Category: noise rock

New Video: Belgium’s Let It Kill You Releases a Furious METZ-like Ripper

Deriving their name from a famous Charles Bukowski saying “Find what you love and let it kill you,” the emerging Belgian punk/noise rock duo Let It Kill You — Peruvian-born, Belgian-based founding member Diego (bass, guitar, vocals) and Dorian (drums, vocals) — began as a solo recording project of its founding member. After release an EP as a solo project, Dorian joined the band, helping to further flesh out the band’s sound, a sound influenced by Sonic Youth, System of a Down, and Drive Like Jehu.

The Belgian duo’s latest single “On Your Left” is a furious and roaring METZ-like ripper, featuring howled vocals, explosive power chord-driven riffs, thunderous drumming and enormous mosh pit friendly hooks and an urgent, forceful delivery. The song, as he band explains was inspired by real life, personal events: the band’s drummer had luckily survived a serious car accident unscathed. This event had forced Diego to think about how things can change in an instant — and how fragile life actually is. At the time, Diego jokingly told his bandmate that he would write a song about his accident.

Of course, the pandemic has changed just about everything for all of us, including the Let It Kill You’s Diego, who lost his job and was uncertain if he could even remain in Belgium. “‘On Your Left’ was my quarantine song,” Diego explains. “Between anxiety and a lot of disorder in my head, I dedicated all my time to this song. I made more than 15 versions of it. The song has two parts. The first verse is Dorian’s perspective before the accident.” Diego goes on to say that the first verse is meant to express the fear that he imagined Dorian felt as the accident was about to happen — and the desperate attempts to escape what may actually be inevitable. The last section of the first verse, Diego says is dedicated to Dorian’s mother: Dorian told him that as his car and the other were just about to collide, he thought of and saw his mother. And it goes son to Diego imagining having to tell his bandmate’s mother terrible news.

Featuring footage from Yoshiaski Kawajiri’s 1987 animated film Neo Tokyo, the recently released video for “On Your Left” is set in a dystopian future and following a jet car pilot, who’s one of the best in the entire world. Everyone around him views and treats him as an immortal hero but eventually he’s revealed to be fragile and mortal. The main character eventually dies racing — but while eliminating all of his competition. The band’s Diego explains that he saw a little bi too Dorian in the movie’s main character.

New Video: Copenhagen’s why sun Releases a Murky and Insistent New Single Paired with Creepy Visuals

why sun is a rising Copenhagen, Denmark-based noise rock act — Rasmus Kjærsgaard Velling, Lasse Skydsgaard Knigge and Julius Emil Brinck — that initial received attention across both their native Denmark and across Scandinavia for a dark and melancholic sound they’ve dubbed “sleepy noise,” which referenced and drew from the likes of Suicide, The National and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Last year, the band released their Frugte EP (“frugte” is Danish for fruit), and the EP featured two critically applauded, attention-grabbing singles “Eastern Love” and the slow-burning dirge “Traffic,” which found the act meshing elements of shoegazer and industrial clang and clatter. The band continued the momentum of last year with a Eurosonic 2020 set earlier this year.

Building upon a growing profile across both Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the rising Danish act released the “Streetlight”/”White Sleep” double single last month. “Streetlight,” the first single finds the band moving towards an even darker, more forceful sound centered around droning guitars and feedback, driving rhythms, industrial clang and clatter paired with vocals that alternate between a sultry croon and wild shouts. While evoking a desperate howl into an indifferent — and often cruel — universe, the song finds the act seemingly meshing Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, and Suicide into a unified and brutally forceful sound.

The recently release video by Frederik Sonne is an equally murky and creepy visual featuring home videos recorded at various points in 1993 including some footage which seems to have been shot in a senior home, brief segments of 90s TV shows.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays METZ Releases an Explosive Meditation on Life. Loneliness, Delusion, and Death

Throughout the bulk of this site’s 10 year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. With the release of their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace, the trio — Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) —  pushed their songwriting in a new direction, as they crafted some of their most personal and politically charged work with the material capturing the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage of the 2016 election cycle. 

Last year, the JOVM mainstays released Automat, a collection of METZ’s non-album singles, B-sides and rarities dating back to 2009 on vinyl for the first time — including, the band’s long out-of-print (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. Essentially, the album was designed as chronological trip of the acclaimed Canadian act’s lesser-known material that included a bonus 7 inch single, which featured three covers: a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig” off a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single, originally released by Toronto-based record store, Sonic Boom; a cover of The Urinals‘ “I’m a Bug” originally released on YouTube in 2014; and lastly, a previously unreleased, explosive  cover of Gary Numan’s “M.E.” 

The JOVM mainstays fourth album Atlas Vending is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through their longtime label home Sub Pop Records. Their previously released material found the band thriving on an abrasive relentlessness but before they set to work on Atlas Vending’s material, the Canadian punk trio set a goal for themselves and for the album — that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greennberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations. 

The end result is an album that reportedly retains the massive sound that has won them attention and hearts across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind.  Much like its predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it; however, each of the album’s ten songs were written to form a musical and narrative whole with the album’s song sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory. And as a result, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simple of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. So in some way, the album find the band tackling what’s inevitable for all of us — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.” 

Interestingly, Atlas Vending closing track “A Boat to Drown In” is the album’s first single and while continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous, aural assaults centered around layers of distortion fueled powered chords, thunderous drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and Eadkins urgent and howled vocals. But unlike their previously released material, “A Boat to Drown In” finds the band moving away from their grunge influences with their most expansive track to date, a track that finds them at their most oceanic. According to Eadkins, “A Boat to Drown in.” is “. . . about leaving a bad situation behind. About overcoming obstacles that once held you back, rising above and looking to a better future. The title refers to immersing yourself fully into what you love and using it as a sanctuary from negativity and a catalyst for change.”

Directed by Tony Wolski, the incredibly cinematic visual for “A Boat to Drown In” follows a painfully lonely and isolated young woman’s slow-burning descent into delusion, — including a passionate affair  with an enormous (and frisky) teddy bear that we discover never existed. Eventually we pull out and see this woman turn from being emotionally broken to numb and devoid of feeling,. “The song has a beautiful, crushing numbness to it that we wanted to mirror in the visual,” Tony Wolski explains. “So we chose to romanticize our main character’s descent into her delusions of love and togetherness. At a time when everyone’s simultaneously coping with some sort of isolation, a story about loneliness—and the mania that comes with it—seems appropriate to tell.” 
 

Lammping · Greater Good (side A)

Lammping is an emerging Toronto-based psych rock act featuring multi-instrumentalist Mikhail Galkin and drummer Jay Anderson. The duo’s full-length debut Bad Boys of Comedy is slated for a July 21, 2020 release through Nasoni Records — and the album’s material, which is rooted in power chord-devein riffs and thunderous drumming finds the duo taking a fresh and eclectic approach to psychedelia while eschewing easy categorization: the material draws from Tropicalia, Turkish psych, New York boom-bap hip hop beats and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young-like multi-part harmonies among other things.

Bad Boys of Comedy‘s second and latest single is the noise rock meets shoegazer-like “Greater Good.” Centered around dense layers of fuzzy and distorted power chord-driven riffs, thunderous boom bap beats, layered harmonies and an enormous arena rock friendly hook reminiscent of Foo Fighters, “Greater Good” as the emerging Canadian psych duo explains is an exploration of working class paranoia that feels — and sounds — remarkably accurate.

Oakland-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jason Hendardy is the creative mastermind behind the post-punk/alternative rock/noise rock project Permanent Collection.  Since Hendardy started the project back in 2010, Permanent Collection has gone through a series of different iteration: the project’s debut EP, 2011’s Delirium was a collection of home solo recordings, which he supported with a number of solo shows and tours.

With the release of 2012’s full-length debut Newly Wed, Nearly Dead the project expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition of Megan Dabkowski (bass), Brendan Nerfa (guitar), Mike Stillman (drums), who were in the band for close to two years. By the end of 2013, the band’s lineup became more fluid as the band featured a rotation cast of collaborators that included Terry Malts and Business of Dreams‘ Corey Cunningham (guitar). The project’s 2013 EP No Void was written and recorded as a trio and after a series of touring to support it, Permanent Collection went on a hiatus with Hendardy focusing on writing music for other bands and several different creative projects, as well as work in video and sound design.

Late last night, Hendardy started to focus his efforts on writing new Permanent Collection material, and the end result is his soon-to-be-released and highly anticipated album Nothing Good Is Normal. All June digital sales of the new record, Nothing Good Is Normal, are going to the Anti Police Terror Project.

Clocking in at just under 2 minutes,  album single “Breakaway” is a mosh pit friendly ripper full of the scuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming, howled vocals and enormous hooks that brings JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers and The Jesus and Mary Chain to mind. Play loudly and mosh the fuck out. 

 

New Video: A Place to Bury Strangers’ Dion Lunadon Releases a Power Chord-Driven Anthem for Our Time

Best known for being a member of internationally acclaimed Brooklyn-based noise rock titans and JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, Dion Lunadon is a New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and bassist, who had a lengthy career that can be traced back to a stint as a member of Kiwi-based act The D4 and a handful of other projects. 

During a short break in APTBS’ touring schedule back in 2017, Lunadon had a sudden rush of inspiration that resulted in what he described as a neurotic impulse to write and record a bunch of songs right there and then, with the end result being his solo debut EP,  Com/Broke, an effort, which was inspired by the bands that he loved as a youngster — in particular, Toy Love, The Gun Club, Gestalt and Supercar. A few months later, Lunadon  released his self-titled full-length debut, which featured the feral album singles “Fire,” and “Howl.” 

Interestingly, during  this period of confinement and quarantines Lunadon has been rather productive, furiously writing a bunch of material. “During these troubling times, I’m happy to be a New Yorker,” Lunadon writes in press notes. “Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love this city. For me, it’s like living in an amazing dream (although a bit of a nightmare at the moment), where ANYTHING is possible and the sense of community is strong. Over the last year or so, I’ve written A LOT of music and with the current situation, I have been inspired to write even more. I will be putting this music out in the near future and I plan on putting more of my focus towards this and other projects I have in the pipeline. It all starts today!”

Centered around fuzzy power chords, an enormous and rousingly anthemic hook and shouted boy-girl vocals, Lunadon’s latest single, “When Will I Hold You Again” is a grungy, Marc Bolan and Ace Freely-like stomper that’s perfect for strutting and dancing about in your pajamas while in your apartment. But at its core, there’s a real longing for human connection like we had before this. Lord knows when that will happen but when it does, it’ll be a wonderful thing. “Written and recorded during isolation, ‘When Will I Hold You Again’ is about what’s going down in all of our lives. Covid-19,” Lunadon says. “This is for and about all the people around the world that can’t be with the ones they love, for the people that live by themselves, and most of all, for the people of  New York City.

Adds Lunadon, “I asked my friend Kate Clover, if she would like to sing on the track, as I felt it would help portray the sentiment better. As soon as I got  her track, I was stoked! She helped take to the next level.” 

Directed, produced and edited by Lunadon, the recently released video employs a DIY ethos while being capturing people rocking out to the song in isolation — dancing with themselves. We’ve all done this at some point, so no need to be ashamed about it. “My wife said, ‘why don’t you get people to film themselves dancing in isolation and put together a video?’ For me, being in isolation is not so bad, as I have a creative outlet. I liked the idea of being able to give others the chance to also do something creative and get the blood pumping, so I put word out that I needed dedicated groovers for a video and the response was great!” Lunadon says of the new video. “Thank you to all the people that partook in it! Every one of the videos brought a smile to my face when watching them for the first time and wondering what to expect!”

“When Will I Hold You Again” is available for free on Lunadon’s Bandcamp page, and any donations will be split between Campaign Zero, who work towards ending police brutality in America and City Harvest, who help feed New Yorkers in need of food. Dion will also match the Bandcamp donations up to $1,000. So while it’s available for download and streaming elsewhere, if you got a few bucks and can spare it, donate to some worthy causes and listen to some music that kicks ass. 

 

I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays Russian Baths over the past couple of years, and as you may recall the act — Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner — received attention both locally and elsewhere for a sound that has been described by the band and by some critics as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk. Although with the release of their debut EP Penance, an effort that featured singes like “What’s In Your Basement,” “Slenderman” and “Poolhouse,” the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays — to my ears, at least —  established a reputation for crafting a brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock-like sound.

Slated for release later this year, Russian Baths’ forthcoming debut finds them pushing their sound — a sound centered around juxtapositions to its most extreme, as feedback and dissonance manage to swallow softly whispered harmonies; arpeggiated synths and booming 808s are paired with angular, shrieking guitars and propulsive drumming. Thematically the material touches upon personal regret, cultural guilt, reflections and observations on systems on the verge of collapse and a growing sense of unease and anxiety. The album’s first single “Parasite” was a decidedly muscular and grunge-like single that brought Nirvana, The Breeders and others to mind — but while evoking someone on the verge of destroying themselves.

“Tracks,” the forthcoming album’s latest single is an an aggressively abrasive song that’s one part shoegaze, one part post-punk, one part noise rock and one part grunge, as fuzzy and distorted power chords are paired with thunderous drumming and plaintive, falsetto vocals. And while being one of the most feral and mosh pit friendly songs they’ve released in their growing catalog, the song finds the band asking some important questions. “If a friend takes something very personal, very private from you, do you forgive them? If you see someone’s worst self, how do you react? Would you choose yourself to be yourself? Is self respect something you feel because you’re good or does self-respect make you good?” The band says in press notes. As a result, the song possesses the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust.

 

 

 

Up-and-coming Copenhagen, Denmark-based noise rock act why sun have begun to develop a reputation across their native Denmark for a dark and melancholic sound, which they’ve dubbed sleepy noise, and references acts like Suicide, The National and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Building upon a rapidly growing national profile, the act comprised of Rasmus Kjærsgaard Velling, Lasse Skydsgaard Knigge and Julius Emil Brinck released their latest EP Frugte (the Danish word for fruit) earlier this year. The EP features two critically applauded singles: “Eastern Love” and their latest single, “Traffic,” a slow-burning, lysergic-tinged, shoegazer dirge, centered around layers of reverb-drenched guitar chords, thumping almost industrial-like drumming and rumbling baritone vocals. Interestingly, the track — to me, at least — evokes lazy, downright sleepy summer afternoons, aimlessly daydreaming.

  

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding member Trevere Thomas (guitar, vocals) along with Douglas Andrae (drums) and Alex Ricart (bass), the Richmond, VA-based noise rock/math rock/metal act Hex Machine can trace their origins to its formation by Thomas, Municipal Waste‘s and Human Remains‘ Dave Witte (drums) back in 2004. Over the course of two EPs and two full-length albums — 2009’s Omen Mas and 2012’s critically applauded Fixator, the Richmond-based act firmly cemented a sound that drew from from The Jesus Lizard, Melvins and the Dischord Records catalog, but with their own unique take; in fact, Fixator found the band flirting with anthemic choruses, metallic drumming and a wider ranger of guitar sounds, which in some way would foreshadow what was to come for the band. And as a result of a growing profile, the members of Hex Machine toured with the likes of Clutch and Melt-Banana.

After a series of lineup changes and the release of their sophomore album, Thomas and Andrae joined Today Is The Day as the band’s rhythm section, playing behind Steve Austin for hundreds of shows across the world. Interestingly, Hex Machine’s forthcoming album Cave Painting, which is slated for a June 21, 2019 release through Travere’s own label Minimum Underdrive, is the Richmond-based trio’s first album in seven years.  Reportedly inspired by Thomas and Andrae’s time in Tday Is The Day, Cave Painting‘s material finds the band pairing their sludgy and lurching rhythms with elements of 80s New Wave — in particular XTC, The Police, Killing Joke and The Psychedelic Furs; in fact, Hex Machine covers one of my favorite Psychedelic Furs songs on the album, “President Gas.

Cave Painting‘s latest single is the bruising “Scimitar Blues.” Centered around layers of sludgy power chords, red-hot flashes of hi-hat and thunderous drumming and growled vocals, the song sounds as though it were inspired by Sisters of Mercy and Chain of Flowers — but with oddly shifting time signatures and moods, which give the song a menacing and downright evil vibe.

Hex Machine will be on tour throughout July. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates
July 17 – Richmond, VA @ Wonderland w/ The Wayward
July 18 – Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s w/ The Wayward
July 19 – Athens GA @ Caledonia Lounge w/ The Wayward
July 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Bakery w/ The Wayward
July 22 – St Louis, MO @ FOAM w/ The Wayward
July 24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers w/ The Wayward, Microwaves
July 25 – Cambridge, MA @ Hong Kong w/ The Wayward
July 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mothership w/ The Wayward, Stinking Lizaveta