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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


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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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Ampwrecked 14: New Music For Your Ears


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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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Idles – Brutalism


idles-brutalismBand: Idles
Album: Brutalism
Label: Balley Records
Release date: March
Sounds like: Getting a medal. Rachel Khoo. Vomiting on art. Loss.  

GET ON YER BIKE SHE SAID! LET THEM EAT CAKE SHE SAID!”

Subtlety doesn’t really exist to a band like Idles. Brutalism, their debut album, opens the door before you’ve had time to answer, staggers into your house, a blood-smeared hand caressing your walls, a half-drunk crate of beer under one arm and a look that’s a cross between madness and euphoria. Whatever is happening, you should know that it’s time to fucking party. What I really admire about this, is the way it straddles the line between absurd comedic hostility and genuine raging anger at the world and all 7 billion of us that currently exist.

Take for example the bludgeoning one-two punch of album opener Heel, with a thundering drum intro, that erupts into a crunching, flail of industrial-guitar shredding and overlapping vocal bellows and grumbling bass guitar. It leaves deep, ash-clad scorch trails in the dirt through its sheer raw power, before abruptly finishing in a wail of feedback that begins the bludgeoning and brash mocking tone of  punk rock banger Well Done. During this, vocalist Joe Talbot asks the listener why they don’t like/have a list of seemingly mundane things, stating how some chap called Tarquin and even Mary Berry likes/has them. “Why don’t you like reggae? Even Tarquin likes reggae! Mary Berry LOVES reggae! So why don’t you like reggae?” The way he says it though, you feel as though you NEED a reason, you need a comeback to this. It’s akin to experiencing some of the weirdest interview questions ever for a job you’re never going to get. I mean, even Trevor Nelson likes football, so why don’t you like football?

Brutalism continues along this trajectory by being absurdly funny in places, but also a savage and wide-eyed maniac you wouldn’t want to meet. It can though, at times, have some deeper more personal meaning beneath the layers of lip-curling grinning and crusty guitar chords. The volatile post-punk of Mother, which was featured here, I’ve come to learn, is about Talbot’s late mother, giving this the emotional depth that I obviously missed from hearing it the first time round. You can hear the pain in Talbot’s voice as he roars these words, on a track that’s far from polite, but instead bristles with wrought frustration and loss.

The frantic scribble that makes up Date Night is a rambling monologue of pent-up, arguing discontent – “Shepherd? You want to be a shepherd? Well good for you, go ahead, your life won’t be so tepid!” bellows Talbot, who gradually gets more and more incoherent until he reaches Andy Falkous levels of snapping, incomprehensible rage and his lyrics descend into scenery chewing snarls and garbled shrieks – superb. The sardonic mayhem of Faith in the City (complete with chants of “PRAISE THE LORD!“) is inherently disconcerting and laced with drunken, post-punk venom as Talbot spits lyrical tit-bits about Uncle Norm having cancer, but it’s okay – as Norm praises Jesus.

Ever looked at a piece of artwork and been driven to the point of dizzying ecstasy and then a sudden attack of nausea? That’s Stendhal SyndromeIdles have experienced this and go on to recount a trip to various galleries in this 2 and half minute blast of art-bashing noise. “Did you see that selfie what Francis Bacon did? Don’t look nothing like him, what a fucking div” shouts Talbot, as he continues to crudely criticize, with tongue jammed so firmly in cheek, it’s burning a hole through his face. Props to the excellent no-budget video of their guitarist dancing/air-humping in front of loads of bits of artwork.

The thing about Brutalism is, it feels very ‘the same’ but it’s really not. I mean, it’s punk, but it’s painting a different picture (or rather rutting against the picture if Stendhal Syndrome is anything to go by). There’s a deep undercurrent of nastiness melting its way through. Despite that, 1049 Gotho is oddly really melodic in places, despite the noisy, accomplished rage that drives it and the cries of “my friend is so depressed…” which has Talbot gritting his teeth, on the edge of almost tears. The sombre slow-drum lurch of Divide & Conquer brings to mind the scribbled snarl of Pissed Jeans, slowly descending into a chaotic and messy ramble when the track finds its feet. Interesting then, that the scuffled lurch of the gang-vocal bellow that is Exeter sounds like a piss-take of a football chant stretched over 4 minutes, complete with the resulting evening trip to the pub in the coda. This is in stark contrast to the braying laughter of Benzocaine and its post-punk shuffle of middle fingers in the air to everyone. In-between referencing the Beatles and Ferris Bueller, White Privilege is also another weird little number of snarling, snapping punk rock noise that roars and rages with cruel, intimidating fire.

Brutalism is an obnoxious, angry and defiant slab of rock ‘n roll destruction executed with spitting, farcical animosity. Also, the drums on this are LOUD. Think METZ-style loud, which can only be fucking awesome. Well worth investigating, because after all, Tarquin likes Idles, even Mary Berry likes Idles, so why don’t you like Idles?

Links

Idles

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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