Friday, March 31, 2017

CHAINLINKS: March 2017


Each month, we will be selecting guests to share three links of interest with us; their picks can be anything that has resonated with them recently, music-related or otherwise. This month's contributors include Mike Patton, Adam Gnade, Ben Weinman, and Fred Miketa.

Mike Patton:
[Dead Cross | Faith No More | Mr. Bungle, etc.]
I’m on a hobo kick right now, so here are 3 books that have given me juice:

1. Jim Tully - Circus Parade:
Image result for jim tully circus parade
2. Jack Black - You Can't Win:
Image result for jack black you can't win
3. Jack London - The Road:
Image result for jack london the road

Adam Gnade:
[Author | Pioneers Press]

1. New Blanck Mass:

2. The always essential Paris Review:
Image result for the paris review logo
3. X-Ray Spex - "Germ Free Adolescents":


Ben Weinman:
[The Dillinger Escape Plan | Party Smasher Inc.]

1. Synthetic DNA:
In January scientists created synthetic DNA. That's fucking nuts. I mean making robots is one thing, but being able to create synthetic organisms is crazy Westworld shit.
A standard DNA molecule. Floyd Romesberg and his team have expanded the genetic code from four letters to six by adding two new molecules they call X and Y.
2. The SXSW North American debut of Sweden's Godmother:
It's rare that I actually want to rip limbs off these days. But I did that day.

3. Baby:
Last month I felt my baby's foot pressing and kicking inside my lady's belly. So crazy. Alien shit. All science aside, that just feels insane.


Fred Miketa:
[Crushed]

1. Beach Slang - "The Perfect High":
No such thing as a perfect high, but shit rules. Way late to these freaks.

2. Afghan Whigs - "Demon in Profile":
Coke sex and shit.

3. Incendiary - "The Product is You":
Brooklyn programmatic marketing fam.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

ILLUSTRATIONS - Acts of God


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

From San Antonio, Texas, Illustrations presents sophomore album Acts of God – a giant leap forward in this young band's career.

To be released by the band on May 26th, Acts of God sees Illustrations add a bold palette of colors to the punishing blackened hardcore established on its 2014 debut, In Vain. Synths, field recordings, saxophones, crooned vocals, whispers, and soaring guitars bring a whole new dimension to the music, evoking the vast landscapes of the band's Texas home, and elevating the album to the next echelon.

Frontman Matt King names influences that span from At the Gates to Cocteau Twins, and this range is well represented on Acts of God. With aggression and serenity working together to create striking contrasts, the album is more than a collection of songs, it is one glorious arc. 

Make no mistake, the heaviness of In Vain is still in effect – the sound The Needle Drop referred to as "an onslaught of caustic death metal growls, bonecrushing guitar riffs, and unrelenting percussion" and Consequence of Sound likened to "the heaviness of Entombedhas only been sharpened. Not unlike the writing of longtime Texan Cormac McCarthy, it is the marriage of unspeakable violence and desolate beauty that makes Acts of God so compelling.

Stream "War Have Mercy," featuring sax by Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House), here: 
http://clrvynt.com/illustrations-war-have-mercy/

Befitting an album titled Acts of God, a Biblical streak runs through King's lyrics, with references to God, The Devil, Paradise, and souls; his words seem to point toward a sense of purity in absolute anguish. From the closer, "Eternal Plight": "To live a lie, to die alone / Take my soul / In the end of all things, I chose to suffer / Alone, where I belong / All for nothing / Nothing for it all."

Acts of God was recorded by four engineers in four locations: Chuck Macak at Electrowerks Recoding in Chicago, Aaron Bastinelli at Big Orange Recordings in Austin, Justin Douglas at Shine Studios in Austin, and Illustrations guitarist Nicodemus Gonzalez at Public Profile in San Antonio. The album was mixed by Gonzalez and mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).

Tracklist:
1) This is the Dark Era
2) Pestilence
3) Iron Rain
4) Libation
5) A Blessing from Below
6) Harrowed End
7) Chains of Reality
8) The Killing Field
9) War Have Mercy
10) A Vacant Stare
11) Last Communion
12) Eternal Plight

Lineup:
Matt King - vocals
Nicodemus Gonzalez - guitar
Cesar Bernal - guitar
Carlos Zamora - bass
James Beveridge - drums

Discography:
Acts of God, self-released, 2017
Iron Rain 7", Head2Wall Records, 2016
In Vain, self-released, 2014

Photo by Matt King

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

HELLKEEPER + Nine Circles


"What might happen if early Slayer met up with early Converge..."
–Nine Circles

"Feral rage! From beginning to the end, this band is on a mission to fuck up the world with an all-out attack on the listener's ear drums."

–Cvlt Nation

"Hellkeeper are explosive. Their blackened hardcore sound has earned them comparisons to Rotten Sound, Deathspell Omega, and even Converge. Flashes of each band can be heard but Hellkeeper is still able to set themselves apart."

–Decibel

"A thunderous mixture of blast beats, distorted vocals, and pulverizing breakdowns. Ghastly and savage, Hellkeeper hit all the right notes in the song of our dark, dark souls."

–Nerdist

Glorious clean vocals adorn "Threadbare," the latest gem of a track from blackened hardcore phenoms Hellkeeper, premiered today via Nine Circles.


Listen, here:
https://ninecircles.co/2017/03/22/exclusive-stream-hellkeeper-threadbare/

Comparisons to Converge and Rotten Sound have been flying around regarding Hellkeeper – new track "Threadbare" shows the band to be capable of a whole other dimension of melody, on top of its brutal base.

"Threadbare" appears on upcoming new album A World Within Flesh, out April 7th. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Chris Bittner at Applehead Studios (Coheed and Cambria, Bad Brains, Team Sleep).

"The album is about wanting to live in a dream world because reality is too painful," says frontman Paul Butler. His lyrics use literary references to paint their pictures of depression: "I utilized ideas from Hamlet and Don Delillo's White Noise, among other books."


Hellkeeper plays with Malignancy, March 30th at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.

Photo by Dylan Kaplowitz

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CRUSHED + Clrvynt


"On its basest level, it's a total thrasher, reminiscent of the likes of Cro-Mags and Sheer Terror, with a heavier bite. Digging deeper, you can hear the attention to detail. The EP was recorded by Uniform's Ben Greenberg, who helped the band realize their potential for noise-laden riffs."
 –Clrvynt

"While Uniform make harsh noise with a distinct influence form hardcore punk, Crushed kinda flip the formula... A punk crusher covered in a layer of static."
–BrooklynVegan

New Crushed banger "Ain't High No More" has made its debut today via Clrvynt.

Listen, here:
http://clrvynt.com/crushed-aint-high-no-more/

As Clrvynt's John Hill tells it, on the surface the track is a "total thrasher" delivering a brutal upgrade of classic NYHC sounds. Producer Ben Greenberg, guitarist of industrial-punks Uniform, has captured the band's metallic Cro-Mags essence and presented it in a raw, distorted, noise-drenched form, as if recorded literally underground in a hidden room inside the Bowery J stop. From within this din, a buried melody arises that hints at a whole other realm of musicality – a giveaway that this is more than a hardcore band. Crushed guitarist Jeff Bobula and drummer Greg Smith are members of the proggy Survival, the Hunter Hunt-Hendrix-led band whose 2013 debut on Thrill Jockey was described by Pitchfork with phrases like "titanium-grade riff" and "punishing in its embrace of zoned-out repetition." 

Of the lyrics, frontman Fred Miketa states, "it is about being a single dad battling with addiction and reflecting on getting older." Miketa says hardcore saved his life as a kid, and now through Crushed it is saving him for the second time. 

"Ain't High No More" appears on sophomore EP Deep User, out April 14th.

Deep User was mastered by Josh Bonati (Pharmakon, Merchandise).

Pre-order here:
https://crushednyc.bandcamp.com/

Photo by James Hartley

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Adam Gnade + Planet B via No Echo

With a title like “Life is the Meatgrinder That Sucks in All Things," you know the collaboration between musician/author Adam Gnade and Planet B is going to be on some head-trip kind of shit. Well, as you'll hear in our exclusive stream below, the 23-minute track does not disappoint.”
–No Echo

“Adam Gnade writes with the kind of passion and empathy that most writers take decades to achieve. His writing is somehow both youthful and wise, funny and sad.”  
–Bart Schaneman, author of Someplace Else

“Among other themes, he explores scene members’ changing relationships to music and community as life advances, viscerally nailing that discrete, unrepeatable, life-altering thrill one gets when the right music hits the right young brain at the right time. It’s a feeling I’d love to have again, and reading Gnade’s words persuasively re-immersed me in that experience.”
–Dangerous Minds

Listen to the track, “Life is the Meatgrinder That Sucks in All Things,” via No Echo here: http://www.noecho.net/features/adam-gnade-feat-planet-b-life-is-the-meatgrinder-that-sucks-in-all-things

In the spirit of his other works such as “AMERICANS,” “Greater Mythology Blues,” and “Locust House” (of which this piece is a prequel to), Adam Gnade’s latest collaboration with Planet B offers some sense of hope in the face of a shitstorm. Peppered with minimalist jazz percussion and landscapes of sweeping, windy Eraserhead-esque ambience, Gabe Serbian (The Locust, Head Wound City, Zu), Luke Henshaw (Sonido de la Frontera, First Power Crew), and Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Dead Cross, Head Wound City) use instrumentation to punctuate this single-track suite of talking songs in a synergistic way that feels intuitive and natural. If the story is the heart of this piece, Planet B is its ribcage, providing structure while allowing for the fluid ebb and flow of Adam’s words. Gnade is a master of conjurings, reanimating ghosts and emotions and imagery of San Diego streets at the turn of the millennium with vivid, pinpoint accuracy down to the street intersections. And despite this specificity-- this very personal time and place and group of people-- there is at once a broadness, a scope larger than any one city or state. Though the narrative is framed in the context of the days leading up to September 11th, 2001, one can’t help but identify with it today. We are in it, but we are not alone, and Gnade is determined to remind us of this.

Life is the Meatgrinder That Sucks In All Things will be made available through Three One G Records digitally on March 17th.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

HOMEWRECKER + Metal Injection


"Homewrecker brings the slow groove to fast death metal... Killing it with their old school-inspired jams."
–Metal Injection

Slayerific rippers of the highest order, Homewrecker have unleashed new video "Prophet Liar" today via MetalInjection. 

Watch, here:
http://www.metalinjection.net/video/homewrecker-prophet-liar-brings-the-slow-groove-to-fast-death-metal

The "Prophet Liar" video consists entirely of live footage shot by Hate5Six and edited by Dalton EdwardsDonate to Hate5Six, whose vast catalog of videos is a treasure trove of hundreds of bands' live sets, here:
hatesix.com/donate

Homewrecker's latest EP Extinction by Design was released last fall on Good Fight Music. The Ohio band dishes out ultra-thick death grooves and whiplash thrash attacks, delivered with all the snarling rawness of hardcore punk.

Buy, here: 
http://goodfightmusic.merchnow.com/catalogs/Homewrecker

Photo by E. Aaron Ross

Thursday, March 9, 2017

LIGHT THIEVES "Stay Present" Video via Impose

"...a fusion/alt-rock sound that is both sophisticated and spontaneous... psychedelic in its colors and abstract imagery, yet more elegant in storytelling."
–Impose

“They may be called Light Thieves, but the real thing this California quartet is gonna steal is your attention. Their sophomore effort Future Colors can easily be described as a painting of a car crash — maintaining the intricacy of a work of art, while smashing influences together in a such a captivating way that you simply can't turn away.”
Exclaim!

“...An expanding cosmos that unfolds one layer at a time; celestial riffs and soaring vocals ripple throughout the composition… blossoms with reverb-drenched melodies as it coasts on a buoyant groove.”
Culture Creature

“Whether you’ve tried LSD or not, there’s no denying you can point out a pretty good song to trip out to as soon as you hear it… an audible kaleidoscope right from the get-go fusing sounds from the likes of Minus The Bear and Young the Giant.”
The Noise

Light Thieves are premiering their video for "Stay Present," a new track off of their upcoming LP described by Impose as "sophisticated and spontaneous" with a video that makes the viewer question, "Is it all a dream, or is it reality?" Watch it, here: 
http://www.imposemagazine.com/tv/light-thieves-stay-present

Light Thieves’ newest LP, Future Colors, will be available digitally and on clear vinyl in a limited release of 200 on March 10th. Cover art by Robert Amador. Preorder here.

Upcoming Shows:
March 15th--Sacramento, CA @ Red Museum w/ Gentleman Surfer
March 17th-- Eugene, OR @ Axe & Fiddle
March 18th-- Portland, OR @Bunk Bar PDX- w/ Dan Dan
March 19th-- Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
March 20th--Seattle, WA @ Back Bar
March 22nd-- Tacoma, WA @ The Java Jive
March 23rd-- Corvallis, OR @ Bomb's Away
March 24th--Treefort Music Festival @ Neurolux
March 29th--LA, CA @ Lot 1 Cafe
March 30th--Pomona, CA @ DBA256

CRUSHED + BrooklynVegan + Invisible Oranges


"While Uniform make harsh noise with a distinct influence form hardcore punk, Crushed kinda flip the formula... A punk crusher covered in a layer of static."
–BrooklynVegan

Another anthem from NYC's Crushed is here today, via BrooklynVegan and sister headbanger site Invisible Oranges.

Stream "Narc" here:

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/crushed-releasing-a-new-ep-stream-a-track-opening-for-sect-this-weekend/


http://www.invisibleoranges.com/crushed-releasing-a-new-ep-stream-a-track-opening-for-sect-this-weekend/

Crushed brings it hard and raw with a noise-drenched version of New York hardcore – think Madball's stagedive soundtracks, by way of Unsane's sewer-dwelling noise-rock or Uniform's harshness. Fittingly, new EP Deep User, out April 14th, was recorded and mixed by Uniform guitarist Ben Greenberg. As BrooklynVegan's Andrew Sacher notes, Crushed and Uniform might be two sides of the same coin, uniting noise and hardcore punk in different ways.

But brief glimpses of melody, buried in the grime of Crushed's sound, suggest a whole realm of musicality lurking beneath the surface. On this note, Crushed guitarist Jeff Bobula and drummer Greg Smith are members of the proggy Survival, the Hunter Hunt-Hendrix-led band whose 2013 debut on Thrill Jockey was described by Pitchfork with phrases like "titanium-grade riff" and "punishing in its embrace of zoned-out repetition." 

Lyrically, Crushed is hardcore from an adult's point-of-view – frontman Fred Miketa states, "the entire album is about being a single dad battling with addiction and reflecting on getting older." Miketa says hardcore saved his life as a kid, and now through Crushed it is saving him for the second time. 

Deep User was mastered by Josh Bonati (Pharmakon, Merchandise).

Pre-order here:
https://crushednyc.bandcamp.com/

Crushed plays Brooklyn this Sunday at a matinee at Saint Vitus with Sect (Cursed, Earth Crisis, Catharsis, Fall Out Boy members).

Photo by James Hartley

Monday, March 6, 2017

Full Album Stream - LIGHT THIEVES "Future Colors" via Exclaim!

“They may be called Light Thieves, but the real thing this California quartet is gonna steal is your attention. Their sophomore effort Future Colors can easily be described as a painting of a car crash — maintaining the intricacy of a work of art, while smashing influences together in a such a captivating way that you simply can't turn away.”
Exclaim!


“...An expanding cosmos that unfolds one layer at a time; celestial riffs and soaring vocals ripple throughout the composition… blossoms with reverb-drenched melodies as it coasts on a buoyant groove.”
Culture Creature


“Whether you’ve tried LSD or not, there’s no denying you can point out a pretty good song to trip out to as soon as you hear it… an audible kaleidoscope right from the get-go fusing sounds from the likes of Minus The Bear and Young the Giant.”
The Noise

Fresno, California's Light Thieves are now streaming their full album via Exclaim!, where it is being described as a "generous gift to fans" that brings with it a "surreal feeling." Listen, here: http://exclaim.ca/music/article/light_thieves-future_colors_album_stream



Light Thieves’ newest LP, Future Colors, will be available digitally and on clear vinyl in a limited release of 200 on March 10th. Cover art by Robert Amador. Preorder here.

Upcoming Shows:
March 15th--Sacramento, CA @ Red Museum w/ Gentleman Surfer
March 17th-- Eugene, OR @ Axe & Fiddle
March 18th-- Portland, OR @Bunk Bar PDX- w/ Dan Dan
March 19th-- Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
March 20th--Seattle, WA @ Back Bar
March 22nd-- Tacoma, WA @ The Java Jive
March 23rd-- Corvallis, OR @ Bomb's Away
March 24th--Treefort Music Festival @ Neurolux
March 29th--LA, CA @ Lot 1 Cafe
March 30th--Pomona, CA @ DBA256


Friday, March 3, 2017

Out today: DRIP-FED - Under the Wave Blanket


"We've just learned about Drip-Fed and they are freaking rad. They mix punk rock and post-hardcore into a mean cacophony of riffs and screams that will rattle your bones and shake your spirit. The end result is something wholly unique and beautifully fervent... Drip-Fed is a band to watch, no doubt."
–Nerdist

"Austinites Drip-Fed pack plenty of pain and hope into 2 1/2 minutes... The hooky, hulking kind of punk hardcore that makes you listen over and over until you develop welts."
–Decibel

"A combination of punk adrenaline and post-hardcore melody..."
–BrooklynVegan Austin

"A shambolic rager... Black Flag-ish riffing, to post-hardcore screaming, to some prog-ish stunts."
–PunkNews

"Driving, melodic rage... A truly resonant record."
–Idioteq

"Lyrics that are gripping and impactful... A serrated edge of adrenaline cutting through a catchy backbeat."
–The Deli Austin

Drip-Fed's new seven-inch, Under the Wave Blanket, is out today on Red Flag Records.

From Austin, Texas, Drip-Fed whips up a tension that just devastates: diamond-bright punk twang and heavy low-end clash with frontman Jeffrey Blum's severely depressed vocals. This is anthemic and desperate music, for fans of Black Flag, Fucked Up, Culture Abuse, Ghostlimb, and the like. Under the Wave Blanket was recorded and mixed by Keith Hernandez, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).

Listen here:
http://drip-fed.bandcamp.com/

Buy cassette and vinyl, here:
http://shop.redflagdiy.com
Photo by Bryan Taylor