Spotlight: Water Torture – Pillbox

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Someone enlightened me to the existence of Water Torture. I think I had heard of them a couple of times not too long ago, but it is easy to mix everything up. This band is a trio hailing from the US with members from Bestower, but also from numerous other bands. Ian Wiedrick, Matt Goodrich and Thomas Leyh are the names of the foundation which this trio stands upon. When it comes to their band, they’ve released a lot of different EPs and singles which makes me think of Agathocles and how bands within the genres of grindcore, powerviolence and fastcore – to mention a few sub-genres – release so much material that it’s insane. They first got released on Human Beard, a split-release with Dirt Eyes that was put out on cassette back in 2011. Since then a range of releases have been put out on labels such as Diseased Audio, Knochen Tapes, Mannequin Rein, Nice Dreams Records, CONTINUUM., Dead Heroes Records, Prime Eggsample Records and Nerve Altar. In other words, they’ve got a hell lot of material to be listened through for those of you interested in hardcore, grindcore and powerviolence. Not to mention that they’ve already gathered so much material that three different compilations have been released, namely “Tour 2013“, “Discography” and “Collection“. Finally they’ve been readied to put out their first real album on Nerve Altar.

The album is titled “Pillbox” and feature seventeen tracks. From what I have gathered it seems like most of the tracks are exclusive for this release alone. Everything on it was recorded in May of 2014 together with (and by) John Angelo. It feels like they’ve gotten a rather nice, well-processed sound albeit a dirty one, with the help from John. When you listen through it you notice how it strays away from the general clichés that can often be attached to genres such as grindcore and power-violence. Even though it is clear that a hand is lent to the influences with each genre, collecting around the collectivized sluggishness that only a hint of sludge can bring with itself – which is perfectly thrown in there amidst all the noisy wrath of both vocals and music alike. I am utterly dismayed when listening to it but there never comes a moment where I feel like its too heavy of a burden to listen to. Because even though a lot of discontent can be felt throughout the general atmosphere of the album, they’ve executed the setting of every instrument into the sound-scape and the general theme of it – without overextending. The noise that they display in all of this helps to create a rather ominous setting for a barrage of drums, riffs and freakish rhythm that makes them stand out. I really like it a lot and I’ll have to thank whomever that got me into Water Torture for the first time. You can stream the release in whole down below and if you like what you’re hearing, pre-order the vinyl here.

Exklusiv Premiär: Agenda / Mørkt Kapittel – Split

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Bombardemanget fortsätter när Norrmännen bjuder upp till kamp. Mørkt Kapittel känner ni förmodligen till sedan tidigare om ni läst vad jag skriver här på blogg-zinet. Jag fick äran att lägga ut hela albumsläppet för streaming när det släpptes av dem själva, 2013. “Gro Igjen” var namnet på albumet och var deras första album, då de endast släppt en EP tidigare och det var år 2010. Ett år senare så har de färdigställt sitt första split-album tillsammans med Stavanger-hårdingarna Agenda – ett norskt hardcoreband utan några pretentioner alls. Tidigare har de varit med på samlingsplattan “No Power, No Punk” med låten “Når Dommen Faller“, och de har även släppt ett album med titeln “Menneskehetens Massegrav” i Mars detta år. Det är ungefär några veckor kvar tills detta split-släpp kommer ut för att kunna köpas i butikerna. Jag har redan tagit del av de fyra låtar som finns på albumet, nämligen “Guddomelig Massemord“, “Misantrolypse Nå!” och “Religiøs Terror (Svart Framtid Cover)” med Agenda, samt låten “Bokbål” med Mørkt Kapittel. Allt från de nästan crossover-orienterade låtar som Agenda presterar med, till den ynka låt Mørkt Kapittel bidrar med – som närmast påminner om en stoner (och svartmetall)-orienterad låt, stöter på patrull i hardcoresvängen – så kan man konstatera att det är ett sjujäkla bra släpp.

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Nu har tiden kommit för mig att lägga upp den för er att lyssna till. Istället för skämt om norrmän kan ni hålla till godo med allvarligheten inom dessa genrer, tillsammans med det mörka sväng som skjuter er båt i sank. Hela spliten kan lyssnas till på Repartiserarens soundcloud, där alla låtar kommer att ligga uppe. Detta släpp kommer att komma ut via Negative Vibe Records den 1:a Augusti, så om ni vill ha en bit av kakan så kan ni först lyssna till det i sin helhet här nedanför och sedan beställa spliten när den kommer.

Listen: The Hammer – Demo 2014

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I’ve been covering some great hardcore the recent years, but there’s been both great hardcore coming out recently and not so great hardcore, but nothing quite like this. At least not when you’re at your demo-stage. The Hammer is a hardcore-band from Gothenburg that released their first demo today, titled “Demo 2014“. We have no idea about the origins of this band or who is behind it, but it sounds very great even though it’s their first demo. That much can’t be said about a lot of bands. It sounds like a crossover in between hardcore, punk and metal, but it’s mainly hardcore and punk. Gothenburg seems to be a stronghold when it comes to certain mind-altering, in a good way, sounds from that particular sphere of genres. What makes it even more interesting is that this crossover blend makes it sound a lot like fastcore and powerviolence, with the fast rhythm, the fast riffs and everything that makes those genres great. The vocalist in particular is absolutely stunning, when you hear his rage and anger between the lines that are riddled with fast-paced hardcore almost all the way. This is certainly one of those demos that you should pay more attention to. You can download this three-tracked release free from their Bandcamp. But I think you should support them with some money if you like what you’re hearing. It was recorded at Fvck Life Studios in Trollhättan, mastered by Fred Hunger. We’re certainly looking forward to future releases by this band.

Support: To Live A Lie Records!

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To Live A Lie Records have long been a smaller independent label that you could count on. This American label has since 2005, and maybe even earlier then that, supported and made way for bands within genres such as grindcore, fastcore, hardcore, power violence – and every suitable sub-genre you could think of, within these extreme genres. Since a day ago or so, the label-boss Will Butler decided to put out every release from his label in the shape of a .ZIP-archive with .MP3’s. He didn’t do this just because, but because he wanted to shine a light on how the machinery works with smaller D.I.Y. “franchises” if you will, but also as a call to support every band that is featured within this archive. He wanted to mark the love that was involved in doing what he do, and in what these bands do. Therefore, we’ve decided to list every band, so you can find your way to support them in every way you can.

The following bands are featured in this archive: Godstomper, Magrudergrind, Rhino Charge, Unholy Grave, Archagathus, I Object, FxPxOx, AxRxMx, Final Draft, XBRAINIAX, NoComply, Terminal Youth, LxExAxRxNx, Mehkago N.T., Athrenody, Agathocles, SMG, Bloody Phoenix, Proletar, Hip Cops, Gate, Kakistrocacy, Nux Vomica, Sakatat, Mesrine, P.L.F., Malparido, Party By The Slice, Hummingbird Of Death, Deathrats, Arctic Choke, Mondo Gecko, D9, Get Destroyed!, Thieves, Axed Up Conformist, Charogne Stone, Sick/Tired, Conga Fury, Shitstorm, Disciples Of Christ, Agathocles, Violent Gorge, Sex Prisoner, Pizzahifive, Asshole Parade, Magnum Force, Backslider, Dos Amigos, Suffering Luna, Sissy Spacek, BearTrap, Sidetracked, Capitalist Casualties, Black Hole Of Calcutta, Mind As Prison, ACxDC, Lapse, Eddie Brock, Fatal Nunchaku, Chest Pain, Downtrodden, Wretched Existence, Bleak Future, Roskop, Needful Things, Tinnitus, Nak’ay, Unholy Grave, Nashgul, Malpractice Insurance, Protestant, Suffering Mind, Rape Revenge, Torch Runner, Six Brew Bantha, Cathether, Mass Grave, Mindless, T.F.D., The Kill, Last Words, Seasick, Abuse., Suppression, Bastard Noise, Cave State and Impulse.

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These bands, and probably some more that haven’t been listed, have all been a part of the To Live A Lie Records – and many of them still may be. So for those that want to support this label, please head on over to their Facebook and like them. For those of you that like a release or two, don’t hesitate to donate money to those bands or buy their releases if you like them. In times like these, it’s even more important to support the independent alternatives that really deliver – and I consider this label to be one of them. In fact, it’s probably been somewhat of an indirect inspiration to me. At least when it comes to the working morale of the label-boss who continue to churn out great records together with great bands. If you want to download these archives, don’t hesitate to head on over here. Down below, the latest releases are featured to be streamed. You can also head on over to Bandcamp to check out more.

Några frågor till Christer Pettersson!

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Sedan förra gången Christer Pettersson fick några väl valda frågor, så har det hänt en hel del. Sveriges i princip enda powerviolence band har inte direkt mognat sedan sist, men de har släppt ytterligare material. Inte för att ett sådant band någonsin behöver växa upp, förbi skyttegravarna, men ibland är det lite väl. Men det är väl precis så det ska vara. Förutom att bandnamnet är på snudd till genialiskt, så kan alla pretentiösa popkulturella experter leta saker som de inte skulle finna på annat håll. Eller jo, det kanske de skulle kunna, men det är rätt absurt att det återfinns här med. Förresten, det här är nog ingenting som hipsters borde läsa, men ni andra kan väl scrolla ner och ta er igenom denna korta frågestund, om ni överhuvudtaget är intresserade. Köp gärna deras vinylskiva om ni gillar detta.

Förra gången var det mycket engelska, nu är det bara svenska. Vad har hänt i Christer Petterssons värld sedan sist?

– Vi har spelat in låtar till en ny sjua som vi jobbar på att få färdigt. Nu börjar den roliga processen med att hitta folk som har mer pengar än oss och är villig att hjälpa till att släppa skiten.

Med tanke på att ni precis har släppt er debut-sjua på Defiant Hearts, så undrar jag; varför just Defiant Hearts?

– Det är samsläpp med Monument som redan har släppt flera skivor ihop med Defiant Heart, bland annat Undergång som är Franks andra band. Det var Monument som fixade hela den biten.

Hur fick ni Rohan Harrisson från Extortion att göra ert omslag och vad är syftet med det?

– Jag har följt hans arbete under flera år och alltid varit ett fan. Älskar mycket av det han gjort till Extortion. Det är ofta rätt speciella bilder med en starkt nihilistisk underton som jag verkligen dras till. Jag behövde bara skicka ett mail, han var på direkt.

Är det bara en nypacketering eller finns där någon ny låt som ni smugit in?

– Det är enbart en nypacketering. Tanken var att släppa det som en sjua redan från början.

Era texter är ju rätt så samhällskritiska, om man säger så. Med tanke på att det är rätt så turbulenta tider, så undrar jag om ni kan berätta vilka inspirationskällor som används till lyrikskapandet?

– Allt från tidningsartiklar till egna upplevelser och andra människors vittnesmål. Väldigt mycket handlar om hierarkier och hantering av makt. Vi lever i ett samhälle som bygger mer och mer på individers ”rätt” att trampa på andra för att själva få ut mer av sina liv, en rättighet som bevakas av ett statligt våldsmonopol. Den gamla socialdemokratiska modellen (pre-åttiotalet) som visserligen baserades på samma kapitalistiska grund inkorporerade åtminstone kollektivistiska element och en idé om att generell empati gagnade samhället. Nu är det bara fokus på jaget. Allt handlar om att ”unna sig” och fokusera på sig själv. Just nu är det människor som mer eller mindre förnekar förekomsten av sociala hierarkier, strukturellt förtryck och institutionell ras. Just nu är det människor som mer eller mindre förnekar förekomsten av sociala hierarkier och strukturellt förtryck som befolkar regeringen, det gör inte direkt situationen bättre.

Märkte att det är medlemmar från Undergång, Headed For Disaster och One Inch Giant som är med i detta band. Detta missade jag förra gången. Ni är med andra ord veteraner?

– Jo, det får man kanske kalla oss. Vi har spelat in skivor och turnérat och så vidare, men det är inte som att våra namn väcker något intresse hos folk. Vi har för få tatueringar tror jag.

Vilka popkulturella referenser står att finna i era låtar, med undantag för det mest uppenbara?

– Det är upp till lyssnaren att hitta, det är hela poängen. Vi står för våra stölder men då måste folk peka ut dem först.

Det finns en större mängd motiveringar till varför man bör köpa sjuan. Men jag vill gärna veta vad ni har för motivering?

– För att inget annat band låter som oss för tillfället. I alla fall inte i Sverige. Vi är dessutom 100% New Era-fria, det om något är ett gott skäl.

Kommer det hända någonting särskilt inom den närmsta framtiden?

– Revolution, skivsläpp, massavrättningar av oliktänkade och kanske en spelning.

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Harvesting #11: Find some time within the hardcore-shrine! [Part III]

This is the final Part of this hardcore, punk and everything-in-between endeavor. I’ll be updating this piece with another band, as soon as I get something back from them. I searched far and wide in my personal archives for something worthy, which I always save for other parts. But since this was the last Part in Harvesting #11, I might as well put forth the greatest artillery of them all. So I chose some bands randomly and some because I’ve wanted to review and/or introduce them for a while. Therefore, this part is filled to the brink with some great bands. I’d say that there’s something for everybody here in this mix, hopefully everyone will like it too. Or, yeah, I’m just dreaming. In this Part you’ll get to know the following bands a little bit better: Real Problems, Stat Dad, Narratives, Noise Complaint, Necklacing, Condition and Institution. Since I haven’t received the material I need for the very secretive band I’ll include later on, you’ll have to fix your eyes on the short but sturdy questionnaire for the newly founded Swedish hardcore-band Institution. Also, enjoy this piece in any way you want.

Real Problems – Curious Feast

An alternatively sounding hardcore-record with a lot of sampling. In the beginning, the first track “The Thing On The Fourble Board” displays a playfulness with different elements like garage, rock and punk all together. With a driving baseline which is almost too distorted for the sound-scape as a whole. They employ a lot of different techniques when it comes to this particular song, a clever trick with silencing the instruments and playing a sample, just to head start it and gear it in the right direction again. I like the vocals in this song, because it stresses my own rock’n’roll feelings of how I would like to sound if I had made a record myself. He’s very good at articulating and getting it up with the tempo, it doesn’t feel out of place and it reeks of discipline and harmonies alike. The ironic song “Dumpster Diving (For Your Love)” makes me laugh when I listen to it and I love the clever song-title. Picturing some bearded rock-n-rollers diving in the dumpster, looking for a wedding ring. Pretty much a “joke’s on you” turned against the hipsters themselves, because I define them with that word at least.

Or, I could call them pretentious bastards. I don’t really want to get into a discussion about the necessities of dumpster diving for rich kids with so little to do, so I’ll leave it up for speculations instead. It’s a catchy and overall fun song, there’s a lot of great spirit but also sarcasm being delivered with this song. One of my absolute favorite songs from this album must be the “Bed Bug Boogie” song. I like the simpleness of this song and I also like the sarcastically made song, both from the singer’s part of it and the lyrical. It delivers a great groove and is easily one of the more easy songs to listen to on this album. The amount of catchiness and ridiculousness take it to a whole other level. Also, the song “You Gotta Lotta Nerve” is one of the harder songs on this album and maybe also one of the more serious ones. I like the lyrics and the instruments on this one, especially in the beginning, where the baseline takes it up a notch and simply goes up-tempo with the whole sound-scape. Makes me want to go crazy and throw stuff around.

Buy their album over at their bandcamp, either digitally or physically. You’ll get a physical CD for the price of 6 dollars, which is just a 1 dollar increase from the digital-only download release.

Stat Dad – Mominatrix

This is where it gets even funnier, hardcore with some skate influences. As their first song “The Church of Shit” rolls on to the speakers, I’m pretty much eavesdropping to everything that’s going on. It feels as if I’m locked out of the show and have to look in at the show when it’s rolling. One of those pretty short but furious hardcore-pieces, that experiment within and on the outer skirts of the genre hardcore. The vocalist is crazy and deserves a medal for this piece, even though it might not sound like anything out of the ordinary. But I like it how it is, he develops his vocalist presence the more you get into it. I also like the baseline intermezzo which launches into a total adrenaline-pumping experience. The only thing I don’t really like is that it’s kind of predictable, maybe not the subject at hand, but the structure of the song. Second song “Sunday Night” is a striking resemblance of how it is when you’re going out to some club you really don’t want to go to, but still go to because of the company that you’re in.

A total misery and alcohol rampage, and if the last ingredient isn’t present at the time, you’ll get to know it sooner or later. So, lyrically, it’s powerful in its meaning and it delivers the subject within a wrap of nice riffing and interesting parts with the baseline and the drums. I like the sound of the baseline and how it gradually forces itself upon you and just garners the frustration you have within you, it makes me let loose my anger over all this meaningless sifting through public spaces, seeing douches and jackasses. There’s also something apathetic about this, just observing the reality that is revolving around the vocalist. It reflects itself well within the speedy changes of the structure of the song, the further in you get. There’s also a nice solo when you get further into the song. One of the songs, namely “Mominatrix“, as the closing song is the bomb. I like the baseline in the intro and how it just sounds so repetitive and ghastly. A great conclusion for a pretty good album, but I still need to figure out what the hell a Mominatrix is. Now that I know, it cannot be unseen…

You can buy their digital-only release on their bandcamp for 5.50 US dollars, or you could buy the physical release for the same price over at Interpunk Record Store.

Narratives – Hell Is Here

If there’s a thing called “down-tempo” hardcore, this is the epitome of it. There’s such a wasteland within the first song “Bearing“. It’s a spiral, downwards, into unknown territory if you appreciate hardcore. Even though I at first glanced at it, listened and threw it away for a while – I started to appreciate it more and more. It’s a short song with extreme dedication to creating an absolute barren wasteland, a “nullpunkt” if you will, something you shouldn’t have striven for but something you’d experience after a total Armageddon. It sounds like something in between crust punk and metal, the riffing sounds more metal and the general sound-scape also goes with that flow. But there’s the vocalist and the secondary influence that points its rotten fingers and wants a piece of the action. Second song “Birth” shows a very unmelodious but uncompromising nature, in which they’ve blended together two genres and created the absolute zeroed out space possible, to lay out their black-metal atmosphere at times.

Even though it’s no significant factor within this, you can hear it from time to time. But the dominant nature of the secondary influence, namely: crust-punk, shows that you can actually blend these two. It feels very draining to say the least, like the music is sucking the life out of me. But it’s still not overtly romanticized, it’s not entirely uncompromising, but they’ve walked the walk and sure know how to talk the talk. One of the absolute heightened points in this albums existence is the song “Death“, which symbolizes everything about what’s spelled out in the meaning of that word. They somehow manage to stay down-tempo when it comes to riffing, but when it comes to the baseline and vocalist, it sparks a little flame within the more straight-forward and up-tempo situation within the sound-scape. A must have for anyone that shares the lust for crust-punk, but can’t stand the general themes of it and want a more metal-oriented approach to it.

You can either download it for free by visiting this link. Or buy the digital-only release on their bandcamp for 2 US dollars, or the physical 7¨ for 7 dollars and if you want you could get a t-shirt for 8 dollars.

Noise Complaint – Fuck Off And Thrash

Thrash can be very dull at times, but this is the anti-pole of that word. I like the touch that I hear in the first song “Noise Complaint“, with a perfect position for the sampling in the beginning. But I wonder why they use the American dialect for this kind of music, but I guess that just satisfied my Bay Area thrash need. He’s a very fast singer and the back-up singers surely make up for the more imperfect parts of the sound-scape, since they manage to hold it tight and still make it interesting, even though you might not like some parts of it. The song “Nord EST” is absolutely wonderful, even though I don’t really get what they’re singing about and what kind of language that is. Sounds like some Latin-american version of American thrash-metal, with a lot of punk influences when it comes to the riffing and the structure of it. It’s got that punk-oriented tempo that I like so much, with thrash-influences being scattered all over the place, leaving no one safe when it comes to the sound-scape.

I’m sensing a little bit of babble here and now from my side, so let’s continue with my other favorite song from this album. The only thing I like about the song “Bomb The Bus“, more than the tempo and the instruments being completely spazzed out, is the odd riff in the chorus that make it much more enjoyable in the end. One of my absolute favorite songs on this album is actually a song that reminds me much more of fastcore than anything else, employing the basics of that genre, is the song “Constipation”. It’s a worthy closer for this album and a rather childish one at that, but I mean, I didn’t have time to process all the information that came to me via the fucking idiot-proofed thrashing that came my way. I noticed the sample in the end, though. Just kidding, it’s a great closer and it’s good before this whole ordeal gets a little bit too boring. Overall an enjoyable record that serves its purpose, a little bit unconventional around the edges but also a little bit repetitive at times.

You can buy the physical 7¨ of it for only 4 brittish pounds over at A World We Never Made. But be sure to buy it directly from the band instead.

Necklacing – I

Let’s end this piece of nice shit with a great addition to the fastcore, noise and powerviolence family. Total chaos ensures, nothing is controlled, the instruments are fucking outrageously loud. Which I noticed when listening to the first song “Criminal“. I sense a little bit of the old-school and conventional way of making fastcore and powerviolence, but the distortion amidst these songs are pretty damn rad when it shows. But it manages to drown out some of those sounds you’d like to hear a little bit better. It sounds like the singer’s been pitched up a notch, or maybe he/she does it that fast with the vocals. The song titled “Icepick” is absolutely devastating and throws everything out at you, just to prove a point, that this is one heck of a fastcore/powerviolence band  – and it’ll stay that way! Even though the other songs are enjoyable at best, but painful at the very worst, I must say that this song is one of the greater ones on this album.

I’d have to say that the song “Chemical” also hits the spot at a good rate, but it’s only 15 seconds long. There’s also a hell of a lot going on in the track “Disease“, which just seems to be a way to bang the life out of your drums and ensure that you’ll get some painful treatment for your fingers when playing in this tempo. However, it’s pure adrenaline that gets pumping and it’s as if you’d go bananas in a totally different setting. I’m sitting here, everything is wonderful, but suddenly chaos ensures and everything turns into total anarchy. Finding myself jumping around in my chair, because I don’t know how I should move to this tempo. The sound-scape is lacking in a sense that it’s too damn distorted, but that is also one of the strengths of it and it’s an album that I’d recommend. It’s pretty good, at least.

Download it for free over at their bandcamp, but while you’re at it, you should give them some money. Mail them if you want a physical version of the release, which will cost you about 5.50 US Dollars. You can find the mail here: necklacingma@gmail.com

Condition – Deteriorating

One of the most menacing releases, both aesthetically speaking and musically. Breaking with the conventions and doing their own thing, which makes it pleasurable to listen to. In their first song “Smoldering Wreckage“, they balance on the edge of everything but have quite an enjoyable sound-scape to listen to. It’s heavy, rough and tough at the same time. The riffs are completely intriguing, filling up the whole sound-scape with smoldering feelings and conquering up the space at the same time. I’m pretty surprised by their sheer talent, as I listen through it, from time to time. The vocals are absolutely perfect on the second song “Sensation Defect“, which leaves me with a great feeling inside after listening to it and the tempo of the drums are absolutely astonishing. I believe that their strength lies in the balance of their combinations, since they mold it perfectly with one another, which takes the listening pleasure to a whole other level.

The songs themselves are not hard to listen to, and it gives you pleasure even though it’s such a serious subject they’ve brought to the table. The aesthetics are frightening and they blend in with the music with total effect, which I think is a great deal of what you’re expecting. When that gets delivered, almost to the point, it makes it so much better. I can also sense some kind of scandicore, vaguely mixed in between the crust punk and the harsher hardcore elements. Also, the song “Complete Fucking Robbery” pretty much sums up what Condition are and have a potential of being. They are stepping it up with each song and it’s also got its own unique sound-scape, even though there can be some repetitiveness, there’s a larger contrast between the songs. Some are more focused on the overall sound-scape, some are just focusing on the total mayhem of it. Great release, you should get it from De:Nihil if they still have any left. Oh, how I love the relentlessness of great hardcore.

You can order a copy of this release from De:Nihil Records and you can also listen to one song from the release, below.

Jallo from the newly founded hardcore-band “Institution” got some questions sent his way and he answered them.

Why the name ”Institution” and what sound do you think you’re going to go for within the hardcore sphere?

– Well, it’s just a name and it happens to be a good name. It’s hardcore punk the way we (the guys in the band) have done in our other bands in the past. Totalitär, Herätys etc.

Are there any new bands that you’d like to recommend for this blog?

– Warcry (US).

How far have you progressed when it comes to your first album “Domen Är Satt” and how did you go about when creating it?

– The album is recorded and mastered. Martin (the guitarist and me made the songs), then we just rehearsed for a weekend, then a short intense recording, 2 days.

What are your plans for the near future and next year?

– Well, I think there’s gonna be some gigs in the near future. Don’t know about next year. Oh, there’s going to be a new 7″ coming spring 2013.

Thank you for this! What have you got to say here in the end?

– Thank you.

Harvesting #11: Q: Are we Phoebus? A: No, we’re Chrille P! [Part I]

Another day, another edition of Harvesting. This time I venture into well-known territory and drag you along with me. I’ve been doing a podcast-series about Swedish Punk and Hardcore, which solemnly died and this is what rose from the ashes of it. The difference between this edition and the podcast is that I’ll be including foreign hardcore and punk-bands into this. So this time around you’ll get to know the following bands a little bit better, whether it’s a review or an interview: Prowler, Grueling Sentence, Hassler, Christer Pettersson and Phoebus Beat Clan. The last two of these bands will also be interviewed in this edition, which will be in two parts. So you can look forward to Christer Pettersson and Phoebus Beat Clan being interviewed in this part of it. Enjoy this Part of the deal and I hope you’ll enjoy the second part of it too. The second part will be released tomorrow.

Prowler – Prowler EP

I rarely find any hardcore in the regions of New Zealand and Australia, but this band comes from the NZ area and surprised me a lot. The first track “Choker” sounds a lot like the older hardcore-sound of America, specifically bands like Poison Idea and the likes of it. It’s got the banging sound of early hardcore and everything seems to be in place. Even though the tempo could be a little bit faster at times, it’s a basic and pretty repetitive formula but with their own touch added to it like it should be. So in the end, it can be a little bit frustrating, but the song isn’t that long to begin with and it ends with a burst of riffs and fades into oblivion. However, the second track “H.R.D” is more of a melodic punk song.

With much more weight added onto the melodic parts of it and the less up-tempo feeling of it. A higher feeling of joy and a lighter feeling of the punk-oriented sound of yesteryear. The only thing that sets them off is the basic formula that they’ve employed with this EP, but since it’s one of their first, I can understand why. I also believe that there’s been a lot of things that have sounded the same, but I think Prowler distinguish themselves from that category by having such a variation in songs and the structure is easier to bang your head to than other bands that just do the same over and over again. So at least that part of it is intact and I’m looking forward to other releases from this band, but it seems like they’ve been quite inactive since they released this EP in the beginning of 2012.

You can buy their EP over at their bandcamp if you want to, but it’s a digital-only download release this time around. There’s also a possibility to download it for free, but I think you should give the guys some cash for what they’ve managed to put out there with this release.

Grueling Sentence – Metaphysical Decomposition

Time for some of the first grindcore in these series. One of the more interesting releases in that category this year. Beginning with the track “Bodies Subscribe“, the Moog does that it does best. There’s a lot going on here and I feel myself headbanging to this piece of crossover hardcore. A good combination of hardcore in the down-tempo parts, serving as a breakdown kind of thing. Even though the third song “Bloodless” only lasts for some seconds, it’s one of my favorite songs of the album. Almost as if you’d put some powerviolence on a grindcore record. I don’t know how well it matches, but it sure as hell lets off some well-deserved steam. I could keep going for hours, whilst listening to that single song. One of the later songs, titled “Immersed“, is also one of my favorites. I like everything about this record, but some tracks are better than others.

There might be a lot of variation in one single track, as they sometimes go from pure metal to hardcore and then directly force themselves into the hardcore category. But I think it’s great that bands like these get some light shining upon them, because they’re hopping from genre to genre and they do it good. Another song that is one of my favorites on this album would be the song “Destructive Purpose“, blastbeating the fuck out of me and leaving me with my jaw close to the floor. I try to keep up with the tempo, but they’ve surpassed me five times already. Even though it’s such a heinous tempo, they still manage to keep it controlled to a good degree at least. The riffs are insane and the drumming is out of this world, I don’t really care to much for the growling, but it serves the purpose of the sound-scape as a whole and is a good catalyst to the speedy tempo.

Either you buy it and download it for 5 dollars from their bandcamp. Or, you could add 5 more dollars and get the 10 dollar physical CD in your hand. I don’t think it’s limited, but I think you should get it just to listen through it physically and not via the player.

Hassler – s/t 7¨

If you like bone-breaking hardcore, you will like this. It’s fucking crazy, but at the same time catchy. Starting off with the first track “Asphyxiate“, which makes the whole world rumble beneath my feet. Inviting me to a darker world than what I know of, moshing around in my head until I fall down and puke on myself. With crazy riffs, catchy vocals and a murky sound-scape which could be described as raw-fi. I think I should begin to promote the use of that word in situations like this. I like the straight-forwardness of the song and it just takes me by surprise as it storms into my living room and occupies it. The ultimate setting for something like Hassler, with everything developing into a controlled mayhem with undertones of sweet old-school crust. Or maybe it’s just me being confused thanks to the sound-scape, because it sounds crustier. Next song that I like very much from this album is “Beatdown“, which is straight-up hardcore with rock-oriented rhythms and crazy riffing.

Reminds me of a lot of Swedish bands, but they keep the American sound intact at least. Could be compared to a noisier version of Damage morphed into something in between with Misantropic, but without the sharp sound-scape and overtly bass-ridden songs. The hooks in these songs are fucking amazing too and leave me even more surprised. I was thinking, at first, that this was just one of the basic and straight-forward releases but nothing more than that. Fortunately for me, I was wrong about that and these guys serve as an example, at least when it comes to the synchronization and harmony in between the instruments. The way they manage to manipulate the instruments into sounding so damn crazy is above me and beyond. One of the greater records this year, in the hardcore category, for sure. Canada, you haven’t disappointed me this time around.

Support this band with all the money you have and buy a copy of their record over at Schizophrenic Records.

Christer Pettersson – Play Fast

Are we spoiled in Sweden? Yes, we are. We have Christer Pettersson. It’s a combination of Swedish and English fastcore/power-violence. I’ve been awaiting that day and I found them some time ago. They pull it off with such excellence that it almost feels bad for me to review this gem. The first track “(We are) Christer Pettersson” blows my mind and it’s one of those fastcore gems that you can’t stop listening to. With some hints of Bruce Banner and the good old (real) powerviolence, swedish style! Second song “Våldsmonopol” is very much about trying to be even faster than in the first song. And I believe that it’s the point of this record, the fucking drums are insane and I stomp along with it just to annoy my neighbors. They’ll be power violence-enthusiasts by the end of this week alone. One of the best songs on this album is the song “Don’t Stop” which sounds like something in between Uzi Suicide and Charles Bronson (thy legendary pv-band) and that’s not something bad.

The obligatory sampling and the fucking nutty riffs, almost as if there’s no point to the song when it comes to vocals or sampling. A point I get though is the: “…and hardcore”, which is being swarmed afterwards with a ridiculous amount of in-your-face attitude and also one obligatory “mmhh… dee-rop“. I feel that there are a lot of wonderful power-violence and fastcore anecdotes on this album, the only thing I missed was a “let’s fucking go” or “go!“. Hopefully this band have inspired loads of metalcore bands from Sweden to put down their guitars and go for some crazy power-violence instead. Another great song, which is only great for its beginning intermezzo between guitars and drums, is the song “Simulation of Reality” which brings a real hardcore and fastcore fusion to the table, just to shove it down your throat. Great shit!

Buy their shit or download it for free from their bandcamp, but I’d suggest that you give these poor men some money so they can record some more power violence. Hopefully they’ll pinpoint all the other anecdotes that are worthy of revolving a song around.

I asked Tor from the band Christer Pettersson some well deserved questions that needed to be answered immediately. He accomplished it.

Why did you pick the name Christer Pettersson, how did it once start up and have you played in any other band before this one?

– Me and Jakob played together in a thrash metal band called Oppression a couple of years ago and had been jamming every now and then since Oppression folded. Around 2011 we started to talk about playing some fast hardcore since we’ve been crazy about Scholastic Deth and bands like that for a couple years. We wrote some songs and asked Frank from Undergång to handle the bass. The name was mostly a joke from the beginning but kinda grew on us.

Christer Pettersson is an iconic name and stands for so many things. The class structure, drug abuse, the way that you’re easily judged in the eyes of media and the public, no matter what the law says. The artist Hop Louie got the question why he’s been putting the face of Christer Pettersson in his art and replied that he felt a closer connection to the likes of Christer Pettersson than the swedish king or something like that. That’s an interesting way of looking at it and I, we, could relate to that. Plus, Christer Pettersson ends up right next to Charles Bronson in iTunes.

So you’’ve released a fastcore/powerviolence record in Swedish and English, but where have you gotten your influences from?

– A bunch of japanese bands like BREAKfAST, Lie, Exclaim, Jellyroll Rockheads and so on. A bunch of american bands like Spazz, Infest, Lack of interest. A few Swedish bands: Bruce Banner, I Quit and E.T.A.. There are so many bands out there and I can gladly hook you up with a huge list, just say the word.

What was the general thought behind your first album, what were you trying to accomplish and did you have any message you wanted to put out?

– High energy hardcore. Fast thrash. We wanted it to be intense and interesting. The lyrics are mostly dealing with the fucked up structures of society. Alot of people consider Sweden to be a free country but we still live within a capitalist hegemony. If you’re not productive then you’re useless and basically doomed. It’s more important to get homeless people out of the downtown area of Stockholm than to make sure they don’t starve. It’s more important to make sure that homeless people are thrown of the subway trains than to make sure they have a home to go to. There are cases of power abuse from the police every single day, there are kids being beat up by security for drawing a beard on a billboard. I would say that society at large have got their priorities wrong.

Are you going to release anything new before the year is over or are you planning to do anything else?

– Hopefully we will put out the ”Play Fast” recording on wax, time will tell. Other than that we’re gonna focus on doing some shows and maybe do a tour next summer.

Thank you for this “interview”! Final words?

– Stay in school and play fast as fuck.

I asked some questions for Nicke Svensson from the band Phoebus Beat Clan and he gladly answered them with long sentences.

Who are you guys and what would you say separates Phoebus Beat Clan from other bands?

– Ok, hi. The first time we rehearsed we didn’t really play instruments, we drank heavily and burned some weed, then we decided to build a 9 mm Submachine Gun from a really detailed drawing that Odd, our singer had brought with him. And since I do a lot of machine work in my spare time it just felt so natural that we all agreed to be a band from now on, that’s not really something that would separate us from other bands though I guess, but let me put it this way; some time back in here in Stockholm our Minister for foreign affairs Anna Lindh, was murdered by a person named Mijailo Mijailovic. That took place at a local mall inside the city called NK, then just the week after that another person violently drove a car in the extremely narrow streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) causing several deaths of pedestrians.

Both Mijailo and the driver’s first words to the police after they were caught was that they had no memory what so ever of what happened or why they did it, only that they had this voice inside their heads repeatedly telling them to complete these horrible acts. Thing is this, right between these locations are the studio, it’s named The Dustward – this is where we rehearse and record, so if you look at a map and mark the local mall NK, the street in Gamla Stan where the driver finally stopped and The Dustward studio located in the ‘Phoebus Block’ in Gamla Stan you’ll get a perfect triangle. Make no mistake, this was a mind control attempt from the Swedish Royal Family, who also has their Castle building real close to this triangle, Bermuda had nothing to do with it, neither had Roky. We’re still trying to find out what our exact part in this blood curdling scenario is, but until we do I can’t really give you a good answer what it is that separates us from other bands, but it is something for sure – the voices inside our heads are growing louder by the hour, I guess you just have to stay tuned on that one.

How did it feel to record material for your first release and how did you go about it when recording?

– It felt great, human observers have two eyes and two ears but they only count as one, that’s a reassuring fact to feel while creating music, it cuts down the pressure to 50%. I mean the only thing we wanted to do here was to raise a great chromatic web the size of a spinnaker and then filter peoples minds through it, make them understand the importance of this virgin path of spiritual communication. We didn’t have any of the songs done before we recorded them – all we had was shitty iPhone recordings that always seemed to be somewhere else when we needed them the most. And our singer was deep inside the jungles of Borneo for like 5 weeks writing lyrics.

So when he got home we pretty much got together like we always do, got some good times going, feeling the inspiration and just jammed out the songs one by one at the time, then we had like two weeks of Sitar tuning, laying down some Wurlitzer, glockenspiel along with some other various medieval string instruments, this recording sounds pretty medieval, I mean in a sixties way, we feel it’s very sixties with medieval music – and we’re not even a sixties band, that’s how medieval we are.

Could you motivate why people should buy your upcoming release “Reincarnation Of The Circle Melts The Wheel”?

– Valentino Liberace’s feet. It’s actually quite simple, the world followed and admired Liberace’s fingers but it was his feet that got him to the piano, and that’s how we feel about it – elementarily, we are Liberace’s feet. Apart from that, just the good times, getting in contact with whatever you wanna call it, actually I could not tell you since I’ve never been in your shoes if you know what I mean, just ride the spectral transitions of electrical soundscapes and try to stay away from the dark side of Eden, eat all the apples you want to – fuck the serpent, get your kicks before the teddybear turns into a cloud.

So, what’s happening in the near future for you guys? Thank you for your presence! Could you recommend anything here in the end?

– We’re rehearsing at the moment trying to get a good live set going, we’re almost there so I’d say we’ll be performing live in no time. About the recommendations; Be aware, stay in contact, live your life to decode the lies inside the heart of rock ‘n roll, – one of the most famous Jerry Lee Lewis quotes of all times must be “I am right, I’m always right, once I thought I was wrong, I checked it out – I was right”. – So, he was wrong. He was wrong about being wrong and that is being wrong none the less and that’s one of the reasons that we don’t believe in rock ‘n roll, but we love Jerry Lee. Thank you.