Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gig review: Went, Cannot

I'm kinda late with this gig review, but I was extremely looking forward to writing some words for it. To be honest, I didn't plan to write about it actually, but after the show the urge to manifest my feelings on paper (monitor?) was just overabundant.

So, the gig took place a few days ago, namely on Thursday 19th May at KC "Grad" (Cultural center "City"). One other reviewed show was held at this venue, "Analena"/"36 Daggers" (found here by the way), though I just realized that I didn't quite talk about the very gig place in that writeup. Not much to say actually, it is quite a small venue, but with great sound and a high number of happenings. This is probably my favorite gig place at the moment, simply because it has enough space for the crowd and most importantly the acoustics of the club are good, so literally any type of music can be performed here and not get flawed by the venue, which tends to happen in Belgrade occasionally.
Anyways, the gig was about to start 10 PM sharp and I was panicking and bitching constantly due to the fact that both of my friends and myself were running late, being sabotaged by the stupid public transport which all but died that night. By some cosmic force or something the show was running late, so we got there just in time. "Went" was the first to kick off and I must say that they are the reason why I'm doing this review. I already wrote about two of their shows (their solo gig found here and the amazing gig with "Radio Burroughs" and "Petethepiratesquid" here) and most of you who read this blog already know my feelings about them. But every time I see them live I simply get blown away and it comes as such a wonderful surprise that this is "just" a local band. They have absolutely beautiful sets which really manage to invoke various emotions in the crowd. One minute they calm you down with gentle acoustic sounds, but after that they just pick you up with a frantic and pounding tune, ranging from something post rockish to garage/indie. "Went" just keeps bouncing you all over the room and personally I enjoy every second of it. I was extremely happy that I got to hear "Out", since it definitely is my favorite song (and thus the bitching about being late, since I knew this would be the second song played). Saying that it is just favorite is a serious understatement, that song is really a masterpiece and it is enough to say that the song alone got over 80 plays in my charts on "" in the past seven days. Overall, I was melting in the front row during their part of the show and I really hope that "Went" manages to go out and see the world a bit, since it would be a real shame for a band of this caliber to stay on the "local" level.
After a short break, "Cannot" got on stage. I already heard this band in the same venue actually, in November last year when they had a promotion of their album called "3:33". I have to come clean regarding this four piece, this generally isn't my cup of tea as far as listening at home is concerned. This review won't be bashing this band however, since "Cannot" is a force to be reckoned with when witnessed live. For some reason, my thoughts are that the recordings didn't manage to fully grasp some traits which make this band good, so I will focus my critique on their live performance. They play a combination of grunge and alternative rock with a neat female vocal which gives the band a certain something. There is a lot of chaos going on in their music with quite a lot of shifts in melody, but a constant heavy and technical sound. In contrast to the bashing tones coming from the instruments, the vocal gives a soothing layer to everything. Of course, the vocal also has vast variations in singing/screaming style, so it really manages to create a full circle of sound, with equal parts of gentleness and aggression. In any case, they pulled off a very entertaining show both the first time when I saw them playing and now. They are quite talented musicians and I would really like to see them blossom even further.
Since this last part of the review is definitely written in a retarded manner I highly recommend that you check out "Cannot" on their website here. The site is still under construction, but you can head there and download "3:33", since it is completely free.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old Growth & 12XU - European October tour 2011

YES! These two amazing bands plan to tour over Europe this October and it is going to be pretty sweet! Julien from 12XU sent me an e-mail with an early rough plan, but since none of the dates are for certain he asked me not to post them up just yet. So for now I just want to let you all now that this is cooking up in the meantime. The important thing is that they plan to cover quite a lot of ground and if you are interested in helping them out or whatever feel free to contact Julien via the band e-mail:
weare12xu AT gmail DOT com

I'll be posting the dates once the tour plan becomes a bit solid, so stay tuned. Hurry up October!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gig review: Nux Vomica, Helltard

This was supposed to be written and posted yesterday, but I was under so many impressions and emotions about this gig that I just couldn't sit down and scrabble some words for a review. Yes, I was so blown away by what I saw and heard that I really needed to take some time and recollect everything appropriately.

The concert took place two days ago on Friday 13th (evil date for a crust gig, fuck yeah) in the "small club" of  "Akademija" ("Academy"). I already mentioned this club when I wrote the review for the "Went" gig, so you should be familiar with it and my feelings for it (if you didn't check out that writeup, you can check it here). I'll repeat myself a bit as far as the club is concerned, since I really hate the place for its bad sound and horrible acoustics. When I remember the "Went" gig, the very venue crippled the band quite much and I was hoping that the same won't happen to this show. Luckily it was the exact opposite, but I'll get to that later.
Anyways, me and my mates got at the club somewhere around 10 PM, on time just in case it actually starts on time. Unfortunately, the gig was extremely late, beginning around 11:30 or something like that, I can't quite remember since I was just dying to get inside. Once we got in and managed to grab a fine spot amidst a fair number of people present at the show, "Helltard" kicked off. I was talking a bit with my brother and his mates at the time, so I sadly didn't pay much attention to the band (yeah, I know, I suck at local band support sometimes), but from what I managed to hear they play a combination of thrashy grindcore and punk. Quite frantic and fast tunes within extremely short songs, so their part of the gig wasn't very long. Their music was interesting, though I think that I wouldn't really enjoy them at home if you know what I mean. Needless to say, they were good live, despite attracting some audience hate with random jokes between songs. Don't do that shit guys, just rend next time. You can check their tunes out on their myspace page found here.

When "Helltard" finished, I grabbed the chance and went to the distro section and drooled a bit before actually buying a shirt and the 2x LP "Asleep in the Ashes" from "Nux Vomica". I'll say it now, if you love their tunes definitely buy their merch! The design of the shirt is great (and yes, my cat already succeeded in destroying a part of it). But oh my, the "Asleep in the Ashes"... whole different meaning of the word "awesome". Beautiful artwork, colored vinyl, great package, just amazing. So, as I said, support the band, they really do an excellent jobwith their releases, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor!

But back to the gig... After a short pause, "Nux Vomica" took their instruments and literally killed the audience. I have to say it right away, this is the best concert I have ever watched and listened, without a single doubt. Up until this Friday, the "In Flames" gig I attended was my number one show, but now it definitely shares the first place with "Nux Vomica", simply because both shows struck me in two quite different ways. "In Flames" performed superbly and the show was full of energy, me and my friends just dancing, jumping, screaming, moshing and making fools of ourselves constantly for the duration of the gig, a really beautiful memory in my mind. But with "Nux Vomica" it is completely the other way around. They managed to impact hit me so hard and I just remained pinned down in one place, totally stunned and in a catatonic state. I was just standing there amidst everyone and just stared and absorbed every visual and audio stimulation coming from the band. Somehow, even the venue obeyed and aided their music, since the sound was so powerful and chaotic, but every instrument remained decipherable. Never before did I attend a show where the band succeeded in creating such a massive sound, you literally feel swallowed by it. Everyone was so close to the stage, since the club is small, so the sound just bounces off of you, as if you can feel it materialize on your skin. This all probably sounds like a load of bull to the readers, but I still can't believe nor explain what I experienced that night. Even now while writing this and looking back to the show I get shivers at how amazing it was. Every second of their performance was just perfect, full of energy and radiating with passion. The ambient went along well with the music, since there was a minimum amount of light, everything was dark, so the movement on stage was visually entertaining.
Their repertoire contained two of my favorite songs, "All The Clocks Have Different Times" and "Room Silencer", amongst many others. I thought that those two will be the peak of the show for me, but the band surpassed even those expectations with "Walk Through The Ashes". The song itself is an epic piece with a clash of gentle and highly aggressive tones, but the way it was performed live... completely outstanding. With the additional drums being played by the singer, they created such a monster sound, every note just stomping you to the ground and this was definitely the climax of the show. Each song just furiously pounded toward the audience and witnessing that was sensational, the sound engulfing everything in its path.

I guess that this amount of flattery on the band's account is quite enough for you to realize that this really is the BEST fucking show. It was my initial thought to provide a more technical, rather than emotional, review yet somehow I'm unable to do that due to me still not being able to believe that I witnessed something like this. I was so frantic after the show, that I had to approach the singer and tell him in person how much I was impressed. Even this amount of praise seems to little to express my feelings for "Nux Vomica", they completely sealed my liking for their work with this performance.
In the end, let this review be a reminder for all of you who follow "Natures With No Plagues", if you ever get a chance to see this band play live, just go. Don't think about it, just go. This will be a truly loved memory and I sincerely hope that I will get to see them again sometime in the future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Move the Island - June 2011 USA tour

A band recently added to Natures With No Plagues list of favorites, "Move the Island", will be striking from their hometown going toward Chicago and the surrounding area in June. Here is the list of planned dates:

6/01: Chattanooga, tn - anarchitca w/gravebound
6/02: East Tennessee -
6/03: Lexington, ky -
6/04: Louisville, ky - cahoots w/waxeater, alcohol party, anwar sadat 21+
6/05: Indianapolis, bloomington or michigan city, in -
6/06: Chicago, il -
6/07: Springfield, il -
6/08: St. Louis, mo - cranky yellow w/harco
6/09: Carbondale, il - the litter box
6/10: Nashville, tn -

A pretty sweet plan, but as you can see they still need help. If you can help out or know someone who could, please get in touch with me in any way or send the band an email via:
movetheisland AT deceasiveproductions DOT com

If, by any chance, you missed the writeup I did for "Move the Island" EP you can check it out here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Todos Caerán & Bears - Split 10'' (2011)


This post was initially planned to be a gig review for "Birds in Row", but I masterfully failed to go to that show, so it's back to the drawing board for now. However expect a gig writeup soon, since I will be going to both "Nux Vomica" and "Jeniferever" shows, really looking forward to attend those and write about them. Until then, brace yourself for an amazing ten inch.

The split I'm gonna write about is old by now and you all probably know about it already. Despite that I really want to write some words for it, since James from "Todos" asked me to do so and I also have a wish to try and attract more people to this record. That being said, you can realize that I really fell in love with this release. I have heard of "Todos Caeran" before and I wrote about their EP already (if you missed it, it is found here), expecting this to be equally good, but it completely struck me with my guard down. Ok, got carried away now, lets take it step by step.

"Bears" are first in line on this split, opening up with the song "A Boy in Paris". To be completely honest, I have bumped into their name a lot of times in the past, but I never really got to the point where I would sit down and listen. The very moment their song started pouring through my speakers I realized how much of a mistake I made for not giving them a chance earlier. They manage to create a certain mood in the listener with their tunes, which I really can't define quite yet. It keeps swinging me between some completely depressive and dark state to...I don't know, somewhat hopeful. That probably sounds stupid, but their music does put you into a specific place and I love it when you just can't put your finger on it. Also, the cool thing here is that "Bears" somehow bend time so to speak, since their three something minute songs actually sounds more epic and you feel like they last something like five or six minutes.
Ok, I think most of you stopped reading this by now, so those of you who have the energy to stick around until the end I'll try to sound more reasonable. Describing the very sound of "Bears" is a tough job, but I would try and say that you should imagine a mix of "Wolves" and "Captain, Your Ship Is Sinking!". Yes, two quite amazing bands and "Bears" seem to hold their own. Influenced by them or not, they really have a unique sound and excellent playing skills. Composition is superb, with quite a lot of interesting melody shifts, tempo changes and peculiar play stiles. I'm really glad to hear a band of this caliber come out of Australia, since at times the "down under" screamo gets bashed by people saying their bands sound way too copy/paste between one another. Complete nonsense if you ask me, so I would really like to see someone have something to say about this being a "typical" band. The only thing that I consider to be a small flaw is the vocal. The vocal performance is great, don't get me wrong, it is that I would just like to hear its volume increase more. Maybe the band wanted to blend the vocals more with the rest of the instruments, but I think that it should be a bit more above the rest, like on the "Todos" side of the split.

Speaking of which, "Todos Caeran" open their side of the split with "Aspirations". As I wrote above, I love this band ever since I heard their EP last year, but this just blew me away. I was expecting some improvements or whatever, but I really couldn't imagine that they advanced so much. First of all, their music is much more aggressive and a lot heavier on the listener than the EP. The very recording is a lot more better than on their previous release and that really puts their music on a whole new level. It is much louder and the sound is clear, so despite all the chaos bashing around, you get to hear everything. I literally spent more than half an hour repeating their two songs just to focus on every instrument present. Their style of composition really changed as well and I love how they gave all members of the band a certain part of a song where only that one member comes in the spotlight. For instance, you have a moment in "Aspirations" where the guitar literally steps up and performs some quite epic playing. Also, I remember that the first thing that drew me toward "Todos Caeran" was the vocal. Luckily, it didn't deteriorate in quality, the amazing raspy screaming even evolved a bit to be much better. As I mentioned already, it sounds a bit above the rest of the band and it just splashes a lot of chaos into their music.

Not really satisfied with what I wrote about this split, probably because I got my brain all twisted with how good the split is. In any case, like this review or not, you should absolutely check out this release and keep an eye on these two bands. You can check out and get in touch with Bears via their myspace here, though I am not sure how often they update their page, and with Todos Caeran also via myspace here. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Reflections Of Internal Rain - June 2011 Euro Tour

Quick post regarding the tour of my most loved band from Serbia. They will be hitting the road this summer in June and they still need some help to set up a few more shows. Below is a tour poster, so check out the dates. If you can help them out anyway you can contact them via myspace here, facebook here, tumblr here or just leave me a message and I will forward it.