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Tigerwine Release Video For ‘Spit’

Tigerwine DieTigerwine are a band that meld progressive post-hardcore with the gloomy low-end of new-wave grunge, they are currently readying their debut full-length, Die With Your Tongue Out, which is set for release on April 14th through Blood & Ink. Ahead of the album’s release date the band have released a video for the track Spit.

Die With Your Tongue Out can be pre-ordered here

The video for Spit, and Tigerwine‘s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Gnarwhal Release Stream Of ‘Marathon Ripper’

Gnarwhal CrucialGnarwhal are back with Crucial, the latest album from Nashville’s two-headed post-hardcore behemoth. Due out May 12th via Exploding In Sound Records, the album finds Gnarwhal digging into their complex math rock roots while embracing more straight forward post-punk, an album that pulls as much influence from bands like Hella and Lightning Bolt as it does Drive Like Jehu and Shellac. The band will be out in support of the record on a full US tour together with Pile starting next month.

You can stream the track Marathon Ripper here and pre order Crucial here

Gnarwhal‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_Content

One Hidden Frame

Harmful Content

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

One Hidden Frame were formed in 2002 right next to the Russian border in Lappeenranta, Finland, the band has now been around for over a decade and has undergone numerous line up changes over the years, the current incarnation of One Hidden Frame are now more active than ever and they have developed a heavier more aggressive sound for their latest album. Harmful Content was released a few days ago, on the 17th March 2017, via Bird Attack Records and the album is now available for download, and also on extremely limited edition vinyl.

One Hidden Frame have made a few forays into Europe, including an appearance at Punk Rock Holiday, and now it appears that they are intent on making an impact outside their home turf with the release of Harmful Content. The opening What I’d Rather Say Is… verges on post hardcore before the album kicks into the full on melodic hardcore of From Maidan To Tahrir, from this point on the album veers between the various incarnations that hardcore has spawned over the years in an intense and emotional, if not somewhat familiar, manner.

One Hidden Frame delivers a mix of melancholic 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore, it’s a mix that will definately appeal to fans of the likes of Propagandhi and Pennywise. This is a solid nine tracks of emotive hard edged punk rock that will hit the spot the for fans of the more intense side of post hardcore, and obviously established fans of melodic hardcore. For me there is nothing on Harmful Content that I haven’t heard before, but having said that this is an album that is well delivered and faultlessly produced, and it’s one that should earn them new devotees outside of their native Finland.

Harmful Content can be purchased and streamed here

One Hidden Frame‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Patrons To Release Debut Album ‘As Above, So Below’

Patrons - As Above, So BelowPatrons are a band, born out of long-standing friendships and a love for the unconventional, from Plymouth, UK, the band draw inspiration from personal events, feeding on whatever life throws at them. Musically, the bands influences are ever growing, yet there is a deep-rooted love of the epic scale of song craft by bands like Biffy Clyro, Brand New, Thrice and Reuben. Patrons debut album As Above, So Below will be released via Rose Coloured Records on the 31st March on limited edition splatter vinyl and digital formats.

You can pre-order As Above, So Below here and Patrons website can be found here

You can view the video for the track First Of The Slow Burners below Read More…

Goddamnit INBOKINBTS

Goddamnit

I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be the Same

Jump Start Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be The Same is the second full length release from Philadelphia’s Goddamnit, although it must be said that it’s hard to think of this as a sophomore album as Goddamnit are made up of a quartet of veterans of the Philadelphia scene, including former members of One Year Lost, Super Hi Five, Reject, Williams Eve, Buglite and The Vote. I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be The Same is being released today via the fiercely independent Pennsylvanian record label, Jump Start Records.

Opening track Fix Dis gives you an idea of what lies ahead, this is a heartfelt blue collar take on post hardcore, the delivery varies from downbeat tracks such as Letterbox, to the more strident tones of the lead single from the album, Steady Diet Of Sugar, through to the almost punky tones of Blue Jeans. This is an album that manages to avoid settling into it’s comfort zone, it contains all the elements that will doubtless appeal to established fans of post hardcore, but the more aggressive delivery provides a cross genre appeal that will surely bring others into their fold. There’s even a final twist with the mellow acoustic closer, The Message, that provides a fitting end to I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be The Same, and shows another side to Goddamnit.

Goddamnit have delivered an album that contains all the hallmarks of post hardcore, but it’s delivered in a more down to earth style that for me gives it a different appeal, and separates it from the majority of bands ploughing the post hardcore furrow. To me I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be The Same has more of a street punk attitude to it’s delivery, although this is a much more subtle affair despite containing some of the same hallmarks. Goddamnit have delivered an album that brings something different to the overcrowded post hardcore scene, and I’ll always be happy to see something new introduced to what has started to become a formulaic and predictable genre.

I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be The Same can be streamed and purchased here

Tigerwine To Release New LP ‘Die With Your Tongue Out’

Tigerwine DieColorado’s Tigerwine meld progressive post hardcore with the gloomy low end of new wave grunge to create a driving, in your face musical experience unlike any you’ve encountered before. After signing to Blood & Ink Records in the summer of 2015, the band released their debut EP, Lull, introducing listeners to their self reflective breed of raw, guitar heavy alt rock. Tigerwine are currently readying their debut full length, Die With Your Tongue Out, which is set for release on April 14th via Blood & Ink Records. You can stream a new track, Nosebleed, from Die With Your Tongue Out via Impose here

You can pre-order Die With Your Tongue Out here

Tigerwine are touring with Dead Set and Northbound, the dates can be viewed below Read More…

Every Stranger Looks Like You Confirm Pre-Orders For Album

ESLLY BSOBEvery Stranger Looks Like You are a three piece post-hardcore band based in Brakel, Belgium, they are set to release their debut full length Bluest Shade Of Black on vinyl through UK DIY label Dog Knights Productions on February 24th. Every Stranger Looks Like You have now shared their new single, Prosopagnosia, the track is a perfect representation of the record’s often uncomfortable and challenging moments, it’s wicked example of how the band play with different emotions and sounds throughout so effortlessly.

Bluest Shade Of Black can be pre-ordered here

Prosopagnosia can be streamed here

I’m Fine Release Debut LP ‘Never Knowing Best’

Im Fine Release NKBI’m Fine‘s new album, Never Knowing Best, is now on general release through Wiretap Records. It can be streamed via Spotify and Apple Music, and is available for download via iTunes and Bandcamp.

You can order Never Knowing Best digitally here and on limited edition cassette here

The Punk Site review of Never Knowing Best can be found here

I’m Fine‘s Facebook page is located here

Im Fine NKB

I'm Fine

Never Knowing Best

Wiretap Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

New Orleans, Louisiana’s I’m Fine will release their debut full length album, Never Knowing Best tomorrow, February 3rd 2017, the album was recorded in the band’s hometown of New Orleans by James Whitten with help from Brian Pretus of Pears. I’m Fine combine elements of punk and indie that sit happily alongside post hardcore and emo influences. Whilst this is the band’s first full length I’m Fine have been around since 2011, they released an initial burst of EP’s between 20111 and 2012 and then, at least as far as I can tell, there has been silence, apparently this was due to band members running into personal issues and problems that derailed their initial impetus, but they stayed together regardless of what life threw at them and now it seems they’re back on track with the release of Never Knowing Best.

The album jump starts into life with the lo-fi explosion of Merit Badge, the lead single that was streamed in advance of the release, it carries a raw discordant quality throughout that is reminiscent of an angry hyperactive Dinosaur Jnr, without giving you chance to draw breath the album launches into Dead Eyes, this kicks the pace up a notch and it is swiftly followed by Nabors, this track builds the intensity and incorporates a few math rock flourishes into their sonic assault. Legends In Corners brings a more thoughtful element into the mix that segues into the defiant strains of Cursive before Late Night Talks About Nothing brings an anguished moment to the album. For me Grow With Us and Burma bring the albums finest moments, with fine upbeat and insistent rhythms that are married to their raw discordant style, just as you think I’m Fine are building to a upbeat finale Never Knowing Best has a final twist, it closes with two complex disquieting numbers, Evil Bubbly and Trash Eyes, that brings what has been a wildly fluctuating dissonant debut to a close.

I’m Fine are a band that wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves, their sound has a resemblances to bands such as Latterman, Gnarwolves, Cursive and At The Drive In, but that isn’t the end of the story, they incorporate different elements and styles into every track making Never Knowing Best an unpredictable beast of an album. It captures the rage of post hardcore, and this is the style that is at their core, but they straddle so many genres you just can’t pin them down, hints of math rock complexity are incorporated, indie and emo sensibilities pervade and it’s all delivered with a punk DIY ethos, with a running time of just over twenty minutes you could argue that Never Knowing Best is somewhat on the short side, but it’s a brief satisfying blast from a band who might not know best, but they certainly know their own minds.

You can pre-order Never Knowing Best digitally here and order the limited edition cassette here

jake clarke spur split 17

Jake Clarke / Spur

Split

Disposition Collective
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

As with almost every split EP and album I’ve encountered this is a story of two very distinct halves, the first half dozen tracks feature the debut solo release by Philadelphia’s Jake Clarke, who is best known for the two albums that were recorded with Superheaven, whilst the flip side features fellow Pennsylvannians Spur, who bring their impressive shoegaze influenced dream punk sound to the split. This album will be released via the Disposition Collective on the 3rd February 2017, the vinyl edition, that will be issued on black and swirl variants, is now available for pre-order, and the digital version of the album will be available from the release date.

Jake Clarke‘s first solo effort continues where Superheaven left off, Get It Together kicks off Jake Clarke‘s half of the split, this track is the closest to his work with his former outfit as it’s a subdued grunge influenced number, after this things a mellower turn, and in the case of Part 2, a spacier more experimental approach is evident. This is Jake Clarke‘s first solo release and he has delivered a stripped down version of Superheaven‘s trademark sound, this is a much more sensitive recording than his fans will be used to, but it’s one that carries the same sensibilities as his former outfit.

Spur bring their indie influenced dream punk and they bring this release to life, there’s a clear influence from a broad range of styles, including shoegaze, emo, post hardcore and the indie scene of the late eighties on their side of the split, and it’s one certainly carries more energy than the subdued half dozen songs from their counterpart on this split. The stand out track on the album comes in the form of the much darker and heavier number, Freeze, along with this you get three breezy energetic indie influenced numbers and they close their side with the dark and dramatic piano led number, Moon.

With any split release you are going to find yourself falling for one half of the EP, for me Spur‘s contribution was one that had more of an appeal, but that’s not to dismiss Jake Clarke‘s contribution, as the two artists featured on this album do compliment each other nicely. Jake Clarke‘s debut solo release gives you an indication of the direction he’ll be headed in when his debut full length is released, and Superheaven fans will not be disappointed by the road he’s headed down. Spur have marked themselves as a band I’m going to be watching closely, the variation across their five tracks indicates they are no one trick indie pony, the contrast between the light energetic upbeat compositions and their darker fuzzier alter ego has certainly piqued my interest.

The Jake Clarke / Spur Split Album is available for pre-order here

Atom Driver - Slackjaw

Atom Driver

Slackjaw

Powerbunny 4x4
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Atom Driver have released their debut EP, Slackjaw, via the superbly named Powerbunny 4×4 Records, they are a post-hardcore trio hailing from central New Jersey that are something of a local supergroup. The members of Atom Driver are culled from the wreckage of local bands such as Buzzkill, Boss Jim Gettys and Good Clean Fun. Each member has a distinguished pedigree, associated with many different successful local indie rock, punk, and hardcore outfits. Together, this trio has bundled their deep roots and experience in making music to present a sound both new and simultaneously reminiscent of seminal bands from Barkmarket and Bastro to Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu.

Hate Me Now kicks off the Slackjaw EP in fine urgent style, the refrain of “you may hate me now but wait until I nail you to ground” is a driven cathartic battle cry, the EP’s title track manages to carry an even more frenetic pace and delivers another fist pumping chorus. At the mid way point of the Slackjaw EP Knives Out brings the pace down a tad, but it carries such a punishing riff it keeps the intensity and urgency of the EP flowing nicely before Cowboy takes us into an adrenaline charged technical delivery, one that to my ears is reminiscent of Primus on amphetamines, that breaks down into a pummelling chorus. Finally Best Defense closes the impressive debut, and carries on from where the previous quartet of tracks left off, combining all the elements from their previous outfits and influences into a glorious defiant hardcore inspired slice of alt rock.

This is an EP that blends their influences together and delivers them with a hardcore intensity, to say Slackjaw is an impressive debut is an understatement, the opening two tracks, Hate Me Now and Slackjaw, are as good as anything I’ve heard so far this year, and if this five track EP is an initial statement of intent then their debut full length is going to be something to look forward to. Based on this EP Atom Driver are another band to watch closely in 2017, this is a collection of five flawless tracks that hit the spot every time, anyone who has any love of alternative music, from alt rock to hardcore, should investigate the Slackjaw EP as this is a near perfect contemporary hybrid that’s informed by their collective influences and past experiences.

Slackjaw can be streamed and purchased here
 
Palisades ST

Palisades

Palisades

Rise Records
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

New Jersey sextet Palisades have undergone some upheaval in the line up since their sophomore album was released, they have replaced the original bass player and DJ with new members Brandon Elgar and Graves, the band has released statements to the effect that their latest recruits have given the band a fresh impetus and has led to them recording their definitive album. Palisades latest self titled release follows on from 2013’s Outcasts and 2015’s Mind Games, and boasts eleven new tracks, including Through Hell, the lead single that was premiered prior to the album’s release.

Aggression Kicks off Palisades latest release, it eases you into the album with gentle synths and a melodic vocal delivery, before a burst of aggressive guitars kicks in and reminds you why you’re here, the track alternates throughout between the keyboard led melodic sections and the more ardent guitar delivery. The pattern of the opening track is repeated and varied throughout the album, there are exceptions such as Dark, that remains on the mellower side, but for the main part Palisades come across as a band that have found their winning formula, and they are going to stick with it. As such the album becomes a repetitive exercise of gentle melodic elements interspersed with bombastic overdriven choruses, all the while maintaining an impassioned vocal delivery, all of which is wrapped up in a very commercial poppy production.

This is an incredibly slick album, and one that sounds like it will appeal to those who like their post hardcore and rock with the rough edges surgically removed, this is by no means a bad album but I find it hard to warm to something that is so formulaic and over produced. For all it’s bluster of overdriven guitars and pounding drums this comes across as a very commercial and poppy sounding album, one that I have no doubt will be sell by the bucketload, but for me Palisades is an album that doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and the production and poppy sensibility that coats every second of the album just leaves me cold,

Palisades is due for release on the 20th January and is available for pre-order on all formats here and via iTunes 

Palisades website can be found here

Iris Jupiter Release Stream of Debut Album

iris-jupiterOpen Door Records will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern California’s Iris Jupiter, the debut full length delivers a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.

Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here and streamed here

Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here

Iris Jupiter To Release Debut Album Via Open Door Records

iris-jupiterOpen Door Records have confirmed that they will be releasing the self titled debut album from Southern Californian trio Iris Jupiter, the debut full length promises to deliver a collision of down tuned power pop riffs and noisy shoegaze, that is shored up by steady beating pulses of hardcore. Iris Jupiter will be playing an album release show at VLHA, Pomona, CA on the 14th January with I’m Glad It’s You and The Total Bettys.

Iris Jupiter‘s self titled debut album can be pre-ordered here

Iris Jupiter‘s website can be found here

late-night-flights-jousthouse

Late Night Flights

Jousthouse

Self Released
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Minneapolis rockers Late Night Fights are a trio featuring Ryan ‘Guanz’ Guanzon, guitar and vocals, Shane ‘Train’ Peckham, bass, and Daniel ‘Sledgehammer’ Johnson, obviously the drummer, who self released their debut album, JoustHouse, earlier this month. This is a band that unashamedly draws heavily on it’s influences, these range from grunge and alternative to alt rock and post hardcore, which if nothing else guarantees that this will be a discordant and distorted debut. Jousthouse, delivers angst and melody that is more than a touch reminiscent of the Seattle grunge era, but it is delivered with a contemporary feel that keeps Late Night Flights from sounding like a complete anachronism.

Jousthouse kicks straight in with Nothing To Lose, this is a Queens Of The Stone Age influenced slice of alt rock that delivers a serious punch, it follows this up with three more heavy duty slabs of grunge infused guitar heavy rock, it’s not until you get to The Only One that they start to move away from the past, and stamp their own identity onto the album. The Only One heralded a change of direction, and after this the album moves into a somewhat a more melodic frame of mind with Ode To Owed, which acts a breakwater before the full tilt alt rock kicks back in for one last time with Break The Chains. This track signified the last rallying call as the album eases into a mellower, at least by Late Night Flights standards, end to the album that demonstrates they are by no means a one trick pony with a distortion pedal.

Jousthouse is an album that owes a hefty debt to nineties alt rock, it’s distorted riffs and gruff vocals vary across the album from the fist pumping and anthemic, to the dark and disaffected, at times the album veers so heavily into the territory of what came before it that it almost takes you back two decades. This is clearly an album that wears it’s influences on it’s sleeves, so much so that it verges on becoming somewhat derivative of the bands that inspired them, in particular Queens Of The Stone Age’s influence isn’t so much worn on the sleeve as tattooed into a sleeve. They manage to stay a step away from being a band that’s living in the past, but being only a step removed does mean that Late Night Flights stands in the shadow of grunge and alt rock, but if that’s an era that you treasure, then you may just have found your new favourite band.

Jousthouse can be pre-ordered via iTunes here and Amazon here

dowager-tt

Dowager

Title Track

Standard Brickhouse Records / Really Rad Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

The members of Portland’s Dowager were previously involved in pop punk projects, such as Our First Brains and Sioux Falls, prior to forming their current band, and experiencing a distinct shift in style and tone. Last month they unleashed their new EP, Title Track, it was recorded at the acclaimed Atomic Garden Studio with Jack Shirley in East Palo Alto, California. The Title Track EP is five cuts of shifting and brooding post hardcore, it combines a hefty number of influences and styles that combine to make Title Track an unpredictable beast of an EP.

Title Track opens with some serious intent, the furious Gutterflower kicks things off with a potent combination of Hardcore, Post Hardcore and Screamo, this alternates between a full on aural assault and comparatively delicate post punk technical passages. The approach bleeds through into Fingerguns, although this track hits critical mass in it’s intensity as it approaches it’s finale. The other three tracks  Sleep Paralysis, Model Home and the closing track, Coastal, on the Title Track EP maintain the ferocious post hardcore approach, until it closes on a mellower math rock influenced approach at the finale of the final track.

This is a relentless and unique five tracks that combines the fury of hardcore, the creativity of post punk and the complexity of math rock, this might sound like an unlikely ménage à trois, but that is exactly what you get on the Title Track EP. This is an release that possesses a discordant, yet melodic fury, in essence the Title Track EP is a mass of contradictions, and it’s this that makes it an intriguing listen. Whilst this won’t be to everyone’s taste this is an original and unique EP, and if you tastes are towards the noisier end of post punk, or the punkier end of noise rock, then you should investigate Dowager‘s latest EP.

Title Track can be pre-ordered from Standard Brickhouse Records here

conspire-tsr

Conspire

The Scenic Route

InVogue Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Conspire have unleashed their debut album, The Scenic Route, it was released in mid November via InVogue Records, and it’s a notably dark and stormy journey into melodic post hardcore. The Floridian quintet have marked their first entry into the overcrowded post hardcore genre with an impressive and consistent ten track debut, to add muscle to their initial recording the album also features guest appearances from Silent Planet‘s Garrett Russell and Rocky Armelino from This Or The Apocalypse.

The opening track, 1971, features a disquieting melodic quality before the military drumbeat kicks in which signifies the song building up to the chorus, all the way through this track ebbs and flows between unsettling melodic sections with spoken vocals, and growled sections where everything just kicks in. The Secenic Route features a dark and down tuned vibe that moves away from the typical elements that have featured on many of the post hardcore albums I’ve heard this year. Conspire‘s debut release flows nicely, and whilst it displays a consistent quality across it’s ten tracks, it manages to avoid falling into the trap of becoming repetitive. This is nowhere more in evidence than on By The Sword, and the final track Enola. These two tracks move away from the troubled nature of the abum by introducing a thoughtful and haunting instrumental element to this release. Unlike many albums I’ve encountered that include an instrumental interlude to break things up, these two numbers fit in with the feel of the album and don’t sound like an incongruous afterthought.

The Scenic Route is a dark and claustrophobic album, but this isn’t just another noisy post hardcore release that follows the blueprint of alternating loud and quiet sections, there’s a lot more to The Scenic Route than that. This an album that varies the intensity and style and proves that they aren’t just another angry voice in the crowd, if you’re tastes lie to the darker and more emotive side of the genre then this is an album you’ll want to investigate.

The Scenic Route can be purchased here

Dowager To Release ‘Title Track’ EP

dowager-ttPortland’s Dowager will be unleashing their new EP, Title Track, later this month, it was recorded at the acclaimed Atomic Garden Studio with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Happy Diving) in East Palo Alto, California.  The Title Track EP is five fully realized cuts of shifting post-hardcore shot with a brooding and gothic dreaminess. Standard Brickhouse Records will release the Title Track EP on vinyl and cassette on November 25th

You can stream Coastal from the Title Track EP here

Title Track can be pre-ordered from Standard Brickhouse Records here

Dance Gavin Dance MS

Dance Gavin Dance

Mothership

Rise Records
By

Rating: 1/5

 
 

 

 
Dance Gavin Dance have now been with us for just over a decade, they are an experimental post hardcore band from California that incorporate numerous styles into their constantly evolving sounds. They were born out of the ashes of numerous bands including Farewell Unknown, Ghost Runner on Third and Atherton which may go someway to explaining the diverse influences on display in their hybrid of post hardcore stylings. Mothership is their seventh album to date and it serves as the follow up to their 2015 album, Instant Gratification.
 
Mothership opens with White 21, this track features a technical guitar riff and staccato drum riff overlaid with a mix growled and melodic pop punk vocals, if I’m honest I found  that all thirteen tracks stuck to this blueprint. Dance Gavin Dance feature elements of post hardcore, math rock and screamo, to name just a few of the influences on this album, but from my perspective that’s not an encouraging combination. I found that Mothership rapidly became a long protracted technical exercise, punctuated by the dual vocal styles, that I found somewhat tiresome before I’d got halfway through the album.
 
Mothership is a very polished and flawlessly produced album, but for me I found it to be formulaic and repetitive, however given their last album was their most successful to date, and is suspect this one will surpass it, maybe it’s just that this is an album that isn’t for me. If you’re a fan of this kind of technical math rock infused post hardcore then I’d recommend you get this album, however as far I’m concerned the Mothership can leave without me.
 
Mothership was released via Rise Records and can be ordered via iTunes and physical formats can be purchased here
 
Sparrows  LTSSWIW

Sparrows

Let The Silence Stay Where It Was

New Damage Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Toronto’s spaced out post punks Sparrows released their sophomore album, Let The Silence Stay Where It Was, via New Damage Records earlier this month, once more they have teamed up with their longtime collaborator, Kenny Bridges of Canadian melodic punk outfit Moneen, who has taken the helm on producing the album. Let the Silence Stay Where It Was is Sparrows first release on New Damage Records and it follows on from their impressive 2013 debut album Cold Ground.

Let The Silence Stay Where It Was opens with the atmospheric and intense number Three Four Two Five, Three Four Two Five, the track ebbs and flows but all the while maintaining the intensity. The track leads into the sinister The Written Rules Of Choking that carries a dark cathartic element, this theme is continued with Carrying On With A Modern Lifestyle. The single Cave Eater makes a welcome appearance and raises the tempo of the album whilst still carrying a hefty cloud of darkness on it’s back. This is an album that carries all the aggression and abrasiveness you’d expect from Sparrows but it’s the delivery that raises this above the majority of post hardcore bands. Let The Silence Stay Where It Was is an album that has seen Sparrows retain the signature sound that was established on the debut album, but they have refined their approach, the combination of crushing post hardcore riffs, which are juxtaposed against almost tranquil elements in their songs, mean that this is an album that never strays into being repetitive.

Each track on Let The Silence Stay Where It Was carries it’s own character, and this is something that sets them apart from the majority of bands in the post hardcore genre. Sparrows have been building a solid reputation, both live and in the studio, and following the release of Let The Silence Stay Where It Was they will be returning to their frenetic touring schedule. This is band that subtly delivers the aggression of hardcore, and however you look at it that is an achievement.

Let The Silence Stay Where It Was can be ordered ,and their tour dates can be viewed, here

Cortez Initial

Cortez

Initial (10th Anniversary Reissue)

Wooaargh / Get A Life Records
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

Today only the two of the original trio that created Intial remain, however Cortez remain active as a musical trio, with Samuel Vaney acting a silent fourth member who contributes as a composer and studio engineer. To commemorate the release of Cortez‘s first album, Initial, a decade ago Wooaargh and Get A Life Records have co-released the tenth anniversary reissue of the debut album by the Swiss hardcore legends. This isn’t just a shameless anniversary cash in, the reissue of this landmark album has been completely remixed and remastered at the Autoclave Studio in Singapore.

Cortez were formed in Switzerland in 2001 as a trio that was uniquely comprised of drums, guitar and vocals. This is about as extreme an album as I’ve heard, it is a brutal and relentless album that encompasses the worlds of hardcore, post hardcore and there’s even a bit of extreme metal in it’s DNA. This is not an easy listen of an album, everything about this album is intense, from the opening seventeen second salvo of Prompt to the closing epic track, Patriarche. This is not just an album of the short sharp shocks that are frequently associated with hardcore, this is an experimental beast of an album that enbraces numerous genre’s and influences, this stops Initial becoming another repetitive assault on the your senses.

This is from the dark end of hardcore, I imagine that this will appeal to fans of the hardcore movement of the 1980’s, and to those who like their noise rock to be unpredictable and experimental, Initial would also be worthy of investigation if you’re a fan of the darker and heavier end of the punk spectrum. The production on the album reflects the stormy intensity, yet somehow the mix also manages to be clean and perfectly balanced, whilst this isn’t something that appeals to me you can’t help but be impressed by the intensity and brutality of this album.

Initial was released earlier this month on a limited edition run on black vinyl, it can purchased via Bandcamp here 
 
The album can also be ordered from Wooaargh here
 
Modern Color Chrome

Modern Color

Chromesthesia

Open Door Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Modern Color are a quartet from the Redondo Beach area of California, and whilst Chromesthesia is only their debut album they have stated that they want to bring a new approach to aggressive and melodic music. I always see it as a good thing when a band wants to shake things upand bring something new to the party from day one, so have Modern Color been as good as their word? well the short answer would be yes, but things are never that simple and a short answer doesn’t provide the whole picture.

The opening heavily phased mellow chords that open Chromesthesia lull you into a false sense of security, the apparent mellowness gives way to a frantic and discordant number that shatters the peace. The lo-fi post hardcore assault continues with the title track, which contains the same ingredients of frantic post punk and post hardcore riffs with mellow breakdowns. The whole album features the mix of discordant guitars and the impassioned vocal screams which switches into mellow, almost lounge, stylings. It’s certainly an odd combination, one that I’m fairly confident will be unique to Modern Colour. Whilst I can’t think of another record that sounds like this, sadly the album becomes somewhat formulaic with the same recipe for each song being used, just the amounts of each ingredient are varied to differing levels of success.

Chromesthesia juxtaposes an extreme and noisy post hardcore soundtrack with throat straining vocals with some very mellow lounge riffs, it’s a brave attempt to bring something new to the punk cannon, but it only partially succeeds as the album becomes a tad repetitive. However if you want to hear an album that does bring a fresh perspective to punk music then you may well want to investigate Chromesthesia.

You can download Chromesthesia here

Physical copies of the album can be purchased from Open Door Records here

Light The Fire Ascension

Light The Fire

Ascension

Standby Records
By

Rating: 1.5/5

 
 

 

 

Dallas quintet Light the Fire have now been around for five years and will be releasing their sophomore album, Ascension, today via Standby Records. Ascension is the follow up to their 2015 debut album, Lost At Sea, and it sounds like a logical progression from their first album. The opening instrumental track eases you into album before it seamlessly switches into the track Strong Mind Fragile Heart, ethereal keyboards sit behind walls of drums and heavy brutalising guitar riffs. Whilst the band define themselves as ‘electro post hardcore’ this is an album that has the hallmarks of modern metal, relentless pounding drums, crunching guitar riffs and vocals that alternate between barked growls and a clear emo tinged delivery. Behind the more predictable polished metal elements lie occasional techno style keyboards and the more traditional synthetic swirling orchestral backing.

Ascension sounds rather predictable, this bombastic hybrid is something that doesn’t do it for me, as with many releases of this genre, the overproduction just kills it stone dead. I’m not sure if this just a personal bugbear of mine, or maybe it’s just that this isn’t an album for me, but I find that polishing the sound of an album until all character has been removed from the process just seems self defeating. For me this is an overly commercialised version of metal that for all it’s efforts just comes across as being rather soulless.

There are bands who make these crossbred hybrids of metal and do it well, but Light The Fire don’t sound like one of them. Having said all that, fans of this genre will lap this up and I’d bet a mortgage payment they will be wildly successful. Ascension will probably sell incredibly well as that’s exactly what it sounds like it was designed to do.

Ascension can be ordered via Standby Records here

Light The Fire‘s web presence can be found here

Sparrows Announce New Album via New Damage Records

Sparrows  LTSSWIWToronto-based, spaced-out, post-punk/hardcore outfit Sparrows, will release their sophomore full-length, Let the Silence Stay Where it Was, via New Damage Records on October 14. On the new LP, the band has teamed up with longtime collaborator, engineer/producer Kenny Bridges, front man of seminal Canadian melodic punk outfit Moneen. The album was preceded by the release of a single which came out earlier this month that included the song Cave Eater, and a cover of Failure‘s Sergeant Politeness.

Cave Eater can be ordered via iTunes, pre-orders for the album will launch on September 9th.

The video for Cave Eater can now be viewed below

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Jack The Envious Release ‘Pull You Down’ EP

Jack The EnviousJack The Envious is a post hardcore/alternative band that fuses catchy choruses, with heavy riffs and raw energy in their live shows. Formed in 2012 by Nir Perlman (vocals), Guy Avnon (guitar) and Shalev Grados (guitar), while still in high school, the band was later joined by Guy Checkarov (bass) during their military service in their native Israel. During that time Jack The Envious focused mainly on performing around the country and writing songs, struggling to mix both national service and band life together. They are aiming to branch out and are currently moving to Europe to start touring and supporting their newly released EP. The Pull You Down EP is Jack The Envious first independent release.

You can order the Pull You Down EP here and view the More To Life video below Read More…

Pile Announce Additional Shows in Brooklyn and Boston

Pile NY PosterPile have announced an additional pair of upcoming shows in Brooklyn and Boston for this November. While it’s been a relatively quiet year for the Boston post hardcore quartet, the band have stayed busy with the re-release of Jerk Routine and several tours both as a band, and with Rick Maguire heading out solo. The full band are getting ready to record their highly anticipated, as yet untitled, new album later this year, with an early 2017 release expected through Exploding In Sound Records. Pile are on tour across the USA and Europe over the coming months, tickets are available for the Brooklyn show from August 19th here and the full tour dates can be viewed below.

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Feel Better

Feel Better

Feel Better

Really Rad Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

The two founding members of Feel Better, Joel Parmer and Taylor Jay, originally started to lay the foundations of the band back in 2013, they performed the stripped down concerts with just two guitars and vocals. They transformed into a full band the following year and adopted the unusual moniker, Telescopes as Time Machines, and this line up released the Quiet World EP. In 2015 the line up became the current four piece, they adopted a new name and started working on the material that would eventually became this self titled debut album.

From the first chords of For Clarity’s Sake to the fading strains of the final track, the epic almost seven minute long Plumes, this is an epic thoughtful interpretation of post hardcore that has emo touches and elements of spiky post punk leanings. The vocals are an impassioned emo howl that sits astride the angular post punk riffs and intense drumbeats that characterise the album. All of the eight tracks on this self titled debut are consistently and passionately delivered, however this is also the album’s Achilles heel. If I had to criticise this album it would be that eight tracks tend to bleed into each other, whilst the pace and tone varies throughout the album the approach to making music remains somewhat one dimensional.

Despite the similarities in the way the album is delivered this is a strong and consistent debut release, Feel Better are a band that has been slowly working towards this release. If you are a fan of post hardcore then you should investigate this original variation on a well trodden path.

Feel Better‘s self titled debut album can be downloaded for $1 or more here

Feel Better‘s website can be found here

The CD and Cassette of Feel Better can be purchased from Really Rad Records here

Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes To Release Self Titled Debut LP

Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes STSuper Secret Records have announced the release date for their debut self titled LP by Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes. The band formed in Austin, Texas, in 2013 as a two-piece featuring guitarist and vocalist Steve Pike and drummer Jacob Cruz. In early 2015, they added Rob Glynn to fill in on bass guitar and help record their debut album. Since then, they have found a more permanent solution with Bill Indelicato on bass. Drawing influences from Sonic Youth, Shellac, Hot Snakes and Unwound. Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes taps into the sonic fury of early 90’s noise rock and post hardcore and blend it with their own interpretation and swagger.

The album will be released on August 19th, you can listen to the track Speak here

Dance Gavin Dance To Release 7th Studio LP ‘Mothership’

Dance Gavin Dance MSSacramento’s Dance Gavin Dance have announced details for their seventh studio LP, Mothership, which will be released on October 7th via Rise Records. The thirteen track album serves as the follow up to 2015’s Instant Gratification. Formed in 2005, the groundbreaking act which fuses elements of emo, post-hardcore, jazz fusion, progressive rock and screamo into their signature sound, has seen their last five album’s chart on the Billboard Top 200. They have announced an extensive US and UK Tour in support of Mothership

Pre-orders for Mothership are now available on iTunes and here

US and UK tour dates, and a preview video for the UK tour, can be seen below

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Grieving Demonstrations

Grieving

Demonstrations

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Grieving are a quartet from Cambridge, UK that formed in 2015 and Demonstrations is their debut EP. They have been steadily leaking the tracks that make up Demonstrations on their bandcamp and the complete five track EP will finally surface at the tail end of the July 2016. Grieving have been steadily building a reputation through regular live shows and they’ve gained airplay on national radio in the UK on BBC Radio One.

Demonstrations opens with My Friend, The Ghost, this starts the EP in an understated manner with a laid back guitar riff that builds to an impressive chorus and it ends in a full post hardcore attack that is continued on Ownership, this is a much more accessible track and it features an impressive angular post punk guitar riff. All five tracks on Demontsrations vary in style, No Sleep is the obvious crowd pleaser on here, it borders on pop punk with it’s steady chugging riff, albeit one that has a much more spiky quality than you’d expect from that description. Little Armoured veers away from their previous style and is features a more experimental indie rock style, which for some reason reminds me of the PixiesDemonstrations closes with my personal favourite, Warmest Jets, which is a return to more familiar territory and boasts an infectious guitar hook that leaves you wishing they’d recorded just a few more tracks. 

Their choice of band name is somewhat misleading, I was expecting something heavy and very dark, what you actually get with Demonstrations is an impressive combination of post punk and post hardcore stylings, they incorporate these styles and blend them with the noisier end of indie rock into what is an impressive self released debut EP. I would certainly recommend fans of these genre’s investigate this release, their originality and the quality of the songwriting that is displayed on Demonstrations is something that marks them out as a band to watch. 

Grieving will be playing The Blue Moon in Cambridge, with support from Goldblume and Gutters, on July 30th to celebrate the release of the EP.

Demonstrations will be released on July 29th 2016 on CD and pay what you want download and will be available direct from Grieving here

Rarity Release ‘Inhale’ Video and Announce Tour With Seaway

rarity tourCanada’s Rarity have just unveiled the new video for the track Inhale, which is culled from their Rise Records debut album, I Couldn’t Be Weaker. They are also currently supporting Seaway on their Canadian tour which runs through to July 29.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased here

I Couldn’t Be Weaker is available for download on iTunes and can be purchased on all formats here

You can check out the Inhale video below

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