Thursday 30 May 2019

***ZBR Fest - preview/reminiscing***

It's just nuts to think that in less than 24 hours I'll be at the second Zegema Beach Records Fest. As I scramble to try and get everything ready before catching the ferry tomorrow at lunch, I figured I'd reminisce a little about the first 2017 Zegema Beach Records Fest in Toronto as well as showoff the 2019 ZBR Fest (#2) in hopes to meet some new people this weekend.

Well, first off, I had a poster made that I wasn't able to use so goddammit let's use it now. Thanks to Ania for the poster and all the edits I kept sending.

I have just deactivated the ticket pre-sales so everyone who bought a ticket just needs to tell me the name and address from their order and you'll get a bunch of free shit at the door. You can check out the Zegema Beach Records Fest 2019 website here or check out the event pages for Day 1 (May 31st) here, Day 2 (June 1st) here and Day 3 (June 2nd) here.


The first Zegema Beach Records Fest back in 2017 was a surreal experience. I had tried a mini-fest a few years prior in Hamilton (review and videos linked here) with very poor attendance (and it fucking had Respire, Edhochuli, Terry Green, Black Love and Old name a few!), so I was worried to shit about it for the full fest. As we booked that pre-fest night months in advance we didn't know we'd be competing with a Daughters show...and we lost. But for the proper Day 1 and Day 2 shows it was the complete opposite. Day 1 in particular was packed, especially at the end when Respire put forth a stirring performance and I remember looking out during the final The World That Summer set and seeing Luke Hoskin from Protest The Hero among the sea of my friends' faces and I nearly cried.

As I'm trying to get ready for this second fest I have left out some amazing bands in the smaller list below and I apologize. I love you and you were amazing, and another reminder that all the videos I took from those nights can be seen in the review posts for the pre-fest show here, Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

CROWNING / I was probably most excited to see them over any band at the fest, and holy smokes we didn't see the extended ending/breakdown coming and it destroyed everyone.


PEOPLE'S TEMPLE PROJECT / I still haven't heard this opening song recorded yet and it might be my favourite of theirs. It's short and it's fucking amazing.


WHAT OF US / I'd been wanting to see this band since their inception and they did not disappoint. My band followed and my drummer asked me, "How the fuck are we supposed to follow that!?!?"


COMMUOVERE / Considering the band broke up shortly after this tour I can honestly say this was one of the most important sets I've ever seen in my life. They tore shit up, good god science almighty.


TERRY GREEN / My bestest of friends and present at pretty much every ZBR show in Ontario ever, Terry made me cry.


RESPIRE / Yo...Respire. I need say nothing else, except maybe that this video is one of the best I've ever shot.


TERRIBLE AS THE DAWN / An incredible two-piece that too many people missed out on because they were on the pre-show day. Definitely check this shit out. Oh, and we put out their tape :)


MASSA NERA / The only returning band from the first ZBR Fest is my entire family's good friends Massa Nera from New Jersey. The pretty much stole the fest and they had lost their vocalist just a few days yeah, this time I'm beyond fucking excited.


Tuesday 28 May 2019

'Even A Worm Will Turn' by: SENZA

Year: 2019

pre-order 12"/tape from:

Review by Dave Norman:

I've been following SENZA pretty closely after hearing their Jeromes Dream cover of "How Staggering Is This Realization" which was easily one of the best cover on that 30-band compilation. A few months afterward I was lucky enough to premiere both a song from their split with Akira (linked here) and the entire split with Antiphony (linked here). I continued speaking with the band and about 3-4 months ago they started sending me rough versions of their first full length, and needless to say, I was barking and frothing at the mouth after hearing them. A month or two ago I was sent the final masters and jesus fucking christ you are not ready for this. It is a remarkable album that will undoubtedly stand the test of time and go down as one of the shriekiest, fastest and most explosive albums of the last few years. Three members, all doing vocals, and each laying waste to their instrument simultaneously. I simply cannot ask for more.

If you missed that live video of SENZA playing on May 11th at Post 134, then I've got your next 10-ish minutes covered cuz this thing is unreal.

This video catapulted me from excited to fucking loopy in regards to the band's upcoming Zegema Beach Records Fest 2019 performance in Vancouver on May 31st, 2019. Click here for the show info or here to buy tickets to the fest.


(2019) SENZA - 'Even a Worm Will Turn' full album stream

1 - "Tunnel Vision I" is a dreary, dark and uncomfortable opener that is really just an intro to the album an nowhere near as ferocious as everything that comes after.

2 - "Born of Dirt" was first premiered in January on the Zampler #12 compilation and is a flawless emo-violence track that takes the intensity of Jeromes Dream and mixes it with the musical prowess of Neil Perry and the screamo/metallic influence of Dispensing Of False Halos.

3 - "Misornithist" will leave you a bloody mess with that cataclysmic breakdown come 48 seconds and its subsequent barrage of drums and screaming.

4 - "Tunnel Vision II" goes back and forth between blistering emo-violence and chill, jammy screamo.

5 - "Constant Air of Casual Indifference" is a 44-second acoustic guitar interlude that harks back to the opener.

6 - "American Robin" is a clusterfuck of precise destruction with a commanding palm-mute transition at 18 seconds and a whole lotta ridiculous drumming.

7 - "Imposter" includes an excellent, subdued, lone guitar progression that continues to overlap with the rest of the band at seemingly random intervals, giving the listener a few good shocks.

8 - "Sentience" begins with the line, "Every breath is a battle" which the band promptly answers musically at 36 seconds with a barrage of instruments that break off and isolate a huge bass riff which leads everyone back in order to lay waste to your fucking life.

9 - "Swarm" calls the rainy/marching interlude back into play but for over three minutes of subtle nightmare sounds.

10 - "Inner Immolation" includes a 2/2/5 mindfuck halfway through with a devilishly good palm-mute/roll that sounds like a giant fucking bulldozer leveling a city.

11 - "Even A Worm Will Turn" takes the first minute to build to a second minute that is essentially just a prodigious climax followed by a lush, acoustic outro.

12 - "Echoes" is a behemoth at over 9 minutes in length, like climbing a mountain and then taking a few minutes to take in the epic view. The perfect closer.

Fuck me...the perfect album.


Thursday 23 May 2019


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artists: Shall Not Kill, Dead For A Minute and Esteban.
CountryMetz FRANCE
Years Active20011-present
Song: "Quand la lumiere disparait"
Album: "Construire ou détruire"
Year: 2019
For fans of: Daïtro, Young Mountain, Yarostan, Envy, Marée Noire, Quasar, Viva Belgrado, Vientre, Joliette, Sed Non Satiata, Chalk Hands, Aporia, We Never Learned To Live, EUX, Milanku, Nous Étions, La Parade, The Solexine Chapter, Black Love, Bökanövsky, Rosetta, ShizunePotence, Massa Nera, Carrion Spring, Les Deux Minutes De La Haine and Amanda Woodward.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records
This post's artist is from the May 2019 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the May 2019 Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2019 Mix#6 here.

I'll be the first to admit that I unknowingly had my head in the sand regarding ALESKA for far too long. The band emailed me (as in Zegema Beach) in early 2019 to see if I was interested in helping release their newest 12"LP. I jammed it and was floored, quickly asking if I could do a cassette version alongside fellow French screamo band Yarostan. After doing further delving, I noticed that they started releasing in 2012 and literally every release has been excellent. I thought I had my ear to ground regarding French screamo/post-hardcore but alas it was an anthill.

Most bands start out with a sound and then branch out, eventually reaching their own, unique voice - assuming they don't break up first. In ALESKA's case it's like they this shit mapped out years in advance, as although the sound is honed with each release, debut 'The Waiting' EP is more than obviously the same band as 2019's 'Construire ou détruire'. Honestly, there isn't really much to improve upon since that initial EP. It opens with the decent "Growing elitism" before getting even darker with "The wait". Closer "Turtle race" is the penultimate track here as it balances a beautiful intro with playful screamo and heavy'n'harsh hardcore...but I mean c'mon, at times I got lost and thought I was listening to Kidcrash because there is so much variety on here.

The following year (which would be 2013 unless my math is off...hardy har har) ALESKA was included on a three-way split with Mariesena and Bears with two tracks of completely different makeup. "...and we are not afraid of eternity!" is a rip-roaring good time of raging hardcore with a plethora of screaming while "Friends and foes" is nearly four times the length and is more like a life story, complete with relaxation, anger, beauty, chaos and a touch of math class. Both tracks are fantastic but completely different. They also released a single titled "We don't believe in Santa Claus anymore" that takes the cake as the shortest and most intense ALESKA track recorded to date.

In 2014 they released another three-track EP, this time titled 'Time is a curse', which is the first release to really encapsulate everything the band had done well up to that point, fleshes them out, and displays them as something that really feels like a complete piece of work. Opener "Erased from the map" sounds like something Jesse Mowery would write combined with Potence so this is definitely my favourite of the three. "Passengers" begins like a Hundreds Of AU song before dipping into post-hardcore with singing.

Following a year of silence ALESKA came back in 2016 with their first full length, aptly titled 'LP'. "Instaurer le vide" has an epic build and is an obvious choice for opener, mixing influences from Black Love, Rosetta and Sed Non Satiata that plays out swimmingly. "Du gris au noir" is a menace, taking the cake as best song on here as it'll leave you gasping for air come 1:45. "De la cime au cimetière" has fantastic guitar interplay following the two-minute mark and a driving, epic conclusion that will leave you both satisfied and spent. "Leaves, trees and me" is a swirling, instru-metal affair for nearly five minutes, and then the band lays waste to the song, holy hell. "Que reste-t-il?" is pretty frantic and reminds me of Marée Noire, especially in the vocal department. "Our illusion is creation" has quite a few slower, chill moments but at 3:54 and then it doubles in size, splits and you've got two, gargantuan screaming elementals battling it out. Wait...what? Eh whatever. Closer "Combler le vide" has strong Rosetta vibes with all dem spacey guitars and whatnot, making this a very strong album through and through.

So it was 2019's 'Construire ou détruire' that threw me through a loop, as the 8-track album is phenomenal. Following a brief introductory interlude ALESKA drop the best song they've ever written with "Indispensibles", sounding like a pissed off Daitro and, strangely enough, Yarostan's new material to boot. The swing at 48 seconds is unbelievable and would get my hairy booty a-shakin' if I ever get to see it live, and is the catalyst for a sensational guitar progression that cuts through the dual vocals at 1:10. The instrumental shift at 2:10 is a lush and layered time-bomb that explodes right before three minutes is truly epic fashion...then the double-screaming kicks in again and I'm fucking dead. Seriously this song is fucking ace. "Vanite Illusoire" is a post-everything track that gives me Aporia and Respire feels, as does the massive, epic "La Derniere Lueur" that keeps it cool for the first four minutes but cannot contain itself thereafter. "Construire" is another lengthy track at 7:16, expertly mixing clean vocals and screaming, always keeping it interesting and creating a nice middle-ground that is neither too soft nor too heavy. Next up is the short "Un Eternel Recommencement" that packs a punch in less than three minutes like only a French screamo band could. Second to last is the behemoth also known as "Detruire" weighing in at 9:24. Due to the length of the 12" the final song from the LP is included as a bonus track, but appears on the Zegema Beach Records cassette version, and thank science for that because "Quand la lumiere disparait" is probably my second favourite tune as it spends its time teetering between tranquil deep space post-hardcore and crushing post-metal...uhhhhh so Rosetta? Fuckin' great album, I say.

The first 10 ALESKA / YAROSTAN split cassette orders get these beautiful, 100% unique, marble swirl cassette case versions.

Pressing info:
30 silver
20 red/silver/black/white marble swirl
4 one-off test marble swirl
Buy Aleska/Yarostan split cassette /54



2012 - The Waiting EP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - 3-Way split w/Mariesena & Bears (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - We don't believe in Santa Claus anymore digital single (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - Time is a Curse EP (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - LP LP (stream/buy here)

2019 - Construire ou détruire 12"/LP (stream/buy here)
2019 - Construire ou détruire split cassette w/Yarostan 2xLP (stream/buy here)


(2019) ALESKA - "Indespensibles" (from 'Construire ou détruire')

(2019) ALESKA - "Quand la lumiere disparait" (from 'Construire ou détruire')

(2019) ALESKA - "Un Eternal Recommencement" (from 'Construire ou détruire')

(2016) ALESKA - "Du gris au noir" (from 'LP')

(2016) ALESKA - "Leaves, trees and me" (from 'LP')

(2014) ALESKA - "Erased from the map" (from 'Time is a Curse')

(2013) ALESKA - "We don't believe in Santa Claus anymore" (from 'We don't believe in Santa Claus anymore')

(2013) ALESKA - "...and we are not afraid of eternity!" (from '3-Way' split)

(2012) ALESKA - "Turtle race" (from 'The Waiting')


ALESKA additional links


Tuesday 21 May 2019

***BLUE NOISE exclusive album premiere***

'everyone goes away eventually'
exclusive album premiere
For fans ofConverge, Deafheaven, City Of Caterpillar, ['selvə], An Autumn Of Crippled Children, Nic (aka ██████) and Respire

'everyone goes away eventually'

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Maya Chun's BLUE NOISE is more than remarkable - it's fucking breathtaking. The screamo/black-metal/post-everything solo project from Ann Arbor, Michigan is influenced specifically by Deafheaven, City Of Caterpillar, Rosetta, Isis, Republic Of Dreams, Alcest and Ostraca, so chances are anyone reading this will love it. It's epic, cathartic, existential bliss that I simply cannot get enough of.
pressing info: /54 (first 10 orders also receive marble swirl cases)
*** 30 dark blue ***
*** 20 blue/silver/black/white marble swirl ***
*** 4 one-off marble swirl ***

Order from Zegema Beach Records:

(2019) BLUE NOISE "everyone goes away eventually" (from 'everyone goes away eventually')
The title track to the LP is, to put it lightly, fucking stupid good. Following a brief but jarring feedback with subdued drums intro, the song lets loose like a storm of death come 20 seconds. Those agonizing shrieks, lightning drums and violent guitar/bass culminate at 40 seconds in a massive serotonin release thanks to a sensational, mathy, Edhochuli-swing. This somehow transitions beautifully at 1:20 and shifts to an almost pop-punk it Leer? Fuck I dunno but that's a helluva hook. The next 20 seconds are dedicated to an explosive in-and-out breakdown over-top a swelling atmospheric riff that exhausts itself by the two-minute mark. Yet, instead of extinguishing it lingers, offering a womb-like embrace for another minute-and-a-half before concluding. That's a fuckin' experience, holy shit. So far this is the best song I have heard in 2019.

(2019) BLUE NOISE 'everyone goes away eventually' full stream

I thought I'd just post a few notes about each track, or this would turn into a very long post.

1 - "hapless" (2:32) / good goddamn that devilish close come 2:02

2 - "what a pity" (4:18) / that lush guitar at 2:32 and subsequent be good

3 - "take it upon thyself" (3:30) / the anguished shrieks along with a synthy-sounding An Autumn Of Crippled Children section post-one minute

4 - "sleight of hand" (3:40) / doomy, atmospheric, hellish with a spectacular ending

5 - "regression" (1:43) / shortest yet poppiest track...uhhh except for the last part

6 - "everyone goes away eventually" (3:30) / so good it makes me weep

7 - "it cannot be helped" [formerly "one"] (3:27) / the stop/start at 2:10 usually makes me fall over

8 - "drained" [formerly "two"] (4:18) / both staggering and gorgeous, like a mountain

9 - "memory" (6:43) / a behemoth, especially the sludgy/Converge-esque outro that takes hold at 4:48

10 - "return to form" (4:41) / pretty ambient until about two minutes when the album finally goes supernova


Sunday 19 May 2019

***ANTONIO LEIRIAO exclusive interview***


exclusive interview w/

Back in 2017 I was revving up for the first Zegema Beach Records Fest. I was also talking to Antonio Leiriao at that time. There was even a mild discussion of a Mara'akate reunion at ZBR Fest, to no avail. Regardless, Antonio and I spent some time in late 2017 doing this interview that we kinda put on the backburner as our lives got nuts. A few months back Antonio hit me up again, saying it was time. So I polished it up and here we are.

Who are you? What bands have you been in? Give us a quick overview!
Antonio Leiriao, Indianapolis,IN.

The State Secedes, I Am the Resurrection, Usurp Synapse, Mara'akate, Thin Fevers.

Owner/Operator at Small Hand Factory Records, partner/DJ in Naptown Soul Club.

Can you give us a chronological view of your musical evolution, starting with what music you remember first loving and how you got into it?
I grew up in Rockville Centre, NY on Long Island.  My Mom loved music and had my sister and I take piano and violin lessons early on.  We were exposed to a lot of Jazz, Celtic, Middle Eastern, Rock, Folk, Brazilian, Portuguese music as kids. My parents took us to many live concerts in and around the NYC/LI area early on and we were lucky enough to see folks like Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, etc. The first music I remember being a fan of was Irish troubadours like Johnny McEvoy and mainstream stuff like Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, etc. After that it was Hip Hop and Metal. My friends and I would skate to De La Soul, DRI, Slick Rick, Slayer, Et al.
Through skateboarding I eventually got into punk/hardcore. Bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Token Entry, Misfits, Samhain, 7 Seconds, GB, Youth Of Today. Those were all early influences in my early teens. In High School I started to get in to a lot of "alternative" bands at the time and some of the post hardcore bands like Jawbox, Quicksand, Fugazi, etc. My friends and I would go to shows in and around the NYC area at this time as well. Mostly Two Tone Ska style stuff and a few local LIHC/NYHC shows but I wasn't part of either of those scenes at the time.

After High School is really when I started to attend LIHC and NYHC shows on a regular basis. My friend Jim Nash whom I'd grown up with but who had attended Archbishop Molloy in Queens instead of HS in RVC was really the prime mover in this.  Jim was really in to the NYHC scene, and was attending Bond St. shows, etc. way before any of us were. I'd gone away to college in upstate NY for a semester and returned miserable in late 94/early 95 and thanks to Jim and Jeff (Quiet Storm zine) I started attending LIHC&NYHC shows on the regular from that point on. Most of these shows were at the infamous Mecca of LIHC, the PWAC.

I was really in to LIHC/NYHC bands like Bad Trip, Burn, Mind Over Matter, Scapegrace, Clockwise, and Yuppicide at this point in time. The Victory Records stuff was taking off as well so that was also in play. Snapcase, Earth Crisis, etc

At this point a few records began to shift my perceived idea of punk and hardcore. The First Hoover LP on Dischord, Lungfish Talking Songs For Walking also on Dischord, the Lincoln 7"s on Watermark and Art Monk Construction respectively.

Not long after this I guess what you'd call the watershed moment or the singular event happened that pushed me or rather pulled me to screamy hardcore (as it was known then).

I was subletting a room at my sister's apartment in NYC for the summer. My friend Justin Scurti (band mate of Jim Nash) was putting on a show at his parents house in Woodhaven in Queens. Tetsuo and Edgar, both LIHC bands, were playing the show. I'd never seen either band and they played a style of hardcore that I identified with immediately. It was heavy, screamy, emotional and a far cry from the tough guy/polished/ style of stuff I was used to. Then I fatefully bought the Breakwater '5&7' s/t 7" from Bob English's distro box and nothing was ever going to be the same from then on. That record and the Ordination of Aaron 'Eli' 45 are the two exact moments where anything I decided to do musically were born.

I met the guys in Closure not long after through mutual friend Seth Berman who also introduced me to the Tetsuo/Edgar guys. When both of those bands broke up is when The State Secedes began.

So that's the Genesis point I guess. After that it's a straight line through a bunch of curved ones. The State Secedes ended. I Am the Resurrection began, I drove Usurp Synapse on tour and joined the band about a quarter in, juggled both IATR and US for a few months, threw my chips in and moved to Indy and did US full time, joined Mara'akate for the Euro 03' tour, and when Mara'kate ended Colin and Derek started Phoenix Bodies while Brian, Ben and I started Thin Fevers. TF was Post punk inspired by Gang of Four, Killing Joke, etc.


Can you tell us about your ventures into punk, hardcore and the genre name that some embrace and others reject...screamo?
The term "screamo" is just a shortening and combining of the two already in existence terms "screamy hardcore" and "emo" and I've no problem with that.


What bands were the most inspiring for you throughout the years you played in bands?
The bands that inspired me most were Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, Born Against, Moss Icon, Nation Of Ulysses, Ordination of Aaron, Rocket From The Crypt, Breakwater, Portraits Of Past, Policy Of Three, Palatka, Los Crudos, Avail, 52X, Indian Summer, Honeywell, really too many to mention. There's a lot of gold out there on one off 7"s and LP's from that time.


Did your parents support your musical endeavors?
My parents were very supportive though I'm not sure they understood it exactly. I grew up in an artistic household. My parents were what I'd term NY Bohemians and loved art immensely. My sister and I pretty much haunted museums our entire childhood.  We were both encouraged to do creative things in life.


Some Mara'akate questions:

Did you do vocals throughout Mara'akate?
I was not the singer on any Mara'akate records. I joined the band to do the 2003 US/European tour.

Josh was the vocalist on all the Mara'akate records. I'm sure at some point he changed his style and there is some difference in vocal tone but that's all the same vocalist.

And why did you come in at the end, did they lose their initial vocalist? It seemed as if the vocals went through two stages so I wasn't sure if it was the same.
Brian Wyrick and I were roommates throughout this time and when Josh couldn't do the already booked Mara'akate US/Euro tour, he/they asked me.

I wasn't in a band at the time and was considering moving back to NY, not sure if I wanted to continue to be in bands, etc. it kind of fell out of the sky. Really a wonderful moment in my life.


Ahhhhhhhh, now I understand. I'm always raving about the "Congratulations On Your Impending Geography DVD", what can you tell us about that?
We made a conscious effort to record and document the tour. I don't think we had it in our minds to release a DVD of the whole thing until we got back home. Brian Wyrick (guitarist in Mara'akate) mostly shot the footage and edited it. We brought it to Clark Giles of Happy Couples Never Last as a possible project and he released it.


What bands from the tour/dvd do you remember the most? What stories are there behind that dvd?
Well all the bands we toured with were amazing both as people and as musicians. It felt especially nice to me personally to share a bunch of shows with Off Minor. Saetia and The State Secedes were brother bands and its always nice to see family you know really well anytime but that's double when you are touring abroad.

We were very fortunate to meet the incredible people that are/were La Quiete, Los Aseinos De La Superficialidad, Now Denial, Crowpath, Raein, Yage, etc

The DVD is basically a small capsule of our lives at that time. Lots of it still makes me smile as it's my best friends and I joking around and having fun. It may not be totally apparent, but we were a machine on that tour. None of us wanted a day off. We spent 5 weeks in a van and never wanted a day off.  Ben and Brian remain my best friends in this life so it's always nice to revisit the DVD for a laugh.


Some Usurp Synapse questions:

When did you join the band and in what capacity?
I joined Usurp Synapse during the 2000 US tour with Racebannon and Jeromes Dream. I had initially been hired by both Usurp and Jeromes Dream to drive both bands on the tour as I had a van and they needed both. About a quarter way through the tour Usurp asked me if I wanted to sing in the band alongside Jon Scott who was the singer on all Usurp releases as he was also juggling synth duties as well. I believe the thinking was that it would provide better dynamics for the live set and free him up a bit.

What was being in Usurp like? All these years later I feel like the band had a very specific but unidentifiable mystique.

Being in Usurp? Complicated.

I was a late addition to the band and as it wasn't my own or something I had started, it was a foreign experience for me. They'd been a band for a long time before I joined and there were strains on relationships within the band that were apparent and some that were not. When it was good it was great but when things soured towards the end well, I'll just say it was ugly and a lot of friendships were ruined. I'm not above my part in things and it's important to say so. I look back at the good times, the fun we had, the touring experiences, the camaraderie we had as friends at the time, but in the end it's hard not to be bitter about how it ended. Usurp is a cautionary tale and a tale filled with the disposing of band members at will for one person's vision.  It was not a healthy environment in its twilight.

The mystique of Usurp? It's probably due to the nature of the music and the unpredictability of the live show. We did a lot of things in the live setting that were unconventional and reactionary toward the crowd. The dissolving of the wall so to speak.


Can you give any instances, for us (like me) who may not know specifics?
Well as far as the music is concerned, it's still interesting, original, and of its own genre/style. While I've heard bands who have made music similar to Usurp, I'd say the band had no predecessor in total. When I joined the band, the main song writers in the band were listening to John Zorn, Sun Ra, Melt Banana, Discordance Axis,etc. So they were very in tune with other genres and taking cues from them as far as time signatures and putting those elements to work within the screamo or whatever you want to call it framework. Not easy to play either I might mention. It took a lot of skill and musicianship to play those songs. I was always impressed as they would make it look so easy!

In the live setting we were trying to make it a more volatile performance. Too often you'd go to a show and play to people who would just stand there and rock back and forth. There's no life in that. I guess we were looking to make it a more chaotic scene. It helped the band as it kept the energy up and the band members fed off of it. Hardcore and punk have this grossly homogenized idea of what and audience should do which is just stand there with crossed arms rocking back and forth worrying about what everybody else is doing while making fun and castigating the first random dude who goes off freely because they feel it. We wanted none of that. We wanted it to be volatile, kinetic, and with a true energy. The dissolving of the wall between the band and the crowd as I said before. People have and did get upset at the band for some of the live performance antics (for example we threw bags of flour at the crowd at a fest in Pennsylvania) but you are better off going to the theatre than going to a punk show if you can't understand the nature of punk rock and its philosophy.


What is your favourite Usurp release and song? You must have had some ridiculous tours, which one was your favourite?
My favorite usurp stuff to play live were the songs off the Hassan I Sabbah split. Great songs and the synth dynamics that Jon was working with then were awesome. I loved Hassan I Sabbah as well. So it's an easy choice. I'd known Chad from when Puritan and State Secedes played together so I loved playing with them and definitely my favorite stuff live.

The only full tour I did with Usurp is the US tour with Racebannon and Jeromes Dream. Definitely a fun tour. Some of the best times of my life. The most memorable tour/road trip would definitely be what we refer to as "Big Weekend" where we traveled to Boston in the dead of winter to play something called "fuck fest". It was an absolute nightmare going to and coming back but it's one of those singular experiences you can only look back on together.


How did being in Usurp differ from being in other bands?
The difference was that Usurp were a well polished machine and I mean that in the best way. When I/we met Usurp on the State Secedes/Racebannon tour you could tell they were looking to do bigger things. They had good contacts, were networking the right way, putting out releases on the right labels. In short, they had a plan. It was impressive. So yeah they very much differed from other bands as they knew what they wanted to do and had a plan. Initially when I joined Usurp I was also in I Am The Resurrection. While we had a plan in IATR for what we wanted to do it wasn't nearly as thought out as what US had in their vision.


You played in I Am The Resurrection, what can you divulge?
IATR was formed after the end or should I say ending of live performances of The State Secedes.  Myles Karr and Adam Dooling were both attending school at SUNY Purchase and asked me if I was interested in a band they had recently started. So I drove up there and long story short, it clicked immediately.  We had access to rehearsal rooms and good equipment and could really wood shop the songs through the winter. Looking back it was great, we were cloistered up there in Westchester. We had no scene that we belonged to outside of the Purchase musical scene (which would bear fruit in and of itself) so it was refreshing in that setting. I call it the "great shrugging off" period as we were no longer beholden to scene politics and could just create. At the same time we collectively had a chip on our shoulder as we wanted it to be brutal, cathartic, and revelatory.  It's a distillation of the bands we had been in before but has something else to it that is just time and place. Were we what has been said about us? I think the record stands for itself.


Please tell us the history and message of THE STATE SECEDES.
The State Secedes started after Tetsuo and Edgar had broken up. I was friends with Matt Gordon (Tetsuo) and he and I had talked about starting a band for awhile before States (our shortening of the name amongst ourselves) started. There was talk of a Tetsuo reunion and they practiced one night at Dan Boles (Tetsuo, States drummer) to kick the tires on the Tetsuo stuff. It's a long time ago but I think I showed up later after that practice and we just started in on new material that Bob English had at the time. Myles Karr had been recruited for the Tetsuo reunion as well so basically it was 3/5 of Tetsuo + myself and Myles working on the new material. We decided it sounded good and that we should start a new band etc. We agreed we needed a second guitar player to fill out the sound so we asked Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw) to play guitar as well. We practiced quite a lot through the winter of 96, getting our chops up and figuring out songs. I think the first show we played was with Closure and Irony of Lightfoot. Shortly after that Daryl decided he couldn't do the band full time  and was replaced by Chris Jensen (Halfman, Campaign). We started playing locally frequently, that turned in to doing a lot of NYC and out of state shows. We toured with Drift from Canada in '97. Played some fests, local and out of state shows through '98 while working on new material. In '99 we went in to WGNS in DC with Geoff Turner and recorded the full length s/t LP on Level Plane. We did a short tour that spring/early summer with Portrait (ATL) and then did a late summer tour in August w/Racebannon in support of the full length. After the tour the band pretty much broke up. We'd been doing it a long time and everyone was being pulled in other directions: work, school, family.

The State Secedes is both a band and a metaphor and in that sense it will always be, continue, and never die so to speak. Hardcore/punk is a duplicitous system and acts the same way that any societal strata does. For all its talk it's still a human construct and subject to levels of importance however stupid, ironic, and foolish those may be. A "13th grade" if you will. The State Secedes was counter to that. The band was and is against all that.

Hardcore/punk speaks of inclusion but just becomes a mirror of the same society it's counter to. You have punk kids castigating and putting down other punk kids. So that's where we were coming from.

Thankfully the band started up around the same time as what I usually refer to as our brother bands. Saetia, Murdock, Devola, Judas Iscariot, C.R., and a few more that escape me at the moment. We were able to create a scene within a scene through those friendships. Looking back it was a very magical time for punk/hardcore in NY. We were all doing different stuff but we all supported each other. Great times.


Holy shit, Drift!?!? And Daryl Palumbo? Wow! Can you tell us more about your relationship with him?
Daryl was a friend of ours and someone we all collectively knew through the LIHC scene. He was already in Glassjaw who were a very well established band and at the forefront of the LIHC scene and would continue on to be a more famous and well known band.  Daryl was a big fan of Gravity records, Portraits Of Past, et al. So when we started coming up with the idea of The State Secedes he was in from the start and definitely on the same wave length as to what we wanted to do. Unfortunately he had to quit the band not long after we began (thankfully playing our first show before leaving) but he helped write several States songs and was instrumental in the bands existence. As an aside, Long Island was so rich with talent and bands that it was, in retrospect, a very special place to be during that time and I think the sheer amount of talent just made every band and musician better.

There is a lot of focus and attention paid to the NYHC scene of old (and rightfully so) but I think the LIHC chapter of hardcore had yet to be written or fully realized in a proper context or breadth. While the "city" scene sputtered or stagnated to a certain extent, Long Island was producing a far more varied and strong product at the time. Bills would be as diverse as Half Man w/ Silent Majority, Vision Of Disorder w/ Edgar, Kill Your Idols w/ State Secedes, etc. So there was this really communal "we're all in this together" hive mind idea.


What opinions do you have about the current state of music today?
Music today is as it sort have always been. There's a tremendous amount of superficial dreck but if you dig deeper you're going to get rewarded.  I'm not up on all punk/hardcore bands as I used to be but I definitely think bands like Frameworks, Killie, etc are great. Unfortunately I think most punk/hardcore bands spend too much time trying to sound like a band they admire and this just makes a general clone soup. There is no differentiation and just becomes a unlistenable knock off.

Music is an eternal thing. People shouldn't get caught up in what it sounds like compared to what's already in existence.


How do you feel about the US and what is going down? I'm watching from Canada and thinking that I'm watching the rapid decline of so many things, which is stirring things up here, as well, especially in terms of anti-immigration.
Well as a first generation American and the child of an immigrant I'm also appalled at the state of affairs politically in this Country. My mother immigrated to the US from Ireland in the late 50's and gained citizenship in the decade thereafter. My Father's parents, my grandparents, immigrated to the US from Portugal in the late 20's and followed the normal path to citizenship as well.

My sister and I grew up in a family that was both very proud to be both Irish and Portuguese but also extremely proud to be American.

We were instilled with the pride of where our families came from and that of being able to live in America. For my Mother that meant opportunity outside of rural Ireland which was extremely limited but so much more for women. My mother arrived in the US as a nun working for the Catholic Church and was able to leave that oppressive mechanism and create a life she would never have been able to carve out in that era or eras in Ireland. My Grandparents left Portugal looking for better opportunity and slowly worked their way out of New England textile mills and moved their growing family down to the Portuguese enclave of the Ironbound in Newark, NJ for better opportunity.

So, when I hear the rhetoric that mentions immigrants as a problem or use them as a scapegoat I take great umbrage with it. I don't think you'll find more patriotic people in this country than those that have immigrated here, whether or not they have been able to complete the process or not

So you've got this caustic, ugly, anti immigrant rhetoric hate speech being bandied about by the supposed leader of the free world and frankly it's alarming and disgusting.

The blaming of immigrants for society's ills smacks of rhetoric from both fascism and nazi propaganda. Scapegoating those that are trying to make a better life in a new country is shameful.

Donald Trump is never going to be able to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, the world has revolved. It's eventual, a Malthusian prophecy in reverse.  We don't need as many to do as much anymore. I'd say start a works program, give people access to tech training,etc. but scapegoating immigrants is shameful, dangerous, and completely myopic given how this country was created.


What do you have coming up in the near future, in terms of bands, releases, touring, etc.? You also run Small Hand Factory Records, what can you tell us about that?
I'm not in any bands at the moment but there's always a possibility of a reunion on the horizon.  Myself and DJ Paren have a monthly soul night in Indianapolis called Naptown Soul Club that focuses on the amazing musical legacy of Indianapolis and Indiana in general and features national DJ's who specialize and promote the rare funk and soul 45 genre. We've released a mix cd of rare and deep Indiana 45's on the Dark Matter Coffee imprint out of Chicago and we'll have another one or two out this year as well. I also run and operate Small Hand Factory records. The mission with the label is to be a place where bands that I have a personal connection with can create, have a home, and then hopefully move on to bigger and better things. We mostly specialize in metal/hardcore bands but that's only absent of opportunity. Music genres are not mutually exclusive. It's all the same thing if you're listening.

Thursday 16 May 2019


GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metallic Hardcore
Related artistsBlue Youth, Failed States, Surf Dads, Anemone and Dead Bent.
CountrySaskatchewan, Regina CANADA
Years Active2014-present
Song: "Ghost"
Album: "Triangle"
Year: 2016
For fans ofDangers!, Ghostlimb, Caust, Anemone, Graf Orlock, Griever, Whores, Canyons, Ladder Devils, Meth And Goats and Comadre.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the May 2019 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the May 2019 Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2019 Mix#6 here.

BERMUDA LOVE were sent to me by my friend Jon who plays in Blue Youth, one of my personal favourite bands. BERMUDA LOVE actually consists of two members of Blue Youth alongside drummer Chris Dimas (records/masters Blue Youth & drums in Anemone) but in actuality sounds like Dangers! took a chill pill and mixed it with Comadre. Yep, I think a lot of readers are going to dig this.

The four-piece recorded their only release in 2014 but 'Triangle' didn't see the light of day until 2016. The mood is set from a few seconds into the opener, as "Red" is a screamy, sassy and caustic hardcore tune with a very good sense of melody. "Bones" is rooted in an awesome bassline and is kind of like post-hardcore with Dangers! vocals while "Ghost" is straight-up, epic, post-hardcore that has some experimental instrumentation during the intro but'll have you bangin' your head along by the one-minute mark. It also rides a wild solo to close out. "Nightstalking" doesn't let up, is one of the faster tunes on here and precedes the self-explanatory "Interlude" (which sounds like Mono). "Burning Books" is another driving, anthemic track that lays down the rock come 45 seconds. Once the vocals kick in this thing is a beast and easily one of the best songs here. "White Devil" has a plethora of dual vocals (which I'm always a sucker for) and is definitely the heaviest song on the LP. Closer "Rain" kind of wraps up everything great about the band and displays it here and concludes with an excellent Japanese-video-game-esque guitar wail.

The band is on hiatus, but is sounds like if the conditions are right something else might see the light of day.



2016 - Triangle LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2016) BERMUDA LOVE - "Red" (from 'Triangle')

(2016) BERMUDA LOVE - "Burning Books" (from 'Triangle')

(2016) BERMUDA LOVE - "White Devil" (from 'Triangle')


BERMUDA LOVE additional links


Wednesday 15 May 2019

'Riot/Mutiny' by: мятеж

Year: 2019
For fans ofCult Of Luna, PG.99, Orchid, Makara, Systral and Kaospilot.

Review by Jesper Johansson Jungermark:

I don't like to review a band that I play in, primarily because I lose my sense of objectivity and tend to diminish my own accomplishments and nitpick all of my mistakes. So instead, today's review comes from Jesper, a 24-year old musician who operates from Gothenburg, Sweden and plays in Young Mountain, Nathan Aeli & Raft. This is their first review on the blog.

Track 1: "June and July, Life Over Die"
Starting with a swirling cascade of emotions followed by a reminiscing soundscape, in the style off of Cult Of Luna's classic album 'Somewhere Along The Highway' the first song ''June and July, Life Over Die'' then evolves into a vibrant, ambient march towards the next conquest. The vocals are right in your face where they should be, spitting out whatever hardship there has been. Solitary, sad and stubborn is how I'd describe the scenery in which MRTEX journeys onward with this new release.

Track 2: "Sectumpsempra"
''Sectumpsempra'' twists on itself, a complete circle to then devour it's own tail. Spastic, self-destructive and venomous just like if Ouroboros would be envious against this aggressive beast of a song. Once again the Cult Of Luna/Post-metal homage returns after the first half to give us some closure to this sonic assault. I'd look at these two songs as twins separated at birth only to reunite with the same experiences but with different aggression, creating a significant difference between them both but still tying them together.

***editor's note
As I am the vocalist for мятеж I can say that this is the final proper мятеж release. There will be a discography tape released near the end of 2019 housed in an encyclopedia with song lyrics, explanations, pictures, one new song, all limited to 17 or something silly.


(2019) мятеж - "Sectumpsempra" (from 'Riot/Mutiny')

(2019) мятеж - "June and July, Life Over Die" (from 'Riot/Mutiny')


Tuesday 14 May 2019

***SPOILED BRAT exclusive song premiere***

"Cumming for Cotton Candy"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofArab On Radar, Daughters, Tweak, Kiss 2, Ultra Dolphins and The Jesus Lizard

Akashita Corp.

SPOILED BRAT are a new band Delaware that are releasing a six-song cassette EP in a few days. I was blown away by the quirky, abrasive and confrontational hardcore that combines the weird of Arab On Radar with the noise of The Jesus Lizard. Inspired by anything THREEONEG and repetitive, noise rock, punk and weird hardcore, the band features members of Dolphin Hotel, Waller, [this is not for you.] and Summons to Yomi. The tapes are out of about 70 and release in full this Friday May 17th, 2019 via Akashita Corp.

(2019) SPOILED BRAT "Cumming for Cotton Candy" (from 'Fuck')
At only 1:05 this track is a clusterfuck. The song fires off in a frenzy and is soaked in sassy, volatile vocals (see Ultra Dolphins) that follow the lead of those pounding drums. Following the 30-second mark it dips into a feedback pit, as most whimpers and sounds are swallowed back in until 48 seconds when the track rips itself from the hole and tears around in a rabid, violent and shrieky fit.


Monday 13 May 2019


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Crust / D Beat
Related artistsGehirn, .
CountryHonolulu, Hawaii U.S.A.
Years Active2018-2019
Song: "Sync Rate Zero"
Album: "itallreturnstonothing"
Year: 2018
For fans ofTenue, Moldar, Long Distance Runner, Jungbluth, Shin Guard, Ekkaia, Ostraca, Perfect Blue, A Paramount, A Love Supreme, Alpinist, Autarch and Truman.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the May 2019 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the May 2019 Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2019 Mix#6 here.

Currently on hiatus, Honolulu's ITALLRETURNSTONOTHING used be called Gehirn but changed their name in early 2018. They released a single EP, but there might be something else coming in the coming months as it sounds like they may have it recorded.

Opener "Unit One" is a screamy, chaotic affair dealt in successive waves, as even at 4:26 there is nearly zero slowdown and almost no time to breath, save maybe the outro. "Progressive Knife" is a lengthy song reaching nearly seven minutes. It's decent but is a bit hampered by a slow groove that repeats, making an overly lengthy, caustic opening and close. "Pilot" is the opposite and blazes through in just 2:41, bringing Malaysian and Singapore screamo to mind, most notably Moldar. Oh, and there's a fucking dirty section that pumps out come 1:40 so hold on to your butt. After a sexy, instrumental intro "Sync Rate Zero" gets things going closer to 1:20 with rolling drums and vomited vocals that are caught up and carried by the frenzy of guitars, bass and general lo-fi noise with an end that is ballistic and reminds me of Kodan Armada and Bethari at their most chaotic. Closer "Tokyo-3" goes all out for two minutes before losing steam and dragging on for it's final two.

I'm intrigued to hear the final recordings, as well as any projects these members end up in in the future.



2018 - itallreturnstonothing cassetteEP (stream/download here)


(2018) ITALLRETURNSTONOTHING - "Sync Rate Zero" (from 'itallreturnstonothing')

(2018) ITALLRETURNSTONOTHING - "Unit One" (from 'itallreturnstonothing')

(2018) ITALLRETURNSTONOTHING - "Pilot" (from 'itallreturnstonothing')

(2019) ITALLRETURNSTONOTHING live (go to 6:35 by clicking here)