Holy... Dueling Banjos done on a double-neck guitar.

yokai fog - Grains


" took a lot of pills and attempted to make an album in a half conscious, brain-fogged state. this seems to be the result. i found several project files of strange moosick i had created after waking up in my chair from passing out. 3:49 seconds of strange, ethereal, sometimes angry, resentful moosick created by a boy in a temporarily altered state and chemicals rushing through his veins."

Experimental Hip-Hop/Noise. Impressive stuff.

The Binah Comics & Solilians 7-inch Kickstarter



This Kickstarter campaign to fund both a comic book and a 7-inch release is brimming with rewards for every tier, including multiple records (CD and Vinyl) to choose from, extra digital and physical comics, and several other goodies. This is a pretty cool project that will showcase both a unique narrative and some electronic/ambient music.
 Check out their campaign page and support them if you can. There are links from the campaign to several bands that are involved in providing the rewards.


Artists of War IV Part 1: The Black Review

 

Artists of War is the unquenchable thirst of one man with three distinct personalities. Brad Olsen is the mechanic behind this dark machine of riveting musical destruction. With his previous full length release, Black Dragon, Olsen moved into sludgier, doomier territory expressing hallucinatory imagery in his lyrics while throwing out some truly impressive and heavy riffing. The Black, the first half of AoW's double album, takes a lot of what made Black Dragon great and synthesizes it with even spacier melodies and far more epic rhythms for a production Olsen describes as "Transcendental Black Metal".
"Uplifter" is a strong opener that pulls no punches. Both of Olsen's vocal styles absolutely rule this song, mixing shrill omnipotence with deep, monstrous brooding. The song descends to a slow breakdown that includes a pretty rad drone-style solo. "White Hyabusa" is a bit more experimental and while interesting didn't really strike my fancy too greatly. I did enjoy the howls thrown into the vocals on this one, but there's something about the lyrical pacing that struck me as odd in some places. Of course, trying to wrap your head around AoW's lyrics is like trying to solve a Rubix cube with your feet.
The epic drone doom interlude "Mammon" leads into one of my favorite tracks, "Heart of Man". This 8 minute monster is the perfect centerpiece for this record. The riffs churn and jive, boasted about atop a well conceived drum part that holds back in all the right spots while still blasting away. Though never straying far from its original rhythm, "Heart of Man" is easy to get lost in. The lyrics are some of AoW's best, confronting humanity's obsession with conflict and self-destructive apathy.
"Midnight Run" is another great track with some fantastic vocals and and drums that captures your attention easily with its less-than 5 minute run time. "Leviathan" is a fun little guitar solo that takes us into the latter half of the album, highlighted by "Let Go My Ego". The progressive attitude from some of AoW's earlier work is present on this tune with some mind-crushing guitar work and oddly harmonious, brutal vocals. Again, I must stress the examination of AoW's lyrics if this album interests you, because they are ridiculously awesome.
The Black is perhaps my favorite release from AoW so far with its larger-than life, self-produced grandeur and its subtle exploratory moments of wonder. Bottom line: get this album, it is well worth it. Stay tuned for my review of the second half of Artists of War IV, The Grey.

THE BLACK

Sue Harding - Dot Matrix



Sue Harding is an Australian artist that has used dot matrix printers as musical instruments. For fans of [The User].


Prepare yourselves! The Dillinger Escape Plan have released a preview of their new album!

Lingby - I Worked For The Light

 

Fancy, rather dark pop music. I really dig the first track, and the others are almost as awesome. Lots of great sounds on this one, including synths, horns, and I think some woodwinds. Check it out!

T.G. Olson - The Complete Blood Meridian For Electric Drone Guitar


This is essential listening if you love drone. T.G. Olson, primary contributor to Across Tundras and other experimental outfits, has truly crafted a unique experience, droning along with Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian  novel. Not only is this a unique way to conceive of a musical but the results are simply awe-inspiring. You can download the whole thing (over six hours I think) for a mere 5 bucks, or if you like physical products Olson has produced a six disc/four cassette set with handmade packaging and random artifacts.
 Either way, give it a listen and check out Across Tundras new split LP with Lark's Tongue.

J. Nolan - Blue Skies Track Review


I'll start this track review by making it clear that Hip-Hop is not a genre I am generally comfortable with. The stuff I generally appreciate is either Trip-Hop or the experimental stuff. The key issues I have are that you can often hear "keyboard sample drums", shitty autotune and self-grandiose lyrics which are usually sexist or singing about drugs okaythatsaverybroadgeneralisation. And the latter is okay at times but it's so stagnated in the less underground stuff that I've no real desire to filter the good "bitches on mah dick" style from the bad. Giving this a listen, the first thing that comes to mind is that the lyrics couldn't be much further from this. It's pretty much a dedication to the mistakes he's made, and considering Nolan claims this album will be relating to his faith and reflection on life, that seems about right. The flow is neat and smooth. Everything melds together fairly neatly and the piano progression is slightly reminiscent of what I hear on John Legend's debut (a personal favourite) but with the unremarkable but fitting drums in the background. Towards the end I hear lighter percussion as the bass becomes more prominent but I don't think I mind this as what's very apparent is the production on here. The higher frequencies have been compressed to get some of the highs cut down just a little and this gives my ears room to really enjoy the heavy reliance on the cymbals in the song. It sounds natural, and very realistically something that could be performed live with no backing track; just a piano, a bass, a drummer, and two vocals. It's a very laid back track, albeit a somewhat generic one based on what I've heard and what I generally expect to hear. My biggest gripe is the cheese: an issue I often have. The chorus is a big lump of Blue Swiss which detracts from the original thematic lyrics and kind of becomes this obligatory filler to stretch the track out. In fact thinking about it, I'm reminded of the chorus of that trainwreck of Eminem's "When I'm Gone" in that the verses are pretty good and feel very sincere only to be completely battered by the chorus. In all honesty this sort of thing would do better with just the one hook or maybe none at all as the main piano riff is pretty noice as it is. And then you've got the vocals coming in at the start of each chorus, which is agonizing  It's neither welcome nor complementary and I'm almost wondering if it was thrown in just to piss reviewers off. But returning to what I like about it, what you get is the dominance of the beat you would expect from hip-hop but it doesn't overpower what's going on with the other instruments and that makes this something to relax to as well as being something to blast. The frequent automation used on the piano is what's doing that. You get the bass notes in your right ear at the start of each bar, and the left is more reserved for the melody.  It's inoffensive, and that's both a good thing and a bad thing.


Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt - Dys/Closure


Well, who wouldn't want to wear a shirt with that band name? A new release from Australian underground label Art As Catharsis and described as a mix of grindcore and mathcore with a pinch of traditional hardcore, I was immediately fond of the idea. And it plays quite well. It's a good fusion. Shorter songs tend to favour energetic, dissonant mathgrind whereas longer tracks are closer to traditional hardcore with the odd breakdown and an occasional flattened fifth. Those tracks are usually bland. I'm not usually fond of grindcore as much of what I've heard is irritating and predictable hardcore is played at breakneck speed while the bass register is just fuddy as muck. And the recording is very thick. Not muddy, but the bass is kind of filling the background with sound while the dirty guitar plays on. And the drums have a natural sound which I rarely encounter: actually sounding like what I expect a drum to sound like rather than the flat, processed beat machine which many records have. This starts fast with some real angular stuff, but the middle of the album kind of goes into slower, looming hardcore where the vocalist is, though a little unremarkable, complementary. Particularly in the track rather oddly titled "instrumental". The eclecticism of the album plays to its advantage and despite a certain fucking pointless eleven second track, it's got a lot of diversity which I find hard not to admire as many bands in the -core scene find a single sound and stick to it like a mollusk till their death. Even if they do it well. In particular, tracks like Dislocate really spice the album up with the drastic change in sound from the bass and the awkward, jarring bass/guitar call-and-response in the intro. Kind of reminds me of the intro to Behold The Arctopus' You Are Number Six. And that's a very good thing. It's what I'd like to see in mathcore where - asides from bands like Psyopus - they use time signatures appropriately and in a way which actually compliments the music rather than being a crutch to lean on to excuse bad songwriting. While this isn't anything likely to be a favourite of anyone's the writing shows through enough to keep you interested and certainly enough to make you want to hear more. This will be released on April 15th 2013, but I recommend you preorder it: it's five bucks.

Mo Kolours - Tusk Dance

 

Mo Kolours' third EP in a series for One Handed Music does not disappoint. Lush samples overlay provocative rhythms, begging you to get lost. While I liked the second EP, Banana Whine a bit more, Tusk Dance is an excellent release. Apart from the music, I love the covers for these EPs... go check them out! This one is available (for now) as a name-your-price download.

Romero - Take the Potion


 Take the Potion is an exhilarating ride of doom-riffs, stellar rhythms, and damn fine vocal work. You'll enjoy this, trust me...
Found these guys on Kickstarter getting the vinyl release of this album funded.

Kasper Rosa - Icebreaker


Newest release from Northern Ireland post-rockers Kasper Rosa showcases their well-calculated instrumental style with a newfound lyrical element that makes it very different from their older releases (speaking of which, GET THEM). Seeing as this release is marketed as a double A-side, I'm hoping they have a full length coming down the pipeline. Not only does this band rock something serious, they do it in an intensely melodic fashion that is both infectious and contemplative.

Ekca Liena - Drones Between Homes


This is drone ambient. Very relaxing stuff. I'm not generally one to listen to ambient bar the Steve Roden-esqe stuff but this is some nice, relaxing and also surprisingly captivating work.


Sissy Spacek


Whenever people swear to me that an album is essential and an excellent work I'm always a little suspicious as I can't help but find my expectations work very much along the lines of this picture, and so I tentatively stepped towards this little bundle of furry joy with fangs and a tie. A band rather than a laptop and a pinhole mic getting blown into, Sissy Spacek is a collaborative project featuring John Wiese. Reminiscent of Masonna's instrumental rhythmic work like on Frequency L.S.D., this album actually pushes my buttons. It has some very eh moments but it has two things really going for it. First of all, it's incredibly memorable. Both catchy and diverse (and actually having fucking dynamics) you find yourself remembering many moments from it after only the first listen, and considering that's seventy untitled tracks each on average around thirty seconds long, that's saying something. Per my little mention of dynamics, you'll often get two layers of smooth, loud noise in either channel only for the left channel to give way to a bee-under-a-sink fuzz which for me resulted in what I can only describe as pure, unadulterated musical ejaculation, as well as some good rhythm-based harsh noise balancing structure with chaos in a comfortable way. The odd moment of silence splits sections apart and gives you time to reflect and the sparse but appropriate elements of glitch and repetitive vocals (TRYING TO FORGET) just keep you interested in what should for all it is sound like a bunch of demos or studio rejects thrown together, but it works and that's certainly not easily done considering albums like Swans' Soundtracks For The Blind. Not that they're comparable. The other thing that sets this apart is the fact the tracks are untitled and so high in number. Each time you listen you can in theory shuffle it a different way. Because the album listens like a single session you get the option to switch around after a few listens just 1-78 and this really opens it up to a potentially new experience. Not that it doesn't have faults. There are the incoherent wankery-esqe style sections which so plague harsh noise in places and the feedbacky stuff that I'd expect to hear from a Pulse Demon B-side is pretty damn awful; specifically tracks 6-10, which are just plain boring, though the later Masami-worship is a little more tolerable. But then it balances out with the next minute or two of great material. It feels padded out in a necessary way: it'd be too short if it had the filler tracks taken out but at the same time some of the filler is just C-grade mehterial. This is not something to turn your nose up at, but it suffers because of the aforementioned jazz simply knocking it up to around 25 minutes.