Tuesday, 29 May 2018

die Hoffnung

die Hoffnung are a Gainesville, Florida band formed by brothers Jim Marburger and Jon Marburger. Those names might be familiar to you, since they were previously in bands such as Burnman and the legendary I Hate Myself, a band whose legacy has been cemented in punk/emo history. Luckily for us, they didn't stop there. In 2005, they came together again under a new moniker, which is where die Hoffnung begins. This resulted in their debut LP, Love Songs which was released in 2006. The band crafts a unique sound on this record, featuring some angular guitar work and dynamic drumming. They keep most songs under the three minute mark, with a mathcore-influenced discordance and shouted vocals. In terms of influence, they take from the greats such as The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and Bastro, as well as Codeine, Red House Painters, and Low for their slower material.  Love Songs is a solid LP that displays some impressive musicianship and well-crafted songs with a lot of energy and a good degree of experimentation.

The project remained relatively quiet post-Love Songs, until the brothers were joined by 2nd guitarist Travis Fristoe, who was previously in Moonraker, True Feedback Story, and Reactionary 3. The three-piece got together in 2012 for the recording of their sophomore album. What was spawned from these sessions is Elegies and Creation Songs, the long-awaited follow-up to their debut. Unfortunately, this album was not released for a few years, and in that time Travis sadly took his own life (RIP). Initially, it was going to released by Travis on his label Obscurist Press. Finally, the album say the light of day after Jason (of Palatka) released it on his own label, Belladonna Records.

Elegies and Creation Songs is an incredible album, that fans of experimental post-hardcore (or even post-punk) would definitely take interest in. It features an eclectic mix of tracks, including drawn out, slow burning rises and falls as seen in "The Passion of the Big Baby Jesus" and "Elegy For Bob Ross", as well as fast-paced, sharp, hard-hitting post-hardcore tracks such as "Horses On Fire" and "In Flower, In Song". I also have to give a specific shoutout to "Elegy for Ned", it's a little different than the other tracks on here (probably the most "emo"), but a definite highlight.  Just like their previous project, die Hoffnung are absolute masters of the loud/quiet dynamic, and can let it out just as much as they can pull it back. Many songs include stream of conscious lyrics delivered by semi-spoken semi-screamed vocals. The band burns through these songs with an undeniable chemistry, and the result is an incredible album that I am both happy and lucky to finally hear. I highly, highly recommend checking out both their full-lengths, which are available below, and if you are interested, you can pick up the LP of Elegies and Creation Songs from Belladonna Records, which is linked below. Enjoy.

1. Lovemonger
2. Santa Teresa en Fuego
3. Der Autounfull
4. Olga the Contortionist vs. Harry Houdini
5. I Was Born A Long Time Ago
6. Ahab Welcome To Hell
7. Stonecutter
8. Colditz
9. With The Fishes
10. Orpheus In His Underwear
11. Lady, Killer
12. Tour Of Bridges

1. Elegy for Bob Ross
2. Horses on Fire
3. The Passion of The Big Baby Jesus
4. Embedded Reporter
5. Other People's Pets
6. Elegy For Ned
7. The Creation of Wealth
8. In Flower, In Song
9. Pullman

Friday, 25 May 2018

Retirement Party

Retirement Party are a three-piece emo/indie/punk from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2016. Their debut EP, Strictly Speaking came out early last year, and has garnered a ton of attention since then. They play an energetic style of pop punk similar to bands like P.S. Eliot, with upbeat instrumentals and dense lyrics (incredible ones at that, be sure to check them out). Since then, they've joined the already-impressive Counter Intuitive Records roster for their debut LP, Somewhat Literate, which was officially released today. Upon first listen, they've come through with an amazing batch of songs, with some heavier, technical guitar work than their clean emo debut. Retirement Party have an incredible energy, with some exceptional vocals and lyrics. Somewhat Literate came out at the perfect time, and will definitely be getting multiple spins this summer. If high-octane, wordy pop punk sounds appealing, check this band out. Enjoy.

1. My Chapstick Melted In The Dryer
2. Hall Beach
3. Men's Volleyball
4. Meet Me In Montauk
5. Conclusions

1. That's How People Die
2. Scene 48
3. Shoulder It
4. Passion Fruit Tea
5. Truck Stop Casino
6. Are You My Mother?
7. Take Your Vitamins
8. Grand Am
9. The Big Boom
10. Jericho
11. Seams

1. Runaway Dog
2. Compensation
3. Old Age
4. Fire Blanket
5. No Tide
6. I Wonder If They Remember You
7. Ebb
8. Better Off Now
9. Afterthought
10. Wild Boyz

Wednesday, 23 May 2018


Crowning are a five-piece screamo band from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2016. They play a dark and chaotic brand of screamo in the vein of other incredible bands such as Loma Prieta, Ampere, and Ittō. Their debut five-track EP Funeral Designs was put out last year, and is an absolute crusher of a release. Their follow-up, a new split with Swallows Nest cements their place as one of the best fucking screamo bands around now. All three of these tracks hit immensely hard, with screams coming from every angle courtesy of their multiple vocalists. This split is highly, highly recommended, for both Crowning's crowning achievement of a side, as well as the immense track that New Zealand's Swallows Nest burns through. Undoubtedly this split will be a screamo highlight of the year, so get on it. Enjoy.

1. Funeral Designs
2. Velleity
3. Swivet
4. Exposure
5. Buddy Dwyer

Note: Grab the cassette from Zegema Beach here

1. Crowning - Coil
2. Crowning - Old References
3. Crowning - Nerve
4. Swallows Nest - A Subtle Knife For New Doors

Note: 7" EP available from Zegema Beach here

1. Marée Noire - Laurence
2. Crowning - Julius Breezer
3. Marée Noire - Pervitin
4. Crowning - Narcissus
5. Marée Noire - Toucher La Lune 
6. Crowning - Trakata

1. Life In Vacuum - Nine To Five
2. Canyons - Storing Light
3. Crowning - Visceral Ghosts
4. Hundreds of AU- Out In The Streets / Elevator Music

1. Caldera
2. Airwaves
3. Ardent
4. Survival/Sickness
5. Maelstrom
6. Vantablack
7. Relic
8. Firmament

1. Crowning - Shangri-La
2. Crowning - Avalon
3. Crowning - Elysium
4. Crowning - Quivera
5. Naedr - Lacrimosa
6. Naedr - Eclipse
7. Naedr - Ascension

1. Crowning - Mu
2. Crowning - Hy-Brasil
3. Eyelet - Gross Abandon
4. Eyelet - Argus Of Concrete

Tower of Silence

Tower of Silence were a four-piece screamo band from Toronto that started in March and ended in April 2018. This project was conceptualized as a four-piece one-off project that can be best described as a "skramz supergroup", if such a thing ever did exist. It included members of Respire, Foxmoulder, Terry Green, Polina, Seeing Means More, and Fight Fair. They only played one show, and recorded and released one EP. Considering its quick assembly, these three tracks are incredibly solid pieces of dark, screamy hardcore that brings to mind Portraits Of Past (for some reason). Definitely recommended if you're a fan its members other (amazing) projects. Enjoy.

1. October and Her
2. Parade Me Through The City
3. A Long Passage

Note: You can pick up the limited cassette from Mount Seldom Records here

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Michael Cera Palin

Michael Cera Palin are a three-piece indie/emo/punk band from Atlanta, Georgia that formed in 2015. They're currently 2 EP's deep, and their latest one, "I Don't Know How To Explain It" is spreading like syrup on pancakes, and is just as sweet. They play an uptempo style of emo with a pop punk tinge, making for some energetic tunes (the perfect kind to shout despondent lyrics to). Throw in some occasional Kinsella-twinkle extravaganza, gang vocals, driving drumbeats, and a Sheryl Crow cover, and you've got one hell of an EP. Not to mention "Portrait of a Man on a Couch with Cats" is heavenly. To get an idea of their sound, you could make vague comparisons to Remo Drive, Modern Baseball and Mom Jeans., or something like that. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Growing Pains
3. Boots N Cats
4. Mystery
5. Laughing Makes It Worse

1. Admiral Lazercock (Live & Unfinished)
2. Laughing Makes It Worse (Live)
3. Southern Comfort (Live)
4. If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow cover)
5. Boots N Cats (Live)
6. Growing Pains (Live)

1. Portrait of a Man on a Couch With Cats
2. Southern Comfort
3. If It Makes You Happy
4. Admiral
5. Go Home. Play Music. Feel Better.

1. Camp Trash - Blazing Trash
2. Weatherday - Nostalgia Drive Avatar
3. Oolong - Bicycle Day
4. Michael Cera Palin - Crypto

Friday, 18 May 2018

No Right

No Right are a four-piece hardcore band from San Fransisco, California that have been around since 2016. They're a straight edge band that play a ferocious style of hardcore with a slight metalcore influence. They incorporate down-tuned, chugging riffs with shots of dissonance and complex rhythms into their mosh-friendly aggression machine. The vocals are throat-shredding and vicious, while keeping the lyrics discernible. Their debut EP Unjustified dropped early this year, and they absolutely kill it from start to finish. Definitely be on the look out for this band. Enjoy.

1. No Right

1. unjustified
2. symbolic annihilation
3. spitting image
4. no right
5. (un)conditional
6. proof

1. Deliverance
2. Inglorious Facade
3. Sour
4. Senescence

Sick Shit

Sick Shit are a four-piece hardcore/punk band from New Jersey that have been around since 2015. They play a vicious style of hardcore in the vein of Punch, with some definite powerviolence influence. They incorporate both low guttural growls and shrieking screams in their vocals, as well as some break-neck speed drumming and noisy guitar work. This makes for an undeniably aggressive and whiplash-inducing listen. Their latest EP, Thick Spit is definitely recommended for people who like a little chaos in their hardcore. Enjoy.

1. Organize
2. Parental Transaction
3. Brat
4. Stooped
5. Kids For Cash
6. Playboy
7. Impotence
8. Deepthroat
9. Great Posture
10. Hollow Shell
11. Stock
12. Dirt
13. xDIEx
14. Eulogy
15. NJxHCxNJ
16. Spit
17. Dolly

1. Better
2. Sprawled Out
3. Validation

1. Flocculent
2. Wastrel

1. Discarded
2. Wet Lung
3. Trichtotillomania
4. Cohesive
5. Clot

1. Split
2. Ready To Fight (Negative Approach cover)
3. Good Intentions (Gorilla Biscuits cover)
4. Persevere

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Mihai Edrisch

Mihai Edrisch were a four-piece screamo band from Lyon, France that were around from 2002 to 2006. They share members with Däitro and (more recently) Celeste. Sonically, they have a lot of commonalities with fellow French screamo bands, such as Amanda Woodward, Sed Non Satiata, and Däitro. They blend lead guitar melodies with dissonant chords, with hints of post-rock influence in the way their songs build, release, and explode. The vocals are incredible, with an insurmountable amount of teary-eyed passion. They only released two albums in their lifetime, both of which are beyond incredible (especially Un Jour Sans Lendemain). Enjoy.

1. Les Enfants
2. La Pluie
3. Et Pourtant
4. L'un Sans L'autre
5. Les Mémoires
6. Conflit
7. A Demi Mots
8. Je L'appelai
9. Les Arbres

1. Intro
2. Naitre
3. Marcher
4. Vivre
5. Aimer
6. Souffrir
7. Interlude
8. Espérer
9. Oublier
10. Survivre
11. Mourir
12. Outro

Friday, 11 May 2018

The Drew Thomson Foundation - Stay

Ontario's Drew Thomson is back with a new EP, Stay, out today on Dine Alone Records. Perhaps better known as the frontman of the raucous punk band Single Mothers, Drew has released a handful of EP's under his own name with a decidedly calmer sound. This marks his first one under the new moniker "The Drew Thomson Foundation", which is an appropriate change since this EP deals with new beginnings and brings out a new sound. Now, first and foremost I am a massive fan of this guy's work, and anyone who has ever been trapped in a car with me can attest to that. Thus, any attempt at a "review" of this would be beyond biased, so a "rant" is more fitting. Moral of the story, check this EP out.

Stay trades out the acoustic-based or clean electric melancholy of his earlier work for a full-on distorted power chord sound, complete with a full backing band. Drew solidifies himself as a graduate of the University of Craig Finn, with incredible lyrical wit and detail, shout-along choruses, and an undeniable rock n roll energy. His vocal ability and songwriting skills just continue to get better, and the result is his most accessible material to date paired with his continued distinct charisma. Lyrics have always been a strong suit of his, and the guy who once wrote Negative Qualities seems to have found a far more sunny disposition, which is reflected in this new EP.

The intro wastes no time with "Married To The Night", which immediately opens with Drew's vocals and a loud, overdriven guitar before the entire band kicks in. The punk influence is immediately more evident than on any of his previous releases. Vocally, he dabbles in the sing-speak style more commonly used with Single Mothers. This is the perfect delivery for the wordplay and lyrical density he is renowned for. He fits a lot of detail into this 2-minute track, which says just enough to capture a moment without indulging in it.

"Pace Yourself" is an alt-country ballad in the vein of Lucero, which sees Drew trading in his "whiskey spell" for "diet coke and lime". The acoustic guitar on this track suggests that it may have started much more stripped down. With the addition of the full band instrumentation, this song sounds a lot less lonely than it may have originally, which is perfectly fitting for the song's subject matter. This track pulls together a huge, communal chorus with some incredible lyrics that hit a little too close to home. Its a reflection on a previous self juxtaposed with the current self, and the changes that have arisen in that time, and the sense of hope that brings. Drew throws in some incredible personal details on both lives with that chorus hammering home the simple yet poignant life lesson: pace yourself. This is the second track released from the EP, and a definite highlight.

Track 3, "Rifle" is a bit of a detour on this EP, with its run-time being over twice any other song on here at 5:21. Its foundation is a riff played on what sounds like a cross between a bass and a synth, over steady toms, with some guitar flashes decorating the spaces. It burns a little slower than the rest, but brims with lyrical potency, allowing Drew to tell this story with vivid detail and feeling. It contains fantastic lines such as "All this goddamn town has is a funeral home, a liquor store and a church. Not sure which one I'll end up in first". The wordy chorus hits its peak the third time around post-bridge, where the guitar work begins swelling, and the snare and cymbals hit. The slow build and progression hits an incredible climax here before devolving into the bass/synth riff to close.

The closing track, which also happens to be the title track and first single released is "Stay". It's an incredible concept to hit on, and one universally (albeit painfully) understood by so many. This track borders on a pop song, with an upbeat chord progression, standard song structure, and catchy refrain (the kind of earworm that gets stuck in your head). The lyrics on this track are pretty immediate, with the narrator dealing with the loss of someone who left before their time of self-improvement. It's got this incredible duality to it, where it fits into both camps of happiness and sadness (for lack of better words), which I think perfectly encapsulates the human condition (as pretentious as that sounds). Regardless, this is an incredible song with a replay value that does not wear out easily, and a highlight in Drew's already-amazing catalogue. You can check out the video for "Stay" below.

I'm not sure if my recommendation has much merit, but I do truly suggest giving all of Drew's music a listen, especially Stay (and Single Mothers if you haven't heard them, holy shit get on that). This is a fantastic project from one of my favourite songwriters kicking around today, and one I will be (and have been) listening to tirelessly. The music, lyrics, and hooks are all simply astounding, which I know is a vague description, but also abundantly true. I wholeheartedly encourage you to check this out. You can buy or stream it over at Dine Alone at the link below. Enjoy!

The Drew Thomson Foundation

Wednesday, 9 May 2018


Respire are a six-piece "post-everything" band from Toronto, Ontario that formed in 2013. This is a project I admittedly slept on for a long time, which is a damn shame because "members of Foxmoulder" should be a selling point in and of itself. Regardless, that feels like a millenia ago, since their recent sophomore release has left an unforgettable wake in its path. It's the kind of thing that makes your eyes bulge while your hands grip the steering wheel, and you can't help but mutter loudly "holy shit, this is awesome".

Dénouement is a collapse of catharsis, featuring sprawling instrumentals and searing vocals. The band blends a multitude of sounds and emotions throughout these eight tracks, making it one of the most heavy-hitting releases in recent history. They take influence from genres as diverse as screamo, post-rock, post-hardcore, blackgaze, and even hints of classical, making their "post-everything" descriptor spot on. Respire is a notably collaborative effort, with numerous musicians performing on record in addition to the core members. This brings in a whole other layer of instrumentation, including strings, brass instruments, and keys, among other things that really lift its skinny fists to this grandiose sound. This record has me completely floored, and floods with these intensive build-ups and calming moments throughout. Respire have truly crafted a masterpiece here, and I cannot recommend this album enough.

Also, I don't want to leave their debut unmentioned, Gravity And Grace is also a stellar record, and the crescendo at the end of "Ascent" will leave a single tear in your eye. If your a fan of bands like Suffocate For Fuck Sake, Envy, Deafheaven, or even Godspeed You! Black Emperor, do not let Respire go by in your rearview. Trust me, you will regret it. Additionally, I can't let the chance to shout out Zegema Beach Records go to waste, since they are the geniuses who put Dénouement out. You can grab a copy below, or from one of the other fantastic labels who backed it. Enjoy.

1. Aeterna
2. Nox
3. Luk
4. Nihil

1. Anthems For Falling Stars

1. Storm & Stress

Note: Collab between Goth Girl & Respire, all proceeds go to Pieces to Pathways

1. Pitter Patter
2. Ascent
3. Eternal Light
4. Waltz
5. Gravity and Grace
6. Eternal Nothing
7. Evening. Melancholy I
8. Evening. Melancholy II
9. Evening. Melancholy III

1. Bound
2. Haunt
3. Shiver
4. Bloom
5. Catacombs
6. Virtue
7. A Heart Still Pines
8. Dénouement

1. Blight
2. Tempest
3. Cicatrice
4. Lost Virtue
5. Kindling
6. Embers To End
7. Flicker and Faint
8. To Our Dead Friends
9. Catacombs II


Zegema Beach Records (CAN)

Middle-Man Records (USA)

Narshardaa (GER)

Dingleberry Records (GER)

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Frail Body

Frail Body are a three-piece screamo/post-hardcore band from Rockford, Illinois that formed in 2017. They play an incredible style of screamo that incorporates heavily distorted guitar chords and melodic lead lines, distorted bass riffs, heavily rhythmic drumming, and some visceral vocals. Plus, the production work is absolutely fantastic. Fans of bands like State Faults will fall in love with this. They've put out two EP's thus far, both of which are incredible and worth checking out. This band will undoubtedly be one to watch out for, and have already gotten a superb start. Enjoy.

1. g
2. h
3. t
4. b


1. Frail Body - Fixed
2. Infant Island - Death Portrait
3. Massa Nera - Nunca Seremos lo Mismo
4. Dianacrawls - Melancholia
5. Dianacrawls - Kinky Kills
6. Dianacrawls - Cycle of the Abused

1. Pastel
2. Your Death Makes Me Wish Heaven Was Real
3. Aperture
4. Traditions in Verse
5. Cold New Home
6. At Peace
7. Old Friends

1. Pastel
2. Your Death Makes Me Wish Heaven Was Real
3. Aperture
4. Traditions In Verse
5. Cold New Home
6. Old Friends

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Stars Hollow

Stars Hollow is a fictional town in Connecticut three-piece emo/screamo/indie band from Ames, Iowa that formed in 2015. They play a brand of emo with bright, math-y guitar work and screamy, melancholic vocals. They're pretty comparable to early Tiny Moving Parts, with the fantastic songwriting to boot. Their most recent EP, Happy Again is one of my favourite emo releases in recent history. This thing is solid front to back, with some fantastic instrumental play and solid lyrics. Plus, I'm a sucker for conceptual track listings. Highly, highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Embarrassed
2. Mattering
3. Cicada
4. Drinking Buddies
5. Cloud Envy

1. Stars Hollow - Participation Award
2. Stars Hollow - Good For Nothing
3. Catholic Werewolves - Galesburg
4. Catholic Werewolves - The Kids
5. Internet Dating - Bottle Kids
6. Internet Dating - Jove
7. Employer - Mandatory Viewing
8. Employer - (R)

1. It's not that
2. you won't be happy again
3. ,
4. you just won't be the same
5. as you were before.

1. Tadpole

1. I Want To Live My Life
2. Stuck To You.
3. Until I Bleed Out.
4. Out The Sunroof.
5. With Weight.
6. ...
7. Through The Windshield
8. Beside You.
9. At The Bottom.
10. But Better.