- Thu April 19, 2018 8:30 pm
- Sonic Titan
There’s a whole world contained within YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. They’re a Noh-Wave prog collective, a black-and-white (and sometimes red) theatre company, an operatic psych cult, and the speculative prophets of humanity’s impending doom. Above it all, though, they’re a thunderous rock band, and on their third album, DIRT, they’re the heaviest they’ve ever been.
Though they’ve been an amorphous beast since they formed in 2010, DIRT follows the group’s most significant evolution in years. Now totally Toronto-based, they’ve added new singer Joanna Delos Reyes, guitarist Hiroki Tanaka and bassist Brandon Lim, who, along with the towering drums of leader/artist Alaska B, singer/theatre artist Ange Loft and keyboardist Brendan Swanson, turn the group into a driving engine of sound. Live, the band can be sprawling and theatrical or concise and visceral, filling the stage with noise, melody and cacophony.
- Sun April 22, 2018 8:30 pm
- Russian Circles
- King Woman
At the end of 2014, Chicago trio RUSSIAN CIRCLES celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their first show. A decade is a long time for any band to persevere, let alone a band that mines the relatively unmarketable niche of protracted instrumental dirges. But whereas many bands on the louder end of the rock-based instrumental world are content to work within the confines of the crescendos and washed-out timbres laid out by their predecessors, RUSSIAN CIRCLES persistently expand their creative boundaries by working with a wider swath of sounds and structures. In many ways, their last album Memorial was a fitting cap to that first decade; it was an elegy to the past, a token of remembrance to the aural explorations of the band’s formative years. It encompassed the many facets of the band’s catalog: harrowing gloom, cinematic majesty, primitive bludgeonings, bittersweet dexterity, and morose minimalism.
Led by the hypnotic and breathy vocal dramatics of Kristina Esfandiari, KING WOMAN unveil a profoundly crafted opus of brooding, ethereal doom-rock.
- Fri April 27, 2018 9:00 pm
- Freak Heat Waves
When the four members of Canadian post-punk band PREOCCUPATIONS wrote and recorded their new record, they were in a state of near total instability. Years-long relationships ended; they left homes behind. Frontman Matt Flegel, guitarist Danny Christiansen, multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro and drummer Mike Wallace all moved to different cities. They resolved to change their band name, but hadn’t settled on a new one. And their road-tested, honed approach to songwriting was basically thrown out the window. This time, they walked into the studio with the gas gauge near empty, buoyed by one another while the rest of their lives were virtually unrecognizable and rootless. There was no central theme or idea to guide the band’s collective cliff jump. As a result, ‘Preoccupations’ bears the visceral, personal sound of holding onto some steadiness in the midst of changing everything.
In the two years since their last release, FREAK HEAT WAVES have continued a perpetual process of transformation. Shedding familiar influences from the heavily excavated histories of post-punk and krautrock, the band has now beamed into uncharted territory with the otherworldly sound of their third album, Beyond XXXL.
On this 11-song excursion, alien strains of synth-pop and glam-rock are sandblasted with smooth guitar solos, eerie electronics, and pulsating drum machines propelled into skull-shattering breakbeats. Deeply distorted vocals narrate the narcoleptic trip like a DJ Screw mixtape splicing together John Foxx, John Maus, and The Prodigy. The result is FREAK HEAT WAVES’ most cohesive and captivating release to date, amplifying earlier melodic sensibilities while remaining singularly strange.
- Thu May 10, 2018 8:30 pm
- No Age
With the world around us bruised and bloodied with teeth already dug into the concrete curb, we find ourselves with the shadow of a large boot looming overhead. What better time for NO AGE? Remember, they are the ones who first brought you the hospital-bed-feel-good-anthem, “Get Hurt” (2007). They know how to ecstatically rage and power on thru pain, because what else are you gonna do? The future belongs to the cockroaches, and this record is made for the disparate band of misfits who 2017 couldn’t kill.
Yeah. New NO AGE! Not new age NO AGE (except for the odd “Sun Spots”/“Keechie”-style shimmer that only ever makes everything better), but definitely an age of album-making located somewhere beyond and back from where we last heard ’em in aught-13, when they’d wrapped their process in as much deconstruction as An Object could bear. Reimagined rippers, compelling ever forward; something that provokes challenges on the ear — that was always the goal, but after a few years spent not NO AGE-ing, just working on that thing called life, is it any wonder that Dean and Randy wanted to pump out some rock and roll for the black hole? Does time mean nothing to you? Don’t answer that.
BEHAVIOR is a band from Los Angeles formed in 2012. They’ve released two LP’s: 375 Images of Angels (2016) and Bitter Bitter (2017) on Iron Lung Records. Bitter Bitter was written and recorded in Los Angeles early last fall, just before the latest drought broke, and just before a cynical national election made the ongoing arrangement very plain. It’s a simple music, crafted according to a shifting ad hoc agreement between three friends who try and share the labor, who borrow promiscuously from whatever finds them, who try and garner enough space to intuit a next stumbling move in restless hopscotch across a pop music tradition that has tallied an unlivable inheritance of promises.
There’s a desire for tension with BEHAVIOR, a desire for fraudulent postures, a desire for drama and its perverse digressions. The song is traversed by other songs, the voice is traversed by other voices, the singer never held the title to their own tongue—nosing uninvited into darkened houses for what’s ripe and fermenting. The title of the record is a translation of the name given to the ocean on a Babylonian map thought to be the oldest depiction of the world. The cover is a mask of swatches. A shroud of ribbons. Bitter Bitter is an imprint and an agitation, wrapped like a circus in an exterminator’s tent. Countless fluttering images hoisted like flags above countless shrinking islands in a rising sea. Contempt, mercy, grief and good will. Is it a timely attitude?
- Sat May 19, 2018 8:30 pm
- Power Trip
- Sheer Mag
- Red Death
POWER TRIP slay us with the first new single “Firing Squad” from their anxiously awaited sophomore release Nightmare Logic, which finally sees light February 24 on Southern Lord. “Firing Squad” debuted via NPR who’ve described it as possessing “a certain monolithic quality Lemmy would admire: a massive rawness and a sludgy, heavy hopelessness that thrashes with punk immediacy and metal intricacy…it’s a track preparing for war.”
POWER TRIP are a real band - like no other. Their raw energy, musical proficiency, perfect song structure, rich tones, fierce riffs, persecution and collective attitude has seeded them as one of the most prolific underground staples in the U.S. metal, punk and hardcore scenes.
Both brazen and discrete, loud yet precise, familiar but never quite like this - SHEER MAG crept up from Philadelphia cloaked in bold insignia to channel our social and political moment with grit and groove. Cautious but full of purpose. By making a music both painfully urgent and spiritually timeworn, SHEER MAG speak to a modern pain: to a people that too feel their flame on the verge of being extinguished, yet choose to burn a bit brighter in spite of that threat.
Argued as one of the best bands in America, LA hardcore band FURY undoubtedly lives up to their name. The fiery delivery of the vocals, the ripping guitars and pounding rhythms make for some of the best hardcore music out this decade. They’ve not only stepped out as one of the most prolific punk and hardcore bands out there but has solidified their own sound within a short period of time.
D.C. crossover thrash band RED DEATH lights this fucker up with their face ripping solos and obliterating smackdown vocals. Get ready for a sonic beatdown like never before.
- Wed May 30, 2018 8:30 pm
"This record is definitely looser than our last one," says SUUNS singer/guitarist Ben Shemie. "It's not as clinical. There's more swagger."
You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on their release, Hold/Still through Secretly Canadian. It's both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.
While maintaining a pleasing economy, the informality of self-production has enabled SUUNS to explore bright new vistas. "Us doing it ourselves, that process was like a very receptive, limitless workshop to just try out ideas,". Time to get wild, let freedom soar and basque in the glory that is SUUNS.
SUUNS has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold goes to support Youth Speaks and their work through arts education, youth development, and civic engagement, to challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change (youthspeaks.org).
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