what would the minimalism of Can and The Velvet Underground sound like it had 100dB gain and lots and lots of feedback and distortion? you’re about to find out, thanks to Orlando, Florida’s the band in Heaven. this is by all means shoegaze. however, it is noticeably minimalist – or even simplistic. there’s essentially cosy pop rock chord progressions, pretty vocals, etc. something tells me that if you remove the feedback and noise, you’d get a BritPop band, influenced by the mentioned bands. so that makes this… The La’s playing The Velvet Underground, with a bunch of noise and feedback on top? maybe. something like that. in any event, it makes this awesome. cosy and pretty pop songs with a fuckload of noise and feedback. just how I like my pretty pop songs. get this! and by the way, you can buy FLAC or whatever at http://thebandinheaven.bandcamp.com/
archive for February, 2011
this band blew me away. instantly. this demo is five songs that together are sixteen minutes long. in those sixteen minutes, Lumber Lung manages to establish themselves as one of the most interesting emo bands since… well, since the ’90s really. and “the ’90s” is exactly how this sounds. it sounds a bit like Lumber, Don Quichote, Symptom of Isaac, and Dahlia Seed – but mostly it just sounds like Lumber Lung. it’s heavily influenced by the directness of ’90s emo. and by that, I mean that Lumber Lung waste no time. they are to the point and acute. but like the bands I mentioned, they are also inherently melodic. this is aggressive music; jangly and noisy. however, it’s also beautiful. and one of the most successful and authentic takes on ’90s emo I’ve ever heard by a modern band. they’re putting out an LP later this year, and you need to save up for that – because this band is just… wow. just download this.
Panthalassa started out in 2010 in Seattle, Washington. in December they recorded this demo here. and guess what – it’s great! I always like getting to hear new bands. double so when the band is so good. Panthalassa are noisy and chaotic like Phasma Phasmatis, poetic and creative like Lizards Have Personalities and FUNKY like Daniel Striped Tiger. now there’s a mix I’d happily listen to again! I hope to hear more from Panthalassa than this seven minute demo. check this out!
long time no see, that’s punk. it’s great to be back. and it’s even greater to be back bearing such good news as this album. because Flags Raised are special from the very first second. no, scratch that. they are special from the very moment you lay eyes on your cover. with the gloomy EA80-esque cover, you just know, already then, that this is something special. Flags Raised are an extremely refreshing hardcore band from Glasgow, Scotland. this is ultra-melodic mid-tempo (i.e. for hardcore) hardcore with not only decipherable, but engaging and uplifting vocals. this little thing is only twelve minutes, which is regrettable though perhaps fitting. they make quite the impression, and in so little time. the powerful vocals and guitar tone really reminds me of Some Mistakes, though far less screamo and much more upbeat. I guess you could identify the obligatory Modern Life is War and American Nightmare influences, but to make the comparisons a little more that’s punk esoteric – if you like Miles Apart, In Regret and Some Mistakes, chances are you’ll love this too. it’s just really, really good. check it out.
new miseries are hard, fast and pissed off. if you like Cut Short or Short Ride from that’s punk, or Shai Hulud, or just hardcore in general – you will probably more than like this. with this four nine and a half minutes long demo, new miseries play relatively uncompromising hardcore. they aren’t inventing nor re-inventing the wheel. but who says you need to? I’ve said it before, and I will always stress this: great > original, and original (by itself) != great. facts are that this has a lot of energy and passion. in addition new miseries do – despite not (re-)inventing any damn wheel – have their own sound. “Deathbeds” in particular is a *really* cool song, and I hope to hear more like it in the future. so give this new and promising band a try if you are even remotely into hardcore.
do you remember lover? I sure do. weird minimalist ambient noise shoegaze stuff that has you at all times contemplating whether to bob your head in appreciation or scratch it in confusion. (you can do both, but that would be weird.) this album carries the tradition on, with even a little techno thing going for it. (though calling this a “techno” album would be an extremely far stretch.) a great portion of this is instrumental, but there’s also some tracks with vocals. those are the more shoegaze-y ones with guitars dominating melody, whilst being almost being repressed by the banging bass beat, and on top of that you have blip blops and then of course the vocals are in there somewhere. this record is bass-heavy and noisy. but pleasant nonetheless. some of the riffs are even just melodic and catchy! add to this the fantastic atmospheric value, and you’ve got yourself a highly interested listen. I would go as far as saying that this is even better than death stay awake. the absolutely beautiful “FACEKEEPER” perhaps steals the main portion of the glory, with a guitar that simply carves into your heart and spine at the same time, which is quite the impressive accomplishment given this album being in mono. get this!
The Whoopass Girls have grown up a bit, leaving most of their carefree insanity behind, adopting a much more nuanced and sensitive sound. and while their first release was enjoyable in its own right, this is another story completely. melancholic and minor-driven ’90s emo like Christie Front Drive, September and Cap’n Jazz. while less experimental and unpredictably insane, this release is just as interesting in its own way. this release has seven songs, and is a little more than twenty-five minutes of emo greatness. passionate and hypnotic and *highly* recommended.
I know I’m a little late, so if you’ve already gotten this album, you have probably made up your mind about it, so just ignore this, I guess. the rest of you may however proceed promptly. Snowing are a band you should be at least vaguely familiar with though, due to me posting their other stuff here. if you aren’t – go check those posts out. if you are – go on yet some more. I’m going to be completely honest about this album. initially I was disappointed. I found the songs too same-y, and generally deemed it underwhelming. because of these things, I am sure glad I haven’t put it up until now. because now I get it. now I see what this shit is all about. I’ve had a ginormous “oic what u did thurr” moment, and now I can fully appreciate and get behind «SOMETIMES I GET DRUNK AT NIGHT». at first I didn’t think Snowing really “worked” in a longer medium. welp… that was completely wrong. Snowing are *better* in album format. John Galm goes all the fucking way. this album is the equivalent of drunken rambling and hungover remorse all at once. furthermore, this is one of the more personal records you’ll ever hear. there is nothing pretentious about this. it’s a guy spilling his guts to some real happening rock music. where American Football are nostalgic in its depression, Snowing are just fucking depressing. yet there’s something oddly comforting about a man willing to blurt out his personal life and all of his perceived shortcomings on a rock album. there’s something beautiful about the realisation that even though your dad died, and his dad died, and you’re eventually gonna die – you’re alive. that is the essence of this album – to me. no one wants to be alone, no one wants to die, no one wants to suffer. Snowing, I think, reflect that perfectly. I get it John. thanks. you can order this here: http://countyourluckystars.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-snowing or here: http://squareofopposition.bigcartel.com/product/snowing-i-could-do-whatever-lp-preorder – if you have the necessary funds ($10).
chances are that if you have any interest in screamo, you already know Saetia. if you are less than twenty-five, chances are in fact that you even discovered screamo via Saetia. although they weren’t my entry band, they were definitely one of the early birds. by the way, if you’ve ever heard someone say that Saetia are “new jack shit” or otherwise a band for “new jacks” and otherwise not remarkable – just point and laugh. there’s a reason Saetia have become the band that gets people into screamo. there’s a reason everyone knows who Saetia are. said reason being how fucking great Saetia are. Saetia existed during the late ’90s and were never extraordinary or even mention-worthy popular compared to the post-mortem hype they have received (aka the screamo curse). this album has their entire recorded output (plus five live tracks), and is the definite album to get. (also the original vinyl are ridiculously overpriced on auction sites and trade boards, so it’s really the only choice you have unless you are really, really into collection expensive vinyl.) there are seventeen (again, plus five live tracks) tracks on this album, and it’s over fifty-five minutes long. Saetia actually have some rather lengthy tracks for the genre – which benefits their style. they sort of mix two things into an almost oxymoron. there’s a very melodic and pretty side to Saetia, but there is also a spastic and noisy rapid-bursts hardcore side to them. these sides are frequently joined as one, with vocals that generally vary between a whimper and almost full out shrieking. call it screamo, call it emo, call it chaotic hardcore, hardcore or just simply punk rock. Saetia are a great band no matter what hype term you throw at them. so check this out right now. the members went on to form Hot Cross, Off Minor, and various other bands that were great but not *as* great as Saetia. at least not in my humble opinion. but the bands I mentioned (which are the more high-profiled ones) are well worth checking out as well.
after a shake-up in staff and a change in label (to RhinoProd), rest of my life is back. imagine The Appleseed Cast mixed with Explosions in the Sky, with a hint of The Shyness Clinic. now eliminate any dead space in the tracks, make the highlights endlessly more gigantic – and you might have the faintest idea what this record sounds like. this is the closest I have ever gotten to A Bunny’s Caravan’s Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures. rest of my life have created a genuinely compelling album that is intriguing from start to finish. it floods you with emotion and overwhelms you with its intellectuality. rest of my life truly prove to be equal amounts heart and brain, with songs that are so precise and delicate one would think they were carefully plotted by maths geniuses – except that they are at all times just about ready to burst with emotion, often lead by the cascading climaxes of washing guitars. all instruments are in perfect harmony, and the mix does extraordinary at making this devastatingly clear to the listener. the washing guitars wrap in a drummer’s dexterous and forceful command, and everything is emphasized by the imaginative and pleasantly soft yet appropriately present bass lines. this delightful mix go on to crescendo into the most heart-warming heartbreaks as often as they fall to their knees, hinting modesty and humbleness in between all their ambition and taste for glory. as a consequence of the exploring and unafraid nature of rest of my life, they have forged an album that becomes properly well-rounded and thus an exciting listen from start to finish. overall, this is something as rare as a perfect record. it’s marvellously intelligent – and let me tell you, it is well refreshing for an album to be genuinely intelligent, as opposed to just quirky – and emotionally charged to the brims. lyrically the album parallels itself musically. the lyrics are questioning, seeking and critical, «gaining brains [while] maintaining heart», further enhancing the well-roundedness of the album. it would seem like rest of my life have been heading in this direction; carefully working their way towards this album. if this is their climax, I can’t do anything but applaud them. if there is more to come, I hope my heart can take it. you can buy this from http://www.cdon.eu if you like it, and I would strongly suggest getting the CD. it has a lovely cover that goes well with the feel of the album itself. p.s. this album features a new version of the glorious Manual Circuit song “Bohemen”!