Cult of Youth announces European tour, shares videos from KEXP sessions

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Cult of Youth have been keeping quite busy since the release of their magnum opus Final Days. In keeping with their ambitious touring schedule, the band are slated to head back to Europe for most of the month of October. In conjunction with this announcement the band are sharing two videos from their recent KEXP sessions which give really great insight to their power and energy as a live band.

Pitchfork says of their recent album: “Final Days’ exhilarating, cathedral-toppling spectacle could prove to be the career game-changer that ensures his band remains a cult no more.”

 

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Album Review: SNAFU Take Us Beyond the Quarantine Zone on Present Day Plague

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Present Day Plague, the title of Detroit hardcore-thrashers SNAFU’s new full length, fittingly conjures to mind the bacterially infectious shredded punk that saturates its deceptively brief 19 tracks.

“Subhuman Scum” is the first of several segue tracks, moments when we can catch our breath before being dragged into the next pummelling track of concentrated vitriol. There’s a science fiction drone to these segue tracks, accentuated by distorted sampled dialogue. It’s the eerie sound we might hear in our heads as we cross into a quarantine zone, unaware of the fetid abominations we may by provoking. Rolling drums down in the mix hint at the true sound of SNAFU, undiluted by effects and studio wizardy, opting instead for bared wounds braving toxic nights. A build of shrieking feedback marks the quarantine breach and we’re immediately dropped into the all out flash thrash of “Her Dark Past”. From here Present Day Plague plunges like a roller coaster that peaks before you even know it’s moving, conserving all of your alertness for an ever-deepening fall. Yet, it’s not quite a musical free fall as SNAFU exhibit the utmost control amidst hyper-dense shredding, riffs that manage agility, tightness, and an almost tangible thickness, and vocals that sound so raw you can almost smell the iron in the blood.

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Tom Woodward Releases New Album On Magic Monster Records

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Here Come The Flies can be streamed at http://tomwoodward.bandcamp.com/album/here-come-the-flies

Australian psych-pop songwriter Tom Woodward has signed to LA based label, Magic Monster Records. Tom Woodward released his latest album, Here Come The Flies, through Magic Monster, July 2015. The album is tinged with influences from a diverse musical pond including David Bowie, Arthur Russell and Philip Glass.

Born and raised in the capital city of Australia, Woodward is an eclectic avant-guitar genre defying songwriter who honed his unique style performing in bars and on street corners of various Australian cities. In 2015 he has self released two full length LPs and has been touring the world ever since.

Here Come The Flies can be streamed at http://tomwoodward.bandcamp.com/album/here-come-the-flies

MORE INFO

Website: http://tomwoodwardmusic.com
Bandcamp:http://tomwoodward.bandcamp.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/tomwoodwardmusic

SINGLE REVIEW: Rock Masters Band Take Their Vows on Latest Double Single

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We reviewed Rock Masters Band’s double single “Hit the City/Diamonds”  in April and now they’re back with the sweltering summer double single of “Shooting Star” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Saves Lives.” As the titles suggest, this is a more straightforward Rock Masters Band than the velvety version we met in April. This time they’ve got every lithe muscle poised to pounce with jaws ready for jugulars.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Winter Calling’s Baffling Virtuoso Prog Metal Epic As Darkness Falls

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Winter Calling have created a record at once very straightforward and all in the same baffling with As Darkness Falls. As musicians, their virtuoso skill is impeccable. The sound remains solid and focused from track to track but I’m still left with the sense that Winter Calling were on the verge of making a few different records at once. It could be a masterful blend of influences or it could be that the influences weren’t blended enough. But just when I think I’ve got a handle on what I’m listening to, Winter Calling jars me and all that I’m left holding onto is their adept musicianship. The songs themselves meanwhile have completely escaped me.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Michael Cullen Finds Purgatory in His Southern Gothic Record True Believer

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On Michael Cullen’s sophomore effort True Believer, the Sydney-based lounge lizard artfully marries Southern Gothic dustiness to black-sequined seediness in a way that actually reveals a true sense of class, albeit through eccentricity. Of course, we have to mention the obligatory Crime and the City Solution-isms that pepper the record, the shining black Rowland S. Howard-isms and the Bad Seediness that is reverently delivered (as is the duty of so many great Australian records that can’t escape those looming legends – as if anyone would want to!) There’s even a few moments on True Believer that recount The Church as should be the case seeing as the record was co-produced by The Church’s Tim Powles. But to write Michael Cullen’s music off as Australian-by-numbers, dust-and-sand post-punk sells it quite short.

True Believer unfolds with the pregnant drama of a metaphysical western, beginning with the weary, warbling tension of a southern gothic guitar chord strummed on “Black Dog.” Beneath the abrasive grit and a voice that sounds like a 5 o’clock shadow looks and a shot of cheap whiskey tastes, you can feel the human spirit Cullen sweats. But that’s not to say the source isn’t buried deep beneath layers of taunting sing-song “la la la”s and a vocal style that conjures Leonard Cohen so strongly that Cullen doesn’t even bother to hide it, referencing the man himself in the lyrics. The scarred nihilism carries over into “Believer” with vocals uttered like a gambler laying the cards down on the table, nothing to lose and only the pain of hope to gain. Guitar echoes across brassy beats. Strums careen across swathes of organ. It almost seems inappropriate to dance to it but you’ll at least tap your boots.

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DRAB MAJESTY CARELESS LP OUT NOW ON DAIS RECORDS

WATCH & SHARE: Drab Majesty – ‘The Foyer’ (Official Music Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg-W3PVVSaQ

ORDER: Drab Majesty – Careless
http://shop.daisrecords.com/collections/frontpage/products/drab-majesty-careless-lp

In the smoggy orange light of a new millennium, the young Deb Demure would take the bus, once a week, from his home in crumbling Hollywood to his grandmother’s apartment, nestled in the pastel pristineness of Beverly Hills. During these visits, Deb couldn’t help but notice the disconnect between the glow of his grandmother’s temple, and the downtrodden, alienated figures that populated the seats of the mass transit that took him there. Week after week, he would observe these characters: fading B-movie starlets, leisure-suited alcoholics, aging transgender prostitutes, and forgotten civil servants. But one fateful commute home, as the twilight waned to the purple Los Angeles night, he realized these figures were not as lost as they appeared – there was a nobility in their failure, reflective of the dignity of the city’s vanishing golden era. They were survivors, in need of a voice: a spokesperson for every color of hope and hopelessness, transcendent of gender and time; Drab Majesty became Deb’s musical podium for this undertaking.

Raised in a music-centric household, Deb would find the time to teach himself to play his father’s right-handed guitar upside down and left-handed; an unorthodox fashion from where his earliest understanding of chords and harmony were conceived. Exploring the bins of discarded vinyl in his neighborhood thrift stores, his toolkit expanded with the subterranean sonic gems of the recent past.  Influences range from the virtuosic arpeggiated guitar work of Felt‘s Maurice Deebank and the grittier pop progressions of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry‘s Chris Reed as well as Steve Severin from Siouxsie and The Banshees.  He also studied the harmonic oscillations and utilization of the occult power of vibratory frequency present in New Age sounds of Greek artist, IASOS.  In terms of orchestration, he consciously culls from the seaside maximalism of Martin Dupont and mechanized grooves of earlyDepeche Mode.  Like a dualistic pendulum, his vocals swing from a preistly baritone to a choir boy’s falsetto reflecting the sepulchral ambiance of church visits with his grandmother.

Currently the drummer for Los Angeles lo-fi rock ensemble Marriages and having honed an unorthodox home recording style, Deb sources his sounds from a repository of “mid-fi” synthesizers and other lesser-quality instruments.  Following the release of his debut cassette EP, “UNARIAN DANCES”, he also shared a split 12″ with synth pop forefathers, Eleven Pond.  During the Spring of 2015, Drab Majesty signed with Dais Records and released his first single, Unknown to the I, as a introduction for his first initial foray into the album format, romantically titled Careless.

Dais Records releases Drab Majesty’s debut LP Careless“on June 23, 2015.  Written over the course of 2 years, Careless is a compendium of songs that have outlasted a malicious burglary of his studio, his struggles with substance addiction, and most recently, the death of his beloved grandmother.

LINKS
Dais Records
Drab Majesty

SINGLE REVIEW: The Unravelling Give Us a Bird’s Eye View of The End Times on “Master Drone”

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With the chemical burns of their latest single “Revolt” still cooling, Canadian industrial metalheads The Unravelling return with their latest digital single, the crunchy and concise “Master Drone.” The title suggests what the music reinforces and the lyrics confirm: Big Brother isn’t content to simply watch. No, he’s learned our systems and structures so that he looks like us, talks like us, walks like us…or maybe it’s the other way around. But as the lyrics dissect such subject matter with scrutiny and intricate precision, the music gives us a sweeping aerial overview of the dystopian metropolis, twitching with the unrealised energy that comes with restraint.

Succinct clear vocals narrate the proceedings with steely directness. We can almost feel eyes locking on us, imploring us that the situation is too dire to look away, no matter how strong the temptation. At times the vocals are effected to emphasise the prophetic nature of the observations yet they never waiver in their singular focus and determination. The guitars are perfect sinister soldiers, marching alongside in a violent crushing rhythm. But it’s a lead guitar and gently twinkling synths that lend a panoramic feel to “Master Drone.” We’re left with the impression that we’re looking over the grey grimness from on high, as oily fires punctuate the cityscape.

Like The Unravelling’s previous single “Revolt”, “Master Drone” would have easily been right at home on the Nothing Records label during its pinnacle. It’s hard not to imagine this kicking off an album that walks us right through the middle of the apocalypse.

LINKS

BANDCAMP – theunravelling.bandcamp.com/
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/the unravelling

Album Review: Into the Shimmering Void with Broken Guru’s Bent Up Halo

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Bent Up Halo, the debut album from New York’s Broken Guru, infuses ’60s garage pop and proto punk influences with raw modern energy and impact to create a swaying, gaunt phantom of pure onyx rock ‘n’ roll. Garage bands are often comprised of hep ghouls with one bony hand rifling through an enviable record collection and one foot in the grave that doesn’t want them and in this way Broken Guru don’t break tradition. They’re every bit the lithe revenants you’d expect, but between their sonic mastery and penchant for crafting catchy pop tunes, you’re still likely to succumb to the distinct shimmer in their psychedelic black hole.

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   photo courtesy of Breanna Kay
Austin punks Institute are streaming their forthcoming Catharsis LP in its entirety right now. You can listen to the album here.

Politically speaking, not much has changed about the way Institute exists as a band since signing to Sacred Bones. Having members in Glue, Wiccans, and Back to Back, all fellow stalwarts of the Texas punk scene, helps streamline the approach for them, as all of their bands operate from the same basic ethos. In fact, singer Moses Brown has said they’re only comfortable being on Sacred Bones because he considers the label “a punk label on steroids.” (A note from the label—“Drugs, yes. Steroids, usually no.”)

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