Monday 30 October 2023

The Banner

The Banner are a five-piece hardcore band from Bloomfield, New Jersey that formed in 1999. Over the course of full-lengths and a few EP's and splits, the band have evolved a ton sonically, all while being one of the most consistent and perhaps even underappreciated hardcore acts of the past two decades or so. They've got an affinity for the macabre, which comes across in their lyrics and visuals. That darker sensibility makes this perfect for some colder-weather listening. 

If you're looking for a starting point, Each Breath Haunted is quintessential mid-2000's melodic hardcore listening, akin to bands like American Nightmare or Blacklisted. Its follow-up, Frailty is arguably their best, with a much heavier, almost hellish quality to it. Greying and the split with Old Wounds takes that metalcore sound and descends a step further into despair by incorporating elements of black metal. Whatever your poison may be, these are three incredible albums perfect for this time of year. I can't speak much on their earlier stuff as I'm not too familiar with it, but it's all here in all its glory if you're interested. Enjoy.

1. Outgunned
2. Rattlesnakes
3. The Screaming
4. Marked For Life
5. Trial By Fire

1. Zombie Onslaught
2. Skies Go Black
3. Sometimes They Come Back
4. Die Fighting
5. Apocalypse
6. I Found Your Diary
7. Black Duct Tape
8. Red Devil
9. Night Of The Rope
10. September Song
11. Bloodlust (Ink & Dagger cover)

1. Dead Wrong - 8:46
2. Dead Wrong - Silent Screams
3. Dead Wrong - No Love
4. The Banner - No Surrender
5. The Banner - Black And Blue
6. The Banner - Sometimes They Come Back

1. Devilhawks
2. Venom And Hope
3. I'll Be Happy When You're Fucking Dead
4. An Allergy To Sun
5. Soverign Of The Black Pit
6. Black Hood
7. An Allergy To Silver
8. Hell On A Horse
9. Interlude
10. Muddweller
11. Coffin Nails
12. Tragedy
13. I Am Legend

1. Welcome Fuckers
2. The Wolf
3. Leechbath
4. The Hellbound Heart
5. On Hooks
7. Sphrenia
8. Funerals
9. Dusk
10. I Am Legion
11. Ratflesh
12. The Father And The Wayward Son

1. Wolvesblood
2. Lilth
3. Negative Zone
4. Night (Zola Jesus cover)

1. The Dying Of The Light
2. Circle Of Salt
3. Crippling Despair
4. Sunlight
5. Unbaptized
6. A Quiet Corner
7. Send Me Down
9. She Upon The Black Wolf
10. Bones To Dust
11. Sunset

1. The Banner - Witchburner
2. The Banner - Rat King
3. Old Wounds - The Secret Song At The Center Of The World
4. Old Wounds - It Can't Rain All The Time

1. Love Like Blood (Killing Joke cover)
2. Send Me Down (Heretics In The Lab Remix)

Saturday 28 October 2023


Lync were a three-piece post-hardcore band from Olympia, Washington that were active from 1992 to 1994. In their short duration, they released a few single 7"'s on one full-length on the now-legendary K Records. Those singles and a few other unreleased tracks would later compromise the posthumous compilation Remembering The Fireballs (Part 8), thus creating the short, simple and absolutely essential discography you find here. Sonically, the band crafted winding songs that implemented prominent, driving bass lines and drums, with off-kilter guitar interplay blurring the line between melody and dissonance. Their sole LP is an absolute essential for fans of bands like Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, Unwound or Sunny Day Real Estate. Highly recommended, enjoy!

1. B
2. Perfect Shot
3. Silver Spoon Glasses
4. Pennies To Save
5. Clay Fighter
6. Cue Cards
7. Angelfodder And Vitamins
8. Heroes And Heroines
9. Turtle
10. Uberrima Fides

1. Pigeons
2. Friends
3. Hands And Knees
4. Electricity
5. Pathetic
6. Two Feet In Front
7. Mhz
8. Pan
9. Pennies To Save
10. Firestarter
11. Turtle
12. Lightbulb Switch
13. Can't Tie Yet
14. The Last Song

Monday 23 October 2023


Dreamwell are a five-piece screamo/post-hardcore band from Providence, Rhode Island that formed in 2016. I first heard this band when they released their sophomore album Modern Grostesque in 2021. Without a doubt that was one of my favourite screamo releases in recent years, as this band amalgamates such a wide variety of sounds into something so rich in detail, with cathartic performances and incredible lyricism with serious emotional depth to boot. The band blends the shimmering, ethereal guitars of post-rock with the hard-hitting rhythms and abrasion of a screamo act. They are one of the most vocally diverse bands in the genre, going through a wide variety of stylings that always fits the rise-and-fall dynamics of their songs, making each track feel essential and conducive to the whole. 

Now they are back with a new project, In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You, which just came out via Prosethic Records. On just an initial listen, they have proven once again what makes them such a special and unique band, bringing the same melting pot of influence heard on previous albums and deliving into some new heavier, noisier, abrasive, and almost metalcore-y territory. It's going to be on regular rotation for the next, and if you have yet to hear this band, I implore you to do so. My poor and brief descriptions here are not doing them any justice, to be perfectly honest. This band is so far up this blog's alley is almost unbelieveable. I don't want to make comparisons here as Dreamwell truly do stand on your own, but if you're a fan of bands including Pianos Become The Teeth, Caravels, Gates, Funeral Diner, Suffocate For Fuck Sake, or Jeromes Dream, this might be the band of your dreams. Enjoy.

1. Consistency
2. Bury Me
3. To Dust
4. Closed Doors
5. Cowardice
6. The Distance Grows Fonder
7. The Invisible Thread
8. Blossom

1. What Does It Mean To Live In Grotesquerie?
2. Painting Myself A Darker Day
3. Sayaka
4. A Crouching Tiger Waits For Prey That Never Comes
5. Plague Father, Vermin Son
6. You Dreamt Of Me, I Dreamt Of A Mountain Of Salt
7. The Vessel Bears My Face
8. The Lost Ballad Of Dominic Anneghi
9. Modern Grotesque
10. Sysphyean Happiness

1. My Fictions - Patience
2. Dreamwell - I Heard My Mother Begging

In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You (2023)
1. Good Reasons To Freeze To Death
2. Studying The Greats In Self Immolation
3. Lord Have MRSA On My Soul
4. All Towers Drawn In The Equatorial Room
5. Obelisk Of Hands
6. It Will Hurt, And You Won't Get To Be Surprised
7. Reverberations Of A Sickly Wound
8. Blighttown Type Beat
9. Body Fountain
10. I Dream't Of A Room of Clouds
11. Rue de Noms (Could Have Been Better, Should Have Been More)

Tears Of Joy

Tears Of Joy are a five-piece hardcore band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 2022. Earlier this year, they released their debut self-titled demo EP. At its core, this thing is noisy and abrasive, with maximized distortion, dissonant metalcore riffage, and a furious vocal delivery. They really change things up with moments like "Annie Interlude", an incredibly noisy, electronic-and-percussion driven track with an insane interpolation of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" that they somehow make work. It's one of the most unique things you'll probably hear this year, and its perfectly bookended by the EP's other pulverizing tracks.  If you're a fan of bands including, Trapped Under Ice, Trash Talk, Candy, or Converge, this band is not to be missed. Enjoy.

1. Tears Of Joy
2. Bastard
3. Annie Interlude
4. S.A.P.
5. Hole In My Head

Swiss Army Wife

Swiss Army Wife are a four-piece punk/emo band from Portland, Oregon that formed in 2020. Following two early EP's, their debut full-length came out in January of this year. Medium Gnarly is a collection of noodly midwestern emo with gruff, often borderline screamed vocals Their indisputably fun energy paired with some personal yet relatable lyricism makes this the album equivalent of dying with a smile, or something like that. It harkens back to the revival heyday of bands like Free Throw, You Blew It!, Glocca Morra, and Gulfer, alongside the raw pop punk energy of Jeff Rosenstock. They still manage to things fresh, with the screamo-tinged "FLCL" or atmospheric latter half of "No More Drugs". If any of that sounds appealing to you, this should absolutely not be missed. Enjoy.

1. Area Of Expertise
2. Heliocentric
3. Fake Blood

1. Telecaster
2. Origami
3. One Hour Photo
4. Your Bathroom

1. hold ur hand (The Beatles cover)

1. This # Is No Longer In Service
3. Halloween
4. New Best Friend
5. No More Drugs
6. CBS At 7:00
7. Your Bathroom
8. Aight, I'mma Head Out

Tuesday 10 October 2023


Initiate are a five-piece hardcore band from Orange County, California that formed in 2016. They put out a demo that same year, with was followed by a full-length in 2018 and an EP in 2020. I first heard them earlier this year, with the release of their sophomore album Cerebral Circus, which dropped back in April via Triple B Records. It's been on replay ever since, as this album packs an energetic punch, with a litany of catchy and memorable moments across its 10 tracks. The band lays their groundwork hardcore influence, somewhere between Carry On, No Warning, and the start-stop riffage of a NYHC band. 

That doesn't really do them any justice though, as what they bring to the people is this vibrant and melodic take on hardcore that sounds truly unique to them. I may be way off here, but there's a slight nod to 80's glam metal in the riffs and grooves (particularly the shredding on "No Burden Of Guilt"), which make this record near-impossible to sit still to. The vocals are absolutely searing, with anthemic lyrics that rattle around in your brain while after the record's over. They're also not afraid to pull in more melodic elements head-on, with the soaring hook on "The Surface", the dreamy guitar bit on "Amend", and the Cranberries-esque closer "Transparency", which fully embraces the melodic qualities hinted at in the previous tracks. Suffice to say, this is one of my favourite hardcore releases in recent years and I highly suggest checking this out if you haven't already. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Idle
3. What's Mine
4. Step Down
5. No Cost

1. Begin Again
2. Won't Give In
3. Gilded
4. False Perception
5. Nothing More
6. Nasty Woman
7. Before Long
8. At Least
9. To My Friends

1. Intro II
2. Lavender
3. Myopia
4. What You Sow
5. Beverly
6. One In The Same

1. Waste Your Life
2. Alone At The Bottom
3. Fool
4. Amend
5. Interlude
6. Fire Starter
7. Your Own Means
8. The Surface
9. No Burden of Guilt
10. Transparency