If you enjoy(ed) Aversionline, please check out No Echo, a new music site I co-run. Updated daily.

Updates will return… as soon as I can make 'em happen.

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 @ 9:10am » permalink

I've been out of town, and am going out of town again tomorrow night, so… there hasn't been any time for putting posts together as of late. Such is life. I've been ripping a bunch of old records and demos, though, so – in addition to some cool new shit – I should get back to posting some jams by the end of next week (I hope). I apologize for the delays…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmmDRtXXJLU[/youtube]

P.S. Holy shit, Make Do & Mend has a new EP available for free download. Yes! Get it!

P.P.S. Visit Invisible Oranges to check out my list of 2008's best albums, along with the selections of numerous other characters whose opinions seem to differ fairly widely. Interesting stuff, indeed…

Judgement Day NYC "Mind Over Matter of Fact" 7"

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2008 @ 5:02am » permalink

Judgement Day NYC - Mind Over Matter of FactI've been meaning to post this 7" for literally three years now, as it's one of the rarer slabs of 90's metallic hardcore that I've been able to track down over the years, and I have absolutely no excuse for why it's taken me so long to get around to it. So, to get right down to business, I believe the "Mind Over Matter of Fact" 7" was the only non-compilation release from Brooklyn, NY trio Judgement Day NYC – probably best known for their appearance on the classic "East Coast Assault" compilation with the track "Inner Sanctum". This four-song EP was recorded in 1993 and released by the awesome French label Inner Rage Records (the home of early classics from Starkweather and Fury of Five, among others), and sadly that about ends my knowledge regarding this band. I don't know if they recorded any demos prior to this, I don't know if they recorded anything afterwards, and I don't know if any of the members went on to participate in other bands. I think they might have had at least one more song on a compilation that Inner Rage released called "Harder They Come, Harder They Fall", but I don't have that compilation so I'm not sure (if anyone has that shit and can hook me up, please do get in touch. So, all I can do is state that these guys churned out some chunky metallic hardcore – at times a little faster, at times a littler darker, and at times a little more melodic, but always pretty heavy on the low-end and centered around those straight up grooves. The insert also contains lyrics for a track called "The Other Half of We" that doesn't actually appear on the 7" itself. Go figure. So, yeah, if anyone else has some information about these cats, post a comment and drop some knowledge!

1. Judgement Day NYC "For No Reason"
2. Judgement Day NYC "Hard to Swallow"
3. Judgement Day NYC "'E' Go Trip"
4. Judgement Day NYC "Shotgun (outro)"

Obviously this one's long out of print, but believe it or not there is was one copy of this fucker on eBay for like $5 at the time of this writing, so… run a search and try your luck if you'd like to get your hands on the vinyl!

Edit: Judgement Day NYC's former drummer, Joe Fogarty, was kind enough to send me an email yesterday afternoon with some details about the band that I was completely unaware of. Here's what he had to say:

Hey, Andrew. My name is Joe, I was the drummer for Judgement Day NYC (August '91 – March '94). A friend of mine sent me a link to your page, so I thought I would send you an email with some info about the band.

The "first" Judgement Day formed in late-'89/early-'90 with Kevin and myself (both on the 7"), Mike on bass (later of Merauder, Candiria, Dead Air) and Andrew. We only played around four shows. Andrew left and in the early fall of 1990 myself, Mike, and Kevin, along with new vocalist "Black" Jessie (and Freddie Become the Kross later) changed our name to Rampage. We had a five-song demo that was a mix of hardcore, funk metal, and rap – a long time before it was cool. Rampage was a band from September '90 – September '91 and played around 10 shows. Around August '91 Kevin wanted to get the Judgement Day thing happening again, so he and I got Dom on bass (he played on the 7") and Eric on guitar to join the band. We played our first show with this lineup in October '91 and put out two demos: "Quick to Judge" (1991) and "Don't Make Mistakes" (1992, from which the song "Inner Sanctum" was later released on that comp). In '93 Eric left the band and we recorded the 7" as a three-piece. No other recordings after that.

Sometime later I left the band (I played around 24 shows with Judgement Day), but Kevin carried on. Judgement Day NYC officially broke up in late-1995.

Yes, we did have a song or two on that Inner Rage Records comp. They were songs we recorded for fun that were never going to see the light of day, but after I left the band Kevin gave them to someone to release (one track was a long "rock" song ala Alice in Chains, the other was a joke instrumental called "The Bearded Clam").

In '93 – '94 our original bass player Mike played some shows with us when we played with Nuclear Assault and Sheer Terror. The late Frank Collins from the Brooklyn metal/hardcore band Confusion was also in the band sometime in '92. After I left Mike P. played drums, who later played for Life of Agony. Loki from the Bronx hardcore band District 9 played bass for a short time in '93.

I later played with such bands as Sifter (post-punk), Born (Queens hardcore), Inhuman (Brooklyn hardcore), Modern Like Appearance (emo/alternative), The Make (punk rock), Milagres (alt. rock), Big Dakota (post-hardcore rock), and The Secret Life (indie rock). If you have any more questions or anything just let me know, and hey, thanks for putting the music on your site.

If any other such emails come my way, I'll be sure to add the information to this post!

Mongoloid Village "s/t" CD

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 @ 5:28am » permalink

Mongoloid Village - s/tBe not misled by the oddball band name, because the debut (I think?) five-song EP from Portland, OR's Mongoloid Village cranks out 23 minutes of some of the best sludgy, rocked out metal (or whatever the hell you'd like to call it) I've heard in quite some time now. From the uniqueness of the vocals to the unexpectedly memorable songwriting: Complete with atypically delivered "stoner rock" riffs (I'll always hate the term, but it kinda works); slow, pounding rhythms with roving basslines; and spacey layers of noisily droning textures with various melodic sensibilities that I'm sure many would tag "post-rock" – though in reality it's all far, far stronger and more interesting than all of that obnoxiously trendy bullshit. Plus, it's all bundled up in a great recording with just the right amount of gritty texture and a perfectly warm, cohesive mix. To be honest with you I didn't really expect to have this reaction, but I'm already eagerly looking forward to hearing more from these cats, so I hope the wait's not too long.

Mongoloid Village "Pickled Punk"

I don't see any ordering information anywhere, but I'm sure if you hit up the band on MySpace they'll give you the details on gettin' the goods. And I highly suggest doing so, 'cause this shit is way too good to meet the same painfully underappreciated fate of some of these guys' past efforts.

All Out War and Atlas Shrugged…

Posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 @ 4:12am » permalink

All Out War - Hymns of the ApocalypseThis is a Trip Machine Laboratories reissue of an out of print All Out War 7" that was originally released (In 1997?) on some label that I've never heard of called S.U.R. Records. Both of the songs have appeared on other All Out War releases, but these particular recordings were originally intended for a compilation that was never released, and were recorded at Why Me? Studios with Todd Forkin from Starkweather producing. But expect no surprises, as this is eight minutes of classic All Out War: Pioneering "metalcore" (remember, this is real metalcore, people) with sick vocals and loads of churning riffs that blend dark metallic atmospheres with burly, midpaced hardcore breaks. I mean, if you're not familiar with All Out War at this point, there's a definite problem! Here are a couple of quick little excerpts from the 7":

All Out War "After Autumn" (excerpt)
All Out War "Destined to Burn" (excerpt)

…as I stare down into this mass grave of humanity, I never knew I'd end up this way. So I'll try to shed a tear from my eyes, but I can't because my mind is filled with hate. Rise up from the ashes. Take back what once was yours. Rise up and take it back.

As expected, the repress is limited to 1,000 copies: 350 on green/white marble (already sold out), 150 on clear, and 500 on red. So, collector types, you know… act fast.

Purchase:

@ Trip Machine Laboratories (clear vinyl)
@ Trip Machine Laboratories (red vinyl)
@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

Atlas Shrugged - We Don't Stand a ChanceAnother 7" reissue from Trip Machine Laboratories is "We Don't Stand a Chance" from the absolutely awesome Atlas Shrugged, who I've mentioned here in the past, and this won't be the last time. To my crushing dismay, I didn't get into Atlas Shrugged until 3 – 4 years ago, well after their heyday in the 90's, so I've only been thoroughly enjoying their Burn-inspired take on metallic (post-)hardcore for a short time now. Originally released in 1997, this three-song EP is a perfect example of the band's penchant for atypical arrangements and jazzy little flourishes through well-balanced compositions that fuse melody and intensity with slick musicianship and uniquely strained vocals that carry a lot of emotion without going over the top in any given direction. They're still working on compiling the band's discography CD, and I can't fucking wait for that shit to drop! I'd say more, but… I'll just repeat myself (again) when that disc is finally in my hands, so just check out this clip from the 7" for the time being:

Atlas Shrugged "Darkness" (excerpt)

This reissue is limited to just 153 hand-numbered copies, so get to it if you'd like to get your hands on the vinyl. And also note that Trip Machine's new webstore has a bunch of the label's older releases available for dirt cheap (Including Backlash! Yes!) as well, so definitely take advantage of that action while you still can.

Purchase:

@ Trip Machine Laboratories
@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

Trap Them "Seizures in Barren Praise" CD

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008 @ 5:51am » permalink

Trap Them - Seizures in Barren PraiseThe sophomore full-length effort from Trap Them (again released through Deathwish Inc.) sees the group continuing down the path cut on their previous outings, except that this time Kurt Ballou and the band have actually come as close as humanly possible to replicating the classic Sunlight Studio sound at Godcity. Seriously, if you had told me that they all flied to Stockholm, Sweden to track the album, I'd buy it 100%. The guitar tone sounds so fuckin' close to what Entombed had on "Clandestine" that I can barely believe it – the only real difference is that of course Ballou gets everything sounding perfectly crisp, warm, and clear. And in fact, it's really allowing band to come across more like a fast 'n' furious hardcore/punk version of early Entombed on this album (with some absolutely sick slow to midpaced passages tossed in), which brings me great pleasure and is absolutely not something that anyone in their right mind should complain about! Add vocalist Ryan McKenney's unique lyrical explorations:

"Barren Praise" is a fictional ghost town version of every non-fiction town. Lyrically, previous Trap Them releases are all stories from people who had lived in "Barren Praise" before deciding to up and leave. This is the story of those who stayed behind to tell the stories of watching everything unfold…

Then wrap 'em up to be literally intertwined with slick high-contrast graphics in a massive 32-page booklet, and you've got yourself a full-on winner that represents the band's finest work to date. 10 tracks, 25 minutes, done. Of course there's more to it than that, but the bottom line is that the shit rules, so…

Trap Them "Invertopia/Class Warmth"

You can also sample the entire album at Last.fm.

Purchase:

@ Deathwish Inc. (CD)
@ Deathwish Inc. (LP)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

Chokehold "Instilled" 7"

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2008 @ 7:03am » permalink

Chokehold - InstilledSadly, I hadn't listened to Chokehold – probably the finest metallic hardcore band that Canada has ever produced – in many years until recently, and I blame it all on the fact that the "Content With Dying" CD (their best release) included that entire album as one long track, with the "Instilled" 7" (originally released in 1994 by Bloodlink Records) tacked on as a second long track. Fucking annoying. That always drove me completely nuts, and I was actually too lazy to rip the disc and split all the songs up into separate tracks until a couple of months ago. Talk about a mistake, too, 'cause holy shit is this stuff bringing back memories. I'm certainly not the most political guy in the world, and I'd say I actually identify a little less with Chokehold's lyrics now than I did in the mid-90's, but god damn are the songs absolutely crushing. For the most part it's straight-up 90's "chugga chugga" hardcore: Thick rhythms, plunky bass runs, tactfully groove-laden breakdowns, a slight lean towards discordant metal-based riffing here and there, etc. But of course lyrically Chokehold had a hell of a lot to say, on this 7" alone promoting human and animal rights, attacking homophobia and religion, and so on. The bottom line, though, is that regardless of your feelings on such topics, the songs kick ass ("Anchor" alone is an outright classic on every level), and Chokehold definitely had their own take on everything, which was unique enough to separate them from the pack with a well-balanced style that hasn't really been matched since.

1. "Burning Bridges/Mindset"
2. "Instilled"
3. "Anchor"
4. "Culture Cease"

You won't be my guiding light in this world gone mad. I don't need fairy tales to lean on. You manipulate the mind that still has to learn. Replace their thoughts with bullshit. Deception burns. You present yourself as caring, but I can see right through. Slavery and mind control are all you quest for. I won't fall. I won't fall into your group in need of something to hold. I've got my mind and its thoughts are mine. I need no religion to prove I exist, only room for my mind to learn what's right. Not no fictitious male being, not no sexist book of lies. I never needed a crutch to make me strong or to hold on to my beliefs, and I'd never turn to such a fucking lie. I'll never be that weak.

I don't think you can still find the 7" itself anywhere, but thankfully (and much to my surprise, quite frankly) you can still score the excellent "Content With Dying" CD, which – as mentioned above – has this 7" tacked on as a bonus. I'm not sure whether or not every pressing of the disc had just those two long tracks, though!

Purchase:

@ Interpunk
@ RevHQ
@ Stickfigure Distribution

Terminal Function "Measuring the Abstract" CD

Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 @ 6:02am » permalink

Terminal Function - Measuring the AbstractAfter forming a decade ago and releasing three demos over the last six years, "Measuring the Abstract" is the first proper release from Sweden's Terminal Function, who I had never heard of prior to receiving this disc in the mail from Willowtip. The label cites comparisons to Meshuggah, Theory in Practice, Cynic, and Dream Theater, which is a rather lofty assessment, but it's actually quite accurate! I'd say the base is built around a mid-90's Meshuggah type of sound, as subtly-fucked-with rhythmic twists and tactful start/stop riffing tend to be among the first influences that kind of jump out and take hold, though the staccato vocal patterns here explore much more ground, not to mention sharing space with some actual singing from time to time. However, Cynic's speedy alternate picking style and penchant for lush, jazzy clean flourishes start to surface early on as well, leading to some beautifully slick lead playing and a truly progressive edge that, when combined with the absolutely awesome drum work, also puts bands like Spiral Architect very top-of-mind – another loose comparison that speaks very highly of Terminal Function's approach/delivery! The Dream Theater aspect is really only tied to the flashy keyboard work, which is both surprisingly tasteful and graciously sporadic, so as not to detract from the true life of the material.

I had honestly started to lose a bit of interest in the Willowtip roster in the last year-and-a-half or so, making this by far the best release I've heard from the label in quite some time. And what a winner it is! Bands like Cynic, Atheist, and Pestilence have been highly influential favorites of mine ever since I was a kid, but these days I just don't encounter much in the way of "progressive", technical metal that really does it for me. There's still room for improvement here in terms of the overall songwriting (there's really no need for four of the eight tracks to run nearly seven minutes apiece, for example), but thankfully there are still bands like Terminal Function lingering about that have a real knack for this genre's proper execution. Well fucking done…

Terminal Function "Spawn"
Terminal Function "Tactile"

Purchase:

@ Willowtip (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

Outlaw Order "Dragging Down the Enforcer" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 @ 6:42am » permalink

Outlaw Order - Dragging Down the EnforcerAn all-too-long five years after their debut EP, "Legalize Crime", Outlaw Order (whose lineup includes every current member of Eyehategod but Jimmy Bower) finally returns with their first full-length outing in "Dragging Down the Enforcer" (released by Season of Mist). Not surprisingly the nine tracks (bookended by two additional high-quality experimental noise pieces) clock in at a little under a half-hour total and bear quite a resemblance to the dingy sludge of the almighty Eyehategod – just given a hint more of a hardcore/punk undercurrent, which leads to consistently shorter songs that almost never top three minutes. I honestly hate to compare them so heavily to Eyehategod, but… shit, what can you do? The performances are a touch more controlled, as is the recording, but you've still got plenty of sinisterly surging basslines, dissonant sludge grooves, winding rhythms, bursts of driving power chords, and of course Mike Williams' immediately recognizable snarls 'n' sneers. I guess it's the first pressing of the CD which comes in a pretty slick embossed metal box, but to my disappointment the artwork's kinda weak (not to mention that no lyrics are included). Don't get me wrong, the cover looks cool, and there's one or two panels elsewhere that have a solid aesthetic to 'em, but… I was expecting something more along the lines of Eyehategod's old school cut and paste vibe. Instead, well… let's just say that when you try to go for that same type of feel using computers, it just doesn't work out right. No big deal, though, as the music certainly delivers, and should indeed please the vast majority of Eyehategod fans out there – and probably even some who could never quite appreciate Eyehategod's slightly looser, dirtier, and more feedback-soaked take on this particular style.

Outlaw Order "Siege Mentality"

Purchase:

@ The End Records (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

Unreal City "Ephemeral Subsistence" CD

Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2008 @ 6:06am » permalink

Unreal City - Ephemeral Subsistence"Ephemeral Subsistence" is the debut full-length from Pittsburgh, PA's Unreal City (on Double or Nothing Records), and leading up to its release much ado was made in the promotional blurbs that the album was "recorded at the legendary Mars Studio with producer Bill Korecky". And just let me tell you: I fucking love that fact! Seriously, a few months before I learned of this band/release I was thinking to myself what a god damn shame it is that Mars-produced hardcore seems to be a pretty rare find these days, and this album proves without a shred of doubt that more of these Clevo-worshipping cats need to fork over the dough for a road trip to the studio where so many of the classics were birthed. One of the songs from this album happened to hit my ears via shuffle play the other day and before the vocals kicked in I actually thought it was a track from In Cold Blood's "Hell on Earth" album. The production's that damn good. Of course, the band's penchant for Cleveland-esque chord progressions and scorching solos that owe much more than a passing nod to Aaron Melnick had a hell of a lot to do with that as well, but… that's what I'm saying: All the more reason to hit up Mars to get the job done right! And unoriginal or not, in 2008 I am not gonna fucking complain about a band that's basically using "Those Who Fear Tomorrow" as their blueprint – especially if they're coming pretty damn close to nailing it, you know? Obviously the lyrical content's not at the Dwid level, and it's unfair to expect any band to match the songwriting power of early Integrity, but… this is an extremely solid album that should totally hit the spot for fans of the Cleveland sound, and I'll certainly look forward to hearing more from Unreal City.

Unreal City "Beyond Reality"

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my copy of the CD is defective in that the 10th track, "Altus Proditio", goes blank for the last minute or so of the song. You can even look at the bottom of the disc and see a small "gap" in the data. Very strange. Since I see no mention of this from the band or label anywhere online, my first assumption would be that they got a batch of mildly defective CD's and decided to use them as promos (which happens from time to time and makes perfect sense). However, I find it odd that "Altus Proditio" is the only song on the band's MySpace page that contains a link to purchase the mp3 via Amazon.com. Coincidentally, I did purchase said mp3 from Amazon (it's the #1 selling mp3 of the band's, by the way), and it's fine. No errors. But… this does make me a smidge concerned that perhaps the entire first run of CD's contains this defect? Maybe someone in the know will post a comment here and provide some real insight?

That being said, it appears that the CD's still available from the label for just $5, which is a great fuckin' deal, so…

Purchase:

@ Double or Nothing Records (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

Strain "Here and Now" CD

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008 @ 6:37am » permalink

Strain - Here and NowI've been on a major 90's metallic hardcore kick lately (my apologies to those who do not want to see more of this stuff posted here, 'cause I fuckin' love this shit), and in trying to go back and dig up obscure old releases I just rediscovered this gem from Canada's Strain. I actually don't really know much about this band at all other than the fact that a couple of the guys from this album's lineup went on to form the excellent emo/indie band By a Thread. Apparently Strain released a full-length and a handful of EP's on the German label Heartfirst Records in the early-90's, and then the "Here and Now" full-length (which I believe was their final release) came out on the once mighty New Age Records. I actually had this shit on cassette when it was released back in 1996, but I got rid of it at some point (don't ask me why), and now that I've finally purchased it on CD over a decade later I'm kicking myself in the ass for that grievous mistake. I mean, this stuff totally fits in with the sound that the New Age Records roster had going on back then, with loads of pounding breakdowns, gruff vocals, plunky basslines, and an absolutely fucking killer sense of tactful groove – but not without plenty of faster-paced bursts of more traditional hardcore influences. Sweet recording, too. Why the hell haven't I been busting this out on the regular for years and years now!? Great songwriting, great album. That's all there is to it. I'm damn glad I finally got off my ass and revisited this shit…

Strain "Here and Now"
Strain "Sin"

There are actually several more reasonably priced used copies of the disc at Amazon.com, but you can also grab the jams from iTunes Plus, which seriously kicks ass. I swear, I can't say enough that every god damn label should make their entire back catalog available digitally (for fair prices, mind you). I'd spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars within minutes, man…

Purchase:

@ Amazon.com (CD)
@ iTunes (mp3)

If anyone out there has Strain's "Our End" and/or "Repetition" CD EP's and can hook me up with high-quality mp3's, please do get in touch, 'cause they're apparently out of print and I can't seem to find copies anywhere, damnit. Thanks!

That was fast! Many thanks to everyone who helped out on that. You can also now find more excellent Strain material at the awesome Mosh Eisley blog.

Also, all of Strain's old CD EP's are in fact still available direct from Heartfirst Records, which kicks ass. I'm about to place an order right now, and I recommend getting in touch with the label if you'd like to do the same!

Disfear/Doomriders split 7"

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 @ 5:34am » permalink

Disfear/Doomriders - splitThe latest from Deathwish Inc. is this short but sweet split 7" between Sweden's Disfear and Salem, MA's Doomriders. First up is Disfear with "Fear and Trembling", and its darkly sinister yet energetically rocked out balance of subtle melody and gnashing aggression. There's a great sense of natural warmth to the recording that really lets the textures of the instruments have their own space – really allowing the intensity of the layering to build up and add a stronger sense of urgency to the overall composition. I haven't kept up with Disfear much in the last year or so, to be honest with you, but this is a great fucking track right here. Doomriders then ease into the galloping stomp of "Crooked Path", which has a similar sense of warmth and space, though of course their excellently robust basslines play a larger role in the heart of the mix. I'd say both tracks utilize a similar sense of melody in terms of the use of rock-infused dual guitar riffing, but the Doomriders contribution tends to maintain that throbbing midpaced tempo – feeling a little more consistently somber as compared to Disfear's furious bursts. Here are some brief excerpts from each track:

Disfear "Fear and Trembling" (excerpt)
Doomriders "Crooked Path" (excerpt)

And remember, Deathwish's vinyl releases always come with inserts containing digital download codes now, so… you can't fuckin' lose there, people!

Purchase:

@ Deathwish Inc.

Manhattan Skyline "Curses" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 @ 7:07am » permalink

Manhattan Skyline - Curses"Curses" is the debut full-length from Oslo, Norway's Manhattan Skyline (released by the ever-curious and diverse Fysisk Format label), whose 11 tracks in about 45 minutes are quite reminiscent of The Dillinger Escape Plan's earlier work – just a little more tangible and bottom-heavy in many respects. There's definitely a hell of a lot of caustic riffing with dizzyingly fast-paced shifts and change-ups, not to mention scathing screams and blisteringly technical guitar runs (tracks like "Carrion" literally sound like they were torn straight from the "Calculating Infinity" playbook), but there's also some experimentation with assorted textures such as piano, electronic beats/blips, dark ambient throbs, succinct breaks of jazzy clean passages, and some completely ripping bass runs that provide some nice breathing room whenever presented. And while most of the compositions are rather short bursts of about two minutes or less, there are also excursions like the eight-minute, largely instrumental "Black Rain", which spends most of its time quietly building into an absolutely pounding midpaced climax. Not to mention the nearly 13-minute closer, "Empty Seats", which takes on an incredibly effective "Neurisis" styled direction completely out of nowhere – accentuating the strained texture of the vocals over sparse clean guitars and roaming bass pulses that occasionally burst forth into swells of distorted power chords. So, yeah, overall I suppose it's a smidge unoriginal at times, but certainly strong regardless. And if they start to achieve more balance by integrating the slower, plodding rhythms and experimentation right alongside the gratingly aggressive flurries, they could really be onto something…

Manhattan Skyline "Judas Christ"
Manhattan Skyline "Empty Seats" (excerpt)

I'm not seeing the CD available at any distros in the US yet, but thankfully Fysisk Format's releases are now available digitally for extremely reasonable prices via Amazon.com and iTunes Plus. Very cool…

Purchase:

@ Tiger Records (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

That Was Then "Weathered"

Posted on Monday, December 1st, 2008 @ 6:02am » permalink

That Was Then - WeatheredApparently Memphis, TN's That Was Then (who shares a vocalist with the almighty Dead City) is calling it quits next month, which is a great damn shame seeing as their final EP, "Weathered", is easily their best work yet. Offering up six tracks (bookended by two beautiful acoustic passages) in a little over 15 minutes, the material is a little faster, more energetic, more emotional, and more intricate than that of 2006's "Troublemakers" EP. There's still a base of traditional hardcore buried in there, but the music's far more interesting now in its use of an almost constant undercurrent of melody – countered by just the right amount of heaviness. The slight bump in the pace really kicks things in the ass, working well alongside the zippy picking patterns and discordant chord phrasings. And the recording's great, too: Nice and clear, with a warm sense of space that lets the dual guitar interaction shine, easily audible basslines, etc. Hear for yourself:

That Was Then "Intro/Rabid Notions"

Every night that I lay down I contemplate what to do with myself. But I can't decide. I don't want to roll the dice, I want guarantees. In something, in anything. I'm hounded by the thought. My ambition is seldom sought, and never found. So I'm staying glued to this spot. Reveling in ruts, and never finding the guts, and never wising up to the way I drown, lungs full, hands bound, by my own device…

Since the band's breaking up, they're not doing a physical release of the EP, instead opting to offer it up as a free download, so get to it, and fucking enjoy…

[DOWNLOAD] That Was Then "Weathered" (@ Mediafire)

I'm impressed, that's all there is to it. I'd fucking love to hear more, but… at least Dead City's still kickin'.