Category: noise rock

 

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.

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

New Audio: Seattle’s Versing Releases A Woozy and Pummeling New Single

Comprised of Daniel Salas, Graham Baker, Kirby Lochner and Max Keyes, the Seattle-based quartet Versing will be releasing their full-length debut 1000 through Hardly Art Records on May 3, 2019 and the album’s latest single, the woozy “Offering” is centered around whirring feedback, pummeling drumming and an infectious pop-leaning hooks. And while reminding me a bit of Nirvana’s “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter,” and Thee Oh Sees, the song as the band’s Daniel Salas explains in press notes is ” a fantastical song about traveling through a mystical portal to stop an encroaching force of evil, and the feedback is like the whirring sound the portal makes. Really it’s about making the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of others, and thinking about what you’d want to be remembered for after you die.”

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform “Punch Back” for Fuzz Club Live Sessions

I’ve written quite a bit about Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history and as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of founding member Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have a long-held reputation for an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to an unpredictable live show: they’re known for never writing an actual set list, sometimes spontaneously writing new songs during the middle of sets — and for being arguably one of the loudest bands on the planet.

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online.

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. Now, as you may recall that the live album’s second single was the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure for the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like track was centered around a snarling and throbbing Lunadon bass line, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the song evoking a towering fog of unease and malevolence.

Although I’m writing about this out of order, the live album’s first single is a furious and breakneck version of “Punch Back” that puts Braswell’s feral and snarling vocals and forceful drumming taking center stage while the song is propelled forward by Lunadon’s throbbing bass and Ackerman’s towering peals of feedback-fed guitar. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage captures the band’s current lineup at their fiercest, capturing the band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Perform a Previously Unreleased Single for Fuzz Club Sessions at Lovebuzz Studios

Over the course of this site’s nearly nine year history, I’ve written quite a bit about  Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, and as you may recall the band, which is currently comprised of Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and its newest member Lia Simone Braswell (vocals, drums) have had a long-held reputation for having an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to unpredictable live shows: they’ve been known for never writing an actual set list, for  sometimes spontaneously writing new songs in the middle of the sets — and for arguably being one of the loudest bands on the planet. 

The Brooklyn-based shoegazers/noise rockers spent the bulk of last year touring to support Pinned and Re-Pinned, a remix album that featured re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO — and while in London, during the tail end of a touring across Europe, the members of the band spent the day at Lovebuzz Studios to record a Fuzz Club Session. Slated for a February 15, 2019 release as a vinyl exclusive, and recorded in live in one take, the live album reportedly captures the band’s ethos and the intensity of their live some committed to wax like never before. Additionally, there were accompanying videos from the sessions, which will be released online. 

“It’s good to record at the very end of the tour,” the band’s founding member Oliver Ackermann reflects in press notes. “You’ve been playing these songs all tour and there’s a certain point when you kind of get tired of them, so you have to reinvent what they mean and what happens in them. I feel like that always pushes things to the next level. It’s exciting.” The live session include two tracks off  2018’s Pinned “Never Coming Back” and “Punch Back,” one off 2015’s Transfixiation “We’ve Come So Far,” one off 2012’s Onwards To The Wall, “Drill It Up,” one off their 2007 self-titled debut Ocean and a previously unreleased track “Chrome Shadow,” and while essentially spanning the band’s lengthy catalog, the live session’s material features the songs reconfigured and pushed to their limits. The live album’s second and latest  latest single is the previously unreleased “Chrome Shadow.” A decided sonic departure the trio, the slow-burning, dirge-like “Chrome Shadow” is centered around a snarling and throbbing bass line played by Lunadon, towering, undulating waves of industrial clang, clatter and distortion, a propulsive drum machine and Ackermann’s plaintive and wailing vocals fed through layers of distortion — with the end result being a towering fog of unease and malevolence. 

Armed with their arsenal of strobes, projectors and smoke machines to accurately replicate their live show, the live footage features the trio huddled around a drum machine and some other hardware that Ackermann uses to manipulate and distort his vocals and everything else. The live footage captures a band working as a collaborative unit, which each member feeding off of and pushing one another.  

New Video: JOVM Mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers Release a Wild Lysergic-Tinged Visual for Album Single “Execution”

I’ve written quite a bit about long-time, Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers throughout its 8 year history, and over that same period of time, the band currently comprised of Oliver Ackermann (vocals, guitar), Dion Lunadon (bass, guitar) and its newest member Lia Simone Braswell have developed a reputation for an unwavering and uncompromising commitment to unpredictable live shows — and for being one of the loudest bands on the planet. They’re also known for never writing an actual set list, for writing new songs in the middle of their sets and for deliberately provoking and sabotaging sound engineers in a variety of cruel and innovative ways — and as a result, they’re arguably one of the most exciting contemporary live bands you will see.

Dead Oceans will be releasing Re-Pinned, a remixed record featuring re-imagined and re-worked A Place to Bury Strangers tracks from Slowdive, Trentemøller, No Age, METZ, Eric Copeland, Roly Porter, Davy Drones, and TBO. And to support the remix album and their latest effort, Pinned, the Brooklyn-based trio will be embarking on the second leg of their world tour with a NYC area date at the Doc Marten’s Union Square location — and you can check out the tour dates below; but before that, “Execution” is the latest single off Pinned and it finds the band adding subtle elements to their sound: scentered around noisy squalls of feedback,  a motorik groove, Ackermann’s pained, gritted teeth-like vocals and industrial clang and clatter, the song manages to feel much more tense and chillier while still remaining almost defiantly them.

Directed by Black Math’s Evan Fellers, the recently released video for the song is centered around jarring neon-tinged visuals thrown into an equally surreal  backgrounds and reality, creating a wildly lysergic visual mix. As Fellers explains “It was a blast to craft this dark nugget of visual energy for this edgy track by APTBS. Fueled by the contours of potential meaning found in ‘Execution’, a free-form fall into defining this world resulted in 70% confused trip, 26% weird brain juice on the run, 3% humor & 1% whatever the hell you want it to be.”

New Video: Introducing the 4AD Records-Inspired Shoegaze Sound of Los Angeles’ Tennis System

With the release of their latest effort PAIN earlier this year through Graveface Records,the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based noise rock/shoegaze trio Tennis System has developed a reputation for a classic 4AD Records sound: squalling feedback-tinged power chords fed through delay and effect pedals, thundering drumming and ethereal melodies, centered around a rather sunny ambivalence, and a sense of profound loss — and for quickly establishing themselves as one of their hometown’s best, new live bands. In fact, the trio have played sets at Austin Psych Fest, Noise Pop Fest, Echo Park Rising and the Air & Style Festival, and have shared stages with The Flaming Lips, Ride, Dinosaur Jr., Kendrick Lamar and Diiv among others. 

“COMINGDOWN,” PAIN’s latest single will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting a familiar and beloved sound — in this case, recalling My Bloody Valentine, A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, JOVM mainstays Dead Leaf Echo, My Vitriol and others but with an anxiety of wha the future could hold, after a horrible event that the song’s narrator knows they will regret. 

Directed by Logan Rice, the video follows  Niamh Hannigan as she distractedly goes through her day — and through a series of rapidly changing colors, grainy fade outs and fade ins, the video suggests that its protagonist is slowly coming down from the throes of hallucinogenic fugue. 

Currently comprised of founding duo Dennis Ponozzo (bass, vocals), a former member of Below the Sound and Scott Udee (guitar), with Gabe Johnson (drums), the Madison, WI-based post-punk/noise rock trio Sinking Suns initially formed in 2007 as a duo, and after a series of basement recordings, the band expanded into a full-fledged live band with the addition of Gabe Johnson, who joined the band in 2009. Since then, the band has released several highly touted albums and singles while touring across the Midwest, playing a sound that features a unique blend of post-punk, noise rock, surf rock and thrash punk.

Slated for a July 27, 2018 release through Reptilian Records, Sinking Suns’ soon-to-be released full-length album Bad Vibes will further cement the band’s reputation for a scuzzy and bruising sound, as you’ll hear on the album’s mosh pit friendly new single “Remember You Will Die”– but the album thematically and sonically is centered around deeply personal tales of struggle, survival and mourning; in fact, as the band’s Dennis Ponozzo explains, the song was inspired after he had been reminiscing about the last time he saw his brother, before his death. “I was looking at old photos of him and remembering when we drove to a local “ghost light” in Michigan one night called The Paulding Light. It was a warm summer night. Looking at the photos I thought to myself how he was clueless in the photos that his number would soon be up. I was clueless. We all were. It’s mainly a reminder of all of our mortality. ” As a result, the song is a urgent and plaintive howl into an unceasing and uncaring void.