Friday, April 24, 2015

TIDEMOUTH - Velvet and Stone

"The Los Angeles band revels in despair and disgust for mundane existence and delivers its message through noisy, stripped-down punk, shot through with elements of goth... Like The Cure, Tidemouth is incredibly earnest and it's reflected not just lyrically but in the raw, unadulterated nature of its caustic songs."

Melotov Records founder Melanie Voltz has put her Los Angeles-based label on the map in a big way in recent years, putting out albums by a wisely curated stable of bands from across the nation and across the full spectrum of hardcore: ACxDC, Old Wounds, The Banner, Seizures, Outer Heaven, and more.

Melotov's next release is one that resets the bar once more for the label and the scene at large. June 9th, Melotov releases Velvet and Stone, the new full-length by LA's own Tidemouth.

Check out Noisey's premieres of new track "Vaccinate" and the video for new track "Black Lung," both off Velvet and Stone. Watch and listen, here.

Tidemouth began life in 2008 as a screamo/grind beast, in line with bands like Orchid and the Three One G Records roster. A collection of demos and one 2010 EP captured this early phase. In 2015 now the band reappears, evolved into something completely new, bearing what is to my own biased ear a contender for ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

Velvet and Stone drips with feeling from the first note to the last. A supremely confident work of art, it is both a gut-wrenching purge and a wonderfully self-aware bit of theater. It is also a masterpiece of minimalism – simplicity is wielded to maximum effect.

On Velvet and Stone, Tidemouth puts forth a raw, blackened version of hardcore punk, in line with current minimalists like Raspberry Bulbs. Primal drums and eerily warm, almost-clean guitar tones create an unsettling balance of violence and calm. On top of this is painted a heavy streak of dark, melodic goth-ness that elevates the music to a whole other place.

Opener "Secrets" sets a tone of loose blues, erupting into a howling dirge. It might be an outtake from The Flesh Eaters' A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die. Right off the bat, Tidemouth shows some respect for its city's history – the early '80s LA scene, where punks like X, The Flesh Eaters, The Gun Club, and T.S.O.L. veered into goth, blues, and country and helped pave the way for what would become "alternative" music in the '90s. 

Second song "Vaccinate" explodes in a tortured, blackened storm – but frontman Mike Kilker makes this music shine more than any typical metal frontman could. Far more than one-dimensional screams, his vocals exude everything from pure disgust to bratty swagger to mocking howls, and his lyrics are those of a desperate poet: "I'm tired of doctors' visits / I'm tired of child-sized graves / Close your eyes and pray they won't take me away." 

Third song "Black Lung" comes closest to matching the band's own self-proclaimed style of "heavy Cure." A brooding rock song, it is perhaps the most likely one on the album to get stuck in your head all week. 

The album continues on in this fashion – bluesy, gothy, brutal, and totally memorable – bringing the band's love for classic mopers like BauhuasThe Cure, and some of the aforementioned LA bands into a new, violent setting. Every second counts and it is the lack of things as well as the presence of things that makes Velvet and Stone such a knockout. Kilker states that the band set out to make a "raw, haunting, and heavy" album, and they have succeeded on all counts.

Velvet and Stone was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jules Leon at Studio E Recording in Simi Valley, CA.

The cover art is by Dylan Garrett Smith.

The tracklist is as follows:
1) Secrets

2) Vaccinate
3) Black Lung
4) Memories of You
5) Clearing the Forest
6) Sunlight Sonata
7) Abyssal Blessing
8) Pepper Tree
9) Downtown
10) What's Needed

Tidemouth's last tour was with Texas' superbly heavy Illustrations. Stand by for news of the next tour, coming up soon!

Mike Kilker - vocals
Ryan Corbett - guitar
Cody Armstrong - bass
Kasey Clark - drums

Photo of Tidemouth by Patrick Johnson

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Invisible Things' newest jam, "Rockets," is now streaming via Self-Titled Magazine. 

Hailed by Self-Titled as "a racket all you Lightning Bolt lifers will dig," the song appears on Invisible Things' album, Time As One Axis, out May 12th on New Atlantis Records (Upsilon Acrux, Stern).

Ride the snake, here.

A Brooklyn/Chicago duo consisting of guitarist Mark Shippy, formerly of US Maple, and drummer Jim Sykes, formerly of Parts & Labor, Invisible Things shreds out driving noise-rock and abstract freakouts – something like a looser, free-jazz version of Sonic Youth, a heavier US Maple, or as Self-Titled puts it, a racket the Lightning Bolt lifers will dig. Sykes, by day a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania, is inspired by Sri Lankan drumming, among other things.

Time As One Axis, the band's second album, was recorded by the legendary Martin Bisi at B.C. Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Bisi's long list of credits includes Sonic Youth, Swans, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and Herbie Hancock. 

Brooklyn Vegan, who hailed Invisible Things as "eccentric noise rock," recently premiered another new track, "Kniii...," off the new album.

Stand by for US tourdates!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Comprised of members of Harm's Way, Chicago trio Wolfnote prepares to release its self-titled debut EP, June 9th on Head2Wall Records.

Stream "Luna," the opening track off Wolfnote, exclusively via Alternative Press, here.

Wolfnote was founded in 2013 by Harm's Way guitarist Bo Lueders and Harm's Way drummer Chris Mills, intended as a radical vacation from that band's metallic crushingness. Says Lueders, "Chris and I had wanted to do a band in the vein of older Chicago punk rock bands." With that mission statement, the duo enlisted former bandmate Dave Cronin as bassist and set to work. On the strength of one demo tape, the awesome Head2Wall Records (Self Defense Family, Eternal Sleep) stepped up to the plate and here we are now on the eve of the release of the debut EP, Wolfnote.

In Harm's Way, Lueders and Mills flex their chops playing some of the most colossal breakdowns of our times. The band's latest album, Rust, was released on Deathwish Inc to mass acclaim in March and the band has been touring the world in support.

In Wolfnote, the two execute a totally different musical vision – what remains the same is the chemistry. With the history these guys have together, Wolfnote charges out of the gate on its very first EP, rocking like a fully realized band. 

One could liken the Wolfnote/Harm's Way relationship to that of indie-rockers Adventures and their more brutal and well-known project, Code Orange – when you play in one of the heaviest bands in the world there comes a time to explore other sounds and emotions.

Alkaline Trio's darkly emotional punk rock is one reference point for Wolfnote's style. To reach back further into Chicago's musical history, you could also draw a line from Wolfnote to Naked Raygun. The band name classics like The Misfits, The Smiths, and The Cure as influences as well and, no surprise, Lueders' lyrics tell tales of romantic obsessions.

With dark, driving songs, full of confessional lyrics and million-dollar choruses, this is an exciting new band in its own right and of course a real treat for any Harm's Way fans open to something new.

Wolfnote was recorded by Andy Nelson (Harm's Way, Weekend Nachos, Exalt) at Bricktop Recordings in Chicago, and mastered by Carl Saff (Guided By Voices, Sannhet).

The tracklist is as follows:
1) Luna
2) Sick
3) Prowl

Bo Lueders - guitar, vocals
Dave Cronin - bass
Chris Mills - drums

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


With the May 5th release of their next LP, Onward/Into the Sun, coming up on Rising Pulse Records, Brooklyn trio Meek Is Murder announce a MetalSucks-sponsored June tour of the US and Canada with Enabler.

Meek Is Murder drummer Frank Godla also bashes for Enabler so the lucky attendees at these shows will be treated to a back-to-back double-shot of the man's speed, power, and stick tricks.

MetalSucks presents Enabler & Meek Is Murder:

1 - Torrington, CT @ Snapper McGee's
2 - Providence, RI @ Dusk
3 - Allston, MA @ O'Brien's
4 - Quebec City, QC @ La Source Martiniere
5 - Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
6 - Ottawa, ON @ 612 Gladstone
7 - Toronto, ON @ Coalition
8 - Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary
9 - Madison, WI @ Dragonfly Lounge
10 - Chicago, IL @ Livewire
11 - Columbus, OH @ Spacebar
12 - Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
13 - Rockaway, NJ @ Backroom Sudios
14 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron

Meek Is Murder's new LP, Onward/Into the Sun is available now for pre-order in three color variations. Pre-order from Rising Pulse Records, here.

The LP consists of two EPs: the brand new Onward, produced by Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Magrudergrind, Mutilation Rites, Old Wounds) and 2012's Into the Sun Where It Falls Off the Sky, recorded by Kevin Antreassian (East of the Wall, Gridlink). The entire LP was mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Mastodon).

Latest single "Onward Toward a Red Horizon," is now streaming here via VICE. VICE calls Meek Is Murder, "a Brooklyn hardcore band... that'll assault your ears in the most invigorating way possible. Equal parts chaotic mathcore and sludgy doom."

Brooklyn fans can hear Onward/Into the Sun in its entirety this Friday, April 24th, at the album's official listening party, part of MetalSucks and Metal Injection's "Heavy Metal Happy Hour" at Over the Eight. More info, here.

Monday, April 20, 2015


VICE presents the premiere of new Meek Is Murder song "Onward Toward a Red Horizon," the closing track off the Brooklyn trio's new LP, Onward/Into the Sun.

Stream "Onward Toward a Red Horizon," here. A prime slice of Meek's buffalo-charging-off-a-cliff-core, the tune has the distinction of being one of the few songs in the band's catalog to exceed the 2-minute mark. 

Out May 5th on Rising Pulse Records, Onward/Into the Sun consists of two EPs on one LP: the brand new Onward EP, produced by Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Magrudergrind, Mutilation Rites, Old Wounds) and the band's 2012 sci-fi-themed Into the Sun Where It Falls Off the Sky EP, recorded by Kevin Antreassian (East of the Wall, Gridlink). All the music was mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Mastodon).

Pre-order the limited LP, available in three color vinyl variations, from Rising Pulse Records, the label owned by Candiria's John Lamacchia, here.

Meek Is Murder features current and former members of Enabler and The Red Chord. 

Stand by for news of Meek Is Murder's next tour!

"A Brooklyn hardcore band... that'll assault your ears in the most invigorating way possible. Equal parts chaotic mathcore and sludgy doom."

"Face-ripping sonic assault of dizzying riffage and bloody-throated screamoidness... Damaged-era Black Flag in a car crash with metallic hardcore merchants Botch."

"Technical hardcore action." 
–Guitar World

"Pulverizing... sounds like technical hardcore madness performed inside a fire tornado."
–Alternative Press

"A furious head nod to the glorious days of mid-to-late '90s chaos core in the vein of superheroes like Coalesce, Botch, Jesuit, Converge..."

"A relentless, visceral expression of both pain and hope, [Meek Is Murder] will remind you why you ever got into extreme music in the first place."

"Riffs the size of aircraft carriers... Any of you still lamenting the loss of Botch will fall on this like a pack of hungry wolves."

"[Meek Is Murder] takes the intense fisticuffs of Lords, smashes it against Pig Destroyer's rabid proficiency and still comes across like an exorcism..."

Friday, April 17, 2015


Tickets for Cold Waves IV are on sale NOW.

Single-day passes and a limited number of two-day passes went on sale today, Friday, April 17th, at 11 am Eastern, 10 am Central, via the venue's website, here.

A limited number of VIP passes are on sale now via the Cold Waves website, here.

Industrial music festival Cold Waves IV is set for September 25-26, 2015 at Metro in ChicagoConfirmed to play Cold Waves IV are the following acts:

Friday, September 25th
GODFLESH • Lustmord • Lead Into Gold
Author & Punisher • Prurient
Lab Report • Two from the Eye

Saturday, September 26th
FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY • Pop Will Eat Itself • Severed Heads
Cocksure • High-Functioning Flesh
Rorschach Test • Human Traffic

More info, here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Meek Is Murder host a pizza tour of their hometown of Brooklyn. Ride along with the gang to DiFara's, L&B Spumoni Gardens, and other borough greats, here on Substream Magazine's site.

Meek Is Murder's new LP, Onward/Into the Sun, comes out May 5th on Rising Pulse Records. Pre-order now, here.

Onward/Into the Sun consists of two EPs collected onto one 12" LP: the brand new Onward EP, produced by Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Magrudrgrind, Old Wounds) and mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Mastodon), and 2012's sci-fi-themed Into the Sun Where It Falls Off the Sky EP.

Noisey has described Meek Is Murder's chaos-core as a "face-ripping sonic assault of dizzying riffage and bloody-throated screamoidness... Damaged-era Black Flag in a car crash with metallic hardcore merchants Botch." The Brooklyn trio includes current and former members of Enabler and The Red Chord.

Stream new tracks here, here, and here!


Brooklyn trio My America have wrapped up the recording of new album Misses with producer Kevin Bernsten (Full of Hell, Magrudergrind), and today Noisey premieres "Bad Hosts," a track from the session.

Stream My America's "Bad Hosts," here.

Noisey reports, "My America are building on the teachings of some of the area greats of yesterday, springboarding off of Unsane to create their version of noise rock touched by hardcore."

Recorded and mixed by Bernsten at Developing Nations and mastered by Brad Boaright (Nails, Code Orange), new album Misses promises to be the best-ever representation of this band's vibe. "Bad Hosts" is a standalone single that will not appear on the album. In the words of My America frontman Matt Turner, "'Bad Hosts' is the last song we wrote and recorded. The album itself is so serious and intense, 'Bad Hosts' is something we did for fun, to lighten the mood. We tracked the song live with Kevin. Although it's not part of the album, it's an essential part of our whole experience of making the album."

Stand by for more details about Misses.

My America play May 13th at Lucky 13 in their hometown of Brooklyn, NY.

Before stripping down to its current three-piece lineup, My America was a quartet called My America Is Watching Tigers Die that toured the nation throughout the '00s and put out several releases, most notable 2009's Stone Age LP on Pluto Records (HORSE the Band, Norma Jean).

COLD WAVES IV - full lineup + details

The fourth annual installment of industrial music festival Cold Waves is set for September 25-26, 2015 at Metro in Chicago and, having made the initial announcement last week, the festival's organizers now officially reveal this year's complete lineup. Confirmed to play Cold Waves IV are the following acts:

Friday, September 25th
Godflesh • Lustmord • Lead Into Gold
Author & Punisher • Prurient
Lab Report • Two from the Eye

Saturday, September 26th

Front Line Assembly • Pop Will Eat Itself • Severed Heads
Cocksure • High-Functioning Flesh
Rorschach Test • Human Traffic

Single-day passes and a limited number of two-day passes will go on sale this Friday, April 17th, at 10:00 am Central Time, via the venue's website, here.

A limited number of VIP passes will go on sale this Friday, April 17th, at 10:00 am Central Time, via the Cold Waves website, here.

The VIP pass includes: two tickets to a single-night show, balcony table for two, pre-show meet n' greet with all headlining acts, Cold Waves IV poster and comp CD, and free admission to the Cold Waves IV pre-party, Thursday, September 24th at Double Door, featuring Acumen Nation and a full album performance of their debut, Transmissions from Eville, plus Rabbit Junk and Die Sektor.

Cold Waves founder Jason Novak, also owner of Cracknation Records and member of bands such as Cocksure, Czar, and Acumen Nation, describes this year's festival: 

"Our goal to showcase Chicago's relationship with industrial music, featuring rare and classic forebears along with innovative newcomers, has never been more realized than this year."

Friday's lineup is a virtual who's who of classic and contemporary industrial noise, anchored by UK techno-doom heroes Godflesh, along with the originator of the dark ambient genre, Lustmord, and Ministry/Revolting Cocks alum Paul Barker's Lead Into Gold. Adding Author & Punisher, literally the physical embodiment of industrial music, along with Matt Schultz's long dormant Lab Report and his anti-tank-guitar, keeps things mysterious and experimental, as does Hospital Productions founder Dominick Fernow's Prurient. A household name synonymous with heavy music production in Chicago, Sanford Parker unveils his latest project Two from the Eye.

While Friday brings the doom, Saturday brings the party. Front Line Assembly will resurrect classic material from their Wax Trax! days and the UK's Pop Will Eat Itself will make its first US appearance in almost two decades. Second that for Australian electronic trailblazers Severed Heads. Chicago industrial royalty Chris Connelly's new project Cocksure promises to revive the true spirit of all things Revolting, while electro firestarters High-Functioning Flesh are this year's LA industrial critics' darlings. This year's link to the actual cold waves genre, Seattle's Rorschach Test, and l'enfant terrible electro-grime punk newcomers Human Traffic round things out.

Cold Waves IV will also feature vendors, DJs, unique artist and product raffles, and a partnership with next-door bar The G-Man that will allow festival attendees to grab a bite, have a seat, and enjoy the music from the newly dubbed "Cold Waves Lounge."

The festival is sponsored by Kuma's Corner and Revolution Brewery, two iconic Chicago food and beverage institutions that embody the spirit of the music. 

A portion of proceeds from Cold Waves IV will go to Hope for the Day, a local suicide prevention charity using music and the arts to reach those in need.

Building on the past three years' events, Cold Waves IV promises to be the biggest and best to date, featuring a perfect curation of old and new innovators of the genre. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Out now: UPSILON ACRUX - Sun Square Dialect

Sun Square Dialect, the seventh full-length album by Upsilon Acrux, is out today, April 14th, on New Atlantis Records.

Upsilon Acrux has evolved through many incarnations over its 20-year run. Now featuring founder/guitarist Paul Lai, backed by two drummers, another guitarist, and a Rhodes piano, the Los Angeles group's exceedingly intricate compositions are polyrhythmic and polyunbelievable. Thurston Moore has hailed Upsilon Acrux as "amazing" while a recent review from VICE describes it as "the spirit of hardcore and post-rock with the complexity of classical compositions."

Stream new album Sun Square Dialect in its entirety, here.

Sun Square Dialect was recorded at Infrasonic Sound (The Jesus Lizard, Death Grips) and The Record Plant (in the room where Appetite for Destruction was recorded), and was mixed and mastered by Pete Lyman (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Xasthur).

A Sun Square Dialect record release show goes down April 24th at The Smell in LA.

"The spirit of hardcore and post-rock with the complexity of classical compositions."

"Upsilon Acrux have made it their mission to blow, expand and confuse minds and ears since 1997. Imagine King Crimson, Zappa, Don Caballero, Battles, Orthrelm (or any Mick Barr project for that matter), Gore and free jazz bouncing off the padded walls of your local nuthouse..."

"They make music that would make Frank Zappa proud."
–Gear Gods

"Upsilon Acrux have boldly ventured into a realm of musical oddity that few other self-proclaimed 'edgy' bands could ever hope to claim."
Steel for Brains

"A colorful array of instrumentation that runs the gamut of math rock, progressive rock, krautrock, and free jazz. It defies categorization and dazzles simultaneously."
–American Aftermath

"Upsilon Acrux is amazing."
–Thurston Moore