I Create’s second album is as pure and emotive as Make the Years. but it’s in most terms a really different album. gone is most of the ’90s/’00s hardcore, as well as most of the ambient nature of the compositions on Make the Years. there are still elements of it though, and it does at times have a sort of epic feel, but in no way is it comparable to the dynamics and crescendos of the début. this albums is far more pure bred ’00s screamo. there *are* climaxes and so forth, but the songs do in no way depend on them. the cryptic lyrics and introverted style of these songs flow more hypnotising by, like water. listening to this album is like watching streams. beautiful.
archive for November, 2009
starting out with well executed gang shouts, passing into a familiar ’90s/’00s style of hardcore in between Tragedy, Unbroken and Modern Life Is War, to take three well known examples. but it quickly enough breaks down to allow some twinkly guitars and soft bits that eventually climax in a loud and precise technical phase with distorted though melodic and twinkling guitars reigning together with complex drumming and emotive screaming that’s sort of reminiscent of I.Witness, though more screamo than crust, but definitely still dark and very much serious. I Create creates (GET IT? omg that was good) captivating dynamics comparable to what some of the instrumental ambient rock bands do. they don’t rely on it though, like, say, 1099 does. but there are however still a focused crescendo-oriented greatness to these songs. they are not humble in any way. they sound really ambitious, to be honest. and they earn the right to be ambitious through their excellent craftsmanship! the astounding dynamics throughout this record are only rivalled by the way the songs ooze of unity and solidarity. these songs sound like they come from the heart, and that’s where music should stem from. so take the time to listen to this album, because I Create have earned the right to it. you are in a constant state of debt to them, until you find the time to give these great songs a chance. I promise it won’t be a waste of time. in fact, they will make time stand still.
The Revolt are a fairly hard and brutal band from the chills of North Norway. desperate screaming, psychedelic guitars and a straight up brutal rhythm section are among the things this band has to show for themselves. playing their ear-bleeding fast hardcore that almost passes into grindcore, they hammer through this album with style. their progressive hardcore style has earned them a spot in everyone’s hearts. let them into yours as well, so they can rip it apart and eat the bits only to puke them up in the world’s different corners. this band rules. if you get a chance to see them live, do it.
Age Sixteen are back with another Suis La Lune-like screamo album. the previous post concerning this band was a tour sampler, but this is a full album. it’s more fast and clean guitars, screaming and very dynamic and complex rhythms, all of which come together in a beautiful melodic mess. since most of the songs are around two minutes and Age Sixteen are a band with very much to tell you, it gets a bit chaotic when they are trying to tell you so much in such a short time. but it doesn’t make it feel rushed, it only adds a chaotic feel to the otherwise very melodic and approachable soft tunes. because despite generally playing lightening fast, Age Sixteen manage to still convey many very different feelings throughout this album. the guitars change between weeping, roaring in anger and sophistically reflect on situations and opportunities gone lost, just as much as the disguised but not empty words that are sung, shouted, screamed and silently spoken. while showing (direct or indirect) influence from everything from Rites of Spring to Indian Summer to the more obvious Suis La Lune, Age Sixteen has made one of the most interesting and fulfilling things you could ever spend twenty minutes of your life on. actually, you’ll probably end up spending hours of your life on this. I also highly recommend you pick up the CD on their MySpace, with its beautiful cover. you’d be supporting the band, and this is definitely a band worth supporting. their hauntingly beautiful take on emotive hardcore is stunningly impressive. get this!
well here is something I should have posted ages ago but never got around to do. I apologize for taking so long, because this should really have been up the day it was released. it’s *that* good. no, it’s better. it’s the furious crust from the glorious German band Alpinist, whose demo has been up on this blog for quite some time now. it’s dark, heavy and angry crust with rapid drumming, brutal rhythm guitars, fierce lead guitars, and insane screams and twisted growls. though displaying some screamo influence throughout the album, it’s way less evident than on their demo. Alpinist has become a much more powerful and direct band, not giving away much time to twinkly interludes any more. but they are still highly melodic! even though playing blisteringly fast enraged crust punk, Alpinist’s wrath is a melodic wrath. this is basically a half hour worth of apoplectic apocalyptic intensity almost passing into power violence at times. if you like aggressive music, this should be the crown of your collection. GET IT!
I spent four minutes listening to tschsthschsthtscshcshtshchtshctsh before trying to open these files in VideoLan Client where I was greeted with far softer music. not that I don’t enjoy tschsthschsthtscshcshtshchtshctsh. I actually thought it was kind of cool. but four minutes with the exact same pattern was a bit boring, so I was quite disappointed with the opening track of this new record by 1099… that is until I opened it in VideoLan Client and got the proper song. so Amarok users out there, beware! the FLAC copies of this album don’t function too well. at least not for me. (MP3 versions are fine though.) anyway, let’s get back to it. on Any Day Now 1099 plays the same calm and hopeful progressive instrumental rock they did on their previous effort. the record reaches both highs and lows in terms of tension. their previous effort Machine! Fire! Ghost! was relatively popular on the blog back when I posted it, so to you hopeful fans out there anticipating another 1099 record, this is what you’ve been waiting for. this should quench your thirst for epic rock. though this effort might not be anything revolutionary sound-wise for 1099, it needn’t be either. their début was about half an hour long, and this is just over twenty minutes. the reason I am pointing out this is because this band is still early in its release catalog, so expecting them to completely change their sound would be silly. and when you listen to the majestic climax of “Up! Up! Up!”, you quickly realise that it’s a good thing that 1099 still play on the same strings. there are *some* changes though. there’s maybe a little bigger hint of Sigur Rós to be detected in here, compared to M!F!G!, and the heavy parts are noticeably heavier than on the début, something that’s demonstrated extremely well in the climax of “Up! Up! Up!” as well as the opening of “Beauty of the Night”, which later passes onto an Explosions in the Sky-like part. 1099 employ just about everything that the more popular bands in the technical ambient rock scene (Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion are worth mentioning in addition to Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky that’s already named). this is very powerful ambient progressive rock with melodies wider than the entire earth, and unmatchable dynamics. an extremely well executed album by a immensely talented Norwegian rock band that deserves all the attention that their music requires to fully appreciate.
IHAB (formerly known as I Has A Bucket!) are a Bodø-based rock band that sounds just like that, a Bodø-based rock band. Sinnssyk Ugle and Kråkesølv are the two most popular ones that come to mind. while Sinnssyk Ugle has a sort of Britpop edge and Kråkesølv are more emo-like, IHAB has more of a garage sound. they might have some teeny weeny little twinkly emo in their sound, but that’s probably just a result of Kråkesølv. this is definitely not an emo band, let me assure you. it would be easier to compare them to Britpop, like Sinnssyk Ugle. they sound like they owe a great deal to NME rock (Franz Ferdinand, The Kooks, Bloc Party…) with danceable chord progressions, tongue-in-cheek lyrics (in Norwegian though) and an upbeat and flowing feel. this is groovy garage rock that is willing to slow down and unplug the guitars if the song’s mood requires it.
if you just can’t get enough of Rover, here are two extra songs for you! the title of the opening track “Furious” pretty much sums it up, because compared to The Great Outdoors EP, these two songs are harder and far more straightforward rockers with more of that weird power metal influence. not that the influence itself is weird, but the outcome of power metal influence on pop rock is a bit weird. not weird as in awkward but as in unheard of. which is good. Rover has their own distinct sound which you should’ve learnt to appreciate by now. so get these two rocking tracks and learn how to further appreciate this great band. (yes, there are woah-ohs on this two-track, don’t worry.)
starting off with mid-tempo coldwave-tinged pop, you’d never recognize this as the new Lucid Dreams if not for the distinct vocals. however once the ultra-catchy pop rock chorus comes in and takes your breath away, you immediately know where you’re at again. Rover are Lucid Dreams albeit with some change of personnel. so what’s changed? well they are more diverse, for one thing. they experiment with more sounds and patterns, though still keeping the woah-oh pop rock core intact. this is not an abandoning of the sound displayed on Dark Rain Beautiful, only an evolution. where Dark Rain Beautiful on the surface was mostly upbeat rock songs or downbeat rock ballads, The Great Outdoors EP attempts to do more. Dark Rain Beautiful was detailed and diverse, but you had to pay attention and look for the elements hidden within. with this album here, it’s much more obvious. the incorporation of more dynamics and more piano/synth-focused mid-tempo coldwave-tinged pop rock songs doesn’t beg you to look for its hidden secrets. but for those of you who were more fans of the upbeat rockers of Dark Rain Beautiful than the power ballads, fear not. there are rockers here as well. including a remake of “Wings Orion”! so there’s plenty of goodness to satisfy every taste.
Lucid Dreams are a largely – if not criminally – overlooked rock band from Norway that draws influence from theatrical variants of heavy metal and the melodic riff approach of alternative rock. with great use of piano/keys/synths and dynamic acoustic/electric guitar combinations, Lucid Dreams almost pass into progressive metal territory, not straying further away from it when the power metal-esque vocals are taken into account. in other words, Lucid Dreams are a modern rock band with many details to process, much like Finnish rock band Sentenced. add plenty of pop hooks (there are quite the few woah-ohs in here) and a great feeling of finesse to the flavour, and you should have a pretty good idea of how Lucid Dreams sound. capable of both slow-paced ballads as well as straight up rockers, this is a band that puts all they’ve got into every approach they make to song writing. no matter what they attempt, they succeed by putting a lot of power and conviction into it.