Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

*** MONTCALM exclusive interview and discography review ***

BandMONTCALM
GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsThe Last Forty Seconds, Ampere, Laiki's Orbit and Kindling.
CountryNew Hampshire USA
Years Active2002-2003
Song: "I Stopped Believing in Existence"
Album: "Kodan Armada split"
Year: 2003
Label(s): Self Released / Glory Hole Records / Pretty In Pink / Throw Brick Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #12.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofIndian Summer, Bright Calm Blue, September, Inkwell, Portraits Of Past, Navio Forge, Ampere, The Last Forty Seconds, Secret Smoker, Eyes Of Verotika, CongratulationsD'Amore, Four Hundred Years, Twelve Hour Turn, Funeral Diner, Belle EpoqueTipping Canoe, Coma Regalia and Ken Burns aka PROPER SCREAMO.

I don't even remember how I got into MONTCALM. I'm guessing it was the 'Kodan Armada' split 7" that first garnered my attention back in 2003 or so. The band only existed for two years but wrote and released some amazing material and has ties to some very influential screamy hardcore/emo bands. The tracks from numerous releases are strewn about when you include the two cdrs for the 'Demo' and 'Tour Demo 3"'. I recently went to the Austin Blood Alliance festival in Texas and met the vocalist from MONTCALM (as he know screams for Ampere) when my friend Tony from Congratulations and I were asked to bring him to a party after the first night of the fest. That encounter was the kick in the ass I needed to remind me to pluck the MONTCALM from the thousands of bands I have lined up for this blog and move them to the front of the line. I asked him if he wanted to be interviewed for this, to which he graciously accepted. But first, let's talk about the music.

Some songs have a very Ampere feel mainly because the vocals are so similar, obviously because Steve has been in both bands, and at times there are similarities to Kodan Armada and Ken Burns. "I Stopped Believing in Existence" sounds like Ampere mixed with Tipping Canoe.but they inject some clean singing which The Pine or some early Josh Jakubowski type stuff (Neil Perry/Hot Cross) and overall is one of their most cohesive and epic songs. From the 'Demo' cdr a real killer track is "Track 02" which has repetitious earworm of a line in "So you say it's over!". From Deadseraphim split songs "3" and "1" are fantastic songs, the latter of which I especially adore as it is extremely reminiscent of early screamo such as Indian Summer, Honeywell and Joshua Fit For Battle with the thick screaming, dissonant guitars and that beautiful hovering bassline.

My favourite song appears on both the demo cdr as "Track 3" in addition to "Untitled 2" on the tour demo cdr and sounds like a looming, dangerous storm in the country during the late summer. The build is vast and so worth the wait. Anyone who has a short attention span need not listen, for this song is over 9 minutes long, and I fucking love every minute of it. The sheer epicness of it all reminds me of September, Portraits Of Past and Funeral Diner. That's pretty goddamn good company to keep.

If you've never checked this band out I would strongly recommend doing so, as I know there are tons of people who love that old emo/screamo vibe from the mid-late 1990s as well as Ampere. Grab the discography download below and click here to read the interview already mentioned above. Here is one of the 15 questions that I asked Stephen, the vocalist and guitarist of MONTCALM.

5) Can you walk us through your musical influences chronologically?
The brief run-thru for me is that I got into Screeching Weasel etc when I was super young, then Crass/Flux of Pink Indians/Conflict and the whole anarchopunk thing. I connected the dots to bands like Disrupt and Dropdead, then tangentially found Portraits of Past and realized that I could like punk/hc but also listen to pop music like Sunny Day Real Estate and Promise Ring etc. Somehow, from that I ended up hearing My Bloody Valentine and that absolutely killed me. We're probably talking, like, 1998 or 1999 at that point. Anyway, I moved to Western MA and the scene around there in 2000-2001 was, you know, bands like Orchid, Tipping Canoe.. Jerome's Dream was from just south in CT. I was around kids who loved, like, The Smiths as much as they loved grindcore. It was pretty unrestrictive; there wasn't any sort of dogma around any singular sound, and being a smallish community, the bands I was in ended up playing shows with all sorts of other bands. The noise community at that point was pretty intertwined with the DIY punk/hc world, which definitely opened things up. I don't know. I guess all of it stuck with me to some degree.

***Read the exclusive STEPHEN PIERCE INTERVIEW (Montcalm, Ampere, The Last Forty Seconds & Kindling) here***

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

2002 - Demo cdrEP
2002 - Deadseraphim split 12"LP
2002 - Tour 3"cdrEP

2003 - Kodan Armada split 7"

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(2002) MONTCALM - "Untitled 2" (from '3" Tour' cd)

(2002) MONTCALM - "2" (from 'Demo')

(2002) MONTCALM - "1" (from 'Deadseraphim' split)

(2002) MONTCALM- "3" (from 'Deadseraphim' split)

(2003) MONTCALM - "I Stopped Believing in Existence" (from 'Kodan Armada' split)

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MONTCALM out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Monday, 30 March 2015

KINANE, KYLE

BandKYLE KINANE
GenresStandup Comedy / Improvisational Comedy
Related artistsN/A.
CountryAddison, Illinois USA
Years Active2009-present
Track: "God of Thunder"
Album: "Whiskey Icarus"
Year: 2013
Label(s): Comedy Central Records / Aspecialthing Records / Stand Up Records / Rad Girlfriend Records / Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofPete Holmes, Dane Cook, John Mulaney and laughter in general.

KYLE KINANE is able to go from sounding like a complete idiot to a genius in the span of a few short seconds. His dumb-witted persona cracks and the poignant, sharp personality shines through.
He has a relatively raspy voice that he uses with the perfect emphasis and is the kind of guy people would gravitate to at a party. He constantly pokes fun at himself and that is the basis for the majority of his material. A fair amount of his stuff are simply amusing stories told with excellent diction and tone. He really pulls the listener in with his delivery, which is a fantastic kicker to great material.

When I first listened to 'Whiskey Icarus' I was fucking smitten. It's an excellent first listen, second, third...you get the point. "God of Thunder" is his best bit. It's so hilarious. It's a story of a man who sits near him on an airplane and eats pancakes out of a footlocker bag and there's no way it doesn't make you smile. Everyone I've ever showed it to have thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed. "Flaming Youth" chronicles the sexual romp of a couple sitting next to him on another flight while he got drunk and cheered them on. "Rock And Roll Party" leads to a hilarious punchline about an 80s song on a tombstone in a graveyard that gets me every time. Those are only three examples but seriously, check this shit out.

I've only recently discovered 'Death of the Party', KYLE KINANE's first full length. This is its downfall for me, as I generally like to start chronologically instead of reverse and his new material is much stronger. That being said it's still worth a listen, just don't expect the polished and hilarious material that is found on 'Whiskey Icarus'. There are some exceptions, such as "Gonna Raise Hell" which equates a bunny face-fucking episode to watching a star explode. He then transitions perfectly into, "Hey, anybody here ever make that mistake right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" which is something I can relate to, being a pessimistic person who lacks confidence often.

KYLE KINANE released a new Comedy Central special in 2015 titled 'I Liked His Old Stuff Better' and it's pretty decent, especially the Hustler bit. As it's a video special and not an album (at least yet) I'll stop talking about it but you can view it in full here. I also found out that KYLE KINANE did a split 7" with a band called The Slow Death and I'd assume it's a b-side from the 'Whiskey Icarus' sessions but don't quote me. "Skunk" is mildly amusing but I can see why it wasn't put on the LP. Lastly, here he is talking about how Screeching Weasel influenced his life. ------------>

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DISCOGRAPHY

2009 - Death of the Party cd/12"LP

2013 - Whiskey Icarus cd/2x12"LP

2014 - Under the Table #2 split (w/The Slow Death) 7" (stream/buy here)

2015 - I Liked His Older Stuff Better Comedy Central special
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(2013) KYLE KINANE - "God of Thunder" (from 'Whiskey Icarus')

(2013) KYLE KINANE - "Rock and Roll Party" (from 'Whiskey Icarus')

(2013) KYLE KINANE - "Flaming Youth" (from 'Whiskey Icarus')

(2009) KYLE KINANE - "Dream Police" (from 'Death of the Party')

(2009) KYLE KINANE - "Gonna Raise Hell" (from 'Death of the Party')

(2009) KYLE KINANE - "Selling Breastmilk" ('Stand-Up Without a Net')

(2014) KYLE KINANE - "Skunk" (from 'Under the Table #2')

(2015) KYLE KINANE - full show of 'I Liked His Old Stuff Better

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KYLE KINANE additional links

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

VIRGINIA ON DUTY

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo-Violence / Screamo / Skramz / Sludge / Black-Metal
Related artistsQuantis, .
CountryPutrajaya MALAYSIA
Years Active2005-present
Song: "Curse"
Album: "Curse"
Year: 2013
Label(s): Chronic Crony Collective
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofTakaru, Under A Sky So Blue, Storm{o}, JeanneMesa Verde, This Ship Will Sink, Danse Macabre, Orchid, Ampere, Union Of Uranus, Jungbluth, Louise CyphreJune Paik, Nous Étions, Amanda Woodward, CapacitiesVi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, Sed Non Satiata, Daighila, Foxmoulder, Lamantide, Aussitot Mort, The Setup, (old) This Day ForwardBack When, OsoLuna and Tel Fyr aka PROPER SCREAMO.

VIRGINIA ON DUTY, you are pretty goddamn good. Holy smokes. Like, really. All seven songs that I have are unreal. Over 8 years (but only 2 releases, both in the last two years, as far as I can see) the 3-piece have perfected a bass-heavy sound that mixes emo-violence, hardcore, metal, screamo and ambient influences into the massive beast you hear through the speakers or headphones. Imagine Foxmoulder if they were thicker and more metal or This Ship Will Sink with less metal and darker sludge. The vocals on their songs, especially the 'Curses' EP, are super thick and unleased with the fury that bands such as Takaru used to.

From the EP of the same name, "Curse" has a dark, macabre beginning that leads to the best track the band has ever put together, which comes in just after the first minute but doesn't give you much indication of what is to come next, besides some heavy-ass bass. At 1:32 the vocals kick and a wave of emo-violence and thick, metallic hardcore. I would say this band borders on sludge, but that implies slower riffing and that simply isn't the case here. "Black Mountains" busts out full force with some rampant screaming and quick drumming. At 45 seconds a beauty slow part rolls in as the rapid drumming continues. It then regains momentum at 1:20 and has me head-banging along Jungbluth-style. "Regret" has some insanely thick bass parts. From 25 to 45 seconds we have the band sounding so big they may as well be a horde of giants rolling down a mountain. "Cephalus" is a slower, driving song that reminds me of Back When from their split with The Setup in which they used the song "Fraud of Scribes" as it is a swirling mirage of post-everything that busts out of it's hazy shell just after the one-minute mark. "Deception" has a long, ambient interlude that reminds me of Isis and Sed Non Satiata from the 1/4 to 3/4 in the song...so basically half of the track. The first quarter uses some guitar attacks that could have come straight off of a Louise Cyphre record. The last quarter bleeds out like Carrion Spring.

At first I thought the two songs from the 2014 4-way split cassette 'A Collaboration of Hope" were inferior but upon writing this review and really giving them my undivided attention I am convinced they are among the best. They do have a different feel, though, as they are much more diverse and less intense but the flow and nearly seamless transitions make it a deeper experience as is exhibited in "Durjana sistem berkuasa". "Dhunia" sounds like a screamo version of Nous Étions with a nice, climactic outro that includes a sweet Aussitot Mort styled riff, bass solos and some spoken word delivery.

I used to have stuff in the Zegema Beach Records distro but I sold out of everything. I didn't even keep copies for myself. I am ashamed.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2007 - Demo?

???? - 4-Way split w/Secret Smoker, Nothing Nothing Nothing! & ?
???? - 4-Way split w/Head In Heads, The Dying Motion & The Plague Sermon

2013 - Curse cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - A Collaboration of Hope split (w/Leon, Schloka & Angkor Wat) cassetteLP (stream/buy here)

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(2013) VIRGINIA ON DUTY - "Curse" (from 'Curse')

(2013) VIRGINIA ON DUTY - "Black Mountains" (from 'Curse')

(2013) VIRGINIA ON DUTY - "Regret" (from 'Curse')

(2014) VIRGINIA ON DUTY - "Dhunia" (from 'A Collaboration of Hope' comp)

(2014) VIRGINIA ON DUTY - "Durjana sistem berkuasa" (from 'A Collaboration of Hope' comp)

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VIRGINIA ON DUTY mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

Bandcamp

Facebook
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Monday, 23 March 2015

*** PROTEST THE HERO video interview & show review ***

Upon hearing that PROTEST THE HERO was finally going to play Hamilton on a day on which I was free, I contacted my good pal Lucas Hoskin in the band and laid out plans to meet and talk. I've been friends with the three core members since my early teenage years (aka 1994 onwards) because my brother was best friends with Luke. As you'll probably notice the video interview is more of a friendly discussion/reminiscing than an actual interview. We didn't have anything rehearsed and I hadn't even planned any of the questions beforehand. I was also able to talk with the two newer members and they were both very cool individuals who played excellently during the set.

INTERVIEW part 1/2 "The Floating Head"

INTERVIEW part 2/2 "Disco Fiasco"

It was amazing to see a room full of hundreds of people clamoring to get closer and sing along to PROTEST THE HERO's material and it was also surreal to see people (women and teenage girls especially) grasping at Rody, as I've known them for so long I rarely think of them as "stars" or something close to it - in the Canadian scene at the very least. There were well over 200 people there and the place was packed so I'd wager as many as 300.

Let's start with a little story at the Zegema Beach distro that I was manning. Some guy and girl come up to the distro and start rifling through and the guy asks, "What genres are most of these records?" to which I replied, "Screamo. But not the mainstream stuff. It's stuff you've probably never heard before. He responded with, "Oh cool, you mean like Saetia?". To this I raised my arms in the air, let out a short but piercing scream of joy and hugged the poor guy. They ended up taking over the distro while I was taking breaks and they bought some incredible ZBR records such as Via Fondo's 'Efter, Utan Under' and Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket's 'Den sorgligaste musiken i världen'.

For those who haven't been to Club Absinthe, it's a two-tier building with the stage in a corner under very low rafters. It's a big environment but still very intimate. The sound, as per usual, was excellent and the security did an excellent job of maintaining order, which they had to put into effect during the single aggressive dispute of the night.

PROTEST THE HERO's warm-up was pretty sweet and I've posted a video of that under this text.

As per every PROTEST THE HERO show I've seen, there was lots of banter and general hilarity in between songs. I've always enjoyed their banter so I've posted a few videos of it in chronological order along with the set. The band also had a pizza delivered during their stage-time and were nice enough to share it with the security fellas. Here's a live video of Blindfolds Aside where Tim was nice enough to give the camera a no strum solo and a hefty beard caress:



The band played extremely tight and culled some tracks from the first LP to the new LP. The songs I recorded in full that you can watch here are:
- Sequoia Throne
- Underbite
- Clarity
- No Stars Over Bethlehem
- Blindfolds Aside
- Linoleum (nofx cover)
- Bloodmeat

For the "Linoleum" NOFX cover, Ben Rispin (put on the show, helps book Club Absinthe, awesome guy) jumped on the stage and tackled the vocals, which he pulled off swimmingly. There was a part where I stepped up to the mic and got to scream, "So what?" a few times which was nice, as Luke, our friends and I used to concoct drunken NOFX covers back in my university days at my house and record them. I just listened to one on my computer, bahahahaha. Well, this video is amazing and it had everyone in the room singing along. I was mad into it as you will see the camera shaking while I belt out the lyrics along with everyone else. A magical little moment.

You can view all 12 videos right here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as well as the interview which is split into 2 parts. I've also posted the interview near the top of this post if you don't want to check the live videos because you're lazy.

Hopefully I'll have some good news about this band along with their review in the near future!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

HORACE PINKER

GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Punk / Pop Punk / Emo / Alternative / Hardcore
Related artistsJawbreaker, Mutoid Men, RVIVR, Shorebirds, The Reputation, Lynyrd's Innards and Sweet Cobra.
CountryTempe, Arizona & Chicago, Illinois USA
Years Active1991-present
Song: "Second Best"
Album: "Pop Culture Failure"
Year: 2000
Label(s): Jump Up! Records / Coldfront Records / Earwax Records / Onefoot Records / Thick Records / Arctic Rodeo Recordings / Rhetoric Records / Hard Records / Evade Records / Blurr Records / Fat Wreck Chords / Off Time Records / V.M.L. Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofThursday, In Pieces, Propagandhi, JawbreakerMoneenFugazi, Bracket, Guiltmaker, Alkaline Trio, Nada Surf, Over It and 88 Fingers Louie.

I remember hearing HORACE PINKER and I was like meh, terrible vocals. And upon relistening now I stand behind that viewpoint as their early work has vocals that your ears need to autotune for you. But then, I heard a song on one of my brother's 2-disc compilations called 'Punk Ass Generosity'. The song was titled "Supposed To" and the first thing that stood out to me was the vocals. They were amazing. It was like Chris Conley (Saves The Day) and Matt (Bigwig) intertwined their melodies and sounds (respectively) and combined them with an instrumental attack so thick and intricate that I was smitten. So as a wee lad (about 17 or so) I scoured every record/cd shop as well as many places online for 'Pop Culture Failure' which the songs was pulled from. After pretty much giving up, I went to some random cd shop in Barrie, Ontario only to stumble across this cd as well as Randy's "The Rest is Silence" and lose my goddamn mind.

On my initial review of HORACE PINKER's 'Pop Culture Failure' garnered a whopping 97/100 on my high school (circa 2000) punk review website on Geocities. Yep, fuckin' Geocities. I was in love with the LP. It combined power punk rock, hardcore, skate-punk, rock, alternative and emo with vocals that were eerily similar to Geoff Rickley from Thursday in that he always kind of sounds like he has a cold. A kicker to the vocals for me was the infectious and beautifully harmonized backing vocals that work as a true counterpart to Scott Eastman's very unique style. The guitars are very complex without being in the least bit silly. "Refined" hugely influenced my bass playing, along with lots of Tool, as with this record it was Karl Efrig on bass, who also added some backup vocals but was replaced by Chris Bauermeister on the following EP. Seriously, this album was monumental for me. From a purely retrospective standpoint, I think HORACE PINKER during their prime sounded like a bastard mix of Fugazi and Nada Surf  along with.Thursday as more punk and less hardcore. "Second Best" is the perfect opener with no lulls or boring parts in the song, just four minutes of awesome punk/skate-punk/alternative/hardcore music with a chorus that rang as my personal anthem for over a decade, "I'm not what I thought I'd really want to be but it's like when you're never really satisfied. When it comes around to me I'll always second guess. Second best. It's a slow drink sipping away. It's the best you never had. So when I come around I think you better meet me halfway. Failure, it's all I'll be, is a failure". The song that sold the album for me "Supposed To" follows and is a whirlwind compared to the first track as it blasts through at double the speed and incorporates a lot more yelling/screaming but retains the soaring choruses. "Doorway" is the perfect closer and another heavy song with a viral chorus that you'll be singing for days.

'Pop Culture Failure' preceded 'Copper Regret' as they both were released in 2000. Besides the addition of Jawbreaker's Bauermeister on bass this record has a very different feel. It sounds much less refined and lacks the depth of the LP. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it was a disappointment that stuck with me until I heard the band's 2003 effort and they fell off of my radar completely. "Skipping Stones" has some fantastic vocal harmonies with layers upon layers of really catchy lines and "South Stanley Place" is pretty decent, although very poppy, and they even made a video for it which you can watch below.

2011's 'Local State Inertia' harkens back to 'Pop Culture Failure' days but I've only just discovered this (a few days prior to the review). "Placebo Effect" has insane pop sensibilities and the album seems good enough so I might try to pick it up as I'm swimming in 'Pop Culture Failure' again right now because of this review.

You can stream a hefty portion of the band's discography on the HORACE PINKER bandcamp page, linked here.

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DISCOGRAPHY

1992 - Forty-Seven 7"EP
1992 - Knives, Guns, and Ammunition 7"EP

1993 - Six / Man Dingo split/comp cd
1993 - Face To Face split 7"

1994 - Power Tools cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
1994 - Selling Out the Scene Since 1991 7"EP
1994 - The Hyper-Reactive D.I.Y. Polemic Machine 7"EP

1995 - Horace Pinker 7"EP
1995 - Suck Shit (Doc Hopper split) 7"

1996 - Burn Tempe to the Ground cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
1996 - 4/26/96 (Fireside Bowl - Chicago, IL) 7"EP

2000 - Pop Culture Failure cd/12"LP (download here)
2000 - Copper Regret cdEP (download here)

2003 - Red Eyed Regular cdEP (stream/buy here)

2005 - Texas One Ten cdLP (stream/buy here)

2007 - Carnival Nostalgia: 2000-2006 digitalLP/comp (stream/download here)

2011 - Local State Inertia cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)

2012 - Seven Mile Road: 1991-1998 digitalLP (stream/buy here)

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(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Second Best" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')

(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Supposed To" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')

(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Refined" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')

(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Doorway" (from 'Pop Culture Failure')

(2000) HORACE PINKER - "South Stanley Place" (from 'Copper Regret') official music video

(2000) HORACE PINKER - "Skipping Stones" (from 'Copper Regret')

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HORACE PINKER 2K albums mp3 download / additional links

(download here)

Bandcamp

Facebook

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

A COMPANY OF HEROES

GenresPunk / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore / Skramz / Post-Rock / Post-Metal
Related artists?.
CountryCalifornia USA
Years Active2005-2006
Song: "XIII"
Album: "A Company of Heroes"
Year: 2006
Label(s): Guevara Entertainment
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofUnder A Sky So Blue, Joshua Fit For Battle, Love Lost But Not Forgotten, Dispensing Of False Halos, Youth Novel, Funeral Diner, CraneoComa Regalia, Seyarse, Forget Me Not, Mustaphamond, Saetia, Part II, Anger Is Beautiful, Neil PerryShe Notes The Chariots, Ampere, Textbook Traitors, Takaru, A Light In The Attic, Orchid and Deers! aka PROPER SCREAMO.

I stumbled across this sweet band called A COMPANY OF HEROES thanks to a really good blog that still has most of its downloads up (although the blog itself is dead) called The Poet You Never Were (check it here). Anyone who really knows me is more than aware (it's probably painfully obvious) that I'm obsessed with early Joshua Fit For Battle and mid-late Neil Perry material, as well as new stuff by the amazing Under A Sky So Blue and Youth Novel, so it's no surprise that I fell in love with this band like an ice-cream filled slap in the face. It hurts but it's so tasty. "XIII" is the song I chose because it's textbook screamo mixed with emo-violence, also known as Textbook Traitors and a shining example of the band's overlooked potential.

"Gilgamesh" is pretty close to being emo-violence but there's this underlying melodic cohesion that flaunts itself blatantly once the bass-driven second part of the song sends the listener swaying into the next track at the 25-second mark and sounds a hell of a lot like Love Lost But Not Forgotten during the first part and Adobe Homes during the second. "Pt. II" begins with bubbly bass ala Saetia and Mustaphamond and combines that with epic/reeling guitars and spastic drums not unlike Funeral Diner and Coma Regalia. "Cid" shifts into high gear after a clean intro that sounds an awful lot like City Of Caterpillar with some violent outbursts that audibly resembles TakaruCraneo and Blue Friend at 47 seconds in and it screams through till the end.

Name dropping aside, this band was something special. The instrumentation is throwback European emo-violence/screamo and the vocalist was top notch. There is no question - download this!


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DISCOGRAPHY

2006 - A Company of Heroes LP (download here)

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(2006) A COMPANY OF HEROES - "XIII" (from 'A Company of Heroes')

(2006) A COMPANY OF HEROES - "Gilgamesh" (from 'A Company of Heroes')

(2006) A COMPANY OF HEROES - "Pt. II" (from 'A Company of Heroes')

(2006) A COMPANY OF HEROES - "Cid" (from 'A Company of Heroes')

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A COMPANY OF HEROES out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

KADDISH

BandKADDISH
GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artists?.
CountryDundee, Scotland UNITED KINGDOM
Years Active2007-present
Song: "And So I Tell Myself to Myself"
Album: "Thick Letters to Friends"
Year: 2014
Label(s): React With Protest / Parade Of Spectres / Autumn Jams / Internationale / This One's For The Crew Records / Make-That-A-Take Records / The Ghost Is Clear Records / Black Lake Records / Boslevan Records / Desordre Ordonne / A Mountain Far / Let Your Fingers Do The Walking / Aspirations Of A Mad Man Records / Win Htein Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofCrows-An-Wra, Suis La Lune, Off Minor, Via Fondo, Saetia, Dip Leg, Eucalypt, Caresless, For Want Of, Hot Cross, La QuieteJR Ewing, We Were Skeletons, Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, ...Who Calls So Loud, and Animal Faces aka PROPER SCREAMO.

The band carries a very unique and layered sound, both instrumentally and vocally. I think the most obvious place to start is with the record 'Thick Letters to Friends' which is a fantastic record and was #13 on my top 20 of 2014 list that you can read here. "And So I Tell Myself to Myself" is the standout track, with those vocals that bounce in at 41 seconds are placed so well it's ridoobulous. This is the quintessential KADDISH song that is thick, jangly and littered with clean, suave guitar progressions. "End, As in Aim" should be a screamo anthem and is much akin to the soft, shoegazey feel of Suis La Lune. After an almost two-minute instrumental intro the band gets right into it with more amazing vocal placement at 2:18-2:47 and some sweet breakdowns amidst the twinkly bits. "But a Beat from Your Bones" is a track that ropes you in with that bass bashing and interwoven European screamo guitars. It finishes really strong with a string of ...Who Calls So Loud-esque epic screamy hardcore. "Is, Not Ought" concludes this lush journey with more of the same and worth a mention.

KADDISH's debut LP was a record with another slew of songs that are worth discussing. "...There Grows the Hours' Ladder to the Sun" is probably what Crows-An-Wra were listening to a lot because the similarity there is uncanny. It's a great song with cool clean riffs much akin to Saetia and Off Minor in their sound and jazziness. At 1:43 we are pattered with spoken word vocals of "Are we thinking yet?" then the riffs busts out like Via Fondo or something. It's so playful, engaging and refreshing. "A Book Unto Himself" is a great song, at 2:13 inserts a great part "Fade away. Fade away from me..." dual vocals but the entire song is fantastic. "To Another" is mediocre until 1:20 when the song gets crazy catchy and makes me think they are the kings of catchiness in screamo, along with Suis La Lune.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2008 - Battle Of Wolf 359 split 7" (stream the entire split on youtube here)

2010 - Kaddish 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - 4-Way split (w/Todos Caeran, Polina & Bonehouse) 12"LP (purchase 12" here stream/buy here)

2014 - Thick Letters to Friends 12"LP (stream/buy here)

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(2014) KADDISH - "And So I Tell Myself to Myself" (from 'Thick Letters to Friends')

(2014) KADDISH - "End, As in Aim" (from 'Thick Letters to Friends')
(2014) KADDISH - "But a Beat from Your Bones" (from 'Thick Letters to Friends')

(2010) KADDISH - "...There Grows the Hours' Ladder to the Sun" (from 'Kaddish')

(2010) KADDISH - "A Book Unto Himself" (from 'Kaddish')

(2010) KADDISH - "To Another" (from 'Kaddish')

(2008) KADDISH - "Combray" (from 'Battle Of Wolf 359' split)

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KADDISH additional links

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*** THE EXPLORATION / PUBES FLORAL / THE FLU show review ***


On March 13th, 2015 I drove to Toronto in order to attend a show featuring THE EXPLORATION at The Central. I'd never been to the venue, seen any of the bands or heard of the ones besides THE EXPLORATION. It was a pretty decent show with a wide variety of styles showcased by some really cool people. I met up with Egin (of Respire) and ran into Adrian (from Terry Green) and his friend Dean (pictured above) so I had some people to talk to in between sets as I stood at the Zegema Beach Records distro table. Let's start with the closer first.

THE EXPLORATION were fucking awesome. I knew I was going to enjoy this, but wow. The band is tight as hell and so fun to watch live.  The bass held the groove, the drums were really fun to watch (especially the crazy solo at the beginning of "Nostalgical" and the guitar-work was amazing.They are still on tour so be sure to check them out! Think La Dispute vocals with Native, Dakota! Dakota! and Piglet instrumentals. Very very cool stuff from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I grabbed some copies of their material and posted them in the ZBR store:
'Demography' tape
'For Cabana' 7"/tape
record label Fawning Records 001 nabbed four copies which you can grab here.

1 - The Ocean

2 / 3 / 4 - Meeting / Gone / New Song?

5 - Somewhere in the Middle

6 - Nostalgical

7 - I Guess I'm Leaving


PUBES FLORAL combines some interesting sounds, including a sax and a very jazzy drummer. It was very refreshing to see as I've never heard this amalgamation of instruments and I think it turned out pretty well, although the vocals seemed a bit off at times. Think of a lounge/jazz band mixed with Sinking Steps, Rising Eyes or an indie/emo band and you're on the the right track. It was pretty packed up front so I only got one video.


I missed the first local opener as I set up my distro and did a brief interview with Egin about a future ZBR website. Oops. Another local opener was THE FLU who play fun, grungy, dirty, loose and yet refined has some songs that made me smile and others that made me band my head. Think Maximum R'n'R and Transistor Transistor doing some serious grunge punk. Even though some songs are much better than others, this two-headed beast is worth checking out for sure. Loved the women's clothing on the guitarist.

Monday, 16 March 2015

SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE

GenresPunk / Post-Rock /  Hardcore / Ambient / Black-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Post-Classical / Shoegaze
Related artists?.
CountryNew York USA
Years Active2011 or longer...I dunno
Song: "Handprints on Glass"
Album: "To Clasp a Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers"
Year: 2011
Label(s): Pest Productions / Play the Assassin Records
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofOld Soul, Deafheaven, NIC (aka ██████), Fear Before The March Of Flames, Envy, Respire, Rosetta, OsoLunaThe Flying Worker!, Gantz, The Pax Cecilia, Sinking Steps Rising Eyes, In Reverent Fear and Angel Eyes aka PROPER SCREAMO.

SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE only released one EP back in 2011 with lots of ambient, atmospheric bits that stem from classical influences. If you like The Pax Cecilia or Respire as well as harsh bands such as The Flying Worker! you will be all over these fellas.

'To Clasp A Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers' is a pretty awesome screamo/classical/black-metal EP that includes three bonus tracks so I basically consider it an LP. Let's get to it.

"Handprints on Glass" is, simply put, fucking amazing. After a rather lengthy (1:54) and sorrowful intro SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE drop the goods. There's this amazing shift at 2:30 and 3:27 that makes me want to headbang to the hospital. The vocals are haunting screams that are extremely thick and goddamn I'll say it - robust. The instrumentals, as always, build and weave some neo-classical climaxes.

Although none come close the opener's genius, there are other good songs such as "Lock and Key" which is primarily classical, with the other "rock/metal" instrumentation coming in over halfway through the song, but the strings/ambiance is definitely the focus over the 6:56 length. Directly afterwards we are met with "Dawn Fades on this Son" which is a measly 2:43 by comparison and begins as a black-metal/atmospheric screamo song and continues as such save the halloween-esque/carnival injection at 1:28. "The Two Witnesses" is another mostly instrumental track but this one is more in the post-rock realm, like Explosions In The Sky or Mono or something, and "Prelude in G# Minor" is 100% classical.

There's the odd time the music hits me as cheesy, but the majority of the time I'm digging it like a grave. Excellent band that I didn't hear about until last year, and boy I'm glad I did.

I just found out they are called SO HIDEOUS now. Here's the newest album.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2011 - To Clasp A Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers cd/10"EP (download here)

2014 - Last Poem/First Light cdLP

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(2011) SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE - "Handprints on Glass" (from 'To Clasp A Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers')

(2011) SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE - "However Boldly Their Warm Blood Split" (from 'To Clasp A Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers')

(2011) SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE - "Dawn Fades on this Son" (from 'To Clasp A Fallen Wish with Broken Fingers')

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SO HIDEOUS, MY LOVE mp3 discography download / additional links

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

RESET

BandRESET
GenresPunk / Rock / Skate Punk / Pop Punk / Alternative / Hardcore
Related artistsSimple Plan.
CountryMontreal, Quebec CANADA
Years Active1993-2000, 2005-2008
Song: "I'm a Man"
Album: "No Worries"
Year: 1996
Label(s): State of the Union / 2112 Records / Indy Rekordz
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the March Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2015 Mix#4 here.
For fans ofDinosaur Sex Change, StandoffNo Use For A Name, Hi-Standard, Bracket, NOFX, Pennywise, Simple Plan, Lagwagon, Happy Go Lucky, Strung Out, Blink 182, The Ataris, Osker, PropagandhiMillencolin and Green Day.

RESET. Oh RESET. Still, very few know who you are. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. The reason I say that is because the primary fellas in RESET became Simple Plan. I can handle people gaining success and becoming teen heartthrobs and such, but when the lead singer of Simple Plan wrote a song during his RESET days, called "Pollution" which is vehemently against that particular lifestyle, it has the entire ordeal leaving a sweaty, urine-soaked and soiled diaper taste in my mouth. When I loved RESET they had yet to become Simple Plan, so the band still strikes a very memorable chord with me.

We'll start with the best (and first) album, 'No Worries' from 1996, which was a very political record. "Why?" was the only song available online back in the day (late 1990s) so my brother and I jammed the fuck outta of it before finally obtaining the cd. For fans of melodic skate punk (especially before it became popular) this song encapsulates the direction they began in with 'No Worries' and combines it with the evolving pop-nature of some of the tracks from their final album of the 1990s. The chorus is catchy as hell and sounds like old Lagwagon instrumentals crossed with less-whiny NOFX vocals (aka Green Day). It's a timeless beauty, this one. "Go Away" screams Pennywise and is one of the stronger tracks on the record. "I'm a Man" has some really good lyrical content, as Pierre discusses sexism and rape from the point of view of the man, which he uses in a very sarcastic and ironic manner to get his message across:
"When you realized my intentions you told me that you didn't care. All I did was scream and broke your harmless little hand because I'm a man. I have to prove to everyone that I can have you when I want and you'll nod your head in vain. I'm a man. I have to prove to everyone that I can cheat on you again." with the song probably being the best on the album, although it took me years to realize it.
"Concern" was a fan favourite which steps into Pennywise and early Strung Out territory. If you're looking for something new to liken this song as well as album to, I'd strongly recommend the young Hamilton boys in Dinosaur Sex Change, who had never heard RESET but play a very, very similar style. The lyrics in particular on this album are very mature for a teenager and deal pretty much all with politics and injustices in the world. This is another reason why Simple Plan is so mindboggling.

A mixed bag of an album, 1999's 'No Limits' was an album I would have given my left nut to get earlier than I did, as getting music in 1999 was nowhere near as easy as it is now. As stated, "Pollution" is the epitome of irony because Pierre's life definitely became a commercial and a rehearsal. But holy lord I was obsessed with the song, as well as the music video. I hunted down the cd and was beyond ecstatic when I finally brought it home. Here are some lyrics from "Pollution", "Some might say I could fit, I never wanted to. You and I we could fit in, we never wanted to. Everyone is following, commercials lead the way. I'm not a walking commercial. My life is not a rehearsal." Wow. Just wow. I still shake my head at the direction shift he took lyrically because holy fuck it's the exact opposite of this. I should also mention the band's excellent dual vocals and the harmonies that they employ. There's an excellent overlap and the two guys really compliment each other. My old band in high school covered "I Know" because it was easy to play. Tis a simplistic skate-punk romp in less than a minute. "Pressure" was the only poppier track I ended up liking as most of those songs had pretty immature lyrics. This song also boasts some alternative/grunge riffs that precede the choruses, and those choruses will get stuck in your head for sure. "Double Cross" is the band's best song if I were to look back over my RESET youth. It's much longer than most (4:33) and combines the skate punk with some excellent vocals and palm-muting. The kicker for this song is that squealing guitar note during the choruses. When my friend and I saw the band play in their post-Pierre incarnation we pleaded with the band to re-learn the song for Warped Tour. Alas, they did not come through. Instead, they started Simple Plan. Goddamit.

Woah, I just found out that the band "reformed" in 2006 with the original guitar player and two other members. I watched one of the videos and...just...no. It's not terrible, but it's certainly not the same. And it's terrible. I listened to a few more songs and they aren't as bad as the video, but it's just not the same anymore. They released two more albums, one in 2006 and another in 2008.

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DISCOGRAPHY

1996 - No Worries cdLP (download here)

1999 - No Limits cdLP (download here)

2006 - Radioactive cdLP

2008 - No Intensity cdLP

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(1996) RESET - "I'm a Man" (from 'No Worries')

(1996) RESET - "Why" (from 'No Worries')

(1999) RESET - "Pollution" (from 'No Limits')

(1999) RESET - "Double Cross" (from 'No Limits')

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RESET 1990s mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

Yikes.
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Friday, 13 March 2015

*** LIFE IN VACUUM / TERRY GREEN / POOL BOY / DINOSAUR SEX CHANGE / GET OFF THE COP show review ***

***LIFE IN VACUUM / TERRY GREEN / POOL BOY / DINOSAUR SEX CHANGE / GET OFF THE COP***

So on March 8th 2015 I put on the 6th Zegema Beach Records show at the Spice Factory in Hamilton, ON Canada. It was the first real all ages I've put on and to be honest I regret the decision. I think we had 2-3 people who were underage and in making it all ages I had to pay the venue so it didn't really work out. Well, live and learn. If you want to watch all the videos (there are 2-5 for each band, totaling 18) please click here or the link below. I've included my favourite nab from each live band and embedded it below the band description. Enjoy!


LIFE IN VACUUM are on tour and if they're playing near you I'd be flabbergasted if you can find something better to do that night than rock the fuck out to do those beautiful people.

I've seen the band before, but this night's showing by GET OFF THE COP was heads and shoulders above their last performance. The sound was much more cohesive and the mixture of band member's instruments was leveled out perfectly, and those vocals, oh man, they are so thick and screamy (Transistor Transistor comes to mind). They sounded much tighter and the songs are really interesting and bizarre. A band I really enjoy watching in the Hamilton and surrounding area. Plus, Nick from the band (guitar) also did the sound and helped book the show so hats off to that guy. He's amazing.


POOL BOY
POOL BOY were an interesting concoction of shoegaze, punk, indie and math rock. Sometimes sung, sometimes yelled and occasionally yelped. They really do have a sound all their own so check out the video below for a good representation. They played a pretty long set and everyone seemed to dig so hopefully we'll have them back soon!







LIFE IN VACUUM
LIFE IN VACUUM played best set I've ever seen. I've seen them...hmmm, maybe 7 times and I must say that with these three new songs ("Intro", "Black Snow" and "New Blood") are the best weapons in their already hefty arsenal of killer tunes. Although you can't really hear vocals from where I'm standing in the video, the entire set was spot on by every member of the band. This three-piece is going to garner a hell of a lot more attention when these songs drop on their upcoming split.



DINOSAUR SEX CHANGE
DINOSAUR SEX CHANGE play skate/hardcore punk with 3-way vocal harmonies. Mike is a great guitar player and has some killer licks, just watch video #2 if you don't believe me. The people at the show were receptive and I can truly hear them getting tighter. Plus those newer songs are pretty sweet. If you like Reset, Bigwig and older Osker I'd recommend these guys in a heartbeat.






TERRY GREEN
Now, I've seen TERRY GREEN many times and they always have decent stage presence, but tonight was different. Perhaps it was the incredible Life In Vacuum set that got them all pumped or that everyone was sober, but they put on the most passionate and animated performance I've ever seen. Matt (guitar) in particular was jumping on amps and giving feedback while laying on his back with his legs in the air. Passionate, very intense and weird is what I'd call the set. Why weird? The guy in yellow shirt with glasses standing at the back of the stage, I shit you not, never moved a muscle during the set. No exaggeration, not a single muscle. It was weird, but hilarious in its own way. Check him out in every single Terry Green video.

Sasha likes Sore Eyelids