Good day, readers. Here to start off the week properly I’ve got a pair of albums that live somewhere in the vicinity of post-hardcore, both by Swiss bands (well, one of them is more of a Swiss-Swedish hybrid), and both of which are coming out very soon. Get ready!
Norna – Star Is Way Way Is Eye (Vinter Records, 18 February 2022)
Abraham – Débris de Mondes Perdus (Pelagic Records, 25 February 2022)
Closing out the week, and continuing to work my way through some more of last year’s releases — today I think we’ll explore some Chinese music. Specifically, the music of one particular band from the city of Dalian, which is located at the northern end of the Yellow Sea, just across the bay from North Korea.
I’ll be sharing their three most recent albums with you this afternoon. But it may be worth noting that this group has been active and productive for more than two decades now — and the material we’re covering will actually be their ninth, tenth, and eleventh albums! So if you like what you’re hearing, please feel free to continue digging into it on your own.
Wang Wen – Sweet Home, Go! (Pelagic Records / Space Circle, 19 October 2016)
Wang Wen – Invisible City (Pelagic Records / Space Circle, 25 September 2018)
Wang Wen – 100,000 Whys (Pelagic Records / Space Circle, 24 September 2021)
Sâver – They Came with Sunlight (Pelagic Records, 08 March 2019)
Here in the Valley of Steel we don’t pay much attention to what’s trending or getting a bunch of recognition elsewhere; all we care about is listening to what we enjoy, and (sometimes) writing about it.
But having said that, sometimes it’s also nice to feel vindicated and validated, when something we identify as “good” achieves recognition from elsewhere.
Case in point: They Came with Sunlight, the debut offering from Oslo trio Sâver — which upon its release about eleven months ago made quite an impression upon this reviewer, later to become firmly entrenched in our selection of last year’s best records.
Bison – You Are Not the Ocean You Are the Patient (Pelagic Records, EU: 23 June 2017 / NA: 07 July 2017)
Bison – Earthbound (2007; reissued by No List Records, 20 April 2018)
A little over a week ago, while talking about Denmark’s LLNN, we happened to mention that they would be touring across Europe with Bison. Well, that’s still happening, and so it seemed like a fine time to discuss that particular Canadian quartet.
Known as Bison B.C. for several years after their original formation in 2006, both to emphasize their British Columbian heritage and to differentiate from another group named for the large North American ruminant, the band decided to drop the extraneous initials about five years ago, going by the more streamlined moniker ever since.
Last summer, the Ocean-run German label Pelagic released the latest Bison full-length — their fourth overall — while last month saw No List reissuing the group’s long-out-of-print debut EP (since used CDs are going for outrageous prices online), including being pressed on vinyl for the first time ever! Here we’ll give a listen to both of those, and then down at the bottom of the page you can check out the rest of the places these Vancouverites will be visiting in eastern/central Europe!
Wovoka – Saros (digital Locust Rising Music / CD Battleground Records, 14 April 2015)
LLNN/Wovoka – Traces/Marks Split LP (Pelagic Records, 16 June 2017)
LLNN – Deads (Pelagic Records, 27 April 2018)
So a few years back — about three, actually — this Californian heavy sludge band called Wovoka reached out to let us know they were releasing their debut record. We really dug it at the time, and have been revisiting it often ever since then, but somehow never quite got around to writing anything about it. Then last year we got word that these guys were participating in a split LP with Danish band LLNN. And then sometime after that, we learned that THOSE guys would be issuing a new album themselves (their second). That will be hitting the streets tomorrow, but today we’re going to cover all three of those releases.
Also, earlier this week saw the start of a month-long European tour with LLNN joining Bison. After you’re finished reading, keep scrolling down to the bottom where we’ll fill you in on those dates!