Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ASG Kickoff US Tour w/ Fu Manchu!

Kickoff US Tour w/ Fu Manchu, Tonight at San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival!

ASG combine a number of ’90s alt-metal influences with their own songwriting style to create an album with Win Us Over (Volcom) that stands out from today’s chug-dominated metal scene. Tool-style riffing lays the foundation for a more straight-up, driving rock attack that rarely relents throughout the entirety of the disc. Win Us Over ends up being like a trip through ’90s alt-metal history with a dose of modern Sabbath-revival stonerism thrown in for good measure. Definitely check this record out if you like your metal big and juicy. -

ASG have stumbled upon a goosebump-raising formula that combines the sludgiest swamps and sunniest sunshine. - Revolver Magazine

A desperate-sounding mix of Queens of the Stone Age-like riffs balanced with catchy choruses.” - The Village Voice

Win Us Over recaptures the lost art of rocking out. There’s no air of hipster about this like a lot of their peers, just pure rock fury - Outburn Magazine

So far in the 21st century there haven’t been too many bands with an album cover that sums up their sound, but then again, most, or, none of them, are ASG (short for Amplification of Self Gratification). The Wrightsville Beach, N.C. quartet’s newest album, Win Us Over, is a vivid, psychedelic, and panoramic thrust that is just as much for the ears as it is for the aura; an experience in a colorful and dense cloth of abrasiveness. Big beefy guitar riffs and melodic foreboding are soaked in Southern roadhouse whiskey, that just might be laced with psilocybin, and are hazed out through a kaleidoscopic squall that packs a walloping sonic punch.

While the ingredients of stoner rock, psychedelic metal, and angst-ridden punk rock are transparent, ASG doesn’t fit under any particular category. Be you a fan of plain ol’ rock and roll and don sleeveless flannels while sucking down 22 ouncers and gettin’ rowdy – or enjoy waxin’ deep on the bong, Win Us Over lives up to it’s namesake and ensures that come January 22nd 2008, ASG won’t be knocking on any doors; they’ll be knocking them down.


Formed in the North Carolina coastline community of Wrightsville Beach in 2001, the riff-fueled, distortion-driven rock of ASG that can be found on their latest effort has actually been at the band's core since its inception.

Initially forming as a three-piece instrumental project, due to the lack of a dedicated vocalist, ASG were intensely focusing on devising tight, driving guitar riffs, locking guitarist Jason Shi in with the rhythm section of bassist Andy Ellis and drummer Scott Key. But as time passed and no vocalist was found, Shi was eventually forced to step up to the mic. With Shi becoming more comfortable as a frontman, the group found themselves connecting with Volcom Entertainment, who signed the band and put them in the studio in 2003, to record their debut album, The Amplification of Self Gratification.

In 2005 ASG found themselves in a proper studio with proper producers, Matt Hyde and Phil Caivano, recording their sophomore album, Feeling Good Is Good Enough, an album that summoned all the band’s potential and spawned a thunderous hard rock creation that equaled what the band had been working towards for the past 3 years.

Shortly after completing Feeling Good Is Good Enough, second guitarist, Jonah Citty, was added to help recreate the album’s sounds live, which was none too soon as the band quickly found themselves on the road with the likes of The Sword, Torche, Dwarves, and CKY.

In June 2007 ASG returned to Los Angeles to record their fourth album, entitled Win Us Over, with Matt Hyde, which was physically released (CD & 2XLP) on January 22, 2008.

"Win Us Over" Tracklist:
01 Right Death Before
02 Dream Song

03 Low End Insight

04 Glow
05 Coffee Depression Sunshine
06 The Dull Blade
07 Ballad Of Richard K
08 Taking Me Over
09 A Number To Murder To
10 Gallop Song
11 Palm Springs (features guest vocals by Blag Dahlia)
12 Win Us Over
13 Bombs Away

ASG Live!

(click above to witness the shredding)

w/ Fu Manchu and Saviours!
February 27, 2008 San Francisco, CA SLIM'S (NOISE POP)
February 29, 2008 Portland, OR HAWTHORNE THEATRE
March 01, 2008 Seattle, WA EL CORAZON
March 02, 2008 Spokane, WA THE BOULEVARD
March 04, 2008 Boise, ID THE BOUQUET
March 06, 2008 Aspen, CO THE BELLY UP
March 07, 2008 Fort Collins, CO THE AGGIE THEATRE
March 08, 2008 Denver, CO THE LARIMER LOUNGE

w/ Fu Manchu and Burning Brides!
March 11, 2008 Milwaukee, WI VNUK'S
March 12, 2008 Chicago, IL DOUBLE DOOR
March 13, 2008 Detroit, MI THE MAGIC STICK
March 14, 2008 Cleveland, OH PEABODY'S
March 15, 2008 Columbus, OH RAVARI ROOM
March 16, 2008 Toledo, OH FRANKIE’S
March 17, 2008 Pittsburgh, PA THE SMILING MOOSE
March 18, 2008 New York, NY BOWERY BALLROOM
March 19, 2008 Philadelphia, PA KHYBER
March 20, 2008 Boston, MA MIDDLE EAST CLUB
March 21, 2008 Virginia Beach, VA STEPPING OUT
March 22, 2008 Wilmington, NC THE SOAPBOX LAUNDROLOUNGE
March 23, 2008 Raleigh, North Caroline VOLUME 11

For more information, visit:

David Karsten Daniels Announces "Fear of Flying!"

David Karsten Daniels
Announces New Album, Fear of Flying, out April 29th on Fat Cat Records!

David Karsten Daniels is not just another Southern-bred singer/songwriter strumming in the farmhouse. Though he masters folk standards with buttery vocals over delicate acoustic tones, Daniels' ensemble of back-up instruments renders his sound entrancingly lush. -

David Karsten Daniels sings lullabies of a different kind; his dry voice blends Will Oldham's throaty twang with Devendra Banhart's nearly spoken drawl. Daniels's quiet, repetitive delivery on his CD "Sharp Teeth" makes "Jesus and the Devil" sound like a familiar campfire singalong, but the cynicism of his lyrics ("I saw Jesus and the Devil; they looked just the same") gives a darker edge to his indie-folk sound. - The Washington Post

North Carolina-born songwriter David Karsten Daniels deals comfortably in paradox - whether negotiating between “Jesus and the Devil” on last year’s FatCat debut, Sharp Teeth, or finding the magnificent balance between his meticulous arrangements and newly raw guitar and drum textures of his latest
effort, Fear Of Flying.

While more consistent than his previous work, Fear Of Flying goes much further into uncomfortable lyrical territory, exploring the heady questions that arise when death and love meet. Daniels also expands his sonic pallette with new instrumentation and influences. As he explains, “[it’s] both more of a pop record and more of a noise record. I set out to make a classic rock album, and I'm not sure where I ended up, but I don't think it's in the 70s.”

As with all Daniels’ recordings to date, Fear of Flying was self-recorded at home, aided and augmented by an array of like-minded, mutually supportive musicians from the Chapel Hill based Bu Hanan Collective, which he co-founded with Alex Lazara, Daniel Hart and Perry Wright.

Daniels will be appearing at SXSW, as well as performing throughout April during weekly residences in Portland and his new hometown of Seattle; a full national tour is scheduled for May.

* Note: This album will be serviced as a digital promo

Fear of Flying Tracklist
1. Wheelchairs
2. That Knot Unties?
3. Martha Ann
4. Falling Down
5. A Myoclonic Jerk
6. A New Garment
7. Every Time A Baby Is Born
8. The Caretaker
9. Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real
10. In My Child Mind You Were A Lion
11. Evensong

US Tourdates Coming Soon!

Daytrotter speaks to David Karsten Daniels!

Watch David Karsten Daniels Live in Jackson, Mississippi!

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alarm Reviews Dälek and Russian Circles in Chicago!

huge thanks to the ENTIRE Alarm staff. You rule:

Dälek and Russian Circles Live in Chicago
Reviews: Concerts | February 26, 2008

The pairing of heavy rock instrumentalists Russian Circles and experimental hip-hop duo Dälek might seem to be a mismatched live bill for genre purists. However, since both groups are known for their intense live shows and for pushing the boundaries of their respective genres, it is more of a meeting of musical kindred spirits. Last Tuesday was the kick-off of a touring cycle that brings the two groups together on tour (along with energetic noise-rockers Young Widows) for series of shows until March 2.

Chicago’s Russian Circles (recently signed to new Seattle label Suicide Squeeze) have been lauded by critics and fans for matching muscular riffs with soaring melodies – and for achieving an almost note-perfect replication of their sound onstage. The lack of a vocalist potentially runs the risk of wearing thin in a live setting – especially in a genre where the frontman traditionally rules. But in Russian Circles’ case, being stripped from vocals and lyrics allows the band a powerful freedom - letting their music supply its own narrative. It was an unusual experience to see concert-goers focused so exclusively on the music itself as to respond to the swells in melody as if it was a singer’s anthem.

Dälek’s Abandoned Language
was on the top of many music critics “best of” lists last year, and reflects the duo’s move into an even darker and richer textured direction than ever before. But the collage of distortion that makes the album such a hypnotic listen wasn’t a seamless transition to their live performance, which was intense but lacking in the kind of passion that works up a crowd.

Truth be told, Dälek has never aspired to be party music: MC Dälek’s abstract lyricism paired with Oktopus’s blistering production is pretty tailor-made for basement brooding. And that’s understandable; it’s a challenge for any artist whose sound relies so heavily on ambience to transfer that energy into a performance setting. But while Dälek and Russian Circles both create undeniably distinctive soundscapes, the latter group has found a way to create an equally forceful live experience.

-Keidra Chaney

- Photo by Cindy Frey

Russian Circles:

Out Today! Pegasuses-XL * Power Pill Fist * Experimental Aircraft!

Today is a SUPER tripped out day of releases, by three bands who feature members of other awesome projects (see Bomb The Music Industry and Black Moth Super Rainbow), and whose sounds are completely original and off the wall. Read below to learn more, check out the wicked Graveface SXSW Showcase information, and take a listen to the madness for yourself!

(Featuring Members of Bomb The Music Industry!)
Announce Debut Album, The Antiphon, out Today on Ernest Jenning!

"Truly awesome" - Athens Flagpole

"I pre-ordered mine." -

"My mother often tells me about when my uncle purchased the first DEVO record and wouldn't take it off the record player for a month. Now I know how he felt.." - Woodgrain Fonts

Pegasuses XL just might be the band to make history, as the first collective of artists who's sound precisely taps the middle ground between music made for those who like to wax deep with intricately mellow headphone music, and jaunty tunes for moments when all inhibitions are thrown to the wind (inducing a deep hankering to tear a hole in the floor).

Composed of jumpy hooks and caffeinated vocal flows, PXL takes the seriousness of 70's Krautrock ala Vangelis and Tangerine Dream and throws it into a smarmy albeit cinematic punk hodgepodge that'll get the rocks off for fans of Har Mar Superstar and Ghostland Obervatory. Even if you're not a seasoned listener of the above mentioned bands, PXL's aura, which oozes like a deluge of molten glitter, hits the mind, body, and ears with its rapid firing blasts of clunky trip hop and bastardized art rock with a frugal kitchen sink approach.

More about Pegasuses-XL (BY Pegasuses-XL):

Ok people, we have a band. What is the point of a band, really? Our band,
Pegasuses-XL, is Mark and Joel, and Jeff and Jeff, who played in a bunch of other bands and decided to make a band based on their mutual admiration of "bikes, coffee, and books." Most of our band practices happen at a coffee shop where we sit and talk about what we could do conceptually, rather than
going home and actually practicing it. We play a lot of Scrabble, read a lot of books about dystopia, World War II, and politics circa 1968. We've spent a good amount of time contemplating our place in the Universe, and to be fair, some of that is due to drugs.

The band has typically been a bunch of synths and a drummer. Lately we've gotten a little bored with the synths only thing, mostly because we all have been living in Athens for a few years now, where everything musical and artistic sort of blurs together. Mark Dale of "Disband" , Jeff Tobias of "We Versus the Shark" and "Dark Meat," Joel Hatstat of "Cinemechanica" and Jeff Rosenstock of "the Arrogant Sons of Bitches" and "Bomb the Music Industry!" have come together as "Pegasuses-XL" and made a new record, entitled "the Antiphon," where we made whatever music with whatever instruments we felt were appropriate, which is pretty much what you get when you mix those bands together anyway. It's still mostly keyboards. It follows 3 EP's, and is our first full length, and we are very pumped about it.

Really, we're friends who want the same thing from life, to understand "what
we are doing, and why?" The Antiphon is our response to ourselves,
questioning ourselves. The music is everything we've ever done in our lives crumpled up into 38 minutes, and documented on disc with the hopes that our dynamic elements and our personalities will perhaps carry on in the work of others.

For fans of....

Vangelis? Brainiac, D-Plan????

Tracklisting for The Antiphon
1. Drugs For Change
2. Gold Power
3. Special Times with Sandwiches in Lumicolourland
4. Marathon Mansion
5. Serious Feelings
6. Atmospheric Skull
7. Walking Life
8. Pegasuses, Enjoying Some Mid Afternoon Target Practice
9. I Have No Idea, None.
10. Intermurals
11. The Big Haunt
12. Antiphon.

Pegasuses-XL Live!
Feb 27 2008 The White Swan Houston, Texas
Feb 28 2008 Emo’s Austin, Texas
Feb 29 2008 1919 Hemphill w/O Pioneers Fort Worth, Texas
Mar 1 2008 The Exchange w/ Calabi Yau Hot Springs, Arkansas
Mar 2 2008 Harlequin Alley Shreveport, Louisiana
Mar 3 2008 Make it So!!!! Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 4 2008 40 Watt Antiphon Release! Athens, Georgia

For more information, visit

Graveface Records Announces New Albums from Power Pill Fist and Experimental Aircraft out Today * SXSW Showcase * Black Moth Super Rainbow US Tour!

Power Pill Fist

When Ken Fec isn’t collaborating with his other outfit Black Moth Super Rainbow where he’s helping to create some of the glossiest and narcotic induced drizzling sunshine pop kookiness, he’s serving as the brainchild of Power Pill Fist, an entity at the helm of some chunky ass, psychotropic, skewed bliss.

Rest assured Fec isn’t just some fly-by-night knob twiddler but instead a visionary with a true penchant for manipulating the Atari 2600 tossed into the mix with a mind-boggling night where Ennio Morricone, Kraftwerk, and Black Dice paint the town red. Still going strong as the resident DJ for Graveface Records where he puts on sets sans spinning the records between the live sets of the artists from the labels roster, Fec’s second release, Kongmanivong, under the Power Pill Fist moniker perches him atop the summit of modern day experimental music.

Kongmanivong is a hearty collage of hazy dub resonance and sticky funk with the abrasiveness of early industrial paladins such as Nitzer Ebb and Frontline Assembly. Even though the most seasoned of noise rock fans will dig it, Kongmanivong keeps the squalls of fuzz abundant but simmers them down into a disturbing procession of skronky techno and globs upon globs of post-modern meets neo-Krautrock all underlined with a seedy pop underbelly that is enigmatically and simultaneously jarring and soothing. Never have the terms “bi-polar” “haywire” and “ambient” been able to be tossed around freely in a single summation of music as they are when mentioning Kongmanivong.

Stream Kongmanivong here!

"Kongmanivong" Tracklist
YFF, Lou Pappans
Fisticus 2:36
Man Ribbon
Honey, Stroke My Neck Beard
Chuckanut Drive
Contours Gaining Shape
Bland Hand Stand
Rychlo Never
The Meat Tree
Power Out

Power Pill Fist Live!
March 15th - SXSW Graveface Records Showcase Austin, TX

Black Moth Super Rainbow US Tour!
Mar 12 2008 Opolis Norman, Oklahoma
Mar 15 2008 SXSW Vice Party @ Stubbs Austin, Texas
Mar 15 2008 SXSW Graveface Showcase @ Thirsty Nickel Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2008 Knitting Factory Hollywood, California
Mar 19 2008 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
Mar 21 2008 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon
Mar 22 2008 Neumo’s Seattle, Washington
Mar 25 2008 Oriental Theater Denver, Colorado
Mar 27 2008 The Entry Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 28 2008 Der Rathskeller (U of M) Madison, Wisconsin
Mar 29 2008 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Apr 25 2008 Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Troy, New York

Graveface will also be releasing 1,000 copies of the album "Dandelion" due out on March 11th on 2xLP Pink Scratch N'Sniff Vinyl! First 500 copies will be hand-numbered!

For more information, visit:

Experimental Aircraft
Third Transmission

Experimental Aircraft could be 2008’s version of The Pixies if they were slowed down to a crawling halt and layered in atmospheric dust. Or, at times, they sound like a more pummeling version of The Cure (how can this be?). If the band’s upcoming album “Third Transmission” were released in 1991, there is no question it would be among the most popular releases of its time. A forward thinking album for shoegaze fans everywhere, “Third Transmission” brings us back to some of the greatest bands making music in the nineties ie The Jesus and Mary Chain, All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavors, Antarctica, or Stereolab (which is to say, “Third Transmission” could have legendary status). Although their sound reminds us of an era since gone by, there is no question that their music is still more than relevant today (what’s that? My Bloody Valentine has reunited? Yes!).

Hailing from Austin, TX, Experimental Aircraft are among the latest signings to the Graveface Records imprint, that fine Chicago-based label who recently brought you new hits from Black Moth Super Rainbow, Appleseed Cast, The Octopus Project, and more, so you know this is legit, and if you really know this label, odds are you know it’s probably going to blow your mind. Already being heralded by URB’s Next 100, Experimental Aircraft can be described with words such as “lush,” “ethereal,” “soothing” and “beautiful,” thanks to front-woman / guitarist Rachel Staggs’ gorgeous, breathy-yet-apocalyptic vocals and heavily distorted instrument. When TJ O’Leary takes over front-man duties, his sound is desperate and tortured, recalling Robert Smith’s shout-cry that made his band so timeless and important. O’Leary’s duties also lie in distorted guitar which adds to the heavily layered sound currently blowing out your speakers.

Innovative and impressive, Experimental Aircraft prove they can stand the test of time and reign supreme in a genre that desperately needed a new face to the name.

Stream Third Transmission here!

"Third Transmission" Tracklist
Upper East Side
Kali Yuga
With a Gun
Sit Still
It Won't be Long
Paintings in the Attic
Start all Over Again
So Simple
LoFi vs the Sea
Walk Away
Agent 23
Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace

Experimental Aircraft Live!
March 15th - SXSW Graveface Records Showcase Austin, TX

US Tour in April!

For more information, visit:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

NPR, Spin, and CMJ Show Love to Eyeball Records!

huge thanks to everyone @ the publications who showed love to various Eyeball Records artists today. Click each link to be taken to the stories:

Sleep Station featured on NPR's Second Stage!

Tiger Lou is's Band of The Day!

CMJ talks to the Eyeball staff about Eyeball Awareness Volume 2!

Eyeball Records Announces Eyeball Awareness Volume 2 + US Tour!

Eyeball Records
Announces Eyeball Awareness Volume 2: A Benefit for Invisible Children + US Tour featuring Kiss Kiss, Baumer, and Tiger Lou!

"A movement like Invisible Children is long overdue. It's easy to get amped about the rights of people capable of expressing their grief and anguish, but children who have no comparison to reference and whose lives have been exploited since birth, have no idea that their lives can experience peace and hope. They may not even know what these words mean. A concerned media is the only way to broadcast the voices of those who cannot articulate their own suffering. War has always greatly affected the children of the world, but nothing short of shameful cowardice would allow those children to be manning the battlefields themselves. It's hard to imagine that high profile media marketing is saving lives- but the numbers don't lie, and the least we can do is be as strong a part of it as we can." - Baumer

In an attempt to raise awareness of real-life issues facing the global community within the smaller close knit music community, Eyeball Records has embarked on a unique outreach campaign. Pairing some of the most ambitious and courageous charities with their recording artists, Eyeball Records is using its ability to reach core groups of socially conscientious youth to launch Eyeball Awareness.

Currently, the New Jersey based indie label has teamed up with Invisible Children, a non-profit organization working to bring children in Uganda out of a life of child soldiering and into a life of education. Invisible Children has been able to spread their message through the production and sale of a series of documentaries and short-length vignettes. The grassroots organization’s founding documentary has been seen by millions of individuals across the country and has started a humanitarian movement with over 400,000 Facebook supporters and 130,000 MySpace friends.

Thanks to the help of these committed supporters, Invisible Children is currently supporting 600 Ugandan children through educational scholarships and mentorships and is employing over 200 individuals in the region through their Bracelet Campaign.

Available for the first time on March 4th, the compilation will be supported by a US Tour to SXSW featuring Eyeball Recording Artists KISS KISS, TIGER LOU, BAUMER, and POMPEII (full dates coming soon), coalescing at this year's Eyeball Records SXSW Showcase, Saturday March 15th @ Spiro's in Austin, TX.

Eyeball Awareness Volume 2 Tracklist:
click to download!

01. Man Without Wax - "Kansas City Shuffle"
from the forthcoming album Anchor

02. Tiger Lou - "The Loyal"
from the forthcoming album The Loyal

03. E For Explosion - "I Explode"
from the forthcoming album Reinvent The Heartbeat

04. Baumer - "Make Way For The King"
from the forthcoming album Were It Not For You

05. Wolftron - "Sugar Skulls"
from the forthcoming album Flesh & Fears

06. Sleep Station - "Anna"
from The Pride Of Chester James

07. Jettie - "The Sky Over Santa Rosa"
from Kites For Charity

Enhanced Video:
The Number Twelve Looks Like You - "Grandfather"
from Mongrel

Eyeball Awareness Tourdates!
(featuring Kiss Kiss * Baumer * Tiger Lou)

March 4 - NYC @ Crash Mansion
March 5 - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
March 6 - Philadelphia, PA @ Circle of Hope
March 7 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ Soundgarden
March 9 - TBA North Carolina / South Carolina
March 10 - Athens, GA @ Tasty World
March 11 - Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
March 12 - Little Rock, AR TBA
March 13 - SXSW
March 14 - SXSW
March 15- SXSW - Eyeball Records Showcase @ Spiro's

For more information, visit: Reviews 5ive's "Hesperus!"

huge thanks to Matt Kiser and the entire staff!

(Hydra Head / Tortuga)
By Matt Kiser

Ominous. Foreboding. Post-apocalyptic. These are all words that aptly describe the sonic ruminations of Boston's 5ive. But, what they really mean is that the doomy, trance-inducing attack of this duo's furiously fuzzy psyche-out guitars and head-denting drum caterwaul are the sound of heavy, progressive metal getting thwacked... twice. Ben Carr's guitar tone is a dense, swirling cauldron of mysticism that never gets muddy or bogged down. The long, flanging drones contend with the punchy melodies, guitar canoodling and curious experimental freak-outs that are physically demanding, mentally daunting and something akin to being trounced before promptly being eviscerated. Carr's sonic assault is reminiscent of the tone Lemmy was trying to create on bass in Motorhead, but jammed into low gear. All the while drummer Charlie Harrold's reassures us of the adventure with his galloping fantasy accompaniment that provides the backbone for the twosome's instrumental terror.

With several releases already under their belt, 5ive offer an amalgamation on Hesperus that's a thrilling ride into a more adventurous side of prog-metal. Nearly half the 44-minute record is just two songs ("News I" and "News II") and what precedes them is a blueprint for the rutting and often cantankerous foundation of 5ive. Thank god there aren't any vocals to ruin the awesomeness.

Tracklist For Hesperus:

01. Gulls
02. Big Sea
03. Kettle Cove
04. Heel
05. Polar 78
06. News I
07. News II

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 Praises Paint It Black's "New Lexicon!"

We love you Punknews. You are so good.

Paint It Black
"New Lexicon"
(Jade Tree)
by Brian

God bless Dan Yemin. The only real criticism that could be leveled against one of the most important and influential figures in modern hardcore is that his career hasn't been as diverse and groundbreaking as his most direct predecessor -- Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools, roughly 14 billion other projects). However, Yemin took a distinct guitar tone and style from Schreifels on Start Today, perfected and popularized it, and the punk rock copycats consequently came in droves.

And now, with the third full-length from Yemin's most aggressive unit yet, Paint It Black, he's actually attempting a mild reinvention of his own. The aforementioned guitar tone laid a rather strong foundation for some of Yemin's most impressive albums (Jersey's Best Dancers, both Kid Dynamite albums, Paradise). However, on New Lexicon Yemin's attempted a new foundation: not only a heavily bassy tone to his band's brand of classically styled hardcore, but a vibe that's even more unsettling with the tinge of industrial noise from co-producer Oktopus (of hip-hop duo Dälek). With a little assistance lent from a bass-boosting stereo, New Lexicon largely seems to achieve the former, and Oktopus's creepy atmosphere pinches tracks like "We Will Not," "Severance" and "White Kids Dying of Hunger," helping bring the latter to life. Granted, Lexicon doesn't always bear the throbbing low end Yemin's intended, but the album would probably be a bit overwhelming if it was always bellowing so much.

Clearly, Yemin's taste for underground hip-hop has affected his lyrics in a positive and striking way (he reviews such albums for a local Philadelphia zine). The influence is immediately stark, as it paints the initial lines of opener "The Ledge": "He says he wants to get better / but first he has to get a little sicker. / He holds his tongue like he holds his liquor. / Too young to call it quits. / Too old to settle for nostalgia, so he settles for this." His voice is as sincerely angry and outraged as he's been, too; you can practically feel the spit awkwardly hitting your face.

Musically, Paint It Black pull from both their albums for the usual half-hour rage. (Of course, it should be noted that the album does actually reach a half-hour this time around, but that's likely helped by Oktopus's interludes.) The raw fury of CVA is commonplace, but so is the shockingly melodic and upbeat twists and turns offered in "Past Tense, Future Perfect," or the absolutely raging and dynamic "White Kids Dying of Hunger." In "Past Tense," you never see the hopeful backup cry or eager guitar riff coming, and surprises like these are as pleasant as possible. There's a bone-chilling moment in "New Folk Song" where a "whooooa-uhh-ohhh" erupts, the climate changes and Yemin then earnestly growls "we don't know what we are / but we're sure of what we're not." A swelling nature in "The Beekeeper" changes directions at points thought to be impassable, with a riff oddly reminiscent of Modern Life Is War and Yemin coyly remarking "Out of step? Yeah, I know what that feels like" before the band burst out with the song's anthemic, closing climax: "Live fast, but don't die young. / Slow down, but never, ever, stop." Continuing the spirit of obvious `80s hardcore references, "Check Yr Math" seems to soundcheck "Rise Above" for a hot second.

New Lexicon doesn't quite hit as consistently hard as Paradise, nor can its best moments match up with the incredible anthems of the latter. Still, trying to dismiss New Lexicon as anything less than accomplished, dynamic and fully engaging is futile. Almost 20 years after a barefoot Dan Yemin began jumping around in basements with a guitar in hand and a "GO!" primed for encouragement, he's somehow produced another instant near-classic that really does attempt to expand hardcore's vocabulary in more ways than one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The NY Times Reviews Ocrilim's "ANNWN!"

huge thanks to Ben Ratliff and the entire NY Times staff!

(Hydra Head)

Ocrilim has been described as “Mick Barr overthinking.” The source of that description is Mick Barr himself, the guitarist only member of Ocrilim, who indeed does display obsessive tendencies. He plays steady chains of fast, screaming eighth notes, changing key, slowly forming a larger melodic pattern, repeating and repeating, driving his post-metal, post-symphonic ideas deep into your brain. “ANNWN” (Hydrahead), the new Ocrilim album, is one composition in seven parts, for multitracked solo guitar. Yet there are no solos, really, just a thick pile of single-note lines. (Or maybe it’s all one orchestrated solo: whatever.)

The only percussion you hear is the steady abrasion of pick against string. It’s a coherent work, dark and triumphant and self-reliant, a physical accomplishment. When you get through it, you feel as if you’ve grown an inch. Imagine how Mr. Barr felt.

Yakuza Announces US Tour and New Video!

Announces US Tour * Debut Video for "Black Market Liver!"

Watch the video for "Black Market Liver" HERE!

"It's a fair assumption that Transmutations will make its way onto many Top 10 albums of 2007 lists." - Jambase

"Yakuza’s the extreme music equivalent of a fleet-fingered DJ with a bottomless crate of Decibel-approved 7-inches––ones that soothe and sear, massage and mutilate." - Decibel Magazine

"When Yakuza hits the bulls eye, they bludgeon." - Pitchfork

"Dreary art-sludge - instrumental stoner funk - reverb and acid-glurp - weirdly sparse. These guys also sound like death metal sometimes. 8/10" -

"Though the group has a vocalist, Bruce Lamont, who doubles on reeds, and though it has the clout to snag legendary free-jazz percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang, it still loads Transmutations with atmospheres that are neither jazz nor psychedelia nor Neurosis-esque post-metal, but a cataclysmic collision of all three." - The Onion AV Club

"An exploration of extremes -hypnotic, sax-led grooves juxtaposed with raging apocalyptic grind." - Chord Magazine

"Listening to a Yakuza album with full attention is likely to take you places other albums rarely go." -

"An inspired, diverse, invigorating piece of work that will leave listeners wondering just what this highly talented band is capable of accomplishing next." -

With high praise from the metal press, local and national newspapers, and highbrow publications alike, Chicago’s YAKUZA has succeeded in garnering attention of all kinds, all the while not compromising the band’s free-flowing and spontaneous musical integrity. Regardless, YAKUZA remains independent, maintaining an almost indescribable sound that picks and plucks from a wealth of influences and inspirations.

Staying deeply rooted in a genre all its own, YAKUZA’s existence lies on a metal base with progressive flair, while somehow also incorporating elements of jazz, world beat, and post-rock ambience. Picture (if you can) a mixture of King Crimson, all periods of John Coltrane’s career, Tortoise, and Napalm Death. The end result is captivating, a sound that Rolling Stone, Revolver, Alternative Press, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, All That Jazz and countless others all agree is refreshingly original, technically proficient, all the while still staying very metal.

Continuing the band’s genre-defying sound with Transmutations, the follow-up to 2006’s critically acclaimed record, Samsara, the album sees YAKUZA again pushing the aural boundaries further albeit in a different way, incorporating more psychedelic elements alongside stretching, doomy movements and the band’s trademark jazz-influences, while also incorporating breakneck grind riffs and grooves at the same time.

"Exploration, experimentation, riding the line between the familiar and the foreign; the essential elements for YAKUZA have already been established,” frontman Bruce Lamont says. “We are not interested in creating music that’s not easily definable. Our roots are firmly planted in metal - yes, but like life, the sounds here are not cut and dry. At times this record can be uplifting, cruel, celebratory and just downright fuckin’ mean."

Utilizing producer and established multi-instrumentalist Sanford Parker (Rwake, Pelican, Minsk) for the recording of Transmutations, YAKUZA couldn’t be happier with the album’s end sound. “Sanford was great to work with,” Lamont says. “We really feel he has refined his craft over the past half a dozen recordings he's done. He’s known the band for a long time and helped with our last release, so he is already aware of our studio tendencies. With him the process felt almost effortless.”

With an album that continues the YAKUZA sound while – somehow - also expanding upon the band’s already established enigmatic concepts and forward-thinking approach to metal, Transmutations continues to push the envelope, carving a niche in the metal genre, while still continuing the band’s originality that has garnered so much attention in the underground – metal, mainstream or otherwise.

"Transmutations" Tracklist:

1. meat curtains
2. egocide
3. congestive art-failure
4. praying for asteroids
5. raus
6. steal the fire
7. the blinding
8. existence into oblivion
9. perception management
10. black market liver
11. zombies

Yakuza Live!
Feb 23 2008 kelley’s Irish Pub Blue Island
Feb 29 2008 METRO chicago, Illinois
Mar 9 2008 APOP records (in store perfromance all ages!) st louis, Missouri
Mar 9 2008 creepy crawl st louis, Missouri
Mar 10 2008 black lodge video memphis, Tennessee
Mar 11 2008 old post office w/DEADBIRD fayetteville, Arkansas
Mar 13 2008 La Zona Rosa (sxsw) w/Serj Tankian of System of A Down austin, Texas
Mar 14 2008 sxsw austin, Texas
Mar 15 2008 sxsw austin, Texas
Mar 16 2008 the crossing (post sxsw bbq and bands) san antonio, Texas
Mar 17 2008 mulligans shot bar w/THE SIXTH (ex- pissing razors) el paso, Texas
Mar 19 2008 the scene bar glendale, California
Mar 20 2008 key club los angeles, California
Mar 21 2008 chasers san diego, California
Mar 22 2008 skate bar w/intronaut long beach, California
Mar 24 2008 elbo room san francisco, California
Mar 25 2008 rotture portland, Oregon
Mar 26 2008 hells kitchen tacoma, Washington
Mar 27 2008 the cobalt vancouver, British Columbia
Mar 29 2008 the underground calgary, Alberta
Apr 2 2008 the royal albert winnipeg, Manitoba

For more information, visit:

Out Today! Paint It Black * 5ive * Hayaino Daisuki * Tiger Lou!

Today we see releases by some of the more legendary bands of our time. They span the genres of hardcore-punk, instrumental-metal, speed-metal, and lush pop-majestry. Read below to learn more, and enjoy!

Releases "New Lexicon" Today on Jade Tree * Upcoming East Coast Dates w/ Strike Anywhere and Riverboat Gamblers!

"The most intelligent hardcore album of 2008. Paint it Black's most furious effort yet." - Alternative Press Magazine

"Not only is it the most thematically wide-ranging disc in the group's arsenal, but New Lexicon also finds Paint it Black going bigger and wider musically, with hip-hop producer Oktopus (of Dälek fame) morphing the group's brutal, Black Flag-style hardcore into something altogether darker and more furious." - Revolver Magazine

"A standing army of old-school values" - Decibel Magazine

"No bullshit hardcore with pangs of melody and plenty of spots to catch your breath, only to have it torn from your mouth and choked to oblivion. Being pissed off never felt so good." -

"The sound of the eye-opening amazement that drew so many of us into punk and hardcore in the first place." -

Overproduction has the reputation of detoothing our monsters.

Rather than straining to re-create “lo-fi” in a studio, New Lexicon pushes the soundboard to the limit, bringing waves of crashing layers to the speakers. With little debate, this is their finest hour - or, half-hour, anyway. In keeping with punk classics from the Circle Jerks and the Descendents, New Lexicon’s 15 songs clock in at a dizzying total of 30 minutes, 26 seconds.

Frontman Dan Yemin says he hasn’t been this excited about a recording of his own since Lifetime’s landmark Hello Bastards.

New Lexicon, the group’s third full-length, marks Paint It Black’s first recording with new drummer Jared Shavelson (Hope Conspiracy, None More Black). Guest vocals from Jeff Pezati (Naked Raygun) appear on album closer “Shell Game Redux.” Still, many of the best surprises occur behind the scenes.

Tracked at J. Robbins’ Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore, MD., the album’s raw recording quakes with the same pulsing aggression as Modern Life is War or Black Cross. One of Robbins’ most aggressive hardcore albums to date, New Lexicon brings the bass to the forefront, rumbling with a distorted grit unseen since the Bad Brains ROIR sessions. (No, seriously.)

“Most indie or underground artists are guitar nuts, treating the bass as an afterthought,” says Yemin. “Especially with heavy music, everyone is obsessed with a thick guitar sound to sound aggressive. I’ve been frustrated with that for years.”

The solution? Take the recording to someone who unequivocally understands the importance of low end, someone with a punk background now working in hip hop: Oktopus of the apocalyptic hip hop duo Dalek. Known for his dark, cinematic production (think the RZA soundtracking the Exorcist), Oktopus samples and stretches the existing sounds of feedback, bass booms and cymbal crashes into haunting ambient interludes and serpentine waves trailing behind the buzz saw riffs.

Such studio effects could easily have gotten out of hand. But this is no attempt at “industrial-core” or a turntable-mosh disaster. Instead, disparate influences like Minor Threat, My Bloody Valentine, Swans, Deadguy and Mogwai merge together as a cohesive whole. Rather than gimmick, the co-production approach to New Lexicon aims at clarifying a brooding tone already at the heart of Paint It Black’s sound.

Dan Yemin – Vocals
Josh Agran – Guitar
Andy Nelson – Bass
Jared Shavelson – Drums

"New Lexicon" Track Listing:
1. The Ledge
2. Four Deadly Venoms
3. We Will Not
4. Past Tense, Future Perfect
5. Missionary Position
6. White Kids Dying of Hunger
7. Gravity Wins
8. Dead Precedents
9. The Beekeeper
10. Check Yr Math
11. So Much for Honour Among Thieves
12. New Folk Song
13. Saccharine
14. Severance
15. Shell Game Redux

Paint it Black Live!
Mar 1 2008 1pm In-store Performance @ Generation's Records in NYC!

w/ Strike Anywhere and Riverboat Gamblers!
Mar 1 2008 Knitting Factory New York, New York
Mar 2 2008 Living Room Providence, Rhode Island
Mar 3 2008 Middle East Cambridge, Massachusetts
Mar 4 2008 Asbury Lanes Asbury Park, New Jersey
Mar 5 2008 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mar 6 2008 Black Cat Washington DC
Mar 7 2008 Peppermint Beach Club Virginia Beach, Virginia

March 14 2008 The Scoot Inn Solid PR / Sailor Jerry / Obey Your Brain Showcase
+2 secret shows tba!

For more information, visit:

Announces New Album Hesperus, out Today on Hydra Head / Tortuga!

Hesperus, 5ive’s forthcoming full-length LP, prods and provokes the listener to ascend through a modulated mind muddle, in attempts to exhume the brimming melodic crest slumbering beneath a cyclic miasma of transformative sound. Ben Carr (Guitars) and Charlie Harrold (Drums) after seven years of relative anonymity, have graced us again with both their presence and a picture perfect record, which serves as a frame worthy summation of the band’s past impressions and conceptual progression.

Produced by Grammy nominee Andrew Schneider (Cave In, Daughters, Scissorfight), these seven tracks will send you silently swaying into a somnambulant state and then abandon you still stirring and stark naked in a roomful of uncomfortable silence.

5ive, longstanding purveyor of the recently popularized metallic twosome, has, with Hesperus, generated a centripetal force to be reckoned with.

Tracklisting for Hesperus
1. Gulls
2. Big Sea
3. Kettle Cove
4. Heel
5. Polar 78
6. News I
7. News II

For more information, visit:

(Featuring Jon Chang of Discordance Axis and Takafumi Matsubara of Mortalized) Announce Debut Album Headbanger’s Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire out Today on Hydra Head!

Hayaino Daisuki’s approach to frantic grind is far more sugar high than blood thirsty. This isn’t to say that this 4-song EP is pop-chart ready and already up for hip-hop remixes, for there is plenty of metal up your ass from a band who’s name translates to simply, “I Love Speed”. They do indeed.

Here to provide you inhuman speed levels are Takafumi Matsubara (Mortalized) on the ax, Eric Schnee on the drums, and screaming all over the surprisingly catchy madness is none other than speed and all things Sci-Fi obsessive Jon Chang of Discordance Axis fame.

So if you have been keeping up with the upcoming releases Hydra Head are about to plant into your ears in ’08, Hayaino Daisuki’s “Headbanger’s Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire” is the second Jon Chang affiliated project to write a blog about along with the upcoming Gridlink release.

Hayaino Daisuki’s introductory release may be small, but it is in no shortage of what everyone has come to expect from a Jon Chang project, not to mention Fast, Fast, Fast, and Fast. So get out your Discordance Axis T-shirts and grow out your hair, because we ain’t got a speed limit.

Tracklisting for Headbanger’s Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire
1 Into the Throat of Berserk
2 Haiiro Ikotsu Gakidou
3 Horobit Monogatari
4 Aka

For more information, visit:

Announce New Album "The Loyal" out Today on Eyeball Records * US Tourdates on The Eyeball Awareness Tour featuring Kiss Kiss, Baumer, and Pompeii!

“I fear being too specific and dread coming off as a showoff. Does that make sense?”

Meet Rasmus Kellerman. This is the guy behind Tiger Lou. It’s a band; for all intents and purposes, he’s the band. He writes the songs, plays and produces them. For now. Kellerman will tell you not to look too close at “just an indie band, like many other indie bands, with a big heart.” But not listening closely to Tiger Lou would be to sell it short.

The Loyal, the band’s second album, is on the surface, just music. A bunch of songs written by some guy from Oxelösund, Sweden. Only these tunes breathe, they’re dynamic, alive. Straight from the heart of some guy now living in Stockholm. And he wouldn’t say the band had heart if, to some extent, he wanted you to know the music was sincere.

Eeeewwww. Sounds mushy. Fake. How many times have you heard the word sincere, or genuine, in a bio? That’s the go-to adjective for the self-contained acts: singer-songwriters, one-man bands. These words, this bio-speak, is as trite and cheap as “I love you” at last call.

So here’s the music. Thirteen atmospheric, incorporeal (but alive) tracks that, if you put them under a microscope, would reveal a molecular pattern (and movement) identical to Kellerman’s. Maybe that’s why he’d like you to look plainly upon his work: he’s already seen himself at such a high magnification, a potentially painful zoom into who and what he is, and where he came from.

Oxelösund, we know is Kellerman’s birthplace. He arrived in the small harbor town on his mother’s birthday, 1980. Life there was “easy peasy Japanese-y. I skateboarded most of the time, not caring for anything besides that.”

In 1990 the Kellermans relocated to Nyköping, “a very normal town” of 50,000 residents where Rasmus attended “a normal school.” During this time, Rasmus’ older brother and sister hipped him to Slowdive, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Kraftwerk, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Skinny Puppy. A year later, Rasmus and a friend formed The Womb, releasing a demo tape called Ovulation. “For being the novelty work of one 11- and one 12-year-old, it’s ain’t all that bad,” Kellerman recalls.

In 1994, Kellerman discovered the harsher punk and hardcore sounds of Swedish bands Refused, Randy and Shreadhead. He calls this the biggest musical epiphany of his life. That summer, he stage-dove for the first time, found fanzines and millions of new bands, then started a fanzine of his own, SpinSign. He started booking shows, formed and broke-up numerous bands.

Of his prior bands, he says EM is the only one that matters. Later called Music By EM, the band asked Kellerman to be its bassist in 1996. Before the first practice, the vocalist is fired and Kellerman is asked to sing. It worked out; by 1997 Music by EM had a publishing deal with Universal Publishing. The band dropped out of high school, moved to a big house in Stockholm, and worked toward its first record deal (Sony, in 1999) and completed an album (to date unreleased).

Kellerman quit music. “I concentrated on love,” he says. “I moved to London to be with my present wife. And I was working shit jobs, bus boy, hair salon receptionist, juice-maker, etc.” During this seemingly idle time, a friend found a live acoustic recording Kellerman made shortly after the break-up. He suggested making a three-song seven-inch, to which Kellerman agreed. He chose the name Tiger Lou from a Jet Li film called Fong Sai Yuk. “The rest, as they say, is history.”

Over two years, Tiger Lou and Kellerman’s “main project,” Araki, flowed into each other. “Today, I don’t really differ them,” says Kellerman. The projects’ respective sounds, TL’s neo-folk, Araki’s atmospheric soundscapes, exist within the one band. The Loyal joins the personal, introspective element of one with the sonically expressive traits of the other, and incorporates the spunk of some of Kellerman’s punk influences, to create songs that are molecularly and musically unique.

“The Loyal” pulses insistently, muted acoustic strumming locked in with marching 4/4 drums beneath Kellerman’s subdued but burdened vocals. He questions the merits of sightless loyalty in what might be construed as the voice of young soldiers facing deployment. The song maintains this tense, hypnotic groove for much of its 5:35 running time, even through the comparatively bright chorus and, as with the sentiments expressed therein, does not resolve to anything but taut, catatonic resignation.

The New Order-esque “Patterns” asks us to interpret “the marks on me,” referring perhaps to a palm-reading, where Kellerman wants to know the details and also hopes to revise them. Henceforth, the story finds our hero desiring to know his “Function” in this mortal coil; pledging not to stop searching “Until I’m There.” Henceforth are more promises, some mention of his own blood, and the realization that whatever we’ve found, we’ve brought on ourselves, and what matters is what was there all along.

Again, probably too deep an analysis for one who has already done the introspective equivalent of staring into the sun. We haven’t even mentioned that Tiger Lou played 250 gigs throughout Sweden and Germany in the past three years. And they’ve sold around 50,000 records worldwide between two albums (Is My Head Still On? was released in ten countries in 2004), one EP (Trouble and Desire came out in ’03 and resulted in a month-long U.S. tour) and several singles and seven-inches. There’s also the Swedish Grammy nomination for Best Video, a Best New Act nod at the Manifest awards (an indie version of the Grammys). Or that The Loyal was produced and mixed by producer/mixer Peter Katis (Interpol, Denali, The Dylan Group, The National).

“Sure, Tiger Lou has done some stuff worth mentioning,” says Kellerman. “But let's just concentrate on what it is, and not what we want it to be.” Other than the indie/big heart thing, his list is simple: 1. Tiger Lou is a solo project, 2. Tiger Lou is a four-piece live band.

That’s mostly his brain talking. The band with heart says, “I just want to affect people. Hit them in the guts, but make them wanna dance at the same time. I wanna present Tiger Lou as a very personal thing. That's why I do all my own design work. That's why I try to respond to all the guestbook entries. To make people feel like I'm there, you know? It's not just some band, it's a real person behind it all, a person that is within reach.”

- words by Randy Harward

The Loyal Tracklisting:
01. Woland's First
02. The Loyal
03. Patterns
04. Functions
05. Until I'm There
06. Nixon
07. Ten Minutes To Take Off
08. Albino Apparel
09. Like My Very Own Blood
10. Pilots
11. Days Will Pass
12. Woland's Last

Tiger Lou Live on the Eyeball Awareness Tour
(w/ Kiss Kiss, Baumer, and Pompeii)!

March 4 NYC Crash Mansion
March 5 Asbury Park, NJ The Saint
March 6 Philadelphia, PA Circle of Hope
March 7 Myrtle Beach, SC Soundgarden
March 9 TBA North Carolina / South Carolina
March 10 Athens, GA Tasty World
March 11 Birmingham, AL The Nick
March 12 Little Rock, AR TBA
March 13 SXSW
March 14 SXSW
March 15 SXSW Eyeball Records Showcase

For more information, visit: