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 album is due out on June 11th through Adelaide-based DIY label Capitalgames Records. The label also has the likes of Robotosaurus, Night Hag, God God Dammit Dammit and Bronze Chariot on board.
I've been enjoying the album all morning. Definitely worth a listen for fans of Refused, Propagandhi, Botch, Converge and Coalesce. Very well written and produced.
Check it nice.
I have been an enormous fan of 4 Dead since Ebolie played with them back in 2005. It is therefore with great joy that I am able to pass on news of the upcoming 4 Dead / Robotosaurus East Coast Tour in April.
Wed 13th April - Canberra: Bar 32, with Love Shy and Mammon
Thu 14th April - Sydney: The Townie, Newtown with Totally Unicorn and Fixtures
Fri 15th April - Melbourne: Gasomoter with Agonhymn and In Trenches
Sat 16th April - Melbourne: Catfood Press with Encircling Sea and Useless Children
Sun 17th April - Adelaide: Animal House with Coerce and Dickwolf
Thank Kahn 4 Dead have returned - it has been far, far too long. The guys have a new album coming out *sometime* in 2011. Just get yoself to a show and you will not regret it.
F-Yes! It has finally been announced, the Australian tour for Dangers and Graf Orlock, it is going to be a huge tour with alot of the dates supported by Robotosaurus from all indications. Graf Orlock came to Australia a couple years back and they were really really great, super fast movie inspired grindcore, and with a new singer it only means they are better than before, Dangers are more of your straight up hardcore but are apparently great, I have only just started listening to them but it is pretty darn sweet.
FYI the secret show in Sydney is at AJ's house with supports by Handsome, Sexxy Kids and probably Totally Unicorn. I def recommend hitting this show up it is going to be huuuuuuge.
Fuck, they are all going to be huge! 3 Shows in Sydney, good times. For more information on the tunes by these 2 epic bands please see the links below.
Graf Orlock / Dangers AUSTRALIAN TOUR
THUR JUN 17: Tempo Bar, Brisbane 18+
FRI JUN 18: Northern Rivers Sound, Lismore AA
SAT JUN 19: Burst City, Brisbane AA
SUN JUN 20: Shed 5, Gold Coast AA
TUE JUN 22: Ben's House, Maclean AA
WED JUN 23: The Red Rattler, Marrickville AA
THUR JUN 24: Oxford Tavern, Wollongong 18+
FRI JUN 25: Agincourt Hotel (Club Blink), Sydney AA
SAT JUN 26: AJ's House, Sydney AA
SUN JUN 27: Hamilton Station Hotel, N.ewcastle 18+
TUE JUN 29: Bar 32, Canberra 18+
THUR JUL 1: Irene's Warehouse, Melbourne AA**
FRI JUL 2: The Arthouse, Melbourne 18+**
SAT JUL 3: The German Club, Adelaide LIC/AA**
SUN JUL 4: Secret Show, Adelaide AA**
**shows with Robotosaurus & Coerce
Alright, it's another slow new day/week. So here is a list of killer bands you should familiarise yourself with. Be forewarned; most of them are not metal (which shoudn't really bother you if you have a taste in music rather than a taste in one genre).
Brian Campeau: an incredible acoustic singer/songwriter originally from Canadian, but now located in Sydney. Brian has an incredible vocal range matched with a very unorthodox style of guitar playing. His recorded works are influenced by the likes of Thom Yorke and Bjork; balancing soaring emotional vocals with equal parts minimalist acoustic recordings and dreamy atmospheric textures.
Five Star Prison Cell: a totally unique Australian metal band based heavily around the polyrhythmic complexity of Meshuggah with a healthy helping of groove. These guys are further differentiated by an extremely dynamic vocalist. There is definitely no other band like them; and after seeing these guys play last Friday I have to say they are probably the most insanely tight fuck-off musicians I have seen from a band in a long time.
Helm: I cannot say enough good words about these guys. They have taken the high points of Cult of Luna, Neurosis and Isis and transformed those elements into something really unique. Amazing clean sung harmonies accompany anguished screams and an endless back catalog of killer riffs, build-ups and meditations. Musically these guys fucking know how to structure a song. The more I listen to their debut album, the more I begin to realise that it will not take long for these guys to surpass anything Isis and Cult of Luna have had to offer - and considering my love for both those bands, that is not a small statement to make.
Hospital the Musical: the meeting of Botch, The Locust and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Insanely talented musicians making technically obscene, raging hardcore. Now that could sound like a recipe for disaster, but this bands flirtation with the experimental and dedication to constantly pushing their music in new directions make these guys Australia's best band in the genre since The Rivalry. Their new full length REDorphan is fucking amazing.
Looking Glass: these dudes hark back to the days when psychedelic rock ruled the earth with guitar-wielding gods with obscene narcotic-based diets. Without a doubt, this is THE BEST fucking band in Australia when it comes to stoner and psychedelic rock. They take the best elements of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix without ever sounding derivative. Their live presence is absolutely fucking crushing; and once more (as seems to be the theme) their musicianship is impeccable. Guitarist/vocalist Marcus is one of those rare virtuosos on guitar that makes everyone shut the fuck up and stare in disbelief at the maniac hacking at his guitar strings in total aural ecstacy. Fucking check them out.
Pirate: insane psychedelic and progressive rock. These guys are like The Mars Volta... if The Mars Volta were just 4 dudes playing intensely complex prog shit infused with such incredible groove-hooks and catchy rhythms they didn't need a vocalist to back them up. These dudes are relatively new to the Sydney scene; and fuck me if they havent got everyone's undivided attention.
Squid: two drummers, a double-bassist and two saxes busting out insanely catchy beats in stupid time signatures, and then proceeding jam and dance. I don't know what to call this other than a party jazz jam band, but that label hardly does the immensely talented band members any justice.