Monday, May 17, 2010

65daysofstatic @ Wedgewood Rooms


I arrived at the venue around about 8:30 with a couple of bros. Electronic three piece Nedry took to the stage, armed with two laptops/guitars, a couple of synthesizers and an asian woman. Nedry combined elements of trip hop bands such as Portishead and Massive Attack fused with modern day dubstep/drum and bass. Lead singer Ayu thrashed and stumbled around the stage whilst laying down some haunting vocals, like a kid who has drunk too much fizzy pop.

Next up was one man glitch artist, Loops Haunt. Loopybro looked like he was having a seizure all over his equipment regularly almost knocking his equipment off his desk. The music was disjointed and felt like it was created by a kid with A.D.D. It felt like too much was going on at once. This may feel like a negative review, but he had his up points (if not many), and felt like he fitted as a support act.

40 minutes later, 65daysofstatic took to the stage. This is the third time I've seen them, and had high expectations, as they blew me away previously. These expectations were easily surpassed. They laid down a constant ferocious assault of noise and electronica, with each member giving it their all. The band played a collection of old and new songs, blasting through each one without giving you a chance to recuperate. As a band, they have certainly progressed over the years, and yet they can still play their old songs just as flawlessly as their newest ones.

The venue was buzzing with energy, as the members scrambled around whilst the crowd spazzed around to their tightly-knit jamz, one of which included the line "these aren't the droids you are looking for". The bass player looked like he was possessed, whilst the lead guitarist at points seemed to be channelling Radiohead's Thom Yorke. The band ended their set with new song Tiger Girl, a ten minute electronic jam, which steadily builds up culminating in an electronic frenzy. As the members of the band left the stage, the venue shook with roars for an encore. After a couple of minutes the band returned to the stage to play fan favourite; Radio Protector - a song which starts off with a chilling piano line, which suddenly explodes into a frantic frenzy. I may not be a fan of the direction the band has taken on the new album, but this is a band that mustn't be missed live.

Written by Miles Baker.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Black Nerd


The employees at the Weymouth branch of Cash Converters must recognise the three members of Black Nerd each time they come in to check out the latest second hand pedals; the amount of distorted noises flying around in the background of their tracks make it hard to believe it's only coming from two bass guitars and a synth.

It seems like every other band these days is a noisepop band; it's refreshing to hear a band that have taken inspiration from those same bands like Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain that inspired these noisepop bands but experimented by moving it in a different direction, citing bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Deerhunter, and Joy Division as main and more obvious influences.

The shoegazing trio have really picked a tricky genre to experiment in; Weymouth is mostly known for it's pop-punk and rubbish electro bands, however if they carry on how they are going at the moment then they could have every man and his crab staring at their shoes.

MP3: Black Nerd - Why We Got The Sack From The Museum

Saturday, April 17, 2010

De La Hoya


I’m feeling rather inspired tonight so I thought I’d write a post on one of my favourite bands of all time you’ve probably never heard of. I’m not trying to come off as a “massive hipster” when I say that, and you probably know frontman Aaron Scott’s latter bands and projects if you’re in to decent punk rock anyway, but what you may not know is the existence of De La Hoya: a straight-up punk band from Brooklyn, NY who burst on to the scene in 1997 all the way through to 2002. To quote the bio on their MySpace; “Oscar Rodriguez asked singer Aaron Scott to start a band just 10 minutes after meeting, neither of them had any idea they were initiating what would become of the most respected bands in the Northeastern DIY hardcore/punk scene. They joined up with bassist Carly Guarino (owner of Crap Records) and drummer Jaime Villamarin (ex-I Farm) to form De La Hoya in the heart of New York City.”
And they’re incredibly rad. Seriously.

Their first EP, 1999’s “Has No Credibility” is without a doubt the record of that year. De La Hoya were giving the finger to the government years before it was cool, with the angsty youth of Aaron Scott spilling his thoughts on how to change the world and why we need to take down the institutions, why it’s so important to “do what you want to do” and “fulfill your dreams” and why it’s okay to say “fuck you too”. It’s damn good down-to-earth songwriting that anyone is bound to find relevance in. The energy packed into this record is phenomenal - nations are under gun, passport control lines spewing national hate and there’s even time to tell how “last night sucked” and that you should never throw your life away all packed into 11.6 minutes.

Then there’s the full-length, 2001’s “DANCE! Techo Mega-Mix Vol. 42”, the record which proved it’ll never snow in New York again and that the only good thing about childhood was running home so that you wouldn’t miss your Optimus. This is pretty much the birth of modern melodic punk rock and everybody’s missed it. Catchy hooks, angsty lyrics, rad vocals – it’s all you’ll ever need from a band and Aaron delivers.

I think you’re going to want to need this.

There's even a record I haven't fully heard yet - in 2002 they released "Wipe The Slate Clean... Now Let's Begin", an EP featuring the song "Charles" I've uploaded below. As De La Hoya matured, they lost their DIY lo-fi garage punk roots but started forming melodies you'd assosicate with the likes of Million Dead and Rise Against. But the magic is still there. Pamphlets, factories, art - Charles wants to know how to sing the song and he definitely sums up this band entirely.

If you're even remotely interested in the early nineties emo/punk/hardcore scene, you NEED to listen to this band. It's where it all began. It's fist-punchingly good. In the air, of course.

MP3: De La Hoya - Charles
BUY: Their records are currently out of print but I'll update this post with a link to their discography CD when it's released!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Native


Post-hardcore is all the rage lately. There is such a 80s/90s hardcore revival on the blogosphere right now it's quite surprising how little attention this band is getting. Native are four boys from Northwest Indiana in the grand USA. Recently signing to Big Scary Monsters here in the UK, they've just put out their new album 'Wrestling Moves', an aptly titled record for such frantic music.

Native play a style that so many bands have been trying to achieve, but haven't quite made yet. It's a beautifully crafted genetic hybrid of math rock, post-hardcore and post-punk that's totally danceable yet completely melodic at the same time. Take the opening track 'Backseat Crew' for example, a track that could draw resemblances to naughties cult heroes Bear vs. Shark with it's pitter-patter, pounding drumbeat - but also to recent twinkly indiemos This Town Needs Guns - the melodic (yet less complex) hook and slightly odd time signatures are all present and correct.

Similarities continue throughout the entire album - there's the anthemic Fugazi-esque 'Five Year Payoff' and it's incoherently layered, noisy gang vocals, the more 'poppy' and 'complete', 'typical first single' 'Ponyboy' as well was the slightly more experimental title track - 'Wrestling Moves' - a perfect stamp of why this band most likely caught BSM's eyes in the first place.

Do you like Wintermute? Native sound like they all just grew up a little bit, and that's not a bad thing. The synths are toned are relaxing, the vocals are more anxious and gritty and the hooks are entrancing - do you really need to know more?

MP3: Native - Ponyboy
BUY: Native - Wrestling Moves on Bandcamp

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Talons


Never before now have strings - including violins and other pretty things - sounded so awesome with such explosive riffs. Sound rad? This is exactly what you'll find in the intro to the fist-throwing, "my-Charizard-is-better-than-your-Charizard"-esque He-Man revival 'Commiserations Buff Orpington' by Hereford's finest instrumental sextet Talons. Combining the most modern of post-rock with the freshest of post-hardcore and the subtle-yet-'hey, there's parsley in my salad' hints of math, they certainly do deliver competition to the constantly growing contemporary instrumental scene. It's currently completely unavoidable, with the likes of Brontide, Mutiny on the Bounty, and the technically-driven This Town Needs Guns taking over the UK like some sort of swine-flu saviours.

Now, I've never even been into that much instrumental stuff - but "The Pearl", Talon's debut 7" single on Big Scary Monsters, is pretty much the musical equivalent of watching all 3 Pirates of the Caribbean films in the span of 4 minutes and 22 seconds, and this feels good to me. It's a clifftopingly epic, fractured adventure, and a trip aboard the HMS Talons is one you definitely shouldn't miss out on. GO TALONS!

MP3: Talons - Commiserations Buff Orpington
BUY: Talons - The Pearl 7"