The Ravenna Arsenal – I. (self-released, 23 February 2013)
Gholas – Litanies (Dullest Records, 11 February 2014)
Hello out there, folks. Hope this week has gone well for you all. Over the past few days — during which things got pretty crazy busy, to the point where I didn’t have any time to get anything written — I’ve heard some pretty incredible brand-new releases, and I definitely look forward to sharing those with you. But not quite yet; instead, today we’re going to turn back the calendar a little bit, and spend some time with a couple of my favorite releases from years past that I just never quite got around to writing about yet. These were featured in my Top 13 of 2013 and Top 14 of 2014 lists, respectively, chiefly due to the fact that both of these bands know how to write a hell of a song. These are both albums that I’ve listened to front-to-back like dozens of times, and I feel pretty certain you’ll agree that every single song on each is of excellent quality …
Cowards – Shooting Blanks and Pills (Throatruiner Records, 30 June 2012)
Good afternoon, readers. How are you on this fine Wednesday? I’m glad that I’ll be leaving work shortly, but I’m also dreading walking outside into the terrible heatwave we’ve been experiencing this week. But I’d rather not think about that — right now I’ll just sit here and enjoy the air conditioning and listen to something especially nasty and dark and angry. At the moment, I’m listening to one of my favorite hardcore records I’ve heard in a long time, which just happened to be released two years ago this week.
The album came out through Throatruiner Records, a label I’ve mentioned in the past that I have a lot of respect for, and that I’ve also discovered some incredible underground bands from — most of which are European and many of which play in a dark-toned style of hardcore that I’ve really come to appreciate.
Parisian quintet Cowards is no exception, I found when I downloaded their debut album Shooting Blanks and Pills (for free, as per usual for this record label). As I listen to it now, perhaps for the fiftieth or hundredth time, it occurs to me that I’ve never written about this band or this album before, which is really a shame because more people should get the chance to enjoy this piece of fine art. So here we are.