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)