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Terrible Love – Doubt Mines EP


terrible-love-doubtBand: Terrible Love
EP: Doubt Mines
Label: Big Scary Monsters
Release date: 19 January 2018
Sounds like: Emotional hardcore wreckage

Remember when I wasn’t sure which members of loads of post-hardcore bands were in Terrible Love? Well, I still don’t, apart from possibly Gareth Davies who used to hit the bass strings in Funeral For A Friend. Anyway, line up changes to the TL roster have meant there’s a new set of lungs on the microphone in the form of a fella called Jack Saunders. With this second EP, Terrible Love continue the tension and gloom-laden, stripped back attack their debut EP, Change Nothing had. The mixture of stark, pummeling aggression, married with the more atmospheric moments on this new EP, Doubt Mines, add depth to their strained and ravenous soundscapes.

Opening track First Flowers begins with some sullen guitar strumming, leading into a morose bass-led thump of grim feelings that continue this morbid tone through this scathing hardcore strut. The snapping, isolated blasts of each instrument rip through alongside Saunders’ rasping vocals, as bass, drums and guitar punctuate with a strained earnestness to be heard. On the scorched attack of Burn The Fields, there’s a Jeremy Bolm-feel to the screeching vocals, whilst musically it romps home with the agitated discordance of La Dispute destroying their instruments and tossing them into a huge monument of roaring flame. The dense and scratching tension bleeds through on Doubt Mines; it’s either in your face at once – or not there at all. One minute your being gripped by the throat and hurled around the place, the next your slumped on the ground trying to figure out what the hell has just happened.

Part of me feels Separate Graves could be a love song in a sense. The chorus of “I’ll hope and I’d pray/You’ll lay beside me/In a separate grave” which I initially took as fairly venomous, is oddly full of longing sentiment and has that neck-chill bristle of a gang-vocal participation. This strongly reminds me of some of the greatest moments from Wes Eisold’s American Nightmare (so that’s every single moment then) both musically and lyrically deep. Yeah, this has all the feels, even with the weird feedback-strewn outro of tripping noise whacked on at the end.

Launching itself from a stack of speakers, Doubt Mines is a guitar-windmill of hot-headed old-school hardcore; it thrashes, smashes and bashes through all the checkpoints without slowing down at all. “So I will always sing/Those songs that I have always sung/And cherish memories that they bring” roars Saunders, content to punch us all in our hearts. A Better Light follows a similar grim-faced punk rock onslaught; taunt, bullish, pit-worthy hardcore that feels both encompassing and brotherly, as well as intimidating and rejecting, much like everything about Terrible Love’s savage and emotionally raw output.

Fans of modern, wrought and scathing post-hardcore will find some absolute gold on this 5 tracker – Terrible Love’s Doubt Mines is a cracking second EP and showcases some great song writing by this London mob – excellent work.

Listen to Doubt Mines below and download for pay as you want. 12″ Vinyl available from Big Scary Monsters.

Links

Terrible Love Facebook
Terrible Love Twitter
Terrible Love Bandcamp

 

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Chiller – S/T


662da180-581e-49f5-a50c-63486d8b5db9Band: Chiller
Album: S/T
Label: Rockstar Records / Dirt Cult
Release date: 2 February 2018
Sounds like: darkwave emotive punk left out in the rain.

There is a weird coldness to Chiller‘s sound, making their moniker surprisingly apt. Featuring member’s of Feral Trash, Black Tower and Mother’s Children this Canadian four-piece are a somewhat of a super-group in the deep underground of the punk rock world. A film-noir cloak envelops Chiller; from their quirky, irregular sound, to the sinister simplicity of their album cover and logo – which brings to mind a Jo Nesbo book about someone who cuts off people’s hands and probably sews them together, or something equally weird (note: I’ve not read any).

The off-kilter indie-punk jangle of opener, Agony, has a haunting 90s-style melancholy to it. Especially on the crooning, chest-pounding chorus, where the dual-vocal overlap is used to terrific effect and will go on to feature on the remaining 7 tracks that make up this self-titled effort. The call and return male/female vocals on the Son of Sam Heretic should be enough to touch your heart, especially the frantic and grasping way the track’s title is spat in the song’s thrashing coda. The guitars chime and belt out a crisp, sometimes buzzing racket and it fizzes with determination and raw feeling. The pacy Offred, launches itself forward through a twisting and teasing grunge-indie bounce, with the back and forth vocals, which seem to reference a lost spirit or an apparition. Like many of the tracks on offer, there is a pensive and solemn tone hidden beneath the breakneck three-chord attack. The spaghetti-western style intro on the noir-sounding Satisfied is superb and evolves into this snotty, brackish tune, that berates the listener for swallowing lies and ultimately, accepting desertion.

The emo-rock of the solitary Strangers changes pace for a bit – vocals drip with desperate loss, radiating this forlorn longing, cries of never-ending pain all backed by this gloom-drenched, fast-paced Alkaline Trio maudlin punk. The chorus is also absolutely huge, cries of “STRANGERS! STRANGERS!” is so deliciously pained (and catchy) it sounds as though he could have fallen off the soundtrack of a certain 80s inspired sci-fi show that’s pretty popular at the moment. Crank it to 11.

Absolutely absorbed by the glowing, Cold Cave gloom on the dramatic Unanswered – Someone tell me, why? WHHHHYYYYY???” roars from Chiller’s mournful lungs, coupled with some beautiful backing vocal “woohs” concluding with a flourish of rain-drop-sounding keys within this wistful and heavyhearted scrawl of chewy, post-punk spite. Don’t be fooled by the high-noon-esque intro to closing track, The Void – the 20 seconds of wistful guitar strokes are trampled under hooves by a stampede of rapid fire punk rock. Lip-curling vocal snarls, crunching chords and bruising percussion thunders past in a breathless, scrappy exhaustion of sound.

Chiller’s debut is rough around the edges, but that’s what gives it that certain charm. Through these 8 tracks and 24 minutes they incorporate enough styles, menace, aggression, loss and love to pique your interest. A promising and sharp-sounding debut.

Stream Agony below. Chiller’s self-titled album is released on 2 February through Rockstar Records, pre-order it here.

Links

Chiller
Rockstar Records

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Guest Post: Jack Murray’s top 10 albums of 2017


IMG_20170706_154125

Having listened to every single piece of recorded music this year (even both Gallagher albums and the new one by Nick Knowles) and rated everything as a Pitchfork score of 6.66,  Jack Murray is here to provide us with his top 10 albums containing songs that he likes to listen to with his ears. Got it? Good.

Also, here’s his top 10 albums of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

10. Atomic Bitchwax – Force Field

This is the seventh full length from the legendary stoner power trio. It’s full on pedal to the metal stuff that goes at 100 mph and doesn’t let up until the end.

CHECK OUT: Shell of a Man

9.’68 – Two Parts Viper

This is album number two from the Josh Scogin fronted blues noise duo. This album is just as visceral as their debut, yet contains some more expansive moments.

CHECK OUT: Whether Terrified or Unafraid

8. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

This new album from the sludge heavyweights contains elements of all their previous 6 albums. It’s also their first concept album since ‘Crack the Skye’.

CHECK OUT: Steambreather

7. Mutoid Man – War Moans.

This is the second album from the supergroup containing members of Cave In and Converge. This is the perfect blend of thrash, powerpop and Van Halen worship. Over the top and a hoot live.

CHECK OUT: Melt Your Mind

6. Unsane – Sterilize

This is the first album in 5 years from the seminal noise rock kings. Music does’t get more angry and pissed off than this!

CHECK OUT: Factory.

5. At The Drive-In – IN*TER A*LI*A

This is the first album in 17 years from the influential post hardcore group. This album was highly anticipated but received a lukewarm reception on its release. It sounds good to these ears though!

CHECK OUT: Call Broken Arrow

4. Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

This is the fifth album from the Pennsylvanian hardcore punk/noise rock outfit. This is something of a concept album exploring themes of masculinity and femininity in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

CHECK OUT: The Bar Is Low

3. Ginger Wildheart – Ghost In The Tanglewood

This man is a regular fixture in my end of year list and there is a reason. This is being billed as his first country/folk album. This contains some of his most personal lyrics to date.

CHECK OUT: Golden Tears

2. Jamie Lenman – Devolver

This is the second solo album from the former Reuben frontman. This contains many musical elements while still managing to sound like a cohesive body of work. The man is a wizard!

CHECK OUT: Hell In A Fast Car

1. The Bronx – V

This is the fifth album from the Los Angeles punk band. This band is known for their consistency and this is a very welcome addition to their catalogue!

CHECK OUT: Two Birds

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Keep It Fast’s Top 10 Tracks of 2017


Untitled DesignWe’ve already talked about my top 10 albums of the year, so let’s focus on the top 10 songs of the year.  All guaranteed to be absolute bangers, if not, I’ll send Tiger Crew round your house to have a word. (YEEEEEAAAHHHHH) Enjoy.

Japandroids – Arc Of Bar (Anti-)

This 7 and half minute opus that bridges to two sides of Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, is so simple, yet it utterly ROARS with anthemic mic-swinging passion. It’s at a slower pace to the useful Japandroids scuzz-frenzy, employing a hypnotic, synth-sounding guitar loop from guitarist Brian King, with drummer David Prowse hammering out this spirited and layered marching beat. The song is apparently an allusion to the crescent arch of the city of New Orleans (also due to the city’s relaxed culture to partying and drinking and the number of bars). Clever eh? Also, the line “But I got no plans at all/Except to drink as soon as possible” is so in culture with Japandroids work and a huge nod to the fantastic Nights Of Wine And Roses from Celebration Rock. Stunning.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Cut To The Feeling (604/School Boy/Interscope)

You’re not prepared for how RIDICULOUSLY catchy this is. Oh sure, it is cheesy as hell; it’s a huge block of cheddar smashing down. It’s just the song to replace Call Me Maybe from that continuous loop inside your head. The 80’s synthwave vibes, the weird flourishing key chimes that sound like a message alert tone, the pounding disco-beat and let’s not forget the bouncing power-pop energy that is righteously infectious and glorious. Cut To The Feeling is so damn euphoric and positive; it bristles with unrelenting joy, passion and huge theatrical ham – an absolute banger. Take a bow, Jepsen.

Down I Go – Heracles (self-released)

The best band in the world (no hyperbole) return with a cheeky little EP and make everything else pointless. Heracles is the final song from Mortals and it’s suitably deranged/epic/noisy/creatively jaw-dropping. I’ve no idea if all 12 labours of this god-man are shouted in all their glory (vocalist Pete Fraser falls somewhere between bellowing wounded dinosaur and Mike Patton gargling tizer in your bathroom) but the maddened, schizophrenic ramblings dip into the mathcore waters, whilst the riffs are monstrous, lurching Botch-esque bone-crunching slabs of terror. The closing croons of “bring it back, bring it back…” coupled with some maddened, muted-sax playing all add to this whirlwind of delightful chaos.

USA Nails – Does Format Matter? (Bigout Records)

“VINYL CASSETTE! EJECT YOUR VINYL CASSETTE! REWIND YOUR VINYL CASSETTE! BUT TAKE CAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRREEEEEEEEE!!!!” spits Steve Hodson, professional deadpan snarker and mouthpiece of USA Nails, the most dangerous manicurists in London. Does format fucking matter though? The abrupt heaviness of this nearly punctures the airwaves it’s so sharp and cutting. Guitars are tuned somewhere in the Event Horizon dimension, whilst the drumming is sickeningly caustic and loud, so ungodly loud. I think the genre is just misanthropy. Or hate. Actually, it’s both of them – yeah we’ll go with that.

Closet Disco Queen – El Moustachito (CrazySane)

As someone who lives for groove-laden instrumental rock, it’s a good thing Closet Disco Queen exist, one of my favourite discoveries in the last few years. This arm-flexing, swan-sickening strut of positive stoner-jam-dance-metal-noise is delicious. It’s heavy enough to bang your head to, yet it’s got that hip-shaking teasing sound that will burrow it’s way inside your brain. You can smell the burnt rubber on the asphalt as this roars away from you, the horns thrown high in the air, the muscle-car tearing down the strip, dust billowing from behind. Why aren’t you air-drumming yet? Let’s jam.

Christian Fitness – Slap Bass Hunks (Prescriptions)

They made all their money, so fuck you, FUCK YOU” intones Andy Falkous on the ripping hand-clap-a-thon that is the title track from the fourth Christian Fitness album. The very fact this sounds like thousands of fucking angry bees playing thousands of kazoos should be enough to convince you what genius this is. Seething with the kind of anger at the current state of everything, coupled with scratching, acidic fuzz-punk energy, Slap Bass Hunks is the anthem for the those feeling particularly furious at the world and with this they can let vent with the utmost amount of bile.

Blanck Mass – Please (Scared Bones)

Manipulating dimensions to somewhere absorbing and wholly different from our own is perhaps a safe bet right now. That technology doesn’t exist, but maybe in Blanck Mass‘s music we can find some solitude akin to that. Please is a mind-bending trip to be able to properly explain in words. The chopped-up vocal loops, the glistening and radiant energy it pulsates, the glow and warmth it makes you feel. It sounds like blood running through your veins, your heart keeping you upright; it’s gorgeous and thoroughly absorbing.

Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low (Sub Pop)

This was released in February and no other music video has touched it really for absurdity or the sudden mood-whiplash in the closing seconds. Pissed Jeans are bizarre, and The Bar Is Low, from their “laughing at every day life” concept album, Why Love Now, is laced with their trademark oddball humour and boastful quirks. The opening line of “I’ve been described as good/some have even said great/what have I done/to deserve such a fate” should tell you all about what to expect. Also, listen to that gurgling bass, absolutely lovely and the set of pipes on vocalist Matt Korvette – wonderful, antagonistic and sarcastic punk rock.

HCBP – The Patriot (self released)

Bridging the gap between  genius and insanity, HCBP (Haggard Cat Bothday Present) are half of the recently split HECK. If you’re wondering what this sounds like, it’s in a familiar ballpark of being nerve-rattling and utterly chaotic. Riffs splatter and shriek with a feral, robot-rock bludgeon of early Queens of the Stone Age, whilst the drums hammer out the kind of muscle-car roar you’d expect from a Fu Manchu album. A blistering, howling storm of feral sounds barely held together, but by god it’s bloody excellent.

Thank – Fragile Ego (Cruel Nature Recordings)

The twisted wreckage that make’s up Thank’s universe is so utterly gruesome, you cannot help but stare or at least, hear as their…. “sound” hisses, crackles and pops as it begins to melt through into your mind. Staggering between the realms of caustic noise, punk and industrial dance revolution, this five piece from Leeds sound like the end of the world. Fragile Ego is a snapping, rabid, mind rot of decay and bubbling, nonsensical ramblings. This is the new noise you were warned about and it’s finally here – that new beat, that sound you were warned about and it’s utterly deranged and impossible to ignore.

BONUS TRACK!!!

The Night Flight Orchestra – Gemini (Nuclear Blast)

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 Actually, scrap EVERYTHING ABOVE we quite clearly peaked musically back in April 2017. This might be the best thing I’ve ever heard and I once experienced a long note that had a powerful sense of dread attached to it.

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Lizard Hips – Top 10 albums of 2017


Weird year for stuff, some of it bad some of it excellent. My top 2 will not surprise some people and it’s mostly business as usual. Some returning bands – The Bronx have absolutely excelled themselves on the new one – USA Nails might not be in the giddy heights of their first two records, but their new one is as brutal and horrific as ever and it’s a simple fact that there’s been some exceptional albums. Some truly outstanding work all round though and even albums hat didn’t make the top ten (sorry Pissed Jeans, you’re in at 11…) were stonking great. Enjoy.

10. Onsind – We Wilt, We Bloom (Specialist Subject)onsind-wwwb

A somewhat late inclusion, but this third album from Durham’s Onsind has made a massive impact on me in just a short space of time. Raw, brutally honest and some incredible lyrics throughout, We Wilt, We Bloom is a moving, cynical and cutting statement, heavily referencing our current see-sawing political climate of bullshit and misery. However, it’s laced with hope, with a direction that states we can do something, that there is time for change and better days are on the horizon. Listen to the lyrics on the brilliant Shining-referencing Sectioned – superb, thoughtful and reflective storytelling locked down into a four minute pop-punk banger.

Top track: Sectioned

9. USA Nails – Shame Spiral (Bigoût Records / Hominid Sounds)usanails-shame

Hello nasty. Noise and speed are two words to sum up Shame Spiral, the third album from London teeth-grinders, USA Nails. This is an ugly, boiling cauldron of rage; the guitars are overclocked to the max, especially on the acidic bedlam of Play It Again Johnny and the shredding Does Format Matter? It’s got that scrawled, caustic quality of the first METZ album – utterly savage, loud, volatile and seriously uncomfortable to experience. Every track feels as though it has been submerged in a barrel of noxious feedback and it howls with implacable tension and serves to move the band further from their debut, Sonic Moist. Chilling and strangely intriguing. (Review)

Top track: Does Format Matter?

8. Christian Fitness – Slap Bass Hunks (Prescriptions)a0968992665_10

Slap Bass Hunks is apparently the least successful Christian Fitness album, which is a shame because it is fucking brilliant. For one thing, the bass sounds utterly gnarled/ugly/disgustingly noisy. Also, some of Falco’s best work exists on this excellent 10 tracker, from the vomiting-fury of the title track, to the vest-appraising National Insurance, an Anglican mouse on the handclap frenzy of Hallowed Be Thy Naming Rights and the dread-inducing creep of Nobody Likes a Snitch. Just under 30 minutes of pure surrealism that will leave you either laughing your head off or whimpering in the corner and we should all be thankful for it. (Review)

Top track: Slap Bass Hunks

7. The Bronx – V (Cooking Vinyl)a2581068749_10

THIS AIN’T NO SOBER SONG, KILL ME OR TURN ME ON!” screams Matt Caughthran on opening track, Night Drop At The Glue Factory. Yes, so The Bronx have always been a bit word salad at times with lyrics, but Bronx V, sees them crunch back into the punk rock scene with a cracking selection of fresh cuts. Fill The Tanks is a pure thrash excellence, whilst the abrasive Sore Throat, is a vein-bursting roar for blood. Here’s hoping they keep up the wrecking machine of energy and vitality forever with their fire-starting vigour and fucking brilliant songs. (Review)

Top track: Stranger Danger

6. ’68 – Two Parts Viper (Cooking Vinyl)two-parts-viper-68

Every song by ’68 sounds as if it’s been pushed to its very limit. All the dials are spiking into the red, alarms are blasting, blood is spurting from the console. Meltdown achieved. Josh Scogin and (now-ex) drummer Michael McClellan attack their instruments with the similar “throw it in” bravado of their debut, but the amps don’t explode this time; the riffs though, are still there and it’s still uncomfortably discordant, channelling Scogin’s Nirvana worship even more (see No Apologies) and the rap-rock swagger of This Life Is Old, Borrowed and Blue. Utterly unique and constantly evolving, Two Parts Viper is a venomous beast. (Review)

Top track: Whether Terrified or Unafraid

5. Mutoid Man – War Moans (Sargent House)mutoid-man-war

Nick Cageao’s Mutoid Man might be the greatest band of all time. I mean, he’s got Stephen Brodsky and Ben FUCKING Koller in tow. War Moans doesn’t so much as tick all the boxes as smash several guitars through walls and walls of amps to make its point. This album is hilarious; it’s packed with the most ridiculous, cheesy, heavy, thrash-tastic riffs imaginable, the sickest drumming courtesy of Koller and it is infectiously joyful and an unstoppable thrill ride from the face-punch of the start to the haunting end. There’s no way you can finish even the first track without air-guitar/bass/drumming your arms off. If you thought Bleeder was good, get a load of this baby. (Review)

Top track: Irons In The Fire

4. John – God Speed In The National Limit (Pets Care Records)john-godspeed

You could be forgiven for thinking there were double or even triple the amount of band members in Crystal Palace duo John, such is the absolute racket they both make. God Speed In The National Limit is a brutally fast, concentrated and bludgeoning rush and it makes no bones about being anything else, other than a fucking great punk rock album. There’s everything on this – songs about haunted printers, the shitness of everyday life and resetting your mobile phone. Probably. Whatever it is, this is an absolute killer of a debut album and I bloody love it. (Review)

Top track: Straight Lines

3. Single Mothers – Our Pleasure (Big Scary Monsters)singlemothers-our-pleasure

Whatever happened to Single Mothers?” screams vocalist Drew Thomson on Our Pleasure, the second album from the “pissed at everything” Canadian four piece. With the kind of rapid-fire vocal delivery (and disdain) akin to that of Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods; Single Mothers are a free-flow nuisance of seething, bile-spitting obnoxious punk rock debauchery. This churns, boils and rages at everything, especially on the pocket-digging bravado of Long Distance to the hardcore fury of Well Wisher.  Cracking sophomore album that vents with urgent, wild energy and will ultimately make you want to smash things and oddly, has a lot of heart if you delve into Thomson’s thoughtful and compelling lyrics.

Top track: Long Distance

2. Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life (Anti-)japandroids1

An album that you keep returning to must ring some alarm bells in your mind. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life by Japandroids was released at the tail-end of January, yet it’s something I am constantly listening to, over and over and over again. Is it down to how beautifully all 8 of the songs on this are crafted? Is it the fact it fills me with unrelenting happiness and optimism? Is it the fact it makes me want to shout every single lyric at the top of my lungs? Is it the fact it makes me so fucking emotional every time I listen to it? It’s all of these things and a heap more, loaded with the all the real feels and sweaty, melancholic emotional nostalgia. (Review)

Top track: Arc of Bar

1. Blanck Mass – World Eater (Sacred Bones)blanckmass

The fact that World Eater seems to have endless layers the more you listen to it shows just how staggeringly inventive Blanck Mass (aka, Benjamin John Power) is as a musician. It’s a hypnotic, mind-melt of emotions, ranging from fear, serenity, hate and even joy. I’ve struggled at times not to go a week, sometimes a day without putting this on – without being lost in the industrial-rave-death-dance party of Rhesus Negative or the trippy percussion-driven club bounce of Silent Treatment. This is the sound of ripping through the fabric of our dimension and becoming totally submerged in the deadlights. Beep, beep, Benny – a phenomenal and hypnotic, mesmeric trip into the void and my album of the year, hands down. (Review)

Top track: Please

Other great stuff from this year you should stick in your ears.

Alpha Male Tea Party – Health

Bat Piss – Rest In Piss

Cassels – Epithet

Converge – The Dusk In Us

Death From Above – Outrage! Is Now

Frauen – Unreal City

Gallops – Bronze Mystic

Goddamned Animals – My Second Cult Suicide

Gnarwolves – Outsiders

Idles – Brutalism

Intervals – The Way Forward

Jamie Lenman – Devolver

Krause – 2am Thoughts

Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand

Metz – Strange Peace

Part Chimp – IV

Perturbator – New Model

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Feed The Rats

Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

Pulled Apart By Horses – The Haze

Run The Jewels – RTJ3

Sleaford Mods – London Tapas

Slotface – Try Not To Freak Out

Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _ As You Think

Stnnng – Veterans of Pleasure

Tricot – 3

The Jimmy Cake – Tough Love

The Menzingers – After The Party

UpCDownC – I, Awake

Unsane – Sterilize

Yagow – Yagow

Yards – Excitation Thresholds

Additional

Science Fiction by Brand New didn’t make the cut this year for obvious reasons. Would it have done in other circumstances? Yes, it would easily be top 5 material, perhaps higher. It’s their best album as well. There, I said it. However, to give the band any kind of accolade this year is not something I am not comfortable with doing at all. Thank you.

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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Catalan! – Alive


image1You may remember back in the sunny days of July, we had a feature and interview with a certain Mr Ewen Friers, aka Catalan! talking all about the creation of the project, hopes for the future, collaborations and whether he’s a Dr Ian Malcolm or David Levinson kind of guy.

Well, Ewen (or Catalan!) is back with a new single, the energetically named Alive. I love the squelching keyboard opening to this and when the cowbell kicks in. It’s the opening two lines that get me though – the layered vocal delivery of “Another worse Hot Water Music/A million more Menzingersers” seems to be having a cheeky pop at all those bands who employ the gruff-ramshackle punk aesthetic, but feels ever-so-tongue-in-cheek.  Throughout Alive, there is this bass-heavy fuzz; it feels very Death From Above in places, that similar, infectious dance-punk groove, and boy does this act as an itch – that chorus will worm its way into your brain before you know what’s happening.

It’s a proper fist-pumper of a track – that light pop-rock bounce, those Metric-esque synth-lines and that huge, skyscraper of a chorus leaves you wanting more. With Axis Of currently dormant at the moment, this is certainly a project that has legs and fans of the aforementioned Portstewart lads, will absolutely love this. Cracking work – stream Alive by Catalan! below.

Links

Catalan Twitter

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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THANK – Sexghost Hellscape


thank-sexghostBand: Thank
EP: Sexghost Hellscape
Label: Cruel Nature Records
Release date: 26 October
Sounds like: Nothing. Everything. Something. Clive Barker mystery portal of doom.

Read a book they said. Well, I read a book and didn’t much like what I learned.

Imagine if Girl Band swapped their instruments for chainsaws, jackhammers and a cement mixer that’s been set on fire. You would be somewhere in the vicinity of what Thank are constructing as music, but ultimately you’re barely scratching the surface. This is the dimension of hell splitting open in front of you. This is a Hieronymus Bosch painting in musical form that’s started to melt into a sickening puddle of smoldering wax, wires and decay. Subjecting yourself for more than 20 minutes of this will send you fucking insane. Boiling, bubbling, mutated flesh, that’s where we’re coming from. I feel sick.

Thank are a five piece from Leeds and Sexghost Hellscape, is their debut EP. Recorded live and I honestly wouldn’t expect anything less; at one point you can hear the keyboard unfolding itself out of the speakers, popping and crackling with surges of electronic disarray and headache-inducing thunder.

Instruments merge into each other, are flattened, then expand, exploding into view, before crunching back into tight balls of quivering energy, before splitting open again. None more so than the acerbic and spitting opener of Taxidermist. The BBC-B Micro-tape-loading intro synth lines give it an already sinister vibe, not to be mention the scuzzy bass, which makes way for the splatter-punk vocals, which are a drunken and sporadic drawl of nonchalance that triggers into snapping tirades of distaste.

You were born to work, pay bills and die – anyone else who says otherwise is a fucking hippy” drawls Thank’s vocalist on the buzzsaw rambling of Fragile Ego. Life is fucking futile and why should we bother seems to be the motto. The guitars sound like a bunch of power tools – the drums are a cymbal heavy pounding of despair and it’s attacked with the kind of raw, scraping chaos of Girl Band splitting themselves apart. Even Thank’s vocalist sounds a bit like Dara Kiely in places, (which is never a bad thing) but it’s those guitars and synths – the mash up is this unholy, mesmeric, howling vortex of ear-wrecking, animalistic roars.

There’s an essence of uncomfortable unpredictability about Thank, in that – thinking a song will go one way will ultimate mean it will spiral off into a corkscrew of crackling energy into something entirely different. Take the bonkers electro-build up of squelching keyboards and rattling militant percussion of Punching Bag. It builds and builds and builds through this never-ending skyscraper of jagged noise, teasing and tantalizing, before suddenly, these words break through:

Tonight Matthew I am nothing and I am okay with that. Tonight Matthew I will shit in my own hands and clap.

Wait, what? Getting more incensed with rage, Thank’s vocalist changes from a comical drawl to an enraged snarl, especially as the devious synth-lines plow back into view. “IT SOUNDED SO APPEALING!” he chants through this vomit-inducing turbulence of warped, destructive dance-tinged noise.

There’s a Blacklisters vibe surrounding the stocky aggro-punk throwdown of Thank The Universe – it’s an alienating caterwaul of throbbing bass punches and mangled guitar lines. The large ham squeals of “THAAAANNK YOU! THAAANNK YOU!” are not for the faint-hearted. The final track drags itself into view in the form of the 8 minute descent into hell that is Petrol Head. The sinister drum crashes, humming keyboards, despair-inducing lyrics and cries to “honk if your horny” just go to show the kind of derangement we’re dealing with here. Soon the words “The only reason we’re all safe, is because no-one here wants to die” will slowly start to set your teeth on edge, make sweat run down your spine and soon barely become words – they meld into this wailing, gnashing and erratic bedlam of feedback.

On Sexghost Hellscape songs aren’t really created, they merely breakthrough a portal into our world, emerging from the Upside Down, covered in slime and begin to take shape. Any of the tracks on this could soundtrack a horror film. The whole thing could BE a fucking horror film for all we know. I wish there was more, although I’m unsure my mind/ears could take it. To put it into perspective, imagine the first time you heard the Blood Brothers – THAT level of excitement.

You can stream/purchase Sexghost Hellscape by Thank below. Also, it’s name your price on bandcamp, so chuck them a few quid so they can continue to create this mind-bending excellence.

Links

THANK
Cruel Nature Records
Crue Nature Records Bandcamp

 

 

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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JOHN – God Speed In The National Limit


Band: JOHN
Album: God Speed In The National Limit
Label: Pets Care Records
Release date: Out now
Sounds like: Turbo noise rock action destruction and haunted printers.

Being able to find stuff is overrated anyway. JOHN (comprised of John on drums  and vocals and John on guitar) are, I’m guessing, more deadpan than a churchyard full of deceased cooking pots. They know the joke and are sticking with it and why should they crack a face to please you? Well, quite. Hailing from Crystal Palace in that London, this duo of wailing guitars, sledgehammer drums and gruff vocals is a heady and destructive concoction.

Let’s get to the point; God Speed In The National Limit is a fucking brutal album from start to finish. It just about breaks the 20 minute mark over its 7 tracks, but that’s not a problem; because it means you can put it on again. Similar to the warped and misshapen punk rock of Idles (Brutalism is a banger), the noisy cacophony of Fucked Up and the direct bluntness of USA Nails, JOHN are a crunching powerhouse of rollicking good fun.

Similar to the first METZ album, it’s the drums that stand out on this – they’re at the forefront, bristling with boiling, consuming energy and none more so than on the punk rock fervor of opening track, Balfron. Jagged and covered in spikes, this growling rumble is a raucous battle-cry. Drummer-John has a vicious set of pipes; his vocal chords bark a caustic diatribe, akin to that of a one Father Damian, whilst guitar-John chucks out noisy, angular riffs that slice and rip through the airwaves. It’s punishingly fast and mouth-frothing in intensity.

God Speed In The National Limit is an enormous heart of an album beating at an unhealthy and dangerous speed…

The buzzing snap of Factory Settings is beyond crushing – the feral guitars rip and chew, whilst the screams of “a return to factory settings” and the absurd fury surrounding this lengthy diatribe (possibly about mobile phones) is an absolute monster of a track. Haunted office equipment follows in hot pursuit in the form of Ghost Printer, as a man explains how he believes his Hewlett-Packard is possessed by a spirit. Legit, the only song you’ll hear this year (or ever) about a haunted printer. At least you have a chance to catch your breath on this one – this inclusion of the subtle keyboard is a nice touch, and we’re at 50% speed now, but we’re still angry, because anger is what we’ve got. “No sense of logic, no sense of sense…” roars drummer-John, clearly struggling to work out why Slimer is trying to change his ink cartridge.

Big fan of the lyrics on the scathing bile of Industrial Action:  “Keep your chin up and keep your shirt on and throw money down the throats of machines as entertainment” which seem to be both faint praise and mocking disbelief at shithead consumers.  I really hope the lyrics on the chorus for the abrasive Squad Vowels are “THIS IS SHIT” because it just about sums up all the feelings we sometimes have about nostalgia and fucking everything really. Credit to guitar-John for making his instrument howl with complete contempt and absolutely crush everything in its path with chunky riff after chunky riff.

You can feel the spittle from drummer-John hit you in the face through the speakers during the muscular Straight Lines, which keeps the tongue-in-cheek lyrics raining down, partially through the line: “Local man found lost in his head.” The delivery is near-beyond seething, (think Pissed Jeans anger) both vocally and through the howling sounds from guitar-John, who strangles ugly chords from his six-string, like he’s trying to end a life.

Drummer-John’s vocal chords on the title track are now so raw and scratched, he sounds like 2 trucks full of sandpaper crashing into each other. The guitars are fuzzy as hell, even dabbling in a moment of melody (seriously, they sound fantastic) whilst the tight and sweaty-sounding drums keep everything together – just about.

God Speed In The National Limit makes me want to rip myself in half, crush beer cans into my skull, throw a kettle over a pub. It’s an enormous heart of an album beating at an unhealthy and dangerous speed, veins bulging in every direction. A total rhythmic acceleration of unsafe, teeth-gnashing, sweating energy. Embrace this noise, it’s far, far too excellent to be ignored.

Buy/stream/lose your mess to JOHN below.

Links

JOHN Facebook
Pets Care Records



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Ampwrecked 14: New Music For Your Ears


ampwrecked14

Death From Above – Never Swim Alone (Last Gang)

The comments below Death From Above‘s latest single are certainly interesting. Content to continue dividing opinion, Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F Keeler push the boundaries of their minimal set up, especially on Never Swim Alone; which, sounds like a wrestler’s entrance music. Seriously. Don’t read this as a criticism though – it feels more in common with Grainger’s excellent solo work than anything else – sugary, bouncing pop-rock, layers of flamboyance, his almost rap-sung vocal drawl, driven by the synth-led bass fuzz and electronic drum-clashes. If someone told me this was a remix of their work, I would believe them. Kudos to them for trying something new, even if it’s a bit short.

Propagandhi – Failed Imagineer (Epitaph)

Sit down with me, let’s have a drink” sings Chris Hannah. How nice. This 2 minute blast of raw energy, courtesy of established thrash punks Propagandhi is quite excellent, combining their trademark scything drive with heaps of powerful melody (something which they really excel at – see Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes). They also demand we have a rock ‘n roll party tonight – so let’s join them. This is a strong follow up to the album title track they released a month ago.

The Bronx – Two Birds (ATO Records)

This Matt Caughthran-led party machine can do know wrong (IV was a bit hit and miss in places for me) – but their consistency is electric. On Two Birds, The Bronx tap into their heartland rock sound even more, leaving their hardcore image at the door. Big fan of the guitars of Joby J Ford and Ken Horne, which howl and squeal with noisy agitation and they even strangle out a solo for good measure. I have to say, the backing vocal wails on the chorus are vintage Bronx and the whole thing, struts and swaggers with almost Safe Passage-esque bravado. A brilliant mix of II and III – welcome back lads.

Unsane – Aberration (Southern Lord)

“Got any noise rock?” Probably. Unsane seem to have a thing for blood on their album covers and this one is even less subtle and a complete splatter of the red stuff. There’s a crisp and scratching rage to Aberration – frontman Chris Spencer has a vicious acidity to his voice, gargling and raw-sounding, it’s uncomfortably sore, alongside the sludge-noise that emanates forth;  distorted and twisted through a howling spectrum. You can hear every mangled bass- twang, every rattling snare and every grinding riff and it’s unnervingly excellent.

METZ – Mess Of Wires (Sub Pop)

Attacking the airwaves like a ravenous horde of the undead, METZ chew their way through on this new one, titled Mess Of Wires. The brilliantly twisted thing about this trio is just how dangerously sharp, jagged and punishing their sound has become. From the explosive drumming, to the wall-scraping guitars and garbled vocals, METZ continue to bring the thunder. This new track (and first song off their new album, Strange Peace) is a bludgeoning kraut-rock mush of fuck off-noise and it’s no surprise that Steve Albini helped with the recording. Brutal, alive with sound and pumping with rickety, heart-straining energy right down to the last gasping breath.

 

And So I Watch You From Afar – A Slow Unfolding of Wings (Sargent House)

Someone must have set off the “we need something triumphant to happen” beacon. And So I  Watch You From Afar are all about making the kind of sound that makes you feel as if you’ve climbed a mountain against the odds, or defeated a particularly difficult end of level boss on the hardest setting. A Slow Unfolding Of Wings is the kind of overly dramatic title they like to whip out and the music on offer bristles and erupts with euphoric beauty. There’s no vocals, not even a “woah-oh-oh” – just riffs, lots and lots of riffs writhing and somersaulting over each other. It’s not as heavy as their work on the Letters EP or Gangs, but it falls somewhere between the more rock-moments on Heirs and the crunching nature of their first album work.

Converge – Under Duress (Epitaph)

Proving to be as uncomfortable as ever, Converge make an ugly, contorted return. From the strength of I Can Tell You About Pain and the near 8 minute sprawl of Eve, Under Duress is the see-sawing trepidation of things slowly decaying and falling apart. The off-kilter hardcore-beatdown is a squealing ricochet of pain-inducing noise and terror – vocalist Jacob Bannon continues to have the most unique disturbing set of pipes, but he really comes into his own on this with his scrambled, word-salad fury. Credit to the suitably sludgy-rock chorus, very Floor-esque. Crushing, absolutely crushing.

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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