"If Stomach Earth's debut LP is what the planet's gut sounds like, some Pepto Bismol may be in order. This is a good thing!... One of the most compelling and acrimonious doom debuts in recent years." Amen.
In January I ended Precious Metal, the weekly series of shows I booked and promoted in NY for precisely 6.66 years.
In March and April I did my final tour as drummer of Today Is The Day, six weeks across the US and Canada with KEN Mode and Fight Amp.
In July I released the debut record of my new solo project, Body Stuff, and in October I performed it live for the first time (at The Acheron in Brooklyn, with Psalm Zero and Vain Warr).
In PR this year I represented another slew of crucial bands outta the underground depths, including the brilliant Circle Takes The Square, Stomach Earth, Comadre, Old Wounds, Self Defense Family, Nervous, Meek Is Murder, So Hideous, Netherlands, Czar, and many more. Check out my complete list of 2013 releases, here.
2014, here we come:
The PR machine is revved and we kick things off in 2014 with the debut album by High Water on Vitriol Records, the outstanding LA label owned by Justin Smith of Graf Orlock and Ghostlimb. High Water is fronted by Neal Sharma of Ghostlimb. The self-titled debut was recorded by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta, Nervous). These guys are from deep in the Bay Area hardcore scene but you wouldn't know it. The vibe is earnest and wise - Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, Neil Young - and it sounds like a million bucks.
And coming soon, new releases by Tiger Flowers, Fissure, Vices, Abilities, Outer Heaven, Jar'd Loose, and more! Also, more Body Stuff.
Melotov Records announces today that the label's releases will now be distributed exclusively by Deathwish Direct, the distribution arm of Deathwish Inc. A cornerstone of the underground for a decade now, and famously owned by Jake Bannon of Converge, Deathwish Inc is responsible for releasing music by many crucial bands of this era, from Converge, to Terror, to Touche Amore, to Cold Cave. Founded in 2008 by Melanie Voltz in Los Angeles, California, Melotov has released music by the likes of Ghostlimb, The Banner, and Old Wounds. Rumored to be in the works for 2014 are new releases by Bone Dance, Vices, Tiger Flowers, and more. Effective immediately, Deathwish will distribute all Melotov titles and will also host the label's webstore and handle all mailorder. Says Melotov founder Melanie Voltz, "Extremely excited to announce that Melotov will now be exclusively distributed by the good folks at Deathwish! Could not be happier about this new venture!"An official statement from Deathwish reads, "Deathwish Direct is now the exclusive distributor of Melotov Records. 2014 looks promising..." Check out the new Melotov webstore, hosted by Deathwish, here.
Guitar World presents the premiere of Czar's latest video,
for the song "Aortic Flower", off the Chicago trio's new album, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive. No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive,out now on Cracknation Records, melds aggro rhythms, dark atmospheres, and majestic hooks, calling to mind the titans of 90s metal and post-hardcore, from Carcass to Quicksand. Of this bar-resetter, produced by Hum frontman Matt Talbott, Guitar World reports: "The album, an expressive 44-minute slab of heavy sludge full of clean guitar tones and old-school industrial elements, is truly a worthwhile piece of music for any fan of heavy music." After releasing their acclaimed debut, Vertical Mass Grave, in late 2011, Czar went on to tour the US with Killing Joke and were tapped to open Chicago dates for Morbid Angel and Godflesh. Czar's next live appearance is a headlining slot at Chicago's legendary Empty Bottle, December 13th, with Chicago Thrash Ensemble and Arbogast.
Alarm Magazine presents the premiere of Netherlands'new video for the title track off their latest album, Silicon Vapor. Directed by Jordan Galland, the "Silicon Vapor" video is a tribute to Wes Anderson's film The Royal Tenenbaums, with Netherlands frontman Timo Ellis taking on Ben Stiller's role as he leads his hapless bandmates through the iconic fire drill scene. Alarm calls the tune, "high-energy post-punk... a song that begs to be yelled through a megaphone."A recent review on BrooklynVegan describes the Brooklyn trio as "gritty, high-energy punk/metal, anchored by a huge distorted synth-bass tone; the effect is something like Future of the Left banging out one of Torche's more rambunctious tunes." Although Netherlands is a new name to many, frontman Ellis is a prolific rocker/composer who has collaborated with Yoko Ono, Melvins, John Zorn, and many more over his 20-year career. Silicon Vapor is out now - the album can be purchased digitally via the band, and a limited double-LP vinyl pressing is in the works. The album was recorded by John Davis, (Moby, The Roots), mixed by Bryce Goggin (Swans, Pavement) and mastered by Ron Shaffer (Tricky). The official record release show is set for November 30th at Death By Audio in Brooklyn.
February 26 - Old Wounds - From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest - Glory Kid Ltd.
February 26 - Pristina - Hopeless•Godless - The Path Less Traveled Records
April 23 - Globe and Beast - Grandfather's Axe - Melotov Records
July 16 - Stomach Earth - Stomach Earth - Black Market Activities July 16 - Phantom Glue - A War of Light Cones - Black Market Activities July 23 - Body Stuff - Body Stuff - The Path Less Traveled Records August 13 - Old Wounds/Trenchfoot - (split 7") - Melotov Records August 13 - No Sir - The Future Is Bright - Twelve Gauge Records August 27 - Self Defense Family - The Corrections Officer In Me - Family Drugs August 27 - Bone Dance - Snakecharmers (reissue) - Melotov Records August 27 - Calculator - These Roots Grow Deep (reissue) - Melotov Records September 24 - Nervous - Nervous - Twelve Gauge Records
October 22 - So Hideous - Last Poem/First Light - self-released
October 22 - Meek Is Murder - Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters - Threshold of Pain Records
October 29 - Netherlands - Silicon Vapor - self-released
November 5 - Czar - No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive - Cracknation Records
With Netherlands' epic second album, Silicon Vapor, released last week, the band prepares for its official record release show, November 30th at Death By Audio in Brooklyn. Joining Netherlands for the event are Wild Yaks, Grandfather, and Low Fat Getting High. Netherlands is fronted by Brooklyn musician Timo Ellis, whose 20-year career has seen him collaborate with Yoko Ono, Melvins, John Zorn, and many more. Silicon Vapor has been extolled by critics, including BrooklynVegan who describe it as "gritty high-energy punk/metal anchored by a huge distorted bass tone", and Burning Ambulance who call it "a genuinely unique record; its songs blend face-punching stoner-metal riffs that'll entice fans of Kyuss or Sleep with ultra-theatrical vocals that are part Muse, part Cardiacs..." Recorded by John Davis (Moby, The Roots), mixed by Bryce Goggin (Swans, Pavement), and mastered by Ron Shaffer (Tricky), the album can be purchased digitally via Netherlands' Bandcamp and will be available soon on vinyl as a limited edition double-LP. Watch Netherlands' "Tabitha" video on BrooklynVegan.
MetalSucks presents a stream of Czar's brand new full-length album, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive. The Chicago trio ambushed the underground in late 2011 with the release of its staggering debut album, Vertical Mass Grave. A surprise critical hit of the year, Vertical Mass Grave combined machine-like metal with ambient expanse and olympian hooks. After the album's release, the band proceeded to tour the nation with the legendary Killing Joke. The follow-up, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive, continues on the path blazed by the debut. A dense sonic feast, NOIAINOIAbridges gaps between extreme metal and post-hardcore, calling to mind the greats of both genres, from Carcass to Quicksand, Fear Factory to Failure. MetalSucks' Kip Wingerschmidt reports, "Czar's phenomenal debut album Vertical Mass Grave effectively straddled the line between precise tech-y metal and earthy post-hardcore... Now the Chicago trio is back with another stellar offering... Drummer Dan Brill continues to pummel his skins with the sharpened frenzy of a sabretooth tiger who's been ferociously holding court behind the kit since birth, yet with an intelligent, groove-heavy ease that employs plenty of delicious syncopated treats for us prog-hungry nerds. Guitarists Brian Elza and Jason Novak blend their tasty licks and meaty riffs together so well that I don't even notice the absence of a bassist; instead, the complementary nature of the various guitar parts create moments that feel like horror stores unfolding around the campfire." No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive is out now on Cracknation Records. Czar opens for Morbid Angel, November 17th at House of Blues in Chicago.