Review Rundown II

Aeges - Roaches EPArtist: ÆGES
Album: Roaches 7″ EP
Label: Hawthorne Street Records
Home Base: Los Angeles
Genre: Post Hardcore
FFO: No Knife, Helmet, Pelican, Tusk, Undertow, Shift
Available: Now

Founded by Mark Holcomb (Undertow, Shift) and Larry Herweg (Pelican, Tusk), ÆGES rounded off their line-up with additions of Kemble Walters (The Rise, The Blank Faces) and bassist Tony Baumeister, before putting together this 7″ EP we have before us. The music is dense and melodic, and immediately brings to mind echos of early No Knife and Helmet. With only two songs, you barely have time to wet your lips, but the aromas emitting from this 2-song cup of soup are indeed enough to work up an appetite for more. The opening track, “Roaches” is definitely slanted toward the rock side of the indie spectrum, driving forward like an old-school Quicksand song that has beefed up with the modern elements and song textures that fans come to expect from a group of such well-versed musicians. The true gem is the second and closing track, “Dirt.” Hitting all the right spots, this track has a verse that could fit on Helmet‘s In the Meantime, with a chorus that is both catchy and haunting, which brings to mind one of my all-time favorite indie releases, Fire In The City of Automations by No Knife. Now, I know I have gone comparison-tastic, as I tend to do, but it should be noted that the music does have an air of originality that is undeniable. Thick guitar and bass distortions create a dense framework of melodic structures that leave new layers to be discovered with each listen. And with only two songs, this is the only way to travel. Fingers-crossed ÆGES continues to move in this direction.


Heartless - Hell Is Other PeopleArtist: Heartless
Album: Hell Is Other People
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
Home Base: Pittsburgh, PA
Genre: Hardcore, Death N’ Roll
FFO: Nails, Cursed,
Available: Nov 8, 2011

When I hear a new band has the name “Heartless,” and forthcoming album entitled “Hell is Other People,” these are the kinds sounds I want to hear – brutal. This ain’t your Hot Topic nu-metal, kids. Heartless‘ first LP on Southern Lord Recordings is dark, driving hardcore that has definitely taken a page from Nails and Cursed with the energy of a new band hungry to get ahead of the pack. The raw guitar and drum tones are some of the most compelling elements throughout this 13-song slaying of all things sonically weak. While this LP shows incredible promise and has more than enough umph to perk the ears of Trap Them, Nails, and Cursed fans alike, if I were to nitpick, which I will, I look forward to these guys exploring their instruments and approach more thoroughly in the future. Heartless has the raw/brutal thang down – little bit of crust influence, some grind, dash of powerviolence, and a lot of dark, moody hardcore, but let’s face it, so do Nails, Trap Them, Cursed, and scores of other mainstays in the genre. I’d like to see the band develop a little more of a unique voice to separate them from the rest of the genre, because with Hell Is Other People, they display that they can hang with the big boys. Now it’s time to up the ante. I expect good things to come from Heartless in the future and fans of the new Death N’ Roll wave should find plenty to cling to here.

Heartless – Resuscitate / Suffocate Heartless – Resuscitate / Suffocate

So Hideous, My Love -  To Clasp a Fallen Wish with Broken FingersArtist: So Hideous, My Love
Album: To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers EP
Label: Play The Assassin
Home Base: NYC
Genre: Other / Black Metal / Classical / Rock / Screamo
FFO: Deafheaven, Envy, Wolves In The Throne Room
Available: Now

Looking to have your musical senses tested? Look no further than So Hideous, My Love‘s new EP, To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers on Play The Assassin Records. Many bands who try to combine far-reaching genres like classical, black metal, and post-rock end up sounding like they took their instruments, chucked them down a 10-story staircase and chased the crash with a tape recorder – painful. Every once in a blue moon along comes a band like So Hideous, My Love, that has the song writing ability to take these genres and combine them into cohesive progressions and songs. To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers is immediately engaging and has a definite sense of urgency. This E.P. certainly brings to mind the timeliness of the past Deafheaven releases, but with a unique stamp all their own. The black metal flows seamlessly along the string instruments who carry timeless melodies. Amidst that fury is intense screaming and vocal attacks that speak through layers of darkness and emotion.
This is an EP you must experience, as words will never do it any kind of justice. It’s not the record I would take on an abandoned island, as some elements are just not tangible enough for my tastes, but I enjoy a good sonic challenge and this EP surely will leave you with something to think about.

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