The best music comes from people who have something to say. A lot of the time, the things that these musicians want to say aren’t easily digestible. The whole “tortured artist” cliché exists for a reason after all; art in its purest form is the expression of emotion and the most prevalent emotions in the world’s best art are misery, melancholy and malevolence. This is a bit more high brow than a regular introduction to Grind My Gears, I know, but this week’s artist performs with a fervor and ferocity that draws from the most vile of mistreatment. The subject matter of mothmother’s devastating debut \ˈpe-sə-ˌmi-zəm\ isn’t light, so be warned.
These posts are written by: Matt MacLennan
It’s been awhile since I knocked out a Best of British feature for you, the dedicated Heavy Blog reader. This isn’t because there has been a lack of quality content coming outta the island, actually far from it. Being “British” doesn’t really mean anything anymore though. You’ve got yer English bands and then there’s everything else. Because I feel like our two nations have been poorly under represented elsewhere, I now give you The Celtic Connection. I’m gonna rant and rave about the best music coming out of Scotland and Ireland, leaving England and Wales (sorry Wales) to the side, because they get plenty of coverage as is. This isn’t me being a nationalist or picking a fight, I’m just keeping it in the family. And who else is closer to us Scots than the proud, fighting Irish. Pour yourself a beverage of whatever variety you fancy and strap in for some hearty dispatches of ginger, pale skinned sounds.
For fifteen years The Acacia Strain have used brown noise breakdowns and violent lyrical images to win fans worldwide. Whether it’s viewed as dumb narcissism or tailor made nihilism, the music has been used as a weapon to destroy venues and listeners auditory health. Any consumer of extreme music who is aware of this band should be able to tell their sound apart from the droves of down tempo and beatdown acts that infest music today. But with a constant record-tour-record cycle that has seen them shed virtually all of their original members along the way, can they continue to impress at the same level? Do they wind their collective neck in and continue to please the fans or is their room for any form of evolution in their sound? Does anyone still want to hear this anyway? Gravebloom answers all three of these questions. It has The Acacia Strain at their most destructive, venom spitting best, taking cues from the colossal closing act of 2014’s Coma Witch and toying with a sound rooted in doom and gloom; making damn sure that people will pay attention to the world’s angriest band again.
Look at any poster for a good grind show and it usually tells you exactly what you’re getting from the night in question. Often literally telling you exactly who the band is because you can’t read their logo, where they’re from and which particular flask of filth they sip from. Madrid’s Teething don’t have one of those unreadable logos and they’re marked down as simply “HM-2 grindcore”. Doing exactly that, these Spaniards have entered the world of full length grind releases with a record so typically HM-2 that it goes full circle into being fresh again. Pull up a seat and unfuck your earholes in preparation for some violent Spanish storytelling.
Fans of my entries to the Grind My Gears franchise (it’s a franchise now; deal with it) will recognise the name Dark Habits and should be instantly brought back to memories of harsh, devastating bursts of hyper violence and crust. The best kind of noise around. They’ve barely scratched the surface of the Earth with their very recently released debut but look set to tunnel right through the crust of the planet itself. It’s only fitting that Heavy Blog debuts the brand new video from these Glaswegian d-beat bastards because it’s heavy, it’s grim and it’s sweaty as fuck; I speak for myself when I admit that I’m definitely a great example of the latter.
Being a child of Scotland, one grows up to love the rolling countryside, endless hills and mountain tops and inevitably, the inclement weather. If you’re a city person, this might end up inspiring the kind of dark, abrasive music of Dark Habits or Frontierer; all angles and sharp corners. Take a look past the grey metropolitan areas and there is beauty in the fog surrounding our Lochs and landscapes. Saor have spent the better part of the last five years channeling this into some of the most melancholic black metal around. Not afraid to use traditional instrumentation and styles, Saor’s latest offering Guardians blends the peaty smoke of the bogs with shimmering, incandescent strings and pipes. It’s one that Heavy Blog goers might have missed last year but this needs to change.
This edition of Grind My Gears belongs to an upcoming compilation with a more than deliberate message. A glance at the artwork should give you a clue as to what that message is. Some publications and blogs keep their cards pretty close to their chest when it comes to the burning issue of the day. We don’t. That’s why I’m using my space here to help promote an upcoming compilation from newly founded label Posers Inc. Grind Against Trump won’t solve any of these issues overnight but it’s a start. This compilation of grind, violence and ‘core stands for something when most are content with simply sitting and playing the voyeur. Organiser and label founder Benjamin James took some time out from his day to day life to answer a few questions about the compilation, who it will benefit and why it is a necessary step.
It’s been a minute since our last Holy Roar Records File and even longer since I wrote one. It’s only appropriate that the post is dusted off and brought back for this. Somehow, I hadn’t covered Employed To Serve in this feature before but that HAD to change for one reason; The Warmth Of A Dying Sun releases today and is a bona fide game changer in hardcore and heavy music. You can throw Code Orange at me all you want, Employed To Serve are thee band at the forefront of genre smashing heavy music. As always, make your own damn mind up about but if you feel like you need convincing then read ahead. There will be bountiful amounts of hyperbole and fruity language – oh, and a track by track breakdown from EtS’s very own Justine Jones. Tight.
It’s been nearly two years since A Trust Unclean popped up with the fantastic Reality Relinquished EP, a UK tech…