New Jamie Lenman single , ‘Mississippi’

I'm sorry, I don't know who took the OG picture. I think it's  Chris Baker.

I’m sorry, I don’t know who took the OG picture. I think it’s Chris Baker.

Just a quick one to let you all know you should listen to Jamie Lenman’s new song, Mississippi.

I would embed it here, but it won’t let me, so I’ll just link you here.

“I’m super excited for people to hear the new material,” he says, “and I’m looking forward to seeing folks in person throughout the year.” Thoughts? Absolutely, yes. And there’s potential tour dates coming up? Get in.

Listen to the song if you want something from Jamie that feels… sludgy? Let’s not label it and just say it’s a fun listen if you like rock music.

New Music Review – Witchingseason – Spiders

SpidersCoverBand: Witchingseason
Song: Spiders
Genre: Post-grunge
Social Media: Facebook/Soundcloud/Twitter

Witchingseason are a new Uk based post-grunge band that take influences from everyone you’d expect for this sort of band: Alice In Chains, Dinosaur JR, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and QOTSA. Recently, they’ve been picking up grungey steam after receiving rampant reviews from the likes of radio stations (Phoenix FM), bloggers (HearMeRaw) and so on in preparation for the release of their debut EP, which will be released on the 10th of November.

Until then, we have the band’s new single Spiders, which was released on the 1st of August (bit late to the party). However, what I’m sure I won’t be late to the party for is the release of new single Codeine, scheduled for October 1st.

So, shall we go and have a listen to it?

Instantaneously, you can hear the influences from the likes of Soundgarden with the overweight riffs and bombastic vocals from guitarist and vocalist, Tom Reynolds. The drumming is energetic and the bass manages to pump out some extra chunk to keep things at a decent girth, however, it seems like this energy and enthusiasm would flourish better for the band in a live atmosphere.

The riffs are simple and powerful, but delivered with such repetition it makes them wear a little thin; thankfully, there are two main riffs that swap around roughly halfway through the song. This little turnaround is slick and is rather neat; you can practically see the mosh-pit opening up and anticipating that second riff like some sort of drop.

The instrumentation is good in the way that all the instruments mesh together; nothing really feels out of place at this moment in time and it all just blends together. This can also be a problem though, like they’re still trying to find their sound in the great wall of sound and because of that, everything just feels ‘safe’ the band isn’t taking as many risks as it should.

For now though, safe does not mean bad.

From what you can hear in the song, Mr Reynolds does manage to give a consistent vocal performance with loud verses and some catchy humming at the chorus. Again, I’d love to see him push himself to this, clear and strong performance, in live environment.

So far, Witchingseason appear to be a fun and energetic party with the tunes cranked up to 11; I’m looking forward to the release of their EP on November 10th.

Keep your ears out kids x

French Noisers, Pord, Present New Album Trailer

Pord are a noise-rock band that aisle from Lozère, some lovely place in France, and these guys are renowned for their hard-hitting noisy-rock assault. However, these lot have, from what I’ve seen not put out an album for three years, so it’ll be interesting to see if that lends a hand in a change of sound.

Judging from the trailer though, I doubt it.

You can buy that album,Valparaiso, through a link on their Bandcamp, you can also stream it if you’re feeling cheap.

Pord’s upcoming album is called Wild and will be released on the 8th of September 2014 through Solar Flare records.

Hold on to your seats and headphones ya’all.

New Music Review – ABRAMS – February (EP)

a2576407083_10Band: ABRAMS
EP: February 
Genre: Grunge, punk, metal
Social Media: Bandcamp/Facebook

ABRAMS are a metal/grunge band from Denver, Colorado that put out their debut EP back in February and after hearing a few clips of it, I thought it might be something I’d want to try. Funnily enough, the EP is also called February, so there’s something.

What February has shown me, is that their is still life in the grunge/punk scene. It features lots of tight and fun songs that work well and sound large and when you consider that ABRAMS are a trio, then this becomes a much more impressive EP. This short EP cuts out the thrill of the chase from any build-ups and just goes straight into the fray with their punk-as-fuck sound.

The Fucking Cops Are Here features a groovy riff on the guitar that is crunchy as you like and just sounds like it should be being played live at a beer soaked party in someones basement; a real mongrels anthem. Everything in this song feels punchy and powerful, except one of the most important parts: the drums feel very dry and quiet in this song when they should be destroying decibels.

However, they still manage to produce memorable guitar hooks, with vocals and lyrics that people can get on a one-to-one basis with. I’d say that Mr Pink Always Wins and Sea Salt Lines, probably show-off the instrumental prowess of these guys the most; the guitar solos/breakdowns sound like crazy fuel to the spark of the vocalists lyrics. The other ones are crunchy, but the instrumentation doesn’t grab me as much as these two.

February is simple and effective release that wets my taste buds for more of these three and their impolite rock. I’d like to see some more work on the production of the drums and maybe some bass breakdowns? I’m not sure really; there’s a kick-ass formula here, explore it some more.

If you like what you’ve heard, you can grab ABRAMS debut EP, February, over at Bandcamp for a ‘name your price’ price.

New Music Review – Shudder & Sectioned Split CD

a1319496172_10Band: Shudder + Sectioned
Album: SHDDRSCTND Split
Genre: Shudder (Drone-rock) + Sectioned (Crust-punk)
Social Media: Shudder (Facebook, Bandcamp) + Sectioned (BandcampFacebook)

We’ve got something different today, we’ll be listening to two artists that have shared their most recent release together. Shudder and Sectioned are from Edinburgh and both utilise one concept in general, despite their almost completely contrasting sounds; that concept being noise.

Shudder are an atmospheric, drone, noise duo that incorporate this noisy, lofi vibe about them to create a sense of dread and atmosphere around their music. Both of the songs on this split are dark and massive. Imagine going for a walk along the bottom of the grand-canyon and hearing a band playing at the peak of the mountains; that is the spacious, echoey sound that you can expect from Shudder.

The first track with Shudder stumbles along like a drunk in the dark with vocals to set the dreary mood. What I really enjoyed about this track, is how it grew in a very unique way; usually bands go for obvious crescendo tactics, but Shudder implemented a unique use of this increase in intensity, a tease at an, explosion and then an actual explosion. It’s difficult to describe without listening to it.

Dusk’s guitar sounds rusty and that’s not to say the strings need a change, it’s to say that the tone has gone for a very specific sound and has achieved it. At times, it does feel like the guitar is going along for a ride with the fantastic drums on this tune; they’re enthusiastic, passionate and prominent. Part of me would like to see these gents put through a bit of a more polished set up, just to see what it would sound like, but there’s always a possibility that they could lose some of that rusty and dusty charm.

Sectioned are boisterous and piercing in the way they sound. Their use of noise creates a wall of toxic that smothers listeners in the short amount of time that they are demolishing your eardrums.

To me, Sectioned sound very much, like a crust-punk band, similar to From Ashes Rise, or His Hero Is Dead; they’re just massive and a force to be reckoned with. Much like these two bands, the vocals are sharp, they’re just the way I like my metal vocalists; if you’re going to scream and be a vocalist, scream and be a vocalist, don’t be a wuss about it.

I love the outro to Another Cog, the song ends 45 seconds earlier, but they mess with feedback and loopings until it’s just this massacre of sounds and it’s beautiful. That song then leads into Placid, my favourite track from these guys. The drums on this thing, holy-fucking-shit; get some decent headphones and it’ll feel like someone is drilling your ear with a fist.

All of the songs from Sectioned are ravenous and hungry for human flesh, whereas Shudder’s instrumentation implies that they might cook you and then eat you with rusty utensils.

A powerful, in every sense of the word, split album that is worth your time, just let someone know where you go before you listen, or you might not come back in one piece, or at all.

New Music Review – FANGE – Poisse

a0125800795_10Band: FANGE
EP: Poisse
Genre: Sludge, metal
Social Media: Bandcamp

I’m learning so much from this blog, did you know that ‘fange’ means mire (a word for a complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself in) French? Neither did I. I also didn’t know what ‘mire’ meant, but enough about my ignorance.

FANGE are a relatively new (they got together in the bum end of last year) French sludge metal band that dropped their debut EP, in April and I’ve been given a chance to look at the nasty, abrasive and massive sounds of said EP, Poisse.

From the get go here, there are grotesque riffings and beats that could possibly deafen a Boris fan. There’s also a lot of noise and feedback, much like a Boris release also, but this feels more focused on clouding the listeners hearing with these colossal monsters of sound. These guys like to change up the tempo of their songs a lot as well, which makes for this exciting assault on the ears.

The first song, Grêle Molle, is testament to this style of no hostages sludge metal that does not let up in the slightest. It’s loud, the guitars sound thick and snarly, the drums are punchy and the bass is brutal. The track, Cloches Fendues has  a naughty bassline at the start, just before we’re mugged of our hearing.

Something I found particularly enjoyable with this release was the long, drawn out tune, Suaire. It swims around in noise and drums for a good while before the song’s motion begins to move. The rest of the song has the little moments that give it that horrific character you’d come to expect from a release like this; heavy lashings of the instruments, followed by just some guitar feedback, as the six-string weeps in pain.

Lucifour is another brutal track (duh) that packs enough of a wallop to make you need your jaw fixing and overall, I’d say it’s probably the best track on the album. At least in my opinion. The pacing of the track, the breaks where the bass is dominant; it just strikes a few chords for me.

The EP reminds me of the new release from Lord Mantis, back in April; loud, oppressive and scummy and it’s wondrous to see bands not losing their bite in the year 2014.

FANGE are definitely setting themselves up for, hopefully, some more exciting releases and that’s not to say that this isn’t an exciting EP, because it is, but it would be awesome to see what this band can do with more time and more ideas.

A band to keep your eye and ears on. Just keep the volume down below 11 and you’ll be fine, you won’t be metal, but you’ll be fine.

New Music Review – 12 Areas – Telepathy

a3762243790_10Band: Telepathy
Album: 12 Areas
Genre: Sludge, post-metal, instrumental 
Social Media: Facebook/Bandcamp/Soundcloud

The 5th of May marked the release of Colchester’s very own sludgers, Telepathy, new album, titled 12 Areas. This band is an incredibly heavy band that takes advantage of grueling riffs, dissonant sounds and some massively punchy druming.

The band put out their single for this new album back in March; the track Cystine Knot, which has some incredibly progressive rock sounding moments mixed in among all that dangerously loud sludging out. At times there is a definite similar sound to bands like Oceansize, Isis and sometimes Intronaut.

However, we’re here to talk about 12 Areas. Another entry into albums that I would consider to be ‘album art-core’. What is album art-core? It’s just killer album artwork that does it for me. Please excuse the diversion.

The album is a well thought out collection of tunes that have moments of truly intense heaviness, but don’t forget to include some strikingly minimal sections within it all. Let’s use Cystine Knot again here, it’s later section has a sparkly few bars of pretty guitar, that are then quickly reinforced with the meanest, most grotesque guitar snarls you’ve heard. It’s this versatility that nets this band something different than opening palm-muted chugging.

That being said, To Kiss The Ocean’s Floor, feels like the bands most accomplished piece on this album. While not the albums most up-tempo track, it does make use of this in typical sludge fashion. The mean guitar bends and vibratos halfway through the song, paired with the gut-wrenching chords also do it for me. It’s empowering for the song as a whole and makes this, already progressive track, feel that little bit more incredible.

Breath/Motion initially weirded me the fuck out with it’s creepy soundscape, but thankfully, it eventually built into some cruel guitars and that I can deal with. Like the majority of the songs on this album, this song does rely on that ever growing sense of unease; everything is played with incredible skill, but all feels full of chaos and hatred.

The production on this release feels great, however, it would have been nice to have had the bass brought forward or featured more; I would have loved to hear some sickly bass breakdowns that just drag the guitar around by the neck/fretboard.

A great release from Telepathy that promises so much more in the future. Hopefully they’ll tour a spell closer to me so I can grab me some fierce sludge head-banging live action. Or just a t-shirt. I’m not metal at all really.