Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suis La Lune - US tour (2010)


I found this on the interwebz yesterday, but lacked time to post it here. Must admit, I gave it quite a lot of time and thought about writing something for this release. And in the end, I think I won't put a writeup for it. Whoever knows me a bit better (or just plainly looked at my lastfm page), knows that "Suis La Lune" is definitely my favorite band, so writing anything about them would either end up not being good enough or just too full of praise that it would sound stupid. I guess that when you truly love a band so much, you end up not knowing what to properly say about them. And besides, they don't deserve just a writeup, but instead a full, real review or an interview or something. So, enough babbling, just download this...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Heaven in Her Arms - Paraselene (2010)

Can't write nor think about this at the moment, too excited about hearing it. Maybe I'll write about it in a day or two. Just download!

Lizards Have Personalities - Snows of Kilimanjaro (2010)

I remember when I first heard of this band, it was in a period when it was kind of a dry season for screamo bands, no new releases and no new projects. Lizards swept in like a breath of fresh air, not only being new, but exploding with uniqueness.
When I think of "Lizards Have Personalities", two things are in my mind: perfect diversity and honest emotions. Both those things hail from the previous release by this band and are luckily implemented on this one as well. First things first, "perfect diversity". This three piece screamo band has the amazing ability to insert various elements into their songs, while making them balance superbly. A great example is the song "For Once, Then, Something" which starts aggressively only to make way to the most gentle and sorrow-filled mid part, after which the instruments erupt again in a final blast before they just drift away to the end. I know that a lot of bands use similar song construction, but sometimes it sounds...just too much, way too unnecessary. Yet here, it sounds quite natural and perfect. They know how to write complex songs without confusing the listener in the process. Everything is where it should be, with every instrument being clearly discerned even amidst the most violent songs.
The other merit of this project is, as I wrote above, honest emotion. I'll just come out and say it, the vocal is so damn amazing! It's hard to describe it, but the diversity talk can be mentioned here as well, when it's angry it's angry, when it's gentle it's gentle, an excellent ability to adapt to the desired feel of the song. But, the vocal truly excels in moments when the instruments become just part of the background, letting words come at you at an outstanding tone. A brilliant half spoken half screamed voice, at times sounding like it's moments from cracking in sadness, just plain wonderful. While we are talking about the vocal, I might as well mention that there is a lyrics insert inside the download link. Absolutely take a few moments and check them out, such a beautiful read.
I'd have to say that I imagine the mentioned lizards being chameleons, fast changing color ones that is. This is such a creative bunch of people, they really should be credited for making music this way. With this release they even showed us that they are capable of creating long, epic songs, namely the song "Snows of Kilimanjaro", a nine minute giant that is downright epic. Just download and press "repeat all", you are bound to enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alenah - Sotiga Liljor i Seine (2010)

Alenah has been sitting in the shoutbox a long time now, but due to me being blind at times this post comes a bit late. I hate when it seems like I turned my back from a band that asked for help, especially when a band is actually quite good.
This is gonna be a short writeup, since this band vocally expresses their music in Swedish. I am a serious cat and pay much attention to lyrics, so it's generally hard to grasp the point of the music when you don't understand it. And let's be honest, my Swedish ain't good. Nevertheless, these young lads manage to give you a massive amount of enjoyment. The five piece brings us five songs in this ep, throwing at us aggressive, fast paced modern hardcore mixed up with d-beat and recognizable Convergeish chaotic melodies. I really have to pick out the song Vindspel from the other four, the song immediately caught my attention with it's unique melody and fastness, as well as the excellent vocal, basically I realized how great it is through this song.
Overall this is quite an interesting band if you are into the said mix of genres. I really liked Alenah's tunes, but it's always a problem when a band uses its native language for the lyrics, it takes away one whole aspect of the general feel. But putting that aside, members of Alenah are all very talented and should get attention for making such great tunes. The know how to compose interesting songs, avoiding the common repetitive sound the majority of bands in said genres have. Check them out, worth your time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2049 - Torches EP (2010)

This jewel of a band has been sitting in the shoutbox for a while now, but nevertheless I'm inclined to write a few words about it, since they deserve it quite much.
Every 2049 years, Dovim becomes the only star visible from a specific point on Kalgash as a result of Kalgash Two eclipsing the said star. Sounds familiar? Yes, no? The written terms hail from the work of legendary professor and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, namely a short story called "Nightfall". Personally, I'm not a hardcore fan of sf classics (though I admire Asimov and like "Nightfall"), but this band's work stunned me completely in several different ways. First of all, at specific times the tunes remind me of screamo back in the '90 (with a touch of incredible band called "The Fall of Boss Koala" from the 2000s) , "2049" drawing influences from bands of that period, so their sound really hits the spot. Great, nonstop pace shifting melodies, from aggressive to mellow and gentle, they ride you through different aspects of Nightfall they portray both through instruments and words. One song I have to pull out from the other three, as the one that struck me the most. "Preserve" accomplished something that only one other band managed and it's a bit hard to explain. "Isaiah" is the other band in question. If you focus on the song you can discern the vocal, which kind of speaks and sounds like doom or an inevitable dread approaching, quite depressive and hopeless. But the other half of music, the instruments, sound like there could be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. So you basically have an amalgam of negative, yet positive tunes. Don't know if this makes any sense to you people, but I guess I like to go deep into the music I listen to...
Speaking of vocals and words, after being hit with the thunderbolt called "2049", I instantly went to their myspace (found here, by the way) in hopes of finding lyrics and luckily, gold was struck. I guess it is safe to say that this is the first, as far as I'm aware of, thematic screamo band. They didn't just name themselves after a "Nightfall" fact, the lyrics literally ooze with the said short story with quotes and descriptions of various scenes. The lyrics really sealed my liking of this band, since they are quite magnificent. On top of it all, the song structure is excellent, the above mentioned shifting pace of melodies is perfectly tuned with the vocals, featuring amazing sort of cut scenes where the instruments are lowered down to a minimum making way for great picked quotes from the book to be told.
There isn't much info on the project itself, except that they are from Cleveland, Ohio and that they are a newly formed band. Young, but with some outstanding material behind them. Check them out and give them support, you won't regret! And of course, check out Isaac Asimov's work.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Todos Caerán - Ep (2010)

Despite the fact that I first heard about this band when Jordan (a member of "Todos Caeran") contacted me, I had a feeling of nostalgia and excitement purely invoked by the name of this project. A few years ago I had a big exam on my faculty on the subject of Art History and although the exam was brutal it's just one of those obstacles which you remember fondly, so this EP immediately threw me back into that period. Why? Well, the name "Todos Caeran" is Spanish for "All Will Fall", referring to an engraving by Francisco de Goya done at the end of the 18th century. Educational blog is educational and yes, I am a nerd.
In addition to the said personal liking and closeness to the name of the band, I was quite pleased and happy once I heard for myself that the band is excellent. Let's get a bit technical now. "Todos Caeran", or just "Todos" for those who don't know how to spell the entire name, is a four piece from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They play an amazing mix of screamo, emo and somewhat jazzy hardcore. One of the first things that I realized is that all of the five featured songs are so well composed and perfectly fit together. The instruments seem like they are infused together so tight that no sound goes away from the others and the whole release just flows through your ears. The flowing feeling is so remarkable that the fourteen minutes of music pass by so quickly, basically the tunes just flooding over you, so you end up pressing "play" once more. Also I have to admit, I really dig the vocal. Although it is kind of a constant, rasping scream with not much change and diversity to it, it is quite excellent and I feel like, should it had different aspects to it, it would be unnecessary and it would probably disturb the song fusion and flow mentioned above.
Overall, as you see I am quite intrigued by this project. The personal connection, backed-up by some amazing tunes makes this a release to remember and come back to. This quartet has a lot of talent and potential, really looking forward to some more releases. Take your time and check them out, I'm sure you'll like them! You can contact them here. And while you are at it, you might enjoy Goya's work as well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jakuzi's Attempt - III (2010)

At the start, I would like to paste here a quote from "Jakuzi's Attempt" myspace page: "Jakuzi's Attempt can be described as an "apex infant prodigy" declaiming and screaming that bears resemblance to an opulent baroque Austrian monster, tourist could easily confuse with Mozart."
Sounds interesting, eh? Not only interesting, but promising. But usually a band description using cool words such as "apex" and "opulent" ends up being not so cool and the only true part that is left is the fact that they are Austrian. Well, this ain't no such band.
From the very opening featuring a jazzy yet maniacal guitar, to the closing screams and drums, "Jakuzi's Attempt" gives you a ride you don't forget so easily and in fact want to go at it again. Usually I frown at someone using the term "experimental", but I have to admit that I would use the said genre name here. Let me elaborate that a bit.
As it is written above, the jazz guitar on speed opens the first song and is soon followed by other instruments jumping in, accompanied with a "talking", higher pitched vocal. I describe it like that since it kinda sounds to me like he wants to scream or yell at someone but is close to falling to the floor and whining so he can't. It sounds great, worry not. Anyway, through the song the instruments build up the heaviness, much like the vocal does with its transformation into screaming. And then in the middle, when you expect that everything is going to explode, it all just falls down upon you in a wave of slow, sensitive, atmospheric and gentle humming-like singing and background music. Yet at the end it explodes again, like it's the last drop of strength the band has, which sounds amazing.
Then you move onto the second song, called "Freedom" where the explosive end of the first track continues and then drops into literally nothingness, distortion creating a passage for some impressive guitar and bass effect usage, background drums playing and a repetitive "I built myself a flying machine" by the singer, making this a really eerie song.
Now I won't describe the other two songs, let that be a discovery of your own, but you probably get the general picture. There are no boundaries for this band, not limiting themselves to a specific type of song structure or style, literally experimenting with what they can create, throwing everything they can at you, while doing so with top notch uniqueness. The amount of different emotions they invoke through their songs is incredible and at times you have a feeling that you are listening to several bands, not just one. They make atypical music, fusing various elements into an amalgam of excellence which is called "III".
Thus, it is completely "approved" for them having the written words from the begining of this post and not being pretentious and full of it in the process. A highly recommended band, give them support, they deserve it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dance or Die!!! - We'd Rather Be Sleeping (2010)

I find Hungary to be quite a strange country, as far as music goes anyway. There are periods when you can't hear a single tidbit of news about music projects hailing from this region and then there are other times when you get cluttered with releases. Luckily, I currently find myself in this other period when Hungary starts vomiting forth some interesting stuff. Didn't get my head around the amazing "Rosa Parks" EP and this release comes and smacks you in the face.
"Dance or Die!!!" is a four-piece playing same very insane, in a great kind of way, music. Why insane? Well, you play the first song, starts out with a movie sample or something similar, didn't recognize it to be honest. Then drums and guitar start to appear here and there. From then on you are on a rollercoaster. "Hey this sounds like hardcore! Oh no wait, here are some punkish melodies. Oh, there's some grind in it too! Now fastcore! And listen here, this is...." You get the picture? I presume that it is safe to say that this sounds a bit like "Ghostlimb" on LSD. They really amazed me at how well they infuse elements from different genres into a single song, while keeping the beast tamed and consistent. Also, both guitar players and the bass player contribute with their vocal capabilities, so the singing/screaming part offers very much diversity on its own. The instruments sound perfect and the overall composition of the songs is excellent. Another fascinating thing here, is that although this amalgam of genre influences may sound chaotic and aggressive, it really isn't that much aggressive to the ears, so you don't have to be in a specific mood to be enjoying this. Just perfect...
I'd like to thank Döme, bass player of DoD!!!, for introducing me to their tunes. You can get in touch with them via their myspace found here. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Viceversa - Self-titled (2010)

A few months ago, back in December 2009 to be exact, I was introduced to this band. Back then they had only one song recorded, so I was asked to share a thought or two about their work. I remember that I was very impressed since they imbued the one song with an array of interesting elements, such as clapping, insanely good splash drums (which I love quite much I must admit), great guitar playing and also a lot of excellent pack screaming. Chaos and positive insanity insured!
Well, to be honest, not much changed from then, other than the fact that "Viceversa" has a self-titled release with 4 new and the one already mentioned song. All of the said qualities still remain and have gotten better in my opinion, in terms of song structure, composition and writing. A lot of people usually ask me for similar artists (or possible influences) of a reviewed band. As far as "Viceversa" goes on that subject, while they definitely keep a specific touch that can be contributed solely to them, I'd compare them to "Noisy Sins of the Insect" and at certain times to "Fuck, Wolves!", both being quite excellent bands in the genre to drain influence from.
All in all, I highly recommend this band. Aside of the obvious quality, add an extra quantity of support since they come from Denmark, a country which doesn't have a high number of screamo bands, so let's not let this be a wasted potential. You can get in touch with them on their myspaz page here (viseversaftw, pure win) or you can contact one member of the band via his blog Noble Birth, which is also my partner blog. Also, next to the band activity the guys run a small diy label named 6000 DIY. Hands full of business , they do their homework very good. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Melete 7''

Honesty from the start, it never really crossed my mind to do a review of this release. I have some promised records I have to do write-ups for, but I didn't had an idea to do it for this one, despite having it in material form for a few days now. Things tend to change apparently and in quite a rapid rate I might add, so here I am with an immeasurably vast wish to spill my thoughts about this 7''.
Writing about this is going to be hard. Not because it's a bad release, believe me, it's far from that. Nor because I don't know what to say. My hardship with this is the sheer state of being stunned by something I haven't really felt in a long, long time. Let me elaborate that a bit. "Melete" I know for about a year now, first introduced to them through a show in Belgrade. One of the first impressions was pure amazement, since they sounded so powerful yet in the same time so emotional while they played their music. I particularly remember a part of one song they played ("Rhodonea..." I think, but I'm not sure since that song was featured on this release and not on the tour ep, but nevermind), when they stopped playing and just screamed the lyrics as one. The amount of passion was brilliant and I was completely blown away and moved in those few moments. Also, I remember that the singer talked about the meaning before every song, discussing homophobia, racism, people who "make money from hardcore" and other things that plague the scene, as well as human minds in general. On a whole they seemed like good musicians with a few interesting statements.
But let's get back to this release. After the show, I quickly posted their tour ep on my ex-blog, "Skream Your Lungs Out", and due to my correspondence with Luka, singer of Melete, he told me he was so thrilled to see the release that he wanted to give me their new 7'' as a "thank you" present. Fast forward quite a long time in the future, namely a few days ago, I receive the 7''. I browse through it, great cover with interesting art, a small non-stapled booklet, completely diy and looking excellent. And today I'm sitting here at my desk, studying, when my gaze falls onto the vinyl again and I remember that I haven't read the booklet.
But wait a second, let's flash backwards to the gig they played on Sunday (review found bellow). They played and again there was talk of all the bad things crawling into other people's brain and into the "scene". And after the show, during a break between "Melete" and "Shades of Gray" I had a very interesting conversation with one of my mates who just heard "Melete" for the first time. "They talk of homophobia and that all cops are bastards, but they present their songs in a chaotic non-understandable way. How can I get a point out of their songs when I can't understand what he is singing about?" while another mate (who is out of the whole underground music thing, so basically he should be ignored) "All that talk is major poseur crap, just for show." I continued onto the first mate's statement and defended "Melete" in saying that you simply cannot GET the point out of the lyrics at the first show, if nothing, simply because you actually can't hear the lyrics as a whole, nor do you have the time to study and explore every part of the band. If you get attracted by their performance, you then explore them inside your home, where you can find out the "point" the band is trying to achieve. And while I was actually stoic in my statement, it made me wonder: are they like that beyond the "stage"? Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking do they go home and listen to "insert random mainstream brainwashing mass consumerism act" and indulge in fascist activity. No, I'm asking is it all just for talk, or is there some work being done without the instruments and microphone in hand? Of course, even if they do, they wouldn't be the first to do stuff like that, but it's just that I don't know them in person and it just tickled my interest.
Returning to today and me opening the vinyl package to get to the booklet and read it. In all my life since I have sentience and interest in music I haven't found something that moved me so much. Something so small and plain, with only typed words, yet so strong that after reading it I felt like standing in a field after a thunderstorm. Stunned, deeply inspired, by a thing which came and went in ten minutes time. Eight pages filled with lyrics, two fiction stories, one sort-of essay on hardcore, several pages of the band saying thanks and one blank page. The amount of passion from the pages shocked me. Honesty literally exploded into my face and brain out of these typed lines. The excitement and happiness of being a part of such a band and writing about it in the booklet inspired me, for I would most definitely share the same feelings if I was a part of something like that. A single blank page left so that the one owning the record can give his personal insignia onto it, making a unique record for himself, contributing and not being just a consumer. After reading everything, I felt like some unknown force was hidden inside the pages and it raised and punched me straight into the chest. In that single moment, all those questions and doubts were answered and wiped away, for "Melete" is a band working through and through, with both instruments, voices and pens. They stand for things which they are proud of and brave enough to show in every way possible.
The amount of thoughts rushing through my mind at the moment were swirling around and I was instantly inspired on writing and dedicating something for them. And that is why this is hard to write about, as I said at the beginning of this review. The sheer quantity of thoughts and impressions and consternation makes me want to say a million different things, but unable to pick the right ones. I honestly hope that I have accomplished at least a bit in the task of sharing those thoughts in the proper way. For some of you, this may seem stupid, lame, a bit too emotional, a bit too carried away, or just plain retarded. Accept this review and these words however you like (and this band's work for that matter), but I will tell you just one thing. I love quite a number of bands, but what "Melete" earned from me, aside of love, is RESPECT.
And since this seems to be more of a band review, I'll get a bit technical about the record. Three completely new songs, composing of eleven minutes of screamo, emo, hardcore or whatever you want to call it, it matters not. Trust me on this and contact "Melete", buy the record, visit their shows. Bands like this deserve all our support. Contact them via their blog here.
For the end of this review I would just like to share one part of their lyrics to the song "Rhodonea....", most likely my favorite song.

Yesterday I had sex with
a girl with no left arm.
Today I have a date with
a boy who has no legs.
Tomorrow I will marry a
deaf dog. And friends
keep asking what's
wrong with me. I say,
"Nothing, you're just full
of prejudice."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gig review: Melete/Shades of Grey

I promised to do a review of the gig I attended on Sunday, so here it is. My honest prediction is that, well, this is kinda gonna be short. I'm still tired from the gig and I haven't slept quite much from then, so my brain is working on minimum supplies. I'm writing not just to keep the said promise, but also wanna do this whilst my impressions of the show are still fresh, despite the fatigue. Nevertheless, I will try and write this to be understandable and enjoyable as much as I can.
The gig was scheduled to start at 8:30 pm in "CK13" (short for Crna Kuca or Black House in english) a club in Novi Sad (second biggest city in Serbia). The club was running as my most favorite gig space in Serbia, so next to the happiness of hearing the announced bands I was quite excited that the show was in said place. And yes, I said that it was my favorite, since that slightly changed since Sunday, but I'll get to that later. Anyways, my friends and I were planing this trip quite a while and we were in Novi Sad around 3 pm, roaming and hanging out in the city. And although we had an amazing time, the time before the gig showed on everyone and we were quite tired, since we basically covered the city twice on foot. We got to the club a bit late because of a food hunt before, but lucky for us (?) the gig didn't start on time.
Things went pretty much downhill from there, at least as far as my opinion about the club is concerned. First of all, while my friends stayed in the courtyard (since it was obvious that the gig didn't start) I went in to see when is the first band starting to play. On route I met a mate of mine from Novi Sad who hit me with a sledgehammer statement that "Reflections of Internal Rain" won't play the show. Yeah... As he said, "new policy of the house" that a show can't contain more than two bands, so ROIR had to be cancelled. To make matters worse, several of my friends who came on this trip hopped on board just to see the said band play. And to make matters even more worse, the show was late so much, that the club could have hosted four bands, let alone three. The most hillarious thing (I'm suppresing myself to write "and to make matters even more more worse) is that on June 19th, Reflections... will be playing a show in CK13 with two more bands! What. The. Fuck. A bunch of bureocratic bullshit if you ask me.
So after I had to present the sad news to my gang and live through several whining moments from a few of them, the show started with sounds comming from "Melete" along with additional material in the "this club starts to suck" basket. "CK13" was my favorite not only for interior looks, but also because it had the best sound quality I ever heard on a gig and that changed as well (at least in my opinion, didn't really discuss that with all of my friends after the show). Either I became an old man or haven't been to a gig for a long time, which I haven't actually, but the instruments were just to damn loud, so the instruments and vocals melted into an amalgam of noise. You could hear and recognize parts of the songs, but mostly you ended listening to something you just can't understand. Despite that, "Melete" was such an amazing pleasure to watch and listen. The small stage was exploading with movement and the passion literally oozed from the speakers through songs such as "Rhodonea...", "Mother's Love" and "Bizniscore". I won't be talking about "Melete" a lot in this review, since I keep material about writing about them in a post yet to come.
After "Melete", followed a small break during which one of my friends agreed with me on the "bad sound" thingt. Anyway, "Shades of Grey" played soon after that. I'll be completely honest and say that I'm not a huge fan of SoG. Not that I don't like their tunes, which I do in fact, but I only ever got to listen to their selftitled release from 2006. So yeah, a lot of the songs I didn't recognize, but damn do they know how to fuel up the atmosphere! The crowd did it's share of dancing and the stage was very impressive to watch. Also, despite the bad sound quality, the vocals were superb and quite powerful. I really regret the fact that I don't know a lot of their songs, since I'm quessing that that would enhance the experience. Either way, they were astonishing to behold and the crowds screaming and clapping granted us one additional song!
It all ended around midnight and after the show I get to meet in person several of my "online" friends (which was actually quite funny since one I know from myspace, one from and one over e-mail correspondence) among them being Luka, singer from "Melete" who happens to be one of the friendliest people I have ever met. Talked to them a bit, then joined the rest of my friends in the courtyard, after which ensued the most tormenting 5 hours (literally) of train waiting, whilst being half wet from the rain. But despite all the bad things mentioned in this (very boring, yes) review, I was quite happy. I hope that the bands had a great time as much as the crowd did and that they will come again to play here.