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Tiny Moving Parts – Swell


a2334147848_10Band: Tiny Moving Parts
Album: Swell
Label: Big Scary Monsters
Release date: January 2018
Sounds like: Sending applause to your heartstrings. A rapid detachment.

“Scan an open road, distort the traffic/Never getting used to these second guesses…”

Due to mishearing lyrics, I thought that on Malfunction, track 8 from the new Tiny Moving Parts album, Swell, vocalist Dylan Mattheisen said “I got dizzy right before the vapid detachments.” I thought “hell, that’s a terrific band name, The Vapid Detachments*!” However, I’m reliably informed that the word is rapid, which is still decent, if not better? Probably?

Tiny Moving Parts then, completed by the brothers Chevalier (Matt on bass, Billy on drums) are back with the follow up to 2016’s Celebrate and their second release through the Big Scary Monsters imprint. It’s quite an impressive move by BSM main man, Kevin to sign these dudes a few years back – they tick a lot of boxes and overlap into several others. Twiddly-math-emo styles? Check. Huge punk rock choruses that feel like a bone-crunching hug of joy? You betcha. An impassioned and earnest vocal lead that makes your heart…er…swell? Thumbs up.

Opening track Applause, asks for veritable ovation be sent to your heartstrings. There’s an edge of darkness in this though, whilst the twinkling guitars, math-punk riffs, scattered percussion and plethora of tambourines litter this, Mattheisen’s cries of “I want to give up” and the line “struggle with every single breath” seem to hold some desire to overcome and breakthrough a period of sadness. Luckily, the cry of “applause my lungs still breathing” on every single one of this song’s damn hook-laden choruses makes the glass seem half-full.

Building bridges is the topic of the soaring Smooth It Out – a track that seems to be about improving a relationship, talk of missteps and “smoke breaks” (taking time out) and offering to be the “weight on your shoulders” hey, it’s about love everyone! Aw. Mattheisen and the Chevalier boys carve out a crackling slab of spirited up-tempo heartland rock, which bursts with even more vigour thanks to the rising background strings/(keys?) and subtle gang-vocal melodies.

The jagged, punchy guitars on the aggravated Feel Alive, give the track a crisp, yet busy feel, whilst Mattheisen’s breathless and erratic vocals compliment the title incredibly well (fella really does want to feel alive it seems). Bloody love the underused additional vocals from Kelc Galluzzo and her call-and-response of “I still miss you.” Kind of makes me think of the additional vocals on High Speed from the Single Mothers album from last year; i.e. not used enough – more of this please.

Caution could well be your favourite single of 2018 and we’ve not even made it through February yet! That mathy-guitar 40 seconds in will do it, or even the massive chorus hook of “I’m still waiting…FOR A SLIGHT BREAK!” or maybe it’s the brilliant video? Whatever it is, this is indeed, love.

Someday we’re all going to die…but not tonight!” shouts Matthesien on the discordant but emo-rock-tastic Wildlife, showcasing how Tiny Moving Parts are striving to create huge fucking slogans to be shouted during their live shows, and all power to them for it. There’s a jagged urgency to the stumbling and frantic Whale Watching, whilst the riff-laden scuzz of Malfunction sets a more aggressive tone, especially the lyrics, with cries of frost filling Matthesien’s head and the repeated scream of “it’s a message” which you can see hordes of fans at their shows bellowing back at the band – superb. Warm Hand Splash starts with an apology and launches headfirst into regret. Should we be happy? It asks for forgiveness, and brims with venting and rending gusto and some lush horn sections adding to the punchy and flamboyant emotional conclusion. The Hotelier are probably taking notes.

Tiny Moving Parts couldn’t have picked a better title for this collection of songs really. These 10 tracks on Swell are fit to burst with impassioned beauty, melancholy, tales of loss and re-connection; from their erratic time changes to the heady blasts of breakneck punk rock and contemplative, brooding lyrical couplets. Sure, it might be cheesy in places, but sometimes that’s what you need in order to feel and care a little too much.

You can purchase Swell by absolute top lads Tiny Moving Parts from Big Scary Monsters. Or stream below.

 

Top tracks: Swell It Out, Caution, Malfunction, Warm Hand Splash

Links

Tiny Moving Parts
Tiny Moving Parts Webstore
Big Scary Monsters

*Also, The Vapid/Rapid Detachments will be releasing their debut album in 2020.

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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Rötbrains – Nekro Punk Terör



Artist: Rötbrains

Title: Nekro Punk Terör

Release: 10″ vinyl / Tape / Digital 

Year: 2018

Label: Dead Generation Records (Tape), Profsny Records (Vinyl)

How many times have you been bloody chainsaw attacked by a bunch of wonky, Kawakami worshiping zombies? Not yet? I guess, you haven’t listened to a lot of Turkish d-beat and raw punk either.

Rötbrains hail from Istanbul’s enormous in its size and population district of Kadıköy with the gore intention of eating your brains and guts, but not until first destroying your eardrums with an extreme noise that we call punk.

Here we have a filthy dozen of songs that will easily give you a headache. All lyrics are in Turkish language, so that’s your chance to learn some new words. The songs are pummeling with misanthropy and necrotic punk terror from start to finish, so if you’re into bands like Anti Cimex, Tampere SS, and Disorder, but looking for an unexplored territories or foreign languages, you may like this band.

The record was released in a limited number of 50 cassette tapes by Dead Generation Records in Turkey and soon to be pressed on a 10″ vinyl of a hundred copies by Profsny Records. Thumbs up for Ozge, the guy of Profsny who lives in Czech Republic and puts out Turkish bands on vinyl! This is really awesome.



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Rötbrains – Nekro Punk Terör



Artist: Rötbrains

Title: Nekro Punk Terör

Release: 10″ vinyl / Tape / Digital 

Year: 2018

Label: Dead Generation Records, Profsny Records

How many times have you been bloody chainsaw attacked by a bunch of wonky, Kawakami worshiping zombies? Not yet? I guess, you haven’t listened to a lot of Turkish d-beat and raw punk either.

Rötbrains hail from Istanbul’s enormous in its size and population district of Kadıköy with the gore intention of eating your brains and guts, but not until first destroying your eardrums with an extreme noise that we call punk.

Here we have a filthy dozen of songs that will easily give you a headache. All lyrics are in Turkish language, so that’s your chance to learn some new words. The songs are pummeling with misanthropy and necrotic punk terror from start to finish, so if you’re into bands like Anti Cimex, Tampere SS, and Disorder, but looking for an unexplored territories or foreign languages, you may like this band.

The record was released in a limited number of 50 cassette tapes by Dead Generation Records in Turkey and soon to be pressed on a 10″ vinyl of a hundred copies by Dead Generation and Profsny Records. Thumbs up for Ozge, the guy of Profsny who lives in Czechia and puts out Turkish bands on vinyl! This is really awesome.



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The Royal They – Foreign Being


theroyalthey-foreign-beingBand: The Royal They
Album: Foreign Being
Label: King Pizza Records
Release date: Out Now
Sounds like: Be Your Own Pet cutting you open with their guitar strings. 

The stark contrast between the explosive snarl of album opener C.N.T. and the closing pop-punk blast of Weekender is one of the many, many great things about Foreign Being, the second album by New York trio, The Royal They. In fact, this album twists and turns itself inside out, reshaping constantly, but it is anchored by one common goal – to hit you hard and make you take notice. At first, it felt solely driven by anger – sure, there’s rage in this – boy, is their rage. The guitars howl and fizzle with acidic intent; but there’s also a hell of a lot of heart in this and that heart is pumping raw, bloody emotion from every ventricle.

Take C.N.T. for example (what’s missing? Just “U”) a rabid, powerful, brackish snap of furious noise; a rallying cry for those who have ever felt alone or lost in light of certain events in the entertainment industry. It points fingers and calls out all those with their “perverted breach” and talks of their “sick deceit” and is capped off with the huge “I know you’ll try to fuck the world/But you will not fuck me” scream from vocalist/guitarist Michelle Hutt. Powerful, emotional, burning rage spat with such passion and such vitriol and one of the best album openers I’ve heard in a long while.

Addiction and loss pepper the buzz-saw raw rock of Sludgefucker (excellent song title alert) as talk of twitching eyes, misunderstood anger and referencing moments of pure bliss (but being unsure why) are punched into your ears, whilst the dual guitars scrape and contort through a muddy slide of clawing turmoil. It’s also excellent and a brilliantly constructed rapid-fire piece of fiery riot-punk. This is met with the sledgehammer drums and booming riffs of Pandemic, which belch and hack a hoarse rasp of detuned, Torche-lite noise, held together with shuddering and bruising intent. Absolute credit to the guitars on this track, which chime with trepidation and stalwart misery and expand The Royal They’s discordant and blemish-erupting sound even wider.

The pedal isn’t always slammed firmly to the floor though – there are moments of reflection, especially on the cool-sounding indie-jam of Veritas, which builds into a crunching hard rock number, with an ever-so Smashing Pumpkins-vibe to proceedings and showcases the delicate beauty of Michelle’s vocals as opposed to her earlier snarls of cutting rage. Needler follows a similar path, as though you’re being stalked by the taunt guitar lines, the “I want you to know…” vocal croons and the churning, discordant riffs which lurch, belch and batter the airwaves, only to suddenly revert back to that eerie, menacing tone. Don’t be fooled by the sing-song voice Michelle has on the scything Say Less – while it might all sound all rainbows and smiles in the delivery, the noisy, ramshackle Be Your Own Pet-riffs and teeth-rattling percussion are devilishly corrupting.

It’s when we reach the end of the album everything starts to crackle with three chords and permanent joy. I cannot get out of my head how much Weekender sounds like a 90’s TV show theme. There’s something so “sunshine happy good times!” about the melody on this. “Yeah, I’m where I wanna be right now/Yeah, there’s nothing else to figure out” states Michelle, her lyrics bouncing brilliantly on this pogo-tastic pop-rock banger of an album closer, which absolutely shreds with infectious and confident zest and ultimate enthusiasm – superb.

More people need to hear this band. The frothing rage and high-five fun times in The Royal They is utterly captivating right from the word go. Foreign Being is a jagged, snarling, heckling, vitriolic blast of cathartic, boiling and positive punk. Join their racket now, you need this in your life and your ears.

Grab a slice of Foreign Being by The Royal They from King Pizza Records here or download directly from their bandcamp. Treat yourself.

 

Top tracks: Sludgefucker, Needler, Gullethead, Weekender

Links

The Royal They
King Pizza 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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Booji Boys – Weekend Rocker


weekendrockerBand: Booji Boys
Album: Weekend Rocker
Label: Drunken Sailor Records
Release date: 25 December 2017
Sounds like: Wasps in a dustbin covering early Black Flag by way of METZ. 

I want to count this as 2018 release really. Good of Jesus to have his birthday on the same day Booji Boys dropped a new album, eh? Top lad that JC fella, wonder what happened to him in the end? So, what do you need to know about Weekend Rocker then by these Halifax lads? It’s brief, I mean – at 12 tracks and 27 minutes (one of those tracks being over 7 minutes long) you barely have time to gulp a mouthful of air as another song launches itself at you. Taking their name from a character created by the mighty Devo, Booji Boys construct music that sounds like guitars being smashed through concrete walls, a whirling spin-cycle of flailing limbs and several people throwing up inside an amp, drenched in stale beer.

Good luck to anyone who can make out any words (save for the odd song title) spat by vocalist Alex. Lyrics are more gargled than sang, delivered in this breathless, inward-gasping rasp. They’re also fairly low in the mix, which is dominated by the scratching caterwaul of the twin guitars, courtesy of six-stringers, Cody and Drew who attack their instruments with savage and rending intent. Take the title track, the opening barrage to this slab of nuisance. The wailing screech of the guitars, the rabid bass-thumping build, which hammers away at a speed far too unsafe to be called healthy. Vocals sound as if they’ve been launched into a wind tunnel at high speed, slowly disintegrating apart due to the force in which they’re hurled.

This pace continues on the crackling energy of Pisscine Perfect, until we get to the scrappy indie-punk of Doin’ The Pyre, where some melody begins to take shape, especially on the upbeat sing-a-long chorus, which can be interpreted as shouting the songs title in a voice laced with sneering derision.

Weekend Rocker feels and sounds like a throwback to the late 70’s-early 80’s punk, with elements of mud-covered swamp rock thrown in…

There’s no time to take stock, as the next track, Sister, batters past with scuzzy, bouncing punk fury – a thundering blast of turbulence, driven by those razor-sharp guitar riffs, which at times, attempt to clean themselves from the mire of feedback, before launching back into the fetid grime. This is the kind of track the mosh pit salivates for and it’s all too welcoming to dive right in. Songs like the slight-Creedence sounding (melody only) Crowes Kitchen throw the odd curveball to Booji Boys and their racket; moving away from the onslaught, this adopts an almost psychedelic/stoner-vibe, as the guitars devour everything in his enoromous chomping wash of reverb and see-sawing percussion.

I! Have got not satisfaction/I! Only listen to the hits!“* Screams Alex on Satisfaction, an 85 second vein-bursting attack on the senses, bringing to mind the raw fury of Land Speed Record Husker Du. There’s a surprising amount of comprehension on the garage-rock of Locked Up In The City, (from the scrappy NOFX-opening guitar wail) which is a relief after the continuous pounding that Weekend Rocker delivers and I’m A Ripper Too couldn’t be more aptly named – a tearing, serrated, teeth-baring growl of ugly rock ‘n roll. By the time Oh Yeah rolls round, a distortion-drenched pile-driver of frantic cymbal-fills, twiddling guitars, panicked vocal rants and wails, it feels strange that this journey through the world of the Booji Boys has come to an end. At over 7 minutes though, they make the most of it – stringing out what can only be a set closer; burying the listener in a heavy build of noxious feedback and teasing, frustrated noise.

Weekend Rocker feels and sounds like a throwback to the late 70’s-early 80’s punk, with elements of mud-covered swamp rock thrown in, as well as a modern take and destruction of the current state of hardcore. What I’m trying to say is, it’s excellent and you need it.

Stream/smash shit up to Weekend Rocker by Booji Boys below. It’s free as well, or pay what you want. You can order this bastard on vinyl as well.

 

Top tracks: Sister, Satisfaction, Locked Up In The City, I’m A Ripper Too

*Disclaimer – I THINK this is what he’s saying?

Links

Booji Boys Bandcamp
Drunken Sailor 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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Slayer reveal North American dates for their farewell tour


Photo by ​Gene Ambo

Slayer are set to thrash the world one final time on their recently announced farewell tour. Today, the metal icons have revealed the first North American dates of the goodbye trek.

The initial 26-date itinerary is set for May through June. Stops include San Diego, Vancouver, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Houston. Noticeably absent are venues in major markets like Boston and New York, though there are “nearby” shows in Uncasville, Connecticut and Holmdel, New Jersey.

As previously revealed, Lamb Of GodAnthraxBehemoth, and Testament will open for Slayer on the tour, though Anthrax will only appear on select dates. Public on-sale for tickets begins Friday, January 26th at 10 AM local time. A limited number of onstage, meet and greet, and merchandise packages will be available, and you can find all the info at Slayer’s website.

In an amazing statement posted to Instagram, Slayer confirmed their impending breakup, writing: “After making some of the most brutal, breathtakingly aggressive, all-hell’s-a-breaking-loose music ever created, being one of the four bands that defined an entire musical genre and being the band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to…after nearly 37 years, releasing 12 studio albums, multiple live recordings, compilations, live video and two box sets, playing nearly 3000 concerts in all corners of the world, receiving countless awards including five Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards, Gold records and other accolades…having its own exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute, gracing hundreds of magazine covers, experiencing the devastating loss of a founding brother, and even appearing on The Tonight Show, the age of Slayer, one of the greatest thrash/ metal/punk bands of this or any age, is coming to an end. Slayer will do one last concert tour around the globe to thank their fans for all the support over the years.”

Peep the complete schedule below. You can also grab tickets here.

Slayer 2018 Farewell Tour Dates:
05/10 – San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center *
05/11 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre *
05/13 – Sacrament, CA @ Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo #
05/16 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum #
05/17 – Penticton, BC @ South Okanagan Events Centre #
05/19 – Calgary, AB @ Big Four *
05/20 – Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Centre *
05/22 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place *
05/24 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory *
05/25 – Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre #
05/27 – Detroit, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre #
05/29 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage #
05/30 – Montreal, QB @ Place Bell *
06/01 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun #
06/02 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Banks Arts Center #
06/04 – Reading, PA @ Santander Arena *
06/06 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center #
06/07 – Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center #
06/09 – Pittsburgh, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion #
06/10 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live #
06/12 – Virginia Beach, VA @ VUHL Amphitheatre #
06/14 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion *
06/15 – Orlando, FL @ Orlando Amphitheatre #
06/17 – Houston, TX @ Smart Financial Center #
06/19 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory #
06/20 – Austin, TX @ Austin 360 Amphitheatre #

* = w/ Lamb Of God, Behemoth, and Testament
# = w/ Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Behemoth, and Testament

After making some of the most brutal, breathtakingly aggressive, all-hell’s-a-breaking-loose music ever created, being one of the four bands that defined an entire musical genre and being the band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to…after nearly 37 years, releasing 12 studio albums, multiple live recordings, compilations, live video and two box sets, playing nearly 3000 concerts in all corners of the world, receiving countless awards including five Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards, Gold records and other accolades…having its own exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute, gracing hundreds of magazine covers, experiencing the devastating loss of a founding brother, and even appearing on “The Tonight Show,” the age of Slayer, one of the greatest thrash/ metal/punk bands of this or any age, is coming to an end. Slayer will do one last concert tour around the globe to thank their fans for all the support over the years. N. American tickets public on sale Friday, Jan. 26 at 10AM local.  Ltd Slayer onstage + meet & greet + exclusive merch packages at slayer.net. MAY 10 Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA 11 FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA 13 Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA 16 PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC 17 South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, BC 19 Big Four, Calgary, AB 20 Shaw Centre, Edmonton, AB 22 Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB 24 The Armory, Minneapolis, MN 25 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL 27 Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill, Detroit, MI 29 Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON 30 Place Bell, Montreal, PQ JUNE 1 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT 2 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ 4 Santander Arena, Reading, PA 6 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH 7 Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH 9 KeyBank Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA 10 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA 12 VUHL Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA 14 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC 15 Orlando Amphitheater, Orlando, FL 17 Smart Financial Centre, Houston, TX 19 The Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX 20 Austin 360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX

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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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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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METZ – Strange Peace


metz-strange-peaceBand: METZ
Album: Strange Peace
Label: Sub Pop
Release date: Out now
Sounds like: Wires wrapping around your neck. Being encased in cellophane. In a hole. 

“Like the cannibal silence, dragging on for so long…”

The words “you are rolling” (uttered by producer Steve Albini) open Strange Peace, the third album from professional angry nerds (thanks Liam Gallagher) METZ and already it’s got my mouth salivating. From their debut and the follow up, (2015’s II) METZ retained a significant style. The drums kept up their pulverizing brutality and the guitars and bass scraped and chopped through a hell dimension of demons, whilst vocalist Alex Edkins spat all manner of snarled, disgruntled lines about headaches and cans of worms.  With Strange Peace, this feels exactly like the direction METZ should be progressing towards to expand their acerbic sound.

METZ hit the ground running, or rather, absolutely demolish all barriers with the teeth-rattling barrage that is Mess Of Wires. This is more a freight train continuously building in speed and chattering noise, as the drumming of Hayden Menzies is an almost direct parallel to the sound of clattering wheel rails, chewing to pieces everything in its path. “MAKE! THE SOUND!” snarls Edkins, his slovenly vocal drawl tainted with indifference, as he strains to be heard over the gurgling thump of Chris Slorach’s murky bass. This is a basic lesson in complete demolition, spread over 3 and half minutes and it’s beautifully raw, especially in the song’s chaotic conclusion.

The strained feedback wail into the shrieking Drained Lake will have you scrambling to stuff the teeth that have been knocked out of your head back into your mouth, just so you can feel them set on edge again. Slightly faster than the opener, Drained Lake is a discordant rant of resentment, especially in the basic “fuck off” chorus of chant of “I won’t do what you want.” Also, the guitar tone is chilling – it’s as if someone has asked METZ to create a song from a horror film soundtrack, but instead they’re playing it backwards. I keep expecting some evil subliminal message to bleed through the screech of scornful noise.

The fear continues on one of the darkest tracks, in the form of the grunge-rock slide of Cellophane. From decoding the lyrics, it seems to be from the viewpoint of someone trying to locate a body (wrapped in the aforementioned cellophane) they’ve buried, but are unsure of the exact location and are frantically digging in the dirt to find it. Grim and dripping with foreboding, but it’s the music that accompanies said lyrics that really set this off down a pathway laced with terror; the blunt and feral attack of the bass and drums, churning out this slovenly rhythm, whilst the guitar fizzes and crackles apart at the seams. What even sounds like a “solo” is mangled beyond all legibility as Edkins goes full Scogin in his attack on the six strings, possibly ripping them from the instrument with his bare hands, smearing blood everywhere. Also, I’ve no idea if it’s the guitar making them, but what sound like backing-vocal harmonies on the chorus are wonderfully creepy.

A sense of unease exists on the see-sawing twang of Caterpillar – it’s sombre and morose tone is devoid entirely of percussion, focusing on this hypnotic guitar tone. Edkins sounds as if he’s in a different universe; his vocals are hollow, unfeeling and utterly blue screen of death. The chant of “I fell in” only cements the uncomfortable mood. That sense of unease isn’t going away soon though, the white-noise throwdown of Lost in a Blank City hums with a seething growl; the drums are a tribal crunch of aggression, whilst the bass howls and roars with this pedal-stomping fuzz of caustic tension. It’s ugly, angry and furious, leading nicely into the punk-ish thrash of Mr. Plague and its meaty, guitar scribble and screams of “PLLLAAAAGUUEE!” Lovely stuff I’m sure, with amps pushed to breaking point, this volatile spit of near-melodic fury is a wrecking machine.

The award for creepiest METZ song goes to the desolate and slow meander of Sink, a track driven by Menzies’ robotic drum fills, creaking riffs and weird background chimes. It’s the studio noises in-between though, the “throw it in” element that hums beneath the surface, threatening to break through. We return to reality somewhat with Common Trash, which sounds like it could have fallen off either of their first two albums; the buzzsaw riffs ugly feedback and distortion is ripe on this slacker-rock churn.

As closing track Raw Materials skips into view, shifting from this breathless caterwaul of indignant and hostile feedback to almost calm passages of alt-rock before exploding into a Nirvana-esque venting of tortured, squealing menace, Strange Peace clatters into the trainyard, bursting through the panels at the back and emptying its cargo over the platform.

The brilliance about METZ is how refreshing all this sounds – they’re hungry for blood, practically licking their collective lips. The riffs are just as dirty and determined as ever and it’s this reckless, venting power that they emit no matter how fast or slow they attack their instruments that is all consuming. They’re 3 for 3 now and from the sounds created on Strange Peace, they’re fucking pissed at everything – let’s join them.

Links

METZ
METZ Facebook
Sub Pop

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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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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