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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Dodecahedron - Dodecahedron

This one was recommended to me by our Ewan but I thought I'd write about it since he hasn't yet.

This album is pretty much everything I love about metal. Two content factors usually govern my love for metal: emotional and cerebral. The combination of these two things make for a record I am more than likely going to love. Emotional on it's own, for example all the well meaning but mostly generic Hardcore bands, don't do much for me as, IMHO, they all sound the same and nothing they do grabs me as really new, clever or interesting. Then, purely cerebral music gets you into Meshuggah territory where, as much as I feel bad for it, I just can't get into them as it's just too clinical and soulless without the passion and fire I need to really get me banging.

So here we have Dodecahedron. We have Meshuggah/Deathspell Omega complexity but with real fire and ferocity akin to the best Metal/Hardcore bands I love like Kiss it Goodbye and balls to the wall Black Metal. This really does get it right in my book. The third factor which makes this album stand out is this band really understands the importance of creating an album instead of a collection of songs. The progression of music through this record begins with hooked filled metalcore through to dense droning soundscapes, electronic sequences, Meshuggah style poly-rhythmic mantras, acoustic sequences and a whole shit load more. It really ebbs and flows, dragging you around like a vortex of evil, promising you beauty and then crushing you to death with some of the best riffs you've ever heard.

Oh, and the kick drum sound is utterly pulverising, I cannot get enough of that sound!

On bandcamp they've only posted two tracks which is a shame as you can't appreciate the whole epic in its full form (especially the "View From Hverfell" trilogy of tracks at the end which are a fucking masterpiece), so you'll need to demo the whole album via other methods (you know what to do), but please then go buy their album via bandcamp if you like it (you get the whole album in the download, don't worry).

Easily one of the best albums of 2012.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Black Magician - Nature Is The Devil's Church

Black Magician seem to have cast a spell taking doom back to the time when it meant folk with long hair and flares listening to Cathedral. When mushroom freaks like Acrimony would be given column inches in Terrorizer. Y'know, when being into doom meant you were into 70s rock by default.

This sounds like it could have been released by Hellhound Records many moons ago. Or Rise Above for that matter.

The thing that really sets Black Magician apart is their use of the organ. Come on, who the hell doesn't like a good bit of fuzzy 70s organ? Brings to mind things like Jacula and other obscurities.

They're not afraid to break out of the doom crawl tempo either. The end of Four Thieves Vinegar brings the tmepo right up for a head banging march to the end. The organ is going full pelt as well. Doesn't sound much like Deep Purple but it does kind of remind you of the way the organ goes wild on things like Highway Star.

Basically, this is the real deal when it comes to doom. Loads of Black Sabbath and other old-fashioned doom riffage, fuzzy organs, long hair, hammer horror-esque lyrics about medieval england, flares, skulls. The song writing is spot on and so si the production.

It's everything you want in a doom album.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Art Of Burning Water - This Disgrace (Riot Season/Super Fi/Swarm Of Nails)

"AOBW channel the prime noise-rock of vintage Zeni Geva and Godflesh with the more complex rhythmical riff obsessions of the Melvins, Keelhaul and mid-period Voivod" according to the press release. I don't think I've ever read such an accurate sentence on a one-sheet before.

Basically, Art Of Burning Water are the UK's best kept secret. For over a decade they've been bashing out top notch noise rock riffs. In the past couple of years they've really been stepping it up quite a bit and this 4th LP has come along while their last one is still hot. I'm not arguing though because it's great to hear these songs that have absolutely killed live finally being recorded.

Although most of the riffs are pretty complicated they have a raw, fluid looseness to them which keeps them on the punk side of things. And, despite some odd time signatures, there's a swing and a groove to the music. Your head will be banging constantly although onlookers might give you strange looks due to your odd movements.

Art Of Burning Water also have that other vital element - hooks. You can't really whistle the tunes but you will get riffs stuck in your head.

And they don't mind repeating a simplistic riff now and again or chugging away on one note. Very satisfying.

Generally it's that style but Since His Collapse is a bit of a change. Gets a lot more intriciate and math-rocky. Perhaps like their old touring partners American Heritage. Weird time signatures and abstract guitar lines all over the place. They do finish it off with a cheeky e-chug riff (although it's completely un-moshable).

Fingers crossed they stick around for at least another decade.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Spoonful Of Tar Mix 01

Spoonful Of Tar Mix 01 by Ewanfrater on Mixcloud

Procrastinating from my Environmental Engineering books so made one of them mix thingies.

Thinking of doing more of them in the future. They'll all be about half an hour long and be a total mix of different stuff I happen to like at the moment.

Here's the info on the first one:-

Mrs Magician - Dead 80s (2:18)
Ovens - I Don't See The Point (3:05)
Pile - Bump A Grape (6:15)
Godstopper - Right Up To Heaven (12:04)
Om Unit - Dark Sunrise (15:10)
Holly Herndon - Movement (19:58)
Pye Corner Audio - Into The Maze (24:24)
Sithu Aye - Expansion (28:09)
Cloud Rat - Olympia (29:08)

Also bunged it up on mediafire if you want to bung it on your headphones - http://www.mediafire.com/?7656npzgrz8a81e

Needles s/t 7" (Iron Lung)

As far as I can tell this is pretty much Talk Is Poison with the guy from Crudos/Limp Wrist on vocals.

It's on Iron Lung records and there's folk from Talk Is Poison/Crudos/Limp Wrist. Yes, it's hardcore punk of the finest quality.

I definitely preferred Talk Is Poison to Limp Wrist as the music was dirtier and had more savage riffery in it. This is a good mix of the two. The music is just more ugly and pounding than Limp Wrist.

There's maybe a slight Boston 82 sound creeping in. Some of those nice staccato snare rolls and occasioanl stompy guitars.

Not much more needs to be said really. Total stormer of a hardcore punk EP.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Pile - Dripping

If you like any form of 90s indie/alt rock stuff then I guarantee you will love this. Cross my heart & and hope to die, scout's honour I swear you will fucking love this. For the past month or so I've played it at least once a day.

Totally one of those records I've been grabbing my friends by the lapels and screaming in their face to get them to check it out.

The excellent Kowloon Walled City posted the Pile bandcamp on their facebook doo-dah. They compared Pile to Harvey Milk, Polvo and Silkworm and mentioned how amazing the guitars are.

The guitars!! Oh my god, the guitars. You know how people like J Mascis in Dinosaur Jr and Bob Mould in Husker Du/Sugar and so on can really, really play the guitar? It's like that. Majestic. Still weird indie rock but done incredibly well.

Apart from the aforementioned bands I'll add things like Arcwelder, Meat Puppets and Pavement. Possibly even some slightly more mainstream sounds as well.

The absolute stand out tune is Bump A Grape. I remember doing my christmas shopping and just repeating it again and again as I stomped up and down Oxford Street. It builds and fades and builds and breaks just perfectly. It should be on a Sub Pop 7". A 7" that somehow gets picked and goes massive.

Have I made it clear enough yet that I think this record is fucking awesome?

Sauna Youth - False Jesii Pt.2 / Oh Joel 7"

I know exactly what's going through your head right now. You're wondering why in the name of fuck a band has done a Pissed Jeans cover. And a recent Pissed Jeans song as well. Weak as fuck right?

You'll be surprised. I was. Sauna Youth have turned that Pissed Jeans banger into a shambolic mid-80s indie pop song. And it works. Pleasantly surprised. Always a good thing when a band totally puts their own stamp on a cover version. Honestly, who needs another d-beat band covering Discharge or other bands doing similar pointless covers.

The other song is more rough tuneful indie pop stuff. The label likens them to the Fizzbombs, The Flatmates or The Rosehips but I've never heard of any of them. Sounds a bit like Kenickie or Helen Love to me but my knowledge of this stuff is pretty much limited to whatever Peel would play in the late 90s.

Definitely reckon Peel would have played this release though. That's as good a recommendation as any.

Brokeback - Brokeback And The Black Rock


Christ, 2013 has barely begun and already great records are getting released.

This is a side project of one of the people in Tortoise and sounds a bit like Ry Cooder. Kind of stretched out desert guitar stuff. Y'know Ennio Morricone and all the jazz.

Obviously it's one of Tortoise so it's quite intricate and subtly complex. Definitely going to require a lot of listens to fully get everything that's going on but even on a first listen it's pleasant.

No idea why I have checked out any Tortoise side projects before considering Millions Now Living Will Never Die is one of my favourite records. Ho hum, I've started now and it seems like a good thing to do.

Can't seem to find anywhere to stream it online but it's worth tracking down. Currently listening to a naughty soulseek version but the proper version is getting bought come pay day (yeah, that post-christmas pay day that takes forever and ever to arrive!)

I'll be buying it from Boomkat in the UK - http://boomkat.com/downloads/645091-brokeback-brokeback-and-the-black-rock

Monday, 14 January 2013

Mrs Magician - Strange Heaven

Totally catchy garage pop stuff. Bits are almost like a lo-fi Beach Boys. It's on Swami Records (run by John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes/Drive Like Jehu).

Discovered them via the end of year list put up by Aquarius Records.

Pretty much been on repeat all week and I absolutely guarantee you'll love them if you like any kind of poppy garage/indie stuff. There Is No God and Dead 80s are the two real stand out tracks.

Solid gold stuff. UK tour please.