Wednesday 30 January 2019

***SUPINE exclusive premiere***

exclusive song premiere
For fans ofOstraca, Hundreds Of AU, Hawak, Swan Of Tuonela, Thisismenotthinkingofyou, Massa Nera and Perfect Blue

pre-order from Middle Man Records starting Feb 1st

Sometimes I sit back and am actually able to reflect on the things I get to premiere on this little ol' blog of mine. Last night as I jammed SUPINE's 'Deluge of Data, Recess of Thought' in full, I remembered how unbelievably lucky I am to be involved in all this. Not many bands give me this introspective, heart-melting feeling, but I'd wager a fair amount that when you jam "Dissemble" you'll find yourself lost in elation. The four-track EP releases in full February 1st with cassettes following soon on, you guessed it, Middle Man Records.

(2019) SUPINE "Dissemble" (from 'Deluge of Data, Recess of Thought')
SUPINE wastes absolutely zero time letting you know what's up, as "Dissemble" tears through the gate, snapping the gate clean off at the hinges. The drums are unrelenting, the bass and guitars swirl around in a cacophony of noisy hardcore with dual vocals being screamed back and forth. And then...holy shit. At 24 seconds the song shifts like the tide, engulfing the listener in a vessel of prodigious proportions. Then the song takes a much deserved rest in a hammock before firing back in at 1:45 with the conclusion, a behemoth of a riff wrapped around epic instrumentals and heart-wrenching screams. Good god, this is amazing.


Tuesday 29 January 2019

***METASTATIC exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Metal
Related artistsThis Land Is Now Dead, Listless, Never Better, Coma Regalia, Hundreds Of AU, What Of Us, NY In 64 and about a million others.
Years Active2018-present
Song: "contorted, down in it"
Album: "Metastatic"
Year: 2018
For fans ofThis Land Is Now Dead, Listless, Tentacles, Carol, Never Better, Cloud Rat, ComputerMakara, The Assistant, In First Person, Converge, Carl Johnson, To Dream Of Autumn and Acme aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Middle Man Records
This post's artist is from the January 2019 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the January 2019 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

METASTATIC is the evolution of Never Better, who changed their name after switching up vocalists. Vanessa from Digest/ex-La Luna was unable to help with this release so Shawn Decker scouted Steph from This Land Is Now Dead and Listless to provide the throat-shredding screams. And with this seemingly slight shift, the band ended up diving down into much deeper, darker and nightmarish sounds. Their self-titled 'Metastatic' EP was released late last year on Middle Man Records and is quite possibly the heaviest thing I heard in 2018. The instrumentals took a more sinister turn, but those vocals are straight up hellish, demonic and sound like someone being tortured and shrieking in sheer agony. It's honestly taxing to listen to (in a good way) because of how raw, extreme and unnerving those screams are.

The EP opens with "contorted, down in it" and by the 20-second mark you'll likely be mouth agape at how fucking ridiculous those layered shrieks are, good lord. The song hits it's climax right after the one-minute mark and buries any eardrum remnants you may have had. "nights without censure" is probably my favourite of the seven, as it really boasts Tom's metallic hardcore guitarin' and reminds me of The Assistant and In First Person if they were even heavier. Midway through the song there's a bass bomb that goes off and leads the explosive second half to its devastating conclusion. Holy shit, that is ballin'. "at the time, shrouded" begins much slower but is just as prodigious and intense, with the second half hitting at double time. "after watching you die" is a Shawn Decker clinic with some of their best drumming, and the rest of the track ain't too shabby either, with a bit of a Tentacles feel going on before the brief, transitional interlude right before the midsection that houses some excellent guitars as well as the subsequent breakdown and axe wails. "your death lingered" is another standout track with a punishing-yet-groovy second half, "always close by" has screams so intense they almost tear themselves apart, and closer "the temptation to pour water on an electrical fire" is another Schlatter riff-fest.

I was very excited for Never Better with Vanessa, and was a bit concerned when I found out she was unable to participate with the new material. After hearing METASTATIC and what Steph did with this, I'm ecstatic to have two very different and very amazing bands to jam.

Oh, and I asked Shawn if they'd like to be interviewed about this recent release, to which they responded yes. ya go!

exclusive interview
w/Shawn Decker

Would you consider Metastatic the continuation of Never Better, or has the new vocalist made this something completely different?
Well of course it was meant to be a continuation of that but when Vanessa decided that they couldn’t continue with the project I know that Tom went back with new intentions and changed some very fundamental things. Our idea was to keep pushing it forward and once Stephanie put their vocals on especially then I just can’t even fathom it being any different. It’s definitely it’s own thing in both the way it sounds and feels.

Did you have any other ideas set out before writing/recording? Or was it more of a "let the music flow and it is what it is" kind of thing?
A lot of the time I just try to come up with interesting structures for Tom to build on top of but to be honest on this recording I did something that I thought might be a little out of his comfort zone just to see what he would do and of course he crushed it.

lol no surprise there! What is Tom's comfort zone? I assumed it was Dawntreader records playing whilst watching a superhero/science fiction show and being covered in cats. Oh, and he's eating a falafel.
Ha ha. Apparently his comfort zone happens to be wherever he is at the moment with guitar in hand. I’m going to risk being awkward right now by saying what a true honor it is for me to be making music with someone whose music has had such an impact on my life. Thank you Tom. I love you.

How did you two first meet?
We met 20 years ago when The Assistant played a show at my house. I was a huge fan of you and I at the time and we for sure had some awkward conversations that night. Thankfully Tom didn’t hold any of it against me. He even serenaded us in my living room by playing "Every Rose Has its Thorn" on my acoustic guitar.

I mean, Never Better was heavy, but Metastatic if fucking heeeeeaaavvvvvyyyy. Was that intentional?
Yeah. It was. We said that we wanted it to be heavier and noisier. And then when it turned out it was going to be a whole new thing I know Tom went into a lower tuning as well so that was definitely a factor. Also Stephanie’s vocals are just incredible. We had talked about not necessarily the subject matter but the intention behind the vocals and how sometimes when you sing about something that’s painful for you it’s really difficult and affects you in a way that you might not be ready for until you are doing it. I feel like that concept itself comes across in a major way.

Those are some of the most intense vocals I've heard in a long, long time. Also, you and Tom provide zero vocals on this, correct?
That’s right. It’s all Stephanie.

How did Stephanie become the new vocalist?
Well, you were at Swamp Fest 2. That’s pretty much how. They blew me away in that This Land Is Now Dead set. I had been wanting to work with them on something since then so this was the perfect time and place for that. Shout out to Thom for recording Stephanie’s vox, btw.

That was such a good fest, pity there have been no more since 😞 Yeah they were phenomenal! Do you have any plans to play shows?
We talked about it a little bit. I would love to. I think the biggest obstacle to overcome is finding out when all of our other respective bands would not be touring or if by some magic we were all touring to the same spot at the same time that would work.

What was the easiest and most difficult thing about the Metastatic EP?
Easiest I guess is just... working with Tom. He just takes whatever I throw at him and sends me back incredible ideas. Then he fleshes them out and somehow these incredible ideas are even better.
I can’t speak to things that may or may not have been difficult for other people. The only kind of hangup we had near the end had to do with file sizes. Nothing Steve Roche couldn’t figure out. His mix on this is out of this world.

What is next for the band?
We talked about doing another release but everybody is super busy right now. I know I would love to. I hope we can get started with it maybe after summer and everyone is done with their tours and stuff.

As always, thank you Shawn 💓



2018 - Metastatic cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)


(2018) METASTATIC - "nights without censure" (from 'Metastatic')

(2018) METASTATIC - "after watching you die" (from 'Metastatic')

(2018) METASTATIC - "your death lingered" (from 'Metastatic')


METASTATIC additional links


Monday 28 January 2019


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Jazz
Related artistsCapsuleTorcheTyranny Of Shaw, Osceola, Rauh, Kylesa, Dead Lions & Black Jail, Caveman Cult, House Of Lightning, Mehkago N.T., Post Teens, Shitstorm, Monarcs, Bulldagger and Unfair Roots.
CountryMiami Florida U.S.A.
Years Active2002-2004
Song: "Isn't Life a Grand Ol Fuck"
Album: "Asking in Askance"
Year: 2003
For fans ofMoonassi, Crippled ChildrenDeers!, Sometimes Walking, Sometimes Running, Robots Don't Cry, Eyes Of Verotika, Caught In The Fall, Occam's Razor, Trotsky, People's Temple Project, D'Amore, Olive Cotard, SnagLion Of The North, Van Johnson, Lachance, The Spirit Of Versailles, Jeromes Dream, In Loving Memory, MatsuriGillian Carter, Elegy Of Me, Kodan Armada, You And I, A Company Of Heroes and Black Knight Satellite aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Somberlain / Landmine Youth / Dolores Records / Escucha! Records / Medical Abuse Records / Deadly Medley / Azalea Records
This post's artist is from the January 2019 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the January 2019 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

Can someone please explain to me why TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO aren't a band people continue to lose their shit over? Seriously, very few, if any, were capable of pulling off the dancey, dual-screaming onslaught that this band dished out for a few short years in the early 2000s.

They began as noisecore band before adding a second vocalist. Initially influenced by Melvins and Helmet, they soon began incorporating more Yaphet Kotto, Jeromes Dream and The Spirit Of Versailles right before they wrote their songs that appeared on the demo tape. Apparently there is a Helmet cover and an unreleased song that were recorded in 2004 before initial vocalist Mike Young moved to Baltimore and left the band, but they have yet to surface. After that, the members' other bands (Torche, Capsule and Shitstorm) gained enough momentum to push TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO into the background and it eventually dissolved.

'The Demos' are actually quite good, with most songs appearing on the subsequent LP recording. Tracks like "Isn't Life A Grand Ol' Fuck" come off pretty similar to the final versions, but if you take a listen to "Where's Waldo?" you'll find a myriad of differences to the point where I almost view it as a different song. You'll also find three killer jams called "Untitled", "Bulldoze" and "My God, You Are Fucking Stupid" that aren't found anywhere else. The first is classic, dancey TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO, the second and third are very heavy and short (less than a minute), bringing to mind the volatile explosiveness of Lachance and Kodan Armada.

The following year they dropped my favourite release, their 8-song 'Asking in Askance' cdrLP, which is seriously screamo fucking gold. It opens with the bombastic screamfest that is "Swim Back Mr. Fish", complete with ridiculous speed shifts and unbelievable drumming (as well as comically delivered lines such as, "Let's stay friends, let's stay friends, let's stay friends for-ev-er"). "Livejournal" and "Ain't Life a Grand Ol Fuck" are chaos and groove exemplified to a t, especially the final 30 seconds in the latter which gives me mad Robots Don't Cry vibes. "Joel" is probably the chillest song on here with nods to The Spirit Of Versailles with both the shrieks and spoken/warbled vocals. "Where's Waldo?" is one of my favourites, as the band screams "Waldo!" over fantastic/classic mid-2000s screamo that isn't far from Neil Perry territory. "Dilido Bridge" is shortened in both title and length, but remains as jarring and discombobulated as ever. "Premiscuous Purple" gets next level at 1:10 with a truly electric transition that would have had me bouncing off the walls, had I ever gotten the chance to see them live (which was apparently amazing). Closer "Paradise is Very Nice" is an excellent, driving jam to close out the record, using a repetitive line that'll get stuck in your, "Take my hand as we drift towards happiness". That entire release is very, very good.

The following year TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO released two 7"s, a self titled EP also known as the 'Tour 7" edition' and a split with Jesse Washington. The latter was actually the first thing I ever heard from the band, as I picked up that 7" long, long ago. The 'Tunes For Bears To Dance To' EP is three tracks of screamo a bit more experimental than the 2003 material. "Puddles..." is the anomaly here, as it is extremely lengthy for a TFBTDT song. Although it pushes the envelope with atmospheric and lush interludes, those bass riffs in the first section are dope as fuck. Opener "The Same Dream" is only 2:38 and rips through in similar fashion to their cdr, but has a hint of hope and a bit more positivity in the instrumentals than the earlier work. "Be Kind and Rewind" is similar but strips things down even more, as the second half of the song is littered with distant screams and much more jazzy/subtle instrumentals. The two tracks on the 'Jesse Washington split' are excellent, and were the reason I chased the band's discography afterwards. Both "If the Price is Right" and "Don't Be Fooled By the Cowboy" are righteous screamfests with enough danceability to help the band go down as one of the most chaotic and sassiest screamo bands I've ever encountered.

What I assume was a posthumous release, their 7" 'El Minotaur split', is quite a bit different in sound. Opener "One Moment" is abrasive, laced with feedback and much more droning which has me scrambling for a decent comparison...maybe Towers? Their final track is titled "Fake Community" and it is much more in line with their previous material, as it bounces off the walls like a hyperactive toddler, screaming and causin' a ruckus.

If you are searching for more reading on TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO, I can't recommend this article enough. It was written by the engineering/recording specialist of the band, Marc Rabinowitz and is a very insightful and interesting read. Check it out here.


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

2002 - The Demos cassetteEP

2003 - Asking In Askance cdrLP

2004 - Tunes For Bears To Dance To 7"EP
2004 - Jesse Washington split 7"EP

2006 - El Minotaur split 7"EP


(2002) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Bulldoze" (from 'The Demos')

(2002) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Untitled" (from 'The Demos')

(2003) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Where's Waldo?" (from 'Asking In Askance')

(2003) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Isn't Life a Grand Ol Fuck" (from 'Asking In Askance')

(2003) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Swim Back Mr. Fish" (from 'Asking In Askance')

(2004) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "The Same Dream" (from 'Tunes For Bears To Dance To')

(2004) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Don't Be Fooled By the Cowboy" (from 'Jesse Washington' split)

(2006) TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO - "Fake Community" (from 'El Minotaur' split)


TUNES FOR BEARS TO DANCE TO out of print mp3 discography download / additional links


Saturday 26 January 2019

***REVERIES exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsDistricts, Lines And SpacesMonument AD, Matahari, Blase Blue, Twin Cyclist, Depressors, Centennial, Time Wastes No Time and Lessener.
CountryBoston, Massachusetts U.S.A.
Years Active2015-present
Song: "Growing Older"
Album: "Reveries"
Year: 2018
For fans ofOn The Might Of Princes, Lessener, Shirokuma, State Faults, Coma Regalia, Pianos Become The Teeth, Lytic, AviatorElleKen Burns, Raein, (later) Hot Cross and Massa Nera aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Ancient Injury Records / Emocat Records
This post's artist is from the October 2018 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

REVERIES are a relatively new band that released their debut LP last year (that's 2018 as of this year) and I became aware of because they share members with Lessener, a band that I've had the pleasure of playing with, releasing a record and hosting them for ZBR Fest 2017. Although I cannot say the first two things of REVERIES, I can let it be known that they will be attending/playing Zegema Beach Records Fest 2019 in Vancouver (May 31-June 2) along with previously mentioned Nuvolascura.

The band blends a few genres together, including hardcore, emo and screamo (predominantly) that riff off of each other creating both a haunting and gorgeous atmosphere. After two driving screamo tunes in the vein of On The Might Of Princes and Shirokuma ("Growing Older" and "A Modern Invasion") "A Thousand Suns" slows things down a bit and even includes some singing. Their bandcamp references if Waxwing were screamo and I think that's really accurate, especially with the instrumentals. "Rainwater Drowning" is my favourite of the nine jams as when 3:20 hits, the slow motion death sequence close is riveting, and I often find my myself singing, "Dreading the treading, watching water levels rise. I've been fearing the dive, knowing that I won't survive," hours after leaving my computer. "Firelight" is quite jarring and disjointed at first, making it pretty dang screamo, the midsection utilizes large builds and collapses like a landslide into a fantastic groove that the song locks into and fades with. "An Undelivered Letter" gives me some late-era Funeral Diner vibes but sometimes the emotion of the vocals are lost in what seem to be forced rhyme schemes. The opening of the very next song puts the vocals/lyrics back in sync and creates a very uncomfortable yet inescapable mood that climaxes at 1:20 with throat-shredding screams. "Undergrowth" is, strangely enough due to the title, quite an airy, chill and positive sounding tune, with closer "Fall Failings" being a lengthy 4:44 of organic, atmospheric, post-rock/post-hardcore that evolves into a sprawling, shape-shifting, multi-headed beast of screamy hardcore.

Will Killingsworth did a very good job on this recording as everything is crisp and sounds very well produced. I feel like the cleanliness of it all it exactly what the band needed, despite being known for gritty, noisy and cathartic music.

At some point this year REVERIES will be a part of a three band split alongside Chalk Hands and Okänt, so be on the lookout for that! Speaking of being on the lookout, there's a bigass interview under the discography and youtube embeds so get reading. 💝



2018 - Reveries cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - 3-Way split 12"EP (w/Chalk Hands & Okänt)

(2018) REVERIES - "Rainwater Drowning" (from 'Reveries')

(2018) REVERIES - "Growing Older" (from 'Reveries')

(2018) REVERIES - "Firelight" (from 'Reveries')


REVERIES additional links



Okay so first things first, how the shit was Reveries formed, and why the name?
Reveries is a band that was started with the premise of patience. Pete and Joe were living together in Lowell MA and were both newly band-less. They had played in a 2-piece band together in the past and wanted to continue that songwriting dynamic, and Pete was having some screamo inspirations. We had a couple different friends play bass as we worked through some song frameworks and coincidentally, Jake came through to try out some vocals before filling the job as our bassist. Mike and Pete had known each other from touring in former hardcore bands years back, and funny enough ran into each other in the hallway of our practice space and struck up a conversation which led to Mike becoming the vocalist. Some of our first jams happened in 2015/16 and we were deliberate in our writing and playing but it’s always been worth the wait for us. We’re also lucky to all be on the same musical wavelength and bring different influences to the table.

It did also take us a long time to find a name. We probably had 5 songs written before we settled on it. We wanted something simple but natural with just the right amount of “meaning”. We all sort of identify with this concept of daydreaming and allowing our minds to wander along in our day so it made sense. Pete also low key was hoping for a subtle music reference for the music nerd in him, and Debussy's “Reverie” fit this criteria.

What bands in particular have influenced Reveries, regardless of whether the sound shows up in your music?
Pete: Our self titled was written over the course of a few years, and some specific influences can be found in certain areas, but one constant influence has been On The Might Of Princes - in particular their 'Sirens' full length. This is definitely going to turn into a dissertation on how amazing that album is, but sorry not sorry. 'Where You Are and Where You Want To Be' is what most will point to as their favorite material by the band, but as least for me, 'Sirens' is a top 3 emo/screamo album and probably a top 5 all time. A critical listen of 'Sirens' will reveal incredible and subtle songwriting and compositional moments that give you those music chills every time you listen. The vocal delivery and lyrics speak for themselves, the bass writing and tone is absolutely top tier, as is the guitar (there's something extra special about the bass though), and the drumming is perfect. There's a great atmosphere to the recording and it's just well-produced enough.

Paired with that main influence is mostly European screamo, and some bands from our side of the pond, generally of the more melodic variety. Daitro, La Quiete, Raein, Amanda Woodward, and Suis La Lune's 'Heir' EP, were always on heavy rotation, and we drew influence from newer bands too like Shirokuma, Shizune. Jake and I used to joke - if you speak a romance language, your screamo band is probably awesome.

On the American side of things, sounds from 'Cryonics' and even 'Risk Revival' found their way into our writing, Kidcrash was staple listening material as was Gospel. I was introduced to Massa Nera at Zegema Beach fest a couple years ago and was blown away by them and subsequently everything they've written - some our newer material is influenced by them! Furthermore from a drumming perspective, Capsule and The Cabs were a big influence on Joe.

What was it like recording with Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios?
It took us almost no discussion to decide to record our full length with Will at Dead Air, and it was definitely the best experience any of us have ever had recording with any band. Will’s reputation speaks for itself but I can’t help but continue to pump it up! He was a huge part of bringing our music to life, not only capturing our sound exactly as it was in our heads, but truly being a “producer” – we felt like he was as invested in making the record sound great as we were - this might seem like an obvious trait that most engineers have but I’m not sure it is. We’re big believers that developing your “sound” as a band is one of the most important things you can do, and thanks to Will we think we have a great start.

How did you hook up with Ancient Injury Records? And how did Emocat become involved with tapes?
We first posted some self recorded not-so-great demos online a year or so ago, on Reddit funnily enough. Miggy (Emocat) found us there and sent us a message offering to put out the tape, which was super cool! Emocat is a great label full of awesome releases, everyone should go buy a tape from him now. It meant a lot to us that he was willing to take the plunge on a band that no one had heard of, with no real hype, he just liked the music - and that’s exactly why we do what we do. He's the best.

Jake: I’ve always been a fan of what Joe and Pete have come up with together over the years. When the first few songs for this project started taking form, I knew I had to be a part of the release with Ancient Injury. It was really exciting to work on the physical presentation and packaging with the guys, and we are all really happy with how Solid MFG brought it to life.

How have your tours been?
We haven’t toured yet haha, but we did play our record release show in a grimy Boston basement with Lytic and Shizune, and it was basically a screamo wet dream in real life, especially since Shizune was such a huge influence on the record and Lytic of course is connected to screamo royalty.

What is next for Reveries?
We have a 3-way split coming out later this year that we are super excited about with a couple of really killer bands from across the pond, Chalk Hands and Okant. We also have a bunch of other new music in the pipeline and plan on releasing an EP shortly after the split! Plus, this summer we’ll be making the trek out to Zegema Beach Fest in Vancouver which a huge honor!

Any thoughts on staying positive and enacting change in these times of drastic decline?
Joe: We like to think that writing and playing this music together helps us to stay positive. This band is an outlet for all of us and we intend to keep using it to set free the angst that can bottle up during these times. We hope that everyone can find an outlet that can provide the release that playing music does for us. There may be many negative things going on in the world but technology has helped to give more people an artistic voice and this is a constant improvement in our eyes.

Mike: As far as staying positive, Finding an outlet is so important. Whether that’s playing music, Freewriting, going to the gym, hiking, even just riding a bike…Anything to help release those pent-up emotions that can weigh you down. Enacting change however, is a bit more of a challenge. You can pour your heart and soul into political debates/protesting to prove that your beliefs are strong and valid, but venting on social media is not casting a vote, and is not making a change. The internet can be toxic for that reason. We get to filter out what we don’t want to see and blind ourselves from the real world around us. Surrounding yourself in reality where you get to hear the opinions of all cultures and lifestyles is crucial. Use that exposure to form your own opinions on how your world should be, and fight for those changes to make it happen.

Friday 25 January 2019

***RIPOSTE exclusive song premiere***

"Phyrric Victory"
exclusive song premiere

Bandcamp (goes live Jan 30th)

There's something exciting about hearing something that mixes the familiar and unfamiliar - especially when both of those things end up blending perfectly. Whether the screamy hardcore or playful emo is your thing, there's a whole lot to love about RIPOSTE, the new band featuring Randall Avilez from Heritage Unit and Shawn Decker from Coma Regalia (and 100 other projects). Their 12 track debut "En Garde" is a composite of songs about coming back from everything life has to throw at you including: addiction, depression and abuse. Today we are premiering "Phyrric", the third song from the LP that will go live January 30th, 2019 along with the RIPOSTE bandcamp page. You can nab a copy from Middle Man Records now, though. (pre-order linked here)

(2019) RIPOSTE "Phyrric Victory" (from 'En Garde')
Clocking in at 2:14, "Phyrric Victory" opens with piercing drums with Randall and Shawn screaming simultaneously, but with different vocal patterns. It's kind of a call-and-response but they overlap, and by the 30-second mark the song slows down considerably for some off-time, syncopated and irregular drums and a noodle bowl of guitars. After a minute the track speeds back up again and hits a very engaging groove that brings Pique, King Slender and Coma Regalia to mind. The awesome yelled vocals and climax take hold after 1:30, bringing the song to a very fitting conclusion. Again, the tapes and full LP go live January 30th right here.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

***MODERN RIFLES exclusive premiere***

GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo Rock / Alternative / Pop-punk
Related artistsJumbo, Snakes And Crowes, Shades McCool and Teddy Duchamp's Army.
CountrySan Diego, California U.S.A.
Years Active2006-2009, 2011-2014
Song: "Broken Wings Make Broken Things"
Album: "LP + B-Sides"
Year: 2019
For fans ofJimmy Eat World, No KnifeBlue Youth, Waxwing, Recover, Manchester Orchestra, Hot Water Music, Life In Vacuum, Hot Snakes, Carved Up, Drive Like Jehu, Unwound, Russian Circles and Riddle Of Steel aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records
This post's artist is from the January 2019 Mix. This is track #?.
You can download: the January 2019 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

I can't even describe how much I love MODERN RIFLES, but I'll try...again. In the first month of this blog's existence I went a bit overboard and did 31 band posts in 31 days. Covered were most of my absolute favourites such as Neil Perry, Daitro, La Quiete as well as a very obscure band in my third post that didn't really fit the mold of screamo that I generally do. In that post (linked here) I recounted my origin story for the band but I'm gonna go through that again here.

I taught in South Korea for two and a half years and bought a large number of physical releases whilst there, knowing that I was eventually coming home and having much of it shipped to my parents home in Canada until I came back. There was a fair amount of gold waiting for me, but one of the best releases waiting for me was also one that rendered my brain a sloppy, confused question mark. I had no idea where I heard it (assuming I even did) or read the review. It was titled 'I Was Young, It Was Dark' by MODERN RIFLES. I was like...okay, some new screamo that I don't remember, sweet. Then I popped it in and by the second track I was confused. This wasn't screamo. This wasn't hardcore. This wasn't metalcore. This was...something different. It didn't sound bad so I didn't turn it off. By about song five I stopped whatever it was I was doing and sat down with the cd and booklet, as the band had officially got my attention. Fast forward 10 years later and I'm still as giddy as a kid in a toy store when listening to it. It's fucking perfect. It's like 11 beautiful sassy rock, poppy emo, alternative and post-hardcore tunes all wrapped into one ridiculously tasty ear burrito. Think Jimmy Eat World all hopped up on caffeine whilst writing songs in math class and you're pretty much there.

And then, in the fall of 2018, Daryl Thompson, bassist for the band during their brief existence in the late 2000s, emailed me after reading my very basic/sparse review and shared with me three unreleased songs from the band's only (surfaced) recording session for the 'I Was Young, It Was Dark' LP. I was so happy that I pretty much diarrhea'd in my pants and up my back. Wait, that was my baby earlier today. I was so happy that I asked Daryl if I could release the three songs in conjunction with the LP on cassette. He asked his former bandmates and responded with a yes. And here we are.

I made 50 copies of these tapes, titled 'LP + B-Sides', with new art from Greg Rozum. 25 are on old computer with two-sided/colored j-cards while the other 25 tapes are green with stone cardstock #/50. There are four rare variants with sparkle champagne pearl covers. The 'I Was Young, It Was Dark ' LP is first, followed by the unreleased three b-side tracks. You can stream, donate and download the release on the Zegema Beach Records bandcamp as well as pick up a copy of the tapes on any variant via the Canadian store (linked here) or the U.S.A. store (linked here).

Now, it's about fucking time I did a good review for this phenomenal and much underappreciated band. I can't really put it into words, but this record gives me all the feels. I'm a huge sucker for big, heavy, violent and screamy stuff, but well-constructed rock songs with killer vocals, razor-sharp hooks and enough razzle-dazzle in the technical department can have me salivating like the jowls of a very hungry and excited canine. Do not expect this from the opener, as "Introplane" is a slow-yet-playful instrumental jam that hits a sweet, spacey spot after the 30-second mark and dips heavily into post-rock/post-hardcore during its conclusion. It's a great intro to the record as well as a fantastic song, but I always worry about those short on time who are waiting for some vocals or the band to go all out, and ultimately abandon listening to the release. That would be a damn shame, for the real MODERN RIFLES are shot out from the onset of track two's "Terroplane", an absolute gem of a jam. The playful dualing guitars set the stage for the full band crashing in at the 20-second mark. The powerful waves quickly recede and the whirling guitars start, propped up perfectly by pounding bass and drums during the first verse and fantastic singing. The vocals are sung at the breaking point, where they almost dissipate into a scream but instead take on a yelled, sassy sound. When the chorus hits the vocals churn out smooth as butter, taking the listener on a prodigious ride during a chorus that shares more with post-hardcore than rock music. Listen to this and try not to sing, "Are you alriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight? Feeeeeeeeels like nothing. Feels like somethiiiiiiiing!" afterwards, it's pretty much impossible.

At this point you've got likely got a feel for the band's sound, and they really flesh things out more in the next few tracks. First is track three's "Lie To Me, Ian. Lie To Me", a wonderfully awkward, spastic and bassy tune that is darker and harder than most of the songs, but still flaunts those melodic hooks, with the most obvious being the line, "take a long look at yourself now." I'd expect fans of Blue Youth to dig this. The absurdly titled "Feck Me If I'm Wrong, But Is That A Ham Sangie In Your Hands?" is a fucking banger, bringing out the Jimmy Eat World influence but giving it more of an edge. Those lead guitars during the verses bleed into the start/stop parts beautifully, and the gang vocals keep it interesting at the end. And then...holy shit, and then comes "United Lead", which is tied for my favourite song by the band. This song is a different beast but still very MODERN RIFLES. It opens with blown-out drums and then reverts to a restrained groove, led by a slow, infectious guitar progression and those faint-worthy croons that gathers momentum for the next two minutes. This momentum offers a false climax, but like a massive wave seemingly receding, the song is really just back-building, becoming increasingly stronger and then quickly striking. The attack comes at 3:21, right after the band lets a lone guitar scout the area before deploying the troops. The vocals soar at this point, putting Jimmy Eat World to fucking shame and reminding everyone that 'Bleed American' has got nothing on this. Woah, my palms are all sweaty.

We get back to ridiculous song titles with "Man The Ramparts! Bananalyze The Trade Winds!". There's a bit of tribal chanting going on after the intro which builds to your typical/amazing MODERN RIFLES verse. Then there's a super-chill section with whispered/sung vocals that lead into a very danceable midsection, which dips back into the gang vocals and finally that sweet, sweet verse...or was that a chorus? Feck me, I dunno. (see what I did there?) The opening track for the cassette b-side is "Illegal Dracula!!!", which I just found out was the first song written by the band. In retrospect it makes sense because it's very good but doesn't have the deep hooks of their other material. That being said, it's still very MODERN RIFLES as it's poppy while simultaneously being obtuse, kind of like Life In Vacuum both in construction and sound. "Kip Winger" is another keeper, and a song that is a road trip anthem if I've ever heard one. Layering numerous vocalists with slightly different patterns works out swimmingly, and gives the track an indie rock feel during the tail-end of the verses. This track has a buried diamond, as at the two-minute mark we are met with a swing so fantastic and immersive that I want to just get up and run around the room. Dueling solos battle it out while vocalist Dan belts out audio sugar and my good god it's so fucking sweet. And we're not done, cuz at 2:43 the track delves full on into post-hardcore madness with a prodigious instrumental passage that Russian Circles and Pelican would most certainly give a nod of approval.

"Say a Prayer to St. Happenin'" is the quintessential MODERN RIFLES song, and is my other favourite by the band. A very mature and swelling first minute explodes with a massive and jarring chorus that houses more phenomenal singing before they pull back slightly and run through another verse and interlude before coming back to that slappin' chorus. Honestly this has a 'Bleed American' feel to it again but takes that sound and refines it, shedding all the waste and fat that makes me shrug off Jimmy Eat World and shove helpings of MODERN RIFLES down like it was nuthin'. This banger precedes "Manbird", a devilishly good stop/start track unrelenting grooves and excellent riff accentuation. The solo from the two-minute mark is a nice touch which leads back to more smokin' bass and Hot Snakes love. The closing track for the original release of 'I Was Young, It Was Dark' was the relatively lengthy, instrumental jam "Chuck Woolery Is Leviathan". It's a cool, post-rock/post-hardcore tune that reminds me of the condensed instru-metal tracks by Carved Up.

The three previously unreleased tracks that are tacked onto the end of the Zegema Beach cassette release are all excellent songs, and it is a shame they never ended up on the LP. That being said, waiting a decade to hear three great "new" songs is an incredible experience in its own right. First up is "Enter the Craptagon", a somber song that sways in the wind until the chorus when the overhead storm sends down lightning in the form of an electric riff and wonderfully serenaded vocals. "Hot Stone Meat Party" is the opposite, creating an evil and jarring concoction that is also playful and catchy. The guitars whip around dangerously while call-and-response chants pop up now and again as the song bounces around, reaching a honed and powerful midsection complete with yellin'n'screamin' in addition to a lightning quick conclusion with excellent drumming. "Broken Wings Make Broken Things" is likely the final song by MODERN RIFLES that we'll ever hear, and it doesn't disappoint. Sounding akin to "Say a Prayer to St. Happenin'", the song creates a dense concoction of driving post-hardcore and irresistible alternative rock. And those vocals those vocals those vocals...if I had a voice like that I don't think I'd be screaming in a band nearly as much.

So that's how I feel about MODERN RIFLES and all of their songs - the short version 😉

Please jam the full album on the ZBR bandcamp (linked below) and pick up a tape if you like what you hear. Also, we'll have an interview with bassist Daryl posted here next week, so be sure to check back!



2008 - I Was Young, It Was Dark cdLP (stream/buy here.)

2019 - LP + B-Sides cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here) [buy in U.S.A / buy in Canada+Internationally]


(2008) MODERN RIFLES - "Say a Prayer to St. Happenin'" (from 'I Was Young, It Was Dark')

(2008) MODERN RIFLES - "United Lead" (from 'I Was Young, It Was Dark')

(2008) MODERN RIFLES - "Terroplane" (from 'I Was Young, It Was Dark')

(2009) MODERN RIFLES - "Broken Wings Make Broken Things" live video

(2019) MODERN RIFLES - "Enter the Craptagon" (from 'LP + B-Sides')

(2019) MODERN RIFLES - "Hot Stone Meat Party" (from 'LP + B-Sides')

(2019) MODERN RIFLES - "Broken Wings Make Broken Things" (from 'LP + B-Sides')


MODERN RIFLES additional links


Monday 21 January 2019


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence
Related artists?.
Years Active2017-present
Song: "Duly Noted"
Album: "2017"
Year: 2017
For fans ofEncyclopedia Of American TraitrosUsurp Synapse, Ruhaeda, MakaraCelebration, Senza, Deadseraphim, Jeromes Dream, Combatwoundedveteran, Reversal Of Man, Tyranny Of Shaw, Daughters, Racebannon, Majority Rule and .gif from god aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Middle Man Records / Adorno Records
This post's artist is from the January 2019 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the January 2019 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

I don't really know much about UNDER GLASS other than the band contacted me to do a premiere back in 2017 for their EP single "Behold My Valor" as well as contributed a killer cover of "Unreleased #1" originally by Jeromes Dream. The last thing I'm aware of is the likely surfacing of more music this year in the form of two EPs, 'Collapse This Path of Existence' and 'Every Breath is Suffering'. Oh, what do they sound like? Dirty, dark, pukey, shrieky hardcore/emo-violence. Think old Celebration dancing violently with Usurp Synapse and you're pretty much there.

Their first official song release was the cover, which does an excellent job of recreating the raw passion and sense of urgency after the initial, bouncy, 25-second intro. On July 3rd I dropped "Behold My Valor" from 'Wading in Petulant States' which released in full a few days later. The first single gave a more defined taste of what was to come on the EP - essentially a short burst of vicious, venomous emo-violence, especially once the song explodes at 26 seconds with a powerful, driving section that builds and eventually goes supernova at the one-minute mark. Good lord I still love this song. Next up is "All is Fluid", a 59-second Usurp Synapse fest, complete with an eerie/weird first half and a behemoth of a second half. "A Solution Lost to the Ages" is the middle jam on the release, and what a jam! In only 51 seconds you'll get a face-full of nuclear blast, with the mushroom cloud pushing maximum fallout at the 28-second mark when the second set of vocals are unleashed upon us. "Fist Over Hand Over Fist" is the longest song released thus far, coming in at a whopping two minutes 😉. It's definitely on the slower, epic side of things, moving along like a behemoth through the woods, decimating trees like they were breadsticks. Closer "Duly Noted" is a beast of a song that houses some seriously evil screaming alongside a plethora of palm-mutes and massive breakdowns, with an ending drowned in feedback.



2017 - It's More Like An Homage To You Jeromes Dream tribute cassetteLP compilation (contributed "Unreleased #1") (stream/donate/download here) [buy from ZBR distro in Canada here OR the U.S.A. here]

2017 - Wading in Petulant States cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)
            [buy from MMR here / buy from ZBR distro here]

(2017) UNDER GLASS - "Duly Noted" (from 'Wading in Petulant States')

(2017) UNDER GLASS - "A Solution Lost to the Ages" (from 'Wading in Petulant States')

(2017) UNDER GLASS - "Behold My Valor" (from 'Wading in Petulant States')

(2017) UNDER GLASS - "Unreleased #1" (from 'It's More Like An Homage To You' compilation)


UNDER GLASS additional links


Sunday 20 January 2019


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Crust / Doom / Sludge / Ambient / Experimental
Related artistsChild Meadow and Grand Détour.
CountryToulon FRANCE
Years Active2005-2017
Song: "Part 1"
Album: "We Stumble"
Year: 2009
For fans of: LocktenderLakmé, Marée Noire, The Solexine Chapter, Envy, Heaven In Her Arms, Les Deux Minutes De La Haine, Aussitôt Mort, Light Bearer, Amanda Woodward, Trainwreck, I Not Dance, Nous Étions and Milanku aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Bus Stop Press / Sons Of Vesta / Desertion Records / Nuestra Lengua / Kisses And Hugs / Blessed Hands Records / Cité De Chenilles / Moloch Industries / Codex Records / Art For Blind / Purepainsugar / Flower Of Carnage / Allergic To Fun / Waking The Dead Records / Revolution Summer / Pure Heart Records / OSK Records / Quatuka Records / In Limine / TDD Records / Shove Records / Petit Chantier Records / J' Apelle Les Flics
This post's artist is from the January 2019 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the January 2019 Mix#1 right here or get the new February 2019 Mix#2 here.

Any chance you are a fan of Locktender? Hmmm, what about Amanda Woodward? Well, France's BÖKANÖVSKY took the sound of Amanda Woodward and made it their own, with the sound of earlier Locktender likely being influenced heavily by this band (or, at least, I would assume, due to the sound similarity). The driving, powerful and epic screamo/hardcore/post-metal style lasted for over a decade (although they really only released from 2007 until 2012), with the band recently calling it quits officially in 2017. But worry not, for two members also play in both Child Meadow and Grand Detour so members are still active and doing great things.

In 2007 the band released their first record, the self titled 'Bökanövsky' cassette and 12"EP. There's a hella Trainwreck and I Not Dance going on here, with a stronger grasp of screamo than the aforementioned bands. The second song "La grand déglingue" is excellent, as it intertwines dual vocals over raging, dense and unstoppable instrumentals. "À l'aube nos passions s'arment" is another strong, volatile and relentless track doesn't let up for its four-minute entirety. Most songs come in around this time save the closing track "Let's not separate" which is a 22-second blast.

It seems that the songs on the 'Tesa split' 7" were actually written and recorded in 2006 and should have been released in 2007, but was delayed until 2008. So although this might look like later work it's actually the band's earliest. To be honest I fucking love these two songs as they have an urgency and volatile anger that was smoothed out in later material. "Madrid te quiero" reminds me of early Envy and The Solexine Chapter while "Au bonheur des marchands" is seriously pissed off and reminds me of the new Marée Noire material from their Crowning split.

It was the 2009 'We Stumble' that I first heard back in 2011 and perked my ears up. The EP is just two songs, but they clock in at about 9 and 15 minutes each, so this is more like and LP than anything else. "Part I" aka "Side A" is the longer of the two, but both are slower, epic, sprawling tracks that take their time to explode, instead of exploding all the time. There are quite a few parts that remind me of I Not Dance as well as well known acts such as Fall Of Efrafa and Light Bearer, so if fans of those bands haven't checked out this band that's a great place to start. "Part II" aka "Side B" is 8:55 in length and is a mountain with some great valleys hidden in a few of the peaks.

In 2010 they released an excellent 'split 7" w/Lakmé', another band I have reviewed on this blog. "De Couloirs En Chambres Froides" is a grooving, screamy post-hardcore/post-metal song while "Slow Down" is more of a pulverizing hardcore track not unlike Perth Express, albeit with a few slower, jammy moments.

In 2012 they released what I consider to be their final new recordings as a five-song cdr EP titled 'MMXII'. On this release the band slows things down even further and darkens the vocals, making the band sound more like Les Deux Minutes De La Haine and Nous Étions. The songs are labeled from "I" to "V" and are on the shorter side (when compared to 'We Stumble') as most hover from three to five minutes in length. "II" has some wonderful layers to it during the first half but is epic as fuck during its close, while "III" houses the heaviest, dirtiest breakdown the band ever wrote.

In 2017 the band officially called it quits, but not before releasing a full 'Discography' on Bus Stop Press that included two unreleased songs (neither of which are amazing, but worth a listen if you're a big fan) and an Amanda Woodward cover of "A l'assaut". You can download the discography for free from the band's bandcamp and I believe the label still might have a few copies of the tape left.



2007 - Bökanövsky cassette/12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2008 - Tesa split 7" (stream/donate/download here)

2009 - We Stumble cassette/12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2010 - Lakmé split 7" (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - MMXII cdrEP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Discography tape (stream/donate/download here)


(2007) BÖKANÖVSKY - "À l'aube nos passions s'arment" (from 'Bökanövsky')

(2007) BÖKANÖVSKY - "La grand déglingue" (from 'Bökanövsky')

(2008) BÖKANÖVSKY - "Madrid te quiero" (from 'Tesa' split)

(2009) BÖKANÖVSKY - "Part 1/Side A" (from 'We Stumble')

(2010) BÖKANÖVSKY - "De couloirs en chambres froides" (from 'Lakmé' split)

(2012) BÖKANÖVSKY - "II" (from 'Demo MMXII')

(2012) BÖKANÖVSKY - "III" (from 'Demo MMXII')

(2017) BÖKANÖVSKY - "A l'assaut (Amanda Woodward cover)" (from 'Discography')

(2017) BÖKANÖVSKY - "Your Words" (from 'Discography')

(2017) BÖKANÖVSKY - final show video


BÖKANÖVSKY additional links