Wednesday 30 October 2019


BandCELEBRATION aka Nerver
GenresPunk / Noise Rock / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Sludge
Related artistsRifle Cult.
CountryColumbia, Missouri U.S.A.
Years Active2014-present
Song: "If i'm dead, you guys have been dead for weeks"
Album: "Sompting"
Year: 2014
For fans ofSenza, Moxiebeat, Breather Resist, Jeromes Dream, Under A Sky So Blue, Jesus Lizard, Hive Mind, Straight No Chaser, Mara'akate, Big Water, Cassilis, Ed Gein, Blacklisters, Portrayal Of Guilt, Melvins and Deadseraphim.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / The Ghost Is Clear Records / Friendly Otter / Suspended Soul Tapes And Records / Off Cloud Nine Label
This post's artist is from the October 2019 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the October 2019 Mix#10 right here or get the new November 2019 Mix#11 here

In January of 2015 I went to the Austin Blood Alliance Fest in Texas. While I was there with my good friend Tony of Congratulations I was approached by a member or two of CELEBRATION. After a brief and friendly exchange I ran into an issue of mixing up those band names on a pretty consistent basis. Well I don't need to worry about that anymore, as the band recently changed their name to NERVER and after releasing a sick tune (on the 'Meditations in Affinity' series that I'm doing with Bobby of The Ghost Is Clear Records) I've had the pleasure of hearing their new full length and it's a fucking banger, holy shit.

Let's go back quickly, shall we? In 2014 CELEBRATION was doing the shrieky emo-violence thing and they did it swimmingly. Their debut four-song EP 'Sompting' begins with a Simpsons-reference track "To pronounce it correctly, i would have to pull out your tongue" which is a dark, multi-screamed attack that is over in just 1:32...making it the longest song here. "Unscannable!" is a clusterfuck in less than a minute bearing resemblance to their Atlanta friends Under A Sky So Blue and earlier Senza material. "If i'm dead, you guys have been dead for weeks" is much thicker and is perhaps reminiscent of the material that permeates the 'Shook' EP, while closer "Love my canyons" is pretty abrasive and heavy, reminding me most of early Straight No Chaser and Mara'akate.

The following year a decent song titled "The Soil is Not Clean" was given exclusively to the 'Follow the Rules' compilation tape put out by Friendly Otter, followed by three more tunes on  a 'split 7" w/Under A Sky So Blue'. Opener "Gouge it out!" is an assault on the senses in just 30 seconds, complete with a short clip from Punch Drunk Love. "I can hear them calling to me from hell" is fucking massive, swelling like a crashing like a violent storm. The first 30 seconds will rip your face off, followed by nearly a minute of call-and-response screaming that winds the track down to its 1:37 close. The final song is "Forgive me, Lisa. There's a monster inside of me." is another short banger that again reminds me of Senza, albeit condensed and much shorter.

In 2017 they dropped what I would consider their best work, the self-released 'Shook' cassette EP (which we premiered on OMSB right here). I didn't expect this sonic shift in the band's style, but it quickly grew on me and surpassed the shrieky screamo that I oh-so generally turn to. All of the songs are much more on the dirty southern hardcore side rather than the shrieky emo-violence one, and although they all pack a punch there are a few tunes that are next level. The first is opener "Degloved" which opens with a lone, repeating guitar before the rest of the band chimes in on its second pass, creating a devastating introduction to a truly gritty, dirty and pummeling hardcore record. There's a chug stop/start at 40 seconds that transitions into a quick little four-note diddle that gets a sprawling grin from me on every listen. Oh, and the last 50 seconds resembles what I would assume playing doomy hardcore whilst getting drunk in a cave would sound like. "In the Dream" is another premium pick, as it brings the heat with a very catchy progression that is littered throughout the 1:28 tenure. But it's the behemoth section at 48 seconds that brings me to my knees every time as those apocalyptic instrumentals flush the streets of any life, leaving just the band members screaming over top of one another. The other jawdropper is track five's "Follow the Heat" during which the band cuts to silence and drops in a lone palm mute over a Tommy Lee Jones clip, then chimes back in to close out the track.

In 2018 CELEBRATION released their final tracks as said band with a two-song 'Tour Cassingle' in 2018 with a song called "Congratulations" and a Scratch Acid cover. The exclusive new track is 2:50 in length and rank with slurred vocals and sticky, sludge-covered riffs, opting for a noticeably slower, trippier approach to its digestion. The cover of "She Said" is ripe with CELEBRATION scent, and is an excellent choice.

The final song written as CELEBRATION was "A General Erosion of Morale" but released under the new name NERVER. This song sounds like the bridge from 'Shook' to the new LP so be sure to give this a spin (and pick up the 4-way split 7" with yours truly on it) if you haven't already. It is the opening track to the second in the 7" series 'Meditations in Affinity: Cultivation 4-way split' and is an obvious choice to get things started. It's a fucking ripper, delving right in after patented CELEBRATION/NERVER style with a lone guitar that soon crashes into the entire band. Early on there's a wicked line of "you're giving us the eyyyyeeeeeee!" and then shit goes bananas and at 45 seconds we are graced with a chuggy buildup that gets more epic than anything CELEBRATION ever did before the first minute is even over. 

Sometime in late 2019 or early 2020 you'll witness the ravage beast that is NERVER's new LP, but until then you can catch them on tour, including a ridiculousness show tonight! (October 30th, 2019) NERVER plays with some incredible bands Frail Body and Niboowin, as well as Evan's related act Rifle Cult. Check out the event here.



2014 - Sompting cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Under A Sky So Blue split 7" (stream/donate/download here)
2015 - Follow the Rules cassette compilation (contributed "The Soil Is Not Clean") (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Shook cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2018 - Tour Cassingle (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - Meditations in Affinity: Cultivation 4-way 7" split (stream/donate/download here) [buy from ZBR U.S.A. here & Canada/International here]
2019 - upcoming LP


(2019) NERVER - "A General Erosion of Morale" (from 'Cultivation' 4-way split)

(2019) NERVER - "Imminent Death Syndrome" live (from upcoming LP)

(2018) CELEBRATION - "Congratulations" (from 'Tour Cassingle')

(2017) CELEBRATION - "Degloved" (from 'Shook')

(2017) CELEBRATION - "In the Dream" (from 'Shook')

(2017) CELEBRATION - "Follow the Heat" (from 'Shook')

(2015) CELEBRATION - "I can hear them calling to me from hell" (from 'Under A Sky So Blue' split)

(2015) CELEBRATION - "The Soil is Not Clean" (from 'Follow the Rules' compilation)

(2014) CELEBRATION - "Unscannable!" (from 'Sompting')


CELEBRATION additional links

Friday 25 October 2019

***A PARAMOUNT, A LOVE SUPREME exclusive song premiere***

"i am young without wilderness"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofTruman, Letters To Catalonia, Perfect Blue, .gif from god, Textbook Traitors, Sleep DebtMališa Bahat and Ostraca


orders open November 15th, 2019 via:
Zegema Beach Records
Larry Records

Remember earlier this year when Newark, Delaware's A PARAMOUNT, A LOVE SUPREME released that unreal demo? Well, myself and Eric from Larry Records have been salivating ever since, so we hooked up with the band to release their full debut EP 'Crisis Meditations' on cassettes /50 on November 15th, 2019. The full 4-track EP goes live on the same day, but don't fret cuz we've got a brand spankin' new tune that'll blow your socks off. I hope you're wearing socks, cuz otherwise your feet will likely explode in a smelly mess. If you like your screamo with heavy nods to the early 2000s mixed with driving, explosive Richmond-esque metalcore you are in a for a treat-and-a-half.

(2019) A PARAMOUNT, A LOVE SUPREME "i am young without wilderness" (from 'Crisis Meditations')

The third song on the EP is "i am young without wilderness" and it showcases the band at their most polarizing extremes. The opening minute-and-a-bit is centered around a looping guitar progression that draws the drums in on its third lap. By 55 seconds the sway hits a groove and with the help of Drew's bass pushes onward into a slightly post-rock/post-hardcore climb. Appearing to reach the summit during a brief stop from 1:43 to 1:57, instead the drums crash back in to give birth to an astonishing second-half of the song. At 2:34 the listener is thrown off the edge of the cliff with a piercing guitar riff that switches to a start/stop section in perfect time with the bass and drums, all capped off by sensational spoken word/screamed vocals by Liam. By this time I'm generally giddy-as-fuck but then the first massive breakdown hits Black Nail-style, with crushing instrumentals and death shrieks. At 3:40 the band slows it down half-time and annihilates whatever doubts might remain about this not being one of the absolute best songs released this year. Jesus fuck christ this EP is so good y'all are gonna be making your year-end lists on November 15th.


Tuesday 22 October 2019

***CROWNING + SWALLOWS NEST European tour video collection***

CROWNING + SWALLOWS NEST European Tour Video Collection

includes live videos from:

There isn't much to say here unless I want to write a goddamned novel. This was life-changing. This was amazing. This was everything I hoped it would be. And now I miss my friends. But watching all this helps.



Here is the tour trailer that includes some footage not included in the final documentary cut.

This is the full tour documentary by Dave Cullen.

Video Day #1 - Cry Me A River Fest (Germany)
NORDIC WALKING / ffo: Furnace & Bucket Full Of Teeth
Good lord what a start! Super abrasive, crusty and screamy hardcore with all three members contributing vocals.
more videos = #2

RYLOTH / ffo: Isis & Amber
I was stoked to see this band and they didn't disappoint. Epic post-hardcore/screamo/black-metal. The band just recruited a new vocalist and have a full length releasing soon!
(2019) RYLOTH


JØTNARRffo: (Lone) Wolf And Cub & Lentic Waters
This British three-piece brought the heat. Plus, they were hilarious. Here's their full set. P.S. hey Justin I love you.
(2019) JØTNARR - full set


NIBOOWIN / ffo: Machina Genova & Guidelines
I'd never heard the band with their new vocalist...but color me excited as fuck. Raging, destructive hardcore with black-metal and screamo leanings. There's a new record coming and you bet your ass I'm clamoring to help release it.


CASSUS / ffo: Orchid & Maths
Despite losing the vocals in the outside breeze, the band's set was excellent. The hottest live band in the world? Goddammit they have to be up there.
(2019) CASSUS
more videos = #1+2

LENTIC WATERS / ffo: Bökanövsky & Trainwreck
Last show? Not last show? Who knows. I do know they nearly tore the place apart, played only heavy material and had one of the Saligia vocalists taking on primary screaming duties in addition to being dropped on his head whilst crowdsurfing. Fucking yikes.
(2019) LENTIC WATERS - full set


PATH / ffo: Welcome The Plague Year & Amygdala
I'd heard demos from this band, but didn't know Sabine was going to do vocals. It was intimidating following this. Look the fuck out for this band.
(2019) PATH


CADY / ffo: Blind Girls & La Luna
This was literally the hottest point of the day, and what did the band do? Put on one of, if not the best set of the entire day. Screamo that touches the nerves. I love this band.
(2019) CADY


COMA REGALIA / ffo: ...Who Calls So Loud & Funeral Diner
Shawn Decker and company put on a excellent, entertaining and lively set comprised of material from all over the place. Legendary screamo.


AUREOLE OF ASH / ffo: Closet Witch & Fluoride
Lars and Sabine of CMAR play in this band that recently toured with Fluoride. Breakneck, screamy grindcore.


ORBIT CINTA BENJAMIN / ffo: A Company Of Dead Heroes & Matsuri
This band from Kuala Lumpur and Swallows Nest hit it off instantaneously. These are truly beautiful people playing killer Malaysian screamo that sounds like it's from the mid-2000s...cuz it is!

more videos = #3 / #4 / #5 / new song / #7

THE GENTLE ART OF CHOKIN' / ffo: Full Of Hell & Resurrectionists
Do you have a face? Well jam this band and you won't for long, for it is face-melting grindcore.


REPUBLIC OF DREAMS / ffo: Louise Cyphre & Jeromes Dream
Jesus fucks christ this was an incredible set from an incredible band of incredible people. Plus there was that cover of Orchid with Natty of Cassus on vocals. Here's the entire set.
(2019) REPUBLIC OF DREAMS - full set


HETZE / ffo: Piper Maru & Black Flag
Snotty punk/hardcore that made for a very enjoyable and fun final band.
(2019) HETZE


(2019) CROWNING - "new1" (live at Cry Me A River Fest)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Karma Kramer" (live at Cry Me A River Fest)


Video Day #2 - Vienna (Austria)
NIBOOWIN / ffo: Thurm & Old Soul
Bandcamp / Facebook
The sweetest people on Earth? Probably. The sickest U.S./Sweden band that North America is still oblivious about? You bet your ass. Ex-Old Soul.
more videos = #2

CASSUS / ffo: Ostraca & Maths
This band is fucking incredible. Definitely the band that Matt and I bonded over. Watch them just fucking own life.
(2019) CASSUS
more videos = #1 / #2 / #4

(2019) CROWNING - "new2" (live in Vienna)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Dark Hamz" (live in Vienna)


Video Day #3 - Graz (Austria)
(2019) CROWNING - "Visceral Ghosts" (live in Graz)


Video Day #4 - Prague (Czechia)
(2019) CROWNING - "Funeral Designs" (live in Prague)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Albini Forever + Elephant" (live in Prague)


Video Day #5 - Erlangen (Germany)
Bandcamp / Facebook
Poppy, lo-fi surf/noise rock? Yes the fuck please. I couldn't stop watching this band, but didn't capture their best songs on film.
(2019) LEIDEN
more videos = #2

Pummeling hardcore from Germany. Justin was all over this band.
more videos = #2

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Ed Hoontz" (live in Erlangen)


Video Day #6 - Paris (France)
EUX / ffo: Daitro & Yarostan
Bandcamp / Facebook
Holy shit, if you think France's EUX sound good on recordings you'll have your brain aflame should you see them live. Astoundingly good. Sounds like a three-piece Daitro and the drummer is vocalist.
(2019) EUX - "Denis"
more videos = The Shame / Mathias

(2019) CROWNING - "Coil" (live in Paris)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Apathy as an Infinite Manifestation" (live in Paris)


Video Day #7 - Antwerp (Belgium)

PUNCHLINE HUNTING SEASON / ffo: Apostles Of Eris & Isis
Bandcamp / Facebook
This three-piece is amazing in every way. They cooked us an amazing meal. Kicked our asses live. And Sean even gave CanaDave a special, much-appreciated present.
more videos = #1 / #2

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "Fractured Times" (live in Antwerp)


Video Day #8 - Erpe
ANTI-EVERYTHING / ffo: 88 Fingers Louie & The Bouncing Souls
Bandcamp / Facebook
Sometimes you just connect with people. On this varied bill band members rushed to the other bands' merch tables and bought up a bunch of each other's stuff, making this one of the most heartwarming nights we experienced with another band. Super political skate-punk/hardcore.
more videos = #1 / #2

(2019) CROWNING - "Trakada" (live in Erpe)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "The Stork and the Pelican" (live in Erpe)


Video Day #9 - Cologne (Germany)
 SOFTDRINK / ffo: Dad Thighs & Fiesta Bizzara
I do believe this was SOFTDRINK's second show, and they're bizzaringly unpredictable song styles shift from shrieky hardcore to ambient, twinkle, indie-pop.
more videos = #1

(2019) CROWNING - "Visceral Ghosts" (live in Cologne)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "A Subtle Knife For New Doors" (live in Cologne)


Video Day #10 - Giessen (Germany)
R.JOSEF / ffo: Isis & Hope Drone
Bandcamp / Facebook
Couldn't have asked to play a final show with a better band. Behemoth post-hardcore/black-metal and super nice people.
(2019) R.JOSEF
more videos = IV / III

(2019) CROWNING - "new3" (live in Giessen)

(2019) SWALLOWS NEST - "A Subtle Knife For New Doors" (live in Giessen)


Thursday 17 October 2019

***NEW FORMS exclusive song premiere***

"transitions in meta"
exclusive song premiere
 For fans ofCapsule, Dim Into Dross, Crowning, Eyelet, Ampere and Youth Funeral

tape releases Nov 1st, 2019 on Larry Records

It's pants shitting time again over here at OMSB! NEW FORMS is a brand spankin' new band featuring members from Youth Funeral, Your Waking Life, Casper Elgin and Alessa doing the best take on Capsule worship that I've ever heard. Take a listen to "transitions in meta", the fourth track (of six) that will appear on the cassette EP 'I don't want to live my life again' via Larry Records on November 1st, 2019. The band had the following to say:

Our goal as a band is to create controlled chaos. we put all of this frenetic energy into writing quick, devastating songs that allow us to exert all of our pent up confliction about the current political state, climate concerns, and other things we feel hopeless about. We all have loved screamo for a long time and have been so excited with the recent surge in interest in the genre, but we wanted to make sure we aren’t falling into common tropes and continue to make music that challenges us and that we find interesting.

Alrighty now get those diapers ready.

(2019) NEW FORMS "transitions in meta" (from 'I don't want to live my life again')

First off, this song is only 48 seconds, but it will fucking own you. Every member catapults themselves during the first second, with everyone hitting full stride together in a furious assault on the senses. The vocals are ferocious but are perhaps as yelled as they are screamed, reminding me of Dim Into Dross and Greyskull, barked alongside mind-altering drums. Four seconds in the first Capsule riff hits and it hits fucking hard, sending this listener hurtling towards outerspace. It is at the outer reaches of Earth's gravitational pull that we find ourselves come 36 seconds (after a behemoth of a breakdown) floating for a split second before the planet's inevitable pull sends us hurtling back to the band's reality of breakneck stop/starts in a final section a mere six seconds long. And then it's done. Ahhhhhh goddammit, I need another pair of new underwear.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Early Iteration' by: GRIP

GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Crust / Doom / Sludge
Related artists?.
CountryPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
Years Active2014-present
Song: "Conception"
Album: "Early Iteration"
Year: 2019
For fans ofAvvika, NeurosisSetpember 22nd, Circle Takes The Square, Breag Naofa, Old Soul, Isis, An Autumn Of Crippled Children, Hope Drone, Nic (aka ██████), ['selvə], Cloud Rat, Though, Mizmor, Buried Inside, Teleportoise, Suffocate For Fuck Sake, The Pax Cecilia and Marnost.
Label(s): Tomb Tree Tapes
This post's artist is from the October 2019 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the October 2019 Mix#10 right here or get the new November 2019 Mix#11 here

GRIP released their first offering a few months back titled 'Early Iteration' on Tomb Tree Tapes. It's 9 tracks of sinister, brooding, epic blackened hardcore...or is this black metal with hardcore elements? Good lordy lou I dunoo. It is an excellent debut that shows hella potential, with this release falling on the somewhat lo-fi side of things, sounding like an early incarnation of Isis and Circle Takes The Square. The songs are generally quite long with only a few exceptions, adding up to an average of nearly 10 minutes per track.

'Early Iteration' opens with "Entrance", a spine-tingling, feedback-soaked introduction that throttles the listener for more than seven minutes, with an excellent climax erupting around the four-minute mark. Next up is "Pestilence", a four-and-a-half minute romp through one of the most dense and cohesive songs on the record. There is zero build-up on this one and GRIP goes full tilt until a brief rest at 1:40 that is over all-too-soon, and the destruction continues until the song eventually implodes like the flailing, involuntary movements of a dying creature. Woah, dark stuff, Dave. Well fuck, the song is called "Pestilence". But don't fret because "Garden" is next, and the tranquil interlude sounds like a medieval acid trip set to ethereal, instrumental guitars. "Conception" is probably my favourite of the 9, as over the course of 11:39 the band takes the listener on a diverse but wonderfully structured adventure. It begins with grooving instru-metal intro that has some Pelican and Finger Of God vibes, expanding and increasing in speed and volume until 2:07 when everything explodes in a deafening blast of what may or may not be Buried Inside influenced post-hardcore/post-metal/doom. The subsequent seismic shifts and unrelenting pace is unmatched, and thankfully canvasses nearly the entire track. "Pyrosome Configuration 1" boasts impressive riffery right from the get-go, while "Pyrosome Configuration 2" opens with some seriously jazzy and dare I say screamo-sounding guitars over the anguished screaming, reminding me most of Suffocate For Fuck Sake. Looking for a behemoth of an interlude? Well holy shit "Lake (Lady of the Dancing Water)" is 13:56 complete with piano, singing and tons of ambient noise, etc. so enjoy that adventure. "Sunken Head" is another song that opens with a lot of confidence and an ever-evolving build with a nice payoff. On this song, as with a few others, there are some really good guitars that don't have the oomph and hook that I'm sure they would with a crisper recording and mastering job. Closer "Judgement" opens with a chill atmosphere before switching over to nightmare-mode at 1:30. By three minutes we are met with the heaviest, perhaps sickest part of the LP that crashes down in waves of apocalyptic black metal.

I know the Philly-based two-piece is playing shows in and around their hometown and surrounding states, so hit them up for shows! ====>



2014 - Demo cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Wolves/Fawn cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - Early Iteration cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here) [buy tape in ZBR distro U.S.A. / everywhere else]


(2019) GRIP - "Pyrosome Configuration 2" (from 'Early Iteration')

(2019) GRIP - "Conception" (from 'Early Iteration')

(2019) GRIP - "Sunken Head" (from 'Early Iteration')


GRIP additional links


Monday 14 October 2019


GenresPunk / Mathcore / Grindcore / Chaotic Hardcore / Math-Grind / Tech-Grind
Related artists: Serenade of a Martyr, Rosewest and Brent Mason.
CountryLondon, England UNITED KINGDOM
Years Active2008-2011
Song: "Bull Fight Starts"
Album: "A Little Roy One On One"
Year: 2009
For fans ofThe Dillinger Escape Plan, Pig Destroyer, Daughters, Machinist, Destroyer Destroyer, Ed Gein, PsyOpus, Ion Dissonance, The Red Chord, Brazen Bull, An Isle Ate Her, Nervaxis, Chronicles of Adam West, Galleons, Tower Of Rome and Oblivionized.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the October 2019 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the October 2019 Mix#10 right here or get the new November 2019 Mix#11 here

Review by: Tarquin Jones

WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR was a 4 piece math-grind outfit from London, United Kingdom. The band took their name from the 'The Wreck of the Minotaur' oil on canvas painting by J.M.W. Turner which was completed in 1810. This painting forms part of a series of large-scale compositions painted by Turner and is dedicated to the depiction of natural catastrophes and sea storms. This is such a fitting name for the band, as their music is as equally turbulent as being swept away in a raging oceanic squall. During the band's existence, they would tour with fellow countrymen The Boy Will Drown and Burnt by the Sun from the United States. The band also garnered some slight notoriety for their explosive and somewhat destructive live shows which led to them being banned from several local venues as a result.

Looking into the bands line up, they originally consisted of James Schwartz on vocals, Nick Hill on guitars, Iain Wilson on bass and Lee Clifton on drums. Nick would depart the band in 2009 due to a work promotion. This resulted in him having time constraints and unfortunately prevented him from being able to focus properly on the band. Sol Philcox would then join on guitar and later depart sometime during the spring of 2009. This was due to him wanting to pursue a career as a session guitarist and being made some work offers abroad. Sol emigrated to the States to tour with country star Brent Mason and has subsequently become well known in the session musician industry. Sometime after Sol's departure, the band would secure a guitarist position with Alex Gent (ex-Rosewest) joining the fold. He would leave the band in 2011 due to intense work commitments and time constraints as well.

I first came across the band via my daily searches of older music blogs around 2009. I was always in the pursuit of new underground music and their name struck a chord with me. I decided to check them out and was pleasantly surprised by the band's brand of unbridled chaos and technical proficiency. I added their jams to my growing music archive and have been listening to them ever since. A few years later through the power of Facebook networking, I connected with James and we became good friends. We would often talk about various 'core' related music, shows happening in the UK and his band WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR.

Right, let's get to the talking about the band's music. WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR released their first and only physical release in 2009. It was a self-released 5 track EP entitled 'A Little Roy One On One'. The title of the EP is a reference to the 1996 sports comedy film 'Kingpin' which features Woody Harrelson as the lead character 'Roy'. The EP was recorded and produced by Dan Abela at Escape Route Studios. The studio is noted for having worked with the bands Gallows, November Coming Fire and Bleed From Within to name a few. The overall sound on this EP is pretty decent for a debut release. It has a somewhat raw quality to it, which helps to evoke an organic feel. The instruments are also really loud and punchy which is always essential for me as a listener. Jame's blood-curdling screams sit right at the forefront of the mix demanding your attention to max effect.

The EP boasts some striking artwork and was done by the artist Kate Collins. The cover is inspired in part by the 2000 psychological horror film 'American Psycho'. There is a strong usage of grungy tones on the composition, mostly in dirty shades of yellows, reds, and browns. The cover also features an illustrated masked character holding a bloody hatchet and it has a demented look in its eye. Off to the right side of the layout are the band's name and EP title. This is scrawled in a haphazard fashion in blood red. The impression one gets from glancing at the cover is that this EP will be an unpredictable and twisted ride. Sure enough, this rings true once the play button is hit.

The EP kicks off with the track "Big Money Stella". It begins with a short introductory audio clip, before fading into feedback and igniting vigorously with James' piercing scream. The listener is instantly hit by a wall of frenetic guitars and heavy-hitting drums. All of this jarring technical insanity is finally locked down and reigned in around 26-sec in. The band utilizes a chugging riff and accompanies this with hints of melodic dissonance. Moments later, the band kicks things back into overdrive before the 1 min mark. They employ some more technical guitar work and fast blasting drums that pummel one's ears. This eventually leads into a mighty bass boom and charges into a driving section of rock 'n roll infused riffage and angular guitar squeals. Finally, a moment arrives and offers some minor reprieve for the listener to catch their bearings. The band uses this time to employ a catchy jazz-influenced interlude section. This features some bold bass lines, tasteful drum grooves and weaving textural guitar work. The arrival of a solid snare crack and two china cymbal hits close this section out. It sets off a final spark that ignites a climax to close the track out. This features an ending with some well-timed stop/start moments, loud distorted guitars, thrashing drums and booming low-end bass. On the track's final pause before kicking in again, the band gives one last gang vocal call. They all scream in unison the track's title, "Big Money Stella". The listener is then enveloped by Jame's manic screams and within an all-consuming wall of dissonance.

Track number 2 is "Bull Fight Starts" and one of my personal favourites off the EP. It begins with a sharp stabbing dissonant attack of guitars, James' volatile screams and underlying bursts of double bass flurries. I'm reminded by some of the technical elements of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan here. Things slowly take a turn and develop into a more locked down passage later on. The drums and guitars alternate between bursts of calculated intensity and some more punctuated distorted riffs. I find that some of these guitar ideas wouldn't seem out of place on something akin to the likes of 'O' God The Aftermath' by Norma Jean. It's very catchy and truly hooks and holds the listener's attention. A few short moments later the band leads into one of my favourite moments on the EP. It is the little break at the 1 min mark when we're met by a very cool and quick accented drum fill. This kicks off a chugging guitar riff and pummeling double bass run. This section makes the listener feel like you're being taken on a ride by a barreling freight train. It's marching forward and there is nothing you can do, but just hope you make it out alive. From there the band weaves into a brief passage which features some spazzy guitars and simplified drums. I find this reminiscent of early Daughters material and aims at making the listeners head spin due to the dizzying effect it creates. As the momentum builds somewhat, it eventually climaxes into the track's final moments. The listener is hit by a heavy dose of more concussive guitars, pulverising drums and skull piercing screams. What a rush!

Next up is "Hard Bodies Are Everywhere! Hand Me My Blade!". This track, much like the album artwork is themed around the film American Psycho. It begins with a chugging riff and heavy double bass drumming. The band really wants to take no prisoners here. It's a savage assault on the ears. This then leads the listener into a back and forth exchange of disorientating walls of guitars and metallic chugging riffs. It's utter madness as one tries to make sense of it all. The track features an audio clip from the film American Pyscho just past the 1 min mark. This is the scene in which Patrick Batemen makes a confession phone call to his lawyer. It is offset with an accented snare pattern and punchy bass guitar lines. This sets the tone of the absolute mania WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR has employed up to this point. Eventually, this culminates into a blasting section of drums and buzzing guitars that hit like a swarm of bees. The track then closes out with a heavy breakdown section that feels very reminiscent of early Ion Dissonance to me. It's crushingly heavy and interspersed with some more calculated bursts of intensity and violently delivered screams.

On a brief side note, this track was also featured on the 'Mecha Organa Vol. 1 compilation' alongside some other noise-based contemporaries. This includes the likes of Brazen Bull, Equal Minds Theory, Isetta, Journal and The Last of Lucy to name a few. Give it a listen here.

Track number 4 is "The Court Of Ted" and is the shortest song on the EP. It is another favourite and really kicks off with a bang. The listener is hit by thunderous walls of distortion, technical drums, and psychotic screams. This leads to some bombastic guitar gymnastics which is punctuated by some punishing accents with bass drum and crash hits. The midsection of the track is a waving ride of ups and downs taking the listener on one hell of a ride. The track eventually nears its end with some seemingly sinister tones employed by the band. This showcases the band's skillful usage of dynamics to illustrate brooding moods within their material. The ominous-sounding guitar, the gravely bass, and simplified drums slowly wind things down to a fade-out.

The album closes with the beast "My Sweet Annabella I'm Not Coming Home". The listener is met with another intense start. Blasting drums and overwhelming guitars envelop one's ears. WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR truly aims for the jugular here. As the guitars ring out at the 30-sec mark, the guitars charge in again. This time the listener is met with some punchy accented riffs and grooving drum work. Around the 1 min mark, the band slows things down and changes tact. With the guitars absent for a moment, the bass and drums weave gently with James adopting a yelling vocal delivery. The guitars begin to swell and dart back into a cacophony of jolted riffs, savage screams, and violently urgent drums. This all lasts mere moments as things are reigned in again for the track's final curtain call. The guitar, bass, drums, and vocals build upon a climactic passage. The unexpected usage of the violin midway through helps to build the growing tension. The guitars slowly explode and lead to a chugging ending. What an absolutely epic way to cap this top-notch thrill ride.

Upon the completion of this release, the band had begun work on writing and recording a follow-up EP. During this process, they ultimately disbanded due to their drummer leaving and emigrating to Canada. Plans were made to find a new drummer, but it proved too difficult to find someone who was capable of playing Lee's technical drum parts. Some of the final results of these EP recording sessions were the two killer single tracks entitled "LBU (Let's Be Unfriendly)" and "A Kiss For Luck But You Still Shit Your Knickers". Both of these singles again highlight the potential of WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR as they deliver their brand of calculated chaos and what could have resulted had the band managed to continue onwards. Holy Roar Records would use "A Kiss For Luck" on their Happy Holy Roar! Vol. 3 cassette tape compilation. It would feature some other UK based favourites like Bastions, Crocus and Brutality Will Prevail to name a few.

In conclusion, I would say that 'A Little Roy One On One' is a rather under-appreciated gem of the UK mathcore scene. The band definitely deserved more attention from local and international audiences. I could easily have seen them sitting comfortably on a roster of like-minded UK based labels like Holy Roar Records, Speedowax Records or Thirty Days Of Night Records. If you're a fan of extreme or chaotic music in general, I highly suggest taking the time to give the EP a spin and download it on Bandcamp. It's absolutely stellar and should be considered a math-grind classic.
P.S. James has expressed interest in trying to reform the band again. Anyone who is based in the UK and enjoys this type of genre direction should get in touch via the band's Facebook page. Guitars, bass, and drums are welcomed. It would be so amazing seeing this beast rise and hit stages again.



2009 - A Little Roy One On One cdEP (stream/donate/download here)
2009 - Happy Holy Roar! Vol. 3 cassette compilation (contributed "A Kiss For Luck")


(2009) WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR - "Hard Bodies Are Everywhere! Hand Me My Blade!" (from 'A Little Roy One on One')

(2009) WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR - "Big Money Stella" (from 'A Little Roy One on One')

(2009) WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR - "Bull Fight Starts" (from 'A Little Roy One on One')


WRECK OF THE MINOTAUR additional links