Ketchup Day: Upcoming Release News (Septicflesh, Unsane)

 
Yeah, it’s a silly name and a silly concept, but we’re doing this thing again. Further explanation for those who need it here.

Continue reading

Fashion Week – Prêt-à-Porter (2015)

Fashion WeekPrêt-à-Porter (Solar Flare Records, 23 February 2015)

 

New York Fashion Week, or — excuse me — New York-based band Fashion Week, have been around for some number of years, with some quantity of recordings released during that time. I’ve heard rumors about them forming sometime around 2009, and also that this album from early 2015 was their debut full-length, but I can’t really say for sure since their official biography (on Facebook and elsewhere) is more of a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the Nirvana story with only oblique references to any actual members of Fashion Week.

Be that as it may, I guess it doesn’t really matter how much background information you do or don’t know, as long as the music’s good, right? These guys are on the road with Unsane at the moment (the tour actually started last weekend, sorry about the late notice!) and it’s pretty likely that anyone heading out to see the headliner will go back home as a fan of the supporting act as well. Keep on reading to find out a bit more about Prêt-à-Porter (the album, not the movie), and check out the list of tour dates down in the comments.

 

Continue reading

Pigs – Wronger, Sofy Major – Waste (2015)

SLF020 - hi-res - cover

PigsWronger (Solar Flare Records, 02 October 2015)

 

SLF021 - hi-res cover

Sofy MajorWaste (Solar Flare Rcords, 29 October 2015)

 

Hey folks, how are you? Today has seemed like the longest day — like since I left home this morning, it seems like at least two whole days should have passed, so we should be reaching the end of Friday and heading out for a nice holiday weekend by now. (For those readers who live abroad, this coming Monday will be Memorial Day here in the U.S., a day of rememberance and — for most people — a day of not going to work.) But no, incredibly it’s still Thursday and the day still isn’t quite over yet. Not cool.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple albums I’d like to share with you today — both of them released by Solar Flare Records back in October. The first one is the second full-length by Pigs, the Brooklyn trio whose highly enjoyable debut You Ruin Everything was discussed right here, when it was released about four years ago.

The second album we’ll be listening to is by Sofy Major, whose bassist/vocalist just happens to be the head guy in charge of Solar Flare. Furthermore, starting tomorrow night (Friday the 27th) and running through the end of next month, this band will be touring across Europe alongside Pigs guitarist/vocalist Dave Curran‘s “other band” Unsane. After you’re finished reading here, head down to the comments section where I’ll have that list of dates for you all.

 

Continue reading

Grizzlor – Cycloptic (2015), Rhin – Passenger (2016)

cover

GrizzlorCycloptic (Hex Records, 28 October 2015)

 

cover

RhinPassenger (Grimoire Records, 06 May 2016)

 

Hey — remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about a split record by Barren Womb from Norway and New Haven’s Grizzlor? Maybe you missed it because it was only a couple short paragraphs, buried among reviews of two Bardus albums. Whatever the case, in that article (which you can find right here), I pointed out how the two songs contributed by the Connecticutian band were nasty and punky but also just catchy enough to make one want to check out more of their stuff. Well I didn’t realize it at the time, but there wouldn’t be a long wait to be able to do just that — in fact, technically it was a negative amount of time, since that article was published almost a year after the split with Barren Womb was released, and in the meantime — about seven months later, but still a few months before I wrote the article — Grizzlor had already put out another 7″ record.

Today I’m going to discuss that record with you, and I’ll also throw in some words about a brand-new album — due out next Friday from Grimoire Records — by Rhin from Shepherdstown (a small town at the easternmost tip of West Virginia, near the border with Maryland and Virginia). As an added bonus for those readers who live near Philly, Brooklyn, or New Haven, these two bands will be performing in your city this weekend! Further details on those shows will be found at the end of the article. But first, let’s talk about some music …

 

Continue reading

Bardus – Solus (2014), Stella Porta (2016); Grizzlor / Barren Womb – Split (2015)

a2738736917_10

BardusSolus (Wolf Beach Tapes, 21 October 2014)

 

SLF022 - hi-res cover

BardusStella Porta (Solar Flare Records, 01 April 2016)

 

jacket

Grizzlor / Barren WombSplit (Riotous Outburst Records, 17 March 2015)

 

Hello, and Happy Friday to everyone out there! I hope you’ve had an okay week — and if not, then I hope you have a great weekend to make up for it. Before then, though, I’d like to throw something at you real quick.

At this very moment, there’s somewhat of a mini-tour going on — a handful of regional dates featuring a couple of bands, Philadelphia’s Bardus and New Haven’s Grizzlor, and it just happens that each of them have released something over the past year and a half that I’ve got in my to-do list for sharing with you readers. So it seems like a pretty convenient time to share both of those with you now, and even more so considering the fact that one of them also will have a brand-new album coming out next month — I’ll talk a little about that one, too.

I’ll try to keep this one kind of short (I know I say that a lot and it doesn’t always work out that way, but I promise I’ll try!) because I’m sure all of you are as anxious as I am to get started on those weekend plans. But scroll down to the comments section because I’ll also throw in the remaining tour dates for these two bands — which happens to include a stop in Pittsburgh this Saturday!

 

Continue reading

Two Reviews: The Swan King and Jar’d Loose (2014)

Last So Long

The Swan KingLast So Long (War Crime Recordings, 03 June 2014)

 

JL Turns 13

Jar’d LooseTurns 13 (CD/digital on The Path Less Traveled Records; vinyl on Threshold of Pain Records, 27 May 2014)

 

For those keeping track at home — yeah, this is the fifth article I’m publishing, as well as the seventh and eighth albums I’m reviewing, this week. That’s got to be some kind of a record. If I can keep up this level of productivity, it’ll only take me about two whole years to get caught up with all the stuff I want to write about. IF bands would just stop releasing new stuff during that time. Which is about as likely to happen as me being able to continue writing and publishing stuff at this current rate.

Oh well, here are two albums I’d like to share with you that were released within the past two weeks, by two different bands from Chicago, who have been travelling together on a mini-tour for about the past week or so, including a stop in Pittsburgh tonight (Saturday, 07 June – more info here) before heading back home to the windy city for a joint record release show tomorrow night (more info here)…

 

Continue reading

Winter’s Wake Winterview: Drones for Queens

dfq-wa-cover

 
We’re drawing closer and closer to the Winter’s Wake 2013 Thursday Night Pre-fest Show! Here’s one more interview with a band that’s playing tonight!

I already wrote about this particular band a few months ago, but here’s the responses I got to some questions I asked Drones for Queens:

 
Continue reading

The Huge List of 2012 Year-End Lists!

Well, friends, here we find ourselves in the waning moments of 2012. It’s been an interesting, eventful year that’s had lots of high and low points — a ton of excellent new music has been released and quite a few brand-new bands have emerged that I’d fully expect to be making some serious waves in the near future.

One of the best things about 2012, for me personally, was that I found myself (and my wife) going to lots more shows than in recent years, and as a result I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of new people — as well as starting to take a way more active role in the local music scene.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a suggestion from one of those people I’ve gotten to know in the past year (I won’t say who — he said he preferred not to be given credit for the idea, although I will say that it’s somebody who contributed to this). The idea was to collect top-ten lists from various folks in the Pittsburgh metal community.

So I put out an open invitation for any musicians or other people who are involved in the scene in some way — I was looking for anything, whether it was the traditional “Top Ten Albums” or something totally off-the-wall like someone’s ten favorite sandwiches they ate during the year. Really, the only rules were that it had to be a list, and involve something from 2012.

 
Continue reading

Meth Quarry Interview: Pittsburgh’s Grim Hardcore Assault!

Grim banner

 
Folks, if you’ve had your ear to the ground over the past few months you might have noticed that there has been some rumbling coming out of the dark underworld of hardcore. There has been so much hype swirling around the crusty, grimy beast known as Meth Quarry lately, that the band has reached a nearly mythical status — without having played a single show yet!

But all of that is about to change, because these guys are finally ready to come crawling out of the dank cellar of Pittsburgh’s underground and expose the good people of the Steel City to their grim “dirge” hardcore style. Last weekend I met up with the quintet (guitarists Chris Smith and Kevin Hogue, bassist Aaron Kaczynski, vocalist Adam Joseph Bailey, and drummer Brandon “Fluffy” Baker) to talk about the story of the band’s formation and what sort of things they’ve got on the horizon — I joined them at one of their rehearsals, which took place in the basement of Kevin’s house, so when I say “crawling out of the cellar” I actually mean it literally…

 
Continue reading

VOS Interview: A Drummer Double Feature! Molasses Barge vs. Vulture!

Hello folks, and a happy Friday to you! Just when it felt like it would never happen, the weekend’s finally here. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be an especially good one, because there’s a ton of amazing shows and events happening! I’ll have more on that later, so stay tuned.

One of them in particular stands out, though — tomorrow night at the 31st Street Pub is the first date on the joint headlining tour between Relapse Records artists 16 and Tombs. That by itself is reason enough to get excited, but opening the show will be two of my absolute favorite local bands, the heavy doom armada that is Molasses Barge and Steel City sludgelords Vulture!

I’ve only seen Molasses Barge once before (and it was over a year ago! — read more about that here), and (believe it or not) although I’ve been listening to Vulture for a long time, I’ve never had the chance to see them play live yet! So needless to say, I’m really looking forward to this show. I’ve already got my tickets (they can be ordered here) but if you don’t, it’s just twelve bucks when you show up at the door. More info on the show itself can be found here.

Anyway, in anticipation of this event, I decided to get a couple of interviews lined up. If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you may have picked up on the fact that I often tend to focus on drumming while listening to music. It’s just the way I hear things, I guess — and I don’t know if it’s because I play drums (occasionally) or if I chose to play that instrument because it’s something I pay a lot of attention to.

In either case, the drumming in each of these bands’ genres is one of the main things that attracts me to those particular styles. So, it only seemed natural for me to talk to the two bands’ drummers. Here, then, are the questions and answers from Molasses Barge’s Wayne Massey and Vulture’s Kelly Gabany

 

 

 
Continue reading