Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Saturday, 28 February 2015

FURTIVE FOREST

GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Hardcore / Ambient
Related artists?.
CountryNova Sad, SERBIA
Years Active2010-2013
Song: "Dear Friends (Hands Pt. 2)"
Album: "Monologue/Dialogue"
Year: 2012
Label(s): C'N'R Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofSmall Brown Bike, Together, Trembling Hands, Caravels, Touche Amore, Kowloon Walled City, Nous Étions, Chambers, Aussitot Mort, Snapcase, Ghostlimb, Tephra and The Killing Tree.

I only stumbled across this band about a year ago after reading someone's post on facebook about it. I've nothing about them or the split release since. I was in the Dominican Republic on vacation when one of the songs was first tapped on random with my mp3 player and I took a double take, "who the fuck is this?". It was FURTIVE FOREST, and they drop some siiiick slower, bass-driven post-hardcore.

They released a tape called 'Monologue//Dialogue' in 2012 and the same tracks ended up on their split 12" that was released in 2013. From those, my favourite song is "Dear Friends (Hands Pt. 2)" which truly creates a picture in my mind of a sprawling forest protected by killer moss as well as slippery rocks and cliffs. Everything just sounds so damn natural. It's inviting but in a very cautious way, as there could be danger lurking around the corner. At 2:17 the song slows to a crawl that is reminiscent of Pelican getting lost in massive and dark maze which leads the song to a close. "Lies Must be Challenged" is a driving force for the full 1:51 that it beats from my speakers. I always find myself swaying back and forth much like I do when I listen to some Small Brown Bike songs. It's heavy, but it's not. "Ignorance Sickness" has a very sludgy feel to it and could appear on a Kowloon Walled City record. The vocals make the ground shudder while the instrumentals weave a beautiful layer of slow, palm-muting and sporadic single strums that give this song a crazy amount of substance.

The FURTIVE FOREST demo is worth a listen but I won't be going back to it because the last of the band's material was so much better, in my opinion. Two of the songs are interludes. The songs aren't as epic. They're less engaging. It's still decent, don't get me wrong. Definitely jam their later material a few times and decide for yourself. It took me about three or four rotations before I noticed the roots coming out of my feet.

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

2011 - Demo (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - Monologue//Dialogue tapeEP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - Stand Der Dinge split 12"LP (same songs as Monologue//Dialogue)

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(2012) FURTIVE FOREST - "Dear Friends (Hands Pt. 2)" (from 'Monologue//Dialogue')

(2012) FURTIVE FOREST - "Lies Must be Challenged" (from 'Monologue//Dialogue')

(2012) FURTIVE FOREST - "Ignorance Sickness" (from 'Monologue//Dialogue')

(2011) FURTIVE FOREST - "Split Second" (from 'Demo')

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FURTIVE FOREST out of print mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

Bandcamp

Facebook

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HOLMES, PETE

BandPETE HOLMES
GenresStandup Comedy / Improvisational Comedy / Observational Comedy / Sketch Comedy
Related artistsN/A.
CountryLexington, Massachusetts USA
Years Active2001-present
Song: "Google and Not Knowing"
Album: "Impregnated with Wonder"
Year: 2011
Label(s): Comedy Central Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofBrian Regan, Louis C.K., John Mulaney, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook and laughter.

Before PETE HOLMES was on late night television, he dropped one of the best stand-up comedy albums I've ever heard. I don't even remember who told me to check him out, but I'm glad I stumbled across his stuff. By the way this was before his late night show started which I never got into. He released the phenomenal 'Impregnated With Wonder' in 2011 and the partial letdown that is 2013's 'Nice Try, the Devil'.

One of the beautiful things about 'Impregnated With Wonder' is the delivery, besides the obvious, which would be jokes. PETE follows some bits with, "Do you understand?!" and "Listen to me!" which I find to be pretty original and quite entertaining. I also like that there is almost no swearing, which is kind of odd because I swear all the time. If a comedian can make me lose my shit with G-rated material then you know he or she has to be good. Let's skim over a few tracks/jokes from said album.

"Killer in the Backseat" discusses how he is an adult yet still gets freaked out that a criminal may have broken into his car and may be hiding in the back seat.
"Listen to me, I have a fully formed rational brain. This isn't comedy, this is something I do!"
"Is anybody biding their time back there?"

"Magic Sound" brings me to tears every time I hear his version of the sound of magic. Basically, he discusses how alpha males try to ruin a magic show for themselves by figuring out how the magic isn't real. The real gut-buster is the end when raises the point that when magic floors a person, there isn't really a sound they can make. They may say something like, "woah" or "wow", but compared to comedy and the intended end result of laughter is very obvious, instinctual and hardwired. He wishes people reacted to magic that blows their mind by making this grunting sound of "magic" that they cannot inherently control. That doesn't sound that funny, but listen to the track, it's awesome.

"Youtube Comments"=
"You shouldn't have a voice that reaches millions of people when you are that young and stupid. There's a record of that...forever! How's anyone going to run for president? Yeah, funny joke, valid point."

"Blond Mustache"=
"You gotta be careful though, there's a fine line between fun dad and creepy uncle. It's not really a line as much as it's a blond mustache. When did they decide? Did they have a meeting? Do you like something messed up, sexually? Let the world know, stop shaving here you fair-haired monster. And buy a van."

In "Sex in My Dreams" PETE starts talking about how he can't have sex in his dreams because he has no control over the dream. He discusses how he dreamed of a bunch of hot girls dancing and instead of making moves, etc. he takes out his cellphone and starts taking pictures of them. He also has a great joke about a beautiful woman he is dancing with in his dream who doesn't know his identity and, "...right before we kiss I'm like, 'I'm just kidding, it's Pete! I'm like a fat Val Kilmer' and she ran, she ran away from me, and I yelled 'I'm the worst Batman!' as she ran. I can't even make it happen in my dreams."

"Pieeeeeeerce!" is probably the quintessential track because it shows PETE at his most simplistic and quirky, as he takes a person's name and combines it in a sentence with a homonym (a word that sounds just like the person's name). Sounds dumb and it is, but you will be thinking about this with a smile on your face after listening, I'm sure of it. "Prince get me some mints!"

In "Subway" he lets a few f-bombs drop as he rips the "restaurant" a new asshole. There's no way you'll be eating that disgusting garbage after listening, as he reminds us all that the food tastes just like the restaurant smells.

"Google and Not Knowing" is one of my favourite tracks as he discusses how new generations of humans have lost the sense of wonder because instead of searching for information socially we can just use google and therefore, "life is over". It's a very interesting listen which will have you laughing at the same instant.

In '2013' he dropped 'Nice Try, the Devil' and I sat salivating on my couch ready to watch it. Unfortunately it doesn't hold a candle to his debut effort. It certainly isn't bad, but it almost sounds as if the material was written before the very impressive 2011 material. It's much rawer, based more around sex and gritty, judgmental musings. It's still funny, but there are too many moments when I think things like, "he's pushing it", "cheese" and "he's trying too hard".

Regardless of what I think, at least check out that first LP. It's a masterpiece.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2011 - Impregnated With Wonder cdLP

2013 - Nice Try, the Devil cdLP

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(2011) PETE HOLMES - "Magic Sound" (from 'Impregnated With Wonder')

(2011) PETE HOLMES - "Killer in the Backseat" (from 'Impregnated With Wonder')

(2011) PETE HOLMES - "Google and Not Knowing" (from 'Impregnated With Wonder')

(2011) PETE HOLMES - "Sex in My Dreams" (from 'Impregnated With Wonder')

(2011) PETE HOLMES - "Pieeeeeeeeeeeeerce!" (from 'Impregnated With Wonder')

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PETE HOLMES is pretty famous therefore I'm too lazy to add additional links, wait here's one

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

***AUSTIN BLOOD ALLIANCE Fest - Dave's Amazing Experience***

Before you read all this stuff that spewed forth from my fingers, you might want to watch all 68 live videos here. The embedded youtube links below are to each band's best live performance (in my opinion, of course) and I've provided a brief review along with a "for fans of" (ffo:) section and bandcamp links. Enoy.


So on January 28th, 2015 I hopped in a car with my boys Tony and Cory and drove to Michigan. We stayed in Ann Arbor at a screamo frat house with Chun and Jon Riley from Youth Novel. Here's a video of myself, Chun, Cory and Tony talking about frats and screamo. Then Chun shuts me down.

 The next day we set out on the 24-hour drive to Texas and with five guys squished into one car it was quite pleasant. We certainly shared loads of new bands with each other, which was awesome. It was also tiring. 

After arriving in Austin and Brian Chamblee's house at about 10:30am on Friday January 30th we all crashed hard. Upon waking up, Schuyler from Moonasi and their roomy Karl brought us to a taco place which kicked ass. That volcano taco, holy moly. So good. Following this Tony and I hit up a currency exchange station at ta mall and the local record shop, where I dropped money on 5 records including the first Rye Coalition 7" ($2.99) and Antioch Arrow's 'The Lady is a Cat' ($7.99). Fuckin' steal. Many thanks to Karl for showing Tony and I around and being a beautiful person. Man, that guy loves Adobe Homes. A lot. Word.

So after this it was time to head to the first night of the show. I have to say something about the explosion of a community I witnessed upon arriving at the Spider Ballroom venue, so here we go. I remember going to the Warped Tour back in the early 2000s and being stoked upon meeting fellow music goers that listened to similar music. That being said, there were thousands upon thousands of people there, so socializing and mingling was not part of the experience for me. If you saw a band member at a merch table you might lose your shit and maybe get to say hi while buying some stuff. So this brings me to the ABA Fest. This was a community. More of a community than I have ever experienced in my entire life. It was like 200 friends got together and 100 of them played in bands so they rocked out and everyone chilled out in between. Did you get to say hi to band members? Hells no, you got to sit down and chat with anyone from any band. Really, just everything about this was incredible in every way possible.


***Day 1 NIGHT SHOW***
BAD DINNER are a new band from Brett (aka Suspended Soul Records) and some other really nice dudes whose names escape me. They played a caustic breed of hardcore/post-metal/screamo/thrash that I really dug even more live than the recordings. They played a very passionate set and even gave me a shout out. Word. Brett is a seriously amazing guy who is a beacon of positivity within the punk scene. They are on tour again this spring/summer.
ffo: Furtive Forest, Cassilis and Seventeen Again
bandcamp

***
UNDER A SKY SO BLUE from Athens, Georgia said hello to me at the distro table, which was awesome as I've been in contact with the band since they sent me their stuff and said one of their influences is Joshua Fit For Battle, which immediately grabbed my attention. Their set consisted of a bass-heavy romp with three screamers that blurs like a beautiful car crash. They have a new drummer, so Joseph just does vocals now and he seemed to really enjoy it. I am super psyched for these guys to bang out an LP! Screamy emo-violence lovers take note, this might be your new favourite band!
ffo: Virginia On Duty, Jeromes Dream and The Truth About Dreaming
bandcamp

***
LYED was another band that I was aching to see and they didn't disappoint. They have an awesome blend of noise-rock, screamo and a sweet mix of early The Bled. You can hear the vocalist but I wish the mic was louder, at least where I was standing. Regardless, this was a great set. If you haven't listened to their first EP you are missing out, and they've also got a song on the new Texas compilation that will be released soon.
ffo: The Bled, Since By Man and Ritual Mess
bandcamp

***
WOUNDED KNEE dropped some seriously heavy Cassilis-styled thrash/screamo/rock which focused on big breakdowns and caustic, jarring, wailing instrumentals as well as varied dual vocals. I've got some great shots of the guitarist next to me going absolutely apeshit during the set, which I love. Excellent job by these fellas, I was seriously impressed.
ffo: Cassilis, Seventeen Again and Converge
bandcamp






***
HAUNTER was fucking commanding. With the bassist boasting hair and attire from an 80s metal fan, they demolished the audience with a few massive songs spouting demonic vocals. I heard quite a few show-goers comment on this being one of the best sets. If you like your punk with lots of metal and an aura of evil, check these guys out!
ffo: Tentacles, Suffering Mind and Shoto
bandcamp






***
LEFT ASTRAY were a band that I had heard a little about, but hadn't really jammed them. They were easily one of the best performers and their set the second day was even better than the first! If you like unrelenting thrash/hardcore/metal you need to watch these videos of every band member getting totally lost in their own destruction. I love seeing bands lose it like this. Plus, I met all of them and they are all amazing people! A special note, how the fuck is their sound this thick with only one guitar? Also, the vocals absolutely shred and the bassist Marcel dips in now and again. Excellent stuff!
ffo: Lavotchkin, Furnace and Graf Orlock
bandcamp

***
ICE HOCKEY I don't think that there's any question that ICE HOCKEY put in the most passionate and emotional and goddammit I'll even say cathartic set of the fest. Visceral. Honest. Inclusive. Seriously insane live performance by these Quad Cities boys. In addition to old and unrecorded songs, they played a Ten Grand cover that brought Scott to tears and the audience went fucking bananas. I love the lack of self control that the band seems to encounter when they get really into a song, jumping up and down and whatnot. They really engaged the audience and made the entire experience very intimate and well beyond satisfying.
ffo: Youth Novel, Ten Grand and Mara'akate
bandcamp

***
TENTACLES were everything I hoped they would be, so I died. Seriously, they absolutely tore shit up. The band played with Francisco which hasn't happened since the release of 'Cogita Mori' and also included a new bass player (from Haunter, who also records their stuff!). They played a nice mix of mid and late Tentacles material and were one of the bands I heard quite a few people say were the best set of the entire fest, and I'd probably agree. The band will have a final show for their record release that Zegema Beach Records and React With Protest shall be putting out later this year along with the Yusuke/Tentacles split with the same labels as well as Friendly Otter and a few others. Honestly, this band is fucking unreal and are some of the nicest guys, to boot.
ffo: Svffer, Resurrectionists and Among Light
bandcamp

***
FLESH BORN, simply put, ripped everyone's faces off. Sheer malevolence on a level that makes me salivate. Fusing punk, hardcore, thrash, metal and screamo into a frenzy of noise and violence that'll make your head spin. Think Ed Gein, Jeromes Dream and June Paik rolled into one. Very technical, very thrash and extremely screamy. Flesh Born also shares members with Two Knights, Father Figure and Mimisiku as well as among many others. Watch all of their videos by clicking here!
ffo: Ed Gein, Jeromes Dream and Edhochuli



***
LORD SNOW jumped into their set with no banter, the members simply drifted into music mode and busted out jams for almost half an hour. I thought their 'Solitude' tracks were a little loose, but the new songs from their split 12" were fantastic to behold. I am pretty goddamned stoked about their next album. And thus ended the first night.
ffo: Louise Cyphre, Jeromes Dream and Textbook Traitors
bandcamp







And thus ended night one's lineup. Afterwards a bunch of people hit up a punk rock karaoke house party which was amazing. Here's a video of what you missed and it's fucking hilarious. The best part is when Blake from Lyed walks by, smiles and just shakes his head. People got sloppy but in a good way and everyone had a killer time, from what I gathered. We got to chauffeur Stephen from Ampere around which was very twilight zone, as I've been a huge Ampere and Montcalm fan for over 10 years. Amazing dude. Check out his new band Kindling on facebook here!


Brian had Tony, myself, Coma Regalia and Ampere stay at his place on the lake. It was a beautiful place almost an hour away from the show which I traversed the following morning before breakfast and really enjoyed the solitary and surreal experience, some of which I captured in a very boring video about large houses and rocks. After breakfast it was basically off to the afternoon house shows, of which I only went to one because all the bands I wanted to see were playing there - lucky for me.


***Day 2 HOUSE SHOW***
AMONG LIGHT were only able to play two songs, but those two songs were some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Just drums (Matt) and guitar/screaming (Frank) these ex-Tentacles fellas are insane to see live. Check out their demo and hopefully they'll have a split with мятеж coming out in the near future!
ffo: Tentacles, Phoenix Bodies and Neil Perry
bandcamp







***
FATHER FIGURE played a secret/last minute set that I only knew was happening because I saw Miles all fit for battle and asked him what the fuck was going on, and I didn't know he was in Weakness. At this point I found out Weakness couldn't play but Father Figure was stepping in instead. Hot damn now I understand what all the rage is about. These three fellas nearly brought the house down with people going apeshit and screaming along with every word, it was awe inspiring.
ffo: Off Minor, Matsuri and Deers!
bandcamp



***
AMYGDALA shattered everyone's eardrums. Bianca's shrill, piercing scream was layered over the heavy/screamo guitars and bass as well as very subtle but awesome drumming. If you still crave bands like Welcome The Plague Year as I do, you will love this band. Props to Jose for hooking me up with a test press 7"! These four videos fucking slay.
ffo: Welcome The Plague Year, The Spirit Of Versailles and The Truth About Dreaming
bandcamp

I arrived at the end of ECHO BASE's set (because I got lost) and only captured part of one song, but it makes the band's sound pretty obvious - sad emo. This was the only band like this that I heard and I saw most of the bands so this was quite a refreshing way to start night two. Not my kinda stuff but for those who dig the half-spoken/half-yelled gasps and clean guitars should eat this up.
ffo: The Reptilian, Two Knights and Zoo Books
bandcamp





***
MOONASI blew my fucking socks off. Holy fucking shit. Seriously this band is already tight as hell with fantastic songs and amazing state presence. 4 of 5 members scream, with the second guitarist playing his first show with the band. The vocals are all extremely high-pitched screaming and the instrumentals are both jangly, clean, distorted, noodley, chaotic and angelic - I shit you not. 
ffo: Jeromes Dream, Off Minor and Deers!
bandcamp





***
GAFF played even tighter than I had imagined. These four guys just lit it up with really technical screamo in the vein of Hot Cross and Off Minor. I love that jazzy shit, goddamn! The guitars are bouncing around with solos and whatnot while the bassist is matching their finger wizardry while Adam on guitar and the drummer both are able to scream at the same time. Craziness. Check these guys out pronto.
ffo: Hot Cross, Off Minor and Birthday Boyz
bandcamp





***
TWO KNIGHTS were the first band to bring everyone on stage and had about 60% of those people were screaming along with Parker. Some were smiling like idiots. Some were in the kissing mood. It was amazing and intensely intimate. If you love jazzy, sad emo music this is probably your favourite band. Always a good time with Parker and Miles.
ffo: The Reptilian, Echo Base and Zoo Books
bandcamp






***
COMA REGALIA This two-piece never fails to impress me, especially live. For a two-piece these fellas make a lotta noise, think of a swedish Orchid or Funeral Diner and you've got the right idea. These guys are releasing splits left, right and centre and also have a new 2x7" coming out shortly! I love how Shawn stands up while he drums to accentuate the vocals and so forth. Great set.
ffo: Funeral Diner, ...Who Calls So Loud and Orchid




***
ANODES were another band that blew away my expectations. I had heard the Enta/Anodes split 10" and remembered liking Enta much  more. This live stuff was much akin to Buried Inside and Titan meets Envy and Isis. It's really fucking good. It's really engaging, brooding and epic post-hardcore/metal that has since inspired me to delve headfirst into their catalogue.
ffo: The Black Heart Rebellion, Envy and Titan






***
FOR WANT OF basically set up this event, with a handful of other people to thank for that as well, but I personally viewed this band as the catalyst for the festival, besides Ampere of course. They played a good set of old and new stuff which had quite a few audience members screaming along. I've heard the band's two new EPs that haven't been released yet and they are both awesome.
ffo: La Quiete, Yaphet Kotto and Gaff
bandcamp





***
ADOBE HOMES
These fellas from New Mexico screamed their way through a very passionate set that had the crowd on the stage yet again for the duration of the set, during which AJ was literally hanging upside down from the rafters and screaming. It was awesome. The third video that's posted in the massive 60-something video link was shot by none other than Joseph Turner from Under A Sky So Blue - so thanks for your help!
ffo: Innards, Father Figure and Beau Navire
bandcamp



***
AMPERE was the headliner. This was huge. People were fucking stoked. I was stoked. It was crazy. Members of Montacalm, Orchid, Bucket Full Of Teeth, Ritual Mess and more were standing in front of us blasting out Ampere tunes for 15 fucking minutes! It got pretty nuts and some audience folk rushed the stage and jumped on the mic, only to have the mic cut off for the remaining few minutes, with Steve screaming along and jumping around the stage. After that the instruments were cut as well and the people who worked at the Spider Ballroom told us to "get the fuck out". In the video I took it's rather hard to hear Steve's vocals, I would presume because of my position to the stage/speakers. Regardless, if you know the songs you can pick them out of the noise. Great set, awesome people. Please come to Canada!!!
ffo: Orchid, Ritual Mess and Montcalm

***
The drive back, simply put, sucked ass. Upon arriving home from 15 degree (celsius!) weather in Austin, we were met with a few feet of snow and -20 degree weather. That's a bunch o' horseshit. Tony's car was parked in my driveway during the ordeal (as we had used a rental car) and the thing was shrouded in show. It took 4 of us the better part of 20 minutes to dig it out. Here is a picture of that garbage:

Thank god when we finished and watched some ABA Fest videos. Tony is almost asleep, though.

Good times. Thank you so much to everyone who I met, chilled with, watched play, bought stuff from the ZBR distro and housed my silly Canadian ass. I love you all. Coming home was a frustrating and jarring shock into a world where people don't care much about each other and they don't share this burning passion for music that we all had at the fest. Besides my family, music will always be my world and I'll keep on sharing my endless love for it.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

NIC (aka ██████ aka the band with no name)

GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Black Metal / Screamo / Hardcore / Thrash / Doom / Ambient / Skramz
Related artists?.
CountryPlzen CZECH REPUBLIC
Years Active2012-present
Song: "V"
Album: "Old Soul split"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / IFB Records / Dingleberry Records / Maniyax Records / Pike Records / Mosh Potatoes / Suspended Soul Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofDeafheaven, Old Soul, AmenRa, Avvika, Buried Inside, EndamoriAngel Eyes, EnvyCity Of Caterpillar, So Hideous, My Love, The Flying Worker, MonoHaunter, Pluie and Respire aka PROPER SCREAMO.

Like a gorgeous vampire, ██████ (aka NIC aka "the band with no name") will lull you in with long, post-metal/doom slow bits before ripping your head off and feasting upon the goo inside - errr, blasting black-metal/screamo down your ear canals. The only reason I even know about this band is because they approached Old Soul in hopes of doing a split 12" and I am trying to release anything with Old Soul's name on it (because they fucking rule) and one day the wav files showed up in my email and I nearly shat myself. NIC/██████'s split material is much like Old Soul but dirtier, rawer and abrasive. It's melodic and pretty but in an uncomfortable, itchy kind of way. Following a quick, chaotic beginning and clean, Mono/Envy-esque midsection "V" hits an AmenRa mood spot on 3/4 of the way through this much shorter, 6-minute song. Those vocals are so haunting, it's crazy to think they were made by a human, especially during the absolute insanity that is the outro. The prodigiously epic, 15-minute "VI" ends all things with a Monuments Collapse styled riff that's slow and head bobbin' before shit gets simply ridiculous after the 4:06-mark . At 6:30 the song hibernates for about three minutes before coming back around full circle and dipping back into a suspiciously Egyptian/doomy guitar riff.

The band's 'Demo' material has the same edge as the split material but it's nowhere near as sharp. "I" reminds me of Angel Eyes and Deafheaven, with massive builds that pay off in crushing, spacey and seething blasts of, at least what I picture, a sea of starving zombie/vampires licking like waves in a vat of darkness. Yep. That sounds about right. "II" is the band's shortest track to date, clocking in at 4:44 and is downright scathing. "III" boasts some very melodic and obvious instrumentals that make this the most accessible song they've done to date (although things get pretty speedy on the drums at 3:26) and "IV" focuses again on eerie black-metal and ends in Buried Inside fashion, which is just plain awesome.

NIC/██████ was a huge reason why the Old Soul/██████ split 12" was listed as my favourite split release of 2014 in my best of list - so jam these tracks pronto and break the international barrier.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2013 - Demo (stream/buy here)

2014 - Old Soul split 12" (stream/buy here)

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(2014) ██████ - "V" (from 'Old Soul' split)

(2014) ██████ - "VI" (from 'Old Soul' split)

(2013) ██████ - "I" (from 'Demo')

(2013) ██████ - "III" (from 'Demo')

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██████ additional links

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Monday, 16 February 2015

OMEGA MASSIF

GenresPunk / Rock / Instrumental / Mountain Metal / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Alternative / Doom / Ambient
Related artistsThe Falcon Five and Malm.
CountryWürzburg, GERMANY
Years Active2005-2014
Song: "Brachland"
Album: "Mount Logan split"
Year: 2009
Label(s): Self Released / Denovali Records / Vendetta Records / Yskalnari Records / E-Vinyl / Radar Swarm / La Cassette Jaune / Cyclone Empire
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #12.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofPelican, Tomydeepestego, Finger Of God, IsisMono, Ornaments, Mogwai, Godspeed, You! Black Emperor, Fall Of Efrafa, Light Bearer, BorisAmber, Tides, Cult Of LunaTephra, Russian Circles, Quiet LakesRosetta, Gifts From Enola and Monuments Collapse.

My favourite jam by OMEGA MASSIF would have to be the massive (ha) "Brachland" which gives the feeling of wandering around some prodigious mountains wrapped up in fog. It's almost 12 minutes long and it is fucking expansive. The slow, drawling beginning is like an empty bucket that slowly fills with each drop of water, as additional notes and parts build on each other until it reaches the meniscus at about 5:15 and dips into some serious Mono worship. The harder stuff takes hold at 6:57 with some head bobbing breakdowns that'll have your noggin' swaying or you've stumbled across the wrong blog. Sadly, the band broke up last year, leaving behind some incredible instru-metal that is definitely worth your attention.

"Unter Null" from 2007's 'Geisterstadt' plays more on the band's heavy elements, harkening Pelican, Rosetta and Finger Of God while "Exodus" is a crushing, straight up banger. 2011's 'Karpatia' also has some great songs, while the entire album is very epic but loses my interest at points. "Wölfe" is very short, clocking in at 3:34 but OMEGA MASSIF gets a lot done here, opting for sludgy doom on speed. "Steinernes Meer" is on the opposite end of the death-spectrum, permeating for the entire 11:04 that the band weaves, slides and floats by, leaving a trail like a troll silently laying waste to a forest in the night. At three minutes the band brings in some seriously awesome bass riffs before delving into a breakdown with a cool slide going on every 2-3 seconds. 2005's 'Kalt' is a strong demo but not really as compelling as their later work. There's a demo of "Unter Null", a pretty cool spacey/mountain-esque "Murgang", the dreamy "Eiswüste" and the droning/boring "Schacht" which seems like an appropriate name.

If you like ambient, instru-metal music and haven't stumbled across this before...you're welcome.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2005 - Kalt cd/12"LP (download here)

2007 - Geisterstadt cd/12"LP (stream/download here)

2009 - Mount Logan split cd/12"LP

2010 - Imperial Anthems No. 5 (Tephra split) 7"EP (anyone got this?)

2011 - Karpatia cd/12"LP

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(2011) OMEGA MASSIF - "Wölfe" (from 'Karpatia')

(2011) OMEGA MASSIF - "Steinernes Meer" (from 'Karpatia')

(2009) OMEGA MASSIF - "Brachland" (from 'Mount Logan' split)

(2007) OMEGA MASSIF - "Exodus" (from 'Geisterstadt')

(2007) OMEGA MASSIF - "Unter Null" (from 'Geisterstadt')

(2005) OMEGA MASSIF - "Eiswüste" (from 'Kalt')

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OMEGA MASSIF additional links
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Thursday, 12 February 2015

KILLING TREE, THE

GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Metallic Hardcore / Metal
Related artistsRise Against, Holy Roman Empire, Baxter, Colossal, The Falcon, The Lawrence Arms, Noise By Numbers, Smoking Popes,  The Killer, Sweet Cobra, SynnecrosisArma Angelus and The Honor System.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active2000-2004
Song: "Violets are Blue"
Album: "The Romance of Helen Trent"
Year: 2002
Label(s): Government Music / One Day Savior Recordings / Eyeball Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofNorma Jean, Boy Sets Fire, Rise Against, Thursday and Protest The Hero.

I remember being in high school and hearing that 88 Fingers Louie was starting a new band. That band? Rise Against. I was big into the first Rise Against album 'The Unraveling' - really fucking hard. After that I strayed from the skate-punk/melodic hardcore sector and eventually came across the vocalist from Rise Against's previous band, THE KILLING TREE.

When Rise Against started out there was a pretty healthy dose of screaming and singing, with future releases sounding softer and more radio-friendly as I continued to hear singles from the band. THE KILLING TREE has unbalanced vocals as well, but luckily for most readers of this site the majority fall into the metallic hardcore/screaming side. His clean delivery shines through on rare occasions, but this is a metal band with slight punk/hardcore leanings instead of the other way around.

I was all over Napster trying to piece together the releases by the band until I finally picked up the cd for 'The Romancing of Helen Trent' in early 2002. It really is a good album, even after a decade. "Prelude to Pain" starts with some spoken word/movie clip audio with Helen Trent speaking about boys and relationships. Following this, the band wastes no time jumping into thick, breakdown laden metallic hardcore the entire thing laced with venomous screaming, "Eight dollar haircut? Fuck you!" and some well-timed dual vocals. "Them's Fightin' Words" has an almost equal weight of screaming and singing and sounds more akin to Rise Against than most of their songs. I showed this album to some friends at work who love Rise Against and they were flabbergasted that this was Tim McIlgrath and they couldn't get into it because it was too "hard". Boo hoo, losers. "Switchblade Architect" is another good song with a very catchy but heavy back and forth screaming jaunt at the end of the track. "Violets are Blue" was always the standout track for me because of the transition that begins at 1:15 with a robot riff and climbing drums/bass that jump in for a note or two in order to create the build until shit hits the fan just before the 2-minute mark. This build is used again and I'm totally cool with that because it's like a more metal version of Boy Sets Fire's "After the Eulogy" or a less metal version of older Norma Jean. "Counting to Infinity" is my final choice cut from this debut/final LP which boasts Tim's patented and very distinguishable melodic croon during the chorus, but otherwise this is another very heavy song that begins with the most straight ahead hardcore riff on the album.

The 2000 demo, from my recollection, was just 4 songs that appeared on the full length and didn't sound as good. Moving on...

2003's 'We Sing Sin' snuck in just before I rolled into my screamo phase and nearly abandoned this genre. It's five songs are more precise and shorter than their 2002 LP with increased production value that were released on Geoff Rickley's label Eyeball Records. The first thing you should notice is the killer cover of Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose" which is done in a very respectful and deliberate manner that is always fun to sing along to and ranks up there with Between The Buried And Me's cover of Soundgarden's "The Day I Tried to Live". The hard-hitting songs written by THE KILLING TREE on the remainder of this EP are the opener "Mascara (original sin)" that displays Tim's new-found love of singing, "Everything You Had is Gone (fall from grace)" has fantastic guitar palm mutes from the onset that remind me of Choke, Hopesfall's 'The Satellite Years'-era material and older (think first EP) Protest The Hero. There's another amazing section that starts at 3:37 and chugs its way back to the chorus. The last song I dig is "We Have Awakened (vengeance)" which isn't all that different from the rest, now that I listen to it again.

So there you have it. Timmy did some pretty decent stuff back in the day.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2000 - Bury Me at Make-Out Creek cdEP

2002 - The Romance of Helen Trent cdLP (download here)

2003 - We Sing Sin cdEP (download here)

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(2003) THE KILLING TREE - "Everything You Had is Gone (fall from grace)" (from 'We Sing Sin')

(2003) THE KILLING TREE - "Jesus Christ Pose (man's advantage)" (from 'We Sing Sin')

(2002) THE KILLING TREE - "Violets are Blue" (from 'The Romance of Helen Trent')

(2002) THE KILLING TREE - "Prelude to Pain" (from 'The Romance of Helen Trent')

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THE KILLING TREE additional links

2002 LP + 2003 EP
(download here)
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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

OUTCLASSED

BandOUTCLASSED
GenresPunk / Rock / Screamo / Hardcore / Thrash / Metal
Related artistsEdhochuli.
Country: Slippery Rock/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
Years Active2003-2008
Song: "Do You Always Talk Like You Have Caviar In Your Mouth?"
Album: "My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together"
Year: 2007
Label(s): Forcefield / A Time And Place Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofKill Sadie, Edhochuli, Since By Man, These Arms Are Snakes, Dawn Treader, Logs, Kidcrash, Life In Vacuum and Hot Cross aka PROPER SCREAMO.

Mixing punk, screamo, hardcore, stadium rock and thrash, Edhochuli's previous incarnation sounded a heck of a lot like their current band, but you are unlikely to find anyone complaining. OUTCLASSED ran the punk/hardcore scene in the mid-late 2000s and it's not hard to see why. Besides being awesome dudes (Garrett, Jon and Dave went on to for Edhochuli whom I interviewed here), simply put, are fucking geniuses. Although they do sound like Edhochuli and I've listed a fair amount of bands, Edhochuli and OUTCLASSED both are in a league of their own and easily distinguishable from the other, mainly screamo, bands that I've named.

Pairing ridiculous mathy instrumentals with screamed/yelled vocals and extremely socially conscious lyrics the EP 'My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together' is a 16-minute goddamn masterpiece. Songs such as "Do You Always Talk Like You Have Caviar In Your Mouth?" scream frustration with lyrics like, "But so we proceed and there are wounds where rivers once flowed and trees are cut down by this monuments protest. Please save us. Give me the icing off our cake. Escape the traditions of our histories. There will be no more books to read. No more screaming anthems" and incorporate some sick riffs and great dual vocals.

"It's Not Sharing If You Throw It In The River" and "Too Many Men With Land In Their Heads" also bust out more jazzy, catchy and melodic hardcore with strong hints at Thin Lizzy, Kill Sadie and Since By Man, and further environmental lyrical content that tickles me in all the right places, "if we learned anything from history is that we don't know anything! We're running red lights asleep at the wheel. So trace the seascape, can you feel its sense of promise? We're running red lights asleep at the wheel." The song "It's Not Sharing..." also boasts some really dancy bass parts that bleed through the rest of the album as well as the lyrics previously quoted. "Too Many Men..." runs congruently with Since By Man if they dropped the chuggy breakdowns and sass and replaced them with mathier, playful Kill Sadie and Hot Cross-esque noodling.

The remaining two songs on the EP are "Your Werewolf Tattoo Would Look Better If You Took Your Shirt Off" and "Friendship Is The Strongest Muscle" close out the five tracks and are also amazing songs. There's seriously not one snoozer on here, which is one of the main reasons why part of me is dead inside as I have been unable to procure OUTCLASSED's final release from 2009 titled 'This Could Be Coincidence, But I Swear I Saw the Street Lights Dance'. Actually, I just purchased a copy on discogs.com, so maybe it'll show up at my house in the next few weeks and I can post it - or maybe they just won't send it, which tends to happen a lot on that website. Regardless, check these guys out because they were amazing. If you dig them then you will definitely be all over Edhochuli.

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DISCOGRAPHY

???? - A Voice Like Rhetoric split 7"

2007 - My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together EP (download here)

2009 - This Could Be Coincidence, But I Swear I Saw the Street Lights Dance 12"+cdEP (if you have these files please post them!)

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(2007) OUTCLASSED - "Do You Always Talk Like You Have Caviar In Your Mouth?" (from 'My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together')

(2007) OUTCLASSED - "It's Not Sharing if you Throw it in the River" (from 'My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together')

(2007) OUTCLASSED - "Too Many Men With Land in their Heads" (from 'My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together')

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OUTCLASSED out of print mp3 'My Friend, My Brother, We Were So Strong Together' EP download / additional links

(download here)

LastFM

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

MINE

BandMINE
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artists?.
CountryUNITED KINGDOM
Years Active2012-present
Song: "Back Seat"
Album: "Mine"
Year: 2012
Label(s): Holy Roar Records / Cult Culture
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofCease Upon The Capitol, Dangers!, Comadre, Vaux, The Blood Brothers, Youth FuneralBlack Love, FrameworksCarrion Spring, Caust, Touche Amore, Watch For Wolves, Pianos Become The Teeth, State Faults, Gillian Carter, Since By Man, Secret Arms and Barrow aka PROPER SCREAMO.

I first came across MINE on a some blog or another, probably The Elementary Revolt. After downloading their 'self-titled' EP I expected crazy harsh noise - I mean, just look at that cover! Well, as you may have guessed my silly generalization was unfounded and dumb. MINE plays screamy post-hardcore/metallic hardcore with a surprising amount of melody in the vein of Barrow, Dangers!, Pianos Become The Teeth and Cease Upon The Capitol.

That first EP contains some killer tracks. "Crossed Out" has a beautiful, dreamy intro that sounds like Old Gray but leads into much more interesting territory once the vocals kick in after about a minute. This dreamy intro builds into a climax of noise that insanely sounds like a perfect mix of Nine Inch Nails and Carrion Spring. Seriously, that's a really good comparison. "What Kind of Bird are You?" is a screamy, noise-rock venture into hardcore that mixes Dangers! and Comadre vocals and bass with Cease Upon The Capitol guitars. There's an awesome wave of chaos that ensues from around 1:02 to 1:24 that is unreal. "Backseat" boasts some seriously Cease Upon The Capitol inspired death/spacey riffs. The vocals are a sticky goo of screamy Dangers!-esque sass and I absolutely love that booming bass, as it's super high in the mix and distorted.

While writing this review I stumbled across their 2013 endeavour 'Disappear' and, after two listens I'd posit that it's another decent release but doesn't grab me in the way their 2012 EP did. The four songs (plus one interlude) are in a similar vein but drop the instrumental heaviness to a small degree and inject more melody and substance, which ends up losing some of the urgency and flair but replaces it with a much more cohesion and direction. I personally enjoy the closer "Sleepwalk" the most, with those rising and falling guitars coupled with some passionate, throat-wrenching screams of "I know I'm worthless and I know I'm hopeless against..." The second track "Penknife" is another really good song. For this release I've just linked the bandcamp and not embedded any videos, so jam it here.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2012 - Mine cassette/12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - Disappear 12"EP (stream/purchase here)

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(2012) MINE - "Back seat" (from 'Mine')

(2012) MINE - "What Kind of Bird are You?" (from 'Mine')

(2012) MINE - "Crossed Out" (from 'Mine')

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MINE additional links

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Monday, 9 February 2015

ABHINANDA

BandABHINANDA
GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore
Related artistsRefused, Text, Demon System 13, Insurgent Kid, Sänkt, Separation and Final Exit.
Country: Umeå SWEDEN
Years Active1993-1998, 2004 and 2009
Song: "La Musica Continua"
Album: "The Rumble"
Year: 1998
Label(s): Desperate Fight Music / Trust No One Recordings / Locomotive Music / Alliance Trax Music
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the February Mix#12 right here or get the new March 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans of59 Times The Pain, Refused, Straight Faced, Earth Crisis, The Bronx, Gorilla Biscuits, Rusty, Raised Fist, 88 Fingers Louie, Randy, Hot Water Music, Avail, Aussitot Mort, Rye Coalition and Unbroken.

This will be a short review because this was a band I dug back in my "punk" heyday. I discovered ABHINANDA while cross-referencing Refused when I was into them big time back in the late 1990s and these guys were the closest thing to that classic Umeå sound that the legendary Refused made a household name. ABHINANDA was a relatively simple punk/hardcore band that sounded like old Refused crossed with 59 Times The Pain, Gorrilla Biscuits and Earth Crisis. Upon releasing their last proper record 'The Rumble' in 1998 featuring Kristofer from Refused sounded a lot like his more popular band's final recording 'The Shape of Punk to Come' mixed with newer American rock/hardcore like The Bronx. 'The Rumble' has two standout tracks in my old-ass opinion, titled "La Musica Continua" and "Junior". The former is the closer and strongest song on the album which includes strings and could definitely be likened to "Tannhäuser-Derivé" while the latter is an angry and danceable number that leans more towards The Bronx. I just listened to the band's earlier material and wasn't very impressed. My wife even said, "Who is this? Turn it off" and she loves 'The Rumble'. So there you have it.

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DISCOGRAPHY

1993 - Darkness of Ignorance (stream in full on youtube here)

1994 - Senseless cd/12"LP (stream in full on youtube here)

1995 - Neverending Well of Bliss cdEP

1996 - Abhinanda cd/cassette/12"LP (stream in full on youtube here)

1998 - The Rumble cdLP (download here)
1998 - Unbroken split 7" (stream their contribution on youtube here)

2009 - Kizuna cd discography compilation (includes new song "Still United!")

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(1998) ABHINANDA - "La Musica Continua" (from 'The Rumble')

(1998) ABHINANDA - "Junior" (from 'The Rumble')

(1996) ABHINANDA - full album 'Abhinanda'

(1994) ABHINANDA - full album 'Senseless'

(1993) ABHINANDA - full album 'Darkness of Ignorance')

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ABHINANDA additional links

Check the discography section, I'm fuckin' lazy

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