Thursday 29 August 2019

'...' by: ELLE

ELLE's '...' aka 'Ellipsis'
Year: 2019
For fans ofBeau Navire, Loma Prieta, ReveriesØnje and Closer.

Review by Amy Christine:

Since their first release, I have been captivated by ELLE’s ability to write beautifully heart-wrenching melodies. A warm welcome in a genre known for its barreling speed, dissonant technicality, and devastating vocals. Their newest full length, '... Ellipsis' not only builds upon the strengths of their last two releases but has a unique feel that I cannot get enough of.

By unique I am referring to how this album fills me with a mixture of both existential melancholy and hope that things can improve. These contrasting states of mind are rare to capture, and while the genre has existential dread in spades, hope is harder to find. I find the cognitive dissonance associated with resolving these feelings fascinating and I gain new perspectives with every listen. Though you didn’t come here for a psychology lecture, you came here for the music!

What really got me excited me about this release was when the band released their second teaser song, “Throes”, which opens with a moody, atmospheric bass line accompanied by bittersweet guitar melodies and gentle drum fills. This eventually leads into a desperate plea to unite and rise against this dysfunctional sociopolitical climate we find ourselves in, which only becomes more intense and unwavering until the song’s end:

“Scream until every bone in your body aches.
Together now, a million voices. We are more than nothing.
We are all that ever was and will be.”

A highlight of this album for me is "Dust". It starts quiet, introspective, then gradually gains tempo, becoming more restless until it reaches the bridge where everything stops, giving the listener a chance to breathe until you’re hit with the lyrics, “Dreams in the center of a zero / Engulfed in the nothing we created.” It reminds me of my own existential dread regarding decisions I’ve made or have yet to make, and while that may seem overwhelming, I think the album does a fantastic job balancing these feelings of dread with alternatives.

And look no further than "Shimmer". A love song? On a screamo record? Yes please. Though it doesn’t come across as cheesy, syrupy, or overly sentimental, instead it captures that profound feeling that presents itself when you care about someone so deeply. It makes me want to hug my loved ones honestly.

Overall it seems like the band has really found their stride with this release, and the themes presented within are certainly needed today, where community, love, hope, emotional vulnerability can take out the sting out of loneliness, anxiety, depression. While we cannot and should not deny these emotions, we can be open to the possibility that we are not alone, and together we can find moments of acceptance and inspiration.


(2019) ELLE - "Dust" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Wound" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Daggers" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Dust" live @ZBR Fest


Tuesday 27 August 2019

***SENZA exclusive interview + discography review***

BandSENZA + Exclusive Interview
GenresPunk / / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Black Metal / Ambient / Noise
Related artists: Caesura, John McClane, [______], Tolls and Hyperreality.
CountryEugene, Oregon U.S.A.
Years Active2013-present
Song: "Sentience"
Album: "Even A Worm Will Turn"
Year: 2019
For fans ofJeromes Dream, Deadseraphim, мища, Dispensing Of False Halos, Flesh Born, Celebration, Republic Of Dreams, Truman, A Paramount, A Love Supreme, Innards, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, Caught In The Fall, Eyelet and Sleeper Wave.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / Middle Man Records / Emocat Records
This post's artist is from the June 2019 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the June 2019 Mix#5 right here or get the new July/August 2019 Mix#6 here

I've been following Eugene, Oregon's SENZA since 2017 when they dropped a sick cover on the Jeromes Dream compilation followed by two excellent splits, which were premiered here, no less. Their progression has been extremely interesting to watch, and the culmination of seeing their live show and helping release the stunning full length 'Even A Worm Will Turn' really pushed the band from very good to one of the most important bands in screamo/heavy music today.

Their first EP from 2015 is more traditional emo/screamo with hoarse, yelled vocals instead of the later high-pitched bird calls. Some jazz in latter half of "That Belongs in a Museum" while "Mandatory Waiting Period" shows the band's early interest in ambient noise. By the time closer "Empedocles... I Guess?" concludes (at just over a minute) the EP shows promise but lacks a focused direction, but considering there were different members and an additional guitarist, it makes sense.

This lack of direction is rectified on the following release when the band decided to "go full Jeromes Dream" and recorded three different variations of a live set straight to 4-track, releasing them on tape as '2016 Tape'. You'll hear the earliest versions available to songs that ended up on future recordings such as "Sentience" and "Garmonbozia".

2017 was an extremely busy year for SENZA, as they released a comp cover, two splits and a two-song digital demo. First off, their cover for Jeromes Dream's "How Staggering This Realization Is" is truly spot on and undoubtedly one of the best contributions on 'It's More Like An Homage To You'. The 'Akira split' houses a combo opener of "Dark Dive" and the first proper recording of "Sentience", "Garmonbozia" (a sick and devastating Twin Peaks tune that gets epic come 40 seconds, first premiered here) and "Evocation" (much more post-hardcore than emo-violence). The 'Antiphony split' tape (premiered here) takes their sound even further and supplying us with three exclusive jams that didn't make the LP. Opener "Provare" revolves around a cacaphonous drum beat until about 35 seconds when things start to gel and eventually explode at the 50-second mark, but it's the latter two track that deserve a bit more attention. "SHFFL - The Counterpick to Your Sentiment" is fantastic, especially considering they incorporate what sounds like a Swedish Via Fondo-esque swirling guitar riff amidst the chaos during that first minute. There's a dip in the middle that climbs its way back up to an eventual cataclysmic climax and ooooo baby is it a ripper, just like "Life After Debt" with it's whirlwind of destruction during that first 35 seconds that'll damn near rip your head off. The palm-muted, driving build of the second section is fantastic and transitions to more violent chaos right before the band takes a breather and lets Jamie slip in some lounge noodles before chiming back in at 2:20 for a quick serotonin bomb. In December of 2017 they let loose a digital EP titled 'Misornithist' which I won't go into detail about, as both songs Misornithist"" and "Tunnel Vision II" were rerecorded for the full length that it is now time to discuss.

Six years of honing were finally recorded in 2018 with the cassette and 12" of 'Even A Worm Will Turn' being released in late spring 2019 on Zegema Beach Records and Middle Man Records. Before I start I want to say that in my mind this is undoubtedly one of the most important albums of the last 10 years. Truly. I think this is a masterpiece. "But Dave...really? A masterpiece?" Yes, that's right. "You think that's going a bit far?" Nah. "Yo...this just came out." Doesn't matter. "Dave, you're starting to piss me off." Well guess what? You don't exist anymore fake blog me. Muhahahaha. Honestly this record is large font, bold 10/10 across the board.

The full length begins with part one and the brooding, dark and eerie sounds of "Tunnel Vision I" which is based around an ominous guitar riff reverberating through the legs of what sounds like people marching in the rain. Just before the two-minute mark the three instruments take hold and drown out the ambient noise in slow, methodical crushing notes. This is the perfect transition into "Born of Dirt" which was first premiered on the January 1st, 2019 Zampler and is still one of the best SENZA songs ever. The lone, intro, guitar progression is one of the best hooks I've heard in quite some time and is met with drums and bass soon after. The switch-up, driving section from 20 seconds is spectacular and leads into the sensational whirlwind of shrieking and some of the tightest drums I've ever heard. The song reaches a heightened climax before the 50-second mark and takes a much deserved breather before delving right back into terrifying screamo with perfectly timed vocals being switched off between all three members. "Misornithist" is next and continues the barrage of knee smacks, as it takes the foundation lain in the 2017 demos and amplifies it considerably, and thus creating a behemoth of a track. After a nightmarish intro the song takes the nosedive at 47 seconds with some seriously heavy shit, transitioning perfectly into a straight-up ass whooping at 1:10 that might just be one of the greatest things I've ever heard. Then the fucker blasts straight into blackened emo-violence territory and tears shit up right to the end. Weeeeeoooow. "Tunnel Vision II" is next, beginning with flailing drums and sheer ax chaos that unite come 30 seconds in a spectacular display of carnage and unconventional timing that utilize the soft/hard dynamic to mass approval. The subsequent supernova hits a few stunning aftershocks, most notably the ridiculous swing at 1:16 still makes my hair stand up when I hear it.

The second part of the record begins at track five with "Constant Air of Casual Indifference", a continuation of the introductory rain and marching, this time accompanied by a spooky acoustic guitar and a crackling voice over the radio and lasting just 44 seconds. "American Robin" follows and has so many parts, time changes and jaw dropping parts that I'm at a loss to describe the track bit by bit, although I will single out the palm mute and eventual lightning drums that start 18 seconds in. "Imposter" is another banger that starts out, dare I say...soft? Maybe by SENZA standards it does, but after 26 seconds the bombs start dropping again, creating a thunderous and mighty storm that lasts nearly all of its 2:25 duration. So..."Sentience". I fucking LOVE "Sentience". Like...a lot. Despite being the oldest song on the LP, with the new recording and production it takes on new life and is a mainstay in my household, with my entire family belting out, "Pedal to the metal!" as soon as it starts...even though those aren't the lyrics. Speaking of SENZA's use of the stop/start fast/slow dynamic, this song is fucking textbook. By the time the song gets to 40 seconds we've seen a plethora of ins and outs that soon reach ludicrous speed right before the bass solo and ultimate breakdown at the 45-second mark.

Part three opens with "Swarm", completing the trifecta of noise tracks. It's 3:07 in length and is without a doubt the trippiest song on the record, crawling under the floorboards through muck and filth, like an earwig crawling into your nightmare. "Inner Immolation" is the screamo manifestation of the previous track, complete with hellish shrieks and an absolute mauling breakdown that topples the song by 1:16. Title track "Even a Worm Will Turn" comes second-to-last with a mind-numbing display of technical chops and a build starting at the one-minute mark that ends in an eruption that could level an entire city. "Echoes" is a towering, imposing closer that somehow clocks in at over 9 minutes in length and manages to display all of the things over the previous 11 tracks that make this record so striking. It evens branches out with new buds of post-rock and post-hardcore, complete with spoken-word and zero lulls, it's one helluva closer.

I'll say it again, SENZA IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BANDS IN MUSIC TODAY. Sleeping on this is like missing the best things in life. Don't you know the riddle of steel?

So, in an attempt to find a few answers for this review and get a better understanding of SENZA; the name, their past, finding their sound, touring, recording and the new LP, I decided to ask them to partake in an interview, to which they gave excellent answers. Check it out below, and grab a 12" from Zegema Beach (U.S. here / Canada/Int'l here) or Middle Man (U.S.A./Int'l here) before ya do.

SENZA exclusive interview

1) I was looking at your first release and noticed that you had four members (and no Jamie). How was Senza formed? Why the name? What led to the member change? What style/sound were you aiming for on 'Senza', and who were your influences?
Senza was formed in 2013 when Tim and I (Mason) met in music school at the University of Oregon. We both had a symphonic band together and after the first class I started talking to him about music and asked if he was into screamo and he said yes and apparently he had seen Jamie and I's old screamo band play (Caesura). We decided to start a band then. We had Tim's friend Brandon join (who now plays in Kylo Ren) on second guitar, and a friend of mine who I went to Lane Community College music school joined on bass. We picked the name Senza by flipping through a musical dictionary Tim had, and we landed on Senza Sordino, which means without mute (for like a horn instrument) but we got rid of the mute part so it's just "Without". Tim and I learned Worn Path by Loma and then started writing those songs on our S/T. We had our first show with CTTS actually, where we covered It's More Like a Message to You, and the guy we had playing on bass sorta got really drunk and made a bit of a fool of himself and us, so we removed him from the band and Spencer joined on bass. This was the lineup for some time, until Brandon moved to California temporarily, and Spencer moved back to Portland. That's when Tim decided we should go full Jeromes Dream and become a three piece and he'll switch to bass and we brought Jamie in on guitar. It's been some years now as the three piece and I couldn't me happier with where we are.

2) Was it the member change and the "Let's Jeromes Dream" this that caused the style shift in the 2016 tape? Speaking of which, why is it just one song?
I think the member change definitely had something to do with it. Having two guitars sonically changed a lot for us, as well as losing Brandon on guitar and having Jamie join. Brandon is a master of making crazy noises (we reworked the end of Mandatory Waiting Period to play once we became a three piece because the end of that on the S/T was Brandon's "noise solo"). Also, having Jamie take over the guitar did a lot for us in terms of direction. When the three of us work out new music it's honestly a magical experience. I get so excited whenever we play through a new song for the first time because it fills me with so much energy and joy.

Also, that 2016 tape is an interesting beast. We wanted to get a recording of our music, but at the time were trying to record everything ourselves (Tim did all the work on our S/T minus the mastering) and Tim had the idea that we should use a 4 track porta studio and record our whole set right onto tape, live. We actually did 3 different takes of that set, and released all the versions onto tape. So even if you have a copy, and you're friend has a copy, they might be slightly different!

3) Oh that's such a cool idea! What was next...the two splits? How did those come about? And you were touring a bit more by then too?
Yeah, when we decided to put out those splits, we started planning our first tours. We actually planned to release and tour with Antiphony first, but due to logistics, that got pushed back and we ended up getting asked to tour with our friends in Akira. We had actually already recorded our split with Antiphony with a friend in Portland, but then we got together with Brandon actually, who helped us record the Akira songs. That Akira tour was our first time going to Vancouver, and it was a blast! Miss that band so much.

4) What bands have you enjoyed playing with the most? Best show? What band is the best live band currently?
That's such a hard question to answer. We've played with so many incredible bands. Recently we played with Imperial Triumphant and they blew us away. Also when Meth. came through, they were so so so good. Every show we played with Nuvolascura, Joliette, and Elle was a special time. Also, we did a battle set with Malevich which was a ton of fun. Best live band currently though? Converge. They've kept up the energy for decades.

5) That Nuvolascura/Joliette/Elle/Senza tour was just ridiculous. Having y'all play ZBR Fest 2019 as the first day was surreal. Loooove Converge. Love Deathwish, too. What's your favourite Converge record? Song?
We were stoked to get to play the Fest! Thanks for putting it on 🙂

At least personally, my favorite Converge Record is When Forever Comes Crashing, and my favorite song is Conduit of that same record.

6) So you released a few demos before releasing the LP this year. How long have these songs been in the works?
We'd been working on the LP since about the time the splits came out. Around that time it was close to half finished, and probably in May of 2018 we had all the songs written. Planning, and a very high level of preparation, was what took us all the way from then until mid November when we finally made it into the studio to lay down the music. Jamie actually transcribed the whole album into guitar pro, which helped us all practice on our own and really put the time in needed to make the recording experience smooth.

7) Why did Sentience make the record, but not Garmonbozia?
Sentience only got put on at the end because we wanted to have another song, and it was one that Jamie really liked that also fit with the theme of the record. Garmonbozia is a personal favorite of mine, given that I wrote the lyrics about my favorite TV show, Twin Peaks. We also used it as our closer for a long time. But it didn't really fit in with the rest of the music.

8) What was the recording experience like? I would think that all the preparation would make me a tad nervous, how did y'all feel?
Honestly the recording experience was really wonderful. Working with Derek at Audiosiege was a dream come true. It was my first time in a real studio. Given the amount of prep work we put into it, I was extremely prepared. Every day for the two weeks leading up to recording I played through the whole record twice. I think it only took me a totally of 2-3 hours to lay down all my drums parts, which was incredibly satisfying!

9) Was there a generic theme for 'Even A Worm Will Turn'?
The theme for the record is pretty much laid out in the title of the record. The whole idea behind it is, given enough antagonizing, even the most docile of creatures will turn to challenge the antagonizer.

10) I feel like the record has been very well received, how was the reception from your end?
Honestly we've been blown away at the reception of the record. People seem to really like it. We've seen lots of people from all over the world talking about it online and it's honestly such a crazy experience; you put everything you have into your creative outlet only for people to actually really enjoy it and talk about it. We feel incredibly lucky to have any amount of fans that listen to our weird sounds.

11) 'Even A Worm Will Turn' is kinda broken up into parts, what was the reason for that?
It being broken up into parts honestly just happened naturally with the song writting process. Each group of 3 songs sort of got written together (save Sentience) and so pairing them up on the record in that order seemed natural. Also, the interludes are some of my favorite parts of this album, and most of that can be credited to Jamie. They are really a brilliant musician. We did all work together on Swarm in an improvisatory way, and I think that's probably my personal favorite interlude.

12) How did the song "Echoes" come about? That thing is massive, and very different from your other material (for the most part).
Echoes was actually the last song we finished for the record. We had talked about having a long closer, and a lot of bands we like a lot have done that. Jamie put most of that song together. The second to last part of that song contains a rhythmic motif that arises on a handful of other tracks on the record too. I really really like Echoes because I feel like it encapsulates that record as a whole. Definitely the longest song I've ever worked on personally.

13) Were your influences from 2015 still present in the 2019 LP?
I think our influences from 2015 are still present in a way, but also they're morphed quite a bit. I play off of the creative ideas that my bandmates bring to the table, so having Jamie join certainly changed my parts a little bit here and there. But I feel like at its core, Senza has mostly just developed the ideas that Tim and I set out to create from the get go. And I like that a lot.

14) What you got comin' up?
Right now we're working a few new songs for a split or two, and also a song for a cover compilation. We've got a few shows coming up September 10-12 in Eugene, Seattle (linked here) and Portland (linked here), respectively! We hope to make it out to New Friends Fest next year as well, but that is a long way out.

15) Do you have anything else you'd like to say?
We'd like to shout-out Zegema Beach Records 😉, Middleman Records, our partners Burt, Hannah, and Taylor, and anyone who's ever supported us.



2015 - Senza EP (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - 2016 Tape cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - It's More Like An Homage To You: Jeromes Dream cassette compilation (contributed "How Staggering Is This Realization") (stream/donate/download here)
2017 - Akira split 3"cd (stream/donate/download here)
2017 - Antiphony split cassette (stream/donate/download here)
2017 - Misornithist digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - Even A Worm Will Turn cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2019) SENZA - "Sentience" (from 'Even A Worm Will Turn')

(2019) SENZA - "Inner Immolation" (from 'Even A Worm Will Turn')

(2019) SENZA - "Born of Dirt" (from 'Even A Worm Will Turn')

(2019) SENZA - full set from Zegema Beach Records Fest

(2017) SENZA - "How Staggering Is This Realization" (from 'It's More Like An Homage To You')

(2017) SENZA - "SHFFL - The Counterpick to Your Sentiment" (from 'Antiphony' split)

(2017) SENZA - "Life After Debt" (from 'Antiphony' split)

(2017) SENZA - "Garmonbozia" (from 'Akira' split)

(2017) SENZA - "Tunnel Vision II (demo)" (from 'Misornithist')

(2016) SENZA - '2016 Tape'

(2015) SENZA - "Empedocles... I Guess?" (from 'Senza')


SENZA additional links

Wednesday 21 August 2019

***SEPTEMBER exclusive interview***

Earlier this year I received an email from Ken. Ken stumbled across my review of SEPTEMBER when he was perusing information for Indian Summer. Ken played in SEPTEMBER and after a few quick exchanges, he and some other members of the band decided to answer some interview questions...ooohhhh, 20 years after the fact? Although very short-lived, the band's recordings speak for the emotional hardcore thriving in the mid 1990s.

An Interview with: SEPTEMBER 

1) What led to the formation of SEPTEMBER? And why the name?
Kim Shade and I had been off and on for a couple years, and in that time I convinced her to play drums, primarily so that I’d have someone to play music with. Eventually we got pretty good as a two piece and sought out a few other players from the Cupertino Library scene. Bassist Conor McCormack and I had played briefly together in the spring of 1994, and he joined that September—hence the name. Chuck McCamon was a kid Conor went to school with that was also on the scene. He owned a brown SG and a half stack and had a good haircut. He ended up creating a lot of the group’s texture and certainly screamed the loudest.

2) What were your primary influences?
We were way into Indian Summer, and hanging out at the Blue House in Oakland with them throughout '94. Seth and Adam turned us onto Slint, Codeine and Seam, and we drew the same logical conclusions that Indian had, soft and big, but with arpeggiated guitars and more quiet than loud. I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t a very good songwriter, which is why most of the songs are over seven minutes. I don’t think I understood the concept of verse/chorus, and instead just wanted to be able to freely prattle on for sixteen measures and then do that at a greater volume and then do something else.

3) Did you have any goals as a band?
We certainly wanted to follow in the footsteps of Still Life, Evergreen, Indian Summer, et al and take it on the road. We had ideas for a two month summer tour (and even had a van), and started booking it, but there just wasn’t enough energy being put into the idea. Conor and Chuck were definitely going to college in the fall of 1995, and Kim and I were definitely over. As a result I don’t think we could visualize a way to move forward.

4) Did you play many shows? Any memorable ones?
September played only two shows, both at the Cupertino Library. One show was with Animal Farm and Wind Chime Boy, the other with Super Static Fever and Janitors Against Apartheid. I doubt more than 200 people saw us across both shows. We played in near total darkness the first time, lit only by a blue light.

5) Do you think about the band semi-regularly or not often? What emotions does it stir?
I check into it about once a year. As it’s aged I like it more, but it’s not likely to creep into regular rotation. I keep meaning to put it up on Spotify, and perhaps will soon. It’s a neat document of four friends who all lived in the same house together and grew up and out of each other’s lives.

6) What was your biggest regret with September? What do you look back on with the most fondness?
The band definitely ended earlier than any of us would have liked. We were all living in the same house and had a lot of youthful hormones bouncing between us. It would have been nice to have played more than two shows. We were in the midst of planning an epic eight week tour of the States, but weren’t organized enough to pull it off. I suppose the only regret I have is that we recorded too early. But if we’d have waited it wouldn’t have happened at all…

7) Do you revisit "emo/screamo" in its early incarnation or even check out new stuff?
More so recently, as I’ve been involved in the Indian Summer reissue campaign. (Check this playlist I made). As for the new, I’m into La Dispute, but don’t pay attention to much from this genre. 

8) Any opinions on the words "emo", "screamo" or "skramz”?
Emo was a dirty word for us in 1994-95. It’s great to see a new generation of kids changing the definition and adding their own meaning. 

9) Which bands from the pre-2000 era would you recommend readers check out?
Allure was wildly underrated, and most of their stuff is up on Youtube. My top five looks something like this:

1. Navio Forge: As We Quietly Burn A Hole
2. Indian Summer: S/T
3. One Last Wish: S/T
4. Hated: What Was Behind
5. Evergreen: S/T

10) Did you continue to play in bands after September? What are you doing nowadays?
I made a record about a month later using the exact same set up: Bart Thurber, Alexandria Ln. house. It’s a very similar vibe, but just two really long songs. It was never released and probably should never be released. I stopped playing in bands shortly after and started producing records instead. I ran Tree Records until 2000, and then started Numero Group in 2003. I’ve made over 400 records in my life—no sign of slowing down.

Sunday 18 August 2019


GenresPunk / Math Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Jazz
Related artistsRockets Red GlareHolding PatternMr. PennyPicastroHorse HandsSympathy GirlsDie!venom, Burn Rome In A Dream, Jim Guthrie and Sea Snakes.
CountryToronto, Ontario CANADA
Years Active1996-1999
Song: "Götterdämerung"
Album: "Blake"
Year: 1997
For fans ofOff Minor, Shotmaker, The Exploder, Indian Summer, Maximillian Colby, Ahleuchatistas, Ten Grand, Serotonin, Campbell Trio, Clikitat Ikatowi, Okara, Amber Inn, Four Hundred Years, Anasarca, Slint, Frodus, Twelve Hour Turn, Colored Moth, Faraquet, 1.6 Band and Sleepytime Trio.
Label(s): Blue Skies Turn Black / Spectra Sonic Sound / The Mintaka Conspiracy / Organic Records
This post's artist is from the June 2019 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the June 2019 Mix#5 right here or get the new July/August 2019 Mix#6 here

BLAKE were an Toronto-based trio that existed from 1996-1999 in Canada, releasing only two 7"s and an LP of emotive hardcore/math-rock that sound influenced equally by Slint and Sleepytime Trio. Members also spent time in Rockets Red Glare, Holding Pattern, Mr. Penny, Picastro, Sea Snakes and a bunch more, but I only recognize the the first in the list.

Their first 7" was a self-titled released in 1997 and features some excellent debut songs. "Lamplight" is pretty jazzy and abrasive, falling somewhere between Ahleuchatistas and Shotmaker. "Fortune" and "Divination Sequence" are decent songs, but "Götterdämerung" is my fucking jam. After a very playful and light first minute that is definitely reminiscent of Faraquet the song breaks into a ridiculously catchy 4-note-repeat dance-fest from 1:36. The groove on this is stellar, as is the hi-hat work, the soft/hard dynamics and that drum switch-up at 1:58 and again at 2:20 generally make me salivate out of the left corner of my mouth.

The following year they released two songs on a 'Spirit split' 7". "Supply and Demand" is essentially Indian Summer spliced with Twelve Hour Turn (which is a helluva good thing), but it's "Three Quarter" (which also appears on the 12"LP) with it's commanding bass and Four Hundred Years-esque vocals that really get me.

Their final output, 1999's 'Blake' 12"LP. It's kind of a weird mix of stuff, as side A houses "Three Quarter" from the split 7" before jumping into five more tunes recorded back in 1996. "Bottles for the Contents" and "Layman's Terms" both remind me a lot of Shotmaker and The Exploder, while "No Vote" is a killer tune that sounds like Sleepytime Trio...except for that obtuse Snack Truck part at 2:17. "Bishop" is instrumental and reminds me of Ahleuchatistas, while "Idleness" is more like instrumental Off Minor, as it is faster and more reckless than the previous tune. Side B contains new tracks recorded in 1999, which have a very different feel as they are much slower and rely on dark, groovy instrumental stretches with crooned vocals over top. Kinda Cursive. Kinda Medications. Very Slint. I like it, but not as much as the earlier material. My favourite, "RS", is 4:17 of chill, well-orchestrated Slint-worship with a hint of Frodus that packs a wallop come 3:30.

I am surprised how often this band is overlooked when talking about 90s emo and Canadian hardcore in general. Full discography link below!


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

1997 - Blake 7"EP

1998 - Spirit split 7"

1999 - Blake 12"LP

2005 - Collected Works 1996-1999 cdLP


(1997) BLAKE - "Götterdämerung" (from 'Blake' 7")

(1998) BLAKE - "Three Quarter" (from 'Spirit' split)

(1999) BLAKE - "No Vote" (from 'Blake' 12")

(1999) BLAKE - "Layman's Terms" (from 'Blake' 12")

(1999) BLAKE - "RS" (from 'Blake' 12")


BLAKE out of print mp3 discography download


Wednesday 14 August 2019

***PIET ONTHEL exclusive premiere***

"Evil Me"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofBlue Noise, The Ultimate Screamo Band and Orchid

If you've read the PIET ONTHEL review you'll know I'm fucking smitten with this Malaysian solo screamo project (review linked here), so I'm shitting my pants over here waiting to show you the new song from their upcoming 4-song 's(EP)kitojange(pecoh)' releasing on cassette and 7" via Missed Out Records and Dingleberry Records in the fall of 2019. I need say nothing else, as this shit rips!

(2019) PIET ONTHEL "Evil Me" (from 's(EP)kitojange(pecoh)')
This track is just 1:27, so it wastes no time with a thick, noisy and intrusive opening that dips into a swirling black-metal/post-hardcore section that is new territory for Mashi but it sounds awesome. After repeating the intro with lyrics over top, the song takes a dancey turn that resembles the demo EP, and even throws an additional melodic guitar over it all, bringing Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket to mind. The final few seconds is a wash of white noise which serves as a final, loving slap in the face. Keep it up Mashi, this shit is ace. 💘


Tuesday 13 August 2019

***NEW FRIENDS FEST 2019 Days 1+2 review***

Live Show Review

Whilst visiting family in Ontario I made sure to include trips to New Friends Fest in order to see my other family. The love and community I witnessed in the first two days of NFF (I had to fly back the morning of the third) were staggering. I literally wasn't even able to say hello to everyone I wanted to, let alone have conversations. That's a truly amazing thing. The people and bands were all stellar, and the most heartfelt props to Vanessa, Egin and Rohan for pulling off such a wonderful festival. I was able to take videos of most bands during those first two days, so without further adieu here are one to two videos by each band!

*************DAY 1*************

I've been waiting two years to finally see my friends' band, and holy fuck they did not disappoint. Simply put, they were maniacal and most people seemed to eat it right up. Truly an exhausting and cathartic live show. Members run No Funeral.
(2019) KARLOFF @New Friends Fest
For fans ofDaughters and Orchid

Formerly Tall Ship Set Sail, this four-piece plays an excellent blend of emo and screamo, and I dare say they fall into the former sphere first. Featuring Matt of Worst Days, they've already played Miss The Stars and now this, and have an incredible 4-way split 12" coming out soon on Zegema Beach!
(2019) AMITIÉ @New Friends Fest
For fans ofThe Saddest Landscape and Reveries

Featuring many ex-members of La Luna but sounding almost nothing alike was DIGEST. Vanessa from New Friends does vocals and holy bujesus that's some seriously heavy shit.
(2019) DIGEST @New Friends Fest
For fans ofLa Luna and Frail Vessel

The Philly band was easily one of the bands I was most stoked on and they did not disappoint in the slightest. In fact, they were perhaps my favourite set of the first night. I was kinda nervous around them and just kept saying stupid things like, "Hey, who's that? It's the best set of the night!" and "I'd love to release your tapes in Canada!", etc. I nabbed two 12"s for the ZBR distros and have tossed one up in the Canada store here and one in the U.S. store here.
(2019) FLUORIDE "Neglect + Hoax" (from 'Disentaglement') @New Friends Fest
For fans ofTentacles and Closet Witch
Link to additional video

This band continues to impress more and more every time I see them. Playing two new jams, I was flabbergasted at the new material. It is heeeeeaaaavvvvvy. You are not ready...and neither am I!
(2019) MASSA NERA "new song pt. 1+2" @New Friends Fest

For fans ofGillian Carter and Off Minor
Link to additional video

Coming in from the East side of Canada was FRAIL HANDS who somehow found a drummer a month prior to fill-in and play all the songs...which was a feat and a half considering the complexity of these jams. Amazing set. Amazing band.
(2019) FRAIL HANDS @New Friends Fest

For fans ofRayleigh and Blinds Girls
Link to additional video

I think I can officially say that Logan from GC knows what the audience members want more than anyone in the screamo game, as he is truly an entertainer on top of being an excellent guitarist/vocalist. Their set had songs from numerous releases but those new jams sounded fucking amazing live, and that new drummer was awesome.
(2019) GILLIAN CARTER @New Friends Fest
For fans ofMasada and Lost Boys

*************DAY 2*************

This was the band's final show with Keon (drums) and the opening act did a great job of keeping it light and still kicking ass. Their banter was generally humorous and the triple vox is always warranted in my book. "Eric" (if that is your real name) runs Larry Records.
(2019) PIQUE @New Friends Fest
For fans ofPeople's Temple Project and Lessener
Link to additional video

This five-piece was an all-out scream-fest that reminded me of a twinkly, loose, upbeat Kodan Armada.
For fans ofFlowers Taped To Pens and Deers!
Link to additional video

I'd been waiting for quite some time to finally see this band and good god they did not disappoint. Actually, they put on one of the most riveting and interactive performances of the first two days. Sassy, jammy, Primus-influenced, glam screamo from Montreal/ex-member of Commuovere.
(2019) DIANACRAWLS @New Friends Fest
For fans ofPanthers and Cady
Link to additional video

I only caught the last song by this band, as I was outside chatting with friends around the corner and didn't notice that they started. I'm fucking bummed because I really liked their most recent EP and the last song I saw live was unreal.
(2019) SUPINE @New Friends Fest
For fans ofOstraca and City Of Caterpillar

I'd heard great things about this band and it's no wonder after witnessing their live performance. Quirky, sassy, screamy and very melodic.
(2019) FOXTAILS @New Friends Fest
For fans of: Suffix and Thisishowitendedintokyo

Playing one of the best sets I've seen from them was Richmond's OSTRACA, and the three-piece played songs from every release including a new song. Their presence was commanding as usual and the vocals were mixed perfectly, allowing us to be cognizant of whether we were being torn apart by Gus' shrieks or sentenced to hell by the growls.
(2019) OSTRACA "Waiting for the Crash" (from 'Last') @New Friends Fest
For fans ofSwan Of Tuonela and Blue Noise

After seeing the Toronto band fly under the radar for a few years (playing killer basement shows, coming to play stupid Hamilton, etc.) it was electric to see them after they've started getting the recognition that they deserve. I had never seen any of the new songs live and holy smokes do they sound incredible live!
(2019) RESPIRE "Catacombs" (from 'Dénouement') @New Friends Fest
For fans ofAlbatros and 70 cm3 From Your Chest

I only caught the first half of the set before booking it home (I needed to wake up a few hours later to drive my family to the airport and fly back to Nanaimo) but what I saw was mesmerizing. Sounding very much like their recordings of nearly 20 years ago, CITY OF CATERPILLAR played their songs with excellent precision and the bassist's screams always tug at my heart strings.
(2019) CITY OF CATERPILLAR "A Heart Filled Reaction To Dissatisfaction" (from 'City of Caterpillar') @New Friends Fest
For fans of...Who Calls So Loud and Massa Nera