(Our friend Leperkahn has been slaving away at college for, like, forever. But he has surfaced again with some musical recommendations.)
Hey friends. I truly can’t remember the last time I wrote something here. I feel a bit of shame about this, but you know what, there’s no time like the present, and now I’m breaking my silence. I’m gonna string together some short pieces on stuff you might want to check out based on my most recent download history. A good deal of it breaks our Golden Rule here at NCS, but frankly we’ve broken that rule so frequently in the past couple years that it’s really only become a guideline at best. We’ll start with a band I found just tonight.
I had absolutely no idea these dudes existed prior to listening to a promo of their new EP Solitude Martyr (out August 14th according to their Bandcamp page) that Clawhammer PR sent over to me. I tend to look at a good deal of the promos that brush through my email inbox (*hint hint*), though obviously I haven’t done a great job of translating that to writing about them (looking to change that sense of lethargy that’s become such a comfortable crutch).
Anyway, background info on these lads (I’m assuming they’re lads – other genders could very well be present) is pretty slim. I’m pretty sure they’re from the States, but that’s really all I can find (aside from the fact that Brette Ciamarra assisted in recording and did the mixing and mastering for the new EP, adorned with Jérôme “Pyrogas” Comentale artwork. Press material regarding their other release, another EP entitled Ethereal, likened the group’s sound to Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Alcest, and Anathema, which more or less lets you know that this is gonna be some dark, melodic stuff with deep atmospheres and some solid melodic singing (no growls that I remember, though I’ve only had the chance to spin this once so far).
I’d add that these guys remind me a lot of Shores of Null, who released one of my favorite records of last year, especially when it comes to their respective singers’ powerhouse vocals. Check out the track that’s streaming from the EP currently – “Suffer Abandonment” – and be sure to look for Solitude Martyr about a month from now (and check out their 2014 EP Ethereal while you’re waiting).
Bleed the Pigs
I’ve been meaning to publicize this group here, but never get around to it (it’s a common theme). That said, they released two new songs yesterday, available for whichever price you choose, though the band vows via Facebook that funds from the release will go toward van repair for their upcoming touring at the end of the month. They called this two-song ditty Mind and Matter.
Frontperson Kayla Phillips leads the group through 4-5 minutes of punk/grindcore mayhem, perfect for the grimy-as-hell venue I saw the band at in Chicago sometime last year (Mt. Happy feels as carcinogenic as a vintage burger joint or a pack of cigarettes from the ‘20s). If you dig what you hear, Bleed the Pigs has a ton of stuff on their Bandcamp to peruse, too – happy surfing.
We’ll finish off with a familiar face in these parts. SLC’s phoenix from the ashes of Gaza have followed up their fantastic debut EP Nothing For Us Here with a 7” entitled Useless Animal (pretty sure they have a full album in the works too). This one represents an interesting diversion for the band – Side A is more of what we’ve come to love from the band (basically the oppressive, misanthropic spewings of bands like Primitive Man sped up to hardcore and grindcore speeds), while Side B goes an entirely different direction, covering the Mark Kozelek song “You Are Not My Blood” as a haunting, stripped-down number free of the sludgy vocals employed by the band elsewhere. Like “Evergreen” on Windhand’s magnificent Soma, this outlier has easily become my favorite thing the band has done so far, as it becomes all the more effective and affecting when juxtaposed with the rest of the band’s small catalog. The band manages to keep the oppressive atmosphere running in this song even as their pneumatic distorted guitar tone is neutralized.
If you dug the last one, you’ll sure as hell find ripe fruit to sink your teeth into here, but even if you passed by the first EP, I highly recommend you at least give “You Are Not My Blood” a shot – it almost feels like a post-metal tune, though it certainly shouldn’t be bound by that label.
Useless Animal is out now on Deathwish. A Bandcamp stream is below.