Text and photos: Matthew Grant Anson
It’s pretty easy to drift into over-the-top descriptions when reviewing a show, especially when the genres in question are intended to be over-the-top themselves. And while this review won’t contain the phrases “throat shredding screams,” “throbbing bass,” or “buzzsaw guitars,” there’s bound to be some hyperbole when describing Saturday’s dream-team lineup of Despise You, In Disgust, Sex Prisoner, Magnum Force and Behavior at Pomona’s Aladdin Jr. II.
To start, this was the lineup of the year and by extension probably the show of the year if the warped noise that is grindcore and powerviolence is your thing. Aladdin Jr. was overflowing with people right from the start, the packed bodies of black-clad punx contributing to a temperature of approximately 350 degrees. Behavior kicked it off, and their performance was a nice primer but by no means were they the band people were coming for, a fact reflected in the rooted legs of the audience.
Behavior played hardcore punk that actually put a lot on the table to appreciate. All of their songs sounded very similar, as if each one was exploring a slightly altered version of the same theme. It was like a really in depth look into all of the slight variations of one musical thought. The drummer was key, and while he was obviously playing hardcore, you could draw a lot of (extremely positive) parallels between his drumming and the drumming in the atmospheric black metal act Fell Voices.
Vancouver’s ANCIIENTS are about to have a busy couple of months, starting with their tour kickoff show at The Biltmore on the 27th sponsored by CVLT Nation! Then on October 9th, they go on a North American tour with Tesseract and Scale the Summit. THEN on November 1st, they start their just-announced tour with the almighty Sepultura alongside Unearth, Kataklysm, Scar the Martyr and Dark Sermon. So North Americans, you will have plenty of opportunity to catch these guys with a bunch of other rad bands, and that means get your gear straight! CVLT Nation is happy to do a rad ANCIIENTS t-shirt giveaway featuring two of their sold-out designs – the Snakebeard tee with art by Cam Strudwick and the Pharaoh tee with artwork by Bonnie Dobbin. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “ANCIIENTS” in the subject and we will draw our winners on Monday at noon PST! We have sizes SM, LG and XL, so make sure to specify your size in your email.
Thanks to everyone who entered! Winners are Andrew Small, Jeevan Samra, Victoria Vtornikova and Darryl Gallant!
As the President gets us all psyched up to commit more atrocities abroad, let’s reflect on the reality behind the lies. It’s regime vs. regime, and us citizens just get in the way. Our noble military will travel overseas to kill, maim and torture men, women and children at the behest of the world elite. And we will see photos of it, and do nothing. Again.
By: Andy Grundberg, American Scholar, January 1, 2005
In spring of 2004, the International Center of Photography in New York presented an exhibition called “War in Iraq: The Coordinates of Conflict”, featuring the work of James Nachtwey, Christopher Morris, Ron Haviv, and other veteran photojournalists. Apparently timed to mark the first anniversary of the Iraq conflict (the American invasion began March 19, 2003; President Bush triumphantly announced its end a month and a half later, on May 1), the show included most of the usual tropes of combat photography, from portraits of weary but determined foot soldiers to bloody corpses of the enemy. What was different about the pictures compared with traditional war photographs was that all had been shot with digital cameras.
The curators, Peter Howe and Edward Earle, spoke to this difference in the exhibition brochure:
This is an unprecedented moment in the history of photojournalism, and in our understanding of its role in the media. The war in Iraq demonstrates a dramatic change in the way news is gathered: the development of laptop computers, digital cameras, satellite phones, and micro recording devices has enabled the photographer to give viewers immediate, live access to the battlefield.
At the same time the exhibition was on view, however, a much more dramatic and profound change in the history of photojournalism was making itself felt in the corridors of power in Washington and soon thereafter in the press and across the nation. During the first two weeks of May, millions of Americans were exposed to pictures of the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, twenty miles west of Baghdad. The photographs, in color and from digital cameras (albeit with lower resolution than the professionals’ models), were taken by American soldiers complicit in the sexual humiliation, psychological terror, and physical injury of their charges, all of whom were prisoners of war or, in the less precise official description, detainees.
CVLT Nation is super stoked to be co-presenting our first UK show with You’re Not Human! On Sept. 21st, CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR, Human Cull, Atomck and Burden of the Noose will be destroying shit at The Exchange in Bristol! You can pre-order your tickets HERE and check out the event page HERE! Check out our review of Corrupt Moral Altar’s latest 7″ HERE and stay tuned for some awesome features leading up to the show…
Text and Photos by Matthew Grant Anson
There’s something special about Deafheaven, that much is clear. Regardless of the outlet (New York Times, anyone) that has lauded the band’s shoegaze-ish black metal (blackgaze is not a thing, okay), the band has made waves with their recorded and live work in equal amounts. Considering the band just played at the Echoplex in Los Angeles a few months ago, the uninitiated could be tempted to say their August 23rd show was a case of been-there-done-that. They would be wrong. While their earlier two-night showcase at the Echoplex was opening for Japanese sludge-droners Boris, the three band lineup preceding them last Friday was about as perfect a set up as possible.
The show began with Wife, the guitar/bass/effects only project comprised of Andrew Thomas and Touche Amore’s Nick Steinhardt. The two-man project stayed seated the entire set as they let their delay-laden riffs do the talking. Wife sounded like Have a Nice Life (if you enjoy shoegaze and enjoy feeling really depressed, they are worth your time) if that project only played post-rock, and the effect was captivating in the deft control of the atmosphere by the band. Aside from some misguided guest singing on the final song, the instrumental work was stunning. First acts can at times feel like more of an appetizer than an actual course of the musical meal, but Wife provided a legitimate opening for what was to come.
Following Wife was Wreck and Reference, the experimental noise two-piece that has steadily carved out a place for themselves in the realm of drone and doom. Both members were mic’d, with one behind a drum kit and the other equipped with some sort of bizarre electronic box covered in buttons and programmed with samples and the ability to produce devastating feedback. It was mesmerizing. Not only was the creation of the noise interesting to watch, but the actual sounds and faux-riffs at certain points approached straight-up amazing, leaving audience members with faces resembling the Barack Obama Not Bad meme. If the post-metal band Rosetta had switched to noise/drone, you would have W&R, and that is awesome.
The DEADFEST just took place in Oaktown, and from what I see and hear it was a great success. CVLT Nation salutes Gregg Deadface and the DEADFEST crew, all of the bands who performed and who went out to the fest. Also much respect due to all of the videographers on hand who captured radical footage – Killthatcat & Kevin Hobbs. Now check out this gnarly DEADFEST video essay featuring Graves At Sea, Noothgrush, Negative Standards, Lycus, ACXDC, Brainoil, Femacoffin, Connoisseur, Human Waste, Deras Krig, Burmese…I’m not dead yet, but these visuals are killing me in a heavy way!
The Punk is Dead Fest is happening on August 30th & 31st in Lancaster, and from the looks of the lineup it is going to crush Southern California! By far the best thing to happen to Lancaster since Walmart! And we are giving away a pair of tickets to the Day 1 show on the 30th and a pair to the Day 2 show on the 31st starting today! Two lucky people will get to see some of the sickest, rawest bands out today – NAILS, Nausea, ACxDC, Vestiges, Primitive Man, Children of God, Graf Orlock and so many more. To enter, email email@example.com with “PIDF” in the subject line, and we will choose two lucky winners on Monday at noon PST! To pre-order tickets go HERE. And check out the Punkis Dead Fest mixtape for CVLT Nation HERE!
Just over a month back on July 6th I attended a pretty awesome DIY grind gathering in the forests of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada that lit up the tranquil atmosphere with blazing grind and powerviolence from the afternoon straight into the night.
Organized by locals and inviting multiple comrades from both sides of the border, while respecting the land and putting on a grand celebration of fastcore, this year’s Squamish Fastcore Fest while it was my first, will not be my last. So this is kind of a (late) summary or reflection with some photos and video.
CVLT Nation is stoked to present the ANCIIENTS Fall 2013 Tour Kickoff show at the Biltmore in Vancouver, BC on September 27th! Vancouver’s finest are embarking on a month-long North American tour with TESSERACT and SCALE THE SUMMIT in October, so this Biltmore show will be one last hometown booze up before they leave. Alongside Anciients will be NYLITHIA, HOPELEUS and HOLICUS and all four bands will rip through our collective eardrums! Stay tuned for an awesome Anciients giveaway and more leading up to the show…for now, check out more event info HERE and our review of Anciients’ Heart of Oak HERE!
About a month ago, CVLT Nation paid a visit to our home in the north, Vancouver, BC and we made our presence known with an epic show put on with Nothing is Heavy! All the bands that performed at The Rickshaw on July 19th fucking killed it, and we were so stoked to have them represent our webzine. The night opened with locals Hopeleus and Life Against Death, and then Seattle’s Occult SS took the stage, followed by Portland’s Eight Bells and Witch Mountain. The vibe was right and the music was perfect. Our Vancouver photographer Ted Reckoning captured some amazing photos of the bands, check them out below…and stay tuned for more of CVLT Nation in the Northwest!