Birds in Row – We Already Lost the World (Review)

Birds in RowBirds in Row are a French post-hardcore band and this is their second album.

Birds in Row play a form of post-hardcore that blends abrasive hardcore and punk influences, with angular noise/post-rock and experimental elements to form music that’s highly textured and filled with strong emotions. Continue reading

Baptists – Beacon of Faith (Review)

BaptistsBaptists are a Canadian hardcore band and this is their third album.

I very much enjoyed 2014’s Bloodmines, so a new record form Baptists is well overdue.

The band’s trademark blend of violent hardcore, punk, and noise rock is intact and well, but on this latest release they have developed the latter part of their sound to a greater degree. This has resulted in a more involved and Continue reading

Brond – Graveyard Campfire (Review)

BrondBrond are a Bulgarian rock band and this is their debut album.

Brond’s music mixes riff-focused modern rock and post-hardcore/rock, with progressive, stoner, and noise/math rock tendencies. Wow. Now there’s a description. Delivering eight tracks across almost 44 minutes of music, Graveyard Campfire is a well-realised and enjoyable release, despite my mangling together of various subgenres in an attempt to loosely categorise it. Continue reading

Chronoboros – No Dirt or Silver Will Have Us Sated (Review)

ChronoborosThis is the debut album Greek post-hardcore/sludge band Chronoboros.

2015’s Dialing up the Clutter was an enjoyable, if brief, introduction to Chronoboros’ jagged, angular sound, and now they’re back with their first full length; 34 minutes of harsh noise and deliberate contrariness. Continue reading

Chronoboros – Dialing up the Cutter (Review)

ChronoborosChronoboros are from Greece and play Sludge-fuelled Hardcore. This is their début EP.

Chronoboros play a mix of Sludge/Hardcore that shares some features of Alternative Metal and Noise Rock in its sideways approach. It reminds me of the early-to-mid-90s style in some ways, albeit with a modern delivery and a distinct personality all of its own.

Combining elements of bands such as Fudge Tunnel, Association Area, Kowloon Walled City, No Anchor, Helmet, The Dillinger Escape Plan and a plethora of others, this is an interesting and enjoyable release that shows that a band can be inventive while still having the capacity to rock out hard.

The music is complex and involved. It has a lot of depth and layers to it meaning that although these songs are quite short they make a good impression. Heavy sections compete for space with less-conventional parts and there’s a lot of good ideas on this EP that are barely explored before the band hop off once again on another exploratory trip into their unusual world.

The vocals combine harsher screams with more unusual semi-spoken vocalisations. It works a treat and is thankfully the right side of quirky.

There’s a lot of talent and promise on this release. It’s only 15 minutes long, so what excuse do you have for not checking it out?

That’s what I thought.

Escape Is Not Freedom – The Truants (Review)

Escape Is Not FreedomEscape Is Not Freedom are from the US and play Alternative Metal. This is their début EP.

5 songs, 28 minutes.

I like this band. They’re playing a style that’s a bit harder to pigeon hole than most, and I haven’t really heard much too similar to this for a long time.

The band this reminds me the most of is Fudge Tunnel, only with slightly harsher vocals. If you know Fudge Tunnel at all, then it will give you a good idea of Escape Is Not Freedom’s sound. If not, then think slightly-muted and unusual Alternative Metal, done with a Noise Rock background and a raw, underground Grunge influence, before it became a big thing. Add in a few elements of Therapy? at their more Alt-Rock and a pinch of Helmet, and you have this EP.

The songs are a satisfying listen, taking me back to the 90s in many respects. If you’re looking for a few more modern references though, think a less-Sludge version of Kowloon Walled City mixed with a bit of Russian Circles.

The slightly-muted delivery is an interesting one as it is frequently presented by large riffs and energetic guitars, so how they manage to retain that subtlety and understated-edge that Fudge Tunnel did so well is beyond me. It’s partially down to the production, but also the feel of the songs themselves. It’s a very hard-to-achieve juxtaposition, but when done right, it works.

This won’t be to everyone’s tastes, (which is a silly thing to say in many ways, as you could literally say that about any band), but I have enjoyed it; not only due to the fact that it’s a little different, but also just due to the strength of the songs themselves.

If you’re looking for something a little outside of your normal comfort zone, try Escape Is Not Freedom on for size.