Saturday, April 21, 2012

mnttaB - Rocky 4​,​2 and 3 EP [2012]

Here is a submission from down in Melbourne, Australia. mnttaB (pronounce it 'Mount Tab') is a noisy synth-punk apocalypse that sounds kind of like what the cover art looks like -- i.e., a violent freak experiment of science and athletic training (and tattoos). They place special emphasis on infectious grooves, whether the drums are struck or programmed. Lots of yelling and general chaos that will make you want to jump around. This came out about two weeks ago, and is available for free on their bandcamp, along with their previous releases. All worth hearing.

There will be a European/US tour this summer, so keep an eye out for gig dates.

mnttaB bandcamp
mnttaB soundcloud

Sad Family - Separate Lives CS [2011]

Sad Family are a band I've been meaning to post for a while now, so here it is. Melodic, dynamic post-punk from Peoria, a town of about 115,000 in the middle of Illinois. This tape compiles a bunch of live performances with a few different lineups, but it plays through like a cohesive album. I haven't seen them play yet but going by these recordings I need to.

This came out on Crippled Sound, based in Urbana, Illinois.

Sad Family bandcamp
Get one of the few remaining copies at Red Dye
Crippled Sound store

The New Yorker - Living Among Winners and Losers 12" [2012]

From lastfm:

(1) The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, cartoons, poetry and fiction. Originally a weekly, the magazine is now published 47 times per year with five (usually more expansive) issues covering two-week spans.

(2) The New Yorker is a melodic punk/post-hardcore band from Northwest Indiana. 

Now that you're all sad about Raw Nerve being gone, have yourself a listen to this slice of Chicago/NW Indiana melodic hardcore. Members of this band are also in Lord Snow and Expendable Youth, and one was in Raw Nerve. Furious bass playing, harmonic feedback tunes, and drums that sound like a roll of M-80s going off. The melodic chord changes bring to mind the late Witch Hunt, or perhaps Syracuse, NY's Shoppers. Fans of those, or emotional hardcore in the vein of Rites of Spring, will dig this record. The ten songs are all about a minute-ish long and the whole thing runs through so nice you'll listen to it twice.

The New Yorker Bandcamp
Buy the records

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Raw Nerve - Everything I currently have by them [2009-2011]

So the last ever Raw Nerve show is tonight. Probably going on right now, actually. I'm stuck 130 miles from Chicago, so here's my way of seeing them off. I'm just glad I did get to see them a couple of times while they were around. At the moment I've got their music on blast -- hopefully it will sufficiently irritate my wannabe-fratboy neighbors.

For those who don't know, Raw Nerve has been one of the best hardcore bands around Chicago in the past few years. Lots of throat-shredding vocals and screaming feedback and all that. The drums are fine-tuned to generate the maximum amount of crowd movement. But they're hardly by-the-book hardcore. They've laid down some interesting coversongs -- including a gut-wrenching version of X-Ray Spex's "I Am a Cliche" -- and there are a few passages, especially on the self-titled LP, that suggest something "bigger than hardcore" going on, but never for long enough for the hardcore-or-die types to complain about it. What do you want me to say? This is punk rock -- it's fast and it's loud, and it's the easiest possible music to judge for yourself.

Raw Nerve has one final release, an EP entitled Every Problem Solved, that is being released right about now. You can hear one of the songs here:

While you're downloading all this stuff for free, you should take a look at the long list of currently-available releases over at Youth Attack. Records, tapes, tshirts, razor blades, and all variety of other good stuff can be found there.

Youth Attack releases

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brother Gruesome - Mesa Session [2012]

Brother Gruesome hail from Oklahoma City, a place I know nothing about. I saw them play here in Urbana the other night, and I really dug it. They are a guitar and drum duo who play some melodious jams that can also kick your ass. The sound has a good sense of dynamics, and they're able to get away with some actually good stretches of lyric-less music -- which a lot of people can't manage as just a two-person band. I could make comparisons to the likes of No Age and Pink Reason, or perhaps say they have a kind of a Neil Young thing going on, but that is just the impression I got from the gig. Stream and download this, and figure it out for yerself.

There are two other releases worth checking out on their bancamp. This stuff is all free to download (+pay what you want), but you can grab a tape or perhaps a 7" for cheap if you're going to be in Dallas, TX on April 20.

Brother Gruesome bandcamp

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter - Demonstration [2011]

On Sunday Mr. J.H. Christ regains consciousness in a dank, cavernous tomb. "Oh my Dad, what happened this weekend?" he thinks. "I must have been pretty hammered for two days to go by like that. I think we had a good time on Friday ... shit." Looking through his hands and feet, he exclaims, "I really got hammered." So he crawls out of the cave on his holy hands and knees into town to find some falafel to try and keep down. His twelve friends came by later to see if he was still passed out, but he had Risen.
So happy Easter to ya, heathen. This band's name is Easter, which is why I'm posting it today. Here is a sixteen-minute demo EP that Kyle down here in Champaign made last year. It's some really good Calvin Johnson-inspired stuff. I think he recorded everything on here himself, but Easter has been playing shows around town as a full band. The sound is unapologetically poppy, but has nonetheless spurred some frenzied moshpits. Have a listen for yourself -- it's as sweet as the chocolate eggs you're scarfing down today.

Easter bandcamp

re-up'd: Les Rallizes Dénudés - Heavier Than a Death in the Family [1977]

Les Rallizes Dénudés (「裸のラリーズ」"Naked Rallizes" in Japanese) are more or less a contrarian underground rock fan's wet dream: from Japan, gigged fairly steadily for three decades, released virtually no official material (but are extensively bootlegged), contains a lot of guitar noise, had a bass player commit some kind of radical leftist plane hijacking -- I could go on but it would belabor the point. With 'backstory' like this surrounding such a reclusive band, there are many who come in with expectations that are somehow not met by the music. So here's the straight dope on this band.

The sound concept is fairly simple -- repetitive rock and doo-wop bass mantras washed over by massive guitar surges, punctuated by Takashi Mizutani's vocal yelps and stretched out to 10 minute(+) sonic endeavors. The insanity is tempered by the electric folk balladry that formed the skeleton of the music when they came together in the late 1960s. Many of the songs were originally developed alongside experimental theater/performance pieces. The vibe is a combination of kosmische punk, dub, and soaring damaged pop greatness. Think of '67-'68 Velvets guitar supernovae out at the far corners of the universe, and the cosmic feedback that such cataclysms would emit. Mizutani's guitar makes the sound of the sky falling, only to rise through the stratosphere at the next moment.

Heavier Than a Death in the Family's tracks are mostly pulled from performances in 1977 (some of them appear on the Rallizes double-disc ur-text '77 Live), one of a number of high points in the band's existence. However, possibly the best piece on here is the ten-minute "People Can Choose," recorded in 1973. It's a powerful motorik beast. Also, for those hundreds of you who downloaded the Dirty Beaches album I posted in my end of 2011 post, you might like to know that this is the stuff that guy was channeling/sampling on "A Hundred Highways."

Basically everyone from Keiji Haino, to Asahito Nanjo (High Rise, Mainliner, etc.), to Acid Mothers Temple, to anyone who claims to play 'shoegaze' takes cues from these guys. It's not so much word-of-mouth as it is word-of-amp. And for some reason, a lot of people are into it. I'm personally hooked. I wouldn't expect everyone to like this -- but for those who do, this is a golden god of Rock.

Rallizes remain largely unacknowledged, both in and outside of Japan. The only people I ever met in Japan who knew of them were record store owners, and even they weren't aware of the recent vinyl reissues being put out in the UK and US. However, with the age of the internet upon us, they are being gradually introduced to the masses, lifted from the depths of the underground and into your auspicious ears.

Les Rallizes Denudes fan site (日本語だけ)
Alleged lyrics
Total cultural assault