Sunday 30 October 2022


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Metal / Black Metal / Doom / Sludge / Ambient / Experimental
Related artists?.
CountryBoston, Massachusetts U.S.A.
Years Active2019-present
For fans ofHope Drone, Somn, Blue Noise, Spectral Wound, An Autumn For Crippled Children, Dakhma, Old Soul, Olam, Show Me A Dinosaur, Underdark and Deafheaven.
Label(s): Self Released / Mutual Aid Records

     It's October 31st and I had this one already lined up and hot dog does it fit the bill. Massive, heaving, dark, ominous blackened post-metal (or is that just called atmospheric black metal?) by Boston's HEAD IN HAND. I was introduced to them via AJ from Adobe Homes who had me check them out and by golly I'm glad I did. This doesn't need to be lengthy either, as their first release in 2020 isn't really my thing (doomgaze?) and the songs from the 2021 EP ended up on the 2022 EP, thus meaning I've got about five actual songs to review.

     So let's focus solely on 2022's 'Unnatural Providence', a five-song journey through Somn, Hope Drone, and early Deafheaven territory although a bit more restrained at times. Opener "Smoking Mirror" is a 12-minute trek through gorgeous misty mountains, past entrancing cave wizards, and into the underbelly of the darkest subterranea. There's a lot more emphasis on movements and structure over speed and ridiculousness, giving the band both a softer side and a gloss of sludge. "It That Betrays" gets into the groove of things quicker than its predecessor and sinks that massive hook in nice and early. Awesome screaming too, all over the course of seven minutes with no lulls or ambient passages. What's one of the best books ever? Why it's "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula Leguin, obviously. This is also the title for the apex track that also weighs in around seven minutes and change, but focuses more on lush textures under the screaming instead of sheer power. "Years of Lead" is a mixture of tracks two and three, with closer "I Will Guide Thy Hand" being the epic, crushing, closer you'd expect from such a solid five jams.

     Very stoked to see what they release next!



2020 - Solstice Demo EP (stream/donate/download here)

2021 - Return to the Ground EP (stream/donate/download here)

2022 - Unnatural Providence cassette EP (stream/donate/download here)


(2022) HEAD IN HAND - "It That Betrays" (from 'Unnatural Providence')

(2022) HEAD IN HAND - "I Will Guide Thy Hand" (from 'Unnatural Providence')

(2022) HEAD IN HAND - "Smoking Mirror" (from 'Unnatural Providence')


HEAD IN HAND additional links


Friday 28 October 2022

*** PODCAST #100 Mares Of Thrace ***

     Back in 2018 I wrote a review of the MARES OF THRACE material to date (linked here). Then I waited. Things happened. I continued waiting. More things happened to lots of people. Or, more specifically, they happened to MARES OF THRACE. Original drummer Stef left the band leaving Trez a bit low and looking for hope. Enter Casey, and bam, new MARES OF THRACE. Find out all about it here as well as: Stef's blessings, musical families, the mass Nanaimo exodus, stoners vs. hip-hop kids, ska makes an appearance yet again, Star Trek and curry, Goreguts love, getting around the Columbia House scam, the creation of "Venison" from Isis, the bug that struck Stef (don't worry it's a good one), some things are just easy for Casey, slow and heavy, compliment fest, favourite song on the new record, what Casey's eyebrows do, not screaming for six years, skramz dabble, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Future Of The Left, Ken Mode, Meshugga, PJ Harvey, Sannhet, The Third Memory, The Totemist, and The Wind In The Trees. Listen to podcast #100 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


1 You Are The Only Person I Would Allow To Be In This Band
MESHUGGA "Phantoms" (Casey)
THE WIND IN THE TREES "Dying In Light Years" (Dave)
PJ HARVEY "Who the Fuck?" (Trez)

2 From Stef to Casey
SANNHET "Revisionist" (Trez)
THE TOTEMIST "Roast Host" (Casey)
VENUS TWINS "Return to Dust" (Dave)

3 There's a shortage of earnest praise in the world. (but not here)
"Absolutely Not" 
FUTURE OF THE LEFT "Arming Eritrea" (Trez)



PODCAST #100 linked here


Tuesday 25 October 2022

*** PODCAST #99 Aeryn Jade Santillan (Massa Nera, This Place Is Actually The Worst, Guillemet) ***

     Aeryn fucking rules. Straight up, one of the coolest people I've met and an incredible human in all aspects. She used to play in Guillemet, and then started This Place Is Actually The Worst, and now also play bass/vocals in Massa Nera. What's that? They also compose music? Goddamn! We discussed lots of stuff and played some sick music, but here's a quick list: joining Massa Nera, Linkin' Park comfort, EYESWIDESHUT, being a scene kid, missing myspace, life-changing advice from Paper Mice, being in Guillemet, unintentional John Zorn overlap, whatever happened to Miriam?, inherent inclusivity, a meaning behind the new Massa Nera album, the story behind "April 7th", Aeryn's favourite song on the new record, why she rips into "Shapeshifter" live, shits that have shits, the vices we have, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Charger Port, Frankie Cosmos, Guillemet, Isodora Cane, Paper Mice, and Yeule. Listen to podcast #99 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


"April 7th" MUSIC VIDEO!!!!


1 The Reason There Are So Few Drummers...Parents
GUILLEMET "773" (Aeryn)
ISODORA CRANE "Don't Play Russian Roulette With A Man Who Has Two Glass Eyes" (Dave)

2 Pivotal People
PAPER MICE "Hot Air" (Aeryn)
CHARGER PORT "where does the ceiling end..." (Dave)

3 Opera vs. Hardcore Screamo Land
FRANKIE COSMOS "Knives in My Throat" (Dave)
"I Miss You This Much" (Aeryn)

4 The New Album and the Endless Cycle
no music



PODCAST #99 linked here


Thursday 20 October 2022


GenresPunk / Rock / Noise Rock / Drums And Bass / Grunge / Experimental
Related artists?.
CountryBrooklyn, New York U.S.A.
Years Active2019-present
For fans ofDeath From Above, Big Dick, Lightning Bolt, PrimusHellaBlue Youth, Drive Like Jehu, McClusky, Meth And Goats, and Raw Grip.
Label(s): Tomb Tree Tapes / Softseed Music

     When Tomb Tree started off and I was combing through bands to ask about releases I came across VENUS TWINS, a two-piece from Brooklyn, New York consisting of twin brothers on drums and bass/vocals. I picked up 'Eat Your Dogs' as the 22nd release for the label and put out a small run of 30 tapes. This album was preceded by the 'Kickass' EP released a year before (2019) and was followed by the brand new 'RAXIS' album in October of 2022 which ended up on Softseed Music on about 80 swirl cassettes. The duos dark, groovy, noise rock will surely turn heads of anyone who even remotely enjoys the stylings of bands such as Death From Above, Raw Grip, and Big Dick.

     In December of 2019 the two-piece released 'Kickass', which is a bit of a different beast, with a heavier Primus vibe than the later stuff, especially in the vocal-department. There's still the signature VENUS TWINS sound but it's just a bit muddled. Opener "Addiction" is has a yelly tail-end, "DOOM//CRUCIFY" has a cavernous chorus, and closer "Vile" is pretty aggressive, but otherwise I find myself wanting to listen to the new two albums instead.

     Released just 9 months later was 'Eat Your Dogs', a much more mature and organic-sounding release housing 8 tracks book-ended by the most obvious bangers. This release shows the band finding their groove and expanding/evolving their sound outward from it. Opener "Fkn Lightning" is exactly what the title states, blasting through 1:19 of fantastic bass-driven noise-rock with a nice, jazzy midsection that leads seamlessly into the mindfuckery that leads this song out. Seriously that's one helluva jam. The following seven songs are very good noise-rock/punk jams with some experimental and wonky sections from time to time and generally heavier vocals (to the point of screaming), but hot damn that opener is perfection. Closer "Spiders" is also a favourite of mine, mainly due to the infectious instrumentals that wreak havoc all over this track, and after listening to the 2022 album this definitely has 'RAXIS' feels all over it. Much jammier, yelly vocals more than screamed and a groove that sweeps the listener through the track with ease, it's the perfect lead into the next paragraph!

     2022's 'RAXIS' showcases much of what was explored 'Eat Your Dogs', but simultaneously refines and experiments aggressively outward. It's a strange contradiction that somehow plays out to a real-life "double plus good", as it gives the band a serious handle on their song structure and those ear-worm riffs, while also giving them infinite room to expand and dabble in new/weird/awesome things. Opener "Falling On My Own Sword" thrusts this juxtaposition on the listener immediately as the waves of bass wash over the speakers and the song shifts from awkward, disjointed lurches to a super groovy midsection adorned with a stop/starts and isolated, shouted vocals. Next up is the absolutely phenomenal "Return To Dust". Cripes I could write a paragraph just on this song, but I'll try to keep it short. This jam has three sections that are fucking righteous, the first being the ridiculously catchy bass riff that injects two piercing notes which are like the scrumptious fishing hooks of all-time. Get a taste of this during it's first run at 1:10. The second thing that this song excels at is the vocals, as they hop, skip, and jump through the verses and fully wrap around the listener come chorus time with a very easy to remember "six six six six six seven, six six six six six six". Wonderful vocal delivery. Awesome cadence. Then there's the jolting tail-end that has the lone vocal line of "incarcerated!" during a freeze and it's subsequent explosion of danceable garage/noise-rock. Easily in my top 3 songs of 2022.

     Oh shit there's still a lot to go over, so I'll actually try and condense my thoughts. "Don't Take Fix (You Are a Skeleton)" and "Sees Recneps" take a closer step toward dark, sludgy, experimental rock, while "Agony Sludge Infinite" sees the band heading directly into the unknown. "God's Machines" is a whopping 10:28 in length and contains no filler, this sucker just goes for 10 fucking minutes. Closer "In A Smashed Mirror" is similar but clocks in at 6:43, is much more eerie and kinda unravels at the end. The remaining tracks are my other faves and include the frantic and very Lightning Bolt-esque "Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist" (music video embedded below!), the infectious/prodigious groove that is "ANGEL32:35", and that palm-muted banger also known as "Light Catches the Rats".

     The band's 'RAXIS' tour started just two days back and has a bunch more shows coming up so check this video to see if they're playing near you! Hard recommend, VENUS TWINS are amazing!!!



2019 - Kickass digital EP (stream/buy here)

2020 - Eat Your Dogs cassette EP (stream/donate/download here) [buy tapes from Tomb Tree here]


(2022) VENUS TWINS - "Return To Dust" (from 'RAXIS')

(2022) VENUS TWINS - "Light Catches the Rats" (from 'RAXIS')

(2022) VENUS TWINS - "Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist Mist" (from 'RAXIS') official music video

(2020) VENUS TWINS - "Fkn Lightning" (from 'Eat Your Dogs') official music video

(2020) VENUS TWINS - "Spiders" (from 'Eat Your Dogs')

(2020) VENUS TWINS - "Veins" (from 'Eat Your Dogs') official music video

(2019) VENUS TWINS - "Vile" (from 'Kickass')

(2019) VENUS TWINS - "Doom//Crucify" (from 'Kickass')


VENUS TWINS additional links

"Return To Dust" live


Tuesday 18 October 2022

*** SOUL CRUSHER exclusive EP premiere ***

'Soul Crusher'exclusive album premiere
For fans ofRadiohead, The Postal Service, Life In Vacuum and Death Cab For Cutie

     I've known Sasha since 2013 when I went to see a Life In Vacuum show because I was aware that he and his brother also played in Congratulations who I was desperately trying to meet and release their demo (which happened 😁). We hit it off immediately and I also became immediately obsessed with Life In Vacuum. Jeez it's coming up on 10 years now, so I guess it makes sense that Sasha let me know about a year ago that he was working on solo material. I was sent four tracks and immediately let him know that I had a new, softer label that would love to release it. He said yes. Then about 8 months went by and all of a sudden I had six mastered tracks in my mailbox. Then I made tapes. Then he made a music video. And now we're here.

     The tapes are being released on Softseed Music /40, 15 on opaque red swirl, 10 on transparent red swirl, 10 red, and 5 test dips with matching swirl case. The digital release is tomorrow but the tapes are up for order on the Zegema Beach Records website for now, linked here. I also spoke with Sasha about the project which is available to read under the full stream so you can jam'n'read!

(2022) SOUL CRUSHER 'Soul Crusher' full stream

Do you remember the first time the idea of a solo project popped into your head?
SASHA: I believe like over 10 years ago. Maybe In Rainbows by Radiohead was a bit of a push haha.

When did you push yourself to start writing for it?
SASHA: That first demo was recorded during our first tour to NFLD with Mighty Atom from KW. Like over 10 years I think or around. But recording process started just on whim during first winter of COVID. Tour was in 2011.

Wow so four of the six songs were written in 2011?
SASHA: No just “I know you” is from 2011. Rest basically towards the end of first year of pandemic and up until now I guess.

What was the writing process like for SOUL CRUSHER?
SASHA: Well it was just like dead covid winter in January in Toronto with not much going on. I had these riffs written strictly in like an emo tuning(don’t remember what it was originally) and I was thinking of maybe recording some of those alternative sounding ones for like a thing just for fun. So I did but immediately it expanded on its own, I added drums bass then synth then vox then more layers and it just struck me that it can be more then just that. So next I pulled the old demo and redid it with like rearranged everything. And after that over the next year I think I finished all 6. Then kinda put it on a shelf for a year. Then decided maybe it’s time haha.

When did you decide on the name Soul Crusher? Why?
SASHA: I think first came this other song by this other band(to be released in the future) and then I borrowed it too cuz it sounded good, It could be a grindcore band name too.

Does the name hold anything special for you? Is the music meant to crush souls? Is the music a response to your soul being crushed?
SASHA: In its original use (a song) it was a bad guy reference for someone who’s just ready to crush everyone mentally and emotionally at any moment. The name itself seems dark and evil and really stands for something sinister and I thought it would be cool to put it along side something maybe more light hearted on the outside and dark on the inside if that makes sense. I thought that everyone would expect a metal band so I wanted to plant a surprise haha.

I expected a doom band for sure lol

Would you write the instrumentals before the lyrics or for this project was it kind of the other way around?
SASHA: Writing wise it still started usually with a guitar riff except Stuck In Between(that started with synth and drums idea) I would record the riff and start playing bass synth over it until I’d come up with some kind of drum beat and then just develop slowly from there. Vocal ideas still at the end.

Did you already have topics in mind when writing or did you sit down and say hmmmmm what should I write about?
SASHA: Yeah it’s all from random stuff that comes out of nowhere on the spot just because I need lyrics and I try to just build up and up and then keep it simple and short.

Any topics from the lyrics that you wanted to talk about directly?
It’s hard to even pin point exact topics at the time of writing. This stuff is more of a float of thought that evolved by the time I finished recording. The first song is about waking up and feeling like shit and being blinded by the sun and questioning your existence. Second is about realizing that the relationship you are in is over and realizing you are stuck and trying to get out but can’t tell the partner. Third is just lyrics about knowing someone well enough to not get surprised or bothered by their bullshit anymore. Fourth is about trying to control things and maybe realizing that it’s time to let go. Fifth is about just having one day to spend with someone and that’s it. Sixth is about just feeling the pressure of people watching or having to behave proper constantly and not having a chance to relax and let go.

Are you planning to play live?
SASHA: I’m not opposed to it. But it would be a bit of an undertaking just to get everyone to learn parts of off recording but probably in the future at some point.

Ah so maybe but not something you're pushing at the moment.
SASHA: I think I wanted to kind of prove it to myself that I can do it. The next step I guess could be putting the band together for live!

Ahhh makes sense!

Did you want to say anything about Ukraine?
SASHA: About Ukraine. At this point everyone knows what’s happening in Ukraine. Me and my family moved to Canada in 2004 and stayed in touch with our roots our friends and family back home and it’s really horrifying to see how they are living every day in fear of another strike or another bombing. But they are strong together! To those who care and willing there are many ways to help or donate money to those in need there right now! To Russians please go the fuck back home

Are there any particular charities and places to donate that you'd recommend?
SASHA: I don't know, I donated to a Toronto second front but honestly there's so many that do different things some people want to donate money some people med kits some people cloth some people donate to military so I don't wanna say like hey give to one not the other. The one I donated is my friends part of it but they help with military stuff too and some people are like anti-violence so I'd just rather not say. It's very easy to find and pick one.

Do you have plans to write/record more music under Soul Crusher?
Hoping to!

Music Video!!!


Sunday 16 October 2022


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Metallic Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Grindcore / Black Metal
Related artistsNepugia and Retratos de heroína.
CountryPunta Arenas CHILE
Years Active2021-present
For fans ofMarjory Stewart Baxler, The Ultimate Screamo Band, Orchid, Secondgradeknifefight, Kiss 2, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy.
Label(s): Self Released / Middle Man Records

     This Chilean solo project has been consistently releasing incredible semi-lo-fi screamo/emo-violence since the spring of 2021. Is it good? No. It's not. It's fucking awesome. Want that dosage in 60-seconds or less? Gotcha. And if you're looking for a short story's worth of quotable song titles this band has you covered.

     I first caught wind of them on the 'Grave Neighbors v5' compilation from the legendary Middle Man Records, noticing that "Suckerfish" was fighting for best song on said comp. I snagged the 'Chained' EP and since have been jamming the other 2021 material as well as the four songs released in 2022 thus far. To try and go through the catalogue would be very silly and redundant, as the songs are all similar in creation, lift-off, trajectory, and landing, so I'll just touch on a few of the killer songs.

     2021 was an extremely busy year for the band, releasing a total of 23 songs from April to December. Both 'Demo 1' and 'Demo 2' house two jams each but neither sound demo-ish. "I'm Desperate For Anybody To Tell Me This Is Good, Seriously" from the first demo is righteous romp through an emo-violence/SeeYouSpaceCowboy filter and "What's The Matter With That Fucking Potato?" from the second displays some killer chugs. There was what I will consider the full length 'Songs For People Who Don't Read Books' (once downloaded from bandcamp you get the three extra tracks) which begins with the two jams from 'Demo 1' before shuffling into 13 unreleased scorchers of which I cannot choose a favourite cuz they're all pretty similar/awesome although "Is This a Madoka Magica Reference?" is very different and awkward, with "A Letter From My Teenage Angst - An Answer From My Adult Self" being the longest and most well-constructed song. The 'Chained' 6-song EP goes even harder than the full length, with better production and slap tracks like "Nail Biter" (sounds like a mixture of SeeYouSpaceCowboy and Orchid) and "...And Then The Smoke Was Gone" (the closest thing to a straight screamo song from the band) are just blazing serious fires out of any speaker it can find. This release also has a newer/even better version of "What's the Matter With That Fucking Potato?". And the "Suckerfish" Touché Amoré cover? Fucking stellar.

     The band slowed down considerably in 2022, dropping just four songs over three releases. With 'Apathetic, pt. 1' you get two songs in about two minutes, both of which are fire but "Confucius Said - To Be a Real Specialist, You Gotta Shit on RYM Reviews..." takes the cake with that intense, driving, intro, and ripper of an ending. They also released "Holy Shit, is AK-47 Meta Again!!!" on a compilation that was initially set for 'Apathetic, pt. 2' but was yanked and put on the comp instead. The newest release is a single titled "Let It Out And Then Regret It" and it is perhaps the sassiest song yet, with exceptional dual vocals and chugs at the close.



2021 - Demo 1 digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2021 - Songs For People Who Don't Read Books digital LP (stream/donate/download here)
2021 - Demo 2 digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2021 - Chained digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2021 - Grave Neighbors v5 cd compilation (stream/donate/download here)

2022 - Apathetic, pt. 1 digital EP (stream/donate/download here)
2022 - Propagación del Ruido compilation (stream/donate/download here)
2022 - Let It Out And Then Regret It digital single (stream/donate/download here)


(2022) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "Let It Out And Then Regret It" (from 'Let It Out And Then Regret It')

(2022) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "Holy Shit, is AK​​​-​​​47 Meta Again​​​!​​​!​​​!" (from 'Propagación del Ruido' comp)

(2022) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "Confucius Said: 'To Be a Real Specialist, You Gotta Shit on RYM Reviews...'" (from 'Apathetic, pt. 1')

(2021) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "Suckerfish" (from 'Grave Neighbors v5' comp)


(2021) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "Embrace DDR, Reject Modernity" (from 'Chained')

(2021) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "What's The Matter With That Fucking Potato?" (from 'Demo 2')

(2021) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "A Letter From My Teenage Angst - An Answer From My Adult Self" (from 'Songs For People Who Don't Read Books')
(2021) DEAR DIARY, THIS IS FROM MY TEENAGE ANGST TO MY ADULT SELF - "I'm Desperate For Anybody To Tell Me This Is Good, Seriously" (from 'Demo 1')



Saturday 15 October 2022

*** VICTOR SHORES exclusive song premiere ***

exclusive song premiere
For fans ofYou'll Live, Two Knights, Motion City Soundtrack, Prize The Doubt and Snowing

     VICTOR SHORES are a three-piece from Minneapolis, Minnesota who were very active from 2011 to 2016 in the twinkly/poppy emo scene (Skeletal Lightning, The Ghost Is Clear, Count Your Lucky Stars, etc.) but haven't released anything more than a song at once since. So this upcoming cassette/12"LP 'Victor Shores' has been truly a wait. 6 years? Christ, that's one year longer than the infamous Propagandhi 5-year gap between 'Less Talk, More Rock' and 'Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes'. So the wait from now until November 21st really isn't that long!

    This new self-titled album releases on November 21st on 300 red 12"s via No Funeral Records and 125 swirl tapes from Tomb Tree. The 12"s will be available for pre-order on that date and the tapes will be ready to ship. The band has been very active playin' shows so it is obvious that they are back in full force, meaning the members are firing on all cylinders and the songs have been reworked, fine-tuned, and display each person's unique musical qualities. The instrumentals are both immersive and playful (reminding me of a slightly heavier Nada Surf if they went pop-punk), the vocals are effortless and soothing, and when intertwined the songs become so catchy that baseball gloves are totally unnecessary.

The band had this to say about the song:

Chromies came from us 3 dudes talking about all the dumb crap and trouble making we did as kids and how similar we all were growing up in small town North Dakota and Minnesota. Stealing Chromies off cars and putting them on our bikes; Those golden years of sneaking out at night. Spending hours playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater then skating/biking around at night like nothing bad will ever happen; before life kicks you in the ass. As we get older, it’s a sort of comfort for us to remember those times and appreciate what you had.

(2022) VICTOR SHORES "Chromies" (from 'Victor Shores')

     "Chromies" is the fourth track on the album, and like the preceding tracks it basks in warm, rejuvenating, nostalgic punk rock and makes me just plain happy. The first 35 seconds is reserved for an instrumental intro that gives the song a nice backdrop to set the stage, with the vocals chiming in after that in their patented soothing upper-register. The lyrics deal with a lot of nostalgic memories of friends and growing up (as is on par for the genre) with some members going through major life changes in the last year. The song swirls around with an ease that comes from being in a band together for over a decade, and at 2:04 the song swings into it's final ascent with soaring vocal work and an all-around epic end.


"Canoe" music video

"Drowning" music video

Thursday 13 October 2022

*** WORKS exclusive song premiere ***

exclusive song premiere
For fans ofNo Knife, The Plan, North Of America, Yoo Doo Right, The Mark Inside, The Advantage, and Life In Vacuum


orders open November 1st, 2022 via Tomb Tree

     If you've spoken to me about music for more than a few hours than you know that Girl Arm's 'Outside Language' is one of my favourite albums of all time. Absolute math/noise-rock/post-hardcore perfection. The band then released more material in a much more 80s new wave/indie/post-punk way and I enjoyed it but it just didn't click. Very recently they changed their name from Girl Arm to WORKS and recorded a new full length LP and sent it to me because I've been such a fan of their work in the past (as well as their previous band Hey, Predator!). I was unsure how it would resonate with me. I jammed it. I thought it was pretty good! Deserves a second listen. After the second time around I realized this was much mathier than their previous few outings and kind of mixed the 'Outside Language' era with the sounds of New Order and No Knife, creating a very unique and quirky math-rock/post-punk/indie rock/experimental hybrid that is, simply put, the WORKS. Then I listened to it 40 more times and I'm absolutely obsessed. Full album releases on 12"LP /100 November 1st, 2022 on Tomb Tree.

(2022) WORKS "Punishment" (from 'Is there a head in there')

     First off, this absolute banger is the shortest track off the 10-song LP, clocking in at a mere 1:28 of extremely concise, jangly, mathy, but somehow dancey-as-fuck experimental noise-rock with a bit of shoegaze shine and and indie rock edge. The song uses two ridiculously strong sections and stacks them on top of each other twice. The first part is the super-groovy, discordant, playful math rock section that wraps up its first take after just 20 seconds. The second part feels like the listener is shot out into space as the band blasts off with deep, pounding bass and drums amidst two rocket-fueled guitars and vocals that are almost lost to the sheer velocity of the instrumentals. Now repeat the first and second part. Now we're done. Now jam that shit again and you'll likely find even more to like, as this band always has my synapses firing thanks to the intricate, weaving guitars and awesome/interesting melodies.

Wednesday 12 October 2022


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Metal / Metal / Metalcore / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Mathcore / Doom / Sludge / Ambient / Experimental
Related artists?.
CountryConnecticut U.S.A.
Years Active2022-present
For fans ofMare, Kowloon Walled City, Isis, Old Man Gloom, The End, Hope Drone, Deafheaven, R. Josef, Malevich, and Sumac.
Label(s): Self Released

     HYLDA is a three-piece band from Connecticut that released a full length earlier this year that blew me away. I saw it posted somewhere with a peculiar description that I didn't end up agreeing with, and thought I'd submit my own. Do you like Mare? Of course you do. How'd you feel about Mare with some super fast parts and no clean singing? Yep, I thought you'd like that.

     The band's 'Juniper Pyre' is a 46-minute beast of a debut album featuring 13 songs that will lead you on a fantastic journey of unique/interesting arrangements and mesmerizing/pulverizing moments. Honestly, this is one helluva a first record and am surprised it wasn't picked up by a big label as this showing up on Hydra Head, Relapse, Pure Noise, or Prosthetic really wouldn't surprise me. Right from the get-go "Garden of Eyes" will lull you in with the ominous, sweeping, sludgy, and oddly timed first progression, complete with haunting, near-death vocals. After the 50-second mark the band triples their speed and gets super mathy, with excellent transitions, additional chugs, and piercing notes before sliding back into the sludge-math. "Gemini" showcases a much sunnier side of the band, with the higher screams and danceable groove of the instrumentals (during the intro) being in stark contrast to the opening track, as well as sections later in the same song. There's also a super jazzy midsection that completely jumps genre ship and I love it. "Entanglement" begins with a leading acoustic guitar and holy fuck does it sound amazing, especially when sewn together with distant vocal cries and drum flurries, giving it an Old Man Gloom meets Kowloon Walled City vibe. Easily one of the best songs on the album and a standout genre-fuck.

     That's just three of the first four tracks, and as I could go on at length about each song in paragraph detail I'll save us all some time and try to end this review so you can spend your time properly, falling hard into one of the best albums of 2022. Wildy progressive yet digestable and a joy to dissect. I would release that next album in a heartbeat.



2022 - Juniper Pyre digital LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2022) HYLDA - "Garden of Eyes" (from 'Juniper Pyre')

(2022) HYLDA - "Entanglement" (from 'Juniper Pyre')

(2022) HYLDA - "Muffled" (from 'Juniper Pyre')


HYLDA additional links


Sunday 9 October 2022


GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Metal / Doom / Sludge / Ambient
Related artistsCrowning, Itto, Greed Worm.
CountryChicago, Illinois U.S.A.
Years Active2016-present
For fans ofAmenRa, Buried Inside, Titan, Cult Of Luna, Amia Venera Landscape, Isis, Monuments Collapse, .rha, Sarin, Hope Drone, Omega Massif, Pelican, Downfall Of Gaia, Rosetta, and Oaken.
Label(s): Self Released

     I first about IKARAY when I was on a 2019 European tour with Crowning and vocalist/friend Trilly  who told me that he played bass in a band with a new album coming out. I heard an unmastered track and was blown away, thus ensuring I was sitting around waiting for the album to drop. So when 'No Borders' came out in May of 2020 I immediately picked up some 12"s for the ZBR distro because I knew it was going to be great. Subsequently I was supposed to review them but ya know 2020 then covid hit and fucked up my shit.

     But I'm back in the swing of things and felt this album and band should be brought up because they are fantastic and I don't hear them mentioned often. I'm only hearing their debut self-titled 'Ikaray' EP now and it's very much in line with what followed four years later, albeit a bit slower and more yelly/less screamy. The punch and massive, driving bass are ever-present, the songs are still prodigious in both sound and length (10 minutes being the norm) which is made abundantly clear to me during the first track "New Forms" after a brief atmospheric intro, and the first of a few warranted AmenRa comparisons, because this band without a doubt gets closer to that sound than any other band I've ever heard. The transition after the six-minute mark is fucking awesome and a staple in the band's songs - starting out slow and building to a killer/hooky riff. "Remnant" utilizes the melody of the guitars to make the entire track seem more positive and bares resemblance to Cult Of Luna and Isis, but "Obelisk" comes right back with the densest and most concise song on the record, show the band going full-tilt for the majority of the track save the very dreamy mid-section. Closer "True Healer" is another head banger book-ended by noise and obviously cracks the 10-minute mark.

    And so we move on to 2020's absolutely stellar 'No Borders' which showcases exploratory growth as well as track time juggling, with the average on this album coming in at more like 7 minutes. Opener "Griever" spacey-tremolos until its initial onslaught, showcasing much faster drumming and giving the band a more black metal feel to their doom metal. The vocals are also much harsher, fitting the speed increase and shifting the similarities away from AmenRa and toward earlier Hope Drone. The belly of this song has undoubtable Isis influence and the incorporation really pays off, allowing the closer of the song to really hit hard. Speaking of hitting hard, track two's "War Criminal" is five minutes of post-metal glory (complete with music video!) that is blatantly anti-Trump so I'm all fucking for it. The next song (again with music video!) "Stars Down To Earth" has a wonderful ethereal intro that paves way for the crushing AmenRa worship that follows and continues for the most of the song's tenure. Title track "No Borders" is the title for a good's a fuckin' time. Raging, towering riffs are skewered with piercing drums and bathed in screams. That's it. Nothing else needs to be said.

     As far as I can see this band hasn't played a show in over a year so hopefully they're writing for a new record because both releases thus far are ace.



2016 - Ikaray cdEP (stream/donate/download here)

2020 - No Borders cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)


(2020) IKARAY - "" (from 'No Borders') official music video

(2020) IKARAY - "Stars Down to Earth" (from 'No Borders') official music video

(2019) IKARAY - "No Borders" (from 'No Borders') live @Beat Kitchen

(2016) IKARAY - "Obelisk" (from 'Ikaray')

(2016) IKARAY - "New Forms" (from 'Ikaray')

IKARAY additional links


Sunday 2 October 2022

*** TO BE GENTLE exclusive song premiere ***

exclusive song premiere
For fans ofDaitro, My Hair Is A Rat's Nest and Pianos Become The Teeth

pre-orders open October 7th, 2022 via these links:
U.S.A. store

I think Eve and company in TO BE GENTLE can officially be crowned as the most prolific screamo band currently active. There's an EP or LP every few months and they are consistently awesome. I feel like the 2022 full lengths have progressively been getting better, and holy smokes does 'it always hurts and one day it will win' take the cake as the band's best output (and yes I'm including the French album in my assessment). Coming in at 10 tracks across varying lengths, it shows growth, focus, and songwriting chops that are blatantly awesome. Today's premiere is for the fifth track titled "greenhug". Eve had this to say about it:

Greenhug is about a moment: lying in an open park underneath a willow tree with someone. Experiencing many sensory feelings, all conducive to an anxious joy. Despite the many wonderful things about that moment though, there is a looming, overarching feeling of sadness knowing that these moments and relationships can’t last forever. Greenhug as a title refers to the feeling of green, how it is a safe and sound color for me, and feeling wrapped within it. The person I was with was wearing a green sweater during that moment.

October 7th will be a busy day at Tomb Tree, as the label is releasing the Colacon tape digitally and physically, the Virgin Mother 12"s will go up for pre-order, as well as TO BE GENTLE's 'Unbroken' tapes and the 'it always hurts and one day it will win' cassette pre-orders (expected to ship early Nov). Here's a sneak peak at the primary/most abundant variant 'The Spider' /34.

(2022) TO BE GENTLE "greenhug" (from 'it always hurts and one day it will win')

     It should be noted that I actually requested this song specifically for the song premiere because I think it's such a great jam. At 5:12 it's actually the longest track on the album, utilizing a nice, steady build during the first minute to set the listener up. The song's ability to shift from one shade to another is like reading a book that leaves you with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter, as parts two and three mesh together beautifully and push the song from post-rock territory into my well-known screamo realm. In typical TBG fashion, the song is positive and uplifting whilst still being heavy and screamy, with an awesome, dreamy, chuggy midsection and vocals that manage to be catchy, not an easy feat when wrenching the larynx. The song takes a soaring leap at 3:16 with a section centered around a echo/repeating riff and wonderful cadence, officially knocking me on my ass as well as providing a subsequent pillow and lullaby to transport me gracefully to sleep.