Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reflections Of Internal Rain - October tour update

Just a quick post, since I have no time to do a writeup today, instead I'll be doing an interview in an hour or so. Wanted to draw your attention again to the ROIR tour, since some dates have been changed and they still need help! Check the dates here or here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Endless howling XIII and button update

Insanely proud to announce that the blog buttons are officially done! Took a while to get set up and all, but they are finally done and I'm happy the way they turned out, hopefully you will too. I took some pics, so check them out.
As it was announced, it's just a small number of buttons, 30 in total, two designs, fifteen each. The idea is to send them for free to anyone interested, basically I did this because I think it's a nice thing to have for a blog, quite unusual. So, whoever is interested, send me your address and which buttons you want on my mail and you'll get them for free. Some of you who have already said that they will order also stated that they want to pay for them in some way. I definitely don't want to price tag this, it's done as a thank you to all those who follow my blog, but if you do want to send something back, then I will make sure that it's used to further expand this idea of mine about a blog/label/distro/something:) Thanks in advance for the attention and interest, I'm overtly happy to take all of this onto a next level.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflections Of Internal Rain - October 2010 Euro tour

As you all probably know, this here is my favorite native band and they are trying to raid Europe this October! But it ain't that easy, so they are in need of some help. If you can help them in any way possible, contact them via their myspace page here. Here are the dates:

15. Austria, Graz @ Sub
16. Austria, Wien @ Venster99
17. Czech Republic, Brno @ Vegalite
18. Poland, Warsaw @ Dobra Karma
19. Poland - Need help
20. Germany, Berlin @ Koma F
21. Germany - Need help
22. Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Cafe du Village
23. Austria - Need help
24. Hungary, Gyor - tba
25. Hungary - Need help

So, if you can help them set up a show, get in touch, they are an amazing performance live. If by any chance you don't have a myspace account, send me an email or something and I will forward your message to them. Thanks!

EDIT: 20th October confirmed.

Gig review: Failed Suicide Plan, Fast As We Go Far

What you are about to read is part gig review, part band writeup with download links. Basically, I enjoyed the show quite much and it deserves to have some words typed down about the subject, plus the fact that these bands are not so common on other blogs (especially the latter one, since they are very young), so I guess the support is appreciated.
The show was held two days ago, namely 23rd of September 2010, in a Belgrade club named "Ciklon" (translated to Cyclone). I have never been to this venue and in fact I didn't know it even existed up until the gig. Needless to say, the venue looks pretty good, a small complex bellow street level with narrow corridors and one room with a "stage", decorated in quite a cool way and a low amount of light. Also, as I look in retrospect, the venue had an amazing sound quality with a focused sound instead of being splashed around and overtly chaotic or bad, the most important thing for the gig space. Moving on, the show was due to start at 10pm, but as much as I figured the first band, "Fast As We Go Far", was running late (native band, but they are not from Belgrade), so much in fact that in the end they played second and the show actually started and ended rather late.
So by a twist of fate, "Failed Suicide Plan" played first, kicking it off at around 11pm. FSP are a quartet hailing from Erfurt, Germany. What they play is pretty hard to describe, the genres they could fit in literally changing with every tune, screamo, punk, crust, grind, hardcore. The songs usually begin with a slower pace followed by pounding speed rhythms, occasional breakdowns and chaotic crescendos. "Failed Suicide Plan" started the gig with the song "Magic Mirror" (if I remember correctly), the song opening with a sample, so it all began very calmly only to explode after a few seconds. First thing that I must say is that while now I listen to this band at home and recapitulate the gig I feel like I'm listening to two different bands. This bands recordings are great, no doubt about it, but experiencing them live is where they excel at. Just witnessing the raw power and chest beating tunes brought to their maximum is on a whole different level then listening at home, the band getting a new dimension of chaos inserted in their melodies. On top of the audio spectacle, they are very energetic while playing with constant movement during songs. And I have to say it immediately, for the duration of their act my eyes were glued onto the drum player, the man's skill is insane! Fascinating precision and speed, followed by the perfect sound of the venue, made his performance astounding. The drums are probably the most chaotic and tempo/melody shifting part of the band, being quite a back bone of it all and luckily this guy knows how to follow through the task at its best.
As I said above, "Failed Suicide Plan" started with an audio sample, which they continued to do for several other songs during their playtime. Though not featured on the actual release, these samples really added an extra something to the songs and they fit quite well. As for the mentioned release which I will post at the bottom of this post, it came out in March 2009, containing seven songs with around 23 minutes of tunes and you should definitely check it out. From the said release many songs have been played, like "Player", "Eisbär", "Fruhling"... Moving on with the show, FSP played for about half an hour or so (maybe even more, can't actually remember), also playing a bonus song since the crowd cheered for more.
After a small break and some moments setting up, "Fast As We Go Far" took the stage. Honestly, I'm not THAT much into the music they play, but I'll try and write a few words nevertheless. FAWGF are a four piece originating from Novi Sad, Serbia, playing some rad (Californian) punkrock. Before the show I only took a listen to their song "Queen of the World" (found on their myspace page here and btw "Failed Suicide Plan" myspace found here) and I liked it, but as far as other material is concerned I had no input, only after the show did I find their EP release. Their performance was superb, very energetic and very fast, with great riffs, drumming and amazing singalongs, a really flowing act where time speeds past you. Though I really enjoyed the half hour during which they played, I actually can't enjoy this at home, since as I said, I'm not very much into this kind of music. But with certainty I can say that anyone who likes this type of music will absolutely love FAWGF. If you can, definitely check them out, they are a young band with just one release under their sleeve, they need support.
Overall, this was an excellent show. The venue was excellent for this type of music, with superb sound and enough space. I'd just like to thank Marko from "Scarz of Culture" (gig org found here) for organizing the whole event. Hope you enjoyed the review!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Broken Chords Can Sing A Little - Discography (2010)

Those of you who follow me on twitter already know that I failed to go to the "Alpinist" show, so no gig review today. Luckily, there will be a show which I will both attend and review and that is "Failed Suicide Plan", yet another screamoish band from Germany. And one other great thing is actually this very post. I was contacted by the very friendly guitar player Chris from "Broken Chords..." about posting their discography, pretty much on the day when I found out that I won't be seeing Alpinist, so this was really a medication on the wound so to speak.
And why is it healing? Well honestly, "Broken Chords Can Sing A Little" is a very much loved band by yours truly, yet I completely forgot about them in the past year. I remember being introduced to this band by the very end of 2008, back then listening to Prologue and Parts I and II being completely amazed. I was stunned by their completely raw, distorted sound and emotionally charged lyrics, all of that wrapped into releases which are purely flowing due to the fact that each song continues on one another. Yet somehow, I really neglected them and nearly forgot about the whole project, despite my jaw being on the floor while taking the first listen. As I said, luckily I have been reminded about them, won't turn my back this time.
"Broken Chords Can Sing A Little" are a quartet coming from Lancaster/Lemoyne PA, gathering together in the fall of 2008. They quickly released Prologue, Part I and Part II, being very lo-fi, followed by Part III, IV and V recorded in the winter of 2009. The latter releases are not as lo-fi as the first ones, bearing a much clearer sound since they were recorded in a professional studio in Reading, PA. Broken Chords revisited some of their old songs on newer releases, for instance the "Chapter I" track which is on both Part I and on Part III (Part III actually being a split with Giuseppe, a band found here) on which it has a different name, "Lightning Blinking Where They Land". Maybe a bit confusing, but it is very interesting when you hear it all at once and in retrospect. As I mentioned above, the first three sets of recordings are very lo-fi, basically representing an amazing amalgam of chaotic and gentle tunes. Their description serves them well, stating that "music they give to the world is filled with emotion and desperation that is best described as beautiful." And yes, you can sense the sadness and heaviness of the melodies, but at the same time it is quite beautiful and gentle. Yet on the 2009 recordings go the other way around, carrying a lot more gentler tone with desperation and chaos being right on the next corner. It seems that these sessions inspired the band on a larger scale, since Parts III, IV and V bring a series of diverse melodies and song composition types, really managing to expand the band, so to speak.
Overall, we are gifted with twenty songs by "Broken Chords Can Sing A Little", a total of nearly 40 minutes of beautiful tunes. It is quite important to write down that both the lo-fi and the clear recordings fit perfectly with this band, since the amount of honesty, passion and emotion is definitely not injected less within the newer releases. Parts III to V are surely less chaotic, but here they gained an atmospheric trait and it suites them well. The gentler and calmer sections of songs really excel here, but despite the change you still know which band you are listening to, since their "style" can clearly be recognized, even with new additions.
As far as their myspace (found here) provides information, they are still alive and kicking, writing some new songs. Hopefully you will want to contact and support them after taking a listen to their tunes and reading this writeup, they definitely deserve your attention. I'd like to thank Chris for contacting me and being interested in "Natures With No Plagues", big hugs. Enough talk, listen and enjoy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Triple kill!... I mean post.

I'm currently in some weird uninspired mood and seeing as the next post on the blog will probably be on Monday/Tuesday after the "Alpinist" show, I'll throw at you a triple post. That, and the fact that these bands are quite well known, thus my "promotion" of them won't really be of huge significance. So, two write-ups, three bands, five songs.

Zann - X 7'' (2010)

If you boarded the screamo boat somewhere between 1999 and 2010 you were bound to be introduced to "Zann", one way or the other. For the past eleven years this German five piece pounded our ears with a superb combination of chaotic hardcore and (metalized) screamo, only growing and being stronger along the way. The band's unusual life span is coming from the fact that, aside of adding one more member after a few shows, there have been no lineup changes.
I remember that I first heard "Zann" a few years ago when "Three Years In The Desert" came out and honestly, I loved it immediately. It had a chaotic, splashing, deep, pace changing sound, which was really unorthodox to the screamo I was used to. They created a unique style which you can quite easily discern and they sticked with that approach on all of their releases, as well as on "X". The well known chaos still prevails here with a touch of high noted guitar and a sort of breakdownish elements. Compared to previous releases, "X" is slightly less distorted and has a bit more clear sound. On the other hand, the vocal has been blended down to fit more equally with the rest of the band, since i.e. on their 2008 four way split you have a feel that the vocal is pushed a bit in front of the instruments.
"Zann" is well known for being slow with writing new music, but that is due to the fact that they are on the road a lot. Thus, this two song, nine minute 7 inch filled with extremely well composed chaos is here just to show us that "Zann" is still strong even after 11 years of sticking together and raging across the world with their music. Hopefully they will figure out in one moment that there is this one country called Serbia which they haven't visited yet. But until then, I'll just enjoy this superb record!

June Paik & Battle of Wolf 359 - Split 2010

Time for some split goodness, this time with two amazing bands, which share an identical intrusion into my brain. First moment I took a listen, these bands grew almost instantly in my heart and are really some of my favorite projects in the genre.
"June Paik" is a band hailing from Germany, their name a reference to the american video artist Nam June Paik, about who I actually know thanks to my girlfriend. When the tunes from their 10" struck me I was completely blown away with their dark, brooding melodies and a perfect combination of noisy explosions and quite saddening tones, "June Paik" quickly rushing up my charts. To this day I'm still amazed with their songs and really regret the fact that seeing them live eluded me for two times now. One day hopefully. Anyway, these guys bring us one new song, "Grenzwert" being a nearly seven minute behemoth of a song. Absolutely perfect song composition strikes again, the song constantly shifting between slow, mid and fast tempo, feeling as though you are watching the best thriller movie, not knowing what is going to happen on the next corner.
There is one important tidbit that I would like to add. Though I love all of their material, on their LP I missed the amount of chaos and distortion present on their previous 10'', it was too clean. I loved the LP, but it was on a lower love scale than the 10 inch and I feared that with time they will make not so good material. Well this song smacked me in the face. Though it is clean and with best possible production and not so distorted, "Grenzwert" was the kick I needed to see how they actually evolve rather than decline in quality. Beyond that there is not much I can say here, this is absolutely stunning.

Second part of the split occupied by the UK "Battle of Wolf 359". As mentioned above, took a listen to their Tour cd in 2007, instant love. That and the fact that I'm a sucker for the word "wolf" (and other forms of the word) being used in the band name. All of you who already know about this band, and I'm sure that you are many, know that BoW359 is famous for their extremely heavy and down tuned sound, nearly metallic riffs and interesting lyrics. I remember that on their Tour cd I loved how at one instance you hear a calm guitar tune and then suddenly everything explodes, a rushing and maddening melody. They stood by their composition style all this time, using a combination of mid and fast tempo style of playing and just looking at a retrospective of this band's work they just get better and better. Also one of the things that really does it for me with this band is the excellent vocal performance, which despite all the chaos and distortion you can clearly hear and enjoy.
In the end, just have to say that just now I realized that I picked three bands which are all quite dark and chaotic. Stupid me for having a sense of repeating myself while writing all this. Though similar, all these bands are amazing and great in very different ways, and have been kicking this scene for quite a while now. Respect and support very much deserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Endless howling XI and an update

Haven't posted some old stuff in quite a while so here they are. To be honest, I'm without new stuff to post, so this is basically to keep the blog running.
I'll be doing a lot of writing in the coming period, hopefully that will hold your attention. As I stated already, there is an exciting show coming up this Sunday in Novi Sad, namely "Alpinist", "Reflections of Internal Rain" and "Conviction", so I will most definitely be inclined to write a review about the event. Also, I have several writing projects on my mind which I have thought about in a while now and I'm really hoping that I will manage to set them in motion soon.
Also, the buttons are coming to a finish, so expect pictures of the final product! Probably next week all will be completed. 30 buttons are being made, so it's quite limited.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Interview:Lizards Have Personalities

1. First of all, big hug to you Andrew, thanks for taking your time for this interview. Please, introduce yourself and the rest of your bandmates.
You’re certainly welcome! And super big hug to you too, Stefan! I’m Andrew. I do guitar, vocals and write most of the lyrics. Paul does bass and vocals sometimes. Joel plays drums, does vocals sometimes, and helps write lyrics and guitar occasionally. Together we’re Lizards Have Personalities! We know the band name is stupid. But we think it’s funny. It doesn’t really have any meaning, just something we thought of randomly. It flows nicely off the tongue though! And it’s scientifically correct, so we’re being educational. Haha!

2. How did all of you get together to form a band? Long life friends or just a random set of events?
I’m not originally from Kansas, where our band is located right now. I moved here from Texas to go to college and that’s where we all met. Joel and Paul have been life long friends but their connection with me and the beginning of the band was a random set of events. A year ago, Paul and I were randomly assigned as roommates in a college dorm and when I found out he loved bands like Hot Cross, Envy, and Thursday we just had to try to start playing music together. I essentially wrote the entire first EP (In All Honesty) and Paul and I recorded it with the help of a friend. Shortly after, Paul’s best friend Joel, who is a multitalented instrumentalist, returned back to the country after being in Senegal for studies, so we asked him to get on drums. After the first practice we just knew it was going to work. Since then it’s been amazing.

3. I usually ask about screamo in the band's country, but you guys hail from the USA, so it's quite a huge picture to talk about. What are your thoughts on the local scene in your hometown when it comes to this genre of music?
The Kansas scene is one that’s hard to point your finger on. There’s a lot going on. In the town Lawrence, where we are, there’s a decent punk and indie scene. In Kansas City, which isn’t too far from here, the hardcore scene is decent. There is basically no screamo scene. We are it. But there’s a lot of amazing bands that have sprung out from here though, such as The Get up Kids, Appleseed Cast, Ten Grand, and Coalesce. Currently, we have a circle of friends that are trying to build a scene here. It includes LHP, Texas Instruments, Sports, Canyons, and Grizzly J Berry. It’s kind of cool that we’re actually a big part of creating a screamo scene here!

4. Any thoughts about the rest of the world?
I feel like throughout the world there are little pockets of bands helping the screamo revival and I really love it. California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York in the U.S.A., Japan, and the entire European screamo/hardcore scene are especially amazing. I love that it’s an international scene! Hopefully we can become friends and work with bands from pretty much every country and culture. We’d love that.

5. Since screamo and diy attitudes are entwined with one another, what have been your biggest experiences concerning diy?
Yeah, they most certainly are entwined! Not just through the screamo or hardcore scenes either. We mostly play house/basement shows and we love it. We never ask for guarantees or any money, but we appreciate it of course. I want to keep it that way. Cops can shutdown shows or make promotion difficult sometimes (especially in our scene) but other than that the bands and people we met have been priceless. Through the DIY scene we’ve been able to play with bands such as Crime in Stereo (R.I.P.), We Were Skeletons, Pianos Become the Teeth, Calculator, Sleep Bellum Sonno, Hostage Calm, Perfect Future, Zona Mexicana, Cloud Mouth, Burn Idols, Innards, мища, For Want Of, Prawn and soon La Dispute. I think that list is a testament to how powerful the DIY scene can be if bands work together. We print our own shirts and cds with the help of our German friend Benny from Druckwelle Design ( who does absolutely amazing work and is a sweetheart. However, the most important thing, to me at least, is that we spread our music to people who want to enjoy it. DIY allows for a certain sense of artistic freedom and creativity of expression that is rarely observed. This is the reason that we have and will always continue to provide any music we create online for free. I strongly believe music is something that should be shared and experienced without the thought of money.

6. People have also been introduced to your emo side project called, well, "Emo Side Project". How did the idea to play solo come into view?
I’ve been playing solo way before this band started. Emo Side Project started in around 2004. Lizards started in early 2010. I’ve always loved playing and recording music (especially acoustic music) and that was an outlet to write whatever I wanted, however I wanted. It’s largely influenced by bands such as Elliott Smith, Dashboard Confessional, and lately Owen. Early in ESP’s existence, I released an album of “emo versions” popular rap songs (like Baby Got Back, Forgot About Dre., In Da Club, etc) which is what got me a lot of internet recognition. However, there has also been a lot of sincere music that I’ve written over the years. I think currently I have something like 20 albums I’ve written? Mostly about past relationships and experiences. For those interested, all the music is download for free on my website:

7. Aside of you having a "band" next to LHP, do the other Lizards have projects of their own?
Not particularly. Joel constantly writes solo songs. It’s nothing concrete but they’re great melodic hardcore punk songs, like Verse or With Honor. Paul is trying to start a folk-metal band. It’s pretty funny! Unfortunately, neither has any music I can link to!

8. I am always interested in what do band members listen in their free time. Care to share some guilty pleasures?
Haha! I love this question. It depends on who you’re talking to! But: I listen to screamo, emo, pop punk, indie-rock, and post-rock. Guilty pleasure: I know lyrics to a lot of boy bands like Savage Garden and Backstreet Boys and some bad modern rock. Joel listens to hardcore but also romantic era art music, free jazz, classic rock, and metal. Guilty pleasure: dance-pop like Lady Gaga. Paul listens to a lot of hardcore and post-hardcore. Guilty pleasure: pretty sure I heard him listening to Creed and Nickelback once. Oh, and horrible metal-core.

9. Do you find yourself, as well as the band in general, being under influence of the said bands? And do you find a specific band to be a major influence on your work?
My biggest screamo influences are probably The Saddest Landscape, Sed Non Satiata, The Kodan Armada, Suis La Lune, Funeral Diner, Saetia/Hot Cross, and I Hate Myself. However, I also listen to a lot of emo (American Football, Cap’n Jazz, Braid, etc) and indie (Elliott Smith, Cursive, This Town Needs Guns) so I can see how those styles would influence it a little. The other dudes in the band listen to mostly hardcore, so the hint of hardcore in our band is definitely an influence of theirs.

10. Do the Lizards have some plans for the future? Maybe plan to conquer Europe on a tour?
I’m always constantly writing. Musically, right now we have planned: a split with our friends Costumes, a possible split with Caitlyn Bailey and Polina (maybe even a compilation will come out of this?), and I’m starting to write our first full length album! We’re still a new band and we’re trying to build our fanbase, especially in Europe. We’re trying to find a label to help put out our music too because want to print some vinyl records. In terms of touring, our first tour was this summer (we did Southern USA) but it went pretty well! I think we’ll try to tour the east coast or west coast of USA next summer. After that maybe a European tour?! We need to make friends with some bands in Europe, connections with labels, and other things that would help us though before we can pull that off! It’s insanely difficult to do international tours in a DIY band. Plus, we all have school and we’re busy! It’s easy to sit home and write music but more difficult to be away.

11. Talking about the Euro conquest, have you managed to get and talk to some labels/bands from Europe or are you at the moment focused just on USA?
We haven't talked to any labels yet. But we are actually more interested in European labels than USA! Hopefully we can get in contact with a few diy ones soon!

12. Does LHP have some bands that they would wish to work with?
Of course we do! My dreams are to work with The Saddest Landscape, Suis La Lune, Daïtro, and Touché Amoré. Joel and Paul would love to work with more hardcore styled bands like Defeater, Ceremony, and Circle Takes the Square. Paul and I really love Thursday.

13. Do you guys indulge in some other hobbies beside music?
Yes! I’m in graduate school for Biochemistry. So in my spare time I mostly work in the laboratory. For anyone interested, I mostly work with cancer biology, signal transduction, and protein crystallography/computational design. Paul is the secretary of the Society of Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the university here. He is going to undergraduate school for philosophy and political science. Joel is involved with a lot of social activism (particularly in the Gay-Bisexual community), has a strong interest in literature, and goes to undergraduate school for theology and gender studies. We all love eating, watching movies, collecting records, and playing video games!

14. I guess it is not fair for just me to ask questions, so this space is reserved for you!
Andrew: Stefan, you’ve been strongly involved in the diy screamo revival scene. I think more than you even realize! What has been your favorite part about doing this or amazing experiences you’ve had, bands you’ve met/talked to, etc?
Nice question! One of the amazing things is that I actually got to know myself a lot better. It started out as just love toward music, but in the process of entwining myself with it, all that focused passion spilled onto something more and I discovered my other passion, writing. You could say that I actually grew in time which was consumed with tunes. It's amazing how music can change you not only on a personal level, but also on a social one. I'm really grateful for all the lovely people I met through screamo, no matter how physically you are distant from them. That is also one of the precious experiences, that sense of connection with others and the remarkable feeling when a band you love and write about tells you that they admire you for what you do.

15. In the end thanks again for doing this interview Andrew! You have some last message for the blog, "fans", friends, bands?
To Stefan: Thanks again for the amazing interview! I hope you continue to do this blog and be a part of this amazing scene, because we all respect and love you for it!

To fans: Thank you for taking the time to listen to our music, for providing criticisms or letting us know how much it means to you or how it has influenced you. It means the world to us and is one of the best experiences one can have in life. Also, talk to us if you can! We love meeting new people!

To bands: Most on the bands posted on this blog I personally listen to and love. If you’re on here, thank you for making amazing music, being a part of the diy scene and allowing your music to be heard and spread for free. Please ever don’t stop.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friendship Moves - Eli Sunday (2010)

To be honest, I was planing to post just a bunch of old stuff today, but yesterday I received an email from this band and after listening I had an unbelievable urge to post them up. I'm predicting that this will be a shortish writeup, basically I haven't digested the band a lot. For now I only know that I like them quite much and so that's enough for a place here.
What we have here is an extremely young band and there is quite a small amount of information about them. "Friendship Moves" is a three piece hailing from Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom, bringing us a five song release with a total of almost 15 minutes of tunes. I must admit, hearing this was instant love, so let's take it from the start. "Eli Sunday" starts of with the song "Plainview" a beautiful, slow and gentle song, really managing to set you into a specific mood, quite a gloomy tune. At about a minute into the song, the instruments get intensified and screams come into the act. "We are the working men. We build your streets and houses. We build tunnels through mountains. We build bridges over canyons." The lyrics really draw a picture for you, a cold and rainy city, quite well adjusted to the instruments and the mood previously created. The song ends with a movie sample (my guess is from "There Will Be Blood", since Eli Sunday is a character from the said movie) and drops away, thus opening for the second track, "Living with Brucie" which has a similar composition style like track one, in the way that it starts off slow and gets more aggressive as the song progresses. In this song the aggressive part is more fluid and it has a bit of a tone like "Downfall of Gaia" had on their first release.
All of this is nice and cool, but my true amazement came at the middle of the second song. Around the half the instruments stop, distortion ringing around with just a few screams in the back...and then the best instrument explosion I heard for such a long while. A chest pounding "oh my I can't fucking breath" beat that the legendary "Wolves" were famous for. After that song I hoped that they would continue using this kind of style in a few more places and they luckily did. This whole release has such a great atmospheric feel to it and is amazingly well fit and composed. The dudes from this band know how to go to both ends so to speak, the aggressive parts being effectively striking and the gentle parts being really soothing. Production is superb as well and it really sums up the enjoyment for this record.
As I said, quite a short writeup. The lack of words definitely doesn't indicate a lack of quality, but quite the opposite. Just one walk through this release and already I felt that they are a top notch band. They are a new band and already managed to impress, so if they stick around for a while we will have ourselves quite a treasure here. Check them out and support them (here) as much as you can, they deserve it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delo Truda - Delo Truda (2010)

This is probably the first time that five days have passed without posts with me actually being home in the process. I was stuck in various geek projects and didn't catch time for music listening, let alone writing about it. But although I was looking elsewhere and distracted, my guess is that I just needed something to kick me back into place. "Delo Truda" happens to be that something.
"Delo Truda" is a project hailing from Canada, formed in the year 2008, back then being known as "No Alarms", but in 2010 changed the name to the current one. One of the things that first attracted my attention is actually the name, since "delo truda" in Serbian means something like "art of effort". I have sent an email to the band quite curious to know is it really a reference to the translation or was it just a coincidence (since it also sounds like a name), but I doubt that I will receive an answer until this writeup gets posted.
Moving away from the name and onto the actual tunes, being straightforward and just saying that this quartet plays some pretty amazing screamo. This eighteen minute, four track release opens with the song "Broken Koan" and the first sounds pouring over the speakers are defenitely one of the best openers I heard in a while. Some microphonia (as it is called here, don't know if I hit the term right) and guitar distortion, a bit of drums and excellent pack screaming and voila! Though I must admit that the thing which makes this opening so great is the screaming/singing. For some reason different vocal types in a song were always attractive for me and here it just really hits the spot, with a combination of a mid deep aggressive vocal and a more gentler, thinner and (inclined to say) whiner one. That specific opening really made its act with the deep vocal being first and more dominant only to slowly shift away into the gentle one. But I must be honest, that in my utter amazement with the vocals, I do have a bit of a complaint (although, when said like that it sounds too brutal, but it isn't, just a personal preference), in the form that I would definitely like to hear that aggressive/gentle vocal mix more often in Delo Truda's songs. They really amazed me with it at the start, but they kinda neglected the potential of using it more.
Regardless of the small personal complaint, they do throw something great at you. Aside of the vocals, the instrument section is superb, the band really knowing how to create an effective amalgam of fast, mid tempo and slow melodies. The last song of the release, "Realms", is where that ability excels, a seven minute song with explosive rushes, gentle drops and amazing buildups, showing us that this is one of those bands which knows so well to fit everything where it should be, without parts being astray. Not only is the composition great, but the recording as well is at a perfect level, this being extremely important especially when a band has these kinds of shifts in their tunes. "Delo Truda" should really focus on pieces a la "Realms", since they really know how to compose such long and complex songs, which is quite a task yet they are doing it unbelievably good.
A peculiar matter about Delo Truda's work is that while listening you can hear quite a lot of influences in their work. The  vocals (and music as well) remind me of a blend of a score of bands, some being "The Saddest Landscape", "Love Like.....Electrocution" and "Lizards Have Personalities", "Merchant Ships" and so on. Yet, despite these influences, they created a style which is contributed only to them, soaking up sway from others and changing everything in their own mixing pot, creating something you can enjoy over and over again.
Last thing I want to mention is that this is quite a fresh and relatively new project, despite it being formed two years ago albeit under a different name. Being so young and being so great, this needs and deserves your support, especially because of the latter fact. I say fact because if you honestly don't like this then something is very wrong. So, for the much needed support, contact them over myspace here, but they are gradually stopping to use that page, so if you want to be sure that your message is received write to them (and check them out) here on their Tumblr page. Enjoy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Touché Amoré & La Dispute - Split (2010)

This release isn't so fresh, since it came out some time ago, but I really had an unbelievable urge to write a bit about it and share it here. I am generally always excited about hearing a split release, since I find that form of records the most interesting seeing as how you get to hear songs from two or more bands. No need for a long intro, so let's get going.
The main reason this split took my attention is "La Dispute". Several times I have been asked to share my thoughts about this band, so some of you probably know my opinion on the subject. I am completely in love with their "Vancouver" release from 2006, but from there on things went downhill for me. All the other releases just didn't have something that their first release punched me with, so I kinda lost interest. Then again, they are very good musicians (very, very good) and I was really happy to see that other people really stayed in love with them, and actually fell in love even more. But pause your thoughts on "La Dispute" until several lines below, since "Touché Amoré" opens this jewel.
I was quite honest from the start of this writeup, so I'll continue in the same fashion and confess about "Touché Amoré". I have had their demo release on my pc from the day it came out, namely 2008 and I never ever took a listen to them. Why? Trust me, I don't know. Several times I have failed with ignoring some bands like "Tunes For Bears To Dance To", which I neglected for so long and then they turned to be one of my favorite bands today, so that might be the same case with "Touché Amoré". Well then lucky me this split came out! This Los Angeles screamo/hardcore project just blew me away the very second their tunes hit the speakers. "I'll Get My Just Deserve" opens with a melodic guitar riff while the rest of the band jumps in after a few seconds and damn do they make a good entry. My mind was immediately focused on the excellent raspy vocal and amazing guitar playing. The whole band has such a damn good dose of chaos and distortion in its sound, but at the same time remaining quite clean to be listened to. The song remains somewhere between mid/fast tempo, until Jordan from "La Dispute" enters on vocals after which everything explodes and goes nuts. The whole insanity drops at the last 20 seconds into nothing and just fades away, opening a way toward track two "I'll Deserve Just That", quite a loud, but kinda slow yet intense song with again a combination of Elliot's (not sure I got the right band member on vocals, sorry) and Jordan's singing, which is quite superb. During this 3:25 time of "Touché Amoré" I was in a state of trying to lift my jaw off the floor, feeling quite bad that I neglected them for two years. Absolutely energetic band with excellent tempo mixing and amazing style of playing.
Continuing onto part two of the split featuring the quintet hailing from the Grand Rapids, so fast forward from 2006 and into the present, you get to see me being punched into the face yet again by "La Dispute". This (nearly) six minute half of the split was like "Vancouver" revisited in my mind. The same intensity, maniacal melody shifting packed with amazing lyrical and vocal performance that I missed very much. Their half of the split seems like a reflected "Touché Amoré" half, which was probably the idea of both bands for this release. "La Dispute" starts of with the song "How I feel", a few seconds of a clear guitar melody followed by the rest of the band making an entrance, same as "Touché Amoré". Quite an aggressive song again featuring the vocals from both bands, with mainly Jordan's voice throwing me back into the time of their first release, being quite raw and even in the gentlest parts being...not so gentle. So amazing. The end of the song also drops and drifts off, the second song following its trail and being quite slow with bursting chaotic parts. At this point of listening I completely became aware of the reflected songs from both bands and I really loved the whole concept since you get to hear two different projects, yet while you listen they are so entwined with one another...and just about now I realized how the cover art suggests the same thing, heh. Excellent idea and an amazing realization.
In the end I'd just like to say sorry, if my extreme honesty and constant looking back into the passed ruined this writeup for you. All in all, this is an extremely good release and you should definitely focus a bit of your attention onto it. If you'd like to get in touch with these guys you can do so over myspace, "La Dispute" here and "Touché Amoré" here. Enjoy!