Label(s): Self Released / Revelation Records / Rok Lok Records / Creep Records / Traffic Violation Records / Eugenics Record Label This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right hereor get the new June 2016 Mix#6 here.
Do I like ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES? Yeah. Is that a strange answer? Yeah. From what I've noticed this is a band that people either love or hate (but generally love). I'm right in the middle.
I first heard ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES when their final album was released. I liked it and bought the cd and jam the few really good tracks I've found. I also checked out their earlier releases, which seem to be heralded as supreme emo from the late 90s and early 2000s, but was unimpressed. The raw style and careening vocals weren't really my bag. The later material is much more fleshed out and cohesive, generally with builds and climaxes...y'know, mature song writing and such. The lovers of the early material would probably attest to these statements and be totally accurate, as music is subjective and the first two LPs are definitely gritty and honest records.
The first LP really doesn't do anything for me, but the end of 'Making of a Conversation' aka the last three tracks are much better than the preceeding seven and a good precursor for what was to come. The next LP called 'Where You Are And Where You Want To Be' is another album I've rarely listened to, but upon jamming it again for this review I definitely find myself liking it more than before. "The Water Vs. The Anchor" is a great emo/screamo song, as is the dissonant and complex "Old Wives Tale" which also happens to be the heaviest song ever released by the band. "You Can Only Be So Careful" is almost six minutes of screamy hardcore goodness and might be the best song on the record, along with "For Meg" which is an epic number that surpasses the 7-minute mark.
The final LP 'Sirens' is my jam, as mentioned above. The opener "No Sign of the Messiah, Pt. 2" is a brooding, post-rock/post-hardcore affair that could definitely be likened to Funeral Diner. "Go Fuck Yrself" is singing to what I consider to be as passionate as you can get before breaking into broken shards of melodies. Seriously right off the bat the raw emotion and power are prominent in those early bits as well as the very catchy and clean mid-section that leads to a screaming climax. "Here Comes the Sirens" is not far from an emo version of Circa Survive. That chorus is fucking kicking. "Cloak & Dagger" is a throaty venture with a lot of hoarse vocals and semi-poppy emo/post-hardcore. At 52 seconds the clean singing comes in and really sweeps me off my feet every time. The build afterwards gets seriously groovy again at 2:30 with that dreamy, atmospheric, Black Love-post-hardcore type sound which leads out the songs for the remaining three minutes.
In the end, maybe I'm not the right person to be doing the review. Maybe I'm perfect because I neither love nor hate the band. Who knows? You will after you jam a few songs. Always decide for yourself.
DISCOGRAPHY Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3/wma form.
1998 - Demo cassetteEP
1999 - The Making of a Conversation cdLP
2001 - Where You Are And Where You Want To Be cd/12"LP
2001- Live at WNYU digitalEP
2003 - Sirens cdLP
(2003) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "Here Come the Sirens" (from 'Sirens')
(2003) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "Go Fuck Yrself" (from 'Sirens')
(2003) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "Cloak & Dagger" (from 'Sirens')
(2001) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "You Can Only Be So Careful" (from 'Where You Are And Where You Want To Be')
(2001) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "Old Wives Tale" (from 'Where You Are And Where You Want To Be')
(1999) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "A Shadow Taller Than You" (from 'The Making of a Conversation')
(1998) ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES - "Anywhere in Europe" (from 'Demo')
ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES out of print mp3/wma discography download / additional links
Seth from FUNERAL DINER and REPEATER RECORDS answered a slew of questions for OMSB and the results are educated, interesting and awesome! Some highlights include his musical influences, touring, what he's been listening to in 2016, his new musical ventures, the inspiration/synopsis of The Underdark LP, and the City Of Caterpillar 12" reissue on Repeater Records. And those are just the highlights!!!
What initially got you
hooked on music? Which bands? What genres/scenes did you gravitate toward
Like a lot of people my age I got really into music because of Nirvana.
Then took the next step into punk. Pop punk, ska, ska punk, 80s hardcore. It
was the early 90s and I am from a very rural area of California so it wasn't
always easy to be exposed to new music but I had a group of friends that all
skated and went to shows together. By the mid 90s I was getting into hardcore and emo mostly and I moved to San
Francisco in 1997 which made going to shows a lot easier. Side note: When I was in high school I made a punk compilation with a friend
and through that I met Shawn Decker (Coma Regalia, Middleman Records) and we
have been friends ever since.
Was your family
supportive of your music? My family has always been pretty great about it. My Dad is a drummer and he
always played a lot (and still does!) but he never really toured so when I
started being in bands he was really supportive even though he didn't really
like the music.
From what you can
remember, what was your first punk band? Hardcore band? Not sure I want to talk about my first band because it was a ska-punk band
when i was 16 (?) called Say Cheese and that is probably all that needs to be
known about that. My first hardcore band I was the singer in a tech-metal hardcore band called
Walken and I did my first recordings and tour with them in 2000-2001 and got
kicked out after the first tour. The tour was kind of life changing and made me
want to be on the road more and getting kicked out actually led to me getting
asked to sing for Funeral Diner so it was not too bad of a change.
What led to you
joining Funeral Diner, besides the story you just mentioned? They were already
doing vocals so what led to the addition of Seth?
I got to join Funeral Diner because Dan was doing vocals but did not want to do
them anymore basically and that was that. They had another friend of mine doing
vocals for a little bit but that did not last too long and I got asked a little
but before the Wicked recording session. What made you
gravitate towards vocals?
I gravitated towards vocals because I couldn't really do anything else at the
time but I had a lot of enthusiasm and ideas about music.
What have you been
doing since Funeral Diner disbanded, musically speaking? What projects do you
have on the go now? FD stopped playing together in 2007 after a Japanese tour and the release
of the Doors Open ep. After Funeral Diner I played in a band called Stirling
Says that was not hardcore at all but one of my favorite things I have ever
done musically. I did vocals again in a group called Pills in San Francisco who
are still playing after I left. I have been in LA since 2011 and did not play
music for about 3 years but have been playing in a group called Last Good Sleep
for a little bit now. We have a recording that is being mixed and are going to
record a few more songs next month. Besides that I do Repeater Records with my friend Chris Berry and we reissued
The Underdark on vinyl as our first release and are going to be reissuing City
of Caterpillar S/T in late spring. We are trying to do one release a year for
What release are you proudest of?
I think it's a toss up between The Underdark and Stirling Says lp Balboa. The Underdark because I got to write a concept album about D&D and (most) of the band fully supported it. Balboa was so much fun and the first recording I did that wasn't a hardcore record.
Is there a tour that stands out as being your favourite? If so, why?
There's no particular tour that stands out as the best. They were all amazing in one way or another. It had a lot to do with getting to tour with such great bands. Europe was an amazing place to tour and I miss touring in Europe so much it hurts sometimes. We got barred from Canada on our 3rd US tour by a border guard who knew what we were up to and wanted to stick it it to us I think. That was unfortunate, I liked playing Canada a lot too.
Tell us about the bands you did splits with. How did those come about? Which band were you most stoked to split with? What band exceeded your initial expectations?
Most of the splits we did were bands we toured with and got along with and sometimes it was just because they asked. The split with Raein is one of my favorites because I love those guys and they are still so good. The Ampere split is great because I was very happy with how our song came out, Ampere rule, and it is one of the most ridiculous pieces of vinyl ever pressed.
I didn't really know Zann before we did the split with them but they became one of my favorite groups to tour with and see live.
The Funeral Diner split with The Shivering before I joined was a personal favorite of mine too.
Like seriously to this day Kaospilot or Daitro or some other band comes on on my ipod on shuffle and I get all emotional about those times. Not in a nostalgic way either I don't think. Just in the way that I felt so connected to everyone when touring in a way that only happens in that situation. I guess that sounds like nostalgia...
What music influenced you during the Funeral Diner days?
I was constantly inspired by all of the bands we got to know
in the FD days and still listen to a lot of those bands. So that was always
great getting to see and tour with bands I loved and supported and to have
those feelings hold up.
Tell us about your label. Why the name? What was the catalyst to starting it?
The label is called Repeater Records and my friend Chris
Berry and I started it because there are a lot of hardcore/punk records that
are really pricey and we wanted to try to reissue them. Music as a collectable commodity is not necessarily a bad thing but if we can help people get records
they want I think that is more important than the secondary vinyl collector
market. Funny note, one of the people who bought the pre-order just put it up
on Ebay for $94.00, people ain't no good. Why were Funeral Diner's 'Underdark' and the City Of Caterpillar LP chosen as the label's first two records?
The Underdark was the first because I know a few of the guys
in that band. City of Caterpillar was kind of a long shot, we had a few other
ideas but were like let's just ask. Chris and I had both met them in the early
2000s but we didn't really know them. They agreed though and have been really
great to work with. City of Caterpillar is such an intense and important band
and the fact that the album had been out of print for so long was why we wanted
to reissue it. As with The Underdark to a lesser extent. Would you like to explain about the 'Underdark' reissue and how that came about?
All i want to say about that is that everyone who mocked us
on the internet for using kickstarter you were totally right and I wish we had
never used it. Any clue on what the next release for Repeater Records will be?
We are just trying to handle City of Caterpillar orders at
the moment! We have some ideas but have not even started putting it into motion
for a third release. We want to do one release a year but when you are working
with bands that are no longer together that can make things harder as far as
timelines. You toured in a bunch of countries, did any stand out? Why? Did touring become a blur? I honestly just love touring. I miss it all the time in my
non-touring lifestyle I now lead. Europe was great all the time not just
because the support they have for touring bands but also because there was
always older folks at the shows. I was contemplating moving to Italy after the
last big Funeral Diner tour because I liked it so much but that never came
about. Touring never really became a blur which is one of the reasons I love it
so much. There is definitely a rhythm to it that can probably become a rut for
a lot of people but I always liked that. My new band Last Good Sleep is doing a
little West Coast jaunt in August and I am beyond excited. What is your most cherished release of all time? I'm going to have to go with The Underdark because I got to
be part of writing a concept album about D & D as a metaphor for the United
States being a failing empire. Also Stirling Says "Balboa" which
isn't a hardcore album but was one of the most fun experiences I ever had being
in a band. What are your thoughts on the term "screamo"? It is as good as any I guess? It usually gives a better idea
of what a band sounds like than emo which is like a bottomless void of a
description. Also never understood skramz. Any thoughts on the "emo revival", or whatever the hell they're calling it? I don't think it's a revival or a second coming, there have
been bands playing in these styles for years I think a lot of it is music
writers having something easy they can label (and mislabel) music with. I
generally think a lot of music writers are very lazy, which is my prejudice,
but there's been a ton of great bands all through the 90s the early 2000s and
up until now. It just seems marketable these days or something. What are you listening to in 2016?
My top 20 of 2015 is available if you want to know what I'm listening to lately! I joined the emo groups that got us talking because I am still very interested in new emo/hardcore and wanted to see what other people are listening to and there are a lot of good bands out there.
All Dogs - Kicking Every Day
Melodic indie/pop punk with incredible hooks on Salinas Records. A riff in “How Long” makes me almost cry, one of my favorite live shows of 2015, the singer’s dad was there!
Favorite song- Flowers
Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People That Feel Like Us
This record rips and is deservedly on hundreds if not thousands of year end lists. The lyrics are so earnest it’s hard for me to handle sometimes but the music is so good it calms my bad attitude easily. Another one of my favorite live shows of the year, they played 26 songs.
Favorite song- Hard Luck Kid
Ceremony - The L-Shaped Man
The way this band has changed over the years and not lost any intensity is inspiring. This is a moody, noisy post-punk record that feels as cohesive as if the band had been playing music like this since they started 10 years ago.
Favorite song- The Separation
Elder - Lore
These riffs are mountains crumbling, heavy and unstoppable. Mount Riff is erupting and falling down and it sounds amazing.
Favorite song- Deadweight
Funeral Advantage - Body Is Dead
This is some spectacular dreamy pop from Massachusetts where a lot of bands I like are hanging out these days. Spacious and warm at the same time.
Favorite song- Gardensong
Colleen Green - I Want To Grow Up
Not lo-fi this time this record has Colleen Green expanding to a full band sound and writing some of her best and *ahem* most mature poppy punk songs yet. Probably the most fun record on this list!
Favorite song- Pay Attention
Knife Pleats - Hat Bark Beach
We as a culture do not deserve Rose Melberg but here she is fronting another band that feels like home. An excellent jangly pop record that has what seems like a renewed focus and stands on it’s own in Melberg’s impressive discography.
Favorite song- Terrible
Loma Prieta - Self Portrait
Still as heavy and serious as ever but with added subtlety and a little more light gets in this time. I have been floored by everything since Life/Less and this is no different.
Favorite song- Nostalgia
Longings - S/T A killer LP of gothy punk rock from Western Mass. I would go so far as to compare their sound to the Wipers. Most bands that get compared to the Wipers don’t pass muster, to me Longings does.
Favorite song- Critical Conditions
Mac McCaughan - Non-Believers
Yeah, no shit Seth, idiot. If you are an obsessive Superchunk fan you actually get even more records to be unhinged about with Mac’s Portastatic output and now his first LP under his name. Never disappoints.
Favorite song- Wet Leaves
Modern Pain - Peace Delusions
While I guess it’s fun to pretend like your band is from the east coast in the 80’s or something (?) I have always gravitated towards heavier hardcore possibly made by weirdos. Not sure if Modern Pain are weird but this record is heavy, angry, and slightly psychedelic in the best ways. It’s a noisy fucked up hardcore LP that builds on the sound of the past but makes it fresh, not an easy thing to do.
Favorite song- When the Hymn Fades
Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again
Poppy Psych Folk (psych to indicate it feels cosmic to me) Recorded at home but incredibly full and lush which speaks to Jessica’s attention to detail. Great song structures and vocals that make one think “Wait did she just do that? and it worked? Really well?” Hell yes. Every piece fits together masterfully.
Favorite song- Greycedes
Radioactivity - Silent Kill
Pop punk from Denton, Texas This album is a little smoother than the last one (a little) but still rips through the tracks and is over before you know it and then you want to listen again. If they keep putting out records I will keep putting them on my lists most likely.
Favorite song- Where I Come From
Stove - Is Stupider
A latecomer to the Babber 20 but one of the strongest. This is heavy and fuzzy in a way too many bands just don’t know how to do. Like some of the best 90s alternative rock with a modern urgency and an intense grasp of what the songs and album should sound like.
Favorite song- Wet Food
Swervedriver - I Wasn’t Born To Lose You
Swervedriver put another record out and it rules. Dark indie rock with shoegaze flourishes. I like to think that this LP should show everyone that 99th Dream was a better record than it got credit for at the time. I Wasn’t Born To Lose You builds on that sound and creates not just an excellent “comeback” LP but an excellent album.
Favorite song- Last Rites
Tamaryn - Cranekiss
It’s lush it’s poppy it’s dancy and it just goes to show you that nothing I think about music is accurate or valid because I thought this was going to be a breakthrough record for Tamaryn. It is still an amazing record and good for almost any occasion.
Favorite song- Sugar Fix
Wet Petals - S/T II
My favorite screamy emo hardcore record of the year. The songwriting is intricate and well thought out with brutal vocals that work with the sound, Excellent example of pushing the genre.
Favorite song- II // afterpastures
Windhand - Grief’s Infernal Flower
Heavy and sinister doom done to perfection. This album makes you feel desolation but also exposes you to dangerous levels of riffs. So heavy.
Favorite song- Kingfisher
Winter Break - S/T
16 year old Seth would probably be happy that I am still putting Asian Man Records LPs on my best of lists (recent former AMR releases on the lists Hard Girls and Great Apes) but fuck that kid, he didn’t know anything about anything and wore a Skankin’ Pickle shirt way too much. Winter Break write great poppy emo punk songs with strong riffs and catchy as hell melodies. Super fun live.
Favorite song- Who’s Watching
Worriers - Imaginary Life
Intelligent and well done pop punk with great guitar work, personal lyrics that create a vivid feeling of the content, and my favorite bass tone on any pop punk record I heard this year.
Favorite song- Unwritten
EPs, Splits, Demos, and Studio Projects (not in alphabetic order)
Label(s): React With Protest / Don't Care Records / Framecode Records / Samegrey Records / Structures//Agony Records / Driftwood Records This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the March Mix#4 right hereor get the new April 2016 Mix#5 here.
CASSUS play chaotic and maniacal screamo/emo-violence from the UK. Releasing two splits in 2012-2013 and dropping a killer 12"LP in late 2015, these fellas have definitely honed a very engaging and challenging sound. Their songs vary from 40-second, violent spurts (the first 2 tracks on the 2013 split) to over five minutes of epic screamy hardcore ("Alpine Folk Rock") and rarely leave space for breathing room. That being said, "Waltz" is a beautifully chorded, slow, screamo jam not unlike slower Neil Perry, Storm The Bastille and The Third Memory and is easily one of my favourites by the band. The final song on the '¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! split' titled "Trilogy III: All We'll Ever Need" sounds like Kodan Armada at points with those dreamy, dissonant riffs and echoed screaming halfway through the track.
The new 12"LP 'This Is Dead Art; This Is Dead Time; But We May Still Live Yet' is fantastic. The craziness level has been set to lightning hyperdrive as the band lays waste to each song, with "Publicitaire" being my personal favourite. There are a few tracks such as "Exchange Rates are Exactly What They Used to Be" and "Tired of Being Tired?" that have some clean singing which doesn't jive with me so much, but I'm sure people who like Forstella Ford's singing will love it. There are moments when the singing clicks for me, but the style is quite varied by that point and in the upper register - just check out "Proto-Post-[Axiom]" at 55 seconds and 1:10 to hear what I mean.
This year is another busy one for CASSUS as they are writing new songs and planning a Euro tour around the Cry Me A River Festival from June 19th to July 4th. Grab their discography. Now!
2012 - Real Screamo Compilation #2 digital (contributed "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow") (stream/buy here)
2012 - I Don't Know Why The Caged Bird Sings split cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Dingleberry Records This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right hereor get the new June 2016 Mix#6 here.
APOSTLES OF ERIS is the solo project of one of my favourite people in the world, Jesse Mowery. I first came into contact with him via this blog when he submitted the incredible Altar Of Complaints material, which I then turned into a discography review and interview. We then kept in contact via facebook which eventually led to him joining мятеж on a short tour with People's Temple Project in the summer of 2015. We bonded and said we'd do a split together in the near future and voila, I got to hear his solo project and then the new band I became a part of needed a release and BAM! we had a joint effort on our hands.
APOSTLES OF ERIS has been releasing since 2013 with a 7-track digital EP called 'The Practice of Learning From Practice', followed in 2014 by a three-song digital EP titled 'Kallista' and a tracked named "I've Seen the Fnords" from 'Songs For the Dead Vol.2'. After a two year break Jesse returned with the much superior split tape with The World That Summer, a band which I do vocals for. Jesse actually asked me to do vocals on the longest song on his side of the split which he ended up christening "Putting Faith Into Fantasy" with us going back and forth in the screaming department.
Oh, but what does APOSTLES OF ERIS sound like? Well, it's kinda hard to explain, really. The early work (2013) is spacey, discordant, screamy, dreamy and trippy. Songs such as "Perpetual Lie" must be the audio equivalent of an acid trip. "Language as a Murderer" makes me think that I'm flying like Superman over jungles, misty waterfalls and canyons. There's even a song called "Untapped Mana" which I can only assume is a Magic: The Gathering reference. Hmmmm, I guess the sound on 'The Practice of Learning From Practice' could be loosely described as screamo meets video game music and drugs.
In 2014 the material shifted to a grimier, less dreamy home. The 'Kallisti' EP is dirtier, more caustic, and quicker than it's predecessor and I find the change to be quite fitting. The song "Stagnant Existence" and "We Know You Know" are prime examples of this heavier and more chaotic approach which coalesce with "I've Seen the Fnords" from the compilation to illuminate the path to the 2016 split cassette material which top even these excellent songs. Click this link to read my track by track description of his four songs on the 'The World That Summer split'. Grab the tape from the Zegema Beach Records store heeeeeya.
I'm not sure what he has planned next but I sure am excited about it!
2013 - The Practice of Learning From Practice digitalEP (stream/download here)
2014 - Kallisti digitalEP(stream/download here)
2014 - Songs For the Dead digital compilation (contributed "I've Seen the Fnords")(stream/download here)
2016 - The World That Summer split cassetteLP(stream/donate/download here)
(2016) APOSTLES OF ERIS - "A Growing Emptiness With a Sense of Completion" (from 'The World That Summer' split)
(2016) APOSTLES OF ERIS - "Putting Faith Into Fantasy" (from 'The World That Summer' split)
(2014) APOSTLES OF ERIS - "Stagnant Existence" (from 'Kallisti')
(2014) APOSTLES OF ERIS - "I've Seen the Fnords" (from 'Songs for the Dead' vol. 2)
(2013) APOSTLES OF ERIS - "Language as a Murderer" (from 'The Practice of Learning From Practice')
I turned around and said it to one of my friends at the show, "I think there's a fair amount of people in the US that would kill to be at this reunion show." That sums up the night in a nutshell, I'd say. With CONGRATULATIONS reforming for this show, GILLIAN CARTER passing through from Florida, TERRY GREEN making their longest ever show trek and the locals HAWKS AC setting the stage for the aforementioned bands.
First up was Hawks AC. I met one of the members afterwards and he was a super nice guy and let me know that the band is really called Hawks Athletic Club after Hunter S. Thompson's school club, as the members are huge fans of the author. They played a myriad of styles that all revolved around punk. I like the video I took but I must say that if you like it, you'll love the rest of the stuff by the band as it was even better than this.
To absolutely no one's surprise, Terry Green rocked everyone's socks off and then receded into the background. Seriously this band kills it every time. The sassy, screamy and melodic punk/hardcore is as infectious as it is powerful...and it's a lot of both! I've heard rumours of the band recording an LP this summer, so fingers crossed.
Not unlike the two nights prior, Gillian Carter ripped the face off of another Canadian city. Blasting through 10 songs in around 20 minutes, the 3-piece showed why a 30-day tour is needed because goddamn everyone should witness this amazingness. They played songs off of 'Lost Ships...', 'Songs for Splits' and 'Dreams of Suffocation' and choosing some of the strongest tracks from each resulting in throbbing, cacaphonous eruption of chaotic and melodic screamy hardcore with sprinklings of ambient tranquility. These fellas are still on tour so be sure to check them out on their remaining tour dates:
5/24 @ Desert Island Supply Company in Birmingham, AL
5/25 @ ??? in Denton, TX
5/26 @ ??? in Fort Worth, TX
5/27 @ The Pool at Metropolis Apartments in Austin, TX
I wouldn't have missed this for the world. After almost two years of inactivity, Congratulations practiced a few times and closed this killer show with their entire discography. The six songs are spread across two releases, the 'Demo' tape which can be purchased here, and the final "Song 6" appearing on a 7" split with The Rabbit Theory which will be coming out later this year on Zegema Beach Records, Time As A Color and Ape Must Not Kill Ape. The band knocked their songs out of the park without skipping a beat although Anthony's vocals were nowhere to be found at times, but when he chimed in it was like 2014 all over again. Missing that fella who moved to Montreal, the band quickly recruited Colin to play guitar and he was fucking stellar. If the lineup holds maybe we will be in store for more Congratulations? Fuck me, I hope so.
Genres: Punk / Hardcore / Screamo / Grind / Noise Rock / Experimental Related artists: I, Robot, Devola, River Dragon, Nada Sadhana, The Recovery, Achilles' Heel, One, YearoftheMule, Smackdown, The Rules, Turn-Off, Sleepwaker, Top Bunk and Splurge. Country: New York USA Years Active: 2000-2009 Song: "Firing Squad" Album: "Witness Relocation Program" Year: 2004 For fans of: Towers, Reversal Of Man, His Hero Is Gone, A Flower Kollapsed, Louise Cyphre, With Love, C.R., Incurable Complaint, Combatwoundedveteran, Republic Of Dreams, Converge, Rats Into Robots, Universal Order Of Armageddon, Born Against, Phoenix Bodies, Rorschach, Enkephalin, Furnace and Jeromes Dream aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Peterwalkee Records / Oneohfive Records / Shock Value Records / Plenge / Pogonophobia Records / Strong Ridge This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right hereor get the new June 2016 Mix#6 here.
This entire interview and review was orchestrated and carried out by Jesse Mowery, my good friend that plays bass in мятеж, does stuff with Van Hagar as well as his solo project Apostles Of Eris.
THE EXELAR are a band I fell in love with immediately once I heard them. Noisy dissonant grinding hardcore that is very political and surprisingly catchy, with no hints of beatdown type breakdowns and very intense vocals from every member. Since getting introduced to this band I have found very few people who know about them, and very little information about them online, so when David asked me to do a review of THE EXELAR I gladly accepted so I could maybe spread this wonderful music out there at least a little bit. I ended up getting in contact with their bassist and he assembled the main lineup of the band to have an internet chat with me, which consisted of two sets of brothers. Jamal couldn’t chip in at the time we did it, but he ended up adding to it afterwards. So give THE EXELAR a listen and continue further down for the interview.
DISCOGRAPHY Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.
2000 - Demo cdrEP
2002 - With Love split 12"LP (same tracks as 'Demo')
2004 - Witness Relocation Program 7"EP
2006 - Early Demonstrations (split w/Towers) 12"LP (same tracks as 'Demo')
2006 - Message From a Moving Target 7"EP
2009 - The Newburgh Conspiracy cdLP
(2004) THE EXELAR - "Witness Relocation Program" (from 'Witness Relocation Program') official music video
(2004) THE EXELAR - "Lines on Paper" (from 'Witness Relocation Program')
(2006) THE EXELAR - "There's Something in the Water" (from 'Early Demonstrations')
(2006) THE EXELAR - "Fallout" (from 'Message From a Moving Target')
(2009) THE EXELAR - "A Perfect Ending" (from 'Newburgh Conspiracy')
Would you want to start by telling me a sort of brief history of the band? *Puge- Matt & his ex-Devola/I, Robot bandmates started a fake tough guy Long Island hardcore band to play their farewell party from college. I was drafted to play bass. *Matt- Then it kind of grew from there with Puge and I with another guy from that stupid show. That was in 2000. Then we drafted Jamal to play guitar, the original guy left, and we went through 3-4 guitarists until the last line up. Two sets of brothers playing short songs.
How was the dynamic with having the band consist of brothers? I've always wondered about how it would be playing music with one of my siblings. *Puge- It's musically rewarding. *Mike- Feels normal actually. This is the 3rd time I've been in a band with Matt. *Matt- It's also fine because we were older. If we were kids, touring and writing would have been more challenging, I thought. It makes you closer because you share something outside of the normal family dynamic. *Puge- (Jamal is gonna look over this and add to it when he gets some time) *Matt- That's it, he's out of the band. *Mike- I call lead guitar! *Matt- Me too. *Mike- Does calling it not mean anything these days? So when did you guys stop playing together? Was it a planned thing, or did you guys just stop out of nowhere? *Mike- After the CR reunion I think? When was that? *Matt- For me, I live two and a half hours away from Mike (and Puge at the time), it was getting harder and harder to practice.
Oh wow I wanted to go that, what was that 2009/10ish? *Matt- Yep around then. I had written a bunch of new songs, we practiced once after that show, and then haven't played since (or been in the same room at the same time for that matter). *Mike- Bandcamp!
I know you guys have been in tons of bands before this one, do you guys have anything going on musically right now? *Mike- Not in a while no. *Puge- My current projects are The River Dragon & Nada Sadhana. I'm also producing a 7'' of folk songs for my friend Joe Pollck. *Mike- I play guitar for my son when he gets cranky. That's about it nowadays. *Matt- I write when I can, mostly doom and black metal kind of stuff, but I don't get much time to. Haven't touched my drums in a few years (sad face). I try to spend as much time with my family and daughter as I can, so I have a great excuse. Music is always a part of my life (listening to the new Tombs record right now). I wrote a bunch of messed up kids songs for a while, did some solo shows with that. Then I recorded a bunch of covers of thrash and punk lullabies for my daughter using Garageband.
Nice. What were some of the bands that you played shows in? Did you ever do any touring?
*Matt- We did a couple of tours, East Coast and Northeast/Canada. once with Take Down Your Art, once with Towers. Towers was our buddy band. Played together often, Towers and D'Amore.
That's awesome, both of those bands ruled.
*Puge- We got to do a show where we setup next to Towers and traded song for song. One of my favorite shows of ours for sure. *Matt- One of mine too. Trash talking and mean mugging in Delaware. *Puge- They got SERVED. *Matt- Well they ran out of songs, so default winners either way.
That sounds like such a good show. So how did the split with With Love come about? I had never heard of them before that, but I checked out everything else they did and really enjoyed it. Hell I had a hard time even finding out that that split existed since there's very little information online about your band. *Puge- I think they somehow got a copy of Witness Relocation and approached us on the interwebs...Matt? *Matt- For some reason, and I mean this in all sincerity, somehow people loved I, Robot and a lot of interest in us early on was because people thought The Exelar would sound like that, so that record and the 7", as well as the release of the Towers split, had something to do with me being a member of both bands as I recall. But they did mention hearing some of our material. *Puge- Yeah, we definitely rode the coat tails of I, Robot & Devola.*Matt- Not so much Devola...no one liked that band. *Mike- I certainly didn't. *Matt- See? *Mike- That was a test. *Matt- I found it kind of funny, because when we played there wasn't much interest in Devola or I, Robot. Then people found out there was a "members of..." band and were curious. Then no one came to see that band either. *Puge- Except Streetsville , Ontario. The whole town came out for that one. *Matt- Yeah that was one of my favorites. Well I'm glad you had something to help get your music out there, because I really really enjoy it. Your music has been kind of hard to pin down with comparisons, and none really are that close. You guys are really dissonant but never have a, say, "bro" vibe, which is funny to me knowing you started off as a joke tough guy band. What was the writing process like?
*Puge- My favorites were written in pieces. Matt would write a riff & I would write a riff. Then we would decide who was on lyrics. But, most of the songs have one author (due to the distance of band mates and time constraints). We would demo them and send out Mp3's before a rehearsal.Matt- Early on it was organic. As a three piece we wrote together, when Jamal came along it was more about "coming to practice with something." Once we moved all over New York it became more of an email band, then put it together in a practicePuge- So far as comparisons or influences I'd say Bad Brains, His hero is gone & Born Against...Oh and Miley Cyrus was and will always be our muse! *Matt- Tons of late 90's bands influenced us too, but for the most part, while we were in this band, I don't think any of us listened to that much punk or hardcore.
I can hear the influences, but you guys definitely capture something that in my opinion is pretty unique. You guys never sound really dark or evil or metal or whatever, but it is very bleak and foreboding in a way. One thing I really like is the that the lyrics seem to be just as important as the music. I don't see much stuff nowadays that is super political in a non stereotypical punk song kind of way, but even that I don't see much of. What is your view of the current political environment? Some of your lyrics still seem super relevant, which really wasn't that long ago, but so much has happened between then and now. Thoughts? *Matt- The great thing about us is we NEVER talked politics with each other. Our views of the world were pretty similar back then. I remember writing the lyrics to the song "Blackface" and was wondering how two black men I was in a band with would react to a white kid from Long Island writing about something foreign to him. But getting to know Puge and Jamal gave me more empathy and understanding of the world around me and their reaction was positive and appreciated. Puge? Oh, and sorry I don't talk politics with anyone (I'm a social studies teacher) so I will leave that part of the question to Mike and Puge.
That's totally fine. *Mike- I don't think anyone wants to hear me talk about politics.Puge- I think we were writing about issues that were hidden from the public eye. Social media has been a huge help in showing America the direct effects of bigotry and capitalism live on youtube. the song "Message from a moving Target" was written about a protest I walked by at the courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. There were at least 50 mothers protesting the police officers who had murdered their children and gotten off the hook. This was in 2005. Not much has changed in the last decade. We have a black president. But, the statistics are still the same for black men in the USA. We are filling prisons and funeral homes, not schools or careers. That's funny...The 2 guys I know who read all the presidential biographies have nothing to say. *Matt- I never can give my opinion in a public forum. Let's just say that this current election may end up defining a generation in a good or bad way. *Mike- No one wants to actually discuss politics. They want to yell. Act like they're being attacked. Spout talking points and nonsense.Puge- There we go Shaggy! Yeah it's definitely the strangest political season I've witnessed since I've been alive. Well I don't think I really have much more, anything else you want to add? *Puge- I think all of the positive things about democracy are being negated by capitalism... *Mike- I think it's always been that way. This election cycle it's become more and more obvious. *Matt- When I was a kid I hoped that the music I made would somehow impact people's lives for the better, that someone would find happiness or solace in a song I helped create, That my music would remain relevant. As an adult I'm just glad I had the experiences I've had with the people I've had them with. Being in bands, writing, touring, recording, making shirts, meeting people around the country, that is the most fun anyone could have. Even if kids are in bands that are truly awful, they should try their hardest to do what we did. There is no better way to appreciate or loathe this country then by writing about it and seeing it with your closest friends (or in our case, family). *Mike- What he said. Goodnight folks. *Puge- I'd like to say to any younger punks/hardcore kids out there to stay political. Punk is a safe haven from right wing BS. Let's keep it that way! Take a stand for who and what you are. Protect your communivty from neo nazis and bible thumpers.
Awesome! Well thank you so much for your time, it's been great talking to you!
*Jamal- Sorry I couldn't have been with you for this in the moment. But it looks like my brothers have covered things really well. I do want to add that even though we've always been friends with a full time sense of humor in the band, we are very serious people.The band started out because a joke engendered a friendship, but the music couldn't be more serious or heartfelt. We made music from the most sincere places in ourselves. Even though my contributions were mostly musical, I stand by every lyric in every Exelar song as if I'd written them myself. Expressing my anger and frustration on records and stages with people who really understood me made me happy. I don't mean that figuratively. The Exelar was a loud, angry, abrasive band that somehow made me centered and calm and happier than I had ever been before Puge and Matt asked me to play with them. We all have baggage, and we each brought a ton of it to The Exelar. So much of the weight I had been carrying when I started playing this music was made lighter both by writing and playing it. Meeting, creating, and traveling for years with people you know really understand you and support you is profoundly amazing (and hard to put into words). The Exelar was a team. Our goal was to be great friends to each other through being great bandmates for each other. I can't recommend highly enough playing in a band in which you get to be yourself and speak your truth with people who know who you are and love you. It is immeasurably fulfilling and I'll never be able to stress enough how good it was for me.
Label(s): Self Released / Guesthouse Records / Kid Sister Everything / Black With Sap This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right hereor get the new June 2016 Mix#6 here.
I find it quite difficult to describe this band. They've got some pretty obvious LAUTREC sounds but putting it into words is not the easiest. Let's give it a try:
- guitars are distorted but never crazy, and tend to have a light layer of space dust on them
- drums are unreal, as this is pre-Lord Snow for Erik
- very playful bass that does an excellent job of bounding around the perimeter of each song doing its own, dancey thing
- a single vocalist straddling somewhere between a scream and a yell
- the amalgamation of these things creates a balanced and very unique sound that comes across as sunshine jazz screamo, a genre I just created, as it is never dark or depressing sounding and is much jazzier than your typical screamy hardcore
Could I say more? Probably. I remember commenting that I liked Lord Snow more than LAUTREC and that somehow got blown out of proportion to the extent of something like, "Dave doesn't like LAUTREC", which is definitely not an accurate statement. LAUTREC differs from Lord Snow on almost every level but they are both excellent bands, Lord Snow just does more for me cuz it's fucking batshit crazy.
Do yourself a favor and head over to the LAUTREC bandcamp linked here where you can download the entire discography for free. The 7 releases below are misleading, as only '8 Songs', the 'Lautrec' 7" and 'discography new ones' house all of the tracks recorded by the band. So, in essence, you only need to download those three in order to possess the entire discography.
*post-post note: I just had Wolverines come on my playlist and the instrumentals are very, very similar, so definitely check out that rad band, too!
2008 - 8 Songs cdrLP (stream/download here)
2008 - 4-Way split cdEP (w/The Reptilian, Boy Problems & Osceola) (stream/download here)
2008 - Compilation 2008 cdEP (split w/Native, Mans & Lion Of The North) (stream/download here)