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music&riots magazine

FREE | ISSUE 17 | MAR-APR

TORTOISE

ULVER

Marching Through Ages

Immersive & Ambitious

ANTHRAX

7 YEAR BITCH

Thrash State Of Mind

Punk Rock Legends

BLOC PARTY The Necessary Rebirth

BARONESS Happier, Stronger & Hungrier Than Ever

MONEY

An Artful Struggle, Let’s Start Again

BASIA BULAT

A Real & Heartfelt Good Advice

WILD NOTHING

Life On Hold Just For An Instance

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ROAM MILK TEETH MOTHERS LIKE PACIFIC PALEHOUND MYSTERY JETS MUNCIE GIRLS TRIXIE WHITLEY 1


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ROUND UP 14 // ARCHITECTS - Announce the details of their highly anticipated new album... 16 // NOTHING - The follow-up of critically acclaimed Guilty of Everything arrives in May, everything you need to know about it. 20 // BLEACHED - Say Welcome The Worms, their ambitious new album arrives in April. 21 // WHITE LUNG - White Lung return with their fourth album Paradise, here’s the scoop about it... 24 // GARBAGE - Their sixth studio album arrives in June, and it’s titled Strange Little Birds. 25 // KRISTIN KONTROL - Kristin Welchez - aka Dee Dee (Dum Dum Girls) - announced her debut solo album.

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WELCOME BACK

18 // MYSTERY JETS - We caught up with guitarist William Rees and talked a bit about their latest album, Curve of the Earth.

RISING

22 // TRIXIE WHITLEY - We talked with Trixie about her brand new album, Porta Bohemica.

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INTRODUCING

26 // LIKE PACIFIC - They have a gigantic new album and we were lucky enough to catch up with frontman Jordan Black.

NEW NOISE // FEATURING: 30 // CANDACE 32 // ROAM 34 // MINORITY THREAT 35 // ESTRONS 36 // WALL 38 // FROM ASHES TO NEW 40 // AGENT BLA

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STRANGE MIX 28 // We are just sharing some of the things that we love, merch, brands, gifts or even silly and stupid things...

REVIEWS ALBUMS 110 // David Bowie, Anthrax, Black Mountain, Bossk, Frankie Cosmos, Heck, Iggy Pop, Ihsahn, John Carpenter, Lust For Youth, Mamiffer, Mogwai, Parquet Courts, September Girls, The Coathangers, The Thermals , Wild Nothing, Violent Femmes...

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LIVE REPORTS 134 // Baroness, Marching Church, Enter Shikari, The King Blues, The Wonder Years, Deafheaven, Myrkur, Shopping, Blues Pills

CINEMA & TV 140 // Deadpool, Anomalisa, Truth, Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Love (Season 1) 6

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CONTENTS

INTERVIEWS

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42 // MUNCIE GIRLS - We caught up

with Lande Hekt that gave us more reasons to say they’re really a band to watch and catch live in 2016.

46 // MONEY - There’s more than meets the eye with Suicide Songs and singer and lyricist Jamie Lee gave us some clarification and crucial information about it. 50 // MOTHERS - Matthew was the one

we talked to about their fascinating debut album, along with the beginnings of the band.

54 // 7 YEAR BITCH - Live at Moe is the

piece that was missing and we talked with bassist Elizabeth Davis and guitarist Valerie Agnew to talk about that important document of punk rock history.

58 // BASIA BULAT - Basia told us

delightfully what inspired her for her new album and how exciting her live shows supporting will be.

62 // WILD NOTHING - Jack Tatum

talked with us about the importance of taking a pause in your life and how it inspired him for the new record, Life Of Pause.

68 // BARONESS - Vocalist and guitarist

John Baizley spoke to us about the changes the band have undergone over the past few years and why these have made them happier, stronger and hungrier than ever.

76 // PALEHOUND - We caught up with Ellen Kempner about her new record and her beginnings as a musician. 80 // BLOC PARTY - Guitarist Russell Lissack took us through the making of such pivotal album, which is also an admitted rebirth. 86 // MILK TEETH - It was about Vile Child

and everything that now surrounds Milk Teeth that we talked about with guitarist and songwriter Chris Webb.

“We’re excited, and we haven’t been this excited in a while. When you play this much music, at this point in your career – or age, let’s say – to be able to tap into excitement can be a very difficult thing.” John Baizley - Baroness WORDS FROM THE EDITOR

90 // TORTOISE - After seven years in the

wilderness they have returned with another uncategorisable gem in The Catastrophist, and we nabbed co-founder Dan Bitney to find out what keeps Tortoise marching through the ages.

96 // ULVER - Founder Kristoffer Rygg talked us through the finer details of this immersive and ambitious project. 102 // ANTHRAX - We caught up with

bassist Frank Bello in a Houston backstage area before one of Anthrax’s gigs in their current tour to talk a bit about their latest release, For All Kings.

How excited are we with the amazing comeback of Baroness? Very fucking excited. These dudes suffered a huge setback while touring in Europe a few years ago, but they’re back, happier, stronger and hungrier than ever to rock this place up. Our brand new issue is finally here, and it’s loaded with big guns, from exciting new acts like Milk Teeth, Mothers, Palehound or Muncie Girls, to huge, iconic and legendary acts like Anthrax, Tortoise, 7 Year Bitch, Ulver and Bloc Party. We can even say that this is perhaps our most diverse and rich issue ever, having Wild Nothing, Mystery Jets, Money or Basia Bulat side by side is an honor and for all the right reasons we’re sharing with you guys how thrilled and happy we are with our brand new issue 17. The new issue is also made of changes, our edition gets bigger and goes bi-monthly, and for that reason we are for raising our own limits and level up the game a bit more. Enough of boring talk, enjoy our brand new issue. Your Editor, Fausto Casais

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LISTENING POST

music&riots magazine musicandriots.com

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY The Wilderness Bella Union Available on April 1

YEASAYER Amen & Goodbye Mute Records Available on April 1

NOTHING Tired Of Tomorrow Relapse Records Available on May 13

FREE | ISSUE 17 | MARCH /APRIL

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Fausto Casais (faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

DEPUTY EDITOR

Andreia Alves (andreiaalves@musicandriotsmagazine.com) Tiago Moreira (tiago@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

ART EDITOR // DESIGNER Fausto Casais

FEATURES EDITOR Fausto Casais

CONTRIBUTORS // WRITERS

WHITE LUNG Paradise Domino Available on May 6

MANTAR Ode To The Flame Nuclear Blast Available on April 15

Nuno Babo, Nuno Teixeira, Ricardo Almeida, Sergio Kilmore, Dave Bowes, Mariana Silva, Rob McCance, Rui Correia, Carlos Cardoso, Euan Andrews, Luis Alves, Ibrahima Brito, Stella Eliadou, Antigoni Pitta, Joe Doyle, Miljan Milekić, Alyssa Daniele, Marty Hill, Andi James Chamberlain, Justin Kuntz, Mark McConville, Britney Badeaux

COVER STORY PHOTOGRAHER Jimmy Hubbard

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Andreia Alves, Ricardo Almeida, Britney Badeaux

GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@musicandriotsmagazine.com

PARQUET COURTS Human Performance Rough Trade Available on April 8

ADVERTISING

(faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

FILM EDITOR

Fausto Casais (faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

THE COATHANGERS Nosebleed Weekend Suicide Squeeze Records Available on April 15

SORORITY NOISE It Kindly Stopped For Me Topshelf Records Available on April 22

BETH ORTON Kidstickes Anti Available on May 27

DÄLEK Asphalt For Eden Profound Lore Available on April 22

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ONLINE ADVERTISING

(andreiaalves@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

HUGE FUCKING THANKS

Lauren Barley, Frank van Liempdt, Deathwish Inc, Thrill Jockey, Amelia Trask, Richard S.Jones, Brid Walpole, Sub Pop, Sargent House, Lucy Hurst, Stephanie Marlow, Amplificasom, Earsplit, Jessi Frick, UNFD, Matador, Spinefarm, Southern Lord, Riot Act Media, Team Clermont, Bloodshot Records, Eros Pasi, Rude Records, Walter Mazzeo, Pure Noise Records, Memorial Records, Hopeless Records, Nathan Walker, Bella Union, Napalm Records, Canvas Media, Sarah Maynard, Sony Music UK, Raw Power Management, Kenneth Bachor, Catalyst PR, Don Giovanni Records, UNFD, Wichita, Domino, Nuclear Blast, PIAS

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Baroness


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BARONESS Paradise Garage Lisbon

Picture by Ricardo Almeida

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BIG PICTURE

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F

or the past decade, the Sussex-based quintet have pushed boundaries, redefined genres, and never feared having to question themselves in order for their art to leave its mark on this Earth. “You always want to make the record that isn’t in your CD collection,” smiles humble frontman Sam Carter. “You want to create what isn’t there, to get that out of your head.” In October 2015, the now five members of the band – frontman Carter, bassist Ali Dean, guitarists Adam Christianson and Tom Searle, plus the latter’s twin brother drummer, Dan – boarded a plane bound for Sweden, and a return to Gothenburg’s Studio Fredman: home to the production team Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd. It was they who would previously helped realize Lost Forever/Lost Together and it was they who would once again be entrusted to help translate the tracks penned by principal songwriter Tom Searle that past summer into a reality. “To me, All Our Gods… is about getting to the root of the dysfunctions and disillusionment that cause all of this mess, be it personal or political or environmental,” begins Tom Searle. “It all comes down to the delusion that we need more. We’re all in a constant state of anxiety and jealousy and want and desire. So many of us are unhappy, and don’t know what to do with our lives. I think a lot of the record is about digging into that. Why are we where we are? Why we cant see the wood for the trees? Why don’t we improve on our lives personally or collectively? We get sick, but then we carry on doing the things that made us sick in the first place. We can all see the world is heading for disaster, yet we do nothing to stop it.” “People may ask where the hope is on this new album,” Tom says. “But confronting the darker parts of life is healthy and positive. It’s a healthy thing spiritually, to let go of trying to control everything. The title of the record is actually alluding to the idea that we now live in such a godless, faithless society that it’s not <actually> a good thing, because what’s stepped in its place is consumerism and that constant want of more. There’s a part of us missing. No one looks up at the stars any more. We don’t question what makes us happy, or what true happiness is, and how we can find it.” “If you let yourself go to the darkness, and discuss these things, you do realize how much light there is in life as well,” adds Sam. “Life is a wonderful, incredible thing. And the most beautiful thing of all about life is the wonder and the questions and the discussions.” ALL OUR GODS HAVE ABANDONED US ARRIVES ON MAY 27th VIA EPITAPH RECORDS 14

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ARCHITE DETAILS OF THEIR


ROUND UP

ECTS HAVE ANNOUNCED THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM

“We look at animals with fear; the only ones we’re not scared of are dead on our plate or on a leash. People need to change their lifestyle and their habits for the good of the planet, for the sake of their own conscience.” Tom Searle musicandriots.com

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ollowing the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Guilty Of Everything, Nothing are back with a new album titled Tired Of Tomorrow, out on May 13th via Relapse Records. Tired Of Tomorrow was originally set for release via Collect Records, until the band discovered that the label had been funded by the now-infamous hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, whose roster subsequently dissolved under the weight of the

NOTHING ARE â&#x20AC;&#x153;TIR

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ROUND UP

unsettling controversy surrounding him. Though the album was written before the Shkreli debacle, Palermo sees those events to only have strengthened the sentiments and ideas behind Tired Of Tomorrow, rather than confuse its message. In the summer 2015, while on the eighth consecutive month of a non-stop tour that had seen the band performing with the likes of DIIV, Merchandise, Torche, Failure, Hum and more, Palermo was mugged and badly injured in Oakland, CA. The assault ultimately left Palermo with a

fractured skull & orbital, nineteen staples, and a drastically re-shaped perspective about his music and life in a larger sense. That new mindset, which the band hadn’t been able to realize until Palermo’s injury, forced them to come up for air from the endless touring - “Like when you’re in a car going 100 miles per hour and connect with an oak tree and everything behind you comes smashing forward,” Palermo said. That was the basis for the band’s new record Tired Of Tomorrow, which was recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4

with Will Yip (Title Fight, Superheaven, Touche Amore, etc) this past October. This album was born out of a chain of events that forced frontman Domenic Palermo to drastically re-think and re-shape his perspective about both life and music. Borrowing from personal memoir and external works alike, Nothing have worked the deepest influences of their youth and maturation into a package that’s ultimately at its most relevant in the present day. TIRED OF TOMORROW ARRIVES ON MAY 13th VIA RELAPSE RECORDS

RED OF TOMORROW”

FOLLOW-UP OF GUILTY OF EVERYTHING ARRIVES IN MAY

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The fifth album, and the first in over three years, from Britain’s MYSTERY JETS comes from a place that any decent music fan will appreciate and respect. The band relocated back to London and set up their own recording space in a disused button factory in east London, decided to produce their own album, and recruited bassist Jack Flanagan. Oh, and decided to create their most ambitious album to date. We found guitarist William Rees extremely excited with the band’s state and happy to share the details that matter regarding their latest album, Curve of the Earth.

“It’s the first time you are able any kind of perspective on

Words by Tiago Moreira

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fter the release of Radlands you’ve had the opportunity to do a more extensive tour in the United States, with Mumford & Sons. How was that experience like? Was it impactful in any way, shape, or form? Yeah, we went through a lot of amazing places like New Orleans, Mississippi, and Nashville. I think really what it was is that it was a time for us to start thinking what we were going to do next with the new album, start to get our ideas together, and start laying plans for where we were going to take the music for the following album. I don’t think there’s much of an American flavor to what the new album is and what we’ve done. But I think every experience you have is taking you somewhere, taking you to your next project, your next step. So, I think it was impactful in a subtle way, 18

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maybe not in a big way. Instead of releasing an album right away, you guys decided to invest six months and build your own studio. What propelled that decision? I think we had to build our own studio. We had to do it. We felt like the band needed a headquarters and we used to have a headquarters when we were doing our first album [2006’s Making Dens] and it was something, a kind of base, that we sort of we haven’t had for a long time. We felt like we needed a place to where we could store all of our equipment that we’ve been collecting over the years and where we could really get our heads down and explore the music. I think having your own studio it can be an amazing thing and it can also be a dangerous thing. I think the reason for that is because when you have your own studio time doesn’t exist,

the concept of time doesn’t exist. You can basically lose entire weeks of your life there and no one is going to tell you to stop, which is basically what we did on this album. We worked day and night... But I think we just felt ready for it, ready to have our own studio space and take that step. Are there any tracks on the album that did happen sort of fast and you didn’t have to spend many time working on it? “The End Up”, the last song on the album, happened very quickly. That came together in one morning when we were all very hungover from a party the night before and we kind of got into the studio and pick up our instruments and that song led out of us in about half an hour. That’s a rare case though because a lot of the songs actually took a long time to come together and gestate.


WELCOME BACK // MYSTERY JETS actually the right thing for us. I couldn’t help noticing that Curve of the Earth is the first album of Mystery Jets with less than ten tracks. Everything that we’ve done, we’ve done it for the sake of the record, really. We really didn’t want to just put songs on there for the sake of it. We didn’t even put songs on there just based whether they’re good songs or not, the main thing that was the big factor in deciding what made onto the album was whether it was going to help the family of songs or make it a really great album as a continuous piece, as a whole. I certainly feel that if you take one of the songs off the album or if you rejiggle the tracklisting it really wouldn’t be the same. It needs to be what it is. We’re quite tough on ourselves in that process. I think it took us about six weeks to get the tracklisting right and... It’s really a part of the process because...

to stand back and have what you’ve made.” Did you start working on the album with a somewhat clear idea of what you wanted to achieve with it? Yeah, we knew that we wanted to make an album that was slower in pace, that had a space rock feel to it, and that had a grand mastery quality to it. That’s what the original manifesto for the album was and we did actually make an album like that. But when we completed it and played it to people it wasn’t right. So actually, in the two years that we took off to make this record, we actually produced two albums worth of material and what you have at the end of it, Curve of the Earth, is a collection of half of that first album and half of the second album put together. I guess my point is: we started off with an idea of what we wanted to do, but once we completed that idea we realized it wasn’t

of astronauts in space who landed on the moon and looked back at the Earth and saw the curve of the Earth. But for us is a way of summarize all the songs and gather them up and giving them a kind of collective identity because the album is a lot about scale and perspective. When you get high enough to see the curve of the Earth then, in a way, you have a perspective that isn’t an ordinary one and maybe is the right perspective in order to appreciate what you’ve got. I think it’s a kind of umbrella-like term that we used to household all of the songs.

Did having Jack Flanagan on board help offer some new kind of direction and focus? It certainly did. Jack kind of saved us in a way. He injected fresh blood into the band and... I think he kind of helped us feel like a gang again. Our last bass player Kai [Fish] left about three or four years ago and he was one of the original core members of the band. After he left we always felt like something was missing. It’s almost like having a kind of phantom limb or something. You have this kind of memory of something, but it’s not there. So, when we found Jack, he just basically came along and pumped enthusiasm and excitement back into how we were feeling.

Working on an album like Curve of the Earth, did it give you some kind perspective on our previous work? Yeah, I think you’re always getting perspective. Every time you look back you have a sense of perspective. I think what makes this album what is, is at the end of our last album [2012’s Radlands] we had a lot of time on our hands and we were at a crossroads in the story of the Mystery Jets. We were at a point where we really didn’t know where to go or what to do because we were a member down and there was the four and not five of us. I think having that time gave us a chance to really reflect and, like you say, look back and gain a sense of perspective on where we’ve been and what we were. I think which is why this album is the way it is. The last thing we wanted to do was to make Radlands part II. When you find that you want to do something and there’s all sort of obstacles that get in your way and are there to try to stop you from doing it... It either stops you or it makes you want to do it even more. In our case, there were a lot of puddles that we had to jump over. We had to find a new band member in Jack, setting up a studio... That was wonderful and really fun, but very challenging at the same time. I think when you find there’s resistance it just makes you want it more. You have to work even harder to get it, and if it’s not hard work, it isn’t worth it.

Where does it come from the title Curve of the Earth? I think it’s from like a recording

CURVE OF THE EARTH IS OUT NOW VIA CAROLINE INTERNATIONAL

It can make or break an album. Exactly, it can make or break an album. It’s the first time you are able to stand back and have any kind of perspective on what you’ve made. It’s like suddenly the album gives itself back to you and you can kind of see it in a new way for the first time. In a way you’ve never seen it before.

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BLEACHED SAY “WELCOME THE WORMS”

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pril 1st sees the release of Welcome The Worms, the ambitious new album by Los Angeles-based Bleached. Sisters Jennifer (vocals, guitar) and Jessie Clavin (guitar, bass) managed to charm world-renowned producer and engineer Joe Chiccarelli (The Strokes, Morrissey) and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) to join them and their bassist Micayla Grace in the studio, but Jen and Jessie had been

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crawling out of their own personal dramas. Jessie was evicted from her house and scrambling, while Jen ended a torrid, unhealthy romance. While emotionally spinning, she dove head first into music. “I was a loose canon,” the commanding frontwoman says. “I was losing serious control of my personal and creative life. I was falling apart, trying to escape. I felt like Bleached was the only thing I actually cared about.” Throughout the record, Bleached paints a frivolous

picture of Los Angeles: the life of eye­-rolling caused by dating men in bands, dirty Sunset Boulevard and futile drunken nights in a starstruck hole that made everyone from Charles Manson to Darby Crash to Marilyn Monroe stare up at the Hollywood sign for direction, safely hid behind a cheeky misdemeanor. “We don’t want perfection because it’s boring,” Jen declares. “We want to make music that’s as real as life.”

The Melvins, who have a history of imaginative line-up changes, feature not one, but six different bass players on their appropriately titled new album, Basses Loaded, on June 3 via Ipecac Recordings. The collection features Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover joined by Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, Butthole Surfers’ J.D. Pinkus, Big Business’ Jared Warren, Mr. Bungle/ Fantomas’ Trevor Dunn (aka Melvins Lite) and Crover swapping the drum kit for bass in the Melvins 1983

iteration. The album’s nod to baseball, and the inclusion of the band’s own version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” is a natural one, with Buzz and Dale often spotted at games across the country. Lonely The Brave have announced the release of Things Will Matter, their much anticipated second album, due to be released on May 20th. Recorded with leading producer Ross Orton (Drenge, M.I.A, Arctic Monkeys), Things Will Matter allowed the band time to work further on textures and atmospherics,

WELCOME THE WORMS ARRIVES ON APRIL 1ST VIA DEAD OCEANS


ROUND UP

WHITE LUNG NEW ALBUM ARRIVES IN MAY

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fter the critically acclaimed release Deep Fantasy (2014), White Lung return with their fourth album Paradise, which is schedule to release on May 6th via Domino. Vocalist Mish Barber-Way, guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, reconnected in Los Angeles to work with engineer and producer Lars Stalfors (HEALTH, Cold War Kids, Alice Glass). In October of 2015, White Lung

spent a month in the studio, working closely with Stalfors to challenge what could be done with their songs. “I wanted it to sound new. I wanted a record that sounded like it was made in 2016”, says William of his mindset. White Lung curated their songs with a new pop sensibility. Mixed by Stalfors and later mastered by Joe LaPorta, Paradise is their smartest, brightest songwriting yet. “There’s this stupid attitude that only punks have where it’s uncool to

become a better song writer,” says Barber-Way, “In no other musical genre are your fans going to drop you when you start progressing. That would be like parents being disappointed in their child for graduating from kindergarten to the first grade. Paradise is the best song writing we have ever done, and I expect the next record to be the same. I have no interest in staying in kindergarten.”

to create the expansive sound they had aimed for. Things Will Matter also marks their first full album featuring second guitarist Ross Smithwick; the interplay between himself and founding guitarist Mark Trotter adding more depth to an already epic sound. Miserable – aka Kristina Esfandiari – has announced the release of her debut album, entitled Uncontrollable and due to be released on April 29th via Native Sound. Written and recorded over the course of a year, Uncontrollable

follows-up Halloween Dream and Dog Days EPs as well the last year’s King Woman‘s Doubt EP, which is her other music outlet. Modern Baseball will release their new album Holy Ghost through Run For Cover Records, on May 13th. The first album recorded by someone other than the band themselves, Modern Baseball enlisted Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Joyce Manor) at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia to help refine their sound. Holy Ghost shows off the band’s sonic growth, adding in

new influences ranging from The Killers to Pedro The Lion. Hesitation Wounds have announced details of their debut album, Awake For Everything, due for release on May 27th through 6131 Records. Featuring Jeremy Bolm, vocalist of Hesitation Wounds (and Touché Amoré), Neeraj Kane (The Hope Conspiracy, Suicide File, Holy Fever), Jay Weinberg (Slipknot and ex-Against Me!), and Stephen ‘Scuba’ LaCour (Ex-Trap Them, True Cross), there is a new super-group in town!

PARADISE ARRIVES ON MAY 6TH VIA DOMINO

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Belgian-American and Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist TRIXIE WHITLEY has been surrounded by the creative arts since a very young age. The daughter of the late Chris Whitley, a renowned blues musician, has released her sophomore album, Porta Bohemica, and we wanted to know a little more about Trixie’s blend of dark, bluesy rock, electronica and affinity for punk rock's non-conformist ethics. Words by Tiago Moreira

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couldn’t help noticing that Porta Bohemica is considerably shorter than Fourth Corner. Was that a conscious decision on your part? Yes, it was. I wanted to make a shorter album with Fourth Corner as well. I'd rather deliver a lean body of work, stay true to my essence and trim the fat wherever I can than deliver an album with a bunch of excess material. People’s attention spans are so short these days and there's enough noise out there in my opinion. 22

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RISING // TRIXIE WHITLEY Having less tracks on album doesn’t mean that there was less work put into it, and more often than not is the other way around. I’m curious to know more about your writing process for this new album and how different, or not, it was from past experiences. Thank you for acknowledging the hard work that was put into this album. I think there was some sense of internal transformation going on throughout the process of these recordings. From the beginning of the process my intention was to allow myself to fully understand and listen to my own instincts. Which is much easier said than done and ultimately can only come from a sense of trust and confidence. That in itself was different from the past and demanded a lot of vulnerability and fearlessness to be able to create as openly as I possibly could. You’ve been connected to creative arts since a young age. What’s the impact and influence that those past experiences have when you’re writing an album like Porta Bohemica? I think all my past experiences have had a tremendous impact on my own development. Mostly through the awareness that I can't really create in a linear way. I hear, visualize, write and create in a pretty layered way. And I am fascinated by the diversity of these creative languages and I try to honor them as much as I can. I know you’ve only started playing guitar six/ seven years ago. Were you more confident with your relation with the guitar on this new album than on Fourth Corner? I think so, although the guitar certainly was not my main focus in translating the music. What’s the meaning behind the title Porta Bohemica and what did you want to convey with it? It's quite simple really, I saw a 'Porta Bohemica" sign years ago and thought it was quite fascinating. I always liked it as a possible title for something further down the line, and as I was working on the record I looked it up and discovered it was this abandoned train line which sparked something mysterious in my imagination and resonated with the process of the record. I knew I was on a journey not knowing where I would end up and fully embraced that aspect of it. How important were Gus Seyffert (producer) and Joey Waronker in the process of reaching what we can now hear on Porta Bohemica? They both really only came in at the very end. I had initially produced most of the material myself, but ended up having too much recordings and was starting to lose perspective over the album as a whole. They really helped me cut some chords and tie the knots so to speak. PORTA BOHEMICA IS OUT NOW VIA MEGAFORCE RECORDS 23


GARBAGE BACK WITH “STRANGE LITTLE BIRDS”

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arbage announced Strange Little Birds, their sixth studio album, which will be released on June 10th on the band’s own label STUNVOLUME. The album, produced by the band, is the follow up to 2012’s heralded Not Your Kind of People. Working initially in Vig’s basement and then at Red Razor Sounds in Los Angeles, Garbage drew on a variety of sources, from

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their recent fan letters back to the albums they loved growing up. “The guiding principle was keeping it fresh, and relying on instinct both lyrically and musically”, said frontwoman Shirley Manson. Strange Little Birds is “less fussed over” than anything Garbage has ever made. “We fell in love with immediacy,” adds Vig. Some will hear echoes of Garbage’s 1995 debut album in Strange Little Birds — including Manson herself.

Exploded View will be unveiled at SXSW by NY Label, Sacred Bones, fronted by German /Bristol political- journalist -turned-musician/singer Anika who released her self-titled debut album in collaboration with Geoff Barrow’s Invada imprint and Stones Throw in 2010. This new project was created during the rehearsal sessions for Anika’s Mexican live debut back in March 2014. An unexpected partnership formed between Annika and local producers, Martin Thulin (Crocodiles producer),

“To me, this record, funnily enough, has the most to do with the first record than any of the previous records,” she says. “It’s getting back to that beginner’s headspace. In part, she says, that’s a result of not having anyone to answer to.” Garbage will perform at various festivals and headline shows across Europe this summer. STRANGE LITTLE BIRDS ARRIVES ON JUNE 10TH VIA STUNVOLUME

synth-head Hugo Quezada (Robota) and Riotboy sweetheart Hector Melgarejo (Jessy Bulbo / Nos llamamos) to form Exploded View. The Kills have unveiled details of their highly anticipated fifth album. Entitled Ash & Ice, the album will be released on June 3rd through Domino. The the bulk of the recording for Ash & Ice took place in a rented house in LA and at the world famous Electric Lady Studios in NYC. The album was produced by Jamie Hince and co-produced by John O’Mahony


ROUND UP

KRISTIN KONTROL ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM

K

ristin Welchez – aka Dee Dee, leader of internationally acclaimed rock outfit Dum Dum Girls, will release X-Communicate, the debut album from her new solo project, Kristin Kontrol, on May 27 via Sub Pop Records. With Kristin Kontrol, Dee Dee made the decisive move to shed her skin, ditching Dee Dee – the name she had assumed for the Dum Dum Girls – for her given name, Kristin. “For me as leader of Dum Dum Girls it felt very stoic and serious, and I am serious, but anyone who really knows me knows I’m silly, too; I smile a lot,” explains Kristin. “As the years went on, it was so weird that I kept so much of me out of what I was doing creatively.” The album was produced by Kurt Feldman (of Ice Choir and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) and Andrew Miller (who played guitar in the Dum Dum Girls’ last incarnation). Longtime Dum Dum Girls producer Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, The Go-Go’s) provided “sonic consultation,” giving Kristin feedback on the new songs. “I feel free. I had to excommunicate myself to be able to explore. Even if I have to rebuild my whole career, I’d rather work tirelessly then feel stagnant. I feel excited again, and you can’t put a price on that.” X-COMMUNICATE ARRIVES ON MAY 27 VIA SUB POP RECORDS

(Metric, The Cribs), and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Arcade Fire) and Tchad Blake (Black Keys). Following the release of last year’s self-titled album, the legendary Wire have announced the release of a brand new album. Nocturnal Koreans is due to be released on April 22nd via the band’s own label Pinkflag. Wire’s frontman Colin Newman said of the forthcoming album: “The WIRE album was quite respectful of the band, and Nocturnal Koreans is less respectful of the band—or,

more accurately, it’s the band being less respectful to itself—in that it’s more created in the studio, rather than recorded basically as the band played it, which was mostly the case with WIRE. A general rule for this record was: any trickery is fair game, if it makes it sound better.” The rumors that Bat For Lashes would release the follow-up to 2012’s The Haunted Man have been confirmed. The forthcoming LP, was produced by Khan as well as longtime collaborators Ben Christophers and Dan Carey, Simon Felice, and

Head. The new album was inspired by Khan’s short film I Do, which will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. According to the press release: “The Bride follows the story of a woman whose fiancé has been killed in a crash on the way to the church for their wedding. The Bride flees the scene to take the honeymoon trip alone, resulting in a dark meditation on love, loss, grief, and celebration. [It was] written as the soundtrack for a feature length film in mind.”

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2016 is starting off really great with the releases of the debut albums of some cool and hard working bands.

LIKE PACIFIC have recently released their first album, Distant Like You Asked, and before its release, we caught up with frontman Jordan Black to know all about it. Words by Andreia Alves Photo by Kurt Cuffy

H

ow’s the new year starting off for you? So far it’s pretty good. We have the album coming out and stuff like that and so we’re pretty excited. So far, so good. [laughs] Last year you released your self-titled EP, which was such an impressive step forward for the band. Were you expecting such huge feedback from it? Well, I didn’t expect such positive feedback. It was a bit of a change for us like a more pop side thing for us and everything has been really good. The feedback has been very positive. I didn’t expect it, but it’s awesome for sure. While supporting the release of Like Pacific EP, you were already working on your debut album, Distant Like You Asked. How was the experience of working on it? 26

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“This is our first full-length and the and see what we’ve done, just b I had a lot of stuff written and we just worked on that together while we were on tour. With the summer and other stuff, we were getting everything ready with all the skeleton of that. We just worked really hard just to pump out, it still has what we like and what we used to do. It was a little bit hard to create a full-length with so much content, it was really hard to pump out a bunch of songs and put them all in an album. It was kind of hard, but it was great. You released three EPs before getting into working on your first full-length. What did you approach differently? For the full-length, we approached it differently. We took outsiders

approach as well, you know? We were like, “That’s the kind of music we want to write, but we should get some other opinions from people.” We had our friend Derek and Sam helping us out. We worked with them in the past, which is great. This time around, we were like “We think this is cool too…” and we took our time. You are very passionate and honest in your lyrics, and with this album is no different. You really go so skin-deep with the words you sing. How was it like to write the lyrics for Distant Like You Asked and what mainly did inspire you? The lyrical content of the album was just stuff that I wrote about


INTRODUCING // LIKE PACIFIC beginning and it was just... then it was definitely what we wanted to sound like and we kept saying “let’s write more aggressive shit and just go for the faster stuff.” That had a really positive feedback, because in Toronto we had a lot of bands doing like the emo side of stuff and really poppy, easycore kind of stuff, you know? We all dislike that and we wanted to try something different. We did it and it worked out great.

best part was sitting down and hearing the songs being like ‘Oh shit, that’s actually happening!’” a year ago. I never really thought it would make it to the album, but we worked on it. This time around I put a lot more effort into writing. It kind of leaves things open-ended for people to relate to. It’s not necessarily just about me anymore. You feel like you have a bigger crowd and people start to pay attention and at maximum to like us and giving a shit about us. People are like, “Holy shit, that song reminds me of this.” That’s pretty cool. Some people can have a completely different experience to our songs, but you know I wrote about one subject. Which song off this album was the toughest one for you to write about?

We were talking... my grandmother recently passed away and we had a song in the studio at the time that I had written lyrics for something and I hated it. I had to rewrite the lyrics within a couple hours like being alone at home and just rewrote them. Looking back to all your releases, this album has a lot more diversity and it has some pop sensibilities in there as well. What did inspire you to go more into poppy vibe, without losing that punk energy? The first stuff we did was very poppy. We were young and impressionable and we all kind of liked any weird kinds of music. There was a different lineup at the

The album was produced and engineered by Sam Guaiana at Room 21 Sound in Toronto, and I read that Sam really pushed you guys to your limits. What can you tell me more about that? Our boy Sam produced our album and also our friend Derek. Sam plays in a band called July and they’re like a really poppy band. They’re fucking awesome. We always look up to Sam, because he just knew what he’s doing in the recording and he worked with so many bands. He really knows harmonies. I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me the vocals like he knows that I can’t really sing like I used to anymore, but he knows how to work with those moments. If he knows you can do something and he thinks you’re being lazy, he will push you the farthest and he will burn your brain that you got to do this certain part in this certain way. He’s really good at that because obviously he’s trustworthy and you can trust what he’s doing. He really pushed me really hard. [laughs] Overall, what was the best part of working on your debut album? Well, I can say that the worst part was sleeping in the studio on a leather couch in hot heat recording some nights, because we had to get stuff done, but I think the best part was that we really wanted to do this. This is our first full-length and the best part was sitting down and hearing the songs and see what we’ve done, just being like “Oh shit, that’s actually happening!” The recording process was in general great, the whole experience... DISTANT LIKE YOU ASKED IS OUT NOW VIA PURE NOISE RECORDS

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NEW NOISE HEY! WE’RE NEW HERE, PLEASED TO MEET YOU... 30

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NEW NOISE

CANDACE

S

tarting out as Is/Is back in 2009, Sarah Rose, Sarah Nienaber and Mara Appel decided to

WHERE? Portland (USA) WHO? Sarah Rose, Sarah Nienaber, Mara Appel RELEASE: New Future LP FILE UNDER: Blouse, Bleached, No Joy

reunite in 2015 to form a renewed and exciting band. Going now by the name Candace, the girls spent a week at Jackpot! Recording Studio with longtime friend and co-producer, Neil Weir of The

Old Blackberry, and the result was these atmospheric and hazy rock songs with a glimpse of shoegaze in it. The trio will release their debut album, New Future, on March 16th via Found Object Records.

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Y

“We changed ou parts of w

ou guys have a quite range of influences that goes from Sum 41, New Found Glory to even Shakira. Yeah, I had to mention her, and you guys shared a Spotify playlist with your main inspirations for your debut album. In which way did those bands inspired Backbone? In different ways for each of them really, some of them might had just been an idea in terms of lyrically what they’re talking about and about that kind of thing because that’s a cool idea, or I like how the chorus goes from standing half time and half way through, or I like the chords and that kind of things. It was all just different ideas that the songs seem to stand out in a certain member in the band and we just kind of adapt the ideas from that and put into our music. How was it like to write the material for your debut album? It was different from the EPs because it was the album and we had a lot more time. We were able to record the songs beforehand before going into the studio. We had a pre-production so we recorded all the songs, listened to them, changed parts, worked them out how we wanted them to be and we wanted it to be different. It was really good to hear the songs before they were recorded because you can hear if that doesn’t quite work or that works really well. That was definitely different from the EPs because the EPs were very much played in the band practice and then we played them in the studio and that was it, and so it was really great to be able to do the pre-production of the album and actually work through the ideas and change them as well. In a press release, you mentioned that you would only release an album that would really make a statement. How does Backbone stand out to be the right one to put out? I think for us is like it was very much “Ok, this is our album and we’re gonna do exactly what we want to do and if we don’t like it, that’s fine, and if you do like it that’s good because that’s what we’re gonna sound like now.” We changed our sound a lot I think, but still maintain parts of what we sounded like before. It was pretty much like “We’re gonna up our sound and make it sound bigger. We’re gonna have more production,

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ROAM are five lads from the UK who ha

punk songs. Early this year they release Backbone. On the album's release day, we to know how writing this first full-le

Words by Andreia Al


NEW NOISE // Q&A // ROAM

ur sound a lot I think, but still maintain what we sounded like before.”

ave been putting out infectious pop ed their awesome debut album, talked with vocalist Alex Costello ength was and much more.

we’re gonna have more parts, more complicated sections, and bigger melodies, bigger choruses and all that kind of stuff.” We just wanted to kind of be like “This is us now. Take it or leave it.” Matt Wilson of Set Your Goals is guest vocals for the track “Deadweight”. What can you tell me more about that collaboration? We were in the studio and we recorded part of the song and the engineer at the time was like “This sounds like Set Your Goals and I would love to get Matt on it” and we were like “Yeah, of course it would” and he was like “Well, I know him. I used to tour with them, I just need to text him.” We were like “Yes, definitely!” [laughs] He just texted him and within 10/15 minutes he texted back saying yes. I guess maybe two or three weeks later he recorded it in his house in California and sent it out. We had him on the track and it was amazing. We had to do it live in San Francisco as well, which was awesome. About the recording process, the album was produced, engineered and mixed by Drew Lawson at Steel City Studios. How was the experience to record your first full-length? It was awesome. He put in so much time and so much effort that the days were supposed to be 9 to 5, but we ended up doing 8 until 11 or 8 until 12 or 8 until 1 in the morning. He was just very meticulous about everything and would tune the guitar parts as soon as we finished playing and would tune the strings even with us holding them and it was very awesome working with him. He really put a lot of work and made a big difference in the album. Was there any part of making Backbone that you found challenging and stressful? Oh, yes! The whole thing... I mean, we went into the studio with all of the songs and I would say “Probably another two, maybe” and they were good, they were ok and they were very different to how they sounded like in terms of lyrically and melodically, and even different sections and different instruments. They are very different how they are now and we thought it was great. We thought it was good like what we do normally. Myself and Alex [Adam] both got quite ill, not ill as in like throwing out, but like we had colds and we couldn’t sing, and this was when we were supposed to do vocals and so we had to stop. We went on tour in America, the UK and Europe during this time because we had to obviously book back into the studio. During that time, we pretty much rewrote the whole album and that was a very stressful time because it was like having time away from it we realized that it was good, but it wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t enough of a statement to be like “This is our debut album.” We realized very quickly that it wasn’t good enough and luckily because we were able to see that and we rewrote the whole thing, that time was very stressful because we knew it wasn’t good enough, but equally don’t have that much time to rewrite everything and go back and do it. That was a very stressful time, but I’m glad it happened because it wouldn’t come out as it is if we haven’t done that.

lves

BACKBONE IS OUT NOW VIA HOPELESS RECORDS www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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MINORITY THREAT

WHERE? Columbus (USA) WHO? Jordan Byrd, Darrell Chess, Winston Hightower, Antonio Foushee RELEASE: Culture Control EP FILE UNDER: Teen Idles, Black Flag, Minor Threat

M

inority Threat are four dudes from Columbus that make brutal and straight-to-your-face hardcore music. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also are members from Colors, Northern Widows, and Yuze Boys. The death of Michael Brown sort of got them together to start this new band. Their urgency to speak out about situations

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like racism and social issues led them to create such strong and important statement in all their songs. Last year, the group released their debut EP Culture Control via Head2Wall Records. On Culture Control, the band examines a post-Ferguson world in just seven minutes of infectious and fast songs. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite intense and refreshing to see their political view which is really important nowadays.


NEW NOISE

ESTRONS

WHERE? Cardiff (UK) WHO? Taliesyn Källström and Rhodri Daniel RELEASE: Whoever She Was... EP FILE UNDER: Blood Red Shoes, Sleater-Kinney, The Kills

E

strons means “aliens” or “strangers” in Welsh. It’s not hard to understand why this band came up with that name since their music relates to alienation, and other subjects, but more importantly, they are ferocious to speak up their minds and make a statement with their songs. “Make A Man” was the first

single to pop up and to make the buzz, not only for its impressive musical approach, but also for its meaning. They write about sexual dominance, belonging, divorce, self doubt themes. Their debut EP Whoever She Was... is out now via Gofod Records Ltd and in 2014 Taliesyn gave birth to her son Björn and toured Wales within a month of his birth. The band’s video for “Aliens” and the EP artwork features her breast feeding. Go check them out!

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WALL

W 36

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all are a NYbased group that started off with bassist Elizabeth Skadden teaming up with her childhood

Mar-Apr

WHERE? New York (USA) WHO? Vanessa Gomez, Elizabeth Skadden, Vince McClelland, Sam York RELEASE: Wall EP FILE UNDER: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes, The Kills

friend and vocalist Sam York, and then with drummer Vanessa Gomez and guitarist Vince McClelland. Their debut single “Cuban Cigars” was just an instant hit. A good damn post-punk song and

with a bit of garage rock. Early this year the quartet put out their self-titled debut EP, via Wharf Cat Records, which was produced and recorded by Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown, in the concrete room they used to use as a practice space.


NEW NOISE

FRESH CUTS

OUT NOW

8 CRATER Talk to Me So I Can Fall Asleep Help Yourself Records (2016)

The Seattle duo formed by Ceci Gomez and Kessiah Gordon, Crater, calibrated a strain of pop themes for a few tones below with meticulous noisy loops and black textures in Talk to Me so I Can Fall Asleep, their debut album. The duo embraces industrial and noise in electronic tunes uniquely built by them. Offering an intense sound, they seem to create easily their claustrophobic world where they discuss the inevitable end of a stubborn relationship (in “Habits Die Slow”) or repeat to exhaustion “Sick sad world / It’s a sick sad world” (in their second song on the album). You can get infected by the voices of Crater and only closer, notice that you will be stranded for a long time to their mystique.

RUI CORREIA

OUT NOW

7 FROM ASHES TO NEW Day One Eleven Seven (2016)

DIG IT? DIG DEEPER

WALL EP // Wharf Cat Records (2016)

From Ashes To New are definitely a band that know how to create atmospheric choruses and boundless energy. The act pack their new record Day One with enough musicality and instrumentality to keep everything fresh. And the tracks still contain those fast paced vocals and heart stopping lyrics that the act are renowned for. Songs such as “Shadows” which showcases fearless vocal work and rattling guitar lines that will worm their way into unsuspecting minds. Also, we’re given “Every Second”, which is a slower song that echoes and expands on subtlety. The vocals on this contribution are raw and sincere, adding a new dimension to the evocative wordplay. And with Day One, there’s a sense of quality and a battle-hard attitude throughout. MARK MCCONVILLE

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“At the e make the There are still bands making the 2000's nu-metal sound refreshing and bearable. Lancaster's band

FROM ASHES TO NEW just know how to blend quite well heavy rock with rap and the result is their debut record, Day One. Frontman Matt Brandyberry was the one we talked to. Words by Andreia Alves

Y

ou blend hip hop with heavy rock. What were your main references to create this mix of rap/rock? We have so many different 38

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influences between all the members of the band. For me personally, I have been inspired by a lot of early 2000’s rap and nu-metal. My iPod has so many different artists ranging from rap, rock, metal, pop, jazz, alternative, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Eminem and Breaking Benjamin are probably two of the most influential artists to me as a writer. How do you usually write the rap parts and the melodic parts? It all starts with the music and then built on from there. Once we have a hook put in place musically, Chris, Branden, and I start the melody writing process. The raps are one of the hardest things to do, so those usually come after the songs is structured and in a good place. How has your music evolved since you first began writing and playing music together? We feel like it has evolved a lot,

but also like to think that we are still doing what we started out doing. We don’t think about it too much. We just try to do what comes natural to us. We’re still a very young band, so maybe we’ll see more evolution in the future. How was it like to work on your debut album, Day One? We were very excited to release our first record! The writing process was the same as always, we don’t force anything and if it feels forced we take a break. Working on the record was a lot of fun. It feels good to get up every morning knowing that you are doing something you truly love and enjoy. When you were recording the album, you were at the same time working on your full-time jobs. How much did that affect the album and how were you able to balance both things? For some of us it was a difficult tiring task, but at the end of the day we were beyond happy to


NEW NOISE // Q&A // FROM ASHES TO NEW

FRESH CUTS

OUT NOW

7 HIGH HOPES Sights & Sounds

Victory Records (2016)

end of the day we were beyond happy to sacrifices necessary to pursue our dreams...”

Shattering guitar tones and intense vocals carry you through ten heavy tracks on High Hopes latest release Sights & Sounds. This UK based metalcore group will push you to the edge of your seat with breakdowns that are all but generic. Drummer Daryl Pryor showcases his creativity and ability to keep up with fast tempos over unique riffs written by guitarists Nathan Pryor & Krishan Pujara. This album won’t give you a second to rest with intense blast beats and screams hidden around every corner. A Victory Records band by any definition, it is beyond safe to say I really do have ‘High Hopes’ for their future. JUSTIN KUNZ

make the sacrifices necessary to pursue our dreams. After all, what was once a dream is now a reality. You put a lot of your frustrations and emotions into your music, which make your songs sound even bigger and more powerful. How does it feel for you to pass it on to your music and see people really connecting with it? It feels amazing! Our goal is to put our struggles and adversity into our music, in hopes to have it help other people who are going, have gone, or are about to live those same situations. To know people are using our music for these purposes helps us see that we are in it for the right reasons. Overall, what Day One represents to you as a band and as individuals? It’s our message to the world that you should never give up on your dreams, never be the person you don’t want to be, and never let anyone bring you down. Keep pushing forward and always remember it’s never too late to believe in yourself. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? There have been a lot of obstacles along our so far short path, but the biggest was probably trying to transition from a “comfortable” blue collar life to a life away from home. We truly love what we do and will do anything necessary to make sure we follow through with pursuing our dreams. DAY ONE IS OUT NOW VIA ELEVEN SEVEN MUSIC

OUT NOW

7 MERIT The Comfort and the Confusion EP Self-Released (2016)

Merit sets off a new version of an old sound with The Comfort and the Confusion EP. Rocking early 2000s style vocals with a soft simplistic guitar tone, I can guarantee this is different than anything else you’ll hear in 2016. Unlike most attempts at this sound, the lyrics are not stale, but in fact deep cutting lines that fit perfectly into the construct of the instrumentals. The drums and rhythm guitar pack a solid, clean beat that allows the lead section to keep a constant detailed solo over each track. The well placed acoustic tracks provided a nice barrier between the more rock driven songs. An album sealed tight with nostalgia, this throwback is something any ‘90s kid could enjoy.

JUSTIN KUNZ

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AGENT BLA

WHERE? Gothenburg (SWEDEN) WHO? Lucas Gustavsson, Emelie Alatalo, Felix Skörvald, Josefine Täck, Arvid Christensen RELEASE: Strand 7” FILE UNDER: Makthaverskan, Westkust

H

ere’s another great band coming out from Gothenburg and from the beloved Swedish label Luxury Records they have put out the music from the great acts like Makthaverskan and Westkust. Agent blå is one of the newest bands from the Swedish pop scene with a touch of gloomy post-punk, and even though they are pretty young,

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they are pretty confident with their music. Last December, the five-piece released two singles as their debut 7”. First was “Strand” and then “Frusterad”, which translates to “frustrated” in English and as the band says: “It’s not about the sexual frustration, it’s about the frustration of not being fucked up.” Following this 7”, Agent blå are currently working on their debut full-length due to release in fall 2016.


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MUNCIE GIRLS are Lande, Dean and Luke, and together they make honest and socially conscious punk rock that we are not used to hear so much these days. From Caplan To Belsize is their debut album and is all about we mentioned earlier. We caught up with Lande Hekt that gave us more reasons to say they're really a band to watch and catch live in 2016.

T r e t e x E From 42

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d l r o W e h T To Words by Andreia Alves Photos by Sebastian Wiegmann

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Y

ou guys are from Exeter, in the UK, and that’s the ultimately reason you guys formed Muncie Girls. What can you tell us about that and what’s the punk scene like over there? The scene in Exeter is really great. After touring a whole bunch, there really aren’t that many places the same as here. The venue, The Cavern, has been open for 25 years and run by the same people, which means there’s a lot of history behind the bands that come out of this scene. We’ve been going to the Cavern since we were 16 and seeing so many bands come through here was really cool. Also, all the bands from Exeter would go and play shows in other cities and I remember wanting to do that so badly. So, we just kept playing and pestering people until we booked a tour. We were and still are so into punk rock that playing in a band was just all we wanted to do. Within releasing EPs and singles, there’s this one awesome cover that you did of Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” as part of a Split 7” with Sandlotkids. Why did you choose that particular song? We did a whole set of Ramones covers for a party in Exeter two Christmases ago. “Pet Sematary” came out the best so we decided to get it down while we were recording the album. Let’s talk about your first full-length, From Caplan To Belsize. You guys recorded the album in the beginning of 2015 and it’s been a long wait process for it to be released. How does it feel now that it’s finally going to be put out? We can’t wait for the record to finally come out. It’s been a long old wait, but luckily we’ve had loads on and the run up has been really exciting. Also, as soon as it’s out we’ve got loads of shows so that’s gonna be really fun.

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As a trio, you guys have an amazing dynamic and you can always take the best from each other on every song, which your debut album is a proof of that. How did you approach the songwriting for the album? Thanks! I always write the songs on an acoustic guitar before taking them to the band and that’s how we did the album. Then me, Dean and Luke rework them into Muncie Girls songs. The only thing we did differently for this record was that we spent way longer on each song and we had longer in the studio than we’d ever had before. The album’s title is a reference to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and as you said, it also best summed up the lyrical theme of the album. What can you tell us about that? Well, I was reading The Bell Jar when I wrote most of the songs and I re-read it when we were trying to come up with a name for the record. There’s a point in the book where Ester Greenwood is told she’s gonna move from the Caplan ward to the Belsize ward of this mental asylum that she’s in. She’s like not really sure if she’s ready, but she knows that it’s what she should want. That’s kind of sometimes how I feel about different stages in life I suppose. What other things have inspired you while writing your debut album? We were touring a lot and also working a lot when we were home so getting used to that was something that we were all facing when we were writing. Also moving houses and feeling a bit unsettled. Also the European and the general elections were looming, as well as problems such as rape culture and anti-immigration policies. Basically, loads of bad stuff, but we did try to put some positives into the album! There’s this girl power 90s vibe on your songs and you surely express your concerns on social issues, like equality rights and even a political perspective. It’s seems that lately - or even the last years - that things tend to get worse. How much of the nowadays influence your writing

"Channeling frustr and what are your thoughts about the current state of our society? Social and political issues definitely have an influence on us and sometimes it’s easy to get really down about it all. Luckily, channeling frustration into music is a way to deal with dissatisfaction. Our government is outrageous at the moment and there’s a lot of scaremongering in the media so it’s hard to know who to be angry at. We’re so lucky to be a part of a community that understands what’s really going on and doesn’t join in spreading hate. Music is so incredibly important in that way. What’s the story behind the track


INTERVIEW // MUNCIE GIRLS

ration into music is a way to deal with dissatisfaction..." “Balloon” and its video? The video for “Balloon” isn’t really a proper video. It’s just supposed to be really simple with that bit where I let go of the balloon being the only thing that happens. The song is sort of about finding what you want to do and doing it. You worked with Lewis Johns, who recorded, produced and mixed the album, and he’s known for working with acts like Funeral for a Friend, Gnarwolves, SHARKS, and Goodtime Boys. What was it like to work with him and what were the best moments of it? The whole experience of recording with Lewis was really

amazing. We had such a good time and got on with him so well. I remember it being freezing cold and the toilet and shower being unbelievably far to walk to from where we were sleeping, which was less than ideal in the middle of the night. But now I miss it so much and I’ll remember it as one of the best times. For two weeks we got a lot of early nights and watched a bunch of crappy films, kind of like a family holiday. You have done some awesome tours and in 2016 will have plenty of Muncie Girls’ live shows. What can you tell us about tour plans over this new year?

This year we’re booking so many shows you wouldn’t even believe. Keep an eye out for dates because I can’t remember them right now. We’re really looking forward to a tour with Tellison at the end of March. Lastly, what bands have you been listening to lately? Well, here’s some bands that we’re into at the moment... No Fun, The Front Bottoms, Joanna Gruesome, Royal Headache, All Dogs, Wolf Alice, Happy Accodents, Woahnows, Hop Along, The Decemberists and Laura Stevenson. FROM CAPLAN TO BELSIZE IS OUT NOW VIA SPECIALIST SUBJECT RECORDS

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45


An Artful Struggle

MONEY

The release of Manchester-based 's second album is an occasi that begs to be celebrated. The band that appealed to many people with their debu The Shadow Of Heaven, managed to perfect their sound, broaden their scope, and th transform their vision into a magnificent piece of art that goes by the name of Suicid Songs. There's more than meets the eye with Suicide Songs and singer and lyricist Jamie gave us some clarification and crucial information about it. Words by Tiago Moreira

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e, Let’s Start Again

ion ut, hat de e Lee

I

know this might sound strange but, were you aware of the shock value of title Suicide Songs? Yeah, of course. Well, not shock value but I suppose... This is the difficult thing with artists, isn’t it? Different people, as in life, have different boundaries and different tastes so unfortunately putting a piece of art out there is a bit like scat on the face. There are certain people that you want to confound, beguile, and challenge, and there are some people that you want to respect and compliment. But the people I’m shocking I don’t know who they are... I can’t think about that. I can’t think who I’m going to shock. The title alone can shock a lot of people. Especially now with all these different crisis and with so much negativity going on... I think people are trying to run away from it. Yeah, I agree and I think this is actually quite a recent

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thing. At least it feels like now people desire something bright and light, an escapism, rather than a reflection from the bad things. I don’t know maybe that’s just me... It’s difficult because as an artist you have a responsibility to try and say what you want to say and portray the period that you’re going through and be true and fearless in portraying those things, which may shock people, which may be positive or negative. People might see it and go, “Oh, Suicide Songs. Boy, it’s going to be really dark and depressing,” but it isn’t all of those things. It’s actually quite uplifting, I think. If it starts the conversation about what the purpose of art is then that’s good. If people think that’s going to glorify mental illness then I think they’re wrong. It’s just a document. You don’t seem to try to romanticize it or even overly dramatize it. I hope so. We knew it was a good title not because it created discussion, but because it was fitting at the time where there was a track called “Suicide Song” and it seemed to bind this feeling of enmity, struggle, and create art that is uncommercial... That people find difficulty to understand. It was a good title for those reasons, but we did know that maybe we were overstretching a little bit. We don’t want to affect people in the wrong way, but at the same time you got to stand up and say something. And it seems that throughout the album you’re always cheering for other people to achieve success in their lives. It doesn’t seem that you want them to go through some of things you had to face. I was having this conversation last night about these kind of problems. The society that we live in is so convoluted, complex, and there are all these people that believe that certain things will never change their political creed and the majority of people don’t and they’re polar and live apart from each other and they are never going to have access to one another... What do you, as an artist, to be able to politically 48

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engage with the world around you? It’s very hard. If you put out something negative into the world you don’t know if it’s going to have the effect that you want, it might just be perceived very negative. I was being asked these questions by a friend and I realized that in writing the songs I write towards an ideally individual, someone that I believe is in most people, which is the good, the hopeful, and the humane. I write towards that person because... I suppose when it comes to oneon-one encounters with anyone, in this planet, that I’ve met my first starting is always one of interest and respect. That’s what I do with the songs, I suppose. Going into this album, did you have any personal, or even collective, goals to guide you through? No, we were pulling in so many different directions that it was actually a difficult struggle to be able to come through with a record that sounds like this. Throughout the album there’s a lot of “light vs dark” and “day vs night”. Was it a conscious effort on your part to make it more universal and not so graphically violent? I just think the recording of these songs required a clarity that the first record didn’t have. Because there’s more happening and the music is more complicated because of the string section and everything that’s happening in it, so it needed a clarity to be able to be heard. You’ve said, “The record is morbid and bleak, and never resolves itself.” But I can’t help thinking that it wasn’t really a concern of yours. It doesn’t seem you were too concerned resolving anything. Would you agree? You know, it’s like the end of a movie. How a writer begins and ends is very important to me, what kind of person they are. With Casablanca or something like that, you know what I mean? It’s not a tied up, there’s no resolution to it. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is to tell a story that... I don’t know what kind of resolution there would be because... Maybe we just didn’t write that song. [laughs] Because there was no resolution, because it was

difficult. Maybe now we can come to terms with, we can find that resolution in another record... maybe. I want to question you about the more musical side of this new album. Did you, as a band, agree and work towards the musical direction, that we can hear on the new album, from an early stage of the creation process or was it more a quest for an unknown, an often cloudy, path? We really didn’t know what to do after the first record. We were arguing a lot. I was up in Manchester for weeks on end and I would be sleeping in the practice room and drinking all day, so it was very difficult to be able to get anything out of me. I felt like the first record was good, but we hidden the songs with... whatever we had chosen to hide with all the instrumentation and stuff like that. We could go back to basics and I’d written all these songs that I wanted to show the band, but didn’t really feel it was us, with us Money, basically. Over time I convinced them that I’m a songwriter and, “Let me write the songs and let’s try to be as true as we can to the songs.” That was basically what we came to agree on. Which it took a long time to agree but that was the agreement.


INTERVIEW // MONEY It seems there was a lack of confidence with The Shadow of Heaven that somehow you’ve managed to overcome rather spectacularly in a 2-year period. Do you agree? Yeah, there was a lack of confidence. Definitely. The confidence comes occupying an identity that you’re happy with. That’s what it is, I think. And once we started to play these and to record them, we knew that this was true to us. It had depth, it had value, and it was original in this way. That made us confident. That’s what every artist dreams of. Me personally, for the detriment of my life and my personal relationships, I’m solely focused on this. Not focused... I’m obsessed. I’m in love with making and creating art, music, and writing. That’s my sole aim. All day long my brain is occupied with this problem. To be fair it’s also because, which is just as important, we had a change of management who turned everything around for us. And Charlie Andrew, who we produced the record with, is brilliant. Those two things are probably more significant that I could give you. That obsession that you talk about... It can take you on a downward spiral. Yeah, and I did. How did you manage to overcome that? Watching Star Wars, reading John Ashbery, going on bike rides, and

“... we were pulling in so many different directions that it was actually a difficult struggle to be able to come through with a record that sounds like this.” giving up. Giving up a desire to be something that I wasn’t. I wanted to engage with the world around me and I wanted to be a part of the world. I’ll be honest, I also think Suicide Songs is a refusal to engage with the modern world, a world that I did perceive perhaps to be all the things that it’s accused of being and I tried to remove myself from that world. It was a kind of suicide. I was removed, I was drinking in bars all day. I didn’t care with the current affairs or the people did exist there or it seemed to believe in what was going on. I think that’s partly to do with my nostalgia for writing off the bars, which is stupid. Now I want to write about the modern world, I want to find the poetry in it, which I didn’t want to do before. I couldn’t help thinking on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks when I was listening Suicide Songs... Good, that’s great. You’re the first to have said that, which is funny because people should have picked up on that more. Tell me about the importance of that record to you. It’s so flawless in so many ways... I mean, you could talk about it forever. Apart from the musical virtuosity, the songwriting, the originality, the quality of the recording, the playing, the freedom... All of that stuff that goes without saying, apart from that it’s the fact that is this utterly romantic and layered novella about a place that is so arguably ugly, grey, and unromantic in a conventional sense. It’s about

his hometown of Belfast. That’s what I love about it. He’s taking these things from his home city and being able to paint such rich and alive way. How did you find the experience of working with producer Charlie Andrew? In what way did he help achieve what we can now hear on Suicide Songs? I think he’s basically helped kind of form, shape, and give a sonic order and form to all these kind of disparate ideas. A sonic theme that runs through the record, I suppose. There’s a sound that binds the record together and that’s Charlie’s, really. I would go into the studio and I would be hangover and depending on what we were doing that day... You know, musicians don’t really like recording, necessarily. We would finish for the day and I would go out for a drink and I would send him emails, late at night, with old soul tunes and weird kind of American alternative guitar bands, and try to encourage him to take risks with the sounds and make it as lo-fi as possible because he doesn’t really like that kind of music. But I think with me trying to get some dark and strangeness out of him we’ve ended up with something which is a little bit different. I would say that I would like it to be a little more lo-fi that it is, but for the sake of the songs and what the songs are trying to say I think they need to be clear and I wanted people to hear the lyrics and the music. So, I think that makes sense. SUICIDE SONGS IS OUT NOW VIA BELLA UNION

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AN HONEST & INVENTIVE FOLK JOURNEY ON INDIE ROCK

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Starting out as Kristine Leschper's solo project, MOTHERS quickly became a solid and strong band with Matthew, Drew and Patrick. A self-taught songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kristine developed a love for experimental music and math rock, and with the help of her bandmates, they created their beautiful debut album, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired. Matthew was the one we talked to about this fascinating album and the beginnings of the band. Words by Andreia Alves // Photos by Erez Avissar

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M

others were formed by Kristine and later on you joined the band. How did you meet her and how was it like to be part of the band? Kristine was solo for a while and I attended to a lot of her shows. I really liked going to see her play. I didn’t see any of her first shows, but I caught a lot of them for a year or two. We played in a band together and that’s actually how we met. It wasn’t a very serious thing and we never recorded anything, but we were both just supporting members. We realized very quickly that we had a strong musical connection. We just kind of started working on stuff. The first time we worked together on Mothers’ stuff I was kind of producing some of her songs in a variety of different ways and some of that early stuff is available on our Soundcloud. For a little while we were just recording things in my house and our guitarist Drew Kirby also lives there, so he started working with us too. He was a big fan as well and he had been in a lot of her shows. Me and Drew also played in another project together and so it made a lot of sense for Drew to start working with us. We started writing some stuff together. The record that came out most of it is material that we added as full band arrangements. We kind of home recorded the demos for about a month and then we went to the studio and made the full-length. Having a full band gave balance and dynamics to the songs, and the first song you wrote together as a band was “Copper Mines”. Can you tell us how was your approach on that song? It started as a guitar part... Kristine had the guitar part and pretty much all the lyrics written, so we worked out the rest of it together just by playing a lot. We just practiced a lot and tried in different ways. That’s kind of always been the main thing with,

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Mothers, especially in the beginning, but still even now when it comes to locking down songwriting to see how a song actually works, it ends up being a process of drafts and revisions really. A song will go through a lot of different stages and a lot of different identities before it finally reaches its own final form. We all just kind of worked on it together, played it a lot, talked about it a lot and that was it. Our songwriting process varies a lot from song to song. It doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes Kristine has a much better idea before we even go into it and tell it’s going to work. Sometimes she has even less idea and ends up being much different. Your debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is a deep and mesmerizing introduction into Mothers’ world. It’s emotionally complex and musically detailed. The majority of the songs of the album was written while Kristine was finishing art school in early 2014. What were your main inspirations while working those songs? The inspirations for the record kind of came from a lot of different places... Half of this record is like softer stuff, it’s not as knowing what you’re doing as much with like the rock bands vibe, I guess. Some of it is much calmer and pretty. Angel Olsen name gets around a lot, so that’s kind of an obvious thing with the early stuff we did, but also there’s this group called Amen Dunes and it’s a big inspiration for us. As far as the full band esthetics, it really comes from a lot of different places, especially me and Kristine have a deep love for like very technical music, and what would you call math-rock bands like Hella and a lot of Zach Hill projects. We’re into things like that and also this band called Women, we all draw a lot of inspiration from them. I wouldn’t say that we went into making that record thinking like we wanted to sound like this band or this record... We were really trying to figure out what we sounded like, and for better and for worse, that’s kind of how we did it. I think it was better that way and I prefer to operate that way, not

trying to replicate something that you like, but to try to create something new that you like. What was the concept behind your album? Kristine wrote a lot of this music for the LP. When she was finishing up with college, she was going through some rough things and I think coming to terms with some rough things... It has a lot to do with what you would call “human condition”. It’s a big commentary on human relationships in general... I would describe it as a big commentary on human relationships and I think one of the main things is knowing in relationships we humans hurt each other even without meaning to. It’s not even active all the time, but it’s impossible not to surround at least in some capacity and that’s the big theme of it. But also an equally huge part of the record theme is trying to find triumph in sadness or in getting over like a relationship or other specific things that you’re facing. Facing it with a little more grit and as opposed of devastation and finding a way and finding empowerment over your hurts. When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is a title that can be interpreted in many ways. How did you come up with this title? Kristine came up with it. The way I interpret it is “when you walk a long distance” refers to relationships and lights in the human condition. When you go through a lot of different things and difficult experiences in your life it wears you out, but you’re still alright even if you go through a million terrible things and deal with a lot of awful relationships. At the end of it, you’re still alive, breathing and walking around, maybe exhausted, but you keep going. A big theme of the record is in spite of everything that it’s difficult in life you just keep moving and you do your best to get past it. It’s a sad record, but it’s not meant to be like a crushing sadness - it’s suppose to be a more uplifting one. You worked with producer Drew Vandenberg (Of Montreal, Deerhunter and Porcelain Raft),


INTERVIEW // MOTHERS

"I would describe it [the album] as a big commentary on human relationships and I think one of the main things is knowing in relationships we humans hurt each other even without meaning to." so how was it like to record the album with him? We worked with Drew Vandenberg and he does a lot of great work in Athens. He works in one of the best studios, so it’s a place where a lot of great records have been made and it’s called Chase Park Transduction. We talked about a lot of different ways to make the record. For a little while we were home recording like I said, but we decided we wanted something a little more professional than that. We talked with Drew because he is really great. He has been doing it for a long time. The album also features collaborations with Josh McKay of Deerhunter (on vibraphone) as well as McKendrick Bearden of Grand Vapids (who played bass and provided string arrangements throughout). As far as McKendrick Bearden contribution, he played bass on the

record, but he also wrote all of the string arrangements for the songs like “Too Small For Eyes” and “Burden Of Proof”. He did all of that because he has a degree in composition, so he really knows the right way to go and do all that. We just got him involved because we all really love the projects that he’s in and he’s also just a great musician. And then Josh McKay... He came in to play vibraphone on “Burden Of Proof”, that was how he got connected because Drew sent the song to him before we had vibraphoneon it and asked him if he would come up with anything. So he came in and did that and it was really cool. That’s pretty much all Josh did, though. It was cool because he left his vibraphone at the studio for me to use and so I got to record vibraphone on a couple more songs as well.

I guess the recording process took about a month, but we weren’t working on it everyday. It was kind of an on/off thing and we didn’t even work on music together as a group for about a month and a half. We only played one show out as a group. When we initially went into the studio, we didn’t have a whole lot of experience with being a band and so that was interesting. We were just practicing and writing everyday for about a month and a half. We were very well prepared to go in, but we didn’t spend a long time being Mothers yet. One important thing to understand about that record is that it was before we did any touring or shows. I think it brings the pros and cons to the table, but I wouldn’t change the process or anything about it. It was a great experience.

What can you tell us more about recording your first full-length?

WHEN YOU WALK A LONG... IS OUT NOW VIA WICHITA RECORDINGS

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7 YEAR BITCH have been an undeniable influence for many

bands around the world. Even though many people tend to forget the Seattle-based punk rock band that was active for seven years in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s, released three important records and a shitload of great songs. One thing that was missing in the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discography was a live album. Live at Moe is the piece that was missing and we talked with bassist Elizabeth Davis and guitarist Valerie Agnew to talk about that important document of punk rock history.

Pun Roc Legen 54

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nk ck nds Words by Tiago Moreira // Photos by Tanya Nixx

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L

ive at Moe is 7 Year Bitch’s first live album. Why did it take so much time to such thing to be released? Valerie and Elizabeth: We had no knowledge of these live recordings until about 1.5 years ago when Scott Blum contacted us to say that he had discovered the tapes while moving. It never occurred to us to do a live release for some reason. So really, the reason why it took so long is because we had no idea these recordings existed! What prompted you to revisit the past and release Live at Moe? Valerie and Elizabeth: The strength of the recording and our performance were the main reasons that we wanted to put this out. As soon as we heard it, the emotions were so strong. It was an instant yes. No hesitation at all. We wanted to release this for our fans and for ourselves, like as a document to mark our experience. If this release introduces our music to people who have never heard us before, that’s cool too. How was it to listen to something made 20 years ago? I mean, one thing is listening to an album that was recorded in a studio, but listening to a bunch of old songs in a live setting... It must be a completely different feeling. Elizabeth: I never listen to old 7YB recordings ever or Google us, search on YouTube, none of that. But when Valerie told me that the recordings were really good, I listened to it. The experience was something I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s really powerful and emotional, which I’d never felt from our studio recordings. Maybe I was too involved in the minutiae and work of writing and recording to really be able to get a good perspective. So the live recording, yeah, it’s a completely different feeling. The crowd’s energy is like an extra track that adds so much to the listening experience. Lisa Faye, our longtime soundwoman, did front of house sound on this recording and her stamp is on the music as well. She died in a motorcycle accident a few years ago, 56

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“The experience expecting at a and emotiona from our s


e was something I wasn’t all. It’s really powerful al, which I’d never felt studio recordings.”

INTERVIEW // 7 YEAR BITCH so this record is also reflective of her creative input to the band. Correct me if I’m wrong, but having a live album that was recorded at Club Moe holds a special meaning for you, right? Elizabeth and Valerie: You are not wrong. This was an important club for our band. We played and attended a lot of shows at Moe and it was basically across the street from our rehearsal space and The Comet Tavern. It was the third point in our Bermuda Triangle. What kind of work was required from you for Live at Moe to be released? Elizabeth: So much work. I will not labor you with the details. It was worth it because we are so happy with the sound and look of the record and also because we really discovered how much our original crew was ready and willing to jump right back in and help us. Some new connections were made and some old connections were re-started. Ultimately super positive, but we’d forgotten how many decisions need to be discussed, dissected and delivered. 7 Year Bitch was active for seven years and from that three full-length albums saw the light of day. Now with distance that only time can offer, what do you make of those seven years, which are considered by many as magical? Elizabeth: Seattle in the 90’s was probably like San Francisco in the late 60’s. Tightly-knit, lots of youth and creativity, lots of drugs and alcohol, everyone had a band. It didn’t feel unique or magical at the time because it was our day to day. But looking back, it’s easy to see how special it was. We were in the middle and pretty caught up in shit that was rapidly changing so we didn’t have time to take stock in what was happening. Now we can look back and see it as the peak experience that it was – making music, travelling, collaborating with friends, being surrounding by creative people who were intent on expression and living life with a lot of passion and purpose. You’ve been undeniably influential for countless of bands and artists. What are your thoughts on the current state of music and punk rock in particular? Elizabeth: There’s tons of awesome music more than ever and obviously accessibility is pretty much unlimited now. I feel really positive about the current state of music in general. In terms of punk rock in particular, that’s the only style of music where I will reach back and put on Poison Idea or Zeke when I want to hear some punk rock. Valerie: This weekend while we were in Seattle for the EMP event, we saw lots of bands: Lucky Boys, Communist Eyes, TSOL, Stag. You can still go out in Seattle and see great bands at really good clubs. LIVE AT MOE IS OUT NOW VIA MOE RECORDINGS www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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A REAL & HEARTFELT GOOD ADVICE What good advice would you give to yourself? That's probably what

BASIA BULAT

asked herself while writing her new album, Good Advice, and the outcome are songs full of great advices. Basia told us delightfully what inspired her for this effort and how exciting her live shows supporting it will be. Words by Andreia Alves Photos by George Fok

H

ow’s 2016 starting off for you? Pretty good! I’m in New York right now. We’re doing a bunch of radio sessions and things like that, just getting ready for the record to get out which is really exciting and I’m enjoying it. [laughs] 58

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It was back in 2013 that you released your amazing album Tall Tall Shadow. Between back then and now, what did you take from those last years as a musician? It has been happening a lot. [laughs] Tearing that down into two sentences could be the whole interview... I think I realized that there’s so much to learn and I wanted to keep pushing myself to do things that scare me or seem different or seem like maybe I don’t belong in anything that I seem to feel like a little bit of interpretation is what I want to explore. I need to go with whatever things that seem a bit uncomfortable, figure out why and then work on that.

really comes out instead of just constantly trying to express. Sometimes there’s a lot of good that comes out of just listening.

Good Advice is another distinguished work of yours and it’s obvious that you went through something deeply heartbreaking, which inspired you to write these new songs. What can you tell me more about that? The record had really coming out from a period of big changing in my life and I had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, and that’s kind of where all the songs have come from. The funny thing about the title of the record is that I don’t think it really has a lot of good advices in there. [laughs] But I think it does exist. I’ve definitely been the recipient of some very great advice from a lot of good friends, but at the same time it comes a period of time in your life when maybe you can’t really ask anybody. Nobody else can give you the answer, you’re the only one who has your own answers, so that’s kind of where it comes from.

For Good Advice you bring all these little details on the melodies creating bright pop songs, and the backing vocals give an impressive significance to your words. Musically, what was it like to write for this album? In the past, I came from a much more kind of folk background and I was really interested in the idea of documentation as recording. I really love documenting what it’s happening in the studio and I love a certain era of recording in a certain era of music that kind of comes from that world. But because of necessity the recordings were documentary, but now I’m really getting interested and with this record it made me interested in using the studio as more of an instrument itself also and kind of lending the tunes and still capturing the feeling of the people in the room, but also being able to play with it and using the studio and the technology that’s available now to make something that feels new and that feels like now, but still doesn’t ignore where I come from in terms of loving the sound of a band playing together in a room. I’ve always loved having backing vocals. On all my records I tried to have a lot of backing vocals and that’s the other thing that I really want to keep on the record. Anything I do, I think it will always gonna have a lot of girls singing really loud and that’s something that has been really important to me. [laughs] I always wanna hear a lot of girls singing. [laughs]

What good advice did you give to yourself while writing this album? Just to listen. I think not just emotionally, but even as a musician... I think something that a lot of people talk about in terms of making music writing is an expression and getting things out, but I think another big side of it is listening. A big part of writing is just listening to what other people are playing, like when you’re in a room working on something or if you’re by yourself listening to what

You said that “Pop songs can take all those big statements and those big feelings that you have. You don’t need to necessarily have everything so detailed because everybody understands. Everybody understands those feelings.” That’s a great way to put it and it fits with the whole album. When you were working on this album, did you know that you wanted it to sound it that way? Oh yeah, I think in part of it I

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was writing it and I wasn’t really aware of what I was exactly writing. It was just coming out because I was listening to whatever was coming out. [laughs] And then I realized... I mean we’re so influenced by the best and big form of art sign, I think it’s because the world is so diverse now and everybody is able to connect from all over the world, everybody is able to get in touch with each other from across oceans. The kind of manouche of what we feel or like the particulars and obviously life is very complex, but there’s still kind of like certain emotions at core that everybody can kind of connect to you and sometimes you can put your own selves into whatever you’re hearing. A big part of whatever you’re hearing or whatever you’re feeling is coming from you and not necessarily from the song, so that’s what I kind of like about the form that you keep using it as a channel. You’re not telling people what to feel or what to say. You’re kind of giving people a bit of a medium from which they can have themselves in the song. You collaborated with Jim James (from My Morning Jacket) in Louisville, and it was your first time recording an album outside of Montreal. How did you get together? We met a few times over the years like touring and we ended up becoming friends, and I ended up asking him if he would be interested in working and producing a record or working on something with me. I sent him some songs and he was very excited about it and suddenly was like “When can you come down?” [laughs] It was really fun. It all happened really fast and really naturally. Good Advice was created during three visits to Kentucky which is a long-drive. Was it liberating for you to do these trips to a different place away from home? It was really fun and driving down to Kentucky was kind of part of it, because it’s a long drive but it’s not that long. It’s about 9/10 hours, maybe a little longer if you’re stuck in traffic and maybe you can do 12 hours. [laughs] It’s 60

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a long drive, but you can do it in a day. You get up early and you drive, and at the end of the day you feel like pilgrim [laughs] or some kind of track. It made a big part of it. It made me feel like... There’s something really good about getting far away from home and then you feel like “Ok, now this is my time to work” and then eventually it became another home to me. It was really quick! I mean, it’s a very close music community and I got to know a lot of people. It’s a really special place. The whole record is remarkable and cohesive, but the closing track is just phenomenal and magic. A beautiful way to end the record. What can you tell me about the track “Someday Soon”? Every single interview I’ve done for this record has mentioned this song to me, every single person I talk to about this record so far and they say that’s their favorite song. It’s incredible! I’m shocked by it, I keep thinking that I should put out this song first. [laughs] It’s nice to see that everybody is listening the whole way to the end to get there. I think the song is really coming from a place where I wanted to reflect everything that I was going through. Yes, I was feeling a lot of pain and a lot of sadness about the end of important relationships in my life, about big changes and I had a lot of fear of the unknown and the fear of being alone, but then I also felt like so grateful for this time I spent with somebody who changed my life. I wanted to be a real message of love or peace or something of letting go. By the way, which song off the record stands out the most for you? It’s funny, I don’t like to have a favorite. I’ve been listening to the record a bunch, but right now I’m trying to work on arrangements to play them live and I’m really loving “The Garden” because I’m gonna try to do something really special with it for the concerts. It’s such a free form kind of lowing keys and I really love the saxaphone on it, so I’m gonna figure out a way. Maybe it’s gonna be a little of a surprise in the show. We’re gonna see. [laughs]

In February you hit the road for a handful of live shows through Canada and the States. What are your plans to make a visit to Europe and what can we expect from the live shows? I’m planning to come in the spring to Europe and I’m really looking forward for it. A major feature of the record is this one particular very cool 70’s piano keyboard that is called RMI electra-piano and so first of all I’m trying to figure out a way to get it over to Europe that I can afford. [laughs] It’s a really cool piano from the 70’s. A lot of the prog-rock bands used that piano. It’s a really interesting instrument and it feels like is from space. It’s all over the album and so I really want to play this keyboard live. We’re doing a little bit right now in New York. We carried for the radio stuff we’ve been doing in New York and it’s really funny because it’s really, really heavy, but it takes a couple of people to carry it and everyone is like “Oh! This thing is so heavy.” We all agreed that we have to take it with us everywhere we go, it’s such a special keyboard. I’m pretty sure that we’re gonna make it across the ocean to Europe and go on stage. It will be fun. [laughs] Lastly, what records or bands have you been listening to lately? There’s a lot! I really love U. S. Girls. Meg Remy is such an inspiration to me. She has become a very dear friend and she is somebody who has really good advice. She’s a brilliant woman and an incredible person. I love her music so much and I love her new record Half Free, so that’s someone that I listen to a lot. I’ve been listening to a band called Twin Limb and they’re from Louisville. They’re two women who sing and play drums and accordion, and their new record is very beautiful which is coming out this year. They have an EP out right now. I’m listening to The Tallest Man On Earth a lot actually. I really love him and his music, so that’s something I’ve been listening to a lot in the last couple of months. GOOD ADVICE IS OUT NOW VIA SECRET CITY


INTERVIEW // BASIA BULAT

“The record had really coming out from a period of big changing in my life and I had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers…”

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Life On Hold Just For An Instance

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his Finding balance and time for ally third record was something re motivating and interesting. talked WILD NOTHING's Jack Tatum of with us about the importance d how taking a pause in your life an rd, it inspired him for the new reco use Life Of Pause. Just take a pa and read our interview. Words by Andreia Alves Photos by Shawn Brackbill

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ow’s 2016 starting off for you? It’s been good! It started off pretty different for me. I just moved to Los Angeles. I spent years on the road out of California. I’ve been here now for a few weeks and it’s good. It was a big change for me. It’s been basically four years since you released your previous album, Nocturne. What was your mindset while approaching your third album, Life of Pause? I don’t know if I have like a mindset... This record came together pretty naturally. I did it necessarily to satisfy this amount of time when I knew that I wanted to work on the record. It really was just a matter of time for us not touring anymore and I knew I wanted to focus on writing, but I didn’t know at the time what that really meant. This was towards at the end of 2013 when I started to work on some of the songs. I guess my mindset was just wanted to be patience... I mean, I just started working on songs and so much earlier in the course of the next year. I had a pretty good stockpile of songs that I felt they were ready to move forward... I think it was a pretty slow and natural process. Is the meaning behind the name Life of Pause connected with that time you were writing? Yeah, it does in a way. The sort of sentiment of the title Life of Pause is really about putting parts of your life on hold and what it means to do that and what it means to sort of prioritize the things that are important in your life. I think for me that was definitely true of this period of time when I was writing this record and I spent a handful of years when the two first records came out trying to kind of compromise. There were parts of my life that I felt were to start home life

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and sort of being a normal version of myself versus being frosted into a life of traveling and playing music for people. So, it’s sort of about that and also just there was something in the way that it sounded Life of Pause that I just kind of liked and I felt like it sort of suited me as a person as well, because I also started to think of it as a testament of just being observant and taking pause to notice the things around you. Being the only songwriter on Wild Nothing, how do you abstract yourself when the ideas don’t come out? Or is that something that doesn’t happen to you? Yeah, it always happens and I think when whenever it does happen, you kind of just have to wait. [laughs] I mean, really ultimately that’s what all you can do when you’re against the wall. I guess the thing is that as much as I like to subscribe to this idea that “Oh, if I just sit down everyday and try to write songs, it’s just gonna happen and be able to do it”, you have to have this balance of working and writing, but also living your life because if you don’t and you spend all your time just trying to write, then eventually you’re going to have to get inspiration and you got nothing to write about. Perhaps it’s part of the reason why this record took so long, because I did have these moments of big burst of creativity and then it would just die for a while, and you just have to let it die. [laughs] While you were writing this record, were there any records or artists that inspire you? Sure! There’s a lot of records that were super important to me for the last couple of years and really helped me to shape my sense of what I wanted to do with my own music. I think everyone does that, of course, but for me it just like can be pretty direct or I listen to a lot of sort of more bigger artists, so to speak, more well known artists. People like Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, David Bowie and all of these sort of capable groups. There’s a million things. [laughs] You record all your songs by yourself, so what’s the instrument

you enjoy the most to play? It can change a lot. The thing is that I will start songs on different instruments and depending on what instrument I start the song on. It really changes the way the rest of the writing of that song goes. Every song that I write depending on the instrument that I start it on is kind of how it changes the way that the song sounds. Mainly the way that I write is that I start with guitar or keyboard or bass. Actually, I did kind of have the most fun recording the bass on this record. It’s definitely an underrated instrument that’s really extremely fun to write bass lines, in my opinion. I sort of bullshit my way through a lot of stuff. [laughs] I’m not a great keyboard player by any means, but I sort of know enough to get what I want done. You were saying earlier that you started some songs of this record with bass lines. Do you usually start your songs with bass or also with other instruments? Yeah, it’s interesting. A song that I would start off on bass for me really is just about kind of creating this framework for the song. So when I start on bass it’s pretty much math out how the entire song is gonna work and then from there is just a matter of figuring out the melodies on top. I feel a lot of times when I start a song on bass it ends up being more sparse or less chord based. When I start songs on guitar, they tend to be sort of more chord-heavy and I think there’s songs on the record like “Adore” for instances, which has acoustic guitar where it’s very much just straightforward guitar chords. Did you have any other musicians collaborating on this album? Yeah! I wrote all the songs of the record myself and a lot of times I detail pretty much every part of the song, but I can’t play drums well, so I’ve always brought in drummers to help and sort of realize what it is what I want with the song. Part of that is interesting because you can get anyone to come in and just say “What do you think it would work here?” but other times I have songs that I’m working on in the demo that I pretty much math out what


INTERVIEW // WILD NOTHING

"The sort of sentiment of the title Life of Pause is really about putting parts of your life on hold and what it means to do that and what it means to sort of prioritize the things that are important in your life." musicandriots.com

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I want the drums to do, because I understand what the drums are doing but I just can’t do it. [laughs] It really just depends. I feel like some songs I have pretty strict ideas for what I want to happen, but other songs can be a little bit looser, so that’s where it becomes interesting when I bring other people to play. I had a couple of friends to come in and had sort of general ideas, but for the most part I just got them playing over the songs and see what happens. Brad Laner, who plays in this band called Medicine, he came in and played guitar on some of the tracks, which is really fun. I don’t often do that and I think as I get older I’d like to do that more, but there’s something pretty exciting about having other musicians to come in and just say “What do you think should go here? What would you do?” I spend so much time trying to control every aspect of it and so it’s nice now realizing that I don’t have to do that all the time. This album was produced by Thom Monahan. What did he bring to the record? Well, he’s the kind of person that is not afraid to just sit there with you and take as long as you need just to get a part and I feel like he’s one of the more encouraging people that I’ve ever worked with. He’s really good in sitting down with you and waiting until you get like the best version of the tape. It was an unspoken thing that we just wait until we start working was we were trying to get as many default takes on each song as we could, which is not necessarily impressive, but at the same time - even on the last record - you use your tools sometimes and it’s pretty easy to kind of punch yourself in and just record a section of the song here and record another section of the song. But we tried not to do that as much as we could and tried really to every time we were gonna sit down and track like a guitar line or track the bass line for the song just to get it all in one go, and because of that we spent a lot more time tracking than I’ve ever done. [laughs] I think it shows and makes the record a little 66

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bit looser and it feels a little bit more natural, which was really my goal for the record. The album was recorded in Los Angeles and Stockholm. What did lead you to pick those cities, which are completely different places? I think it was a really interesting, but unintended outcome of that decision which was having the opportunity to record each half of the record in such drastically different places. We didn’t set out or talked about how we needed to go to Stockholm to record, it wasn’t really like that. There was just this opportunity that aroused where Thom had some connections to musicians in Sweden that he had worked with before. They had really awesome studios in Stockholm and so they invited us to come and record. We did it and we kind of jumped on it. You don’t have to do something like that and it’s sort of drastic in a way to go half way across the world just to record part of your album, but at the same time it does help get you outside of yourself. I think us being in this sort of neutral environment for the two of us where we hadn’t worked with each other before and we’d never even met before, we were thrust into this totally unfamiliar world. I think it actually helped us in a lot of ways. What’s the concept behind the album’s cover image? There’s sort of a large concept with that. We started talking about based in relation to this record how we kind of felt that what was the most important thing about this record is that it seems to create a sense of space and because of that we wanted it to be really literal. We started working with this photographer Shawn Brackbill and told him my ideas for it. We liked the idea of just finding an actual physical space and sort of creating this little mini world that I could be in. I think what we were trying to accomplish with this room was to create this environment on the surface level. It’s a relatively normal situation, but there’s also something sort of strange that’s underlying. I think we got a lot of inspiration from other surrealist

"You have to have working and writing, b life because if you spend all your time j then eventually you're get inspiration and y write ab album arts and photographers and stuff, and I think when people see the actual record itself there’s just more to it than just the front cover, like the front relates to the back cover and inside is all one small narrative. It’s hard to comment just on the cover because you really need to see all the parts, which is fun for the people who will see the record, but it’s hard to take the front cover out of context I guess. The front cover conveys this kind of balance with yourself and it feels in some way connected with the whole theme behind Life of Pause. Yeah, definitely! There’s a lot of loose references to the record and to the art, and I think that is sort


INTERVIEW // WILD NOTHING

e this balance of but also living your u don't and you just trying to write, e going to have to you got nothing to bout." of a larger being in a way to this idea of balance. It relates to the album title just because for me what the album title represents a life of putting parts of yourself or parts of your life on hold in order to pay attention to other sides and that can be extremely literal and reference to me being gone and touring... What that means is that my real identity - me as a musician or when I’m home with my girlfriend or when I’m home around my family or more grounded and normal version of myself. It’s ultimately a matter of balance. I loved what you wrote about David Bowie and it’s amazing how he touched so many musicians’ lives and so much more. I

know this is a hard question, but what Bowie’s song or record really stands out for you? I think it’s a testament to David Bowie as a songwriter that it is so hard to sort of pick something and I think at different times of my life that have been different records of his that have meant more than others and I feel like weirdly enough the record that first meant a lot to me was Let’s Dance [1983]. I think it’s an amazing record and it’s not a lot of people favorite as David Bowie’s records, that’s for sure. [laughs] But that was the first of his records that I’ve started listening to a lot and I’ve always been a fan of pop music. Now I’m definitely more like Low [1977] and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

[1980], they’re kind of tied for my favorite of his records, especially Scary Monsters because I feel it’s a record that some people overlook, but I think it’s really awesome and I feel like it’s really sort of a bridge gap between the Berlin Trilogy stuff and then Let’s Dance, it’s sort of right in the middle which I think it’s an interesting place to be. The production on that record is really cool and it influenced the production of this record [Life Of Pause] a lot, you know? We would listen to Scary Monsters off and on throughout the process and kind of trying to see what they were doing. LIFE OF PAUSE IS OUT NOW VIA CAPTURED TRACKS

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Happier Stronge & Hungri Than Ever

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r, er ier

In terms of ups and downs, it’s hard to top BARONESS. Their Red Album set them up as Relapse’s latest and greatest, the Blue Record garnered them an appreciative and devoted fanbase, and with the sprawling Yellow & Green it seemed like everyone else was finally ready to get on board, but a savage tour bus crash in England as they were touring the album brought the band to a standstill. Thankfully, Baroness are made of stronger stuff and Purple marks not only their return but also a new chapter in the band’s history. Vocalist and guitarist John Baizley spoke to us about the changes the band have undergone over the past few years and why these have made them happier, stronger and hungrier than ever. Words by Dave Bowes // Photos by Jimmy Hubbard

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W

elcome back, man. You’ve just recorded Purple, which relates in large part to the effects of the crash the band suffered here two years ago. Has the process of putting this down in words and music helped? Absolutely, man, of course. For me, that was a big part of it. There are four of us in the band, two of whom didn’t go through that accident at all, but for me it was a pretty big component of it. Anything I do has a lot to do with it because it has left a pretty big impact on my life, but the album was a great experience in terms of working through the effects of that accident. Were you dead-set on making a ‘purple’ album as opposed to a ‘black’ one – one that would’ve been more downbeat and mired in misery? Most definitely. In a way, it would have been very easy to fall into the trap of using the difficult circumstances that followed that accident as a means to write very dark music and get kind of stuck. Pete and I realised very quickly that the potential was there but, additionally, we also realised that because of the accident there’s now this new storyline with the band that we didn’t ever intend to have, and as much as we’d like not to focus on it we can’t really ignore it. It’s a very delicate balance between respecting the severity of that incident and not calling too much attention to it. Because of a variety of circumstances involving where we were with the record and the people involved with making it, and just frankly the outlook that we have as musicians, it was important to respect it and address it without it becoming the only thing that this record was about. It’s one of a variety of themes and factors that have gone into it and there’s 70

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no denying that the majority of the lyrics address either something that was directly to do with the accident or have been caused by that, but because we have a new rhythm section, people who don’t have that experience, we couldn’t focus on it, and that was nice. It was liberating in a way. So did having Sebastian and Nick on board help offer some new kind of direction or focus? Definitely, and we wanted it. With the realisation that there was some potential with this record to maybe get a little too dark and be a little too obvious with things, we had this counterbalance with these two guys who are very high-energy. They have a very positive outlook, and so do we. Rather than try to force ourselves into this pit of misery that wasn’t natural for anybody, we went with what was happening. It’s odd, but since I started doing press for this record, I came to the realisation that while we were writing, demoing and recording - which took probably over a year to do - we really didn’t talk about the accident with regards to the record. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to talk about it, but while we were rehearsing, it wasn’t a theme then. We were concentrated more on a musical level and on an energetic level – that’s where we were investing our time. Coming out of it now, realising it most certainly has some themes and deals with some of the issues about that crash, it’s only in retrospect I can see that as directly as I can now. At the time, it felt like we were just trying to write up-tempo music and integrate two new members into the band, which was a daunting task in and of itself without all the baggage of having gone through the baggage of that bus crash. Sebastian and Nick are both incredibly accomplished musicians within their own right, so how much input were they able to give with the writing of the album? A lot. I like to think that, in the best-case scenario, there’s 25% input from everybody. It’s not entirely realistic to say that every moment of every song is a perfect balance of four people’s input, but

they helped write, they were part of every aspect of the process, and that’s the way that Baroness works. It is a collaborative effort. For certain, there are elements of the music that have to start from one person or another but once we start working on a song, it is critical and necessary that everyone puts their two cents in and puts their stamp on it. With Nick and Sebastian, they definitely had an understanding that we have a long history and there were some pre-existing personalities in the band that were no longer there. They had big shoes to fill, so to speak. I think the work for them, at first, was finding a balance between those characteristic musical things that keep Baroness as Baroness, but also finding the space to exert their own influence and have their personalities shine through in the songs and that’s tricky but I do feel we did accomplish that. What were the circumstances around Matt and Allen’s departure, and did it affect you and Pete’s decision to keep the band going? Pete and I were determined to keep the band going, it’s just that simple. I would say that it didn’t really come as a surprise that Matt and Allen left. In some ways, I sort of expected that early on – we all sort of expected that. It wasn’t even in a negative way. The simple fact is that there was a huge amount of trauma involved in that accident – physical, mental, all different things – and everybody in the band was very sympathetic with everyone else in terms of how that trauma played out, so if one or two members didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of touring anymore or being in the band, of course Pete and I offered all the support in the world. Those guys are our friends and we all had this shared experience that’s pretty horrifying so it wasn’t surprising that they left, and it happened in a way that we didn’t want it to be a big dramatic thing. There weren’t any hurt feelings or anything like that. One thing I think that we would never do is try to pressure any members of the band to stay in the band, especially after something like that; it’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to


INTERVIEW // BARONESS

"I prefer touring over being sedentary. I like to be out drawing on experience, meeting people and finding out new things, seeing different cities; I like the chaos, I like the confusion – I’m comforted by it.”

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be a rewarding experience. Some part of that experience is soured by the fact that our bus drove off a fucking cliff, and I understand why they’re leaving. In fact, at the time I thought that maybe they’re slightly more clever than I am because it’s certainly not going to be easy to continue doing this, but it was a worthwhile cause for Pete and I. Did you have any trepidation about going back on tour? You guys were back on the road pretty quickly after you had been through your physio. Yeah, really quick – within ten months of the accident. I can’t remember exactly how long, but I was in a wheelchair for a really long time. I could not get up and I could not move. The first tour that we did back, I wasn’t really walking properly or adequately but once the accident happened, after the surgery and I realised that I still had an arm left on my body and I’d eventually walk again, and once Pete and I understood that, I think we almost felt obligated

to book a tour and get things going as quickly as possible so that we didn’t hesitate and end up regretting things in the long run. I think hesitation may have led to a reluctance in general to continue playing music or at least touring so with that in mind we just really tried to get back on the horse and push forward. That ended up working really well because after 8 or 9 months touring with Nick and Sebastian we realised that it was worth all the effort that it took to get to that point. That allowed us to start writing a new record with a little bit more ease. Are there many home comforts that you miss while you’re out on the road? I miss home comforts, I have a family and it’s impossible not to miss your family, but other than that it’s not much. I prefer to be touring. I prefer touring over being sedentary. I like to be out drawing on experience, meeting people and finding out new things, seeing different cities; I like the chaos, I like the confusion – I’m comforted

“I find the creation of these records is a very complicated and incredibly dense process. I truly don’t know what it’s like to listen to our records because I have a very bad perspective point for that” 72

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by it. Not everybody is, I’m not saying that, but I find the environment of touring is one which suits me well. I like sleeping in buses and on people’s floors, waking up somewhere new every day, getting out and having those experiences. I just miss my family. I don’t expect them to tour with us because they’d be miserable, but that’s about it. It took you around a year for the writing and recording Purple. Did this come together any easier than previous records? It didn’t come easier but that’s not to say that it was a difficult thing. It wasn’t a painful undertaking, but to put as much as we chose to put into this record, to sacrifice as much as we did just to write and record it, to devote yourself to one project with that much enthusiasm and passion, it does bear its own price. It wasn’t necessarily easy, but in terms of length, it’s different every time. Truly, every record happens at a different pace and we’ve learned how to avoid certain deadlines just so that we


INTERVIEW // BARONESS can say we’re done when we’re truly done rather than trying to stick to some sort of schedule. Sometimes songs are very easy to write, some take weeks and months of refinement; in the case of some of the songs on this record, years, because there are a few parts of some of the songs on this record that have been talked about and tried as Baroness riffs for years now. The main riff for “Chlorine & Wine” is a riff that I wrote in the studio while we were recording Red – that’s probably ten years old, I guess. With the process of creating, we find we are at our best and most thorough when we don’t put any time-based pressure on ourselves because we put such a great standard on our quality and consistency so if there’s deadline, it can get a little overwhelming. You’re continuing the colour theme again with Purple. There’s an obvious emotional correlation with the colours red and blue to anger and sadness respectively, but purple is a bit trickier. Does

it hold any significance with you? Yes, but I have a very specific and ambiguous response to the colour theming. At the very core of things, it does bear some significance, and I won’t deny that, but it’s very difficult to articulate what that significance is. Say you’re going to write a story – you have to start with the first line of the story, and as many writers will tell you that’s a very difficult thing to do. There’s a kind of arbitrary nature to it. If you don’t have something finished and you need a starting point, you basically grasp at ideas from nothingness and at random, one sticks, and then you start doodling on top of it. With regards to the way our albums look and are titled, we decided at a pretty early stage in the writing that visually the album would fit in with the colour scheme but I wanted to try something a little different with the titling. After a couple months of writing, Pete and I were having a discussion and pretty much flat out, he said that no matter what name we give the record, people are going to refer to it by whatever colour it

is. Since it’s purple, they’re going to call this record Purple. You can’t really avoid it. Because it comes at the end of a bunch of records that are colour-themed, that’s what they’ll call it so why should we over-think that? What purpose does it serve for us to get bent out of shape or over-think something that has been consistent and people really seem to respond well to? Furthermore, it’s one which offers you, the critic, and the audience and everybody else involved some level of ambiguity. It starts off as a random thing and we start applying our reason or concept to it. It’s a fluid process whereby sometimes it will inform something on its own, it will inform something in the artwork, just as the songs will influence the name of the album. There’s a back-and-forth there. Also, just to finish this off, I find the creation of these records is a very complicated and incredibly dense process. I truly don’t know what it’s like to listen to our records because I have a very bad perspective point for that. If they are audibly as dense

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as they are for me to be a part of writing then I think it’s important that in order to seem equitable and open-armed, we put simplicity where it can be. The album cover, for example, isn’t exactly simple and if you listen to the record, in my opinion, it’s not slow and simple. It’s not a Ramones record. It can be very complicated and very overwhelming. We really have always wanted to reach whatever audience is willing to listen to us and so, here’s a simple album title. It’s a very simplistic way of looking at the artwork and viewing the album and if you’re the sort of person who has to think critically and go in a little deeper, there are certainly some points of synchronicity, but if I explain them then I cut off all the discovery points that you could have. It’s a complicated answer and it probably sounds like I’m not answering it, but that’s sort of the point. You’ve chosen to self-release the record on your new label Abraxan Hymns. Where did that decision come from? The contract that we had with our former record label Relapse was up. Initially, the question was going to be whether we stay with Relapse or move to a different label. Relapse had been an incredibly good label for us and they have a huge history with us. They know exactly how we operate and they’ve been with us kind of from day one of Baroness proper so what purpose would it serve for us to leave them and move to a major label where potentially there would be more money up front but less artistic control? However, the idea that we could just do it ourselves became something that was realistic because we had built up a community of relationships and partnerships over the years whereby we thought we had the infrastructure to release the record ourselves and as a result become more independent, have more artistic freedom, more creative control and a greater sense of ownership over what we do; if we succeed it’ll feel more like a success for us and if we fail then it’s our failure and we won’t 74

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blame anyone else. It won’t be for lack of trying, in other words. Already, it’s been an incredibly rewarding process. It’s a phenomenal amount of work, but we don’t really shy away from work. Amongst certain circles, there’s as much anticipation of new Baroness artwork as the music itself. How do the two sit in the album creation timeline? Are they run together or does one always precede the other? I’ve done both in the past. There has been albums where I’ve tried to create as much of the artwork in tandem with the music as possible. That can be really tricky because the commitment level that you need to exhibit to fully commit to either one is tremendous and it can be somewhat taxing. What I’ve made an effort to do over the years is compartmentalise a little bit more and I’ve figured out that if I start doing the artwork generally around the same time as we start recording the album proper, that’s generally the best way of doing it. I start really slow as I spend a lot of time doing research and concept development - I take a ridiculous amount of time to click as I’m not really an internal thinker, as you can probably tell; I think out loud. Now, it generally happens that the music comes first because as a band the music is always more important than the visual stuff but with this band in particular the balance is weighted a little differently and the visual component, the artwork, is very important to me. I started working on the artwork prior to going in the studio, but the bulk of the actual painting after, during the final stages of mixing. It’s just that long a process. Possibly due to the vinyl resurgence, there seems a greater appreciation of cover art than there has been for the past decade or two. Is this something you particularly appreciate as a visual artist and musician? Yeah, of course. When I was young the package was very important because it offered a further glimpse into the band. With us, I don’t see it as a glimpse into the band itself, but it does offer some further

information. It is a critical part, and furthermore, one of the key things that packaging like this fulfils is the necessity that we have to treat this band as more than just a band who write songs that then get released. Baroness has always been intended as a place where we can express ourselves, and being a visual artist as well it’s a great place for me to do that. Honestly, everyone just streams and downloads. There’s a committed group of people who still collect records - there are some people for whom CDs are still an important thing. It’s fun for me to create these things. I don’t know ultimately how important it is for everyone else but for us it is important. People appreciate that though I’m not pretentious enough to think it’s all going to come full circle and it’ll be like 1970 and all the record pressing plants are going to open back up. There was a dip in vinyl sales over the years and now it’s coming back. There’s a little niche market aspect to it, but it’s also because people genuinely do appreciate it. I’m not going to deny that. Token final question – how would you sum up the atmosphere in the band right now? We’re excited, and we haven’t been this excited in a while. When you play this much music, at this point in your career – or age, let’s say – to be able to tap into excitement can be a very difficult thing. People tend to get jaded as they get older, you kind of get used to the things that were so exciting to you; it’s a case of pulling back the curtain and seeing the Wizard, or seeing a sausage getting made or whatever metaphor you want to use. When you see the mechanism that exists behind closed doors, it can be a little jarring and discomforting, but in time there are ways to work through that, and work through pain and difficulty and sacrifice and rediscover the simple enjoyment that you can have by discovering a new way to write a song or a new way to perform, or even just performing an old songs with a new kind of vitality. That’s been important to us. PURPLE IS OUT NOW VIA ABRAXAN HYMNS


INTERVIEW // BARONESS

“We’re excited, and we haven’t been this excited in a while. When you play this much music, at this point in your career – or age, let’s say – to be able to tap into excitement can be a very difficult thing.”

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AUTHENTIC AND PLAI

PALEHOUND is the moniker for guitarist/songwriter Ellen Kemp

and she brings a much reinvigorate way to write personal and emotional so Those songs are on her debut album, Dry Food, which was released last year it's now being released in the UK on Heavenly Recordings. We caught up with Ellen about her record and her beginnings as a musician. Words by Andreia Alves // Photos by Chad Kamenshine

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C, DYNAMIC INSPOKEN

pner ongs. r but

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and I’m going to try to go more. [laughs] So that will probably be something I’ll do a lot this winter. [laughs] I like spending time at home and hang out with friends, just keeping it low key.

alking a little bit about yourself, you started playing an instrument when you were around 10 years old. What led you to music and inspired you back then? I think I was just trying to find a place for myself at that age. I was kind of living in a community that was very into sports and I was not very into sports. [laughs] So I found my way to fit in and kind of do my own thing. My dad plays guitar and I love my dad, so I was very inspired by me and I just started to play guitar. I was raised listening to people like Joni Mitchel who is very inspiring to me and actually Avril Lavigne. [laughs] It just kind of felt what I wanted to do. Before you started this band, you were a student in Connecticut. How was the transition for you go from being a student to forming a band and moving to Boston? It was kind of scary at first because I moved to here not really knowing anyone. It was very different... I’d been in school all my life up until then, which is like a very kind of dreadful social thing. I moved to a city where I didn’t have a job yet so I had to find a job and I had to find friends, and it just was very stressful, but it ended up working out very well. I found a very cool job really quickly and made some friends for going to shows. I ended up just feeling perfect and I love Boston now. It’s great. What things do you like to do the most in Boston? I like Boston because is small and so it’s very easy and calm. I really like going to shows that my friends are playing and there’s a really good house shows scene here with kind of a more punk scene than I’m used to, so it’s been cool to adjust to that and getting to know the bands here. Just very recently I discovered a Board themed Cafe 78

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What wasn’t low key was 2015, which was a breakout year for you. Your debut album Dry Food was included on the “Best Of 2015” lists for a bunch of publications, and you even won “Best New Artist” at The Boston Music Awards. Were you expecting such amazing feedback from your record? No, I wasn’t! [laughs] It’s not like I was expecting anything, I was expecting nothing really. I was more like “I hope people like it” and I wasn’t expecting them to... I just try not to freak myself out too much. When I started getting really positive feedback, it was awesome and it was one of the best feelings. I worked really hard on the record because I wanted to create something that people like too. [laughs] I don’t want just create something that I like or that satisfies me. It’s really important to me what people think just from the same point that I want people to relate to music and find comfort in that. Looking back to what you went through, which inspired you to write this record, how do you feel at this point now that Dry Food got such overwhelming reactions? It feels kind of like writing a journal in a way and looking back on it and being like “Wow, this was a hard time” and reading it a few months later and feeling like it all paid off and that all happens for a reason. That’s kind of how it feels. I had a couple of bad years and it felt like it would never get better, but then when I wrote the record and put the record out it just felt like I was pounding myself of that and then paid back kind of made it seem like a lot of the struggles that I was having I wasn’t alone in that. People are relating to that and it was really interesting and very rewarding. Dry Food is such an amazing record, musically and lyrically wise, and you played everything on Dry Food aside from the drum parts.

Tell us a little about the important aspects of writing this album and how was the experience for you. I love recording like that. Actually, when I record the demos I record the drums too, but I’m not good enough at drums. [laughs] My drummer Jesse [Weiss of Grass is Green] is amazing and so obviously I wanted him to be part of it. I love playing keyboards and the best part of making a record for me is when I write a song I kind of know what I want everything else to sound like already. It’s not just the guitar and the vocals, I kind of have an idea of a bass line and other things. I always record like that and it’s actually a way for me to zone in on everything. I feel really attached to it. How did you get together with your bandmates, Jesse and bassist Nick Koechel? When I moved to Boston, I was just out in the UK, but I didn’t really looking for bandmates. I found Jesse through my friends and he played in one of my favorite bands. He was around and wanted to hang out and play music. It was perfect. And then I found my bassist Nick Koechel and he was a friend of Jesse’s and I met him through Jesse. It just worked out really well. You signed to Heavenly Recordings and Dry Food is going to be re-released in the UK, following of a European tour. What can you tell me more about that? I think Heavenly Recordings is amazing. I was shocked and super excited when I found out that they wanted to put out the record. I was thinking about putting the record like it was in auction, you know, like I’m supposed to “Oh, that would be great” but I didn’t think that was a possibility and then I heard from them and it was just really exciting to get to work with them. I think they’re an amazing label and everyone who works there are just super nice and super passionate. They have a very small staff and they work really hard. Heavenly just felt like the perfect next step and everyone who works there are just very involved and passionate about the bands and artists.


INTERVIEW // PALEHOUND

"I think people are now realizing that it is not cool to be sexist, it would make them look bad." This is probably something that you got asked quite often, but I would love to know your take about being a woman in a male-dominated scene, especially in the music scene? I think I’ve been very lucky to be in a music scene that is very accessing of all people and I think at the beginning when I was first playing shows that’s when I thought the most, because I didn’t know who I should be playing with and where I should be playing. So that’s kind of when I experienced more creepy guys and, you

know, people not thinking that I knew how to work my amp. [laughs] At this point I think I just play shows that I know that are going to be good... One of the best parts about on being well received is that just opens up my possibilities for touring and get to play in cooler places that may be more accepting of women in music, not just like a house show in Texas, you know? [laughs] Just the other day I got a tweet from this guy that was like “PM for sex”. It’s stupid, but it’s not something that I experience a lot. I think people are now realizing that

it is not cool to be sexist, it would make them look bad. What are your goals for 2016? Are you working on new material? Yeah, I’m working on new songs. I have a lot of ideas for songs that I need to finish, but I really hope that I’m gonna finish writing the next period of time after touring for a while. It’s going to be like in March and April, so I’m hoping to really finish the songs and then start recording shortly after that. DRY FOOD IS OUT NOW VIA HEAVENLY RECORDINGS

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The Necessa 80

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BLOC PARTY Words by Tiago Moreira Photos by Rachael Wright

ary Rebirth musicandriots.com

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currently on their sixteenth year!!! In the last few years the band fronted by Kele Okereke stood at the crossroads with a somewhat forgettable album (2012’s Four) and the loss of two core members. The situation had reached a juncture and a decision (certainly one of the most important in their career) needed to be made. Hymns, the band’s fifth album, is the decision and their answer. Guitarist Russell Lissack took us through the making of such pivotal album, which is also an admitted rebirth.

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att Tong (bass) left the band in 2013 and then Gordon Moakes (drums) left in 2015. How did you and Kele [Okereke, vocals and guitar] deal with the fact that you had lost the band’s rhythm section and longtime bandmates? They left at different times. Matt left in 2013 when we were touring so at the time we just got a friend to fill in for him so we could finish the tour we were doing at the time, and then Gordon left after we had finished touring... but, we just decided that we wanted to continue. We definitely wanted to keep playing and making music together. Justin Harris (bass) and Louise Bartle (drums) occupied the empty seats last year. In what way their entrance helped shape

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this new album? What was their impact on the entire process? Louise we didn’t meet until we actually started recording the album, but Justin, he was involved once we started writing. He came over to all the recording sessions and played all the bass parts on the record. He just brought a really nice feel to the bass, like a groove. I wrote a lot of the bass parts but he played them because I think he plays them better than I could. He’s been playing bass for 20 years and he has really good feel for the instrument. In an interview Kele said that the new album “musically and lyrically it was all coming from a different place.” Can you please elaborate on that? Where did you find yourself, as a band, this time around? I think the main thing we’ve discussed when we first started writing this record was that in comparison to the previous record we wanted to make a record that had a lot more space, to have songs that have a lot more space in them to be able to kind make these individual sounds rather than have the elements fighting against one another. That was kind of the only policy, I guess, that we talked about before we went into it. As a record it’s an amalgamation and collection of our own influences and the things that inspired us over the course of the last few years. The title of the album seems to suggest some kind of spiritual dimension. Does it feel that way? Yeah, certainly... Lyrically, I don’t want speak on Kele’s behalf but that’s certainly where, having spoken to him, he has drawn influence for the bulk of the lyrical content on this record. He’s kind of referred back to a lot of the experiences that he had growing up. I think even musically and sonically a lot of the sounds and the textures have a more atmospheric feel to it than probably anything we’ve done before. And it seems there’s a lot more space in the songs, this time around, which I feel amplified the intensity. I guess that’s the thing about space.

When’s less happening, when’s less there, the things that are actually happening suddenly become more important, they standout more, and have a bigger impact. I think that’s the intention... Less is more, basically. When something does happens, it matters. On the opening track Kele sings a few times “Let the love consume us.” Would it be fair to say that this work, this album, comes from that, the love of doing it once again with a renewed strength? You know, I can’t speak for that line in particular but I can say, personally, the time that we did take off of the record and kind of all the changes that happened... It gave me a renewed appreciation for what we do and how much I enjoy what we do and how fortunate I feel to be able to continue doing it. Does it make sense, to you, to talk about a Bloc Party’s rebirth at this point? Yeah, I think so because it feels like we have come for a reset, you know? Obviously the main aspect to that is the lineup change because we spent more than ten years working with the same four, which is a long time, and now it has changed with all these different persons involved... But I think it’s also a rebirth in our attitude in how we do things, in our sound, and in lot of different ways. It’s not a completely different band but it feels like the core of Bloc Party it’s going in a different direction. Was it the band’s decision to have “The Love Within” as the lead single? We’ve approved but it’s always difficult choosing singles. Personally I find it difficult. We write the songs individually and then when we record them as an album we don’t tend to think, “This could be a single.” It’s a part of the process that happens once the recording is finished. When we make the music is just us, our art, but then when it comes to picking a single that’s when other people start to get involved in the process – managers, record labels, and the people whose opinions you trust and you value.


INTERVIEW // BLOC PARTY

"It's not a completely different band but it feels like the core of Bloc Party it's going in a different direction." www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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I mean, it’s definitely not a song that represents the dominant vibe of the album musically. I guess it’s difficult because the album as whole is quite eclectic and there’s a lot of different styles on this to pick. Choosing one song that represents the album would be really difficult or even impossible. In the UK the second single, “The Good News”, is out and again, I don’t think that sounds anything like the rest of the album either. “The Love Within” is the first track from the album with a music video. Can you please talk about the video and what you wanted to convey with it? It’s difficult, to be honest. Making music videos has always been one of the parts that I don’t really get on with. I’m a musician, I make music... I don’t make videos and I don’t think about the songs in that format. Choosing a single is hard, but choosing a video for a single it’s even harder. I like the video, I think it looks appealing, and I think it captures the energy of the song well, in that sense, but I was not involved with its concept. I was lucky enough to listen the entire album a few times and the first thing I would say about it is that it has an absorbing nature. Did you feel absorbed by it while you’re writing it? At least more than with previous albums. It’s hard to compare to previous albums. I think every time we make a record, for me it becomes quite consuming. You spent however many months working on it – writing it, recording it, listening to it quite compulsively... So, I can’t compare to the others but certainly on its own it was very consuming and a very intense experience. I’m curious to know about the recording process for this new album. How did it go the work with producers Tim Bran and Roy Kerr? Did you approach the process differently this time around? It was a good experience. It was really nice to work with them and it was quite easy as far as making an album goes. I think it went in a 84

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slightly different direction to how we initially anticipated. When we first met them we kind of had a lot of demos and ideas ready and it was going to be a lot of post-production work and a lot of overdubs on the record, but then from the songs took on a life of their own and it felt like that wasn’t necessarily the direction that we were going in. Was it the first time that you worked with two producers at the same time? Yeah, it was. In our third record [2008’s Intimacy] we worked with two producers, but separately. What are the challenges and the advantages of working with two producers at the same time? It was definitely a good experience because Tim and Roy are very different and they both have their own kind of skills and specialties. Roy comes from a more electronic music background and he does a lot more programming and that side of things. Some days we would be in the room, when we had recorded parts, programming things on top of them and coming at them from that direction. Whereas Tim comes from another direction, he’s a lot more live music performance and so he would be in live room with me working on guitar sounds and kind of supervising the performances. It kind of worked well. Even though they come from different backgrounds they generally kind of agreed and had the same opinions on most things. It was not like they were arguing or something like that. Obviously too many opinions can be a bad thing but having two different opinions on what you’re doing, and two opinions that you trust, was a good thing. As a band we always had the live music element and an interest in the electronic music so to have those two bases covered was definitely good for us. Last year Silent Alarm celebrated its tenth anniversary. How do you look back to that particular moment in the band’s history and what you’ve been through since? Ten years is a long time in the music industry. It feels like another lifetime, it feels so long ago and so

I think every tim record, for me it consuming. You s many months w writing it, record to it quite com


me we make a becomes quite spent however working on it ding it, listening mpulsively.

INTERVIEW // BLOC PARTY

Yeah, I saw it on the band’s website. That’s news to me. [laughs] I need to have a look after.

much touring will take place in support of Hymns? Evidently I don’t. [laughs] We certainly going to tour to promote this album, play festivals and everything, but I think a little less than in the past because almost every record that we’ve put out we did like two years of touring. I mean, I love touring but I think it’s quite detrimental to your health and your family. There’s something to be said in having a balance between your private life and your life as band touring all the time. We’ll certainly be touring, but I would be surprised if it was quite intensive as has been in the past.

Do you have any idea of how

HYMMS IS OUT NOW VIA INFECTIOUS RECORDS

many things have happened in the band and in our private lives. It’s hard to take a step back and assess everything that’s happened in the course of ten years. But I can look back on that time when the record came out fondly on a lot of those times. You’ve announced, a few hours ago in fact, 20+ dates in the US and Europe. Did I?

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Today's V 86

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milk teeth Words by Tiago Moreira // Photos by Andy Watson

Vile Child MILK TEETH are a young band that make music that represent well that same state of mind. The band that proved to be extremely energetic and one of the most exciting new acts around with their two first EPs went through some changes and have now released their debut full-length album. It was about Vile Child and everything that now surrounds Milk Teeth that we talked about with guitarist and songwriter Chris Webb. 87


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ow did it go the release show for Vile Child? That was one of my favorite shows that we’ve ever done, I think. We invited some of our favorite bands to play, like local bands, and it was packed out with the kids going crazy. It’s the first venue that we’ve ever played as a band so it was nice to go back a few years later. There were something like 150 people in a very small room. Lot of sweat. [laughs] How does it feel having finally your debut album out? So good. We recorded it in August so there was some time waiting for it to be released and it’s crazy for us to see the responses and people buying it in shops... Lot of positive feedback. I was hoping that people would like it, but I wasn’t expecting them to like it as much as it has been happening. Before talking about the new album I want to ask you how did you, as band, face and manage Josh Bannister (guitarist / vocalist) leaving the band? I guess it was a big deal for you as a band. Honestly... I think a lot of people thought it would be a more of a big deal than us but for us it made sense with the atmosphere with Josh in the band. There was a lot of negativity. We kind of knew that he was be leaving and so once he announced it, we weren’t shock because we were almost preparing ourselves for it to happen. We got our friend Billy on guitars and vocals now and he’s doing an excellent job. We’re excited for the new chapter in the band. I think a lot of people expected to be more upsetting for us than it was. For us it feels like a new beginning. Everyone’s a lot more excited for the future and everyone’s more positive. It’s a happier work place. 88

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Did it change the dynamics within the band in terms of the writing process? Me and Becky, we wrote the majority of the songs on the new record. I don’t know if it’s going to change so much. Billy is an excellent musician and songwriter so we’re excited to write with him as well. The only thing that is happening now is that before Josh was at the center and now Becky has stepped up and she’s now the proper frontwoman. I don’t think the songwriting will really suffer from it. In fact we’re already working on the new album. [laughs] The EP format was working for you guys. Did you consider the option of releasing another one? We released the Sad Sack EP like a year ago... I don’t know, we just wrote a lot of songs and the label wanted us to do an album so, since we had a bunch of them already written, we decided to proceed with an album. I guess we were just seeing how it happened. If we didn’t do as much touring as we did last year, we might had released another EP and wait for releasing an album until the time was right, but it just felt right. During 2015 you released the Sad Sack EP, you signed with Hopeless Records, and you embarked in lengthy tours with Frank Iero, Title Fight and Frank Carter. Was it easy, or comfortable, to conceive Vile Child during what seems to be such agitated times? We had a few songs written before

“A lot of the songs are about being bored and stuck at home. I think that in a way being away for so long and then missing it really helped the songs to happen.”

we went away and then between tours... When you are on tour, you just want to go home and when you’re at home you just want to go out and play. Not being on tour really helped... A lot of the songs are about being bored and stuck at home. I think that in a way being away for so long and then missing it really helped the songs to happen. Were you able to feel the effects of heavy touring while working on Vile Child? In a way because we had so much touring. We did like three months back to back, or something... We probably would have liked to have more time to focus on the songs, but then again we had such a clear idea of how we wanted them to sound. We had all the songs done when we came to the studio. We just experimented a little bit and the songs really came to life. I’m curious about the running order of Vile Child. How difficult was to end up with the running order that we now know? The first thing was the song “Brickwork”. It’s a song to start straightaway. We wanted to kick it off with a bang, straight into a fast song. The second song, “Driveway Birthday”, it’s a softer one. It’s a matter of bringing it up and down. I think we just wanted to show all sides of us. Sometimes you have albums where all the fast song are on the first half and then you have all the sad and slower songs. We wanted to mix it up because we wanted to keep the energy going even if it is a slower song. People can really get into them and then a minute later we switch it up to something really fast Why did you choose Vile Child and what did you want to convey with it? I guess that comes from touring and us being really smelly from not having the opportunity of showering and all of that. When I was a kid my mom used to say, “Oh, you vile child.” When you’re being naughty, messy, or something bad. It was something that we wanted to capture... being a naughty little kid, really. [laughs] You’ve been around the block a


INTERVIEW // MILK TEETH

few times in terms of recording music, but I imagine that record an album might be a different experience. How was the recording process like? What were the big differences compared with the processes for Smiling Politely and Sad Sack? We recorded Smiling Politely at our college with our friends, after lessons. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect

it to work so well. We recorded Sad Sack and Vile Child in the studio with our friend with Neil Kennedy [producer] and he really... A lot of people say that our sound is quite early 90s punk and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a really big fan of that sort of music. Going to him, he almost knows what we sound like better than we do, if that makes sense. [laughs] But with the album we had a lot more

time, because with the Sad Sack it was quite rushed, to sit and think about the different ways we could approach each song and each process. We pushed ourselves to the limit this time around, but always trying to not get stressed at the same time. VILE CHILD IS OUT NOW VIA HOPELESS RECORDS

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g n i h c r a M g A h g Throu TORTOISE

, for exa ke Ta . me na a n tha re mo is For some bands, a name a steady onward progress t e, nc ie sil re t bu d ee sp s re pi a moniker that ins an apt description t no tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tha if d an m, tho fa to that most of us canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t begin the wilderness they have r in s ar ye n ve se r te Af is? at innovators then wh t, and we nabbed c his op str ta Ca e Th in m ge le another uncategorisab ise marc hing through the rto To s ep ke at wh t ou d fin to Dan Bitney Words by Dave Bowes // Photos by Andrew Paynter

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ges

ample. It’s not towards goals of the Chicago returned with co-founder e ages.

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ou’re just about to head out on a pretty sizeable tour and your first in a while. How are you guys gearing up for that? It’s going to be fun. We’re excited. We’ve just spent a whole week rehearsing every day from 8:30 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, just rocking the stuff, so it’s getting good. When we make a record we don’t necessarily worry about how to perform it, we just make the song into what we think it should be. Unlike most other bands, we spend most of the rehearsal time trying to figure out who’s going to play what instrument, if it even works to play live. It’s been a fun week, just figuring that out. Have any of the new songs presenting more of a problem than the rest? There’s one song that I play drums – “Tesseract” - but I didn’t want to just let somebody else drum. It’s the only song I drum on

on that record so I want to be in that seat and so I put John, who usually doesn’t play bass, in the position of playing bass and he did a great job. He learned it and it sounds really nice. We run into stuff like that. Certain people have their voices but the two Johns and myself, all being drummers, sometimes are put at a station where it’s not necessarily where you thought you would be. I don’t know if you know these things but they’re called synares. It’s from the 70s and it’s a little drum that looks like a UFO - a disco drum, basically. Well, on the David Essex cover all I played was that, doing this low-frequency wubwub – it sounds kind of like dubstep bass. It’s not odd for us to not play on a song. Certain members just won’t be on a composition so it gets tricky in that regard, where you have to say, “Even though I’m not playing on the song on the record, I have to do something because we have to play it live.” You have to imagine something to do or create a new role. It’s tricky like that and for the most part, on this record, we really are rehearsing the whole thing which is kind of odd. Usually, there’d be at least 40% that you know you can’t even play because you know it’s not going to work in

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a live setting. This one’s a little different in that we can really play the whole record. What does determine what makes the cut, then? Is it purely logistics or do you look for certain qualities that will translate well to a live setting? Most of it at this point is logistics. I’m a bit more obsessive with trying to pare down what we use and travel with. I’m kind of obsessed with not paying baggage fees, which is the opposite of when we’re in the studio where it’s not uncommon for us to, with one melody, layer four instruments. We might put organ on top of a vibraphone on top of some orchestral bells so it’s a duality in that the recording is exploration and trying different things, but live I want to make it that we’re not carrying all this stuff around. The biggest work we have now after having rehearsed for a week straight is how to build the sampler and how to make its tones sound really good and what keyboards to use on stage. For the live setting, certain songs might not even work. We’ll see how it goes but I’m stuck on logistics at the moment. This album originated from a commission from the city of Chicago. How did that come around and how much did the material change from that initial brief? It’s changed dramatically, really. I’m not sure when but our city went through a drastic change that’s probably reflected throughout Europe and the world. We used to have funding for the arts in Chicago - there used to be a bit more money, there used to be a bit more of a presence. A lot of those people are gone and a lot of the good ones moved to the NEA, the National Endowment for the Arts, but just being who we are we knew a lot of the people closer to the top that would curate these performances and so we got asked. The idea was to use musicians from the creative music scene and the improviser scene in Chicago which we all know and work with outside of the band. We teamed up with them and it was a really good experiment in that usually when 92

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we write music it’s drawn out and very long. It’s almost like clay. Even if somebody has a really good idea for a composition, you’ve got to really form it into a shape and that seems like it’s really a long process. It was an experiment in that we didn’t really have that much time to write the material and then we took it upon ourselves to incorporate these other musicians. The one thing that I would say is that if you heard a recording of it you would hear Jeff’s guitar tone, you would hear Doug’s bass tone, you would hear both Johns playing the drums – I just played the synthesizer. I think you could tell it was us and that there was a quality to it but you wouldn’t necessarily say, “Oh, that’s Tortoise!” because it has these other players, and maybe what we did with the ideas wasn’t so original either in the forms of

orchestration or composition. It was a little, I don’t want to say generic, but it wasn’t our voice so when we went in the studio, I remember not even considering that we were going to use those compositions for the recording. I was thinking, “Oh, what are we going to do?” And then those guys started working on that stuff. I thought it was great. I thought it was a really good idea and I’m really happy with the results. We really worked with the stuff and made it sound like us. It was easier than starting from scratch but it was still a long process. Given how long it has been since the last album, and from that initial commission, just how long did it take to pull everything together? It’s not fair to say it took seven years because we weren’t working. It was really the last year


INTERVIEW // TORTOISE

"I think we are in a strange position where we're older but there are people who are out there becoming music lovers who probably don't have an idea of what we do or even what it is. That's kind of interesting."

and I’m not exactly certain but I wouldn’t say it was more than a few months of working on it in the studio. It’s not uncommon for us to have a gap, like the gap between the last two records was five years but we were still very active and playing a lot, but in the last few years I had a daughter. We slowed down as far as playing shows and it made life a little more challenging. You kind of relied on the income. It made my life a little more complicated to the point where you start to wonder if you made the right decision to take on this creative life. I can also say I just dove into the creative music scene in Chicago more than I ever had in the past. As far as being a musician, a drummer and a multi-instrumentalist, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened because I’m playing a lot more with people and doing a lot more improv and creative music whereas if I was just touring I’d be playing the same songs every night. I advanced but it’s been difficult. Now we’re ready to start up again and start touring. We move really slow. We have fans, but people forget; people have short memories. I think we are in a strange position where we’re older but there are people who are out there becoming music lovers who probably don’t have an idea of what we do or even what it is. That’s kind of interesting. Even saying that, though, the albums you released in the 90s are held in incredibly high regard. Do you think that puts any pressure on new material? The thing is, I know that and I appreciate it, and I also feel that I love stuff off Standards as much as I love that second record, so for me I love all these different songs from throughout the catalogue. I realise why that happened and I realise the magnitude of the beauty of a song like Djed but it’s contextual. Back when that happened, it was pretty original and strange. I find that from Beacons Of Ancestorship, it really starts to become that you’re careful not to do something that sounds like a song you already made. There is a blueprint for Tortoise, and even on the new

record there were moments I thought were reminiscent of other compositions. I can’t specifically point them out, but in the studio there might be points where I pick up a bass and start playing something and find it was too close to a song we already have. There’re so many bands where they’re creating a brand and an aesthetic, trying to find a sound that you want to be able to describe very easily for writers and the public to help market it, but with us it’s kind of the opposite. We’ve been a band for 20 years and we’re trying to not ever repeat ourselves. I always use ‘the Ramones theory ‘- obviously, they’re not going to make a jazz record. They found what they did and they did it. I think there was pressure early on because Millions... was regarded as a really great record. There was pressure for following that up but now I feel like there’s more pressure to not just do the same old thing and sound like our old compositions. That’s the pressure I feel. Just trying to come up with good ideas, that’s the hardest thing. For the first song on The Catastrophist, I’m counting myself as a good drummer but to have three drummers with the skills that we have being older dudes, it took us so long to even imagine what kind of drum patterns to play underneath that song. That’s why it takes so long too. Did having the gap help with this album, not only to give you time to develop as musicians but also to gather ideas that could be brought together at once? It definitely does. Part of our writing nowadays really is people bringing sketches on computer demos. We each had a bit more of those to bring and time made that happen for sure. I think there can be something about not slowing down with your activities that would be more conducive to being more creative and productive. I would like to say that we wouldn’t wait as long next time but we always say that. “It’s not going to be four years next time!” But it never works that way. People are busy, people are working on other projects. Life happens, basically, and before you know it, it’s seven years later!

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With The Catastrophist, there seems to be a very playful mood that runs throughout the whole album. Did you go into the writing with an overall feel like that in mind? Apart from some of the music coming from that commissioned performance we never really have a concept behind any of these records. People always think, especially in the old days, that it’s planned out but really we’re not that concept-driven in the initial stages of recording and/or the artwork. A lot of it’s after the fact. The song titles are the perfect example of that in that I’m not exactly sure of what song’s titled what. I have a little list here so I can check. There’s been a duality in Tortoise in that we are perceived to be very serious, like scientists of rock, and there is that quality but even the cover art for TNT was us trying to show this humour that we have and some people didn’t want that to be our artwork for that record. Showing some of our humour is how I perceive this one, especially with the artwork and the title. Where did that title come from? I don’t know. John Herndon just kind of presented it and I just looked at that cover photo and was like, “Yep, that’s it. That’s perfect.” I remember asking some body, a Spanish speaker, how you say catastrophe in Spanish and he said that it was the same. “Okay, that’s it. That seals the deal.” I don’t know why that would be so profound for me! Maybe it’s situational and it was because I was hanging out with a Spanish-speaker. I can tie it in with being a human and taking on the endeavour of being an artist, a musician, and creative people are sensitive people. It’s not an easy lifestyle. There are times when I think I’m crazy for thinking I can do this, that I can be a professional musician in this day and age with a family playing weird music. There’s times when I think I should just get a job, become... something. That’s how I see it. Maybe we are the catastrophists for thinking that we can do this, that we can make music in this day and age. How’s that!? 94

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That’s a lot deeper than I was expecting! Pretty bleak and heavy, but you know what I mean! It’s a lot easier if you’re 22 years and you just got done with school, you’re not sure what you’re doing and you’re sleeping on a couch. You’re all regarded as great musicians and a lot of that seems to be to do with the fact that you all have so many avenues of expression. How much do you feel you’ve managed to develop in your time in the band? For me, my quality as a multi-instrumentalist is that I can be very adaptable, switching instruments. I’m not sure that that’s the best thing to do to be able to develop a singular voice. Obviously, most people would pick a single instrument and develop a voice to work with throughout their career. With me, being in the group is being able to play with high-quality musicians and getting challenged. Like I mentioned, the gap for me was moving into the improv scene here. That built my skills. Usually, I approach that realm as a drummer or as an electronic musician. To me, that’s more conducive to advancing as a musician as opposed to writing songs and playing the parts in Tortoise. A lot more of the growth comes from the creative music scene in these smaller shows, where you make mistakes and stuff doesn’t work with improv all the time but then you build as a musician and you have crazier ideas to bring to everyone. Tortoise is lucky. I’d say most bands make a record and then they really just try to represent what the recording is while they tour the world. With Tortoise, I think there’s a quality in the music where people don’t mind

"With Tortoise, I think there's a quality in the music where people don't mind if it's different"

if it’s different. Obviously, you want to be able to recognise key elements of compositions but we’ve already changed compositions from the record. Maybe we should have done these rehearsals before we finished mixing the songs because we’re changing the compositions already. Certain lengths of sections are different now and it’s not to the point where people are going to be disappointed. You’d really have to know the song to do that but I think with the quality of what we’re doing, we have leeway. My point is that you get better at the compositions but you don’t necessarily get that much better as a musician playing the same song every night. The composition will get better over the course of two or three months but if you’re playing a part, you’re not necessarily growing that much as a musician. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? Not really. It’s great that Chicago has a scene that allows you to develop in that way. Was there always that kind of environment? I think it has been because, if we’re talking historically, when some of us arrived here it was on the downside. I think it’s true with most cities in the US. If you look at New York in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was on the verge of bankruptcy and Chicago’s no different, really. You had a city based on manufacturing and those jobs were dying, there were heroin problems from the late, mid-60s and it’s classic gentrification, really. We all moved into a very depressed region of the city that was mostly Puerto Rican and it was an area where you would get an apartment for very little money. It’s like a classic blueprint for creativity in that you get a cheap apartment and a very inexpensive lifestyle in that you could work two days in a bar and play music with your friends. It was very easy to get shows at small venues and a lot of that’s changed. Now, it’s an expensive city but as opposed to New York, I think a lot of people here were a little bit less career-driven. Stereotypically, I think some of the New York people had a trajectory of “I want to be a straight-ahead jazz player” or “I want to be in this rock band.” I think Chicago, due to the economy and some of the


INTERVIEW // TORTOISE

cultures, is a very segregated city but there is a thriving creative music scene with the AACM and there’re people that go between these worlds. Tortoise was always kind of right there. We were into the jazz music and some of us came from the rock world. It seemed like a very good environment for exploration or crossing some of these boundaries. I’m sure there are people that did that in other cities but I think a lot more of it happened here and a lot of it is due to economics and where artists move into, these depressed areas. The areas change – I basically had to keep moving west. I would get priced out of an area. They call them ‘pioneers’ because you live in a really sketchy area for a while and then it gets nice so you can’t afford it and move again. It’s really cultivated now in that there are these really good venues that host really quality creative music. I’m sure there are similar scenes in New York and Europe, even possibly L.A. but I’m not so sure about that,

but Chicago really has a history. It’s drawing people from the Midwest and if you’re really good and want to be a musician, people will want to come to Chicago either to study or to play with other people that they think are good. It’s kind of the story of Tortoise as a lot of us are not from within Chicago but if you were in any kind of counter-culture back then, that’s what you did. It’s harder to be weird in a small town. You gravitated towards where you thought it was happening. What do you feel looking back to those early days and to your legacy? I have fond memories of those days but as a human you clean up your memories. I forget what era, but it started when we were doing press and thinking that people perceive Chicago as a magical place, like the Shangri-la of the rock world. In some ways, it is. Some of us used to play weekly gigs and you’d get tourists who couldn’t believe that some of us would be in these small

clubs and there wasn’t a cover charge. I’m an optimist for the most part but I remember the other side. Here’s another story of people complaining about gentrification. “Oh yeah, I remember when kids would chase you with golf clubs, threatening to bash your skull in. So much better back then!” As magical as stuff seems, it was never that simple. Any human can realise that but I think I feel lucky. We worked really hard at creating what we created and touring so much, playing for so many people and we were lucky to do that. We matched that luck with hard work and fortunately for us we did get a few royalty cheques before the world of selling music changed on everyone. I made a little money, you know what I mean? In that regard, that was nice. Sometimes I think, “Oh my God, what if I was still getting royalty cheques?” I don’t dwell on it but it does occur to me. THE CATASTROPHIST IS OUT NOW VIA THRILL JOCKEY

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IMMERSIVE AN

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ND AMBITIOUS Attempting to classify an act like ULVER, let alone describe their sprawling sonic spectrum, has never been an easy task, and the past few years haven’t helped. From the haunting classical compositions of Messe VI-XII and Childhood’s End’s faithful takes on the gems of ‘60s psychedelia to the understated bliss of their collaboration with Sunn O))), they are one of the most unpredictable and constantly surprising bands to exist within the underground. In February 2014, they took this even further with a dozen largely improvised concerts spread throughout Europe which have now been chopped, edited and reformed across twelve tracks in ATGCLVLSSCAP, their 12th album (depending on how you look at it). Founder Kristoffer Rygg talked us through the finer details of this immersive and ambitious project. Words by Dave Bowes // Photos by Christian Tunge

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C

ongratulations on the new album. I won’t even attempt to pronounce it. It doesn’t roll so easily off the tongue, does it? Not quite. What were you referring to it as? Wasn’t it just something like 12? Well yeah, we were toying a bit with that number for a few reasons. Not that it was a serious concept or anything, we just found it a bit curious that things started to revolve around the dozen. The number of concerts that have found their way into this album is twelve, it’s twelve tracks and, depending on how liberal your view of full-length albums is, it’s also sort of our 12th album. We got a bit OCD about that and started Googling all sorts of stuff and came across this mnemonic by which to remember the signs of the zodiac – All The Great Constellations Live Very Long Since Stars Can’t Alter Physics – which we thought was quite hilarious but probably too far out [laughs] so we went with the abbreviations instead. It’s a bit of humour going on too of course... a numerological nonsense. [laughs] How was the experience of those shows? Apart from your shows with Æthenor, was that your first time working live with so much improvisation? In the context on Ulver, it was. As you mentioned, I have had some previous experience with it as does Dan (O’Sullivan) as we both play together in Æthenor. The two of us had done that and as Ulver a lot of the things we have made in the past actually often start that way for us too - just jamming, locking into a groove or allowing musical themes to find themselves in a way, by just playing together. It’s not total improv in the sense that we had nothing - we had

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some of those bass grooves, or on a track like “Moody Stix” we’d just kind of rock out on top of old samples, you know, so there were some basic underlays there, but the length of things and how it happened each night was very open and loose – semi-improvised is probably a more accurate way to describe this album. Was it a smooth process or was there much variation from night to night? That’s the nature of that game, isn’t it? It’s quite dynamic, how it all goes. The story is that we did this once before. The first time was before the tour, in the fall of 2013, at the Øya festival’s nightclub concept at a club called Blå, in Oslo, and that was our first time doing it. That was pretty great, I would say. It took us quite by surprise actually, how well it gelled for a first attempt, so naturally we figured “let’s do this”, and take it to select cities. We went in maybe a bit too cocky so those first couple gigs, I would say, were trying. A lot of nervous energy going on. We were struggling a bit to find our feet with it, but I remember distinctly when we came to Berlin it seemed to crystallize and the individual perception or experience may have varied a bit from player to player on the following gigs, but overall I would say it was blissfully free of disaster from there on out. How was the editing and the post-production? There must have been a huge amount of material to get through there. Yeah definitely, let’s say we had roughly 20 hours of 24-track recordings, so that’s a bit to digest, but to be honest you’d have to ask Daniel about all that because we did the sadistic thing and put him to the task of going through it all [laughs], so he’s the one who made the principal choices for this album, deciding that we were going to use this from that gig and that from that gig and he worked quite a bit on it before he sent it over to us. We got involved a bit later and with a less fatigued mind than usual [laughs] so it’s all win-win in that sense for the overall energy of the project, but yeah, I didn’t dig through all the

gig-recordings myself. Thank you Dan! [laughs] Seriously, I have to say there’s a level of trust in him and his abilities here, you know. We knew he would do a good job with this material, basically. From that point of view or you pleased with the outcome and how cohesive it sounds? It sounds like an actual album rather than a series of excerpts. We wanted it to feel like an album, but born a different way. It was tough, considering the volume of raw material and the fact that there’s quite a lot of different music to take from. So it had to be approached a bit piece by piece. It didn’t really make sense to go all in a rock direction or all in a more droney, synthy one either - it’s a bit of both, or more things that we were tapping into while out there. In that sense, it probably could have been more stylistically cohesive, but I think it’s an interesting sort of revolving trip nonetheless. The whole project seemed on paper like a brave one, but you guys have always seemed like huge risk-takers. We just do what makes sense to us, you know, what feels interesting to do. Is there much forethought in this or is it largely an intuitive process for you? It depends on what the project is, but I would say it’s a dance between the two, generally speaking. The playing itself is usually quite intuitive but we do tend to think out things in advance as well or at

“As you grow ol and you acquire n you might lose so you know. And you with new people a informs you and possib


INTERVIEW // ULVER least have a sort of view towards a result, be a bit project-oriented, if you will. Being able to change and adapt so much, do you feel that you are constantly in the process of learning within Ulver? Yeah, of course. 100%. As you grow older you change and you acquire new interests. And you might lose some interests too, you know. And you’ll meet and play with new people and that obviously informs you and opens up new possibilities. In terms of studio and technology, new and exciting things happen all the time as well, so it’s sort of a linear curve going somewhere, I don’t know where. Well, the grave ultimately. [laughs] Was that the same mindset you had back with the William Blake album and the Metamorphosis EP? I don’t think I envisioned Ulver still playing in 2015 to be honest. At that time, it wasn’t established that we were in it for the long haul, so that sort of just happened. We got lucky, I guess. We did okay as young men and that made it possible for us to continue making music and set up our own studio and such. We occasionally did side-jobs here and there, when the chips were down, but we generally didn’t have to look for other ways to earn our keep. Then, as the catalogue grew, and we grew with it, the more it made sense to stick to our guns and keep on truckin’. I imagined things really changed for the band with Dan coming in all those years ago. Well, yeah, of course. But it’s not

lder you change new interests. And ome interests too, u’ll meet and play and that obviously d opens up new bilities.”

so singular. Things were changing overall. Is there anything in particular that you felt he brought to your collective that was missing? Not that we were really missing anything but things do tend to stagnate if there’s no infusion of fresh blood and when Dan joined, him and I had been together a lot in the context of Æthenor, and we had become really close through that. He’s a gifted instrumentalist who can pick up anything and play it, you know, and at first we sort of enlisted him to help us make it all come together live. Dan’s like three musicians in one body basically. [laughs] That was why he came into the fold at first but then that worked so well, and we were having such good times together, so it kind of felt right to put a title on it. He’s been instrumental in the live-aspect of Ulver - and later also on our albums, of course. There’s still the geographical obstacle, though, as he’s in London and we’re here in Oslo, so we still hang around in our studio and work on a regular basis like we used to, but now we also have this extra guy in London, you know. Overall it makes the band stronger, more capable and multifaceted as I see it. I might add that we have actually functioned more like a collective of people the last five years or so. Guys like Anders (Møller) and Ole Alex (Halstensgård) are also worth mentioning in this respect as they’ve also been very important these last years. I was just wanting to check on some of the other work that Ulver has coming up. First up, your work on the production for the Norwegian National Theatre, of Dostoevsky’s Demons. How did that come about and what’s happening with it? Well, the director’s an old friend of ours and a fan of the band basically. Nothing’s happening with it at the moment – it’s a similar situation actually. We haven’t got 20 hours but we certainly have 3 or 4 hours of stuff that we made for those guys lying about and we haven’t really mustered the will to put it all up there and start the editing. We’ve

also been preoccupied with another live document, from Parma with an orchestra, which has been a nightmare to get mixed, so we’re all quite eager to make some new music by this point. So I guess Dostoevsky will stay in the archives for now and maybe in a year or two it could become a sort of archival release or document – we imagine something a la Neubauten’s Faust musik – but it would as I said, take some time to go through everything and edit and mix it properly, lay the actor’s voices atop and basically put it in a shape suitable for a listen-to-it-at-home type situation. We sort of need to restructure the entire dramaturgy of it. Did you approach the writing for that in a similar way to your soundtrack work in the past, like Lyckantropen Themes? Not exactly. The soundtrack thing is quite closely linked to real-time, in a way. You have to find tempos and stay on grids and simultaneously hit the cues and such in a bit of a disciplinary way whereas the thing we did with the National Theatre was to make a lot of different music trying to touch on the moods of the thing in a quite loose way and then the director and the sound guy at the theatre would choose which backgrounds they liked, or that worked in rehearsal, and use it rather freely. It’s a bit different, more ‘jazz’ in its approach, but in terms of trying to capture a mood, it’s obviously the same. I’d heard you say that you were wanting to do a second part to Childhood’s End as well. Have you have any further thoughts on that? I think that’s just something I said because I enjoyed making that record so much. It’s sort of a personal love affair for me, the sound of the ‘60s, the Summer of Love and that kind of thing, and it was a really nice process too, just getting so heavily into playing those tunes and then doing it live at Roadburn. It was just a great time for us, really, so it’s a nice thought to do a Volume II, but it takes a lot of time too. It’s a big production job that one actually – it wasn’t done in a matter of weeks

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[laughs], so for the time being I think that album will have to suffice in the covers album department. That Roadburn show was one of my highlights that year but it seemed to really polarise people – it was a real love-hate thing. It usually is with us! [laughs] Can I take it you’re quite used to those reactions? I didn’t notice to be honest. I was having too much fun and to us it felt real tight and the vibes were just great. I noticed a few after, as you say, polarised reviews, but that’s all good and healthy I would say. There’s the obvious factor, of course, that a lot of the Roadburn ‘regulars’ are more tuned into the‘70s thing – Black Sabbath doom and gloom, and stoner and sludge rock, which are sort of modern variants of the same thing. We thought it would be interesting to do homage to something else in that context, that predates it, but yeah, maybe the music itself just didn’t sit too well with some of the more gloomy types, you know? Too much flower power. [laughs] The final future thing was that you are repressing Perdition City with Metamorphosis. How was it revisiting that material, particularly Metamorphosis? Was there much treatment of it? I haven’t really revisited it as such – but it’s been remastered for vinyl so that’s always nice, kind of forces me to listen to the old stuff in a more involved way. Things have obviously happened with technology since those things were made so it’s always good to hear it again with a bit more carefully added production sheen on top. But there’s no remixing or anything, it’s a straight up reissue with a new 2015 remaster for vinyl. Test presses sound really good now I think. The first press we had to reject. That’s when we decided to do it properly, remaster and do a double vinyl, which in turn gave us an extra side on which we decided to put Metamorphosis, as a bonus. As far as the music goes, it’s what can I say... Electronic? I think Perdition City has some 100

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pretty strong characteristics overall, that resonate with that era. The IDM and trip-hop thing was pretty strong at the time so it’s got that as well as that Lynchian noir, haunted, city-by-night jazzy vibe that bands like Bohren & Der Club of Gore do so well now. It’s got a few of those ingredients going for it and I still think it makes for a solid soundscape. I remember well the times... when we made that stuff, sort of pre-millennium urbanoia going on you know [laughs], it was pretty intense. Maybe not all of it has stood the test of time though. Metamorphosis... that first song [laughs], our only time going for full-on breakbeat techno. You recently produced Myrkur’s debut album. How was the experience of working with Amalie, who by her own admission was heavily influenced by your earlier work? Ah, my little sis, I call her that now. [laughs] Amalie and I became close friends through that and it was great project to be involved with, and kind of an honourable thing for me really, since she is so outspoken about her love of that stuff. Sometimes though, because she’s so heavily into those early things and also contemporary music in a similar landscape – things that I haven’t really paid much attention to for a long time – sometimes the ‘generation gap’ thing would happen, you know, where she

“We wanted it to feel like an album, but born a different way. It was tough, considering the volume of raw material and the fact that there’s quite a lot of different music to take from. So it had to be approached a bit piece by piece.”

would maybe expect me to feel certain things that I felt a lot stronger 20 years ago [laughs], but that also made the process kind of an interesting challenge... I kind of had to invoke a younger, more metal-me [laughs], and cool things happened as a result of that I think. I really hope I was able to help her make the album she envisioned. I see the album is kind of killing it out there, reaping awards and stuff, so I am very happy for her. Going back to the zodiac album, much of it seems to carry a very positive feeling. Did you get that vibe yourself and was it intentional? Not specifically aiming for it but I guess it’s in the nature of the music itself. It becomes what it becomes, in a way, without us forcing or willing it too much in this or that direction. We just rehearsed a couple days before we went on that tour to keep it kind of loose and open to interpretation. A lot of it is based on repetition and groove. It’s quite rhythm-oriented, almost dancey in parts. We’ve visited some dark places in our past, both personally and musically, so it just made sense this time to go for a bit of ecstasy. [laughs] But we’re using some heavy lines though, from the Old Testament, towards the end, and there’s also that piece called “D-Day Drone”. I had some radio stock footage from the Normandy landings in the second World War, on my iPad which we used, so it’s not that it’s not touching on serious matter or anything, but musically, yeah, it’s a bit frisky. [laughs] It’s getting harder and harder to pin Ulver down, which is always fun from a writer’s point of view. Yeah, good luck with that. [laughs] They all have their individual appeal to me, these tracks. “Moody Stix”, with that one we were obviously toying a bit around with the Residents, that kind of slapstick vibe, that track is a bit circus and strange - the track that we play on top, “Doom Sticks”, is off an EP that we did about 12 years ago called A Quick Fix of Melancholy. Then there’s “Cromagnosis”, that was always so great playing – this stomping, dummm dumm... paleolithic rocker anthem. [laughs]


INTERVIEW // ULVER

Then there’s “Nowhere (Sweet Sixteen)”, which is a bit tongue-in-cheek from our side. It’s a bit more for the fans of the old stuff really, an olden goldie, and almost added as a bit of a pastiche. But I like it. Especially that cheesy ‘60s girl-pop stuff going on in the last half [laughs] There’s also a bit of Tangerine Dream and Coil, who I know are huge influences on the band. Yeah, they have been for well over 20 years now. It’s probably not too much of it here, but I guess it always seeps in somehow? The German school obviously informs this album, I would say both the more electronic stuff, like you said, Tangerine Dream and of course Kraftwerk, but also the proper Krautrock bands – Can, Faust, Amon Düül. It’s actually played in a lot of German cities too you

know; we would be rolling in towards Cologne, and we would blast these kind of bands in the van and amp ourselves up for the night’s gig. So yeah, that’s a pretty massive influence on this album I would say. How does touring feel to you now in comparison to those early shows? They seemed like one-off events in the beginning. To start with, yes. We didn’t really know that we would be doing it until we actually pulled it off at the literature festival in Lillehammer in 2009. We owe a lot of the reason why we are doing live things now to Stig (Sæterbakken, RIP) who initiated that. He was on us year after year and really pulled out all the big guns to make it happen, and finally we succumbed, it was a nerve-shattering prospect for us.

But it did go fairly well and we had sort of decided by then that if that concert went well we should do it again. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work and preparation just to play one gig, you know. So, that was really the ‘trial by fire’ moment for us and when it was over I guess we all just sort of relieved and thought, “Okay, we can do this now.” And so we did. We booked a pretty big tour not too long after. Now we’re a bit more acclimatised to it, of course, but it always comes with a bit of ambivalence for us. It’s not something we love unconditionally, as some bands do. It comes with a lot of stress, I would say, but for that moment when a gig is going well, somewhere in the world, it’s worth it, as most bands will tell you. It can be quite cathartic. ATGCLVLSSCAP IS OUT NOW VIA JESTER RECORDS

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most iconic re In between the 30 year anniversaries of two of their

heavie are now back with what might be one of their strongest and Houston ba “For All Kings”. We caught up with bassist Frank Bello in a their current tour to talk a bit about their latest release

Words by Luís Alves // Photos by Jimmy Hu

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ecords, est albums to date, their 12th studio effort, ackstage area before one of Anthraxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gigs in and a few other things as well.

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ello Frank. You’re in between tour dates now. How’s it been going so far and how are audiences reacting to your two new songs, “Evil Twin” and “Breathing Lightning”? To be honest, it’s been overwhelming the response we’ve been getting from people. We’re on tour right now with Lamb of God who are friends of ours, and the eruption that happens after these songs is great. When we introduce them, that’s great right off the bat, but I call it the eruption because after [we play them], those are some of the strongest responses of the night, which is a really great thing for us to hear and see, because we know we’re on the right track! For All Kings, your new record came out as one of Anthrax’s heaviest records so far. Looking back to all the band has done before, how do you feel about this one? Like everything else, you have to support your newest product, but I’ve been in this band for a long, long time and I can say that this is absolutely our best record ever. I have to say that because I’ve wrote a lot with these guys and it’s like your children, it’s really hard to not love it. I feel it’s our strongest record. All we could have done was to leave it all in the table and do our best work, and I think we’ve done that. I hope that the crowd and the fan base out there feel the same way! You’ve been through some rough times in recent past and For All Kings feels like a powerful statement of a united band that came through all those difficulties. Do you agree? How was the spirit between you guys during this album’s writing and recording sessions? Good point! It’s a great time and you’ve hit it on the head with this one. The band is getting along

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really well, we’re really united and we all know that there’s a goal to achieve here. In the writing process you have bumps and some people don’t agree with everything, but you get through it and that builds the intensity of the music, I think. Now it’s just about really getting it out there and make people hear the record. We’re touring even before the record comes out! We just finished with Slayer for almost two months in Europe, in the UK, and now we came over here with Lamb of God, and it’s going to be another month of touring before the record comes out. We’re also starting in March with Iron Maiden in South America, which is going to be a fun thing I’m looking forward to, as we’re going to be traveling on the plane with them. We’re big fans, but also great friends with them! We’ve also just started to book up September and October right now, so we’re pretty booked up. We’re going to do all the festivals in Europe, it’s an ongoing thing, and we just want to spread the music. At the end of the day, metal is a tight community and we all have to stick together and support each other, so I’m glad we could come out with a record like this. Hopefully people will understand that it’s all from the heart and that we’ve left it all in the table. What’s the main underlying concept of For All Kings? What does the album title represents? For me the album title means to be your own king for your own kingdom, like being in control of what you do in your life. When I first heard the title it made a lot of sense to me, but I also want other people to get their own meaning out of it, even with these other songs. When I a listen to a song from one of the bands that I like, I understand what the writer gets, but it’s really important to see what it does to you and what you get out of it. As for the title, For All Kings, that’s what I get out of it. Be your own king of your kingdom, control your world and be responsible for yourself. It’s a really positive vibe. Even though there’s a lot of variety, this record seems to draw a lot more from your thrash roots

“Long story short, n live in this daily life, Unfortunately, for a way to overcome

and there are times where it kinda takes me back to the Persistence of Time era. Did you guys felt the need, or could we say, the hunger to reconnect with some of the earlier stuff, not only that you’ve made, but also that you listened to back in the day, on some of these tunes? Here’s what I can equate to. As a writer, if you do anything that people want you to go back, they saw a piece that you wrote and they really liked it, you wouldn’t try to recreate that, you just do what comes out of your gut. You have what you have that’s in you, and you put it all there. As long as it’s honest and if you’re coming from a good place, that’s what matters. I mean, this band, it has a fire in its belly. You can see it on the tour, you can see it in the shows, I think


INTERVIEW // ANTHRAX

nothing gets too political, we just e, so I guess that’s what comes out. all of us, but we do have to find a it, live with it and deal with it.”

this is just the beginning. For a band that’s been around for thirty-something years, I think we’re hungrier than ever now, and I’m very proud to say that, because you can’t get complacent. We never wanted to stay in the same place in history, we want to go forward and push this music out. We’re also with the scene, keeping metal alive, and it’s important that bands come out with new records to keep the scene alive and relevant. I know it must be hard for you to pick, but do you have any favorites in For All Kings? I go weekly! [laughs] Currently, “Blood Eagle Wings” this week is probably my favorite song of the record. I’m telling you dude, I say weekly because every week I have a different favorite song, and

that’s actually a good test for the album, because it means that for me, I’m really happy with every song on the record. I think we wouldn’t let anything on the record that we weren’t truly 110% ready to let it out, so I can honestly say that I love every song of the record.

wah on it because it works and it will be my little tribute to Cliff Burton”. I’m glad you caught that though. It’s sending love to Cliff, because he was my friend. I loved his bass playing, I loved his technique and everything. It was a complete little “Hello Cliff, I love you man, I’m thinking of you.”

Talking about that particular song, I’ve noticed that it has this little distorted bass section on the intro that reminded me of Cliff Burton. Did you have him in mind when you did that take? That sound that you hear is a complete tribute to my friend Cliff! I’ve worked with Jay Ruston, my producer, and said “I want to do a tribute to Cliff Burton with this thing”. it’s like a little taste of it and you can hear it. In the studio I’ve said “let me try a distorted

You guys have been earning the distinction of being one of the most relevant heavy bands that kept going on from the ‘80s, but Joey is also probably one of the few vocalists from that era that managed to retain his voice. How does he manage to keep that level for so long? I’m going to be honest with you. I play with the guy every night... We’re on tour and we play sometimes five or six shows in a row. Last week were seven shows in a

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row and Joey Belladonna, I can honestly say this, is at the top of his game. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that. It’s a gift and we’re very lucky in that way, to have such a great vocalist. I don’t think he warms up a lot, I just think it’s an amazing thing he does, and on the record he’s singing even better than ever! I think everybody in the band right now is really at the top of their game playing, so we all know what we do and everybody’s very comfortable in their own skin. This is also your first record with Jon Donais, who’s been your full time guitarist for the last three years. How did he come to enter the band and what made him stand out from the rest? We’ve been friends with Jon forever and obviously with Shadows Fall as well. We’re fans of them and we’ve been friends with those guys forever. Rob Caggiano, our former guitar player, who’s with Volbeat now, told us that Jon wanted to check us out and that he’d be available. We talked to Jon, he came in, and let me tell you something, it was seamless! Jon just fitted right in like a glove. He’s in the band, this is Anthrax in 2016 and it will stay like this, because we’re a very tight-knit group and collaborative when we’re jamming, on stage and in every way. Jon’s always been a great player but I think that when people hear him on a Anthrax record, it’s going to be a new level man, he’s incredible! Did Jon had any impact on the songwriting process besides recording solos? Mainly with his leads coming into it. The music was a blank page for him and Charlie helped him with some leads too. He was just tearing it up and not only are his leads tasty, but he also tells stories within them. I always knew he was a great player, but when I’ve heard his solos for the record I went “this guy’s burning man!”. I’m a big fan of his music! Now talking about the cover. You’ve been working closely with the famous comic artist Alex Ross for some years now. 106

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Your first collaboration was back in 2004 for the Music of Mass Destruction DVD right? Yeah! Charlie Benante, our drummer, is a great artist on his own right. If you’ve ever seen Charlie just draw something, like in a piece of paper in front of you, he’s an incredible, I mean, double incredible artist! He designs most of our artwork and I fully trust him to do that. Alex Ross did, as usual, another amazing cover with us, so it was very much those two really doing it and me just saying “fuck yeah!” [laughs] Charlie sketches the main idea and then Alex comes in and does the final arts? It’s mainly Charlie that has a great visual eye for art, and always had so. He gave out the idea of what he was envisioning and we were all on board with it, then Alex came up with this masterpiece, as he always does. Just great artwork! On this new record, there are at least two songs where the lyrics seem to be targeting terrorism, in this case “Evil Twin” and “Zero Tolerance”. Were these songs responses from Anthrax to what happened in France back in January and November of last year? Well, it’s mainly a response to terrorism in general. Scott writes

“For a band that’s been around for thirty-something years, I think we’re hungrier than ever now, and I’m very proud to say that, because you can’t get complacent. We never wanted to stay in the same place in history, we want to go forward and push this music out.”

the lyrics for the band and obviously we have to agree on everything, but I just think that this is time we live in, and as writers, we are sponges. It affects all of us as people. You, me and everybody. As far as the lyric in “Evil Twin”, the choruses “You’re No Martyrs”, by killing people in the name of whatever you believe, it’s just wrong. It should be peace and love and that’s what religion is supposed to be about. Long story short, nothing gets too political, we just live in this daily life, so I guess that’s what comes out. Unfortunately, for all of us, but we do have to find a way to overcome it, live with it and deal with it. How do you guys felt, being touring musicians when you saw the first instances of all of this occurring down in France? Like everybody else, we’re human. It was horrible, horrible! We were there ten days before that happened, so of course, we feel for all the people in France and all their loved ones, all the people who lost their lives. God rest their souls. It was just a horrible circumstance, a horrible thing that happened. Look, it’s got to stop. The one thing we didn’t want to stop though, was playing. We went on tour to prove that they can’t stop it, and they shouldn’t be able to stop it. You can’t stop life, you’ve got to keep living, that’s just the way I live, maybe because we’re from New York and we were around it a lot also. Long live France. It was just an horrible thing that happened, I just hope that it stops soon. Last year marked 30 years since the release of Spreading the Disease and next year will also mark the 30th anniversary of Among the Living, a huge landmark on Anthrax’s history. What did you guys felt about it back in 87? Did you felt you had something special on your hands? Yeah! The Thrash movement was coming up, we knew had an energetic, insane metal record that we really believed in, and I think we’ve always done our best. I remember feeling the same way. For me it’s like looking through a scrapbook of me growing up. We


INTERVIEW // ANTHRAX were all young guys and it was just a great time for us. I look at it now and say “Wow”, it’s been a lot of years, but you know what? It’s been a lot of good years. I’m very thankful for it. Back then did you imagine that 30 years later it would be such an influential record on the following generations of metal bands and fans? It’s incredible to talk about Among the Living like that, or even Anthrax, a band that’s thirty-something years old. We’re talking about a record from ’87 and now we’re talking about For All Kings being an highly anticipated record that people are talking about, so if you think about that, from ‘87, from Among the Living until now, to still be relevant and to have people talking about it as they are, it’s amazing! Mike Portnoy recently said we’re entering now an era where we’re losing some of the rock stars that shaped generations of our music. We’ve lost Lemmy, David Bowie and now Jimmy Bain. How do you envision our music landscape in the future, do you think we have more to gain with the younger generations, or that talents like these will become rare in the future? Well, here’s the way I look at life: We’ve lost a lot of great icons and unfortunately we’ll continue to, because that’s life. People pass. They’ll be in our hearts and minds and their influence will be with us forever. I loved Lemmy, we all loved Lemmy, he was not only a great influence in our music but he was also a great friend. So... he’ll be around with us in our music and in our lives forever, and that’s what he left us, thankfully. I hope there are future icons. I would like that to think that the next generation could look back in their future and see the icons from the past, understand them and put those influences into their music. That’s what I would like to see. Do you have any curious story or piece of advice that Lemmy gave you and that you would like to share? With Lemmy there were always

great stories, but the one thing Lemmy taught me, was that it’s ok to be yourself, just by being Lemmy! He went out there and he was always himself. He always told me from the beginning that what you had was something to offer, something special, no matter who you are, and that’s a great message, I think. What about Altitudes and Attitude, your project with David Ellefson from Megadeth? When will we get to hear new stuff from you guys? Thank you for asking! David and I have a record that’s pretty much waiting for our day jobs! We both have new records coming out so it’s going to be probably later in the year. We might record one or two

more songs. What we feel is that it’s a great rock record like the last EP we’ve put out and Jay Ruston, our producer, thinks it’s even better than that, so we’re pretty excited about it. You can still get it on iTunes, the Altitudes and Attitude three-song EP. So wrapping it up. What’s up in store for Anthrax in the near future? Well, promoting For All Kings! We’ve literally have started already, we’re touring and it’s about touring the world a bunch of times and hopefully we can get in front of a lot of people and make them see and hear the new Anthrax! That’s the idea! FOR ALL KINGS IS OUT NOW VIA NUCLEAR BLAST

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1 REPULSIVE | 2 PURE SHIT | 3 TERRIBLE | 4 MUST AVOID | 5 AVERAGE | 6 GOOD EFFORT | 7 GOOD | 8 VERY GOOD | 9 EXCELENT | 10 PURE CLAS

OUT NOW

10 DAVID BOWIE Blackstar

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Columbia / RCA / ISO (2016)

egacy buys you many things. Fame, fortune, stability and a place in many memories for many, many years. If you are an artist – be it musician, actor, poet or painter - Legacy is important. Legacy is key. David Bowie leaves behind a legacy that is huge. Monolithic. Astronomical. And his talent has bought him many things – his fame secured him much. But. What it has never bought or given him is a free pass for his music. He has always been measured by the same yardstick and always been held to the same standard as anyone of his stature and his ability. So... though the sad events that transpired two days after this album’s release will always lend a certain amount of affection to this album. It would always have had to stand alone on its own merits to gain critical raves, something which – putting Bowies death to one side – I can happily attest to, that it deserves every single positive word written, every single raving word spread from mouth to ear about its brilliance and its lingering, haunting genius. Blackstar is a revelation of mood, emotion, honesty and musicianship. Its lyrics are a searing peephole into the mind of a man who knew he had little time left, had come completely to peace with his illness, and he poured his all into this incredible album. From the ten minute odyssey of the title track, that spirals and twists and contorts in fantastical dark ways, from backward synth to muted and phased guitars, through to Bowies bitten, sometimes bordering on screeched vocals to the lynchpin track “Lazarus” which employs a clearer rock sensibility, and is closer to Bowie of old – touching upon the HEATHEN sound, or even that of the Berlin trilogy. It’s my favourite track on the album, among eight songs which could at any time be my favourite. “Girl Loves Me” is an angry, scattershot across the bough that is one part lyrical fever dream – with Bowie narrating a week through robotic vocal recalling things in muddled and confused manner, forgetting Monday – unable to recall what happened nor where it has gone. It reads like a man struggling with his own mind, unable to agree with himself, unable to trust his own memory. It’s a song of subtle and rousing power. It is, in many ways, the beating heart of the album. Blackstar concludes with Bowie wagging his finger to the fans – smiling at them coyly, but telling them that – with as much as he has given away on this record, as much as he has confessed, as much as he has allowed them into his mind – he always has the ability to draw the line, close the door and tell them clearly I CAN’T GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY. A subtle, impish finale to an album full of gentle and evocative moments. If The Next Day was – as I suspect – the record of a man who has found he is unwell, and coming to terms with who he is to himself, to his fans and to his family. Coming to terms with his life and his legacy – and his own past – Blackstar feels like the record of a man who realizes he has everything and nothing to lose. A man at ease with who he is and has always been. A man who knows his own path and mind, and who has decided to roll the dice one last time – knowing the game is fixed – and yet still gets to walk away with the whole pot. An absolutely stunning and jaw-dropping album. Far and away from the loss of the mastermind behind it, Blackstar is a fitting end – a fitting full stop – to the legend, legacy and career of one of the planets most defining artists. Every bit as good as his most famous work, every bit deserving of being the album that we recall when we remember him.

ANDI CAMBERLAIN

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REVIEWS

SSIC

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FRESH CUTS OUT NOW

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ALUK TODOLO Voix

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BAMBARA Swarm

The Ajna Offensive (2016)

Arrowhawk Records (2016)

Remember the three hyenas from The Lion King? Let’s say one was called free jazz, the other psych rock and the last one was into some weird rather abstract avant-garde black metal stuff. They used to meet with the bad lion in that huge smoky cave, right? French explorers Aluk Todolo found the cave. No sign of the three hyenas or the bad lion, only the bones of various animals. So they took the time and set up all their gear there and recorded yet another trip of an album. There’s a common aura to all of their records. Where one usually thinks of colored spirals and other psych rock standards, Aluk Todolo channels a different environment, a gloomy vibe, a foggy trip led by primordial instincts. Perfect for those who worship the dynamics of jazzy improvisation along with the trance element of psych and kraut rock.

Like Back to the Future brings us a nostalgic feeling every time we see it, so does this record, that is deeply rooted in an eighties aesthetic of post-punk abandon with some noise rock leniencies and Gothic undertones thrown into the mix. This Brooklyn based trio proves they are masters at honing the chaotic, nihilistic sounds of bands like The Birthday Party, the Goth tendencies of Bauhaus and the incessant experimentalism of The Swans and transform it into an explosive cocktail of violent harmony. A record best suited for the ever persistent fan of early eighties more edgy sounds, but will also serve as an introductory piece for newcomers to this sort of revivalist trend.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

RICARDO ALMEIDA

Urfaust, Horseback, Oranssi Pazuzu

8 AUDACITY Hyper Vessels

Suicide Squeeze Records (2016)

On their fourth album, Audacity are even more adrenaline-fueled, furiously faster and preciser with every beat and riff. Their mishmash of garage rock and power pop is so damn powerful. Ty Segall was responsible for the recording of the album, which gave an extra push to this strenuous effort. ANDREIA ALVES

OUT NOW

NUNO BABO

The Birthday Party, Bauhaus, The Swans

6 BANQUET Jupiter Rose

Heavy Psych Sounds (2016) OUT NOW

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BASIA BULAT Good Advice

BIG UPS Before A Million Universes

The Polish-Canadian angel that is Basia Bulat begins 2016 with a new stunning record. Still maintaining her folk roots, Basia now takes her unusual autoharp into more dream pop territories, without ever forgetting her origins. “Long Goodbye”, “Fool” have a very upbeat indie-pop feel to them with beautiful keyboards that complement her celestial voice perfectly. The best track is without a doubt “Someday Soon”, a somewhat hypnotizing song that enters your soul and for a moment leaves you completely entranced. Throughout Good Advice Basia shines in her use of various instruments, but it is the introduction of more lively drums and guitars that really separates it from her previous works, showing that for Basia this album was all about evolution.

Any Breaking Bad fan will recognize the name of Walt Whitman, the man who once said “Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes,” allowing punk kids from New York to have a title for their sophomore album. There are multiple definitions for the word “cool”, unfortunately Big Ups’ new album doesn’t match mine. If at first it seems cool and vigorous then, after a closer look, we witness that there are defective links in this 13-track chain. There’s definitely some ambition and the standout value for each track is there, but more often than not the dynamic shift doesn’t enable explosions or progressions. The frenetic hardcore punk isn’t properly matched by the more contemplative incursions, and vice-versa, leaving us wandering without any real direction.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

Secret City (2016)

Exploding In Sound (2016)

CARLOS CARDOSO

Joni Mitchell, Laura Veirs, Laura Marling

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San Francisco double-guitar four-piece Banquet debut’s album Jupiter Rose is another direct blast from the past. Expect 70’s retro rock feast of crunchy riffs and howling cliché vocals. Dynamic and strong, Jupiter Rose goes from classic headbanging anthems to that early and unashamed raw Sabbathian esque sound. FAUSTO CASAIS

TIAGO MOREIRA

OUT NOW

8 CAN’T SWIM Death Deserves a Name EP Pure Noise Records (2016)

New Jersey’s Can’t Swim are right on point with their debut EP Death Deserves A Name. They blend elements of letlive.’s aggressive rock, the indie rock brought by The Wonder Years and a bit of 2000’s alternative rock of Taking Back Sunday. With all that really well mixed, it results in a vibrant and candid effort. ANDREIA ALVES


REVIEWS

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8 BLACK MOUNTAIN IV Jagjaguwar (2016)

After 2010’s album Wilderness Heart, Vancouver outfit Black Mountain are back with their fourth album, simply titled IV. Jeremy Schmidt said that “We were toying with the idea of calling the album Our Strongest Material To Date” and that wouldn’t be a bad idea, although IV is enough. Despite the quintet haven’t released new material in a while, this album is for sure a great accomplishment. There’s a lot of music diversity, from psychedelic to experimental rock with the beautiful male-female vocals dynamic and breathtaking melodies. “(Over And Over) The Chain” is just one of the magnificent pieces of this album. IV is a musical adventure of the group to find new ways to be creative and explore their music tastes. FOR FANS OF:

ANDREIA ALVES

Psychic Ills, Hawkwind, King Crimson

ANTHRAX For All Kings OUT NOW

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Nuclear Blast (2016)

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Bloc Party’s 5th album Hymns arrives after two members left the band and with the band’s strong will to take a leap of faith of sorts and courageously move forward. If 2012’s Four was a nervous and agitated rock album, then Hymns is their most spiritual and effortless work to date. By allowing the songs to breathe and work on multi-dimensional levels, Bloc Party managed to come up with an album that burns incredibly slowly and is effective in its purpose to allow the listener to be completely involved and at times inviting to a mesmerizing uplifting trip. It’s hardly their most immediate album, but it will certainly go down as one of the most rewarding works. Their future is once again an exciting one.

fter eight years of inactivity, Worship Music saw Anthrax’s dormant beast body reawaken back in 2011 as the band solidified their return with classic vocalist Joey Belladonna. However, if “Worship” meant that the legendary New Jersey thrash outfit was still alive, their newest and second record after Belladonna’s return has now a totally different mission: World domination. From the frenzied riff-festival of “You Gotta Believe”, through heavy mid-tempo crushers such as “Monster at the End”, “Suzerain” or “Blood Eagle Wings”, and returning at times to their older classic sound with lightning-fast thrashers like “This Battle Chose Us!” or “Zero Tolerance”, Anthrax show us throughout the record that they’re ready to take the throne, probably not as kings, but as the freshest and most relevant band of the Big 4 in our current days. Belladonna sings better than ever, Charlie Benante and Scott Ian’s rhythms sound tighter than they’ve ever been, and new kid Jon Donais’ lead guitar work sounds simultaneously inventive and refreshing, as the guitarist made the wise decision of choosing to tread his own path instead of simply emulating either Spitz or Caggiano’s styles. There’s no room for doubt: the catchy dynamics and unrelenting heaviness of For All Kings make it easily surpass 1990’s Persistence of Time and take a seat right next to 1987’s Among the Living, as one of the Anthrax’s finest records. Brilliant.

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BLOC PARTY Hymns

Infectious (2016)

Foals, Editors, Mystery Jets

LUÍS ALVES

TIAGO MOREIRA Metallica, Testament, Slayer

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BASEMENT

Promise Everything Run For Cover Records (2015)

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asement became a band to consider when they released Colourmeinkindness back in 2012. The act propelled beyond their humble pop punk beginnings and fought off the competition. Now, 2016 brings forth Promise Everything which highlights maturity and a shot at something new. And it has taken the band 4 years to step out of the shadows with a fresh ethos and record. But, the wait is justifiable as the album does grace the ears with enough spontaneity and appeal. The music is fundamental, clearly. And Basement know this and they expand on the basic pop punk sound. With crashing guitar structures and entertaining riffs galore, the band don't sugar-coat with unnecessary features, it's all raw and relevant. Songs like “Hanging Around” stick to that formula well. Its infectiousness comes from the engrossing chorus and melody, vocalist Andrew Fisher sings with harmony in his voice, spurting lyrics that enforce a sense of longing. And “Oversized” is a track that is balanced with enough pop punk energy to make the grade. With Promise Everything, Basement have clearly worked on their sound and above all their lyrical input. There's a burning surge of empathy towards the world and there's a constant bellow for hope in the words, words that fit in well with the musicality. And by dragging out their feelings and grievances too, the band tell a good enough story. MARK MCCONVILLE

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Turnover, Pity Sex, Title Fight, Daylight

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Mar-Apr

BOSSK Audio Noir

Deathwish Inc. (2016)

Atmospheric post-everything, is perhaps the best way to describe Bossk sound. Not sticking to any kind of genres, their transcendent and chaotic esque is capable of turning your brain inside out. With a fierce intensity, Audio Noir brings together all the classic stoner meets sludge meets doom classic elements, along with this unique way of transport the listener to another new dimension, where everything sounds raw and urgent. Rules are here to be broken and, in this new effort, Bossk were able to break a few, from their hypnotic and layered way of creating art in their own way of portraying emotions into their own instrumental landscapes. Audio Noir is a massive and brilliant experience, well done guys! FOR FANS OF:

FAUSTO CASAIS

Cult Of Luna, Explosions In The Sky


REVIEWS

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7 CULLEN OMORI New Misery Sub Pop (2016)

Former Smith Westerns frontman, Cullen Omori, has in New Misery his solo debut, the beginning of something extremely important for someone that has been doing music since his teenage years. With almost two years of work behind these eleven songs, Omori crafted an overwhelming pop record unrestrained by the more classic format of the genre, but pop nevertheless. The sweet melodies that become addictive after some insistence are often wrapped with the sounds of synths enabling the creation of incredibly lush soundscapes that seem to be the soundtrack to a candy-soaked dream huge in its length and depth. Omori isn’t a fucking pop star. His pop is rightly fucked up and New Misery is here to prove how fulfilling can be this weird and unapologetic side of pop. FOR FANS OF:

TIAGO MOREIRA

Smith Westerns, Roxy Music, The Beatles

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7 DANA FALCONBERRY & MEDICINE BOW From The Forest Came The Fire Modern Outsider (2016)

From The Forest Came The Fire is an introspective, spiritual and sometimes supernatural avant-folk guide through our forests, mountains and all the history portrayed in this mystical yet magnificent gifts from nature. Detailed and fully polished, with brooding soundscapes and open to multiple interpretations, Falconberry is able to bring some mystery into her own nostalgic and metaphysical journey, even if somehow along the journey the listener lost track where to go, easily he finds his own path and his own comfort in her sweeping melodies. Solid and ethereal, an elegant and arresting folk-pop experience. Not for everyone’s cup of tea, but with the right mood this might change some perspectives. Well done. FOR FANS OF:

FAUSTO CASAIS

Haley Bonar, Laura Gibson, Neko Case

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9 DEATH INDEX Death Index

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Deathwish Inc. (2016)

DIIV Is THis Is Are

Harking back sonically to the days of The Birthday Party, Death Index are a cacophonous art-noise band who have created music that is a hybrid bridge of synth heavy, fuzzed up art-punk and avant-garde rock. It is difficult to pigeonhole, has a heavy 80’s influence – stealing notes and tricks from the industrial sound of Gary Numan and The Cure’s dark corners, and also sounding somewhat like a Stooges band dipped in menace. As an album, it has some remarkable turns and shades. Captivating and intriguing, it builds upon heavy – if sonically muted – drums, hidden under the mix, staccato machine gun guitars and ten tons of bass. Pretty ironclad in its delivery, it’s a stunning little album which I did not expect to dig as much as I did. For fans of Nick Cave’s earliest work and the Cures darkest moments... It’s a band who demands further attention.

Imagine if Robert Smith of The Cure and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth dated, and their romantic entanglement was to spawn a baby of music and noise – DIIV are that bastard sound baby. A throwback to the age when pop-rock meant haunting melodies with hooks that floated subconsciously from shoegaze guitars; where vocals were muttered asides to no one in particular and a single spine would repeat throughout the whole song for the rest of the verses and choruses to shimmy idly in tantric, half-baked malaise. DIIV succeed in creating dreamscape pop and shimmery, ethereal rock – a top notch collection of shoegazey, contemplative songs that make you tap your feet and bop your head along as if the eighties never ended.

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ANDI CHAMBERLAIN

The Cure, The Stooges, The Birthday Party

Captured Tracks (2016)

ANDI CHAMBERLAIN

Slowdive, Sonic Youth, Beach Fossils,

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7 ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER New View Frenchkiss Records (2016)

The new album of Eleanor Friedberger is a careful artifact of the song. Everything on this record was built to detail with great understanding of the impact of its core elements. On New View there is enough freedom in the music box for Eleanor enchant with her voice and complete a Pop court of delicate content. The album manages the feat of bringing together the lyrical sensitivity richness of ancestors as Neil Young and the fluidity of the ‘60s rock. This album is an achieved tribute to the songs of yore, following known methods that result in a mixture of nostalgia and consummate traditionalism. There isn’t real intention to do something new, but Eleanor naturally spreads a new view through the old methods. FOR FANS OF:

RUI CORREIA

Cate Le Bon, Hospitality, Neko Case

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7 ELEVATORS TO THE GRATEFUL SKY Cape Yawn HeviSike Records (2016)

For all the flak the ‘90s get, they gave the world some great moments of guitar glory, all of which have been carefully noted by Palermo’s EttGS, trimmed and filtered through a lens of psychedelic excess. Touching on desert rock, grunge and doom with marginal bleed-through, it’s when those edges start to melt that Cape Yawn transcends musical tourism and becomes an intriguing work that reveals its influences. As evinced by the rollicking “All About Chemistry”, the band know how to party, and “I Wheel” shows they can handle the heavier side of things with conviction, but they manage to pull together so many disparate threads with subtle flair that sticking to one vibe was obviously never on the agenda and Cape Yawn is all the better for it. FOR FANS OF:

DAVE BOWES

Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, Kyuss

116

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8 FATIMA AL-QADIRI Brute Hyperdub (2016)

Fat White Family are at it again, and this time they’re not holding back – not that they ever did. If their debut album taught us anything, it’s that they are on a mission to provoke, enrage, seduce and disgust, all at once. Their second album Songs For Our Mothers conveys the same sense of dark, twisted claustrophobia you simply can’t look away from. Sonically, it is as cinematic as it is harrowing, mixing Nazis (“Lebensraum”, “Goodbye Goebbels”), serial killers (“When Shipman Decides”), abusive relationships (“Hits Hits Hits”) and heroin use (“Tinfoil Deathstar”). In a world of political correctness, FWF is easily one of the only bands consistently testing the boundaries of what is considered appropriate, with two fingers decidedly held up for everyone to see.

Coming adorned with sleeve art which seems to feature a placid teletubbie creature clothed in the garb of riot police, Brute makes plain its investigation into a passive-aggressive global politic identity hidden behind a friendly facade. Al Qadiri’s work has regularly focused on the liminal spaces opening up between technological evolution and physical reality, the dangerous illusion we’re weaving around us of safety in a world controlled by murderers. “Endzone” begins with a mesh of alarms sounding and frantic voices yelling in fractured communion, before “Blood Moon” twinkles with breathy synthetic sighs and electronic washes as if to reassure us everything will be OK. “Breach” and “Curfew” are both more stridently militaristic, placing us in a dystopian cityscape with overhead snipers and police sirens piercing the sloping breakbeats which shatter like bones under coshes. Reality begins to pierce through the cocoon.

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FAT WHITE FAMILY Songs For Our Mothers Fat Possum Records (2016)

ANTIGONI PITTA

Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, Depeche Mode

EUAN ANDREWS

Laurel Halo, Holy Other, Gazelle Twin


REVIEWS

01.04

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8 Q&A - LUKE PATE (VOCALS) FRAMEWORKS The new EP was recorded with Matt McClellan. How was the experience of working with Matt, and what are some of the differences between the process of working with him and with Jack Shirley? Both are incredible engineers and we’re very fortunate to have been able to work with either one of them. They respectably do have opposite styles when it comes to tracking. With Jack, tracking was all about replicating this pure sound out of Loom, whereas Matt’s style with Time Spent was more so about emphasizing certain instruments at certain times while tracking individually. We’re very content with how both albums turned out and I couldn’t image doing anything differently. There are elements of industrial noise and synth in this new EP. Their addition to the Frameworks’ core sound comes from a pure will to explore more with sounds and enlarge the scope of the band or was it something more natural and not that though out? We went in wanting to experiment with some kind electronics but they naturally came together the way they did in the studio. Going in with songs somewhat open or unfinished seems to be our best approach at recording. Loom was a conceptual work. Is there a concept linking the two songs on the Time Spent EP? Yes, Time Spent is inspired by a piece from Daniel Kahneman’s “The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory” about perceiving happiness into two split behaviors. I wrote the two tracks to represent a side to his idea of the experiencing self and the remembering self and their influence on my decisions.

FRANKIE COSMOS Next Thing

Bayonet Records (2016)

Less an EP as an extended single, Time Spent is a pretty clever, immediate explosion of style and substance delivered in a pretty package straight to the heart like a shot of adrenaline. Vocals like early Gallows, channeling Frank Carter’s throaty, all-anger style over music that sounds like a throwback to the art-metal of Mahumodo, it’s a meeting of vibe and power, layered heaviness with a topping of abrasive fury – but boxed in a neat, clean and decisive manner. Two tracks that leave you yearning and screaming for more. No mean feat.

Well, it’s quite easy to feel touched and totally drunk in love for Frankie Cosmos new album, Next Thing. Exquisite, intoxicating and undeniably well-crafted, Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos, the prolific New York native brings again another unashamed yet stunning emo adventure. More cohesive and confident than Zentropy, Frankie’s debut effort, Next Thing is an honest and an immersive emotional statement. Musically diverse, the lo-fi rock meets dream pop meets emo poetry along with her original lyrics paint stunning images of this crazy and introspective mundane world of feelings. Next Thing is a gem, a big book full of short stories, all together Kline’s short and melodic songs are able to make this kind of a perfect pop album.

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FRAMEWORKS Time Spent EP

Topshelf Records (2016)

ANDI CAMBERLAIN

United Nations, Disembarked, Comadre

FAUSTO CASAIS

Arthur Russell, Speedy Ortiz, Colleen Green

OUT NOW

01.04

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FREAKWATER Scheherazade

GRAVES AT SEA The Curse That Is

Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin compelling vocal harmonies are still able to keep up the trademark sound of Freakwater’s utterly unique sound. Scheherazade was a new venture for them, for the first time they recorded outside Chicago, they went straight to Louisville and recruited a respected arsenal of collaborators: Ellkington (Tweedy) on pedal steel and mandola, Evan Patterson (Young Widows) on electric guitars, Warren Ellis (Dirty Three, Nick Cave) on fiddle and alto flute, Sarah Balliet (Murder By Death) on cello, and Morgan Geer (Drunken Prayer) on electric guitar. Soulful, bright and full of surprises, Scheherazade is a perfect blend between folk-rock and Memphis country-soul, another challenging effort into their almost 30-year legacy.

15 years in the making! It seems fuckin’ unreal to witness that the debut full-length of cult doom/sludge collective Graves At Sea is only now seeing the light of day. I mean, there’s not really a lot of light in the eight compositions on The Curse That Is. To be honest, it’s extremely bleak and its putrid smell doesn’t let anyone indifferent. Even if at times there’s a slightly monotone flavor to it, there’s no denying the merits of such pile of brutally intense riffs that parade endlessly and are certain to cause affliction. The Curse That Is illustrates perfectly the violence that extreme metal can project and will undeniably be appreciated and adored by anyone that’s predispose to endure such lyrical and sonic punishment.

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Bloodshot Records (2016)

Relapse Records (2016)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Dusty Springfield, Buffalo Springfield

TIAGO MOREIRA

Thou, Indian, Dopethrone

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7 HACKTIVIST Outside The Box UNFD (2016)

Hacktivist are the kind of band that the world needs. Ranting about corruption and lies perpetuated by the powers that be, Outside The Box is a creative and powerful statement from those who are fucking fed up with all this bullshit. Their unique way of matching rap with djent is fully effective, along with notable guests (Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari and Heart Of A Coward’s Jamie Graham to name a few) and incendiary lyrics show us that they’re here to break some boundaries and genres. Outside The Box was created to bring people together, “to eradicate hate, discrimination and negativity towards each other”. A protest album with the power to make a change, showing that there is another way, another path or road for us all.

FAUSTO CASAIS

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Public Enemy, The King Blues, Sikth

08.04 OUT NOW

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8 IHSAHN Arktis.

HECK Instructions

IGGY POP Post Pop Depression

Warning: You will spend a few seconds, perhaps a minute of your time reading a review about a band that doesn’t give a single fuck about slowing down, their almost terrorist hardcore attack is a complete in-your-face explosion of noise that will leave your ears bloody and a tangle of intestines spilling from your open stomach. Still interested? Good. Instructions is Heck’s loud and chaotic debut album, call it hardcore, mathcore, sludge or simply call it whatever you want, they are way too expansive and with that bullshit-free punk attitude that even punk lacks nowadays. Now that I have your full attention, yes, because if you are reading this means that you have spent a small portion of your time reading about your new favorite band.

Iggy means rock n’roll and rock n’roll means Iggy. If you disagree... well, fuck you! When Lemmy died Scott Kelly from Neurosis wrote, “I had a few heroes. All the others turned out to be frauds or thieves. Lemmy was the only one who stayed true ’till death’”. In that line of thought, one likes to think Iggy, along with Tom Waits, are two of those who deserve full admiration and respect. Post Pop Depression is the old and experience mentor and the talented good hearted disciple proving us that one is just as old as he feels. The album sounds like the real collaboration that it is, with Josh Homme being definitely the most legit heir of Iggy’s throne. Musically speaking, expect to be surprised!

Pushing boundaries of creativity and rising again seems to be the only motto for every single sonic creation of Emperor’s frontman, the legendary and visionary Ihsahn. Arktis is a bold and mind-blowing step into the unknown, that goes deep where Eremita left off, but still full of fragments of Ihsahn’s improvisational and fifth effort, Das Seelenbrechen. This time around the approach is way more organic and filled with more traditional song structures, full of melody and menacing old guitar riffs. Arktis features guest appearances from Einar Solberg (Leprous), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Jorgen Munkeby (Shining) to name a few, guests that helped to push forward Ihsahn’s most complete and emotional diverse effort to date. A visionary without equal.

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Loma Vista (2016)

NPAG Industries (2016)

FAUSTO CASAIS

The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Chariot

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Candlelight/Spinefarm Records (2016)

Mar-Apr

RICARDO ALMEIDA

Iggy Pop, QOTSA, Josh Homme

FAUSTO CASAIS Opeth, Mercyful Fate, Emperor


REVIEWS

JOHN CARPENTER Lost Themes II

Sacred Bones Records (2016)

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Like a Zdzisław Beksiński vision given a voice, Inverloch create a universe of dreamlike horror, where riffs like tombstones are dragged through mud and brutality is rendered in skewed, alien strokes. Picking up exactly where Dusk|Subside left off, buzzing flurries of early 90s death metal and melancholy funeral doom switch and meld as harsh grunts and protracted, animalistic growls lend an almost human touch to the misery. If anything, they push the ideas from that first EP even farther, giving the aggression more bite and identity while fleshing out their adroit ambience to the extent that even as the album lets rip, it still pulls you deeper into that cold, empty void it inhabits. There was a lot of expectation placed on Inverloch for this release, but in these intelligently constructed and undeniably extreme compositions, they have shown a complete mastery of their art.

When asked about the limits of comedy someone said there is a time and place to joke about almost anything. The only situation when he couldn’t even conceive the idea of making a joke is when someone loses a child. One has to agree; there is no possible joke there. The long awaited collaboration between Justin Broadrick and Mark Kozelek finds its peak in the song “Exodus”. Accompanied by the loveliest piano line, Mark Kozelek tells us about the day he heard of Nick Cave’s son passing. The song is a heart felted homage, a universal embrace sent to all those who have lost their sons or daughters. Musically, the album kicks off as traditional Jesu – heavy distorted chords, dense yet melodic and comforting – and slowly drifts into this electronically leaden thing, not unlike some Jesu / Pale Sketcher stuff. Together with Mark Kozelek’s distinct vocal style and straight confessional lyrics, Jesu/Sun Kil Moon is set to be one of the most relevant and honest releases of the year.

iven Carpenter’s iconic status, he could easily spend his remaining days on basketball and video games and everyone would happily cheer him on, but the rapidity with which he has followed up last year’s Lost Themes suggests that he has bigger things on his mind. The fact that part 2 utilises an almost identical sonic vocabulary to its predecessor will surprise few who are familiar with his minimalist flair but there is more of a progressive flavour to these dozen tracks, the utopian twinkle of Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield slotting neatly aside tense bass pulsations and synthesised melodies that march as proudly as a soldier in a final-act montage. The spirit of his 70s nostalgia-bothering classics is unmistakably present but the hard-rock-oriented punch of his 90s work also sees a notable recurrence, “Dark Blues” fizzling guitar solos striking as one of the album’s most arresting moments. The album remains committed to its concept throughout, each ‘theme’ presenting a distinct identity and subconsciously-rendered visual association, but by utilising a combination of dread-fuelled atmosphere and strident rock, Lost Themes II feels less like a series of vignettes and more of a concrete progression - this is isn’t a rock opera, it’s the scoring of the most epic John Carpenter movie that never existed. Overblown in all the right places and still capable of sending a shiver down your spine, it’s evidence that Carpenter is throwing more of himself into his compositions than ever.

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8 INVERLOCH Distance | Collapsed

JESU/SUN KIL MOON Jesu/Sun Kil Moon

Caldo Verde/Rough Trade (2016)

Relapse Records (2016)

DAVE BOWES

Disembowelment, Evoken, Ahab

8

RICARDO ALMEIDA

Justin Broadrick, Mark Kozelek

DAVE BOWES Brian Eno, Mike Oldfield, Zombi, Goblin

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KITCHIE KITCHIE KI ME O Are You Land Or Water

LA BELLA Ides

LIKE PACIFIC Distant Like You Asked

While plenty strive to achieve that massive sound that impacts like a beanbag round to the gut, KKKMO are guerrilla artists, skirting the fringes of progressive rock, psychedelia and postpunk and launching precise, carefully timed strikes in the form of raspy bass grooves, piercing organ salvoes and the occasional tightly-wound guitar splurge. It’s a fiery record, laced with a hypnotic bite, but such is KKKMO’s clever grasp of dynamics and instrumentation, it remains a largely understated one, constantly eluding grasp and definition until you realise that you’re on the tenth play and you know every note. A step back to the days when music was meant to be absorbed rather than serve as decoration, ...Land Or Water is a subtle explosion for the subconscious.

Ides will knock you out of your seat and you’ll enjoy the hell out of it – who said that violence couldn’t be effective or good? The debut full-length album by Los Angeles-based punk quartet spreads almost instantly like wildfire and in less than 20 minutes the 8 tracks recorded by Comadre’s Jack Shirley present an utterly exciting screamo/ post-hardcore band that has a hell of a groove and swing, provided by a clear jazz influence that they embrace all the way through. Ides’ frantic sound is often complemented with a dynamism – changes in tempo and mood – that avoids any kind of sonic suffocation, displaying the progressive approach in their songwriting process. La Bella have started with a big bang and their future couldn’t be more exciting.

Toronto has continuously proved its home to some of the worlds most talented bands and Like Pacific is no exception. The band’s latest release Distant Like You Asked is a workout from start to finish. Catchy vocal melodies and satisfying guitar riffs welcome you into the LP’s first track “Richmond”. The album keeps a constant balance of rough and smooth vocals as it progresses into its deeper tunes. With a daring, unique approach, the instrumentals on every track are tight and detailed. As every chorus stays trapped in your head, you’ll find yourself connecting with the lyrics more and more. This is not an album to sleep on, this is ten fast, hard hitting, catchy tracks. Distant Like You Asked is the album every local act dreams to write. Needless to say, it’s one for the books.

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FOR FANS OF:

Sombras del Progreso (2016)

House Of Mythology (2016)

DAVE BOWES

Henry Blacker, Eluvium, David Byrne

Pure Noise Records (2016)

TIAGO MOREIRA

JUSTIN KUNTZ

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La Dispute, Envy, Gospel

A Day To Remember, Joyce Manor

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LIKE TORCHES Shelter

LOST SOCIETY Braindead

LOW FLYING HAWKS

Swedish band Like Torches strike the alternative rock scene with attitude and empowering riffs that pay homage to many acts in the same bracket with their new record Shelter. But, does this make them original? Well, they’re deeply rooted in a vibe that will raise the hairs on the arms of the disenchanted and the dramatic. They’ve also developed a sound that many may dismiss due to it being too subtle, but there’s enough intensity in the music for it to be enjoyed. The band have created songs such as “Skeletons” which is an atmospheric heart-puller, lyrically meeting demand and has been sourced from a mind that seeks answers. And the record doesn’t sound poppy or hollow, as there’s enough variety to keep it from falling flat.

In recent years with the ever expanding spectrum of vanguard bands that try to incorporate a myriad of influences into their sound to create some Post (insert genre) sound, many fans have become more and more nostalgic and famished for some straight ahead, full on metal records. Bands like Gama Bomb, Evile, and Municipal Waste among many others came to the rescue. These Fins are a part of that nostalgic movement that aims to quench the thirst of the traditional metal fans out there. Like most bands from this revivalist movement, they know how to play, produce and interpret with great ease and some flamboyance. The real quibble is that it’s all brains and no heart. That ultimately dooms these bands to the good, but not classic bands category.

Kōfuku, meaning the surrender to happiness, is a peculiarly oxymoronic term that makes perfect sense in the world of Low Flying Hawks, their towering masses of sludge, post-rock and ambient minimalism dredging the darkest corners of mankind’s collective subconscious and exposing them to cleansing light. Keeping an even, mastodons-on-the-march pace throughout, the album proceeds as a stream, flowing from depths to soaring heights with fluidic grace, while its subtle grasp of tonal shade and nuance utilises emptiness, coarse roars and fleeting moments of respite to drag your spirit through the wringer and out the other side. It’s still bloody heavy, and it’s never an easy ride, but you’d be hard-pushed to find a more affecting doom record these days.

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MARK MCCONVILLE

State Champs, Neck Deep, Sum 41

120

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Kōfuku

Nuclear Blast (2016)

Rude Records (2016)

Mar-Apr

FOR FANS OF:

Magnetic Eye (2016)

DAVE BOWES

NUNO BABO

Gama Bomb, Evile, Municipal Waste

FOR FANS OF:

Sunn O))), A Place To Bury Strangers


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8 LUST FOR YOUTH Compassion

Sacred Bones Records (2016)

Compassion is an album that finds the trio Lust for Youth in a peaceful phase of their career, celebrating a journey that has seen a gradual rise as one of the most exciting projects reminiscent of new wave. Hannes Norrvide built, with the new formation, an ethereal and expansive sound that follows a clear trend and controls the up-tempo of International, the acclaimed album previously released in 2014. From the fierce attack at the club, the group went out to the street and has reborn with rave, traveling outdoors with a hopeful sound marked on songs such as “Display” and “Sudden Ambitions”. The 8 themes comprising this record are a symbol of fullness and tenacity, a happy example of those who found its way.

RUI CORREIA

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Depeche Mode, Cold Cave, New Order

01.04 OUT NOW

8 MAGRUDERGRIND II

9 MAMIFFER The World Unseen SIGE Records (2016)

Magrudergrind return after a six-year hiatus in a manifesto of scathing political and personal revolution. Despite the stoppage, this return shows that the band has not soften a bit, and they are stronger than ever before. The trio explodes fast knits of grindcore and hardcore punk with a succinct sludgier segments in some, proving that can play fast and loud with enough brutality to smash your ears. It will not win points for originality, but because they are technically perfect at what they do and know how, resulting in an engaging listen from the start. Playing a junction of riffs ranging from heavy grooves to manic blasts, they know how to establish a groove and go from reverse to aggressive and savage grind to admire some of their band influences.

For those of you who’ve lived in a cave for the last ten years (actually this is for you), Mamiffer is the highly recommended output of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner – yes, the guy behind ISIS, Sumac, Old Man Gloom etc. Taking major inspiration from hikes in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, Mamiffer will just erase whatever surrounds the listener and take him to a place of serene contemplation. This is their fourth album (though they have several EPs, splits and collaborations) and probably the one that mostly parts with the piano based compositions featured on their first record – a natural and exciting evolution. Based on ambient drones, field recordings, layers of carefully distorted guitar and the increasingly more present voice of Faith Coloccia, The World Unseen challenges preconceptions about language and tricks notions of time.

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FOR FANS OF:

Relapse Records (2016)

Rotten Sound, Wormrot, Nails

SERGIO KILMORE

RICARDO ALMEIDA

Locrian; Nadja; Sunn O))), Tim Hecker

8 MATMOS Ultimate Care

Thrill Jockey (2016)

Ah, the pleasantly mundane procedure of everyday life. You spin the dial around to the correct spin cycle and temperature setting, punch a button and then leave the machine to its own musings as it fills up with water and inner cylinders begin to clank and whirr into living motion. While you’ve wandered off to more pressing concerns, leaving the stolid robot in your hall cupboard to take care of washing and rinsing duties, all kinds of electronic mayhem and jiggery-pokery could be taking place inside tiny cogs and circuits you’ve unwittingly set in motion. After a few minutes of this album-length piece, in which Matmos continue their examination of our domestic surrounds, rhythm and backbeat have been formed from the gush and roar of a redundant washing machine. What could be a sterile exercise in the electroacoustic dissection of modern life becomes instead a playfully ebullient electro-boogie voyage into the soul of the most plain and taken for granted apparatus. FOR FANS OF:

EUAN ANDREWS

Mouse On Mars, Autechre, Funkstörung

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MILK TEETH Vile Child

MOGWAI Atomic

After the failure of the ill-fated Super Collider, Dave Mustaine knew that in order for Megadeth to maintain its relevancy, nothing less than a stellar follow-up would do next. Reuniting with the old Rust in Peace line-up would have been an easy route, but that fortunately failed, allowing for Megadeth to incorporate the technical precision of Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler and the Friedman-like shredding skills of Kiko Loureiro, both of which stepped up Megadeth’s game considerably on Dystopia. It might not be Rust in Peace Pt.2, but songs like “Fatal Illusion”, “Post-American World” and “Lying in State” attest to the album’s overall powerful mixture of crushing intricate riffs with fluid, exotic-sounding memorable solos, earning it the distinction of being one of Megadeth’s finest records since ‘94s Youthanasia.

Hopeless Records fires back at the scene with new punk band Milk Teeth. The female fronted UK based group invites you into their world of fast tempos and punk riffs with their debut album Vile Child. What really separates this album from the pack is the strange vocal melodies that stand out as both off-putting and complimentary to the sound. The octave harmony presented on songs like “Swear Jar (again)” and “Moon Wanderer” push a slow ominous sound while tracks like “Cut You Up” and “Get A Clue” shove a forceful tone with yells, screams and faster tempos. These similar yet contrasting tones create a well needed barrier between tracks that successfully divides the record into two blended sounds. The album closes with a powerful track that makes you reflect on the journey you’ve gone down... Vile Child is not one to be easily forgotten.

Just as Mark Cousins’ Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise presented a stylised look at both the horrific destruction wrought by the atomic age and the advances it has ushered in, Mogwai’s accompanying score presents a mesmerising balance of horror and optimism. The album’s opening cuts pair majestic swells and understated melodic flourishes that gleam with a sense of wonder, but as the fallout sinks in, a core of synthesised dread is introduced, dashes of John Carpenter and NIN bringing a tense darkness that is heightened by muted, repetitive creep and skewed disharmonia. Ending on a tender note with the stirring, piano-led “Fat Man”, Atomic is an echo of Cousins’ impressionistic style that stays true to the Scots’ roots and an unflinching yet sympathetic tribute to humanity’s most double-edged discovery.

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MEGADETH Dystopia

LUÍS ALVES

Megadeth, Dave Mustaine & Youthanasia

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Rock Action (2016)

Hopeless Records (2016)

UMC (2016)

Mar-Apr

Fugazi, Nirvana, Pity Sex

JUSTIN KUNZ

DAVE BOWES

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John Carpenter, Nine Inch Nails


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8 MOTHERS When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired Wichita (2016)

MUNCIE GIRLS From Caplan To Belsize

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Specialist Subject Records (2016)

“Too Small For Eyes”, the song that opens Mothers’ debut album is somewhat representative of the nature of the entire album. Kristine Leschper starts slow with a voice that resembles Joanna Newsom in style and dramatic weight and then slowly but surely it expands, with small explosive bursts of energy that inject dynamism in the music and lyrical theme (often about the relation between body and mind). The music never gets compromised by one lane or a very specific mood. It’s definitely a quest without a compass to guide it through in the sense that it’s adventurous looking for different angles and perspectives, whether in terms of sound or in terms of lyrics. The unorthodox, often energetic, and always intense folk of Mothers is freakin’ astounding.

Muncie Girls are that kind of band that just make a statement quite effortlessly. The trio born from Exeter’s punk scene and that was something that fueled them to go out there and address their anxieties and social concerns that are much needed to be talked about. That’s what stands out about them and about their debut album, From Caplan To Belsize. Their music approach invokes names like Sleater-Kinney or even Screaming Females, not only for their classic punk rock songs, but also for their ability to speak out their minds through the lyrics. Vocalist and bassist Lande Hekt is massively inspired by what surrounds her, such as rape culture, immigration policies, and other social and personal issues. The result is ten songs created with consciousness and thorough delivery to such important subjects to us and of course to them. An impressive and catchy as hell record.

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TIAGO MOREIRA

Joanna Newsom, Julia Holter, Angel Olsen

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Hop Along, Screaming Females

ANDREIA ALVES

NASTY FARMERS The Strawman Fallacy This Is Core (2016)

The Strawman Fallacy is the latest offering from Italian rockers Nasty Farmers. Strong and mature, this new effort is full of raw grittiness and attitude to match, that goes way deeper into the grunge and stoner scene, way more stripped down, with a more retro, garage and western vibe. From Stone Temple Pilots to Queens of the Stone Age and with Them Crooked Vultures and Foo Fighters also on the menu of influences, The Strawman Fallacy sticks to the formula, sounds confident and diverse, even when they somehow fall into the whole rock “sometimes needed” clichés. Nasty Farmers soulful spirit is infectious enough, and if you need a good dose of this bluesy grunge-type rock, this is a damn good choice. FOR FANS OF:

FAUSTO CASAIS

Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, QOTSA

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8 ORANSSI PAZUZU Värähtelijä

9 PARQUET COURTS Human Performance Rough Trade (2016)

Four seconds into this record and I thought I was hearing the new Cynic album, and then I remembered that nowadays they explore the more ethereal side of metal and far less the aggressive side. These Germans like Beyond Creation stand as probably the most interesting technical death metal bands out there, apart maybe for the far more challenging and experimental Mexicans Acrania. Their releases have been met with ever growing expectation by critics and fans alike, and this will surely be no different. Touring with genre titans Suffocation has helped them honed their sonic assault to a quasi jazz metal sound, reminiscent of classic period Atheist and the aforementioned Cynic, especially in the robotic vociferations scattered throughout the record.

Some bands tend to be stuck in one genre or even worse in one album, unable to break the restraints of their own confinement, fortunately there are others that consistently evolve and mutate their sound, continuously pushing themselves into new and uncharted sonic territories. Finland with its gelid atmosphere facilitates this continuous boundary shattering sound barrage that is Oranssi Pazuzu. As easy to categorize as a Jackson Pollock painting, the sonic tapestry weaved by the band never ceases to amaze and challenge the listener. The black metal tag only exists because their sound needs to be categorized, but these guys go above and beyond a traditional categorization. This is to put it plainly a fearlessly experimental avant garde music experience that challenges you at every corner.

Raw, dramatic, ambitious, intense, complex, emotional, claustrophobic and yet melodically heavy. Recorded over the course of a year against a backdrop of personal instability, Human Performance is a cathartic experience, full of frantic energy in their most diverse and struggling effort ever. Tackling several issues, such as anxiety and physical or mental or social exhaustion, Human Performance lyrics are so easy to relate, everything seems so immediate and close, as if suddenly we are drawn into their world, where easily we are almost obligated to question our humanity. From Pavement’s classic esque to Wire meets Rancid’s punk insane fest, Parquet Courts are bringing college indie rock weirdness back and tackling some serious issues along the way. Exactly what we’ve waiting since 2013’s debut Light Up Gold, one of the best albums of this year, with high levels of addictedness and undeniable intoxicating.

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OBSCURA Akroasis

Svart Records (2016)

Relapse Records (2016)

NUNO BABO

Atheist, Cynic, Suffocation

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NUNO BABO

Dødheimsgard, Altar Of Plagues, Fen

Mar-Apr

FAUSTO CASAIS

Pavement, Wire, The Fall, Rancid


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8 PINEGROVE Cardinal

Run For Cover Records (2016)

Indie rock evolves into 2016 as Pinegrove releases their latest record Cardinal. The New Jersey based group leads you through eight soft and emotional songs with simplistic guitar tracks and catchy lyrics. The vocal melody flows with an almost flawless touch as the music lies tightly under it. At certain points in the album, there are country-like guitar licks which add to the album’s diverse influences. Lyrically, each song carries you through different but related topics. Covering the topic of friendship in “Old Friends” vocalist Evan Stephan Hall sings “I should call my parents when I think of them / I should tell my friends when I love them.” which captures the central theme of the album better than anything else. Indie, pop, rock, country and everything in-between blend perfectly in this creative, unique album. I’m very excited to see how Pinegrove will follow-up this release. FOR FANS OF:

JUSTIN KUNZ

Into It. Over It., Broken Social Scene

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ROAM Backbone

RORCAL Creon

For years, almost decades, pop punk was an American playground. Not many bands from the rest of the world managed to achieve notable success. Neck Deep were one of the first to score some points for Team UK, and managed to get the spotlight to the Island. ROAM are determined to keep it there. With their debut Backbone, the band proved themselves as one of the future leaders of the genre. Songs like “Deadweight”, “All the Same” or “Head Rush” catch some of the best moments of early 2000s pop punk, with a fresh and modern twist, while “Tracks” shows they’re more than capable of stripping things down and make them work. Backbone may not be topping charts, but can be strong foundation for great underground career.

Switzerland, the country that gave us Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Darkspace, and Samael, has once again a heavyweight in its extreme music ranks... even if you are not aware of Rorcal. Three years ago, they unleash Világvége and left their mark with an unrelenting piece of black metal with some sludge/hardcore. Now with Creon, their new and fourth full-length, they go the extra mile and perfect their craft delivering an acutely assault to the body and soul of epic proportions. 51 minutes divided by four tracks that never fail to evolve and shift ensuring that its length has a purpose and merit. A concept that involves the death of four well known Greek characters, all linked to Creon, is the base to an overwhelming, intense, and precise album.

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Division Records (2016)

Hopeless Records (2016)

MILJAN MILEKIC

Sum 41, Knuckle Puck, Seaway

TIAGO MOREIRA

Celeste, Bossk, Year Of No Light

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7 DAVIE ALLAN / JOEL GRIND Split EP Relapse Records (2016)

What to expect from a guitar shredding split between Toxic Holocaust mainman Joel Grind and legendary surf rock pioneer, the great Davie Allan? Yes, you’re right, an awesome and unexpected surrealist post-apocalyptic soundtrack on your way to hell. Four songs that would fit perfectly in Tarantino’s movies, from Kill Bill to Django Unchained. FAUSTO CASAIS

26.03

7 OUT NOW OUT NOW

Heavy Psych Sounds (2016)

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SAUL WILLIAMS MartyrLoserKing Fader (2016)

SANTIGOLD 99¢ The idiosyncrasy of Santigold’s sound has proven to be her biggest asset even if that hasn’t translated into a complete mainstream dominance. In her third album, Santi White keeps crafting pop and dance tunes that, more than ever before, embrace the unconventional angles in terms of sound always denying the existence of whatever boundaries that you can think off. 99¢ again and again deflects the obvious proving a dynamic that enriches repeated listening experiences. Santigold’s delivery is always on point, regardless of the tempo or approach chosen in each track, and the glow projected is undeniably infectious. In her first album after motherhood, Santigold proves to be dangerously effective in creating an enthralling and acutely modern pop album that is also socially aware and concerned.

Saul Williams provides us with a refined journey through one of the best sonic sequences of his versatile discography. MartyrLoserKing is hot and cold at the same time because it lives between the exaltation of his written emotion and the rigid certainty of (in)human purpose. In a world becoming again purposefully polarized, Williams is not giving it a chance. He saw the root of problems in our century and he is assuming the new Messiah message alerting us to the vulnerabilities exposed by our social networks. Nevertheless, is the way we connect something that separates us or near us? Something that eludes us for a non-existent reality? Or this will be a solution to a larger problem in which politics tries to erase our past? Williams does not give us the answers, only confronts us with our nowness. He knows that one day the narcissistic bubble will burst into a revolution.

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Atlantic (2016)

TIAGO MOREIRA

M.I.A., Grimes, Robyn

126

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RUI CORREIA

Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, Algiers

Mar-Apr

DEADSMOKE Deadsmoke

Slow and hypnotic to the bone, a sludge meets drone feast full of sonic and imminent eruptions. Oscillating into churning guitars and crashing waves of screams, the absence of hope and the need for isolation here is almost mandatory. Prepare yourself for a slow-moving journey that will blow away your mind and speakers. FAUSTO CASAIS

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7 DUEL Fears Of The Dead

Heavy Psych Sounds (2016)

Fears Of The Dead is an absolute joy, a frantic and fuzzy wild ride. Clearly influenced by late 60’s and early 70’s heavy-rock, their Monster Magnet meets Danzig approach is a trippy and full of groove bon voyage. This is another down and dirty cruise through proto-rock realms, nothing quite new, but will for sure please a lot of hard-rock purists. FAUSTO CASAIS


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8 SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS SVIIB

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8 SEPTEMBER GIRLS Age Of Indignation

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Fortuna Pop! (2016)

Full Time Hobby (2016)

With maturity and confidence, School of Seven Bells drive home their commitment to music with SVIIB. Catchy to the core, this New York duo perfectly captures modern day indie rock fused dream pop. Songs like “Ablaze” and “A Thousand Times More” are guaranteed to get you off your feet while tracks like “Open Your Eyes” and “On My Heart” portray a more relaxed but never slow vibe. It must also be mentioned that, tragically, after a long struggle of lymphoblastic lymphoma, band member Benji Curtis passed away before the album’s release. Following news of his passing, the other half of the duo, Alejandra Deheza, announced this would be the band’s final record. Gone but not forgotten, nothing will pay as much tribute to a man’s life as an album so full of talent and musical courage.

If there’s irony in the title of Edith Wharton’s novel The Age of Innocence then it also should be said that there’s none in the title of September Girls’ sophomore album, Age of Indignation. We wouldn’t like you to be unduly dismissive towards it, right? Damn right, because what better way to portray our current times where tones of indignation surfer every day from people who’ve had enough, although somewhat insufficiently. September Girls talk about things that cause indignation – you’ll be fooled to think that is unidimensional and/or retrained – while sharpened and precise guitar lines are thrown one after the other and memorable vocal lines shine through. This is noisy pop ravishment from a band that is fueled by the same rage and dissatisfaction of some of the most aggressive and politically/socially aware hardcore bands.

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JUSTIN KUNZ

Tamaryn, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Glasser

TIAGO MOREIRA

Menace Beach, Crocodiles, PINS

SIA This Is Acting RCA (2016)

Sia is an extreme case of success, failure and fatalities, all lived alternately in the various stages of her life and career. From the late success achieved with 1000 Forms Of Fear, it became clear that the singer achieved a state of a certain diva. For the record, This Is Acting is composed of songs written by Sia which were rejected by other artists, such as Adele and Rihanna. It’s notorious in the lyrics the almost emotional esque of each theme, but the truth is that these tracks were not very personal and the messages of the songs could be taken in different ways. Pleasant and professional, This Is Acting has all to be another world chart winner. FOR FANS OF:

NUNO TEIXEIRA

Lykke Li, Ellie Golding, Oh Land

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SIMMER Paper Prisms

SILVER SNAKES Saboteur

SLINGSHOT DAKOTA Break

On their debut full-length, Cheshire trio Simmer just sound big. All elements of their first two EPs Your Tonal Mess and Yellow Streak are there, but what stands out on this album is how they managed to embody the best of the noisy punk and shoegaze into something that easily flows from song to song, giving the idea we are listening to one big and long song. Intense and melancholic as fuck, Paper Prisms is filled with fuzzy shoegaze riffs and dreamy, atmospheric sounds. They’re really good blending those elements on their music and just kind of make them fit in the right place. It’s impressive to see with just a few releases that Simmer are already showing such musical maturation and an outstanding confidence.

Silver Snakes are one of the bands to keep an eye on. You may not be familiar with the name, and I can’t blame you for that, but that could change in near future. Saboteur has everything it needs to lead the band to greatness. The record is full of different influences, dark, heavy sounds, big melodies, but also long atmospheric passages. They aren’t afraid to experiment, and the courage has payed off. The stuff they represented isn’t easy listening, but once you got it, it goes under your skin and stays there. The lyrics are one of the strongest points of the record, and perfectly fit the heaviness of the sounds. The band sounds more than ready to take some big steps, there’s no doubt about it.

Highly colored, Break is the 4th work of Pennsylvania duo and is an album that lives up to its name as it has enough energy to light the purest of melancholy and because, apart the unexpected power, has also a very unique sound, delivered by the powerful drumming, the iconic piano and slender voice of Carly Command. Break is somewhat confused, but at the same time enriched by disperse and interspersed rhythms and lots of intention that guides us through the album. To the lack of a better description, we might say that Break is raw effort, which has the power to blend pop, indie and funk in perfect harmony. Addictive and liberating, Break is also a past and future mix, again, perfectly combined.

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Dog Knights Productions (2016)

Pelagic Records (2016)

ANDREIA ALVES

Basement, Cheatahs, Nothing

Topshelf Records (2016)

MILJAN MILEKIC

NIN, Tool, Deftones

NUNO TEIXEIRA

Lemuria, Tancred, Sundials

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SO PITTED neo

SOON VOL.1

SUNFLOWER BEAN Human Ceremony

Seattle’s So Pitted are a supersonic trio and limitless regarding to what they do with their music. As an example, there’s their debut album, neo. They’re chaotic and intense on every single song expanding to the fullest what they can create, whether with an energetic punk riff or a more pop vibe tune. Bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, or more recently noise terrorists Metz, are brought up when listening to this album. The messy and noisy tunes feel like they came up from a cathartic and sweaty jam between Nathan, Liam and Jeannine. The trio are really driven by their emotions and frustrations creating such unstable and explosive songs that can exorcise all your demons and anxieties. It’s just brutal.

When you have two members of indie rock outfit The Love Language, you’re not necessarily expecting what SOON have to offer with their debut album, Vol. 1. It’s a big surprise and a hell of a thrill, if you have a taste for the more heavy-oriented stuff. SOON attack from almost every direction that you can think off. Doom, heavy metal, drone, psychedelic, classic rock, and countless memorable melodies in an overall dark environment. Most importantly, there’s a high level of songwriting that enhances all the great features that they so proudly show off – it’s not just a collection of huge riffs. When many heavy bands struggle in terms of songwriting, SOON excel and take the adventure of creating something that’s (fairly) complex, dynamic, and rewarding. More, please.

Human Ceremony is a strange album. A uniquely throwback sound, that seems etched in sixties psych-rock origins, dragging out vocals that grasp at influences as diverse as The Beatles, Bowie and Jefferson Airplane. It is a breezy, feather-light collection of songs. Delicate and fragile melody twinned with drums that are pushing and driving, but subdued all the same. When some oomph is added like in the second track “Come On”, it still has a gentle beauty, never falling off into full rock (coming close in “Wall Watcher”) but teetering gently upon the precipice. A hippie with a flower in the barrel of a gun. A delicious album with elegant style and a fresh pulse. Maybe not for everyone, but given a good listen, plenty to stir the bones.

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Sub Pop Records (2016)

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Temple Of Torturous (2016)

ANDREIA ALVES

Metz, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins

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Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash

Fat Possum Records (2016)

TIAGO MOREIRA

ANDI CHAMBERLAIN

Wolf Alice, Twerps, Ava Luna


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8 TERRIBLE LOVE Change Nothing EP Self-released (2016)

There’s a gargantuan sound peppered upon London band Terrible Love’s EP Change Nothing. The band, knock on the post-hardcore heart and living it up, pampering it until the blood it possesses surges. It’s ever so compelling and dramatic too, struck together like lightning hitting against a pool of water. The band focus on high pitched vocals that describe pain and struggle. And the lyrics are like dark monologues merging together in unison, fearlessly sung down a spit drenched microphone. The guitars also intertwine perfectly, played with volatility. Songs like “Mt Misery” drive home the type of the sound that the band want to achieve, it edges into punk territory too, showcasing that the act are diverse and are not a one trick pony FOR FANS OF:

MARK MCCONVILLE

Defeater, Touche Amore, Bastions

15.04 OUT NOW

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9 THE COATHANGERS Nosebleed Weekend

Suicide Squeeze Records (2016)

THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN A Man Alive

THE BODY No One Deserves Happiness

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, the San Francisco-based band fronted by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen, are back with the band’s fourth studio album, A Man Alive. Brutally honest and more personal than this is impossible, especially when this new album tackles Nguyen relationship with her father who left her when she was a young girl. Produced by Merrill Garbus of TuneYards, A Man Alive is deeply compelling, direct and heavily introspective, way more instrumental, visceral and experimental than 2013’s previous effort, We The Common. From heartbreaking tracks like “Guts” and “Departure” to this kind of crazy and vibrant danceable “Meticulous Bird”, every track is like little pieces of this kind of diverse and intense musical puzzle. Impressive!

When you have a band as heavy, weird and abrasive as The Body stating that they have set out to make “the grossest pop album of all time,” then it’s because something special or cringe worthy is on the way. No One Deserves Happiness is sickening at times - almost comparable to Pharmakon’s Bestial Burden – and unbelievably beautiful because of Chrissy Wolpert and Maralie Armstrong mesmerizing voices – a track like “Adamah” needs to get some fucking recognition. In one hand, there’s the harsh and violent soundscapes, and on the other there’s the electronic mixed with the dance-influenced industrial beats. It’s an album of contrasts that represents the eclectic tastes of the duo. In the midst of their prolific career The Body are crafting a unique path.

Eclectic, blistering and unexpected, Nosebleed Weekend goes beyond their irreverent punk garage rock. Full of contagious singalong hooks, loudfast-quiet-loud-noisy repetitive vocal refrain, with influences ranging from Bikini Kill to Kim Gordon’s Free Kitten sing alike, the result is a heavy dose of stripped-down pop anthems, 70’s garage and 90’s messy grunge. Songs like “Squeeki Tiki” and “Excuse Me?” are delicious different and get stuck in your head for days, “Perfume” and “Make It Right” are pure rock anthems. The Coathangers level up their game and these fourteen in-your-face songs are a shining triumph. Recorded in California’s North Hollywood at the legendary Valentine Recording Studios with Nic Jodoin, Nosebleed Weekend it’s The Coathangers’ best work to date, everything about this album is bigger and ballsy.

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Ribbon Music (2016)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Tune-Yards, Tilly and the Wall, Rilo Kiley

Thrill Jockey (2016)

TIAGO MOREIRA

Pharmakon, NIN, Corrections House

FAUSTO CASAIS

Bikini KIll, Sonic Youth, Murder City Devils

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8 THE THERMALS We Disappear

Saddle Creek Records (2016)

THE GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY The Death Of Everything New

THE WORD ALIVE Dark Matter

It’s been a while since Frank and Steph Carter left Gallows to follow other music projects. Frank has been putting out music as Pure Love and as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and now we get the chance to listen to what Steph’s been working on. Along with his wife Gillian, they started The Ghost Riders In The Sky. Johnny Cash is what comes up in the first place with the band’s name and it’s actually artists like Cash, Beatles and Pink Floyd that had massively inspired Carter on his new music adventure. He blends the good old American folk with the good of brit-rock, creating something admirable and really enjoyable. The dynamic of male-female vocals give an astonishing touch to the well-crafted songs.

The Word Alive are aiming big with their fourth full-length, Dark Matter. From the start there is no disguising the fact that this is an album that has a lot on its plate. Dynamic and expansive, Dark Matter brings new levels of confidence and maturity, from their personal lyrical approach and solid songwriting to their unique sense of melody with heaviness. Sounding like an explosive blend between Linkin Park’s Meteora, Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal and Billy Talent’s II, Dark Matter songs are engaging as fuck and it’s quite easy to relate to them, in Telle Smith’s most intense and dark vocal performance ever. The Word Alive are set to take this year by storm, at their bigger, bolder and in-depth artistic statement.

Long live the The Thermals! That might be the overall feeling about one of the most beloved indie rock bands of the planet. We Disappear is The Thermals’ brand new effort, an album that questions several issues from postbreak up love/loss songs to technology and our own dependence to that, how it can isolate us and impact our relationships. Once again we get exactly what we expected, another awesome and strong The Thermals album, their smart way of putting songs about contemporary issues that we can easily relate to is an absolute plus, and their straightforward classic indie rock meets post-punk anthems are bigger than ever. We Disappear is that kind of album that goes with every single mood you have, you can be drunk as fuck or excited and ridiculously happy, this is real music for real people. Thumbs up!

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Everything New Records (2016)

ANDREIA ALVES

Gaslight Anthem, Frank Turner, Sharks

130

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Mar-Apr

Fearless Records (2016)

Linkin Park, BMTH, Blessthefall

FAUSTO CASAIS

FAUSTO CASAIS

Superchunk, The Wrens, Les Savy Fav


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7 GIANT KITTY This Stupid Stuff

Innsbruck Records (2016)

This Stupid Stuff is Houston’s Giant Kitty debut album and you can expect straight to the point punk with a very riot grrrl vibe, similar to bands like Bikini Kill or Babes In Toyland. Vocalist Miriam Hakim is as much intense as fearless when she sings her thoughts and emotions out on each raw and energetic song. ANDREIA ALVES

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8 HEARTS HEARTS Young Tomlab (2016)

Hearts Hearts’ album Young is probably one of the most interesting debut albums of this year so far. It flows easily in the ears of the listener and has a bunch of detailed textured sounds. Their songwriting is quite impressive and their creativity seems to have no limits. Personal and soulful, Young is a pure enjoyable listening experience. ANDREIA ALVES

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6 THE KING BLUES Off With Their Heads EP

Speech Development Records (2016)

We weren’t expecting this, but The King Blues managed to surprise us with a new EP and a bunch of new songs. It’s quite easy to say that The King Blues are using their voice again into the right issues, their targets are very direct and damn straight to the point. A necessary comeback, let’s see if they’re really here to stay... FAUSTO CASAIS

01.04

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TOMBS All Empires Fall EP

TONIGHT ALIVE Limitless

Tombs, the band led by the charismatic Mike Hill, have shown, for nine years, a level of consistency that can’t possibly be overlooked. If black metal is in its origins a European thing, it’s also undeniable the importance that the American crop has had in keeping the fire burning – Tombs are one of those bands. In their new EP, the Brooklyn-based outfit keep things as experimental as effective. For range has been one of the most important attributes in Tombs’ music, All Empires Fall reaches beyond the limits of a genre, proving that fast attacks can be matched with a phantasmagoric-slowdown soundscape without losing any cohesion or direction. Tombs keep stretching their own boundaries, reaffirming their dominance, and what’s around the corner couldn’t be more exciting.

Limitless is what you may call a turning point for Tonight Alive, but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to its expectations. Sure, it’s a different approach by the band and they were quite brave for doing that, but how much can a band change their sound without sounding a little bit excessive? They weren’t just able to balance what they did in the past with what they’re doing right now. Nothing wrong with challenging themselves once in a while, but the band you once knew and appreciated is no longer the same. This record feels like those typical pop rock songs with stadium-rock arrangements and with a production too much polished. It could be something different and new, but Limitless does no justice to what the band did previously.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

Fearless Records (2016)

Relapse Records (2016)

TIAGO MOREIRA

Leviathan, Swans, Godflesh

ANDREIA ALVES

PVRIS, We Are the In Crowd, Paramore

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OUT NOW

7 TRIXIE WHITLEY Porta Bohemica Megaforce (2016)

There is plenty to browse on Porta Bohemica. The controlled voice of Trixie wrapped in minimalist themes, unfolds in new glow between the angry guitar on “Hourglass” to return to a blues that enchants darkness with the gift of illuminating new path on “Eliza’s Smile”. Circulating through alt-rock, Trixie recalls me the talented acts of Florence + The Machine or PJ Harvey, for her introduction into contemplative themes. On “Soft Spoken Words” resides a tremendous soulful track, able to kill us all softly with her voice chanting a catchy chorus wrapped in a carefully well-placed melody. The album continues questioning new personal frontiers and fades away in the magnificent theme “The Visitor”, which I’m sure means a beginning of new recognition for Trixie’s work. FOR FANS OF:

RUI CORREIA

Anna Calvi, Florence + The Machine

OUT NOW OUT NOW

OUT NOW

8 TY SEGALL Emotional Mugger Always trying to renew itself without losing the loyalty to his standards and pushing away from trends, no matter if his fan base likes or not. Ty Segall is not here to please crowds, but to show his art and thoughts the way he wants without expecting nothing. Emotional Mugger is raw and powerful, in a split of tastes has it is the strangest, perfectly loud or absurd. Innovative and original in his weirdness. Provided with mad solos and heavy fuzzy guitar sounds, hipnotic organs and synthesizers, moving the body to dance. Every song speaks in metaphor of the peddling pleasures of the world. All the strayed desire, lost emotional and damage of society. Will not gain the consideration of some, but for sure this is a great work. FAUSTO CASAIS

Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, Black Lips

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VIOLENT FEMMES We Can Do Anything PIAS (2016)

Drag City (2016)

FOR FANS OF:

8

Mar-Apr

We needed something new from the Violent Femmes, perhaps one of the most important comebacks in years. 16 years after their last studio effort, their highly-needed-long waited ninth album finally arrived and considering that founding members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie, despite their battles, are still plugging along side-by-side is quite impressive. Still, no one sounds like them, their awesome blend of folk, punk, country and indie rock is still there, sounds exciting, renewed and more fresh than ever. We Can Do Anything is another bash of snotty, sarcastic honest songs. It still has that teenager vibe on it, it’s fucking impressive regarding the fact that Gano is 52 years old, and if you’re expecting something different don’t because they sound exactly the same. FOR FANS OF:

FAUSTO CASAIS

Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes...

8 WILD NOTHING Life Of Pause

Captured Tracks (2016)

Life Of Pause is Wild Nothing third album and it’s another great listening experience to go into. Jack Tatum definitely took his time to work on this album and the result is something refreshing and cohesive. He finds balance through every chord and every beat. He keeps on doing all by himself on the writing and recording process, though this time around he had other musicians on board to help him out. Opening track “Reichpop” is just a perfect start of the album with a steady bass line, an upbeat rhythm and complex guitar textures. Tracks like “Japanese Alice” and “Adore” have this incredible power-pop and dreamy-pop tunes. It’s possible to find time and harmony in a chaotic life, Tatum just basically showed us that. FOR FANS OF:

Tame Impala, DIIV, Lower Dens

ANDREIA ALVES


REVIEWS

REVIEWED IN OUR NEXT ISSUE OUT NOW

8 WOLVSERPENT Aporia:Kala:Ananta EP Relapse Records (2016)

Wolvserpent delivered with their sophomore album in 2013 the most haunting and diverse material to date. Aporia:Kala:Ananta will forsee that mammoth composition with a single track EP of forty minutes of blessing doom, mourning atmosphere and low-spirits in all of its splendour and majesty. It is inevitable not to fall in a dark hole of feelings upon the listening, with all its imposing distortion and noise built, following parts that are tremendous emotive and cinematic with the violins rise in its orchestration. Britany Connel and Blake Green are the protagonists of this work and managed to convey in one single song everything that is dark and stagnant laboured in all that is movement and pacific without losing the sentiment of pain and grief. FOR FANS OF:

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY This Wilderness

WHITE LUNG Paradise

YEASAYER Amen & Goodbye

MANTAR Ode To The Flame

NOTHING Tired of Tomorrow

DEFTONES Gore

WIRE Nocturnal Koreans

MODERN BASEBALL Holy Ghost

BETH ORTON Kidsticks

PJ HARVEY The Hope Six Demolition Proj.

SERGIO KILMORE

Locrian, Dark Castle, Eagle Twin

OUT NOW

7 YUCK Stranger Things

MamĂŠ Records (2016)

On their third album, Yuck seem more relaxed and happier. Guess they just really focus on what really mattered to them and created what really felt like true to themselves. Since their inception back in 2009 that the group have released a bunch of great songs and even with the departure of founding member Daniel Blumberg in 2013, it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slow them down, and with the new guitarist Edward Hayes they worked on the sophomore album Glow & Behold that dealt with overcoming their anxieties and other stuff. Stranger Things is not filled with weird things, instead has plenty of great moments of indie rock with a glimpse of garage and shoegaze in there. Their dynamic as a band seems more confident and loose. FOR FANS OF:

ANDREIA ALVES

Beach Fossils, Pavement, Cloud Nothings

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LIVE!

BARONESS Paradise Garage, Lisbon

Words & Picture by Ricardo Almeida

BARONESS

The night was set to be a singular one from the very beginning; after all it was Baroness’s first time in Lisbon. An almost sold out venue on a Sunday night and a weird sensation going on in one’s stomach could only suggest how special this was going to be. As good as a rock show can be – and this one was as great as it gets – describing it would be rather boring. So I’ll leave the guitar solos and other mumbo jumbo aside and tell you about what matters. And what matters, you ask? Well, a wise man once said, “What matters most is how well you walk through the fire”. And we all know Baroness have had quite a bit of firewalking to do, that being carving there own name, earning respect and admiration, back when people could easily be mistaken to think they were just another band among hundreds following the lines of Mastodon, ISIS, The Dillinger Escape Plan and so on, or, as we’re all well aware of, surviving a severe bus accident that could have had way more tragic consequences. The accident was hard on the band, leading to a slow recovery and some line-up changes. But it also made Baroness a symbol of perseverance, a talisman to remember us to try and make the best out of our lives, for we might not have a second chance (cheesy, yes, but still true). And one is not bringing the sensationalist crap up just to sell newspapers, the crash definitely had a huge impact in the people involved and that comes up in the music and the live performance. The words featured on Purple, their last album, are definitely the result of that experience. Baroness’s first visit to the Portuguese capital will be remembered not only for the band’s flawless performance – and not boring proggy flawless but rock n’roll flawless - but mostly as a passionate celebration of friendship, life and joy. If sometimes the interludes and the ‘studio magic’ might make one think otherwise, the live show leaves no room for questions: Baroness are a heavy rock band and will rock the hell out of wherever they’re playing! Kicking off with “Kerosene”, followed by “March to the Sea”, “Morning Star” and “Shock Me”, an energetic band obviously enjoying itself as much as the crowd, it was set from the beginning that this would be a night to remember where classics such as “Isak” (which made the audience rejoice) and a “Horse Called Golgotha” were welcomed with as much praise as they’re recent stuff. After the show, instead of hiding backstage, Baizley and his band mates joined the crowd for some beers, dozens of autographs, photos etc. They could be tired and really not in the mood to talk to girls half their age, but no, they were the nicest dudes. The first time is always sloppy. Well, not this one. musicandriots.com

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DEAFHEAVEN

+MYRKUR Hard Club, Porto

Words by Tiago Moreira & Pictures by Andreia Alves

Having had the opportunity to catch Deafheaven live every single time they release a new album gave some much needed perspective into this show. You see, we remember a band that was shy and kind of unsure of themselves in the times of Roads To Judah, their debut, and then a band that would definitely start to blossom given the crazy acclaim towards their sophomore Sunbather. But we weren’t expecting to witness such grandiose performance, such a big step forward, this time around. If there were doubts about the value of New Bermuda then they were all cleared. Playing the entire new album, from front to back, and then playing two songs off of Sunbather (the title track and “Dream House”) during the encore, it is pretty much undeniable the gigantic leap forward by the American band. The level of songwriting is at a stupidly high level and the reaction that causes is an entire audience going batshit crazy. When you have a black metal-based band that triggers such enthusiastic reaction to the point of countless crowdsurfing and even a freakin’ sing along (yeah, we couldn’t believe it either)... what else can you say? Sure, Deafheaven are often linked to extreme metal music, but let us assure you that the environment that night was more of a punk show, where there is a great feeling of community. Absolutely mind-blowing. Opening the night Myrkur, led by Danish musician Amalie Bruun, offered a less energetic take on the extreme music arts often alternating between the pure and classic aggression of black metal and the spiritual and sparseness of folk. The amount of bullshit that surrounds Myrkur was definitely felt by the awkward vibe that was almost palpable. 136

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DEAFHEAVEN

MYRKUR


LIVE!

MARCHING CHURCH

MARCHING CHURCH + PAPAYA Maus Hábitos, Porto Words by Tiago Moreira & Picture by Andreia Alves

It’s often the case where opening acts are just a mere justification for the price that you pay to see the main act, but this time with the Portuguese power-trio Papaya it was guaranteed that the excitement would be right there. Climbing up the stairs we already could hear the noise and heavy riffage – damn you Porto and with your streets filled with cars – that was coming out of the venue. Dirty heavy rock that pumps you up with energy. That energy would take a left turn with Marching Church, the project of Iceage’s frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. Presenting their album This World Is Not Enough, they would grant us an opportunity that unfortunately the recordings deny: the chance to appreciate the incredible instrumentation that on the record is buried in the background for the most part. And that little detail made the show a delight. Even if you happen to hate Elias’ sloppy and extremely annoying vocals (like I do, admittedly) you couldn’t deny the magnificence delivered by the other band members. In a jam, relaxed, but also at times surgical approach, Marching Church painted a canvas with eclectic sounds that range from the post-punk to jazz, deserving comparisons to the geniality of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The intensity that came often with subtle movements and dynamisms within the band provided an absurdly enjoyable experience. www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

137


SHOPPING

SHOPPING 100 Club, London

INTERESTED? DIG DEEPER...

Words and Picture by Antigoni Pitta

R

oxy Music wrote about a danceable solution to teenage revolution, and while Shopping may not be teenagers, their music is the closest we can get to that. If listening to them makes you at least tap your toes, then seeing them live becomes a full-on dance party. Their December 8th gig was no exception. Located in a basement under Oxford Street, the 100 Club is ironically perfect for Shopping’s gig, while its cavernous atmosphere only adds to the performance. There is enough space for everyone to dance, which they do as the band plays Why Choose almost in 138

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its entirety. Their simplistic setup is compensated by the layered sound and three-part vocals seen in tracks like “I Have Decided” and “Take it Outside”, while the band’s energy never falters throughout the set. Rachel Aggs’ vocals and sharp guitar occasionally echo the Slits, while the interaction between instruments is like a constant conversation between her and the rest of her bandmates. From “Why Wait”, a pictorial of consumerism in the internet age, to the strange relationship portrayed in “Straight Line”, there is a sense that Shopping determined not only to sing about their problems, but to proceed to dance all over them, inviting the audience to join them.

SHOPPING Why Choose

Fat Cat Records (2015)

If you know who Shopping are, then you’ll also know that they have the most clever band name in recent years. Why? Because it makes them nearly impossible to find online. For those in the know they have been around for a while, emerging from the scene around Power Lunches in East London, and Why Choose is a follow-up to 2013’s Consumer Complaints. Shopping borrow the minimalism of post-punk to churn out twelve songs that flow in an incredibly addictive way, cultivating a sound that is oddly familiar yet utterly new. ANTIGONI PITTA


LIVE!

ENTER SHIKARI + THE WONDER YEARS + THE KING BLUES Corn Exchange, Edinburgh Words by Dave Bowes

T

hough there’s a Rancid revivalist vibe to The King Blues’ Bronx-meets-Shoreditch ska-punk, there’s no shaking the energy and conviction the Londoners manage to bring to this early-evening crowd. With the pent-up rage that only a lengthy hiatus during a time of austerity can bring, there’s a righteous fury that offsets their typically upbeat bounce, thus poaching themselves a few of the headliners’ more socially conscious followers and validating the vocal devotion of their own. For The Wonder Years, the effect is a little more subtle. They certainly have the fans and there’s a sense of purpose to their polished pop-hardcore that keeps the adrenaline flowing through the front few rows, but it’s the uniformity of their material tonight that keeps any real excitement from building. They play to their own crowd, and they do it very well, but a bit of variety could have gone a long way for everyone else. If there’s one thing Enter Shikari do well, though, it’s mixing things up, which is what ends up defining them tonight. An ever-unpredictable act, they throw out heavy-hitters like “Sorry You’re Not A Winner” early to build up steam while a tender “Dear Future Historians...” reins in the energy mid-set and allows Rou Reynolds, seated at a piano in the middle of the crowd, to build a rapport with the entire room as they unite as one, joined in spirit as they heckle the tech who tries to iron out the sound issues. Elsewhere, the boisterous belt of “No Sleep Tonight” gets plastered across “The Last Garrison” euphoric closing beats and “Slipshod” wittily aggro vibes segue jarringly into “The Jester” sonic anarchism. It’s not simply that they have a boundless energy, or that they have a spirit eloquent enough to rival their convictions – what best defines ES tonight is their innate grasp of audience and material, knowing exactly where to speed up, where to make a stand, and how to best utilise the momentum from one moment to the next. This is setlist-building as craftsmanship, and the joy and precision they use to play it out shows them as true masters of their field.

BLUES PILLS

BLUES PILLS + PRISTINE Hard Club, Porto

Words by Tiago Moreira & Picture by Andreia Alves Let us put it this way: if you are the kind that worships the heavy rock (often called hard rock) of past decades then you sure would love to be attending to these two shows. Norwegian band Pristine kicked off the night going at it heads first and captivating the audience (that had actually a higher age average) with their more direct blues rock. Yeah, cliché after cliché and nothing really refreshing, but it does the trick and clearly the lack of originality wasn’t even a concern of the audience attending. With Blues Pills, the blues are present also but unlike Pristine, the Swedish-based band is more supportive of the psychedelic angle. There are a lot of soulful moments, often carried by French guitarist Dorian Sorriaux, but the highlight of their performance is clearly the powerful voice that vocalist Elin Larsson has and isn’t afraid to use. It was during the encore that Elin’s unshakable voice shined when she goes at it with a shattering-glass-voice that sings “Oh Devil Man”, pleasing the people that were patiently waiting for their most recognizable single. What can we say? It was a big and very enjoyable night of pure and old-fashioned rock’n’roll. musicandriots.com

139


DEADPOOL

8

DIRECTOR: Tim Miller STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Randal Reeder, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Stan Lee, Michael Benyaer USA/CANADA 2016 140

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D

eadpool is a refreshing breath of fresh air from Marvel. As they keep churning out big, schlocky blockbusters like The Avengers series, Deadpool is a remarkably well made popcorn movie that harkens back to comic book adaptions from the 1990s such as Guyver: Dark Hero and Darkman. Mainstream Marvel movies today have been very watered down and desensitised to suit a mass audience, which is understandable given their success after the release of Iron Man in 2008, but Deadpool is certainly a fanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movie, it has in-jokes, comic book references and despite what many film critics are telling you, the


CINEMA & TV

movie really benefits from its R-rating, the R-rating allows the film to be free with its source material which I believe is an essential for a comic book adaption. Deadpool feels like it was crafted from people who truly know the source material which feels right. Despite the huge box office success of Deadpool, the film never feels like a cash grab. The film knows it isn’t a Christopher Nolan led masterclass of acting,

cinematography and direction, but it knows exactly what it is, a comic book fan’s comedy and isn’t trying to be anything other than that. It knows it’s crude, obscene and violent and the film embraces this firmly for a massively entertaining 108 minutes. Despite the crude humour which will turn off some younger Marvel viewers and mature cinema-goers, Deadpool is still a very accessible comedy even without knowing

the lore of the character and even if you do, you’ll just enjoy the movie even more for what it is. The movie currently stands as my favourite Marvel feature due to its pre-entertainment factor and not following the conventional themes that pollute superhero movies today. The only thing Marvel can do now to top Deadpool, is an R-rated Old Man Logan adaption...

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JOE DOYLE

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LOVE - Season 1 (Netflix)

9

DIG IT? ALSO TRY

CREATORS: Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Paul Rust STARRING: Gillian Jacobs, Paul

Rust, Claudia O’Doherty, Jordan Rock, Tracie Thoms, Mike Mitchell, Iris Apatow, Briga Heelan, Chris Witaske, Seth Morris, Dave King, Chantal Claret USA 2016

What is love? Well, it can be defined and perceived in a million different ways and it’s something that’s daily used as a marketing tool to people consume and spend money on “it”. But then we have the brilliant minds of Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin, Trainwreck), Lesley Arfin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Awkward) and Paul Rust (Arrested Development) to create a TV show that literally shows what love is in its raw essence. It’s quirky, imperfect, amazing, unstable, delicious, exciting, terrible, and so on... Talking now a little about the show, it follows the nice and nerd guy Gus (Paul Rust) and the rebel and erratic girl Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) who have recently ended their respective dysfunctional relationships, and by chance they 142

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meet each other at a convenience store creating an unusual bond. As people usually say, opposites attract and these two are definitely the opposite of each other, but things aren’t so linear like that. That’s the whole point about Love. The main characters go through awkward and uncomfortable situations, facing their failed relationships and their insecurities mixed with sexuality and some addictions. Rust and Jacobs are just perfect in their performances and give an extra realistic vibe to the whole thing. Judd Apatow’s Love is an honest and exciting look to what love is and we can’t wait for season two, because this first one was just superb.

ANDREIA ALVES

FLAKED SEASON 1 (NETFLIX) By Will Arnett & Mark Chappell

MASTER OF NONE SEASON 1 (NETFLIX) By Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang


CINEMA & TV

7

TRUTH ANOMALISA

8

DIRECTOR: James Vanderbilt STARRING: Cate Blanchett,

DIRECTOR: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman STARRING: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan USA 2015

Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss, Bruce Greenwood, Stacy Keach, John Benjamin Hickey, David Lyons, Dermot Mulroney USA/AUSTRALIA 2015

Charlie Kaufman, the mind behind Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is back and along with Duke Johnson (Moral Orel, Frankenhole), they bring Anomalisa. It’s probably one the best animated films released last year, which led to an Oscar nomination. The film follows a lonely self-help author Michael Stone (David Thewlis) who perceives everyone as identical (Tom Noonan) until he meets a special woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Anomalisa has this intriguing and kind of fucked-up approach, with awkward and bizarre moments. It takes a little while to see beyond of what this introspective film is about, in fact, is not an easy film to digest, but is brilliant.

With Spotlight gathering the Oscar for this year’s best movie, we have another take on modern journalism that goes deep and beyond what the so called journalism ethics. James Vanderbilt’s new movie Truth, goes deep into the ill-fated 2004 exposé on 60 Minutes about George W. Bush’s alleged draft-dodging scam that called on powers that be at the time in the military to protect him from serving in Vietnam. With two pivotal characters Mapes and Dan Rather, perfectly portrayed by Cate Blanchet and Robert Redford, Truth captures the global downfall of the media. Wisely not taking sides, Truth handles a subject that is now more alive than ever, perhaps it’s time for another 60 minutes piece, right?

ANDREIA ALVES

FAUSTO CASAIS

REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

9

DIRECTOR: Marielle Heller STARRING: Bel Powley, Alexander

Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig, Abby Wait, Miranda Bailey, Carson D. Mell, John Parsons, Madeleine Waters, Austin Lyon, Quinn Nagle, Davy Clements, Christopher Meloni USA 2015

Boldly unconventional and refreshingly honest, breaking some boundaries and already making some waves. Diary of a Teenage Girl is a rare gem of a movie. Set in 1976 San Francisco, this is an amazing, tender and expressive story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her sexualtiy and the finding her own place in the world. Very detailed and intimate, Diary of a Teenage Girl is a vibrant and frank story, where Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) begins a complex love affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel of the same name, Diary of a Teenage Girl is brutally honest, an unconventional punk rock realistic self-discovery teenager through adulthood journey. FAUSTO CASAIS

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME By Richard Linklater

+

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE By Dan Trachtenberg BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE By Zack Snyder CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR By Anthony Russo & Joe Russo A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING By Tom Tykwer musicandriots.com

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NEXT ISSUE

DÄLEK WIRE DEFTONES BLEACHED MOGWAI EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY MANTAR LAURA GIBSON NOTHING THE COATHANGERS THE THERMALS WHITE LUNG INSAHN LUST FOR YOUTH BLACK MOUNTAIN TACOCAT AND MUCH MORE...

DEFTONES // PHOTO CREDIT: FRANK MADDOCKS

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MUSIC&RIOTS Magazine 17  

Featuring: Baroness, Anthrax, Tortoise, Ulver, 7 Year Bitch, Bloc Party, Money, Basia Bulat, Wild Nothing, Roam, Milk Teeth, Muncie Girls, L...

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