Wednesday, 20 September 2017

MINIMAL MAN - THE SHROUD OF

The Shroud Of
Minimal Man
1981

Review by Joey (back from the dead, maybe)

Genre/s: Industrial, Post-Punk, Power Electronics, Noise Rock, Art Punk, Noise
For Fans Of: Factrix, SPK, Flipper, Monte Cazazza

I was so happy when this finally got reissued last year with the original mix (as opposed to that tinny garbage on the 2004 "remastered" CD version) through Spain's BFE Records. The Shroud Of is Minimal Man's first LP, and also the weirdest  -- within the grooves of this 12" lies a lethal mixture of sounds which draw from across the post-punk and industrial spectrum; and somehow, it is all cohesive. It shouldn't be hard to see why this might be (read: is) one of my favorite LPs of all time. And if you aren't already in the know, soon you will be.

Minimal Man was masterminded by Patrick Miller; the project had a revolving door lineup, which often featured collaborators from other San Francisco weirdo art bands such as Factrix and Tuxedomoon. Much like their fellow (and more famous) San Franciscan peers in Flipper, Minimal Man did not make any attempt to portray disillusionment / despondency / detachment / etc as romanticized or quirky; and instead, they unleashed an honest sonic representation of what all of that turmoil really feels like, accompanied by what can be seen as a sardonic attack on those who do take the romanticized or quirky approach. However, while Flipper focused on a more brooding and antagonistic approach, Minimal Man's method was more somber and unnerving, relying more on subtle (and overt) ominous soundscapes.

From the opening sample of the emotionally vacant Ronald Reagan, all the way through the climactic ending and ensuing fade out, The Shroud Of takes the listener on a frightening journey through the dark recesses of a damaged mind. The cacophonous arrangements of synth, electronics, bass, and hollow vocals on this LP  are constantly at ends with -- yet complimentary of -- each other to a haunting effect; and each track is a an overwhelming push/pull of invasive thoughts, emotions, and urges which scramble the mind and plunge it deeper into nothingness. This is not fun music, even though at parts it may seem to be. The chilling moods created by Minimal Man do not disappear when the music ends, rather they saturate the air and stick to the listener's raised hairs like an elusive nervousness.

And now that you've gotten past the boring review part, here's what you came here for:

Tracklist
1. Loneliness
2. Two People
3. High Why
4. Hospital
5. Blue Step
6. Hatemonger
7. The Shroud
8. Now I Want It All
9. The Hex Of Sex
10. You Are
11. I Don't Resist
12. Jungle Song
13. She Was A Visitor

I HURT ALL OVER INSIDE...

P.S. I think I'm finally back and ready to bring the pain from my ears into yours (for real this time).

Sunday, 28 May 2017

BRAINBOMBS - INFERNO

Inferno
Brainbombs
2017

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Noise Rock, Psych, Post-Punk
For Fans Of: The Stooges, Chrome, Strangulated Beatoffs, Paul Chain

Well, they did it -- they released another album essentially titled "Burning Hell." Brainbombs are a band who can do no wrong; their uncanny ability to consistently churn out riff after riff of psych-driven noise rock perfection is unmatched, and this new LP is no exception.

The first thing I noticed about Inferno (aside from the fact that they've finally recorded a studio version of "Stormy Blast Of Hell") is that each song builds from an uneasy calm into a terrifying wall of aggression and intimidation. Brainbombs are generally thought of (by pedestrian fools) as a band who always explode right out of the gate, but on this LP they rely on uncomfortable slow burn buildups which are incredibly effective at evoking the level of dread inspired by their lyrics -- much like what they do on "Right Side Of Hell" and "Skinned Alive," which are two of their most powerful (and oddly underrated) tracks -- and the chilling album art represents this perfectly. Each song on here feels like being out in the country and looking back suspecting that you're being followed -- and then being right (coincidentally, that actually happened to me before listening to this for the first time, so I can confirm that this really nails it) -- but will you be able to escape?

Brainbombs are a truly interesting band, because they are one of the few whose lyrics focus on extreme violence and abuse while still acting as a commentary rather than being used simply as a means of being offensive -- something which has always been integral to noise, but tends to get lost when edgy dudebros don't get it. Don't get me wrong, it's still definitely problematic, but I would argue that the clear self-awareness of the presentation makes it far less dangerous than Black Flag casually (and sincerely) throwing in that they want to beat up their girlfriends.

Anyway, a huge thanks to my friend for ripping his copy (including the bonus single-sided 7") and sending it my way! Now I just have to wait for that new Rudimentary Peni EP to come out, and I'll have my two best releases of the year. But what are you dorks waiting for? Download this fucker, turn off the lights, and let your paranoia run wild.

Tracklist:
1. Inferno
2. They All Deserve To Die
3. Rock Your World
4. If You See My Face
5. An Eye For An Eye
6. Just An Ordinary Fuck
7. Malfunction
8. Wanted To Kill Your
9. Trust Me [bonus 7"]

INTO A PLACE I CAME

I'm going to try to post more frequently again now that I've finished school. Expect a submissions megapost and some other random goodies in the coming weeks. Fucked By Noise isn't dead (yet).

Not sure how I made it through this without making a "burn, baby burn" joke.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

PLASTIC

Plastic
Plastic
2017

Review by Joey

(Band Submission)

Genre/s: Synthpunk, Industrial, Post-Punk, Power Electronics, Dark Ambient, Art Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Nervous Gender, Clair Obscur, Trop Tard, Flipper

Plastic's 2.0 tape was, in my opinion, one of the best synthpunk releases to come out since Nervous Gender's Music From Hell LP; and also one of the few which I feel actually can be compared to Nervous Gender, based on their use of synth-based electronic noise (not to mention a healthy dose of influence from The Residents). Hell, I'd go as far as to say that Plastic is one of the best synthpunk bands since Nervous Gender, period.

On this newest offering from Chicago's weirdest, their heavier use of industrial/electronics, paired with a descent into much darker post-punk territory, results in a level of bleakness which is as suffocating as the band's music is irresistible. While its predecessor is ostensibly more aggressive musically, the crushing dirges and almost stark soundscaping on Plastic effectively conveys despair and disillusionment so overwhelming that it becomes mesmerizing, and absolutely conducive to disassociation. These songs bear a striking resemblance to those performed by Flipper, not just in the crawling pace, the use of chilling, ironic laughter, and snide, painful delivery, but also in the way that they sound the way depression feels -- although obviously the addition of synth creates a good deal of dissimilarity. The ability to fully capture that state of being, in my experience, is elusive to say the least. If I had to make a visualization of the sounds contained on this release, it would closely resemble the ominous, harsh background of a Dali painting. Needless to say, this release floored me, and I'm hoping they tour around my way again this year; and if they come anywhere near you, I highly recommend going to see them.

Download this, turn your lights off, and get bummed the fuck out. Nothing here is real.

Tracklist:
1. At The Gates
2. A Good Laugh
3. Mannequins
4. Untitled (Mark II)
5. A Call For Help
6. 731
7. The Garden

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

ACRYLICS - DESPAIR

Despair
Acrylics
2017

Review by Joey

(Band Submission)

Genre/s: Hardcore Punk, Noise Rock
For Fans Of: Tar Babies, Mystery Product, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Stick Men With Ray Guns

Oh shit, January 2017 is gonna be over in a few hours and I still haven't posted anything -- so let's start the year out right (even if it is a month late). I'm sure many of you remember how much I loved Acrylics' s/t tape from last year, and I'm also sure that a good deal of you heard the news about them putting out a 7" on the almighty Iron Lung Records (a.k.a. the greatest label on earth); and if you didn't know those things, now you do. And guess what, sports fans: Despair is Acrylics' most volatile material to date.

Acrylics are a rare breed. They're the sort of band whose music can accurately impart the feeling of being thrown down six flights of stairs and into a pit of tar -- a very specific, yet relatable sensation. Their 2016 tape was a fantastic barrage of disquieting, aggressive punk, and Despair picks up right where that left off; however, these two tracks feel even more fully realized than those on the preceding release. The tracks on this 7" tap into some classic tendencies of noisy punk, but rather than sounding rehashed, they do so in a way that reminds me of what made me fall in love with bands like Tar Babies to begin with. In other words, they are successfully able to sound fresh, and escape the stale trappings many of their contemporaries fall into. The winding riff/stompy thing has gotten pretty played out (especially because a lot of bands can't pull it off), but thanks to their guitarist's amalgam of Greg Ginn's, East Bay Ray's, and Dome's unique styles, along with a stomp comparable to Stick Men With Ray Guns, and a truly unnerving presentation rife with anxiety and dread, Acrylics easily stand out far in front of most of their peers. Simply put, Acrylics exemplify everything I love about wonky, noisy hardcore punk; their brilliant subtlety and ability to overwhelm make them a force to be reckoned with -- a wording which may be cliche, but is accurate nevertheless.

So what are you nerds waiting for? Hurry up and download this slugger -- or if you're able to support, head over to the ILR bandcamp, and get your hands on a copy while you still can!

Tracklist:
1. Despair
2. Reassurance

DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

FBN 2016 YEAR-END ROUNDUP MEGAPOST

2016 was spent mostly trying to not kill myself (also finishing school), meaning I really didn't get much reviewing done. Because of that, I'm just going to do this absurd thing again where I review 15 LPs, EPs, and demos (45 releases in total) in a single post to make up for my absence. I made sure there were no repeats from the midyear roundup megapost, so this is a whole new set of shit. No links were stolen, because only hacks do that (you know who you are), and original sources are all linked / credited unless I couldn't find the original source; the links are all in the titles. So strap in, this is gonna be a wild ride.

- LP -

Everything Grim has put out should be considered among the best, most essential industrial ever made (up there with SPK and Minimal Man), and Orgasm is no exception to that. The unrelenting rhythmic electronics, hints of traditional folk, and beautiful, uncomfortably serene melodies which Grim is known for are all here. Jun is still a master of his craft, and still stands above most of his contemporaries, past and present.

FFO: SPK, White Hospital

When I first heard this band in 2014, I was fucking floored. The obvious comparison to Primitive Man based on shared members was there, but Vermin Womb certainly is its own monster.  I think a good way to describe them is to liken them to the climactic scene in Lovecraft's "The Music Of Erich Zann," in which the titular character frantically plays in an attempt to keep elder gods from crossing the threshold into our world. But instead of a shrieking viol over the indescribable sounds of lovecraftian horrors, it's ruthless deathgrind. 

FFO: Knelt Rote, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire

This link leads to a review I did earlier this year on FBN, but in summation: Anxiety is a total fucking mess of weird punk and industrial, and certainly one of the more interesting bands to pop up this year.

FFO: Feederz, Minimal Man

Brainbombs Souvenirs
This link leads to a review I did earlier this year on FBN, but in summation: it's Brainbombs doing what they do, and doing it well; it's more psych-oriented than what a lot of people expect from them, but I can assure you that it fits in as a fantastic addition to their already flawless output. 

FFO: The Stooges, Blank Veins

I've been looking forward to this one for a while now, and it does not disappoint. The Lowest Form's previous LP, Negative Ecstasy (also on ILR) established them as a total powerhouse of a band. Personal Space picks up right where they left off, and although the production is different, The Lowest Form still deliver their over-the-top explosive hardcore punk battering ram of a sound; just in a different way. There's less fuzz, but the frantic guitarwork and overall claustrophobic delivery fills in any space that you might have thought would be freed up. This thing is a fucking wrecking ball. 

FFO: Anxiety, Warthog

I reviewed this for Cvlt Nation a couple months ago (the feature can be found here), but in summation: Balcanes' brand of brooding, minimalist noise rock with hints of industrial is as crushing as it is bleak. If you remember how highly I praised their Plataforma / Autopista 7" a couple years ago, just know that Carne Nueva takes everything amazing about that release and amplifies it exponentially.

FFO: Skullflower, Swans

I'm so glad that Shaatan finally has a full length release out. They're certainly a strange band, even for the Black Twilight Circle, which should already tell you something. Weigh Of The Wolf feels like a middle point between the spaciest and most plodding of the BTC's projects, but there's also what seems to be a post-punk element, along with the usual psych leanings. Also, there's a flute, which might make you think "oh boy, a gimmick," but I can assure you that it only serves to enhance the gloom and doom. You probably should've already been sold on this when I mentioned it's from BTC.

FFO: Arizmenda, Blue Hummingbird On The Left

The titans behind Iron Lung Records strike again. Private Room is self-described as "the new Walls. Better songs, worse attitude," which is a solid reference point. Their debut 7" was good, but Forever And Ever is something else entirely. So much is happening on here that it might take a bit to realize what the fuck is hitting you; there's hints of shit from all across the spectrum of noise and post-punk, including (but not limited to): electronics, unconventional structures, and abstract guitarwork layered over driving bass and drums. There's even some Rudimentary Peni style riffing to top it all off. A must listen. 

FFO: Walls, Cows

Admittedly, I didn't listen to as much metal this year as I did the previous couple years, but I made it a point to check out the new Blood Incantation, because I'd heard nothing but good things from people whose opinions I trust (and there aren't many). Lemme tell you, Starspawn is everything I would want from a death metal LP in 2016; it's overwhelming and foreboding in a very real way. The seamless melding of spacy elements and bruising death metal is not the easiest thing to pull off, but Blood Incantation does a helluva fine job.

FFO: Timeghoul, Artificial Brain

This might be White Medal's best work yet; it's got the riffs, it's got the evil, it's got the potentially questionable content, it's got everything you probably want from a black metal LP. I have to say, it's interesting to hear White Medal with a clean(er) production, because it brings out just how terrifying they sound. Lyke Wake is a winding, gnarled killer.

FFO: Cirrhus, Axnaar

I'm so glad I got to catch them on their most recent tour, because seeing Rakta live really cements just how outstanding they are, and how good they are at what they do. For example, most bands who use keys/organs/synths to make dark music end up producing what could be compared to kitschy tunes in a shitty high school theatre rendition of Dracula. But not Rakta; no they push those keys and synths to their limits, even delving into electronics and exploring harsher textures. The result is spooky, but in a Lovecraft way rather than in a campy haunted house way. ILR sure knows how to pick'em. 

FFO: Xmal Deutschland, Cadaver Em Transe

I have no idea how the members of the Black Twilight Circle manage to churn out so many winners, but I'm thankful for it. Arizmenda is easily one of my favorites of the bunch; their nightmarish, psychedelic sound always evokes existential dread, and this new LP only adds to their already absolutely phenomenal output. If you're looking for something to listen to in the dark when you're having an existential crisis and want your skin to crawl just a little more, this is a solid pick.

FFO: Volahn, Ashdautas

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckkkk this release kicked my ass. When I first heard it, I was not expecting the level of sheer, wretched darkness and aggression Padkarosda dish out. Blitzing and deathrock are not two words commonly seen together, but blitzing deathrock is an accurate way to describe the offerings on Tétova Lelkek. The ferocity and urgency of Padkarosda's delivery is worthy of praise in its own right, but coupled with their skilled songwriting, they're a ghastly, formidable force of a band. I'm just hoping they make it over to the states so I can justify drooling in public. 

FFO: Vonbrigði, The Scam

This link leads to a review I did earlier this year on FBN, but in summation: it's two outstanding contemporary noise rock titans (one featuring members of Brainbombs), both dishing out some of their best respective material yet. 

FFO: Brainbombs, DNA


Con-Dom How Welcome Is Death To I Who Have Nothing More To Do But Die
Dando is on top of his fucking game on this one. Con-Dom's use of sampling is legendary, and this release might be one of my favorites he's done in that regard. Basically, this is an album about old people dying, killing themselves, and resentment towards them from their families. It's brutal, poignant, and ingeniously snarky; the electronics which serve as the base for this fun little romp through a nursing home, work perfectly to create a snide, malign atmosphere.

FFO: The Grey Wolves, Genocide Organ




- EP -


With each new effort, Intensive Care pushes their take on the Skullflower / Cosmonauts Hail Satan / etc fusion of electronics and noise rock (incorporating what I believe the kids call the "pig fuck" approach) even further, into increasingly more noxious territory. Voyeurism is, according to the band, the closing chapter of a three part exploration -- the first part being Pay Pig, and the second being This Is Exactly Who You Are -- of capitalism, work, dehumanization, and validation through exposure and humiliation. The seamless integration of samples works well to express and highlight those ideas; comparisons can be drawn to industrial titans such as The Grey Wolves and Propergol, as well as to weirder powerviolence-informed bands such as Gasp and Suffering Luna. There's a lot more to say about this than can fit in a small blurb, so I might do a separate review later, but in short, this release is just as fantastic as expected.

FFO: Unsane, Dissecting Table

Here's a split I'd been waiting (im)patiently for. As you'd expect, both Internal Rot's and Mellow Harsher's sides are unforgiving and recklessly fast. These bands are just picking up where their last releases left off, which, for grind  -- let's be real -- is often a good thing. Honestly, there's not a whole lot to say about this one other than the fact that it's a grind split 7" that was able to hold my attention, something that can't be said for most newer grind split 7"s. It's a rager, so check it out.

FFO: Excruciating Terror, In Disgust

Oh man, Larry Lifeless still fucking has it. Kilslug's side of this split is exactly what you'd want from them (i.e.  total sleazed out doom that falls apart into noise rock) without sounding like a rehash of previous material. Drunk In Hell, while not necessarily as familiar a name as Kilslug, holds their own on their side with one of the most punishing dirges I've heard this year. I heard they're working on an LP and I can't wait to hear it.

FFO: Upsidedown Cross, Rectal Hygienics 

Okay, listen up everyone. Humanshapes is one of the best bands in philly right now. Their live performances are riveting, and their music is disconcerting in the best possible way. Extremity Parties is a hornets' nest of noisy post-punk imploding on itself, simultaneously deconstructing and reconstructing its dilapidated form. I've only caught them a couple times (and played with them under a bridge which was a blast to say the least), but they're one of those bands who I think I could see every other week and not get bored.

FFO: Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, Pygmy Shrews

This link leads to a review I did earlier this year on FBN, but in summation: whether it's the winding riffs, the driving drums, the sinister and heavy overall feel, Skeleton totally nails what they're going for. Listen to this and break stuff.

FFO: Sewer Drainer, Chlorine

Well, well...what do we have here? Why, it's a 53 song flexi, brought to you by the noisegrind / noisecore project from the people behind Total Abuse, Breathing Problem, etc. There's a real oversaturation of this style lately (I blame bandcamp dot com), so it's easy to pass on a lot of it, but Mental Abortion is definitely worth checking out. The use of electronics really helps to fully flesh out the full scope of smut that they're going for; and oddly, they've opted for a semi-clean production which actually works in their favor. But make no mistake, Infinite Cum is pure, unadulterated filth. You might want to take a shower after listening to this one. 

FFO: World, Traci Lords Loves Noise

Man...it's really hard putting something with Nails' name on it on here, but Full Of Hell's side of this split is killer enough to justify it. As with the material on last year's 7", Full Of Hell is diving deeper into the dark, murky waters of deathgrind; with each stroke of their uncompromising onslaught, they become more of a gruesome hybrid, equal parts Incantation and Discordance Axis. I guess I should probably mention Nail's side since it's already here; it sounds kinda like that (actually somewhat decent) flexi they did last year, so it turned out better than expected (sorta). But anyway, Full Of Hell is doing a new LP and from what I've heard, it's gonna be a fucking ripper.

FFO: Multiplex, Column Of Heaven

On the surface this EP could be mistaken for typical throwback nyhc, but the more you listen to it, the more you hear how it's constantly falling apart around itself, held together by a thin thread. The sloppy playing, to me, seems intentional; it's artful and calculated. Generally, hardcore punk bands who play sloppily tend to just sound like everyone's first shitty band from high school, but Nueva Fuerza's utilization of this aesthetic somehow hits that perfect spot. Oh, and the riffs are fantastic. This bad boy is worth sitting down with.

FFO: (early) Agnostic Front, No Thanks

I'll never stop kicking myself for skipping out on Brown Sugar's last philly show (in 2012?), but fortunately members have gone on to do other killer projects, one of them being Tapehead. My first impression of them was "holy shit, it's Brown Sugar playing Born Against songs," which should tell you immediately that this is something worth your time; Welcome To Heck is a psyched out Battle Hymns Of The Race War, sans death threat samples and an intermission, (but they have time to pull that off if they so choose). These songs are catchy, nasty, and fun in a totally degenerate way.

FFO: Born Against, Brown Sugar

I forgot that this was dropping, and then it came out this month and I got excited all over again. I think Triac can do no wrong; everything they do is memorable. On this split, their signature fusion of noise rock and grind is balanced perfectly, and by the end, falls apart into a mess of grueling repetition and electronics (perfection). Sick/Tired went from decent(ish) thrashcore to unforgiving grind seemingly overnight. To me, some of their releases hold up better than others, but this material stands alongside their best. I will say the goofy vocals on that one track threw me off, but other than that, they hit like a train. I guess there were a few good grind splits this year.

FFO: Flesh Parade, 324

I have no idea why nobody has been talking about this 12" from Es, because it's fucking fantastic. I haven't seen any info on the band, but whoever they are, they know how to craft some unnerving synthpunk. The material on here is bouncy and bubbly, yet at the same time is abstract and nightmarish. Definitely one of the coolest, most interesting things to drop this year.

FFO: Units, Outer Circle


Vacant Life Cassingle No. 1
Their tape floored me, and their follow up 7" on ILR was fantastic, and now Vacant Life is back. While the Olympia/Seattle hardcore vibes (Sex Vid, White Wards, Society Nurse, etc) are still there, the focus has shifted more towards an exploration of art punk/post-punky elements, similar to what Behavior did on their LP earlier this year. And somehow, it feels like a natural progression/evolution of their sound; none of it feels contrived. I'm really looking forward to whatever these guys churn out next, they're just getting weirder and weirder in all the right ways.

FFO: Behavior, Wire

This is one of those releases that reminds me why people who publish their AOTY lists in the first week of december are total hacks. The first band that this brings to mind is Saccharine Trust, but there's more hardcore punk elements in there than ST ever really had, which are reminiscent of Stains. City Trends is like an SST Records fanboy's wet dream come true; it has all the nastiness and organic weirdo fuckery that made all of us fall in love with this shit in the first place. I'm loving the newer wave of art punk that's popping up, here's to hoping it doesn't get ruined too soon. 

FFO: Saccharine Trust, Stains
M. Del Rio Completely Serious
I'm sure that for those of you who've wanted new Raspberry Bulbs, M. Del Rio's Cleft Skull flexi scratched that itch; and I have no doubt that the news of a follow-up tape would get you excited as well. This tape sits between all three RB LPs (Nature Tries Again, Deformed Worship, and Privacy) in a way that lives up to the high quality I've come to expect from Del Rio's post-punk based output. While this is clearly intended to be a project separate from RB, the similarities are certainly there. One thing that really stands out about Completely Serious is Del Rio's focus on and incorporation of more of the industrial / minimal synth elements which came into play on Privacy; something which makes me wonder where this project is going next.

FFO: Raspberry Bulbs, Dome


Teitanblood Accursed Skin
Well, what can I say, it's Teitanblood doing that thing that they do. The two tracks on Accursed Skin are (obviously) crushing thrashing black/death; and as much of their previous material, the songs both cross the ten minute mark. Luckily for us, this band seems to always keep their intensity, regardless of the span of time it takes them to get from start to finish.

FFO: Triumvir Foul, Wrathprayer






- DEMO -
Blank Spell is easily one of my favorite contemporary punk bands. I don't think there's a time that I've seen them and haven't had a stupid grin on my face to the point that it hurt by the end of their set. And despite how good their previous output is, this promo for their upcoming LP is their best material yet; it perfectly showcases their twisted amalgam of dark, chaotic mid 80s Italian hardcore punk with dashes of 80s US/UK/Japanese deathrock. The riffs are all memorable, the structures are unpredictable, and the overall atmosphere is haunting.

FFO: Bedboys, Phaidia
Mama mia, this is a spicy meatball™! I remember my friend telling me a while back they were working on a band influenced by Japanese metalpunk, and I hoped that it'd be good. I wasn't let down at all, holy shit; Devil Master surpassed all my expectations. But, that's to be expected when you've got members of Cape Of Bats, Blank Spell, The Drip, etc working together, influenced by some of the best of the best. When this came out, people were comparing it to Zouo, but it really sounds only vaguely like Zouo. A lot more is going on here, which you should honestly just hear for yourself. Devil Master not only has the riffs, but also the presentation needed to pull off something like this. Decibel magazine had a review of this that was a fucking joke (what a shocker), and honestly I don't think I can even give this as good a review as I want. But, trust me, you need this.
This has split tracks. 

FFO: Sex Messiah, 集団自殺 (Syudan Jisatsu*)

The people who brought you Twin Stumps and White Suns are back, and somehow no one seemed to notice. Conduit definitely has the same plodding pace as Twin Stumps' first LP, and has all the abstract guitar work of White Suns; but that's where the similarities end for the most part. In addition to the essential noise rock elements, Conduit integrates some rudimentary electronics into their sound, which, as I'm sure you know, makes for an overwhelming and downright scary listening experience. It's been interesting seeing the rise in this theme explored by noise rock bands, and somehow many (Conduint included) have managed to keep it sounding fresh. 

FFO: Skullflower, Will To Live

I got turned onto this project because it features a member(s?) of now defunct UK hardcore punk band No, and wasn't really sure what to expect when I lisetned. Well, it doesn't sound like No at all; it's like a strange mixture of blackened punk and goth recorded in a cave. For some reason I also get Dreamdecay vibes from some of the guitarwork which is definitely interesting. Nadie's sound is as sombre as it is aggressive, and it's probably something you should just listen to for yourself.

FFO: Raspberry Bulbs, Siekiera

The Bug is back, and more buggy than ever. If you liked their first tape, you'll like this one too, and not just because some of the same songs are on it. Room 44 Sessions a continuation of what the Bug started with their brand of reckless, trainwreck hardcore punk, only they've cranked up their usage of noise and atonality; and have done so without slowing down one bit -- they may have even sped up some. You know what you're getting into with this, and I'm sure it's just what you wanted. 

FFO: Sex Vid, Migraine

Here's one of the few contemporary deathrock projects that integrates industrial into their sound. Admittedly, it could use a little bit of fine-tuning, but Laugh's approach is effective in creating chorus drenched existential dread. None of the tracks reach the 2 minute mark, making each one feel like a microcosmic experiment in evoking fear and discomfort, and fully realized via the disconcertingly muffled vocals. Listen in the dark.
This has split tracks.

FFO: Datsustora, Clair Obscur

This link leads to a review I did earlier this year on FBN, but in summation: Moth Slasher's brand of blown out noise rock dirges and crawls, yet also remains unpredictable, often falling apart into detuning and electronic soundscaping. I can't think of anything in recent memory that sounds quite like this, so get it while it's hot (or maybe it's cold, I don't know dude)

FFO: Happy Flowers, Slices

Oh boy, if you wanted to hear the unholy bastard child of United Mutation and YDI, Only Human is the band for you. The riffs, the unbridled aggression, the somehow not stupid sounding cookie monster vocals...it's all here. And it's phenomenal. But then again, Only Human features members of No Form, so I'd expect nothing less. Put it on and smash. 

FFO: United Mutation, YDI
How does the idea of psych'd out funky deathrock sound to you? Good? Good. And that's what First Wave Of Death Funk is -- it's good. Product melds the two styles, but leans towards the psych/noise rock side of things, so the gloom takes a back seat to the doom, so to speak. The spacey guitar and powerful rhythm section build an environment, rather than just a backdrop, in which sinister howls thrive -- the culmination of which is hair-raising. Check it out. 

FFO: Dreamdecay, Haldol

Prison Shower Prison Shower
The people over at Yamabushi Recordings really know how to churn out some of the most vile shit. While the most well known project on the label is Sesso Violento (Molestador is for sure one of the best, most memorable blackened punk LPs that I've heard), there are a handful of other projects which the label is home to, one of them being Prison Shower. My first impression was that it reminded me of a project I did a few years back called Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee (named after a Lovecraft character), but I quickly I picked out some 80s Texas noise rock and weirder 00s blackened punk vibes. This thing is punishing; total knuckledragging dirges, complimented with some harsh electronics to top it all off with an extra layer of filth.

FFO: Stick Men With Ray Guns, Norymberga

Oh look, yet another offering from Iron Lung Records that's made it onto my "best of" lists. This particular tape is best listened to alone in the dark, where the pulsing synths and crashing waves of electronics can bring the cliff wall that is your being crumbling down. Life Drag erodes the soul, slowly and methodically, each track stripping a little bit away until there's nothing left. Their exploration of Chrome influenced industrial/psych is both satisfying and gut-wrenchingly bleak. 

FFO: Chrome, Dome

I don't know how this guy can put out such a variety of shit and have all of it be great; he's responsible for Naamahk, Malphas, and now Fuath Vough. The biggest influence is definitely Paysage D'Hiver, especially their releases which are split between elegiac dark ambient and devastating death metal influenced black metal, the main difference here being that Fauth Vough's black metal riffing has slightly punker leanings. Monolith To The Brollachan Priest is fantastic as both a black metal release and an industrial release.
This has split tracks.

FFO: Murmuüre, Paysage D'Hiver

No Care Superiorstrains
Here's a new(er) project from one of the masterminds behind Wojtek, except instead of raw black/death metal punk, it's hardcore punk influenced by some of Japan's finest lofi heroes. And okay, maybe a little hint of raw black metal here and there. It may be straightforward, but what sets Superiorstrains apart from other similar efforts within this specific style, is the fact that rather than falling into the typical pitfalls that come along with worship, it comes off as more of an homage; it is notable due to its own merits, not because "oh man, this sounds just like G-Gas." Does this count as shameless self-promotion since I'm drumming for the band incarnation of this project? Who knows, but check it out.
(P.S. I did the art for this one, and that's shameless self-promotion)

FFO: Gudon, Bone Awl

So, I found out about this band because the guitarist from my old band 1/4 Dead (I doubt anyone remembers), is doing vocals; and the first I heard of them was that they were playing with Die Kreuzen. Both of those things intrigued me -- especially the first since everything Eric touches is wild -- and I gotta say this is one of his best efforts yet. It's total sleazed out rocking metalpunk, with a big emphasis on the sleaze. The opening sample from The Hobbit really sets the tone for how tongue-in-cheek and kickass this whole thing is; plus all the lyrics are about b-horror and old sega games. Do I need to say anything else, or are you sold already?
(P.S. I did the art for this one too, although it's not the final draft since I'm waiting on the band for the logo they want to use; but I needed to put something on here)

FFO: G.I.S.M., Cape Of Bats

The Obscured Desolate Wanderings
This release actually was a submission that I've been meaning to post for a while, but didn't get the chance to, so here it is now. Desolate Wanderings might be one of the most dreary things I've heard this year, everything about it sucks the fun right out of the room and replaces it with hypoxic hopelessness. Goth with an emphasis on atmosphere is harder to pull off since it's not the 80s, so The Obscured are certainly an impressive band in that regard; the best comparisons I can make are -- for the most part -- french bands from the 80s. I'm really glad this made it to the FBN submissions inbox, and I hope to hear more from this band in the near future (hopefully a tour too?).

FFO: Trop Tard, Theatre Of Ice





*not actually a Japanese band, turns out it's a Finnish project featuring members of Selfish and others.

Okay, you know what -- I doubt anyone else would bother posting these, so here's some real shameless self-promotion. I've earned it right? I won't review them since that'd be corny, but here’s my two latest releases from 2016 (both of which still need to be put out in a physical format, whoops):

Bloated Subhumans Commemoration 
This was released coinciding with the 1 year anniversary of my last almost successful suicide attempt, and explores the 4 forms of suicide proposed by Durkheim via repetitive noise rock and electronics.

FFO: Brainbombs, Grim


Commodity Fetishism Manifesto
Commodity Fetishism is a rhythmic industrial project influenced by the works of Marx; Manifesto explores capitalism, sexuality, and the intersection of the two.

FFO: SPK, White Hospital














There you go. Obviously, I encourage you all to support the artists when you can. 2016 is finally coming to an end. I'm done. In the words of the immortal Juntaro:
Fuck compose
Fuck melody
Dedicated to no one
Thanks to no one
Art is over

Until next time,
Joey / FBN