Friday 28 April 2023


Norfair are a four-piece screamo band from Grand Rapids, Michigan that formed in 2021 and put out their debut self-titled EP earlier this year,. It was primarily released as four tracks, but a deluxe/bonus track whatever the hell version you want to call it does exist with three additional songs I surmise were recorded prior to this EP. I have to say, this is the good shit right here. The Spirit Of Versailles and Jeromes Dream inspiration citations is evident right out the gate with the chaotic discordance and rumbling octave riffs. Adding to that are some of the most tormented and agonizing vocals I've heard in a while, particularly the howls on the back half of "Rowan Warber Was Killed By Big Pharma". 

The band takes a breather on the nervously tender clean guitar arpeggios of "Lying In A Stream Of Dead Light", which harken back to Indian Summer. They close out the EP with "Woosah!", the culmination of everything previously built up to it. The band also makes use of film samples on a number of cuts, notably Gummo and Donnie Darko (I'm not sure what the others are, but fucking fantastic choices on those two). I'm really digging this, it takes familiar sounds and delivers them with feverish execution. Obviously this is highly recommended, enjoy.

1. carter has a baggie full of drugs

1. I Open My Card, and in it? A Death Threat

1. Asan Song
2. Rowan Warber Was Killed By Big Pharma
3. Lying in a Stream of Dead Light
4. Woosah

1. Asan Song
2. Rowan Warber Was Killed By Big Pharma
3. Lying in a Stream of Dead Light
4. Woosah
5. Carter Has A Baggie Full Of Drugs
6. Jenken
7. Put Your Dick Away, Walter 

Saturdays At Your Place

Saturdays At Your Place are a three-piece emo/indie band from Kalamazoo, Michigan that got started in 2021. They released their debut full-length that same year, which was followed up earlier this year with an EP released via No Sleep Records. Always Cloudy is a collection of bangers from start to finish, and liking it this much was a genuine pleasant surprise for me. They bring an energy to each well-crafted track, utilizing poppy melodies and vocal harmonies, alongside some really fun guitar interplay that bounces between a twinkly styling and big, distorted chords. These aren't direct comparisons, but if you're into bands including Free Throw, Hot Mulligan, Arm's Length, Charmer, or Ben Quad, you will absolutely love this. Even if you're not familiar with those, I'd implore anyone interested in the poppier side of emo to give this a shot. Enjoy.

1. First Of All
2. Mood Swings
3. Existential Shred
4. Coffee Cups
5. One Track Mind
6. Never Sweater
7. Desk Van
8. To The Moon
9. Getting Better

1. For Tortus (My Cat)

1. Future
2. Fetch
3. Tarot Cards
4. Hospital Bed
5. It's Always Cloud In Kalamazoo
6. Eat Me Alive

Thursday 27 April 2023


Rika are a four-piece emo/indie band from Vienna, Austria that formed in 2009, debuting with a split with Everton. Since then, they put out a fantastic split with Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), an LP, and single, the latter three all through Count Your Lucky Stars. There were mentions of new material coming back in 2019, but unfortunately nothing has surfaced as of yet. It's honestly a travesty that it took so long to get to this band, as this some really solid stuff from the "revival" era or whatever of emo. Early on they show their roots in the usual suspects (Mineral, etc.) with bright guitars, slow-paced tracks, heartfelt lyrics, and winding song structures that often build into cathartic crescendos. By the time that their LP rolled out, they had extrpolated that sound to incorporate pianos, organs, and a healthy dose of reverb, adding a whole other layer to their still-melancholic sound. Enjoy.

1. Rika - Harbor
2. Rika - Cardboard City
3. Rika - Rosehip
4. Everton - Geneva
5. Everton - Bluebird
6. Everton - H'Punch

1. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - We Were Not Small Or Great or Grown
2. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - It's A Fate We Can't Escape. Someday We Will All Pass Away.
3. Rika - Skutner

1. Restless
2. Port Dover
3. Mute
4. See-Through
5. Safety Points
6. Ultramarine Blue
7. October
8. Retrospect
9. Treasure
10. Departure

1. Tired Hands
2. Solace

The Stella Brass

The Stella Brass were a four-piece emo/indie band from Utah that were active from 1995 to 1997 (approximately). Like many of their contemporaries, their entire recorded output exists solely in obscure 7"'s that should be lost to time, but have thankfully continued to exist thanks to the internet. Their output was actually very varied, albeit minimal. For starters, they do actually make occassional use of brass instrumentation, and throw in the odd jazz-inspired rhythm on a handful of tracks. However, the predominant influence you'll hear is the slow, somber, and clean arpeggiated guitars akin to bands like Mineral or Christie Front Drive. They still find a way to break away from that mold on more energetic cuts like "Click". Enjoy.

1. Today's Date
2. Goldenjection
3. Pistolfinger
4. All Kites Fly Away

1. Cower
2. Collect

1. Click
2. Rut
3. Nucleus

1. Fine Day For The Lake
2. Learning To Swim

Jacques Rocque

Jacques Rocques were a three-piece emo/screamo band from Rochester, Michigan that formed in 2011 and have been inactive since 2013. They only put out two EP's, at least as far as I'm aware of. Their input is minimal, limited to only 6 songs of noisy, jittery math rock-esque screamo with fairly lo-fi recording quality. If you're into bands like Merchant Ships and William Bonney, this will be up your alley. Enjoy.

1. Dire, Dire Docks
2. Calluses And Celandars
3. The Void of Space

1. Bayesian Network
2. An Abstraction Of Feeling
3. Numerals

Saturday 22 April 2023

Modern Color

Modern Color are a four-piece hardcore/alternative band from Redondo Beach, California that formed in 2014. Since then, they've released three full-lengths and a handful of EP's. Sonically, the band has evolved quite a bit over the years, though they've always been rooted in a distinct cross-section between hardcore and shoegaze/alternative rock, bringing the fury and energy of the former and fusing it with the thick reverb and melodic depth of the latter. 

Early on, they learn heavily to the hardcore side of the spectrum, with aggressive vocals and pummelling delivery. Their more recent material has leaned into the more melodic aspects of their sound, incorporating mostly clean vocals and a Hum/Dinosaur Jr.-inspired sound that would appeal to fans of bands like Basement, Superheaven, and Turnover. Personally, I lean towards the Chromesthesia side of things (not to mention, the band and album name seem so fitting for this project), though I think From The Leaves Of Your Garden has more widespread appeal. Enjoy.

1. Skipping Stones
2. Pale

1. New Motion
2. Chromesthesia
3. Shade
4. Habitual Pain
5. Low
6. Vibrating Body
7. I'm Not A Part Of It
8. Indigo Vision

1. Constant
2. Wool
3. Keepsake
4. Time Slips Behind Us
5. Not Here
6. No Praise
7. In Passing
8. Life Without Peace
9. Proxy Dream
10. Spring Again
11. Open Wound

1. Jacaranda
2. Head Change

1. Lavender
2. Invisible Ink
3. On & Off
4. Alone
5. X51
6. Jacaranda
7. Empty Rooms
8. Head Change
9. Smiling Face
10. Out Of Reach
11. Sage
12. Pale

1. Dread
2. Now Life Is Living You
3. Opiate
4. Day Star

1. Greener Grass


Maths are a three-piece screamo band from Norwich, England that began in 2006 and ended in 2018. They released one full-length, two EP's, a split and two compilations across over a decade of existence, which is a major accomplishment in itself for a screamo band to achieve. Maths take on dissonant, agile arpeggiated riffs that bounce between clean rhymthic sections and distorted chaos, all with a noticeable technical prowess. It perfectly balances with the raw, passionate delivery they bring to the table, with some incrediblely searing and cathartic vocals and dynamic song structures. If you're into the GOATs of screamo (i.e. Funeral Diner, City Of Caterpillar, Jeromes Dream, Orchid, etc.) you'll love this, don't need to say much more else there really. If you're looking for a place to start, their sole LP Descent is the obvious candidate, though I'd also encourage checking out The Fires Courting The Sea. There's some definite evolution from their early days, and they keep it real brief on what ended up being their swan song release. Enjoy.

1. 2356
2. II
3. IV
4. This Is Forever (Demo)
5. A Well Documented Case Of Severe Autism (Jeromes Dream cover)
6. And We Have Killed
7. How Shall We Comfort Ourselves
8. Murderers Of All Murderers
9. Of All The World Has Yet Owned
10. What Sacred Games Shall We Have To Invent
11. Must We Ourselves Not Become Gods Simply To Appear Worthy Of It
12. And We Have Killed (Acoustic)
13. Breathe As If It Were A Story (Ambient Version)
14. Live Show 9/11/07 (Recorded Queen Charlotte, Norwich)

1. Maths - Heavy Heart
2. Maths - Statue Of Her
3. Maths - Vacant
4. Maths - Breathe As If It Were A Story
5. Maths - Solace
6. Throats - Headclouds
7. Throats - Locked Blue
8. Throats - Reign Of Low
9. Throats - Comedown
10. Throats - Deathnaps

1. Belief In Sorrow
2. Culpa
3. Wilderness
4. Guarded
5. From Her Journals
6. Boundless
7. Sleep Deep
8. To Be Frozen
9. ...And Left To Die
10. This Is Forever
11. Branches
12. Belief In Hope

1. Gnarled
2. Consecrated Earth
3. Unending Bloom
4. The Wind Swept Away

1. The Ocean Swept Away
2. Child Wondering Along The Thames (Demo)
3. Spring Tides And Thaw
4. ...And The Flowers Are Left To Grow, Alone
5. The Wind Swept Away (Demo)
6. Breathe
7. Culpa (Demo)
8. Guarded (Demo)
9. Boundless (Demo)
10. To Be Frozen (Acoustic Demo)
11. Change (Cover)
12. IV Loop
13. This Is Forever (Acoustic Demo)

1. Child Wandering Along The Thames
2. The Fires Courting The Sea
3. Last Night Silhouette
4. The Water Is The Colour Of The Sky
5. Laughter Stirs The Canyon
6. Outside The Window

Lumber Lung

Lumber Lung were a four-piece emo/hardcore band from Santa Barbara, California that were active from 2009 to 2012, though you would never guess it from listening to them. Their sound harkens back to the burgeoning underground emo scene in the early 90's, so much so that they could be mistakened for a band from 1994. They sound like contemporaries to their influences, which was most likely bands such as Still Life, Evergreen, Portraits Of Past, Julia, and Merel. If you think discordant, angular guitars pioneered by DC post-hardcore acts, melancholic melancholic chord washes, and a desperate mix of sung and screamed vocals, you have a loose idea of what this band sounds like. 

I know that sounds dismissive, as this is a tried and true sound, but their self-titled album is legitimately fanatastic. Not only is the production on it a little cleaner than you may be used to, but the songs themselves are unique in their catharsis and delivery, and I really do highly suggest anyone even remotely interested in this sound to check it out. Members of this band later played in Jade Dust, Apparition, and Become. Enjoy.

1. Watershed
2. Time Bandits
3. Vomit A Little In Your Mouth
4. Contrails
5. Best To Keep Moving

1. Seward Park
2. Watershed
3. Best To Keep Moving
4. Receiver
5. Warm Arms
6. Trajectory
7. Contrails
8. Time Bandits
9. Vomit A Little In Your Mouth

2012 (2012)
2. mineral
3. miles
4. born 2b wild
5. puddle of mud
6. no breakfast
7. shelter
8. lace up


Makara were a five-piece screamo/hardcore band from Cupertino, California that formed in 1996 and ended in 2001. In typical screamo fashion, their recorded output was pretty limited, though thankfully all compiled in one anthology collection at the tail end of their tenure. This band played an incredibly noisy and discordant brand of screamo, with distorted, throat-tearing vocals and harsh, grindy guitars. Members of this project were also involved in a plethora of other incredible bands, namely Yaphet Kotto, Mohinder, Jenny Piccolo, Welcome The Plague Year, The Anasazi, and Ruhaeda. Enjoy.

1. Broken Arrow To Everything
2. Bane
3. Ascension
4. Unchosen Strings
5. To The Undenied Hopes

1. Shahrazad - Time
2. Shahrazad - Sunshone
3. Shahrazad - Abandonment
4. Shahrazad - Felt Through You
5. Makara - Missing Green
6. Makara - Anemic
7. Makara - Shining Venus
8. Makara - Amical September

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Paper Cuts

1. Broken Arrow To Everything
2. Bane
3. Ascension
4. Unchosen Strings
5. To The Undenied Hopes
6. Improve
7. Missing Green
8. Anemic
9. Shining Venus
10. Amical September
11. Aerial
12. Paper Cuts
13. Forever Friends
14. My Friends, My Urn
15. Four Hearts In A Can
16. Home
17. First Demo 8.96
18. Missing Green (Live on KZSC 4-7-97)
19. Unchosen Strings (Live on KZSC 4-7-97)
20. Bane (Live on KZSC 4-7-97)
21. To The Undenied Hopes (Live on KZSC 4-7-97)

Be Well

Be Well are a five-piece melodic hardcore band from Baltimore, Maryland that formed in 2019. This project was founded by vocalist  Brian McTernan, who was previously best known as a member of the legendary Battery and as a producer, working with bands including Thrice, Hot Water Music, Bane, and a ton more. Rounding out the line-up of Be Well are fellow hardcore veterans, including bassist Aaron Dalbec (Bane, Converge), guitarist Mike Schleibaum (Darkest Hour), guitarist Peter Trsouras (Fairweather), and drummer Shane Johnson (Fairweather). Based on the pedigree of their previous work, you can anticipate the excellence of Be Well right out the gate. Though certainly rooted in hardcore energy, this band's sound is more melodic and introspective, blending the sounds of all previous acts mentioned into more matured and nuanced instrumentals and lyricism that benefits from its hindsight perspective. Highly recommended, enjoy.

1. Meaningless Measures
2. Magic
3. Strength For Breath
4. Tiny Little Pieces
5. Morning Light
6. The Weight And The Cost
7. Each Passing Day
8. Frozen
9. Aperture
10. Longing
11. Confessional

1. Treadless
2. I'll Leave You With This
3. An Endless Loop
4. Hello Sun
5. Only One Wish
6. In the Shadow Of Who You Thought I Was

Government Warning

Government Warning were a four-piece hardcore punk band from Richmond, Virginia that formed in 2004 and disbanded in 2011. They knocked out a slew of releases in that time, including two full-lengths and several EP's. Sonically, they harkened back to the classic sound of hardcore in its original era, taking cues from bands such as the Adolescents and Zero Boys' rambunctious energy to knock out stellar songs in 60 to 120 seconds. If you're new to this band, Arrested is probably my personal favourite from them, though No Moderation is probably the essential entry point. Enjoy.

1. Railroaded
2. Blank
3. Government Warning
4. Walking Dead
5. Ghost Town
6. Self Destruct

1. No Moderation
2. Jocks And Cops
3. Cutting Room Floor
4. Fat Nation
5. Self Medication
6. Trend City
7. Slave Labor
8. Powder Keg
9. See The Truth
10. Sick Of Home

1. Arrested
2. Maniacs
3. Killing For Fun
4. Safe And Sound

1. Rot And Decay
2. Nowhere To Go
3. Urban Warfield
4. Endless Slaughter
5. Stop Again
6. Revolving Door
7. Blurred Yellow Line
8. Disengage
9. Hour After Hour
10. Glued
11. Factory Line
12. Shot Full Of Holes
13. (Global Warming)
14. Paranoid Mess
15. Enough Is Enough

1. Executed
2. Shirked Obligations
3. Modern Day

1. Violent Reaction - Victim In Pain
2. Barge - Stabbed In The Back
3. Night Birds - Haunted Town
4. Government Warning - Deny Everything