May 072012

Recently, I’ve discovered two independent record labels that I think are worth your attention. One is a label and distro based in Washington, D.C., called Replenish Records. I found out about them for the first time about a month ago via their release on vinyl (and as free downloads) of albums by Alda (Tacoma, WA) and Sky Burial (Nashville, TN) — see this post for comments about those releases.

More recently, I saw that Replenish is releasing a 7″ vinyl split by Masakari (Cleveland, OH) and Tempest (Vancouver, BC), with two songs from each band. All the proceeds from the split will be donated to Wiggle Butts Bully Rescue of Cleveland and HugAbull Advocacy & Rescue Society of Vancouver, BC. Both organizations are non-profits dedicated to rescuing and providing education about pit bulls. Replenish has also released the split as a free download.

The other label is Reaper Records, which is based in Liverpool, New York. Reaper specializes in hardcore music and has released vinyl by the likes of Terror, S.O.S., Madball, Trapped Under Ice, and Merauder, among many others. I’ve gotten way out of touch with the hardcore scene over the last decade, but even I recognize those names. What brought Reaper to my attention was a feature on Stereokiller about the label’s release of debut albums by Fire & Ice (Richmond, VA) — Not of This Earth — and Sai Nam (NYC, NY) — Crush — and a related contest for album and shirt giveaways.

After the jump, short notes about all this music and links for free shit. I’ll warn you: the songs will tear you inside out. Continue reading »

Jun 012011

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been using these SHORT BUT SWEET features to catch up on recent EP’s by bands both well-known and just emerging. Today, we’ve got three more in the “just emerging” category. Two of the bands were recommended by my NCS co-founder IntoTheDarkness, and the third came my way via Quigs at The Number of the Blog (who correctly surmised that it would be my kind of thing, though I suspect it’s not his).

If you’ve been slumming here at NCS for very long, then you know IntoTheDarkness has a penchant for deathcore. I still have a reservoir of enthusiasm for that genre, though certainly not as wide and deep as ITD’s. He and I have had a brief, civil debate about whether today’s first two bands really belong under the deathcore banner. I can understand why he thinks of their music that way, but I’m not sure the label strictly fits. More on that later. But labeling isn’t what this post is about — it’s about the music, which should speak for itself.

IMHO, the music of these two bands happens to be worth hearing. Why else would I be writing about it? And as for the third band, I’m just a complete sucker for the style — I have been for a long time, and always will be. So, without further ado, here are a few words about Tempest (California), Apostate (The Czech Republic), and Superstition (Croatia) — plus a selection of songs for you to test drive (after the jump). Continue reading »