Tuesday, August 4, 2015

STATS + PopMatters

"The muscle of Black Flag's weirdo hardcore era and the skronk-jazz chops of King Crimson. STATS' full-length debut, Mercy, is full of He-Man-battling-Skeletor riffs and mind-boggling drum fills..."
–NPR Music

"On Mercy's seven dizzyingly complex screamoid marathons, the mangled jazz/metal of The Process of Weeding Out/Slip It In/Family Man-era Black Flag collide head on with Don Caballero's avant-prog mania."

–Noisey

"Pissed-off noisy hardcore, math rock technicality, and a weird operatic part that sounds like Converge backing Renaissance or something. It's out-there stuff, man."

–BrooklynVegan

"A wildly creative mishmash of Melvins-derived sludge and Beefheart-esque experimentation. Massively heavy but showing a progressive nimbleness..."
–PopMatters

With its release date fast approaching – August 7th on New Atlantis RecordsMercy, the debut album by STATS, is now streaming in full at PopMatters.

As PopMatters' Adrien Begrand tells it, the Brooklyn trio, comprised of members/collaborators of Aa, Extra Life, Psalm Zero, Ocrilim, Dazzling Killmen and Craw, has conjured "a wildly creative mishmash of Melvins-derived sludge and Beefheart-esque experimentation. Massively heavy but showing a progressive nimbleness..." With hardcore punk heart and progressive rock chops, the band twists and turns through songs that are equal parts angst, noodles, and rock.

Mercy was recorded at Strange Weather in Brooklyn by former The Men guitarist Ben Greenberg and mastered by Khanate's James Plotkin (Thou, Merzbow).

Pre-order, here.

The official Mercy record release show is set for September 23rd in Brooklyn:

Sep 23rd - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
w/ STATS, Survival, Couch Slut

Tickets, here.


Photo by Jacqueline Silberbush


SO HIDEOUS - Laurestine







Prosthetic Records presents Laurestine, the second full-length album by So Hideous. Out October 16th on Prosthetic, Laurestine is a masterpiece of sound and feeling that delivers on past promises and confirms the New York City band to be a true leader in its field.

Before Laurestine there was debut album Last Poem/First Light, a 2013 self-release which wowed the underground with its balance of blackened angst and rich musicality, and with its use of an actual orchestra and choir in the recording process. A review on Stereogum praised Last Poem/First Light's "Envy-with-blastbeats" foundation and "blood-and-guts black metal vocals," and stated, "the symphonic tracks add depth and scope to the band's extroverted guitar melodies." A review in Exclaim! Magazine named it "an emotionally devastating piece of violence that creates moments of aching beauty, only to demolish them under the white-hot treads of blackened hardcore." Comparisons to Envy, Celeste, and composers like Arvo Part and Ennio Morricone abounded – the term "post-metal" appeared to be the only phrase broad enough to encompass the band's unique mix of black metal, post-hardcore, and orchestral elements.

Laurestine now shows the quartet – guitarist and main composer Brandon Cruz, bassist and vocalist Chris Cruz, guitarist Etienne Vazquez, and drummer Danny Moncada – building upon what it began and outshining expectations yet again.

Like its predecessor, Laurestine was recorded at The Wild Arctic Recording Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with producer Dean Baltulonis (Lucero, Sick of It All, Modern Life Is War) and, like its predecessor, it features actual orchestral and choral tracks recorded by The First Light Orchestra, consisting now of thirty members – brass, strings, and vocalists, recorded at Little Field Performance and Art Space in Brooklyn, New York, by Chris Montgomery (Mumford and Sons, Lily Allen).

An absolute feast for the ears, "cinematic" is the word for Laurestine. The album plays like the score to an unseen film – one continuous ebb and flow of intensity, swelling and receding, from fragile interludes to raging storms. Sonically dense yet crystalline, each musical layer contributes to the emotionally scorching whole.

Brandon Cruz – by day a music teacher at a New York City school – names Max Richter, Hans Zimmer, and MONO as three of the inspirations fueling Laurestine. Cruz reveals that the album is based on a story of one man's post-mortem experience, an interior journey in the seven minutes after dying during which the brain is said to be still active. Ascending toward an afterlife, the man is guided through this limbo state by a woman named Laurestine, made to reflect on the past and prepare for the unknown to come. 

On various levels, Laurestine's lyrics and music connect to tell this story. In reference to the seven-minute space between life and death, the number seven dominates – the seven tracks are riddled with 7/4 and 7/8 time signatures. The songs' lyrics are written in the voices of both the protagonist and his guide – these two narrators lead the listener on an unforgettable tour through anguish, melancholy, and ultimate triumph. 

The first taste of Laurestine can now be experienced exclusively via Metal Injection. Hear a short excerpt of album closer "A Faint Whisper," along with views of the artwork by Italian illustrator Daniele Serra (Shining SW), in this brand new video clip, here.

So Hideous embarks on a short tour of the US and Canada in August:


Aug 28 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

Aug 29 - Rockaway, NJ @ The Backroom Studios
Aug 30 - Boston, MA @ O'Brien's Pub
Aug 31 - Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
Sep 1 - Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
Sep 2 - Toronto, ON @ Coalition
Sep 3 - London, ON @ The APK
Sep 5 - Chicago, IL @ Red Line Tap
Sep 6 - Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club

Photo by Dean Chooch Landry

STERN + Echoes and Dust

"Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album, Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can't do much better than 'Your Level Best,' a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic."
–PopMatters

"The strange, aqueous nature of the music that Stern offers on its new record becomes a lot less unexpected when you realize that the band includes Toby Driver the scary genius behind Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot... The album is full of pop-like tunes, all hip-checked sideways and left to melt in the summer sun."
–Decibel

"Stern draw on everything from avant-garde metal to film scores in forging their self-described 'alien pop' sound... Off-kilter structure and shifting rhythms could fit right into Kayo Dot's 2014 darkwave exploration, Coffins on Io."
–Invisible Oranges
  
Bone Turquoise, the debut album by Stern, is now streaming in its entirety via Echoes and Dust, here.

Named for frontman/composer Chuck Stern (ex-Time of Orchids), the Brooklyn quartet also features Toby Driver and Keith Abrams of Kayo Dot and longtime Kayo Dot collaborator Tim Byrnes. 

Out this Friday, August 7th, on New Atlantis Records, Bone Turquoise was recorded and mixed at Strange Weather Studio (Liturgy, DIIV, The Men).

Icily calm, gentle yet unsettling, Bone Turquoise is a brilliant trip through the shaky mind of its creator. Stern's self-dubbed "alien pop" makes for a dissonant, deceptive listen, in line with the solo works of Mike Patton, Shudder to Think's Pony Express Record, and the scores of Ennio Morricone or Angelo Badalamenti.

Pre-order the album, here.

Stern, live:
Aug 29 - New York, NY @ The Stone w/ Kayo Dot


Friday, July 31, 2015

STERN + PopMatters

"Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album, Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can't do much better than 'Your Level Best,' a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic."
–PopMatters

"The strange, aqueous nature of the music that Stern offers on its new record becomes a lot less unexpected when you realize that the band includes Toby Driver the scary genius behind Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot... The album is full of pop-like tunes, all hip-checked sideways and left to melt in the summer sun."
–Decibel

"Stern draw on everything from avant-garde metal to film scores in forging their self-described 'alien pop' sound... Off-kilter structure and shifting rhythms could fit right into Kayo Dot's 2014 darkwave exploration, Coffins on Io."
–Invisible Oranges

With Stern's debut album Bone Turquoise coming up next Friday, August 7th, on New Atlantis Records, one more of the album's gems has been premiered for your pleasure: stream "Your Level Best," off Bone Turquoise, exclusively on PopMatters, here.

In the words of PopMatters music editor Adrien Begrand: "Stern has created a surreal hybrid of gothic rock, DC post-hardcore, progressive rock, and post-metal, with a strong Faith No More influence tossed in, and the end result is the extraordinary new album, Bone Turquoise. If you want a good indication of how surreal and enthralling it is, you can't do much better than 'Your Level Best,' a weirdly gloomy track that slogs along like a dirge sung by a lunatic."

Named for founder and frontman Chuck Stern (ex-Time of Orchids), Stern also features Kayo Dot members Toby Driver and Keith Abrams, along with longtime Kayo Dot and Candiria collaborator Tim Byrnes.

Stern's icy, unsettling "alien pop" nods to the unhinged crooning of Mike Patton and Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren, as well as the film scores of Ennio Morricone. In talking to PopMatters about "Your Level Best," Chuck Stern references Charlotte Brontë and Unwound.

Pre-order the album, recorded and mixed at Strange Weather Studio (Liturgy, DIIV, The Men), here.

Stern, live:
Aug 29 - New York, NY @ The Stone w/ Kayo Dot


Thursday, July 30, 2015

UNBROKEN - "And/Fall on Proverb"



Photo by Rich Cook


Amidst recent new releases by Retox, Narrows, and Hot Nerds, Three One G Records looks back in time now to present a very special reissue. September 11th, the label will reissue the record that began it all: the very first Three One G release, Unbroken's "And/Fall on Proverb" seven-inch.

Originally released in 1994, Unbroken's "And/Fall on Proverb" seven-inch is the release that kicked everything off for Three One G, the San Diego label that would go on to define an entire aesthetic of irreverence over the next two decades, via releases by bands like The Locust, Cattle Decapitation, Black Dice, Arab on Radar, and The Blood Brothers. Three One G founder Justin Pearson has cited Unbroken as one of his most crucial influences, and getting the opportunity to release the Unbroken record is the very thing that inspired him to start Three One G. 

Three One G would make its name, from the '90s up through the present day, by spitting in the face of the mainstream and the underground alike, defying the rules of both establishments. As label boss and as a member of many bands on the label (Struggle, Swing Kids, The Crimson Curse, The Locust, Head Wound City, Some Girls, All Leather, Retox, and more) Pearson has bucked the system and set new trends that expand the rules of punk – whether dressing as a bug, dabbling in electronic music, putting out oddly-shaped records with outrageous cover art, acting in films, or famously trolling Jerry Springer by kissing a man on national TV. 

The rebellious spirit now synonymous with Three One G can be traced back to Unbroken and the impression the band made on the young Pearson. On paper a straight-edge, metallic hardcore band from San Diego, Unbroken challenged all the stereotypes of that scene. In an era where XXL t-shirts and pants were the hardcore uniform, Unbroken rocked pompadours and collared shirts. Where aggressive, self-righteous lyrics were the norm, Unbroken found lyrical inspiration in Joy Division and The Smiths. Where other straight-edge bands stuck with their own kind, Unbroken favored diverse bills, playing equally with Gravity Records bands like Heroin and Clikatat Ikatowi, as with Undertow and Mean Season.

A 2008 cover story in Alternative Press named Unbroken one of "23 Bands Who Shaped Punk," alongside Crass, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Cro-Mags, Bikini Kill, and Fugazi. From that article: 

"By the time Unbroken disbanded in 1995, their bleak, introspective lyrics and greaser look influenced two bands which changed the trajectory of modern hardcore: American Nightmare's suicide-note lyrics begat a generation of hardcore kids fixated on their own sadness, and Eighteen Visions' Morrissey-meets-Hollywood style was the template for metalcore fashion." 

While Unbroken's 1994 full-length Life. Love. Regret. is widely considered an essential album in the history of hardcore, the two songs on the "And/Fall on Proverb" seven-inch, released that same year, rip forth with the same urgency. The songs resonate today, as fresh and real as ever. 

Three One G's upcoming September 11th reissue sees the seven-inch pressed on gold vinyl.

Pre-order, here.

Listen to "Fall on Proverb," here.

Read more about Justin Pearson and Three One G Records, here.


Friday, July 24, 2015

JESSEFEST

Benefit party for Jesse James Madre, tonight at Lucky Bar, Jersey City, NJ.

Bands, DJs, raffles and giveaways from Allied Tattoo, Jersey City Tattoo, Inked Magazine, Coda Skateboards, NJ Skate Shop, and more. I DJ some tunes at midnight. Cued up:

A.R.E. Weapons
Anasazi
Billy Idol
Boogie Down Productions
Call of the Wild
Company B
D.A.D.
Damned, The
etc.

Info, here.

Photo by Dean Chooch Landry


GREAT AMERICAN GHOST + Metal Injection

Metal Injection has premiered Great American Ghost's video for "Everyone Leaves," the title track off the Boston band's debut full-length, released this month on Good Fight Music. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Defeater guitarist Jay Maas (Ceremony, Title Fight) at Getaway Recording.

Watch the "Everyone Leaves" video, here.

Carrying on the New England tradition of emotionally-scarred hardcore trademarked by bands like Converge and American Nightmare, Great American Ghost brings the darkness and desperation – "the epitome of Boston hardcore," in the words of one New Noise writer.

Stream the full album, here.

Buy ithere.

"This release is a smasher. On Everyone Leaves the band sets their foot firmly in modern hardcore. Tracks fly by like bullets, packed full of pissed-as-hell screams and guitars that sound like meat grinders. These five young men have issues."
–PunkNews

"As calm as a fire at a munitions factory... Virulent guitars, eruptive drums, and stinging vocals, all stitched together into one vehement abnormality. If you dig bands like Converge and Enabler, Great American Ghost are going to be your new favorite band."
–MetalSucks

"Fans of metallic hardcore, dense with distortion and f-bomb tantrums, should find a safe haven in Everyone Leaves."
–About

"Great American Ghost is the epitome of Boston hardcore... Everyone Leaves is ten tracks of New England brutality."
–New Noise


OLD WOUNDS + Fuse

"Old Wounds gets intense... New Jersey hardcore band Old Wounds deliver the in-your-face feel of the live experience in the brand new music video for their single 'Son of No One,' premiering exclusively on Fuse.tv today..."
–Fuse

Fuse.tv has premiered Old Wounds' newest music video, "Son of No One." 

Watch the video, directed by Mike Petrow, here.


The song, "Son of No One," appears on Old Wounds' new album, The Suffering Spirit, released in June on Good Fight Music. 


Produced by Andreas Magnusson (The Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon), The Suffering Spirit has been described by AllMusic as "punishing New Jersey hardcore" and by MetalSucks as "powerhouse heaviness... a brooding Type O Negative vibe and a bit of Deftones-ish atonality." The album sees the young band build on their metallic hardcore base, adding layers of dark melody and clean vocals to create a massive new sound worthy of stadiums and basements alike.


Stream the full album, here.

Order, here.

As drummer Brandon Gallagher hints, the "Son of No One" video is the first part of a two-part series. Stay tuned for the "On Leather Wings" video, coming soon. 

Old Wounds is now in the midst of a summer-long US tour, including legs with Good Fight labelmates Axis and Of Feather and Bone.

Jul 24 - Savannah, GA @ The Furnace %
Jul 25 - Jacksonville, FL @ The Bird House $
Jul 26 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade $
Jul 27 - Tallahassee, FL @ Two Devils Vape Shop $
Jul 28 - Odessa, FL @ The Goat House $
Jul 29 - Melbourne, FL @ The Boondocks $
Jul 30 - Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse †
Jul 31 - Jackson, MS @ Big Sleepy's †
Aug 1 - Baton Rouge, LA @ The Dojo †
Aug 2 - Houston, TX @ Walter's †
Aug 3 - Laredo, TX @ The Dugout †
Aug 4 - San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger †
Aug 5 - Tucson, AZ @ Gary's Place †
Aug 6 - Phoenix, AZ @ 51 West †
Aug 7 - Las Vegas, NV @ Eastside Joe's †
Aug 8 - Wildomar, CA @ Dad's Den (early) †
Aug 8 - Pomona, CA @ PBW (late) †
Aug 9 - Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman St †
Aug 10 - Reno, NV @ Fort Ryland †
Aug 11 - Eugene, OR @ The Boreal †
Aug 12 - Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge †
Aug 13 - Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur †
Aug 14 - Boise, ID @ The Crux †
Aug 15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Bridge †
Aug 16 - Denver, CO @ 7th Circle † #
Aug 17 - Kansas City, MO @ The Loft † #
Aug 18 - Cedar Falls, IA @ The Black Hole † #
Aug 19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Poser Compound † #
Aug 20 - Milwaukee, WI @ Borg Ward † #
Aug 21 - Chicago, IL @ Live Wire † #
Aug 22 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Elks Lodge † #
Aug 23 - Lakewood, OH @ The Foundry † #
Sep 12 - Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary - Don't Call It A Fest w/ Eyehategod, See You Next Tuesday, The Banner

% w/ Orthodox

$ w/ Head Creeps
† w/ Axis
# w/ Of Feather and Bone

"Punishing New Jersey hardcore... On their second album, the upcoming The Suffering Spirit, New Jersey hardcore crew Old Wounds turns up the malevolence..."
–AllMusic

"Old Wounds are about to rip your goddamn spine out... with their impending album, The Suffering Spirit."
–Alternative Press

"Heavy, dissonant riffs, pissed-off screams... an ear-shattering tone that's super clear but not at all overproduced."

–BrooklynVegan 

"The powerhouse heaviness you crave is certainly here in spades but this Jersey bands has a few tricks up is sleeve as well.  A brooding Type O Negative vibe and a bit of Deftones-ish atonality... Vocalist Kevin Iavaroni's heart seems to be truly bleeding on every song..."

–MetalSucks

"While the heat and aggression might grab you by the throat at first, it's the unexpected heart that will keep you coming back to The Suffering Spirit."

–Exclaim

"New Jersey hardcore band Old Wounds turned heads with their 2013 debut, From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest, an album that burned with the intensity of classic '90s hardcore like Deadguy and contemporary crossover geniuses Converge. Two years later, they're set to release The Suffering Spirit, which broadens the band's sound even more, employing more cleanly sung melodies and streamlined, gothic-tinged arrangements without compromising the music's intensity one iota... Easily one of the better hardcore releases of the year so far."

–PopMatters


Thursday, July 23, 2015

EXTINCTION A.D. + MetalSucks

"Extinction A.D. may very well write the best Slayer riffs that Jeff Hanneman never got around to writing but they're more than a simple re-thrash band... If thrash is a machine gun firing wildly in all directions, Extinction A.D. is a sniper with a laser sight."
–MetalSucks

"A 21st-century powerhouse upgrade of Eighties thrash... The best aspects of early Metallica and Testament."
–Guitar World

Extinction A.D. unveils new song "Prisoners" today via MetalSucks.

Stream the new thrash anthem, here.

MetalSucks hits the nail on the head with this quote: "Extinction A.D. may very well write the best Slayer riffs that Jeff Hanneman never got around to writing but they're more than a simple re-thrash band... If thrash is a machine gun firing wildly in all directions, Extinction A.D. is a sniper with a laser sight." Comprised of ex-members of This Is Hell, Extinction A.D. brings precision and energy to the game that sets its brand of thrash high above the horde.

Debut full-length Faithkiller will be released August 21st on Good Fight Music.

Faithkiller was recorded and mixed by Brett Romnes (I Am the Avalanche, Anthony Raneri), and mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Noisem).

The band is now finishing up a US tour:

July
23 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Russell Jones
24 - Jackson, MS @ Big Sleepy's
25 - Nashville, TN @ Exponent Manor
27 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Hook Up


NATHAN GRAY + PopMatters

"Best known as frontman for Delaware post-hardcore standouts Boysetsfire, Nathan Gray has set off on his own with his debut solo EP NTHN GRY. It's a big musical departure... The new record delves into electronic and darkwave, following the lead of Portishead and Dead Can Dance."
–PopMatters

PopMatters has premiered the new Nathan Gray video, "Wayward Ghosts." The song appears on Gray's debut solo EP, NTHN GRY, out August 21st on Good Fight Music.

Watch "Wayward Ghosts," here.

Founder and frontman of Boysetsfire and I Am Heresy, Gray launches his solo career now after two decades in the business, to explore sounds and ideas beyond the scope of hardcore. On the NTHN GRY EP, Gray and collaborator Daniel E. Smith weave dark pop songs with folk and industrial elements, in line with certain works of artists like Death in June and Dead Can Dance. Lyrically, Gray, a member of the Church of Satan, lays bare his true Satanic convictions. Of "Wayward Ghosts," Gray states: "It is an anthem of encouragement and empowerment against seemingly insurmountable forces."

NTHN GRY was recorded and mixed by Daniel E. Smith at Sounds of Ideal Life and mastered by Kevin Mattesky at Phantom Center Media.

The "Wayward Ghosts" video was directed by Bobby Bates.

With the US release of NTHN GRY set for August 21st on Good Fight Music, the EP will be released in Europe on August 7th via End Hits Records. 

Gray embarks on a European tour in August:

Aug 15 - Ieper, Belgium @ Ieper Fest
Aug 16 - Munich, Germany @ Backstage
Aug 17 - Nuremberg, Germany @ Stereo
Aug 18 - Berlin, Germany @ Kantine Berghain
Aug 19 - Hamburg, Germany @ Kleiner Donner
Aug 22 - Nalbach, Germany @ Akustikopen
Aug 23 - Stuttgart, Germany @ Kellerklub
Aug 24 - Leipzig, Germany @ Taubchenthal