London alt.-rockers Achers just released their debut two-song demo last week. Recorded live in a rehearsal space, it can be rough around the edges at times, but still demonstrates some quite nice songwriting as far as a quirky, angular take on the genre—which makes sense, as the group is self-described to be drawing from influences such as Drive Like Jehu and Unwound. I'd also wager that fans of that warpy, Archers of Loaf type of thing as well as Dischord-esque sounds might have their interests piqued. I'll certainly be curious to hear more. Off to a good start!
Finnish industrial monsters Dome Runner have hooked up with Annihilvs for their new five-song EP (plus a remix), which continues to prove that despite any futile arguments to the contrary, they remain the finest new industrial metal unit out there. Hands down, simple fact, the end. Any fan of early Pitchshifter, early Godflesh, a dash of early Fear Factory, etc. that doesn't completely shit themselves over how fantastic this band is must be deaf from years of machinated poundings against their eardrums. Crushing rhythms; dark, droning melodicisms; brutal vocals that occasionally veer toward monotone singing; this is top-notch all the way. Dome Runner dead-on recaptures this classic aesthetic better than anything else I've heard. Period. Outstanding.
Apocalypse.Pulse.Worship. can be found on CD or digital by hitting Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and so on. SuperFi Records will have vinyl at some point in the future. (Streamers: remember that one day the machines will rise up against you, at which point your fabricated "collections" will disappear, and your devastated agony will commence!)
I'm a little behind on the latest full-length from Pittsburgh's Gaadge, which dropped back in August. 14 tracks of arguably more "mature" material than that of Yeah?, but that's not at all a slight toward Yeah? (which was one of my favorite releases of 2021). There's just something about these new songs that's a touch more subdued and restrained—one of those "grower" types of listens. A similar style and wide range of assorted alternative/indie influences are explored, so it might just be that the higher-quality recording blends and balances textures in such a way that some of the band's more recognizably topsy-turvy tactics are less up front herein? Since it can be of significant importance to certain facets of the indie world, I'll now clarify that this is not some super-polished 180°, just adding a hint of clarity and shine to their established sound. A really cool band that totally deserves to continue pickin' up steam.
I don't think I've written about Virginia (post-)metalcore act Pulses. before, though they've been halfway on my radar for a while now. Their third full-length hit the streets yesterday, further expanding on their creative approach to the genre. It's sort of a mix of what I used to call "crazy go nuts" metalcore, but with loads of melody and actual songwriting sanding down the abrasiveness; plus modern flourishes of electronics, vocal guest spots, etc. Pretty damn interesting, really. Technical musicianship and a huge array of influences floating in and out of the metalcore foundation—hip-hop, funk, Fall Out Boy-ish emo/pop, ska... and, against all odds, it doesn't sound like a disjointed mess at all!? Very cool.
Rennie from Starkweather shot out an email about Russian unit Shit Happiness the other day, calling it an "instrumental Unsane/Eisenvater cross." Anything that gets compared to Eisenvater = I'm listening. Upon pressing play, it took about three seconds for me to react with an emphatic, "Hell yes!" It says precisely nothing positive about the world that this band has been active since fucking 2009 and I just heard them for the first time in late-2023, but at least I'm doing my small part to spread the word and right this wrong. In addition to the Unsane/Eisenvater reference, I'd certainly toss some Meantime era Helmet into the mix, though the hammering production and propulsive delivery of this EP certainly take that to another level of headcrush. Fucking great. I swear, if I don't get at least one comment from someone whose head exploded upon listening to this, I'm deleting the website on Monday.
The peculiarly-titled Soft Deep House and Leisurely Lounge is digital-only, so sprint over to Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, or anywhere else that you can locate this beefy slab of anvil-to-skull greatness.
Solo-ish outing Starsixseven has ties to a couple of bands that I've raved about in the past, but I don't believe said ties are being "advertised," so I won't list 'em out just in case. That being said, if you happen to have enjoyed either of these other bands, you'll figure it out. Initial teasers seemed to indicate that this might be an acoustic project, so I was taken aback and pleasantly surprised by the full-band result of this debut single, which stylistically kind of falls right in between the artist's primary outlets of the past several years. Dark and dreary, with a very subtle "heaviness" to it, memorable vocal hooks... you can't really pin it into any particular genre other than to just call it "alternative" or whatever. Needless to say, I'm eager to hear more...