Author Archive

July 23, 2013

Symbiotic Bliss: Deafheaven and Marriages Live

deafheaven tourSargent House continues to make me feel as if there’s hope out there. I had the joy of seeing one of my favorite drummers, Chris Common, play with the band Marriages for this tour. Then you add the amazing talent of Kerry and George from Deafheaven, who headlined the tour, and a beautiful, symbiotic relationship in the most simplest terms is translated onstage. The lineup took me in places where music should: Outside of your comfort level. How these two got paired together is an enigma of the greatest sorts; truly genuine music from extremely talented people.

I’ll open with Marriages. The two main band members, Emma and Greg, who gained popularity in Red Sparowes, continued on and have recorded their debut album, Kitsune. Greg and Emma are two people who just, simply put, play extremely well together. Emma’s hauntingly beautiful voice and even equally beautiful guitar playing have such an emotional quality, you feel every note. Greg’s synth tracks add little flourishes to his solid bass playing that propels every song. This is my second time seeing them live and the first time Dave Turncratz from Russian Circles supported them on drums. As I mentioned, Chris Common went out with them on this tour and held everything together perfectly.

Now for the headliners, who went on tour supporting their second release, Sunbather, out on Deathwish. Deafheaven has evolved in ways everyone thought unimaginable. A new era to the classic thoughts on black metal, Deafheaven draws inspiration from U2 and Morrissey among many other bands not in the genre. That is what sets them apart. They weave a complex web of soft and fast passages. The journey taken is fought and won with every song. The song “The Pecan Tree” is most likely their finest song, opening with pure energy and moving you in so many directions. The title track proves how this band has progressed musically and emotionally as a band.

July 9, 2013

Gaytheist: ‘Hold Me…But Not So Tight’

Hold MeGaytheist‘s second full-length album with Good To Die Records, Hold Me…But Not So Tight, was just released this spring and, in short time, delivered to me on beautiful 160 gram white/pink haze vinyl. I was turned onto Gaytheist with their 2012 album Stealth Beats. Their frantic punk riffs — compliments of Tim Hoff, Nick Parks — Jason Rivera’s vocals, and lyrics entangled me into the days of my youth as an avid punk kid.

I frantically rushed inside and put the record on my turntable. I had been holding out, not listening to any songs on the Internet, not spoiling the moment. I contemplated my beverage choice in my kitchen as the first track, “Starring In ‘The Idiot’,” started and ended faster than I could grab a drink. Now that’s punk rock. Rolling right into the next few tracks, I sat down with my beer, closed my eyes, and rythmically bopped my head around. “60 Easy Payments” downshifted the gears and instead of fast-paced trash, they get heavy, but with a lyrical humor that you makes ya chuckle a bit, ’cause most adults have been there.

This is Gaytheist, a perfect blend of punk and what have you. Getting into the album a bit more, there’s pop, punk and some delicious licks that make you feel accepted into whatever party is happening. You are the “it” crowd.

February 13, 2012

Seattle’s Own Heavy Hitters: Serial Hawk

I’ve been skating by lately, doing the bare minimum, a post here, a post there. I have essentially been avoiding the inevitable. I have been fighting myself to come home after a 13 hour day at my “job” and write this article. Not because I don’t feel motivated by the music, not because I have no passion for it. Yet I cannot procrastinate any longer. I need to share with you, Serial Hawk. Hot damn, my fingers are tingling, my mind is racing and I feel a bit funny in my stomach. What was I waiting for?

Serial Hawk is a Seattle three-piece, loud as fuck, stoner metal band, with Will on guitar, Adam on bass and Justin on drums — a simple formula creates exponential results in an expedition up a mountainous terrain of big stacks, amps clipping, tubes and transistors overheating, big riffs and punishing volumes!

Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of seeing these guys live, but what I hear digitally is what keeps me interested and satisfied. I got a hold of Will awhile ago, after my HWOIG interview and wanted an interview with another great Seattle band that I had liked for awhile now. Will agreed and I treated it like a one night stand … all the satisfaction of scoring but never calling back.

Shame on me. So I’m back and here to score again with another great Seattle band and see what makes them tick.

Who and what is Serial Hawk?

Will: We’re a band from Seattle that plays loud. I’m Will (guitar/vocals), over there is Adam (bass) and in the kitchen is Justin (drums). As a band we’ve always been a pretty straight-forward group of dudes that loves to play heavy music inspired by countless bands from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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February 6, 2012

Living Hard in ‘Pus City’: Monogamy Party Vinyl Review

Ok, this is a few months late as far as the release dates go, but “better late than never,” someone once told me. I also tagged this as a “Best of 2011″ because dammit it is! I received my 10” Monogamy Party Pus City LP just a while ago from Good To Die Records and I’ve been spinning it for as long as I’ve had it. In reality it hasn’t even made it onto the shelf yet.  So let’s get this party started.

Monogamy Party is a three-piece, no holds barred, punk-induced nightmare, landing smack dab in your face. Unlike your conventional three-piece, what this band doesn’t have is a guitarist, and it makes perfect sense. Yos-Wa holds his own on bass duties and vocals, as lead singer Kennedy, belts out fantastic lyrics. Their drummer Keith holds down the fort with solid, yet fast, rhythms. Listening to the album, you don’t even miss the guitar. As partial as I am to bass players, being one myself, I give mad props to Yos-Wa and his heavy, distorted rhythmic playing and his Rickenbacker’s clean mid-range thump. His blend of clean and effected passages really give a 2-dimensional quality to the overall sound of the album. Who needs those extra six strings getting in the way of perfection?

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January 26, 2012

Indian Handcrafts Came to Melt Some Faces

Sargent House just picked up Toronto’s own Indian Handcrafts. I wont lie, I just heard of these guys. I will be honest with you, I was listening to their Bandcamp page for 2 hours before I even started writing this. I easily shelled out the 5 bucks for the digital download. I listened to it on my way to work the next day and even at my desk. I was swept back into my teenage years listening to a dirty, fuzzed-out guitar, strained yet satisfying vocals and solid, hard-hitting drumming. Think subtle hints of the Black Keys, MGMT, Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. twisted into an album with an aggressively modern take wrapped up in a two-man package.

January 10, 2012

Boyfrndz: I Saw Them Live, You Can Hear Them Here!

I like genre bending bands, so naturally when I entered the doors to Red7 in Austin for New Year’s Eve I was not only excited to see my favorite band Russian Circles play, I was excited to see the opening band, too. I had heard very little of the them prior to the show, but what I did hear I wanted more.

Boyfrndz is a high-energy band with not-too-subtle attributes in different genres and styles. How unfair of me right? This is just one of those bands you don’t want to label with technical mumbo-jumbo. One moment you’re caught in the hook with eerie vocals, bobbing your head, and the next a complicated guitar riff slams and faster-than-light drums hit you in the back of the head. If music is a journey, Boyfrndz is weaving in and out the back roads on a schizophrenic highway. The drums and guitar complement each other well, weaving in and out from one another with a chaotic sense of push and pull, while the bass stands heavy and anchors it all together, keeping a solid yet technical foundation under your feet.

The bands consists of Aaron Perez on drums, Scott Martin on vocals/guitar and Joseph Raines on bass. Their self-titled album is available here for free download or you can order a pretty cool recycled original art CD for $8.

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