[4th] December: Crowhurst – Shallow

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From America with deep-rooted hatred and especially no love for Bono or The Beatles, comes Crowhurst—a solo-project commanded by Jay Gambit—also known under the guise of Girl 27—a continuation of his sound experiments. Before May of this year the project was a collaborative one with a full band set-up. From then he’s gone from noise, power electronics, dark ambient and back again, including numerous attempts at drone and ambient. We must admit that many of his releases remain unheard but his concepts are of interest. Not only because of his collaborative efforts on split-releases with Water Torture, Et Nihil, Sordo, Human Fluid Rot, Tanner Garza, Black Leather Jesus, Breakdancing Ronald Reagan, Trevor Bolin, et cetera — but because of his productiveness, and transgression between electronic and non-electronic music. Power electronics and power-violence seem to have more in common than one could ever imagine. It’s actually not that hard to fit those genres together, the only bump in the road would be where to draw the line, but there have been even weirder constellations co-operating so nothing should be said about that.

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One confusion is whether Crowhurst since Girl 27’s first release “And I Hope Nothing Hurts You More​.​.​.” goes back to being a whole “ensemble“, or if it is intended for his personal experimentation. I hope for the latter. Somewhere along the road if you’re not into the phenomenon, you can easily confuse both his solo-project and his supporting players for one and the same, besides the reality of the harshness that separates the two. So it’s good that he chose to go his own way under a whole new name. This makes the connections even more irrelevant and creates a distinction between his follow-up work and the original setting of Crowhurst. Anyhow, his productiveness, let’s return to that. With his harsh noise endeavor, four original releases have been put out, named: “And I Hope Nothing Hurts You More​.​.​.“, “The End“, “Haldol“. and the self-titled release “Girl 27“. He’s also been able to hook in Dreamcatcher for a split-release. Though I am not too sure about the nihilistic tendencies delivered, conceptually the releases make for vivid interpretations.

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So for the 4th of December, Crowhurst have lent himself for a more beat-oriented and noise-driven intermezzo which starts of painfully harsh, keeps going at it for what feels like more then four minutes and then completely dies out into nothingness. It might be a proper transgression from his old self to the new moniker he operates. The song is titled “Shallow” and separates the thin lines between ambient-like noise and a steady rhythm which shakes you around and spins your world 360 degrees in the wrong direction.

Poem:

You be nice to Santa,
he’ll grant you Americana
If you’re not,
he’ll be utterly distraught

4th of December has not ended yet, but only begun. We’re past the cold and chilly grounds, we’ve entered the desert and you’ve suffered heat exhaustion. Tomorrow a new track will be released and the temperature might flutter. Until then, enjoy the exclusive and newly produced song “Shallow” courtesy of Crowhurst, on Repartiseraren.

Listen: Soggy Creep – EP

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Out from the blue comes Soggy Creep. At least for me, I had never heard of them since I got an e-mail about the band. Carrying members from different bands like Bone Sickness and Criminal Code, one of them being Avi Roig (ex-It’s A Trap), the Pacific Northwest comes out strong again. Having released a demo ten months ago, completing their first EP just now – six days ago. What makes them strong is their output which they’ve decided to put in the dark punk category, where the baselines darken and a gloomy, almost death-rockish sound seeks it’s way through the cracks. The sound is almost like a dysharmonic skate-punk sound, if you strip away the general cheesyness of it. The anti-skatepunk (or rather, pop-punk) with overt melodious content. Sure, there are melodies that will make you question it – but you don’t really have to – because they’re layered nefariously, showing off a slow but in general tempo-clutching decay. Other tracks are faster, but what makes you twist your head in agony is the atmosphere they create. There’s enough punk in there to make you shout, but complex enough to not make it too simple. The thoughtfulness that sear with the harsh riffs are complemented well by a singer that never goes out of his way to cement their sound, he keeps it on the lowdown for the atmosphere to shroud everything else. Even though he’s a central part of it all.

It is an EP that is well worth listening to and it is a breath of smelly air, for once. Though much of their sound is carried in their instrumental parts, there isn’t much there for you not to like. Enough authority to make you not question it, enough sincerity to be able to pull this off. I’m hoping the Olympians are ready to take it one step further and enhance their sound a little bit more, but it is a perfectly good EP to start your seance with Soggy Creep. The name itself gives an alluring feeling to everything else, even though it should’ve been a bit more mysterious and not as creepy. But hey, each to his own. The release is available for digital streaming and hopefully they’ll release something physical, soon. Maybe it’s the run-up to an album – let’s hope so. In the meanwhile, stream “EP” down below.

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.

Chondritic Spotlight: Jason Lescalleet and Sissy Spacek! [Part I]

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There have been a resurgence in releases lately. Chondritic Sound just put out a whole batch of new releases, featuring Jason Lescalleet, Sissy Spacek, Klinikal Skum and Fejhed. A video-tape and a batch of cassettes is what’s coming and a lot of people might’ve been waiting for the next life-sign of Chondritic. Even though the video-tape was announced some weeks ago, it’s readily available in a VHS-format, once more to be displayed by a proud label-owner. I think many people share his pride and find it positive with such an enthusiasm that he’s got going for his own label, as his supporters are not really few and far in between – but many. Sissy Spacek has a long line of releases that have been put out on this label, the first one being “DDT” in 2008, to “Grisp” and “Vacuum” 2010/2011, to “Billions And Billions” together with “ET Corpse/JFK” – both put out in 2013.  Klinikal Skum on the other hand, gets his first release on Chondritic Sound, ever. A rather joyous moment for aficionados in power electronics. Not to mention Fejhed, a new project birthed through collaborative effort between two known artists, one of them being at the forefront of what is produced on this cassette. Now we’ll get to writing about these releases, so hold your horses. You get Jason Lescalleet and Sissy Spacek in the first part.

lescalleet_vhs_dvdJason Lescalleet. The name might be familiar to those within the US, but also to those outside of it, if we expand his repertoire a bit. He’s been running the label Glistening Examples since 2006 – especially notable for the release “The Pilgrim” – a one-hour release with tracks made by himself, dedicated as a memorial to his late father. Or you might know him from his collaborations with Joachim Nordwall (iDEAL Recordings) with the group Enough!!!, his solo efforts and splits with Nmpering, Joe Colley, John Hudak, Aaron Dilloway – and countless other collaborative efforts signed this multifaceted man. Not only does he make music, but he’s also been directing lately. Since he released his DVD-collection he made as a creator and director, with thirteen different artists – put into thirteen different videos – he’s more than busy. This collection is called “Trophy Tape” and is based on the first CD of “Songs About Nothing“, which was released in 2012 on Erstwhile Records.

Since he with his own label decided to release it on DVD, Chondritic Sound made the effort to release it on VHS, as well. A rather interesting addition to his songs. It’s especially exciting that he’s let these video artists be film directors. The first track “The Beauty Of Independent Music” was done by Aaron Dilloway, the second “Old Theme” by Ellen Frances”, third “Tarnished Copper (Copper Will Never Be Gold)” by Annie Feldmeier Adams, fourth “The Loop” by Justin Meyers, fifth “Euphoric Sting” by Anthony Milton, sixth “Beauty Is A Bowtie (HTDW)” by C. Spencer Yeh, seventh “The Power Of Pussy” by Olivia Block, eight “Escargot” by Adel Soto, ninth “In The Morning, In The Winter Shade, On The First Of March, On The Holiday” by Neil Young Cloaca, tenth “Friday Night In A Catholic Home” by Todd Deal, eleventh “10 Amp Waves” by Jubal Brown, twelve “I Killed Another Day” by Heidi Alasuvanto, thirteenth “In Through The Out Door And Another Whore” by Robert Beatty. Outtakes from VHS/DVD can be seen from his own account, made for the Anthology Film Archives, up above. You can buy it from Chondritic Sound if you want the VHS, for twenty dollars. The DVD version can be bought from Glistening Examples.

a0609453241_10Sissy Spacek. The brainchild of… whomever it was back then, have certainly evolved from their grindcore past, to their noisecore future. Currently the home to Charlie Mumma and John Wiese, so the group has been chopped up and turned into a duo instead. It seems like it happened pretty late, after the split-release with Smegma in 2013 titled “Lipscomb b/w Absentia“, with the first release in 2014 titled “Incomprehensible Dehumanization“. Their first proper album release since back in 2012 with “Wastrel Projection” and “Contretemps” – the aforementioned one being more of a compilation of tracks – or rather a huge number of them. Before getting to the point I must say that I have no idea if Sissy Spacek is in somehow related (symbolically) to the American actress Sissy Spacek, because that’s what turns up when you search for it, other than these two guys. Anyhow, their newly released album (or compilation) is titled “Window Hammer“, featuring one of their old group-members Corydon Ronnau on vocals, since it was recorded in between the 7th May of 2013, whilst the last track on the release was “assembled” on the 9th of June. So that makes sense. The release itself is in a 7¨-format and DVDr – which contains them performing the material on the release – live from their West Coast tour. Twenty minutes of Sissy Spacek, which I’m afraid I haven’t heard of until now, is being launched at you in record speed – mind you, the tracks are really short. A proper blast in the face with a harsh but fast sound. Punk as fuck with an attitude you’d get with just that. The rather spastic vocals of Corydon Ronnau together with the brutal drums make up the atmosphere to be a lot more than it could’ve been, together with the grind kind of noise that the guitar makes. Fast drumming as hell and you won’t settle for anything less after you’ve just been blasted away in fifteen seconds or a little bit more, or less. Can be bought via Chondritic Sound. Stream the release down below, or buy the physical release to get the track “Seven Dwarfs“.

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.

Interview with Jakub from Unattended Funeral!

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Unattended Funeral is a powerviolence/grindcore/hardcore band that have existed in the peripheral of Slovakian extreme music, until they released their self-titled debut-EP cassette (limited to 100 copies), in the beginning of May. The members of this band are Dano (Guitar), Michal “Fokular” (Drums) and Jakub (Vocals). It is perfectly noticeable that this band isn’t their first band, because they’re also playing in bands like Möbius and Boiling Point, which makes this even more interesting. When reading their biography, it clearly states: “a desperate call for an utter annihilation of mankind“. This line, in combination with their release, made me interested in interviewing them about primarily that – but also their release, D.I.Y., the scene in Slovakia and much more. Tune in, step down from your throne and read!

First and foremost, who are you and why are you calling for the total annihilation of mankind?

– Hello, my name is Jakub. I’ll turn 27 soon. I teach English at a secondary school. I love noisy music and skateboarding. I fulfill the vocal duties. Other members of the band are: Dano as a guitar player. Dano works at a cultural centre and he’s really into sludge/doom, movies and he’s super talented in many things. He makes flyers for shows, he can repair stuff etc. In comparison to him, MacGyver is nothing. Michal a.k.a. Fokular plays drums, he’s into graffitti, he works in a skate-shop and is interested in punk and leftist politics.

The path mankind has chosen is very destructive and If nothing changes, there´s no other way than that. But I am not a complete pessimist. Maybe we can change this system and choose a different one with a bigger respect to nature and individual human beings. This requires a total change in the way we think and this might be very difficult. I strongly believe that the current capitalist system is not the best one we’re able to maintain as a society, although we are daily taught and persuaded that so is the case. I don’t agree with Fukushima, that this is the end of history!

This seems to be your first album, from what I’ve seen and heard. Could you tell me about the making of this album?

– Although we have existed for some years, this demo is our first record. It took us maybe three years to make it (lazy huh?), but I think it was worth the waiting. We recorded it in our friend’s basement D.I.Y. recording studio. His name is Blum and he plays the guitar in a great czech band called Gattaca (check ’em out!). The cooperation was really cool because he´s a very nice and helpful person and we didn’t have to care about money or lack of time. It took us just a few hours and we also recorded some songs with our other band called Boiling Point.

Do you have any kind of “scene” for this music in Slovakia, since it’s where you’re from?

– Yes, we do. There are some bands worth checking out. Depends on what are your music tastes. There are some good crust bands such as Roxor or Beton, Systemic Damage play oldschool grindcore in a vein of Terrorizer, Ilúzia play a mixture of punkrock and folk music. Weird powerviolence is represented by our buddies from Vocatio Interna and from the same region are The Public, who released tons of stuff and play kick-ass powerviolence.

Have you got any songs recorded that didn’t make it onto your self-titled album release?

Well, we used to play some more songs, but we didn’t rehearse for a long time and we simply quit playing them, because we couldn’t remember them anymore.

You’ve also had some help from other people in the making of the album, amongst them is the label Analog Freaks. What has it been like to collaborate with these people?

– Well, since the people in Analog Freaks are the same people as UxFx (except one dude) the cooperation was really great, hahaha.

Also, there’s a lot of focus on D.I.Y, but what does it mean to you in the long run?

– It means that we try to be as independent as possible. The stuff we´ve already done with our bands was released either by us ourselves or by our friends and small labels. We have never visited a proper studio, all of our stuff was done by our friends only. We play only for the gasmoney and we sell our stuff cheap. Since we also started doing a label of our own,  we gained even more control of our releases and that’s good for us because they can look and sound the way we like. Last week, we made a release show for the tape in a large shipping containter (you know, the one carrying goods on the boat etc.) and it was amazing. We didn’t even need a proper club to play the show and it was a blast. You can check the photos from the release show at www.analogfreaks.net. It was a blast!

What kind of bands and/or artists have been influential for Unattended Funeral?

– There are many styles and bands influential for UxFx sound. We consist of three individuals with slightly different music tastes. I guess we would all agree that sludge/doom bands and the new wave of powerviolence bands such as Weekend Nachos, Iron Lung, Agents of Abhorrence influence our sound a lot. And our drummer is a huge Insect Warfare fan, but we’re not that harsh, hahaha.

Since you’ve released your album some weeks ago, do you already have plans to release something new this year or are you going to play live or something like that?

– This is a difficult question. We haven’t made any plans yet, but surely we’d like to release something more in the future. Due to lack of time (we all go to work etc.), and other bands we’re involved in (Möbius, Boiling Point), I don’t think it will happen very soon. Now we´re concentrating on a new Boiling Point s/t EP, which should be out in June, and because Analog Freaks are co-releasing that, we’ll have a lot of work to do.

Could you tell me why someone should buy one of the 100 tapes that have been created for this release?

– Well, I think we worked really hard on the tape. The tape looks kick-ass and the music is very solid. Everything was made by us or by our friends. The silk-screening, the sticker on the tape, spraying etc. So far, we’ve had only tons of positive reactions, which is great because it motivates us to do more things in the future. And it’s only ten minutes long so you won’t get bored easily.

Thank you for answering my questions! Tell me anything that you’d want to say here, in the end!

– Thank you very much for this interview. I really appreciate that someone from a country such as Sweden is exploring the music from non-attractive countries such as ours and is still interested. All the best with your website.

You can listen to their release down below. If you’re interested in buying, the cassette is limited to 100 copies, whereas 25 are white-painted (came with pre-ordering), 25 black-painted (the band’s copies) and 50 are transparent. Every tape is handmade, and silk-screened on heavy paper, which means quality. When you’ve made up your mind, you can contact Analog Freaks, to get your tape.

Thee Showcase [#8.6]: Id3m and Deuil!

2953837284-1Thee Showcase is back once again. For everyone with taste or distaste for music, you might actually find your own fix. First up is the Spanish crossover band Id3m. Last year they released their first album which was recorded at Studios Area 61 and it’s titled “New world nemesis“. There’s something interesting about their manufacturing of grindcore, hardcore and metal in one. It’s a rhythmic specimen which often takes its turn, decimating both the realms that are bestowed upon them, but also introducing an unconventional method of crossover. Usually, crossover is all about punk and hardcore, but I decided to use it here because I see it as an apt description. It actually also carries some hints of the all so famous Gothenburg melodic metal sound. I also think that they manage to combine the general grittiness of real death metal, with the more brutal and speedy grindcore, with hints of their melodic self. Some of the parts that are less melodic seem to float neatly into the more melodic nerve of this band. It’s everything you’d want a cheesy melodic death metal band to be, melodic but also with hints of overall brutality. Actually, some of the hardcore that floats into their metal parts form a little bit of metalcore at the edges, but not too much. I’m not very fond of metalcore, but it should be done right or at least be minimized to just a minor influence. This is the metal I could recommend to anyone that simply wants everything from metalcore, hardcore, grindcore, gothenburg melodic death metal, death metal and everything in between in one sound-scape. If they turn it up a notch, get a little bit more tight and decide which influences to cut, just to make it less messy – then they’ve got the world at their feet. Tracks range from “Here come the puppets” to “Spider web to the little near“, it was released by themselves in October last year.

2095305637-1Another band that is being featured today is also in the same department. They might not have the same influences, but could be categorized as metal. But they’re surely beyond that one label. The Belgian band Deuil have put their effort into an entire different category, with their release titled “Acceptance / Rebuild“. A general topic that they seem to revolve around is the notion of destruction, but also the notion of starting once again, but from scratch. After an almost spiritualistic introduction, á la monks and almost tribal hymns, they’ve put a line in the sand between ambiguous and thoughtful. Even though I don’t really prefer the mix of shoegaze, drone and black metal in one – they’re worthy of taking at least a little bit of the crown for being purveyors of an interesting sound. It’s been around for sure, but they utilize it in a totally different manner. With extremely long songs, featuring everything from droopy drones, to fluorescent shoegaze and finally the huge impact of raw orthodox black metal. Their slow and noteworthy escalation of the sound-scape itself is wonderful, as it progresses through a multitude of landscape before the unhinged black metal environment starts to engulf everything in between. I’ll also have to say that they include the element of doom metal with a pretty interesting twist, amongst old and forlorn samplings that can almost be heard in the wobbling noise that is their current destructive landscape. Nocturnal would be the word, destructive another and abandoned a third. It’s a pretty tempting landscape, but I must say that you need to have heard the likes of it before you venture into it. This is not for the meek, as you’ll transgress both noise itself and wander into unknown territory where you won’t know the in and outs. Featuring the two tracks “Acceptance” and “Rebuild“, released by themselves on the 31st of January this year.