Tag Archives: Introducing

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.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing #5

Heat + work = Exhaustion. But the ball will roll again! Here are some of my favourite discoveries of the past two or so months.

GLASS GANG

The trouble with the accessibility of the internet is that while you can find gems, you can also find duds… and the ratio swings more to the latter. However, Glass Gang fits with the former. Imagine the intensity and emotional (guitar) drone from the likes of Planning For Burial and Have A Nice Life, but with a chillwave feel thanks to some well co-ordinated electronic drumbeats, along with whispering vocals intertwined with it all.

The mixture is something that feels unexplored even in this age where it seems the grounds for inventing something new has gotten depressingly small, so it’s a completely refreshing experience to hear what Glass Gang are doing.

So far, they have two tracks available for download from their soundcloud: Waves and Time. Both are great promisers from the trio and so it’ll be interesting to hear what comes next. If you’re into your shoegazy drone, with a touch of electronic influence, then Glass Gang are worth keeping your eyes and ears on.

Listen to: Waves, Time.

DEAFHEAVEN

Cue scoffs from everyone who listened to Deafheaven’s latest release “Sunbather” when it came out… but the band, headed by originators George Clarke and Kerry McCoy, only became an experience to me last week after heavy recommendations to listen to “Sunbather”. While I was completely ignorant and disregarded the band before, I was shown the error of my ways…

Deafheaven basically mix the ambient post-rock phrases of Mono with black metal, while retaining a slight ‘catchy’ feel – just imagine what Torche does for sludge, and you’re there. However, don’t expect some sort of uplifting form of black metal here; the darkness and feeling of pure loathing remains the same but with sombre textures, as if close to understanding pain and why it happens.

Basically, if you were anything like me and decided not to give “Sunbather” your time due to the overwhelming (and well-deserved) hype, then take it from someone who was like you: IT’S FANTASTIC.

This could be a landmark release in metal.

Listen to: Dream House, Vertigo, Please RememberLanguage Games, Punk Rock/CODY (Mogwai cover).

ISLET

Islet are a weird bunch. You realise this within ten (maybe five) minutes into a live performance of theirs – something I was lucky enough to witness at this year’s Old Town Festival in Carmarthen. Islet are only a four-piece from Cardiff, but with their constant change in direction, style and instrumentation you’d swear there were more members hidden away somewhere.

Generally skipping within the indie borders, their experimentalism often sees them in musical spasms and sudden bipolar shifts, making them excitingly unpredictable. In the live setting, the members rotate between instruments, each adding their own (it seems) personal touch with their playing style for each instrument. You can also expect members to jump through the crowd and abuse speakers with drumsticks.

The band has released their debut album “Illuminated People” after a couple of mini-albums,  as well as a single/EP for Triangulation Station, which is their most addictive and catchy material I’ve been exposed to so far. If you have to opportunity to see them live, then GO.

Listen to: Triangulation Station, We Shall Visit, Ringerz.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing… #4

I know reviews are becoming few and far inbetween (busy as hell these days with my job and writing for other sites), but it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done one of these, so here you go. CHECK THESE OUT!

PURITY RING

Purity Ring

I was late to the party on this one. Last year, I was suggested giving this electronic-pop duo a chance and I really couldn’t get into it, just discarding it as some sort of cutesy play on witch house. I know. I was stupid. About a month and a half ago, I gave their debut album “Shrines” (which only came out last year) a full, uncut listen… and it completely changed my mind.

Purity Ring manage to craft some quirky and sometimes conflicting music. While they do sound “cutesy” in terms of the pretty textures and relaxed trap-ish beats that Corin Roddick produces, then furthered by Megan James’ beautifully soft and tender vocals; there’s often a dark undertone lurking, especially with the lyrics, Fineshrine for example,  “Get a little closer let fold / Cut open my sternum and pull / My little ribs around you” and Lofticries “Let it seep through your sockets and earholes / And into your precious fractured skulls”.

It’s just really nice what they’re doing, and while there’s a lot of bands in the same vein, Purity Ring (personally) pull it off best. Plus, they’re apparently producing/appearing on the next Danny Brown album, which will be interesting.

Listen to: Fineshrine, Lofticries, Amenamy.

FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT

Follow The White Rabbit

Follow The White Rabbit are simply one of the most refreshing bands I’ve heard in experimental tech metal for a while, and the Russian quartet sounds like the result of a collaboration between Deftones, Muse and Between The Buried And Me after several hours of huffing glue together while listening to the Fantômas. They’re chaotic, melodic and downright unpredictable.

Late last year, they released their debut album “Endorphinia”, which can only be described as a journey. The vocals are always changing, from cleans to screams to yelps to growls, as well as going through different effects, while the band change direction constantly, one minute soft and quiet and then going into an all-out SikTh-like spazz out. Plus, when you listen to all these changes and phrases, it’s hard to imagine that only for guys are capable of this, as it sounds like it would take a much bigger collection of people to pull off what they do.

“Endorphinia” is a thing of absolute passion and frenzy, a must for anybody who loves their music creatively challenging.

Listen to: A Few Stories Of A Deserted Forest, Fakeface, The Great Worm.

BARN OWL

Barn Owl

As a big fan of drone/ambient music (at least over the past year or so) it’s amazing that I had never even heard of this duo, compromising of Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras. Together, they pretty much alternate between the distortion drones (Sunn O))), Black Boned Angel), folk/country-influenced soothers (later Earth) and electronic ambient (Tim Hecker, Ben Frost). Needless to say, it’s beautiful stuff.

Just recently they released their new album “V”, which features more of the later Earth style than the other two, and frankly it’s the soundtrack to deep daydreams and of goosebumps. Describing the album further than that would be pointless, it’s something you need to feel.

Barn Owl are simply a band that you just soak in, letting the reverb and drone lather your senses.

Listen to: Visions In Dust, The Darkest Night Since 1683, Void And Devotion.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing… #3

Some of my favourite discoveries over the past month!

GHOST PUNCHER

Ghost Puncher is a mysterious electronic producer who resides in New York. What sets him apart? Well, he mixes influences from witch house, trap, glitch and ambient music into his electronic base which results in some weird yet ridiculously addictive tracks. If that’s not enough, my introduction to him was through the official music video made by slave clothes for Cat Puke, which you have to see:

Get what I mean by weird yet addictive? The great thing about Ghost Puncher is that he experiments and clearly has no interest in staying with a single sound or formula. You can check out his music and download the majority of it for free via his soundcloud.

Listen to: Cat Puke, Sure Regress Version 2, Bosch.

DEVILMAN

Even though the review of their debut album gives it away, it’s been playing non-stop in the car and on the laptop. Devilman is a project featuring three guys who have been in their own circuits for a fair while, and together they create the most refreshingly noisy and unstable dub music around right now. Again, my discovery was through another gripping music video for Bakan Q.

These guys show a lot of promise and it’s going to be interesting to see where they’ll take their sound on the next release, which cannot come soon enough.

Listen to: Bakan Q, 93, Nirvana Dub.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing… #2

Here’s a minute list of new personal discoveries over August/September/October… yeah, not that adventurous lately, I know.

LOMA PRIETA

An emotive hardcore band from California, Loma Prieta have been pushing their harsh sound since 2005, yet only recently receiving a decent amount of attention and appraisal since releasing their fourth album “I.V.” and touring with the likes of Converge. While they may not suit to everyone’s taste, there’s something undeniably great about their musicianship and ability to create some downright melodic yet destructive songs.

While at this time the likes of Touché Amoré, La Dispute and Pianos Become The Teeth fly the flag for emotive hardcore, Loma Prieta steer nearer to the grittier and noisier side, closer to Pg.99 or tech metallists Curl Up And Die. If that’s your thing, then this band is definitely worth checking.

Listen to: Fly By Night, Uniform, Lost Bridge.

THE GASLAMP KILLER

A name like that might make you think of some sort of “br00t4l” metal band, but no, The Gaslamp Killer is in fact William Benjamin Bensussen, a hip-hop producer and DJ. I only stumbled on him through reviews of his debut “Breakthrough”, which was released earlier this year, and my curiosity was definitely rewarded – “Breakthrough” features some left-field hip-hop and electronica tracks (mostly instrumental, some tracks featuring Gonjasufi, another figure known for his unusual soothing style) with some clear inspirations from outside the genre.

One of Bensussen’s influences is DJ Shadow, and if you find yourself yearning for an “Endtroducing…” for 2012, then this may be the nearest you’ll get to it. If that doesn’t convince you, he’s also on Flying Lotus’s label Brainfeeder.

Listen to: Dead Vets, Peasants, Cripples & Retards, Apparitions.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: