Thursday, 29 October 2015

Samhain


Well, it's almost Halloween, so I figured I'd add a band who are literally named after the holiday. Samhain (pronounced sah-WIN) was a Celtic holiday celebrating the end of the harvest and a festival for the dead of some sort, but that's about all I know about it. Regardless, it's believed that Halloween had its origins in Samhain, so that's the connection. Thus the reason for posting this band. Not only does the name embody the holiday, but the music is the perfect soundtrack for it (except perhaps for John Carpenter).

Samhain got started just as Glenn Danzig's old band, The Misfits ended (side note, regardless of what became of them and such, Danzig-era Misfits are one of the greatest bands ever). Samhain would also eventually evolve into heavy metal/blues band Danzig, who are still active today. The career Samhain had is quite unique, since they got started as one thing and ended as another. The punk sound mixed with horror themes was carried over by Glenn, as well as the devilock and love for gore (of course). Samhain even recorded a handful of Misfits songs ("Horror Business", "All Hell Breaks Loose", "Halloween II", "Death Comes Ripping", "London Dungeon"). On the tail end of things, Samhain's final album included two songs that would eventually be re-recorded for Danzig's debut album ("Twist of Cain" and "Possession").


I don't mean to make them sound like they basically began as a re-incarnated Misfits and end as Danzig (though the latter is literally true). Samhain were quite experimental, even from their first album. It's a lot darker and slower than what Danzig was doing before, and some really unique sounds are created here that make these songs sound sinister. Their second full-length November-Coming-Fire is probably their best known album, since it's quite cohesive and is just filled with some amazing songs. Their final album wasn't released until 1990, and it consisted of songs from a session that was intended to be the next Samhain album before they became Danzig. It basically sounds like Danzig, and a few songs even feature the classic Danzig line-up of Eerie Von (who was a permanent member in Samhain), John Christ, and Chuck Biscuits, both of which had just joined.

Samhain have done a few reunion shows since they ended in 1987. The first one was in 1999, as a celebration of the Box Set that would be released a year later. It compiled all their material, as well as a great live album that featured a lot of their studio material with a lot more rawness. I didn't include the Box Set below because it's literally everything here anyway. Their next reunions were in 2011 and 2012, where they were a part of the Danzig Legacy tour. The reunited again in 2014 to play a few shows, and that's the last thing they've done to date. Happy Halloween, and enjoy.


1. Initium/Samhain
2. Black Dream
3. All Murder, All Guts, All Fun
4. Macabre
5. He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named
6. Horror Biz
7. The Shift
8. The Howl
9. Archangel

1. Unholy Passion
2. All Hell
3. Moribound
4. The Hungry End
5. Misery Tomb
6. I Am Misery

1. Diabolos '88
2. In My Grip
3. Mother Of Mercy
4. Birthright
5. To Walk The Night
6. Let The Day Begin
7. Halloween II
8. November's Fire
9. Kiss of Steel
10. Unbridled
11. Human Pony Girl

1. Night Chill
2. Descent
3. Death...In It's Arms
4. Lords of the Left Hand
5. The Birthing
6. Twist of Cain
7. Possession
8. Trouble
9. Lords of the Left Hand (2nd Version)

1. All Hell
2. Samhain
3. The Shift
4. The Howl
5. Unholy Passion
6. All Murder, All Guts, All Fun
7. I Am Misery
8. The Hungry End
9. Horror Biz
10. He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named
11. Black Dream
12. Death Comes Ripping
13. Mother Of Mercy
14. To Walk The Night
15. Halloween II
16. In My Grip
17. London Dungeon
18. Archangel

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Infinity Girl


Infinity Girl are a four-piece indie/shoegaze band from Brooklyn, New York that formed in 2012. They just released their sophomore album on Topshelf Records. Prior to that, they were relatively unknown, though they did have a releases under their belt already. Infinity Girl are a shoegaze band in the sense that they incorporate distant vocals and heavily-distorted and effect-laden guitars. However, their sound is a little more diverse than the standard "shoegaze" tag. For one, they've got a lot of dream pop/indie sensibilities, particularly in the vocal melodies and chord progressions. They've also got an energy that's more pumping than brooding, which really gives life to some of these songs. As far as Harm goes, one of its best characteristics is that each song is very different and unique from the next. Not only do they have distinct melodies and such, but they experiment with different sounds and effects, almost to the point that there's no repetition of them throughout the album. You can tell they really sought to make each song stand out, and the result was definitely worth it. Enjoy.

1. poppyblush
2. please forget
3. blood and dirt
4. walking around
5. it's easier seeing you now
6. even if
7. by now
8. cellophane and gold
9. pulling a smile from a drawer
10. void
11. cannons

1. Untitled (July)
2. Taking Nothing
3. Read Yr. Mind
4. Summer Gold
5. Not My Hang

1. Hesse
2. Firehead
3. Locklaun
4. Hold
5. Not Man
6. Liner
7. Heavy
8. Dirty Sun
9. Young
10. Musei
11. Around Me

Friday, 23 October 2015

Black Breath


Black Breath are a five-piece hardcore/metal band from Seattle, Washington that formed in 2006. They've put out one EP and three full-lengths, all with Southern Lord, which should immediately conjure up an indication of their sound. Black Breath take hardcore and throw in shades of death metal (i.e. Entombed) and thrash metal (i.e. Slayer) to create some of the fastest and most aggressive music to come out in the past few years. Their sheer grit and blunt force trauma attack puts them right in the same league as some of their contemporaries (Nails, Trap Them, etc.) as hardcore's finest offerings. However, Black Breath don't just rely on a strong offence as their sole trait. They've come up with a slew of solid riffs that are quite technical and refined, which makes for some very interesting tracks. There's a few moments on their most recent album where they introduce some melodic instrumentals, which is a marked difference to the chainsaw-sound of their average song. Black Breath are an essential for any fan of aggressive music, especially Sentenced To Life. If you're going to listen to anything by this band, make it that. Enjoy.

1. Razor To Oblivion
2. Fatal Error
3. Beneath The Crust
4. Murder

1. Black Sin (Spit On The Cross)
2. Eat The Witch
3. Escape From Death
4. I Am Beyond
5. Virus
6. Heavy Breathing
7. Children Of The Horn
8. Fallen
9. Unholy Virgin
10. Hewhocannotbenamed

1. Feast of the Damned
2. Sentenced to Life
3. Forced into Possession
4. Home of the Grace
5. Endless Corpse
6. Mother Abyss
7. Of Flesh
8. Doomed
9. The Flame
10. Obey

1. Pleasure, Pain, Disease
2. Slaves Beyond Death
3. Reaping Flesh
4. Seed Of Cain
5. Arc Of Violence
6. A Place Of Insane Cruelty
7. Burning Hate
8. Chains Of The Afterlife

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Pretty Hurts


Sorry, there's no Beyonce in this post. However, there is a kickass German post-punk band with the name Pretty Hurts. This three-piece from Berlin has put out two EP's of fast-paced, noisey outbursts that somehow still manage to sound cold, dark, and empty (in a good way). This band is possibly the bleakest statement out of Germany since "God is dead". I'm kidding of course, but this band really does encapsulate nihilistic angst turned into an all-out rage. They certainly share Iceage's affinity for reverb and Joy Divison, but with a nice dose of straight-up punk spasticity. Give them a listen, and enjoy.

1. Acceleration
2. Hypnagogic Hallucinations
3. Hurts
4. Everybody
5. Moving Fast
6. Ambition

1. Separate Ends
2. Expectations
3. Bricks
4. Tweak

1. Cold Sweat
2. Paranoia Love
3. Own Myth
4. Solitary Whistle
5. Beat On You
6. Koma
7. Past Your Time
8. Hostility
9. Ospelt
10. Distressful Youth
11. Bliss On A Leash
12. Wear Me Out
13. Athica

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

G.L.O.S.S.


Ok, so this is a band that have recently gained a ton of attention for all the wrong reasons. You've probably seen their name pop up on a few major news sites (Stereogum, Pitchfork, etc.) because of a series of tweets that were sent out by Whirr, essentially making fun of this band for having a transgender member and writing songs with a strong feminist/gender equality (in the truest sense) agenda. Basically, Whirr were being transphobic assholes. They got dropped by Run For Cover and Graveface because of it, and rightfully so. They've got a reputation online for being, well, assholes. And they don't seem very sorry about it at all. But not to focus too much on that, since there is one great thing that came out of that whole ordeal, and that's the attention G.L.O.S.S. have been getting, since they released a truly kickass demo earlier this year.

G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society's Shit) are a five-piece punk/hardcore band from Olympia, Washington that put out their debut demo in January this year. In five songs, they've got a lot to fucking say. They target social gender roles with the agenda of Bikini Kill and the aggression of Discharge, a match that could not be more perfect. They've got some great hooks to compliment their messages, but never stray from the fact that these songs are angry first and foremost. It's a great demo from a band that will hopefully continue to develop into a positive musical and political force. I don't normally care much about what "punk" is, but if I had to point to something and decide "yeah, that's punk", this band would probably be it. Angry, youth in revolt that cut through the bullshit and say what they need to say. Also, not to bring it up again, but it's a great "fuck you" to Whirr and those with the same mindset, and it was released even before those comments were made. I suppose "haters make us famous" is oddly accurate in this case, and thankfully so much more good has come out of it. So give this band a listen, they've got something worth saying, and enjoy.

1. G.L.O.S.S. (We're From The Future)
2. Masculine Artifice
3. Outcast Stomp
4. Lined Lips And Spiked Bats
5. Targets Of Men

1. Give Violence A Chance
2. Out From The Desk
3. Fight
4. We Live
5. Trans Day Of Revenge

Jungbluth


Jungbluth are a three-piece hardcore/screamo band from Münster, Germany that formed in 2012. If you're looking for something passionate and abrasive, you don't need to look much farther. These guys tear through each song with such intensity that you'd think these were all live recordings. In their earlier material, there's a slight crust influence, but they've gotten more "melodic" (for lack of a better word) as they've progressed, especially on their most recent album. They incorporate tons of unique and angular guitar work that could almost be compared to an amped-up and very distorted Q And Not U. In addition, they've got pounding bass and drums topped by throat-shredding vocals, which are more in the realm of Dangers and Birds in Row, though even then the comparison isn't really that precise. As far as aggressive music goes, this band is definitely one to note in recent years. Not only are they bludgeoning and intense, but actually craft some interesting songs and explore new sounds. That's about all one could want from a band, is it not? Enjoy.

1. Ueberstellung
2. A Vague Memory
3. Interlude
4. Traubhagel
5. Quick Temper - Slow Mind
6. Outro

1. Crevasse
2. Wakefield
3. Looks Like Freedom
4. These Rare Moments
5. Au Revoir Tristesse
6. Zwang Abwärts
7. No One But Myself
8. Angebot / Nachsage
9. Crevasse II

1. Callow - Bildungsroman
2. Callow - Dead End Kids
3. Callow - Warhead
4. Jungbluth - Keeping Peace

1. Everytime Geradeaus
2. King Of The Hill
3. Schrödinger's Katze
4. Charades
5. Untitled
6. Sternstunden der Doppelmoral
7. Dead Keys
8. Lokalkolorit
9. Overdose Us
10. Empathy Is Not A Competition

Friday, 16 October 2015

Cigarettes After Sex


Cigarettes After Sex are an indie/slowcore band that originated from El Paso, Texas in 2008, though they got their proper start in 2012 when they relocated to Brooklyn, New York, which is where they are currently based out of. Their debut EP was released in 2012, and garnered quite a bit of attention over time, which is definitely deserved. For one, these four songs are practically flawless. Think of the atmosphere and gentle vocals of Slowdive mixed with the dark, evil twin version of a Pixies bass line. They can be slow and moody, but strangely optimistic, which works out to be the perfect dynamical paradox. I highly recommend their first EP, it's a perfect example of how slowcore/shoegaze/whatever you want to call it can perfectly mesh atmospheric sounds with pop sensibilities.

After a few years and some major line-up shifts, their second EP (if it can be called that) was just released this month. It's only one song, but it's one damn good song. "Affection" picks up where they left off, but with a little higher production value, and a very prominent, swelling electric guitar to add some weight to the song. This band's small but sweet discography is highly worth the listen, so enjoy.

1. Our Last Day
2. The Night Train
3. You
4. Please Don't Cry
5. Woman With a Crow The Last Train
6. Sing
7. Lay Here
8. Every Light Is Out
9. I Can't Stop These Tears From Falling
10. Run Towards your Fears
11. Do You Know Where I Should Go?

Note: Sometimes referred to as self-titled

1. Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby
2. I'm a Firefighter
3. Dreaming of You
4. Starry Eyes

1. Affection
2. Keep On Loving You

1. K.
2. Each Time You Fall In Love
3. Sunsetz
4. Apocalypse
5. Flash
6. Sweet
7. Opera House
8. Truly
9. John Wayne
10. Young & Dumb

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Promise Ring

First off, I want to apologize for not being very active in the last two months or so. I've just been really busy and kind of put the blog to the side for a while. Excuses aside, I've got a few posts that will be added within the next week or so, and I'll get around to responding to all of your messages this week as well, since I also let those pile up in my state of procrastination. So again, sorry for disappearing for a while, but I'll try and keep this more updated in the future.


The Promise Ring were a four-piece emo/indie band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that formed in 1995. They began just as singer/guitarist Davey von Bohlen's other band Cap'n Jazz were coming to an end. Despite the shared member, The Promise Ring always had more in common with bands like Jimmy Eat World or Braid than Cap'n Jazz and its numerous offspring (American Football, Joan of Arc, etc.) For one, The Promise Ring are very poppy. Their songs are fairly structured, with strong, sing-along choruses and lyrics that get stuck in your head. As they grew, this become more and more true, with Very Emergency being a quintessential power pop album, and their final album Wood/Water coming close to a full-on indie pop record featuring a lot of acoustic guitar. However, their earlier work features some mid-tempo songs and gentle guitar arpeggios in the vein of Sunny Day Real Estate and such. But what really defines this band is their second album, Nothing Feels Good, which is generally regarded as their best work, and for good reason. The songs on it are catchy, the instrumentation hoppy, and the production is tight and crisp. This could easily be considered one of the great albums of the 90's in the way Nirvana's Nevermind or Weezer's Pinkerton are. If you listen to one thing by this band, make sure it's Nothing Feels Good.

The Promise Ring had a fairly long life for a band in their corner of the musical universe. They broke up in 2002 after a seven-year run, with four full-lengths and numerous EP's to show for it. Davey von Bohlen and drummer Dan Didier formed Maritime, who are still active today. And in keeping tradition with the Cap'n Jazz family bands, The Promise Ring have reunited several times as well. They played one show in 2005, and a handful of shows in 2012, but no plans have been made beyond that. Anyway, here's their discography, an essential for any "emo" fan. Enjoy.

1. Jupiter
2. 12 Sweaters Red
3. Mineral Point

1. A Picture Postcard
2. Saturday
3. Scenes From Parisian Life

1. The Promise Ring - E. Texas Ave
2. Texas Is The Reason - Blue Boy

1. Everywhere In Denver
2. Red Paint
3. Heart Of A Broken Story
4. Scenes From France
5. Anne You Will Sing
6. My Firetower Flame
7. Between Pacific Coasts
8. A Picture Postcard
9. Somebody's Done For
10. The Sea Of Cortez
11. Run Down The Waterfall
12. We Don't Like Romance

1. Watertown Plank
2. Mineral Point
3. A Picture Postcard
4. Saturday
5. Scenes From Parisian Life
6. E. Texas Ave.
7. Miette
8. I Never Trusted The Russians

1. Is This Thing On?
2. Perfect Lines
3. Red & Blue Jeans
4. Why Did We Ever Meet
5. Make Me A Chevy
6. How Nothing Feels
7. A Broken Tenor
8. Raspberry Rush
9. Nothing Feels Good
10. Pink Chimneys
11. B Is For Bethlehem
12. Forget Me

1. Tell Everyone We're Dead
2. Good Looking Boys
3. American Girl [Version 02]

 1. Happiness Is All The Rage
2. Emergency! Emergency!
3. The Deep South
4. Happy Hour
5. Things Just Getting Good
6. Living Around
7. Jersey Shore
8. Skips A Beat (Over You)
9. Arms And Danger
10. All of My Everythings

1. Electric Pink
2. Strictly Television
3. American Girl (V. 01)
4. Make Me A Mixtape

1. Size Of Your Life
2. Stop Playing Guitar
3. Suffer Never
4. Become One Anything One Time
5. Wake Up April
6. Get On The Floor
7. Half Year Sun
8. My Life Is At Home
9. Letters To The Far Reaches
10. Bread And Coffee
11. Say Goodbye Good
12. Feed The Night