Tag: Uniform

Live Footage: METZ Perform “Parasite” at The Opera House Toronto

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink covering the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. And as you may recall,. the act’s fourth album, Atlas Vending was released last week 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, 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 Greenberg 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 (and the listener) navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

The end result is an album’s worth of material that 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 immediate 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.

Naturally, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simplistic sensations of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. And in some way, the album finds the band tackling the inevitable — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in perpetual 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.”

I’ve written about three of the album’s singles so far: the album’s first single, album closing track “A Boat to Drown In,” one of the most expansive and oceanic tracks of their catalog; “Hail Taxi,” an explosive and deceptively prototypical METZ track that’s centered around a deeply adult sense of regret, as the song features a narrator, who desperately attempts to reconcile who they once were with what they’ve become; and “Blind Industrial Park,” a rapturous and euphoric METZ-styled ripper that’s actually an ode to the naivete of youth and the blissful freedom of being unbranded by the world surrounding you.

To celebrate the release of Atlas Vending METZ played a special livestream at The Opera House in Toronto. Last night’s set found them playing Atlas Vending in its entirely with an encore that featured fan favorites ‘Negative Space” and “Wet Blanket” off their self-titled, full=length debut.. The band released a frenetically shot live footage of pummeling new ripper “Parasite.”

You can still get tickets for the live stream of night 2 at The Opera House, which will air at 3PM ET, Noon PT, 8PM BST, 9PM CEST, 8PM AEST. Tickets available here: tickets.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays METZ Release a Cinematic and Epic Visual for Euphoric Single “Blind Youth Industrial Park”

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink covering the Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the last couple of months, you might recall that he longtime 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, 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 Greenberg 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 (and the listener) navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

Reportedly, the end result is an album’s worth of material that 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 immediate 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.

Naturally, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simplistic sensations of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. And in some way, the album finds the back taking what’s inevitable for all of guys — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in perpetual 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.”

As it turns out, METZ’s currently mission is to faithfully mirror the inevitably painful struggles of adulthood while tapping into the conflicting relationship between rebellion and revelry — particular in a period of profound and seemingly unending bleakness. I’ve written about two of the album’s singles so far: “A Boat to Drown In,” the album closing track, which finds the band moving away from their long-held grunge influences and crafting one of the most expansive, oceanic tracks of their catalog — and “Hail Taxi,” a deceptive return to form centered around an aching and deeply adult sense of regret, as the song features a narrator, who attempts to reconcile who they once were and who they’ve become.

“Blind Youth Industrial Park,” Atlas Vending’s third and latest single is a rapturous and euphoric ripper done in true METZ style — enormous, rousingly anthemic hooks, Eadkins urgently howled vocals, pummeling drumming and towering feedback drenched power chords. But at its core, the song is an ode to the naivety of youth and the blissful freedom of being unburdened by the world around you with a novelist’s attention to psychological detail.

Directed by Dylan Pharazyn, the recently released and cinematically shot visual for “Blind Youth Industrial Park” was shot in Queenstown, New Zealand as is set in a dystopian and futuristic planet with futuristic technology that may be derived from aliens. We follow the videos protagonist Ayeth on a nomadic walk through an epic landscape with a severely wounded companion. The video’s protagonists are followed by an armed militia. “I started thinking of the feeling of war or samurai films, beautiful but dark and violent… but then I had this idea to work up a more unique world… I started to think of a more futuristic setting — more unusual and dream-like with the story set on a distant planet where there is future technology and some kind of alien magic… like a futuristic fable,” Pharazyn says of the new video. “I loved the idea of the hero Ayeth on this nomadic walk through an epic landscape… I loved the strength in her and the pairing of her with a wounded companion, something really human and vulnerable… I wanted that emotive warmth countering the cold military images.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays METZ Return with a Pummeling Meditation on Compromise and Adulthood

Over the course of this site’s 10 year history, I’ve managed to spill copious amounts of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. 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 Greenberg 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 (and the listener) 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.”

So yes, their current mission is to mirror the inevitably painful struggles of adulthood while tapping into the conflicting relationship between rebellion and revelry — particularly in a period of seemingly profound and unending bleakness. Last month, I wrote about album closing track and first single “A Boat to Drown In.” And while continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous and punishing aural assaults centered round layers of distortion fueled power chords, thunderous drumming and mosh pit-friendly hooks, the song finds them moving away from their grunge inferences and creating one of the most expansive, oceanic tracks they’ve released to date. 

Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Hail Taxi” is a deceptive return to form. Yes, it’s an enormous and urgent mosh pit friendly ripper, full of rousingly anthemic hooks, thunderous drumming and Eadkin’s howled vocals  — but at its core, the song is full of a aching and deeply adult sense of regret, as the song’s narrator attempt to reconcile who they once were and who they’ve become. After all, being an adult often means making uneasy and uncomfortable compromises; the sort of compromises that an idealistic younger version of you would likely hate and have little empathy for.  The end result is a howl of desperation, frustration and fury for what once was and what has to be right now — and for when things seemed simpler. 

Directed by A.F. Cortes, the recently released video for “Hail Taxi” was shot in a highly symbolic and cinematic black and white. The video captures and further emphasizes the song’s intensity in its pummeling choruses as we see a woman struggling to keep afloat in the open sea — and her brooding on a rowboat full of trash on the song’s verses. “I wanted to tell a simple story that captures the song’s overarching theme,” A.F. Cortes says of the video. “The idea of longing for the past creates many visual motifs and I wanted to create a piece that feels timeless and conveys a sense of isolation, highlighting that while we can hide our feelings, we can’t run from them.”

Comprised of friends and collaborators Ben Greenberg (guitar, production), who has spent time as a member of The Men and  with his solo project Hubble, and is the producer and engineer, who has worked on most of the Sacred Bones Records catalog; and Michael Berdan (vocals), who has spent time as a member of Drunkdriver and York Factory Complaint, the New York-based duo of Uniform can trace their origins back to 2013 when the duo had reconnected and recognized that they were both in the same place musically. Desiring as intimate of a recorded and live experience as possible, the duo decided that they had to keep the project as a duo, eschewing a live rhythm section for drumming programming and low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar work and Berdan’s vocals. And the immediate result of Greenberg and Berdan’s collaboration was a 12 inch single, quickly followed by their full-length debut Perfect World.

The “Ghosthouse” 12 inch is the duo’s first proper release through Sacred Bones Records and while retaining the us of drum programming, low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar and Berdan’s vocals, the duo have expanded upon their sound to include the sounds of war and violent conflict including shots, explosions, implosions, things collapsing, along with industrial clang and clatter to create a murky and abrasively confrontational sound — the sound of the fearful, vicious and uncertain contemporary age we live in while being paired with lyrics that are influenced by Berdan’s own struggles with depression and insomnia.

The duo’s latest single is a Ministry and black metal-like cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Symptom of the Universe” that’s abrasive, punishing and fatalistically bleak — essentially turning the song into a love letter from the grave.

Look for the duo’s sophomore effort sometime in 2017.

 

New Video: Renowned Director and Composer John Carpenter Returns with an Eerie and Cinematic New Single Paired with Equally Creepy Visuals

Lost Themes II’s latest single “Utopian Facade,” is a moodily atmospheric and cinematic composition consisting of throbbing and insistent bass, cascading layers of shimmering synths, and a staccato, string-based sample in what may arguably be Lost Themes II’s most haunting and eeriest single while nodding at Carpenter’s imitable and familiar sound.

Produced and directed by Gavin Hignight and Ben Verhulst, the recently released video for “Utopian Facade,” is the story of an android’s nightmare, hidden in dark, murky forests, set in an uneasy yet relatively near future that feels and looks dimly familiar. As Hignight explains in press notes “We were instantly haunted upon hearing ‘Utopian Façade’. It conjured images of jagged tree branches, dark woods and things that go bump in the night. Our goal was to explore these feelings combined with the visuals of the electronic synth driven world established in the ‘Night’ video from the prior album.” Unsurprisingly Hignight and Verhulst manage to further emphasize the slowly creeping dread and horror within the song, while hinting at the dystopian future that seems almost inevitable.

Last year, the renowned director, screenwriter, producer and composer John Carpenter released his first album of non-soundtrack-based music, Lost Themes to critical praise from an impressive array of major media outlets including The GuardianThe New York TimesThe TimesUncutThe WireThe Los Angeles TimesNPRPitchforkVanity FairNewsweekBillboardEntertainment WeeklyArtforumThe Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and others. And as a result, the album was one of the most commercially successful albums released in Sacred Bones Records history, as the album debuted on the  Top 100 Charts in both the UK and US. Unsurprisingly, the album, which was recorded with Carpenter’s son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies strongly confirms what cinephiles, sci-fi fans and Carpenter files have asserted for countless years — that the director’s work was not only years ahead of its time but that his work has managed to continually influence contemporary electronic music. In fact, artists like Red Traces and Umberto have released works that frequently seem indebted to Carpenter and his film scores.

Building on the buzz and success that Carpenter and Sacred Bones Records received after the release of Lost Themes, the director and the indie record label released Lost Themes Remixed, an album that featured remixes from the likes of  Zola JesusSilent ServantFoetus‘ JG Thirwell, Skinny Puppy‘s ohGr, PAN Records‘ Bill Kouligas, and Uniform. (In fact, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall that I wrote about Uniform’s dance-floor ready remix of Carpenter’s “Vortex” and Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley’s techno-leaning rework of “Night.” But interestingly enough, Carpenter has been incredibly prolific, as Sacred Bones and Carpenter will be releasing a sequel to Lost Themes Lost Themes II on April 15.

The material on Lost Themes II is inspired and informed by a change in the creative process with Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies and the acclaimed producer writing, working revising and recording in the same studio — and with all three collaborators working together, the result was a more focused effort, completed on a compressed schedule, in a similar fashion to Carpenter’s earliest films. Additionally, the material is much more nuanced and lush, as the trio of collaborators added acoustic and electric guitar to flesh out the material, as well as add texture. Last month, I wrote about Lost Themes II‘s first single,  “Distant Dream” pairs John Carpenter’s unmistakable minimalist synths with live drums, bursts of angular guitar and bass chords, and swirling electronics in a moody and tense composition that sounds as though it could be part of a taut, psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. Lost Themes II‘s second and latest single “Angel’s Asylum” pairs layers of dramatic and twinkling and undulating synths and ambient electronics with buzzing power chords and four-on-the-floor drumming in a composition that has the trio quickly building upon a theme but with subtle variations until a gently strummed acoustic guitar section paired with ambient electronics and synths and a gentle layer of twinkling synths form the composition’s coda. In many ways the song goes from an extremely dark and rock-like intensity to an ethereal beauty that arches heavenward at the end.

 

John Carpenter is a director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer most commonly known for working in some of the most beloved and influential, horror and science fiction films of the 70s and 80s, including Dark Star (1974), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978),The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981)The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Starman (1984), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), and They Live (1988) — with the Halloween theme being one of the most recognizable themes in movie history.

Last year, Carpenter released his first album of non-soundtrack based music, Lost Themes to critical praise from an impressive array of major media outlets including The GuardianThe New York TimesThe TimesUncutThe WireThe Los Angeles TimesNPRPitchforkVanity FairNewsweekBillboardEntertainment WeeklyArtforumThe Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and others. Additionally, the album was one of the most commercially successful albums released in Sacred Bones Records history, as the album debuted on the Top 100 Charts in both the UK and US.

Unsurprisingly, the album, which was recorded with his son Cody Carpenter and the fameddirector, producer and composer’s godson Daniel Davies, the album confirms the fact that John Carpenter’s sound and aesthetic was not only ahead of its time but manages to be timeless and powerfully influential — with the work of artists like Red Traces, Umberto and others being deeply indebted to John Carpenter and his film scores. Now interestingly enough Carpenter closed out the last half of 2015 with the release of Lost Themes Remixed, an album that featured remixes from the likes of Zola JesusSilent ServantFoetus‘ JG Thirwell, Skinny Puppy‘s ohGr, PAN Records‘ Bill Kouligas, and Uniform.

The incredibly prolific Carpenter will be releasing a sequel to Lost Themes Lost Themes II which is slated for an April 15 release through Sacred Bones Records. The material on Lost Themes II is inspired by a change in the creative process with Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies and the acclaimed producer writing, working revising and recording in the same studio — and with all three collaborators working together, the result was a more focused effort, completed on a compressed schedule, in a similar fashion to Carpenter’s early films. Additionally, the material is much more nuanced and lush, as the trio of collaborators added acoustic and electric guitar to flesh out the material, as well as add texture.

Lost Themes II‘s first single “Distant Dream” pairs John Carpenter’s unmistakable minimalist synths with live drums, bursts of angular guitar and bass chords, and swirling electronics in a moody and tense composition that sounds as though it could be part of a taut, psychological thriller set in a dystopian future.

 

New Audio: Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley Team Up on a Techno Reworking of John Carpenter’s “Night”

John Carpenter is a renowned director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer most commonly known for working on some of the most beloved and influential, horror and science fiction films of the 70s and 80s, including Dark Star (1974), Assault […]