Author Archives: HalfEdgeMedia
Bold Venture Music via AWAL distribution
15th September 2014
I played this some time ago whilst I was still on the steam wireless and it got into my Top 100 tunes of 2012, any way that lovely Mr Gilberg says It’s been remixed and remastered and will now be on the album ‘Under Every Sky’, which is due for release November 2014.
I liked it then and I like it even more now.
You can catch them at the excellent New Continental in Preston on 5th September along with New York Tourists and Good Foxy.
Contacts and such like:
The Shaker Hymn
The Shaker Hymn is a young four piece alternative rock band from Cork, Eire.
Their debut album is rather good indeed. Melodically strong, well written, and, and a lead vocalist in Caoilian Sherlock who can hold a tune and deliver it with a fascinating mixture of nonchalance and heart felt emotion. The great thing about this band is that they are not immediately comparable with what is hip at the moment – they have a unique alt.rock feel which does not immediately bore, like so many bands tagged with that epithet. There’s an assuredness in these performances which belies their youthfulness and for a first outing it is remarkably good. Not only in sound, but in sensibility and song-craft, I am reminded of the best of The Go-Betweens and The Triffids- strong praise indeed! I can’t find a bad song in the ten tunes on the album.
Many thanks to James Scanlon for bringing this to my attention.
I highly recommend this album and suggest you have a listen to it. A strong contender for album of the year.
Obake are back, with a second album out in October on Rare Noise Records. We are advised to expect something where the energies of metal fuse with ambient electronica, jazz, and noise with the precision of math-rock and the groove of blues.
Here is the band, with Trevor Dunn on bass, at the Assymetry Festival in 2012
Le Butcherettes have joined Ipecac Recording’s roster and will release their second album release, Cry Is For The Flies, on Sept. 15 via the Bay Area label in conjunction with Nadie Sound. The album features guests Henry Rollins (“Moment of Guilt”) and Shirley Manson (“Shame, You’re All I’ve Got”). Le Butcherettes is Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keys) and Lia Braswell (drums). Pending that here’s something from the Sin Sin Sin album
Pallbearer‘s new track “The Ghost I Used To Be” is available. This is the first new Pallbearer song to surface from their forthcoming new album, Foundations Of Burden, which will be available on August 25th from Profound Lore and is available for pre-order now: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/pallbearer/
I’ve reviewed the Wolves In The Room new album Celestite elsewhere on the blog, here’s another preview track….
Some forthcoming releases to keep an eye out for this month
BOWL ETHEREAL 7″ – S/T (SOUTHERN LORD)
When All This Was Fields
Well this cheered me up on a damp Friday afternoon in July whilst waiting for the football to start. In fact i’m grinning from ear to ear sitting here listening to it.
And how good to hear from James Stone (he of Soul Saboteur, The Loaded Dice etc) with news of a couple of new projects. The first of which is this collaboration with Jason Griffiths called When All This Was Fields.
I’ve always been particularly fond of Mr Stone’s voice and I am pleased to report he is still in fine form. The fruits of their labour is an EP called “Volume One”.
There are four tracks which can be found at the duo’s Soundcloud page. Here is strand out track “Shades of Red”, but I do encourage you to check out the rest as they are quite exceptional.
Stone’s blue eyed soul is complimented with impressive string sounds, and bright arrangements which carry melodic tunes – instantly memorable and had me reaching for the repeat button. Imagine Van Morrison singing over a Joe Boyd arrangement for a Nick Drake album and you are getting somewhere close to the sound.
The insanely catchy opening track “That’s Not Me” is a stunner.
It’s high time that Stone’s voice was given a much wider audience and hopefully this collaboration will gain some plaudits and attention.
The E.P. was recorded at West Orange Recording Studio by Alan Gregson.
The other project is a band called “Porter’s Forces” – more on them once the material is sent through.
I strongly suggest you check this out.
Strength and Conditioning
29th July 2014
Long-running Queens, NYC-based punk/hardcore crossover act, SOS, has completed their fifth full-length album, and are preparing to release Strength And Conditioning this July.
Since the late 1990s, SOS, has expended their energetic and dynamic melodic punk/hardcore/thrash upon locals across the New York City area and beyond, as well as internationally via their own self-released albums. Their sound has continually shifted into more chaotic and rampant directions on record, but has continuously held true to their own identity. Elements of buoyant punk rock and melodic post-hardcore meshed with big leads and solos give way to crushing hardcore with a lunatic edge. Layered backup singing and gang chants jack-up the unhinged lead vocals which virtually defy any genre categorization alone. The raging but cohesive end product is always a unique listen, on everything the band has released, including their 1999 debut, SOS, The Mob and The Limo Love Scam, 2001’s Adios Bandito, 2005’s A Guide To Better Living, and most recent album, 2008’s Adult Situations, all of which were independently released on CD and digital via the band’s 316 Productions, and are available for free download at their Bandcamp page.
The album a nearly forty-eight minute excursion into rambunctiousness and barrier-free musical chaos. Recorded and mixed by Travis Harrison at Serious Business Studios, mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music and featuring artwork from Louis Campagna from LRC Graphics, the fourteen-track Strength And Conditioning closes SOS’ six-year gap since their last album with more action-packed whacko hardcore mayhem than ever.
A glorious racket, totally unhinged, highly recommended.
David DeCanio – bass
Nick Pursche – guitars
Mike SOS – guitars/vocals
Brett Thompson – drums
Seems like an age since I have heard from young Mr Rice from The Wonderland Trip – who now appear to be a three piece with a new rhythm section (last time I saw them was in the Town Hall Hotel in deepest Eccles a couple of years back) – anyhow they have a new video out of the excellent “Bring Back The Sunshine” – one of those life affirming tunes that makes you want to leap around a bit…check it out ….
Wolves In The Throne Room
7th July 2014
Those of you who will be aware of the orchestral death metal ambience of Wolves in the Throne Room will be both familiar and surprised by this latest release from the band.
Celestite sees the band take a deeper excursion into the crystalline synthesizer-driven domains that have long intrigued them. With the aid of producer Randall Dunn, the band unearthed a hidden sound scape that is only loosely tethered to their usual sound, yet is still unmistakably the work of Wolves in the Throne Room.
The band says : “To make Celestite we delved into the subterranean sonics that are buried in the mix of Celestial Lineage. We isolated them, processed them and took this unearthed soundscape as our starting point. Upon this base we recorded an entirely new album. Some melodies from Celestial Lineage are recognisable, but these familiar sounds appear as ghosts, barely tethered to the original compositions. This new album is an unorthodox foray; a fully instrumental, experimental companion record to Celestial Lineage. We left some work undone with Celestial Lineage. The recording of that album in the Winter of 2011 was a monumental project for us personally, and the creative fire from those recording sessions was still burning. This recording process was an opportunity to journey into our own inner universe to complete that which needed to be completed.”
Paired once again with producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Master Musicians Of Bukkake), Celestite came to fruition at Avast Studios and the band’s own Olympia-based studio Owl Lodge. While cloistered during the recording sessions they made use of a mammoth arsenal of crumbling vintage equipment including a Serge Modular System, Korg Poly6, Korg MS20, Korg Mono/Poly, Roland Juno 106, Roland Jupiter 6, Roland Super jx10, Jomox Airbase 99, Access Virus and more. The album also features a guest wind ensemble including friends Josiah Boothby on French Horn, Steve Moore (Earth, Sunn O))), Stebmo) on Trombone, and both Mara Winter and Veronica Dye on flute.
The upcoming release of Celestite is doubly exciting for them as it will mark another new venture for the duo; the inaugural release on their own new label, Artemisia Records. The band states, “Artemisia Records is the imprint the we created to release Celestite and future albums. Most importantly for us, working on this album has revealed a whole new vein of creative energy for WITTR. Now that the long trip of creating this album is finished, our appetite is whetted for future projects, thus we feel it necessary to pre-empt the inevitable chatter that will accompany the release of this record. WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM has not permanently abandoned the guitar and drums! We sense that one day — perhaps sooner, perhaps later — we will be inspired to return to our stacks of amplifiers and cabinets to create new music.”
Since 2002, over the course of 4 studio albums and hundreds of live performances Wolves in the Throne Room have refracted the transcendent and mythic aspects of Black Metal through their own idiosyncratic approach. The resulting essence is music that is intimately linked to the wild lands of the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
The sonic variations displayed here offer potential new audiences for the band – the layers of guitar and synthesizer provide for a sound scape which emerges from it’s Black Metal roots in a blaze of anthemic ambience. As the title implies this is a meditative and inspirational collection of music which allows the listener time for quiet reflection and deep thought.
German Shepherd Records
1st July 2014
This is a charity album aimed to raise funds for the new Emmaus Community in Salford. Some time ago I got involved in helping the new community with some promotion and website work and it struck me that if I called in a few favours with some local (and not so local musicians) I might be able to pull together enough tracks to make a decent – and saleable album.
After several months hard work and a lot of cajoling the album is now ready to go – as a digital download – with 35 tracks. The variety of music on show reflects the Salford scene, the wider Manchester musical world, and a number of friends, associates and other ne’er do wells that I have featured on podcasts, seen at gigs, and become friends with – both real and virtual.
The mix of styles reflects what grass roots music is all about – eschewing the fads and trends of national radio playlists – what we have here is talented, unique and committed musicians and performers – the most of whom do it for love and very little money. So it’s more than gratifying that they have donated these tracks free of charge.
Here’s the political bit – and you will hear me say these words on the title track of the album…..
Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite.
People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and overlapping reasons and solving homelessness is about much more than putting a roof over people’s heads. Many homeless people face a number of issues in addition to, but often compounded by, their homelessness. The isolation and destructive nature of homelessness means that homeless people find it difficult to access the help they need.
The charity that will be benefit from the proceeds of this album – Emmaus – seeks to break the cycle of homelessness and worklessness by combining a home with a job. The organisation has been established for a long time, across the world, and in a former life I was part of the team that introduced the idea of having an Emmaus community in the city – so it is very close to my heart. It desperately needs resources to kick off its’ work in Salford. So this album comes at a key time. They are based on Fitzwarren Street in Pendleton, and they are very close to opening. Many volunteers from a wide range of organisations have already spent countless hours converting the building – there are details of this fine work on the local website for Emmaus.
The line up on this release is pretty phenomenal – there are both legends of the local music scene as well as bright young things. There is music from around the UK, and one track from an ex-pat Manc in France. There are brand new previously unreleased exclusive tracks, archive tunes which have never seen the light of day, and fan favourites from bands who have been major part of the gig circuit in recent years.
The music on the album includes rock, punk, pop, electronica, experimental, spoken-word and post-punk – something for everyone.
The album is priced at £3 minimum but we hope people will be generous and pay more – because of the way Bandcamp works around 20% of what people pay will go towards fees to the web host and Paypal – so the more people can donate the better things will be.
And finally here is the roll of honour of the artists who have contributed to this release – we hope, like them you will be generous and support this worthwhile cause.
1. Trigger Happy – Cheers Mate
2. AAAK (As Able As Kane) – Shimmy Shimmy Come On
3. Kill Pretty – Manchester (Early Version)
4. Cinic – Cocaine Revolver
5. Poppycock – Honey Moon
6. Danny Short – Thru With U
7. Crab Dance GIs – Instant Music (Just Add Water)
8. Johann Kloos – In The Clouds
9. Staggs – The Nation’s Favourite
10. Politburo – Kali Madya
11. Taser Puppets – Dim
12. Cryin’ Queerwolf – Less Camp Than Kirk
13. Carl Lingard & Dionne Sandiford – This Life
14. The Junta – Emmaus
15. Monkeys In Love – Hair Transplant
16. Boz Hayward – One More Shut Door
17. Moff Skellington – The testicles of a famous robbers dog
18. Night Operations – Driving Rain
19. Carl Lingard – Waterfall
20. Ubertino De Casale – Oh My God
21. Mistrust – Half Past One
22. The Umbilical Chords – Lone Kimono
23. Gods Gift – Discipline
24. Benefit State – Swingers
25. The Happy Fallen – Open Wide
26. Part Exchange – Attack Decay
27. Modal Roberts – Pompidou
28. Captain Black – The Unrequited
29. Luis Drayton – Die Prettier
30. Space Museum – Ostracised (The Early Mix)
31. Black Light Mutants – Northern Wasteland
32. Factory Acts – Fantasy
33. West Coast Sick Line – She Rasp In Native Tongue
34. DDS – Transmit The Knowledge
35. The Teenage Propshafts – Salford Streets
The album will be available from German Shepherd Records from Midnight 1st July 2014 www.germanshepherdrecords.bandcamp.com
A rather fine evening (Saturday 28th June) at the Bank Top Tavern in Oldham with a stunning set from Factory Acts, and an admittedly ramshackle but rather joyous affair from Kill Pretty rounded off a busy week musical. Bank Top Tavern is a good venue, and there was a good crowd, many plaudits to Jeff Grainger for organising the whole thing. Highly recommended as a place to watch live music.
Talking of live music there are a pile of gigs coming up if you like the sort of stuff I play on my Podcasts……
Yob and Pallbearer are embarking on a tour of titanic proportions this September, both performing in support of their respective new albums. The tour date confirmed for the Greater Mancunia area is Friday, September 05, at The Roadhouse. They are at the Brudenall in Leeds on the 7th if you cannot make the Manchester date. For Pallbearer, who recently announced the arrival of their much anticipated new full length Foundations Of Burden (to be released on Profound Lore in August), this marks their first full European tour. The band have said that they are “beyond thrilled” to announce these dates opening for the mighty Yob. Supporting their monumental new album, Clearing The Path To Ascend (which Neurot Recordings are releasing in September) Yob are excited to be returning to the UK and Europe, and both bands couldn’t have picked a better time to share their new material.
Ought have confirmed a tour with dates in the UK and Ireland this November, this follows the recent news of their two upcoming summer festival appearances at ATP’s Jabberwocky and Green Man. Given the praise for their recently released and thrilling debut album, More Than Any Other Day (Constellation Records), this promises to be a great run of shows. They are playing Sound Control, Manchester on November 18th.
Angry Scousers Corrupt Moral Alter have their debut full length “Mechanical Tides” out on July18th via Season of Mist – they have a string of dates coming up, none of which in the Manchester area – nearest options are 23rd July Maguires, Liverpool and 24th July Packhorse, Leeds. The album is described as a mixture of sludge and punk – looking forward to getting an advance copy to share with you via podcast.
Late this Summer, Southern Lord will release all of the material from late 1980s Seattle hardcore band, Brotherhood, collecting the influential act’s demos and 7″ releases in one remastered, cohesive anthology entitled Till Death. Brotherhood was formed during the West Coast Hardcore surge in the same days of Insted, Bl’ast, Chain Of Strength and Uniform Choice, the members all bred in the Northwest on The Accused, Poison Idea, The Melvins, and with East Coast threads born of SSD, DYS, Corrosion Of Conformity and Straight Ahead all comparatively woven into their sound. A straightedge hardcore band that confronted racism, sexism and intolerance, both in their lyrical delivery and on stage with ill-mannered show attendees, Brotherhood was a rare band of this scene as they were accepted in all of the subgenres of punk rock and hardcore, even receiving praise in the — at the time — very anti-straightedge publication MaximumRockNRoll, as they did in the many adamant straight edge fanzines of the time. This near universal acceptance can be clearly be attributed to the many years each member of the band had spent previous to Brotherhood in bands, publishing fanzines, booking shows and promoting bands as well as their strong desire to buck most trends that came their way and forge something new.
The band was founded in Seattle by Greg Anderson in 1987, who recruited former False Liberty drummer Victor Hart, friend Ken Hagel on bass and East Coast transplant and Open Your Eyes fanzine editor, John White on vocals. After years as a singer in False Liberty and Inner Strength, Greg picked up the guitar and started writing songs built upon the aforementioned influences. Following local shows and the opportunity to open for such legends as Youth Of Today, Angry Samoans and Fugazi, Brotherhood began to gain recognition on a much wider scale in the hardcore community. This initial lineup was not to last, as in 1988, Ron Guardipee Of Hateful Youth took over on vocals and Nate Mendel of Diddly Squat joined on bass. Having played many times together in their previous bands things quickly came together for this new and much more solid Brotherhood lineup and in November of that year the Music Bank recording session was conducted. Debuting this new lineup on the Pushead curated Thrasher Magazine’s Skate Rock Vol. 7 compilation Brotherhood soon also released their Of Friends demo, their No Tolerance For Ignorance 7″ on Skate Edge Records and Words Run… As Thick As Blood! 7″ on CR Records, all released in 1988 and 89. Playing throughout the Northwest US as well as a North American tour with (quite possibly the bands biggest influence) Seattle’s The Accused, by the end of 1989 Brotherhood came to an end. Their relatively short-lived run went on to inspire many of the seminal bands that have followed in Hardcore and Straight Edge such as Undertow, Unbroken, Champion, No Tolerance and many more. Members of Brotherhood have since forged numerous other musical endeavours including, but by no means limited to, Christ On A Crutch, Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters, Resolution, Digh Down, Burning Witch, Engine Kid, Sunn O)) and Goatsnake. Southern Lord will release Till Death in deluxe LP and digital download packages in September. A confirmed street date, preorders and more on the album will be made available in the coming weeks.
As Earth make their way through the South Pacific as part of their ongoing tour through Japan, New Zealand and Australia, building up to the release of their tenth studio collection, Primitive And Deadly, we are delighted to reveal the very first audio insight into the album, as an early surprise for the band’s vast international fanbase. The third of the six movements on the hour-long Primitive And Deadly is the sprawling eleven-and-a-half minute “From The Zodiacal Light,” which you can listen to below. Check out my Earth retrospective podcast here.
Ethereal doom trio, Ides Of Gemini, are preparing to unveil their sophomore offering, Old World New Wave, via Neurot Recordings this September.
Ides Of Gemini features guitarist Jason Bennett, drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson and the haunting vocal prowess of singer/bassist Sera Timms, also of Los Angeles dark-psych conjurors Black Mare. The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, which Pitchfork christened “darkly beautiful,” and Terrorizer likened to, “a metallic-filtered kinship to Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star,” Old World New Wave was recorded at Valley Recording in Burbank, California, engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig), mastered by Grammy award winning producer, Matt Hyde (Slayer) and boasts the striking hand-drawn cover art of Johnston-Gibson.
Comments Timms of the offering, “For Old World New Wave we all really coalesced as a band, and were able to work off one another’s strengths. J came up with the basic concept and musical framework of the album, and Kelly and I gave it form and identity. For me, my own personal musical identity, taste, preferences etc. were eclipsed by the power of the music which worked as an animate force unto itself-so much so that I cannot listen to any of it objectively, or tell you if it’s good or bad, but I can tell you that it’s distinctively Ides Of Gemini“
Adds Johnston-Gibson of the images surrounding the record, “The artwork is an interpretation of Sera’s lyrical narrative, which carries over themes from Constantinople, as well as symbolic of transformations experienced by us as individuals and inevitably as a band. The minimalist, direct style of the cover and accompanying illustrations is indicative of our energies combined to create one clear, singular force, as experienced through the music, while the visual content has more to do with the story: essentially a conflict between opposing energies leading to destruction, therefore allowing a clean slate for integration of opposites into a resurrected whole.”
Old World New Wave will be released on CD and digitally via Neurot Recordings and on vinyl via SIGE Records on September 15th, 2014. In the meantime, check out the teaser video
And finally, the productive Mr Stephen Evans has sent another tune to me, this time under his ZX+ name, it’s a short, sharp and rather fine tune, he says he has a bit more recording to do and then he will have a new release, looking foward to that ……in the mean time enjoy this one