Tag Archives: vinyl

Review: Rolo Tomassi/Stockades Split

rolotomassistockades

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: Limb’s Limb

We’ve finally arrived at Limb’s first long player and it’s been a hell of ride. The desert sludgesters have delivered a demo (confusingly under the same name as this album), a 7” EP and a magnificent split with fellow sludgemeisters Gurt and now the band are putting their statement of intent out there with this their début self-titled album.

Limb stick pretty close to their tried and tested formula of crushing grooves, slow tempos and throaty roaring. Only two of the tracks appearing on this record have reared their head in the past with ‘Daemoness’ featuring on their first release in a much dirtier guise and ‘Gift of the Sun’ also getting a re-recording after it’s appearance on the 7” of the same name. Both songs sound as enormous as ever with ‘Daemoness’ sounding absolutely gigantic thanks to the brilliant production values that weren’t a privilege back when Limb started doing their thing.

As per usual, Limb’s axeman Pat Pask and bassist Sam Cooper absolutely steal the show thanks to their undeniable talent for writing a ball-busting riff. Every song that appears on Limb’s self-titled LP boasts a groove that’ll have you stomping around the house like a Viking stalking his next meal.

It’s also great to hear vocalist Rob Hoey move away from his lower-pitched yell to a full-on scream in songs like ‘Eternal Psalm Pt II’. It seems odd that we should be praising a man for simply screaming in a slightly different fashion, but when you hear the song kick into gear with Hoey’s vocals it sounds absolutely electric.

However, the real brilliance of Limb’s song-writing is the progressive nature of the music. Sludge metal doesn’t really sit well with progressive song structures but Limb rarely revisit a melody in any of their songs which keeps you gripped throughout the entire record. This is an extremely clever approach on Limb’s part because the consistent use of slow tempos means that the record could have become extremely tiresome if it wasn’t for the smart song-writing.

The only drawback comes in the form of drummer Jodie Wyatt. There’s nothing wrong with Wyatt’s simplistic yet hard-hitting style, but what is going on with that ride cymbal? I know this is a petty little niggle but I couldn’t help but notice that Wyatt favours the ride over a crash which brings an almost muted cymbal hit into the mix and she’s uses it a lot. Again, I realise this is an almost pathetic complaint but I can’t help but wonder what this record would’ve sounded like if Wyatt favoured the crash and gave the songs some satisfying impact.

Regardless of this small complaint, Limb’s self-titled début album is a beast of record that’s stuffed with Earth-moving riffs and enough groove to bring a legion of followers to the band’s cause. Limb have delivered the record they were always threatening to and it’s a welcome addition to any sludge fan’s collection.

8/10

Limb’s self-titled début album is out now through New Heavy Sounds and available to buy on CD and vinyl from Cargo Records.


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

4way_split

‘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.


News: War Wolf/Sob Story Split Now Streaming

warwolfsobstory

A double dose of sludge and punk is now available to stream in the form of a new split release from War Wolf and Sob Story. Check it out below:

Pre-orders aren’t available yet but as soon as they are you should head over to Headless Guru Records and snag a copy. While you’re waiting you should probably pick up War Wolf’s phenominal debut EP Riding With Demons on translucent red vinyl. It looks gorgeous and it sounds evil; what more could you want?


Review: Desolated’s Disorder of Mind

This might be the most difficult review I’ve ever had to write because it’s amazingly frutstrating thinking of different ways to say ‘bland’, ‘generic’ and ‘boring’. If you haven’t already guessed I wasn’t too thrilled by Desolated’s Disorder of Mind and over its 5 tracks the EP did very little to make me think Desolated had any interesting ideas of their own.

Desolated make metalcore but they do it with the sort of metal-meets-hardcore swagger that bands like Hang the Bastard do so well. The difference is Desolated have hardly any melody on display and it’s because of this that the band end up churning out 5 very samey, very dull metalcore songs.

The band structure their songs like this: a constant, one-chord breakdown plays and each chord is punctuated with a bass-drum hit. Vocalist Paul Williams screams some words over everything and in between the one-chord breakdowns guitarist Rich Unsworth occasionally writes something that’s almost like a thrash metal riff. Every song on Disorder of Mind follows this pattern and the almost complete lack of melody and over-reliance on breakdowns makes it a tiresome experience.

The big issue I have with it is Unsworth proves he can write memorable guitar riffs as those small glimpses of thrash-metal are quite promising. Sadly it isn’t too long before we’re back in one chord territory. I can almost visualise the band posturing on stage and shouting at the audience to “open up this pit”. My face is thoroughly in my palms.

Desolated have worked themselves into a rut on Disorder of Mind. Because Williams relies on screaming, this EP needed some catchy riffs to give the listener something to sink their teeth into. What we get is breakdown after breakdown and it’s a repetitive and unvaried slog through music that wasn’t really made to be listened to. This is mosh music through and through and while that’s fine for the sort of audience Desolated are attracting in a live environment it doesn’t make for a compelling listen on record. If Unsworth moved away from the breakdowns and showcased exactly how good his riffs can be this EP could have been saved, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until next time to see if that hope can become a reality.

3/10

Desolated’s Disorder of Mind is out now and available to buy direct from the band on 12″ vinyl and CD.


News: New Alaska Release Free Live Collection of Demos

newalaskaboomvaults

Post hardcore/alt rockers New Alaska have made a 14 track collection of live demos, jams and scrapped songs available for free download.

The collection is called Boom Vaults and is available to download via the following link: CLICK HERE

New Alaska are currently in the process of working on their next EP. Their first EP Finer Lines of Tomorrow is still available to download and purchase on limited edition CD. New Alaska’s split with Chestnut Road is also available to pre-order from Speedowax Records now. The Chestnut Road split features 3 tracks from Finer Lines of Tomorrow.


News: You Should Probably Abuse Cleavers’ Summer Sale Right Now

Scottish garage punks Cleavers have put some of their records on sale and grouped them into 2 handy £5 bundles. You can get a bundle of 3 7″s or a bundle of 2 7″s and 2 tapes. That’s quite a lot of punk for £5 each.

Click the links below to be taken to each bundle:
Cleavers’ Give Up 7″, Life is Shit 7″ and Clowns’ self titled 7″
Cleavers’ Give Up 7″, Life is Shit 7″, Broken Birthday Teeth cassette and Urgent Blood Discography cassetteOnly 9 left so be quick!

Here’s a reason why you should probably care a little bit more about Cleavers:


Interview: Throne

Welcome back to Double Cross, our regular feature on bands in the UK heavy music scene with female members. In this edition we speak to Julia Owen from Throne.

My name is Julia Owen and I play drums in Throne. Nicos Livesey is our vocalist/guitarist and Will Michael plays bass.

What introduced you to doom/sludge metal?

I started listening to bands like Kyuss, Nebula, Fatso Jetson and Sabbath in my teens, after that it was just a natural progression into looking for similar bands, heavier bands… anything with a slow tempo and a killer riff has always drawn me in. In terms of playing these kind of genres, I found with my first band (which was basically rock with a slight stoner edge) that I loved playing the half-time sections most, so I decided I needed to find a band to play slow and groovy with!

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Throne to date?

For me it’s a tie between releasing our 7” EP last November and playing Desertfest two years in a row. This year was particularly special as we played on my birthday. Drinking Prosecco out of a bottle on stage was pretty ridiculous.

How’s the reaction been to the 7″? Are you happy with what you achieved?

The reaction was really good. We had a lot of positive reviews and the tracks got played on a bunch of radio stations; it was pretty mad hearing it on Radio One. That was something we never anticipated from our first release.

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire that you would recommend to our readers?

Bands we’ve played with that I can recommend include Limb, Bad Guys, Gurt and a new discovery for me, Dethscalator.
As for bands I admire, Slabdragger have just got themselves a new drummer and are playing again, which I’m really excited about also Mars Red Sky and Green & Wood are definitely worth checking out too

What’s coming up next in the Throne pipeline?

We’ve written a new EP and we’re going into the studio to record it next month. Our 7″ came out in December 2012 but we recorded it back in March last year when we hadn’t been together that long as a band. Since then we’ve had like a year and half of playing shows and writing songs together and as a result this new record sounds quite different. We’re really stoked for people to hear it, should be out by the end of the year.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Throne updates and news?

We update our Facebook page the most – http://www.facebook.com/thronemusic
You can also check out our Twitter or Instagram: @tthhrroonnee


Review: Let It Die/Monolithian Split

Metallic hardcore mob Let It Die and doom metallers Monolithian might seem like an odd pairing for a split release, but it actually becomes very apparent as to why these bands have teamed up. What you get with this split is two sides of brilliantly diverse metal that compliment each other surprisingly well.

LET IT DIE

Let It Die are just getting more and more ferocious with every release. Their metallic hardcore is now taking elements from black metal and power violence to create a relentless attack that is punctuated with savage breakdowns and even the odd slab of doom like on the lead track Boredom/Inertia.

Let It Die’s side of the split only comes in at five and a half minutes, but it packs in a smorgasbord of metal influences and mashes them together into this unwieldy but hugely enjoyable blast of pure aggression. Second track Torture is probably the most extreme thing the band have put to record and it fidgets, twists and jolts like a secondary school student electrocuting a frog (that would make a pretty good music video lads. I won’t charge). Let It Die are on top form here and it’s amazing to witness.

9/10

MONOLITHIAN

Monolithian’s doom leanings means they can only fit a single song on their side of the split but luckily it shows the band at their best. Emaciate/Euthanise begins with the usual doom lurch that you expect from the band but it doesn’t take too long before the band put their foot to the floor for a brilliant section of punky rhythms and blast-beats.

It’s still baffling to think that a sound this huge is coming from only 2 people but Monolithian have found their style and absolutely mastered it. The band offer some hugely catchy grooves to get your ears around and do it all with a single, yet heavily distorted bass guitar. If I was in a band with a multiple guitarists and I wasn’t getting a sound as big as Monolithian’s then I’d seriously have to consider not bothering.

9/10

Let It Die and Monolithian’s split seven-inch is a savage showcase of two of the best UK underground metal bands and they’re on brilliant form. With songs like this, both bands won’t be playing the toilet circuit for much longer so you better get on board before you miss your opportunity. This is an essential addition to any metal fan’s collection.


Thanks to Tight to the Nail for the stream.

Let It Die and Monolithian’s split is available to pre-order from Moshtache Records on heavyweight, 70g, black, seven-inch vinyl now.


Interview: Monolithian

Welcome back to Double Cross, our regular feature on bands in the UK heavy music scene with female members. In this edition we speak to Simon Walker from Monolithian.

We are Monolithian. We are a 2 piece blackened doom band from Falmouth in Cornwall. We consist of Simon Walker (bass and vocals) and Shannon Green (drums).

What introduced you to doom metal?

I (Si) was introduced to doom metal through stoner rock and stoner metal, discovering new and heavier bands all the time. I started listening to Sleep, Electric Wizard and Bongzilla. It went on from there. Shannon was introduced to doom metal through me as at the time she was listening to mostly black metal and death metal.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Monolithian to date?

Playing with bands such as Big Business, Unsane, Orange Goblin and Annal Nathrakh have been massive honours for us, also the release of our first 12″ vinyl was a trip. The fact that so many people from different musical groups have welcomed us also makes us feel very proud and privileged.

2013 has been a big year for you. You seem to be pumping out new music at a rate of knots with the One/Zero 12″, the split with Ed Wood, another split with Let It Die and then a covers EP. Why so many releases?

It’s all a big fluke really. The One EP has been out for nearly 2 years and Zero was recorded a year ago. It’s just taken this long to finally get it re-mastered and released properly. We originally had a split planned with Witch Cult but during the writing process for the WxCx split we were approached by Ed Wood, so we just recorded a bit more and started organizing a split with them whilst WxCx sorted out there side of the other split. During this time they broke up and Let It Die jumped on board to take their place. It all happened very quickly, which is why we have two 7″s and a 12″ released within 3 months of each other. It’s all a fluke. As for the covers EP, me and Shannon have always wanted to do something to help people who have become homeless and we thought this would be a cool way to raise some money for a local homeless charity and spin some people out by recording cover versions of songs people might not expect.

Is there a reason why you’ve decided to focus on hardcore bands to collaborate with on your splits? Why not other doom bands?

Down in Cornwall there is an extreme metal scene and there is a hardcore scene. Though we do play metal shows we have always been more welcomed by the hardcore/punk scene. Me and Shannon would both consider ourselves more like punks then metal heads. It’s just the extremity of the Monolithian sound would make people think other wise. As a band we share the same views, beliefs and moral values of other hardcore and punk bands in the underground scene, so I think this is why we gravitate towards them and vice-versa. We would love to do a split with another doom/sludge/black metal band but as of right now we haven’t been approached. Only time will tell.

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire that you would recommend to our readers?

We recommend that everybody listen to: War Wolf, F. Emasculata, Ed Wood, Let It Die, Nu Pogodi, 2 Sick Monkeys, Swinelord, Razoreater, Iced Out, The Wounded Kings, Ice Dragon, Crypt Lurker, Sea Bastard, Beartrap, Black Veins, Esoteric Youth, Pine Barrens, Spider Kitten, Brotherhood of the Lake and Grand Collapse. There are many more we could mention but I think this will do for now.

What’s coming up next in the Monolithian pipeline?

We are hoping to book some kind of tour that’s more than a couple of days. There are so many places in the UK and Europe where I know people would like us to come, but it’s been hard for us to travel so hopefully we will sort something out. We’re going to focus on writing a full length release that will blow everything we have done in the past out of the water. We have shows coming up with Eyehategod as well as Leopalooza Festival and Dirty Weekend Festival in Wrexham where we get to play with bands such as Oi Polloi and Extreme Noise Terror. We’re just going to try and play more and release more music.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Monolithian updates and news?

Pretty much just check us out on facebook.com/monolithian. We don’t do that Twitter bullshit.

Thanks for chatting with us! Hail Satan, play loud and slow, go vegan.