Saturday 30 March 2024

*** LIFE IN VACUUM + THE DOG INDIANA + DASTARD live show review ***



@Lucky Bar in Victoria on March 29th, 2024

Live Show Review

I'm starting to get back into the cycle of seeing a lot of shows and I couldn't be happier about it. Besides the most recent Emma Goldman show and this, expect reviews of the Comeback Kid/Spy show in Victoria as well as the first few Mourn Recif shows, a few of which will be with Hillsboro and Bok Suna (bands on CanaDave's Softseed Music label). Trekking out to this on my lonesome was a tad daunting but I got hugged immediately by a few friends upon entering and all of my worries dissipated, and I even made a few new ones while there. This show was all-around amazing and I can't wait to get more involved in the Vancouver Island scene over the next 3 months with at least 5 shows that I'll be playing.

     The opening band was very, very up my alley. Sounding like a slightly more accessible Die Princess Die (I'm looking at the first LP in particular), I absolutely loved that groovin' bass over maniacal drums, weirdo guitars, and yelled vocals. I'm hoping to get these dudes out to Duncan so they can play with my new band. Super impressed!
(2024) DASTARD "1"
For fans ofDie Princess Die and Fugazi

extra video


     Holy shit! I'd never heard of this band but after a friend told me they jammed Unsane and The Jesus Lizard I had a grasp, but goddamn they were even better than that! It was unhinged, screamy, groovy, fun, and heavy all at the same time. I would argue that I didn't even catch their best songs, as they are even better than the below video suggests. Be sure to check them out!
(2024) THE DOG INDIANA "2"
For fans ofTricky Woo and Ken Mode

extra video


     Oh ma gawd, ma boyeez. I met them waaaaay back at this early show in the blog's history and I've been on LIV train ever since...which is a decade in exactly two weeks! Playing almost exclusively material from 'Lost', they had the room movin' and groovin' with their slightly slower-paced and rock-oriented material mesmerizing the room. They were even chanted into an encore and played "Apartment" which I've embedded below. They've got another 7 or so days left on tour so see'em if you can!
(2024) LIFE IN VACUUM "Apartment" (from 'All You Can Quit')
For fans ofBlue Youth and Congratulations

extra videos: Lost / Try Again / Lately


Thursday 28 March 2024


For fans ofConverge, Horsewhip, Ed Gein, Volp, Engineer, Cult Leader, Kidnap Soundtrack, The Chariot, Cave In, Rotting In Dirt, Sectioned, Frontierer, Dillinger Escape Plan, Advent, Lavotchkin, Achilles, and Lentic Waters.
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Metal / Metalcore / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Mathcore
Related artistsHouse Olympics.
CountryLoas Angeles, California U.S.A.
Years Active2023-present
Label(s): Bad Break Records

     I've had the review queued up for over a week but have had a tough go with the exception of "this kicks major ass", so I'll make this quick.

     The Los Angeles quintet will likely make my best EPs of 2024 with a four-song banger that released the day after my birthday back in January. The debut by LOCKSLIP is very heavy, dynamic, and cathartic, without being too emo or too tough-guy, likely falling into the camp of Converge, Horsewhip, Engineer, and The Chariot. There's pretty much no letting up on the 14 minutes of this talent showcase, with opener "Guillotine Blueprint" setting the tone immediately with blazing vocals amidst wonderfully controlled chaos. Lotta chugs, lotta riffs, wails, screams'n'breakdowns, it's all here in a mere 3:09, with the maniacal solos taking the cake for me. "Bend" is next and lays on that double-bass from the get-go, amidst swirling guitars, bouts of feedback and downright venomous vocals. My personal favourite is "Evildoer" as it rides some truly powerful screams through a maze of down-tuned, chuggy, and lazer-esque mathcore/metallic hardcore that even fans of Sectioned and Frontierer will appreciate. Closing track "Payment" opens with a badass bass riff that does the audio equivalent of turning the lights off, plunging the listener into utter darkness. As the feedback slowly and inevitably consumes you the track then blows up like the big bang at the 40-second mark, expanding outward until 2:10 when the EP takes it's first breather, reverting back primarily to bass. This doesn't last long as the vocals then kick into high gear, bringing about a most bangin' breakdown at the three-minute mark. A goddamn solid EP.

     Fack, that wasn't very quick.



2024 - Lockslip digital EP (stream/donate/download here)


(2024) LOCKSLIP - "Evildoer" (from 'Lockslip')

(2024) LOCKSLIP - "Payment" (from 'Lockslip')

Additional links


Wednesday 20 March 2024

*** FARAH RUD + OPIÁCEA + DESVIO split premiere ***

exclusive album premiere
For fans of
OrchidJune Paik and Amu Daria

     Today's premiere of this incredible 3-way split featuring 7 songs in 16 minutes from Farah Rud (Indonesia), Desvio (Brazil), and Opiácea (Brazil). It releases in full March 21st via Lua Negra Records, a Brazilian screamo label, on their Bandcamp page as well as streaming platforms. The production was completely DIY: all the songs were recorded, mixed and mastered by the bands themselves. They are currently looking for labels interested in a tape release, so if that's your thing or you'd like it to start to be your thing please contact the bands! Lastly, at the end of march, Desvio is touring Brazil's southeast region, on the "ninho torto tour" ("crooked nest tour"). More info about the tour linked on Instagram here!

     Things begin with three quick FARAH RUD songs that bring to mind emo-violence ala Orchid, Senza, and Mis sueños son de tu adiós - ya know, lotsa screaming and an early 2000s feel, with the closing jam experiencing spaghettification as it breaks down into feedback and chaos. OPIÁCEA's two jams are much darker and fall on the screamo/black-metal/crust side of things, bringing to mind bands such as June Paik, Deszcz, and His Hero Is Gone. DESVIO finishes this killer split off with two songs that find the balance between the two preceding bands, as they mix post-hardcore, sludgy rock, as well as both fast and slow elements along with the skramz. I don't really have band comparisons here because they really branch off and do their own thing, maybe some heavier Joliette mixed with Amu Daria or something.

(2024) FARAH RUD + OPIÁCEA + DESVIO full stream

Saturday 16 March 2024

*** PODCAST #151 Flesh And Blood Robot ***

    Nick Miller from FLESH AND BLOOD ROBOT joined me on the most recent podcast which I'm airing a day before their reunion show with From A Second Story Window on March 17th, 2024 at Pyramids Scheme in Grand Rapids, the band's first show in 18 years. Nick also plays in Dust Biters and is a hella funny and interesting guy. Some things discussed: stupid back injuries, being a roadie at 16, Myspace messaging board beefs, screamo and instru-metal tangents, surviving on the McDonald's $1 menu, reuniting and playing with From A Second Story Window, the Ion Dissonance trailer show, the Sunn O))) effect, the last thing recorded whilst being murdered, resurrecting social media presence, the future of FABR, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Alluviul, Deadwater Drowning, Ekbom, Johnny Truant, Nuvolascura, and The Red Chord. Listen to podcast #151 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


1 The Tech Gods
DEADWATER DROWNING "The Best Sex I Ever Had Started With a 900 Number and a Credit Card Verification" (Nick)
JOHNNY TRUANT "I Love You Even Though You're a Zombie Now" (Dave)

It's All Patterns and Counting
THE RED CHORD "Nihilist" (Nick)
NUVOLASCURA "Cerulean Wound" (Dave)

I Lost the Floor
ALLUVIUL "Colony" (Nick)
EKBOM "Elogio Alla Miopia" (Dave)



Thursday 14 March 2024

*** AUTUMN exclusive song premiere ***

"winter hug"
exclusive song premiere
For fans of
: Sorecausaqich and Twinfield

orders open March 26th on Softseed Music

     Nearing summer I will begin posting more indie rock stuff, as that has dominated my ears for the past year. Just a heads up. I reckon once per month you'll see a post for that kind of stuff, with everything else remaining the same as it's been for the last 12 years.

     As I continue my immersion into the softer stuff, when I find stuff I really like I put that shit out on my label Softseed Music, which is where this post fits in. After speaking with this artist over the past year I was finally sent their EP in full and was immediately smitten. Five tracks of gorgeous, uplifting, and poppy indie rock that incorporate vocaloid, with today's premiere being the closer of 'Autumn', titled "winter hug". The vocal melody that hits in the chorus is superb. Tapes release March 26th on Softseed Music over two variants and a coupla test dips.

(2024) AUTUMN "winter hug" (from 'please be happy')

     The songs begins immediately with the opening verse, skipping through the first 36 seconds, after which the first chorus kicks in with the most ethereal and gorgeous vocals I've heard this year. If the verses are like running through a flowery field (and I think they are) then the chorus is like standing atop a mountain slowly spinning arms wide in overwhelming joy. The song hits the verse and chorus twice in a row before moving into the bridge/outro that includes a focus on the instrumentals and features a lone guitar solo followed by minimal keys. So fucking good!

Tuesday 12 March 2024

*** PODCAST #150 Gxllium! ***

    In December of 2023 California's GXLLIUM! came out swinging and released their debut album followed just two months later by their outstanding 'split w/Onewaymirror'. After adding the band for ZBR Fest this May and lining up our cassette order for their 'Gxllium1', I snagged Frankie, Greg, Riley, and Dj for this podcast to discuss their collective birth and tons of other things including: Nirvana exposure and "Scentless Apprentice" love, evolving beyond dub-step, dropping acid at Disneyland, geeking out about ZBR Fest 2024, sampling two girls one cup/Jurassic Park/Cloverfield, writing GXLLIUM! songs is so easy, how the Onewaymirror split came into being, Tater Tots is everywhere, Happy Birthday Jesus, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Departmefrombearisland, Me And Him Call It Us, Nova One, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, Unsane, and The Valdons. Listen to podcast #150 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


1 The Unbreakable Bond
UNSANE "Bath" (Riley)
TONY DANZA TAP DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA "Cliff Burton Surprise" (Frankie)
ME AND HIM CALL IT US "Innocent Bystanders Watched In Horror As Peter Jennings Drew His Murder Weapon" (Dave)

The Gxllium! Effect
THE VALDONS "Whatcha Gonna Do" (Greg)
NOVA ONE "if you were mine" (Dave)



*** TERROR CELL exclusive song premiere ***

"Constant Visions of Suffering"
exclusive song premiere
For fans of
Meth., Majority Rule, fallingwithscissorsAbuse Repression, PG.99, .gif from god and Malevich

     After becoming friends with Hunter Johnson I've gained access to a few sick bands adjacent to the screamo scene, namely his solo project Charger Port and the metallic hardcore/screamo band TERROR CELL that he drums for. Today I've got the latter's new song, still unreleased, that will show up on their next record. I'll let them fill in a few blanks below, then I'll discuss the single.

     "Constant Visions of Suffering" is the first single from TERROR CELL’s second full length LP 'All Quiet' set to release mid-to-late 2024 via Fisher King Records on vinyl as well as cassette and CD in collaboration with Soft Grit Recordings. This jam was engineered by Joey Woodard and mixed/mastered by Adam Cichoocki.

     Based in the “screamo capitol of the world” Richmond, VA, the band’s sound has been largely influenced from the start by titanic Richmond area groups such as Pageninetnine, Majority Rule, and City of Caterpillar, and 'All Quiet' sees these influences significantly dialed up. The album title itself being borrowed from the 1929 anti-war novel “All Quiet On the Western Front”, while far from being a concept album, has consistent overlying themes of the horrors of war, and the grief that accompanies it.

(2024) TERROR CELL "Constant Visions of Suffering" (from 'All Quiet')

     The metallic hardcore side of the band is still present, but the screamo elements are definitely creeping in. The song takes its time building the foundation with rolling drums, ethereal guitars, and strained yells before things lurch into what I would describe as chunky, atmospheric black metal with much more of a backbone after 1:30 mark. The subsequent section beings around 2:40 and takes the song from enveloping to homicidal in a heartbeat, bringing to mind mathcore and deathcore bands as well as Meth. and Abuse Repression complete with an ending that nightmares are made of. That's some hot shit, good lord.

Sunday 10 March 2024

*** PODCAST #149 Solvalou ***

     Being attached to Tomb Tree definitely has some perks, including getting to hear albums way before they come out. As this was the case with Wisconsin's SOLVALOU, the new project featuring members who have spent time in Under A Sky So Blue, Malevich, and Riotnine was one such band that I've been jamming constantly since being sent the masters. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Robert, Cara, Will, and Cleo to discuss their new self-titled EP 'Solvalou' as well as: Frail Body > midwest emo, public deaths, the only influence, recording strategies, bootlegged Snag swag, lyrical content, being trans in Alabama, sad dudes not doing well, folk music and screamo, why their new songs might be influenced by Gxllium!, their next split, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Gxllium!, In Reverent Fear, Justin Townes Earle, Signals Midwest, Stranger By Day, and Taking Back Sunday. Listen to podcast #149 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


1 The Screamo Trajectory
TAKING BACK SUNDAY "Cute Without The E" (Cara) [official music video]
SIGNALS MIDWEST "Limnology" (Robert)

Wisconsin and the Beginning
IN REVERENT FEAR "Fold and Tear" (Dave)

3 It's Very True To Ourselves To Like Funeral Diner
STRANGER BY DAY "The Arsenic We Speak" (Will)
"The Ghost of Virginia" (Cleo)
GXLLIUM! "If Hector Was A Beaver" (Dave)



Saturday 9 March 2024


For fans ofNorth Of America, Faraquet, The Holy Shroud, Blue Youth, The Mark Inside, Girl Arm, Left Hand Cuts The Right, At The Drive In, For The Mathematics, Hey Predator!, Christiansen, Q And Not U, and Life In Vacuum.
GenresPunk / Rock / Indie / Math Rock / Angular Rock / Post-Hardcore
Related artists: North Of AmericaThe Holy ShroudA History Of, Cold Warps, PrisonersEquation Of State, FYM, Thrush Hermit, EssenKestrels, Savant Garde, State Champs, The Art Ensemble Of Halifax, The Got To Get Got, Led By Regret, Thundrah, The Breakup, Ronny Howl, The Motes, Recyclone, and Buck65.
CountryHalifax, Nova Scotia CANADA
Years Active1999-2002
Label(s): Self Released / Matlock Records / Rewika Records / The Jesus Sanchez Endeavour

     For a very, very long time I've been obsessed with both North Of America and The Holy Shroud due to being a Level Plane fanatic in the 2000s. Quick backstory: Level Plane released all the best screamo back in the 2000s so I followed their catalogue religiously and picked up on these sick, jangly, angular math-rock/post-punk bands. So how, how in the actual fuck, did I miss THE PLAN? Featuring members of both bands and straight up sounding like them too, this 2023 discovery sent me down a rabbit hole I thought was long swallowed up by the earth.

     In 1999 the band released their debut demo cassette which I tracked down yesterday but won't discuss as all of the songs ended up on the 2000 full length. So 'This Time Is Not The Place' is arguably better than the band's final effort, as it boasts tracks like the very North Of America-esque opener "3x3 Lines" (which mixes angular guitars with a most excellent groove), "The Arabesque" (super chill bass-led jam with a killer progression), "Beyond Action and Reaction" (great call and response whilst still being on the darker side), and "I Am All Kinds of Illegal" (quirky and pretty screamy and all-around banger). Seriously this entire album rocks and if you like angular math/indie rock with sometimes sung/yelled/screamed dual vocals you're about to ascend into heaven.

      At some point in 2000 the band released the awesome two-song 7" that houses "Ante The Essay" and "Give Me The Theory", with the former being one of the bands best songs incorporating excellent dual vocals and a coupla screams amongst the danciness. Also that bass riff is unmistakably amazing. Two of the songs from the 2000 five-song 'Demo' didn't end up being rerecorded for the 2001 full length. "The Temporary City" and "How We Make History" are actually really good, especially the former which is a driving, dancey number that sounds like essential THE PLAN to me.

     The band's final recordings showed up on the 9-track cd/12"LP 'Only These Movements Remain'. Leading off with the sensational "Lit Like A Monument", it weaves discordant yet groovy path to my heart. It should be noted that the band definitely got a bit mathier on this release as songs such as "Man vs. MIDI" is a whirlwind of frenetic energy, jazzy beats, and layered vocals. "Let's Hear It For Our School Orchestra" and "Missive" are also very good, but I do find the second half of the album much more meandering and less brain-tingling than the first.

     It's crazy to say, but track-for-track this band is even better than North Of America. I can't believe I just wrote that...but it's true. Oh by the way North Of America reformed and is playing Orchid's Toronto date!!!


1999 - Demo cassette LP

2000 - Ante The Essay / Give Me The Theory 7"EP
2000 - This Time Is Not The Place cd LP
2000 - Demo cassette cassette EP

2001 - Only These Movements Remain cd/12" LP


(2000) THE PLAN - "3x3 Lines" (from 'This Time Is Not The Place')

(2000) THE PLAN - "I am All Kinds of Illegal" (from 'This Time Is Not The Place')

(2000) THE PLAN - "Beyond Action and Reaction" (from 'This Time Is Not The Place')

(2000) THE PLAN - "Ante The Essay" (from 'Ante The Essay / Give Me The Theory' 7")

(2000) THE PLAN - "The Temporary City" (from 'Demo')

(2001) THE PLAN - "Lit Like A Monument" (from 'Only These Movements Remain')

(2001) THE PLAN - "Man Vs. MIDI" (from 'Only These Movements Remain')


THE PLAN out of print mp3 discography download


Wednesday 6 March 2024

*** PODCAST #148 Edhochuli ***

     In 2013 I witnessed EDHOCHULI just ruin people at a show. We weren't impressed, we were fucking floored. Absolute brain annihilation linked here. Since then I've been good friends with the Pittsburgh four-piece/now five-piece, having them play ZBR Mini-Fest as well as ZBR Fest 2022 and the upcoming 2024 fest. I also had the pleasure of helping release their newest LP 'Higherlander' on Zegema Beach Records. Homies comin' around full circle. Some things discussed: late to life due to guitar, bumming out Mag from Yaphet Kotto, the creators of screamo, select groups of people shitting their pants, a song about Michael Jordan, the history of Outclassed (aka time is weird), football referees that are jacked as hell and Edhochuli's band name origin, Dallas as a hole, booking tours on tour, recording with John Nuñez, etc. Bands played in this podcast: Birthday Boyz, Red Animal War, and Yaphet Kotto. Listen to podcast #148 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


Also available through Forcefield Records and The Ghost Is Clear Records

"Questionably Paleo, Incontrovertibly Neanderthal" official music video

1 Shredding By Myself
YAPHET KOTTO "Inquire Within" (Jon)

Playing a Show So Bad You Gotta Change Your Band Name
BIRTHDAY BOYZ "Basketball" (Dave)

3 Touring Forever
RED ANIMAL WAR "Mouse" (Garett)




Sunday 3 March 2024


For fans ofInfant Island, Blue Noise, An Autumn For Crippled Children, My Hair Is A Rat's Nest, Sickle Eater, To Be Gentle, LifeVi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket, Young Mountainand Ostraca.
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Blackgaze / Shoegaze
Related artists?.
CountryNew York, New York U.S.A.
Years Active2023-present
Label(s): Self Released / Label Of Goods

     Woah nelly look at this prolific yet rarely discussed band from NYC. Looks like a solo project, and four LPs in 18 months is nuts for a band to accomplish, and is even pretty damn impressive for a lone ranger (if that is the case). 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH play sometimes fast, sometimes slow and droning, part black metal and part shoegaze aka blackgaze I guess, with a screamo base, aka early Infant Island.

     2022's debut/self-titled '9 Lagoons Of Death' full length shows what the project is aiming for, and pretty much nails most of the sound, except perhaps the speed (generally slower) as well as in the vocal department which are yelled more than screamed (just a personal preference, of course). My faves off this are "Crawling Out My Hands" with a stellar riff, "How Did I Get This Low" because of the balance of melody & chaos, as well as "Darker" due to that gorgeous atmosphere. It's a decent listen and a definite must for any die-hard fan, but I wouldn't recommend starting here if you wanna check the band out. Keep on reading!

     2023 was a very busy year as the band released 'Killtrocity' and 'Soon I'll Be Gone'. The former is more like a noise/grind album not unlike the quick attacks of early Old Man Gloom, but with less noise/metal and more grind/black-metal. I find this the least appealing of the four releases mostly because it doesn't sound like the same band, and perhaps could have been released under a different moniker, like oooooh I dunno 10 Swamps Of Life. So obviously don't start here if you want to listen because it very much seems to be a one-off. 'Soon I'll Be Gone' on the other hand, was where I heard my first Lagoon Of Death and led me to salivate until the release of their stellar 2024 album. Back to the 2023 precursor, which is most certainly the evolution of the debut, bringing the better parts of it and fleshing them out. A few songs feature an additional vocalist by the name of Ateş and they really work to elevate the songs along with the primary vocalist who leans more into screaming on this release. "You Wanted Me (Ateş)" is a prime example of this and my vote for President Slap while "Bleeding In My Blood" has screaming that any screamo fan will appreciate. 

     2024's 'Feels Like Home' has better recording, is much faster/screamier, and is generally pretty damn awesome, which is apparent in the first 10 seconds of opener "Arms So Tired Ill Never Let You Slip Away". There are some more serene moments as well as calmer jams (like "12 Brings Loneliness", "Heart So Cold", and "Feels Like The Last Time") but it's the head-swaying repetition of "The Things You Have To Say", the jarring momentum of "My Face In Your Eyes", and the swirling radiance of "I'm Yours Tonight" that really make this release feel like 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH hit the mark.

     I'm very stoked on this project and can't wait to hear what's next. If the speed of release continues we could definitely expect something else this year.



2022 - 9 Lagoons Of Death cassette LP (stream/donate/buy here)

2023 - Killtrocity cassette LP (stream/donate/buy here)
2023 - Soon I'll Be Gone digital LP(stream/buy here)

2024 - Feels Like The Last Time digital LP  (stream/buy here)


(2024) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "My Face In Your Eyes" (from 'Feels Like The Time')

(2024) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "The Things You Have To Say" (from 'Feels Like The Time')

(2024) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "I'm Yours Tonight" (from 'Feels Like The Time')

(2023) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "You Wanted Me (Ateş)" (from 'Soon I'll Be Gone')

(2023) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "Cut" (from 'Soon I'll Be Gone')

(2023) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "1997" (from 'Killtrocity')

(2022) 9 LAGOONS OF DEATH - "Crawling Out My Hands" (from '9 Lagoons Of Death')


Friday 1 March 2024

*** PODCAST #147 Best of 2023 with Dave Cullen ***

     The Daves of Zegema Beach (Dave Norman/dry Dave + Dave Cullen/wet Dave) recapped their faves of 2023 (about 50 releases!) as well as jumping into a bit of 2024. Some things discussed: if Crowning were Elle, when sass meets whine, playing guitar differently than you're supposed to play guitar, Saskatchewan pronunciation class, carrying the screamo torch, transcending grind, screaming obscenities in front of my children, the new bar for emo-violence, ethereal airy female vocals, CanaDave's List of Softer Stuff, the perfect set (on a Tuesday to 8 people), , etc. Bands played in this podcast: Âme Morte, Lucidity, No Heirloom, Olth, Slow Pulp, Telos, and Vibora. Listen to podcast #147 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS Fest 2023 documentary video

1 Top Splits and EPs
NO HEIRLOOM "Nepenthe" (Wet Dave)
ÂME MORTE "iii" (Dry Dave)

Top LPs part I
TELOS "Never Me" (Wet Dave)
OLTH "LOOking THrOugh The HOLe in my Head" (Dry Dave)

3 Top LPs part II
LUCIDITY "Cleric Beast" (Wet Dave)
SLOW PULP "Gone 2" (Dry Dave)

4 Top LPs part III + 2024
VIBORA "La Fleur" (Wet Dave)