Thursday 30 September 2021

Men As Trees

Men As Trees were a four-piece screamo/post-rock band from Auburn Hills, Michigan that were around from 2003 to 2009. When hearing that genre blend, certain greats immediately come to mind such as Envy, City of Caterpillar, and Funeral Diner. Though lesser known, Men As Trees mastered that sound, crafting gorgeous, extensive ambient moments of genuine serenity before exploding in a chaotic onslaught that brought these songs to new emotional levels. With a good portion of their released songs stretching past the 10-minute mark, Men As Trees are one of few bands capable of maintaining a sense of entrancement through a song's multiple movements. Their output is relatively small, but definitely worth a listen. The band reconvened a few years after their dissolution to form Locktender. They are another incredible band that has put out a steady amount of material in the past few years, and are also worth your attention. Enjoy.

1. Trespass And The Wood Of The Suicides I
2. Trillium
3. Trespass And The Wood Of The Suicides II
4. Et Tu Brute (St. Yves Down The Hatch)
5. Treebark, Cricket And Stone: Attornies At Law
6. An Epic Novel by Space & Co.
7. 400 Wisemen Bearing Rifts In Time

1. Treebark, Cricket and Stone: Attornies at Law
2. An Epic Novel by Space and Co.
3. 400 Wisemen Bearing Rifts in Time

1. Come Outside And Warm Yourself By The Wolf's Sun
2. Driving North On Withered Winds

1. Sometimes, We All Fight the Tide
2. Would They Were Now, I Was Then
3. Scenes From a Voyage
4. Autumn

1. Germinal
2. Good Luck To You
3. Late Words Of A Reasoning Man
4. If There Was Any Wisdom Left They Would Send It Back Up The Mountain
5. Dead On The Bank
6. Swa Cwæð Eardstapa

1. Single State Of Man - Health & History
2. Men As Trees - Wreckage

1. Le Pré Où Je Suis Mort - L'Avenir Nous Appartiendra
2. Dolcim - Claire, Advertising, 31
3. Men As Trees - Discovery
4. Dying In Motion - In Meiner Welt
5. Dying In Motion - Fürchtet Unsere Sanftmut
6. Dying In Motion - Komet

Sunday 26 September 2021


Plunger were a four-piece emo/hardcore band from Crofton, Maryland that were active from 1993 to 1996. Starting out, they took influence from the hardcore sound of bands like Swiz that had originated in DC a few years prior to their own formation. This is mostly evident on their debut demo release, which is a straight-up melodic hardcore album, with only a few hints of what their sound was evolve into. Their debut 7" is feedback-laden, discordant outing, with some of the most devastating vocals of the band's career. It's the perfect culmination of their early sound, with "Aspire To Be" being a good hint of where they were going next.

Following the EP, they released a few splits and a bonafide classic LP. They take the origins of their energetic, chaotic sound and push it into something darker and heavier. They began experimenting with a sound similar to what fellow Maryland band Moss Icon had done just before them. They incorporated harrowing bass lines, clean arpeggiated guitars, and trembling, mostly spoken vocals, with poetic lyricism. They would alternate between this quiet, meandering sound and build into massive crescendos of melancholic distorted chords and desperate screams, bringing the hardcore influence back to the forefront. Their self-titled full-length in particular is highly recommended, as its 7 tracks make for an incredibly emotional listen, which each song offering something new. "H.S." in particular is fantastic, and is definitely one of the most underrated songs in the grand scheme of 90's emo.

They put out a handful of releases in their initial time together, and an all-encompassing discography boxset a few years ago. The discography was released by Vermin Scum (who also put out albums by Maryland legends Moss Icon and The Hated). The first disc contains all their previously released material (EP, LP, and split tracks), the second disc contains the demo, as well as compilation and unreleased tracks. The third disc contains live songs and a few self-recorded demo tracks. Thankfully this band's incredible output was finally made available in one high-quality release, as the music they made is far too powerful to be lost to time. Enjoy.

1. No More Entails
2. Excess
3. Sound For Sore Eyes
4. Track
5. Perspective
6. Frame
7. Ideals
8. Vice
9. Lacking

1. Aspire To Be
2. Selfish Space
3. Indeterminate
4. Network
5. Patriot

1. Plunger - At The Ground
2. Plunger - Reticence
3. William Martyr Seventeen - Four Years Long

1. Plunger - Your Word
2. Plunger - Pull It Down
3. Blank - Program
4. Blank - Turning Point

1. Swallowtale
2. H.S.
3. Handed
4. Swallowed By Plains
5. Walking To Dawn
6. Inlé
7. Second Of June

Disc 1
1. Aspire To Be
2. Selfish Space
3. Indeterminate
4. Network
5. Patriot
6. At The Ground
7. Retience
8. Pull It Down
9. Your Word
10. Swallowtale
11. H.S.
12. Handed
13. Enfolded By Plains
14. Walking To Dawn
15. Inté
16. Second Of June

Disc 2
1. No More Entails
2. Excess
3. Sound For Sore Eyes
4. Track
5. Perspective
6. Frame
7. Ideals
8. Vice
9. Lacking
10. Common Maintenance
11. Frame
12. Simplicity Of This
13. Processional

Disc 3
1. Simplicity of This (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
2. Network (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
3. Indeterminate (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
4. Aspire to Be (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
5. Frame (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
6. At the Ground (W.M.U.C., 4/28/94) [Live]
7. Untitled (Home Recording 1994)
8. Pull It Down (Home Recording 1995)
9. Routine / Pattern (The Rat, Towson, Maryland 1/28/94) [Live]
10. Patriot (The Rat, Towson, Maryland 1/28/94) [Live]
11. At the Ground (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
12. Swallowtale (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
13. Handed (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
14. Processional (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
15. Aspire to Be (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
16. Pull It Down (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
17. Your Word (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]
18. Enfolded by Plains (Baldwin Hall, Millersville, Maryland 5/5/95) [Live]

Saturday 25 September 2021

Far Apart

Far Apart were a four-piece emo/indie band from Luleå, Sweden that began in 1995 and broke up in 1999. They released one EP, a split and a demo (which I unfortunately am missing). Sonically, they will appeal to fans of bands like Texas Is The Reason and The Promise Ring, with a bright guitars, an energetic rhythm section, and infectiously melodic vocals. There's not much else to say really, like their discography I'll keep this short and sweet. Enjoy.

1. Hazel
2. Dartmouth
3. Overdriver

1. The John Doe Band - A-Song
2. The John Doe Band - At The Kerb
3. Far Apart - Competitive Excuse

Weak Ties

Weak Ties are a four-piece hardcore band from Bielefeld, Germany that began in 2016. Following a few releases of solid powerviolence, they put out their 2nd LP earlier this year, Find A Way, This is what really caught my attention, as its a very unique-sounding record. The fast-paced powerviolence influence is still present, but with a heavy dose of old school hardcore punk, like something straight out of the early 80's. It's the gap between Infest and The Adolescents, essentially. The production and guitar tone is absolutely incredible on this. It's crisp, raw, organic, and really just needs to be heard to be appreciated. The band brings a new, unique kind of energy to their sound, and makes for one hell of a fun listen. Highly recommended stuff, and Find A Way is definitely one of the coolest hardcore albums you're going to hear this year. Enjoy.

1. Rain Fade
2. Concerned Citizen
3. Constrained
4. I Won't
5. Your Fuss
6. Running On Knives
7. Hands Down Favorite
8. Catatonic
9. Nothing Will Ever Be Enough
10. Out Of Patience
11. Mutism

1. Hārda Ut
2. Deadlock
3. The Sough
4. Illusion of Control
5. Breaking The Burdens
6. Prologue
7. Sorry, Not Today
8. Misguided
9. Diffusion Of The Antithesis
10. Left Alone
11. Nightmarish Era
12. Sinking

1. The Gentle Art Of Chokin' - IV
2. The Gentle Art Of Chokin' - V
3. The Gentle Art Of Chokin' - III
4. The Gentle Art Of Chokin' - I
5. Weak Ties - Nothing More
6. Weak Ties - Deaf

1. Weak Ties - Exploding Head Syndrome
2. Weak Ties - Dead End
3. Weak Ties - Black Waves
4. Noll Koll - Ni som brann
5. Noll Koll - Getränken
6. Noll Koll - Pengar
7. Noll Koll - Påväg ingenstans
8. Noll Koll - Värt det
9. Noll Koll - Skitliv

1. Find A Way
2. Veil
3. Rage Is Not A Quiet Thing
4. E.
5. Blurred
6. Sorry Not Today Pt. II
7. I
8. With Every Step
9. The Company I Need
10. Loomed
11. Thinking To Stay Awake
12. Contrived
13. Toothless
14. II
15. Moving To Stay Awake
16. Never Catch A Break