Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday's Kids - s/t 7''

Ouch, long time since the last post. Well, as I already wrote in the screambox, my pc is broken at the moment, so now I'm using a laptop until I either fix my old pc or get a new one. Until then, I'm stuck with this and it sucks since I don't have any of my shit here, so I end up listening to music over youtube and whatnot. It's a shitty laptop, yeah. Ok, enough random rants, let's get this rolling.

"Saturday's Kids" hails from South Wales, UK and formed in 2008. I was contacted about posting his band here by Sion like a month ago and it was just yesterday that I managed to take a listen. He described the band as being "weirdo experimental punk" and to be honest, I took that with a raised eyebrow. I already discussed my thoughts on the "experimental" tag in one other post, so I held back my expectations about being amazed by this. Well, my mistake, since this band struck me completely off guard. And it struck hard and directly.
First of all, this 7'' brings three songs with nearly ten minutes of tunes. The thing that pokes your eyes almost instantly is a kind of uneven distribution of song length, already a hint that something crazy is happening here. "Three Days" kicks off with a sound which resembles a machine of some sort, followed by a guitar with an eerie tone to it. So you think "ok, cool, kinda atmospheric, I'm digging it", but you are so fooled since soon everything goes insane and you get pounded down by aggressive drumming, seconds after which bass also joins the fray. You get stuck in this tornado of sound and then out of nowhere vocals also jump at you. I don't know if it's just me, but the vocals remind me of Geoff Rickly from "Thursday", but a bit younger and a lot more aggressive. Don't know if the descripiton made sense, it does in my head at least. Anyway, as the song progresses, you realize that this projects is going to have a lot of aces up it's sleave. The first minute and a half is a repetitive, aggressive, fast tempo melody with a slight variation in sound being introduced somewhere around 1:40, which leads into the pinacle and crescendoe of it all with amazing drum playing. The next twenty or so seconds really did it for me, still quite fast, but a bit more flowing and with an amazing post punkish tone introduced by the bass. At this point when you take a listen, you will reallize why I am analyzing this so thoroughly. Due to excellent recording of this material, you are able to witness and enjoy a song's every milisecond and focus on anything you find attractive.
After the amazing bass line and again the repetitive section, everything just drops down and becomes something on the verge of slow and mid tempo, until it drifts away at the end. The five minute monster is over and you move onto "Spider's Legs", a fast one minute track with a sort of alternative, punk, rockish tone. Quite catchy and it really swings you up and around. In the end, "A Dirty Dream" is an absolute pleasure to listen to. The opening part is a stunning bass line with a pure post punk feel to it, so amazing. The rest of the band enters soon after and yes, a complete post punk wonder is in front of you. Despite the fact that there are sections of aggressive outbursts on this song, the track is generally gentle and slow.
In the end, this band pretty much blew me away. My thoughts proved correct with assuming that various song lenghts mean different playing styles and that trait of "Saturday's Kids" is what makes them enjoyable. You can find a lot in these ten minutes and everything that you do find is extremly good, especially with the top notch quality of recordings. That also is one of the great traits of this project.
I didn't upload this record since you can download everything on their bandcamp page, actually on the "Art of the Blind" page, which I presume is their label. Check them out there, as well as on their myspace page here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Low Places

So yeah, I have been meaning to post something about this band ever since their first release came out, but was constantly sabotaged by various reasons. Again, even after their selftitled release saw the light of day I was quite far out of touch from it and as you can see it took me some time to get to it. But finally here it is, despite the fact that all of you probably know a thing or two about this band already.

To start off, there is a low amount of technical info about "Low Places". They hail from Los Angeles and amongst the band there are members of "CTL" and "Duke Nukem Forever". The dudes started out with a plan to do a series of four cassete releases and so far two of those have already hit the shelves (with the selftitled also coming out on vynil with "Recession Records"). First of the two releases, "Violent Hunger", came out during the summer of this year and it clearly suggested that we don't have a typical hardcore band in front of us. The said release brought us three songs with roughly six minutes of music and despite the short duration of the EP they managed to incorporate just enough genre elements to show us that what they bare is unique. They managed to entwine standard hardcore sounds with sludge and making it sound quite interesting and flowing, a task where a lot of bands fail if I may say so. Most of the times those sludge parts end up dull and you just sit tight and wait for those blasting hardcore riffs, but with "Low Places" there is no boredom in sight. The two genre elements fit extremely well together here and it is equal enjoyment with both sides so to speak. Their genre twisting further continued on their second release, the selftitled. You are instantly greeted with an excellent instrumental sludge song, a buzzing and brooding distortion filled track. "The Storm" fades over to "Malcontent", continuing with the sludge tone only to agressively explode into a violent hardcore beat in the mid. The third song, however, is a 39 second beast of a song, probably wrote in constrast to the sludgy tone of the first song, which is actually pretty cool and I enjoy when bands to this sort of thing. Worth mentioning is that the selftitled release also has the songs from "Violent Hunger" which stand on the second half of the album.
It is pretty clear that we have a very actively playing band here, since the time span between releases was rather short and it makes me quite happy. I enjoyed this project more than I actually expected and right now I am eager to hear some more material from them. All of their songs can be heard and downloaded on their bandcamp page, so no need for me to upload. While you are at it, get in touch and give them some praise, this is excellent work!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Here is the long awaited Mediocracy interview! It has been done by Luka quite a while ago, so finally it gets posted. I also intended to throw in a download link in the end, but my pc is kinda out-of-order and I'm on an emergency laptop, so I couldn't upload their album. If this interview sparks curiosity about the sound of "Mediocracy", you can download the album on their page. Enjoy the interview and thanks to the band for being interested in it!

1. Hi Viez, first I would like to thank you for this interview. Please introduce yourself and the rest of the band?

Hey man. No problem! Well I am Viez I play the vocals, Radu and Costin play guitars, Dop is the bassist and our drummer is Parashuta. Except for the guitar players these are our nicknames, but that's all you need to know haha! There is also a good friend of the band who is always with us and for live shows he's usually the one that makes the difference,his name is Fane and he is our sound guy.

2. Why "Mediocracy" and what is the story behind the name?

Well Mediocracy was an idea that I had a long time ago...almost 4 years, that I didn't even know at the time if it will even become real because I knew where I was living... But still,Mediocracy was a name I thought fitted the idea I wanted to share with the rest of the world (not just the country) seeing that Romania is really a country full of mediocre people who settle for a mediocre life, willing or unwilling and don't really have much power over the decisions or their own lives. It's also a result of post-communism that our country and probably the rest of the ex-soviet bloc have, where people were forced to relocate and educated in a rudimentary manor and so now we have the mentality and ideas of today.

3. "Mediocracy" is a young band, how long you work together and when did you get the idea to form it?

Well the current line-up is reletively short-lived. We had our first concert on 4th of July, without a second guitar player but after the second show where Costin filled in on bass for Dop (who was in the hospital at the time) we decided to go for a second guitar and from then we have the line-up we have today. Then the songs became more and more awesome haha. I want to mention that even though it was my idea to form this band, for wich I struggled for almost 4 years, without these guys it wouldn't have happened because at one time I think I had just had enough and wanted to quit, because of the costant member changing. Until I met Radu and we started writing the songs that you can hear today. For this reason I want to thank them first for making this band become real!

4. You just released your debut full lenght called "Human Progress - Endless Regress". Can you tell us something about it and the story behind the songs?

The songs on ''Human Progress - Endless Regress'' are our own personal views of the situation and society we live in. Lyrically I had a lot to learn from such bands as "Pavilionul 32" or "Terror Art" because they reflected the romanian every-day life very well, socially and politically and seeing how I wanted to be a part of this scene it was near what I wanted to say also. The album is focused on the idea of humanity's closing self-destruction and our aproach on how we see things today. It wasn't necessairly intended to be a revolutionary album or something that people haven't heard before, but it became something new because of the place we came from and thus our point of view for these problems. The songs focus on the struggle to get out of the everyday mediocrity, fighting for a chance to be heard, opression or religious indoctrination. It's probably a bit random for now but this was my first effort to write lyrics and we didn't have a plan or a concept settled before we began this album. We just wrote what we felt and this was what came out. It's an immense joy seeing now that there are people who enjoy what we did.

5. In your songs different impacts can be heard - crust, sludge, metal...tell me about your sound and which bands most influenced your work?

Well first of all we are 5 very different idividuals. The rest of the guys knew each other before I knew all of them, I was the only punk haha. But after we've met we found out that we had a lot of things in common and we all like bands like Disfear, Converge, Kylesa, Wolfbrigade, Doomriders and to my great joy, Fall of Efrafa! We didn't necessairly set out to sound like a certain band, but we definetly had our influences and those werefrom the different crust,metal,sludge or punk bands that we all listen to and thought would fit in what we were doing. It was a very surprising result even for us seeing how these songs came to sound like when we are so different. We are definitely not a typical crust band that's for sure haha.

6.I see you are going for your first tour. More about it and is there any chances that you visit Serbia next year?

The tour was actually an offer we got from Coro,a friend of ours who did it for "The Arson Project" and the moldavian grinders "Abnormyndeffect" before he heard us. But after our very first gig he told us about this and we would have been lunatics not to accept. First of all we get to play with "The Arson Project", who are a great band and I can't wait to meet them and second of all touring was pretty much what we wanted to do with this band and play as many places as possible.
Sure I hope we can come to Serbia very soon, seeing how it's so near, but this depends on things that are pretty much out of our power...we have jobs, school, some of the guys play in other bands too, so i can't know at this moment where we will be next year. But we will do our best to reach as much places as possible!

7. We know little about Romanian hardcore/punk scene. Can you give me some small info about it and active bands that play in your country?

I think you know very little because there is very little to be known haha! Well the ultimate hardcore/punk band from Romania is definetly "Pavilionul 32" from Timisoara. They always had a great scene over there, compared to Buchurest where it barely exists, they are the band with the most shows and tours ever played by a romanian underground band and were also the first to make this kind of fast, political and honest punk here. Another band that people should check out is "Stuck in a Rut" from Cluj-Napoca, a city that also has a great scene and awesome shows. They are a young band also and a premiere in Romania because they are the first real thrashcore/powerviolence band from here. There are some bands here and there but I don't consider anything overwhelming at the moment. I don't want to be the judge of the scene now or anything like that,but these are just the bands that i consider are worth checking out.

8. Beside "Mediocracy" do members play in some other bands, any side projects?

Yes they do, but very different stuff. Our rehearsal space is actually a place of costant music making and we are always working on something. Radu and Costin play guitar and bass in a death metal band called "Cap De Craniu" (meaning Head of Skull haha) which is really good and also a big leap forward for the romanian underground scene. Para, our drummer, now plays in a band called "Rain District" which is...very different from Mediocracy haha. It's a more alternative rock, with some post rock influences here and there, some grunge... It's more commercial but compared to some things people decide to play here, they are also very good. Still...I don't think I can recommend them to our listeners. He also has another side-project called "Roadkill soda", which is more stoner-sludge oriented. I haven't heard much because they're still working on songs but what I've heard I think will also be very good. Dop and I don't play in other bands. He played before in some metal bands, most notably being "Deviant". Costin has had a lot of projects and is probably one of the most hardworking people I've met in my life. "Nightpray" is one of his projects and there are a lot of other projects in the past. I don't think I can remember all of them right now haha. So yea this is what I was saying...we come from very different backgrounds but managed to find something in common and I think what came out is surprisingly good. We'll see..

9. I see you work art for the band, also saw that you have your own blog with your art. Art seems to be a big part of your band?

Yes, well I wanted to do the artwork even before the band even existed. It's something I want to do besides playing music. Drawing was actually first and I still dream that I can make a living out of this hahaha.
I consider the artwork to be a big part of the band because that is actually what you see first and probaly draw your attention to listen to a certain band. I tried to represent the music's atmosphere and I saw people enjoyed it so I guess that I managed that. I did some art before this for "Pavilionul 32", the guys from "Downfall of Gaia" used some of my drawings for some shirts, stickers etc, I've made some gig posters and so on. My portfolio is not that big yet but I'm still working on that and want to do artwork for bands in the future.

10. Besides the band, do members have some hobbies or something like that, are they still in school or have jobs?

Hobbies...I don't know. Yes some of us work, me and Radu are students. Costin also does artwork but he's been doing this for years and is actually a very renown graphic designer. He's been doing art for dozens of bands and is constantly working on this, besides his day job. He actually finished the same section at the university where I am now (graphic design). Check out "twilight13media" and you'll see his art there. Radu is studying photo-video and doing all kinds of things hahaha. Dop also.

11. I think I asked you everything. Thank you again for this interview. If you want to add something for the end, maybe something important about the band that I forgot to ask you. Some message for the blog, bands?

Thank you for this interview Luka! This is actually the first interview we gave since we released the album and we appreciate your support very much! Keep up the good work and I hope we will meet soon! Also thank you to everyone who gave us a listen and gave us a chance. It was a great surprise to see people enjoying our music seeing how we have done something new for our country but not so for others. We didn't know really what reactions to expect, mostly because we are not a typical crust band. We definitely don't look like one that's for sure. But maybe we're not even decide. Still, in the end the music and the message are all that count and I hope people will understand this. We will keep working on improving ourselves and hope the next release will bring even more than this album.
All the best and hope to see you all soon!
Thanx again Luka!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Theme Of Laura - Demo (2010)

Before I even knew it, my inbox on gmail became really cramped with a lot of submissions and I'm due to do a lot of promised reviews and posts. And I will actually, not a single band will go unnoticed, since every submission was great. This release arrived to me yesterday and it's the newest one in, but I just had to post it right away. So sorry for all the others waiting, but this really blew my brains away.

So, what do we have here? A trio playing screamo (non-intentional rhyme) in the vain of the legendary "1000 Travels of Jawaharlal" and the newer wonder the "12XU", carrying the sound under a name inspired by a Silent Hill reference...and they are French. I just have to take a moment and praise glorious France, there isn't a single bad screamo/emo band which came from that country. Not only are the bands not bad, they are incredible and I have an extremely soft spot (edit:addiction) for French screamo. The country exceptionally keeps the European screamo scene firm and strong, basically making that into a tradition rather than an effort.
To try and be a bit more serious now, "Theme Of Laura" justifies well the successful line of French bands. As mentioned above, the band brings forth sounds which are on the border of screamo, emo and punk. The first track instantly greets you with exploding and rending guitar riffs, heart-pounding drumming and an excellent ambient like filler in the form of bass. It is a fast and rushing song, but what is most interesting is that it has a certain something that Akira Yamaoka implemented into the Silent Hill soundtracks. It is very hard to explain, but if you took a listen to the soundtrack you will know what I mean. Basically on every turn of this song you expect something from SH to jump at you, sound wise. The track has some mid pace elements, but those just explode and beat your chest into a pulp near the end. Fast song tempo really dominates on this release, but considering that you have five songs and around 18 minutes of music, you are in for some long yet fast songs.
So there we come to a trait this band has that really astounds me. Several bands which I heard before that had the "long fast songs" composition are rather dull and repetitive. Here it's different for 180 degrees. Their songs literally flow due to the speed, but there are constant changes in sound, the smallest shifts of pace which really stand out and an ever present unpredictability of melodies. It is almost a whirlwind like experience, you are carried high with the very speed of the demo, but are further tumbled around by all the unexpected elements which hit you constantly.
As for the instruments and vocal performance, I'm without complaints. Guitar bears minimum of alterations and effects, so you have a really pure and natural sound with a very light and high tone. Drumming is perfect, a bit raw in contrast to the guitar, but very melodic and greatly adds to the unpredictability trait. Bass also carries a standard sound, but the style of playing is quite rad, since it plays an amazing part as the mood-setter for the songs. As far as vocals go, they are in the form of constant raspy screams, sometimes followed by pack screaming.

Is you haven't figured it out yet, I really liked this project. French screamo is yet to fail me and these guys are really making that task harder. This is a pretty young band and this demo is due to be released soon on 100 cd-r with screenprinted cover art. It is worth mentioning that they are part of the "Dreams Come True" association and are friends with "Emotionally Unstable Records", labels which were already introduced to us by a much respected person by this blog, Ianik from Chaos Is... . You can get in touch with the band on myspace here or bandcamp here. Enjoy!
In the end I would like to thank Stephane from "Theme Of Laura" for contacting me about his band and for having to say some very nice words about the blog. Hope this band flourishes in the future!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Protestant interviewed NWNP!

Yes, unexpected, exciting things are bound to happen here. Here are my answers to the questions Cory asked in the interview yesterday. Once again, thanks for the interest!
Looking at the blog now, it seems that it is on a good way to become a zine!

1. What is the best band in Serbia?

To be honest, there is quite a lot to be heard in Serbia, from post-rock and indie to hardcore, crust and metal. There is a lot of held back potential here, so these sounds stay inside the country, since a lot of bands don't have the funds or time or whatever to tour and spread their music around. Some of my personal favorites are "Dazd", "Reflections of Internal Rain", "Ground Zero", "Went", "36 Daggers", "Lets Grow", "Unison"... You can find all of these on myspace.

2. Is there a common thing politically or otherwise that binds the punk/hc scene?

In my opinion, despite the number of bands and projects here, there isn't a scene per se. There is no collective, no movements that support such a thing nor are there movements to support. A lot of poseurism plagues these regions. Lots of talk about friendship and unity, but none to be found, so you basically end up with bands doing things alone or without a defined message and initiative to do something more other than record some shit and do a few shows. Here it is more just for fun I guess, rather than doing something useful and productive along the way. Quite sad in my opinion.

3. Do you have a lot of diy labels/zines/show spaces?

As you might conclude from the above question, no. The lack of a "scene" and a movement, carries with itself a lack of everything else. I had plans a while ago to start organizing shows here, 

but it is hard to find a cheap space, since there are no diy venues and it is even more hard when you are doing it alone. There is a group of people starting some gigs in Novi Sad, which is the second biggest city here, so maybe they will have luck in the future. Also there are some labels and zines here that I knew of, but it was all way to small and way under the potential they could reach if they were more supported. Serbia needs more interest, inspiration and motivation when it comes to diy ethics concerning music. Luka and myself have plans about starting a label, so we will see how that goes.

4. How is the country as a whole?

It has it's ups and downs. Generally, it is great here, but a lot of internal and external strife devastated the country in the past. Safe to say that we are years behind the rest of Europe. Those are subjects of politics, so I'd really skip that part, since it is rather frustrating and pointless. Aside of that historical/political aspect, it is ok. A lot of tourists who come through Serbia are quite surprised and fall in love with everything here.

5. How is the economy versus the rest of Eastern Europe/Europe in general?

Versus the rest of the world - falling behind pretty much.
Versus Eastern Europe - hard question, since the countries here are entwined with an equal dose of war-filled history, so it is all balanced in a weird way. Serbia and Croatia are probably the most "advanced" in the region.

6. Do people speak english there much?

Yes, here english is a mandatory subject in schools and faculties and it is almost a must when you apply for a job.

7. Do touring bands come through a lot?

Depends. As I said above, the lack of diy venues really makes it a hard task to host a show. Generally there are a lot of gigs going on, but from my personal perspective I'm not really satisfied. Only a handful of bands that I love had a show here. Croatia and Romania have a great support for booking diy shows, that is where all the good gigs are happening and a lot of times you can see a band come to Croatia, but not coming here, despite Serbia being the country next door.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Finally posted here is the interview Luka (necastivi) did with the amazing Protestant. As much as I heard, Cory provided answers fast, so many thanks to him for being interested in having his band hosted on Natures With No Plagues. He also provided the blog with many questions, so seeing as Luka did the interview with Cory, I'll be answering Cory's questions which will be posted tomorrow. Enjoy!
1. First I would like to thank you Cory for this interview. Please introduce yourself and the rest of the bend?

Hi! Thank YOU! I am Cory, I play guitar and sing. Brian plays drums and sings a little. Chris plays guitar and sings a little. Jesse plays bass and sings a little.

2. Why that name and what is the story behind Protestant?

Protestant is the most common religion in America and it's beginnings here are allegedly one of purity, a strong work ethic, etc. Beneath the history of America and Protestantism here you find much darker truths about its early history. We also like it as a name for a band. One might say it relates to the word 'protest' as well. re: one who protests.

3. You have few releases so far, just released your last LP "Judgements". Can you tell me something about it and your future plans?

Yes, we just released 'Judgements' on both LP and Cassette through Vendetta in Germany and Halo of Flies in the US. A CD version is due to come out in early 2011 through Shove Records in Italy and Epidemic Records in Singapore.
We're quite pleased with it overall. Its probably our most concise release and best represents us currently. We have a lot of past releases that we are proud of as well. Plans? Well we are writing new songs and I suppose we will have a new release of some kind ready in summer or something.

4. I notice different styles of music in your sound.What are the influences that contribute to Protestant's music?

Well, we all listen to all kinds of music, though hardcore/punk is what we all have in common the most. I think its nice that we all like different things and we can bring those different styles into our writing. I like pop music, power metal, post rock, etc. as much as I like hardcore and punk. The others like everything from nyhc to progressive rock and jazz. I think not listening to punk/hc all day helps with new ideas, inspirations, etc.

5. Also I notice woodcut art on your releases and other merch.What is the story with those?

Chris likes to steal pieces of art from books and make them his own. I think it is a style that suits us.

6. Recently you returned from a Euro tour. How it was and is there any chance to visit Serbia next time?

Europe was great, quite different than here and in many ways better. I had an amazing time. I cant wait to go back.
We met so many nice people, played with amazing bands, met people we or I had known through the internet, etc. Everyone was incredibly good to us. Unfortunately our jobs and lives prevent us from any big plans anytime soon, but we will definitely try to go where we didn't go before.

7. Beside Protestant you have you own label-Halo of Flies. Can you give me a small info about your records and the bands that you release so far and some future plans?

I do indeed.
I have released 32 records/tapes/cds so far with 4 more coming up soon. Currently I have a 7" from END OF ALL (sweden), an LP from MASAKARI (usa), an LP from THE MAKAI(usa), a split LP from THOU / MOHORAM ATTA (both usa), and the PROTESTANT LP/CS , as well as the last copies of a cassette for my hc/punk band PARTYBYTHESLICE available. Coming up in the next few months are the repress of the MASAKARI 7", a new 7" from THE ASSASSINATORS (denmark), a double LP from NORTHLESS(usa) and a double LP from LIGHT BEARER (uk).

8. You come from Milwaukee. As much as I know,you have good scene there. Do members of Protestant have some side projects? What bands are currently active with you...?

Yes we do, thanks! Glad to hear you think so. We have a few side projects. I am in PARTYBYTHESLICE which is on hiatus due to the bass player and guitarist having a baby a few weeks ago. Chris is in IMPATIENCE, a more traditional heavy hardcore band not unlike early Integrity, and Brian is in EVENSTAR, a pop punk/post hardcore band.

9. Do you have some questions for us? (check the blog tomorrow for the answers!)

Yes. Whats the best band in Serbia? Do you have a lot of diy labels/zines/show spaces? How is the country as a whole? Is there a common thing politically or otherwise that binds the punk/hc scene? Do people speak English there much? Do touring bands come through a lot? How is the economy versus the rest of eastern Europe/Europe in general?

10. At the end I would like to thank you again. Do you have some message for the blog, fans, bands...?

No really, thank YOU. Its awesome that people so far away care about what we and I are doing. I really appreciate it.
Message? Hmm. Support DIY culture whether its PROTESTANT, your favorite show space, your zine, etc. If you believe in it, fight for it. Maybe we'll come to Serbia someday and say hello ourselves. Thanks.
Get in touch with us at:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kid Sister Everything

Here is a special something for today, a bit of promotion for "Kid Sister Everything", a label from Chicago. I have been contacted by Harrison, the dude running the label, so today you'll be introduced to two of his releases. Quite fine ones I might add, so sit back and enjoy.

Antilles - My Empathy EP (2010)

First up, Antilles, a screamo band based in Norwalk, Ohio. This quartet has quite a bit of releases under their belt, among which are 2 EPs, an upcoming LP and numerous splits, one even with the band which I am due to write about further in the text. Despite all these releases, I must admit that I haven't heard of this band before, so I can't really compare this EP with their previous work. But all of you who are like me and don't know about this project, trust me on my word when I say that this release definitely makes you want to search for more music under the name of Antilles.
"My Empathy" brings us two songs with a total of eight something minutes. It starts of with the song "Propensity", welcoming you with a very quiet guitar sound. VERY quiet, but don't be a fool like I was and think that it is a bad recording, the volume increases dramatically after 19 seconds. The song continues to have a repetitive mid tempo riff being played until it drops at one point, but complete silence is broken with a faster, more rending playing. The middle part of the song offers the speedup playing and tune shifts, while the last third of the song is again a repetitive sequence with less speed, but with extremely built tension. The song ends with yet unheard chaos which sort of oozes onto the second song, "The Shame". This songs was a bit more to my liking (not that there was something bad with the first one). The chaos from the first track continued here with even more aggression, but what is interesting is that it lasts until literally half the song, when it converts into an absolutely amazing slow tempo melody which just gently pleases your ears. It builds up in sound a bit toward the end, but once you think that it will explode and go crazy again it just starts fading away. Magnificent.
With all this said, how to describe their sound? Imagine a mix of Australian screamo, but with a lot more tension, a slight touch of grimness and brooding tones of some 90's screamo and a bit of a mathy trait screamo seems to get nowadays. At least to me it sounds like it, though if someone described a band this way to me I'd be confused. I need to check out the rest of their stuff to have a firm statement about this project, but so far this release really drives you into a positive direction. Definitely take a listen to this, you won't regret it!

Mountain Asleep - Smile Medicine 7'' (2010)

Moving onto the second release by "Kid Sister Everything", we are greeted with Mountain Asleep, a hardcore/screamo band from Louisville. Heh, when I first saw the name of the band and of the release, I thought that I will hear some mellow, slow tunes. Oh how I was wrong. The hardcore bit really comes up front row, so you are in for some very fast and loud songs.
This quintet recorded six albums/demos/splits with "Smile Medicine" being their newest addition. It features four songs with around seven minutes of tunes. As you can see and as I already said, this is a very fast-paced release. From the very beginning in the form of the song "Sleep Simplicity" you realize what will happen in the next seven minutes, since you are swiped off your feet with extremely enjoyable, melodic chaos. Everything is tossed at you from pack singing and an amazing raspy main vocal to constant melody shifts. Exploding crescendos, rushing punk melodies, rending riffs, start stop sequences... To even further the speed of the record, all songs continue onto each other and really overflow one another, with only the last song "Strangers" being a bit cut off with a fading out guitar screeching from the previous track. You literally have no time to grasp and analyze a particular song section, because you are overwhelmed by the next one. I really love the way these guys write songs, this really requires excellent hearing and a sense of tone. I'm not gonna analyze the songs in detail since it is almost impossible. Take a listen and figure it out for yourself, it will be seven minutes perfectly spent. My sheer amazement and the time it took me to lift my jaw off the floor, really makes me look for some more releases by this band. And it made one fact really hard to accept. "Mountain Asleep" will play their last show on December 18th. It is always sad when a great band breaks up, but it's even tougher when you just recently discovered it. At least, they left us with some breathtaking material. Definitely download this.

In the end, some technical information about the releases.
Antilles is released on 200 opaque red and a 100 on black.
Mountain Asleep on 200 yellow and a 100 on black.
And some links for you to get in contact with everyone mentioned here:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interview:Light Bearer

After some talks and discussion, my good friend (whom you can find on under the name necastivi) and myself decided to do some collaboration work in the form of several interviews. This is the first in the series and it went great, hopefully we will continue doing work in the future. We both have ideas for a label, so we will most likely expand further in that direction as well.
Without further ado, we proudly present Light Bearer, a highly expected and awaited band. We were very happy that Alex accepted to do this interview, so here are the fruits of our work.

1. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking your time to do this interview and for the overall interest in this blog. Please introduce yourself and the rest of the band.

Hi, we are Light Bearer, there are six members - Lee creates soundscapes and atmospherics, Tom plays bass and sings, Liam plays drums, Duncan also plays guitar and vocals and Matthew plays guitar. We also have a guest viola /cellist called Ella who will join us in our recordings. My name is Alex, I am the vocalist and artist/lyricist in the band.

2. What is the story behind the formation of the band?

After my last band ended, I realised how important being part of a shared experience was. I had advertised a few times trying to drum up interest in a new band but to little or no avail. One of my oldest and dearest friends Lee agreed to be involved from the start, he has been in a number of noise bands over the years. We started working on a few little ideas and then eventually Matthew approached me about playing guitar.He and Liam and Duncan had played in a hardcore band called Dungeons for many years and had also started a doom band called R'lyeh, which had fallen apart shortly after its inception, and Matt had written quite a lot for that. We spent an afternoon drinking tea and playing riffs and it flowed really well. Matt asked Liam to play drums, which he agreed to, which was really important as we needed a drummer who was technically very good. Liam does a lot of session work so has become a very competent drummer. We also asked some other friends to join and went through a few line up changes and eventually Duncan, Liams brother joined on guitar which was a welcome addition. Last but not least Tom on bass, who will bring clean vocals to the music. I guess the most important factor is we all get on really well. Musically we all share a common interest, but have quite disparate interests as well, from 90's emo, screamo, hip hop, noise, black, doom and drone metal and indie, drum and bass etc. It became quite fluid very quickly, which probably stems from many of us having playing together before.

3. Tell me more about the concept around which "Light Bearer" rotates.

Light Bearer is the literal translation of "Lucifer" and in context is the story of the birth of intelligence and free will, and the passing on of knowledge, in the shadow of religious oppression. The story follows a number of story arcs, the first is the formation of the Authority , the false god. The second, the casting out of the innocent lucifer, the third, the tale of Eve and the dawn of self awareness and the forging of a knife as a weapon against that authority. The concept borrows mainly from paradise Lost by John Milton, but also from His dark materials by Philip Pullman, which is a book loved by many members of Light Bearer. The concept will flow over all our releases, we plan to keep the main story to four records, but we also have a number of side stories which will permeate splits and ep's. Its a strong narrative which will be reflected in the music and artwork. The music has been written specifically to mirror the words, with melodies representing characters and songs incorporating mood and a sense of place. When we were writing our first album, it was more about writing songs that have melodies that invoke emotions, creating highs and lows. We can be pretty heavy, but also very minimalistic.

4. How did the process of establishing that idea go?

We originally planned for the concept to follow the idea of Eve, the personification of the innocent learning the idea of self and identity, but then the story evolved and became more about Lucifer. I started reading about different versions of the first fall - why Lucifer was thrown from heaven. Liam and Duncan's uncle writes a great deal on the occult and the mythology of Lucifer so this was an interesting source of information pertaining to this, but we wanted to turn the story on its head and have Lucifer as the protagonist, the innocent. When we started writing the song "primum movens" - Matt was deliberately writing the structure to mirror the confrontation between god (the authority) and Lucifer and we decided that this was more important. Why would a benevolent god condemn his own kin for refusing to bow before anyone but himself? The idea of bowing before a graven image is a sin in itself. It was a sign of great arrogance and hypocrisy. It was this act that gave away his true form. We are all atheist or anti-theist in this band, but all enjoy the rich mythology that surrounds abrahamic religion. Its with this we play out that story, but also pay homage to the authors that took that original concept and made it their own.

5. Did you manage to entwine the concept with your real life ideologies and in which measure?

Yes, in fact they are very obvious from the beginning of the album. We were aware that sometimes certain key ideologies are lost in translation, especially considering much of the lyrics in the first half are focused entirely on the point of view of Lucifer, who loved god so much he could not comprehend his condemnation. The lyrics are exalting the authority. Our second album, Silver tongue, will be a little more obvious in out intent - like all bands before and possibly after, lyrically we all condemn religion.

6. You were a member of a band with a strong concept flowing around the book "Watership Down". I presume you aquired a lot of experience which you can also implement into "Light Bearer"?

Perhaps, its just something I really enjoy. Lyrically my last band had many flaws, so I am happy to start this project from the beginning with a specific goal. I guess this is just what I like doing and of course people will say it is unoriginal to do another book band, but this is actually the fourth book related band I have been part of so its just how I roll. Writing the concepts isn't unique to me in this band. Matt, Liam and Duncan were in a band based around the tales of HP Lovecraft. Books are there to be read, and enjoyed, and I guess we enjoy taking ideas and giving them a new dimension. I have been a comic writer and author for many years, and for me, being in a band, having a strong lyrical direction is important. What we are trying to do is create something all encompassing and enjoyable to build upon. Its hugely rewarding and after 10 months of practicing, we finally have something to be proud of.

7. Can you tell me about the very sound of "Light Bearer"? What type of sound can we expect?

Musically, there is no set style, when we sat down to start writing, we just wrote -there was a big focus on melodies and melodies representing characters. On our first record there is a specific melody, we call "Lucifers monody" which is repeated in three of the songs, to accompany this we wrote other melodies that represent other key characters which play alone or alongside lucifers monody. Each melody will gain significance over the four records, and its fun already planning how these will work in future releases. The whole thing has to be listened to like a story, so we will have to be forgiven for repeated phrases - like characters in a story they will come and go throughout the project. The album builds and falls in interesting ways, creating audio landscapes to mirror the events in the story. Its a challenge that the boys took to really well, it can be rather frantic, but we all worship the riff so there are plenty of crushingly heavy parts that really add weight to everything. It has been a lot of fun seeing things fall into place. I guess you could call it a mix of really melodic post rock, doom, post hardcore, post metal, beats and huge soundscapes. We invoke bands like Envy, Red Sparrowes, Sigur Ros, Neurosis, early Baroness, Circle Takes The Square, Mastodon, 65 days of static, Mouth of the Architect and Cult of Luna.

8. In one of your myspace blog entries you wrote: "We plan for this band to be as much about the art as it is the music." Do you plan on doing something special for the releases?

We have grand plans for artwork, the music and the story are so intertwined, we had to make sure the artwork was similarly complex. Money is the only prohibiting factor because we do not want our releases to be too expensive. I guess we shall have to wait and see, but expect a lot of screen printing, die cutting, each record will link to the last. I've been working on the LP artwork for some time and its a challenge making it open ended, so like the music, the artwork will flow from release to the next.

9. Short euro tours were also mentioned. Are those being planed already or are they just an idea for now? And do you plan to be an actively touring band?

Light Bearer will tour as much as we can, some of us have full time jobs, so this is always going to be difficult, I think people expect bands to be able to drop everything, but if you work a 9 to 5, you only have a few weeks a year to tour and to spend time with you loved ones. We shall do our best to tour as much as possible.

10.Any chance of touring Serbia with "Light Bearer"?

We will try not to miss anywhere out! This band is as much about seeing the world as it is about playing shows!

11.You are working with labels you have worked with before, was this a conscious decision?

Working with Timo at Alerta Antifascista and Cory at Halo of Flies was something important to me, I think I threw myself at them! I've personally worked with both of them for years and I think they're used to the control freak in me! They both work so hard and have a great work ethic, I consider them both friends and both share a love of awesome music, be that the best doom metal or awful pop music! Its an honour to work with those guys. But we will also be working with three new labels, TOKY JUPITER out of Japan, MOMENT OF COLLAPSE, who are an awesome label out of Germany, and FUCK HAPPY ENDINGS, which is run by our good friend Rory. We hope to build awesome friendships with all these new labels and work to create something awesome.

12. Do Light Bearer members have some side projects at the moment?

Yes, we all have numerous small side projects and other bands - Lee plays in The Mylar Blackout and Cliff Bastard incredible atmos/noise, he also plays in The Nepalese Temple ball, heavy noise/post metal. Liam, Duncan, Tom , Matthew and I play in a melodic hardcore band called Momentum, which we hope to record soon.

In the end, a little announcement of Light Bearer's future plans. Near the end of February their first album along with a single song LP will come out under the name of "Beyond the Infinite; The Assembly of God". The release will be followed by a short Euro tour in March. Stay tuned, we are in for a great new year.