Released this month, today’s review is about nihsahshsaH, the debut full length from the eastern math/doom/prog trio, Hashshashin.
Record earlier this year and released on the powerhouse Sydney label Art as Catharsis. Like other albums through AAC, this definitely has a lineage and connection to what’s happening in the sydney scene and that label; however this album looks at space and heaviness and crushing weight through a different lens in the form of an eastern spirituality insipired journey, through the platform of mathy doomy vibes. A very skin deep interpretation could be like mixing bands like Om and secret chiefs 3, with bands like lightning bolt and other AAC artists. Continue reading nihsahshsaH – Hashshashin→
Melbourne lads ‘Incentives’ have conjured up some very impressive technical melodic hardcore with their debut EP titled ‘Dusk’. It’s 6 servings of unrelenting guitar work and punishing drums..but isn’t without it’s draw backs. Continue reading Incentives – Dusk (2016) EP→
Based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne 4 piece pop punk band ‘Intimate Apparel’ have nailed the early 2000’s pop punk sound by channelling the spirits of Sum 41/Guttermouth/Unwritten Law and adding a healthy dose of Aussie accents and attitude.
What works: the mix and production is spot on for the sound they’re going for. It’s all clear and present, the guitars sound suitably big, panned nice and wide. The vocals are right up front and accompanied by some nice harmonies and backings. The songs don’t go for too long, they have a few fun bits and it’s easy to see they arn’t taking themselves too seriously.
Dopey Villain’ has a great weezer-geek-rock vibe to it and a big halftime breakdown at the end. The band released a video for the song on YouTube so go look that up for a bit of fun. It’s an easy standout amongst this batch of songs and id like to hear more like it.
Fairer Moans’ has a quirky and playful sound to it thanks largely to the guitar parts and up tempo pace. There’s a catchy chorus and some neat gang vox at the end to add to the charm.
Sling King’ makes use of some double time and palm muted guitars …very pop punk. The vocal duties are shared on this one and the addition of extra voices helps to break things up from the hoarse/shouted delivery that leads the band.
Criticisms: the same generic sounds all the way through leave me wanting to hear some diversity. The sound is appropriate but not inventive. The band is emulating their influences..but yeh yeh we’ve all done that. Id prefer to hear more Vines/Weezer than Blink/Frenzal though to be honest.
I think these guys could be contenders if they stay on the path, work out the kinks and play with the sound a bit while avoiding the sad-boy phase as much as possible. Well done lads : )
This EP has some high expectations to live up to. I am happy to report it lives up to mine. Production is very tight/clean and no doubt this is a recording with all the computer trickery in full employ but the balance and clarity they have achieved makes it well worth it. (*Kudos to Beau McKee) Having seen this band a number of times live I have expected them to make concessions for the lack of effects and technical wizardry behind the djent-sound however I am always impressed by the technical prowess and efficiency of the members pulling it off on stage …especially the drummer George whose work is a major feature at shows and Jack: the bands enigmatic front man. They have clearly gigged this material and refined it all down to the best possible versions before tracking and releasing it. In the end, the results speak for themselves.
‘Purge’ kicks things off with an ambient little intro that explodes into a powerful groove filled with clever little staccato bits and discordant droning over the top, something that you’ll hear quite a few times across the EP (ala Structures/Northlane et al.) Jack’s vocals enter at the 1 minute mark and the energy instantly kicks up a notch. He is a vocalist whose voice sounds equal parts unique and dynamic. There’s an immediate connection between the passionate feeling behind Jack’s delivery and the music’s aggression and never comes across feigned or half-arsed.
‘Dead Eye’ is a strong but slower track featuring Ryan Bowles, vocalist from Prepared Like A Bride. PLAB have been a supporters of the Void of Vision boys since their early days and have shared the stage plenty of times and clearly have been an influence. The ending of this song gets a little more melodic and really helps to make Jack’s emotional cry of ‘I will remember you’ all the more convincing.
Lifeblood – was the lead single released in advance of this EP’s arrival a few months back and is a high energy and fast paced jam that immediately makes an impact. The riffs have a particularly metallic vibe to them and it’s easily a highlight track. The drums are busy and brilliant here utilising blasts, huge fills and machine gun tight double kick.
Nightmare – is another fun jam, the djent-as-fuck section at the 2 minute mark just kills. Seriously. The later half of the song leans more towards the bands earlier work using a bit more guitar tapping and ambient lead tones when there’s a bit more space. Rhythmically though..this is on point.
Persist // Perceive closes out the EP with more of the established melodic post-hardcore stylings and up tempo drumming. They keep your foot tapping and head moving and then at the 1 minute mark it all shifts gear to break back down into another solid groove, ambient droning and a few bendy riffs. It’s quite easy to imagine this material setting up crowds for some big pit-action.
Fans of Northlane, Prepared Like A Bride (and all the rest) will immediately understand and anticipate all the tricks and tactics the band engages across these 5 songs so there’s no re-inventing the wheel here. It’s a great sounding recording and style wise it is a perfect entry point for any one not yet familiar with the band. I really hope this helps to establish the group beyond Victoria and out to the wider east-coast and beyond. Personally I look forward the day when they get bored of this style and start to experiment and try different things ..so in that respect I still think the best is yet to come from these lads, but for now.. they needed to get a firm release out, hop on some tours and build momentum. Job well done lads.
Power-trio from Adelaide ‘Sincerely, Grizzly’ dropped this 9 minute epic back in February. Sadly it’s taken me this long to get onboard..and just as im getting my head around this incredible song, I learn there is a full length headed our way in November titled ‘Halves’ handled by Black Night Crash Records. Frickin rad.
The band has a dynamic and powerful approach to song writing not often heard in the current wave of post-genre-screamo. The attack and urgency of the opening minutes lean towards early LaDispute/Touche Amore but as the song relents and unwinds the guitars back off, drums and bass carry for a while and semi-spoken word vocal delivery and noodly-guitar parts balance it out. It makes for a really memorable piece of music. The closing line which is repeated over the final moments of ‘Kafkaesque’ is an eerie little mantra ‘I wish I could wish you well/But I hope you go to hell’ and is bound to grab folks attention and set crowds into a manic chant full of mic grabs and chest bumps.
Rat-Filth is a brilliant two-piece free-jazz-post-punk mess. It’s awesome music for its complexity and ambitious boundary pushing energy. It’s jarring, angular, chaotic and yet somehow still manages to make sense!
The guitar/organ/vocals are recorded by Tim (Timothy and the Wilderness) way down south at his home in Tasmania. He then sends the tracks to the ridiculously talented Noah (Great Earthquake) back in Melbourne who then drums over the top. They work by correspondence bridging the rather large expanse of water between them and the result is this 5 track EP/collection titled ‘Today Feeling’.
It’s largely instrumental stuff, the music is at times insanely busy and intense as the guitars jangle and jolt, strings bend and the gain breaks up resulting in an oddly Fugazi feeling guitar sound and the drums blast and roll away. The recordings are all of a modern lo-fi standard, this isn’t a studio treated recording and by the sound of it..likely all recorded live. I have recollections of listening to The Mars Volta, Off Minor, Mice Parade and other progressive/arty bands when I listen to this. It’s pretty fun to follow along as in some parts the songs sound like they’re about to completely fall apart into an utter train wreck and then suddenly it all resolves, tightens up and it’s back on track. Bloody remarkable…or pure fluke. Can’t decide!
Love it though!
It’s worth noting that these two guys have done nearly half a dozen other incarnations/bands together over the years and so if you ever heard: Lions Light, Great Earthquake, Timothy and the Wilderness, Light Lions, Flag and Forget… Then this more or less fits right in with the collection!
This is the swan song from Sierra, a 5 piece group hailing from Mt Gambier (NSW) of all places! They’ve been an interesting group who many labelled as ‘one to watch’ for some time as they shifted gears from early punk/hardcore roots into a more mature modern post-hardcore/emo style we’re familiar with. Unfortunately the band recently announced that they’ll be hanging up the name and moving on to other things..but not before letting their last offering loose upon us. A five song release that shows off the bands many facets and range with excellent production values, great performances and all for free/pay what you want download.
Lead single ‘Suburban Fame’ had a video clip up online which gathered a few hits and shares and hinted at the quality release that was to follow. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVJ1XEtcbQ (look here)
The mix is spot on and you can hear every instrument evenly and clearly. The extra layers of guitar wailing and reverby lead parts don’t get too over the top and add just the right amount of texture and colour. There’s an intelligent amount of space in between the instruments especially between bass and drums who work well together, no member over plays or outshines another and leaves plenty of breathing room for guitars to ring out or chug along. It’s a damn shame that a band like this one..who is genuinely hitting their groove and reaching this point of refinement is at the end of their journey. Track #4 ‘Memoirs’ has this brilliant lull at like 1:15 where percussion comes in, clean guitars pick notes and there’s the screaming over the top. It’s stuff like that which made me really take notice of how far this band has reached beyond their beginnings and brought something really creative to pass on this EP.
Lyrically this material is powerful, heartfelt and positive. There are undeniably uplifting themes throughout the 5 songs making this different from the standard sad-boiz-club soundtrack. The opening track ‘Bittersweet Youth’ has the standout lyric ‘..lately I’ve learnt that it’s alright to not be okay’…and if it doesn’t stick with you after the first listen…check your pulse. This will resonate with fans of ‘Being As An Ocean’ and ‘La Dispute’ for the combination of clean guitar work, passionate vocals and heavy hitting drums.
As I said earlier, it’s a damn shame they’re packing it in.
But….what a hell of a release to go out on!
Ok, in a nutshell..this is a hugely melodic and anthemic punk record. It’s also really reminiscent of Wilhelm Scream so one can expect busy guitars, triplets and riffs and very fast persistent drumming and hoarse/screamed vocals. Check, check, check and check.
At the start of 2010…the band dropped a three song demo online, got buzz almost instantly, gigged everywhere and released an EP whilst chipping away at material for an album and dropped it before Christmas. The vinyl followed shortly after in 2011 for a US release. Talk about a busy year!
The resulting album was 9 tracks long..though it’s really 10 cos there’s an equally cool hidden track after a few minutes of annoying silence. At least that’s how it is on the CD, on the vinyl they just get straight to it! The first and second track are essentially one song…and it’s a blast. Gang vocals ‘don’t let it end like this’ will be replaying through your head with any luck afterwards.
From then on it’s a really entertaining mixed bag of mid paced, fast and riffy melodic punk. It’s furious and pissed off to the utmost extent that vocalist Owen NEVER lets up on his intense delivery for a second so there’s no clean singing, no quieter moments. The band plays with some clever tempo changes and sometimes gets a little complex with the tricky bits..it’s actually heaps cool to hear more than just power chords and harmony octaves all the time which is pretty standard for a lot of melodic punk bands.
It was a goose-bump moment in the albums closing moments to hear the return of the gang vocal which appeared right at the start of the album and is accompanied an incredibly moving outro which just makes me wanna bounce off the walls!
The band is putting it up for free/PWYW D/L on their bandcamp page so I highly highly suggest you get on it! The vinyl is the way to go though, you can pick that up from the friendly gentlemen at Poison City Records in store/online.
As with many others, they’re playing at TapeDeckFest so if you have not gotten off your arse and bought a ticket…pfft!
These Melbourne lads do the intense and furious modern hardcore blend pretty bloody well. Note: this genre is getting tired, so I’m only lifting the bands that really grab me at this point and I’m adding these cats to the list after catching them at a recent local show.
The EP opens with it’s title track and this song has like..so many different twists and bits that it’s really quite impressive. It’s pretty up tempo for the first minute before finding familiar ground in the half time grooves and build ups and it’s from there that the surprises start. There’s a great spoken word/almost slam passage in the middle, keys and breakdowns, build ups and double kick..snare rolls and holy flat packs Batman…I can hear the bass! Dirty low end is present throughout the whole release and he even does stuff!! Hell he even closes out the EP. Rad.
Highlight track #3 ‘Resolve’ gets really busy with loads of double kick and syncopated guitars. Has a nice big chorus that incorporates some melody, great catch lines and is instantly recognisable. This one stood out above the rest..just for its instant appeal.
After that..it’s all just gravy 🙂
Guitars on this release are really clear and not too over the top. NB: there’s also some crazy good leads/delay trickery and ambient tones that add depth and variety. Drums are crisp and punchy in exactly the way I’d expect but feel very centred…not over playing.There’s quite a few cool little stereo effects and what I assume are samples in parts which stand out with headphones on..(track #4 Harbinger has these swirly swooshy flanger sort of sounds in the middle that tripped me right out!)
Vocals have a fair few different things going on too. Most of it is screamed and that balances well between high’s and lows especially during breakdowns and more metal moments and then at other points (usually choruses) during the EP there’s really solid cleans as well. I really like the added spoken word/urgent yells in sections on this EP too. It’s not something I’d expect in a typically metal core outfit. Overall it’s a great example of a band not settling for one idea as a style but messing with it and coming up with some clever and engaging music.
In closing there’s some really good material in here, a few fresh ideas and it’s well worth seeing live as with a number of the newer heavy acts i’ve featured here (Void of Vision, Dead Poets, Love Alone, Left to the Wolves etc)
RIYL: melodic hardcore..seriously..im not listing all the bands you already listen to, get clicking on the link.. >