Wednesday, 24 April 2019

'Last Word' by: RAYLEIGH

Year: 2019
For fans of: AmpereMahria, Frail HandsItto, Crowning, Nuvolascura, Blind Girls, Obroa-skaiУлыбайся Ветру, Loma Prieta and Capsule.

Review by Dave Cullen:

So pretend it's the summer of 2017, and pretend you're in Crowning and you're playing the midnight slot at a festival in Vancouver. Senza is there, Rayleigh is there, Dad Thighs, lots of cool people. Crowning isn't so much on tour, but rather on vacation with guitars, so we're looking around trying to figure out who we can borrow a full band worth of gear from. Rayleigh comes through and lets a bunch of strangers  borrow just about everything in their van. I might have even borrowed Cory's pants, i don't remember. Either way, Crowning plays a C+ set and we get the hell off the stage because somehow 3 more bands have to go on still. This anecdote doesn't really serve a purpose past revealing how biased I am.

So here we are at the final, posthumous release from Edmonton's own Rayleigh, harboring members of Mahria and Obroa-Skai. If you're familiar with Rayleigh then you know what you're in for; an onslaught of technical guitars, throaty screams, and a very structured lack of structure. And right here at the end, Rayleigh wears these 4 tracks better than any of their older material.

The first track, "Blood Letter", begins with a red herring as the ambience of an orchestra tuning is soon obliterated by the expected chaos that has come to define the Rayleigh experience. It always sounds as though the band writes songs 6 seconds at a time, in an almost Exquisite Corpse style, while their embrace of melody keeps them ever sounding all that mathy or disjointed. They seem to have found that elusive middle between straight forward and excessive. Sure there's some flexing in there, but it's never off-brand.

The fourth track, "Diamondback", is my clear favorite. I'm a real sucker for those opening guitar noodles and the constant rearranging of tempos. The lyrics paint a picture of a person intentionally cramming their mind with obligations and responsibilities in order to not spiral into worse thoughts. The line "Thoughts racing, body immobile. Will we wake from this Faustian nightmare?" is incredibly relatable. Who among us hasn't felt like Faust, transitioning helplessly from moment to moment, emotion to emotion, all the while being expected to participate and react accordingly.

And then it's over. The final chugs chug out for infinity and we're left with nothing but the aftertaste (and the other EP, and LP, and their old and new bands, and you can have whatever is in my pockets).  Definitely give this a listen. Definitely give their other stuff a listen. And definitely check out Mahria and Obroa-Skai when you get the chance.

Goodnight Rayleigh, thanks for the tunes.

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(2018) RAYLEIGH - "Blood Letter" (from 'Last Word')

(2018) RAYLEIGH - "Last Mechanical Art" (from 'Last Word')

(2018) RAYLEIGH - "Sun Stealer" (from 'Last Word')

(2018) RAYLEIGH - "Diamondback" (from 'Last Word')

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

ISTILAH

BandISTILAH
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence
Related artists?.
CountrySINGAPORE
Years Active2016-present
Song: "Listen Now Listen"
Album: "Fill the Void"
Year: 2018
For fans ofHerLens, Zdzis Law, Yarmulke, Blue Friend, Tröpical Ice Land, Orchid, The Ultimate Screamo Band, Coma Regalia, Via Fondo, Cape Light, Komusō, Sto Cosi Cosi, Forget Me Not, Dip Leg, Sans Visage and Suis La  Lune.
Label(s): Self Released / Dekaden Records / Canopus Distro
This post's artist is from the April 2019 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the April 2019 Mix#4 right here or get the new May 2019 Mix#5 here.

If you've been following this blog you'll likely have come across a few posts gushing about ISTILAH. I first heard the three-piece Singapore screamo/emo-violence band when my friend Jörg (Machina Rex, Yung Nat$, Swallows Nest) showed me in a podcast that we did together back when I lived in New Zealand (check it out here). The song he showed me is titled "Lightning in a circle" and can be found on the band's 2016 'Demo'. The four-song debut EP is excellent, utilizing classic screamo/emo-violence riffing with desperate screams that comes off sounding very Japanese and I fucking love it. Opener "Never again" hits the Orchid meets Yarmulke vibes nicely while "Nothing" climbs like Indian Summer before rooting to a sick groove. The same year they released another two tracks on the 4-way split w/5000Ilill and Rûth including "Time will tell" which is a cool jam tail-ended by an outro that is very, very Suis La Lune.

It was 2018's 'Fill the Void' that pushed me from like to love, as the eight tracks take a slightly more aggressive approach which makes the Japanese style so much more obvious, whether intentional or not I don't give a damn cuz I've been eating this shit up for over six months. There are some very cool vocal patterns in "Listen Now Listen" that start about 25 seconds in and drives the music during the pulsating ridiculousness preceding the Yage-esque at close. There's a ton of cool stuff in "Apartheid", including the eerie/swirling section about 30 seconds in and a sick, epic palm mute midsection that is easily one of my favourite parts on the record. "Crisis Point" has a frantic opening that slides into a nice groove with an added, high, dipping guitar riff while "Between Trees" does much of the same chaos before doing dreamy emo for final half. "Unjust" is fire and doesn't let up for its two-minute entirety and boasts a really cool ending that is rooted in a guitar ring-out over drumroll that first hits at 1:08.

I don't know what ISTILAH is doing next but I'll be all over it when it comes out.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2016 - Demo cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)
2016 - 4-way split cd w/5000Ilill and Rûth (stream/donate/download here)

2018 - Fill the Void EP (stream/buy here)

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(2018) ISTILAH - "Apartheid" (from 'Fill the Void')

(2018) ISTILAH - "Listen Now Listen" (from 'Fill the Void')

(2018) ISTILAH - "Unjust" (from 'Fill the Void')

(2016) ISTILAH - "Time will tell" (from '4-Way' split)

(2016) ISTILAH - "Nothing" (from 'Demo')

(2016) ISTILAH - "Never Again" (from 'Demo')

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ISTILAH additional links

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Monday, 22 April 2019

SHOT TWICE

BandSHOT TWICE
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Powerviolence / Grindcore / Noise / Metal
Related artists: Поминай как звали.
CountryMoscow RUSSIA
Years Active2015-present
Song: "Zäh"
Album: "Worsen"
Year: 2018
For fans ofBuran, Aspergers, Minaret, Euglena, Graf Orlock, Pig Destroyer, Six Brew Bantha, Carl Johnson, Lora, Hexis, Afterlife Kids and Storm{o}.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the April 2019 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the April 2019 Mix#4 right here or get the new May 2019 Mix#5 here.

SHOT TWICE are a self-described screamo/powerviolence/emo-violence/fastcore band from Moscow, and they nailed that description on their 2018 debut EP 'Worsen'. Five songs in just 8 minutes gives you an idea of the speed before even listening to the music.

The digital (as far as I can tell) EP wastes no time dismembering the listener with the 43-second introductory blast "Не смешно (вообще)", but it's the second track "Льву с моего герба стыдно на нём находиться" that takes the blazing hardcore and trains it to restrain enough that the song unloads over two minutes instead of in the blink of an eye. This track gives me strong Euglena and Storm{o} vibes, but the subsequent two fly by quickly before the mindfuck of a closer "Reported Speech Translation Problems" comes in to sweep away your ashes.

This music is dirty, dark, angry and explosive, so if you're looking for a relaxing listen maybe just jam something else. This is music for the world we live in, and it mirrors the truth to a t.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2018 - Worsen digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2018) SHOT TWICE - "Льву с моего герба стыдно на нём находиться" (from 'Worsen')

(2018) SHOT TWICE - "Zäh" (from 'Worsen')

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SHOT TWICE additional links

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