Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens

     

Perhaps you have noticed a thing or two changing around CTS.  Perhaps this is your first time reading it. Whatever.  Either way one of the things you would have noticed would be the links directly above the newest post for emails, Tumblr, Twitter (i know) and Dead Format.  Yes, I stole the look AND some of the icons directly from my girlfriend's (very popular) blog .:The Batcave Below:.

The most recent change is on the right.  Over there is the feed from my Tumblr page.  Tumblr is pretty cool and great for posting random shit, but it's a little too messy to make a complete move.  So there will be supplemental stuff going on over there all the time (posting random pictures/links/reblogging/general cool shit), and you can check it all out in the little box on the right.  OR.  You can just head on over to Cementing The Seams on Tumblr.

Rad!

So, as you may know, Cease Upon The Capitol are one of my all time favorite bands, and are almost certainly the one I'm the most obsessed with.  I ran across this archive of songs a while back but hadn't really listened to it because it seemed like just a compilation of songs on other records. This is basically true, but after I finally gave it a thorough listen I noticed a few things.  First I'll post the tracklist, then go on rambling about some shit you're sure not to care about.


 Protocol For The Left
 Body By Design
 King Of The World
 Turn Offs Include 
 Scaleback The Dosage
 Lullabies And Bad Dreams
 More Red Lines
 Bombs Away

So, to begin with, the first four songs listed were all released on their 7" in the Ape Must Not Kill Ape/From A Strangers Hand single series.  However, the versions here are mastered differently.  In the 7" versions, the bass is turned up really high and its all twangy and overpowering.  The mastering here tones that down and makes the songs much better.  "Scaleback The Dosage" and "Lullabies & Bad Dreams" both appear on the split 3" CD with Silbato, but this version of "Scaleback" is significantly longer with a different beginning and end.  "Lullabies" is pretty consistent with the Split version (it also appears on the first LP).  "More Red Lines" is an alternate version of "The End Of History" from the 7" of the same name which is different from both that version and the one on their demo CD.  "Bombs Away" appears to be unreleased elsewhere.  It's possible that this is a rip of their European Tour CD-R, which (from my futile research) is limited to 39 copies.  But I just don't know (if this is the case, the songs are now horribly out of order.)

For fans of:  Dolcim, Loma Prieta, The Third Memory


CUTC on Myspace

Get it.


Cowards are  3 dudes, allegedly all named Kyle, from Minneapolis who play punk/post-hardcore in a manner which does not suck.  Evidently the Kyles are breaking up, which sucks because this is the first I've heard of them.  Anyway, you can stream their new EP "Solitude" here.  It will soon be available for download-by-donation, and I don't know how long it will be up, so listen now.

Also, I'm not all that familiar with the website Bandcamp, but it seems like every band should use it instead of Myspace.  That being said:

Cowards on Myspace

Stream "Solitude"


The more I think about it, the more it becomes apparent that 1998 was the best year for music ever.  I haven't listened to this album in probably 5 years (this was one of the old cds from my collection I was referring to), and right now it's blowing my mind all over again.  I don't use the term "chill" very often but I like it here.  Karate are probably one of the better indie-rock bands I can think of, and "The Bed Is In The Ocean" is likely their best album, but it's been a long time since I've listened to this band.  Perhaps my opinion may have changed.  Nevertheless, it's probably their most important.  There are so many bands that ape the sound of this record it's overwhelming.  Maybe it's a coincidence, but I doubt it.  This record is incredible, so if you're in the mood to relax or, well, "chill", put this on.  Every time.

For fans of:  Minus The Bear, Constantines, Pedro The Lion

Karate on Myspace

Get it.

I never really understood this, and I still don't.  For some reason independent punk labels in the 90's occasionally produced music videos for bands that existed in spite of the existence of music videos.  They couldn't have helped promotion, as the market for these bands operated in a completely seperate paradigm than that which would normally employ music videos.  The videos usually only appeared on VHS compilations marketed toward people who already bought the label's music.  This being the case, they were all cheap and awful.  It's like the least 'punk' thing I can think of right now. 

But still, there is something endearing about them I suppose.  To wit:



"Do It For You" by Brand New Unit
-- 
Brand New Unit were a pretty unremarkble band whose one claim to fame is accidentilly writing one of the best songs in the world (up to interpretation).  "Do It For You" is such a good song it's a little painful to watch this video, but it at least makes a little sense.  I get it.



"49/61" by Jughead's Revenge
 --
This is one of those songs that appeared on a VHS compilation tape released by Hopeless Records.  It was called Cinema Beer Goggles and somebody I knew owned it (though I have NO IDEA who it actually belonged to).  This is the only video I actually remember from it because I thought the song was good but couldn't tolerate the video.  Years later the band Bowling For Soup would blatantly rip off this video for the song "1985" (right down the fat dude playing guitar), only they replaced the trendy-punk kid for a blonde lady.



"He Who Laughs Last" by AFI
--
If you can make it past the inexplicable first 20 seconds of this video, you'll hear probably the best song AFI ever recorded that they would probably rather not be associated with.  Anyway, I decided to post this because there is a hilarious scene in the middle whereby Davy Havoc is repeatedly shot and stabbed by the other members (I would assume) of AFI, presumably because he is singing to loudly in the back of their trunk.



"2RAK005" by Bracket
--
God, this band is so good and this video is so stupid and pointless.


Beau Navire are a Bay Area screamo band who released this demo sometime last year and I have no idea why I hadn't heard it until recently.  Anyway, if you're a fan of the frantic, technical guitar-style screamo championed by bands like Loma Prieta and L'antietam, then you're pretty much guaranteed to like these dudes.  They recently repressed this in the states in a run of 50 cassette tapes, and the European version (of the same quantity) will be handled by React With Protest.  This year they plan to release a S/T 7", a split with Chicago band Suffix and another (vague) EP.  Anyway, they're giving away the demo on their myspace, but you can contact them to grab a copy of the demo tape while they last.  Keep an eye out for these guys in 2010.

For fans of:  Loma Prieta, L'antietam, Saetia

Beau Navire on Myspace

Get it.

 I posted a blurb about this band a while back and I finally came across mp3's of their demo, released last year.  Then when I checked their myspace I noticed that their new CDep was finally available.  So that's coming in the mail, and when it gets here I'll be sure to post that too.  Anyhow, if you don't care to read that other post, Ex Wife are a New Jersey twosome who play a raw, bare-bones style of roots emocore.  The demo is good and the songs available for listening on their next release promise a step in a very exciting direction.

For fans of: Algernon Cadwallader, Monument, Drive Like Jehu

Ex Wife on Myspace

Get it.

10:33 PM

Cave Canem


More German crust in the vein of Alpinist.  Don't really have anything to add to that except that you might expect this to be a trend from now on.  Anyway, here is Cave Canem's ("Beware The Dog") 2006 demo and a split with Tampa, FL hardcore outfit The Holy Mountain.  They've got a few other releases (a 3 song 7" and split with Fractura) but these ones stand out.  If you want to check out more stop by Friend or Foe a blog focused on punk and hardcore from Germany (Hannover specifically) run by one of the members of Cave Canem.  You can find the rest of the bands releases.

For fans of: Alpinist, His Hero Is Gone, Hammers


Cave Canem on Myspace

Demo.

Split w/ The Holy Mountain.


Of all DeSoto's releases, this 7" and subsequent LP by Compound Red were definitely the closest to emo that the label ever got.  Compound Red are an emo/math-rock band from Milwaukee, WI, and existed in relative obscurity for nearly a decade.  Why they never achieved a higher level of notoriety (especially being from Milwaukee) I'll never know, because they were one of the most distinctive emo bands I can think of.  To quote a friend (who was talking about this band):  "There is so much good shit out there that nobody cares about".  And that's what Compound Red feels like.  It's criminal they aren't a bigger deal honestly.

Anyway, this 7" is kindof weird because both of the songs appear on "Always A Pleasure" their second and final full length released by DeSoto.  Only, when the songs made the jump, the names, lyrics and vocal themes on both tracks were changed.  It's really fascinating actually, how unique the two versions of each are, even though they have nearly identical music.

I'll probably post "Always A Pleasure" sometime soon.

For fans of: Vitreous Humor, Castor, The Promise Ring

Compound Red on Myspace

Get it.


"As Seen From Above" is the Chicago math-rock band Dianogah's (like the garbage snake in Star Wars) debut full-length.  It's one of the few (mostly) instrumental albums I always think about whenever I suggest that I don't like instrumental music because obviously I'm lying.  Probably the most interesting thing about Dianogah, and certainly the reason I bought the album years ago, is that they don't have a guitarist.  This isn't strange, lots of bands don't use guitars, but instead of using alternative methods Dianogah just employs 2 bassists to achieve their unique aesthetic, an idiosyncrasy that pays dividends.  
 
Dianogah released two more records in the early part of the decade and then finally "qhnnnl" in 2008 which caught me totally off guard.  Both because I didn't expect the release itself, and it was so far removed from their first album.  Over their last two albums they added a guitar, keyboard and exponentially increased the amount of vocal recordings.  I suppose this qualifies Dianogah as "experimental" and I'm sure a lot of people consider this to be true.
 
up next:  more old shit from my cd collection

For fans of: Other Men, Shellac, Faraquet

 


Essential listening for anyone who professes to be remotely interested in hardcore.

 Get it.


P.S. there is still more '09 review in the works.  When I find more time for interwebbing...

I'm afraid I'll come off as a jerk with this post.  But here is the thing.  There were a couple of albums in 2009 I was anticipating to a rather advanced degree.  The bands behind these records had all released albums in 2008 which, in varying, realistic versions of reality, could have easily been the best releases of last year.  Certainly they were in the top 10 if you're interested in quantifying.  I only chose three, because who wants to read about a dozen records that just weren't that good?  Well, I suppose maybe they were that good, but they also ruined my day at least once.  I'm not trying to give these guys poor treatment, and I am DEFINITELY NOT trying to discourage anyone from listening to them.  Actually, it's just the opposite.  I am doing this so that you WILL listen to them.  Because, even if they weren't my cup of tea this year, these guys still rule and this stuff deserves to be posted here (because I'm devestated that it wasn't earlier).


The Sidekicks - Weight Of Air

In some kind of cosmic slap in the face, this record was just voted by the staff of Punknews.org as the best album of 2009 (although it's strangely absent from their reader poll) so obviously it's got some merit.  I'm almost annoyed to admit that I just didn't like the new direction that Cleveland's The Sidekicks took on "Weight Of Air".  If their first 2 releases said anything about them it was that they were easily the best up-and-coming punk rock band in these United States (this probably isn't true, but it has to be pretty fucking close) so I was completely caught offguard when they decided to flip the script with their sole release in 2009.  Perhaps "Sam" was more a farewell to arms than a taste of things to come.  In fact, this seems to be true, but its a shame because "Sam" was perfect.  It's possible I just don't get it.  Maybe I'm like the Radiohead fan who simply didn't like "Kid A" and wasn't afraid to admit it (this is a little bit out of context, but you get the picture).  There are good songs on this record no doubt, and The Sidekicks definitely still write pop-punk songs better than most.  But if they keep releasing material, I don't want to be the "it was all downhill after the first 7-inch" guy.


Cheap Girls - My Roaring 20's

My issue with this album was almost the exact opposite as The Sidekicks' effort.  '08's "Find Me A Drink Home" was fresh, and every song was just refreshing enough to make people stand up and give a shit about a band whose (mostly unconcidered) technical prowess was completely overshadowed by their ability to write effective hooks and nearly the catchiest songs in existence. "My Roaring 20's" does however suffer a bit from that otherwise overlooked aspect of their songwriting.  Before I call Cheap Girls a one trick pony, I'll reiterate, they are good at what they do, which is writing simple power pop tunes that will get stuck in your head for days.  It just seemed like perhaps they could have added something to the mix.  It's been a while since I complained about a band's albums all sounding the same (sort of becuase this is a stupid complaint, because they can't all sound that different right?), but if you make an album that sounds identical to your first one, I'll probably just listen to the first one.  I actually just unintentionally (though unscrupulously) admitted that "My Roaring 20's" is good.  I guess it's just not what I wanted, which (and now this seems utterly confusing) wasn't another "Find Me A Drink Home".


Polar Bear Club - "Chasing Hamburg"

Remember this?  Because I do.  Much to my dismay "The Summer of George" outshined Polar Bear Club's 2009 LP that it was supposed to promote by releasing the best 2 tracks on the album early.  So by the time "Chasing Hamburg" came out I had already heard the highlights roughly 1200 times.  In an equally bewildering and compoundingly frustrating move on the part of PBC, the best song on the 7" ("Dead Man") didn't make the cut, which (by the transitive property) would have made it the best song on the album. As an aside, perhaps choosing to make the best song exclusive to the 7" was pretty fantastic sales manuever because it made "Chasing Hamburg" seem that much more desirable (one could deduce that "if one THIS song isn't going to make the album, these guys have got to have sleeves full of aces". Or something).  Although, this doesn't really make sense because A) a good exclusive track basically gives the EP a right to exist, and B) Polar Bear Club probably doesn't give a shit about record sales.  Once again, let it be noted that this record is not bad, it just isn't as good as I was led to believe.  It has been getting an enormous amount of good press and for good reason.  Most people mention that the album's highlight is the out-of-character track "Drifting Thing" and, with the exception of 2 "George" tracks is pretty much true.  It's catchy, original and contains probably the best (read: only) reference to "Annie Hall" in a punk song since Jawbreaker's "Jet Black".