Author Archives: HalfEdgeMedia
Brighton based Morning Smoke have been keeping very busy this summer by performing at variety of shows and festivals including The Great Escape, supporting Joel Gion and recording new material.
The four-piece, who are all still under 20 years old, have only been playing together as a band for one year. They have, however, already caught the attention of the inkie press and been played on national radio.
Milo, Max, Isaac and Chris are ready to release their double-a single called Hunger and Stephanie I. They have been compared to Sonic Youth, Joy Division and Interpol, but they sound a bit like the Bunnymen to me with a slight echo of “The League of Baldheaded Men” in one of the riffs in the tune above.
Milo’s vocal impact is somewhat lessened by the huge wave of reverb, and to some degree I was reminded of the doomed WULYF, but this lot are better than them and the other material on their soundcloud page is well worth a listen and I think it’s actually better than the single.
The double-A single will be available for sale and download on 1st December 2014.
For some reason, which is not readily apparent, there has been a serious amount of new music in today so rather than let things pile up I thought I would get it all down before the muse left me…..
The Slow Readers Club – Forever In Your Debt – I Tunes- 1st December 2014
Manchester based Indie/electro band The Slow Readers Club follow the huge success of their last single ‘Don’t Mind’ with the re-release of fan favourite, ‘Forever In Your Debt’, a taut, energetic and danceable track with dark, introspective lyrics and rousing chorus.
The band’s following has been building rapidly since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album in May 2012, which received widespread airplay drawing comparisons with Interpol, The Killers and Arcade Fire. Their innovative music videos have received widespread media attention.
Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up+ – Ipecac Recordings – 27th October 2014
Nottingham’s Sleaford Mods are a duo that need little introduction, having fiercely penetrated people’s consciousness on a large scale with their sixth album Austerity Dogs in 2013. Since then they’ve garnered critical acclaim with their subsequent work and now they’re joining forces with Ipecac Recordings to release a physical version of their previously released digital compilation Chubbed Up +. This version will include three previously unreleased tracks “The Committee”, “Bring Out The Canons,” and “Fear Of Anarchy”.
Obake – Mutations – Rare Noise Records – 27th October 2014
Obake are Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (vocals, piano, electronics), Eraldo Bernocchi (guitar, electronics), Balazs Pandi (drums) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree – bass). This second album arrives at the place where the energies of metal fuse with ambient electronica, jazz, and noise with the precision of math-rock and the groove of blues. Obake’s sound harks back to the dawn of hard-rock, drawing upon a variety of influences from Sunn 0))), Popul Vuh, Ashra Tempel as much as Slayer, Tool, Melvins and Coil. Obake are made all the more distinctive by the fluid lyrical delivery and musings of a commanding operatic voice. Imposing in its darkness, encompassing in its beauty and ever powerful, Obake have lost not of their might since the release of their debut, if anything, they are more captivating now than ever before. Mutations was recorded by Daniel Sandor at Metropol Studio in Budapest, produced and mixed by Eraldo Bernocchi and Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari at The Place in Tuscany and mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone Studio – NYC.
Dead Sea Apes – High Evolutionary – Cardinal Fuzz – 3rd November 2014
A serious illness to guitarist Brett Savage held up the completion of Dead Sea Apes’ 2nd full length album for a good long while. However that time was not wasted, as the band meticulously worked over the nuances of the mix and adding overdubs. All the key elements of Dead Sea Apes’ sound are in place from the 13th Floor Elevators on Mogadon of album opener Threads, to the dubbed out space drone of Planetarium. Elsewhere, there is the thundering raga inspired Regolith and an overhaul of one of their older tracks, Wolf Of The Bees (named Wolf II here). This is a rich collection that is a summation of Dead Sea Apes so far – heavy hypnotic kraut grooves, unsettling ambience and ghostly dub echoes.
Ligaments – Ligaments EP (Eat Pizza) – Bandcamp – 19th October 2014
A new EP from Shaun “Ali Bongo” Maxwell’s lad Jake’s excellent band. A couple of tracks from the EP are available for download on Bandcamp.
Black Light White Light – Gold Into Dream – Target Records – 14th October 2014
Black Light White Light returns with a new album “Gold Into Dreams,” released today, across the UK and Europe. Produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (Jet, The Dandy Warhols) as well as guest performances from Grammy Award-winning string arranger Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Goldfrapp), the band has gone on to supporting the likes of internationally renowned band The Telescopes (UK), Crocodiles (US) and Crystal Antlers (US) whilst gaining heavy support from Artrocker, Big Cheese, BELLA UNION’s label owner Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins and Amazing Radio. Black Light White Light were formed in 2009 by guitarist, singer and composer Martin Ejlertsen. After some overlap and changes in the band’s line-up he is now primarily joined by brothers Adam Winberg (drums) and Tobias Winberg (bass) with a handful of selected musicians joining the band live too now and then. “From the beginning we have liked to evolve and keep taking chances when playing live, taking the songs in new directions,” Ejlersten explains. Bit of heavy Manc influence on this one!
Ummagma – Kiev Remixes – Emerald and Doreen Records – 31st October 2014
Formed in Moscow in 2003, Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukrainian Alexx Kretov have been consistently writing and recording music whilst living between Ukraine and Canada. Shauna’s delicate airy gossamer-like vocals hold glimmers of Cocteau Twins, Stereolab, The Sundays, Curve, Lush, and Slowdive. Alexx’s guitar, vocals, synths, beats and programming create cinematic soundscapes with elements of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson and Brian Eno, enabling the listener soar above the music. Ummagma debuted with 2 simultaneous LPs (‘Antigravity’ and ‘Ummagma’) in 2012. They’ve built on the success of those records by collaborating with Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik on their ‘New Born’ LP, which will be released by UK label Ear to Ear Records on November 21st 2014.
Despite heavy turmoil in Ukraine, Ummagma are showing a solid footing, looking forward to a brighter future for Eastern Europe. In ‘Kiev’, this Canadian-Ukrainian team celebrates their freedoms, exploring the root of today’s problems to create beauty in the face of hostility. ‘Kiev’ is a essentially a message of hope. This release is an impressive package featuring the original track ‘Kiev’ plus 9 remixes from 9 fantastic artists from nearly as many countries, recreating the original composition in their own unique styles. Auxiliary tha Masterfader transforms the duo’s work into an Italoesque electro-disco-pop gem. A Copycat’s handclap-dream-pop version is tender as a peach skin with a retro summer groove factor. Statickman’s synths shoot like laser guns into the retro-synth future. A Copy For Collapse goes for a more experimental, industrial approach, while David Garcet’s trippy chillwave edit brings downtempo bliss. Mikael Fas dishes up a beautiful trance-imbued deep house version. Celebrated Japanese chillwave artist Haioka takes everything to the next level with sounds reminiscent of an angelic playground. Sounds of Sputnik presents a stripped-down 90s indie version laced with synth-guitar harmony. Brazilian electro-child Mind Movies delivers a fragmented, dubby and loud breakbeat adaptation that probably comes closest to the actual state of mankind if we could listen to its rhythm.
All of the above and more will be featured on next weeks podcasts.
This weeks incoming
As usual a serious amount of new material has been delivered here at Aural Delights HQ over the last week so there has not been much time for considered reviewing.
Three pre-release tracks from the new Sallie Ford album “Slapback” have arrived and they sound fantastic. The sound is a little more raw and increases the anticipation for the full release on October 13th.
I finally got around to purchasing the excellent album from My Little Brother “If we never came down” which is marvellous. I featured the band on the radio show a couple of years back and i’ve been meaning to get hold of the release – glad I did it’s fantastic.
My appreciation of the new Trojan Horse album “A World Turned Upside Down” is reflected in an interview with Nick Duke from the band on the Studeo Blog. Suffice to say that the quartet have overcome the “difficult second album” hurdle with some ease and have created something genuinely groundbreaking. Links and stuff are in the review in the other place. I also put together a special podcast to celebrate the album launch which features old and new material from the band as well as each band members musical favourites plus a few of my own choices to break up the mix.
Aural Delights Podcast reaches it’s 100th edition in a couple of weeks so I’ve been putting my mind to how I might celebrate that milestone – pending that here is the latest edition
The new metal and garage music keeps flowing and there have been some remarkable releases which I just have not had chance to write about so I’ll let the Sonic Attack Podcast tell the story – although I will point out the new OHHMS album as a bit of a highlight
And here’s some quick one-lines on the rest of the new material…..all of which should be appearing on future podcasts at some point…..
Cable35 – Coconut Supply (Single) Free Download from Website – Out Now
Taken from the Fungus EP which was out earlier in the year. Fresh neo-grunge sound with a hint of Sonic Youth, Excellent
Roses Never Fade – Devil Dust (Album) Neuropa – Out Now
Remarkable mix of ambient textures and moody acoustic strumming with dark, brooding vocals. Featuring Ancient Wisdom’s Nathan Opposition, The Way To Light’s Austin Rathmell and Pale Creation’s Nick Fiction. Impressive.
Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire (Album) Avalanche Records – 6th October 2014
Slightly disappointing in that there is nothing new of note. The usual industrial metal tropes are here and it’s all delivered very well but I could have done with a bit of development maybe.
Positronik – Better Late Than Never (Album) German Shepherd Records – 17th October 2014
Post split compilation of the majority of their recordings. High quality soul-pop with electronica elements.
Dope Body – Lifer (Album) Drag City – 20th October 2014
Impressive second outing for this Baltimore Quartet. Excellent rock/punk and contender for album of the year.
Annhilated – XIII Steps to ruination (Album) Unique Leader – 28th October 2014
Debut, full length intense and unforgiving death metal with some technical elements
Atomzero – Surface (Single) Analogue Trash – release date unknown
Post punk electronica in an Ultravox and that ilk style, but with a touch of Moroder
Monster Jaw – Monster Jaw (EP) Cobra Kitten Records – 27th October 2014
Pop flecked ear-worm in an indie package – vocals seem a bit low in the mix, but good for all that
Surburban Myth – Crashed and Burned (Single) Self Released – 31st October 2014
One of those tunes which has a great verse but a disappointing chorus. The second single taken from the band’s debut Album ‘Welcome (If Only)’.
Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space (Album) Cargo – 23rd February 2015
A Teaser video for the new album, which is a long way off, looks to continue the work to date, I hope they will have developed some of there elements to freshen up the sound.
and finally a little treat with the new video from Le Butcherettes…..
I have been otherwise distracted with German Shepherd Record label matters over the last 14 days, and I lost an evening of catching up time going to see Benefit State, Trojan Horse and The Fall at the Salford Music Festival last weekend so i’m way behind with stuff so this is by way of a nifty little catch-up to clear the in-box and get up to date:
- Guano Padana are releasing an album on Ipecac on November 3rd called Americana. Here is a preview track:
- tētēma, a new duo featuring Anthony Pateras and Mike Patton release their debut album, Geocidal, on December 8th via Ipecac Recordings.
- A psychedelic Melbourne based core of musicians who invite in vocalists from all over the world to bring their songs to fruition, Transference have released new single Lady Isis
- Los Angeles, California’s Goatsnake are back in a big way – having spent the summer at Rock Falcon studios in Franklin, Tennessee they are gearing up to release their first new full-length album since 2000’s Flower Of Disease. The new album, due for a release on Southern Lord next year, will feature the familiar faces of Greg Rogers (The Obsessed, Sonic Medusa), providing drums, Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) taking care of the riffs, Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?) on vocals, and new bassist Scott Renner (Sonic Medusa, Sourvein). Joining them again on production duties is Nick Raskulinecz, who, since being introduced to Dave Grohl during the recording sessions of Flower of Disease, has gone on to work with seminal artists such as Rush, Alice in Chains, Deftones and Ghost, and has won Grammys with the Foo Fighters.
- Matinée are an East London four piece indie band who return with their stunning new single These Days. The single produced by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Carl Barat, Glasvegas) is a melody driven guitar soaring song about loves broken secrets and will be released this autumn on Neon Tetra Records and is a blistering indie track. You can hear the single at :
- Hailing from Northampton and creating melodic and dynamic indie rock, An Army Of Lights create a lush sound using duelling harmonies and hooky guitars with tunes often ending in an epic blaze that takes the roof off. If you like The Walkmen, Bombay Bicycle Club, or Two Door Cinema Club then they are right up your street. The ‘An Army Of Lights’ boys have been busy on the live circuit this summer, and they have also been back in the studio. The result is a new single called ‘We Don’t Wanna Go’.
- Keeping up a long-held tradition of bringing forth some of the heaviest music from the darkness of the Pacific NW, Seattle’s Tad Doyle (formerly of TAD, Hog Molly), delivers his strongest songwriting and playing with his newest band Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. This powerful trio of musicians, with Tad on guitar/vocals, veteran bass player Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Annunaki) shall release their long-awaited debut LP in early 2015 on Neurot Recordings. Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth bring together the collective and extensive rock histories and the experience of the three members in the worlds of punk, hard rock and metal.
- Grinding hardcore unit Full Of Hell will set loose an assuredly barren and hostile full-length written in collaboration with noise’s anti-hero Merzbow, released via Profound Lore Records on 24th November.
- Chirping are an indie pop rock band from Sweden. They release their much anticipated new single Ambitions on 27th October. Taking inspiration from the likes of The Cure, The Smiths, The Drums and The Strokes, the four-piece, consisting of Carl, Johan, Björn and Viktor, have a very strong DIY attitude. They spent a long period of time building their own rehearsal room and recording studio from scratch where they self-produced and self-mixed Ambitions. At the very last hurdle they had decided to bring in a mastering professional called Thomas Eberger who has worked with a countless amount of Swedish stars including The Hives.
In anticipation of its October 13th release via Ipecac, another track has been unleashed from Hold It In, the latest studio album from The Melvins, featuring Butthole Surfers players JD Pinkus and Paul Leary. Sesame Street Meat“ which nods to their Gluey Porch Treatments debut, encapsulates their great-humoured, gut-wrenching, riff-centric formulae, which has continued to evolve with each release.
“Sea Island” is a collection of new material composed and recorded over the past two years by Loscil, it marks the first release on Kranky since 2012’s Sketches From New Brighton.
While many of these compositions were performed live extensively prior to recording, others were constructed in the studio and are being heard for the first time here. Musically, the album represents a range of compositional approaches. Murky, densely textured depths of sound are explored with subtle pulses and pings woven within, contrasted with composed or improvised moments of acoustic instrumentation making a move into the foreground. Certain tracks on Sea Island such as album opener “Ahull” make rhythm their focus by exploring subtle polyrhythms and investigating colliding moments of repetition and variation.
Though staunchly electronic at its core, instruments such as vibraphone and piano make appearances, and layers of live musicality, improvisation and detail appear in the looped and layered beds of manipulated sound recordings. A varied cast of players appear in the Loscil “ensemble”, some familiar collaborators from the past such as Jason Zumpano on rhodes and Josh Lindstrom on vibraphone, and others new to the mix such as Fieldheadʼs Elaine Reynolds who provides layered violin on “Catalina 1943″, and Ashley Pitre contributing vocals on “Bleeding Ink”. Seattle pianist Kelly Wyse, who collaborated with Loscil on his 2013 edition of piano-centric reworks Intervalo, performs on the tracks “Sea Island Murders” and “En Masse”.
Here is a taster with the opener “Ahull”
It is September and around here that can only mean one thing for discerning music lovers – the Salford Music Festival.
Now in its’ fifth year the organisers have once again served up an amazing cocktail of venues and acts over the four nights. As is customary here is my day to day guide of events with some tips on who to check out. As usual I recommend you check the Salford Music Festival Website on the day as events, locations and line-ups can change. No doubt also this blog post will change over the next week so keep checking back. My recommended gig of the day is highlighted in BOLD
All gigs are free except where marked.
THURSDAY 25th September
Highlight of the opening night is the debut gig of electro wizard The Junta at Wangies. The alter ego of Salford City Radio DJ and Kit B bassist John “Monty” Montague serves up a heady brew of Kraftwerk inspired motorik beats mashed up with a variety of electronica influenced via Depeche Mode, OMD and New Order.
- Ashley Brook, Langworthy – The Jane and Mike Band , Boz Hayward, Y Key Operators
- Eagle Inn, Blackfriars – Mr Heart As Able As Kane
- The Blind Pig, Monton – Martin Plock, Kate Ashton-Butler
- The Blue Bell, Monton – Beth Hewitt, The Atmospherics
- The Crescent, Chapel Street – BeatsAllDay, My Igloo, morning pilgrims, Urban Empire
- The Hope, Claremont – Samantha Seth, Northern Sugar, Explicit
- The Park, Monton – Ged Wilson, Old House Playground, Dead Dianas
- The Salford Arms, Chapel Street – Seeking Sighs, Matt Hartless & The Matchstick Ghosts
- The Wellington, Irlam o’th Height – Avishek Choudhury, Jay Deane, Jules Benji
- Waggon and Horses, Irlam o’th Height – Sayed, Johnny Travis AKA Scuttler, Liam McClair
- Wangies, Eccles – Mutha Luvin Chimps, The Junta, Ronin
FRIDAY 26th September
The return of Carl Lingard’s Pearl Divers is well worth checking out at the Ashley Brook but the must see combination of the night is the heady brew of Chorley’s Taser Puppets, Salford’s dark wave pioneers Factory Acts, the neo-psych of Weirds and post-punk agit-prop from The Giro-Babies. Also recommended is the very strong line-up at Wangies with Danielle Carter’s Blue Zen kicking things off.
- Ashley Brook, Langworthy – Carl Lingard
- Duke of York, Eccles – Arcane Flx, Rum Thief
- Eagle Inn, Blackfriars – Gorilla Riot
- Playfoots, Monton – Rum Thief, DJ Meza, DJ Mky Mk
- The Blind Pig, Monton – Roz Francis, Sayed, Palumbo and Volpe
- The Blue Bell , Monton – The Chief of Seattle
- The Crescent, Chapel Street – Taser Puppets, Factory Acts, Weirds, Giro Babies
- The Dockyard, Salford Quays – Palumbo and Volpe, Jess Roberts, Lisbon, LVLS, Priestley
- The Hope, Claremont – Maisetto
- The Park, Monton – Scott Lloyd, Dave’s Rockin Train, James Holt
- The Roadhouse, Manchester – Thunderous Jones, The Rubys
- The Salford Arms, Chapel Street – Alfie Eastwick, April Keen & Band, Inego
- The Weaste, Weaste – Johnny Travis AKA Scuttler
- The Wellington,Irlam o’th Height – Karl Walsh
- Waggon and Horses, Irlam o’th Height- Sam Moran, Gaz Bailey, Jake Heard
- Wangies, Eccles – Blue Zen, Franks Wild Years, Deaf FM, Sky Valley Mistress
SATURDAY 27th September
Gig of the day is The Fall , back in the irwell valley at the Lower Kersal Social Club. Mark E Smith and co are supported by exceptional prog-nouveau from Eccles’ own Trojan Horse and power-punk from Benefit State
- Ashley Brook – Matt Friars, Duke and the Darlings, The People
- Duke of York, Eccles – Little Rach, Sound Marshalls, Jess Kemp, Dirty No 5
- Lower Kersal Social Club, Lower Kersal – Benefit State, Trojan Horse, The Fall (ticketed)
- Pacifica Cantonese, Eccles – VIP Dance Party – Exclusive DJ sets from Tony Ross (Kaos leeds warehouse, Glastonbury, festival No6), Marc Heath -(Education, Zoo, Wobble), DJ Meza -( Decadence – Gatecrasher) Robin Smith (Caramello) (ticketed)
- Playfoots, Monton – WellNorthofWatford, Caoilfhionn Rose, Jamie Bosanko, DJYan
- The Blind Pig, Monton – Lee Parry, Caoilfhionn Rose,
- The Blue Bell, Monton – We Signal Fire, Paul Hegley Band, Kassoma
- The Crescent, Chapel Street – Czech, The Backhanders, Death to the Strange, Creek
- The Dockyard, Salford Quays – Shauna Mackin, Gallery Circus, King Kartel
- The Hope, Claremont – Belvadere, Rime Suspex, Tigerside, Kazo ( Formerly The Ordinary)
- The Park, Monton – Red Light Effect, Smashing Lads, The Calamities
- The Salford Arms, Chapel Street – Bella Loka, Lil Sharls, Paul Hegley Band
- The Weaste, Weaste – Sam Westhead and Band
- The Wellington, Irlam o’th Height- James Holt, The Stirs, Fishing For Compliments
- Waggon and Horses, Irlam o’th Height- Afrotree, Eleanor Nelly
- Wangies, Eccles – Ed Stones & The BD3, Red Eyed Jedi, Faster Than Bulls
SUNDAY 28th September
Gig of the day again is The Fall with an all dayer at Lower Kersal Social Club from 3:30pm and the headliners on at 8pm. Guests at this one are still to be announced.
- Duke of York, Eccles – Skyeladder, Empire Signals, Rising Tides
- Lower Kersal Social Club, Lower Kersal – All Dayer from 3:30pm – The Fall and Guests (ticketed)
- Playfoots, Monton – Benjamin Birkinshaw
- The Blind Pig, Monton – Troubadour
- The Crescent, Chapel Street – Government Death Epidemic, Friend Of A Friend, Coach Jeets, Jordan Allen, Busik Mase
- The Park, Monton – Acoustic John, Venture, Troubadour
- The Salford Arms, Chapel Street – Fishing For Compliments, R.Y.A.N
- The Wellington, Irlam o’th Height – XMenBTeam, The Folkestra
- Waggon and Horses, Irlam o’th Height – As You Like It, Mark Daynes
- Wangies, Eccles – Pelico, Nathan Barratt & His Mates, Lauren Housley
Another particularly busy week, either I am a victim of my own success, or the summer is drawing to a close and people are getting busy. This selection, described below, is a demonstration, I think, that there is still interesting and varied music out there should you be minded to track it down – if I was to believe the nonsense a national newspaper sends me each week about what is hip and happening I think I would become quickly disillusioned. The variety and continuity of change here also perhaps reflecting my own mood and the desire to move on and away from one thing and transfer my attention to another. Recent decisions in respect of responsibilities have lifted a great weight allowing more time to absorb and enjoy this excellent music. Onwards!
First up is the new one from Ides of Gemini which is called “Old World New Wave”. It is released on Neurot on 15th September. The three band members—Sera Timms (vocals/bass), Kelly Johnston-Gibson (drums/backing vocals), and Jason Bennett (guitar/backing vocals) have managed to create something which hangs between Siouxsie Sioux inspired goth, and, metal. The follow-up to the band’s critically-adored “Constantinople” debut, 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. Here’s a preview track called Fememorde, i’d embed it to save you clicking but in this instance that facility appears to have been denied me. It’s not grabbing me the way that “Constantinople” did but it’s still a good listen.
A new EP from Manchester band Ill is about and around called “The Housewives’ Trilogy”. Originally a special session recorded for Jeff Grainger’s Dandelion Radio show, the release comprises three (obviously!) previously unreleased tracks and features the usual genre bending and obscene rhetoric that fans of ILL have come to expect. Hysteria, Diazepam and Secret Life noisily combat the myth of marital bliss and gender role satisfaction. Great for doing the ironing to allegedly. The groups development is palpable on this release, I am not sure about ironing more perhaps a desire to do a few groovy moves to some of this. Get it!
Old Man Gloom, the self-confessed experimental hardcore ‘supergroup who don’t suck’, are back with their sixth full-length, “The Ape of God”, due for a release on Profound Lore on November 17th. Their first record since the esteemed 2012 release, “No”, the experimental quartet have since cracked on with their quest to dismantle, disrobe and derail heavy progressive music as we know it. Apparently “The eight tracks on The Ape of God are laden thick with amorphous tone, seething noise and Mobius Strip riffs, deftly balancing colossal heaviness with ambient pedigree”. Formed in the late ‘90s in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Aaron Turner (Isis, Mamiffer) and drummer Santos Montano, Old Man Gloom was conceived as sonic experiment of sorts. Their “Meditations In B” debut was just a glimpse into the noisier and more experimental side within Turner’s musical repertoire, enabling him to explore his musical range a bit beyond what he was doing with Isis at the time (which was a time even before Isis really took off). Shortly after Nate Newton of Converge and Caleb Scofield of Cave In would join the band (with Luke Scarola on electronics), and Kurt Ballou of Converge would end up serving as the band’s longtime spomd engineer. The results of this union culminated in the “Seminar I” and “Seminar II” releases and the 2004 follow-up album “Christmas”, which helped in defining the band as one of the most influential in the genre of post-hardcore, alongside the band members’ main musical outlets who were obviously already heavyweights in the genre respectively. An extended period of inactivity for eight or so years would then commence with the band members focusing on their main bands at the time. That is until Turner (who by now had put Isis to rest), Montano, Newton, and Scofield secretly conspired Old Man Gloom’s resurrection unbeknownst to pretty much everyone, where in 2012, almost unannounced, they released their No album to an unsuspecting audience. The band would go on to do a series of sold out live shows and then immediately began writing and creating their massive follow-up. Old Man Gloom’s “reunion” wasn’t just a one-off thing, and here’s a taster to demonstrate why!
Insanely fast and somewhat barking mad the new album from Rings of Saturn “Lugal Ki En” is released October 17th in Europe via Unique Leader Records. It’s a cataclysmic, relentless nearly forty-five-minute display of text-book death metal/deathcore with some serious fast beats and guitar work. A conceptual release based on a story in which the Aliens wage war on the angels and demons of the universe after having conquered humanity, it was produced by Brette Ciamarra at Studio 344 (Kamikabe, Those Who Fear, Trophies) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The custom cover artwork was commissioned to Mark Cooper of Mind Rape Art, who also crafted the art for the band’s seminal “Dingir” album. Comments guitarist, Lucas Mann of the album concept, “The concept of the album in a nutshell is that long after the Aliens conquer humanity, they evolve to a point where they transcend space, time and reality to take their conquest into the realm of the gods where they wage war on angels and demons. The album title Lugal Ki En translates from ancient Sumerian cuneiform to mean ‘King Of The Earthlings, Lord Of The Cosmic World.’ The Sumerian cuneiform is visible behind the English pronunciation of the album title.” I have no doubt the unique vocal stylings and hyper-fast guitar sounds will alienate some – it’s a tad over the top in places – but well worth a listen if you are a fan of this genre.
Nazoranai comprises three gentleman, three friends and three fans of each others creative output. ‘the most painful time happens only once has it arrived already..?’ is their second release , the band members are Haino Keiji, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. Recorded by Chris Fullard at CCSO, Birmingham 9th July 2013 ‘the most painful time…’ expands the trio’s devastating explorations of improvised rock based shapes. Keiji Haino (of Fushitsusha) is a big part of the history of the experimental music of Japan with work spanning free improvisation, rock, noise, singer-songwriter, psychedelia, minimalism and drone. Working mostly with guitar and vocals his performances are intensely cathartic sonic events. Stephen O’Malley is the guitarist and founder of numerous seminal groups including Sunn O))), Khanate and Burning Witch. Oren Ambarchi is a multi-instrumentalist performer working outside conventional approaches to instruments and structure. He has collaborated with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Sunn O))), Charlemagne Palestine, John Tilbury. Here’s a preview:
Grouper‘s new album “Ruins” is set to be released on October 31st via Kranky, and in anticipation of its release a new track entited “Call Across Rooms” has surfaced. In a brief interview with Vogue magazine Liz Harris explains the meaning behind this heady, gentle and beautifully subtle song…”Call Across Rooms was being about equal parts love and loss. The song is on one level very plain and literal, about a letter I wrote for someone I loved and could not get along with…One a more subconscious, poetic level, it is a letter to myself, as aspiration to love better.” About the album, Harris says…”Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother’s house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village. The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.”
The culmination of four years writing and editing, Anjou marks the first collaboration between Labradford’s Robert Donne and Mark Nelson since the release of that group’s “fixed:context” LP. Combining modular synthesis, Max/MSP programming and live instrumentation, Anjou deftly weaves noise with gentle ambience and melody with texture. Guitar, bass and Steven Hess’ (Locrian, Fennesz, Pan American) live percussion give the eight pieces an immediacy and create a framework for the more abstract sounds of digital and analog synth programming. The product of twenty plus years of friendship, Anjou is refined and challenging. An extension of the Labradford sound-world but no mere victory lap, Anjou represents Donne and Nelson stepping out and forward, their eyes firmly focusing on the future. A delightful set of ambient/mood pieces which mixes textures, tones and glitches and which is both impressive and emotionally fulfilling. Highly recommended.
On September 15th Southern Lord will release all the recorded 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 woven into their sound. A straightedge hardcore band that confronted racism, sexism and intolerance, both in their lyrical delivery and on stage , Brotherhood was a rare band of that scene as they were accepted in all of the subgenres of punk rock and hardcore. 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 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.
It is always with a degree of expectation that I wait for the latest offering from Periscope. This time around he has delved into spoken word, collaborating with Gerry Potter, to create something rather magical. Peri says “A little bit of a departure for me in genre terms , a one off collabration with the brilliant Merseyside poet Gerry Potter, there are no plans for any kind of release as yet.” The usual Manc Indie wall of sound has been replaced by a gentle urban/ambient feel with a ear-worm melodic line. Fine stuff indeed. Potter who is an actor and director, as well as being a poet, has an excellent way with words – the full text is reproduced on the You Tube page.
And the excellent new music keeps flowing into the Aural Delights Bunker – sometimes I can’t keep up – what is impressive with this latest selection is the innovation and the blurring of the traditional genre boxes to provide some interesting listening ……let’s kick off with some crust
Trollhättan, Sweden-based Gust, in preparation of the upcoming release of their self-titled second LP, and their first with Southern Lord, have released a preview called “Reality Chokes”….
Self-recorded at Fvck Life Studios, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Warcry, From Ashes Rise, Deathreat, Audiosiege Engineering), who also supplies guest vocals to the album, I am advised that “Gust” (the album) is a crushing but incredibly dynamic album, displaying a unique style of crust-infused hardcore and talented songwriting from the young act. Hopefully I can get a copy and share it on the Sonic Attack Podcast.
The Dan’l Boone album, which will be featured on next weeks Aural Delights Podcast is a challenging listen – and to give you a taste of what to expect here’s a video from the band:
The release date is September 22nd via Drag City.
Reptile Youth are releasing a free download in advance the official “Structures” single which is released next week – it’s called “Clouds” and is previously unreleased.
Since 2013, Ufomammut have been slowly working on a video project which will be released on DVD via Malleus this October. The DVD features over three hours of live footage (including “Magickal Mastery Live”, a 12 song live act), interviews, and outtakes, all documenting these first 15 years of the band. Titled XV, this audiovisual experience will also be available as a special wooden 8GB usb drive. In addition to this DVD release, Ufomammut have confirmed that they shall be heading into the studio to record their seventh studio collection this September. The new album should see the light of day in Spring 2015 via Neurot Recordings. They will return to the US for their first proper tour, as well as a promise of more European live shows. You can preorder XV here – http://supernaturalcat.bigcartel.com/category/xv
The always busy Stuart Estell has released a new bandcamp EP “The Hearer, the Listener and the Blank” under his Lachenalia project – which demonstrates again his virtuosity and willingness to explore a range of different sonic forms. Both ambient and hypnotic the EP melds busy percussion with surging keyboard sounds to create an extremely pleasurable listening experience.
The Lachenalia album “Acts & Monuments” and the single “Leveno” are still available from German Shepherd Records.
“M” is the latest track to be released from Obake’s upcoming second album, “Mutations” , which will be released this October from Rare Noise Records. Like a number of the new album tracks, it begins with a familiar sound, a thick, sludge- like groove recalling multitude numerous titans of the Southern Rock scene, however it soon it breaks down all conventions with a game-changing voice unsettling interlude which segues into mind-boggling progressive rock, replete with minor chords and epic crescendos.
Following hot on the heels of free single Demonstration , and appearance at Song By Toad’s ‘Pale Imitation’ festival, those lovely at Flowers In the Dustbin have announced a new single – “Checking Out” - from Alansmithee, this time recorded in collaboration with Marklar. Sounds damn fine to me:
And to conclude this round up a couple of new releases from German Shepherd records.
First up another KP2 collaboration, this time with Luana’s Black Reptiles – comprising three excellent tracks which explore phobias about insects, provide a tribute to the great jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, and muse on the thoughts of people waiting to die at Jonestown, Lyrically rich and with a vital sonic palette this is a must listen release which is called “Taken To See The Tiger”
The second is the sophomore outing from Modal Roberts called “Motion Blur” which could be subtitled adventures in dub and self deprecation – Modal mixes things up with a, sometimes, tongue in cheek exploration of dance/electronica tropes, post punk moves and funky workouts all wrapped up in a neat little selection of five tunes which demonstrate variety in sound and lyrical content. Always impressive is his ability to somehow subvert the genre norms, mess around with them and create something which is both entrancing and thought provoking.
A more than acceptable week of new music over the last seven days with some exceptional albums coming in for evaluation and podcasting. Some of these have been trailed in an earlier post……
First up the latest from Earth “Primitive and Deadly” which is released on September 1st on Southern Lord. Carlson has gone back to his early work for this one – a blistering set of rock oriented tunes which are dynamic, epic and packing a guitar driven punch that few can match. Add guest vocals from Mark Laneghan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) and you have something special indeed. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of Earth’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Adrienne Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn 0))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) & Jodie Cox (Narrows). Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich & enveloping, “Primitive and Deadly” is Earth reaffirming their position as leaders in guitar based music.
It’s safe to call Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche a bit of a Montreal supergroup, its members having been active in the city’s experimental rock communities for well over a decade, including participation in Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames, and, from the Constellation roster, Fly Pan Am. Avec le soleil has solidified over the past year into a tight four-piece unit, and moved towards mastery of a highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady mix of prog, post-rock, math-rock and funk The pair of 20-minute pieces featured on the album “Zubberdust!” is the culmination of the group’s first two years of development. (The pieces are subdivided into sections for CD and digital track IDs.) This is (mostly) instrumental rock that blends a primitivist repetition with organic ever-shifting electronic overlays – along with the occasional full-stop and 180 degree turn. JS Truchy’s wordless lead vocals (and his choral arrangement on “Face à l’instant”) add compelling textural and melodic counterpoints while lending the music an especially timeless feel. Pretty hard to fit this in a specific genre basket given the variety of things going on but overall a damn fine album which might have a slight touch of Zeuhl about it. It’s released on Constellation on 29th September.
As trailed a couple of weeks back Last Ex is the new instrumental rock ensemble led by Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield. In addition to duties in various groups orbiting Fairfield’s E-Tron Records (including H. de Heutz, Ferriswheel and many others), the two are perhaps best known as core members of Timber Timbre, which spawned the Last Ex project. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Fairfield’s studio in Hull, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout 2013 and bringing their obsessions with sound collage, tape-based music concrète and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to bear on the cinematic lyricism of the initial widescreen guitar- and string-based material. Derived from the title of the abandoned film, Simon and Olivier dubbed their new project Last Ex. With its combination of assured lyricism, cinematic guitars, dusky analog atmospherics and taut percussion, this is a vivid, concise and expressive instrumental album that sits snugly between fellow label acts Do Make Say Think and Exhaust on the one hand, Hrsta, Tindersticks and Evangelista on the other. The self-titled album is released on Constellation on 13th October and makes for a fascinating listen.
Montreal four-piece post-punk group Ought has been gathering momentum the old-fashioned way, with a humble and deceptively unassuming debut album (as reviewed here) that’s been worming its way into many many ears thanks to its combination of intelligence, authenticity, directness, simplicity and energy. Constellation are releasing a vinyl- and digital-only EP “Once More With Feeling” which corrals a couple of selections from the band’s older songbook, re-recorded this Spring at Hotel2Tango to reflect some of the ways they’ve grown and evolved over the past year or so. It’s a very fine set of tunes that highlights and brings fans up to date with Ought’s first two years of songwriting, revealing additional facets of the band, including its ability to play with nostalgia and balladry (“Pill”), feverish Iggy Stooge like revival-tent testifying (“New Calm Pt. 2″), and improv/abstraction (“New Calm Pt. 3″). Out on 27th October from Constellation and highly recommended by the Eccles judge.
This September, two years after the remarkable “Atma”, doom trio powerhouse YOB release “Clearing The Path To Ascend”, an aptly titled album for what is a crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music. As commanding as it is cathartic, as is the YOB way, the four tracks on this album don’t simply offer the usual riff-soaked doom genre. YOB break barriers, clearing the way for genuinely visceral listening experience. There are some clear influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath – however they have distilled this into their own sound with threads of progressive rock and drone melding in with the heavy rock elements. With a ferocity that’s as completely unhinged as it is utterly focused this is a remarkable hour and two minutes of music . Drummer Travis Foster wields his signature rhythmic furore while bassist Aaron Rieseberg, provides unforgiving pulse – all the while in a impressive synchronicity with Mike Scheidt’s uncanny vocal range and signature guitar sound. Released on Neurot on September 1st.
The Melvins return with “Hold It In” (Ipecac) , their first studio album as a quartet since 2010’s “The Bride Screams Murder”, on October 14th. Joining Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover for the 12-song outing are Butthole Surfers‘ guitar player Paul Leary and bass player JD Pinkus. Hold It In was recorded in both Los Angeles and Austin earlier this year. “Hold It In is a refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of fact and bullsh*t,” said Osborne. “Paul is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard and Pinkus has an outside the box type of approach to both guitar and bass that you just have to let it ride. I can’t believe this actually happened. I’m thrilled.” “It’s very rare you get a chance to work with three folks from the ‘Break A Wish’ foundation, all at the same time,” said Pinkus. “I believe they’ll remember their experience with me forever (or until they finally all lose their fight with S.I.D.S).”
Here’s a preview
Torch Runner are back in no time with news of their forthcoming LP, titled “Endless Nothing”. On it, the North Carolina trio set off rabid grind, repellent metallic clout and hardline vocal harangue in an uncontrolled explosion, which will attract lovers of bands like Napalm Death, Converge and Nails. It is due for a 29th September release, available as CD and limited edition vinyl formats on Southern Lord. Here is an example of what you will get:
Other highly recommended releases coming soon, or indeed out now:
- Dead Sea Apes – Thermionic Emissions Vol 2 – Bandcamp (Out Now)
- Society Sucker – Society Sucker – Get This Right Records (16th September)
- Sounds of Sputnik – New Born featuring Ummagma – Ear to Ear Records (Out Now)