Shoegaze has been in a similar position to djent for a little while now. Bear with me here: yes, the two genres sound nothing alike, but both have such a distinct auditory fingerprint that they’ve been fighting to stay alive as bands begin to realize that everything’s just about been…
If depression had an official soundtrack, there’s no question it’d be exclusively comprised of songs from post-punk’s family tree. The genre’s swirl of reverb, haunting bass lines and drab, lifeless vocals capture the essence of endlessly staring out the window of a dimly lit room on a rainy day, every…
Black Pudding is a garage-rock trio who can rock a mean fuzz sound while coating it with cheesy lo-fi production and intoxicating hooks. The band are still very early into their career, building some hype through the release of singles such as these ones “Sci-fi Si” and “Tillagio”. Nonetheless, the band have a clear goal for their sound to fit this ongoing modern trend of fuzzy garage rock, because while this doesn’t reinvent the wheel, this will surely please any fans of the style. These tracks at times act as a hazy trip of distortion and slurred vocals, but these guys can pen a catchy hook and some sharply humorous lyrics among their warm bedroom rock.
What’s to know or learn about Richmond, Virginia’s multi-instrumentalist Fowst? Not much, except that he’s the brains and sole instrumentalist behind the so-fuzzy-it-must’ve-died-and-now-it’s-molding doom project that is Mindkult. The one-man band approach is something that never fails to pique my interest. I get the notion that it’s often viewed as…
A little while ago, Scottish atmospheric miscreants Falloch released This Island, Our Funeral on Candlelight Records. The record was a doozy, with our very own editorial darling Scott Murphy reviewing it and finding plenty to praise but enough to criticise also. By the end of the record, the black metal tag was long since painted over, with post-metal, folk and gaze sounds becoming more prominent. Fast forward to right this very second. Falloch have brushed the dust off their shoulders and blown out the candle on the last record with a refreshed lineup and delicately tinkered new sound. After sitting on Prospice for nearly a year they are finally ready to unload seven tracks of gorgeous, atmospheric music upon the world. Head on over the jump to hear the first track from the album, “Fata Morgana.”
We’ve covered a lot of ground with Heavy Vanguard, from improvisation to sound art, and nearly ever genre someone has ever played around with, but you might notice there isn’t a whole lot of diversity in terms of nationality. Most of the acts we’ve gone over have been American or European. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course—good art is simply good art, and we shouldn’t put so much emphasis on the person creating the music as opposed to the music itself—but music knows no borders or boundaries, and this counts exponentially so for the avant-garde. There are free jazz scenes all over the world, and radical music being created in every country. This is why we finally decided to cover one of the countries best known for their experimental music, Japan, with one of the country’s best experimental rock bands ever, Boredoms.
Last we wrote about the LA post/math-rock enclave Arms of Tripoli was for their 2014 debut full-length Dream In Tongues, which came to us out of nowhere and quickly became a blog favorite among several of us for its mixture of bright and summery post-rock and shoegaze sounds with some knottier and more math-y elements thrown in to keep things more than interesting. As a brief personal pretext to this, Dream In Tongues was one of the first albums I reviewed for Heavy Blog, was the first album I had given a very positive review of, and it was also quite possibly the first album that myself and now editor-in-chief Eden Kupermintz (both of us were still just mere innocent and not yet completely jaded newbie writers at that point) bonded over, thus forging a friendship and partnership that is responsible for much of what you know of Heavy Blog as today.
Back when I first started my Penn State career I knew just about nobody (one whole semester ago). I felt kind of awkward at a lot of the DIY shows, was uncomfortable with the idea that nobody was really moshing, and just generally wasn’t vibing with the overwhelming number of acoustic acts I was seeing. But still I kept going to all the shows, slowly meeting more people, but still failing to find that one local that really blew me away from a musical and performance perspective. That was, of course, until I saw Dimmer (that show actually helped me find my other favorite local, Palmlines, too, but that’s gonna be it’s own post) in a cramped ass living room. It was hot, uncomfortable, and I barely had room to stand. Ultimately I was extremely (again) uncomfortable and unhappy at that show, but Dimmer played with such an immense amount of energy that I pretty much forgot my underwear were riding up in an uncomfortable sweat wedgie.
At their cores, Desideratum and Below the House are linked; two sides of the same loss. Thom Wasluck has always channeled the entirety of himself into Planning for Burial, and on his Flenser debut with Desideratum, he manifested pure sorrow into a hazy blend of shoegaze and ambient drone metal. Yet, it’s on Below the House that Wasluck’s music truly morphs into “doomgaze,” as his songwriting has taken on a starkly more direct, cathartic approach to coping with life’s tribulations. Whereas Desideratum was an ode to internal suffering, Below the House is Wasluck’s outward diatribe against a callous world, unwavering in its cruelty but malleable to the glimmering hope lying beneath his lamentations.
There aren’t many labels that balance consistency and quality quite like The Flenser. Since launching in 2009, the San Francisco-based curator of “dark experimental” music has presented some of the best bands fitting of this classification. And though it was probably due to my own personal taste evolving more than anything else, 2014 seemed to be a particularly phenomenal year for The Flenser’s roster, complete with incredible releases from Botanist, Have a Nice Life, Kayo Dot, White Suns and Wreck and Reference. But of all these gems, perhaps the most lasting release from the bunch has been Planning for Burial’s Desideratum, Thom Wasluck’s captivating blend of shoegaze and ambient drone that feels like an organic, non-GMO version of Jesu’s poppy doom metal.