Friday, 17 December 2010

Records Of The Year - Video Blog

Recorded a quick video last night to run through some of my favourite records of the year. I only manage to mention 5 or 6, and this is by no means a definitive list, nevertheless I hope you enjoy it. Might have to crank the volume up significantly!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Interview with No Class

This was done through email about a month ago, since then the new record has been released, so excuse a couple of the questions for sounding dated. This band seem to be doing everything right at the minute, and they're certainly one of my highlights of 2010. Thanks go out to Neal and the guys. Enjoy.


Firstly, you mentioned that your first 12" will be coming out on Deranged Records, you guys must be pysched for that to happen, what can you tell us about the recording process and working with Deranged?

When we put the tape out, Deranged got a hold of us and wanted to release the tape as a 7’’. We kinda wanted the tape to be it’s own singular entity, and would rather go forward with new songs/releases. We had a dialogue going and he was very interested in doing some vinyl with us. So Jesse and I threw up a hail mary with bringing a short LP to the table. The tape was done straight up in one day, the LP took actually a lot longer. We recorded all the material we had to date, and then went through and lined up the best fitting and tightest songs which has become the LP. We used a wide range of equipment to record from vintage amps and pedals to newer items. It wasn’t recorded in Pro-tools but Qbase I believe. Much appreciation to Mike/Mark for putting up with our bullshit and our tedious requests.

Secondly, what can you tell us about the new record, can we expect more of the same gut punching hardcore?

Wear band-aids on your nipples to cut down on chafing. It's more raw sounding than the tape.......its louder and more manic at times.

I wanted to ask what your opinion is on modern hardcore? Do you see it as a diluted lesser to it's 70's & 80's ancestors, or do you see strength in the new bands and flagbearers of today?

Sometimes hardcore today is just too hetero for its own good…..scenes /sounds change. But I still think it holds true that for every 10-20 horrid hardcore bands out now, there has to be at least 1 band that does it right. Also, I truly feel mesa boogies & triple rectifier type amps has ruined hardcore guitar.....but that guitar sound is so popular now in modern/popular hardcore, because it's 'heavy'. Fuck.

Can you elaborate on any of the themes and lyrical content behind your 'tape' release?

Wrap a year and a half ( and still counting ) of being on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the simmering hate for a single person ( B-side of tape for those lucky enough to have one), and sprinkle a little annoyance with the seriousness that the world conveys……..throw it in a pot, you got yourself a lyrical stew.

The tape itself sounds like a powderkeg of hardcore swagger, who would you say influenced your sound?

Words like swagger, that’s what. Hahaha. I think if you take Jesse’s love of breaking things, my spazzy anxiety, dillon’s retarded-ness, and Dustin’s disapproval with all most everything….you get a pretty good idea of what influences us.

I'm interested to know what you guys listen to personally, are you all fervent hardcore fans through and through? Could you name us some of your favourite bands, past and present?

This question makes me anxious. Haha. So much to choose from…..I have sat on this question for like 2 days….and every time I try to answer it I get all nervous. No idea why. I love hardcore. And I love a whole lotta other stuff too. I love music.

Finally, are there any plans for after the record release, anything set in stone regarding tours, both on American soil or perhaps overseas?

We totally want to at least do a 5-10 day tour….talking with buddies Cardiac Arrest from STL about possibly doing it together. But I don’t think the universe will be able to contain that much hardcore, goofiness, and strip clubs…..the universe may just implode on the sheer amount of idiocy and meat consumption.


New record out now, available from a few places - try Sorry State Records

Tuesday, 30 November 2010



Clockcleaner steep themselves in controversy. They dine with it. They throw their arms around it as if greeting an old friend. Nirvana were apparently 'dogshit' according to lead singer John Sharkey, so they recorded an album whilst Sharkey was suffering from 'bi-lateral amnesia' and named it Nevermind.

Having this pious, Kurt Cobain is holier than thou devotion to Nirvana should, I thought, cause me to react in a spray of venom towards this bullshit merchantry. However, my inner critical opinion has tranquilised any and all war mongering - for Clockcleaner are ridiculously impressive. Listen to their 2007 full length 'Babylon Rules' and let the dark swagger of the opening track 'New In Town' web you in it's physically repulsive sonic air. I don't think I've ever heard a track #1 quite so fucking animalistic. It sounds like a 7 minute stalk through a trip you'd experience after smoking one of Buzz Osbourne's greying ringlets.

The rest of this record sounds like it could have come about after the splicing of a thousand or more influences went terribly wrong, but what I feel this soup-pot of noise rock boils down to is an intense love for Melvins interbreeding with a sexual preoccupation towards Pixies, all further hybridized until each member believes he or she is a functioning member of The Jesus Lizard.

I see contemporaries in Pissed Jeans, another viscerally bent out of shape punk troupe that has left the rule book at the front door to parade nakedly at the party. Of the records I've heard up to now; 'The Hassler', 'Nevermind' and 'Babylon Rules', I'd have to push 'Babylon Rules' as my opus of choice. It is unrelenting, cocky as all hell and quite frankly nauseating to the point where you need to listen to some Minutemen just to calm yourself down.

I thoroughly recommend this band. They've got just about enough old school in them for the 'punker than thee' council to perhaps enjoy them, and the right measure of 21st century clamour to be topical.

Babylon Rules (mediafire)
Nevermind (mediafire)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The World According To VICE


Allow your eyes to trace their way through any one copy of Vice magazine. Half of your brain will start to cloud over as articles concerning counter culture lifestyles and drug trafficking pockmark your psyche, leaving you a demoralised wreck, murmuring "is this really how things are?" whilst drooling an unnoticed goo onto your fervently tapping foot. Meanwhile, the other half of your mind tank has exploded into a vibrant nebula of sexual enlightenment and spiritual meaning. Think Alexander Shulgin on dropping his first tab of acid.

Since it's inception way back in 1994, Vice has steered itself through a sea of 90's silt in buoyant fashion. The first ten years of the new millennium has seen them propping up independent art and general cultural deviancy with the same unwavering happy-go-fuck-yourself resolution that made their publication great in the first place. This latest book, 'The World According To Vice' is in essence, a pastiche of celebrated British incongruity from the years gone by. If Vice set out each month with a strict mission objective, they would not be the tower of senseless sensibility that they are now. This book's exquisiteness owes everything to the way that indulgent irony and cultural pervasiveness have been allowed to partner each other organically - delivering more than enough socio-political weight to perhaps beckon a great awakening in the minds of all you finger paintin', tory - votin' nerf herders out there. All the while each delicately written article or chiseled into place, ham fisted front line report serves up enough satire and visual humour to laugh that beer gut into an eight-pack.

'The World According To Vice' is a whole notch of fun. Learning about a football hooligan from Southampton having an eye knocked out by one good crack to the skull and finally finding clarity over which sex deals the greatest blowjob are interesting enough, but this book noodles away at your inner apathy in ways you can't imagine. Pretty soon after reading you'll be protesting over tuition fees, smoking 'snowcaps' and wearing a Das Oath shirt. That might however, be a little hasty, at the very least you'll sympathise with the dirty student oiks, come to realise that drugs 'aren't all that bad' and perhaps flirt with the idea of listening to Negative Approach.


Another great value I see in this book, is the way in which it never fails to remind me just how close we all are to reverting back to flinging our own shit at each other and scrapping on the floor for berries and nuts. Sure, we've not really come that far along anyway, instead of heaving excrement at each other, we glass each other to within an inch of looking like Jared Leto's character from Fight Club. And instead of warring for morsels of sustenance like rabid mongrels still reeling from the evolutionary hangover of once being amphibian, we fight, as Vice puts it, 'to claim the rights to finger the slapper around the back of the butchers.' An apt description of bleeding Britain, awash in a sea of our own bodily fluids and nervous dispositions.

If you'd allow me to be pensive for a moment, I'm keen to impress on you just how magnificent a document this book is. In a world of all things instantaneous; easy drugs, dirty urban luminescence and cheapened fame - Vice are here to tuck your shirt into your trousers, do up your collar button and kick you out the door. You'll have to wipe the snot from your own nose and make up your own mind on a few things, but at least you'll be halfway to forming your own understanding. The care and pride that has gone into creating this book is awe inspiring. Thousands of man hours, artistic illustration, enthused reporting and all sorts of literary & photographic sleight of hand have congealed together to produce this tablet, this bedrock of thinking. History is written by those who were there, and this release announces that Vice are very much here in 2010.

You can purchase a copy from the UK Vice Store

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Poems for my Father

Forty Years

When you freeze over,
You will be pristine
and glacial.
A slope of marble purity.
A cake of white frost.

You will be chops
and slivers,
Of winsome snow floes.
The collective applauding
Your regal death throes.

Saltless from the tap
And safe by the broil.
Waxing ecstatic
At the thought of
No colour.

Crisper than iced rose-skin,
But fractured the same.
Oil for bile and no
Blood in your veins.

When that solid state
Becomes my own form
And nature,
I'll taste like miasma,
Like effluviant splatter.

I quake at the thought
Of a future sap-self.
I will be pockets
In a soup pot
Of melting ill health.

Stretched like Vitruvius
'Cross a pan of dense humming,
Mouth wide open
At the thought of more colour.

Rest your silky head
On silk, down and grey hue,
And watch me cross the river
On this tough wooden sinew

Covered in pits
And pocks on my face
(All easily attained)
I'll eat whole the bud
Of the life I have gained.

Dash Snow Complex

I am a spew of muddied water,
Luke-warm from your mouth.
Like vicious smokey inhalate,
Nipping at your health.

I enjoy the slobbery,
Of picking up each leg.
I slept a sleep in,
Hollow logs,
As mould bejewelled my head.

Thoughts as foul as cooking gas,
As bleach, as lice, as me,
Ravish my brain and,
Stew me up.
So swallow me in greed.

One day i’ll plant my foot to earth,
And let safety vine my toes,
‘Til then I am the toxic son of,
Mind, of body,
And soul.

Clipped. Or Love's Ruminating Eye

She loves it in the summer time,
When the smoke would last forever.

Those times when the dull and jaded eyes,
Of a normal man’s intent,
Would usurp to form her focal point,
And minus me from them.

She choked upon her princess rule,
We blamed my own collapse.

She shared a kiss with Artisans,
And flew with luminescence,
Then bit my hands to bring about,
My bloodless,

My Swan Neck.

My swan neck arcs for the other one,
Hunkered down with beaten brow,
As a tumult of grey tasting clouds,
Shower down,
The vibrating matter,
Which I can’t evade.
And an end of filth reign,
Blunts precipitate.

So there stands I,
Washed through with decay,
A little bitch whelp,
With no limbs left to stave.

Lilted crooked organs,
Condensed with me on my cross,
My manhood placated,
And stripped of all cloth.

My swan neck bends towards the other one,
Unstitching seams, mourning dreams,
A triplicated wealth of means,
Follows me.

So here Lies I,
Cradled by the news,
That the best way out,
Was only ever through

Night Growth

I try to break each day,
Against my back,
As a latch snaps shut,
On my mindful tact.

Each morning is romance,
And long thought out pleas,
Each dusk is like daybreak,
Enveloping me.

My words are a drool,
Of self indulged nothing,
They fall under a canopy,
Of my own weightless truth.

I feel quite as free,
As doves tied to Earth,
So I’m sewing my eyes shut,
For our collective rebirth

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

'Yo Born Against, you better be extremely fucking cautious about who you talk shit about'


'Yo Born Against, you better be extremely fucking cautious about who you talk shit about' - voicemail excert from the track 'Born Against Are Fucking Dead'

Sam McPheeters once of 'punk' band Born Against, has done just about as much for Hardcore as Richard Dawkins has done for the confused, hopefully agnostic non believers of the world. Except Sam's forceful imprint on punk culture birthed a following who's pregnant minds of violence waxed ecstatic over Born Against's confrontational, take no prisoners, cut all ties approach to carving a path through the scene.

My favourite Born Against record is probably 'Battle Hymns of The Race War' - despite it's older brother 'Nine Patriotic Hymns For Children' being the standard against which many future Hardcore records have been measured. Each track is a railroad to concussion, as unabashed leftist pursuits manage to deliver themselves both brutally and thoughtfully at the same time. Oxymoronic no?

Perhaps Born Against's greatest gift to the world was the confidence to collide unapologetic idealism with dynamic, ahead of it's time hardcore - without over simplifying age old philosophies for the masses to swallow like snack-sized kid's treats. When you listen to Born Against, you're listening to a band that could quite easily be misconstrued as a group of guys who simply do not give a shit, yet nothing could be further from the truth. They poked fun and aggravated a whole host of bands and scene luminaries, however behind the shroud of impish humour, an intelligent hub of ideology wrote songs in a fervour.

Download Battle Hymns of The Race War

Monday, 18 October 2010

An interview with Ross Farrar of Ceremony

Last Thursday I had the privilege of sitting down with Ross Farrar, a photographer, writer and poet perhaps best known to most as the frontman for North Californian Punk band Ceremony. A group who in my opinion are the absolute leading light in Hardcore today.

We spoke predominantly about Ross' photography. Being an amateur myself I was eager to know the ins and outs of his approach to taking photos as well as to learn about what drives him to express himself through such a wide range of mediums. I loved every second of it, Ross is a great guy. Needless to say Ceremony had played a blinding set before we sat down. It was great to finally hear tracks from Rohnert Park after months of pissing off just about everyone around me by playing it constantly at a less than friendly volume.

Anyway, we shot this interview on video camera, which I'll try to upload soon. The following is a complete transcription of the interview. Enjoy.

The first question I wanted to ask,
Was Photography instilled in your mind from an early age?

Yeah, my dad kind of got me into it, he was going to The Brookes in Santa Barbara, It's like a commercial Photography school now, it used to be different, it was I guess involved with the arts at first and he went there in the early 70's and was really into photography. He is still kind of involved with it a little bit but not as much, and then when I got into high school I was taking a photography program so he gave me all his equipment. He gave me his 35 millimetres, he gave me a 4 x 5 camera, a rolleiflex - 125mm rolleiflex. He kinda taught me what to do, I was like 'OK, I kinda like it', I was getting into it and then I left it for a long time, maybe three years and then I started taking a class in a junior College and I was like, ' Well, I actually really like this.' My whole life i've kind of fell into stuff that my dad was into, It was kind of weird, I guess you can say it was instilled in me somehow. Everything that my dad was doing, I kind of fell into at the time - right around the same time he got into Photography when he was a kid, I started getting into it.

The same age he did, the same age you did?

Yeah, the same age, and, I don't know.. I've just been doing it ever since, because I'm always on tour, always on the road and there's always interesting things to take pictures of, we're involved with all these great countries, cities, people and everything so there's always a very wide variety of subject material that you can take pictures of. So I've kind of been doing that, I don't take it as seriously as I used to. I went to school because I wanted to take pictures for a living, but then I realised, well, I don't know if I want to make this my living, I don't know if I want to make this as a job, I'd rather maybe keep it as a hobby.

You shot the Trash Talk - 'Eyes & Nines' back cover, how was that?

Yeah, they asked me to take their picture, because I'm really good friends with those guys, they live close to me. We're always hanging out and shit so they were like 'Yeah we're gonna be in the city so can you take the picture for the back cover?' I was like, yeah, sure. I did that, and a few other random things, there's a couple of other people who have asked me to do things for publications. It's pretty cool, I've been lucky thus far with that.

Did you follow these opportunities through with various publications?

It's cool, I mean I lived in San Francisco for a long time and there's a pretty big photography scene there, and there's the culture, the arts. Of course San Francisco is very involved with all sorts of stuff. When I moved there I met a bunch of people and I was lucky to meet certain people. I knew a guy and he published a bunch of stuff for Upper Playground. Stuff like the International Toy Camera thing, I was taking pictures with Holga just randomly and I knew the lady and she was like 'Oh give me some pictures, we can publish some stuff.' It's been pretty cool, thus far.

When you go out to shoot, and you're motivated to shoot, is it an artistic motivation or is it a motivation to document friends, family, environment? Is it art or is it documentation, where do you see the line?

Well, I guess there is a time and a place for everything, sometimes I go out on hunts where I try to find things that are pretty or captivating that I want to take pictures of and at other times I'll just be with my friends, you know, taking pictures of whatever we're doing. Ever since I started taking pictures I was told by my dad or the teacher, whoever, to take pictures of what you're doing at the time - take pictures of what you know. If you're skating, take pictures of that, if you're going to Hardcore shows take pictures of that, if you're smoking crack.. take pictures of that! Take pictures of whatever you're doing because there's going to be a niche somewhere, there's going to be some place where people are going to want to see that you know? There's going to be some kind of window somewhere, where people are going to be like 'Okay, thats interesting, I want to see that.' It doesn't really matter what it is, there's people who take pictures of rolls and cheese and food, because there is an interest in that. You could just be like 'Oh I'm going to take pictures of couches for a month' - and you could do a couch series or something, so there's all different kinds of shit you can do but I would say that the most important thing you can do is just take pictures of what you're doing at the time because you're going to get the most interesting pictures, because you're interested in that.

Do you see the work that you've done so far being intrinsic to your locality, as in Rohnert Park, North California? Or do you think your work would be just as strong somewhere else, say New York or wherever..?

I think it's probably more intrinsic to me, I grew up in Rohnert Park and I've taken pictures of all my friends and family and the culture, the scene. Whatever is happening around me, I've taken pictures of that. I think it's important to me, I mean now that I'm in Ceremony everything I do is more public and now that it is public it's going to somehow reach out to people in a certain way, people are going to get interested in it, like you, you got interested in the pictures that I've taken so i've been blessed that way. There's people randomly all over the world, I'll meet people in Japan who will be like 'Oh I like what you've done.' It's really because of Ceremony, it is because of who you know and what you're doing. It's hard to make a name for yourself unless you're involved with something certain and something concrete, like a band. It helps, lets just say that. It's really hard to be an art student, or a kid just trying to make it in the art scene. When I moved to San Francisco I was getting involved with Ceremony and I was like oh I'm going to be on tour all over the world, I've got to start taking pictures, thats what I like to do and it worked out, I was really blessed that way. I do feel like it's important to me, to take the pictures that I take, because I'm cataloging all the things that I've seen. I was in Milan, in Italy the other day and I was taking picures of Catholic Priests, walking out of the Chapel, I just happened to be there, but it's really hard to get pictures like that because they don't want you to take pictures of you, they hate it - the whole time he was like 'No, no, don't' as I tried to get a portrait. If you're able to travel and be in that position then you might as well take advantage of it.

I would like to do a huge, huge project on Rohnert Park, thats what I want to do because thats where I'm from and I know a lot of people, that would be cool.

Final question, I wanted to know, with your photography, your writing, poetry and short stories .. and then the band - do you see them all as standalone projects or is there a big interweave between the whole thing?

It's a little bit interweaved, but it's hard to balance everything at once. If I get involved with a photography project then I'll find I want to do that, but at the same time I'm trying to write all the time too, so it's really hard to find a balance between everything. I would say that the photography has been pushed aside more so lately because what I'm trying to do with my life in general is write. Thats what I want to do, I want to write things for people and I want people to be able to connect and feel things, I feel like it's a little harder with Photography. It's harder for me because I don't want to make it my full time job, I do it as a hobby, but writing, I do it everyday - I do it all the time, but writing poetry and then writing short stories and maybe something longer, if I'm involved with that at the time then thats what I want to do.

I'll wake up in the morning and some days I'll just be like 'Fuck?!' - I want to go outside and walk around, I want to go to San Francisco and take pictures or skate around and take pictures or whatever. Then there will be days where I just want to be in the house, you know? Not talk to anyone, just write stuff. I think it kind of depends on your emotional level at the time, because if you're out doing street Photography you're going to be out in the public, you're going to be interacting with people, it's a little more social, I mean, you can be voyeuristic about it obviously. Writing is a very very solitary thing. You can go and write around people but it's not going to be the same, you'll feel like you have to go alone somewhere and sit in your room or some other space where you can write. Theyare two very different things, Photography you're out in the world but when you're writing it's solitary art, whether you're in your house or whether you're in a cafe in the corner. Wherever you're writing you're going to need to be alone. Your girlfriend can't be like *raises voice* 'OH HOW WAS YOUR DAY?', when you're trying to write something. It's more of an introverted thing.


Thanks to Anthony of Slowmotion Promotions and my brother Lewis for helping out.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Alexis Gross - Drop Some Acid

Alexis Gross confesses that she feels almost too old for her bones, as if by some cosmic imbalance she has somehow been born in the wrong era. Her life so far has been a chaotic disquietude of moments every right wing, flower sniffing, Tory voter would much rather expunge from their conscious drift altogether, let alone document it on colour film for the world to peek at through finger obscured eyesight.

She was born some 21 years ago, raised in Westhampton Beach, a speck of a village located in Suffolk County, New York. A village which had its agricultural consuetude levelled to make way for a rainbow of summer homes and the hotel industry. This dramatic shift in disposition could almost be seen as a tidemark of this town’s suicide, nevertheless Gross found herself growing up with two parents ‘still feeling the affects of an acid trip and a sister that really needed to drop some’ – a combination of what sounds like free spiritedness and brusque sorority.

After several years of regularly exposing her camera to her imbibed underworld of choice; made up of the resentfully beautiful yet fucked up types commonplace when it came to Dash Snow’s Polaroids or Ryan McGinley’s ‘The Kids Are Alright’ series, Alexis made the move to Toronto to further her work. She now resides in Brooklyn, a full two years on from her stint north of the border, where she continues to document the writhing scene of motorcycle oiks and innocuous long haired beer-swillers, as well as taking a closer look at skateboard culture and the associated party overload induced malaise.

Alexis grew up around skateboarders and subsequently her photos reflect a very real way of life - a way of life that she herself has lived by both behind the lens as well as dancing in front of it. Alexis Gross triggers a shockwave of fervour in her subjects, capturing the ardent passion to chase exhilaration that exudes so glaringly from the people around her. She takes photos of life’s ongoing party, documenting her local group of skateboarding friends, a scene almost closed off to any outsiders because of its tribal nature. The prints showcased on her website are tremendously gritty, they strike the senses with an assault of abrasion. A lot of them look as if they have been printed, carried around in a bag for a week, left on a coffee table to collect the stale air of blue smoke and dust for a further few days and then finally scanned in and posted to her site.

I look at Alexis’ work and see striking similarities between her, Laura Lynn Petrick, Nina Hartmann and Ross Farrar. Not only her physical preset to taking photos, and by that I mean shooting with low-grade film, but also kinship by way of the people she is so keen on documenting. Many, if not all of my photographers of choice have an eye for shooting their friends or the contemporaries around them. Quite often these friends are representations of a sub-culture, a counter scene to the capitalist money crunching economy mechanics, a tumult of people more concerned with art, socialising, representation, human nature and enjoyment than anything Ronald Reagan had to say.

There is a rather intriguing collection of photos on her website grouped together under the word ‘FUCKS’, which depicts a series of men and women in all manner of settings, from laying in bed semi nude to cracking open a bottle of beer, strumming on stage or inspecting a fresh bodily injury. The young Gross is as unapologetic as they come in terms of talking about her portfolio of work and in a recent interview with Foam Magazine she happily answered the interviewer’s inquiry about her collection of ‘FUCKS’, stating that ‘“The fuck section is about dudes I've f**ked, my friends who are f**king each other and dudes who are just f**ked!” Clearly Alexis’ intention of honesty knows no bounds, an observation that attracts me to her work in a very strong way.

Gross is progressing further and further along the line of photography infamy. Her fabled shots of situational occurrences have so far led her to a stream of job prospects. Only recently has she successfully completed a printed photozine of her photos, working with Dan Pelissier from Young Healers, further to that she has successfully shot an ad for Glamour Kills which went on to be featured in Nylon Magazine and perhaps most impressively she has taken on a position as contributing photographer for skate magazine Color.

Alexis Gross’ plethora of photographic documentation is more like a recounting of activities in photo form, as if Gross herself is the treasurer and we as viewers are lucky enough to be given a ‘through the keyhole’ glance at life on the other side. I’m sure the obsession with Gross will not taper off anytime soon.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sump - Taken Dead


This is currently pinning my bollocks to the floor and giving me a good lesson in how to create the most satisfactory Black Punk imaginable. These guys are from Leeds, I found them through my good friend Thom who is more than clued up on that entire scene. Don't think of this however as ill deserved bias towards fellow Yorkshiremen, Sump are well worth your time if you're willing to dip a toe into what sounds like a pool of noxious exhalations from once living matter. Their sound - specifically their guitar work - reminds me at times of Saccharine Trust, albeit if Saccharine Trust literally did not give a shit and had distorted themselves out of all known dimensions to a place where up became down and ugly became beautiful.

Head on over to The Funeral Stench to download this death rattle.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Brutality Will Prevail - Root of All Evil


Release Date: October 4th
Purchase: Holy Roar Records

South Wales breeds hardcore. I no longer have to imagine the Welsh punk rock-rooted counter culture scene as a massive glittery concussion of post- hardcore contraventions such as The Blackout or Kids In Glass Houses. When I think of Cardiff City, I don’t think of the Bay or the Millennium Stadium, I think of Crossbreaker, I think of Ironclad. The combined efforts of fellow Welsh bruisers Harbour, Wiretap, and the newly formed Wardogs have incontestably expunged any passing notion of Cardiff being unable to hold it's own against the raging south of England or the coal fired brutishness of the North.

Brutality Will Prevail are known, to some, as the cohesive centre of rigidity within that scene. If not fully acknowledged as 'CCHC's' lynchpin of hardcore, then at least as a major supporting pillar - surely the endless touring, the unswayable live performances and steadfast conviction prime them as deserved candidates for such a title?

Their previous release 'Forgotten Soul' set the agenda as the group's beat down tendencies - apparent from earlier efforts - somewhat transmutated into an uglier, more carnal sound, with layers of Crowbar-esque density stitched into the fold alongside the band's explicit intention not to turn their backs on hardcore. Fast forward to 2010, fresh from signing to Holy Roar Records and after a recalibration of the line-up, Brutality Will Prevail entered the studio to record their first full length record 'Root of All Evil.' A few weeks ago they posted a two minute promo video on '' - a video that looked like a clandestine meeting of a Sunn O))) brotherhood, yet it bled with mystery and blackened ideas, further stoking widespread interest in Brutality Will Prevail's new seemingly occult direction.

The record first broaches the eardrums with 'Trapped Doors Moving Walls', a Machiavellian opener of sorts, carrying the flag into battle with a minutes worth of rolling guitar subtlety before a dramatic howl of 'Look into my eyes!' chain links with a down tuned bass, puncturing the seams of all that came before it. Second track, 'Illusions' is an impressive foray into the art of the instrumental. A plummeting drum rhythm drags with it the sound of a murmuring bass, until with time, two persistently flaring guitars cross streams - swan necking into a tower of groove and an echoed, harrowing din.

‘Root of All Evil’ anchors the band’s instruments to a cathartic sound of gravel-pit sludge, yet one of their virtues is how capable they are of retaining a hardcore punk edge. The bass is tuned six feet under, the drumming is consistent - either cripplingly intense or shadowed & well placed - and the guitars are there to embellish the aural anticipation instead of dazzling with all sorts of unnecessary fretboard histrionics. Tracks such as ‘Life’ and ‘Early Grave’ sound like flash floods of bad omens, spilling a gut of Noothgrush style riffing as vocalist Ajay reigns it all in with a noose of His Hero Is Gone style hardcore vocals.

Track seven ‘Rot Away’ pitches a curveball I don’t think anyone will have seen coming. Cloistered between ‘Reprisal’ and ‘Secrets of The Truth’, two tracks of chasmic depth that sound like Torche without the amphetamine spiral of flamboyancy and guitar stagecraft, ‘Rot Away’ ushers in an aura of delicacy in a way thats not to be found anywhere else on this record. Many will listen to it’s acoustic meandering and deem it an out of step attempt at meaningfulness, despite eventual subterranean rumblings fleshing out the soundscape around three quarters of the way through. This track will no doubt be a talking point, a grey area of sorts for a lot of listeners.

All angles taken into consideration, this is a ruggedly built record of sludgy hardcore hooks and lumbering crush, as swampy and viscous at times as it is egg shell thin at others. The hugely impressive sound of a less riff focused Kylesa – had they grown up worshipping Straight Ahead and not Melvins – is powerful enough in itself. I think the path is still there for Brutality Will Prevail to tread, with more to be experimented with and much more for us as listeners to expect. In short, CCHC has a lot to shout about this year.


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Bastions - Island Living EP


The Isle of Anglesey hides a dark secret in amongst it's torrent of natural history and arable lands. A dark, sonic secret that renders you incapable of doing anything other than beating your chest red as the fragility of everything around you suddenly becomes all the more noticeable. The sound that Bastions produce conjures up all sorts of well-oiled, cognitive, mechanical connotations - yet there is a distinctly unfettered fleshiness to everything they do. Almost as if some great bionic entity found it's passion for hardcore, and in particular Converge, then took it upon itself to write music intended to level mankind.

This latest opus 'Island Living' is the band's fourth installment of tectonic hardcore. It opens with the title track, an instantly rewarding mesh of acid and squall, as a shuddering force of bass, which I can only assume has been tuned down to the ground, constructs a framework for Jamie Burne's cauterizing vocals to attach to. Bastions' compound of hardcore liveliness and brazen metallic undertones kicks and screams with all the might you can possibly infer from such a description - meld together if you can, a bastardised portrait of Throats covering early American Nightmare, add a little gravel and you wont be far off the mark. Each track is well thought out, with keen eyes covering the areas that need the attention.

Second track 'Soar' staggers on relentless. It progresses with a partnership of consistently rapid drumming and a burning vocal tirade, a continued war of attrition that fells you as a listener, leaving you in submission at this audacious slab of metallic hardcore weightiness. You can hear stabs of Hope Conspiracy peppered throughout this release, the vocals in particular ring true to that comparison. The virulence of Island Living's closer, 'The Great Unwashed, is perhaps not as immediate as one might predict. It takes almost a minute for the slow burning drum whispers and guitar nuance to work themselves up into a fury, only to dip into a trough of distant vocals and timely, effective instrumental clatterings before lumbering eerily to a finale like a dead man searching for his grave.

Bastions work with vigour to achieve this sound, and I believe they'll continue to grow multi-dimensionally. Their inclusion of breakdowns could have backfired had they been slapdash attempts at merely bolstering their attack, yet the delivery is pin point, a fact which if anything, leans them more towards metal than hardcore, however enough abrasion and rough sided treatment plants them firmly within the same league as other contemporary British acts such as Throats or Brutality Will Prevail, lines of symmetry could even be drawn with Greece's Ruined Families. Needless to say this is a band doing great things, who deserve more attention.

Check out their Myspace or

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Dana Lauren Goldstein - While You Were Sleeping

Dana Goldstein has been one of my favourite photographers for quite a while, at such a tender age she's already received a good deal of exposure not only through her own website and blog but through exhibitions most notably at the Pulse Art Fair by way of the Saatchi gallery. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky yet spent a large proportion of her youth travelling around and living in different areas. Dana currently lives in downtown Manhattan, after completing her BFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. During the intermission between achieving her degree and the present date Dana has worked alongside fashion photographer Kenneth Cappello, assisting him for a year, learning all the while.


I feel like theres such a cool vibe buzzing around New York City at the moment, definitely in terms of photographic artistic output and I see Dana as being a mainstay within that buzz for years to come. Speaking louder than my words are the those of the magazines that Dana has had work published with. Dazed Digital have put out some of her work online, Dazed & Confused have printed her photos within recent years, she's had a great deal of interest and works published by Hamburger Eyes, QVest, Intersection, i-D magazine, even Vice have handed Dana double page spread after double page spread - her feature 'Jailbait-core' graced the pages of Vice's photo issue - an inclusion which initially stoked my interest in her. An interesting side note, it was only a few weeks ago that Nan Goldin was purported to have seen Goldstein's latest Vice cover shot, only to remark that the covers 'were getting better' - an overwhelmed Goldstein posted the conversation on her blog. This set me to thinking, to what degree is Dana Goldstein an extension of Nan Goldin for this decade's not so suited and booted, fun loving downtown Baudelaire's? I can't really come to a just conclusion without either over-vaulting Goldstein, who at such a young age would probably agree herself that she's not taken her best photos yet, to a height that she's not quite reached yet, or trivialising Goldin's staggering catalogue of work which continues to impress even today.

I think, perhaps, that intersections in their work are no doubt going to surface when fancy takes it, the smoke and mirrors of Goldin's anti-beauty photos have been impressed firmly into the static-electric thought process that sparks a great deal of Dana's work. I see nuances of Terry Richardson's encouragement sporadically appearing on every roll of film Dana shoots. Look over the 'commercial' work of Dana's and you'll see a fair few shots of subjects given the freedom to express themselves as blatantly as possible against a no mercy white backboard. Terry Richardson often opts for this candid approach to shooting commercial photos, a formula which he's done well by, it gives him an opportunity to present the subject in all manner of ways without any interference or misinterpretation.


Nearly all of Golstein's work interests me, in particular I want to select a series of photos she took documenting the Punk kids around her. Some are her friends, some are transient teenagers making their way through town, staying, leaving, causing trouble and pissing off the cops. The Jailbait-Core pictures she took for Vice magazine instilled a great deal of excitement in me, I had never seen such a successful combination of punks flying their colours in front of the camera whilst communicating a blend of amiability and close partnership with the photographer. Nick Knight's Skins series took a very observational, third hand look at the Punk pathos and as renowned as that series is, I can't help but yearn for a closer, inner-bubble perspective when flicking through those shots. Goldstein came from within the family when taking these photos, giving her an almost warranted viewpoint from inside the chaos whereas other photographers have merely caught flashes of leather and glimpses of stud through the keyhole.


One such picture, of a sleeveless shirted punk kid of the day, grabbed me outright. I love the sheer laid back nature to this image, I love how seemingly at ease the subject is - smoking his cigarette as a Suicidal Tendencies cap reaches for attention from somewhere above two searching bright eyes. For me, I see this and think how cool that kid must have felt having his photo taken as if he had fronted The Germs or something, I'm almost fully sure 'Man is the Bastard' was pumping through his neurons as Dana snapped away at him. There must be a relationship here, however spoken or unspoken, between the photographer and the subject, this kid is so relaxed in front of the lens as if this was taken midway through a casual meet-up in the park between friends. Looking at the rest of that series it's apparent that a lot of the shots were taken inside, within familiar surroundings. I guess that's an intrinsic factor in achieving the state of comfortability that Dana searches for. The documentary aesthetic to many of her shots almost rely on a known environment of familiarity, Dana draws out whatever she wants from the scene shes taking pictures in, It takes a confident and capable photographer to find the tipping point between overly worked portrait photography and lazy, often discredited snapshot photography.

I want to look at more of Goldstein's portraiture, this is the work which appeals to me most. The photos she takes often steer clear of any theatrics, instead Dana is more comfortable capturing the faces of those around her as they sleep, smoke, daydream, or simply gaze down the lens of the camera. Each photo is like a snapshot release of affection towards whoever she is shooting. Nothing is to detract from the visage of those she wants to capture on film, at the end of the day you're left with an unbridled impression of who these people are without any defilement or poisoning of the well. I'm a huge fan of the Pumpkin Head series she did, whereby she and her friends created a succession of oversized pumpkin heads from Papier-mâché and went to shoot in a graveyard. The results were fantastic, such strength was to be found in pinning this amalgamation of searing orange pumpkin heads and flame against a pitch black backdrop of nothing. I guess another idea she took into consideration was the fact that the pumpkin heads serve to promote the nudity as unidentifiable, however that clearly went out the window when all of her subjects started to take their masks off while Dana continued shooting.


I'm really excited to see what Dana Lauren Goldstein is going to do next, photographers of the same ilk don't quite hold the torch as high as Dana does, at least for me - with exceptions being made for Nina Hartmann, Jimmy Limit, Nicole Lesser, Laura-Lynn Petrick and a few others. I also see a relative kinship between some of the photos Goldstein takes and the ones Hartmann takes, each women takes a sensitive, unique look at her friends and loved ones in ways that other photographers would be unable to do so given the situations. Many of the photographers I'm looking at are still learning themselves I'm sure they'll admit, which is precisely what attracts me to their work. There is a lot of appreciation to be found in trial and error, there's always beauty in the mistake or the error.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Nina Hartmann - Damned For All Time

Nina Hartmann is a talented young photographer from Chicago, Illinois, irrepressibly taking photos of the seething punk underground she calls her home. She is still a student, working hard towards her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nina's persona is as much shrouded in a thick layer of the underground as many of the hardcore bands she associates with and photographs. To me her work takes shape as half a projection of her own inner workings and cognitive thought process and half a reaction to her cultural surroundings. Those surroundings offer Nina a staggering ammount of opportunities, she often photographs her friends and loved ones in usually unremarkable situations - exacting a love for banal photography and a keen eye for the vernacular. Nina's music taste is more often than not fiercely reflected in her images, at her core she is a self confessed punk rocker. She's also a big fan of shoegaze, in particular British dream pop band 'Slowdive' - all I've been listening to for the past few days is their 'Souvlaki' record, released in 1993. Pick that up if and when you can.

Hartmann is part of 'Young Healers', a publishing venture very much about displaying young photographer's work through printed zines, they have been know to publish monthly in accordance with gallery launches for each corresponding issue. Daniel Pellisier, founder of Young Healers impressed the idea that DIY aesthetics and printed zines are an important artistic medium, which should serve to provide support for young artists and their respective 'themes and ideals'. Learn more about Young Healers here.


Nina has shot photos that have gone on to grace the covers of various record sleeves, including Divorce Money's 7". She lays claim to what she can only describe as an 'undying restlessness' which prompts her to travel around, taking photographs and meeting a whole catalogue of weird and wonderful people. She sees documentation as the main emphasis of her photography, stating that she is unable to see herself as taking photos in any other capacity, which in effect is one of the main considerations as to why I value her work so much. The crux of her work for me at least, is about appreciating her life through her lens, and not in any other way. I'd love to be at the shows she's taken pictures of, to see Sex Vid commanding a sea of unruly punk rockers, I'd love to be kicking back with her and her circle of friends as everyone parades round in their Saccharine Trust denim jackets and Cult Ritual shirts, leaving Hartmann to document the lazy encounters, not producing them or creating them, but recording them in the capacity in which they undulate.


A lot of her works are a showcase of a jaded perspective, In many photos I can almost feel a pulse of apathy in the faces of her subjects, yet others brandish vivacity through doses of colour and common relationship. Nina explains that even the photos she's gone to lengths to set up appeal to her primarily as documentary photography, she believes that these photos come from real ideas, almost a 'materialisation of feelings.' Hartmann is quick off the mark to recognise the key role her friends have in her photography, as a lot of them, she says, are themselves working on artistic endeavours of some kind and as a result are keen to help out whenever the opportunity arises.

Her work often reminds me of Ryan McGinley's earlier series', with many of Hartmann's photos operating by a 'simplicity means everything' template, a great deal of her photos depict lone figures, enveloped in smooth or unnoticeable backgrounds. Such shots expose the subject in a powerful way, no escape, no hiding, just candid reflections of facial features and bone structure. Other works suggest a total flipping of the coin in terms of composition, she has taken a vast number of pictures which convey the frantic hub-bub of clustered people, shuffling and speaking as they ingratiate with each other - almost as if the intrigued eye of Hartmann behind her lens is a mere speckle in the sun.


Nina's work continues to impress me, there is a certain shot of hers showing a male companion dressed all in white, white shoes, white jeans, white minor threat top, spread out across a patch of grass, stroking an equally shocking white cat. The sheer eye catching capability of this image is partly what makes it so great. There is almost no escaping the dramatic distinction between brilliant white and luscious green. I see purity in this photo, coming from both the plain clad subject - with white being a symbol of candidacy and openness, served up on a stark platter of surrounding grass, by the presidency of nature and it's wholesome qualities. I've got to give a mention to the Minor Threat shirt worn by the subject, I can't avoid it really, that would be sacrilege or something, needless to say it gave me a little kick. I'm always keen to include parts of my own personality and taste within my photography, a trait Nina herself could attest to.


One of my most treasured shots of Nina's concerns her sitting besides a steel container, against a backdrop of foliage and open countryside. On first instance it was the soft beauty which ate up all of my attention. Glaringly good looking, 'bonny' facial features and naturally wavy hair, yet her dress sense and pose seperate her from that stillwater air of conformity. Sat with one leg bent across a steel grid; she shows the camera the least ammount of attention. This photo sends me into something of a whirlpool of general unaimed angst, angst probably at myself for not knowing this girl, I'd love to talk to her just to find out what her favourite Void release is .. does she prefer Condensed Flesh or Potion For Bad Dreams? That's the selling point for me, personally, the fact that I can be lured into this. This picture is sold to me under the pretence that I can appreciate not only the traditional good looks on offer, but the subtle references to a counter culture cherished by a select few - precisely the reason I find myself head over heels in awe of this women, this is not a photo that was taken for everyone, it's for those who can take one hundred percent of whats on offer away with them. Hardcore for Hardcore, what the fuck else?

I find myself looking at Nina Hartmann's work almost every day, I wind up coming back to it time and time again, I end up rolling back to it after searching for someone equally as raw, equally keen on taking photos of lo-fi black metal playing Indie Kids - but let me tell you, there simply isn't anyone out there quite as good as of this minute. Please let me know if you find that person. I just can't shake the feeling that some of these photos are what Ryan McGinley might have taken had he been heavily into hardcore punk and listened to My Bloody Valentine on the odd occasion.

Check out Nina's blog at

Ross Farrar - This Life Is Spent Standing Close To The Edge.

In-between issuing forced lines of unimaginable angst and relaying a stream of poetic social consciousness, Ross Farrar of Ceremony takes some unreal photos, photos that are almost magnetic to the eye. I bought a printed collection of his black and white photos last October, needless to say he has some skill with a camera, a skill which supersedes ordinary lens pointing, allowing him to showcase his keen eye for interesting, vernacular photography.

I am in no doubt that Ross Farrar is one of the main inspirations in my creative development aswell as my fully scoped outlook on living. His band Ceremony are one of my favourite, if not outright most cherished band of at least the last ten years, if not all modern time. Seeing them play live was a millstone for me, the fast paced bludgeoning of the hardcore melee thrashing about behind him coupled with his subversive, eye opening lyrics practically raised me off the ground in euphoria. As a frontman for a hardcore punk band hes gifted the opportunity to impress his lyrics upon crowds night after night, crowds willing and able to soak every syllable up like a rough sponge with a black flag patch pinned to one side. Ross sees himself as a creative writer just as much as he see's himself as a poet, and is currently reading a creative writing course at Santa Rosa Junior College.


I've sat night after blinding night, listening and reading into everything this man has to offer lyrically, banging my head against the wall to 'Ruined', 'Violence Violence', 'Scared People', 'He-God Has Favoured Our Undertakings', 'Still Nothing Moves You', 'The Sick Ep', 'Rohnert Park' and the 2004 Demo, nodding along, eyes closed.

'Pack your fists full of hate

take a swing at the world
these kids stick to themselves
carry angst in their words.

Where we'll never be apart
of this cursed fucking town,

where we stand amongst ourselves
watch it burn to the

- Ceremony - Kersed

Many of Ceremony's releases have had Ross' photography adorning the covers, in fact fellow Californian Hardcore Punk act Trash Talk have had Ross shoot the back cover for their latest release 'Eyes & Nines.' Ross' work reminds me in parts of the late Dash Snow's work, specifically the portraiture which on occassion seems to me to be merely a Californian take on Snow or McGinley's intrusive look at living life in New York City. Farrar shoots exclusively on film, and has been quoted to say that if and when film becomes extinct he will merely cease to shoot anymore. His interest in photography sparked at a young age, as his father gave him his first camera - a Nikon F1 sometime during early teenagehood. Farrar had a show this February in the Gallery Obscura on the Ocean Campus, called “Portraits from the North Bay.” This collection of photos documents the subculture lifestyle he finds himself swallowed up by, drawing a lineage with one of Farrar's earliest inspirations - Larry Clarke.


His book 'Society Verse' is a pastiche of not so forgotten memories, of reinventing long felt heart ache with smatterings of rhythm and intelligent photos. Tales of the band's inception and quips regarding all sorts of violent or non violent encounters litter the 128 pages of lyrics and heart string poetry. The reverse cover depicts a skateboarder holding up a deck as to masquerade his identity. The skateboard reads 'Bridge Nine' - Ceremony's current record label, and above the font is an image of the Washington DC Senators Office being struck by a bolt of lightning, for anyone even remotely interested in hardcore punk, this is a homage to the Bad Brains cover of the same image, know throughout the hardcore world almost as the flag we carry into battle.

Ross shoots in black & white as well as colour, often his photos will include but one subject or focal point allowing him to pin point where he wants your attention to rest. It's through simplsitic ideologies such as these that Ross' photography speaks out to me, he jettisons any notions of histrionics, trusting himself only to honest photography.

I've spoken to Ross on one occassion, it was October 18th 2009, in Leeds, at a small venue called The Well. He was walking past in shorts and a plain shirt - flagrantly disregarding the late autumn chill outside, I collared him and introduced myself, unloaded a quick line of my love for the band onto him and begged him to play Dead Moon California later that night. They opened with it and I lost my mind somewhere withn that four minutes and four seconds, never to be found again.

'Back in 84'
I nearly choked on the U-cord
until my dad came and cut me loose
he said, 'the pain you felt today, it will never go away'
and 'the best way out is always through.'

He said,
watch out for the world trying to shape you
living here
you got to know the truth'
twenty five years later
everything is the same,
a civilization gone deaf-mute.

- Ceremony - Back in '84

Of 'Back in '84' Ross writes this in Society Verse, 'When I was born my umbilical cord was wrapped around my throat and I almost suffocated to death. Luckily, my father stepped in and cut the rope, giving me my first breath of air. The line, 'The best way out is always through' is a Robert Frost quote, which I forgot to reference in the insert. This is one of my favourite quotes of all time, and thank you to Sarah Bingham for introducing it to me.'

One of my favourite Ross Farrar photos is a colour image, concerning a man bearing his two palms to the camera (See previous post). In his left hand is a vividly coloured red leaf and in his right a small fish which may or may not be alive. I am powerless to describe this photo as nothing other than magnetic, there is something oddly stirring about the intensity of the leaf, hapless in one hand. Perhaps a comparison or contrast is pleading to be made between the fish and it's leaf counterpart - that they are or were both living things? That they now hold an importance somewhere between minute and insignificant? Or maybe it's just a foray into what can be dredged up from local streams, beautiful or not, ugly or realistic. The contrast between the shockingly bright upturned palms and the out of focus water of the background gives this image a sharpness or austerity which marrys so keenly with the off kiltered symmetry between limbs. This picture fascinates me in unidentifiable ways, I wish I had taken it, I could intrude upon it for hours, no detail avoiding me.


Another colour image favourite from Ross Farrar's collection is the shot he took of a cinema advertising board raised high upon a roof. The focus, candidly, is the text upon the board which in no way is escapable as it reads 'Macho Men 3, Super Fag, My Pee Pee Balls' down the left column and 'Aunt Lily Eats Cunt, God Over Vagina, Little Man Big Penis' along the right. Typically vernacular photography from Ross, noticing the interesting, the obtuse, the wayward and the wrong within the society he finds himself in.

In actuality, I could not be more at ease trying to nail down what it is about Ross' artistic expression which I take most inspiration from, It's more a careful balance between his poetry and love for the written word, his part in making Ceremony the force that they are and his own highly personal photography. All together, like one creative brain-stew. I look at his work with eager eyes.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Local Natives


'Local Natives', a quintet from Los Angeles whose rousing pastiche of rustic vocals and enchanting harmonies warmed the crowds assembled inside the NME tent at this years Leeds & Reading festivals - taking no prisoners as they fueled the festival vibe, inside a tent packed quite generously, with their own O...range County brand of almost Grizzly Bear-esque composition and compatibility.

Local Natives are a burgeoning rock and roll group at heart, yet their lofty tri-way crooning, the keen penchant for melody and perhaps most notably the open armed accessibility of their debut record 'Gorilla Manor' has vaulted them into the same ranks as Seattle's favourite baroque-pop folk botherers Fleet Foxes, and, rather irrepressibly, the same comparisons are being made with festival headliners Arcade Fire. A personal favourite from a weekend saturated with great new music and old favourites alike.

Check out their single 'Sun Hands' live on KEXP, ultimately beautiful.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Saturday, 21 August 2010




Yesterday was fun, this is Matt wearing my No Class cap and a 'thirst aid' hat he found lying around. I do not know where this boy ended up.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wavves - Post Acid

Beach punk surfer trash. Nathan Williams holds claim to a snot nosed Descendants-esque voice and it wouldn't be far off the mark to compare it to an early 90's Billy Joe Armstrong intonation. Fantastic pop sensibilities lay under this cradle of whirring noise, so don't listen to any of the hate that Psychedelic Horseshit are spitting Wavves' way - despite how good Psychedelic Horseshit admittedly are. This video refreshed me from the very first time I watched it.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

FILTH, FUCKED UP & MATTED BODY HAIR - Photos from the weekend at Hevy Fest, more to come.

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fucked up, ben of dead swans fame, human pyramid, pissing & chilling

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pissing Through


I know this guy, he sits in his room listening to Deep Jew and not eating meat, he is important because he grows his beard and spends time with me openly mocking Mark McCoy, even though we both owe the vast majority of our musical compatibility to records he has put out. He is the product of a relationship between Billy Cudrup and a hardcore punk Sam Dunn. He plays under the name Pissing Through

He grinds out sounds and chicken wires them together under a viral strain of 'harsh psychedelic violence.' You can almost hear the sound of pre-historic recording methods being exhumed from the grave, as Pissing Through takes a backhand to the clinical air of production value, opting for strength by way of raw, unbridled chaos rather than slick order.

If mysteriousness is an elected linchpin of today's Punk underground then Pissing Through takes it one further by hiding himself away in the unremarkable north of England. Left alone to brood he intends on recording more and more of this gutter trash, whilst working on releasing a split EP on Crimes Against Skin. Visit his blog - Looking Pissing Looking and download his 'not a demo' offering. Pissing through is a dirty talent more inclined to smother himself than smother the underground, give his power electronics the once over, but be warned, do not attempt to listen to this if you cry to Morrissey records or believe that Trapped Under Ice are the 'New' Madball.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Ross Farrar


In-between issuing forced lines of unimaginable angst and relaying a stream of poetic social consciousness, Ross Farrar of Ceremony takes some unreal photos, photos that are almost magnetic to the eye.


I bought a printed collection of his black and white photos last October, needless to say he has some skill with a camera, a skill which supersedes ordinary lens pointing, allowing him to showcase his keen eye for interesting, vernacular photography. Ross is also currently studying a course in creative writing. I really do look up to this guy, he's heavily involved in three artistic areas that I myself take a high interest in. Massive inspiration.

Recently had his latest offering 'Society Verse' bought for me by my girlfriend, and I can say with quite some confidence that it is wholeheartedly fantastic. Tales of the band's inception and quips regarding all sorts of violent or non violent encounters litter the 128 pages of lyrics and heart string poetry.


Romain Gavras

Meet Romain Gavras, a burgeoning component of the French lo-fi film collective. Fast approaching the release date for his first feature film Notre Jour Viendra, Vice magazine sat down with Romain and proceeded to pick the young Frenchman's brain.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010