Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Welcome to May's installment of Chainlinks! At the end of each month, we at The Chain reach out to some friends and colleagues to find out what has been inspiring them. Anything goes – music, film, a book, an idea... This month, we talked to Brent Asbury (Panicker), Sam Velde (Obliterations, Future Now Management), Nicodemus Gonzalez (Illustrations), and Zachary Van Why (Blush).


Brent Asbury of Panicker

Musician/producer/engineer Brent Asbury has worked with musicians ranging from The Locust to Michael Bolton. The self-titled debut LP by his project Panicker blends "aspects of EBM, industrial, techno, and hip hop, with the intensity and heart of punk, metal, and horror films," in his words. Out now on Three One G Records.

1) Inner Visions: German Prints from the Age of Expressionism

I've been semi-obsessed with woodcut prints lately. German Expressionism, in particular. My wife picked up this book for me and I get pretty lost in it.

2) An-i, "Save Us"

Probably listened to this track more than any other in recent memory and find myself going back to it constantly. Cold, dark, metallic... perfect.

3) Anal Trump

This speaks for itself.


Sam Velde of Obliterations and Future Now Management

Sam Velde is the frontman for Obliterations, and a manager currently representing such bands as Culture Abuse and Collapsing Scenery. Velde has been making moves as an artist and businessman for more than two decades, going back to his band Bluebird in the '90s.

1) The Republic Of California

I am forever in awe of the great state of California. The ever changing landscape (beaches, mountains, desert), the freaky people, the culture, the architecture. You name it. I love it. I just had the pleasure of driving from Southern California up to the Bay Area via the 101 freeway this past week. I've been making this drive since I was a baby in the '70s, and I am still in awe. Such a massive inspiration. California forever!

2) The Faces

I still can't get over the great music this rowdy bunch of Englishmen made in the early '70s. In fact, "Glad and Sorry" came on this morning and catapulted me back into my long life love affair with their music. From bar room rockers to melancholy tales of woe, they spun it so perfect. Always sounding like the wheels were just about to fall off, but so graciously, with such class. What a band.

3) Chris Cornell

We lost a a great voice this month. Hearing Soundgarden's Louder Than Love in 1989 changed the game for me. They took what sounded like classic rock to me at the time (Led Zep, Sabbath, Deep Purple) and turned it upside down. They injected heavy metal, punk and a good wallop of outsider weirdness to the recipe. Chris' voice was otherworldly. The high notes, the low notes, the lyrics and the delivery had such a huge effect on me. Still does. RIP Chris Cornell.


Nicodemus Gonzalez of Illustrations

Nicodemus Gonzalez is the guitarist of San Antonio, Texas band Illustrations, whose sophomore album Acts of God was released this month. With a foundation in heavy hardcore, the band explores vast terrain on Acts of God, incorporating synths, saxophones, field recordings, and various vocal approaches. Clrvynt calls Illustrations, "one of the most exciting bands in extreme music," and Exclaim! calls the new album, "one of the year's most creative metal releases thus far."

Revisiting this one again, post-election. A stark but refreshing reminder to stay vigilant in a world that was designed to work against us.

From the Atol Scrap album, released in 2000. The music is so ahead of its time.

Underrated album. Shit goes hard. The anger written in the lyrics is also important and worth talking about. It's not often that we hear this level of ferocity expressed from a woman's perspective.


Zachary Van Why of Blush

Zachary Van Why is the frontman and songwriter for Blush, a Pennsylvania band of whom Clrvynt wrote recently, "Upon the first couple of strums, you're pulled right into a gravitational field of heavy, slow and loud. Melody drifts throughout, vocals coming in smoothly as a specter."

1) Analog Recording 

The analog recording process is something that has always intrigued me. To me, it’s the most honest way of making music. Not many records are made this way anymore, and I think that’s a shame. 

2) The passing of Chris Cornell 

One thing that has been resonating with me lately is the recent passing of Chris Cornell. I don’t mean to beat this into the ground and I was never heavy into Soundgarden growing up or anything. But it is a huge loss for the music world, no doubt. I’ll always remember seeing their “tripped out” video for "Black Hole Sun" on MTV when I was growing up.

3) Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Recording Techniques, by Sylvia Massy 

I recently picked up this book by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System Of a Down, Tom Petty) It’s probably one of the most interesting pieces on recording I’ve read, with tips and techniques that break any common “rules." 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ABRAMS + Clrvynt

"Denver-based metal crew Abrams, who are not only earning Mastodon and Baroness comparisons, but dropping their killer sophomore album, Morning..."

With new album Morning set to be released June 9th, and with a US tour kicking off that same night, Denver trio Abrams have teamed with Clrvynt to take over the latest installment of the site's "Tour Is Hell" series.

Recent contributors to the series include Red Fang, Call of The Void, and Illustrations. Abrams took the opportunity to share some brutal road stories and to drop the brand new music video for its song "Worlds Away," off Morning.

Watch, listen, and read:

Racking up comparisons to later Mastodon and Baroness, Abrams makes a yearning, driving brand of rock that veers from the raging to the bittersweet. Phil Pendergast of hometown Denver pals Khemmis lends guest vocals to the almost-title track, "Mourning."

Morning was recorded by Andy Patterson (SubRosa, Cult Leader) and Dave Otero (Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation), and was mixed and mastered by Otero. The cover art and layout are by Samantha Muljat (Earth, Goatsnake).
Abrams West Coast 2017:
Jun 9 - Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground
Jun 10 - Bisbee, AZ @ The Quarry
Jun 11 - San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar
Jun 12 - Long Beach, CA @ Blacklight District Lounge
Jun 13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar
Jun 14 - Ventura, CA @ The Garage
Jun 15 - San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Jun 16 - San Jose, CA @ The Caravan
Jun 17 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Caffe Pergolesi
Jun 18 - Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge
Jun 19 - Reno, NV @ Shea's Tavern
Jun 20 - Medford, OR @ Johnny B's Tavern
Jun 21 - Eugene, OR @ Old Nick's Pub
Jun 22 - Portland, OR @ The Kenton Club
Jun 23 - Missoula, MT @ Monk's Bar
Jun 24 - Billings, MT @ The Railyard
Jun 25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Club X
Jun 26 - Cheyenne, WY @ Ernie November
Jun 27 - Rapid City, SD @ West Dakota Improv
Jun 28 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Jun 29 - Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Jun 30 - Des Moines, IA @ The Fremont
Jul 1 - Denver, CO @ The Hi Dive

Friday, May 26, 2017


Watch the video for “NPI”, a single off Death Eyes' new EP, via New Noise Magazine, here.

Death Eyes first came to be in January of 2014, a merging of members from San Diego bands Rats Eyes and Death Crisis (hence the name), made up of Alberto Jurado (vocals), Jimmy Armbrust (bass), Jason Blackmore (guitar), and John Cota (drums). The band released their debut 12” in 2015 via Route 44 Skateboards & Records. Having since played with bands such as The Weirdos, Agent Orange, M.D.C., Nails, and Big Business, it’s evident that what emerged is something brutal, potent, and relevant to hardcore punk.

Death Eyes’ newest EP, Si La Revancha Fuera Una Opcion, will be released digitally as well as on colored vinyl through Three One G Records on July 28th. Preorder here.

Si La Revancha Fuera Una Opción EP:

  1. Life
  2. NPI
  3. Lesser Evil
  4. Larca
  5. Si La Revancha Fuera Una Opción

THE PROTOMEN on tour now

The Protomen's Light Up the Night tour is now underway. The eight-piece Nashville band cruises into Memorial Day weekend with a show tonight in Austin, Texas, followed by a screening tomorrow of their new short film, Light Up the Night, starring James Ransone (HBO's The Wire, Oldboy). See the full list of remaining shows and film screenings below.

Ahead of this tour, The Protomen shared some touring tips and favorite road stories with Clrvynt. See here:

Watch the Light Up the Night film, here:

Press from the first few shows on the Light Up the Night Tour is rolling in now:

"Epic-by-design Middle Tennessee rock ensemble The Protomen is nothing if not ambitious. Over the past decade-plus, the Mega Man-inspired, face-painted rock ’n’ rollers have released long-player editions of an ongoing rock opera and a killer all-Queen-covers live album, all while bringing their synth-fueled power metal to a devoted fan base on tour after tour. Just months ago, the band made yet another contribution to their impressive catalog — a phantasmagorical short film by the name of Light Up the Night..."
–Nashville Scene

"Their sound is ’80s pop metal combined with synth-heavy atmospherics, reminiscent of film scores by “Terminator” composer Brian Fiedel... Set in a dystopian future where an evil corporate overlord rules the world through robots, the 16-minute [Light Up the Night] movie was shot in Brooklyn..."
–Orlando Sentinel

The Protomen: Light Up the Night Tour:

May 26 - Austin, TX @ Grizzly Hall *
May 27 - Austin, TX @ Alamo Drafthouse (matinee) †
May 30 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex ∆

2 - Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl Hard Rock *
Jun 4 - Denver, CO @ Oriental Theatre ∆
Jun 5 - Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room *

* = The Protomen live show

† = Light Up the Night film screening
∆ = film and live show in one

Since forming over a decade ago in Nashville, The Protomen have been a favorite at festivals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, Warped Tour, Bamboozle, CMJ, and Comic Con. The octet delivers epic songs possessing all the driving fury of the most bombastic hard rock hits of the '80s, and all the theatricality of the most over-the-top '70s prog. Queen, Bowie, Genesis, Styx, Springsteen, Journey, and Scorpions are some reference points for the uninitiated.

The Protomen's storyline begins with 2005's debut album, Act I: Hope Rides Alone, a post-apocalyptic tale of a dystopian world, followed by 2009's Act II: The Father of Death, a prequel, produced by Alan Shacklock (Meatloaf, Roger Daltrey). Third full-length, Act III, is currently still in the works.

Photo of The Protomen by Jason Myers & Caspar Newbolt

Out today: ILLUSTRATIONS - Acts of God

Acts of God, the sophomore album by San Antonio's Illustrations, is out today, self-released by the band.

Listen and buy, here:

Acts of God is a wild-eyed epic – with a foundation in heavy hardcore, the band explores vast terrain, from the blackened to the ambient. Synths, field recordings, saxophones (performed by Bruce Lamont of Yakuza and Corrections House), crooned vocals, whispers, and soaring guitars bring a whole new dimension to the music, evoking the vast landscapes of the band's Texas home. Frontman Matt King names influences that span from At the Gates to Cocteau Twins, and this range is well represented on Acts of God. 

record release show for Acts of God is set for May 27th at Mohawk in Austin, Texas, with The Dillinger Escape Plan.

"Texas-based Illustrations have been quietly molding themselves into one of the most exciting bands in extreme music."

"Not many young metal bands have the audacity to cite the Cocteau Twins as a major influence. Perhaps this is why it's so rare to find a record as innovative and stylistically complex as Acts of God... One of the year's most creative metal releases thus far."

"A fantastic mix, sure to please fans of Junius, The Ocean, and Botch alike."

"Acts of God is one mean record. The band takes the propulsive stomp of hardcore punk and then adds some brute force via black metal..."

"In the hardcore realm, but their songwriting also pulls in elements of death and black metal, and other sonic nuances that are usually found in the wide-screened post-metal of Neurosis and Cult of Luna... This is a band who can't be bothered with genre expectations."
–No Echo

LESS ART - Strangled Light

Gilead Media announces the July 28th release of Strangled Light, the debut album by Less Art.

Less Art is the alliance of brothers Riley and Ed Breckenridge of Thrice, Ian Miller and Jon Howell of Kowloon Walled City, and Mike Minnick of Curl Up and Die. On Strangled Light, these five veterans bash out their own new version of post-hardcore 
– "post-hardcore by post-youths" is how they cheekily describe themselves, but this music is dead serious. The musicianship is world-class; the perspective is world-weary; the sound is fresh and urgent and crackling with feeling.

Strangled Light's nine songs add up to a modern, muscular incarnation of the vibe set forth years ago by bands like Fugazi, Unwound, and Drive Like Jehu. 
Like those bands, Less Art rages – emotionally-charged and electrifying – yet also knows how to wield dynamics as a weapon. The lulls make the peaks even sharper.

Stream "Pessimism as Denial," from Strangled Light, here:

Pre-order Strangled Light from Gilead Media, here:

Initially it was baseball that brought these musicians together: four-fifths of Less Art are the men behind baseball-themed hardcore band Puig Destroyer. Blasting through songs about bunting and stealing bases eventually led these four to want to start a "real" band – they enlisted Riley's brother Ed and Less Art was born.

The band name might be lifted from a line in Hamlet, but ultimately it is raw emotion that drives this band. Using blunt phrases and the realest of tones, frontman Minnick sings of self-destruction on the micro and macro levels – candid lyrics address his personal demons as well as the collective deathwish leading all humanity to the brink. "Pessimism as Denial," debuted today, plainly describes our species' suicidal path: "We're surrounded by prophets / Who think spilling their guts / Is the same thing as giving blood / We've eaten all the animals / We've burned down every tree / We've done so many wrongs... / This system doesn't work / The world is better without us."

Strangled Light was recorded and mixed by Kowloon Walled City frontman 
Scott Evans at Sharkbite Studios and Antisleep Audio, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Full of Hell, Mutoid Man) at Audiosiege.

Guest vocals on "Diana the Huntress" were delivered by Meghan O'Neill-Pennie (Super Unison, ex-Punch).

The cover art was created by Jacob van Loon, whose work adorned the cover of Explosions in the Sky's The Wilderness album.

Strangled Light is a thrilling debut – an entirely new, relevant vision from five men carrying decades of experience between them. Stand by for news of the next live shows.

1) Optimism as Survival
2) Diana the Huntress
3) Mood 7 Mind Destroyer: Guilt
4) Wandering Ghost
5) Pessimism as Denial
6) Shapeshifter
7) Crushed Out
8) What Is It In Man?
9) Strangled Light

Mike Minnick - vocals

Ed Breckenridge - guitar
Jon Howell - guitar
Ian Miller - bass
Riley Breckenridge - drums

Aug 4 - San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Aug 5 - Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! Records
Aug 6 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room

Photo by Scott Evans

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Full album stream: PANICKER

“Considering how colorful his career has been so far—mixing board sessions for Michael Bolton, drum kit duties (Goblin Cock) and dancing in drag for (Optiganally Yours) Rob Crow—it should come as no surprise that Brent Ashbury’s solo debut as Panicker is such a head trip.”
–Self-titled Magazine

“Brent Asbury has really good taste. Listening to Panicker—the musician/producer/sound engineer's new solo project—is an almost immersive experience, shuttling from the danceable industrial of vintage Wax Trax! Records to the brooding soundtracks of '80s sci-fi to techno.”
–No Echo

"...a nice dose of industrial-tinged dance music."
–Brooklyn Vegan

Stream PANICKER's new self-titled LP in its entirety, via Self-titled Magazine, here.

The LP will be released digitally and on random variant vinyl via Three One G Records tomorrow, May 26th. Order here.

Panicker LP:
  1. Commuter
  2. Parties
  3. Heave
  4. Habits
  5. Systems
  6. Airport
  7. Untitled
  8. Ataxia
  9. Perfume
  10. Time

Adam Gnade + Modern Ache - "Hello, Shitstorm" Video

Adam Gnade is premiering the video, created by Maddie Pericak, for his latest protest piece, “Hello, Shitstorm”. This “talking song” is backed by band Modern Ache.

View the video, via Ghettoblaster, here.

"Hello, Shitstorm" is a pep-talk and a horror story about what’s happening in America at the moment—the new brand of fascism, the dawn of the Trump Years, a fresh meanness rising. Andrew Mears (Foals) and Adam Gnade recorded together with Mears‘ former band, Youthmovies, but this is their first time collaborating with his new project, Brighton, UK’s Modern Ache (which also includes Dan Pollard). According to Gnade, "We put this single together as a rally cry for anyone who wants to acknowledge that we still have power and then do something about it. And it’s not just here in the States. This is happening all across the world—just look at Brexit and Aleppo. Dangerous times, but we’re strong too." As he says in the single’s lyrics, "the wolves chasing us aren’t wolves/they’re guard dogs/and they’re chained."

Tour dates:
July 27 - Lawrence, @ Decade
August 6 - Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
August 7 - Portland, OR @ Grandma’s House
August 9 - Seattle, WA @ Pipsqueak
August 10 - Bellingham, WA @ Make.Shift

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BITERS "Stone Cold Love" video

Fans of big snakes, beautiful people, and T. Rex, rejoice and crank up Biters' new music video for the song "Stone Cold Love"!

Watch the clip, directed by Video Rahim and starring Acacia Marie Fusco, here:

"Stone Cold Love" appears on the Atlanta band's new album, The Future Ain't What It Used to Be, released last week on Earache Records.

Biters' Southern swagger and stadium-ready rock n' roll anthems recall the spirit of the late '70s – the glam, power pop, and hard rock gods of that era, from Cheap Trick to AC/DC and, yes, T. Rex, a band which "Stone Cold Love" pays tribute to in particular. With street-punk attitude and million-dollar choruses, Biters' sound and style transport us to a time when bands looked like bands and acted like gangs.

The Future Ain't What It Used to Be was recorded by Dan Dixon (Wyldlife, Whores.), mixed by Dixon and Scott Stevens (Halestorm, Shinedown), and mastered by Stephen Marcussen (Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty).

Buy the album here:
CD & vinyl -
iTunes -

Having toured with Ace Frehley, Social Distortion, D Generation, and many more, Biters are currently out on a headlining US tour.

May 25 - Toledo, OH @ Frankie's
May 26 - Rochester, NY @ German House Auditorium
May 27 - Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
May 28 - Cambridge, MA @ Sonia
May 30 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
May 31 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Jun 1 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
Jun 2 - Harrisburg, PA @ Abbey Bar
Jun 3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge
Jun 30 - Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard

"A rocking Atlanta quartet with retro-riff-based leanings... Biters have been described as 'stomping rock n' roll, sprinkled with stardust'..."
–Guitar World

"The good-natured feel of rock's best decades... Biters are cut from the same cloth as iconic acts like Cheap Trick, with a tad of the glitter rock sound made famous by the New York Dolls and T. Rex."

"Tingeing the full throttle, glammy power pop of the '70s... with the sugary hard rock of the early '80s."
–High Times

"Influenced by the likes of Cheap Trick, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, and Slade."
–New Noise

"Retro rock to the max, these tunes will leave you both reminiscing and raging!"
–Pure Grain Audio

Photo by Evan Bartleson