Weekly Roundup - Oct. 13, 2017
There is a never ending onslaught of music coming out. Each Friday sees the release of a slew of new records worth your time and notice. Here are a small fraction, rounded up and reviewed to the best of our ability:
Eaten Alive—Masterpiece of Ignorance
RIYL: Blood for Blood, Wisdom in Chains, Death Before Dishonor
Eaten Alive’s swan song is a vicious and passionate tribute and testament to their recently departed guitarist Max Moya. The record is throwback hardcore of the highest order—lurching, brutal, and angry as hell. Vocalist Davin’s tortured bark shows more range than I’ve ever heard it before, and her howls of rage are directed in minute and a half long bursts focused on specific targets. “Owl and the Rat” is perhaps the best of these, taking an incisive and measured evisceration of false allies. Masterpiece of Ignorance shows a passionate band with a reverence for genre and expanding their own boundaries, making it all the more tragic that this will be they’re only release.
On a personal note, Kingdom’s (vocalist Davin’s previous band) The Rage that Guides holds a special place in my own history and heart. I found it just at the time where I was not only expanding into more extreme forms of music while also seeking out new voices in hardcore. I have never felt particularly attached to masculinity as a whole concept to begin with so finding a straight edge, politically-savvy female-led hardcore band who were as brutal as any other band around was sort of an important discovery for me. Currently there are so many ways to help support Eaten Alive’s Max Moya and his family as they cope and deal with is loss. Please stream, buy, and support as much as you can. Links: https://www.gofundme.com/max-moya-medical-bills
King Krule—The OOZ
RIYL: Tricky, Ariel Pink, Billy Bragg
King Krule has always gone a bit over my head. Hype around him tells that he is approaching cult status and its not difficult to see why. His dusky croonin no way fits his slight English frame and his penchant for sparse instrumentation has a trip-hop quality to it somewhat reminiscent even of Portishead. So imagine Billy Bragg fronting Portishead or Tricky picking up indie, singer-songwriter trappings and you get the best of both worlds. It’s still a little difficult to grapple with, but that King Krule is set to be a big mover and shaker with this second release seems all but assured. The OOZ leans a little harder into the trip-hop influences, some dance-like suggestions coming in through the hypnotic drone of Krule’s thick English brogue. It’s also a great deal quieter than his last venture, missing a lot of the snarl from 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, replaced by a Tricky-like sultry whisper.
Mychildren Mybride—Vicious World
RIYL: Gwen Stacy, A Plea for Purging, Marilyn Manson
MCMB were one of the better bands to come from the last wave of Christian metalcore. Lost Boy and Unbreakable remain two of the best examples of the more devout leaned bands in the heyday of Solid State. It had layers and bite amid its metalcore brutality. As the genre itself waned a bit, the band provided an example of Christian metalcore’s continued relevance. Vicious World, however, takes a new and interesting turn—though one might hesitate to say “successful” turn. Now pared down to just two members, MCMB have course-corrected towards a more industrial, groovy sound, looking to inhabit a “Marilyn Manson of metalcore” space that, at times, almost works. At Vicious World’s most successful its layered, dark, and steeped in a brooding atmosphere. Where it suffers, however, are its somewhat overly-shuffled influences—EDM and dubstep influenced sections pop in and out of industrial, which in turn pops in and out of more familiar metalcore and it begins to feel a bit messy. Adapting Marilyn Manson’s sound seems to be arriving at a time when industrial, as a genre, is in the midst of a bit of a resurgence, seems about right. Vicious World, however, does not quite stick the landing .
RIYL: Tune Yards, Fiona Apple, Sleigh Bells
Masseduction is an assault of genres. Like Bjork, St. Vincent’s high-art version of pop-alternative has absolutely no interest in remaining within any flimsy confines one could contrive to bring up and pen her in. This works both for and against Masseduction. On the one hand, its always refreshing and rewarding to listen to St. Vincent—she’s endlessly inventive and continuously surprising. On the other hand, there is just a lot of noise to cope with. Fans will love it, but its accessibility for outsiders might remain a bit intimidating.
RIYL: Kid Dynamite, Paint it Black, New Mexican Disaster Squad
Kid Dynamite’s sound has been out of favor in the punk/hardcore consciousness for some time. Whether that be because its extraordinarily difficult for any band to capture that lightning-in-a-bottle sound in even a shade of the same way or because the current zeitgeist demands something different, one can never be sure. What is sure, however, is how damn refreshing it is to hear a band try to tackle that sound again and do so so adeptly. Sciatic Nerve are the side project of a couple of Nothington’s members and they bring all of their pedigree to bear for this more cut-throat, rabid version of hardcore punk. And its fun as hell.
Stick to Your Guns—True View
RIYL: The Ghost Inside, Comeback Kid, Gideon
True View seems to be a bit of a course-correction from Disobedient. Where so much of Disobedient relied on soaring, clean vocals, True View shows a bit of a return to Diamond-era brutal breakdowns and gang vocals. Disobedient, too, seemed, ironically, a lot more angry in a lot of ways—focusing strongly on dissatisfaction with the state of the world. True View returns to STYG’s classic subjects of self-improvement and self-betterment and, in so doing, improving the world around you. It’s a lot more satisfying in a lot of ways, despite being somewhat of a retread, but doesn’t quite reach the highs of Diamond or recapture that same essence. The breakdowns are heavy and encompassing, the gang chants are moving and inspiring, but whether this release will have staying power is something of a question.
Through the Eyes of the Dead—Disomus
RIYL: As Blood Runs Black, Winds of Plague, The Black Dahlia Murder
After seven years, Through the Eyes of the Dead are back. And honestly, Disomus feels like they never really left. Specializing in a particularly brutal form of death metal that rubs right up against Deathcore without fully immersing themselves in the much-maligned recent subgenre, TTEOTD have always been dependable for no-holds-barred brutality. In that, Disomus has plenty and, at times, almost too much. Some of its most interesting moments seem buried in the desire to maintain their death metal identity—“The Binding Nightmare Hex,” for example has a ong melodic passage that is one of the highlights of the record, but comes mid-record and never really seems to get picked back up again. It seems like TTEOTD really want to strain at the bounds of their genre but, even after seven years, aren’t quite ready to take another relative risk after Malice. On the other hand…who cares? This record absolutely rips and if youre looking for some straightforward death metal of quality in 2017then it would be tough to do better than Disomus.
Iron Chic—You Can’t Stay Here
RIYL: Latterman, Bridge and Tunnel, Off With Their Heads
By rights, Iron Chic should be a well-hallowed institution by now. Three full-lengths and nearly ten years under their belts, the band has been pushing some of the best, catchiest existential punk rock that one could ever hope for and it’s a damn shame that they are only beginning to embark earnestly on headlining tours (they are going to be playing SoCal and San Diego’s Soda Bar on November 15th) and tours with well-established acts (including both Propadanghi and Off With Their Heads) beyond their characteristic Fest appearances. You Can’t Stay Here delivers more of what we have all come to expect, crisis and acceptance, pain and release intermingled and expressed with equal joyous equanimity and existential dread. This is punk rock for those seeking enlightenment in the mundane and elevation in the everyday. Sometimes the vocals feel a bit lost in the mix of You Can’t Stay Here, or the multilayered vocals a bit overdone, but overall this is still easily oneo of the best punk rock releases of the year with a more instant punch than their last effort, The Constant One.