In modern hardcore, especially in NYC, Dawn of Humans serve as something of a contemporary crust blueprint. They’re brash and chaotic, yet heady and psychedelic, turning monstrous garbling and claustrophobic counterpoint into a captivating razor-wire wash. They’re revered and active in the community (lead singer Emil has lent his hand on a multitude of instruments, most notably drums, to several bands in the area), but their music remains a tribute to the outsider in an age of crushing visibility. One can see some parallels with old Northern VA hardcore outfit United Mutation, but more reminiscent of and reliant on anarcho sound and drum technique.
Slurping At The Cosmos Spine is their first full-length LP, and thus the first time you have to confront their bizarre personae for longer than an EP’s worth of tunes. They thrive in the expanded space, offering bits of more classically thrashing DOH tracks (“Painful Mountain”, “Mangled Puzzle”) alongside wallowing, stalking slow jams (“Horse Blind”, “Fixation”). The centerpiece is “Secretion / Grapitudonce of Hinsenctor,” successfully fusing their many sides into one progressive statement. You can stream the whole thing below via Bandcamp.
Slurping At The Cosmos Spine is out soon on La Vida Es Un Musica Discos. They'll be playing this Sunday (4/19) at The Wick in Brooklyn for New York's Alright 2015.
D.C. has historically been regarded as one of hardcore and punk’s more influential cities, but in the last few years its had a resurgence of exciting young bands: the NWODCHC, or New Wave of DC Hardcore. Though they remain somewhat indebted to the aesthetic and culture of their home city’s past, this crop of bands (Red Death, Misled Youth, Public Suicide, Javla, among others) is producing a new style that’s more modern, more worldly, and doing so with an enthusiasm that’s difficult to ignore. At the center of this new wave is Pure Disgust.
In an interview with Sean Gray (who runs Accidental Guest Recordings and has been an early champion of the NWODCHC), Pure Disgust’s singer Rob Watson described his own band as an “Oi!-type band with D.C. influences,” and the description is pretty apt. Since their 2013 demo the band has straddled the line between catchy and crushing, as reliant on British street punk riffage as they are on DCHC overdrive. Their recent EP, Chained, is the culmination of their last few years of development.
Lead singer Watson stands tall against a systemically racist world that’s done everything to try and put him in a cage. Though it’s lyrics revolve around politically relevant issues like the Prison Industrial Complex (“Caged Profit”) or the disproportionate amount of jailed minorities (“Guilty”), it remains a highly personal account as told by a lone wolf at his breaking point. In songs like “I.D.O.Y.S.” and “Race War,” Watson seems unphased by stacked odds, ready to fight against mountains themselves. You can stream the whole EP below via Bandcamp.
Chained is out now on Katorga Works and Quality Control. To hear more of the NWODCHC, including another track by Pure Disgust, check out The Red Line Comp. Pure Disgust will be playing at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC this Friday as part of New York's Alright 2015. Dates for their summer tour can be found here.
It hit their cult following hard when Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk unexpectedly split at the end of 2013. They had just released their most emotionally devastating LP, Think Tone, and their live chemistry was sharper than ever. For those who saw the road dogs during their pretty daunting tour schedule during the 2010s, you caught the band in rare form— much like AnCo, their live show was a separate, freer, noisier entity, even while they were in the middle of crafting their best actual songs.
Luckily, a new chapter has started for the band. After parting ways with Luke Namee, they recently reunited with founding member Josh Riepe to start work on new material. “Zebra Boy” is the first single from Kill The Fuzz, a forthcoming mini-album for Fire Talk Records (who put out Think Tone and Skeletor & Me). It’s an immediate burst, both desperate and lighthearted, that hearkens to the mysterious entrances of some of their best “pop” songs past (“Let’s Listen to Souvlaki and Make Out”, “Jeremy Irons Couples Skate”, the many beautiful moments that seem to spontaneously erupt from their more expansive jams). You can listen below via Fire Talk’s Soundcloud.
Kill The Fuzz is available for pre-order on 10" and CS now, digital release coming soon. Recorded at The Silent Barn in Brooklyn, NY. You can catch tour dates for BBDDM after the jump.
Later this month, Leeds hardcore band Perspex Flesh will be releasing a new 12”, Ordered Image, the first from them since their self-titled LP last year. The collection bludgeons enigmatically with angular, intricate guitar work that rushes past you like a brisk wind of needles. It’s the type of style that sits somewhere comfortably between the dark crawl of Raspberry Bulbs and the sheer chaos of No. You can stream the record in it’s entirety below, via Perspex Flesh’s Bandcamp.
Ordered Image will be out March 31 on Static Shock Records. They have a short east coast tour of the US planned after, leading up to Damaged City Fest 2015. Tour dates after the jump.
"This is for the outcasts / Rejects / Girls and the queers / For the downtrodden women who have shed their last tears / For the fighters / Psychos / Freaks and the femmes / For all the transgender ladies in constant transition."
On a podium of pink switchblades gleaming through a fog of pepper spray stand Olympia’s G.L.O.S.S., barking out Straight America’s nightmares throughout their recently released demo. If you’ve ever felt forced into your own skin, whether through callous misunderstanding or calculated violence, this is the rallying cry to celebrating your identity. Even in their nascent stage (this is still their demo, mind you), this band already sounds sharp— it wouldn’t be surprising if they became heroes for the next generation of queer and trans punks, as well as many others.
You can listen to the whole thing below, via their Bandcamp.
Columbus, Ohio improvisor and performing experimenter Ben Bennett has taken up a curious hobby: sitting cross-legged in front of a webcam and livetreaming himself smiling for hours at a time. Known in the past for his use of extended technique on a variety of implements-- the page explaining his 2012 LP Spoilage on experimedia lists "various drums to a wheelbarrow, pizza cutter, and 'the narrow part of a balloon'"-- with videos of performances showing him blowing into a PVC pipe while stripped down to his skivies and crawling around while inside of a box.
Bennett is currently embarking his 26th live stream of "Sitting and Smiling." You can donate to him, contact him, or watch previous session on his website.
With all the different directions footwork (and by extension Teklife) has splintered in 2014, it's easy to forget that just three to four years ago these were still predominantly neighborhood battle tracks. The tunes that popped off during competitions and parties in the Southside and the Westside of Chicago were minimal circa Bangs & Works. So, coupled with the fact that in a short amount of time footwork has more or less exploded in sonic possibility and the amounts of producers who keep coming up, it's bonkers to see a newcomer embrace both sides, from Ghetto Tech until the Next Life. Who is DJ Curt? I don't know. I asked around and no one seemed to know. Probably a kid, or possibly an OG.
But does it matter? His Interlude mix for Ashes57-- designer of some killer Teklife apparel, in addition to excellent photography-- embraces both sides of this history lesson. More importantly, the tracklist is fucking insane-- a blistering 35 minutes of previously unreleased Rashad & Manny tracks, coupled with Curt's own productions. The Rashad and Manny tracks are indeed excellent offerings, some hailing from years ago. Manny's tunes are especially great-- it's easy to forget how much this dude isn't putting out. But it's Curt that's really holding down the middle of the mix, and what he does there is where it gets interesting. Most of Curt's productions lean on the side of sparse, an approach more akin to Traxman or RP Boo in comparison to what Teklife's stars are doing now. He's not afraid to push things together that don't belong: a dopplereffected chord will bump against a diva, one drum solo will butt heads with another. I still don't know who the hell this guy is, but after seeing what he does here, I'm now dying to know. I guess it does matter.
"Please respond Sean. we miss you Sean”, reads a desperate comment on from 2013 on Sean McCann's Last.fm page. McCann has radically limited his output after a continuous stream of low-press releases for several years, a development that must have been a shock to some. Of course, McCann hasn't exactly stopped, with 2013's Music for Private Ensemble, released on his own label Recital-- which is curating some of the most sophisticated underground new music and ambient artists at the moment-- and second with a brand new release, titled Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings, coming early 2015 via the Root Strata label. On the track “Sense of Life”, McCann recovers ghostly sounds from underwater string ensembles, crafting his trademark multi-layered sound. Once again, McCann stuns the listener with lush, meticulous sound design and an all-enveloping, inescapable mix which cocoons with soft foam.
Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings are out January 16 on Root Strata.
Shredder of the Sahara and North Africa's answer to Prince, Mdou Moctar first came to many Western ears with "Anar," the track that opens the second edition of Sahel Sounds' Music from Saharan Cellphones. That song was an audacious choice of an anthology opener, with diametrically opposed (on paper, at least) gentle acoustic guitar and abrasively autotuned vocals bridged by drum machine programming that goes surprisingly hard. Sahel Sounds' choice to put it first on the compilation was basically way of saying "Ha! So you think you heard it all last time around?" It ends up that "Anar" was part of an entire album that Moctar recorded in 2008 which, as briefly explained by Sahel Sounds head Christopher Kirkley on the label's Bandcamp, was never officially released as an album, instead distributed on that cellphone filesharing network that spurred the Music from Saharan Cellphones series. The label brought that album, Anar, to light in September, and it is rife with cool rhythms, plain yet technical Tuareg guitar work, and that sweet autotune. Someone get this guy over here for a tour.
Anar is out now on Sahel Sounds. Listen to the whole thing here.
Contemporary hardcore punk fans in NYC and beyond have held S.H.I.T. in high regard for the last few years. Internationally, they’re somewhat torchbearers for their native Toronto's fertile scene, and locally they remain favorites at Toronto’s annual Not Dead Yet Fest. Their third and latest 7” re-works the lead (and best) track from their 2012 demo, “Feeding Time,” lending the signature track gusto to match its raw sear. It’s backed by the ominous drag of B-side “Private Lies,” and you can stream both below via the Static Shock Records Bandcamp.
You can grab the 7” from Static Shock Records with artwork by Sam Ryser (Crazy Spirit, Dripper World, Dawn of Humans). Toronto’s Not Dead Yet Fest takes place this year November 20 through 23, and features Perfect Pussy, Hoax, Forward, Long Knife, Institute, and, like, every good punk band that exists.