After a well received demo and a few excellent follow up releases including an EP and a split with fellow labelmates Homewrecker last year, The Love Below return in 2012 with their first LP, Every Tongue Shall Caress. It is easy to tell from the get go that the band has been sharpening their edges and perfecting their particularly grimey brand of snotty hardcore punk as they rip through the first part of the record, and things take a turn for the particularly ugly (in a good way) when the crushing downtempo dirge of the song "Uncomfortable" hits. While many hardcore bands pride themselves in being raw and abrasive, there is a sincere and palpable feeling of pure filth that permeates from every element of the band's sound on this record, and it comes together to form one of the most entertaining and addictive listens from a hardcore record yet this year. Fans of the band's earlier releases will definitely not be let down, and for the people who are unfamiliar this is an excellent starting point. Hell, one look at the cover art should be enough for you to check it out based on merit alone. Another above average hardcore release from A389 Records, highly recommended. Every Tongue Shall Caress will be available on the A389 Records webstore starting midnight on April 1st, so check back at the link below then to order a copy.
Los Angeles based label 6131 Records announce the signing of Carpinteria, California emo/rock outfit SOUVENIRS. Formed in 2011, SOUVENIRS have quickly created a buzz with their contemporary take on the sound originally pioneered by the likes of Mineral, Braid, and Pavement. Even with their first proper offering, the self-released Sadder Days EP, they were able to demonstrate an unrivaled songwriting prowess that left many eager for more.
SOUVENIRS quickly took to the road, touring the West Coast with Set Your Goals and The Story So Far in December of 2011, followed by another West Coast and Southwest run with Pentimento and Light Years earlier this year. SOUVENIRS will continue to tour extensively, with plans already in the works for Spring and Summer 2012.
While not touring, the band was able to enter the legendary Atomic Garden Studios in early March with producer Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Whirr, Punch) to record their 6131 Records debut, an EP entitled Tired Of Defending You. The EP, being released on 7" vinyl and digitally, will be available worldwide June 5th.
For those excited to hear new music from SOUVENIRS, Alternative Press will be debuting the song "Sucker" from Tired Of Defending You this Sunday, April 1st via their website: http://www.altpress.com
Online community with over 250k members and 40k bands looks to further foster artist development and promotion.
Stereokiller's latest upgrade is a real game changer... It allows bands to sell music downloads and physical merchandise without charging them a fee to do so. No other site offers bands this free service.
"Bandcamp, ReverbNation, and Topspin all take a cut of the bands' money. Our audience consists of hard working, hard touring bands that usually support their own careers, so they can keep their money. We don't want it," said Chris Brickhouse, owner and operator of Stereokiller.
These are just a few of the latest changes in an ongoing effort to foster band development and promotion. New custom band pages make it easy for band's to get a good-looking page up and running within minutes. The site allows bands to do live previews of the page before committing to the design, and the number of tracks a band can upload is unlimited, as is the amount of free downloads they can offer.
"It takes less than 10 minutes to be up and running with a full scale customizable profile, adding the music to your Facebook page, and selling your music and merch," said Brickhouse. "I don't think it could get any easier."
The sales interface allows bands to manually add items, then facilitates a transaction (single or multiple) via PayPal. There is also the option to connect to display Twitter activity, list upcoming shows, embed videos, and update fans with news, etc.
Stereokiller.com started in 1998 as a forum for Hardcore, Metal, Punk, Hip Hop, Emo, and Indie fans. It has since become a free music hosting site and community with over 250,000 members and 40,000 bands.
"We're not trying to be the most popular. We're just trying to be the best," said Brickhouse. "I personally hand pick bands that sign up to feature on the main page. When you have so much talent out there, you really want to get the word out there about them."
Rise And Fall are a band that don't need much of an introduction in 2012. In 2005 the band dropped Into Oblivion, a near perfect collection of crushing hardcore heavily influenced by Cleveland legends Integrity and Ringworm. Four years and several overseas tours later the band dropped Our Circle Is Vicious, a record that saw them expand out into more experimental post metal territory. Faith is again an evolution for the band, a refined combination of sounds from the previous records that still manages to stand out as it's own beast entirely. Every song has it's own unique dynamic;While the more straightforward hardcore ragers that open the album are brief and contain some of the heaviest and most focused material from the band to date, midway through the band truely hit their stride as they branch out into unfamilar territory, from the hypnotic post rock section in "Things Are Different Now" to the opening riff of the song"Breathe" that could have been pulled straight from the Jesus Lizard. These are welcome surprises, as the band handles them with the utmost quality and they always fit perfectly within the context of the songs, never feeling cheap or unecessary. As a whole, this album manages to please longtime fans whole growing exponentially as a band and artists in general. With Faith, Rise And Fall have crafted a modern hardcore masterpiece that even this early in the year will be hard to top.
No surprise, Southern Lord has released another gem to add to their massive list of amazing albums. Black Breath’s new LP “Sentenced to Life” is the perfect blend between aggressive vocals and riff driven metal that shows the listener that this band is not to be taken lightly.
If you have listened to older releases by Black Breath, especially “Heavy Breathing”, this album will not disappoint. “Sentenced to Life” is a progression from their old albums while still maintaining the raw and punishing sound they have become associated with. “Heavy Breathing” is not an easy album to follow up but “Sentenced to Life” has managed to surpass my high expectations for Black Breath releases.
The guitar tone on this album is reminiscent many of the death metal greats with a Sunlight Studios kind of sound. The buzz saw effect on the guitars allows for the complex melodic and rhythmic patterns to come through clear while still allowing the listener to enjoy the metallic and harsh sounds they produce. The song “Obey” stands out the most, which ends with a doubled guitar solo followed by driving drums and second guitar while the first guitar continues to float above the band in a realm of metal greatness.
I have seen Black Breath a few times live and they are never one to disappoint. I cannot wait to see the new songs live and join in the furious head banging that will ensue. Until then I will be listened to this album on repeat. Buying this album might just be the best purchase you make all year.
Needless to say if you have been a fan of Sleater-Kinney, Helium or The Minders from back when, you definitely have heard of the current "super-group" Wild Flag. Or you really, really need to. Mary, Janet, Rebecca and Carrie has always struck me as a women of unusual genius in music. And especially Carrie in comedy (Portlandia). This LP is nothing short of that continuum.
This is first serving from this veteran female outfit and there is NO need for an introduction with an EP. Wild Flag delivers 11 tracks of dynamic indie rock tendering with punk, with a medley of other genres to boot. The opening track entitled "Romance" kicks in the door with relentless riffs and catchy motion, setting the tone in overdrive for the rest of the play. Cooling down a bit from the up-paced momentum at the halfway mark you start to get tracks like "Glass Tambourine" and "Electric Band" that really flexes their classic rock muscles, I feel some Beatles worship for sure in those tracks. Although this material is "next level" you surely hear signature "Sleater" sound with Carrie's charismatic vocals weaving and bouncing throughout. This album tapers off very well with numbers like "Racehorse" that keep your foot tapping and your lips moving. Its finishes off just as strong as it came in. Sidenote: They have recently completed a short tour in march which I am still kicking myself in the head for not making it out the Portland date.
I am also glad to see that these girls are back in the game and are really displaying their true skill in composition with flare. Mary and Carrie and the others have no shame throwing down licks at every opportunity given. Something you definitely didn't hear in their past projects. I don't know if those limitations stemmed from the Riot Grrrl movement in which they were associated with. Where bands under that banner never seemed motivated to excel in skill, but rather use music more for a platform to open dialog for feminism and radical politics. The more I listen to this album the more things I discover that I didn't hear before. Its truly a comprehensive album with many layers and well thought out arrangement. Awesome replay value, catchy and very accessible if you have never heard of Sleater or their other past projects.
This album is available via Merge label in a 12" LP format which includes a digital download card. Treat yourself.
If you are like me sometimes seeing a band before listening to them is one of the most awakening experiences. Being able to see how a band handles themselves in a live environment, and then going back and hearing how they do it through a studio is really exciting. Some bands today can cut an amazing record but, especially in hardcore, can’t deliver 1/10th of the intensity in a live environment (the opposite is certainly true as well). It seems that the rare gem today is the band that can both floor you on their record and live. Young and in the Way (YAITW) is one of those bands. I first experienced their blend of black metal aesthetics and crust intensity at a dive bar in North Carolina. I didn’t know what to expect and the insane amount of incense had me almost running for the hills, but then they exploded into their first song. I know the use of hyperbole and terms like exploded are thrown around like candy in most reviews that surface but I can’t think of anything else to describe the intensity that I witnessed. Their set was short, fast and heavy. I couldn't wait to hear them recorded.
So that leaves me siting before my computer listening to Amen/I Am Not What I Am DLP released by the always great A389 records. It is not my first listen to either of these records, but sitting down with a record in order to review it is always a vastly different experience than just jamming it. The second unique attribute of this experience is the chance to view their catalogue in a new way: by placing Amen and I Am Not What I Am in juxtaposition with each other.
Amen is close to a perfect debut LP. It does what, in my opinion, all great debut LPs achieve: develops an early image of the bands sound while leaving room for improvement and development. Listening to Amen, immediately you get an idea of how YAITW is going to grow and how their songwriting is only going to improve from an already impressive starting point. Worrier emerges as the song of the album to me. The track sounds like a hybrid between 2nd wave Black Metal and Converge, with the combination of discordant guitar workings and speed.
Listening to Amen directly into I Am... really showcases the leaps YIATW has made over time. Amen, in itself, seems to have almost an evolution from fast and to the point to drawn out and atmospheric. This is continued in the second LP as the band really starts to experiment more and more with their Black Metal influences. While the record definitely delves more into Black Metal stylings the record does not lose the speed and drive of Amen, just seems to find a new balance between the two.
These albums feel like concept records, not in the sense of cheesy Dungeons and Dragon Metal, but in the flow, feel and look of the records. To start the records have impeccable flow, each track complimenting the next perfectly. The flow crafts a standalone work that exist on its own, feeling almost like a disservice to the record to listen to just a song or two. Instead these records should be listened to from start to finish. The layout/artwork only serve to complete the overall aesthetic of the albums. YIATW has a very defined look; to the point where I can almost pinpoint their art before knowing it is theirs.
To conclude, I’ll say this, YIATW is not doing anything completely unique, they don’t seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel. Yes there is an onslaught of modern hardcore/punk bands borrowing from both Black Metal’s mystique and sound. However it would be a shame to disregard their work simply because of that fact. These records are honestly great and will remain relevant with time.
Provider is a hardcore band from Long Island, NY. They are influenced by classic NYHC bands such as Madball, Outburst, and many others. This is the full stream for their debut 7" titled Wasteland for Life to Live Records.
Figured I would post this on here for anyone who doesn't follow our Facebook or Tumblr. In the past couple of days I've been trying to figure out on what direction to take Toxicbreed's Funhouse since file sharing is starting to turn into a mess, and I want to continue this site.
I sat down and had a conversation with my buddy Andy from Glory Kid and we both came to the conclusion the best route to take is to combine Words Of Evil and Toxicbreeds Funhouse so there is one source for LEGAL downloads, reviews, news, etc etc. Everything will be under the Toxicbreed blog itself, until we eventually move to a legitimate server/website. Right now the main thing for me to do is clear out any and all dead links before starting out fully fresh.
It's a HUGE change for the site, but it's 100% needed. Thanks for the 3+ years of support this year, and excited to continue with this site and the endless projects we have going on.
Convulsions will be heading into the studio Mat 21st to record their forthcoming EP entitled I'll Be Seeing You. They will be recording at the infamous Machines With Magnets Studio in Pawtucket, RI. Record is set to be released in Early August via Glory Kid Ltd. It will be available in a 12" format and digital download. Jazzed.
French band Comity has kept a relatively low profile in the US despite releasing some of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding chaotic metal/hardcore material in the last decade. As with both their previous LP's, The Journey Is Over Now is dense and layered, taking several listens to fully digest and appreciate. Split into four separate parts but meant to be taken in as a whole, the band explores practically every genre of extreme music, from chaotic metalcore to more traditional screamo elements as well as some more sludgey downtempo sections. Much praise should be given as the band has managed to write such lengthy material that is devoid of a riff/section overstaying it's welcome when so many different elements are at play. Fans of the controlled technical chaos made famous by bands such as Botch, Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan will find plenty to enjoy here. This is an undeniably ambitious record that continues to reward with repeated listens. With Throatruiner records offering a free download of LP via their bandcamp page (see the link above), there is no absolutely no reason not to check this out.
Raindance will be hitting the Northeast coastal region of this fine country this month with the support of their label mates Colony on selected dates. Here ya go:
Mar 12th Providence, RI @ Secret Location (Video Shoot) Mar 13th Portland, ME @ Geno’s Mar 14th Burlington, VT @ 242 Main w/ Colony Mar 15th Buffalo, NY @ TBA Mar 16th Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Pickwick Pub w/ Colony Mar 17th Philadelphia, PA @ TBA Mar 18th TBA, NJ @ TBA Mar 19th Haverhill, MA @ Anchors Up w/ New Lows, Loma Prieta
If you have been living under a rock for the past year or two I’ll give you a quick summary of the band. Based out of Chicago, IL, War Hound consists of Ronnie Vinal, Jon Ortiz, Nico LaCorcia, Sean Inacio, and Sergio Mendoza Jr. The band plays an aggressive style of hardcore similar to the likes of Biohazard, Fury Of Five, and Dmize.
War Hound have finally wrapped up their eagerly awaited LP entitled “Colder Than Ever”. This is the bands debut LP on the long time running I Scream Records (Life Of Agony, Madball, Trapped Under Ice). Taking a wide range of influences and bringing it into a sound that they harnessed themselves, War Hound draw from all over on Colder Than Ever.
LP features 11 brand new tracks and is due out this April. I might sound biased since I’ve been a fan of the band for a long time, but I’m presently surprised with this LP as a whole. Dudes have drastically stepped their game up on song structure and lyrically.
Also, it’s amazing to see longtime members of the Hardcore community like Stikman taking time out of their schedule to drop a few lines on a new bands album.
Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this album when it’s released this April.
Tracklist: 1. Blue 2. Colder Than Ever (Ft. Tom Of Unfinished Business) 3. No Love 4. Cut Short 5. The Realness (Ft. Shane And Luke Of The Killer) 6. Vibe (Ft. Colin Of Twitching Tongues) 7. Pariah (Ft. Stikman Of Fury Of Five) 8. Die Slow 9. Big Brother (Ft. Senta Of Numb And Dave Ta Lose) 10. The Abyss 11. The Other Side