Saturday, 28 December 2019

'Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula.' by: VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET

Year: 2019
Released on: Zegema Beach Records
For fans ofSuffocate For Fuck Sake, Nionde Plågan, Respire, Archivist and Jazzbrunch.

Buy 12"/cassette in Canada/Internationally
Buy 12" in the U.S.
Buy cassette in the U.S.

This year we were finally graced with a new LP from Sweden's finest, VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET. Boasting members of  Khayembii Communique, Song Of Zarathustra, Cardinal Sin, Jazzbrunch and The Comedy (to name only a few) 'Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula.' is sensational. Taking five years to write and record, the fruits of their labor are fucking delicious. Released on Zegema Beach Records on both black (/200) or transparent blue (/100) vinyl 12" with gatefold jacket as well as white and swirl cassette tapes (/50), everything looks as good as it sounds. What does it sound like? Let's take a look at each of the 8 tracks.

Opener "Kärleken är död"'s movement at 1 minute is apocalyptic in its delivery. The vocals are as harsh as Arvid has done for VI SOM thus far, and that chorus is as epic-sounding as sad. There's an ambient dip in the middle that acts as a pedal to give the song another spin, and considering how amazing it is, all hail the pedal.

"Men livet går vidare" is a winding, treacherous journey with some gorgeous swings that could topple the tallest structure with ease. In typical VI SOM fashion the song nearly reaches the seven-minute mark and utilizes a lull in the middle to build to a sensational, enthralling climax at 4:45.

"Sioux City" is the shortest track here at 2:36, leaving no time to breath and zero atmospheric breaks. It's a straight-up banger, plain and simple. When the song swings back like an iron, screamo pendulum come 40 seconds you best not be sitting down cuz that shit'll send you flying, complete with funeral bells at 1:20 to aid in your subsequent burial service.

"Hjärtats förlorade slag" finishes up side A with the most somber and slowest jam here. Generally with VI SOM that's normal, but this album in particular is on the heavier side, so the slowdown is both more noticeable and very refreshing. The triple guitars pluck angelic notes and weave them into some of the most depressing tremolo I've ever heard, and although I don't understand the lyrics they sound as if Arvid is truly singing "the saddest music in the world". During the final two minutes the song really picks up the positivity and the anthemic guitars (not unlike Respire) to lead the track out in inspiring fashion.

Side B begins with "Kontakt", the perfect extension of the previous song, and spins a dark web before settling into a very danceable groove just after the 40-second mark. The rhythmic bass during this section is fantastic, and adds yet another excellent layer on what I would consider post-hardcore/screamo perfection. Things get really big in an Archivist kinda way come two minutes, as the instrumentals have a movie-feel to them, and could easily be sprinkled into an epic scene to provide a stunning soundtrack.

"Dumskallarnas sammansvärjning" features guest vocals from one of the funniest people I've ever met, Shervin of Careless. It is a wonderfully orchestrated track that is easily one of the best here. Besides the sick dual vox, the use of instrumentation is fantastic, with a plethora of subtle nuances that pepper the song with so many spices you'll need repeat listens to catch them all. But Dave...is it epic? Ahahahaha you fool! Every VI SOM song is epic. It's in the band's DNA.

Continuing the slightly quieter second of the record is "Ensamhet urholkar själen", the only other song besides "Sioux City" to cross the finish line before the five-minute mark. This sports another solo guitar and heartfelt screams intro (intro...or entire song? more like the latter) that systematically mingles with the rest of the instruments, creating a heaving wave of exponential proportions that crashes in glorious fashion after three minutes and change.

Closer "Vilse i pannkakan" literally rolls in on the feedback of the previous track and quickly brings the heat, acting as the six-and-a-half minute climax that completes not only "Ensamhet urholkar själen" but the entire record. It's fucking fire. The guitars swirl around like 1,000 birds. The bass is as deafening as thunder. The drums carry the listener like an army of ants. And those vocals, oooo baby they are plucked from the heart, still searing, screaming in pain.

Without a doubt contender for best album of 2019 regardless of genre. These fine people have spent half a decade crafting a masterpiece and by god that shit shows and then some.

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(2019) VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET - "Kärleken är död" (from 'Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula.') official music video

(2019) VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET - "Vilse i pannkakan" (from 'Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula.')

(2019) VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET - "Hjärtats förlorade slag" (from 'Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula.')

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Wednesday, 25 December 2019

***WAX VESSEL exclusive interview***



WAX VESSEL doesn't really need an introduction at this point, and the questions answered by Nik and Ryan fill in the or8gin story as well as future plans. I can add that they have been an absolute pleasure to work with and the two are beyond hilarious, passionate and understanding. Love to ya both.  Hugs. Dave Cullen get in here.

Without further ado, here is the winner of the SAWTOOTH GRIN 'Cuddlemonster' test press!!!


The next release will be the TOWER OF ROME 'Discography', available on December 29th, 2019 at 11am PST.

Question #01
Hi, Nikolas and Ryan. How are you?

NIK: Gentlemen! Hello! I’m doing great now that we’ve started on this interview finally! Thanks for having me!

RYANHello ladies! Besides being sick, working myself to the bone and being mentally drained for personal reasons, I don’t think I could feel any better!


Question #02
To start things off, could you tell us a bit about the idea of starting Wax Vessel, what your ambitions are with the label and how things finally materialized?

NIK: It’s actually a story in a couple of parts: the name (which is not interesting), the year before (mildly interesting) and then the actual launch!

Maybe two years ago I really wanted to get in to the whole Instagram vinyl collection showcase scene. Made a second account called Wax Casket (because it sounded cool) and did a couple hundred posts. No big deal. But at that time, it kind of put the inkling of an idea in my head.

Fast forward a year or so, and Simon from WFAHM and I were taking about how literally every influential album from 2000-2010 was never pressed on vinyl. We thought about teaming up to do Ion Dissonance on vinyl (which is still a huge goal). It never materialized, so the label pages (renamed to Wax Vessel) kind of got shelved. Speaking of the name Wax Vessel (rant incoming) I landed on that name because I’m so fed up with the start of digital. MySpace deleting song libraries. Hard drives crashing. CDs getting bit rot. The only try archival format is vinyl. You could pull a WV release off a shelf in 2219 and it would still play. It’s a “time capsule” or “Vessel” for preserving history. Anyway.

Fast forward to like 5 months ago - I had just stumbled upon PRR and they told me they were doing Destroyer Destroyer. I asked if I could just press the records to accompany that release, and viola! Here we are!

RYANWell as Nik explained so elegantly, this is his baby girl, and the origin of the story has been explained by him. But around the time PRR announced the Destroyer Destroyer tape/LP ordeal, Nikolas shot me a message and told me about the label and his plans and asked me to come sail the ship of nostalgia with him! And as you can imagine I said yes without hesitation. He knew I had my foot in a lot of MySpace era bands doors so to speak! Over the years I’ve chatted with just about every band you can think of, some casual, some much more frequently. Nik figured with the two of us we could take over the world!


Question #03
You've mentioned in prior Facebook updates about the high focus of quality for all of the various Wax Vessel releases. Could you detail the ethos of the label somewhat further?
NIKThe label is definitely built around a few key tenants. My guiding motto is ‘why bring these [albums] back on vinyl after all this time, and not go all out?”

First and foremost I am a collector, so it’s really important to me to make releases that would appeal to other collectors (the only people who care about records in 2019). For so long companies and labels have preyed on the collector (endless reissues to stick it to the VC crowd) so it was important to make a collector-focused label. No represses, no black vinyl, no gimmicks. Just the nicest records that I can possibly make at a given unit count and a given pricepoint. It’s important to me to keep these $25, so a big part for the WV mindset is to make as nice a release as I can for $25. Which kind of brings me back to tenant #3: it’s all for the bands.

Record labels are great. They serve an important purpose. But too often, labels are more about self-enrichment, rather than helping these bands make it. Every band we’ve worked with has a “label ripped us off story” so it was important to me to make the WV process different. $0 out of pocket by the band, at any point of the process. I front everything, and they get 100% of the profits. So I guess “do good” is another one, haha.

RYANSo Nik and I are on the same boat as to what we want with this label. He had most of the foundation laid out before I came aboard, but once I joined we both realized we’re on the same page for just about everything! Why cut corners and half ass a release that’s 12 years old? Doesn’t make sense. Go big or go home! This isn’t about the money it’s the passion we have for these bands/era of music that came out. Also if we do it full blown amazing then no one can copy cat us cause they’ll just be a shitty version since they can’t outdo us hahaha. We try to give the fans a good bang for their buck and that’s what we really stick to, and it seems to be getting great praise so we’re doing something right!


Question #04
The artwork for each Wax Vessel release thus far has been very impressive. You've also mentioned briefly about a theme concerning the various genre styles focused on by the label. Could you discuss the thought process behind this?

NIK: Thank you for finally bringing up the art aspect! It’s something I love to talk about but hardly ever get to outside of “yo that’s cool” haha.

The whole “redoing art” thing was actually born out of necessity. Literally 0% of the bands that sign up have their old art files (except Dance Club Massacre, Mitch is the best type of hoarder). So I already knew that every album art would have to be remade to fit the larger format. And expanded upon to fit the larger inserts and back panels. So then it became a question of “do I try to just trace/recreate the old art?” and that seemed cheesy to me. I figured the best bet would be just to start fresh on every album, and re-imagine everything. Selfishly, I also want everything to look nice and flow as a label – to really create a WV aesthetic. I feel like if I can take EVERYTHING off the plate of the band “hey! We’ll do the whole thing, don’t even worry about the art” then bands who are on the fence about doing a release might agree when they see how easy the process is! I also think that it gives people something to talk about, and something that brings these albums in to the current year. All these old artworks are iconic, but I think having them refreshed lets people visually see that I give a shit about the process and want everything to be perfect, haha.

RYAN: Oh man! The art is probably the second most exciting thing to me on this whole venture. First would be getting the bands on board cause when they say yes I have a mild stroke and then message Nik and we get giddy like a couple of high school girls. 

The artwork is insane and Ben is literally a genius. Nik and Ben hammer out ideas while Nik sends me drafts and we talk about what to change/edit and then we hit Ben back up for the changes. It’s really a ménage e trois. 

We realized most of the bands don’t have the artwork at all or if they do it’s a pixelated Google image hhaha.

So the best thing we thought of without losing the opportunity to release a bands record cause of lost art was to rework the OG artwork. And so far I’ve been blown away every damn release! 

As some may have noticed we keep it OG but add little flares here and there and some things we carry of with each release. For example the eyes in the artwork have been on each release, don’t believe me? GO LOOK!

Nik makes a good point too saying it makes people talk, one of my favorite things is seeing old stuff reworked. Whether it be art, music, movies, I enjoy seeing a fresh new take on something that’s dated, and I think seeing such iconic album art from our teens redone in a more modern way but still keeps the OG razzle dazzle is something magical to be honest.


Question #05
Another aspect that must be a lot of fun is looking into the variant options for each vinyl release. How do you approach this?

NIKYou are really hitting all my favorite talking points! The variants are my favorite part of WV for sure. I think it’s a main differentiator between WV and other labels. It’s a part of the whole “ultra-premium” aesthetic. But really, again, it was born from necessity. How can I in good conscience tell a band that there are no represses, and then put out boring records? It doubles the price, but I think its absolutely worth it. Again, why put these out on vinyl after 15 years only to phone it in to try and save a buck? As far as the actual process, I really am a fussy nerd and try to make sure that each variant fits the album art’s color scheme, or tone of the record. Vinyl as a format has so much flexibility, so I think doing single colors and whatnot are an insult to the format. I always try and have our pressing plant experiment on a variant, and do something they haven’t done before. The units are so low and all hand made, so they love messing around with WV stuff.

RYAN: Nik is the mastermind behind this! I add my two cents here and there, like for Tower of Rome I suggested one of the variants and they all loved it so we went with it. For the most part Nik has a vision and passion for the insane variants and I usually let him take full charge on that cause so far he hasn’t disappointed.


Question #06
How do you make the decision about what bands/releases are worth contacting? And how do you go about finding the right contacts?

NIK: Honestly, I had a list of about 10 bands that if they could be gotten, WV would be a go. Destroyer Destroyer was one, and after that was locked in, Ryan showed by with verbal commitments from Sawtooth and Robinson. After that it just went full force! So in the beginning it was very much “lets shotgun messages to everyone and see who agrees” but now that the process is sorted, I can be a bit more selective and really go after some bigger names!

As far as finding contacts, that’s definitely a Ryan question, haha. I have 0 scene cred. But the bands that I did find, it’s literally all through facebook/social media. I go find the CD on my shelf, get the member names, and just start sending FB messages! Sometimes I absolutely don’t get the right contact!

But as far as current and future pipeline, I’m lucky that there is a fixed decade of music that I’m working with. I could eventually run out of bands, which is the goal! I want to get the platform as big as possible so WV can start releasing more niche releases, and really get deep in to the underground Myspace scene, haha.

RYAN: As I mentioned before I had a lot of “in” with members of lots of bands, so the first 5 releases were bands that not only were in our top 10 to press, but were already in my social pipeline so I shot Rich from Sawtooth and Greg from Robinson a message to see what they thought about giving their music the vinyl treatment! Obviously they were both beyond pumped about it and they reached out to other members and got them on board as well. 

Also Destroyer Destroyer - “Dead Walk” was already in the books thanks to PRR, but I had gone to Oklahoma in the summer and met up with Dallas of Destroyer Destroyer and we worked out details for their/our next release “Littered With Arrows” which was a fun thing to do in person with a band that shaped my musical tastes as a young teenie.

But for the most part we want to hit bands up that we love as well as others, and if we don’t know anyone in the band, a good ol’ CD booklet check or Google can help with band members names! As for releases and how we choose them, usually these bands have 1-2 releases so we pick one of the 2, if they have a bunch (like TOR) then we just made it a discography and got it all out at once! Most of these bands were too broke to do vinyl so most, if not all of their catalogue is up for grab.


Question #07
How has the experience been when working with the bands on the releases thus far? Have they had a lot of input from their side?

NIKIt is literally a dream come true every time. Every single band has been cool. But! It is split about 50/50 on some things. I would say half just have zero interest at all, and the other half are WAY in to it. I respect everyone who is over the old material of their past and just wants to let it die (I keep bugging Ethan to let me do CTTTOAFF) but it really gets me fired up when bands are all-in, right away. It’s so fun to work with everyone on these. I’m making a lot of new friends!

As far as input from their side, I actually don’t really want a ton of it. I am happy to incorporate any of their ideas in to every release, but ask any bands WV has worked with, and they’ll probably say I’m a fussy slave driver. I definitely have a vision for all of these, and at a certain point it is a little bit “Nik’s way or the highway” haha. Thankfully it’s never come to that, but ask Mitch from DCM about the album art process!

But as a rule, whatever the band wants, they get. They only pushback I ever really get is on the “one time pressing, on only vinyl, forever” clause. 50/50 bands get it right away, but sometimes that is a long conversation. I think if you can go a decade without ever releasing anything, it’s a good tradeoff. I like these to be endnote, swansong, final, retrospective releases.

RYAN: Most of the bands have been super easy! Some a little too easy! Hha like for example Robison was super easy. They basically said “make the art work black and white and shitty” haha and as much as we didn’t want to do a black and white cover that’s what they wanted and it came out really badass to our surprise!

On the other side of the spectrum some bands are way more involved and have a vision, and we all try and meet in the middle so we’re all happy, which always works out just may take extra time to get there.


Question #08
How did you end up partnering with Zegema Beach Records?

NIK: Believe it or not, it was something that was talked about from the beginning! ZBR is absolutely THE name in scene music, so it was a no-brainer on my end. It’s crazy that they agreed, haha. You should ask them that question!

Really though, it was born out of necessity. I ran a “label” before this one, and after how poorly it went and how hostile everyone got over shipping timelines/preorders/issues I swore to never do a label again. Seriously, some music fans are just so nasty and toxic and entitled. It really ruins passion projects with shoestring budgets (except WV peeps, every single one of you are cool). Anyway! I knew that if I was going to do another label, I absolutely wanted no part in shipping or fulfillment. I don’t care about monogrammed mailers, or stickers in orders, or cute “coming soon” mailers or anything. I wanted to be able to run this entire label from my phone, and do no shipping. ZBR has allowed me to do that!

ZBR was one of the few plays that really “saw” what I was trying to do here. I think it’s just as much of a passion project for them, as they almost do it for free. So for me, they’re local, they’re scene-kings, they’re fun, great communicators, fast shippers, devilishly handsome, and just all around great guys! Hope to have them do fulfillment for as long as they want to!

RYAN: lots and lots of nudes, and at one point a French kiss.

Kidding, they just fit the bill for what we needed (or didn’t want to do haha)and they were up for it and are one of the best labels/stores around and understood us as a label and they’re the sweetest men you’ll ever lay your eyes on (among other things).


Question #09
We saw some storenvy issues online during the Destroyer Destroyer 'Littered With Arrows'; and Dr. Acula releases, what happened with that? Did you fix the issues?

NIK: Storeny literally just couldn’t handle the traffic. Releases were selling out in 10 minutes, and variants sold out in less than 10 seconds. They are just not set up for timed drops!

As far as fixing it, I think we did! www.waxvessel.com is live, and should be able to handle the traffic more gracefully!

RYAN: Storenevy sucks dong. We have a site now that Nik just name dropped above ^^. Be there or be square.


Question #10
You are both avid music collectors, could you tell us about some of your prized items in your collection?

NIK: Literally every single item is prized! I do it more so to “support every band I like” and that just kind of turned it in to a collection, you know? But over the past few years I have been really doing the vinyl thing, and that’s lead to a lot of VC and band discog hunting. I’d say most prized items are my Villains cassette (Spat On Supply), WFAHM Falling Upstairs (first press) cassette (yehonal tapes) – actually, Yehonala is one of my favorite labels, and I have everything they ever put out except two tapes. So my Yehonala collection as a whole I’m really happy with.

As far as vinyl, I’m a big Rolo Tomassi fan, and I have a complete VC for them. Also everything from The Artisan Era! But I don’t have any $1,000 records or anything, haha. Maybe that first Angelmaker LP? I think that goes for like $300-$400. I guess that Meshuggah box set is the “rarest” thing just based on value.

RYAN: How long do you have? Haha

I’m pretty open about my collection and love sharing pictures of stuff I have or acquire in the wild, I know people either haven’t seen a lot of these CDs in years or at all depending on their rarity. There are some CDs I have that are prized possessions because of their rareness, then there’s some that are very common that I’m extremely happy to own and mean a lot to me.

At the top of my head I’ll list you a top 5 or something of rare prized possession and sentimental prized possession. This is hard to do since I have lots of shit and will probably change tomorrow haha.

Rare:

1.Tower Of Rome- tour demo 

2.25 Dollar Massacre CD’s

3.Dr.Acula- S.L.O.B.

4.multiple Emmure demos(6 and counting)

5.meandhimcallitus- C: Drive of Love Stories both black & white art and coloured artwork(first 10 made)

6.Elysia- Masochist

7.The Sawtooth Grin- Cuddlemonster & Pervavor

8.Suicide Silence demo with OG vocalist


Sentimental:

1.Dr.Acula- Below Me

2.Emmure- Goodbye To The Gallows

3.Destroyer Destroyer- Littered With Arrows

4.Suicide Silence-The Cleansing

5.See You Next Tuesday- Parasite

6.The Number Twelve Looks Like You-Rosy Classes 

7.Daughters-Hell Songs


Question #11
Are there any white whale finds that you have been scouting for and would like to add to your collections?

NIK: Now THIS is a good collection question, haha. That list is so long I don’t even know where to start. I have one true white whale – seducedwomandead. If anyone has that cassette, I’ll literally give you $500 for it. That’s my biggest grail.

In addition to that, mostly just old deathcore band demos. Old Saetia stuff. I have a really bad habit of just overspending on records and other rare stuff, so there isn’t much I need. I always just usually buy it first chance it pops up at any price, haha.

RYAN: Surprisingly yes haha though the last 2 years I’ve scored a shit ton of stuff. But there’s probably a good hand full I’m trying to track down! 

One would be 2 0’ Clock Girlfriend! Probably my top one I want.

I’ve hard their was an Elysia demo so that’s another haha the ABACABB bloody hand demo. There’s a few more but I just can’t remember at the moment.


Question #12
What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to start a label?

NIK: Biggest advice would be to plan your first 5 releases in advance. Get all your art and images sorted. But above all – as a new label – don’t have your releases be preorders. People will 100% be upset. It will get delayed. You will have shipping problems. It’s a bad foot to start on.

If you can’t afford to not do preorders, then you can’t afford to start a label. Down the line preorders are super important, but I’ve seen so many vinyl labels fail on their first release, get left with unsold stock, and then fold. It’s better to leave [some] money on the table than to have unsold stock. Ask any label owner – I think they’ll agree. Start small, then grow in to your audience.

Also, people who are buying physical formats of music aren’t just consumers, they’re collectors. So put some fucking effort in to it! Like stop making slim-jewel releases. Stop making CDs without full tray artwork. Stop pressing black records!

Be prepared, have cash on hand, don’t drag your first release out for 6 months on a super long hype cycle, interact with people, pay the bands. That’s it!

RYAN: Just have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff. Also don’t take what people say personally, you can’t please the world and there’s always going to be turds out their to rain on your parade.


Question #13
Wax Vessel is very much embedded within the realm of Myspace related artists. Who are some current bands you feel are carrying the torch for the modern era?

NIK: When I listen to modern music, it’s honestly not a ton of revival stuff. I’m a big emoviolence/crust/metalcore guy when it comes to that stuff. But if we’re talking 20-9-Scene, it’s impossible to ignore .Gif From God and wristmeetrazor. They slap so fucking hard, and are definitely doing it better than anyone else right now in terms of straight mallcore sound. Prosthetic knows what they’re doing for sure.

RYAN: Oh there’s a few! I find the mathcore revival is more spot on to the OG bands then the deathcore revival. 2000’s deathcore had that raw sound, Bree’s, movie samples.

Now I find each band has to out heavy the next,and though there are some that are really good, on average I find most are bland these days.

As for bands that are bringing it back and carrying the torch I’d say:

-Sleepsculptor

-The Waterfox 

-pacmanthemovie

-Noisays

-The Stygian Complex

-Dead/Awake

-Promise Breaker


Question #14
The Myspace period provided some absolute belters from bands. What is your favourite Myspace related breakdown?

NIK: Let me paint you a picture. It’s 2007. You just finished your last high school class for the day. Your shithead friends drop you off at home, and you fire up your plastic macbook and go to YouTube. You type in “brutal breakdowns new” and a blue screen pops up. There’s an intro song. The whole thing was made in Windows Movie Maker. The bass has been boosted. You open another tab and head over to MySpace and see that Oceano has updated their layout. It slaps.

But wait – something catches your ear. It’s a chant. The music is gone. All you hears is: BOOM SNAP CLAP B-BOOM SNAP CLAP SNAP

It’s not the best band, or the best song by any means, but hot damn does The Irish Front sum up my MySpace experience. Either that or “Taste The Rainbow” by These Final Hours. There’s just so many, haha.

RYAN: Wow that’s just too hard! I feel like half the bands from that era were a band and wrote music just for the breakdowns haha.

Like there’s just so many, you know?

Meandhimcallitus-innocent bystanders is one that to this day gives me goosebumps.

What about the “WHAT THE FUCK” before that insane breakdown in “Lie To My Face” by Carnifex? That’s basically been featured in every “heaviest deathcore breakdown” YouTube video ever hha

Or what about Tower of Rome! For a grind band they had some nasty breakdowns, What about From The Shallows whole EP? I mean damn, the list would never end!


Question #15
Are there any current plans for the future you would like to mention?

NIK: My only immediate plans are to keep pumping these out! Maybe one day I’ll start a Djent revival vinyl label and put out Entities and Substructure (anyone?) or a “early nu-beatdown” one to put out that first Traitors EP and Memoria Brooded. I just love records, and want to keep putting them out without diluting the WV brand. Maybe one day even do a modern release! Who knows!

RYAN: More records with cool colours from bands that have been dead for 15 years. No represses, no cds, no problem!



WAX VESSEL's Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waxvesselchicago
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waxvessel
Webstore: https://www.waxvessel.com
Zegema Beach Records: https://www.zegemabeachrecords.com

NIK's Social Media:
Insta: waxvesselchicago/nikvelleca
FB: https://waxvessel/nik.velleca
Bandcamp: https://bandcamp.com/nikolas
Discogs: https://discogs.com/user/nikvelleca
Buy WV stuff: https://waxvessel.com

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

SEPTEMBER 22ND

GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Metal / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Doom
Related artistsAdaje and Holy Gallows.
CountryJackson, Tennessee U.S.A.
Years Active2005-2008
Song: "Solemn's Harrowing"
Album: "Hello, Throne"
Year: 2007
For fans of: Blue Noise, An Autumn Of Crippled Children, Fall Of Efrafa, Light Bearer, Avvika, Archivist, Cult Of Luna, Monuments Collapse, Rosetta, DeafheavenNionde Plågan, Tephra, Amber and Trachimbrod.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the December 2019 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the December 2019 Mix#12 right here or get the new January 2020 Mix#1 here

I was turned onto SEPTEMBER 22ND earlier this year by a friend's post. While I dip tapes I like listening to longer songs, so after downing 'Hello, Throne' and becoming deeply intoxicated on the band I went back and got the first two EPs. Now I'm here...and I can't find a goddamn thing about them besides their bandcamp. No discogs. No reviews. No physicals? Good story? Meh.

SEPTEMBER 22ND's first release is 2005's 'The Legend, The Ghost' EP. Containing five tracks over 23 minutes, it's an excellent look into the band's sound without it being too detached from future material. Following a haunting two-minute intro, "If the Devil were real, That sonofabitch would speak spanish." comes through in just 3:26 with behemoth instrumentals and excellent, anguished screams that border on the black-metal spectrum, with the transition at 2:30 being awesome thanks to excellent vocal placement and delivery. "The Deathrattle" is another well-rounded song, this one clocking in at 6:31 and being more of a hybrid between post-metal and screamo...landing somewhere between Fall Of Efrafa and City Of Capterpillar. Between the "The Deathrattle" and "rrRRrRrRRrrr" more than half of the EP track time is taken up, as the latter nearly reaches six minutes also, and has that brooding, slow, epic post-metal, black-metal, screamo thing going on, as well as a section just after the three-minute mark that reminds me of The Reptilian before swinging back into their danceable and screamy grooves.

2006 saw a two-song EP titled 'W.W.T.Z.D.' with a very cool skull-into-moon design that is also a drawing of a woman holding a candle in the mirror. Although containing only two songs, the 8-plus minutes of swirling, screaming, destruction is even better than its predecessor. Opener "El Diablo habla ingles" has got lots of tremolo before the post-rock outro lulls you into a false sense of security, because the second song "...that old Humboldt road." will lock you in and drown you in mesmerizing crescendos and more of those phenomenal vocals.

SEPTEMBER 22ND's final release was 2007's 'Hello, Throne', and truly intoxicating mishmash of post-rock, post-metal, hardcore, black-metal and screamo. Shit comes in fucking massive on this record, with opener "the Elizabethe" clocking in at 11:39 and it's not even the longest song here. Everything is layered beautifully, and everything heavy by the band sounds like it's been given a second coating, creating a lush, smooth but very thick layer. This track in particular has a sliding groove that hits a some spacey, riffy notes (duuuuun duuun dun DUH-DUN) before circling back and starting again. The vocals are outstanding as always, placed beautifully, screamed to the max and dispersed neither too little nor too much throughout the 70-plus minute run-time. "Solemn's Harrowing" is another breathtaking track, utilizing a slow, sludgy and dark opening that eventually opens up into a beautifully gargantuan post-metal beast just after the five-minute mark. This final movement is something else, as the vocalist produces seemingly perpetual gruff screams until 6:40 when the Trachimbrod-esque riff comes in we're all bouncing around to some kind of amazing pop-rock/screamo/black-metal monster and it's fucking unreal. Fuuuuuck that's some good stuff. "Oh, up North" and "We are our own Cutlass" are both shorter but bursting with power and subtle melodies, with the latter pushing the band's technical chops more than most of their catalogue, while the longest song the band ever produced was "As the Tapestry Allays" which would be an excellent, somber, driving-through-the-country-at-night kinda tune. "Hemlock Fields" is long, sad, moving and climactic. "Hello" is short, ambient and instrumental. "Throne" is the culmination of everything the band seemed to be leading toward. It's incredible. The opening tears and rips at the listener with guitars that swing like mammoth pendulums and throat-shredding screams, swaying back and forth until the darkness sees some light around 2:30, followed by a very chill section a minute thereafter. A brief, chuggy, driving and inspiring minute pops in from six to seven minutes and then the song takes a very jazzy interlude before reverting back to that chuggy/epic shit, which leads the song into its final, depressing death march with whispered and screamed haunting vocal lines, repeated and layered over one another until the song's 13:18 conclusion.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2005 - The Legend, The Ghost EP (stream/download here)

2006 - W.W.T.Z.D. EP (stream/download here)

2007 - Hello, Throne LP (stream/download here)

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(2007) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "Throne" (from 'Hello, Throne')

(2007) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "Solemn's Harrowing" (from 'Hello, Throne')

(2007) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "the Elizabethe" (from 'Hello, Throne')

(2006) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "...that old Humboldt road." (from 'W.W.T.Z.D.')

(2005) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "If the Devil were real, That sonofabitch would speak spanish." (from 'The Legend, The Ghost')

(2005) SEPTEMBER 22ND - "The Deathrattle" (from 'The Legend, The Ghost')

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SEPTEMBER 22ND additional links
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Saturday, 21 December 2019

BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Grindcore Sludge
Related artists?.
CountryLima, Ohio U.S.A.
Years Active2002-2004
Song: "Gutcheck"
Album: "Roads Without Ends split"
Year: 2003
For fans ofCassilis, Moxiebeat, Straight, No Chaser, Entzauberung, Apostles Of Eris, Sur L'eau, Synodus Horrenda and Furnace.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the December 2019 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the December 2019 Mix#12 right here or get the new January 2020 Mix#1 here

I came across BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS recently and thought I'd share a quick review of this obscure Ohio band active in the early 2000s. They self-released two EPs and one split with Roads Without Ends and played raw, dark, sludgy hardcore with elements of screamo.

Their 2002 debut 'Summer Demos '02' contains four short tracks ranging from 48 seconds to 1:38. Perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly, but this reminds me of very early Capsule material before they busted out the math textbooks and stopwatches. The switchover 45 seconds in to "Something You Wouldn't Recognize" as well as those chuggy bits are pretty sweet, and I love the anguished vocals in "Help Us, Save Us".

The following year came a cdrom EP titled 'Tour Demos '03', this time housing three tunes that hover around a minute in length. These songs are much more varied and incorporate more dynamic song structures than their first demo, which is blatantly obvious upon the opening of "From the Doorknobs Down". This track also ends on a high note, bringing a pretty sick breakdown to the table. The dual vocals in "Nice Boulder" have an excellent back-and-forth to them, with this track also having a ridiculous end to it. Closer "Minnesota Miracle Man" is much more in line with their first release so I find it a bit out of place.

BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS' final release came by way of a split cdrom with Roads Without Ends. These two tracks tally a measly 1:38 when combined, but the first track "Gutcheck" goes pretty hard come 34 seconds and weaves in some cool guitar interplay to close it out. The latter track "Exactly The Way It Was" is a ripper and will blast your face off before closing with a funny little audio clip.

Nothing exceptional, but a cool band to check out if you like the for fans of list and want something more.

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

2002 - Summer Demos '02 cassetteEP

2003 - Tour Demos '03 cdromEP

2004 - Roads Without Ends split cdromEP

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(2004) BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS - "Gutcheck" (from 'Roads Without Ends' split)

(2003) BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS - "Nice Boulder" (from 'Tour Demos '03')

(2003) BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS - "From the Doorknobs Down" (from 'Tour Demos '03')

(2002) BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS - "Something You Wouldn't Recognize" (from 'Summer Demos '02')

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BLUEFLOWERREDTHORNS out of print mp3 discography download

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Thursday, 19 December 2019

***SNAG exclusive interview***

An interview with:

SNAG


I have been an avid fan of Milwaukee's SNAG since their first EP was released back in 2017 (reviewed here), both because of the awesomeness of the music as well as the subject matter and lyrics. So much so, in fact, that I asked the band to do a split with the band I am/was in called Swallows Nest. Did they deliver? Good god they did, with the best song of 2018 (linked here). In late 2019 SNAG sent me their masters for the 'snag' 12"LP and yet again I was floored. Zegema Beach Records helped the band release it alongside Middle Man Records and Dasein Records with gorgeous art from Sammy (who also did the Swallows Nest split art/poster) and heaps of bonus goodies. They even made a music video for a song from it, which you need to watch right now:

After a great podcast with Shawn of Middle Man/Coma Regalia (linked here), I wrangled Peter as well as Brian and Sammy together in a chat and blasted them with questions for about a week. Below is the result.

_________________

What was the catalyst for the creation of Snag? Are you referring to the tree term?
PETER: I've known sam since we were in high school. in 2014 or 2015 we played a bunch of acoustic Brand New covers with a couple of other friends at a valentines day emo cover show. The other friends ended up moving to new york city but Sam and i decided we wanted to get together and play loudly at some point. he was friends with Bryan and so we got together in august of 2016 and it clicked right away. by February of 17 we played our first show, and it was around that time that we had a conversation about how depressed we each had privately been before starting the band. we all really needed it in our own way.

The name snag is something Sam came up with, and it has a lot of different applicable meanings, the tree term among them.


Was there discussion early about the band's sound? What were you collectively influenced by? Did you discuss about the band's identity and morals early on? Did that come later or has it kind of been unspoken?
PETER: if memory serves, we talked about mans, silver mt zion, majority rule, city of caterpillar.

i think we talked about having a climate change theme pretty much right away. since then, the term climate anxiety has seemed  fitting of the sound and vibes. the difference being that rather than talking about climate change as a topic in and of itself, this music is reflective of the anger, dread, despair, feelings of helplessness, and glimmers of hope attendant to the climate crisis.

BRYAN: For me, at around the time we started snag I was at a rough point in my life and needed to be in a band as a sort of catharsis. Being in several Skramz bands before had helped me creatively and emotionally, and after talking with Sam and meeting Peter, we all started jamming and hit it off right away.

When we had first started jamming, much of what we were playing had somewhat of a pop punk vibe to it, quickly becoming much more darker and more hardcore/skramz as we were defining our sound.  I think even listening to the songs from our first ep to our current full length you can definitely hear a large transition in our sound, whether it be darker and heavier, or more complex. Part of what makes us interesting is that we have no real boundaries as to what should define our sound, making it super versatile and appealing to many audiences.

Most of what Peter said summed a lot of it up well for me at least.

In addition, along with the climate change theme we touch on a variety of topics within our political realm as well as real happenings that have taken place. We touch on pesticides, homelessness, political and social violence, pollution, immigrant rights, etc. I think that an audience needs to be aware of some of the real ecological, economical and social crises that are happening in the world, hopefully sparking some kind of action.

SAMMY: like the other two said, snag formed during a time when we were all in a sort of personal dark period. It seemed that the three of us getting together was something to hold onto and look forward to.

snag as a threesome holds a lot of history...Peter and I have known each other for almost 15 years, sock and I have know each other for almost 9 years. Peter introduced me to a lot of things in my adolescence...music, troublemaking, vegetarianism, alcohol, humor. Socki's and mine relationship has always circled around the diy scene which also has to do with music, troublemaking and friendship. snag was a collision of music loving, troubled, desperate twentysomethings. snag as a band name means a lot of things. A snag in life, a set back, something holding you in place, as well as the tree terminology.

Early on we did speak of certain bands we were into and wanted snag to sound like. Common ground was Mans, Majority Rule, City of Caterpillar. But it also extended to Godspeed! You black emperor, kidcrash, desaparacidos, thou, etc.

In terms of the bands identity, that was something that Peter was pretty forward about right off the bat. Socki and I were completely on board. It was something that, yes had been an influence on bands and music in the past, but for us it seemed pretty important. Peter works for a solar company, sock is a certified arborist, I work for a certified Green brewery, we all spend a good amount of time outdoors. Climate change, the world, the environment, was all a prominent thing in our lives. But, overall, I think that Peter and Socki are a tad bit more intellectual than I am. It was hard for me to keep up with everything that is happening in the world. Famine, climate change, death, keeping the poor poor. so I started to think about all of this in a different way. I thought to myself how Skramz and Screamo is such a diverse genre of music that it would correlate with these subject matters perfectly. Skramz has really intense, heavy, dissonant sounds to it, that could represent the darkness and anxiety engulfing our world and society. At the same time, Screamo/skramz also has really beautiful parts to it, this could represent hope and solitude, and comfort, and that maybe if you put your trust in the people you care and surround yourself with that maybe the small changes can make a big difference. Maybe that silly though. Either way, with that, Peter is an idea man, I'm a visual/audio person, and Socks the perfect mix between the two.

I like to think that even if you don't know our lyrics, or can't decipher what we are saying...if you know the subject matter you can really feel what we are feeling. It's about passion, and friendship, and being together while this world is falling apart. Take care of each other, take care of animals, take care of the land your living on, protect those less fortunate and educate the youth, drink water, look up, and hold hands. ✌

PETER: Sam is making me cry.


Do you think your future material will continue to be darker? I still find your Swallows Nest split the darkest/angriest thing I've heard by y'all.
BRYAN: So far we have been working on two new songs that sound pretty dark so far. As far as content lyrically we are still working on that.


How did you go about figuring out the track order on the LP?
PETERwe were listening to iphone recordings of old practices trying to find this one riff the other day and we discovered that we began writing this full length in 2017. the album opens with these meditations on self immolation as climate protest, and suicide as something so so so many people grapple with and yet nobody likes to talk about. I think every song touches on the internal contradictions and tensions inherent to climate anxiety. i.e. i don't want to contribute to this terrible system/machine/economic order, but everything i do and love is somehow tied up within it. the song order basically has the album getting darker and angrier (with the exception of morning, which rounds out side a) until the end, where waiting injects the narrative with a glimmer of hope. "i can't wait for a new life" is something of a call to action. don't wait.

Can you tell us more about the art concept?
SAMMY: The record has a lot of treats to it. We really are into visual art as well and wanted the record to be a total package deal. The records include a “collage” booklet with the lyrics, a packet of wildflower seeds and a book of matches. Those that take the time to read the lyrics and think to themselves the correlation between the subject matters and the things included hopefully will find it as beautiful as we do.


You had some guests appear on the album, care to share who they are in relation to you in the real world?
BRYAN: K rad plays cello, she used to be in social caterpillar and was also in a band called winterbourne. Crucial homie. Eliah plays violin, super cool dude and has been really good friends with Sam for a long time. John Larkin plays trumpet and has been a staple in the Milwaukee music scene for awhile playing in many bands like cairns, gauss, ylla, and many more that I can't remember. All have become good friends and it's great that we have had the opportunity to have them on this record.

PETER: kaitlyn's other active band is called ardeidae, and John's other active band is called divine crush. John also played trumpet on our first EP and on Social Caterpillar's new album which is coming out soon. We did a split with Social Caterpillar back in 2017. Eliah and Sam and I all went to high school together, and Eliah and Sam were in a few bands together, Sam can list them if he wants 😉

SAMMYWe were in a band called Idiot:Asshole together.


What records do you own that have special visual treats?
PETER: F#a# by godspeed specifically and 13 blues for 13 moons by silver mt zion

SAMMY: I don't have too many records with visual treats. Idk Driving Spain up a wall had a poster with it, Absolutely's "Learns to love mistakes" had a nice booklet. Perfect Pussy had a tour photo booklet that was pretty nice as well.

When you play shows do you often talk between songs? If so, is the banter generally lyric related or something else?
PETER: we generally try to keep banter to a minimum. there's maybe a missed opportunity to tell people what we're about, but i think we do that in other ways.

SAMMY: our banter is pretty slim. unless we are at a homebase venue surrounded by our friends. If that's the case we might open up and talk. but for the most part we are pretty quiet on stage.


What are your favourite releases of 2019?
PETER: top releases of 2019 for me:
nuvolascura
frail body
shadowmarks by lord snow
hourglass by ghost spirit
jaime by brittany howard
serpent's root by knaaves
Overo
Love Riddled With Conditions by slow fire pistol
nothing great about britain by Slowthai
slowfirepistol

BRYAN: My top releases are "2020" by shin guard, "a brief memorium" by frail body, "a gaze among them" by big brave, and "you will know the fear you forced upon us" by body void.

SAMMY: My top releases so far are the couple songs that Exhalents put out off ".​.​.​and draws a crucifix down his arm​.​​​.​​.", the song Nerver put out on "Meditations of Affinity - Cultivation (4 way split)", Amygdala's "Our voices will soar forever" and Frail Body of course. Like damn. I also really enjoyed Carrion Springs self titled. Also like damn.


What are some of your most important life decisions? Have you any important decisions as a band?
PETER: most important life decisions is a very difficult question. i took some time off from music, not really deliberately but just got too busy doing community organizing stuff, and made a point to involve music in my life in a much more focused way with this band and it was kind of a revelation that i need to always do this in order not to get very very very sad. even if the work that might prevent me from playing music seems to be meaningful or like a higher calling type thing, i realized with snag that i can't let life get in the way of living, if that makes sense.

as a band, we recently moved all our gear out of my house and into a practice space so that we could practice more regularly and for longer periods of time. that was a good decision in my view. even though i miss having sam and sock over pretty frequently.

SAMMY: Important life decisions to me, are to surround yourself with people who care about you, have fun, learn, take care of the people you love, take care of animals, drink water, be creative, fight through the anxiety, feel the depression, be self aware, support those around you, hang out in nature, tell your friends you love them, die laughing. Those are the important life decisions I try to live out day to day.

Decisions as a band..we’d all like to tour, we’d like to keep creating, maybe start the snag family farm, start a hard core orchestra, be good, donate, get conversations started. That kind of stuff. I think I like to use this band as an escape from depression, an outlet for my own anxiety and creativity (musically and visually, both with the album art and the collage videos we project during our sets.) and also a way of awareness.


What're you excited for in 2020?
Sammy: 2020 is the year of the snag. Lol.


Is there anything else you wanna touch on?
Sammy: I think this is all great. We had our record release show last night and it was absolutely amazing. Everyone who played absolutely killed it, the crowd was very supportive and amazing and loving and wild. The crowd was moshing and partying and respectful and caring. It was a great great party. Peter said it perfectly this morning “the feeling of playing shows like that is kind of similar to the feeling of falling in love, but not quite as good but still really good.” And I feel if you are a performing musician, or a touring musician, you know that feelings like that, when it comes to playing shows, is very very rare. And we are very lucky to have a huge supportive group and following that you couldn’t ask for anything better. It was an amazing high, the show last night. Truly. It made me feel humbled to be a part of this band and this community.


Who played your release show? Was there a "most special" part of the night?
SAMMY: It was an mixed genre show, DaveKevinAdam is a hip hop artist who opened the night, our bffs of all times Social Caterpillar was second, they’re cosmic acoustic stoney beauty (we did a split with them), Knaaves was third, they’re metal core with OG members that go way back in the DIY scene and then us. In between each musician was spoken word poetry. It was eclectic and nice. The most special part of the night for me was during our last song “waiting” it’s what ends the record. We had our good friends John, Eliah, and Kaitlynn play the trumpet, violin and cello with us. We played on the floor, they played on the stage behind us and it was just a really nice wholesome experience. A really beautiful way to end the night. After we finished the whole crowd was hugging us and each other and it was kind, and sweet and wholesome.


Did anyone take any videos?!
PETER: Our friend Luke Mouradian took some photos. (below)