Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DATE PALMS LP

DATE PALMS - THE DUSTED SESSIONS LP (Thrill Jockey)
"The Dusted Sessions" is the third full lenght by Oakland's instrumental psych-rockers Date Palms. As the album title and the coverartwork emplies, the album is inspired by the deserts of the southwestern U.S. with three songs focused on the Yuba river in California. The duo Greg Kowalsky and Marielle Jakobson, the heart of the band, is responsible for keyboards, flute, electronics, synthesizers and violin. On these recordings they are completed by Ben Bracken, Michael Elrod and Noah Philips adding bass, guitar and tanpura. On the basis of this arsenal of different instruments Date Palms write songs with repitive structures sounding like mantras, that get more monstrous with every new repeat. The stylish variety as well as the use of the most diverse instruments open up a wide musical spectrum ranging between country, psych, desert-rock, droning doom and the more exotic influences of classical Indian music. Date Palms compositionen are packed with a diversity of ideas, so that even eleven minutes lasting numbers don't become boring or monotonous. However, most soundscapes are kept significantly shorter and don't drift into extented jam session. The songs on the a-side are charcterized by a warmer sound with central melodies floating through while the b-side reveals a darker and heavier tone. Each track seems to push a different instrument into the forefront. "The Dusted Sessions" sounds like a captivating desert-trip leading though keyboard wall-of-sounds, Pink Floyd inspired psych-rock guitars, thundering bass-lines, moody violin harmonies and a lot more to discover with every new song. (Listen to it here)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

KIZMIAZ 7"s

BANG BANG BAND GIRL - LIES 7" (Kizmiaz)
Don't let the the Bettie Page rip off-girl on the frontcover stop you. Bang Bang Band Girl are a one-girl band from Lima, Peru, that revives the music of the 50s and 60s without sounding painful or too nostalgic. With her Bang Bang Band Girl moniker Sheri Corleone merges influences ranging from R&B to western, rockabilly and garage, but in the end it's her own unique style. The instrumental arrangements are logically stripped down to the essentials. Precise golden and groovy guitar strums are paired with primtive stomping drum beats, while the focus is definitely on the sugar-sweet harmonic voice. This single features two perfect recreations of the best moments from the sounds of the 50s and 60s. Think of a more noisy, rougher and basic version of the Detroit Cobras. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

BIKINI GORGE - STRANDED 7" (Kizmiaz)
This is the brilliant debut 7" by this no-frills garage duo from Rennes, France. With the galloping beats of '60s garage, Bikini Gorge crank out three cuts of wild and nasty rock'n'roll. Simple but considered chord structures and basic drum beats hold together songs, that are first of all characterized by ear-bleeding fuzzy guitar-noise. In contrast to that there's also a poppy vibe with fantastic vocal harmonies in the forefront. The titletrack is a great example. It's as catchy as The Kinks, but it also captures the dirtyness of raw, snarling punk. “Make Up Your Mind” and "You're My Yail" on the b-side lead into a more powerful punk-driven direction with rougher vocals and the shredding guitar in the forefront. Both songs sound like a blown-out version of the rawest cuts included on a Back From The Grave compilation. Highly Recommended! (Listen to it here

MAGNETIX - IMPACTION 7" (Kizmiaz)
The Magnetix from Bordeaux celebrate their 15th anniversary with four 7"s coming out on four different labels. "Impaction" is the first one, that saw light of day and it looks like the frontcovers of all four 7"s will alltogether result in one image. The Magnetix should be well know from their previous six full albums and countless 7"s they've put out over the past years. This male-female duo has really become one of the flagships of the huge and ripping French punk and garage scene. The titletrack "Impaction" kicks off with spacy electronic noise before the guitar and the cold, gloomy echo-vocals with their heavy French accent cut in and lead into a wild wave-punk chorus. The flipside starts with "Dairo", a The Cramps influenced instrumental, that combines delay-effects with fuzz or rockabilly with garage. The final track "Sink Or Swim" is more poppy, made with melodic vocals, a catchy chorus and an undercurrent of electronic babble simular to The Spits. The Magnetix rule, just like this whole 7" fuckin' rules. (Listen to it here)

Monday, August 26, 2013

WILDMEN LP

WILDMEN - S/T LP (Shit Music For Shit People)
After Schonwald, His Electro Blue Voice and Miss Chain & The Broken Heels here's my latest discovery from the Italian underground scene: Wildmen are a duo from Rome. They play 60s inspired music drawing influences from garage, folk and a few hints of country. Black Lips, Jacuzzi Boys and Ty Segall are logical references, even if Wildmen's no frills punk attitude sharply distinguishes them from beeing just a poor immitation. The songcraft is rollicking, highly addictive and the whole record finds a perfect balance between beeing melodic and raw. The melodic side becomes obvious though great vocal harmonies, catchy-as-hell refrains and brilliant guitar-leads. The rawness is made with a adequate use of fuzz-pedals, straight pounding drum beats and a three-chord pimitivity comparable with 90s Rip Off releases. While most other garage bands sound a lot more interesting on 7" format, Wildmen succed to hold the tension over the playtime of a full LP. There's really not a single filler track and the whole record sounds like a non-stop sequence of impressing, immediate two minute punk blasts. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

SCHNAAK AND THE RUNDU CHOIR 12"

SCHNAAK AND THE RUNDU CHOIR - NO SECURITY THROUGH NUMBERS 12" (Discorporate)
Schnaak are a Berlin based group, that's actually known for playing noisy indie. Even if Schnaak And The Rundu Choir consist of the same two-piece line-up, they are a new project with a focus on electronic music. Just like 70s electronic music the albums rejects the typical forms of verse, chorus without using any vocals. The dense compositions with their experimental approach are based on spacy, cosmic sounds. At the same time a 80s influence comes apparent within the colder, more dancable synth-pop sounds. The opening track "Kioo Pt.2" kicks off with a pumping groove and it's own sense of harmony. Then again "Super Symmetry" leads into a distrubing, claustrophobic, yet scary atomsphere more comparable with French musique concrete artists. It's followed by "Kioo Pt.1" showing simularities to the dreamy sounds of current Not Not Fun releases. What's really typical for Schnaak And The Rundu Choir are the frantic, unconventional drum-beats with their unique style of counter-rhythms sounding anything but supportive. The occasional use of a guitar adds blown-out walls of noise. The sound image is completed by lo-fi samples and primitive plug-ins. Schnaak And The Rundu Choir sound a bit like a modernized version of Conrad Schnitzler, which means this five track 12" totally rules. (Listen to it here)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

VAR LP

VAR - NO ONE DANCES QUITE LIKE MY BROTHERS LP (Sacred Bones)
Var are an offshot of several other well known groups emerging from Copenhagen's D.I.Y. electro and hardcore scene like for example Iceage, Lower, Sexdrome, War or Pussyfooter. Their music falls a bit out of the line, because they aren't really comparable with the typical raw, ugly, lo-fi Posh Isolation sound. Instead of that they write quiet, yet grumpy songs with a dark feel. They push their cold synth-driven electronic sounds in the forefront. At the same time they use varied musical arrangements including a accoustic guitar, bass, percussions, trumpet or samples of broken glass and metal. Their musical roots lie first of all in the British underground music of the 80s. They merge influences ranging from postpunk to industrial, synth-pop, cold and dark wave and add some warmer sounds simular to Kraftwerk's krautrock, but Var's experimental approach keeps their compositions from beeing just a imitation of the mentioned styles. The nine tracks oscillate between the soft and dreamy facets of New Order, dense noisy soundscapes, march rhythms and mysterious gloomy drones. Elias Rønnenfelt's vocals deliver the same dark, deep and distinctive style, that's well known from Iceage. "No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers" succeeds to fit the sound of 80s electronic music into a modern unique sound garment. (Listen to it here)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Interview with ROACHCLIP

A few month ago I got a mail from Chris asking me if I were interested to review releases he has put out on his Detroit based All Gone label. The label and all it's bands were previosly unknown to me, but I knew and liked Tyvek and Protomartyr so I thought it could be interesting to gain a deeper insight in the current Detroit scene. A few weeks later I got a parcel, that included a 7" and a 12" by Chris' band Roachclip. Both records turned out to be two of my most impressing recent discoveries. It was therefore the obvious thing to send Chris some questions about Roachclip, All Gone and the Detroit scene. In addition to that you can scroll down and stream the new WORKERS tape compilation on ALL GONE including tracks by Roachclip, Mean Bikini, The Lake Erie Psycho Surfers, The Bibs, Greymouth, Mole House and The Offset Spectacles.


First the most obvious questions: band history? discography so far? roles and names? meaning of your bandname? other bands you play or have played in?
Roachclip is a ode to the 70’s asshole, We Started fall 2010 I was bored of doing solo gigs, and wanted to play in a steady unit, Steve and I had been playing together for years, scences our teens, all over the map kind of stuff. We got Lauren on board to do some drumming, she had little experience, kind of rushed into the whole thing, we played our first gig, two days after starting, It wasn’t that bad really, could have been worse. Then I asked Bill who I had been jamming around that with, if he’d be into playing organ, he had a clunky old home organ sitting around. He was in the last days of this awesome Ann Arbor band Telephone callers, who went on to make the k9-sniffies , Bill joined us.We recorded our first release for AA records “total dirt rock” in Bill basement on Putnam St. Shortly after recording the tape/cdr, Bill was a victim of home invasion, and was brutally beat with a Hammer, he even tried to jump out the second story window, it was messed up, hours later the police found a guy with a bloody hammer in his car and they let him go, we think the blue was in on it. So he had to move, we started jamming at “this house”. Where we recorded the 7’’ some of it was recorded while bill was away in Indonesia for 3 months, which is why certain tracks didn’t have organ. Upon his arrival back, we started to record the 12’’ we asked Heath to join on bass guitar, He previously was jamming in Tyvek, he also does sick llama, and runs Fag tapes. Around this time Steve the other guitar player was fixing to move to Columbus OH, for grad school, so bass seemed like a good way to fill in the gap. We recorded Discovery Park over the next year. Steve lives In Columbus now. 

The media cover a image of Detroit that’s characterized by bankruptcy, industrials ruins, depopulation trends, decay and slow ambulances. What is life like in Detroit and what makes the city worth living? 

All that stuff is true; if you get shot here you’re fucked. The city is way too huge, in comparison to the amount of citizens, plain and simple the biggest problem. It’s a catalyst for other problems. I don’t know why I live here personally; I grew up in MI maybe I’m too lazy to move. I would say I live here because it’s cheap, and there is amazing stuff going on amongst the chaos, Lots of great DIY art/music spaces, good food, kind of has a in the country but really a city, vibe I like. Plus America is a Succubus without it’s own identity. Chicago, NYC, Kansas City, its all the same just nicer frozen yogurt stands, or more outlet malls. Detroit represents capitalism and all it’ flaws, I love that.
Heath: Detroit rules! There is free beer everywhere you go. Price tags in the stores are $0.00. People on the streets skin is starting to turn green. Fires here that can never be put out. Sink holes of destruction eating the air like black holes. Everywhere is different and the same at the same time. Cops are the ones committing all the crimes and the newscasters set up the schedules. The cooperations running the advertisements on TV push for more and more insanity. Thus it is a fake death. Life must go on and sex will always exist. Detroit is a beautiful city filled with freedom and opportunity. It's not completely slow paced. It is like the forest. With cars. It is like the farm. With animals and beautiful clouds; trees and chicory. It is a peninsular state. There are mosquitoes. There are gardens and destruction. Destruction that is naturally producing gardens. Light and darkness. I don't think that it makes much difference.

As an outsider it’s impressing how many good bands are currently coming from Detroit. What’s your opinion about your local scene and which bands can you recommend? 

Detroit at the moment has heaps of bands, good or bad; I will leave it up the sound cloud frequenter. It is neat that so many bands exist here, something for everyone I guess. I am kind of out of the local loop, I put out what I like in Detroit on All Gone for the most part. I’d recommend Stare Case. 

I’ve compared your 12“ with Happy Refugees. Have they really been an influence for Roachclip and which other bands are important for the way you sound like? 

“Return to last chance saloon” is one Bill and I like a lot for sure, we all have lot’s of tastes, I feel like we don’t talk much in the way of basing our sound of records we like though. I’d say that groups from the 80’s with 60’s kind of vibes have rubbed off on us some, Xpressway, U.K DIY, old private pressed psych records, old age/no age crew, 90’s era siltbreeze, some of that 70’s prog and opposition stuff too. 

Both your 12“ and your 7“ are characterized by a very well done artwork. Who’s repsosible for it and what’s your opinion about the significance of a record’s artwork?

The Discovery Park 12’’ cover was designed by Lauren, back cover by me. The Al Pastor 7’’ was done by Travis Galloway, who does most of the All Gone artwork. I never really ponder on the significance, I own a lot of records with artwork I don’t find special, and sometimes that’s the charm. I just want to hear good music. I will say that a good cover is a nice bonus. I always enjoy Jandek covers for example. We’re all into fine art and enjoy drawing and painting etc, so when it comes time for a cover we really get excited and try to deliver, and if it doesn’t, we let each other know and start again. 

I think the four track or eight track recordings of your releases are one of their main secrets. Will there ever be a Roachclip recording with a clean professional studio production? What’s the advantage of keeping it lo-fi? 

I can’t say for sure, but most likely not, we don’t like the idea of paying loads of money to make your “sound” There always seems to be something hollow about it, the processes, and the intentions. We have a nice soundproof room at “this house” it’s a very accurate dry sound. That’s what we like. Recording in the basement allows us total creative freedom, and to recorded material at our own pace, I could see us having another LP out this year. 

Chris, you’re running All Gone records. Please give is a quick insight of your label. What is the idea and philosophy behind the label and what have you released so far? 

Travis and I started All Gone back around 2009, mostly releasing our own experiments so to say. For the first couple years we were pretty anti-internet we were freaked out on some hyper reality rhetoric, we also wanted to try to keep music grounded and mobile. A hard copy always has more substance we think. The idea behind our label is to put out bands and musicians both local and international we’d like to share with the world. We try to keep things international, there is good music being made all over that people should have accesses to.We also felt there was a abundance of hogwash cassette tapes circulating, made with little effort, so we have instilled a diplomatic agreeance between artist and label dealing with quality of the medium. Simply it’s out of necessity for us both, we spend several hours a day in our automobiles hustling Romanian food to the hungry citizens of Detroit. Neither of us have working cd players in our rides, also neither of us own ipods, my cd player was stolen in front of “this house” during roachclip practice one day along with all my burnt cds, but my cassette tapes remained. 

Most All Gone releases are on tape. There’s been a revival of cassette releases during the last couple of years especially in the USA. What do you think are the advantages compared to CDs and vinyl? 

Well cd’s scratch and the whole downloading thing happened, cd dimensions are awkward too, vinyl rules supreme, sound quality, space for artwork, and value. Tapes have a street level appeal, they be sturdy. The charm is in the craftsmanship of recording for tape, there is an art to it. 

Which releases are planned for the future with both All Gone and Roachclip? 

We have our newest batch of tapes just coming out, including the mole house 7’’. In the future some sort of wax for the intended, a greymouth tape, for sure some roachclip and bibs material, new K9-sniffies. 

What do you prefer a printed fanzine or an internet blog? 

At this point I check out more blogs, but totally appreciate fanzines. 

Some questions dedicated to Detroit‘s music history: MC5 or The Stooges 

Stooges 

Death or Destroy All Monsters? 

Destroy all monsters, grew up listening to them, glad that death recorded was unearthed though. 

Negative Approach or Bored Youth? 

Negative Approach! I think every roachclip member has multiple NA shirts haha, we used to share a practice space at “this house” with them as well. 

The Dirtbombs or The Gories? 

Never listened to either, Index, keggs, George Edwards group, mystic seva, sproton layer, half Japanese, spike drivers , ted lucas, laughing hyenas, frijid pink, Alice cooper,bulb. 

Do you have something to add? 

Infact when you look through windows you’re only looking at glass.. “t.s.r”




VA - WORKERS TAPE (All Gone) (Roachclip - Not Enough, Mean Bikini - Animal, The Lake Erie Psycho Surfers - Improv #1, The Bibs - Pure Evil, Greymouth - Fake Beard, Mole House- Fast Moving Cars, The Offset Spectacles - Entering The Meat Grinder)

Monday, August 12, 2013

TILE LP

TILE - YOU HAD A FRIEND IN PENNSYLVANIA LP (Limited Appeal)
After a series of amazing 7" and 12" singles & EPs over the last couple of years here's finally the first full lenght by noise-rock trio Tile from Allentown, Pennsylvania. "You Had A Friend In Pennsylvania" succeeds to carry the intensity of their singles over to a full album and it features some of their best and most pulverising songs so far. Tile take the vibe of early 90s Touch&Go noise-rock to combine it with a more damaged no frills approach. In the forefront there's a loud, harsh, full distorted and downtuned bass and guitar sound giving Tile a highy distinctive touch. They add tight killer grooves, an overall heavy pounding rhythm section and vocals variiing between manic screams and a more spoken style. The result are ugly noise-rock tunes based on a unique hybrid between sludgy monotony and hardcore-rooted pissed off outbreaks. The production is dry, modern and just super powerful. Especially the drum recording confers an extra punch. I guess Tile are often compared with Pissed Jeans, but this band really needs no references and they play some of today's best, most independent noiserock. (Listen to it here)

Interview with BAD VISION

Bad Vision are yet another brilliant band emerging from the hot current Australian underground scene. This Melbourne based four-piece merges classic punk with garage, surf, protopunk and powerpop to make it their own explosive mixture. They have a selfreleased 7" out, which is nothing but a true winner record!

 

First the usual questions: who's involved in the band, who plays which instrument, when have you started playing together, do you play or have played in other bands? 
Ok well my name is Josh, I play guitar, I once played with a Melbourne band called Alsatians, amongst other side-projects. Jay is responsible for singing/dancing/histrionics etc, he has played in numerous bands including Hutt River Solution, Velvet Tongue ( this band was literally puppets playing rock and roll) and the Indian Givers. Krystal also plays guitar and once played with the Perth band Jacknives. MattRad is on drums, when he’s not whetting his insatiable garage-punk appetite he can be found blast beating around the country in the blackened crust hardcore outfit Urns and atmospheric black metal outfit Encircling Sea. We are cusping on our second anniversary as a band, so I believe there will be some kind of cotton-themed celebration as I’m told is customary when honouring a bands holy union and matrimonial vows. 

To get an idea what Bad Vision sounds like can you tell me some of your influences.
Wipers, Jay Reatard, Oblivians, X (LA) Radio Birdman, Buzzcocks, Mission Of Burma, Jacuzzi Boys.


In the review of your 7" I wrote that your bandname sounds "unispired", because the words "bad" and "vision" are often used for bandnames. Do you have an objection and what's your opinion about the relevance of bandnames in general? 
I think a band name is simply and obviously a means of identification, the relationship between bandname/music is intrinsically linked and synonymous with the music being made. I guess obvious comparisons could be made with the judging of book covers, as a band name is not often reflective of the music contained within. No more than ‘John’ could be your dearest, bestest and oldest friend, or the pederast who lives down the street. Perhaps they hold more significance within certain genres, Creeping Death probably wouldn’t attract someone into synthesizers. But then there are even attempts at rejection of such classifications, being oxymoronic as it would lead to a genre in itself (generally bands containing ‘Fuck’ or any other banal expletive). Placing too much importance on band names can be stifling; forcing yourself into a corner, from which to come out fighting in defence, or cowering with regret. An early decision and then acceptance is probably the safest way, if not, there’s always the ill-reputed and not recommended ‘random dictionary flick’ approach. Whether it can make or break a band is anyone’s guess, things like ‘throbbing gristle’ and ‘smashing pumpkins’, as mere epithets, seem ridiculous and hackneyed, however when placed in context with their music, take on a completely different, normalized/revered meaning. Then there’s !!!, sunno))) and ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, where you would think the coinee of such names would do nothing but set themselves up for a lifetime of explanation (at least a broken leg heals...), or alternatively could provide a degree of strangeness or unconventionality that creates interest and defies ridicule once more. Then I guess there are also bands whose names are super cool, that make really shitty music (Milly Vanilli, Bay City Rollers?!?!) Then there’s Was (Not Was), The The, Mr Mister and of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don’t know. It’s a can of worms. Relevance? Not much. Maybe Ill defer to Russel Crowe. Ultimately I guess the quality of music resonates more than the band name, which is, just a band name. Bad Vision came from a misconstrued/(mal)adjusted Jay Reatard song. However the tunes were appreciated so thumbs up ;) 

You've toured Europe a few months ago. How did this come about and what was it like?
 The tour was a result of many emails (millions?), expletives and advice from those who had made the mission before. Krystal and Jay provided most of the impetus and turned it into a reality. Whereas Matt gave some excellent back and shoulder massages, and I sent encouraging words from Honduras. Once we were there it was a whirlwind of autobahns, backlines and languages, often forgetting which one to attempt (poorly of course) to converse in. There were moments of sublime surrealism and those of addled-mind-bending breakdowns. However the latter were few and far between, generally a result of the Polizei.. But of course, it was something extraordinary that we all enjoyed and appreciated, especially meeting new people, and trying new beers. Things one isn’t terribly inspired to do in Melbourne. We will hopefully be plotting our sophomore sojourn sometime soon, this time with some more dedicated efforts from Matt and myself. 

What's the main difference between the underground scene + playing shows in Europe and in Australia or is their no difference at all? 
I guess playing a new venue is always interesting and exciting, be it overseas or at home. There are just a shitload more places to play and visit in Europe, whereas there can be a bit repetition at home, not saying it stagnates, just slightly less stimulation. Although the many musical microcosms of Melbourne is something we are definitely grateful to be a part of. With some more experience with playing overseas Ill be better equipped to answer your question. 

Your 7" is selfreleased. By necessity or because you want to keep things totally D.I.Y.? What is the advantage of releasing a record by your own? 
Well let’s just say if our door was constantly being knocked down by labels, we would have invited them in for a cup of tea. But releasing the single ourselves is something we are immensely proud of doing, it has done well and it was more important to us to get the thing out there, rather than focusing on who would do that for us. It didn’t suit us to shop around so it made sense to just put it out ourselves and see what happened. What happened was, we sold them. 

Melbourne is the hometown of countless amazing bands. I think the "Rough End Of The Stick" compilation on Vacant Valley is a great example how varied and aweseome Melbourne's current underground scene is. Do you share my view and which other bands from your hometown are worth to check out? 
Vacant Valley are always putting out new and interesting releases, from varying backgrounds. The river runs deep in Melbourne (not the yarra) and Rough End of the Stick demonstrates this very finely. There are many bands doing cool things here such as Mesa Cosa, Bits Of Shit, Batpiss, Brat Farrar to name a few. 

There have been so many outstanding bands coming from Australia during the last couple of years, Do you have any explanations for this boom? Why is the aussie underground scene so strong? 
Perhaps there is some Darwinian-themed explanation where, due to our geographical isolation from the rest of the world (negating internet trends), we have developed our own innate sense of musicality due to aforementioned microcosm, where bands rely upon and influence one another on a small scale, which evolves as a whole rather than individual units, that has recently been expounded to the rest of the world. There are many obvious trail-blazing Australian bands that are enjoying renewed enthusiasm and appreciation from abroad, maybe intensifying the scrutiny upon new sounds coming from down under. 

You'll be releasing a 12". What will it sound like, what can we expect and who will release it? 
Something like a chainsaw in a blender being bulldozed then beaten by the splintered and ghostly remains of Pete Towshends martys from the 60’s. Not that it sounds anything like the 60’s… I dunno. Garage… Punk… Pop… Girl group… Christian Rock… Wait a sec.. Adagio830 will release the album in Europe, with some talks with local labels currently happening now and also a small label called Dirty Pillows in American will be releasing it on cassette tape. 

Radio Birdman or The Saints? 
Radio Birdman. The Saints have more albums of great music, the birdmen did more with just one. 

AC/DC or Black Sabbath? 
While Black Sabbath have numerous riffs of delicious down-tuned doominess, they got really weird there for a while… AC/DC  have been waving their balls around for 40 years making nothing but sweet-ass head-banging goodness that will sweat your brow more than the dengue fever you caught in Indochina last year. As if the tolling bell of Hells Bells doesn’t get your bell-end a hell of a… Ill stop there. But seriously, I don’t think there’s been more dangerous noise put to tape than Let There Be Rock.. 

X from L.A. or X from Australia?
I’ll retrace and reverse my comments from Saints v Birdman; Oz X released one good album, but it doesn’t compare to the brilliant output by LA X, their first 4 are just goddamn awesome.
 


Anything else people should know about Bad Vision? 
We hold crochet classes on the thrid Tuesday of every month in the Brunswick community centre, for those who would like to join.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

DINGLEBERRY RELEASES

Dingleberry is a record label from my hometown Gießen. It's run by Tim, who's a true workaholic of D.I.Y. punk. It's really hard to maintain an overview of his enormous quantity of outputs. Most of his releases come out in collaboration with other other labels. The great thing about Dingleberry is, that Tim puts out the music he likes without caring if a band is hip or if their records might sell well. Most Dingleberry releases are hardcore related, but they cover a wide range of different styles. Tim also sets up regularily shows in our local AK44 venue. At shows he sells stuff from his distro including tons of records I've never ever heart of before. Buy a record from him and you can be certain, that at least the fine smell of tobacco smoke will sharply distinguish them from the rest of your record collection.  

BLACK CODE - HANGED, DRAWN AND QUARTERED LP (Dingleberry)
"Hanged, Drawn And Quartered" - I really could'n think of a more appropriate record title, because it totally speaks for itself. Hailing from Besançon in the east of France Black Code play some of the most brutal hardcore I've heart since a long time. They are in equal parts influenced by metal and crust. It sounds like they've used their Cursed, His Hero Is Gone, Celesten, Bolt Thrower, Entombed and Carcass records as a source of inspiration. Fast filthy crust is paired with heaviest mid-tempo parts. The musical performance is first of all super tight and complex including sick metal-riffage, downtuned guitars and incredible hammering drums. It can be argued that most of the eleven songs are of a simular nature, because it really sounds a bit like they are playing one song over and over again. But a least this one song is a true mayhem and this record as a whole is nothing but a wrecking ball. (Listen to it here)

DOOMSISTERS / WHORESNATION - SPLIT 10" (Dingleberry)
Have a look on the frontcover, read the bandnames and you'll already known, that this might not be some kind of poppunk. Both bands are from France and the music of both is first of all extreme. Whoresnation dish up up seven merciless cuts of no frills grindcore. Their songs sound like a collision of Napalm Death-like old school blast beats and technical metal riffage. Naturally the result isn't innovative at all, but it's incredibly brutal and I think that's what grindcore should be all about. Doomsisters are a trio consisting only of drums, one guitar and vocals. They combine heavy, dark and sludgy hardcore in the vein 90s Prank releases with fastcore and grindcore influences. Their side is based on a downtuned heavyness, tight blasting drums and harsh, deep vocals. Iron Lung are of course an obvious reference. Add a little more His Hero Is Gone and you can probably imagine, that Doomsisters fuckin' rule! (Listen to it here

OLD SOUL - TIDAL LOOK LP (Dingleberry / IFB)
First of all the artwork and packaging of this record looks fantastic. You get a wraparound cover, a nice maritime artwork including a extensive booklet while the lyrics are printed on the backside of the frontcover. When I put the record on my first impression was, that Old Soul have choosen the patch of post rock like so many other current bands, but this is really just one facet of the several different genres this Michigan based group merges within their epic ten minute journeys. The focus is on creating a gloomy, hopeless atmosphere. For that purpose Old Soul use an arsenal of atmospheric slow parts, that all of a sudden turn into super fast blasting hardcore or thick screamo assaults. It's all made with obvious hints of black metal. Also the brutal screaming vocals sound like they are more associated with metal than with hardcore. All four songs are characterized by an impressing depth. You never know what will happen next, because they are super varied and complex. Old Soul have succesfully managed to create something great and unique within a genre, that has become too often too predictable. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

REQUEST - MEGALITH 12" (Dingleberry)
The term "underrated" is in case of Request more than true. They enjoy cult status in their hometown, but beyond the city limits of Gießen they are more or less overseen. It took almost 20 years until they've now put out their first vinyl record. In the past Request played metallic hardcore inspired by north German 90s bands like for example Loxiran, Lebensreform and other stuff, that came out on the Per Koro label back then. Even so Request arranged this style very well, I've never been really into it. That is the reason, why "Megalith" is a positive surprise. On these recordings they took their 90s hardcore vibe and merged it with blasting fastcore in the vein of Dropdead, Stack or My Own Lies. The five songs are musically perfectly presented including technically skilled high speed drums, sick double bass assaults, sharp guitar riffs and metal-influenced midtempo parts. Seecher's vocal's and lyrics are of course Request's most distinctive and highly unique element. Nevertheless there are two points of criticsm. First, the record is too short. I would have prefered songs on the b-side instead of a scretching. Vinyl is made to put music on it and not for arty gimmicks. Second, the production is powerful and well done, but I think a rougher sound would have been a better match. The outer space alien artwork does certainly look fantastic. (Listen to it here)

ROSES ÖF FUCK - BIGGER THAN JESUS 10" (Dingleberry
The record title "Bigger Than Jesus" doesn't lack a measure of hubris, but Roses Öf Fuck have good reasons to be conceited. They are an offshot of the Trier based punk group A Hurricane's Revenge and from the very first second on it becomes quite clear, that they use the "ö" in their bandname not for nothing. They dish up seven loud, brash and snotty 70s rock inspired punk tunes made with a fat ripping guitar sound, a top lead-guitar, catchy refrains and a tight rhythm section. It's becomes obvious, that AC/DC are their main influences, but also fans of Motörhead, Led Zeppelin and MC5 will fulfil their desires here. You could think, that the combination of rock and punk is nothing but a poor imitation of Turbonegro and The Hellacopters, but Roses Öf Fuck have for sure created their own unique style with their very own sense of humour. You need an example? When you flip to the b-side the first track starts with the apturous applause of the thousands spectators during a stadion rock show. The perfect intro for a band, that's "Bigger Than Jesus". (Listen to it here)  

STAND DER DINGE / FURTIVE FOREST - SPLIT LP (Dingleberry)
Stand Der Dinge is another band emerging from the scene of my hometown Gießen. They consist of members of other bands you've surely never heart of before like for example Business As Usual, Mike Dansen or Love Channel. Stand Der Dinge play emotive hardcore influenced by bands from the late 90s. Hardcore is definitely the more dominant influence, even so the guitar-work shows hints of Yage, Escapado or Yaphet Kotto with fantastic melodies floating through. Add unique throaty vocals, smart German lyrics, pounding double bass drums and an overall tight rhythm section and you''ll probably know, that these four songs are totally worth to check out. Furtive Forest from Novi Sad, Serbia nail down five cuts of screamo tinged post hardcore. Think of a more contemporary version of 90s Ebullition style hardcore. The focus is on writing varied, deep and complex songs. At the same time their straightness and their anger-filled screamed vocals preserve a rough hardcore-rooted edge. The LP comes with a handmade sleevs and a fantastic looking silk-screen printing. (Listen to it here)

THE TRAGEDY WE LIVE IN - S/T LP (DIngleberry) 
Postrock is a kind of music I've never really been into. Of course there are some exceptions like for example Russian Circles or Pelican, but most parts of this boom just slipped by. This is the reason why I first of all had to eleminate my reservations regarding the postrock genre. From a objective point of view I have to admit that The The Tragedy We Live In's postrock is very well done. This Belgian trio sounds like an instrumental wall of sound with an immense dynamic and dark feeling. In contrast to so many other instrumental groups they maintain the tension throughout the whole record with their well-disgned and diversified arrangements. Their songs range between slow atmospheric parts, monotonic sludgy doom, experimental noise and faster-paced hardcore. The guitar is heavily effect-loaded and it's focused on creating thick moody soundscapes. Drums and bass are pushed forward by supportive killer grooves. They add a spare use of samples underlining the darkness of their songs and the result is some totally impressing  and gripping postrock. And if that were not enough: The LPs comes in neon green clear vinyl and looks fantastic.(Listen to it here)