Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


You Wretch (YOUWRETCH) are a hardcore band from Minneapolis who play dark crustcore in the style of His Hero Is Gone and their progeny.  Styled in the past and polished in future, You Wretch deliver a completely solid EP from beginning to end.  Great riffs here, any fan of this genre should enjoy this.  Out on Fan The Flames records.

Listen at Bandcamp

I got the newest Herds 7" in the mail today and it and I'm way stoked on it.  Herds are a punk band from Chicago who play a version of roots hardcore with a grim modernity.  Residue Records (the Chicago label responsible for the last two Canadian Rifle releases) just released the band's Michigan EP.  Give it a listen and pick it up.

Listen at Bandcamp

Buy at Residue

Damn.  Tinhorn Planet strikes again early this year.  I was not familiar with The Strungs before about a week ago which seems weird because I follow this label pretty closely.  So when I came across it I had to listen to it immediately and I was thrilled.  This EP is like 10 perfect minutes of lo-fi guitar-driven pop-rock hyphen hyphen.  Ridiculously catchy; way too short.  My favorite release so far this year.

Get Volume 01 too (also amazing).

I need to pay closer attention to pop-punk.  I'm way too jaded about it and always miss great records because of it.  This is one those records that luckily I finally got around to listening to.  Stay Ahead Of The Weather is from Chicago and shares members with local emo acts Native, Into It. Over It. and Castevet.  So take those bands, multiply by Bridge & Tunnel and carry The Sidekicks and you'll get an idea of what to expect.  It's always great when two or more good bands come together and produce something of equal or greater value (see Able Baker Fox) and this has definitely happened.  Stay Ahead definitely have the emo influence of their parent bands (is this a term?) but are definitely rooted in punk, paying lyrical homage to Jawbreaker.  Anyway, this was released as a 7" by No Sleep Records back in October, and is sold out there but can still be found in a few distros.  Check it out.

I've slept on this long enough.  Gasmask Terror are a punk band from France who play some straightforward, fast, raw punk rock with generous guitar solos ala hardcore bands like Skitkids (for one).  The entire album is in the same key and tempo but the songs seldom reach the 2 minute mark.  They all sound pretty much the same, but when they are this good it's hard thing to complain about.  They rip through 11 tracks in just under 17 minutes, and they rip through them hard.  Shit is on.

Buy it from Solar Funeral

I've been trying to decide what to say about this record for a couple days now and I still can't seem to come up with anything relevant.  I don't listen to metal and never really have (save the occasional sludge joint).  This I suppose wouldn't strictly qualify, but it's probably the most metal record I've really enjoyed recently.  Anyway, Owen Hart is a grindcore band from Tacoma, WA and "Earth Control" is their first full-length effort.  It was released by Vitriol Records in December.  It's really not that far removed from Graf Orlock, though there are a lot more breakdowns, tempo changes and general guitar work (shredding, wailing, what-have-you).  At first I didn't know if I was going to like it, but it turns out, that even with its decidedly metal leanings, "Earth Control" is absolutely on point all the way through.

Buy it from Vitriol

Evidently Unless has been around a while but this is the only material they've ever officially released.  They've got a bunch of songs out there, given away on various demo cd's to people.  The most recent incarnation of Unless features Val from Punch and Loma Prieta on drums, and they play some version of metallic hardcore inspired by stuff like Botch and Converge, but with their own post-hardcore stamp.  They aren't a band anymore but this shit rips.

Shat Shorts is 3 dudes from Monument (and some other dudes), that twinkly emo revival band who are releasing an LP with the always solid Tiny Engines.  Now, before you go assuming shit, Shat Shorts sound nothing like Monument, which is awesome.  Not because Monument aren't good, they are (like I said they are releasing their LP with Tiny Engines who are nothing if not taste-makers).  Instead they play some fuzzed out blend of post-punk and hardcore.  They are releasing a split 7" soonish with Baltimore band Scum Again.  Check this out because it is excellent.  Sorry I couldn't think of anything useful to say.  
I need to work harder at this.

Got an email, the contents of which included a link to the new 7" by Milwaukee hardcore band Armada who " play fast hardcore punk in the vein of Left For Dead, Extortion, xFilesx, Charles Bronson".  It was a just description and I heard what I expected. And for once it was as good as I hoped it might be.  "Premonitions" is 6 rapidfire tracks in 6 minutes and it fucking kicks ass.  Think Like Rats if you need a frame of reference that I've actually used before.  Anyway, hardcore is always best in short bursts and Armada do (does?) not disappoint.  Nothing groundbreaking but totally genuine, fast, pissed and gooooood.