Wednesday, 9 March 2016

MOTH - "First Second"

Mass Media Records have a roster of rather incredible bands, and Copenhagen's MOTH are without doubt one of my favourites. They have been haunting me ever since I received their "First Second" LP in the post last year. Having released material since, and a few seven inches before this album, this remains my go-to when I'm in the mood for some incredibly sombre yet catchy post-punk gloom.

The male/female vocals that bounce off each other add a remarkable twist to many of the songs. "Young Future"'s main guitar riff (you'll know the one when you hear it) gives me genuine shivers, and the same goes for the dripping, cavernous atmosphere of "Taste the Remains" (which incidentally is a re-recording of the same song from the Luminol 7"). It's all very haunting stuff, but not without an incredible ability to really draw you in with its numerous hooks and catchy guitar noodles scattered throughout. 

Check it out below. Mass Media are real swift with their deliveries if you're after the vinyl, otherwise you can download the digital album for free, (or choose your price and help the band out!).

RIYL: The Chameleons, Night Sins, The Cult, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness.


Okay, so over six years after my last post, I've decided to re-visit and make a genuine attempt at defibrillating this blog. In this day of spotify, apple music, and everyone knowing where to get albums from if they want them, I'll still be posting mini reviews and links to streams, clips and bandcamp/social media sites rather than providing full download links. But hopefully it will still be fun and if it points just one person to a band/song they like, then it's all worthwhile...

Next post coming up real soon!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

After The Hiatus....

Sorry it has been so long since the last review. I haven't had proper access to the web in a while and have been having an exhausting Autumn so far. Needless to say, everything is up and running and back on track so expect some more reviews and MP3s shortly!

On another note, many thanks for all the e-mails i have had from both readers and bands. I'll be sure to review all of your eps/lps in the coming weeks, and i appreciate getting in touch.

Also expect some pretty exciting news about an upcoming podcast, which will contain reviews, songs, discussions, interviews, text-ins and allsorts of goofing around. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

I'm Selling Some Shirts!

Go check out and see if you like any.

More reviews & mp3s to come real, real soon i promise! I'm in the middle of moving house just now.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Native - "We Delete; Erase" (2008)

Wow, yet again i leave quite a gap between posts! There has been househunting, illnesses, hard times and a couple of parties, so busy busy! But anyway, onto this little cracker of an EP....

A few people over at the Get An Earection blog gave me a heads-up about these guys, and i'm glad they did. It's just the kind of thing i've been looking for lately. I was a late-comer to This Town Needs Guns' latest LP "Animals", and whilst i enjoyed the album alot, it was something i could only sit through a handful of times due to it being quite repetetive, albeit very technical and well-constructed. I was after something a little edgier, but with the same feel to it. I was told about these guys, and was surprised to hear what i did.

The technical finger-tappy guitaring is there, a la Minus The Bear, Foals, TTNG, etc, but there are crazy drum-parts, yelpy vocals (which remind me of Secret Bark Language-era Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg slightly) and actual powerful riffs to mix it up. It's a superbly catchy album, with enough twists and turns to keep even the most impatient of listeners happy.

Apparently they are a hell of a band to witness live, but not really having the funds to make it to their hometown of Northwest, Indiana, and them only being a young, as-yet unheard of Indie band not really having the funds for a UK run just yet, i doubt that's going to happen anytime soon. But who knows, in my honest opinion, they're good enough to get snatched up by a big-enough label. Be sure to check out their Myspace as they have a new song up which was recorded after this EP. It's got heavier parts in it, maybe marking the path of a new direction? I suppose i better wait and check the LP out when it's done. Needless to say, it's an amazing song.

Because it's quite a short EP, but such a good one, i'll provide a song to download and a video to watch:

1. Alpacastan
2. Flaschdance
3. What Are You Dylan In My House?
4. Ride The Tide
5. Something About Swordsmanship
6. Hey Mon, Hook Me Up 'Do

Buy CD/LP/MP3s/Merchandise

People with an iphone/ipod touch can also download the EP directly from itunes+ for a mere £4.74.

Recommended If You Like: Minus The Bear, This Town Needs Guns, Reptilian, Foals

Monday, 3 August 2009

Deaf Center - "Pale Ravine" (2009)

Never before has an album captured my imagination as wildly as this. The ambience, combined with the sweeping piano lines and string melodies help paint wonderful vivid scenes in your head, as if they are the soundtrack to a movie never made, created solely for you to unfurl your own. The clicking, whirring, buzzing and chiming sound effects that crop up every now and then only add more to the scene.

For example, the creepy, dark and unsettling chords in "The Clearing" bring to mind just that, an open space with low visibilty, not knowing what's around you. All of a sudden the buzzing of flies comes in and gradually gets louder; perhaps marking the presence of a dead body nearby. "White Lake" brings to mind the music of Mamiffer, or perhaps Eluvium, due to it's piano-led beautiful yet somehow melancholy soundscape.

Now, this may seem a bit lazy, but i assure you it is simply because my own words do this CD no justice at all; but i thought it best to copy and paste an excerpt from their biography. It sums them up better than i ever could:

"After the critical acclaim of their Neon City EP, Pale Ravine is the long awaited full-length realization of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totlands musical ideals. Taking up where Neon City left off with its epic sound collages and textural soundscapes, Pale Ravine manages to provide a sound altogether more Lynchian and grimly cinematic. Using influences from further back in their lives, the two Norwegian musicians have looked deep into their own family histories to piece together a dusty and nostalgic epic.

Inspired by old silent 8mm film reels, the historical architecture around them and the call of the alluring Norwegian landscape, the duo set out armed with microphones to record whatever they could to capture these feelings. Sounds from battered old records, cash registers, broken machines and a half-dead piano were all blended into the mix to add a warm, homely depth to the recordings. These sounds are most evident in the track Loft, where knocks and wooden creaks give an almost claustrophobic feel to the music. Again on The Clearing a subtle field recording gives the track a rich and involving background and helps build up the mysterious aura before launching a skewed 1930s circus-waltz.

One of the most stand-out influences on Pale Ravine is theatre, or at least the romance of all things theatrical. Not so much theatre in all its pretentious excesses, but the childhood apprehensiveness and the sinister undercurrents. From the muffled ticket booth ambience of Lobby to the solemn dance of White Lake it all appears draped in thick billowing velvet. The dense narrative technique the duo employs is almost like a reverse to a silent film the soundtrack is provided to be accompanied by the imaginative visuals of the listener.

Pale Ravine is an album which again manages to blend elements of classical music with electronic music, yet there is something decidedly different which sets it apart from the competition. While there are elements that can be compared with contemporaries such as Max Richter, Marsen Jules or Ryan Teague Deaf Center is altogether more other-worldly, darker and ultimately very rewarding."

Okay, not exactly an excerpt there, rather the entire bloody thing, but it is so succinctly put and extremely accurate to their sound, apropos of my ramblings.

1. Lobby (3:01)
2. Thread (3:39)
3. White Lake (6:35)
4. Path To Lucy (4:54)
5. Stone Beacon (3:29)
6. Weir (6:34)
7. Loft (4:15)
8. Thunder Night (4:28)
9. Lamp Mien (3:58)
10. The Clearing (4:13)
11. Fog Animal (4:24)
12. Eloy (2:15)

(Linked songs are available to download as MP3s)

Buy CD/LP/MP3s

The album is available at the above link on CD/Vinyl for £7.99, or in MP3 format for a mere £3.99. For just under an hour of incredible music you can't go wrong. Alternatively, iPod touch and iPhone users can download the album directly from iTunes+ onto their ipod, but unfortunately for the same price as the CD/LP above. I recommend the boomkat £3.99 release if you have an ipod. Stereo headphones take this album to an even ridiculously higher level.

Recommended if you like: Mamiffer, Angelo Badalamenti, Brian Eno, Max Richter, Aix Em Klemm, Xela.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lavotchkin/Crocus - Split EP - Review

Label: We Heart Records

Release Date: 29th June 2009

Track Listing:
1. Lavotchkin - You Were Dawn
2. Lavotchkin - Abandon/Introspection
3. Lavotchkin - Clouds
4. Crocus - A Spiritual Polemic
5. Crocus - Ignorance We Swallow
6. Crocus - Fear of Water


Hailing from 'Oop Norf' (Newcastle to be precise-ish) Lavotchkin are a five piece hardcore, punk 'n' roll band. They have just completed recording their debut album, and these three tracks should provide a clear indication of what is to be expected.

'You Were Dawn' gets off to a fine start, the closest I've heard to early Hope Conspiracy in a wee while, with driving guitars and incessant drumming. The THC comparisons end there though, with the barked vocals held a lot lower in the mix. The overall impression is of sheer intensity, and the lyrics convey a hopelessness and desperation for which the exact reasoning remains elusive. This elusiveness remains to the end, with the closing paradoxically upbeat message that 'in this night a light still shines'.

Next up is 'Abandoned/Introspection', a number that is significantly different in tone and execution. Here, the band opt for a much slower approach, letting the music build, ebb and flow and displaying a good grasp of song structure and dynamics. This approach gives the band time to flex their musical abilities and particularly suits the vocal style. However, the musicianship appears laboured for much of the song, slipping into monotonous repetition that ultimately leaves the mind wandering. A slow, almost beautiful ending rescues matters.....just.

The closer 'Clouds' reverts to earlier type, opting for another blast through straight up pissed off hardcore territory. It feels refreshing after the slower middle number, but you are left feeling slightly cheated with the loss of experimentation.

Overall, a solid contribution to this split EP from Lavotchkin, boding well for the debut album to follow but not quite floating this reviewers boat yet.


Try before you buy at:


Formed in Summer 2007, Crocus are a screamo act from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK. The four-piece represent a particularly passionate collision of subversive political thought and chaotic hardcore. Their political beliefs are represented in their music as a constant refusal to tow the line of expectancy, subverting the anticipated flow of their music and manifesting in a mass of shifting time signatures that lack any form of coherent framework. Surprisingly, this works!

Following on from their first EP 'The Worst Kind of Joy is Hope', released in May 2008, this split release contains three new tracks. The opener 'A Spiritual Polemic' begins with a hauntingly melodic bassline, a trick last put to good effect on the intro to the closing track of their first EP 'Eight Great Fears'. This familiar introduction brings with it a sense of completion, closing one chapter and starting anew.

The screeching vocals begin a mournful lament as the bassline builds, "We say God is dead, but only dead if believed to be so" followed by a rousing drum roll that seems to wake the band from their slumber and burst them into life. What follows is a bewildering bombardment of time changes, strained vocals, all interspersed with beautifully melodic, shifting guitar rhythms. There is even time for a funky interlude at 1.53, with the band displaying a hitherto unheard ear for some early RHCP inspired stylings.

The remainder of the EP, consisting of the two songs 'Ignorance We Swallow' and 'Fear of Water', is characterised by a hefty nod to the bands earlier work, allied to a willingness to confound expectations even further than previously. The shifting rhythms come both thicker and faster than before, which has the effect of tempering the urgency of the band somewhat. Whilst their earlier material burned with an intensity that propelled the listener to attempt to break every inanimate object within 500 yards, it seems a tendency to over-elaborate may have blunted their impact.

This increasingly complicated song construction may represent a shifting sound for the (still young) band, in which case it will certainly be interesting to see what their next release sounds like. However, despite this gripe, the band still remain one of the best hardcore acts on this tiny isle of ours. Beautiful moments, such as the spoken word outro to 'Ignorance We Swallow', where the vocalist urges us that "Standing still is history, it's time to move", litter the bands output and place them in a league of their own when it comes to politically charged screamo.


Try before you buy at:

This CD can be purchased from the lovely folks over at, the price being five of your English pounds.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


I haven't been too well lately, and haven't really felt like writing all too much. Nope, it's not the dreaded media-bating Swine Flu. I've just been feeling pretty sick and dizzy. But anyway, you don't want to hear about that...

Here's some videos i thought people might like, from some of the bands i've linked to so far, and a couple of new ones who's albums i may be posting at a later date. Regular album posts will carry on from tomorrow.

Incidentally, if you like any of these videos and want to download them for use on an ipod, or just to store on your computer, click on the video you want which will take you to the original youtube page, copy the url, then paste it into the box at This will convert the video into a downloadable, decent quality MP4 for you.

Nature Living - "Time To Wind It Up"

These guys are one of my favourite bands right now. This song is off their excellent split with Fact, who if you haven't heard yet, you really should. I'll be posting a couple of tracks from their new self-titled LP soon.

Water Weed - "Revelation"

It's Water Weed again! Hehe. Incredible band, and a catchy as hell song.

16reasons - "Can't Bust 'Em!"

As you can probably tell, i'm a huge fan of the Japanese harcore/metal/alternative scene. It's probably because the country has really taken the reigns lately. 16reasons are yet another flag-waver. They're like a more melodic version of Water Weed, and their EP is amazing. Once again, i may post it soon.

Signal Hill - "A Secret Society (Live)"

What a song. The melodies are incredible. The sample they play at the start is from Twin Peaks, which is no bad thing at all. Best TV show ever made.

Crystal Lake - "The Burden (Live)"

Wow. I would love to see these guys live. Check how ape-shit the crowd goes during the beatdown that starts at 4:20. "LIGHT OF HOPE IS REVIVING, THIS IS A SACRED WAAARR!!". Haha, brilliant.

Broadside - "New Day"

Another fantastic band on the Theory & Practice record label (Nature Living, Water Weed, 16reasons, Empress, etc). Fans of Underoath, Alexisonfire, etc should dig this band. I'll post a link to their EP soon.

More to come soon!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Water Weed - "Killing The Earth Means Our Suicide" (2007)

I just had to post Water Weed's EP today. I know i only posted their split with Nature Living just yesterday but it prompted me to dig this up and give it yet more listens. It's such a fantastic little release, but is over just too quickly. Their songs, although quite short, pack more riffs, changes, and above all passion into one track than alot of other hardcore bands get onto an entire CD.

It's relentless stuff, not stopping from the introductory riff on "Revelation" 'til the closing guitar feedback on "Adoration For The Maple Leaf", which are incidentally the two songs i will be uploading from the EP, as they are both my personal favourites.

Fans of fast melodic hardcore, or even pop-punk will get a kick out of this band. And may i stress again that i simply cannot wait for their debut full-length which should be released fairly soon according to the blog on their myspace. Judging by how quickly the songs on the split and this fantastic little EP just whizz straight by, i'm hoping it'll be a 40-track monster of an album! Haha.

Anyway, here are the opening and closing tracks from the EP. I hope you like them. If you do, please go and buy their stuff. It's only more help towards what will undoubtedly be one of the best punk/hardcore albums to come out in ages. Just listen to that drummer, the twin guitars, and the vocalist's sing/scream dynamics. Plus those gang vocals! Aaaagh! Fantastic stuff:

Adoration For The Maple Leaf

Buy CD

(EDIT: If you iPhone and iPod owners like what you hear of this band, then you can pick this EP and the split with Nature Living up on iTunes and iTunes+ for just a couple of pounds each. Bargain.)

Recommended if you like: Thrice, Rise Against, Comeback Kid, Raised Fist.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Signal Hill - "More After We're Gone" (2009)

Just like what i said about Our Ceasing Voice's album in another post, this is one of those bands that words fail to explain what sound they have, and just how intricate and amazing it is. The closest bands i can relate these to are Tristeza, The Album Leaf, and perhaps in certain places Mogwai.

This has been both a great, and frustrating year for post-rock. There have truly been some fantastic albums released this year into the genre's already expansive ocean, which is also where the downfall lies. There are a terrible amount of bands that really do sound all too similar and strive to sound so alike that they are quite difficult to differentiate from each other.

Maybe it is just to my ears, but Signal Hill run way ahead of that pack, smiling and waving back at them with an all-knowing grin that they have something that alot of the other bands don't: originality, and a clear pallette onto which they paint their fantastic soundscapes, without first laying down foundations of their peers and influences, thus distorting the vision they have. I can honestly say that there is not one track on this album that doesn't have a huge emotional resonance at some point. They really know how to write very, very moving and beautiful hooks.

May i once again ask you to hear this for yourselves rather than letting my ramblings shape your opinions for you. Here are a couple of my favourite tracks from the album:

Buy the CD

Recommended if you like: Tristeza, The Album Leaf, The Pirate Ship Quintet, Tortoise.

Keith Hudson - "Pick A Dub" (1974)

When i worked at one of my old crappy jobs, i remember walking in the door of my old place, and just wondering what the point of going back to that damn job was. I remember though, on a couple of occasions, putting this album on and rolling a joint. Then the night would take a 180° turn, and the prospect of going to work again the next day seemed much more bearable, almost exciting. Aswell as being a great soundtrack to a smoke, this album stands alone as something that will always have a place in my collection; always one of the first to be reached for if i am ever unhappy.

Since i was very young i have always been a big reggae fan, but it was only until i was older that i really started to appreciate dub for what it was. Reggae has it's focus on the vocals, the lyrics, the message; sometimes for love, sometimes for political outcries, and sometimes for religious purposes, but dub (although sometimes containing samples of vocals) is all about the rhythm, bass, and melodies of those songs, with harmonies and heavy basslines bouncing in and out of the foreground. I love dub (and reggae!) with a great passion. Well, material released before the 80's anyway!

Here are a couple of choice cuts from this LP. Even if this is not your cup of tea, please give them a chance, even if they are there just for the same reasons as i mentioned before. And hell, if you like them, you can pick the album up for free on the You And Me On A Jamboree blog up there in the links section. I know that this record is now out of print, so no harm no foul!


Michael Talbot Affair
I'm All Right

Recommended if you like: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear, Lee Perry and the Upsetters, Velvet Shadows.

Nature Living & Water Weed - "When The Light Goes Out: Split EP" (2008)

In this post i bring you yet another two bands from Japan! And another two erm... strange band names. As you can probably tell i quite enjoy the alternative scene over in that neck of the woods. These guys are little different from the other bands i've mentioned so far, being of the more emo and punk/hardcore sound respectively.

First of all, Nature Living. I've been a fan of this band for a while. I, personally, have always seen them as Japan's answer to Thursday, but with catchier parts and much more intricate riffs. They really are incredibly good at what they do, and i'm surprised they aren't heard of more this side of the water. One of their guitarists adds some back-up screams here and there, whilst their keyboard player brings some nice female vocals into the mix, albeit very occasionally. Incredible stuff.

Imagine if you mixed Illusion Of Safety-era Thrice with Comeback Kid, then threw in a bit of Ignite just for good measure, then you would have Water Weed. Of course they bring their own elements into the mix, including their ability to be a little more technical than the aforementioned bands, but i think you know what i'm getting at. They have the ability to snap out of being crushingly heavy, into great melodic breaks in split seconds whilst still retaining alot of punch and being catchy as hell. Apparently they have been through a line-up change very recently. According to their website they will be ready to record their full-length very soon though, which i am very much looking forward to. Keep 'em peeled for that!

Both bands have other releases in their back catalogues, so be sure to check them out if you can. I may even post tracks from them at a later date. For now, enjoy these:

Nature Living - Fourty Winks
Water Weed - Your Story Is End

Buy Nature Living CDs

Buy Water Weed CDs

NL: Recommended if you like: Thursday, The Beautiful Mistake, Emery, Jimmy Eat World.
WW: Recommended if you like: Comeback Kid, Reach the Sky, Thrice, Rise Against.

Our Ceasing Voice - "Steadied Stars In The Morphium Sky" (2009)

Here we have a fantastic drone/ambient/post-rock band from Tirol, Austria who are not only amazing musicians but fantastic guys. I was amazed upon purchasing their CD not only to find the artwork hand-crafted and painstakingly attended to, but also a small handwritten thank-you note. It is releases like these that will save the music industry and have people buying alot more, let me tell you. Even though they have the MP3 version of their album available to download for free on their myspace page!

Anyway, onto the music. Each song on the EP starts off with a whirring, slowly building drone/ambient soundscape which after a few hypnotic minutes builds up into a fantastic guitar-driven post-rock climax, where the effects pedals are used to outstanding effect. Heavy without the harshness, melodic without being too technical. I find it hard to describe really how beautiful the songs are.

You should really go check the EP out for yourself, especially seeing as it is completely free. I also highly recommend purchasing one of their hand-crafted EPs too. You can't go wrong for just a few Euros, and you'd be helping the band out with future releases, which can only be a bloody good thing.

Buy or Download EP/Myspace

Recommended if you like: Explosions In The Sky, Eluvium, The Calm Blue Sea, Stars Of The Lid.

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore - "Sunset Mission" (2000)

Wow. These Germans like their Lynch/Badalamenti soundtracks! Classifying themselves as "Doom Jazz", it is easy to see why as soon as the first track kicks in with it's moody, dirgy bassline, smooth slow saxophone, and feint cymbal taps with snare brushes reminiscent of what you'd hear wafting through the corridors of the Red Room in Twin Peaks.

The album carries on in this fashion, never speeding up or even changing rhythm, which is a good thing for me as i enjoy this kind of brooding, doomy loungecore or whatever people call this style.

Now signed to Mike Patton's Ipecac label, and having just released a new album, these guys have somehow never really quite got the attention that they deserve. Although saying that, i suppose it really is an acquired taste. Find out for yourself:


Buy CD

Recommended if you like: Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch, Fox Bat Strategy, Aix Em Klemm.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Nitro Mega Prayer - "Songs Of Hypocrisy" (2005)

I know, i know. That's not the best band name ever, but trust me, these guys are without a tiny shred of doubt one of the best bands i have heard in a long time. On top of having quite a strange monicker, their vocalist can also take a while to get used to. As is the case with alot of screamo bands, particularly during the 90's, there is alot of "wailing" going on rather than "screaming", and this guy is no different. Despite this, and although the lyrics are in Japanese (they are from Kobe, Japan), you can still hear alot of emotion in his voice, especially towards the end of the songs when their infamous crescendos start to crash in.

Anyway, once you get past the vocals (which incidentally, i now love) there is some incredible music to get to grips with. The melodies are unstoppable, coming one after the other in fantastic waves, and those drums are bloody brilliant. Even the bass comes into it's own in parts, weaving melodies far and above what the guitars are doing. This really is amazing stuff. If, like many people, you find it hard to get past the vocals and give this a good few listens, you are missing out on one of my favourite releases of the past few years.

Here's a taster:

Tsunagumono Hanasumono

Buy CDEP/Myspace

Recommended if you like: The Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg, Heaven In Her Arms, Envy, Neil Perry.