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


Tuesday 26 September 2017

***WORST DAYS 'Someone Has It Worse' EP exclusive premiere***

For fans of: Converge, Graf Orlock and Creeper

This is the exclusive EP premiere of WORST DAYS' 'Some Has It Worse'. 3 tracks of ferocious hardcore. Ooooo baby. WORST DAYS hail from Providence, Rhode Island in the U.S.A. and have been premiered here before (kaplooey!) as well as featured on the Zegema Beach Records Fest pre-show (full set here). WORST DAYS, aka Matt, Josh, Chris and Alan, stayed over at my house and were lovely guests and awesome people. Matt (vocals) had this to say about the EP:
"These songs were recorded as part of Will Killingsworth's live sessions at Dead Air Studios in Amherst.  It was really cool to work with him and get his opinions and takes on our songs; helping us kind of smooth everything over. These new songs (Nervous System & Inconsistency I&II) are also a lot more harsh than what we have released in the past. Alan and Josh have been experimenting a lot with delay and overdrive pedals, aiding for a more chaotic and noisy feel. And this goes without being said, but Chris' drum work is a driving force behind these new songs."

Here's my quick take on the 'Someone Has It Worse' EP. "Nervous System" is 60 seconds of intense, piercing hardcore in the vein of Converge. "Inconsistency I & II" teeters near the four-minute mark and is a clinic of stop/start leading drums that'll leave you in shambles and is most reminiscent of Graf Orlock. "Hopeless" closes off the EP nicely with some injections of more technical and playful guitars and Matt's adaptable vocals and is straight up WORST DAYS.

1) "Nervous System"

2) "Inconsistency I & II"

3) "Hopeless"


Monday 25 September 2017


GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Post-Hardcore
Related artists?.
CountryLonigo, Vicenza ITALY
Years Active: 2011-present
Song: "Lentiggini"
Album: "Cheat Death, Live Dead!"
Year: 2017
For fans ofSuis La Lune, Young MountainØjne, Raein, Blind Girls, Ogni GiornoThey Sleep We Live, Via Fondo, Anemone, Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, Pastel, La Quiete, Viva Belgrado, Pettersson, Mira, Shirokuma, Rainmaker, State Faults, Daïtro, Doda Lov, Careless, Sed Non Satiata, AporiaYouth Novel and Yo Sbraito aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Dog Knights Productions / Adorno Records / Fat Boy Don't Cry Records / Driftwood Records / Annoying Records / Enjoyment Records / Boned Factory / Blessed Hands Records / Shivery.MMXII.Productions / Unnamed / Collettivo La Défense / Krampus MGMT & Retailing / Laterraurla / Trivel Records
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

SHIZUNE is a band from Italy that has been releasing steadily since 2012. Their well constructed and weaving songs contain a lighter air than most screamo bands, as I would loosely compare them to Raein, Suis La Lune, Young Mountain and Pettersson. The instrumentals are beautifully woven, much like the aforementioned bands, and never contain breakdowns or anything of the heavy, pummeling or chaotic variety. The vocals are screamed but never in a thick or shrieky way, as maybe labeling them as yelled/screamed would be more accurate. SHIZUNE quickly rose as a Driftwood Records band before that debacle blew up and the label receded into ostracized obscurity. Their 2015 release saw the inclusion/trade-off from Driftwood to Dog Knights, although the most recent offering 'Cheat Death, Live Dead!' was solely released by the band in true DIY form. Plus, that 10" fucking owns.

In 2012 SHIZUNE dropped two releases, their self titled 'Shizune' 7"EP and the 12"EP 'Mono No Aware: Between Eternity and the Burial'. Both are relatively similar in sound, with the 12" capturing the pure and more straight-forward form that is SHIZUNE (except for the surreal "MONØLITH- Fall of Nibiru"), while the 7" expanded the sound to include more experimentation, dynamics and textures. My personal favourite from this EP is in "Days Of Vaestena" which boast vocals that are nearly identical to Young Mountain as well as some nice, round-table screaming. I'd be amiss not to mention the sweet twinkly/near-breakdown that brings the release to a close on "Weekend At Lake Vostok".

2013 saw the lonely release of two songs on the 'Minus Tree split' 7". "Souvenirs D'éternité" is a rocking opener and takes the band to a heavier, more frantic level, while the twin track on the split is the longer and relaxed screamo daze of "In Memoria di Nessuno". 2014 saw the release of two more songs on the 4-Way split 12", "An Appointment With Richard Harrison" and "March Blizzard in Rostov na Donu", both of which continue the balanced evolution of both screamy and beautiful. The 2012-2014 discography tape 'Retro Engineering Project' was released in the same year but is now obsolete due to the 2017 'First Five Years' full discography tape that you can buy directly from the band here.

In 2015 SHIZUNE dropped what may well be their most complete work to date, the fantastic 10-track 'La Voyageur Imprudent' on cassette and 12". Every song on here is fantastic and saturated with passion, drive, skill and awesome music. At this point the instrumentals seldom drop to slower bits, but when they do the melodies and atmosphere created are simultaneously surreal and palpable. Fast and energetic bursts occur in "Aestheticism", "Notes of Decay", "Sputnik! Nostalgia", "Senza Luce", "Difficile da Capire, Impossibile da Spiegare" and "Instructions for Inertia" that bring to mind the lush instrumental textures and cathartic screams created by Via Fondo and Raein. The sensational "Immortel et Impérissable" is all encompassing, and the epic bass drops during the first 30 seconds of "Un Telefono Che Non Squilla" are worth checking out if you haven't already jammed SHIZUNE thoroughly. Oh, and the end of "Vesper" sounds like La Quiete, so...fuck yeah! What a killer LP.

The next release by SHIZUNE easily gives the previous endeavor a run for its money, as the cassette/10" LP that is 'Cheat Death, Live Dead!' is fucking awesome. Housing 10 songs generally shorter in length, such as the brilliant "Lentiggini" (so La Quiete), "Dead All Day, Rodeo Tonight!" (so intense) and my personal favourite "Always Separate the Drugs" (so driving), the LP blazes circles of fire around the listener with amazing drumming leading the charge of Italian-screamo instrumentals and more, beautiful Italian screaming. Opener "The Dreamers Sleep On Concrete" ignites and extinguishes itself in less than 50 seconds, followed by "Dance Dance Dance", which includes some sexy guitar riffs just after the break at 30 seconds before SHIZUNE goes warp speed for the second straight track.

I don't know what the band is doing next, but sign me the fuck up right now.



2012 - Shizune 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - Mono No Aware: Between Eternity and the Burial cassette/12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - Minus Tree split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - 4-Way split (w/Things Fall Apart, Infro and Tall Ships Set Sail) 12"LP (stream/buy here)
2014 - Retro Engineering Facts cassette discography (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Le Voyageur Imprudent cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Cheat Death, Live Dead! cassette/10"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2017 - The First Five Years cassette discography (buy here)


(2017) SHIZUNE - "Always Separate the Drugs" (from 'Cheat Death, Live Dead!')

(2017) SHIZUNE - "Lentiggini" (from 'Cheat Death, Live Dead!')

(2017) SHIZUNE - "Dead All Day, Rodeo Tonight!" (from 'Cheat Death, Live Dead!')

(2015) SHIZUNE - "Immortel et Impérissable" (from 'Le Voyageur Imprudent')

(2015) SHIZUNE - "Sputnik! Nostalgia" (from 'Le Voyageur Imprudent')

(2014) SHIZUNE - "An Appointment With Richard Harrison" (from '4-Way' split)

(2013) SHIZUNE - "Souvenirs D'Éternité" (from 'Minus Tree' split)

(2012) SHIZUNE - "MONØLITH- Fall of Nibiru" (from 'Mono No Aware: Between Eternity and the Burial')

(2012) SHIZUNE - "Days Of Vaestena" (from 'Shizune')

(2012) SHIZUNE - "Kairos" (from 'Shizune')


SHIZUNE additional links


Sunday 24 September 2017


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Emo-violence / Grindcore / Noise / Black Metal
Related artistsKiss The Sky Goodbye, Eyelet and Les Rhinos.
CountryBaltimore, Maryland U.S.A.
Years Active2015-2016
Song: "Genosha"
Album: "Demo"
Year: 2015
For fans ofKiss The Sky Goodbye, Phoenix Bodies, Machina Genova, Enkephalin, Letters In Binary, Me And Him Call It Us, Tentacles, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Ed Gein, Worst Days, Terror Eyes, Black Nail, Genghis Tron, Inside The Beehive and Crestfallen aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

Venomous, violent and unrelenting. Sweet, review done.

Ahhhh not really. It could be, though. Short and sweet, just like EGARRA. Releasing just three songs in 2015, this four-piece slashed through grindy, mathy, screamy hardcore like it was a piece of cake. Drawing likely influences from bands such as Kiss The Sky Goodbye, Phoenix Bodies and Crestfallen, their one to two minute bursts of epic and ferocious math grind both pummel and connect with the listener, like a good kidnapper or hostage taker, I'd reckon.

The 'Demo' is sensational, with opener "Genosha" tearing rabidly through a minute fifty of noisy bliss. If your will hasn't caved in by 1:20, the feedback soaked breakdown at the end with get you - I promise. "Bloodhaven" is a two-minute dandy of ballistic drumming, sick riffs, breakdowns and nearly-maniacal screaming. I'd be amiss not to point out the shear power and force that vocalist Kyle is able to summon is remarkable, and sounds very much like Kiss The Sky Goodbye.

The band's final release, a digital single titled "Thomas and Logan", employs a consistent onslaught of dual screaming and breakneck drumming. I think it's safe to say with this that the band was likely headed in an even faster, crazier direction at the time of their demise. The section from 47 seconds to 1:05 is phenomenal, employing single, ringing bass notes amidst noodley guitars and beautifully placed screams.

Hot damn, EGARRA truly did everything short and awesome, unfortunately that included their band lifespan.



2015 - Demo digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)
2015 - Thomas and Logan digital single (stream/donate/download here)


(2015) EGARRA - "Genosha" (from 'Demo')

(2015) EGARRA - "Bloodhaven" (from 'Demo')

(2015) EGARRA - "Thomas and Logan" (from 'Thomas and Logan')


EGARRA additional links


Friday 22 September 2017


GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative
Related artistsD.O.T.C., Secret In Defense, Spitback and Oursecondtorture.
CountryKuantan MALAYSIA
Years Active2016-present
Song: "Fallen Empire"
Album: "The Fall The Rise"
Year: 2017
For fans ofAt The Drive In, Sparta, For The Mathematics, The Mars Volta, Thursday, The Sound Of Animals Fighting, Encrypt Manuscript, Gran Casino, Beast Jesus, Life In Vacuum, I Am Alaska, Lucertulus, Trapdoor Fucking Exit and Christiansen.
Label(s): Self Released / Utarid Tapes / ISU Recs
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

I really do listen to everything I'm sent. Sometimes it's obvious if something will be a good fit or not. Other times I am unable to muster up preconceived notions for a variety of reasons, and when I read a message asking me to check out At The Drive In, Sparta and Glassjaw inspired CANTILEVER, I kinda threw my arms up and said, "Well...fuck, I dunno. Let's give'er a go." And I did. And I was pretty impressed. I'm additionally stoked because this is their debut. And, Malaysia seems to be poppin' these last few years. Let's take a quick look at the tracks.

Firstly, the EP is titled 'The Fall The Rise' and it leads off with a short, spacey intro that blasts into a short stab at full tilt before recoiling into a looped guitar fade out that flatlines at 1:10. Up next is "Runaway", an awkward, jarring and early At The Drive In-sounding track with clean vocals midway through the song. It has its moments but doesn't reach the height of later tracks. "Enigmas" gets things back on track with a rousing with 5:36 of dancey hardcore with yelling. Again At The Drive In comparisons are unavoidable, especially with the guitars that take hold at 1:03. Despite the obvious influence it holds its own and adds a smooth spin on the often replicated sound. "The Death of Steve" is the third track, taking the faster, heavier bits from the previous track and condensing it all down to 2:12. Although an extremely unlikely influence, this song sounds quite a bit like For The Mathematics both instrumentally and vocally, so I'd recommend that everyone check out that band, too. Perhaps it's the closer that steals the show, as the interesting but not groundbreaking material prior don't pack the earnest vocals and consistent riffs put forth on "Fallen Empire". The injection of dual vocals and the most cohesive melodies seem to stem from The Mars Volta and Sparta, both of At The Drive In's subsequent incarnations. Should you check out one song from this band, I'd recommend it being this. That being said, the band has a new track called "Cut For Nothing" being premiered shortly that will give this final song a run for its money.

Well played, folks. Thanks for the submission and keep up the good work!



2017 - The Fall The Rise cd/cassetteEP (stream some songs here and the rest here)


(2017) CANTILEVER - "Fallen Empire" (from 'The Fall The Rise') official music video

(2017) CANTILEVER - "Death of Steve" (from 'The Fall The Rise') official music video

(2017) CANTILEVER - "Enigmas" (from 'The Fall The Rise')


CANTILEVER additional links


Tuesday 19 September 2017

***MASSA NERA exclusive premiere***

MASSA NERA's 2017 12"LP
'Los Pensamientos De Una Cara Palida'

Streaming in full on October 2nd from Sophie's Floorboard w/pre-orders available via:

Zegema Beach Records (Canada/New Zealand/Australia)
Middle Man Records (U.S.A.)
Ancient Injury Records (U.S.A.)
Dingleberry Records (Germany/Europe)

Belle Époque Publishing (Canada)

My first introduction to MASSA NERA was on the first date of the 2016 мятеж tour, August 9th in New Jersey at Boontunes, to be exact. The young group, then 5-piece with a different bass player, blew me away. Check out the videos I took of them here. Fast forward to late 2016 and I got to help with the Jeromes Dream tribute cassette, of which they took part in. Not only did they take part, but they submitted one of the best tracks on the 60+ minute compilation. In early 2017 I asked some bands if they were interested in playing the Zegema Beach Records Fest in June, to which MASSA NERA agreed. Two days before their departure date and three before the show, their vocalist quit the band. But the remaining four fellas drove all the way to Hamilton, Ontario from New Jersey and blew everyone at that night of the fest all the fucking way to the outer rings. Be sure to check them out in this ZBR Fest Day 1 post linked here. A few weeks following their rousing performance I received their LP masters and weeeeeeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwww that's some good shit. I made sure to get myself and Zegema Beach Records on board, after which we reached out and asked for help from Middle Man Records, Ancient Injury Records, Dingleberry Records and Belle Époque Publishing (Egin from Respire's new label). To top off this incredible journey with MASSA NERA is the stunning 12" art from Connie Sgarbossa of SeeYouSpaceCowboy fame. So, without any further ado, here is the premiere of "One.Two.Zero." from the upcoming 'Los Pensamientos De Una Cara Palida' 12"!

(2017) MASSA NERA - "One.Two.Zero." (from 'Los Pensamientos De Una Cara Palida')
For fans of: Shizune, Off Minor and Young Mountain
After the initial 44-second noise intro "One.Two.Zero." goes all out. I love the massive breakdown and subsequent drum ridiculousness just after the one-minute mark. After a dark transition the groove sets in around 1:40 and the band rides this wave to what seems like an anti-climax, only to drop down further to invoke a powerful and cathartic outro from 3:05 that gives a hint of what's to come from their upcoming LP. Absolutely crushing. Wowza. As mentioned above, there will also be a full album stream with the pre-order links coming October 2nd, 2017 over at Sophie's Floorboard. Get the fuck ready.

Monday 18 September 2017

***RESPIRE + LOVE/LUST exclusive video interview + Munich show review***

June 21st, 2017
Following our band debacle in Croatia which led to the tour being cancelled, we made our way into Germany on a grueling 11 hours bus trip...with a three-year old! At this point I was going out to shows alone, which is pretty normal for me, as Mike Van Buren had made his way to Sweden in an attempt to reclaim his lost luggage. I took a 45-minute bus through the beautiful Munich which was exhilarating. Respire and Love/Lost had just started unloading into the venue so I helped and then hung out with the bands. At Kafe Marat in Munich/München there was a meeting for an organization protesting the G20 so I was asked not to take videos of the venue itself, just the bands. At that point members of Respire, Love/Lust and I walked to a river and made most of the following video interview that I'm premiering right fucking now. Enjoy!

exclusive video interview


The openers SUR L'EAU were the local act from München, played spastic and loose hardcore and were fitting openers, bringing in shorter songs and a more direct approach, with the two out of town bands playing 5-10 minute songs. Check some out below. I'm kind of lost on comparisons here, but the vocalist was very in your face which added an extra notch of intensity to the set. I guess maybe Arches? I don't know.
Link to song: *2*
ffo: Orchid, AttackRobotAttack and Cease Upon The Capitol


Next up was Respire's touring partners LOVE/LUST from Berlin. Apparently dubbed as "hipster black-metal" when attempting to rope Respire in to a tour, played an awesome three-song set with a newly acquired 16-year old guitar player. The quartet used the space excellently, moving around and even employing a selection of vocal effects. Each song seemed to hover just under the 10-minute mark and incorporated dreamy bits, slow builds and chaotic eruptions. Keep an eye out on this very young band (together only six months for this concert, I believe?) as they released 'Sorrow' which I've linked here.
ffo: Locktender, Respire and NIC aka ██████


The amazing RESPIRE were up next...after a pepper spray incident that caused about half of the audience to give up and go home. That really sucked. But here is their full set below, in case you were one of those few who thought they weren't going to be able to play in that tear-inducing pepper spray chamber. Anyway, they go through the motions for a few minutes before finding their groove and then they rocked out harder than I may have ever seen them do before. Eslin's viola playing has been modified since she joined the band full-time, as she matches the notes formerly held by Emmett's trumpet perfectly, as well as doing her own stuff. I even jumped on for some vocals on "Eternal Nothing" and man that was awesome. The band is writing for an upcoming LP so keep your eyes peeled in early 2018!
ffo: Old Soul, City Of Caterpillar and Locktender
Grab the few copies left of their 12" first pressing 'Gravity and Grace' here.


Here are some pictures from around Munich, Germany.

Sunday 17 September 2017


GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Screamo / Ambient
Related artistsLes Deux Minutes De La Haines.
CountryPau FRANCE
Years Active2012-2013
Song: "Deux"
Album: "Amertumes"
Year: 2012
For fans ofAmanda WoodwardSed Non SatiataNous ÉtionsLes Deux Minutes De La HainesGantzEnvyAussitôt MortMilanKuAporia, Nionde Plågan, Anodes, Nine ElevenMarée Noire, Evylock, Lakmé, Buried Inside, Mihai Edrisch, Titan, Respire, Breag Noafa, I Am A Curse, Gameness and Carcajou aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Dingleberry Records / Back To Reality Records / Des Bombes Des Fleurs / Desertion Records / Anarchino Records / Plastic Phant Records / Not A Pub / Emergence / A L'ombre De Cette Vie Records / Orchidscent Records
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

I first heard this band by sheer luck, as I visited friend and fellow label fanatic Olin Dunleavy from Friendly Otter Records. Upon parting ways I was given some random records to even out a trade we did, and in it was the 3-way 12" with THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER on it. After a year or so I got around to trying to figure out what each of the bands on it sounded like, only to become deeply smitten with these folks. For French screamo with heavy nods to post-rock and post-hardcore, look no further than this band that preceded Les Deux Minutes De La Haines. With strong ties in sound to Amanda Woodward, Nous Étions and Envy, the band self-released 'Amertumes' in 2012 and two final tracks on the aforementioned 2013 '3-way split' 12" with I Was A Cosmonaut Hero and Cheval. The band named all of their songs "One" to "Eleven" in French.

The 9-song 2012 debut 'Amertumes' is fucking genius. The record is extremely consistent, engaging and downright awesome. The decent tracks include "Intro", "Neuf", "Sept" and "Interlude", but those are just the tip of the iceberg. The remaining tracks all stand out and, simply put, are ridiculously good. Each track has its own characteristics but the beautifully woven instrumentals are present everywhere, fluctuating between serene and explosive as well as incorporating a wide array of dreamy breakdowns and palm muting. "Trois" is a great example, with its writhing instrumentals that subtly inject poisonous melodies and crushing vocals. "Cinq" begins dark and dreary but picks up from two minutes onward with an imposing sound comparable to new Nine Eleven material. "Deux"'s intro is carried by rolling bass and beautiful, subdued guitar. At 2:10 the song shifts from head swaying post-hardcore to epic, driving screamo. From 4:24 until 5:24 the song plummets in a beautifully constructed and insanely catchy instrumental nosedive with displaced Envy-esque vocals. This is followed by a sick, dark breakdown Amanda Woodward style with commanding guitars. "Quatre" is tied for my favourite track along with "Deux", although this is shorter and has Amanda Woodward love smeared all over the massive, unstoppable force that could quite easily be likened to the audio equivalent of Games Of Thrones' The Great Wall. Such a bad comparison, but such a gripping song. Closer "Huit" allots the first 1:52 to spacey instrumentals and a lengthy audio clip from Fahrenheit 451 and is a final reminder of the album's dense consistency.

'3-Way split' tracks are long and very good, but don't have that wow factor that is present on about half of their full length. "Dix" delves into an awkward and deathly sounding bass intro that sets the stage for the dark, evil instrumentals that follow. The highlight of the split, "Onze", is ambient until 2:20 when thunderous bass riffs and a devilish guitar lick take center stage. At 8:14 this thing is monumental and won't let you down, because...damn, you can't get much better. If you are still aching for more, be sure to check out the members' current band Les Deux Minutes De La Haines.



2012 - Amertumes cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - 3-way split (w/I Was A Cosmonaut Hero & Cheval) 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2012) THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER - "Deux" (from 'Amertumes')

(2012) THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER - "Quatre" (from 'Amertumes')

(2012) THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER - "Trois" (from 'Amertumes')

(2013) THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER - "Onze" (from '3-way' split)


THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER additional links