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.
The grind hit mix of summer, turn those summer blues around with some real party tunes!
At AusGrind's recent annual shareholders conference (read: a messy drunken grindparty for two) the AusGrind board move to initiate a new social welfare initiative aimed at increasing the grindparty of our fellow Australians over this summer period.
It is in this spirit of charity that we are proud to present AusGrind's Hits of the Summer 2011 - a FREE digital compilation featuring 21 tracks of premium grindparty tunes from some of Australia's greatest grindcore, powerviolence and crossover bands - not to mention some awesome underground gems you might not yet know.
AusGrind's Hits of the Summer is great gift for your grind loving mother on Christmas Day. Please burn this mix to a CD, to place in your shitty car stereo, boost the Treble to 11 and let those buff Gaga-loving circle jerks know who's boss.
Featuring 21 'blastering' tracks from the best underground grindcore boybands Australia has to offer, including The Kill (VIC), Ether Rag (NSW), Death-Cult Jock (SA), Captain Cleanoff, NowyourefuckeD (TAS), Michael Crafter (NSW), IDYLLS (QLD), Night Hag (SA), Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt (NSW) and The Reverend Jesse Custer (ACT).
- Ether Rag - Mortal Combat of Light and Shadow
- Captain Cleanoff - Your Fate
- thedowngoing - hurtnone
- Serious Beak - Lähendama
- Death-Cult Jock - War Through Other Means
- IDYLLS - Tooth and Claw
- Michael Crafter - Tea O Ais
- The Kill - Shower of Bricks
- Nice Guys - Van Damnation
- Night Hag - Coolidge, Kansas
- Battle Pope - Heroin Jesus
- Jesus Christ Posse - Thou Shalt Not Spill
- The Reverend Jesse Custer - Outside of Everything
- ARSEHOLOCAUST - Japanese Nuclear Hero Brigade
- Machinoir - Song Written on a Scrap of Paper
- Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt - Breath Left Breathing
- Dyke Destroyer - Smooth Crotchless Operation
- Frank Rizzo - Left at the Door
- McLovin - White Livers
- NowyourefuckeD - Spasticated Milkman
- Michael Jackson's Doctor - Heil Oettinger
Nigredo is the debut album from Adelaide-based sextet Bronze Chariot. The release also represents the latest of a slew of output from the ever-more-intriguing and diverse South Australian record label Capitalgames Records, who in recent past have featured albums from Coerce, Night Hag and God God Dammit Dammit.
We drop into Nigredo with a beautifully hushed introduction piece played on a lap steel. After this brief mood-setter we move straight into the title track; a driving, hypnotic dark folk/country piece which provides the perfect bedrock for vocalist Benjamin Cooper to bellow out his tale with a characteristic weathered, throaty voice.
From there we fall into Cant Win Em All - which holds a more sedate, melancholy tone, while the fourth Down at the Bar see the group move a little closer to a 'classic' country pub drinking song.
It is from Down at the Bar that Nigredo begins to meander; as if the band is unsure of where to take the listener. By the fifth track By The Crossing I can't help but feel lost.
If there was one criticism of Nigredo then this is it: the album feels not so much like a journey as a collection of songs of similar style. The album closer Horseshoe Bend acts a euphoric, building album-closer, but by then my attention has waned and the journey is already broken.
The musical foundation of Bronze Chariot is solid. Their style of dark, low-gain, folk/country tinged with sedated post-metal and doom provides a nice amalgamation of US Christmas, Earth, Nick Cave and Cult of Luna. However, by referencing these epic "post" bands, I expect to be taken on a fairly clear emotional journey -- at the very least with high and low points. However, the flow of the album doesn't support this journey; and the moods end up being just a little too similar to fulfill my expectation. The 'epic' aspect of the sound falls short.
Make no mistake, Nigredo is an interesting and worthy debut recording from Bronze Chariot. There are songs which most certainly stand out as highlights, and continue to stick in my head. The sound and style of the band is refreshing.
Nigredo is a good launching point for the group; and I look forward to hearing how they progress their style, their tales and their obvious passion for music further in the future. Worth checking out, but not one of the essential releases of the year.
Adelaide's Night Hag are a swirling rage of black-metal tinged dissonant grind and metallic Converge-esque hardcore. As per most bands that come out of South Australia, this one features members of 10,000 other bands - you might recognise names like The Rivalry, Space Bong, Hydromedusa, God God Dammit Dammit, Meat Wallet, Death-Cult Jock and so forth.
Anyway, the band have their new album 'Gilded Age' streaming on Soundcloud for one week only ahead of their upcoming tour to Adelaide Queensland, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. The album is to be released on the awesome Capitalgames Records.
It rules. They rule. Check it out and get grind.
Adelaide's Night Hag play a raging, dark metallic hardcore that brings to mind early Converge. Since they are such nice pals, they would like you to download their first 6-track EP for free:
Night Hag features veterans of South Australia's underground music scene who have previously played in The Rivalry, Space Bong, God God Dammit Dammit, Death-Cult Jock and more. After some Sydney shows in April, the group are expected to be back once more in late July.