Category: noise rock

Live Footage: Neckbolt Performs “The Lighted Chamber” at The Museum of Human Achievement

Austin-based noise rock outfit Neckbolt was founded last year by multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Krause and vocalist James Roi after Krause relocated to Austin. The band’s name may evoke images of the bolts that held Frankenstein’s monster’s appendages together — or a bolt that connects the guitar neck to its body. For the band, both images are fitting ways to describe their sound and approach: a freakish hodgepodge of musical body parts and ideas rendered in a nightmarish form while still hewing to the rock ‘n’ roll canon.

The Austin-based noise rock outfit’s full-length debut was written and recorded between 2020 and 2021 with Krause playing all of the album’s instrumentation while Roo provided vocals, lyrics and artwork. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through Bandcamp and Digital Hotdogs, Midwestern Drawl reportedly requires close listening to parse out the informed musicianship that binds the skewed, screeching and skronking elements together.

After they completed the album’s 11 songs, the duo opted to expand the band’s lineup in order to play the material live. Krause and Roo recruited Exhalants‘ Bill Indelicato and Power Pyramid‘s Kilyn Massey and Brent Hodge to complete the band’s lineup.

With their current lineup of Krause, Roo, Indelicato, Massey and Hodge, the band then shot Neckbolt Live! at the Museum of Human Achievement, the forthcoming live performance companion video, which will be released on VHS and online the same day as the album’s release. The members of the band tracked, edited, filmed and mixed the VHS release in six hours in a room without air conditioning on a sweltering Texan summer day.

Despite clocking in at a little under three minutes, Midwestern Drawl‘s latest single “The Lighted Chamber” is centered around an expansive arrangement featuring howled vocals buried in a muscular and forceful mix of buzzing power chords, screeching feedback, angular skronk and propulsive rhythm. Sonically, “The Lighted Chamber” finds the act balancing wild and noisy abandon with tight musicianship.

The live footage features the members of the band in Tyvek jumpsuits in front of psychedelic projections.

New Video: Meatbodies’ New Scorching Ripper “Cancer”

Over the course of the past decade, Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chad Ubovich has developed and honed a reputation as a key mainstay of one of the country’s most fertile and important music scenes: Ubovich had a lengthy stint playing guitar in Mikal Cronin’s backing band and he’s currently contributing bass with Ty Segall and with Charlie Moothart and as a member of Fuzz. Additionally, the founding member and frontman of his own band, the experimental noise rock/freak rock outfit Meatbodies.

Meatbodies’ latest effort 333 was officially released today through In The Red Records. The album, which features corrosive bangers, raw acoustic rave-ups and primitive electronics, charts Ubovich’s personal journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety — while simultaneously reflecting on how the world he re-entered was still pretty messed up — if not more so. “I’d been touring for eight years straight with all these bands, and just couldn’t do it anymore,” Ubovich recalls. “There was also a feeling in the air that everything was changing, politically. Things just didn’t feel right, and I went down a dark path.” Ubovich adds, “These lyrics are dark, but I think these are things that a lot of people are feeling and going through. Here in America, we’re watching the fall of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish representation of that decline.” 

Fortunately Ubovich was able to pull himself back from the brink and upon getting sober, began writing and recording material at a furious and impassioned pace. By late 2019, the band — Ubovich and Dylan Fujoka (drums) — had a new album in the can, ready to be mixed. Much like countless other artists, the pandemic forced the band to put their record on hold.

With some newfound downtime, Ubovich discovered a cache of demos that he and Fujoka recorded in a bedroom during the summer of 2018. As it turns out, Ubovcih really liked what he heard. Unlike their established full-band attack, the demos were deliriously disordered. Ironically, because 333’s material found the band working within a much tighter lo-fi aesthetic, the restriction allowed them to open space for more free-ranging experimentation. While speaking of the disillusionment of a lost generation, the album’s material is sparked by the innovation that limited resources and moxie can inspire.

333’s latest single “Cancer” is an expansive mosh pit ripper centered around scorching power chords driven riffage, thunderous drumming and mantra-like lyrics. While on one hand, the song superficially seems nihilistic, the song is fueled by a celebration — albeit of very small things.

The Josh Erkman-directed video for “Cancer” is a fittingly trippy visual split between the members of the band in the studio, shot in a hallucinogenic haze and two costumed men riffing out in front of a camp fire in the middle of nowhere.

New Video: Buffalo’s Alpha Hopper Releases a Mesmerizing Visual for New Ripper “Enskin”

Led by frontwoman Irene Rehviashvilli, the Buffalo-based quartet Alpha Hopper formed back in 2014. And since their formation, the Buffalo-based act have developed and honed a frenetic guitar-driven rock sound featuring elements of punk rock, hardcore, noise rock and no-wave.

Interestingly, the act’s recently released third album Alpha Hex Index finds the band diving deeper into their unique rabbit hole with sassy and snotty vocals punctuating a towering wall of angular, power chord riffs and forceful mathematically precise drumming. As the band jokingly describes their sound
“dummy math, noise rock for art-punk drop outs.”

As a result of pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions, the members of the Buffalo-based quartet decided to record the album themselves in their homes. Of course, because of shelter-in-place recommendations, there were some hiccups in the recording process: instead of being able to track material in a single block, they ere conducted in intervals when the members were able to safely get together to hash out their respective parts. Once they were satisfied with the mix, they sent the files to John Angelo to master the material.

Alpha Hex Index’s latest single “Enskin” is a breakneck and feral ripper, centered around angular power chords, Rehviashvilli’s snotty and bratty delivery, rapid-fire drumming and enormous mosh pit friendly hooks. And while sonically recalling a wild synthesis of Fever to Tell Yeah Yeah Yeahs and math rock titans Cinemechanica, the song lyrically is a call for the listener to armor themselves with the protective hides of creatures and the head and heart of their own spirit.

The recently released video for “Enskin” is a collaborative video created by Tbilisi, Georgia-based wearable sculpture collaborators UTA and virtual reality filmmaker Flatsitter. Directly inspired by the song’s lyrics, the video features characters running around a distinctly European town in wild and colorful costumes — and throughout the video, each character seems imbued with supernatural powers.

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.