Thursday 29 November 2012

Three Second Kiss - Tastyville

Band request from Ryan and Sick Room Records.

Three Second Kiss occupy the space between post-punk and
math with clinical results.

Mournful vocals that hint at controlled anger and sorrow
sit on top of abstract guitar riffs that wind through angular
passages that almost collapse but are rescued by the bass and drums.

The songs have a groove that do remind you of Shellac but the
band use that template to find their own way rather than just
ripping off. 

With minimal distortion used, every twisted note can be heard
which enables the convoluted song passages to ebb and flow
from punky riffing to intricate, mathy stompers.

BIO: Co-Release with excellent Italian label, Africantape. Loose yet intricate math/noise rock ala Shellac/Uzeda/June of 44 but with a little more panache. They are already getting great press in Europe!

Born in Bologna, first record dated in 1996, six records so far, two works recorded by Steve Albini (Music out of Music on 2003 and Long Distance on 2008) and one by Ian Burgess (producers of bands like Shellac, Jawbox and Cows), 3 United States tour – one with June of 44 in 2000 and one with Shellac in 2009 – TSK are the first Italian band to be invited in 2002 at the prestigious All Tomorrows Parties festival UK, on the list together with such names like Bonnie Prince Billy, Wire, Shellac, Breeders, Smog, Shannon Wright, Shipping News and many others, and they will perform on the current 2012 special ATP UK edition (nov/dec 2012 – The Nightmare before Christmas) together with bands like Shellac, Neurosis, Melt Banana, Mission of Burma, to name just a few. TSK records have been distributed in Europe by Southern records (with the record Everyday Everyman – on 1998) and then in USA by Dischord rec. from Washington DC (with the record Focal Point – Slowdime rec. on 1999 and Music out of Music on 2003). Today the band is happily home based with the French label Africantape rec, that put out on 2008 Long Distance, our previous record, and that has just released the newest Tastyville. There is a lot of way to do. Never look back…

Buy from Bandcamp


Black Science - An Echo Through The Eyes Of Forever

Band request from Seattle.

Black Science play space rock ......... as soon as you hear those
words, try as hard as you want, one word instantly comes into
your thoughts .......... Hawkwind. Like it or not, the revered 
All-Fathers of all things spacey are the benchmark to which
all others are compared. 

There are comparisons but Black Science have decided to also
concentrate on the "Rock" part of the genre as well, throwing
in stoner and healthy doses of psych rock to give a new slant
to things.

Lots of wild guitar work is displayed and combining with nifty
keyboards means the electronic sounds and effects never
overpower the songs. The last track is a 15 minute kraut-rock
stomper finishes off this enjoyable album in style.

The twin vocals are clean and to my ears, draw comparisons with
Vedder when he was in Temple Of The Dog - there is a warmth
sometimes missing from this genre.

Buy from Bandcamp


Tuesday 27 November 2012

Taste The Void - Sun's Heat

Band request from France.

Taste The Void sound like the Hulk picking up a guitar and
playing through 200 foot high stacks ...... HULK SMASH PUNY
MUSIC! Fusing hardcore and post-metal is one of my listening
pleasures and this band do not disappoint.

Thick walls of sound set the template to which the band can
then proceed to layer with distortion and anger. There is
brutality but tempered with pieces of delicately picked guitar
which make the crashing, thunderous climaxes even more of
a tsunami that washes over you.

Amaury Sauvé has been brought in and has mixed these 
songs with devastating results, bringing everything to 
the front without losing the power or intensity. 

My description cannot really do this band justice - listen to the
tracks below and let them wash over you - Recommended.

Buy for an absolute pittance from Bandcamp


Monday 26 November 2012

The Chewers - Chuckle Change and Also

Travis from The Chewers has sent me this to review and
as with their 1st album, people have to decide if it is wilfully
weird or just the way their minds work.

One of the pleasures in doing this blog is receiving music out
of the blue that you have never heard before. For a band that
play sparse arrangements with minimal soundscapes, they
conjure up a sense of slight unease - nothing drastic - just the
feeling that someone is walking behind you but when you turn 
around, no-one is there or when you use public transport and
realise that the guy in the smart suit with a sensible haircut
actually has vomit stains down his shirt and he is muttering
bible phrases under his breath.

The Chewers use hardly any distortion on the guitars, giving
a clean tone that makes every off-kilter and I suspect, illegal
chords, crawl along the song passages. The vocals are effect
ridden, sounding like a deranged preacher in full ranting 
god-praise over a badly tuned car radio.

Still sounding like country and western Devo, the early
Beefheart punk blues tracks have a slightly more cohesive
feel to them as opposed to the almost random snippets of
previous works.

Give it a go!

Friday 23 November 2012

Art As Catharsis newsletter

Lachlan has got a shit load of stuff going on at the moment - all of it good.

Do yourself a favour and check these items out.

Hey there progpals, dronebloods and grindchaps alike,

We've been really, really freaking busy here at Art As Catharsis, so I just wanted to share with you some of the cool stuff that's been going on -- as well as a whole heap of awesome (and free!) Australian music.

Oh and if you aren't already, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. x

Battle Pope 'Rapture Cominatchya' music video

Check out the new single from Battle Pope: the dick-slinging, soul-winning, heathen-killing Paladins of pussy and party.

These guys describe their sound like: "Little Richard wildly fucking Blood Duster, Captain Cleanoff and Elvis at a hedonist coke orgy". Serious party music.

Battle Pope vs. Jesus Christ Posse 12" LP

Two awesome Sydney bands go head to head on this incredibly sexy LP. Spin a few tracks and pre-order yours today.

Battle Pope blending elements of sludge, swing, rock, grind and doom. Jesus Christ Posseare the saviours of Sydney City Hardcore. Their music recalls early 90’s hardcore punk rock, with an aggressive edge forged through religious purity, strict abstinence and straight-edge lifestyle.

Devils Kitchen music festival 2013: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane

After a four year hiatus, the legendary good time stoner-punk-death-boogie-sex-rock showcase of Devils Kitchen back, taking in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in January 2013. 

The three shows all boast awesome line-ups. Check out the details and get your ticket today!

Donate today and help save Black Wire Records

Black Wire Records is a not-for-profit record-store-come-performance-space that has found it's way into the hearts of countless musicians and members of the music-going public.

As a musician, promoter and avid music-fan, I really cannot express my respect-for and endorsement-of Black Wire Records highly enough. The venue is facing some difficult challenges for the immediate future, so I have taken it upon myself to help raise donations for the longevity of Black Wire, and the good of the Australian music scene. 

If you would like to donate to Black Wire Records, please send a donation via Paypal to mail(at), and clearly mark "Black Wire Records" in the comments field.

Awesome HD Serious Beak live clip

Here's a Serious Beak performing Godel !Xun and Tui/Tuo from their last live show. Awesome video and audio quality.

Adrift for Days sell their souls with a new live album

A special gift from those psychedelic droning doomers Adrift for Days: a live recording of their set supporting Rosetta. Awesome stuff for fans of Neurosis, Earth, Pink Floyd and Boris.

Listen and download:

Stargazing under Southern Skies

Our specially curated selection of our favourite Australian ambient, post and shoegaze artists - and it's absolutely free to download.

Features tracks from sleepmakeswaves, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Dumbsaint, Mushroom Giant, We Lost the Sea and many more. Discover some awesome new Australia music!

Thursday 22 November 2012

Wolves Carry My Name - Amongst Ruins and Ashes

Band request from Germany.

This has all the elements I need to play again and again. 
Sludge heaviness combined with killer riffs? - Yep.
Post-metal atmospherics and a vocalist that sounds like a demon
trying to claw his way out of hell? - Check.

Fuzzed out stoner blues guitar solos with wah-wah? - Oh yeah.

Rather than fill space with empty words, just take my word
that this is heavy, thrilling and distorted. What more do ya need?

Check out the tracks and dig the free download from Bandcamp


Tuesday 20 November 2012

When Icarus Falls - Aegean

Request from Blue Wave Productions.

When Icarus Fall play post-metal with an intelligence sometimes
missing from this genre. Utilising song compositions that would
seem to be more post-rock, this collection of tracks have thundering
aggression melded with moments of delicate beauty.

Heavy but managing to retain an epic feel is a trick not easy
to pull off but here it works wonderfully. Riffs are played
that have a majestic feel and groove to them and are backed 
up with a pounding and hard hitting rhythm section. The vocals
are screamed out but resist the hoary old cookie monster sound,
instead actually containing the emotions of despair and disgust.

Sparing used keyboards bring moments of calm before the
atmospherics give way to a squall of controlled fury.

This is very good.

Buy from Bandcamp


Monday 19 November 2012

Archiv Hate - Magazine No 1

Archiv Hate - As well as being a cool music blog that
that I visit each day, they have now
produced a very good web-magazine.

Using a very slick PDF device that has page turning
capabilities, this is a very cool and professional
piece of work. 

Apart from interviews with Slaves BC, Beneath
Oblivion, an overview of Hydra Records and other
articles, it is a visual treat with pictures, overlays, photos,
excellent font use and stunning layouts.

Give it a read here - Archiv Hate No 1

Friday 16 November 2012

Millions - Interview

After being blown away by the new Millions album
"Failure Tactics" - my review Here., I got in touch with
the band to find out more about what makes them tick
and was kindly given an interview by Corey Lyons who
hits the guitar hard and shares yelling duties.

 “Failure Tactics” seems to have a more structured and cohesive feel than “Gather Scatter” - was this a natural progression or something you worked upon?

A bit of both, really. We definitely approached this one more like an album, instead of just a collection of songs we’d written in the last year or so. We demoed a lot more than we did with Gather Scatter, which is to say we actually demoed this time around, and spent more time tweaking and retooling things.. A lot of that was also just out of necessity, since Scott lives in Portland now - it just forced us to kind of put the songs under a microscope more than before. But at the same time, focusing on the songwriting was definitely more of a conscious choice than before. With Gather Scatter, in a way we were hearing the songs for the first time in the studio, as we recorded them. With Failure Tactics, since we demoed them so much we were almost sick of hearing them by the time it came to record them! But that process also gave us more time to experiment and mess around, record noise tracks and stuff, which was something we wish we had done more of with Gather Scatter, but things just weren’t as fleshed out as much then. 

We also seemed more open to new and weirder song ideas rather than trying to write songs that sounded like Millions “should” sound. This time around we wrote more from our gut, more naturally. I see us going more in that direction in the future too.
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Andrew Ragin produced this time around - he did an excellent job - was his work with The Atlas Moth an influence in getting him on board?

Andrew’s a solid guy and was a fan and into what we were doing, and wanted to record us. We all dig Atlas Moth of course, but it was more about the fact that it was something he wanted to do. And we had a blast recording with him too. He’s super laid back but also really knows his shit, the whole experience was just tons of fun. We’re all super happy with how everything turned out. The studio itself is amazing too, like a museum of old tape machines, pianos, and even a mellotron. We were hoping we could work that into the album somehow but ran out of time. 

The album has got very positive reviews which must be buzz after all the hard work you have put into the recording. How important is what the ‘Mainstream’ press writes? Web blogs are now my main source of music information but I am very aware of the fact that compared to some sites, mine is like a tiny fanzine being sold at gigs. You are taking the time to do this interview (thanks!) - do you get many of these requests?

We actually appreciate the blogs and stuff a lot more than the ‘mainstream’. A review in a big magazine or something is great but it’s no guarantee that anyone is actually listening to the music, but I think with the blogs you get a better sense of that. Seems like more people are looking towards the blogs for new music these days, I know I do. And man, I miss the days of fanzines being sold at gigs! Definitely had much more of a community vibe to things, and I guess blogs are kind of carrying on that tradition in their own way.

We’ve had a fair amount of interviews this time around, but are always down for more. Definitely dig doing them, always cool to provide more insight into the band. 

You are spread out between Chicago and Portland - how does this translate into the problems of recording and playing?

It kind of forced us to focus on songwriting more and allowed us to experiment and toy around with ideas. It also contributed to a change in our sound, but overall I think all of these things were for the best. Certainly not an ideal situation, and definitely was frustrating at times, but we made it happen and are really happy with how things turned out.

Playing live is a little different now. We’ve been playing most of our shows as a three piece for the last year, and it’s actually been going over really well. It’s not ideal of course, but it definitely works. Scott joins us when he can, such as recently for the record release show in Chicago. A lot of the newer songs lend themselves to being played as a three piece pretty well, but of course are just that much better when Scott’s around. And most likely there will be more touring as the original four-piece next year and in the future. 

What does the album title refer to?

Nothing in particular, but Millions is a huge outlet for us, a way to unleash our negative sides, so the album title kind of encompasses that. It also came to represent a lot of the frustrations and stuff we’ve experienced either personally or as a band since Gather Scatter. It could speak to the process of trying to write and record an album while your members are thousands of miles apart, problems on the road, etc. It almost became a running joke while recording and release the album, whenever something went wrong one of us would just say, “Failure Tactics!”
It’s open to interpretation. Not to get all serious, but given the state of the world these days, “Failure Tactics” just seems fitting. 

Also a while back we decided that every album title we have will just be two two-syllable words. Gather Scatter, Panic Program, Failure Tactics... so to anyone trying to predict the next album title, that should help you narrow it down to only several million two word combinations!

To my ears, Millions are the perfect mix of post-hardcore and noise rock - which bands have inspired you in the past and what are you listening to today?

As a band we’re kind of all over the place in terms of what we all listen to, but we share some common ground in the old AmRep/Touch and Go/Dischord stuff from the 90s. A few bands we can all agree on would be Rodan, Jesus Lizard, Swans, Fugazi. Swans is a big one right now, I know the last couple albums they’ve put out have got some of us pretty obsessed. 

While recording Failure Tactics, a couple of us seemed to purposely listen to things that didn’t sound anything like Millions, but would maybe inspire us when writing/recording. I was listening to a lot of early Pink Floyd and late Beatles for instance, instead of just drowning myself in Jesus Lizard and Botch or something. I think all the Pink Floyd help push the song ‘Darmok V’ to become one of our weirder songs. Fun as hell to record that one, all kinds of things going on there.

As far as what we’re listening today... Swans, Glenn Branca, Nina Simone, Lee Van Cleef, Fight Amp, Bohen & Der Club of Gore, Distorted Pony, Glazed Baby, Krallice, live stuff from The Who, 
Maggot Brain by Funkadelic, Lord Mantis....

I know a lot of the vocal duties are shared - do people tend to sing on the songs they have written or is it a different process?

For the most part, yeah, but it’s more because it just worked out that way, rather than being what we specifically had in mind.A few of our older songs are sung by someone who didn’t write the initial riffs, but everything on Failure Tactics has us singing leads on our own songs. Numbing the Dream was almost the exception, but we’re gonna save that outtake for our 20th Anniversary boxed set. When it comes to backup vocals, we tend to have a good idea as to who would be the best for that particular part. We’re no Frank Sinatras, but we all have our own distinctive ranges and whatnot that lend themselves to certain songs/parts of songs. I would sound horrible singing “Siberian Angel” and I don’t think anyone but Mark could have pulled off “Pervert’ how he did.

I missed the UK 2009 dates - are there any plans for Europe dates in the future?

Most definitely, it’s one of our priorities at the moment but can’t say when exactly it will happen. We were trying to go this Fall, then that turned into next Winter/Spring, but now I have a baby on the way (and Scott had one this summer), so it’s been postponed again. But rest assured, we’ll be back. That tour was a freaking blast and I can’t wait to do it again sometime. I was even deathly ill for half of it, either some kind of flu or vicious food poisoning, or both. Most of my time was spent curled up in the back of the van or passed out, but I’d still do it all over again. And I still say it was one of the best experiences of my life. In retrospect, I probably really should have gone to a hospital. Still worth it though. Next time I’ll just avoid airplane dairy products and gas station tabbouleh . 

Finally, what can we expect next from Millions?

There’s going to be a slight hiatus in 2013 while a couple of us are busy raising kids. After that there will be some more touring to support Failure Tactics, and then hopefully working on album number three! There’s already ideas floating around for that one, but obviously it will be awhile before we really sit down and hash it out. We’re all really excited about the new direction Failure Tactics took, and can’t wait to expand on that even more. I think it will be as different from Failure Tactics and that one was from Gather Scatter. Unless having kids changes us and it becomes an album of lullaby renditions of Botch songs or something. 

Thanks Corey for taking the time to answer my drivel - catch them at the links below:

Thursday 15 November 2012

Jorge Arana Trio - Mapache

Band request from Kansas City.

The Jorge Arana Trio play what I can only call spasmodic
math-jazz! This is pretty much out of my normal listening,
meaning I will try my best to describe but as always, have a
listen and make your own mind up.

The absence of a vocalist helps you to really hear the playing that
this band is pounding out. Drums and bass set the bedrock for
keyboards and sparse guitar to play over what sounds like
controlled chaos but without wandering off the edge of sanity.

There is an underlying groove within the tracks that propels
the arrangements along and helps your brain not to explode
that much when things get too "free-jazzy"!

Can you imagine the Gang Of Four turning into a math band
and trying to cover "On The Corner" by Miles Davis ...... No?
Well give this a listen - it is restrained enough to make sense to
my ears that are tuned to fuzzed guitars but with a twisted take
on rhythm that can be unsettling. I like it but not am sure why!

Get digital or tape from Bandcamp


Wednesday 14 November 2012

Stand Alone Complex - Broken Sleep In A Minor Key

Band request from Portsmouth.

Stand Alone Complex is one guy and his acoustic guitar. While
these words are normally enough to get my teeth gritting and 
strapping razor blades to my fists ready for a face-to-face meeting,
this album came as a pleasant surprise.

Recorded in a front room, it has a low-fi, ramshackle feel that
has a natural warmth to it. Vocals have a Lou Barlow feel to
things and the guitar tone rings out with a slight fuzziness
which really suits the songs.

Plaintive without being whiny, this is something you play
on a Sunday morning when you want to give your ears a rest
from down-tuned guitars and cookie-monster grunting.

Bio: Stand Alone Complex is the solo project of Damon Marcus that began in 2010. Based in Portsmouth in the UK, the whole thing started as a side project whilst Damon was playing in other bands but SAC ended up with a full time band within itself which although remaining a solo affair does frequently feature friends and other local musicians.

SAC is a lo-fi, noise, folkpunk experiment with non-linear, stream of conscious lyrics as bi-polar as Damon himself. Influences are drawn from surreal Japanese films, computer games, drugs, astronomy and an irrational fear of drowning.
Broken sleep in a minor key is a collection of re-recorded older SAC tracks with some re-mixed newer stuff (a kind of bastardized best of) that has been released whilst a new EP and split EP/album are being recorded

All tracks were recorded in a living room in Southsea, Portsmouth UK

Free download from Bandcamp


Tuesday 13 November 2012

Joe 4 - Njegov Sin

Joe 4 follow up their Enola Gay EP from earlier on this year
with a full length album and it was worth the wait.

Heavy beats are still order of the day but now with a wider range
of dynamics through out the album.

The guitars and bass swap riffs and roles seamlessly giving you
the taste of AmRep in 2012. Drumming wise, there is some
incredible pounding going on here, mixed up nice and high,
really powering the songs along as the vocals are barked out - 
in Croatian - which overcome language translation as you can
hear the passion and frustration being voiced.

Joe 4 roped in Steve Albini to record and Bob Weston to master
but have overcome the sometimes over-dry Albini mix and
injected some warmth in with the aggression.

The song constructions are tight and precise with plenty
of tension waiting to be released. These guys are doing some
great stuff here - recommended.

Name your price at Bandcamp


Thursday 8 November 2012

Enchantress - Visualize

Band request from Canada.

Enchantress released an EP last year but are now back with
a full length album. 7 tracks of fuzzy riffs with a Stoner Doom
influence mixed with 70's electric blues await you.

Sounding like a band who are jamming for the joy of making
heavy vibes, this is a collection of head banging stompers.

Excellent production has made everything sound big and
powerful but with a warm, classic feel. With a vocalist who
has an amazing range and a band who want to rock, the song
compositions all fit into place - come on people, let your
freak flag fly and give this a listen.

Buy from Bandcamp


Tuesday 6 November 2012

Abysse - En(d)grave

Band Request from France. (thanks Jérémy)

Abysse play instrumental metal and I have to admit that this type of
thing leaves me cold.

But ................ this is not one guy wanking off with his guitar,
trying to impress with speed but a whole band playing as one
cohesive unit and they just happen to have a player that when
doing a solo, has a tech-metal feel which sometimes slips into
a later-era Tony Iommi style.

Abysse have a groove and an abundance of real tunes that do
not make me think about the absence of a vocalist. The musical
styles veer from Mastodon to Dream Theater through some
Doom and back to metal without any problems at all.

Songs are always in the spectrum of heavy but with a clear
sense of space and light in the compositions which mean that it
does not just blur into a mess of cut'n'paste riffs.

This albums rocks like a bastard - if you ever been put
off by this genre, now is the time to throw off your shackles
of perception and give this a listen.

Buy from Big Cartel


Friday 2 November 2012

Burning Love - Rotten Thing To Say

Lead by Chris Colohan, formerly of Cursed and Left For Dead,
Burning Love have made a killer album that fuses hardcore
with dirty rock and the results are nothing short of amazing.

Using noise-rock song structures and fucked up blues solos, this
is a thing of mangled beauty that makes you want to turn the volume
up louder while shouting random obscenities at strangers just
because music like this makes you feel alive.

Recorded by Kurt Ballou, he has captured everything with a
clarity that tears your face off. Relentless distorted guitars riff
over sewer-infested bass and primordial drums while Colohan
rants like a man possessed.

I have been playing this since the summer and unless Black
Flag reform and record something, this will be my album
of the year. Put in your record collection along with 
Coliseum and Rational Animals.
Do not take my word for it - play the tracks
and listen to perfection.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Estoner - The Stump Will Rise

Band request from Estonia.

Estoner have a bouncy, sun-drenched psychedelic/stoner
sound that pays tribute to 70's hard rock. Vocals are clean
and put through reverb for a great trippy effect. Riffs are plentiful
and the dirty fuzzed sound is perfect to get your head moving.

But - before you start to get too comfortable, Estoner throw
in passages that start to pile on the intensity with meatier
playing and growled vocals which may or may not fuse
into desert blues.

Bio: While hidden away in smoke-filled cellars, occasionally emerging to conquer local venues, Estoner has finished their debut album “The Stump Will Rise”, which takes listeners on a magical trip from grim forests to the vastness of the cosmos. Estoner’s music is heavily psychedelic and psychedelically heavy, encrusted with clean vocals, massive guitar licks and weird noise from the planets orbit. The band has been influenced by various scenes and times - there’s a pinch of prog, a spoonful of groove and even a few sprinkles of extreme metal, but the main inspiration has come from thick and juicy stoner-rock seasoned with raw doom metal. “The Stump Will Rise” contains 50 minutes of psychedelic heaviness divided into 7 songs, that take listeners far into a parallel dimension and leave them there. Drink up your mushroom tea! 

Estoner is: Corey Tomlins – vocals Kristian-Peter Vallikivi – guitar Ralf Vinkler –guitar Jaanus Luka – bass Anton Veeremets – drums

Get CD and Digital from Bandcamp