Tag Archives: hardcore

MEMORY OF A MELODY: ‘Mary Go Round.’

Wow!
It’s been a while since I listened to a ‘metal’ track that grabbed me as instantly as this new release from MEMORY OF A MELODY.

After a six year hiatus, the San Antonio five-piece, returned in March of this year with a three track EP, ‘Burn Alive,’ from which this chilling, nursery rhyme inspired single is lifted.

Mary Go Round,’ is a tale of betrayal … and revenge. The anger in Mario Galdos’s voice is palpable as he spits out the immensely threatening lyrics.

(November 2019)

My personal roots in punk, hardcore and metal are, I suppose, of an ‘old school’ nature and perhaps that’s why I instantly took to this song / band. At various points through its four an a half minute duration, I can hear possible influences from System of a Down and Slipknot poking through. It has everything: pounding and rolling drums; growled vocals; heavy, heavy riffs and of course the almost obligatory searing guitar solo.

Memory of a Melody describe themselves as playing ‘Metal with mass appeal.’

I think they’re right. Absolutely love it!

SANS: ‘Aztec Drips.’

Over the past few years SANS have emerged from Bristol’s more avant-garde scene as one of the more hard-edged yet versatile bands.

The SANS sound melds post punk, experimental noise and hardcore, incorporating a maelstrom of overdriven guitars, jazz drumming and heavy breakdowns.

Their forthcoming eponymous EP, being released via Breakfast Records on 22nd May is a reflection of this, as you can hear from the lead track, ‘Aztec Drips,’ below.

WILMETTE: ‘Anxious Body.’

Well – that’s a relief! There I was, sweating over what suburban Chicago band Wilmette would think if I mentioned they sounded like a band born too late – and I then read on their Facebook biography that ‘ … they aim to bring back the 2010-esque angstiness and raw energy that made pop-punk what it is today.’

And that is indeed what they do with their ‘Anxious Body‘ EP, the band’s first release since signing a deal with the iconic Mutant League Records.

There’s something warm and reassuring about re-visiting the past. Not everything has to be ‘new’ or ‘experimental’ to be cool. Good tunes, well delivered with confidence and the right amount of attitude, does it for me.

The five tracks on Wilmette’sAnxious Body‘ EP blend power pop-punk chunky riffs, with screamo type shouts and irregular time signatures. There are also little snippets of pained emo vocals – and all along, they remain melodic and not too brash.

Sort of like the crazy, mixed-up progeny of a Four Year Strong and Neck Deep liaison.

Just as importantly too, I think, is that the band’s sense of humour and fun comes through in the video below. Yes – it’s all in there, folks.

And it works brilliantly!

I CRIED WOLF: ‘Sigh.’

Don’t be misled by the angelic, Westlife look; don’t be misled by the theme of their new single, ‘Sigh‘ –

a story about the shortcomings of online dating, how you can go from the absolute euphoria of making a connection with someone new, to worrying that you’re not enough, to pretending
to be exactly what you think they might want, and how that can spiral into a bout of crippling self-doubt.”

No – forget all that – I doubt you’ll come across a more assured and aggressive -sounding band in a good while.

I Cried Wolf are about as far removed from the carefully staged and choreographed image portrayed in their recent press photo / video as you could imagine. A post-hardcore band? See – never judge a book by its cover and all that.

(I recall the magnificent Adequate Seven taking on this image for their final album / tour many years ago. It must be a ‘thing.’)

This, though is more brutal, more primordial than the Ad7 lads, but equally magnificent. I Cried Wolf have energy to burn and having extensively toured the UK for the five years since their inception, the Oxfordshire quintet have built an (increasing) loyal fanbase.

In fact, they have just added one to that number in the time it’s taken to write this short piece.

TOUCHING GOD: ‘Profane’ EP

If I tell you that Touching God, a duo from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, describe their music as ‘ blistering electronic noise-rock,’ you might be put off. If I tell you that the first track on their new five-track EP, ‘Profane,’ is called ‘Strepitus Diaboli,’ which is Latin for ‘devil noise,’ (good to see my O’Level Latin, B grade, back in 1974 has finally come in handy) you might again be put off.

But don’t be.

It’s a heavyweight brutal seventeen minutes or so, of that there’s no denying. But listen closely. There is structure. And there is melody. Maybe just not of the Judy garland style, that’s all.

My own experience of ‘noise’ music is more focused on the Japanese scene. The likes of Kawabata Makoto / Mainliner and Keiji Haino grace my record collection. But Touching God’s EP is different in that it doesn’t appear improvised. It has more of a wide, expansive soundtrack feel to it, and seems to be following a storyline. I have to confess, though, I’m not quite sure what that is exactly.

The opening track, starts out with the ringing of church bells, and very quickly you get a sense of doom rather than the uplifting call to worship you’d normally expect from such sounds. See – the bells gradually meld into one huge cacophony and muffled, spoken word is overlaid.

Set the mood to ‘creepy.’

Second track ‘Puissant,‘ French for ‘powerful,’ (Higher French, ‘C’ grade, 1975) steams in with a heavier than heavy riff and racing drums. The vocals are a hybrid metal and hardcore punk style, that demand the listener’s attention.

Kola,’ is my favourite track. Starting with a throbbing pulse, it soon develops into a latter day heavy drum ‘n’ bass style, but with growled and shouty vocals.

Courtship‘ is playing above, so no comment requited.

Final track ‘Vacant’ is a bleak collage of noise, again mixed with similar spoken vocals to that of the opener. Think evil Tangerine Dream! As the band themselves state, this and the first track are: ‘sound pieces that set the stage for an atmosphere of discomfort.’

This style of music may be a little niche, but it’s truly atmospheric and deserving of more musically open-minded listeners giving it time.

Profane will be available in full digitally through all streaming services from June 7th, 2019, and as a limited CDr, available on the band’s forthcoming Western Canada tour. 

Touching God bio:
Currently based in Lethbridge, AB, Touching God’s members have also been in former grunge-punk band,
Advertisement, and ongoing drone-ambient project, An Ant And An Atom. They have shared stages with CherubsDri HievRhythm of Cruelty, and Conduct. This summer, they will bring their eviscerating not-to-be-missed live show on a tour to the West Coast of Canada with a returning appearances at Calgary’s Sled Island Festival as well.