Converge/Napalm Death – Split

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Converge/Napalm Death
Split

Without question, this split release between giants of d-beat Converge and giants of grind Napalm Death is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, the world waiting with baited breath while the respective overlords committed their work to a shared vinyl. The hype and the belief is justified. Though frightfully short, each band’s contribution consists of two songs each, amounting to just under eight minutes of blistering sonic violence.

Converge open ‘No Light Escapes’, a fifty-two second track expected to be on forthcoming album ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, and its Converge at their most visceral and pissed off, before throwing in a guest-laden cover of Entombed’s ‘Wolverine Blues’. The Swedes have influenced many a band that has passed by Kurt Ballou’s production desk of late, not to knock a solid if ultimately unsurprising take on the song.

The ‘Death follow up their expected impressive showing on ‘Utilitarian‘ with the same fervour that continues to drive them 30 years into their career. ‘Will by Mouth’ is just as vital as anything they’ve done in their recent history, possessing a nice old-school punk swerve, a feel that continues on ‘No Impediment to Triumph (Bhopal)’, a diatribe on the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.

It’s not often that two highly influential bands get together to pay fanservice to their followers, but on this occasion its a collaboration to celebrate and to generally explode to.

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Converge/Napalm Death‘ here [download]
No vinyl link found yet

Check out the preview below:

Converge official site
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Napalm Death official site
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Ginger Wildheart wants you to pledge again!

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[For reasons already explained, you’ll have to excuse my tardiness in posting this…]

Off the back of the incredible success of Ginger’s triple-album ‘555%‘ album, Ginger Wildheart has returned with a new video message announcing a second Pledge Music project – and this time, it’s a three-pronged assault!

The entirely fan-funded ‘555%‘ was released a couple of months back to widespread acclaim, and was outselling chart fodder such as Coldplay and Rihanna in the midweek chart! Now he’s after your support again with a different kind of beast. The first project is ‘Mutation‘, a two-album initiative that began back in 2011, but put on hold until now. ‘Mutation: The Frankenstein Effect‘ is album number one, with an as-yet-untitled second ‘Mutation‘ album also being brought to life as we speak. Also in the works is another new project, a pop-rock band called Hey! Hello, featuring Ginger and singer Victoria Liedtke, expected to feature ‘big choruses, big (noisy) guitars and big smiles’.

More information can be found at the project’s official page on Pledge Music, where a range of donation options are available in eventual return for the album and various other things. In the meantime, check out the launch video for the project below, filmed by the incomparable Ash Pears of AshTV, in which Ginger details exactly what to expect from this latest endeavour.

And in a further update, Ginger’s now annual birthday show has been announced at the London Kentish Town Forum on Saturday December 17th, and will be headlined by The Wildhearts! This is the first show the band have announced in three years, and will be the ONLY Wildhearts show this year and indeed for some foreseeable time. They’re selling like hot cakes, so get on it! Quick!!!

Peter Clegg

Unsane – Wreck

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Unsane
Wreck
Alternative Tentacles

Unsane have been around for 24 years now. Nearly a quarter of a century. A testament to a band that has rigourously stuck to its guns, ploughing the same path, all pent with anger and venom, while various contemporaries have appeared and then either fallen by the wayside or maudled along with varying degrees of success.

Wreck’ is the thirteenth album of the New York noise-rock trio’s career and doesn’t offer any surprises, just plenty of high quality riffage and some incredible moments. ‘Decay’ is the perfect antidote to all those lovelorn and emotional heartache paens through its lyrics detailing the in-the-gutter misery of damaged relationships. ‘Look at the shit we’re in/please just forget everything’. I can forget all that sappy pop-rock nonsense when Unsane are in this miserable form. And they don’t relent there – they continue to bludgeon with riff after sledgehammer riff with the consistency of Team GB’s all-conquering triathletes the Brownlee brothers. The only slightly mellow moment comes for the main riff to ‘Stuck’, which broods before naturally volumising when it hits the chorus. My only minor quibble is with a cover of Flipper’s ‘Ha Ha Ha’, which Unsane do a good job of making it sounds as psychotic as it’s title suggests, but it doesn’t feel in sync with the rest of the album.
 
Nonetheless, ‘Wreck’ ensures a happy approach to Unsane’s 25th year as a band, and right now they seem to be as strong as they’ve ever been. They don’t muck about with the formula, they just harness it time and time again into a visceral attack. Life isn’t all cupcakes and roses. Unsane give us the grit and apply the burn over and over.

Peter Clegg

Unsane – Decay

Buy ‘Wreck’ here

Official site
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Iron Witch – Post-Vegas Blues

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Iron Witch
Post-Vegas Blues
Thirty Days of Night

Often dubbed Liverpool’s answer to Eyehategod, Iron Witch have indisputably been one of the sludge bands to watch in this country since they dropped ‘Single Malt‘, an EP so full of bile and sickening grooves. So much so, we tipped it above the likes of Trash Talk and Between the Buried and Me for our top short releases of 2011. A piss-ant blog likes ours won’t exactly be cranking up the pressure for subsequent releases, but a building fanbase and even a few favourable eyes across the Atlantic might well mean getting more out of the ‘Witch in future.

Eschewing the potential lure of moving onto a first long play, Iron Witch are more than content to play the short card again and thus return with the eagerly anticipated ‘Post-Vegas Blues‘ 7″. They haven’t shed anything since ‘Single Malt‘, providing an A and B side of yet more malevolent bourbon-soaked sludge. Side A plays nicely into their hardcore punk tendencies, as ‘Gunshot Residue/Exceed The Dose’ explodes with the same force as a .45 as it shifts through the gears. The title track plays very much to their bluesy side and despite the obvious comparisons to their Louisiana forefathers, it still possesses enough character to stamp a mudhole in Liverpool, with some serious vocal animosity at just the right moments.

Post-Vegas Blues‘ doesn’t have quite the same impact that their initial work had, but doesn’t give an inch in quality. A logical next step in Iron Witch’s career, a further stepping stone to relative greatness. When that debut album will drop is anyone’s guess, but a good bourbon is worth waiting for, and we’d all be happy for this quintet to plough their trade on the live circuit before they take the plunge.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Post-Vegas Blues’ here
Or here (limited 7″ vinyl)

Stream it below:

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We’re back

Posting new content again from today. Thank you all for biding your time with me. The last two weeks have been extremely difficult. But now its back to business. Cheers.

Peter Clegg

An announcement

Due to personal issues, there will be no new content for the foreseeable near future. An announcement will go over our Facebook and Twitter echoing this and a similar announcement will go out when we return. We will continue to accept all submissions and press releases you wish to send our way via e-mail.

I personally thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.

Peter Clegg

Joe 4 – Enola Gay EP

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Joe 4
Enola Gay EP
Whosbrain

I was recently pointed in the direction of (by kind request) Croatian rockers Joe 4’s ‘Enola Gay’ EP, a 10”, five-track slice of not wholly original, but certainly high quality rock in the vein of 90’s alt-rock forefathers The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, et al. Each of the five songs is a series of riffs that are a little disjointed, but work the entire time, capturing that sound perfected by their main influences. They can rise out of any perceived lull with a build up of volume and drive, each riff meaning business, and to say I was heartened by this trio’s output on this release isn’t too much of an understatement.

I can’t think of too many bands to have made a name for themselves internationally coming out of Croatia, but I wouldn’t be too saddened at all if Joe 4 found some success on a wider scale. Noise rock is on the rise again, with old stalwarts like Unsane still making a racket and newer types like KEN Mode, The United Sons of Toil and slightly partier types like Dope Body all making a name for themselves. Joe 4 aren’t like any of those bands specifically, and they’re certainly not as harsh as the Canadian trio, owing much more to the classic alt-rock template (particularly Jesus Lizard) as previously mentioned. A little more individuality wouldn’t go amiss, but this is an excellent starter. 

Enola Gay’ is available through Joe 4’s Bandcamp page as a name-your-price download with physical options also available. You can also stream this bad boy below if you’re still undecided. Crackin’.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Enola Gay’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below:

Bandcamp
Facebook