Trash Talk

Trash Talk

Eyes & Nines

(Hassle Records/Trash Talk Collective)

The release of Eyes & Nines by Sacramento’s Trash Talk comes on a spate of dates with Rolo Tomassi and Throats where the band have literally destroyed venues across the UK and been thrown out venues such as the Garage in London in support of Cancer Bats. This is another short and relentless offering from the band which lets you discover the substance behind the aggression in studio form.

Working with Joby Ford, guitarist with The Bronx, he has helped the band progress by mixing together the various styles of previous albums “S/T” with its slow and sludgy nature with the frantic short paced blasts of “Plagues… Walking Disease.” It sounds and feels different without forgetting about the band’s fundamental violent sound.

In the album’s opening track “Vultures” his production style is evident with an instant, simple fuck shit up track formed on the basis of a basic riff with drums rolls linking it all together, which gets you bouncing along in appreciation.

“Explode” is the album’s single which is accompanied by a very well shot live video documenting their live performances which have become so legendary and controversial at the same time. If you still haven’t experienced Trash talk it gives you a taste of what you are letting yourself in for.  Its circle pit inducing drum beat isn’t for the faint of heart. Vocalist Lee Spielman’s bark is ferocious and piercing as ever. And just when you think it is safe, Spielman is joined by Matt Caughthran, also of The Bronx fame to make his mark with his distinguishable LA voice. But oddly enough this is about as stable and groove laden that Trash Talk get.

“Hash Wednesday” is a throwback to the sound of 2008’s self titled, Steve Albini produced album. It’s slow, despondent and mesmerising five minutes which is easy get lost in and get transported to another world.

Trash Talk don’t do fancy and with this collection of much longer tracks than we are used to, the band don’t want to throw you about for a few seconds anymore but give you a pounding and to test your stamina.

Like their contemporaries’ Ceremony and Trap Them, they are producing a wave of Hardcore punk which just doesn’t just grab your attention but hits you around the face with it.   Combining traditional punk fusing it with the hardcore and rage of Black Flag and Minor Threat, Trash Talk are keeping the spirit of DIY and punk rock alive in their own unique way.

Manoj Koeri

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Through Colour

Through Colour

Dream In Black And White

(Same Dance Records)

 Hailing from the sunny island of Anglesey, these five school friends have certainly grown up a lot since performing under their old name My Turn To Kill. Now called Through Colour they have served up a slice of summer in musical form with their debut mini album entitled “Dream In Black And White.”

They have come a long way since forming from the ashes of their previous band, where they were just angry young teenagers, content with screaming about small town mentality. Now they have seen the world and have had new experiences to share with the listener.

This is evident from the opening chords of “All Singing All Dancing Baby” which is a feel good track all about leaving the town you grew up in, and realising there is a whole world for you to discover. With lyrics such as “A journey into hopes and dreams, things to remember,” you can’t help but think this is the path this band are talking right now. Accompanied by a catchy and light sounding sound, it’s all about being positive.

The great thing about this ep is that each track is anthemic, with tunes that will be difficult to stop humming at every occasion.  “Sunsets” is superb bass driven track which strikes into your heart and questions what you wish to make with your life. Ending with a staple “woah woah,” Through Colour dare you to forget about them.

“Raise Your Glass” and “Kids Of Cancer” demonstrate they haven’t any of their anger and desire that was born with the frustrations of being raised in a small community.  This aggressive and harder edge builds to a raw side which you wouldn’t think was possible based on other areas of the ep.

Coming from Romesh Dodangoda’s stable at Longwave studios which has seen him produce records from the likes of Kids In Glasshouses and The Blackout, Through Colour are in good company and their sound isn’t very far from their Welsh counterparts.

One of the defining features of the band is vocalist Steve White’s ability to hold a long note where required and to make the listener really believe in what he saying. Something other wannabe bands in this genre struggle with.

Overall this is solid offering from a young band that have a lot going for them. Through Colour have laid a good foundation in order to move onto a more unique sound. In order to set themselves apart one feels they will need to be a bit more adventurous in their music. But with the optimism and ambition shown there is no reason why they can’t be huge.

Manoj Koeri

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Throats

 Throats

S/T

(Holy Roar Records)

It’s still a bit early to be brandishing the term “Debut EP of the year” around but here we have a genuine contender already. Described by some lazy journalists as “the UK’s answer to Converge,” Throats are much so more than that and one of the most promising prospects to come from our shores in some time.

Building upon their humble beginnings as straightforward Hardcore band, they have realised what was needed to be done to capture the minds of the youth of this nation. By combining their love of all things Metal, Doom and of course Hardcore, they have created something extremely decisive and brutal.

Being influenced by bands such as Rise and Fall, Panic and even Napalm Death, extremely harsh critics would say this offering lacks originality but Throats potential lies by fusing this love and creating something new in the UK Metal/Hardcore scene.

From the outset, the opening track “Wake” does exactly that and much more. The initial 20 seconds of pure doom filled emotion make you feel scared but at the same time excited about what is going to happen next. And it doesn’t look good. While vocalist Alex Wealands screams at you, the rest of the band aim to deliver brutal blows that are fast, slow and deliberate.

“Fuck Life” oozes despondency and is about not taking shit anymore. From the rage laden screams and shouts to the intricate fingertapping which jolt you in an extreme manner, Throats know how you feel sometimes and try to put it into musical form.  

The aural assault continues into the second half of the EP as “Failgiver” appears to show the bands emotive edge with softer vocals and a more natural progression from riff to riff. And even giving you a few seconds to two step before launching into a mass sing along. This is the Ep’s most straightforward hardcore track. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The final track “Oaken/Wait” is a split song of two entirely different contrasts and it really does set them aside from anybody out there. How other bands to you know that can form a 7 minute epic which starts off at a ridiculous speed which then winds you down into an almost hypnotic dirty downtuned riff?

The technical guitar work on this track is reminiscent of The Dillinger Escape Plan or The Red Chord which builds up to the second half of the track into something equally and devastating. The feedback enriched stampede evolves into a calm and soothing out row as if to pick you up and dust you off and make sure you are alright after the pain Throats have put the listener through.

Throats are by no means the finished article which provides the most exciting aspect of this bands future. This EP is a showcase and a way for you to sample all the styles the band is capable of. This is Throats way of standing up and making a statement about what they are about and trust me, they have bloody done that.

Manoj Koeri

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Rolo Tomassi / Shapes / Soni-Quella

Flapper

Birmingham

20th January 2010

 
 
 

Rolo Tomassi

 

The last time Rolo Tomassi “attempted” to play the Flapper was really one of those moments in a bands history that biographers love. One of those “were you there when?” times that every band has. A few years back a relatively unknown Rolo Tomassi, were booked to play here in support of sadly disbanded Seattle band These Arms Are Snakes. Being the fresh faced teenagers they were back then, they were questioned by the owners and reminded of the pub’s strict “no under 18’s allowed entry”  brought in due to the Labour governments paranoia over underage drinking (nothing much has changed has it Gordon Brown?)

So being the intelligent and resourceful souls they were and not wanting to let the people who had travelled to see them down, the bands only 18 years olds at the time, Ed (drums) and Joe (guitar) were allowed inside to play. While the rest of the band played in the car park with leads and such running through the fire doors. Needless to say it wasn’t the best performance but the boy’s and girl were not resigned to packing up their gear and driving back up to Sheffield.

Fast forward to 2010 and it’s a headline show, a packed out venue and all the sandwiches they can eat in their dressing room. Their passion, energy and willingness not to fail that they showed back then hasn’t faded one bit. Which is why the band has stood the test of time and has an exciting future ahead of them.

This was my first time seeing the opening act Soni Quella after hearing good things about them but unfortunately I found it difficult to find what the fuss was about. Although their intentions were good trying to fuse Hardcore, Metal, Indie and even Electronica, their set and the tracks preformed came across to be very disjointed and unnatural. With inappropriate beatdowns been thrown in at every opportunity it was difficult to enjoy.

Shapes on the other hand are one of the bands who are part of the revival in our UK music scene and deserve all the universal plaudits they have been receiving. This show comes at around the two year anniversary of the band and since their formation, has taken them all over the UK and even as far as Japan playing as many shows as possible.

Their 30 minute set was a joy to watch with all three members thrashing around the tiny Flapper stage without losing any, excuse the pun shape to their songs. The intricately formed,  eardrum piercing set was driven by drummer Gavin’s frantic ability to burst out delicate rhythms but being able to flick a switch and launch into the most aggressive rage filled beats which leave you shaking.

Shapes are a band that combine their love of Metal and Prog and present it to you in an accessible way, along with some well thought out instrumental tracks. Being one of Big Scary Monsters best singings you can see why they have been chosen to support Glassjaw on their forthcoming tour.

Rolo Tomassi

With a scores of hardcore fans won over the years,  the venue is packed for headliners Rolo Tomassi, which is a pleasant surprise to the band as this mini tour had minimal promotion.

The set is perfect. It isn’t rushed from song to song like the old days but there is time for everybody inside to take a breather before the music starts and the chaos ensues again.  It contains the hits and reworked live versions of tracks form their first EP. Playing “Cirque du Funk” and “Film Noir,” sparks fly and cameras literally flash. And tracks from their last album “Hysterics” on Hassle Records such at the epic  “Scabs” which sounds like an up and down rollercoaster of sounds that make you feel nauseous in the nicest possible way with an encore of “I Love Turbulence” which is short, mental and beautiful all at the same time.

Vocalist Eva Spence twists and twirls for the duration of the whole hour on stage like a girl dancing along to her favourite pop song in the privacy of her own bedroom. While her sibling James controls the keyboards with the precision and concentration as if he was at the helm of a rocket ship on a mission to a galaxy far far away. 

Rolo Tomassi Setlist 20/10/2010

Probably the most traumatic and yet exciting part of the set is delivered when three new songs are unleashed from forthcoming Diplo produced album, “Party Wounds,” “French Motel” and “Kasia.” The first of these “Party Wounds” is a disco laced, organ filled track which wouldn’t be out place in a horror film as the back drop to a scene of random brutality. Whereas “French Motel” is a stop-start and jagged affair before luring you in a dramatic pause which seems to go on for an age, before restarting into the most shocking and brutal 30 seconds of music you have ever heard.

Rolo Tomassi are an experience in itself and no review would ever do their live show justice. The kids in attendance lose all their inhibitions without being prompted or forced into doing so. The pretty girls are dancing. The Metal heads are head banging and the rest of us are just losing all control in time to the music.

This is vintage stuff and tonight is another reason why these youngsters have been hailed as the future of music.

Manoj Koeri

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Happy Holy Roar

Happy Roly Roar

Volume Three

(Holy Roar Records)

 

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing and sometimes rowing with your family, but for the last two years London’s Holy Roar Records have given the world a reflection of the past year and a outlook of what they have in store for us over the next twelve months.

Holy Roar is at the forefront of what is right about the British underground music scene right now. Staying truly DIY and independent, and still being run out of a flat, Alex Fitzpatrick and Ellen Goodwin have been encouraging hardworking bands and bringing them to our attention since 2006. In such a short time they have worked with bands early in their careers who have gone on to even better things. Bands such Gallows, The Ghost of a Thousand and Rolo Tomassi to name but a few.

The reason why the label is different to most of the ones out there, is that it is not about having your fingers in pies that the kids think are particularly “cool” at a given moment in time. But about the development and nurturing of bands worthy of the Holy Roar treatment.

For these reasons, Happy Holy Roar 3 shouldn’t be viewed as a “label sampler” but as a way of being introduced to bands that are at the top of their game who just happen to be signed to this label.  Oh and did I mention that this compilation is a tape, limited to 100, in recycled chipboard packaging and in ten different colours?

Side A contains cover versions of bands that have quite clearly influenced the performers.  These aren’t your run of the mill covers that sound exactly like the original but in some instances completely reworked. Take Esquilax’s cover of every bodies past but certainly not forgotten art punkers The Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg. And their choice of “The Beard Is Immortal” is quite fitting if you have ever seen these pair of brothers! Their version contains all the electronics and drum machines  that has become synonymous with Esquilax and given the track an alternate take which is ten times the speed and aggressive in its sound.

If Metal is more your  thing, then it’s well represented by Hang the Bastard and Betty Pariso who cover Pentagram and Eyehategod respectively reminding us of the old days when the genre was all about good fucking riffs and heavy bass lines, not about how tight your jeans were.

Run Walk give us a distressed and distorted and surprisingly catchy version of Bloc Party’s “Hunting For Witches” which works extremely well.  While Nottingham’s newest signings to Holy Roar, Guilty Parents treat us to a slice of what they have in store for us in 2010 by covering the Fearless Iranians From Hell, a band whose style that isn’t very far from their own.  With their old school brand of lo fi punky/thrashness, only good things will come from this three piece.

Flip over to side B and it contains ten tracks by bands we will be hearing much of in 2010 scene. These tracks are all rare and exclusive which makes owning one of these tapes even more special. It kicks off with a tongue in cheek, thrashorfic collaboration between promising new bands Easy Hips and Le Swing. Singing about Turkey and Christmas has never been so fun.

Nuneaton‘s Youves are certainly no newcomers but only recently getting the recognition they deserve, having released their impressive cowbell filled debut EP “Cardio-Vascular” on Holy Roar last year. The new track on this tape, “Casino No, No” is a progression from the dancey and dance floor filling nature of those songs but with a darker and more adventurous edge.

The sense of impending doom and misery served up by Livimorket in “Black Alkymi” is oddly beautiful and striking and nothing like this reviewer has heard. Definitely the label’s most unique and mysterious artists as we are told it is “a solo project of an unnamed musician from another Holy Roar band, yet he wishes to exist under a grim cloak of mystery and darkness.”

The next band has earned my respect from me over the years and a band that I have not really been sure about till now. Seemingly playing almost every Hardcore show going over the last couple of years, their work ethic and solid live performances cannot be disputed. The Welsh boys of Brutality Will Prevail have challenged people’s preconceptions of them being a scene kid’s wet dream, to a band being able to combine their love mutual love of Doom and Hardcore to a great effect. If their new full length due in 2010 builds upon the sounds shown in the track “life” it truly will be one of the releases of the year.

The potential shown by all bands on this tape, whether established or fresh faced is more than enough to get you excited about the year ahead and all the fantastic music that will blast out of this country of ours. How lucky are we?

LISTEN TO HAPPY HOLY ROAR VOLUME THREE HERE

Manoj Koeri

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Merry Fucking XMAS

A new trend amongst bands of late is to get all Christmassy, dust off the Santa outfits and record a Christmas themed song. There’s nothing wrong with that. Unless you don’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday of course.

Here I have chosen a few of my favorite tracks from the slew of songs out there at the minute and how to get hold of them…

1. Fucked Up-Do They Know It’s Christmas?

  

  

Before you ask, yes this a cover version of the 1984 “classic” penned by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, preformed with the help of a who’s who of 1980’s pop music. But this cover version isn’t dry and lifeless. Fucked Up have enlisted the help of all your favorite Indie rock A-listers, such as Tegan and Sara, Yo La Tengo,  Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and THE Andrew WK to name but a few.

All money raised from the sale of the track will go to charity. This year Fucked Up have chosen three very worthwhile groups:

Justice for Missing and Murdered Ingigenous Women

DTES Power of Women Group

Sisters in Spirit

In an ideal would people would have campaigned for this to reach number on in our charts. Not Rage Against The Friggin Machine…

BUY IT HERE

 

2. Blakfish-Missing You (The True Meaning Of Christmas)

 

Blakfish of Birmingham take Christmas very very seriously.  For the last few years they have treated us to a festive song and taken time out from their non stop touring to produce a video for our pleasure. What more can you say? Genius.

 

3. SSS-Merry ChristmaSSS

 

  

If you are more partial to a bit of Thrash around this time of year, look no further than Liverpool’s original stooges Short Sharp Shock, who taken time out from recording their new album. They talk about all the problems and downside of Christmas that we ALL forget about. You’ll love this. Seriously.

Free download and more information about the track HERE

 

4. The Killers-Happy Birthday Guadalupe! (feat Wild Light & Mariachi El Bronx)

 

The Killers are another band that don’t mess about when it comes to Christmas dedicating a lot of time and effort into their songs and producing fantastic videos. This is the fourth Christmas song from the band and this has grabbed my attention as it features Mariachi El Bronx, the side project of LA’s The Bronx, one of the bands of 2009.

In a departure from their usual sound, the song has little to do with Christmas but more about a tale of a lost love with Luke Perry staring in the video. They are onto a winner here.

The single was released digitally via (RED) on World AIDS Day and all proceeds from the track will go toward the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

BUY IT HERE

 

5. Kevin Devine-Splitting Up Christmas

And last and certainly not least is Brooklyn’s Kevin Devine who has treated us to this quirky little number. originally featured on 2003’s excellent album Make The Clocks move, it has been released in support of his new label, Big Scary Monsters christmas tour. Being accompanied by a video that could have featured on a show such as “When Santa’s Go Bad,” this is definitely a song you can sing around the Christmas tree with a glass of egg nog. 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Manoj Koeri

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Outbreak

Outbreak

S/T

(Think Fast! Records)

The new album from Maine’s Outbreak has been a long time coming and one of the most anticipated in Hardcore circles. It follows on after the long wait since 2006’s “Failure”. But the delay has been because of a very arduous period in bands history where front man Ryan O’ Connor may have thrown in the towel on Outbreak if he was anybody else. You see the last few years haven’t been plain sailing for this band. Van accidents, financial woes and band members coming and going have the markings of a band breaking up. But in this unique instance it has made the band stronger and better than before.

It is these events that make up the theme of this album as O’Connor vents his anger and frustration when things haven’t been going to plan. In “HL” he screams “Plead my case you won’t agree, you motherfuckers you’re out to get me,” where he wonders if there has been a conspiracy against the band and wanting it to fail.  

Line up changes can sometimes signal the death of a band but in Outbreak’s case it has added new energy to their whole sound up by bringing new talents and ideas to the table.  The addition of Billy Bean formally of No Trigger on guitar has optimised this by being involved in vocals too.

Combined with a new sense of creativity, this album has brought us something new and exciting to hardcore and for it to rise above the waves of “mosh” and “beatdown” bands we are being forced to endure by certain labels. The use of “metal” riffs and guitar solos over the harshest sounds, work hand in hand on track such as “Warning Signs” and the amazing album closer “Concealed.”

“(Work)ing Dead” featured on the 7 inch preceding this full length and O’Connor reads the listeners mind and shares our dislike of the rigmarole of day to day work. And makes us question if we really want to spend our existence like this.

Some tracks, some people would say aren’t your “traditional” Outbreak style songs as shown on earlier material but it’s not supposed to be. Some of the punchy and immediate nature of those songs are not as obvious now, but  there is still enough to keep old fans satisfied while being given a taste of where the band is going musically. It is still heavy enough to whip any critic up into frenzy.

An honourable mention must be given to the wonderful artwork to this album by Ryan Eyestone. On the 12 inch version of the album which I have, his illustrations are stunning and have a massive impact on the viewer. It provides a great visual to all the ills in society which he has captured in his drawings.

Overall the album is a huge statement to what Outbreak version II is all about from top to bottom. Still aggressive and relentless, it will help you to lose all control. I promise.

Manoj Koeri

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