Kings of Prussia - Experimental instrumental metal with an electronic influence from Asheville, NC by way of Miami, FL. Think if Pink Floyd, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead collaborated to score a zombie movie soundtrack.
Includes former members of Forelle and The Glasses Otter, as well as current members of RBTSWIN.
Bear - Bizarre, erratic, carnival-esque metal from Asheville, NC. They have that similar eerie amusement park feel as Radiation4, with some of the technical aspects of The Dillinger Escape Plan, and when it’s straightened out for the heavy head nodding trudges, the slower parts of Some Girls and Botch come to mind. The schizophrenia of it all is reminiscent of The Sawtooth Grin. Vocals are a combination of SG’s Wes Eisold and the first DEP singer, Dimitri. Scrape and Scatter is currently working with Bear to get a couple of demos and an unreleased EP recorded at Jamie King’s Basement Studio (Between the Buried and Me) out to the public.
Kings of Prussia has one of the best YouTube channels (http://www.youtube.com/user/kingsofprussia) of any independent DIY band I’ve ever seen. Lots of live videos with multi-camera angles showcasing their intense live shows as well as their use of stunning visuals during those shows. This video is a sample of that with songs from their debut album. Make sure to dig a little into the older live performances.
It doesn’t often show itself, but I do have a soft side. Very rarely is it ignited when I’m venturing out to find a few friends at our favorite local bar. Sometimes they did have bands playing which was usually more of an annoyance than an evening enhancer. One night, though, while some of my friends were choosing to stand outside with their drinks, I was paralyzed by airy lightly picked guitar chords floating across the room. The rhythm section began to fill the space with their crescendo as the softly sung vocals started their drift. Quickly, this seemingly nonthreatening trio had transformed into a loud, emotionally heavy, yet gentle, giant.
Accidentally stumbling onto a band is just as rewarding, if not more so, than sifting through countless recommendations or genre spot checks. It becomes extremely personal. Gray Young could be easily classified as indie rock, but certainly wouldn’t have any difficulty fitting in with any post-rock outfit. The music is very comparable to the layered sound of Explosions in the Sky with some guitar picked moments of Engine Down and a little bit of pop sensibilities ala Sparta. The bass is actually quite thick for an indie/post-whatever band, and the drums are viciously hit with tight precision. Their is also a Sigur Rós vibe, particularly in the sparsely used echoed vocals. Though captured well on recordings, the sound and emotion (especially that of singer/guitarist Chas McKeown) are showcased best in a live setting.
Where You Should Start: I’ve stated before that it’s harder to recommend an EP over a full length so I would go with their first full length Firmament. The first EP and second full length, Staysail, are good listens, too, but Firmament is definitely the stand out release.
Random Start (why): Kings of Prussia - “245 Trioxin”
I’ve made it no secret that I’m proud to call the guys in Kings of Prussia my best friends, but because they are so talented it makes it even easier to promote them. So of course I’m stoked that the first song of my day is the opening track off their debut record. These guys have a heavy metal backbone, but seamlessly weave through so many genres in their brand of instrumental experimentation that most listeners can find something inspiring about KOP.
I like new BTBAM fine, but this is the last album where each song can stand on its own, thus my favorite album of theirs. Glad to do a random start in the afternoon if this is gonna be the opening track to my day.
Random Start: Prayer for Cleansing - “Violent Waves”
One summer, the guys in Scarlet (before they were actually called Scarlet) were playing this outdoor show and they were stoked that they had a couple of bigger bands from North Carolina coming up. Undying and Prayer for Cleansing were those bands. While Undying was pretty cool, I was super stoked on Prayer for Cleansing. The next year, PFC was playing a show in Virginia Beach and a friend and I went to check it out. Even though I bought a PFC shirt (which I still have), I never actually saw them perform that night. My friend was getting a little antsy about leaving, but the killer was that one of the opening touring bands was absolutely ruining the show for us. Between each song the band felt the need to explain their morals and causes they stood for. This was pretty common in that era of hardcore, the difference was this particular band sometimes went on tirades longer than their songs. It didn’t help that the music was awful, too, so we bounced. Fast forward 5-7 years and some people I know are trying to tell me that I should check out Fall Out Boy because they had hardcore roots. I asked what hardcore bands they had been in and the name Racetraitor came up. Remembering that was the band who ruined the last time I could have seen Prayer for Cleansing, I said “Fuck Fall Out Boy.”