Thursday, 15 November 2018

'Residue' by: BLIND GIRLS

Song: "3am"
Year: 2018 via Zegema Beach Records
This post's artist is from the November 2018 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the November 2018 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2018 Mix#12 here.



Review by David Norman:

Well shit, I remember when I started this blog back in 2013. After a few months I started getting decent submissions from bands around the world, and was pretty goddamned pumped when the Gold Coast's BLIND GIRLS sent me an email from Australia following the release of their 2014 EP 'Efflorescence'. I have been following the band avidly since that review (which you can read here) and in December of 2017 I visited Australia and thought, hey, I wonder if BLIND GIRLS want to hang out. And then we did. We stayed in touch and guitarist/mastering guru Liam Kriz sent me songs every few months, which I purposely never delved too heavily into. In October of 2018 Liam sent me the final BLIND GIRLS masters for 'Residue' and I've been foaming at the mouth ever since. The band had 150 black 12" vinyl records made, of which Zegema Beach Records helped release, while Zegema Beach made 66 tapes in Canada with help from the band. In the off chance you missed the giant order links above...well, they are above!

'Residue' is not background music. It's not relaxing. Listening to it is not easy in the traditional sense of letting a song wash over you. These songs do nothing of the sort. If anything, they lull you to a cliff, push you over and into an ocean of gasoline and then set it ablaze. It's 11 tracks in a mere 21 minutes and things get pretty f'n real right off the bat, as the feedback intro of "Breaths" explodes at 9 seconds in a whirlwind screams, frantic strumming and lightspeed drumming, all of which is over by 1:05.

"3am" is one hell of a song, as it flies through its initial section in typical, older BLIND GIRLS fashion before the feedback soaked stop at 20 seconds. This acts as a beacon for the phenomenal guitar-work that follows and the subsequent breakdown that is repeated a second time with a flurry of poisonous shrieks. Good lord that shit is next level.

Expect it to go downhill from there? Fuck you. Not happening. Cuz they pull out a diverse, flushed out and very complete third track with "Loss Forms a Sequence", which nearly reaches the three-minute mark. It rides in on a nearly 30-second wave of ambient guitar, transitions to the first onslaught which you might think is heavy, only to crash down upon the listener with such intensity and force after the 46-second mark that you'll think you're drowning off in the gold screamo coast. The dual vocal attack here is utterly punishing as Sharni and Mark exchange feral screams that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. At 1:17 the song doubles back for another round of ridiculousness, led by a dangerously sharp guitar hook and more phenomenal screaming which eventually meets up with that ambient intro.

"Exertion" brings us back to the unrelenting emo-violence attack found throughout the entirety of the first two songs but includes a fantastical swing after the first 50 seconds that reminds me of a cross between Loma Prieta and Commuovere.

"Visitant" is primarily an interlude of brief drumming and distant, crawling guitars and leads beautifully into the sixth track.

Said sixth track is titled "The Ghost In My Eye" and it's, yep, you guessed it, amazing. The entire song dips in and out of extremes much like the third track, creating an unstable and impossible to anticipate path saturated with remarkable surprises. The most significant to note on this windy, treacherous journey is that unbelievable tornado of mathy screamo that tosses the listener around from 1:46 to its 2:30 conclusion. Goddamn I'm still so smitten with this.

"Dormant" is much more disjointed then the first half of the record, which is to say it takes its time with an awkward and angular approach until 42 seconds when a lazer riff blows the song up like a goddamned death star.

I wonder if "Cherish" was initially dubbed "Chill song" because although it's screamo and hardcore and all that, it is noticeably slower than everything else on the record save the "Visitant" interlude. It's a very cool song that bears more in resemblance to Canadian bands I Hate Sex and La Luna than the scorching and extremely dense Lord Snow-esque chaos brought by the rest of the record.

"Discarded Pictures" is another of my favourites for a multitude of reasons. First, that opening is frighteningly intense...and it doesn't even have vocals! Second, when the vocals do come in they are insanely fierce, pack one helluva punch and are accentuated nicely by more backup screaming. Third, the transition that builds from 1:13 is exceptional and leads to a short, faux-climax and instead opts for a simplistic, quiet outro.

"Nightshade" is another song rooted in twisted, dark and unrelenting screamy hardcore on speed with so many twists and turns that trying to unpack it all here would be too time consuming. Just take 2:33 out of your day and ride that rollercoaster.

The conclusion to this album of the year contender is "Burial", a three-minute representation of all of the incredible things that BLIND GIRLS have accomplished with this record. It takes all of the anger, aggression, sadness and frustration found in the band's music and buries it in your brain. Good luck completing this album and not wanting to do it all over again right away. It's that kind of album, as not many bands can boast similar magnetism and intensity that allures screamo fans for repeat listens.

A quick info session about the BLIND GIRLS tapes as I made and released them. There turned out to be 66 transparent red tapes, with a sparkle A-side sticker and download code. Regarding the covers, there are a few variants:
2 on sparkle silver
10 on sparkle red
12 on white silver
42 on champagne pearl

Lastly, until November 25th, 2018 we will have the "feel like you're really there" Japanese tour package which includes the newest tape releases from BLIND GIRLS, Sans Visage and Komusō. It's only $15CAD (less than $12US) for all three tapes and will be pulled the day the tour ends. Speaking of which, if you are in Japan and don't go to one of these shows...a pox on thee. Grab a tour tape package here.

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(2018) BLIND GIRLS - "3am" (from 'Residue')

(2018) BLIND GIRLS - "Loss Forms A Sequence" (from 'Residue')

(2018) BLIND GIRLS - "Discarded Pictures" (from 'Residue')

(2018) 'Residue' trailer (by Dave Cullen)

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Monday, 12 November 2018

ØØØ

BandØØØ
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Ambient
Related artists?.
CountryGothenburg SWEDEN
Years Active2018-present
Song: "II"
Album: "Sorger Och Behag"
Year: 2018
For fans ofThey Sleep We Live, Yarostan, Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, Mira, Döda Löv, Careless, Pettersson, Suis La Lune, 124C41+Øjne, Trachimbrod, Ephemera, Chuck Bass, DaïtroAu Bout De Mes Lèvres, Descubriendo A Mr. Mime, La Ciencia, Desidia, We Had A Deal and And Always aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the November 2018 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the November 2018 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2018 Mix#12 here.

Review by THOMAS SCHLATTER:

At first impression ØØØ carries many characteristics of what I've come to associate with Italian or French screamo bands like Raein, La Quiete, etc. The guitars are very low gain with a bright high end emphasis. The song writing is melodic and mostly in a traditional major key. Vocals are screamed but still retain a more shouted delivery rather than throaty growled chaos. One thing of note for music/recording nerds; the drums on this release are very dry and have no reverb. Typically I think this would sound sterile, but it seems to work in conjunction with everything else. This release has three tracks and tops out around 12 minutes.

Aptly named "I", "II", and "III" we get a really a nice representation of what ØØØ is all about.  Each song takes you on a great journey of great dynamics, textured guitars and dual vocal delivery. "I" starts with that subdued aggression which is executed when chaotic drums wale away beneath jangly guitars. The band then launches into a fast, melodic race before taking it down a notch to show how they can build up a nice introspective canvas of sound.

"II" starts out showcasing some picked guitar chords and trading off vocals that match every now and then for emphasis. When the strumming starts about 50 seconds in, the intensity picks up.  They repeat this pattern before taking it even further down to a relaxed place of sparse guitar sprinkled over distant screaming. Like a bear coming out of hibernation, the band slowly wakes up and gives you a beautiful fit of chaotic drums and melodic chords.

The band closes things out with "III", the shortest and most aggressive track on the release. It's fast paced and doesn't allow for any rest. Things end tight with a barrage of drum rolls, closing out their presentation nice and clean.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2018 - Sorger Och Behag cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2018) ØØØ - "II" (from 'Sorger Och Behag')

(2018) ØØØ - "III" (from 'Sorger Och Behag')

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ØØØ additional links
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Saturday, 10 November 2018

***TASHARAH exclusive interview***

BandTASHARAH
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsA Days Refrain, Takaru, Burial Year, Instil, You And I, The Assistant, This Ship Will Sink, In First Person, Wrong Day To Quit, Black Kites, Scavengers, Hell Mary, Less Life, Capacities, NY In 64, Hundreds Of AU, Metastic and What Of Us.
CountryNew Jersey U.S.A.
Years Active2001-2002
Song: "What Is The Primary Function Of P"
Album: "Tasharah"
Year:2002
For fans of: Rats Into Robots, In First Person, Hundreds Of AU, This Ship Will Sink, Capacities, What Of Us, Takaru, Tempano, Never Better, You And I, Trainwreck and The Assistant aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Alone Records
This post's artist is from the November 2018 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the November 2018 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2018 Mix#12 here.

I thought I was pretty good at following some of my favourite musicans' paths. I mean, c'mon, I've been obsessed with any music Schlatter related since I first heard You And I, The Assistant and This Ship Will Sink in the early 2000s. Then how, may I ask, did I miss TASHARAH for almost 15 years? Damn, obscure for a Tom Schlatter related project was something unknown to me. So when I delved into the band's only release I couldn't for the life of me understand why it was so buried in time, as it is vintage Schlatter kicking ass with Sean from A Days Refrain, Takaru and Burial Year back in 2002.

Most necessary information for anyone wanting to know about TASHARAH is located in an exclusive interview I did with Tom under this review. But I'll quickly run through the tracks on their one and only demo 'Tasharah' cdEP. It opens with "The Arrangement", a dual-vocal screamfest with many-a-nod to metallic hardcore, and sounding very much like The Assistant on speed, so you know it's ace. This song, as with all of the songs recorded, include movie samples which really help accentuate the music...cinemaskramz? Nah. The blown-out, chaotic and extremely dense made by just two people is astounding, and shows no sign of slowing down on the second track "What Is The Primary Function Of P", which includes a zany amount of stop/starts, sick riffs and mathy timing. "Sleeping With The Enemy" is the lengthiest TASHARAH song, which seems surprising after the first 30 seconds because it's such a blistering, unrelenting slap in the face. But around the one-minute mark everything slows down and slowly picks up in emo/screamo fashion with some warbly, clean singing (which is very You And I) layered over screaming that lasts until the song's midsection when the song goes all out for the remainder of its tenure. "Where To Begin" is a dense, violent and almost danceable track, as the band somehow manages to weave melodies into the chaos, "Where To Live" is similar in that it is incredibly savage and heavy, but this one also begins with some singing instead of vicious screaming. Strangely enough, "If You Were A Pentium, You'd Be A" begins with a Jar Jar Binks sample before ripping shit up This Ship Will Sink style, with the section from 1:45 onward being utterly devastating. Closer "Doing Favors For Criminals" might just be my favourite TASHARAH song, as it boasts the thickest of screams, prodigious guitars and rides a wave of intensity all the way through, imploding before the two-minute mark with a deathly breakdown.

Alrighty, on to the interview! Many thanks to Tom for taking time once again to recount his days in past bands playing amazing music. You can catch him currently in NY In 64, Capacities, Hundreds Of AU and What Of Us...and probably some more. 💗


An Interview with
THOMAS SCHLATTER
regarding his time in
TASHARAH

When and how did Tasharah form?
Around 2001 or so I was living in an apartment with my roommate, Sean. At the time, Sean was playing guitar for a band called A Days Refrain and I was playing guitar in a band called The Assistant. Our bands would play shows together on a regular basis, though we would routinely talk about how we wished both of our bands were playing more shows or doing more.

We started to write some songs in the apartment and decided to try them out. Rob (who later would play guitar for Capacities) played bass and did most of the vocals at first. I played drums and Sean played guitar while doing some supplemental vocals. Rob ended up joining The Assistant as our bass player later that year and stopped showing up for Tasharah practice. At that point Sean and I started mapping out a scheme to use effects pedals to make up for the lack of a bass player (I would later adapt this to three other bands in the future).

As a 2 piece band we were able to write music a lot faster and the songs started really coming together the way we initially pictured them.

Do you remember the first song you wrote together?
We wrote some of the songs with a bass player and then later re-worked them to accommodate the 2 piece configuration. If I remember correctly "The Arrangement" was the first full to write from scratch as a 2 piece.

What was your first recording session?
Our first and only recording session was with Steve Roche some time in the winter of 2002.

What was the experience like? Were you happy with how the songs turned out? And where did they end up, release-wise?
We recorded the whole thing in 14 hours without stopping. Sean did a second track of guitar to thicken it up, but besides that the rest was done live. We were pretty delirious by the end of the session. Despite the overnight session, we were both very happy with how the songs came out. Steve did a great job with the mix. This would be the first time of many that I would ask him to record a guitar being played through a bass amp. That week Sean took the songs and the samples to a studio in NJ called Clearcut Recording to have it mastered and have the samples put into place. By the time we recorded, Sean was already planning on moving to San Francisco. As a result, Tasharah would not last much longer. We burned a bunch of cds and did some quick color layouts on a friend's office copier for free. Alone Records took some to distro through their website, so we slapped the Alone logo on it. I don't know the exact figures, but I'd say there's probably 100 or so of them that were made.

What were your lyrics usually about?
Tasharah lyrics were all over the place. Personal, political, social observations, etc, we pretty much didn't adhere to a specific theme or plan.

In retrospect, what did Tasharah do well?
As a band, Tasharah worked efficiently since there were only 2 of us and we lived in the same apartment. At the time we were both playing in other bands that had multiple members. Juggling work schedules, getting people to learn/remember songs was very frustrating sometimes.

Is there anything you look/listen back to now that makes you smile or excited?
When I look back on it, and listen to it, I really think Steve Roche did a great job recording this. He'd probably disagree with me, but I really think the blown out/over the top sound is really fitting for the music.

What do you wish the band could have done differently?
The only thing I wish we could have done was play some more shows and really get more experience doing these songs live. The band came together about a year before Sean moved to California, so our window was pretty short.

Closing thoughts; I still like this material a lot. It's an angry representation of an unstable time of my life.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2002 - Tasharah cdEP (download here)

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(2002) TASHARAH - "The Arrangement" (from 'Tasharah')

(2002) TASHARAH - "If You Were A Pentium, You'd Be A" (from 'Tasharah')

(2002) TASHARAH - "Doing Favors For Criminals" (from 'Tasharah')

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TASHARAH out of print mp3 discography download

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