In These Woods' self-titled debut/final? EP from late 2010 didn't make much of a splash, but it's still one of my favorite indierock releases of recent memory. While I love bands like Culkin and Tennis Bafra, they're often operating more off of a classic US indie template as opposed to ITW's inherent Swedish-ness. Of course it all comes from the same place if you trace it back far enough, but ITW has a far stronger direct kinship to Him Kerosene and Fireside than Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr.. It's in the sharpness of the rhythms, the way the melodies move and layer; there's nothing else like it.
Always good to revisit the classics every now and then to see how well they're holding up and yep, this one holds up just fine. In fact, I'd say that Breach's final album "Kollapse" still crushes pretty much everything that's come along since it was first released back in 2001.
Always nice to hear new hardcore with actual riffs as opposed to merely sounding damaged and unhinged or hiding behind questionable imagery. Anyhow, should've talked this one up ages ago, but life gets in the way, y'know? Norway's Black Hole Crew delivers the goods as usual.
Get past the undistinguished vocals and you'll be rewarded with some killer crusty, blackened sludge. Better yet, wait until the coda when the vocals drop out completely and the organ comes it and prepare to be obliterated by total heaviness. Don't be fooled by the false ending either, somehow they manage to take it up yet another notch before the actual finale happens. This Gift is a Curse's full-length debut "I, guilt bearer" will be officially released on May 11 via .
Huoratron loses me when he heads into dubstep and other equally dodgy territory, but give me a hard-pounding track full of crunchy distortion, industrial drilling and all other sorts of digital smears and detritus and you know what? I'm ecstatic.
I might not talk up a lot of mainstream pop music on here, but I think I know a solid track when I hear it. "Flytta på dej" is Alina Devecerski's debut single and I'm all about it -- the grimey synth, the heavy beat, the taunting vocal line. Polished, but not so refined as to lose all the rough edges. Doesn't seem to be making waves quite yet, but she will.
Happy birthday Gustaf Kjellvander; I'm still having a hard time listening to your records again, but it's only because you were so honest and real that I can't help but be deeply affected every time I hear your voice. You are dearly missed!
The Fine Arts Showcase - You knew I was trouble from the start
Due to a bummer last-minute scheduling change I managed to miss most of The Devil's Blood when I went to The Decibel Magazine Tour last Friday -- sorry, but leaving work immediately at 5 to commute an hour+ to a show that starts at 6:30 just isn't happening -- but it wasn't all bad because In Solitude absolutely tore it up. I've been a fan of the band's self-titled debut for awhile now, but their most recent release "The World. The Flesh. The Devil" just didn't do much for me until I heard the songs live. What sounds lifeless and meandering on record came alive with the extra oomph they added on stage. Too many metal bands are soulless and too technically exacting in-person, but not In Solitude. As for Watain, my tolerance for black metal is fairly minimal these days so I would've probably been fine simply smelling them setting up and thinking "yup, I get it." I lasted 3 songs and retreated back home to a local band houseshow that was far more my thing (Gun Outfit/Family Stoned).
Now that I'm no longer preoccupied with site development I hope to spend a lot more time writing up actual editorial content. Y'know, stuff that goes beyond the day-in/day-out newsfeed that already takes up way too much of my time. Besides, I've been hugely remiss in talking up an overwhelming majority of the stuff I've actually been listening to in my free time. A glaring example: Kite's latest (and greatest!) EP "IV" -- I've had this in steady rotation going on 6+ months now with no sign of slowing; it really truly is that good. And while they've certainly achieved greatness before, I could easily gush about any of the five songs here. So for no particular reason other than that it's the first track, here's "I just wanna feel". Listen to the rest via Spotify.
Indiepop for the melancholy set. The connections to Magenta Skycode should be fairly obvious, though it must be said that Burning Hearts' sonic ambitions are a touch less grandiose. No matter really, I'm a big fan of both acts and BH's latest record "Extinctions" is getting lots of repeat plays 'round these parts in recent days. Dunno what took me so long to come around, but it finally clicked.
Along with the new Susanne Sundfør, here's another one for my best-of-2012 list. Agent Side Grinder's latest LP "Hardware" builds off everything they've done before and yet again further hones it towards perfection: stronger songs, wider dynamics, more diverse and interesting sounds. More moods too. For example, take "Sleeping fury": it has a swagger that's rare for industrial music, but there's no mistaking the simmering rage underneath. Lead single "Wolf hour" was a straight-up verse/chorus pop song; this is something different and far more sinister.
Usually anything with the "space disco" tag is an instant turn-off for me, but Lumeet comes off more like 80s action movie montage soundtrack than the usual Balearia-inspired, cognoscenti-approved stuff I typically associate with the style. Simply put: If the retro analog electronics of fellow Finns Nightsatan or Desert Planet are your thing, you'll probably dig this too -- I know I do.
Check out the entire full-length album "Isadora Mu" at Bandcamp: http://store.lumeet.net/album/isadora-mu
There's a lot to like about Kari Harneshaug, but I especially love the long, slow burn of a song like "Capturing the moments of youth". It takes awhile to get going, but that's exactly the point -- the payoff wouldn't be nearly as good if the lead-up wasn't so drawn out. Also: excellent use of the guitar/drums/vocals trio format. It actually took me a few listens before I noticed the lack of bass (that, or maybe I've been living in Olympia too long). Not that band suffers for it, in fact, I'd say the extra spaciousness afforded by the lack of low-end allows for far more creative opportunities. They rise to the occasion quite nicely.