Think Circus Vargas meets Sleepy time Gorilla Museum and the Tosca Tango Orchestra. This album is truly a rift in the daily atmosphere of copycat, non-daring redundancies. Full of odd time signatures, precisely orchestrated instrumentation and wild outbursts of spontaneity and chaos, this album is like an eerie trip through time and space. Melodies from the clarinet, trumpet, accordion and violin interweave and swirl until the listener is left with an abrupt halt or change. The packaging even features various pictures of the band members sporting porky pig masks.
This is a one-track, 41 minute live EP recorded at Galeria Ze Dos Bois in (unsurprisingly) Lisbon on 4th October 2005. It sees something of a change in delivery frow KFW’s usual OCD — the normal 3-year cycle of incessant editing and remastering of his last few releases has been eschewed for a straight-to-hard disk, as-is encapsulation of the KFW live experience.
This is the first album from MGR, or Mustard Gas and Roses, side-project of Mike Gallagher, guitarist for doom/post-metal luminaries Isis. The album contains five tracks of instrumental desolation spread over an expansive fifty-two minutes.
Mogwai are back, and with some effect. Although their fifth studio album doesn’t prove to be quite the extremely-heavy effort that early suggestions had it seeming to be, Mr Beast is a very accomplished record full of emotion and intensity — and one which at points does indeed return to the noisy territory which although the live show still always offered, the recordings had generally developed away from.
Every religion began as a cult. In their early years, Belle and Sebastian possessed near-totemic powers for their small but impassioned band of disciples, as fervent as the followers of similarly wistful, self-deprecating, and sometimes sexually conflicted artists like The Smiths, Felt, and Orange Juice a decade prior.
When The Movielife broke up, Vinnie Caruana formed I Am The Avalanche and guitarist Brandon Reilly formed Nightmare Of You. While I Am The Avalanche began where The Movielife left off, Nightmare Of You follows in the vein of Straylight Run; a mellow indie band that features more accomplished and mature songwriting than before.
Through their style they’ve always retained a sort of DIY ‘fuck you’ quality to their sound, initially sounding very much unlike anything else and then later on down the line paying very little attention to anyone else’s sentiments as they delved and scraped at the bottom of detuned, low frequency cesspits. So it comes as a little bit of a surprise when I read the blurb on their fifth official studio album and come across the labels country/western and epic rock.
Easily one of the strongest Drum and Bass tracks recently released, “Incline” is a spitty, sci-fi roller. Choppy, energetic drums complement a pulsing distorted rave sound, punching through the mix in a style somewhat akin to Total Science’s “Defcom 69”.
Bambata style conga loops, a heavy Valve sound to the bass and well implemented atmos and vocals. Not earth shakingly innovative DnB, but if you like the originals, you can’t go wrong.
This is the second album by San Franciscan post-rockers, Enablers, following 2004’s End Note. Their skeletal frame is provided by a guitar/bass/drums of Joe Goldring/Kevin Thompson/Yuma Joe Byrnes, who echo the scratchy avant rock of Slint, and this is augmented by the spoken work allusions of Pete Simonelli — a beat poet and darkside narrator.
A great example of just how exiting the doom laden, dystopic dnb style can be.
With this new release, Breakbeat Kaos stalwart Baron gets a chance to show his more soulful side.
Final:3, Final’s third album, is still rooted in the original ‘Final sound’ that finds it source in industrial manipulation of electronic and sonic wizardry, welded to a metal aesthetics. Recorded between 2000 and 2005, Final:3 is closest in sound to Jesu, exhibiting a hugely precise ear for distorted bleeps and ringtones, retorted guitars and subterranean bass frequencies but with an overall sound that far more delicate and well… ambient.
This album is the result of collaboration over the last three years or so between Sandro Perri of Polmo Polpo and Craig Dunsmuir of Guitarkestra. Glissandro 70 were originally concieved only for a one-off weblog piece but then grew into a more substantial project with intermittent sessions and additions to make a corpus of full-length proportion.
Collapse are an abrasive punk band in the vein of Arab On Radar or the Chinese Stars, the latter even more so due to the more dancey/disco beats accompanying some of the music.
This new Why? release contains “Rubber Traits” off the Elephant Eyelash album released at the end of last year, using the chance to collect together some other unreleased material recorded, over the last year or so — as was the case with the group’s previous Sanddollars and Early Whitney releases.
Soft Money is Jel’s first full length studio album, and sees the full time producer cutting his hours to have a dip at rapping aided and abetted by guest emcees Oddnosdam and Wise Intelligent, to create a curious mixture of finely tuned hip hop, noir trip hop and leftfield big beat electronica.
In some ways the musical arrangement, and the intimate honesty of the lyrics could be compared to Arab Strap. But instead of Scottish earthiness, and talk of sex and booze, Barr has an metropolitan emotional eloquence, associated with his Californian roots.
What’s in a name? As names go, Tone is not the most original ever. Yes, it’s better than Oasis. But worse than Crispy Ambulance (from whom, members of this band are drawn from, incidentally). It certainly alludes to something in within the wider spectrum of ‘Rock’ but more like plodding heavy metal than the quiet/loud dichotomies of post-rock. Tone formed in Washington D.C. in 1991 and though they have released their three previous albums on Ian McKaye’s Dischord label they are relatively removed from their city’s hardcore punk lineage.
If I was to draw out sonic comparisons for East West Blast Test i’d need to discuss the avant-metal of Fantomas, the jazz and experimental tendencies of Frank Zappa and the grind of Discordance Axis as just a starting point. Popular Music For Unpopular People is not just coming from two places as the name suggests but from everywhere. Or at least the musical journey between New Jersey and California, back again and so forth stops off to rest at almost as many styles and genres as there are tracks on this album (23 – in 32 minutes) before the route finally leads to our stereos.
The album offers the experimental ambience with manipulated sound waves and extended notes over throbbing drones that we have come to expect from the band, playing around with ideas of texture and space, and sucking the intentful listener in and away. Its a reflective work, not offering a specific counterpoint to another record as offered with 1999’s Grace (to Neurosis’ Times Of Grace), but standing more as couterpoint to the general noise and speed of life.
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’s release date was moved forward a week by popular demand and record shops were taking advance orders, but how does the album fair compared to this impressive hype? Luckily enough for the Sheffield boys, it’s only going to do as well as it deserves to: Domino’s newest chart hopefuls have mounted a mighty challenge to label-mates Franz Ferdinand’s throne of success, by making what could easily be the pop-soundtrack to 2006.
The closest reference point to clumsily place this alongside is _Unknown Pleasures_-era Joy Division, particularly in its sparse but menacing rhythm section and bleak lyrical focus.
The feel and themes of both the music and also the promo videos included on this ‘enhanced’ CD is that of a Crampsy type sex, voodoo, horror camp and the album does have a great weirdo party mood. Songs like opener “Fantomasofobia” and “Satan Jeans” are testament to this. The schlocky film samples which permeate the record lend to this atmosphere, and the song titles are just great, check out “Anton La Vey 66.6FM” and “Sex Euro and Evils Pop”!
This is the first record from Neurosis-lord Steve Von Till’s new project/moniker Harvestman. Where we have seen the folk leanings of the man in both Neurosis, specifically through the love of the Bagpipes (also present here), and on his two solo albums, Harvestman takes this further, and in a different direction.