Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Monday, 23 January 2017

TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Emotive Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsHeritage Unit, Dream Caste, Summer Vacation, Moldar and Winter Break.
CountryCalifornia USA
Years Active2010-2016
Song: "Bern"
Album: "Ten Thousand Leagues"
Year: 2016
For fans ofJoshua Fit For BattleEndamoriCapacities, What Of Us, A Company Of Heroes, Waifle, PG.99, Desiderata, Lautrec, Heritage Unit, Dolcim, Deers!, Loma Prieta, Youth Funeral, Dream Caste, Flashbulb Memory, Transistor Transistor, Greyskull and Fugazi aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Kyeo Speaks / 
This post's artist is from the December 2016 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the January 2017 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2017 Mix#2 here.

I slept on this band for too long. Luckily I had enough sense to grab their discography back in early 2016 before they dropped their unreal final release 'Ten Thousand Leagues'.

With the band starting in 2010, that same year they released their 'Demo' that may or may not have also turned into a split with a band called Archetype but I'm not sure if that idea was fully actualized. The five songs are all good but none really stand out as favourites, most likely because it seems like TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES were still figuring out who they were. I think some bands more akin to the early work would be LautrecFlashbulb Memory and Dream Caste. "Timepiece" has a part at 1:30ish that sounds (especially vocally) like the spastic and paranoid sounds of Desiderata the while "Blank Scripture" gets pretty fucking heavy at 1:22 and foreshadows the violent material to come on later releases, as does "Forfeit This Routine".

In 2011 they released a 'split with John Cota' which is pretty decent but the opener "Burning Victim" takes the cake with very impressive dark, bassy and screamy hardcore.  In 2012 the band embraced their anger and got crazy heavy and chaotic. A prime example of this, much like the aforementioned "Burning Victim", is opener "Robin Scherbatsky". This little ditty is devastating but does take quick breathers here and there to gather more steam for another explosive tantrum. A few tracks on here are demos from the 2016 album which I should move on to now...

The powerful, surging nature of TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES was perfectly captured on their final 'Ten Thousand Leagues' full length. This self title annihilates the listener with cathartic and draining screamo not unlike Level Plane Records' Joshua Fit For Battle and my friends in Endamori. Tracks like "Bern", "Prat", "Jennifer" and "Canada" are fantastic songs that make me fucking giddy as hell every time I jam them. It's also worth nothing that this release was my #8 LP of 2016 and the proceeds from online sales went straight to Standing Rock. Although it was released in 2016 it was technically written from 2012-2014 and recorded in 2014. Why the wait? I dunno.

No more sleeping, get on this!

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DISCOGRAPHY

2010 - Demo EP (stream/donate/download here)

2011 - John Cota split EP (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - 2012 Summer Tour Demo EP (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - Ten Thousand Leagues digital LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2016) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Bern" (from 'Ten Thousand Leagues')

(2016) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Prat" (from 'Ten Thousand Leagues')

(2016) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Jennifer" (from 'Ten Thousand Leagues')

(2012) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Robin Scherbatsky" (from 'Winter Tour Demo')

(2012) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Disassemble Monoliths" aka "Prat (demo)" (from 'Winter Tour Demo')

(2011) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Burning Victim" (from 'John Cota' split)

(2010) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Blank Scripture" (from 'Demo')

(2010) TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES - "Forfeit This Routine" (from 'Demo')

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TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES additional links

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

***THE WORLD THAT SUMMER Tour Diary - Day #3***

THE WORLD THAT SUMMER - Day #3

DateSeptember 23rd, 2016

Location@Soybomb in Toronto, Ontario

Players: Shahman (release party), Slow Mass, Fond and The World That Summer

Genres coveredpunk, experimental indie rock, shoegaze, emo, post-hardcore, post-metal




THE WORLD THAT SUMMER
Our last day of "tour" (hah!) and it was a blast. We got to play Soybomb a second time as a THE WORLD THAT SUMMER before it's (most likely) untimely demise in January of 2017. Getting to the venue from Montreal (show review here) was no sweat but getting home afterwards wasn't so easy, as we came across some flaming wreckage coming into Mississauga. I think we played pretty well, albeit fast and angry because it took us forever to get things ready cuz of a borrowed amp wiring fiasco. Nonetheless we just cut one song and blasted through as quick as we could, but what came of it was us enjoying playing even more. Especially Jesse, cuz he was frustrated. An angry Jesse means an awesome drummer for the night. Here is the first song on our upcoming 10" split with Nionde Plågan that we should have in our hands in February. It's called "What is Dead May Never Die" and is a high five to Game Of Thrones and a massive middle finger to people in power.
ffo: Circle Takes The Square and Fall Of Efrafa
Bandcamp
cd / tape / shirt / stickers
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FOND
Here are the first two FOND videos from the band's (ex-Animal Faces) very first show. This logical progression from the final three Animal Faces releases, it is the same two on guitar/bass with Rob from Shahman on drums. The songs are generally post-rock/emo shoegaze with a dreamy, hazy garage rock twist. I've got more videos from their show on November 30th in Hamilton so those will be posted in a week or two with the Shahman interview.
Link to song *2*
ffo: Animal Faces and Worst Gift
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SLOW MASS
I'd never even heard of SLOW MASS before, but holy fuck they blew me away. Ten seconds into their opener "Dark Dark Energy" I was digging hard, with perfectly placed plucking and a soft/loud dynamic that has hit single written all over it, although I'm sure that won't be the case :( The band plays an amazing mixture of Cursive, Worst Gift and perhaps even Weezer inspired indie rock with some thick, hammering cuts mixed in with the ultimate groovy songs. Check out the opener below but be sure to jam "Nice But Not Kind" as it is very different but just as amazing. Their 12"LP 'Treasure Pains' was an accidental exclusion from my top albums of 2016 because I somehow erased their name when compiling my list. God fucking damn it.
Links to songs: 
"Treasure Pains"
"Nice But Not Kind"
ffo: Pile and My Dad
Bandcamp
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SHAHMAN
SHAHMAN is the collective effort of brothers Pete and Rob who reside in Toronto. They have been making music for a long time and it shows. This was their release show for the "Fragments of a Distant Light" tape LP (which I have in stock here, as well as their last two 12"s here and here). It awesome. If you like dreamy, weaving and intoxicating atmospheric indie rock then holy moly this is for you. They also run Art Of The Uncarved Block (a label). Look out for an extensive interview with the twins in the next two weeks!
Link to song: *2*
ffo: Nirvana and Slint
Bandcamp
Facebook
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

ARKATA

BandARKATA
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Metalcore / Black Metal / Post-Metal
Related artistsSiesta, Foreigns, Lightning For Legs, Venns, Horselover, Authors, Akroid, Nations, August and Eject.
CountryToronto, Ontario CANADA
Years Active2000-2003
Song: "Own Private Chaos"
Album: "Your Lack of Attendance"
Year: 2001
For fans ofLoftusWeak Wrists, Cold Craving, Machina GenovaThe Assistant, Easy LoverCircles Over Sidelights, Ruptures, The Love And Terror CultLitany For The Whale, Caitlyn Bailey, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Anodes, Crestfallen, Bury Me Standing, Uziel, O' God The White Whale, Black Kites, (early) The Bled, Examination Of The..., Jude The Obscure, Tel Fyr, La Mantra De Fhiqria, Beast JesusMajority Rule, (early) Curl Up And Die, Lyed and Circle Takes The Square aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Fashion Machine
This post's artist is from the January 2017 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the January 2017 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2017 Mix#2 here.

ARKATA recorded a handful of releases from 2000 to 2002 in a violent yet subtely melodic clusterfuck of hardcore, metal and screamo. The Toronto band sounded almost like a The BledLoftus, Weak Wrists and The Assistant conglomerate, but the closest and fairest comparisons would be Cold Craving and Loftus.

Their early work certainly does not pale in comparison to their later work, and literally everything by the band is worth checking out, even if demo versions seem to pop up regularly. The debut EP 'Box' was created in 2000 but mostly rerecorded for the 2001 'Your Lack of Attendance', save one song, the relatively chill "What's My Number?". Despite being the predecessor to an excellent sophomore album, they still retain their punch and are an interesting listen even after hearing the fleshed out and tightened 2001 material. Speaking of the 2001 material, 'Your Lack of Attendance' is seven songs of perfectly balanced metallic and screamy hardcore. Four of the songs were rerecorded and three others are brand spankin' new, including three of the best songs, "We are the Faithful", "Own Private Chaos" and "Money Calls It". "Own Private Chaos" is my personal favourite which juxtaposes dreamy and soft instrumentals (see Old Soul) with the danceable but heavy as fuck breakdowns of Loftus. The intro is intricately woven clean instrumentals and screaming (think Swan Of Tuonela or maybe even Saetia) until 1:08 when the first catchy-ass breakdown hooks hard. "The Absence of Truth" is the closer and packs a fucking wallop not but 14 seconds in, as you've got the first avalanche of menacing breakdowns followed by some passionate screaming of, "It's all that I have!" and closing with the audio equivalent of death at exactly two minutes in.

2002 was the final year for ARKATA, but the Toronto band recorded a bunch of songs (14 over 3 releases, to be exact) before their demise. The first was the 'Fabric/Portrait' two-song EP which is good but doesn't match the beautiful balancing act of the much aforementioned 'Your Lack of Attendance'. The next four-song EP titled 'The Last Dance' is excellent and is a worthy continuation of the 2001 release. The songs "Atmosphere" and "Diminutive" are killer tracks, as the former is really fucking dark (those dual vocals and stop/start thing they got going at 42 seconds in are stupid good) while the latter houses some of the most epic and melodic passages ARKATA ever concocted, a prime example being the section beginning 36 seconds in and again at 1:25. The final release is a collection of the demos from a session for 'Where & When' that contain a total of 8 tracks and may or may not have been intended for a final LP. The demos range in quality, with some vocals sounding just a bit off at points, but songs like "Down With Pants", "Weiners n' Tang" and "The Trunk of My Car" are fucking bangers. "The Trunk of My Car" is my personal favourite on this final recording even though it's just the new demo of "Atmosphere". It seems pretty noticeable at this point that ARKATA had shed most of their early screamo tendencies and immersed themselves more in their metallic post-hardcore sound. This shift is kind of like listening to 'Hugs and Drugs' era Loftus followed by early Curl Up And Die.

I've only just discovered this hidden gem. Bask in this with me, it's awesome.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2000 - Box EP (stream/donate/download here)

2001 - Your Lack of Attendance EP (stream/donate/download here)

2002 - Fabric/Portrait EP (stream/donate/download here)
2002 - The Last Dance EP (stream/donate/download here)
2002 - Where & When demo EP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2002) ARKATA - "Atmosphere" (from 'The Last Dance')

(2002) ARKATA - "Diminutive" (from 'The Last Dance')

(2002) ARKATA - "Down With Pants" (from 'Where & When demo')

(2002) ARKATA - "Weiners 'n Tang" (from 'Where & When demo')

(2002) ARKATA - "Fabric" (from 'Fabric/Portrait')

(2001) ARKATA - "The Absence of Truth" (from 'Your Lack of Attendance')

(2001) ARKATA - "Own Private Chaos" (from 'Your Lack of Attendance')

(2001) ARKATA - "We are the Faithful" (from 'Your Lack of Attendance')

(2000) ARKATA - "What's My Number?" (from 'Box')

(2000) ARKATA - "Complacent (Going Down)" (from 'Box')

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ARKATA additional links

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Monday, 16 January 2017

***THE WORLD THAT SUMMER Tour Diary - Day #2***

THE WORLD THAT SUMMER - Day #2

DateSeptember 22nd, 2016

Location@La Vitrola in Montreal, Quebec

PlayersCarcajou, The World That Summer, In The Name Of Havoc and The Owls Seem What They Are Not

Genres coveredpunk, experimental indie rock, emo, screamo, hardcore, post-hardcore, metal, post-metal



THE OWLS SEEM WHAT THEY ARE NOT
A late addition to the show, this (I think) 7-piece came in as a 3-piece (guitar, violin and vocals/flute/additional guitar) which made so much more sense after I found out that they were short four members. The songs had moments of clarity and sections of awkward space, and I think the video linked below is a prime example. The first five minutes is fantastic and I love the lullaby of earthy, womby tranquility it provides, but the final four minutes seems to lack cohesion (likely due to more than 50% of the members being absent) and wandered to the point of me turning off the camera to conserve battery. I would love to see them fully formed.
ffo: Godspeed, You! Black Emperor and Cursive
Facebook
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IN THE NAME OF HAVOC
We played with IN THE NAME OF HAVOC the month prior at this show and we were impressed, plus the members were nice people. Buuut what the hell, at this show we were not impressed, we were fucking blown away. Not only did the locals play newer material, they also sounded great and were tight as fuck. I was especially blown away by the drumming, dear lord. 
Link to song *2*
ffo: Every Time I Die and Thrice
Bandcamp
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THE WORLD THAT SUMMER
This was a very fun show. We had a sound person so the videos sound more powerful than usual, I'd say. Although we chose a very sweet intro from Mr. Robot for the beginning of "What is Dead May Never Die", I've chosen our song "No Hugs for Lucas" from the upcoming 2x12" titled 'Eight Feet Under' that is currently at the plant. A million thanks to Max and Kenny for helping set up this show for us, it was an awesome night!
ffo: Black Love and Alexisonfire
Bandcamp
cd / tape / shirt / stickers
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CARCAJOU
I knew Jonathan, the vocalist of the now defunct Nous Étions, before seeing CARCAJOU and I'd also heard the band's first demos from over a year earlier. Neither of those things prepared me for what was to come, because CARCAJOU fucking owned. Seriously I was blown away. The epic songs ranged from a few minutes to 10 and included storytelling, enough genre shifts to tilt a camel, amazing individual instrumental work (ranging from metal/hardcore to screamy jazz) as well as a commanding vocal presence by Jonathan and his myriad of screams, yells and growls. It should also be noted that all four videos below are good, but I just happened to not film the best two or three songs, so in all honesty these don't even do the band the justice they deserved from that night. Look the fuck out when these fine folks release their next record cuz it's going to floor you.
Link to songs: *2* / *3* / *4*
ffo: Nous Étions and Daitro
Bandcamp
Facebook
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Sunday, 15 January 2017

PORTRAITS OF PAST

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Emotive Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Experimental
Related artistsFuneral Diner, ...Who Calls So Loud, Torches To Rome, The Audience, Nexus 6, Tamaryn and Vue.
CountrySan Francisco, California USA
Years Active1993-1996 / 2008-2010
Song: "Bang Yer Head"
Album: "0100101110100011100100100"
Year: 1996
For fans ofFuneral Diner, The State Secedes, Maximillian Colby, City Of Caterpillar, Hoover, Indian Summer, Ecorche, Bright Calm Blue, People's Temple Project, Heritage Unit, Drive Like Jehu, Ruhaeda, Shotmaker, Inkwell, Mohinder, Lincoln, Honeywell, Closure, Suffocate For Fuck Sake, Life At These Speeds, Encyclopedia Of American Traitors, Yaphet Kotto, Still Life, Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, ...Who Calls So Loud, The Khayembii Communique, Angel Eyes, Nexus 6 and Youth Novel aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Ebullition Records / Excursions Into The Abyss
This post's artist is from the December 2016 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the January 2017 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2017 Mix#2 here.

"Throw out all your Thursday records, this record is the true emo jams" is the quote I was greeted with on Interpunk by a single buyer review back in the day when they stocked the "0100101110100011100100100" 12"LP by PORTRAITS OF PAST. This long lost review will forever live in my mind, as the subsequent purchase of the LP opened up my ears to the groundwork laid for future screamo bands sharing the same members (Funeral Diner) as well as a plethora of other bands, most notably the recently reunited City Of Caterpillar and the Swedish powerhouse Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket.

Although the foundation was put down, there is literally no band that sounds like PORTRAITS OF PAST. They had such an unmistakable sound to them. The guitars had a metallic (not heavy metal), clangy and industrial tweak to them which made the band sound like they plugged in their guitars to some kind of bizarre musical factory assembly machine. That might sound like an insult, but it definitely isn't, as I don't think I could ever get PORTRAITS OF PAST mixed up with another band. I also love the shit out of their discography. The instrumentals aren't too far from Indian Summer's dreamy and intoxicating material, but are certainly on the heavier end of the spectrum. The vocals are top notch and screamed like someone recently stabbed in the leg with a jagged and possibly acid-dipped record shard. Aside from the emotionally charged screams there are a few sections with serene and distant clean singing.

Early PORTRAITS OF PAST, aka the 'Demo' tape and 'Bleed split' 7", was abrasive and raw with a fair amount of screechiness to it all, not unlike The Encyclopedia Of American TraitorsInkwellMakara and early Saetia.

The emotionally jarring wall of dark, driving, epic and screamy post-hardcore was perfectly encapsulated on '0100101110100011100100100', one of the most important screamo records of all time. A mindfuck of an opener, "KQED Equals Volvo" is 1:37 of raging, chaotic hardcore complete with frantic and dissonant instrumentals, ravenous vocals and general violence that are reminiscent of the unheralded greats Ruhaeda. "Bang Yer Head" is my go-to PORTRAITS OF PAST song. It opens much more optimistic than any other song on the record, but by 27 seconds the band has lost interest in simple melodies and opt for batshit crazy hardcore that sounds as if City Of Caterpillar were way less patient and much more upset. This chaos ensues although it dips back in to accentuating the scattered fragments of atmospheric post-hardcore, and does so beautifully, for the entirety of the song's 7:13 duration. "The Control Freak" is relatively short for the band at 2:57 and includes some of those aforementioned clean vocals, with the entire ordeal packing quite a punch. "Inspirations of a Sinkhole Mentality" is a builder, complete with cracked, deserted stretches of barren landscapes as well as powerful, focused and stimulating sections of screamy hardcore. "The Outlook is Bleak" begins like most early Funeral Diner songs, with guiding winds that suddenly amalgamate into a massive, swirling tornado. This intro is one minute in length but completely mesmerizing as it bleeds in to the proceeding section as it saunters through the soft/hard dynamic until 3:30 when shit gets real dark and devastating but closes post-four minutes in classic PORTRAITS OF PAST style. "Snicker Snicker" is the longest outing, clocking in at 7:46, followed by my now favourite PORTRAITS OF PAST jam "Something Less Than Intended", which is another lengthy number at 6:08 that closes this masterpiece. The slow but methodical introduction to this is awkward, expansive as well as engaging and soon bows out to usher in the passionate, unrestrained, explosive energy that made PORTRAITS OF PAST one of the most important screamo bands of all time, cuz this shit is just mindblowing, plain and simple.

In 2008 the band announced a reunion which led to shows and a new EP titled 'Cypress Dust Witch'. I was relatively skeptical at first, but "Fire Song" is a very promising start to generally shitty post-decade reunion material conjured by most bands. It is quite noticeable that PORTRAITS OF PAST kept their unique sound but added an uncountable amount of tweaks and micro evolutions. "Cypress Dust Witch" is probably the closest thing to what the 1996 LP sounded like, although the increased production and general songwriting skills are enhanced. "Thought to an End" is the best song on here which boasts some killer riffs and deathbed cries. "Cypress Dust Witch II - Bridge" is another incredible song and follow up to track three, as it rocks like an epic extension of the final ...Who Calls So Loud albums.

Haven't heard PORTRAITS OF PAST? Throw out whatever fuckin' emo jam is in your hands and come back with me to the beginning. Know all about'em? Well I'd strongly suggest listening again because this review sparked a fire in me for the band that I haven't felt since I picked up their quintessential LP back in 2002.

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

1993 - Demo cassetteEP

1994 - Bleed split 7"EP

1996 - 0100101110100011100100100 cd/12"LP

2009 - Cypress Dust Witch cd/12"EP

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(1996) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "Something Less Than Intended" (from '0100101110100011100100100')

(1996) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "Bang Yer Head" (from '0100101110100011100100100')

(1996) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "KQED Equals Volvo" (from '0100101110100011100100100')

(2009) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "Thought to an End" (from 'Cypress Dust Witch')

(2009) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "Cypress Dust With II - Bridge" (from 'Cypress Dust Witch')

(2008) PORTRAITS OF PAST - Reunion show full live set

(1994) PORTRAITS OF PAST - "Journeyman" (from 'Bleed' split)

(1993) PORTRAITS OF PAST - Demo (full album)

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PORTRAITS OF PAST out of print mp3 discography download

(download here)
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