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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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964 Pinocchio – I’ve Been Running Round The City For 10 Minutes Straight In Order To Find You & Rip Your Fucking Face Off EP



Artist: 964 Pinocchio

Title: I’ve Been Running Round The City For 10 Minutes Straight In Order To Find You & Rip Your Fucking Face Off

Release: CD-R / Digital

Year: 2017

Label: Confusion Specialist Records

A mysterious band hailing from Tokyo, Japan, making an homage to Japanese filmmaker Shozin Fukui and the movie that shares the same name as the band as well as to noisy punk. What could hide beneath all these long names and fast beats? What are these people here to say? We already know the best way to find out… let’s check this new release!

Dissonance, breaks and sassy vocals hit us right in the face starting from the very first track, with it’s changing moods and spazztic sound enhanced by the raw production and swinging instrumentation. With titles like “I’m Not a Scab, I am a Strikebreaker!”, “To Whom Are You Gonna Convince Someone You Just Used?” and the last track, the one that gives the title to the EP, you just gotta know what you’re getting into. Maybe not the kind of party you would normally sign up for, but damn, it is a good one. Dance to the discord.

Even in the slower passages, there’s a vivid tension between all the instrumentation. The snare is constantly hitting or making rolls, giving the sense of constant movement and exploding energy. Inch by inch, like a knife hitting flesh deeper and deeper. There’s a freakish feel to these sounds. If you think you’re safe, it is just a scam. You’ve been deceived. There’s something waiting for you around the corner. But it is alright. Give yourself into it. Fade out. Goodbye.

We’re too smug to aisle, to pave among sentiments. Breed the silence, we may just stick along on what we’ve lost. I’ve gnawed (myself) to pieces, we distilled our taste and we might as well get all lost.



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I wish it could be Blizzmas everyday


Review of the the Blizzmas Ball with Evil Blizzard, Ruts DC and Ludovico at 53 Degrees Preston on 16.12.17

Let’s get this out of the way. If you can’t enjoy an Evil Blizzard gig then you know that you are suffering from anhedonia, which is “the lack of pleasure or capacity to experience it” (as Dictionary.com puts it). I’ve been to about five now, often with my son pictured here at an earlier gig (he’s the one on the right, I’m the one on the left).

I first came across Evil Blizzard as I arrived in time for their last song in a support slot for The Fall. Looking at their garishly-masked faces, my first thought was along the lines of ‘I think one Slipknot is enough’. This was unfair to both bands, especially as I don’t think that I’ve ever listened to Slipknot to this day and maybe I should. Never judge a book by its cover or a band by its masks (well, maybe Kiss but even then Crazy Nights is relatively harmless fun).

I got the full effect of a full set at a following Fall gig at which their four bass line-up made the walls oscillate like a sludgy jelly. Then, when seeing them in the sweaty box of a gig that was the much-missed Ducie Bridge in Manchester, Mark Whiteside ‘Side’ (their singing drummer) told me that they once had a mere three bass players and another, Pete Brown (Stomper), originally joined for one song mainly because he wanted to be able to say that he’d supported The Fall. I knew then that Evil Blizzard were, as Barrymore used to say ‘my kind of people’.

Mr Smith in turn was almost unprecedently effusive in being quoted as saying  “I like Evil Blizzard, they give me hope that music is alive and kicking”. He’s been much less complimentary about say, Kate Bush, which for a man of a certain age like me was hard to hear.

Blizzmass has become a regular Christmas party and this year it was at 53 Degrees a post-industrial styled venue that deservedly does good business in the band’s home town of Preston. They were supported by Ruts DC who are often described as a punk/reggae/ska band and there were elements of that joyful trinity but that description didn’t really cover the breadth and depth of their set. There were likely some other numpties like me who started out absent-mindedly waiting for the hits from mine and their youth (e.g. Staring At The Rude Boys) but then forgot them altogether until they popped up amongst a rich set from a band that could PLAY. Thanks to The Fall for introducing me to Evil Blizzard and thanks to Evil Blizzard for re-introducing me to Ruts DC. They’ve been around as first the Ruts then Ruts DC for nearly forty years and unfortunately this was my first gig, it won’t be my last.

Ludovico, four younger men from Preston with a cheeky glint in the eye and winning ‘front’ in the patter, which they amply backed up with great musicianship, opened the gig. The Mod influence was clear in the parka worn by their guitarist, a Jam cover and their rattling closing cover of Tin Soldier but they had driven and insistent tunes of their own that stood up alongside the Mod hits. I would be more than happy to see them again too.

I/we really mustn’t fixate on the looks thing. Penelope Cruz is ALSO a very intelligent woman and great actress and Evil Blizzard also have the tunes to back- up the indisputable fun. The boys are lookers though, their characters Side, Kav, Filthy Dirty, Stomper, Prowler and their non-playing ringmasters Blizzpig (see above) and Mopman make for a disconcerting and trippy evening even before they properly get into their first trancey groove.
‘Side’ the singing drummer is not in the mould of Phil Collins (or indeed Karen Carpenter) he has more of an Ozzy-like register which adds to the Sabbathesque grooves in places and his droll wit is another favourable point of comparison between the two frontmen. Except that Side is at the back and so not a frontman like Ozzy but then he sort of is but there are four other front men on the bass actually at the front, in contrast to Sabbath’s comparatively statueseque Geezer Butler. Perhaps the Who’s sadly missed John “the Ox” Entwhistle stock-still template has been a little overused by subsequent bass players; why should those showy lead guitarists have all the fun?
You might come for the fun but you’ll stay and come back for the groove. My primary school recorder exploits don’t even halfway qualify me as a musician but I’m guessing that four basses (and a bit of synth), a singing drummer and not lead guitar shouldn’t work but it certainly does. Differential tuning….err… what am I talking about… just enjoy the fact that it does work.
The night included Hello / Like A God / Sacrifice / Stupid People / Unleash The Misery / Slimy Creatures and Are You Evil?. These tracks from their releases The Dangers of Evil Blizzard and Everybody Come to Church were all received with the now traditional booing that counterintuitively feeds the energy.
It’s a multi-layered melodic, punky, proggy, spacey, heavy, dancey, ravey, trippy, krautrockey, droney soundbath both live and on record. Acts ranging from PIL, to Embrace, to Hawkwind have asked Evil Blizzard to support them, so that shows that they’re not ready for an easy pigeonhole just yet.
Their latest single Fast Forward Rewind (12th February on Crackedankles Records) got a run out and it too did a familiar job of first disconcerting then pulling the crowd into the sonic tumble dryer, at which point they couldn’t resist movement voluntary and involuntary.

All that and I didn’t get around to baby’s head theremin which might seem like one last ‘waffer-thin mint’ after the sonic and visual roughing-up but went down nicely, as ever.

A new album is also on the way in the Summer, which Filthy Dirty tells me will be “longer, faster and more synthy”. Best to venture into the world of Evil Blizzard yourself than try and pin it down from my damaged post-gig psyche and here are the ways to do it.
http://www.evilblizzard.com/ for the gigs
https://evil-blizzard.bandcamp.com/ for the new single
http://evilblizzshop.bigcartel.com for the rest

 



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New Music Catch-up Exercise – Gatecreeper & Iron Reagan


 

It has taken little over a week this year for a new release announcement to get me excited. It’s Gatecreeper again. Only this time a split E.P with crossover thrashers, Iron Reagan.

An 8-track release is due to be unleashed on 2nd March this year but both bands have treated us to a teaser. One song each has been provided to tie us over until release day.

Iron Reagan are the side project fronted by Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste, with other Municipal Waste member and some old friends from Cannabis Corpse and Darkest Hour. Gatecreeper are a desert-fried doomy death metal band I’ve mentioned a few times already in my previous articles. This all makes for an interesting release from a couple of bands you wouldn’t think of putting together.

Gatecreeper’s offering, entitled “War Has Begun” is a title that becomes more apt, the more listens I have. The band is continuing their habit of drawing on cool influences from the world of Death metal and beyond to concoct a fresh new approach to the genre. This time, it feels like Bolt Thrower were a big influence. The Birmingham band almost exclusively wrote music about war, mainly that of a futuristic vision of war. Pretty terrifying given the current political climate as they sound like they’re talking about the imminent future…. Anyway, “War Has Begun” is a highly appropriate title for an absolute banger of a track. Appetite has been well and truly whetted, patience shall be tested in anticipation between now and 2nd March.

Iron Reagan’s teaser track is titled “Paper Shredder”. An immediate rocket launch into the thrashing fury we have come to expect from this band and the associated Municipal Waste. With influences ranging from Hardcore punk to those heady Thrash domination days, Iron Reagan execute their tight, angry sucker punch into a neat 2-minute-long package. It’s jam-packed full of tasty leads and punk/thrash riffs that you’ll probably stick on again and again.

So, roll on 2nd March I say. Iron Reagan will have 5 tracks to Gatecreeper’s 3 tracks, completing the E.P.

I suppose given how stylistically different the two bands are, the unifying factor here is an unashamed display of influences from times gone by, here to remind us that there are always ways of generating more life from established genres to create freshness we all desire.



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


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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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Maldición – Self-Titled



Artist: Maldición

Title: Maldición

Release: Lathe Cut 7″ / Digital

Year: 2017

Label: Tobi Records

Feedbacking, reverberating, angry and diffuse hardcore punk is among my favorites. I mean, it goes along pretty well with the current times, when fascism is winning elections worldwide (just happened here in Chile, sadly) and people are spreading hate speech every second they spend on the internet. It’s like they are hitting us from everywhere. We need to answer back. We need angry songs as much as we need the fires of resistance in the streets. Maldición’s first release, a lathe cut 7″ on beloved Tobi Records, might happen to be the perfect soundtrack for revolution.

Claustrophobic feelings of anger, sickness and fear fill the 6 songs on the now sold out debut release from this band. They feel frustrated, like there’s no chance of escaping a system that oppresses and enslaves us every single day. Work, consume, repeat… what can we do? Do we have a chance against Big Brother? All the horror and none of the answers. That’s all what we hear here. The sad truth, being delivered through wild bass, lots of distortion and a ligting-fast beat. If we can do nothing against the horrors of modern world we might just scream and dance along them.

This EP, with echoing vocals, dystopian lyrics, raw bass, razor-like guitars and pulsating feedback makes me think of local bands Pesadilla and Deceso Por Causa Desconocida, where the recording engineer, 333, plays. If you know nothing about the underground scene from Santiago, this might be a great introduction to it and to the wide range of bands that play there.



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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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