Hey! Listen to Expander!

Few producers and sound engineers in extreme music have created as unique and instantly recognizable a sonic brand as Kurt Ballou. The Converge guitarist and founder of GodCity Studio has a reputation behind the board that is equal in stature to his work in front of it, releasing record after…

Propagandhi – Victory Lap

Some music comes to you as rain into your sun-parched throat as you traverse a desert. Such is the vitality that music can bring into our lives. Some songs are as necessary to some people’s lives, if not sanity, that it reminds us why we love the art form. In…

Circa Survive – The Amulet

Some bands hang around for a long time, producing similar but slight variations over a many year period, tweaking a tried and true format just a little with each new record. Others strive to create larger shifts in their sound over time to mixed results. There’s a certain amount of…

Hey! Listen to Shepherd and Death By Fungi!

India is a place I wouldn’t really associate with extreme music. The limited exposure I’ve had with the culture comes primarily from Indian restaurants, vacation stories from friends, or movies. That being said, it feels like a really traditional kind of place. The limited amount of Indian music I’ve heard is immediately identifiable as such, and even the pop music feels like it follows in that convention, there’s a distinct “sound.” So when I caught wind of a split by hardcore bands from Bangalore and Mumbai, I was obviously surprised. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Why wouldn’t there be an underground scene in India? Beyond that, considering how “conventional” and “traditional” it seems to me as some ignorant dude from the states, it makes absolutely perfect sense that there would be some positively savage bands out there stickin’ it to the man.

What’s Up Punks? (August 2017)

Punk is a style we like to cover at Heavy Blog when we can but often times it gets a little buried or we get behind on what’s going on in that particular area of the Heavy World. So we’re going to try something new here. In this column we’ll recommend some of the best in (the broadest definition of) punk as we see it. Each month we’ll hit on some new releases, talk about the tours big and small, and, hopefully, get feedback from you, Dear Reader, if we miss something that we should feature out of the punk realm. There are a number of great places to get your fix of punk music and tour stories but we’re going to give you the Heavy Blog spin on that here with What’s Up, Punks. Enjoy!

Grind My Gears – The Arson Project

I’ve sat on this release for a few months now, biding my time before finally deciding to share it with my dedicated Grinders. I’m taking ownership of you all because I feel responsible for your lives, in the most minute of ways; my suggestions/turns of phrase could save or ruin your day after all! The Arson Project are responsible for taking my life in a new, positive direction in their own unique way, so maybe my ranting and raving about them can do the same for you. This weeks grind entrée is significantly more punk than you might be used to, but don’t let that spook ya. These Swedes get politically charged, pissed off and drop enough hardcore goings on to keep the push pit poppin’.

Hey! Listen To Mary Bell!

Mary Bell describe themselves as “Bikini Kill meets Dischord Records” as well as name checking Bratmobile and Sonic Youth. Though more obscure, the band could be best described as the Red Aunts plus 20 years. The big difference with Mary Bell is that while records from Bikini Kill and any number of Dischord acts practically ooze politics, Mary Bell dials up the attitude without being overtly feminist (or otherwise activist) in the way that Bikini Kill epitomized third wave feminism. There is an argument that the sheer act of being an all-female band is political unto itself, but over two decades removed from the riot grrrl movement, let’s hope the world is a better place and not do that anymore. Can we hope it no longer needs to be a “thing?” If you bring the rock, you bring the rock.

Always Riled Up: The Knowing is in the Doing – Mike Watt: An Interview

Some artists are iconic because of record sales or bigger than life personalities but a lot of the time they reach that hallowed status because of the influence they wind up having on others and their ability to stay humble in the face of praise. A lot of the time it’s because they have their own guiding philosophy that keeps them contributing long after others have come and gone. The latter can operate in the spaces between traditional measures of success much of the time. Some even deflect the praise onto those they’ve worked with instead of keeping the recognition to themselves.