Monday, 19 September 2022

*** COLACON exclusive music video premiere ***

"We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Lawnmower To Keep These Snakes Out The Grass"
exclusive song/music video premiere
For fans ofFrom A Second Story Window, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, PacmanthemovieWreck Of The Minotaur and Noise Trail Immersion


orders open October 7th, 2022

A year or two ago my friend AJ hit me up about painting some tapes for his band. I did. I enjoyed the tape, but I don't think I heard the songs until I was basically placing the order. About a month ago AJ hit me up again about doing the same thing, but this time I took some time to jam the songs before sending it off. I was so damn impressed that I immediately asked if Tomb Tree could help release it. They said yes. They made a music video. And now here we are.

COLACON began in 2020 as a project between two best friends that live in Columbus and Macon (hence the name, a mixture of the two cities) that was originally supposed to be lyrically based around an Orc town, but the two decided to drop the theme and just bang out tons of ridiculous mathcore/metallic hardcore/myspace tunes. Most jams hover around the one-minute mark and are bursting at the seams with nutty riffs, brain-slapping time changes, and commanding/sickening vocals. When I listen to most of the songs on 'The Pestilent Sickness' I get a condensed From A Second Story Window kind of vibe, but I think most people will hear something different. One thing is for sure, this shit rips.


(2022) COLACON "We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Lawnmower To Keep These Snakes Out The Grass" (from 'The Pestilent Sickness')

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

LEEVIKE

BandLEEVIKE
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Experimental
Related artists?.
CountryTallinn ESTONIA
Years Active2015-2017
For fans ofTrachimbrod, Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, Lakme, Amanda Woodward, Respire, Via Fondo and My Hair Is A Rat's Nest.
Label(s): Le Blast Tapes


LEEVIKE was a solo project from Estonia that I discovered in 2021 due to the amazing Le Blast vault. This single dude was able to capture a ton of amazing screamo subgenres and also incorporates additional instrumentation on some tracks. Mesmerizing post-hardcore/atmospheric screamo, and ridiculously good/obscure stuff.

It becomes blatantly obvious on the opening track of the solo project's debut release '15' in 2015, as "esimene" houses some great midsection twists and turns not unlike Suffocate For Fucks Sake and Hundreds Of AU mixed up in a big ole bowl, but that epic ending wrapped around a wailing guitar solo and momentum changes are the highlight of the EP.

The same year '3' or 'kolmas' was released, I'm unsure the proper title, but it only houses one song titled "kolmas" and it begins much harsher but does bury some melodic leads (Piet Onthel, anyone?) and even boasts what sound like dual vocals. The midsection becomes a post-rock/post-hardcore journey that injects some fantastic flute into the mix, making it a truly standout jam, as the flute eventually meets up with everything else for the conclusion and it's fucking amazing. Respire-esque? You betcha.

In 2017 LEEVIKE released two tracks on something called 'tracks from nmfm collabs' which has gotta be, track-for-track, the best release. Opening with "neljas", this thing is less harsh than the "kolmas" and continues the instrumental variation, leting a trumpet take root to an extremely exhilarating degree, but there are a few dashes of the heavies. "viies" is a tap-happy screamo jam that Native, Party Hats, The Reptilian, and Sinatra would be proud of. Perhaps the most versatile and strongest jam they released, the feelings conjured and warm embrace during the first minute-and-change are joyous. At 1:12 the songs dives headfirst into Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket territory with that gorgeous tremolo followed by a sick-ass stop/start screamo section that La Quiete might have conjured up. The second half is a lush, Via Fondo-esque dreamy section that builds to an utterly fantastic close.

Last up is the longest release, a five-track EP titled '17' also released in 2017 (duh). With the collab tracks veering off into semi-experimental territory, this death release seems to be more cohesive and direct, but I'd be lying if I said the 'tracks from nmfm collabs' weren't LEEVIKE's crowning achievement. This release's sound lies more in dark, nightmarish screamo whilst still retaining an obvious LEEVIKE sound. There's a lot of variation within the songs too, as opener "kuues" is a smack to the head, while "seitsmes" is slow, brooding, and eventually kinda metal. "üheksas" weighs in at more time than the first two tracks put together but keeps the pedal to the metal for majority of its duration and is probably the heaviest of the five despite a very dreamy ending. Closer "viimane" is an excellent swan song, showcasing everything the band can do, but it's track three titled "kaheksas" that is the cream of the crop here, firing off sick notes, time changes, and throat-shredders left right and center.

You likely have never heard of this amazing project. But now you have. Enjoy!

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DISCOGRAPHY

2015 - '15' digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2015 - 'kolmas' digital EP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - 'tracks from nmfm collabs' digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2017 - '17' digital EP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2017) LEEVIKE - "viies" (from 'tracks from nmfm collabs')
(2017) LEEVIKE - "neljas" (from 'tracks from nmfm collabs')
(2017) LEEVIKE - "kaheksas" (from '17')
(2015) LEEVIKE - "kolmas" (from '3')
(2015) LEEVIKE - "esimene" (from '15')

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LEEVIKE additional links

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Sunday, 4 September 2022

*** PODCAST #97 Hunter Johnson (Terror Cell, Charger Port, Tvlpa, Asylum 213) ***


Who's busy as fuck? Hunter Johnson, of course. Playing in three bands plus having his own solo project, it is blatantly obvious upon speaking with him why he is in such high demand. With CHARGER PORT (math rock/noise, noise pop) releasing two LPs (and an EP on tape via my Softseed Music label), TERROR CELL (mathcore, metalcore) releasing their new 12"LP on October 7th, TVLPA (chaotic hardcore, false black metal, noise rock) gearing up to record, and ASYLUM 213 (genre-bending alternative) fresh off of a 2021 full length...Hunter is kinda everywhere. He's definitely in Richmond, Virginia. Are you in RVA? If so maybe hit up Hunter so ya'll can play CHARGER PORT jams live. PLEASE!

Just a few of the things discussed: David Llynch movies in music, Led Zeppelin tribute band influence, Tony Martin is great, Voicemails (the band), loving shenanigans, who is heavier - The Wind In The Trees or Pains?, Broken Charger Port (good luck finding it), bartering for wax mages, views on Mars Volta, how Charger Port became Tvlpa, Nintendo soundtracks, disliking vs. loving Anthony Green, joining Terror Cell, everyone loves John Crogan, the Touch And Go label, what screamo do you like?, us failing to say screamo band names properly, trying to find members to join Charger Port for live gigs etc. Bands played in this podcast: Masayoshi Tanaka, Oxes, The Sound Of Animals Fighting, Spear Of Schlonginus, U.S. Maple, and Works. Listen to podcast #97 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.
1 What kind of kid was this kid? A metal kid? A classic rock elitist douche bag kid?
OXES "And Giraffe, Natural Enemies" (Hunter)
***WORKS "Punishment" (Dave)***              EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE!!!

2 Nobody will find this, ever.
MASAYOSHI TANAKA "Blue Curacao" (Hunter)
THE SOUND OF ANIMALS FIGHTING "Chasing Suns" (Dave)

3 The talent is so good it sounds automated.
U.S. MAPLE "Running From Kabob" (Hunter)
SPEAR OF SCHLONGINUS "Make Like a Computer and Get With the Program by Curl Up and Die" (Dave)

~Dave

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PODCAST #97 linked here

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Thursday, 1 September 2022

*** ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS FEST Mid-West Chicago 2022 ***



     Three years of waiting. Disappointments. Covid. Racists. Idiots. Greed. etc. The waiting was tough. Really tough. But hot damn putting on the third Zegema Beach Records Fest was quite possibly the greatest weekend of my life. Every band fucking slayed. The people were super enthusiastic but also safe and respectful. Merch was bought. Laughs were had. New friendships were cemented forever. It was, for lack of a better word, perfect. Sure we had a couple of bands who had to drop, but we managed to get a few replacements and just left the rest behind. No hiccups. No assholes. Only one minor technical issue. It was bliss. I can't wait to see ya'll again next year, but in May!!! Chicago. May. 2023. ZBR Fest #4.

     A quick but hefty thanks to Dave Cullen (who took a large organizational role and pretty much booked this fest, I love you dude), Seb Alvarez, Vanessa Valadez, Andy Klingensmith, Wyatt, the Brians, Trilly, Jacob, and the Beat Kitchen staff. All-stars, the lot of ya.

     Here's Dave Cullen's (ZBR USA / Crowning) cut of the fest using actual knowledge of filming and editing. You should probably watch this first if you haven't seen it, as my videos lack in comparison to the video element. That being said, the sound quality on some of mine is pretty great, I caught different songs, and I even managed to snag a few unreleased jams.

     For my videos, you'll find a wrap-up/trailer video of each day first which I've embedded below. Further down is a review of each band along with a full video and a link to their bandcamp.

Pre-Show

Day #1

Day #2


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Pre-Show
June 10th, 2022
Empty Bliss
Chicago, IL

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DISPERSER

     I had not previously heard this local band, as they were added by Vanessa and Dave so I was eager to catch them live. As the opening band, and as a band in general, they were very awesome. The two-piece play a disjointed, angular and mathy take on hardcore using vocals, a guitar with poly-shifter pedal and drums. The members were awesome and the drummer was super entertaining, perhaps due to the headband.

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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IMELDA MARCOS

     Yet another band I knew nothing about but was stoked to see aaaaaand was from Chicago. The three-piece used to be just drums and guitar but recently added a vocalist who also plays some sort of floor synth / foot bass contraption. What are two words I'd use to describe this band? Hmmmm...mesmerizing and mind-fuckery. Very complex/original drums and guitar with shouted/wailing (and sometimes sung) vocals that cut through everything. Oh and that goddamn floor bass was impossible not to look at.

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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PAST FORMS

https://youtu.be/9FrUOJDNEbk

     I became aware of this Chicago band when they sent me their EP to release on Tomb Tree and became instantly smitten. The angular and quirky nature of the instrumentals coupled with yelling/screaming has a "What if Wow, Owls played math-rock vibe".

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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LIFE IN VACUUM

     My good friends from my Ontario days made the international trek to play both this pre-show and Day 2, and they certainly didn't disappoint. Opting for the pre-show to drop all their heavier/older jams, we were graced with "Van Life", "You", and "Apartment", none of which were played on Day 2. Their poppy, punk take on post-hardcore and noise rock is unparalleled as they have been honing their sound for well over a decade at this point.

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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LOWER AUTOMATION

https://youtu.be/4N7w7hv79rU

     After releasing one of my favourite records of 2021 it was an absolute no-brainer to ask this local band to play, and I was additionally stoked to finally get to see them for the first time. Playing material from their self-titled album as well as a new jam, their unassuming, quiet, and generally diffident demeanor as humans transforms into a frenzy of confidence and technical prowess. I was blown away. Also, I have their new album. It's incredible. 12" before the year is out.

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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***

 

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Day 1
June 11th, 2022
Beat Kitchen
Chicago, IL

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SCENARIO

https://youtu.be/OaYdujN72Rc

     So this band released their debut EP on Zegema and it was sick and all, but nothing could have prepared me for how utterly awesome this opening band was...to the point where I'd posit that they were the best and most enthusiastic opener I've probably ever seen. And I told them so. Seriously, couldn't have started ZBR Fest any fucking better. Riffy early 2000s-esque screamo in the vein of Hot Cross, Funeral Diner, and Birthday Boyz. P.S. I've heard new material!!!

Bandcamp

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PAINS

https://youtu.be/D1Lgj4TzHEE

     Another band I was kind of semi-aware of but not well-versed in, Chicago's PAINS fucking destroyed. Easily the heaviest band of the entire fest and the only one that got a pit going. Their explosive, grindy, deathy, hardcore/metal really hit the spot...then punctured my eardrums.

Bandcamp

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THE WIND IN THE TREES

https://youtu.be/dB1SzHnpu5M

     This band had been on my radar for years so seeing them play material from the early LP as well as their new stuff was a sight to behold. For only drums, a guitar, and one vocalist these fellas make some seriously massive/mathy noise in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan, Psyopus, and Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. The guitarist also makes pedals which he had for sale. Very nice dude.

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HORSEWHIP

https://youtu.be/5smyb1pzXuI

     Featuring members of some pretty rad bands, Florida's HORSEWHIP whipped my fucking ass. I had no idea they'd sound so massive live, and with the loss of one member and the addition of another (on second guitar) their new unit is a step or two above their previously released LP, but wait till you hear this new split we got cookin'...holy shit! Live they kind of sounded like These Arms Are Snakes meets Furnace. Mesmerizing and devastating, a deadly concoction.

Bandcamp

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CROWNING

https://youtu.be/8m3P_3Z5j_Y

     Local ZBR house-band CROWNING took the stage next and ripped through a buncha songs with minimal banter. They looked like they were havin' a great time, their stage presence was fantastic, and they sounded righteous. Sharing members with Greed Worm and Frail Body (and ZBR USA), this five-piece has more material that they recorded along with their Naedr split...so a new release is imminent.

Bandcamp

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EDHOCHULI

https://youtu.be/Q9OqWj1KRlk

     Yes, we did book a group of magicians for ZBR Fest. They're called EDHOCHULI and they're from Pittsburgh. They manage to make these absolutely mind-boggling sounds with their instruments and mouths to the point of absurdity. It's absurd. They're absurd. This review is absurd. Lovely people, though.

Bandcamp

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TO FORGET

https://youtu.be/-95MD3BxXas

     Holy shit. Hoooolyyyyyy shiiiiiit. Another band that we released their 12". I knew it was amazing. I was told they were even better live. I was informed correctly. Super emotional set, tons of movement, prodigious jams - shit I think the audience was almost as spent as the band by the end (no, not really). This South Carolina band were one of my faves, as their post-hardcore/screamo style mixed with stellar humans is an unbeatable combo.

Bandcamp

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HUNDREDS OF AU

https://youtu.be/1xIJQfAIWvg

     I can't believe I hadn't seen this band before, but I'd just never had the opportunity. They fucking brought it and efficiently ruined the audience in less than 20 minutes. They played every song off the new EP (maybe they missed one, I can't remember) and were flawless in their delivery. This past week they even played with Thursday, so if you haven't checked them out by now you have officially procrastinated long enough. Bandcamp linked below you silly.

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GILLIAN CARTER

https://youtu.be/HuNDHMJdwig

     The most entertaining band in screamo certainly did not disappoint, and reuniting with the drummer I know them most with, it was just extra special. Touring on their 7" lathe /50 and the pre-cursor to their upcoming 12"LP 'Salvation Through Misery' on October 7th, the hug-prone GILLIAN CARTER ripped through their set and included some new jams (including the video embedded below!) which were the heaviest Gilly material to date. Absolutely stoked on that new full length! Oh, wondering why this video seems so different from the rest? I misplaced my video camera for this set and had to rely on my (apparent) shit phone. And then because the file was in a different folder in my computer it was accidentally removed so all I have is a clip of it. :(

Bandcamp

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MASSA NERA

https://youtu.be/ZqalOA23TQQ

     Anyone who 1) made the trek and 2) stuck it out until the end of the night, were graced with the one and only full performance of the band's upcoming cd/cassette/12"LP releasing December 2nd on Zegema Beach Records. It was 40 minutes of bliss, catharsis, beauty, and chaos, as the New Jersey quartet showed why their new album will be one of the best of 2022 and beyond. Mixing their own take with influence from Kidcrash and City Of Caterpillar, by the end of the year you'll see MASSA NERA everywhere.

Bandcamp

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***


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Day 2
June 12th, 2022
Beat Kitchen
Chicago, IL

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SOCIAL CATERPILLAR

https://youtu.be/yz_n1vcoVYc

     Giving the festival a fresh sound and break from all the screaming was Milwaukee's chamber folk rock quartet SOCIAL CATERPILLAR that boasts some seriously sick screamo roots. Falling somewhere between Manchester Orchestra and Songs: Ohia, their violin-fueled rock turned a tad more electric on this night, as they played two new songs (both electric as opposed to acoustic) and the dual-vocal harmonies were spot on. The song below is from their previous full length which definitely is one of my favourite of 2022.

Bandcamp

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LIFE IN VACUUM

https://youtu.be/nv8ELXS0aio

     It'd be kinda redundant to describe the band all over again, but they played great and everything was clear, with them playing new songs exclusively. I've heard the LP and it's the best thing they've ever done. Couldn't be more stoked for that release!

Bandcamp

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SNAG

https://youtu.be/dj1dT2idfZs

     On the heels of two fantastic 12"s, Milwaukee's three-piece slayed with a bass-heavy set featuring all three members sharing screaming duties. This band gives me a lot of feels, and hot damn they are super nice people as well, it was awesome to finally meet them in the flesh.

Bandcamp

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NEW GRASS

https://youtu.be/BRj3zIPfH3U

     We had magicians on Day 1 and a wizard in the house on Day 2, cuz Lucio is the Gandalf of screamo. His Capsule-inspired guitar is mindboggling, so getting to see that live was fantastic. He had a group assembled for the tour and both the bassist and drummer executed perfectly. Aeryn from Massa Nera also showed up for some vocals...and that just happened to be the song I took a video for!

Bandcamp

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LOCKTENDER

https://youtu.be/sXCZbTCOrig

     Featuring fill-in (I think?) vocalist Brock from Shoto and Pack Sounds, the juggernaut that is LOCKTENDER didn't lose a step during their year's of inactivity, and Brock is the perfect fit for this band's sound aaaaaaaand has a helluva stage presence to boot. I really hope they do more music as 'Friedrich' is by far the best of their releases and I'd love to hear them develop that sound even more.

Bandcamp

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ARMYWIVES

https://youtu.be/UqRl5ebCUUI

     Wooooooah baby this band brought more energy that I would have imagined possible whilst playing that beautiful noodle soup that they do. They kind of remind me of a North American version of Cassus doing a Kidcrash/Eyelet thing but definitely have their own take on it and I fucking love it. Everything they have released has been gold so let's hope they continue doing what they do.

Bandcamp

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HEAVENLY BLUE

     I may have released songs "I" to "X" by Youth Novel, but I had never seen them live. HEAVENLY BLUE seemed like the next best thing, but after seeing them perform as both bands at ZBR Fest (which was otherworldly) I came to the conclusion that the new incarnation trumps the old one. Wanna see me lose my shit whilst holding a camera? There ya go. P.S. this song in the video is "IV" by Youth Novel.

*additional video*
Bandcamp (Youth Novel)

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METH

https://youtu.be/pzNIS8CNA0E

     Straight up, after their set we had a "What The Fuck Was That" group meeting in front of the stage where about 10 of us stood in a circle and just said "What the fuck was that? That was was amazing. So. Fucking. Amazing." The local band gave us an exclusive double-EP set that was the perfect match for this audience, as after they played I saw white 12" LPs everywhere I looked. I even yelled out, "Who just bought a Meth LP? Hold'em up!" and five people around their merch table cheered and held up copies. Seriously, perhaps the most ridiculous set of the fest.

*additional video*
Bandcamp

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HAWAK

https://youtu.be/O1EkPFIZ4m4

     Ma Boyz. Goddamn. I've seen this band basically open shows and fests but we had them close cuz fuckin' HAWAK yo. They released one of the best screamo records ever with 2021's 'Nước' and followed up in 2022 with two new gems on the Cube split 12". Boasting members of Matsuri and Leer (to name a few), this revitalized three-piece played so fucking well that the audience demanded an encore. The band had no more songs lined up, so they just played the opener again and everyone went more apeshit than the previous time. It was amazing. What a way to close out the fest. I love you guys.

Bandcamp

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***

 Still hankering for more Zegema Beach Records Fest videos? Woah, seriously? Okay then, uhhhhh...lemme nab some links:



2017 Zegema Beach Records Fest #1 (Toronto, ON)
pre-show
Day 1
Day 2



 And here's a few pics from the fest. Thanks again to all the bands who played, the people who came out, and anyone who listens to screamo.