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  • Petethepiratesquid, Radio Burroughs, Went
    By on July 21st, 2009 | 26 Comments26 Comments Comments

    The fact that I am writing this show review is inspired by quite a few things. First of all, I was and still am very euphoric about it, since this is the second screamo gig in my lifetime. Yep it’s true. The first one was held almost a year ago, last November, the hosting of the amazing well known French Daitro. Sadly that concert never had a review, basically because I was completely blown away by the whole event. But that is another story. This one is about Pete, Radio and Serbian Went. And yes, my mind was blown away again. Yet I found it quite stupid if I didn’t write this little text, since the small life pulses of screamo within my country should be marked in every way possible.

    Secondly, why I am writing this review, I feel that Petethepiratesquid deserves to see how much of a great show they put on for us and also I feel it is my duty to do so and say sorry to Pete. Simply because, a long time I have thought that Pete is a quite boring and mediocre screamo act. Whoever knew me a bit better, knew that the only screamo I didn’t love were two bands, Pete and Birds are Spies, They Report to the Trees. But today I feel embarrassed for both statements. I came to realize that you can’t judge with a clear mind a music act heard only once, which may have happened in a wrong moment, in a moment when my ears would more enjoy some sludge tunes or something else. So with this review I really want to say sorry to Pete for my bad thoughts of you boys and girls, you are quite an interesting and pleasurable band.

    And lastly, Hell I’m a member of a screamo/emo/indie/… blog, I might as well write a review:)))

    The concert took place yesterday evening, namely July 20th 2009, in a well known Belgrade venue, Living Room in the Student Cultural Center. The show was due to start in 9 pm, but was a “bit” late so it kicked off around 10 pm. Seriously, the little delay was the only bad thing about the whole event. The beginning of the gig was marked with the beautiful Went, Serbian alternative/indie act. They are a kind of revelation for me, since I personally never heard about them before the announcement for this event. An amazing mix of gentle melodies with a soothing voice and an aggressive outburst of rending guitar riffs, Went stunned me for a good half an hour of brilliant tunes. Their music really gives you a “floating” kind of feeling, in my mind the music created a view of a peaceful ocean landscape. This may sound too typical, but you have to see and experience this live and see what I mean. Luckily the Went dudes promised to give me some of their material for the blog as soon as they finish recording, so hopefully you boys and girls will find their tunes in the upload section. They are a perfect example of what I love about the music scene in Serbia, where a lot of hidden musical gems can be found. I will surely try and keep my eye on these young lads and their work.

    Next up, Petethepiratesquid. What can I say, except “wow!”? A lot of people, me included, enjoy more when the bands they like are both musically and visually pleasurable. And this band is the epitome of cuteness. Yes, I said it, cuteness. Looking at the stage and seeing Björn going nuts with the drum kit, Felix dressed up fancy with a tie, black shirt and pants, coupled up with crazy dancing, Jana jumping around and standing on her toes as she sings and talks and Ulli standing and playing bass while looking at the crowd and smiling, the whole scene makes you want to go up on stage and give them a group hug. And the fact that they wrote the songlist on a back of an old show poster and put it on the floor on the middle of the stage, made the scene even cuter. As far as the music part goes, the same amount of enjoyment was included. I really enjoy their music at home, but live performance is on such a higher level. Gentle and elegant parts of a song where Jana talks, followed by an intense explosion of the whole band, fast paced parts really make your chest pound faster and faster. “Strangers with candy”, “Sharpshooter”, “Sure it was fun while it lasted”, “All the way from your bed to the door”, “All girl freak show”, “Mixed motives and social dilemma” and a bunch of other songs (which I can’t remember from the overall excitement) rang through the venue. They were very happy with the reactions of the crowd during the whole show, Felix even gave a compliment saying “You crazy Serbs”, and at the end we didn’t let them go so easily with screaming, clapping and whistling, so we got a bonus song. Yaaay!

    Last, but not least, Pete’s good friend Radio Burroughs. Everything I said about Pete’s performance could be copy pasted here for Radio. Damn cute band with a bunch of friendly faces on stage always smiling and hopping around. Beautiful, fast paced, but graceful and tender songs with amazing girl vocals, made me speechless after the end of the show. You in fact have a wish to dance and sing nonstop while they play, so I gladly sang quietly whilst some of my favorite songs were played, like “Knit a Hole”, “Let’s Fill These Boxes”, “Just Like We Break Down” and “We Press Buttons”. However, sadly I left my “dancing shoes” in my pocket, since the crowd wasn’t really into dancing. But the crowd was going wild after every song with cheers and claps, so again we got a bonus song at the end.

    So in the end, what can I say? Last night show was one of the best for this year, amazing mix of bands, nice people, beautiful atmosphere and after the show my wish to see all these bands again. And a new T shirt bought at the small distro section, yaaaaaaay:) I hope both Petethepiratesquid and Radio Burroughs had fun as much as the crowd did and that they come here once again in the future. Thank you for a wonderful show.

  • Balmorhea 19.4.09 @Treibhaus
    By on April 20th, 2009 | 125 Comments125 Comments Comments

    Great ambient / post-rock / new classical band, they’re touring right now in Europe, so check them out if you’ve got the chance.





  • I Would Set Myself On Fire For You – Believes In Patterns [2006]
    By on April 17th, 2009 | 25 Comments25 Comments Comments

    setmyself

    Who believes in patterns?
    A lashout of patterns, Twelve handsels a strong album. Piano, viola. Pause. Guitar. Drums. And the atmosphere starts getting miserable. Pause. Bass. Music. The first songs gets you wondering -is there any kind of evolution in this? Any sort of progress? The guitar sounds are harsh, reminding the distinctive riffs of Hot Cross at times. They pretty much sound like scratches on your eardrum. Sit back. The complicated musical themes are combined with jazz lines.

    The second track is raising the feeling of anticipation, and a sax is keeping a mellow travel across the scales. It brings in mind the music of John Zorn mashed with sludge and pretty flowers. There is no exact point of ending for the song, in fact it can go on a loop eternally -and instrumentally, it is connected to the following song, Six, which breaks the ice after a stressful introduction.

    So This Is Our Home has some vague traces of Defiance, Ohio! or Erin Tobey. And still it fits in the album, although it’s not really obeying to the saturnine character of the rest songs. The pass to the next track (Eight) is soft and discreet. The female vocals appearing in both songs help in connecting them, and the walk from absolute melody to the outbreak of Eight is interesting and still gentle. Eight is like a desperate face that emerged out of So This Is Our Home and the lyrics are summing up the whole album -disappointed, devastating, miserable, melancholic, black, tender, angry, questioning.

    Finishing with the Country Song, a twisty guitar starts and the almost-out-of-tone-accompaniment of the viola create a haunted, ill atmosphere. It could be considered as a tragic ironic response to the common country songs; actually, it seems to be ambivalent between irony and solemnity. The song gives a decadent, abandoned, tired end to the album -it leaves a bitter taste. This helps in digesting the album as an entity. The songs lose some of their meaning when listened to separately, as there is a sequence between them. This is pretty obvious because the ending of one song is the beginning of the next one.

    The album has moments of silence against terrible noise, and the band seems to have pursued the succession of low-profile parts by outbreaks. Still, they don’t get purely chaotic or pitchlessly noisy. There is some balance between what they sing and what they shout.

    Echo-effect: it is reoccurring throughout the album. Rhythmic changes are also common during songs, ranging from post-rock-ish slow vibrant notes to conserved violent phrases. Change the vocals and you get a clearer version of Circle Takes The Square’s music. It is an album that gets you full. Most songs are pretty long (e.g. Twelve, Seven, Three, Nine) but intervals of mental relaxation also exist. The music is mature, swarming with strange noises and subtle -or obvious- melodies. The way the songs impose their mood in the room, it can get massive, so at times the thin line between substance and exhaustion is maybe infringed.

    Mixed vocals (female & male) also support the tonal variety of the songs, because the music is mostly moving in lower pitches.

    Believes In Patters, a piece of distorted art, the work of a foggy Saturday night with the streetlights smudging their glow around them, dull music coming out of the buildings nearby, and you flying to waste, vanishing in patterns.

    Thanks to QsLv_ for sending me this review.

    Download

  • Wolves in the Throne Room – Black Cascade
    By on April 9th, 2009 | 123 Comments123 Comments Comments

    Musically, at the point when a subcultural style becomes incorporated into the market, it is simultaneously stripped of its cultural message and becomes simply another meaningless object of mass consumption. Consider the plethora of politically motivated punk rock bands (Against Me! Greenday e.t.c) whose commercial success has seen the timeless display of politics relegated and contained to the bands personal history. Even the brash political lyrics of the mid-nineties Hip-Hop Scene (N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan e.t.c) declined rapidly, while interest in the soundscape that those lyrics roamed increased exponentially. However, the extreme Black Metal scene has, and is still consistently defined, by its (anti)-political message, stubbornly maintaining its distance from the market whilst remaining self-consciously and traditionally burdened by the atrocities of its own festering scene. Ironically, it is this close-minded attitude that has allowed Wolves in the Throne Room (Olympia, WA) to breathe new life into the flagging scene. Through a process of reification, Wolves in the Throne Room (Hereby referred to as WITTR) have separated subject ((anti)-politics) from object (music), allowing both creative and political freedom to manifest itself with veracity.

    Since the release of second album Two Hunters (2007, Southern Lord), WITTR have ascended to the upper tiers of the underground scene by creating a transformative and apocalyptic musical manifestation that has come to completely transcend the Black Metal label. Formed by brothers Aaron (Drums) and Nathan Weaver (Guitar, Vocals) and accompanied by former Middian guitarist Will Lindsay (replacing former guitarist Richard Dahlen), the band have consistently stated that their combined musical goal was “to create a musical expression of an expanding consciousness that linked the mythic and apocalyptic visions of Black Metal” with “life-changing actions on the physical plane” and with Black Cascade (2009), the bands third full-length album, WITTR have further sought to differentiate Black Metal from a force of pure negativity and have forged an individual, neo-Arcadian philosophy in their own image.

    Despite being founded upon a traditional Black Metal musical aesthetic, Black Cascade voraciously incorporates genre as a means to broaden its appeal. Genres are woven together, with ambient and environmental samples rising and falling through the material. Melodic, Shoe-gaze drones are compounded with hazy electronics and psychedelic swings of tempo that blend together effortlessly and inter-relate between each extended composition.

    The opening track ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ acts as both an homage to traditional Black Metal musical structures whilst at the same time using structure to deconstruct the notion of the subject; complementing traditional Black Metal tempos with ever changing dynamic shifts to produce a sophisticated layered composition that elevates transient melodies to the forefront of the song rather than make spectacular the modified heavy metal that features so prominently in the works of early Black Metal bands (such as Burzum and Mayhem).

    ‘Ahrimanic Trance’ takes the formal qualities of ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ and promotes them further, outdoing both the ferocious speed and melodic drones of the opening track yet maintaining a sense of stylistic unity between the two.

    Joined thematically with the environmental sample ending the track before, third track ‘Ex Cathedra’ begins slowly but builds into an uncompromising powerhouse only to be broken down at the peak of its finery and outdone by a truly beautiful piece of proceeding electronic atmosphere.

    Closing track ‘Crystal Ammunition’ remains similar in focus but introduces sombre Arcadian-folk that juxtaposes perfectly with the shrill of Nathan Weaver’s vocals, bringing the album to its perfectly balanced conclusion.

    Recorded onto a two inch tape and mixed on a 1973 Neve Console by Producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))) ), the entirety of the album benefits hugely from the hazy recorded sound, allowing for guitars and electronics to merge and create not just a sound, but a ‘soundscape’, bereft of Black Metal contradictions and brimming with enticing melody. With the release of Black Cascade, Wolves in the Throne Room have provided the possibility of moving beyond the colourless walls of Black Metal routine into the bright environs of an imaginary state and, in doing so; have changed the direction of American Black Metal for the near future.

    Slothbear

    Tracklisting:

    1. Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (10:33)
    2. Ahrimanic Trance (14:06) (Slothbear’s Top Track)
    3. Ex Cathedra (10:59)
    4. Crystal Ammunition (14:21)

    Download

    Mirror

  • The Number 12 Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone (2009)
    By on March 12th, 2009 | 116 Comments116 Comments Comments

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    With their fourth release Worse Than Alone (2009), The Number 12 Looks Like You has added a dynamic which most math core bands seem to lack; structure. Considering the commercial success of Mongrel (2007), it is no wonder the band have sought refinement in their sound. Opening track ‘Glory Kingdom’ noticeably departs from previous efforts and sets the focus of the entire album. Gone is the spasmodic call and response twin vocal assault; an integral element to earlier albums, now replaced by gang vocals and shouts rather than screams. Gone is the varied use of time signature within individual songs; now contained within tight individual structures, time changes complement the overall sound rather than act to disrupt and jar the listener.

    This is not to say however that the album is in any means inferior to previous efforts. The bands new approach allows for some truly memorable moments that are as devastating, if not more so, as previous efforts. ‘To Catch a Tiger’s song structure revolves around repeated guitar patterns that start as powerful, hard rock breakdowns and which descend into heavy, hardcore breakdowns all the while punctuated by gang vocals. ‘Marvin’s Jungle’ on the other hand, allows the band to incorporate elements of punk- rock for a surprisingly joyous conclusion.

    Despite this the band still retains their trademark sound on some tracks. ‘The Garden’s All Nighters’ is perhaps the best example of this. Shifting from layers of highly complex progressive metal to beautifully constructed jazz interludes; the song purposefully acts as an homage to Mongrel whilst remaining distinct enough to coordinate with the refined sound of the new album on the whole.

    Highly energised and distinctly different in tone and direction, Worse Than Alone shows how even the most innovative bands can expand upon a sound they themselves created. The Number 12 Looks Like You have created a worthy follow up to 2007’s Mongrel that builds upon the complex math-core elements of previous albums and refines them into something wholly more powerful.

    Slothbear

    The Number 12 Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone

    Track Listing:

    1. Glory Kingdom
    2. Given Life
    3. To Catch A Tiger
    4. Marvin’ Jungle
    5. The Garden’s All Nighters (Slothbear’s Top Track)
    6. If They Holler, Don’t Let Go
    7. Retort, Rebuild, Remind
    8. The League of Endangered Oddities
    9. Serpentine
    10. I’ll Make My Own Hours

    Download

  • Pangaea, Ghostchant & Red Tape Parade
    By on March 10th, 2009 | 23 Comments23 Comments Comments

    _mg_0111

    Great! Mr_Evil took some photos! Check ’em out here.
    Thanks, man!
    You can watch the whole Pangaea gig on Youtube! Watch it here.

    This is my first review, I don’t think it will be good or long. Sorry for any mistakes in my grammar and wrong typed words.

    It was the second Screamo concert I attended. Yeah, some kind of pathetic, I know, but here in Munich (Germany) are not very often Screamo concerts or I can’t go for some reasons I don’t wanna write now. I didn’t take photos because I’m really not good at it so the photos wouldn’t be sharp or you just wouldn’t see anything on it. And fuck, I was there to listen to those bands, not to take any photos! I’ll give you a link, if I find some photos.

    The concert was at a location in Munich called ‘Kafe Marat’. That location is really fucked up. Awesome.
    The first band which played was Pangaea, a Screamo band from Munich. It was their last show by the way. Very sadly… That band was very good. The singer started the first three or four songs with jumpin’ into the audience. Some people were very shocked as the singer jumped onto them. Then he walked in the crowd, singing (yes, okay. Screaming). After some time he jumped onto their merch table still screaming. Then he jumped back into the audience, walked around, screamed at some persons. Some of them screamed back (the lyrics of course). Very nice. At this time a persons next to me had the idea to jump into the crowd, too. Hell, I was fuckin’ shocked as he jumped into my direction…
    Then came the last song. I think it was the 7th or 8th song by them, can’t really remember and I really didn’t count the songs. The singer (I don’t know his name) throw his microphone onto the ground and screamed the shit out of himself. And yes, he walked through the audience and jumped onto their merch table again. He danced very cool by the way.

    The next bands were Ghostchant and Red Tape Parade. Ghostchant is from Munich, too and they play also Screamo. Red Tape Parade is from Würzburg and they play some kind of Punk Rock and Hardcore in my opinion. They had a great idea: Play against each other at the same time. That means there were two stages, on the right side were Ghostchant, Red Tape Parade on the left, of course. Ghostchant started playing their first song. I can’t give you the song names but they played their whole split ep. After the second song the audience turned around and listened to two songs of Red Tape Parade. This happenend four times, as far as I remember and Ghostchant offended Red Tape Parade 😀 Then the bands played one bonus song each and the gig was over. Oh yes, a friend of mine told me that Red Tape Parade wore monkey masks while they were playing a song. I haven’t seen that, there were a lot of people in front of me :/

    Well, what can I say? It was awesome and I really wanna see them again. I had to pay five Euros (6,33 Dollars) to see those three great bands and I got the Red Tape Parade/Ghostchant Split EP 7″ also. Sadly Pangaea broke up, as I already wrote. That band was very great although the singer used to growl sometimes. You should know, that I’m not a big fan of growling. Ghostchant and Red Tape Parade were awesome, too. If you have the chance to see them live, go and watch them, it’s absolutely worth.

  • Black Bong review
    By on March 3rd, 2009 | 118 Comments118 Comments Comments

    swarrrm-black-bong-cover-art1

    Track listing:

    01. Snow
    02. Cherry Tree
    03. Fissure
    04. Sky
    05. Road
    06. Light
    07. Wind
    08. Black Bong

    Swarrrm is a very chaotic grindcore band from Japan and they are simply insane. I’ve never heard anything quite so brutal or just plain scary, the vocals will send tingles up and down your spine and haunt your fucking dreams. The first album I heard by these guys was “Black Bong” and I fell in love within the first 10 seconds of hearing “Snow”. The growling, the screaming, the insanely fast music, it seems like someone is injecting pure awesomeness into your brain and it’s taking everything you have to process it. Sometime’s it just sounds demonic, the way the dual vocals growl over each other and other times it sounds like something you would hear from a creature as it takes it’s last breaths in some kind of horror movie, especially at the end of “Cherry Tree” and on the title track “Black Bong”, you can just imagine the singer on the ground, crawling around, face wretched in agony while performing that masterpiece. This album is the best 34 minutes you’ll find anywhere of any genre.

  • Odd Senses Review
    By on March 2nd, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    Here’s a quick review…

    psyopus-odd-sense-cover-art1

    Track listing:

    01. .44
    02. Medusa
    03. The Burning Halo
    04. Duct Tape Smile
    05. X and Y
    06. Boogeyman
    07. Imogen’s Puzzle Pt. 3
    08. Choker Chain
    09. Ms. Shyflower
    10. A Murder To Child
    11. Bonus Track

    So I finally found the time to listen to Psyopus’s new album “Odd Senses”. I wouldn’t say they’re one of my favorite hardcore bands, but definitely one I respect and enjoy listening too. First off, the cover art is fucking beautiful, minimal but artistic. As soon as the first track “.44” started playing, I knew I was going to enjoy the next hour of music. The very next track, “Medusa” was fucking awesome, absolutely loved the vocals on this track, definitely a different style, but one I wouldn’t mind hearing on every song. Another track worth mentioning is “Choker Chain” because the looped spoken samples of a female are hilarious, something that is prevalent through out the whole album. “A Murder To Child” is a wonderful masterpiece, I never felt that it was too long, all 9 minutes are rapturous and enthralling. The very last song on the album, the bonus track is, for lack of a better expression, a “one way ticket to hell”. It gets sort of jazzy a little after the 5 minute mark, a very nice touch. There are a few commercials littered through out the 20 minute track, all of them equally silly and humorous. The use of “butt rape” is executed well, love how these guys don’t take themselves seriously. And last but not least, the acoustic song near the end of the track is epic win, a must hear! All 11 tracks are great though, never comes off as repetitive.

    The album overall is extremely fast, hard, and chaotic as fuck. The distinct screeching guitar can get a little repetitive at times, not so much as to ruin anything though. I was not disappointed at all, in fact, I came away from this album liking this band more than I originally did. I think anyone who enjoys and knows what good music sounds like will enjoy Odd Senses, definitely worth purchasing.  A much needed punch to the face and kick to the anus.