Spotlight: Squieti and Pastel – the Italian D.I.Y!

a0073546405_10With their debut-release “Impronte Nella Cenere“, the Italian math-rock outfit Squieti blend those post-hardcore vibes with a punk-attitude. Their eight-tracked album showcase their melodic talent with rather melodramatic drumming. It feels like being caught in a limbo with no way to get out of it, together with a constant barrage of melodic post-hardcore with a despaired vocalist. Even though emptiness might be his schtick, the band itself make up for a lack of atmosphere with the clinging of riffs with the concrete drumming. The technical aspects seem inverted. The arguably short hints of what could make up a rather soothing atmosphere is quickly struck down with the beat of a drum, favoring the rather amelodic connection between vocals and the general melodies of the guitars. It is clear that Squieti focus their darnedest on delivering a rather original hardcore-sounding math-rock experience, where the melody is the center of attention whilst the drums control the rhythm of the sound-scape. Positioning themselves in a fortress of their own whilst not letting anyone enter for real. There are lots of great things about their music but they have their weaknesses. Sometimes the math-rock inspired wholeness of their sound is hard to really appreciate. However, they make up for this with interesting choices of melodies and their rhythmic greatness. Their tracks seem to loosen up for the real hardcore sound when you get past the fifth track, so that’s by all means a time-stamp for when shit hits the fan for real. Listen to their album in full down below. Made possible on vinyl thanks to their friends Annoying Records, Boned Factory, Fast DIY or Die, L’oltraggio Autoproduzioni, Speed-Up Agency and Sons Of Flies webzine. Recorded and mixed by Stefano Romano in 2013, released on the 29th of January 2014.

a1784089479_10Another Italian band called Pastel did a split with the British band Merridew, featuring two songs by them titled “Momento nove” and “Laminal“. Their sound is very reminiscent of Squieti, with the difference of it being more into the screamo sound. Which is more of a 90’s-inspired one, together with desperate vocals which can also be heard from the aforementioned band. It wouldn’t surprise me if they share the same singer, because it really sounds alike when everything comes together. One main difference is the atmosphere which Pastel manages to curate from a whirlwind of drums, guitars with a rather dreamy but realistic sound, together with the stillness in between breakdowns and experimental touches of rhythm. A rather weird combination of deciding to go with a baseline that dominates through sections of their songs, especially when it comes to their second song from this split. Then it all suddenly blasts away again, making it feel like I’m able to reach further for myself, into the sky and the distant continuum that is space. They’ve got a rather space-y sound which is psychedelic when it comes to some of what it contains, but not all of it. Even though a lot of their sound is based around tempo and going downtempo, there’s nothing that can stop me from completely relaxing to this sound. Maybe it’s because of their passion which is channeled throughout, or their off-shoot from the shoegaze to the screamo sound. Whatever you’d like, this is certainly borrowing a lot of the greatest stuff from the 90’s, fueling their gruesome invasion into enemy territory. It’s because there’s a certain unfamiliarity when you try to decide for yourself what’s next. You never really know with these guys, which is a plus in my book. I might’ve heard it time and again before, but I am really into what I’m hearing. This split-release was put out by Glass of Spit Recordings on the 13th of March, and you can listen to the Pastel-side down below.

Exclusive Premiere: WTCHS – Tiger

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Californian noise-rockers WTCHS have been molding their under-appreciated sound for two years by now. They are by no means underachievers, it’s just that a lot of people might not have heard about them – or their sound. Starting out in May 2012 with their single “Adult Crimes“, a rather low-keyed presence in sound with comparisons to; Danzig before he got bloated. Moving on from their rather stoner-rock themed first single to an EP titled “Wet Weapons EP“, which virtually holds the same sound true. Though it’s combined with slightly more indie-pop and math rock, the sound-scape itself stays true to a general atmosphere found in their earlier release. Move on to January of 2013 and their sound gets even more gritty, more noisy – when they begin to punch into noise rock for real. This release, “PIE-002“, featured not only their track “Future Fires” but also tracks by Bleet, Wild Domestic and I Smell Blood. In April, their sound got paved into a combination of their earlier noise-rock sound, but featuring an even more math-rock-inspired outfit, dealing with anguish and changes in the landscape of sound only appropriate for those wanting to deal with the harsher side of their sound. The release was a split together with Thoughts On Air called “WTCHS​/​Thoughts On Air“. In September, a few months later, they put out a split together with Das Rad – titled “WTCHS​/​Das Rad” – featuring a less rock’n’roll side of themselves, instilling hope of a noise-pop future. They’re been released by labels such as Buzz Records, Out of Sound, PERDU and Sonic Unyon.

Their latest release, which came out in half a year after their split with Das Rad, is their first full-length album ever. It could be said to be their debut-album. This album, being simultaneously released by different labels, have a well-rounded sound and it feels like they’ve hit their mark with it. Therefore, the logical conclusion is an album instead of a split, single or EP. It’s titled “It’s Not A Cross, It’s A Curse!” and touch different territories of sound, making it a nostalgic trip back into their lowly presence with indie-pop as a mere placeholder, to noise-rock, away into math rock – crossing genres as they pass into something they can call their home. I’ve been given the opportunity to exclusively premiere a track from this release which was put out on the 4th of April. The track “Tiger” from this album is featured exclusively for your listening pleasure. You can stream and listen to the track itself down below, and you can also buy their release from themselves, or their different labels. Check it out, because this is something you wouldn’t like to miss. They’ve got a lot to offer musically, a stringent response to an unhinged world.

Free Download: Zoo Books – Why Not Scorpion?

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Getting interesting e-mails is a part of what being a blog-zine is all about. Sometimes you get so many that you can’t sort everything out, and sometimes you get a few of them. Even though I believe this is the fact for many blog-zines, I don’t think that bigger magazines and so-called “alternative” websites take the most interesting out of the bunch. We aim to take both the interesting, and also those that might interest the audience. It’s not always about personal taste, even though it makes up a bit of what you’re doing. You try to stay objective, or at least as those conservative label-guys in the 1960’s, that according to Frank Zappa, said: “…now look at who the executives were in those companies at those times. Not hip young guys. These were cigar-chomping old guys, who looked at the product that came and said: I don’t know, who knows what it is, record it, stick it out – if it sells; alright. We were better off with those guys then we are now with the supposedly ‘hip’, ‘young’ executives, you know, who are making the decisions of what people should see and hear in the marketplace“. I thoroughly agree with that philosophy, and it can also be applied to the “art” of writing about music. I am by no means an artist, but I get the perspective.

Anyway, enough with my babbling. The people whom call themselves Zoo Books, sent me an e-mail in regards to their newly released demo. This trio are playing something in between post-rock and math rock, or so it appears when listening to it. This is also what they categorize themselves as. Don’t worry, their music is way more interesting to listen to than it is repeating their name in my head. The trio is comprised of Matthew Mawhinney on guitar and back-up vocals, Jeremy Link on bass, and Ruben Veguilla on drums and vocals. Their sound is a weird metamorphosis of what was already said, but it also ranges into post-hardcore territory – a genre that I have a hard time grasping, or understanding, the dynamics of. But I know what it sounds like, and there are more then hints of it in this demo. We consulted them ourselves and got them to lend us a hand when it comes to their music, by letting us put up a free download of the last track on this release, namely “Why Not Scorpion?” – a track I think symbolizes what their demo is, as a whole, but also where they might be heading afterwards. You can listen to their demo in its entirety if you wish, down below, but lend them a hand and spread the word. I think they deserve it. Download the track for free and listen to it wherever you please. The artwork for this release was created by Alicia Link.

Rocklight: Pilgrimage – EP

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Sweet, sensational melodies that touch your nerves and proceeds to you grant an emotional reaction. The perfection of math rock, rock’n’roll, psychedelic rock, post-hardcore and good old experimentalist post-rock. Interestingly enough, they’ve worked on this EP for a mere four months and are now finished. Working hard pays off, or so it seems. If you grab a hold of my hand, let me take you into the world of Pilgrimage. Where the melodies are central to the word of mouth that’s coming out. Instrumentally indulgent to a degree, fierce and with a talkative notion of riffs that are spaced out. Born like a wildflower, stepped on like a rock, plucked out of the lot as a bright example. Pilgrimage is Matt DeOliviera, Charlie Reese, Jeremy Cranmore and Clint Wooley. They’re from Lakeland, Florida and they do this all by themselves. Or yeah, they got a little help Johnson Sound & That’s That Fire, Inc. and Marcus McCants. But anyway – support D.I.Y, spread the message and listen to their first EP down below.

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

Tracklist:

1. Bits Of Freedom

2. Minus 45

3. Fast Moving Consumer Goods

4. 5 Minutes 2 Midnight

5. Demon Days

Cambridge is falling down with Molasses!

So, I continued my search in a different category. I found some band called Molasses and checked their EP out which is titled “Whiskerbiscuit EP“. They also had one of the weirdest covers, with screechy pink in the background. Turns out that they’re a two-pieced noise-rock outfit, moving through different genres in search of influences. May include: punk, stoner-rock and some math-rock. Excitingly enough, this sounds like a blend of what is good with nostalgia and what’s good with not being stuck in the past.

As I haven’t written who they are, maybe that’s appropriate after some sentences of describing their music. The two girls are Katie Weeks, who play the drums and Alessia Lee that play guitar and sing. I listened through their album and almost 3/4 out of it was good and even remotely interesting. Since there’s a lot of stalemate bands out there, I think I’d rejuvenate your mind with another one of those bands that you usually find on weird occasions, such as this one.

Listen to Whiskerbiscuit EP below and buy the album if you wish, or download it for free.