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Wire – Document & Eyewitness – 1979 – 1980

August 20th, 2014
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Retracting the Thrown Bottle

For many punk bands, a live performance will add an entire new level to their show experience, and with art punk pioneers Wire, they saw their time on the stage as an opportunity to push the boundaries of what they had created in the studio. Following their successful 1979 release 154, and the end of their association with record label EMI, the British punks were sick and tired of playing the same songs over and over and decided to shake things up whether the audience wanted it or not. Thus was born Document & Eyewitness, which was first released in 1981. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

United Nations – The Next Four Years

July 22nd, 2014
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The Heaviest Four Years

Super groups are becoming more and more commonplace in heavy music, but one of the most creative, and likely one of the most consistently long-running groups, has to be screamo (and sometimes humor) band United Nations. Their newest release The Next Four Years, a conceptual extension of the Black Flag compilation album The First Four Years, is one to remember, and will hopefully be the start of much more from them. The identities of most of the members of United Nations have been generally kept quiet and rotated rather often, with the only consistent (and not contractually obligated to remain anonymous) member being Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly, and for The Next For Years he is accompanied by members of post-hardcore group Pianos Become the Teeth. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

My Iron Lung – Relief

July 15th, 2014
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CommonSound

Melodic hardcore has absolutely dominated the indie and alternative punk scenes the past few years, and California’s My Iron Lung has made sure they won’t get lost in the sea of similar post-hardcore bands with their newest release Relief. Taking their influence from melodic legends like mewithoutyou, there isn’t too much that separates My Iron Lung from many of the other bands taking their cues from the same places, but the angst and passion in Relief is tangible, making it well worth the listen. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown

July 6th, 2014
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Bang Your Reluctant Head

Since their formation over 15 years ago, Buffalo, New York’s Every Time I Die have time and time again solidified their position as one of metalcore’s most consistently crushing heavyweights. And they have come out swinging with their newest release, From Parts Unknown, a truly exhaustingly anguished onslaught of sound that any heavy music fan will be able to appreciate. Speaking from experience, this record will make even those most opposed to metalcore have to bang their heads, and with a good southern groove behind many of the tracks, Every Time I Die is taking advantage of all of the best parts of modern metal. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Cerebral Ballzy – Jaded & Faded

June 20th, 2014
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The Dream of the ’80s is Alive in Brooklyn

The post punk trend that’s been on the rise lately has caused many bands to diverge from the snottier, messier punk style of the ’80s, but New York’s Cerebral Ballzy is not about to let that happen on their watch. With fast, thrashy drums, fuzzy guitar and uninhibited shouting for vocals, Cerebral Ballzy’s newest release, Jaded & Faded, which follows their self-titled debut in 2011, is the perfect record for street punks who are sick and tired of all the moping going on in punk these days. Other than the deviation from the darker sounds of today’s punk bands, Jaded & Faded doesn’t have too much in it worth writing home about, but these guys do know how to have fun. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

Wolves at the Gate – VxV

June 17th, 2014
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The Return to Christian Metal

Ohio’s Christian post-hardcore group Wolves at the Gate has released its second studio release, following 2012’s Captors. The title of this new album, VxV, pronounced “five by five,” refers to a military rating on signal strength and clarity — with a five by five rating being the best, and vocalist Steve Cobucci explains in an interview with Reel Gospel that he feels that such a title reflects the gospel they are trying to give. The trend of hardcore- and metal-influenced Christian bands mostly had its peak during the early ’00s, but Wolves at the Gate seems determined to bring about a revival. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen, but if their passionate screaming and the occasional catchy riff has anything to say about it, the hard rocking Christians will have their resurrection. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

Fucked Up – Glass Boys

June 8th, 2014
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Still the Year of Fucked Up

Canadian post-hardcore band Fucked Up has already had a busy year, putting out the most recent installment of the Zodiac Singles Series, Year of the Dragon in April, and now they’ve followed it up with an equally impressive full length, Glass Boys. Following 2012’s end-of-the-year-list topping rock opera David Comes to Life, Fucked Up had their own gigantic shoes to fill and they have more than lived up to the task. Vocalist Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham’s agonized screaming matched with surprisingly beautiful instrumentals, Fucked Up isn’t necessarily the easiest sell to listeners not already well prepared for their take on punk, but for those who are ready- Glass Boys is sure to please. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

7SECONDS – Leave a Light On

June 4th, 2014
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30 Years and Still Going Right

7SECONDS, since their formation in 1980, has made a name as one of the most influential hardcore bands of all time. Since being signed to Rise Records last year, Kevin Seconds and crew have put out Leave A Light On, their first record since 2005’s Take It Back, Take It On, Take it Over!. While there is no question that this album came from the punk legends who brought us the classic The Crew 30 years ago, they have adapted their sound to match today’s pop punk trend. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

Being as an Ocean – How We Both Wondrously Perish

May 14th, 2014
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A Wondrous Rip-Off

Another broad sweeping generalization: if you take your band name from a Gandhi quote, you’re bound to sound about as pretentious and empty as that choice, and all the proof you’ll need is in the band Being as an Ocean. The California-based melodic hardcore band has released their sophomore full-length record How We Both Wondrously Perish, following a few lineup changes, and it’s a dark spot in an otherwise landmark year for melodic- and post-hardcore outfits. While the novelty of a band that sounds like mewithoutyou fronted by Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco may be intriguing, in its execution it is nothing worth writing home about. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews

Survival Knife – Loose Power

May 7th, 2014
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The Rise of Post Punk

Bands taking on post-punk and post-hardcore are continuously proving themselves to be some of the most innovative musicians on the scene today, and with their newest release Loose Power, Survival Knife is setting themselves up to be a part of this takeover. A staple in “post-” music, both punk and hardcore, is the use of more aggressive, heavy styles contrasted with softer, kinder parts in each song, and this is a dichotomy that Survival Knife blends in an effortless, engaging way. While Loose Power may not entirely stick out alongside the number of mewithoutyou-inspired records being produced these days, it is still worth a listen or two. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews