All too often with the music I have come to adore (because I have the musical integrity of a high school brat) there is the unfortunate occurrence that I may introduce a band that has met an untimely demise before you get your waxy, grimy little ears on them. More likely, I’ll drop the ball and not accidentally stumble across a band like Barstow CA’s Duck Duck Goose until it’s too late to enjoy them while they’re still producing music and silly antics. Now, I’m sure I’m like you. I see a daffy name like Duck Duck Goose (get it?) and completely over look a band who toured with the likes of Poison the Well until the day it’s played through the speakers without me being able to see the name first. Then it becomes clear why they would brand themselves with such a moniker: it’s just fun, frenetic, fast and once you get past a certain age you should feel ridiculous for still liking it, but you kind of don’t give a shit.
It’s apparent that these kids have mastered describing themselves as simply as possible when they name their first EP Noise, Noise, and More Noise. I refuse to be that guy who promotes a band for something as inane as breakdowns in this genre because that’s not a “guy.” That’s a kid. I think it’s over done and, quite frankly, a cheap ploy to lure in simpletons. Consider me baited. With tons of overdrive effects, Duck Duck Goose race through their dissonant crashes that bring to mind March on Electric Children-era The Blood Brothers with Last Night in Town-era Every Time I Die (you know, before ETID got raped by Lynyrd Skynyrd and started producing southern fried hardcore), but more fun.
There’s rarely a sign of any formulaic song structure, which, of course, is pretty common for chaotic metal/hardcore. Few discernible verses, no choruses, and lots of off time starts and stops mixed with goofy riffs. When DDG throw their hair back and assume the crab position to go for the half-time head nods that often plague this genre? Yeah, they don’t reach for the chug-squeee pit fall. Nope, their breakdowns sound less like Opposite of December and more reminiscent of Me and Him Call It Us. You know, like they’re raising every appliance in the kitchen above their heads and slamming it on to a concrete floor? The recording certainly captures this onslaught well. As soon as the shrapnel starts to spray, vocalist Davey Ribera screeches (not unlike an aforementioned Buckley/Whitney combo) “PANIC FUELS THE CROWD” and you can tell he really hopes so. Of course, the staying power of a borderline joke band performing in a genre that’s already kind of a borderline joke is very hindered, but Duck Duck Goose made it fucking enjoyable.
Where they started: 2008’s Noise, Noise, and More Noise EP
Where you should start: Sporting just an EP and one full length, might as well check out both. Noise… is the more breakdown heavy of the 2 and has the better production value as well as being the chunkier release. However, Off Yourself does show the band maturing a little (as mature as a band like this can be, anyway) and throws in some clean vocals which certainly adds another layer to the chaos.
The other day I was driving around with a couple of friends, and with complete disregard for the backseater’s hangover, I was pushing some of my more obnoxious choices through the stereo. The list included Converge, Burnt by the Sun, Duck Duck Goose, Radiation4, and Morning Again. Now my friend in the back is actually in a metal band, but these aren’t bands he knows much about, if at all. In fact he didn’t realize the iPod was on shuffle and says, “this band is pretty good. Where did you say they were from? Boston?” As I’m getting ready to say “South Florida” it dawns on me that he thinks the last 5 songs were all by the same band. Point being that even someone in the community thinks all of my music sounds the same. One entry in and I’ve already received a discouraging declaration of forthcoming posts.
Since 2000’s masterpiece We Are the Romans, there have been a slew of bands interested in recreating Botch’s style. If any artist is ever sincerely compared to the metalcore (yeah, I hate that word, too, but what the fuck are you gonna do?) legends then you know they’ve got talent and chops. If they’re able to mold the style and make it their own, then you know they’ve got something worth listening to.
Bad Mask are your boys. Twisting angular riffs, complicated competent drumming, odd time signatures, and even some patented Knudson slide effects wind their way across each relentless song these guys noodle through. The vocals are actually similar to those of the band Fall Silent, but if you don’t know who that is then just think of a higher pitched Some Girls-era Wes Eisold scream with a few clean parts that call to mind Alexis Marshall’s drunken slurring on Daughters’ Hell Songs. There’s some lower bellows thrown in, as well, but honestly, those seem to work better live than on record. Regardless, Bad Mask bring back late 90’s integrity to the genre, writing serious songs that are seriously good and avoid any of the trite metalcore (Fuck! There it is again) formulas.
Where they started: 2010’s V2
Were you should start: They only have the 2; V2 and Strange Phrases and they’re both available for free on the band’s bandcamp site (http://badmask.bandcamp.com/) so why not get both?
Essential Live Video: Can’t really find a high quality one, so deal
I actually found out about this band as they were getting trashed on the Lambgoat.com message board, but if anyone gave any merit to any opinion that vomits itself out on that site then none of us would be listening to anything.
Something a little different this week since a) nobody actually reads this which leads us to b) who fucking cares? “If You Go Away” is actually somewhat of a cover of a cover. The song was originally written in French by Belgian Jacques Brel under the title “Ne me quitte pas” (“Don’t Leave Me”). The English version based on “Ne me quitte pas” was written by Rod McKuen. The song has been recorded by Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, among many others. All of this you may know.
What Ambulette is able to bring to their version of the song that the other legendary artists weren’t (all of which I listened to) is a haunting weight to the despair. And it really isn’t fair because Ambulette is armed with the gently wailing apparition that is Maura Davis (Denali, Glös). Her voice glides through and hits you with such honest sadness that it feels as if she wrote the song herself. As Maura strums through the first few versus on her own the rest of Ambulette quietly starts their crescendo adding a certain heaviness (of the indie rock variety) to “If You Go Away.” A few “Oooooo’s” and “Whoa’s” to close the song out and you’re left with a penetrating plea that would be pretty hard to turn away from if she was on your dimly lit porch singing it straight to you. Unfortunately, Ambulette (originally dubbed Bella Lea) had a very short existence only releasing one EP, The Lottery, with Astralwerks.
Essential Song (probably because it’s the very song I’m talking about):
Fun facts: Poison the Well’s song “For a Bandaged Iris” is about Maura’s voice. She is the sister of Engine Down vocalist/guitarist Keeley Davis. The two have collaborated on a few different projects which brings me to this:
"I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN…" scrapes through the throat of Demian Johnston as Playing Enemy’s second full length album, I Was Your City, begins with a noisy guitar and bass, yet drum-less, intro track. Sure, we’ve all thought these words, we’ve probably even heard them in many songs before. However, this isn’t your typical angsty hardcore band with trite hate-filled lyrics. You see, even though Playing Enemy broke up nearly 5 years ago, they were already veterans having come from bands like Undertow, Rorschach, Nineironspitfire, and, most notably, Kiss It Goodbye. At this point, if these guys are still angry about something there’s a pretty good chance it’s legitimate. Also, Johnston’s scream isn’t some cackle that is so overproduced and contrived that it doesn’t sound human. No, his scream is about as raw and honest as you’ll ever hear. He’s not screaming like it’s some effect that goes along with the music, he’s screaming like if he wasn’t holding a guitar he’d be holding a fistful of your shirt and he’s going to make you fucking listen.
As album opener “Cancer” fades, “Jade” rushes in with guns blazing. Noisy speedy punk riffs ride over some of the most creative and complicated drumming you will ever hear. Dude sounds like he’s playing 3 songs at once. I Was Your City is Shane Mehling’s first Playing Enemy full length on bass and rather than play a supporting role to Johnston’s strumming, Shane battles each riff as the low end combatant. These guys are too smart to be angsty. This is raw passion by guys with dues paid and lessons learned. On “The End of Something” (which boasts a melodic riff that still gives me chills) when he belts out, “With all that I gave up/With all I would give up/Sure, I’ll go with you/Sure, I’ll leave with you/I bet we look good together” it’s the raspy vocals that actually give validity and meaning to his words.
Where they started: 2001’s Cesarean
Where you should start: Cesarean certainly is the more Kiss It Goodbye sounding record Playing Enemy released, maybe because every member on that album was in KIG at some point. I favor I Was Your City (if that wasn’t already obvious) and I really like their posthumous EP My Life As the Villain. Playing Enemy also released a number of splits, self-released tour CD’s (aptly named Gas Money and Fly Us Home), and EP’s, one of which contains a great cover of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and another track that’s over an hour long (yes, they still called it an EP). If either Cesarean or I Was Your City strikes you, it’s definitely worth sifting through all of their material to find the many gems that aren’t on proper records.
Essential Live Video:
Some Other Shit: It’s all pretty rad, but it gets ridiculous at 1:50
Some Other Shit They Do Now: I Know Demian Johnston does some solo stuff, as well as working with Shane Mehling on some noise stuff, or at least used to. Demian is also one of my favorite artists and posts a lot of his work here http://www.demianjohnston.com/. Shane writes reviews for Decibel Magazine and they’re easily the funniest music reviews you will ever read. Also, during Botch’s final show members of PE joined Botch on stage to contribute to the madness during “Man the Ramparts.”
Ever wondered how/why Examination of the… went from their chaotic screamo stylings to the more Neurosis laden The Whitest of Elephants? Me neither, but Pilot This Plane Down could serve as the perfect non-linear missing link. Before I confuse you, I’m not saying either band share any members or anything like that. The common denominators here are experimental ambient screamo and slow crushing meanderings. PTPD just manages to blend them all on to one record(s). Whether it’s building a 20 some-odd minute song (Airs EP), or separating the ambient tracks from the structured songs (Glory of the World LP) Pilot This Plane Down quickly and noisily attack before paralyzing you with the lulling ambiance only so they can drag you down and stuff you under a rock. Every song weaves into each other so well and after getting bombarded by a song like “Conquest,” the bleed into the softer sung, prettier “Decline” is seamless. Don’t get caught napping or scratching your noodle asking “how the fuck did we get here?” because you will be knocked on your ass wondering where your socks went.
Where they started: 2004’s Airs
Where you should start:Glory of the World is just the more complete record as well as having the better quality recordings. Airs forces you to listen to the whole EP (seeing as it is just one song) whereas GOTW's songs can stand on their own, but you kind of want to listen to the record as a whole anyway.
Essential Song (aka only one I could find, but still a good one):
Although these guys haven’t released anything in almost 3 years, there have been rumblings of new material being written and shows being played. Also, member(s?) of Pilot This Plane Down were in a band called Day of Less whose contributors have gone on to form Gaza and Bird Eater among other Salt Lake City bands.
This is a new song for a 10” split with hardcore giants BRAWL.
Out in June 2011.
Please feel free to REPOST. CLOSETALKER:your failures swell increasingly i wipe my hands clean wipe my hand clean of all your ungrateful gestures after all we have done for you this is how you repay our loyalty we ask for nothing you do nothing but dwell on the past A choir sings for understanding. with very little to say. we place hands over our ears, trying our hardest to not absorb all the bullshit we hear.Turn off the city burn the dollar bills this idea, of how it should be you have lost sight of greed has ruined self worth this recession wont be over until we raise a generation that know how to live with what they’ve got.
Note from Scrape and Scatter - This is a friend of mine’s new band he plays guitar in. He used to sing in The Franklin Cover Up.
Back before I listened to dissonant metallic hardcore I was introduced, probably at way too young an age, to death metal. I wallowed in it for a little while before I fell into skateboarding and the punk rock scene that came along with that clique (this was before Chad Muska, so suburban white kids getting kicked out of Food Lion parking lots didn’t know hip hop was cool, yet). Although I had my favorites, punk and death metal never sank their teeth (see where I’m going here?) into me completely, but an amalgamation of the two was imminent, thus the metallic hardcore. However, since these genres aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, music from either that showcases some traits of my listening wheelhouse easily immerses itself into my library.
At the forefront of Baring Teeth’s style, which is quite obvious within the first seconds of listening, is technical dissonant guitars. These are laid over pounding double bass, quick snare hits, blast beats, etc. All of the death metal drumming staples are here. Rounding out the 3 piece is Scott Addison on a 6 string bass who often shows that noodling up and down the fret board isn’t only for Baring Teeth’s guitars. Basically, these guys sound like Gorguts at a rodeo, which is fitting since they are from Dallas, TX. Being a fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan and other obnoxious noises, I’m immediately lassoed. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hawkins’s low growls seem sparsely thrown in so as not to come off as a death metal Dysrhythmia, which they do kind of sound like. I’m not saying the vocals seem forced. In fact, even though that’s not my unintelligible screaming inclination, they do fit the music perfectly.
Baring Teeth is pretty new to the death metal game. Their debut LP Atrophy hasn’t even been released yet, but the band did start a few years ago under the name Soviet. Also, Addison, Hawkins, and drummer Jason Roe have spent time in punk/metal/hardcore community bands. Roe was the touring drummer for Between the Buried and Me, Addison was in Broadcast Sea (who you should check out if you like Young Widows) and Addison and Hawkins were in the grindy screamo band Man is Mostly Water. Baring Teeth finds them all treading new musical ground compared to their previous work and they’re accomplishing it quite well.
Where they started: 2009 Soviet Demo
Where you should start: Their debut album Atrophy. OK, so it isn’t out yet, but I don’t think I’m prematurely jocking this band. The songs released as album teasers are incredible and the videos of Baring Teeth in the studio just reveal that more of the same is to come. Just keep scrolling and fucking listen to it.
"I’d really like Minus the Bear if their songs were slower, more drawn out, and had less vocals." If any of those sentiments sound good to you, then Sharks Keep Moving is your band. Before Jake Snider sped up his somber vocals and brought even more finger tapping gymnastics, ala Dave Knudson (thus assisting, I believe, to a seminal hardcore band’s demise) forming Minus the Bear, he was already experimenting with a more subdued version of technical indie music. Right around the time bands like Thursday and Taking Back Sunday, anyone with a day in their band name, really, were about to rape the word "screamo," bands that sought to be a little less cookie-cutter took on a jazzier kind of math rock style. Like I stated before, Sharks Keep Moving is a slower, yet complicated form of indie rock. It’s the kind of music you’d listen to right at dusk or dawn over some picturesque back drop. Snider’s vocals are sparse, but you will find a lot of the same subject matter as Minus the Bear: drinking, girls, cigarettes, etc. Unlike MTB, Sharks… aren’t too keen on choruses so most of your repetition will be found in 3+ minute instrumentals.
If band’s were Snider’s children then State Route 522 is the older son who grew up on punk, but watched a lot of 120 Minutes; Sharks Keep Moving is the middle child who looked up to his older brother, but was a little bit more nerdy and listened to a lot of Don Caballero; and Minus the Bear is the younger, good looking, socially adept child. MTB does feel like an extension of Sharks Keep Moving, much like Daughters just feels like an extension of As the Sun Sets (yep, I just referenced As the Sun Sets in a Sharks Keep Moving piece). So if you are a fan of early Minus the Bear then definitely check out SKM. If you heard early Minus the Bear and kind of gave up on them, thinking “I’d really like Minus the Bear if their songs fucking sucked,” then check out their latest album OMNI.
Where they started: 1998 Split 7” with The Kentucky Pistol
Where you should start: Their first EP Desert Strings and Drifters boasts my favorite songs and the other EP, as well as final release, Pause and Clause is a good follow up. The self titled full length isn’t bad, but it’s slightly overproduced which is why I’d recommend checking it out last. To be honest, you won’t find much variance in the releases, which would suck if there were more than 15 songs (not counting compilations) among them, but there isn’t so enjoy it.
Essential Live Video: Can’t find one, so here’s another song.
Other bands members from Sharks Keep Moving have been involved in: The Blood Brothers, Minus the Bear (obviously), State Route 522, Kill Sadie, and Pretty Girls Make Graves
Just exactly how loud is “LOUD AS FUCK”? I don’t have an exact decibel measurement, but every time I see Ocoai live this question is emphatically answered. This band goes to 12. Actually, fuck that, Ocoai is beyond that and probably deserves better than a bad Spinal Tap reference, but it’s all I’ve got. However, if sheer volume was all that was impressive, then I have two friends who could make a killing touring the country with their incessant The Simpsons quotes. Yes, Ocoai makes use of a style popularized by Neurosis and Isis. In fact, if you’re sick of the term Neur-Isis and all of its clones I don’t blame you, but I really feel sorry for you if you gave up on the atmospheric post-whatever genre before hearing Ocoai. These dudes take everything the genre is known for and do it fucking right.
Originally a four piece, they rounded out their line up by adding a 5th member who handles keys, electronics, and *ahem* cello duties. And with that, when Ocoai hit their D Minor key (last Spinal Tap reference, I promise) the sadness of their music definitely brings the Neurosis vibe. When they roll through their up-tempo blues riffs, even burly Black Sabbath worshipping dudes, who dig bands like Baroness and Black Cobra, with beards bigger and longer than their attention spans needed to appreciate music like this, will nod their heads in agreement. When Ocoai quiets down there is a shadowy beauty adding another layer to the already rampant emotion flowing through each of their songs. And when Ocoai slows everything down and push more weight through their amps than Escobar pushed in the 80’s, it has the chunky feel of Pelican (except with competent drumming), but it’s so fucking heavy that if an actual pelican tried to lift the air that carries an Ocoai drop in it’s silly looking beak, it would probably turn the entire species into a flightless bird.
The stamp that Ocoai puts on the genre that perhaps hasn’t been as prevalent in post-metal bands past is guitar solos. Both guitarists take turns cutting through the others’ chugging elephant stomps with more blues influenced picking and even sliding (“Marchand De Sommeil”) or sometimes taking on more classic metal styled solos (later in the very same song). Completely committed to the instrumental only concept, they don’t set up a mic to say anything to the crowd between songs, or even try to shout to let you know how many songs they have left, just hand signals (one). Their perfectly structured songs and ear-splitting volume are enough to satiate any audience salivating for alluring destructive heaviness.
Where you should start: While Breatherman is a fine release, you certainly can’t go wrong with it. For me, though, it’s the 2 songs on the Peacecreature compilation. Which is actually more like a four way split, and Ocoai’s songs bleed into each other so it’s more like like one song cut into 2 tracks. Whatever, it’s 2 good songs on a CD with 3 other good bands. Sounds like a great starting point, is where I’m trying to go with this. You can also pick up the brand-spanking new album The Electric Hand which they just played CD release shows for this past weekend. It’s phenomenal. Whatever you check out just remember that if your stereo isn’t wall to wall deafening sound then you definitely need to check this band out live.
Miami’s punk/hardcore scene is incestuous. I mean, I assume most cities’ are, but Miami especially. This guy was in this band with his brother who was also in this band with these 2 other guys who started out in some band that was really popular in South Florida and was friends with that band on Victory back when they were releasing relevant records and they used to tour together and they probably should have toured more. Well, actually, that band recently broke up and the two brothers are in different bands, but I think at least one of those bands shares a member of the brothers’ band, or maybe all the members are in both bands except the brothers. Wait, maybe the one brother isn’t in it or maybe it’s his cousin and he’s in like three other bands all with each ex-member of that grind and/or sludge band… anyway, they just formed 2 weeks ago and I’m pretty sure Robotic Empire is putting out their 7” they haven’t written yet and I think they’re playing a ten song set tomorrow.
6 years of living in Miami and this is how I felt at just about every local show I went to. Some of the members of Capsule were mentioned above, but I have no fucking clue which. I do know I have had some interaction with each member; guitarist/vocalist Colin Smith played guitar/drums/bass in countless bands including some my old band played shows with; no matter what band Ryan Haft has been in I have always admired his guitar playing and thought of him as one of the most innovative guitar players in the Miami scene. Kind of why I thought it was criminal that he was playing bass in Capsule, but he’s since been moved to guitar; drummer, well, now bassist/vocalist Eric Hernandez even played at my (dead) band’s CD release party and has also filled in on drums for both Torche and Kyelsa; and newest addition, live drummer Alex De Renzis played drums for Adore Miridia (whose shows I frequented) and a slew of other bands. Alex also ran a weekly themed night at a bar that my friends and I would go to almost every week. What they all have in common other than being in Capsule (and the first paragraph) is that they all probably don’t know who the fuck I am.
Sorry for the digression. On to what they sound like. Although Capsule is the band of the week this is really more of a focus on their latest release No Ghost, but since I don’t really do album reviews here we are. Not that Capsule’s past releases aren’t similar, quite the contrary, but this just happens to be the newest one. If it’s a screamo (please read “origins…”) record it’s by far the heaviest screamo record I’ve ever heard. If it’s a post-hardcore record, again, heaviest post-hardcore record I’ve ever heard. If it’s metal? Well, they still hold their weight. This band almost never slows down. Constant angular technical riffs against relentless pounding drums ala Lifetime of Gray Skies-era Anodyne, and thick pulverizing bass, the latter being the final blow that makes you feel like the gravity has been quadrupled. I say “almost never slows down” because there are tracks like “Isn’t Us” or the completely instrumental final song “_” that do alter the pacing. “Isn’t Us” is definitely one of the heaviest songs on the album and provides some head-nod inducing grooves. The vocals are a gruff singing/yelling, kind of like a mixture of Hot Water Music and KEN Mode. Actually, Capsule does kind of sound like if KEN Mode recruited The Fall of Troy guitarist and asked him to take the bubble gum out of his riffs.
Where you should start: Well, since most of this entry was inspired by No Ghost that would be my suggestion. Blue is a good second release to get by them and the split with Furnace is another fine couple of songs. I’d hold off on diving into the self titled release until you know you’re a fan.
Essential Song: Actually, you can sample a good chunk of the record through this player.
Djent? Really? Whatever. What’s slightly odd is that as I was deciding which band to talk about this week, I was listening to Vildhjarta and saw a friend post about “djent” (which I’ll eventually get to). Serendipitous maybe? Probably not for a meager little blog post. But first, I think I should explain something about this particular endeavor, or whatever, I’ve voluntarily submersed myself in. “Band (song/album/whatever) of the Week” is just that, a piqued interest this week. It may not be my favorite artist or genre or what have you, but sometimes it could merely be a “what the fuck was that?” moment and something I feel needs to be shared. The artist may not even have much material to sample at the moment (see: Baring Teeth a few weeks ago). That, or it may just be a slow week for me inspirationally speaking. Whatever the case, I hope I didn’t just down play Vildhjarta, though I did feel compelled to write the last few sentences simply because I have chosen to discuss them.
Vildhjarta is one of the latest editions to Century Media’s roster. With a name like that they’re either foreign or a black metal band from Ohio. It’s the former. Hailing (Perfect!) from Sweden, Vildhjarta plays “djent.” Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s staccato mathy chugging riffs. You know, like Meshuggah. If you already knew that, then fuck you because that’s fucking ridiculous. According to Wikipedia (what? This isn’t a research paper) “djent” is an onomatopoetic word for the sound made when palm muting a guitar. Are you fucking serious? You can’t name a genre after the sound you would make with your mouth to describe it. That’s reserved for joke band names like Jud Jud. You can call something noise or noisecore, but you can’t call it “crashcore” or “asdfhdsfj-core.” It’s just metal. And that’s what Vildhjarta is, a metal band from Sweden that sounds a lot like Meshuggah.
Now I’ve never been a fan of Meshuggah, but I have a bunch of stupid friends so I’ve heard Meshuggah and many of their clones before. I don’t know if they have singing and screaming done by 2 vocalists, I don’t know if they have layered atmosphere under their start stop odd-timing chugging, and I don’t know if they have a 3rd guitarist bringing the member total to (crowded stage) 7. What I do know is Vildhjarta does. The screamed vocals are similar to Meshuggah’s, but also have elements of Scott Angelacos from Bloodlet, though more akin to his output with Hope and Suicide. I’m not really sure who the clean vocals sound like, but they’re done by somebody who can actually carry a tune. They may only have 3 proper songs (demos, mind you) floating around, but they have a download page on their website that contains a lot of samples of their, ugh, “djent” style.
I’m not familiar with The Paper Chase, but rather than be completely ignorant as to John Congleton’s output prior to seeing The Nighty Nite on tour with This Will Destroy You, I decided to check out a few songs. Violins, standup bass, keys, all banged upon as if they were drum kits as a the frontman guitarist belts out his wavering vocal style that sounds like a combination of Tim Kasher of Cursive and The Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison? I wonder why John even bothered changing the band name.
Compared to what I saw live and what I’ve recently listened to, The Nighty Nite isn’t unlike The Paper Chase… at all. Maybe there’s some subtleties I’m missing out on. Whichever, obviously not being a TPC fan before, I wasn’t there to see The Nighty Nite, but they caught my attention anyway. Seeing as how I would be a huge fan of anyone who makes the conscious effort to not sound like Tim Kasher I was ignoring the This Will Destroy You opening band. Ordering a drink and pulling my eyes away from the cute bartender who was being chatted up by two middle aged businessmen (at a TWDY show?) I started to watch the drummer who was standing up as he played. Looked like he had 2 snares and 2 floor toms from my perspective, but I was also hearing a kick drum. There was no way this could be happening. As I moved forward to see if he was merely using one of his floor toms to make the kick sound I realized he was in fact standing while using a kick. By now, I was too close not to be sucked in by this cacophonous indie noise rock.
I once used the analogy of picking up every kitchen appliance and slamming it on a concrete floor to describe a metalcore band. The Nighty Night gives Duck Duck Goose a worthy adversary when it comes to creating destructive noise, yet they’re doing it with a strings section. Combine that with most of the band dressed like they had just started Rumspringa and a drummer whose right arm tattoos seem to be inspired by mid-90’s nu-metal (or traditional Hawaiian tattoos, I wasn’t close enough to tell) and it was quite an interesting sight. I believe the This Will Destroy You tour only has a couple of days left so you probably missed them this go around, but if you were already a fan of the pAper chAse or like your indie rock noisy and pretentious (you’re already listening to underground indie rock so just embrace the pretentiousness of it all) then check out the Nighty Nite when they roll through. I guess their EP is coming out soon, too. Look into it.
When I was growing up, and even in my earlier adult years, I was accused of listening to the music that I like simply because it pissed off my parents (specifically, my poor mother). While I often scoffed at the idea, maybe subconsciously it was true. Maybe. At my age now that would be fucking ridiculous. No, today it seems my subconscious has chosen a new enemy: a former band member. Every time I show him what I’ve been listening to lately, in the metal world, I can feel his anger in his messages back to me, “That’s not even talent. They’re just trying to be as noisy as possible.” He’s a calm individual, but I know this is suppressed harsh criticism. Because it’s my subconscious that’s trying to piss him off and not my lucid being, I don’t even want to show him Inevitable End.
I’m guessing that since the late, great Chuck Shuldiner had already established a seminal metal band with the name Death these Swedes had to settle on the name Inevitable End. After a few demos and multiple member changes, they released their first full length on Relapse Records. It certainly has the Death influence, or at least influenced by other bands who were influenced by Death. Drawing comparisons to Origin or Kill-era Cannibal Corpse, the constant blast beats and deep bellows perpetuating across The Severed Inception were accomplished with competency, but with very little originality to separate themselves from the aforementioned acts. There are some interesting noisy and discordant riffs hidden in the few slowed down parts or even the strangely placed, but curiously engaging melodic part towards the end of the title track.
Though not abandoning the grindcore aspect of their sound, Inevitable End takes more from the technical aspects of metal than on the previous effort. However, I’ve read reviews quick to compare them to Gorguts, Cynic, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. While those aren’t inaccurate inclusions, where Inevitable End make their latest release more distinct is the use of metallic hardcore elements like those of His Hero is Gone and Cursed. Even the vocals rely less on the low growls and take on a higher pitched version of HHIG screams. Rather than the relentless grind of the previous record, Inevitable End hollows out some of the blast beat parts of their songs allowing for the heavier sections to have a lot more punch. Although the dissonance and hardcore influence alter the attack of Inevitable End, it’s always moments like the last track that are almost a complete departure from their normal break-neck speed that capture me. “Of Sublime Dimensions” closes the album with the same chaotic noise that drenches the rest of The Oculus, but at the slowest pace the band has ever achieved. When the song is sped up it’s done with lightly placed, twangy slide guitars over blast beats. Inevitable End have done an excellent job in creating a record for anyone who likes blisteringly fast paced music. Lovers of death metal, grindcore, tech metal, and straight up metallic hardcore will all be pleased.
Where you should start: The Oculus was very recently released and is the band’s most original output and I think surpasses any previous release (2 demos and one other full length). I mean if you like that Origin or Cannibal Corpse post-Barnes sound then by all means start with The Severed Inception, but make sure you graduate to The Oculus.