Fascinating Things : Issue 59

Still buzzing from my adventures in London last week it has taken quite a while to catch up on things and there is a pile of stuff to share with you so I will dispense with the usual sermon and get on with it…..

Described as the “New Wave of British Punk” The Jacques, from Bristol. aren’t, they might be the new wave of glam or pub-rock, but it most definitely isn’t punk. Anyway they pen a good tune and once you get by the annoying narrative bits there is something good going on here. Reminds me of the Heavy Metal Kids or something like that. It’s out on 20th May and they play Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester on the 27th, and a load of other Dot to Dot Festivals elsewhere after that, as well as Kendal Calling.

Since the release of their debut LP, “Manifest Decimation”, Power Trip have been playing and touring ceaselessly with international names like Lamb of God and Anthrax, and a comprehensive list of the best operating in the hardcore, metal and punk underground. With their trademark reverb-drenched old school attack that brings to mind Cro-Mags and early Sepultura amongst others, they are a band for lovers of loud and fast punk metal. Their new record, “Nightmare Logic” is due out on Southern Lord this year.

UK/Eire dates are:

  • 26/05 – Cardiff, The Bunker
  • 27/05 – Birmingham,  Concrete Fest
  • 28/05 – Dublin, Fibber Magees
  • 29/05 – Belfast,  Warzone Centre
  • 30/05 – Glasgow, Audio
  • 31/05 – Leeds,  Temple Of Boom
  • 01/06 – London, Boston Music Rooms

And this is what you can expect to see….

Rude Audio includes Mark Ratcliff (arrangement, production and keyboards), Amanda Greatorex (vocals and lyrics), Eucalypta LV (guest vocals), Lamis Harper (piano and keys), Tony Shea (guitar and ostrich guitar), and Owain Lloyd (mixing desk and lyrics), who just finished up a tour with Paul Weller and began a new one with Stereophonics. Their new EP  “Rudest” is out on June 7th and is very good indeed….

San Francisco’s Kowloon Walled City, radical distillers of sludge and post-hardcore, are heading out on a European Tour for the very first time this August/September; they will be supporting  Minsk. This is an excellent chance to witness a band who over the last decade have refined their sound through a series of excellent releases. Last year’s “Grievances” LP, released in October via Neurot Recordings, was their best to date echoing the early menace of Slint albeit in a more unforgiving framework.  As things stand there is, sadly, only one UK date at Underworld in London on September 3rd.

La Malinconia delle Fate, by the post/experimental/heavy/progressive/instrumental duo SDANG, made in collaboration with La Fornace Dischi, Dreaminggorilla, Taxi Driver Records and Totem Schwan is now available via Bandcamp. Groovy head-banging stuff!

Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia & Aaron Turner) tour across Europe this summer, in support of Turner’s band SUMAC. This tour supports  Mamiffer’s new LP, “The World Unseen” (SIGE Records) and sees the bands travel across Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the UK and Portugal. UK dates are 06/07/2016 – Bristol, The Fleece  and 07/07/2016 – London, Underworld, both dates with Janne Westerlund.

Le Butcherettes are returning to Europe for a headlining tour this autumn, in support of their latest offering “A Raw Youth” which saw release last September via Ipecac Recordings. On 13th May  they released a Digital Deluxe version of “A Raw Youth” with four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks include an acoustic version of “Shave The Pride” and “They Fuck You Over”, a b-side featuring King Buzzo (Melvins) titled “We No Owe”, and a live cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” which was recorded at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

UK/Eire dates are all in October

  • 14th, London, The Black Heart
  • 16th, Birmingham,  Hare & Hounds
  • 17th, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
  • 19th, Dublin, The Workmans Club
  • 20th, Belfast, , Black Box
  • 21st, Glasgow,  King Tuts
  • 22nd, Manchester,  Night & Day

Ask For Joy presents the new single “Cherry Popsicle” from the 7-track LP ‘New Private Window’. A mainstay on the U.S. shoegaze scene, this is Ask For Joy’s 9th release, featuring walls of shimmering reverb-drenched guitars, endearing vocals and expansive harmonic melodies. Founded in 2005, Ask For Joy is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Aaron Rossetto. Based in Austin, Texas, artists like himself and Ringo Deathstarr are putting this city on the shoegaze map. Combining the fuzzy warm shoegaze of Slowdive with the raw sonic power of bands like Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, Ask For Joy offer a slightly heavier version of the genre.

Middlemist Red is a psych-rock band from Budapest, Hungary, founded in 2012.
Evermore is the band’s first single from their second upcoming LP. There’s a good mix of space rock vibe in here as well, alongside the nods to early Floyd and a touch of post-punk in the vocal area.




Fascinating Things : Issue 29

Terri with some chap……

UK-based hardcore punk/grindcore legends, Extreme Noise Terror, release their self-titled new full-length via Willowtip Records November 5th.

In late October Dave Graney will release a second volume of demo recordings.  Comprising 17 tracks it’s called “Once I loved the Torn Ocean’s Roar – 80s/90s demos Vol 2”. Recordings are on acoustic guitar and vocals and go back to 1987.

The Young Birds performed by Jack Steadman and Jamie MacColl of Bombay Bicycle Club is taken from the album Joy of Living : A Tribute to Ewan MacColl (via Cooking Vinyl, 30th October 2015). The release is to mark the occasion of Ewan MacColl’s centenary year. Produced by Ewan’s sons Calum and Neill MacColl, the album features a host of artists from across the worlds of pop, rock and folk, including Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Steve Earle, Jarvis Cocker, David Gray, Paul Brady, The Unthanks, Billy Bragg and Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile) and many more. A series of multi-artist live concerts, radio documentaries, television features and press coverage will also take place to mark the release.

Live dates are as follows…

  • Tuesday Nov 3 – Liverpool, Philharmonic
  • Wednesday Nov 4- Salford, Lowry Theatre
  • Thursday Nov 5 – Gateshead, The Sage
  • Friday Nov 9 – Barbican, London

Public Image Limited (PiL) release ‘The One / Bettie Page’ Etched  a 2×7″ Set which is limited to 1000 copies worldwide on 6th November. You can get it via PIL Official.

A new Ummagma album is available for pre-order

‘Zzyzx’ from the new album “Lovish” by Library Voices is released on  November 6th by Nevado Music:

David Cameron’s Eton Mess is a compliation of embryonic Scottish guitar bands, very few with any more than an EP or two available online. Most of the bands are friends and a lot of musicians feature on several of the album’s tracks, one of the reasons why Song By Toad Records put the compliation together. Label owner Matthew Young explains “it feels like there’s this pool of really talented musicians bubbling away and all sorts of excellent music is starting to emerge from the mix. Bands are forming, breaking up and starting again all the time. When you see a loose collection of bands connecting like this you never know what is going to happen. A few will disappear, some will do okay, some might pave the way for others, and a few of these bands could go on to do really well.”

This album is a snapshot of a really exciting time in Scottish music. So many talented young musicians are starting to find their feet and their friendships and musical interactions are generating a palpable sense of anticipation and energy.



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.”


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.