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.
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.
AusGrind and 65 Degrees Music Café are proud to announce that tri-state grinders Captain Cleanoff will return to Sydney for the first time since December 2009. They are joined by Adeladian blast-beat addicts Death-Cult Jock for a duo of caustic double-headers of debauched aural extremity.
Saturday 25 June 2011 at Black Wire Records:
- Captain Cleanoff (VIC/NSW/SA)
- Burning Servant
- Death-Cult Jock (SA)
- Battle Pope
- Michael Crafter
From 7pm. All ages. BYO. Entry $12.
Sunday 26 June 2011 at The Sandringham Hotel:
- Captain Cleanoff (VIC/NSW/SA)
- Roadside Burial
- Death-Cult Jock (SA)
- Serious Beak
- Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt
From 6pm. 18+. Entry $12
Facebook event: http://on.fb.me/fpwkfR
Long a staple of the now legendary and defunct Metal for the Brain festival, Captain Cleanoff have enjoyed a long run as one of Australia’s most-loved grindcore bands – instigating wild moshes and obscene dance-moves wherever they go. For many Aussie grinders, their combination of blast-beat infused punk and an indelible sense of groove is just too infectious to deny.
Now the name Death-Cult Jock may not ring a bell, but its members are definitely no newcomers to the Australian underground music scene. Having played in groups like Space Bong, Meat Wallet, God God Dammit Dammit, The Rivalry, Night Hag and many more, this group plays frenzied, crust-laden grindcore at breakneck speed, calling to mind the likes of Insect Warfare and early Napalm Death.
The tour supports are mix of old and new, featuring;
- thrash punk favourites Burning Servant.
- death/grind veterans Roadside Burial.
- the powerviolence punk duo of Michael Crafter.
- the dissonant and angular jazz/grind of newcomers Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt.
- the hyper-sexualised pious swing/grind of Battle Pope.
- old mates from Ebolie playing in their new frenetic grinding-tech-polyrhythmic-latin-jazz-grind outfit Serious Beak.
- Saturday 25 June 2011 at Black Wire Records (all ages).
- Sunday 26 June 2011 at The Sandringham Hotel.
Supports and more details are expected to be announced shortly. Brought to you by your pals at 65 Degrees Music Cafe.
Thank god. It has been far, far too long. For those unaquainted, Death-Cult Jock is an old-school crust/grind band with members of Space Bong, The Rivalry and God God Dammit Dammit.
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.