Now Available: Undersmile – Narwhal

 

UndersmileNarwhal (Future Noise Recordings, 28 May 2012)

 
If you spend any amount of time poking around this blog (and I highly encourage you to do so!), you’ll quickly notice that I have a fairly broad range of musical taste. Most of the stuff that I listen to would be classified under some metal genre or other, although not all of it. Everything else would usually fall into one or more categories of punk, hardcore, hard rock, or pretty much anything that’s heavy, but once again, you still couldn’t fit all that I listen to in such neat little boxes. Even just looking at the metal music, you’d find me all over the spectrum there as well, touching upon (at least to some degree) practically every subgenre ever invented.

However, one recurring theme you might discover, is that I’ve always had a certain affinity towards the sludgey, the grimey, the filthy, and in particular, the mind-numbingly slow. If it sounds like it was recorded with an hourglass instead of a metronome, chances are I’ll be all over it like zombies attacking a MENSA convention.

So naturally, when I first discovered Oxfordshire’s Undersmile (courtesy of American Aftermath including one of their songs on last summer’s Summer of Sludge compilation), I instantly fell in love, because they just totally hit all the right buttons for me.

Late last year when I heard the news that they were in the process of recording their debut full-length album, I was delighted, and later, when more details and some preview tracks started to emerge, I got even more excited.

Did you ever have something you were anticipating so much that you almost felt nervous about whether it would ultimately live up to the hype? Even if it turns out to be really really good, could it possibly be as good as you were expecting? Or even worse, what if the thing you were so convinced was going to be amazing — and that you’ve been telling everyone around you how amazing you think it’ll be — turns out to be terrible? Of course, you wouldn’t be looking forward to something that much without having some prior knowledge or some sort of basis on which to establish those expectations, so there’s a very small chance that it would, in fact, be awful — but there’s still that remote possibility. Isn’t that just nerve-wracking?

Well now that I’ve gotten my copy of Undersmile’s Narwhal and listened to it a few times, I’ve discovered that I didn’t even know the meaning of the words “terrible” or “awful”…

 

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Coming Soon: Undersmile Reveal Cover Art, Track Listing, and More!

Well, would you look at that.  It’s early Monday morning, it’s cold and rainy outside, and I have to go to work.  What a miserable way to start the day.  Just when I was thinking I could really use something dark and dismal to match my bleak mood, so that I could feel a little better, check out this treasure trove of incredible news I just found on Facebook!

I’ve been bubbling with excitement about a new Undersmile album ever since it was announced, as I mentioned when I wrote about that announcement back in November.  (Check out that earlier post if you need a brief introduction to the band and some of their earlier work.)  Well as it turns out, Future Noise has just announced a ton of brand new details about that album, Narwhal, which is now scheduled to emerge on 28 May 2012.

At the top of this post you can admire the artwork that will be adorning the new record (by artist Tony Roberts, who has done work in the past for bands such as Conan and Electric Wizard), and further down will be the full tracklist, as well as information on where you can hear a couple of these tracks now — plus how you can preorder a copy of the album!

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Coming Soon: Undersmile Debut Album Promises to be ‘Hideous’

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Oxonian sludge quartet Undersmile have announced some new details for their forthcoming debut album Narwhal

First, near the end of last week, it was revealed on their Facebook page that producer/engineer Billy Anderson (whose impressive resume includes work on albums by such luminaries as Eyehategod, Melvins, High on Fire, and many others) is currently mixing the record.

Then, earlier today, a press release from Future Noise gave a tentative release date of 9 April, 2012.

Hel Sterne, one of the band’s two vocalists and guitarists, personally has assured me that the new release will be “hideous”.  She was also kind enough to provide the following video as a preview of what you can expect in April:

Narwhal will be the band’s first official full-length release, but is coming on the heels of their recent EP Undertaker (a split between Undersmile and Caretaker) which is available for streaming, or for purchase via either digital download or CD, at Bandcamp.

Also available for streaming or digital download at Bandcamp is last year’s EP A Sea of Dead Snakes, although sadly I have learned that the limited-run CD copies (which, like the split EP above, had been made available by Blindsight Records) recently have sold out.

Stay tuned right here for further information as it becomes available, or even better, “like” Undersmile on Facebook for updates direct from the source!