Thursday, 19 July 2018

BLUE YOUTH

BandBLUE YOUTH
GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Punk / Indie Rock / Sass Rock / Noise Rock / Alternative / Post-Hardcore
Related artistsBermuda LoveSurf Dads, Bright Black, Geronimo and The Dagan Harding Band.
CountryRegina, Saskatchewan CANADA
Years Active2017-present
Song: "Dead Forever"
Album: "Dead Forever"
Year: 2018
For fans ofLife In Vacuum, METZ, The Holy Shroud, North Of America, No KnifeAim Of Conrad, Campbell Trio, Death From Above 1979, At The Drive In, Drive Like Jehu, Q And Not U, The Mark Inside, Despistado, Encrypt Manuscript, Big Dick, For The Mathematics, Frodus, Decahedron, Creepozoidz, Dream Caste, Christiansen, Stresser and Riddle Of Steel.
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Grind Central Records / Santapogue Media / Suspended Soul Tapes and Records
This post's artist is from the July 2018 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the July 2018 Mix#7 right here or get the new August 2018 Mix#8 here.

BLUE YOUTH. Goddamn. Why are you so good? Maybe I should backtrack a bit.

In the early to mid 2000s I was a Level Plane Records nut. Like, I bought almost everything that came out on that label. Therefore, I most definitely got hard into North Of America and The Holy Shroud, which were two phenomenal, Canadian, math-rock, noise rock and post hardcore all mixed together. Shortly after I discovered Riddle Of Steel, a much more melodic and clean band but not all that far from the previous two I mentioned. Then nothing happened for what seemed like an eternity (for the most part anyway; Dream Caste came out in 2013/2014 and I got pretty stoked but then the band ended). I was waiting for something in that sassy, indie, noise-rock vein and nothing really hit home.

And then, in late 2017 my friend Chris Morris (who helps run Dead Air At The Pulpit) posted this review and cited in his post in the forum that it was for fans of North Of America. Naturally I got very excited and jammed the self titled 'Blue Youth' EP. I was fucking floored. Seriously, even almost a year later I jam this a couple of times a week. It starts with a fucking phenomenal track called "The Power", in which the band pulls out some fantastic singing, screaming and "woo ooo" backups during the chorus. The songs ends with the chorus unraveling as the vocals morph from singing to shrieking. Seriously this is some sick shit right here, taking sassy noise-rock to a new level, and it's the first track off their demo, essentially. Following this gem is "The Screw", the lengthiest BLUE YOUTH song recorded to date, and it's only 4:17. It opens strong and throws in some fantastically driving guitar 25 seconds in and again at a minute. This transitions with screaming and crooning to the hefty, instrumental midsection that is so Riddle Of Steel it's bananas, as the bass and drums drive the song forward, mingling with distant and wavering guitars. The song eventually comes full circle back to the chorus at 4:04 to drive the song home. And what a song! One with which they close with live sometimes, I've been told. "The Enemy" is next, beginning with quirky guitar effects and some dancey ass bass but by 45 seconds we've got Gage screaming "I am not the enemy. Please set me free!". This song in particular I find reminiscent of The Mark Inside and Life In Vacuum. "The Past" is another banger that rides a powerful instrumental wave using perfectly balanced and catchy-ass vocals from guitarist Gage McGuire. The vocals dip at 50 seconds while the guitars replace it with squealing and once the minute mark is cracked that sugary sweet chorus kicks in to put you in a dance trance. Wrapping up this debut EP is "The End", the shortest song here at 2:42 and the most diverse of the five, focusing on discordant riffs, angular rhythms and screaming. Zegema Beach will be making 50 copies of the tape this winter for a late 2018 release.

I contacted the band after hearing the EP and asked if I could help release their next endeavor, to which the band said they'd get back to me. The 'Blue Youth' release ended up in my top five EPs of 2017 (linked here) and I was left salivating until the early months of 2018 when I was sent the new album by bassist Jon, on whom I've since developed an internet crush. I listened to it once, and I really liked it. I asked if they were doing physicals, he said yes, some tapes. I listened to it again. I liked it even more. Then I listened again, and again, and again...and now it's been almost four months and I don't go a day without hearing at least one song from 'Dead Forever'. I became so obsessed with it so quickly that I basically demanded that the band do 12" vinyl, so I used my label Zegema Beach Records to scour North America for two great labels (Santapogue Media and Suspended Soul) willing to help invest in 200 copies so we could release this sensational work of art properly. Currently the 12" is up for pre-order at ZBR (linked here) but the 12"s are complete and shipping from the plant to me tomorrow for an early August release.

Oh yeah...the songs. Here goes. Side A of 'Dead Forever' is fantastic. It opens with perhaps the penultimate BLUE YOUTH track "Black Lung". Melting the exact right proportions of pop sensibilities whilst keeping things powerful, driving and at times screamy, imagine if Drive Like Jehu and Q And Not U had a baby that resembled METZ and Life In Vacuum and you've got the right idea. Up next is the very polarizing "Delusional//Unapologetic" that sounds like two songs mashed together in the middle. It opens with a steady, driving bass riff which collides with the rest of the instrumentals led by some utterly ridiculous vocals at 23 seconds. The listener then hurtles through the noise-rock space-time continuum (goddamn that's a mouthful) until 47 seconds when the song turns an abrupt corner and takes the punk route for a brief moment before returning to their previous post-hardcore/noise-rock sections. The song shifts gears again at 1:23, incorporating my favourite vocal pattern with the lyrics, "Give this life one last resuscitation. Free my world from this incarceration. Give this love another shot of adaptation. Give this love another shot of amalgamation." Jesus fucking Christ that might be the best part on the entire record. At 1:48 the song downshifts to bass and bare instrumentals with repeated mumbling and eventual chanting of, "I'm unapologetic and may seem a little pathetic, but I'm not afraid to say that I want you. It may come as a surprise when I see the look in your eyes and it's unfortunate that they are so telling." As track two fades out and track three starts up we are whisked into the deep, haunting, cavernous tunnels of the instrumental interlude "Water Well". Last up on the A side is another abrasive and aggressive noise-rock song called "So Seizure". This track utilizes a rapid-fire and repetitive chorus of, "So so so so so seizure (da na na na nah!)" to hook the listener with its harpoon and reel us in only to care and nurture us with an incredible straddling of heavy rock and punk/hardcore. Oh, and again, the way Gage lands those vocals at 26 seconds and again at 60 is uncanny and gives me a very warm, tingly feeling. At 1:31 the song seems to exhaust itself, only to swing around 180 and lay a catchy-as-fuck close from 1:54 to 3:15, complete with an unbridled, Live In Vacuum-esque guitar solo and a bunch o' yellin'. My good lord, what a phenomenal first half.

And then Side B hits...and you'll be like..."Coheed?", as "(The Worst Of It Is) You" opens with piano tinkling that's incredibly similar to the aforementioned band. It's very pretty but dark and leads nicely into perhaps the most complete song from a rating perspective. The band lays right into it instrumentally, going for some rock riffs that could shake a stadium from 40 seconds to 1:09 before settling into a rolicking good groove that slides beautifully into an eerie guitar progression that loops back to the groovin' part. After this second verse the songs shifts into its only vocal chorus that will get stuck in your head for months, in my case at least. There's also a sassy close with more stuff that reminds me of the almighty Life In Vacuum, and I've never said that about any other band so that's something. That gorgeous song is followed by "Pause For Death", another interlude of sorts, with a bit more from the band including some weird vocals and reversed recordings. After the mist clears, "Succubus" goes right for the jugular as the band's heaviest, shortest and perhaps hardest-hitting track. At 2:24 it boasts a righteous guitar riff that reminds me of Akimbo, with vocals that aren't too far behind, just sassier and at times higher in scream department. The midsection slowdown that begins at 40 seconds is superb, as the members build off of each other and eventually the fuse burns down to the dynamite and everything detonates at 1:17. Does that sound like Helmet? Fuck I dunno but that shit is most definitely the bomb. The finale of this so so so so good record is the title track "Dead Forever". If there was to be a single to break them into a more mainstream audience it'd be this little ditty. It's 3:01 in length and somehow manages to juxtapose, transition through and mix a myriad of styles, influences and sounds. It opens with a minor drum solo before everything swirls around the listener in a flurry. As the intro settles, the song floats around like dispersing fireflies amidst awkward, intermittent and feedback soaked guitars before the vocals repeat "This is the sound of doubt in your head!" and those rolling drums crash into the intro riff which is also the chorus, bringing to mind METZ, No Knife and Death From Above 1979. I expected a lot from this album, but I didn't expect it to most likely top my album of the year list this 2018.

Holy shit that's a lot of words for 13 songs. But when they're this good I've gotta do what I do...gush excessively. To recap, BLUE YOUTH is fucking amazing and without a doubt my favourite active band. I don't see this getting unseated as my album of the year. You can order 12" now from Zegema Beach (linked here) which, coincidentally enough, I was contacted about this afternoon as beinig complete and will be shipping to me tomorrow, so they'll be shipping out in early August!!! So pumped. The 'Blue Youth' cassette EP will be coming winter 2018 on Zegema Beach. Oh, and if you can see them live I'll be jealous of you forever.

Dave loves BLUE YOUTH, his new favourite band. 💞

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DISCOGRAPHY

2017 - Blue Youth cassetteEP (stream/download/donate here)

2018 - Dead Forever cassette/12"LP (stream/download/donate here) [order 12" from ZBR here]

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(2018) BLUE YOUTH - "Dead Forever" (from 'Dead Forever')

(2018) BLUE YOUTH - "(The Worst Of It Is) You" (from 'Dead Forever')

(2018) BLUE YOUTH - "Black Lung" (from 'Dead Forever')

(2017) BLUE YOUTH - "The Power" (from 'Blue Youth')

(2017) BLUE YOUTH - "The Past" (from 'Blue Youth')

(2017) BLUE YOUTH - "The Screw" (from 'Blue Youth')



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BLUE YOUTH additional links
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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

***KARLOFF exclusive EP premiere***

'Demo'
exclusive EP premiere
For fans ofInnards, People's Temple Project, The South and Youth Novel
KARLOFF is made up of quite a few friends of mine from back in Ontario. Cambridge to be specific. I've known Nate the most, as he took over Canada/Ontario Zegema Beach Records while I was away in New Zealand and basically up until June of 2018. I watched him change from a showgoer to a promoter, vocalist (of numerous bands) and record label. At ZBR Fest 2017 in Toronto, I introduced Nate to Dylan (the ex-bassist for Life In Vacuum who also has played in Death Party Playground, Father Bodies, Ned Flangers and runs 3 Nines Compact Cassettes) who was also helping out huge with ZBR Fest and the two hit it off and exchanged numbers right away. It was beautiful to watch.

Over the course of the last year they did some tape stuff together and eventually formed KARLOFF along with Alberto (also helps run No Funeral Records) and two other members. The original drummer was recently replaced by Chris (of Yonder Peak, Toucan Slam, Sclera, Sill and Kitjohari) and I've been told that the new material trumps this old stuff, which is fucking exciting because I love how amazingly raw and driving their screamy hardcore is, and the nearly non-stop, unrelenting dual-vocals take the cake. Prior to this EP release was the single comp song "5" from the same demo sessions that is housed on the 'KWCDIY Spring 2018 Compilation' linked here.

This new 'Demo' cassette EP is four tracks, all of which are embedded below with song descriptions. The tapes come out on Friday along with the KARLOFF bandcamp page. There will be 50 tapes, 15 as a release show exclusive in a safety pinned cloth bag with a painted "K" on it. You can buy them online at the No Funeral store linked here.

Nate had this to say about the demo:

"We recorded this in one session with very little sleep with our friend Jesse Alarcon of Glue Gun Records. Without going into too much detail - we should have prepared more. But we're mostly happy with it. It's the first release from No Funeral Records, a label spawned from an ex-ZBR employee, co-released with Glue Gun Records and 3 Nines Compact Cassettes."

~ NATE / KARLOFF / No Funeral Records

(2018) KARLOFF - 1 - "Universal" (from 'Demo')
Back and forth shrieks and broken screams open this phenomenal demo debut track, with the entire thing sounding like a rawer version of Youth Novel, and I'm officially in love. P.S. Dylan I'm lovin' those bass slides around 45-50 seconds. 💓

(2018) KARLOFF - 2 - "Endut! Hoch Hech!" (from 'Demo')
An obvious and amazing Simpsons reference from the Worker and Parasite show, the second track clocks in much shorter at only 43 seconds (compared to the opener's 2:41) and is abrasive and chaotic, bringing to mind the intensity of Nate's other project Sclera, as all the pretty and melodic parts have been scorched away.

(2018) KARLOFF - 3 - "Ocean or Other" (from 'Demo')
Nearing the six-minute mark is "Ocean or Other". You can't much more 90s emo than this super chill, mostly instrumental jam, as the vocals don't show up until almost 4:30. Nods to bands such as Funeral Diner and Indian Summer are there whether intentional or not, and I find this song perhaps the strongest on the EP as it really delves into other genres and finds the band exploring many different aspects of their sound.

(2018) KARLOFF - 4 - "Vain" (from 'Demo')
"Vain" is the closer and has some pretty gosh darn tongue in cheek lyrics. It goes pretty hard until 25 seconds when they cool their jets and settle into a bit more of a groove. I found band comparisons for KARLOFF rather difficult to come by, but this song sounds a lot like The South to me (in a good way).

ADDITIONAL LINKS & WHATNOT

Nate and the rest of the No Funeral Records gang did a podcast with me a ways back, linked here.

Here are the label links and info for the 'Demo' cassette:

No Funeral Records - nf-001 

3 Nines Compact Cassettes - 999-28

Glue Gun Records - gg-002

And lastly KARLOFF is playing a few local shows (Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo and the fest in Owen Sound) so here are they are with their corresponding facebook links.

Monday, 16 July 2018

***Holy Shit #2 - SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY rare pressings***

Before I start this post you should be aware that the zegemabeachrecords.com store is under construction for the next two months but the storenvy store is fully operational and stuff is shipping now. Keep checking back for more sales and long, lost items, as well as the September 1st, 2018 relaunch of the zegemabeachrecords.com Canadian store in conjuction with the U.S. Zegema Beach store. Now that that's out of the way...

Awwwww shit, welcome to the Holy Shit, Look What I Found #2. Last week Zegema Beach sold all of our rare RESPIRE pressings (save this last one) with some extremely rare variants and long lost presses. This week I'd expect pretty much everything to go again, as I have unearthed the following from The Great Amalgamation.

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY discography set ($100) includes:
- 1x Demo cd
- 2x Fashion 7" 1st pressing on all variants
- 1x Fashion 7" 2nd pressing on clear blue coke bottle
- 2x SGKF split 7" on all variants
- 1x Atrocities cassette
- a Medium SYSC t-shirt
- a ton of ZBR stickers
- a ton of free download codes
- a free 7"
BUY THE ONLY SET here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY Demo cd ($8):
BUY THE LAST ones here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY 1st press on black ($15):
BUY THE ONLY ONE LEFT here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY 2nd press on clear blue coke bottle ($10):
BUY THE ONLY TWO LEFT here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY SGKF split 7" on trash ($10):
BUY THE ONLY ONE LEFT here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY shirt ($20), three different shirts available:
- 'Logo/Face' Medium t-shirt BUY ONLY SHIRT here
- '...I look back at the burning halo' Medium t-shirt BUY ONLY SHIRT here
- 'Scissors' Medium t-shirt BUY ONLY SHIRT here

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY black longsleeve shirt ($25):
BUY THE ONLY ONE LEFT here

RENÉ DESCARTES st tape ($6):
BUY THE ONLY ONE LEFT here

There's more new stuff up in the Zegema Beach Records store including the RUTKA LASKIER 12"LPs 'Protiklady' and the 'Quitting' 12"LP by LIFE IN VACUUM, as well as much more to come!

Lastly, catch SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY on their massive U.S. tour right now. Here is the poster!