Saturday, July 31, 2010

Adorno & Eric Ayotte - Split 7'' (2010)

I guess it just comes natural that after such a show I upload this record. And of course, no need to write now, the writing of the review below really took it out of me. Besides, I think it should convince anyone to at least try and listen, this is really a work of art.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gig review: Adorno, Eric Ayotte

Usually when a show you went to was good you tend to realize that fact on your way home, talking to friends you were with and saying "yeah, it was an excellent show". I believe it's because in the moments when the music hits your ears and when your eyes feast on the stage, you overtly forget the fact that you will have an opinion about it later and you just enjoy the moment. But yesterday's experience was 180 degrees different. Maybe because I'm in a sensitive time on a personal level or because I generally like to think about the music I indulge in. Maybe. But then you think about it a bit more carefully and come to a conclusion that it's not you, that you could have been in the worst or the best mood, it matters not, for you have witnessed artists who detonated an emotionally charged bomb in front of you and you had nowhere to run. Then again, why would you?
The lines above probably made zero sense, since last night I was again introduced to the meaning of words "stunned" and "speechless". Until I get a grip on myself and get into the proper writing mood let's just take it the old fashioned way. The show was held yesterday evening (now actually the day before yesterday), 29th of July 2010 to be exact, in a venue named "REX" in Belgrade. Although the venue is in my hometown I never actually visited "REX" before and I have to say that I was quite impressed. It's quite a small place, but designed and decorated perfectly, reminding me a bit of the Student Cultural Center (SKC) in Belgrade. To make it even better, the room where the actual gig took place has excellent level of acoustic and the sound doesn't get splashed and deflected around, giving you superb sound quality during the show. The show was set to start in 9 pm and with a slight but tolerable delay of about half an hour it started around 9:30 pm.
As my friend and myself entered the venue I was kinda bummed at the extremely low number of people who attended, somewhere around 20 or so. "Adorno" and Eric were probably satisfied with even those low numbers, but it still justifies the fact that this type of music is not really common in my country. That, plus the retarded thing that a lot of people I know just don't like going to shows, they'd much rather listen to music at home. Whatever the reason it's a completely different subject, so I won't stray in that direction.
"Adorno" opened explosively and the first thing you notice is that instead of two, they played with three guitars. I haven't seen them live before, so I don't know how different it is compared to having just two guitar players, but this kind of band composition really adds something more. Even the gentlest songs from the "Said and Unsaid" release sound much more expanded, powerful and creatively layered. The most amazing thing is that despite the creative chaos bursting all around you, you still fully get to feel that specific, amazing vocal type, a literally soothing sound. If I remember correctly, all songs from "Said and Unsaid" were played, songs in which I'm very much in love with, so I got my share of singing along. During the early moments of the show, Joao (one of the guitar players) talked about how happy he is to be able to play with his friends and that in fact this show was their 100th gig. Heh, that really made me both happy that they celebrate it here with us and sad since they really deserve more people to hear their music. But there is also next time to correct past mistakes, right? At least the crowd was alive, not much dancing, but quite a lot of cheering and clapping.
As the show progressed "Adorno" played some of their older tunes with a bit of a heavier sound at moments sounding a bit post-rockish. This is where the 3 guitar combination really excelled. The sound radiating from the speakers was just gigantic and explosive, a behemoth literally crashing down and swallowing you without remorse. I stood there in the front row for those blissful half an hour or so and was quite shocked and stunned with what they threw at us, such emotionally infused music which I really had no idea I would experience at this level of amusement. I have to admit though, I am bad when it comes to knowledge of their older songs, especially the last song they played. I think (but I'm not so sure) that the last song was "Fetishized Facts" and the amount of pure epic proportions was unimaginable. The end was particularly impressive, when one by one they left the stage while the rest continued to play, the guitar players even leaving their instruments face-down on the ground which gave way to some unique sounds. I don't know what else to say about Adorno's part of the show other than that it was amazing beyond my thoughts.
After a little break and a visit to the merch section (yay for my new "Adorno" T), Eric Ayotte took the stage. Ok so, as the story goes on the interwebz, he is (and I quote) "the nicest man alive". And the only thing I'm gonna say to that "yes he is". Period. If the scientist of this world could improve the cloning program so that a mass production of this man could ensue and every household has one to have him sing and talk you to sleep I think that then the world would be a much better place. I have never heard such beautiful music, accompanied with an amazing humor enhanced talks with the audience, as well as meanings of the songs he amazing. The amount of smiles on my face during those thirty plus minutes surpassed all my good mood I amassed for the past few days before the show. Eric really managed to create a friendly and warm atmosphere, basically you have the feeling that he is playing in your living room instead of a club. My heart was quite full when my favorite song was played, namely "Bear You Are", but during the show I think I discovered a new music love in the form of the song "Fallujah". I heard the song before, but while it was played I was absolutely stunned by the amount of passion it radiated and during the song you really feel how the lyrics are sad and heavy. At the end, the crowd didn't let Eric go so easily, so we got a bonus song.
After the show I walked away with my friend and even before it was mentioned in the upcoming conversation I realized that I already knew what to say and how my opinion on the show looked like. It was probably the first time in my life that a show review was literally writing itself in my head without the thought-hibernation time, every step away from the venue a letter on a page. It's so amazing to witness how music can pull together such talented, passionate and nice people, no wonder you walk away inspired and with a heart filled with joy. In the end I would just like to thank Joao for being quite friendly and taking a few moments to talk to my friend and me and for actually being a follower of my blog. And of course, thanks to anyone who managed to organize this event and bring these great artists to Belgrade, this has the potential to be the best show this year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Via Fondo - Via Fondo (2010)

With great excitement I start writing this. A while ago there was this much loved, but sadly short lived screamo band from Sweden with just a few releases, but all of them masterpieces. But in 2009 they fell apart, quite a bad thing for this genre. Yet from the scattered collective some pieces remained in a new project, continuing the brilliant work the previous band did. The band now known as "Via Fondo" rose from the ashes of the amazing "Anemone".
First of all, I must admit that I was introduced to this project back in May this year by a friend, both a blessing and a curse. The band recorded just one song at the moment and it wasn't final, so I was asked to stay quiet about the whole thing and it was so hard not sharing it with anyone. And finally here I am, writing this to the tunes of this mind blowing 4 track selftitled release, completely confused at what to write first, since I want to say so much about this project.
I remember back in May that upon hearing the song (if my mind serves me well, the track in question was "Icicles") and I was absolutely stunned by what I heard, yet when I heard this final release I couldn't believe how they actually managed to improve that which was already amazing. The legacy left from "Anemone" is apparent in this release and let's be honest, we are not talking about a flaw here, but this four piece evolved the sound further and added a touch of their own, making this an audio spectacle. So, what is so special about "Via Fondo"? The technical aspects are superb, great and clean recordings where all instruments are very easily discerned and you can easily concentrate on a wanted tone. But the more important part, the actual music is where they excel at. An unbelievable amalgam of chaos and aggression, yet at the same time gentle and emotionally charged tunes, an ever present feeling of coldness and distance during listening. It is quite hard to explain the things twirling in your mind while you indulge in these tunes, one must listen to understand. Every part of the band has some unique role in a given song, like in the track "Vulpes Vulpes" where the vocal sounds tormented and at moments an added echo and pack singing inserts the mentioned distance, yet the instruments at first start violently and they slowly begin dropping down at moments, finally letting the guitar lead into a gentle, barely noticeable overtone until it's playing alone for a few seconds, only for the whole band to explode once again. See what I mean? Hard to explain, simply because it really takes your breath away.
And what to say at the end? We can all only hope that this project won't be short lived as was its predecessor and that they continue making music like this. So give them the much needed support, they deserve every bit of it. You can get in touch with them here.
Special thanks to my dear lastfm friend samanthaaajane for introducing me to "Via Fondo" music and to Gustav who approved the posting of their music. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Endless howling VIII

Yep, yet another old "compilation", although in this post there is only one band. This deserves to have a post exclusively for itself, since I remember that I almost pissed my pants out of sheer luck and excitement when I found this for the first time, back in the day.

Neil Perry - Lineage Situation Video

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fucking Werewolf Asso - Kid! Just Letting You Know We Are Doing It Again (2010)

I know I owe the blog and all the people reading it a few write-ups (both for the Connections 2 split which I reeeeally want to review and for "Heaven in Her Arms"), but since I haven't posted anything in a while maybe it will be better to open the season with something new. Yep, something new which grasped my attention and made me listen to it for a week or so non-stop!
But there is a little catch, so to speak. This really isn't a band typical for this blog and the band being on this page will certainly add a new tag unto the list. Call it 8-bit, call it nintendocore, call it however you wish, you get the point, right? I usually like to call it just plain nintendo, since other terms tend to remind me of some other things I don't really like much...I'll get to that later. Usually I frown and avoid posting stuff like this, but some bands just damn deserve it and this is such a band.
"Fucking Werewolf Asso" is a two piece hailing from Sweden and it is worth mentioning at the start that this is ex-"Go! With Fourteen O" (Denis being the ex member, actually). Curse you Sweden for having so many great projects! So if you listened to Go! you should know that you are in for some amazing tunes here as well. Though I approached listening to Werewolf with that kind of mindset I was completely blown away at how this flew above my expectations! First thing you notice is the vocal change which mutated from a raspy, screaming, maniacal one into a soft, 90's emo kind of voice. I must admit, at the first few seconds I heard it I didn't really like it and basically in a moment it just hit me how great it goes along with the music. The instrumental part has changed also, the drums are less aggressive and blend so well into the background, but at the same time are quite a big part of the tunes.
Ah, and the keyboards are a story for themselves. Me being in a nintendo project made me learn how complicated it is to create a "good" melody when you have such a vast array of effects, programs and plugins, but trying to keep a unique sound type of your own whilst sticking to a theme you wish your tunes to have. And with this band the keyboards are godlike! It's hard for me to explain why, since I never did a review for this kind of music, so my vocabulary is lacking, but the tunes literally blew me away. I'll try to explain it through the song "No, I Didn't Say the Keyboard Needed Flattery!". The melody on the keyboards is constant through the song, quite a catchy 3 second tune repeating itself. But as the song advances you can hear occasional change of pitch (I think), the sudden added extra effects and an overlapping new melody entwined with the constant one near the end. Wow that must have sucked. Anyway, you should pick this band up, if nothing just to hear the keyboards, since they are brilliant, probably the best I heard. Ever.
Keep in mind the songs as a whole are excellently composed with diverse keyboard melodies and effects, greatly fitting drums and specific way of vocal performance. What caught my ear is the use of samples and the occasional inserting of a "choir" of children singing which actually goes amazing with the main vocal. These guys really did their homework well, since this all may seem too much since you have an average 1:40 minute song, when in fact literally every tune is exactly where it should be and nothing jumps out and pokes you in the ear.
At the end I'd like just to vomit something out of my system since it pisses me off very much. People who know of this type of music, no matter how much those people are into underground music, go just far enough into it and stay with bands like "Horse the Band", which although I also like, I tend to call jackoff-core. Just because they hit it big, doesn't mean they are gods and that they defined the nintendosomething genre. People usually don't go beyond hearing that which is the ultimate mainstream and as a result bands like "Fucking Werewolf Asso", "Insert Disc", "I wonder what's for diner" tend to get unnoticed, when in fact they create much better nintendoish tunes then those high on the music stage. So pay attention and give these people a chance, they are extremely talented and deserve every bit of praise. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

V.A. - Connections Part II - Six Way Split (2010)


I am absolutely excited about hearing this! Just pushed "play", but I wanted to share this with you boys and girls as fast as possible. Will do a write-up about it when my thoughts on it settle down. Thanks to The_Poltergeist for sending this to me, I owe you one!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Endless howling VII

Again I won't be home for a few days, so here's some old stuff. I have some posting requests and I will really try to review a few during my absence, since I realized that it's quite bad not posting for more than three or four days, you kinda end up losing inspiration and will to write. 2006/7 heavy post...Ah, good times.

Lion of the North - The Compass Calls EP

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Errata - Errata (2009)


It's been quite a long time since my last post, so much that I think that I lost my writing skills. Hm, ok maybe not lost them, bit more like I feel them being crippled. Might as well give it a try again, don't get your hopes high though.
In the wake of the upcoming "Adorno" European tour (July/August, for more info check here) I'd like to turn your attention to one other amazing screamo band hailing from Portugal. One more reason I'm posting this is that I see a lot of my friends, both i real life and those online, don't know of this band and let's be honest, it should't be like that.
As stated above, "Errata" originates from Lisboa (also know as Lisbon), Portugal. This five piece screamo band brings us some truly heartfelt, atypical screamo with a small dose of post-hardcore for some epic like songs a la 'Sed Non Satiata". What is really interesting here is that at first listen their songs reminded me of a throng of other bands, specifically in the way of composition and the vocal performance, yet the more you listen to "Errata" the more you see that they are actually very, very unique. They may have gathered a lot of influences from others, but they managed to transform their sound in a way that is easily recognizable and made a "style" of their own. What really caught my attention is an "evolution" like approach to song constructing. "Errata" isn't using a copy-paste method while in the process of creating their songs, rather they incorporate various elements into each track, so you get an ever changing feel while listening to this release. Every song has some added features that the previous one didn't have, be it in the form of guitar effects, multiple vocals or just various melody shifts and different pacing. Even the shortest of songs have distinctive aspects, so not only is the whole release unique, but also the songs themselves.
Heh, aside of liking the music, I really like the art from the person who did the cover, quite a grotesque piece if you ask me. On "Errata" myspace page (found here) you can see watercolor art of the band members, which is a pretty cool detail.
As you can see, "Errata" released this five song self-titled in 2009. As far as new material is concerned not much is known even on their myspace, so I guess we can only hope that they have some future plans in mind. Until then, put 25 minutes of your daily chores aside and take a listen, you are bound to like this.