A month ago we sponsored a show with Nothing is Heavy at the Astoria Pub in Vancouver, and we had our photographer Ted Reckoning there to capture the destructive force that is VHOL! These guys clearly wreaked havoc on the audience’s eardrums, which were already damaged from the massive sounds of the locals Hopeleus, Hoopsnake and Burning Ghats! Check out Ted’s amazing photos below and make sure to head out to the next Nothing is Heavy show tomorrow!
The Flex play good old fashioned youth crew hardcore that sounds like it’s been beamed straight down the years from the VFW halls and tape decks of 1980s Boston and New York City, and Scum On The Run sounds like a long-lost straight edge classic you’ll swear you remember from your golden years grinding the kerb outside 7-11 on a battered skateboard with X-ed up hands and just-shaven locks. With a maximum track length of just over two minutes, suitably rough and tumble production values, lyrics of pissed off social commentary and a Xeroxed, monochromatic sleeve, Scum On The Run will slot in perfectly beside your favourite Minor Threat, Youth Of Today, SSD and DYS records.
But The Flex aren’t beholden to the sounds of the past, they’re proving that the sounds of the past still have power across oceans and years. As entrenched as this style of hardcore is in the time and place of Reagan-era America’s East Coast, it sounds just as potent spewing from the hearts and speakers of this Leeds, UK based band. After all, what is better suited for soundtracking venomously incisive observations about society’s shiftless, braindead and repressed than the sound of torn vocal cords and instruments beat to shit?
Coming out of Berlin, NERVÖUS find themselves caught somewhere between the post-punk and hardcore punk scenes. This five piece band is able to construct tracks with a post-punk main structure and feeling, while enriching their sound with hardcore-esque intensity and groove along with some influences from the 70s garage scene. The result of their efforts is Konfetti & Mutwillige Zerstorung, an uplifting, energetic offering which becomes addictive the very instant you hit play.
Starting off with the weird intro, “Skit I,” the band sets a strange mood, disorientating you and making you anxious about what will follow. But soon enough the unreal bass line of “Im Puls” comes, lifting the whole track while the heavy guitars’ rhythmic play offers further impact. The realization is instant… this album is fucking fun. Not in a bad way obviously, the music itself is quite playful and positive in an elevating manner. The bass sound is immense, creating a solid brick wall when combined with the great feel coming from the drumming, while the guitar lines are very cleverly arranged within the sonic concepts of NERVÖUS.
‘Dusted’, the second track on this bruising three-song set of primal, vomitific hardcore, opens with a sample of the original rock ‘n roll terrorist himself, GG Allin, on the Jerry Springer Show stating that without music he would “probably be a serial killer or mass murderer”. Everybody laughs, Springer makes a crack and the show goes on. In the context of the surrounding five minutes of music on this new tape by punk provocateurs Drug Lust, this line sounds less and less like a joke.
Drug Lust are worthy successors to GG Allin’s notorious brand of rock n’ roll terrorism, playing violent, vile hardcore that carries the torch of combative, provocative punk rock lit by stylistic forefathers like Allin and the Sex Pistols, calling back to the genre’s reactionary, un-PC origins with titles like ‘Painkiller Blues’, ‘Dusted’, and ‘Eat Pills & Kill Your Friends’, that are the sorely needed antidote to too much straight edge sloganeering and positive punk posturing. This is punk rock that your mum can’t get behind, back after a long hiatus.
DEPRESSING just released a rad DIY video for their song “Stables” off their LP Life Just Gets Worse, released earlier this year on their Bandcamp. Featuring Andrew Drury of Baptists, Depressing’s grungy hardcore pairs perfectly with the basement cement walls closing in on you, enveloping you with grey like the Northwest often does, but also offering glimpses of the simple joy of life. In fact, the video isn’t depressing at all, it’s a happy moment in an eccentric life. CVLT Nation is stoked to be premiering the video for “Stables” today! Make sure to check out Life Just Gets Worse here and look out for Depressing on a bill near you to pick it up on vinyl!
Self proclaimed practitioners of “sigil grind demon beat punk metal”, Dislich list their interests as occultism, Dungeons and Dragons, cryptozoology, renaissance magic, teen witches, cocaine, and VHS, among others, and that is actually a better indicator of their sound than you’d at first suspect.
Stone Guardian sounds like a bunch of coked out D&D lifers summoning the spirits of ancient warlocks and their childhood’s favourite heavy metal majesties through the power of rock’n'roll, around a campfire built out of smouldering B-grade horror videotapes. Some of the best song titles you’ve heard in a long time, ‘God-Sized Hole In Hell’, ‘Nausea Creeps’ and ‘Withering Cunt’ lay claim to some of the most visceral, thrashy punk you’ll hear for a long time, all overlaid with Melissa Finley’s inhuman, demonic shrieks, that let you know that the spirit summoning must be going well.
Dislich thrash and snarl their way through track after track of furious, animalistic hardcore, but these guys can really play, and they inevitably rear their inner metalheads with almost every track turning into a full-on rocking, classic metal burner by song’s end. The drums slow, the bass grooves and the guitars shred. Six-stringers Solomon Reid and Joseph Guerra have serious chops, but even more impressively they have the same firm grasp on melody, pacing and composition that made the solos of classic metallers like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and hell, even Guns N’ Roses, so much more than just fretboard wankery.
Our homies Feast of Tentacles have joined forces with Destructive Nature to release the debut album from HARROWED. This record fucking rages non-stop! I had to pick up myself up off the floor after one listen because HARROWED gives you a beat down over 9 songs. I want the world to hear this band and I will do everything with my power to make sure it will happen! So fuck all of the talking CVLT Nation is streaming HARROWED album in full below…Stay tuned for a pre-order link.
Southwest Terror Fest 2013 is in less than a month, and the lineup is all fucking killer and no fucking filler! Four days of epic bands is what is going to whip through the Arizona desert like a massive sandstorm of awesomeness. Bands like…well, there will be so many good bands there’s no point in me naming my favorites…just check out the lineup below and stay tuned for some rad features on CVLT Nation and maybe a giveaway if you’re lucky? More info and RSVP here!
Harm’s Way return with Blinded, an EP that follows the same heavier-than-all style of mosh friendly hardcore that made Isolation such a floor-punchingly enjoyable listen.
Blinded succeeds in large part due to its negative attitude; something that’s depicted in the anxious artwork ( compliments of Florian Bertmer), a few choice misanthropic sound clips, and the vehement delivery of each instrument.
Vocalist James Pligge comes across like some banished monster, the kind Conan might have to fight in a dark pit. His animosity synchs up well with the liquid lead guitars which make good use of that Swedish tone unlike so many bands who think it makes up for their lack of riffs. They’re absurdly heavy and match so well when the band gets into their pummeling, down-tempo stomps. The typically dissonant and rhythmically crushing playing gives it such a primal sense of enjoyment.
Where Harm’s Way supersedes so many Hatebreed clones and similar late 90′s crap is there’s nothing obligatory in their sound. Each song is fluid in the way it stomps, jumps and of course slams. Songs range from 3-6 minutes, yet they never overstay their welcome.
Judging from the cover (thou shalt never do!) and the first few reverb’ish notes that one gets to hear on Soulship, I immediately put AGNES VEIN into the Post-Metal/Doom pigeon-hole. And although this attribution isn’t completely wrong – the band is surely influenced by bands like Neurosis or Isis - it’s just one single ingredient of the dish served. In fact, this Greek outfit has at least as many musical roots in the ice-cold depths of Black Metal as well as in dark, strongly emotional Hardcore in the vein of bands like His Hero Is Gone.
Needless to say, Soulship isn’t exactly an exhilarating record. The bitter and hopeless emotions it evokes damp all light and positive thoughts in your head, making everything nice seem extremely bleak and colourless. Yet all this darkness doesn’t appear to be some kind of set image – everything AGNES VEIN does on this album has a very pure, honest undertone.