Rock Sound Bugging Your Ears 142

Just….just don’t say anything. My kingdom for an internet connection that wasn’t the equivalent of two wires blowing in the wind; occasionally connecting for a split second, before being tossed into the air by a sudden gust. Computer is about 10 seconds away from going down the stairs.

A Day To Remember – All I Want

I half expected this to be a load of screamy metalcore crap, but I’m pleasantly surprised. Mixes some of the best pop-rock moments of Four Year Strong, with a guttural punk rock edge and a sneering vocalist who lapses between melody and anthemic rage. The trademark “woaaahhooohhhs” are perfectly timed; as are the gang vocal mentality and general fist-in-the-air determination and grit – brimming with passion.

The Damned Things – We Got A Situation Going Here

So it’s the two less famous dudes from Fall Out Boy, Scott Ian and the other guitarist dude from Anthrax and Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die? Shit son, I actually like the sound of that. It’s basically Buckley fronting a pop version of Anthrax; the guy’s got a brilliant voice, backed by the shredding of some decent thrash. The song to background all high-speed car chases; a relentless salvo of swaggering hard rock that demands frantic air-punching – absolutely fucking brilliant from start to finish; especially the ridiculous mini-guitar solo 20 seconds from the end.

Middle Class Rut – I Guess You Could Say

I can’t get behind the swaggering country-meets-cocky rap rock mess of this enough. Seriously, this is fantastic stuff. On a first listen it feels so disorganised and ramshackle, yet it leaks confidence. The vocalist seems to be channelling elements of Zach De La Rocha, mixed with angry hardcore punk; whilst the drums rattle and roll like some disorganised circus procession; complete with twanging banjos, tambourine hits and a sense that you want to repeat the last 4 minutes until the CD caught fire.

Blood Command – On And On Chameleon

Excellent band name and kudos for the musical output not being plodding hardcore. They’re from Norway and apparently list Hot Snakes as an influence. Whilst Froberg and Reis riffage does shine through on this occasionally; it seems to have more in common with dance-punk; which is played supremely tight. The female vocals dominate it completely; dipping between a sharp end squeal and the strutting attitude of Juliette Lewis. The weird glitch-ridden effects in the middle of the track are a nice touch also.

The Ocean – She Was The Universe

There’s quite a low-end twang to this German-metal mob. At times it can twist and contort with the kind of tormented urgency of Botch mixed with elements of Dillinger Escape Plan. Underlying it all though, is some post-rock guitar bending that shudders beneath the part-screamed/part-sung vocal lead; which at times falls on the side of generic, but saves itself by overdosing on the throaty, aggressive gargling.

Senses Fail – The Fire

I remember watching Senses Fail about 7 years ago. Some guy was rubbing himself against me during their set. Kind of put me off. Anyway, not much to say about this really; I quite enjoyed their first EP (indie-bellend alert) but found everything else quite ‘eh’. There’s some quite lovely guitar lines in this though; the chorus is suitably massive, but feels all too familiar and the cry of “from ashes we will rise” means I’ve just won emo-core bingo for the 3rd week running. Note: must write better lyrics.

Miss May I – Relentless Chaos

Props to the drumming in this; which is like a scattergun of furious blast-beats smashing against a tin roof in a thunderstorm. Vocals are mostly unfathomable growls and barks beneath that bottoming out thug-attack of metallic vitriol. Angry = yes; Original? = hmmm….

Me Vs Hero – Draw The Line

I saw this band at a punk festival back in May. They wanted people to form a human pyramid. Bunch of wankers. Oh yeah, the music = er…pick any band from Drive Thru Records and voila.

Talons – In The Shadows Of Our Stilted Homes

It’s like watching the world end. It’s akin to that final push over the top; ignore the bleeping from your shield which is struggling to recharge. Ignore the low ammo counter; it’s not like you’d get a shot off anyhow. The one grenade is your best shot. Your visor is smeared with soil and blood As you leave the sanctuary of the ditch a shriek like that of a violin cuts through you and explosions wrack the terrain like a the beats from a flailing octopus of a drummer. As you fall, the guitars cut your body to ribbons. Some of the darkest instrumental rock music I’ve heard in a long, long while. Pelican via And So I Watch You From Afar greatness.

The Amity Affliction – I Hate Hartley

God, the first few seconds sound like the Halo soundtrack….ah wait, no they’ve changed it. Awesome vocal cut-up; MORE OF THIS PLEASE! No…not standard metallic-shouty stuff please. Melody is present though people! Angst though; real fucking angst in that. Keyboard break – *shrugs* Positive gang vocals! “I WON’T DIE DEFEATED!” Love this; optimistic; even if it’s a total slice of Edam next to a massive block of cheddar.

Touché Amoré – Honest Sleep

With a voice that sounds like it’s been flogged to within an inch of it’s life, then set on fire and rubbed in salt; Touche Armore have got a unique edge to their scrappy hardcore, which sounds slightly Minor Threat in its execution. Guitars are tuned high and sound scratchy and scything; whilst the bass is relatively non-existent; making way for the caustic scraping of the disgustingly harsh vocals which sound like they’d infect the listener with throat problems just from hearing them. Nice break around the minute mark also.

Electric Wizard – Venus In Furs

With a vocal drawl that sounds as if it’s been recorded underwater by someone with schizophrenia; sludge-coated guitars, wailing solos and an intro that wouldn’t look out of place on a Rob Zombie soundtrack; Electric Wizard are pretty damn metal. The best way to describe this is a lurching, intoxicated monster of snarling noise and amplified vibration that dabbles in stoner rock and probably several bottles of whisky.

Killington Fall – To A God Unknown

Post-rock again turned up (or down however you see it) to the max in both its depressing rise and fall in a sorry sounding and slovenly gait. It’s not bad; but not really that original to be honest; which is odd considering a (mostly) instrumental piece can offer a band the chance to create all manner of chaos or even twisted beauty. This sadly, is neither.

Death Of Thieves – An Angel Has Your Knife

Part-tech metal that then decides to have a vocalist not full on growling; but channelling the rage and sound of Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley for good measure. Nice! The guitars are frankly, far too choppy and elaborate for something that should be perhaps toned down to a nice slower, dirtier groove but it actually makes a nice and refreshing change.

Awolnation – Burn It Down

Absolutely fantastic stuff right here. Awolnation is like a punk version of the Prodigy, experimenting in more beats and drum loops; straddling the boundaries of clean and grimey-hip hop rock. There’s so much going on here; darkwave Nine Inch Nails basslines, twee handclaps, brief hardcore screaming, weird drum-roll breaks and trippy, bending noises – second best thing on the CD straight after The Damned Things.

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By Ross Macdonald

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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