Void Of Vision – Broken Bones EP (2014)

blergh...
blergh…

This EP has some high expectations to live up to. I am happy to report it lives up to mine. Production is very tight/clean and no doubt this is a recording with all the computer trickery in full employ but the balance and clarity they have achieved makes it well worth it. (*Kudos to Beau McKee) Having seen this band a number of times live I have expected them to make concessions for the lack of effects and technical wizardry behind the djent-sound however I am always impressed by the technical prowess and efficiency of the members pulling it off on stage …especially the drummer George whose work is a major feature at shows and Jack: the bands enigmatic front man. They have clearly gigged this material and refined it all down to the best possible versions before tracking and releasing it. In the end, the results speak for themselves.

‘Purge’ kicks things off with an ambient little intro that explodes into a powerful groove filled with clever little staccato bits and discordant droning over the top, something that you’ll hear quite a few times across the EP (ala Structures/Northlane et al.) Jack’s vocals enter at the 1 minute mark and the energy instantly kicks up a notch. He is a vocalist whose voice sounds equal parts unique and dynamic. There’s an immediate connection between the passionate feeling behind Jack’s delivery and the music’s aggression and never comes across feigned or half-arsed.

‘Dead Eye’ is a strong but slower track featuring Ryan Bowles, vocalist from Prepared Like A Bride. PLAB have been a supporters of the Void of Vision boys since their early days and have shared the stage plenty of times and clearly have been an influence. The ending of this song gets a little more melodic and really helps to make Jack’s emotional cry of ‘I will remember you’ all the more convincing.

Lifeblood – was the lead single released in advance of this EP’s arrival a few months back and is a high energy and fast paced jam that immediately makes an impact. The riffs have a particularly metallic vibe to them and it’s easily a highlight track. The drums are busy and brilliant here utilising blasts, huge fills and machine gun tight double kick.

Nightmare – is another fun jam, the djent-as-fuck section at the 2 minute mark just kills. Seriously. The later half of the song leans more towards the bands earlier work using a bit more guitar tapping and ambient lead tones when there’s a bit more space. Rhythmically though..this is on point.

Persist // Perceive closes out the EP with more of the established melodic post-hardcore stylings and up tempo drumming. They keep your foot tapping and head moving and then at the 1 minute mark it all shifts gear to break back down into another solid groove, ambient droning and a few bendy riffs. It’s quite easy to imagine this material setting up crowds for some big pit-action.

Fans of Northlane, Prepared Like A Bride (and all the rest) will immediately understand and anticipate all the tricks and tactics the band engages across these 5 songs so there’s no re-inventing the wheel here. It’s a great sounding recording and style wise it is a perfect entry point for any one not yet familiar with the band. I really hope this helps to establish the group beyond Victoria and out to the wider east-coast and beyond. Personally I look forward the day when they get bored of this style and start to experiment and try different things ..so in that respect I still think the best is yet to come from these lads, but for now.. they needed to get a firm release out, hop on some tours and build momentum. Job well done lads.

Pay what you want…but make it good!

http://voidofvision.bandcamp.com/

 

Surrender – Dark Wings, Dark Words (single) 2014

welcome back to the game boys..
Dark Wings, Dark Words

Surrender have unleashed the first taste of their upcoming sophomore album with this blast called ‘Dark Wings, Dark Words’.

For those new to the band the story goes like this: they independently recorded and released a brilliant melodic/hc punk album a few years back titled ‘One Day’ which turned out to be a very rewarding slow burner! They relocated from one side of the continent to the other..and more or less started over. From there the story goes much like the others…gigs, more gigs, plug the album..go quiet.

Present day: they’re back and armed with new music to stir up floors and pits with, the aggression and energy is present and most noticeably the production is a big step up on this!

David’s vocals are hoarse and scratchy like Chuck Ragan on a bad day, very well suited to the melodic and driving punk/rock angle at work here. I think the time is right for stuff like this with the international spotlight on bands like Trophy Eyes, Paper Arms, Smith Street Band. Hopefully we can add Surrender to that list!!

https://surrender.bandcamp.com/track/dark-wings-dark-words

f/b -> http://www.facebook.com/surrenderaus

Love Alone – Zero (single) 2014

...dem feels...
Zero

Melbourne 5 piece and sad-boiz club members ‘Love Alone’ have released a new track ‘Zero’ which follows up their insanely good split w/ ‘Hindsight’ (SA) from earlier this year.

This blast of emotionally charged and expertly crafted music lasts just over 3 minutes and touches on all the key elements that has made this band a standout in 2014. There’s the ambient bits at the start, fast punk bits, screamy bits with punchy stop start moments, slower melodic bits..and the production is just what you’d want, all the instruments are present, the mix is balanced and powerful, vocals right on top, drums dead centre and guitars typically enormous. Lyrically this ones a tad on the sad side, gets you right in the feels.. you have been warned.

The band is offering it up for FREE/PWYW on bandcamp:

http://lovealoneau.bandcamp.com/

Sincerely, Grizzly – Kafkaesque (single) 2014

a0947509585_10

Power-trio from Adelaide ‘Sincerely, Grizzly’ dropped this 9 minute epic back in February. Sadly it’s taken me this long to get onboard..and just as im getting my head around this incredible song, I learn there is a full length headed our way in November titled ‘Halves’ handled by Black Night Crash Records. Frickin rad.

The band has a dynamic and powerful approach to song writing not often heard in the current wave of post-genre-screamo. The attack and urgency of the opening minutes lean towards early LaDispute/Touche Amore but as the song relents and unwinds the guitars back off, drums and bass carry for a while and semi-spoken word vocal delivery and noodly-guitar parts balance it out. It makes for a really memorable piece of music. The closing line which is repeated over the final moments of ‘Kafkaesque’ is an eerie little mantra ‘I wish I could wish you well/But I hope you go to hell’  and is bound to grab folks attention and set crowds into a manic chant full of mic grabs and chest bumps.

This is awesome! Bring on November!

FREE D/L via bandcamp…

http://sincerelygrizzly.bandcamp.com/track/kafkaesque

http://www.facebook.com/sincerelygrizzly

Kiri – Self Titled 7″ (2014)

yup.. Kiri
yup.. Kiri

Brisbane based skramz crew ‘Kiri’ are about to drop this self-titled debut containing 4 tracks, some very cool art and some intense sounds!! Physical distro for the 7” will be via the champs at Lacklustre Records and online through the various bandcamps attached.

This female fronted/4 piece is possibly named after a brand of cheese..or a character from Mortal Kombat..or even less likely after a small community within the Congo. Honestly…i dont know. In lurking about the internets trying to source tidbits of information on this band i discovered all of manner of fascinating trivia…like how they refer to themselves as zion dance party/ gabber music? Other things included how guitarist Uda is the mastermind behind the Eunoia Collective (http://eunoiacollective.com/) and also how vocalist Tessa Fox is a rather talented writer and photographer… you’ve possibly read or seen her work without knowing it if you’re a Brisbane native! See for your self > http://tessafox.com

About the music though…

As the opening guitar noodling of ‘Above The Earth’ kicks things off, the surprising clarity of the mix and authenticity of Tessa’s vocals all hits home in an instant. You can hear every instrument and yet it’s not super compressed and tight. There is a liveliness present but it’s far from being lo-fi! I havn’t heard stuff like this since ‘The Bare Arms’ (NSW) from a few years ago who sadly called it quits. Not to harp on about it..but I think there’s something great about the way a woman’s voice carries in this style of music (see also: Outright) and i would love to hear more of it! Obvious things aside though.. the purely Australian accent is in tact and the energy is really high in this music!

The guitar work ranges from clean, math-noodle inspired riffs to jagged, harsh and discordant!! In short they hit all the trademark nails on their heads and it’s a quite a bit of fun to listen to. Even the awkward bass lead in the opening moments of ‘Chatter in the Skull’ has a playful feel to it before exploding in blast beats and raw sensational noise! Clearly this band has intended to have as much fun as they can whilst maintaining some integrity and seriousness through it all.

EP closer ‘Highbrow’ has this awesome bass/drum intro as Tessa screams over the top. 30 seconds in it gears up a notch and starts to sound similar to ‘Off Minor’ with the furious drumming (blast beats and fills and noise!!) and guitars just screaming! The songs never running long enough to get bored or consider skipping. The 4 tracks fly by all too quickly and it’s easy to just hit repeat and do it all again!

All up: a great debut from some talented people, hopefully this is just the start and we get to hear some more soon!

RIYL: Off Minor, Lilith, Beau Navir, Love.Like..Electrocution etc

https://www.facebook.com/apeykiri

http://lacklustrerecords.bigcartel.com/