The Pod – The Pod (2017)

The PodThe Pod (Accident Prone Records, CD/digital 02 June 2017; LP 25 August 2017)

 

I’ll admit, I don’t really listen to electronic or synthesized music, because I have trouble getting into anything that’s too inorganic or artificial. Just a matter of personal taste, I guess, but whenever something shows up in my inbox that’s full of bloops and beeps and (especially) fake digital drums, it generally finds its way to the trash folder pretty quickly. Not intending to offend anybody here, I mean I understand there is certainly a market for that type of thing because it does appeal to a lot of people, but I just happen not to be one of them — and it wouldn’t make any sense for me to waste my time trying to write about something that I just don’t understand (or for you to waste YOUR time reading it).

However, when I find out that there’s a drone-ambient-synth project created by Mr. Scott Endres, guitarist and one of the songwriters for MAKE (one of my favorite bands, as you surely have noticed by now), and someone with whom I know (via the magic of social media) I share a rather large overlap in musical taste — well, I’m going to take notice, and give it a chance. I’m glad I did. Now I’ll share it with you, and I think you’ll be glad too.

 

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Heathen Beast – Rise of the Saffron Empire; MAKE – Pilgrimage of Loathing (2016)

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Heathen BeastRise of the Saffron Empire (Transcending Obscurity Distribution, 25 April 2016)

 

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MAKEPilgrimage of Loathing (Accident Prone Records, 15 July 2016)

 

It’s pretty much a universal truth that there are terrible people and terrible situations everywhere in the world, often when it comes to people who have power and influence over other people and the ability to make decisions about the laws and how the public is governed. This has been a societal problem for as long as society has existed, and people have always tried to find ways to protest or fight back. Back in olden times, folks like Woody Guthrie or Peter, Paul and Mary would sit around, holding hands, and singing about how the times were a-changin’. But since then, the times have a-changed; from MC5 to Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine protest songs have increasingly shifted from blowin’ in the wind to fighting the powers that be.

To illustrate that concept, today we’re going to take a look at new or recent releases by two bands from different sides of the world, which nevertheless seem to share a similar ideology.

 

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MAKE – Demos & Outtakes (2013), The Golden Veil (2015), In Pursuit (2015)

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MAKEDemos & Outtakes (self-released, 26 January 2013)

 

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MAKEThe Golden Veil (Black Iron Records, 17 July 2015)

 

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MAKEIn Pursuit (self-released, 30 December 2015)

Okay folks, lots of ground to cover today, so let’s just jump straight in. Cool? Cool.

The last time we talked about MAKE, the Chapel Hill band that combines blackened atmospheric doom with blackgaze and drone/ambient elements (for lack of a more concise description), it was a little over three years ago, and the band had just put out an EP of material that didn’t quite fit on their previous album (one which had ranked among the best albums of 2012), but also wouldn’t quite match the direction of their next one — which they had said they were beginning to work on around that same time…

 

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Devouter Records Does It Again: Solar Halos’ Self-Titled Debut (Review)

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Solar HalosSolar Halos (20 January 2014, Devouter Records)

 

When halo rings the moon or sun, rain’s approaching on the run.

So goes the old saying. The atmospheric phenomenon known as a halo (which could be solar or lunar) involves the refraction of light through ice crystals in the air; as a beam of light strikes the crystalline structure at just the right angle, it is refracted as if passing through a prism, and the rays end up being bent into an arc shape that appears (to the viewer on the ground) to encircle the source of that light (i.e. the sun or moon). Traditionally this has been seen as an omen of approaching bad weather — which makes sense because, as people discovered when they started learning more about the science behind meteorology, the conditions that produce this optical wonder involve a certain amount of moisture being in the air as well as the approach of a warmer front which would generally precipitate (pun intended) impending rainfall. A quick Google image search shows that these halos are beautiful to look at, even though they may be foreshadowing that things could soon turn dark and unpleasant.

There’s another truism that says an email that comes from Devouter Records is a sign of excellent music on its way. Although not nearly as old or well-known, I’ve found this statement to be 100% accurate, dating back to the 2012 LP Trephine by MAKE and through every release since then. Added just a week ago to this impressive list is the debut album by Solar Halos, who just happen to come from the same North Carolina town (Chapel Hill) as their labelmates.

 

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MAKE – Axis EP

 

MAKEAxis (01 November 2012, Black Iron Records)

 
Hellooooooooo out there, readers! I vaguely remember that I used to do this thing where I’d listen to music, and then write about it, and then you’d read it and listen to the music too, and then everyone was happy. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing much of that recently — I guess a variety of reasons which could pretty much be summed up as “life getting in the way” — but I do want to get back into the habit.

Today let’s talk about this EP that was released by the North Carolinian post-atmospheric-ambient-blackish-doomy band MAKE back at the beginning of this month. I told you it would be coming (here and here) and if you’ve been reading my stuff for a while you already know how much I fawned over their debut LP Trephine (reviewed here).

Somehow during the course of all of that, I neglected to share the preview video for the EP — for which I apologize, but I shall make up for it by adding it here:
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More MAKE News…

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Hey there, party people! You might have noticed that I just wrote about these guys a little over a week ago, when I learned that they had a new three-track EP ready to be released at the beginning of next month. At that time, I told you that Axis was being released through Black Iron Records as a digital download on Bandcamp, on the first of November — which is just two more days away, so hopefully you’re as excited as I am about that!

But since that post, I learned even better news, with the promise of even more new MAKE material coming our way in the not-too-distant future!
 
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MAKE Announce a New EP, to be Released Soon!

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So the North Carolinian blackish post-something-or-other band MAKE just saw their album Trephine (read my review here, in which I invent the term “post-atmospheric-blackened-doom-metal”) released on vinyl by Devouter Records not quite three months ago, and the original self-release (online and on CD) was just over four months earlier.

However, they apparently didn’t want to sit around and waste any time before getting back to work, because this morning the band announced that not only had they completed work on a new three-song EP, but that it’s all ready to be released in just thirteen days!

 

On November 1st, 2012 we’ll be releasing our latest EP, Axis, on Black Iron Records (that’s us) as a digital download via Bandcamp. We’ll include a PDF of liner notes then, but for now here’s the cover art [above] and tracklisting:

1. Axis
2. Chimera
3. The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

 
You can be sure I’ll be bringing you more information about this as soon as I know anything new, but in the meantime you can keep an eye on the band using the assortment of links below…

 
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MAKE: blog, Facebook, Bandcamp