Monday, July 28, 2014

NEW LPs PART 2 OF 4

GEYSER - S/T 12" (Radiclaw)
What you will find on this debut 12" by Geyser from Greater Sudbury, Ontario is a dirty punk sound with an occasional noise-rock and post-punk flare, riddled with crashing guitars, driving bass lines and snarling vocals, all combining into one blistering and impressive debut record. Geyser's sound exists somewhere in a middle ground between "Goo" era Sonic Youth and the raw power of 70s proto-punk and 60s garage. The opening track quickly outlines the straighter side of their sound with cruddy guitars, trashy 70s rock riffs and a super catchy chorus part. With many different ideas and more calculated freak outs the remaining three tunes push the band's post-punk influences into the forefront. A very promosing and highly recommended debut release! (Listen to it here)

MA TURNER - ZOZ LP (Sophomore Lounge)
Along with the "Nessy Peen" Tape on Loin Seepage here's another new release by Lousville based artist Ma Turner. "Zoz" consists of thirteen tracks based on remixes and sound collages of the original "Zoz" collection's eighty-three songs on twelve cassettes. Ma Turner arranges his songs fast, direct and intuitively. The result is a repettive, eternal and minimal style of mediative music. With banjo, guitar, electronics and his airy voice Turner creates downer folk songs at a extremely weird level. The recordings balance between unsetting electronic sound scapes, guitar-driven folk and the mesmerizing, trippy sound of eastern music. Ma Turner has given us a record that is progressive and forward-looking, intense and driving. Another outstanding coup from Sophomore Lounge! Limited to 200 copies. (Listen to it here)

MARMORE - PAURA DELLA LUCE EP (Kreative Klan) 
Marmore from Italy fashioned a four-track debut EP of tremendous beauty and depth. All songs are recorded with a strong compositional sense and captured with mesmerising attention to detail. Guided by plenty of brilliant guitar melodies and driven by an uncharacteristic strain of heavy pounding rhythms this trio creates deep instrumental soundscapes. Musically impressive and technically perfect Marmore offer a huge variety of ideas and textures that impart to the songs an urgency one is not likely to find among all those mediocre bands trying to hop on the recent post-rock bandwagon. If you dig Russian Circles, you'll probably also be digging this. (Listen to it here)

MORDECAI- NEIL'S GENERATOR LP (Richie)
"Neil's Generator" is the third full-lenght from Mordecai within the past four years. The geographic isolation of their hometown Missoula, Montana is probably one main reason for this group's uniqueness. Instead of jumping on the next bandwagon Morcecai have developed a truely authentic style of post-punk. Their previous "College Rock" LP impressed with it's rough production and changing sound levels. In contrast, the songs on "Neil's Generator" have become wider and deeper. Freak outs have been miminmized and everything's less noisy. With their sloppy, unpolished sound driven by unpredictable guitars and weird vocals Mordecai have somewhat left their strong Swell Maps influences behind. You can now also hear similarities to Velvet Underground, Mike Rap & Tommy Jay and The Flesh Eaters, but of course this record speaks it's own musical language. (Listen to it here)

MILE ME DEAF - HOLOGRAPHY LP (Siluh)
The second full album by Mile Me Deaf is probably one of the best indie-rock records in 2014. This band from Vienna, Austria consists of members of the mighty Sex Jams, Killed by 9V Batteries and others. “Holography” combines the spirit of 90s underground music in the vein of Ween, Dinoasaur Jr. and Silver Jews with a strong 60s pop sensibility. Mile Me Deaf shred with loud roar through quirky guitar-riffs, driving rhythms and tons of addictive vocal harmonies. The songs develop a slightly melancholy-tinged mood that is contrasted with fuzz effects, some noise and strong experimental impulses. The result is a unique and unmistakble piece of indie music. Through external control listeners are forced to nod their heads, tap feet with the rhythm and stand around with a grim on your face. A total banger! (Listen to it here)


NEW SWEARS - JUNKFOOD FOREVER, BEDTIME WHATEVER LP (Bachelor)
Put the beer on ice - Ottowa's party punks New Swears are back with their second album.  "Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever" is a break with the lo-fi, crashing sound of their debut full lenght from last year. This time the band brings a smooth, dynamic and even catchier style, that combines a wide variety of different influences. While still very much in the vein of early Black Lips records, New Swears also recall the classic sound of late 70s power-pop and current pop-punk. The ten tracks mix highly developed pop songwriting skills with the rawness of vintage rock'n'roll. The whole album sounds like a rush of great yell-along choruses, incredible hooks, sugar-sweet guitar melodies and addictively catchy vocals. This feelgood pop-punk is made to get your party started. Great! (Listen to it here)

OAKEN / MARNOST - SPLIT LP (Dingleberry) 
This East European split LP features two bands that play modern, dark hardcore on a very high level. With influences ranging from postmetal to sludge and Portland style neo-crust Oaken don't really sound like something fundamentally new, but they succeed in mixing these styles in a very varied and profound way. Monster riffing, rumbling bass, propulsive beats and harsh dynamics are the outlines of Oaken's brutal hardcore mayhem. On the flipside Marnost from the Czech Republic dish up one extended track that can only be regarded as monumental. Dark, epically long and full of variety Marnost unfold together a product of slowmotion sludge, atmospheric post-metal, merciless blackened hardcore assaults and experimental sound scapes. Apocalyptic, massive and frightening! (Listen to it here)

OBNOX - LOUDER SPACE LP (12XU) 
Cleveland's Lamont "Bim" Thomas is a extremely productive guy. Since he started his Obnox solo project in 2011 he put out three full albums and countless 7"s on such great labels as Southpaw, Slovenly, Negative Guest List, Permanent or 12XU. Considering that he's the former or current drummer of V-3, The Unholy Two, Puffy Areolas, This Moment in Black History and The Bassholes it seems like everything he's involved in appears to be great. "Louder Space" is still driven by noisy guitars, but it's a slight departure from the radical lo-fi production of previous Obonx releases. This time Thomas brings deeper, more varied song structures pushed forward by a smoother, but still rough studio production (for the first time!). Again he takes on a wide variety of musical influences ranging from punk, garage, noise, proto-punk, funk, hip-hop and R&B to create his very own, unmistakable style. This is music on a supremely open-minded level. Don't miss this album! (Listen to it here)

PASTEL / MERRIDEW - SPLIT 12" (Monday Morning)
This one-side split 12" features two bands from Italy and England. Pastel from Bari play a energetic brand of emo-tingend post-hardcore that fuses quiet, soft passages with brilliant harmonies, frantic outbursts and umistakable vocals sung in Italian language. Even if they consist as a two-piece Pastel are able to write layered, atmospheric and heavy driving songs. Hailing from the midlands Merridew write pure instrumental tunes that sound like the perfect symbiosis of post-rock and 90s emo. With echoing riffs, plenty of melodies and pounding rhythms Merridew create well-crafted songs that ebb and flow. Think of a product of Envy, This Will Destroy You and Texas Is The Reason. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NEW LPs PART 1 OF 4

AAS – MMXIII LP (Mechanic)
Aas is dark and heavy hardcore trio from Hamburg, Germany. On their one-sided 12" vinyl debut they take the brutality of His Hero Is Gone and the complexity of Coalesce and Converge to create their own unique brand of relentless thundering hardcore. With ferocious metal riffs, occasional used melodies, a few blast-beats and really potent vocals Aas blast through eight, devastating tracks. The songs are all short and straight forward, but at the they same time they are super varied with influences ranging from hardcore, crust, metal and sludge. The result is a record made with vicious intensity and monstrous precision. Highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

THE BAD DOCTORS - BURNING CITY LP (FDH/ P.Trash)
The sound of The Bad Doctors from Philadelphia blurs the boundaries between synth-pop, post-punk, wave and indie in a refreshing way. This trio layers similarities to New Order, Joy Division and Tubeway Army on a foundation of melodic punkrock and addictive pop sensibilities. With strong Devo and Kraftwerk influences they break away from the darkness of the current international wave-punk revival. The Bad Doctor's eleven sonic bursts of poppy wave-punk are accentuated and brought to life by powerful, signature vocals. Frantic undercurrents of synthesizers and electronics go hand in hand with razor-sharp riffs, tight, punchy drums and pounding bass lines. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

BI-HOUR - AN ACCIDENT EP (Vacant Valley)
In addition to Native Cats here's another duo hailing from Hobart, Australia. Bi-Hour craft a experimental brand of post-punk that's really thrilling and oppressive. Following their "Strawberry Locorice" debut album this new five song EP ranges from gloomy and churning to instrumental and strange. The tiltletrack with it's deep, bleak vocals and organ harmonies recalls the classic sound of both Joy Divsion and early Christchurch groups. The other tracks lead into avant synth-pop territories, grounded by an subtle, open.minded and playful approach. With the the use of severlal different instruments Bi-Hour create a sounds that combines various moods and textures. "An Accident" is a great example of the exuberant diversity and freshness of Australias current underground scene. Limited to 100 copies. (Listen to it here)

BIRDS OF MAYA - CELEBRATION LP (Little Big Chief)
The first edition of this LP sold out very fast, but fortunately Little Big Chief has now repressed the third album by Philadelphias lo-fi hard-rockers Birds Of Maya. The bands two offshots Purling Hiss and Spacin' have probably received a little more attention in the last couple of years, even if Birds Of Maya are those with the more radical and shredding appraoch. With a imminent and crushing barrage of guitars this band develops a new level of ferocity. You get two extented tunes that are stretched out over both sides of this record. "Celebration" is an unusual haze of ripping solos, drums on heavy repeat, pounding bass lines and occasionally used vocals forming a very unique angle on the possibilities that the 1970s rock format could aspire towards. (Listen to it here)

CLASS OF KILL 'EM HIGH - S/T LP (Gaphals)
Hailing from Östergötland in eastern Sweden Class Of Kill'em High recall the classic sound  of 90s slacker rock. Their selftitled debut album is heavily influenced by classic American bands like Pavement, Bulit To Spill, Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr. and Beck. This four-piece writes well-crafted indie-rock tunes based on a loose guitar playing and a quirky approach. Class Of Kill 'Em High's strong rock sensibility is artfully framed within a fiercely dynamic and assured melodic sensibility. The refreshing and sound defining vocals are another main highlight. If you like rock served with fluffy hooks, buzzing with heady energy, intelligence, muscular rhythms and infectious choruses, you really can't go wrong with this well done record. (Listen to it here)

CRUELSTER - POTATOE BOYS LP (Turbine Piss, Roots Of Evil, All We Know)
On their first vinyl release Cruelester from Cleveland, Ohio continue where they left off with their demo tape from 2012. The album is filled with twelve, raging assault of no frills hardcore-punk. All songs are super short with a playtime of about one minute and there's not a single second of wasted time. Musically Cruelster look back at both 80's Touch & Go hardcore and the sound of early UK Oi! whilst adding a heatlthy dose of different, more current influences. There are even some melodies and hints of Jay Reatard. The recordings are dirty and harsh, balancing between stomping mid-temp sections and fast, violent hardcore. The gruff vocals are another main highlight. Don't miss out if you're into hardcore! (Listen to it here)

DEPARTURE KIDS - ON THE GO LP (Howlin Banana)
During the last couple of years France is known for beeing a bastion of vintage punk and garage music. Departure Kids from Marseille in the south are another new incredibly good band. The nine tracks on their debut release show a strong ability to write fantastic, super catchy tunes. This four-piece recalls the golden era of power-pop in the late 70s whilst adding influences ranging from rock'n'roll, garage and the infectious harmonies of British Invasion pop. Even if "On The Go" is grounded in musical influences from the past, the record develops a fresh, current and exciting sound. The enormous drive all the songs and the tons of catchy melodies hold together this album and inject it with life. Also the production perfectly fits to the sound of the band. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

FACTORYMEN - YELLOW EYES AND THE SOUND OF VOMIT LP (Richie)
When I set up a show for Cleveland's Pleasure Leftists in my hometown some weeks ago their bassist and Homostupids member Steve Peffer was kind enough to give me a copy of this LP. It's not a new release, the record already came out in 2011, but it's on heavy rotation in the Ride A Dove headquarter. Under his Factorymen moniker Steve Peffer drifts away from the straighter punk influences of his previous mentioned bands to discover new sounds and possibilities. "Yellow Eyes And The Sound Of Vomit" offers strange and fragmented experimental music. The album advances through a widening pass of musical inspiration ranging from wave, drone, disco music, noise and post-punk. With abstruse structures based on searing riffs, cheap drum beats, broken synths, samples and unsetting vocals Steve Peffer leads you in his very own universe of auditory ideas. Weird stuff in a great and open-minded way! (Listen to it here)

GAS RAG- BEATS OFF LP (Even Worse / Beach Impediment)
On their first 12" release Chicago's Gas Rag pick up where they left off with their previous "Human Rights" 7" and demo tape, unleashing eleven wild and uncontrollable hardcore tracks that truly capture the spirit and sound of bands from the early 80s. Expect a super intense and urgent cross between classic midwest bands and early Swedish hardcore. Gas Rag don't create something completly new, but they are able to transform well known formulas into something more raging. The result is a frantic assault that speaks its own language. Fueled by pounding d-beat drumming, pummeling bass lines, ripping riffs and super gruff vocals this four-piece has released one of the best hardcore records in 2014. This is hardcore played the way it ought to be. (Listen to it here)

Friday, July 4, 2014

NEW TAPES AND DEMOS PART 2 OF 2

IN ZAIRE - WHITE SUN BLACK SUN TAPE (Who Can You Trust?) 
Germany's premium rock label Who Can Trust? brings this tape version of In Zaire's debut full lenght. All tracks are named after stars and also musically this Italian four-piece has strong space-rock roots. The tape is filled with slowly boosting instrumentals that ebb and flow. The recordings sound like a deep otherworldly journeys into space and time. One of the most impressive things about "White Sun Black Sun" is how In Zaire balance atmospheric soundscapes and swirling thunder. With constantly mutating drum patterns, tribal percussion beats, howling guitars, bluryy solos, driving bass lines and cosmic electronics  the music originates from the same psychedelic heart as classic bands like Ash Ra Tempel, Hawkwind and Amon Düül II, but they don't forget to add their own personal note. (Listen to it here)

LITOVSK - DEMO TAPE (self-released) 
Hailing from Brest at French Altlantic coast Litovsk's first demo tape recalls the sound and spirit of British wave bands from the 1980s. The political lyrics are another reason why the songs bring to mind groups like Crisis and The Mob. The result are melancholy-tinged punk tunes based on echoing riffs, brilliant melodies, driving bass lines and hard-hitting beats. The two potent vocalists rotate from song to song and all the music is filled with sensational grooves and hooks. Fans of current retro-wave bands like The Estranged, The New Flesh, Spectres und Bellicose Minds won't be dissapointed here. (Listen to it here)
 
MAD NANNA / THE BIBS - SPLIT TAPE (All Gone)
After their common US tour last year Mad Nanna and The Bibs have joined the forces to release this nice split tape. Melbourne, Australia's Mad Nanna have been one of my favourite bands during the last couple of years. Their side features an extended version of "Nectarine Tree" recorded at their farewell gig. Once again this band makes a lot out of a little. With sleepy beats, a few crudely broken vocal parts and gloomy guitars Mad Nanna are able to create a dull monotony that's really impressive and unique. The Bibs from Detroit pick up right where they left off with their first two highly recommended tapes. You get one original tune and a cover versions of "Pop another pill" originally performed by Mike Rep & Tommy Jay on their "The Grim-O Comix Sequenc" LP. The Bibs write stripped down, double-voiced tunes that take influences from both Ego Summit and early Christchurch group like The Victor Dimisich Band. They will soon release their 12" vinyl debut on Soft Abuse and I definitely won't miss it! (Listen to it here)
 
MA TURNER- NESSY PEEN TAPE (Loin Seepage)
Sophomore Lounge's sister label Loin Seepage brings a fourteen track tape by Lousville based artist Ma Turner who is one of the leadings heads behind Cross and Warmer Milks. All songs are made with samples by stand up comedian Bill Hicks and his laughing audience. On this basis Ma Turner creates dark and disturbing electronic sounds, that fluctuate from sound collage to unstructured improvisations. The result are minimal, deranged and broken anthems. With the help of plenty of sudden interruption and noisy attacks these home recordings develop a really torturing and nerve-recking sound that raises weirdness to a new level. Great! (Listen to it here

ORANGE SUNSHINE - BURNOUT AT ROADBURN TAPE (Who Can You Trust?)  
This is a live tape by Dutch rockers Orange Sunshine recorded at 2007 Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland. This trio is heavily influenced by the classic sound of blues-rock, proto-punk and hardrock of the late 60s and early 70s. The songs are relentless and furious, but at the same time they leave enough space to move into more psychedelic territories. "Burnout At Roadburn" delivers ten vintage rock tunes that showcase heavy riffs, sizzling solos, a bombastic rhythm section and brilliant vocals that underline the band's retro sound. The record quality is really amazing and the whole tape seems to capture all the power and intensity of their live performance. (Listen to it here)

RAZEN - RIM SARABAND TAPE (Sloow Tapes)
Razen is an experimental duo from Belgium. They create etnic, spiritual sounds with the help of really uncommon instrumens like santoor, psalterium, bagpipes, shawn and a few percussion beats. That's why there's something really exotic, Middle Eastern about Razen's music. Riding a foundation of eternal drone sounds, raw production and central melodies the group builds minimal soundscapes that develop into deep psychedelic journeys. Razen repeat their ideas like mantras. That's how their improvisations create an almost hypnotic effect. Each of the six tracks is defined by a different instrument and this whole tape is an outstanding example of open-minded and totally untypical psychedelic music. (Listen to it here)

SEX SCHEME - THRUSTER TAPE (Stale Heat)
Sex Scheme feature the guy behind Mountain Cult (who put out a highly recommended LP on Little Big Chief) with a different backing band. Strong musical parallels are apparent here, even if this Brooklyn based group moves elements of blues, psych and garage into even more destructive, ugly and broken territories. Sex Scheme combine grooving rhythms on heavy repeat, squeeking guitar noise and mumbled weirdo vocals to create a unique style of outsider music. All seven songs are shaped by an misanthrophic attitude. Along with the Dan Melchior live tape the new Stale Heat label has put out two really strong and promising first releases. Don't miss them! (Listen to it here)
 
SIOBHAN - OMEGA STAMP TAPE (Chondritic Sound)
Siobhan is the solo moniker of Detroit's Travis Galloway who has made a trickle of excellent cassettes over the past few years. On his latest release he creates a ugly brand of electronic music that incorporates a broad range of different influences within it's sound. From the second the pounding beats fade in on the first song, the lo-fi rawness of Siobhans music awakes your senses and leads you through elements of minimal wave, early techno, industrial and psychedelica. The songs combine frightening and fucked-up drones mayhems, relentless grooving beats, alienated mutant vocals and repetitive, trippy structures. The result is some of today's best electronic music. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)