Wednesday 27 September 2017

***OSTRACA exclusive video interview***

BandOSTRACA formerly Kilgore Trout
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Metal / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Noise / Black Metal / Doom
Related artists60659-C, .gif from godSwan Of Tuonela, Listless and Kaoru Nagisa.
CountryRichmond/Fairfax, Virginia U.S.A.
Years Active2009-present
Song: "Waiting for the Crash"
Album: "Last"
Year: 2017
For fans ofSwan Of Tuonela, 60659-C, PG.99, Kelut, Majority Rule, Caust, Funeral Diner, Old Soul, Saligia, June Paik, The State Secedes, Anodes, Welcome The Plague Year, мища, Cathedraal, Neil Perry, Gillian Carter, Union Of Uranus, Love Lost But Not Forgotten, Locktender, Guidelines, The Now, Flesh Born, Orchid, .gif from god and City Of Caterpillar aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Icorrupt Records / Middle Man Records / Zegema Beach Records / Rainbow Bridge / Quiet Year Records / 
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

Holy shit, we're finally here. Fuckin' OSTRACA. 2017 is definitely the year to write this post, despite the fact that I've been following the band since about 2014. Releasing both a split 12" with Flesh Born and a full length 12" titled 'Last' this year, not only was I blown away by both, but I was able to see them twice in Germany, once in Croatia and able to interview them at Cry Me A River Fest 2017. Here is said interview, and a million thanks to Gus, Brian and John for taking the time to talk to me. I love y'all.

With members also playing in .gif from god and 60659-C, both of which are amazing and also have released on the label I run (Zegema Beach Records), this is the ultimate beast. OSTRACA opts for blazing speed, massive and epic climaxes as well as chill, subdued interludes. In a more succinct description, they've got it all. Not only that, or perhaps because of that, a direct comparison to a single other band is outrageous. OSTRACA sounds like OSTRACA, plain and simple. The only plausible correlations in direct sound would be other bands that the members have played in, most notably 60659-C, Swan Of Tuonela and .gif from god. There may be bits and pieces of slight resemblance with City Of Caterpillar, Majority Rule and PG.99, but as a whole no song ever comes close to sounding like OSTRACA's influences.

After string of releases from 2009 until 2014 as four-piece KILGORE TROUT, the band became a trio of Gus (bass/vocals), Brian (guitar/backup vocals) and John (drums). They collectively chose the name OSTRACA and quickly released 'Deathless', to much acclaim, in 2015. After a brief period of being labeled, "OSTRACA, previously KILGORE TROUT", the band quickly became "OSTRACA" within the screamo community. Now, with the two 2017 releases under their belt...oh wait, soon to be three (the upcoming 'Yarrow' 4-way split 10"), they have undoubtedly shed the weight of their dead skin and come into their own. So, let's go through release by release starting with the stuff I just said is no longer relevant to the band...oh, Dave! You silly rascal. But seriously, I have to include this all in the post as otherwise the history wouldn't be correct.

Only have recently listened to the very first KILGORE TROUT release, it's a weird experience considering where the band is now. 'The Animal Split' is crudely recorded, muddled and lacking in cohesive direction. It's an interesting but not thoroughly enjoyable listen when compared to every release hereafter.

The song "Hollow" opens the 2011 'False Flag split', complete with distant, wretched screams and dreamy ambiance, perhaps even more so than the band's later work. But they don't forget to go a little nutty, take "Rose Quartz" for example, as from 46 seconds to 1:23 and 2:24 onward shit goes pretty crazy. "Visita Interiora" takes a nice middle road through screamy as well as atmospheric territory, and is perhaps the strongest track on the split, but the first song is also a keeper.

'The Golden Altar/The Black Hourglass' EP is a good bridge between the 2011 split and 2013 LP. It's dark. It's dark as fuck. Imagine Majority Rule, late Textbook Traitors and early Circle Takes The Square. Opener "Roads" is slow and brooding, while "Departure" boasts an extremely rhythmic midsection. But it's "In Tongues" that steals the show in less than a minute, with back and forth screams and growls amidst a massive breakdown. "(I) Regression" and "(III) In/Finite" are two other awesome track that go all over the place but are generally blazing, in opposite relation to "(II) Dead of Night" which is an ambient, epic and evil soundtrack for the mood created by this EP.

Also released in 2013 was 'Immemorial', which begins with a short blast of noisy screamo not unlike their post-KILGORE TROUT material and sibling 60659-C with "Refied" as well as track four's "Redemptive". Track two is the epic "In Dust, In Shadow, In Nothing", a much longer affair that builds to a huge climax a tad after 2:30 with multiple vocalists and beautifully crushing instrumentals. Closer "Mechanism (Emergent)" is also a noteworthy track is it dabbles in some Mono-esque post-rock instrumentals to help bring the song (and EP) to a prodigious conclusion.

Not to be left out is "No Family", a 3:19 romp through driving, screamy and awesome hardcore which was situated on a '4-Way split' 7" with a few other bands.

The final KILGORE TROUT release before evolving into OSTRACA is the 'Correspondence' EP. The first track is called "All Things Being Equal" and it lays waste to the listener until it gets very City Of Caterpillar-esque screamo from 1:34 to 2:30. It is here when the song seemingly culminates, only to drop and then begins yet another build, making the final minute beautiful to behold. Goddamn. The second song "Pyrrhic" has that PG.99 and Majority Rule feel to it as the opening slowly sweeps across the room, darkening it with a deep, lulling melody. The midsection is fantastic RVA screamo while the end disintegrates in the void of noise that infuses a bit of Me And Him Call It Us venom.

In 2015 shit got nuts, people had been talking about KILGORE TROUT but when 'Deathless' was released, OSTRACA were a band that people were raving about. And with just cause. The six-track LP is unlike any release that year. It weaves a mysterious and dark sound that plays out as a complete album and not a collection of songs. "Without Articulation" is a rousing opener, with a perfectly crafted, simplistic and atmospheric intro that builds to Orchid levels by 50 seconds and gets fucking insane at 1:22 with absolute carnage complete with death growls. 2:10 to 3:24 sounds a like nod in June Paik's direction, and the subsequent breakdown is goddamn textbook. Wowza. "Half Transformed" is next, harnessing mesmerizing instrumental layering at the front and back end with an opposing, nightmarish, heavy midsection. "When Is It Ever Different" is a brooding, bass-heavy and relatively soft segue into the second half of the record, which begins with the seemingly lulling "Pyrrhic" that soon unfolds into a beast. "Another Mask" follows in ridiculously epic fashion, with a beauty and fury unmatched on the record. The monstrous "All Watched Over" closes the release, with massive builds over the stretch of nearly 10 minutes.

Now, I've always been a fan of OSTRACA. I liked 'Deathless' when it came out and was impressed, but it wasn't until 2016 that I went from liking to being a huge OSTRACA fan. It started with the 2016 Swamp Fest compilation that came out a week or two before the fest happened and it contained a previously unreleased track called "All I Was, In Ashes" which floored me. I was excited to hear the split 12" as well as the full length 12", and I was able to catch the band live closing out the fest (reviewed here with videos). I went from being excited to being absolutely stoked. So all of this led to me checking out and first falling in love with their split 12" with Flesh Born, a truly epic split. "The Lucid Outline" is a hazy, dreamy opener while the aforementioned second track, "All I Was, In Ashes" steals the show. After an eerie first 40 seconds, the band moves into attack mode that culminates with fantastic dual vocals that Brian kicks off at 1:10. At 1:40 it retreats back into brooding June Paik and City Of Caterpillar territory and slowly climbs to the five-minute mark when shit goes ballistic. The final OSTRACA song here is titled "Decay and Fall" that is the heaviest track on the either side of the split. After an initial pummeling, it scales back the speed and focuses on obliterating the listener with a behemoth of a breakdown followed by an apocalyptic midsection and at 1:36 the song takes a dip in the 9th circle of hell and never makes it back out again. Perhaps the heaviest OSTRACA song ever. Holy fucking shit.

Released whilst on tour in June 2017, OSTRACA's 'Last' is the current height of perfection. Seriously this is an truly exceptional full length that is highlighted by the experimental opener "Waiting For the Crash". The cataclysmic force of the song is slightly softened and beautifully accentuated by the halfway sung/halfway yelled vocals that Gus graces us with amidst his absolutely shredding screams. The pounding, god-like drive of the song is one of the best things I've heard all year and hope they play around with more of this kind of stuff. Next up is the banger of the record, "The Orchard", which goes fucking nutso all the way through its 2:04 duration. Prepare yourself for that section from 0:32 to 1:27, as it is nothing but jaw-dropping, sinister breakdowns that are still catchy as all hell and complete with shrieking pterodactyl vocals. "Childlike" takes a nice middle ground between the melodies of track one and the batshit insanity of track two. At 4:41 it slowly creeps in, with subtle heaviness embedded in layers of warmth that eventually overheat and ignite at 1:53 and explodes just before three minutes. The very lengthy "Nausea" opens side B and reaches 9:50 in length. It's a decent song but after those first three slaps in the face, part of me wonders why this wasn't the closer. Track five is "Confronting Imagism", which brings things back down to a shorter, typical and pulverizing take on dark hardcore with deep, unstable lull from about 1:15 to two minutes. Closing the LP is the colossal "Worn Away", an epic song that takes everything the band has from both ends of the spectrum and knits them together masterfully.

As stated earlier, I was able to catch their set Zagreb, Croatia and I posted the four songs I captured in this post linked here. Coming up in October will be the Cry Me A River Fest recap post with a bunch of full sets including Cassus, Saligia as well as a Republic Of Dreams interview. Until then, here is the OSTRACA full set from their Cry Me A River Fest 2017 performance. Special thanks to Sven from Republic Of Dreams for helping me film the set. Jam it here or in the embedded videos below. While at CMAR I was able to sit down with the three awesome folks in OSTRACA and we did a little video interview thingy which is embedded at the top of this post, in the video section below and also linked here.

Not only do I get to premiere the OSTRACA video interview and live set from CMAR, but (((((OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain))))) is also revealing the four bands on the upcoming 'Yarrow' 10" split. The record will be coming out on the German Icorrupt Records, American Middle Man Records and my Canadian/New Zealand label Zegema Beach Records. OSTRACA contributes two tracks recorded during the 'Last' sessions, the first is short but very dense number while the second is an eclectic romp through epic OSTRACA screamo and is included from 18:45 to 21:40 (aka the last song) in the full CMAR set (linked here). The bands are as follows:
UNTOLD WANT - Bandcamp
OSTRACA - Bandcamp

Hold on to your butts, because OSTRACA owns 2017 and it ain't even over yet.



     ***as Kilgore Trout:
     2011 - The Animal Split w/Cattle-T ???? (stream/donate/download here)
     2011 - False Flag split cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

     2013 - Immemorial cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here)
     2013 - The Golden Altar/The Black Hourglass EP? (stream/donate/download here)
     2013 - 4-Way split 7"EP (w/Loud?, Girl Scouts and Secret Plot To Destroy The Universe) (stream/donate/download here)

     2014 - Correspondence EP (stream/donate/download here)

***as Ostraca:
2015 - Deathless cassette/12"LP (stream/buy here)

2016 - Swamp Fest II compilation cassette (stream/donate/buy here)

2017 - Last 12"LP (stream/buy here)
2017 - Moving Faces of the Year (aka split w/Flesh Born) 12"EP (stream/buy here)
2017 - Yarrow 10"LP (4-Way split w/Coma Regalia, Untold Want and Vril)


(2017) OSTRACA - video interview

(2017) OSTRACA - full set @Cry Me A River Fest 2017

(2017) OSTRACA - "Waiting for the Crash" (from 'Last')

(2017) OSTRACA - "The Orchard" (from 'Last')

(2017) OSTRACA - "All I Was, In Ashes" (from 'Faces of the Moving Year')

(2017) OSTRACA - "Waiting For the Crash" live @Swamp Fest 2016

(2015) OSTRACA - "Without Articulation" (from 'Deathless')

(2015) OSTRACA - "Another Mask" (from 'Deathless')

(2014) KILGORE TROUT - "All Things Being Equal" (from 'Correspondence')

(2013) KILGORE TROUT - "In Dust, In Shadow, In Nothing" (from 'Immemorial')

(2013) KILGORE TROUT - "Mechanism (i chose my own path)" (from 'Immemorial')

(2013) KILGORE TROUT - "In Tongues" (from 'The Golden Altar/The Black Hourglass')

(2013) KILGORE TROUT - "Departure" (from 'The Golden Altar/The Black Hourglass')

(2013) KILGORE TROUT - "No Family" (from '4-Way' split)

(2011) KILGORE TROUT - "Hollow" (from 'False Flag' split)

(2009) KILGORE TROUT - "Andrew Bloom ~Speed Reader~" (from 'The Animal Split')


OSTRACA additional links


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