Tag Archives: pay what you want

Featured: Recovery Room – Interview

Sydney based emo/alternative rock band Recovery Room have recently released their first musical offering with their new EP ‘A Lesson In Letting Go’ and you can check out our review of their new EP here.

I (virtually) sat down with Dylan and Christian in a cute Facebook group chat the other day and asked them a few questions about their new project and how it all came together.

Continue reading Featured: Recovery Room – Interview

Incentives – Dusk (2016) EP

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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

Instrumental (adj) – A Series of Disagreements (2015)

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Sydney 3 piece ‘Instrumental (adj)’ have dropped an intense slab of prog in the form of a three track album called ‘A Series of Disagreements’ which you can buy or download (pay what you want) from the lovely folks at Art As Catharsis.

If you wish Between the Buried and Me’s ‘Colours’ had an additional 3 songs.. then you will love this. If you listened to Animals As Leaders and thought.. man I wish there was something like this in Australia.. then you’re going to love this.

This is a standout release amongst a pretty great year of releases. It’s technical, progressive and instrumental music that weaves, noodles and riffs all over the place resulting in comments such as ‘okay what the hell was that’ and ‘oh man.. im quitting guitar now’.

The opening/title track gets started with a clean guitar stabbing jazz chords with some very busy and impressive bass work that has an almost jazz/funk feel to it. The drums just spazz out all over the place and it’s clear from the first 40 seconds that this will be a hell of a ride.

If the jazzy/math sounds put you off a bit (like it did for me at first) just stick with it. Shit gets real at the 1 minute mark with these frantic blasts and discordant runs up the guitars neck. It’s utterly jarring, surprising and immediately caught my curiosity. At 2 ½ minutes in and they’ve gone full retard with proggy metal riffs and off time drums jolting and pushing the 1’s and 4’s to their limits. It comes full circle with the reintroduction of the stabby/jazz feel from the start of the song and winds down with a chilled outro that settles the listener into a nice lull.

The other two piece’s lend themselves to more metal styles. There’s lead sections, blasts and frantic drumming upping the pace in parts, heavier guitar sounds that carry more weight and dread.. plus a delightful envelop filter effect that pops in and out of sections which really stands out and could very well be the first time I’ve heard an effect like that used and made to sound relevant and appropriate.

Production is spot on. Ultra tight, very clear and un-cluttered (despite the busy nature of the material). You’ll hear everything crystal clear and it sounds damn fine up loud so I encourage showing it your neighbours.. you know.. through your rumbling windows and walls!

https://artascatharsis.bandcamp.com/album/a-series-of-disagreements

https://www.facebook.com/instrumentaladj

Surrender – Waste & Wisdom (2014)

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This album from Melbourne based melodic hardcore/punk crew ‘Surrender’ hits all the right notes, reaches some high points  and remains consistant throught its duration which is more than i can say for some  bands releases of late. Production is really good and a huge improvement over the bands first album. The songs are punchy, concise and show some clear progression and refinement from the bands earlier work. It’s a digital release, pay what you want for it.. but do not miss it..regardless of the plethora of music available right now.. this one is a real gem!

FFO: Trophy Eyes,  Anchors, A Death in the Family, melodic punk hardcore stuff with husky & hoarse vocalists!!!!

https://surrender.bandcamp.com/

I contributed a review of this with a bit more details on dyingscene.com supporting the aussies! Read that if you want here:
http://dyingscene.com/news/album-review-surrender-waste-wisdom/

Void Of Vision – Broken Bones EP (2014)

blergh...
blergh…

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.

Pay what you want…but make it good!

http://voidofvision.bandcamp.com/

 

Rat Filth – Today Feeling EP / 2014

that's Tim in the picture..looking filthy.
that’s Tim in the picture..looking filthy.

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!

Free/Paywhatyouwant download from here:
http://www.ratfilth.bandcamp.com

 

Sierra – Reality Redefined EP / 2014

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.

Bye Bye Sierra..
Bye Bye Sierra..

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!

Get it from here: http://www.sierrahc.bandcamp.com

 

Ever Rest – Inauguration EP (2013)

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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.. >

http://ever-rest.bandcamp.com/album/inauguration-ep