Recension: Damage – Weapons Of Mass Destruction 12¨

Den minst sagt excentriska kombinationen av den gamla skolans hardcore, direkt från Amerika. Blandad med en helt egen, någorlunda alternativ infallsvinkel rent musikaliskt. Damage står inte och trampar luft, de trampar på alla andras tår och gör det på ett minst sagt flagrant vis. Med det sagt så tycker jag att den första låten “Keepin’ It Wild” slänger sig med diverse generisk amerikansk hardcore från 80-talet och framåt, men det finns någonting där som inte sätter stopp för upplevelsen. I och med att de nyligen släppt sin tecknade musikvideo, så får jag upp en tecknad Kaj Sivervik (sångaren) i huvudet. Vad jag vill jag då säga med detta? Jo, det är en någorlunda halvseriös kombination av välutförd amerikansk hardcore i samklang med en ännu icke-existerande svensk motsvarighet –  som sjunges på engelska. Även om det inte riktigt går att ta det på allvar många gånger, så vill jag även hävda att det fått till den mer lättsamma blandningen av just hardcore och punk som inte direkt existerat på ett tag, åtminstone inte i Sverige. Ytterligare ett steg in i deras dimension av galenskaper och lättvindiga inställning, så finner vi “Hate“, som är den andra låten på plattan.

Måste sägas att just den låten påminner väldigt mycket om ett band, rent soundmässigt, som går under namnet: Gang Green. Släng in en slev av tidiga Zero Boys så är du på rätt spår, krydda det med en vokalist som de kanske inte nått ända fram till, nämligen: Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat), men det känns som att Kaj Sivervik besitter samma energi i sitt utförande som denne man. Men ju längre in man kommer, desto mer känns det som att det finns en viss thrash-influens gömd någonstans i alltet. Åtminstone när det kommer till just sångarens insats på plattan, särskilt i den tredje låten “This Is Our Show“. Låten i sig är ett mästerverk när det kommer till just hur den utförs, särskilt när allting stannar av och trummorna går över till ett helt annat tempo. Avslutningen av låten är också helt perfekt, då den använder sig av exakt samma mekanism som beskrevs ovan. Det känns belönande på något sätt att sitta och lyssna på det, tro att det är slut och sedan få ytterligare en tempospurt som skjuter i taket och sedan att hela skiten bara stannar av helt tvärt. Nu när jag fått en stor dos av hardcore punk, så vill jag givetvis ha mer. Bandet ger mig det i låten “Tomorrows Problems“, som i sig är något helt annat än just en ösig låt, utan den fokuserar ännu mer på ett lagom trevlig melodi och mer av allsångsmelodin som jag tycker att man borde höra mer av än bara i refrängen. Tycker allt att det är mäktigt när flera röster samtidigt yttrar något, oavsett om det hör till det klassiska “GO!” eller något annat budskap.

När det kommer till variation så är de inte direkt ute och slirar, även om låtarna kan låta snarlikt så har de olika ingångar till det och avslut. Problemet som uppstår efter cirka fyra låtar är att den femte “Time Flies” lätt känns som samma tugg, fast låten lyckas lyftas upp utav en basslinga som inte är av denna värld. Även om jag inte gillar låten i sig, så tycker jag att vissa partier låter väldigt bra och det svänger som ut av helvete. Vilket efter den femte låten för mig vidare till den sjätte låten, som är lite annorlunda och har mer tyngd till melodin. Låten heter “Rising” och känns i allmänhet lite mer välgenomtänkt än de övriga låtarna, dessutom har de ungefär trettio sekunder mer till sitt förfogande. Refrängen blir mäktig med hjälp av rytmerna och melodierna, och denna gång måste jag faktiskt säga att trummisen är jävligt på hugget. Det känns som att han eggar på ännu mer och förgyller ljudlandskapet med de snabba trumslagen och för omväxlingens skull också får byta runt mellan olika takter lite då och då.

Sjunde låtenHolding On” har ett trevligt intro, men inte mycket mer än så. Nu har det tugg som gått som en röd linje genom plattan tröttat ut mig och jag känner mig tvungen att lyssna om flera gånger, innan jag kan ta in hur väl Kaj Sivervik fyller sin roll i denna låt. Han har lyckats få ytterligare en injektion av hardcore punk och sprider runt detta till de övriga medlemmarna, vilket i min mening gör att låten känns och låter mycket bättre. Men det tog några gånger innan jag orkade mer av det. Samma grej händer egentligen med låt nummer åtta “Missile Attack“, men i jämförelse med föregående låt så är texten till denna låt otroligt skoj att lyssna till. Förutom att bara följande meningar går in i mitt huvud: “Korea, Korea…” samt “Boom, boom, boom“, så sitter jag i min ensamhet och försöker att vara diplomatisk.

Här har jag nämligen hamnat mitt i en konflikt, och det känns kanske löjligt, men fantasin skenar iväg och plötsligt står jag där i Korea medan bandet lirar för fulla muggar. Där, mitt i all krigsförberedelse, står jag med en vit jävla flagga. Svårt att förklara, men den här låten påverkade mig åtminstone rent lyrikmässigt, på ett metafysiskt plan. Låt nummer nio “Welcome To The Stoneage” har inte riktigt samma påverkan, men det är en av de få gånger jag faktiskt kunnat ta till eller greppa vad som sjungs i dessa låtar. Eftersom att det går i ett så hisnande tempo, så är det svårt att hänga med ibland. Däremot så visar “tugget” sitt fula ansikte här igen, jag börjar verkligen att tröttna och ligger närmast och försöker att drömma mig in i ljudlandskapet. Men det är någonting som låser sig, det är precis som om de sätter ett hänglås på mig och låter mig ligga fastkedjad medan de försöker köra ner deras vetenskapliga experiment i käften på mig. Till slut så lyckas jag ta mig till den tionde låten “Can’t Be Stopped” och måste applådera Damage för att de inte gjorde plattan längre. Tror nog att denna längden räckte gott och väl.

Nu har de visat framfötterna återigen och det som rungar i mina öron är: “We can’t be stopped”. Möjligen ett starkare budskap än innan och med en riktigt stark inlevelse, där allting känns som att det är på sin plats. De har härmed visat att de vill slå sig in på en bana som andra lämnat för länge sedan, de har även visat att de kan göra det med bravur. Men nu, i det sista skeendet, vill jag ändå få ett kvitto på att de ska fortsätta och utveckla detta till någonting som tar sig utanför ytterligheterna. Vem vet, kanske tar de sig ut i rymden någon gång? Skulle vara skoj att höra lite rymdpunk. Hur som helst, en bra platta även om det saknas några delar. Men det är bara att be Mulle Meck fixa dessa tills nästa gång, så ska ni se att Damage växer till sig och forcerar in sina fötter i skarven och bräcker upp dörren. Det återstår att se, men kodus till er.

, för bövelen, köp den riktiga varan i form av en LP-skiva från deras bandcamp. För då får du både den fysiska varan men även den nedladdningsbara plattan på köpet.

Review: Horror Vacui – In Darkness You Will Feel Alright

Warm but dark music straight from the haven of the dead. First song “Intro + Black Rivers” contest itself by leaving me with awe, as I hear the baseline and the screeching riffs thrashing around me in a down-tempo fashion. Even though it sounds gothic, it also includes some of the vibes that you can get from deathrock. There’s also an alternate approach to the vocals, since it sounds more like something you’d hear straight out of a new wave-record. It’s everything I’d ever want to hear from a record that’s new and isn’t just going with the conventional traditional gothic sound. I must say that this is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while from that genre, the riffs are great and the singing is entrancing at best. There’s something calling me from inside, and it’s the old fused with the new. They manage to keep the sound-scape at a level of enjoyability almost making it up to the top, by the greater The Sisters of Mercy and the likes of it. But there’s too much down-tempo in this song for my liking, I’d rather enjoy the thing they manage to do after the chorus, where they speed it up a bit and make it feel almost punk-ish with the great drums. I notice how they blend the earlier punk-influences they’ve brought with them from their former bands, within the song “I Like It When A Soldier Dies“, which is a perfect example of that kind of attitude but featured in a gothic environment. Here’s where the more deathrock influences come in, as the enthralling space between me and oblivion forces itself closer. The boundaries are no match for them, as they drag themselves through the conventions and smash them with their own sound.

It also becomes clear to me why they’ve chosen the epithet “peace punk“, because the songs pretty much revolve around it. With clear anti-war messages. Their song and sound, however, sounds like something in between Screaming Dead and Stiff Kittens, whereas the vocals are almost on point with the latter. Whilst the next song, “Corvus Corax“, is almost a repetition of the two first ones, I am still intrigued by the sound. I cannot let it go, somehow, but it’s still a chip on my shoulder. There are some good passages, like the chorus, where I find myself singing along with: “Are you singing for me? Are you looking for me?“. Still, I feel like there’s some kind of influence that I cannot pinpoint, that disturbs the whole formula. I know there’s sincerity within their music, but somehow it fades away because it sounds too desperate. But the sense of sincerity is quickly saved by the song “Everytime“, that employ a kind of old-school post-punk melody and rhythm that I recognize from other songs. When it couldn’t get darker, it gets darker.

Here, I’m swayed with a moral dilemma that is the theme of the lyrical content. I must say that their lyrical content is pretty good even though it can get ridiculous at times. The slowly-paced riffs in the background make for the more traditional goth rock sound, and the stomping bass continues in the same direction, as the repetitiveness is matched with the more melodic side of the song. Finally, I can say that they’ve managed to put the dots over the o (ö – like we do in Sweden), with the song “In Darkness”. As the intro is a very good reminder of what Horror Vacui could be and should try to be, at times at least. With a tempo that is unmatched within the other songs, but being contrasted by a catchy melody.

I feel at times that the peace-punk ambition harm the lyrical content at times, because it frankly sounds ridiculous at times. The only thing that saves it is: “In darkness you will feel alright“, which feels like it is the whole theme of the record as it is titled in that way. The next song “Yersinia” is also a tempo-ridden beast that just smashes its way in goth favor, lending its arms out to the death-rock influences. They’ve really managed to get it right within this song too, since they do not sway away from having a little bit of tempo. But surely, it fades away somewhat, but I like the melody of it since its catchy and give my ears a good rubbing. Also one of the more intriguing songs I’ve heard on this album. Once I manage to get all the way to the song “Arabian Spring”, there’s a sense of that they’ve managed to get the forceful momentum of the down-tempo into the up-tempo. In other words, they’ve managed to fuse those two together and create a greater sound. There’s not much you could wish for anymore, since this is the epitome of what they do. I feel like there’s a hint of Bauhaus in the singer’s voice, specifically in this song, and I wonder for myself once again: how come that this record is so overlooked?

I don’t have any good answer to that question, unfortunately. As I continue down the path of ultimate darkness, the last song before the outro, “Leave Me Alone“, is being played. I can’t really get enough of this, and it’s here where I realize how much potential the singer has and how he holds up the sound-scape. In total harmony with the other instruments. At times, in the other songs, his voice could fade away and I wouldn’t care the least for it. Here, I sense another sense of desperateness, where the singer really reveals everything in his arsenal. It makes for a totally great song overall and I’d paint my face in white, while treading around the cemetery, just for the perfect atmosphere to have when listening to the song. Even though the “Outro” of this record makes me want more of them, it’s not really a good closer for the album.

But what the heck, this album delivers much more than that. They uphold their promises, even though the peace-punk formula, at times, can sound a little bit too ridiculous. However, I’m not here for that, I’m here for the deathrock and goth rock influences. Because I think that’s what they manage to pull of like a charm. You should check out this record and buy it, because it’s a really great record. So go over to their bandcamp and order the digital download version or go to AVANT! Records and order the real deal.

Pastoratet släpper ny EP för gratis nedladdning!

Därför väljer jag att streama den här också, den heter Sexpack och rockar hårt. Personligen så tycker jag att låten “Stick Din Lilla Diva” är den bästa låten på just denna EP. Men Göteborgsbandet överraskar ännu en gång med låtar så som “Köpt” och “Enligt Säkra Källor“. Tycker att ni borde ladda hem skiten och sprida vidare till era vänner. Tidigare har de bland annat varit med i min podcast, eller åtminstone en i bandet och jag har bett dem att rekommendera fem av sina favoritalbum till bloggen. Allt detta finner ni om ni söker på “Pastoratet” i sökrutan.

Damage släpper musikvideo till låten Keeping It Wild!

Det minst sagt intressanta hardcore-punk bandet Damage har nyss släppt en musikvideo till sin låt “Keeping It Wild” som är tagen från den uppkommande plattan Weapons Of Mass Destruction,och videon är gjord av Johan Malm. Det är en förhållandevis humoristisk video som föreställer medlemmarna från Damage som tecknade figurer. Bandet lirar ett mellanting av äldre amerikansk hardcore med en egen känsla inblandad i allting. Resultatet blir då en fantastisk blandning av både humor och hardcore i ett, som kan bevittnas på deras omslag för skivan som ni kan se nedanför.

Ni kan även lyssna till några låtar som finns på albumet här under. Om ni känner för det kan ni även förbeställa plattan här borta, den kommer ut den 1:e November och kostar i runda slängar 40 spänn för den nedladdningsbara, 80 spänn för CD:n och möjligheten att ladda ner plattan samt 120 spänn för 12¨ tummare och digital nedladdning.

My New Fascination: 45 Grave – Sleep In Safety

45 Grave – Sleep In Safety (Re-Issue)

This album is one of my all-time favorites, so I had to feature it in here. Headed by the influential Dinah Cancer, making a name for themselves once again with the newly released album “Pick Your Poison” which was released in August, this year. So they’re pretty much alive, once again. But I’m not here to talk about their latest album, I’m here to talk about one of my favorite albums. Namely their first album “Sleep In Safety” from 1983, but I’ve picked the re-mastered version from 1993 since it’s the one I’ve got in my hands right now. I like this album because it introduced me to the death-rock genre as a whole and they’ve had a huge influence on many bands that came out of L.A. at that time. Therefore, I have them to thank for making me discover other bands in the same genre. One of the significant differences between this band and other bands, is that they withheld the general rock-oriented sound and slowly but surely introduced the purveyor of the death-rock sound as it could sound back then and very much sound like in these days.

First song on the album “Insurance From God” is really intriguing with the organ-playing and the overall nocturnal goth sound that its got embellished on itself. I like how Dinah Cancers vocals sound like something in between a punk record, but still keeps the kind of high-pitch blended with low-pitch trademark that was and probably still is 45 Grave. The sound-scape of this song quickly shifts from a full frontal attack, to a more slow-paced and rock-oriented song focusing on solos and eager riffing, quickly jumping back to the wagon and introducing the fast-paced baseline groove, with a stickier sound of extremely nice drums and guitar-riffs. So, if this isn’t the epitome, I know what is.

The song “Evil” is really a tongue-in-cheek, almost sloppy song that attaches itself by force to my brain and ears. And it’s not sloppy in the way that anything is done completely without feeling, it’s just that its got that wonderful blase-sound. As if they don’t care anymore, they’ve had this evilness for too long. I also like how the music is a blend of horror-themed songs you could encounter in movies about vampires and other horror-flicks from way back. Third song “Party Time” reminds me very much of a death-rock version of the Joan Jett and The Blackhearts song “I Love Rock’n’Roll“, because it’s got everything that rock sounded like but it’s got an unconventional approach to it, blending both the classic rock sound and their own sound into a fabulous mix of the darkest things imaginable. Maybe I’m wrong about it, because they’re two separate songs, but I believe they’ve got the same spirit when it comes to rock and how it sounds. Now I must say that the fourth song on the album “Violent World” has an abysmal intro that frightens me in one sense and fascinates me in another. Unleashed is a punk beast with a cheeky synth waltzing with it, into a whirlwind of bats and brazen punk attitude. Another song that is very good on this album is the song “Phantoms“, which I believe is the epitome of the 45 Grave sound.

Here is where they sounded best, and this album is a great mark of their success when it comes to the musical aspect of it. Such a unique but overlooked band. Even though I like rock, I must say that I’m moved by the sound of death-rock at its earliest stage. I’m also thinking of checking out their latest album and reviewing it for everyone of you readers, so you know what you’re getting. You should get this album in any way you can, if possible, because it’s one hell of an album.

Recension: Niels Nielsen – Shadow Twin 7¨

Om man inte hört om honom förut, så kan man drista sig till att göra det nu. Niels Nielsen har släppt loss ett riktigt kraftpaket, som ryms i två låtar och som lyckas spränga in sig i nya fack. Dock är det inte just det som är intressant, utan det är hur han med musiken lyckas få det till något annat än just musik. Ja, ni hörde rätt, han lyckas ta det ett snäpp högre. Särskilt med titel-låten som ligger på A-sidan av vinylskivan, nämligen “Shadow Twin“. Inom just detta ljudlandskap så finns det en hel rad med genrer som lyckas föras samman med extrem precision, men som även suddar ut just dessa barriärer. Just denna låt faller mig gott om hjärtat, eftersom att den sedemera utvecklas till en kaskad av överblivna känslor som inkluderas i känslosvallet så fort man sugit sig åt musiken och lyckas förstå vad det kan handla om. Blandningen av ljuvlig uppåtmusik och melankolisk alternativmelodi, gör att det känns som att allting rämnar runt en. Känns som att det finns en viss nostalgi inblandad i det hela, och Niels intonation när han sjunger kryddar vemodet inom en ytterligare. Helt enkelt så har han lyckats skapa en låt som flyter mellan att kunna spelas på radio och att faktiskt kunna njuta av det. Det är få förunnat att kunna göra det, särskilt för oss som inte imundigar den radiomusik som finns tillgänglig nu. Tror att jag har spelat denna låt över hundra gånger till att börja med, om ens det, och inte ens då lyckas jag greppa den fantastiska ådra som gör det här möjligt överhuvudtaget. Verkar som att just den skall vara lite höljd i dimman, så att jag för mig själv, någon gång, faktiskt kan pricka rätt. Mystiken är en del av själva essensen, den är dold i fallgropar men sipprar ur springorna när miraklet släpps ur sin urna. Otroligt bra låt, otroligt bra sväng och det är något som är saknat, den skriker: spela mig på radion. Fast utan falskhet i tonen. Det måste även sägas att Niels Nielsen består inte bara utav honom själv, utan hans hantlangare Henric Bellinger och Anders Risenstrand stöttar upp den musikaliska (eller konstnärliga) resan mellan samförstånd och undermedvetenhet.

När det väl lugnat ner sig och avslutats efter 3-minuterssträcket, så rör jag mig vidare till mer okända territorier. Nu är jag inne på den alltför förbisedda B-sidan av vinylskivan, med låten “I’m not here“. Påminner faktiskt om ett yngre om än inte lika välkänt The Tough Alliance när man tänker efter. Men den teorin kan inte hålla mer än till några procent. Skulle kunna sägas att det är en fin blandning mellan det numera splittrade bandet Zeigeist och just de förstnämnda. Äntligen kommer jag på varför ett tomrum har fyllts, de har ju tagit Zeigeists plats! Eller åtminstone burit facklan vidare, vilket känns otroligt bra, då detta band lyckas leverera på flera olika fronter samtidigt men ändå varit njutbara. Främst är det ljudlandskapets karaktär, med drömska synthar och drivande trummor som gör att jag tänker åt det hållet. Men även den vackra sångrösten får mig på fall. I vanliga fall är det antingen eller, men i detta fallet är det både och, för båda sidor av vinylen är definitivt något man bör spana in. Själv hoppas jag att de tar sig högre upp på klippan och sätter sin egna flagga längst upp, så att vi vet att de är att räkna med. Ett otroligt bra släpp som lämnar så mycket som “inget” att önska, här finns allting och nu känner jag på mig att uppförsbacken inte är lika svår. Ett sant nöje har det varit att lyssna på detta, det är något som behövs och tomrummet är inte längre fyllt med illa placerade stolar. Nu möblerar vi!

Ni kan lyssna på hela singeln här borta, på Gaphals bandcamp. Tycker att ni bör köpa den för att det är de värda.

Harvesting #13: We’re gothicly arranged – electronically estrange! [Part II]

Since I’ve been pretty sick lately, I wanted to produce another Harvesting. I’m getting better now and I’ll be putting out the 14th edition of Harvesting in the next couple of days. I need to get it running again, so I have gathered some of the darker bands for this edition. Always wanted to do this and now I had the chance, so there’s a lot of gothic rock involved and post-punk from the edges of hell. Soon, I’ll also get to turn back the clock and sleep another hour, so I can continue to make these editions. In this edition, the following bands/artists/compilations are featured: Tchernoziom, V/A – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music! and Terminal Gods. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be any interview in this Part of Harvesting #13. So you’ll have to look at these instead, enjoy!

Tchernoziom – Silure Asphalte

The finest post-punk from the regions of France. Beginning with the first track “Les Loges Germinales” which starts off with a nice baseline, it almost sounds like some of the older 90’s stuff when it comes to both grunge and almost borders to metal at times. Even though the focus in this song is more in the post-punk genre. I like the french language, because it gives a whole other feeling of the song at hand. There’s much passion when the singer releases his own arsenal towards me as a listener. The repetitive sound-scape forms like a huge bubble around the vocalists efforts when it comes to wailing and a more aggressive singing-style. At times, the sound-scape can be a little bit too unvaried for my taste, but it’s got some of the dark essence colluding within its core. Which is a good thing, since I like the darker side of post-punk. The instrumentation is pretty intriguing at times, but puts me off when all I hear is a baseline moving in the same tempo, with the same riffs coming over and over again.

On the next song from this single, titled “Vegetable Swallow“, there’s a little bit change to the unvaried sound-scape at least. Employing some of the alternative rock in the mix, which enhances the sound-scape further and gives a great amount of variation to it. There are some good parts in the song, but it’s not really in the post-punk domain that much anymore. Getting some good feelings on this October-evening, because the baseline is stomping and the drums are like a galloping horde which is thrusting towards me. The singer tries too hard at times, but it sounds really Gothic at the edges of it. Might not be my favorite song of both, but it’s got some grooviness to it at least. I also think they’re stepping way out of their own territory at times, but that’s just how it can turn out. Pretty good record, you should give this a chance.

You can listen to it below but there’s currently no way to buy it.

Various Artists – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music!

Overall, a pretty good compilation with some nice artists and bands. First song “In My Arms” by Principe Valiente is really a nice drop of shoegaze with new-wave. There are some dreamy elements that flow with you in the mix, with some kind of up-tempo happiness. Even though the subject at hand might not be that merry lyrically. A concoction of synths and guitars come around the corner and blind you with their light and the fast drums shift in color the further in you get into it. But there’s also a shredding riff going off in the background, which is drenched in reverb and bounces forward and backwards into the mix. The sound-scape itself could’ve been a little bit less chaotic, but with such influences, you can’t really tone it down. I think it’s a pretty good song overall, because it’s got everything necessary and pulls it off with style and a pinch of glamor. Next up is the song “Take A Walk” by one of the more well-known acts on this blog by now: The Foreign Resort. Reminds me a lot about The Hives when it comes to the energy, it’s also one of those songs that border from post-punk to new-wave. Also one of the more energetic bands in that category, taking away the more cheesy factor of new-wave and instead heightening the musical experience by fast riffing, drumming and a great singer. It also feels pretty lengthy, because you have to endure the breathtaking up-tempo and the very emotional sound-scape at hand, both lyrically and musically.

I had to skip one of the songs, because it didn’t really fit into the category of my favorites on this compilation. Therefore the fourth song “No Way” by the band M!R!M took its place. One of the more original acts I’ve heard for a while, I don’t really know where to place this music. It’s some kind of mix between synth-punk, post-punk and goth. I sense a little bit of KaS Product in the mix, with the cold wave vibes that can be heard throughout the sound-scape. It also feels a wee bit nocturnal, with a crushing baseline munching into your flesh and bone as fast as it can. There’s also a little bit of a psychedelic edge to it, feels like you’ve invited a circus of flesh eating zombies that are following you through an open landscape, making you end up in a downward spiral of survival. The next song on the menu, titled “The Wiser” is played by a band called Winter Severity Index. A calm introductory to some mish-mash of goth rock and post-punk, with an emotional vocalist and a sound-scape that is perfect for my taste. Even though there’s not much going on, I like the bands that can combine a chaotic environment with a little bit more down-tempo. Because there’s much going on, but at the same time it sounds pretty minimalistic. Actually one of the better bands that have combined those two elements, because some of those that have tried before haven’t really succeeded. Surely, one of the best songs in that sphere for a while if I have a say in it.

Since I don’t want to be a party-pooper, I’ll have to say that these songs are the best from the compilation. There’s a lot of more songs that you can experience on your own, but I suggest that you’d get the digital version of it at least. Because the physical version is sold out.

Terminal Gods – Electric Eyes

Another “new” goth rock band from the UK, with surprisingly high endurance. Within the first song “Electric Eyes“, there’s a little bit catchyness within the song. I think they’re trying to mimic The Sisters Of Mercy at times, which they don’t succeed with. But I think they’ve got their own thing going, with nice baselines and tight riffing. At least the vocalist is trying to put himself in that category, but that’s just what I think after having listened to the track over and over again for some days. I like their goth sound a lot, but I’m a little bit turned off by their more mainstream approach to it. I don’t think the alternative rock in this sound-scape has any depth, even though the vocalist is trying to make it even better in the chorus. The edge sounds good, but the core of it is a little bit bland. I don’t like the lyrics at all, but I guess that’s just me. It’s not my cup of tea and it doesn’t feel engaged with the overall picture that I’m receiving from it musically. So, I’ll have to say that I’m impressed by the goth rock-edge to it, but the rest of it really feels like it’s stumbling on its own feet before crossing the line.

I’ve already been getting it, that they’re trying to get the traditional goth sound. But I think that the second song “God Child” lacks what the first song did also. Everything is pretty UN-engaging until you get to the chorus, which is really the topping on the chocolate cake. This could also be one of the bands that try too hard to be traditional goth, but manage a part of it at least. So I have to see that as a sign of healthyness, as opposed to those bands that try to be something they cannot be. Since they’ve got their own thing going, it bears up the sound-scape a little bit. But it crumbles to dust the more you listen to it. I think the riffs are pretty bland and should be more uncompromising, and I don’t like the more mainstream edge that can be heard at times. I think the vocalist makes this song a little bit more engaging than it could’ve been, but it’s got to get better from this. Hopefully they’ll release something else in the near future, I’m hoping that they’ve gone further with this, because it could be a success story musically.

You can buy the digital-only download edition of this single since the physical limited edition vinyl is already sold out.

Mackaper släpper ny låt från uppkommande albumet Mot Ljusare Tider!

Mackaper, som jag skrivit om innan, har släppt en skön liten dänga vid namn “Staden Vaknar” som är tagen från deras uppkommande album Mot Ljusare Tider som släpps på skivbolaget Flora & Fauna. Låten är även producerad av Elias Krantz, och albumet släpps den 19:e December, men ni får som sagt nöja er med en av låtarna från det albumet tillsvidare. Låten påminner om hur hösten är i annalkande och melodin är avstämd och säker i sig självt, alltmedan de mer jazziga influenserna gör sig hörda och är passande i dessa mörkare årstider. Har skrivit om denna konstellation tidigare, då de avslöjade två osläppta låtar. Så sätt dig i soffan, på med täcket och njut.

Taiwanese post-rock band 阿飛西雅 APHASIA releases new video!

I’ve written about them before, in one of my Harvesting editions which came out yesterday. But the wonderful post-rock band 阿飛西雅 APHASIA released a new video today, for their song 鐡橋 Steel Bridge which I urge you to check out here above this sentence. They’ve convinced me that they’re something to count on and they produce some of the finest stuff in post-rock right now. At least when it comes to the more mainstream stuff. There’s nothing dull about their music, so dim your lights and watch the video. Do also check out their music below.

Harvesting #13: Do I even feel anything? [Part I]

You know it! Since I’ve been on hiatus for a number of days, because I’m struggling with other things, like my studies – I’d like to continue with Harvesting. So this time around, we’re up a number and it’s time for the #13th edition of the loveable thing that is called Harvesting. Today, I don’t have much to say. It’s getting a little bit darker in Sweden and soon I get to sleep one hour more, since we’re setting back the clock one hour. Which could do wonders with my productivity these days and give you more material to enjoy. But I’ll get straight to the point! In this edition of Harvesting, you’ll get to know more about the following bands/artists/label(s): 阿飛西雅 APHASIA, Agent Side Grinder, Bombangrepp and AVANT! Records. I’ve asked Andrea from AVANT! Records a couple of questions and the rest are, as usual, reviews. Enjoy this time around too and I hope to see you on the carousel before its gotten to the end of the ride.

阿飛西雅 APHASIA – 提去買藥仔 Take it, You Need Medicine

Strong, emotional, vague – but beautiful at its essential roots. First song “樹林 The Woods” is a balancing act between the finer moments of post-rock glory and on the other hand; melodic alternative rock with some influences from shoegaze, with the outdrawn and dreamy riffs. It’s a complete trip from the start and it doesn’t give in to any of the lustful misdemeanors that can be found along the way. With excellent drumming and an exact change in structure, makes this uncut gem set itself ablaze with the wonderfully emotional sense of post-rock, which is how it should be done. The climax in the song introduces some of the elements used earlier in the song, with catchy drumming, different riffing and interestingly enough a truly provocative instrumental at heart. In the sense that it induces some of the most wonderful emotions from deep within, grasping them and making something out of it. Next song “秘密 A Secret“, continues in the wake, but is a more down-tempo song at the core. But there’s a sense of that something is going to happen, even though it pushes through, slowly paving the way. Like picking the most luscious berries for your homemade pie, eating it and getting an overload on the taste-buds. Even though they at times seem to be somewhat bland, there’s always something happening, a change in the drums or a change within the riffing. I also feel like there’s some kind of rock-oriented rhythm going on later in the song, which enhances the structure even more, amidst the wailing shoegaze-riffs that flow through the virtual earpiece that I imagine I’m listening through. There’s something high-tech about it, something futuristic and it touches you deep within your own mind and soul.

In one of the later songs, which in my mind sounded the best after the aforementioned, there’s something naive being thrown into the mix. I’m talking about “蚵仔寮 Kerzliao“, which really heads on its own way, instead of mimicking what has been going on before. A mellowed out and funny song, when I listen to it there’s something calming about it. It makes me giggle when I think about it, but that’s because everything is so relaxed and my brain is slowly shutting off the functions which are needed for enormous concentration. Not that it doesn’t take any concentration while listening to it and trying to analyze it, but it makes my work here even easier. Because there’s something special about the high-pitched riffs and the drums, but also the baseline, which pulsates in rhythm and touches everything else with the monotonous and repetitive style. Somehow, they manage to make this kind of style seem less boring than it would’ve if any other band tried the same formula. They have something unique, which is noticeable in the way they handle their instruments and how the structure in their song reveals itself. Surely, a must have if you like this kind of style and appreciate the general awesomeness of some great post-rock, but with some of the mellowed out rock-oriented parts, integrated with a sprinkle of shoegaze at times.

You can listen to their album over here, but you can buy it from White Rabbit Records.

Agent Side Grinder – Hardware

Minimalistic and retro-futuristic, if that made any sense at all. In the first song “Look Within“, it sounds like they’ve sharpened the funky undertones of Nitzer Ebb, tuned it down to fit the down-tempo outfit. With the mellowed out, but sincere and somewhat in-your-face vocals, this piece of electronics makes wonders when you listen to it. There’s always something going on, like the synths that activate themselves in the background and come out as a buzzing noise in your headphones. It might not be pure EBM, but it’s got some of the features that are used in those arrangements. I’m thinking about the repetitive and monotonous drums, accompanied by the funky main-synth and the amount of intrigue these few instruments and sounds can capture. There’s definitely some New Beat going on there also, when I think about it. I imagine myself standing in an abandoned industrial town, getting my own private show by Agent Side Grinder, while standing in a totally decayed environment. I hate to say it, but one of the more memorable songs on this album, “Rip Me“, really sounds like Depeche Mode-light. There’s also a pinch of Pankow on the edges, but only vaguely. Maybe less bombastic than them, but I definitely see some of it in the vocals at least. Feels like I’m on an endless trip on the train, to a destination which I know very little about. To say the least, if I were to make some modern analogy, I would also compare them to Metroland. Seems like they have about the same minimalistic synth-scape when it boils down to it, the kind of minimalism meets naive little synths and drum-machines.

Another track that gives me shivers down the spines, is the one featuring Henric De La Cour on vocals, titled “Wolf Hour“. He manages to fill up the emptiness between different parts of the song, connecting them with his own thing vocally, which really makes the song a lot better. His emotional singing fits the sound-scape perfectly and adds another touch of sincerity to the mix. With the more aggressive singing, in another kind of style, handing in a contradiction in the sound-scape itself. Which makes it even more enjoyable to listen to. As the instruments clash, between the layer of aggressiveness á la Brigade Werther (especially the song Killbeat), with Henric De La Cour as the master of the chanson, there’s an edge that plows straight through me with full force. The last song that I want to mention that gave me something I was searching for, was the song “Pyre” which is more ballad-oriented. A synthetic goo filled with both the mystery of coldwave and the loveable cheesiness of both future-pop and synth-pop. Slowly moving forward into the distance, catching on to the whole mood of the sound-scape, with a singer’s voice that’s as sweet as the most sugar-filled soda pop you’d ever find yourself drinking. I think they’ve got something going that is out of the ordinary, but I don’t really dig their sound overall. But they’ve surely grasped the craftsmanship behind this kind of music and made it their own deal, which is wonderful and respectable.

You can listen to one of the tracks from the album below and you can also buy it from here.

Bombangrepp – Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud

There’s something edgy about this, differentiating from the general d-beat chaos. As can be heard within the first song “Livets Refräng“, the general mood of the song is total chaos and anarchy. But there’s something that makes this stand out from all the other bands that do the same thing, I don’t really know what, but some of the riffs are innovative and bring a great strength to the rest of the sound-scape. The singer is also hell-bent on this, which also makes it easy to understand how they’ve managed to make this song so great. He’s got somewhat different vocals and they’re bearable. At times, there’s the same kind of feeling to it, as it feels a little bit like everything else, but it continually fades out the more I listen to the song and understand the greatness of it. One of the other tracks on the album, namely the fourth one, titled as “Den Inre Striden” has some really cool riffs that make it much more enjoyable to listen to. The whole sound-scape as a whole is just making it even better, whereas the drums take a little bit more room in this song. At times it almost sounds like it’s knocking on the door of metal, but that’s just how the riffs sound in some parts of the song. There’s really a raw Mob 47 and Bizex-B feeling in it, if you blended those two together and kept the tempo of the aforementioned.

I feel like some other songs also need to be mentioned. The sixth song, which is also the title-track, namely: “Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud“, delivers a fierce combination of the best in both punk and d-beat. It’s absolutely raw throughout, it’s almost as if they’re a bunch of skeletons performing, since the fury of the song have already gnawed down to the bone. That’s how it feels when listening to this song, there’s a total sense of apathy but at the same time the tempo just continually keeps punching me in my ears. One of the best songs on the album, hands down, is the eighth song “Inget Hopp – Ingen Framtid“, which is indescribably majestic in its musical appearance. So if this song haven’t made you loose all your hope and just say fuck it, you’re down in deep water. The riffs are excellent, the drumming is on point and the vocalist makes his best effort so far. Since this album was released in 2011, I was hesitant at first to do a review on it, but I thought it would be cool to put this one out too. You should get this album if you have the chance, definitely one of the better d-beat punishers out there.

Download their album for free over here, but I suggest that you give them some cash, because they’re worth it.

I asked some questions for the label-owner Andrea of AVANT! Records. Hope you like this one too.

So, where did your idea for AVANT! Records come from and what was your aim for the label when you started it and who are you?

– The label was born in 2007 to co-release the split 7-inch between my band His Electro Blue Voice and the French black metal punk band Nuit Noire. It started with the intent of doing something good and well done with kind(s) of music I dig the most and that’s the spirit I carry it on by.

In what way do you think your label has developed since the first couple of releases?

– I like to keep things simple, minimal, neat and effective, and that’s surely a constant. This said, every release is or can be a new spot explored. I would never have thought of doing any dark-folk record before Cult of Youth, just as I’d never have imagined of releasing pure electronic music before Scorpion Violente. So yeah every step can lead to new directs. Wait and listen to the debut album by How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? and you’ll see how another new shore has been touched.

How do you decide what you want to release and what you don’t want to release, what’s your criteria?

– Basically if I like it? And if it can fit in with the label, I mean a like a lot of different stuff but one label cannot just do everything y’know. You gotta have your own identity as a label.

Could you tell me anything about the releases you’ve done so far and how they became a finished product ready to be sold?

– Well, there’s an entire productive process behind every label which is exacly the label’s job. I don’t mean to bore you with details but that’s what a label does: contacting the band, offering one kind of deal, being in touch with vinyl pressing plant, with distributors, with zines, blogs and music journals… it’s our whole world.

Thank you for answering these questions! What’s happening for you in the near future?

– Out right now are HORROR VACUI – In Darkness You Will Feel Alright LP (over here) and NIGHT SINS – New Grave LP (the opening song here down below), while November the 26th will be available HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD? s/t LP (Joy & Rebellion video)  and LUST FOR YOUTH – Saluting Rome EP.