Review: Kabul Golf Club – Le Bal Du Rat Mort

Le-Bal-Du-Rat-MortA concoction of the best math-rock with the best punk rock, but with a serious lack of steam at times. There’s an odd edge to this band that I really like, as I start listening to their first track “Bits Of Freedom” which stumble into my ears, amidst swooping gestures. There’s a really hard edge to the song, assisted by breakdowns that pump blood into the heart of a forgotten sound. Every time you hear it, there’s a sense of apathy coming your way as the punk-influences ravage everything in their way. No where to be found, is the sloppy and disengaged math-rock of yesteryear, which frankly just feeds off of the weirdness of the genre. Instead, the utilization of punk-vibes that bounce throughout the mix make sure that energy flows throughout every sense of the word. It revitalizes the otherwise too frantic sound and packs a punch that would kill your ears instantly. Not that your ears would be in dire need of medical assistance, but they’d be phasing out with the hard sound and racking heads along the way sound-wise, as it re-wires itself, going through every stem of each braincell. So if you ever wanted to cool off, you’ll have to do it with the next song “Minus 45“, as it freezes your whole body. There’s much more of the math-rock, more of the weirdness and the sense of total fatigue.

The gritty and high-pitched noise that pretty much sounds like a siren, cleaves my head into two parts. One part likes it and the other one doesn’t. However, they pick up the slack by doing what they do best, combining the energy of punk with math-rock. Even though the downward spiral of the strange sound is getting boring by now, they find a way out from the madness and re-instate their sanity. I don’t really like where the sound is heading, as I’m more of the punk guy. But they’ve got such a unique sound and yet they manage to keep the sound-scape appropriate. They never try too hard, but sometimes it’s just weird. Which takes me to the track “Fastmoving Consumer Goods“, that by its name alone reveals that we’re in for a ride like the one before. I don’t really cope with the sound, since it sounds like a big mess. There are so many influences in here that it makes my head turn around and hopefully I’ll manage to get it going again. I think there’s too much going on at a very slow pace. Since I like up-tempo a little bit more, it becomes boring after the third time around. It just feels like the instrumentation keeps coming at me, but they never reach anywhere deep, where it feels.

A more shallow version of the songs before, which just seems to operate on trying to be something they shouldn’t be. However, the vocals are complimentary in this dire situation, as they keep the vessel afloat for some time before it sinks to the bottom once again. It’s not horrid, it’s not disengaging – it’s just a little bit on the strange side of things. Which in itself might not be a bad thing, but in this case, surely is. I wouldn’t say that the next track “5 Minutes 2 Midnight” is the same, but there’s a lack of the obvious punk-influences. This is as if Lydia Lunch (when she did some no-wave) would march in and take control over some generic post-punk band and smash in some psychedelic vocals at that. I must say that the vocals are what keeps this song alive as well. The singer has got energy and packs the punch that I heard earlier, which makes it much more intriguing to listen to. There is something about his voice that complements the music as well, I just hope that the music can complement itself and take a step away from the noisy math-rock.

However, the last song “Demon Days“, is where its at. I feel like they’re at the height of their musical endeavor on this record, because it packs the necessary punch to the pancreas that Kabul Golf Club have concocted. Certainly one of the better songs on this album, since they use the punk-influences a little bit better and blend the good math-rock vibes within. This is a hard-hitter and it’s uncompromising, its also where it should be at when you’re thinking about listening to them. This is really their signature sound, it’s something they should develop further and hold on to. Because, damn, it’s such a fucking great sound. I don’t think I’ve heard anything like it, at least not recently. Good riddance boys, you’ve convinced a blogger to join in on the chant. I must say that the middle half of the album was rather disappointing, but the beginning and the end makes up for the loss of steam.

Released: 2012

Label: Uproar For Veneration – UVF07


1. Bits Of Freedom

2. Minus 45

3. Fast Moving Consumer Goods

4. 5 Minutes 2 Midnight

5. Demon Days

Paper Armies have released a new EP!

The brainchild of musician Jason Calhoun under the name of Paper Armies, have released a new ep titled “Together” which features four brilliant and lengthy experimental ambient-songs. Accompanied with shoegaze and electronic music. As you listen to these songs, you should be in the company of a lovely environment, just so you get the most out of it. It is also evident that Jason have included his personal experiences from living in Ithica, New York. Hopefully, this is a gateway to get a sense of that city, musically speaking.

You can find his music below and you can also download it for free, or give him a little bit of your hard-earned cash as appreciation for his music.

Recension: Distortion Faith #3!

I ett rasande tempo så fortsätter Distortion Faith att göra sitt namn vida känt. Åtminstone för oss i den dunkla bloggosfären, som uppskattar att läsa något snabbt för en gångs skull. Sedan nummer ett kom ut så har man längtat efter att få den i brevlådan och denna gången så damp den ner lite senare. Därför har jag tagit tid på mig att gå igenom den, rent metodiskt, för att se om det fanns något att tycka om. Med ungefärliga 34 sidor, så har de utökat sidorna ytterligare. Där intervjuer med bland annat Utanförskapet, Skizophrenia, D-Clone, Turist I Tillvaron, Kronofogden och många fler får plats. Förutom intervjuer, varvas det även med en turnédagbok av Makabert Fynd och en studiodagbok med Warvictims. Allt detta och lite till får plats i zinet. Det som känns bra med Distortion Faith är att det är ett pålitligt zine, utan några som helst utsvävningar. Som det konstateras direkt i början, så blir det vad det är och man får det man velat ha. Själv tycker jag att det är uppfriskande när perfektionismen inte står i centrum, som den många gånger gjort på min egen blogg. När man pausar och vill varva ner, så är deras zine utmärkt för just det ändamålet.

Trots att det finns stavfel lite här och där, samt att de är en hel del snabba intervjuer, så hålls det upp av anekdotdelen ”Kroghs Corner”, som i detta nummer heter ”Fast & Loud” istället. Det känns som en bra utveckling och den ger mer utav ett seriöst intryck än den har gjort i tidigare nummer, även om den varit väldigt bra där med. Däremot är det nog snarare det visuella i zinet som tagit mest plats och fått en att läsa vidare. Även om innehållet fått sig en spark i röven på sistone, så har det även förbättrats rent visuellt. Själva omslaget är nog det mest egendomliga och roliga som jag sett på ett bra tag. Det är cleant, humoristiskt och sparar inte på något som helst krut. Måste även påpeka att jag tycker om snabba men välutvecklade intervjuer, eftersom att det blir mer lättuggat och är roligare att läsa. Zinet är förmodligen det enda i Sverige som har en bra balans mellan lättläst, estetiskt tillfredsställande men ändå utförligt som jag hittills lagt mina labbar på. Fortsätt med det ni gör, för det är ett trevligt inslag i vardagen och kostar dessutom minimalt att köpa.

Ni kan köpa zinet för 10 kr via SMRT Records, D-Takt & Råpunk och Blindead Productions.

Live over at Deathrock Radio!

As I am, every Wednesday nowadays. You can tune in and listen to it by following this link.


1. Red Wedding – Swimming
2. A Touch Of Hysteria – The Rulers
3. Hysteria – The Maze
4. The Plague – Empress
5. Long Pig – Earthrobbers
6. Siouxsie And The Banshees – Switch
7. Trash Groove Girls – Zero
8. The Pollen – Factory Hours
9. Modern Eon – Euthenics
10. Scarlet Letter – Tanz Der Vampire II
11. Gluons – A Room In Your Head
12. Nyam Nyam – The Illuminated Ones
13. Hexenhouse – Katakombi
14. Secret Troop – Waiting For A Call
15. Cold September – The Meaning Of Life
16. The Damned – Life Goes On

Interview with Strap On Halo!

Strap On Halo is a US band, based in Omaha, Nebraska and one of the new generation of gothic rock bands. Which draw influences from the traditional gothic sound, but make something different out of it. They’ve been around since 2003 and have since then changed line-ups numerous times. The band consists of Seán Real (Guitar/Keyboards/Drums), Layla Rena (Vocals/Drums/Keyboards) and MarC Jones (Bass/Keyboards). Since they started out, they’ve released one album and an EP. The forementioned album is titled “The Dead Don’t Lie” and was released in 2011. Also, their first and only EP is titled “Cherry Flavored Quick Fix EP” and was released in 2009. This interview was conducted a while ago and since then, they’ve been working on a new album for 2013, amongst other things. You’ll find out more about this and many things concerning the band, as you read it through. Layla Rena is the person from the band that answered my questions. Hope you’ll enjoy this interview.

Strap On Halo was laid to rest in 2003 and re-emerged 2009, what’s the history of the band and what happened in between these years?

– There really isn’t much of a story. There were a few different lineups before everyone went separate ways. Some formed other projects and others simply disappeared. Sean remained in Omaha and some years after 2003 he met up with another former member of SOH Shawn Boyles. They began working on a studio project called Devilspoons. I moved to Omaha from San Antonio, TX in 2003. Then in 2005 I met Sean and shortly after joined in on Devilspoons. Sean had wanted to revisit his original idea of SOH for some years but just had never met the right combination of musicians. In the winter of 2008 Shawn moved to Philadelphia and Marc moved to Omaha. It was sometime around Halloween 2008 that the three of us got together and after a five hour jam it was pretty apparent that this could work. Then so began the current lineup of Strap On Halo.

When your first release came out, namely Cherry Flavored Quick Fix EP, you also set out on a tour called the Quick Fix US tour – could you tell me more about the tour, what happened there and what was most memorable?

– It was our first time out, everything about it was memorable. The bad and good all had a huge impact on everything we do and don’t do now. We hit the road for two weeks, made new friends, traveled south to New Orleans, into Texas and Florida. The Quick Fix US Tour was just that a quick fix. Our van, who we call Vango, broke down in the middle of Missouri. We’ve performed in windows, on make shift stages and almost killed ourselves on the beach in Florida. It was an all-around great time that fueled the start of our addiction for touring. We love being on the road and meeting new people!

Could you tell me anything about the process of creating your album Cherry Flavored Quick Fix, how long did it take, why did you pick that name for it and how was it received by the general public? You collaborated with Martin Atkins and a few others on this release, how was it to work with them and what did you think about their contribution to the EP?

– Cherry Flavored Quick fix was written in less than three months. Sean and I had traveled down to Martin Atkins studio for a seminar in Chicago and after stocking up on loads of invisible records CD’s, I had time to chat with Martin about producing and recording our first release. He offered to help us out and I jumped. Prior to our trip to the seminar our working songs were all keyboard driven as Sean didn’t have his Gretsch yet. At this point we were still trying to get a feel for each other and make music that we felt. Once Sean’s Gretsch arrived everything just seemed to flow. I don’t recall the order in which we wrote the songs but the first song written was, “It’s All Over”. The EP title, “Cherry Flavored Quick Fix” was taken from the lyrics of Chemical Nation. We thought it fitting since this release was just an introduction to us. I think overall the general public liked it. We built up our fan base pretty quick and the response prompted our next tour and release. Heading out on tour to support the EP was essential and a huge factor in its success. The EP was mixed, mastered, recorded and hand produced at The Mattress Factory. We released a limited edition hand screen printed copy that included three original songs and one remix by Martin Atkins.

Everyone that we worked with on the EP was great. We owe special thanks to our good friend Mike Cartwright whose name appears in the credits. He taught me how to program drums and helped out tremendously when we were trying to figure ourselves out. We would not have come this far is it wasn’t for his help in the beginning.

Layla Reyna seems to be the designer in your band, since she’s created extras for the limited edition packages, but how does she come up with the ideas for that and how was the process in making them? I also looked around on your bandcamp and with that release fans could also buy different packages. It seems like they’ve Sold Out faster thanks to that – how fast did it take for the different packages to be sold?

– I enjoy the hands on process of things and like the idea of packages. I am artist by nature and have a BFA in Graphic Design. Some of the work I do is last minute and don’t get as much time as I’d like. My ideas come from brainstorming and regardless of time I work until I think my design conveys the emotion it needs. Our logo for instance, I designed while we were in the studio recording our EP “Cherry Flavored Quick Fix”. The necessity for artwork and tight schedule ended with us using the logo as the cover and having them screen printed proved to be a great idea as it helped sales. I couldn’t tell you about each item and how fast it sold. We have been out of lots of merch for quite some time. Some will not get printed again and others such as our basic logo t-shirt are waiting to be restocked because there is a demand for them.

Your first full-length album came out after the EP, called “The Dead Don’t Lie” in June 2011. How did the process in making it go and what were your difficulties with it, what was easy and what was hard?

– The easy part was writing the music the hard part was recording. The album was intended to have thirteen songs but due to some issues during the recording, mixing and mastering of the album we had no choice but to only release seven songs and one remix. By the close of our deadline we had recorded only a portion of the songs, the mixes were not right and the mastering only enhanced those imperfections. Mick Shearman and Raymond Ross saved us. They took our tracks, split them up, redid the mixes and Raymond mastered the set. We’re moving along and writing new music but as soon as time permits we plan to record all the songs over and release with the intended 13 songs.

In what way do you think you’ve developed your sound since the first release in 2009? What was your goal in between the two releases, for the album?

– We have developed through constant practice sessions together. We have become more aggressive and more comfortable working with each other. The first EP was more accessible and just a beginning. The goal after the EP was to just write new music. The EP was written in a couple months whereas the album took us a year. Prior to the release of the EP we had only just started writing more guitar driven songs. I don’t think at that time we had developed our sound quite yet and perhaps we still haven’t. We are still growing and exploring. Having a year to work and sort out our writing process proved extremely beneficial. I couldn’t be happier because I think that we have wielded a sound that’s quite nostalgic of our genres heyday. Working with each other has become second nature.

Since the first EP was produced by Martin Atkins and this one was produced by Mick Shearman and John Ross, why did you consult them for this release? What’s the main difference between working with them and Atkins?

– Well, as mentioned before, consulting Mick and Raymond was out of necessity and they proved to be some of the best people we’ve worked with. We were cutting deadlines so close and thought all was lost. Martin was an opportunity to get started. He recorded us, mixed and produced the EP. Both “Cherry Flavored Quick Fix” and “The Dead Don’t Lie” were completely different experiences. With Martin recording the EP went really well, we were present for the mixing, learned a lot and even left with CD’s and shirts to sell at our first gig. I’m trying not to dwell on the issues we had with the second release but what I will say is that Mick and Raymond were the best part of that whole process next to the writing of the music.  Both were learning experiences and essential to our development.

What would you say separates your fans from other bands, what make your fans unique? How come they like your band and how was it to meet them the first time?

– I think our fans are some of the nicest and most sincere people around. It is interesting that you would ask this question mostly because I have been approached by venue owners and bar staff about our fans. The general consensus is that to their surprise our fans were amazingly well mannered and a pleasure to serve unlike others they have served before. I’m quite proud of our fans and meeting them is always a delight.

I read that you’ve had a long tour this summer, how was it to embark on the west coast and Texas? What have been memorable? You played four shows with The Spiritual Bats in September, as if that wasn’t enough – you also played at the Age of Decay festival. Were you stoked and is there anything you could tell me about this? 

– West coast has always been a planned destination for us. Marc being from Seattle made hitting it not even a question, as with Texas for me. Seeing family and old friends seemed to hit the top of our unwritten priority list. Touring is always exciting and the things we see always sparks conversation that we share over and over, only to extend the “post tour blues”.

Having The Spiritual Bat as tour mates was probably one of the most memorable experiences from this summer’s tour. We met Rosetta and Dario in 2009 at the start of our “Quick Fix Tour”. We hosted a show in Omaha for them, met in New Orleans to perform at the same festival and during some off time that we had in-between both our tours we met up in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. We really connected and kept in contact. So in 2012 they asked us to join them on tour. I had already booked and confirmed gigs for our tour so it was unfortunate that we could only do the Midwest part. Weekends were spent on the road playing shows and during the week we retreated to the Strap On Halo home base. We had an evening ritual and would converge in the studio just to enjoy each other’s company. It was fantastic to have them stay with us at our home and truly spend time with our friends. The house was full and alive. A comment Augustine made stuck with me. He said, “It’s all Straps and Bats in here”! He was also bunkered down with us for most of the summer. The past two tour was just the three of us and this time we had the pleasure of taking our good friend/roadie Augustine Strange who ended up being the best tour assistant ever. I honestly don’t know how we managed this long without him.

Age of Decay was a perfect end to our summer tour. Our hosts Alethea and William Carr were amazing. Florida goths are extremely welcoming and have made for us a permanent stop each year. We made new friends, had time to talk with all the bands and look forward to seeing them all again. The event had such a fulfilling vibe, I can say with full confidence that everyone had a great time and all the bands were happy to be there. I couldn’t have asked for a better finale to 2012.

This year was an extremely good year and I cannot wait to see what unfolds in 2013!

Could you tell me anything about the merchandise being offered in your store, which items are the most popular and what do you have for sale?

– The newest item in our arsenal is our logo pendants that we wear religiously and even proud perhaps. We also offer logo thongs that sell really well and are just fun. A variety of shirts, stickers, posters and of course the physical copies of the music. The packages vary and knock a bit off the individual sale price. I like the idea of packages and try to put several variations of merch in the rotation. I love to screen print and really just love the whole DIY aspect of things. I like getting my hands dirty and investing my time into something I am proud of. I have taught the guys how to screen print and I think they like it to. I enjoy processes so instead of sending off my designs to print we screen print all our shirts, some posters and more recently special edition items that I will talk about a little more later.

The one thing I’m wondering about now is your new album; you’ve had the pre-album version of the track, “You & Your Ghost” up since April. Do you have any details on the album? How far have you come in the process? What do you think of the new album, how would you like it to be? What are you aiming at? Do you have any clue on when it will be released or is that still unclear?

– We are quite thrilled with the new songs. We felt that these songs are more representational of where we are going. We aim to write songs that we like, that provoke emotion and make us happy, although the lyrics may not indicate any kind of surreal happiness… the music moves us. I wanted more songs and so did the guys but again time is a huge factor and we want it to be right so we opted for fewer songs this time round.

I made some changes to the track listing due to money, time, and a variety of variables. So when we were in San Antonio, Texas during the last tour we took a day to record six songs. We plan to release a single this year titled “Gloomy Sunday” that will include two remixes. The first 100 digital downloads of the single will be available for free with an option to buy the limited edition physical copy. The edition is limited to only 50 copies. The package will include a hand crafted coffin box, cd, sticker, poster and logo pendant. It will be available via our website merch store. The EP tentative release is set for spring 2013 and will include the other five songs.

Since you’re drawing some of the traditional elements of goth-music, what would you say that you add to the mix to make it sound Strap On Halo-ish?

– That’s a hard question. We are the sum of three. We influence each other. Take one away and the sound/style would surely be altered but I guess I could start from the beginning by saying that when we got together we decided that before we define our genre we should really just play to see what comes out. Perhaps we own our sound because we don’t try to mimic what others have done. Granted we have our influences and draw from those however we never write songs to sound like anyone else. I think writing music is about igniting the senses. If we don’t feel it then it’s no good, in my opinion.

When writing lyrics for the songs, what do you think is the most important thing to begin with? Do you have any tips, any places you like to go or anything you like to do to get inspiration for the process of writing?

– As mentioned in the previous question. Writing music for us is emotional. My lyrics are always emotion driven. I don’t pre write lyrics for songs. I rather prefer to write them as the music is being written. Perhaps it’s silly to say that it has to feel right. I want the words to reflect that moment when we are writing each of our songs together. What frame of mind I am in, what I have been reminiscing about or what I just experienced. A lot of my memories are marked with a scent, season, and time of day. Music has a way of bringing all that out and I am able to best express it in my words when I sing. I think the best thing that anyone can do is to rid themselves of any pretenses.

Thank you for letting me interview you! What do you have to say here, at the gloomy end?

– Thanks for taking the time to ask such insightful questions and to everyone else for reading. Please check us out at We have lots of exciting news for 2013 and updates on upcoming release. You can find and chat with us on Facebook, Reverbnation and on Twitter.

Five questions for Stab Me Kill Me!

Stab Me Kill Me is a band from Seattle that play melodic punk rock. They’re notable for their first demo, which featured four very interesting tracks. Currently, the band doesn’t have a label, but should any label be interested in their material – they should contact them over here. I asked David Dead, one of the guitarist/vocalists in the band, a few question about Stab Me Kill Me and their progress so far.

Tell me more about Stab Me Kill Me and when did you start your band up and who are you guys?

– We started up in May of this year. About once a month we’d end up getting together, almost always by chance or accident, and we’d fuck around with some songs. As of a month ago we’ve talked about trying to figure out a way to get together a little more regularly, but so far that’s pretty much how we’ve been operating. Jeff plays bass and sings, K2 plays drums and sings, and I play guitar and sing. My name is David by the way.

Who is the artist behind the cover of your self-released demo and how long did it take for you to put it out? What have you accomplished with it so far?

– I’m glad that you asked this question! Tom Lowell is a good friend of ours here in Seattle and does all of STAB ME KILL ME’s artwork. In the future if you see a cool drawing on something of ours just know Tom did it. You’ll see some more art of his on some things we have planned for the near future as well as tons of other bands records, t-shirts, flyers, etc. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments and “positive feedback” from people and blogs about our demo. It’s been pretty cool. We should really try and make more of an effort to get it a little more out there, y’know?

So, have you had any labels that want to put out your material yet?

– We haven’t contacted any labels and we haven’t been contacted by any labels as of yet. I can promise you that we will be putting out a seven inch. We’re kicking around the idea of just putting one out ourselves. Of course, if a label wants to step forward and do one for us we’re certainly not going to make any arguments and would love to chat.

Have you written more material that you’re thinking of putting out and if so – are there any plans on releasing something beyond the demo?

– Right now we’ve got enough material for two seven inches. There are a number of songs that we haven’t learned as a band yet as well. We will totally be putting out more music.

Good luck with your music-making and thanks!

– Thanks for having me J!

Recension: Red Doves – Off the grid 12″

Lagom aggressiva men finslipade “bakåtsträvare“, tar ett stort kliv framåt. Med den första låten “Off The Grid“, så undrar man om det inte genast är slutet av 70-talet och början av 80-talet igen. Den råa essens som är Red Doves gör sig påmind genom att härstamma från en mycket grymmare tid. En stor skillnad är dock att tiderna har förändrats, men den största skillnaden blir till slut likheten; vi lever i en hård och tuff tid, vilket återspeglas på ett perfekt och nästan nonchalant sett av sångaren i bandet. Om jag hade fått säga mitt, så påminner det till viss del om Peter And The Test Tube Babies framtida kärleksbarn, som åkt tillbaka i tiden och försökt läxa upp en ännu råare aktör. Med det sagt så passar in det någorlunda nostalgiska amerikanska soundet i sammanhanget, då den betydligt råare brittiska kanaliseringen blir tämligen harmlös i sammanhanget, tack vare blandningen. Däremot måste jag säga att den amerikanska venen inte direkt märks förrän i refrängen och hur det låter i mellanakterna, då det känns som att det gamla brittiska soundet letar sig till utgången och kommer in genom den stora dörren för ännu en omgång.

Vad som därför blir tydligare i och med den andra låten “Chameleon Street” är den, för sin tid, typiska frustrerade och letande aggressiviteten från främst tidig amerikansk hardcore. Skillnaden enligt mig är den mer framträdande och melodiösa sidan som inte direkt är lika tydlig inom den brittiska. Måste även säga att sångaren får till orden på ett bra sätt, trots att det märks att det kommer från en svensk källa. Vilket gör att det hela känns märkligt, då det knappt ens finns ett spår utav den gamla svenska punken någonstans. Men å andra sidan låter det inte heller som om det varit ambitionen och därför faller det platt. Det mest märkbara är de snabba och finurliga riffen, som snabbt avlöser vartandra och formar olika melodiösa slingor packade till bristningsgränsen med attityd.

Den uppkommande låten “Payed In Excuses” påminner en hel del om Damage och stilen de lyckas porträttera på sin senaste platta. Skillnaden är väl den gryniga ljudbilden som genast skulle kunna betecknas som mer utav en rocklåt med punkinfluenser än tvärtom. När den svenska dialekten skiner igenom så känns det som att det passar in i sammanhanget. Den ger en egen charm till låten och fortsätter på det inslagna spåret, för en mer lättsam och nonchalant punkgryta av högre rang. När jag väl lyckats ta mig till låten “Kamikaze Love” så börjar det långsamt gå åt andra hållet. Nog för att Red Doves är intressanta, men det börjar bli lite väl mycket av samma tugg om och om igen. Där finns ett visst drag i musiken men det känns som att jag har hört detta förut. När man väl börjar komma till den punkten att allt man hör låter likadant, så är det illa. Men det mest engagerande i just denna låt är hur de blandar lo-fi med en verklig ljudbild, men det tar även ut en hel del av energin som de haft i tidigare låtar. Som om luften pyser ur och allting genast börjar bli långsammare och trögare att lyssna till.

Hur som helst tar låten “Ode To Nothing” tillbaka bandet till sin ursprungsposition, enda skillnaden är att ljudbilden är förändrad och i ett långsammare tempo. Något utav en balladaktig punkdänga som spiller över kanterna och förmedlar en hopplöshet. Med hjälp av denna vändning så blir det genast mycket trevligare att lyssna till det. Den uppenbara nihilistiska ådran gör att man bara vill flyta med och vaggar från sida till sida, när saxofonen lägger an och kompletterar de övriga instrumenten på ett bra sätt. En tydlig markör som förståndigt visar vägen ur en inslagen fåra. Visserligen fortsätter det, fast återigen i ett snabbare tempo och utan saxofon i låten “From Nothing To Nowhere” där det känns som om de får revansch och energin kryper långsamt tillbaka och slår ett slag. En av de låtar som är bra på ett sätt som är obeskrivligt, då de lyckas kravla sig ur nedåtspiralen och ge allt för att sedan kasta det rakt i ansiktet. Hittills en av de bättre låtarna på albumet, med en perfekt blandning av det flyende, energiska och totalt kompromisslösa som de tidigare levererat i mindre doser.

Nu när allt kommit igång på riktigt är jag redan på låt nummer sju som är “Watch From The Shadows“. Sångaren gör riktigt bra ifrån sig och det kommer loss som en nonchalant blandning av både apati men utan den i överlag nihilistiska inställningen, utan precis som han sjunger: “We’re back in style“. De tidstypiska dragen från äldre amerikansk punk och hardcore, framförd utav svenskar, gör att det hela tippar över totalt. Allt i en liten förpackning och med stora ambitioner, där allting till slut faller på plats och ger en den euforin man förväntar sig av just den typen av punk. Där den mer rockiga andan av melodiösa riff och den punkiga känslan ligger i framkant hela tiden och där sångaren verkligen är en stor del av hela njutningen. När allt spiller över till låten “I’m A Target“, så undrar man verkligen om det kan bli bättre än såhär och givetvis blir det så. Refrängen har samma innovativa känsla som man får när man lyssnar på the Hex Dispensers, även om de möjligen har ännu mer melodiöst sting i sin musik. Trots att de spretar och stretar så röjer de undan tidigare oplöjd mark och stampar med sina fötter i takt, det är dags för den mer klämkäcka och nonchalanta sidan av punk som inte fått fotfäste. Men tack vare de smutsiga skorna så är det en realitet, särskilt med denna låt.

Musiken forsätter i samma anda och är genomgående i de två låtar som kommer efter och när man väl tagit sig till en av dom, vars namn är “Stains“, blir man förundrad över hur likriktat det kan vara ibland. Inget ont om det, men det blir en hel del repetition som även låter sig höras i den senare låten “White Dots“. Där det egentligen inte känns som att något behöver tilläggas. Nog för att de har bevisat att de har något särskilt, men det känns som att det i överlag håller sig inom grinden och inte vågar sig ut. Andra bullar är det dock med den sista låten “Out Of Orbit“, som förmodligen är en av de snabbare låtarna och även den längsta på plattan- Där skruvas tempot upp i början och håller stilen ända tills låten är slut. De melodiösa förgreningarna inom låten får visa sig från sin bästa sida och letar sig äntligen utanför de gränser som de tyvärr hållit sig inom. Men det är kanske så det är ibland, plattan är av det slaget att de inkorporerat en hel del saker som jag inte direkt har tänkt på. Det bevisar å ena sidan att de har en plats, men å andra sidan kan det bli lite väl repetivt när man tittar i backspegeln. Nu krävs det bara att Red Doves slår av backspegeln totalt och går bärsärk, men det kan de göra och det har de visat att de är kapabla av att göra. Ett intressant band, som kan leverera, när de vill. Förhoppningsvis simulerar de detta och går sin egen väg, istället för att rita in sig själv i en fyrkant med hjälp av de musikaliska kritorna.

Mitt råd till er är att ni köper plattan och lyssnar igenom den, för det är det verkligen värt. Den går att köpa hos Gaphals.

Interview with TSTI!

TSTI is a bedroom artist who goes by the name of S. Smith, and produces wonderful electronica straight from the convenience of his own home. Mostly featuring an analogue approach to music, with loads of fascination for the 80’s and a lot of influences gathered from that particular decade. He describes his own music as “dark, hazy synthetic pop“, but generally indulges in whatever genre he seems to set his steps upon. Up until now, he’s released some demos, an earlier EP and has since the 12th of November released his latest addition to the family, an album which is titled “evaluations“. Since I reviewed his album earlier, I decided to step things up and ask him some questions about his music and everything in between. Make sure you read this piece and listen to his latest album which can be found at the bottom of this shorter interview.

You’ve currently released your latest album “evaluations” and I read somewhere that it took you ten months before it was completely done. What would you say have been the most fun with the creative process and what’s the hardest thing about it?

– Yes, I started this album right in the beginning of 2012 and finished writing, recording, mixing right around September. When I started, I had no idea it was going to be a full length, have a theme, or anything. I wanted to let the process happen organically. The most fun of the process is to hear the final product. I’m not a traditional song writer, I like to experiment until my experiments show me what a final product could look like, then I go from there. So some songs take a while for me and some are very fast. But it’s been a pleasure to do this on my own time and not stress about it. The hardest thing about it, I’d say is probably mixing, for many reasons. I’m not a professional so I can only do what I can do. I also don’t think a song is ever completed so when do you call it a day with it? Lastly, for me the mixing is a pretty long and pissed off process. I get very frustrated that I’m still working on a song I’ve already finished writing and recording. I want to move onto other things!

What do you think is the difference between your latest album and your earliest one? In what way have you made progress since then and what do you like about the both of them?

– The biggest difference is the first EP sucks, haha. The first EP was basically me being semi-happy with some songs. I didn’t really focus on the bigger picture on the EP, so they are almost like demo’s. The album is much more focused in all aspects, song writing, recoding, and behind one cohesive but dynamic product. Even though I put it together myself, I really wanted the new album to sound like a “real album.”

Don’t you think the task of being a musician can be overwhelming at times, I mean, you spend a lot of time creating your own music in your own room?

– It all depends on what kind of musician you are. For me, I don’t get too overwhelmed. I write pieces in my room during my spare time. I love having the option of running in and recording a melody I heard in my head real quick and then afterwards going on with my day. The most overwhelming process for me is trying to get down all my ideas before I loose them. I’m sure other musicians get overwhelmed about deadlines, “making it”, money, etc. I’m not worried about any of that. I just enjoy creating things.

I wonder what kind of reactions you’ve received on your latest album evaluations from different sources and how have people received your new album in general?

– So far… the people that have heard it and have responded to it, have been really positive about it. I’m sure some people heard it and didn’t like it as well, they just didn’t tell me. But overall and so far, I’m excited about the response.

There’s also an interesting aspect when it comes to your aesthetics, they seem to be bound to the traditional but also the minimalistic. Where have you sought out inspiration from for your covers and the general aesthetic nerve you have?

– For the cover of the album, I wanted to create something that was bold but minimal. I really enjoy early 80’s goth album covers and old 4AD albums and album art. I wanted to pretend the art was created during that time and not get overly fancy with it.

Do you have any favorite albums from the past that might’ve influenced you a little bit more than anything else from now or do you channel your influences from old to new, since you’re focused on the 80’s?

– Oh, so many good oldies! A few that instantly come to mind are Depeche Mode’s “Black Celebration” Sister of Mercy’s “First Last and Always” and John Foxx’s “Metamatic”. I’m not sure I’m trying to “channel” them, but they where highly influential albums for me.

When it comes to the limited CD, how was the creative process in the making of it and what did you want your listeners to receive when you thought of making one?

– Well, both CD’s are limited. The first EP is called the “Black Envelope EP” it’s a hand made, hand painted and constructed package. The CD and art comes in a Black Envelope and each has a painted number. I wanted to treat this like an invitation to bigger things coming. For the new album “Evaluations”, I had professionally printed and hand numbered the sleeves. I made a limited run of these, but there might be some exciting news in the near future on more options. I wanted the listener to feel like they had solid album in their hands with this one.

Have you got any favorite blogs that you follow on a regular basis for finding new bands and artists or just for the general content of the blog themselves when it comes to music?

– Not really, I have a ton of them bookmarked that I enjoy but when I’m looking for new music I tend to go to hype machine, search a few artist and let the domino effect of finding blogs, talking about these artist, and checking out the other artists they are mentioning as well. I also use Soundcloud and Instagram to find a ton of really great and unsigned artists.

Since you’re mainly working with analogue equipment, what would you say is the benefit with it and what kind of gear do you have currently?

– The benefit is to a 100% the sound, the emotion it can create and endless possibilities you have with analog equipment, you can totally get lost in creating 1 sound for hours, how would that not be fun? I’m not into clicking and dragging to create sounds, no offense to any readers but it’s just not for me. Currently, I’m using a Moog Voyager, Roland SH-101, Roland Juno106, Roland TR-909 and then a Roland MC-909, which I mostly use as a master clock to sync everything. Throughout my songs you may hear other synths and live instruments though. I’m constantly trading and dabbling with other peoples stuff.

You’ve also got a lot of D.I.Y in you since you release the albums by yourself but have you ever thought of getting signed to a label for releases on vinyl? What have you got planned for the future and will we be seeing anything new next year or are you having any show in the next couple of months?

– Yes and Yes, more news in the near future.

What have you got planned for the future and will we be seeing anything new next year or are you having any show in the next couple of months?

– In the near future may be the question you just asked before. But in the meantime, I’m already 3 songs into the next release. It’s got a theme, a name and I’m really excited about it.

Thank you for letting me ask these questions and thank you for your participation!

– No, thank you! And thank you for taking the time to pay attention to my creations. It’s much appreciated.

Recension: Daniel Gilbert – the Soul of a Fool 7″

En närmast bisarr blandning av själfylld musik och vågade sidosteg. Där den första låten “Led 2” minst sagt har en styrka när det kommer till det musikaliska, men där sångrösten är en stor faktor till varför låtarna inte leder ända fram. Tystnaden mellan partierna av Daniel Gilberts sångröst och musiken är det som känns mest tilltalande. Eftersom att musiken inte lämnar en oberörd och är fylld utav den bästa av världar, så faller just sångrösten på att den låter väldigt märkligt rent generellt. Även om den sjungs med inlevelse, så finns det en viss grad av märklighet som omfamnar helheten. I början av låten så känns detta avlägset, då jag rent visuellt befinner mig på en utav många öar, där jag blickar ut över havet och ser en solnedgång som inte är av denna värld. Rent metaforiskt, så skulle man väl kunna säga att sången är just det som gör att det inte stannar länge i blickfånget. De lugna vågorna bryts upp utav onödigt starka störningar från ett annalkande oväder. Nog för att ord kan ha en rätt så onödigt hård innebörd, men det jag kan ge Gilbert är att man märker att det finns en gnista där någonstans. Den är det enda som behövs för att tända brasan återigen och hänge sig till det lugn som man omges av när man lyssnar på just denna låt. Särskilt i refrängen, så märks det av ännu mer, då brasan håller på att få lite tändvätska på sig. Förhoppningsvis skulle gnistan kunna slå över och även påverka nästa låt.

Som ärthe Smell O’Thunder“, där den märkliga vibben nästan är som bortblåst. Man hade kunnat sitta och lyssna på den själfyllda låten i vad som känns som en evighet. Där introt påminner om en bisarr blandning av indie-pop ambitioner, rent sångmässigt, och helt enkelt en motpol till den dominerande genren som inte borde blandas. Men just denna blandning bär fruktsamhet, då refrängen är det starka kortet återigen. Känns som att plattan bärs upp av bland annat refrängen och musiken i allmänhet, men en viktig ingrediens saknas fortfarande. Trots att det rent sångmässigt har flyttats upp en ribba, tack vare den närvaro som Gilbert lyckas med i just denna låt. En annan dimension som läggs till är den innovativa kören som kan höras allt eftersom, den lyckas väldigt väl med att täcka vissa brister. Musiken har ett otroligt djup och när man dyker ner i oceanen så tornar den musikaliska ambitionen upp i fjärran, för att komma närmre, för att stanna runtomkring och låtsas som ingenting. Det kan låta som en barnlek, men det är inte det. Att man kan få något så brett och närmast fantastiskt att låta busenkelt, då har man gått upp en trappa och måttstocken kan fällas ut för att mäta ambitionen ytterligare. I trappan så fattas ett steg, det steget måste sättas dit och övervinnas – för enbart då kan framgångssagan komma att bli ett lyckligt slut.

Lyssna på plattan här nedanför och beställ den.

Tre snabba till Death By Armborst!

Death By Armborst är en punk’n’roll grupp från Göteborg som ännu inte satt sitt namn på kartan men säkerligen kommer att göra det inom kort. Hittills har de överraskat med sitt självbetitlade släpp och den nyligen släppta låten “Slave State” som kommer att återfinnas på deras uppkommande EP. Eftersom att jag redan intervjuat de tidigare, så tänkte jag ställa några frågor om ett ämne som jag inte vet särskilt mycket om än. Därför bestämde jag mig för att ställa tre snabba frågor till dom, som kretsade kring deras uppkommande släpp. Tidigare har de även medverkat i ett podcastavsnitt av min serie Svensk Punk och Hardcore. Njut av frågorna och rocka loss.

Ni har tidigare varit med i ett avsnitt av min serie Svensk Punk och Hardcore där ni talade lite om er uppkommande platta, men nu verkar ni vara närmre ett släpp och därför undrar jag om ni kan avslöja några nya detaljer?

– Den nya EP:n kommer att innehålla 6 stycken låtar. Skivan är mycket aggressivare än vårt förra släpp. Vi har lagt mer tid den här gången på att skriva och arrangera låtar och är själva mycket nöjda med resultatet. Just nu försöker vi hitta någon som vill hjälpa oss att trycka upp det på vinyl. Om vi inte hittar någon som vill göra det så får vi starta en insamling. Därav är det svårt att säga exakt när materialet kommer att släppas men förhoppningsvis snart.

Hur har det gått när ni spelat in skivan och vem är det som har hjälpt till, har ni använt någon särskilt studio för ändamålet och när kommer den ut?

– Skivan spelades in under en helg i våran polare, Daniel Sanne’s replokal. Den är även mixad av densamme. Mastringen stod Patrick Stacke på Tuff Studios för som också är en nära vän. Alla sex låtar spelades in på en helg och allt är inspelat live för att i så stor utsträckning som möjligt kunna återskapa energin som infinner sig vid en livespelning.

Eftersom att er senaste låt “Slave State” är mer punkig än era tidigare låtar så undrar jag om ni kommer att sadla om totalt och utelämna rocken för punkinfluenserna?

– Vi älskar både punken och Rock n’ Rollen så att något av dem skulle uteslutas tror jag inte. Dock skulle jag säga att den här skivan är både snabbare, punkigare och råare än den förra men man kan fortfarande höra rocknrollinfluenserna genomsyra musiken.

Vet ni någon som kan trycka upp deras uppkommande EP på vinyl? Hör då av er till:[at]