One door closes…..another one opens

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.

IdesofGemini_MPullman-3871

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.

 

Rings of Saturn - photo by Alex Reinhard
Rings of Saturn – photo by Alex Reinhard

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.

Anjou artwork 300dpi

 

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.

Brotherhood 300dpiRGB

 

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Forget Nostalgia – Listen To New Music

Some very good new things have arrived already this week……a mixed bag of genre’s which suits me

Vancouver’s Baptists share the first new track from their upcoming second album, Bloodmines, which is due for release via Southern Lord on 13th October.

Arriving at the album’s mid point, ‘Harm Induction’ is a volatile, high speed, turbo-charged rager. As the guitar riffs scale to an ear-splitting climax, the vocals also reach the peak of absolute seething anger. Harm Induction is unrelenting, near suffocating, and highly cathartic.

Le Butcherettes have joined Ipecac Recordings’ roster and will release their second album release, Cry Is For The Flies, on Sept. 29 via the label in conjunction with Nadie Sound.

“Since I created Le Butcherettes in Guadalajara, I’ve always yearned for the band to be part of a label/community that helps and supports artists to act fearlessly and help serve the music.” explained fiery Le Butcherettes front-woman Teri Gender Bender. “So happy beyond words that we’ve found a family in Ipecac. Dream come true.”

“We are EXTREMELY excited to be working with Le Butcherettes,” said Ipecac Recordings Co-Owner Greg Werckman. “Teresa is a dynamic front person and a perfect fit with the Ipecac family. Not a band to miss on record or live.”

The eleven-song release had previously been available exclusively as a digital download via producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s label Nadie Sound’s website but, as of September 29th, will be made available on physical formats (CD/vinyl) as well as through various digital service providers including iTunes.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Teri said of the subject matter on Cry Is For The Flies: “There are so many demons I have inside – they’re little gods. There’s a god of evil, the god of good, the god of sex, the god of lust. With music, I tap into those god demons. It’s therapy.”

Cry Is For The Flies was recorded at Infrasonic and Kingsize Studios in Los Angeles. 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). They shall be touring the album in support of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s band Antemasque.

Black Earth are a four piece band from Sheffield whose influences includes Joy Division and QOTSA. Heavy drumbeats and strong guitar riffs are the perfect back drop for a dark and often mysterious vocal creating a sound that draws you in. Three tracks are available via their Bandcamp page – worth checking out…..

At long last a new album from Monster Island – a band always worth checking out if only for Stephen Waddicor’s particular utterings about the world – they do not disappoint with their latest offering called The House of Lancaster  which appears on first hearing to be even more unhinged than previous releases. Bloomin’ marvellous say I. They will be playing songs from the new album etc. on 3rd September at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester with Locean (who I must check out)  and Un Deux Trois.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based demolition union, Die Choking , is prepared to shove their second wave of hyperactive, earthmoving grind/thrash down the world’s collective throat, with II on September 29th – expect some airplay on the Sonic Attack Podcast around and about that time.  Five tracks in 5m 57s gives a sense of the content – scabrous vocals, impossibly fast D-Beat drumming and confrontational bass and guitar make for fascinating listening.

New Born, the debut album from Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik, is a kaleidoscope of reverb-soaked guitar, calculated drums, thick bass, and angular guitars intertwined with ethereal vocals. This is extraordinary noise-pop, with layered harmonies, interlacing synth and distorted guitars. Sounds of Sputnik paired up with Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma to co-write, produce, and record this album, to be released on UK label Ear to Ear Records. Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov both contribute mesmerizing vocals.

Following their 2013 reunion, the Californian hardcore/thrash metal crossover band Excel have since teamed up with Southern Lord and are reissuing their debut album, Split Image (originally released through Suicidal and Caroline records). Widely regarded as a classic album, Split Image was produced by Randy Burns (Death, Possessed, Megadeth, Kreator, Suicidal Tendencies). The reissue shall be officially released on 29 September.

Remastered by Brad Boatright (Bl’ast!, Sleep, Obituary, Black Breath) the Split Image Southern Lord issue comes with a massive amount of bonus material including the Welcome to Venice comp tracks, Personal Onslaught Demo & Refuse to Quit Demo). The LP Includes a 32 page 7”X7” booklet with tons of photos from the era and a 11” x 17” poster of the original Michael Seiff album cover artwork. The CD contains bonus demo material (Personal Onslaught & Refuse to Quit Demos). Also including a booklet with many rare/unseen photos. A crucial documentation of an essential crossover band.

Having formed in 1984, they released three studio albums as well as a number of demos and singles.  Equally informed by punk rock’s attitude and heavy metal’s riffs, their  fast, grinding and heavy sounds, combined with their intelligent lyrics, set them apart as a genre defining band of the era.    The current line-up includes Dan Clements on vocals, Shaun Ross on bass, Mike Cosgrove on drums and Alex Barreto (Chain Of Strength) on guitar.

A new Grouper album is news, highly anticipated and  best introduced in Liz Harris’ own words, here’s the story…

 “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.”

Grouper

As the release of  Yob‘s forthcoming album Clearing The Path To Ascend dawns, the band reveal one of the four tracks on it, the brutally heavy “Unmask The Spectre”. The band have already revealed snippets of the track via their album trailer, now it is time to hear the whole thing. Here’s what Mike Scheidt has to say about the song…”This part of the album gets dark, but it also has a sense of beauty and resolve. The mood and atmosphere nod equal parts to old and new YOB. It’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done.

 

 
  
(photo credit: David Lee Dailey)
 

In celebration of Old World New Wave, the impending new release from Ides Of Gemini, here is the first official sampling of the record with “The Chalice & The Blade.”

Relays singer/bassist Sera Timms of the tune, “The main riff [guitarist] J [Bennett] brought in for ‘…Chalice…’ marches in as a transcendent assault with [drummer] Kelly [Johnston-Gibson]’s oppressive, jagged beat moving it forward like some re-animated corpse. A mechanized shamanic trance that sent me straight into the underworld lyrically.”

The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, 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 Kelly Johnston-Gibson.

 

Over there in Barrytown they do things very strange…..

Curry Quiche are back with a new single, and there is a forthcoming album I am advised, it’s as good as the last one we are in for a treat

As Old World New Wave, the long-awaited new full-length from Los Angeles’ otherworldly doom weavers, Ides Of Gemini, draws near, the band offers up a haunting new trailer to whet the appetites of fans hungry for their forthcoming platter of ethereal nightmares. Directed and produced by singer/bassist Sera Timms and shot by Timms with drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson, the stunning, near-five-minute clip is pretty damn impressive.

Ides Of Gemini features Timms (also of Los Angeles dark-psych alchemists Black Mare), Johnston-Gibson and guitarist Jason Bennett. The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, 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.

Old World New Wave will be released on CD and digitally via Neurot Recordings and on vinyl via SIGE Records on September 15th, 2014.

http://idesofgemini.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/IdesofgeminI
http://idesofgemini.bandcamp.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

The culmination of four years writing and editing, Anjou marks the first collaboration between Labradfordʼs Robert Donne and Mark Nelson since the release of that groupʼs 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 Hessʼ (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.

Here is a preview of the track “Sighting” from the album…..

Southern Lord have revealed the full details for Poison Everything, the debut full-length from Southern California’s unhinged punk/hardcore outfit, Obliterations.

Comprised of current and ex-members of Black Mountain, Saviours and Night Horse, Obliterations deliver a blazing blend of Poison Idea, Discharge, and Black Flag, set to a wild and thrilling live show. A day after returning from their Southwest US Tour in March, the band recorded with producer Chris Owens (Lords, Coliseum, Young Widows) at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in only three days. Mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High On Fire, Black Breath) at God City Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Tragedy, Integrity, Sleep) at Audiosiege, the end result of Poison Everything is a thirteen-song, twenty-nine-minute record full of raw brutality, darkness and aggression, the album weaving its way through the annals of punk and hardcore, while still sounding fresh and vital.

The lead track “Mind Aint Right” is a two-minute blast harkening back to early ‘80s Japanese hardcore akin to Gauze, Lip Cream and GISM, whereas the scorcher, “Scapegoat,” walks a razor’s edge between d-beat Discharge influence and Swiss pioneers Celtic Frost, and “Shame,” which opens with a riff that lodges itself nicely between Spacemen 3 and The MC5. The band has always been very open to expressing their influences and inspiration by a bevy of diverse muses including Alan Watts, Laughing Hyenas, Blue Oyster Cult, The Stooges, Alice Cooper, Paul Bowles and Suicide. The blueprint isn’t the point here, it’s the results. The sound is abrasive and raw, driving and aggressive, and fully infectious. Obliterations’ mission is simple a one; write, record, tour, and that’s just what they do.

Poison Everything will see release on Southern Lord, October 27th in the UK/Europe. The track listing and cover artwork by renowned tattoo artist, Derrick Snodgrass have been released, with samples of the album’s destructive audio content, several official videos and much more to be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition, Obliterations will embark on a two-week US West Coast Southern Lord tour in October, including dates in Canada with fellow labelmates Baptists and Torch Runner, and also joined by ‘80s Texas punk legends, Offenders, on select dates in California. The band will then fly over to the UK/Europe in November and December for an extensive run of dates throughout. More details on both tours to follow.

In celebration of the band’s upcoming European Tour, Portland, Oregon’s  huggable hard rock supervillains Red Fang have released a free acoustic EP via Metal Hammer, Bandcamp, Amazon MP3 and all streaming portals. The EP was recorded this past March in London as an Absolute Music Bunker session for TeamRock.com. The songs mark the first time the band recorded any acoustic interpretations of their material and the EP includes the original album versions of each track as well. Additionally, the band recently shot a music video for their new song “The Meadows” from their Scion A/V 7” released in May.  The video was directed by David Brodsky (Kylesa, Helmet, Municipal Waste) and will premiere shortly.

 

 

 

Mud, Rubble and Rock n Roll

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
Yob photo credit ©James Rexroad

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

 

Gemini Rising

In May of 2012, Ides Of Gemini unveiled their debut full-length, Constantinople. Its mere existence was a triumph for the three band members—Sera Timms (vocals/bass), Kelly Johnston-Gibson (drums/backing vocals), and Jason Bennett (guitar/backing vocals)—but other folks had some nice things to say about it as well.

Following the release of their debut, Ides Of Gemini spent much time touring. They played a pair of shows with Old Man Gloom in the Autumn of 2012, before embarking upon a European/UK tour that kicked off at Germany’s South Of Mainstream Festival and saw the band play direct support to Saturday night headliners The Obsessed—and later to a full house at Holland’s Incubate festival.  In January of 2013, Ides Of Gemini had the honour of opening for their labelmates (and label bosses) Neurosis at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. A month-long North American tour as sole support for the anonymous Swedes of Ghost B.C. followed in the spring. This successful journey coincided with two new Ides Of Gemini songs on Hexagram 45, a special Record Store Day 7-inch released via Magic Bullet Records that had to be repressed before it even came out due to overwhelming record shop demand.

photo credit Michelle Pullman
photo credit Michelle Pullman

Upon their return to Los Angeles, Ides Of Gemini played shows with Boris, Deafheaven, and True Widow before hibernating to finish writing and rehearsing new material. Now the new record is ready to see the light of day.

  Old World New Wave will be released by Neurot Recordings (CD/digital) and SIGE Records (vinyl) on September 16, 2014. The record was recorded at Valley Recording in Burbank, CA, during the first week of February 2014. It was engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw, who did the same for Constantinople and is often noted for his work with Danzig.  The album was mastered by Grammy-winning producer Matt Hyde, renowned for his work with Slayer, among others. The artwork and design, including the striking hand-drawn cover, were executed by drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson.
 

“The foundation for Old World New Wave was laid before Constantinople even came out,” Bennett reveals. “We had the title, most of the guitar tracks and basic arrangements in place at that point. We’ve been planning this record for a long time, so it’s incredibly rewarding—and a total relief—to finally have it out.”

 

Aural Delights Radio Show – 4th April 2012

On this show some fantastic new music from albums due to be released in the next couple of months – listen here

1 Mummy Short Arms Doon The Water Old Jack’s Windowless Playhouse
2 Quadrilles Gong Hey Fat Choi Gong Hey Fat Choi
3 Day of Days Darwin Chances of Life
4 Bowerbirds Overcome With Light The Clearing
5 Young Men Dead Suck the blood into the bruise Young Men Dead
6 Ides of Gemini Starless Midnight Constantinople
7 Natalie Indya-West Rita Rita
8 Pelican Parasite Colony Ataraxia/Taraxis
9 Miss Lucid This Life This Life
10 Moff Skellington Confident of Pending Treats Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
11 Mummy Short Arms Whisky Avalanche Old Jack’s Windowless Playhouse
12 Re-enactment Nintendogs Sport
13 Young Men Dead I can’t see the ocean Young Men Dead
14 Torche Letting Go Harmonicraft

Aural Delights Radio Show 12th October

On this show….

Peter Hammill – Shingle Song – PNO GTR VOX – from a brand new double album on Fie featuring solo performances from 2010 including a gig at the Lowry Theatre which I was fortunate enough to attend – a classic piece of Hammill song-writing originally from the 1975 album “Nadir’s Big Chance”.

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Building Buildings – Medicine – the b-side of the recent single, whiich I actually prefer to the a-side. The new album “In the pit of the stomach” is impressive and I’ll be featuring it in future weeks.

The Computers – Surfin’ Bird – Rhythm Revue – another one where I prefer the b-side to the a-side – not sure about this band in general  but I do like their take on the classic “Surfin’ Bird” – originally by The Trashmen and then covered by The Ramones.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Tommy Walsh’s Eco House – 90 Bisodol (Crimond) – an album which gets better with every listen, my initial concerns about it have now disappeared, here we have Blackwell in full rant mode with the usual cultural targets getting the full force of his extremely acidic and very witty tongue.

Silent Cities – Gone Fishin’ – Dream – as featured last week, an impressive singer songwriter from Liverpool called Simon Maddison.

Audio Asylum – Pressure – Demo – another impressive Liverpool band i’ve featured before.

Down the Machine – Know Your Place – Single – north east band – they have a website with lots of info – latest vid-chip below….

Ides of Gemini – Matyrdom of the Hippolyte – The Disruption Writ – they have just signed to Neurot and will have an album out Spring 2012. This is a great track from their self released EP proving that you can do special things with this musical form.

Pale Man Made – Started in 1966 – another North East band don’t know much about them I’m afraid…..this was released on Monday on Tiny Lights Recordings

West Coast Sick Line – This Ain’t London – from Glasgow and the fertile mind of Dusty Moonan.

Tone Puppets – Ignore – it says “Full of eastern promise – and northern grit, resident band at The Lovely Job, Tone Puppets produce a fizzy, guitar fuelled indie laced sound with curious time signatures and mathy prog-outs that’s been likened to the Beta Band/Nirvana and The Doors.” Indeed.

Peter Hammill – Vision – PNO GTR VOX – another one from the great man – this was originally from his first solo album “Fools Mate” from 1971.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Scorched Earth – and to close the band that Hammill formed with a stunning track from the come-back album “Godbluff”…..

to listen click the link below