CANYON - Static (EP Premiere)
I'm a child of the 90's, but predictably didn't learn to appreciate its bounty of music until a decade after the fact. In any case, this scribe's angsty teenage years were filled to the brim with, y'know, appropriately angsty music. From Soundgarden, to Mudhoney, to RHCP, to Silver Chair, to Tool, to Our Lady Peace, and far beyond, my formative days were crammed with rockin' riffs and the gritty melancholic tirades of the era. Given a heartfelt love for that grunge-infected generation of rock, I was exceptionally excited by the opportunity to premiere Static, the debut EP from Melbourne's very talented Canyon.
On paper, this power trio plays a blend o' alt metal, stoner rock, and prog. In practice, that description certainly feels accurate, but their tunes are notably imbued with a grungy flair. Or, y'know, the dour equivalent of flair. Back in Oct. of last year, when we reviewed Insane, this EP's lead single, we stated that if felt "caught in the amber of 90's headbang fodder," while simultaneously displaying a high level of maturity. I'm please to report that the entire EP follows suit...but you hardly have to take my word for it. Give Static a listen in full below. We'll catch ye on the other side of the y2k divide.
If you've been traipsing around the underground metal blog-o-sphere these past few months, you have more than likely run into Mothman and the Thunderbirds. Y'know, wielder of an unforgettable moniker and equally unforgettable tunes. This popularity, I hasten to add, wasn't simply birthed into existence by benefit of Alex Parkinson's industry connections as a fellow metal reviewer. As anyone who has heard any of the advance singles will undoubtedly attest, his debut album Into The Hollow stands strong on its own two (three? seven? undeterminable?) legs (wings? assorted appendages?)
A sludge/stoner project for the purpose of succinct PR, Mothman and the Thunderbirds is, in reality, a very difficult beast to define. Into The Hollow does feature a whole lot of the sasquatchian heft and aggression that one might expect from conspiracy-and-cryptid-themed sludge--take, as a prime example, "Hollow Earth," which seemingly pays homage to Mastodon's "Circle of Cysquatch." However, merely singling out a single song does absolutely nothing to prepare you, a fact that you can, in fact, independently verify in very short order. Eclectic ain't the half of it.
Anyways. More on that later. More pressing matters are at hand. We slumbering scribes are happy, honored, and otherwise Very Fuckin' Pleased to present said album in its entirety, prior to release this coming Friday. Give it a listen below! Provided you're still standing, we'll meet ye on the other side.
TRUMBITEN - Emotions (EP Premiere)
I like surprises. Today's surprise comes in the form of a lil' three track EP from a Swedish father-son duo who utilize emotion and interconnectedness as a catalyst for their composition. With vague genre markers and little more than a mission statement to guide my ears, I was utterly uncertain what Trumbiten had cooked up on the (appropriately entitled) Emotions. As luck would have it, hitting play was cause for celebration: Tommy Arngren (the father) and Adam (the son) certainly have the goods.
Existing in the nebulous zone between hard rock, prog rock, thrash, and traditional metal, these guys made the smart move of enlisting the aid of multiple session vocalists, utilizing a global community of musicians to create slightly outside the bounds of standard industry practice.
Without further blathering, we slumbering scribes are pleased to present Emotions in its entirety below. As always, we'll see you on the other side. In the meantime: enjoy!
Given the fact that it seems a better description of an ethos than a particular sonic quality, using the intentionally ill-defined "avant-garde metal" as a jumping-off point is a bit of a fraught exercise. Today's band in question is a wholly unique beast, and so any preemptive attempts at categorization must immediately be defenestrated. A more appropriate starting point, then, might be Bornwithhair's previous work. This is their third(!) album in, like, less than a year, so the intense maturation has been pretty darn compressed in regards to time frame.
Their debut Radical Moon was marked by a fresh breath of weirdness, particularly in the compositional department, while sophomore effort Smoleńska upped the stakes, leaning into angular riffage and angry distortion on one hand, and starkly gentle ambiance on the other. Both provided a wildly tumultuous approach to experimentation. Both were well-received, with the latter getting some quite impressive press. Both represented a mad-cap cacophony of ideas, and, as such, made for pretty damn intriguing listening experiences. The only way to go was up, and follow-up Someplace to Haunt is, dare I say, this duo's most enjoyable and most cohesive work yet. Needless to say, we're pleased and honored to premiere Someplace to Haunt here in full. Throw on a pair of headphones and fire it up. As always, we'll meet you on the other side.
Look, I know. It's December, which means you'd much rather be catching up on all the music you missed rather than being clobbered with a continuing surge of new releases. But bear with me: the debut effort from grind duo Populace lasts for all of 9 minutes--and the tracklist is 10 tracks deep. Running those numbers indicates a certain disdain for unnecessary filler and fluff. We're dealing with brevity at its most blistering here. Bread and Roses, in other words, certainly ain't going to take much of your time today, and what little time it takes is wholeheartedly worthwhile.
Without further ado, we inksplattered scribes are pleased and honored to premiere Populace's first outing in its entirety. In the search for music that wakes us from slumber, it really doesn't get more effective--nor enjoyable--than this. Dig in below, and we'll meet you on the other side!
Like unto the best that the world of grind has to offer--i.e. Discordance Axis, let's be real--this two-piece excels at delivering ideas, both sonic and thematic, in their most succinct form. Like capturing a fleeting thought in amber, Populace use a single sample, howl, or churning riff as the basis for an explosive diatribe. Take opening track "Pollutant," which swiftly introduces the abrasivity with rolling drums and ranting vocals over intensely crashing guitar. Even though Populace pump the brakes very briefly to deliver a little extra emphasis, the forward momentum is utterly unstoppable. And so it goes for the remainder: a thrashing freefall through chaos-imbued guitar 'n' drums, blips of samples from a veritable bevy of sources, and omnipresent raging vox. Even when they do slow things down a tad--take, for example, midway through "Cocoon"--the consistently unhinged delivery never feels restrained or contained. At the end of the day, Populace balances dynamic composition and outright emotive rage in a fashion that is pretty damn nuanced for grind.
I hesitate to ascribe a "political" label to Populace, being of the firm belief that music, art, and life in general is intrinsically political. But, as a general rule, the instrumentation itself serves as a vehicle for the lyrical content, which, in unrelenting fashion, decries "fascism and all of its ugly friends." It is the thematic content that grounds Populace in the chaos, and topics such as pollution, ableism, and the churn of capitalism similarly find a strong foundation in the pure visceral anger of the instrumentation. It's a well-executed balancing act between form and function. Both thematically and sonically, nothing here is delivered gently--and that, of course, is by design.
Given the brevity on display, discussing individual tracks feels like a moot point. That said, lead single "Pangea" and the aforementioned "Cocoon" are, in my book, the strongest individual showings here--but listening in isolation from the remainder is hardly recommended. Rest assured: with Bread and Roses, there is never a dull moment.
Populace - Bread and Roses will be released on Dec. 4th, 2020, and can be pre-ordered here! Artwork by Misha Mono
Alright, picture this. It’s another friday night at your prototypical dive--you know the scene. 80’s wood paneling, scabby pool table, cardboard coasters. Cigarette butts litter the bathroom floors. Bad lighting. Cheap beer and urinal cakes. Two or three dead soldiers on the table already, with room for more. The band moves in, sets up, and launches into a boisterous set. It should be a normal night.
But it isn’t, because the band is Brandy and the Butcher. You don’t know ‘em now, but you’ll know 'em soon. By the first few notes, they have your attention. By the chorus, everyone stares in bewilderment. By the time the first song rolls to an end, accompanied by raucous applause, everyone in the damn room has swiftly come to the same conclusion: this is, by far, the best entertainment this bar has ever seen. Practically leaps and bounds beyond the typical rocker mold. This is exactly how quality rock 'n' roll should make you feel. In a word: invigorated.
To draw you back to the here and now, we slumbering Villagers are honored to premiere Dick Circus, the latest effort from these talented South Carolinians. Fire it up below, and we'll meet ye, as always, on the other side!
We slumbering scribes subject ourselves to aural bludgeoning day in and day out, so when the opportunity to feature something a little lighter on the sonic spectrum comes our way, I jump at the opportunity. That's not to say, however, that we aren't dealing with some appropriate emotive weight: today's singer-songwriter in question is undeniably heavy in tone and content. Perhaps moreso than the majority of classically "metal" music that enters our humble halls.
To kick the day off, then, we have the honor of featuring the trailer for Covered Mirrors by kariti, a darkly acoustic exploration of death, mourning, sorrow, and parting. In the articulate words of the artist, this project is an expression of "cathartic peregrination through bereavement." This is folk in a true down-to-earth sense: real emotion uncovered in the exploration of real-world problems.
Without further ado, however: the album trailer for Covered Mirrors--the somber video for which was created by Chariot of Black Moth--can be viewed below!
Given the current state of, well, everything, I have serious doubts that there is anyone amongst us--Villagers and passers-by alike--who isn't in need of a pick-me-up. In times like these, much to the annoyance of my compatriots, I typically turn to the unfiltered bombast and jubilance of power metal to raise spirits. Although high-flying hooky choruses, meathook melodies, stomping riffage, and lusty battle-born comraderie may not appeal to everyone, very little rivals the charybdian draw of power metal's trademark infectious chest-pounding braggadocio. As such, regardless of your contradictory opinions, and despite the (generally) bloody subject matter, an untouchable positivity seems to reigns eternal in this particular arena--for better or for worse, the genre offers a highly energetic and uplifting experience. And, for that alone, power metal has earned a perpetual (if often uninhabited) timeshare in our township.
To that end: let me introduce Solar Flare, a five-man crew attempting to put Ohio on the power metal map. In combining the flamboyance and flair of the European scene with a Jag Panzer-esque American momentum and drive, Solar Flare deliver a self-titled debut stuffed with the hallmarks of the 80's power metal and NWOBHM scenes. We're pleased and honored to offer an exclusive stream of their full album below...so, without further ado, give it a listen!
Frequent passers-by through Ye Olde Sleeping Village will (hopefully) have noted by this stage that I enjoy when bands toe the line of convention. Indeed, I celebrate when a group throws in the towel and lets deliberate genre-melding lead the process. As such, when Yukonian one-man musical maverick Rick Massie approached us highfalutin peasants with the idea of premiering his forthcoming debut album, all it took to seal the deal (besides, of course, sampling a track) was the promise of genre tomfoolery. In his words, Eclispe is "kind of a mix of everything from prog, to symphonic, to black, to death, to doom-ish, to rock." That's a Now, dear readers, we're talkin' my language.
But let's cut to the chase, shall we? Today, it's our absolute pleasure to present Rick Massie's Eclipse in its unadulterated and unabridged entirety, prior to its release this Friday, May 1st. Before we get too far absorbed in the details, hit play on the stream below. I'll meet you on the other side.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
What are ye