Category Archives: Noise rock/punk

Introducing #6…

This is basically the new discoveries I’ve been enjoying over the December 2013/January 2014 period… and most of it is metal – so there’s no hip-hop or electronica here, sorry!

OOZING WOUND

The way I found out about Oozing Wound was seeing their LP “Retrash” at my local record shop back home, I really liked the artwork on the front, it caught my eye to say the least. So remembering the band name, I went home and looked them up, disappointed that they weren’t what I was expecting (I’m still not quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the result). Yet I still kept seeing that artwork pop up on the net and eventually I gave them another go early in December. My wrongs were righted.

Oozing Wound is basically a whole lot of fun wrapped up in thrash metal. Despite the video for Call Your Guy (my favourite track of theirs, that riff for the first half: urgh!), it’s like they replaced the source of good thrash – beer – with psychedelic drugs. It’s not like they get proggy either; it just sounds like three guys in a room jamming on some other plane.

If you like your thrash, then there’s no real excuse to not enjoy them in some way. It may take a few listens but it’s definitely worth it.

Listen to: Call Your Guy, Everyone I Hate Should Be Killed, Autopsy Turvy.

LUMBAR

Despite being a fan of Mike Scheidt I was a bit dubious when I heard about Lumbar: I only knew of Mike and I wasn’t sure how much of an input he had, as I knew this wasn’t “his” project. Eventually I got round to it and was blown away. Lumbar is aptly named so because Aaron Edge (far right) was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; which affected his ability to play music yet somehow it is Edge who plays all the instruments on this album: Scheidt and and Tad Doyle only providing vocals.

Reading about Edge’s troubles and inspiration for the record (a great and insightful interview with him and Scheidt here), it’s absolutely astounding to know that he fought the pain and struggles and managed to come up with an album that blows a lot of the other doom releases of 2013 out of the water. “The First and Last Days Of Unwelcome” is a seven song album that somehow manages to straddle both the old school doom vibe and the crushing heaviness of the more modern waves of sludge.

Definitely a must for doom and sludge fans. I rarely ever pay for digital albums (I rather and often pay a little more for physical) but after hearing the album twice before heading home for Christmas, I quickly purchased the digital download to listen to continually on the train, so worth it. Also, there’s a neat use of Ennio Morricone’s “The Man With The Harmonica” at the end of Day Six.

Listen to: Day One, Day Four, Day Six.

SYNSOPHONY

Synsophony are one of those noisy drone/ambient projects that can pride itself on creating some truly dark, haunting yet entrancing music. The duo, Tom Pryce and Ollie Borgstein, culminate the use of guitars, piano, cello, harmonica, vocals and electronics into depraved soundscapes, but there is beauty inbetween the darkness.

The guys have two tracks (and so two releases) so far: 2010’s “Karmic Existence” and 2014’s “Rabbit Hole”. The former is a 23-minute monster that teases you in for about 6 minutes before releasing seismic noise and feedback on you; getting louder and louder and more abrasive until it collapses into a sweet ambient state for the rest of the time. Rabbit Hole, a shorter experience at just under 13-minutes, feels similiar to the style of Pharmakon, but doesn’t fall into as clear a rhythmic structure and again increases in volume and intensity, giving you brief ‘break’s here and there.

These two releases are pretty promising from these two and it’ll be interesting to see what they would do with an album format. If you love your drone dark and noisy, give these guys a go.

Listen to: Rabbit Hole, Karmic Existence.

EAGLE TWIN

What do you get when you mix Tom Waits-esque vocals and lyrics with doomy Melvins? THIS. Already being a fan of Ascend (his project with Greg Anderson), I’d been meaning to give Gentry Densley’s Eagle Twin a listen for a long time and only got around to it before Christmas… Needless to say, I loved what I was hearing with the slow off-kilter guitar/drums along with rough and almost crooning vocals.

Eagle Twin is the only band on here who isn’t relatively new, having been in action since 1997, yet only has two albums and two splits to their name. Despite this, the duo have a strong reputation in the underground doom scene and it’s easy to see (or hear) why with both their recordings and live performances. They have managed to carve a signature sound of their own that no-one has dared to imitate.

Basically, if you like your doom to be a little bit more experimental, Eagle Twin is the band to go to.

Listen to: Snake Hymn, And It Came To Pass That Birds Fell To Earth As Black Snakes, Ballad of Job Cain Part II.

SO STRESSED

It seems like so far that I’m just too cynical for my own good: again, seeing the band name and their an album title “Attracted To Open Mouths”, I assumed they would be an average powerviolence band – granted I love powerviolence, but there’s an abundance of it right now. What I heard instead was a different thing, I began nodding my head and blanking everything else out, it grabbed my full attention.

I won’t repeat myself all over again, you can check my review of their debut here. I was just massively impressed and have been listening to the thing regularly over the past few weeks.

Listen to:  Little TVSecret BreastsAnimals Seeking Political Asylum.

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So Stressed – “ATTRACTED TO OPEN MOUTHS” Review

So Stressed - Attracted To Open Mouths

So Stressed – Attracted To Open Mouths
Genre: Noise Rock / Emo / Experimental

Label: Unsigned

So Stressed are a three-piece band from Sacramento, California who pump out a brash yet melodic vein of noise rock with emo tendencies. Despite the noisy existence of Pg.99 or Jerome’s Dream, it sounds like this mixture shouldn’t work, but it really does: imagine if At The Drive-In had been influenced by White Suns, Lightning Bolt and Rolo Tomassi and you might get a vague idea.  Continue reading

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Wavves – “AFRAID OF HEIGHTS” Review

Wavves - Afraid Of Heights

Wavves – Afraid Of Heights
Genre: Garage Rock/Noise Pop

Label: Mom + Pop Records

Nathan Williams, AKA Wavves, is musician who has faced his fair deal of controversy and criticism in his short but highly successful run so far. If you scour the internet, you’re bound to read or see the renowned performance at Primavera Sound ‘o9, but depending on the type of person you are, you’ll either see the humour in it or boil your blood. But one thing is for sure: Nathan Williams is a guy who writes fun music that melts the borders between pop, surf and garage rock – all with a noisy delivery. Continue reading

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Teeph – “VIETNAMASTE” Quick Review

Teeph – Vietnamaste
Genre: Noise Rock/Math Rock/Sludge

Label: Unsigned

Teeph are a groove-filled noise rock trio that consists of originators Sesar Sanchez (guitar) and Alex Coffin (drums) as well as later member Matt Shilts (bass). “Vietnamaste” is their second album, following 2009’s self-titled, and takes a more light-hearted approach, although there are still some pretty intense moments to be had. Continue reading

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My “Damnation Festival 2012″ Experience

Sorry to disappoint, but you won’t find the review of Damnation 2012 here… but you will find it over on Eyesore Merch‘s far nicer blog by simply clicking HERE. Have a look, comment your thoughts/highlights and share it!

Anyway, it was my first Damnation Festival and was a great experience, I can definitely see myself going again.

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HEALTH – “Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack” Quick Review

HEALTH – Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack
Genre: Electronica/Ambient

 Label: Rockstar Games

“Max Payne 3”, a videogame released in May, is the highly anticipated follow-up to “Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne”. Unfortunately this reviewer never got around to playing that game, but scarring memories of “Max Payne” (which I’m now replaying) has always kept me interested in Max and his story. Recently, I just finished “Max Payne 3”. Continue reading

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White Suns – “SINEWS” Quick Review

White Suns – Sinews
Genre: Noise rock

Label: Load Records

White Suns are a three-piece noise rock demon from Brooklyn, and “Sinews” is their second album, although it is the first release while on noise-pushing label Load Records.

As an album of six songs and just falling short of the 35-minute mark, “Sinews” is noticeably short. However there is no real wavering moment. There is always a build up, always tension and always the sense of a looming moment where your ears might be pushed to the limits. This album is, in one word, intense.

Second track, Footprints Filled, from the very beginning sadistically abuses your ears, leaving you unsure whether you’re really meant to enjoy it. The guitars and drums play along with each other, intertwining and intensifying as the track progresses. The drums are especially brutal, they just hammer away with no remorse and no sign of slowing for the majority of the song.

Cenote is a track just full of unbearable despair, the instrumentals all fighting each other in a climb but constantly falling back down, eventually reaching a climax. The guitar rips, the vocals shred, the keyboards stomp and the drums punch until the song closes with each instrument almost collapsing from fatigue. The final track Oath also seems to  have the same build-up-and-fall approach.

Flesh Vault just features this thick feedback while strings sound like they’re being played at random with no real care, as a sombre poetic monologue is told, as if a cry for help in an empty wasteland: “I crawl through a century/kicking free of narcotic tendrils/the ways unmarked/but the map is in me”.

By the end, you just feel as if you’ve been exorcised, like ‘demons’ have been smashed or torn from your soul. The overall relentlessness of the band to challenge their listener is both impressive and scary. On the other hand, this sort of means that there is no real variety in their sound, just different approaches and settings. Probably not an album you’d suggest to a prog rock fan.

If you like bands along the lines of Drunkdriver, Sore Throat and maybe Homostupids, then you will probably enjoy some aspects of this. “Sinews” is definitely for those whole like music extra loud, noisy and primitive.

7.3/10
Favourite tracks: Footprints Filled, Cenote.

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