Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 31 August 2014

LEWIS BLACK

BandLEWIS BLACK
GenresHilarity / Awesomeness / Comedy / Political
Related artistsThe Daily Show and The Root of All Evil.
CountryMaryland, USA
Years Active?-present
Song: "Air Traffic Control"
Album: "The Carnegie Hall Performance"
Year: 2006
Label(s): Lots (fuck you Stand Up! Records)
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofBill Hicks, George Carlin, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn aka Political Comedy.

There is way too much amazing LEWIS BLACK material for me to go through and discuss specific jokes, themes and such. Generally put, his comedic rants and prods at our media, governments, and people, as well as ourselves. It is introspective yet broad, as I think almost everyone can relate to the stuff he's talking about. Some major pet peeves of LEWIS BLACK include weather, people with excessive amounts of money, CNN, the uneducated, politicians, important events and pop culture in general, especially football and the halftime show. I shit you not, listening to LEWIS BLACK must be good for your health, because he can make you think about everyday things (both important and not important) from a completely different perspective. Oh, and you'll be laughing your ass off most of the time, as well.

I've included my favourite "tracks" in a zipfile that you should definitely download. If you're wary, just put them on your mp3 player/phone along with a few hundred of your favourite songs and put that sucka on random. Song. Song. Song. Hilarity. Song. Hilarity. Song. Song Song. Hilarity...you get the idea. His delivery is so infectious, and bit for bit is one of the strongest comedians I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. I will be seeing him on September 12th, 2014 in Toronto so I'm pretty goddamned pumped about that. Anyway, here is the track list I've included for download:

Link 1 (download here)
*Anticipation
-My.....Virginity
-Golfers
-Santa
-Chanukah
-A Great Headline
-Blueberry Pancakes
*The End of the Universe
-Atlanta
-After September 11th
-Environmental Terrorism or Global Warming?
-Halftime at the Superbowl 2001
-The End of the Universe
-Tax Rebates and Common Sense
-Airport Security

Link 2 (download here)
*Carnegie Hall Performance
-Air Traffic Control
-Information
-Headlines are Punchlines and Crazy is Crazy
-Rick Santorum - Idiot
-Congressional Correspondents Dinner
-Mom and Pop and Paul
-Terry Shiavo
-Dead President
*The White Album
-The Fall, Hurricanes and Weathermen
-The Ozone, Sunblock, the Flu, and Nyquil
-Fuck, New York, Los Angeles
-TV Pilot
-Ihop (The International House of Pancakes)
-Heaven's Gate
-Other Idiots from Arkansas

Link 3 (download here)
*Lester Burbank Performance
-MTV
-Gay Marriage
-Justin and Janet
-America Loses its Mind
-Michael Jackson, Arnold Swarzenegger and Ronald Reagan
-Voting (a flashback)
-Iraq, an Idiot's Delight
*Rules of Enragement
-The Settling of Minnesota
-The Coldest Winter EVER!
-Ireland and Health
-Greed
-The War in Iraq

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DISCOGRAPHY

1990 (released 2011) The Prophet LP

2000 - The White Album LP

2002 - The End of the Universe LP
2002 - Revolver cd/10"EP

2003 - Rules of Enragement LP
2003 - Unleashed DVD

2004 - Black on Broadway DVD

2005 - Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues LP
2005 - Nothing's Sacred 5xcd (autobiography/play)

2006 - The Carnegie Hall Performance 2xcdLP
2006 - Red, White and Screwed DVD

2008 - Anticipation LP
2008 - Me of Little Faith 5xcd (play)

2010 - Stark Raving Black LP

2012 - In God We Rust DVD

2014 - Old Yeller DVD

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Sorry folks, Stand Up! Records or whatever filed a complaint against me for trying to help promote Lewis Black and his records. I only put up a single track from each album to help people become acquainted with him. I didn't even come close to posting the entire record. Don't support this label. Fuck you Stand Up! Records.
(2000) LEWIS BLACK - "Ihop" (from 'The White Album')


(2002) LEWIS BLACK - "The End of the Universe" (from 'The End of the Universe')


(2003) LEWIS BLACK - "Greed" (from 'Rules of Enragement')


(2005) LEWIS BLACK - "MTV" (from 'Luther Burbank Performance')


(2006) LEWIS BLACK - "Dead President" (from 'Carnegie Hall Performance')


(2008) LEWIS BLACK - "Golfers" (from 'Anticipation')


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LEWIS BLACK additional links

Link 1 (download here)
Link 2 (download here)
Link 3 (download here)
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Saturday, 30 August 2014

GRAY GHOST

BandGRAY GHOST
GenresPunk / Doom Metal / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metalcore / Noise / Thrash / Sludge / Crust
Related artistsBig Jesus, Stallone, Irreversible, Let The Night Roar and Integrity.
CountryAtlanta, Georgia USA
Years Active2008-2011
Song: "Slay or Sleep"
Album: "Deep in the Shallow End"
Year: 2009
Label(s): Self Released / Chainsaw Safety Records / Copper Lungs Records / A389 Recordings
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans of(Lone) Wolf & CubMercy Ties, Castle, AmenRa, Breag Naofa, Old Man Gloom, Buried InsideDoomriders, Converge, Isis, Litany For The WhaleTigershark, Monuments Collapse, Amber, Locktender, Old Soul, Neurosis, Akimbo and Fall Of Efrafa.

GRAY GHOST were a random band that I happened across back in...2010 or so. I really have no clue how I was introduced. Anyway, I'm glad I was. The band played a dark mix of hardcore and post-metal which sounded like AmenRa albeit a bit faster and with shorter songs. The band's work is heavy and blanketing in its darkness but isn't necessarily overly heavy or metal, as it does retain a sense of melody as the band pumps out songs that don't leave you in the dust wondering what just fucking happened. It's almost metalcore, but there's more of a blackened-crust/sludge feel to it with venomous vocals. I've rarely, if ever heard people talk about this band and that's just sad. If you like bands like Llynch, Castle, Old Man Gloom and Isis.

The band's first demo which was released in 2008 and featured demo tracks that have different names and are cool to listen to and compare to the final versions that ended up on future records.

"Siberian" is a plodding and very well executed cavernous post-hardcore/metal that is an excellent way to start out 'Deep in the Shallow End' which covers chuggy and sludgy metallic hardcore as well as tribal chants. "Hollowed Out", "Slay or Sleep" and "Hold" are also great tracks from that 12".

As for the 10", "Soul Seekers / Faith Stealers" is the best song from that which reminds me of Fall Of Efrafa in the way the song cascades and includes a huge Omega Massif-style chord progression and lone, ringing notes.

The 'Succubus' 7" is also a very decent little fella as the blazing "Lascivious Shrines" is fucking unbelievable and the band embraces the chanting vocals a bit more, but the release is standard GRAY GHOST fare, nonetheless. What is that fare? I'd say it's Conan The Barbarian (and possibly The Destroyer, too) finding a time machine and dabbling in black, crusty hardcore/metalcore. Amazing stuff, I say.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2008 - Demo cassetteEP
2008 - Gray Ghost 10"EP

2009 - Deep in the Shallow End 12"LP

2010 - Succubus 7"EP

2011 - The Show That Ends The World split/compilation cd/12"EP (contributed "Siberian")

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(2009) GRAY GHOST - "Slay or Sleep" (from 'Deep in the Shallow End')

(2009) GRAY GHOST - "Siberian" (from 'Deep in the Shallow End')

(2008) GRAY GHOST - "Soul Seekers / Faith Stealers" (from 'Gray Ghost')

(2008) GRAY GHOST - "Fucking Saints" (from 'Demo')

(2010) GRAY GHOST - "Lascivious Shrines" (from 'Succubus')

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GRAY GHOST out-of-print discography mp3 download / additional links

(download here)
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Thursday, 28 August 2014

NORTH OF AMERICA

GenresPunk / Rock / Math Rock / Indie / Garage Rock / Alternative / Emo / Post-Hardcore
Related artistsThe Holy Shroud, The Plan, Instruments, Vkngs, The Got To Get Got, Ov GrammeState Champs, The Motes and the Street Cents Canadian tv show!
Country: Halifax, Nova Scotia CANADA
Years Active1997-2003
Song: "Now You've Got You're Doctorate, So Why Don't You Doctor It?"
Album: "The Sepultura"
Year: 2000
Label(s): Self Released / Level Plane Records / Matlock Records / Rewika Records / Montesano Records / Version City Records / The Kingdom Of God / Progeria Records
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofQ And Not U, The Holy Shroud, Dream Caste, Riddle Of Steel, Moneen, FrodusSecret Smoker, Fugazi, Life In Vacuum, Excitebike, Desaparacidos, Built To SpillCongratulations, The Mark Inside, Twelve Hour Turn, I Hate Myself, Frodus, The Weakerthans, SerotoninThe Paper Chase and L'Antietam.

I'm not going to blab on forever about this band, although I probably should. They simply didn't do as much musically for me as The Holy Shroud, the band's later incarnation, even though I was into NORTH OF AMERICA first. The band has a few absolutely stellar songs, with a fair amount of decent tracks and some meh tracks. The Holy Shroud pretty much rocks me every single song, but having one album compared to...like, 7 or something, makes that much easier from a numbers point of view. My wife would disagree with me, as she puts NORTH OF AMERICA ahead of most other bands in general and had this to say about the band, "like Moneen but catchier and better." I can't argue with that.

If you like mathy-yet-danceable indie rock with elements of emo and dare I say mild screamo tendencies, more in the guitar work than anything else, you might shit your pants over NORTH OF AMERICA. They occasionally dip into dark and awkward waters, like a cross between Q And Not U and The Paper Chase, but generally keep things shaggy and dancy. They certainly have their fair share of songs with yelling and dual vocals, but generally they walk a fine line between Fugazi and Frodus, who I could have sworn I was listening to on songs like "Destroy Tamoubrine". I have only really jammed the 2000-2003 material but that's because I wasn't aware of the other stuff. I'm checking it out now on bandcamp (2 of the releases, at least) and they seem decent but I haven't heard any jaw-droppers yet.

Definitely check out the 2001-2003 material because this band was amazing and still doesn't get enough praise. Also, check The Holy Shroud out because they were a more refined NORTH OF AMERICA with more songwriting chops.

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DISCOGRAPHY

1998 - Elements of an Incomplete Map cdEP
1998 - North Of America cassetteEP
1998 - Bayonet Point 7"EP

1999 - These Songs are Cursed cd/12"LP (stream/buy/download here)

2000 - The Sepultura cd/12"EP (stream/buy/download here)

2001 - This is Dance Floor Numerology cd/12"LP (stream/buy/download here)

2003 - Brothers, Sisters. cd/12"LP (stream/buy/download here)
2003 - Elements of an Incomplete Map Part II cd compilation  (stream/buy/download here)

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(2000) NORTH OF AMERICA - "Now You've Got You're Doctorate, So Why Don't You Doctor It?" (from 'The Sepultura')

(2000) NORTH OF AMERICA - "That's A Convincing Argument, Michael" (from 'The Sepultura')

(2001) NORTH OF AMERICA - "Let's On" (from 'Dance Floor Numerology')

(2001) NORTH OF AMERICA - "XRXXRXRX" (from 'Dance Floor Numerology')

(2003) NORTH OF AMERICA - "Oh My God, Oh My God, Everybody, Oh My God" (from 'Brothers, Sisters.')

(2003) NORTH OF AMERICA - "Let's Get Tight" (from 'Brothers, Sisters.')

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NORTH OF AMERICA additional links

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

YUSUKE

BandYUSUKE
GenresPunk / Noise Rock / Grind / Emo-Violence / Hardcore / Thrash / Skramz / Screamo / Jazz / Instrumental / Post-Hardcore / Black-Metal / Screamo / Noise / Experimental
Related artistsChimess and Gas Up Yr Hearse!.
CountryIllinois, USA
Years Active2013-present
Song: "If I Had a Quarter for Everytime You Were Inconsistent"
Album: "Lori Berenson split"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Reach With Protest / Friendly Otter / La Agonia De Vivir / Off Cloud 9 / Pike Records / Carucage Records / Slow Riot Records
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofFrancis BradyFoxmoulder, June Paik, Delos, The Apoplexy Twist Orchestra, Louise Cyphre, La Quiete, Tristan Tzara, MNWAReversal Of ManThe Truth About Dreaming, Jeromes Dream, Anger Is Beautiful, Nayru, Resurrectionists, The Spirit Of Versailles, Meryl Streaker, Saetia, St. Alban's Kids, Swan Of TuonelaNeil Perry, Deers!, Gas Up Yr Hearse!, Makara, Orchid, Deadseraphim and Funeral Diner aka PROPER Screamo.


I first heard about YUSUKE on a few Facebook pages and people seemed to be really into them. I checked out their demo and liked it, but didn't quite see what all the fuss was about. I listened to the Delos split 7" and was still impressed, but not floored. Then the band contacted my label about releasing their split with Lori Berenson. I listened to the songs and, simply put, they blew my mind. The production value captured the band perfectly. The insane drums over twinkly guitars kill me every time. To hear what I'm talking about check "If I Had A Quarter For Every Time You Were Inconsistent" from 0:29-0:52 and "Home Is Where The Heart Is, So Consider Me A Zombie" from 0:26-0:56. The vocalist Tony had moved past the crazy shrieking and developed his own combination of yelling and screeching which meshes flawlessly with the quieter moments (yes, think La Quiete) and the emo-violence parts (let's go with King's Girls and Nayru, although Jeromes Dream also comes to mind).

The 'Yusuke/Demo' has a spacier vibe. Songs like "Restraints of Everyday Man" and "Reflections of a Life Once Had" have some really amazing parts but are a little bogged down by the recording quality. The dreamy part in "Echoes" is simply amazing and the build always grabs my attention, no matter what I'm doing. "So This is What it Feels Like to be Invisible" is the band's opus, I would say. The song begins with what I would only assume is Ryan (drums, floor screaming and overall ambiance) as he also does a solo project called Chimess. This cavernous echo continues for a bit before the instruments kick in and liquify your face.

The 'Delos split' 7" is a much heavier affair, with "Oversexed/Overstressed" bustin' outta the gate as one of the band's thickest and craziest songs, while "You Already Blew Out the Candle..." reminds me of Funeral Diner instrumentals coupled with The Spirit Of Versailles screeching, and it's fucking incredible. This split is really where you hear the band come into their own.

The 'Swollen Lungs compilation' song titled "Image Comples" is short and insanely screamy, nuff said.

The next 3 songs are YUSUKE's side of the 'Lori Berenson split' 12" that will be out in October (probably, the test presses were picked up earlier this week):
*"If I Had A Quarter For Every Time You Were Inconsistent" has to be the band's closer at every concert. I just has to be. The beautiful twinkly intro is reminiscent of Saetia. The middle section is very Anger Is Beautiful meets Nayru. At the 1:16-mark the song slides into more pretty riffs before disintegrating after 1:30 into long, drawn-out s with multiple vocalists screaming. When I saw them play this live (as the closer) a few of the fellas were in the fetal position on the floor belting out those final screams. Such an amazing song. You can check it out on the 'Nerves Of Steel' Zegema Beach Records zampler #3 here or stream it below with the youtube embed.

*"Petals and Thorns" is the band's instrumental/ambient/noise track that is reminiscent of some Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor that I have come across, but I'll be honest, I know very little about experimental/noise music so I'll stop here.

*"Home Is Where The Heart Is, So Consider Me A Zombie" was the first song the band sent me and the guys told me there was some La Quiete and a fair amount of Saetia and Orchid parts that I would like, and holy sheeat were they right. This quick one-and-a-half minute song is a blazer and easily one of the band's best tracks. I don't really have a favourite part because the song is constantly shifting, morphing and evolving but does so so fluidly that the huge changes in tempo and style are barely noticed because, most likely, you are getting your ears kicked in and loving every minute of it.

I reviewed YUSUKE's full set after their show with Locktender and Shoto in Kalamazoo in August of 2013 when I met the guys for the first time, so check that out here. Sorry about the lighting!

YUSUKE will be having a split record with my boys in Tentacles later this year which the band's are recording for in the next 2 months. That split is going to be insane.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2013 - Demo (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - Yusuke cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - Swollen Lungs 7" compilation (contibuted "Image Complex") (stream here)
2013 - Delos split 7" (stream/donate/download here) (purchase 7" here)

2014 - Lori Berenson split 12"EP (stream/donate/download 1 song here)
2014 - Tentacles split ? (will be released on Zegema Beach Records, React With Protest and Friendly Otter Records late 2014/early 2015)

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(2014) YUSUKE - "If I Had A Quarter For Every Time You Were Inconsistent" (from 'Lori Berenson' split)

(2014) YUSUKE - "Home Is Where The Heart Is, So Consider Me A Zombie" (from 'Lori Berenson' split)

(2013) YUSUKE - "You Already Blew Out the Candle..." (from 'Delos' split)

(2013) YUSUKE - "So This is What it Feels Like to be Invisible" (from 'Yusuke')

(2013) YUSUKE - "Reflections of a Life Once Had" (from 'Demo')

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YUSUKE additional links





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Monday, 25 August 2014

***YOUTH NOVEL exclusive interview***

BandYOUTH NOVEL
GenresPunk / Rock / Screamo / Emo / Emo-Violence / Post-Hardcore / N.A.R.E.
Related artistsN/A.
CountryAnn Arbor, Michigan USA
Years Active2013-present
Song: "II"
Album: "Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Skeletal Lightning
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofFuneral Diner, ...Who Calls So Loud, Raein, La Quiete, Ice Hockey, Kidcrash, Via Fondo, Rainmaker, Youth Funeral, Loma Prieta, Tunes For Bears To Dance ToShirokuma, Under A Sky So Blue, Neil Perry, Mara'akateDeers!, Matsuri, Eyes Of Verotika, Caught In The Fall, Van Johnson, Beau Navire, LeerBirthday Boyz and Øjne aka PROPER Screamo.



Let something straight, YOUTH NOVEL is definitely one of my favourite bands right now. They seemed to come out of nowhere when  Jon Riley (bass) sent me the band's material after it was recorded. My jaw fucking dropped into the goddamned basement. Seriously, check this band as soon as possible.

YOUTH NOVEL plays a throwback style of screamo that they connect to 90s emo and some of the stuff that's being released nowadays (Ice Hockey, Kidcrash and Loma Prieta come to mind). The new cassette 'Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection' that I helped release through my label Zegema Beach Records along with Sean from Skeletal Lightning Records, simply put, is unreal. 4 songs in a mere 10 minutes will leave you salivating for more and is just the right amount to really wet that palette. The band busts out 2 extremely screamy vocalists (both of which play guitar, although the primary vocalist might have hung up the guitar to focus on vocals, with another guitarist joining the band) that exchange back and forth over sometimes melodic and groovin' instrumental passages before delving into chaotic territory. Think La Quiete in this sense. My favourite tracks are the short and spastic "II" as well as "IV" which is similar but longer and drawn out with a very dancy passage that could belong on a Leer or Van Johnson record.

Although they haven't released much material, I am itching to hear pretty much anything new by the band because I expect it to be phenomenal. No pressure, guys. They are writing for an LP that, science willing, I will be able to help release and hopefully will be dropped sometime 2015. Whether I'm involved or not is irrelevant, as the record will easily be one of, if not my most anticipated release for 2015. They are also writing for a split with Ice Hockey and Mothlight which Zegema Beach Records will definitely have a hand in releasing, along with my boy Olin at Friendly Otter Records.

In terms of their 2013 material, "Boyish" and "Stay Here" are pretty good, but the Third Eye Blind cover "Losing a Whole Year" is excellent and a departure from both their early and late style, but does bear resemblance to the earlier stuff rather than late, as at the time Sean Horner did guitars/vocals and John Dickinson was doing vocals, guitar, drums and bass. Now Jon Riley plays bass, Zach Geimer blasts the drums and I think Jonathan Chun is the new/2nd guitarist, while John will be focusing on vocals and Sean will continue to be the guitarist and backup vocalist. The new material (I'm talking EP here) is much faster and screamier, while the older songs are much more 90s emo oriented, focusing on slow rhythms and builds rather than their full-force screamo onslaught of their physical EP.

Partially due to my overwhelming love for the band, they were nice enough to answer 20 questions via email for this post. I've included my 3 favourite questions/answers but you can click here or below to access the entire interview. If you want to grab a copy of the tape click here to snag one my 60 cassettes which are dwindling faster than most ZBR releases, and is part of the first run of 150.

If you could go back in time to see a band, who would it be?
*Jon: Ten Grand or The Pine
*John: Majority Rule and ...Who Calls So Loud
*Sean: Talking Heads, Rome, 1980. Adrian Belew plays with them and it's nuts.

I can dig classifications for genres, but when people label themselves as "emo" I find it strange. Thoughts?
*Jon: I think genres are extremely important, especially in establishing scenes and networks for your band to play with/tour with/flirt with/etc. That being said, I think emo is a label that is too broad. The term has become ambiguous. I could see an “emo” band that sounds like anything from Fugazi to American Football to My Chemical Romance. I don’t know how I feel about any band labeling themselves, though. Let the listeners classify.
*John: Yeah, I personally hadn't seen that self-labeling of "emo" happen at all until recently. It's whatever, over time genres become malleable, so I'm not exactly surprised that more people are using it to classify themselves.
*Sean: Music is absolutely the most important thing in my life, but I find it weird when people base the majority of their personal identity on a subgenre of music. That's boring to me.

I heard Jon Riley (the bassist) is dead sexy, care to elaborate?
*Jon: I’m actually a model, so it’s nice that you say that.
*John: He's got great hair. Many times he uses it to his advantage to manipulate people. He's also the best liar I have ever met in my entire life, which makes him a constant enigma in my life.
*Sean: Jon Riley is like if Tom Cruise was built like a hockey player and had sick hair. But what most people don't realize is that he's even more beautiful on the inside.


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DISCOGRAPHY

2013 - "Boyish" digital single (stream/buy/download here)
2013 - "Stay Here" digital single (stream/buy/download here)
2013 - "Losing a Whole Year"(Third Eye Blind cover) digital single (stream/buy/download here)

2014 - Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection cassetteEP (purchase here)

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(2014) YOUTH NOVEL - "II" (from 'Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection') live video

(2014) YOUTH NOVEL - "III" (from 'Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection')

(2014) YOUTH NOVEL - "IV" (from 'Turned Around Abruptly Beside a Mirror and Jumped at My Own Reflection')

(2013) YOUTH NOVEL - "Losing a Whole Year" (from 'digital single')

(2014) YOUTH NOVEL video interview with The Michigan Daily
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YOUTH NOVEL additional links




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Sunday, 24 August 2014

GRADE

BandGRADE
GenresPunk / Rock / Emo / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metalcore / Screamo
Related artistsTo The Lions, Trunk, Jersey, The Swarm, Acrid, The Black Maria and SeventyEightDays.
CountryBurlington, Ontario CANADA
Years Active1993-2002
Song: "Termites Hollow"
Album: "Headfirst Straight to Hell"
Year: 2001
Label(s): Workshop Records / Capsule Records / Wheatfield Press / Second Nature Recordings / Victory Records / At Both Ends Magazine
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofHopesfall, AlexisonfireThrice, Glassjaw, Thursday, This Day Forward, DownwayChristiansenBigwig, Boy Sets Fire, Folly, Cave In, Fordirelifesake, Poison The Well and The Swarm.

This band is kind of heralded as kings of punk, hardcore and even a bit of screamo in my area. The band existed quite some time ago but I remember being in university saying, "I've seen GRADE live more than any other band". Granted, they usually played with other bands that I liked but I certainly came to appreciate them in my own way. In certain light they were very progressive and other times bordered on a bit of cheese, but there is no doubt that what you are listening to is definitely GRADE.

First off, GRADE always killed it live. Vocalist Kyle Bishop moved around on stage constantly, stretching, leaping and using his hands, which showed how into it he really was, and his stage presence reminded me of Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw. I think I ended up seeing them 5 times and then once in 2013 when they got back together along with Choke to play some shows.

'Under the Radar' was a very poppy effort when compared to their other records and is heralded (generally) as the band's best output, although I'd say 'Headfirst Straight to Hell' is their masterpiece. "Stolen Bikes Ride Faster" has my favourite GRADE part at 2:56-onwards. It was the video for "A Year in the Past Forever in the Future" on The Wedge (a fantastic MuchMusic show that shows indie stuff) which was perfectly wedged between my skate-punk and melodic hardcore phase that stemmed from my love of Death By Stereo that introduced me to the band. The band also has 2 other really good songs on the record, "The Inefficiency of Emotion" is a great opener and "Triumph and Tragedy" has a video which is linked below.

The band's final album is without a doubt my favourite, as the inclusion of a more "metal" guitarist took root almost immediately and the record dances between a few genres, but metallic skate-punk screamo wouldn't be too far off. 'Headfirst Straight to Hell' contains some of my favourite songs, namely "Termites Hollow" (with a great video that reminds me of The Cell, which had some pretty awesome cinematography), "Becoming Not Being" (boasts some sweet licks), "In the Wake of Poseidon" (probably the closest song I dig that borders of skate/pop-punk but also includes a killer ending) and "Bleeding Warm and Newly Dead" (isn't too far off from 'The Satellite Years'-era Hopesfall). I also watched an interview with Kyle where he said that about a year before they wrote/recorded the material for this LP he would have extremely intense dreams/nightmares that would lead to him waking up screaming. The cover art is crazy/cool and was an interpretation of the lyrics Kyle wrote.

In the end, a band I dig but generally not in the same way as most fans of the band, who probably started a lot earlier than I did. At this moment I have yet to procure the band's earlier work (basically everything I didn't buy at the band's concerts) so if you have them and wouldn't mind sharing please post a zip link. Thanks!

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DISCOGRAPHY

1994 - Believe split cdLP

1995 - ...And Such is Progress cd/12"LP

1997 - Separate the Magnets cd/10"EP

1999 - Under the Radar cd/12"LP (download here)
1999 - Incision split cdLP (same songs as Believe split)
1999 - Triumph and Tragedy cd/7"EP

2000 - The Embarrassing Beginning cdLP (out of print album)

2001 - Headfirst Straight to Hell cd/12"LP (download here)

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(2001) GRADE - "Termites Hollow" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell') official music video

(1999) GRADE - "The Inefficiency of Emotion" (from 'Under the Radar')

(1999) GRADE - "Stolen Bikes Ride Faster" (from 'Under the Radar')

(2001) GRADE - "In the Wake of Poseidon" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell')

(2001) GRADE - "Bleeding Warm and Newly Dead" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell')

(1999) GRADE - "A Year in the Past Forever in the Future" (from 'Under the Radar') official music video

(1999) GRADE - "Triumph and Tragedy" (from 'Under the Radar') official music video

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GRADE 2 newest LPs mp3 download

(download here)
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Saturday, 23 August 2014

***UNITED NATIONS / FOXMOULDER / BLACK CLOUDS show review***

On Augst 7th, 2014 UNITED NATIONS hit Toronto at Sneaky Dee's, which I had to attend. I was also pumped to see my boys in FOXMOULDER unveil a new song. I'd never heard BLACK CLOUDS, but I can dish out some obvious foreshadowing - they were great. FRAMEWORKS also came through the city for the second time in the last few months.

I have embedded my favourite video from each band below, but click here to view a total of 20 videos from the show!

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UNITED NATIONS
Here is UNITED NATIONS rocking my favourite song "Communication Letdown". The video is a little shaky because I lost my fucking gord while filming it. The band played pretty well but I noticed that Geoff's voice was much louder when talking than when screaming, so I'm guessing he kinda lost his voice after the first night (this was the 2nd show of the tour) or maybe his vocal chords are shredded from being in Thursday for so long. I also overheard one of the band members say it wasn't a great show for them, but I really enjoyed the set and therefore hadn't realized. All in all, they played really well and engaged the audience. The band also chatted to pretty much anyone who wanted to say hi, which was pretty cool. I spoke with Jonah at length and he was very receptive and an all-around decent guy. I also spoke with Geoff briefly, but he kinda forgot about a distro trade after he got a little tipsy and invited everyone out for pasta. He was also approached by almost every audience member at some point during the night, so I'm sure that can be a little taxing. I definitely said, "I love Thursday. Shit you probably get that all the time and don't want to hear that. Sorry." Sometimes I say some pretty stupid shit. There's also a review of UNITED NATIONS by yours truly right here.

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FRAMEWORKS
I jammed the band's previous 2 EPs pretty regularly last year and reviewed the band here. When I heard they were coming out with an LP I was super pumped. I heard the single and wasn't overly impressed. I then heard people talking pretty negatively about it/them but I reserved judgement. I figured I'd see how it played out in a live setting. Maybe it's just me (although apparently not), but it was kinda meh live. The songs themselves don't hold the power that they used to and sounded pretty similar. The vocalist is much more repetitive and monotone than I had expected and generally swayed back and forth during the songs. It was a decent set, but I certainly expected more. The guitarists got into it but it didn't make up for the songs.

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BLACK CLOUDS
From Seattle, Washington, BLACK CLOUDS really impressed me. The 3-piece put on a mad light show and rocked the house the way Mono, Atsuko Chiba and Russian Circles would. Instrumental-rock with post-metal tendencies, this band will be very welcomed by further fans of Pelican, Finger Of God, Boris, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Ornaments and Tomydeepestego. Seriously these guys were really good and I picked up some LPs (and stickers) that you can purchase here.

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FOXMOULDER
FOXMOULDER opened the night and played really well. The sound quality was fantastic, they played tight and revealed a new song titled "Tempest Ill" which is the best the band has written thus far, in my humble opinion. Check it out below and grab their new 7" 'Lethe' here and split 5" with Coma Regalia here or get them bundled at a discount here.


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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

ULTRA DOLPHINS

GenresPunk / Rock / Noise Rock / Math Rock / Sass Rock / Screamo / Hardcore / Post Hardcore / Experimental / Improv
Related artistsSnack Truck, Brainworms and Gull.
CountryRichmond, Virginia USA
Years Active2003/2005-2010
Song: "Synchronized Swimming"
Album: "Why Are You Laugh"
Year: 2006
Label(s): Blood Of The Drash / If And When / The Perpetual Motion Machine / Robotic Empire / Rorschach Records / Exotic Fever Records
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans ofMeth And Goats, Mass Movement Of The MothRye Coalition, The Holy Shroud, North Of America, Hot Snakes, Life In Vacuum, The Blood Brothers, Aim Of Conrad, Transistor Transistor, L'Antietam, Soiled Doves, Ladder Devils, 12XU, Baton RougeAdolina, Secret Smoker, Panthers, Teenage Swoon, Apollo 18, Brainworms and Cyrus Gold.

ULTRA DOLPHINS were a wacky fucking band. First off, the name. Secondly, the album title 'Why Are You Laugh'. Third, their cover art. And lastly, the band shifted styles to throw us all off after a 4-year recording hiatus. If you like your punk rock with a fair amount of sass, a lot of humour and dabblings in garage-rock and screamo, then I would highly recommend this band.

Sharing members with the screamy experimental outfit Snack Truck and sounding an awful lot like fellow labelmates Meth And Goats, ULTRA DOLPHINS dropped a decent amount of material with a lot of growth and experimentation from record to record in just over 5 years. The band's crowning achievement was their debut, self titled EP which was re-released as 'Why Are You Laugh' in 2006 and was my introduction to the band. Fans of Meth And Goats, Life In Vacuum, Aim Of Conrad, Mass Movement Of The Moth and even Secret Smoker should take note.

'Why Are You Laugh' is a 6-track punk/garage-rock/screamo jaunt for anyone looking for something interesting and different...oh, and amazing. Tracks like "Synchronized Swimming" and "Playground Polotique" are the reasons why I did this post. Dirty, gritty and melodic with a hell of a lot of danceability. And screaming. Dave loves screaming.

The band's output from 2004-2005 was thin, but "Innoculations" from the Order split 7" is pretty decent. The band has also stated on numerous occasions that they formed in 2005, so how the hell do they have 2 records pre-2005? Confusing.

'Mar' was a bit of a letdown for me. Although it contains some killer tracks ("Towngoat" and "Sickman Outside") I expected more aggression and catchy numbers via Aim Of Conrad style, but was treated with a more straightforward version of ULTRA DOLPHINS. A good record, very experimental and an interesting listen, but not as enjoyable as 'Why Are You Laugh'.

The band's final output, 'Alien Baby' was not my thing. It's basically a punk record with some hints of garage-rock. Some readers may dig, but I was lacking a shovel. Download the discography and decide for yourself.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2003 - Ultra Dolphins cdEP (re-released as 'Why Are You Laugh')

2004 - Tour Cassette cassetteEP

2005 - Order split 7"

2006 - Mar cd/12"LP
2006 - Why Are You Laugh cdEP/12" (release of 'Ultra Dolphins' + 1 bonus track)

2007 - Best Friends Day 6 12"LP compilation (contributed "Hed Bangin")

2010 - Alien Baby cd/12"LP

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(2003) ULTRA DOLPHINS - "Synchronized Swimming" (from 'Why Are You Laugh')

(2003) ULTRA DOLPHINS - "Playground Polotique" (from 'Why Are You Laugh')

(2005) ULTRA DOLPHINS - "Innoculations" (from 'Order' split)

(2006) ULTRA DOLPHINS - "Towngoat" (from 'Mar')

(2006) ULTRA DOLPHINS - "Sickman Outside" (from 'Mar')

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ULTRA DOLPHINS out-of-print discography mp3 download / additional links

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