Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 31 July 2016

ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT

GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Alternative / Experimental
Related artists?.
CountryLong Island/New York City, New York USA
Years Active2003-2008
Song: "Riot Cop Fox Trot"
Album: "Dialogues"
Year: 2004
For fans of: Despistado, Cap'N'Jazz, The Blood Brothers, For The Mathematics, North Of America, Soiled Doves, The Holy Shroud, Sing! Sing! Prison, At The Drive In, Q And Not U, Christiansen, Hot Hot Heat, Hue, Trophy Scars, Lucertulas, Lautrec, Scowler, Hercules Hercules, Ahleuchatistas, Audience Of One, La Dispute, (early) Bright Eyes, Maps And Atlases, Gran Casino, Iggy Pop, Life In Vacuum, The Advantage and The Rabbit Theory.
Label(s): The Tone Library
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.
The Reptilian, Brother's Keeper,

I first heard ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT from the once great Punknews website. Their style of post-rock and sassy At The Drive In vocals were exactly what I was looking for at the time. Going back to listening to it now is both pleasing and mildly uncomfortable, as the releases are quite good but the sass level is almost pompous at times, most notably in the 2008 release show live videos.

In 2004 ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT released their debut EP on cd called 'Dialogues'. "Riot Cop Fox Trot" is easily contender for the best ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT song, as the opening if obviously reminiscent of Q And Not U, Despistado, North Of America and The Blood Brothers. "The Dead Sleep Here - Theme for Seagulls" and "Parabola Modes" are a little more out there but decent tracks nonetheless. "How Do You Syllabicate Your Name?" gets the groove back on track with really cool instrumentation and guitars not unlike the jazzy Ahleuchatistas and the awkward but sassy early Anthony Green work in Audience Of One. "(Re)Consider the Hysterical Consortium" closes the door on this debut EP with a western influenced intro followed by Cap'N'Jazz noodling and Johnny Whitney crooning.

The band's 2005 self titled 7" 'Encrypt Manuscript' is heavy on the At The Drive In worship, especially in the vocal and lyrical department, although the instrumentals aren't far off, either. "Knife Fight at the Blind Tiger" is up there with "Riot Cop Fox Trot" as the band's sassiest, screamiest and sickest song while "Phantom Limb Pain" is mediocre by comparison but still jazzy as hell - it just doesn't seem all that cohesive.

I had no idea before starting this review, but ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT released a full length LP on cd in 2008 called 'Census' and apparently it was the band's best work. I have been unable to get the files or even stream a song anywhere online so I have no idea what it actually sounds like, but luckily two live videos from said LP's release show were posted and you can check them out below. If you or someone you know has that 'Census' album please please please upload it!

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

2004 - Dialogues cdEP

2005 - Encrypt Manuscript 7"EP

2008 - Census cdLP (someone, anyone, please upload this!)

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(2004) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "Riot Cop Fox Trot" (from 'Dialogues')

(2004) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "(Re)Consider the Hysterical Consortium" (from 'Dialogues')

(2004) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "How Do You Syllabicate Your Name?" (from 'Dialogues')

(2005) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "Knife Fight at the Blind Tiger" (from 'Encrypt Manuscript')

(2008) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "Two Mice" (from 'Census') live video

(2008) ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT - "Beloved Cyst" (from 'Census') live video

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ENCRYPT MANUSCRIPT out of print mp3/wma EP discography download

(download here)
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Friday, 29 July 2016

PET GENIUS

BandPET GENIUS
GenresPunk / Rock / Alternative / Ambient / Grunge / Indie / Pop / Garage
Related artistsCave In, Doomriders, Goatsnake, Nomad Stones, Zozobra, Clouds, Hydronaut, J / Q, The Cancer Conspiracy, Thee Electric Bastards, Converge, New Idea Society, Mutoid Man, Stephen Brodsky, Stove Bredsky and Kid Kilowatt.
CountryBoston, Massachusetts USA
Years Active2007-2011
Song: "Man of the Mountain"
Album: "Pet Genius"
Year: 2007
For fans ofCave In, Stephen Brodsky, Stove Bredsky, Mutoid Man, Beatles, The Mark Inside, Nada SurfThe Beach Boys, The Tea Party, Our Lady Peace and Kid Kilowatt.
Label(s): Hydra Head Records
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.

PET GENIUS was one of many Stephen Brodsky side projects during the 2000s. This particular incarnation sounds like a drug induced Brodsky meets the Beatles going heavy. There are some straight up rock songs, soft numbers and fucking weird ass shit on every release.

In 2007 PET GENIUS dropped their self titled debut cdLP 'Pet Genius'. "Doomsday" is a rolicking good opener and a steady mixture of the poppy Stephen Brodsky solo material and heavier hitting alternative vibe from Kid Kilowatt. "The Visiting Dynamiter" is straight up acoustic Beatles worship and a dreamy foray into one of Brodsky's primary influences that ends up having some middle eastern flair ala The Tea Party. "Walls of Etiquette" is an awesome back and forth of held back and subdued punk rock and the subsequent release of big choruses chock full of big ole Smashing Pumpkins sound. My absolute favourite PET GENIUS track has to be "Man of the Mountain", which has vocal melodies that permeate my dreams. I seriously can't believe how serene, catchy and beautiful this song is, as the heavy guitars give way to a soothing verse and 70s rock chorus. The second verse is my personal favourite, with Brodsky crooning, "Love affords me chocolate milk day. My retainer went straight in the trash. It was accidental that I pledged allegiance. Indivisible I'm confused so I'll fake disappear," that is absolutely heavenly, albeit very stream of consciousness lyrically. "Float My Boat" sounds like a fuzzy, lo-fi practice room demo of the first song the band ever wrote and isn't much to write home about. "Emit Fo Deeps Eht Esare" is a take that was also used in Cave In's 'Perfect Pitch Black' album and leads into "Erase the Speed of Time" which is a primal trek through drugged out jungles with Kamala Shankar. "Cosmic Erosion", "Trash Heap Swing" and "Chromatic Blues" were all aptly named as the titles fit the style. "Scrapyard King" closes the record in typical Brodsky fashion with the juxtaposition of angelic segments thrown in between bluesy, folksy rock.

Also released in 2007 was the 'Elvis Unreleased' cdEP that I was able to grab from somewhere and still have the physical copy, which I've just posted for sale here. These three songs sound like b-sides from the LP session and there's a hilarious note on the discogs page here about how the release is a testament to Elvis Presley dying on the throne. "howdy HI hey hell" is a distorted and disjointed effort that includes a lot of feedback and a slide into folk/country before the first minute is over. "mother fucker" is a mouthy number that is dirty and bassy as shit and "LiMa BeAN" is a demo-sounding rock'n'roll jaunt on speed.

In 2011 PET GENIUS dropped a surprising digital EP with five new tracks called 'EP'. The songs are pretty decent but pale in comparison to the 2007 material. "Baby Pink Lemonade" seems like a dreamy lo-fi number until the very well recorded vocals kick in the songs gets into an alternative groove that starts the EP and transitions into the second track "Video Stills" which is more akin to 60s and 70s hippie rock and probably the best song on here with some killer riffs. "Automatic Blues" is a dirty rock/metal song that melts and swirls Beatles with Motorhead. "Make-Out Blues" picks up where the previous song leaves off and makes the sound grimier, sassier and more evil. The final track "Honestly, Honesty" could have been lifted off of any Beatles album during their acid fueled days.

If you are a fan of Stephen Brodsky or want to check out this fella I'm constantly raving about, this is a fine place to start, as I call him the absolute musical hero of my generation. Or, at the very least, my vote for the most talented and hardworking musicians of the 2000s and 2010s.

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

2007 - Pet Genius cdLP (stream/buy here)
2007 - Elvis Unreleased cdEP (stream/buy here)

2011 - EP digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2007) PET GENIUS - "Man of the Mountain" (from 'Pet Genius')

(2007) PET GENIUS - "Scrapyard King" (from 'Pet Genius') live video

(2007) PET GENIUS - "Walls of Etiquette" (from 'Pet Genius')

(2007) PET GENIUS - "Doomsday" (from 'Pet Genius')

(2007) PET GENIUS - "mother fucker" (from 'Elvis Unreleased')

(2011) PET GENIUS - "Video Stills" (from 'EP')

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PET GENIUS out of print mp3/wma discography download

(download here)
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Thursday, 28 July 2016

PSYOPUS

BandPSYOPUS
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Tech-Metal / Grind / Math Metal / Noise / Experimental
Related artistsPick Your Side, Mod Flanders Conspiracy and Commit Suicide.
CountryRochester, New York USA
Years Active2003-2009
Song: "The White Light"
Album: "Ideas of Reference"
Year: 2004
For fans ofThe Dillinger Escape Plan, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, The End, Thumbscrew, Destroyer Destroyer, Bird Death, .Crrust, Tusk, Daughters, Between The Buried And Me, Ion Dissonance, Warsaw Was Raw and Into The Moat.
Label(s): Self Released / Metal Blade Records / Black Market Activities / Reflections Records / Фоно
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.

The review could be just this, "PSYOPUS is fucking crazy. They play insanely technical and schizophrenic hardcore/metal with a lot of experimental wizardry." Maybe that's all it should be, as to review and discuss each song that I love and its parts would take more than a paragraph each and no one would bother reading it. So here's an attempt at efficiency.

My personal favourite release by the band is their debut LP 'Ideas of Reference'. The entire thing is a roller coaster ride through lightning fast math-metal dementia. "The White Light" screams The Dillinger Escape Plan with menacing and destructive riffs that sound like someone's descent into madness. Awesome guitar tones, notes, time signatures...fuck, just everything about this is amazing. The jammy interlude two minutes in is a nice departure from the absolute mindfuck of the rest of the track/album. That breakdown at the end of the song (2:55, to be exact) is unrelenting and all-encompassing. "Death, I..." is a five minute clusterfuck of tech-metal madness. Although the song begins with some Wishbone Ash sounding guitar that I liken to faeries prancing in a magical forest, 49 seconds in shit goes ballistic and takes the schizophrenic and unpredictable turn that saturates this track. The vocal-only intro to the second half of the song is pretty epic (2:12) and the subsequent foray into mathy and experimental hardcore/metal that goes batshit crazy from four minutes onward. "The Long Road to the 4th Dimension" detonates at exactly 40 seconds with frantic speed before crashing into an unreal breakdown and slide from 56 seconds to 1:12 that might be the best part on the album. At 2:19 the band gets their Dillinger Escape Plan on and there's no if ands or buts about this influence and sound similarity. The song finally disintegrates into complete and utter annihilation at 3:20 with more breakdowns and spacey, time-bending instrumentals. "Mirrorrim" is another track worth nothing because of its ability to walk a fine line between noise, Gandalf, black holes and demons with enough structure and melody to allow mere mortals like myself access, like those sweet palm mutes that close out the song and the screams of, "I'm your ghost!!!"

2007's 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered' gets even crazier but doesn't get to the amazingness levels that I find on their debut LP. "Play Some Skynyrd" is a very short blast of sassy and techy anger that could easily have ended up on the band's previous effort. "Kill Us" is my personal favourite, as the guitars are crazy, as per usual, but the vocals really match the insanity and remind me a lot of Mike Patton on his collaborative effort with Dillinger Escape Plan with more sound manipulations, high pitched shrieking and sporadic placement. The solos in here are fucking awesome and delve into some damn deep breakdowns at 2:40.

PSYOPUS' final release was 2009's 'Odd Senses' which is pretty much an entirely new lineup from the band's earlier records but sounds almost the same. "Medusa" is excellent and mixes elements of The End with the aforementioned Dillinger Escape Plan sound. "X and Y" has a very trippy intro that is met with venomous snarls at 40 seconds and then shit goes nutso again and the guitar flies over everything like a blindingly bright hummingbird on speed chirpin' death threats at you. The end of the song definitely has some Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza going on with all that double tapping and after accounting for the growls I'd say this steps into death metal territory.

A few notables:
- also released a two-song demo in 2003 called '3003' that I have yet to get my hands on, but both tracks ended up on the the first LP so I'm in no huge rush to get it/post it, although if you have it please link it for others
- Christopher Arp was the regional winner in a Limp Bizkit guitarist replacement auditions to replace that guy who died, Wes, I think
- they changed vocalists and definitely lost a lot of members
- the opening track on 'Ideas of Reference' is called "Mork and Mindy (Daydream Lover)", which I love
- try the rabid beast that is PSYOPUS and if you can appreciate it you'll probably end up loving it

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

2003 - 3003 cdrEP (if you have this please post it!)

2004 - Ideas of Reference cdLP

2007 - Our Puzzling Encounters Considered cdLP

2009 - Odd Senses cdLP

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(2004) PSYOPUS - "Death...I" (from 'Ideas of Reference')

(2004) PSYOPUS - "The White Light" (from 'Ideas of Reference')

(2004) PSYOPUS - "The Long Road to the 4th Dimension" (from 'Ideas of Reference')

(2007) PSYOPUS - "Kill Us" (from 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered')

(2007) PSYOPUS - "Play Some Skynyrd" (from 'Our Puzzling Encounters Considered')

(2009) PSYOPUS - "X and Y" (from 'Odd Senses')

(2009) PSYOPUS - "Medusa" (from 'Odd Senses')

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PSYOPUS out of print wma discography download

(download here)
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

***3-way split (I HATE SEX / ALGAE BLOOM / BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE) exclusive premiere***


I HATE SEX
: Edmonton, Canada
Bandcamp
Facebook
ALGAE BLOOM: Norwich, United Kingdom
Bandcamp
Facebook
BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE: Vancouver, Canada
Bandcamp
Facebook




I am crazy excited to bring you the exclusive premiere for the entire 3-way split cassette between I Hate Sex, Algae Bloom and Black Knight Satellite that is being released on August 2nd via Never Better Records and Damn Fine Tapes. As of now you can pre-order the cassettes which are limited to 100 copies right here.

Open this link and jam the songs whilst reading this, should you so choose. Edmonton's I HATE SEX open the split with a slow, groovy, spoken-word 90s emo section that transitions to a screamier, multi-vocalled approach at 1:13 but "This Floating World" retains its hopeful and patient instrumental speed throughout its 2:22 tenure. Tracks two and three belong to BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE from Vancouver and combine for more than double the I Hate Sex track time. "Unrequited Love! The North Pole Aurora" is a very screamy affair with at least two vocalists shrieking their lungs up in Deers!/Kelut fashion and nears four and a half minutes while "Nü Jersey" is over almost before it begins at a condensed 1:08 of chaotic, screamy hardcore. Closing up shop is ALGAE BLOOM from Norwich in the UK and their song "A Weight in Space" which, on Earth at least, weighs in at 2:19. This is another grooving, screamy emo/hardcore song that feels right at home on this release. No band or song shines above the rest here, as everyone involved brings their A-game and each track is worth at least one listen, if not many.

Be sure to check out this insane tour that's happening in the following cities in Japan:
Link here

Many thanks to the bands and label Never Better Records (aka Mitch and Kyle) for asking me to premiere this fine piece of art.

NEVER BETTER RECORDS



Sunday, 24 July 2016

LIBIDO WINS

BandLIBIDO WINS
GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Metal / Ambient / Experimental / Prog
Related artists?.
CountryHUNGARY
Years Active2008-present
Song: "The Stendhal Syndrome of Wasting Away"
Album: "Anhedonia"
Year: 2016
For fans ofEaglehaslandedVi Som Älskade Varandra Så MycketJiyuna, Vivre Sa Vie, They Sleep We Live, Crows-An-Wra, 124C41+, Ubiquity, The State Secedes, Angel Eyes, Her Breathe On Glass, Danse Macabre, City Of Caterpillar and Healing Powers aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Dingleberry Records
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.

LIBIDO WINS hail from Hungary and I didn't know anything about the band until they sent me their 2016 LP 'Anhedonia' to be reviewed. Before delving into that I think it's necessary to follow the band's chronological history.

Let's begin with 2008's 'Q.E.D.' which is the band's first effort and shows some hints of what's to come, but I personally find mediocre and a little basic when compared to their later material. In 2009 the split with Nothing (aka 'The Split of Solitude') was released and these three songs mark a more obvious shift from hardcore to other genres, most notably screamo and a bit of metallic hardcore ("Sons, Dreams, Homes" is a very cool song). 2010's full length 'The Outcasts of Outcasts' expands the guitar solos to more songs, which, when mixed with the almost Danse Macabre-esque vocals, sounds excellent, and can be found on "false invocation for fallen poets" and "past,present,future tenses are the same (breaking constancy is not possible)". There is some piano on this album also, which is repeated on future releases. The LP is pretty good, but there just seems to be something lacking. It should also be noted that there is a lot of fantastic bass work on all of these recordings that shines through as early as the split with Nothing. In 2011 LIBIDO WINS released their 'Hanoi split' which was their last in a string of yearly releases dating back to 2008, and then nothing again until 2016. This split is pretty decent and sounds like a slightly different band, with more atmospherics and genre clusterfucking.

Ahhhhhh, here we are. The new album. LIBIDO WINS dropped 'Anhedonia' in February of 2016 digitally and there will be a physical version coming soon led by Dingleberry Records and some other labels. As noted above, there was a huge lull of five years between the 'Hanoi split' and this new full length, and if I had trouble describing their sound before it's even more difficult now. Let's try a track by track run through:

"Ember and Our Reflections" is the opening track sporadically littered with drops of notes, spoken word and ambiance. At 1:27 it reaches its peak and slowly descends downwards with atmospheric noodling not unlike Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket and 124C41+. "The Stendhal Syndrome of Us Wasting Away" is probably my favourite song by the band as it reminds me of Crows-An-Wra and their ability to weave experimental tangents and layers into a song that, when it starts, sounds nothing like some of parts contained within. There's the Danse Macabre vocals, the Hot Cross noodles at 1:40 and then serene female vocals stringing together multiple screamers and a chuggy breakdown. "(Endless Cycle Of Aching Déjá Vu)" is a chill 1:12 of Standstill/Gantz intro music that may or may not be inspired by 80s horror movies and/or Home Alone and even embeds some screaming into the final few moments. "Everyday Kalopsia" is a screamy punk/hardcore midpoint that reminds me of earlier Eaglehaslanded work or perhaps the new Ubiquity EP before it gets its An Albatross on in a spacey and trippy segment at 1:28 that leads to an aggressive and screamy tail end. "Sempiternal Timelapses" is another ambient interlude, this time with piano and synths. "The Crush of the Century" follows and is a progressive and screamy hardcore number with classical influences, as is par for the course. The intro also includes a Leonardo DiCaprio bit about their being no such thing as love, which is interesting. The final song is called the "Nocturnal Diary Sessions" and it's broken into three parts, the first, "Part 1" is mostly a piano intro with screaming and is pretty dang cool. "Nocturnal Diary Sessions - Part 2" is a massive 7:15 and the longest song on the record. It touches on progressive screamy hardcore such as The State Secedes and They Sleep We Live or a rawer, looser version of City Of Caterpillar and Angel Eyes. "Nocturnal Diary Sessions - Part 3" is obviously the closer and exits on purely piano.

LIBIDO WINS are certainly attempting to push the boundaries of modern, screamy hardcore, but need a few more tinkerings before they've nailed down a sound that will have people discussing them for years to come.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2008 - Q.E.D. LP (stream/buy here)

2009 - The Split of Solitude EP (split w/Nothing) (stream/buy here)

2010 - The Outcasts of Outcasts LP (stream/buy here)

2011 - Hanoi split EP (stream/buy here)

2016 - Anhedonia LP (stream/buy here)

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(2016) LIBIDO WINS - "The Stendhal Syndrome of Us Wasting Away" (from 'Anhedonia')

(2016) LIBIDO WINS - "The Crush of the Century" (from 'Anhedonia')

(2016) LIBIDO WINS - "The Nocturnal Diaries - Parts 1, 2 & 3" (from 'Anhedonia')

(2010) LIBIDO WINS - "false invocation for fallen poets" (from 'The Outcasts of Outcasts')

(2009) LIBIDO WINS - "(in)capacity" live video

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LIBIDO WINS additional links

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

NORMA JEAN

GenresPunk / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Religious
Related artistsThe Chariot, Holy+Gold, Spitfire, Living Sacrifice, Eso-Charis, Every Time I Die, Whores, Color Revolt and '68.
CountryDouglasville, Georgia USA
Years Active1997-present
Song: "Organized Beyond Recognition"
Album: "Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child"
Year: 2002
For fans ofBotch, The Chariot, Lavotchkin, Birch, Beneath The Ashes, Thumbscrew, Nionde Plågan, In Reverent Fear, Hopesfall, Swarm Of The Lotus, Cold Craving, Poison The Well, Circles Over Sidelights, .gif from god, Training For Utopia, Arcana Cain, Into The Moat, Llynch, Officer Jones And His Patrol Car Problems, The Minor Times, .Crrust and Underoath.
Label(s): Solid State / Golf / Tooth And Nail Records / EMI / Abacus Recordings / Universal Music Special Markets / Century Media / Suburban Home Records / Stomp / Razor & Tie / Pluto Records
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #12.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.

Let's be honest, David. If this was 2006-2007 I would be writing a very long and in depth review. Fortunately/Unfortunately the material released by NORMA JEAN after the 2006 'Redeemer' album simply just didn't do anything for me. In actuality, I found myself actually disliking the band more and more. So, we'll do a little two-parter for this review and I'll do my best to keep it quick, concise and honest. Before we begin it should be noted that NORMA JEAN:
- used to be called LUTI-KRISS when they were way more nu-metal (aka listening to early Deftones)...and were not nearly as good
- has always been religious and I know that religion is one of the worst inventions ever created (aka fuck that shit)
- doesn't like people downloading their music and have been very vocal about it
- make a ton of music videos
- have shuffled around quite a few members
- used to sound a lot like Botch
- have gotten progressively worse as the years have gone on (subjective, of course, but my steadfast opinion)

PART 1: The Good Years
In 2003 or 2004 I first heard "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" after shying away from the album 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child' for a few years due to the cover looking really dark and overtly metal. After finally jamming that shit I was in love. Botch broke up in 2002 and this was now the closest thing I had to amazing, mathy, metallic hardcore. The album is truly an exceptional piece of work with a plethora of great songs, the primary cuts being the obvious "Memphis Shall Be Laid to Waste", "The Entire World Is Counting on Me, and They Don't Even Know It" (with its stop/start breakdowns and massive screams that destroy everything after the one-minute mark and subsequent riffing at 1:45), "Creating Something Out Of Nothing" (gets fucking prodigious only 15 seconds in and three minutes the unreal breakdown with Josh screaming, "It's like bringing a knife to a gunfight" which has to go down as one of the best parts of any NORMA JEAN song), "I Used to Hate Cell Phones but Now I Hate Car Accidents" (a pummeling experience, especially on the drums, at one-minute in and a very climactic ending at 4:13) and "Organized Beyond Recognition". "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" showcases the talents of all musicians involved but Josh Scogin, simply put, is a fucking machine. His screams vary all over the place from high pitched shrieks to low, gutteral bellowing. This masterpiece begins with a scream followed by an awesome intro riff which begins laying waste to the listener a mere 13 seconds in. At 40 seconds a somber interlude slyly slides in until 1:41 when one of biggest breakdowns I've had the pleasure of listening to hits and pulverizes the listener with multiple vocalists screaming and chugs to the fucking max. At 2:52 another breakdown crushes until the final, almost spoken word/yelled outro from 3:52 onward. Like I said, a metalcore masterpiece fer sure. "Organized Beyond Recognition" is the closer and although Scogin shines yet again (the delivery of "Let's just face the facts and get back to the basic form," early on in the track is a great example), it's the instrumentals and their building, climatic, cohesive and energy inducing transitions and breakdowns of epic proportions. I must also mention the unreal ending with the lyrics, "White tie, black jacket. I ain't seen you in a while. Your whites shine, black velvet. I ain't seen you in a while. You're slick, a slick and polished mess. I ain't seen you in a while".

Following the release of the first NORMA JEAN record, Josh Scogin left the band and started The Chariot. This was huge news at the time (2003/2004) and Josh discussed his leaving in an interview here. The band recruited Cory who took over on the 2005 release of 'O'God The Aftermath' and initially I was very happy with how everything was sounding. The vocals were still very heavy but a flicker of melodic singing could be found on a few tracks, which worked out in the band's favour on this particular release. The instrumentals were even better than on the debut LP and had taken on a huge Botch vibe (they had had a bit of one before, but this was blatant) with very techy and mathy metallic hardcore. In fact, on the Botch reunion DVD the band jokes on the commentary track, "Hey, I think this is the new Norma Jean song." Nevertheless, Botch wasn't around anymore I needed my fix, so I succumbed to this record. Listening back to it now is still nostalgic, but I do believe for the most part the record holds up to its original glory, although perhaps not as much so as 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child'. I must also say that I do enjoy the song titles that combine two words into one, with some pretty cool examples being "Coffinspire", "Charactarantula" and "Scientifiction". The album as a whole is better than 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child', but the fantastic songs on the 2002 release eclipse any single song on here. My favourite tracks include "Murderotica- An Avalanche in D Minor" (is this the bonus track from 'Anthology of Dead Ends'?), "Bayonetwork- Vultures in Vivid Color" (so Botch, with a melodic chorus), "Shaunluu" (the special edition-only track that injects a lot of slower instrumentals and end up sounding a bit like The Bled with some atmospheric interludes), "Coffinspire- Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision" (1:46, holy moly), "Disconnecktie- The Faithful Vampire" (a slow, driving and epic affair that eclipses 10 minutes), "Absentimental- Street Clam" (Booooooooootch) and "Scientifiction- I. A Clot of Tragedy-II. A Swarm of Dedication" (a relatively lengthy closer that gets pretty dang awesome at 3:47).

The very next year NORMA JEAN released 'Redeemer' which is where things started to go awry. This is actually a pretty decent metallic hardcore record and an engaging followup to 'O'God The Aftermath', but the imminent change becomes much more apparent here...or maybe that's just in hindsight. Anyways, the jammers here include "A Grand Scene for a Color Film" (a decent opener with a lot of screams almost veering into clean territory and a killer ending of, "Just what are you trying to say?"), "Blueprints for Future Homes" (which include some decent melodic vocals amidst a lot of heaviness and could be likened to "Bayonetwork" from the 2005 LP), "A Small Spark vs. a Great Forest" (an eerie opening gives way to pretty catchy choruses and bigass breakdowns, especially at the end), "A Temperamental Widower" (a short burst of rolling, metallic hardcore lead by, "We're not gonna take it!"), "The End of All Things Will Be Televised" (the best song on the LP and closest thing to the Scogin-era sound) and "Amnesty Please" (a song that I think would have worked really well as a closer, for it has an epic, closing feel to it). A very good album, but a step back from their 2002 and 2005 releases.

PART 2: The Not-So Good Years

NORMA JEAN released 'The Anti Mother' in 2008, 'Meridional' in 2010 and 'Wrongdoers' in 2013. Maybe the releases aren't all that different from the 2005-2006 material and I just evolved in my musical tastes. Maybe they just aren't that good. I'd assume there's a mixture of the two, but that'll be different for everyone - especially those that enjoy the latter half of the band's existence. As you can see, I have only posted music videos for the later releases because I don't particularly enjoy going through them to find the best songs. Call it laziness. Call it efficiency. Take your pick, it all sounds kinda cheesy and forced to me. There's also the band's anti-download post that had Cory sounding kinda like Lars. So I'm not going to post a full discography lest their corporate lawyers sue my ass, so fuck that shit. They will also be releasing 'Polar Similar' on September 9th, 2016 and have released "1,000,000 Watts" which sounds like NORMA JEAN meets Every Time I Die. Nah.

What I have done is included what I consider to be the NORMA JEAN essentials from 2002-2006 as a wma download right heeeeya.

NORMA JEAN final conclusion? I dunno. I like their old stuff. Their new stuff is okay but pales in comparison, according to this guy.

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DISCOGRAPHY

1997 - Travail split (released as LUTI-KRISS)

2000 - 5ep EP (released as LUTI-KRISS)

2001 - Throwing Myself LP (released as LUTI-KRISS)

2002 - Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child cdLP
2002 - mewithoutyou split 7"EP
2002 - Beloved split (released as LUTI-KRISS)

2005 - O'God The Aftermath cd/12"LP

2006 - Redeemer cdLP

2008 - The Anti Mother cd/12"LP
2008 - The Almighty Norma Jean Limited Edition Vinyl Boxset 2x12"/4x12"LP

2010 - Meridional cd/2x12"LP
2010 - Birds and Microscopes and Bottles of Elixirs and Raw Steak and a Bunch of Songs 3xcd (contains 2002-2006 material)

2013 - Wrongdoers cd/12"LP
2013 - Ahhh! Shark Bite Ahhh! 3"single

2016 - Polar Similar cd/2x12"LP

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(2002) NORMA JEAN - "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste" (from 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child')

(2000) LUTI-KRISS - "Body of God" (from '5ep')

(2002) NORMA JEAN - "Organized Beyond Recognition" (from 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child')

(2002) NORMA JEAN - "Creating Something Out of Nothing" (from 'Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child')

(2005) NORMA JEAN - "Absentimenal: Street Clam" (from 'O'God, the Aftermath') official music video

(2005) NORMA JEAN - "Shanluu" (from 'O'God, the Aftermath - Special Edition')

(2005) NORMA JEAN - "Bayonetwork: Vultures in Vivid Color" (from 'O'God, the Aftermath') official music video

(2006) NORMA JEAN - "Songs Sound Much Sadder" (from 'Redeemer') official music video

(2008) NORMA JEAN - "Robots 3 Humas 0" (from 'The Anti Mother') official music video

(2010) NORMA JEAN - "Bastardizer" (from 'Meridional') official music video

(2010) NORMA JEAN - "Deathbed Atheist" (from 'Meridional') official music video


(2013) NORMA JEAN - "Sword in Mouth, Fire Eyes" (from 'Wrongdoers') official music video

(2013) NORMA JEAN - "If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty" (from 'Wrongdoers') official music video

(2016) NORMA JEAN - "1,000,000 Watts" (from 'Polar Similar')

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NORMA JEAN additional links


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Monday, 18 July 2016

RÊCHE

BandRÊCHE
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Emo-violence / Skramz / Noise
Related artists?.
CountryErlangen/Stuttgart/Frankfurt GERMANY
Years Active2016-present
Song: "La Vie Sans Yeux"
Album: "Rêche"
Year: 2016
For fans ofLetters To Catalonia, Isodora Crane, HießeМаяк, Mališa Bahat, Seyarse, Under A Sky So Blue, Crocus, Aokigahara, Yusuke, Kelut, Monaco Club Heart Attack, Kodan Armada, Caught In The Fall, Amygdala, C'est Eureka, The Third Memory, Pepi Rössler, Deers!, Potence, Saligia, Lord Snow, Louise Cyphre, The Apoplexy Twist Orchestra, (older) La QuieteBeau Navire, Jeanne, Øjne, RaeinLoma Prieta, (older) Mara'akate, Usurp Synapse, Saetia, Cassus, Textbook TraitorsOktober Skyline, Virginia On Duty and Love Lost But Not Forgotten aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.

Is this the demo of year? Probably. Not too far from Croatia's Mališa Bahat stunning EP earlier this year, Germany's RÊCHE have created a fucking amazing six-song blast of screamo with a tinge of emo-violence which was recently self released as a cassette. The mixture of clean, late 90s emo/hardcore instrumentals switch back and forth to spastic, distorted, dissonant and very screamy emo-violence. I'm not going to bother going through the best songs because the best songs end up being the entire EP. I have what I have titled the "Mixables" folder on my computer with over 7,000 of my favourite songs, and only the best from a release make it on there, but like other bands that I adore, the entire 'Rêche' release ended up making the cut.

So instead of having an overly wordy review that'd take you 10 minutes to read, you can just stream/listen/download all of the EP in a mere 14 minutes (or listen to the three songs below which'll take you only 7 minutes). If I were to liken them to a few bands I'd go with Letters To CataloniaIsodora CraneHießeМаякSeyarseJeanne and Cassus. When the 2016 year end lists gets posted here there is a 100% guarantee you will find on here. RÊCHE, goddamn, y'all, this is fucking stellar.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2016 - Rêche cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)


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(2016) RÊCHE - "Südost, siehe oben." (from 'Rêche')

(2016) RÊCHE - "La Vie Sans Yeux" (from 'Rêche')

(2016) RÊCHE - "Ausgangspunkt" (from 'Rêche')

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RÊCHE additional links

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

***NOUVEAU show + discography review***

BandNOUVEAU
GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Screamo / Post-Metal / Experimental / Prog
Related artistsNot For You.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active2013-present
Song: "River House"
Album: "Langour"
Year: 2014
For fans ofThese Arms Are Snakes, City Of Caterpillar, Angel Eyes, A Day In Black And White, Brighter ArrowsLadder Devils, Die Princess Die and Shahman.
Label(s): Self Released / Coffin Boner
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the July Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2016 Mix#8 here.



NOUVEAU rocks like no other. Truthfully, thought, I spent waaaaay too much time rummaging through my band files trying to find similar matches to NOUVEAU's music and pretty much came back empty handed. I mean, sure, there are glimmers of These Arms Are Snakes, City Of Caterpillar and A Day In Black And White, but NOUVEAU just sounds like NOUVEAU. If I had to describe their sound with no band comparisons, I would probably say something to the effect of, "grungy, atmospheric and dark post-hardcore." If I had to describe 'Langour' in a few words I'd go with "dirty" and "dark" while for the new 'All Narrows Unsutured' I'd go with "tribal" and "grooving". Both EPs are the same and different. Both are obviously NOUVEAU and have parts that could end up on either release, while the atmosphere and underlying foundation of the music contrasts. In early 2016 the band also released "Cursory" on a four-band split cassette released by the fellas in Shahman. This new song is 5:25 in length and is a paranoid, uncomfortable romp through tripped out post-hardcore...and it's pretty dang good, although if you've never heard NOUVEAU I wouldn't start there.

Released in 2014, the six-song EP 'Langour' is a dark and treacherous hike through raw, caustic post-hardcore with a fair amount of These Arms Are Snakes overtones, although I was told by guitarist/vocalist Zach that he was listening to a lot of screamo when the EP was written, so I dunno what I'm talking about. The massive opener "Annapurna" is a great track, especially when coupled with the unreal track three entitled "River House" that will forever be my NOUVEAU jam cuz that's the song that got me hooked...and it's fucking crazy good. Jam it and listen to the insanely catchy yet intricate guitar work and those pounding drums, it's a goddamn clinic I tell ya. Overall, the debut is solid but seems to lack a certain cohesiveness to it and therefore falls a tad short.

On the 2015 five-song EP 'All Narrows Unsutured' the band corralled a new bassist Ryan who really meshes with the band and brings in phenomenal bass lines to tie down the crazy guitars, sporadic yells/screams and those extremely unique and mesmerizing drums by the beast that goes by Michael. That lack of cohesiveness I mentioned earlier is now a sticky, sexy and fused amalgamation of awesomeness. The opening bass and drums on the opener "Terminal Formative" is one of the catchiest things I heard all of last year. The soft, serene sections of "Dead Language" and their subsequent explosions make this the keeper of the EP and it can most definitely be likened to a new version of "River House". Another song worth mentioning quickly is "Five Hundred" which has some really cool effects on the guitars, anguished screaming, killer rolling basslines and unrelenting drums as well as an awesome jammy bit in the middle.

Earlier this week (July 13th, 2016 to be exact) I was lucky enough to put on a NOUVEAU show for the second straight year here in Hamilton. Closing the night to a few passionate fans, Zach, Ryan and Michael absolutely killed it. Playing an eclectic mix of stuff, they had the crowd immersed in their wall of groovin', evil and dark post-hardcore with "Cursory" from the split, "Terminal Formative" and "Dead Language" from the new EP and the almighty "River House" from the first EP, which was played because they know I fucking love that song. For all of the videos from said show please scroll down underneath the discography section. The band has a bunch more shows, so I've listed the entire tour schedule and included the poster as well.
7/8 Chicago, IL @ Dollhouse
7/9 Port Huron, MI @ Schwonk Sound Stead
7/10 Detroit, MI @ Hybrid Moments
7/11 Elyria, OH @ Blank Slate
7/12 Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
7/13 Hamilton, ON @ Doors Pub
7/15 Montreal, QC @ The BOG
7/16 Burlington, VT @ Battery Street Jeans
7/17 Bangor, ME @ The Central Gallery
7/20 Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Community Center
7/21 Stratford, CT @ The Noise House
7/22 Brooklyn, NY @ The Barbershop
7/23 Providence, RI @ tba
7/24 Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy
7/25 Richmond, VA @ Kung Fu Dungeon
7/27 Montclair, NJ @ 73 Art Gallery
7/28 Toledo, OH @ tba
7/29 Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon St

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DISCOGRAPHY

2014 - Langour cd/cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here) [buy cd here & tape here]

2015 - All Narrows Sutured cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here) [buy tape here]

2016 - Family Force 4 split cassetteEP (w/Davega Bike, Shahman and Radradriot) [buy tape here](stream/donate/download here)


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(2014) NOUVEAU - "River House" (from 'Langour')

(2015) NOUVEAU - "Dead Language" (from 'All Narrows Unsutured')

(2015) NOUVEAU - "Terminal Formative" (from 'All Narrows Unsutured')

(2016) NOUVEAU - "Cursory" (from 'Family Force 4' split)

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July 13th, 2016 NOUVEAU Hamilton show review!

JESSE & THE DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR
This is Jesse Stratton. He plays drums in The World That Summer. Apparently he also does solo stuff, but I only found out about it after Sarin had to drop from the bill. Jesse & The Delusions Of Grandeur (aka Jesse singing and playing the geeeetar) did about six covers including two big ole' rockers (only two because those were the only two I knew) such as "Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots" by Saves The Day and "Animal" by Osker. I look forward to hearing more from him, as his voice is even better than I had realized because he doesn't do all that much singing in The World That Summer. He even dedicated this song to me. Love you, Jesse.



JONCRO (aka TROUBADOUR)
Next was Troubadour, who recently changed their name to Joncro. The two-piece were super stoked to play the show and that always make me hella happy. Playing a very raw and diverse set, I couldn't even tell you who they sound like. Some songs were pretty much straight up punk while others had a very wide variety of rock, hardcore, post-hardcore and some experimental stuff, such as very obtuse and imaginative song introductions. For a very young band with only two members I was impressed with their set, albeit it was a little long. The song I have included here was right before we turned up Daniel's mic so you can't hear the lyrics of "Judge Judy" so well but everything else comes through great.

TERRY GREEN
My boys. My friends. My go to screamo band from the surrounding Hamilton area. In fact, I didn't even need to ask them to play this show, they came to me on behalf of Nouveau as they two bands were doing a string of three shows together (Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal). As per usual the band continues to improve and build on that sexy, sassy screamy hardcore/emo sound they've been incubating for the past three years. They have also tracked drums for an upcoming 12"LP on Zegema Beach Records and this song, "Rick Rubin" will be on there. It's gonna be sick. Terry Green will be playing at the next ZBR show on July 25th with The Reptilian! Here is the facebook link for that show.
Facebook

NOUVEAU
Goddamn. Seriously. Goddamn. NOUVEAU sound great on record, but fucking own any show they play. The mixture of screamy post-hardcore and jazzy, jungle, experimental rock will take hold of any audience and have them bobbing along with the wall of atmospheric destruction and heavy ass grooves. As noted above, the band played at least one song off of every release they've put out including the absolute fucking banger "River House" and a brand spankin' new song! I've posted all the videos below in the order they were played so enjoy!

1 - Terminal Formative

2 - River House

3 - New Song

4 - Dead Language

5 - Cursory

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NOUVEAU additional links

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~killer photo of NOUVEAU courtesy of Daniel G. Wilson