Posts Tagged ‘Grunge’

28th January 2023

James Wells

Honeybadger’s bio describes the Brighton trio as ‘spiky’ purveyors of ‘gutter psychedelia/grunge’, and ‘Cold Wind’ certainly delivers on that. Fast and gritty, lo-fi and fuzzed out, the guitars are all the grunge – but then the break brings a full-on tremelo-happy wig-out that’s out of this world!

But if the song is carried by an energy that invites comparisons with early Arctic Monkeys, the bassline runs away in a completely different direction, with one of those wild grooves that runs here, there, and everywhere: Luca – age just twenty-one – is possessed of magic fingers. Or perhaps he’s just possessed. Either way, these guys pack in so much dynamic and raw talent into three-and-a-half minutes that it’s dizzying, and it’s a proper rush.

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Honeybadger Artwork

26th January 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

The Hull scene has been simmering nicely for some time, and it’s a great advertisement for deprivation and off-the-track locations being melting posts for dark underground creativity.

We may have bid farewell to Chambers and Cannibal Animal, but Hull continues to throw up a wealth of dark and noisy bands, and while Low Hummer have been making some serious headway, along with BDRMM, there’s no shortage of acts emerging behind them, with Besdit making rapid progress recently.

The name is a fair summary. Anyone who as ever endured bedsit living will relate to the claustrophobic sensation of confined living. Bedsits -appropriately – carry connotations of meagreness, of low-budget gloom, and Bedsit really do convey that sense of claustrophobia.

The four-piece’s latest offering, ‘Dead Bands’, is the lead and title track from their upcoming EP, which follows up on 2020’s Pocket Toy EP. It’s a step up from the lo-fi grunge metal production of its predecessor, and sees the band consolidated on that blueprint, leaping from rough diamonds ready for development to something lean and mean, and dense and taut and truly outstanding.

It’s not just the production: the composition, the playing, the vocals, the lot – they’ve not sold out and gone super-slick by any means, but ‘Dead Bands’ is a dark, dense amalgamation of post-punk and grunge, and while it may be a celebration of bands gone before, it sounds pretty bleak in its mid-tempo, bass-driven way, paired with baritone vocals that border on the gothic. It’s a combination of the sound of 1985 and the sound of 1993 and it’s dark and its heavy, but it’s magnificently realised with some killer riffage and some blistering, blustery guitars squall and scream their way to the end.

There’s no joy to be found here, but it’s a glorious exercise in dark nihilism that has to be my single of the year so far.

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Christopher Nosnibor

If the pandemic gave us anything other than Acute paranoia, it’s a lot of new bands. Who’d have thunk it?

This of course highlights just how different the lockdown experience was for people, dispelling the idea that we shared a collective suffering during those months. Many suffered the lack of an income, but many revelled in the newfound time available to them. Some of us, for better or for worse, got to continue to work full-time remotely while also having to squeeze in home-schooling.

Captain Zero was another band who formed during lockdown, when the tones of ‘dirty fuzz bass batterer Steve James (Geisha, Steveless) were gently dripped into the earholes of David Edgar (The Get-Outs, Superseed) and beat basher Keith Hall (Big Joan, Flag Fen)’ And the tale goes that ‘It wasn’t long before they all got in a darkened room together, turned their amps up to 6.5 and began smelting demonic demos into a fistful of filthy rock n roll bangers.’

These are the realities of forming a band and actually making music, but Captain Zero do a great job of hiding that 6.5 amp level on ‘Bullseye’, an absolutely blistering rager of a track with thick, fiery riffs and gnarly as their beards.

Bullseye’ is a dense metal trudge and grit and heft that’s a blast of blistering hardcore punk that’s got hints of 90s Ministry and the entirety of the grunge scene compressed into a nutshell. It’s a belter.

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Venerate Industries – 4th November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Now this is a fine justification of why I don’t do end of year lists. This may or may not have made mi ne, because I simply haven’t had time to process or digest it, but it’s been out a month and a half and I’ve only just got my lugs around it, with only a week or so left of 2022 – and it’s one of those albums that slaps you around the skull and has that instant impact by virtue of its sheer force.

Their bio tells us that Athens-based ‘Mammock’s compositions stray from the typical rock forms, incorporating various elements from punk to jazz, post-hardcore and the nineties’ US noise rock scene. The quartet possesses the self-awareness and technical capabilities to carve their own sound and explore their character into finely tuned songs, which grab the listener from beginning to end.’

What it means is that they make a serious fucking racket and sound a lot like The Jesus Lizard, from the rib-rattling bass to the off-kilter, jarring guitars, and the crazed vocals. Some of the songs sound like they have some synths swirling around in the mix, but one suspects it’s just more guitar, run through a monster bank of effects. Overall, though, they seem to be more reliant on technique than trickery.

They formed in early 2018 by Giannis (guitar) and Klearhos (bass) with the addition of Vangelis (drums), they started out as an instrumental trio, before the addition of Andreas (vocals), and if it seems like a contradiction to remark that they feel like a coherent unit when cranking out so much jolting, angular discord, but that’s one of the key tricks or deceptions of music like this: it isn’t mere racket, and in fact requires real technical precision: those stuttering stops and starts, judders, jolts, changes of key and tempo require a great deal of skill, intuition, and of course, rehearsal.

They take many cues from Shelllac, too: the drums are way up in the mix – to the extent that they’re front and centre, something Shellac make a point of literally on stage, and replicate the sound on record, with the guitar providing more texture than tune, and the vocals half-buried beneath the cacophonic blur.

The last minute or so of ‘Dancing Song’ blasts away at a single chord that calls to mind Shellac’s ‘My Black Ass’ and ‘The Admiral’. The lumbering monster that is ‘Bats’ is a bit more metal, in the sludgy, stoner doom Melvins sense.

Stretching out to almost seven minutes, ‘Jasmine Skies’ blasts its way to the album’s mid-point, a wild, grunged-up metal beast with an extended atmospheric spoken-word mid-section which gives the lumbering black metal assault that emerges in the finale even greater impact.

If the semi-ambient ‘Interludio’ offers some brief respite, the ‘Boiling Frog’ brings choppy, driving grunge riffage and a real sense of agitation and anguish, and the album’s trajectory overall paves the way for an immense finish in the form of the seven-minute ‘Away from Them’ that roars away as it twists and turns at a hundred miles an hour.

Yes, Rust packs in a lot, and it packs it in tight and it packs it in hard.

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2nd December 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Bournemouth-based four-piece alt-rock unit Solcura pack a lot into three and a half minutes on ‘Keep It Close’, which is their first new music since their debut album, Serotonin released in August 2021.

It begins with some soft, hazy, warm-toned, vaguely psychedelic backwards guitar stuff and some airy vocals before slamming in with a grungy riff and some hard minor key power chords.

They’re open in their drawing on 90s grunge as their primary influence, and I’ll be the last person to criticise for that. As much as these bleak times draw comparisons to the conditions of the late 70s and early 80s that spawned post-punk, we’re also living in conditions that are giving rise to another ‘lost’ generation, struggling to find their place and their identity. Grunge emerged as the voice of a generation for a very good reason about thirty years ago, and while bands have drawn clear influence from that spell in the early 90s when big crunching guitars were all the rage, it feels more than ever like the time is right for a proper grunge revival

If it initially comes on like a cross between Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Bivouac in its melodic, accessible grunge stylings, there’s a sudden switch that takes a turn for the metal and things get heavier – but without going for the guttural vocal move that’s been persistently popular since the advent of nu-metal.

‘Keep It Close’ sounds and feels like three or four songs in one, and yet they meld the different segments together so seamlessly that it absolutely works – it’s a proper gut-pulling kick in the ribs that’s got a rare energy, intelligent songwriting and raw power, and it kicks some serious ass.

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Solcura artwork

1. THE DWARVES play music that crosses all rock genres including hardcore, garage, punk, surf, noise, death metal, experimental, industrial, hip/hop, grunge and good old-fashioned pop. Even their modesty is legendary.

2. THE DWARVES first tour in 1988 covered over 6,000 miles and highlights were featured in the Village Voice. The tour consisted of 3 cities, 4 shows and $165 dollars cash. The band slept in a cargo van and booked gigs on stolen telephone cards.

3. THE DWARVES began in the 1980’s as an Illinois punk garage band, covering everything from the Seeds and Moving Sidewalks to Gang of Four and Devo. They still have skinny ties and tight pants to prove it.

4. THE DWARVES have recorded for visionary independent labels including Sympathy For The Record Industry, Epitaph, Fat Wreck Chords, Sub Pop, Bomp!, Amphetamine Reptile, Man’s Ruin, Recess, Theologian, Glitterhouse, Burning Heart, White Jazz, High Voltage, No Balls, Zodiac Killer, MVD, Midnight, Reptilian, Riotstyle, Burger and Greedy Worldwide. Some of them even paid royalties.

5. THE DWARVES have been stabbed, bludgeoned, swarmed, arrested, shut down, sabotaged and even fellated onstage and much of it is available on video, like the compilations FEFU, Fuck You Up & Get Live and Salt Lake City.

6. THE DWARVES were one of the first hardcore bands to regularly use samples, drum loops and found sounds, even on their earliest recordings where they used cassette tapes to generate them.

7. THE DWARVES teamed up with Top Ten producer Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, All American Rejects, Slash) to make their last 5 studio albums. He even showed up to some of the sessions! Valentine and Blag Dahlia helped write songs for Smashmouth and Skye Sweetnam.

8. THE DWARVES were kicked off tour with a UK metal band for sleeping with the girls the headliners had hired to hang out backstage. They were banned from venerable punk dive CBGBs for breaking a table and bleeding on the floor making the venue cleaner and improving its décor.

9. THE DWARVES played with the Minutemen weeks before D. Boon died, visited GG Allin in prison and did coke with the Lemonheads in a seedy hotel room. And that was all in one day! Their list of collaborators on records is vast, including the ones they can contractually mention like Dexter Holland, Josh Freese, San Quinn, Nash Kato, Gary Owens, Stacey Dee, DJ Marz and Spike Slawson.

10. THE DWARVES music has been featured on television shows like Viva La Bam, Nash Bridges, Rob and Big, Laguna Beach, 16 and Pregnant, Homewrecker, Jackass and dozens more. They appeared naked on Monster Garage and Playboy After Dark, where HeWhoCanNotBeNamed mated with a pumpkin.

11. THE DWARVES are the very best looking band in show business. They’ve shared bills with the Cramps, the Offspring, Vandals, TSOL, JFA & countless more!

12. THE DWARVES did a live one-hour performance on Japan’s prestigious NHK network. At the dinner afterward, they literally ate a horse. This turned out to be better than all of the food in Indianapolis.

13. THE DWARVES inspired a current popular catch phrase with their bestselling 2013 self-help book Make the Dwarves Good Again.

14. THE DWARVES played Berkeley’s punk collective 924 Gilman Street the first month it opened and appeared there with the likes of Green Day, NOFX and the Didjits. They were later banned for beating a spectator, but don’t worry, he was a fan of some other group.

15. THE DWARVES are a true independent band with no outside management or record deal, DIY forever. They leave no remains when they die, only footprints in the snow.

16. THE DWARVES bassist Rex Everything has been tased while committing battery and resisting arrest. He loves kittens, puppies and long walks on the beach. Guitarists HeWhoCanNotBeNamed and The Fresh Prince of Darkness teach and counsel troubled teens when not ingesting cocaine and masturbating to hardcore pornography.

17. THE DWARVES have been members of groups like KMFDM, Gnarls Barkley, Mondo Generator, Kyuss, Motochrist, Penetration Moon, The Queers, Scream, Bloodclot, Decent Criminal and The Uncontrollable. Don’t hold it against them.

18. THE DWARVES are OG’s (Original Grunge) appearing with Nirvana, Mudhoney, L7, Supersuckers, Rev. Horton Heat and the Fluid. They appeared in the film Kurt and Courtney where they were described as “one of the more violent bands.”

19. THE DWARVES were attacked by a disturbed person enraged over the band’s lyrics. The first rock ‘n’ roll battle record, ‘Massacre’ proved the old adage that the truth hurts, but so does being assaulted.

20. THE DWARVES could be saluted by groups as disparate as the National Organization for Women, the Vatican and the Daughters of the American Revolution for promoting greater gender understanding.

21. THE DWARVES are snotty bastards who live in California. Their notorious ‘Blood Guts & Pussy’ album cover, depicting a dwarf clad only in dead rabbit and blood spattered Amazons, led to widespread banning and protests at gigs for years to come.

22. THE DWARVES guitarist HeWhoCanNotBeNamed died in 1993 as reported in SPIN (100 sleaziest moments in Rock #79), Alternative Press, SF Weekly and Harper’s, among others. Being denied entrance to Hell, he returned to mortal form, commenting later, “that which kills me makes me stronger.”

23. THE DWARVES music has been featured in films like Ghostworld, Hostel, Observe and Report and Me, Myself and Irene, where Jim Carrey crooned ‘Motherfucker’ while having a nervous breakdown in a car. In the hardcore porno ‘Rocksuckers,’ genitals collide to a ballsy Dwarves soundtrack. Lloyd Nickell’s video for ‘Stop Me’ contains content deemed harmful by the FBI, FCC and Mothers Against Intercourse.

24. THE DWARVES are mostly a cat band, but enjoy a good doggy now and again.

25. THE DWARVES singer Blag the Ripper sang the novelty hit ‘Do the Sponge’ on the cartoon series Spongebob Squarepants. Dwarf Sgt. Saltpeter has written and performed over 20 musical pieces featured since the show began. That’s Balls, Folks!

26. THE DWARVES have been active for over 40 years and Blag has published three novels of transgressive fiction, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick, Nina, and Highland Falls.

27. THE DWARVES performed onstage with Turbonegro at the Leeds Festival, UK and have toured Europe 12 times, performing at Reading, Pukkelpop, Goteborg Gallopp, Download Donnington, Groezrock and Rebellion Fest to name just a few. Please don’t ruin a perfectly good gram of hash with tobacco.

28. THE DWARVES website was hacked by Islamic jihadists (http://tcat.tc/1bWYQPX). Peace be upon you!

29. THE DWARVES have an average penis size of nine inches, but most of that is Nick Oliveri.

30. THE DWARVES’ singer Blag co-hosted an advice show with Bay Area radio DJ NoName called We Got Issues. His former podcast Radio Like You Want spread the gospel of bad music and intrusive interviews with accomplice Mike Routhier. Now he croons lounge country style as Ralph Champagne

31. THE DWARVES have just had a slew of their classic back catalogue albums, including Blood, Guts and Pussy, and Come Clean, reissued on vinyl with new (still awful) artwork with infinite gratuitous nudity and bonus tracks, . You can get them all via MVDB online, here.

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Photo: James Farrell

25th November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

What we all need is a jolt, a shock. Right NOW. You may not even realise it, but consider this: while life and the world seems to be swirling in a vortex of addling bewilderment, a lot of music seems to have become incredibly safe, a retreat. I’m not even talking about that slick, mass-produced mainstream fodder: even so-called ‘alternative’ rock has become increasingly safe in recent years, in the post-emo, post Foos world. And while a few acts on the peripheries are smashing all genre conventions with sledgehammers, they’re pretty niche, and what the world needs is something that can really get into the mix and shake things up. Has anything turned the world even halfway on its head singe grunge?

I’m aware that even reminiscing about grunge places my voice in a time capsule and in the ‘old bugger’ demographic for many, but has anything really been even remotely as evolutionary since? Has there ever been a seismic event since? We talk – or talked – about the zeitgeist, but what is the zeitgeist at the flaccid tail-end of 2022? Disaffection, discontent, strikes? Maybe, but what’s the soundtrack? Ed Sheeran and the new Adele album sure as hell aren’t the voice of disaffected youth.

Brighton’s ‘rising alt-rock rebels’ Fighting Colours might not be the face of the revolution, but they are the band to deliver that much-needed shakeup.

The vibe around the opening of the first of the EP’s four tracks, ‘Your Choice Now’ is a bit post-rock, with a nice, clean, chiming guitar sound – but it yields to some beefy riffage that’s pure grunge, it’s clear from the outset that they’re keen to mix things up and create their own blend, and it’s one that works well. And then Jasmine Ardley’s vocals enter the mix, and with this kind of chunky alt-rock being so male-orientated, to hear a female voice is unusual – and while Ardley has a clean vocal sound, it’s not unduly poppy.

‘The Boat Starts to Shake’ shuffled closer towards the jazzier, noodling end of the post-rock sound that was ubiquitous circa 2004, but the mathy verses contrast with massive slugging grunged-out choruses and a climax that’s nearly nu-metal and beings some hefty noise.

‘The Cure’ is different again, venturing into almost urban territory, while still anchored in jazzy math rock elements, before rupturing into a bold chorus that’s in between Evanescence and Halestorm, both gutsy and melodic and with an ‘epic’ feel, and it’s delivered with style.

The final cut of the EP plays the slower, emotion-filled arena anthem card, but still has more than enough guts and a keen melody, not least of all thanks to Jasmine’s voice, to separate it from the countless Paramore-wannabe alt rock acts out there.

It all stacks up for a strong set with a lot of bold and exhilarating rock action. It’s the kick up the arse alt-rock needs.

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Fighting Colours - Wishing Well - EP artwork (Gypsy Rose Design)

Warren Records

Christopher Nosnibor

On witnessing Hull band Ketamine Kow playing live low on the bill supporting Mannequin Death Squad a little while ago, I found myself feeling exhilarated and fully charged by the raw energy of the performance and 100% sold on their punk energy, and I wrote as much after the fact. So it’s nice to see my enthusiastic comments repeated in the press release for their new single, ‘Shoe Shopping’, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

A nervous, but soft jangling guitar yields to a welter of everything going off all at once and at a hundred miles an hour and they charge headlong into a raucous blast of driving alternative rock that channels post-punk and grunge as much as it does classic vintage punk, while Adam Stainforth rants about uncomfortable shoes.

If that sounds like facetious fluff, it’s far from it, and Stainforth’s explanation of the song’s subject matter shows a depth and reflection that may not be immediately apparent based on first impressions:

“The song battles with the idea of gender identity being a lot like a pair of shoes,” he says. If you have a good comfortable well-fitting pair, then you don’t think about it and as you walk about you aren’t constantly thinking about your shoes and their comfort. But if your shoes are too small, or there’s a pebble in them, it’s all you can think about. Every step is annoying and you don’t want to do anything else until you fix the problem and your shoes stop hurting. So, I think in that sense most people probably can’t conceptualise the feeling of their gender well, because it just fits right and always has – and therefore it’s hard to imagine how all the small, normal things just constantly feel wrong, even if you are alone in your home.”

Put simply, there’s more than just all-out attack happening here, although the full-throttle, furious delivery is, unquestionably, a major draw. With the momentum they’ve built – and the speed at which they’ve gained it – this year, 2023 is looking like being a stormer for Ketamine Kow.

Christopher Nosnibor

All of the good gigs are happening in November this year it seems, when traditionally things tend to be a bit quieter. Much of this is down to the knock-on effect of two years of rescheduling, not least of all with venues being booked solid with rescheduled dates till now. As scheduling goes, the fact that Please Please You has brought Part Chimp to York is a huge deal, and the turnout on a soaking wet night in the middle of a month of rain says it’s widely appreciated.

Part Chimp are one of those bands who’ve been going forever – well, twenty-two years is close enough – and have enjoyed something of a cult following. But with the release of their latest album and the shows to promote it, they seem to have enjoyed something of a surge, receiving at least some of the recognition they’ve deserved – and richly so, because they’re simply a great band.

And tonight they’re headlining a great lineup. The fact the support acts are brain-foamingly good is something I’ll get to the detail of shortly, but again, credit has to go to Joe Coates for his curation skills.

If it’s quiet in the bar before doors, it’s the only thing that is quiet about the night, and it’s remarkably busy for the arrival of the first band. While they’re local, that’s no guarantee of attendance. But they’re bloody good. Junk-It are a shouty riffy drum and guitar duo. They’re kinda straight rock but a bit Pulled Apart By Horses too, with some crazed vocals and incendiary riffs, and with some melodies spun in. Songs are tight, their chat less so. The singer looks a bit like a young Bill Bailey but sounds more often than not more Robert Plant. They’ve got good energy, and good tunes, and they work hard. It’s early days for them, so they’re a bit rough around the edges, but promising; they’re grungy, left-leaning –they’re definitely left – and deliver some exhilarating guitar-driven noise.

Junk-It

Junk-It

Uncle Bari, another duo consisting of Pak 40 / Redfyrn drummer Leo Hancill and Cat Redfern of Redfyrn, only Cat’s drumming and Leo’s on guitar, and they kick out some mega-heavy, mega-loud dark psych drums and dense guitar with vocals submerged beneath the tidal wave of riff and reverb. The sound is immersive, with slow, spacious minimalism dominating, but when they go big, they go big. With slow picked guitar and steady, rolling drums, the last track is very Earth. And at appropriate volume, it’s a remarkable experience.

Uncle Bari

Uncle Bari

The experience is a fundamental aspect of a Part Chimp show. Listening to the albums, it’s obvious that they’re a loud band, but live, they’re LOUD. I mean ear-bleeding, skull-crackingly loud. It’s not just nasty overloading volume for the sake of it, though – the riffs come through with remarkable clarity, you can make out the component parts just fine, even if the vocals are a bit buried (but no more than on the studio recordings). It’s one of the most amazingly joyful experiences, being bathed in sound in such a way, as is witnessing a bunch of older guys play in such a way that really is a masterclass for so many of the next generation to observe. They’re not overtly cool, and there’s no theatre or pretence, and the most chat we get is a ‘cheers’ here and there. It’s simply all about churning out the big, dense, grungy riffs, and sometimes they plug away at two chords for a full half minute.

Chimp 1

Part Chimp

The set is dominated by cuts from Drool, but there are some oldies in the mix, and they encore with ‘Trad’ from 2009’s Thriller and ‘Hello Bastards’ from second album I Am Come. Not that it really matters too much about the specifics of the songs: they’re all beefy blasting riff blowouts, and there is absolutely no letup from beginning to end. There aren’t adequate superlatives or adjectives to express the elation this elicits: sometimes, you really do have to be there.

Seattle’s Calm Collapse Release ‘Welfare Tour’, the next single off the forthcoming album Mirrored Nature, out on November 25th.

Featuring a Roster of Indie Rock Nobility: Doug Lorig (Roadside Monument), Rob Smith (Traindodge, Museum of Light), Jon Pease (Medicine Bows)

Recorded With Matt Bayles (Botch, Mastodon, Minus The Bear)

Listen here:

Featuring a roster of indie rock nobility, Calm Collapse is comprised of Doug Lorig (Roadside Monument Patrol, Raft of Dead Monkeys) on guitar/vocals, Rob Smith (Traindodge, Museum of Light) on drums/keys, and Jon Pease (Medicine Bows) on bass. After meeting at a show in Seattle, Lorig and Smith began to build the framework for what would ultimately become the band’s debut record, Mirrored Nature. "From the early days we documented and cataloged almost every riff, song idea, arrangement, tweak, etc., iterating through so many changes to create a finalized version of these songs," says Pease, who solidified the band’s lineup shortly after its inception. "Everything that is heard on this record is extremely intentional. Not to say that we didn’t experiment or have happy accidents in the recording process. But we combed through and dissected all of our parts to craft something with intention." The sonic result is driving, angsty, and propulsive, but still open and spacious. The grind of Melvins, the melodic discernment of Chavez, and the ethereal tendencies of Grails and Black Mountain.

With so much experience and groundwork laid with previous projects, a guiding force for Calm Collapse was continuing to chart familiar waters, but in a new and fresh direction. "For me, the last couple of bands that I’ve been in have generally been more heavy than other previous projects I’ve done. But with this project, I didn’t want it to be one-dimensional," says Lorig. "It’s generally the kind of music that I’ve been writing for years. Songwriting has always been a tedious process for me. I generally write in bunches but with long lapses in between, so some of these songs or parts have been kicking around for several years — I just needed the right couple of guys to be able to finally flesh these ideas out." Smith adds, "[Doug’s] ideas are by and large more rhythmically and harmonically complex than my other bands, so sometimes he needs to just play them for a while before I can find a way in. It can be weeks of messing with an idea before it takes the shape of a song." The result of this project is a propulsive and heavy listening experience, punctuated by memorable melodies and cinematic and ambient arrangements. "Even though a lot of our album is on the heavier side, we did not want to trap ourselves in," says Lorig. "The album goes in several directions — we did not want to follow the common things that heavy bands seem to do. We all had a common goal to write songs that had movement and took us places."

In order to bring Mirrored Nature to life, the band brought in acclaimed producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Foxing, Isis) to help execute the vision. "We knew for our music to come across convincingly that the record had to be produced at a higher level. This is why we went with Matt Bayles. I have worked with Matt on a previous couple other projects over the years, so I knew what we were going to be getting. I can say that it definitely was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done — quite the contrast, it was probably the hardest record that I’ve done, but the end product is everything that I had hoped it would be. It sounds huge and expansive," says Lorig. "Matt definitely challenged us to a high standard during the production phase, but it paid off in a huge way," says Pease. "I think because we were so invested and prepared to craft this record, Matt stepped up to meet us there. He really put in a lot of care and detail in the recording, mixing, and production phases that makes this record sound as great as it does."

With time comes perspective, and even after a number storied releases, tours, and iterations, Calm Collapse represents another evolution for the trio. A chance to disassemble the artistic past, evaluate what worked, and reassemble with a new perspective. "It has been my passion since I was a little kid to create music," says Lorig, "and that passion still lives on to this day as I’ve gotten older. I still love the process of creating, recording, and playing music live. Part of it also has been that I feel I can always one-up the last project that I was in. [Mirrored Nature] is probably my proudest achievement — but I’m definitely looking forward to trying to get even better on the next record."

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