Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

UNDER A SKY SO BLUE

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Emo-violence / Skramz / Metallic Hardcore
Related artists?.
CountryAthens, Georgia USA
Years Active2014-present
Song: "The Poverty of Modern Life"
Album: "The Spectacle Provides"
Year: 2017
For fans ofMalevich, Yusuke, Joshua Fit For Battle, Kelut, Aokigahara, Advocate, Black Nail, Systral, June Paik, The South, This Ship Will Sink, In First Person, Black Kites, Capacities, What Of Us, Straight No Chaser and Carol aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Dingleberry Records / Star Rats Records / Murder On Ponce / Off Cloud Nine / Friendly Otter / Suspended Soul Tapes And Records
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

Today is an extra special day for me because I finally get to help release something by UNDER A SKY SO BLUE. In fact, the pre-order at Zegema Beach Records just went up right heeeeeya.


UNDER A SKY SO BLUE hail from Athens, Georgia and play angry, pissed off and abrasive as fuck screamy, metallic hardcore that isn't too far from a cross between emo-violence and a ton of bands that Thomas Schlatter has played in and, especially lyrically, could easily be likened to the soundtrack of the unfair, oppressive, sexist, racist, blindly ignorant and selfish current social/political climate. I was first introduced to the band when they sent me their 2014 'Demo' EP to be reviewed on this blog. At that time their vocalist had learned to play drums in order to get the band off of the ground and likened one of their main influences as Joshua Fit For Battle, which is going to get my attention every fucking time. Since 2014 they have gained and lost members but the acidic delivery and instrumental wall of noise remains. "Truth Is" opens the EP with tons of screaming and leads to the unreal ""United"?" which is a cathartic romp through some very Neil Perry and Joshua Fit For Battle sounding material. "Nothing is Genuine Anymore" is another banger and "Right to Well-Being" closes out a truly phenomenal demo.

Later in 2014 the band released a single song called "Within the Hourglass" on a split 5" with The Truth About Dreaming. This is a really cool song with a killer intro and an obvious focus on the bass, which has been a very prominent instrument in all of the band's releases. After that they put out another split, this time a 7" with Celebration housing two exclusive songs, the uncomfortably enjoyable "More Product, More Misery" blistering "Don't Shoot". I was very lucky and was able to see UNDER A SKY SO BLUE live at the Austin Blood Alliance in January of 2015. I met the members, was absolutely smitten and filmed about half of their set so I've linked all three videos right here: "Within the Hourglass", "More Product, More Misery" and ""United"?" as well as the full 2-day fest review here.

In 2015 UNDER A SKY SO BLUE lost a few members on amicable terms and therefore 2016 saw no releases by the band. In late 2016 the band sent me their demos for their new EP titled 'The Spectacle Provides' and I was floored. I mean, I always loved the band but the new stuff just blew me away. Seemingly perfecting their screamy emo-violence with a dash of metallic hardcore, the five songs on here are the audio equivalent of being set on fire and thoroughly enjoying it. "The Poverty of Modern Life" is a massive, dark and bottomless plunge into a collection of very angry (and rightfully so) psyches perfectly matched to a toppling take on metallic emo-violence. The close of "Make a Spectacle" is fantastically heavy, with insanely gutteral shrieks of, "What the fuck are you thinking?!?!?!". This lovely tape was released by Zegema Beach Records, Dingleberry Records, Star Rats Records and Murder On Ponce. Pre-order this gem from ZBR right here.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2014 - Demo Tape cassetteEP (download here) [buy here]
2014 - The Truth About Dreaming split 5"EP (stream here) [buy here]

2015 - Celebration split 7"EP (download here) [buy here]
2015 - 2015 Demo cassetteEP (download here)

2017 - The Spectacle Provides cassetteEP (stream/buy here) [pre-order here]

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(2017) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - "The Poverty of Modern Life" (from 'The Spectacle Provides')

(2017) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - "Make a Spectacle" (from 'The Spectacle Provides')

(2015) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - "More Product, More Misery" live at ABA Fest

(2015) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - "More Product, More Misery" (from 'Celebration' split)

(2014) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - "Within the Hourglass" (from 'The Truth About Dreaming' split)

(2014) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - ""United"?" (from 'Demo Tape')

(2014) UNDER A SKY SO BLUE - ""Nothing is Genuine Anymore" (from 'Demo Tape')

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UNDER A SKY SO BLUE additional links


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Monday, 27 February 2017

REMOTE

BandREMOTE
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metalcore / Post-Metal / Sludge
Related artistsHKY and Quartier Rouge.
CountryParis FRANCE
Years Active2010-present
Song: "Fading Away"
Album: "Resilient"
Year: 2016
For fans ofRuined Families, Cassilis, Callow, The Catalyst, Past, The Armed, Vac, Colored Moth, Rayleigh, Blacklisters, (later) Examination Of The..., Storm{o}, Eaglehaslanded, Barque, I Am A Curse, The Minor Times, AmenRa and Ken Mode.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

REMOTE hail from France and play dark, seething and malevolent hardcore reminiscent of the punishing and almost cruel post-hardcore/post-metal work of The Armed meets Ruined Families and the final release from Examination Of The....

In 2013 REMOTE released an 8" split with 'Barren Womb' with an 8+ minute song titled "Plagues and Rats" that is as epic as it is imposing. The first three minutes ring out with feedback, followed by deep, cavernous metallic post-hardcore, long, drowning notes and snarled/yelled vocals. Also in 2013 they dropped their first LP called 'Starving Blaze and Hollow Shades' which was more on par to what they were going to evolve into three years later. There are certainly some bangers which include "Oblivion Stares", "Alienate the Horde", "Feathers, Blur and Despair" and the epic closer "The Moment" that breaks the 10-minute mark.

It wasn't until late last year when I first heard of the band, as they sent me their latest 2016 offering 'Resilient', which fucking floored me. Easily one of the best things sent to the blog last year, it almost made my 2016 Year End List but fell about two spots short. Opener "Fading Away" grabbed my attention from the get-go, with those spiraling guitars and booming bass/drums combo. By 58 seconds the guitars almost drop out completely with the hoarse, screaming/yelling taking hold before shit goes ballistic at 1:08 and again at 1:34. "Messed Up Paradigm", "Citizen Nausea" and "Astral Urge" are all driving numbers that bring to mind the subterranean post-hardcore of bands such as I Am A Curse and Barque. "The Clearest Horizon" gets fucking massive at about 2:16 with really awesome chord progressions that build to some killer alterations by 2:43. The bass in "Milgram Park" just made my speaker jump off of the counter, no fucking joke, and sounds like Ken Mode to me. "Introspective Red" is a short and powerful romp through some hellish and nightmarish hardcore soundscapes with the intensity maxing out from 45 seconds onward. "Light Lapse" is music that could be set to drowning, as the guitars are constantly tugging down and burying the listener with wave after wave of supernovas that eventually fade out to palm muting and distant yelling.

Great news, REMOTE also told me that they are working on a new EP, so hopefully that sees the light of day this year. Very stoked about this band and thanks for sending me your stuff, friends!

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DISCOGRAPHY

2013 - Starving Blaze and Hollow Shades cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - Barren Womb split 8"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - Resilient 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2016) REMOTE - "Fading Away" (from 'Resilient')

(2016) REMOTE - "The Clearest Horizon" (from 'Resilient')

(2016) REMOTE - "Introspective Red" (from 'Resilient')

(2013) REMOTE - "Feathers, Blur and Despair" (from 'Starving Blaze and Hollow Shades')

(2013) REMOTE - "The Moment" (from 'Starving Blaze and Hollow Shades')

(2013) REMOTE - "Plagues and Rats" (from 'Barren Womb' split)

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REMOTE additional links


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STOP IT!!

BandSTOP IT!!
GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Emotive Hardcore / Screamo / Prog
Related artistsLight The Fuse And Run, City Of Caterpillar, Kojak, Brainworms, Municipal Waste, Sweat Lodge, Flesh Eating Creeps, Pink Razors and Flashbulb Memory.
CountryRichmond, Virginia USA
Years Active2001-2003
Song: "When Doves Cry"
Album: "Demo"
Year: 2002
For fans ofAim Of ConradWow, Owls!Wild Guess, Logs, D'Amore, Mouse Fitzgerald, Flashbulb Memory, On The Might Of Princes, Ten Grand, Hot Cross, Drummers, The Holy Shroud, Congratulations, Dream Caste, Malady, 1994!, No Tonuge, Creepozoids, Worst Gift, The Reptilian, Kill Sadie, Sing! Sing! Prison, Life At These Speeds, North Of America, Serotonin, Adolina and Light The Fuse And Run aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Life In A Box / Robotic Empire / Waking Records / The Perpetual Motion Machine
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

STOP IT!! were a band I missed out on for many years because I shyed away from 12" after hearing it once as I wasn't impressed with the vocals and remembering thinking a general "meh". Finally I was given a STOP IT!! 'Demo' 10" for the distro and I decided to transfer it to mp3 as I couldn't find it anywhere online and remembered a few friends telling me it was their best. Holy fuck, they were right.

So in 2002 the band released their 'Demo' cd/10"EP and it is a flawless, sassy, mathy and powerful ordeal. The opener "When Doves Cry" is probably the best song ever released by the band and screams a garage rock meets screamo and math rock concoction not unlike Aim Of Conrad, Life At These Speeds, Wild Guess and Wow, Owls!. If this kind of name dropping got your attention then just stop reading and download the EP. I revisited 'Self Made Maps' before writing this review and am still not sold on it. I like it, but the 'Demo' is most certainly my thing. The gruffer vocals don't excite me and the songwriting is still interesting but the focus on progressive songwriting and less in-your-face rock/hardcore is much less appeasing to my ears.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2002 - Demo cd/10"EP (download EP here and buy 10" here)

2003 - Self Made Maps cd/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2002) STOP IT!! - "When Doves Cry" (from 'Demo')

(2002) STOP IT!! - "My Prerogative" (from 'Demo')

(2002) STOP IT!! - "Paradise City" (from 'Demo')

(2003) STOP IT!! - "Captain Roboto" (from 'Self Made Maps')

(2003) STOP IT!! - "Remove Your Teeth" (from 'Self Made Maps')

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STOP IT!! out of print mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

Buy 'Demo' 10"EP here
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Friday, 24 February 2017

***BLACK NAIL exclusive EP premiere***

BLACK NAIL exclusive premiere for:
'A Meeting of Bliss and Trauma'
For fans of: Me And Him Call It Us, .gif from god, Letters To Catalonia, The 21st Agenda, Caust, Swan Of Tuonela and Mothlight.

Near the end of 2016 I was passed BLACK NAIL's self titled debut EP (linked here) and was pretty goddamn impressed, so much so that I was insanely close to including it on the OMSB Best of 2016 list of EPs, linked here, as it would have been #11. The screamy and grindy metalcore is unrelenting and pummeling, leaving no space for ambient bits or cleaner sections and instead opting for panicked chords, chaos and murderous breakdowns.

A few days back, Chicago's BLACK NAIL sent me two new songs to premiere and I can safely say that these things are fucking unreal. The explosiveness and sheer intensity is overwhelming and will leave fans of Me And Him Call It Us, Letters To Catalonia and .gif from god in a euphoric state. The new EP is titled 'A Meeting of Bliss and Trauma' and will be released in the near future on tape and cd, according to the band. Opening track "Holding a Moth by the Wings (Hands for Scissors)" is an eerie and feedback saturated homage to Me And Him Call It Us, combining poisonous vocals with crushing instrumentals. The songs speeds up substantially at 1:18 and disintegrates into black hole breakdowns by 1:30. The final half of the EP is "It's Not Just a Feeling, You are Being Watched", which is a mere 1:53 of forehead slapping awesomeness. Opting for a faster opening and scathing vocals amidst here and there mini breakdowns, the song goes fucking ballistic at 1:38 and will have fans of .gif from god and Letters To Catalonia on their knees praying to the gods of spazzy, metallic screamo. Seriously this song is one of the best you'll hear in 2017.

The band will be touring in March to SXSW with the band Tweak.

Here are the songs, blast this until someone complains...and then turn it up louder.

"Holding a Moth by the Wings (Hands for Scissors)"

"It's Not Just a Feeling, You are Being Watched"

BLACK NAIL

Thursday, 23 February 2017

***DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD album premiere***

DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD 'Vol II' album premiere


FFO: Roy, Two Gallants, Laika’s Orbit, Shahman, Waxwing, Queens Of The Stone Age, Worst Gift, Frank Black, Johnny Cash and Bloodpheasant.

People are generally surprised when I inform them that, yes, I do listen to music that isn’t heavy. I mean, c’mon, Nada Surf is my favourite band! Kehan from Don’t Live Like Me Records gave me this incredible opportunity to this, so I’m very excited to be premiering the new, dark and epic post-rock/folk-rock DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD ‘Vol. II’ full length.

This is a supergroup, plain and simple. The members have been and still play in some extremely seminal bands, including;  Ampere, Wolves, Daniel Striped Tiger, Death To Tyrants, Kindling, Parquet Courts, and so many others. DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD was established by Northeast punk dignitaries and longtime friends Eric Gagne (Footings, Redwing Blackbird, Death To Tyrants), Randy Patrick (The Toll, Death To Tyrants), Andrew Skelly (Kindling, Ampere, Wolves), Jason St.Claire (Sweet John Bloom, Daniel Striped Tiger), and Sean Yeaton (Parquet Courts, Daniel Striped Tiger) have been making records together in their spare time since 2010. Separated by thousands of miles and other full-time projects, DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD has always provided its core group with a creative and fulfilling way of staying in touch. ‘Vol. II’ is a departure from their first release in so much as subsequent albums will be a departure from it. There are mellow moments and there are earsplitting moments, so that much hasn’t changed at all.

Here is Kehan’s story about how he came about releasing this bad boy:
Back in 2012, I attended Now Denial's 10 year gig in Allston, MA which would be one of Daniel Striped Tiger's final shows for the foreseeable future. This was also shortly after DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD's debut was released by Enemies List (Have A Nice Life, Planning for Burial, Xasthur, etc) and they happened to be selling copies. Over a few years of repeated listens, it gradually became one of my favorite releases ever. Volume I conjures moments ranging from massive waves of sound to soft acoustic guitar pillowing an echo chamber. Come to find out they needed a label to help release Volume II, I offered to help and here we are! Conceptually like a Western Massachusetts Pygmy Lush, if you will. I'm beyond stoked to share with you this wonderful record, made by some of the kindest musicians I've met to date."


Here’s Dave’s quick overview of the record:

Opener “Barnfire” puts the folksy acoustic guitars on display right from the get-go. This 8+ minute song begins very tranquil and doesn’t really get into it until just after the one-minute mark, injecting slightly twangy and somber clean vocals that float throughout the track’s tenure.

Next up is “Totem” which is a much shorter investment, with the dark and depressing rural rock clocking in at 2:52 that must, just fucking must, have some Johnny Cash influence.

Decimal Spaces” is a whopping 13:26 in length and is easily one of the best tracks on ‘Vol. II’. The first few sections are spacious and ambient with nods to minimal atmospheric rock. By seven minutes, however, the song slides into some very jammy and interesting territory that drops any ties to folk/country and instead delves into proggy, epic rock and post-rock. By the 9-minute mark shit gets pretty intense and probably as heavy as you’ll hear on the entire record.

“Cold Clear” is a basic acoustic track with sporadic and nearly whispered vocals that is calming and gorgeous for the first three minutes before some awkward and experimental instrumentals take over for the final three minutes.

Track number five is “Onto You”, a sludgy, post-rock/post-hardcore romp that easily could have been released in the mid-late 1990s to much acclaim. A different beast than most songs on here, this is a very engaging song that grunge music and Brian Cook’s baby aka the band Roy could easily be compared to.

Gunslinger” is another killer song and probably the most straightforward banger on this record. After the two minute mark we are even graced with some pretty fucking powerful solos followed by a quieter outro.

“Homeless” is over quickly, being only 2:44 in length. Like a lone light in a cavern, the song juxtaposes the sad with the hopeful in a stirring track that has some very effective vocals and powerful guitars.

The closer “Ollie Ox & Free” is a very chill song and would be great to sip an iced tea to on the porch of my non-existent farm. It's a very relaxing and intriguing listen that perfectly closes the album.


Don’t Live Like Me Records is releasing the 12” on three different variants out of 300 and the entire thing was recorded by Will Killingsworth and mastered by Alan Douches.

Listen and buy the full album here:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

***PODCAST #16 w/Mike Norman aka my brother***


This is my brother Mike Norman. He's three years younger than me. He's my best friend and a new father. He loves punk music. So we talked about all that stuff. We hear from people that we are like the same person, so judge for yourself if you can tell us apart.

Mike. I love you, buddy.

~Dave

Monday, 20 February 2017

ROBINSON

BandROBINSON
GenresPunk / Grindcore / Metalcore / Noise / Mathcore / Hardcore / Emo-violence
Related artists?.
CountryOhio USA
Years Active2005-2006
Song: "The Great City of Desolation"
Album: "The Great City"
Year: 2006
For fans ofOktober Skyline, Thumbscrew, Harlots, Crestfallen, Daughters, Me And Him Call It Us, Discordance Axis, Ed Gein, AdvocateOwen Hart, Destroyer Destroyer, Born Under Saturn, Love Lost But Not Forgotten, Enkephalin, The Sawtooth Grin, Letters In Binary, Under A Sky So Blue, Clancy Six, Tyranny Of Shaw, Straight No Chaser, .gif from god, Gaza, Machinist, The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza and The Great Redneck Hope aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Debello Recordings
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

ROBINSON is a mindfuck, plain and simple. Like a total nervous system stimulus overload, the batshit crazy grindcore is emitted in barely bearable 50 second chunks that scream The Great Redneck Hope and Oktober Skyline, especially in the vocal department, as those shrieks are retched with insidious intensity. The general cacaphonous, disjointed and utterly pummeling grindy metalcore was released in the mid-2000s and is done in a manner rarely replicated. This is on full display with "The Great City of Desolation", an absolute aural assault that incorporates the crazy with a few brief moments of reflection. The drums, especially approaching the end, are maniacal and volatile as the entire song seems unstable but comes oh so close to completely vaporizing the drum kit by 1:41. Although most of the songs are spent in seemingly utter disarray, many tracks tend to save the breakdowns until end, as can be heard in "The Great City of Salvation III", "The Great City in Peril II" as well as bits and pieces of "The Great City of Ruin II". "The Great City of Salvation II" has the intensity of Thumbscrew and even a bit of The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza with those tappy guitars amidst all the chaos. "The Great City of Salvation IV" is relentless in its assault, as it "The Great City in Peril I" and the very shrieky "The Great City of Ruin I". The prodigious closer "The Great City of Ruin III" clocks in at a whopping 11:09 (that's basically the same time as the first 9 tracks combined) is much slower, sludgier and post-metal influenced, although there is that insane yelling starting at five minutes that sound like a person losing their fucking mind whilst strapped down in a highly suspect mental institution. In the final minute the band reverts back to what they do best and rip the listener's face off.


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DISCOGRAPHY

2005 - Robinson cdEP (this is just the first five songs from 'The Great City')

2006 - The Great City cdLP (download here)

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(2006) ROBINSON - "The Great City of Desolation" (from 'The Great City')

(2006) ROBINSON - "The Great City in Peril II" (from 'The Great City')

(2006) ROBINSON - "The Great City of Salvation III" (from 'The Great City')

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ROBINSON 'The Great City' download

(download here)
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THANK GOD

BandTHANK GOD
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Noise / Noise-Rock
Related artists: Antischism, .fuckingcom, Guyana Punch Line, Initial State, Burnt Books, Can’t Kids, Cube, Big & Tall and Wounded Tongue.
CountryColumbia, South Carolina USA
Years Active2005-2011
Song: "Ice/Age"
Album: "Ice/Age"
Year: 2010
For fans ofRacebannonLife At These Speeds, XBXRX, Guyana Punch Line, Monarcs, A Flower Kollapsed, Deepslauter, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, Kulara, Rapider Than Horsepower, Scowler, The Sun, The South, The Carnival Of Dark-Split, and (later) Bright Calm Blue.
Label(s): Exotic Fever records / Tick Tock Records / Mashnote / The Perpetual Motion Machine / Molsook Records / These Family Jaws
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

Review by JESSE MOWERY:

I first heard of THANK GOD in 2010 when one of my roommates back then asked if they could hop on a show I was booking. At the time Myspace was still widely used, and they had one track up, which was the title track of their new album 'Ice/Age'. I booked them based on how good it was, and was excited to see what their other material was like, but I had no clue how great they would be. Spastic rhythms, crazy dissonant guitars, and wild weird screams that flow into mesmerizing ambient sections. It took me seeing them for a second to time notice other things that made me scratch my head in wonder, like how they used capos on every song in different positions, mostly seventh fret and above, or how their vocalist used a loop station to have other screams going on at the same time as whatever else he was doing. They also were picking up the pieces to their record on tour, getting the vinyl in Nashville, and the inserts and sleeves in Chicago or something like that, which I thought was really interesting. Anyways, they’ve been one of my favorite bands since I first saw them, and while many of the members other bands’ get some praise I feel like THANK GOD is often overlooked, which is why I’m doing this.

In 2006 they put out their first release 'For Pregnant Virgins', a 6 song 15 minute long EP. This is definitely their closest thing to Guyana Punch Line, as it has many faster punky parts, but it’s still from the start a different beast altogether. Opening track “One Hand Over Yr Mouth” starts out going from spazziness to fast punk beats, with the vocals following the guitars in a way until it breaks down with the bass and drums grooving while the guitars and vocals get weirder before ending where they started. “2000 Bees Can’t Be Wrong” is probably my favorite from this release, as it encapsulates a lot of the things I really like about their stuff: weird ramblings between shouting with noisy nonsense coming from the guitars that eventually leads to a softer breakdown with the bass leading the melodies while while the guitars go on whatever tangents they want. Overall this release is a quick but fun listen that foreshadows what they were going to accomplish.

In 2007 THANK GOD released three splits, all with great bands like 'Monarcs, Deepslauter, and Tigershark'. All of these have a similar foundation, starting out with a quiet guitar thing into a heavy song and ending with a slower more melodic song, but none sound like they’re repeating themselves either. “Good Bad Guy” starts out pretty up-tempo and positive sounding until it gets to the chorus thingy, which just sounds like someone losing their mind, and breaking down into a weird melodic part. “Wasting My Breath” is slower but is one of my favorites melodically, the main guitar riff is infectious. “Goddamn Tulips” has some very noodley guitars on it and some lyrics about not having tasted scrambled eggs or something.

They released a 'split with Life At These Speeds' in 2008, with two more tracks furthering their sound away from their previous bands, adding in squawky trumpet at the beginning of “Ahh The Magical 90’s” before going into something that sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any moment but never does. “Lay Down Lula” starts out soft before going into a ¾ polka-ish beat thing that is really cool.

2010 marked the release of 'Ice/Age', an LP that would end up being their last release, but damn was it a good note to end on. The opener and title track starts with a few notes before going into a spastic melodic mess with scream/sung vocals, all while the guitars get noisier. “Chicken Dance” has some of the most nonsensical guitar playing I’ve ever heard. This is a song I could lose my mind to, but into a pit of happy insanity. There’s a lot more soft ambient/post-rockish parts on this release, with some sax thrown in on later tracks. The album ends with “Hugo Chavez”, which is one of the most blistering tracks on this, with the pace close to their earlier stuff but with the super noisy guitars that are all over this album. My words don’t do this band justice, just listen to them and decide for yourself.

I just recently found a recording of what I’m pretty sure was their last show right here, but you can get a pretty good feel for what they sounded like live.

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

2006 - For Pregnant Virgins cdEP

2007 - Tigershark split 12"EP (buy here)
2007 - Monarcs split 10"EP
2007 - Deepslauter split cd/12"EP

2008 - Life At These Speeds split 7"EP

2010 - Ice/Age 12"+cdLP
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(2010) THANK GOD - "Ice/Age" (from 'Ice/Age')

(2010) THANK GOD - "Chicken Dance" (from 'Ice/Age')

(2007) THANK GOD - "That Crazy Mouse is Cool" (from 'Tigershark' split)

(2007) THANK GOD - "Life Fire On Fire" (from 'Monarcs' split)

(2007) THANK GOD - "Goddamn Tulips" (from 'Deepslauter' split)

(2006) THANK GOD - "Alligators Don't Cry" (from 'For Pregnant Virgins')

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THANK GOD out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

***HAMILTON HOUSE SHOW w/Respire, La Luna, Terry Green, Wimp City & The World That Summer***

Full review and videos below.


THE WORLD THAT SUMMER
The band I scream for in Hamilton opened the show nice and early. We opened with "Moth Volcano" and then played "Heat Death Parties are the Bomb, Man". Our third and fourth song are in the video embed below and are both unreleased. In fact, the third song "Voltron Division" is a totally new song and this is the first and only time we've ever played it live. I really like it, as it feels like it always builds but never quite reaches climax. The instrumentals are really fucking grooving and I tried some new stuff out vocally and think it worked out pretty well. The fourth song is our final track on the 2x12" that we should have test presses for soon and is titled "No Hugs for Lucas" which is generally a fitting closer, but you'll have to pass through the seven minutes and change of "Voltron Division" first aka our ode to Black Love.
"Voltron Division & No Hugs for Lucas"
Link to song: "Heat Death Parties are the Bomb, Man"


TERRY GREEN
TERRY GREEN did what TERRY GREEN do gone did, they kicked ass. Playing in one of the members' living rooms, this was one of the best shows of my life, as every band killed it and these boys were no exception. Playing most of their upcoming 12" material from the aptly titled 'LP', these guys shred screamy post-hardcore and will definitely tickle the fancy of Gillian Carter, Van Johnson and perhaps even Alexisonfire. Check out the live video below and then jam "1" aka "Michael Soft Sam" on the new Zampler linked here!
"3"


LA LUNA
LA LUNA played third and for the second night in a row blew me socks off. Unfortunately I was outside moving stuff for the beginning of their set and by the time I got in I was confined to the doorway and couldn't see the band nor catch a decent video. I must say that I enjoyed the last two LA LUNA records but think the new material is going to blow that stuff away. Check out their recently released 12" 'Always Already' on their bandcamp page linked below. I've included a video interview with the band below in a poor attempt at making up for not getting a live video from the show.
LA LUNA video interview


RESPIRE
Obviously RESPIRE didn't disappoint. They never do, despite the fact that all three times they have played in Hamilton they have had a different lineup each time due to a members' prior obligations. So this time we were without Emmett on the trumpet but instead had the violinist Eslin taking part in every song. The band sounded great in such a small setting, especially the absolutely epic Eternal Nothing, embedded below. I've also updated the ZBR distro with tons of new Respire stock including a tote bag, two shirts, tapes and posters!
"Eternal Nothing"
Link to song: "Waltz"
Bandcamp
Buy 12" / tape / G&G shirt / Burn shirt / tote bag / show poster


WIMP CITY
Local heroes WIMP CITY closed out the evening to a fucking packed living room and it was magical. I was a little far back on the couch so I handed the camera up to Jose and Nate who filmed the entire set in one video! Can't ask for more than that, thanks fellas! So, the two-piece of drums and bass/vocals ripped through nearly 10 songs of spastic and pissed off Death From Above styled punk if they were way heavier on the hardcore. As per usual, a treat.
Full set
Bandcamp

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

***TRUMAN streams new song at Form und Leere blog***

TRUMAN just released a new song from their upcoming cassette EP 'ma doi' on Zegema Beach Records and Middle-Man Records on the Form und Leere blog. The song is called "these struggles only result in sharper misery" and is the first of three songs that will be available in March along with pre-orders. As I run Zegema Beach I can certainly vouch that the full record is phenomenal and if you like this song you'll love all 17 minutes that'll drop in March! Mitchie, Benson and Dylan, I'll see you here again for the Best Of 2017 EP list.

You can read my review of their past discography here and watch their entire set at Swamp Fest 2016 from the post review here.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

PREGNANCY PACT

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsCrowning and Nigel Thornberry.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active2016
Song: "You'll Get Used to the Cold"
Album: "A Better Hill to Die On"
Year: 2016
For fans ofPeople's Temple Project, Polina, Crowning, Dowager, Loma Prieta, Youth Funeral, Youth Novel, Foxmoulder, Logs, Carrion Spring, Calculator, Dikembe, Terry Green and Matsuri aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

So the Crowning cassettes are now out! Pick them up right heeeeeya. But, before there was Crowning there was PREGNANCY PACT. In March of 2016 Justin Orr of PREGNANCY PACT emailed me in hopes for a write up about his new band's EP 'A Better Hill to Die On'. This more than peaked my interest so I told the band I would love to do a review but alas I was greeted with the following email:

"lol, just kidding. our bassist just got a job in san diego and is moving there in like 2 weeks. pregnancy pact is dead, long live pregnancy pact. the other 3 of us are starting anew thing asap though, so we'll send it to you when we get something recorded."

And then they did.

As much as I love Crowning, I would be at fault to not go back and push this release before it falls into internet obscurity. PREGNANCY PACT was, for the most part, a poppier Crowning. That is to say, PREGNANCY PACT was not poppy. Not even close. The screaming, blazing guitars and lightning quick drums are all there, but the songs always take a step back from the chaos to dabble in other genres that sometimes work great and sometimes feel forced. Let me explain.

"You'll Get Used to the Cold" is the opener, and what an opener! Busting outta the gates Logs and Carrion Spring style, the mixture of melodic and heavy guitars are wrapped up hoarse screams that fit everything perfectly. By 30 seconds shit gets even more intense and begins dripping of Youth Funeral and Loma Prieta before the peculiar but fitting mathy emo build that never quite reaches the power and commanding nature of the first two thirds of the song, although from 2:13 onward is pretty intense. Next up is "PK Love". To be honest the first minute doesn't really do anything for me with the gruff/clean vocals and almost twinkly emo sound, but the remaining two minutes is more than worth a listen because hot damn that's some good shit. "Charles Barkley Shut Up and Cry" begins just like the previous song and sounds like something from the derivative depths of NDE, but the emo style persists for the duration of the song, hence its absence from the embeds below. Closer "Moot" makes a point (ha) of getting back to what the band does best, and does so with additional instrumentation from trumpets by the end, which fit like a goddamn glove...Ace. At 30 seconds in the song goes bananas and swirls around with a fucking sick bassline and generally playful screamo not far from the likes of Matsuri and Polina.

This EP is definitely worth the download. Also, fucking Crowning, holy shit.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2016 - A Better Hill to Die On digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "You'll Get Used to the Cold" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "Moot" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "PK Love" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

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PREGNANCY PACT additional links

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Monday, 13 February 2017

***YOUTH FUNERAL exclusive interview***

Last month Casey from YOUTH FUNERAL agreed to answer a few of my questions. I had already reviewed the band, but goddamn that new 'Heavenward' LP is fantastic. You can pick it below from Dog Knights and Skeletal Lightning before it's sold out! For fans of: Loma Prieta,  and Crowning.

YOUTH FUNERAL 'Heavenward'
Bandcamp
Buy from Dog Knights
Buy from Skeletal Lightning

YOUTH FUNERAL has an upcoming show with The Hotelier in New Hampshire on March 24th, 2017:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1797408023841802/


1) Casey, please give us some vital information that we should know about you.
I’m not sure what I should consider vital. In this context, I’ll say my name is Casey Nealon and I play guitar and sing in Youth Funeral.

2) What path led you to your current tastes in music, and please touch on your route to screamo and Youth Funeral?
I’ve often felt drawn to the other in my life. I don’t think there was an exception with music. Lately I’ve been enjoying what my friends have been making with Savage Blind God, Krimewatch, Slow Fire Pistol, and Abuse Of Power.

As far as what led me to Youth Funeral, I have vivid memories of being driven around in my friend Ryan Boone's car when I was probably eighteen, and he was always playing this awful music that I couldn’t stand. One day I asked and he told me it was Saetia. I didn’t appreciate that music style for a while but eventually something clicked and that whole world opened up to me.

3) How did Youth Funeral start? Did you care to touch on Raph, as he used to be my contact for Youth Funeral and know that he is no longer in the band?
Youth Funeral started because of a mutual love for the music, chaotic passion, and creative freedom seen between bands like Raein, Ampere, and Jeromes Dream. Raph and I met in school when we were five years old. Our friendship persisted through going to school together most of our lives.

The high school we went to was the second largest in the United States, which led to us splitting during that time and falling into different social circles. Somehow, we independently refined our music tastes and our personal lives intersected again when we both started college and our bands would play together.
In what I will call the second chapter of our friendship, we decided to play music together and start Youth Funeral. As you noted, since we started, the people involved with the band have changed. Raph and Travis Fitzgerald were original members and I decided it would be best to move on as a three piece with another high school friend named Spencer Benson taking over on bass.

There are a number of reasons that led to Raph’s departure. In terms of the operation of Youth Funeral, it became apparent that Raph and I had different visions of what we wanted the band to be. In terms of Raph’s personal life, I don’t feel comfortable sharing anyone’s personal business on their behalf, but there were serious disagreements I had with his behavior in his own life during the end of his time in Youth Funeral. While this was far from an ideal end to our friendship, it was best for my mental health that we went our separate ways.

4) Tell us about the progression from EP to split to LP in terms of writing, recording, the final product and the band's influences.
Symptom Of Time was conceived and recorded in the span of one month with absolutely no time to actually consider what we created. For better or for worse, those songs were the foundation of Youth Funeral musically.
As I mentioned, Raph and I had different visions for Youth Funeral. The two of us would write our songs independently and then one of us would teach the other three people how to play them. I personally find it to be obvious which songs are written by either person and this lack of cohesion bothered me a lot and still irritates me when I reflect on our collective work.
Despite my criticisms, one common thread throughout our music are the influences. Everything is personal and introspective and meant to evoke an emotional reaction. Themes I’ve tried to explore are depression, paranoia, love, suicide, self-hatred, chaos, and others. With these two most recent releases, those influences are explored further.
"I Would Do It All Again" is what I would consider to be the first appearance of Youth Funeral in its most focused and complete incarnation. With visuals and sounds, I designed everything and wrote everything. Which is also the case with Heavenward.

5) What are your personal thoughts on 'Heavenward'?
I feel proud of Heavenward. The entity of the music carries deep meaning for me. I hope that people listen and find positivity within the experience.

6) How did your split with Scowler come about?
As far as I know, Raph and Scowler talked about doing a split since him, Travis, Mike, and I all liked their music. We played a show together in Lowell, Massachusetts a couple winters ago and we all briefly met. The split happened and we never played together again and no one in the band knows anyone in Scowler at this point. It’s kind of a bizarre lost connection to reflect on.

7) Can you delve deeper into the writing and recording process for Heavenward?
The music that was ultimately used for Heavenward began forming in the winter of 2015, around the time See You When I See You was released. By this time, Raph’s involvement with the band had waned to essentially non-existence. In-turn, any creative contribution he would have made was taken over by my own. Thus, I wrote all of the music for Heavenward, isolated in my bedroom. I would write a song, show Spencer and Mike at practice, and then we’d work through everything together. Though, the foundational composition of the music was all painfully obsessed over by myself in solitude.

There was a significant amount of revision that lead to what the music resembles now. For instance, there is a demo version of Lonely Man that we recorded with Niko Zaglaras and Neil Pandya at The Keep in Chicago. In that version, the main guitar part was overly complex, the bridge following the first verse didn’t exist, and the second verse used to be followed by what ultimately turned into the beginning of With Love I Weep. I decided that Lonely Man needed more room to breathe and that the latter half would work better becoming another separate piece.

As with every other record Youth Funeral has released, we went to Dead Air Studios. Everything was recorded live over two days with Will Killingsworth. There was some separate recording, as I play a second guitar track on the record, and we recorded vocals the day after the music.

8) What about the lyrical themes of Heavenward?
The lyrics are personal. There are intentionally recurring motifs throughout the songs and they are carefully ordered amongst themselves to present some relationships that I find valuable. The songs are based around experiences I’ve had. I don’t want to force people into any specific interpretation beyond what they hear and see themselves, so I’d like to refrain from sharing too much.

9) How has the reception to the new LP been? I saw you are almost sold out already! Plus you have a release show coming up?
I’m flattered by how people seem to like Heavenward. Everything about the record was extremely personal and I didn’t expect or need anyone to care about the record, beyond whatever would ease the burden of the parties kind enough to support its physical release. To see people react as positively as they have been to Heavenward is something I deeply appreciate.

We do have a release show coming up. Unfortunately, the original date had to be rescheduled due to Winter Storm Helena’s severe weather conditions. I’m currently in the process of booking the new date which will be in February.

10) Appease the gear heads.
I’m not much of a gear head myself so I don’t think I can appease them as much as their peers might be equipped to. I suppose I’ll describe what I personally use. For guitar, I alternate between using a special edition Fender Telecaster with two Seymour Duncan pearly gate humbucker pickups, and then on extremely rare occasions I use a 1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe with upgraded hardware that I forget the exact specifications of. For amplifiers, I’ve used a Sovtek Mig 100, Peavey VTM 120, and a now I exclusively use a Roland JC-120 2x12 combo. For cabinets, I have always used a Mesa Boogie 4x12 rectifier cab. For pedals, I currently use some combination of a Boss tuner, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Pro Co RAT, Boss reverb, and Boss noise suppressor. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

On our recordings, I can’t remember specifics, but I know for Heavenward I used a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia, and a Peavey 6505+ combo. I also tend to mess around with whatever interesting pedals Will has available, so there could have been some interesting combinations I’m forgetting about.

11) What chain of events led you to the current labels you work with?
Raph had been friends with Skeletal Lightning and Dog Knights Productions when the Scowler split was being planned. I simply retained a connection with both Sean and Darren after Raph left. Both parties were interested and excited about what we were making with Heavenward so we all collaborated together to release the record.

12) What did you want to say about DIY places being targeted and shut down?
The spaces being targeted are vital environments for providing an outlet to artists and all kinds of people. I understand the fear around their safety as I know from experience how structurally dangerous some places I’ve spent significant amounts of time in can be. However, I also understand the circumstances that lead to these spaces being the only option available to those who create and participate in them.

I do not want people to be hurt and I do not want spaces and communities to be lost.

13) Any thoughts on the world today?
The world today is a world of sharp edges. People need to take care of each other and practice patience and compassion.

14) What's next for Youth Funeral?
We will be on tour this summer. The two bands playing with us all agreed on the routing a week or so ago so we’ll start booking everything shortly. There will be more to share soon.

Thank you for all of the interest in what we’re doing.