Day: June 29, 2012

Never To Arise – Hacked To Perfection

I remember when Florida meant death metal, period. To a west coast kid in the early 90s the state was a frighteningly evil peninsula. Floridian duo Never To Arise do their part to restore this tradition to currency on “Hacked to Perfection”. This record explodes off the play button with “The Femicidal Impulse”, a Cannibal Corpse/Slayer hybrid of thrashing riffs and guttural vocals. In fact, I’d bet a buck or two that the members of “Never To Arise” cut their teeth, at least in part, on those two bands’ early work; their promo photo appears to place them right in that age group. Of course, age ain’t nothin’ but a number and all; but the Floridian heyday I alluded to should give you an idea where I’m headed with this. Never To Arise are no-frills: two grown-ass men who know how to make use of the simple and time-honored death metal equation that states: gory cover art + crushing riffs +blasting drums + growls = headbanging squared. Actually, those drums are programmed. Damn well, too. They’re precise but not too perfect-sounding—which is too rare in contemporary death metal whether a human is pounding the skins or not. They remind me of the programmed drum tracks on Nailbomb’s “Point Blank”. These guys have some great song titles. “Hyperbaric Torture Chamber”, “Sloppy Surgery”, the ingenious “In Debasement”! They also have some...

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Klara Of Crucified Barbara Talks To ThisIsNotAScene

Raymond catches up with Klara the guitarist for Crucified Barbara, an all woman Swedish band to talk about their latest release “The Midnight Chase,” influences, the writing process, band history and much more… Hi there and thank you for doing this interview with ThisIsNotAscene. I’ve got to admit that I’m actually floored by the sheer attitude and energy of “The Midnight Chase”, your latest album. Are you happy the way it came out? Thank you for your kind words! We’re really happy about “The Midnight Chase”, it’s the best record we’ve done so far and we’re very proud of...

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Eaststrikewest – We’re Important And We Keep The City Running. We’re Important, We’re Important, We’re Important

There’s nothing as frustrating as being late to the party: the food’s been eaten, most of the drink is gone, and all the interesting people have paired off and disappeared. It’s happened to me a few times and repetition doesn’t make it any less galling. So to receive the second Eaststrikewest album, “We’re Important And We Keep The City Running. We’re Important, We’re Important, We’re Important”, only to be informed that it will be their last is something of a shame. Combining indie, shoegaze and post rock to create an individual sound, Eaststrikewest have produced a fine album with much to recommend it. Being a six piece means rich instrumentation which uses the staples of drums, bass, guitar and vocals along with keyboards and strings, the latter not always at the top of every band’s list of must-haves; and it’s all the better for it. What’s immediately striking is the lightness of touch: post rock can be very dense at times, a challenging wall of sound for the listener. “We’re Important…” is a somewhat lighter affair, given its Indie leanings. Similarly, long compositions are eschewed in favour of shorter, punchier and more immediately melodic songs, while still maintaining an atmospheric, multi-layered feel. Vocals sound not unlike a plaintive Chris Martin, but with infinitely more interesting songs. Melody is variously carried by vocals, guitar and strings, providing a variation on...

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Marcus Bertilsson Of Miseration Talks To ThisIsNotAScene

After revelling in their latest album “Tragedy Has Spoken“, ThisIsNotAScene‘s Dewie took time out to speak with Marcus Bertilsson of Miseration. They talked about the new album, the inclusion of unusual instruments, Marcus‘ varied other projects and much, much more… Congratulations on a blinding new album – genuinely loved it. One of those I had to buy on CD straight away after I listened to the digital preview copy. The songs are really well crafted and sound (to my ear) even more intricate than your previous stuff. Was it a pretty lengthy writing process? To write is easy but to get to the point where it feels like it fits the vision of how it’s supposed to sound is harder. I always tries to find a sound in my soul before I start to write and I want every band I’m in to sound different from each other as well. But on the whole we wrote the album in a period of about 5 months. Whose idea was it to add the dulcimer, piano, harp etc. and are you pleased with the results? It was my idea. It is not a harp actually, that is a printing mistake. The Esraj is more like a Hindustani version of the fiddle. It is played by bow and not plucked like a harp. All my life I’ve been trying to broaden the music I...

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Citizens! – Here We Are

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pop music. I remember back in the 90’s, during the grunge era, when “pop” became a dirty word, and the only way to actually get any sort of cred was to rock out. And though it is often sullied by a too-cool-for-school irony, I’m pleased that the current “indie” movement that the cool kids are into has embraced the pop music idiom. One band that has dived head-first into pop-style music without any shame or irony is London’s Citizens! On their recent release, “Here We Are,” they play ’80s-style synth-pop, a la Pet Shop Boys or New Order. However, they aren’t merely retreading old territory. While there is definitely a heavy mid-80s influence, Citizens! brings a modern sensibility to their sound. It’s as if the ’90s never happened, and the pop of the ’80s just kept evolving. This is Earth 2 pop music. I imagine that it would be easy to compare Citizens! to other contemporary synth-pop acts like The Killers and “Oracular Spectacular” era MGMT. However, Citizens! seem less interested in fancy production than MGMT, and far less concerned with sounding like an artefact of the ’80s than The Killers. However, especially on tracks such as the catchy “True Romance,” the dance-poppy “Reptile,” and the ominous  “Let’s Go All the Way,” it’s a fairly obvious comparison.  And on “I’m in Love with Your Girlfriend,” they sound even more ’80s than...

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