Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kabul Golf Club - Le Bal Du Rat Mort (2012)

Finally sat down, grabbed a submission and mustered enough strength to do a proper review. Between preparing a fine amount of interviews for the blog and some rather bad and insane personal happenings, doing this write-up has been a tough ordeal. Still, the fact that this is posted now just shows that I still have some fuel left to run on.

Today will be washed in weird noises, wailing guitars and maniacal melodies. "Kabul Golf Club", a four-piece haling from Limburg, Belgium, brings forth the shredding sounds of noise-imbued mathrock. Formed in 2010, the quartet slowly worked on their material, eventually releasing an EP called "Le Bal Du Rat Mort", a fourteen minute monster born in February 2012. While this record was being brewed, the band members also played and contributed to other projects, some of them being "The Rott Childs", "The Powerkrauts", "Enemy Of The Sun" and "Kindred".
What we find inside this release is a wave of disturbing and eerie tunes, attacking us through five songs. The very first sounds you get to hear instantly drag you into the madness of "Kabul Golf Club", coming in the form of a track named "Bits of Freedom". The introduction song, as well as the very number of the tracks and their duration, immediately signal that this will be an extremely fast experience. And indeed, the entire record is a rushing and furious ride, the band being continuously remorseless. Most of the tunes are at a truly fast pace and they just fly through your head. At other moments, however, the speed drops a little, but the overall chaos, noise and high-pitched sounds make up for the lack of tempo.
Don't be fooled though, those slower sections just carry an unexpected surprise for you on the next corner. One second you are entranced by a horrific melody slowly creeping up on you, but already the coming moment is upon you, bursting with a loud detonation of screeching guitars and crashing drums. The vocals fit exceptionally well in these song sections, since they resemble a sort of raspy shriek which definitely adds to the eeriness of the entire experience. This is something I really liked about "Kabul Golf Club". There is a fine dose of ambience on this record and the band has great skill in portraying a certain type of mood around the listener. Overall, I find their music to be quite eerie and lunacy invoking, which is something that not a lot of projects manage to do successfully.
The EP has been released in collaboration with a label named "Uproar For Veneration", which is also a booking agency and a fanzine. Distribution of this release has been handled by "Rough Trade". This  Dutch distributor has been focused on the countries of the Benelux and has been doing an awesome job for quite a while now. Production, mixing and mastering has been done by Micha Volders who has previously worked with other bands such as "Fence", "The Rott Childs", "Little Trouble Kids" and "The Sore Losers". "Le Bal Du Rat Mort" comes in CD format, housed in a nice gatefold package adorned with gloomy and dark imagery. The overall design is rather simple and straightforward, quite fitting to the tunes in general. You can order the CD, and get connected with the band, on their official website, found here.
In the end, "Kabul Golf Club" gave us an interesting ride. The album picks you up in a wild manner, utterly fast and unstoppable, so you end up listening to it multiple times in a row. At this point the band has several concerts lined up, as you can see on their facebook page found here, so they are pretty much alive. Definitely keep an eye out for them and any potentially new material that might crawl out from under their hood, since it would be a true loss if you would miss out on these guys. Hope you enjoyed the read!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gig review: Eaglehaslanded, Deer In The Headlights

First proper post of 2013 and it gets to be a show review. As you can see on the poster, I'm rather late with writing about the gig. At times, if I'd end up being so slow with my words, I'd entirely skip doing a review. But this time I'm really tempted to have the show stamped on the blog, simply because a couple of friends and acquaintances are a part of both these bands. I will, however, keep this write-up short because it really has been a while since the show happened and hopefully you will be reading more about these bands in the future.

So the gig took place on Friday, 18 January 2013, in a venue called "Panic Room Zica" in Belgrade. If memory serves well, I never wrote about this place before which is strange since I love it. Truth be told, I haven't been a regular visitor of shows in my town for quite a while now, but it's hard to believe that I didn't visit this venue in the past three years. Time does fly and I'm getting old.
Either way, the show space, also shortly know as "Zica" which means "string" or "wire" in Serbian, is located in the heart of Belgrade. Half way between the main train station and a big public transportation route knot, the venue can be found easily. Although it is one of the smallest venues in the city, it is definitely one of the coziest. When you step inside, a narrow staircase takes you a floor higher where you are greeted by a tiny room. In front is a small corner where merch is usually set up, while the left is occupied by the nonexistent stage and some space for dancing. Additionally, in the center of the room is one long table and some chairs for breaks and such. The room is extended through a hallway of sorts which features a big bar and a way towards the restrooms. Light is dim and moody, so overall the ambient is really nice and comfortable. 
First to kick it off that evening were my dear friends, "Eaglehaslanded". The band has already been mentioned a while back when I posted news about their tour with "Expectations" last September. Although they have a long list of shows behind them, this is actually the first time I see them live without counting a few of their rehearsals which I had the privilege to attended. It is definitely safe to say that I regret missing all their previous shows, since they pretty much managed to nail it on this one.
Previously I blatantly mentioned that they play neocrust, when in fact their music carries so much more.  Throughout their set you can hear a score of genres and melodies ranging from savage d-beating, insane mathcore spasms, layers of really grim hardcore and even moody screamo sections. Yes, everything is tightly packed into one strong shock-therapy. Their sound was remarkably massive and I have to say that the venue didn't manage to keep up. Everything seemed to be chaotic and the sound was muffled at times, but in the end who even cares, it's all punk! The band was stomping everything into a pulp with excessive amounts of dancing, screaming and their huge wall of sound.
Every band member of this trio is admirable, but I have to give special praises to Nemanja, their drummer. For the majority of their gig my eyes were glued to his set and the amount of beating it received from the person holding the sticks. He was completely remorseless, precise and, above all, quite passionate. And oh yeah, did I mention that he is in his mid-teens? Insanity.
After a small break it was time for "Deer In The Headlights". Crusty, thrashy hardcore five-piece hailing from Banja Luka, Bosnia. There's a high chance that some of you previously heard about this band and maybe even saw them live, since they did a rather long European tour back in 2011. Similarly to "Eaglehaslanded", they had a number of shows in Serbia before but somehow I always managed to miss out.
Needless to say, the band kicked off their set with aggression and it stayed that way until the very end. With minimal breaks and nigh constant beating, this show was a one-breather. Despite all the rushing, dark tunes, they manage to keep a fine dose of melodic sections in their music. The overall music was far less chaotic and massive than that of the previous band, thus the venue was more content with carrying out the tunes properly. Still, "Deer In The Headlights" is a tough cookie and has quite a lot to offer to the listener. It was really cool how you can sense, at times, a strong influence of a band like "Battle of Wolf 359", which is definitely a plus.
Overall, it was a fun show and I'm happy that I finally managed to see these bands live. It took a while, but it was absolutely worth it. Too bad that I took a long pause from the blog, which definitely reflects on this review via lack of words. Hopefully you enjoyed the read regardless, stay tuned for more!