Osk / Bridgeburner – Split (2014) — 7″ REVIEW

IMG_2234 copyAnother split between two of B.C.’s hard hitters in grind, this time the belligerent pairing of Bridgeburner and Osk.

After the break a review of their strong work together on this killer off label 7″.

Continue reading

Boddicker – False Flag (2014) — CS REVIEW

BODD_9028 copyThis little release hits hard as fuck. The use of that The Deer Hunter image on the cover should give some foreshadowing as to the pants-shitting tunes that Detroit’s Boddicker put to tape here.

False Flag is six tracks of bulldozing mayhem showcasing the best of Boddicker’s meld of thrashing grind and neck-snapping hardcore so far. Each song sharpened to a deadly edge, with attitude and vocal attack that sears. In short it’s awesome.

Put this shit on and channel some of the excruciating tension Michael and Nick felt in that hut playing Russian roulette.

Continue reading

AHNA / Cetascean – Imperial Decline 12″ Split + 7″ Split w/ Contorture (2014) — REVIEW

IMG_8814 copyHere’s two new-ish splits in Ahna‘s camp that I’ve been slacking on talking about. The last record I reviewed of theirs was the Empire LP which continued the filthy powerviolence infused doom trampling they so uniquely inhabit, but stranger still.

Ahna actually just went on a Stench of Death tour so if they play near you, attend.

They’ve been busy evolving since Empire. On these splits specifically Ahna share space with two different hardcore groups while they themeslves venture towards the darkened trenches of old school death metal. They dig up the dust from the likes of Bolt Thrower or Dismember and Morbid Scream but with bursts of Anju’s vocals and their doom-violence past adding a fiercer bite to the battle.

As for their split mates? No slouches here. Cetascean has reputation in Canada as being on top and killer. After seeing them not long ago that’s definitely confirmed and this new stuff rips. Contorture hail from Sweden and grind through a bleak four minutes of d-beat destruction which compliments Ahna’s empire dismantling march.

Continue reading

OBSERVE: FASTCORE FESTIVAL 5

It hasn’t been that long since the last Fastcore Festival, but once again Vancouver and Squamish was overrun by grind of all stripes for the fifth time in a row on the fourth of July weekend. It was a blast on all accounts.

This was my second time attending and I had an excellent watching nearly thirty absurdly fast, filthy bands coalesce in the wilderness once more. I was a better prepared for the stay this time, the turn out at least felt smaller, there were quite a few groups that weren’t on last years bill that slayed hard; oh and of course there was a slew of weird and hilarious moments.

Organized and accommodated by locals and DIY as all hell. Read on below to see some of the grind madness that I experienced that weekend in photos and video, as well as some decent stories and shit in between the sets.

Continue reading

New Lows – Abhorrent Endings (2014) — 12″ EP REVIEW

IMG_8915 copyAbhorrent Endings rips.

I’ve had mixed feelings about Boston’s hardcore quintet New Lows. When Harvest of the Carcass came out I gave it several chances but was eventually attracted to their first demo’s sound more than the LP. Just how loud and unfettered it was with four perfectly flattening songs, everything came together in simple animosity so well.

Of course I didn’t catch on that they released something new this year until a month post-release. I was curious as to what they’ve been up to.

Upon giving this a shot I was pleasantly surprised by Abhorrent Endings and I’ve been stuck on it nearly as much as their old demo. The songs are powerhouses of crushing riffs and spastic, livid vocals, inescapably potent loathing ringing across each one and clinging to my memory.

This is some ruthless shit. New Lows have my attention once again and Deathwish Inc. did an excellent job in putting it to vinyl.

Continue reading

SHIT LUCK – Self-Inflictive. Self-Destructive. (2014) — REVIEW

SHIT LUCK - 2014 JGIt was early 2013 when Floridian SHIT LUCK first impressed me with their demo SLOW DEATH. Ultimately their blackened crust was on point in most regards: a rusted maelstrom whose success when blending abused styles was engaging, memorable and quite loud.

It was like a decrepit engine roaring as it tears itself apart, unhinging from the struts and shearing metallic grime from it’s pieces. The tape itself had some quality issues, or at least mine did. However I enjoyed the shit out of the digital copy all of 2013.

This year they’ve released a two track EP through bandcamp. Unexpectedly nuanced while remaining weighty, desolate and urgent Self Inflictive. Self Destructive. brings out new shades that are nested well within ripe ideas from SLOW DEATH.

These guys also have been nice enough to put it up for free, so you don’t have an excuse to miss out.

Continue reading

OBSERVE: Head Hits Concrete / Cetascean / Ahna / Cooked And Eaten / Soot

HEAD HITS CONCRETE_8290 copyThis is the second post in the hopefully on-going series of live show write-ups. This time the focus is a gathering of Vancouver and Winnipeg bands on the mainland, getting my ass of the island for the first time in a few months.

After spending a little time at the New Amsterdam Cafe in the afternoon I walked to the show. The lineup included the dissonant legends Head Hits Concrete who wrecked shit and injected potent socio-political energy into the city. They alongside Cetascean, whom toured from Manitoba with them, the evolving doom-death-grind entity AHNA, Cooked And Eaten which brings some serious grindcore, and a new blackened death formation known as Soot gave a  formidable battering to those in attendance

If you’d like a glimpse into one of the stops on their tour, read on after the break.

Continue reading

Dephosphorus – Ravenous Solemnity (2014) — LP REVIEW

DEPHOSPHORUS_RAVSOL_8021 copyI don’t know if I’ve made this explicit enough but I’m infatuated with Dephosphorus. I can trust this disciplined, generous band to not let me down in each astral grind endeavor they explore at this point and Ravenous Solemnity further confirms this.

It’s a very grounding (and fairly rare) feeling that I recall having when I first heard bands that really influenced or moved me in my time listening to heavy music. Iniquity, Mare, Absu, Cryptopsy, Led Astray, Thou, Amenra, Men In Search of the Perfect Weapon  — stuff like that cut into my memory and linked to standards of cathartic, inspiring enjoyment and creation that rarely are toppled.

Music that compelled me to try and recreate it on guitar myself, however failed or successful those attempts became on my end. It’s not easy in my mind for a band to pry its way into that area of nostalgia.

A little dramatic sure, but Dephosphorus are a band I have no hesitations about including in that circle, with Ravenous Solemnity acting as a third bulwark of sidereal majesty only securing them further in reverence for me.

Those who have kept up with them will be pleased significantly, and for those unconvinced or unaware I’d suggest it’s next to impossible for their music not to make an impression at this level.

Small changes, an unending euphoric tension that progresses from Night Sky Transform and embraces an uncertain future with what the title would suggest: a revered, voracious ceremony of stellar declaration grounded in personal, secular aggression. No stagnation, only further committal to passionate creation.

Continue reading

Osk – We Will Never Change (2014) — 10″ EP REVIEW

OSK_WWNC_7892 copySo there’s a lot of good grindcore out already this year and much promised as well. I’ve already got some favorites, and I’m sure most people have already decided to check out of this specific arena for 2014 having begun digesting GridLink’s uncanny grind. I would implore you to hold on that impulse because there’s shit like this popping up all the time.

Osk’s We Will Never Change. It’s twelve minutes, it’s no fucking around, it’s metallic and dirty with enormous staying power. Visceral, punk-as-fuck, DIY fastcore poetry front to back. I’m very pleased to see a new release from Osk and such a damn strong one once again.

Next thing you know Mass Grave and Shooting Spree will being dropping things… oh wait…

Continue reading

Yautja – Songs of Descent (2014) — LP REVIEW

YAUTJASOD_7855 copy

Damn! It would be tough to contain my enthusiasm when talking about this record. I hardly knew anything about Nashville’s Yautja prior to fall last year, but since then they’ve had my attention wholly.

Yautja’s debut LP Songs of Descent is remarkable. It is unexpected, indeed unforgettable and inventive. Even contending with the overpowering influence of Gaza, Kiss It Goodbye, and Great Falls; giants and a genre that allows little wiggle room.

This infuriated hybrid grind group has blossomed in imaginative, intoxicating new forms of nucleic aggression as is clearly and confidently expressed on Songs of Descent.

Continue reading

OBSERVE: BUNGUS / 30XX / AMNESIAN / WAKE

BUNGUS_7644 copyI managed to peel myself away from work in Parksville this past Monday and get some grinding in. The first show I’ve attended in 2014 and a good place to start a series of live show articles that will no doubt be strewn about The Plow Behind You.

On February 17th two local grinders Bungus and Amnesian came out to lend support to Calgary’s WAKE on their recent tour; and cyber-dance-grinders 30XX jumped in to mix shit up as well. All four and a bunch of islanders packed into Logan’s Pub for a good thrashing playing into the damp and cold Victoria night.

Continue reading

FOCUS: YEAR END — 2013

SUPINE__newdo_logoraw_FINALGuess who wins the “latest 2013 year end list” award.

2013 was pretty good. Somewhat surprising, maybe a little disappointing but in the end it rounded out nicely. At least in terms of what I heard. Admittedly my listening time took a nosedive for a portion of this year and those records I did enjoy were often on the faster/shorter end of the spectrum; demos and splits and such.

This is a breakdown on the year from my view and then a few small lists I’ve made surrounding the releases of 2013 that I enjoyed the most, sort of. There’s a good amount of records that probably should be included here but weren’t. Some I didn’t get to, some I was disappointed with (no one cares!), some I missed altogether.

Further explanations will be laid out later, and you can guess ahead of time that there’s some Canada bias. Let’s dig into it after the break.

Continue reading

Great Falls – Accidents Grotesque (2013) — LP REVIEW

IMG_7427Great Falls. What the fuck!

Carrying out their second LP like a torture session this ensnaring minefield of a record was one of the biggest things last year. Accidents Grotesque provides absolutely massive stopping power with both grit and intelligence behind their animosity.

Something I’ve desired so intently was also something I could’ve easily missed. Shameful for sure. This really is a prime example of thoughtful composition, subdued but clearly deep skill, and ruthless aggression combusting together to form what is certainly a nuanced and threatening classic.

Continue reading

Monomaniac – Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 + 3 — EP / LP REVIEW

IMG_7316

Panos Agoros, voice of the unmatched astrogrinders Dephosphorus, had his hand in the compiling of minute-or-less song-crafting by a broad collection of tormentors in the underground metal hordes.

His compilation series released though Blast Beat Mailmurder/Productions is titled Monomaniac and has currently stepped into it’s second and third volume.

As stated, Monomaniac is “a bold discographic operation uniting international artists from all over the spectrum of extreme underground music… the challenge is that each unit offers approximately one minute of exclusive/unreleased noise!

An interesting challenge to say the least, especially when reviewing the varied roster of bands on all three volumes; some well know to me and others this series is introducing me to.

Continue reading

Unru – Demo MMXIII (2013) — CS REVIEW

IMG_7155Speaking of Europe’s blackened hardcore dealings I’m finally catching up on what Unru have been arranging after Forever Cursed alerted me to them early last year. A more virulent and darker version of Deadguy and Botch’s legacy wrapped in a thick, soiled black metal cocoon and strangles until its noisy death gasps escape.

And after that there are still some pleasant surprised that reside in its less accessible reaches: this review will deal with a pressing which contains a significant and more experimental hidden ritual on the second side, larger than their recent collaborations with Sun Worship in some sense.

I also think this will relate nicely not only with a few up coming reviews but also with the previous post on France’s Death Engine. Like them, Germany’s Unru forge trenchant blades of hardcore that break off from the usual efforts and climb into darker, unexplored territory with the small light of the past to keep them steady. The separate in approaches remains fairly wide.

Continue reading