Posted in New, Tracks on January 7th, 2010 by Alex
As ever I’m hopelessly behind the times on new releases, but there’s a couple of new tracks from a couple of bands that I truly adore that I wanted to share with you.
First, the mighty Torche are soon to release a split with the intermittently excellent Boris. Here’s the video of King Beef from that finding them sounding a bit like Baroness, which is no bad thing at all in my book.
Then there’s return of the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan. I’m not interested in all the old stuff versus new stuff bickering. Dillinger write amazing songs and consistently push the boundries while still giving the mainstream a run for their money. Farewell Mona Lisa is epic, aggressive, melodic and absolutely fan-fecking-tastic. It’s a departure from the straightforward abruptness of Ire Works. Dillinger will absolutely own 2010.
So stop grumbling about having to go back to work after Christmas (you skived off because of the snow anyway didn’t you) and prepare yourself for the brutal musical onslaught of 2010 – it’s gonna be another goodun.
Norway’s Virus are described on their Wikipedia entry as “avant-garde jazz rock”, a lofty description, and I will say this, they don’t sound much like the British thrash band of the same name.
On the surface, Virus’ guitars sound like Mastodon’s: heavy but not overly distorted, doom laden, frequent use of resonating open strings, obscure scales, but here comparisons end. Virus tread a more gothic path, and tend towards slower tempos and more subtle song structures. Virus are progressive in the true sense of the term rather than the generic.
The Joy Division/Interpol inflected vocals cut through any metallic tendencies, giving the music an alternative feel. The melodies and musical structure are where they really shine though. Wilfully obscure, this is definitely rock music, and you can hear the jazz influence, but these intricate musical threads weave a much more complex and indistinct tapestry than many of their peers. So dense are these tracks that it’s easy to get lost in them, and sometimes hard to find your way out again – this combined with a sustained oppressive tone sometimes makes it a uncomfortable listen.
It’s difficult to know where Virus fits in the grand music scheme, but their place at the bleeding edge of heavy music is assured.
Posted in New, Tracks on August 24th, 2009 by Alex
Radiohead performed this hypnotic new track at Poelten Festival in Austria. It’s not a radical departure from their current sound, but it does stray into psychedelic territory with it’s repetitive reverberating groove. There’s probably a few more new tracks to come over the coming weeks on the European festival circuit and if they’re all recorded as well as this we’ll be able to piece the new album together! That said, you never know what they’re going to do with new tracks when they get into the studio. Compare the album version of Like Spinning Plates with the live version – they could be different songs. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s never a dull moment with Radiohead.
Whether this is a dead end or part of a wild goose chase is anyone’s guess – I’ll let Ateaseweb.com sort it out. One thing is for sure, Radiohead have made a career out of confounding, and nothing would suprise me…!
You have to wonder whether the title of this much anticipated comeback EP is a reference to the backwards leaning tendencies contained herein. Like a little smorgasbord, these 4 tasty tid-bits are both familiar but also fresh.
Cayman’s Tongue lurches into the post-hardcore territory of Perfect Pitch Black while also referencing the space rock majesty of Jupiter. We then take a complete left turn into the pounding Retina See Rewind – a forceful yet melodic punk frenzy.
The Red Trail is pure ferocious hardcore of a kind becoming less common if these days of monotonous Deathcore and pretentious crabcore. This is new ground for the ephemeral Cave In, and is a style that suits them well, but we’re used to them pushing boundaries, which aren’t being pressured much here.
Finally Air Escapes is has a robotic pummel reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age and provides the most melodic moment of the quartet.
What’s missing here are the yearning melodies of Cave In’s middle period. The is progression here but overall this seems like a band finding their feet again, and consequently doesn’t stand up against their best. Cave In need to decide who they’re going to be next; as a transition work this is an entertaining bask in former glories, but a glorious comeback it ain’t.
The EP is currently streaming in its entirety here.
A track by track breakdown of British post-[hardcore|metal|rock] act Fall of Efrafa’s third full length album would simply read ‘epic’ 7 times. The majority of tracks on this vegan opus clock in at between 10 and 17 minutes. This is the final instalment of Fall of Efrafa’s 3 albums that re-imagine the story and themes of Watership Down in a quasi-political polemic – an effort that makes Coheed and Cambria’s Star Wars wet dream seem half hearted.
Inlé takes it time. There’s little room for subtlety here, but there are moments of wistful beauty interspersed with bludgeoning hardcore which elicits The Ocean and Neurosis. The vocals are a monotonous roar which occasionally breaks down to a Frank Carter-esque rasp while the guitars cast a doomy air across these rhythmically sparse soundscapes. Highlights are the doom-core of Wonderwort and the final track The Warren of Snares which wraps up this series in spectacular style surging and and waining before culminating into a pummeling finalé.
Fall of Efrafa should perhaps be congratulated for being the only band in history to base their entire career on rabbits and their dedication is commendable. However, Inlé is perhaps too ponderous for it’s own good – Efrafa may be labouring a point here, and they’re certainly labouring the music. I’ve no doubt that this album will blossom it’s purposeful beauty after repeated listens, but time is precious, and you have to wonder whether Efrafa are in any hurry to spread their message.
I’ve not heard the rest of their back catalogue so I can’t say whether this is a fitting end to the saga, however, it’s a diverting listen which is heartfelt and passionate. It can be downloaded in its entirity (as well as their other releases) here.
Vodka by Finnish folk metalers Korpiklaani has to be the best song about drinking since CSS’s 2006 boozy pop bouncer Alcohol. I’m not generally a fan of Folk Metal but this is irresistible. Korpiklaani describe their music as “old people’s music with heavy metal guitars”, but I’ve no doubt that this track will be the soundtrack of plenty of adolescent drink soaked escapades.
So kids and adults alike, let me here you chant:
Vodka, you’re feeling stronger
Vodka, no more feeling bad
Vodka, your eyes are shining
Vodka, you are the real MAN
I’m not a demanding person. I have simple needs: my wife and kid, something to occupy my (slightly defective) brain, beer tokens, my iPod and a constant supply of new music. Please don’t upset the balance.
In the UK, no-one can hear Cave In scream
It is the final ingredient in this most subtle dish that is making my world pie taste a little sour today. It is important that I hear the new Cave In track Retina Sees Rewind (from the forthcoming EP Planets of Old) that Hydra Head records proudly announced is available, right now, on iTunes. Bloody marvelous, thought I, on hearing this news. Cave in have produced some of the most deftly challenging, commercially orientated music of the past decade. When they disappeared on indefinite hiatus in 2006 we were all sad. When recently they reformed we all cheered.
Cave In have tantalizing talent for reinvention and the question on everyone’s lips is “what will they do next?” Well I’m bloody well going to find out, thought misguided me. Arriving at iTunes I discovered, to my intolerable disdain, that it’s only available to US iTunes users. Steve Jobs you bastard, give me my music! Undeterred, I went on the hunt.
It is a wonderful thing the modern interweb. When I want to hear a track, 95% of the time I can find it, or at least bits of it, even if it’s some dodgy mobile phone recording obscured by some twat telling his mate to “check out the guitarist’s gnarly stack”. Most of the time, some copyright ignorant hoodlum has posted it on Youtube helpful adding a static sleeve scan for our audiovisual entertainment.
But is seems that the tech savvy hoardes are not Cave In savvy. I could not find the track anywhere. I can’t buy, borrow or steal. It’s not up on the musical promotion phenomenon that is Myspace either. Presumably, the limited edition EP will be similarly difficult to obtain. Meanwhile, thousands of smug Americans bask in the song’s glory.
What is going on? I really thought we’d transcended the age where if you wanted to hear the latest Lawnmower Deth track you’d need to get your mate to tape it for you.
The new age of the musical internet is democratic. You listen to new bands/albums/tracks because you can, and you support the bands by seeing them live and actually purchasing their tracks. If you don’t like what you hear, don’t pay. This is how it works now whether the record industry likes it or not. Music spreads like a virus electronically, just as it always did in the real world – this is because music is about connections in our brains, and between people, and has nothing to do with distribution formats.
So given that I am unable to even listen to this track, even once, just a snippet, I can only assume that the internet is broken and that Google will fix it soon. Then I can listen to Retina Sees Rewind and tell you all (both of you unlucky souls who arrived here accidentally) all about it.
Hydra Head assure us that UK (and I’m presuming international) fans will be graced with this tune’s availability imminently. Too late, but let’s hope it’s not too little.
In the meantime, here’s a bit of the internet that isn’t broken.
I picked up a recommendation for Electric Mud Generator on a progressive rock thread on UKMU. Despite having released 2 albums these guys have managed to slip largely under the popular radar. Their music is an extremely fashionable mix of classic prog, prog metal and doom (with a little folk thrown in for good measure). The galloping doom of She Wore Thorns culminates into a very convincing Maiden-esque solo, while the brooding epic Winter evokes Rush and King Crimson and has a rousing chorus to die for. This is a territory I had expected Amplifier would start to occupy when the released their “difficult” second album Insider.
This release is somewhat timely, and I hope the world sits up and takes notice, as there’s plenty of deeply mediocre bands occupying this space at the moment.
This first single on the new Alice in Chains’ new album Black Gives Way to Blue is a 7 minute long sludgefest and can be downloaded for free from the bands website. The dense harmonic undertones are reminiscent of their later work and see new vocalist William Duval’s voice largely obfuscated – there’s scant chance here to see what he’s really made of. Slow, brooding and heavy in every sense of the word, this has an understated chorus that has the potential to grow and grow.
I’m feeling a little less uneasy about this enterprise. Alice in Chains seem neither to be reliving past glories nor forging into new territories – this feels like an evolution.
This quick-and-to-the-point first taster from their forthcoming album New Junk Aesthetic is not a great departure from their previous offering The Big Dirty. This frantic southern hardcore rock-out includes (somewhat muted) backing vocals from none other than The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato. Does this add anything to the recording? Other than aiding the ability for it to shift more copies, no. However, if the new album is all like this, it can’t be a bad thing.