Archive for August, 2018

James Wells

The Clash’s Topper Headon reckons they’re ‘fucking brilliant,’ so they must have something about them. But we already knew that here at Aural Aggravation, and that was before they were featured on Metal Hammer’s Revenge of the Riff cover CD and landed on Planet Rock playlists with single ‘Juno’.

Salvation Jayne’s latest offering, ‘Cortez’, was inspired TV show American Horror Story and sees their sound continuing to evolve. Propelled by a sturdy beat you can dance to. It’s still got plenty of melody and a keen sense of groove, but brings a harder, darker edge. In fact, it’s quite the riffy beast, a solid grunger that drives hard from the start.

It’s not only a massive grower, but also has the potential to reach an even wider audience. The video ain’t bad, either.

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Salvation

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Vocalist Launches Crowdfunder To Raise Funds For “The Guiding Light”

Former Akarusa Yami vocalist Tom Brumpton has announced his latest project; “The Guiding Light”, a short film that’s been described as “La La Land if directed by David Cronenberg”.

Brumpton, who co-founded Akarusa Yami in 2011 with Guitarist Tom Clarke, parted ways with the band in 2015 after releasing two EPs (2011’s “Ouroboros” & 2012’s “Trace Element Rebirth”) and an album (2015’s “Heavy Climb”), states he hasn’t performed live since leaving the band. “I had a lot of fun in Akarusa Yami. I got to do things I’d always dreamed of with people who to this day are among my best friends and made music I’m still very proud of. However, by the end I’d lost my passion for performing live and that was a big contributing factor as to why I left.”

Having been an actor for many years outside of music, Brumpton spent the next two years appearing in various films and co-directed and produced a handful of projects with writer and best friend Adam Luff. This included 2016’s “Nurture of the Beast”, which was nominated for a number of awards, including Best Actor for Brumpton, and was screened at various film festivals around the world. In mid-2017 the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, a sprawling surreal film that in Brumpton’s own words “Is a celebration of life, those we share it with and the idea of legacy”.

The inspiration for “The Guiding Light” comes from a particularly difficult period in Brumpton’s life. He lost his Aunt Pat in April 2016 and later his Aunt Kath in late June 2017. “My aunts were wonderful people. I was very close to them and losing them felt like losing a family home.” As the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, Brumpton aimed to create something life affirming. “I didn’t want my last memory of these women to be death and misery. I wanted to turn that grief into something positive”.

The film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer who after years of struggling with autoimmune disease is forced to retire. Shortly after, she contracts pneumonia and becomes critically ill. Minutes from death, she’s visited by the mysterious Angela. The two embark on a journey through Barbara’s happiest memories before she’s forced to face her pending mortality. The film is set to be filmed in the East Midlands in late Summer/early Autumn 2018.

Asked on his inspiration for the film, Brumpton stated “Whatever happens, blame Nicolas Winding Refn!” he jokes “I discovered him in 2009 when I saw “Bronson”, and fell in love with his work. His use of music and lighting is a massive inspiration. As Adam and I worked on the “The Guiding Light” we agreed we wanted to push our boundaries as film makers and sought to draw in a wide array of influences, specifically body horror and musicals.”

Despite the bleak sounding subject matter, Brumpton thinks of the film as a celebration of love and life. “To me, “The Guiding Light” is a celebration of life and the people we share it with. It’s about looking back on the things you achieved with a sense of pride and completion, and the role the people closest to us play in the value of those memories. Adam also wanted to tackle the idea of legacy; what do we leave behind and how will we be remembered by those close to us and the wider world. I liked that idea a lot, and it’s been fun melding these different ideas into something expansive.”

You can see a teaser for the film here:

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The pair are running a crowdfunder via Indiegogo which can be found here.

Brumpton states that while he hasn’t been performing since 2015, he has recently recorded vocals for a new project that former band mate Tom Clarke is working on. “Its one of the best things he’s ever done. Easily. I don’t want to say too much, but I remember him sending me the tracks and loving them. I’m only on one track, but the other vocalist has done a killer job. I really hope they take it on the road.”

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Southern Lord – 24th August 2018

James Wells

According to their biography, Jesus Piece ‘have left craters in their path over recent years, quickly developing a reputation as one of the heaviest, most uncompromising acts both on record and on the stage. With the brutal grooves of Y2K-era metallic hardcore at the core, the band also incorporates elements of noise, ominous tones, and haunting atmospheres into their dynamic songwriting.’

‘Lucid’ batters its way out to herald the album’s arrival: rapid pedal-work on the kick drum powers the cutty, hard-edged guitar. Its brutal, regimented, industrial, grinding like early Godflesh, but with snarled, guttural vocals spitting and howling nihilistic dismantlements of personal struggle and loss, racism, police brutality, and social and political injustice.

They distil all of these violent emotions and unspeakabe rage into short explosive packages: the majority of the songs on here are under three minutes. ‘Punish’ brings a sinewy, spectral lead guitar to twist its way over the grinding churn of the rhythm section, hinting at the dynamics of early Pitchshifter.

When they do slow things down, as on the stripped-back ‘In the Silence’ where the bass wanders and weaves a murky path and haunting chorused guitar notes rise from the swamp quite unexpectedly to create an unsettling atmosphere, the impact remains undiminished, and for the most part, it’s the heavy pummelling that defines Only Self.

The album concludes with an immense shift in style and sound in the form of a pair of contrasting but complimentary atmospheric pieces titled by number only: ‘I’ something of a monastic, ritual ambience to it, as voices echo in the mist before the doomy guitars break through in a slow landslide on ‘II’.

With such variations and deviations from the template of howling aggression and blind fury, Only Self stands apart from so many albums of its ilk, and reveal Jesus Piece to be capable of more than just endless anger – although they’ve got the rage in spades, and bring it to devastating effect on what is one hell of a debut.

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Jesus Piece – Only Self

7th September 2018 – Vallance Records

They’ve barely been around five minutes: having formed in 2015 and releasing their debut EP, Fifteen Minutes in April last; they’ve since played a bunch of festivals, built an admirable fanbase and scored critical backing, too. The tour in support of the new EP includes a headline show at London’s 100 Club.

‘Wannabees’ sneers at there ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ pop culturites over a glammy stomper of a riff. I could scoff at the irony given the band’s relative newness, but it’s the megalomaniac confidence that’s part of their appeal. If a new band doesn’t believe their the best band in the world, who else is going to have belief in their capacity for global domination? It certainly worked for Oasis. So yes, Sisteray have all the attitude, but they’ve got the songs, too: they’re bratty, confrontational articulate, channelling all of the best elements of punk from the last forty years and distilling them into punchy, hooky bursts of guitar-driven antagonism that sticks it to the man and the mainstream, while still being accessible.

Is there a contradiction in rebelling and still having a certain (alternative) commercial appeal? Not necessarily: having a message of dissent can only have an effect if it can reach an audience. So much the better if you can deliver the message in two and a half minutes, which is the average running time for the songs here.

‘We ain’t your target market’ they holler on the fiery socio-political rant of ‘Algorithm Prison’ before the title track – which could be seen as something of a signature tune, while at the same time referencing back to the song that gave them their name – powers through with a driving riff and a relentless bassline.

It’s rough ‘n’ ready, immediate, and to the point. And it’s exciting. Sisteray are a band you can believe in.

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Latenight Weeknight Records – 6th July 2018

Stuart Bateman

“I have been developing this story for 3 years now. A science fiction romance gone wrong, where two astronauts finding a spark for each other get thrown into an unexpected event that puts the two into a fight for survival. With a hallucinatory and confusing vibe, the visuals follow along with the theme of the lyrics, where when you wait for something to happen, that time sometimes backfires and creates a situation that is far from ideal”, says Ryan Policky., front man with Colorado-based shoegaze proponents A Shoreline Dream.

While the accompanying video conveys the concept directly, how this translates in musical form is another matter, although it’s fair to say the chiming, reverby, effects-drenched guitars convey the concept, at least in an abstract form.

The title track builds through shimmering latticeworks of echo and reverb into a scorching crescendo of overdriven, melting guitar noise that calls to mind ‘Nowhere’ era Ride and MBV. There are some echoes of The Cure, too, lurking in a song that twists and turns and bucks and burns, slow but effervescent. ‘In the Ready Sound’ surprises with a sudden explosion of throbbing bass near the end, and while the remainder lacks the soaring power and drive, what the songs do offer is quintessential 90s shoegaze delivered with real aplomb: ‘New York’ offers layered harmonies and big guitars over a baggy beat. It’s very much about the atmosphere; the guitars are diffused in a sonic gauze. It doesn’t grab your attention, but drifts by like high-stratosphere clouds in a summer sky.

‘Projections’ finishes the EP in sturdy style, a walloping big drum beat driving a gothy, post-punk take on the shoegaze template and building a dark tension that contrasts with the breezy hues that dominate the EP overall. The contrasts and mood changes make the EP, indicating the work of a band with range and depth.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Four years on from Black Rat and DZ Deathrays return to the UK touring album number three, Bloody Lovely. Granted, the York show at The Woolpack with a capacity of maybe 70 on their last visit to these shores was one of the more intimate, but it’s clear from tonight’s turnout and reception that they’ve significantly expanded their fan-base in the intervening time.

Those who turned up in reasonable time got a real treat in the form of opening support act Dead Naked Hippies, who caught my attention a few months ago with the release of ‘Drain You’ on a split 12”.  The Leeds art-rock trio, consisting of drums / guitar / vocal kick some serious arse. The guitar sound is dirty, a little bit messy, but works well in contrast with the crisp drum work. It’s Lucy Jowett who really commands the attention, though, lunging and stomping about the stage, wide-eyed and crackling with tension. They’re already going places, and were worth the entry fee alone.

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Dead Naked Hippies

Touring support These New South Whales come on, shirts off and electrical tape over their nipples, looking dangerous and introduce themselves with some angular, grinding guitars, with menacing vocals pitch-shifted down. The stage half-obscured by a thick smog, they then proceed to slash and thrash their way through a sweaty, high-octane set. They may have their own show on Comedy Central, but they take the performance of their fast, furious, bass-driven art-punk seriously. It’s pretty fucking intense.

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These New South Whales

DZ Deathrays have really honed their live sound and the material from Bloody Lovely – which accounts for over half the set – is delivered with real attack. With the album having been out a full six months already, it’s had time to bed in with the fans, and a good segment of the crowd sing along with every song. Others just go nuts, with a mosh-pit seven rows deep and crowd-surfing commencing early.

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DZ Deathrays

Said new material pushes further into melodic territory, but the tunefulness is still driven by big, fat, fizzy riffs. Impressively, they maintain the high energy level throughout the set, with no let up in tempo (you’re not going to get a mid-set lighter-waving slowie or an acoustic breakdown with DZ Deathrays).

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DZ Deathrays

They throw ‘Reflective Skull’ from Black Rat in early, saving ‘Gina Works at Hearts’ for near the end. The crowd goes ballistic – with a crowd surge causing the band to briefly stop to make sure someone wasn’t too badly hurt – and rounding off with ‘Like People’ and ‘Ocean Exploder’ for the final salvoes, it all adds up to a blistering set.

With three cracking bands, a corking headline set, and a great vibe all round, it’ll probably go down as one of the gigs of 2018.

I See What I Became is the new full-length from Mirrors For Psychic Warfare, the industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker, incoming on Neurot Recordings this September.

Produced by Seward Fairbury (Corrections House) and Negative Soldier, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) with decibel manipulation by Dave French (Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, The Anunnaki), the duo’s follow-up to 2016’s critically-lauded, self-titled debut boasts eight tracks of unsettling and unapologetic audio demolition.

In advance of its release, the duo have shared an official video for the album track ‘Crooked Teeth’ created by Chariot Of Black Moth, which you can watch here:

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