Review: STEREO NO AWARE – the sound of STEREO NO AWARE (LP)

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STEREO NO AWARE is completely new to us. Their sound is experimental rock’n’roll with psychedelic influences. We had the opportunity to receive the limited edition color version of the vinyl-release, which is beautiful in all its aesthetic glory. When it comes to the general aesthetics of the release there are too much colors for us and a coherent theme cannot be found – but that does not discourage listening. Each to his own. The aesthetics are on point when it comes to knowing from the first glance, what kind of genre and record this is going to be. The covers are very pattern-based when it comes to the outer layer of it, and more basic and down to earth when it comes to the inside of it.

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Lyrics for each song have been printed on the insert and is sharing the space with artistic doodles of different creatures, a computer with tentacles and something which looks like a freely interpreted version of Edward Munch’s painting “The Scream“. There have been many people involved in the making of the artwork itself (both sleeve and front cover), such as Jonathan Ash, Jane Nicola Rossi and Isaac Ashlind.

Now on to the music. The first song “Passing For A Ghost” is obnoxious in all its experimentalism at first, with the different voices and basic rhythmic beat, but it is swiftly sidelined into a more oriental vibe together with the ethereal mind of someone else. It is like there are different personalities on display within the song itself, like a madman talking to himself or an organic trip between a younger and older self. What is exciting about this form of rock’n’roll is that there are so many instruments that aren’t used normally.

From different flutes to what almost sounds like mandolins, but probably isn’t. They themselves call their music “experi-mental pop”, which might be an apt title to put on yourself, but I believe it is more then just that. Popular music has no bearing in their music, especially not in this first song. It is too “out there” to ever be popular in anyone’s mind. Probably why they used that play of words with “experi-mental” pop.

Tristram The Manipulator“, the second track is more coherent in the general sound and is a part of a huge soundscape which one could get lost in immediately. Though we’re not a fan of the almost rapped lyricism a bit into the song itself, the reverberating noise that the rhythm and baseline together with the drums produce – is astonishing in and of itself to make up for that lack of musical prowess. The vibe is switched from emotional and right up the funkier alley – right into 8-bit crunched up and claustrophobic beats. There is a lot of attention to detail in this song in general, where every shade of instruments gets a play in between the main rhythm (if there was one) and the rest of the song.

Yareta Yorona” is even more emotionally invested then the other songs so far. We’re not fans of the poetic side of the talked lyrics, though more of a fan of the stoner/psychedelic influenced vocals that appear further in. Attentively changing from a darker, more distorted voice to a louder and pitched one. Two different worlds that collide perfectly and make for nice moments. Everything flows so great together except the aforementioned babbled (though audible) lyrics. The singing parts are much better. Too bad that some of the outro goes into an obnoxious playful fogged up state, but it is saved by the more acoustic and sincere proper ending.

Cattle Calling” is messed up in a lazy way. It feels like they just let everything go, but at the same time the melodies in the song are on point. There’s too much experimental hitting on the drums, slapping on the baseline and churning on the guitar going on, until a desperate vocalist manages to save the good melodies with his voice – as it goes totally spaced out. An otherworldly sound complete with the influence of a saxophone – haven’t heard that instrument until now – but it gives off a jazzy and entwined feeling together with everything else. “Pagan Feelings” is like a continuation of “Cattle Calling”, it could almost be the same song, outro-wise at least.

The big difference between these two is that it continues down the same trodden path in which STEREO NO AWARE have made us aware of their talent. An experimental needle in the right position, delivering everything they can in terms of musicality to make up for their past mistakes. The common theme is the spaced out and less filled up, erratic soundscape. They leave silence to play a bigger part in the sound then they have before in the other tracks. Everything from the beginning of the song up until the end goes more acoustic, as it has been with the latest tracks we’ve listened to on this album so far.

Normal One” is the highpoint. They’ve managed too well to combine the organ with the drums and the vocalists ‘normal’ state. Had they not screwed up some of the rhythm by filling out the space left by the organ as it slowly disappeared, it would’ve been the best song so far. Though having said all of that, we believe it combines the best elements of their music and turn it up a notch – to make it believable.

Oaks Park” is perfect when it comes to the drums. Everything else is just a companion on this flipped out journey. They touch a deeper nerve with it and hold themselves together instrumentally. From the guitar-licks to the sharpened edges of the fast-paced strumming of guitars at some points, is replaced later on with an outdrawn saxophone that slows down the tempo a notch and bring a cloudy comfortable feeling of well-being into the mix.

As the songs grow longer, “The Great Dialator” adds a minute or more to the song in comparison with the others. Accompanied with a robotic voice, maybe this is the epitome of human and AI interaction – they can never convey that feeling which is human – they will never encompass all those facets of humanity. No matter how much Bladerunner 2049 will try and convince you otherwise. No matter how the futuristic automation will keep us from doing what we loathe. There is something humble about this song and it convey their more primal outlet.

Had they simply removed “Tongue Clouded“, the album would’ve been better off. It is a decent song, but it is so far removed from the feelings that have been given by them musically so far. Though one favorite part is the stern baselines that comes into the song, but one-two seconds later it is far gone. Just to arrive again. They could’ve built on that emotion further – it had a rejective theme to it and a more dark, sinister outlook on things then what have been made clear so far.

Conversely (Exit Tango)” is a mish-mash of everything you’ve heard so far. To get a grip on STEREO NO AWARE – you must listen to it. It gives you a grasp on what this album might be all about, musically. A very ambitious track and the longest one on the record so far, with old-school piano-playing and in more of a drunken haze then before. Imagine film noir gone completely decadent cabaret. Together with “Credits“, both are your typical outros but the first one was made into a track instead that clings to what have already passed (the other songs).

After having heard this it sounds like so much different music one have already heard, but they have something distinctly theirs. It would be interesting if they could develop it further, though they’ve already done it to good length already. Maybe this is the final product. A good album if you’re into experimental music – if you’re not, then this might not be for you. Listen to it in full down below (digitally) and do yourself a favor – order the limited edition vinyl – the colored one(s).

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Exclusive Premiere: Megabreth – In The Mouth Of The Realm

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Stoner-infused and whirly psychedelic rock music is what Megabreth brings us, in this cassette store day release on the label Field Hymns. Their album “Ultra High Noise” is what happens when you experiment in the laboratory of sound, whizzing and spaced out vibes that don’t require you to indulge in a drug-induced epiphany to appreciate. They have a dense ambiguous sound and are not too far flung into the otherworldly.

For cassette-store day this chrome tape, with a 4-panel insert will get you rocking for that utter nonsensical occasion. If there is one day you should be capitalizing on Field Hymns releases, it’s this day. You can ignore the other far-fetched releases that make up this cheap imitation of record store day. Not that anything done for capitalizing on music is necessarily something bad, fortunately for you they managed to get a cassette out.

You get the pleasure to listen to “In The Mouth Of The Realm“, exclusively via Repartiseraren before release on bandcamp. Make sure to support the label by purchasing one of their cassettes; edition of 80. Listen down below. It will be released in full on the 14th of October.

 

 

Strömma Exklusivt: Dödsvarg – Glädjedödaren

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Ut från det tomma intet kommer en varg som representerar den karga verkligheten. Med hinkvis av det osande hat mot livets tristess som det mänskliga släktet vant sig vid, tittar de bortgångnas baneman ut från skuggorna. Ett djur mer fasansfullt än det hemskaste din egen fantasi kan uppbringa. Denna best är frammanad av Jon Ekström, eftersom att det är hans soloprojekt, går under namnet: Dödsvarg. Med de basala drifterna tillfredsställda, garderar sig denna helvetes uppkomling genom att dra influenser vitt och brett, utan att för den delen låta det påverka hans uppdrag—att alltid skräda ljudbilden till minsta beståndsdel. För två månader sedan släppte han en trippelsjua, där alla hans EP’s fick plats under samlingsnamnet “Människan är en ruttnande process“—inkluderar “Total System Collapse. Fuck!” (2012), “Om det där med omänskliga relationer” (2013), och “Slaget om alltings jävighet“—plus en helt ny bonuslåt vid namn “Anställd som underställd“.

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Det som intresserar med Jon Ekström och hans musik är att han just nu, åtminstone i Sverige, är ensam om att skapa något som kan sammanfattas som oljudsframkallande “industriell metal“. Ännu intressantare är hur man kan lyckas med detta umbärande när man bara är en person som i stort sett sköter all inspelning, av alla instrument, med få undantag ersatta på vissa låtar där han samarbetat med andra. Men det är oftast på fåtalet låtar och då handlar det om ett instrument eller en strupsångare som ersätter hans karaktäristiska—men plågade—underjordsvrålande. Om man bestämde sig för att förbeställa de fysiska vinylskivorna så fick man ett album på köpet, ett osläppt album som varit färdiginspelat sedan länge men som enstaka personer fick ta del av som tack för mödan; att de skramlat ihop pengar till att betala för sig.

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På detta släpp har Jon Ekström samarbetat vitt och brett, bland annat med två sångare och en rappare, varav en sångare som täcker upp för honom själv i en låt, medan de andra fått ta över med sina sångröster helt och hållet på de låtar som varit designerade för dem. Utöver allt detta så har han tagit hjälp av två trummisar, en som trummar för en sång rakt igenom och en annan som kompletterar Jon Ekströms trummande. Alla dessa personer är namngivna: Jens Ekelin,  Primatho, Samuel Skoog, David Flood och Hector Sjölund Peinado Peña. Visst kan man tycka att det är spännande med samarbeten till en viss grad, men när ett släpp är så fullständigt infekterat av samarbeten så blir man rätt motvillig inför lyssnandet. Särskilt eftersom att Jon sköter det musikaliska så bra annars, men det ska sägas att det går att genomlida med råge, eftersom att de bidragande musikerna faktiskt lägger till ytterligare en dimension till annars jävligt välsvarvad och bra musik.

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Eftersom att det är tolv dagar tills Jon Ekström släpper detta tidigare exklusiva och otillgängliga släpp, i sin helhet via sin Bandcamp så fick Repartiseraren en exklusiv förhandsströmning av albumet så att ni kan lyssna till de härliga tonerna av världens undergång; och en näve eller två för mycket nihilism. Plattan består av elva låtar, varav “Slutet“, “I Kolgruvorna” och “Satan” förblir Jon Ekströms egna alster, då alla andra innefattar ett samarbete eller två. Allting har spelats in av Dödsvarg och även mixats av honom, omslaget har även tillfallit honom att skapa. Mastering skötte Audiosiege ypperligt som vanligt. Hoppas att ni tycker om detta album lika mycket som jag gjorde. Om ni inte gör det, så går det alltid att spela albumet en gång till—jag lovar att ni kommer att fastna efter sjätte gången, eller tidigare. Njut av den karga nihilismens stålhätta, vars totala misantropi tar sönder dig inifrån.

Titta: Skallbank – Falsarium

I gränslandet mellan dödsmetall, i gränslandet av black metal, och rock’n’roll – så vandrar Skallbank. Det är ett relativt nyuppfunnet band som hittills enbart har släppt en låt – med tillhörande musikvideo. Bara namnet i sig gör en intresserad av att undersöka saken närmare. Man blev inte besviken när man hörde de första tonerna. För att förstå vad som gör detta bandet lite bättre än andra kontemporära band är deras fokus på hur melodierna ska läggas, det är nämligen så att bandet vet med sig hur man skriver medryckande melodier – men även hur man inte utlämnar den hårdare ljudmattan – och närmar sig lite Kvelertak nu när man tänker efter. Måhända är det bara något man påminns av när man hör detta band, eftersom att det finns det som skiljer dessa två band åt, men det är inte för inte att det är vad man använder som referenspunkt. Jämförelser åsido, deras låt “Falsarium” är en intressant utläggning rent musikaliskt som i vissa skeden inkluderar bluesig rock när det kommer till solon och enskilda riff. En fördel är att de inte sysslar med så mycket utsvävningar utan snarare lägger sin vikt vid att ha en stabil grund att stå på, för att sedan utifrån det lägga sig lite utanför den låda de själva inringat sig i. Inget dåligt med det egentligen, det känns skönt med något som är pålitligt för en gångs skull.

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Produktionsbolaget MAS Productions har varit duktiga på att filma deras musikvideo. Allt från det humoristiska upplägget med en rockkille som stör en kumbaya-seans, till närbilder och ryckigt filmande – för att åtskilja det mer fokuserade med det mer rock’n’rolliga. Först är det bara oljud för de stackars hippiesarna, men allt eftersom släpper deras idioti och det släpper mer och mer ju längre in i låten man kommer. Ett enkelt men ack så underhållande koncept som lyckas utan att bli totalt vedervärdigt. Det blir som kaka på kaka, förutom att hålla utkik efter Skallbank så börjar man också intressera sig för produktionsbolaget som gjort deras musikvideo. Duon Emelie Hahne och Klara Olsson är de personer som lyckats filmatisera vad detta band handlar om, åtminstone på mikronivå eftersom att det bara omgärdar en låt och ett upplägg – men det är fullgjort bara det. Kvalitén är det inget fel på och man vill gärna se att de tar sig an nästa låt som skall filmatiseras – för det är redan på gång. Ni fungerar bra tillsammans, helt enkelt. För den som intresserar sig kan man lyssna till låten och titta på musikvideon, här ovanför.

Exclusive Premiere: Feral Trash – No Avail

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We know that you’re probably having a rough Monday. It might not be a terrible one, but it’s always hard to cope with going back to your routines after the weekend. Therefore we’ve got a treat for you which you might or might not enjoy. Feral Trash is an American band that combines rock’n’roll and melodious dark punk into a nice whirlwind of emotional statements. Whether they do it with their copious riffs or the drumming, with their lyrics or their vocals – doesn’t matter. Their wholeheartedness could be heard in their first release “Dead Eyes“, which came out in 2013. Being stationary at Dirt Cult Records gave them a possibility to release something new a year later. The label originally started out in 2006 by the hands of Chris Mason and his friend Dillon – but he left shortly afterwards and since then the operations have been managed by Chris. So mainly, the label utilizes itself within the confinements of punk – meaning everything from post-punk, rock’n’roll, melodic punk, “regular” punk – and other genres which can be knitted to “punk“.

Now, a year later Feral Trash are going to be releasing their debut-album “Trashfiction” with the help of DIrt Cult Records. The frontman Eric Neurotic, whom also can be heard in the band Fear Of Lipstick, is involved in labels who are alike to what his band is releasing an album on – namely It’s Alive Records and P. Trash Records. Everything comes around now and then – full circle. Which is just good because that prooves his interest and passion for those genres. Anyway, “Trashfiction” will be released on the 26th of October. Repartiseraren is collaborating with Dirt Cult Records for the first time, giving you the opportunity to exclusively stream the tenth song from their debut-album, titled “No Avail“. Listen to it down below and if you’re interested, see to it that you buy the physical vinyl. The vinyl is limited to 300 copies, whereas 100 are on color vinyl.

Spotlight: ZX Electric and Asesina!

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Time for your daily Spotlight. It’s been lacking from my side, since there’s been a lot to cover when it comes to exclusive premieres – but not much when it comes to regular bands that you stumble upon – or artists. Since it’s been a long time, I want to introduce two of the more peculiar acts that I have found when scouring the internet: specifically Bandcamp. One of the bands are from the UK and the other is from Spain. ZX ELECTRIC is a band that plays weird krautrock with the occasional stab of minimal synth and post-punk, whilst Asesina are the Spaniards whom has a singer that really can’t sing – but all the better that he can suffer, because that’s what it’s all about – it seems.

a3200966171_10Negative Outline” is the latest release that ZX ELECTRIC can offer to the world, having released two other albums earlier, titled “Obsolete” and “Fixed Unknown” – a rather odd blend of genres that shouldn’t be mixed, really. But there’s something about the latest album that signals to me that they’re serious. How can you even manage to fit in krautrock with minimal synth? I get that it can be applicable when it comes to post-punk, but not the other way around. However, they manage to create a rather melancholic image which they spit upon, managing to fit a semi-acoustic environment somewhere in between each track. I like the singer’s voice, it’s sincere but rather goofy at times. All the better then – that his rhythm is intact and his groove is where it should be – when the synthesizers slowly grace him and fill up the sound-scape. Not to mention how cold-wave helps to keep the semi-acoustic trance to a pleasurable level, where you just nod your head to everything you see around you.

a4144603658_10What striked me when I browsed Asesina, were their marvelous aesthetics. The slick lines that are pleasing for the eye to watch, alongside a rather odd – almost dragon-like – goose that feeds her youngin’. Maybe this has something to do with where they’re from in Spain, or maybe not. I, however, really like the way this becomes their insignia. Enter bleakness with “EP“, their first release. Together with the bleakness that appears through using black and white. When it comes to their music, I must say that I don’t know if I should hate or adore the singer. He can’t sing. But thanks to the psychobilly, surf punk or whatever they’ve mixed together into a mish-mash of difference and alikeness – his voice gives a touch of severe angst that doesn’t go away. The best thing about it is when he screams in his own language and I don’t really get anything. I don’t really want to know, either. Noise rock goes well together with every other genre they’ve plucked asunder. The good thing about it is how their low-keyed sound-scape makes you wonder when they’re going to step into black metal territory, but that really never happens – full-scale. A good listen to anyone whose interest lays in any of these more obscure genres – especially when mixed together.

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.