AusGrind: Australian underground grindcore, punk, doom and DIY culture.
24Aug/12Off

REVIEW: Gaza – No Absolutes in Human Suffering

Posted by Lachlan

Gaza - No Absolutes In Human SufferingOh man. What an intense album.

Gaza's 'No Absolutes In Human Suffering' is an excursion of dissonance, fury and blastbeats; a sludge-and-grind hybrid is delivered with seething nihilism and apocalyptic despair.

The group combine the grooving polyrhythms of Botch, the jarring fury of Converge and Coalesce, the sludgy hate of Eyehategod and the sheer blasting intensity of Pig Destroyer.  The result is visceral and intense; breathing new life into some of the more tired aspects of hardcore.

What makes this album so powerful are occasional departures into reflective passages - like the ending half of When They Beg, which drifts off into a warm, droning meditation, boasting a melody that reminds me more of Genghis Tron's prettier moments.

The emotional impact of segments like this really set the band apart from many of the one-dimensional / one-mood bands I've turned away from in the past. It's a little concept called dynamics. You want to create the heaviest riff ever written? Well, write it, and then set it in the middle of a beautiful and delicate 10 minute major key dream piece. Its impact will be multiplied tenfold.

While I've been stuck in the mindset that most modern hardcore and grind is stagnant and uninteresting, bands like IDYLLS, In Trenches and Gaza are out to prove me wrong - and they're doing it quite well.

With 'No Absolutes In Human Suffering', Gaza have landed themselves one of the better releases in the genre for 2012.

Definitely an album worth checking out. Go stream the whole thing.

16Jul/12Off

Converge and Napalm Death Split 7″ EP Teaser

Posted by Matt

Stream the Napalm Death/Converge teaser track below, out soon on Deathwish Inc.

29Jun/12Off

7 Australian bands you should know about

Posted by Lachlan

Back in 2008 I wrote a piece called 'New bands you should know about in the Australian scene'. Since then, that piece has consistently been one of our highest traffic drivers.  So, I've resolved to update my list to tell you a little bit about the Australian bands that are rocking my world now in 2012.

Hydromedusa

Hydromedusa

These Adelaide-based stoner/doom merchants and quite simply one of the fastest rising stars in Australia's underground. They Combine incredibly classy, high-energy blues-based rock with thc-drenched, psychedelic sensabilities, and an apprenticeship from our nation's greatest doom band, Space Bong, these guys are one hell of a dynamic and versatile

unit. They can make you tap your does, wallow in drugged-out bliss, or drop you into a pit of droning despair - like a magicial amalgammation of Church of Misery, Bongzilla, and Space Bong.

Go download their debut album for free. Word is they've been working on a new one; and I'm hoping they're a staple for this years Doomsday Festival.

The Reverend Jesse Custer

The Reverend Jesse CusterThese Canberra grindpals are awesome, awesome, AWESOME. Seriously, I struggle to think of a more exciting Australian live band at this point in time. Every single time I've seen these guys play, I've been blown away -- and they just keep getting better.

The Reverend Jesse Custer mix up seething metallic hardcore, with gritty sludge, frenetic grind, feedback, fury and groove. As a band they're never sitting still. Their compositions are as intelligent as they are enjoyable. A single-tempo genre band these guys definitely are not.

Just fucking awesome. I don't feel like their recording fully does them justice, but you should check it out regardless. A new one has apparently already been put to tape.

IDYLLS

Man, has these been a buzz about these guys! I'm writing this a few days before IDYLLS hit Sydney as part of their 2-week tour of Australia. Their new album "Farewell All Joy" has been kicking peoples asses for the last few months, and I simply cannot wait to see them unleash their bizarre form of aural carnage live.

These guys play unique, furious metallic hardcore here in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan, Agents of Abhorrence and early Converge. Awesome. Go get it.

In Trenches

In TrenchesIn Trenches play seething metallic hardcore from Melbourne. These veterans have been instrumental in leading Australia's new brand of hardcore - focused on infusing complex rhythms, post-metal, sludge and even psychedelic and blackened elements.

Their recent album Sol Obscura is a cracker. Check it out.

Killsong

And now for something completely different. These guys remind me of the multi-headed beastfuck spawn of a smokey, seedy jazz band, a rock opera, a group of sketchy gypsy circus toughs, a brilliant improvised spoken-word poet descending into madness, and a degenerate that is forced to clown for meth. Essentially they're indescribably brilliant. Their music / performance is theatric, musically impressive, comedic, and generally just mind-blowing. Absolute insanity.

Features members of Squat Club, Darth Vegas, Gauche, The Bznzz, Slimey Things, Rica Tetas and other awesome things. They've got some live bootlegs up on their Soundcloud, but their debut album should be out through Art As Catharsis a little later in the year.

Jesus Christ Posse

Jesus Christ PosseSydney old school hardcore punk rock executed brilliantly, and with a hilarious militant Christian schtick. Apparently at their last show they begun by reenacting the crucifixtion of Jesus on a giant cross, then raised their front man from the dead to start the first song.

Another one thats more of a live band, but check out the album.

Space Bong

Still the best droning doom band on the planet. Definitely up there with Yob, Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Sunn O))), Earth and the like. They've got a new album coming out a bit

later in the year, but for now you can enjoy 2010's The Death of Utopia (though I'm not sure if 'enjoy' is the right word if we're talking one of the darkest and most depressive bands on earth).

26May/12Off

New IDYLLS album is available now

Posted by Lachlan

IDYLLS - Farwell All JoyIDYLLS' new album, optimistically titled 'Farewell All Joy', is available now through Monolith and Tenzenmen.

When you pre-order the 12" you get an IMMEDIATE download of the album. It's fucking loose. They've got some cool shirts too. Check it out if you're into Agents of Abhorrence, early Converge or Discordance Axis (and maybe Daughters or The Locust?).

Press thing says this:

‘Farewell All Joy’ is an intense journey that brings to ferocious light the uglier sides of human experience. Brisbane’s IDYLLS balance astounding technical precision and an unbridled punishment across all instruments with a gnashing, multi-faceted vocal input. The 10 harrowing tracks warp 20 minutes through an insurmountable passage of time, with absolutely maniacal arrangements, grinding intensity, and sudden yet progressive drops in mood as key components.

Go listen / buy / download.

Oh yeah, and they're playing 30 June at Black Wire Records with Serious Beak. More on that later.

Serious Beak and IDYLLS at Black Wire Records

25May/12Off

REVIEW: IDYLLS – Farewell All Joy

Posted by Lachlan

IDYLLS - Farewell All joyIs this the future of grind?

Perhaps I should be more accurate. Is this the future of intense, chaotic music? Whereas so many bands that define themselves are 'grindcore' in a pure sense seem doomed to rehash the same tired old influences*, it feels like this crazy little band out of Brisbane spend their time pushing far more interesting ideas - not only in terms of riffs, rhythms and structures, but also sonically; their overall choice in tones and sounds.

On IDYLLS 'Farewell All Joy' the guitars crackle and squeek and scream and sparkle in the most bizarre way. Instead of creating clear, thick riffing, the guitars seem to attack with frantic metallic stabs - and effect is unique as it is discomforting. Lord knows what fucking absurd riffs they're playing half the time.

Disjointed sections, convoluted rhythms and dissonance rule in IDYLLS world - and this is matched by an overall production aethetic that is dry, trashy, and metallic. The result is pure cacophanous mayhem. It's like IDYLLS are digging into the very essence of sonic discomfort and chaos, and the effect is a very convincing one.

Unexpectedly, the final track 'Susy' departs into errie of reverb-drenched tremolo drone and feedback - almost referencing something that Earth might write. It's an interesting way to end the album after 9 songs of largely swirrling chaos (the exception being the more mid-paced breakdown of 'Amps For God / Plague Hell'). Or maybe I should rephrase that - it's an interesting dynamic to introduce in opposition to everything else on 'Farewell All Joy', but as an album bookend it just seem too typical and too contextless. I really like the concept and the idea, but I hope these more moody or dynamically dissimilar ideas are explored a little more within the actual body of the album in the future, rather than slapped on as an outro. It just seems too cheap.

But I digress. Overall "Farewell All Joy" is an intense, interesting and worthwhile take on modern hardcore. It's satisfyingly chaotic, and really leaves me wanting to catch these guys live, and  curious as to where they will take their sound with future releases.

Definitely check it out if you're a fan of early-Converge, Agents of Abhorrence, Daughters, and Discordance Axis.

Go get it.

* If you hold a dissenting opinion, please provide reference to grind brands doing new and interesting things. I would love to hear some new fucking grindcore that doesn't bore me into a predictable death.

15May/12Off

REVIEW: In Trenches – Sol Obscura

Posted by Lachlan

In Trenches - Sol Obscura: out now on MonolithThe sound of Australian hardcore is changing. The music seems to be getting darker and heavier with every passing year.

Australian hardcore today seems to be a long way from the days of old Toe to Toe - or even the polished hardcore offerings of later-era Mindsnare. Today's scene is being shaped and driven by like In Trenches, Lo!, Totally Unicorn, Robotosaurus, The Rivalry (I miss you), Night Hag, No Anchor, IDYLLS, The Matador and At Dark. These bands are embracing experimentation, complex rhythms, noise, dissonance, dirging drone and ambience in a move away from the sterile 'one mood, one volume' sound of overcompressed modern hardcore - and this makes me exceedingly happy.

Melbourne's In Trenches really represent a lot of the best progressive elements in modern Australian hardcore. Their music has a basis in seething, noisy hardcore sludge with a slight black metal tinge and occasional departure into spacey post-metal meditation. They're forging a more dynamic and progressive style of heavy music that owe as much to bands like Isis, Cult of Luna, and Wolves in the Throne Room as they do Converge and Eyehategod.

Sol Obscura also represents a complete rejection of the sterile production of modern hardcore. There are no close-mic'd, beat-replaced drums to be found here, and the guitars are cold, squashed and over-compressed. Instead, In Trenches have opted for a far more organic approach, which allows for far more life, more feeling and more dynamics in the music. (Insert a recognition that recording/mixing was handled by a Joel Taylor at Three Phase Studios.)

If this is where hardcore music is moving - into more progressive and dynamic territory - then I can't wait to see how the style progresses. And it would seem that, once again, Australia is on the very cusp of a new development in underground music.

Do yourself a favour. Listen to In Trenches and support Australian underground music.

Nice one, Monolith.

In Trenches in action