Review; Kanye West - Yeezus
At it’s base, Yeezus is a devolution of humanity in the form of an ego that has infected and taken root inside a man’s head. Despite the critical acclaim it will inevitably get for it’s bold approach to rap from the man himself, Kanye West, there is no doubting that this is overly sexist, and combines disgusting lyrics with autotuned voices and a plethora of samples. For me, the only question left after a playthrough is, where is Kanye West? But dig deeper and there is an enjoyable record behind it, aslong as you completely ignore the bile inducingly vile and crude lyrics and the insanely massive ego behind it.
Review; Deafheaven - Sunbather
With a reputation that’s sometimes as controversial as it is revered, Deafheaven have slowly become one of the mainstays of the ‘modern’ Black Metal sound, invoking criticism from both Black Metal ‘die-hards’, and other figures from various scenes where the roots of Deafheaven’s music have taken hold of through their 2010 demo, and then later occupying more of the soil with 2011’s phenomenal ‘Roads To Judah’. Deafheaven are not a genre, they are a band that look as much to the grandiose as the dark, as much to the tragic heaviness as they do to the beautiful ambience.
Recently I had the chance to catch up with one of the UK’s best melodic hardcore bands, Up River. It’s a pretty cool interview, honest and detailed. Check it out!
It’s hard to imagine a world where Wesley Eisold wasn’t doing something that was both creative and innovative. On the latest Cold Cave EP, he takes it up another notch, this is pure self indulgence written in the key of 80s industrial electronica.
‘Separate Ways Together' proves that the UK Melodic Hardcore scene is far from exhausted and is in many ways still a formidable competitor to a US scene that has suffered countless setbacks in the last year or two with bands breaking up such as All Teeth and The Carrier and longer term losses like Life Long Tragedy and Killing The Dream.
Isolated had a pretty successful 2012, spending 2 weeks travelling Europe, Crash Doubt festival and a few shows on the final More Than Life tour, but 2013 looks to be even bigger, with various Euro tours/festivals lined up and some more new material.
From the distant, pulsating opening of ‘Glitter & Blues’, slowly builds into an opening track that almost instantly that pulls you in to the immersive quality, the first track on the EP features everything a Melodic Hardcore band would want to write, but done better than some of the stuff around at the moment. The curtain call of 'Autumn's Orphans’, is by far the longest track on the EP, and is packed with atmosphere, pushing at the seams throughout before former Pacer vocalist Mike Foster comes in with a sung passage, that sets up the closing verse of the Separate Ways Together.
Unashamedly influenced by bands such as Modern Life Is War, Separate Ways Together is an EP that has passion in abundance, songs like Summer’s Bastards have lyrics that read more like poetry and could stand up as their own entity or a written submission under the guise of Isolated. At time’s it tracks the hopeless, youthful pursuit of defeating Distance, and at others it’s a biting attack at the world we now live in and the ‘outsider’ feeling of animosity towards society. It explores themes that were used on their 2011 self titled EP, but goes deeper, and progresses them.
Following member changes, it’s unsurprising to see a slight change-up in style, but it’s still definitely ‘Isolated’, there’s still the anger, the passion and the talent on show. The vocals sound angrier, the drums retain the creative qualities that made parts of their first EP so special, Bass compliments the guitars while it blisters through the EP, and the songwriting flair that was so obvious on old songs like ‘Chains' is definitely still here, you don't even need to look further than the opening track to see that.
What Isolated achieve with this release will be completely upto them, it has all the workings of another masterpiece, but they’re still a relatively small band in the UK, something which could easily be changed with actual UK tours aswell as their Euro ones. With the decline of bands like Dead Swans and More Than Life, there’s now room for more amazing bands wih new releases to push through, as Landscapes, Departures et al have proven over the last year. But make no mistake, Isolated deserve to become one of those bands, this EP rules.
Ear marked as something to listen to in one sitting, Convul’s visceral, atmospheric brand of dark ‘Rock’, is perhaps best enjoyed in a single sitting, but with this EP weighing at a heavy 33+ minutes, it demands your undivided attention to really get the best out of.
سأكون رؤيتكم is a dark, depressing piece of art, it’s abundantly heavy but not unneccesarily and it’s still very arresting and competant as a wholely creative piece of art, mixing constant stylistic changes with a doomy outlook, while never incorporating heaviness as a means to fill a void left by a lack of ideas.
It has a real ‘Spiritual’ feel to it throughout, from the first glimpse of the soft purples, and warm blues used in the cover art, through to the Arabic title, right down to the majestic, insanely euphoric passages that play out during this 30+ minute voyage of discovery as to just how good a band can be, Monolith IV for example has some of the most harrowing moments of the EP, but also some of the most calming, alluding to the general idea of this band, you’re meant to feel this music, feel the fear, feel the sadness, feel the euphoria, feel like you’re flying through the air above the earth during some passages. This is why you need to listen to it all at once, you need to lock yourself away and give this your full attention to really reep the rewards.
The lyrics are doomy, and predictable in the best way. These are lyrics that fit to this music, and as the music is done well, so are the lyrics. It creates one big EP, where everything is mixed together and merged, with no single entity overpowering another. The lyrics are amazing, and predictable is meant in the nicest possible way with the themes that this genre evokes, but they’re done better than most.
The guitars linger like a ghost in the dark, a terror you can’t see but feel. The bass pounds at your eardrums, and makes the guitars all that more powerful. The vocals rip at you, or sooth you, it’s a shizophrenic delivery, made more unpredictable with the clean sections towards the end of the EP. The drums are insane at times, the use of symbols is paramount to the continuation of the atmosphere exerted by the rest of the band, and the chaotic shitstorm that follows the calm is orchestrated by the full band, each playing their part.
In my humble opinion, سأكون رؤيتكم is almost a masterpiece. And it’s something that needs to be listened to, over and over, in one sitting.
New Jersey post-hardcore trio Old Wounds bring their blackened, intense brand of Hardcore to the forefront of the world scene with this release, From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest, out now on Glory Kid (who are no strangers to innovative, creative bands, a la Convul and Colony, and it’s no surprise they picked up Old Wounds). Accompanying this LP release is a full US tour with Full Of Hell and Homewrecker, which consists of a massive 37 dates, 2013 is the year of the Wound.
This is a band who merge and intertwine with various genres to make an exciting, unique brand of hardcore, you have the thrashy, fast punk as fuck bits, mixed with an unrivalled intensity that never falters or even slows down for a second. The pacey, frenzied delivery of each track leaves you with 12 tracks of beautifully heavy post-hardcore. Angsty, discordant, but also mature and packed with audible progression from last Summer’s II, and not just in terms of production value either.
Moments of respite are few and far between and you’ll find yourself on the closing title track before you have had chance to digest it, it’s a blind attack on your senses, hitting you hard throughout while you don’t really know what is happening to you. For a three-piece band this is loud, with only one guitar, the bass is given more of a driven role, sounding and feeling like a headache, but a good one, the kind you get just because you can’t stop listening to it at full blast. The guitar takes on a more or less equal role, crazed and unpredictable, with erratic tendencies. The drums add even more bass, while complimenting the guitar in the same way the bass does, and everything comes together perfectly.
Vocally amazing; fast, screamed passages, wrap around wicked slow growled poetry - and there’s no end to the variation in the delivery, there’s no set vocal style on show, and it really adds something to the sound as a whole, less generic than most. The discernible lyrics are dark and angry, not quite generic but they harken back to similar genre lyrical styles.
Of course, in the modern scene, people sit and argue all day on forums about puerile things like guyliner, and the appearance of a band, but at the end of day, everyone knows three thing; 1) guyliner is still cool as fuck. 2) If personal appearance affects what a band sounds like, then you can’t be that into the band anyway, and 3) Old Wounds slay, and that’s all that should ever really matter to you.
Not quite perfect (But what is?), but it’s not very far off. One of 2013’s standout LPs in the short 2 months, head and shoulders above some of their competition.
Please check out both Old Wounds and Glory Kid by clicking on their names! The record is currently streaming at Brooklyn Vegan, but if you’re reading this in a week or two it’ll be on the Glory Kid bandcamp!
I spoke to Jack from GIANTS about their plans for 2013, skateboarding and a few other things. Check them out on Facebook after you’ve read the interview!
1) CONVERGE - ALL WE LOVE WE LEAVE BEHIND
Converge’s latest effort was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated records of 2012, and it delivered on every level. Mixing chaotic, guitar driven passages with more haunting, atmospheric passages, and being ‘obviously’ Converge, it strays further enough from past material to keep stuff fresh while still retaining everything that is great about Converge.
2) LANDSCAPES - LIFE GONE WRONG
Landscapes debut Full Length was the kind of record that took you by surprise, Reminiscence was an amazing EP but I don’t think many people expected them to have progressed this much. Life Gone Wrong is a masterpiece by arguably the best melodic hardcore band in the UK right now.
3) WE CAME OUT LIKE TIGERS - AGELESSNESS & LACK
The highly anticipated first full length from one of the UKs hidden gems, after 2 EPs and a split, was everything we wanted and more, beautifully created violin passages, and fast, heavy driven passages, mixed with a rare sincerity and thought provoking lyrics. WCOLT stepped up for this release and delivered an almost perfect record.
4) OUR TIME DOWN HERE - MIDNIGHT MASS
I’d never really listened to OTDH before this record was released, but the obvious Alkaline Trio influence mixed with a slight Brand New sound really pulls you in, it’s dark yet still upbeat, fast and fun. OTDH ave gone through serious sound chages over their last couple of EPs but I think with Midnight Mass they found their own sound.
5) MIDNIGHT SOULS - GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
I described this as ‘The background music of 2012’ and I still stand by that. An amazing record that hopefully people haven’t forgotten about with the other releases of early 2012. American Nightmare-esque with a beautiful unique take on the Melodic Hardcore genre as a whole, the best belgian release of 2012.
6) CODE ORANGE KIDS - LOVE IS LOVE // RETURN TO DUST
Bass driven and filthy, this record as always going to be in the Top 10s after some strong potential was shown in Cycles, for such a young band this really is phenomenal and I imagine their year has been as much of a success as this record. This is the record you wish you wrote when you were young.
7) LANA DEL RAY - BORN TO DIE
Maybe a wildcard in a chart featuring the kind of music it does, but I feel that Born To Die was one of the strongest ‘popular’ releases of the year, mixing a beautiful voice with something that isn’t really being done in the mainstream anymore, it’s so stylistic and ‘cool’, ‘National Anthem’ is one of my top 5 songs of the year.
8) BIRDS IN ROW - YOU, ME, AND THE VIOLENCE
Amazing release from easily the strongest French band right now, constantly chaotic and fast, with some amazing vocals drenched in emotion and passion. Easily the best release from a French artist this year, and one Deathwish’s best releases.
9) BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL - SCATTER THE ASHES
Although nowhere near as strong as Root Of All Evil, Scatter The Ashes is a step up from Sleep Paralysis, more thrashy, more hardcore and some of the best riffs of the year really make this a solid release. At times some of the drawn out vocals that seem to be popular at the moment get a bit too much, but that is a tiny grievance and this record is more than worth your attention.
10) NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE - PSYCHEDELIC PILL
Neil Young’s first new album in a good few years doesn’t disappoint at all. Although maybe best viewed as more of a jam session, with 25 minute long songs, it’s still undoubtedly Neil Young and it’s still obvious he and Crazy Horse are some of the greatest song writers in the world.
(Written By Charlie Neale)
P.s we’re back, but it might take us some time to get back to normal.
To write this down isn’t really easy for Charlie nor for me. We don’t wanna write down one of these clichée hiatus messages, but there are a lot of things that need to be said.
Here’s my personal message to anyone out there:
Two years ago I started this blog as a private thing, just to inform my friends about news in the hardcore scene and shit. After meeting Tom of The Cold Harbour, I started this blog as a public webzine for everyone. I never expected AY to be that big one day. Since the beginning, I did this thing with all my heart and spent a lot of time to build it up. Charlie has always been the one who kept things going and helped me out when I didn’t have that much time or if I was busy with doing the promotion/show stuff. Well, I really don’t know where to start or where to end this but it’s time to quit Another Youth. It’s hard but there are things in my life which made me decide this way. My future is now way more important than this incredibly amazing hobby me and Charlie ran for the past two years.
But AY wasn’t just a hobby for me. I got to know some of the best people in the world, built up amazing friendships and travelled a few place to meet people who I did shows for or just helped out. I want to thank the following people for making all this happen. I hope someday both of us will have enough time to get back to AY.
First of all, I want to thank my girl for always helping me out, understanding me and just being there for me. Next up, Charlie. You helped this small “blog” to get one of Europe’s biggest Hardcore Webzines and you always jumped on a review or interview if I was unable to do it. Thank you, man! I want to thank Tom of The Cold Harbour for inspiring me and for being one of the best friends I ever had the pleasure to meet and hang out with. Also, my family helped me out a lot, thank you! Kevin of Dead Souls Clothes has also been a big part of all this. Thank you man! I also want to thank Christian and Hannes, Empty Handed & Blackheart INC, Isolated, Foxxes, Crooks, Shivery MMXII Productions and Heinzel, Sending Lights, my band Fade Away, Decades, Sven Hasselbach Photography, Marlon and the In Circles boys, André and Anchors Aweigh Records, Grieved, the sexy Snakes & Lions boys, Jonas and White Fields, Shaun and Landscapes, Lasting Traces, David and Together, Giants, Andy and Broken Night Records, Chorus of One Records, Minus Tree, Polar Bear Club, No Decline Booking, Rodney and the former Scotland Yard, Matin and the Oetinger Villa, Jon Betts, Mesmerized by Misery, Raul and CVLT, The Departed, Ghostwriter, Almost Failed, Siggi and The Escape Of Eliza, We Sink, All We Have, Bert and Midnight Souls, Scythes, my friend Julius for taking pictures for us, Gregor and Back To The Point, L’Amour Records, Alone, Tassilo and Million Thoughts, Jamie over at FITA Records, Open Sea Recs., all my friends for coming to the shows, buying a tee or helping me out and to anyone who ever supported us in any way.
Thank you <3
These are Charlie’s words:
Another Youth has been a big part of my life for around 18 months, and it was genuinely one of the best things I ever did. When we started slowing down it was due to other commitments and projects, in my instance, it was my record label. I think we all tried to keep making it work, and at times we were back to normal, with a revamp a couple of months ago and me focusing all of my energies on writing and interviews, but once again things slowed down.
Forgive the cliche, but it’s hard to sum up everything in a couple of paragraphs, and I feel naive for trying, but Another Youth really did things for me that I wouldn’t have been able to do without it. Among my highlights are all of the amazing feedback my writing has recieved, I started out writing for this as an inexperienced and under-confident writer looking for something to do, but thanks to kind words from people i’ve been constantly motivated to better my writing, so thanks to anyone who has helped in that respect.
I’d like to give a sincere thank you to Collin, he’s worked his fingers to the absolute bone for nearly 2 years with Another Youth, putting on shows, writing, doing shirts, promoting, everything, Collin has always been the backbone behind Another Youth, and this is why a hiatus felt neccesary, I don’t think Another Youth would be the same without Collin. Another Youth will be back one day, but right now I think our best interests are in Collin’s future, and as Collin is the founder, starting a new zine was the most respectful thing to do.
Thanks to everyone who helped us grow, and gave us feedback, and made us want to do this.
Check out Some Dogs, Charlie’s new zine community.
-ANOTHER YOUTH - 2010 to 2012-
From the ferocious tone of ‘Tip Your Bartender’, to the dulcet serenity of ‘Ape Dos Mil’, 2002’s Worship And Tribute is arguably Glassjaw’s best effort in their fragmented but influential career.
Fluff Fest is just a week away now, a couple of us are going but we’re not covering it (There might be a review after though). The festival has really become a staple in the European hardcore summer festival scene. There is no pre-sale, all tickets are on the door. For anyone who for some reason hasn’t heard of it, here’s this years line-up and event page, SEE YOU THERE!
THURSDAY LINE-UP -
ARGONAUT (CZE), BARREL (CZE), GOODBYE BLUES (CZE), JAN TOMÁŠ + JAN KAŠPAR (CZE), KLUTZ (CZE), LEFT IN RUINS (ITA).
CODE ORANGE KIDS/ COKE BUST/ DEATHRITE/ DEFEATER/ END OF A YEAR AKA SELF DEFENSE FAMILY/ FORMER THIEVES/ GRAF ORLOCK/ GRIEVED/ LOMA PRIETA/ MIKROVOMIT/ MY TURN/ NINE ELEVEN/ NO OMEGA/ RAVELIN 7/ REIGN SUPREME/ SICK FIX/ WEEKEND NACHOS/ WOJCZECH.
ALPINIST/ ANCHOR/ AUSSITOT MORT/ BETON/ BOKANOVSKY/ BOREDOM/ KUNG-FU GIRLZ/ LIGHT BEARER/ MSSND/ MASAKARI/ ██████/ NO TURNING BACK/ OSAWATOMIE/ PLANKS/ RALPH MACCHIO/ RUN WITH THE HUNTED/ SUIS LA LUNE/ TITAN/ TRUE NATURE/ VACCINE/ VENDETTA/ WOLF DOWN/ XADDAX
AYS/ BOILING POINT/ BRAT PACK/ CHILD MEADOW/ LANDVERRAAD/ LANDSCAPES/ MAN VS. HUMANITY/ MOBIUS/ PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH/ RITUAL/ SEN DENI/ SIN OF LILITH/ SLOTH/ SOUL CONTROL/ TANGLED LINES/ TRAPPED UNDER ICE/ TUPAK AMARU/ UNVEIL/ VERSE
Hailing from Frome, in the UK, Landscapes came to attention in 2010 with the release of their EP ‘Reminiscence’, an EP that was criminally underrated when it was first released, which was sad, because in terms of melodic hardcore, it was one of the best UK releases in the past few years.
In the first of my retrospective reviews, i’ll be reviewing an album that means absolutely everything in the world to me. From the heartbreak, to the angst, to the alienation, to the torture of teenage life and everything that comes with it. We’re down Til We’re Underground deserves to be in the top 5 Hardcore albums that existed, alongside Background Music.