Since first writing about Buddie back in the summer of 2020, they've relocated from Philly all the way to Vancouver, B.C., Canada!? Along the way, I somehow missed that they were hyping a new full-length—once again through Crafted Sounds—which just came out last week. I'm still picking up on occasional Weezer-isms from their take on poppy, grunge-tinged alt.-rock with somewhat of a power pop undercurrent, but that's only a fraction of what's at play here. The material is generally laid-back but still hooky and with far more texture and nuance than many such acts would tend to explore. Listeners more constantly entrenched within this overarching genre could probably come up with a handful of other comparable artists to namedrop, but not I. Who cares, though? Give it a spin and see what you think!
Agitator is limited to 100 cassettes, available via Bandcamp. If all you want to do is tap or click on shit, you can hear the album using Spotify or something of that nature.
German/French grind unit Eastwood—whose excellent Antibiose LP I covered back in 2021—has returned for a split lathe-cut 5" with Chadhel, where their half presents a dizzying six songs in just over two minutes. This time around we're talkin' utterly insane grinding anarchy, too—complete with hyper-speed panning 'n' cuts 'n' stops (digitally edited, I'm guessing) that almost lend a Meshuggah-esque djentishness to the outcome (coming from an entirely different plan of attack, of course). The whole thing's over in a flash and—to be totally honest—it's a challenge to determine when one song ends and another begins. Still, powerful production, and it's interesting to hear them taking an altered direction on this outing. These maniacs clearly have skills and know what they're doing!
Attempt to wrap your head around this madness on Bandcamp, where you can also hear Chadhel's contributions. Limited to just 60 copies, the physicals might already be gone, but hit up the bands and cross your fingers? Everyone else: Spotify beckons...
I was absolutely stunned to recently learn that underrated '90s U.K. alt.-rock act Fretblanket had released their third album last month (and also played two reunion shows earlier in April). Then even more so to discover that the material had been recorded all the way back in 1998 - 2000 after their second disc, Home Truths From Abroad. Thus, one can only assume that a version of the typical major label horror story led to some damn fine tunes being shelved for 20+ years. As I always say, though: better late than never! The Distance in Between doesn't disappoint, representing both a slight progression/growth while also sort of fusing the subtle variances between the group's first two albums. Start with immediate standouts like "Digging Your Scene" and "Bad With Names." Very much recommended.
Limited to a mere 75 CDs (probably CD-Rs) and with understandably hefty shipping to the U.S., I still shelled out for a copy right away and am quite looking forward to it. Streamers and those more mindful of frugality, experience via Spotify or some other service.
Pincer Consortium is an experimental metal duo from Belfast, Northern Ireland that has so far issued three lengthy singles from a forthcoming debut album, Geminus Schism, due later this year. Expect a pretty wild fusion of chaotically fast-paced, blackened dissonant whirlwinds that breathe through some djent-like chugs and quick-stop rhythms that carry a more modern sensibility—not to mention smatterings of keyboard textures and an array of vocal deliveries that spans everything from vicious growls to distant singing. All three tracks top six minutes apiece, and the latest, "Tandemic Dispersal," is my overall favorite. While not devoid of the aforementioned characteristics, it leans toward the slower/darker and more atmospheric, while settling into some industrial-hued territory that hits harder and carries more weight for my personal tastes. Great work.
Hit up Bandcamp for the evidence thus far, then keep an eye out for the album. Record labels: pay attention!
The Sons of Montana
I wrote about The Sons of Montana's first three-song EP waaaaaay the hell back in 2005, so imagine my shock when I woke up to an email one morning alerting me to the fact that the band was back in action and had a brand new three-song EP out and about!? It seems the Connecticut unit has not strayed from their post-hardcore-tinged brand of discordant metalcore that's equal parts chunky and abrasive, but never so chaotic as to border on the irritating. It hits as Turmoil-ish in some ways, but there's more variety to the vocals and they're coming from a different sort of aesthetic angle in terms of delivery. As I hinted at 18 years ago, this is still quite strong material that should fairly easily turn some heads with the right backing pushing 'em in front of the right ears. For such an obscure band that only released three songs to pop back up so long after the fact and still hit the mark is a total "What the fuck!?" but so damn cool, and I really appreciate that someone bothered to hit me up about it after all this time!
Subpar Lovers is a digital-only release available through Owlripper Recordings on Bandcamp, with a remastered version of the group's debut as bonus tracks. Those who stream, fiddle with Spotify and all that nonsense.
Vented perhaps grabs ears via lineup connections to Bleed the Sky, Chimaira, Dååth, Sinsaenum, and others; but promptly landed on my radar due to the involvement of Hungarian groove metal merchant Gergő Hájer, whose work I've followed through Omega Diatribe and Audionerve for several years now. This project should generally appeal to fans of the aforementioned—as well as the finer, cheese-free aspects of Slipknot and the like—by way of thrash-dashed, hard-hitting grooves that retain energetic tempos and don't fall into overly-simplistic territory. Droning melodic textures and a little bit of singing add some color, but there's nothing particularly commercial going on, you know? Solid as hell!
I grabbed Cruelty and Corruption back in December upon its initial release, but the album resurfaced recently when it was announced that it's going to get the limited edition vinyl treatment (just 100 copies pressed on gold with black splatter). You can also pick it up on standard CD, or digipak with bonus track. Spotify exists for the rest of you!