Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 30 June 2013

CURSIVE

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #21.

Band: CURSIVE
Genres: Indie Rock / Emo / Punk
Related artists: Criteria, The Good Life, and Tim Kasher.
Country: Omaha, USA
Years Active: 1995-present
Song: "The Recluse"
Album: "The Ugly Organ"
Year: 2003
For fans of: Criteria, Bear vs. Shark, Alkaline Trio, Desaperacidos, Bright Eyes, Down With the Butterfly, Choke, and Horace Pinker.

Anyone who devotes themselves to punk and/or rock music, how could you NOT know this band? People have been discussing frontman Tim Kasher and his lyrics like teenage girls discuss shitty boy-bands. for well over a decade. He's a very polarizing character. When listening to Cursive's early material, it is obvious he's still searching for his voice. At this point of his life he is married. Then around the time of 'Domestica' his marriage is ending. Post-Ugly Organ shows Kasher accepting himself, his faults, his divorce and finding his true voice. I'll be honest, I think the two albums I just mentioned are the band's best work, but everything recorded afterwards is still great.

If you've never heard CURSIVE before, prepare for something different. Kasher's voice is dipped in alcohol, smoke and insight(the liquid kind). If anything might give first-time listeners an issue, I presume it would be his voice. If you can handle the vocals on 'Domestica' then you're in the clear. He sounds like an emo teenager at times, but with a much deeper voice, mildly drunk and wailing away. The instrumentals are also very interesting - especially with the off-time/note plucking on everything pre-Ugly Organ. On 'The Ugly Organ' and everything afterwards, CURSIVE incorporates horns, cellos, violins - the works, but only on select tracks.

I have included audio to each of my favourite songs from youtube. Enjoy, you sexy readers.
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1996 -  The Disruption 7"

1997 - Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes cd/12"LP
1997 - Silver Scooter split cd/10"ep
1997 - The Icebreaker 7"
1997 - Sucker and Dry 7"

1998 - The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song cd/12"LP

2000 - Domestica cd/12"LP

2001 - Burst and Bloom cd/12"ep
2001 - Small Brown Bike split 7"

2002 - 8 Teeth to Eat You - Eastern Youth split cd/ep

2003 - The Ugly Organ cd/12"LP
2003 - Art is Hard single cd/7" (+ The Ugly Organ b-sides)

2004 - The Recluse single cd/7" (+ The Ugly Organ b-sides)
2004 - Art is Hard/The Recluse 10" picture disc

2005 - The Difference Between Houses and Homes cd/12"LP (out-of-print collection)
2005 - Lagniappe cd compilation (contributed "Ten Percent to the Ten Percent")

2006 - Happy Hollow cd/12"LP
2006 - Dorothy at Forty cd/7" single (+ Happy Hollow b-sides)

2007 - Bad Sects 12"single (+ 3 other song versions)

2009 - Mama, I'm Swollen cd/12"LP
2009 - Ladyfinger (NE) split 10"ep picture disc

2012 - I Am Gemini cd/12"LP
2012 - The Sun and Moon 10" picture disc (+ I Am Gemini b-sides)

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These are listed chronologically, so remember, the first link is the band's OLDER MATERIAL!!!
youtube )))))embedded official video / audio((((( links

(1998) CURSIVE - "When Summer's Over Will We Dream of Spring" (from 'The Early Storms of Summer: Semantics of Song' cd)

(2000) CURSIVE - "Making Friends and Acquaintencs" (from 'Domestica' cd)

(2001) CURSIVE - "Sink to the Beat" (from 'Burst and Bloom' cd)

(2003) CURSIVE - "Driftwood: A Fairy Tale" (from 'The Ugly Organ' cd)

(2006) CURSIVE - "Bad Sects" (from 'Happy Hollow' cd)

(2009) CURSIVE - "Let Me Up" (from 'Mama, I'm Swollen' cd) MUSIC VIDEO

(2012) CURSIVE - "Wowowow" (from 'I Am Gemini' cd)
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Friday, 28 June 2013

RAEIN

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #19.

Band: RAEIN
Genres: Screamo / Post-Hardcore / Punk / Rock
Related artists: La Quiete and Neil on Impression.
Country:  Italy
Years Active: 2001-present
Song: "Costellazione Secondo Le Leggi Del Caso"
Album: Sulla Linea D'Orizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti
Year: 2011
For fans of: La Quiete, Via FondoDaitro, June Paik, Sed Non Satiata, Amanda Woodward, Orchid, Wolves, Saetia, Off Minor, City of CaterpillarFuneral DinerKidcrash, Carrion Spring and all 'Ebullition/Level-Plane'-style screamo bands, aka Proper SCREAMO.

If you know La Quiete, you know Raein. I think it is nearly impossible to think of one without the other. Both shared members, are based in Italy and play a very distinct style of spastic European screamo/post-hardcore/shoegaze rock with ridiculously melodic and catchiness underlying - and sometimes trumping, the craziness.

If you've never heard La Quiete, you might as well start here. RAEIN is more accessible than La Quiete because the screaming is less abundant and piercing, the instrumentals have a slower base which the songs are built around and, lastly, they have a sound that will catch the ear of many unknowing rock/indie/instrumental fans. I would recommend 'Il N'y Pas De Orchestra' and 'Sulla Linea D'Orizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti' - as they are the 2 strongest overall releases.

I'm a little behind still on my reviews this month, so I'll end here. If you like screamo or are interested in testing the genre, there isn't a better place to start than here.
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2002 - Raein cd/12"EP

2004 - Il N'y Pas De Orchestra cd/12"LP
2004 - Daitro / Lhasa split cd/10"LP (the 10" version does not include Lhasa)
2004 - Phoenix Bodies split 7"
2004 - Funeral Diner split 7" (Rites of Spring covers)
2004 - Doden Marscherar At Vast 7"
2004 - This Is Your Life 2x12" compilation (contributed "BBD")

2005(ish) - 2000-2004 Discography tape

2008 - Ogni Nuovo Inizio cd/12"EP

2011 - Sulla Linea D'Orizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti 12"LP
2011 - Ah, As If cd (out-of-print collection)

2013 - Loma Prieta split 7" (PURCHASE HERE)
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

RAEIN - "Tigersuit" (from 'Il N'y Pas De Orchestra' cd)
 
 
RAEIN - "Dopo Di Noi La Libertà" (from 'Sulla Linea D'Orizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti' 12"LP)
 
RAEIN - "Raein: Rumore. Tre" (from 'Sulla Linea D'Orizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti' 12"LP)
 
 
RAEIN - "Love and Death" (from 'Loma Prieta' split 7")
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RAEIN has put their last EP and LP up for download, please support them by downloading AND donating!
 
Grab it from the RAEIN homepage, here)==> http://www.raein.eu/

Thursday, 27 June 2013

HARVEY DANGER

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #20.

Band: HARVEY DANGER
Genres: Indie / Alternative / Rock
Related artists: Sean Nelson, The Long Winters and Sleepy Kitty.
Country: Seattle, USA
Years Active: 1992-2001, 2004-2009
Song: "Little Round Mirrors"
Album: Little By Little cd
Year: 2005
For fans of: Nada Surf, Weezer (early material) and basically any other pop/rock act that knows how to write a decent song.

HARVEY DANGER are, by most conventional standards, well-known enough for their history to be well-documented. So, I don't feel the need to go into much detail. Here's my attempt at a condensed version of the enigma that was HARVEY DANGER, and why the hell they're not a household name, like Muse or Radiohead.

Like Nada Surf, another ridiculously underrated band, HARVEY DANGER had a hit from their debut album that catapulted them into the spotlight back in 1997 with "Flagpole Sitta".
Pretty cheesy, I know. But the song is great. So was the album. 'Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?' is a masterpiece much in the same way Weezer's 'Blue Album' is - it came out of nowhere and brought a powerful yet catchy style to alternative/indie/grunge music. But when HARVEY DANGER recorded their fantastic follow-up, 'King James Version', their record label and therefore their contract went the way of too many incredible artists back then, straight down the toilet due to corporate reshuffling, lack of singles (apparently) and general douchebaggery by their amalgamated and faceless label.

This, in part, caused the band to become a little pessimistic about things, as I'm sure it would to most people. The band went on hiatus only to reform a few years later with a calmer and more mature style of music. 'Little By Little' dropped almost all electric instruments and opted for a piano and vocal-driven record.

HARVEY DANGER disbanded in 2009, for what seems like a final time. The vocalist Sean Nelson recently released his first solo album. I've heard it, but haven't really absorbed it yet. My first thought? It's no HARVEY DANGER.

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1997 - Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? cdLP

1999 - Save It For Later cd single

2000 - King James Version cdLP

2004 - Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas cdEP

2005 - Cream and Bastards Rise cdEP

2006 - Little By Little cdLP
2006 - Little By Little 2xcd (includes bonus disc, which I will post once I get it)

2009 - Dead Sea Scrolls cd/mp3 (out-of-print/live/demo record)
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youtube )))))embedded official video((((( links

HARVEY DANGER - "Sad Sweetheart of the Radio" (from 'King James Version')

HARVEY DANGER - "Save It For Later" (single)

HARVEY DANGER - "Private Helicopter" (from 'Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?')

HARVEY DANGER - "Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas" (single)
 
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HARVEY DANGER has posted a few albums for free online
 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

VAUX

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #23.

Band: VAUX
Genres: Post-Hardcore / Punk / Screamo / Rock
Related artists: Eiffel.
Country: Denver, USA
Years Active: 1997-2007
Song: "Fame"
Album: There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them
Year: 2003
For fans of: Radiohead, Since by Man, Thrice, Vendetta Red, The Blood Brothers, Cave In and Codeseven.

I saw VAUX play the Warped Tour before it became a sham, and they were fantastic live - so I bought the album 'There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them' after their set and have been hooked ever since.

VAUX were a band that everyone who likes Radiohead or Thrice should know about. Because their material was released on labels that didn't properly promote the band - they never got proper backing and, for the most part, missed their target market. To describe the band's sound, if you can imagine Radiohead's 'The Bends' and 'OK Computer' meets Thrice's 'Illusion of Safety' era post-hardcore/metal - you're on the right track.

Honestly, VAUX were an extremely underrated band. Their early work is much harder, but as the band approached their final release, it was obvious that they had undergone a very gradual transformation into a hybrid of rock and post-hardcore that is accessible to every music lover that likes alternative/rock/indie/punk/metal/screamo/etc.

The two albums that showcase the band's split personality are the only two full length records that VAUX recorded, so I would suggest starting there. Also, make sure you try the embedded tracks a few times - as I'm sure the band will grow on you. Quickly.
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The first 3 releases were under the band's initial name, EIFFEL
        
1998 - To Write a Symphony 7" (if anyone has this, please let me know!)

1999 - Audiblenarcotic cd (if anyone has this, please let me know!)

2002 - On Life: Living cdEP

2003 - There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them cdLP

2004 - Plague Music cdEP

2005 - Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice cdLP

2006 - Are You With Me cdEP (Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice bonus tracks)
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youtube )))))embedded audio/video((((( link

VAUX - "Are You With Me" (from 'Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice') OFFICIAL
*disclaimer - super cheese video (it's for a John Travolta movie)
 
VAUX - "Plague Music" (from 'Plague Music') LIVE

VAUX - "Ride Out Bitch" (from 'There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them') audio

VAUX - "To The End" (from 'On Life: Living') audio

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There's a good biography covering the band's existence )==> HERE

TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #26.

Band: TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR
Genres: Post-Hardcore / Punk / Screamo / Rock
Related artists: Bucket Full of Teeth, Wolves, Orchid, and Trap Them.
Country: New Hampshire, USA
Years Active: 2001-2008
Song: "Slitting Your Wrists With The Cut Of Your Jib"
Album: Aim of Conrad split 7"
Year: 2002
For fans of: Aim of Conrad, Orchid, Wolves, Bucket Full of Teeth, Pg.99, City of CaterpillarPanthers and all 'Ebullition/Level-Plane'-style screamo bands, aka Proper SCREAMO.

TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR, for those who don't know me, is one of my cornerstone Level-Plane bands - and, simply put, one of my top 10 bands of all time. The band pumped out a plethora of releases in a few short years - all of which are top-notch dirty rock/screamo records in the vein of Aim of Conrad, Maximum R'n'R and Wolves.

In their day, and to this day, for that matter, TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR delivered the heaviest and densest records in the genre of screamo/rock. The vocalist alone conjures up (for me, at least) a sweaty and mentally troubled homeless poet, who is so blind with rage at the world that he is able to produce the thickest and most passion-laden scream I have ever had the pleasure of being pummeled by. In my opinion, no one even comes close to this guy. The band has also included a second vocalist on some tracks that works EXTREMELY well, so check out "Cutting Your Wrists With The Cut Of Your Jib" and "Sweet William" to hear the back-and-forth screaming.

Instrumentally, TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR resembles a mix of rock chords, clean screamo riffing and some great, catchy breakdowns. Their early work sounds a heck of a lot like The Blood Brothers meet Wolves or Daniel Striped Tiger. Overall, it's heavy rock, but few people will say that intrumentals carry the band - as the vocals are the clear-cut focal point. That is to say, the vocals are phenomenal and the instrumentals are great.

The band's inception saw them toying with The Blood Brothers' style screaming and some very simple and basic rock/screamo chords. Once the band shuffled around 50% of the line-up, acquired help from Brad (Orchid/Wolves/Bucket Full of Teeth) and Nat (Trap Them), this really solidified the band's sound. This is very evident on the band's later releases, most notably on the final two LPs, 'Erase All Name And Likeness' and 'Ruined Lives', which are two of the most consistent, confident and mature releases by any rock/screamo band.

After Level-Plane went tits-up, all of their releases went out of print. Luckily, I hoarded nearly the labels' entire catalogue, so the band's complete discography is available for download below. I have NEVER seen everything by TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR posted online before, let alone in one download. If I wasn't me, this link would cause me to question my own sexuality, because I would do anything to get a hold of this. Wait, if I wasn't me, I might not like screamo, and therefore might not even like TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR - oh no, I've traveled back in time and killed a dinosaur. (Simpsons Ha #1)

You should probably just download the discography while it's available, but if you really want to test them out, I've embedded some of my favourite tracks below.

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Considering all of TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR's material is out of print...you're welcome.
Click )==>here<==( to download  TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR's complete discography in mp3 form.

2002 - Transistor Transistor cd/EP
2002 - Aim of Conrad split 7"

2003 - Put Down the Bible Pick Up the Bottle 7"/cd/EP (PURCHASE HERE)
2003 - Mannequin split 7" (PURCHASE HERE)
2003 - Light the Fuse and Run split 7"/cd/EP

2004 - Wolves split cd/12"EP

2005 - Erase All Name and Likeness cd/2x12"LP
2005 - Compilation 80 Records and We're Not Broke Yet (contributed "The Love Bug is a Parasite")

2008 - Ruined Lives cd/12"LP
2008 - Young Vampires of New Hampshire 7" (unreleased 'Ruined Lives' tracks) (PURCHASE HERE)
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR - "Teratogan" (from 'Ruined Lives' cd)
 

TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR - "Black Cat" (from 'Erase All Name And Likeness' cd) 
 

TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR - "" (from 'W' cd)
 

 TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR - "Great White North" (from 'Put Down the Bible Pick Up the Bottle' 7")
 

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TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR out-of-print discography mp3 download

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

JOANNA NEWSOM

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #22.

Band: JOANNA NEWSOM
Genres: Harp / Folk / Experimental / Avant-Garde
Related artists: The Pleased and Nervous Cop.
Country: Nevada City, USA
Years Active: 2002-present
Song: "The Sprout and the Bean"
Album: The Milk-Eyed Mender cd
Year: 2004
For fans of: Cat Power and Laura Stevenson and the Cans.

When I first heard JOANNA NEWSOM, I saw this music video on the Canadian music show The Wedge.

If you liked that video or were even remotely curious, get the album. I watched the video and I was confused, as I'd never heard anything like it - a girl who sings kind of like a cat playing a harp. That's actually a pretty good analogy. After buying 'The Milk-Eyed Mender', I was immediately struck by the following great songs:

JOANNA NEWSOM - "Bridges and Balloons" VIDEO
 
JOANNA NEWSOM - "The Book of Right-On" LIVE
 
JOANNA NEWSOM - "Peach, Plum, Pear" SONG

If you can handle these songs, the rest of her stuff is much more accessible. She quickly did away with the shrill voice and calmed down on her later releases. The harp is accompanied by backing bands and her songs are drawn-out and seem like the audio tracks to some old Disney shorts. Just listen to this and try to tell me otherwise:

JOANNA NEWSOM - "Emily"
 
I have since had difficulty getting into her stuff, but JOANNA NEWSOM's debut album showed me that I'm not a closed-minded punk rock asshole. I'm just an asshole.

Some notes of interest:
1 - She was sheltered as a youngster, and not allowed to watch TV.
2 - She started playing the harp, or at least attempted to start, when she was 5 years old.
3 - She is getting married to Andy Samberg.
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2002 - Walnut Whales cd/EP

2003 - Yarn and Glue cd/EP

2004 - The Milk-Eyed Mender cd/12"LP
2004 - "Sprout and the Bean" single cd (includes "What We Have Known")

2006 - Ys cd/2x12"LP

2007 - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band cd/12"LP

2010 - Have One On Me 3xcd/3x12" Box Set
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

Dig up, stupid.
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Monday, 24 June 2013

JOHN VANDERSLICE

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #11.

Band: JOHN VANDERSLICE
Genres: Indie Rock / Alternative / Folk
Related artists: Mk Ultra, The Mountain Goats, Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, Scott Solter and
                        Magik* Magik Orchestra.
Country: Gainesville, USA
Years Active: 1999-present
Song: "Pale Horse"
Album: Cellar Door cd
Year: 2004
For fans of: Waxwing, Rocky Votolato, Elliot Smith, The Cure and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes).

Alrighty. I like JOHN VANDERSLICE. I love his older albums, but I am not gelling with his new stuff. It's not bad, but it certainly doesn't hold a candle to 'Time Travel is Lonely' and 'Cellar Door', which are two of the most original alternative/folksy records I've heard in decades.

Not only is his old material very consistent, catchy, unique and honest, but his lyrics are phenomenal. Some good examples are:
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"teeny tiny little teens keep pouring out of my machine
I just typed a word and I
Just pressed return
Someone makes this easy
Someone makes this inevitable
So for bring me here
BILL GATES MUST DIE
MUST DIE
people stray, just dont say i'll never make it back intact.

teeny tiny little teens keep pouring out of my machine
backdoors passwords galore
only the hackers
only the feds
know just how far out i've been
so for bringing me here.."

*(from "Bill Gates Must Die" - 'Mass Suicide Occult Figurines')

and

"Hold on keep it together
Hold on
No one, no one has ever
Made it so far in time
No one x5
Not no one
Knows what happens next

Because time travel is lonely
Lonely

Listen, wear your headphones
And I'll whisper you the code
Of a helper application
That you can download
It's called Remember
Casue no one
No one x4
Knows what happens next

Because time travel is lonely"

(from "Time Travel is Lonely" - 'Time Travel is Lonely').
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The only thing I'll say about his sound is that the acoustic tracks are backed with a full band, and songs like "Pale Horse" and "Coming and Going on Easy Terms" showcase this driving, thumping sound - coupled with JOHN VANDERSLICE's distinct wail.

Listed below is his discography, as well as tracks that I deem notable. So take note, goddammit.
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youtube ))))embedded audio(((( links and DISCOGRAPHY
 
2000 - Mass Suicide Occult Figurines cd/LP
"Bill Gates Must Die" ALBUM VERSION
 
2001 - Time Travel is Lonely cd/LP
"My Old Flame" LIVE
2001 - Sunset Valley split 7"
2001 - Insound Support Series EP
 
2002 - Life and Death of an American Fourtracker cd/LP
"Underneath the Leaves" LIVE
 
2003 - Mountain Goats split 7"
 
2004 - Cellar Door cd/LP
"Pale Horse" LIVE (playing for kids)
 
2005 - Pixel Revolt cd/LP
2005 - Scott Solter Pixel Revolt in Analog Remixes mp3/LP
2005 - Five Years cd (compilation)
 
2006 - Suddenly It All Went Dark: Live cd/LP
2006 - Trace Manual mp3/EP
 
2007 - Emerald City cd/LP
 
2009 - Romanian Names cd/LP
2009 - Too Much Time 7"
2009 - Mountain Goats split: Moon Colony Bloodbath cd/LP
 
2010 - Green Grow the Rushes mp3/12"LP
2010 - D.I.A.L.O. 7"
 
2011 - White Wilderness (collaboration w/Magik*Magik Orchestra) cd/LP
 
2013 - Plays Diamond Dogs mp3/12"LP
2013 - Dagger Beach 12"LP
2013 - Rarities mp3/LP
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

FRODUS

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #9.

Band: FRODUS
Genres: Post-Hardcore / Punk / Math Rock / Experimental
Related artists: Decahedron and The Black Sea.
Country: Washington, USA
Years Active: 1993-1999, 2009
Song: "The Earth Isn't Humming"
Album: ...And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea cd
Year: 2000
For fans of: These Arms Are Snakes, Decahendron, A Day In Black And White, Aeges, Apollo 18, Caravels, Cave In, Thrice (they did cover a FRODUS song), Christiansen, Criteria, Filter, The Impossibles and Nada Surf.

FRODUS was a mediocre rock band until they recorded and 'And We Washed Our Weapons In the Sea' - which back in 2000, was way ahead of its time.

The band had a relatively long and illustrious career, which spanned almost a decade over 10 releases - and was headed primarily by Shelby Cinca, who, post-FRODUS, created The Black Sea. They had to change their name to Decahedron, which basically sounds FRODUS 2.0 (in a good and bad way).

'And We Washed Our Weapons In the Sea' is the album I will quickly focus on, because their older material is inconsistent, varied and lacks character. That's obviously okay, because it acted as the cocoon for their final release. Boasting a minimal 3 members, FRODUS played a cross of shoegaze indie rock meets post-hardcore. The drums keep a very slow and deliberate beat, followed by subtle guitar tones and thunderous bass riffs, with everything culminating in one of two things:
1 - a very catchy chorus with some sweet guitar licks and clean vocals
2 - a throttling breakdown, followed by more powerful crescendos and screams galore
 
To give you a better understanding, here is their lighter stuff:
FRODUS - "The Earth Isn't Humming"
FRODUS - "6/99"
 
 
And here is their harder stuff:
FRODUS - "The Red Bull of Bull of Juarez"
 FRODUS - "The Awesome Machine"
FRODUS - "Year of the Hex"
 
 
...and a LIVE VIDEO from back in 1998! Ahead of their time, much?
FRODUS - "The Awesome Machine"

 
"The machines never died. We will be vindicated!!!"
-The Awesome Machine (FRODUS)
 
Their discography is huge, I only dig the last one and I'm lazy. Get their discography here.
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

Check above, ya douche-bag.
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Thursday, 20 June 2013

WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #28.

Band: WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR
Genres: Post-Hardcore / Punk / Math Rock / Experimental
Related artists: Neil Perry, You & I, Joshua Fit For Battle, Nineteen(Nineteen), The Now, Get Fucked, Track of Monarchs, Makara and Paramedic!.
Country: Philadelphia, USA
Years Active: 2003-2005
Song: "Behold a Pale Horse"
Album: Welcome the Plague Year cd
Year: 2004
For fans of: All 'Ebullition/Level-Plane'-style screamo bands, aka Proper SCREAMO.

Born from the ashes of Neil Perry and Joshua Fit For Battle (once Josh Jakubowski left both of those bands to pursue Hot Cross full-time) WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR will temporarily satiate anyone's appetite who is still reeling from the now decade-old break-up of those two godly bands . For any of my friends that are well-versed in my obsession, you know that nothing beats Neil Perry. Nothing. Neil Perry = Amazing. Hot Cross = Fantastic. The Now = Blissful. Joshua Fit For Battle = Phenomenal. WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR = the closest sounding thing to Neil Perry. If you liked Neil Perry's atmospherics, they are fleshed-out and woven into the soundscape of many of the band's tracks. If you were a fan of Neil Perry's brutal-yet-melodic take of post-harcore and screamo, this will send you into a frenzy of giddiness - as these heavy passages make anything else done by any of the other bands seem relatively tame.

Perhaps I should clarify for those who are not aware of Neil Perry (i'm nudging you and whispering 'i'm sooooo sorry'). WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR played a very booming style of screamo that is much akin to all the bands listed above. This style, which I'm going to dub "2000 Philly screamo", as you may have guessed, popped up just before the year 2000 in Philadelphia and is generally characterized (says I) by having both clean and distorted guitars that rotate through very soft grooving passages, screamy breakdowns with (usually) 2 vocalists and heavy, mathy, breakneck freak-outs. The musical edge that separates WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR from those other historic bands is, they were able to make the pretty parts very pretty, while at the same time, those same interludes were eerily unnerving and the listener probably felt like shit was going to hit the fan any moment. Then it does, and the screamers (one male and one female, not that you can tell) tear your life apart as the instrumentals create a tidal wave of structured, booming and intricate hardcore that is the screamo version of the apocalypse. (see also, Ruhaeda)

To sum this up, WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR sounded like a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by bands of violent hooligans who were still reeling from social, economic and environmental collapse. I guess as a species we're not too far off.

Beautiful desolation, in lyrical and musical form. Fuck it. I'm out.

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Considering all of WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR's material is out of print...you're welcome.
Click )==>here<==( to download Neil Perry's bastard child in mp3 discography form.
2003 - Demo cdEP

2004 - Welcome the Plague Year cd/12"LP
2004 - Funeral Diner split 7"
2004 - Quiet. Still. Dead. 7" (same track as cd version)

2005 - Ampere split 5"
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR - "Doomsday Parade" (from 'Welcome The Plague Year' cd)
 

WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR - "Craft Messenger" (from 'Welcome The Plague Year' cd)

WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR - "Behold a Pale Horse" (from 'Welcome The Plague Year' cd)
WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR - "We Had Hoped For So Much More" (from 'Funeral Diner' split 7")

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WELCOME THE PLAGUE YEAR out of print discography mp3 download

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #8.

Band: THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES
Genres: Post-Hardcore / Punk / Math Rock / Experimental
Related artists: Botch, Kill Sadie.
Years Active: 2003-2010
Song: "Hook On This"
Album: Harkonen Split cd
Year: 2004
For fans of: Botch, Die Princess DieKill Sadie, The Blood Brothers, and Rye Coalition.

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES was an all-star band born from the ashes of two of my favourite bands - Botch and Kill Sadie. The first was the greatest math-metal band of all-time, and the second was an experimental screamo band that was way ahead of its time. THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES seem like a natural progression from those bands.

First off, they have a very unique style, that in all honesty, I can't pigeonhole or say "it sound like this band", as they genre-hop often and therefore sound a little bit like a plethora of bands. With a sound rooted in punk and some kind of bastard electronic/ambient/noise music, TAAS are a wall of awkward/dirty/infected/angular riffing, booming bass/keyboard/moog, tight-ass drums and one sassy frontman. The vocalist's name? Steve Sneer, I shit you not. I watched him deep-throat a microphone during a live performance. He dances. He croons. He screams. This band has it all - unfortunately I don't like everything, so that means that I'm not the biggest fan of about 30% of their material.

For anyone wanting to find a good place to start, I would strongly recommend the following releases/songs:
1 - 'This is Mean to Hurt You' )==> "Drinking from the Necks of the Ones You Love"
2 - 'Harkonen split cd  )==> "Payday Loans"
3 - 'Oxeneers' cd )==> "The Shit Sisters"

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES are truly a band and discography to invest your money and time into. Their albums are epic, deep, lush with sound, calming, schizophrenic and downright engaging. I am rocking my ass off listening to them right now. Rest in peace, you sexy bitches.
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*download the discography here

2003 - This is Meant to Hurt You cd/12"EP

2004 - Oxeneers OR The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Goes Home cd/12"LP
2004 - Harkonen split cdEP

2006 - Easter cd/12"LP
2006 - Good Friday 7"

2008 - Tail Swallower and Dove cd/12"LP
2008 - Russian Circles split 12"EP
2008 - Pelican split cd/12"LP
2008 - Tropics split 7"

2009 - All The Saints split 7"
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youtube )))))embedded audio((((( links

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES - "Riding the Grape Dragon" (from 'This is Meant to Hurt You')

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES - "Angela's Secret" (from 'Oxeneers')

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES - "Deer Lodge" (from 'Easter')

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES - "Double Ethril" (from 'Tail Swallower and Dove')

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 THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES out of print mp3 downloads

Good Friday 7" (download here)
 Russian Circles split 12"EP (download here)
Tropics split 7" (download here)
All The Saints split 7" (download here)

Or just download the entire discography here.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

BRIGHT CALM BLUE

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #2.

Band: BRIGHT CALM BLUE
Genres: Screamo / Rock / Indie / Punk / Hardcore
Related artists: Ecorche.
Years Active: 2000-2003
Song: A Tongue to Taste (demo version)
Album: To Dream of Autumn split 7" version
Year: 2001
For fans of: Ecorche, Portraits of Past, 400 Years, Funeral Diner, Saetia, On The Might of Princes, Sleepytime Trio, Portrait, MeWithoutYou, Cursive, La Dispute, Small Brown Bike.

I was first introduced to BRIGHT CALM BLUE via their split with To Dream of Autumn, because TDOA was Rats Into Robots' previous band. So, BRB contributed a demo version of the track, "A Tongue Taste of Taste" and I instantly fell in love. It sounded like a calm (ha! #1) and diluted version of Saetia, Four Hundred Years and Funeral Diner.

BRIGHT CALM BLUE had 2 distinct periods that were separated by a change in the vocal department. Personally, I think their early work with Ian Whitmore was ground-breaking - especially the 'Asymmetry Set' record. These releases have the band combining relatively equal amounts of driving indie, emo, hardcore, punk and screamo genres. On paper, this amalgamation of music may seem like it would sound discombobulated - but they nail it right on the head and weave that shit like a professional basket. A beautiful looking basket that is great for holding rocks. (ha! #2)

As I mentioned, following the amazing 'Asymmetry Set', the vocalist left the band. He was replaced by a singer who used a similar vocal delivery style, but was much more nasally. Combine that with more synths on their final release, 'A Direct Approach to Casual Conversation', and it was a passable endeavor.
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2001 - Bright Calm Blue 7"
2001 - To Dream of Autumn split 7"

2002 - Asymmetry Set cd/12"LP

2003 - A Direct Approach to Casual Conversation cd/12"LP
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youtube )))))official video((((( link

BRIGHT CALM BLUE - "The North Bottoms" (from 'Asymmetry Set')



youtube )))))embedded audio((((( link



youtube )))))streaming audio((((( links

BRIGHT CALM BLUE - "My Fictions" (from 'Asymmetry Set')



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BRIGHT CALM BLUE - Discography (download -> HERE <-)

Monday, 17 June 2013

CHOKE

This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #25.

Band: CHOKE
Genres: Rock / Indie / Emo / Punk Rock / Folk
Related artists: Passenger Action and Team Building.
Years Active: 1994-2007, 2012-present?
Song: With Every Word (demo version)
Album: Across The Water - Split cd
Year: 2007
For fans of: Belvedere, NOFX, Protest the Hero and Propagandhi.

My first "real" girlfriend (now ex) has but one redeeming quality - she introduced me to CHOKE. That's it. That's not even "redeeming", it's just a thing that she did once. Also, she was too lazy to read Twelfth Night, so she downloaded an unofficial synopsis which she used to write a report. Unfortunately for her, the synopsis listed the story as having two witches instead of three, and that was just the first of many mistakes that cropped up in that steaming pile of cow dung. But, I digress.

So, I received my one and only high school detention and needed a way to kill thirty minutes. I had recently listened to 'Needless to Say' a few times and it was starting to grow on me. The other album that I had picked up was 'Foreward' and it seemed really disjointed and awkward, but I was determined to give it a proper chance - as I had nothing else to do.

What happened next immediately changed my life (not in some overly dramatic way), influenced the next few years of my own personal musical direction, and, come to think of it, continues to do so today.

In general and for their time period, CHOKE played innovative and extremely technical punk music. Like, really fucking technical. Using a description with both "technical" and "punk" makes it pretty close to being an oxymoron, but it's accurate. The drums are fast and the fills are really tight. The bass rarely copies the guitars, so it is also very unique and definitely a cornerstone of the band. The guitars are a flurry of palm-muted breakdowns and off-time, awkward-yet catchy licks that sound nothing like everything that preceded them. The instrumental section of this band was ground-breaking during the time, and I can say with 100% certainty that CHOKE had a profound impact on Luke, the guitar player in Protest the Hero.

Last, and perhaps the most defining characteristic of CHOKE - the vocals. This is where the love/hate divide usually takes place. I totally understand both sides - as I remember saying, "This guy is way too whiny and high-pitched." He is whiny-sounding. He is high-pitched. He's also awesome, but you may need time to let him grow on you - like moss! At first you're like, "What the shit is moss doing here?!?!?" but after a while you realize that moss is actually quite nice to touch and you understand that it belongs as an essential part of the entire planet. A little much with the moss? Screw you. You're not the moss of me.

CHOKE had 3 phases.
1st - Poppy skate punk.
2nd - Very technical and intense punk/metal/hardcore hybrid.
3rd - A little less technical in style, includes more skate punk, melodies and simpler song structures.

I would recommend starting off with the band's 2 most consistent albums - 'Foreward' and 'There's A Story To This Moral' because they accurately represent CHOKE's sound, which can be best described as, "Fucking sweet".

CHOKE reunited in 2013 for a tour, and after more than 5 years apart and they blew me away with my favourite song, "Numb Phase", which includes the riff which CHOKE is (or at least, should be) known for. Check it at 00:31-00:59 seconds:


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1995 - Lotion cd

1996 - Give'er cd

1997 - Needless to Say cd

1999 - Foreward cd

2001 - Across the Water - Split w/Adhesive/Layaway Plan/Astream cd (download here)

2002 - There's A Story to this Moral cd

2005 - Slow Fade (or) : How I Learned to Question Infinity cd
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youtube (((((official music video))))) links

CHOKE - "Every Word" (from 'There's a Story to this Moral')

CHOKE - "Breathing Won't Come Easy" (from 'Calculating Infinity')


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I have uploaded a very rare split cd that the band had with them on tour when I saw them prior to the release of 'There's a Story to This Moral', way back in 2001. The 3 songs contained are ALL unreleased. The first 2 are demo versions of "Every Word" and "14 Days", but the "14 Days" version is superior to the album version. The third track is a Screw 32 cover.

CHOKE - 3 songs from the 'Across the Water' cd compilation (download here)