Saturday 29 September 2018

***ARSEN aka KÖNIG DER MONSTER exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Dark Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Powerviolence / Grindcore / Black Metal / Blackened Crust
Related artistsRepublic Of Dreams, Saligia, Resurrectionists, Aureole Of AshAngstzustandA Fine Boat, That Coffin!, Avengers Of Blood, Bambule, Borigor, Extreme Disgorge, Morlock, Profanation, Cheerleaders Of The Apocalypse, Houses In Texas and The Apoplexy Twist Orchestra.
CountryBremen GERMANY
Years Active2002-2003
Song: "Erde Meldet Sich Zuruck"
Album: "No Gods...Only Monsters"
Year: 2003
For fans ofResurrectionists, Carol, Union Of Uranus, Drift, Acme, Never Better, The Assistant, One Eyed God Prophecy, Battle Of Wolf 359, Welcome The Plague Year, Guidelines, Utarid, Akephal, Zeroid, June Paik, Closet Witch, Makara, Drei Affen, Mörser, The Flying Worker, Orchid, To Dream Of Autumn,  and Commuovere aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): React With Protest / Narshardaa Records / Unsociable 
This post's artist is from the September 2018 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the September 2018 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2018 Mix#10 here.

I only heard ARSEN a few years back, and delved heavily into the discography after picking up a 'Black Sunday' 7"EP from Lars at the 2017 Cry Me A River Fest in Germany. After moving to New Zealand, traveling around Australia and Hawaii, arriving back in Canada, and then getting my shipment of records from my pre-NZ I finally got my hands on the 7" again, nearly a year after getting it. I spun it around on the record player and after two songs I said to Lisa, "Yo, this sounds like Sabine." After another track I couldn't take it anymore and I nearly tore the jacket out of the plastic sleeve in an attempt to find out if my ears were playing tricks on me. Yep, it's Sabine. And Lars! Damn I didn't even know this was a pre-Aureole Of Ash and Resurrectionists band, but after jamming the entire discography it makes total sense.

The band didn't release much, as they had the debut 'Black Sunday' 7"EP in 2002 and their final recordings from the 2003 12"LP titled 'No Gods...Only Monsters' with a discography cassette being released back in 2006. The 7" is a great starting point, but after hearing the later material it is obvious that the production is lacking compared to the LP. The 90s Bremen and Canadian hardcore sound is apparent from the get-go, and mingles with the dual vocals to create a unique spin on the incredible power contained in the style. Opener "" is dark and deathly, reminding me of Battle Of Wolf 359 and Closet Witch. "Einsam, Wenn Man Die Warheit Weiss" sounds more like an old-school punk/hardcore song during its intro, but by the time the first minute concludes you'll need a new set of ears and likely a new soul cuz that's some heavy and evil sounding shit, especially the pause and subsequent destruction from about 1:52 onward. "Verdammte Scheisse" definitely has a Carol and One Eyed God Prophecy feel to it but crosses over into some later screamo from bands such as Welcome The Plague Year, Guidelines and The Assistant while closer "Die Kriegen Uns Night" is much of the same, albeit even blacker.

2003's 'No Gods...Only Monsters' is fucking amazing. I like the 7", but they really nailed on this release and it is more than apparent only a minute into opener "Stillstand", a very heavy, dual-screamed song that incorporates a lot of 90s hardcore but manages to really incorporate more screamo and emo-violence sounds that were coming out of Germany around that same time. There is a slowdown that Battle Of Wolf 359 must have used as a blueprint as well as a very progressive instrumental build that brings The Flying Worker to mind. Some other notable tracks include "Soziohierarchizid" (some Orchid worship and amazing back-and-forth vocals), "Rituale aka Machopisser Stirb!" (the swirling guitars and chugs are to die for), "No Gods...Only Monsters" (holy shit that's one behemoth guitar intro/instrumental track) and my personal favourite "Erde Meldet Sich Zuruck", which is has an apocalyptic, evil, emo-violence sound to it that will grip you for its 4:10 tenure.

I reached out to Sabine (vocals) about her time in ARSEN. Read the full interview below.


Exclusive Interview

Sabine of ARSEN

1 - How did Arsen begin?
Lars, Christoph and I met Marc on different shows while he was playing with Angstzustand. As we were hanging out at his place we spontaneously decided to do a band together since we felt very comfortable with each other and shared the same passion. Marc then introduced us to Arne at our first practice session together.

2 - Why the name, Arsen?
It was a compromise. Marc and Arne were into Arsen. I dont know exactly what the initial idea was behind it but Lars as a big godzilla fan wanted to add König Der Monster (King Of The Monster). So the full name was Arsen aka König Der Monster!

3 - How did your first recordings come about?
Due to the long distance between the parties involved we did not practice on a regular basis but intensely on weekends when we all were free. We would spend hours for two/three days in that dirty and smelly practice place – you can hear it had an influence on us :). I'm not sure anymore but we had the songs for the seven inch together in one or two weekends and since we were really into'em we decided to do a seven inch instead of a demo tape as it was planned before. We knew that guy from Bielefeld that had recorded bands we knew and liked a lot (Hybris, Cheerleaders Of The Apocalypse...) so we booked a session. In the end there were too many different opinions on how it should sound and the recordings reflect that sometimes we had heated discussions and needed to compromise in the end. I think no one involved was very happy with how it turned out.

4 - What can you tell us about the LP?
We were a lot more satisfied with the recordings for the LP – it was still was a compromise, especially between Lars and Arne whose opinions about the sound were pretty different. We recorded this analog with some lovely punks somewhere on the countryside who recorded the Zeroid ten inch shortly before, I think. For us it was a big effort, Arne and Marc even went to the Hamburg Habour one night to record sound samples for between the songs…

5 - Is it interesting to see blogs and people still discussing your band all these years later?
To be honest – I didn't really notice that people are still talking about Arsen … interesting.

Did Bremen hardcore influence your sound? What do you think about these new/old Carol recordings?
Obviously Bremen hardcore was an inspiration – later on Arne and Marc even moved to Bremen :) but even more influential were Canadian bands like Uranus and One Eyed God Prophecy or North Germany's Akephal. But we never set a direction – the songs were pretty much on a gut level which made em more intense and special to me.

We are pretty excited about those Carol recordings...damn its like time travel. Can't wait.

8 - What are you doing nowadays?
I am singing in Aureole Of Ash together with Lars and am about to join another band with lovely people called The Path. Itès kinda like the opposite of Aureole Of Ash – longer songs, more melodies... Lars is also still playing in Republic Of Dreams (yeah they still are a band!) and is looking to start a new project with some members of the now disbanded Saligia. Marc played or still plays in a punk band called Bombenalarm…and I don't really know what Arne and Marc are up to these days – we lost contact a long time ago. Christoph is a full time dad now and a hobby black metal guitarist with his band of Changing Unspeakable Names :)


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

2002 - Black Sunday 7"EP

2003 - No Gods, Only Monsters 12"LP

2006 - Discography cassetteLP


(2003) ARSEN - "Erde Meldet Sich Zuruck" (from 'No Gods...Only Monsters')

(2003) ARSEN - "Rituale aka Machopisser Stirb!" (from 'No Gods...Only Monsters')

(2003) ARSEN - "Stillstand" (from 'No Gods...Only Monsters')

(2002) ARSEN - "Wir Haben es ja Versucht" (from 'Black Sunday')

(2002) ARSEN - "Die Kriegen Uns Night" (from 'Black Sunday')


ARSEN out of print mp3 discography download


Thursday 27 September 2018


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Ambient / Experimental
Related artistsCantilever, Secret In DefenseEustryll and Love As Arson.
CountryKuantan MALAYSIA
Years Active2018-present
Song: "Escape Plan"
Album: "past present future"
Year: 2018
For fans ofTextbook Traitors, Lyed, Cassus, Massa Nera, Ostraca, Portrayal Of Guilt, Boneflower, Viva Belgrado, La Parade, Virginia On Duty, Tempano, Beast Jesus, Rêche, False Flag, and Mališa Bahat aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the September 2018 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the September 2018 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2018 Mix#10 here.

Holy shit, Malaysia you are spewing screamo fire! Pretty much non-stop, I might add. A few months ago a new band called MORTAR released their demo EP titled 'past present future' and I've been in love since. Combining a bat-like shriek with sexy, emo-violence and some ambient, post-hardcore leanings you can't go wrong with a single track here, and the band has left me ridiculously intrigued as to what their next output will be.

"Escape Plan" toys a bit with the listener as I thought I was about to jam an old, unreleased Thursday record until the vocals and instrumentals meet up in a fiery fury, holding more in common with bands like The Bled and Lyed than anything on the emo side. The song dips in and out of fast and melodic moments and is a great screamy hardcore/post-hardcore opener to start the record. Next up is one of the two mediocre tracks, as "Bruised Heart" is pretty long (perhaps a bit too long), but it does venture further out than any other song does, with chill parts permeating the midsection, causing a light, ambient lift. "Anaerobic" is extremely powerful, both in the vocal department (that shit is intense and rarely lets up) and with the instrumentals (very driving and early Germany 2000s-esque screamo) that reminds me of Mališa Bahat and Cassus, making it my pick of the EP. Title track "past.present.future" opens with almost two minutes of spacey post-rock and then catapults into some very intense screamy hardcore. Again the vocals here are at the forefront, demanding attention while spewing forward such powerful rage. With the song being over 8 minutes in length, it is no surprise that we are greeted with another ambient middle, although there are softly spoken vocals throughout, adding an awesome, eerie layer to the spacey post-rock and reminding me of Beast Jesus' 16-minute opus. Closer "The Last Part of Sorrow" begins very Spanish in sound, bringing to mind bands such as La Parade and Viva Belgrado, as the flowing, lush guitars melt into the flowing drums and bass creating a wonderful audio river that you'll find yourself floating freely down in no time. Your relaxing trip will come to one hell of a halt at 2:35 when shit goes bananas, weaving the perfect ending to a fucking awesome first release.

I don't know what the band has planned next, but considering this is a debut I'll just assume it'll be a top 20. No pressure, friends.



2018 - past present future -  (stream/buy here)


(2018) MORTAR - "The Last Part of Sorrow" (from 'past present future')

(2018) MORTAR - "Anaerobic" (from 'past present future')

(2018) MORTAR - "Escape Plan" (from 'past present future')


MORTAR additional links

Tuesday 25 September 2018

***EUCLID C-FINDER exclusive premiere***

"A Rumination On Empty Years"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofHayworth, Egarra, Me And Him Call It Us, Secondgradeknifefight, Owen Hart, .gif from god and Graf Orlock

EUCLID C FINDER is the brainchild of Mike from Neck First, Kiss The Sky Goodbye and Egarra and follows a similar path of mathy, grindy and shrieky hardcore. I hear some possible nods to the stylings of Me And Him Call It Us and Hayworth, but there are definite Graf Orlock undertones, especially in the vocal department. This cassette not only houses the new, six-track self titled EP, but also the debut EP ‘A Standard Basis For The Set of All Discontent‘ on the b-side, making it a goddamned steal at $5US.

I was initially sent Mike's first EP for which I gave a glowing review (read here) and a few weeks back he sent the new, self-titled EP to me to premiere but I managed to convince him to let me climb aboard with Zegema Beach Records as well as premiere a song of my choice. I chose track three's "" because of that absolutely ridiculous second half. The tapes will be released by the band and Zegema Beach, are limited to 100 on ferric with an orange shell and are hand-numbered on a four-panel j-card. The entire six song EP with premiere on Sophie's Floorboard October 2nd, 2018. You can order them from EUCLID C FINDER here, Canada/International ZBR here or ZBR U.S. here.

(2018) EUCLID C FINDER - #3 - "A Rumination On Empty Years" (from 'Euclid C Finder!')

Holy shit get the fuck ready because this songs begins in warp speed, obliterating the listener in the first ten seconds. The song then slides around in various forms, including a sarcastic jazzy section across the one-minute mark that definitely brings The Great Redneck Hope to mind. At 1:28 the song goes supernova with an insane breakdown that has an extra layer applied to it from 1:47-2:17 that gets very .gif from god and Hayworth-esque. So yeah, wowza. And there are five more bangers on here. Check Sophie's Floorboard on October 2nd for the full stream.

"A Rumination on Empty Years"

Sometimes I don't want my heart to break
Added bonus if my bones don't ache
Long ago I waded the river
Thought I left you drowning within her
But that's not what I think
When I think of you
I think about the relief
Ignore the mountains of grief
And sometimes I wish
You were in my veins
Only dead men stay
(Sleep for a while
Don't go astray
Take in the sights and sounds
Only good men stay
And if your waiting
For the perfect day
Every moments best
As you'll soon say)
Suddenly I feel my spine shiver
Feel the ghosts scratch at my liver
But that's not what I think
When I think of you
I think of times I survived
And of feelings you brought alive
And sometimes i wish
You were in my veins
Only the dead can say
Was it worth it all


Order tape in the U.S.A. from:

Order tape in Canada or internationally from:

Sunday 23 September 2018

***BETHARI / INQUIRY LAST SCENERY / MAR NEGRO / POETRY OF TORCH 4-way split exclusive premiere***

M   A   R      N   E   G   R   O
P O E T R Y  O F  T O R C H
B     E     T     H     A     R     I

'4-Way Split'
exclusive 4-song premiere

Hooooolllyyyyy shit here comes another exclusive premiere of at least one song from each of the bands on the 4-way split between MAR NEGRO (Costa Rica), POETRY OF TORCH (Japan), BETHARI (Singapore) and INQUIRY LAST SCENERY (Malaysia). This thing releases on cassette October 6th, 2018 from Thailand's Tenzenmen Records and Malaysia's Exit Records.

For fans ofJeromes DreamSenza and Textbook Traitors

Ahhhhh, the reason I got to do this is cuz I love me some BETHARI, and proved it here. These five new songs likely follow a narrative due to the very intriguing song titles. They are also fucking scorchers, jesus ass christ. With the exception of the intro song all tracks here are only 20 to 32 seconds each, so this is over very quickly and needs repeat listens to soak in all that awesomeness. My favourite of the five would have to be the third track, but the fifth is also unrelenting.

(2018) BETHARI - #3 - "P (对联)" (from '4-way' split)

For fans ofStubborn FatherAlpinist and Left Astray

They offer up four tracks of extremely dark, crusty and volatile hardcore, making them the heaviest on the split. There's definitely some crossover into other genres as I wouldn't really label this as screamo, but it fits right in with the other bands and will leave you feeling like you got punched in the gut.

(2018) INQUIRY LAST SCENERY - #4 - "Belansungkawa" (from '4-way' split)

For fans ofYo SbraitoEkkaia and Tenue

Two-piece from Valle Central in Costa Rica, they play a raw and screamy mixture of Euro screamo (Italian, in particular, I would say) and neocrust. I hear a bit of La Quiete and Shizune as well as darker stuff such as Orchid and Ekkaia. My favourite of the three is the perfectly balanced "Migración Forzada". Very cool stuff that I hadn't heard before. They also have a six-song demo EP from 2017 that you can grab here.

(2018) MAR NEGRO - #3 - "Migración Forzada" (from '4-way' split)

For fans ofCape Light, (early) Examination Of The... and 5000

Ahaha at this point I'm just floored. Four amazing bands, dear lord what a split. This Japanese four-piece plays a brutal, explosive blast of emo-violence not unlike some of the heavier new bands coming out of Japan (I'm thinking of Cape Light and 5000, in particular). I have premiered two songs below because this band is new and very hard to find online, as they seem to be socially quiet (at least on the English shores) but did see that they share their guitarist with Zdzis Law. Check this out if you like your music caustic, short, violent and amazing.

(2018) POETRY OF TORCH - #1 - "Kneel Young" (from '4-way' split)

(2018) POETRY OF TORCH - #3 - "Sink Into My Lust" (from '4-way' split)

Friday 21 September 2018

***BLUE YOUTH exclusive interview***

I have recounted my BLUE YOUTH story more than once on this blog, so I'll just skip it. I will, however, let loose the news that we are making 50 tapes for the debut, self titled 'Blue Youth' EP that was digitally released in 2017. You can read me gushing about it here. Orders will go up in October/November for the five, sexy, powerful and addictive tunes, but you can nab the new 'Dead Forever' 12" from Zegema Beach right here (or here if you're in the U.S.) as well as from Santapogue Media, Suspended Soul Tapes And Records and Grind Central Records.

BLUE YOUTH interview
w/bassist Jon Wolfond

1) How was the band formed?

We’ve all played in bands with each other through the years. We all played in a short lived post-hardcore-gaze band called Good Girls, Gage and I still play in the sometimes active spazzy hardcore outfit Bermuda Love and Garret and I have been in probably 6 or 7 bands together in the last 14 years. Blue Youth started in 2016 with Gage wanting to get a noisy, groove-heavy three piece going with us, and the rest is history. There was no real direction we were going with in terms of sound, but given our backgrounds in punk/hardcore, the outcome could’ve been expected.

2) What does Blue Youth mean?
Great question! Haha. We had a very hard time coming up with a name for this project. We were in the mixing process of the EP before we decided on Blue Youth. Gage really wanted to name us French Exit, but I couldn’t stand the name. I came to the band with the idea of Blue Youth and it was the first one that we could all agree on. I think the name brings a connotation of frustration, sadness and anger people experience during their teenage years and early adulthood. Two-thirds of the band is pretty far past this stage of life, but I think the music speaks to those emotions and feelings, and Gage writes the lyrics, so we’ve got the “youthful” aspect covered. The more we write and progress as a band, I feel we have come to identify more strongly with the name.

3) What was the first song you ever wrote?
The first song we ever jammed on as a band was what turned out to be “The Power”. That being said, when we started we put an emphasis on writing in the moment and not overthinking things. We would have an initial idea that we would jam, try to build a structure, crudely record it on my iPhone, and then leave it. The next time we would get together we would try the process again with a new idea, and so on. We would touch on the songs, refine small parts and transitions, but that's essentially how the EP was written. So “The Power” was the first one to be played, but they were all written in just over a month.

4) How would you describe your progression from the EP to the LP?
Musically, we had more time to flesh out song ideas. We started working on “(The Worst Of It Is) You” in June and finally finished it before we started recording the album in September. “Succubus” was an instrumental song that we would play at shows, but was never really finished til Gage laid down vocals for the record. We gave ourselves more time to let songs marinate and take on a life of their own before we put them down on record. I think we were also focused on making this record heavier than the last. We recorded drums in a big room in one of our local venues, I used about 3 heads and two cabinets for bass, and Gage acquired a plethora of game-changing pedals and used a huge rig to get his guitar to sound the way it did on the record.

Chris Dimas (our engineer/unofficial 4th member of the band) did a fantastic job of bringing this record to life. He put a ridiculous amount of time into making us happy, since, as a band, we all like different things. He did a wonderful thing, and this record wouldn’t be half as good if it wasn’t for his work on it. Y’all should check out some more of his work at Grind Central Records!

5) What's your favourite track on the EP? On the LP? Which is the best song to play live?
My favourite track on the EP would probably be a toss up between “Screw” or “The End”. We don’t play the latter live anymore, but it’s a quirky little song in 7/4 that is just pretty raw.

The LP... that’s a tough one... “Succubus”. There’s some grooves in that song that get me hyped when I play it live or ever listen to it. That said, I think “(The Worst Of It Is) You” is the best song to play live. There’s a lot of dynamics and a few changes that keeps the audience engaged.

6) Have you guys toured much? Do you plan to in the coming year?
Unfortunately, we have not. We try to make the shows that we do play out of town count as much as possible. Between work schedules, family commitments and Gage’s prior engagements to his other band (Surf Dads), we find ourselves in a tough touring situation. I mean, we’ve only played about a dozen shows total with this band inside and out of Regina, so I think something might be coming in the next year or so, but we’ll probably have a new album by then, knowing us.

7) Did you scout any labels at the beginning of the band's recordings, or was the idea to go DIY/Grind Central all the way?
Grind Central is Gage and Chris Dimas’s baby, so us and Surf Dads were their first releases on the label. I really like the family-like feeling of being a part of it. There’s a lot of great young bands in Regina right now, so it’s an exciting time to be putting out music. Also, we weren’t really noteworthy outside of our home province, so selling the band to other labels, especially not having done any touring, was kind of a tough thing.

8) At this point in time too many bands are doing vinyl. Like...every band, almost. And their mums. Demo recordings, not very good recordings, cripes even live recordings. So why was it that I had to convince you to do vinyl? It seems a rather humble trait I see rarely.
Vinyl was always our original goal with this record. Financial constraints were really the only reason that we strayed away from it. We had come to terms with the fact that we would have to settle for a cassette release, until I reached out to you in March. The order was put in that prior week for the tapes and I think we were just itching to put it out, as we had been working on it since September 2017. I think that maybe our only hesitation stemmed from it seeming too good to be true. It’s very humbling for people to rally behind something that you've put a lot of time and thought into, and especially from individuals who you’ve never met. So that said, a very sincere thank you to David, Brandon (Santapogue Media) and Brett (Suspended Souls) for helping us put out 'Dead Forever' in the medium that we feel it should be played on!

9) Is it weird being on what I would consider a screamo label?
Not really? I definitely think that exposure to new audiences is always a good thing. In my experience, music lovers have a wide enough range of tastes that can extend to other genres, and we’re a loud, shouty band, so there’s some crossover there. It’s also nice to be a part of a label that is personally invested in the band, so no, I don’t think it’s weird. Haha

10) What are your favourite records of 2018?
I can’t speak for the other guys, but I definitely have a few front runners.

IDLES - 'Joy As An Act of Resistance'
KEN Mode - 'Loved'
Moaning - 'Moaning'
Life In Vacuum - 'All You Can Quit'
Hot Snakes - 'Jericho Sirens'

Make sure to check out IDLES. I got to see them live last night and it was a very special experience. Cheers to great music!

Wednesday 19 September 2018

***AU BOUT DE MES LÈVRES / YUBARI GOGO exclusive premeire***

exclusive album premiere

If Gabriel from Le Blast Records, Lonely Animals, CommuovereLa Nausée and, in this case, Au Bout De Mes Lèvres, asks me to premiere something they've worked on, I'm generally salivating before even hearing the material because his track record is flawless. I am very proud to exclusively premiere this killer split cassette between Quebec's AU BOUT DE MES LÈVRES and Greece's YUBARI GOGO that releases on Missed Out Records, Le Blast Records and Callous Records. Here is some quick info about the physicals, all of which have alternate artwork:

Missed Out Records
25x mustard with black splatter

Le Blast Records
15x hand-painted, yellow/black/blue/green mix, hand-numbered + printed lyric insert, housed in a cardboard sleeve

Callous Records
10x hand painted yellow/black/brown + printed lyric insert

(2018) AU BOUT DE MES LÈVRES - #1 - "Des ouvertures battantes" (from 'Yubari Gogo' split)
Holy shit, this is awesome. Right out of the gate the mashing of Daïtro with Commuovere gets applause from this fella, but once the Swedish twinkles come in at 1:20 I'm out of my chair giving a standing ovation, for my love of Via Fondo and Trachimbrod is well known.

(2018) AU BOUT DE MES LÈVRES - #2 - "Nos corps d'écailles" (from 'Yubari Gogo' split)
Spacey, twinkly and screamy from the get-go, this is French screamo worship at it's best. It's only 1:44 in length but it'll leave you craving for more of that lush, serene yet still chaotic hardcore.

(2018) YUBARI GOGO - #3 - "φόβος-ομορφιά" (from 'Au Bout De Mes Lèvres' split)
This is an intro that is damp, eerie piano with film dialogue. Unsettling and very cool.

(2018) YUBARI GOGO - #4 - "ένα παιδί μετράει τα κάγκελα pt.I" (from 'Au Bout De Mes Lèvres' split)
Woah nelly, that's some heavy shit. Bridging the gap between Virginia On Duty and Minaret, in two minutes this manages to blast through screamy black-metal and dark hardcore, balancing it all with some ambiance.

(2018) YUBARI GOGO - #5 - "ένα παιδία μετράει τα κάγκελα pt.II" (from 'Au Bout De Mes Lèvres' split)
Perhaps a tad less chaotic than it's predecessor, this conclusion is vaguely reminiscent of the Ef'il material on the 4-way split 12" with Massa Nera, Thisismenotthinkingofyou and Yo Sbraito. It also gives off vibes of Genghis Tron and ['selvə], leaving me wanting to check out everything else they've done.


ffo: Daïtro, Elände and Commuovere


Entzauberung, Minaret and Hex Lariat




Tuesday 18 September 2018


GenresPunk / Rock / Math Rock / Noise Rock / Experimental
Related artistsHey Predator, Big Knife Little Knife and Gary's House.
CountryMontréal, Québec CANADA
Years Active2011-present
Song: "Crimean Crimes"
Album: "Outside Language"
Year: 2012
For fans of: Campbell Trio, Stop It!!, Hercules Hercules, North Of America, Maps And Atlases, Ahleuchatistas, Q And Not U, Native, At The Drive In, The Paper Chase, (early) Lucertulus, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Mark Inside, Hot Hot Heat, For The Mathematics, Tokyo Police Club, Life In Vacuum, The Smiths, Joy Division and No Knife.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the September 2018 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the September 2018 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2018 Mix#10 here.

Earlier this year I did a podcast with my friend Miggy at their place in Vancouver...and it was all lost in a shit USB transfer. It was a good podcast, but in it Miggy blew my mind more than any other co-host, and floored with "Crimean Crimes" by our local GIRL ARM. I remember thinking halfway through that I was listening to a mixture of Cursive and The Paper Chase but then the song picked up and got hella dancey, yelly, kinda North Of America meets At The Drive In, and it just plain blew my socks off. It's six months later and I'm still smitten, fer science's sake.

Okay so the ultimate GIRL ARM experience is had with their debut, 8-track album titled 'Outside Language'. Opener "Jetsons" gets things started jarring, awkward and dancey, all things North Of America. Even the tradeoff vocals are that drunken, warbling indie rock yell that the East Coasters were known for, this time gettin' busted out in Montréal. "Year of the Walrus" is even more disjointed and angular, while the very short noise interlude "Molto Erotico" follows. And that brings us to, hoooooly fuck, "Crimean Crimes" aka one of the best songs I've heard in a very, very long time. Obvious comparisons can be made again to North Of America, Campbell Trio, At The Drive In, early Stop It!!, Q And Not U, Native and Hercules Hercules, but the first 1:56 is a quirky, instrumental intro that leads to a complete stop before the song snags you by the jugular. They start by injecting a potent guitar lead directly into the call and response vocals that are yelled back and forth as the song swings around in fantastically sassy and confident math-rock. As this section closes the guitar slowly leads the rest of the band into a slow-but-major groove that is littered with spoken/yelled vocals (very At The Drive In) before reverting back to angular, danceable punk. Are we done here? Fuck no, cuz at 3:36 the vocals and drums count in a snazzy start/stop, or dare I say breakdown? I dunno, it's awesome, just like this entire track. "Disappears" is quite playful and more melodic than most of their work and is the precursor to another sick jam titled, funnily enough, "Jacques Tits". This thing is catchy as fuck, jazzy and boasts one of a time change transition, first at 1:50 and then to its epic math-rock climax at 2:09. "Elephants" is a cool, mathy, jarring, indie rock tune that is another banger while closer "Health and Safety" has some Life In Vacuum vibes before the noise outro. Jesus I love this record.

After their 2012 debut I find I can't get into their sound nearly as much. They calmed down a lot on the mathy guitars and back and forth yellin', as this record is more on the weird side. 'Trading Cities' opens with the blown out and abrasive "Her Hands", a very chaotic and loud take on noise-rock. Sandwiched in the middle is the title track "Trading Cities" which sounds like the bridge connecting this EP to the first LP, although the guitars definitely take on some weirder styles and tones, giving it a drugged out Tokyo Police Club and The Mark Inside feel. Closer "Bad Tax Advice" is the bridge from this transition-era to their upcoming 2018 LP, so it's much more rock-oriented and more straightforward in structure and light on the ears.

In 2015 they released 'Spoilers', a two-track EP. The first is titled "Eleanor Bigsby" and is a bit of a mindfuck, weaving in and out of different parts, genres, rhythms and vocal stylings, the best of which take place from about 1:00 to 1:30. The other song here is "The Soft Rich", a beep-boop driven song that opens like a group of computers making music. Things coagulate by the 40-second mark the song starts to figure itself out after the first minute.

I just listened to the first two tracks from 2018's LP 'Cell Death', as they are the only songs available to listen to. Both are much more stripped down and basic. Gone are the manic vocals, writhing rhythm section and mathy structures, and in their place are 80s goth influence, monotonous singing and a raw, punk sound not unlike Joy Division. Apparently 'Cell Death' was to be released on June 15th but bandcamp still has just the two songs (as of September 18th, at least). After speaking with the band I was informed that they have a release show at Casa del Popolo with Joint Custody and Chiffres on October 11th, 2018.

So yeah, jam 'Outside Language' if you dare, cuz you may not be able to stop.



2012 - Outside Language digitalLP (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - Trading Cities 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Spoilers digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2018 - Cell Death cassetteLP (stream two songs here)


(2012) GIRL ARM - "Crimean Crimes" (from 'Outside Language')

(2012) GIRL ARM - "Jacques Tits" (from 'Outside Language')

(2012) GIRL ARM - "Jetsons" (from 'Outside Language')

(2014) GIRL ARM - "Trading Cities" (from 'Trading Cities')

(2015) GIRL ARM - "Eleanor Bigsby" (from 'Spoilers')


GIRL ARM additional links

Sunday 16 September 2018


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Ambient / Shoegaze / Experimental
Related artistsSonnet, Maidenhair and smallhands.
CountryFredericksburg, Virginia U.S.A.
Years Active2016-present
Song: "A Preoccupation"
Album: "Infant Island"
Year: 2018
For fans ofRespire, Trachimbrod, The Spirit Of Versailles, Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, Love/Lust, Locktender, LKTDOV, And Always, Brighter Arrows, ...Who Calls So Loud, Funeral Diner, City Of Caterpillar, Suffocate For Fuck Sake and Angel Eyes aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / Middle Man Records / Dingleberry Records / Conditions Records
This post's artist is from the September 2018 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the September 2018 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2018 Mix#10 here.

Sometime in early summer 2018 I received a message from Alexander Rudenshiold, the guitarist for Fredericksburg's INFANT ISLAND. Essentially, they asked if I could help release their debut 12" record. I jammed it twice and enjoyed it, but I was strapped for cash and wasn't in love...yet. A few weeks went by and I jammed it more and more. And then some more. Guess what? MORE. MORE AND MORE AND MORE. Okay, you get the idea. So I contacted Alexander and said that I couldn't commit to a 12" but could do an exclusive run of tapes for them, because goddammit I'd come around and then some.

So what the heck do they sound like? And wait...they're not from Richmond? Well they don't sound like your typical Richmond band, so I guess it makes sense. INFANT ISLAND do a much slower, lo-fi, epic and driving take on screamy post-hardcore with ambient, shoegaze leanings. In 2016 they released a hard to find cassette 'split with Maidenhair', housing a demo version of "Broken Pieces" and a 10-minute, very quiet, instrumental jam called "II".

Now that I think about it, Alex first contacted me in 2017 when they were looking to release and promote their tape and lathe 10" 'split with smallhands'. This also contains two tracks, both sounding more fleshed out and better recorded, including the demo version of "Diminish" and a track titled "Fall Into Their Hell" which is just a shortened demo of "Fall" from the LP.

In early 2018 the band released a digital single titled 'Where There is Ruin', which really solidified the style that the band was going for, even though this is actually a track written early on in the band's career and later revisited and recorded. It's over six and a half minutes in length and opens with a lengthy and eerie intro with guitars soaked in reverb which revert to clean picking alongside screaming by the two-minute mark. By 2:32 everything comes together, sounding not unlike (I would imagine) the sounds that would emanate from a screamo cathedral, as there is a dark, gothy feel to it all, and I love it.

I spoke to Shawn Decker from Middle Man Records who was heading up the 12" before I decided against joining and they very accurately described INFANT ISLAND's full length 'Infant Island' as The Spirit Of Versailles meets Respire, and a more apt description I could not make...except maybe slathering on some Sore Eyelids/Trachimbrod shoegaze to give it that nice, final shine. There are seven jams and the first is "Small Differences", a pretty short and basic intro track with waves of feedback, crashing drums, thunderous, rolling bass and throat-wrenching screams. "Replenish" follows and moves Daniel's vocals to the forefront as well as includes some backup screams from Alex. When combined with the frantic nature of the instrumentals this definitely comes across as the most urgent song on the record and perhaps the most "screamo" sounding one because of it. "Broken Pieces" is where this LP goes from very good to great, as the swing in this song in undeniably groovy, and when coupled with those anguished shrieks I'm in goddamn heaven (check in at 54 seconds and 1:35 for that ridiculousness). Also, that climax at 2:40 is ace. "Fall" closes side A and continues with guitar progressions that hook right into my brain and pump serotonin like Barney injecting beer into his veins. Seriously when the band meets up with their collective parts and crash together it's like the big moments in Indian Summer, Funeral Diner, City Of Caterpillar - all those great bands that made their music massive. Side B starts off with the shortest song on the record, "Diminish". It's a very screamy number that does a heck of a lot in just its 1:41 time allotment, leading into the two longest (and best) songs on the album. The next track begins slow yet dense, creating a serene and ambient atmosphere not unlike newer Locktender material, which builds for 1:40 before the speed doubles. Now, this track, "A Preoccupation", is, simply put, my quintessential INFANT ISLAND jam, and the catalyst to a sentence with a heck of a lot of commas, holy shit. But seriously, just ask my wife how animated I get when driving the van and the guitar loops back around to melt my goddamned life at 2:12 and again at 3:10. One of the highlights of 2018 for me without a doubt. Closer "Further" was first premiered on Sophie's Floorboard in July, and I guess is therefore the single. It's also the longest, deepest and most fleshed out track on the entire record. Yep, this thing has it all: sweet instrumental passages, layers of reverb, shoegaze elements, shrieking, dual vocals, swings that transcend time, epic climaxes, etc. So, in conclusion, you can plainly see that I am smitten with INFANT ISLAND, it just took me a few goes, was all.

Lastly, it sounds like we might hear more new INFANT ISLAND in late 2018 or early 2019 by way of split. But...I've already said too much...



2016 - Maidenhair split cassetteEP

2017 - smallhands split cassette/10"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2018 - Infant Island cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2018 - Where There is Ruin digital single (stream/donate/download here)


(2018) INFANT ISLAND - "A Preoccupation" (from 'Infant Island')

(2018) INFANT ISLAND - "Further" (from 'Infant Island')

(2018) INFANT ISLAND - "Replenish" (from 'Infant Island')

(2018) INFANT ISLAND - "Where There is Ruin" (from 'Where There is Ruin')

(2017) INFANT ISLAND - "Fall Into Their Hell (demo)" (from 'smallhands' split)

(2016) INFANT ISLAND - "Broken Pieces (demo)" (from 'Maidenhair' split)


INFANT ISLAND additional links


Friday 14 September 2018

***DIVA PLAVALAGUNA / MEIAN exclusive premiere***

"Infornography" & "Horizon"
exclusive 2-song premiere
For fans ofThe Blood BrothersSenzaTerrifying Girl's High SchoolBlue FriendSans Visage and Yarmulke


Yesterday Sophie's Floorboard premiered two tracks from the new DIVA PLAVALAGUNA and MEIAN split cassette coming, actually, on Emocat Records. I highly recommend checking the songs out, but also the post as they give more details regarding the bands than I will, cuz that would just be redundant. I will say that DIVA is a very original, sassy, synthy, screamy three-piece band from Vancouver while MEIAN is a very prime cut of that fantastic Japanese screamo. The cassette releases today at the release show (linked here) and will soon have an accompanying Diva! Digital Desert Duchess comic. Very, very cool.

I will give you something new, though. My DIVA story. When I moved to British Columbia in January of 2018 I was instantly connected with Miggy and Henrietta through our love of screamo. They instantly became my best friends here and whilst living on the mainland, I made a two-hour round trip trek a few times per month in order to go see them and hang out. They told me they had just started a new band called DIVA PLAVALAGUNA (named after the singing, blue alien in The Fifth Element) and asked if I wanted to tag along to band practice. I did...three separate times in two months. So, I am quite familiar with the band as well as the other songs that have yet to appear online, but have been recorded. I am currently, frantically, searching for some practice videos I have of their songs but am coming up empty. Why? Because I was lucky enough to witness their first show, but the entire show, videos as well as podcast with Miggy were all lost in a shitty usb copy/paste transfer that left everything in purgatory. When I do stumble across the practice videos I will share at least one with you, but until then all I can find is a 23-second teaser that I uploaded back in February of this year.

Okay enough reminiscing, let's jam them tunes.

(2018) DIVA PLAVALAGUNA - "Infornography" (from 'Meian' split)
The second of the two DIVA PLAVALAGUNA songs, "Infornography" is even more volatile and screamy than its predecessor. Delving heavily into influences such as The Blood BrothersSoiled DovesSenza and Arab On Radar, the band harnesses a ton of screaming from every member, the first minute is basically a sassy, raw, screamo fest. There's an ambient interlude just before the midsection that bleeds into the behemoth of a second half, led primarily by Miggy's biting guitar riffing and all that wonderful shrieking. "Diva Protocol" is much more synth and sass based, while this song is very chaotic and probably falls in line with more traditional screamo. The majority of their work falls on either end of this spectrum or somewhere in between, so there's a whole lot of different styles to love.

(2018) MEIAN - "Horizon" (from 'Diva Plavalaguna' split)
This thing hits right from the get-go, sounding akin to fellow Japanese screamo stalwarts Yarmulke, Envy and Sans Visage, which obviously gives me all the right feels. The almost Euro-sounding opening half is slow, groovy and ripe for head-bobbin'. There's a very subtle shift halfway through that brings more playful instrumentation into the fold, and with the very precise and jammy screamo I'm hearing I'm heavily reminded of Komusō and their new Slint-inspired 7", as the attention to detail in what seems like some basic sections are actually fantastically arranged. I'd never heard MEIAN before but you can bet your ass I'll be on the lookout for them in the future.

(2018) DIVA PLAVALAGUNA - "teaser" live practice video