Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 releases

The full list of records I worked this year:

January 8 - Comadre - Comadre - Vitriol Records
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


And tour press for these guys:

Circle Takes The Square
Yoshiko Ohara (Bloody Panda)

CR + Steel for Brains

My 2013 year-end vibes, recorded and redistributed by the excellent Steel for Brains, along with lists by Jarboe, Mike Hill, and others: steelforbrains.com/post/70309311283/lust-lists-favorites-of-2013


HIGH WATER

Vitriol Records launches into 2014 with the February 4th release of the self-titled debut LP by High Water.

Stream "Garage Window", the opening track off High Water, exclusively on BrooklynVegan!

Vitriol Records is the Los Angeles label founded by Justin Smith, member of the bands Graf OrlockGhostlimb, and Dangers. A DIY powerhouse, Smith has churned out a stellar catalog of artfully packaged releases via Vitriol over the past half decade. Although perhaps best known for jaw-dropping collectibles such as Graf Orlock's Doombox (an EP housed in a life-sized, cardstock boombox), the label is no gimmick, nor is it a vehicle solely for Smith's own bands. Recent releases include an LP by French trio Birds In Row (now calling Deathwish Inc home), the final album by Bay Area post-hardcore stalwarts Comadre, and Do You Have Anything To Declare?, a book about touring bands' border crossings, authored by Smith and music journalist Kevin Stewart-Panko. Smith was named "one of the most interesting people in Los Angeles" by the LA Weekly in its "People 2013" issue.

Based in San Mateo, California, just south of San Francisco, High Water is fronted by Smith's bandmate in Ghostlimb, Neal SharmaIn High Water, Sharma is flanked by three of his oldest, closest friends - guitarist Jon Drinnan, bassist Ben Lambdin, and drummer Mike Cross - and to hear them talk about their band is to be reminded of how pure it can be to make music with friends. "We all have known each other for 10-15 years as friends and have grown up playing music together," says Sharma. "It always feels that much more meaningful to be making music with close friends."

A far cry from the hardcore punk of Ghostlimb, High Water makes earnest, stately rock songs, descended from The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, even Neil Young. In Justin Smith's words, "the sound sits somewhere between guitar-centric rock and whiskey-soaked awesomeness." The self-titled debut album, High Water, was recorded live to 2-inch tape, mixed and mastered, all by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta, Ghostlimb) at his East Palo Alto studio, The Atomic Garden.

In a voice that is weathered yet hopeful, Sharma sings stories of people known and places traveled. He claims his perspective is informed not only by his DIY punk roots but by his current day job at Peninsula Open Space Trust, a nonprofit land trust that works to conserve open space, parkland, and farmland in the Bay Area. References to the power of the natural world abound throughout his lyrics.

Another winner for Vitriol, High Water sees the label plow forth in its evolution, unfettered by any rules about what is hardcore or what is cool. It's a great way to start a new year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

STOMACH EARTH + Rolling Stone


"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.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CR + Justina

Justina Villanueva interviewed me about my time in Today Is The Day - forever one of my favorite bands: http://blastbeat.us/?p=3737


Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013, 2014

Season's greetings, all! Another year!

2013 in review:

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. See Justina Villanueva's new Today Is The Day feature, here.

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. As the year-end lists start to roll in, we are seeing the love, including Stomach Earth on Rolling Stone's Top 20 Metal Albums list!

Check out my complete list of 2013 releases, here. 


Now, on to 2014:

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, Neil Young - and it sounds like a million bucks.

And coming soon, new releases by Tiger Flowers, Old Wounds, Vices, Jar'd Loose, and more! Also, more Body Stuff.

L'chaim!

Monday, December 2, 2013

MELOTOV + Deathwish Inc

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.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CZAR + Guitar World

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.


Monday, November 25, 2013

NETHERLANDS + Alarm

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.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 recap

January 8 - Comadre - Comadre - Vitriol Records
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

Friday, November 8, 2013

BODY STUFF live vid

October 30, The Acheron, Brooklyn, NY

NETHERLANDS record release show

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.





Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CZAR + MetalSucks

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, NOIAINOIA bridges 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.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NETHERLANDS + Burning Ambulance

With Netherlands' new album, Silicon Vapor, released last week, Burning Ambulance presents the premiere of the Brooklyn trio's latest video, for the song "Sixteen".

Burning Ambulance is the blog and quarterly magazine of Phil Freeman, whose writing has appeared in The Village Voice, The Wire, Alternative Press, Jazziz, and more.

Freeman writes, "Silicon Vapor is 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, and at time hit pitches high enough to recall Budgie's Burke Shelley."

Of the "Sixteen" video, directed by Allison Berkoy, Freeman writes, "'Sixteen' is one of this weird album's weirdest songs; the keyboards occasionally make a noise not unlike Morphine's punchy baritone sax riffs, and the wordless vocals in the beginning are truly eerie, particularly when combined with the odd, water-fixated imagery of the video."

Netherlands is fronted by Timo Ellis, a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose 20-year career has seen him collaborate with Yoko Ono, Melvins, John Zorn, and many other greats. Netherlands' second album, Silicon Vapor was 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.

Another new Netherlands video, for the song "Tabitha", was debuted recently by BrooklynVegan.

Monday, November 4, 2013

BODY STUFF first show

October 30, 2013
The Acheron, Brooklyn, NY
Photos by Justina Villanueva

Curran Reynolds, vocals
Greg Kramer, guitar
Ryan Jones, bass
Matt Kepler, drums



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Out now: NETHERLANDS

Brooklyn trio Netherlands unleashes its new album, Silicon Vapor, upon the world today. A sprawling masterwork of alt-rock hooks, prog madness, and heavy metal thunder, Silicon Vapor is available in three formats: digital, CD, and a limited edition of double LPs (clear and black heavyweight vinyl). The album can be ordered directly from the band via Bandcamp. Digital download can also be purchased via iTunes and other online retailers.

With a style hailed by BrooklynVegan as "gritty high-energy punk/metal anchored by a huge distorted synth-bass tone" and by About.com as "elements of doom, punk, psychedelia, prog, grunge, and more", Netherlands is fronted by veteran rocker Timo Ellis who has collaborated over the past two decades with Yoko Ono, Melvins, Cibo Matto, John Zorn, and many more.

Silicon Vapor was recorded by John Davis (Moby, The Roots), mixed by Bryce Goggin (Swans, Pavement), and mastered by Ron Shaffer (Tricky).

Having played recent shows with Black Flag, Melt-Banana, and Valient Thorr, Netherlands has much live action in store for the coming moths, starting with an official record release show, November 30th at Death By Audio in Brooklyn.

Listen to Netherlands "Undead Horses" on New Noise.

Listen to Netherlands "Robot Fail" on MetalSucks.

Listen to Netherlands "Tabitha" on Revolver.

Watch Netherlands "Tabitha" video on BrooklynVegan.

Watch Netherlands play "Deathling" live on BreakThruRadio.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CZAR + Gear Gods

Newly launched gear authority Gear Gods presents an exclusive new video showing Czar drummer Dan Brill playing through "Aortic Flower", a song off the Chicago band's new album, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive. In an accompanying interview, Brill shares gear secrets and talks about the recording process for the album.

Through a machine-like yet highly musical style that brings to mind Danny Carey of Tool, Brill's drumming propels "Aortic Flower" and helps make it the anthem that it is. Czar's trademark sound bridges gaps between extreme metal and post-hardcore, lying somewhere in the ether between Carcass' Heartwork and Quicksand's Slip.

"Aortic Flower" was first premiered in audio form via Revolver Magazine.

No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive is out November 5th on the band's own Cracknation Records. Czar opens for Morbid Angel, November 17th at House of Blues in Chicago.

NETHERLANDS + New Noise

With its new album out next week, Brooklyn trio Netherlands reveals new song "Undead Horses", now streaming via New Noise Magazine.

The album, Silicon Vapor, is the band's second full-length and hits stores October 29th as a double-LP, CD, and digital download.

Netherlands is fronted by Timo Ellis, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has collaborated with Yoko Ono, Melvins, John Zorn, and many more over the past two decades. Netherlands is the living embodiment of Ellis' unrestrained, larger-than-life rock n' roll fantasies, marrying alt-rock hooks, prog madness, and heavy metal thunder. BrooklynVegan reports: "As you might expect from Ellis' resume, Netherlands is a pretty strange band. They play 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."

Silicon Vapor was recorded by John Davis (Moby, The Roots), mixed by Bryce Goggin (Swans, Pavement) and mastered by Ron Shaffer (Tricky).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CZAR + Decibel

Decibel Magazine presents the premiere of "Lurvy", a song off Chicago trio Czar's second album, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive. 

No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive solidifies Czar's unique sound which bridges gaps between extreme metal and post-hardcore, calling to mind the all-time greats of both genres, from Fear Factory to Failure, Carcass to Quicksand. According to Decibel, "Astute listeners will not only notice some Mastodon prog twisting, but also some post-rock mountaineering. And lots and lots of despair. It's good stuff."

No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive is out November 5th on the band's own Cracknation Records. The album was produced by Hum frontman Matt Talbott.

Czar opens for Morbid Angel, November 17th at House of Blues in Chicago.

Monday, October 21, 2013

SO HIDEOUS + MetalSucks

With So Hideous' debut full-length, Last Poem/First Light, seeing its official release tomorrow, October 22nd, MetalSucks presents a stream of the entire album.

Reports MetalSucks: "Last Poem/First Light may be the first album ever released to unite fans of Buried Inside and Celeste. 'Epic' and 'raw' are both terms which get thrown around the describe metal bands all the time, but in the case of So Hideous, they really are the most fitting descriptors. Few bands can sound so furious and so morose at the same time."

Produced by Dean Baltulonis (Agnostic Front, Lucero), Last Poem/First Light features an actual orchestra and choir, recorded live in the studio, adding to the staggering depth of the sound.

So Hideous play their hometown of New York on October 25th, opening for Kylesa and Pinkish Black at St Vitus, then play the record release show for Last Poem/First Light, the following day at ABC No Rio. November 1st, the band embarks on a ten-date tour of the Eastern US.


MEEK IS MURDER + Revolver

On the eve of the release of Meek Is Murder's second LP, Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters, Revolver Magazine presents a stream of the full album. 

Produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studio (High On Fire, Nails), Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters is a relentless onslaught of grinding punk rock, delivered with a big tip of the hat to noise-core titans like Botch and Breach. The Brooklyn trio has been hailed by Terrorizer Magazine for its "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."

Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters is out October 22nd on vinyl via Threshold of Pain Records and digitally via the band.


Friday, October 18, 2013

SO HIDEOUS + Terrorizer

With debut full-length Last Poem/First Light out next Tuesday, October 22nd, So Hideous reveal one more song off the new album: "Rhapsody" is now streaming exclusively via Terrorizer Magazine.

Terrorizer names So Hideous, "one of the first hardcore acts to incorporate dense orchestral swells into their frantic, aggressive maelstrom, which lends their music a rich, cathartic atmosphere." The New York City band employed an actual orchestra and choir in the studio with producer Dean Baltulonis (Agnostic Front, Lucero) to create the album.

So Hideous play October 25 at St Vitus in Brooklyn, NY, with Kylesa and Pinkish Black, followed by their official record release show, October 26 at ABC No Rio in New York, NY, with Meek Is Murder and East of the Wall. The band then hits the road for a tour of the Eastern US, kicking off November 1st in Philly with Starkweather.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

MEEK IS MURDER + Lambgoat + Gear Gods

Meek Is Murder's new song "Ashes & Glass" is now streaming on Lambgoat. The song appears on the Brooklyn trio's forthcoming second album, Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters, out next Tuesday, October 22nd. Produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studio (High On Fire, Nails), the album has inspired the following review from Terrorizer Magazine: "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."

With "Ashes & Glass" now up on Lambgoat, newly-launched gear authority Gear Gods has posted a video showing the band tracking the song with Ballou at Godcity. The four-way splitscreen allows each band member's performance to be seen in detail.

Meek Is Murder plays the MetalInjection/MetalSucks CMJ showcase, tomorrow at Acheron in Brooklyn, NY.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

SO HIDEOUS tour

With its debut full-length, Last Poem/First Light, out October 22nd, New York post-metal crew So Hideous plays its official record release show, October 26th at the legendary ABC No Rio with Meek Is Murder and East of the Wall.

Following the hometown celebration, the band hits the road for a tour of the Eastern US, kicking off November 1st in Philly with Starkweather.

Oct 26 - New York, NY @ ABC No Rio w/ Meek Is Murder, East of the Wall
Nov 1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Millcreek Tavern w/ Starkweather
Nov 2 - Frederick, MD @ Guido's
Nov 3 - Wilmington, DE @ Mojo 13
Nov 4 - Morgan, WV @ 123
Nov 5 - Raleigh, NC @ Slim's
Nov 6 - Asheville, NC @ Odditorium
Nov 7 - Washington, DC @ Casa Fiesta
Nov 8 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose
Nov 9 - Buffalo, NY @ The Lair
Nov 10 - Kingston, NY @ The Anchor

Lush with orchestral majesty, seething with blackened intensity, Last Poem/First Light is a triumph of anguish and melancholy. Produced by Dean Baltulonis (Agnostic Front, Lucero), the album was recorded with an actual orchestra and choir in the studio, a feat which Stereogum praised, reporting, "it works out remarkably well... the symphonic tracks add depth and scope to the band's extroverted guitar melodies."

Listen to So Hideous' "Rising" via Revolver.
Listen to So Hideous' "My Light" via Invisible Oranges.


Friday, October 11, 2013

MEEK IS MURDER + Modern Drummer

Meek Is Murder drummer Frank Godla talks drums then beats them, exclusively on ModernDrummer.com!

Read Godla's blog about the ergonomics of drumming then watch a video of him bashing through "Our Hope/Our Home", a never-before-heard track off the new Meek Is Murder album, Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters. The album, recorded and mixed by Converge's Kurt Ballou, is out October 22nd (vinyl via Threshold of Pain Records, digital via the band).


Reports Terrorizer Magazine: "The 90s were a fertile time for angular, forward thinking metalcore, with boundary pushing artists like Converge, Botch and Coalesce forcing hardcore into increasingly weirder and more wonderful places. New York trio Meek Is Murder seem to be on a mission to carry the torch and continue the legacy of these forward thinking bands with their furious, baffling, and extremely heavy sound."


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CZAR + Terrorizer

Terrorizer Magazine presents the exclusive premiere of Czar's new song, "Fuming Rotter", off the Chicago trio's upcoming second album, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive.

In the words of Terrorizer: "After their monolithic debut 'Vertical Mass Grave' in 2011, Czar have gone from strength to strength, landing support slots with the likes of Killing Joke and Godflesh. Their new album promises to deliver even more of their inventive and angular metal anthems, especially if 'Fuming Rotter' is anything to go by, with its combination of Mastodon-esque riffery with a bleak, almost industrial pulse and Jason Novak's distinctive snarling vocals."

No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive is out November 5th via the band's own Cracknation Records. Like its predecessor, Vertical Mass Grave, the album was recorded by Hum frontman Matt Talbott. A rich feast of metallic power, brooding atmosphere, and massive rock hooks, No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive is a modern-day masterpiece uniting aggression and melody in a way that evokes such classics as Carcass' Heartwork and Quicksand's Slip.

Czar opens for the mighty Godflesh, October 22nd at Metro in Chicago.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

MEEK IS MURDER + Decibel

Decibel Magazine presents the premiere of Meek Is Murder's video for "In the Ground", a song off the Brooklyn trio's second full-length, Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters.

Produced by Kurt Ballou (Converge, Nails) and mastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan), Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters will be released October 22nd on vinyl via Threshold of Pain Records and digitally via the band. 

Guitar World has championed Meek's "technical hardcore action" while Terrorizer has marveled at the band's "riffs the size of aircraft carriers". Often likened to Botch, the band is a stalwart of the New York scene and will be next strutting its stuff October 18th at the MetalInjection/MetalSucks CMJ showcase at Acheron in Brooklyn.

NETHERLANDS + MetalSucks

MetalSucks presents the premiere of Netherlands' new song, "Robot Fail", off the Brooklyn band's upcoming second album, Silicon Vapor.

MetalSucks' Kip Wingerschmidt writes, "Us Brooklyn folk have known about the glory of Timo Ellis' psych-prog/spazz-punk outfit Netherlands for several years now... This is not your mama's freakout power trio: we're talkin' bout guitar/vocals, drums, and synthbass here..."

Bookended by a syncopated crusher of a riff, "Robot Fail" glides along at a cool Queens of the Stone Age clip with frontman Ellis' sweet vocal hooks leading the way. Of what is perhaps the catchiest tune to be premiered by MetalSucks in 2013, Wingerschmidt avows, "The song is over and you're reaching to play it again. And again. And again. And again..."

A veteran with two decades of work under his belt, Ellis collaborated with Yoko Ono, Melvins, John Zorn, and many more before creating Netherlands as an outlet for his most unrestrained musical tendencies. A recent review on BrooklynVegan states: "As you might expect from Ellis' resume, Netherlands is a pretty strange band. They play 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."

Silicon Vapor was recorded by John Davis (Moby, The Roots), mixed by Bryce Goggin (Swans, Pavement), and mastered by Ron Shaffer (Tricky). The band self-releases the album October 29th in three formats: digital, CD, and a limited pressing of double LPs.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

MEEK IS MURDER + BrooklynVegan + Guitar World

Brooklyn trio Meek Is Murder unleash a new song, "Ghost Moth", today in two forms: BrooklynVegan hosts the premiere of the song, while Guitar World hosts a video clip of guitarist/vocalist Mike Keller playing through it at Godcity Studio where the band recorded their new album, Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters, with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Nails).

The vinyl LP version of Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters will be available October 22nd on Threshold of Pain Records, with the band handling the digital version themselves. Alan Douches (Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan) mastered the album.

An early review from Terrorizer Magazine champions Meek Is Murder's "riffs the size of aircraft carriers" and declares, "any of you still lamenting the loss of Botch will fall on this like a pack of hungry wolves." Hear another new song via Terrorizer, here.

Catch Meek Is Murder live at the MetalInjection/MetalSucks CMJ showcase, October 18 at Acheron in Brooklyn, NY.

SO HIDEOUS + Revolver

Revolver Magazine presents the premiere of "Rising", the opening track off So Hideous' debut full-length, Last Poem/First Light.

"Rising" lashes forth like a feral animal, possessing all the intensity of blackened hardcore legends Acme and announcing the New York City band's intent in no uncertain terms. What makes the song even more powerful is that underneath the rage lies an orchestral foundation - actual strings, horns, and choir, recorded live in the studio by The First Light Orchestra. The result is a feast for the ears - a rich, cinematic experience, drenched in emotion.


Last Poem/First Light is set for an October 22nd release. The album was recorded and mixed by Dean Baltulonis (Agnostic Front, Lucero). A review on American Aftermath states, "A raging force of post-black metal frothing with shoegaze and oozing with tortured melancholy... It's deep. It's profound. It's astounding."


Another song off the new album, "My Light", was premiered recently by Invisible Oranges.

Friday, September 27, 2013

CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE fall tour


On the heels of a headlining European summer tour with openers Code Orange Kids and Full Of Hell, punk visionaries Circle Takes The Square prepare for a fall tour of the US and Canada.

From Savannah, GA, Circle Takes The Square grabbed the underground's attention in the early 00s with the release of their first full-length, As The Roots Undo (Robotic Empire), and became known as one of the most forward-thinking bands in the scene, alongside the likes of Pg. 99 and Hot Cross.

The band released their second album - the masterpiece that is Decompositions: Volume Number One - via their own label, Gatepost Recordings, in late 2012, a full eight years after their debut. A stunning "comeback", Decompositions: Volume Number One bursts forth with passion, rooted in epic, pagan visions and twisted into abstractly complex musical forms. A progressive, metallic version of emotional hardcore punk, it transcends genre and exists in the realm of the true innovators, from Rorschach to Neurosis to Slint. 

Circle Takes The Square's upcoming fall tour reflects this same sense of musical freedom, as the band have chosen indie rapper B. Dolan as main support for 10 dates of the tour. Dubbed "Cross Pollination Tour", the CTTS/B. Dolan leg stretches from Asheville, NC, up to Portland, ME, and will see Dolan backed by a new live ensemble, formed for the production of his upcoming 2014 LP. Dolan's live set will consist of material from the acclaimed 2010 album Fallen House, Sunken City, as well as brand new unreleased songs. Known throughout the hip hop underground since being signed to Strange Famous Records by label boss Sage Francis in 2008, the rapper is also founder of consumer activist website KnowMore.org. Commenting on the alliance between himself and CTTS, he says, "My doomy, aggro political music and stage presentation probably have as much in common with hardcore and punk audiences as with hip hop crowds."

Preceding "Cross Pollination Tour", Circle Takes The Square play a handful of dates through the South, including an appearance at The Fest 12 in Gainesville, FL, as part of a lineup that includes Ceremony, Torche, and United Nations. Following "Cross Pollination Tour", the band bring their noise up into Canada, ending with a slot on Not Dead Yet Fest in Toronto.

Circle Takes The Square's current lineup consists of founding members Drew Speziale (guitar/vocals) and Kathleen Stubelek (bass/vocals), and drummer Caleb Collins.

Circle Takes The Square:

Oct 28 - Canton, OH @ The Auricle
Oct 29 - Louisville, KY @ Haymarket (matinee, all-ages)
Oct 29 - Louisville, KY @ Haymarket (evening, 21+)
Oct 30 - Nashville, TN @ Owl Farm
Oct 31 - Atlanta, GA @ Under The Couch
Nov 1 - Gainesville, FL @ The Fest 12
Nov 2 - Savannah, GA @ The Jinx

"Cross Pollination Tour" w/ Circle Takes The Square, B. Dolan:

Nov 3 - Asheville, NC @ The Odditorium
Nov 4 - Winston-Salem, NC @ Brewskis
Nov 5 - Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
Nov 6 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Nov 7 - Asbury, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
Nov 8 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
Nov 9 - Newark, DE @ Mojo Main
Nov 10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Nov 11 - Boston, MA @ The Middle East
Nov 12 - Portland, ME @ Space Gallery

Circle Takes The Square:

Nov 13 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
Nov 14 - Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
Nov 15 - Toronto, ON @ Not Dead Yet Fest