September 6, 2014
March 28, 2014
December 31, 2013
Hadn’t realised there were only two postings made here this year, so to make it three here’s a last minute 2013 roundup. I’d also realised the first time I did one of these was in 2007. The blog was more active then but at this point there are 150+ posts so it has eventually become the resource I’ve always wanted it to. I’m guessing by this stage there are a number of dead or invalid download links. If there is something you wish to be reupped then unless you send an email I’ll never know. Onward to the releases from this year…
COLISEUM was a band I’d never really heard but their album ‘Sister Faith’ changed that. It’s straight up rocking punk with nod back to classic 90’s Touch & Go & Dischord. Nothing extraordinary but I’ll always have time for this level of passion & honesty in music. Same applies to the 6th TRAINDODGE full length ‘Supernatural Disasters’. The songwriting & production is first rate with less of a focus on experimentation and more on straight up catchy rockers this time. Another band who delivered a solid collection of modern rock would be VALIENT THORR with their Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk) produced ‘Our Own Masters’. Notable mentions also got to RED FANG, KYLESA, QOTSA & TOMAHAWK. As well as drumming on the new Tomahawk album John Stanier also appears on the first MARK OF CAIN recording in over a decade. This Australian band are the nearest thing you’re likely to get to ‘Aftertaste’ period Helmet, which works for me!
There were a few reissues or reformatted collections of note in 2013 that hit on the money. The UNWOUND 3xlp set released by Numero group was exceptionally well done. Their demo, first album and live recordings repackaged with extensive liner notes on the band’s early history. The TAR 2xlp singles/misc. collection was also very well packaged & hopefully brings further attention to this now seemingly overlooked early 90s band. Speaking of which the RODAN lp collection of singles/demo/Peel session saw its overdue release this year. I’d say that the above three are essential collections for both old and new fans of early 90s independent guitar music. If you are a fan of the music that goes up on this page then waste no time in picking them up. It was good to see the lesser RUDIMENTARY PENI record ‘Pope Adrian 37th…’ get it’s first issue on vinyl as well as ‘Mama’ the first album by NO MEANS NO. Southern records doing a great job with handling both releases.
It would be difficult to pick a ‘new’ band who released an overall favourite this year but OBITS, POLVO, & RED HARE all come close proving that it is possible for guys 20+ years in to still create relevant and inventive music. If it comes down to chose one standout of the year for me then RUSSIAN CIRCLES ‘Memorial’ is probably it. For an instrumental group they do a perfect job of creating and sustaining mood. The arrangements are not mathematical but textural & tastefully executed. An album I was completely unaware of until now was ‘Battlefields Forever’ by the mighty BIG BUSINESS. I’ve yet to check it out but that was my favourite album of 2013 that I’ve yet to hear! Oh shit also forgot to mention the newest VOIVOD album ‘Target Earth’ oops I thought it came out at the end of 2012! This year was very cool for seeing some great bands play live too, top ones being SAINT VITUS, NO MEANS NO, TORCHE & DEAD MEADOW. Until soonish….
EDIT: at the time of writing there were three albums released in 013 I had yet to hear that deserve mentioning. These are FEDERATION X ‘We do what we must’, EARTHLESS ‘From the ages’ and DEAD MEADOW ‘Warble womb’.
June 15, 2013
I had totally neglected posting this… I believe it surfaced a couple of years ago but I wasn’t aware of its existence until last year. Aside from maybe ‘Yank Crime’ demos (do such things exist??) this is the perfect thing to post here. From what I can gather this DRIVE LIKE JEHU demo is from 1990 & it contains 4 songs which would be recorded again (virtually unchanged) for their first album the following year. The formation of Jehu and the demise of Pitchfork seems to be in parallel. In Jehu, Rick Froberg also plays guitar alongside John Reis with the addition of a new rhythm section. The image is a magazine ad for the first album I had saved on my computer, click for DL
April 5, 2013
This page recently hit 100,000 views which is cool, it’s only taken 5 years heh. Having a stable music resource was always the main aim. The reliability of hosting sites for file sharing has changed dramatically over this time. Online music and the way it is distributed has seen a massive shift. I think it is silly to maybe pay now for hosting to share other people’s music that I don’t own. My intention was to help circulate things that were hard to find or out of print, not to give free shares to a band’s latest release. It is possible for a group to be completely independent on all levels now from conception to end result via selling on a site such as Bandcamp. I’d like to give a short list here of stuff I’ve been made aware of through this excellent facility for independent bands:
PORCH are a band from the distant past (try 20 years since a 7″ on Alternative Tentacles!) who have regrouped over recent years & have a new full length entitled ‘Walking Boss’ recorded by Tim Green. Members of this SF band have spent time in lineups of both Primus and TITD but Porch sounds like neither. Soundbite: Imagine delicate Codeine passages leading way to rumbling Karp/Unsane style pummel touched with some Melvins creativity. Recommended
Optional Body feature the former Year Future pairing of Rockey Crane and Sonny Kay. No huge suprises here and it feels like a return to the taut post punk of early Year Future. I loved that band and think it is great to hear these tracks getting an airing. What is not to like about a band featuring the guy who sang in Angel Hair & the guitarist from Dead and Gone??
Two Inch Astronaut are a relatively new band from Baltimore and they have just digitally released a single from their forthcoming album ‘Bad Brother’. Their songs take all manner of twists & turns in a similar way to that of Shudder to Think’s PXR, match this with a late 90s DC vibe and some Chavez/Shiner. An original take on this sound, in fact I’d say that if these guys were from DC it would be hard to imagine this not being released on Dischord.
Ultrasphinx are another new band featuring veteran dudes, you may recognize singer/guitarist Joe Dennis from Party of Helicopters. It’s no secret I fucking love PoH & it’s great to hear his voice again. The music is more hypnotic and rocking, sorta mathy stoner shit? I really like it
Tilts are a band featuring Andrew Elstner on vocals/guitar who you may recognize from the awesome Riddle of Steel. He is now the second guitarist in Torche which I think is the perfect choice for that band. Tilts are an absolute powerhouse of a band, unbridled rock power with power pop hooks. The songwriting is first class and nods to classic rock are all over it… Zeppelin, Sabbath, The Who, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Rolling Stones but Tilts substitute any pomposity with a subtle humor. I was lucky enough to get a physical copy, incredible band.
Holly Hunt is 2 piece featuring Beatriz Monteavaro (Floor, Cavity) on drums & guitarist Gavin Perry. An instrumental band whose main focus is riff upon riff of sludgey stoner metal. This style if done well (ie: here) is very hypnotic and avoids becoming boring I think
‘Live to Crush’ will be the last album from Seattle’s Akimbo since they have now broken up. I came pretty late to this band via their ‘Jersey Shores’ record. It’s big Karp, Young Widows, AmRep tinged noisy rock which suits me just fine at this point. This track rules…
Town Portal are a Danish instrumental band whose sound has definite elements of bands like Pitchblende, Don Cab, Meshuggah or Dysrhythmia. It is known fact that I will never be sick of this style.
Porcupine are well known on this blog and therefore need no introduction. New track from a forthcoming spit 7″ with A*STAR, great…
Godstopper I know of via a friend who is releasing the vinyl of this record. Band names that are dropped would be Harvey Milk, Torche & Mare. Good names to drop if you know what is what in original heavy music. This is the perfect opportunity to say support independent music and if you like any of these bands buy stuff. It’s a guarantee that the bands will actually see some financial compensation for their time and energy.
Magnet School had an absolutely incredible album a few years ago. They just digitally released this single as a prelude to a new album. Fans of Hum/Shiner/Swervedriver need to check these guys out, really great stuff from Austin, TX.
Last addition is the band Worms from Amherst, Massachusetts. Their rock is noisy and bass heavy like GodHeadSilo or Karp. I detect some definite Ohio influence via bands such as Party of Helicopters or even Harriet the Spy. Give their tunes a spin if you’re into this kind of vibe.