Night Stalker – Demo 2014

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Night Stalker
Demo 2014

Yes. Hell yeeeees. It’s always an exciting time when a new demo comes to light, and particularly that anticipation that beneath it lays your new favourite band. Enter Leeds’ Night Stalker. As well as proving its Yorkshire who ought to have independence, given how good our great county is at just about anything, their six-track demo is a blazing ‘hello arseholes’ to anyone looking their way. It’s hardcore punk along tried and tested lyrical lines – non-conformism, religion, sheeple being three such examples – but it does so dancing all over you with it. The opening couple of tracks are full on hardcore punk rippers, both as uncompromising in snarl as each other, but the next couple of tracks, including the brilliant ‘Staring At You’, are cracking riff worshippers, showing that this band do have another gear. There’s a brilliant old-school 80’s hardcore stench lingering all over this demo, evocative of Poison Idea at times, and that’s a good thing. Night Stalker aren’t the first band to do this – they’re just the latest to show their class with it. And what’s more, it’s free, so you have no excuse not to grab yourselves a copy and give yourselves a damn near quarter hour of raging causticity.

Peter Clegg 

Download ‘Demo 2014’ here (free download)

Stream it below:

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Jock Jamz – Demo Volume One

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Jock Jamz
Demo Volume One

We recently covered an excellent Utah hardcore band called Youth Choir who some of their members, not content with being preoccupied with one band, are also part of another hardcore band, entitled Jock Jamz. Based on the artwork and some of the song titles, this demo is conceptually based on their home state’s basketball team, the Jazz, and indeed basketball in general. It does start with the familiar strains of ‘Rock and Roll’ (‘Part X’ in this case), the realm of the Glitter band and their disgraced former singer. Though they give it a typically hardcore boost that would fire up any crew, eventually subsiding to the irresistible ‘Full Court Press’, a tribute to the Jazz’s finest partnership (‘Stockton to Malone’), a hardcore cover of ‘Everybody Dance Now’ and the bold beatdown ‘Not on My Team’. Two projects both laden with humour and irrepressible spirit, these might the guys that finally make UTHC representable as New York, Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter. Get on this right now.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Demo Volume One‘ here (free download)
Stream it below:

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Megalodoom – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Grief (rehearsal demo)

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Megalodoom
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Grief (Rehearsal demo)

With a name like Megalodoom, you should know what to expect. And indeed, its no surprise when you start cranking out their rehearsal demo entitled ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Grief’, it’s the sort of downtuned, chunky, full-fat riffage we’ve come to expect from years of digesting all things descending from the mighty Sabbath. But I digress. There’s nothing like a stoner/sludge metal jam to rock the senses and this is exactly what Megalodoom provide on ‘Temple of Grief’. This demo is a single twenty-minute track, although in actual fact its the band’s current live set at three or four songs long. Irrespective of that, this a pretty awesome demo. No vocals to speak of, just pure unadulterated sludge/doom riffs that conjure classic Grief, Iron Monkey, Church of Misery, etc. And if you’re not rocking out to this at all, then maybe you’re not worthy of the Temple of Doom. Or indeed the ‘Temple of Grief’.

Megalodoom are so kind to make this a free release so check out the stream below, and don’t delay in getting the goods. They appear to have only just started gigging, and share their bassist Tanya with ultra slow duo Bismuth. They also have the track ‘It Ain’t No Man. We’re All Gonna Die’ available for free too. Get on it.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Grief’ (rehearsal demo) here
Stream it below:

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Iced Out – Demo 2012

Iced Out
Demo 2012

I’m not saying I totally dislike the UK hardcore scene, but it largely falls on the melodic side, whether it be acts like Gallows, The Ghost of a Thousand, etc. It’s not really like the US scene which features a fair whack of tough guy hardcore, full of bruising beatdowns, self-motivating/depreciating lyrics and macho pride. You can’t really say one is better than the other in general – its how you do it that counts.

Iced Out fall more towards the bruising style, but don’t completely fall into the stereotypical trap, and this demo certainly insists they have the attitude to leave more than a few scars. This is four tracks of crunching riffs, with lyrics spit with intent and occasional power. Each song is moshtastic, opener ‘Jukai’ spewing with beefy riffage and beefier breakdowns. The most personal it appears to sound is the final track ‘Terrors’, which sounds particularly pissed off judging from the words being venomously aimed at its intended target.

There’s more than a few sludgy elements in their sound but for the large part you won’t want to dissect it, instead you’ll just wish to wallow in its disgust at the world. This demo suggests a band with potential, albeit one still rough around the edges. Still, rough is fine if you’re handing out a bruising, and Iced Out will surely be on hand to provide plenty of those in future.

Demo 2012‘ was available as a free download and may well still be out there. However, as the band are stating it was available, I will link you to their webstore where you can buy a limited edition CD, or to Bandcamp where you can stream it. A cassette tape rerelease is forthcoming with a brand new track too, so keep in touch with them.

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Demo 2012‘ here
Stream it here

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Iron Cages – 2012 demo

Iron Cages
2012 demo 

There’s never going to be a shortage of hardcore bands in this world, full of tales of hope, revenge, defiance, depression, pride, etc. It continues to offshoot into forever more splinter genres, sometimes unwantedly, but in its truest form, it still remains a potent force. Milwaukee’s Iron Cages, featuring.members of fellow hardcore stalwarts Harm’s Way and Expire, stick very much to the blueprint set by 90’s hardcore and d-beat, in so much as a keen ear for a hook without sacrificing any of the passion or bile for the cause.

2012 demo‘ is five tracks of heart on sleeve hardcore, well produced for a demo, and with a melodic slant though not too much to prefix that word and shorn them of a meaty sound derived from their crustier influences. . One look at the song titles tells you it’s not going to be cheerful, and a further look at the lyrics tells another story. ‘Desperation’ is particularly bleak, portraying a world of little if any expectations:

Reinvent myself. See if I survive. It’s been longer than a lifetime I’ve spent under the knife. I prayed for the same sad fate: quick birth, easy life, the same damned place to die.

Admittedly there’s nothing new about this approach, so the trick is to do what you do well, and Iron Cages have it down to a fine art, from crushing beatdowns to bruising riffs. There’s definitely a lot of potential to be seen from this Milwaukee crew. Anyone with even a passing interest in the murkier hardcore d-beat scenes ought to take a look at them, and even fans of more melodic bands like Comeback Kid and Snapcase should give them a crack too. Yes, these sorts of bands are ten a penny, but the quality ones shine through. Iron Cages certainly possess that streak and who knows, perhaps, should Iron Cages not be consumed through their members’ primary interests, they’ll have a few more people singing those words back at them a year or two from now.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘2012 demo‘ here 

Plague Rider – Genetic Devolution

Plague Rider

Genetic Devolution
North-eastern UK quintet Plague Rider describe themselves as a technical death metal band, conceived in February last year by core founder members, guitarists Jake Bielby and Dan Alderson, and drummer Matthew Henderson. Following the odd line-up change, the line-up was soon completed by vocalist Jamie Brown and bassist Lee Anderson, and their four-track debut demo, ‘Genetic Devolution’, soon followed.
Genetic Devolution’, made available by the band at the very back end of 2011, isn’t the finest demo I’ve ever heard, in terms of production quality or all-round end product, but there’s still plenty of potential to be found. There’s plenty of ideas but occasionally it appears to run out of steam, the instrumental ‘Nocturnal Awakening’ being one example which perhaps could’ve done with a little more variation within less time. They do hit the mark on a couple of occasions though, the title track opening with an interesting spoken word intro eerily proclaiming that ‘the world is a much more interesting place with people like you in it…’, before vocalist Jamie unleashes a blood-curdling scream to kick off a thoroughly pounding song. The same can be said of the self-titled end track, ‘Plague Rider’, which benefits in much the same way the title track does; from being more direct and not so exhaustive.
Currently Plague Rider seem a little rough around the edges, which is no bad thing at all at this stage. Their death metal does have a few technical flourishes but doesn’t go too weedly-weedly and does seem to feature more of a distinct death-thrash sound, very much the sum of their influences. The band are aiming to record their debut album in 2012 and looking to perform at plenty of gigs up and down the country as they work towards that goal. Despite its occasional flaws, this is still a solid, indeed savage demo and well worthy of any curious metal fan’s interest, and a sound base for these guys to work from.
Peter Clegg
Last.fm(demo also available here)