Tag Archives: tangled talk records

Review: Boxkite’s Boxkite

boxkite

Plymouth-based hardcore act Boxkite harken back to the short-lived #UKSwell scene that encompassed bands like Bastions, Crocus, Pariso and Kerouac and like said bands, they have a wonderfully emotive approach to hardcore punk that ebbs and flows through passages of flat-out aggression and more introspective moments of respite.

In true punk fashion, Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is over and done in 6 minutes which means that Boxkite deal in a dense yet visceral type of hardcore that grabs you by the throat and shakes you until you pass out. Opener Struggles begins with a devastating blast-beat that quickly establishes the no-nonsense approach to music that the band deals in.

Boxkite aren’t exactly breaking the mould on this record but fans of hardcore punk will still be treated to one of the most perfectly crafted punk EPs this year. What Boxkite do so well is temper their nasty, crushing riffs and snotty yelling with passages where they let the bass guitar ring out. Cycles and Red Skies are great examples of this; the bass is often used to drench the song in a nice bit of gloomy atmosphere before the band unleashes another ball-busting riff. It’s a simple trick that keeps the record diverse and makes the aggression even more impactful.

What really impresses is the wonderful clarity. No single element of the sound is lost in this mix; the guitar sound is more like traditional punk rather than the HM-2 hardcore that’s become so popular nowadays. The bass cuts through the action with a wonderfully dirty twang, the drums smack you straight in the chest with each snare and bass drum hit and despite the lairy, yelled nature of the vocals, you can actually understand the lyrics.

Boxkite have burst out the gates with a hardcore debut that doesn’t mess about. This is 6 tracks of solid, bouncy yet strangely forlorn punk that leaves a serious mark. Anyone looking for the next great UK hardcore band might want to seriously consider grabbing Boxkite’s debut EP while it’s hot; you won’t regret it.

8/10

Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is out now and available to download direct for the band or buy on red or black vinyl through Tangled Talk Records or Boslevan Records.

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Review: Let’s Talk Daggers’ A Beautiful Life

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Let’s Talk Daggers deal in a special blend of heaviness we like to call weirdcore. Hopefully it’ll catch on. It’s not quite post hardcore, not quite mathcore, not quite indie rock; it’s a bit of them all. Weirdcore. It’s also ridiculously exciting to listen to and after a long 2 year gap between mini-album Fantastic Contraption back in the March of 2013, it’s still as fresh and unpredictable as ever on Let’s Talk Daggers’ debut album A Beautiful Life.

If you’re not familiar with the band’s musical stylings then allow me to explain what the structure of a single Let’s Talk Daggers song is like: there is no structure. The band throws as many riffs, hooks and melodies they can at a single song and manage to piece it together in a way that actually manages to work. Think The Blood Brothers, At the Drive-In and Battle for Paris all blended into the craziest guitar super-group you can imagine and you’ll have an idea as to the chaos contained within A Beautiful Life.

As if the music couldn’t get even more erratic, there’s even a brass element that comes into play on songs like I Love You Dad, But I’m Mental and 3D Rug that adds yet another layer of complexity to the proceedings. A Beautiful Life is an album that is unforgiving in its density and if you’re new to the band then you might find the first listen to be a bit overwhelming. However, repeated listens reveal a band at the very top of their game and the sheer amount of memorable riffs on offer is a testament to Let’s Talk Daggers excellent song-writing.

As the album progresses, the band also manages to blend their noisier more erratic moments with a more laid back, indie rock vibe. Songs like the title track and Clutchendials have a wonderful quiet/loud dynamic to them that shows yet another layer of complexity to the music but without the impervious onslaught of technicality that comes with songs like Carvery Vibes.

Regardless, Let’s Talk Daggers have made one of the most electric rock albums of the year. If you can appreciate guitar music that doesn’t sacrifice technicality for song-writing then Let’s Talk Daggers have delivered a record that does just that and even more. A Beautiful Life is an absolute tidal wave of riffs, tempo changes and yelping and despite the madness of its contents, Let’s Talk Daggers have brought it all together into one cohesive yet exhausting piece.

8/10

Let’s Talk Daggers’ A Beautiful Life is out now on digital download direct from the band or limited edition yellow vinyl from Tangled Talk Records.


Review: Maths’ The Fires Courting the Sea

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It’s been 4 years since Maths last graced us with new music back with 2011’s Ascent EP. The post hardcore/screamo noiseniks took an extended break from music to catch up with personal matters but the three-piece are back with The Fires Courting the Sea, a 6 track mini-album that essentially carries on directly where the band left off.

Maths are still a delightfully weird prospect. The band mix angular guitar riffs with moments of melodious beauty that manage to ebb and flow in a bizarrely natural way. While we use labels like post hardcore and screamo to help define the band, there’s a youthful punk energy running through this record and most songs barely scrape the 2 minute mark.

But what really sets the band apart are those wonderful moments of introspective melody like the introduction to The Water is the Colour of the Sky which creates wonderful imagery of British coastline and fleeting romances, much like the record’s artwork. Despite the bands insistence of screaming everything they have to say with all the strength they can muster, there’s real beauty in Maths’ blend of melodic punk rock and that still helps them stand out from the crowd even to this day.

Speaking of screaming, the performances on this record sound like they physically hurt. The blistering pace of the guitar work sounds like fingertips are being shredded. The drumming is equally exhausting to listen to as the drum fills are utterly relentless in their speed. You’d shift some serious weight if you could learn and perform these songs. Yet somehow Maths manage to put forward a record that’s enormous in scope and it moves in such a satisfying way that when it rolls to a close it genuinely feels like you’ve taken an intense, snap-shot tour of the highs and lows of someone’s life.

Maths’ The Fires Courting the Sea is a phenomenal melodic punk record which manages to cram some of the most beautiful yet utterly pissed off music it can into its 10 minutes. Maths are still one of the UK underground’s most treasured acts and it would be sacrilege for any punk fan to skip on this record. You know what to do.

9/10

Maths’ The Fires Courting the Sea is out now through Tangled Talk Records. Order a copy on vinyl by clicking here.


Year End: The Top 5 Best Splits of 2014

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5) Teef/Minors

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A late release from Headless Guru Records, this split does not mess about. UK punk-thrashers TEEF have joined forces with American dark hardcore act Minors to deliver a 3 minute burst of pure aggression. TEEF are the sort of band that will have old school punks pogo-ing until their knees shatter and Minors conjure up memories of bands like Lavotchkin and End Reign which is nothing but a good thing. It might be short but it’s perfectly formed.

4) War Wolf/Crossburner

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What we said:

“War Wolf and Crossburner have delivered an EP that will satisfy hardcore fans the world over. This is a seriously strong collection of tunes that deserve your attention despite some small grievances with over-familiarity in War Wolf’s case and not enough time being spent driving home the strong melodies in Crossburner’s arsenal. If you’re a fan of the genre you’re still in for an absolute treat.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

3) Rolo Tomassi/Stockades

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What we said:

“Rolo Tomassi might be losing their more unpredictable and progressive elements, but songs like Adrasteia prove the band are still an engaging mathcore band even when they’re playing things a little more straight forward.

Stockades offer up a lovely little progressive screamo anthem and it beautifully flows through its various riffs and melodies with ease. It’s still early days for these boys but it would appear they’ve already nailed and extremely accomplished sound that I’ll be paying some serious attention to from here on.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

2) Oblivionized and Razoreater – This is S.O.A.N.

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What we said:

“Oblivionized and Razoreater are champions of the UK underground music scene and this recording showcases exactly what’s so great about going to a dirty club show and getting your mosh on. This release is also accompanied by a live video recording of both band’s sets which is essential viewing if you’ve ever cared about the long lost art of the concert film.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

1) Pariso/Svalbard

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What we said:

“Regardless of the fact that the amalgamation comes off more as Pariso instead of Pariso and Svalbard, this collaborative album is an incredibly special release from two very unique bands. Pariso’s heavier yet more metal-laden beginning leads into a more positive and melodic second half courtesy of Svalbard that actually feels like the album takes you on a journey through the dark and into the light. This split actually tries to break down the boundaries of the split record concept by showcasing two bands that are very much on the same page regardless of their differences in sound. This could have been a Loutallica but thankfully it’s a wholesome and focussed release that any fan of heavy music should be listening to.”

Read the full review by clicking here.


Review: Rolo Tomassi/Stockades Split

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We’re bending the rules a bit by reviewing a split record featuring Australian screamo band Stockades, but this split also features Sheffield mathcore luminaries Rolo Tomassi and it was released via UK label Tangled Talk Records so shut up; it totally counts.

ROLO TOMASSI

Rolo Tomassi went through a slight stylistic shift on their last album Astraea which can only be down to the change of guitarist and bassist. When Joe Nicholson and Joseph Thorpe left the band, the band also lost their jazzier elements and the multiple changes in time signature weren’t nearly as prevalent on Astraea.

This hasn’t changed on Rolo Tomassi’s Adrasteia. New guitarist Chris Cayford and bassist Nathan Fairweather still favour a more metallic mathcore sound akin to that of The Dillinger Escape Plan and the addition of new drummer Tom Pitts also leads to a more frantic and double-bass-heavy performance.

The big change is that Adrasteia features a considerably larger amount of memorable riffs and melodies which was something that was lacking on Astraea. This is a precision attack on the aural sense and despite the technicality there is an obvious improvement in song-writing.

There’s also brilliant use of the quiet/loud dynamic. The song begins with a technically proficient mathcore opening before the song takes a breather in its middle eight to lure you into a gentle yet eerie keyboard-lead section. The song is then bookended by an almighty beast of a riff that is bound to ignite some serious mosh pits.

Rolo Tomassi might be losing their more unpredictable and progressive elements, but songs like Adrasteia prove the band are still an engaging mathcore band even when they’re playing things a little more straight forward. Adrasteia is also notable for being one of the heaviest songs the band has produced so far and that’s fine by me.

8/10

STOCKADES

Melbourne’s Stockades offer a very different listening experience. The band are just as much of a fan of the quiet/loud dynamic as Rolo Tomassi but their brighter, jangly guitar tone is more reminiscent of bands like Maths.

The more delicate opening of Unfix leads the listener into a false sense of security before the song speeds up for a blistering screamo section. It’s a glorious cacophony of abrasive noise that leads to an early crescendo before the song dials it back for another shift in tone.

After an almost relaxing section of glittery guitar worship, it’s back to another mammoth chord-driven section that is bizarrely euphoric in its loudness. It’s moments like these that remind us of bands like Self Defence Family and Goodtime Boys which is no bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

Stockades offer up a lovely little progressive screamo anthem and it beautifully flows through its various riffs and melodies with ease. It’s still early days for these boys but it would appear they’ve already nailed and extremely accomplished sound that I’ll be paying some serious attention to from here on.

9/10

Rolo Tomassi and Stockades’ split is available to purchase on 7″ vinyl from Tangled Talk Records now.


Review: Gnarwolves’ Gnarwolves

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The Gnarwolves album has finally landed. It seems like this album has been a long time coming and Gnarwolves have been mastering their craft after 3 very successful EPs, but have the boys from Brighton managed to make a full length that does their rowdy pop punk justice? The short answer is, “yes”.

The long answer is that even after 3 EPs, Gnarwolves are still churning out skate punk anthem after skate punk anthem. Every track on Gnarwolves’ self-titled debut album is a real fist pumping sing-a-long which is unnaturally impressive. No band should be able to consistently make such catchy punk for so long but Gnarwolves are making it look easy.

What makes Gnarwolves so effective is their ability to write a chorus that will stick with you for weeks. The best tracks on the album have the most memorable choruses and songs like Boneyard, Bottle to Bottle and Smoking Kills are easily going to become live favourites.

Speaking of live, special mention has to be given to the production which captures Gnarwolves energy in a similar way to a great live recording. The one element that seems to make this work so well is the vocals which are shared between all 3 of the band members and makes for a beautiful collision of raw, grunted vocals and the sort of crooning you’d expect from Rise Against and Green Day.

The only negative you might level against Gnarwolves is they’re basically writing the same songs they’ve always written, but is that really a negative? When the music is this memorable and passionate I’d argue, “no” but even if you’d written off Gnarwolves’ creativity something shows up right at the end of the album that truly surprises.

There’s a bloody hardcore song at the end of this album. The untitled song in question is full of aggression, riffs and beatdowns and Gnarwolves pull it off just as well as any of hardcore’s finest. If there were any worries of where Gnarwolves could go after this record then I’d happily put money on them getting heavier because hardcore elements really suit their abrasive punk sound.

Gnarwolves have successfully delivered the album they were always threatening to make. This is a wonderful 28 minutes of direct yet anthemic punk that showcases a band at the top of their game. Gnarwolves are one of the most exciting bands in UK punk right now and this is an essential purchase for anyone who likes their music catchy yet lairy.

8/10

Gnarwolves’ self-titled debut album is out now through Tangled Talk Records and Big Scary Monsters.


Review: Pariso and Svalbard’s Self-Titled Split Album

parisosvalbard

Pariso and Svalbard return for a release that is truly unique among hardcore splits; this is a collaborative album with both bands contributing a set of songs as well as joining forces for 2 very unique tracks that showcase a beautiful cacophony of styles that draw from the best parts of both band’s sounds.

Pariso lead the proceedings on this split and the band have decided to play in a lower tuning than usual to make their sound even more difficult to pigeonhole. Pariso make a form of progressive hardcore that brings in elements of groove metal that result in crushing breakdowns like the one featured in Underground Notes. If you can imagine Hatebreed by way of Korn and Every Time I Die you’d be in the sort of area you’d need to be in to appreciate Pariso’s incredibly unique sound.

I’ve joked in the past that Pariso are the founders of nu-grind but thanks to the band’s lower tuning this is becoming less of a joke and actually the only genre I can think that suits them perfectly, especially in regards to these recordings. The opening of Delirium also abides to this rule by featuring a relentless grindcore-esque blast-beat that only gives up to deal another punishing groove.

What Pariso are becoming very good at is interspersing their noise with some brilliant leads that actually help deliver a lot of melody. This was brought into the fold during the writing of their previous album Consanguinity and it’s great to see it used prominently in songs like Helios, The Great Demise.

Now onto Svalbard who despite having a sound rooted in hardcore are somewhat different to Pariso. Svalbard’s sound draws from punk far more heavily than Pariso’s and the no-nonsense opening of Ripped Apart delivers an awesome punk beat that soon expands into a post hardcore sound that is far more melodic in nature.

Svalbard’s music is wonderfully textured and features some absolutely soaring leads that add a sense of euphoria and positivity that’s at juxtaposition with the band’s aggressive nature. The band reminds us of gone-but-not-forgotten post rockers Rinoa but with the hardcore punk leanings of a band like Vales. It’s quite a beautiful racket.

Like Pariso before them Svalbard are another underground UK band who have absolutely nailed a sound of their own and despite their longer songs the band also manage to sound like they’re giving it their all for the entirety of their music. Grayscale is mind-bogglingly intense but it still manages to fit some glittery leads into its near 5 minute hardcore punk attack and it’s an exhausting yet brilliant post hardcore anthem.

Finally it’s important we discuss the collaborative tracks on this split. While the two songs (Floating Anchors and Faceless) clearly draw on elements from both bands’ music, it’s Pariso who seem to be making the decisions in regards to the songs’ structure. Both tracks are shorter 2 minute bursts of extremely progressive metallic hardcore with the only discernible Svalbard elements being the melodic guitar leads and the inclusion of Serena on vocals as well as Mazz.

Regardless of the fact that the amalgamation comes off more as Pariso instead of Pariso and Svalbard, this collaborative album is an incredibly special release from two very unique bands. Pariso’s heavier yet more metal-laden beginning leads into a more positive and melodic second half courtesy of Svalbard that actually feels like the album takes you on a journey through the dark and into the light. This split actually tries to break down the boundaries of the split record concept by showcasing two bands that are very much on the same page regardless of their differences in sound. This could have been a Loutallica but thankfully it’s a wholesome and focussed release that any fan of heavy music should be listening to.

8/10

Pariso and Svalbard’s split self-titled album is out now on 12″ vinyl through Tangled Talk Records.


Review: Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard & MINE – Cover Buzz

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‘Cover Buzz’ is a rather exciting four-way split between UK hardcore upstarts Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard and MINE. The seven-inch jukebox single has no less than five record labels behind it and the quality of the product is a true testament to the communal vibe of UK heavy music. It’s also going to be a release that sees a load of hardcore kids rush to eBay to purchase 45RPM turntable adaptors as in true jukebox fashion, the record’s middle has been punched out.

Without further ado, let’s discuss each band’s contribution to this unique little release:

LET IT DIE – WAR IN THE HEAD

Let it Die deal with their cover of 7 Seconds’ ‘War in the Head’ in the only way they can; play the thing at breakneck speed and crank the power violence up to its absolute extreme. We’ve said this before on the website but Let it Die manage to sound angrier and angrier on each release and these forty seconds of unbridled rage showcase the band at their absolute best. What an opening.

9/10

PARISO – STRAIGHT HYPOCRISY/IMAGES

Pariso also take a similar approach in making their two covers sound as much like themselves as they could. They also took that typical Pariso approach and one-upped everyone else on the release by doing two covers instead of one (see the band’s split with Kerouac to see them put forward five songs in two and a half minutes while Kerouac can only muster one). The band tackle songs from Witch Cult and Weekend Nachos and fuel them with that brilliantly mathy edge that Pariso do so well but also manage to add plenty of Hatebreed-esque stomp as is typical of the band. Pariso are in the wonderful position of being a band that sound completely unique which is a pretty difficult thing to do in a scene as dense as UK hardcore.

9/10

SVALBARD – THIS IS THE END

Svalbard put forward a cover of Victims’ ‘This is the End’ and instead of moulding the song into something that would sit comfortably in Svalbard’s own back catalogue, they take the approach of playing the track in a similar vein to the original. This obviously means Svalbard’s cover lacks the impact of a re-imagining like the two songs that preceded it, but it is fascinating to hear the post-metallers play straight forward hardcore without the bells and whistles they add to their own sound.

8/10

MINE – EVERYBODY HATES ME

MINE also take the Svalbard approach by playing their cover of Tear it Up’s ‘Everybody Hates Me’ as close to the original as possible, but once again it’s interesting to hear the band play no frills punk instead of their own blend of post rock and hardcore. MINE’s cover sounds endearingly lo-fi in comparison to the rest of the songs on ‘Cover Buzz’ and it adds an air of authenticity to the song that suits its inclusion on a jukebox single perfectly.

8/10

‘Cover Buzz’ is a wonderfully ambitious and overblown release. Fans of hardcore punk will find a lot to love as four of the UK’s brightest hopes play classic hardcore with all the piss and vinegar you’d expect from one of their own releases. It’s also brilliant to see five record labels stump up a bit of support for such an elaborate release. Records like this manage to showcase some of the most interesting ideas in UK heavy music and it’s a release we can’t recommend enough.

‘Cover Buzz’ featuring Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard and MINE is available to buy now from Dog Knights Productions, Enjoyment Records, Moshtache Records, Tangled Talk Records and Cult Culture.


Review: Stallone’s Mire

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I don’t know what it is in the hardcore community that makes bands want to up their technicality to preposterous levels of techy, prog goodness but I love that it keeps happening. Coming across like a hybrid of Pariso and Palm Reader, Stallone have burst out of the gates with their debut mini-album ‘Mire’ and it’s a seriously impressive piece of tech-core (you watch, it’ll catch on).

Stallone’s modus operandi is to make screamy hardcore punk filled with twists and turns and song structures that evolve and never return to the same melody twice. Mire is an extremely demanding release to listen to but there’s never a dull moment. For example, semi-title track ‘In The Mire’ puts forward an entire album’s worth of riffs in its 2 and half minute song length and it makes for an absolutely frantic listening experience.

What helps Stallone’s quest for all the riffs is that every one they put on display is pretty memorable in its own right. In fact, some of the riffs are unnecessarily catchy and make me want to get out on the dance floor like the groovy lick at the start of ‘They Drew’. There’s a huge amount of variety and diversity on ‘Mire’ and while it’s consistently wild and noisy, it’s always engaging to listen to.

The only real negative I can throw at this release is that if you take the songs alone they can suffer from not sounding particularly cohesive. Without returning melodies or choruses, the songs rely on their pace and sheer volume of ideas to engage the listener but this does have an unfortunate side effect of making the entire 25 minutes of ‘Mire’ sound like an unruly mash-up of ideas.

Thankfully, the riffs and intensity of the release make up for the fact that some listeners might have a hard time listening to songs that lack a central hook. If you like your music fast, interesting, tight and loud then Stallone have you covered. ‘Mire’ is a hugely impressive mini-album that is stuffed with an over-abundance of ideas and riffs that fans of both tech-metal and hardcore punk will find a joy to listen to.

8/10

Stallone’s Mire is released on 12″ black vinyl through Tangled Talk Records and Enjoyment Records on October 7th.


Review: Svalbard’s Flightless Birds

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We generally shy away from reviewing singles at UK Scumscene because in the time it takes you to read the review you could’ve simply listened to the thing. However, we’re making an exception for Svalbard’s ‘Flightless Birds’ because coupled with its b-side ‘For What It’s Worth’ the whole thing clocks in at an impressive nine and a half minutes and what an impressive journey it is.

The title track gives you a brilliant representation of what the band are about with a beautifully layered and dramatic sounding piece of post rock meets post hardcore (yes, there’s going to be a lot of ‘posts’ used in this review). The band are a rather stunning amalgamation of bands like Vales, MINE and Rinoa and deliver intense post hardcore smothered in stark, atmospheric lead-guitar which is then given a moment to shine as the song hits its middle-eight. During the middle-eight the song takes a moment to breathe and delivers a gentle and restrained section which builds and builds before the song is ready to explode once again. This really is spectacular stuff.

The second track ‘For What It’s Worth’ explores some different avenues and is slightly more progressive than ‘Flightless Birds’. The song features the only instance of sung vocals and gives the song a powerful and almost cinematic quality that fits wonderfully into the band’s already varied arsenal. ‘For What It’s Worth’ also decides to use its more fragile section to finish the song and as it carefully comes to a close the whole release feels like it has proper closure which is bizarre for something like a single.

Svalbard have crafted these two songs with exquisite precision and I wouldn’t normally be inclined to call a release like this a single. This release was made to be listened in its entirety and as good as both songs are, they really shine when they’re played together. Svalbard’s ‘Flightless Birds’ is a stunning release and the band themselves are one of the UK’s brightest hopes. Now excuse me while I attempt to purchase everything else the band has produced so far.

9/10

Svalbard’s Flightless Birds is released on 7″ vinyl through Tangled Talk Records on October 7th.