The Outlaws of Zen like their Stoner heavy and thick - these
boys are not taking in the desert vibes but are lurching through
the swamps, drinking moonshine infused with Sludge anger and
looking for unsuspecting tourists to fuck up.
There is an excellent blues/early 70's proto-metal vein running
though the songs but do not be mistaken in thinking that these
tracks are a retro-fest. The blueprint is rock but The Outlaws
of Zen have stomped their own brand of riffage, producing a
slew of meaty, heavy stomp monsters!
With fuzz boxes set to kill, the track arrangements are flawless,
meaning you cannot stop your head nodding along. Vocals
are aggressive when needed but know when to rein back,
leaving the relentless riffs to rumble along.
My only complaint is that only 5 songs leave me wanting a
lot more. Come on fuckers, make an album ..... I need more
of this stuff!
Bio: We are The Outlaws of Zen a heavy riff based rock band from corn fields of Auburn Mi heart of the Tri Cities. Saginaw with the nation leading murder per capita rate, Bay City’s old boy’s network, heavy drinking, and fear of the future, and Mayberry er' Midland the land of unicorns, rainbow Kool Aid, and nothing bad can happen here. Formed in early 2011 TOOZ fuse high intensity rock n roll and working class frustration. The riff is king, but the song is the kingdom. Brutal yet jazzy drumming, clever satirical lyrics, thundering and meandering bass, and tasteful guitar fills all attribute to our heaviness through intensity approach. Largely influenced by the 70’s obscure rock underground but tempered through the band members' time in metal, retro, hard rock, blues, jazz, and acoustic bands. The result is our 1st EP “Don’t Bothering Getting Up, We’ll Let Ourselves In”.
Because they are good guys, you can name your price at Bandcamp
Choochooshoeshoot closely resemble the picture they have
used for the album cover - bare, minimal noise rock but not
going down the Jesus Lizard route, rather they come from the
Shellac school of clinical and precise bursts of aggression.
The singer, Caroline, provides melodic but devastating
vocals over the guitars, which while recorded with quite
a clean tone, are pummelled and abused to deliver a squall
of abrasive tone and shade. The drums pound away but
do not overpower - in fact there are spaces in the arrangements
where less adventurous bands would feel obliged to fill up with
something - these guys know how to keep the song tensions
going to produce an unsettling mood.
This is the good stuff.
Bio: CHOOCHOOSHOESHOOT were founded in November 2004 by Philippe (who formerly played guitar in the early-90s noise combo Pig Iron), Thomas (drums), and Gildas (Baritone guitar). Chrystelle (vocals) joined the band in 2006 and in September, they recorded their debut EP with Thomas Lecorre (Moller Plesset), playing a number of shows shortly after..
In August 2007, sound engineer Miguel Constantino (Fordamage, Passe Montagne, Papier Tigre - among others) recorded the first album: nine tracks, raw and live-sounding, to which Bob Weston (Chicago Mastering Service) added the finishing touches. Choose Your Own Romance was released in June 2008 in CD and LP format by the Nantes-based record label Kythibong. The band was then invited by Gentle Veincut to add their contribution to a CD compilation put out by Whosbrain, in September 2008..
It was also in 2008 that Chrystelle parted with the band, quickly replaced by Caroline. During the course of 2009, CHOOCHOOSHOESHOOT got to perform at the Fuckfest festival in Paris, along with several prominent French noise bands, before going on a tour in the West and the South of France, followed by a number of more sporadic gigs.
In 2010, the band began work on their second album, which was recorded live in December 2011, once again by Miguel Constantino, in Quimper. The eight-track record Playland was then both mixed and mastered by Constantino, and will be released in June 2012 by Kythibong, Rejuvenation and A Tant Rê:ver du Roi.
The Barrens play a beguiling mix of psych-rock pop that washes
over you in waves of warm melodies but also have a much
harder edge that prevents this album from becoming just another
ode to this genre.
Fuzzed out guitar comes to the fore just when you thought
the Fleet Foxes were making a guest appearance and the
dark sound that permeates through the songs give the tracks
a welcome identity.
The double male/female vocals are skilfully interwoven and
allow you to get caught up in this gem of an album.
Bio: Formed in upstate New York and then transplanted to New York City, The Barrens are currently blazing their way through the underground scene with a raw and powerful sound. Ranging from heavy, grungy rock to colorful, soaring psychedelia, The Barrens draw on a vast lexicon of addictive hooks and melodies to stun audiences at their explosive live shows. They have been featured on the Deli Magazine, Indie Darkroom, and Glide Magazine. In addition to being in rotation on over 30 college stations all over the US, they were also selected to play the CMJ Festival in New York City and NXNE Music Festival in Toronto.
Their 2008 EP "Worming" was engineered and recorded by Jim Bentley at the Fort Brooklyn and was the subject of a successful college radio campaign. Advanced Alternative Media described the success as "rare and exceptional for a self-released EP." Their first full-length album is available for digital download and 12" vinyl on http://thebarrens.bandcamp.com/
incredible amount of releases on their label which
lurks on the swampland of dark, black sounds which
revolve around crust/dark hardcore/black metal.
I am not the person to review these as I know fuck all
about the genres but I do know they made my head feel
as if spiders were eating my brain.
Instead, I recommended those of you into these sounds to
check these two bands at once and make your own mind up.
The first record is No God But The Wild by Hunter's Ground
This is bleak, punishing black metal.
Hunter's Ground was established in 2009 as a raw, primitive expression of rage directed at modernity and to re-invent a North American mythos in order to develop a deeper relationship with the land itself through the ancient art of storytelling.
The album was recorded in continuous fashion over 23 grueling hours, using generator-powered equipment to allow the process to take place in the heart of the woods that Waggener resides in without power or running water. The band felt that recording in the same place that the concept of the band and album was conceived would maintain a continuity in the feel of the music and the ongoing narrative of the Hunter's Ground mythology.
The next release is Unsacred with their Three Sisters EP
This is pissed off dark hardcore with a vicious crust feel to things.
Listen to the tracks below to feel the pain!
Lachlan R Dale runs the label Art As Catharsis, which as everyone who reads this blog should know by now features the best underground Australian stoner, sludge, doom and drone bands.
Lachlan has kindly agreed to take time out from his frantic schedule to give this interview.
Just before we get onto Art As Catharsis, I have to talk about the bands you are involved in - 4 or 5 at my last count! The Serious Beak album "Huxwhukw" blew me away - I think it should be mentioned in the same breath as Intronaut - due to the incredible complexity of the music, how hard was it to replicate live?
Thanks for the kind words man, I really appreciate it.
As you might guess, it's pretty difficult to actually play some of those songs or sections on"Huxwhukw", but yeah, we can definitely do it. It's been done in the past.
While we've got some good muscle memory going on for a lot of that album, the material still demands a lot of practice and rehearsal to be consistent. It's challenging stuff, and it takes a lot of time to stay on top of. There's always a constant tension for us between writing new material and rehearsing for shows. Our latest new song has been in production for over 12 months... it's pretty demanding music!
Your psychedelic drone/doom band, Adrift For Days came out last month and I don't think that I have seen any reviews that have been less than glowing, it will certainly be in my albums of the year list - have you been surprised by the reaction?
I guess. As a musician you're not really allowed to expect or anticipate a reaction from critics, but I'm glad they like the album. I like it too! It was really fun to put together. There isn't too much I'd change if I got another go at it.
Art As Catharsis has introduced me to so many new bands from down under - what is your criteria for collaboration with these artists?
Nothing, really, aside from that I have to like the band -- and I'd like to focus on Australian music that I feel doesn't really get the attention or praise it deserves.
Obviously they have to like what I do in terms of promotion, too. We've got to be pretty like-minded -- we're not about to start pissing gold and buying Benzo's or anything -- but maybe we can get your tunes to a few extra people.
Hydromedusa, In Trenches, Space Bong, No Anchor, Houdini are all bands I found on your compilation "Drone from the Underside of the Earth".... there is obviously a healthy underground scene in Australia, how important do you think your label and others like it are for these bands exposure - you make full use of Bandcamp, has this helped spread the music?
Well, I think all 'scenes' require support - not only from labels, but from bands, media and promoters.
The Australian stoner, doom and sludge isn't healthy because of me - that would be a ridiculous claim. It's because I'm able to build off the work of many immensely talented and dedicated individuals; bands who have worked their asses off building up their name, and all the promoters who really help that 'scene' thrive.
Nathan from 666 Entertainment has run the awesome Doomsday Festival series for many years. Skye did an awesome job with building up Devils Kitchen. Rob from Heathen Skulls is really taking the international tours to a new level.
A 'scene' really can't thrive without all of those elements.
Fanzines and websites have embraced what you are doing - do you think the underground scene will ever filter into the mainstream? I personally think that a bigger public awareness is not going to happen ...... I selfishly like my hidden world of music and worry that the purity and spirit of "do what the fuck you want" would somehow get diluted with major record label involvement!
I don't even care man. I like the music that I play, and that I promote. It just totally isn't the goal at all!
I'm sure it will if it becomes cool enough -- just look at how grindcore and death metal has been distilled in metalcore and all this modern weird pop metal bullshit. Who cares though?
And finally ...... how the fuck do you find time to do all this!
You know, I play in 3 bands, do this label/promoter thing, work full time, study full time and live with my long term girlfriend -- it's definitely a balancing act to a degree, but I think the big secret is that I don't watch any TV. It's amazing how much time that gives you!
And I guess I'd rather be run off my feet (and broke) than bored (and slightly less broke).
Thanks again for your time Lachlan - I have just realised that like a
fucking idiot I have neglected to ask what future plans you have
lined up! ........ but worry not my faithful download monkeys,
more new releases from Art As Catharsis are bound to be on here soon.
Band request from James at Independent Music Promotions.
EndAnd are a punk/alt rock trio from Brooklyn, NY and they
are not afraid of melody or tunes. Strong vocals and good use
of dynamic song arrangements remind me of the Lemonheads
"Hate Your Friends" era. Every now and then my ears need
a break from down-tuned, howling madness and this is the
sort of band to ease you along. Excellent cover as well.
Bio: Disarmingly human and emotionally charged noise/garage rock from the heart of Brooklyn, New York, EndAnd have been gaining feverish word-of-mouth lately thanks to the release of the uncompromising "Adventures of Fi in Space", which saw the band getting recommended by publications such as Large Hearted Boy and Those Who Dig.
Starting in early 2011, Daniel Fern and Mike Morales played for months as a rock duo. Dan's versatile playing and writing style became an instant crowd pleaser, backing powerful, gut-wrenching vocals with solid guitar work. Dan had previously played the guitar, drums and bass on his early demos; in live performance he looped parts to overdub, while Mike held the groove with his intuitive percussive navigation.
As the duo gained steam, so, too, did their reputation, garnering increasing attention and respect at their rehearsal space, and home away from home, King Killer Studios (Gowanus, Brooklyn). After a show at Williamsburg?s Public Assembly, where they serendipitously shared the stage with fellow KK band Capita Clip, Dan and Mike, sparked by the low end emanating from Capita's sound, asked bassist Bill Fitzgerald if he'd sit in at their next practice. Fitzgerald gladly obliged.
Bill jumped on board during this first rehearsal, bringing the vision of a power trio into fruition and forming EndAnd. With impressive vocal capabilities and spine-bending bass lines, Bill turned the project into a band when "Adventures of Fi in Space" was performed at the album?s release show later that week.
Everyone, past and present, from the King Killer community is represented here: Ernest D'Amaso and Willie Chen of Generator Ohm; Dan Kramer of The Stink; and Robert Allan of We Are Augustines are among the many that contributed to Adventures. The album is comprised of Adventures of Hi Fi and Adventures of Lo Fi in Space, two EP's consisting of pristine studio recordings and a collection of DIY recordings, respectively.
With real rock music being on the return and the album being buzzed about, EndAnd are already planning tour dates and a new full-length album to be released in 2012.
They have this EP + another of earlier work as pay what you want from Bandcamp
Joe 4 play post-punk with both feet firmly planted into the noise
A filthy bass sound rumbles along with a dry, discordant guitar
over which vocals are barked out. The drums have a crisp feel to
them which help propel the song arrangements along. The tracks
are played with staccato precision that do not jarr but rather reinforce
the angular attack on show. This would be an ideal listen for anyone
needing a quick fix of AmRep tunage.
Pay what you want on Bandcamp for a Digital copy or buy the
CD/7" that has been released by Whosebrain Records.
Josip from Joe 4 says that they are recording a full length album
with Steve Albini which should be coming out in Sept/Oct later
on this year.
Joe 4’s music owes much to the creative epoch of the 90s
underground labeled “American noise rock”. Rage, sarcasm, and cynicism are injected into highly structured, yet compact, arrangements and wrapped around noise- and volume-filled songs. Like their inspirations, Joe 4 lays out rebellious, quarrelsome, and obscene images in their efficient and workman like assaults. RIYL: Shellac, Tar, Janitor Joe, The Jesus Lizard, Johnboy... Songs emphasize the percussion and rhythm while guitar and bass lines are braided within and around the lock-step drumming and tortured/drill-sergeant vocals are sardonically delivered over the resulting melee. Lyrically, the songs deal with the impulsive nature of the individual and are concisely worded as repetitive haiku poetry. Year 2011 means for Joe 4 their first official release of their first physical product as a 10” vinyl record put out on Whosbrain Records. If you have a certain affinity for what we could term “big ugly monster” rock music, Enola Gay, by Croatia’s Joe 4, fits in with that. It’s big, ugly, nasty, fucked up and in all the right ways. Recorded in Zagreb, mixed in San Francisco and mastered in Chicago. Joe 4 are drum, bass, guitar, voice.
10” vinyl (+ poster, download code, plastic wrap and sticker) CD (digipack package) Catalogue number: WHB-35
Thanks to Ryan from The Fucking Hotlights for sending me
info about their new release.
Their new 7 song tape has been put out by a Buffalo, NY
label called Drug Party and is available to buy (can any of you
kids remember the thrill of playing cassettes?) or free digital
download Here. While you are there, check out the other Drug
Party bands, I am just listening now and there is some mighty
fine stuff to try.
Being bowled over by last years album High Society Torture Party,
how would these songs compare?
Needless to say, I have not been let down.
Chaotic rock'n'roll, noise rock with a swagger, AmRep sounds
crossed with sweaty punk attitude, aggression with control but
always with a looseness that demands your body be moved or
twitched to the beat, this is hardcore which has the freedom to
go in any direction it wants to - just as long as it sounds pissed
off and ready to knock you over into the gutter in its rush to get
to the next track.
Flies Are Spies From Hell have released another excellent
compilation of bands featuring the best of the UK post-rock,
instrumental and math-rock underground.
The personal highlight for me is the track from What The
Blood Revealed but the whole album plays very well as a
complete listen - compilations sometimes tend to be a varied affair
but care has been taken with song choices and track order for
With 10 bands to choose from, give this a go and discover
I could not let this post go without telling you to visit the Flies Are Spies From Hell
bandcamp page, where, among a host of releases, is their album Red Eyes
Unravelling which was responsible for opening my ears to a lot of other music.
Gladiators Eat Fire bring a new dimension to hardcore with
elements of math and doses of heavy psychedelia mixed
together to produce an unholy, experimental noise explosion
but with big fuck-off-tunes and riffs that get heads banging.
Exploding the theory that hardcore is one dimensional, these
guys can go from a slow sludge riff thats twists and turns in
time patterns leading to a Black Flag "My War" ending with
acid drenched guitar echoing along with vocals that go from
bellowing to a whisper.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants some
heavy sounds to assault their ears with.
Gladiators Eat Fire are an organic, psychedelic hardcore movement from the heart of Seattle, WA, on a sonic journey in the search for identity and freedom of self expression. This summer, the band will release the Psychedelic Hogwash EP, their newest and most ambitious material to date, and a culmination of half a decade of aural experimentation.
Ever since the release of their 2008 EP "Keep The Beat Alive", recorded by Chris Proff (Ravenna Woods, Strong Killings, Monogamy Party) and mastered by the late Tom Pfaeffle (Nirvana, Alice Cooper, B.B. King), Gladiators Eat Fire have been gaining attention for their intensely passionate live performances, drawing comparisons to bands such as The Mars Volta, Refused, and These Arms Are Snakes. After entering the studio with Proff again, their 2010 full length album, the aptly self-titled "Gladiators Eat Fire", was mastered by Chris Hanszek (The Melvins, Soundgarden, The Pleasureboaters) and marked a clear departure into deeper, uncharted musical territory. As the band experimented heavily with their sound, they drew praise from local press such as The Stranger for their "psychedelic guitars and eerie, echoing vocals that ring through songs like lost souls", while websites such as Punknews.org proclaimed it as "an acid-drenched dancepocalypse".
Over the years, the band has shared the stage with bands as diverse as Wild Orchid Children, Ravenna Woods, and Monogamy Party. They've toured up and down the west coast, and have performed at events such as the Seattle's Cannabis Freedom March and Chaospalooza, as well as Missoula's StaticFest, and Connell's Summer Rocks Festival. The band has also appeared live on Hollow Earth Radio, has received airplay on 90.3 FM KEXP and 99.9 FM KISW, and was chosen as Unsigned Band of the Month in High Times Magazine.
Now, having spent the past several months quietly waiting in the shadows, vocalist Mark Blazer and guitarist Brian Kim continue to carry the torch of their musical vision, aided by bass player James Erwin and drummer Joseph Braley. Recorded mostly live in their basement, the group's new Psychedelic Hogwash EP showcases four diverse songs which the Seattle Weekly boldly claims "[shred] nearly every preconception and stereotype about metal, hardcore, post-rock and math-rock". Without a doubt, Gladiators Eat Fire is ready to unleash their ferociously unique blend of hardcore and psychedelia upon the eyes and ears of the unsuspecting masses. There is no escape.
Because they are good guys, you can pay what you want from Bandcamp and have a CD and 7" coming out on August 14th.