Nov 192012

(Kentucky-based guest writer Austin Weber makes a return appearance with this review of the final album by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, which is out now on the Black Market Activities label.)

Worry sets in when a band announces the departure of founding members, leaving fans to wonder what will become of the music. In these types of situations, rarely does the change lead to a revolution, where a better version of the band’s signature sound emerges despite the loss of key members.

Such questions arose when Josh Travis joined The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza as a replacement for founding member and guitarist Layne Meylain. They were already an interesting band before he came along, but had yet to hone their chaotic output into linear, digestible songs.

The release of Danza III showed a mature band, elevated by a new line-up, as an unstoppable force of laser-guided vitriol. Now with the arrival of Danza IIII:  The Alpha – The Omega, comes a certain sadness as Josh Travis has already left for Glass Cloud, making this the band’s final statement and swansong. This time around they recorded with an even more stripped-down line-up, with Jessie Freeland performing vocals and Josh Travis handling all instruments, samples, and noise.

The most prominent aspect of these songs is how goddamn crushing they are. Each tune is propelled by a thick groove foundation, colliding with dissonant  riffs, whammy abuse, and robotic tapping in the most malevolent way possible. We’ll get to the noise issue in a bit. Continue reading »

Sep 202012

Here’s a quick round-up of new things that caught my eye this morning.


I’m very fucking stoked for the new Early Graves album, Red Horse, which will be out October 30 on No Sleep Records. The title track debuted at the end of August, and I included it in this feature. Now, NPR has premiered a second song — “Pure Hell”.

According to NPR, the band’s new vocalist John Strachan (Funeral Pyre) wrote the song for Makh Daniels, Early Graves’ original vocalist who tragically died in a van accident a little more than two years ago: “He always had that pure hell back patch. So I wrote this for him and the way he lived.”

The song title has a second meaning, too: Sonically, it’s pure hell, too — an explosive, violent, smoking-hot rush of grindcore insanity with a massive, skull-crushing breakdown in the back half. Go HERE to get smashed by this music. Continue reading »

Aug 302012

Here’s a quick round-up of news items I saw today. I may have more later . . .


That’s a really good promo shot up there, don’t you think? It was taken by Hannah Verbeuren. Could there be a relationship to the band’s fabulous drummer Dirk Verbeuren?

In addition to seeing that great photo, I also saw the news that Soilwork’s new album, The Living Infinite, is going to be a double-album. According to the band’s front dude Björn “Speed” Strid , it will be: “A REAL double album, in the true sense of the word, which means no fillers and no left-overs.”

Oh, let’s hope that will prove to be true! And let’s further hope that with all that extra room it will include the kind of harder-edged, melodeath marauders like “Needlefeast”, “Follow the Hollow”, “Like the Average Stalker”, and “The Chainheart Machine” that Soilwork once enjoyed delivering, in addition to the catchy, poppier, cleanly sung stuff that dominated The Panic Broadcast (2010). I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy that last album, because I did, but I kept waiting for something with real teeth in it . . . and waited in vain. Now I’ll start waiting again . . . .

On the other hand, I don’t think lack of teeth will be the problem with this next band’s new album. Continue reading »

Nov 122010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post comes to us from Dan, who apparently is now called The Artist Formerly Known As Dan. Dan is an American temporarily transplanted to Adelaide, Australia. He has a list for you.]

So, I realize it’s cliche to make one of these lists (and maybe a bit premature?), but they’re usually useful for several reasons.  Firstly, it allows me to shamelessly plug the bands I like and push my agenda on you.  Secondly, it allows you to post lists of the records I forgot and tell me why my first list was wrong.  I can then subsequently go back to the records I may have forgotten or never owned in the first place.  Everyone should theoretically win here, since there is always music overlooked or forgotten about throughout the year.  So, let’s begin.

10. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza – Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events

Technical, but so brutal.  A perfect recommendation for someone who listens to too much vanilla-breakdown deathcore (and, for some of you, “too much” implies listening to any deathcore at all).  I highly recommend seeing them in concert; they bring tons of energy.  Yippie-Kay-Yay-Motherfucker.

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »