Introducing: #1

In this series of posts, I’ll be making a list per month of my favourite new discoveries with bands/artists – both new and old.

HARVEY MILK

Earlier in the year, I went to I’ll Be Your Mirror in London where Slayer, Mogwai and The Afghan Whigs headlined while having a wide array of bands playing on two or three stages through the weekend. Harvey Milk were one of the bands that I had heard of but never managed to get into before, but I went to see them regardless and whether it was the beer on an empty stomach or just seeing them live, I clicked.

The riffs are beefy, lathered in a sludgy syrup while the vocals and lyrics sound like the thoughts of a man whose mind is split in two and battling with two different personalities – which makes sense when you hear a cover of the Looney Tunes theme at the end of “Life…The Best Game In Town”.

Listen to: Motown, I Know This Is No Place For You, Death Goes To The Winner.

FALL OF EFRAFA

Another band whose name I knew, but this time I had never given them a listen… Fall Of Efrafa are one of those bands that I’d been severely missing out on, and I was kicking myself when listening to Tharn, a 15-minute track (which is average for FOE) of post-rock influenced bliss.

The band gets slapped with the neocrust tag due to their mixture of soft melodies and then sometimes crushing riffs and tearing vocals. Samples are pretty common too, and shorter tracks tend to be more fast-paced and D-beat influenced. If you like your post-rock with an array of influences from hardcore punk to sludge, then this band is a must for you.

Listen to: Tharn, Pity The Weak, Republic of Heaven.

I SELF DEVINE

I Self Devine is Chaka Mkali, a socially concious hip-hop artist from Minnesota who I only heard of through the Dead End Hip Hop channel on Youtube (the exact video here). Although such political MCs can be a bit overbearing at times, I thought I Self Devine’s latest release “The Sound of Low Class Amerika” was great even on the first listen – especially the beats, which are so catchy and throws back to the classic hip-hop sound.

Although I haven’t checked any other of his releases yet, I look forward to hearing more from this guy in the future. If you like Thurz’s “L.A. Riots”, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t like “The Sound of Low Class Amerika”.

Listen to: The Origin of Urban Crisis, To Be Needed, Self Awareness.

AB-SOUL

Oh man, what to say… Ab-Soul is a member of Black Hippy, and although I’m not really a fan of the other members of the group, Ab-Soul gripped my attention with two fists when I listened to his solo 2012 release “Control System”. His odd and playful delivery is entertaining, especially when he does rising pitch.

His rhymes aren’t just about girls and drugs but socially concious too. He’s also brutally honest with his lyrics, for example: “I used to wanna rap like Jay-Z / Now I feel I could run laps around Jay-Z / Nas ain’t seen nothing this nasty / B.I.G. and Pac got it coming when I pass too”. Wow.

Listen to: Terrorist Threats, Double Standards, Pineal Glands.

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