Saturday, 26 September 2009

Oh My God - Wesley Eisold Career Reductive


Some people are born, headfirst into a cradle and never really escape that blanket security. Grow, eat, job, no time for life? They will always keep their cards and their souls close to their chest. The best experiences come from offering it to someone else altogether. Wes Eisold probably clawed his way out of the womb for fear of wasting his allotted time. The man, the musician, the poet, is a distillation of pretty much everything the counter culture has to roll out. Pageboy haircut tops a mind tank-melting pot of hardcore primitives and poetically twisted affectation.

The rolling panzer of American Nightmare / Give Up The Ghost defined for many kids, their flourishing adolescent glut of angst. The second wavers still paraded the likes of Gorilla Biscuits and H2O on their big apple shoulders, dashing the hopes of all but the truest punks willing to hark back to the '88 revival sound. I've never understood why the crew cut youth of yesterday are so unwilling to open up and embrace whatever mutant sounds the apple mac generation are crafting - without dismissing it as spurious faux-punk on first glance.

Equal Vision put out the insanely heavy, insanely mosh inducing debut LP 'Background Music,' which, after the self titled EP & the 'Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter' EP stirred the mortar that would go on to cement Give Up The Ghost's place in modern hardcore culture. I am in no doubt that when they whipped out the likes of Am/Pm in whatever back alley sweatbox they were playing in, bedlam would ensue.

We're Down Til' We're Underground' continued the lightning war, yet saw Eisold & co. feel their way through the mesh of hardcore limits as a more realised sound coalesced into being. This album is an outright fucking tirade, a professionally orchestrated outing with the grime, grit and self reflection that hardcore punk can frame so well.


The heartstrings that lashed such a volatile band together eventually gave way, with a fallout that was felt throughout the listening community. They were just so incredibly good, so strong but equally listenable - along with The Suicide File they had inflamed the north eastern scene and beat it's chest raw. A collective driftwood of available musicians flooded the talent radar and one by one they each found new projects by which to ply their trade. Tim Cossar now flies the flag for metallic hardcore heavysets The Hope Conspiracy, and Jarvis Holden united with post-hardcore king Daryl Palumbo to birth the power pop snaps & crackles of Head Automatica. Wes pretty much just wiped the snot from his nose and threw himself head first back into the swarming mass of young bloods thirsty for the next chapter.

Some Girls congealed together rather naturally, as Wes joined forces with Justin Pearson of The Locust (and a plethora of other bands), to thrash out a more rudimentary, light speed soundtrack of warped destruction. In late 2003 they kicked out an LP All My Friends Are Going Death on Deathwish, which has subsequently I hear been remastered, mixed and issued along with some sweet etching, all on limited edition colour vinyl. Some Girls' unbridled fuck-you-we're-gonna-play-our-way coupling of attitude and sound flipped the coin completely. The union of past Unbroken, Tristeza, Holy Molar and Give Up The Ghost members was a rabid formula.

The second full length dropped in 2006, this time Epitaph swooped to put it out. The writing for 'Heaven's Pregnant Teens' was a maturing process for Some Girls. They kept their animalistic message crystal clear, and left no stone unturned in their quest to reach the desired ear slaying caterwaul.

Some Girls died a death unfitting of a band made up of such live wires. The band was 'quietly put to rest' in October of 2007, freeing up Wes once more. The rolling stone that gathers no moss had hooked up with the incomparable Chauncey and others as a side project before the Some Girls split, the cacophony resulting from forcing hardcore punk into a kinship with danceable electronica beats rattled the cages of even the staunchest 'punk as fuck' kids. The preppy long island new wavers most probably had their J-Crew socks blown off by the likes of XO Skeletons


XO Skeletons went on to record 'Bored By Heaven' in a series of sessions, later releasing it free to download.

In post Obama victory America Wes has spread his runners further left field, founding and currently running Heartworm Press out of Philadelphia, PA. Heartworm is a collective escape for talented punks and other such scene luminaries who can write better than the average dirtbag and have more than half interesting stories to tell. Some of it, if not all of it is genuinely brilliant, well crafted drug enduced stumbles through the inner workings of a teenager's horomone bank.

Musically hes moved even further into the darker corners of the electronic world with Cold Cave, concocting devilishly sombre slices of experimental synth-noise / no wave / dark wave. Whichever tag of the week is going through the hip-kid processing machine applies here. I think tagging Cold Cave as 'Cold Wave' is one step beyond the borderline of ridiculousness. Nevertheless some of their bites make me think of what Faithless might have sounded like if they had an even bleaker outlook on life and wore trenchcoats indoors, or had played jaw crushing hardcore for ten years prior. So check out what some people called the 'catchiest twelve minutes of 2008', The Trees Grew Emotions And Died


Thursday, 24 September 2009

For The People That Died


Someone has introduced me to Heartworm Press, It is pretty fucking defining. For those who are blind to their prose genius - get involved at The Heartworm. Wes Eisold is a multi-trick pony, Even Fall Out Boy steal his eloquence. It's not just Wes, the contributions come from far and wide - and to me they spread the seed of the healing powers of Punk, along with the fucked up delights of America's scratch & sniff urban underbellies.

"From there I saw myself lying in bed with 'that girl' sharing and comparing all past crimes and misdemeanors to the sounds of crystal hearts colliding, and in that moment I saw colour for the first time. I lost my soul. To be honest, it was hers from the very start"

- Max G Morton, 'Indestructable Wolves of the Apocalypse Junkyard', Heartworm Press


Here's to not going down in history for standing still.


Expect fleshed out blog posts a-plenty starting this weekend. Check out my friend Thom's blog (Skate For God), it's much better than mine as he doesn't expel paragraph after paragraph about the bands he features, unlike me. Also his knowledge is great, we spend the best parts of college planning our sonic extradition from our normal lives. We want to mash our umbrella of influences together and see what sound comes out.

This past week I have been listening to alot of the following: Killing The Dream, Graf Orlock, Hüsker Dü, Every Time I Die (that new record is amazing, no messing) & Crime In Stereo.

Friday, 18 September 2009

He-God Has Favoured My Undertakings


Subsequently check out Hang The Bastard if you havn't already. They play a bilious torrent of sludgey tar colliding riff first with the primitives of hardcore punk - imbibed with as much death and goat worship as these filthy London folk can muster.
Hang The Bastard (Myspace)


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Something A Bit Different

Last night I went to see Bury Tomorrow and a host of support acts including the good lads of From A City In Ruins, who, dispell just about as much effort as can feasibly be possible. Lead singer Adam spends more time in the air or on the floor in with the patrons than he does rooted stage side. The band have recently changed musical tact, pooling influences as far flung and contrasting as Joy Division, Refused and At The Drive-In, melding it together with their previously hard grafted metalcore chops. So check them out they deserve more attention.


Saturday, 12 September 2009

Graf Orlock


There is a line out there, some say, which separates the sane and rational from the absolutely fucking absurd. Graf Orlock show up and do their best to smear that line beyond all recognition. By the time you reach the final track of any one of their releases you're likely to be headbanging to your own screams of 'Sarah Connor!'

They formed six years ago in Los Angeles as four kids united by their raging love for 80's & 90's cinematography (a detail you'll soon pick up on), and have been splicing audio snippets into their grind inflected hardcore ever since. Former vocalist Kalvin Kristoff was highly influential in Graf Orlock attaining their sound, with a scream so potent it could rattle glass to breaking point. Backed up by Jason Schmidt on guitar who's own voice resonates deep, almost Dave Verellen-esque growls, as if they were coming from Beelzebub's Abyss itself. Mainstays of the listening society have been quick to paste a 'cinema-grind' tag upon anything these Californian savages do - which I confess I'm not a fan of. I just think it trivialises the music, which could leave the band being just aswell known for their inclusion of script and quotes as for their sheer power to rage. I guess you guys will make your own minds up.

After a series of well received splits & EP's they embarked on a three-release trilogy based on a screenplay Jason and drummer 'Alan Hunter' had been fervently working on during their time at college. The 'Destination Time' trilogy is absolutely menacing, track after track of riff-spun fury bolstered extensively by their often ludicrous love of action film samples. Step forward into the melee as revved up Lemmy style bass parts crush insatiably into the churning guitar on tracks like 'A Shocking Interrogation' and 'Todd & Janelle' from the Destination Time: Tomorrow EP. The tempo changes snatch you by the collar and pull you into the tangled fray of Indiana Jones and Under Siege, pumping your senses with large doses of profanity and bloodlust.

While some people will pass off Graf Orlock as a gimmick band, others will jump on board as devout followers of the Predator meets Hardcore template. On a purely sonic level Graf have measurable talent for creating great chunks of hardcore, albeit few of those chunks see the other side of three minutes. I can imagine this band putting in an astonishing level of commitment and exercising their chops in intense hard to fault live shows, brimming with blastbeats and choice movie script dialogue. I just hope Graf Orlock's select list of cinema influences affords them enough room, to produce enough records, to satiate this writer's and the rest of the Graf Orholic's thirst for fresh takes on often stale sub-genres.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Destination Time: Yesterday
Destination Time: Tomorrow
Destination Time: Today

Thursday, 10 September 2009

It's a cold world out there, sometimes I think i'm getting a little frosty myself.


In 1986 seminal record producer Rick Rubin embarked on a project that revitilized a classic American rock group, and perhaps more poignantly birthed a hybrid musical subgenre, with the fusion of rap and rock. You've probably guessed it, it was infact Run DMC's cover of 'Walk This Way' by Aerosmith. Released as a single from their album 'Raising Hell', 'Walk This Way' mushroomed into an International success by becoming the first rap single to break through into the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. It was something of an eye opener to the general listening public, grabbing modern assumptions by the scruff of the neck and heftily planting a bright white adidas trainer right where it hurts the most.

Flash forward to 2009 and the charts are still bothered by multi-platinum selling acts following a similiar template to the one Rubin crafted over 20 years ago, artists such as Linkin Park. Despite the breakthrough success, there lies a blistering underbelly where hip hop and rock can coalesce outside the charts, In a heavier, more satisfying allegiance. Enter Cold World who have been running with the torch for almost 5 years, albeit in a very black & white manner.

Cold World are bare as bones in their musical march, steamrolling interludes of hip-hop morsals onto a steadfast foundation of locomotive 90's hardcore. Adding a dash of hip-hop or rap influence for every stylistic value borrowed from Crown of Thornz or Life of Agony. Cold World play out of Pennsylvania, weilding a brand of hardcore not unlike the burgeoning east coast scene of almost two decades passed, very pissed-the-fuck-off but equally talented on instrumental terms which makes for interesting hardcore rather than the derivitive, mechanical concoctions many bands churn out in a feign attempt to replicate the Minor Threat or Sick Of It All glory days

There's very little out there strong enough to contend with what Cold World are doing right now and I recommend all their releases,

(Dedicated To Babies...)
(Ice Grillz)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Existing Underground

Posts have, and will for the immediate future be few and far between due to logistical reasons. Broken down it means i'm never in the midst of a good internet connection, so all my blog ideas have been given the pen to paper treatment as of late. I'll have to wait a little bit longer before I can spew forth the many, many metaphors i've collected to describe Thom Yorke's voice & the beauty of Radiohead at Leeds Festival. Meanwhile I've been listening to alot of Poison The Well, predominantly that new behemoth 'The Tropic Rot' (Get it here) and Joy Division, don't say thats depressing though.


Mike Patton from Faith No More / Mr Bungle

mike 2 Pictures, Images and Photos
Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco

I also think Tim Mcilrath from Rise Against looks like Thom Yorke.