A reminder about the rules of MISCELLANY: These are the only posts on this site that feature music which hasn’t been filtered in advance by me or any of the other writers. I randomly pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before, I listen to a recent song or two, I write down immediate impressions, and I stream the music that I heard. When I play this game, I try to focus on bands who are under the radar. It’s a good way to discover and spread the word about new music, but it’s a bit of a crap shoot.
Here’s how I picked the bands in this edition of MISCELLANY: I saw a Facebook post by my friend Prof. D. Grover the XIIIth urging me to pay attention to a St. Louis band named Black Fast and their recent album Starving Out the Light. That became my first pick for this expedition. After hearing a few songs, I liked them on Facebook, and not long after that I saw a status they posted recommending a song that premiered yesterday which was a collaboration between two more St. Louis bands — Indian Blanket and The Lion’s Daughter. I listened to that song, which became my second stop on this MISCELLANY tour. And then I discovered that The Lion’s Daughter have an album on Facebook named Shame On Us All — and that became my third and final pick for what turned into a St. Louis edition of MISCELLANY.
The Black Fast album was released via Bandcamp in August of this year and it follows a self-titled EP from 2011. The featured song on Bandcamp is the album’s fourth track, “Obelisk”, and I listened to that one and then checked out the album opener, “Levitations”. They’re both head-whipping riff machines with bounding bass lines, jaw-dropping guitar solos, and caustic vocals. “Blackened thrash” is a start at a genre description, but doesn’t do justice to the intricacy or the strong progressive leanings of the songwriting. It’s kind of like a mash-up of Vektor and Blotted Science.
Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this band before, because the music is exuberantly creative and executed with top-shelf skill. I’ll be coming back to finish this album and will be watching closely for what these gents do next.
INDIAN BLANKET AND THE LION’S DAUGHTER
These two bands have joined forces to record an LP named A Black Sea, which will be released on November 15 by Good Die Young Music. It can be pre-ordered here, and the vinyl will come with a digital download. Yesterday CVLT Nation began streaming that song which Black Fast recommended on their FB page. The song is named “Wolves”, and it has truly captivated me. The music seamlessly integrates the kind of dark folk music that fans of Leonard Cohen would eat with both hands and the massive chords of funeral doom. The melody is bleak but unforgettable, and the pairing of contrasting vocalists from the two bands is a match made in heaven, if heaven were a shattered, black place. Indian Blanket’s Joe Andert, in particular, is obviously a big talent both as a songwriter and as a vocalist.
“Shattering” is the word for “Wolves”. If the rest of the songs on A Black Sea are even in the same ballpark, this album is going to make a huge splash. Listen to “Wolves” below, and for the hell of it I’m also including an Indian Blankets track named “War Song” which was released in August 2012. It’s free on Bandcamp, it features guest vocals by Klara Soderberg (First Aid Kit), and it’s also excellent.
THE LION’S DAUGHTER
For my final stop on this MISCELLANY tour I sampled that album by The Lion’s Daughter — Shame On Us All. I again started with the featured song on Bandcamp, “Heavenless, Far From Earth”, and then jumped to the first track, “Eaters of the Sun”. Both songs start fast but then collapse into the kind of groaning black dirges that came through in that collaboration with Indian Blankets. Combining elements of doom and hardcore, they’re heavy, harsh, and harrowing. This is another album I’ll be coming back to finish.