Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snapcase - Lookinglasself

My favorite Snapcase album. So fucking good. If you don't own this, you should.


Nanda Devi - Fifth Season

"Their bio claims that they’re “making slow and boring even more slow and boring.” Thankfully, Nanda Devi are a bunch of rotten liars and Fifth Season is neither particularly slow, nor is it boring. Now if I was to lazily state that these guys are simply another in a long line of acts taking their cue from the likes of Isis, Cult of Luna etc. or dare utter the ‘p’ word, at best you’ll probably roll your eyes in complete indifference or at worst, want to throw a shoe in my general direction. So instead I’m going to point how this band is different from your typical Neur-Isis clone and why you should bother with Fifth Season. The most obvious thing to point out is the vocals. The combined efforts of bassist Ryan Whyte and guitarist Aaron Schomaker are easily the nastiest, most harrowing and evil-sounding vocals I’ve heard from a band of this type. Aaron Turner may have sounded quite gruff on those early Isis records but he’s got nothing on the growls, shrieks and howls that Nanda Devi offer up. It really is their standout element and gives the band a darker, more visceral edge than their contemporaries.

The other aspect of Fifth Season that impresses me is how tight it is. Out of the eight tracks, three are brief, untitled segues. Whereas on other albums such passages are often absolutely useless, here they have a genuine ‘what comes next?’ feel and actually serve their purpose of linking the main songs together. As a result, weightier numbers like “Abandoned By the Sun” and the excellent “Blood and Iron” are more easily digestible and hence enjoyable. As much as I love my plodding, atmospheric metal, it’s a sad fact that I rarely have the time or energy to invest in a seventy-minute concept album, so to have Nanda Devi do their business with me in less than forty is a real plus. Also, the fact that these guys don’t have the same level of innovation or full-on artistry as their peers is another reason why the modest, streamlined approach of Fifth Season serves them well.

Ironically, Nanda Devi are one of the bands I'd most readily suggest to those who normally find this particular strain of modern metal too 'slow and boring'. Fifth Season is by and large a dark, heavy and gutsy affair with some suitably haunting atmospherics thrown into the deal. It cleverly avoids some of the pitfalls that can dampen albums of this kind, thereby affording itself some real cross-genre appeal. There, and I didn’t mention ‘post-metal’ once."

Plus.... for those of you who live in Cleveland, they are playing at Now That's Class on April 20th. Go see 'em and buy this record.



The Backup Plan - Dearest Whomever

You ever listen to an album or song and think "hey, I KNOW this band" and then were completely wrong... but not in a bad way? Well the Backup Plan is that band. "Dearest Whomever" at times sounds like the album (or at 19 minutes, should I say EP?) that Kid Dynamite never made. I know other reviewers might debate this point, but while this album is not breaking any new ground, or blending hereunknown genres, or selling records by the truckload, etc. etc., (notchmarks that appear on most reviewers crooked yardsticks), it doesn't detract from the fact that this is a solid album, every track, from beginning to end.



Dag Nasty - Can I Say

One of my favorite D.C bands. Although, they didn't sound like most other D.C area bands. this album represents a high point in the angst of hardcore The emotion in this album is simply amazing.


Capital - Homefront

Homefront acts as both a love letter and op-ed piece to growing up, hardcore, family and Long Island. It's working-class punk rock without the white tank tops and un-ironic suspenders. Corrigan is simply a man telling his sincere thoughts on various subjects, causing nearly every song to be a standout: "Crossroads" defends the presence of illegal immigrants with the common but rarely embraced talking points; the self-explanatory "Mosh Parts" finds him laughing off bands clogging their songs with needless dance parts; "On a Mission" narrates Corrigan discovering his gateway to hardcore (Revelation's famous late `80s compilation, The Way It Is).

All the past comparisons the band's garnered musically (Dag Nasty, Avail) are still somewhat apt, but Capital have clearly found their own niche here. Sure, the Silent Majority similarities are still inescapable, but only at certain points. Particularly, there's "Procrastination," a tumbling, restrained number where Corrigan growls corrosively over it all, and "Gold Coast," another mid-tempo, aggressively unraveling track. However, throughout Homefront's course, Capital clearly strive to offer both complex, multi-part songs ("Crossroads") and bursts consisting solely of short, fast and hard (the plastic surgery-condemning "Rubberface"), all the while providing versatile moods that range from dark and disgusted to upbeat and reminiscent.



Monday, March 23, 2009

Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West

I own this on double lp. this record sounds amazing on vinyl.


Dropkick Murphys - The Meanest of Times

i fuckin' love this album

1. Famous for Nothing
2. God Willing
3. The State Of Massachusetts
4. Tomorrow's Industry
5. Echoes On "A." Street
6. Vices And Virtues
7. Surrender
8. (F)lannigan's Ball
9. I'll Begin Again
10. Fairmount Hill
11. Loyal To No One
12. Shattered
13. Rude Awakenings
14. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
15. Never Forget


Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Slow Riot For a New Zero Kanada

i'm back. i finally got mediafire.com to start uploading albums again. i dont know what the heck was wrong.

I've been in a weird mood as of late. when that happens i usually listen to GYBE! and this is a great album to fall asleep to.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pulling Teeth - Paranoid Delusions/Paradise Illusions

Newer Pulling Teeth. I fucking love this band.
"Paranoid Delusions | Paradise Illusions" is the latest work from Baltimore hardcore mainstays, Pulling Teeth. Painstakingly recorded and engineered by Chris Camden at Ultrasound over a three month period, "Paranoid Delusions | Paradise Illusions" is a conceptual piece of immense artistic depth and darkness.

Songs like the bruising "Unsatisfied" dig deep to reveal monstrous dirges that rival any doom metal artist. While the Slayer influenced "Bloodwolves" is as volatile and infectious as a song can be. Though the aforementioned songs are truly brilliant works, it is Pulling Teeth's new found mastery of emotional ebb and flow which shines as their real strength. This awe inducing quality is revealed in the stunning two title tracks, "Paranoid Delusions | Paradise Illusions". Collectively both songs are a monumental achievement of soulful guitar work, Moog driven textures, and insightful prose. A near perfect example of how a band can evolve without abandoning the heart and raw energy that defines the "hardcore/punk" genre at its very core.



Limp Wrist - S/T 2009

Well fuck, here it is... a new Limp Wrist album.

I just got done listening to it, and holy hell is it good. Same old Limp Wrist with the 2 minute or less songs, fast, shovel to the head, gayin' up the punx, hardcore.

Get it

(Lone) Wolf & Cub - May You Only See Sky

Five young men from Chicago with a hornet's nest in their collective bonnet, Chicago's (Lone) Wolf & Cub play mathy, hyper-aggressive, fall-on-the-floor screamo crosscut with significant metallic chug and enough nods to progressive and art rock to keep things interesting. The five songs on MAY YOU ONLY SEE SKY rarely sits still, bursting forth with all the fury of a disciplined teenager seeking revenge.

Since this album, they have changed their sound considerably turning more to a His Hero is Gone/Discharge/Lethargy sound. I like it all.



Barkmarket - L.Ron

This record was Barkmarket's final album and was released in 1996. To me, it was their best record. If you're a fan of Helmet (and you should be if you aren't), you're going to dig this record a whole bunch.