire
4. Ledge
5. Moods

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Make Believe

Make Believe were a four-piece math rock/indie band from Chicago, Illinois that were around from 2003 to 2008. They began as a touring version of Joan of Arc, as all members of Make Believe have at some point been involved in Joan of Arc. The band consisted of vocalist Tim Kinsella (also involved in Cap'n Jazz, Owls, Friend/Enemy, and the main member of Joan of Arc), guitarist Sam Zurick (Cap'n Jazz, Ghosts And Vodka, Owls, Friend/Enemy), bassist Bobby Burg (Joan of Arc, Love Of Everything), and drummer/keyboardist Nate Kinsella (Joan Of Arc, American Football, Love Of Everything). Sonically, Make Believe do sound like an off-shoot of their relative Joan Of Arc, with the odd time signatures, discordant, off-kilter and often noodly discordant guitar melodies with heavy use of harmonics. Tim Kinsella's voice is as unique and charismatic as ever, with a sound that is unmistakably his. Make Believe put out a surprising amount of material in their five short years, which is definitely recommended for fans of the more unusual and experimental Kinsella projects. They are one of the few remaining Cap'n Jazz-related bands I have yet to post, so am happy to finally get them added here. Enjoy.

1. We're All Going To Die
2. Britt's Favorite
3. Witchcraft
4. Temping As A Shaman
5. Abracadabra - Thumbs!
6. How To Haunt A House

1. The Vampire's Lament To His Nurse
2. Each Day Is Different And The Same As Cocks

1. Love of Everything - Keep Off of Me
2. Love of Everything - Proud by Looking Around
3. Joan of Arc - Violencii or Violencum
4. Owen - I'm Not Seventeen
5. Make Believe - Small Apartment Party Epiphany
6. Make Believe - One Second Wide and Weeks Deep
7. People Dick - Pee Dicky

1. Amscaredica
2. His Short Quip When Eddie's Bothered
3. Say What You Mean
4. Small Apartment Party Epiphany
5. Television Cemetary
6. The Storm On Her Birthday
7. Can't Tell Cop From Cab
8. One Zero
9. A Band Room of One's Own
10. Wild Science, Wild Signs
11. Fumio Nambata Had a Farm
12. Momentum Logic
13. 'Boom!' Sounds Like 'Hiss' From Inside It

1. A Song About Camping
2. Another Song About Camping
3. Political Mysticism
4. Florida/Oklahoma 12/05
5. Pat Tillman, Emmitt Till
6. Coup D'Thought
7. Bisect Duality
8. Plants Dance
9. Sometimes I See Sideways
10. Anything/Selling That Thing
11. Plantarchy In the You Be

1. Ooo-Yum
2. Just Green Enough
3. Sam Rollerskating Backwards
4. For Lauri Bird
5. Wearin' Torn
6. Garden Stencil
7. Goin' To The Bone Church
8. (I Can't Understand) Satisfaction
9. Taste, Touch, Smell, Deceit And Touch
10. People Laughing

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre were a four-piece screamo band from Trier, Germany that were around from 2001 to 2010. They out a slew of EP's and splits, with their standout and most well-known work being their only LP, 2005's Synkopenleben, Nein Danke. This is an undisputed essential screamo record of its era, and this band is a whole is one that this blog has been sorely lacking for years now. Sonically, fans of other chaotic, metallic screamo bands like Tristan Tzara, Louise Cyphre, or The Apoplexy Twin Orchestra will undoubtedly love them, though are most likely already familiar with them. Like I said, Danse Macabre is essential screamo listening, so enjoy.

1. Gregor
2. Was Bleibt !?
3. Ein Leiser Tod
4. Tantalostraum
5. Ehrengast Auf Dem Ball Der Reminiszenz
6. Phoenix

1. Killed By Malaise - Endzeit Erwachen
2. Danse Macabre - Le Zero Et L'infini
3. Danse Macabre - 60 Sekunden Rhetorik
4. Danse Macabre - My Insurrection Drama

6. Merci Beaucoup, Warenform

1. Zeitbombe
2. Synkopenleben, Nein Danke
3. Phoenix Part 2
4. Eine Schwalbe Macht Noch Keinen Sommer
5. Keine Atempause
6. Eine Frage Der Opportunitätskosten
7. Syntax Error
8. Da Kann Noch Einiges Optimiert Werden
9. Life is A Pralinenschachtel
10. Vier-und-Sechzig, Neun, Ein-und-Zwanzig
11. Tanzt Das Brot
12. Es Ging Mir Schonmal Besser

1. Her Breath On Glass - Gradually And Then Suddenly
2. Danse Macabre - Ich Habe Keine Ansteckende Krankheit Ausser Besoffski

1. Danse Macabre - Stars Down To Earth
2. Danse Macabre - Schon OK Irgendwie, Aber Nicht Mein Cup Of Tea
3. Danse Macabre - My Roommate's Car Needs To Be Cleaned Up And So Does My Life
4. Am I Dead Yet - Distance And a Saxophone
5. Am I Dead Yet - Knife Chasing The American Dream
6. Am I Dead Yet - Resurrectionist

1. "Als Band Unhörbar, Als DJs Allererste Sahne"
2. Einerseits/Andererseits
3. L'Apparemment Café
4. Der Pharisäische Käfer
5. "Privat Bin Ich Eher Nicht So Gut"
6. Fiasko
7. Zuhause, Aber Wo Ist Das?
8. Further Research Is Needed
9. Ja, Nein, Vielleicht