Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Monday, 20 February 2017

THANK GOD

BandTHANK GOD
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Noise / Noise-Rock
Related artists: Antischism, .fuckingcom, Guyana Punch Line, Initial State, Burnt Books, Can’t Kids, Cube, Big & Tall and Wounded Tongue.
CountryColumbia, South Carolina USA
Years Active2005-2011
Song: "Ice/Age"
Album: "Ice/Age"
Year: 2010
For fans ofRacebannonLife At These Speeds, XBXRX, Guyana Punch Line, Monarcs, A Flower Kollapsed, Deepslauter, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, Kulara, Rapider Than Horsepower, Scowler, The Sun, The South, The Carnival Of Dark-Split, and (later) Bright Calm Blue.
Label(s): Exotic Fever records / Tick Tock Records / Mashnote / The Perpetual Motion Machine / Molsook Records / These Family Jaws
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

Review by JESSE MOWERY:

I first heard of THANK GOD in 2010 when one of my roommates back then asked if they could hop on a show I was booking. At the time Myspace was still widely used, and they had one track up, which was the title track of their new album 'Ice/Age'. I booked them based on how good it was, and was excited to see what their other material was like, but I had no clue how great they would be. Spastic rhythms, crazy dissonant guitars, and wild weird screams that flow into mesmerizing ambient sections. It took me seeing them for a second to time notice other things that made me scratch my head in wonder, like how they used capos on every song in different positions, mostly seventh fret and above, or how their vocalist used a loop station to have other screams going on at the same time as whatever else he was doing. They also were picking up the pieces to their record on tour, getting the vinyl in Nashville, and the inserts and sleeves in Chicago or something like that, which I thought was really interesting. Anyways, they’ve been one of my favorite bands since I first saw them, and while many of the members other bands’ get some praise I feel like THANK GOD is often overlooked, which is why I’m doing this.

In 2006 they put out their first release 'For Pregnant Virgins', a 6 song 15 minute long EP. This is definitely their closest thing to Guyana Punch Line, as it has many faster punky parts, but it’s still from the start a different beast altogether. Opening track “One Hand Over Yr Mouth” starts out going from spazziness to fast punk beats, with the vocals following the guitars in a way until it breaks down with the bass and drums grooving while the guitars and vocals get weirder before ending where they started. “2000 Bees Can’t Be Wrong” is probably my favorite from this release, as it encapsulates a lot of the things I really like about their stuff: weird ramblings between shouting with noisy nonsense coming from the guitars that eventually leads to a softer breakdown with the bass leading the melodies while while the guitars go on whatever tangents they want. Overall this release is a quick but fun listen that foreshadows what they were going to accomplish.

In 2007 THANK GOD released three splits, all with great bands like 'Monarcs, Deepslauter, and Tigershark'. All of these have a similar foundation, starting out with a quiet guitar thing into a heavy song and ending with a slower more melodic song, but none sound like they’re repeating themselves either. “Good Bad Guy” starts out pretty up-tempo and positive sounding until it gets to the chorus thingy, which just sounds like someone losing their mind, and breaking down into a weird melodic part. “Wasting My Breath” is slower but is one of my favorites melodically, the main guitar riff is infectious. “Goddamn Tulips” has some very noodley guitars on it and some lyrics about not having tasted scrambled eggs or something.

They released a 'split with Life At These Speeds' in 2008, with two more tracks furthering their sound away from their previous bands, adding in squawky trumpet at the beginning of “Ahh The Magical 90’s” before going into something that sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any moment but never does. “Lay Down Lula” starts out soft before going into a ¾ polka-ish beat thing that is really cool.

2010 marked the release of 'Ice/Age', an LP that would end up being their last release, but damn was it a good note to end on. The opener and title track starts with a few notes before going into a spastic melodic mess with scream/sung vocals, all while the guitars get noisier. “Chicken Dance” has some of the most nonsensical guitar playing I’ve ever heard. This is a song I could lose my mind to, but into a pit of happy insanity. There’s a lot more soft ambient/post-rockish parts on this release, with some sax thrown in on later tracks. The album ends with “Hugo Chavez”, which is one of the most blistering tracks on this, with the pace close to their earlier stuff but with the super noisy guitars that are all over this album. My words don’t do this band justice, just listen to them and decide for yourself.

I just recently found a recording of what I’m pretty sure was their last show right here, but you can get a pretty good feel for what they sounded like live.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2006 - For Pregnant Virgins cdEP

2007 - Tigershark split 12"EP (buy here)
2007 - Monarcs split 10"EP
2007 - Deepslauter split cd/12"EP

2008 - Life At These Speeds split 7"EP

2010 - Ice/Age 12"+cdLP
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(2010) THANK GOD - "Ice/Age" (from 'Ice/Age')

(2010) THANK GOD - "Chicken Dance" (from 'Ice/Age')

(2007) THANK GOD - "That Crazy Mouse is Cool" (from 'Tigershark' split)

(2007) THANK GOD - "Life Fire On Fire" (from 'Monarcs' split)

(2007) THANK GOD - "Goddamn Tulips" (from 'Deepslauter' split)

(2006) THANK GOD - "Alligators Don't Cry" (from 'For Pregnant Virgins')

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THANK GOD out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

***HAMILTON HOUSE SHOW w/Respire, La Luna, Terry Green, Wimp City & The World That Summer***

Full review and videos below.


THE WORLD THAT SUMMER
The band I scream for in Hamilton opened the show nice and early. We opened with "Moth Volcano" and then played "Heat Death Parties are the Bomb, Man". Our third and fourth song are in the video embed below and are both unreleased. In fact, the third song "Voltron Division" is a totally new song and this is the first and only time we've ever played it live. I really like it, as it feels like it always builds but never quite reaches climax. The instrumentals are really fucking grooving and I tried some new stuff out vocally and think it worked out pretty well. The fourth song is our final track on the 2x12" that we should have test presses for soon and is titled "No Hugs for Lucas" which is generally a fitting closer, but you'll have to pass through the seven minutes and change of "Voltron Division" first aka our ode to Black Love.
"Voltron Division & No Hugs for Lucas"
Link to song: "Heat Death Parties are the Bomb, Man"


TERRY GREEN
TERRY GREEN did what TERRY GREEN do gone did, they kicked ass. Playing in one of the members' living rooms, this was one of the best shows of my life, as every band killed it and these boys were no exception. Playing most of their upcoming 12" material from the aptly titled 'LP', these guys shred screamy post-hardcore and will definitely tickle the fancy of Gillian Carter, Van Johnson and perhaps even Alexisonfire. Check out the live video below and then jam "1" aka "Michael Soft Sam" on the new Zampler linked here!
"3"


LA LUNA
LA LUNA played third and for the second night in a row blew me socks off. Unfortunately I was outside moving stuff for the beginning of their set and by the time I got in I was confined to the doorway and couldn't see the band nor catch a decent video. I must say that I enjoyed the last two LA LUNA records but think the new material is going to blow that stuff away. Check out their recently released 12" 'Always Already' on their bandcamp page linked below. I've included a video interview with the band below in a poor attempt at making up for not getting a live video from the show.
LA LUNA video interview


RESPIRE
Obviously RESPIRE didn't disappoint. They never do, despite the fact that all three times they have played in Hamilton they have had a different lineup each time due to a members' prior obligations. So this time we were without Emmett on the trumpet but instead had the violinist Eslin taking part in every song. The band sounded great in such a small setting, especially the absolutely epic Eternal Nothing, embedded below. I've also updated the ZBR distro with tons of new Respire stock including a tote bag, two shirts, tapes and posters!
"Eternal Nothing"
Link to song: "Waltz"
Bandcamp
Buy 12" / tape / G&G shirt / Burn shirt / tote bag / show poster


WIMP CITY
Local heroes WIMP CITY closed out the evening to a fucking packed living room and it was magical. I was a little far back on the couch so I handed the camera up to Jose and Nate who filmed the entire set in one video! Can't ask for more than that, thanks fellas! So, the two-piece of drums and bass/vocals ripped through nearly 10 songs of spastic and pissed off Death From Above styled punk if they were way heavier on the hardcore. As per usual, a treat.
Full set
Bandcamp

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

***TRUMAN streams new song at Form und Leere blog***

TRUMAN just released a new song from their upcoming cassette EP 'ma doi' on Zegema Beach Records and Middle-Man Records on the Form und Leere blog. The song is called "these struggles only result in sharper misery" and is the first of three songs that will be available in March along with pre-orders. As I run Zegema Beach I can certainly vouch that the full record is phenomenal and if you like this song you'll love all 17 minutes that'll drop in March! Mitchie, Benson and Dylan, I'll see you here again for the Best Of 2017 EP list.

You can read my review of their past discography here and watch their entire set at Swamp Fest 2016 from the post review here.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

PREGNANCY PACT

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsCrowning and Nigel Thornberry.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active2016
Song: "You'll Get Used to the Cold"
Album: "A Better Hill to Die On"
Year: 2016
For fans ofPeople's Temple Project, Polina, Crowning, Dowager, Loma Prieta, Youth Funeral, Youth Novel, Foxmoulder, Logs, Carrion Spring, Calculator, Dikembe, Terry Green and Matsuri aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the February 2017 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the February 2017 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2017 Mix#3 here.

So the Crowning cassettes are now out! Pick them up right heeeeeya. But, before there was Crowning there was PREGNANCY PACT. In March of 2016 Justin Orr of PREGNANCY PACT emailed me in hopes for a write up about his new band's EP 'A Better Hill to Die On'. This more than peaked my interest so I told the band I would love to do a review but alas I was greeted with the following email:

"lol, just kidding. our bassist just got a job in san diego and is moving there in like 2 weeks. pregnancy pact is dead, long live pregnancy pact. the other 3 of us are starting anew thing asap though, so we'll send it to you when we get something recorded."

And then they did.

As much as I love Crowning, I would be at fault to not go back and push this release before it falls into internet obscurity. PREGNANCY PACT was, for the most part, a poppier Crowning. That is to say, PREGNANCY PACT was not poppy. Not even close. The screaming, blazing guitars and lightning quick drums are all there, but the songs always take a step back from the chaos to dabble in other genres that sometimes work great and sometimes feel forced. Let me explain.

"You'll Get Used to the Cold" is the opener, and what an opener! Busting outta the gates Logs and Carrion Spring style, the mixture of melodic and heavy guitars are wrapped up hoarse screams that fit everything perfectly. By 30 seconds shit gets even more intense and begins dripping of Youth Funeral and Loma Prieta before the peculiar but fitting mathy emo build that never quite reaches the power and commanding nature of the first two thirds of the song, although from 2:13 onward is pretty intense. Next up is "PK Love". To be honest the first minute doesn't really do anything for me with the gruff/clean vocals and almost twinkly emo sound, but the remaining two minutes is more than worth a listen because hot damn that's some good shit. "Charles Barkley Shut Up and Cry" begins just like the previous song and sounds like something from the derivative depths of NDE, but the emo style persists for the duration of the song, hence its absence from the embeds below. Closer "Moot" makes a point (ha) of getting back to what the band does best, and does so with additional instrumentation from trumpets by the end, which fit like a goddamn glove...Ace. At 30 seconds in the song goes bananas and swirls around with a fucking sick bassline and generally playful screamo not far from the likes of Matsuri and Polina.

This EP is definitely worth the download. Also, fucking Crowning, holy shit.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2016 - A Better Hill to Die On digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "You'll Get Used to the Cold" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "Moot" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

(2016) PREGNANCY PACT - "PK Love" (from 'A Better Hill to Die On')

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PREGNANCY PACT additional links

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Monday, 13 February 2017

***YOUTH FUNERAL exclusive interview***

Last month Casey from YOUTH FUNERAL agreed to answer a few of my questions. I had already reviewed the band, but goddamn that new 'Heavenward' LP is fantastic. You can pick it below from Dog Knights and Skeletal Lightning before it's sold out! For fans of: Loma Prieta,  and Crowning.

YOUTH FUNERAL 'Heavenward'
Bandcamp
Buy from Dog Knights
Buy from Skeletal Lightning

YOUTH FUNERAL has an upcoming show with The Hotelier in New Hampshire on March 24th, 2017:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1797408023841802/


1) Casey, please give us some vital information that we should know about you.
I’m not sure what I should consider vital. In this context, I’ll say my name is Casey Nealon and I play guitar and sing in Youth Funeral.

2) What path led you to your current tastes in music, and please touch on your route to screamo and Youth Funeral?
I’ve often felt drawn to the other in my life. I don’t think there was an exception with music. Lately I’ve been enjoying what my friends have been making with Savage Blind God, Krimewatch, Slow Fire Pistol, and Abuse Of Power.

As far as what led me to Youth Funeral, I have vivid memories of being driven around in my friend Ryan Boone's car when I was probably eighteen, and he was always playing this awful music that I couldn’t stand. One day I asked and he told me it was Saetia. I didn’t appreciate that music style for a while but eventually something clicked and that whole world opened up to me.

3) How did Youth Funeral start? Did you care to touch on Raph, as he used to be my contact for Youth Funeral and know that he is no longer in the band?
Youth Funeral started because of a mutual love for the music, chaotic passion, and creative freedom seen between bands like Raein, Ampere, and Jeromes Dream. Raph and I met in school when we were five years old. Our friendship persisted through going to school together most of our lives.

The high school we went to was the second largest in the United States, which led to us splitting during that time and falling into different social circles. Somehow, we independently refined our music tastes and our personal lives intersected again when we both started college and our bands would play together.
In what I will call the second chapter of our friendship, we decided to play music together and start Youth Funeral. As you noted, since we started, the people involved with the band have changed. Raph and Travis Fitzgerald were original members and I decided it would be best to move on as a three piece with another high school friend named Spencer Benson taking over on bass.

There are a number of reasons that led to Raph’s departure. In terms of the operation of Youth Funeral, it became apparent that Raph and I had different visions of what we wanted the band to be. In terms of Raph’s personal life, I don’t feel comfortable sharing anyone’s personal business on their behalf, but there were serious disagreements I had with his behavior in his own life during the end of his time in Youth Funeral. While this was far from an ideal end to our friendship, it was best for my mental health that we went our separate ways.

4) Tell us about the progression from EP to split to LP in terms of writing, recording, the final product and the band's influences.
Symptom Of Time was conceived and recorded in the span of one month with absolutely no time to actually consider what we created. For better or for worse, those songs were the foundation of Youth Funeral musically.
As I mentioned, Raph and I had different visions for Youth Funeral. The two of us would write our songs independently and then one of us would teach the other three people how to play them. I personally find it to be obvious which songs are written by either person and this lack of cohesion bothered me a lot and still irritates me when I reflect on our collective work.
Despite my criticisms, one common thread throughout our music are the influences. Everything is personal and introspective and meant to evoke an emotional reaction. Themes I’ve tried to explore are depression, paranoia, love, suicide, self-hatred, chaos, and others. With these two most recent releases, those influences are explored further.
"I Would Do It All Again" is what I would consider to be the first appearance of Youth Funeral in its most focused and complete incarnation. With visuals and sounds, I designed everything and wrote everything. Which is also the case with Heavenward.

5) What are your personal thoughts on 'Heavenward'?
I feel proud of Heavenward. The entity of the music carries deep meaning for me. I hope that people listen and find positivity within the experience.

6) How did your split with Scowler come about?
As far as I know, Raph and Scowler talked about doing a split since him, Travis, Mike, and I all liked their music. We played a show together in Lowell, Massachusetts a couple winters ago and we all briefly met. The split happened and we never played together again and no one in the band knows anyone in Scowler at this point. It’s kind of a bizarre lost connection to reflect on.

7) Can you delve deeper into the writing and recording process for Heavenward?
The music that was ultimately used for Heavenward began forming in the winter of 2015, around the time See You When I See You was released. By this time, Raph’s involvement with the band had waned to essentially non-existence. In-turn, any creative contribution he would have made was taken over by my own. Thus, I wrote all of the music for Heavenward, isolated in my bedroom. I would write a song, show Spencer and Mike at practice, and then we’d work through everything together. Though, the foundational composition of the music was all painfully obsessed over by myself in solitude.

There was a significant amount of revision that lead to what the music resembles now. For instance, there is a demo version of Lonely Man that we recorded with Niko Zaglaras and Neil Pandya at The Keep in Chicago. In that version, the main guitar part was overly complex, the bridge following the first verse didn’t exist, and the second verse used to be followed by what ultimately turned into the beginning of With Love I Weep. I decided that Lonely Man needed more room to breathe and that the latter half would work better becoming another separate piece.

As with every other record Youth Funeral has released, we went to Dead Air Studios. Everything was recorded live over two days with Will Killingsworth. There was some separate recording, as I play a second guitar track on the record, and we recorded vocals the day after the music.

8) What about the lyrical themes of Heavenward?
The lyrics are personal. There are intentionally recurring motifs throughout the songs and they are carefully ordered amongst themselves to present some relationships that I find valuable. The songs are based around experiences I’ve had. I don’t want to force people into any specific interpretation beyond what they hear and see themselves, so I’d like to refrain from sharing too much.

9) How has the reception to the new LP been? I saw you are almost sold out already! Plus you have a release show coming up?
I’m flattered by how people seem to like Heavenward. Everything about the record was extremely personal and I didn’t expect or need anyone to care about the record, beyond whatever would ease the burden of the parties kind enough to support its physical release. To see people react as positively as they have been to Heavenward is something I deeply appreciate.

We do have a release show coming up. Unfortunately, the original date had to be rescheduled due to Winter Storm Helena’s severe weather conditions. I’m currently in the process of booking the new date which will be in February.

10) Appease the gear heads.
I’m not much of a gear head myself so I don’t think I can appease them as much as their peers might be equipped to. I suppose I’ll describe what I personally use. For guitar, I alternate between using a special edition Fender Telecaster with two Seymour Duncan pearly gate humbucker pickups, and then on extremely rare occasions I use a 1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe with upgraded hardware that I forget the exact specifications of. For amplifiers, I’ve used a Sovtek Mig 100, Peavey VTM 120, and a now I exclusively use a Roland JC-120 2x12 combo. For cabinets, I have always used a Mesa Boogie 4x12 rectifier cab. For pedals, I currently use some combination of a Boss tuner, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Pro Co RAT, Boss reverb, and Boss noise suppressor. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

On our recordings, I can’t remember specifics, but I know for Heavenward I used a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia, and a Peavey 6505+ combo. I also tend to mess around with whatever interesting pedals Will has available, so there could have been some interesting combinations I’m forgetting about.

11) What chain of events led you to the current labels you work with?
Raph had been friends with Skeletal Lightning and Dog Knights Productions when the Scowler split was being planned. I simply retained a connection with both Sean and Darren after Raph left. Both parties were interested and excited about what we were making with Heavenward so we all collaborated together to release the record.

12) What did you want to say about DIY places being targeted and shut down?
The spaces being targeted are vital environments for providing an outlet to artists and all kinds of people. I understand the fear around their safety as I know from experience how structurally dangerous some places I’ve spent significant amounts of time in can be. However, I also understand the circumstances that lead to these spaces being the only option available to those who create and participate in them.

I do not want people to be hurt and I do not want spaces and communities to be lost.

13) Any thoughts on the world today?
The world today is a world of sharp edges. People need to take care of each other and practice patience and compassion.

14) What's next for Youth Funeral?
We will be on tour this summer. The two bands playing with us all agreed on the routing a week or so ago so we’ll start booking everything shortly. There will be more to share soon.

Thank you for all of the interest in what we’re doing.