Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 31 May 2015

WE HAD A DEAL

GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore
Related artists?.
CountryLudwigsburg GERMANY
Years Active: 2007-present
Song: "Agnostic Manifests Pinned To A Thousand Trees"
Album: "Counting Leaves"
Year: 2015
Label(s): Self Released / Digital Kunstrasen / Middle Man Records / 100 Kilo Herz / Farblos Records / Walking Is Still Honest Records / Heads Down Records / Pure Heart Records / Skin & Bones Records / Shove Records / Desertion Records / Through Love Records / Unlock Yourself Records / Boslevan Records / Lafine Records / Upwind Records / Fear Of Heights / Deaf Cult Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofHeart On My Sleeve, O' God The White WhaleEphemera, Voyage In Coma, MilemarkerSnapcase, Inside Out, and WE HAD A DEAL. They really just sound like themselves aka PROPER SCREAMO.

WE HAD A DEAL hail from Germany and have been releasing like fiends for a few years now. They sent me their new record 'Counting Leaves' which I dug and was the catalyst for this review. It further polishes the very distinct sound of the band and comes on a ridiculous looking vinyl. They've released quite a few things since 2008 including an LP, EP and a split LP in the last 3 years. I find it rather hard to pinpoint their style. No, wait, I find it extremely hard and as you have noticed the "for fans of" section is pretty much a barren wasteland. Anyway, I hear a very distinct vocal sound which comes across like Inside Out meets Snapcase, aka almost moshy hardcore and a bit of screamo. Shit I dunno. That's tough. A non-spazzy Shikari? Oh lordy, I'll just stop. Oh wait, Shawn from Coma Regalia/Middle Man Records just showed me O' God The White Whale and that's a great fucking comparison. Heart On My Sleeve aren't too far off, either.

The previous LP 'Dialectics' is on the heavier side of the spectrum, although by this blog's standards its not all that hard. Perhaps I bring it up because the 'Counting Leaves' sounds much more mature and seems to be aiming for a complete sound as opposed to passionate and energetic screamo. I also really, really enjoy the Coma Regalia split 7" that comes in a screened notebook. Amazing stuff.

The band's older material aka everything before 2010 is much more aggressive in the vocal department and leans much more towards hardcore than screamo, in my opinion. I really like the old stuff but it has a different feel from the new stuff.

WE HAD A DEAL pay hella attention to their packaging, lyrical content and the presentation of the general concept of their music. Themes generally run deep in the lyrics and is expressed in the artwork and (generally) massive lyric books. I wish more bands spent the time to flesh out their ideas, as this kind of stuff just seems so damn genuine.

I'm not really sure what else to say. The band is highly original and cannot be pigeonholed. They play with a lot of passion and use a variety of styles and personalities in their presentation. You wanna check it out? Listen to the audio below and make your decision. My guess will be, "yes".

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DISCOGRAPHY

2008 - Man is a Wolf to Man digitalEP (stream/buy here)

2009 - The World Owes You Nothing digital?EP (stream here)

2011 - Three Songs digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - Dialectics cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - (One) Fumbling for Words (Coma Regalia split) 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Counting Leaves 12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2015) WE HAD A DEAL - "Agnostic Manifests Pinned To A Thousand Trees" (from 'Counting Leaves')

(2015) WE HAD A DEAL - "Y.O.Y.O. (You're On Your Own)" (from 'Counting Leaves')

(2014) WE HAD A DEAL - "Black Rebel Motorcycle Club" (from '(One) Fumbling for Words')

(2012) WE HAD A DEAL - "Setting Fire to the Town-Hall for Different Reasons" (from 'Dialectics')

(2012) WE HAD A DEAL - "A Lack of Words and a Broken Chain of Thoughts" (from 'Dialectics')

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WE HAD A DEAL additional links
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Q AND NOT U

BandQ AND NOT U
GenresPunk / Rock / Indie Rock / Math Rock / Garage Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative / Dance / Synth
Related artistsCorm, The Elusive, Georgie James, Paint Branch and Title Tracks.
CountryWashington, DC USA
Years Active1998-2005
Song: "Soft Pyramids"
Album: "Different Damage"
Year: 2000
Label(s): Self Released / Dischord Records / DeSoto Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofRiddle Of Steel, Mock Orange, Bloc Party, Alarms & Controls, This Town Needs Guns, Life In Vacuum, Fugazi, American Football and The Mark Inside.

I've spent more than a decade searching for the next Q AND NOT U. I just looked at my empty "for fans of" section and shrugged. Well, I gotta put something. So, yeah. Q AND NOT U were an incredibly talented band from Washington, DC that released three records, two of which were extremely instrumental in my taste of dancey, math rock. I don't necessarily believe that "math rock" is the best term here, but I'm not really sure what else to call it. Their sound is undeniably Q AND NOT U and I find it impossible to confuse them with any other band. If you know of a band that sounds like these fellas please post them in the comments section and put my 10-year fiasco of a search to the grave.

The band's first album boasted two guitar players as opposed to the following two LPs which had one guitarist moving to fill in on the bass. 'No Kill No Beep Beep' is by far my favourite Q AND NOT U album. It gets just the right mixture of unpolished emo and dancey indie rock slathered over 11 tracks of music on the historical Dischord Records label. Released in 2000 it was progressive and nostalgic enough to stick on my playlist weekly for...hmmmm...the rest of my life. Tracks like the classic opener "A Line in the Sand" brings in a sassy, dance vibe a mere 15 seconds in with, "The first time, the second time let's stop this clock from starting. Why won't you ever stop?" The vocals are melodic but spewed forth with both passion and anger. This song also showcases the band's dual vocals with the Fugazi-esque warbling (I'm looking at you, Guy) as the song shifts to a different beat at 1:17 that is catchy as hell. Directly following is "And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight" that busts outta the gate with awkward, rhythmic and unconventional instrumental interplay that bask along with some sugary, sweet, melodic vocals. Definitely one of the band's best and has more of a chill, swaying vibe. "Fever Sleeves" is pretty good up until 0:44 when the song gets amazing and the guitars start taking a noisy stance using a quickly strummed, high pitched beeping. The chorus kicks in right before the 1:20-mathy-little-rock-jam and again afterwards. "Hooray for Humans" is another swell song that starts out much darker than most Q AND NOT U numbers but picks up the mood quickly and would have to go down as my all time favourite song by the band. The mood created in this track shifts and really pulls you around each turn. Lyrical and vocal standouts include the spelling of the word down with, "D - O - W - N and that's the way we get down!" which is directly followed by, "No scissors in bed. Tired of waking up with a new haircut every morning so there's no scissors in bed." Then the guitars get all crazy again, fuck this record is good. "Little Sparkee" is a cool little ditty that is the screamy song on the record. The secondary vocalist takes center stage here with some strange and jagged vocal patterns as well as voice but it really works to up the sass level. The screamy section runs amok from 1:01-1:20 and are layered over swooning vocals. "Y Plus White Girl" corrals more of those discordant, original and almost confusing guitar riffs that turn out working like charms. At 1:28 more screamy vocals swoop in to drop some aggressive moments before getting back to awkward, dance rock. "Nine Things Everybody Knows" is the last song that really catches my full attention for the full duration as it clocks in at 4:21 which is much longer than most of the tracks here. This is a poppier song that could have possibly broken them into the mainstream, but obviously that didn't happen because this band is just too damn good.

After releasing a demo for their next album 'Different Damage' the band ousted bassist Matt and dropped down to a single guitared 3-piece. In a way I regret this happened because although I love this record their first LP felt stronger, not only in thickness and guitar dueling, but also the energy and songwriting in general are more up my alley. That being said, this LP has some killer songs and the opener "Soft Pyramids" is a prime example of the quirky, indie rock that permeates the album. This song in particular is really soft but the constant drumming and amazing lyrical patterns are downright genius. It doesn't get catchier than the middle of the song when, "Select a color for your checklist. Color for your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Please pick a color for your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Nine, nine, nine. Kiss every comma in your checklist. Comma in your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Nine, nine, nine!" is repeated to the point of aural orgasms. "So Many Animal Calls" is a pounding and writhing number that includes some more aggressive singing and lots of dancey bass parts. "Air Conditions" takes the opposite approach and slows things down to some very basic, almost jungle-like parts and nearly whispered vocals that all culminate with a bass riff at 2:49 that will make each of your butt cheeks wiggle - at least a little bit. "Black Plastic Bag" turns the listener inside-out again as this is the black sheep, the mutated offspring that removes a lot of melody and injects some chaos, tension and more screamy sass. Getting back to the more accessible and Q AND NOT U sound, "When the Lines Go Down" is a great example of the 3-piece kicking it like their previous record but with more focus and experimentation. This is a killer song. Thus concludes my favourites from the album.

And then came "Power". Bleh. Not my thing. It's really dancey to the point of it having some beats and synths which really don't sit well with me...because I'm standing. It's obviously what the band was going for and I guess it is a logical progression but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I've jammed it a few times but I generally just think, "Why in the hell am I listening to this when I could be thoroughly enjoying the first two LPs?" So I listened to my brain and fed it the good stuff instead. It should be mentioned that the demo for their final album, appropriately titled "X-Polynation/Book of Flags" is worth checking out as the two songs lean the closest towards the band's earlier sound and don't suffer from the power pop/dance thing.

Regardless of the final output (which I should mention that some fans adore) Q AND NOT U were way ahead of their time and released two of the most influential punk/rock records I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Do not skip on this band. T'would be a fucking travesty...you monster.

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

2000 - No Kill No Beep Beep cd/12"LP
2000 - Hot and Informed 7"EP (demo) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

2002 - Different Damage cd/12"LP
2002 - On Play Patterns cd/7"EP (demo) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

2003 - X-Polynation/Book of Flags cd/7"EP (demo)

2004 - Power cd/12"LP

2005 - Wonderful People cdEP (remixes) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

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(2000) Q AND NOT U - "Hooray for Humans" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2000) Q AND NOT U - "A Line in the Sand" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2000) Q AND NOT U - "And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2002) Q AND NOT U - "Soft Pyramids" (from 'Different Damage')

 (2002) Q AND NOT U - "Black Plastic Bag" (from 'Different Damage')

(2002) Q AND NOT U - "When the Lines Go Down" (from 'Different Damage')

(2003) Q AND NOT U - "Book of Flags" (from 'X-Polynation/Book of Flags')

(2004) Q AND NOT U - "X-Polynation" (from 'Power')

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Q AND NOT U out of print mp3 discography download (minus a demo or two)

(download here)

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Monday, 25 May 2015

*** PILE / ANIMAL FACES / LIFE IN VACUUM / WORST GIFT show review ***

On May 16th, 2015 I packed my distro stuff into a tiny car with my friend and drove to Toronto to watch a very anticipated show for many reasons. It was the first Animal Faces show of 2015. It was Pile's first time in Canada. It was Worst Gift's one-year showiversary. And Life In Vacuum topped it all off to make the bill one of the strongest I've seen in some time.

*** Go HERE to watch all 19 videos from the show ***

WORST GIFT
The band began by informing us that it was the first anniversary of their first show which you can watch in full here. This was easily the best show I've seen them play and by the amount of people in the room I think the vibe helped influence that. Darryl himself told me how amazing it felt to be at that show because everyone was just so damn excited. Worst Gift has crafted a truly unique sound that touches on a few obscure bands but direct comparisons are futile. I try to imagine North Of America meets No Tongue and Sonic Youth (not obscure, I know). Hmmm, that's not a half bad comparison. I've always enjoyed watching each band member and tonight was no exception, but Darryl in particular displayed some amazing drumming skills which can be watched in all four videos from Worst Gift's full set, especially the first video. The slowdown halfway through the second song, "Immoral Inventory (Life as We Blow it)" is spectacular and truly entrancing. You can see myself and the rest of the visible crowd get fucking down with that shit. I will be helping release their debut 12"LP on my label Zegema Beach Records and a few others including (but not limited to) Gary/Good Post Day Records and Bobby/The Ghost Is Clear Records. You can currently stream the record in its entirety here.
Bandcamp
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LIFE IN VACUUM
These three fellas are on the cusp of being a well-known indie/punk/sass band in many parts of North America and not too far away from blowing the fuck up. They played amazing as per usual and there's a lot of camera shaking going on because these guys kill it every fucking time. They dropped some of my faves from '5' such as "The Edge of Boredom", "1984", "You Do It to Yourself" and "Van Life" along with the three new songs that will appear on the Joliette split and will be released later this year. The titles for those are "Intro", "Black Snow" and "New Blood" and all three are fan-freaking-tastic live. I've also heard the demos for "Intro" and "Black Snow" and those floored me. My favourite part of the set was when they played "Van Life" and I sang along so loud that you can see Sasha turn to see who's belting out such out of tune warbling at the 1:53-mark. When I got home and watched it I almost cried. Damn I love this band and the guys so much it's downright silly.
Bandcamp
Facebook

ANIMAL FACES
The first time I saw Animal Faces all the songs they played were of the heavier variety. The last time I saw them they played one heavy song amidst a nearly full set of soft material. On May 16th the band played a perfect mix of hard and soft, old and new as well as a long set because the drummer, Aaron, flew back from England just to play this show! The new song was about six minutes long and is crazy anthemic in terms of the huge crescendo just after a third of the way through. They also played a few of my favourites including "Half Asleep", "Hold On", "Breathe Lightly" and "Forward Through". Excellent set that had the crowd going apeshit.
Bandcamp
Facebook

PILE
The show was running rather late by the end as I had to head out before 2am beacuse I had to work at 8:30 the next morning and I had an hour drive ahead of me after packing all of my ZBR distro shit back in the car. I was able to watch about six songs, record three and hear another two or so on my way out and I was impressed but didn't get nearly as into the band as most of the crowd. Apparently these guys are really hot shit because all of my friends at the concert kept raving about them while I had never heard them nor heard of them before. Regardless it was cool to see a spastic and punk rock version of Queens Of The Stone Age, which was the most obvious impression that I got. You may notice in the videos how stoked everyone is to see Pile for the first time in Toronto and how smashed many are, to boot.
Bandcamp
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One of the best shows I've been to in a long time. Toronto you are kicking my ass right now.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

THIS DAY FORWARD

GenresPunk / Metalcore / Hardcore / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative
Related artistsSuperstitions Of The Sky, Circa Survive and Marigold.
CountryPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Years Active1996-2003
Song: "White Picket Defense System"
Album: "In Response"
Year: 2003
Label(s): Eulogy Recordings / War Machine Records / Equal Vision Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofConverge, Alexisonfire, Lamantide, Thursday, Fear Before The March Of Flames, HopesfallNionde PlåganJude The Obscure, Jiyuna, (early) Forstella Ford, Boy Sets Fire, Saosin, Circa Survive, Bright Calm Blue, Codeseven, Versus The Mirror, The End, In Reverent Fear and The Bled.

THIS DAY FORWARD will forever be one of the primary bands that helped me find my voice. Let me explain. In university I was trying to strengthen my voice and and practice developing my range so I would jam this song and do a vocal cover over the track. I did maybe 25 takes over a year which helped lead to the voice I have today. That was barely even a story. Enough about me and my encounters with "White Picket Defense System"

The band went through a myriad of changes although the members pretty much stayed the same. On 1999's 'Fragments of an Untold Story Born by Shunning the Opportunity' and 2000's 'The Transient Effects of Light on Water' THIS DAY FORWARD are pure metalcore. Imagine Converge and Hopesfall as wild, rabid dogs mating on a deserted street in broad daylight. The instrumentals are generally dropping mad breakdowns or noodling across some palm-muted playful stuff. The vocals are banshee screaming with some lower end stuff, but in the end Mike Shaw sounds a hell of a lot like Jacob Bannon's earlier work in Converge. This is a great overall album but it can seem a bit monotonous at times, as every track save for "If I Wore a Mask" sounds interchangeable to me. "If I Wore a Mask" is my favourite and most memorable heavy THIS DAY FORWARD song that includes the whispered "If I...wore a mask...I could...rule the world," and then brings breakdowns down aplenty. "Writing in Cursive" could easily be a Jiyuna song, especially with that bass led breakdown at 1:30. "End of August" is another stellar slap in the face while "The Effects of Departure from Ideal Proportions" has some of the best and more interesting breakdowns. Their 1999 effort is okay but isn't worth discussing in my opinion because their 2000 LP built on their initial formula and fine tuned it.

It was at this point that the band added Vadim Taver to the mix and band really began to evolve away from metalcore and toward rock.

My cherished THIS DAY FORWARD album is most definitely 2002's 'Kairos' EP. The title track "Kairos" wastes no time in showing the band's shift from metalcore to a very interesting post-hardcore/metal with a lot more of his patented talk/sing style and is probably the strongest song. He dips in and out of this style throughout the five cuts and replaces it with a fair amount of screaming and the occasional melodic singing. Speaking of melodic singing their friend Geoff Rickley from Thursday and United Nations laid down some sweet vocals on the fantastic "Sunfalls and Watershine". "Isomorphism" is as good as "Kairos" but for a much different reason, as this song focuses on being the mutated offspring that delves only into the band's two extremes. It opens with a beautifully sung intro and soft guitars before bringing in screaming and well placed breakdowns. "Allegory of the Cave" is another killer choice that includes some bouncier instrumentals and a really catchy, screamy part that begins at 49 seconds and is topped at 1:28 with "Take these standards, built like buildings and tear them down. Rebuild. Rebuild!". This cd reminds me of a very earthy and natural record and is certainly the band's crowning achievement, in my eyes...errrr, ears.

The band's final foray into music and melody came in the form of 2003's 'In Response'. This opens with one of the harder songs and probably the best overall song "White Picket Defense System". It's a sassy post-hardcore romp with great lyrics, excellent vocal placement, talking, singing and screaming. My favourite part would have to be the lyrics and vocals at 0:58 "Savage. Savage etiquette. Courted by, courted by the cannibals. Oh how unfortunate that we've become the animals as hope dilate beyond the peripheral." The next really good track doesn't drop in until track four which is titled "In the Past ... On the Ground" and is a dreamy number at the beginning but soon becomes a very aggressive track that easily could have ended up on 'Kairos'. After the screaming comes a nice, melodic passage with some really cool riffs and excellent singing, as Mike really perfected his clean stuff on this record. "Fragile Version" is easily the catchiest and strongest melodic track on the album, which is nearly saturated by some mediocre post-hardcore/rock but THIS DAY FORWARD were most likely striving for this particular sound and were able to capture it on this song, which really suits their newer, non-Converge style. "Nouveau" is a biting and seething trip that is the darkest of all the songs on 'In Response', with some dips into melody and great lyrics, "begin again as if you never began".

So there you have it. And here it is again in a nutshell, THIS DAY FORWARD underwent a stylistic shift that was great at both ends but was the strongest when the band straddled the middle.

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

1999 - Fragments of an Untold Story Born by Shunning the Opportunity cdEP

2000 - The Transient Effects of Light on Water cd/3x7"LP

2002 - Kairos cdEP

2003 - In Response cdLP

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(2003) THIS DAY FORWARD - "White Picket Defense System" (from 'In Response')

(2003) THIS DAY FORWARD - "Nouveau" (from 'In Response')

(2003) THIS DAY FORWARD - "In the Past ... On the Ground" (from 'In Response')

(2002) THIS DAY FORWARD - "Kairos" (from 'Kairos')

(2002) THIS DAY FORWARD - "Isomorphism" (from 'Kairos')

(2000) THIS DAY FORWARD - "If I Wore a Mask" (from 'The Transient Effects of Light on Water')

(2000) THIS DAY FORWARD - "End of August" (from 'The Transient Effects of Light on Water')

(1999) THIS DAY FORWARD - "Arise" (from 'Fragments of an Untold Story Born by Shunning the Opportunity')

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THIS DAY FORWARD out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

THUMBSCREW

BandTHUMBSCREW
GenresPunk / Metalcore / Math / Hardcore / Thrash / Grind
Related artistsPoacher and Faithhealer.
CountryAustin, Texas USA
Years Active2001-2007
Song: "A Thought for You"
Album: "All is Quiet"
Year: 2004
Label(s): Counterintelligence / Imagine It Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofNorma Jean, Botch, The Chariot, Lavotchkin, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, Beneath The Ashes, Crrust, Lamantide, Converge, Poison The Well, Into The Moat, Hexis, Psyopus, The Dillinger Escape Plan, (early) Back When, Curl Up And Die, Unearth, The Great Redneck Hope, Tentacles, Ion Dissonance, Job For A Cowboy and From A Second Story Window.

There isn't too much that needs to be said. If you like mathy chaos amidst throat-shredding vocals that range from screeching to growling then you will dig this. I personally feel it sounds like a direct mix of Norma Jean 'Bless the Martyr'-era with some hints of Unearth. If your current bag includes the crazy Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, The Chariot, Botch and Lavotchkin you are going to flip your lid over THUMBSCREW. They sound a hell of a lot like the aforementioned bands but are faster, more chaotic and heavier on the vocals as well. My wife loves all of those bands but can't get into this one because they are too hard and spastic and screamy for her...and she loves Converge! There are seriously some armageddon tracks that annihilate traditional forms of melody with satanic howls, ridiculous drumming and very technical song structures.

Some examples? Alrighty then. "A Thought for You" is crazy heavy and has dual vocals that stand out in this track with simultaneous growling and Josh Scogin-esque throat shredding scream. and an initial breakdown that is face melting at 30 seconds in. There's another great breakdown just over halfway through that helps bring the song to an end and provides a nice bit of closure. "Is That Youo Duke Raul?" is a frantic roller coaster ride through a nightmare which attacks hooks out just after one minute and a blasting breakdown with some murder guitar squeals as an outro. While writing this I'm realizing that I really love these guys for their breakdowns, as "On to Better Things" exemplifies this and has me straining my own neck while trying to type this shit. "The Stuff Movies are Made of" is an instrumental jam that lends itself to a clean, post-hardcore/screamo style but that is downright decapitated at the 1:12-mark when shit gets typical THUMBSCREW, aka crazy and heavy as shit. I didn't mention any songs from the 'Within Hearts of Redemption' EP but that is not indicative of how good they are, as they are still really good, there's just something about the style on the 'All is Quiet' LP that tickles my fancy.

The band is also religious so if you dabble in that there's another reason to listen to THUMBSCREW, but that may put off listeners, too. I just focus on the music and screaming, as you can't tell what he's saying anyway.

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

2004 - All is Quiet cdLP

2006 - Within Hearts of Redemption cdEP

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(2004) THUMBSCREW - "On to Better Things" (from 'All is Quiet')

(2004) THUMBSCREW - "A Thought for You" (from 'All is Quiet')

(2004) THUMBSCREW - "Is That Youo Duke Raul?" (from 'All is Quiet')

(2006) THUMBSCREW - "Maliscent" (from 'Within Hearts of Redemption')

(2006) THUMBSCREW - "Be Prepared, Dig In" (from 'Within Hearts of Redemption')

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THUMBSCREW out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Monday, 18 May 2015

LONELY ANIMALS

GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Ambient / Skramz / Shoegaze
Related artistsCommuovere.
Country: Québec City, Québec CANADA
Years Active2012-present
Song: "Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone)"
Album: "Let this Love Live Until I'm Gone"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofSuis La Lune, Saetia, Bright Calm Blue, CongratulationsLa Quiete, Via Fondo, GRYSCL, Animal Faces, La Dispute and Sinking Steps, Rising Eyes aka PROPER SCREAMO.

LONELY ANIMALS have a stranglehold on the soft screamo sound. That's not to say the band sounds soft, but the majority of guitars that they employ are clean and very melodic. Take the utterly fantastic "Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone)" as a prime example, boasting extremely intricate guitar work to a danceable vibe and screamed vocals and a superb instrumental jam at 2:28. When I asked my wife what band this song sounded like she immediately replied, "Saetia. A lot like Saetia." I couldn't believe I didn't hear it initially but she was definitely right, minus the crazy high pitched screaming, as this is just regular screaming. I have yet to hear a song that captures me in the same way as "Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone)" which is square in the heart, but all of their material is worth checking out.

From the new EP 'Let this Love Live Until I'm Gone' "Intro" and "Nothing" don't do anything for me except detract from the album, because I'm a greedy piece of shit. "Love Poetry" has some military-esque drumming before the guitars have you whirling around the song like a tornado that leaves a wake of beauty, instead of destruction. At 3:05 the dual vocals kill it and lead out the very midwestern emo sound of the mid-late 1990s. "Winter Solstice" is an emotional roller coaster with three members sharing the vocal duties, and Gabrielle's vocals that begin just after one minute and continue throughout the entirety of the track taking the cake for me. It's so good part of me thinks it should be the final song. "The Saddest Landscape" is a very loose composition with vast amounts of space, silence and demands anticipation. That being said it doesn't really pay off, as the bare, long and drawn out beginning takes center stage for the first five minutes which is a bit too long for me, but then subtly builds to a pretty intense climax that explodes at 7:30. "Dead Birds Don't Sing" is another long song at 6:24 which is like a novel, as it contains a lot of chapters and has a certain flow to it that lends to this particular analogy, with the climax coming (ha) at 4:37. Speaking of climax, there are definitely some bass lines that remind me of 80s movies or porn right before the screaming section and it kicks major ass.

On December 5th of 2014 I was lucky enough to catch a set of theirs at The Crydome in Toronto. I filmed the entire set and have posted it below my three favourite album songs. It was an emotionally stirring experience as the band put on an extremely earnest and passionate set that left me stunned. Here's a link to the show review.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2013 - Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone) single (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - Let this Love Live Until I'm Gone LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2013) LONELY ANIMALS - "Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone)" (from 'Vakarme' comp)

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "Winter Solstice" (from 'Let this Love Live Until I'm Gone')

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "Love Poetry" (from 'Let this Love Live Until I'm Gone')
(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "new song" (from live set Dec. 2014 at The Crydome)

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "Love Poetry" (from live set Dec. 2014 at The Crydome)

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "Raining Inside (I Wish I Wasn't Alone)" (from live set Dec. 2014 at The Crydome)

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "The Saddest Landscape" (from live set Dec. 2014 at The Crydome)

(2014) LONELY ANIMALS - "Dead Birds Don't Sing" (from live set Dec. 2014 at The Crydome)

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LONELY ANIMALS additional links
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

SPIRES

BandSPIRES
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Screamo / Hardcore / Thrash / Doom / Ambient / Crust
Related artistsBig Kids and Acid Fast.
CountryOakland, California USA
Years Active2008-2009
Song: "Eves"
Album: "Flowers and Fireworks"
Year: 2009
Label(s): Inkblot Records / Pissart Records / The Hive
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #12.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofThe Power And The Glory, Baroness, Light Bearer, Curl Up And Die, Gray Ghost, His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy, Fall Of Efrafa, Creeper, Circle Takes The Square, Birch, Mesa Verde, Nous Étions, Rosetta, Ladder Devils, (old) Gaff and Back When.

SPIRES were a very short lived band from Oakland. They were something special and quite unfortunately often overlooked. I personally enjoy the LP much more than the split 12" with 1994!, but that lack of balance doesn't make the band any less interesting. Most songs clock in around the five minute mark, have a layer of rust and grit on the recordings, are jagged and discordant, are seeping with Curl Up And Die-esque growls/screams and border on space/experimental/ambient post-hardcore/post-metal/screamo.

The opener of the 2009 12"LP 'Flowers and Fireworks' is titled "Shores" and has a Back When meets Fall Of Efrafa crust/post-metal feel with some biting guitar licks as well as vocals heavy and thick enough to actually sound like they are about to drop through the floor. "Whoring the Fields" follows and is another killer song with some very interesting guitars, most notably the part at 2:20 when they pull out the clean riffs. "Through a Cold, White Beard" is a blast of the dark arctic. I imagine this being the soundtrack to hunting massive Norwegian trolls in the black of night. The song is very interesting as it weaves through a myriad of sounds and textures, as well as my personal favourite - many vocalists! "Flames for the Strays" is a typical SPIRES affair that's shorter, faster and more focused than most of the band's other tracks while "Man and Mother" is the most chaotic and heaviest of the bunch. "The Bitter's" is one of my favourites as it now reminds me of Lentic Waters and in a historical context Curl Up And Die. It's awkward, spazzy and grooving with a fantastic build that starts just before the three minute mark. My choice cut is "Eves" because it's epic as shit. If you've read my Back When post then you know how I love this kind of sound, as the song could easily have landed on Back When's 'We Sang As Ghosts' LP or Baroness' older, better material (aka 'I'-'III'.

As I mentioned I don't particularly enjoy the '1994! split' 12"LP nearly as much as 'Flowers and Fireworks' but that doesn't mean you should pass on it, just don't begin with it. The songs are much more ambient (not to say they are ambient) but the aggressiveness and urgency are toned down quite substantially, most notably on the vocals. Grab the discography taken from my vinyl. Enjoy!

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

2009 - Flowers and Fireworks cd/cassette/12"LP
2009 - 1994! split 12"LP

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(2009) SPIRES - "Man and Mother" (from 'Flowers and Fireworks')

(2009) SPIRES - "Eves" (from 'Flowers and Fireworks')

(2009) SPIRES - "The Bitter's" (from 'Flowers and Fireworks')

(2009) SPIRES - "The Water's Edge" (from '1994!' split)

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SPIRES out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

VERSUS THE MIRROR

GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Sing&Scream Hardcore without the "Sing"
Related artistsThe Bled and probably others.
CountryTuscon, Arizona USA
Years Active2003-2007
Song: "Smoke it to the Rope"
Album: "Home"
Year: 2006
Label(s): Equal Vision Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofIn Reverent Fear, Lyed, The Bled, Since By Man, Beloved, Alexisonfire, Saosin, Hopesfall, Gali Ma, ThursdayIn Pieces, Endor and Fear Before The March Of Flames.

One could definitely make the argument that this style was becoming much more popular and therefore VERSUS THE MIRROR were lost in the shuffle. Were they original? Not so much. They took the typical sing/scream metallic/chug hardcore and removed the "sing". There are zero clean vocals here, and that's definitely part of the appeal for me. The guy has a great scream with a lot of range so he doesn't cheese that shit up, and a good fucking call I might add. I'd describe the vocals as violently strained and although I love'em, I'd say they may be mixed a wee bit high. So yeah, for what they do they do it really well but don't expect anything except The Bled and Lyed styled vocals with Saosin, Hopesfall and Beloved instrumentals.

The start/stop dynamics of "Smoke it to the Rope" are like sweet syrup poured into my ears. If there is a home run by the band this is most definitely it. The track has very similar instrumentals to the first Saosin EP with Anthony Green and a scream not too far off, but probably closer to early Alexisonfire and Fear Before The March Of Flames. "Birthed By Architecture" is a great song hampered by a very weak music video, linked below. "Fear Will Keep Them in Line" is riff and breakdown central with a heavier emphasis on a lighter sound of the occasional daisy or daffodil grazing your cheek, HopesfallBeloved and Saosin, I'm looking in your direction. Although notable songs include the sweet riffing during the chorus of "Barracuda Capital of the World", "Let's Get Alone" has a similar, infectious chorus riff amidst breakdowns and screaming. "Boy Gets What He Wants" and "(I Am) The Master of Gravity" are on the more aggressive side and sound a lot more like The Bled.

Basically, if you like the "For Fans Of" section you'll really dig this band. It's so 2005.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2005 - Versus The Mirror cdEP (if you have this please post it!)

2006 - Home cdLP (download here)

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(2005) VERSUS THE MIRROR - "Smoke it to the Rope" (from 'Versus The Mirror')

(2006) VERSUS THE MIRROR - "Barracuda Capital of the World" (from 'Home')

(2006) VERSUS THE MIRROR - ""Fear Will Keep Them in Line (from 'Home')

(2006) VERSUS THE MIRROR - "Birthed By Architecture" (from 'Home') official music video

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VERSUS THE MIRROR 'Home' and a few songs from the 'Versus The Mirror' demo mp3 download

(download here)

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

FRANCIS BRADY

GenresPunk / Metallic Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore / Skramz / Emo-violence
Related artistsArktika.
CountryGERMANY
Years Active2002-2003
Song: "Schalter: Emotion Leerlauf"
Album: "Demo"
Year: 2002
Label(s): Self Released / Wild Zero
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofTruman, Phoenix Bodies, Hospital, Converge, Wet Petals, Under A Sky So Blue, Dispensing Of False Halos, Neil Perry, Welcome The Plague Year, Eaves, OsoLuna, Kodan Armada, Zann, AdvocateDeers!, In TonguesLouise CyphreIscariote, Yusuke, Danse Macabre, Shikari, Daighila, Textbook Traitors, The Spirit Of Versailles and Anger Is Beautiful aka PROPER SCREAMO.

I first saw FRANCIS BRADY on the Mara'akate 'Congratulations on Your Impending Geography' DVD. During the band's stint in Europe they played with FRANCIS BRADY and captured some footage of the band. I remember first thinking goddamn that is some shrieky-ass German music. After hearing a split, I believe it was the Eaves split 7", I became aware of just how intricate, intense as well as shrieky they could be.

"November Und Wir Fliehen" has a very dark atmosphere like tainted cavern water and reminds me a lot of the new Truman EP, which also kicks ass and you should check out immediately. When the band gets really intense the outcome is blistering and violent.

From the 'Demo' and 'Francis Brady' EPs pretty much every song is awesome. Besides the obvious screamo/emo-violence leanings they throw in some post-hardcore/metallic hardcore on songs like "Is This the End?" as the palm-muted guitars swirl like Hopesfall or Saosin. "Too Slow to Stop Decay" is a very intense ride. "Finding Love in Acts of Despair" begins with a fantastic chorded bass intro that sets the stage for the devastating metallic screamo that follows. Implementing a plethora of screamers, FRANCIS BRADY saturate the listener with numerous layers of desperation and anger. The rhythmic shifts in "Schalter: Emotion Leerlauf" are fantastic, most notably at the 23-second mark as it drops down and then back up again just over 10 seconds later. At 0:58 things quiet down and the lone guitar drops in with some sexy clean midwestern-emo style plucks which reach a crescendo at 1:25 and again at 1:48 with a sweet breakdown. I'd definitely call "Schalter: Emotion Leerlauf" the best overall FRANCIS BRADY song.

In 2005 the band was included on the '' with the exclusive track "Tranen Werden Zu Illusion" which is a really good song and I'm glad it was released because otherwise I don't think it was available. It's more metallic hardcore/screamo/emo-violence and it's included in the discography download here. Enjoy!

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

2003 - Demo EP
2003 - Francis Brady 7"EP
2003 - Eaves split 7"EP

2005 - This Is Your Life 2x12"LP compilation (contributed the track "Tranen Werden Zu Illusion")

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(2003) FRANCIS BRADY - "Schalter: Emotion Leerlauf" (from 'Francis Brady')

(2003) FRANCIS BRADY - "November Und Wir Fliehen" (from 'Eaves' split)

(2003) FRANCIS BRADY - "Finding Love in Acts of Despair" (from 'Demo')

(2003) FRANCIS BRADY - "Too Slow to Stop Decay" (from 'Demo')

(2005) FRANCIS BRADY - "Tranen Werden Zu Illusion" (from 'Live Your Life' comp)


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FRANCIS BRADY out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)

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Monday, 11 May 2015

JEANNE

BandJEANNE
GenresPunk / Screamo / Skramz / Hardcore / Emo-violence
Related artistsToledo, Galère, Paramnesia, Oak, Heart Compression, Mind Awake, .
CountryStrasbourg FRANCE
Years Active2014-present
Song: "4/4"
Album: "Demo"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofCraneoУлыбайся ВетруRavinDaighila, Virginia On Duty, Storm{O}, Lamantide, Louise Cyphre, June Paik, Blue Friend, Youth Novel, Ostraca, Capacities, Easy Lover, Daitro, Among Light, Mihai EdrischPotence, State Faults, Beau NavireYoung Mountain, Orchid, The Flying Worker, CoreaUnder A Sky So Blue and Blind Girls aka PROPER SCREAMO.

JEANNE. Holy bujeeeeesus. Where the fuck did you come from? The frantic yet precise chaos of the instrumentals are laced with Thomas Schlatter-inspired screaming on the band's 4-song 'Demo' that was released in 2014. It blew my socks off and bruised my toes under the toenails.

"1/4" is the brooding opener on the band's sole release thus far. A slow, dark guitar and drums intro gives way at 38 seconds to the Blind Girls and Ravin-esque screamy hardcore that's fast but not insane fast. This rise and fall happens twice before culminating into dual-screaming and spastic, swirling breakdowns just after the two and a half minute mark. "4/4" clocks in at 2:47 and reminds me of Virginia On Duty and the two aforementioned bands with a cavernous, screaming romp-fest at 47 seconds in that continues until the band's occasional growl makes an appearance halfway through the song. The last half is probably the fastest JEANNE material to date which bears some resemblance to bands like Young Mountain and State Faults. "3/4" is a very aggressive affair that begins with dual vocals reminiscent of Under A Sky So Blue before the screaming really takes on a Storm{O} and Lamantide feel. The guitars on this song somehow manage to nicely replicate the sound and feel of Mihai Edrisch while the vocals take on a Daitro quality. It's a tough call but this might be my favourite from the 'Demo'. "2/4" is an interesting closer. Why? WHY?!?!?! Oh yeah, because the first two-thirds of the song hit all of my buttons, as it brings Blue Friend and Beau Navire to mind but the final third of the song seems out of place. It's not bad or anything, the sudden genre shift at 1:58 is just really bouncy and dare I say happy, which is a noticeable departure from the rest of the EP.

This 'Demo' was one of the best releases of 2014 and JEANNE is without a doubt one of the most exciting young bands to be listening to.

The band explained that JEANNE, "our band name comes from a Bertolt Brecht play called Sainte Jeanne Des Abattoires (literally Holy Jeanne of the Slaughterhouses) and it's a socialist play about worker rights and stuff like that." JEANNE are planning on writing and recording a new LP and have a show Saturday May 16th, 2015 in Nancy, a city in the east of France. Hopefully Zegema Beach Records can help out with said LP.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2014 - Demo EP (download/stream here)

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(2014) JEANNE - "3/4" (from 'Demo')

(2014) JEANNE - "4/4" (from 'Demo')

(2014) JEANNE - "1/4" (from 'Demo')

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JEANNE additional links

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