Thursday, December 04, 2008

Stuff To Get Into

Antlers - S/T (Rorschach Records)

Richmond is fertile ground for punk bands. And they tend to be good ones at that. Really good. Rorschach Records also has a roster stock full of them. Not even overwhelmingly so. They seem to have carefully chosen bands that create some sort of community. Communal living style. A sonic punk commune. A few select bands with a variety of takes on a single genre. It all fits together nicely like something maybe only Dischord and few others could claim. And thats kinda where Antlers makes a lot of sense in this scheme of things. Comprised of a slew of prolific musicians, Antlers creates a community with their sounds. Something to rally around and something to sit down reflectively with, like a good friend you have had, sharing both rousing and quiet moments in the passing of time (or maybe you party all the time, and damn it good for you.) Antlers and Rorschach have a very good set up going on right now and it would be a shame if more people werent looking for that kind of community in their daily goings on.

Failures - S/T (Clean Plate)

When I first heard Failures it was live at ABC No Rio earlier this spring. I saw Will from Ampere/Orchid hanging around and thought maybe Ampere was going to play too. They werent on the bill, though it seemed appropriate. Brainworms played along with ...Who Calls So Loud and Apeshit! and a band called Failures, whom I was just about to witness. Will went up to stage and picked up the guitar and was joined by 3 people who werent in Ampere. What happened next not only made my jaw drop straight to the floor, my jaw then actually crashed right through the shitty busted floors of ABC No Rio. I witnessed CHUDS lurking underneath making screenprinted patches and upon opening their murky ceiling with my unhinged jaw, they pounced up and wreaked intense havoc in the tiny ground floor of poor ABC No Rio. They flipped some guys peanuts in the crowd and when the pitch of the music revved up even fast, Wills fingers burning on the fret board, mid hop, they even began chewing on the innocent bystanders. What started as good punk lovin fun ended in a bloodbath of victims that never knew what hit them...

Actually it was just Mark McCoy completely freaking the fuck out. It was still quite an awesome and energetic sight, comparable to that of twenty or so CHUDS ripping down your entire house around you and then eating your face to boot.

Suis La Lune - Heir 10"(Ape Must Not Kill Ape / Release The Bats / Escucha)

Suis La Lune makes me smile everytime I put them on. A sort of knowing smirk to myself. This is mostly due to that fact that I didnt find them that appealing at first. I still wonder how or why to this day I didnt eat it up right away, and there in lies part of the smirk. At this point I would have to say they have become one of my favorite things to listen to for about 2 years now. The other part of the smirk lies in the simple fact that they remind of so many good things. Memories of my favorite songs, tapes made for friends, walks on breezy days, and some kind of unnamed appreciation for the little things, be it a knowing glance or a certain progression of sounds and tempos that enliven and invigorate at the same time, and in the most welcoming of ways. Suis La Lune means more than either they know or I know. Theirs is something innate, encoded in their music, and daring you to recognize your own pulse and your own primal sense to not just live, but live greatly and passionately, with critical yet loving care and a raucous sense of when to veer the whole ship into reckless abandonment.

(US citizens should order from Escucha for better shipping)

Timber - s/t 7" (Something Crucial)

Timber is another band from the fertile crescent of Revolution Summer inspired punk, residing somewhere near the mason dixon line in Maryland. Timber supposedly only got together as a project between some friends that were home from school and if thats the case than it is one of the finer and more convincing of projects I have heard. Sharing much in common with their regional brethren both current and times past, Timber display a deft balance of some of more urgent sounds from that area. It reminds me of a mix of Brainworms and Stop It!! but with a punkier Dag Nasty element to it. Its anthemic, its fast and its melodic as hell. I only wish we were guaranteed to see more from these talented young folks. I tossed in their demo which is pretty sick. You can grab the 7" for $4 ppd from their site

Young Widows - Old Wounds (Temporary Residence ltd.)

This shit right here folks, is one of the finest records I have heard in a fat chunk of time. I feel like this record will go down as one of my favorite records of all time in fact. There is nearly nothing I dont like about this record. From the first song a progression of sparse, cold instrumentation and dry apathetic lyrics introduces the record, teasing you with drum rolls and fills, before igniting all cylinders and chugging right over your measly human form. The second track doesnt let up either, fiercely dropping you into a psychotic blues stomp before tossing you back and forth again. It is seriously one of the best one two punch openings I can think of. (both tracks one and two are present here). The rest of the record displays such a variety of sounds, amazingly played and unbelievably recorded, so much so that I am at a loss as to how to accurately paint a picture to you the listener. Suffice to say that I believe Steve Albini would even like this record.. So would David Yow. I hope youre catching my drift and I can only add that this record and these three individuals (only 3!) offer so much more in the way of intensely created and played songs than that statement could dare to suggest. Go get this shit, at all costs and listen to it from start to finish. Dont talk to me if you dont like it, just move along. I wont be having it.
Well, if you came here first, thanks. First off, dont bother downloading each file, they are all one file with everything clearly labeled in their proper folders. Secondly, I formatted it like this for aesthetic reasons. I felt a block of type wasnt very enticing. At least "please read below first" is intriguing, at best. Moving on...

In the recent years, records have been bought by the dozen. My old habits of procuring aurally and visually exciting material has risen to equal the youthful enthusiasm I once had for the format. I figure some of you still enjoy purchasing music these days and maybe you want to know but cant check all the avenues for details on something of particular interest. Maybe you already have a place that could place you 'in the know' on your latest musical craze. Maybe the internet is just too damn big and it never hurts to hear praise of something good from sources you trust, en masse. Maybe its because I was going to write about it anyway.

To entice any new listeners I have included portions of the records (or EPs in some cases). I basically dont want to deprive hardworking bands of all their chances of income. In all cases each record is as fantastic as the part displayed. And the artwork on all the albums is very great (Especially the Antlers LP). These are no parlour tricks to generate income. This is an appreciative nod to those who inspire, and not just musically, but artistically, ethically and enjoyably so.


Blogger amit said...

is this Young Widows record a recent release? ...aaand what else have they done since Settle Down City. I see something on the Temp Residence site about a series of split 7"s. I'll have to look for these or order online someplace. Stoked.

3:12 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Old Wounds is their newest album. It is about 12 songs. It makes Settle Down City seem ultra weak in comparison. This is one of the best albums of the decade.

I am looking forward to that 7" series. One will be with Bonnie Prince Billy.

10:08 AM  
Blogger LLIW said...

Young Widows is tiiiight...

Good stuff Tim, come write for me:!!

haha, keep it real man.

11:24 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

will, i still want to hang with you some time... my friends moved out of jerz, but if youre ever hitting up any shows in the city than consider me game.

Fact: the Young Widows album is incredible.

11:35 AM  
Blogger proven hollow said...

young widows is indeed good, i keep missing them live, but i hear mixed things, mostly of them being pricks, but i guess that is hearsay. on the other hand, the same people say they are awesome live. so i guess if you can back up being a prick with being awesome, then you win! i've got a couple split 7"s of theirs, one with coliseum and one with plows, both excellent.

i will actually download your sampler and test out these "bands". you will then be assaulted with my opinons on each...ha.

3:14 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

yes!! love it!! yours is the only opinion that matters, even if its wrong. hehe..

i bet you will like some of this stuff, if not all. this is a good crop of bands, please tell all and dont sugar coat it.

4:12 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

I was kind of wondering where all the good punk/hardcore bands were this year (i.e., I haven't been looking for them). Here they are... and I've only listened to Young Widows* and Failures** so far.

* weak excuse, but they are a bit too heavy for my tastes. despite that, extremely good.

** OMG Will Killingsworth!!!!

5:56 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

and wow... Suis la Lune - excellent description. this is like the second coming of La Quiete (although their new s/t 7" from this year is pretty good, too). just beautiful screamo.

I might have to reevaluate some of my best-of now, but I think 'What I Learned in the C.O.U.M' still stands strong in the screamo stakes... I've made up half my mixtape now, and that song segues well into 'The Kids Don't Stand A Chance' by VW. that's the second time I've had to link those two bands in a mix this year, and both times it's been very difficult and also quite successful in the end.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Blend, Awesome post.

The young widows record is incredible. My favorite song by them is still off of Settle Down City, "Formerer" but this album as a whole definitely kicks ass. It is up there as my favorite release of the year along with the new Fucked Up album.

Haven't had much time to comment recently, but anyone going to the Unbroken show in Chicago in May? They also announced a southern california show as well with Undertow & Swing Kids which is also mind boggling. I got tickets to the Chicago show and am contemplating taking a vacation from work to go to the Cali show as well. Hope some of the readers might be attending the Chicago show. And Blend, come on over to Jersey, we don't bite.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up Tim!?!,
That ABC show was amazing! Every band's style was different and it kept things interesting throughout. I love it when venues mix it up like that. Watching Failures destroy the fucking place was definitely the highlight though! I didn't realize it at the time, but their singer was also in Charles Bronson and Das Oath. Ha!
-Sean M.

9:31 AM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

The good news first: We can still be friends and talk. I made the cut. Young Widows is awesome!
I think I like me some Antlers, too.

But the other 2 bands unfortunately really don't do it for me. I keep trying, but screamo as a genre really mostly just bores me. (John Josephs on the Age of Quarrel gives me a much more visceral reaction than any of these exasperated shouters...). But I'll give both of theses bands the benefit of the doubt that they destroy live.
But what do I know.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Widows had a split 7" with Plows doing a version of Swamped and Agitated (last song on Old Wounds) that came out in the beginning of the year on Auxiliary Records. The band before YW, Breather Resist, did an ep called Full of Tongues that features a few workings of songs that would later become Young Widows material. It's the definitive place to start exploring the transformation of BR into YW. Not sure if it's still in print but it's online somewhere...

2:49 PM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Well, there you see how much attention I am really paying: 2 bands or 3, whatever. To make up for my ignorance I'll go back and listen to them again - just to make sure they really suck ;-)

2:50 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Antlers sound like they could be a Dischord campfire band, if they were from the DC area...

Failures play a very basic old hardcore vibe, but like, 10x faster. its pretty status quo but done really well in my opinion.

7:10 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

im glad you like Young Widows... i personally like them a bunch more than Breather Resist or really any of their other bands..

Breather Resist had way more metal going for them. i really need to devote more time to Settle Down City, because i wasnt 100% sold on it my first few times through.

7:12 PM  
Blogger amit said...

What label did BR's Full of Tongues come out on? i didnt realize that they had anything after the LP w/the blue and white cover. Charmer?

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Great post!!!
please, post the complete falure's album.
sorry for my poor english
cheers from Brazil

8:22 AM  
Anonymous tommy said...

i was fortunate enough to have Antlers and their van break down in Rochester this summer. i got to see them 3 nights in a row. great band / dudes. the new songs are insane. such a tight live band.

for anyone interested, the drummer was in a pop-punk band that absolutely slayed. calling it pop punk is cheapening, they list their influences as "jawbreaker, lifetime, turning point, hwm and embrace" which i think is pretty accurate.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

I think Garrick used to jock Antlers on PV all the time. I haven't listened to them in forever.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

breather resist full of tongues ep was on auxiliary records, which is run by evan from yw's brother ryan that plays in coliseum. they good people.

11:47 PM  
Blogger proven hollow said...

i know i said i'd give in depth reviews of these, but i have to tell you, there was nothing remotely remarkable about any of them...haha. aside from young widows, who i already said i like and are good.

antlers just was too "kooky" for my tastes. and for the most part they seemed instrumental? i have no time for bands with no singers. i just can't get into them. sorry.

failures just seemed to be yet another band of ex- people doing the same old thing that their previous bands copied from bands that were doing the same thing in the early 90s. i know it's punk and all and exciting, but man...we really need to move on. there has to be someone doing something new that seems fresh and now. maybe not i guess. sometimes i start to feel like this kind of music is like that show "made" on "i wanna be in a hardcore punk band" and they will get that dipshit from the swing kids/locust to come in and be your coach on how to be an awesome hardcore punk san diego romulan.

suis la lune - see above. i can only guess that they are not from the US? foriegn bands used to have this certain "flare" that the US bands didnt have. bands like symptom of isaac, vanilla, baby harp seal, bob tilton. i know they were essentialy the same as their american counterparts, but they just seemed different. maybe it was the accents. this doesnt seem too different. in other words, it seems american...which leads me to say, it is uninteresting.

timber - to tell you the truth , i fast forwarded through most of it.

i appreciate the effort. i enjoyed hearing new bands, although i can;t really say they were very new sounds. keep it going though. i look forward to the next volley.

sorry i was so late.

11:31 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

hey, no problem phil. thanks for your comments. i am not really sure what kind of stuff you are looking for... i admit i am content to hear the same sounds that move me over and over...

i suppose that if these sounds just dont move you anymore than i could see how they dont have any appeal. but i personally have never minded hearing copy cats of things i like, as long as it seems like its done with some sort of conviction.

i'd even venture so far as to say that i dont know of anything with a 'new sound'. music is in some strange holding pattern where everything is aping the past. some good things are coming from this, like Young Widows, Deerhunter and Antlers, but overall, i cant really say what is new.

maybe you should check out BrokenCYDE.

but before you descend into the pits of hell, please tell me what kind of new stuff you do like, and what you do listen to in any given week... i would like to know.

12:08 PM  
Blogger proven hollow said...

haha. wow. brokencyde is AMAZING!!! that is seriously the NEW SHIT.

obviously i am joking..haha,

i didnt mean to sound too pissy in my reviews (might have been the jameson talking). anyway, while i do enjoy the screamy hardcore stuff, there just has to be something different with it to really interest me. now i'm not saying that something different has to be the addition of a turntable...haha. but you know what i mean? it seems the only difference with it now is that the players are much more competent than they used to be. and i guess that can make things seem more exciting. who knows. i guess you are right, that kinda thing just doesnt excite me anymore.

things i've liked recently are the young widows stuff (although it could be said that they are just a mix of regulator watts and jesus lizard...haha). but hey, thats a good mix! i've also enjoyed the new intronaut (prehistoricisms) album. i didnt care too much about their previous ones, but this one i find very good and listen to it often. i still go back and listen to Jaks (hollywood blood capsules) often. not sure why, i just like the "sound". also, i find myself listening to dio era sabbath lately...just cuz.

4:00 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

i knew youd get a kick out of BrokenCYDE. my jaw came unhinged when i watched the video for FreaXXX.

i can only hope its a joke. it has to be a joke. right? RIGHT!.

haha! but yeah, i do go through phases of really wanting to hear something new. i guess thats why i tend to like psychedelic stuff. even if its a throwback to the 60's and 70's it still sounds more progressive than a lot of stuff that comes out these days. or whatever. at least it doesnt always sound the same.

5:01 PM  
Blogger gabagaba566 said...

I've been looking for this Hoodlum Empire cd for ever. Finally got it and thought you guys would appreciate it. Ska from the bay area out on Lookout.

5:58 PM  
Blogger .Music For The Working Man. said...

hey i love richmond. You should check out antlers they have two drummers and that is just awesome! i know that you love brainworms and i saw them a while a little while ago play together. they are all a good group of guys. you should check out permanent as well and you should also check out my friend jimmys band (damn it i forgot the name of them) if i remember i will tell you...check out my blog at

10:14 PM  
Blogger amit said...

Permanent - "Sink/Swim" ... hands down my favorite hardcore record to come out in 2007. I have listened to it every day since I got a copy. They were one of my fave bands to play shows with.

I urge everyone who likes Turning Point, Automatic, Dag Nasty, and By the Grace of God to check them out.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Thanks for mentioning Suis La Lune. I don't really keep up with modern screamo stuff, but this band is great.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Also, if you like Brokencyde, you'll LOVE Millionaires:

4:04 AM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Brokencyde is waaaay edgier than Millionaires (although they are girls, so they got that going for them...)
Just like Blend, I also first held onto the hope that Brokencyde was just a joke project, but the amount of Hot Topics merch that the offer leads me to believe otherwise.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you'll probably dig the self-titled record of die princess die, if you're flashing on young widows. pls consider to check them out.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Blackfoot said...

This doesn't really have a lot to do with your post, but I was wondering if you could up anything by The Convocation of... (mostly looking for Pyramid Technology).

12:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home